Designer Spotlight: Sophia Webster

6.29.2015

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This week’s designer spotlight is an up and coming British shoe designer, Sophia Webster. The emerging designer had her big debut when she launched her new first collection for SS13. Her designs feature a commercially viable and unique aesthetic, incorporating feminine designs with a sophisticated and modern approach.

The SS14 collection saw the launch of her iconic Butterfly collection, including the Chiara sandals, a style that has since evolved into the Angel Wing design, most notably the Evangeline heels. Her shoe collections have expanded to include a wide range of styles, from flats to espadrilles, and include the classic Coco Pump showcasing the Flamingo detail at the back of the heel, an image now synonymous with the brand.

She has achieved many awards during her academic career and was the assistant designer to Nicholas Kirkwood right out of college. Sophia was awarded the Conde Nast Footwear Emerging Designer of the year award in 2012 and was given the New Gen Award for all of her first three seasons by the British Fashion Council. She was also awarded the Mayor of London and British Fashion Council’s Fashion Forward prize for AW14 and SS15.

Needless to say, she is not only creative but also proven extremely successful through her many achievements and awards.  I am head over heels in love with every single pair of shoes she has designed.

Pro:  The bright colors and uniqueness of each shoe design really stands out among the rest.

Con:  Expensive. These beauties definitely come with a price. You could expect to purchase a pair at around $300 or more. However, for the craftsmanship that goes into every pair, the higher price seems appropriate in the high-end designer footwear world.

Check out my favorites below!

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What do you think of Sophia Webster’s footwear collection?? I appreciate any and ALL feedback. Leave me a comment, like or share!

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Fresh Picks No. 3

6.25.2015

Ridiculously high temperatures and the need to dress professionally – summer-inspired work outfit featuring cool layers and soft colors.

This week was officially the first week of summer and we all felt it here in Maryland. A heat wave brought nearly 100 degree humid air across the northeast bringing with it some awful storms on Tuesday. With these ridiculously high temperatures and the need to dress professionally, I’ve decided to dedicate this week’s fresh picks to cool summer outfits that are still work appropriate.

I work in Washington, DC where there are lots of tall, concrete buildings on every block.  Not much air moves in the midst of downtown DC and it can feel suffocating at times. The mornings can be cool but by the afternoon and early evening, temperatures are blazing.

I love to dress in layers. Between the cool mornings, hot afternoons and subzero degree office temperatures, there is constant removing and adding of clothing. I also love to mix and match my work wardrobe so I usually look for neutral separates that can be worn many different ways.  Look stylish and chic but save money while doing it!

Below I put together a summer-inspired work outfit featuring cool layers and soft colors.

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1. Ally Fashion Stripe Edge to Edge Ponte Blazer, $35.99 – This is the perfect statement blazer. With a full-length sleeve it can be transitioned from summer to winter w/ a neutral dress or separates.  To dress it down, I could wear this blazer with ripped boyfriend jeans, a t-shirt and statement necklace.

2. Fossil Jacqueline small three-hand leather watch in light brown, $115 – I love the new look of small watches. Over a year ago, my fashion forecasting teacher predicted that small-face watches would start penetrating the market again and she was right. I think the smaller band is a lot easier to wear during the summer – less is more.

3. Rebecca Minkoff ‘Adeline’ tote in khaki, $295 – A structured bag that works perfectly for an everyday carryall. This bag is made from super lightweight saffiano leather, and features her newest design, an unlined bag – great for summer!

4. Choies Blue V-neck sleeveless Chiffon blouse, $18.99 – This inexpensive sleeveless blouse is perfect for layering and the light blue shade is a pretty pastel for summer. Wear the blouse and skirt alone for a look stylish and cool ensemble in the summer heat! Available in many different colors.

5. Chloe + Isabel Heritage Blossom convertible earrings, $48 – These beauties showcase a great color combination and really add that wow factor to an outfit. The best part – they’re convertible, yes convertible! Get your daily dose of sparkle with the mother-of-pearl studs, or attach the dazzling floral drop components to make an instant statement. This stunning 2-in-1 set makes for the perfect desk-to-dinner style embellishment!
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6. Alice + Olivia Parson cotton miniskirt, $150 (40% off) – An orange/coral-y color and carefully placed pleats encapsulates girly summer style perfectly. Just enough flare for some fun, feminine glamour.

7. Nordstrom Vince Camuto ‘Emore’ leather sandal, $128.95 – One of the most popular shoes sold at Nordstrom two years in a row and for good reason! These babies are stylish and SO comfortable. I walk quite a bit in the city during my work week so I look for comfort when shoe shopping. Love the caged look and peep-toe! Available in black, cherry and tan (featured in post).

8. Starbucks Gradient Gold Cold Cup Tumbler (24 fl. oz.), $14.95 – Oh, Starbucks. Not only do you take my money every morning for that delicious scone and iced coffee but you also force me to shop while I wait in line. I’m not mad though. I could not pass up this adorable gold cup so it’s currently sitting on my desk. During the summer heat it’s important to drink lots of water so why not do so in style!

Stay cool, friends! Until next time…

Like this post? I appreciate any and ALL feedback. Leave me a comment, like or share if you feel inspired!

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Don’t Quit Your Daydream

6.24.2015

Let’s be honest, no one has it all together – some people are just really good actors. We all have strengths and we all have weaknesses but feeling good about your body and mind can make it a lot easier to be your best professional self.

I have been wanting to write a post catered to 20-something’s and recent graduates and finally got enough time and inspiration to actually sit down and list all of the things I have learned since I graduated college. I know this post is lengthy but I wanted to make sure I hit every topic and added my own tips to success. *DISCLAIMER* I know I’m not an expert and I don’t expect you to think I am. This post is simply about how life has been for me since post-graduation and small simple steps to becoming an actual adult – I know, scary.

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A lot of things have changed for me in the past year – between graduating college and officially being dubbed an adult to getting new jobs, meeting new people and discovering who the f I really am. I’ve gone through changes – some great, some bad, but through it all I’ve learned a whole heck of a lot in just these past 12 months.

I kinda thought life would be handed to me on a silver platter. I thought post-graduation would be this amazing, seamless experience into adulthood. WRONG. It’s been rough.  From finding out what exactly you want to do for the rest of your life to finding new friends and learning a whole different routine, there’s definitely a huge transition period.

For some, it might be sending in over 50 applications and not hearing back from anyone. For others, it’s just getting into the groove of being a self-sufficient, responsible, socially-acceptable adult in the real world and that, my friends, is where I struggled the most.

This morning I woke up late, I stuffed breakfast in my purse, I forgot my bus pass in my car, I spilt coffee on my top while trying to do my makeup on the bus, and I left my phone charger at home. It’s only 9:02 AM. These are the days when I stop myself and say, “Girl, get your shit together.” 

Everyone knows ‘that girl’ who strolls into work early, dressed to a T, hair and makeup done and sharp-witted before you’ve even sat down to think about the day. In my case, ‘that girl’ in my office also attends law school at night. Seriously? Maybe I could be like her if I woke up 3 hours earlier and drank 14 cups of coffee but until then, I’ll fake it til I make it.

There’s a lot of things I’d like to get better at.  I tend to set my goals and expectations too high and often disappoint myself when I don’t achieve them.  It hasn’t been until recently that I realized these things won’t happen overnight and I’m okay with that.  Until then I will take baby steps into the scary abyss of adulthood.

“Nothing will work unless you do.”  -Maya Angelou

Getting an earlier start

Wake up just 30 minutes earlier than you usually do. In other words, don’t hit the snooze button 20 times. Actually wake up when your alarm goes off the FIRST time. Just adding 30 minutes to your morning routine will leave you so much more time to get things done. You’ll feel so much better walking into work and feeling like you’re put together and ready to take on the day.

  • Download the app Sleep Time. Fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up feeling refreshed! Sleep Time doubles as a sleep analysis app and alarm clock.  Never feel the torture of waking up during a pleasant REM cycle again!

Eat healthier 

Simply put, your brain needs good food to power through a day of work.  I have the tendency to skip breakfast often and when I do eat breakfast, it’s a bagel slathered with flavored cream cheese or a couple donuts from Dunkin’ cause it’s cheap and easy.  A couple of quick and healthy breakfast options are granola bars, overnight oats, yogurt or a smoothie prepared the night before. Add some chia seeds to your morning breakfast, they are packed with so many wonderful health benefits!

Pack your lunch! I cannot begin to explain how much freaking money I’ve spent and wasted on food alone. It appalls me to look at my online bank statement and see the amount of money I spend weekly on food, snacks and drinks. Not to mention, mostly unhealthy choices like Chickfila or Chipotle. Packing lunches is something I truly suck at. Either I forget to pack one or I forget to grab it from the fridge in the morning. Establishing a routine and allowing maybe one or two days to eat out is an ideal goal I’ve set for myself. Trust me, your wallet and your scale will thank you.

Stay in the know

Once I started my corporate job working in DC, I began to realize how important it is to stay up-to-date with current events. Politicians and high-profile business owners are brushing shoulders with me as I walk the streets of downtown DC. There is so much to be said about a girl who not only looks good but also has a brain to fill that pretty head.

  • Subscribe to theSkimm, a current event newsletter catered to women that delivers up-to-date world news and hot topics to your inbox every morning, Monday through Friday. Read it on your morning commute or while you stuff your face with breakfast, it only takes minutes to “Skimm” through. So next time Benjamin Netanyahu is in town, you’ll know why and you’ll be sharp-witted when your boss mentions the name. *Brownie points*

Read everything

Reading is such a pertinent part of learning.  After graduating college and not having pages upon pages of demanded reading material every week, I realized how much fun it is to leisurely read again. Even if it’s a fictional series about murder mysteries or a favorite magazine, reading really works to exercise your brain and vocabulary. The senior management at my office gets newspaper daily and sometimes I’ll just read over the front page to wake up my brain.

  • Blogs are also fun to read and there are many different kinds of blogs out there to follow – career blogs, industry-specific blogs and blogs for pure entertainment.

Networking your social group

I believe this is the ‘Golden Rule’ in professional work environments and life in general. It’s so crucial to put yourself out there once graduating college and entering the real world.  This may be a bit uncomfortable for those introverts out there like myself but it plays a huge role in climbing the corporate ladder in a job. Networking really helps define you as a working professional.

Throughout years of schooling and guidance from parents and mentors, you have probably had somewhat of an outlined path. Once graduating, it’s really up to you on where you intend to be and what goals you set for yourself. Let me tell you, it’s a whole lot easier when you have the right people backing you up and ready to support you. This is probably the most valuable lesson I’ve learned since starting my career.

Recently, I told my supervisor that I eventually wanted to get into marketing and have a general passion for interior design and fashion. She strongly encouraged me to continuously work on developing professionally even if that means I will inevitably choose to change jobs/companies down the road. She told me to look at different corporate interior design firms in the area, independent designers, magazines, etc. Really any way possible to get connected with the interior design industry. She also told me to attend social events to network with people who have similar interests, send out emails seeking advice and even try to grab coffee or lunch with a person of interest. Without her recommendations I would have never thought to network myself in these ways.  Thanks to putting myself out there I have recently been in contact with one of the areas leading designers, Lauren Leiss, and have gained so much more knowledge on the interior design spectrum.

Networking can be helpful in all areas – whether that be to build friendships, professional growth, resume building or just exploring the unknown.

Let’s be honest, no one has it all together – some people are just really good actors. We all have strengths and we all have weaknesses but feeling good about your body and mind can make it a lot easier to be your best professional self. Embrace the bad days and learn from them. What can you do different today to have a better tomorrow? I hope you all enjoyed reading this post. I appreciate any and ALL feedback. Leave me a comment, like or share if you feel inspired!

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Fresh Picks No. 2

6.19.2015

Be stylish and trendy while sporting your teams colors!

Baseball season is in full-swing! Hehe get it?  Luke and I went to watch the Baltimore Orioles play the Phillies this Tuesday night and we had a blast!  It was the best game I’ve ever been to.  The Orioles broke records hitting 8 home runs and ultimately taking victory with a score 18-3!

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Luke and I at the game, sitting behind home plate!

So. This week my Fresh Picks post is all about dressing for a date night at a baseball game. I own a jersey and other Orioles gear but sometimes it’s fun to be stylish and trendy while sporting your teams colors.  Here are some fun outfit ideas catered to a night at Camden Yards.  Let’s go O’s!

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1. Sam Edelman “Lida Ivory” – $175.00.  These adorable espadrille shoes are the perfect mix of comfort and style.  I always find myself walking a lot when we go to a baseball game because the ballpark is right in downtown Baltimore.

2. Alex and Ani Baltimore Orioles Charm Bangle -$32.00.  I have a whole collection of the Alex and Ani bangles but still missing this one.  I checked the gift shops at the stadium for one but they were sold out.  Will definitely have to buy online. A subtle way to show team spirit all the time!

3. Cara Couture Tassel Necklace – $30.00. I think this necklace is the perfect pop of color especially to a solid neutral top/dress like black, white or grey.  And it’s super on-trend right now showcasing the tassel detail!

4. H&M Black cotton A-line Dress – $17.99.  I just bought this dress the other day.  Super comfy and easy to wear.  I wanted to wear it to the game but with the high-neck plus the really hot day we had here, I chose to wear something lighter.

5. Longchamp ‘Large Le Pliage’ Tote – $145.00  I own several of these bags, in mostly neutral colors.   This is a nice summery color and the perfect shade of Orioles orange!

6. Ray-Ban Cockpit “Cyclamen Flash” – $170.00.  Currently obsessed with these sunnies!  They are like an orange/pink/yellow metallic color aviator. Also available w/ polarized lenses.

7. H&M Straw Hat – $12.95.  A hat is a great way to add style to any outfit.  I love wearing my Oriole’s baseball cap but this fedora is a fun way to be chic and stylish at a game, especially during a day-game when the sun is blazing!

These are all great ways to add style and dimension to your baseball game outfit.  I hope you found some inspiration reading my post!  What’s your favorite baseball team?

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Get To Know Me!

6.18.2015

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  1. I’m an only child
  2. I was my moms 8th and only successful pregnancy
  3. My name holds special meaning – Haley means “hero” and my middle name is Christine and that symbolizes Christmas because I was due to arrive December 24
  4. My actual birthday is December 14
  5. I’m a Sagittarius and avidly check my horoscope
  6. I’m 22 yrs old
  7. I graduated from the University of South Carolina
  8. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising
  9. I work full-time in Washington, DC as an executive assistant
  10. I live in Southern Maryland – I commute about 1.5 hrs each way to work
  11. I was in a sorority in college – Tri Delta
  12. My favorite color is blue. Like when you look up into the sky on a cloudless day. That color blue
  13. My favorite number is 12
  14. I’m 5′ 9″
  15. Favorite part of my body – my legs
  16. I fear spiders, snakes and moths – scary, scary things
  17. My favorite teams – Dallas Cowboys and Baltimore Orioles
  18. Chrissy Teigen is my spirit animal chrisst
  19. I have a furbaby – a chocolate Labradoodle, “Moose”
  20. My boyfriend’s name is Luke – he is a farmer. I totally think his tractor’s sexy.
  21. I have a weird obsession with school supplies and organizational items i.e. calendars, planners, totes, storage containers. Which you would never guess because I’m the epitome of disorganized.
  22. I live for inspiration boards
  23. I love perfume – I have so many. My current favorite is Hypnôse by Lancôme
  24. I talk to myself too much.  Like I will have full blown conversations with myself all the time. An only child thing? Idk.
  25. I want to travel. If I could pick anywhere to go right this minute it would be Bora Bora. Because why wouldn’t you pick Bora Bora?
  26. My favorite food is carbs – I don’t discriminate
  27. I’m an independent Merchandiser for Chloe + Isabel
  28. I am definitely not a city gal, although I try to be. I believe I belong in a small-town beach community.
  29. If I could be anything it would be a professional Olympian ice skater
  30. I hate cats. Sry.
  31. I love helping people
  32. Favorite TV show – tie between “Sex and the City” & “Friends”
  33. When I’m hungry and tired – do not come near me. Just don’t.
  34. I’m very easily distracted
  35. I have no favorite genre of music. I like it all. Usher to Mumford & Sons to Luke Bryan in 4.6 seconds.
  36. Fall 2015 I will begin my journey as a student again to pursue an MS in Marketing Management.
  37. I dream of having a big family
  38. Probably the most indecisive human ever
  39. I love the south, I think I’d love to live in Texas
  40. I’m addicted to coffee
  41. I could eat a bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos every single day
  42. I’d rather grab a big fluffy blanket and a good movie than go out to a bar ANY day.superthumb
  43. I cried when I turned 13 because I didn’t want to be a teenager
  44. I despise vanilla ice cream
  45. I’m always told I should model because I’m tall and thin but I can’t because I’m too awkward.
  46. I LOVE to cook but rarely find time these days
  47. My dream job is to own my own business as an interior designer and also run a cute furniture boutique. One day…
  48. I still live with my parents (emotionally dealing with this since my return from college). I’m trying to save to invest in a home. Priorities.
  49. My favorite people to follow on Instagram: Emily Schuman, Cara Loren, Joanna Gaines and Emily Henderson
  50. This blog is a fun way for me to express my love for all things fashion, food and decor.  I have always loved creative writing and love the fun in designing my own website. Thanks for reading!

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Tassel Jewelry Trend

6.17.2015

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A trend that I have fully embraced this spring, tassel jewelry is trending for spring/summer 2015.  Available in many variations from metal to threaded to beaded, tassels are being seen everywhere.  Wrap around rope necklaces like the one I’m wearing today or dangly earrings, be sure to invest in one of these pieces to add instant panache to your summer wardrobe!

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I really wanted the bright yellow to pop and be the ultimate focal point of my outfit so I wore a high-neck blue silk dress.  Yellow and blue are complementary colors, directly opposite on the color wheel. These two colors create a great contrast, especially in the bright shades I wore today. A threw a white blazer on over top to be chic, office professional.  For shoes, I FINALLY had the perfect opportunity to wear my brand new Tory Burch flats that are a yellow and gray print floral print. I ended up changing into a nude heel at the office to look a little more dressed-up.

Dress is 100% silk by Cynthia Rowley. On clearance at TJ Maxx – $30.99

White blazer was purchased from H&M last summer. Find one like it here – $34.99

The tassel necklace is from H&M – $14.95

Shoes are Tory Burch. Purchased at Nordstrom Rack – $127.97

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11 Reasons Why My Dog Is My Best Friend

6.15.2015

I am blessed and privileged to be a dog-mom to my chocolate Labradoodle, “Moose.” Here is a list of 11 reasons why my dog is my best friend.

I recently read an article that had been circulating on Facebook.  The article was about how people should not refer to their pets especially dogs as “furbabies” or “dogchild” as it is an insult to all mothers because it belittles their hard work raising their own child. This article infuriated me. What I could say about how wrong the so called author/blogger is, would most definitely dwarf her article. First off, does the author really have nothing else to do with her time but to write a very lengthy, over-exaggerated post criticizing what others choose to call their pets?  Has your creativity run dry? Second, how hypocritical of you to say it’s an insult for someone to use the term “dogchild” when you’re insulting an entire population of people who choose to view their dogs as a family member. Heaven forbid, they can’t conceive their own child and a dog is all they have. Lastly, raising a puppy into maturity mirrors raising children in nearly all aspects of said subject matter, except the fact that dogs are not human. You must teach and train, nourish your children and dogs with love and patience throughout their lives.

After reading the article I began to think of all the ways I am blessed and privileged to be a dog-mom to my chocolate Labradoodle, “Moose.” Here is a list of 11 reasons why my dog is my best friend.

  1. Unconditional love – Walking into my home after a long, hard day at work and being greeted with a shower of kisses from my pup is the ultimate way to turn my day around. He doesn’t care about a failing grade, a stressful day at work, or that huge stain on your new white pants. He loves you and he makes it known every single day.
  2. Dependable & loyal – Going off of unconditional love, dogs are always there for you. When I’m sick or upset he doesn’t leave my side. There’s something so comforting about their loyalty. I know Moose will never break my heart.
  3. Responsibility – Owning a pet takes a lot of responsibility. It shows you can be responsible for something other than yourself which also shows maturity. It symbolizes that you are dependable and capable of sharing your love.
  4. Protection – Dogs have a natural instinct to protect.  They bark and warn you when the mail man comes down the driveway or when the doorbell rings. Although there isn’t a whole of threat in my cute Labradoodle’s demeanor, his bark signals something’s up.
  5. Adventures – He loves to go on road trips and explore the outdoors. He’s playful and extremely smart – the perfect partner in crime.
  6. Sleeping – We both love to take naps. If it were an option, a morning nap, mid-day nap and an afternoon nap would be awesome.
  7. Snuggle buddy – Dogs make the perfect snuggle buddy.  Not all dogs are content with lying around and snuggling but my pup is.  Snowed-in? Netflix and Moose snuggles all day.
  8. They love food – Friends are cool, however, you go out to eat with them and they’ll complain about their weight and order salads from the appetizer menu. Your dog won’t mind if you opt for the burger; he or she will probably love you all the more.
  9. No judge zone – Haven’t showered in a week? No problem, neither has he. Go ahead and throw on those old leggings with holes at the seam, no makeup, hair disheveled, lookin’ a mess. Dogs will love you even on your worst days.
  10. Always happy – Dogs don’t PMS or have mood swings and if they do, they don’t show it.  I can always expect kisses and excitement when I walk in the door.
  11. Family – I think this is the most valuable reason of all. Moose has become part of our family.  My boyfriend Luke and I got Moose together and we have raised him with love and patience. Not only have I seen a more vulnerable and loving side from Luke but I have also gained a bond between us three that I will cherish forever.
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I took this picture of my pup, Moose, and I yesterday. We were riding around the farm with my boyfriend and Moose’s dog-dad, Luke. An added bonus, dogs make for great selfies.

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