Saturday, May 31, 2014

But it's a dry heat!

Baby it's HOT outside! When the temperature index reads 107 degrees even my sweat has sweat. The dry heat humor only works for the month of June, once Monsoon season starts the humidity rolls in and you can kiss good bye - the dry heat. Regardless, it's hot, and as the temperature moves up the dial it feels like you stepped into an oven.

Coral toes - a summer do! Treat yourself to a pedi for summer sandal ready feet!

So how do you keep cool when it is 107+ degrees outside? This is a question I am frequently asked. In terms of summer wardrobe I am lucky as my office is a little more forgiving.  A simple Little Black Dress, short sleeve large weave shrug, hair up and a pair of very pretty summer sandals.




I love my animal print rug!

I enjoy wearing soft flowing fabrics in the summer. They feel nice next to the skin especially when it is hot and sticky outside. The movement from this skirt helps me feel cooler.


 A little black tank- Old Navy, simple black shrug - New York and Company, skirt - JC Penny, and black and white summer sandals - DSW.

 What are your summer wardrobe favorites that help keep you feeling cool as a cucumber? I would love to hear them!

                                                                          Be Well,  Laurie

Monday, May 26, 2014

Channel your inner beach!

My friends will share with you that I am manifesting moving to the beautiful Gulf coast of Florida. Since childhood it has been a dream to live by the ocean. It might have had something to do with Flipper. Nonetheless, as an adult I have visions of tooling around the ocean side communities on my beach cruiser with a West Highland Terrier at my side.

Until Divine timing, I channel my inner beach in a variety of ways. Bowls of seashells fill my rooms, ocean artwork and mementos from beach vacations. Today I decided to take an old computer printer stand  and beachafie it.

It is a happy color, and if it does not say Gulf Coast of Florida than I don't know what does. The paint swatch with the number accidentally got tossed, but I do have the can with all pertinent information. I call it Flamingo Florida!

The idea came to me one day flipping through magazines. They are all showing bold colors. My eyes happened to rest on a coral bowl I have in my family room. Like a bolt of lightening, I realized just how darn cute the old computer stand would look if I re purposed it with a coat of paint. I started looking around the room and realized the color coral stood out in my accessories.

Here is the before photo. Having served its purpose in my office, a recent change of furniture made the stand unnecessary for the space. But I knew it would look great in a new space.

Dare to be bold!  Do you have an old piece of furniture that you are not sure what to do with?  Think about using it in a different way than when you purchased it. A coat of paint, some great hardware and it is easy to bring some new energy to an old space on a budget.

             Be Well,  Laurie

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Marvelous Maxi Dress

The maxi dress is huge this summer. When I wear mine there is just something about it that makes me feel polished and sophisticated. It's cool, comfortable and easy to wear. Who knew that an impulse purchase from Walmart could be so much fun? Yes, I said Walmart.

 I tend to wear wedges and heels; however, I decided  my simple black maxi begged for some beautiful bedazzled sandals. They are fun to wear and turned out to be a smart purchase.

The maxi dress set it's roots down in the 1960's. Oscar de la Renta  made this iconic fashion statement legendary with the movie Dr. Zhivago. The Age of Aquarius, the Summer of Love, hippies and fashionistas - everyone embraced the flowing silhouette.

Grace Kelly is my idol! She is still the epitome of timeless style!

Sadly, the power suit and over sized shoulder pads of the 1980's  gave the maxi dress the boot and it disappeared. But it has made its come back and now it is stronger then ever. Just pick your favorite store and they will have the marvelous maxi dress on display.

New York & Company side-slit maxi

Lilly Pulitzer

Ann Taylor - Goddess Dress

Summertime is the perfect time to experiment with adding playfulness to your wardrobe.  Be daring add a beautiful bold color, perhaps a lovely fabric that feels nice next to bare skin or a fun style like the maxi. But most of all remember to have fun!

 Dress - Walmart
Sandals - DSW
Shrug - Target

       Be Well,  Laurie

Sunday, May 18, 2014

How to build a wardrobe

Graduation is a time for celebration, this rite of passage is an exciting time in a young graduates life. It can also be a time of stress. Recently, the daughter of a friend of mine who graduated from college asked me, "How do I build a wardrobe on a shoe string budget?"

The art of building a wardrobe is a great deal of fun, it is kind of like a puzzle or a game.  A person starts with a neutral canvas and builds on it. I think every gal should own a pair of neutral dress slacks, a pair of work-casual pants, a straight cut skirt and an a-line cut skirt, a jacket to dress up the bottom, a cute sweater and some blouses to wear with the bottom. My go to neutral is black. But it could be gray, or brown, or khaki depending upon your personal style and coloring.  What makes you happy?

Once you have your canvas you can go to town like an artist with watercolors. Try adding a pretty print skirt, or a fabulous dress.  Changing the look with accessories. You would be amazed at the addition of a belt, positioning of a scarf or some fabulous baubles can change a look, and don't forget nail polish is an accessory.

Lets give it a try!

Dress slacks with a cute sleeveless blouse and bright blue shrug, switch out the slacks for a skirt and you have changed the look.

Change up your  solid black skirt for a print, add a black sleeveless shell and the same bright blue shrug and you have three different looks simply by interchanging some of the same pieces. 

Add a black jacket and you have something that could pass for a suit, but with a little flair.

Change the jacket and keep the skirt and the look keeps changing, yet you are using the same pieces.

Are you starting to see a pattern? For those of you that remember the store chain Mervyns, you will understand how long I have owned this turquoise jacket. Because it was a Mervyns purchase. Do you remember their advertising slogan "Open Open Open?"

  • A few things to take into consideration. An office setting will be more conservative than your classroom. You can figure out how to bring your style forward you just need to know what the rules are for your office. If you have questions about your office dress code have a conversation with the office manager. If you wouldn't wear it to church you probably shouldn't wear it to the office. 

  • Hemlines have gone short, and they are super cute and girly but if it is above the knee generally not appropriate for an office setting.  However, for some offices you can put a pair of leggings on under the short dress and a cute pair of ballet flats and voilia!

  • Some offices frown on capri pants.  My question to that company is, "Have you spent anytime in Arizona in the summer?"  Your home office might be in Ohio but your climate is completely different than Arizona, Florida or Texas. Nontheless, you can still keep cool in the summer by wearing fabrics that breath. Try adding some cotton or a great light weight seersucker.  

  • To go sleeveless?  Most offices will frown on it, but in warm weather states we have a little grace. When it is 115 outside most office do not care if you have a sleeve. It is just to darn hot! Spaghetti strap and cami's are generally a no no, but  if you have a short sleeve shrug or light cotton jacket it will can turn it into a do.  

For Heaven's sakes NO FLIP FLOPS! Remember companies don't want to see your behind, belly or anything in between.....

             Be Well,      Laurie                            

Every May we desert dwellers prepare for the inevitable....................the blazing heat of the Arizona sun. For some reason I feel this year is going to be brutal. Yesterday, the temperature index reached 104! I am not ready for 104 degrees.

All day long I kept thinking about things that would be cooling. I obsessed over snow cones, iced tea and soaking my feet in a tub full of cool water and using an incredible new scrub I purchased from The Body Shop.  I was directed to try the scrub by a fantastic VLOGGER at Essiebutton Once again she was right on the money with The Body Shop Special Edition - Blueberry Body Scrub-Gelee.

I am not a fruity kind of gal when it comes to fragrance but this stuff is Heavenly! It is reminiscent of the great wine valleys of Sonoma, Napa, Wilamette or Yakima valleys.  I would use the term uplifting but I think intoxicating is better suiting. They use blueberry seeds and oats which makes it very gentle to use on sensitive skin.

I am frequently asked what type of lotion I use on my skin. The Body Shop Body Butters are my favorite. The desert climate is hard on skin. We tend to spend time in our pools which intensify the abuse our skin must endure. The Body Butters are rich, and hydrating never greasy. They don't lay on top of the skin. They quench it!

So if you are looking for an easy way to cool off this summer - Go soak your feet!

                                                Be Well,  Laurie

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Shoe Love

Every once in a while a girl has got to be naughty and splurge! I saw them in the window and heard angels singing. Initially, I ran into the boutique to see if they had a pair of shoes on clearance that I saw at another location over the weekend. They didn't have the clearance shoes but they had these!

They called my name and said, "Hello beautiful! Wouldn't I look adorable on your feet, and wouldn't I work spectacular with the black dress you are planning on wearing to the work function." By the way the shoes were not really asking me a question, they were making a statement.

I tired to resist. I looked at their sale shoes, and the silver wedges just kept talking to me.  Finally, after trying the sales shoes I asked the sales associate if she had a pair of the silver wedges in my size. In anticipation that I would lose my self control she had already pulled them for me. Not to give out my secrets but not only do they have great service at the Villages at Dana Park location but they are a little less traveled than the "mall" locations. In my book, they have a better selection and the store is not as busy.

White House Black Market  at the Villiages at Dana Park

I had a work function and knew these wedges would be fun to wear. I decided on a black sheath style dress. I picked it up after the holidays for $19.99 at Ann Taylor Loft.  I knew when I saw the dress we would become fast friends and their would be a million opportunities to wear it.  If you do not have a Little Black Dress (LBD) in your wardrobe it is a must!

The swiss dot fabric and key hole back cut out add interest to a simple black sheath dress. With a simple change of accessories the dress can be worn to a work event, a wedding or as a cocktail dress.

The dress fits like a glove but most of all it is comfortable. May is hot in Arizona which means it must not show sweat lines. (Sorry but it is true) You have to look cool as a cucumber. When one is acting as the hostess with the mostess for a work function you never know what you will end up doing to accommodate the event including bending, stretching, moving tables, sweating all while looking fabulous!  

 If you are starting to build a work wardrobe maybe after graduating from college or getting back into working outside of the home a smart LBD should be a staple in your wardrobe. The dress serves as the back drop.  All you need to do is change the sweater, jacket, baubles and shoes and you can transform the look in an instant.

I decided simple jewelry was the way for me to go. One pearl bracelet with two crystal brackets on either side of the pearl one. I consider nail polish an accessory. As luck would have it a friend treated me to a mani and pedi so my hands and tootsies looked beautiful! I am digging the bright coral color.

Every gal should have a "go-to" item in her wardrobe. When you are prepared it sets the intention that you will have great places to wear them.  Try it as an experiment and purchase a down-the-road item for your wardrobe. Put it out into the world!  Just wait you will be surprised when the invitation shows up, and you smile knowingly because you already have the perfect thing to wear to it!

Be Well,  Laurie