Friday, December 30, 2011

l'amour du jour.

Welcome to a new feature on L&L, "l'amour du jour," AKA what I love today. It could be blogs, products, clothes, or my cat [leaving the door open for the day I wish to write about her, that's all, gosh]. This week, I feature a gorgeous beyond gorgeous Etsy shop, ILY Couture by Christine Andrew. If I ever decide to wear all white and stroll down an aisle, I know exactly where to go for my accessories. No question, obviously.

Today, Christine [pictured directly below] is my Guest Blogger- writing all about her vision, her beautiful  products, and how she wants to help brides everywhere have that perfect day:

Since high school I have always wanted to design clothes or do something related to fashion. I applied to a big fashion school my senior year and remember walking out of the preliminary interview feeling like an idiot. They had asked me all sorts of technical questions about major designers and fabrics. I was completely lost! Discouraged, honestly I had kind of given up the idea of designing, until it came and basically hit me in the head.

It started when I was looking for accessories for my wedding this year, all my favorite hair accessories were $180+. My absolute favorite was over $300. I had spent most of my budget on my dress so I couldn't afford to spend that much, nor did I want to. I looked forever and found a few cheaper ones in the $40 range but you could tell why they were only $40. It was coming to crunch time and my wedding was only 2 weeks away and I still hadn't found anything. My florist in San Diego started telling me about her good friend that had started designing her own line of high end accessories. I don't know why but something just clicked. I thought why hadn't I thought of just making my own?!!

Caught up in all the other details of our wedding (we were engaged and married in 2 months) I kept postponing making my piece until the night before, when I couldn't postpone anymore. On the verge of emotional overload, my husband, bless his heart, stayed up and helped me cut out organza petals. I was literally sewing it together the morning of as the lady did my hair. I got so many compliments on it, I was inspired to start a full line. I wanted to create a line for brides that looked as beautiful as the $300 ones but were reasonably priced, and perfectly crafted. I am extremely meticulous on each piece. I want each bride to feel their most beautiful on their wedding day.
Customer service is the most important thing to me though! As I've started contacting bridal shops to sell our line, there were a few that had been snobby when I went in their store looking for my wedding, and I won't do business with them. I love answering customers questions and helping brides decide on the perfect piece. Knowing they are happy and feel good about what they are wearing is the best reward. How you treat people goes a long way.
People always tell you, you will know when you fall in love with what you do, and a lot of times its something you never pictured yourself doing. Anyone who knows me well, knows I've done every job under the sun from retail, to nannying, to real estate, to selling alarms and books door to door. I never thought in a million years I'd be working with anything related to weddings, but here I am, and with many thanks to my husband who has helped me so much a long the way, I can honestly say I love what I do!
What makes ILY COUTURE unique besides price point:Veils:
One of the things I noticed when I was trying on birdcage veils for my wedding is everyone sold them as one piece. You had this beautiful floral piece attached to a veil as one. People spend a lot on their wedding but people rarely reuse anything from their wedding, so it gave me the idea to create them as 2 separate pieces. Each ILY veil and fascinator are two separate pieces. Three benefits with that:

1. Versatility, our heads are all shaped differently, so the perfect spot for the floral piece on my head may be different then yours. With 2 separate pieces, you can position the veil and fascinator in the perfect spot that fits you.
2. After your wedding you may still want to wear something in your hair but don't want your full veil, you can detach the veil and still wear the fascinator.
3.If you want to wear the floral piece a couple months after your wedding with a cute outfit, you have a beautiful new accessory.

For more information on ILY Couture, or to place an order, please visit the Etsy Shop or LIKE them on Facebook. You can also visit Christine's personal fashion blog, Hello Fashion, for great styling and sale tips!

Want to be featured on l'amour du jour? Contact me!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Travel Tips

First off, we should begin by me explaining my credentials for providing you with travel tips. I am essentially what one would call "a travel expert" [I'm not at all]. I used to hate airports. THEY ARE THE WORST. I once got nachos at the Oakland Airport and they were so disgusting I contemplated never returning to the Bay Area again. I learned you're just not supposed to say "nachos" and "airport" in the same sentence. I guess since then, I've gathered a lot of really beneficial tips that I can share.

My travel schedule is honestly pretty frequent and busy. I have decided in order for me to be even remotely happy, I need to travel by plane once [or more] a month. [Where I am going and why? We'll get to that another time and it will be a darn good story]. Southwest Airlines has become a very dear friend of mine, and let's just say I'd rather get their excellent customer service than have to A) pay for checking a bag and B) deal with snooty attendants to C) sit in first class and not get free peanuts.

Now, before we get started, keep in mind this was my suitcase at 3:00AM last night [when I had to be at work at 9 this morning AND catch my flight right after that], so nothing I say is even actually credible:

1. Get a spray tan before you go. Think about how colorless your skin looks after you fly somewhere- adding some color is wise if you want to look radiant [with no effort] upon landing. Wherever you're going- you may not have access to your makeup collection as you would at home, so a spray tan will help even out your skin tone. I get hand-sprayed airbrush tans [that means I got my first one last night] and I swear by it. Yes, it may be awkward, but not as awkward as having blotchy wrists and neon palms from the Mystic machine. And when you land, the paparazzi may very well take your photo- just make sure to keep it a natural color so they aren't yelling "Snooki!"

2. In regards to packing... don't follow my timeline. I am always shoveling things into my bag, full knowing I have to leave in 3 minutes. Make a list a few days before your trip, and add to it as you remember things. For clothing, pick a color palette. Sounds boring, I know... but this will allow you to bring quite a few basics and a few staple jewelry pieces. You'll arrive knowing everything is going to match and you can change up your outfit ideas at your final destination. For my trip to Seattle today, I chose primarily black, tan, and grey. Everything goes together and can be worn numerous ways, so I can decide how I feel each day [and also see if it is raining or something, I'm still not sure on the rain].

**side note on clothing- Wear your bulkiest clothing for your travel days. This provides the most room in your suitcase. For example, if I am bringing boots, I always wear them on flight days. Ballet flats take up little to no room allowing for 50 "basic tee" options in that bag of yours [mine].

3. Don't over-do it on your "airport survival kit" AKA your carry-on bag. This means you do NOT need to bring 8 magazines, 2 books, a blanket, your computer, work documents, a coloring book, yarn+knitting needles, your makeup bag, DVDs, and a baggy of carrot sticks. You're likely going to only utilize a few of the things, and you're not going to be able to get them out of your jam packed bag. Also, your shoulder will hurt. Even during my longest day of travel, I did not even come CLOSE to finishing all the "airport projects" I brought, and I had to haul them everywhere. I take my essentials only: iPad- preloaded with 1 book and 1 movie [if you don't have a tablet, bring some reading material, and an MP3 player], headphones [key to not losing your marbles if you're an anxious traveler], powder+mascara+lip gloss to touch up when I land, a little extra cash for a snack [drink] because I am not on any diet restrictions currently [ever], and... my airport ritual: nail polish. Yes, it's true, I hide in an abandoned corner of the terminal and paint my nails before I board. I don't annoy anyone with the scent of the polish AND my nails are perfect when I land. I just get my boarding pass ready so I can walk on. By the time I'm at 30,000 feet my nails are set AND I won't be prone to biting them [due to the nerves]. If even one nail has chipped before I board the plane, all polish will be off before the fasten seatbelt sign is.

Believe it or not, I do NOT take my laptop [blogger fail]. If I plan on traveling, I pre-write my posts and have them ready to post via iPhone so that I am not wasting my vacation on my computer. I swear, you just don't need that much stuff. YOUR SHOULDER WILL HURT FROM CARRYING IT ALL AND YOU'LL GET TIRED AND THEN YOU WILL LOOK TIRED, I KNOW OK.

4. Stay calm. There are going to be a lot of REAL jerks in the airport on your day of travel, it is just how it works. My most valuable lesson is that maybe, just maybe, you don't know where they are going. They could be flying to a funeral, or terrified of flying. Cut them a break and don't let it get to you. Airports truly are stressful [and scary] and if you pay attention to the jerks, you just might become one too. Keep sass to a minimum, and just really enjoy the fact that you live in a time where you can literally get on a huge piece of equipment and end up a zillion [600] miles away in about an hour.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wednesday Wish List: Rainy Days Edition

Here we are again, with my wishing my Wednesday away. Today's WWL has to do with my new best friend, the rain. My little city has finally gotten some precipitation and low and behold, my sickness is washing right away with it. The darn desert air has been choking me for a week and I've snuggled with my humidifier every night, which hurts because the hard plastic case is not quite as cuddly as I'd prefer.

In addition, I will be venturing to Seattle tomorrow, and I from what I've heard, they get a lot of precipitation there in the Emerald City. Does anyone know if Seattle gets rain??? Just wanting to confirm before I pack.

First, I very obviously need some rain boots and they very obviously need to be Hunter. I just really think that I would probably look really great like stepping in a puddle if these were on my feet. Heck, I'd jump in the puddle. I'd hop right through it, splashing all the way. I really love how Hunter makes rain boots not look like the duck ones you had when you were little [was that just me?] but actually look pretty adult and cute. Now, the color I'd want is clearly cranberry, not pink... for the record. Also, I don't have many regrets in life but one of the bigger ones is walking away from the Target Missoni rain boots because I didn't think they were "logical." It was a mistake and if I could go back in time, I would. To remedy that, I wish for....

The Target Missoni umbrella, which is now on Amazon for a zillion dollars [$46.95]. I mean, I get it I work somewhere that I can park right at the front door so I mean I guess an umbrella isn't completely necessary in my life or whatever. But I'd go on long walks in the rain if I had it, that's all I'm saying.

Lastly, I just think that this Tulle jacket is pretty cute and perfect for my idea of a rainy day outfit. I totally get that the whole thing is fairly matchy-matchy with the cranberry boots and cranberry-esque umbrella so I threw in a neutral jacket to make me look like I was ready to take on the rainy day [or perhaps pose for cute senior pictures with my umbrella, splashing in puddles and stuff]. 

Anyways, I really have to pack for my trip now, so if someone could please update me ASAP on whether or not Seattle gets rain or what, I'd appreciate it. And tomorrow I'll give you some travel tips because I've been forced to acquire them over the past few months, and I'd love to share.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Pink Lady

Shirt: J. Crew SweaterForever 21, found here. JeansGenetic JewelryH&M BagCoach ShoesJ. Crew

A certain man-friend, who shall remain nameless, is bewildered with my love of pink. And heaven help him, because there just is no way I'll ever outgrow it. Sure, my bedroom is no longer wallpapered with carousel unicorns who have rose colored hair and pale red saddles, but you just cannot expect me to phase this out of my wardrobe. I set aside the goal of pink pants... but that is where I draw the line. I am a girly girl, after all.

I'll be the first to say it, a few months ago when I was a little tanner and a LOT blonder, this sweater MAY have looked mildly ridiculous... perhaps someone may have mistaken me for wearing an Elle Woods costume. I can agree on that. But on a gloomy Tuesday when my skin is the same color as the clouds and my hair hasn't seen it's BFF bleach for a spell because my stylist and I are trying a different look?? Bring on the hot pink. The hotter, the better. And you know what?? While you're at it, throw me some adorable glitter flats and perhaps a collar necklace that is also bejeweled because I just really, really love pink and sparkles, I just do. I threw away my dreams of owning a hot pink Jeep convertible, I think I've earned this sweater.

Monday, December 26, 2011

What a Weekend.

Has your head stopped spinning from this weekend? I, for one, have never felt so humbled and grateful to have such lovely, thoughtful family & friends. It is a miracle with all the shenanigans I get myself into, and actually just the amount of giggling I do... that I even have family & friends who stick around [I am pretty loud and giggly]. While I haven't yet stopped to breathe and have spent the greater portion of the day rehydrating and catching up on emails [and work]... I couldn't be happier with the weekend. What a perfect last chance to be truly grateful for all 2011 has given me.

Early morning breakfast with my big brother. Lots of blog talk-life talk-sibling talk. Family is good.

Christmas Eve: The unimaginably perfect portions of veggies and dip, single serving, so no double dipping faux pas!

Holiday cocktails and decorate your own cookie bar at our Christmas Eve SoirĂ©e. 

My fantastic dad in his Christmas Hat and Christmas Coat [which came from his dad]. He does not know this photo was taken...

Unwinding after the hectic weekend/Gearing up for my hectic work [&TRAVEL!!] week ahead with a vintage mug & white mocha. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, my friends! I hope you are spending this weekend with your loved ones, drinking [spiked] cider and lots of bubbly. I hope that each package you unwrap makes your little heart just explode, and that the gifts you give are equally received. As I am still sick, and have many friends and family in town, I'll be taking a break tomorrow to be cozy and merry. I'll see you all on Monday. 

Love, Kelli [& Roxanne] 

Friday, December 23, 2011


My long-time [StopShop] readers may recall my post on how I am NOT an artist, but that is 1/2 of a lie. Just because I can't draw/paint/weld/sculpt/draw does not mean I'm completely devoid of creative ability. In fact, I'm [in my humble-brag opinion] quite good at making collages. I understand there is a website [Polyvore] that allows you to do this all digitally, but there is something more satisfying about physical cutting and pasting... "crafts" sort of keep my head from flat out exploding, which would be gross and inconvenient. Kid safe scissors and glue sticks make magic here, folks. I don't like to waste the 400 pounds of magazines I have stored away, so this is how I reduce-reuse-recycle. I'm creating a look book- collages of styles, fashions, colors, and textiles that I am obsessed with. You see, I wasn't born with some inherent style gene. I have had to go ahead and figure it out. SO if I glue all the things I like onto a paper [to avoid wrapping Christmas presents], then maybe I'll get some fabulous outfit idea for my Christmas Eve celebration tomorrow. What will I do with the finished book? Show you, duh. Here is what I've got so far:

Thursday, December 22, 2011

14 Degrees.

Scarf: H&M Sweater: Forever 21 Blazer: Target Jeans: Genetic Shoes: Lauren Conrad for Kohls

What do you do when you wake up in your cozy bed and it is all of 14 degrees outside? Well if you're me, you contemplate jumping right off the roof, but then you remember how cold it is and you stay in bed because the roof is surely colder than your soft blankets. 

So, you snooze 400 times and eventually your "OKAY IT IS SERIOUS" alarm clock comes on [mine plays "Like a G6"] and that is JUST annoying enough- that you're like "OKAY OKAY, I'M UP" and you mosey on to your closet and you imagine how cold your car is going to be...

... and you put on the most clothing as appropriate for the office. I wore my new 80 lb. H&M scarf WITH an old sweater... but because that still wasn't warm enough, I put on a tuxedo jacket from Target [super super clearance last winter]. But you know, I rolled the sleeves up a bit so that if anyone in the break room questioned my layers, they'd think it was for the sake of fashion and not because I was a popsicle. Now, I threw my new leopard flats in my purse and wore Uggs for the drive in, but because those aren't so chic [slash] professional, I went ahead and changed before heading to my cube. 

The [angst ridden] self portrait, of course, was to show my boyfriend [in his 60 degree San Francisco paradise] that I was not frozen just yet, but nearly. And as for the poor quality of the outfit shot in it's entirety... well, ladies and gents... sometimes it is just too cold to truck it outside and smile for the camera. Better quality coming soon, pinky promise. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wednesday Wish List

Today's Wednesday Wish List will be short and sweet, because I am quite sick and haven't left my house for two days. So what I'm really wishing for is to not be sick.

And since I have spent the past few days being cozy as can be, all I want is cozy things:

Like this Ella Moss Jolene Sweater. So super cute and casual, but I think if I ever feel like going in public again, this could look great with black skinnies and pumps. 

I also, very much, want this:

The "Get Well Kit" from Pressed Juicery. I wish, beyond wish, we had a juicery in my town. We just don't, and that sucks. Because while I could definitely order this online, I'll be better by the time it is here. This particular kit will help me detox, alkalize, and hydrate... all while boosting my immunity. 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to sip some hot tea and fall face first back into bed. 

ALSO, if you haven't yet... skedaddle on over to the L&L Facebook Page and become a fan! [It will make me feel better...]

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Polka Dots

Sweater: Forever 21
Jeans: AG
Boots: Rocket Dog

This is my first outfit post at L&L, and I know, I know... I always say ballet flats are my staple. But, when you live in sub-freezing temperatures for weeks at a time... you incorporate some boots into your daily look.

I'm loving this rad new sweater. I don't usually go for polka dots [a little too 50's housewife], but when they are big like this- they work for me. Also, the buttons are up the back [on purpose]... very Krystal of This Time Tomorrow.

I was rushed to get ready so I didn't accessorize or really do much of anything, but I'd love to pair the sweater with a sequin mini or a statement necklace. It is definitely a new favorite in my closet!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Pick a Card.

I continually am writing all about things I love, because I need to tell someone, and also my cat [Roxanne] never gives me verbal confirmation if she is listening. So I tell you.

And some of the things that I just really love include doing what you love, buying local, and sending [and receiving] handwritten cards. What do these things have to do with each other? MORE THAN YOU MIGHT THINK.

FuZee CardZ is a local, handmade greeting card business from my hometown, Boise, ID- and all of the cards really are handcrafted and really are cute. And- they actually are fuzzy, which is so fun!

Every birthday and holiday, when faced with the dilemma of what I want... my answer is a firm "a handwritten card, please." I value cards with meaningful notes, and receiving actual mail in my actual mailbox that I can actually hold and feel is the best treasure as far as I'm concerned. 

When I started my blog, I knew I'd never endorse anything I didn't really love or use myself... and you know what? I love these. I really do. They are cute [REALLY cute] and thoughtful and a perfect way to make people in your life feel important and smile. When given the opportunity to review them and use them, I obviously jumped right on it because these are really, really great. Everything about these have a very personal touch- like the little felt scarf on the penguin to the fact that the envelope that comes with is matched to the card. 

Here I am with my personal favorite card, the little lion with a little heart shaped mane. And I've already chosen who to give the others to [and when], but I am being selfish and saving this precious one for myself. 

If you like these cards, PLEASE visit FuZee CardZ or LIKE them on Facebook. You'd be supporting a great local business, and also be giving your friends and fam a unique [and thoughtful] treat. And everyone loves treats. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Lessons in Layering

Anyone with a heartbeat and a hankering for fashion knows that layering is lesson one in style school these days, and it doesn't just apply to clothing anymore. One bracelet no longer suffices, you gotta stack them to succeed. My favorite term for this look was coined by the one and only Man Repeller, who calls the bracelet brigade an Arm Party. 

In this photo, Lindy has more of a "small wrist gathering," as she doesn't layer on too many... and keeps them all within her classy, understated style. I feel it is pretty important to show Lindy's version of layering, because if it was my wrist... you would see 40 friendship bracelets, lots of neons, and big bulky charms and beads. And I just can't discriminate against the classy girls. Bravo, Lindy. You nailed it.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

What to Wear: Office Holiday Party

Last night was my office holiday party, which is basically my favorite event of the year. There were plenty of yummy bevs & apps, lots of dancing, and one trillion stylish, beautiful people. Our company is huge- so my genuine apologies to those who I didn't get a photo of [and to those who I didn't even see at the party. I may or may not have snuck home early to sleep. I apparently turned 100 years old yesterday]. To be perfectly honest, I plum forgot I was supposed to be taking pictures about halfway through, but only because I asked for a Vodka Cran and the bartender gave me a Gin Cran and it made my tummy hurt. BLEW IT. That was truly a game changer and not a good one. So, I know the "Christmas Party Season" is coming to an end, but perhaps you'll find some New Years inspiration below?

My spring floral turned to a Christmas Red, and Lindy's purple Vince booties add unexpected color. Also, our Christmas tree is awesome. Just saying. And yes, I don't own a tree skirt so that is in fact a blanket on the floor.
Jen and her hubby Eric. LOVE the leopard with gold [obv]. Also, if I was a boy, I'd dress like Eric. Is that creepy to say? Sorry if it is, guys.
Ron's festive look isn't too matchy match, it's just right- and is totally classic Christmas. And Bo channeled his idol [Chuck Bass, duh]. All he needs is a trench coat.

Brittany and Jillian rocking the one shoulder look. In my opinion, both girls made incredible shoe calls for their dresses. Good work, ladies.

Danielle in all black and Jaki in perfect polka dots. I love the sheer necklines of their dresses- and adore how both looks are so diff but are absolutely suitable for the event.

John fancied up jeans & sneaks with a cardigan [I guess he didn't like my outfit...] and Rosemary made shorts look great [and appropriate] in winter!

Sheena accessorized her cute baby bump with sequins and Tessa in a classic black dress. Also, we're going to need to talk to Tessa about what lipstick she uses [I need some tips!!!].

Two versions of mint green looking great for the holiday season, both in Erin's dress and Dean's shirt- while Dean's wife Lisa gets the blazer/dress combo spot on.

Thanks to everyone for subjecting to my photography [bullying]. Now, only 364 more days until the best party of the year!