Winter Blues

Let’s face it – for those of us who live in the Midwest or on the East Coast, it’s pretty dreary in the winter. Cold temperatures, grey daytime skies, and early dusk don’t make it very appealing to get out and about. Do you have the winter blues? I’ve been a bit of a hermit in 2013 so far, but I’ve actually been pretty happy and cheerful despite the weather. Without further ado, here are the five things that have worked for me in beating the winter slump…

Winter Blues Begone // Curating Style

1. Invest in a proper coat. So the thing is—if you’re freezing cold and ill-dressed for winter months, you’re probably not going to enjoy it. You may as well make the most of it and invest in a coat that is both warm and stylish. Unless you have a Navy issue peacoat or your body temperature runs especially hot, my preference is a down coat. My old army green one recently fell apart, and I replaced it with this three-quarter length down coat from L.L. Bean. Functional, fitted, well-priced, and well-made, I highly recommend it. (The sizing is a little generous, and I ordered a petite small, which fits perfectly with a bulky sweater.)

2. Pamper yourself. I commute to work on foot (even in the winter), and my skin definitely suffers from cold, dry air. I’ve somehow managed to get wind burn on my leg through my jeans, and my hands require almost constant care between hand washing and winter air. (Plus, there’s nothing more distracting at work than painful, cracked hands.) A good protective lip balm, thick hand/foot cream treatment, and coconut oil are three things I’ve been relying on heavily.

3. Move. If you’re anything like me, you usually spend your winters eating hearty carb-laden food in fleece pajama pants and a hoodie, only to end up with a little extra ‘padding’ by the time spring rolls around. Make good on your New Year’s resolutions now and you’ll be looking at sundress and bikini season without dread. I realized that a clean diet and regular exercise means that I’m a happier girlfriend, a better friend, and a more productive employee – win/win/win. Two things that have worked well for me include penciling in a Zumba date with a friend and trying out new ways to exercise.

4. Read a good book. Have you always wanted to read Les Mis, Atlas Shrugged, or Game of Thrones? Start now! I like to take advantage of these winter months by reading those really long books I never manage to find time for in the summer. Plus, apparently happier people read books (though you’ll frequently find me curled up in bed for mini marathons of Fringe too!).

5. Accessorize. I tend toward darker neutrals, rotating pairs of Bean boots, and warm pashminas to get me through winter, but I like the occasional sparkly things to keep me from feeling too drab. Don’t discount the power of a pretty pair (or three!) of studs or a fresh coat of polish. (I’m eyeing this evil eye necklace. Shameless plug: Want $10 off your first order? Sign up through my referral link.)

These ideas might seem obvious—but you’d be surprised how easily we forget them when we’re heading into work before sunrise and leaving work after sundown. Calling a friend, lighting that “someday” candle you have laying around the house, or experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen also help keep me sane through the winter.

How are you faring this winter? Any tips you have for making the winter a little brighter?

Posted in Life | 15 Comments

Two Months and Change

Can you believe I took two and a half months off blogging? (OK, maybe you can, or maybe you didn’t even notice.) Anyway, I should be back semi-regularly. Overall though, things haven’t changed much. I still listen to terrible hip-hop music loudly in my office and take too many books out of the library at one time. I guess I’ve been doing more yoga, and I’m almost finished with my first Whole30 (these days, my meals look a lot like this). So I suppose you could say I’ve become a hippy-dippy crunchy paleo person*. We went to North Carolina and New York for the holidays, and the most notable thing from our journeys was that we spent a night in Asheville, and I loved it. In January I ventured further south to New Orleans with Cody, and next week I leave for the first of a couple already planned NYC trips for the year with Heather, Allie, and Adam. I finally bought a bar cart for the apartment—almost a year from when I first blogged about it, which goes to show you how long it takes me to make a decision on furniture.

Two Months and Change // Curating Style

Things I’ve been liking
- This book, this article, and this TV show
- Challenging myself into yoga poses like these

Things I’ve been eyeing
- One of everything from this e-commerce site
- A nice pair of sandals (and weather to accompany them)
- A yoga mat upgrade (eventually)

What have you all been up to? If you blog, leave me your most recent favorite post – I’d love to check it out.

* This isn’t a bad thing; just never thought it’d be me.

Posted in Life | 17 Comments

Be Right Back

“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” —Joseph Campbell

I’m pretty terrible at some things, and one of them is going with the flow. Since I moved to Columbus in August 2010, my life has moved in a completely different direction than I thought; I struggle a lot with what I thought my life would be like and how it actually is. None of it’s bad. It’s just different. Life is good, more than good, it’s just that many things were unexpected.

Another thing you should know is that for years I tried to journal and write, but usually I’d give up after a month or so. This blog is the longest, most consistent project I’ve taken on in recent years, though I know I’ve been unreliable lately. It causes me a fair bit of guilt not to have a post up during the weekdays, and that I haven’t spared the time to research more preppy sartorial history or gather stylish deals from around the Web. I’ve always aimed to bring fresh, original content to you, and lately I just haven’t wanted to spare energy or valuable free time with friends to work on that. I’ll be back soon though. (And one of these days I’ll stop with dropping by these posts saying, “I’ll be back! I promise.” and just be back.)

I did want to tell you something exciting, though! You’ll find me over on The Atelier next Wednesday with a DIY hostess gift for the holidays. Melissa is one of my favorite new blogs, and I was so honored that she asked me to be part of her series. Be sure to stop by her blog sometime.

DIY Hostess Gift // Curating Style

Posted in Life | 6 Comments

No nonsense Tights & Leggings

Thought my fall/winter wardrobe shows little evidence, I love color. In spring or summer you’ll rarely find me in muted shades, but by fall I’ve returned to neutrals for a softer, warmer feel and look. I was recently given the opportunity to review No nonsense leggings and tights, and I happily accepted; I often struggle to spice up my wardrobe, especially since I’m so focused on wardrobe staples, so it was nice to be forced into it.

I received a pair of bright, candy apple red corduroy leggings and a pair of black fishnet tights, both of which I gaped at in surprise. What on earth was I supposed to pair these with, I asked myself? It takes a lot for me to diverge from preppy, but I figured out a couple of solutions…

No nonsense Leggings and Tights Review // Curating Style

LEFT: Urban Outfitters dress (old, similar), No nonsense red corduroy leggings, Vigotti Salinde flats
RIGHT: J.Crew Tippi sweater, J.Crew wool miniskirt (old, similar), No nonsense fishnet tights, Ann Taylor perfect leather pumps

I do think the quality is fantastic and the sizing is true-to-size for both the leggings and the black fishnets. I requested a large in the leggings—having found that many leggings tend to be snug—only to realize a medium would have been a much better fit. (The medium/large fishnet tights were perfect.) I was impressed with the quality of both pairs, especially the lightweight warmth of the corduroy leggings and the reinforced band and stitching on the fishnets. Plus, you can always find No nonsense at retailers like CVS, Duane Reade, and grocery stores for when you’re in a pinch.

No nonsense Fishnet Tights // Curating Style

Check out these other tips on styling No nonsense leggings and tights:

Find your pair of affordable No nonsense tights and leggings here. I was sponsored by No nonsense for this opportunity. All opinions are my own.

Posted in Style | 5 Comments

Gift Guide: For Her

Happy Monday! We’re flying home from New York today, but I hope you enjoy this more general holiday gift guide for the ladies in your life.

Gift Guide for Her // Curating Style

Lululemon yoga mat ($68) | Julep Maven box | J.Crew polka dot snood ($68) | personalized lobster return address stamp ($48) | Illume Candles balsam and fir candle ($50) | vintage blue ombré glass drop earrings ($25) | Crabtree and Evelyn citron, honey, and coriander hand cream ($27) | Tuckernuck x Bhati Beads brass silk wrap bracelet ($36) | Tignanello bespoke crossbody bag ($115 – monogrammable!) | Instagram photo book | Mental Floss magazine subscription ($22) | Design Darling gold foil ($20) | Origins ginger body scrub ($28) | J.Crew pajama set ($85) | Mrs. P. Hicks sand forest trail ox moc ($295, made in the U.S.) | DKNY sparkle strap watch ($135) | BaubleBar tanzanite cushion cut studs ($40, join BaubleBar)

Have you started your holiday shopping yet?

Posted in Gift Guides | 3 Comments