Style Crush: Giovanna Battaglia

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I have a confession. I have a serious style crush on Giovanna Battaglia. I love, love, love, love everything about her look. The Italian born editor/model always looks so effortlessly chic and manages to pull off the most amazing texture and pattern combinations. Don’t even get me started on her insane ability to accessorize! Swoon!

Images from The Sartorialist  

 Image from Stockholm StreetStyle.com

The Break Up

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Within the last few weeks both of my sisters have parted ways with their long term boyfriends. Regardless of who makes the final decision, break ups are always challenging and upsetting. After my last break up, I found that there are a few things that really helped me cope with the changes and emotions.

Buy Some New Pajamas – Post break up, you start spending a lot more time alone. I found spending my nights on my own after the split to be one of the biggest emotional challenges. To make myself feel better, I bought new PJs. New sleepwear gives you something to look forward to at bedtime, not dread. Whether you like flannel pajama sets or silky negligees new pajamas offer one small step towards moving forward with your life.

Fall in Love with a Cocktail – One of my best friends introduced me to a drink that quickly became signature after my break up. It became fondly known to me as a “Pazia” after her and is a mix of vodka, soda, cranberry and lime. Simple and refreshing. I’m not saying you need to become an alcoholic as a result of a break up, but having a few drinks every once in a while encourages you to go out and be a little more social. Another beverage I highly recommend is Sex, a brut rose sparkling wine that is as delightful as its name.

Pick Up a New Hobby – I took a photography class right after my break up. It was something I had wanted to do for a long time. The class helped me realize a passion and gave me an opportunity to meet new people and try new things on a weekly basis. Finding a new hobby definitely helps take your mind off of things and gives you something new and exciting to focus on instead.

Buy Yourself Something You Don’t Reeeeally Need – I have always had an obsession with Kerastase products. They do wonderful things to my hair but cost a small fortune. After a split, I think every girl should splurge on one item, keeping it to around $75-$100, that they absolutely love but don’t really need.

Chopped

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Recently I’ve been thinking about making big changes in my life. I fantasize about finding a different, more fulfilling job or packing everything up and moving to Europe for a year. On a much smaller scale, I’ve been daydreaming about cutting all of my hair off.

I continuously come upon insanely chic short haircuts and find myself wondering if they are something I can pull off. Maybe it’s time to take the plunge. What are your thoughts?

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My Love Affair with Fall RTW

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New York Fashion Week started yesterday and I couldn’t be more excited to scourer the latest Fall 2012 designer collections. I must admit, I always get a little more excited about the fall collections than the spring. Maybe it’s because I live in Chicago where it feels like winter from October to June. Maybe its the promise of witnessing an insane mixture of traditional winter textures like knits, leather and furs juxtaposed against gauzy tulles, feathers and warm weather fabrics. Or maybe its just the shoes. Whatever the reason may be I will always anxiously await February and the start of New York Fashion Week.

Here are a few of my favorite fall looks from the past few years (ok, they aren’t all from NYFW but they are still amazing!).

All From Vogue.com and Style.com

Be Mine

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Today, I noticed pink and red “mailboxes” around my office. Baskets of store bought Valentines sit next to the boxes and signs encourage employees to send kind words to friends and co-workers. The little cards brought back memories of elementary school and annual Valentine’s day celebrations that featured card swaps, glittery crafts and too much candy. I immediately became nostalgic for those simpler days and the tiny, charming cards.

It seems like I’m not the only one that longs for a sweet Valentine’s Day card. Papyrus, Paper Source and other websites offer an array of Valentines that range from sweet to bordering on vulgar.

However, I was most impressed with the amazing selection of well crafted cards on Etsy. I love Sparrow Nest Script‘s eco-friendly greeting cards and their witty words of love. Kitschy Hippo‘s “California Love” card has a retro, vintagy feel that I love and Steel Petal Press‘ graphic heart card offers a true alternative to classic, sugary sweet Valentines.

Red Hot

This weekend I bought a pair of saucy red denim jeggings from the GAP. The colored denim trend is something I’ve been noodling for a while. At first I was a little hesitant to rock any sort of colored denim but after finding some truly inspiring looks, I realized they present endless wardrobe possibilities.

From Atlantic-Pacific

From Olivia Palermo

From Marie Claire

Red Denim

From Habitude, by Third St. Habit

Katie Holmes in Current/Elliott

From InStyle.com

From Keep it Chic

Super Bowl Sunday with Madge

I must admit, I really don’t care who wins this year’s Super Bowl. I’ve never really been into the annual event. I usually watch the big game for the commercials, the food and a chance to get in some Sunday Fun-day action. This year however, I am exceptionally excited for Madonna’s halftime performance. MADONNA! It promises to be an epic 12 minute presentation!

I’m apparently not the only one that is gearing up for the big Mo show. Billboard.com put together what they’ve deemed the five best TV performances of Madonna’s career in light of the upcoming song and dance fest. MTV.com put together a cheat sheet of what we can expect from Madge and the possible entourage of side-kick performers. TMZ has also posted photos of the halftime show’s rehearsals, which lead me to believe that The Material Girl will not disappoint.

My Kind of Town…

At the end of February, I decided to embark on one of the biggest adventures of my life – I moved to Chicago. It was a move I had thought about for a while and the decision was finally made at the end of January.  So I packed up a Uhaul with all of my worldly possessions, drove halfway across the country and unloaded in a foreign city with the hope of a fresh start and exciting opportunities. Washington, DC will always have a very special place in my heart and I will miss so much about that glorious capital city. I plan to keep blogging and to continue to bring pretty styles on a pauper’s budget from the Windy City.

Wish me luck!!!

Monday: Meetings and Book Club

Today, I decided to wear a new fur trimmed blazer I recently bought at Ann Taylor LOFT’s amazing winter sale. I decided to pair it with a vintage full skirt I scored on a recent trip to Chicago. I’ve been completely inspired by the full skirts from Louis Vuitton and Prada’s Fall 2010 runway shows and was so excited to find this plaid, calf length circle skirt. I decided to dress up a bit today despite the fact that I mostly sat in meetings all day at work and had a  simple but extremely entertaining book club meeting tonight.

Sunday: A Day at the Museum

from Google Images

Today, I managed to catch the last day of the Andy Warhol exhibit at the Baltimore Museum of Art with my close friend, Molly. I’ve been a bit of a Warhol fan since visiting the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh when I was about 11 years old. I was excited to hear about the exhibit in Baltimore and that it was so close to home and decided to make a day trip of the visit. After grabbing lunch at Miss Shirley’s Cafe (had the most amazing crab cake sandwich!) we headed to the museum for an arty afternoon.

Inspired by the upcoming afternoon events, I decided to call upon Warhol muse Edie Sedgwick as I planned my outfit for the day. I stuck with black, white and a touch of leopard.