Long Sleeve Maxi Dress / Teddy Bear Coat / Paris: Where to shop and dine

Free People Dress, similar HERE / Charles David Booties, similar HERE / Rebecca Minkoff Crossbody / Kendra Scott Necklace / BB Dakota Coat, similar HERE

One of the things I love about a maxi dress is how it can be dressed up or down.  I’m especially fond of the long sleeve type.  I found this one from Free People for $29.99 at a Marshall’s in Denver on a trip there this past spring.  I put it away for the fall and I have gotten so much wear out of it already.  Not only did I wear it on my birthday this October but I also wore it on a day of exploring Paris earlier this month.  I tracked 11.5 miles on my FitBit that day and I was as comfortable as could be!  HERE it is in another print and HERE is a similar style.

I started the day by visiting Galeries Lafayette which is one of the most beautiful and biggest department stores I’ve ever seen.  The top floor even has an outdoor cafe with panoramic views of the city.

Next I walked to the area of La Marais based on a recommendation from my sister inlaw.  It’s filled with boutiques and restaurants.  She had actually recommended a fallafel restaurant, L’as du Fallafel, not for the ambience, but for the best fallafel.  The did have some inside seating but majority of people wait in a fast moving line to order from a window and take it with you which is what I did.  So glad I went.  It was delish!!

As I made my way back to my hotel (the Westin Vendome), I did a little shopping back near the Galeries Lafayette.  In addition to checking out a few boutiques, I always make it a point to check out the local Zaras and H&Ms.  Even though we have them at home and can order online, the inventory is alway slightly different so I feel like I have to investigate!

My hotel was just a few blocks from Rue Saint Honore, a prestigious shopping area.  It’s worth it just to take a stroll through the area to see the beautiful stores.  Trust me that I was strictly window shopping except for the one very small Zara oddly placed among the row of high end stores!

After my husband finished work we cabbed over for dinner with the most amazing view of the Eiffel Tower, Cafe de l’Homme.  On our drive it was sparkling with twinkling lights and we learned that it did that for five minutes every hour on the hour.  So magical!  We requested to sit on the patio for the view.  It was a little cool that night and, while I was surprised they didn’t have outdoor heaters, they did offer blankets which was a nice touch.  Between that and my teddy bear coat I was totally comfortable!  (HERE is a similar style).

We not only enjoyed the view, but the food was delicious and we had great service.  The restaurant was busy but shockingly not packed.  We had a reservation but really didn’t need it.  The restaurant was recommended to us from some good friends of ours.  It could be a hidden gem but I don’t know how!  Definitely put this place on your list of restaurants to visit if you find yourself in Paris….and make a reservation just in case word spreads!

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Cyber Monday / Chenille Dress / Over the Knee Boots / Blanket Scarf / Champagne Region

Xhilaration Dress / Catherine Malandrino boots, similar HERE and HERE / Rebecca Minkoff Crossbody / Similar Blanket Scarf / Spanx Tights / Sheer Berry LipSense

How is your Cyber Monday going so far?  The deals are said to be some of the best ever.  Some stores are offering up to 50% off, like one of my favorites, Express (AND FREE SHIPPING!)  I’ve knocked a few gifts off my list and am trying so hard not to buy for myself.  The struggle is real!

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, let’s focus on this look.  The dress is one of the hottest textures right now, chenille!  I had some major 90’s flashbacks when I started seeing it everywhere in stores.  It took me a minute but I finally caved  when I saw this chenille dress.  I love the cutout in the back and the subtle balloon sleeves.  It’s not on sale but even at full price it’s a total steal!  It’s available in one other color.  I’m wearing an XS for reference.

I wore this on a recent trip to Paris.  My husband was there for business and I had the amazing opportunity to go with him.  Like most of his business trips that I tag along for, he usually has at least one day where he is gone early in the morning into the night.  I’ve started a tradition of taking a wine tour on those days.  My first one was in Melbourne last year and the second in Tuscany last spring.  I chose a small tour to the Champagne region this time.

The weather was supposed to be in the high 50’s that day so I paired my chenille dress with some Spanx tights which are 20% off today.  I also chose my Catherine Malandrino over the knee boots which were perfect for any walking we did.  Mine are no longer available and while the wedge is nice you’ll be much more relevant in THESE (Cyber Monday special plus free shipping) and THESE (low price with FREE SHIPPING today) with a chunky heel.

A friend of mine bought me this scarf from an Etsy seller last year.  It’s one of my faves!  HERE is a similar one (currently 10% off plus FREE SHIPPING).

One of my favorite recent scores is this Rebecca Minkoff Mini Moto SatchelHERE is one marked down 20%!  It’s the perfect size for traveling when you only want to carry a small wallet, your phone, and a lip gloss!

I highly recommend this tour!  I met a group of 8 people including our driver at a Paris cafe where we were taken to visit the chapel with Dom Perignon’s grave.

We then went to a small champagne producer, Pierre Domi, who’s owner gave us a tour and education on how champagne is made (in french with english translation by our driver).  We ended in his tasting room where we were served 3 full glasses of different champagnes they make.  I brought a bottle of their Rose and Blanc de Blanc back with me but they were all good!

We were then dropped off in the town of Epernay for lunch on our own.  From there we walked to Moet & Chandon which is the largest producer of champagne in the world!  Again, we toured and got more education about production.  Before we left we were served a glass of one of their champagnes that left a few of us wanting more!

On our way back to Paris we stopped at the Cathedral of Reims which was beyond gorgeous!  It was a long day but so worth it and nice to see more of the country.

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Leather Vest / Pompom Beanie / Teddy Bear Coat / Paris / Black Friday

Free People Sweater / Skies are Blue Vest / J Brand Pants / BB Dakota Coat, similar HERE / Charles David Booties, similar HERE / F21 Beanie, similar HERE / Ray-Ban Sunglasses / LipSense in Goddess

You might be surprised to hear this but…wait for it….I’m not a huge Black Friday shopper!  Gasp!  I know.  I’m on the hunt year round for deals but battling crowds is just not my thing.  The good news is if you’re like me there are still plenty of deals to be had online and you don’t have to wait until Cyber Monday to find them.  I can’t think of a retailer that isn’t running some sort of sale online right now.

Just about everything I’m wearing in these photos is on sale!  Let’s start with the things that are.  I found this Free People sweater on a recent trip to NYC at Saks Off 5th.  It’s a lightweight sweater that will go with just about anything.  I love the ruffle balloon sleeves.  It’s not necessarily meant to be an off the shoulder sweater but it is roomy enough to pull it over your shoulders if you want to.  I’m wearing an XS but would size up if I really wanted to go for the OTS look.

I’m so glad I could still find these pants for you after owning them for a few years.  They are J Brand and they are one of my favorite pairs of pants.  The length is perfect for wearing with booties.

I found this snuggly BB Dakota teddy bear coat last year.  I’m still seeing them around and found this one on major sale HERE!

Pompom beanies are my current obsession.  I’ve had this one for a few years but HERE is a similar style….on sale of course!

My all time favorite Ray-Ban aviators are on sale today for Black Friday HERE!  I try out different styles here and there but these never go out of style and tend to be my go tos.

My red vegan leather vest isn’t on sale but it’s still a great price.  It’s great quality and the perfect layering piece.

I’m wearing Goddess by LipSense which is my current favorite color of the 50 available!  I’m running some great Black Friday deals HERE!  Check them out.  It’s a great time to stock up on LipSense in addition to the other Senegence products including skincare and other makeup.

I want to spend some more time telling you about my trip to Paris soon but want to leave you with this to start.  It was my first trip and I certainly hope it won’t be my last.  There is so much to see and do.  The people I encountered were friendly (contrary to what I’ve heard), the food was delicious, and the shopping was endless!  These photos were taken on a walk through the Champs de Elysee (a street lined with retail and boutique shops) on the way to the Arche de Triomphe.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with loved ones!

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Zara Opening / Velvet Top / Distressed Jeans

Free People Top / Betsey Johnson Vest / Express Jeans / Hunter Boots / Rebecca Minkoff Crossbody / LipSense in Heartbreaker

When your friend texts you on a Monday and asks if you want to meet her at the mall to check out the Zara store that just opened over the weekend, you throw on something quick, whip your hair in a pony, slap on a pink lip, and jump in the car as fast as you can.  Well at least that’s what I did!

Zara opening at our local mall is kind of a big deal because it’s the first to open in Michigan!  While Zara does have an online store, it’s nice to have the option to go in person and even more than that, to be able to return online purchases there if needed.

I had just been to a Zara in NYC the week before.  Whenever I’m traveling I have to hit at least one if the city I’m visiting has Zara.  That didn’t stop me from wanting to go again.  Every store has a slightly different set up and merchandise can vary from store to store.

What I love about Zara is that you can find something for work or play that is on trend and affordable.  Zara is based in Barcelona and uses European sizing which tends to be a little smaller especially in bottoms. (When I was there I was in Barcelona a few years ago I was in Zara heaven with stores on what seemed like every corner!)  So if you find yourself going up a size there, don’t worry it’s totally normal!

Zara at the Somerset Collection is a two story welcome addition!  In addition to women’s apparel they have men’s and some adorable clothes for children.

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Holiday Style

Bring on the plaid and all the cozy knits! The holidays are fast approaching. Do you know what you are going to wear? I had the opportunity to attend the Sofi Stella Holiday Fashion Show to get the first look at some of this boutique’s newest items for the season.

For your fancier events they have some gorgeous dresses and I really loved this striped midi skirt.  It’s a nice weight and has a slight sheen to it.

Maybe I’m just in hibernation preparation but I was so drawn to many of the cozier items like these plaid leggings, plaid scarf, and the plaid wrap.  I definitely have a thing for plaid all the time but especially during the Christmas season.  I have a similar scarf that is one of my favorites.  Trust me, I was not leaving that place without the leggings and wrap!

Early in the show they featured this red vegan leather vest that I also knew would be mine.  It’s such a versatile piece that can be dressed up or down with blouses, tees, and tanks.  It has a removable tie belt that the model has tied behind her back but can also be tied in front.

I’m a total sucker for hats right now and especially if they are knit.  I’m partial to a big fluffy pom pom on top but I’m dying to try out the one without.  Why?  Because it has a hole in the top for you to pull a ponytail or bun through!!  How genius is that?  They have both in stock but they usually sell out quick so hurry if you want one!

I was totally drooling over this olive leather knit draped jacket!  I mean how fabulous is that?

My favorite part of the show was probably the little girl models.  They were absolutely adorable and so were their outfits.  If you have a young daughter in need of dressy or casual holiday clothes, be sure to check out Sofi Stella online.

Many of the items are pictured on their website but if you don’t see something please give them a call (734.457.2392) to check if it’s in stock.  Sometimes items sell so quick they never make it to the website.

F21 Dress / Nine West Booties, similar HERE and HERE

My friend and fellow blogger, Nicole, joined me for this fantastic holiday preview.  Thank you to Josephine (owner of Sofi Stella) for having us and congrats on a well done show!  Cheers to a successful holiday season!

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Kimono / Distressed Jeans / Peep Toe Booties / Megyn Kelly Today

Angie Kimono, similar HERE and HERE / Michael Kors Booties / Carolina Belle Jacket / Express Jeans / Nadri Necklace / Similar Earrings / Express Cami, similar HERE / Rebecca Minkoff Crossbody Bag, similar HERE / Rayban Sunglasses / Sheer Berry LipSense

I so love this style of kimono.  It is less robe and more boho fun!  In the summer I love it with a tank, cutoff shorts, and sandals and even as a swim coverup.  HERE is the same style in a different print and HERE is a slightly different style in a longer length that I also own.

On this fall day in NYC,  I wore mine with a blousy cami from Express that I’ve had for awhile.  HERE is a similar style.  I also chose these distressed skinny jeans that are so super comfy and 40% off.

I did some shopping in the city a couple days before at the original Saks Off Fifth.  It was SO much nicer than the one local to me!  One of the first things I spotted when I walked in was this Rebecca Minkoff Mini Moto Satchel in the clearance area for $70!  No brainer.  I am such a big fan of her bags, I can’t get enough of this color, and the price couldn’t be beat!  I found it HERE for you in another gorgeous color.  If you have your heart set on burgundy, HERE is another bag I’ve been stalking online which is currently 40% off!

Another major find were these Michael Kors peep toe wedge booties.  I had been on the hunt for the perfect pair of peep toe booties this fall and was beginning to think I wasn’t going to.  I was envisioning a block heel but couldn’t resist these adorable wedges.  (I did find some block heel peep toe booties at another store later that day which I also had to have!  They were both amazing deals that I couldn’t pass up.)

Like many of my trips, this trip to NYC was a business trip for my husband.  I had a lot of solo time and while I knew I would make some time for shopping, I made plans to fill some of the rest of my time.  I have been to a couple talk show tapings in LA in the past and thought I’d try to see if I could get last minute tickets to any in NYC.

I was able to get tickets to the new Megyn Kelly Today show for one of the mornings.  I had such a great experience that I decided to go back for a second show the next day when I found out I was able to get more tickets.  Both days I was lucky enough to be seated on stage behind where Megyn interviews her guests.  LOTS of unexpected tv time!

The whole experience at NBC was so nice for guests.  There was a very quick and orderly process to get us to the Peacock Lounge where we they had coffee and muffins waiting for us.  We spent a little time in there and received direction from staff before being escorted and seated in the studio.

The first day the guests were Nia Vardalos and Shawn Johnson. The next day Dr. Oz.  She is also incorporating non-celebrity guests to share some of their personal stories.  One of the days she had a family on that had lost two of their high school aged sons in one night due to an opioid overdose.  My heart went out to them.  It must have been so hard for them but the message they shared is so important.

Each day after the show Megyn stayed on set for a Facebook Live recording.  The audience was able to submit questions ahead of time and one of mine was selected the first day.  (I asked her who her favorite interview has been since starting the new show.  Her answer was the cast of This is Us.)

I was a little mixed on Megyn’s show before seeing it in person.  My view is that a month into it she was still looking to find her groove.  This is clearly something very different than she’s done before.  After seeing her in person, I give her a lot more credit.  She seems very genuine and wants to make a show that appeals to the audience.  She even asked for our input after the show both days.  I applaud her for taking a risk on something that is probably a little out of her comfort zone.  She has already made changes and will probably continue to.  I know she has a lot of critics.  I believe in giving people a chance.  I wish her the best on her new show and I highly recommend getting tickets to see it if you are in NYC.

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Faux Fur Jacket / Lace Midi Dress / Velvet Heels / Waitress on Broadway

Elliatt Dress, similar HERE and HERE / TopShop Shoes, similar HERE / Express Clutch, similar HERE and HERE / Carolina Belle Jacket / LipSense in Plum

It had been a few years since I was in the Big Apple and I was so happy to be able to take another trip a few weeks ago!  It’s a city I never tire of.  The last time I was there is was in February and FREEZING but somehow I still had a blast!  However, I was ultra thankful to be able to experience it in reasonable fall temperatures this time.

My husband was there for business but was able to join me for a Broadway show the first night.  I’d love to see Hamilton but just couldn’t stomach the ticket prices.  I hear Dear Evan Hansen is another great show to see but those tix weren’t much better.  A friend recommended Waitress and we were able to get tickets for half off!  It was a cute and entertaining show that we both enjoyed.  I recommend it if you get the chance to see it.

I found this gorgeous lace midi dress at a Marshall’s in Denver last spring and have been dying to have an occasion to wear it!  I don’t know how it was $29.99 but yay for me!  I found similar dresses for you HERE and HERE in a couple colors that will be perfect for the holidays.

Because you can never have too much faux fur, I HAD to have this jacket that I found at TJ Maxx for less than $40.  It has a blush hue to it which I personally love.

I splurged (for me!) on these nude velvet heels last year.  I love them so much but I don’t recommend walking long distances in them.  I probably walked at least 20 long blocks in them round trip and was definitely ready to have them off when we got back to the hotel.  For minimal walking and standing they are worth it!  They are available in gray HERE and on major sale.  I also found a similar style HERE.

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360Fashion / Vision & Mobility / Wearable Technology / Faux Fur / Vegan Suede Leggings

I had the opportunity to attend the media preview for the Wearable Tech Pop-Up & Exhibition recently.

Anina Net, founder of 360Fashion, has the vision to work with engineers to develop innovative and useful technology that can be incorporated in to wearable fashion.  Anina makes this technology available to fashion designers to make our lives easier, safer, and more fun!  Some are more functional than others for everyday life but the creativity is impressive in either case.

The LED ribbon is available in a variety of colors and sizes and is fully programmable to flash or not (can even be synced to music).  This bendable textile makes it easy to work with and comfortable for wear.  The handbag and feather flower were just a couple of accessories that caught my eye and I could see myself using and wearing in real life.  Some of the pieces, like the LED shorts pictured above, were designed for performance pieces that can be worn under pants, skirts, dresses with comfort while illuminating for a desired effect.

At the exhibition this status jacket debuted.  It’s machine washable but allows the wearer to press a button on the sleeve to indicate whether they are in a state of availability for interaction (green), possibly available if it’s urgent (yellow), or busy and unavailable (red) via a LED on the lapel of the jacket.  Other functionality could include control of a smartphone with the thought that users could be more aware of their surroundings versus looking down at a device while walking.

Illuminated jewelry and other accessories (ex. scarves) can serve not only as fun fashion statement pieces that can react to sound (ex. music) but can be used for safety mobility (ex. riding a bike in the dark).

I was able to try my hand at fashion design via virtual reality.  Imagine the possibilities for actual designers to be able to develop pieces in concept to see what works before actual production!

It’s exciting to think of the future wearable technology and how it will become a part of our daily life!

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