Obtaining & Maintaining a Blonde Lob

It’s funny that the one thing that people ask me about most often, I’ve never talked about on the blog or social media… MY HAIR.  People approach me in Atlanta all. the. time. and ask me where I get my hair done, what color it is, etc…  Well, here ya go.

Enter: Ivy from Lumière Salon de Beauté in Alpharetta, GA.  I love this salon and the wonderful ladies that work there.  Ivy is a “creative stylist” with 8 years industry experience specializing in blondes, extensions, and trendy textured cuts.  Yes, Alpharetta is quite the drive up 400 but once you find someone that get’s you (your hair), it’s like a committed relationship.

Ivy Lumiere Salon Atlanta lovefancypants

Until last Summer, my hair was quite long with warm blonde highlights:

monica long hair

and then, the big cut.

Ivy gives me a long angled bob and icy blonde highlights (more on how I keep this color so cool below).

lumiere salon Ivy blonde lob lovefancypants

lumiere salon atlanta lovefancypants

lumiere salon atlanta lovefancypants 2

icy blonde angled lob lovefancypants

icy blonde lob lovefancypants

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I have seven weeks between each appointment, so I have to keep up that cool blonde color, protect, and style my hair on my own (ugh.).  Here are my favorite products:


best dry shampoo lovefancypants

For when I don’t have time (or just don’t want to) wash my hair, I’ve found these to be the best dry shampoos:  Not Your Mother’s CLEAN FREAK refreshing dry shampoo (best drug store brand) and Oscar Blandi pronto dry shampoo (best luxury brand)

purple shampoo lovefancypants

inexpensive conditioner hair lovefancypants

I wash my hair about 3 times per week.  Prehaps that is because I work from home so I don’t always have to look “put together”.  I will say that with shorter hair, I have to wash it so much more.  It gets more oily and it’s quick to have an uncontrollable cowlick.  Here is my favorite AFFORDABLE shampoo & conditioner.  This So Silver Shampoo is usually $25 at Ultra but on sale right now for $15!!  This is a purple shampoo.  Meaning that the shampoo itself is a very vibrant opaque purple color.  This fights the yellow tones that blondes tent to take on.  If you’re going for a warmer blonde, do not use this product.  I’m going for Daenerys Targaryen blonde, so I leave this stuff on for a minute.

As for conditioner, I have used Aussie 3 Minute Miracle for as long as I can remember, and my hair is very healthy.  If it ain’t broke…

soft hair purple products lovefancypants

pro hairdryer pink lovefancypants

After washing, I use Matrix Brass Off Blonde Threesome.  It’s a leave in (purple – for icy blondes) cream that softens your hair and protects it from heat damage.  I use only a tiny dab as it will weigh down your hair.  I am OBSESSED with my Elchim hair dryer.  I take it with me everywhere and if I forget and am forced to use a hotel dryer, it adds so much time to what already seems like FOREVER that it takes me to get ready.

chi best hairspray lovefancypants

I then spray my hair BEFORE and after curling and/or flat ironing it.  My favorite hairspray is Chi Magnified Volume Finishing Spray.  I usually wouldn’t suggest buying makeup or hair products from a Marshalls or TJ Maxx (you just don’t know how old the products are, if they were properly stored), but I do buy this at TJ Maxx when I see it and it works wonderfully.

oribe beach waves lovefancypants

To achieve the tousled beachy waves (with added shine), I use Oribe Apres Beach spray.  It’s not cheap, $42 for a can but it is worth it.  Here is a small travel version (half the price) if you want to try it out first for less…

hair sunscreen protect lovefancypants

And lastly, Sun Bum 3 in 1 Leave in Formula.  This is sunscreen for your hair.  It shields it from sun damage as well as acts as a leave in conditioner.  I use this product in the Summer when I go to the beach.  Getting in and out of the ocean and/or pool can make my hair tangled, and dry.   I spend too much to achieve this color, so it’s more than worth $15 to protect it from the sun’s rays.

That’s it.  Ha!  That was actually a lot.

obtaining and maintaining the icy blonde lob





Carrie Bradshaw inspired Party Dresses (complete the look with your own Mr. Big)

black and white, leather, tulle, party dress

black and white, leather, tulle, party dress, red suede heels

party dress, black and white, atlanta blogger

red suede heels, shoes, party dress, tutu

party dress, family portrait, atlanta

atlanta, party dress, NYE, tutu, doberman

atlanta blogger, family portrait, party dress, dog tutu

party dress, puppy in a tutu

Dress by Boston Proper | Leather Jacket by Wilson’s Leather | triple strand pearl necklace |  Red suede shoes with gold bows – exact shoes here on eBay, similar style here | lipstick = MAC Red | Men’s black sport coat by Armani Exchange, similar style here| Men’s Red plaid print shirt by Express | Puppy tutu in black from Amazon | Red suede jingle bell collar with plaid bows, similar style here

I don’t really need an excuse to wear a tulle dress (and neither does Kobi Farber), but if you feel like you do, this dress is perfect for many occasions.  The vegan leather top and white tulle bottom was festive enough for a Christmas party, and glamorous enough that I would wear it again for New Year’s Eve!  I paired it with a short leather jacket, chunky pearls, and a red suede heels.  I felt like Carrie Bradshaw wearing this through the streets of Buckhead.  Don’t be surprised if you see this image plastered on a MARTA bus soon (KIDDING!).  Mikey is wearing a sport coat from Armani Exchange and a red plaid print from Express… just enough pops of red to coordinate for pretty photos without embarrassing him too much.  LOL!  Details on Kobi’s Carrie inspired skirt above… 

Happy Holidays from our little family to yours!

photography by KVC Photography 

SERIOUSLY Last Minute Gift Ideas for the Fashionista in your life (all under $50)

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gift ideas under $50 for the fashionista

1.  Gemstone iPhone 6/7/8 & 6/7/8 Plus Case

2.  Black Metallic Diamond Cell Phone Grip & Stand

3.  Look in a Box Nice ‘n Spicy Lip Kit by MAC

4.  BENEFIT COSMETICS Soft & Natural Brow Kit 

5.  Echo Dot Tech Gloves

6.  Kate Spade NY Square Drop Earrings

7.  Nakamol Tassel Necklace, 33″

8.  DSW Gift Card

9.  Michael Kors Card Holder

10.  Allure Of The Night Kimono in Grey by DressUp

11.  Kate Spade NY Out of the Box Jewelry Box

12.  Jessa Drusy Quartz Adjustable Ring

And the best news yet?  You don’t have to order online, because let’s face it, unless you find it on Amazon Prime and order it RIGHT NOW, it’s too late.  You can find these in stores.  So get out there at get it done (or just buy yourself a little present… I know I did).
Happy Shopping!


I’m Dreaming of a Black & White Christmas

It really is a shame that Christmas has to last only a month.  I refuse to decorate before Thanksgiving and then I take it all down around January 2nd/3rd-ish…  That being said, maybe if it were more than a month long, it wouldn’t be so magical?!  Son of a nut cracker, I love it.

Here’s a look at my home decor this holiday season:

black, white, gold, silver christmas tree

black, white, gold kate spade inspired christmas tree

black, white, gold christmas tree, kate spade holidays

black , white, gold christmas tree
gotta pay homage to my photography background

I obviously love black, white, and gold.  Those were even our wedding colors (how convenient), so I was able to keep the glittery gold feathers and keys that were used in our floral arrangements and re-use them every year in our Christmas tree!

The Shoe Tree/ Dress Tree 

trimming the tree with shoes, holiday home decor for the fashionista
Kobi is my little helper

shoe ornaments, fashionista christmas tree

shoe ornaments, chistmas tree

shoe ornaments for the fashion lover
life-size and ornament size “boots with the fur”

christmas tree dress form, shoe ornaments, black and white kate spade themed christmas

This tree is fun to put together.  The skirt is made of chicken wire (you can buy it by the roll at Home Depot), wrapped and secured with zip ties.  The next layer is artificial garland, which I bought in strips (Hobby Lobby) and then bent the ends to create a hook that could be hung around the waist (this is used a filler), then topped with two layers of fresh garland, secured to the chicken wire with floral wire.  Next, I wrapped some gold glittery muslin to form a top and then “belt” to cover the top of the garland and wires (secured to the dress form with pins).  All of the ornaments are glass shoes, given to me by both of my parents over the past several years, including a little pair of fur boots – a perfect replica of the ones I am wearing here.  I make a huge mess with pine needles and sap, but this is my FAVORITE decoration every Christmas so I really hate to take it down after the holidays.

More Details:

kate spade champagne flutes, polka dots, kate spade home decor

poppin bottles and rockin around the christmas tree, home decor

kate spade parker place china, black and white home decor christmas, dinner table

kate spade parker place china, black and white home decor christmas

Yep, still with the black and white… I’m super inspired by everything Kate Spade.  My champagne glass are Kate Spade’s Larabee Dot, and the china pattern is Kate Spade’s Parker Place.  I believe that these translate well for any occasion/time of year.

fresh garland staircase, black and white ribbon, simply chic chritmas home decor

fresh garland, holiday simplicity, christmas

fresh garland, black and white holiday decor
convertible cowl neck top from Express | ivory pants from Loft (similar style here) | boots by Colin Stuart (similar styles here)| watch by Kate Spade NY | cocktail ring by Tiffany & Co.

Again with the fresh garland.  The garland used to deck the staircase was bought at Costco and I just pulled out enough and cut the wires to use on the dress tree.  Go Costco.

black and white tabletop christmas tree

black and white tabletop christmas tree, leopard print ornaments, holiday home decor
table top pre-lit tree from Hobby Lobby | ornaments from Pier1 Imports (similar style here)
black and white holiday decor, monogram, cocktail party
monogrammed mirrored tray from West Elm | ice bucket from Crate & Barrel (similar here)
antique handpainted sleigh, chritmas home decor
I found this hand painted sleigh on eBay (similar sleigh here) | extra large mercury ornaments
crystal mistletoe, christmas home decor
this faux mistletoe encapsulates a larger than life size “diamond”…  Yes, it’s “extra” and I freakin love it!! Find similar one here.
Christmas wreath simple
similar style here (just add silver balls)

black and white holiday mantle decor, christmas, hanukkah, white stockings

christmas and hanukkah, two holidays, black and white holiday home decor

black and white holiday decor, fresh greenery and dried cotton, christmas, hanukkah home decor

black and white holiday home decor, white candles, fresh greenery and cotton
stockings from West Elm (similar styles here and here) | stocking holders from Target | candles, menorah & decor from Home Goods, Marshalls, TJ Maxx & Goodwill | natural cotton candle rings from Front Porch Vinings (similar style here)


If you look hard enough, you will see random Steelers football ornaments on the tree.  Yes, they are ugly and no, they do not go with our magical Christmas aesthetic, but it makes him happy, so I’ll allow it (as long as it’s not front center). 😉

Wishing you all a very merry, FANCY, Christmas! If you have questions about anything you see here or suggestions for next year, please send them my way!

photography by KVC Photography







Something Old, Something New… Two Looks For Holiday Parties

Sometimes I go 100% glam, girlie girl, ruffles and pearls.  Sometimes I pair sequins with flat leather boots for a juxtaposition that turns a classic look into something completely new and fresh.  Here are two classic party dresses styled in very different ways.

holiday party looks
One redhead short of a Sanderson Sister.

This classic red velvet cocktail dress is available now at Express.  Aren’t you glad that velvet is back with a vengeance?  This is the quintessential Christmas party dress and I knew immediately that it would be worn with this full-length mink coat.  The coat has a story of its own…

This was a wedding gift from my mother’s dear friend, Sam.  It belonged to her mother, Marcia.  Marcia’s husband purchased it for her on one of their trips to New York City during Christmas, over 50 years ago.  They went to see Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas show and view the majestic Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center.  During the trip, he bought her this coat, and had her initials, MMMC embroidered on the lining.  Marcia gave it to her daughter, Sam when she was in her early 30’s and Sam gave it to me when I was 30.  I couldn’t be more honored to have it.

classic holiday party glamour
necklace by J Crew | right hand pearl and black onyx ring by Tiffany & Co.

full length vintage mink coat

These strappy black leather heels never go out of style.  I wore these to my wedding rehearsal dinner 3 years ago, but you can find them for sale here and here.

gold party dress
black bow bangle bracelet by Kate Spade NY (similar style here)| gold chain bracelet from Woo Skincare & Cosmetics (similar style here)

edgy holiday party look

Mandy is wearing a gold sequin Ted Baker dress (similar dress available here), paired with opaque black tights, chunky low heel black booties, and an edgy Michael Kors jacket.  Both dresses are classic in design but styled very differently.  Take these tips and apply them to something you already have in your closet to make it feel new.

holiday party dresses

holiday party dresses fur coat

2 looks holiday party wear

two looks for holiday parties
Aspiring Rockettes?


Makeup by Mandy Jane Stoykewich (above).  Mandy is available for event hair & makeup services.  She has been hair & makeup artist on weddings in the south for over 8 years, as well as part of the makeup team for major motion pictures such as the Hunger Games.  Email  mj.stoykewich@gmail.com for inquiries.

Photography by KVC Photography


Channeling My Inner Jackie O

Thank you, Karl Lagerfeld for creating a line of clothing and accessories that are affordable!  For those not familiar… Karl Lagerfeld is a photographer and the Creative Director for Chanel.  He has worked with many fashion houses throughout his career.  He has been loved, as well as hated by many.  He continues to lead not only Chanel, but Italian brand Fendi, in addition to curating own designs, including this coat that I picked up for $100 (can you believe it?) from his Karl Lagerfeld Paris collection.

Fashion icon, Jackie O… Quite possibly one of the most memorable fashion ensembles in American history, the pink suit that Jacqueline Kennedy wore on the day that President Kennedy was assassinated, was indeed a Chanel.  She was the epitome of a Chanel muse.  Her signature oversized black sunglasses and timeless chic style will be mimicked by inspiring fashionistas for generations to come.  Here is my stab at a 2017 version of a Jackie O inspired look that works well for work or play.  I wore this to an early morning meeting and then to a champagne brunch at Atlanta’s most fabulous french cafe, Le Bilboquet.  I want to think that both Karl and Jackie would approve.

Details:  Sunglasses by Tiffany & Company | Black distressed jeans by Nordstrom | white shirt by Calvin Klein | black patent heels by Steve Madden (similar style here)| handbag by Kate Spade (similar style here)| black bow bangle bracelet by Kate Spade (similar style here)| gold chain bracelet from Woo Skincare & Cosmetics (similar style here) | Rose gold crossover ring from Nordstrom | black earrings by Baublebar

crisp white shirt, career wear, black mary jane heels, patent leather, tiffany sunglasses, chic fashion, jackie o, fall fashion, winter fashion,

crisp white shirt, career wear, blonde lob, icy blonde, tiffany sunglasses, chic fashion, jackie o, fall fashion, winter fashion,

bauble bar black earrings


chunky gold bracelet

crisp white shirt, career wear, black mary jane heels, patent leather, tiffany sunglasses, chic fashion, jackie o, fall fashion, winter fashion, tweed coat, karl lagerfeld

tiffany and co sunglasses

white long shirt - calvin klein

chanel inspired coat - karl lagerfeld

chic black and white - karl lagerfeld

patent leather pumps - steve madden

french bistro, champagne, chanel, karl lagerfeld

karl lagerfeld coat

Photography by KVC Photography

DIY candles, love fancy pants, golda kombucha, diy gifts, christmas gifts unique, diy holiday gifts, soy candles,

DIY Candles – the perfect gift this holiday season

Happy first of December! Time to decorate for the holidays, send out cards, plan/attend parties, buy/wrap gifts, watch movies, eat an entire roll of Tollhouse cookie dough… the list goes on.  But let’s talk about gifting… I for one, think that homemade gifts are extra special.  Some people are difficult to buy for, and I have to believe that someone one would appreciate a homemade gift far more than something that was picked up at a mall.  Try DIY candles and give them as gifts this year.  Not only the color and scent can be customized, but the packaging itself is what makes this so unique.

Shop Local!

I recently made 60+ candles for Golda Kombucha, here in Atlanta.  Golda is a local kombucha brewery, serving up some of the finest oak-aged kombucha around.  They can be found online, at local farmers markets and indie craft sales.  After picking some up at the Peachtree Road Farmers Market, I felt that the bottles were too pretty to throw out, so I cut and sanded off the tops, then filled it with a soy wax, using scented oils like fresh coffee, blackberry basil, and  peach ginger.  You can order these via their website here, or at local farmers markets throughout the month (find their market schedule here).  Pick up some delicious kombucha for yourself and add a candle as a holiday gift.


You can also try making your own.  Does your best friend have a favorite wine?  Turn the bottle into a candle.  I also look for unique glass containers (including tea cups) at antique shops.  They serve as home decor pieces, and add a nice warm aroma to your house.  Two for one! Follow the instructions below and get busy.  Happy gifting this holiday season!

What you will need:

  1. glass or metal containers
  2. glass cutter
  3. sand paper for glass
  4. 464 soy wax flakes
  5. candle wicks
  6. wick bars
  7. wik stickers
  8. pouring pitcher(s)
  9. thermometer
  10. scented oils for candles
  11. medium sized pot – for double boiler
  12. paper towels (lots of them)
  13. rubbing alcohol (not used to make candles but this cleans up wax best)
  14. metal spoon or butter knife for stirring

Items 2-3 can be bought in a kit and comes with several other helpful tools not mentioned here.  I suggest Kinkajou.  

Items 4-9 can also be purchased in a kit to get you started.  I suggest this one by Candle Science.  Once you have down the basics, you can purchase additional pitchers, oils, wax in bulk, dyes, etc on Amazon or on Candle Science’s website.


DIY candles - love, fancypants

small candles gifts

First, you will need a tool that scores the glass.  There are many on the market, but I use one by Kinkajou.  This kit is great and includes instructions for cutting, along with all the tools you will need to prep your container for the pour.

champagne labels

To remove any labels, just soak in a warm soapy bath and they will fall off.  If the label is pretty (a vintage Dom, perhaps?), I leave the label on the bottle.  Just be careful when pouring the hot/cold water (see below) or it will come unstuck  The Kinkajou kit addresses this issue.



Once you have made a score in your glass, you will alternate boiling and ice water on the score and your glass should break clean.  I only have about a 60% success rate when doing this, particularly because I am often working with glass that isn’t the same thinkness all the way around.  I suggest you follow the instructions that come with your bottle cutting kit, and always use gloves.  I do, but the above photos are of Mikey (and he is a man – “he doesn’t need gloves”).  Once your bottle has been broken, you will need to sand the top and edges of the cut.  This takes some time because you want to be 100% sure that it is smooth enough to the touch.  You don’t want to give a gift that will make someone bleed.

diy candles fancy pants 1_5

Next, you measure and melt your wax.  Place a medium saucepan on your stove or hotplate, filled 1/3 the way with water.  Fill your pouring pitcher with wax – I use 100% soy wax.  Continuously stir your wax to aid the melting process.

While your wax is melting, attach wick to the bottom center of the container using a double-sided wick sticker.  Make sure to press it down firmly so that it is completely stuck to the bottom of the jar.  If hot wax gets under it, the wick will float to the top the candle and you will have to start over.  I have tried a variety of wick stickers found on Amazon, and again, Candle Science is best.  It never comes unstuck.  Just go ahead and buy the entire kit…

diy candles fancy pants 1_3

diy candles fancy pants 1_4

diy candles fancy pants 1_1

Once your wax reaches 185 degrees F, remove from the heat and add scented oil if you like.  Again, my favorite brand is Candle Science.  Their scents seem most natural to me compared to some of the overly sweet lower cost brands.  I also mix scents to create my own.  For Golda, I mixed peach and ginger to mimic their peach ginger kombucha.  But my favorite scent to date is apple bourbon and praline.  It smells like Fall in a jar.  For every pound of solid wax used, use 1 ounce of oil.  I bought this digital scale to measure.

Gently stir the wax/oil for a couple of minutes until it has cooled to 135 degrees.  You can buy a candy thermometer or buy a candle making kit, such as the one listed above and everything you need will be included.

diy candles fancy pants 1_2

Once your wax is ready to pour, place a wick bar on top to hold your wick centered in place.  Pour the wax slowly and then allow to cool overnight.  Sometimes, depending on the shape of the container, the wax will harden with a rough, rubble-like consistency on top. This can be easily corrected with a heat gun.  You can purchase one like this at Home Depot, as I did, which I also use as a tool for encaustic painting – see this post for more.

white tea candle

Once completely cooled, remove the wick bar and trim the wick to a 1/4 inch.  Wait 24 hours before burning finished candles.

Voilà!  You now have homemade custom candles.  Enjoy!


winter fashion, winter lace, nude lace, lace top, elegant fashion, southern fashion, career wear, casual chic, fab'rik, fab'rik boutique, dressup boutique

A Pretty Closet Staple: Lace

As if one would need a reason to buy anything in lace…  Lace is a timeless material, classy and chic.  In my opinion, it never went out of style (and never will).  But lace is definitely “in” right now and a staple that you should add to your closet.  I’ve always loved tulle, sequins, sparkles, and lace.  It’s just a girly-girl type of material and I can never get enough of any of it.   I love this top in particular because it can easily be dressed up or down.  I have tucked it into a pencil skirt to wear to the office, and I’ve dressed it down, like you see here.  I paired this ivory top from fab’rik boutique (currently unavailable online, but similar style here) with jeans and nude pumps for a day of shopping and it was comfortable, not too “dressy”, yet still chic.  No, I did NOT hit the stores for Black Friday shopping. However, I did venture out on Saturday and Sunday to a couple of home stores for holiday decor.  The crowds were still awful.  Stay tuned for some glam decorating ideas for the holidays.  This top, by the way, would be perfect for a Christmas party.  I would wear it with a bold red lip (I love the classic MAC Red) and either a black skirt or black moto leggings from Spanx (also available at fab’rik).

Happy shopping!







bag by Kate Spade – jeans by Hudson Jeans – shoes by Jessica Simpson – earrings by DressUp Boutique – top by fab’rik 


Photos by KVC Photography

jewel tone tablescapes, holiday tablescapes,fall tablescapes, wine and cheese party, holiday decor, cocktail party decor, table styling, white pumpkins, jewel tones, jewel tone weddings

Fall Tablescapes in Rich Jewel Tones

Thanksgiving is only a few days away…  How does your family celebrate?  In my family, styling the tablescape is almost as important as cooking the meal.  I love to set a pretty table.  Whether it be for a traditional feast, such as Thanksgiving, or a cocktail hour with friends.  And what is more beautiful than Fall inspired decor?

My aunt was recently married during a weekend celebration in the North Georgia Mountains. I was charged with arranging the Friday night cocktail party.  It was a crisp October night and the fog was rolling in over the mountains.  While keeping with the theme of Fall, I chose to go with a less traditional style – rich jewel tones.  I began with a navy tablecloth, and then added a garland of fresh greenery down the center (this can be ordered and delivered from Costco online).  Next, I used deep green wine bottles as vases – soak these in a soapy bath and the labels will fall right off.  Each vase contained a single long-stem blueberry rose.  Blueberry roses are a deep berry hue and your local florist should be able to order these for you… just look at the varieties of roses online to determine the exact shade you are looking for.  Between the tall vases, I placed jelly jars with bunches of antique purple hydrangeas, gold mercury votives, and then scattered white pumpkins, pomegranates, deep red apples, and golden pears.  The trick is to arrange your decor with pieces of varying heights, stick to one color palette, and be intentional when chooses the accompanying serve-ware, linens, etc.  The food for this particular spread was displayed on all wooden serving pieces.

So, think outside the cornucopia this Thanksgiving and add a little glam to your table.

Care to hear more about recipes for a cheese/wine party such as this one?  Comment below!

mfarber_jewel tone tablescapes 5

mfarber_jewel tone tablescapes 2

mfarber_jewel tone tablescapes 4

mfarber_jewel tone tablescapes 3

mfarber_jewel tone tablescapes 1

It’s beginning to feel a lot like FALL!

Atlanta weather was overcast and chilly this weekend.  I was finally able to pull out some cozy sweaters and scarves.  It’s a romantic type of chill.  It makes you want to drink hot cider by the fire.  I actually have a few friends who blamed the weather on the fact that they’ve already began decorating for Christmas.  Fall fashion, in my opinion, is the most fun to put together.  Something as simple as a knitted sweater can be glamorous with the right accessories and details.  I bought this white sweater (available in yellow here) at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale back in July.  I fell in love with the back and knew that I could do something special with it… and it was less than $50!   Not familiar with the #Nsale?  Each Summer, Nordstorm hosts a sale that lasts a few weeks, card holders have early access (which is awesome because many items sell out fast).  These are all new pieces from the Fall collections, available for a discounted price during the first few weeks of their release (kind of backwards, right?).  It is awesome.  This crossover cz ring in rose gold (see below) was another #Nsale find, and is still available here.  I went nuts.

The crisscross back and long flared sleeves make this otherwise simple, oversized sweater something unique.  I added a crochet front bralette from Victoria’s Secret, a grey wool hat with felt flower applique, which I found at Target many years ago, but here it is on eBay for $12.99, and pointed toe “ginger booties” by Nicole Miller (available here via Poshmark).  So, look for an ordinary piece and add to it… a classic Fall staple can become something special.


jeans by Hudson Jeans
purple/gray druzy cuff came from a local jeweler (similar styles here); gold chain from Woo Skincare + Cosmetics (not available online but they often cary a small collection of accessories in addition to their designer cosmetics and skincare products.


convertible bag by Kate Spade
earrings by Loft (40% off right now… doh!)


pointed toe “ginger booties” by Nicole Miller (available here via Poshmark)


photography by Paprika Southern Studios

Game Changers: Spanx Arm Tights

Are you one of those people who rotate their wardrobe based on season?  It’s smart, allows for more space, and you most likely won’t be using that angora sweater in Summer, right?  It does make sense but I do not follow this practice.  Carrie Bradshaw said it best when referring to her wardrobe, “I like my money right where I can see it… hanging in my closet”.  Me too!  And now, thanks to Spanx Arm Tights, your sleeveless tops and dresses become go-to pieces for Fall and Winter, so seasons can overlap.  This is exactly what it sounds like, tights for your arms.  They are thin and seamless, so you can pair them with the most fitted top or dress without feeling like your layering something under it.  And they come in a wide array of beautiful colors!

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a sucker for the sale racks, holding “last of” items at boutiques such as fab’rik.  I was at my local fab’rik boutique just a couple weeks ago and found this great tunic (this can also be worn as a dress, by the way).  I paired it with these brandywine colored arm tights and I love it!  You can order arm tights via the Spanx website for a mere $30 per pair, or look for them soon, along with some amazing Spanx leggings at your local fab’rik boutique.  So hit up the sale racks and find something left from Summer that can be easily transformed for a completely different look.

The below images were shot in one of my absolute favorite cities, Savannah, Ga.  Shout out to Paprika Southern Studios for capturing these great images in the historic district, just as the air was getting crisp and Fall was beginning to creep in.  More from Savannah coming soon!

faux suede leggings by Express (similar style by H&M here) – shoes by Jessica Simpson via DSW – heart key pendant necklace by Tiffany & Co. – earrings from a sidewalk vendor in San Francisco’s Mission District









Bill Hallman Boutique

A trendy boutique located in the heart of Inman Park, Bill Hallman brings inspiring mens and womens clothing to Atlanta (for over 25 years), custom designed by Bill himself.

He describes his aesthetic as “60’s and 70’s inspired glamour with a modern timeless twist, allowing my clients to dress up for evening events or integrate into work and day wear.”  He really does provide a wide range of styles appropriate for any occasion – from day time casual, to the office, to the red carpet.  Don’t see your size?  They will custom make something for you.

I attended his Fall/Winter launch party last weekend.  Models walked throughout the store showcasing the new designs, many of which consisted of velvet, fringe, and long, kimono style sleeves.  I asked Bill what his favorite trend was in fashion right now.  He said, “I cannot get enough of the color gold.”  Me neither, Bill.  Me neither.










NYFW: Fall Boho

On our way out of NY, we stopped at Grand Central Station.  Grand Central is showcased in more movies that you can imagine, everything from romance to horror.  This New York icon is more than a train station, it is also a shopping and dining destination.  I love train stations and this is the mother of all.  Is it the history?  The hustle and bustle of people coming and going?  Or simply the grandeur that is Grand Central Station?  Whatever it may be, I love it.  I have some “grand” ideas for a photoshoot here one day…

After visiting Grand Central, we had brunch at another NY icon, The Boathouse, located in Central Park and quite possibly the most popular brunch spot in all of the city.  You can sit on the patio and sip champagne while watching people row by on the lake.  It’s literally a picnic in the park, yet you’re surrounded by some of the largest skyscrapers in the world.  Another longtime favorite of mine…

Brunch in the park, Grand Central Station, a walk through Manhattan, and a late flight back to Atlanta… I needed something comfortable yet stylish, after all it was Fashion Week.  This boho inspired look is perfect this Fall.  I found this sheer dress at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale,  it is currently sold out but I did find it available here ,via Amazon.  The hat, I bought a couple of years ago at World Market, but here is a very similar one.  The booties are by Fergie, available at DSW.  And the color block mini bag is by Kate Spade, shown here in the color, punch.  This choker with long, gold tassels is from DressUp Boutique, similar style here.  And to top it off, I am wearing Diva matte lipstick by MAC.  As the weather gets cooler, I’ll add a long, oversized sweater and switch out the booties for knee high boots…  Come on, Fall!  I’m ready.





photography by KVC Photography


NYFW: Fall Glam

If you watched any of my InstaStories, then you would have met Erica.  Erica is my sister-in-law and NYFW partner in crime.  She was a trooper and marched through the city in these 6 inch boots until she almost passed out.  On day three, we made our way to Skylight Clarkson Square and after waiting (standing) for almost two hours, we were invited into the Namilia runway show.  Once we were in (standing room only), I looked over and Erica was on the floor.  My feet, however seemed to have went numb and the pain dissipated as the Disney music came on and the models walked down the runway in the most outrageous designs that I have EVER seen in person.  Just take a look here.  Worrrrth it. After all, standing is the new sitting.





I wish I could say that I were wearing these Jessica Simpson booties (similar style here) that night.  They are super comfortable.  Below is my daytime glam look.  This would work nicely for the office, daytime shopping, or a night out.  It’s all about versatility.  I wore this to DUMBO on a beautiful Saturday afternoon to take in the view of the city and then we went for cocktails at a speakeasy called Bathtub Gin, cleverly hidden beyond a secret door in a coffee shop located in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.

bathtub gin.jpg

This Express dress (now on sale 40% off!) is a classic shape sheath with small balloon sleeves and a simple bow belt.  You can take a classic style (look for a cocktail dress at your local consignment shop) and make it new by adding accessories, and mixing patterns and textures, like I did here with these Simply Vera by Vera Wang polka dot tights.  Then, I glammed it up with a glitzy statement necklace and earrings from Sugarfix by BaubleBar (this is Baublebar’s line for Target!), cocktail ring from Tiffany & Co and my favorite black go-to bag for Fall/Winter by Kate Spade (similar style here, no tassel).


Erica’s Look:  boots Steve Madden – purse Kate Spade – necklace Sugarfix by Baublebar – top and glasses OOTD Boutique








photos of me by KVC Photography


New York Fashion Week was ah-mazing.  There’s something about the city that makes me feel at home, although I’ve lived in Atlanta my entire life.  The hustle and bustle and rooftops and coffee shops…  I can wear a cocktail dress and stilletos to Central Park, and I never feel overdressed.

We made it to three shows hosted by FGNYFW.  The first: Pelush, by Anna Tagliabue- a “reFAUXlution” against furs in the fashion industry.  Although I personally love authentic vintage furs, these faux furs were beautiful and embellished with vintage style brocade and pastels colors popularly used in the 1950s/1960s.

NYFW- Fur 2

NYFW- Fur 3

NYFW- Fur 4

It’s all about print and texture this season.  Which is why fur is at the forefront of Fall trends, along with suede and velvet.  Here, I am wearing a faux fur vest by Cabi (my sweet friend, Jennifer is a Cabi stylist, visit her site here).  Made of shades of deep blue, white, taupe, and black fur, this vest was beautiful and seemed to change color depending on the light.  It was perfect for Fall in NY.  I paired well with dark denim distressed jeans from Express, a deep blue gray leopard print clutch from Nordstrom (they no longer carry the blue, but here it is in brown), and peep toe cognac leather booties by Vince Camuto.


fur vest from Cabi – jeans from Express – clutch from Nordstrom – fish leather cuff from Palas Jewelers (now closed) – ring from Tiffany & Co.


Stay tuned for my next NYFW look…



Photos of me by KVC Photography

Wanderlust Fulfilled: Greece


I can check this one off the bucket list…  Exceeding all dreamy, picture perfect expectations, Santorini’s beauty is simply breathtaking.  Known for it’s blue-domed churches, whitewashed buildings, and steep and winding stairs that ascend from the Aegean Sea, it is exactly how you imagine it to be, and more.  Bright pink blooms pop against what seems to be a blue and white mirage.

Santorini sunset web 3

Santorini view web 2

We stayed at On the Rocks boutique hotel in Imerovigli.  Our “cave” was built into the side of the mountain.  This was the most unique hotel I had ever stayed.  The staff were equally as lovely.  Each morning, we were awakened by a knock at the door and breakfast delivered on our private patio, overlooking the sea.  Fresh coffee, greek yogurt with honey and nuts, omelets (with feta and olives), pastries and fresh fruit.

santorini stairs monica
Dress by Dress Up Boutique – Glasses by Diane Von Furstenberg – Sandals by Franco Sarto

aegean view lens baby2

on the rocks 2

santorini mike stairs2

Things to do in Santorini:

Rent an ATV and explore the island (see video below)

Visit Ammoudi Bay, located in the village of Oia

View of Ammoudi Bay
Dress and bralette by Dress Up Boutique – Hat by J.Crew – Bracelet by bebe

Ammoudi Bay 2 web

Ammoudi Bay donkeys

Ammoudi Bay Monica

Ammoudi Bay row boats

Sail until sunset (I highly recommend Santorini Yachting Club)

sailing Monica

sailing Mike

sailing BBQ

sailing at sunset

This goes without saying, but eat like a local!

Ammoudi Bay greek salad


Ammoudi Bay paella


Regardless of what the hotel, travel agents, or anyone tells you, no need to make a reservation.  We visited during peak season and had no issue getting a table anywhere (with the exception of Amoundi Bay at sunset, which we still were able to grab two seats and order a bottle of wine just in time for the show a.k.a. sunset).  The food was fantastic everywhere we went and everything was extremely fresh.


Funny story… We visited Ios by complete mistake.  In attempt to travel from Santorini to Mykonos, we got off the boat at the wrong stop and found ourselves stranded on Ios.  Apparently this happens quite often, so beware.  With that being said, I consider it a blessing.  Ios is a gorgeous island!  We stayed the one night at Liostasi Hotel.  This charming hotel was not only beautiful, but their hospitality was out of this world.  Every staff member knew our names.  We were treated as if we owned the place and their breakfast (included) was unbelievable.  When I return to Ios, I will be staying here.  Much smaller than Santorini, Ios is a party island and had a much different feel.  You walk through the winding streets, literally through the middle of outdoor restaurants and pubs where bands of local seniors played their instruments and sang.  Young people gathered on the village steps to drink cocktails and dance… see a bar called Steps.  I wish that we had spent more time in Ios.  Next time I would love to see the beaches.

Liostasi Monica
top and shorts by J. Crew – sandals by Aldo – sunglasses by Ray-Ban
Monica Ios.jpg
Dress by Dress Up Boutique


Ios Monica


Traditional Cycladic architecture, including the infamous windmills, beautiful beaches, and winding cobblestone streets lined with white washed building and more of the bright pink blooms.  Mykonos is a busier, more commercial version of iOS.  Pulsating nightlife, often in competition with Ibiza attracts jet setters, celebrities, gay pride festival goers, and all kinds of people looking for an exotic adventure.  We stayed one night at Cavo Tagoo, visited the beaches of Little Venice, shopped amongst the beautiful churches scattered throughout the city, ate our way through the island, and danced all night in a cave to the beats of DJ Grandma Man.



We spent our first and last night in Athens.  There aren’t any direct flights to the islands, so going through Athens is a requirement.  This gave us the opportunity to stay at the beautiful Hotel Grande Bretagne and explore the city.  We had gyros from street vendors more times than we could count and drank wine in Monastiraki Square, with the most beautiful view of Acropolis.  Fortunately, on our last day, we did have the opportunity to visit before sunset.  The cost is $20EU per person for just the Parthenon (extra for the museum, which we unfortunately did not have time for).  When I tell you it was hot, the heat put Georgia to shame!  But once we got up there, the view made it all worth it.  It’s amazing that structures like this still exist today.

View from acropolis.jpg



Do not, I repeat, do NOT wear heels in the Greek islands.  Not even to dinner.  Invest in some stylish flats and sandals.  Wear hats, because A) hats are fabulous and B) my scalp and face burned immediately.  Wear dresses, shorts, skirts, and rompers.  Light flowy clothing is best. If you rent an ATV, BE CAREFUL (we saw a few nasty accidents).  Be prepared to walk a LOT.  Whatever you’re doing at sunset, drop everything and take it in.  And do not be afraid to be adventurous. Go explore. There’s more to see than you could ever imagine.


Below is a video of our trip, produced with a combination of drone and GoPro footage.  Unfortunately, aerial  footage wasn’t possible on Ios or Mykonos due to high winds.  Be sure to watch in 1080p HD for maximum quality.








Transitioning Your Wardrobe to Fall

It stays pretty hot for a while in Georgia, but Fall is here regardless.  We’re officially past Labor Day and on to football season, pumpkin spice season, and New York Fashion Week!  Vogue, Elle, and the “important” fashion resources have released their September issues, and later this week New York City will be transformed into a fashion mecca.  This is the stuff that dreams are made of and this D-List blogger is on her way, even if there’s standing room only.
What’s hot?  We shall see… I believe that street wear this week is just as important and influential as what will be on the runways.  After all, city streets are the real runways.  I expect to see a lot of reminders from last year…  Suede, flannel, throw backs to the 90s… but also many 80s references, broad shoulder suits, lots of distressed denim (pants and jackets), bell-sleeves, furs, velvet, booties, mixed prints, jewel-tone florals, and the official color for Fall 2017… red.  I’m excited about that one.
Here is my interpretation of a perfect transitional outfit for this early Fall heat.  Kimonos are nothing new, they have been in store windows all year, I just love the deep blue in this vintage inspired floral print, available at Dress Up Boutique.  And it’ so light and cool.  I paired it with dark denim Hudson Jeans, a stappy suede heel by Vince Camuto, and necklace by Stella & Dot, then I’m off to NY faster than you can say “PSL”.
photos by KVC Photography

Gingham & Rosé: The Perfect Summer Combo

I was not always a fan of Rosé, but it’s dramatically grown in popularity over the past few years and now it’s more of a #basic Summer beverage that anything.  Sometimes overly sweet for my taste, but then when you find that perfectly balanced, sparkling pink libation, it’s perfect for toasting to a beautiful Summer night.

Here I am doing just that, while wearing one of my absolute favorite finds this Summer… An off the shoulder floral-lace and gingham dress from Revolve.  That’s right, floral, lace and gingham… how cliche for a Southern girl, amirite?  I actually bought this little number to wear to a specific restaurant in Athens, Greece this Summer, but fate had another story in mind.  So I wore it out one Saturday evening to 8Arm, and then frolicking around the Old Fourth Ward.  No fancy occasion, but who needs an excuse to wear this dress, or any dress for that matter?   I certainly don’t.


You can find this dress for $95 here.

photos by KVC Photography



A Fun Summer Jacket & Quirky Boutique

I like to have a go-to Summer jacket for evenings out and this light satin bomber from Fab’rik boutique is just perfect.  The print is a pretty, Summery floral on white, with a sparkly gold striped trim.  Coupled with glittery, gold striped espadrilles, this is the kind of look that can take you from a casual day of shopping (at Paris on Ponce), to dinner without skipping a beat.

Fab’rik Floral Bomber Jacket, Hudson Signature Bootcut Jeans,  Ray-Ban Aviators




Paris on Ponce is a quirky antique shop located on the corner of Ponce De Leon Ave and Ponce Place.   The Atlanta Beltline Eastside Trail runs behind the store where travelers are invited to roam the 30+ unique shops/booths, or just stop by for water and to use the restrooms.  Here you can shop for an array of gifts and oddities including art, antiques, cool letterpress cards, records, clothing, and even tarot readings.  They close at 6pm, so head there early and get lost in the possibilities.





photos by KVC Photography 



Sweet Georgia Peaches at Jaemor Farms

Jaemor Farms is a locally owned 500 acre property, located in the beautiful North Georgia Mountains.  Here, you will find fresh grown produce, local cheeses and honey, and Jaemor Farms original homemade baked goods (baked pie, fried pie, cakes, breads), sauces, pickles, jams, jellies, ciders, ice cream and boiled peanuts.



Harvesting crops on this land has been a family tradition for more than 105 years.  Today, members of the Echols family work in the fields, bakery, and market.

Saturday, August 5th, they hosted the annual Peach Festival.  Attendees were invited to pick their own peaches for $30 per half bushel.

I am dressed head to toe in J.Crew.  I found this Summer’s collection to be perfect for the outdoors and easily dressed up or down (picking peaches on a farm or dinner al fresco in the city) with the addition of jewelry and wedge heels.
Jaemor Farms honey is delicious specifically because the pollen that is gathered by their bees to produce the honey is from a combination of peachappleblackberrystrawberry and varieties of squash plants.


Shelly (with Jaemor Farms) helped us navigate the orchard and find the best peaches, ready to pick.


After picking our peaches, we headed to the market for peach ice-cream and a variety of other peachy delights.




Among the smorgasbord of peachy varieties, they offer many more beverages, baked goods, sauces, and jams, all featuring fresh local ingredients.  I picked up some Vidalia Onion BBQ sauce, a jar of artichoke spread, and of course some hot boiled peanuts.  The entire market smelled sweet of the peach and cinnamon pecan bread.

Look to their website for events this Fall including “Date Night”, pumpkin patch and corn maze.


Summer Style

Here are 10 of my favorite fashion and beauty items this Summer.  I know, we’re already half way through July, but MOST of these pieces are now on SALE, so I’m glad that I waited to post this!  Links to all sales below… And perfect if you still have a vacation coming up, or don’t want to give up on Summer so quickly, as I see Hobby Lobby has with their damn Christmas decorations.

1. The ever in style fedora.  This one is light straw, perfect for the hot weather and still stylish enough to not require a beach/poolside setting.  I found this particular one at JCrew currently on sale for $14.50!!  This is NOT to replace the big floppy sun hats we all love, but to mix it up and add a bit of edge..

JCrew fedora

2. Which brings me to #2… sun hats are very hot this year in the fashion world – floppy, fringe, ones with pom poms, or “slogan hats”, such as this “dear summer” hat I wore recently in Santorini.  I found this at World Market for only $29.99!

dear summer

3. Ruffled off-the-shoulder dresses.  This dress from Revolve is on sale for $59!  And there are so many more like this to choose from!
revolve dress

4. WHITE.  white shorts, white jeans, white tops…  These angled raw hem white jeans are part of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale right now for $38.90!

raw hemmed white jeans

5. Statement sunglasses.  These round Gucci sunglasses are 63% off at Nordstrom Rack, making them only $119.97!  Say what?!

Gucci round tortoise.jpg
6. The cult classic NARS blush “Super Orgasm” (by the way, NARS has created an entire Orgasm collection for Summer that includes a blush, satin lipstick, lip gloss and illuminator).  “Super Orgasm” is the same shade as the original “Orgasm”, but with gold glitter.  Glitter makes everything better.  This will probably never go on sale, but worthy of my list, none the less.  $30 at Sephora

super orgasm blush

7. Mac Amplified lipstick, which produces a creamy high shine finish, in the shade “Impassioned”.  This is a prefect Summer shade, kind of like watermelon.  I am obsessed.  When Delta lost our luggage on our trip to Greece, the first thing I bought was a lipstick from the airport Mac store- which is where I discovered this glorious shade of Summer!

mac amplified in impassioned

8. One-piece swimsuits are back.  I’ve been on strike since the age of 10, but I bought this adorable one-piece white swimsuit this year.  I was surprised to find it at Forever 21 and it was less than $30!  Unfortunately, it is now sold out, but this one is almost identical and comes in black for $38.

forever 21 swimsuit white

9. Florals.  This peach dress with magnolias is not on sale right now, but still only $44.99 at DressUp Boutique.  However, Marshalls and TJ Maxx have several floral dresses, rompers, and tops for super low prices right now… you just have to be willing to hunt.  The black and white sundress that I am wearing in the image up top also came from DressUp Boutique and was on sale for only $25!  Look for “final sale items” on the rack in the back of the store… this includes items with a flaw (this one was missing a button), or items that are last of it’s kind in the store.  The discounts are huge.

peach floral jumper

10. Statement necklaces… these can be paired with a cocktail dress or a simple white tee, jeans, and strappy shoes.  I shop for these at Stella & Dot, Kate SpadeJCrew and Baublebar.  Baublebar always seems to be having a sale.  I LOVE this Nomad necklace from Stella and Dot.  It is currently on sale for $83.85.

stella and dot nomad neckalce.jpg

And this is more of a layering necklace than a statement necklace, but I just picked up this tiered Y necklace at the #Nsale (Nordstrom Anniversary Sale) for only $23.90!

rose gold baublebar

In my opinion, Summer has just begun.  Happy shopping!