Sunday, May 25, 2014

Kendra's NYC night out!

I was asked by Kendra Thornton, a travel expert who has been featured on television, to come up with an outfit for her upcoming trip to NYC. Read the challenge:

"I am so excited  that my upcoming trip is all I can talk about or think about. The only slight problem I see on my otherwise bright horizon is my limited clothes choices. As a mom of 3 kids, my wardrobe is more suburban frumpy than city chic. It is just that clothes have not always been a priority. I know that with a little help from some fashion experts and those in the know, I can get my wardrobe in shape in time for my trip. To find that help, I have created the Kendra Fashion Challenge! I’ll be visiting New York City to spend a couple nights in one of the cities best hotels, The Standard High Line Hotel.

While visiting the city, we have a special outing planned. At the corner of 13th and Washington Streets, sits the public Standard Plaza. There is no other square quite like it in lower Manhattan. In the winter months, cold weather lovers can enjoy the skating rink at this square and enjoy a warm snack at Alpine Kaffeeklatsch. At all times of the year, this square plays host to some of the best large art installations, featuring such artists as Erwin Wurm, Kaws and Kenny Scharf. Snacks. In the summer months, snacks are created from fresh produce from Locusts Farms in upstate New York along with a variety of gelatos and sorbets made there. It is going to be an exciting afternoon and evening.

I know that to enjoy my time at Standard Plaza I need to look my best in a new outfit put together during my challenge. Planning this trip faced some other challenges. When a group travels to a new city like my friends and I, everyone has their own list of “must see” places. I used Gogobot to help determine, which places to see and things to do were the highest rated. This made creating the perfect itinerary that suited everyone a snap. I know that walking around the city or visiting a luxurious hotel such as the Standard High Line Hotel will be a lot more enjoyable with a new outfit and great look."
I loved this idea, so I created a Pinterest board with a bunch of options for her NYC trip. I solely used shopbop.com to make life easier should Kendra want to make a purchase.


I also tried to keep all options under $200, but I couldn't help the occasional splurge!

I love simple statements. A bit of a dichotomy with wording, but it makes sense to me. I love an eye-catching outfit that is easy to wear.

I generally go with dresses because it's one piece and done. For Kendra, I decided to go with rompers and jumpers. They are also one pieces, but I think much more fun for day and night.

I focused quite a bit on jewelry because I believe accessories can make any outfit pop. Jewelry and other accessories can change the mood, the appeal and the feel of any outfit.

The pictures make up my favorite outift for Kendra's night out, but definitely check out my pinterest board. I have many more options to mix and match!

 http://www.pinterest.com/hockiemack/kendras-night-out/





Thursday, April 24, 2014

My first Fendi


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Jean Jacket

One of my colleagues asked my recommendation for a spring coat that wasn't a trench coat. I could feel her frustration.

The weather is getting warmer, but it's not quite summer yet. Though we've seen many a light jacket on the runway, which one is affordable and versatile with fashion longevity?

In my humble opinion, I'd say my favorite spring jacket is one that I feel should be a staple in every woman's closet.

The Jean Jacket.

Mine happens to be Diesel, which I got on sale at a Diesel outlet... so... SCORE!

I love this jacket so much and wore it today. It was a beautiful day in Boston, but my sleeveless maxi wasn't appropriate for the weather. I knew I'd feel a bit cold.

So I threw my denim jacket over the dress and walked the streets of Boston in style.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

My first Le Tote L'Experience!

My closet is stuffed. It is packed unbelievably tight with clothes. I have so many clothes that I actually don't wear most of them because I don't want to stuff  my clothes back in the closet.

Does that stop me from shopping? Of course not.  One of my weaknesses is wondering "Did I wear that before?" Because if I did, then I can't wear it again.

Then I learned about  Le Tote. The company is kind of like the Netflix of clothes and accessories. I go on the website and "heart" a bunch of their items. They mail a box of 5 items, their choice. I can hold on to the items as long as I'd like. If I keep anything, I get charged a discounted fee. Upon receipt of my return items, they send another 5 pieces of mixed clothing and jewelry to me. Shipping and returns are included in the monthly fee.

I could give you many more details of the company, but I'd much rather show and tell my first shipment. Voila!
1. A really cute color-blocked dress featuring a beautiful blue for spring
2. A pair of gold earrings with a green-blue gem
3. A gold bracelet
4. A fabulous coral vest
5. A chic black mixed faux leather and cloth skirt

My first outfit was casual, featturing the vest and the bracelet. I wore a bra top tank underneath to highlight the vest, skinny jeans and gold flats. I stacked the bracelet with my watch. I absolutely loved this look.

I had a tough time with the black skirt. Even though it says extra small, the waist was too big. I'm also short, about 5'2", so it hit at the knee to just below. It fit nicely around my hips and had some stretch to it, so it would definitely be a good fit for another person.

Eventually, I managed to get a good outfit out of the black skirt with a cropped jean jacket and a plaid scarf.

The color blocked dress was probably my favorite item in this tote. It fit well. It worked for the office setting. I received a bunch of compliments and felt really cute. The earrings matched almot perfectly!

After wearing all 5 pieces, it was time to make a decision. Return the whole tote or keep any or all of the items. Out of everything, I loved the color-blocked dress the most. According to the website, it retails for $62, but I could keep it for $42. Though a huge bargain, I had to return everything.

My closet is stuffed.

Overall, this first "tote" was a good experience. I'm definitely looking forward to my next shipment. If this is a service you think might be fun to try, consider joining Le Tote!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Emerald Waterways River Cruises

Last month my husband and I attended the Boston travel expo. We have seen almost all of North America and quite a bit of Asia, so our next interest is Europe. I've been to many countries in Europe but I have yet to explore the western part of the continent.

With all the traveling I've done, I have reached a point where I'm kind of tired of planning all the details of my trip. I'd really like to just book my flight and have the rest of the trip planned out for me. This is where Emerald Waterways could enter my life.

I looked into their river cruises. You read that correctly. A cruise. Specifically, a river cruise. What a fabulous way to check out a few countries! Normally I'm not a cruise person. I don't like to stare at an endless ocean.


River cruises seem to be a totally different experience from the stereotypical cruise. With Emerald Waterways, I'll get to stare at land, witnessing local architecture and European scenery the entire time I'm on the ship.

Transportation, accomodation, meals and excursions are ALL included in the price. I barely have to lift a finger. After exploring the website and talking to my husband, we think the 8 day Danube Delights river cruise would be the most ideal.

An Emerald Waterways representative will meet us at the airport on day 1 and transfer us to the ship. Upon arrival, we'll have a chance to relax, unwind and explore the ship. There are a variety of cabins from which to choose on a brand new ship. State rooms and suites all have a river view. The rooms are large, and upgrading to a suite comes with extras like a complimentary mini bar and en-suite breakfast. The ship also offers a heated swimming pool with a retractable roof and a gelati station. Yum!

The cruise commences with a welcome dinner. For an extrovert like me, this is the perfect opportunity to meet cruisemates for the trip. A chance to meet new people at each meal time will hopefully lead to long lasting friendships. Complimentary wine and beer with lunch and dinner may also bring out some fun travel stories for all to share.

After a good night's rest, we will wake up to a shore excursion that is included every day on the river cruise. This is amazing, because many of the riverside towns are not necessarily hot tourists spots. I love the immersion aspect of traveling a bit off the beaten path. I feel we will get more of an authentic travel experience.

Finally, there is that saying "It's the little things that matter." With Emerald Waterways, they really do take care of many of those details that can aggravate travelers. There is no need to give tips because tipping is included in the price. That alone can save us over $500. The crew speaks English, incredibly important for my husband. There is free WiFi on board, also incredibly important for my husband. God forbid he can't check email... just kidding!

I truly hope I am honored with the chance to experience an Emerald Waterways river cruise. I think it would be an amazing experience that would create many fond memories for years to come.

* I did not receive compensation to write this post.
** All images are courtesy of http://www.emeraldwaterways.co.uk/

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Gilt Warehouse Sale introduced me to Anna Beck

Yesterday I went to the Gilt.com warehouse sale hosted in Boston. I dressed appropriately in tight-fitting clothes that would allow me to try on clothes without having to waste time in the fitting room. I only had 2 hours to find amazing deals!

Recently I've been obsessed with jewelry. Ok fine, I guess I've always loved jewelry. However, I've finally mustered up courage to wear what I own and love, to let go of what I doubt I'll wear and to purchase fabulosity.

The jewelry table at the warehouse sale had a flat rate of $20 for everything on the table. I scoured through each box of jewels, many housing broken pieces. Then I saw it. This gorgeous ring.


The ring has an "ancient" appeal. The craftmenship is meticulous and stunning.  I instantly nabbed it for myself and went on my merry way shopping for other goodies at the sale.

When I got home, I did an internet search on Anna Beck. Visiting the website is when I realized I had scored big with my purchase. The least expensive ring I could find on AnnaBeck.com is $135... did I mention I got my ring for $20?

I love an amazing deal, but I also love the introduction to new artists. The company is a duo-team of sisters. Becky Hosmer designs and sister Rachels manages. You can learn more about them and browse the jewelry on AnnaBeck.com

I am officially a fan of Anna Beck! I look forward to showcasing this ring as much as possible!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Spring Cleaning Jewelry Giveaway!

After the polar vortex and all the winter snowstorms we've had this season, today's 41 degrees felt so warm! It was sunny and beautiful, which had us all looking forward to spring.

With spring comes cleaning for many people. I've been away from this blog for a long time. In an effort to renew my spirit of writing about shopping, fashion, sales, etc, I've decided to host a giveaway.

Pictured below are a whole bunch of earrings that have been hanging on my jewelry rack for years. Some I've never worn, some only once or twice. The silver needs polishing on a few, but I'm going to leave that up to you. Whether you wear these earrings, give them away, or take them apart to use the beads and hooks for your own creations, you have the chance to win them.


Enter using the raffecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



giveaway ends April 1st. Open to USA only. Winner will be chosen randomly and notified by email. No sponsorship for this giveaway.