Accessorizing with Adorn 512

I’m always looking for pretty little things that I can add to my jewelry and accessories collection. I especially love items that I can wear to work and in my casual wardrobe as well.  I discovered jewelry designer Dana Mitchell’s line Adorn 512 when I was shopping at a boutique in Geneva, Illinois and I purchased her initial necklaces.  It turns out Dana is from Chicago and has an online boutique http://www.adorn512.com where you can find many amazingly dainty and unique necklaces, earrings and charms to add to your collection.    I recently bought some pieces that I have been wearing non stop in many different ways.  Check out Dana’s collection and shop local!

 

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The Art of Traveling Fashionably Light

Over the years traveling in an international HR role, I’ve always been on the lookout for those great tips to lighten my load, organize my travel gear and look good on the road. Always observant at airports on the latest gear, I’m never afraid to ask another fellow traveler how she does it.

On a recent trip with my fashionista and organizer extraordinaire sister-in-law Dawn, I learned a few tips on the art of traveling fashionably light that were too good not to share. We teamed up to give our best ideas to all of you:

Lighten your Load:

Investing in the right carry on can make the world of difference in getting around. Dawn recommends the Tumi International Carry on for the lightweight and ability to expand. If you travel at large airports, consider a 4 roller so you can push or pull and make sure you don’t exceed the 21” travel size when you buy one. Tumi outlets (yes they exist!) are a great place to maximize your dollars and buy the best quality available.

Choose the right briefcase or tote that works for you. I like a bag that is big enough to let me insert my handbag to meet the 2 bag max, fits under an airline seat, but is light enough so it doesn’t give me an instant travel headache from the strain in my shoulders when it’s full. I have the Tory Burch York Buckle tote in camel which fits the bill. I always carry a charger in my tote and an extra set in my luggage for back up.

TBTote

http://www.toryburch.com/york-buckle-tote/22149613.html

 Maximize Space:

Roll your non-hanging clothing items to maximize space and prevent wrinkles. Wear your bulkier pieces like blazers or sweaters you need to pack on the plane to free up space in your bag.

Travel light

Accessorize your Travel:

Invest in an oversized wrap that you can wear on your travels and doubles as a wrap to keep you warm in the drafty plane. Dawn’s favorite is her Louis Vuitton Monaco Square shown below. Timeless and elegant. I like anything 100% two ply cashmere as it won’t wrinkle. Nordstroms has a great selection of wraps in their accessories department and for those willing to bargain hunt, check out TJ Maxx.

LVMonaco

http://us.louisvuitton.com/eng-us/products/monaco-square-001057#M71150

Pick a color scheme for your outfits on your trips and let your accessories add the pop of color interest. Build your outfits around neutrals – black, white, beige, navy or gray. Pack versatile pieces that you can combine into multiple outfits. I always bring an additional black cardigan in case I get stuck an extra day.

Organize your Toiletries:

Ditch the Ziplocs and invest in the Sephora Travel on the Go 3 oz. toiletry pouch. More sturdy, see through and holds a bit more. For $4.95 these are well worth it. I now keep an extra on hand.  Bring your favorite scent along without dragging the large bottles. Atomizers fit perfectly in your pouch and are easy to fill instead of taking the whole bottle along. This affordable atomizer from Nordstroms for $6 and was part of my holiday gift for my girlfriends who are on the go.

Sephorabag.jpgatomizer

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.sephora.com/beauty-on-the-fly-P383016?skuId=1625268

http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/nordstrom-atomizer/3225049?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort&contextualcategoryid=0&fashionColor=&resultback=1317

 For international travel, I always bring an extra medical pouch in case I get sick on the road, which includes cough drops, a decongestant, Dramamine, Advil, band aids, and a packet of chicken soup. Dawn makes sure she takes Emergen-C Vitamin C packs regularly before and while traveling.

Traveling can be grueling but when you take off prepared it’s always an easier trip.

Working Women Wardrobe Basics – Crazy for Cashmere

photo

Lord & Taylor Woodfield Cashmere Department- See all the beautiful styles & colors

Here is the link:

http://www.lordandtaylor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/lord-and-taylor/brand/lord-taylor/womens-apparel/wa-cashmere?site_refer=sem+g+RLSANP&keyword_refer=lord%20and%20taylor%20cashmere%20sweaters&k_clickid=f58d1139-2b33-471d-b965-f1d0842e23bd&gclid=CjwKEAiA4rujBRDD7IG_wOPytXkSJACTMkgaiA8L8Uoj7XyG5ptfKf6VPLobDMhmqaNot0eB6jyogRoCrZLw_wcB

I have to admit, I love cashmere sweaters.  They are one of my go to staples for a polished but comfortable look and are great for travel as they don’t wrinkle and are cozy in drafty airplanes.  What I don’t love is the price or the quality that most stores seem to offer.  Either they are paper thin and expensive ($100+), or are they good quality, but really expensive ($250+).  I have searched high and low for the best deals and the best quality.  Although I have tried many, I always land in the same place.  A hidden gem where we always forget to shop, Lord & Taylor.

Few stores can top Lord & Taylor’s selection and price points. Every year, they offer two ply cashmere sweaters in tons of styles from basic crew necks to cardigans to tunics in basic to brilliant colors. Luxurious feel and nice cuts.  They value price certain lines but every season they offer 40% off which increases to even deeper discounts after the new year.

Lord & Taylor is running their 40% off sale right now.  They offer a year round code that you can text for the latest coupon (the code is 955-55).  I usually get my sweaters for $80-$150, or if I am lucky, even less than that.    While their online shopping doesn’t do it justice, it’s worth heading to the store to check out their selection.

Share your best working women staple ideas with me and I’ll include them in the blog.  I’d love to hear!

Fear is Not an Option

DVF Wrap dress

Diane Von Furstenberg is a style icon. Known for her famous wrap dress that skyrocketed her to fame in 1972, she built a successful fashion business empire that made her a respected business woman and multimillionaire. She took risks to reinvent and relaunch her brand multiple times throughout her career by identifying opportunities and channeling her confidence to take the next steps. Aside from her business success, I am most inspired by five words that she shared in an interview that I read a few years ago and have stuck with me since.
 

“Fear is not an option”

As the story goes, she learned these words from her Mother, but she used this mantra to guide her career steps and life. She has real fears in life, just like we do, but she developed her own way to overcome them by following her mother’s words and pushing through fearful times with focus and determination.

There are a lot of fears that can stop us in our career tracks, slow down our progress or even derail our success. The fear to change jobs, take on that next role, give a speech, ask for the flexibility, just to name a few. Tackling these challenges is difficult for all of us. Even the boldest and the brightest struggle. However, fear can be tackled with confidence and a plan.

Here are three steps that I think are helpful to tackle your work fears:

Step 1: The Decision:

Make the powerful decision that you will not allow fear to control your career progress. Make it your mantra like DVF has and commit to working through fears for the betterment of you. Take a few moments to envision your potential to thrive without fear in the way. Write down your commitment and put it in a place where you can easily remind yourself of your decision.

Step 2: The Plan:

Understanding what is driving your fear is critical to developing your plan of attack. Are you afraid of rocking the boat at work? Worried that you will not deliver in a new role? Ask and answer that question. Then, flip the question around and ask yourself how you can minimize that risk with a plan.

Engage the right person to help you map out your plan. While family and friends can be great support, sometimes it takes people outside of that circle who have faced the same challenge to help. Trust a mentor, member or your network or industry contact and ask for their input on how they have faced similar challenges.

Then, develop the steps you will take to address your career challenge. It could be as simple as writing and practicing your script to your boss to request the flexibility you need, or updating your resume and summarizing key accomplishments that remind you that you have what it takes to be successful in that next job.

Step 3: The Actions:

The final step is to put your plan in action. A good plan and the right support behind you creates confidence, which can shut fear down. Every challenge is an opportunity to get better and move your career forward. It takes practice and work, but the results are worth it.

We are bigger than the fears we face. Move fear out of the way and open up the doors of opportunity.
Thanks Diane, both for your wrap dress and your five little words.

Statement Pieces

I like how statement pieces can make an otherwise boring outfit look interesting. These cuffs were on sale this week at J Crew for a whopping $25. If you hit J Crew at the right time, you can get some great deals on versatile pieces that make it easier to get ready for day or night.

StatementStatement.3

Here is the link:
https://www.jcrew.com/womens_category/jewelry/bracelets/PRDOVR~B2554/B2554.jsp