Going Gatsby

Amanda and Kevin Gatsby Party

When I opened the invitation to Kevin’s annual Christmas party this year, there is no doubt in my mind that I did my little happy dance. Not only were they once again putting us up in a fancy hotel, giving away raffle prizes and wining and dining us to our heart’s content, but this year, they were also giving us a chance to show off our creative side. We were invited to a holiday theme party. Gatsby style.

I have always wanted to do something Gatsby themed. I love the fashion. I love the book. I love art deco. I love Leonardo DiCaprio. Everything. I was stoked!

Before I begin, let’s get something clear. When I say Gatsby themed, I do not mean tommy guns, pin stripes, fringe and fedoras. Gatsby is gold. Gatsby is glitz. Gatsby is spending every dime you have in savings to look better than everyone else at that holiday party!

In order to perfect my look, I made myself a list (and Kevin a list!) to ensure we had everything needed to be the next Daisy and Gatsby!

The Dress
Fur something or other
A headband

While looking for the perfect dress, I decided I wanted to do something glamours. I mean, how often does a girl get to wear something as stunning as this? I discovered two designers that absolutely nailed the Gatsby look I was after. Sue Wong and Adrianna Papell are two very talented designers and no matter what dress you choose, you cannot go wrong. Here are some of the contenders. I fell in love with the middle-left and had to have her! Which one would you have gone with?

Gatsby Dresses

From Left: Sue Wong. Adrianna Papell. Adrianna Papell. Sue Wong. Sue WongAdrianna Papell.

And even though the dress is truly what makes the theme, the accessories are what takes you to the next level. I wanted to go over the top, so over the top I went. Hell, I even made Kevin grow his hair out so he could slick it back 20’s fashion (to which he cut it the very next day!)

A few tips I absolutely must provide you…

1) If you’re looking for a Fur something-or-other, use Ebay. Get over the fact it’s used and just go for it. You won’t find that kind of deal or quality any where else!
2) Go deep red lipstick or go home. I’m not really a lipstick kind-of-girl (never have been) but it really does make you feel glam which is exactly the look you’re going for here.
3) Drink Champagne. I even brought plastic stemmed flutes for our hotel room pre-party!

Gatsby Accessories

Top, from left: Art Deco Clutch. Cocktail Ring. Nars Lip Stick in Sephora Flame. Fur.
Bottom, from left: Kenneth Cole Bracelet. Feather Clutch. Daisy Headband. Art Deco Heels. Champs!

So if you have the chance to go to a Gatsby party or are thinking of throwing one yourself, PLEASE DO! It was one of the most fun and elegant themed parties I have ever been to and would jump at the chance to do it again!


Our Favorite Things Sweepstakes!

Favoritethings Sweepstakes

Christmas is finally upon us and I couldn’t think of a better way to show my holiday spirit than to give away my favorite things! Now through December 15th, every week, Californ-ia is giving away the coveted multi-color plaid tartan blanket scarf!

Entering is as easy as pumpkin pie!

Simply participate one of the following ways: Plaid Blanket Scarf

 Not a pinner? Not a problem!

Keep pinning every week for more chances to win this beautiful scarf!

Good Luck and Merry Christmas!

Contest Rules. Drawings will be at random, drawn once per week through the contest duration. One winner per week. Winners are eligible to participate more than once. Winners will be announced following each week. Five winners total. Shipping is included upon winning. Tartan scarf, retails $42.

Bohemian Chic – Or So My Boss Says

Bohemian Chic Fashion

Normally, I would tell you that you can’t do tribal at the office, and if you do, make sure it’s just an accent piece.  Then I saw this little tunic dress and all my predisposed notions went out the window. Silk, white and a simple burst of tribal color—I had to have it. I knew I couldn’t wear it alone and with heels (much too sexy for the Monday-Friday) but I was determined to strut this adorable dress at the office. But how?

I’ll let you in on a little secret: You can wear almost any dress to work (assuming it’s not a seven-inch long bandage dress) if you put a blazer over it. And that’s exactly what I did. Blazered and cinched up with a belt and viola, Bohemian Chic. I personally don’t think of myself as Bohemian Chic but that’s what the President of my company called it so I’m running with it!

Tribal Tunic Dress: Similar ASOS. Charlotte Russe
Black Blazer: Simply Vera Wang. Similar Lauren Conrad
Riding Boots: Sam Edelman Penny Boots
Belt: Fossil. Similar Banana Republic

Keep it Simple, Sweetheart! My Fall Want List / Must Haves

Fall Must Haves

The older I get, the more simplistic my closet, my fridge, my home and overall life seem to become (I say this as I knock on a redwood tree trunk!) If I don’t wear something, I toss it to Goodwill. I’ve done away with preservatives and pre-mades—mostly.  And life drama? What life drama? I spent way too much time in my twenties caring about silly things (and people) that didn’t matter and not enough time on the things and people that did. This Fall, I’m keeping my wish list simple—just the way I like my life!

The J.Crew Herringbone Vest is a staple. Period. If you Pinterest at all, you know what I’m talking about. It’s everywhere and everywhere for a reason—it’s adorable. It truly is the must-have for this fall. As savvy a shopper as I am, I can’t find anything that compares to this sleek little number. It’s thee one and only. I’m not exactly keen on spending $108 for a puffer vest, but I (and what I recommend) is keeping your eyes peeled for a J.Crew Factory discount. It’s bound to happen and therefore this cute little number is bound to be in my closet before the temperature dips.

The Infamous Zara Tartan Scarf. This too is a fan favorite, but is from last year’s line. This is truly unfortunate because I believe this style is more coveted this year than last. So if you’re having trouble finding an old Zara original, buy this amazing find on Etsy. It’s the same pattern and material we’re all craving and it’s a third of the price.

Anthropologie Measuring Spoons. How cute are these?! I don’t need them, but they are just too cute not to add to my cupboards. Food is beautiful and cooking should be too!

Wide Brim Felt Hat. I’m a hat girl, always will be. This is the seasons “It” hat, and ‘It” will be mine.

Fall Wreath. I’m not sure which wreath I want, but I do know I want one. My empty entryway doors just feel naked without it. Do I buy one? Do I make one? Which one? Do you have one you recommend? The possibilities are beautiful and endless!

Sorel Boots. Even though I live in San Diego, that doesn’t mean I live in flip flops and a bikini—mostly. Kevin and I thoroughly enjoy trekking up north, hiking all that California has to offer and camping when we have the time. Sorels are like the grown-up version of Uggs. Adorable, warm and you can get away with wearing them about anywhere with anything. And no, I will not be wearing my new Sorels with a jean mini skirt—that was SO Alpha Delta Pi circa 2005.

I Will Survive planter. Anything that helps save my herbs is a step in the right direction. I’ve killed more basil plants than the cast of the Walking Dead has killed Zombies. My plants need positive affirmations. I WILL GROW. I WILL SURVIVE. I MUST HAVE THIS PLANTER.

I know there are only a few items here, but like I said, simple sweetheart. I’m easy to please these days!

J. Crew Herringbone Puffer Vest
Wool Plaid Tartan Scarf
Anthropologie Spoons
Wide Brim Hat
Fall Wreaths
Sorel Boots
I Will Survive! Planter

Fall in Love with Cobalt Blue and Yellow

Blue Dress Yellow Necklace

Cobalt blue and yellow just go together. I’ve seen this pairing many times this year, every season, so when I found this adorable little dress, I knew it was meant to be paired with something yellow. I had the bubble necklace, but something was still missing. Since I’m not too keen on yellow pumps (as of yet) I decided a yellow belt would do the trick!

This outfit is definitely everyday work wear but I’ve also worn it to a couple large conferences. It’s much more punchy than the everyday black and gray suit and I certainly get positively noticed—which is what you want at a sales conference!

Silk Dress: BCBG. Similar: J.Crew,  Boohoo
Heels: Nine West. Similar BCBGeneration
Necklace: J.Crew. Similar Modern Leisure
Belt: Target

Summer Meets Fall With Citron Tweed

Tweed Skirt

Even though Fall is officially here (my seasons are based on Starbuck’s latte flavors and not so much calendar dates) I’m still clinging on to the last few breaths of summer. I’ve already purchased a new pair of riding boots and tucked away the tank tops, but I just can’t bring myself to completely commit to the onset of uggs, cowl necks and stocking hats.

Citron is a wonderful color choice for fall. It is one of those colors that can be time-of-year versatile. Instead of traditional marigold yellow this September and October, hold on to the summer sun just a little bit longer and add a piece of citron to your wardrobe.
YLF Skirt

Kudos to YLF for this ridiculously adorable inspiration piece.

Amanda’s Look
Citron Tweed Skirt: ABS by Allen Schwartz
Silk Blouse: Simply Vera Wang
Necklace: A lucky find in Milwaukee, WI.
Nude Heels: Nine West. Similar Zara

Looking for more citron? Check out stylespotter!

A Hunting We Will Go…For a New Wallet

Kate Spade Wallets

Every great once in a while, I’ll receive a little surprise in my bank account. Whether it be from hard work or from overall company success, the unanticipated spending money is always appreciated.

In every instance of one of these “surprises” I always play the responsible card—it goes right into bills and catching up on life…all except for one thing. Since all work and no play makes Amanda a dull girl, I always allow myself one gift. I think it is very important to treat yourself every once in a while—it’s why you work so hard in the first place!

Generally, the gift allocated portion of my bonus goes right towards my wrist—a watch that I’d had my eyes on. Since I’m happy in the watch department (Thank You, Employee of the Year Bonus!) I decided it was time to purchase a new wallet.

Though the rubber-band holding my credits cards, cash and rarely used YMCA ID card has done a fantastic job over the last few months, it was time to retire the sad little stretch band. A big girl needs a big girl wallet, and so the hunt ensued.

I am between two Kate Spade beauties. A smaller compact version in yellow and a thin but elongated one in coral. I am torn. Both are darling and serve the same purpose. Both colors are fun. But which one do I go with? Which one is more Amanda? Which version would you buy as a gift to yourself?

Kate Spade Cherry Lane Stacy in Surprise Coral

Kate Spade Cobble Hill Small Stacey in Citron