December 31, 2012


It seems as if 2012 flew by faster than any other year, and it's hard to imagine we're heading into 2013 already. I think I grew more in this year than I'd ever thought I would have, and challenged myself sometimes more than I would have liked. I left my college friends to move to Washington, D.C. for an internship during my last semester, graduated, went through the {almost never-ending} stress of job searching, found a job, volunteered at the Republican National Convention, and realized how much I wanted to return to D.C. after volunteering for the 2012 Presidential campaign. 

I'm still working on that "return to D.C." part, which will hopefully happen in 2013, but until then, I think it's safe to say 2012 went really well. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the year.

Happy New Year.

{Visiting the White House and getting to stand at the Press Secretary's podium}

{Spending the night of my 22nd birthday on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial over-
looking the beautiful city at dusk}

{Some of the last moments of college with my friends}

{Graduation from John Carroll University}

{Meeting television anchors I've watched since I was 16 years old}

{The best moment of the Republican National Convention - the balloons dropping}

{The balloons were up to our knees, and even waist in some areas!}

December 30, 2012

The right fit

You know that problem everyone has with sizing, where you can be a size 4 in one store, size 8 in another and then realize you can magically squeeze into a zero in another store? Determining what size you are is sometimes easier said than done. 

This is where eShakti comes in. The company provides clothing in their online boutique as ready-to-wear apparel custom sized to fit you. From sizes 0 to 36, you can pick from their selection of dresses, skirts, tops and more, then customize it to your liking! eShakti sent me this black top embellished with scallops, and I was able to customize its length. I waited to wear it in Mexico so I could snap some great pics on the beach.

Checkout eShakti's website here, and hopefully you can find something you like, and make it something you will love by customizing it! 


December 29, 2012

NYE-worthy: Necklaces

Necklaces are my favorite way to dress up an outfit-- especially when it comes to New Years. I recently snagged the bow necklace (the top-left from below) on sale at my local J.Crew store for only $48! It's sold out everywhere online, and down from $148, I thought it was a great deal. I've seen a few more in the store lately, because some are getting returned from Christmas... why, I'm not sure, because it is a really great statement piece. 

Any of these pieces below are under $100 (some even below $25!) and would look perfect paired with a simple LBD or even a more colorful outfit on New Year's Eve. Either way, make sure to have fun with it-- that's the best part about NYE. 

Clockwise from top-left: {1} {2} {3} {4} {5} {6}
NYE-worthy: Dresses
NYE-worthy: Pumps

December 28, 2012

NYE-worthy: Dresses

After a week of being away in Mexico, I'm back in the USA and couldn't be happier. It was great to get away with my family, especially to amazing weather and beautiful beaches, but it's always nice to be home. We came back to Ohio with about a foot of snow on the ground! So I guess we missed a white Christmas, but I am definitely not complaining about the 80 degree weather we had. (I'll be sure to post some of those pictures soon!)

I thought we'd have free Wi-Fi at our hotel so I could post each day, but unfortunately the only wi-fi we could access was in the lobby, so I've missed a week's worth of posting. Since New Year's Eve is right around the corner, I wanted to continue my "NYE-worthy" series with dresses you can find for under $100. Arden B is one of my favorite stores to find party dresses. They always have glitzy dresses that have head-turning designs (such as the added leather peplum on the dress below). Forever 21 is also a great place to find a dress for New Year's, without spending all of the Christmas money you've just received. 

Check back tomorrow for the final "NYE-worthy" post!

Six NYE-worthy dresses for under $100

Clockwise from top-left: {1} {2} {3} {4} {5} {6} 

December 21, 2012

Designer markdowns for last minute shoppers

I've always loved when Target collaborates with top designers to create affordable creations. I was, however, a little disappointed by the prices of the latest collaboration the company had with Neiman Marcus. The brand names were there (Marc Jacobs, rag & bone, Tracy Reese, etc.), proudly displaying their ability to make us smitten upon first glance, but what was missing was the quality that went along with the high prices. It was just not the best for the amount of money you'd be paying.

We'll I think Target got the hint, because many pieces are now 50 percent off. This means I can finally afford that Altuzarra shaker I've had my eye on, and the Robert Rodriguez top with enough ruffles to channel Blair Waldorf at work.

Are any of these items on your holiday gift list for you or others?

December 20, 2012

NYE-worthy: Pumps

With New Years Eve nearly a week away, I thought I'd do a short series of posts on NYE style in regards to "building" a standout outfit for the last night of the year. Since high school, I've always put a lot of thought into New Years outfits, although I'm ashamed to admit my style circa 2006 (see below) -- a light wash jean skirt in December, really?? 

I always enjoy finding something a little more outrageous than usual to wear for December 31st, even if it's a simple piece of an outfit, like for example, your shoes. In my opinion, the idea is to go big or go home when it comes to accessories. I haven't picked out my outfit yet for NYE, but I'm pretty sure it's going to include a pair of shoes similar to any of the ones below. It's one of those nights where you can really overdress and no one can look at you differently for it, so why not?

Six Pairs of NYE-worthy Pumps for under $100

Clockwise from top-left: {1} {2} {3} {4} {5} {6}

December 19, 2012

Guest Gift Guide: The Blue Dog Belle

Hey Pop of Style Readers! I'm Emily from the Blue Dog Belle. Thanks to Jenn for having me today! I live in DC, and while my professional life is full of political rhetoric and policy debates, my blog showcases my love of all things girly and fabulous. I wanted to put together a list of my essential gifts for any working girl.  Because if y'all are anything like me, you still have a decent amount of shopping to do.

Thanks again for having me Jenn! I hope y'all come visit sometime!

Gift Guide 1.0

December 18, 2012

"If you do good, you'll feel good"

Four days after tragedy struck Newtown, CT, and it is still immensely painful to watch the news coverage of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. The stories of the lives of the little children have started to be shared, and the love the teachers shared for their students is being spoken of by their loved ones. Our hearts are so heavy in these moments, and it almost seems as if there's no magic left in the world. If so much wrong had been done by a single person, then what left is there to do than for us to put forth goodness? NBC's Ann Curry has started "26 Acts of Kindness," and is using her Twitter account to spread the word.

Her idea is simple: one act for each of the lives lost in Sandy Hook elementary, and her movement began with a tweet:

Since then, 26 Acts has spread almost like wildfire, and Curry has retweeted some of the acts people have shown toward others. As MLK Jr. said, "darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." Here are a few of my favorite retweets from Curry over the past couple of days.

{All images via Twitter}

I encourage you all to take part in 26 Acts of Kindness. There's good in doing good, and it is one of the best ways we can honor the innocent victims who lost their lives last Friday.


December 14, 2012

Guest Gift Guide: Beauty & the Feast

Hi all! I'm taking a break from posting today to send you on over to Allie from Beauty and the Feast. She's been kind enough to share her space with me today to feature one of my favorite gift guides, so head on over there to see what it's all about. I highly recommend checking out what else there is to read on her blog, I absolutely love it!

Have a great weekend

December 13, 2012

Deck the halls on a budget

One of my favorite parts of college was the holiday season, when John Carroll University would decorate the student center with a large Christmas Tree and the red and green spotlights would shine on the campus clock tower by night. After moving into an apartment, I would try my best to decorate with my babysitter's budget, which usually wound up looking something like this:

Yes, those are cheap plastic bows taped to my kitchen wall to spell out "Ho Ho Ho." Along with a tiny Christmas tree, this is usually what made up my holiday decor. Now that I've graduated, and have more of a decent budget, I can afford to spend a little more. Here are a few of my favorite ways to decorate your place for the holidays without breaking the bank! 

Sources: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

December 12, 2012

Menswear Wednesday: Introducing Barbour

Mens' coats have always been something I avoid. I can't offer my brothers too much advice on this subject, because I loathe pea coats, and trench coats even more (there should be a rule that you can't wear the latter until you're retired!). But it seems as if I've found a look that I like: Barbour coats. They cost a pretty, pretty penny, but as with most things expensive, you're paying for the quality. With their trademark corduroy collars, the company has a really neat history, beginning in the late 1800s, and they're known for their wax finish that makes the heavy, durable jackets weatherproof. If you can snag one of these on sale, I would definitely recommend it!


December 11, 2012

Party Ryes

I promise you, these don't taste like they look. Party Ryes are something my parents made to take to parties all of the time, and I always avoided eating them because I'm not a fan of olives. Turns out, you can't taste them at all. I made this last week for a post-Thanksgiving dinner party, and as usual they were a huge hit. With only five ingredients and about ten minutes of prep time, I can assure you they're worth making, especially during the holiday party season!

Party Ryes

- 1 small can chopped blacked olives
- 1 small jar helmans mayonaise
- 3/4 of a 16 oz. bag of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 small can bacon bits
- 1 loaf of cocktail rye bread (mini rye bread loaf)

Mix and spread on rye breads, and bake at 350 degrees until cheese melts (about 25 minutes).