Spring 2015 Beauty Trend Show at Nordstrom

This weekend, I attended the Nordstrom Spring 2015 Beauty Trend Show at the Nordstrom in Tysons Corner Center. After being warmly greeted upon arrival, I was shown upstairs to the breakfast spread and runway where the fashion show was about to take place. The three “scenes” featured different makeup trends paired with fresh ensembles from the racks. I watched as models floated down the runway showcasing “New Neutrals”, “The Right Bright Lip”, and “Sculpting Made Simple”. Between scenes the emcee, Loredana Grama, Nordstrom Beauty Director, introduced guest speakers from all of the major brands to showcase new products and share tips and tricks for looking your best this season.    One of my favorite looks was featured during “Sculpting Made Simple”. The Guerlain model showed off one of their new products in a blue ombre floral print wrap sheath by Milly. Following the same scene, the Clinique representative showed the audience how to contour using a “C” shape.   “The Right Bright Lip” featured luscious lips by Lancome, Dior, Estee Lauder, and Nars. The audience was encouraged to “take your favorite fruit and go with it”.  Between scenes, the audience was treated to giveaways from Butter London, Clinique, Tom Ford, and many more!  

 Most importantly, I came home with a swag bag containing samples of some of the latest fragrances and products featured in the show.

If you’re interested in attending the next Beauty Trend Show at Nordstrom, make sure to drop by one of their beauty counters in early fall to inquire about local dates as the show takes place twice each year. You may purchase a ticket in advance for $20, which includes a $20 Nordstrom gift card. My lesson learned is to get there early – some moms and daughters had been camping out since 5:30am to snag a front row seat!

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Ann Taylor Spring Picks

I’ve seen Ann Taylor go through ups and downs over the years as a work wardrobe staple, but am drawn to the pretty pastels and on-trend details of the new spring collection. Laser cut details, lace inlays, and gemstone inspired baubles make these pieces a hit in my book. I’m also always looking for great pieces than can transition from work to play since, if i’m honest with myself, I spend most of my time in work clothes so they are the more worthwhile investment for me. Would you sport any of these chic spring styles?

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Celebrating Cinco de Mayo

I rarely wear red (since it brings out the naturally red tones in my hair), but thought this red and green look was the perfect nod to Cinco de Mayo. Since the holiday falls on a Tuesday this year, I paired this festive silk blouse with a pencil skirt for my classic office outfit. I’ve found that a closet full of silk blouses and pencil skirts makes for an easy mix and match work wardrobe that always looks polished and appropriate. When wearing a sleeveless blouse to the office, I make sure to top it off with a cardigan or blazer. Mexican fare is always popular in my house, so we get excited over any excuse to whip up some guacamole and break out the chips and salsa! Rather than heading out to happy hour, why not throw your own Cinco de Mayo celebration? Personally, I like this Alton Brown guacamole recipe from The Food Network, but doctor it up with a bit of extra tomato.

Ingredients
3 Haas avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
1 lime, juiced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced

Directions
In a large bowl place the scooped avocado pulp and lime juice, toss to coat. Drain, and reserve the lime juice, after all of the avocados have been coated. Using a potato masher add the salt, cumin, and cayenne and mash. Then, fold in the onions, jalapeno, tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic. Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved lime juice. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour and then serve.

Mix up a pitcher of margaritas, and let the fiesta begin!

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London Calling

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Maybe it’s the anticipation of the arrival of the new royal baby, my mom and sister’s upcoming trip to London, or the new episode of The Royals airing tonight, but I couldn’t resist this picturesque skirt of the London skyline at night. When studying abroad, I spent a week in London soaking up as much as I could from theatre to touring the Tower of London, Kensington Palace, Westminster Abbey, and anywhere else that might be considered Royal stomping grounds. I even did some shopping on High Street! All of this reminiscing is making me think it might be time to start planning my next vacation. Where are your travels taking you this summer?

Skirt: Chicwish / Clutch: Elaine Turner from Bishop Boutique

Photos courtesy of Ted Fyock Jr.

Springtime Sunday Afternoon

Even though the cherry blossoms have bloomed, the weather in the DC area is still waffling between the warm and sunny spring days we’ve all been looking forward to and those when there is still a bit of a chill in the air. For a simple, chic springtime ensemble for those chilly days, I like to pull on a pair of white jeans with a lightweight pastel hued sweater. I love this look since it’s bright and cheery enough for spring, but still warm enough to keep you comfortable to head out for a stroll sans jacket. We often enjoy stopping by Buzz Bakery or Slater’s Market for a little afternoon pick-me-up. Buzz has all sorts of flavored lattes and other goodies like maple bourbon glazed bacon donuts and gluten free vanilla bean scones while Slater’s Market is the closest stop for gelato. What’s your favorite way to enjoy a weekend afternoon?

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Sweater: Ted Baker (no longer available) / Jeans: J. Crew / Pumps: Louise et Cie / Watch: Henri Bendel / Ring: David Yurman

Thank you for reading!

Art & Elegance

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed the beautiful springtime weather! Ted and I were glad to get out and about after spending the morning in the car driving back from visiting my parents in Pinehurst, North Carolina. We always enjoy getting back to the South and savoring sweet tea, a slower pace, and good ole Southern hospitality. We ventured down to Canal Center Plaza to take in the views of the Potomac and see if we could catch a glimpse of the cherry blossoms. A big thank you to Ted for taking a few photos of me as well! I finally bit the bullet and bought this dress after having eyed it for days on end while passing by J. Crew on my lunch break. I’m so glad I finally stopped in because by the time I did, it was the last one in the store. It’s such a great dress for work or some of the springtime events I have coming up like fundraisers and baby showers. I can already tell it is going to be one of my favorite additions to my wardrobe this season.

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J. Crew Dress (mauve) / Heels from The Shoe Hive / Kate Spade Newbury Lane Clutch (sold out, similar style here) / Gorjana Rings from Rocksbox / Kate Spade Sunglasses (outlet only) / photography by Ted Fyock Jr.

Happy Easter

I hope everyone had a blessed and happy Easter Sunday. There were no egg hunts this year, but we spent the afternoon sharing a meal with a few of our neighbors that also live several hours from their families. It was a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday and I always enjoy when neighbors become friends. Happy Easter!IMG_1759IMG_1705
IMG_1707 IMG_1703IMG_1747 IMG_1792Lilly Pulitzer “Janice” Dress / Kate Spade Necklace (factory store only) / Pink Peonies Collection Ring / Stella & Dot Earrings (old; similar style here)

Kristen’s Day Off

Since moving to Alexandria, we had been wanting to make it over to local restaurant and watering hole, Brabo. Everyone buzzed about their amazing upscale happy hour specials, most notably the mussels, frites, and glass of wine for a mere “Jackson”. Making it anywhere by 6:30 on weeknight is a rare occurrence, so my birthday was the perfect opportunity since I had taken the day off work to have a “me” day. Ted (bless his heart) had made reservations at the new restaurant that opened on the ground floor of my office building, but I couldn’t bare the thought of trekking to the office on my day off! It was the first time I’ve ever taken a vacation day to just do nothing, and it was amazing. I woke up without an alarm, had a leisurely breakfast, enjoyed my coffee while reading my favorite blogs, and made it over to Solidcore, a new boutique fitness studio in my neighborhood, for my first class. The instructor and former ballerina, Alexandra Perrin, sure knows how to kick booty on the megaformer! I was sore for days, but have already been back for another class. I spent the rest of the afternoon testing out some of those beauty product samples we’ve all been saving for a rainy day, stopping by my favorite stores, and re-organizing my closet for spring. If you’ve never taken a day-off just to have a “me” day, I highly recommend trying it!             Jacket (C. Wonder, no longer available), Blouse (J. Crew, no longer available), Necklace, Ring from Rocksbox (use code kristenbff188 for a free month), Shoes by Butter from The Shoe Hive

Thanks for reading!

Thirty, Furry, and Fabulous 

I’ve never been one to make too much of a fuss over my birthday, but turning 30 seemed like a milestone worth celebrating. Thank you to my wonderful friends who joined Ted and me for brunch in Old Town at Trademark Drink and Eat. I figured it was a good excuse to dress up a bit, and took full advantage of the opportunity to wear this furry jacket that certainly made me the center of attention. My sweet friends showered me with peonies, macaroons, baubles, and more of my favorite things. It couldn’t have been more perfect, and I am truly grateful that I have such amazing people in my life. Thank you all for celebrating with me, and thank you for reading!                 Jacket / Sunglasses / Ring