I love spending extra time wrapping gifts as I think it shows an extra level of thoughtfulness and care. I even have a section of my basement that’s a “wrapping paper table” and has tons of rolls and ribbons nearby. There are so many cute choices for wrapping paper, but some are too cute to be torn into and discarded immediately!
I think back to my wedding – a guest gave us a gift in a nicer box that she had wrapped in gorgeous paper. I still have the box to this day and use it for extra storage and display. It was very thoughtful and I enjoy the look and functionality of it.
stripe shirt wrapping paper c/o sara fitz studio
This wrapping paper I used above is just one of 13 eye-catching wrapping paper options that anyone, especially those who like East Coast style, would enjoy. I’m talking lobsters, whales, basket totes, hydrangeas, etc. Sara Fitz’s watercolor looks just as good on wrapping paper as it does her stationary options! The problem I ran into was I didn’t want to wrap someone’s gift in it for it to get thrown away… It’s too cute for that!
So I took a nicer box I got for a few dollars at TJ Maxx. There are several stores that have these types of hard gift boxes and you can find them on sale.
I thought back to the wedding gift I got in the wrapped box and decided to do the same thing. It was quite simple as I just wrapped the bottom and top separately and took extra care to make sure the pattern lined up right.
For now, I’m keeping this box for myself to keep extra accessories in and display in my room. I may eventually wrap one more box in this paper as a gift box for a friend that I know would enjoy the print. They may keep the box themselves, or use it for a gift to give to someone else who may enjoy it. Regardless, I’m getting more out of the beautiful paper than before!
Please check out Sara Fitz Studio for all the beautiful gift wrap options. She is also a fun account to follow on Instagram!
Today I wanted to show you my Christmas dresses through the years as well as this year’s. I don’t necessarily buy a new one every year, but I do have a dress I will designate for fancier Christmas parties.
This dress is from Modcloth many years ago. I don’t think they carry it anymore, but at that time “off the shoulder” dresses were impossible to find so I was happy to find this one. I love the neckline on it because it reminds me of something from the late 50’s/ early 60’s.
This dress is from Shabby Apple and one of my all time favorites. The material makes it pretty fancy, and I love the bows on the sleeves. It’s still on their website in light pink, but I bet a quick Ebay/Poshmark search would shows some results. It’s called “The Nutcracker Dress”.
This dress is from Camilyn Beth – a brand that always has lovely pieces in their collection. It’s hard to tell in the photo but there are small bows on the sleeves of this dress. I really like the silhouette because it’s really not something you see too often these days. I wore it on our Christmas card last year.
This dress is by Eliza J – a brand I’ve loved for years (even pre-Instagram). I used Eliza J dresses as my bridesmaid dresses and also have great luck with the fit of them. This dress has such a pretty, subtle pattern and lovely neckline. It’s one of my favorite dresses I own and I feel wonderful when wearing it. This dress is very similar.
This year’s dress is a little different since I’m expecting, and I had limited options. I ended up finding this one on Ebay, and was pretty happy with it. I’m hoping I can wear it again for a Valentine’s Day date (if it still fits!).
Do you find a Christmas dress every year? What’s your favorite one from above?
top row r-l: dress / dress / dress
bottom row r-l: blouse / skirt / button down
I like to buy a few new “stand out” items to add to my Christmas wardrobe each year, and they usually always end up being plaid. I hope I never get to the point where I think tartan is too over the top and resort to wearing all neutrals. That seems too boring for this festive time of year!
My two favorite items above are the dress in the top center and the button down shirt on the bottom right. I love the tartan colors in the dress, and the pocket on the button down is unexpected. A good time to buy these items would be Cyber Monday so you’ll get a discount and are able to wear them all holiday season.
I almost entitled this post “Things I’d Buy if I Weren’t Pregnant” as they are all items that won’t fit me this year. I might just wait til after Christmas and see if I can get them at a deep discount in my regular size for next Christmas. I get sad thinking of all my normal “holiday” outfits that I traditionally wear that I’m unable to this year, but it’s really no big deal and this time next year I’ll be back to wearing all my favorite things and maybe even a few new things! 🙂
If you have several holiday parties to attend this season it can be tough coming up with the perfect outfit. Below are four different party scenarios and how to dress for them.
Casual: This may be a more informal gathering – perhaps time with family decorating gingerbread houses or a last minute movie night thrown by a friend. A fool proof outfit is always a sweater dressed up slightly with great accessories. The center outfit may be a little more dressy, so i’d dress it down with a cardigan in this instance.
In-Between part one: Most parties fall into this category where it’s not quite formal or casual. I think skirts are a great way to go because you can put many elements into the outfit – for example pairing a plaid skirt with a textured sweater and a gorgeous necklace is a lovely holiday look. The three looks above are both appropriate for the season and visually interesting.
In-Between part two: Another holiday look is a pair of tailored pants with heels. I love how all three looks had one element that made it stand out, like a faux fur collar, tartan pants, and a stripe shirt. These looks are a little more on the professional side and would be perfect for a work party.
Fancy: In my opinion, this is the easiest look to put together since you’re simply pairing a dress with shoes and a few accessories (vs top, bottom, layers, etc.). I love three looks above because they are all holiday colors and also have fun details to them – bows on the sleeves, ruffle skirt, etc. A more formal dress is perfect for the fancier occasions on your holiday party schedule.
My final thoughts – when in doubt, I think the pants/heels/blouse combo is the most foolproof. You can get away with wearing that style from casual to fancy, especially if you plan ahead and bring accessories to dress up or down your outfit. For example, I’d come to a party wearing the combo above and if I was in a more casual situation I’d add a sweater, if I were in a fancier situation, I’d add lipstick and bigger earrings. Just a thought if you have a tricky situation where you don’t know how to dress!
As always, I think it’s better to be dressed up than down. You’ll just bring the standard up for next year’s party. 😉
I hope everyone had a great Christmas! I love seeing what everyone got for Christmas so I thought I’d share a few of my gifts. I also received a some stuff for my house, a new Bible, and other little things, but I wanted to highlight the clothing and accessories in particular since that’s what my blog is about. My favorite gift (not pictured) was a trip to the Kentucky Derby from my husband, Joe. I am looking forward to hat shopping!
I apologize for the poor image quality, I snapped it with my iphone before heading off to work. I did not receive the cat for Christmas but she insisted on being in the photo. 🙂
My gifts were not only great staple items (camel coat, gray skirt, cream vest), but also some fun items (ski sweater, flag sweater and hat, etc.).
lipstick holder / kjp bracelet
I also received these lovely accessories! A great excuse to get two more lipsticks of this brand. My husband has a KJP bracelet from the Painted Oar Collection, so when I kept borrowing his I knew I had to have one. My parents were generous to give me for Christmas!
What was your favorite Christmas gift?
The holidays are my favorite time of the year for dressing up for events. Many Christmas parties are fancy, but not too formal. Picking out a Christmas dress for those occasions are a little tougher when you have to strike the balance between dressy but not too elaborate. The Duffield Lane dress below fits the bill for just this scenario!
Duffield Lane is a company based out of Michigan that sells classy attire for women. This Jenna dress is what I consider a versatile piece since I can make it as dressy or casual as I need to, but mainly I need it for those in-between times such as a Christmas brunch, winter bridal shower, or a Sunday morning at church. I reach for this dress often for its simple, yet elegant style.
The dress is true to size, fits like a glove, and the bottom has a subtle flair. There’s no odd bunching or tightness in this dress, it was designed very intentionally with great detail.
This clutch from Mark & Graham goes perfectly with this dress and for the holiday season. My favorite part is the monogram on the clasp of the clutch. Little details like that make it an item I know I’ll own forever.
Dress c/o Duffield Lane / Clutch c/o Mark & Graham
Below are my top picks for Christmas dresses from my favorite brands. The dresses below aren’t something you’ll find readily available at a mall, which means the chances of matching someone are low (that’s always a good thing). I own dresses from each of these brands and highly recommend them.
Duffield Lane / Camilyn Beth (on sale!) / Shabby Apple / Eliza J
Here are a few ideas you may want to take after receiving such considerate gifts this year. These thought are meant to help you get the most potential out of your gifts while showing due appreciation for what you have received.
I am a big fan of thank you notes, but it’s not 100% necessary during Christmas since presents are exchanged on both ends and to many different people. However, it is still highly important to say thank you, both immediately when receiving the gift and later on. A simple text, phone call, or telling the giver face-to-face next time that you appreciated their thoughtfulness will go a long way in showing your gratitude.
Put Things in Order
I try to put all my gifts where they should go pretty soon after Christmas so they don’t just sit around not being used. I received a few things for my kitchen so I put them away in my kitchen, and I took the tags off any clothes (after trying them on) and put them away in my closet. These simple tasks will help you incorporate these gifts into your life quicker than just sitting in the box taking up space in your living room.
If you happen to need to return anything, make a separate pile and return the items as quickly and conveniently as possible. Many times we push off this tedious chore and we miss the deadline to return an item.
Putting Clothes into Outfits
This is more important than you may think. When people say they don’t have “anything to wear”, what they really mean is they are tired of wearing it the same old way. We can easily become stuck in a rut where we think narrowly of what a clothing item goes with. For example, if I have a dress, I automatically reach for the same shoes, clutch, etc., that I normally wear with it because it comes naturally. I found myself doing this with clothing I would receive. The first outfit I would wear a new item with would become that new items go-to outfit. Now when I receive an item, I try to think of several different ways that it can be incorporated into different types of outfits so that I don’t keep wearing it one way. It’s a great way to make the most of your closet and your new gifts.
Most people don’t need suggestions as to what to wear on Christmas day, but if you’re curious to know what my traditions are then you can keep reading below.
I’m old school, so cute PJ’s are the way to go . All of the pajamas I own are the same type – button down, collared top, with matching bottoms. I have them for every season and 90% of them are Ralph Lauren ones I’ve found on sale at TJ Maxx or Nordstrom. The red plaid ones below are perfect for Christmas morning! Even though I don’t live with my parents anymore, I still wear them to their house to open gifts. Of course,no pajama outfit is complete without your favorite slippers!
Similar Pajamas here and here.
After gifts and breakfast, I’ll change before either relatives come over or I go to a relative’s home. I like wearing outfits that go along the lines of my Christmas party outfit post, which is why I’ll be wearing one of my favorite red plaid ruffle shirts I got from the Ralph Lauren outlet a few years back paired with navy pants and Brooks Brother bow flats. The shirt is both elegant and festive and will camouflage any crumbs that drop while I eating cookies all day. 😉
The purse is new from Dooney & Bourke that I picked up during the fantastic Christmas sales they’ve had this season. The size and structure work perfect for me, and the quality is very high as Dooney products seem to wear well over the years compared to their counterparts. I have many cross body purses so the ladylike top handle is a welcome addition to my wardrobe.
What do you wear Christmas day?