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My Life

You're Not Alone…

I know I’ve been a bit MIA for the past month or so – but I’m back! And not just with any old blog post but a really important one. The past 5-6 weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind – Chuck and I found out we were pregnant!! Which was so exciting. We were ready to start our little family and were ecstatic to know that we could get pregnant after trying for some time. We found out quite early – around 4 1/2 weeks. I honestly was a bit shocked but so excited.

So we let it sink in.

Around 6 weeks, I started feeling exhausted, nauseous, and really couldn’t stomach anything but cereal, crackers, and carbs (really not complaining on that one ;)). I scheduled my first appointment at the hospital – they schedule the first appointment when you’re between 9 and 11 weeks, so I booked close to 10 weeks. And from weeks 6- 9, I was exhausted and just felt like crap. But prayed to the Lord everyday to give me any and all the symptoms because I was just so excited and felt so blessed to be pregnant. Every night, we prayed for a healthy baby – we didn’t care about anything but that – healthy, healthy, healthy.

Fast forward to our very first appointment – last Friday, August 25th at 2:40PM. We were nervous but excited to see our little babe. Miscarriage had crossed my mind (as it naturally would in this vulnerable trimester) – I never thought I was invincible to it – I even thought about it on the way to the hospital, thinking that I could handle it. I’m the type of person that wants to prepare myself for the worst (a good and bad quality of mine!). We knew the Lord had a plan for us and if this was part of it, bring it.

We walked into our appointment and saw our doctor (who I just LOVE!!!). We chatted with her for a bit until it was time for the ultrasound. Chuck came around to my side while she setup the ultrasound equipment. As she started the ultrasound, I could tell something was wrong – she kept saying, the contrast on this machine is off – let me see if I can fix it. My heart started racing. Then she calmly said, ‘Ok – you can see the fetus here (and pointed to it)’ and she said, ‘usually you can visibly see a heartbeat….. and we can’t.’ I instantly felt like my heart stop and a tingling sense of heat was running through my body. I laid there in sheer utter SHOCK! Like, wait, what? This isn’t happening. Is this a joke? Holy smokes, it really did happen.

The doc then said, ‘I’m sorry, Lauren, but you’ve miscarried.’ And then she gave us a minute to process alone.

Chuck was the best companion, husband, friend, and person in this moment. He goes, ‘It’s ok. We’ll try again. We are a tough couple, we can get through anything.’ So matter-of-fact! Quick side note – he’s the most rational human being I know, even in these heart wrenching moments.

At this point, I’m still in shock – I sat there for 20 minutes staring into space as it started to sink in. For some reason, as we sat there, I felt a sense of peace and contentment come over me. I wasn’t mad – I was sad, but overall instantly at peace (very weird, I know!). Then we had to wait in that room for an hour and a half until an ultrasound nurse could see me and confirm what we saw. As we sat there, all the emotions came over us – we made a few phone calls to parents, cried, hugged each other, and got out the grit and pain in that hour and a half. Then we saw the ultrasound nurse where she confirmed the news. Most likely it was a chromosome imbalance (both the doc and nurse mentioned).

By far, this is one of the toughest life moments Chuck and I have had to experience – but thank the Lord, we have each other.

Why I’m Sharing this With You…

Before I go into why I’m sharing this, I want you to know that I’m not discussing this for pity, sympathy or attention. I am talking about it because it’s a huge part of (my) life. I’m discussing it to help others who have/are/will deal with the same struggle. To inform. To educate. To be matter-of-fact. To explain. To be supportive. So that those who do go through this devastating time know that they are not alone.

Honestly, I always thought to myself – if I ever experience this heart breaking life moment, I want to talk about it. It is such a taboo topic – for a very good reason – who wants to talk about a dreadful moment like this?

If this has happened to you, you know the emotions that run through your heart and mind – ashamed, apologetic, pressure, sadness, emptiness. Since the woman is carrying the child, there’s a sense of – what did I do wrong? that comes over you. But ladies, if there is anything I’ve learned through this process, it’s that we have zero control over this. And there is nothing we could have done to turn this situation around. It is all in God’s hands and He has a plan for our lives.

What We Believe…

God has a plan. We prayed and prayed and prayed (I mean, A TON!) for a healthy baby and I know with all my heart and soul that He will give us that. This one wasn’t it. This gives me peace. He is a prayer answering God and that gives us hope and courage. And I have zero worries for the future. The Lord comforts those who struggle and provides an abundance of blessings.

If you know me at all, you know that I’m a type A personality that needs to have a plan. I need to know what the next steps are – In fact, after the doctor told us the news, I said, ‘so what’s next? Do I need to get a D&C?’. I told my best friend this and she’s like – how were you so rational in that moment to know what to ask?

Well, Chuck always tells me when I’m overthinking something or ‘need to know’ more about something (goes with the Type A territory) that I need to have Faith. He says, ‘You don’t always need to know everything. What’s the point of Faith if you don’t use it or have it in every situation.’ Here he goes again, being all rational 🙂 But he’s right. In this situation, all I have to fall back on is my Faith – nothing else. And I’ve learned, as I go forward in life, that I need worry less and trust more.

How We’re Coping…

Ya know, we’re the type of people that will allow grief to play its role but will not dwell on a situation. We want to deal with it and move on. We’ve have always been that way as a couple. And that’s what we feel now. We loved that baby more than this world, and we’ll meet them one day, but in this moment in time, we need to move on. My family and friends are our BIGGEST support system – we don’t know what I’d do without them. I also have friends who have had miscarriages, who can relate to what we’re feeling and going through and that is something that can provide so much comfort, encouragement and peace.

All I can really think about are all the blessings in my life – I have a wonderful man as my husband, I have a great family (seriously the best!), the best friends a girl could ask for, a job where I get to work with people that have become like a family to me, a beautiful roof over my head, and a heart that beats everyday, all day. I am so so thankful.

Below are a few bible verses that have been so encouraging and helpful throughout this time. I hope they help you, if you are going through something like this:

  • ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’ Matthew 11:28-30
  • ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.’ Proverbs 3:5-6
  • ‘For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.’ Romans 8:18
  • ‘The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers Him out of them all.’ Psalm 34:18-19

How to Support Your Friends Going through This…

Show courage in the face of reality.

1. Check-in on them Everyday. Even if they don’t answer the phone every time, knowing you are thinking of them means so much. And if they do answer every time, maybe they needed a friend in that moment to help encourage them. Take 15 minutes a day, for the first few weeks, and call your friend – it will work wonders.

2. Listen to Speak. The reality is, there is nothing you can really say that is going to make your friend feel better permanently. But listen to their concerns, their sadness, and their heart and be that support system and encourager. If they are emotional, give them hope (and feel free to cry with them), if they are positive, reinforce that positive spirit.

3. Send Flowers and a Card. Knowing that someone went that extra mile to support you, always puts a smile on someones face. And let’s be real, who doesn’t love flowers 🙂

4. Share this Post. The best way to heal is through relatable stories and the success that came out of those. Share this post with you friend so she doesn’t feel alone.

 

My Life

How-to Play with Prints + a Personal Announcement…

Shoes: Dolce Vita (On Sale for $89!) • Shorts: Romwe (Only $12.99!) • Top: Ann Taylor • Earrings: Bauble Bar • Handbag: Givenchy (Similar style here) • Watch: Michele • Ring: David Yurman • Cuff: David Yurman • Lipstick: Chanel 

Do you ever go into your closet and say, ‘I have nothing to wear’? When we absolutely have clothes to wear…! Well, lately I’ve been feeling that way about my own closet (which is terrible!). It’s so easy to get bored of a top after wearing it once or feel like you wear the same denim all the time, when you have multiple pairs. Whenever I get this way, I get upset with myself because it seems so selfish. So I decided to make a change.

This summer, I’ve decided to – get ready for it – not purchase any clothes/accessories until Labor Day weekend (no exceptions) – starting this week. Eek! I know, I know.  I’m going to be honest, this seems like a major feat – but I’m going to accomplish it. What does this really mean, you might ask? Well, it means all blog posts from Fiercely Charming this summer will showcase various outfits paired together in different ways, highlighting how to embrace your accessories more – with tips on how you can do the same (if you are in the same boat).

I will let you all know how the shopping ban goes 😉 throughout the summer too!

My first outfit that I’ve put together from my closet, is above. I bought these $12.99 shorts last summer and have worn them once so I decided to pull them out for Church on Sunday. I love them because they are a skort (party in the front, modest in the back)! I loved the print of these skorts since I bought them but always struggled figuring out what to pair them with (other than a black tank). So I thought I’d mix prints and wear a striped tank instead to play with the look a little. And I’m going to be honest, I didn’t NOT like it 😉

One tip when it comes to mixing prints – you don’t want to mix prints that are too similar, i.e. stripes on stripes or florals on florals. This look is as close as it gets without being too similar. The best pattern play I’ve seen (just my opinion) is when you pair florals with stripes. It looks so darling and truly pops both prints. Try it and let me know what you think!

xo Lauren

My Life

3 Key Loungewear Pieces You'll Want to Live In…


Shoes: Nike (old! Similar style here!) • Leggings: Adidas (Only $35!) • Sweatshirt: Calvin Klein (seriously the most comfortable sweatshirt!) • Sunnies: Karen Walker • Handbag: Givenchy (similar style here!) • Watch: Michele • Cuff: David Yurman • Earrings: Stella and Dot • Lipstick: Liv It Up by Charlotte Tilbury

What is Loungewear? To me, it’s a ‘workout’ look that you’d live in on the weekend to run errands – not actually one that you’d workout in. 🙂 I recently purchased this loungewear outfit and I’ve literally worn these leggings everyday last week (not even exaggerating) when I got home from work and then this past weekend, I wore this entire outfit both Saturday and Sunday. They are truly so comfortable. This sweatshirt is super soft and not too heavy for temps in the 50’s.

After a long week at work, I cherish my Saturday mornings where I lay in bed with a cup of coffee and just chill. No rush to jet out of the house – just time to relax and be with the hubs. I also like to stay casual during my weekends (as much as I can!) with loungewear that are comfortable but also durable (cause I literally wear them every weekend!).

The key pieces I tend to wear on repeat include:

  1. Sweatshirts – they are my favorite comfy item. I have 4 that I rotate between – I swear the cashiers at Whole Foods are probably like, ‘Oh there’s that girl with that same gray sweatshirt on!’ 🙂 But truly that is the most comfortable piece and they are easy to throw on with just about anything – from jeans to joggers to leggings.
  2. Leggings – finding the right leggings for your body is essential. Being a petite gal can make it hard to find a legging that doesn’t fit too long and bunch at the bottom or isn’t too loose at the leg and tight at the bottom, etc. My top 3 favorite leggings are LuluLemon, Zella, and Adidas. Lulu’s make me feel super thin because they are high wasted so you feel like they’re sucking everything in. Zella’s are simply comfortable – they aren’t too structured and the fabric is very soft. Perfect to dress up with a dress or dress down with a workout zip up. Adidas are cotton leggings that conform to your curves and are simply put – the easiest loungewear item to wear. They aren’t the same fabric as Lulu’s or Zella’s and can easily dress up a simply sweatshirt with their logo.
  3. Vests – my other favorite piece is a vest. I’ve had a vest that I purchased at Nordstrom back in college (a long time ago!) that I still throw on over my sweatshirts to run errands. Here in Seattle, it’s still a bit chilly so when a sweatshirt just won’t keep you warm, throw on a vest and your core warms up.

What are your favorite loungewear items?

My Life

How-to Put an Outfit Together in 2 Minutes…

Shoes: Old, Similar style here • Jeans: Banana Republic • Top: Madewell (On Sale for $39.99!) • Watch: Michele • Cuff: David Yurman • Handbag: Givenchy, Similar style here • Ring: David Yurman • Earrings: Kate Spade • Lipstick: Chanel • Sunnies: Celine, Similar style here (On Sale for $7!)

For some reason, it is way easier to put an outfit together during Spring and Summer time. I think it’s because there aren’t so many layers to think about – like in the fall/winter. I don’t know about you, but there are days during my week where I have 5 minutes to get dressed so putting an outfit together fast is key.

Here is how I think through an outfit so I can put it together fast when I need to:

  1. What Does My Day Look like? If I have a day full of meetings, I will most likely dress up. If I have a day with a lot of time for me to get some work done, I’ll most likely wear a more casual look. If you are running around with your little one all day but know you have plans that night, your look will need to be easy to transition from day to night. I would recommend thinking through all of these details the night before or while you’re in the shower that morning. It helps you organize your clothes in your head.
  2. Bottoms First. For me, I always think about what pants, denim, or skirt I want to wear that day first. For some reason, it helps me organize my tops in my head that would go with it. Once I’ve identified the bottom I want to wear, I move onto the tops.
  3. The Perfect Top for the Day. Tops are the most fun to choose from because there are more of them. Plus, its easier to pick a fun, colorful, floral, striped, etc. top with a simple pair of pants to dress it up.
  4. Polish the Look with Accessories. Once you have a top in mind, your outfit is 85% complete. You can’t forget your accessories! Here is my rule for accessories – if you are wearing delicate jewelry, feel free to wear earrings, a bracelet, and a necklace. If you are wearing a statement necklace, then I would wear stud earrings that are simple, and a delicate bracelet (if you wear one at all). You want that statement piece to be the primary attraction.
  5. The Right Shoe. Shoes are my last decision. It’s easy to throw a pair of flats or your basic heel with an outfit (if you can’t think of anything else). But odds are, you have other fun shoes to wear with your outfit so once you’re dressed, you can throw them on.
  6. Dresses are Always an Option. If I can’t think a top at that time, I move to dresses. There may be a dress that I could pair leggings or tights with and just throw on a blazer or jacket to complete the look.

What tips do you have for putting an outfit together quickly?

My Life

3 Tips for Transitioning from Winter to Spring…

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Shoes: Tory Burch • Jeans: Blank NYC • Top: J.Crew • Watch: Michele • Cuff: David Yurman • Handbag: Celine (Dupe style here!) • Earrings: T&J Designs • Ring: David Yurman • Lipstick: YSL #1/Le Rouge 

I don’t know about you but I am dying for Spring! The sun started coming out in Seattle today and it is absolutely gorgeous. It’s making me so excited for spring and summer. I’m crossing my fingers that by March we have more sunny and warmer days – we’ll see!

As we start to get those warmer days (I’m talking 50-60 degree days!), it can be hard to figure out what to wear. Below, I’ve listed 3 tips for you to transition your outfits from winter to spring:

  1. Your Hair. I don’t know about you, but I always love going lighter in the spring. You can tell in this pic that I actually went blonde! Like, whoa. I honestly was so scared as I was sitting in my hair stylists chair telling her I wanted more blonde. eek! It’s so edgy and different and just not my norm. But I have to say, I’m loving it. AND it’s going to be perfect for Spring. If you’re toying with the idea of going more blonde, do it!! It brightens up your face and will go perfect with tan skin!
  2. Short Sleeves For the Win. For me, I struggle with tops on those days where it’s not hot but not cold and the sun is shining. So what’s worked for me is to wear short sleeve tops – like the one I’m wearing above – and pair it with a light jacket. That way, if you are cold, you can throw your coat on, but if you get too hot, you can be comfortable in your short sleeve number.
  3. Pumps, Pumps, Pumps. My absolutely favorite shoe are pumps! I could wear them everyday (I pretty much do!). In the winter, my feet get too cold in pumps so I don’t get to put them on as much. However, on these transition days, they are so perfect. They can dress up your outfit and be comfortable on days that aren’t too cold. Wear them all day, girl!

What tips do you have for transitioning from Winter to Spring?

My Life

A Tribute to Yves Saint Laurent | The Perfection of Style

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^^ This is the trapeze dress! The first design from Yves Saint Laurent.ysl-3 ysl-4 yslysl-5 ysl-6 ysl-7

^^This is MY FAVORITE piece from Saint Laurent. I literally stood in front of it for 15 minutes, just staring! If I could buy it, I would!ysl-8 ysl-9 ysl-10 ysl-11 ysl-12

^^ This was my favorite dress that Saint Laurent designed. It has a velvet dress with a satin pink roaching in the front and this gorgeous big bow in the back. ysl-13 ysl-14 ysl-15ysl-17 ysl-16ysl-20 ysl-19 Last Saturday, I had the privilege of exploring the Seattle Art Museum exhibit based on the iconic fashion designer – Yves Saint Laurent. It was THE best exhibit I’ve been to at the SAM. It helps that I’m into fashion and all, but the way they set up the exhibit was intriguing and kept my attention. I captured a few photos and had to share my experience with you all. And if you haven’t seen it, I got you covered because I will walk you through his fashion journey. Unfortunately, it ended last Sunday, so I can’t tell you to go, but I can share the YSL book that they sold – check it out here.

‘I am not interested in beauty. I am only interested in shock and seduction.’ -Yves Saint Laurent

As I read about Yves Saint Laurent, I was so inspired by his personality. He wasn’t just in the market to enhance the fashion world, he was in the market to shock and seduce.  This has stuck with me the past few days and as I walked through the exhibit, I could see this throughout his art.

In 1955, Saint Laurent was introduced to Dior, who fell in love with his sketches and hired him on the spot to be his assistant in the House of Dior. Could you imagine? Working for The Dior! Mind-blown.

His first design was the trapeze dress (see above). The trapeze line was launched in the 1960’s and was intended to liberate women’s bodies and showcase their waist. Always pushing the limits of society. As we walked into the exhibit, it was the first dress you saw.

‘My weapon is the perspective in which I see my society.’ – Yves Saint Laurent

On each wall of the exhibit, were rows of sketches (see captured above) starting from 1962 through to the year 2000. It’s amazing how the designs changed over the years and the evolution of the sketches advanced.

In 1966, Saint Laurent designed the first pant suit for women. At the time, women were not allowed to wear pants – only dresses! As much as that sounds amazing, it is definitely not functional and I’m so inspired by YSL, who challenged this societal standard. Once women began to wear pant suits, they had to check their pants in with their coat, so they essentially looked like they were wearing a mini-skirt.

What I love about him is he pushed provocation. He pushed it into even more complex and subtly paradoxical territories through impossible pairings and unnatural associations.  He said, ‘What I want to do is shock people, force them to think.’ Gosh, I feel like we need this right now. One provocative design that left the Americans with a bad taste was the ‘see through dress’ of 1968. It was the first dress where a woman’s breasts were exposed in public. He didn’t just design that dress to shock and awe, but he did it because he demanded perfection in all of his designs and this piece had that.

‘I don’t like too much fashion, I like clothes.’ – Yves Saint Lauren

 His style represented the perfect alchemy of form and color. The choice of fabric, the color, the cut, and the assembly were treated with equal importance. And he didn’t have the tailoring skills of Coco Chanel or Madeleine Vionnet, but he had impeccable drawing skills. His sketches perfectly captured his vision, his colors, his cut, and his fabric in one place.

‘I would have liked to be so many different things.’ – Yves Saint Laurent

In an interview, he said, I would have liked to be a writer. ‘At one time, I wrote a lot. And then I stopped because it was impossible to do both, to write and to move forward in this frightening profession that paralyzes me for most of the year. My mind is cluttered with dresses.’  He wrote his first poems at the age of 12 and his first drawings were book illustrations. Along with the desire to write, he developed a passion for theater and film. Over the course of forty years, all of Saint Laurent’s dreams – everything Saint Laurent would have liked to be – did, in fact, come true, either indirectly, through his diverse sources of inspiration, or directly, through his contributions to the theater, ballet, and film.

Overall, the exhibit was exquisite and the best form of art I’ve ever been honored to see. If you are interested in learning more about YSL, please order the book I’ve linked above. It does a great job of walking you through his fashion journey.

‘I am no longer concerned with sensation and innovation, but with the perfection of my style.’ – Yves Saint Laurent

My Life

2 Outfits For Any Christmas Occasion…

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Shoes: Jimmy Choo • Skirt: Chic Wish • Top: Ann Taylor (currently 50% off!) • Bracelet: Stella and Dot (old! but I’ve linked a similar look) • Earrings: Stella and Dot • Watch: Michele • Ring: David Yurman • Lip Liner: Vino by MAC • Lipstick: YSL #1 • Nail Polish: OPI Big Apple Red

christmas-2016-12christmas-2016-8 christmas-2016-9 christmas-2016-10 christmas-2016-11 Shoes: DSW (Similar style here) • Denim: Nordstrom (currently 15% off!) • Sweater: Amazon (out of stock! Similar style here) • Purse: J.Crew (old! Similar style here) • Watch: Daniel Wellington • Earrings: old! Similar style here

I can’t believe Christmas is only 4 days away! Where did the time go? I felt like I started getting on the Christmas train back in November (even earlier, but I’m embarrassed to say when!) and I still feel like it came up SO fast. All of the sudden we’re 4 days away. What the heck!

The past 2 weeks have been a bit insane, which could be why the time has flown by. I had a stomach bug for….8 days! I’m not even kidding. Not fun (except I did lost some weight! Always gotta look on the bright side ;)) On top of that, work has been crazy busy trying to close the quarter up early since I’m taking time off for Christmas, so throw that in with being sick and life just sucks for a minute there. Plus, this past weekend we had my girlfriend’s little girls 1st birthday that I was looking forward to and didn’t wanna be sick for AND my bestie’s baby shower that I was hosting with my girls so I was determined NOT to be sick. I was praying every hour on the hour for the Lord to heal my body because I wanted to be well over the weekend. Good news! He made it happen (like always!). I woke up Saturday and Sunday morning feeling so much better (thank you, Jesus!!) and was able to enjoy every minute of the birthday and shower!

This week, I’ve taken time off from work to relax, recharge, and get ready for Christmas with family and friends. On Monday, I literally cleaned the house, filled my fridge and pantry with food (we had nothing…like no food at all!), and did all of our laundry so I could enjoy every other day leading up to Christmas. Yesterday, I relaxed, blogged a bit, and relaxed some more. Today, my bestie and I are baking cookies and watching Christmas movies! I can’t wait. I have been craving sweets the last few days so I’m ready to indulge in some yummy cookies.

The rest of the week is filled with Christmas dinners, a movie/dinner date night, and then CHRISTMAS! Ah! Did I mention, Christmas came up WAY too fast this year. I don’t know what your plans are for Christmas Eve but I know some friends who go to Church and then a family dinner, a Christmas party, or just spend the evening at a family members house for din din. Whatever your plans are, I have two fun outfits ideas for you that you could wear to any Christmas Eve occasion you have.

Below, I’ll provide some detail into why these outfits are perfect for your Christmas Eve:

  1. Sequins & Lace Outfit. The first outfit is a dressier look for those of you who may have church and/or a Christmas party to go to. When I dress up for a holiday party, I want to be fancy but comfortable. This outfit is SUPER comfy. The skirt is stretchy at the top (no need to suck in wearing this number!) and the top is a crop top that is lined so the sequins don’t itch you. Lastly, throw on a statement bracelet and earrings and call it a night.
  2. Semi-Ugly Christmas Sweater. The second outfit is intended to be somewhat of an ugly Christmas sweater (I mean, it’s actually pretty cute, but I wouldn’t wear it unless it was Christmas time). Every Christmas Eve we go to Chuck’s dad’s house and he requests an ugly Christmas sweater. This year, I snagged this one off of Amazon for $20 a few months back and I have to say, it’s comfy and cute. I’ve paired these obnoxious Santa Claus earrings with it so we can consider it an ugly sweater look! I’ve also paired this outfit with my red suede pumps and a green purse. This look is easy to put together, easy to wear, and something comfortable for a more casual Christmas Eve.

I hope these two looks help you decide what to wear for your Christmas Eve plans.

Merry Christmas!

xo Lauren

My Life

Christmas Gift Idea for your Mama!…

moms-christmas-1 moms-christmas-2moms-christmas-5moms-christmas-6moms-christmas-9 moms-christmas-3 moms-christmas-4moms-christmas-7 moms-christmas-8Christmas is only weeks away! AH! I can’t hold in my excitement. If you haven’t notice, I’m a bit obsessed with Christmas – everything that has to do with Christmas – celebrating Jesus’ birth, being with family and friends, baking cookies, and engaging in the spirit of this beautiful season. From donating more to your church or favorite charity to thoughtfully picking out the perfect presents for your loved ones to spending quality time with family – I embrace every aspect of this season and am so beyond excited to continue celebrating in the next few weeks.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to overbook Chuck and I throughout the holidays. We’d have something going on every night leading up to Christmas and last year, I remember being like, ‘We’re never doing this again!’ haha so this year, I’m being super conscious of all the festivities we have planned. And I have to say, we’re doing pretty good with it. The weekend of December 10th, we only have something on that Friday evening but that’s it! and I’m planning on keeping it that way. We want to be able to be at our house more, watch Christmas movies, and eat chocolate chip cookies 🙂

Since we are trying to lighten the Christmas activity load, we decided to celebrate my mom’s birthday in November. Her real birthday is December 15th. And I always feel so bad that it’s so close to the holidays because she doesn’t get a chance to enjoy a birthday dedicated to her with all the hustle and bustle of Christmas. So this year, Chuck and I decided to combine her Birthday and Christmas gift into a Nordstrom Shopping Spree!! Woohoo!

Below includes how I planned her birthday/Christmas surprise along with tips for you:

  1. Block her Calendar. I told her I wanted to block her calendar for a day as a surprise. My mom isn’t the best at letting things be, so of course she asked me 1000 questions about the day, trying to pry it out of me. But I didn’t give in. Once we blocked a date, I was able to plan.
  2. Nordstrom Personal Stylist. Since we knew we were going to take her on a shopping spree, I decided to book a personal stylist at Nordstrom. For one, they’re FREE! I went to www.nordstrom.com and picked a personal stylist that I felt would be best. Her name is Jackie Byrd. And ya’ll, she is AMAZING! Prior to our appointment, Jackie sent me a list of questions that would help describe my mom’s clothing wants/needs and brands she loves. When we arrived into the dressing room, my mom literally loved every single piece of clothing Jackie picked. We felt like we hit the jackpot and my mom was so excited! It made the experience so awesome. Now, all of mom’s clothes she got from her shopping spree, are all wrapped and nestled safely under our tree for Birthday/Christmas. Operation Mom’s Birthday/Christmas gifts complete!
  3. Surprise Lunch. After our personal stylist appointment, I told my mom I had made an appointment at the Nordstrom Grill (her fave!) for the two of us. She was stoked! Upon arrival, we were greeted with a handful of my mom’s beautiful friends. She was so surprised, she cried (which truthfully, doesn’t take much!). Mom and I are cryers for sure! We had a fantastic lunch with everyone, she opened presents, and we all caught up.

If you’re still trying to figure out the best gift for that special mama or sister in your life, try giving a day of fun to them. Between the experience and the fun items she was able to purchase, she thoroughly enjoyed her gift.

What will you get your mama for Christmas?

My Life Office Style Petite Style Guide Weekend Style

Closet Reveal | Before and After….

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In my spare time, I love looking at beautiful closets that are the size of a room and drool over all the amazing details. Do you ever do that? Well, Chuck and I don’t have a room that we can dedicate to a closet, so we needed to manage the space we have. Which is perfectly fine, btw. We have a walk-in closet that fits the majority of Chuck’s clothes and all of mine. After living in our house for 2 years, I was realizing that our closet just wasn’t functional. My shoes were all over the floor (the pic above is an organized view) and I was always having to step over them to get to my jeans. And then my jeans would hit another hanger and my jeans would fall to the ground and I would get super frustrated! Then, my clutches would lean against the wall and if they weren’t placed just right, they’d fall down and knock down others. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but when you’re dealing with this multiple times a day and can’t keep your items on their shelves, it’s gets annoying!

Chuck recognized I was getting frustrated and mentioned that we should take a step back and completely redo the closet. He had some great ideas that I hadn’t even thought about so…..the project began!

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Outfit Details | Shoes: Valentinos • Jeans: Rag and Bone (Lighter color on sale for $150!) • Sweater: Target (Only $24.99!) • Watch: Michele • Earrings: Stella and Dot • Ring: David Yurman • Bracelet: Stella and Dot • Lip Liner: Vino by MAC • Lipstick: Rebel by MAC

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Once Chuck and I started planning our closet, we focused primarily on our shoe/purse wall because we knew if we enhanced it, we would be able to move my shoes to the wall and clear floor space. If you are experiencing the same situation we were, I’ve outlined the steps we took to remodel our closet without breaking the bank.

  1. The Shoe Wall. We both need to share the shoe wall but clearly not all of my shoes made it up there in the ‘Before’ picture. So we determined how many shoes we had between the both of us, how much space each pair took, and then mapped out how many shelves we need. And I have to say, I’m so blessed because my dad and Chuck love working with their hands and built this shelf unit, custom, for our closet!
  2. Handbags are #1 Priority. Now, Chuck knows my affinity for handbags and knew that we needed to make space for them on our shoe wall. So he measured my largest purse and mapped out a wider shelf in between our shoes. We also found out about GLAMBoxes. I was struggling to organize my clutches (I love clutches! all shapes and sizes) so when I saw one of my favorite bloggers – Katey McFarlan –  with a few of the GLAMBoxes for her makeup and clutches, I had to check them out.  I found THE perfect clutch organizer and its made my days. Seeing my clutches all organized in my closet makes my heart happy!
  3. Lighting, Lighting, Lighting. One thing Chuck has taught me is that lighting is key to enhancing a space. Whether it’s a smaller space like a closet or a larger one like your kitchen, it’s important to have lots of lighting. Before we built the shoe shelf, we decided to add 4 additional can lights into our closet, which made a HUGE difference. Then, Chuck ordered light tape to put in each shelf so it’s easy to see what’s on each shelf. I have to say, I love it! It is amazing and makes the closet feel bigger and better!

Interested in Remodeling your Closet? And got questions? Feel free to email me at fiercelycharming@gmail.com and I’m happy to help you brainstorm in any way.

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3 Ways to Dress Up Your LBD for the Holidays…

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Shoes: DSW • Dress: Old from MNG by Mango (similar style here!) • Purse: Inzi Handbags • Watch: Michele • Gold Bracelet: Stella and Dot Silver Bracelet: Tiffany & Co. • Earrings: Stella and Dot • Ring: David Yurman • Lipstick: YSL #1

I know it’s the first week of November and I’m already talking about Holiday dress attire, but we are only a month away from when Christmas festivities begin! And I’m going to be brutally honest – I am so excited! I’ve even started listening to Christmas music (and I may or may not have started listening prior to Halloween).

When it comes to Holiday parties, I always want to buy a new dress to celebrate the best time of the year. But, it’s super hard around the holidays, because we’re spending money on gifts and that’s what’s most important. So, last year, I decided to dress up an outfit I already had – see post here. And this year, I plan to do the same thing so I save money and can spend more on gifts for family and friends.

This little black dress is one I’ve had for years now and has been perfect for several occasions, including weddings, galas, dinners, etc. Believe it or not, I haven’t worn this dress to a holiday party, so I plan on dressing it up for one this year. When it comes to little black dresses, it’s all about fancying it up with some accessories, i.e. shoes, handbag, bold lips, and statement jewelry.

Below, I’ve recommended a few options to dress up your favorite LBD that you already have in your closet.

  1. It’s all about the Lips. Take one of your LBD’s, throw on some red pumps, a red lip, curl your hair and you’re ready to celebrate the holidays.
  2. Harry Winston Who? Wear one of your favorite statement pieces – bracelet or necklace (depending on the neckline of your dress).  It doesn’t need to be an expensive piece of jewelry, but one that you feel comfortable in and can amplify your look. You can purchase some really cute statement jewelry from BP at Nordstrom for a great price.
  3. Keep it by your Side. Another option to dress up your LBD is a clutch. There are so many ornate clutches that can really enhance an outfit or colorful ones that can make a statement for your dress. Pick one of your favorites and hold it by your side the whole night. I guarantee you’ll get a ton of compliments. Who doesn’t love a handbag?

What do you love wearing to your Holiday parties?