All posts by Gabi Valladares

baggu

A Baggu for Everyone

I’ll be the first to admit it, I’m bag obsessed.  It’s not so much that I own a ton of bags, but more so that I can never stop shopping for bags.  It really doesn’t even matter what type of bag – satchels, weekenders, totes – I love them all!  However, I’m making a conscious effort to not buy every bag in sight.  Instead, I’m cutting back and investing in bags that I think I could use for years to come.

Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m looking for super expensive bags.  I’m looking for…you guessed it….basic/versatile bags.  This time around, I’m totally diggin’ Baggu’s collection.

Here are my favorites:

baggu
Standard Baggu

The Standard Baggu ($9) in sailor stripe is first up on my list.  Grocery shopping and running errands can be quite inconvenient when living in a city.  Walking around with tons of plastic bags is never fun, so I’m thinking this reusable bag just might make those trips around town a little easier!

baggu
Baggu Knapsack

I’m looking into picking up a bike to get to work, which means that my cute little Kate Spade tote might not be the smartest carry-all option.  Enter, the Baggu Knapsack  ($64).  I totally wouldn’t mind carrying this bag to work – just look at that perfect yellow!

baggu
Weekend Baggu

A weekend bag is a must in my closet.  I already have a weekender by Everlane, but I’m loving this adorable Weekend Bag ($72) in the mountain goat print.

baggu
Oversize Tote

If you’re in the market for a little bit of a sturdier bag, this Oversize Tote ($240) in caramel just might be what you’re looking for.

baggu
leather pouch

Need a smaller carry-all?  This Leather Pouch ($40) is big enough to hold your phone, cash, and other valuables (but small enough to call a clutch).  Perfect, right?

Which Baggu is your favorite?

Photo: beautyXposé

 

Snowstorm necessities

Surviving the Snow

Having just made it through another snowstorm here in Boston, I figured it was only appropriate to share my ideal cold weather getup with you all.  After trudging through the storm for groceries, coffees, etc., (you know, all the important things), I finally hammered out the perfect snowstorm apparel.

Besides staying nice and warm in the following items, you’ll still be totally adorable as well.  All you really need is lots of layers, warm accessories, and a pair of durable snow boots!

For those of you in the colder states, here is what I’ll be sporting through this season’s storms!

Snowstorm necessities
Bundle up, it’s cold out there.
  1. After Elle shared their “Five Snowpocalypse Outfit Solutions,” I just had to roundup my favorite snowstorm apparel.
  2. Most times during the winter, you’ll find me simply sporting a tank and sweater combo.  It’s easy, comfortable, and will keep you warm and cozy.  In fact, this linear stitch sweater is at the top of my list this season.
  3. Next up, a warm jacket!  It’s tough to stay warm and fashionable all at the same time, but I think this ASOS skater coat does just the trick.
  4. With temperatures reaching 0 degrees, covering up your neck and face is seriously important.  This cozy plaid scarf by gap is already in my shopping cart (probably because it’s the softest scarf….ever).
  5. Warm socks are also a must!  I typically double up – one pair always being from J.Crew or American Eagle.  I’m currently loving these pattern-trim trouser socks by J.Crew.
  6. Finally, the boots!  Throw these babies on before venturing out into the cold and you’ll stay warm and cozy.  I just picked up these tivoli boots by Sorel and am already loving them.

How do you stay warm and fashionable during the colder weather? I’d love to hear about your snowstorm necessities.

Photo:  beautyXposé

NYE Outfit

Ringing in 2014: NYE Outfit

With New Year’s Eve right around the corner (literally), it’s no surprise that I’ve already been assessing my plans.  You know, the dress, shoes, makeup, accessories, etc.  Sometimes the planning can almost be more of a hassle than anything else, but I think it’s all worth it.  This is, as I’m sure you’re all aware, a fantastic excuse to dress up in glittered/gold – or silver – everything.  I typically go with a solid colored dress (gold, black, or white) and then let the accessories do the real talking.

If you’re doing some (very) late last minute NYE shopping, here are a few ideas to get you started on your perfect NYE outfit.

NYE Outfit
A LBD is always perfect

I’m simply smitten with this adorable Davini dress from Ted Baker.  Totally appropriate for all NYE celebrations!  Not too crazy, but just enough pizzaz.

NYE Outfit
A little icing on top

Anything by Lauren Elan is actually brilliant.  For NYE this year, I’m loving this Arianne necklace.

NYE Outfit
Gold shoes are always a must

Shoes are always a majorly important part of the NYE getup.  This time around, I can’t get enough of these gold BCBG pumps from DSW.

NYE Outfit
Don’t forget to highlight

Ever since I picked up the Watt’s Up? highlighter from Benefit, I haven’t gone a day without it.  I will definitely be putting this on for a little sparkle on NYE before heading out the door.

NYE Outfit
Just a little spritz and you’re ready to go!

With one of my Christmas gifts being Viktor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb, I will absolutely be spraying this on before I adventure out to participate in the holiday festivities.

What will you be wearing when you celebrate the new year?

Photos: beautyXposé

holiday gift guide

Holiday Gift Guide: For The Hostess

Even though I’m typically “the hostess” of the group, I still have many other friends that fit the bill.  In fact, holiday shopping for “the hostesses” is always my favorite.  I always manage to discover about 15 new kitchen/serving gadgets that I never knew existed.

If you’re shopping for “the hostess” of your group this holiday season, check out my favorites below for some inspiration!

holiday gift guide
For the hostess with the mostess.
  1. Lotus Cake Stand / If you bake a snazzy looking cake for a little get-together, it’s really only fair to the cake if you display it appropriately.  I’m diggin’ this cute little cake stand by Anthropologie.
  2. Gilt Chevron Paper Table Runner / Give your holiday table a little pizzaz.  The hostess knows all about this task.  Make it a little easier and gift a chevron table runner!
  3. Honey Dipper / This one?  I’m not even sure why anyone would really need it, but look at how adorable it is!  And at $3?  This adorable honey dipper is a steal.
  4. Dapper Bottle Stopper / The hostess is sure to have a bottle of delectable wine or fancy champagne. Why not gift a little bottle stopper?  This one by BHLDN takes the cake for cutest, for sure.
  5. Ice Crushing Kit / I have found myself stomping on a bag of ice more than once…which is really just one too many times.  This simple ice crushing kit is sure to make the task a little….cuter.
  6. Imperial Cheese Knives / Because why not?  If you’re looking for a little bit of an over-the-top gift this year, pick up a set of these Anthropologie cheese knives for the hostess who already has everything else.
  7. Acacia Rectangle Tray / Your friend is hosting a little shindig and he/she doesn’t own a serving tray?! Preposterous!  This personalized tray by Mark & Graham is sure to be a winner this year.
  8. American Mini Cheese Board / Well, now that your friend has a small collection of cheese knives, the only logical next step is to pick up one of these mini cheese boards!  Plus you can add a monogram – could Mark & Graham be any more perfect?
  9. Silver Street Coasters / You never want to be that friend forgetting to use a coaster and leaving water damage in your wake.  Bring a package of these drink-inspired coasters by Kate Spade to make sure it doesn’t happen again!
  10. Mule Mug / After a long evening of hostessing/hosting, a delicious cup of morning coffee is in high demand.  Wouldn’t drinking out of one of these nifty mule mugs from Urban Outfitters make it even better?
  11. Two-Tie Apron / An apron is a sheer must when hosting any type of event in your home.  Keep that LBD clean by throwing one of these personalized linen aprons over your party getup.
  12. Ball Mason Jar / I am thoroughly obsessed with my mason jar.  Though I use mine as a coffee mug, they have a ton of different uses!  Candle holder, salad jar, vase, etc.
  13. Mingle Bar Glass / Planning on whipping up your very own drink recipe?  What better way to serve the creation than in an adorable glass like this one from Crate & Barrel?
  14. Mingle Decanter / If your gifting your hostess/host friend a nice set of glasses, might as well add on a matching decanter!
  15. The Hayworth / Okay, this gift takes the cake.  This chic bar cart by Society Social is on the pricier side, but just look at it in all of its glory.  All you need is some gin, St. Germain, a decanter and you’re ready to take on the holidays.

Give the rest of my gift guides and holiday-inspired posts over on Kneadle+Bread!

So, what gifts will you be picking up this year for “the hostess” of your group?

Photo: Kneadle+Bread

loungewear

The (Perfect) After-Holiday Loungewear

Thanksgiving is over, which not only means that the cold weather is upon (most of) us, but also that we’re stuffed with delicious food and on our way to whipping up approximately 100 Christmas cookies.  With all of this in mind, I thought it was a good time to pay tribute to my favorite type of clothing: loungewear.

This particular collection stems from a conversation we had at work a few weeks ago.  I essentially mentioned that I needed to up my “loungewear clothing game,” because I don’t lounge in real clothes, nor do I lounge in sleepwear.  In fact, these are three very different things.  Apparently, most of my co-workers (with the exception of a few) had no clue what I was rambling on about.

So, to clear things up, here are a few of my must-have lounge items (not sleepwear / ”real” wear).

loungewear
Cute and cozy

A foldover neckline, thin stripes, and drop shoulders – oh my, it’s the perfect little sweater. I’m so glad Loft read my mind and dreamed up this adorable Striped Drawstring Neck Tunic.

loungewear
Button me up

I know, I know.  You’re saying, “an Oxford for lounging?”  But, when you think about it, it’s actually perfect.  This (totally affordable) Oxford from Old Navy is cozy, warm, and très chic.  Plus, when it’s time to head out into the real world, all you need to do is throw on a pair of pants and your comfiest flats and you’re ready to seize the day!

 

loungewear
Leggings love

Stretch Knit Leggings.   A serious must-have for all bum days.  This pair by Gap is my absolute favorite – they’re thick, which means no see-through mishaps.  Need to run an errand on your lazy day?  Just throw on a pair of warm socks and boots and you’re set!

loungewear
Keep those tootsies warm

Warm socks are a necessity.  Literally, especially for us up here in the Northeast.  This year, I’m loving the AEO Colorblock Socks.

loungewear
These moccasins were made for lounging

Still not warm enough?  Pick up a pair of classic Minnetonkas for good measure.  These Chrissy Bootie Slippers are high up on my list this year.

loungewear
Wrap me up!

The final touch: a cozy fashionable scarf.  I actually just picked one of these up during my relatively slow-paced Black Friday shopping trip and can tell you that this is the softest scarf I’ve ever owned.  It’s magical, actually.

What is your must-have loungewear gear?

Photos: Gap, AEO, Old Navy, Loft

Hosting Thanksgiving?

Are you hosting Thanksgiving at your home this year?  If your answer is yes, you have a grand excuse to purchase a new dress.  I’ll actually be packing up and heading home for Thanksgiving (a relatively short trip – just a 90 minute drive) again this year.  Though I’m not hosting (thanks fam!), I still have the chance to dress up and prepare the desserts, yum!

I always tend to overdress, but I guess that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  So, I’ve found a few dresses for this year’s day of cooking/eating, whether you’re hosting it or not.

Here are my top picks this year:

1

 

If you’re not going for too fancy this year, try out a dress like this Linebreak Tankdress by Madewell. You can always dress it up with shoes, jewelry, and a quick up-do.

 

2

 

If you’re looking for a classic LBD, try out this Jacquard-weave Dress by H&M.  Pair it with a cute belt, heels, and a statement necklace and you’re ready to celebrate!

 

3

 

A little bit more formal, but I’m loving this Birthday Soiree Dress by ModCloth (psh, totally works for Thanksgiving, too!)  The lace, bow and soft pink make for the perfect holiday combo.

 

4

 

If you haven’t checked out the wonder that is Bow & Drape, you simply must.  Just take a peek at this holiday-ready dress, The Carrie.  The dress is customizable and created with your personal measurements in mind.  Brilliant, right?

 

5

 

Is The Carrie a little too much for you?  Try on The Jackie for size.  I’m loving the contrast between the blue and white, but you can pick your own colors.

What will you be wearing this Thanksgiving?

etsy

November’s Etsy Finds

I’ve always loved Etsy and all of the creative artists and shop owners you can discover there.  However, it wasn’t until I opened my very own Etsy shop, that I realized just how awesome it feels to support small businesses (the packaging from Etsy purchases is spot on).  So, while searching the treasure trove that is Etsy this past weekend, I found a few gems for you.

etsy
November’s Etsy Picks

This month, my Etsy finds are more or less a mishmash of random items that make me think of colder weather, fall fashion, and dressing up for the holidays.  Check them out for yourself:

etsy
I just want to curl up in this sweater!

How cozy and comfortable does this oversized cream sweater by alacloth look?  I definitely spend the colder days snuggling up in leggings, an oversized sweater, and warm knee-highs.  I’m thinking this might be the next sweater I add to my winter collection.

etsy
I would never want to let go of this clutch

I’m obsessed with this brown oversized leather clutch by MISOUI.  Really though, just look at how gorgeous it is!  I’m thinking I’m going to have to put this on my Christmas list.

etsy
No chance my neck would get chilly in this cowl

My early morning walks to work have become colder by the day.  I often bundle up with my favorite Forever 21 infinity scarf, but I’m definitely in need of a new one.  I’m thinking this chunky butterscotch cowl by Yarn Plus Yarn might be the next addition to my scarf collection.

etsy
Yes, please

This quartz sterling silver ring by Idiosyncratic Things is in here because, well, look how fabulous it is!  As the holiday season nears, I’m often on the lookout for the perfect addition to my Christmas and New Years Eve looks.  A ring like this one is already on my shopping list (surprised? probably not).

What awesome Etsy finds have you made this month?

Photos: beautyXposé, etsy; Disclosure

The Perfect Lazy Day Outfit

Last week I was inspired.  Well, inspired by my perfect lazy afternoon (yeah I know, it sounds silly).  I relaxed, cleaned up a little, read and curled up with my good friend, Netflix.  It was the best, let me tell you.

If I could have a lazy Sunday every week, it really wouldn’t be horrible.  In fact, I was so inspired by my time away from work that I had to write about it on my other blog, Kneadle + Bread.

Though my real lazy day outfit isn’t exactly identical to the one you’ll find below, I’m still wishing that my lazy lounging time looked like this:

1

 

Cashmere.  And the option to add a monogram?  I really just couldn’t say no to this Collection Cashmere Tunic.

 

2

 

I bought this (super inexpensive!) Solid Infinity Scarf back when F21 sold it in the men’s section, and I haven’t regretted it for a second.  It is actually the most comfortable scarf I’ve ever owned.  Plus, all the compliments from friends and strangers don’t hurt!

 

3

 

Stretchy, fashionable pants that imitate work pants?  Naturally, I’m already obsessed with these Factory Gigi Pants from J.Crew.

 

4

Warm socks are a must when those cold evenings take over.  My pick this year? AE’s Cable Shine Knee Socks.

 

5

 

Moccasins!  What could be more comfortable than a warm, cozy pair of Minnetonka Cally Slippers?  Plus, they’re pretty cheap to boot!

What does your perfect lazy day outfit look like?

in-between jacket

The In-Between Jacket

The whole in-between seasons weather is such a hassle.  It’s cold in the mornings, warm in the afternoon, and freezing by the time I walk home after work and meetings.  Do I wear a heavy jacket and suck up being hot in the afternoon, or freeze my behind off in the mornings and just deal with it?

Luckily (with some help from ASOS last fall), I finally figured it out.  I found a light jacket and stick to layering that with a warm infinity scarf and sweater during those strange in-between months.  So to help the rest of you out, I did a quick ASOS search and found you some jackets!  Oh, did I forget to mention the best part?  They’re all under  $100!

Time to get to shopping:

in-between jacket
Maybe in-between is the best place to be!
  1. This Faux Suede and Fur Bonded Biker Coat is a little edgy, but still totally glam.  Pair this with dark skinnies and booties for a weekend casual look.
  2. I’m loving this Vero Moda Varsity Bomber Jacket this season.  Every year I check out multiple varsity jackets, but never end up actually purchasing one.  Maybe this is the year I finally give in(!).
  3. This Pop Boutique Anorak is pretty similar to the jacket I own.  It’s super easy to dress up and/or down, which is definitely a plus in my book.
  4. Though this is a little bit of a heavier jacket, this New Look Belted Snood Coat is a total steal at only $71!
  5. I simply can’t get over how adorable this ASOS Four Pocket Utility Jacket is!  Plus, it comes in two colors: khaki and denim.  Just take your pick!

How do you stay warm in those pesky in-between months?

Photo: beautyXposé

nail art

Nail Art: Halloween Edition

It happens every year.  Somehow, Halloween just creeps right up on me.  It’s like I somehow always miss the first half of October.  How does that even happen?  I’m going to go with I’m too preoccupied with apple picking, baking, and running around in the beautiful chilly weather to realize Halloween is a week and a half away.

But, I digress.  Back to the point: Halloween!  I stopped by one of my favorite websites this past weekend (Elle, duh) and found a fun Halloween DIY to liven up your costume or even your everyday wear.  I haven’t had a chance to put this awesome nail DIY to the test yet, but I imagine if you have a steady hand, you’ll be able to pull off the look without too much hassle.

Here, take a look for yourself!  For instructional photographs and step-by-step directions, check out the slideshow on Elle.com.

Image:

nail art
Dare you say his name 3 times?

Blurred Lines-esque?  Sure.  But, how cool are these striped Beetlejuice-inspired nails?

nail art
Viewer beware, you’re in for a scare

For all you 90s babies out there, you’ll surely appreciate these glow in the dark(!) Goosebumps nails.

nail art
Why didn’t I find out I was a witch at 16?

Another treat for those 90s kids.  What could be better than having Sabrina The Teenage Witch/Salem themed nails?  Probably nothing.

nail art
Day of the dead comes a little bit early this year.

Whenever I hear Day of the Dead, or Diá de los Meurtos, all I can think of are sweet, sugary skulls and slightly eerie décor.  Luckily, Elle thinks of nails and thus emerged the Day of the Dead nail art!

nail art
We did the mash, we did the monster mash.

Put a spin on your scary Halloween ensemble and channel your inner monster.  I’m seriously loving these Monster Mash inspired nails this year!

What is your favorite Halloween DIY?

Photos: Elle