Thursday, August 31, 2017

Picking Up The Pieces After Harvey - What's Next?

Jeans | Blouse (sold out; similar style) | Shoes - 50% off!! | Purse (similar style) | Necklace (sold out; similar style here & here) | Earrings | Bracelet | Sunglasses 

I started this post last week, and in the wake of Harvey, I never finished working on it. When I picked it back up yesterday, I thought for a long time whether I thought it was an appropriate time to post something fashion related and cheery after all that has happened. My conclusion was, no. Why then am I still posting this then?

I overheard some people talking yesterday while I was bringing in some additional donations, and they were discussing how during a time of hardship and turmoil, there has to be some relief. Relief being the sun finally coming out on Tuesday, witnessing how our community has come together, or even just stepping away from the news for a few minutes. Relief needs to be something that can turn tears into a smile, even if just briefly. At the very least, relief can provide a temporary distraction. That being said, I wanted to share something slightly more lighthearted with my readers and followers.

It's going to be a long time before 'business returns to usual,' and it is going to take us, as a city, a long time to rebound from Harvey. On Instagram the other day, I shared one of the best quotes someone once told me during a difficult time in my life. For the last week, I've kept reminding myself of it while I see the pain and suffering firsthand and on television. "If God brings you to it, he'll get you through it." Religious affiliations aside, I truly believe that this is something that everyone can relate with, and something that is important to remember when it looks like there's no light at the end of the tunnel.

I really appreciate you stopping by, and would like to urge you to consider donating to the victims of Hurricane Harvey. No amount is too small, and there are so many great causes which need our help. I listed the majority of them in my previous post, which you can read by clicking here.

Photos taken in Chicago by Rachel Bires Photography 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Pray for Houston - Our Experience with Hurricane Harvey & How You Can Help

By now you've seen and heard about all the devastation that Hurricane Harvey has done to Houston, as well as the state of Texas. Until now, I had never experienced a hurricane and all the destruction it causes. Since moving here in 2013, I've seen flooding, but never of this magnitude and never with this much continual rain and storms.

The storms started last Friday, and have already dumped over three feet of water in Houston. In preparation, we made several trips to the grocery store, got fresh food, frozen food and canned goods. We also bought four cases of water, located and gathered all of our flashlights and candles, and prayed for the best. We hunkered down, knowing it would be a few days before we got to get out. 

I am happy to tell you that Adam, Safari and I are perfectly fine. We are safe and dry in our home, and have experienced no flooding here, or on the surrounding streets. Luckily, our house is in one of the highest areas in the city. We are right between River Oaks and Montrose, and when we bought it, we did research on flooding to make sure that our area was safe and protected. As we know now, with the unprecedented amounts of rain, areas that have never experienced flooding in the state have been affected. As the storm continues, we are definitely counting our blessings and praying for those displaced from their homes.

We lost power briefly Saturday morning, but we're grateful that's the only minor thing that has touched us. We are so thankful to all of our friends and family members that have checked in on us. To be quite honest, the past few days have not only be a learning experience, but have also been stressful and scary. With the weather pattern constantly changing, we've been on high alert, and glued to the tv, watching the news. The images I'm seeing truly break my heart. 

Sunday, we were able to get out briefly while the rain let up to see some of the devastation firsthand. The Buffalo Bayou is completely engulfed under water. The water level is up, if not over, all the bridges, and has flooded the underpasses. Many of the businesses and stores around us have flooded, as well.. As you can see in these photos, it is going to be a long time before Houston returns to 'normal.'

Although I'm not a native, I've been deeply touched by how selfless my fellow Texans and Houstonians are. I have seen countless rescues on tv, where people have put themselves in harms way to protect the lives of others. Neighbor helping neighbor, and stranger helping stranger - through tragedy, you really are able to see some of the positive in the world. 

Whether you live in Houston and have been unaffected, or live in another state or even country, there are plenty of ways to get involved and help the state of Texas.

Physically Donating Items to the Relief Effort/Emergency Shelters  

Several places are collecting items, but we took all of our stuff to the George R. Brown Convention Center today (which is downtown), and has become one of the main shelters for many of those displaced from the storm. They are collecting:

-Baby formula
-Hand sanitizer
-Non-perishable food items
-Bottled water
-Feminine Products

As you can imagine, the list can go on forever. These people have lost, or are without everything, so anything makes a world of difference. Go through your closet, pantry, and toiletries, and bring in whatever you can. I brought in everything I could listed above, but also gave them additional items like, Chapstick, slippers, hair ties, makeup, books, magazines - really, anything I could think of. The Houston Food Bank is also collecting donations, and you can click here to see a list of all the emergency shelters in Houston and surrounding areas that need your donations. 

Donate Money

To donate visit, call 1- 800-RED CROSS or text the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

To donate visit or call 1-800-725-2769

Houston SPCA
Accepting online donations to help animals displaced by the hurricane

The multimedia giant has set up a donation link directly on iTunes and App Store.Visit for more information. Donations will go directly to the American Red Cross.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner established this fund administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation to accept tax-deductible flood-relief donations. Checks and money orders can be mailed to the Greater Houston Community Foundation, while online credit card donations can be made at Online credit card donations will be assessed a small fee by the credit card companies. Donors have the option of increasing their credit card donations to cover this fee. Wire-transferred cash will also be accepted.


FEMA, the American Red Cross, and many others are looking for volunteers. If you are safely able to get to any of the shelters as well, they are looking for additional help. 


Trina Truk
50% off all online sales are going to the American Red Cross to help victims affected by Harvey
Click here to shop

Kendra Scott
50% of all online sales are going to the American Red Cross
Click here to shop

Elaine Turner
Through Tuesday 8/29, 20% all sales online and in-store will go to benefit the American Red Cross in their Harvey relief efforts
Click here to shop 

I will be updating ways of how you can help daily, so be sure to check back often!!

As we continue to take this storm day-by-day, please excuse my brief absence from the blog and social media. Right now, posting "picture perfect" content and photos seems disrespectful and insensitive to the countless people dealing with unbearable loss and heartbreak. Please keep Texas in your thoughts and prayers. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Perfect Pink Party Dress

Dress (sold out; available in turquoise and black, similar pink style here) | Shoes (similar style here - under $80!) | Purse | Cuff | Earrings (similar style here - 30% off with code: SHOPNOW | Sunglasses

The weekend came and went way too quickly. Does it ever not fly by? We spent most of the weekend test driving cars, researching safety reports, etc., because the lease on my Q5 is coming to an end at the end of this month. We are debating keeping my car, trading it in, or getting a whole new car from a different brand altogether. When I say we, I basically mean Adam...not me! HA! 

One thing you may not know about me, is that I hate driving! HATE IT. If it were up to me, I would walk everywhere, but if you've been to Houston or live here, you know that's an impossibility. I guess I've just always lived places where there wasn't such an emphasis on needing to drive everywhere, and where things weren't so spread out. So it's just not something I'm passionate about, but something I am oddly picky about - go figure! I'll keep you posted on what I end up doing since the bitter end is near (insert anxiety now)! 

Now let's get down to business. I feel like the blog has been a bit monochromatic lately, and there's been a lot more black and white than normal. The funny this is, there's nothing I love more than color, so I'm a bit surprised with myself! I guess it's because fall fashions are popping up everywhere, and are always a bit more earthy than bright! But not to fear (maybe more for me than for you), but I am bringing the perfect pop of color back to ANS today! 

This dress unfortunately has sold out in pink, but the same style comes in this gorgeous turquoise color, and black. However, I did find a similar style in pink here, that's available in all sizes. The ruffled neckline makes this otherwise simple silhouette girly and fun. Did I mention it's under $100? 

I'm using my gold Rebecca Minkoff purse again!! Are you getting sick of seeing it? Ha! Repeat offender alert! With all the travel I've been doing, it's been the perfect piece to stick in my carry-on that can be dressed up or down, and has room for all my essentials (phone, small wallet, and lipstick). It really is one of my favorite recent purchases, and I highly recommend it! It's available here, and is under $200. 

As always, thanks for stopping by! Hope you have a great week!

Photos taken in Chicago by Rachel Bires Photography 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Our 48 Hour Birthday Trip to L.A.

Happy Friday, friends!

A little over two weeks ago, Adam and I jetted off to L.A. for a fun filled 48 hour birthday weekend! The weekend flew by, but I wanted to share with you what we did while we were there in case you're planning a trip to the City of Angels. 

Once we landed on Friday, we braved the L.A. traffic and headed to our hotel, the SLS Beverly Hills. I had never stayed at one of the SLS Hotels before, but I had heard great things. From its avant-garde style, to its roof deck pool that had it's own DJ, and their restaurant, The Bazaar featuring James Beard Award winning chef, José Andrés, it had everything we were looking for. 

After we checked in, unpacked and freshened up, we headed up to the pool to grab a drink and a snack. We ordered chips, salsa and table side guac (hello Texans!), with a margarita, of course. After enjoying some California sunshine, we headed to Rodeo Drive to do some shopping. Although it is a bit cliche, no trip to L.A. is complete without a visit to the luxury boutiques on this street. We did some window shopping before stumbling upon Ladurée, where we enjoyed our favorite macarons. We then headed back to the hotel to change for the evening festivities - dinner and baseball! 

We headed to Bestia in the Arts District for dinner. When I asked some friends for recommendations on must-try restaurants in Los Angeles, Bestia was consistently mentioned, and it definitely did not disappoint. We had a table on their gorgeous courtyard patio, and dined on the Charred Shishito Peppers, the Alla'nduja Pizza, which had  housemade spicy 'nduja sausage, san marzano tomatoes, mozzarella, tuscan kale, fennel pollen on it (literally, so amazing), and had their homemade Agnolotti alla Vaccinara pasta (saffron pasta parcel, braised oxtail, brown butter. rosemary, pistachios, currants), as well. We topped dinner off with a Fig Crostata, with mascarpone ice cream and aged balsamic vinaigrette. Seriously, a MUST visit restaurant on any trip to L.A. - I can't wait to go back. 

Once we finished dinner we jumped in our Uber and headed to Dodgers Stadium. Adam is a huge baseball lover, and has long been a fan of the San Francisco Giants. When we lived in SF we went to a lot of the games, and it just so happened that the Giants were in town playing the Dodgers that weekend. His birthday trip was actually planned around getting the chance to visit Dodger Stadium, and see his favorite team play! Truth be told, I am not a huge baseball fan, but the things we do for love hahaha!! Dodger Stadium was absolutely beautiful, and although our team didn't win, getting to enjoy the vista from their gorgeous park, which was up in the hills, was well worth it. 

On Saturday we woke up early and headed to The Grove to do one of the notorious Hollywood tours. I know, I know, but I couldn't help myself! We've been to L.A. several times, but I'm a huge celebrity junkie, and love seeing celebrity homes, the Hollywood sign, the Walk of Fame, the Kodak Theater, etc. I found a great company, A-List Hollywod Tours, that had a quick and concise two hour tour. I knew that was going to be the only way I could rope Adam in to do something so cheesy with me. Although I know it's a bit touristy, it is a great way to see the city in a short amount of time. We did just that, and we had a fantastic time in our eight person, open air jeep! I highly recommend them if you're looking to do a tour like this. 

We wrapped up our tour back at The Grove, and roamed around their Farmer's Market and the stores before getting a bite to eat. After sitting and eating our way through the morning, we walked to the Los Angeles Community Museum of Art (LACMA). I had seen their outdoor "Urban Light" installation by Chris Burden, popping up on Instagram for the past few months, and I knew I had to get some pictures! Of course it was busy with everyone doing the same thing, but we had a lot of fun taking a few snaps, and roaming around the museum. 

From there we went and shopped along Melrose, before heading to Roberston Ave. We took a quick pit-stop to grab a drink at the poplar restaurant A.O.C. before heading back to our hotel. When we got back to the SLS, we changed into our suits, and enjoyed some downtime by the pool. That evening, we got all dolled up for Adam's birthday dinner. We started out with a drink at The Bazaar in our hotel (which was a scene), before we headed to local favorite, The Grill on the Alley, in Beverly Hills. We enjoyed their Garlic Cheese Bread, Filet Mignon, Chipotle Cheddar Cream Corn, and their Lobster Mashed Potatoes (a must - so out of this world)! Of course I couldn't miss an opportunity to have another birthday dessert waiting for him, so we finished the meal with cake! To say we were full would be putting it mildly! 

On Sunday morning, we woke up and went to The Ivy for brunch, before we packed our bags and headed to the airport. As you can see, we fit SO much into our two day trip. In hindsight, I wish I would have "scheduled" some more downtime for us, because we definitely came home tired, but can you blame me for being a little overzealous?! From five star restaurants, to poolside cabanas, museum visits, and of course, shopping, L.A. made for the perfect birthday getaway! 

Outfit One Details:
Dress (only $23 - wearing an XS) | Purse | Belt | Earrings | Hat | Sandals 

Outfit Two Details

Monday, August 14, 2017

Black and White Polka Dot Jumpsuit

Jumpsuit | Purse | Shoes (sold out, similar style) | Bracelet ℅ | Bangle ℅ | Earrings - only $12!  

I'm sorry for the brief hiatus, but August has been off to a busy start. The month started out with a trip to L.A., with a quick two-day stop to unpack and repack in Houston. Then I flew to Chicago for The Blog Societies Conference, and am now back home in Wisconsin to visit my family through the end of the week. 

With being on-the-go so much this month, it is always important to pack pieces that are interchangeable, and can be worn several times. From accessories, to my clothing, I want everything to be versatile and seasonally appropriate. Although it's still summertime, as a blogger (and anyone in fashion for that matter), we are always having to plan ahead for the next season. So, right now, fall is the name of the game. 

Among those fall ready pieces, is this fabulous polka-dot jumpsuit. I sat on waitlist after waitlist waiting for this jumpsuit to come back in stock during the recent Nordstrom sale, and it finally did. Luckily for you, it is back in stock in all sizes - I am wearing an XS for reference, and it runs TTS. It truly is super comfortable, and convenient. It has a zipper on the back, making for easy up's and down's when needed. 

 It is great dressed up with these heels and gold crossbody (also back in stock), but also looks spot-on styled it with a belt, jean jacket and Converse tennis shoes!

Check back later this week for my recap of how we spent our 48 hour birthday trip in L.A. 

Photos taken in Chicago by Rachel Biires Photography 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Perfect Summer Dress Under $30!

Dress ℅ | Bag (similar, less expensive version here) | Shoes | Sunglasses ℅ | Earrings ℅ | Gold Bracelet | Gold Diamond Bracelet | White Bracelet 

Hello August! Wow, time is definitely flying by! 

We got back late Sunday evening after spending 48 fabulous (but exhausting) hours in Los Angeles! After playing catch up the past few days, I am packing again, this time for Chicago! I am going to be in Chicago over the weekend attending The Blog Societies Conference. I'm really looking forward to meeting a lot of the girls that I regularly follow. I'm also excited to learn how to utilize my blog and social platforms for my business, while growing my brand at the same time! It will be a very informative and fun weekend!

With summer nearing an end, I am definitely trying to soak up every last bit of it. Nothing says summer quite like a ruffle, stripe, one shoulder dress, right? I've been on a huge ruffle kick lately, if you couldn't tell. From sleeves, to necklines, and everything in between, it has been my go-to trend. My favorite thing about this dress, is that it has pockets! It's also under $30 too, but definitely size up, as this brand (Shein) runs really small. I am wearing a medium, for reference. 

My favorite bag of the season is now back in stock, and they also just came out with one in pink and blue! I am totally lusting over the pink one! I also tracked down a super similar version, for only $64!

My Henri Bendel bracelets I wear probably more than any other piece of jewelry, especially the solid gold one. It also comes in silver and rose gold, and is under $80. Trust me, it's a bit of a splurge, but you will literally wear it everyday. Now, you can get $25 off with every $150 you spend. Plus, you get a free gift, and free shipping! Yes, please!!

As always, thanks for stopping by! xo

Photos by LA Photography 

design + development by kiki and co. creative