Thursday, December 18, 2014

Style Me Bloggers Christmas gift exchange!

Some of the Style Me Bloggers had the fun idea of having an Elfster gift exchange. If you are not familiar with Elfster, it's like Secret Santa. I was assigned a person to buy a gift for and I had someone assigned to buy me a gift. The idea was to buy a gift that represented our region. My gifter was Deena of Shoes to Shiraz. Deena is from Canada! I was so excited to get a gift from another country! I was out of town when the package arrived so my husband texted me a picture of it. When I got home it was waiting for me!
So excited!
It was pretty heavy and I couldn't imagine what could be in it. Tore into it and found the coolest stuff!
Sweet treats!
I was so surprised to find *four* containers filled with berry flavored yumminess, a note, and a printout explaining what kind of berries they were. 
Jam, salad dressing, syrups
So far I've only had the jam. Oh. My!! It is so good! I've had it on toast and I've swirled a little teaspoonful in my Greek Yogurt. It is sooo good! Next I will try the salad dressing, and durning the twelve days of Christmas (when I have a little time!) I'll make pancakes and we will try the two syrups!

I confess that I was a little confused how to find "something representative of my region" for a gift when we are fashion bloggers! I had figured that since we are Style Me Bloggers the gift would reflect that and be some sort of fashion item! So that's why I was a bit surprised when I opened Deena's gift and found food! I then thought of all the possibilities I could have done to represent Florida.  But, alas, I had gone with fashion instead of food for my gift. Sure hope my recipient likes what I got and can use it. She's from Canada too!

It's been so much fun getting to know (virtually) a group of ladies through the Style Me Challenges, and even more through blogging about it. I have wanted to blog more but something always seems to come up and I just don't do it. Participating in the Style Me Bloggers link up has forced motivated me to blog more. A rousing thank you goes to Alison, the lady behind these fashion challenges. I am participating in my third challenge and am still learning and having fun! You *can* teach an old dog new tricks!

Be sure to check out what the other bloggers received through their Elfter giver below!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

GYPO Winter and Holiday Challenge Week 2

This week was rough because I either didn't have some of the items or the OOTD didn't go with what I had on plan for doing that day. So here's how the week went down:

Day 4:
Plaid Shirt + Puffer Vest + Black Jeans or Leggings + Wedge Boots

On this day I did alright. I wore my black and white plaid flannel shirt with my black puffer vest but rather than pairing it with black jeans or leggings I added a pop of color by wearing red jeans. Since I don't have wedge boots, I went with my heeled booties from the fall challenge. I liked this outfit and was comfortable yet put together all day.
Comfy in this one!
Day 5:
Long Cardigan + Neutral Tee + Fur Scarf + Skinny Jeans + Riding Boots
On this day, I had to do some subbing. I don't have a long printed cardigan so I went with my waterfall cardi paired with a mustard layering tee and since I don't have a fur scarf I went with a blue knit scarf that is furry and fun. I did wear skinny jeans and riding boots. Another winning combo.
Comfy in this one too!

Then that night we hosted a wine and cheese gathering for a few friends and I changed into a Build Your Basics Challenge outfit: sheath dress, white button down shirt, black heeled boots, skinny leopard belt and a blingy grey pearl necklace. Loved it!
Felt stylish in this simple outfit.
Day 6:
Dressy Sweater + Gray Jeans + Black Heels
Here's where the outfits start to fall apart. We had planned Kib's Bay for the whole day so a dressy sweater and heels were completely out of the picture. I went with comfy in mind so I wore my striped shirt from the fall challenge under a white corduroy shirt, boyfriend jeans and comfy closed shoes. Aw man! The only picture where you can see me is riding the Segway in St. Augustine.
This was a fun day!
Day 7:
Plaid Shirt + Cable Knit Sweater + Statement Necklace + Black Pants + Black Heels + Dressy Clutch
On this church day I wanted to wear a dress so rather than wear this outfit, I went with one that I learned about from a past challenger: this striped sweater dress from Target. I paired the stripes with a floral and polka dotted scarf, cream tights and red flats.
Pattern mixing is still new to me
Day 8:
Long Sleeved Tee + Puffer Vest + Skinny Jeans + Fur Scarf + Ugg Boots + Boot Socks
It started warming up today so I skipped the puffer vest and went with a rust layering tank under the dressy sweatshirt from the fall challenge. I went with boyfriend jeans because they are so comfy and leopard flats since it's too warm for boots and socks. One of our challengers is battling ovarian cancer. Many of us incorporated something teal in our Monday outfits. I added a teal scarf for Terri in place of the fur scarf,
Teal for Terri!
Day 9:
Dressy Sweater + Skinny Jeans + Riding Boots
I shopped my closet and wore a sweater that I think of as dressy but it's not blingy, so I added my grey pearl necklace to it to spice it up. (When I bought this necklace last year I hardly wore it. Now I'm wearing it a LOT!) And since it was quite warm yesterday, I skipped the boots and subbed my trusty leopard flats. This was a perfect outfit for shopping at the Towne Center.
F21 necklace with Talbots sweater
F21 jeans with Merona flats
I'm really in need of a haircut. When it gets longer it gets flat on top. Adding that to my to do list for next week!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

GYPO Winter and Holiday Challenge Week 1

It's time for a new Challenge! This is my third one! (Can you tell I really enjoy these?)

I didn't have much money or time to shop for missing pieces. It's just a busy $ time of year where I cannot afford to spend so much on myself. For this challenge I will be mostly shopping from my closet. I did buy an asymmetrical tunic sweater at Ross for $25. I think that's all I bought for this one!

On Day 1 I was traveling with my son for the Regionals Rock Climbing Competition and as such I didn't have the right pieces with me.

Day 1: Neutral Cable Knit Sweater + Fur Scarf + Skinny Jeans + Riding Boots
I do have a cable knit sweater but it's navy blue and not cream. I do not have a fur scarf. I could have styled this outfit with what I have had I not been traveling. But since I was, I have no picture to share.

Day 2: Tunic Sweater + Puffer Vest + Leggings + Boot Socks + Riding Boots
Here's where I got to wear my new sweater! I added a cream scarf for added warmth around my neck and for some lightness as the colors were all pretty dark. No leggings or boot socks for this gal yet.
Nice and warm!

Day 3: Poncho + Long Sleeved Tee + Printed Scarf + Skinny Jeans + Wedge Boots
I don't have a poncho but I have a poncho-ish sweater. It has the poncho vibe. So I went with that and seemed to work. I added a warm knit scarf that picks up on the colors in the sweater and tee shirt. I don't have wedge boots so I went with the booties from the Fall Challenge.
Penny is mesmerized!
Check out what my styling sisters wore these first few days by clicking on the links below. (Can you believe that picture is an actual photograph of one of the gals' front yard?! She lives in Canada ;)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Style Me Bloggers: Favorite Holiday Meal

There are certain holidays that call for certain foods. I believe that the most renown one in the US is Thanksgiving. I know not everyone makes (or even likes for that matter) turkey for thanksgiving but it is the most well-known of the traditional foods. And I'm glad, because I really like it! So much so that I even make it once or twice a year "just because!"

My ideal Thanksgiving menu would include the following items which has been on our menu for roughly the last 20+ years with a few variations and/or additions, of course.

Roasted turkey with gravy (sometimes fried, sometimes smoked, but roasted is my fave.)
Sweet potato casserole (I've made this one, this one and this one in the past) 
Dressing (or stuffing, as some call it)
Roasted Brussels Sprouts (this is the recipe I made this year)
Cranberry Sauce (fresh, none of that canned stuff, like this recipe, 
subbing homemade truvia for the sugar)
Mashed potatoes (for my kids. I don't like 'em.)
Overnight salad (For me, because I like a little crunch.)

Since I've started eating the Trim Healthy Mama way, I've eliminated bread and off-plan desserts but if I *were* to cheat it would be with Apple Pie.Pecan for my hubby. Pumpkin for my son who loves it. 

We have quite a bit of family so everyone takes a dish or two to bring. No one makes everything for the meal. I love doing it this way because no one person is stressed out with all the shopping, cooking and cleaning. All the stress gets spread out. I'm interested to hear how others spend their favorite holiday with family and friends!

Linking this post with the other Style Me Bloggers. Be sure to check out their favorite holiday meals too!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Liebster Award Nominee

liebster award

I was pleasantly surprised to be nominated by Alison of Puppies and Pretties for the Liebster Award! The rules for this award are as follows:
  1. Acknowledge the blog who nominated you.
  2. Answer the 11 questions that the person who nominated you gave you.
  3. List 11 facts about yourself. 
  4. Name 11 bloggers to nominate for the Liebster Award that have under 200 followers .
  5. Give your nominees 11 questions to answer.

 Eleven questions for me:
  1. What is your favorite color? Navy blue with pink followed by a close second.
  2. What is your favorite book/series? Narnia and the Mitford books.
  3. If you could pick 1 article of clothing that you had to wear every day, what would it be? Umm…underwear!
  4. Dog or Cat? Dog. Definitely. And a Labrador at that.
  5. What is your favorite movie? Of more recent time: Knight and Day. Further back: Star Wars series.
  6. What is your favorite Trader Joe’s item? Wine! and cheese (so cheap!)
  7. If you had to pick 1 store to buy all of your clothes from, where would it be? Hmm. This is more difficult now that I’ve been doing the Style Me Challenges. A store I love but can’t regularly afford is Talbots. Or Brooks Brothers! :)
  8. Where was your favorite vacation? The south of France (Provence).
  9. Where do you stand on ugly Christmas sweaters? Yay or nay? Nope. Not at all.
  10. What is your favorite post that you have written? Probably some of my recipes. I actually use them on my blog. Like the Roasted Cherry Tomato Pasta or Asian Flavored Chicken or Pumpkin Pie Spice.
  11. Weekly calendar – do you start yours on Sunday or Monday? Monday. I'm just programmed from school days. We homeschool so that’s when our week starts.
Eleven facts about myself:

  1. I was born and mostly raised in Italy until it was time for college (with a detour in Puerto Rico). I attended the University of Florida (Go Gators!) because I had one friend going there. (Hey, I was moving 5000 miles away from home! I wanted to know SOMEONE in the state I would be living in!)
  2. Yes, I’m fluent.
  3. I enjoy running and have run 2 marathons and 3 half marathons and am currently training for another half.
  4. I stutter. A lot of people don’t even realize it so they make fun of something I say. I know it isn’t their intention to be mean.
  5. I’m so incredibly happily married that it’s a passion of mine to encourage people in their marriages and it makes me sad to hear of couples getting divorced. (I met my husband in grad school at a copy shop.)
  6. I homeschool my kids and love it. Yes, they are socialized.
  7. I’ve never lived where it snows regularly. Growing up in Sicily, it would snow at our house once in a blue moon. In Florida, never.
  8. I grew up on the side of a live volcano (Mt. Etna) and have witnessed many eruptions.
  9. I love to travel. The furthest east I’ve been is Israel and the furthest west is California.
  10. I love to read which is what led me to my major (English). However, I don’t love to write. Wouldn’t you say that’s a Fanny Dooley? (If I only knew what that really was though!)
  11. I really hate roaches. And that’s a problem living in Florida. Raid is my friend.

My nine (rather than eleven) nominees are:

A Lovely Little Wardrobe
Foxy's Domestic Side
Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After
She Thought She Could So She Did
Traveling With Grace
Ramblin' Roads
See the Blue Sky
Pin Busting with Steph
The Raggedy Stitcher

My 11 questions for my nominees:
  1. Where are you from and where do you currently live?
  2. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
  3. What is the meaning behind your blog?
  4. What hobbies do you enjoy?
  5. What book(s) is on your nightstand right now?
  6. Chocolate: milk, dark or white?
  7. What is your favorite color? Food? Pandora Station?
  8. What is one thing that you like about yourself?
  9. What is one thing you splurged on that you are happy you did?
  10. Where is the farthest place you've traveled to?
  11. What church/denomination do you attend?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Week 3 Build Your Basics Challenge

Can't believe week three is already here with only a few days of outfits left!

This week I didn't get to wear near as many outfits of the day (OOTD) since we were traveling for Thanksgiving and I didn't have all the right pieces. Then it warmed up and it was too hot to wear long sleeves and boots! But here's what I managed:

Day 10: Cardigan + Blouse + Black Pants + Leopard Belt + Black Boots

Since I still don't have a jewel colored blouse (and it was cold) I subbed a sweater. No leopard belt since these pants have no belt loops. I felt like I needed a little more color near my face so I added a light floral scarf, tied as an infinity scarf.
Added a mustard layering tee for warmth.
Day 11:Chambray + Skinny or Straight Jeans + Leopard Belt + Riding Boots

This was Thanksgiving day and initially I was going to wear something a little dressier but then I realized we were spending Thanksgiving on a horse farm, albeit a really NICE farm, but still a farm. So I went with the OOTD and was very comfy. (Barefoot in the picture since I was indoors, but I did wear my riding boots). Added a cable knit flowy cardigan for warmth.
Such a comfy outfit!

Day 12: Cardigan+ Striped Top + Bootcut Jeans + Black Boots

This was one of the days that we were traveling so I didn't have all the pieces for the outfit so I did my own thing. And forgot to get a picture.

Day 13: Black Jacket + Blouse + Skinny or Straight Jeans + Leopard Flats

Another travel day with doing my own thing. No picture.

Day 14: Neutral Sweater + White Shirt + Black Pants + Black Boots

Church day. I did wear the OOTD but I didn't actually put on my neutral sweater. I just draped it around my shoulders.
Day 15: Cardigan + Striped Top + Skinny or Straight Jeans + Riding Boots

On this day, the temps were in the high 70s so I subbed a short sleeved top and flip flops and nixed the cardigan. Since it was barely in line with the OOTD, I didn't get a picture.

Day 16: Blouse+ Long Necklace + Boot Cut Jeans + Heeled Boots

Too warm on this day too to wear boots and long sleeves so I subbed a ruby short sleeved blouse and my trusty leopard flats. Forgot to get a picture.

Day 17: Black Blazer + White Shirt + Skinny or Straight Jeans + Leopard Belt + Nude Heels

Today I am determined to wear the outfit, even if it means turning on the a/c in the car. I don't have nude heels yet so I subbed the ever trusty leopard again.
Casual yet feel pulled together. 
Only 4 days left in this challenge! We already received the shopping list for the Winter Challenge. Care to join me? Go here to sign up for this new challenge! It's not too late!

Linking up to Alison's I Feel Pretty Link Party!
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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Week 2 Build Your Basics Challenge

Day 4: Thursday

Neutral Sweater + Long Necklace + Skinny or Straight Jeans + Riding Boots

Green is a neutral, right?
Hoops were also on the photograph
I was cooking in my brown neutral sweater and splattered some oil on it (wasn't wearing an apron...drat!) So since it was at the dry cleaners, I subbed a green sweater and a warm scarf for the long necklace (the temps had dropped!). I paired that with skinny jeans, tall socks and riding boots. I have never worn socks peaking out the top of tall boots and I liked the surprise of color these added.  

Day 5: Friday

Blouse + Long Necklace + Bootcut  Jeans + Leopard Flats

Warm and comfy!
Magic trick knot on the scarf
I still haven't found a jewel toned blouse I like so I used this sweater from my closet. Added a scarf instead of the long necklace (still cold) and rather than bootcut jeans, I wore my other pair of skinny jeans and my trusty leopard flats.

Day 6: Saturday

Chambray + Khaki Pants + Leopard Flats 

I love the chambray with white
Added a little sparkle with my necklace and earrings
This was such a comfy outfit! The khaki pants I have are a little on the tight side so I subbed these white skinny jeans. Such a simple outfit but I still felt so put together.

Day 7: Sunday

Cardigan + White Button Down + Sheath Dress + Leopard Belt + Nude Heels

With belt
The weather warmed up quite a bit so I couldn't wear a cardigan. I haven't purchased a sheath dress but I have this jersey knit swing dress that worked for this outfit. I used a little trick to keep the button down shirt from feeling bulky: I wore a camisole on TOP of it and that smoothed everything down. I tried the outfit with a belt and without and my hubby preferred it without so that's what I wore. I still haven't purchased nude heels so I wore the leopard flats again. I am getting some mileage out of those shoes!

Day 8: Monday

Neutral Sweater + Bootcut Jeans + Leopard Flats

Grey pearls with grey top
Leopard and polkadots

Today the high was going to be in the 80s so I knew I wouldn't be able to wear a sweater and long jeans. I subbed this very light cotton shirt and capri jeans. I added a blingy grey pearl necklace which really finished the outfit off!

Day 9: Tuesday

Denim Jacket + Striped Top + Khaki Pants + Leopard or Neutral Flats

Day 9

More pattern mixing!
This was such a great outfit! Rain brought some cooler temps so I was able to wear the denim jacket. I wore a short sleeved striped top though and the white skinny jeans in place of the khaki pants again with those ubiquitous leopard flats. I really need to get some cognac ones.

Are you interested in joining me for the next challenge? It's the winter/holiday challenge and sign ups are open! Just go here to sign up! The list hasn't come out yet but we've been given some teasers. We'll be styling leggings and tunics, ponchos and sparkling sweaters, boot socks and boots, fur scarves and rhinestones. We recently learned that there will be 7 items that are repeated from the Fall Challenge which means more shopping in my closet for me! Won't you join me?

Today I'm linking up to the I Feel Pretty link party!
I Feel Pretty Logo

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Does your family enjoy camping? Ours does and our camping history goes way back to when Michael and I were first dating. About a month into our dating relationship we decided to drive up to the north Georgia mountains for a camping trip - totally on a whim! We used a small pup tent he had, grabbed a sleeping bag and some blankets, a small, single burner cookstove and drove his dad's Mazda 626. We parked somewhere along a road, hiked into the dusk and fog, picked a spot at the top of a mountain and set up our tent. It was dark by this point and foggy so we couldn't see where we were, exactly. He heated water on the single burner to make soup but spilled it on my foot. It was really hot at first but quickly turned cold. We hadn't packed for cold weather, really, coming from Florida and it was really cold that night. REALLY cold! Ice had formed on the inside of the tent. He got up in the middle of the night and called to me to poke my head out. The clouds had cleared and the stars were out and the view was AMAZING! I think I knew that night that this was the man I wanted to marry. He told me later that he was impressed that would want to go camping, that I was tough and didn't complain. {Phew! I passed the test!} I loved that he had a spirit of adventure and that he loved the outdoors and was strong, tough and manly. And that he could play the guitar. We sang songs all the way back to Florida; I drove while he strummed the guitar.

After we were married, we camped with friends in St. Petersburg (fondly calling it the DHK camping trip) even while I was pregnant. (It was at that point that I insisted on sleeping on an air mattress rather than the Ridge Rest.) We took Tommy camping when he was 6 weeks old in Michael's parents' RV. Again, it was really cold but this time we had heat! We have taken all of our kids camping, beginning when they were very young. I have a vivid memory of giving Annie a bath in a dishpan perched on a picnic table on one camping trip. She must have been about 6 months old.

Later, when we joined Redeemer, some friends of ours began a kids' camping trip to Fort Clinch. At first it was just dads and kids but since I liked camping I wheedled my way into the group. Oh the memories we made on those weekends! Tours of Ft. Clinch at night, hikes to the BFT (big fat tree), shared meals (we all loved Tracy's smoked brisket and pulled pork), swims at the beach, runs through the park. We've done this pretty regularly in fall and spring.

This past week we went again. The group has changed and evolved over time. This time we had a small group. I got up there late on the second day. I almost didn't go because it was so late. I was tired since I hadn't slept a lot the night before and I had cooked for a women's retreat at Redeemer all.day.long. But Michael and Annie were there and they were expecting me and I wanted to go. So I drove the hour to Amelia Island and I am so glad I did. Sitting around the campfire, talking to friends, sleeping cuddled up in a tent is so relaxing, so rewarding. I can't wait to go again in March! If you want to join in on the fun, shoot me an email or tell me in the comments. I can get you a spot!
The kitchen crew hard at work
Our brand new stove and coffee pot
Hanging by the fire is the BEST!
This is the BFT
The BFT is good for all ages
It really is BIG!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Our church is hosting a Harvest Festival and we've invited World Relief to attend. They are bringing three bus loads! We are busy preparing for this influx of visitors, many of whom are of different faiths and do not speak English. We will have games and things for the kids to do, among which is a cookie walk. I baked 4 dozen cookies for it. Boy are they yummy!
A great way to fit more cookies on a pan: stagger them!
I based it on this recipe but made a few modifications. In retrospect, I would cut back on the amount of sugar as they are rather sweet or, at the very least, use unsweetened coconut flakes. I might also try using half coconut oil and half butter. But they were quite delicious, I must say! Here's my version:

Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups flaked sweetened coconut
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
14/ teaspoon salt
1.5 cups packed brown sugar
1 stick butter (1/2 cup), softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Arrange coconut in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 6 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring once. Set aside to cool.

3. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour,  baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir until well blended.

4. Place sugar and butter in mixer bowl and beat until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla then add the flour mixture, beating at low speed until combined. Stir in toasted coconut and chocolate.
So much yummy goodness!
5. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls (or do like I did and use a small cookie scoop) 2 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, a silpat mat or coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until bottoms of cookies just begin to brown. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire racks. Yields 4 dozen cookies (if you don't sample too much cookie dough!)
Perfect size using small scoop.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Winter Hats

For this week the Style Me Blogger's post is supposed to be about our favorite winter hats. Uh oh. I only have one really. And it isn't a fashionable hat. It's a totally practical kind of hat: a cold-weather running hat (as opposed to my warm weather running hat which is a baseball cap). When I'm running is about the only time I need to wear a hat in the winter in Florida, because I'm usually running during the coldest part of the day: right after the dawn.
I look dorky in hats!

What I like about this particular hat is that it has a ponytail hole in the back so that your ponytail can stick out when you pull it down over your ears.
Isn't this brilliant?
I usually wear my hair short and don't need this hole, but when I first bought the hat my hair was long enough to wear in a ponytail. And my hair has grown quite a bit in the last three months so that it can almost fit in a ponytail. Therefore I will get to use the hole again very soon now that it has turned cold!
More like a pigtail than a ponytail
Since I live in Florida, I don't wear winter hats during the day. I do have a hood on my parka that I can pull on if needed but I find that a hat 1) doesn't look good on me and 2) messes up my hair. 

I'm sure my styling sisters to the north have more to say on the subject. Check them out in the links below!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bonobos styling match

I am taking part of a Style Challenge to come up with an outfit that would complement some of the looks from the Bonobos Fall Collection of Men's Suits.

If you don't know, Bonobos is a clothing line for men who are not big fans of shopping. They claim to be "the largest clothing brand ever built on the web in the US."

They sent me several photos of their suits and my mission was to pick one and then select an outfit for a woman to wear that would complement it.

Boy this is gonna be fun!

Here's the outfit I picked.

Isn't this suit so very elegant? I could see going to a black tie affair with my hubby in this little number! I sure do like how Michael looks in a suit. This tuxedo is part of the Capstone tuxedo line. There are several different options to choose from ranging from fabric, to color, to jacket collar style, to print.

My husband's work has a fancy party every year. It used to be a Christmas party but this year they changed it to October and called it The Founder's Day Ball. Although a tux was not required, how fun would it be to show up in one? This one in particular?

Here are a few outfit ideas that I'd love to pair with this elegant tuxedo.

Since this particular tuxedo reminds me of a Great Gatsby sort of shin dig, I really like this dress paired with it.

I like how this has a 1920s feel to it. The black lace overlays champagne satin which echoes the colors and honeycomb pattern in the tuxedo's jacket. The bias cut, with its flared, swingy skirt, is flattering for many body types. Since I love pearls, I like the way it's styled in the picture, with a multi-strand pearl necklace. Strappy heels, a beaded clutch and a fur stole would be fabulous to finish up the look.

Or if lace feels like too much, I really like this simple little shift. The silky dupioni weave gives it a level of elegance that elevates the simplicity of the cut. I like the cap sleeves for a little added coverage and warmth. Personally, I like the playful bow belt, but since it is optional another belt can be subbed, maybe with a little glitz or even leopard! The fit-and-flare style is flattering to bottom heavy body styles like me. It comes in several colors but black and quarry (a silvery grey) are my favorites. Rhinestone chandelier earrings and silver sandals complete the outfit.

To get away from black but still have a festive feel, I love this black and red brocaded fit-and-flare dress. The waistline is embellished with black shimmering stones which eliminates the need for adding jewelry, except for maybe small black stone studs. A black wrap, simple black heals and a small black clutch round out the look. And bonus for me, it comes in petite!

Do you have a favorite? Tell me in the comments below!

Full disclosure: I have not received any compensation from Bonobos or any another store and there are no affiliate links in this post. The opinions are all my own.