MAPLE LEOPARD: 2015

Monday, December 14, 2015

Tis the Season in Seattle: 3 Ways to Give Back

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Happy Monday

Just a few more weeks and everyone will be around the Christmas tree opening all the things they requested, or rather begged Santa for! Ho Ho Ho, have you been naughty or nice?!?  I love the holiday season, a great time of the year to reflect on family and friends, and all the good things in life.

Here in America we are blessed with an abundance compare to many other countries in the world.  It's hard to admit, but we sometimes get greedy and forget to think of others.

I've been reading other blogs and seeing lots of ways to spread cheer this time of year. It's great to be a blessing to someone who is not expecting it.  Here are a few ways  you can make a big difference with little expense.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

How to Style a Holiday Outfit for Less


Merry Christmas! Tis the season of holiday parties, galas, and get togethers. What better time to show off your chic style, and get on your glam!

 Most ladies don't like to go spend a wad of money on styling an outfit you likely will never wear again. I have to admit I have done this a few times: It's called the "Princess Diana" syndrome: wear it once and get rid of it!

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A great diversion is to shop your own closet! This is a great way to save some dollars to spend on others instead of yourself.

Chances are you already have what you need to inspire a smashing look. I'm sure just about every female closet has a little black dress, and a pair of gorgeous heels. These items are great foundation pieces to create the rest of your look around.

Monday, December 7, 2015

How Ecofashion is Reinventing the Runway

Good Morning,

Reimagine the Runway: I was Invited to an exciting ecofashion event last Wednesday, held in the heart of Pioneer Square. The Seattle show was presented by Savers Value Village, in partnership with Eco Fashion Week in Vancouver. What an inspiring show! The creative talent displayed was  jaw dropping! Oodles of clothes were given new life!

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Monday, November 30, 2015

Cyber Monday: 5 Holiday Dress Deals

Dresses to Dazzle

Another thanksgiving weekend has come and gone, I hope you had a lovely time making memories with your family and friends. Now the holiday shopping craziness is in full swing. Did you get your fill of shopping on Black Friday? I think I did!


In the hustle and bustle of shopping for others, you may not have time to shop for that perfect holiday dress.  Cyber Monday is here, and deals galore await you!  Grab your coffee, curl up on the couch, and shop to your hearts content. The best part is, no one will be shoving you down the aisles!

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These are a few of my favorite picks and all 5  are on sale at Nordstrom.com. 
All the dresses here work great for whatever holiday festivity you have planned.  The red off the shoulder one is my first choice. This piece is especially fabulous to wear to a formal party or dance,

I also wanted to share a fantastic site I heard about on Good Morning America yesterday.  Be sure to visit 6 pm, a fashionista's dream site! Today they are offering 70 percent off on many items, along with free shipping on orders fifty dollars or more. All of your favorite brands are there waiting for you!

 How is your shopping coming along? Do you prefer to shop online or in the store? I definitely vote for the hands on experience, although I do like online shopping for some items.

Well there you have it, shop til you drop and be sure to take some time for yourself to breathe, relax, and enjoy the beauty of this wonderful season.

xoVALERIE
* This post contains affiliate links

SHOP:
 
1) Frenchi  Metallic Skater Dress
2) Vince Camuto Black Fringe Cocktail Dress
3) Eliza J Fit Flare Dress
4) Adrianna Papell One Shoulder Dress 
5) Ralph Lauren Lace Sequin Sheath Dress



Monday, November 23, 2015

Cecy & Blake: Unique Designer Handbags

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Happy Monday to All! 

It's Thanksgiving week here in the U.S.  I am thankful for the many blessings in life and that includes freedom of speech: the opportunity to write and say your opinions on a blog!  Thanks to all of you for coming here week after week and listening to me blab!

A few weeks back I did a collaboration photo shoot with Cecy & Blake, a new handbag designer here in the Seattle area. I had a wonderful time and enjoyed meeting them.  This gorgeous hand painted collection just launched on kickstarter for a 33 day campaign, and it's exciting to help spread the word!

The designers's artistic talent is evident on every handbag.  I love it that each bag is original. Who doesn't love to show off your latest style that no one else has!?!  These bags pair great with your casual wear or a dressy outfit.  They make the perfect holiday gift!


Photography: DenMar Studio

The main qualities of these beautiful bags are:

  1. Made from full grain leather(the most expensive, sturdiest part of the leather; only hides with minimal number of blemishes make it into this category.
  2. Functionally designed by a Yale-graduated engineer.: Tote has 6  inside pockets, the clutch has credit card spots.
  3. Each bag and wallet is individually hand -painted by skilled artists
  4. Cecy & Blake bags use a best-in-class leather paint specifically formulated for painting leather sneakers. It is water resistant, scratch resistant, and fade resistant.

 Cecy& Blake have expressed their passion to create high quality, innovative products at a fair price.  Words from the designers: " We put our heart and soul into our project and hope people love what we have created, as much as we do."

I hope you enjoyed learning of this new designer! You can also find them on Instagram.What are your shopping plans this Black Friday? Stay safe, don't get trampled in all the madness.  I wish you a beautiful Thanksgiving with your family and friends!  See you again soon,

                                                  xo Valerie 



                                                                  



Monday, November 16, 2015

Las Vegas: The Ultimate Style Guide


The Ultimate Guide to Vegas Style


VIVA LAS VEGAS!


Swimming pools, shopping, spirits, clubbing , what's your dream?! Las Vegas has it all!  It is a fun place to relax, unwind, and show off your great style. I was invited to a style challenge by the site vegas.com to create a collection of outfits.  This is my take on how a gal can transition from day to night and be effortlessly chic.



LUNCH AND SHOPPING AT THE VENETION:

Image: Vegas.com

Image:  Vegas.com



Shop in STyle

I've been to Vegas twice so far.  I haven't even scratched the surface when it comes to touring all the ornate  hotels. For once in my life...I was truly speechless, ha! (That doesn't happen often!) All I could do was gasp at some of the huge palace like resorts. 

  Last February I was in town for a milestone birthday and fashion trade show.  I decided to spend some time at the VenetianThis hotel definitely has the ambiance of a classy Italian village, and is for sure one of my favorites!  The Grand Canal Shoppes satisfied all my shopping needs, and more!



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                                                     Image: Vegas.com                                                  

When shopping time is done, you can do lunch with the "Cake Boss!" Buddy's Ristorante features casual dining, with an upscale atmosphere. The menu has a wide of selection of American and Italian cuisine, including some of Buddy's signature dishes. He may even share his famous Italian birthday cake with you...yummy!


 STAY & SWIM  AT THE TRUMP TOWERS


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My stay at the Trump towers was totally amazing! This is the place to get your glam on. Pampering and spoiling, are on the menu all day long! The room was absolutely gorgeous and so relaxing. The big jacuzzi tub was my friend all week, as well as the pool!

The selection of hotels in Vegas is endless! Each hotel offers such a  unique experience. This hotel page offers superb deals on accommodation packages and shows.


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Grab your sunnies, throw on your cover up and off to the pool you go! Speaking of the pool, how many swimsuits does a fashionista need?! One suit for each day of the week, of course! Swim suit shopping can be overwhelming to say the least. Fortunately there are many choices to accommodate every body type and shape. 

If you are a little self conscience but still want a little edge to your suit, tankinis are the way to go.  If you are that bold girl, then by all means invest in a cheeky bikini!

POOL TIME





CASUAL STREET STYLE


 Your packing list should also include several pair of shorts and tank tops.  I spent a few hours exploring the strip and just taking in all the sights. Wow,  It's a long hike to get from one end to the other! I made it half way before I had to hop a bus, the blazing heat got the best of this girl!

DINNER AND CLUBBING

Whatever your plans are in Vegas, try to spend your money on clothes that multitask. Amid all the fun activities, you might not have a lot of time to spend planning outfits for the day. I also suggest packing of casual/dressy staples that will take you from day to night.

A midi length dress is the perfect anytime, anywhere piece that will transition easily from dinner to a night on the town. Changing out accessories such as shoes, bag, and jewelry can transform your  look instantly . Let your accessories do the talking!

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Raise you day to Night Game


My favorite night time venue to visit is the Rio. The rooftop Voodoo lounge is just amazing! The view and  atmosphere are spectacular. Don't worry, no hexes , just great fun and dancing awaits you!


Rio-All-Suite-Hotel-Dining-Upscale-voodoo-steakhouse-12
Image: CeasersPalace.com/rio-las-vegas

                                             

Lovely ladies, I hope this post has inspired you to discover new style ideas for vacation.  If you enjoyed it, I would appreciate a share on social media, thank you!

 Perhaps reading this prompted you to plan a trip to the city of entertainment:" The Miracle In The Desert!" Have you been to Las Vegas yet?  If so, I'd love to know your favorite styles you wore while there.  Have a great week!


 xo VALERIE

                                        




















Monday, November 9, 2015

How to Style Faux Fur



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Hello Lovely People,

How was your weekend? Maybe you spent it shopping for the upcoming holidays, I did get a few gifts bought.   Here in the northwest the colder weather has settled in, so it is starting to feel more like fall for sure. 

 As much as I LOVE warm weather, it's nice to  pull out the furry, warm fuzzy pieces to liven up your wardrobe for the long days of fall and winter. Faux fur is always a great choice, and pairs well with casual or dressy outfits.

  
Layered on top of a long sleeved knit top and your favorite leggings, a fur vest can add a lot of glam to your otherwise simple outfit.  Some gals don't want to go all out with a fur coat, so a vest is a fabulous way to make style statement as well.


What I love about faux fur the most, is it makes you feel just a bit glamorous, girly, and admired.  Whenever I see a lovely lady in fur, it always catches my eye!  Seeing it takes me back in time to the fashion  eras of the 30's and 40's that I adore so much.  The fur trend never seems to leave us, it just get reinvented to wow us all over again. What are your favorite go to "glam" pieces this fall?

 I hope your week is off to a great start! Perhaps you have Wednesday off for Veterans Day if you live in the U.S.  Be sure take time to pause , remember, and be thankful for the freedoms we enjoy because of the sacrifices of many.


XO VALERIE

|Shop the Look|: Faux fur vest(similar) | Faux leather leggings| Knit long sleeved tee| Riding Boots|(similar)


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

One Year Blogaversary: Plus Benefit Cosmetics Giveway



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Happy Tuesday!


As I mentioned in a previous post, September was the one year anniversary for my blog.  I would like to say a very sincere THANK YOU to all who have read my blog posts, commented, shared, liked, and followed me on social media.  I appreciate all the support, and I am so glad to share my journey with all of you!


The challenges of blogging some days have totally kicked my butt!  My laptop has definitely come close to making a few trips through the air!  Anyways I made it through and plan to keep fine tuning things to make my blog the best it can be.  Also if you have not subscribed to my blog by email I would be thrilled if you did,  just hop on over to the sidebar >>>> thank you!


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To show my appreciation, I am hosting this great  giveaway along with some other fabulous bloggers. I am grateful they allowed me to join in. I would love for one of you to win the loot! 


Good luck on the give away, and have a fantastic week!

xo VALERIE


Last year, I conducted two advent calendar giveaways (one for the US and one for the UK) and they proved to be enormously successful. So this year, I've teamed up with several other bloggers to run a a group giveaway!

This giveaway is in association with all of these lovely bloggers. Pay them a visit!


 Left to right: My So Called Chaos, Anna in Wonderland, Simply Wright, Logan Can

Left to right: Rae's Think Pad, Auburn Pride, Maple Leopard,  Peace Love Sequins

About the Prize:

Please note, this is open to residents of the US and Canada ONLY. However, check back tomorrow (November 3) for an equally amazing giveaway for my ladies of the UK and Ireland. 

You'll win a Benefit Party Poppers calendar, which includes 12 of Benefits best selling products, one to open on each of the 12 days leading up to Christmas. You'll receive $90 worth of products including:

  • the POREfessional PRO balm
  • BADgal lash volumizing mascara
  • lollitint poppy pink lip & cheek stain
  • ooh la lift undereye brightener
  • they’re real! lengthening mascara
  • they’re real! remover
  • rockateur famously proactive face powder
  • high beam complexion enhancer
  • total moisture facial cream
  • hoola ultra plush lip gloss
  • sugarbomb ultra plush lip gloss
  • watt’s up! soft-focus highlighter

Rules:

-You must enter via Rafflecopter. Winners will be cross checked to ensure fair entry.
-You must reside in the United States or Canada 
-You must be 18 to enter, 13 with parents' permission.
-Winner will have 72 hours to claim prize before the prize becomes null and a new winner is drawn. 
-Contest will run until November 16 
-Good luck!

This giveaway is not associated in any way with Benefit Cosmetics.


a Rafflecopter giveaway














Monday, November 2, 2015

The Perfect Holiday Gift: An AIBI Watch


Complimentary Service/Product: I received an accessory of my choice, in exchange for a review.


 Good Morning!

Wow this weekend flew by fast, and now Novemeber is here. It's almost time for the holidays, time to get shopping!  If accessories  are on your list, AIBI watches are timelessly classic and 
make the perfect gift for him or her. 

The Perfect Holiday Gift: An AIBI Watch

I was excited this past week to receive my Julia Engel Miami Rose Watch.  I put it on right quick and headed to my favorite cupcake store in town: Bella Bella Cupcakes. There is Always time for cupcakes!

The perfect holiday gift An Aibi Watch

 The possibilities to style this watch with you favorite outfits are endless. Take control of your  schedule and every moment in your life with one of these gorgeous watches.  I love the superior craftsmanship and the brand story behind them.  

The perfect Holiday gift: An Aibi Watch

AIBI represents the purest of love among human beings.  The company was started by a man and woman who met at a high end jewelry and watch party.  A classy gentleman was wearing a simple watch who caught her eye, and from there they fell in love and the watch company was born.  The simplicity and true love of Aibi since it's foundation, has caught the eye of many fashion stars.





 AIBI designer watches are the perfect choice for your lifestyle needs.  No matter your age, you can always look stunning and gorgeous with this perfect accessory. Compliment your stylish look, and dare to be different.  This holiday season choose a watch that is uniquely you, and represents all  that you love in life!

Have you started your holiday shopping yet, or are you one those last minute procrastinators!?!  I hope you have a great week and hope your gift seeking endeavors go smoothly.  I am hosting a giveaway this week with some other bloggers, so be sure to come back in a few days to enter!


                                     xo Valerie



Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Halloween: Marge Simpson Style & Fashion Link Up


Howdy & Happy Halloween!  

Wow it seems like forever since I've posted.!  I hope you are doing well, and are ready for the big fright night!  I always seem to procrastinate when it comes to finding a costume for October 31st. I wish I planned sooner and sewed something really creative. Oh well... there is always next year!

To hunt for a costume, I visited Party City to see what they had and nothing jumped out at me. I decided to take a peak inside Goodwill, Halloween headquarters. I looked around for a few minutes, and oh yeah Margee baby came calling my name! As all my friends and family know, I am such a quiet and shy girl, (ha!) so Ms. Marge seemed like the perfect fit for me!

So the big question is...will all the kids at school where I teach, do they even know who Marge Simpson is!?!  It seems like the Simpsons have been around forever.  

I am looking forward to all the fun Halloween festivities! What are you going to dress up as? I would love to see your comments and hear of your fun plans. Be safe, enjoy, and  try to stay out of your kid's candy..!  If you are a blogger, feel free to link up your Halloween costume or your latest fashion post below.













Friday, October 23, 2015

Fashion Editor Interview: Bryan Salvadore



Happy weekend to you!

Today I am sharing an interview with a  fashion influencer I connected  with on twitter.  Bryan is a Fashion editor and is finishing up his law degree. We have followed each other on this fashion journey the past year. He has been a great inspiration to me, and thought he would be to all of you as well. He has great style and passion for what he does.

fashion editor interview



1) Tell me about yourself

My name is Bryan Salvadore and I like to think of myself as a jack of a few trades. I am currently a third-year law student at Boston University School of Law. I am also the Style & Fashion Editor of East Coast Kids Inc.  I like to experiment and mix fashion trends to create my own personal style. I currently live in Boston, but my heart lies in New Jersey where I was raised. When I am not attending classes, working, or blogging I love spending time with my loved ones.

fashion editor interview



2)What have you learned from past jobs that relate to your position now as a fashion editor



Prior to working as a fashion editor, I worked at a number of firms where I developed time management skills. As one can imagine, an editor's deadlines are extremely important and must be factored into every decision. A related skill I learned from past jobs is the ability to work well under pressure. Sometimes unforeseen circumstances arise which require more work than was originally expected, working under pressure in other work environments has helped me tremendously with dealing with these type of situations. 


3)What are the top 3 skills for a fashion editor?



As a new fashion editor I think the skills I have listed below are integral for a fashion editor: 
  1. Communication Skills  
  2. Attention to detail 
  3. Ability to work well with others 


4)What is the best fashion advice you ever received?



The best advice I think I have received is to keep an open mind. Sometimes we walk into a store and automatically see a piece that speaks to our style right away. However there will be other times where we come across an item that we think is “fashionable” or “cool”  but it does not exactly fit with our personal style. I was told to always take at least one of those pieces into the fitting room to try on. You really never know! 


5) What is your "go to" oufit for work?

My “go to” look for work is best described as business casual. I love throwing a textured sweater over a patterned button up. I typically pair this with a darker washed jeans and my chelsea boots. I finish the look with my pea coat and I’m out the door. 


6)What wardrobe pieces should every man own?

While there are so may more “must-have” pieces for every man’s closet, I listed a few that I think do not get mentioned as often as they should. 

1. Stylish Watch; A sleek everyday watch is the perfect addition to any man's outfit. It is an accessory that ties any look together while adding a polished finish.

2. Jacket for each season: This should be obvious but a jacket for every season is a necessary. A sharp jacket tells people you are put together without saying anything. The key here is to make sure that they are all comfortable and in different colors. 

3. Navy Blue Tailored Three Piece Suit: At some point in every man’s life, he will need/want to wear a suit. A three piece suit provides options that a two piece doesn’t. I would also suggest ditching the traditional boring black suit for an elegant navy blue suit. Modern and fitted is the key when purchasing a staple suit. 

4. Dark Washed Jeans: This type of jeans can be dressed up for a business casual look or dressed down for a more casual look. Its versatility makes is a necessary piece to any man’s closet. 

5. Chelsea Boots: The cool thing about Chelsea boots is that they can easily go with any look. Their sophisticated quality coupled with their versatility make it a staple for all men’s closets. 


7) The one luxury item you are dying to splurge on is?


The one luxury item that I am dying to splurge on is a pea coat from Burberry's
 Prorsum collection.


8)What is your long term goal as a fashion influencer?

One of my most important long term goals as a fashion influencer is to highlight men's fashion as a important aspect of the fashion world. Too often men’s fashion  is seen as subpar and I would like to be a part of the movement that steers away from that outlook. Another one of my long term goals is to assist people in finding their own personal style. I want to be able to provide men and women with a means to continue to refine or define their personal styles. 

Sincerely, 

Bryan Salvadore 

fashion editor interview

Thanks for visiting and your continued support of my blog!  I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did.  What was your favorite take away from the interview?

Also, be sure to visit Bryan's Fashion Blog Salvadore Styles, which launches next Friday!

 I will be taking a short break from blogging next week, I have a mini class to take and some blog maintenance to do, see you again soon!



                                                                     VALERIE