MAPLE LEOPARD: October 2015

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


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

H & M: Midweek Fall Roundup

Hey there!

I  missed getting a post up on Monday like I usually do. With one of my kiddos being home for the weekend, I had no time for blogging. Anyway, enough with the excuses! In my travels this past weekend, I snuck into H and M  at a local Mall. Of course I had to tie my hands down so I would not buy everything I saw! The fall fashion finds this year are just glorious!


H and M Fall Roundup
I've put together the perfect fall outfit with some of my favorite picks I saw in the store. It's both chic and versatile: great for work, shopping, happy hour, or a date with your significant other.

SHOP THE LOOK


H M red handbag|
$46 - hm.com

As I mentioned earlier, I was a good girl, and decided to buy just one dress and style it with accessories  I already had. It's amazing what you can come with, by shopping your own closet! I am trying to do that more, as I have way too many clothes. Ha, did I just admit that?!?

This dress is super comfy, feels like you are wearing a long tshirt!  Unfortunately It's not available online, only in store.

H & M Midweek fall roundup

H&M midweek fall roundup
H and M midweek fall roundup

 I hope you're having an amazing fall and coming across some fabulous fashion finds!  Which retailer are you finding the most inspiration from? Thanks for stopping by, it's almost weekend time!



VALERIE

Friday, October 16, 2015

Middle Age Fashion: 4 Ways to Own a Look




Happy Friday!

I am especially happy for this weekend to get started, my daughter came home from college. I'm so excited to enjoy her for a few days, oh yeah it's shoppin time!

 If you have visited my blog for very long, you know that I turned the big Five- Oh last February.  The majority of  fashion bloggers are 30 years old and younger. At first I felt intimidated  and wasn't sure I would have a unique voice among all the younger bloggers!  I've learned that there is room for everyone as an influencer. Each one has a unique persona and style to share.

There are many celebrities who are rocking the fashion scene after 50, such as Jane Fonda,Cher, Madonna, and Tilda Swinson to name a few. They say with experience comes expertise. Here are some ways to own a look into your fifties and beyond.

1) Create a flawless skin tone: Use a brightening foundation all over your face and blend with your fingers. The heat form your hands allows the make up to melt into the skin and leaves a natural looking finish.
                                                                       
How to own a look in your 50's and beyond



2)Blur the lip lines : Red hued lipsticks create instant drama and a youthful look. To keep the lips from looking harsh, apply color straight from the tube, then gently swipe cotton around the borders of your lips. This will pick up the extra color and soften the edges of your smoochers!


                   



3)Experiment with prints:  A dress with a classic cut may be flattering to your shape, but most likely won't have the "wow" factor.  To achieve this choose one with a "can't miss it" pattern.  Prints of this type bring a youthful edge.

How to own a look in your 50's and beyond



4) Keep accessories to a minimum: You may want to add to the fun spirit of the dress with showy type shoes, but classic dark pumps are the way to go. A pointy pump will be sure to make you feel put together and polished.  For jewelry, keep it simple with one piece. Too many jewels adds competition to the outfit. Skipping it altogether is just fine too.

                       
I hope I have inspired you to embrace style no matter your age!  How do you like to own your look?  Have a great weekend!


Monday, October 12, 2015

Runway To Freedom: Fashion Show Benefit

Runway to Freedom:Fashion Show Benefit Seattle

How did Monday get here so fast again?!?  At least it's a day off for me, so I am thankful for that.

I was contacted by Seattle agency Runway to Freedom to share this event.  I am very happy to promote this wonderful show benefitting those who suffer from  domestic vilolence.  R.W.T. F works to raise money to help  victims in their fight for survival.  The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that 1 in 3 women, and 1 in 4 men, have encountered domestic violence in their lifetime.

Runway to Freedom: Fashion Show Benefit  Seattle


Every year an agency is chosen to benefit from the proceeds of this show. This year's recipient is Mary's Place. This is a non profit agency operating 5 homeless shelters in King County. The shelters provide a safe haven and access to a variety of social programs, to help victims restart their lives.

I am very thankful I have never had to experience this in my lifetime. I can only imagine how horrible it must be for an individual to endure a domestic violence situation. I think it's awesome there are so many agencies locally and nationally that are working hard to prevent this from happening to the next person.




An exciting highlight of the event this year, is a special musical performance by Kimberly NIcole. She was a contestant on the NBC hit show "The Voice."  I love music and am excited for the fashion show as well as the mini concert!

The show is still over a month away. For all the local peeps, you have plenty of time to plan the perfect outfit and clear up your schedule so you can attend. I hope to see you there!  I am leaving you with my idea of the perfect fashion show outfit!



Runway To Freedom:Fashion Show Benefit




TICKETS AND INFORMATION

                             

Thursday, October 8, 2015

5 Things I've Learned in My First Year of Blogging




Hey lovely people,

TGIF! I can't wait for the long weekend to start!  September was the one year anniversary of starting my blog. It's been an incredible ride so far, an amazing experience to say the least! I've had the opportunity to be involved in some exciting events, collaborate with designers/brands, and had my writings published in two magazines.  

Some days I've been tempted to give it up, the time commitment and work involved is so taxing when you have another job. Then I'll receive a kind comment from a reader of how I inspired them, and it gives me a boost to carry on. I had no idea what I was getting myself into! I'm happy I made the plunge and here are some things I've learned along the way!


1) The blogging community is tops for support and encouragement

 In recent weeks I've joined several blogging groups on facebook. It's very heart warming to see people who are strangers to one another, so willing to help out. I've asked a ton of questions about social media strategy, the business of blogging, and about technical challenges. It is never long and someone jumps in to offer their help. This sometimes techy challenged girl would not have made it,  without all of you out there in blogging land! What can I say, I grew up in the 70's!

My favorite part of my blogging is all the friends and connections I've made, online and in person.  I have discovered so many talented and encouraging people on this journey!


5 things Ive learned the first year of blogging


2) Key words are crucial

If you don't use them right in your posts, it's really hard to get found in google searches. It is especially important in your post title. If people have to struggle to figure out what the post is about, then it's time to drop it and start over.

3) Photos really do make or break the post

I have learned a boatload about photography in the past year as well. Quality photos are essential if you want to drive traffic to your blog and keep visitors coming back.  Iphone photos work in a pinch, but of course the quality does not compare to photos taken on a DSLR camera.  I just recently purchased a DSLR and am very excited to learn more photography skills.  The sizing of your images and the time you take to edit them, is very important too.  Humans are very visual creatures and the more pics the better!


5 things Ive learned the first year of blogging



4) Success on social media requires a different strategy for each platform.

When I first started blogging, I posted the same info on each platform. I used the same images and didn't really take time to test what was working on each, or how to gain followers. I've also learned that certain platforms are better for growth, depending on your blogging niche.  I've found that Instagram and Twitter are best for driving traffic to a fashion blog.  I just read today that the top ten Instagram fashion models started out as bloggers.

5) Blogging is big business!
If one is serious about turning a blog into a business, it certainly is possible.  I've connected with several bloggers who have quit their job and are blogging full time.  The most popular form of monetizing on your blog. seems to be creating and marketing your own digital products such as: webinars, e-books, and podcasts.  Affiliate marketing and sponsorships are other ways to monetize. However I think these are not as profitable, if you don't have massive traffic coming to your blog. 
My long term goal is to have my own online boutique that features my own designs, if I EVER find time!!

 
Images: Pexels

Thank you to all my readers for your support and for reading all my chatter the past year.  I hope to get giveaways and linkups going here soon, if I can get the technical issues resolved!  If you are a new blogger, what challenges have you overcome and what have you learned?  If you are a seasoned blogger I would love to hear your insights as well!

Have a great weekend!

XO VALERIE



Wednesday, October 7, 2015

BCBG: A Fabulous Fall Frock

BCBG: A fabulous fall frock



BCBG Fabulous Fall fRock



bcbg fabulous fall frock

bcbg fabulous fall frock


bcbg a fabulous fall frock

bcbg fabulous fall frock

Dress: BCBG| Booties: Alfani(Similar)| Caged Chunk Heels:(Similar)

Hello!  I am back from a fun weekend at Birch Bay and Vancouver fashion week. On my fashion  travels the past few weeks, I went shopping and found this cute two tone dress. It's the perfect piece to transition from summer to fall. Upon arriving home, I could not help but notice the beautiful fall foliage surrounding my neighborhood. Being the big kid that I am, I had to make a mess and play in the leaves!

I hope you are having fun with your fall activities and shopping! Is there a fall outfit that has your eye? Just splurge and go for it! Happy Wednesday, talk again soon!

                                  












Friday, October 2, 2015

7 Most Wanted Trends for Fall: With Rachel Zoe


7 most wanted treands for fall: with Rachel Zoe

Last weekend was an amazing time!  I attended the fashion forecast show hosted by Bellevue Fashion week, with special guests Rachel Zoe. The distinguished fashion celebrity is known as one of the most influential personalities in fashion today. It was great to listen to her insights about the fashion industry. Also hosting was Cara Crowley, Vogue market stylist.

I actually showed up at the show 3 hours early! I know, crazy lady right?!?  It was totally worth it to get a front row seat.  The things we do for a fashion fix!  Anyway I am excited to share with you these 7 artful and inspirational trends for fall.
.
7 most wanted trends for fall with Rachel Zoe
1) The New Touchables:  leather and feather embellished pantsuit by BCBGMAAZRIA


7 most wanted trends for fall with Rachel Zoe

7 most wanted trends for fall with Rachel Zoe
 2) Endless Shades of Grey: 

 Charcoal sweater, leather pant and overcoat by ARITZIA
 Wool Coat with grey jersey jogger and knit sweater by  UNIQLO
                                                             
         

Bohemian Dream
 3) Bohemian Dream:  Print maxi dress with black motorcycle jacket by INTERMIX.


Amazing Lace
 4) Amazing Lace: Black lace, short romper by INTERMIX


Time for Tweed
Add caption
 5) Time For Tweed: Teal weave, short sleeve cocktail dress by NORDSTROM
    Rachel Zoe green and gold pump.



Poncho it up


6) Poncho it Up:  Burgundy strip poncho with wide leg jean by ARITZIA.


7 most wanted trends for fall

AFter Dark

7) After Dark :  Blush beaded gown by NORDSTROM

I hope your enjoyed the fashion show, and maybe you received some inspiration for your fall wardrobe!  The teal tweed dress has my attention, absolutely gorgeous and my favorite color to boot!  It may have to find a home in my closet!  Which outfit caught your eye the most?

Have a great weekend. I am off to another fashion week, I will share that one later!

xo VALERIE

*Affiliate links are contained in this post.