Zig Zag's and Flowers

Hope you all had a great weekend! Mine was relaxing, visiting with friends and taking care of my sick babes. This is the millionth double ear infection in the last few months so we are well on our way to getting tubes! If it means Charlotte's ear infections pretty much go away (and if it helps her to starting saying words), I am all for it! Because of all the fun germs and tears, I am SO thankful that my husband has off until Thursday! Having a second set of hands around during the day makes all of the difference!

Anyway, I am super excited about the dress I am wearing today. If any of you missed this post, you missed my exciting news that I will be opening my very own online boutique, Elizabeth & West Fashion House, after the start of the new year (not like right after the new year)! I am beyond excited about it, and have been slowly but surely building my inventory! I have even been doing some pre orders on Elizabeth & West's facebook page! If you haven't headed over to check it out, you totally should. Like it while you are there!

This dress I absolutely love. It was perfect to wear Christmas Eve. Totally comfortable (I wish I could say the same for my tights...tights are so restricting!), pairs great with tights and boots. I can't wait until it gets warmer so I can wear it with cute sandals too! The pop of red added with the necklace was the perfect accessory to brighten up the look. My Aunt Mary Sue (who is a fashionista herself!) got it for me for Christmas and I love it. I have had my eye on this style of necklace for a while but never bought it for myself. I am totally glad I waited!

Outfit Details:
Dress: Elizabeth & West Fashion House (available via facebook for pre order only) /// Necklace: Gifted /// Tights: Assets via Kohl's /// Boots: Victoria's Secret (similar) /// Clutch: Steven Madden via TJ Maxx /// Bracelets: Charming CharlieStella and Dot /// Sunglasses: Target 

Also, don't forget there is still time to enter the giveaway I am hosting with Lauren from Style Elixir, Ashley from Afternoon Espresso, Kaitlin from Tea and Sequins and Sherry from The Life of the Party to win some amazing prizes (J Crew, Amazon, Target, Nordstrom!)!! You can enter the giveaway here

See you all back here tomorrow! Have a great Monday! 



Giveaway + Friday Fab Favorites Link Up: NYE Edition

Hey everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed spending time with your family and friends. I enjoyed mine with my family, minus a few sick kiddos with fevers and runny noses! I have a feeling its going to be a long winter!

I am once again linking up with Lauren to co host Friday Fab Favorites! (Also head over to Lauren's) blog to check out an awesome GIVEAWAY!) Since New Years Eve is right around the corner I figured I would share some things I have been eyeing up for the occasion. Chances are, most of these won't make it to my closet, because my NYE will be pretty low key this year- out to dinner and a movie most likely with my husband- but a girl can dream about these in her closet, right? :)
Asos Dress /// Jane Iredale 24 K Gold Dust /// Zara High Heel Sandal /// Asos Metal Weave Clutch /// BaubleBar Crystal Prism Bib Necklace /// Jane Iredale In Touch Cream Blush /// Asos Faux Fur Crop Stole /// Max and Chloe Earrings

Lets talk about how gorgeous this dress is. Even though I am not doing anything that I need to be super fancy for, this dress could totally be dressed up or dressed down.

While I was at Lucky FABB I discovered Jane Iredale makeup and have really loved it. Their gold shimmer is perfect to add to your cheeks, eyes or lips for a subtle shimmer. I love using it because it gives a really subtle and natural looking glow! For a date night like NYE, I may add a little more for just a touch more shimmer! And it comes in several colors too! Their cream blush is seriously delicious. Because it has cocoa extract in it, it smells like chocolate- yes, chocolate! You can use it on your lips too, which is a bonus (and I may or may not lick my lips constantly when I wear it on my lips...don't judge!) What I love about the cream blush rather than a powder is it gives your look a dewy finish!

These shoes are just amazing! The gold, the mesh. Definitely on my wish list...maybe for my birthday?!?

Another Asos find, this clutch would be perfect to ring in the new year. Have you noticed I have a thing for metallics lately?!?!

BaubleBar doesn't disappoint with this bib necklace. This is a totally justifiable purchase because its something that I know I would wear more than once! At $46, you really can't beat that!

Who doesn't want a little faux fur in their closet? This would be the perfect finishing touch to a fancy dress for New Years Eve along with these fab earrings!

I really wouldn't mind it all!! Why not get all fancy for dinner with your husband, right?!?!

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Makeup Organization 101

Happy Monday! Just a super quick, short post today before I finish wrapping things up (literally and figuratively) before Christmas is in full swing.

Overall, I am not the most organized person. I am by no means the worst, but I definitely can be disorganized. Yes, I have a Martha Stewart planner that I cannot live without, and a calendar on the fridge with each day marked as to what is for dinner, whether Ella has gym or music that day and any other appts, but other than that, I am soooo not organized.

At the beginning of 2012, my husband and I decided that would be The Year of Organization. Yep. We are still working on that one! :)

My makeup has been in a major, major need of organization and just basic purging. I am almost embarassed to say, but I still had eye shadow that I wore on my wedding day. In 2005. Like seriously? Am I really going to use that at this point in my life? Not likely.

Over the years, my makeup organization has consisted of tossing everything into this cosmetic bag and just tearing through it every time I did my makeup. Eventually I got an additional smaller bag to put my every day, go-to items in. But still, it needed total organization!

First, after going through all of my makeup and tossing anything I hadn't worn in a while or anything that was older than three months, I washed my brushes! I just use an inexpensive but effective elf daily brush cleaner.

I now store them in the super cute brush holder from Target (not available online). You can also just use old votives, a cute glass picked up at a flea market or from a store like Target! A good tip is to fill the container with rice or coffee beans so the brushes remain upright and don't touch each other!

I really can't tell you how nice it is to just grab a brush out of my organizer rather than rummaging through my makeup bag!

If you prefer counter top organizers, there are a few options herehere and hereThis one and this one are great options as well!

I personally still prefer a makeup bag as opposed to a counter top organizer (easier for travel). I purchased this Sonia Kashuk weekender and it is absolutely perfect for me!

Not only is the print super cute it is pretty practical. I am able to store all of makeup in it, but it is organized and not just tossed in there like my previous makeup bag. There are multiple compartments that are removable, so I keep all of my daily makeup in the same compartment- easy to remove, pack, toss in my purse. A small added bonus- they are clear so you can see everything! 

There you have it- super short and super brief but hopefully some good options for you and maybe some inspiration for you to go through your makeup!!



Last Minute Stocking Stuffers: Him and Her Edition

Happy Friday! Hopefully for most of you, this is your last working day before Christmas! I am enjoying one last quiet day at home before it all begins here! To be honest though, I am so looking forward to all of the excitement, anticipation, noise, good food and family! The house isn't even close to being ready and not one gift is wrapped, but I am so ready!

If you are anything like me, stocking stuffers are the last thing that you buy. I focus on the bigger purchases first and the stocking stuffers last. Those are usually purchased (at least for me) a couple of days or so before Christmas.

For me, stocking stuffers are usually smaller (obviously!), less expensive items which usually will include a variety- even candy and lotto tickets (my in laws always get all of us $50 worth and it never fails- I NEVER win a thing! haha). For my husband, when we actually exchange (we haven't the last couple of years), he always throws in one surprise, more expensive gift! I don't argue :)

I have rounded up a few of my favorite things that would make awesome stocking stuffers for her and for him!
Stocking Stuffers

1. You really can't go wrong with a good set of lip gloss. Plus, with a price of only $10 its perfect for the stocking! 
2. This is a little pricier, but a Kindle Paperwhite is great for the avid reader. I have a Nook (its from about 3 years ago). I love it, but I can't read it outside and its so frustrating! Plus, with having a Nook for so many years I realized I don't need all of the bells and whistles. I just need it to read, and that's it. 
3. A new cell phone case is always welcomed! I would love to change my case as often as I change my purse!
4. I cannot tell you the last time I bought a pair of socks. No really...its been since my husband and I started dating way back in 2000. Between his mother and mine, I get so many new socks every year for Christmas! I wouldn't mind adding these to my sock drawer!
5. These new Stella and Dot earrings make me think spring! Maybe if I wear them, spring will get here sooner?
6. I always seem to have a pharmacy in my purse, whether it be ibuprofen or cold medicine, or my thyroid medicine! I feel ridiculous with so many pill bottles in my bag, plus it takes up so much room! This cute little pill box solves that! Plus, it reminds me of the cute pill box my Grammy used to carry :) 
7. Every girl should have this emergency kit! You never know when you will need a nail file or dental floss! It's super cute, too!
8. C.O. Bigelow has some pretty amazing stuff at Bath and Body Works. This doesn't disappoint!

Stocking Stuffers for Him

1. C.O. Bigelow has just as much amazing items for men as they do for women! Who doesn't love a man who takes care of themselves?!
2. A classic pair of Ray Ban Wayfarer's fit perfectly into even the smallest stocking. Plus, they look pretty great too!
3. A practical and useful wallet of course! (Aren't our wallets so much more fun?!?!)
4. If you guy is like my husband (and me too, I admit) he will love this off the rocker autobiography of Ron Burgundy. My husband and I are counting the days until Anchorman 2!! Can't. Wait. 
5. If you read this post of mine, you saw how much I love a man in a bow tie! Why not add to the collection?
6. Do you have a bottle opener? Have you seen the bottle opener? Those are often said when we have people over. This awesome wall mounted bottle opener is as cool as it is useful! 

A lot of these items are available in store, so no need to worry about paying an arm and a leg in shipping to make sure it arrives in time to be put under the tree! You still have some time-and hopefully some patience-to head out and grab a few more stocking stuffers!

Linking up with Lauren for Fab Favorites!



My Life in Leggings

I feel as though that should be the name of my blog now!

I have been living in leggings lately guys, and I am not ashamed to say it. I think I have actually put on jeans maybe twice in the last couple of weeks. With all the snow we have gotten over the lately, with Ella being home from school sick, not having school because of the snow, then with me being sick, I just haven't ventured out of leggings too much. Plus they are super comfy- duh! (Ryan, if you are reading this- I promise when you get home from work today I won't be in leggings!)

These satin leggings are really no exception at all. They are like a fabulous twist on your everyday leggings! I chose to wear mine a little more casual (which has pretty much been the story of my life lately!), but I think the glitter flats and embellished sweatshirt (which was only $15 at Kohl's!) gives it a little something extra! (I have also worn them a little dressier here)

Outfit Details: 
Sweatshirt: Kohls (sold out online) /// Chambray: Gap /// Leggings: Kohl's /// Shoes: Old Navy (No longer available) /// Bag: Target /// Photos by Tabitha of Lifesong Mama

Come to think of it, I am wearing leggings as I type this. It's an addiction!! I am vowing here to not wear jeans tomorrow, ok?!?! I'll instagram it to prove it! 



Afternoon Espresso Cures my Blogging Slump

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I feel like I am finally back into the the living world! I've had the flu the last few days and today is the first day I am starting to feel human again and it feels SO great! Although I must admit its been a pretty good diet if I say so myself! Hahaha!  My husband has been amazing the last few days being Mommy, Daddy, the cook, the maid, my nurse! 

Let's talk blogging slumps- I am sure we have all had them. I guess this could be similar to writer's block? Yes? Well, it seems as though I have been in somewhat of a blogging slump lately. I've got anything and everything going on now just in general and the holidays on top of that so maybe that is contributing to the slump? Who knows! But I will say I am thankful for Christmas and New Years over the next few weeks as I plan to take a couple of days off here and there to recharge! 

You know what else I am thankful for? I am thankful that Ashley from Afternoon Espresso is taking over for me today! She is a nice little shining light in the dark, no-man's-land that is "the slump!" Whether its rocking the ever so coveted J Crew vest or planning a baby shower she does it in style! I also wish I had her drive and will power when it comes to working out. This girls got a gameplan- one that I should most definitely do!

Plus, she is so sweet, kind, and not to mention gorgeous! From the very first email, we instantly hit it off, chatting as if we've been friends for a long time! I genuinely enjoy reading her blog, and I know you will too :) Add to that the fact that she lives in one of my favorite places in the world (Pittsburgh)! So jealous she lives in a city that holds such a special place in my heart! Hope you enjoy as much as I do! 

 Sweater:  Target | Tee: Target | Leggings: TJ Maxx (similar Here) | Boots:  Bon Ton (Similar Here) | Socks:  American Eagle (old) Similar Here | Purse:  Emma Fox from TJ Maxx ( Similar Here) | Scarf:   Forever 21 (old) Similar Here | Sunnies:  Loft (recent on sale) Similar Here or Splurge here | Gloves: J.Crew

Helllooo everyone! I'm Ashley, the voice behind Afternoon Espresso, a fashion, beauty, and lifestyle blog.  It's so nice to meet you!  My main focus is, where my heart lies, in fashion, but I also like to mix things up a bit with a cupcake of the month, recipes, my travels, and beauty.  Today, I'm going to share with you a few of my favorite winter essentials.  I hope you enjoy!

1.  Scarves, scarves, and more scarves... These are an absolute must for me starting in the Fall all the way through Spring ( and even sometimes in the summer I toss one on with a tank).  It's a great way to keep warm and also add a pop of print or color to a simple outfit.

2.  Oversized sweaters- Completely versatile and comfortable (especially when traveling). Make it casual for the road with some leggings and boots like I did or throw on some heels, lipstick, and a belt to dress this sweater up.  This is definitely a go-to pick in the winter time for me to stay cozy and warm.

3.  Leggings- How excited were you when leggings came back in style? I love my leggings! Another versatile piece of clothing.  Now that stores are making fleece lined leggings, these can easily be transitioned into colder months and are a must for me in the winter.  I love how leggings, a sweater, and boots make such an effortless, chic look.

4.  Boots- Ladies, say goodbye to those open toed heels (just for a few months).  I can't brave the open toes in the winter living in Pittsburgh.  I'll stick with my boots.. and why not?  With so many fab boots (dressy and casual) you are sure to keep those tootsies nice and warm and still be trendy.  I'm currently craving these gorgeous booties here and here.

Thank you for taking the time to read my guest post today! If you would like to read more, feel free to stop by Afternoon Espresso or you can connect with me me via Twitter,  Facebook, or Instagram!  Have a wonderful day and Happy Holidays!

Linking up today with Shanna today for Random Wednesday!


OnlineShoes.com Styling Contest

A few months ago OnlineShoes.com contacted me about taking part in one of their styling contests! Um yes, please! Believe me- my arm does not have to be twisted too much if shoes are involved!

When I was given the chance to style a pair of UGG Boots I was even more excited, because I already own several pair of their Classic Tall Boots and couldn't WAIT to add to my collection. There is something to be said about how comfy and cozy a  pair of classic UGGS are.

They're perfect cold, blustery days here in Central PA- you know those days where its super cold and windy- you want to look cute and put together, but you also want to be comfy? Because I already own the light and dark tan as well as the black and gray, I was SO excited to choose navy. Over the years, navy has become more of a neutral to me, similar to a black or a nude, therefore I pair it with so much more than I used to!

Outfit Details:
Vest: Old Navy /// Plaid Top: Target (old) /// Chambray: Old Navy /// Jeans: Old Navy /// Shoes: UGGS c/o OnlineShoes.com

If you like the way I styled my UGGS, you can vote for me here once per household, until voting closes on December 27th!! By voting, you enter yourself to win pair of FREE shoes from OnlineShoes.com! Win, win, right?!?!

Hope you all have a great day, and don't forget to VOTE!! (Voting starts at 12 pm Pacific time)



Exciting Happenings on the Horizon

I love fashion- shocker, I know! I'll give you a minute to wipe of your computer screen or phone after spitting your drink out because of the shock factor in that statement.

Really though, I do love it. Everything about it- this little blog of mine has really helped to feed that love and that passion. I know it sounds silly when I say I have a passion for fashion (partly because it rhymes), but I really do! It makes me happy (even when my clothes don't fit me the way I want them to), it's what I know, and I like to think it is what I am good at!

With all of that being said, and at the support of my amazing husband (I love you SO much, Ry), who doesn't doubt me for a second-not ever-and after a long and encouraging chat with my successful friend Blair (that chat left me feeling like I could to anything!)  I will finally be launching my online boutique, called Elizabeth & West Fashion House! It has been something that I have been thinking and dreaming about for a long time! It feels good to get the ball rolling with it!  So what will my online shop offer? I will be offering trendy, timeless and classic clothing and accessories for women- and they will be totally affordable! It will sort of be like shopping my closet, I like to think!

It won't officially be launched and ready to go until some time after the New Year, just so I can get my head on straight, get some inventory in and just figure out what the heck I am doing!

For now, it would be awesome if you liked Elizabeth & West on facebook, and also on instagram! I have started, and will be doing a few (not many) pre orders, and will definitely be asking your opinion on some pieces of inventory! What better way to get input than from your customers?

Being that my name is Rebecca, and I live on the east cost, you are probably wondering how I got the name Elizabeth & West! Even if you aren't I am telling you, because it means so much to me :)

I thought, and thought, and thought about what to call this. Asked a couple of friends their opinions on names, asked my husband and nothing came to me, nothing really stuck. (word to the wise, when naming your children, if you ever want to name a business after them, make sure you choose names that "fit" well together. Sorry Ella and Charlotte, your names didn't fit the bill!) One night then, it just came to me!

 Elizabeth & West- perfect. The 'Elizabeth' comes from the college I went to, Elizabethtown College. I had the best four years of my life there! I met my husband there pretty much the first day on campus, and also made wonderful friendships, so that place holds a special place in my heart!

The 'West' is the neighborhood where I grew up in Hollidaysburg, West Loop. Out in the middle of nowhere, lots of grass, fields, mountains- as much as it was a pain in the ass living there when I was growing up (no one ever wanted to come pick me up or come hang out at my house because it was out so far...boooo), I love visiting now! I lived in the same house, same bedroom in West Loop until I graduated from college. My parents still live in that same house- a lot of wonderful, amazing memories in that house, that neighborhood!

So there you have it....my newest adventure that I am super, super excited about and so thankful for the support my friends and family have given me with this!

Stay tuned, make sure you check out facebook and instagram for updates and pre orders!!! Here are a couple of items I have up for preorder now...you can check out how to order them on the facebook page!

So cute, aren't they? Happy shopping!!! 



My Love for Fourth Love Maternity

First things first- no I am not pregnant. Secondly, I have a confession- I browse the maternity section in stores and online all the time. Like pretty much every time I shop. I have even been known to buy maternity clothes that don't really look maternity because its super cute! I just buy smaller, because obviously my belly isn't growing!

Why? Who knows! Maybe I like the idea of being pregnant, just not all that goes along with it, like weight gain, swelling, birth itself, and the whole thing of having another mouth to feed! Really though, I love maternity fashion probably just as much as non maternity fashion. I don't know what it is about it, but I always find myself gravitating towards it, just to see what there is!

Because of all of my weirdness when it comes to maternity clothes, I was super excited when Fourth Love contacted me, and even more excited once I got to know a little bit more about the business itself!

Besides how stylish their clothing is, there are two HUGE things that I absolutely love about them. First of all, all of their products are made right here in the USA. Domestic growth is huge for our economy, and being able to provide as many jobs as possible is something they should be proud of.

They also donate 10% of their profits to various organizations that focus on expectant mothers and children. Shopping with a purpose? Yes, please!

The founder, Susan, focuses on the quality and the versatility of her pieces. Let's face it, our bodies are no where near the same after having children- her clothing is made to transition with you throughout your pregnancy, and even afterwards. Take a look at how the Polka Dot Blouse and the Two in One Tunic Dress easily transition!

Since I am not actually pregnant, I enlisted one of my best friends from college to wear and style this tunic (which can be worn two ways-a scoop neck tunic, or turn it around to wear the pleats in the front!). She looks so adorable, almost to the point where it makes me miss having a baby bump. Almost. I love how she styled it with the pleats in the back and paired it with a belt (belts and baby bumps just melt my heart!), thick tights and boots! (Anyone and everyone who talks to Erin, or heck, even comments on this post...please tell her how important it is that she let me know her baby name choices. It's bad enough I have to wait to find out if its a boy or girl! Please and thank you!!!)

My two favorite pieces out of the whole collection is the leather dress and leather sleeve shirt. Pregnant or not, they are just gorgeous!

Check out Fourth Love- you will love what they have, especially knowing you are helping an expectant mother and children, plus you will definitely get your money's worth out of your purchases, because you can wear them during and after your pregnancy! 

You can also check them out on facebookTwitter and Pinterest!