The ‘Jersey Shore’ has T-Shirt Time. Real Men Suit-Up on NYE

Cabs are here! New Year’s Eve is tomorrow and if you’re going out, do you know what you’re going to wear? I’ve learned that guys are notorious for putting outfits together at the last minute, especially when it comes to formal wear.

Whether you’re going to a cocktail party, a club or a house party for NYE, it’s a great opportunity to be dressed to the nines before you count down from 10.

A few weeks ago, I dressed up my sister in sequins for a New Years preview outfit, but today it’s my brother’s turn. He wasn’t exactly thrilled to take pics in a slim-fit suit for my blog when he’d rather be watching an NBA game, but he did. Here’s a few formal wear ideas if you’re looking to suit up this New Year’s Eve.

My brother-Drew suited up. If you don’t feel like wearing a tie, try a pocket square.

You don’t have to drop a grand on a suit, this one is from H&M for under $300.
If you need a little help from a higher power in terms of fashion, take a stylish friend with you shopping or ask a well dressed employee in the men’s section.
Fool Proof Suit Tips*
1. A suit should be two matching pieces. It’s not a DYI project creating your own look out of a sports coat and pair of pants that seem like they go together. The colors won’t match up well. 
2. The best colors for suits are neutral, unless you’re Lloyd and Harry. Go for black, brown, navy blue, grey or a thin pinstriped pattern. 
3. Your best friend in the fashion world is named “Tailor.” Buying a suit off the rack will need altering 
almost 100% of the time. Getting it tailored is crucial, because why wear a suit unless it fits perfectly?
4. As for a tie (ditch clip-ons) and only wear one if you want. It’s NYE, so you really don’t have to wear a tie. You’re there to celebrate, not conduct a business meeting.
*5. If there’s just no time, wear dress slacks, a nice collared shirt with dress shoes. Make sure it’s all ironed and fits well.
For even more details on how to avoid suit faux pas, check out this article

Don’t forget to wear dress shoes. Brown or black work with neutral suits.
Slicked back hair optional. 
Every man should own one suit if possible for any formal event throughout the year including weddings, business, cocktail parties and NYE.

Special thanks to my brother, Drew, who suited up for this post. He’s also throwing a NYE bash as mentioned before here in San Francisco. There are still last minute tickets available you can email him directly at or find out more details at in the video below.

Do you prefer casual or suited-up every now and then?
I hope everyone has a Happy New Year!
See you in January simple smile 


My Top 3 Winter Trends Including Going Faux with Rachel Zoe

Nearly three years ago to this very day I walked into a dive bar with a couple friends in a seedy neighborhood in San Francisco. It had been a long, uneventful night as we headed home from a holiday party. I took a seat in my navy blue lace cocktail dress and cozied up in a vintage fur shawl I’d recently purchased, when I couldn’t help but notice a woman scowling at me just a few bar stools away.

“What is that you’re wearing?” she asked. “Is that RAT fur?” she howled as she let out a loud, evil, Ursula-like laugh. It was an instant Disney villain flashback and while slightly disturbing, she had a point.

I looked ridiculously over-dressed and I should have known better than to wear real fur so I kept my mouth shut. From that day forward I’ve worn faux fur and never looked back once. There are so many benefits. It’s everywhere, it’s in-extinctable and it adds an undeniable glam factor to any woman’s winter wardrobe as shown below on my sister.

My sis, Jody, striking a pose in this Michael Kors faux fur jacket seen earlier here & my previous post. She’s also wearing my 2nd favorite winter trend – leather (faux leather is good too) F21 pants
Photo details: Photographer – Thomas
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Lens: EF35mm f/1.4L USM
E Light: Canon Speedlite 580EX
Setup: Camera set on tripod, Speedlite handheld
Moving on to the Queen of Faux…Rachel Zoe
Rachel Zoe is one of Hollywood’s top celebrity stylists. Her own fashion line includes lots of faux fur.  
Favorite tips to wearing faux fur:
1. If you’re new to wearing faux fur, try a vest with your favorite pair of jeans and a simple solid top.
2. Choose your favorite color or pattern. There are so many light, dark, and glamorous natural shades.
3. I wear this trend during fall & winter so now is the time to buy, plus they are probably on sale now that the holidays are over. Any faux fur detail on a jacket or coat works too if you want small doses. 
(Sidenote- If you ever want to torture a guy, make him watch a marathon of the “Rachel Zoe Project.” 
Trend 2 – Loving Leather 
Leather jacket- F21 Boots- Report Signature

This pic featuring leather is from my very first blog post earlier this year when I had a couple readers including myself. However, leather is a big trend for skirts, dresses, jackets and boots in all different shades this winter. And speaking of boots, they’re my 3rd favorite winter trend. There are so many hot styles now from booties to thigh-highs that you really should spend ample time in the shoe section test walking any style that catches your fancy.

Faux fur, leather and boots are my favorite trends this winter. Are you a faux fur fan & what are your fave styles because spring attire will be stocked before we know it? simple smile 

I hope you all enjoyed the holidays! See you in a few days simple smile


How to Create a Holiday Card Better than the Kardashians

You’ll notice in this title there are two words starting with “C” that I could have swapped with a “K” considering I’m mentioning the Kardashians, but I refrained. I’m not a fan of their newest installment of self-promotion which I’ll call the ice queen Christmas card.

I’ll admit I follow them on twitter and whenever they’re marketing a new business venture or personal issue about every 20 minutes, they all start tweeting the exact same news. The past couple months, it’s been supporting Kim through her divorce, trying to pump up their Sears’ line, or voting for Rob on ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ Today, it was the release of their 2011 family holiday card. Let’s take a look…

The new Kardashian Christmas card 2011

Is it just me, or do they all look stone cold and what’s with the Aladdin-esqe background? You can’t see their faces, but you get a distant shot of their photoshopped bods. They all look super serious staring off in different directions as if they’re in an individual photo shoot. But it’s still all about Kim as she stands alone in her power-pose without a significant other or sibling near her. Gotta love little Mason though. simple smile You can see more detailed shots up close here.

Past Kardashian kards…
kim kardashian christmas card family jenner through the years main 491x411
They have an annual tradition of taking a BIG family Christmas card 
I think they should have gone with a photo like this that would have been more natural and unexpected this year. They look like a family and less like a fierce pack of robots decked out in designer clothes. (Kardashian Chirstmas card, 2006)
Tips for Creating your Holiday Card
1. Your friends and family do enjoy getting an actual card or photo in the mail and they may even frame them or post them on their fridge. Snail mail is a lot more personal than a mass holiday email.
2. Time is running out and you don’t have to take a new picture. You can use a family photo from a vacation or an event earlier in the year. Another idea is to create a collage of pics throughout the year.
3. Holiday cards are pet friendly. Feel free to add your puppy or favorite pets in your photo.
4. Themes are encouraged. I like the Kardashian koncept of dressing similar throughout the years, so feel free to do the same in casual or more formal attire. 
5. Add a personal note if you have time or photo copy a holiday family “newsletter.”
6. If you don’t get it in the mail asap, that’s okay. You still have next week because as long as it’s there by NYE, it’s still a ‘holiday’ card. (Also, I learned last week the Post Office is a lot cheaper and faster than UPS)
Just in case I don’t have your home address, 
from my family to yours, Happy Holidays! simple smile

Me, My sister-Jody, mom, dad, & my brothers Paul & Drew
It’s not as fancy like their’s and we’re standing in leaves and mud, but I styled my mom and I in faux fur which is my favorite winter trend…That post coming soon simple smile

I forgot to mention the new Kardashian card was also shot in 3-D. Does that mean the family is going to have a crystal vase of 3-D glasses under the portrait so their guests can see it once, and then put on dorky glasses and look it again? It’s over-the-top, even for them. They’re all about glitz and glam, but after a few months of hard core criticism that Kim and the family is only about money and fame, I think a toned down photo of them looking happy would have been a better and more relatable choice. At least from a PR standpoint, since they send their holiday card to the world. simple smile 


What do you think about their photo? Are you sending a holiday card this year or did you run out of time?

Enjoy your week and best wishes for any last minute shopping…


Skin Care Secrets that Put ProActive to Shame

I‘m pretty sure the only thing more sensitive than my feelings throughout my late teens and early 20’s was my skin. If you’ve ever felt like your skin irrationally breaks out or you just get the occasional pesky blemish, I wanted to share a few skin secrets you may not have heard of in the past.

On a sidenote, ProActive does a great job marketing and paying celebs to show off their flawless skin. But it’s not effective for problematic skin and is too harsh for many skin types. For example, some celebs like Kendra Wilkinson and Jessica Simpson admitted in past interviews to using Accutane years ago to get their skin completely under control. It would be nice if companies like ProActive and BeautyMint explained that as well so people don’t have unrealistic expectations.

Savvy+Spice+Beauty+Mint+ +Jessica+Simpson
Jessica’s newest skinline partnership is with 
Here are a few skin care secrets I’ve discovered in the past:
1. Clearasil or Cortisone?
If you have a BIG event like a wedding, party or dance you’re preparing to enjoy and a couple days before you feel a painful pimple coming, for men and women, it’s the worst! If it’s not too bad, take the regular route using a topical product and makeup to cover it. If it’s going to be a conversation stopper and last for at least a week, make an appointment with your dermatoligist asap. In less than 10 seconds, he can inject it with a tiny dose of Cortisone which immediately reduces the redness, eliminates the pain and makes it practically disappear in a day or two.
2. Budget Friendly Facial
If you’re thinking about joining a gym in January, my best advice is to splurge on a better gym to pamper your skin and save money on facials. Plus, if you love your new gym, you’ll go more. Make sure to check your city for a gym that has a steam room and sauna. Go in the steam room for 20 minutes, relax, and then use your little Clarisonic Mia to exfoliate when you get out. You’ll be surprised how great your skin feels and looks. The best part is it’s all included for free with your gym membership so steam as much as you want. simple smile

If you live in the Bay Area, I highly recommend a Western Athletic Club membership which owns the Bay Club and San Francisco Tennis Club. They have top notch facilities.

3. The Real Deal
If you’re taking action with your skin, I recommend a facial with an esthetician. I was lucky enough to get a complimentary facial last week with Amanda at my favorite salon where I get my hair done in San Francisco called CODE. I’ve gone to different spas for facials in the city and this was by far the best and only one I’ll continue going to because ALL of their facials are customized to the client’s needs.
CODE Salon in SOMA is this spacious modern loft above Peet’s Coffee on 4th St.
(My Parking Tip– Whole Foods accross the street from CODE amazingly offers 2 hr free parking if you shop there but they don’t monitor it from what I could tell.) Parking is hard to come by in the city simple smile

CODE Salon Facial Details 
I’ve had products used in the past that felt like they were burning my skin so I explained I needed gentle, yet effective products. After cleansing my face, Amanda used a BT Micro(Biotheraputic Exfoliator) which uses little ultrasonic waves to exfoliate and penetrate products into the skin. My skin felt amazing and moisturized which is key for winter. Code Salon is full service and located in SF. You can see all services and prices here
 BeautyMint is new, but I’m not sure what to think about it yet.
4. IMPORTANT- A Good Dermatologist is Your Skin’s 2nd BFF (Sunscreen is 1st)
Just ask Jessica Simpson or millions of other women, over the counter products like ProActive just don’t cut it in some cases. Most insurance companies cover a dermatologist, but it never hurts to check even if you don’t have insurance. I highly recommend it if you’ve been meaning to and do your research to find a good one. simple smile
This new company, BeautyMint, that Jessica’s endorsing has you take a free online skin consultation, then “creates a customized” skin care system and you pay to receive their recommended products for you. I took the survey for fun and it asks very in-depth good questions, BUT I’m skeptical about this system. I think it’s fine for anyone who already has clear skin, but just like ProActive, I’m not sure it’s a good solution to treat regular breakouts or sensitive skin.
Would you try BeautyMint or did you ever use ProActive? Feel free to share any of your winter skincare secrets. simple smile
Have a great weekend!


Sisterly Sequins: NYE Makeover Part II

New Years Eve is around the corner and I’ll be straight up, there’s a recipe for a perfectly shaken, stirred, salted or sugar rimmed night of F-U-N! Whether your relationship is on the rocks or it’s just the cherry-on-top of your memorable night, I have a few ideas including fashion that will make for an amazing evening.

1. Spend it with the people you enjoy being around the most. Don’t worry about going to that “Big” party.
2. It doesn’t matter if you’re at a restaurant, house party, club or your own living room as long as it’s a good night.
3. Plan transportation details early so you’re not waiting in the cold 2 hours for a taxi. It puts a real damper on the night.
4. Don’t fret about finding an outfit at the last minute because hopefully I can help.
5. Make sure you can count down from 10 to ‘Happy New Year’ at midnight.

Moving on to “What to Wear on New Year’s Eve” with part II of my sister, Jody’s, NYE makeover. After I did her dramatic makeup, I decked her out in a short sequin dress, 5 inch platform heels and told her to start posing away before she had to rinse it all off and throw on her warm-up suit for basketball practice. simple smile

NYE Fashion – Ladies Can’t go Wrong with Sequins!
If you’ve walked into any store selling holiday dresses, I’m sure you’ve tons of sparkly sequined dresses. All women can wear this trend. Try a dress, a sequin top with black pants or jeans, a skirt, or a stylish sequin blazer. I’m a big fan of this trend.


As I adjust the bows on her heels, I’ll mention that these photos were taken outside a creepy old farmhouse right next to the rusting 60’s car from my Mad Men post.

My sister balanced on a wood plank because walking inside this shack is out of the question for anyone. At best, you might get scratched by chicken wire or broken glass. And of course there’s the risk of the roof caving in or falling through the rotted floorboard into the basement of about 6 feet of murky water.

I put together this outfit for UNDER $100. I knew the scoop neck and tights would be something she’d be comfortable wearing all night. I wanted her hair super glam so I pulled it over to one side. I’ve been seeing the sequin trend all over blogs lately. One of my faves, FashBoulevard, recently featured her gorgeous sequin party dress.
I had Jody wear my Kelsi Dagger (TJMAXX) suede heels. They’re surprisingly comfortable even though the bows get a bit twisted. Skip sparkly heels with sequin outfits, solid neutral colors are best.
My sister is over 6 ft. in these heels and while her legs are long enough, my fave trick to make legs appear longer and leaner is wearing black hosiery & black heels. It tones down any flashy dress or skirt.
Dress (Forever 21), tights (H&M), clutch (The Limited), Jewelry (F21), Nail polish- (OPI Animalistic) 

So when the 31st hits, pop open the bubbly a start stunning in sequins or any sparkly dress! simple smile 
(Special thanks to my sister & photographer Thomas)
A few tips for Sequin Shopping
1. I liked that this dress had sleeves instead of being a tank style because it’s easy to get scratched up from sequin dresses or skirts. Nothing is worse than your arms chafing against your dress all night.
2. Sequin savings: This dress was less than $30 at F21. Sequin dresses always lose pieces throughout the night so there’s no need to splurge. I like black, gold, silver and deep purple or emerald colors best.
3. Skip sequin dress styles that are sparkly in the front and jersey knit or just a plain black material in the back. I prefer sequins all over the entire dress or it tends to look classy in the front, cheap in the back.
Are you loving sequins or skipping the sparkle? And for guys, I’ll have a flashy NYE fashion post for you before the ball drops…
With that, I want to wish everyone a good NYE where ever you are and whoever you’re with! Cheers 😉


Favorite Celeb Look of the Week and Versace Bracelet Winner

I haven’t been to the movies in months, but there is on flick that really caught my attention and it’s coming out this weekend. And it’s not the star studded, but super cheesy looking New Years Eve. I really want to see the new movie starring Charlize Theron called Young Adult. It looks entertaining, funny, dramatic as Charlize plays a desperate woman trying to rekindle a relationship with an ex in her hometown. Do you want to see this movie?

Charlize also looked gorgeous in her red leather mini dress last night at the New York premiere so she is my Favorite Celeb Look of the Week.

Charlize+Theron+ Young+Adult+premiere+red+hot+leather+dress%252C+Savvy+Spice
Charlize looked stunning in this Dior leather dress last night.
Charlize+Theron+Young+Adult+ +Savvy+Spice
She wore strappy nude Jimmy Choo sandals
(I’m not a huge fan of sandals like this in the winter. Especially during winter in NYC. Not practical)
What do you think of her look?
Also, I want to get the BIG announcement for this post. After a couple hours early this morning entering every entry into a spreadsheet, the winner of the Gold Medallian Versace for H&M  Bracelet from my most recent giveaway is….
 Danielle from the blog
Congratulations Danielle!
I also want to say thanks to everyone who entered because there was so much response and I wish I had more to give away, but I promise the new year will hold more Giveaways of items you want.
Stay tuned, and for anyone who read the H&M story about Jeffrey, the friendly homeless man who held our spot in line all night, my brother ran into him in Union Sq. last week. They chatted a bit and he’s still living on the streets of San Francisco and hopes to get back to Portland one day soon.
Have a great weekend & coming next Monday
Part II of my sister’s NYE makeover: The Outfit


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