The Virtues of Dressing Monochromatic

Kids. It's time to have the talk. No, not that one. I'm talking about the hard-to-discuss-because-nobody-is-real-with-you-enough-to-tell-you-but-I-will-because-we're-friends one. You wear the same thing every day. And it's getting stale. Sorry, It's true. Have you tried your hand at Monochromatic Dressing yet? Bet you haven't. 

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Humor me. Dressing in one color from head to toe is a great way to switch up your daily uniform, without putting out any additional neurons for it. (Because who wants to do that anyway?)

You may recall, I've touched briefly on this matter before - around this time last year I shared my Whiteout look at the Bates Motel in LA. But if I've said it once, it bears repeating. Dressing monochromatic is a no-brainer. And it just looks cool. Are you sold yet?

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The trick to pulling the look off with ease is varying the tones of each piece slightly. That, and the use of a variety of textures. (Seen here with suede boots, cotton chinos and a linen tee. Each in slightly different shades of taupe.)

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If done correctly, it's not even necessarily something your peers will even be able to put their finger on - did you get a haircut? Grow an inch taller? Lose 10 pounds? For real. Especially if it's in Neutrals. Shades of black, navy, white, grey, olive, camel - you name it. The sky's the limit. 

The best part? You probably have the pieces in your wardrobe to do this already, and just hadn't thought to style them this way yet. Well, do me a favor- let your wardrobe do double-duty and give monochromatic a try this weekend. You can thank me later.  

Festival Season Style

Happy weekend - and happy Coachella! To those of you who are attending. To those of us who aren't (ahem, me) let's all take a moment to appreciate that this is the kickoff to Music Festival Season. Of course, you don't need to be in Palm Springs to enjoy all the style that festival season has to offer, so if you're in need of some inspo (for Coachella or otherwise) look no further.

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If I've said it once I've said it a thousand times - layering is your best friend. Music Festivals often means day-to-night dressing, and the key to nailing that is having pieces you can add and subtract as the temperatures change.

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Of course, another part of the fun of Festival Season is showing a little personality with your look. And contrary to what you may have seen, it's possible to do without appropriating other cultures. Imagine that! (I'm looking at you, Native American headdresses)

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For example, I'm really having a moment with this whole neckerchief thing. It's cute and very throwback Fred-from-Scooby-Doo vibes. I'm here for it. I also threw on a pair of cheap mirrored shades, because why not.

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Lastly, throw on a pair of chucks (or equally comfortable footwear) since you're bound to be standing - and dancing, hopefully - for hours. If you do take a seat, make sure you're wearing something that you can get a lil dirty. Hence these safari-inspired shorts. I feel very Laura Dern in Jurassic Park in these. Which frankly, is the only vibe I'm ever trying to channel at a Music Festival.

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If you need me, I'll be over here, dreaming about Palm Springs and looking forward to my upcoming concerts this summer. Beyoncé anyone???

Having a Moment: Mock Neck Collars

Happy hump day, all! The sun is shining, the birds are singing and - wait, wasn't it just yesterday that I was trapped indoors watching the rain? That's spring for you. And since I've been having a moment with spring style lately, I wanted to share with you one of the spring trends I'm loving: the Mock Neck Collar.

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The style I'm wearing here is from H&M (and we all know how I feel about their Modern Essentials) and is similar to a polo shirt in style. With a button placket and piqué textile, it feels classic prep, but with modern details - ie, the mock neck collar.

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Of course, the mock neck isn't limited to polos alone, they are also all over sweaters at the moment, too. Just picture if you will, a lightweight sweater with little barely-there mock collar. Love. You could even style it the same way I did, with these joggers that I can't seem to get enough of. Love the joggers, but maybe mock necks aren't your thing? Try a more casual spring style instead.

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I'm already dreaming of the weekend- and with the warmer weather (finally) coming our way, I can't wait to bust out some more looks. What are you looking forward to this weekend? I wanna know! Invite me along, I'm a good date. Promise. x

Spring Fragrance Review: Commodity

Ah, spring. We've had our fair share of ups and downs and we aren't even halfway into April yet. Currently, I'm sitting at my desk, windows open, and watching the rain come down. And though I do my fair share of complaining about the damp weather, there's something about the Fragrances of Spring that I just love. Which inspired me to check out the new collection of fragrances from Commodity.

Commodity offers 10 specific scents (all with one-word names like "Wool" or "Gold") and is color coded into two categories: White and Black. I couldn't decide on just one, and that's what Commodity is best for - the brand encourages mixing their signature scents into unique "cocktails" - so that everyone can have their own personal fragrance blend. (And to be honest, anytime the word cocktail is involved, I'm on board.)

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My personal favorites for spring are the rich and earthy Moss, or the lighter and fresher Rain or Tea. What I appreciate about these three is that their nature-inspired scents all blend well together, and can be layered throughout the day to build a unique scent profile. (Start with Tea in the morning and by afternoon, layer on Rain or Moss!)

Which fragrances are you loving for this spring weather? I'm always happy to try something new! Be sure to let me know, and I'll check them out. Happy Spring! x

Spring Break Style for (almost) Any Climate

How was everyone's weekend? (I almost don't want to ask, since I know us East Coasters were hit with a cruel mid-april snow storm on Saturday. How rude.) Lucky for me, I was able to escape down south to visit my sister in Virginia for a little Spring Break of my own. And I wanted to share with you some of my tips for dressing for Spring Break when it isn't exactly ideal weather. Behold:

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To me, its about layering. (Isn't it always? If you take one style tip away from me, let it be known that layers are always your friend. Fact.) Personally, I always embrace the beach vibes and wear swim trunks even if the water is far too cold to consider dipping a toe in. It just feels wrong to me to wear normal pants on the beach. You feel?

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Up top, I wore one of my classic J. Crew button down shirts. You can also throw a crew neck sweater over this if it's extra chilly. I personally like the look of more layers up top and less on the bottom. To that end, I like to keep the footwear simple, so I finished the outfit with these basic slide sandals that can easily go from the beach to the oceanfront bar. (Crucial in times like these.)

If you're looking for some more tips on what to pack for your Spring Break adventure, check out my Packing Guide chock full of outfit and skincare ideas for any climate.

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Oh, and as a nod to National Sibling Day yesterday, I'm going to fulfill my duty as an older brother and share this outtake of my gorgeous sister being a siren on the beach. (She's probably going to kill me for this, but it's worth it.) Cheers!

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Having a Moment: Satin Bomber Jackets

TGIF. The weekend is here again. Is it just me or has this week seemed to drag on for ages? Maybe it's all the back and forth weather we've been having. Yeah, let's blame it on that. Since April has been unusually cruel, I'm choosing to look on the bright side, and see it as another opportunity to wear some of my favorite outerwear, the Satin Bomber Jacket.

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I've written about my love affair with the bomber before and yet, it bears repeating. This satiny finish bomber has become an absolute essential of mine. No surprise of course, seeing as it came from H&M and we all know how I feel about their Modern Essentials.

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This piece has truly become a go-to in my wardrobe. Easy and effortless, but still clean and sharp. Especially since my default errand-running outfit is usually some kind of jogger and sneakers. It really ties the whole athleisure trend together in a v chic way.

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It seems silly to even say I styled this look, since, let's be honest - it couldn't be more of a no-brainer. I'm all about low-effort-high-payoff this week, can't you tell? But the good thing about wearing a great jacket like this is that you can wear it with pretty much anything, say, a tee shirt and joggers, and still look pulled together.

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In fact, I'll be bringing it along with me on my travels this weekend. Where am I going? On a little spring break adventure down south. That's right. Want to follow along on all the fun? Then make sure you add me on Snapchat @Mogblog to keep up! I'll see you there. Gonna grab my jacket and bounce! Happy Weekend! x

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April Showers (and How to Dress for Them)

Ah, Mondaze. April is officially here, and as we know, that means we have our fair share of chilly rainy days ahead. I spent the weekend exploring Old City with some friends, and on the way, wanted to wear a little something that could withstand the elements.

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This trench from Topman is ideal for this unpredictable spring weather - lightweight, but still protective from the rain and drizzle. 

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I styled it with a black tee and my trusty ripped jeans to keep it casual. The trench has a tendency to feel stuffy and formal when dressed up, so I felt this tee-and-jeans combo was just right for a little weekend stroll around the city.

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Dig the trench but wanna see it styled a differently? I've got you - check out my athleisure take on the trenchcoat here!

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Wishing you all a good start to your April as we move ahead into the week. Here's to warmer weather and clearer skies ahead! Cheers!

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You Should be Making: Smoothie Bowls

Ah, the weekend. What we've all been waiting for. Time to sleep in, kick back, and treat ourselves to a little something good. And I mean gooooooood. If your instagram feed looks anything like mine, you've been seeing Smoothie Bowls for months now. If not yet, you're about to. What's a Smoothie Bowl you might ask? Look no further:

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Spoiler: ok, so smoothie bowls really are as simple as the sound. That's right, a smoothie in a bowl. But when topped with all sorts of delicious add-ons, the humble smoothie becomes something delicious, and obviously, very instagrammable. Which of course, is of the highest importance.

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It seems silly to even offer a Smoothie Bowl Recipe, but here it is. The basic formula for a successful Smoothie Bowl contains 1 cup of frozen fruit, 1/2 cup of greens, 1 banana, and 1/2 cup of liquid of your choice. Of course it's the toppings that come afterwards that are the fun part. Today, I made a spinach/avocado/blueberry/banana concotion. Yum. Not a fan of your smoothies in a bowl? Prefer something a little greener instead? Check out my healthy green smoothie recipe here.

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Maybe green isn't your thing (don't blame you) but you still want an energizing morning smoothie. In that case, let me recommend my Yellow Power Smoothie. However you spin it, smoothies (in a bowl or nah) are here to stay. And with spring break, and summer swimsuit season quickly approaching, I'd say it would behoove me to step up my fruit and veggie intake a bit more. Who's with me? Cheers!

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Modern Essentials Part II: Nautical Stripes

TGIF. Amirite? For some reason, March has seemed to drag on for at least 3x longer than it should have. I, for one, am pleased that the weekend brings April along with it. And, what better way to the start off the weekend but with another great piece from the H&M Modern Essentials collection.

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Now, you may recall that I've shared one of my picks from the Modern Essentials collection previously (which you can and should revisit here) but this Nautical Striped Sweater by David Beckham has become a new favorite of mine. While it may officially be April on the calendar, the temperatures haven't quite caught up yet, and this lightweight sweater is just the thing to wear until they get the memo.

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As is the case with this collection, the beauty in this sweater lies in the details. It features a boat neck collar, and a unique ribbed texture, all the while being lightweight enough to wear on it's own or layer with a light jacket. PS, more more tips on layering for spring, be sure to check my previous post here.

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Like I've said time and time and time again, I'm not sure what it is about the spring that brings out my inner prep-style, but this sweater falls right in line with that vibe. Dig the prep look but still dipping your toe in the water with it? I feel you. Maybe something like this is more your speed. Hey, I'm just trying to help.

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Of course, I styled them with my favorite trusty, rusty Clarks. Which I have been absolutely living in lately. Enjoy them while they still look cute, surely by summer they will be completely worn in. (Let's be honest, I'll still be wearing them anyway.)

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What's everyone doing this weekend? I want to know! Be sure to follow my nosey self on Snapchat @mogblog so I can follow you back and we can creep on each other all weekend. K? Sounds good. Happy Friday!

Spring Layering: It's All in the Details

Happy Friday - happy Easter weekend! I know many will be spending the next few days traveling over the river and through the woods, to spend time with their families - and for some, that means to chillier climates than they're in now. That's the problem with Easter in March - sometimes it's just too cold for that Sunday best. (Not that I'm complaining, I'm not fond of wearing multiple pastels myself, anyway.)

But when you're out on the go and chillier weather is in the air, layering is your very best friend. I find myself doing a lot of walking here around the city, and while it may be chilly in the mornings, by midday the sun is a lot stronger than you may think! That's why I turn to classic outfits like this - perfect for travel, and whatever the March weather may throw my way.

My base layer is a classic white T (I don't even need to explain this one, do I?) and top it with a grey crew neck sweatshirt. On a more mild day, this is a great look alone. But for an extra brisk morning, I throw my trusty denim jacket on top of it. Easy to pull on or off, this piece is an absolute classic. Seriously. I've had this one since I was in high school a million years ago.

In keeping with the athleisure vibe inspired by the crew neck, I finish the look with a pair of joggers (they're here to stay) and my beat up white sneakers. This way, I'm able to be mobile, comfortable, and chic for whatever the day brings.

A word about the details: what takes this look from something you'd see on a mannequin to something a little more personal is in the way you accessorize it. For example, I wear this vintage gold bangle that was given to me as a birthday gift years ago. It's something that nobody else has, and gives the look a little special touch. I also like wearing this little bandana around my neck, because it serves dual purposes. Not only is my neck warm, it's a nice subtle nod of pattern in an otherwise solid look.

As always, I'm wearing sunglasses because, well. It's just my thing. And with that, you have an easily adaptable, easily travel-able (is that a word? it is now.) look perfect for any March weekend plans. Speaking of, what are all of you up to this weekend? I hope you'll let me follow along - if you're wondering what I'm up to, don't forget to follow me on Snapchat @mogblog! See you there! x 

Thirsty Thursday: Lavender Collins

It's my favorite day of the week again! And contrary to popular belief, it isn't Friday. It's Thursday. Something about the potential for the upcoming weekend is often more exciting to me than the weekend itself. It's sort of how like Tuesday's always end up being worse than Monday's even though you expect it to be the other way around. (Anyone else like that? Just me? I hope not.) Anyway...

Another reason I really love Thursdays is because I get to shamelessly treat myself to a fancy cocktail in honor of the approaching weekend. And being that we're in the throws of Spring, and Easter is this Sunday, I thought this floral-inspired libation was just the thing for a day like today. 

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I call this little number the Lavender Collins. It's a twist on the classic Tom Collins, subbing the usual gin and sugar for a little vodka and lavender-infused simple syrup. The delicate flavor and pastel hue is just begging to be in your hand alongside your Sunday best this weekend!

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To make it, start by creating your infused simple syrup. Combine 1 cup each of sugar and water, with 2 tablespoons of culinary lavender (no, not something you just picked up from your neighbor's garden... you need the food-grade stuff here.) Once it has dissolved, allow it to cool, and then strain into a separate container.

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To assemble the cocktail, combine 1.5 oz vodka, 3/4 oz of lavender simple syrup and 3/4 oz of fresh lemon juice in a shaker and mix. Serve over a large ice cube and top with fresh seltzer. Feel free to garnish with a sprig of lavender. Presentation is everything, after all. Cheers!

Now Trending: Bomber Jackets

Ah, spring.

One day it's sunny and 75, the next, it's cloudy with the threat of snow. That's March in the northeast for you. I act like I'm complaining, but to be honest, I'm happy to have another chance to share some of my favorite outerwear with you all. 

A big trend (for men and women!) this season is the bomber jacket - and I'm totally on board with it. No bulky collar, cute cropped length, and scrunchable sleeves (you know I love an exposed forearm) they're the perfect piece for early spring. In keeping with the season, I felt this petrol green suede number was a just right for the chilly weather, so I hit up Love park here in Philly to show it off.

I especially love this jacket in because it has so many great little details. Plaid lining, a scalloped vent in the back, matching green buttons on the pockets. What's not to love? Did I mention it's vintage? I picked it up for less than 40 bucks at one of my favorite second hand spots in Pittsburgh years ago.

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Because the color is so bold, I kept the rest of the look simple - white shirt, grey jeans, and these rust-colored suede Clarks. Something about this chilly early spring weather just calls for a suede-on-suede moment, no?

So what do you think? Is the bomber look for you? If you know what's good for you, you'll say yes. Get out there and give it a whirl before it gets too warm to wear it anymore! Cheers! x

Casual Spring Style

Good morning! Are we all recovering from our post St. Pat's hangovers today? No comment on my end. But, if you're anything like me (aka, over the age of 25) I know that pain can last you well into the second day after, in which case this casual spring outfit may be your savior for the weekend ahead. Because who can think about looking cute for brunch with friends when they feel like the've been hit by a steamroller? Enter, this:

I think the real solution to pulling it together in the mornings (hungover or not) is making your getting ready process as streamlined and simple as possible. That's why joggers are always a good idea. Especially on the weekends. 

I picked up this inky navy pair at the Gap, and paired it with one of their nautical striped pocket tees. I don't know what it is about spring that brings out the prep hiding inside of me, but I'm coming to terms with it. Does anyone else feel this way? Should we start a support group with weekly meetings? I'll bring donuts.

To keep this from looking too informal, I stepped the shoe game up with these great Maioun loafers that I've been loving on for a minute now. You may have seen me post about them before here. Honestly, as comfortable as a pair of sneakers, but classy enough to get you to brunch without feeling underdressed.

What are your weekend plans? Where are you going, what are you doing, and what are you wearing there? I wanna know! Snapchat me @mogblog and tell me all about it. I can't wait to see! x

Irish Soda Bread with Salted Honey Butter

Happy St. Patrick's Day and Cheers to you all, my friends! I realize today is Thirsty Thursday, and you may think, what better day to share a cocktail recipe with you... but I stand behind my delicious Basil Cocktail from last week. And, I wanted to bake for you all today instead. I'm just full of surprises. As Nola says in the 2005 classic film Hustle & Flow, "Gotta keep the tricks guessing!" Or something like that.

I'll be the first to admit that Irish cuisine isn't at the top of my culinary repertoire, but any excuse to eat a carb is good enough for me. The real bonus here is that unlike most bread recipes, this is yeast-free, aka no rising time, aka you can make it and eat it in about an hour, aka watch out summer waistline, this bread is your nemesis. Whatever, you all still love me right? 

This recipe is inspired by my homegirl Jessica over at HowSweetEats - aka the food blog with the best photography this side of the Mississippi. I swear, everything she makes is drool-inducing and I find myself recreating her recipes at least twice a week. So head on over there for the full recipe. (Note: I made this my own by omitting the chocolate chips and cutting the sugar content in half, as I wanted a more savory finish. Feel free to ask me questions on how I did so in the comments below!)

Until then, I'll leave you with this:

Ah, heaven. Enjoy!

Modern Essentials by H&M

Happy weekend, friends! Spring is finally here and it's got me feeling like:

...Whatever that means. (I don't really know how to smile for the camera. Don't judge.) Anyway. Since the weather has been nothing short of beautiful these last few days, I took to the park in one of my favorite new spring looks - head to toe David Beckham for H&M.

David Beckham has been collaborating with H&M for a few seasons now to release a collection of hand-selected "Modern Essentials" and I must say the spring pieces are a hit with me. And not just because DB was my first crush. (It's true, I still have a poster of him hanging in my childhood bedroom. Yep.)

Both this tailored polo with collar detail and slim cut chinos are from the collection, and together, came in just under $40! Can't beat the price point for style this good.

To style this look, I chose to go modern prep, and pair it with my classic Ray Ban wayfarers, Stan Smith Adidas sneakers, and this old Coach weekender that I've had for nearly a hundred years. Typically, I don't advocate for such a trim fitting top, but something about a polo shirt demands it - otherwise, risk looking like someone's dad. Because the top is so fitted, I went with the slightly more relaxed chinos, and rolled the cuffs for a casual vibe.

And these aren't the only winners in the collection! Want to check out the rest of the looks for yourself? Get thee to an H&M or head over to their website here to see all the other great pieces David has to offer. Who knows, you might just see them make another appearance here before you know it. Enjoy your weekend, all. Cheers! x