Sunday, April 19

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Friday, April 17

Fashion Friday: April Showers

 They say April showers bring May flowers, but here in Washington we are more than ready for the showers to stop and return to the sunny spring.  Even though its raining and pouring, that doesn't mean we cant have fun with fashion!
Growing up, jumping in puddles was always one of my favorite things. However, nothing was worse than soaked socks if I forgot to wear proper footwear. Step one for a rainy day outfit is definitely to consider the water-resistance level of your shoes. Anything cloth will soak right through and suede can also be damaged or stained. While you don't necessarily need to be resigned to the plastic rain boots from childhood, I highly recommend something leather like these grey riding boots from Steve Madden.
Shoes: Steve Madden
Pants: Basic Leggings
Umbrella: local vintage shop
When the sky is cloudy like this, its hard to do anything more than curl up in a blanket by the fire with a good book (if you need reading suggestions or maybe a drink, make sure to check out our Literary Libations posts here!).  Unfortunately, as adults, work or school usually get in the way of this. Therefore the second step to compiling your outfit is to wear something comfortable! I have always been a big fan of leggings and an over-sized sweater on cold days for exactly this reason.

Stepping outside, you certainly want to stay warm and stay protected from the elements.  Much like with rain boots, a rain jacket is usually thought of as only something plastic.  This Steve Madden coat via ModCloth is my absolute favorite for the fact that it is both warm and stylish.  The large hood is enough to keep me dry, plus adding in a truly unique and vintage-style look. 

For any of your outdoor wear - shoes and jackets alike - it is always a good idea to spray them down with a water-proofing or water-resistant treatment.  My family has always used Nikwax, but there are many brands available both online and in outdoor oriented stores.  These products are safe for almost all fabric types and help tremendously to keep you warm and dry.

The final touch to surviving the downpour is something to lighten your spirits on a dreary day. Grab a sunny umbrella on your way out the door and you’ll be all set for whatever mother nature throws in in your direction. Happy Puddle Jumping!

-Jamie (@browneyelovely)
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Tuesday, April 7

Ridiculously Practical Meals: Ramen Bowls

My husband and I love Ramen bowls, but I've never made them myself before. This weekend I thought I'd try to make a traditional Ramen as a surprise for my husband. I wasn't totally confident about how it would turn out, but to my delight it was delicious!
I could never have come up with a delicious Ramen recipe on my own, but I found the wonderful blog Japanese Cooking 101 run by the talented Noriko and Yuko. The only thing I changed from their recipe was that I didn't have time for my pork to marinate over night, so I only marinated it for about 4 hours. I'm sure it would have been more tender if given a full 24 hours, but I think it turned out great regardless! Plus I made the soup from scratch, I didn't even buy broth! I'm one happy camper. This is a little more time consuming than the recipes I normally post - maybe a weekend night recipe - but it's definitely worth it!

One last tip, bean sprouts are hard to find! I was able to get them at my local Whole Foods, but the other grocery stores in my area didn't have them. If you don't have a Whole Foods see if you have a local Asian foods market.
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Friday, April 3

Fashion Friday: Festival Ready

Spring has sprung and so has the start of festival season! There are countless music festivals going on throughout the summer all over the country, but the one to kick it all off is the infamous Coachella Valley Music Festival held in Indigo, California.  Home to all genres of music and frequented by celebrities and cool kids alike, Coachella is the epitome of festival boho-chic.

In keeping with this trend, we paired a floral tank form The Devil Wears Prada with a pink maxi and long cardigan. A summer music festival is the perfect place to wear a shirt supporting your favorite band and is a perfect conversation starter for meeting other fans in the crowd. 

Likewise, since the days are long, its nice to dress in layers so that you can be ready for whatever mother nature throws at you.  By wearing a grey bralett under my shirt and having a cardigan on hand, I was able to stay cool while the day was hot and cozy up once the sun went down. Topping off this look with a hat and some shades is all we need to be festival ready!
Skirt: WalMart
Boots: Payless
Shades: Ray-Bans
Necklace: Claire’s
Beer: Paradise Creek
Unable to make the trek to California? There are music festivals all over the country. Though some of the mega, multi-day festivals can be expensive, check your local paper to find out what’s going on in your own back yard!

- Jamie (Instagram: @browneyelovely)
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Friday, March 27

Fashion Friday: Blooming Blazers

The sun is back and so is Fashion Friday!
After a bit of a rainy week here in Washington, it's nice to have a return to warm spring weather. The sun is shinning, the birds are chirping, and we're breaking out our summer shoes!
After wearing boots all winter, it's nice to let your feet breathe. While it's not quite time for sandals just yet, flats are an easy, slip-on/slip-off for of footwear that can go with virtually anything. We took these eye-catching sparkle flats from ModCloth and cuffed the legs on a pair of basic denim to add extra emphasis. The golden sequins of the shoes complements the slight gold of this tie-top (also from ModCloth) as well as the gold details on the purse and various gold accessories (Nordstrom).
We topped this look off with a earthy- green blazer from Macy's as the finishing touch. As many of you know, we love a good blazer to help dress up a casual look. They are great for providing warmth as well as professionalism and always look classy (see last week's post for more).

Perfect for casual Friday or Sunday brunch, switching out the jeans for either slacks or a skirt is one way to dress up this outfit for the workplace.

Style On,
-Jamie (Instagram: @browneyelovely)
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Friday, March 20

Fashion Friday: Class

Despite the joy of the holiday season and the beauty of fresh fallen snow, there always comes a time when I am simply ready for the end of these dreary winter days and for the sunshine to return. At long last, it is finally March and hopefully warmer weather is soon to come.  Daylight savings has officially begun and now, with the worst of winter behind us, it is time to start looking toward spring. 
Florals, pastels and bold colors are abundant both on and off the runway, making a bright pink blazer (like this one from H&M) a perfect statement to start the season.  Contrary to the cozy cardigans you've been cuddled up in for the past few months, a blazer is a more polished, sophisticated alternative.  Truly versatile, they can be a finishing touch to your interview attire, quickly dress up your daily outfit for that last-minute rush to chapter meetings, or even just add an extra layer of warmth when headed out the door each morning. The thickness of my blazer helps to perfectly combat this last bit of late-winter Washington chill, but finding one that fits your climate is key. 

Paired here with a neutral crochet top (from J. Crew) and basic denim, the secret to pulling off this look is to let the brightness of the bold jacket be the main focus point. Even though this is a more casual look, wearing a blazer makes this outfit instantly classy when attending class. And of course, there are always accessories to help dress-up or dress-down your look.  They say the devil is in the details and adding further spring color through bracelets (from Claire’s) is a perfect complement to the blazer’s bright pink.  With a finishing touch of floral heels (from Macy's) and my tribal pack (from Forever 21), I am certainly looking forward to the start of spring.
One Simple Change: Still too cold to go without a warm coat? Trying a bright colored scarf paired with a classic trench will achieve the same effect and you’ll be springtime-ready despite the snow!
Style On,
Jamie (Instagram: @browneyelovely)
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