Thursday, December 5, 2013

Sparkles, please!

Shopping for the perfect holiday party dress

Today I will embark on a challenging journey to find a dress or two for the many holiday parties that are quickly filling up my schedule for the month. There is an office holiday party, a client holiday party, a friend holiday dinner, and a New Years party. So far. My dream dress? Elegant but fun, sparkly but not gaudy, and most of all, inexpensive.

Here are some dresses I hope to try on at JCPenny, all of which are less than $50!
Left, Center, Right

Next, I'll likely head to Nordstrom, where there is a huge selection of holiday party dresses sure to make you shine. These three dresses are all less than $150.

Left, Center, Right

My third stop will be Macy's. The dresses I like there are $70 to $138.

Left, Center, Right

What do you look for in a holiday dress? Let me know where else I should look!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The month that flew by

November According to Instagram

1. I started a new PR job in September and by November it consumed my life. Being part of the Xbox One launch team was an incredible and challenging experience. I'm so proud of the work we did and excited to see our product take off with the fanfare it and our customers deserve. Also, I'm excited to get one at some point this next year. :-)

2. If you haven't been to the Tin Hat (left) on a Tuesday, you should. Tacos are only 69 cents a piece and the lighting/bar decor reminds me of the first Terminator movie. It's a cool place. On the right is Tyler making me laugh at a Seahawks tailgate before the Seahawks v. Vikings game. I'm really enjoying seeing the Hawks tear it up and am keeping my fingers crossed for a win against the Saints today!

3. I brought back the purple eyeshadow. Also, Taylor came to visit and we watched the Seahawks game at Murphy's in Wallingford. Lastly, it got cold in November and most of the pretty leaves fell. Sad.


4. For Thanksgiving, Baby B tried yams made by Aunt Kidist and loved them! It was so much fun to see her crawling all over the place and even taking a few steps! She'll be one year old this month. On the bottom right is the tree I grew up climbing. Most of the branches have fallen off, but you can still see where I carved "This is ACW's tree" when I was 13.

Follow me on Instagram: @alittlefierce

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Going Orange

My favorite Halloween costume yet

If you haven't seen the Netflix original series Orange is the New Black, you won't understand this. But if you have...

Me as Alex Vause
As always I was scrambling last-minute to get a costume. I wanted something pop-culture related but not too trendy and definitely not having nothing to do with Miley Cyrus. Orange is the New Black is an awesome show and I really liked Alex Vause as a character. But did I want to go as Alex Vause with no Piper Chapman? No! So I texted my oldest bff, Jo, and asked if she wanted to be my Piper. She said yes! :-)

Alex and Piper
Here is why I loved my costume: Jumpsuits are very comfortable, the glasses looked cool and the fake tattoo sleeve was totally badass. On top of that, people knew who we were and responded well to our costumes. It wasn't too obscure that we had to explain it to everyone but it wasn't so obvious that it felt like a washed-up idea. It might, however, seem washed-up by the end of this weekend when I've worn it a total of three times.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My hand-me-up sweater

Pass it on, sisters!

One of my favorite things about being one of five sisters is having the opportunity to get so many hand-me-downs/ups. I say "ups" because I'm the second oldest so my younger sisters hand their unwanted clothes up to me. :-) There have actually been times I've given a younger sister hand-me-downs then had it handed back up to me and I get to fall in love with the piece all over again. Sweet sisterhood.

Some fabulous hand-me-ups

My youngest sister cleaned out her closet before going back to college this fall and I jumped at the opportunity to see what she had ready to go to Goodwill. I probably took half of it. She has such classy taste in clothes I ended up loving way too much of what she was tossing out! Among the treasures: A comfy knit sweater (featured below), a white hobo bag, a blue striped tank with floral lace detail on the front and a really cool off-the-shoulder top with a woman's face on it. You'll see that one featured in a post eventually. :-)

Wearing a knitted sweater hand-me-up, skinny jeans from American Eagle and my new booties

My boyfriend took the picture above when we were at Gasworks park the other day. We were driving around and I mentioned I had never been there before. He immediately switched lanes, took a right and drove me straight there! If you haven't been, GO. It has one of the most incredible views of the city.

One of the most beautiful cities ever. I love Seattle
The sweater is comfy and with the half-sleeves it isn't too warm for the beginning of fall

Sunset reflecting on skyscrapers
What other parks should I check out in Seattle? I swung by Alki once but would love to go back and spend some time there. Do you have any favorites?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The story of the pink boots

....and how after 20 years they are finally mine

From left to right: Sarah, Melia and me
This is the only photo I could find where you can see them. Right there, at the bottom of the picture, you can see the top of one dark pink lace-up boot. They were faux-suede, rose to just above the ankle, and belonged to my older sister Sarah. I loved those boots. I was obsessed with those boots. I couldn't wait until she outgrew them and they would be mine.

Sarah and I had a normal sibling relationship. We were best friends. We were worst enemies. We were partners in crime. No, that's a lie. She was the good child and I was the mischievous one. 

Anyway, she wasn't liking the idea of me having those boots and to be honest, I can't blame her. Around the same time she had the boots there was a sterling silver ring with a green gemstone in the center of a flower that we found at a swimming pool in Spokane. For a while we "shared" the ring but one day when she had it on I convinced her I felt sick without it so she gave it back to me and I never took it off again.

When she outgrew the boots she hid them in the garage. By the time I found them, my feet were too big. I was upset at the time but over the years it has been an ongoing joke between us.

While shopping at Nordstrom in downtown Seattle, I found these:

Kalen boot from DV by Dolce Vita
I picked them up and looked at them. Cute, but not on sale. I have my rules about buying things at full price: I don't. They went back on the display. I walked away and wandered around the women's shoe department (which is HUGE btw). Soon enough I was back at the boots. The came to just above the ankle, were suede, a deep wine-red color (DV by Dolce Vita calls it "bordeaux"), had this super cute quilt pattern and zipper on the side, and a hidden wedge inside that makes me taller (remember sneaker wedges?).

A sales woman spotted me. Shoot. I was trapped. I had to try them on! They fit great. Even better when I tried them on with a pair of Superfeet. Sold.

The first thing I did when I got home was take a picture and text it to my sister. I finally got my pink suede boots. :-)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Back to brown

No more battling the brass!

Never in my life have I seen a hair salon so busy on a Thursday night. Last week, at Olive Beauty Lounge in Ballard, the place was poppin'! There were men getting trims, women in foils, and a little girl who has been getting her hair cut there her whole life (which I think has probably been a whole 7 years).

No bueno.

I was there to end my days of being an unintentional redhead and go back to brown. Hilary, my stylist, is a friend from my hometown. This was the first time she worked on my hair and we had a great time together! She listened as I described how my hair went from brown to brassy over the summer and asked questions about what color I really want. Without even bringing out the binders of swatches so many stylists overwhelm me with, Hilary picked out the perfect shade of brown.

I enjoyed a glass of wine while waiting for my color to process and we also watched "What Does the Fox Say" on YouTube. It helped pass the time! :-)

While this cell phone photo is fuzzy and washed out, you can definitely tell the red is gone! It's the perfect shade for fall and goes great with a Merlot shade of lipstick. Thanks Hilary!

Oh, I also wanted to post an updated picture collage of my super cool vintage wire shelf. Remember this post, where I didn't know what to put on it? My mom helped me out and gave me a few things including a tea cup and postcard of The Beatles.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Crop tops and shiny stuff

Dressing different in Vegas

(Or: My mother wouldn't approve)

Remember my rant about crop tops a couple months back? I would like to rescind that.

Yes, I'm a hypocrite and too quick to judge. I'm also open-minded and fickle. A conundrum, I know.

When shopping at Forever 21 for clothes to wear in Las Vegas, I gave in and bought a bright blue bodycon skirt and white crop top.

I paired the outfit with Steve Madden wedges I bought at Macy's a couple years ago. (similar here) My goal was to have an outfit that was fun, out-of-the-ordinary (for me, anyway) and reasonable comfortable.

It worked. Wedges are more comfortable to walk in than other heels. Plus, these ones have a couple years of wear under their straps so they are plenty worn-in.

What surprised me was how comfortable I was wearing the outfit. With a skirt that is high-waisted and covers most of the stomach, there was no pulling it up to cover what my mom calls "woman fat." Along with that, the shirt fit loosely and fell to a length that revealed only a small strip of skin. No pinching, no tugging, no riding, and no bunching!

The first night in Las Vegas we went to Tao in the Venetian Hotel & Casino. The venue was huge, packed and the DJ on our floor played a killer set. Only downside: $24 for a drink at the bar. As a result, I only bought one.

Cell phone photo in our hotel room at the MGM Grand
For the second night out, I wore another F21 find. This gold dress belongs to T, and she graciously let me borrow it for a more shiny night out. While it's a gorgeous dress, it is unforgiving. I noticed myself having to suck it in after dinner and drinks. Yikes. We ate dinner at SW Steakhouse in the Wynn and danced the night away at Hakasan in the MGM Grand.

The outfit I wore for traveling and exploring was a simple blue short + floral tank look embellished with shiny bracelets, my rose gold watch I purchased on, and a white and gold wristlet I purchased on clearance at Macy's.

Similar shorts found here at Macy's

Tank can be found here via Macy's

Gold sandals found here via Macy's
Notice how my hair looks red? The sun changed it from a dark brown to this red/auburn shade. I'm actively searching for a good hair salon in the area to fix this for me. If you have any recommendations please let me know!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Where did I go?

Slow down, life!

First, I got a new job in public relations.

Then, I went to Las Vegas with two of my best friends for a long weekend.

After that, I got sick.

New blog posts coming soon on hand-me-ups, what I wore to two of Las Vegas' hottest clubs, and transitioning summer wardrobe to fall!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Settling in

Making a space of my own

As part of my new, post-divorce life I am focusing my creative efforts on making a space of my own where I feel comfortable, safe and happy -- someplace I like to be. Living in the apartment I shared with my ex after he left was miserable. After he took his things and his furniture it was pretty empty except for the mattress and box spring on the floor in the bedroom, a loveseat and coffee table in the living room, and my dresser and TV. It felt like the remnants of someone else's life. Someone who had died.

Depressing. Uncomfortable. Not safe or happy. I definitely didn't like to be there.

At the end of July, I moved into an apartment in Seattle with a roommate. The fresh start is exactly what I needed.

The first piece of furniture I purchased for myself was this awesome antique writing desk I use as a vanity. I found it on Craigslist along with the seat, which I re-covered. The lamp, which cost an obscene amount of money, is from Z Gallerie and was an impulse purchase. I just had to have it.

It's funny how unpacking little things like jewelry and scarves can make a space feel that much more like home. I'll admit, once I put my hands on these colorful scarves again I got really excited for fall. :-)

My bed is my favorite place. I found the frame (by IKEA) on Craigslist, the bedding at Marshall's and the mirror at Target. I love the soft mint color mixed into the regal design of the comforter and pillows.

The only unfinished item I have in my room right now is this very neat vintage rack hanging on the wall next to my vanity area.

I love it but don't know what to put on it! So far I have a crocheted dog made by my grandmother's friend in the 1950's, an old flour sifter, and a candle.

Any ideas what else could go on this?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Introducing: Inglot Cosmetics

My new favorite makeup product

Inglot Cosmetics AMC Multicolor System Bronzing Powder and Face and Body Illuminator

A few months ago, in Macy's at Westfield Southcenter Mall, I was introduced to an exciting new line of makeup available in less than two dozen U.S. cities. Inglot Cosmetics is special in a couple ways. First, the quality of color in their products is amazing. The eye shadows are highly-concentrated (almost 90 percent pure pigment) and can be combined with their silicone polymer product, Duraline, to turn the powder into a liquid perfect for lining your eyes. Another special thing about Inglot is their Freedom System, which allows you to create your own color palette. I don't know about you, but I tend to use just a few colors in the palettes I buy from other brands and ignore the rest. What a waste!

My favorite product is the Illuminator. I received a sample size and use it almost every day on my face and sometimes collarbone. The Illuminator subtly draws attention with a shimmer that catches the light and gives definition to the contours of your face. Some illuminating products, on cosmetics shelves everywhere because of the popularity of contouring, are too weak or -- worse -- too strong and glittery. The Inglot Illuminator is a perfect balance between looking like you are wearing nothing on your face to looking like a circus performer or Ke$ha. (No offense to Ke$ha. I just don't like wearing face glitter on the daily.) It is also oil free so don't worry about breakouts! The product is smooth, silky and feels great on my face.

The Multicolor System Bronzing Powder sample was not such a winner. Maybe it is because the product is so concentrated; but I couldn't seem to get it to really show up on my face. It was like it didn't transfer from the tray to my makeup brush. For now, I'm sticking with my current bronzing powder from Physician's Formula.

Inglot Cosmetics are available in the Seattle area at Macy's Southcenter Mall and Macy's Alderwood Mall. For more locations go here.

Note: All product reviews, whether products are provided free of charge or paid for with my own money, represent my personal opinion and are based on my own personal use and the results I observed. I do not receive monetary compensation to write reviews.

Friday, August 16, 2013

I gave in to giveaways

Because who doesn't love free stuff?

One thing bloggers like to do is host giveaways where they can share cool products with readers and also encourage participation on their various social media outlets. For a while, I didn't enter the giveaways because: A) I didn't think I'd win. B) They usually make you tweet semi-annoying things. And C) The big-time bloggers don't follow back.

After discovering smaller, local bloggers who gave away some awesome things, I decided to go for it. In one month I won three giveaways! The most recent arrived this week.

Lip products from Confessions of a Makeup Hoarder
Marissa at Confessions of a Makeup Hoarder hosted this giveaway for her birthday. Can you believe it? For her birthday she gave away: A MAC lipstick in Girl About Town, NYX lip gloss in Beige, Revlon Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie, and EOS lip balm in strawberry sorbet. I love it!

I also won a gorgeous silver necklace and gold arrow bracelet by Stella & Dot via Avec Amber and a super cool cork pendant by Snoozer Loser via Jump Into Puddles.

Thank you ladies for these awesome gifts and the opportunity to collect! Someday when I'm not moving, getting divorced or otherwise uprooting my life I hope I can host a giveaway as well. :-)

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


When your pants match the trees

Because I now live in the city and don't want to pay for gas and bridge tolls every time I go to work, I am putting my Orca pass to good use and taking the bus! I'll admit, being downtown by myself makes me a little nervous. I'm not used to all the people (some of whom are a little scary to me) and cars and super tall buildings. But sometimes when I'm walking from my first stop to the Westlake transfer center I look up and think, I can't believe this is my life. I'm out of my comfort zone and it's absolutely thrilling.

You know what else I find thrilling? These awesome blue trees at the Westlake transfer center. They pretty much matched my pants the other day.

Blue trees!
 On that particular day I was wearing this:

The watch is Akribos via Gilt, pants and shirts from Macy's
Blue pants!
This top, by LoveFire, is one of my favorites right now!
The colored pants trend is still going strong in Seattle. I'm loving it because denim jeans day after day is dull. Also, growing up where I did, fun trends like colored pants don't really fly with the locals. When I moved to the Seattle area last October, a lot of people back home were all about those reflective-striped construction shirts, even though they weren't in the construction business. Carhartts and Romeos are always in. The flannel trend? Yeah, that's been a thing in Clallam County for the last 150 years.

I'm not hating on their style. If it makes them feel good and comfortable that is awesome! But I like to wear things that are fun and interesting and sometimes sparkly or patterned. 

Living in a place that looks like this, how can I not want to shine like it does?

Sparkling Seattle

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Have you heard about Gilt?

If you haven't, hold on to your wallet! Or maybe just pull out your credit card and get ready to shop. is a website with great flash sales on designer clothes, jewelry, accessories, household items and more! I joined about a year ago and keep my eyes out for good deals so I can strike while it's hot!

As I get farther into adulthood, I want to spend my money on quality things and not just buy what is cheap or convenient. That is the approach I took when looking for my first "big girl" watch. I wanted something that came from a good company, was high quality and -- of course -- looked fabulous.


This rose gold watch by Akribos has all the special touches I wanted. The chain is a nice twist (get it???) on the traditional watch band and the crystal accents make it a great dress-up piece. While it retails for $475, it was listed on Gilt for $75 and I used a special 20 percent off promo code for an even bigger discount. Score!

I styled the watch with a gold arrow bracelet from Stella & Dot and a pink-and-gold bangle.

In my opinion, the biggest downside to ordering online is waiting for your purchase to arrive. While the sunglasses I ordered arrived promptly, the watch took about a month to get here. (Note: I actually bought these a couple months ago and am just now getting around to sharing them with you!)

Check out the Diane von Furstenberg I bought on Gilt for $30!

They have a cute vintage look
Both the watch and the sunglasses have done a tour of summer weddings over the last few weeks and I've gotten lots of compliments on them.

If you haven't checked out Gilt yet, here is an invitation just for you:

Happy shopping!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Taking a vintage vibe to prom

Possibly the best hair of my life

Three of my girl friends had birthdays within a week of each other this month and to celebrate we all got dressed up in our finest and attended a fabulous prom party at the mansion. (the same Bulgarian mansion mentioned in my New Year's post)

For the party, I wanted a vintage dress in a bright color with a full skirt. I shopped around some thrift stores, vintage malls and even the mall but just couldn't find what I was looking for. Then, this beautiful dress was gifted to me. Oh my goodness, you guys, isn't it gorgeous?

This photo doesn't do the color justice. It's a vibrant almost-turquoise color.

My hair needed to be equally gorgeous so I set out on YouTube to find a good tutorial on how to get side-swept waves/curls that wouldn't be too complicated of a process. This is the one I based my 'do on, although I did a few things different.

Typically, when I try a new hairstyle I get frustrated and it is ruined and I end up doing some kind of bun-type-thing. Not this time! I love how my hair looked!

Side-swept waves
Along with the successful hairstyle, I also found the perfect shade of red lipstick. I wore Rimmel London's Lasting Finish by Kate lipstick in Rossetto. It lasted through drinks, snacks and dancing with only one re-application.

Great dress, great hair, great lipstick, did I mention I also had a great date?

My handsome date
And of course beautiful friends
Over the next few weeks I'll be moving, visiting family, going to weddings and trying to keep it all together. Wish me luck and I'll be back soon!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Let's talk

Snohomish sunset last weekend

I've been thinking...

How nice would it be if there were a way to filter out the thin, toned, perfect-looking ladies when we're simultaneously drinking beer and cruising around Pinterest? No more being taunted by the pins (does anyone actually do those workouts???) while you're growing your gut.

What about when you just spent five minutes putting a perfect first coat of polish on your fingernails and you try really hard not to touch anything but you smudge it anyway? What if we could just melt the polish on that one nail back down to liquid form and fix it without having to take it off and start all over? Genius!

Here's a good one: What if we got to taste all the delicious food people Instagram? I'd REALLY like a bite of that. Let's make this happen.

With the recent heat wave in Seattle, I've come to the conclusion that if global warming is to continue businesses should really invest in air conditioning or other methods of keeping customers cool. No one wants to try on new clothes when the ones they are wearing are stuck to their bodies from sweat.

Along those lines, it would be nice if there weren't so many seats covered in non-breathable upholstery. I know I'm not the only girl who's legs got stuck on and/or slid all over a piece of furniture this last week. More cotton, less pleather!

Your turn. What would you like to see happen?