57 posts by MiaP

If your looking for a little something extra to add to your outfit on a date, seduce your lover or gift to your bestie this Valentines day your in the right place. And just because this is our 2nd annual Valentines day selects published (we’re celebrating 1 year at BBS this week) I found 20 really special items with HEARTS GALORE!

…and last minute this morning I saw some really cute stuff at Anthropologie (of course!) that I didn’t include in the lookbook above, but is worth a glance!

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The most cold, damp and magical winter white town I have been that sits at sea level. Due to a last minute change in the World Cup schedule I got my ticket the day before I left. It took me 24 hours to get here from Park City… 4 planes later and an hour drive through the middle of nowhere, which I was told resembled the backroads of New Hampshire, I arrived at a cheerful bright lit up city. I realized a couple days in that it was so lit up because in the winter months it only sees daylight from sunrise sometime around 9:30 am and sunset sometime around 3:00 pm (and because of all the Christmas lights!) When it is the daylight hours it’s not a bright everyday sunlight. The sun stays low behind the mountains or clouds, making the first few hours of light a beautiful dawn and the last few hours a fiery dusk. Over the weekend it was always a soft light until the darkness set in again by 4 PM. Fighting jet-lag was no easy task in these conditions, but I set out to explore the city as much as possible.

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I think I fell in love with Åre because of the friendliness of the locals (they speak perfect English, so it’s easy to chat with them), the amazing shopping and really really good food all within small walking distance in the center of the ski in and ski out city center! I had one of the best dinners of the trip at the Liten Krog (the Reindeer was delicious!!!) right off the square and a couple doors down from a fun bar called Broken, that also served really good American bar food.

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Outside each little shop were some chairs with soft furs, candles or small fire pits. It had a way of making it look even more inviting to come inside and get warm. In all of the windows hung large stars, reefs or candelabras lighting. I would have bought so much more home decorations if I could have carried them home and was inspired to shop at Ikea when I get back!

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A couple mornings I found myself in the Åre Bageri which was a cozy cafe coffee shop at the edge of town. They served amazing pastries, sandwiches and great coffee! I kept going back for the sandwiches for lunch.

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I spent a couple evenings at the Åregarden hotel which I can only imagine has amazing accommodations. I went there to meet friends for a drink at their cozy lobby bar and went back to go to their Vinbaren wine bar. The wine bar was also cozy and had an extensive amount of a wine selection and very friendly bar tenders. They let us try copious amounts and told us the hotel started first with the wine bar.

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One of the night while at the Åregarden bar I learned about the Swedish common phrase/moto LAGOM which means “Just enough,” “Not too much or too little,” “Just right,” “Enough to go around,” or “Fair share.” I thought it made perfect sense about my experience from the women’s amazing style with black and furs to the Christmas decorations in the windows, the decor in fancy hotel lobbies, the simple red houses, overall architecture and the openness of the locals to tourist. It was beautiful in Åre in just the right simple fitting kind of way!

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Åre sits on at the base of a rolling mountain on the edge of a frozen lake (see it to the right pictured above). One afternoon we rented skates to go out on the lake. The nice guy we rented the skates from told us on a good year the lake is frozen from Oct until May. The skates were similar to a snowboarding boot and then a very long blade part that we buckled the boot into. It took me a while to get a feel for them to actually start moving fast.

IMG_0894The shop told us we had to wear these ice picks around our neck with an attached yellow whistle (pictured below) in case we fell through the ice. This was unsettling, but he told me it was only precautionary and wasn’t likely to happen. Once we got to the lake there was a clear path that some sort of ice mover must have created, so I stayed on it because I was too scared to venture off otherwise!

IMG_0889We skated until it was dark out at 4 pm. The lake was still lit up bright from the lights reflecting on it from the ski hill and town.

IMG_0883 …3:45 PM looking back on the city!

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…next stop Italy and I’ve got to catch a flight….I really hope I make it back here someday!

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Christmas is RIGHT around the corner with the holidays in full swing. Between the traveling to see relatives and the social gatherings, have you had time to start crossing people off your list for presents? We are here to help having scoured all the online gift guides and pulled together the best presents into FOUR categories of gift guides below.

FOR YOUR BFF, CO-WORKER OR NEXT COOL GIRL NEXT DOOR: GIFTS UNDER $50

Because sometimes you just want to give a little something these fun gifts means you care in a fun loving way and you don’t have to blow the budget!

FOR THE MOST CHALLENGING GROUP TO FIND A GIFT FOR: THE MEN IN YOUR LIFE
The men in my life are the most simple creatures I know. When Christmas roles around they actually tell me they want nothing, which makes it even harder without being pointed in some direction. I have learned men love gifts they either find funny or functional.

FOR THE HARDEST GIFTS TO GIVE AWAY: THE WOMEN IN YOUR LIFE
My secret to shopping for the women in my life is buying them something I would buy for myself or like to get from someone else, simple as that. All of these items are on my own Xmas list!

FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE YOU CARE ABOUT THE MOST: THE KIDS IN YOUR LIFE           Kids are the most fun to shop for because the presents are just so cute. It’s hard to go wrong in this area. I love buying clothes or whatever the latest activity is that they really love doing or show they love watching. No matter what, it’s hard to go wrong in this department, but we have some cute things picked out below!

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I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving yesterday. I snuck away from the family fun to write this quick post because I can’t believe the sales happening online today and through the weekend. Black Friday seems to be the new Cyber Monday and our favorite sites are all partaking…check out the clickable list below!

30% off at Zara for today!

Tier sale up to 25% off at Shopbop through Monday!

25% off at Joie through Monday!

25% off at Current/Elliott today!

20% off All Saints through Monday!

25% off at Madewell through Sunday!

30% off at J.Crew through Sunday!

30% off at 360 Sweater through Monday!

50% off at Gap for today!

25% off site wide on Piperlime.com today and tomorrow!

25% off at Anthropologie today!

25% off at Aliceandolivia.com through Monday!

40% off at Theory.com through Sunday!

Everlane.com has established The Black Friday Fund–donating all profits for the day to their factory partners in Hangzouh, China. All proceeds will go towards updating recreational facilities for the 300 people who live and work at the factory. By purchasing on Black Friday, customers will be able to see their individual contribution….HOW COOL IS THAT?

Look out for a gift guide to come on Monday and another surprise from us!!!!

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I have a quick sec before I head home for Thanksgiving and wanted to share some thoughts…

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Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday after my birthday, Christmas and Valentines day (well I like them all)! I get so excited at the actual Thanksgiving feast of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and the gravy all mushed together on my plate. Even better is my Mom’s leftover turkey sandwich the day after, but enough about the food because more importantly I am looking forward to the time I get to spend with my family and friends! What are you looking forward to and thankful for this year?

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I also wanted to share that I came across this brand called re:named that is affordable and cute on Shopbop.com. I had my eye on some great pieces over the Summer, but never pulled the trigger. A couple weeks ago I came across this fun dress that I will be wearing to Thanksgiving dinner! I paired it with some simple black tights and gold buckle LR booties.

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Re:Named Plaid Long Sleeve Dress: $68! // Loeffler Randall Fenton Rain Boots // Vince Leather Sleeve Shawl Collar  Coat: on sale! // Agate Drop Necklace from Blondedbystyle on Etsy // Spanx Tight End Tights // Men’s Louis Vuitton Small Travel Bag //

IMG_2622….I hope everyone enjoys Thanksgiving…we have so much to be thankful of this time of year!

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On this messy hair, really care kind of day I found myself wearing this lushicious Zara Cape in an old forest. I should have been delivering apples with Little Red Riding hood! The fur lined hood on the cape is amazingly soft and the amount of material on the cape is endless. That’s what so different and fun about capes this season. They are essentially an oversized layer friendly jacket or sweater statement piece!

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I actually wore a cozy jumpsuit under a sweater and the cape over that, so I was ready to weather any storm on this chilly Fall day.

Zara Hooded Checked Wool Cape // Theory Jaidyn Boucle Sweater // Joie Attilia Jumper // Rag-and Bone go-to Harrow Booties // Necklace made by Zoe sold on blondedbystyle Etsy shop //

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Why not go bold with your capes and ponchos this season and have fun with it!? My favorite (with no surprise!) are from Zara here, here, here, and here. Most of them have bold prints, lots of material and oversized hoods, which are fun additions to an outfit for cold weather dressing. If you looking for a more conservative look stay with a solid color like the Whimbrel Cape from Anthropology. If you can’t fully commit, but want to play around with the cape idea, I love these 2-in-1 Cape Scarfs from Madewell.

IMG_2376…these pictures were taking in the Presidio in San Francisco.

 

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Holiday parties are just one part of what make the Holidays so special.  The weekends get booked out in advance and filled with friends, family, food and Holiday cheer.  I always bulk up on my hostess gifts this time a year because I never like arriving to a party empty handed.

For gift wrapping ideas –  tie on fresh rosemary from the garden (shown) or gold and silver holiday bells.   Red and white waxed twine or burlap mixed with washi tape and fun gift tags are all that these gifts need.

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Instead of giving a tradition bottle of wine, why not give a bottle of olive oil that will be used long after the party is over.   Decorative soaps are perfect for a powder room or guest bathroom.  Seasonal dishtowels from Anthropologie also make great gifts that are thoughtful and affordable.    I have been testing out several different holiday candles the last few weeks and although traditionally around this time I swap my kitchen candle out for spiced pumpkin scents – this year the Oatmeal Cookie Candle by Boulangerie is the gift that I will be giving (it smells like you just walked into a bakery full of freshly cooked cookies).

Here is a short list of gift suggestions that will be sure to get you invited again next year!

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It is time to get cozy and we think we have found the ultimate jammies for snuggling up to the fireplace, turning in early for the night with a good movie or an endless stormy Sunday morning over coffee and tee in bed…oh it all sounds just so nice!

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Strawberryblonded loves herself a good set of pjs, so it’s important they hold up as toddler and kid pajamas tend to take a beating.  They are washed at least once a week and if you treasure sleep, you want your kids to be as comfortable and snuggy as possible in bed.

I have tried a handful of brands and the Hanna Anderson cotton holds up through thousands of washes. Strawberry Blonded started wearing the Baby Sleepers at three months old and now has moved on to the Long Johns. They also came out with Frozen Pajamas and now I have to beg Strawberry Blonded to not wear them out the door to school. They are a bit more pricy, but hold up the best through the wear and the washing.

I also love the twin pack Long Johns at Mini Boden. The cotton is thick and also holds up in the wash. They do run small and have a pretty large shrink factor so I also size up.

Last, but not least The Gap sleep sets are the best for the value and the cute prints. They are a go-to for me through the growth spurts. While they do not hold up as well as the first two brands above, given the cost and the value they are great to have in the pajama rotation for all ages!

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I used to be a old recycled soft t-shirt and random pair of pj bottoms type of girl, but in my older age I have started buying more sleep sets of matching tops and bottoms. My sister has been telling me for awhile to try the Eberjey sets. I finally caved when the weather turned and bought myself this cozy Chic Pj Set and think it’s the most spectacular clothing I have ever slept in! The fabric is so soft and amazing that I have had my eye on these other pieces here, here or here now!

I also love a cozy waffle knit sleep sets and would reccomend sets from PJ Luxe like the knit Salvage Stripe set or the Ski Bunny Fox Print from Wildfox or the Splendid Classic Pj set for buttery soft fabrics that will keep you very warm this winter.

I can’t forget to mention that Gap also has great sleep sets for Women too during the holiday season in flannels (they haven’t hit the store yet) and 100% cottons with cute prints and at a great quality and price. I love this Printed poplin sleep set for on sale now for $36!

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Sleep Chip Stripe Pj Set from Eberjey
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….a typical morning on Green street looks a lot like this! Strawberryblonded and I have a bad habit of having sleepovers every night I’m in town (which has been a lot this Fall!). She is afraid of the dark, so we have to hold hands all night long! I’m not sure it’s the most restful night sleep with the night antics of her doing the sideways starfish, me waking up with a stuffed animal on my face (there are 12 in the bed) or her asking me to scratch her back, but I look forward to the snuggles and big smile I get from her telling me to wake up every morning!

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I fell in love with these old school baseball hats from Ebbets Field Flannels when I came across them in a boutique in Park City. I HAD TO HAVE one to wear to rep SF and found out I could custom make my own, so I designed and placed an order! It is perfect for a weekend hat to wear around the city or more for me to hide my messy hair on a travel day. I will be wearing this hat far from the streets of SF throughout the season!

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These one of a kind hats are for sale for $49 through our Etsy shop (more detailed pictures are here too!) or you can email me directly at mia@blondedbystyle.com to place an order! This specific color combination and logo has been ordered in a limited run, so first come first serve. The back has an adjustable leather strap that will fit most head sizes!

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I was cold all weekend for the first time in a long time. November 1st hit and it was felt like winter was officially here! This post was prompted since I was out of town I didn’t pack the proper accessories to layer on and to stay warm. During this colder seasons my favorite key pieces of my wardrobe are my scarves, hats and mittens. As jewelry is harder to make a statement with, cold weather accessories can add a pop of color or texture to an outfit and pull the look together along with added the warmth (most importantly!). They are also great presents to give over the holidays!

There are so many to choose from, but below are 15 of my favorite cold weather accessories right now.

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