26 September 2013

DD's Style File - Oh, How I Love Boyfriend Jeans

This is only like the second time I've worn a pair of denim jeans on this blog. I own several pairs in skinny, prints, colored and boyfriend. But boyfriend cuts are by far my favorites. I hate shopping for jeans. Sounds cliché, I know. But it's true.

I frequently run into the "perfect fit in the behind, but too large in the waist" scenario, which means trying them on is a must.  And some days I just feel like, *sigh* ain't nobody got time for that. And because the rise is also super important, boyfriend jeans always seem to fit the bill.

I'm fortunate to work for a corporate company that offers casual Fridays, as does my department on Thursdays. But I don't wear them to the office often, probably more so in the fall if anything. And if I have meetings, then I nix the denim.

My thing is, up here in the northeast we don't get too many sunny warm days, so I've got to make the most of 'em while I've got 'em. So I try to cram in as many flirty dresses and skirts as I can before I'm back to wearing thick tights and scarves. However, I will say those "jeans days" definitely come in handy. Like today, for example. Too tired to pick out my clothes last night and wake up in a timely manner this morning, and then I remembered, "hey, it's Thursday - jeans it is!"

White blazer - Macy's
Coral top - Jennifer Lopez for Kohl's
Boyfriend jean - The Limited
Aqua pump - INC for Macy's

As many of you probably know, office's can be super chilly, so the blazer added some warmth and a dash of polish to what is otherwise a super laid back outfit.

On another note, I think Jennifer Lopez has done pretty great things with her Kohl's collaboration. This top, which is sleeveless with a gold exposed zipper down the back, is a closet keeper along with my teal fit and flare dress from her line. I used to hate Kohl's. Sorry, I did. I thought it was for old folks. But for the last couple of years Kohl's has been my shopping diamond find thanks to this line and others like Lauren Conrad, ELLE and Apt. 9.

Today's post is also part of The Fashionista Next Door's Style Me Friday link up, head on over and join in the fun!


Also don't forget to throw your name in the hat for a chance to win my first giveaway featuring a Phillip Lim x Target Mini satchel! Click here to join in now!

P.S. Thanks to my mommy for snapping these photos for me! xoxo

3.1 Phillip Lim for Target GIVEAWAY [CLOSED]

Hello beauties! I'm super amped to be holding my first ever giveaway here on Dazzling Diva! Soooo exciting, right?!

And because it was just that special, I wanted to make it a good one!

And I thought the best way to do that was to gift one lucky reader a "Fall Fabulous Mini Haul!"
The winner's "mini haul" gift will include:

3.1 Phillip Lim for Target Mini Satchel in Yellow (currently sold out online)
The Limited Foil Sweater Scarf in Gold
Grab bag of mini goodies from Sephora

Polka dot scarf NOT included

To enter, use the Rafflecopter below. Each entry will give you points. The more points you earn, the closer you are to winning this awesome prize! After completing the mandatory entry, it will unlock more options that can bring you one step closer to winning! The #FFMiniHaul Giveaway will run from 9/26 - 10/3.
The winner will be announced via Rafflecopter and contacted through email.

This giveaway is only open to US and Canada residents only.
Giveaway will end at 11:59 PM EST on October 3, 2013

24 September 2013

Somebody Had a Birthday!

Hey y'all!! If you follow me on Instagram then you know my birthday was on Saturday. However, since my birthday is rather special to lil' ol' me, I usually try to make it a weekend event. So, Friday I took the day off work and treated myself a facial.

My loved ones and I headed over to Cleveland on Saturday to do some celebrating. To my disappointment, the weather was a bit cooler than I would have liked (considering Friday was a warm beautiful 75 degrees), but I soldiered on in my sleeveless birthday dress anyway. I found the chill to be tolerable...especially after a chocolate martini or two!

We had dinner at XO Prime Steaks, where I was treated to my first crème brulee. Mmmm! I was quite surprised that it was actually so tasty. The creamy mousse hidden under the layer of crunchy caramel was smooth and sweet, though not overly so. And the side of mixed berries created the perfect flavor compliment.

Dinner was followed up by a comedy show at the Improv, where I laughed until tears ran down my cheeks and my tummy ached. And my celebration weekend was capped off on Sunday as I spent some time cashing in a few of those gift cards! *smile*  Why wait?...

I hope you all had a weekend as enjoyable as I did and that your week is off to a fabulous start. And don't forget to head on back here on Thursday when I'll be kicking off my Fall Fabulous giveaway featuring a yellow Phillip Lim x Target mini satchel!

19 September 2013

My Thoughts - 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target Review

It came. We saw. It conquered.

The 3.1 Phillip Lim collab with Target can be referred to nothing less than a success. It will pretty much rank right next to the Missoni, Prabal Gurung and Jason Wu collab sell outs. Doing so so quickly that it left fashionistas nationwide dashing for eBay and Poshmark attempting to get pieces that had sold out online and in their local stores.

Ok, so you don't typically see me saying anything at all positive about my hometown, here in little ol' nowhere Pennsylvania by the lake, but occasionally there's a sunny side. Interestingly, some of the ladies around here couldn't be less concerned with Target collaborations (unless perhaps it was from Oprah) and would likely only buy a piece from the collection because they thought it was "cute," not because of the connection to a fashion Gawd which they've never heard of.

So although our local store will stock just a small volume of the collab collections, they don't always sell out immediately (Missoni excluded, because I think that was an epic fail across the nation).

And this time, it meant when I visited our store on day four after the Lim collection launched, there were still pieces to be pondered and purchased.

Admittedly, some items were more popular than others, specifically the bags versus the clothes. Even the yellow bags versus the other colors. My personal thoughts on the clothes were that they would be cute on the right body, but that body does not belong to me.  Although several of the pieces were lovely and appeared to be well made, there was nothing that I couldn't absolutely do without.

For example, the cream ruffled top on the right in the pic below looked quite chic, but the material was surprisingly stiff to the touch, nothing like a softer chiffon-like fabric.

I considered the top or dresses with the jeweled encrusted necklines, but figured I could create essentially the same look on my own with a nice neck piece and a simple layering blouse or sheath. Actually the only piece of clothing I'm interested in purchasing seems to be the piece that no one else is lol! Which is fine by me!

The grey joggers are still available in all sizes online and there were still several sizes available locally. However, I am not at all interested in paying $30 for some sweatpants, so I'm just gonna bide my time until they go on somebody's clearance rack, feel me?


As an aside, the guys clothing was also still rather plentiful. Though I could tell it had been shopped, there were no gaps in the rack. I perused their pieces a bit too, but felt they looked better in the online photos than in person. Perhaps had I seen them tried on an actual body or a mannequin, I would have felt different. Did any of you grabbed pieces for the fella in your life?

Anywho... So obviously me and everyone else were all about those luxurious looking bags. My store sold out of all the handbags the first day. The only thing remaining when I visited four days later were two of the travel wallets. If you follow me on Instagram then you already know that I was lucky enough to grab the last of the yellow handbags and one of the ever so popular Boom sweatshirts (there were still several in varying sizes). But I was trying to not be greedy and stay budget focused, so I passed on the other bags.
The good news is, one of these lovely bags will be up for grabs when I host my FIRST GIVEAWAY!! I'm excited!! Be sure to come back and visit next week for all the details!

17 September 2013

DD's Style File - Cropped Top

The weather here in the northeast is straight cray cray... One minute I'm going without sleeves and turning on the AC and the next minute I need to be pulling on a knit sweater. And I'm talking major swings in temps from not only day to day, but hour to hour.

It makes getting dressed in the morning such a friggin' challenge! "Mother Nature" pick a side, will ya!

Of course, when it's warm, what can you do other than grasp the opportunity while you got it. So I pulled out this pretty peach crop top, which I picked up during my very first trip to a Nordstrom Rack while visiting Cleveland.

I would have loved to wear it with a loose linen pant or silky pajama like bottom, leaving a hint of tummy exposed, however such is not my life at the moment, so I had to primp it up to be work appropriate.

Pairing it with my high waisted skirt still didn't hide enough of my skin, so I layered a black cami underneath, tucking it into my skirt allowed for a more seamless silhouette.

Peach crop top - Nordstrom Rack
Black pencil skirt - Target (old)
Pink multi pumps - Cosmopolitan for JCP
Metallic handbag - B. Makowsky
Gold earrings - old
Gold lionhead necklace & woven cuff - The Limited
Peach watch - ALDO

These loose crop tops made more than a few appearances on the runways at NYFW for Spring 2014, so I'm sure we'll be seeing more of this style to come.

I personally think that the bell-like action around the waist can potentially be unflattering, unless the bottom portion is styled appropriately. This can be accomplished by keeping the bottom streamlined, with a pencil skirt or pant or by ensuring that your waistline gets a little visible action, if you opt for a more billowy shape on your lower half. Even still, I would suggest that this be kept to a pant, as an A-line skirt could cause an awkward shape unless perhaps, unlike me, you're an Amazonian with legs for days. And definitely go for a high waist, no matter what.

In other news, my birthday is this weekend and I seriously can't get motivated enough to decide what I want to do. I've been so burned out the past few weeks, part of me just wants to sleep (sad, yes, I know). However, I only get one birthday a year, so I definitely know I need to do something! But hey, I've got a few more days to figure it out!

I hope your week is off to a great start!

10 September 2013

DD's Style File - Pretty in Pink

Attending weddings always give you a chance to get all gussied up and put on your girliest of frocks (or sexiest, depending on the mood).

I loved the deep saturated pink of this dress and decided to go with it instead of a fab black peplum wiggle dress I had planned to wear instead. Which was ultimately a good decision because wouldn't you know another diva wore that same black dress!

The horror! It would've been right out of an episode of Fashion Police - "Witch, Stole My Look!"

Needless to say, I would've ended up going home and changing my clothes....and  ain't nobody got time for that!

So once again the fashion goddesses were on my side, thankfully. It worked out and I've decided to save the black number for my upcoming birthday.

The only downside to the evening was that I didn't get a chance to twirl this lovely little number around on the dance floor...  And anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely, positutely love. to. DANCE!

I dance at home while I'm cleaning, I dance with my nieces, with my dog, I've  even been known to get my two-step on at a store while shopping in the mall. (Especially at The Limited where they play great songs)

Pink ruffle dress - BCBGeneration
Polka dot handbag - Lulu Guinness for JCP
Black bow pumps - Kate Young for Target
Clear sunnies - Olsenboye
Watch - ALDO
3 finger ring - Forever 21

So what was the problem, right??? Well, it's a dinged up damaged pinky toe. It looks fine if you're eyeballing it, but after being smashed into a coffee table last year, it hasn't been quite right since. I spent several months wincing in pain during pedicures before it felt rather "normal" again. (And no, I didn't go to the doctor...I can tape it to its neighbor myself.)

That was until I accidentally banged it into a doorjamb last week and restarted the cycle. I then spent several days in flats or shoes that didnt restrict its movement. But Saturday arrived and it was time to suck it up. 

I had no problems walking and standing, but that pinky toe made sure I knew that being stuffed in those adorable pumps was the last thing that it wanted to do...sooo shaking my groove thang was kinda out of the question. 

No complaints here though, I still had a great time!

05 September 2013

DD's Style File - Floral Explosion

This top is one of the pieces I picked up while visiting NYC. I liked that it was a bit different, the high low trend mixed with a loose fit and a nod to peplum. It was still rather warm out so I decided to pair it with a skirt instead of pants this time.

Whether I like it or not, it's winding on down to cooler temps for those us of here in the North. There are benefits to embracing the change - sassy boots, powerful leather pieces and dramatic coats (which I have been quietly perusing since June), but then I also kind of welcome some other good stuffs, like the smell of crisp apple and pumpkin spice candles and the return of fall primetime TV. I mean a part of me is wiggly with excitement in anticipation of new episodes of Once Upon a Time and Scandal (I scold myself for taking this long to tune in to Olivia Pope's fierce fabulousness).

Floral top - Forever 21
Navy skirt - The Limited
Grosgrain pump - French Connection
Bow bag - Apt. 9 for Kohl's

But I'm definitely not looking forward to the challenges, which mostly comes from the fact that fall all too quickly turns to...winter. Ugh. Managing my blog posts/photos when its dark when I leave home and dark when I get off work is just not something I'm excited about. Because if we're just downright honest about it, taking good indoor photos is no easy feat unless maybe you're the offspring of a photography whiz... Which I am not. (Isn't there an IFB post somewhere out on the World Wide Web that can help me with this one??)

But as darkness takes over more hours of the day there are other drags too, like saying buh-bye to the walks I take with Toonchie. And the threat of gaining back those six pounds I was so proud to lose (doesnt sound like much, but it made a world of difference in how my clothes fit). 

Admittedly, I am trying out "puppy care" with Toonch, aka daycare for dogs. It will at least allow him to get out and make some friends a couple days a week and the people there seem to be the bomb dot com. So today's his first day of school, stayed tuned for how it turns out lol. 

People who aren't doggie mommies (or daddies) totally think I'm nutso crazy for this whole "puppy pre-school" idea because he's a dog. But he's also a four legged family member and when those eyes look sad or lonely I've got to fix it somehow. So, naysayers be damned!

Anywho, I'm all done with my fall ranting for the moment. I'm going to live in the moment and toss pennies in the fountain and hope the 80 degree temps hang around until September 30th. 

This weekend I'm attending a wedding and trying to finish up my closet organizational overhaul, it's been a doozy. 

I hope you doves enjoy your weekend and we'll chat again next week!

03 September 2013

DD's Style File - Oh, You Fancy Huh?

You know how you have one of those days where you just feeeeel fabulous?

Well, this outfit did just that for me. It had me feeling all, I am woman hear me roar - rawr!

Yaaassss honey!


I fell in immediate love when I found this skirt by its lonesome waiting for me on the clearance rack. It was an XS. Which I am not. But I took it anyway because I loved the feel and fabric and was determined to make it work for me, even if it meant wearing a tunic length top.

Luckily, because of the stretchy knit, it kindly agreed and fit my curves fabulously. (Lycra is my friend)

It actually worked out better, because had it been a size small, it would have caused the fabric to give too much and stretch out in an unsightly baggy mess around my knees. So the fashion goddesses were on my side with this little gem.

However...this brings me to the question, how many animal print skirts does one fashionista need? Apparently more than one, because even though I already have this one, I gave into temptation and purchased another leopard skirt for my fall haul too. I'd intentionally passed it up for a few weeks, knowing I didn't need it, but I ultimately admitted to myself that I desperately wanted it!

Ok, so truth moment - I'm more than a little bit obsessed with leopard print. I find cheetah and leopard print to be pretty much interchangeable, I look at them as one in the same. And I'm so drawn to making purchases of this print, with its neutral yet sexy appeal, sometimes I feel like I'm turning into the old cat lady lol!

No need for an intervention though! I waited for an awesome sale before I bought the skirt. *smile*

Cream blouse - NY&Co
Cheetah print skirt - Merona for Target
Turquoise sandal - Rachel Roy
Woven clutch - Apt. 9
Lion head necklace & woven cuff - The Limited
Teardrop earrings - Express
Joining in on IFB Project #111 allowed me to once again sing my praises of feline inspired prints, which you're sure to be seeing more of in future posts.

I hope everyone had a fabulous long weekend and with the 'official' close of summer, the countdown to my birthday has begun! Shout out to all my fellow Virgos!