my resolutions.

new year's resolutions are a hot topic. they are something i usually make but never follow through with. this year i hope to be different.
here is what i resolve to change this year:

1. be better to myself. 
learn to eat better, exercise better, and sleep better.

2. care less about what other people are doing or thinking. 
do things based on how i feel and think.

3. get out more, do more, meet more people. 
so if you know of something fun going on or want to meet for coffee or a drink, let me know! i'm game!

4. post more on my blog, do more craft projects, have more fun.

these may seem a bit vague, but after receiving a new book, 'the happiness project' by gretchen rubin, for christmas, i am inspired to do my own happiness project. i plan to cover all my resolutions in my happiness project. starting with january, i plan to get more organized. clear the clutter in my house and in my mind. i plan to get healthier by eating better, exercising better and getting more sleep. i am going to tackle my multiple page to do list and begin a year that i hope to be better than the last. 

2011 was an interesting year. there were some really cool things that happened (i am on the cover of a magazine!?) and some not so cool things that happened. in the year to come i plan to accomplish more and do more good.

what are your new year's resolutions? what do you look forward to the most in 2012?

out with the old, in with the new: how to start the year off right.

first off, i want to say how lucky i am. i have a happy, healthy family, wonderful friends, and a job. i just celebrated the holidays and got more than i could have ever asked for.
but just like everyone else this time of year, i do not have a lot of extra time on my hands. as you may have noticed, i have been mia in the blogging world. this is about the second time in almost three weeks that i have even opened up my computer. i am okay that i missed blogging about my gift lists or how to dress for parties (though i did have some cool ideas. see forefront fashion because she was on top of it this year!), but i was definitely not okay with missing out on 'blogging for good'. thanks to corey templeton of portland daily photo for encouraging local bloggers to take some time to write about local organizations or causes that they care about.

even though i may be a little behind, it is never too late to talk about things that are important to us. as i start to go through all my new christmas gifts, i find that i need to make some room. out with the old, in with the new. i start to think about how i don't need half of the things i own, it would be a smart idea to go through what i do have and replace it with the new things. since i know that not everyone is a fortunate as i am, donating the things i no longer need is the best thing i can think of doing. even after the holidays, people are still in need. there are three places that are close to my heart and would encourage all of you to donate your items to:

dress for success
preble street resource center and teen services

all of these organizations do so much for our community and to better the people in it. i have talked a lot about dress for success and goodwill. i have seen first hand how they are changing the lives of people every day. but it takes people like you and me to make sure that they can continue to help many more people.

what a perfect way to start the new year. clear the clutter in your life, clear the clutter in your mind, and help the people who need it most.

maine women magazine: the style issue.

i am honored to be among amazing company in this month's issue of maine women magazine talking about our different takes on personal style. read about ashley tyler, margaret logan, denise novotny, & antonia medd and how style changes through the decades. 

pick up a copy for free around town. just look for my face on the cover! (hehe)
or read the articles online:

urban outfitters: portland maine.

as many of you may know, urban outfitters is opening today on middle street in portland's old port. however, many of you many not know that i am a member of the management team, working as the women's department manager. i have been training with the company and spending long hours putting the store together over the last month. in just a short time, i have developed a love and respect for this company.

i know many people have a hard time letting a corporate company come into our area. i won't lie, i have my own feelings about it as well. i have been a long time supporter of local businesses and growing our local economy. i love this area so much. i have grown up in portland and have spent a lot of time wandering the streets downtown.

this is not the first time a corporation has come into the area. we have starbucks and dunkin donuts on every corner, yet the local coffee shops, like my favorite bard, are still able to survive. we have a lululemon, which seamlessly slipped on to milk street without much fuss. as portland becomes a bigger destination, i think we will continue to see businesses move in here. portland is a big deal and it is nice to be recognized for it. i think they way it is done will make all the difference.

i want to be honest and say while i was first starting my new position with the company, i often second guessed my choice of taking a corporate job in an area built so much around community. as i really starting learning about the company and really seeing how urban operates, i changed my mind.

urban outfitters runs each of their stores like it is their own business. every store is different and tailored to the market it is in. every part of the store is constructed and designed by the employees. everyone has a say and a whole lot responsibility. as a manager, they allow you and expect you to run your department as you are the business owner. they want everyone to be creative and bring new things to the table. it is far more than just some retail job, no matter what your position in the store is. urban outfitters is a huge supporter of the arts. they support them in multiple ways. they let their employees display their work inside the store and participate in many community events. for the opening weekend, we will be donating 10% of our sales to the maine college of art.

urban outfitters has been looking to come to portland for a long time. they have been looking for the right space for the store. the company wants to find beautiful spaces that they can restore and bring out the history of the buildings. they finally found a space at 188 middle street. many of us may have know this space best as the pavilion. i know i attended a bar mitzvah and a prom there. since the pavilion, it has been empty for a long time. i know they tried to fill it with a local business, but the space didn't work out that way. it has now been brought back to life and is an amazing space. it is so beautiful inside. urban doesn't want to change the space, but bring out the history and continue to tell a story. i am happy that the space has been filled and we can start bringing more people to the area.

i want everyone to know that this job doesn't change my feelings about this community and will never stop me from shopping my favorite local stores. i am working to build my knowledge of the industry and be a creative, successful business woman. i am excited about my new journey and i hope that everyone will give urban outfitters a chance to bring great things to this community.

not only is the space awesome, but the merchandise is pretty cool too.
here are some of my favorites you can check out when you come to shop this weekend (remember the more you spend, the more we donate!!):

love: sequin aztec prints.


it seems this week i can't look anywhere without seeing one of my favorite prints decked out for the season. surprisingly, it was a combination that had never even crossed my mind. it is the type of sequin & sparkle that seems toned down and almost a little grown up.

i first came upon it in the december issue of instyle as part of their holiday dress article, featuring this allsaints dress. then one day later, i see it in an anthropologie email. this time paired with a super shiny skirt (paired with a cable knit sweater.. love!). finally, in the same day, i see this pair of shorts on the opening page of topshop website. these paired with a matching sequined top and suspenders. cool and festive.

'tis the season for sparkle.

the jackie coat.

shirt - gap
pants - jaeger, found at goodwill
belt - goodwill
shoes - missoni for target
bag - coach
coat - j crew

ladylike, 60s inspired with touches of menswear. this is what a good part of fall has been about for me. i love mixing something very structured like these wool trousers with something light & free like this blouse. as i always find to be true, a belt will pull everything together. in this case, i loved the print and style of this shirt so much that i bought an extra large. it was the last one left and on sale for like $6. i knew i could make it work with a belt or tucked in. by keeping the shirt loose, it made this work outfit work for fun after work activities!

as we begin to leave fall and enter into winter, we need to make smart decisions about our outerwear choices. most people are only going to see this outer layer, so to them, it wont matter what you have on underneath. for this particular outfit, i chose a structured camel coat which also fit the 60s look i started with. my mom calls this my jackie coat. that to me means it is classic and will definitely make you look classy, even if you may not always be. unbuttoned, it give extra structure as an overcoat. button, paired with these pants is a great look on its own. running errands is easy. no one even needs to know what is going on underneath. judging my the cover, you look perfectly pulled together, even if you may only be wearing a t-shirt underneath.

there are so many fabulous coat styles to chose from this season. it is the easiest way to step out in style. what is your go-to coat this year?

'must' have sunshine.

dress - h&m
jacket - goodwill
tights - target
boots - luckybrand
purse - goodwill

i am now in full fall mode. mustard yellow is a must! pairing it with browns and navy add that extra punch. fall has always and will always be about layering. it works out great this day because i don't need a jacket. i don't have to cover up an outfit i am really enjoying. 
and most importantly, i don't have to be cold! 
i love how the dress is bringing out the colors in this blazer. it makes the brown pop, almost becoming a little brighter. with this outfit, like many others, it is the little details that make big differences. 
a simple belt adds to the color scheme and brings attention to the smallest part of your shape. basic jewelry can make a bold statement when there is not too much going on or too much to look at. and of course, accessories like your bag. i chose this one for a reason. on the day i bought the blazer (part of set with a matching skirt), i also bought the bag. i had imagined in my mind wearing the suit with a floral printed shirt in deep fall colors and with this bag. i love the idea of mixing prints and by keeping the colors similar, it would be okay to have three different prints mixed into an outfit, especially when one is just an accessory. so immediately after getting dressed, i went straight for this bag. not only does it add a bit of fun, but it also adds to the ladylike look of this outfit. 
it may not have been the crazy print outfit i had envisioned (keep a look out for it!), but it is fall and it is fun. and it makes the little things stand out just a bit more.

SWAPmaine success.

saturday was the second SWAPmaine event and it was a huge success! bigger than our first, but an equally amazing swap. we had over 300 attendees and donated over 3000 pounds of left over clothing to goodwill! a huge thank you to everyone who made this possible! we could not have done it without donations from amazing local businesses, our volunteers, and, of course, the swappers!

swag table.

our mascot manni

food table


setting up.

dress row.

sorting station.

pre swap party.

the swapping begins!

organized chaos!

i had so much fun. i loved watching everyone go crazy over all the clothes and leave with some amazing finds. i did not go home empty handed either! i emptied out my SWAPmaine bag this morning to see what i went home with. one of my favorite parts of swapping is seeing what was actually in my bag. with all the commotion, i forget what i actually scored. it's like going through all the excitement all over again!

here is what i got:

 denim dress.

sheer pink dress.

 paisley print dress.

hot pink jumpsuit!

sequined silk blouse.

 light pink silk blouse.
michelle picked it out for me!

80s striped tee

picked out by kate!

floral jacket
picked out for me by the team of sorters.
(glad everyone had my best interests in mind!)

 bright striped jacket.
allie showed me the pockets & i couldn't say no!

polka dot pants.

floral print pants.

brown leather shoes.

i want to thank my amazing SWAPmaine team, allie, laura, laura, michelle, and kate! i love working with you guys. what an amazingly fun and creative group we are. i cannot wait to start planning our next event together!

what were your favorite finds??

fall away.

wearing: dress & shirt f21, denim shirt goodwill, shoes f21, bag flea market.

even though we are now fully into fall, we are still being blessed with warm, sunny days. this means layers. when the sun goes behind a cloud or when it starts to set, the temperature drops. 
here i layered a sheer blouse over this short sleeve dress then added a chambray shirt for a little warmth. this was the last day for sandals. they are all packed up for the season and i am so ready for boots, but it was fun to give them one last go. the loose cuts of the blouse and shirt make a fitted dress a little more flattering. it covers up the areas i like the least without hiding my shape. 
as the days keep getting shorter and the temperature lower, layering is going to be our new way of life. it will also get a little harder when the pieces start getting heavier, so start practicing now!

do you layer? what are your favorite fall pieces to pair together??