The Cutest Culottes!

[Chelsae Anne | Photography]

TEE: more options here/PANTS: Zara, more options here/JACKET: Rebecca Taylor/HEELS: more options here/TOTEmore options here/SCARF: Madewell

THESE culottes are SO fun and SO comfortable to wear all day. I recently bought them on sale at Zara for like $15 but knew they had so much potential if I just paired them with the right accessories, like a cute pink tote (love black + pink color combo), strappy heels and a fitted jean jacket from Rebecca Taylor. (Love it when that happens)

More

I like Big Bows…

[Chelsae Anne | Photography]

ROMPER – more options here (c/o) Shopbop/SANDALS – more options here (c/o) Shopbop/CROSS BODY  (c/o) Gigi New York/EARRINGS – more options here

When it’s as warm as it’s been here in Florida – upwards to 90 degrees (can you believe it?!) – it’s a small victory to look anything but a hot-mess-express by the end of the day. Seriously. The only way to combat the heat to is to wear a cute dress, shorts, a romper or to sit directly in front of an air conditioning unit with a cold face mask on (yes, in case you’re wondering, I do this often while sipping my morning coffee.)

This getup, by C/MEO Collective (#superfan), has the most adorable detailing. Bows in the back. A mini collar. And shorts! Yes, shorts. I slipped into these sandals by Frances Valentine (the original Kate Spade!) to match the bow motif and kept my accessories to a minimum – gold statement earrings (on serious repeat, lately), a couple rings and a mini pink cross body (recently spotted in last week’s blog post).

Click here to see more from C/MEO Collective. Here to browse through Frances Valentine’s latest collection!

AS MUCH AS I would love to sit here and write out a long, drawn out blog post about life lately, I don’t have the time! One of my resolutions goals for 2017 was to restore balance back in my life. Yes, insert intern here. (To those who applied, please hang tight!) This means doing things that make me happy like taking dance classes during the day, spending time with girlfriends at night or reading. It’s funny, when I step back and give priority to the activities that give me life, I’m inspired again and things just fall into place.

Anyways I’ve found that no matter how much you love to do what you do (raises hand), striking a balance between work and everything else in life is super essential. So to those of you who find yourself in the midst of a crazy period of work (like me!), take a step back and schedule that night out with your girlfriends. It’s worth it, trust me!

Side note, (sorry for jumping around so much) what do you guys enjoy reading the most on here? My posts about fashion? Posts about dating and relationships? Confidence? Work? Beauty? Travel? You tell me! I’m all ears.

Scroll up and click on the pink links to shop tonight’s look from Shopbop! I’m off to hip hop class!

Xo, Stephanie

Remain a Classic

[Chelsae Anne | Photography]

BLAZER, SWEATER, BLOUSE, JEANS, TOTE: (c/o) Neiman Marcus/HEELS: (c/o) Shopbop

Elegant. Super chic. Uniform. That’s what came to mind when putting together today’s look. It’s polished, a little undone and just works – for like, so many occasions. Work. Date night. Happy hour. Weekends away. It’s very me.

A friend of mine recently brought up the topic of personal style. And how much mine’s changed through the years. We laughed thinking about it and breathed a sigh of relief knowing some of those “questionable” outfits were buried deep in the blog. “Phew. Glad it’s changed,” she said.

As soon as I dropped her off, I went home and browsed through those looks (circa 2014) to see what she was talking about. “Yeah,” I thought. “She’s right. So not me. Cute (kinda). But not me.” Then again, those days I didn’t have much. I was forced to work with what I had. Fresh out of college and a couple months into my very, very, very entry-level job and blog.

A fashion blogger rarely starts a blog wearing top designers. It takes time to get there. And much like personal style, lots of trial and error to nail down what makes your style unique.

I remember following so many successful bloggers (back in 2014, now I just follow people who inspire me including regular folk, industry creatives, photographers, designers) and thinking to myself, “if I kind of, sort of replicate this look, I’ll grow! Then, I’ll be able to blog full-time. Then, I’ll be able to show people who I truly am as a blogger. Then, I’ll be content!” Eh. Wrong. Didn’t work.

Last year, I started craving more… me. Classic (in nature) with a twist. That’s my style. Since I was 11 years old dressing up as “Posh Spice” for Halloween. Since wearing simple pumps and button-downs to high school (yes, I was that girl). Since college. Since forever. When I trust my gut and stay authentic to who I am, I feel cool. Not everyone agrees. And that’s ok. I own my style.

Interestingly enough, that’s when I started to grow the most too.

Coco Chanel once said, “Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.”

To shop today’s look from Neiman Marcus, scroll up to the top of this post and click the pink links for outfit details!

Xo, Stephanie

P.S. – Thank you to those who submitted resumes for the intern position over the weekend! You guys are all so incredibly talented and passionate about fashion. Seriously. Please bear with me as I continue to review them 🙂 I should be in touch soon! <3 x a million.

For The Dreamers

Idalia Baudo Collection - The Style Bungalow

Idalia Baudo Collection - The Style Bungalow

[Chelsae Anne | Photography]

DRESS: (c/o) Chicwish/CUFF, BRACELET (here and here), STATEMENT RING, EARRINGS: (c/o) Idalia Baudo Jewelry/HEELS: more options here/BAG: (c/o) Neiman Marcus

Ditching the corporate life to run a small business is no cake walk. And it’s most certainly not as sexy as people think it is. You invest an incredible amount of time, hard work, money and passion into your dream with the hope of it taking off one day. You struggle with work/life balance. Have trouble turning “it” off at night. And feel like you’re running a marathon – more like the Iron Man. Not a sprint.

Before I get into tonight’s post, I just want to say that I feel unbelievably blessed to do what I do. While I don’t have a small business, I’m very familiar with the emotions of pursuing a dream. Starting a blog has been an incredible journey for me. And I think it’s exactly where I’m meant to be. But it wasn’t easy getting here!

Anyways, I’m often surprised when people I talk to interested in pursuing their dreams say, “I wish” or “someday I’ll do it… it’s just not the right time.”

Idalia Baudo Collection - The Style Bungalow

Meet: Idalia Baudo. Local jewelry designer. Miracle worker. Dreamer. Mompreneur. And a dear friend of mine who decided to go after her dreams and make it happen after her father passed away from lung cancer.

Since launching her line, Idalia has taken off – fast. And having a family has never slowed her down. She’s made a name for herself in Palm Beach as a leading designer and frequently works with bloggers (like yours truly – click here to see last year’s post wearing her jewelry!) and other trendy boutiques on a regular basis.

She’s also very humble. And shy to talk about herself and her vast achievements. So, I’m going to take it over from here – and talk about her jewelry tonight. Because I think it’s fantastic. And glamourous. And I think you guys will feel the same after seeing more…

Idalia Baudo Collection - The Style Bungalow

Everything is handcrafted in Italy using silver and gold mesh (it’s super lightweight), sterling silver and/or 21k gold vermeil. Her price points range from $65 to $320, meaning both you, your bestie, mom, sister, whomever – can wear this line. It’s also classic, timeless and exquisitely made.

One of my faaavorite pieces from her collection is this sparkly Fiora Mesh Cocktail Ring. I’ve worn it with everything from dresses to jeans to swimsuits. Click here for more rings!

Idalia Baudo Collection - The Style Bungalow

Idalia Baudo Collection - The Style Bungalow

I’m also wearing a stack of bracelets that include the Allegra Gold Mesh Bracelet, the Stella Gold Mesh Cuff (another favorite) and the Muse Gold Cuff from her newest collection. All bracelets are daring enough to wear alone, or dainty enough to wear stacked on top of one another.

Idalia Baudo Collection - The Style Bungalow

Idalia, who is originally from Krakow (yes, #AmericanDream), says she is who she is because of her father. A creative force whose giving nature and kind personality taught her to realize life wasn’t always perfect. A spirit that lives on in everything she does as a wife, mom, business owner, friend and dreamer.

I think there’s something to be said about following your dreams. Inevitably, you’ll face challenges. It won’t be perfect. You might second guess yourself because you have a family. Responsibilities like a job. Or be scared.

But thinking you need to have the perfect timing, the perfect moment, the perfect idea will act as a road block. And distance you from your dream. Because there’s no such thing as the “perfect timing.”

Take it from Idalia who took a leap of faith and went for it. Look where she is today…

Idalia Baudo Collection - The Style Bungalow

For more information about Idalia’s jewelry, click here or scroll up and click the pink links above. And as always, thank you for stopping by!

Xo, Stephanie

COVET or LOVE IT

Neiman Marcus Last Call Sale - The Style Bungalow

Neiman Marcus Last Call Sale - The Style Bungalow

Neiman Marcus Last Call Sale - The Style Bungalow

[Chelsae Anne | Photographer]

COVET -> SWEATER, BUTTON DOWN BLOUSE, MULES, BAG: (c/o) Neiman Marcus/SKIRT – similar here, here and here

You see it. Want it. Need it. Have to have it like ASAP. One problem. The price tag.

I get it.

Neiman Marcus Last Call Sale - The Style Bungalow

That’s why today’s post is for you. I’m showing you how you can get today’s look from Neiman Marcus, with similar items for slightly less thanks to their Last Call sale (that ends Friday, by the way. Yes, to be safe – keep your credit card next to you from this point on.)

Neiman Marcus Last Call Sale - The Style Bungalow

I’m a big fan of the color red. It’s a color that transitions from winter to spring. My oversized sweater is from Vince. I paired it with a silk button down from Equipment. In my opinion, both items (ok, more like this entire look) are worth the splurge but if you’re looking for something less pricey – consider these pieces on sale.

LOVE IT…

Tory Burch and Palm Beach go together like coffee and donuts. Like tacos and Tuesdays. Like me and shopping. I personally love her brand. Always have. These embroidered mules from her latest collection have flower-stitched leather and are punctuated with colorful pom-poms and tassels. How fun! They are lightly padded for comfort and have a high block heel that’s surprisingly super easy to wear.

Neiman Marcus Last Call Sale - The Style Bungalow

Neiman Marcus Last Call Sale - The Style Bungalow

Neiman Marcus Last Call Sale - The Style Bungalow

Like traveling light? So do I. This cross body, also by Tory Burch, is light, provides easy access to belongings. It strikes the perfect balance of style and utility.

Ok, so these pieces are definitely full-price but if you like them, you might also like these:

Neiman Marcus Last Call Sale - The Style Bungalow

I styled my sweater with a leather skirt (that was purchased a million years, ironically on sale). Here are a couple options that are similar (and way cuter!):

So there you have it! Definitely take advantage of Neiman’s Last Call sale because it’s ending soon and there are SO many great designer pieces on sale right now.

Neiman Marcus Last Call Sale - The Style Bungalow

Xo, Stephanie

Shop today’s look below!

Just Get a Gigi

Gigi New York - The Style Bungalow

Gigi New York - The Style Bungalow

Gigi New York - The Style Bungalow

[Chelsae Anne | Photographer]

CLUTCH + CROSSBODY: (c/o) Gigi New York

Handbags are a necessity. Not just an accessory. #snapsnap

Every woman needs a good one. A bag that’s fashionable. Durable. Stylish. Convenient. And big enough to tote around a little bit of everything wherever they go – phones, keys, wallets, makeup, sunglasses, extra pair of heels, entire kitchen sink. Or if you’re like me, hold the bare minimum.

Gigi New York - The Style Bungalow

But with so many brands out there, how do you narrow it down to a good one?

Last year while working with a client on a new wardrobe, I suggested she check out Gigi New York for handbags. I didn’t own a Gigi bag at the time. But I knew the quality was great from blogger friends who were obsessed with them so I felt comfortable enough suggesting it to her. She glanced at the site. Fell in love with a couple options. And next thing you know, another diehard fan. 

Gigi New York - The Style Bungalow

Gigi’s leather comes from some of the best suppliers in the world. Their bags and accessories are timeless. Their colors are fresh and vibrant. And their price points are affordable (low to mid hundreds) considering the quality is on par with luxury bags that have price tags with commas in them. Seriously. You can find everything from streamlined shoulder bags to leather hobos to one-of-a-kind natural haircalf clutches within their line. There’s bound to be a dream bag in there for you somewhere! (Mine happens to be this rose python crossbody!)

Gigi New York - The Style Bungalow

But that’s not all Gigi New York handbags are good for – they’re also super easy to style. One of the brands most popular designs is the “All In One” clutch – an elegant bag offered in so many different colors that can easily transition from day-to-night. Today (yes, today!) they released their latest line, resort. And this multicolored Havana clutch is from the new collection. I mean, isn’t it totes cute?! Check out more options here.

Gigi New York - The Style Bungalow

Gigi New York - The Style Bungalow

Having said all of this, let’s shift our attention back to – finding a good brand. One surefire way to find a good bag is to start with the quality of the materials. You’ll also want to find good construction and a versatile design – something that can be worn season to season. I also look for color. A pop of color is more versatile than a neutral like, black or tan. Color can be worn with all colors. Whereas black should be worn with black. Tan with tan. Etc.

Gigi New York - The Style Bungalow

Gigi New York - The Style Bungalow

Whatever your handbag intentions may be, definitely check out Gigi New York’s selection. It’s a brand that meets all of my bag requirements! Ay… and besides, a woman can never have too many bags. Right?! #duh

Xo, Stephanie

New Year Drill!

Marshalls - Activewear - The Style Bungalow

Marshalls - Activewear - The Style Bungalow

Marshalls - Activewear - The Style Bungalow

Marshalls - Activewear - The Style Bungalow

[Chelsae Anne | Photography]

DESIGNER JACKET, TEE, SPORTS BRA, LEGGINGS, SNEAKERS, YOGA MAT, KETTLE BALL: (c/o) Marshalls

You know the drill. Every new year you make a promise to get back in shape. If you’re eager to succeed this year, keep reading today’s post!

I’m no personal trainer but I’m definitely a fitness geek. I love being active. I have a ton of energy! I use exercising as a way to calm myself down and clear my mind. My motivation to workout is not to look a certain way. I do it because I need to! #formerhyperactivechild

Marshalls - Activewear - The Style Bungalow

My motto has always been, do something active once a day. Whether that’s a long walk, working out at the gym, taking dance or yoga classes, I aim to get up, get out and push my body at least once a day. If I can’t, I try to workout at least 4-5 times a week.

Marshalls - Activewear - The Style Bungalow

Marshalls - Activewear - The Style Bungalow

I start my workouts with a light stretch. If I overdo it, my muscles will feel too loose and wonky. So I just focus on arms, legs and a light back stretch. That’s it.

Marshalls - Activewear - The Style Bungalow

Marshalls - Activewear - The Style Bungalow

Marshalls - Activewear - The Style Bungalow

Then I run. I run 20 minutes to get my heart pumping and to warm my body up (you can also warm your body up by wearing layers the first couple minutes of your workout, like this designer jacket from Marshalls). I listen to gangsta rap (yes, that’s right) to help tune out my thoughts. Everyone seems to laugh when they discover this about me. Whatever, who cares! I know people who listen to classical music when they workout. I recommend listening to music that motivates you! Don’t worry about what others think.

Marshalls - Activewear - The Style Bungalow

After I run, I’m ready to lift weights. When I say lift weights, I mean do a “cardio circuit.” It’s a great boredom buster, especially for me. It’s also what works best with my body. As a former professional dancer, I’ve tried every workout under the sun. This approach is my favorite. Consult with a professional trainer to determine what’s right for you.

Marshalls - Activewear - The Style Bungalow

Marshalls - Activewear - The Style Bungalow

I focus on one area – legs, arms, back and stomach. Or do a full-body workout if I’m feeling super energized that day. I choose three moves with weights (usually between 10 to 25 pounds) and perform each move for 40 seconds. In between each move, I rest for 20 seconds. Here’s an example of one circuit:

.40 seconds of squats

.40 seconds of kettle ball swings

.40 seconds of jump squats

I repeat this circuit three times. Then, I do two more circuits. Like this:

.40 seconds of single-leg raises

.40 seconds of wide leg squats (or what I like call, grande plies)

.40 seconds of jumping lunges

Repeat three times.

.40 seconds of single leg jumps

.40 seconds of full kick-ups

.40 seconds of burpees

Repeat three times.

Marshalls - Activewear - The Style Bungalow

After doing this for about 30 minutes, I’m spent. To calm myself down, I do 7 minutes of something – can be biking, walking uphill or jogging.

Marshalls - Activewear - The Style Bungalow

Then, I stretch for a LONG time. To me, this is the most important part of my workout. Since I’m quite petite and prefer a long, lean look – I stretch for 10-20 minutes. I wear comfortable clothing, like these designer leggings from Marshalls, so that I can move freely while I stretch.

Marshalls - Activewear - The Style Bungalow

And there you have it! That’s my workout plan.

Need some inspiration to get moving? Stop by your local Marshalls to pick up new workout gear. From yoga mats to sporty tanks to comfy sneakers, they have everything you need to look super stylish at the gym this new year!

Xo, Stephanie

[Thank you Marshalls for sponsoring this post!]

Je Ne Sais Quoi

Je Ne Sais Quoi - The Style Bungalow

Je Ne Sais Quoi - The Style Bungalow

Je Ne Sais Quoi - The Style Bungalow

Je Ne Sais Quoi - The Style Bungalow

[Chelsae Anne | Photography]

BLOUSE, PANTS, BAG: (c/o) Neiman Marcus/HEELS: (c/o) Shopbop – more options here/EARRINGS: Here

A couple years ago, a friend of mine from Paris taught me the phrase, “je ne sais quoi” in French. I repeated it. He giggled (because my accent was terrible) and said I was cute for trying. “What does it mean,” I asked. “I don’t know what,” he said with a coy smile.

Confused, I did a quick Google search on my phone and found (according to the good ole’ internet) that it meant, “a pleasant quality that is hard to describe.” Vague, right? I asked him again. He said, “it meant something special. A woman with je ne sais quoi stands out. Not because of what she’s wearing or how pretty she is but because of her personality. Her presence. Her wit. Her confidence. Her style and sophistication.”

From then on whenever someone would ask if I knew how to speak French, I would shrug my shoulders and respond with “je ne sais quoi.” Smile. Wink. Awkward pause. It was the only phrase (aside from simple ballet terms) in French that I knew.

Recently, this happened again. A friend asked if I knew French. I said what I said. He paused. Looked down. Giggled. And said, “that’s you my dear.”

I went home that night and thought, I get that it means a special quality and blah, blah, blah, but it can also refer to anything… aside from the way a woman walks and talks, right? Not quite, according to my research.

Je Ne Sais Quoi - The Style Bungalow

Je Ne Sais Quoi - The Style Bungalow

Je Ne Sais Quoi - The Style Bungalow

Je Ne Sais Quoi - The Style Bungalow

Let’s flashback like eight years ago when I was dancing professionally for a small ballet company. At the time, there were 6 trainees (the equivalent of an apprentice) in the company. I was one of them. Every quarter we would have these stupid evaluations where they would pull in management and critique us – one by one. It was awful. We all dreaded these evaluations. Every time I would walk into mine, I would nearly pass out from anxiety. Why? Because only 2 trainees would be promoted at the end of the season. The rest – laid off.

Je Ne Sais Quoi - The Style Bungalow

I walked into my last critique knowing that this was it. This was the day I would find out what would happen next in my ballet career. (For those of you who are having a hard time following, just watch the movie Center Stage and this will all make sense.) Management said, (I’ll never forget it because it stung), “Stephanie. Your technique is… OK. Your body… still needs work. But you have something special. We can’t put our finger on it. There’s something special about you.”

I’ll spare you the details of what happened next because it’s painful. I’m happy to report that I did, in fact, get laid off. No contract for me. Which, in hindsight was a good thing. At the time, it sucked. Bad. Like really bad. SPECIAL?! I’m special?!!! Obviously not special enough to get a contract! as I cried myself to sleep for days not knowing what to do next. My life was over.

It took many years for me to fully understand what was said in that evaluation that day. I frequently look back at it. A turning point in my life. The end of my ballet career and the start of something incredible. In hindsight, a moment I’m forever grateful for because it taught me an important lesson.

Je Ne Sais Quoi - The Style Bungalow

You do not need to be perfect. Pretty. Have the best body. The best feet. Turnout. Extension. Hair. Or whatever you think you lack in order to stand out. You just need to be different. I don’t know… have a special trait about you that makes you unforgettable. A je ne sais quoi quality.

And that alone, will take you further in life.

Xo, Stephanie

Je Ne Sais Quoi - The Style Bungalow

Je Ne Sais Quoi - The Style Bungalow

P.S. I’m taking my first ballet class (it’s been years) this week. I’ve been taking hip hop to get back into dancing. But no ballet. This week, that’s changing. 🙂 Hello 2017.