Happy 6-Month Blogiversary, Pearls and Polkadots!

HAPPY BLOGIVERSARYYesterday, Pearls and Polkadots turned a whopping six months old!! It’s hard to believe that exactly half a year has gone by since I launched this style blog. That’s completely crazy to me. I have made some amazing friends and have had such a great time getting to know the blogging community! Before I go on, I want to put a HUGE thank you out to my readers who regularly support me, comment, like, follow, and all of that amazing stuff that you do for me and Pearls and Polkadots! Without you, I don’t know if I would have stayed as motivated as I have been so far, to keep posting what I have to say!!

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To date, I have published 84 posts, all covering the topics I love! Lately, I have been getting into more personal topics, like my goals and little facts about me!! I initially began this blog to talk about what I love most – fashion! Over time, I have realized that reaching my readers and showing them who I truly am is really important to me, and it allows me to establish a personal connection (even if we do only know each other online!!).

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For those of you who have been reading from the beginning, you may know that I began to write posts on January 1, 2015. However, I didn’t launch my URL publicly until January 16, which is why I consider that to be Pearls and Polkadots’ birthday. When I first began, I blogged roughly 2-3 times per week, but recently, I joined the #30DayWriter challenge, which has challenged me to release one new post every single day, for thirty days! This has by far, been the best thing I have done for my blog. I say this because it has gotten me into a routine. I write ahead, I plan out what I am going to post and it gets my brain thinking further down the line, so I am not paused at my computer for an hour, trying to think of a topic (while mindlessly pulling my hair out)!! It’s a process, right? Especially if you have other things on the go – it’s really hard to get into a steady routine, think of what you are going to say, and get people to read it!!

In honour of Pearls and Polkadots’ 6-month blogiversary, I want to share a few snaps of my ‘blogging environment’ (in the works) and a little sneak peek of my planner that I am building – the pictures are a tad discrete because I want to have something to show you in that upcoming post (coming soon!).

Okay, there are times when I end up writing my posts with my trusty iced coffee sitting beside me on the couch, while watching re-runs of Modern Family…(guilty!) But occassionally, I do like to sit at the table (usually when I am trying to really focus…) and what a better way to do it then with your coffee beside you, and all the materials laid out neatly at your side?

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I got this thermal tumbler at Aerie (by Ban.do) of all places (can you believe it?). I live and breath this saying, and when I saw it…there were no if, ands, or buts. It was mine.

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You can probably get a sense of what my planner looks like from the photo above. That’s as much as you’re going to get today (sorry!!), but I do promise that I have a little ‘look-inside’ post coming up soon (or when I complete it…) so that you can see all of the details! Personally, I love looking at how other people organize their planners!! Who doesn’t love organization? But that is for another day…

I hope all of you have enjoyed the journey so far and I am so excited about the road ahead for Pearls and Polkadots!! If there is anything that you want to see for the future, please leave your suggestions in the comments below!!

Happy Friday!!

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Outfit Details: the Black Maxi two ways!

Many of my readers know that maxi dresses are a favourite of mine. I love how you can throw one on, accessorize and be ready to go for the day! I wish I could wear maxi dresses to work, but unfortunately, they are a tad too casual for my workplace. The weekends is where the maxi dress shines, and this black maxi I found at Winners is no exception!! I love how many ways there are to wear a black maxi (post idea!!), and today, I am going to show you two ways that I have worn the dress so far!

Number One: On its own… 

Maxi dresses really don’t need to be dressed up, in my opinion, because they do plenty well on their own. Especially a black maxi, it’s slimming, hugs the curves and looks great with a few accessories and the right shoes. I love to wear maxi dresses with heels, only because I’m the shortest person on the planet (okay, maybe I exaggerated there…) and I like the extra 3-4 inches.

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These shoes that I am wearing are cognac coloured and perfect for summer!! They are about 3.5 inches, and the perfect height for this dress. The great feature about this maxi, is the slits on each side. It goes just high enough to give plenty exposure to the leg, but not high enough that you don’t have to worry about any “oops” moments. The slits also give you a chance to show off your fab shoes – usually long dresses are too long that the shoes are hidden!!

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I decided that a longer necklace with the maxi on it’s own would be more flattering. I tried on several different statement pieces, but didn’t love any of them. When I put this one on, it just felt like it kept the length going. No one wants to look short in a maxi dress, therefore, accessorizing with long accessories, will keep that lengthy look going. Plus, it gives the outfit some glam that stands out against the black background, as opposed to right on the skin.

See how good the dress looks on its own? It’s perfect for a hot summer day, or even bounding around town running errands! Cute, simple and the slightest bit trendy!

Number Two: All Dolled Up! 

For the second way to wear this maxi, I paired it with a darker washed jean vest. I remember when jean vests (and vests in general) were in style in high school…I had a black one that I wore (I felt so rebellious)…so I was hesitant when I bought this jean vest. I don’t regret it though!! Because look how it transforms the maxi, from simple and fabulous, to chic and casual!!

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Everything else (accessories, shoes, etc.) remained the same, except the add of the vest. Well, and the hat. But that’s because how could you not accessorize with an adorable hat like this? (Side note: I finally grabbed one of the hats from my #WishlistWednesday post! Horray!) This is a very summery hat, and works with this overall look, if I do say so myself!

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What I love about adding the jean vest, is how it provides coverage of certain areas that would be extenuated by the dress if it were worn on its own. There are times to show it off, and times to cover it up, and in my opinion, adding this cute piece on top, really transforms the outfit in a conservative way (i.e. totally appropriate to wear in front of my Grandmother).

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I got this bag earlier this year, and it is honestly one of my best purse purchases! I found it at Aldo and it was truly love at first sight. I was in the market for a cognac coloured bag, and this one caught my eye the moment I walked into the store. It is the perfect size, and the black floral scarf tied to the strap is so cute! I added my little touch of glam with the gold “S” key chain (gift from my Mom). And bonus…it goes perfectly with the shoes!

I love maxi dresses and have been on the bandwagon for a few years now. It really is the perfect summer look and so easy to style! I look forward to styling this dress more in the future, giving you even more ways to wear a black maxi!

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If you want to get similar items to what I have shown in this post, visit the links below. I tried to find the similar styles as the dress is from Winners. I wasn’t able to link this jean vest that I got from Old Navy, but I did link up some other cute ones I found!!

Happy styling!

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Jumping for the Jumpsuit: the “Dos and Don’ts”

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If you are up on your fashion, you would know that this year there is a new piece of clothing in town…and it goes by the name of “jumpsuit”. Rompers were in high trend last year, but a jumpsuit is different. Now, before we go any further, I want to say this: I know that jumpsuits are not a brand new style…this look has been around for years, literally…but this year, they have gotten super trendy and now, brands like Old Navy are selling their own version (which is fantastic!!).

I jumped on this bandwagon after seeing an adorable black jumpsuit in Winners, earlier this year. If you know me, you know that I love to shop at Winners. Well, after buying this jumpsuit, I could not stop and although I became such a fan of the style, I also became aware of the best and worst ways to wear a jumpsuit. That is why I feel the need to share with you today, the dos and dont’s of wearing a jumpsuit (Please note: you are completely entitled to your own opinion, this is just what works and doesn’t work to me, in my pretty little mind!).

Do sport the colour black. Like I said, my first jumpsuit was black (similar to this one, actually) and I found it to be incredibly slimming. Believe it or not, you do not need to be a size 0 to look good in one of these. Black is a great colour for any type of clothing item. Every girl needs their own LBJ (Little Black Jumpsuit!!)

Don’t buy too small. Jumpsuits are not only for petite or small women. I believe that jumpsuits can look great on any girl, provided you buy the right size. It doesn’t matter if you are a size 6 or a size 16…if you are getting the right size, and styling the piece properly, the look will come out fabulous!! With jumpsuits, specifically, I go one size up from my normal size. That allows for extra room for my curves (much needed!!).

Do show some skin. It’s always great to play with necklines, and show off what you have! Jumpsuits (especially long pant jumpsuits) are a great way to highlight those areas and show off some skin!! Most are sleeveless or have a semi-revealing neckline and that is such a great feature of this piece of clothing!!

Don’t show too much skin. Unless you’re Kim K, you may not want to be revealing too much cleavage, or back action!! Additionally, when showing skin, you may want to consider which areas you are showing. Jumpsuits can look super amazing, or super trashy…all depending on what you are letting the world see.

Do accessorize. You pretty much have your entire outfit complete when you wear a jumpsuit!! It’s like wearing a dress, it is the outfit. However, you don’t want to go un-accessorized, because, it may look a tad bland (or maybe that’s the look you are going for?). A nice clutch, a statement necklace, and some arm candy…and there you have it!

Don’t go go accessory crazy. Okay, so yes you should definitely accessorize a jumpsuit. That is just a fact…but with that said, choose the right accessories. There are statements, and then there are just plain mistakes. That sounds harsh…but it’s so true. Try to have a theme to your accessories (that obviously match your jumpsuit). If you are going to pick hot pink as the complimentary colour, choose the same shade of pink…do you see what I mean? Try to keep some consistency.

I will leave it there for today. Three dos, three don’ts. They are good to keep in mind, especially if you have never made the jump to purchase a jumpsuit (see what I did there?). I want to show you my favourite jumpsuit that I own, and then I’ll let you go. This is the jumpsuit that I mentioned earlier, and it is so comfy!!

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Jumpsuits are a really great piece to add to your wardrobe, and whether you feel comfortable or not – JUMP outside your comfort zone and JUMP into a jumpsuit, because you will not regret it. In fact, I have linked a few stellar jumpsuits that will make you want to make the leap, so check them out below!!

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#WishlistWednesday: Drool-worthy Planners

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Okay…so maybe this is a little outside the box for this style blog, but I don’t care, because lately (if you have been paying attention to my Pinterest account), I am OBSESSED with planners. I have never been one to keep everything in my phone…I just don’t find it second nature to schedule appointments or my electronically. I use my phone for, literally, everything…except that. That’s why I am switching it up this Wednesday and giving you my planner wishlist. I am also going to go over what I look for in a planner!!

Quick and Curious Large AgendaKate Spade, $36.00

Doesn’t Kate Spade provide us with so many great things? Bags, shoes, dresses, planners…yeah…planners. I LOVE her planners! This particular line of stationary is so inspiring and beautiful. I love the quotes that come with her products. It puts just the right touch of “girly” on it to make me want to melt into a puddle of preppy goodness!! The stripes, the polka dots…it’s all adorable!! My favourite planner right now is this “Quick and Curious”,  Tiffany blue agenda because it is to-die-for!! I have flipped through it about a million times at my local Chapters, and have to say that I would L-O-V-E to own this baby!!Kate_Spade_Planner_1

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Tusk in the Sun Monthly AgendaLilly Pulitzer, $29.34

How cute is this printed planner? I am actually obsessed with the “Tusk in the Sun” products by Lilly Pulitzer!! I don’t actually own any of the dresses, shorts, etc…, but they have been on my wishlist for months now. What I love about this planner is the slender build of it. The majority of planners are big, bulky and thick (which isn’t always a bad thing), but for something that you want to keep in your purse, or carry around easily, this is your pick!! Now, I have to say that I cannot vouch for the inside of the planner, because, I have not physically seen it or flipped through it. However, after reading TONS of reviews on this planner and several other Lilly Pulitzer planners, I feel assured that I would not be disappointed. How could you not be happy with a planner that looks like this, anyway?

Sorbet Medium Agenda, Carolina Pad, $16.99

I absolutely love this brand. I have been buying Carolina Pad since I was in elementary school (binders, notepads, etc) mainly because it was affordable, and also because the patterns and motifs were unbelieveably stylish. Well, they still are today, and their planners are perfect! You can usually find it in your local Wal-Mart or Target. The best thing about this line of stationary, is that it is affordable. Keep in mind, that with a planner (specifically), it is an annual cost. You aren’t going to have to buy two or three of these per year, you will only need one!! I used to buy these planners when I was younger because I didn’t have a ton of money to be wasting on an agenda. I got my fix of preppy and cute patterns, while still continuing to have a functioning planner!!

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Well, there you have it…those are my top three planners that I want to use this year. However, although these planners are super great and functional (and oh so pretty!!), I am really thinking that I want to try and DIY this one. I made a planner last year, but found that it wasn’t durable or as functional as I wanted it to be. Which is why I am back shopping for planners again this year…but the crafty girl in me is pushing me to look at more tutorials and try, try again!!

We’ll see what happens, I guess!! I’m sure I will blog about my decision in the future (Future post? I think so!!). Now, before I let you go, I promised I would give you a run-down on what I look for in a planner…

What I look for in a Planner:

1. Sections – There are so many components to a person’s life, and for me, I self-manage a lot of things that I like to have written down that just cannot go in my phone (like everything else..). I typically look for birthday sections, meal sections, daily agenda (as opposed to j1ust the calendar) and of course, lots of extra notes pages. This allows me to keep EVERYTHING in there, nice and organized so that I make sure that nothing gets left out!!

2. Pockets – Depending on what type of planner I want (book vs. zip-up), I look for pockets. Kate Spade planners (unless you go leather), don’t typically have a ton of pockets because it is more like a book that is bound. Awhile back, I was using a permanent planner, where you refill the pages. That had a TON of storage space to store all of my loose papers and cards that I may want to keep with my pages. Eventually, I moved away from this because it got too heavy and messy. Not to mention, pricey when you have to keep buying the pages!!

3. Bright and Funky Designs – This is totally cosmetic, but it is a valid point. No one wants a boring black or brown planner…what does that say about your personality? Dull. A planner is such a personal item, and says a lot about you!! When I go shopping for planners, I don’t give those boring planners the time of day. I look for the wildest and brightest planner out there!!

Confession: I mentioned above, that last year I DIY’d my planner and I was totally unsuccessful. It was a great planner,  but not too durable, which led me to not wanting to stuff it in my bag for fear that it would rip apart! What happened to it, you may ask? It got left on my shelf, and now I’m not entirely sure where it is. I can tell you one thing: it was never used.

Planners take commitment and you have to remember to use it, or else it’s basically a waste of money (not to be too blunt..). Make sure you check out some of the super cute planners I have linked below.

What do you look for in a planner? Let me know in the comments below!!

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Make a Statement: Round Two

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Statement necklaces have become a staple in my wardrobe, and I find it so exciting and pleasing to pick up a new piece of jewelry that I can coordinate with so many outfits. I have a few tips that I have picked up along the way which have made it a lot easier to look at a wall of necklaces and choose the best one (in my opinion…). If you’re wanting to find the best ones (in your opinion) you can have a look around at jewelry stores both offline and online, such as on sites like Owen & Robinson Jewellers for instance.

When I first started out as a blogger, I wrote a post on statement necklaces. However, I had just begun accessorizing with different types of pieces, and well, finding what I felt looked best. I wouldn’t say that my style has changed in the six months I have been blogging, but I have definitely found ways to make it easier for me when I go accessory shopping and I know what I am looking for!

The brighter the better! There is nothing better than a bright statement necklace to make your outfit pop! When I first began to accessorize with statement necklaces, I was a little shy with them – I bought softer colours that blended in and didn’t really stand out at all. They were more “complimentary” necklaces, than “statement” necklaces! However, as the spring season rolled in, I expanded with my bright taste and started to wear more colours that popped!!

Don’t shy away from those flashy pieces! Jewelry is not just for special occasions!! This is probably the most common misconception when it comes to accessorizing! Sure, you should accessorize when you are going somewhere fancy, or even going out for a night on the town. But who says you can’t wear a flashy piece while studying for finals at the library? Well, I say you can!! And should.

Change up the length! One of the common trends right now: big, bold, and short in length. While those are great and certainly make a statement, you also have to make sure you are switching it up and add a lengthy piece to your collection. I typically wear longer pieces when I am trying to create a taller look. Don’t get me wrong…I love the cute little neck length pieces, but you have to switch it up (you don’t want the same necklace in every look you style…). Keep it fresh with new pieces!!

Jewelry is a mysterious area of fashion and I’m sure everyone will have their own opinion on what looks good or what doesn’t look good or even what they feel comfortable wearing! The most important thing to take away from this post, is this: Where what you love. If you love a rainbow coloured, spiky piece…WEAR IT! Not everybody is going to love what you are wearing every single time, and I have definitely made some fashion forward moves that not everyone I know liked…but who cares when you feel beautiful in it?

Here are a few of my statement pieces that I have collected in the last year. I love them. I wear them. I am addicted to statement jewelry!!

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Before I go, I want to let you in on one last, little detail…to make your accessorizing easier, I have brought the necklaces to you!! Below, I have linked some of my favourite necklaces that are on the market right now, and some of them are on sale!! These are the best and brightest pieces a girl could ask for, so make sure you check em’ out below!

Let me know how you feel about statement jewelry in the comments below and what your most favourite style is to rock!

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