Spring Trend 2014: Mexico Inspiration

This post brought to you by Majestical Jewelry. All opinions are 100% mine.

Spring is finally here! And I’m loving the Mexican inspired looks that were all over the runway for Spring 2014. This ranges from prints/colors such as oranges, reds, and turquoise, to pretty embroidery, off-the-shoulder sleeves, and ruffles. Depending on how you wear this trend, it could range from cool and a little boho to soft and feminine like this.

mexican inspired outfit runway

Mara Hoffman’s Mara Mexicana
Photo Credit: honestlywtf.com

Rebecca Minkoff Spring 2014 Mexico Tee
Rebecca Minkoff Spring 2014 Mexico Tee
Photo Credit: http://www.stylecaster.com
christian siriano runway mexico inspiration

Christian Siriano runway Mexico inspiration.
Photo Credit: http://www.stylecaster.com

Here’s how I pulled off the look with items already in my closet.

Style Trials OOTD Spring 2014 Mexican inspired topLiving Doll top from Macy’s. This top says it all, but honestly it was hard to style. I went with high-waisted shorts from Urban Outfitters (theirs are THE BEST), and casual wedges that had a natural straw sole and fun wrap around ankle feature.

Also, my friends at Majestical Jewelry sent me these fun dangly earrings from their fashion jewelry collection. I like that you can dress them up or wear them with a casual outfit like this. I love pairing gold accessories with a Mexican inspired look, as well as natural stones.  On the Edge Cluster Earrings Majestical JewelryThese On the Edge Cluster earrings are actually really affordable at only $13.50, and Majestical Jewelry has a TON of other awesome accessories ranging from silver to pearls. If you feel like picking up a pair yourself, Style Trialers can use promo code: TWENTYOFFNOW to take 20% off any order or promo code: 15DOLLARSOFF to take $15.00 off any order of $55 or more. There’s also free returns, free exchanges, and free gift packaging with every order.

Style Trials Majestical Jewelry on the edge cluster earrings Style Trials OOTD Spring 2014 Mexican InspirationMaterial Girl dress from Macy’s. I like the flirty little cutouts in the dress and shoes, along with the bold print.

Style Trials Milo Longhaired Chihuahua

In his true chihuahua fashion, Milo fittingly decided to make an appearance during the photoshoot. :)

How will you wear this Mexican inspired Spring trend? What other Spring trends are you loving?


Friday Freebie! Free Wedding Guest Book from Shutterfly ($29.99 Value)

Okay, you don’t have to use it as a wedding guest book, but what a great idea, huh?! I’ve seen photo books used in a variety of ways around weddings. From being part of the creative way a groom pops the question, to showcasing a couple’s engagement pictures with spaces for people to write their well wishes, it’s definitely a great way to personalize the “story of us.” This Friday Freebie is for a free 8X11 hardback 20-page custom photo book from Shutterfly. Hurry and claim promo code now as these things go quick…and the best part is you don’t have to actually make it until 3/16!Style Trials Free Wedding Guest Book Shutterfly Custom Photo Book

Simply click here, “like” Shutterfly on Facebook if you haven’t already, then click to claim your code. Once you get your code, go ahead and add it to your account by clicking “make guest book.” It will take you to the Shutterfly page, where you can either create a new account or log into your existing one. You must enter your promo code when you log in so your free book is stored until you make it. This freebie expires March 16th, so you’ll have to make it by then. This is a $29.99 freebie value, and shipping is $8.99 and not included in the deal.

What will you create with your book?


OOTD 5: Transitioning from Winter to Spring

Florida weather has been really fickle throughout this time (like everywhere else except without snow – I promise I’m not complaining!), but lately it’s been b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l. In this OOTD, I wanted to inspire with looks that can help transition you from Winter to Spring. I was heading out and about to run errands with my hubby and pooch (long-haired chihuahua named Milo) on this beautiful weekend day.

Style Trials OOTD winter to spring 2Although sunny and warm, there was a bit of a wind chill in the air, so I pulled together this outfit with short, flat boots, a burgundy felt hat, and a holy knit sweater. The holy sweater gives a lighter look for Spring because of the holes (when compared to a solid knits), and it adds an interest of texture. The open knit also pulls together the suede on my shoes and the felt in the hat, which are warmer materials. The floral lightweight shorts of course give this a cooler, relaxed look that all together is a great transition into Spring.

Style Trials OOTD winter to springI added the purse for a fun pop of color. However, if I had a fringe purse, I think that would have worked as well.

We came across an abandoned soccer field, and stopped to let Milo run around and play in the grass.

Style Trials OOTD winter to spring 4 Style Trials Felt Hat Burgendy

I am in love with this hat, and looked long and hard for one that was perfect. I found this online at Tobi. I knew I wanted a burgundy hat, and also one that wasn’t too floppy. I’m also obsessed with my Alex and Ani bracelets, and like to stack them. Style Trials Alex and Ani stacked bracelets love jewels and sister Style Trials OOTD winter to spring 3 I paired the outfit with simple “adult” pigtails, which were really easy to do. I simply did a loose braid on either side, then pulled out strands so it had a messier, boho-chic vibe.

Boots: Vince Camuto Tricera booties in taupe | Floral Shorts: Tobi, similar, similar| Holy Sweater: Old, similar, similar | Felt Hat:  Tobi, similar (I may even like Forever 21 wool hat better!) | Purse: Tory Burch cross-body bags | Bracelets: Alex & Ani bangle bracelets

What tips and tricks do you have for transitioning your style from Winter to Spring?


How to do a High Top Knot Bun like Nicole Richie

Bun hairstyles are still going strong. And what’s not to love? They can save you from rainy days, bad beach hair, or simply when you just don’t feel like styling washing your hair. From my tutorial on how to do a messy bun or a sleek doughnut  bun, you saw that there’s different types of buns that range from glam to boho chic. This tutorial is focusing on the high, top knot bun that Nicole Richie is famous for. Plus, it’s SUPER easy and takes less than 2 minutes to do!

Style Trials Nicole Richie top knot bun with bangs

Photo Credit: whowhatwhere.com

Style Trials Nicole Richie High Top Knot Bun Hairstyle

Photo Credit: youreatulle.blogspot.com

You’ll see a top knot is supposed to be a tighter styled bun, taller, and right on top of your head. Doesn’t Nicole Richie’s top knot look adorable? Kinda makes me want bangs.

Because it’s a simple hairstyle, it really lets smokey eyes, a bright lip, or a killer outfit take the stage. For me, I also found that this is the easiest and quickest bun if you have fine or thin hair. It actually looks best because with a top knot, you want the base of the bun to be as small as possible, which pushes up height on the bun. Checkout my 2 minute tutorial below:

How to do a High Top Knot Bun like Nicole Richie

 You don’t technically HAVE to have bobby pins, so if you need a quick fix and only have a hair-tie, this would still work.

Style Trials high top knot bun hair tutorial

Have you tried a top knot or any of these other kinds of bun hairstyles? Leave me a comment!


Master Bedroom Makeover 1: New Bed, Bedding, and Mattress

When we moved into our first home, we knew right away we wanted to buy new Master bedroom furniture. We only had the hubby’s bed and dressers from college, and wanted to re-purpose those in our first guest room. We also had hopes of getting a new mattress and upgrading to a King Bed. Knowing me, this was a long process because I wanted to get it right and not just settle….and that meant figuring out exactly what it was I did want. I’m happy to say our Master is now my favorite room in our house! This will be broken up into a few posts, and I’m going to focus this on our first step. The actual bed makeover.

Master King Bed Makeover Skyline Upholstered Barbara Barry poetical style trials

 I knew I wanted a serene, hotel feel to the Master, and was literally stalking my favorite home decor website Joss & Main everyday. If you haven’t heard of Joss & Main, they have discounted high quality designer furniture and accessories, but it’s a flash sale site. That means their products are only on sale for a few days. I first spotted this awesome upholstered bed there, but didn’t purchase right away because they have a no-return policy. Instead, we actually bought the mattress first.

We got our mattress at Denver Mattress Company, part of Furniture Row. They had a bunch of designer mattresses ranging from Sealy to TEMPUR-Pedic, and a variety of styles ranging from inner-spring to memory foam. We shopped around layed around and found our perfect match – the Serta iComfort!

style trials icomfort serta mattress master bedroom

Photo Credit: www.mattress-inquirer.com

Here’s why we chose the iComfort® Sleep System by Serta®:

  • Made with revolutionary Cool Action™ Gel Memory Foam – the world’s first memory foam infused with the support and cooling touch of Serta’s MicroSupport® gel.
  • Gel memory foam is designed to provide enhanced cooling comfort and more support where you need it for a cool, comfortable and supportive sleep experience.
  •  Serta offered a variety of iComfort models, and we went with iComfort Savant comfort level (in the middle, not too soft but not too hard)

I’m not going to pretend this mattress wasn’t expensive, but we figured a good mattress is an investment we should make and can last up to 20 years. After all, a human spends 1/3 of their life sleeping! Isn’t that crazy when you think about it?! We did upgrade to the King size, but opted out of the adjustable bed frame for now.

Next came the upholstered bed.

style trials skyline upholsetered bed with nail head

I seriously am in LOVE with this Skyline upholstered bed I found at Joss & Main , and it was a steal at around $700 for a King size bed (not just the headboard). Although Joss & Main is a flash sale site, I found that it’s not unusual for many items to be repeated throughout a month. My bed kept coming up, but I kept getting cold feet because I knew I couldn’t return it. I finally realized that Joss & Main is owned by Wayfair, and I could read customer reviews on my products there.

This Skyline bed got rav reviews, so I finally pulled the plug and purchased the Talc color. I admit I was still worried it may be a little too light in color, but it’s actually a really nice light linen color with tan cross-hatched fibers throughout. From a distance, it actually takes on a slightly light grey tone. I was also worried about getting the King size as I thought it may overpower the room, but found that because this bed is lower to the ground than our old Queen bed, it actually made the room look larger! I also love how the nail heads in this bed are individually placed, rather than a cheap trim that’s all attached.

Next came the bedding.

Master King Bed Makeover Skyline Upholstered Barbara Barry poetical style trials 2

I looked high and low for a pattern I liked. Seriously, I looked at Macy’s, West Elm, ZGallarie, Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, Ross and Marshalls, Kohl’s, and Bed Bath & Beyond. I fell in love with this serene Barbara Barry Poetical duvet at BBB. It was light, neutral, had interest because of the pattern, and was dark enough to contrast with the upholstered bed. Since I live in Florida but like a little weight in a comforter, I filled it with Macy’s Hotel Collection Primaloft All Season Comforter.  I preferred down alternative not only for the price, but also because I wanted to be able to wash it. It’s worked out great so far.

To go along with my bedding, I wanted to add a little “glam” with silky tones and a hint of color. I found the perfect quilt or coverlet also at Bed Bath & Beyond, which happened to also be by Barbara Barry and actually called Glamour! Haha, perfect!

Style Trials Bed Makeover Barbara Barry glamour quilt coverlet

I think this definitely adds a little interest to the combo, and makes the bed more luxurious. I also purchased 2 matching accent pillows. Master King Bed Makeover Skyline Upholstered Barbara Barry poetical style trials 3

Here’s a shot of the room BEFORE, then after the bed was added but everything else was still the same. I had some big plans for the windows, dressers, nightstands, lamps, etc. There’s been SO much more done since then, so you’ll have to make sure to subscribe to Style Trials (and click the verification link in the email it sends you) so you don’t miss the full view!

BEFORE:

style trials bedroom before makeover

AFTER:

Master King Bed Makeover Skyline Upholstered Barbara Barry poetical style trials

Big improvement, huh?

What is your Master Bedroom style? I’d also love to hear your thoughts on the first phase of this makeover – leave me a comment below!


My Stylish Valentine

It’s the third edition of a StyleTrials Valentine’s Day post! WOW, where has the time gone?! In the past, I had shown Vday looks and a Valentine’s Day nail art tutorial. Today I wanted to inspire you with a few more style options that will make your Valentine swoon!

Style Trials Valentine's Day Outfit Inspiration Looks 2014

Left to Right: Bianca Almond-Toe Platform Red Sole Pump, Nude – Christian Louboutin | Lips – Valentines Day – White Slouchy Oversized Sweatshirt on Etsy | OPI Nails – Nail Lacquer – 2014 Collection, Italian Love Affair | Mark by Mark Jacobs Presents Limited Edition Sunglasses | Love Heart White TeeWe Love Fairground | Fairground Bingle Party SkirtLouis Vuitton Stresa PM White Shoulder Bags | Miss Selfridge Infinity Valentines RingsZeagoo Women’s Sheer Sleeve Sequins Peter Vintage Pan Collar Puff Loose Blouse | VALENTINO R.E.D. Dotted Tulle Pleated Skirt | YSL Red Lipstick | Shortcake Story Dress by Modcloth | Christian Louboutin Gwynitta 100 patent-leather sandals

These appeal to my girly, traditional and sweet side. Now if you want more of an #EdgyValentine Vday look with still a classy vibe, try something like the below!

Edgy and Classy Valentine's Day look outift Style TrialsLeft to Right: NIKOS KOULIS 18kt Blackened Gold Spectrum Ring with Diamonds and Hematite | CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN Patent Spikes Pigalle 120 Pumps 35 Black | Plunging V Cross Back Bodycon Dress by Oh My Love – TopShop | French Connection Spike & Stone Stretch BraceletFrench Connection Spike & Stone Stretch Bracelet – Asos | Rare London Red Berry Plunge Dress | Aeropostale Pretty Little Liars Hanna Cluster Short-Strand NecklaceGiuseppe Zanotti Cutout animal-print calf hair sandals

You can mix metals and spikes with red, leather, vamp or red lips, and/or add in a funky print like Cheetah to edge up the look! If you pair that with classic designs such as pencil skirts and polished pointed toe heels, you’ll achieve a sophisticated yet edgy vibe. For a funkier style, do the above but pair it with miniskirts and Kitschy motifs!

What will you be wearing for date night this Valentine’s Day?

 


How to Write A Wedding Speech

When I was asked to be my big sister’s Matron of Honor (Maid of Honor), I was ecstatic! Of course, yes! However, I had a looming twinge of “OMG, I have to write a speech” lurking within. The thought of summarizing what Danielle meant to me seemed impossible, plus she wrote a beautiful speech for my wedding. I wanted to do a good job for her.

I tried searching a few things on the internet for ideas/tips, and didn’t really come up with too much. So I sat down and thought about it more, then came up with a “Ultimate Wedding Speech Formula” that I think really helped. I wanted to share these 10 wedding speech tips in case it helps a fellow MOH, plus list out my speech so I’ll have it stored to remember.

  1. MOH Wedding Speech TipsKeep it around 3-5 minutes. People tend to get distracted after that.
  2. For me, it was easiest to write the middle of the speech first, then add the intro and conclusion after.
  3. Beginning – Introduce yourself. How are you related to the Bride?
  4. Personalize it – Tell at least one detailed funny or heartwarming story that is personalized about the Bride, such as what it was like growing up with her. Make sure it’s not all inside jokes that nobody in the audience will understand!
  5. What about the Bride makes you love her? What are some of her personality traits? How has she helped you, and what does she mean to you?
  6. Don’t forget the groom! How long have you known him? How did things change after the Bride met her future husband? Tell a personalized story about the groom or details about why they’re perfect together.
  7. Add something interactive if it makes sense. Include a relevant prop, or ask the audience or Bride & Groom to do something. This makes things more memorable and engaging.
  8. Look towards the future – Now that they’re married, what do you wish for the happy couple? End with a toast, quote, or piece of advice for the couple.
  9. Don’t forget to end the speech with raising your glass and asking everyone to toast to the Newlyweds!
  10. Practice! I practiced wearing heels (I know it sounds silly, but helped!), practiced in the mirror, practiced in front of my friends and hubby, and of course didn’t forget the hairbrush microphone. :)

I didn’t want to blank out, so I brought up a piece of paper with the speech written on it. Note cards wouldn’t really work because you’ll be holding a microphone and maybe drink, so I made sure my speech was condensed to one sheet of paper. Because I practiced, I didn’t really need to look at it that much. I tried to remember key points, and tell the stories in my own voice rather than reading word-for-word, so they were more authentic. Here I am giving my speech:

Maid of Honor giving wedding speechObviously I’m looking out at the guests in this shot, but another important step is to really look at everybody you’re addressing. Pay attention to your body language, and make sure to look at the Bride and Groom.

So here it is, the speech I gave at my sister’s wedding:

Hi Everyone, my name is Kristen. Many of you know that I’m Danielle’s sister and the middle of the three Barnhart daughters. I’m thrilled to be Danielle’s Matron of Honor on this special day. Many of you know Danielle as a friend, family member, or co-worker, so I wanted to let you in on what it was like actually growing up with Danielle from my perspective.

Growing up, I was an awkward little girl with glasses and braces. You know, the “creative” type. Luckily, I had an older, beautiful and talented sister to look up to. Danielle was smart, popular, and gifted in piano, tennis, and dance. Although I’m sure there were times where the 5 year age gap deemed me her “annoying little sister,” she was always looking out for Lauren and I. I eagerly accepted her hand-me down clothes even if they had holes or stains, and loved when she took the lead at teaching us stuff such as how to do a cartwheel, or putting on a fashion show starring us and all the neighborhood kids.

As we got older, I probably drove her a little crazy with stealing her clothes. I remember this one time specifically when I stole her new shirt to wear to school. She went to school earlier than me, so getting it on was pretty easy. But because I came home after her, I had to bring one of my shirt’s to throw on over hers before I got home so she wouldn’t notice. I thought it was genius, but somehow she figured it out and a big fight broke out. Okay, I know I was in the wrong, but because of Danielle’s generous nature, she only locked her closet for ONE day after that. Again, always watching out for her sisters.

Looking back now, it’s apparent that she really paved the way for Lauren and I because she was so successful in her milestones and wanted us to be as well. We followed in her footsteps with piano, tennis, dance, and becoming sorority sisters. I even went to the same college as her, and she opened our eyes to the world of designer fashions. GOOD LUCK, Chris. :)

I’m sure many here know that Danielle’s been a great role model to not only us, but many others ranging from the “cool babysitter” to the caring dance coach. After Danielle’s years on the Orlando Magic dance team, she actually coached a professional dance team I was on. It was there that she later introduced me to my husband, Gary, who also worked for the team. My future would not have been the same without the help of Danielle.

Over the years, our relationship has grown to more than just sisters. I turn to her as my mentor, the one I can lean on for advice and support, or simply if I’m looking for a shopping buddy. We understand each other, and truly are best friends. Danielle, I am SO incredibly lucky to have a sister like you. Thank you for always listening, being a great example, and just being there.

I didn’t know Chris until they started dating, but I’ve come to find that he is the perfect match for my sister. Chris and Danielle both have that kind, thoughtful, generous nature about them, and are very family-oriented. And come on, he can play the piano better than us! Chris’ methodical thinking balances out Danielle’s impulsiveness, bringing out the best in each other. It’s incredible to see a girl from the midwest find her sole-mate from Virginia in Florida, and their wedding story proves of fate as well. She always had a crush on Chris in college, and says she wouldn’t have passed her business class without his help. Years later after graduation and random occasions of bumping into each other, the stars aligned and they finally had the opportunity to try things out. Obviously it worked, and although he’s been a part of the family for awhile, I’m happy to officially call him my brother!

Danielle and Chris, please hold each other’s hand. [hold hands]. I’m so excited to see what this next chapter in life brings you, and I’ll leave you with this one piece of wisdom. One of the best things in the world is when someone you love holds your hand. I wish you a lifetime of happiness, love, and hand holding through thickness and thin. Congratulations, I love you both. Let’s raise our glasses to the bride and groom!


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