Taking a cue from fellow blogger Mary Bordelon, I did some exploring on Polyvore to help me get out of a style rut. Dressing for spring has never been my favorite–at the risk of sounding completely basic, I totally prefer fall and winter style despite freezing temperatures.

That being said, it is still pretty cold in the Northeast, so most days this time of year I choose to sleep in rather than take an extra half our or so to put myself together. I’ve been ending up in leggings, a t-shirt and a blanket scarf way too much lately for my liking. This is what we fashion bloggers call a style rut.

Thankfully, Polyvore is a fun and inexpensive (read: FREE!) way to experiment with different fashion and beauty looks when it’s too cold to do anything else and you need a break from studying. In an attempt to get myself excited for spring style, I put together 17 (I know, I’m extra) Polyvore sets centered around both new trends and my all-time favorite pieces.

New trends include neutral lips paired with bold eye makeup, off the shoulder tops and dresses, statement sleeves and underwear as outerwear. Old favorites include vintage denim, cateye sunglasses, slip dresses and chemises, plain t-shirts, chunky knitwear, leather booties and moto jackets.

I also added sexy lace and fishnet stockings, as well as some silver and gold hardware (mostly in the form of jewelry) and feminine scarves to accent almost all my looks this season. While I tend to wear more white, beige and pale gray than I do black and other dark tones, I also love to pair black with beiges and tans no matter the time of year. Similarly, I tend to mix girly (slip dresses, bedroom hair, cheetah print, lace) with grunge (moto jackets, band tees, boyfriend jeans, statement jewelry), and this season is no exception.

One major piece I cannot wait to get my hands on this season is a denim jumpsuit–I definitely have my eyes on this number from Second Skin Overalls. And, I am hoping to add a champagne-colored slip dress to my collection sometime soon, too!

Lastly, I made sure to include several transition pieces, including scarves, stockings, sweaters and outerwear, because weather where I live tends to be pretty unpredictable.

Let me know in the comments what trends you cannot wait to rock this spring, as well as your go-to’s for getting out of style ruts. Xoxo

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A couple months ago I taught myself how to use Pinterest (better late than never) and instantly became addicted. In fact, I already pinned close to 2,000 inspiring images, articles, recipes and DIYs to all my boards and completed five of my fav findings from the site. Winter tends to make people–including myself–a little restless, and there really is no better cure for cabin fever than working on a few beautiful and functional do-it-yourself projects.

As I continue to explore Pinterest, I will most definitely be updating this list a few times over. I cannot wait to get started on some of the stunning makeup tutorials the site has to offer. But for now, the following are the five best DIYs to hit my feed. Be sure to follow my boards for instant updates!

Coconut-rose body scrub is almost too pretty to use! I love displaying mine on the bathroom counter in a simple ceramic bowl.

Coconut-rose body scrubNot only does this body scrub smell amazing, it is 100 percent natural AND it actually works. Coconut oil moisturizes skin, while pink Himalayan salt exfoliates, leaving my entire bod feeling smooth and silky. In addition to the hydration and salt your skin craves, this scrub includes rose oil, which tones and tightens skin, reducing the appearance of scars and stretch marks. As with all beauty products that contain coconut oil, you should only make this scrub with organic, extra virgin coconut oil–otherwise, you’ll end up with clogged pores and breakouts.

Hair-thickening mask: This is another all-natural beauty product–can you tell I have a type? I don’t always take the greatest care of my mane, so it has definitely thinned out over the last couple years. Coconut oil is my go-to hair treatment once a week when I have time to pamper myself, but I wanted to see what else the world of Pinterest had to offer my tresses.

I quickly discovered this 10-minute thickening mask that combines castor oil, coconut oil and honey. In addition to promoting hair growth, this mask also leaves hair feeling soft and looking shiny. And, after I did a little research, I discovered that castor oil, its main ingredient, also promotes eyebrow and eyelash growth. What more could a gal want?

Cereal box organizersOver the years I’ve accumulated a ton of magazines and journals, making this DIY a must-do for me. As my collection grows over the years, I will definitely be recreating variations of this project–this link alone offers 15 different ways to turn cereal boxes into perfect space-saving storage containers for magazines, journals, folders and books.

Brass hoop earrings with suede laceSo, this one isn’t technically a DIY (it’s a link to an Etsy shop), but instead of purchasing these earrings, I decided to make my own. A quick trip to AC Moore for some brass hoops and suede lace was all it took to create a super unique pair of statement earrings.

These babies may seem like pricey vintage jewelry (aka my motif), but in reality I made them in half an hour and for under $20. I absolutely love pairing them with a plain white t-shirt and blue jeans for a casual, yet polished daytime or weekend look.

Cucumber-avocado smoothieI am a total sucker for a green smoothie, and this recipe offers a unique spin on the usual spinach/kale blends. Don’t get me wrong, spinach and kale smoothies are great, but sometimes I need a change. Enter: the cucumber-avocado smoothie.

The base ingredients, i.e., cucumber and avocado, combine to create a creamy, yet refreshing texture, while lime and cilantro give the smoothie a zesty twist, making it the perfect micronutrient-rich post-gym or afternoon pick-me-up. I will definitely be adding this recipe to my weekly wellness regimen. For an extra nutrition boost, I may try adding a cup of spinach–which is virtually tasteless in smoothies–to the smoothie the next time I whip it up.

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If your New Year’s resolution involves organizing your closet, you are not alone. Every January, tens of thousands of women find themselves in need of a little spring cleaning–not because we’ve outgrown our clothes, not because we’ve worn them to shreds, but because our fast fashion habits fill our closets to the brim, making them difficult to manage.

The solution? Creating a capsule wardrobe. That is, “a minimal wardrobe composed of 30 to 40 high-quality, versatile items that will meet your needs for a given time amount of time,” usually about 3 months, according to Business Insider.

Breaking your fast fashion habit and revamping your entire wardrobe may seem like a tall order, but it turns out your overstuffed and neglected closet is actually causing you a ton of stress, according to Rachel Jonat, author of Do Less: A Minimalist Guide to a Simplified, Organized, and Happy Life.

Major closet inspo via Amy Kim, aka Homey Oh My [source: homeyohmy.com]

If you think fast fashion rendered a capsule wardrobe a thing of the past, then think again; a capsule wardrobe is exactly what we need in order to combat day-to-day aggravation in this face-paced, constantly connected world. 

Purging your closet and creating a capsule is a relatively painless process–even for the organizationally challenged–that can help you develop your own personal style by ridding your space of the bland or outdated pieces you never wear. Caroline Rector, blogger behind Unfancy, suggests three basic steps to begin your first capsule wardrobe:

  1. Empty your closet, dresser and anywhere else you store clothes completely; failure to do so constitutes as cheating.
  2. Sort each item into one of four piles.
    • Love it: These are the pieces you absolutely love, that you could not live without and that you definitely plan on keeping for your capsule wardrobe.
    • Maybe: Items that you do not wear regularly, such as those that may need some tailoring/alterations, those that have sentimental value and those that you have not worn recently but can definitely–emphasis on definitely–see yourself wearing within the next 6 months or so, are all considered “maybe’s”.
    • Nope: “Nope’s” are clothes that don’t fit properly (and that you don’t plan on taking to the tailor), clothes that you’ve never worn or have only worn once (and that you won’t be wearing within the next 6 months) and bland or outdated clothes that you will never wear again. Consider donating these pieces to a local charity or reselling them on sites like Poshmark.
    • Seasonal: Winter coats, snow boots, swimsuits, etc.
  3. Asses what’s left, i.e., your “love it” pieces, and adjust your new wardrobe accordingly. You should be left with approximately 30-40 pieces. If you are below the 30 mark, consider using the money you earned from your old clothes to invest in some quality pieces; if you are way above the 40 mark, you should definitely add a few more things to your “maybe” or “nope” pile. Then, pack all your “maybe” and “seasonal” pieces away for the time being–Rector suggests storing them in a box in the garage, or under your bed.

Minimal and fashionable [source: un-fancy.com]

For those that prefer writing things down to stay organized, Rector’s blog also features a printable capsule planner, which acts as a foolproof guide to creating a capsule wardrobe. The technologically savvy can utilize the Stylebook App (available on the App store), while visual learners will find tons of inspiration via Rector’s personal capsules on Unfancy’s Capsule Experiment page.

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Although I stay away from dairy on a day-to-day basis, I love preparing cheese boards for special occasions and get-togethers. Entertaining at home can be tons of fun when yummy hors d’oeuvres and rich red wine are included–especially now that Sunday night football and Monday night Bachelor are both in full-swing. On a chilly night, nothing beats relaxing with friends and family over good food and a game of Cards Against Humanity or poker.

There is no actual cooking involved when it comes to wowing your loved ones with a Pinterest-worthy cheese board; the only skill tested here is how well you can organize various cheeses and other goodies on your favorite cutting board! A cheese platter also makes the perfect appetizer to a thoughtful home-cooked meal for your significant other on Valentine’s Day (don’t forget the chocolate-dipped strawberries and flirty lingerie). And, the leftovers are great to have on-hand for lunch during the week!

Start with:

  • A cutting board or platter (duh!)
  • Enough plates and wine glass for all your guests
  • Butter knives
  • Napkins

Cheeses: So that there is something all your guests will love, consider choosing one cheese from each of the main categories.

  • Soft: Brie, goat cheese, mozzarella
  • Semi-firm & firm: Gouda, provolone
  • Aged: Asiago, Parmigiano, white cheddar
  • Blue: Gorgonzola

Add:

  • Cold cuts: Prosciutto, salami
  • Fresh fruit: Berries, figs, olives
  • Dried fruit: Apricots, figs, prunes
  • Nuts: Cashews, marcona almonds, pistachios
  • Crackers and/or fresh bread: La Panzanella Original Mini Croccantini are my favorite crackers, but I also love honey wheat brown bread (recipe here) and traditional French baguette.
  • Spreads: Natural fruit jams, honey

Wine pairings: I am definitely a red wine type of gal! In addition to being a great way to unwind at the end of a long day, there are tons of health benefits associated with having a glass of red at dinner, including lower cholesterol, heart-healthy antioxidants, controlled blood sugar, a sharper memory, an immune system boost and levels of resveratrol that act as an antioxidant, preventing the growth of both fat and cancer cells, according to Prevention.

  • Pinot noir: Gouda, feta, Swiss
  • Cabernet sauvignon: Blue
  • Zinfandel: Blue, cheddar, feta
  • Merlot: Brie, cheddar, gorgonzola
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