{GBF Life + Travel} Thanksgiving in Hawaii & A DSW Shoe Hook Up Preview

Happy Thanksgiving! I'm spending the holiday with my family in Hawaii! Follow and experience my trip frame by frame on Instagram.

On another note, have you heard of DSW? DSW is the destination for fabulous brands at a great value. They are primarily known for their awesome shoes but also carry handbags and accessories to make any outfit complete. They also have an awesome rewards program where you can get even more perks like: free shipping, reward certificates, special offers, and more.

DSW has teamed up with me and 49 other lovely bloggers for the amazing DSW Shoe Hookup. DSW is giving away 250 pairs of shoes and 250 copies of the NY Times best selling book "Do You Speak Shoe Lover?" and this is all taking place NOW until December 21st. I will be giving away 5 pairs of shoes and 5 copies of the book.

My giveaway will begin Saturday December 14 so check back next week for an outfit post including my choice of DSW shoes, an outfit post, and the giveaway! In the meantime, check out the other bloggers involved.

12/02–12/05   MyBelongingShoe Smitten
12/03–12/06   My Fashion JuiceBelle de CoutureGentri Lee
12/04–12/07   Alterations NeededThe Chic StreetMuch Love, illy
12/05–12/08   Life, Love, and the Pursuit of ShoesPink AvenueCoffee Beans and Bobby Pins
12/06–12/09   Jadore-FashionFashion SnagMelanee Shale
12/07–12/10   High Fashion 4 LessFashion FlingDenim Debutante
12/08–12/11   Jimmy Choos and Tennis ShoesOh So GlamCorals + Cognacs
12/09–12/12   Kimmy ErinCrystalin MarieSandy A La Mode
12/10–12/13   My Own Blog ReviewAround LuciaTrend Hungry
12/11–12/14   Stiletto BeatsVintageorTackyGirl Avant Garde
12/12–12/15   Behind the SeamsFancy Things BlogDearest Lou
12/13–12/16   The Fashion PoetLet it Be BeautifulMae Badiyan
12/14–12/17   Good, Bad, and FabKel & KateThe Frugalista
12/15–12/18   Fashionably BrokeLittle Miss FearlessModly Chic
12/16–12/19   The Fashionista Next DoorStuds and SapphiresBritt + Whit
12/17–12/20   Living in Color PrintLove Fashion, Live LifeA Mom in Red High Heels
12/18–12/21   Fashionable HostessesDistrict SparkleCrowley Party

{live fabulously}


{GBF Staycation} Hotel Bel-Air

The moment I turn left on Stone Canyon Drive, I leave behind clutter and noise and enter a place where reality is suspended. Densely rooted statuesque trees on both sides of the road letting in mere speckles of sunlight flank the quarter mile drive down Stone Canyon to Hotel Bel-Air. As soon as the Spanish mission style hotel enters my sight,  a landscape that nestles perfectly with the regalia of the surrounding Bel Air estates, I feel my entire body sigh and relax. I step out of my car, walk across the bridge built atop the swan lake, and enter my place of serenity.  

The hotel is quietly luxurious and classically regal. Private villas sprawl out across the 24 acre property providing the perfect hideout for anyone desiring complete anonymity. The staff is genuinely friendly and puts up with silly me skipping about like Ramona Quimby, age 8. Predictably, I skip to the Spa by La Prairie as I can't stay away from the serene ambiance, the decadent treatments, and the veggie chips in the relaxation room.

 On my most recent visit to the spa, I experienced the Estancia Vinotherapy facial where the infusion of antioxidant rich Pinot Noir unmasked a radiant glow inside and out. The Estancia vinobright facial uses resveratrol plant extract to hydrate and extend the skin's cellular life and a collagen grape seed mask to protect cells from free radicals. And while my skin's still masked and tingling, I'm handed a glass of wine to truly taste the vinotherapy experience. 

Hotel Bel-Air defines luxury in every pragmatic sense of the word. But for me, its luxurious lies in suspending time, hiding reality, and providing reprieve from the noise.

{live fabulously}


{GBF Look for Less} Holiday Party Dresses Under $70

The spirit of giving is addicting. When I was in high school, my friends and I exchanged gifts the old fashioned way. We were gifting novices that didn't know about Secret Santas or gift exchanges so everyone bought gifts for everyone. I would be camped out at Sanrio for weeks debating whether Amy would like the Keroppi notebook or the Pekkle stationery. Or trying to recall if Jenn had outgrown Hello Kitty and graduated to Badtz Maru. Major decisions.

The day before Christmas break, I'd show up at school with twenty five packages and spend the whole day tracking down my friends. We'd lock eyes across the quad, run over to each other, hug, exchange gifts, and go on to find the next friend. Although it was a tedious process that was far from being efficient, I loved it as I got to share a special moment with each of them. I don't remember the presents I got but I will never forget the feeling of joy when I found each friend. To this day, my high school friends and I still exchange gifts during the holidays. It's one of those traditions that make this time of the year feel warm and fuzzy.

Yes, the holidays are fabulous but they can definitely be filled with budget constraints and dilemmas. You want to give as much as you can by lavishing friends and family with fabulous gifts, throwing legendary holiday parties, and giving back to the community and to your favorite charities. Before you know it, what you've gained in holiday weight has been lost in money in your wallet. You're depleted and you haven't even shopped for yourself yet. And yes, every girl deserves a fabulous holiday dress! So, I've looked far and near (okay mainly just near since Target is two blocks from my house) to find versatile, elegant, and fabulous party dresses that will fit any budget. 

maxi dress $34.99 | ponte fit and flare dress $24.99 | fit and flare laser cut-out dress $24.99

flared leather dress $27.99 | leather sleeve shift dress $17.99

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Target via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Target.

{live fabulously}


{GBF Life + Style} Touchdown

junk food nfl sweatshirt
Aside from following my favorite tight end Fred Davis (a gentle giant I'd met when I was at USC), I'm not much of a Sunday night football gal. But many girls can effortlessly transition from in-depth analysis of the Isabel Marant x H&M collection to equally in-depth analysis of the pearls and perils of their NFL team. They are stylish sports fans. The revered renaissance woman. 

The outfit I put together for the Junk Food style challenge (vote for your fav!) is a nod to that renaissance woman. I juxtasposed my casual Carolina Panthers sweatshirt with a dressy scallop edged mini skirt. A statement necklace, white heels, and my lucite clutch finishes off a look that's sporty yet stylish. The outfit gets a mimosa toast from the girlfriends at Sunday brunch and a round of high fives from the boys on football night. Now that's a winning combination.

sweatshirt {Junk Food c/o}
skirt {Keepsake | similar}
heels {Nicholas | similar}
necklace {Cara Couture | similar}
lucite clutch {Lulus.com}
watch {Timex c/)
bracelet {CC Skye}
cuff {jewelmint}

{shop the look}

{live fabulously}


{GBF Fashion} On the Hunt

Whenever it starts raining in LA like it is right now, a sudden and profound urge to bundle up tickles my throat. But my closet caters to perpetual beach weather and I can't just wrap myself in a blanket and call it an outfit so I start hunting for cozy winter clothes. But it's a messy and costly process as I invariably end up placing way too many random and not so cozy items in way too much online shopping carts. A tiger bathing suit is not exactly winter wear, not matter how hard this lawyer tries to spin it. 

That's where The Hunt comes in. It's a social shopping website tailored to finding the most coveted items that users discover online. You start A Hunt by uploading a item and adding a few descriptive terms. The Hunt's community of style hunters will then help track down the item for you. Once the item (or something similar) is found, you get a notification with details about The Find. Super easy, super social, and super helpful. And it keeps me on my shopping track. The free iPhone app is officially launching today!

I used The Hunt to track down a few of my coveted wintry items from my pinterest page. I'd been admiring the pieces for months but assumed they would remain as conceptual inspiration instead of attainable aspiration. With the help of The Hunt, in less than twenty-four hours, links to the items have been found saving me from countless hours of online browsing and the high risk of buying a floral romper in the middle of winter. It's like having an army of fashionable private eyes on your side tracking down one covet at a time.

{live fabulously}