Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Resolutions 2017 + Black and Blue Outfit

*Note: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Photography by Regan Cleminson.

new-years-resolutions-2017
Coat: J. Crew Factory | Dress: c/o Dezzal | Ankle Boots: c/o Naot |
Bag: c/o Oliver Bilou | Necklace: c/o The Pearl Source (similar)

Happy New Year! What better colors to ring in the new year and to represent winter than a crisp royal blue and neutral black? Read on for outfit details as well as my resolutions for 2017! These resolutions are to be taken with a grain of salt, of course - while January is the perfect time to set new goals, I agree with Reese Witherspoon's notion to not put too much pressure on myself right off the bat. These are more of suggested guidelines for myself in the new year, rather than hard and fast rules to measure each day.

new-years-resolutions-2017
Watch: c/o Timex

I'm wearing a lot of current faves in this outfit, including my go-to Uptown Dress Coat I scored on Black Friday from J. Crew Factory (which I recently started ordering from for the first time and am now obsessed with - just be sure to read the reviews to weed out the affordable gems from the duds)! This coat is super warm, perfectly chic and goes with everything from dresses, skirts, and jeans with OTK boots.

You may recognize these amazingly stylish and comfortable Taku booties by Naot from my NYC trip - they go with everything and have the most comfortable microfiber-covered sole to make it feel as though you're walking on clouds! I literally walked ALL OVER New York City for miles in these one weekend and they were so comfortable the entire trip. Plus, how chic are those gold stud details? 

The frosty blue handbag from Oliver Bilou and matching dress from Dezzal are the perfect pops of winter color. There are so many reasons why this high-quality "Amy" fringe bag from Oliver Bilou is on heavy rotation! I love the statement color, trendy suede tassels, metal feet, and how it contains an inspiring quote on the inside pocket: "Chin up, shoulders back angel... You’ve got this in the bag xxx". The 2 outer diagonal zippers makes for fun extra pockets, and there's an inner hook for your keys so you don't have to fumble around for them. This bag adds the perfect pop of accent color to any outfit, and Chow Down readers can use promo code "chelsea" for 10% off!


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This stunning royal blue dress from Dezzal will ensure you stand out in a crowd this season. How unique is that intricate print? It continues down the sleeves as well, and the hem is even pleated for more fun detail! 

New Years Resolutions 2017


1. Bring Lunch to Work

SO much of my money goes to eating out, it's not even funny. A large portion of that is buying lunch at work every day, which doesn't seem like a lot but really adds up after a while. I'd like to start prepping lunch at home to heat up at work, wish me luck on this one!


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2. Invest in My Blog: Research Cameras

I've started to use professional photographers more with my blog, and there's no comparison at the higher level of quality versus my current iphone camera capabilities. Photographers don't come cheap though, so I'd like to be able to take my own shots now and again to maintain that high level of quality in my images. If you know of any amazing cameras for blogging, let me know!


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3. Exercise Routine

I may be tiny, but that doesn't mean exercise isn't still important for health! I'd love to get back into a good yoga routine, balancing that with work and blogging in a sustainable way.


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4. Cook More

I'd love to learn more delicious recipes and cook more. I love eating out at restaurants, but it can get addicting and it's not economical to do so all of the time!


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5. Travel to Europe

Did you know I have an EU passport? You wouldn't be able to tell because I've NEVER USED IT! How silly is that? I definitely want to make time to visit Europe this year - especially Ireland and Scotland (where my family comes from), as well as Paris, London, and Italy (for the fashion and food, of course). 


new-years-resolutions-2017
Coat: J. Crew Factory | Dress: c/o Dezzal | Ankle Boots: c/o Naot  | Bag: c/o Oliver Bilou | Necklace: c/o The Pearl Source (similar)

These are my top New Year's resolutions for 2017! Hope you enjoyed them and get ideas for your own resolutions.

Comment Challenge: What are your New Years resolutions this year?

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Thursday, December 29, 2016

How to Wear a Teddy Coat with Zaful

*Note: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting those who support Chow Down USA! Photos by Icy Li Photography.

How-to-Wear-a-Teddy-Coat-with-Zaful
Teddy Coat: c/o Zaful ($21.99) | Sweater: Target | Skirt: c/o Make Me Chic |
Heels: c/o Thierry Rabotin | Necklace: c/o The Pearl Source (similar here and here) | Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington

Hope you all had amazing holidays with loved ones! It's officially winter, which calls for plenty of warm pieces, and the coziest of coats is the teddy! These super soft and fluffy teddy coats are on trend this season (like this one from Zaful for $21.99), but it's easy to go from trendy to schlumpy in such a casual piece. Read my tips below on how to wear a teddy coat this season!

1. Pair with a Sleek Outfit

Since the teddy coat is so fluffy, it's great to balance that texture over a more fitted outfit and heels. Here I styled it with a sleek black sweater and pencil skirt. This way, the outfit is balanced and not overwhelmingly puffy.

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2. Accessorize

Many of you will probably remember my post on why accessories are highly underrated. They really can make or break an outfit, adding the perfect accents when needed. Since cozy teddy coats bring a more casual aesthetic, pairing them with classic accessories like this Daniel Wellington Classic Black watch and pearl necklace classes up the look for formal occasions or wearing to the office.

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3. Chic Shoes

Pair a cozy teddy coat with chic shoes like these narrow Italian suede pumps. The sleek heels juxtapose the casual and puffy jacket. Notice a theme? Balance is so key!

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4. Color Coordinate

A teddy coat is such a statement piece: it says I'm stylish, but still cozy and not afraid to wear a fluffy coat. One overarching fashion rule of thumb is to not make too many statements in one outfit. So if you're wearing a teddy coat, let it speak for itself by wearing similar colors in your outfit. This prevents the outfit from becoming one of those "too-many-things-are-going-on-here" looks. It would be cute to have maybe one color pop in the outfit, just not a ton of crazy colors or patterns. 

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Teddy Coat: c/o Zaful ($21.99) | Sweater: Target | Skirt: c/o Make Me Chic |Heels: c/o Thierry Rabotin | Necklace: c/o The Pearl Source (similar here and here) | Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington

5. Enjoy It

As with all things, confidence goes a long way in any outfit. If you're in a teddy coat - aka a jacket cozy enough to sleep in, don't forget to be in the moment, enjoy the cozy coat and own it!

All of these tips to wearing a teddy coat can also be incorporated into a downtown outfit using skinny jeans and a basic top if needed. Hope you enjoyed these style tricks!

Comment Challenge: How would you wear a teddy coat?

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Monday, December 26, 2016

Seasons 52 Winter Menu: 2016-2017

*Note: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting those who support Chow Down USA!

Seasons-52-Winter-Menu-2017

Happy holidays everyone! Hope you all had a relaxing weekend with loved ones. We recently got a chance to sample the Seasons 52 winter menu for 2016-2017 and I can't wait to share it with you!

Seasons-52-Winter-Menu-2017

Seasons-52-Winter-Menu-2017

One thing I love about Seasons 52 is their gluten-free menu. Even their famous flatbreads can be made gluten-free, which is such a treat! We tried their Blackened Steak & Blue Cheese Flatbread with caramelized onions. This dish is seriously delicious - hearty yet not food coma-inducing. 

We also dined on the Spinach & Caramelized Pear salad, which comes with toasted walnuts, gorgonzola cheese, and sherry-walnut vinaigrette.

Seasons 52 also has a great wine menu. I ordered a Merlot, which I discovered I liked from the Kuvee digital wine system. 

Seasons-52-Winter-Menu-2017

This past year I've developed a fondness for both risotto and scallops, so when I see a dish with both together I'll usually jump for that one. This Caramelized Grilled Sea Scallops plate comes with leek and butternut squash risotto, broccolini, and lemon butter, and it's so delicious! The risotto is warm and comforting, and the texture of the scallops is always fun to chow down on. 

Seasons-52-Winter-Menu-2017

Seasons-52-Winter-Menu-2017

Another thing Seasons 52 is known for is its epic dessert tray! Unfortunately, only one is gluten-free (though delicious): the raspberry chocolate chip cannoli without the shell. This tray is great for large groups as long as most in the group aren't gluten free! 

All in all, we always have the best time at Seasons 52. Their service is on point - my favorite combination of friendly and knowledgeable, and their menu is inclusive, interesting and delicious every season.

Check out my past reviews of Season 52 menus below:


Comment Challenge: Have you been to Seasons 52? What's your favorite winter dish?

Seasons 52 - Chestnut Hill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Friday, December 23, 2016

Nora Gardner: Formal Red Dress

*Note: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Photography by Regan Cleminson.

Dress: c/o Nora Gardner | Watch: c/o Timex Necklace: c/o The Pearl Necklace (similar here and here| Clutch: Aldo, c/o CambridgeSide Galleria (similar) | Ankle Boots: similar here and here

Happy holidays from San Francisco! There are only two more sleeps until Christmas, and I'm attending my high school reunion tonight so there are a lot of festivities going on! I'm glad to be home with family and friends, excited for the holidays, and looking forward to reconnecting with old classmates and friends.


I wore this gorgeous formal red dress (the Evelyn fit and flare dress in Merlot) from Nora Gardner to my work holiday party recently. It's the perfect dress - flattering yet professional, formal enough to wear to the office, with a color that's made for the holiday season.


I was lucky enough to visit the Nora Gardner showroom in Midtown during our recent trip to NYC. I've come to not only adore her collection, but more importantly the mission behind it. After working on Wall Street for 6 years, Nora saw a need for flattering, professional attire for women. Most of the options she saw were either suits (unflattering and uncomfortable), dresses and skirts which were too suggestive or too expensive, and lacking in functional details such as pockets and durable fabrics. She decided to do something about it, and the Nora Gardner line was born!


I paired the dress with classic pieces - this pearl necklace, Timex watch, and Aldo clutch.

Watch: c/o Timex | Clutch: Aldo c/o CambridgeSide Galleria

Timex is top of the line in classic watches. This Fairfield model is right on trend in rose gold, brown and white, with a fun indigo glow in the dark feature. Plus, use code HOLIDAYS for 20% off and free shipping off of $75 (this one runs $79.95 via Timex and $50 via Target). This would be the perfect last-minute holiday gift!

Coat: J Crew Factory | Watch: c/o Timex
This J Crew Factory jacket has been on major repeat since I got it from their Black Friday sale! It's so warm, and the neutral shade makes it versatile enough to match with almost every outfit.


Dress: c/o Nora Gardner | Watch: c/o Timex | Coat: J Crew Factory | Necklace: c/o The Pearl Necklace (similar here and here) | Clutch: Aldo, c/o CambridgeSide Galleria (similar) | Ankle Boots: similar here and here

Nora Gardner encourages women to invest in their office wardrobe and to understand the importance of a consistently professional appearance. This dress and the Nora Gardner line is the embodiment of that message. I hope you check out her line and find something you love!

Comment Challenge: What do you wear to work?

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Thierry Rabotin Italian Shoes & Make Me Chic Fringe Skirt

*Note: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting those who support Chow Down USA! Photos by Icy Li Photography.

Thierry-Rabotin-shoes-make-me-chic-fringe-skirt
Shoes: c/o Thierry Rabotin | Skirt: c/o Make Me Chic | Sweater: Target | Necklace: c/o The Pearl Source (similar here and here)

I was told once that you should invest in two things: your mattress and your shoes, because 90% of the time you're in one or the other! Each pair of Thierry Rabotin shoes can take 4-6 weeks to handcraft in Italy, with incredible attention to detail at all times. This slow fashion makes them the perfect investment piece, combining style and comfort. 

I'm not one for wearing stilettos or extremely high heels. They look fine on others, but I find them difficult and distracting to walk in. I prefer kitten heels, block heels or wedges since they're infinitely easier to walk in. These "Faith" black suede kitten heels by Thierry Rabotin are just my style. I love their fashion-forward design and shape - they cradle your foot and give the illusion of longer legs. They are perfectly versatile and could easily be worn in the office, to date night, or brunch with the girls. They're the chicest heels I own, hands down!

I also love how the shoes are made in one of the last standing Italian shoe companies that still produce exclusively in Italy and source all components from Italian manufacturers. They even opened a new energy-efficient factory near Milan to reduce their carbon footprint. In a world of fast-fashion, it's so important to support quality designers who make an effort to be eco-friendly.

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Skirt: c/o Make Me Chic | Bag: c/o Oliver Bilou (10% off with code "chelsea")

How great is this grey fringe skirt by Make Me Chic? The neutral grey makes it versatile and office-appropriate, while the subtle black fringe brings it into the trendy category and gives it a lot of personality.

Thierry-Rabotin-shoes-make-me-chic-fringe-skirt
Coat: c/o Zaful 

Thierry-Rabotin-shoes-make-me-chic-fringe-skirt

Thierry-Rabotin-shoes-make-me-chic-fringe-skirt
Shoes: c/o Thierry Rabotin | Skirt: c/o Make Me Chic | Sweater: Target | Necklace: c/o The Pearl Source (similar here and here)

Thierry-Rabotin-shoes-make-me-chic-fringe-skirt

Thierry-Rabotin-shoes-make-me-chic-fringe-skirt
Shoes: c/o Thierry Rabotin | Skirt: c/o Make Me Chic | Sweater: Target | Necklace: c/o The Pearl Source (similar here and here)
These Thierry Rabotin shoes and Make Me Chic fringe skirt are so versatile, comfy and stylish. They are perfect for any occasion, in or out of the office. The shoes are a great example of an investment piece, while Make Me Chic's items are more fast-fashion with lower prices. I believe in mixing and matching both types of apparel, and these two pieces are the perfect examples!


Comment Challenge: What kinds of heels are your favorite to wear?

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Sunday, December 18, 2016

HARMAN Audio: Experience by Design NYC Event

HARMAN-Audio

How many of you recall my recent trip to NYC? We were drawn to Manhattan by this impressive Styled by HARMAN event thrown by HARMAN audio! The event was organized to the T, empowering its attendees to discover our tastes in wine, style, and sound. I learned so much about audio and my own tastes at this event. Read on to follow along on the adventure!

HARMAN-Audio

We learned about the three main brands that HARMAN offers:

HARMAN Kardon focuses on being in the moment (which is so important this day and age, with technology and social media removing us from many important moments), utilizing all of your senses, and is more subdued. I got a chance to review their desktop speaker and was so impressed by the clarity of the sound!

JBL is all about taking moments to the next level with high energy. These speakers are used in 70% of movie theaters across the U.S., because they use these speakers to make the movies, and thus they have the highest quality to play the movies as well. They also sponsor the NBA and provide audio for most major event spaces, so whenever you're at a basketball game or at Madison Square Garden, those speakers are JBL. They also make great headphones for anyone to listen to their favorite music.

Mark Levinson is transformative and offers a new perspective. These high-end speakers are great for private living rooms, and they make it sound like the instrument is right in the middle of the room with you.


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To start, we began to develop our taste with a blind tasting from Grammercy Tavern Wine Director Justin Timsit. He has all of these interesting tidbits about wine, and paired their flavor profiles with high or low notes (fitting for an audio event)! For example, wine from warmer climates have more alcohol due to having higher sugar content, thus resulting in warmer flavors with more bass, such as whisky. Colder climates, on the other hand, result in more acidic wines and "higher" notes. Tannins (found only in red wine), fall somewhere between sugary and acidic on the vino scale. Justin also debunked the myth that red wine or tannins cause headaches, and recommended that the sweet white Reisling is good with spicy foods. 

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Next, we worked on developing our style by creating mood boards led by NYC blogger Dikla Goren. I actually took over the JBL Snapchat and Instagram Stories during this time (eek, so exciting!), so my mood board isn't too interesting, but a lot of them turned out great!

HARMAN-Audio

HARMAN-Audio

The inspiration behind this mood board was the different HARMAN locations around the world - loved this one!

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This one really set a beautiful nature scene.

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Ah, finally we get to the sound! We started with a Q&A with the HARMAN experts, then moved on to unique audible experiences in HARMAN’s theater and sound rooms.

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In this mock living room, we got to listen to the incredible Mark Levinson home theater system. We listened to a few different genres of music, and each time it sounded like the instruments were literally in the room with us!

HARMAN-Audio

This sound room was so fun - here you can listen to and compare HARMAN, Bose and Beats speakers side by side to see the differences for yourself. These Bose & Beats speakers get about 4-5 hours to a charge, while the HARMAN speakers get 20 hours, are waterproof (you can toss them in the pool!), and you can even charge your phone with them. I think we have a clear winner, folks.

HARMAN-Audio

Since JBL speakers are in 70% of movie theaters in the U.S., we got to test them out in a private home theater system (life goals)! We watched a clip from Jurassic Park World in a room with 9 subwoofers, including speakers along the wall and in the ceiling. Sound doesn't get more clear than that!

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Dress c/o Bailey Blue Clothing

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HARMAN-Audio

This was my favorite speaker of them all! Of course it happened to be a collaboration with Coach (my fave handbag line), so it's no wonder I made a beeline for it! How chic is this speaker!

HARMAN-Audio

HARMAN-Audio

Pretty sweet swag bag! Their sound and design were all as incredible as you would expect, read on for the details!

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The JBL speakers are undoubtedly top of their class in quality and clarity of sound. The Everest Elite 700 model's wireless bluetooth design is beyond chic. It connects to your phone to play your favorite music without the annoyingly inevitable tangle of wires. Plus, they offer active noise cancelling capabilities so you can ignore the crazies on the train and focus on your music! These are my go-to headphones, and I'm obsessed with how they make it sound like you're in a private concert with each song that comes on!

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HARMAN-Audio

HARMAN-Audio

The JBL Reflect Contour is great for when you're on-the-go or exercising and don't want the larger headphones on. They have bluetooth capabilities to link with your phone's music library, 8-hour battery life, are sweatproof, and have reflective cables in case you're outside in low lighting. Love these for getting in the zone while exercising, or when I'm feeling low-key and not in the mood for the larger headphones.

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The HARMAN / Kardon Onyx Mini's sound is anything but mini. It's absolutely crystal clear, even when turned to a high volume, and connects wirelessly to your phone's music library via bluetooth like the others. So perfect for a holiday party, or backyard BBQ! 

HARMAN-Audio


I discovered a lot about my own tastes as well as speaker systems at the Styled by HARMAN event. From learning about wines, to exploring creativity with mood boards, and finally exploring the incredible acoustics behind HARMAN audio speakers and headphones, it's safe to say that this was an event for the record books. The high quality in design and clarity of sound in the HARMAN products I've received and reviewed in the weeks following this event just cement why they are world-class and top of the line. 

Music, movies and events are such an important part of life and we rarely stop to think about the speakers and audio design which make them possible. From movies, to sports, events and every day music, I'm grateful to have such reliable and high-quality speakers to depend on!

Comment Challenge: Do you own any HARMAN products? What role do speakers play in your life?

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