Sunday, March 19, 2017

How to Dress for Both Style + Comfort: Blue Cashmere Sweater with Grana

*Note: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Photos by Icy Li Photography.

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Cashmere Sweater: c/o Grana | Denim: Express

I'm all about the intersection of style and comfort, and this blue cashmere sweater from Grana is the epitome of that combination. In fact, all Grana products embody these values, since they search the globe (from Peru to Tokyo) for the absolute best quality materials, and sell them without the high mark-ups often seen in the fashion industry. This means that you have access to the best styles and most comfortable fabrics at prices that don't break the bank. 

Be sure to use promo code CHOWDOWNUSAxGRANA for 10% off your Grana order! You can shop by fabric, including cashmeresilks, Peruvian cotton, Japanese denim, and Italian wool, or by clothing type, such as dresses, tanks & tees, blouses, and sweaters.

Read on to see my tips for how to dress for both style and comfort.

1. Think about the Fabric

I don't care how cute it looks, there's nothing that ruins a sweater faster than an itchy fabric! Treat yourself by investing in pieces that are super soft and comfortable, like cashmere, silk, and higher quality cotton. These superior fabrics are also more stylish, so you're killing two birds with one stone here.

2. Dress for the Weather 

Maintaining an ideal body temperature is key to staying comfortable, no matter the fabrics of your outfit. Boston is chilly the majority of the year, so for me it's important to invest in cozy sweaters, coats, shoes, and scarves which will keep me warm and last a long time. I know it can be tempting to put on less layers to look cuter, but you will not be as comfortable since you're not warm!

Likewise, if you live somewhere that's hot and humid the majority of the year, you'll obviously want to go with shorter sleeves and breathable cotton fabrics to keep you cooler. 

If you live somewhere with mild temperatures that shift often (like San Francisco), be sure to wear layers so you can add and remove pieces throughout the day as needed.

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3. Accessorize

Adding jewelry and sunglasses to your outfit can really pull it together, and make any comfy sweater look a little more chic. Here I'm wearing my favorite Ray Ban wayfarers, a rose gold bangle from The Peach Box and a layered necklace. These pieces give the eyes stylish focal points to notice apart from my sweater. 

4. Add a Pop of Color

This one is optional and might be controversial. Some swear by neutrals for a chic look (which I understand), but I always receive more compliments on bold hues. I picked a rich blue for this cashmere sweater to give it a little more pizzazz and style than your average black or beige sweater would have. Bonus points of it's the color of the year (hint: this year's Pantone color is "greenery").

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Cashmere Sweater: c/o Grana | Denim: Express

5. Incorporate a Trend 

Bring your comfy look into the limelight by incorporating a current trend. For this look I opted for black distressed denim jeans to balance out my cozy blue cashmere sweater. 

6. Discover the Magic of Block Heels

Let's be real - while wearing stilettos may look super stylish, they are no one's friend when it comes to comfort (and they can really disfigure your feet and toes which is not a good look)! Block heels are on trend right now, and are 1,000x more comfortable due to their added surface area and foot support. You can walk all day and night in them and still feel comfortable. Take advantage of this trend, and do your feet a favor with some block heels!

There you have my top tips for dressing for both style and comfort. Don't forget to use code CHOWDOWNUSAxGRANA for 10% off your Grana order! You can shop by fabric, including cashmeresilks, Peruvian cotton, Japanese denim, and Italian wool, or by clothing type, such as dressestanks & teesblouses, and sweaters.

Comment Challenge: What are your tips for dressing for both style and comfort? 

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Linking up with: More Pieces of MeBeauty by Miss LStyle NudgePink Sole, B Loved BostonTrend Spin LinkupStyle SessionsTurning HeadsMama and MoreShopping My ClosetThe Mummy ChroniclesThe Pleated PoppyMy Girlish WhimsChic Street StylePumps and PushupsStylin In St LouisThursday Fashion Files + Curly Crafty MomMix Match FashionEast Coast ChicPosh Classy MomTwo Peas in a BlogMyriad MusingsHappiness at MidlifeBeing Zhenya Style Diary by OsySydney Fashion HunterMs. Chanda, Meet at the Barre  
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Saturday, March 11, 2017

5 Easy Ways to Boost Your Confidence ft. Coach: The Fragrance

*Note: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Photos by Icy Li Photography.

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International Women's Day was last week, which got me thinking about all of the fabulous girl bosses in my life and the one thing they all have in common: Confidence. To me, confidence doesn't necessarily mean you're the most outgoing person in the room, or the smartest, or the most stylish. It means that you have self-appreciation for your own unique background, knowledge, and qualities, which together bring something substantial to the table. 

What's more, I feel that confidence is a key ingredient to success of any kind. It underscores to the world that you are self-reliant and sure of yourself and your ideas. Here are 5 easy ways to boost your confidence every day, and work towards success in your own life:

1. Educate Yourself

Whether it's skimming through the newspaper in the morning, reading a good book on the weekends, or working your way through a graduate degree after your 9-5 job, educating yourself is the best way to learn about the world around you. Not only will it allow you to communicate intelligently, but it also offers an intrinsic sense of satisfaction that you can't put a price tag on. 

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2. Spritz on Your Favorite Perfume


After donning a polished outfit, a quick spritz of your favorite perfume can honestly change your whole day. As you may have seen on Insta, I'm currently obsessed with the new Coach fragrance. Inspired by the spontaneous energy and downtown style of New York City, it has such a classic, fruity and airy scent that's versatile enough for both the office and weekends. When you feel your best, you perform your best - and feeling perfectly put-together with your fave perfume definitely adds that extra boost of confidence. Be sure to check out my previous collaboration with Coach too!

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3. Exercise

Speaking of feeling your best, exercising is so important for being your healthiest self. Find a form of exercise that doesn't feel like a chore - for me it's yoga, dance, swimming, or snowboarding. When you're healthy you have more energy and strength, which boosts your confidence automatically. 

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4. Mind Over Matter

We've all had those days - usually a Monday, where you've missed your train, spilled coffee on your shirt, realize you're wearing two different shoes, or somehow still have a sensor on your newly-bought dress (all hypothetical of course), and you just don't feel the confidence radiating. These are the days when you can use mind over matter to project a sense of self confidence that actually tricks your brain into feeling confident. Be sure to smile, maintain eye contact with others, and keep good posture with your shoulders pulled back. It may not get that coffee stain out of your shirt, but it will make it matter a whole lot less.

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5. Set Your Intentions 

I know, I know - even typing this out it sounds so frou frou but it really works. Close your eyes each morning and visualize your ideal day. What do you want to accomplish? How do you want to interact with others and how do you want to feel? Back when I was on the gymnastics team in high school, we used to do this before our routines and it really did improve them. Imagining a flip on the uneven bars or the steps before the vault prepares your brain for what's to come. The same can be done for each day, or even your life as a whole. Try it and see what happens!

P.S. Be sure to check out my previous collaboration with Coach for their dinky crossbody bag!

Comment Challenge: How do you boost your confidence?



Linking up with: More Pieces of MeBeauty by Miss LStyle NudgePink Sole, B Loved BostonTrend Spin LinkupStyle SessionsTurning HeadsMama and MoreShopping My ClosetThe Mummy ChroniclesThe Pleated PoppyMy Girlish WhimsChic Street StylePumps and PushupsStylin In St LouisThursday Fashion Files + Curly Crafty MomMix Match FashionEast Coast ChicPosh Classy MomTwo Peas in a BlogMyriad MusingsHappiness at MidlifeBeing Zhenya Style Diary by OsySydney Fashion HunterMs. Chanda, Meet at the Barre  
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Friday, March 10, 2017

Pabu Boston Instagram Party

Note: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

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I had so much fun sampling the artfully presented plates of Pabu Boston this week at their Instagram party! You may remember them from when I covered their grand opening party a while back. 

This time around, we tried everything from super fresh sashimi, to the floral Super X cocktail, happy spoons, tofu, foie gras, and cocktails served in Sam Adams cans. Don't take my word for it - read on to see all the yummy bites for yourself!

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The happy spoons were a big hit, with meaty Duxbury oysters (my fave!), uni, ikura, tobiko, and ponzu crème fraîche. The melding of different textures makes these so fun for anyone who enjoys oysters!

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These mini Super X cocktails were fun and fruity, with Tito’s vodka, kina l’aero d’or, velvet falernum, yuzu, and lemon.

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Pabu is a real foodie destination, and not just for sushi connoisseurs! Pictured above is their foie gras. 

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How gorgeous is this tofu presentation?

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Local Maine scallop crudo on it's shell.

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No dinner is complete without dessert. These Mochi Sundaes are the cutest and yummy to boot. They contain pomegranate shaved ice, lemongrass, and passion fruit tapioca. 

I love the swanky ambiance at Pabu, and you can really tell that the chefs have fun with their menu and presentation which sets them apart from other venues. Definitely stop by for drinks + bites if you haven't already, and check out my recent post on their grand opening party

Comment Challenge: I love pretty presentation in my dishes! What keeps you coming back to a restaurant?



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