Monday, December 31, 2012

NYE outfit on the fly.

jeans, Nasty Gal // 2 pumps, Aldo // 3 headband, Just Lovely Things // 4  top, Garage // 5 nailpolish, butter // 6 blazer, ASOS
Going all out for New Year's Eve is definitely a good time. Last year, I spent my night in NYC glammed out with some of my girls. It was awesome. This year though... not so much; I just don't have the funds to. So, how can I do NYE dress up on the cheap? My first choice is always to buy a dress. I've contemplated thrifting one and fixing it, but I'm short on time with NYE days away. This may sound trivial, but after examining my whole closet, I've decided I can mix separates I already own. And, yes, I'm pretty dang excited about it. 

Layering can be key to re-styling your clothing. Throw that fancy sweater over a casual summer dress with some pumps. Looking for new jewelry? Layer 3-5 long & short necklaces over a plain, solid sweater. Layer your makeup: wear hot pink lipstick with an intense cat eye (don't go overboard, but do put on a little more than you usually would if the rest of your outfit is toned down). Layering your clothing will not only keep you warm on a chilly NYE night, but also will help you revamp what you already own to look like something new.

Use what you already have in new ways
We probably all have at least one bright colored pants we bought this past  year (I know I do!) that could be twisted up with a sequin tank top & some pumps. A blazer tends to dress anything up, so mixing one with dark/black jeans, a lace top, & booties would be NYE festive. I have plenty of casual dresses that I wear with kicks, but instead, why not wear a casual dress with a high heel? Instantly, that dress is taken up a notch. Or! Go opposite & rock a more laid back look for NYE that's still got some sparkle to it.

Mix & match prints & colors
Mixing, matching & getting a bit out of your comfort zone with your closet can take it to new places. I, for one, wouldn't choose to wear heels, a skirt, and a peplum top all in one outfit on an average day (I'd wear two of the three with something more boyish). However! That outfit right there would be rad for NYE. A huge trend this year was mixing prints and colors. This makes styling on the fly even easier: the print on your heels don't need to match the print or color of your skirt. In fact, it's better if it doesn't! Throw on some bright or sparkly nailpolish that stands out from your outfit. What's even sweeter about doing all of this for NYE is that I'm more inspired to do it in my everyday style. 

DIY revamp
Another idea I've been wanting to try is some DIY: adding stones, studs, or metallic buttons to a piece like a blazer (pictured above) or collar on a blouse. Decorate a headband with some sparkly cut out stars (like in the inspiration board above...). Adding low cost additions to already existing pieces is like buying a whole new piece without that added cost (and more free space in your closet - woohoo!). I'm planning to do this to a few shirts in the new year... I'll let you know how it goes.

Enjoy mixing, matching & revamping your closet! Get a little crazy in there.
xx. Jillian

Monday, December 10, 2012

Having trouble finding the perfect holiday gift?

penguin fail
Recently, I've seen a lot of people commenting and tweeting that they're having trouble finding or making gifts for people in their lives who already have everything or who want nothing or for whom you just aren't sure what their tastes really are. Perhaps you just don't have the time to holiday shop this year or you started too late. I admit, I'm having difficulty gifting for a couple people this year myself. Now it's mid December and some holidays are already upon us (depending on your religion)... Random gift cards are being bought in a panic... Stress is settling in...

Okay, hang on - back away from that fruit arrangement and that fast food gift card. I've been contemplating a lot this morning about gifting for the difficult giftees in our lives. Instead of just spending money on something to give that you're not even sure your loved one will like, give a holiday gift that is meaningful on multiple levels: donate in your giftee's name to a life changing organization. Last year, my awesome brother Jason symbolically adopted a polar bear in my name from World Wildlife Fund. It was stellar because he gave me a gift that made me smile - in my honor, WWF was going to fight to save polar bear lives. Jason paid it forward and gave twice.

In honor of Human Rights Day today, I've listed below some different donation ideas so you can pick an organization geared towards your giftee and one that fits your budget. With a gift honoring someone and changing the life of another, I really don't see how you can go wrong this holiday season. 

$25 gift donation ideas:
1. For the giftee who loves children: This donation will give a whopping $300 of clothing, shoes & more to kids in our own backyard in the U.S.. Other $25 donations for kids in the U.S. here.
2. For the giftee who loves animals: Symbolically adopt your giftees' favorite animal through World Wildlife Fund and fight to converse animals' lives here. Take this fun quiz to see who your giftee's spirit animal is if you're having trouble picking an animal.
3. For the giftee who is passionate about human rights: Life changing job training for girls & women "frees a women's children from hunger & creates new jobs in the community". This gift will "supply job skills & business training" to "make a good living in a field such as tailoring, jewelry-making, baking or dairy farming." Other $25 ideas via World Vision here.

$50 gift donation ideas:
4. For the giftee who loves children: Be Santa for a child who is struggling to survive & may have never gotten a single gift. $50 gives $600 worth of new toys via World Vision.
5. For the giftee who loves animals & cute plush toys: Take your animal conservation to the next level & purchase the $50 gift package that will include a plush toy & gift bag for your giftee. OR! Purchase an awesome panda vintage tee here ($.85 of ever $1 goes towards conservation when you purchase gifts).
6. For the giftee who appreciates education: Give the gift of education and a future for young girls. $52 provides a year of education for girls in places like Afghanistan via the International Rescue Committee.

$100+ gift donation ideas:

7. For the giftee who loves to learn: For $125, you will help build a farmer field school that will provide free training to help people support and feed themselves. Via OxFam.
8. For the giftee who is fascinated by medicine and can't get enough of shows like House: "$190 can supply the necessary medication and medical attention to protect the lives of 100 children in a place where a cholera epidemic has broken out." Donate here.

9. For the giftee who loves to play: Remember how much fun it was still is to play on a playground after school? Help KaBOOM! share that experience with all kids and is striving to build safe playgrounds in reach of all American kids.

Any amount gift donation ideas:

10. Give the gift of education through Artists for Peace and Justice to children in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere: Haiti. Check out what (one of my idols) Olivia Wilde has to say about this gift here.
11. That shower you just took and that toilet you just flushed and those dishes you just washed - all not possible without clean water. We may take this for granted. Every year, 40 billion hours are spent just walking to find water. Give clean water to a community via charity: water. Donate and print a gift card here.
12. Hurricane Sandy is still affecting many areas - donate to Red Cross disaster relief for those friends of yours who live in the northeast area (photo via).
13. Help homeless animals in the U.S. via a donation in honor to the Humane Society.

Gift happy this holiday season. 
Have any other ideas on charities to donate to? List them in the comments to share for us all!
Live in love, 
xx. Jillian
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