Valentine’s Day – What to Wear?

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! If you are wondering what to wear this year, I have two stylish outfits to help you decide.

I was inspired by AUrate to show you some perfect accessories to add a little extra to the outfits

LBD Style –


Maybe you’re going out to a nice dinner with your love, or maybe getting fancy with your girls. Either way, a Little Black Dress and pair of red heels are perfect for a fun Valentine evening out

Add a little extra to this outfit by pairing it with a gold necklace, ideas pictured below.


Black Stones Choker by Au Rate


Crossover Necklace by Au Rate

Simple Chic – 


Maybe you like to be a little more on the comfortable side. I love pairing a shirt dress with leggings, and comfortable flats. In fact, this might be my outfit for this Valentine’s Day! I love this one, with cute, red lip prints; a perfect design for this occasion. 

A shirt dress would also pair wonderfully with a necklace like the one suggested below.


Reverse Radiance Necklace by Au Rate

I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day! 

I’d love to see your Valentine or AUrate inspired outfit, use the hashtag #LeopardPrintLindsay on Instagram or Twitter to share them!

Kind Ways to Treat Your Friends and Show Your Appreciation

Friendship is important to me, as it is to most people. Your friends are there for you in hard times, and in good ones too. So sometimes you just need to show your best friends that you appreciate them. Treating them to a gift or a day out doesn’t have to be something you only do on their birthday. You can do something kind for them just because, so they know that you love them. If you want to do something for a friend but you’re short on ideas, have a look at the suggestions below for some inspiration.

Feed Them

People say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. But the truth is that everyone likes good food, regardless of their gender. Even better than delicious food is free food, especially when a friend is treating you. Next time you go out to lunch or dinner with your friend, offer to cover their meal for them. Invite them along as your treat, with no expectation that they will pay you back, or it will be their turn next time. If your budget can’t stretch to a meal, coffee and cake on you will always be a welcome treat. And, of course, you can cook at home too.


 Image from Pexels

Pamper Them

Everyone loves a good pampering. It’s often seen as a girly thing, but even your guy friends can enjoy a massage or a proper shave. If you love spa days, take your friend along so you can relax together. You might think it would be better for them to go to the spa whenever they want to. In that case, spoiling a friend with a beauty gift voucher is the way to go. They can spend their voucher whenever they have the time to use it. And they can choose their treatments on their own terms too.

Get Them a Gift

Presents will always be welcome, but they’re often only given on special occasions. You don’t need to wait for Christmas or their birthday to treat your friend. If you see something that makes you think of them, you can get it for them just to be nice. Of course, that doesn’t mean buying extravagant gifts all the time, which would be a bit strange. It can just be small things you think they would like. Maybe they’ve been feeling down, or you want to say thank you for something.

Do Something Helpful

Everyone has times of stress when they’re dealing with a lot. Being there for someone when they have to go through tough times is part of being a good friend. There are many times when you can do something to help them out. For example, if they’re ill, you could go grocery shopping for them or do a bit of cleaning. Sometimes doing something for someone is a much better treat than a physical gift.
Don’t wait for an excuse to be nice to your friends. Treat them to something because you love them, and they’re there for you.


–This post has been contributed.–

Top Tips for Acing Your Photography Skills

Pexels

Having great photography skills can be a real bonus. You can be the one snapping everyone at parties, creating wonderful memories! And this hobby could even turn into a profession. If you can hone your skills, you could try making a living as a wedding photographer or bag a photographer job at your local newspaper. But how do you refine your photography? Here are some top tips for acing your skills.

Go Back To School

One of the best ways to get better with your camera is to enroll at your local Photography School. Courses can be anything from a couple of weeks long to a whole year. If you have time, you could even think about going back to university and signing up for an undergraduate course in photography. As part of your course, experts will take you through the basics. They’ll also teach you all the various technological theories behind photography. You’ll come away knowing how to take great still life and action shots!

Keep Your Backgrounds Clean

One of the main things that make or breaks a photo is the background. One of the number one rules of photography is to remember to keep your backgrounds clean and free from clutter. This means there shouldn’t be too many distracting things behind the subject. Otherwise, these will take the viewer’s eye away from what they should really be looking at.

Remember Your Camera Isn’t Your Eye

Your eye has a better dynamic range than your camera, no matter how good it is. This means it can see different lights at different times. It allows us to see dark objects against a bright background. However, your camera is unable to do this. So bear this in mind when shooting in bright light. Just because you can see your subject perfectly, doesn’t mean your camera can.

Find Your Very Own Style

It is very important to find your very own style of photography. This will set you apart from the crowd! Try and let your personality come out through the picture and to find a style that no one else is doing. It is also a good idea to specialize in one type of photography. Think about whether you’d prefer to take portraits, landscape shots, or still life. Rather than trying to take pictures of everything, picking one speciality will let you concentrate on it. You’ll have a better chance of getting good quickly if you pick just one specialty!

Practice, Practice, Practice!

There is one thing you can’t escape – practice makes perfect! Don’t expect to be a fantastic photographer the very first time you pick up a camera. It will take time to develop your skills and become a competent and confident photographer. Don’t try and rush this process, though. It’s a long process, one that will be full of mistakes at the beginning! You should also show your pictures to your friends and family. They will be able to give you their feedback and offer you some advice.

Now it’s time to get snap happy!

-This post has been contributed-

A Gal’s Guide to Accessories – Guest Post


Summer is the season of color. That’s why, when it comes to selecting your accessories for the summer season, it’s wise to pick items that are beautifully bright and bold. Most of the time, we opt for neutral pieces for our main items and then use a few well thought out accessories to dress them up and add color.

While some people have no trouble accessorizing, there are some of us who find choosing summer accessories tricky. This is partially because there are so many beautiful pieces to choose from, from shoes to jewelry. As well as the fact that picking the best options can often be tricky, especially when there are so many choices.

To make accessorizing for summer easier, I thought I would put together a few tips that I swear by. These make choosing your summer essentials much easier and less stressful.

A pair of sunglasses and a stylish case are a must. For summer, sunglasses are one of the most sought after accessories. To be stylish, your glasses don’t have to be designer, they just need to look smart. This season, the most stylish sunnies to own are, of course, tortoiseshell-style ones. Along with a cute floral-printed case.  

For a hat, once again fedora-style hats are in. These large oversized hats look fantastic on the beach with a bikini, pair of sunglasses and a cute cover-up. For summer, the best hat styles to go for are linen or straw, steer clear of black designs, as these pull in the heat.

This summer, bright jewelry is in, which means that bracelets, necklaces, and earrings with stones in are a must-have. The most beautiful gemstone to have has to be a ruby stone, as these are so wonderfully bright. Making them perfect for summer. A ruby pendant or ring are both ideal for summer, as are pieces with other gemstones in them. Emerald and amber designs are also perfect for summer because they’re lovely and bright.

For shoes, once again gladiator-style sandals are in. This year, however, the most sought after styles are ones covered in sequins, gems, and other embellishments. The prettier the design is, the more sought after it is. Of course, ballet flats and slip on shoes are also in this summer, but gladiator sandals are the most popular.

Like every summer, beautiful bikini wraps and cover ups are also a must-have. The most popular of which are the designs that are beautifully bright, bold, and packed with pattern. There are also a few stylish neutral cover ups on offer, but the most popular have to be the bright, bold designs.

Last but not least, an essential accessory that every stylish gal needs is a summer bag. When it comes to summer, bags go from being all about the leather to all about the bright, bold cotton blends. Come summer, the more patterned and colorful your bag is, the better.

There you have it, all the best summer accessories that every fashion lover needs. Choosing the perfect design can be tricky, it’s just a case of selecting styles that work for you.

 – fatjoe.co

Guest Post – Hair, Hair, and Hilarity by Peggy Geerhart

Peggy is one of those women who is simply gifted, and doing exactly what she was created to do – hair. Below, Peggy talks of how she got started into doing hair, and shares what some of her favorite moments have been so far.

Enjoy!


Hair, Hair, and Hilarity by Peggy Geerhart

Hold on to your butts. This is gonna be a long one.
For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a hairstylist. I can’t explain it. It’s simply what I always wanted to do.

It took me a bit longer to get there (I was at least 25 when I went to school and had 2 kiddos) but I did. That’s where I met our lovely Lindsay. We started school together on the same day. She was open to my immediate and insistent chatter and the rest is history!

So here I am 15ish years later. A busy and specialized hair stylist in the Willamette Valley. I made it. I followed my dream and you know what? It IS exactly what I thought it would be! I meet new people all the time. I’ve developed some amazing friends from all over the world. I’ve traveled across the US for training with world known hairstylists. I’ve done the hair for our President’s own sister-in-law for a People magazine photo shoot. (You KNOW I still have that particular issue!) I’ve done 1st haircuts ever, proms, locks of love, updates and new changes, and weddings. Oh,weddings!

  
See, the thing is that my clients usually, at one time or another, ask me what my favorite part of doing hair is. The answer is usually dependent on what I’m doing at that moment. If I’m foiling and coloring then that will likely be my answer. If my sheers are sliding and snipping through the ends of your hair then THAT is the answer. The thing is, though, I think I would give it all up if I could just do formal styling all the time. I love updos (and downdo’s) and more specifically I love weddings! 

The hair is my part and I’m not too humble to say that I do it well. But the the entirety of it is just wonderful. I love seeing all the emotions the bride and her “people” experience from the 1st time she calls me to ask for a consultation (I get stupid giddy when I hear “I’m getting married”) to her walking down that aisle. (I mean how beautiful is that?) I love hearing about the pretty details about the ceremony and reception (and I really do need to know about them if I am to understand your taste, preference, and expectations for the day. Awesome perk for me, right?) I, also, truly care about those funny stories about your great aunt who, without your knowledge, invites every “cousin” you’ve never heard of to your $25 each plate dinner reception. Those are personal and wonderful details.

But do you know what I love the most? It’s my bride. Simply … the bride.

  
(Side note, this is Peggy and I’s mutual friend, Kristen, isn’t she gorgeous?! Okay, back to Peggy’s post.)

I love her excitement and happiness. I love her confusion and wonder. I love her questions and suggestions. I’m so honored to be chosen as a part of her team.

Do you wanna know a secret, though?

I truly, honestly, and completely love the unexpected moments. The funny mishaps. Basically, … the embarrassing stuff.

I, once, had a bride that forgot to bring her photo inspiration to our practice session. The only way she knew how to describe the Elizabeth Taylor style swoopy soft side bangs was to say “You know, like Conan O’Brien bangs!” I, literally, whined: “Please don’t make me give you Conan O’Brien bangs for your wedding.”

I had a bride that brought an old, flimsy, light blue banana clip to wear in her style because she needed “something blue”. (I was able to improvise something blue for her and NOT use a banana clip in her wedding style.)

  
I had a bride that had nerves that caused loud, uncontrollable, burping while we she was getting her hair done.

There was a bridesmaid, in my chair, one summer that had to get up several times to vomit because she was so hungover from the rehearsal dinner the night before.

Another bride was concerned that the curls in her hair was making her hair too short. She refused the option of clip in extensions for the ceremony because she didn’t want it to “look too fake”. she immediately asked, after refusing that suggestion, if there was a way we could tape her curls to her breasts to keep the length pinned in place. (It was my turn to refuse that option. I am not in the habit of taping hair to boobs.)

  
I’ve had several brides on the edge of passing out.

Only one bride described herself as a bridezilla. When it came to wedding day she refused to speak. She didn’t want to be “that” bride. Literal silence.

One bride wore nothing but panties while I did her hair. No Shirt. No bra. No robe. Just panties.(I’m not uncomfortable with nudity and I’ve been around when almost every party has changed in to their dresses but this one was a little more casual about it than most. I give her props for her comfort!)

BUT I have had EVERY bride be beautiful, prepared,and deliriously happy at the altar.
I am so lucky to love what I do.

ps: Our very own LeopardPrintLindsay may or may not be one of the brides that I listed above.

pps: She is.

  
(Yes, that’s me dancing with my Dad on my wedding day; with gorgeous hair thanks to my Peggy!)

Guest Post – How To Dress Well, Without Spending Too Much

I am very excited, and thankful, for this guest post. Andrew Hardy found me on Facebook and Instagram and reached out interested in guest posting. 

His first post is “right up my alley”, and even better, is geared toward men. Men’s fashion has been a growing and trending subject over the last few years; and I, for one, am thankful. I greatly appreciate a male who takes care, time and thought in putting an outfit together. 

Below, Andrew delves into the wonderful world of suits. Men of the world, it’s time to take note!

How To Dress Well Without Spending Too Much

My name is Andrew Hardy. I am an Image Consultant and my mission is to connect people with great advice and even greater clothes. Today a fashion blogger is paid between $5k and $50k dollars to review fashion houses such as, Gucci , Prada , Armani , Versace , Dolce and Gabbana, Chanel and Ferragamo. My goal is to show the common man how to dress well enough to mingle in these circles without spending a fortune in time and money, and to show those with a fortune to spend how to spend it well – in short, without letting the designers “shank your bank”!
  
Just a short walk from this storefront Is a little street called Savile Row. You may buy a fully bespoke suit at any one of the houses on Savioe Row for about the same as an off the peg suit by Gucci. If you have a few thousand dollars to spend on a suit I would definitely recommend starting with bespoke. A bespoke tailor will measure you and draft a pattern from these measurements. The suit will then be cut to your specification from a fabric of your choosing. The fabrics sourced by Savile Row tailors are second to none, and they will upstage a designer suit any day. The best part is that it will fit. I can’t think of anything more repulsive than seeing a man who has spent $2k-$3k on a suit that has dimples on the shoulders, divots in the sleeve heads and a collar that sits up off the neck as if it were made of cardboard.

For those of us on a stricter budget, I would recommend starting in a department store. Macy’s, Dillard’s and Nordstrom will often have someone who can measure you and tell you roughly what size suit you should wear. The suits you find in these stores are manufactured and shipped to each facility for $24 to $37 per suit. This is why I try to never spend more than $150-$200 on a wool or wool/viscose suit. I do not suggest buying one of these suits, unless you can afford another $60-$70 in alterations. My personnal suggestion is to find a good tailor.

If this is still too rich for your blood, you can try a resale boutique or second hand store. Often you can find a premium wool suit worn only a few times for $12-$50. Keep in mind fit is key. Shoulder and upper sleeve alterations are the most expensive, and little too big is better than too small. A good tailor will be able to make this look fantastic. Remember, a moderately stylish suit that fits well, is a world better than a expensive suit that fits poorly.

Guest Post – Big Brother


There are many reasons to love summer. Warm days, longer nights, ice cream, the general feel of a more relaxed time, and the return of reality TV show: Big Brother.

This show started many seasons ago on CBS, and I not only enjoy it for the entertainment factor, but because I know my dear friend, Peggy, will be watching as well. We greatly enjoy spending the summer chatting about episodes, competitions, and of course, spoilers!

I am so touched that she decided to guest post this week and share why she loves the show:

My name is Peggy and I am a Big Brother-holic.

I have not always been a BBHolic. I, once, enjoyed a full, busy, summer season outside and with others.

I remember my first episode. It was early in the 4th season. That’s right. Fourth. It is now the 17th season. That’s 12 years (12 summers and one magical winter {thank you, writer’s strike ’07/’08!}.) of being hopelessly addicted to Big Brother.

I’m not even sure how I ended up on that channel that fateful summer evening but I was hooked immediately. I mean, really, how could I not be? Who were these people? What did I miss? Seemingly one of these “houseguests” aka HG’s was just kicked out. Like, scandalously KICKED OUT. Not the normal weekly eviction kind that was apparently scheduled to happen later that week. Oh, yeah. Later that week because BB doesn’t mess around. It’s on THREE times every week all summer long! AND! And there are cameras that are filming the entire time the HG’s are residing in there. Meaning this program truly is live and REALLY “reality”. You can, actually, pay CBS to watch these cameras 24/7! All access, baby! That’s right! If I so choose I can pay to watch neurotic and narcissistic people eat, sleep, compete, argue, make out, drink, drank, drunk and repeat!

But I digress.

Season 4. Violent outburst. Houseguest kicked out. SCANDAL!

Girls are bffs. Boys are best bros.Secretly the girls and boys used to date outside of the house. (They all think they have this secret advantage.) Wait. WHAT?!? Jun and Jee used to date?? NO!! Erika and Robert?? I don’t believe it!

I. am. hooked.

Season 5 is even better! Project DNA: Do Not Assume. Oh, please! Tell me MORE!

There are actually twins playing as one HG this season. The sisters secretly swap locations (one is segregated completely while the other is in the house playing the game) until a predesignated week when they both get to enter the house and play the game together and individually. They fool EVERYONE. Also, there are biological siblings in the house. The catch? They don’t know this because daddy never told them about each other! DELICIOUS!

Season 6 was juicy. Some of my personal favorite HG’s (I’m looking at you Janelle and Howie!) were this season. Honestly, the whole group was smart and competitive and I have trouble picking one out. I would like to point out that this is the group that caused the change in the free flowing booze option. I suspect you can imagine how good the drama was to illicit this particular change!

Season 7 was All-Stars. I mean, how perfect is that?? The best of the best and the most dramatic of the dramatic all back in the house. Together!

Dr. Will and, his “Chill Town” partner, Mike “Boogie” dominated All-Stars. Apparently, they owned season 2, also, and played the game exactly the same way all over again. (I’m still sad that I missed that season.) All-Stars is, obviously, THE. BEST.

(Dr. Will and Mike “Boogie”, “Chill Town”)

The next few seasons aren’t particularly noteworthy. Well, if you consider bikini baristas, estranged father/daughter duos, real born relationships (we’re talking eventual marriage and babies, here) and porn stars as “not noteworthy”, anyways.

So, now, here we are at season 17. This was a rough start. We’re beginning week 7 right now and the game is finally picking up. Of the, record setting, 17 HG’s I believe that there are MAYBE half a dozen game players in the house. It’s been frustrating watching a power couple (awww aren’t they cute being all cuddly?!?! GAG!) not play the game and still continue to run the house. Week 6 changed up the dynamic a bit and I’m finally curious about the eventual outcome of the game. As of now, I believe, that the professional poker player has this game in the bag. I kinda hope not, though. I have a weird crush on the Bobcat Goldthwait sounding dentist. Don’t judge. He’s great and I think he’s playing the game intentionally and smartly. There are others that are starting to peak my interest, too. I guess this season isn’t a total wash.

Is it Sunday, yet?

*twitch*

(“Johnny Mac”)

Guest Posts

  
I am currently looking for people interested in guest posting on my website!

If you have a recipe, outfit, business, or story to share; please contact me! 

Your post will go up on my website and be shared on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!

If you are interested, please visit my contact page to see where to find me!