Thursday, January 29, 2015


 // Cape:  Choies // Sweater:  Gap (similar) // Denim:  Hudson // Heels:  Banana Republic (identical) // Handbag:  Celine //

I am loving capes.  They add an extra edge of classiness to any outfit.  This cape took a simple jeans and sweater from basic to fabulous in a flash!  I absolutely love pairing this with things in my wardrobe because it is so incredibly cozy!



Wednesday, January 28, 2015

.:Window Shopping:.

//Shirt:  Loft (old; love this) // Scarf:  Zara (identical here) // Denim: Paige // Handbag:  Tory Burch // Heels:  Valentino (nearly identical for under $70 here) //

I went window shopping last week and wore this outfit to take in the sights.  I am proud to say that I somehow stayed strong while out and about shopping and didn't make any purchases.  I am currently almost half way through my no shopping challenge and have started to build a small wish list of items that I'm hoping to add to my wardrobe.



Tuesday, January 27, 2015

.:Cozy Dresses:.

//Dress:  Old Navy (similar affordable versionlove this one for $18) // Scarf:  Zara (identical here) // Boots:  Tory Burch (similar for $55) // Sunnies:  Chanel //

Sometimes, cold weather calls for layers that can be easily added to or subtracted from as the day goes on.  Here on the West Coast, it's been about 30 degrees in the morning hours but by the afternoon it is nearly 75 degrees!  This outfit worked perfectly because I was able to add a coat for the morning hours and then slowly remove accessories as the day went on in order to roll with the temperatures. A sweater dress is perfect for this kind of crazy weather because it allows for so much versatility.  


Monday, January 26, 2015

.:Winter Whites:.

//Tee:  Victoria's Secret // Blazer:  Banana Republic // Necklace:  Stella & Dot // Denim:  Paige // Heels:  Valentino (love this NEARLY IDENTICAL affordable option) // Handbag:  Tory Burch // 

It's no secret that I love my shoes, handbags, and necklaces. Accessories are the perfect way to spice up and refresh even the most basic of outfits.  

I was home most of the day relaxing & prepping for the week ahead in this plain gray tee and jeans while the hubby worked on the race car.  Once he got home, we decided to head out for a quick bite to eat.  Now, most of the time, I'm that kind of girl that feels that one needs to be prepared to meet an old enemy or someone famous (meaning, I refuse to look like I didn't put forth any effort).  That being said, I quickly added a few accessories in order to enliven my look.  

Here are three ways this outfit was brought to life:

> one <
This necklace and simple blazer instantly upped the ante on this easy jeans and tee combination.  It was a two second addition that provided massive outfit impact.  This necklace is a wardrobe essential.  It transforms any outfit that you pair it with from simple to stunning.  I am in love with this classic with an edge blazer.  I know it will be in my wardrobe for years to come.  

> two <
Next, I threw on my favorite heels (because one of my resolutions was that I've vowed to wear heels three days a week).  They are so dreamy.  However, I have linked an amazingly nearly identical pair for under $70!  

> three <
Can we talk about this handbag? This bag will transition well into spring and help provide a bright pop of color to an otherwise neutral outfit!  One of my favorite things about it is that it can be worn multiple ways (crossbody or shoulder bag).  I should also mention that it can hold a substantial amount!

Have a fantastic week!


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

#LoveYourClosetChallenge Outfits Part 1

Hi everyone!  I thought that I would provide a quick recap of what I've been wearing since the challenge has started.  Here's a look at the first five outfits.  I will be posting more next week as well!

.:DAY 1:.  // Vest:  Banana Republic (similar) // Blouse:  Target // Pants:  Gap // Heels:  Nordstrom // Brooch:  Chanel // Handbag:  Tory Burch //
.:DAY 2:.  //Vest:  J.Crew (love this similar option too) // Shirt:  J.Crew Factory // Pants:  Express // Flats:  Steve Madden // Handbag:  Celine // Sunnies:  Chanel //
< DAY 3 >  Shirt:  J.Crew Factory // Bow:  Asos // Denim:  Hudson //Flats:  Steve Madden

.:FOUR (Date Night):. Leather Jacket (a few years old from Hinge) // Denim:  Hudson // Heels:  Valentino // Handbag:  Nordstrom //
< FIVE > Pants & Shoes (old):  Nike


Tuesday, January 20, 2015


//Vest:  J.Crew (love this similar option too) // Shirt:  J.Crew Factory // Pants:  Express // Flats:  Steve Madden // Handbag:  Celine // Sunnies:  Chanel //

Well, I officially tested myself today.  I decided to go "shopping."  It didn't quite go as usual however.  It was a window shopping kind of day.  


Did I see things that I thought were uber adorable?  Heck yes.  

Am I slowly building a wish list of things that I think should find their way into my wardrobe?  Possibly.

Do I feel sad and like I've cheated myself out of one of my favorite pastimes? Not even close.

It really seems to me as the days go on that I'm pretty happy with my closet.  I still have tons of things that I've only worn a few times that I can't wait to remix & re-imagine into new outfits. (We will see how I feel 24 days from now).

Now, I know what you're thinking…what gives?  The answer is, I'm not sure.  Two things come to mind:

Maybe the more that I'm being forced to look at all of the wonderful purchases that I've already made, I'm feeling more and more content.  I also feel as though I already have a pretty solid wardrobe and will be scrutinizing each purchase that comes into my closet a little closer.  Also, I completely have fallen in love with mixing and matching my pieces together to create something new.  It's like art in my eyes.

Another thing that might be helping me get through losing one of my hobbies is creating others.  I've started running again.  Running used to be my everything.  It frees me and gives me a longer high than shopping does.  I think it might be a good idea once the challenge is done if I'm feeling tempted to purchase something, to go for a run.  A good run seems to clear my head like nothing else can.  It kind of readjusts my viewpoint on the world. I think next time, if possible, that I'm about to click the purchase button on an item, I will force myself to put on my running shoes.  If, when I return from running, I still wish to purchase the item, it's fine to do so.  However, I have a feeling that those purchases will be better decided and fewer.  My goal is to buy less but choose well.  I think I've been on a great track in doing that.

Be sure to tag your instagram photos with the hashtag #LoveYourClosetChallenge if you are joining in on this 30 day no shopping adventure!
Visit my instagram here to follow along with me throughout the challenge.



Monday, January 19, 2015

.:Fur & Four Thoughts:.

// Vest:  Banana Republic (similar) // Blouse:  Target // Pants:  Gap // Heels:  Nordstrom // Brooch:  Chanel // Handbag:  Tory Burch //

Three Things:

.:ONE:.  I absolutely love faux fur.  I just can't seem to get enough of it.  I love the soft femininity and luxe appeal that fur brings to an outfit.  

.:TWO:. These pumps have become some of my faves as of late as well!  They are so well made and the print is to die for!

.:THREE:.  I must bring your attention to this little handbag.  Now, if you've been following along, you may have noticed a trend in mini bags in my wardrobe.  I love this little one so much.  It holds more than my other mini bags but it is so timeless and adds a bright pop of color to any outfit. 

.:FOUR:.  I am on Day 6 of the no shopping challenge and am doing quite well.  I haven't made a purchase yet.  I am going window shopping today, so I'm hoping not to feel too tortured!



Friday, January 16, 2015


//Sweater:  Kohls // Denim:  Hudson //
// Woven Black Crossbody// Flats:  Valentino //

I fell in love with this top when I found it a few weeks ago.  It's soft and effortless. The crochet detailing makes me feel like it's something special rather than your plain old gray sweater. This could be as adorable with a skirt or leather pants as it is with jeans. I'm looking forward to styling this one even more.

It's day three of my #LoveYourClosetChallenge (read about it here).  So far so good!  I haven't caved yet.  I must confess that I'm a wee bit worried about the weekend.  Shopping is often part of the weekend for me (even if it's just to Target).  I am so hoping that I don't find something that I completely fall in love with and cave.  I am determined to make it.  A lot of the time, window shopping can be just as fun for me as actual shopping.


Thursday, January 15, 2015


//Coat:  Old Navy (old; love this one for under $50) // Shirt:  Loft (old; similar) // 
//Denim:  Hudson // Handbag:  Tory Burch // Heels:  Valentino (love these for under $60) //

I am infatuated with Valentine-esque looks as of late.  Blush tones and shades of red and fuchsia have been my favorite.  There is something so sweet and girlie about adding shades of pink to an ensemble.  I seriously cannot get enough.

Today is day two of the shopping hiatus on Instagram (visit my page here) and I have not had the urgency to shop quite yet! :)  I do enjoy browsing Pinterest at night looking for outfit inspiration and have also been loving using my creativity to pull together new pieces.  Please be sure to check back on the blog next week for outfits exclusive to the challenge.



Wednesday, January 14, 2015

.: Burberry-esque & the #LoveYourClosetChallenge :.

// Cape:  Choies (want this one too!) // Denim:  Hudson //
// Woven Black Crossbody// Flats:  Valentino //

Burberry created a fantastic cape VERY similar to the one above and I was smitten.  However, without knowing how much wear I would get out of it, I quickly disregarded Burberry's version.  Once I saw this one pop up for around $50 (it's the color contrast poncho from Choies…I linked another adorable one from their website), I knew I had to purchase it.  Now, that being said, it sat in my closet for about a month.  I rarely stew over new purchases, but this one went through that process.  However, I must say that as soon as I wore it last week, I then wore it 2 more times in less than 5 days.  The one linked above could be styled even more ways because of the neutralness of the coloring.  Be sure to check back in next week as I plan to show you a whole new way to style it!

TODAY begins my thirty day no shopping challenge. 

 I just deleted my eBay app (it's one of my most impulsive ways to shop) and deleted everything from all of my online shopping carts (also a means of impulsivity).  It's going to be extremely tough, but I am thrilled (for now) to style things that are already in my closet (and the few new items that I ordered prior to the challenge that are currently in the mail on their way to me).  I am excited for the burst of creativity that is bound to follow from creating all of these new outfits.  I am also jazzed about really thinking through my purchases and evaluating what, if anything, needs to be added to my closet in order to create even better outfits.  I plan to keep a list as the month goes on of pieces on my wish list. I am currently deciding a plan of action for when the challenge ends.  If you would like to join along (there is much to be said about strength in numbers), please feel free to upload your outfit pictures to Instagram with the hashtag #LoveYourClosetChallenge.  Please follow me on Instagram here & xoSamanthaBrooke here to keep updated on how we are doing with challenge as well.  I will be updating on the blog regarding the challenge as well!



Tuesday, January 13, 2015

.:Lunch Date:.

// Blouse:  Target (purchased in store this week; love this one) // Vest:  Banana Republic (old; try this) // Denim:  Hudson // Handbag:  Tory Burch // Heels:  Valentino (love these for under $60) //

I wore this on a lunch date with two of my closest buddies last week.  I throughly enjoyed spending time with all of my friends the past couple weeks while on vacation.  My first graders return today.  As much as I miss my freedom of doing whatever I wish, it is kind of nice to have some sort of real structure back to my day and see their smiley little faces again.  Believe it or not, I have really missed them in the past few weeks!

Today is my last day before my month of no shopping begins.  I am so thrilled to try to mix and match all of the items in my closet and gain more appreciation for items that I already own and love.  I think if anything, this challenge will show me which pieces need to leave my closet (those that no matter what, I have no desire to wear) and those that I absolutely love.  Hope your week is off to a fantastic start!



Monday, January 12, 2015

.:Love Your Closet Challenge:.

Hi Everyone!  

I have a HUGE & SCARY announcement…for the next 30 days, 

Sam, from Life and Messy Hair, and I have decided to team up to host a "Love Your Closet" Challenge!  This is a no shopping challenge where for the next thirty-ish days, we will be creating 30 different outfits solely from our closets alone.  The challenge will run from January 14th to February 14th.  Basically, for the next 30 days, I am challenging myself to not purchase any clothes or accessories and to wear and love things in my closet that I haven't worn in a while.

Now, I know what you're thinking…why the heck would a shopaholic like me want to do such a thing?!  Well, the answer is pretty basic.  I have a propensity to shop too much.  I shop when I'm emotionally charged…happy, sad, name it…I shop.  It's pretty ridiculous!  I used to run when I got all emotional and was able to get the same type of excitement from it.  Well, while I realize that I'm never going to stop loving shopping (and that's okay), I don't want to have emotions be one of the forces behind it.  I want to buy things solely because I can't stand living without them.  Therefore, for the next 30 days, anytime that I feel that need to hand over my debit card, I'm going to try to go for a run. Another thing that you probably don't know about me…something that is stronger in my than my shopaholic tendencies:  I am completely headstrong & perseverant!  If I am ever told that a task is out of reach, I will ALWAYS find a way to accomplish it.  That being said, I plan to tackle and complete this challenge!

Another reason that I feel that this challenge is necessary for me is because I don't always allow myself enough time to enjoy my new purchases before I've moved onto the next one.  I feel like as soon as I've worn something, I'm onto the next purchase.  That being said, I absolutely love my closet full of clothes.  It's gorgeous.  The pieces have (for the most part been stewed over) and are all totally loved.  However, since I do love so many of them, I find it so very sad that I never have the chance to re-wear those pieces that made my heart flutter more than a couple of times.  This challenge will help to change that.

That being said, I am completely excited to shop my closet and rediscover all of those gems that have been hiding! I am thrilled at the opportunity to get creative with what I have!

I also know what you're thinking…"Seriously a month of no shopping?!  Won't you be completely bored at the end of the month with your closet?"

The answer is possibly.  However, I kind of doubt it.  I have a plan in mind that I would love to share with you on how to tackle your closet as well!  Here are my tips for shopping your closet:

1.  Take a mental inventory of your closet.  What do you already have?  
Chances are, if you already have 3 striped tee shirts, next time you are out shopping, you should keep walking when you debate purchasing another one.  
Do you have tons of black but are lacking color?  Then next time your shopping walk away from the black and pick up some brights!  
Would you be able to create three new outfits from pieces in your closet if you just purchased on item? Then that might be something worth purchasing.  

2.  Browse Pinterest.
When inspiration is lacking, pick up your computer and browse.  When I have an item that I'm not sure how to wear, I type in that item on Pinterest and start getting inspired!  For example, I got a red skirt in the mail a few weeks ago and for the life of me could only think of a few ways to style it.  I got on Pinterest and typed in "red skirt outfit" and a slew of inspiration came up!

3.  Build Your Outfit From One Piece.  
Most often when I select my outfit for the day, I begin building it off of one of my favorite pieces in my closet.  Often it might be a necklace or a great pair of shoes that just makes me feel happy to put on.  From there, I then pull items that go with that said piece.  Thinking about your outfit in pieces is a lot easier than trying to envision it as a whole from the start!

4.  Organize Your Closet.
A messy closet is super difficult to create an outfit it.  Start off by organizing it.  I like to put all of the same type of clothing together (sweaters, ponchos, long sleeve tops, short sleeve tops, skirts, etc.) and from there, organize them by color.  In doing this, my closet not only looks better, but I also have the tendency to want to spend more time building outfits that I love.  

5.  Plan Ahead.
Nothing sabotages you more than trying to pick your outfit first thing in the morning when you are dead tired and already late for work.  In order to make this challenge work, I will *cross my fingers* be selecting my outfits the night before in hopes of creating outfits that I love rather than the "I had to throw something together" outfit because I ran out of precious time in the morning.

I hope these tips are helpful in helping you to shop your closet!  Sam & I would absolutely love for all of you to join us in the 30 day no shopping "Love Your Closet" challenge!  It is super simple to join us!  All you have to do is upload your picture on instagram with the hashtag #LoveYourClosetChallenge.

Be sure to visit my instagram here & Sam's here!  We are so excited to get started on Wednesday!



.:Date Night:.

//Coat:  Old Navy (old; love this one for under $50) // Shirt:  Banana Republic (love & debating ordering this one for $13) // Denim:  Hudson // Handbag:  Tory Burch // Heels:  Valentino (love these for under $60) //

My husband and I went for an easy date night on Friday night to one of our old favorite restaurants and to see a movie.  As part of my resolution to wear heels 3 times a week, I decided to wear them for date night.  That being said, I've been on vacation the past three weeks, so wearing heels has been even less desired than normal because I'm most often shopping or catching up with friends that I haven't seen in a while (all of which require a lot of walking…not so fun in sky high pumps).  However, today is my first day back to work from vacation (I hope there's enough coffee to keep me going) and I'm planning on strutting around much more often in my power shoes (heels!).

As a side note, you may notice a super sweet pup in the photo.  He is the  neighbor's adorable dog and, while on break, became my running buddy.  I am trying to get back into my old running self (I used to LOVE it more than clothes…yeah, I know…it's a lot.).  Anyway, my last mile of every run that I went on last week, this little pup would catch me and run right by my side.  When the hubby and I went to take outfit pictures, he decided to join in on the fun and come to visit us!  

Please be sure to check in at 6pm PST tonight for an announcement that may really surprise you!