Monday, November 30, 2015

Holiday Cozy Outfit + J.Crew Chateau Parka Review + My Picks from the Best of Cyber Monday 2015

J Crew Chateau Parka Review
Coat: J.Crew | Sweater: J.Crew (40% off today with code MONDAY) | Denim: 7FAM (40% off today) | Boots: MICHAEL Michael Kors | Bag: Coach | Sunglasses: Karen Walker (part of Shopbop's Cyber Monday tiered promo with code GOBIG15) | Necklace: Slate + Earrings: Gorjana via Rocksbox | Watch: Michael Kors

Yesterday was a gray and chilly day in Denver, so Sean and I headed over to Union Station to get brunch and check out the pretty Christmas decorations. We braved the cold for a few photos but mostly stayed cozy inside. It was the perfect opportunity to test run my new Chateau Parka.

Cozy details

I've had this coat on my wishlist since last winter, and I waited and waited for it to go on sale as the $365 full price was a bit steep. Unfortunately, it never seems to be part of the percent-off promotions J.Crew often runs. I waited until they had a tiered promotion and went for it then. When it arrived, I was happy to see that the quality was similar to my other higher-end wool coats. There is some pretty topstitching on the zipper placket and all seams appear to be well-constructed.

I did find that there was a less expensive version of this coat at J.Crew Factory: the Vail Parka. I had the opportunity to try it on in person in regular sizing, and while the finishing wasn't quite as nicely done as it is on the retail version, and the wool isn't quite as heavy, it is still a very cute coat, and the price point is much more affordable. It is down to only $115 for select colors ($139 for the rest) today as part of their Cyber Monday deal.

Hello Framboise Holiday

I took my regular J.Crew coat/dress size, 00P, and it fit me as expected. I saw some reviews that advised to size down, but I disagree. The 00P was the right size for me, especially given that in cold temperatures, I want to be able to layer or wear bulkier sweaters under it. At 4'11", the petite sizing was the right choice for me, but if you're a couple inches taller, I'd consider trying this coat on in regular sizing to make sure the overall and sleeve length work for you.

Another common complaint I noted in reviews was that the body of the coat was "too big." The body is an A-line, swing coat shape and bells out at the bottom. For me, I liked the silhouette and found it looked flattering and different from my other wool coats. The swing shape and fur-trimmed hood were what ultimately convinced me that this piece would be something unique in my coat closet.

Cozy parka + turtleneck

Yesterday's temperatures only reached a high of 27°F/-3°C, and I was comfortable taking an evening walk in this coat with a chunky sweater underneath. I was lamenting my failure to bring mittens or gloves, but the front pockets kept my hands relatively warm despite a chilly wind. I was warm and dry even when a light snow began to fall, but heavier snow or wetter conditions would mean bringing out my water-resistant down coat or parka.

J Crew Chateau Parka Holiday

I'm so excited for decorating my house this week now that we've returned from our Thanksgiving weekend in the mountains. I am trying to get my shopping done as soon as I can to make the Christmas season as stress-free as possible. If your inbox looks anything like mine, making a plan for shopping today is a struggle. Here's my culled and curated list of Cyber Monday deals and my favorite pieces from each:

Hope you find some great deals and stay warm this Cyber Monday! x, Tam

Friday, November 27, 2015

Thankful + Best of Black Friday 2015

Tam + Dachshunds

Hi, there! Hope all of my fellow American readers had a happy and delicious Thanksgiving. I wanted to take a moment to say thank you so very much for following along with this little blog of mine. It is hard to believe I've been blogging for over four years now--time has flown! I am so thankful to have your support, especially when life gets in the way of writing and posting pretty pictures. I'm thankful for all the imperfect moments (like the one in the photo above--I don't recommend shooting outfit pics with two rambunctious dachshunds "helping") that remind me that life is about so much more than beautiful photos and perfect styling.


Okay, now onto what you've come here for: Black Friday sales. There are so many great deals out there today, and shopping online means you get to stay in your pajamas, sip hot cocoa, and not worry about battling the crowds at the mall. Here are my favorite sales and some curated picks from each. I'll continue updating througout the day today as I spot more great buys.

Nordstrom: their fall sale is still in full swing, but now selected items are an additional 25% off (so great!). The sale includes the Bobeau wrap cardigan I talked about in my last post, now down to only $29 with lots of sizes available. A couple of my favorite pieces that rarely go on sale are also part of today's deal: the Frye Melissa Button Boots (see my review) and the rag + bone Harrow booties (see my review).

Madewell: get 25% off your entire purchase, including already marked down items. I have my eye on this gorgeous Zip Transport Tote as a potential new work tote and this cute checked cape scarf as an easy one-size-fits-all gift.

Anthropologie: 25% off everything with code SHOPTOIT. An all-inclusive sale like this one is very rare for Anthro! The Carissima Sheath I wore in Paris is still one of my favorite pieces in my closet. I also have my eye on this simple and chic red dress for my office holiday party.

Shopbop: has a spend-more-save-more promo today. If you spend $250, you will get 15% off; $500+ gets 20% off; and $1,000+ gets 25% off. This offer includes all full-price and sale merchandise. A few of my go-to pieces: Karen Walker sunglasses, Clare V leopard clutch, and these distressed J Brand skinnies.

Tory Burch: 30% off if you spend $250+.

ASOS: 30% off everything with code BLESSED. I recently ordered a couple dresses for holiday events: this black velvet beauty and this sparkly one that seems perfect for New Year's Eve.

7 For All Mankind: 40% off full-price items and 20% off sale. I wear the 7FAM jeans I have constantly, and I'm a huge fan of the Slim Illusion Skinny in Stark White--of all the white jeans I've ever tried, these are best fit and most durable (see them on me here and here).

J.Crew: 30% off your entire purchase + 40% off sale items with code HOLIDAY. I'm currently loving my petite Excursion Vest I bought earlier this fall and the Chateau Parka I received last week. These red plaid pajamas are on my Christmas list, and these luxe leather gloves would make a perfect gift. Almost every year, I buy Sean one of J.Crew's men's cashmere scarves--they are amazingly soft and hold up well with wear.

Happy Black Friday!

x, Tam

Monday, November 23, 2015

Cozy Cardi + Current Sale Picks

Long Cardigan + Ankle Boots

Loren Hope Necklace

Stripes + Long Cardigan

J.Crew Tissue Turtleneck + Nordstrom Leith Waterfall Cardigan
Cardigan: Leith via Nordstrom | Turtleneck: J.Crew in XXS | Denim: Topshop (same style in black)
Boots: rag + bone | Bag: Valentino | Necklace: Loren Hope | Earrings: Nadri
Bracelets: David Yurman | Watch: Michele

Hi, guys! Hope you had a wonderful weekend. I started a little holiday shopping and worked on getting my guest room ready for family and friends coming to visit. Today I am sharing a cozy outfit from the weekend and a few of my picks from the various sales that are currently happening.

Nordstrom has been having a fall clearance sale for the last week or so, and a couple of my orders came in at the end of last week. After seeing how great it looked on Jean, I decided to try out this cute waterfall maxi cardigan. Although it's not petite-sized specifically, I thought the XS was a good (oversized) fit on me. I'm also loving this Bobeau wrap (I went with XXSP) I got in a couple colors; I'm planning to pick up a couple more to give as holiday gifts. I noticed my recently-purchased Cole Haan flats (so comfy!) are on a price-matching promotion right now, and this pretty Tory Burch bucket bag is also part of the sale and on my wishlist at the moment.

J.Crew is also having its share of sales in anticipation of the holiday weekend. Many newer arrivals are 30% off, and sale items are up to 50% off. I ordered the turtleneck tee I'm wearing in this post a while ago, and it finally arrived last week. After wearing it for a day, I already have a few more on my wishlist. It seems like it'll be a versatile layering piece that should be wearable all the way into spring. My other picks: the Cambridge Cable turtleneck sweater I wore last week, this hat I have been loving (coming to the blog soon), this cozy flannel button-down, and my favorite tee (all available in regular and petite sizing).

Have a wonderful week!

x, Tam

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Fall Color + an Updated Frye Melissa Boot Review

JCrew Cable Sweater + Frye Melissa Boots
Jacket: J.Crew (this year's longer version here) | Sweater: J.Crew in XXSP | Denim: 7FAM | Boots: The Frye Company (also at Zappos) | Sunglasses: Valentino | Jewelry: Gorjana via Rocksbox

After going bare-legged for the last few days, I finally reached for jeans and my favorite Frye boots yesterday morning after a "winter storm" blew through Denver the night before. The storm didn't quite meet expectations, but we had a nice, crisp fall day afterward. The sunlight coming through the trees was just gorgeous on our walk to a brunch spot in our neighborhood.

Frye Melissa Button Boots Review

I wrote a review of the Frye Melissa Button Boots previously when I bought them, but I thought it worth mentioning again how much I love them. The lower shaft height, narrow calf, and slim ankle make the Melissa Buttons a great style for petite ladies. I own them in two colors, distressed black and the pretty reddish color I'm wearing here (cognac seems to be the closest current color), and they have held up well over the last couple years. I'm not particularly gentle with them and often wear them to walk longer distances in cooler weather. I try to avoid overly wet conditions, but a splash here or there or snow on the ground doesn't seem to affect them at all.

JCrew Cable Turtleneck + Toggle Coat

Fall in Denver

Hope you're having a wonderful week!

x, Tam

Monday, November 9, 2015

Check, Check

Plaid on plaid

Buffalo plaid

Buffalo check
Coat: J.Crew (old, last seen in a very similar outfit here) | Vest: J.Crew | Shirt: J.Crew
Jeans: J Brand (hem on these is perfect for petites without alterations) | Shoes: rag + bone | Bag: Valentino
Necklaces: Gorjana via Rocksbox (use my code "helloframboisexoxo" for a free month's subscription)

Quick post today from my trip up to the mountains this weekend! It was cold, and I was still chilly despite trying to layer up with a tank, this cozy buffalo check flannel shirt, a puffer vest, and a coat. What did you do this weekend?

Hope you had a great Monday!

x, Tam

Thursday, November 5, 2015

VIB Sale Picks at Sephora + Weekend Sale Links

Sephora's big VIB (Very Important Beauty Insider) member sale begins today! This is one of my favorite sales of the year because I can stock up on all the beauty products I love at a rare 20% off with no exclusions at all. This year's holiday gifts sets have also debuted, so I'm also picking up a couple Christmas gifts early. This weekend, VIB Rouge members--those at Sephore's highest rewards level--get first dibs with code ROUGE20, and next week, all of the VIBs get access to the sale. I'll update this post with the VIB code for next week once I have it.

I've included a couple of my all-time favorite beauty products above. I've previously written a review about the NARS Pro-Prime Pore Refining Primer, which is oil-free, light, moisturizing, and fantastic at helping makeup stay put all day. I've also reviewed the Makeup Forever HD Microfinish Powder in a prior post.

Also in my collage above are my "Holy Grail" lip products: the Fresh Sugar tinted lip balms and the NARS lip crayons (in satin, matte, and gloss). I wear one or both of them on my lips every single day. I'm pretty thrilled that there's a value set of every color of the Fresh Sugar balms available since I'm almost out of most of the colors I own. (Note: the collage I've made above is clickable, so anything you click will take you right to that product on Sephora's site.)

There are a couple other great sales going on this weekend: Nordstrom has its Fall Clearance with up to 40% off, J.Crew has 30% of its sale items and 25% off many full-price styles, and Saks Off Fifth has tons of designer fall items discounted even more than usual (I'm swooning over this pair of Stuart Weitzman's coveted OTK boots). I'll try and post some picks from these sales over the weekend.

Happy Friday!

x, Tam

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Overalls for Fall

Topshop overalls

Overalls + Manolos

Moto Dungarees

Overalls + Stripes
Tee: Topshop | Overalls: Topshop | Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Bag: Reed Krakoff | Sunglasses: Karen Walker | Scarf: Arden B. | Watch: Michael Kors | Lips: NARS 'Yu'

As a petite person, I'm always wary of styles that make me look too young or babyish. I've been hesitant to try incorporating overalls into my wardrobe, especially since the last time I wore a pair was probably in elementary school. I recently found this pair at Topshop and decided to give them a try, especially since the fit was slimmer and more sophisticated than many others I've debated ordering. I was pleasantly surprised by how flattering they were right out of the box and decided to keep them.

If you're still waiting to hop on the overalls train, I'd recommend this pair--it's less expensive than many other available options, and the quality is good. My only piece of advice/word of caution is that if you're my height (4'11") or taller, go for regular sizing rather than petite. I'm wearing the petite size here, and you can see that the straps are all the way extended. I have a short torso, and even with the extended straps, the top is still a bit snug on my shoulders. As I wore these, they stretched a bit, but I think I probably would have been more comfortable ordering the same numerical size in regular sizing. I haven't tried washing them yet, but I plan to wash in cold water and air dry since any shrinkage would probably make them unwearable.

In styling these overalls, I intentionally choose more feminine and elegant accessories for a more grown-up, chic look. I liked the contrast of bright stiletto heels with the more casual denim and tee. I'm hoping this won't be the last time I get to wear these teal suede shoes this year, but it looks like Denver will see some snow later this week (I think I'm equal parts excited and bummed about the prospect!).

Hope your week has been wonderful so far!

x, Tam

Monday, November 2, 2015

Fall Mornings with St. Ives (and Tips to Soothe Your Winter Skin)

St Ives Refresh & Revive Pear Nectar Soy Live Radiantly

The weather in Colorado is finally beginning to feel like fall. Cooler temperatures here mean lots of cold, dry air, and my sensitive skin gets red and chapped quickly if I don't moisturize religiously. With the advent of fall and pear season, St. Ives has introduced their new Refresh & Revive Pear Nectar & Soy products. Last week, I received the pretty package below from St. Ives skincare with a request to test out a couple items from the line.

Over the last week, I've incorporated the body wash and lotion into my morning routine along with my favorite fluffy robe and daily soy latte. The pear scent smells just like the real fruit (not too sweet or overwhelming) and is perfect for the autumn season. The Pear Nectar & Soy line is formulated with pear extract, soy, and other natural hydrating ingredients, and it's gentle on sensitive skin. My skin will often react to harsher formulas, but I've had no issues with any of these products while testing them, and the natural moisturizers have kept my skin hydrated and soft all day long after using both products in the morning.

St Ives Mailer

If you're looking to give this product a try, the body wash is available online and in stores, and it looks like the lotion will be available soon. The size of these bottles is such a great value--I can see mine potentially through the whole upcoming winter, which is no small feat. I thought I'd also include some tips here for my fellow sensitive-skinned ladies who might be reading.

  • Don't slack on moisturizing. Slather some lotion on every day, twice a day, especially after you've just gotten out of the shower.
  • Use a gentle exfoliator to get rid of flaky skin (gentle being the operative word there!). I've been using this St. Ives scrub for years, and it does the trick nicely.
  • Use a hydrating body wash like the one I'm reviewing today to make sure your soap isn't stripping you of your natural moisture and making your skin feel tight and dry.
  • Invest in a humidifier and try to remember to run it every night. I had a bad attack of eczema last year, and the humidifier made my nights so much better.

Do you have any tips for keeping your skin in great shape during the winter? What's your favorite way to stay hydrated? Let me know in the comments below!

x, Tam

Thanks to St. Ives for sponsoring this post. Opinions and content are all mine.