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My Winter Closet Staple | The Duster Jacket

06 December 2017

Gozon High-Low Duster Cardigan
  
Shop My Look

Duster: Gozon.com (shop here) // Top: Target (shop similar here) // Leggings: Forever 21 (shop similar here) Headband: J. Crew (shop similar here)

Hey friends!  I have a fun style post this week featuring a new item that just hit my closet - the duster jacket.  Winter around Southern California is not at all the way I watch winter in other states.  I would definitely say the closest to cold weather we experience would be the equivalent to what a 65 degree fall day is elsewhere haha.  Yeah, we're a little lucky!  As much as I would love love love to wear huge furry jackets, I find so much contentment in tossing on a thin cardigan, kimono or duster.  The duster jacket, though, is something I find becoming more and more of a closet staple for multiple reasons.  The first reason is solely because it allows me to "look" like a specific season without dying of heat exhaustion.  Fall around here is pretty gnarly in the sense that it's pretty humid.  However, even through dry weather, I always find myself a little cold at night, so tossing over a duster seriously does the trick.  It looks like a trench, but it's not - talk about deceiving on the eye!  Another reason why I love duster jackets is because they compliment any outfit.  You can toss it over a skirt and crop top combo, or just a mini dress or even casually over distressed shorts and still look so put together.  The beauty about a duster is it's not meant for just one season, it's extremely versatile.  Another solid reason why I love it, especially this season, is because it keeps me as warm as I need to be on any given California winter day.  During the day, I find the weather to be a little chilly, but not chilly enough to toss on a sweater.  Dealing with the weather around here does suck, believe me!  One morning I wore a sweater and thought it was a wonderful idea, then by noon I was really regretting it because it was so darn hot.  With a duster, I can be just as comfortable in the morning as I will be in the afternoon when the sun decides to show itself.  

Anyway, I'm sure you guys are all wondering where this duster is from, and it's actually from Los Angeles based clothing boutique, Gozon.com.  It's currently $34 and comes in this mauve color and grey.  Both are so darn cute, I might just treat myself to the second color haha.  Anyway, this contemporary boutique carries several different seasonal items, they're always restocking their merchandise and certainly do not make shopping easy!  If I were you guys, I would definitely stock up on fun items, obviously including this duster, to give as gifts to your friends and family!  The quality of their clothes is so nice and you truly do get more bang for your buck with this boutique.  Check it all out for yourself by click on the Gozon.com link here and if you love this duster, check it out via the link above!  Anyway, I'll talk to you guys later.

Xo,
Melissa Victoria

Gozon High-Low Duster Cardigan
Gozon High-Low Duster Cardigan
Gozon High-Low Duster Cardigan
Gozon High-Low Duster Cardigan
Gozon High-Low Duster Cardigan
Gozon High-Low Duster Cardigan
Gozon High-Low Duster Cardigan
Gozon High-Low Duster Cardigan
Gozon High-Low Duster Cardigan
Gozon High-Low Duster Cardigan

Holiday Blanket DIY

01 December 2017


You asked, I listened.  My month-long tutorials are back!  Let's get real, I couldn't stay away from DIYing for very long.  After my Halloween series, I thought about maybe doing seasonal baked goods throughout November, but it ended up being the craziest work month and I'm so glad it's over haha.  I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to put together another series of holiday crafts.  This week, my sister and I took all our Christmas decorations out and transformed our home into a little Christmas oasis.  I felt my room was lacking something and ended up making a throw.  Sure I could have bought one anywhere, but where's the fun in that?  To make this throw, you will need a sewing machine and is a beginner project for anyone who can sew. Don't worry, this DIY series will include projects that do not require a sewing machine!  Anyway, this blanket was made in four easy steps.  Let's get started.

How to Conquer Black Friday This Year

23 November 2017

Gozon Stripe Mini Dress

Shop My Outfit

Dress: Gozon (shop here) // Boots: Rockport (shop here)

Hello lovelies! Who is ready for the crazy wave of holiday shopping and Black Friday?  I've been ready since September 1st and I'm just so excited it's finally acceptable to dive straight into all things Christmas.  I know I know, we have to get through Thanksgiving first, but can a girl be excited!?  I guess the first step to realizing Christmas is upon us is none other than Black Friday.  Let's all take a moment to breathe in and out before we start talking about National Shop Until You Drop Day.  I worked retail for years and years and this might sound crazy, but Black Friday was my FAVORITE day to work ever.  I actually considered working retail this year just for the thrill of it, but then there's always the option to actually shop fun sales.  I feel people usually head to huge stores or malls to shop and coming from both the employee and consumer end, I think I've very well come up with tips to get the most out of the earlier hours of your shopping spree.  Alright are you guys ready? Let's get started!

Gozon Stripe Mini Dress

1. Browse the Internet

Checking in on your favorite stores to see if they have any markdowns or Black Friday ads will save you so much time!  The worst is showing up to a store, expecting some kind of deal and then walking right back out disappointed.  Don't waste your time doing this.  If you're thinking of heading to the mall anyway, I would probably just do a walk through the day before Thanksgiving to scope out any signs of deals.  Honestly, just even ask an employee!  I remember people would always ask me about Black Friday deals and I'd spill them all out.  A sale isn't a secret and people will WANT to give you a heads up of what to expect so you can make it a point to go shop with them. 


2. Shop Online

This is my favorite way to spend Black Friday.  Yes, you can leave Thanksgiving dinner early to join all the crazy shopping, but you can also pull out your laptop and shop all your favorite online shops remotely.  Chances are your favorite stores may have already begun their Friday sales, thus making the overall experience way less stressful.  For example, womens online store, Gozon.com had a flash sale this week and I feel it was only a preview of what's to come this Friday.  All those who have signed up for their email newsletters were (and will be the first) to receive VIP Black Friday deals, exclusive coupon codes and new arrivals previews.  I would definitely recommend to sign up for newsletters prior to this Friday.  Because you are shopping remotely, you won't exactly have store hours, therefore you'll need to have some kind of notification, right?  If you haven't already added Gozon to your list of places to shop at this Friday, please do!  They're always adding new styles, their shipping time is beyond quick and gozon clothing is simply the epiphany of girl next door meets cool.  You'll find many gems, like the dress I'm wearing in this post, there!

Gozon Stripe Mini Dress

3. Make a List

Be real with yourselves and think about what you want to buy and where you want to buy these items.  I have a few things I've been eyeing and know exactly where to find them the morning of Black Friday.  I went shopping one time and had no idea what I wanted.  I went with the mentality of, "Oh, I'll see what I find." and left with things I didn't really need or want haha.  I recommend you think of the what's happening next in your life and what you will be using most.  For example, I'm eyeing white dresses and anything wedding related because that's the next big thing going on in my life.  If you live in an area that requires you to use warmer jackets, maybe plan on purchasing a new one for winter!  Maybe I'm just a list type of gal, but that's the closest I can get to being organized and efficient.  Running around the mall, on one of the busiest shopping days, without an itinerary is like a death sentence.  Make. A. List. 

Gozon Stripe Mini Dress

4. Set a Budget

Here I go again with my budget talk - I swear I've become my fiancĂ©.  Listen, you might really love a beautiful maxi gown from store A, but store B might have a similar dress for half the price.  Familiarize yourself with stores you might not regularly shop at, get to know their merchandise and compare prices and sales.  Search 'floral maxi gown' and I bet you'll find several options at many different stores.  Yes, this might be a day to splurge, but there are ways to keep that splurge to a minimum.  If you're shopping clothes, think of all the womens trendy clothes and contemporary boutiques out there!  This might seem like conducting research, but if you're willing to set a budget, you should be willing to browse for the BEST deals you can find.  That, my friends, makes you a pro-shopper!  Again, make a list of items you want, put a price tag on each item and then eliminate the items you don't REALLY need to stick to your budget.  Getting more bang for your buck wasn't a term coined for nothing, ladies (and men!).

Gozon Stripe Mini Dress
Gozon Stripe Mini Dress
Gozon Stripe Mini Dress

Woah, are you guys excited to shop this Friday or what??  I hope you guys enjoyed my list and if you have any other tips, please share in the comments below or drop me a line on Instagram.  Anyway, I hope you find all the items you're wishing for this week.  Don't forget to shop my outfit via the links above!  Happy shopping, lovelies. 

Xo,
Melissa Victoria

How to Cultivate a Fall Outfit Under $100

18 November 2017

Gozon Mary Solid Ruffle Top - Mustard

Shop My Look

Top: Gozon (shop here for $25.20) // Jeans: HM (shop here for $29.99) // Booties: Forever 21 - old (shop similar here for $19.99) 

Hey there! With the holidays coming up, I'm being extra aware of how I spend and when I spend.  The beauty about being engaged to someone in finance is having extra help in building budgets and sticking to them.  As much as I love to hit my local mall, there's really nothing like shopping local and online via some favorite women's online shops.  Sure there are some staples I can't seem to find elsewhere other than the mall, but as long as I'm within budget, I'm good!  I know, being financially conscious and running a style blog don't always go hand in hand, or do they?  They totally can.  When I started this blog, I never intended to write style posts that included pieces the average working girl couldn't necessarily shop.  Sure I have a few fancy pieces, but you will rarely see them on here!  For the most part, I'm all about budget-friendly shopping.  

In today's post, I was super excited to challenge myself to putting together a fall outfit under $100.  Maybe it wasn't much of a challenge since my outfit ended up costing under $80 (without the optional necklace.)  Something I realized while cultivating this look, was the need for a pretty top to make it happen.  I don't know about you guys, but when I people watch, I don't usually check out their jeans, skirt or whatever they wear.  My eyes usually go to the style of their top and then of course, shoes.  The top I'm wearing in this post is from online contemporary shop, Gozon.  This shop absolutely offers quality clothing at affordable prices that fit my lifestyle.  Even if they're Los Angeles based, they still have an awesome way of catering to consumers nationwide with their merchandise.  I loved this top for two reasons: Bell sleeves and mustard yellow is such a pretty color this time of year.  It actually comes in a few other colors (green, burgundy and red) and even if I loved them all, I usually feel like yellow is my color.  Gozon boutique is actually already hosting Black Friday sales and this top is on sale for only $25 - uh Christmas present, anyone?  

Anyway, my jeans and similar booties are also available via the links above.  These pieces are really just staples in my closet, that I'm sure you guys already have in your closet or other similar items.  The best piece of advice I could leave you with when putting together budget-friendly, seasonal outfits, would absolutely be to invest in tops.  Having a fun selection never hurt nobody, am I right?  Anyway, I'm signing off for now!  I have a Black Friday related post coming soon so be sure to check back in.  

Xo,
Melissa Victoria

Gozon Mary Solid Ruffle Top - Mustard
Gozon Mary Solid Ruffle Top - Mustard
Gozon Mary Solid Ruffle Top - Mustard
Gozon Mary Solid Ruffle Top - Mustard
Gozon Mary Solid Ruffle Top - Mustard
Gozon Mary Solid Ruffle Top - Mustard
Gozon Mary Solid Ruffle Top - Mustard
Gozon Mary Solid Ruffle Top - Mustard
Gozon Mary Solid Ruffle Top - Mustard
Gozon Mary Solid Ruffle Top - Mustard
Gozon Mary Solid Ruffle Top - Mustard
Gozon Mary Solid Ruffle Top - Mustard

By The Way, I'm Engaged.

16 November 2017

The exact moment he asked me to marry him. Can't believe I was busy taking a selfie of us!
Hey there!  I've been itching to write this post all week, but I've really just been soaking the news in.  If you follow me on Instagram, you'll already know that Martin and I got engaged over the weekend! I can't even explain to you guys how I feel because I think I've been through all types of emotions over the last few days.  I'm excited, I'm scared, I'm happy and I'm nervous - but I swear I'm more happy than anything haha.  Becoming engaged to Martin wasn't a complete surprise because I knew I would be with him forever, but the way it happened and time completely caught me by surprise.  It was the most special moment and being a couple of many firsts with each other, it was only on brand for us to get engaged in a place we were discovering together, for the first time.  As of now, we're just so excited and it really makes me so happy that he's into wanting to be part of all the wedding planning that lies ahead of us - wish us luck!  

Anyway, mine and Martin's love story is my favorite - obviously a biased opinion, but explaining why I needed him in the beginning is my favorite part about our story.  When I met him, I was recently single.  Like super recently single, SO not looking and mad at every boy that crossed my path lol.  Dealing with an unfaithful person really got to me and I just knew I had to pick myself up and get back to ME.  When I met Martin, I didn't realize he was put into my life at the exact moment I needed him to be to fix me.  From the very beginning, he made me feel like I had to catch up and boss up.  He had all his goals aligned, working like crazy, going to two different types of school, and I was fresh out of college trying to find myself in the real world.  For the first time, I felt like the little dog but I loved it!  There was something about his drive that impressed me and looking back, it was because I'd never dated a guy who had serious goals and actually worked to achieve them without excuses.  I'm not talking about little goals, this kid had big boy goals and since we've started dating, he's knocked every single one of them off like a piece of cake - thanks to God, of course.  He kept me on my toes and in turn, inspired me to be just like him in the sense that I had to set goals and conquer.  I wanted to know more and more about him, it's like I fed off of this to make myself better.  In the end, choosing to pursue things with him was the best decision of my life and I could never look back.

We're a team. We have each others back and together we really do bring out the very VERY best in one another.  This relationship is what I could have ever dreamt of and with many prayers, this is what will remain forever.  There's so much that goes into how we met and all that jazz but explaining to people how I felt and what he did for me during the early dating phase is the best way for me to describe why I NEEDED Martin to be mine.  Sighhhh, you gotta love love!  I really could write a novel about us, but for now, it looks like we have a wedding to plan.  Cheers to being engaged to the love of my life!

Xo,
Melissa Victoria



He did SO good.
We met at this bar, over a tequila shot.  Obviously we had to go back to the same spot and celebrate, with a tequila shot.

Fall Fashion Trend: How to Wear Lace This Season and Beyond

10 November 2017

Gozon Lace Midi Skirt

Shop My Skirt

Scalloped Lace Skirt: Gozon (shop here) // Shop all Gozon (click here)

Hey hey!  I have to admit, keeping up with fashion trends can be a little exhausting.  I say exhausting because they always change from season to season and as a style blogger, I know how much time we spend shopping to keep our content relevant haha.  I spend so much time browsing womens trendy clothing shops to stay with the times, but something that irks me is wearing a trend one season and then it not be as cool the next.  To this, my advice is to change it up!  Yeah new fashion trends come up, but that doesn't mean your oversized jacket has to be consigned.  It just means you need to find ways of re-wearing one trend with another.  For example, lace is a trend most sought after during the holiday season.  Stripes are also super popular around spring and fall.  When you combine both trends, this is what you get!  It's simple matching, but trust me, I know tons of friends who have a difficult time wondering if two different textures or patterns even make sense.  I'm here to tell you IT DOES.  Currently, I want to wear this lace skirt in multiple ways with several other seasonal trends, so I'm going to jot them down below for you guys to also take inspiration.  Okay, let's do this before I forget my thoughts.

1. Crisp white button up with a thin leopard belt around the waist.
2. Tucked in chambray top with hot pink lipstick and nude heels. 
3. Solid colored black long sleeve with a pearl necklace.
4. White t-shirt and jean jacket.
5. Light grey sweater and silver necklace.

Gosh, can I just wear this skirt for a whole week straight?  I think this is why I'm such a fan of the lace trend.  It's so romantic during fall and winter, yet ridiculously girly year round.  As of now, obviously I'm looking forward to wearing this skirt in the ways mentioned above, but definitely looking forward to throwing it on with a tank top and sandals over the summer.  Anyway, this skirt is from a womens online store based in Los Angeles called Gozon.  I was made aware of this shop by them and I haven't looked back since.  Everything on their website is so up to date with current fashion trends and I just love their affordable pricing.  To my point earlier about browsing trends online, shopping with Gozon cuts that time in half because they more than likely have what I'm looking for haha.  The only time added is trying to figure out what color you'd like!  Anyway, I have a mini trip to pack for so I will leave you guys for a bit now.  Don't forget to visit Gozon and remember to sign up for their newsletters to be the first to receive VIP Black Friday deals, exclusive coupon codes and new arrivals previews.  To shop this skirt, simply click on the link above.  Happy weekend!

Xo,
Melissa Victoria

Gozon Lace Midi Skirt
Gozon Lace Midi Skirt
Gozon Lace Midi Skirt
Gozon Lace Midi Skirt
Gozon Lace Midi Skirt
Gozon Lace Midi Skirt

Farmhouse at Roger's Garden | Girls Night Out

09 November 2017


Thank you, Farmhouse at Roger's Garden, for hosting us!

Hey there!  Last night, I enjoyed a quiet GNO with my local Style Collective sister's and we were so fortunate to have been hosted by Roger's Garden's restaurant, Farmhouse. This was my first time dining at Farmhouse and it will definitely not be my last as I'm super into farm-to-fork style dining.  I was thrilled to have met owner and executive chef Rich Mead himself, along with the rest of the staff that were seriously so hospitable the entire evening.  In this post, I just wanted to share a recap of what we ate/drank, who my SC sister's are and what I wore - of course.  What do you guys want to start with first?  Did I hear food?  Nice choice.  Let's dive in!

What We Ate...and Drank

As soon as we arrived, we were met with the most amazing assortment of cheese and vegetables.  I mean this table was so dreamy, not because I'm a huge cheese lover, but just in general for me because I'd been craving fine cheese and dried cranberries all day long #winning!  Our hosts complimented this cheese assortment with wine, of course, in which I went for the rose - shocker.  I believe I tried the Mont Gravet 2016 Languedoc and just remember it tasted like everything I wanted to drink in the moment.  Anyway, small plates were served throughout our girls night including a mushroom pizza, soup, salmon and potato bites and even dessert.  It was just enough to taste that farm-to-fork freshness, which seriously makes a world of a difference to me.  Aside from the food and drinks, I just really loved the overall ambiance of this restaurant.  It's so romantic and even now with the holiday lights up around Roger's Garden, it takes the overall setting to another level.  Anyway, if I don't have you convinced yet, check out their website and menu in the link below.



My Style Collective Sisters

Okay so remember that time I went to my first Style Collective meet up back in April?  Since then, I've kept in touch with some of the girls I met that evening and have been so surprised and happy to see them around at different events.  My friend Caitlin, Jewelry Designer of Boy Cherie, is someone I chat with the most and is now the Orange County Style Collective regional leader!  She did a fantastic job at getting us together and just jumping into a new role to bring unity amongst the Orange County girls.  Nice job, Caitlin if you're reading haha.  Then there's Mindy of the Threads n Breads blog.  I met her at the Spring Style Collective meet up and she's actually a founding member of Style Collective, which is super rad.  Anyway, even prior to meeting her, I followed her on Instagram and it was such a surprise to me that she is also behind online jewelry shop The Songbird Collection.  But, she actually wore these amazing earrings last night and through conversation is when I realized she owned the shop and the earrings were from her shop lol.  Seriously the talent in this group is amazing.  

Also in attendance last night was little miss makeup guru, Kristina from Laugh Love & Hippie.  This girl is my spirit animal and just throws off these super fun and positive vibes.  When I first met Kristina, I thiiink she might have been new to the blogging world, but I know she was new to Style Collective and literally she just fit right in and it was awesome.  Her Halloween makeup tutorials this year were off the wall amazing.  You have to head over to her Instagram to check them out.  Also in April, I met Marshel of the cutest blog, Between YouNMe.  I love thoughtful reads and seriously appreciate a blog that just cuts down to the real real and shares content every woman can relate to.  Marshel and I actually hung out at StyleCon this last weekend and she's just such a good time.  There's nothing more I love than to read someones content, connect to their voice, meet them in person and feel like you've known them this whole time.  Last but certainly not least, we had a new member in attendance last night! Lea of the Grecian Girly Girl Instagram account belongs to the Pharmaceutical world but shares her fashionable side through social media.  I really loved that she came out last night because we totally connected over both being deep into our careers we don't necessarily want to quit, but love to blog on the side because it's fun.  She came with so many questions and I just loved that as a group, we were able to share tips and basically take her into our Style Collective wings haha.  


What I Wore

A few months ago, my sister was fortunate enough to visit the Michael Kors distribution center with her friends and shop their warehouse.  Yes you read that right, it gets better.  It was such an exclusive shopping event and luckily, she was able to pick up a few things for her little sister - me!  One of the pieces she brought home with her was this long sleeve, leather dress.  I believe the retail cost was over $200 and, this is where it gets good, she got it for $10.  Uh huh.  They really wanted to get rid of their last season merchandise or something!  I wasn't able to wear it for months because the weather just wasn't right.  Enter fall and all its glory, long sleeve, Michael Kors, ten dollar dress comes out.  Also part of my ensemble last night were pink velvet booties I purchased from Zara during their end of season sale in June and pink and white SUGARFIX by Baublebar earrings, that you can shop here.


Overall, I'd say last nights GNO was successful, but even more, I'm just so happy to be part of a community of boss babes with different walks of life.  We individually are so different, but come together to celebrate the common factor of supporting one another during our blogging adventures.  I can't wait for our next round, ladies!  Anyway, special thank you to Farmhouse at Roger's Garden for hosting us and to Caitlin for bringing us together.  Make sure to click the links in this post to visit this restaurant and the bloggers who came out.  Chat with you guys soon!

Xo,
Melissa Victoria

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