Quote of the Day + Big News!

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When I started my blog back in August, I went back and forth on whether I wanted to purchase a “.com” domain. I decided that I’d wait a couple months to see if I was even still into the blog. Six months later, turns out I was. I went to register my domain, and guess what — it was taken. I got one of my computer genius friends (hi Bryan!) to do a little investigating to see who the heck STOLE my domain, and he got all of her info in minutes. Creepy? Maybe — but I obviously emailed her right away, trying desperately to snag my domain back. Long story short, after a few weeks of confusion and lost emails, the sweet girl who owned the blog transferred it over to yours truly! So my big news is (drumroll please)…you can now find me at http://www.topknotsandpolkadots.com!

Now that I have my domain, I finally ordered business cards for my blog. It got a little old writing down my blog name on scratch paper at events, so now I’ll be able to carry these little cuties with me everywhere I go! Check out the front & back of my new cards below!
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I’m SO excited you guys — my little idea is actually becoming a real blog! I have so many plans for my new site and I can’t wait to share them with y’all. Thank you so much to my followers for being so sweet, inspiring, and supportive!

xx Chloe

(image source: pinterest)

Big Bees + Little Bees

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If you’ve ever heard the phrase “you’ve got a bee in your bonnet,” you probably have a few Southern relatives and/or you’re a lot like me. This idiom just means that you’re obsessing over something you can’t get out of your head. Growing up, my mom often said this to me and my sisters, and it was almost always about shopping. One of us had most likely seen something adorable at a store and didn’t buy it, then spent the rest of the day talking about how we needed to go back and get it. Different scenarios include: seeing something online for 40% off and thinking/talking about it until you order it, or asking a girl at Starbucks where she got her dress and then worrying if the boutique still has it, when you’ll have time to get there, etc. Some may call this “OCD” or “a shopping addiction,” but welcome to your new favorite euphemism, a bee in your bonnet.

My sisters and I took this to a whole new level by making lists of the bees in our respective bonnets, based on how much we needed them. These lists soon became “Big Bees” and “Little Bees.” Big Bees are items you need RIGHT THIS INSTANT, like that necklace on sale, the newest Naked palette, or a dress for an upcoming event. Little Bees aren’t as crucial, or are more long-term, expensive items that you know are a little unrealistic to purchase right away. I once even made a “Queen Bees” list of things I needed like yesterday, but that got too dangerous. I keep my bees lists as notes on my phone so that when I’m shopping, I don’t buy (too many) things I don’t need; I can focus on getting things that I know I’ve been wanting. Call me crazy, but it (probably) totally saves money — or just makes me want more things, whatever.

When there’s a major holiday coming up such as Christmas or, more importantly, one of our birthdays, my sisters and I sometimes ask each other to share our bees lists to get gift ideas. See? It’s a good idea and you know it. You’ve probably even stopped reading this and are making lists of your own. Check out my bees below!
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Big Bees:

  • Neon Blazer: Imagine this neon pink number layered on top of a white summer dress. Need I say more?
  • Floral Skater Skirt: Floral print is huge for spring/summer 2014, and skater skirts are having a major moment as well. Pair them both together and it’s magic.
  • Nala Necklace: An elephant charm meets an initial pendant. Moon and Lola, you’ve done it again.
  • Cute One-Piece: One-pieces no longer have to mean you’re overweight and/or have had 12 kids. I saw this one last week at the Marysia Swim event and it gave me a serious bee in my bonnet.
  • Mint Workout Pants: I feel like these will give me the motivation to work out. If not, they’ll make great pants to catch up on my DVR.
  • Drop Earrings: The only earrings I wear are studs aka I need to up my game.
  • Essie Fashion Playground: My favorite hue from Essie’s Spring 2014 Collection and possibly one of her best names yet.
  • Summer Maxi Dress: Bright colors, fun print, and a back cutout? I will live in this dress this summer.
  • Palazzo Pants: I’ve been searching for the perfect palazzos that don’t make me look like a clown at the circus — these could be it.
  • Cutout Sandals: How stunning would these be with my skater skirt? They’re basically a package deal.
  • Everyday Wedge: My wedges have seen better days; they’ve been through college parties, walked infinite distances on shopping trips and to/from the bar… It’s time to swap them out for these beauties.
  • Black Sun Hat: Recently I’ve been afraid of wrinkled/the sun, so this is a responsible investment. Also, picture it with the black one-piece – so chic it hurts.
  • Fit Bit: If I had this, I’d be able to tell you the exact quantitative data for the “infinite distances” mentioned above.
  • Printed Crop Top: This is perhaps a want, not a need, but just look at it!

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Little Bees:

  • Mirrored Ray Ban Aviators: I do already have Ray Ban aviators, demoting these to the Little Bees list, but they’re beautiful and I need them so they’re on here.
  • Mara Hoffman Dress: I’m recently obsessed with everything Mara Hoffman. I saw this marvelous maxi at Charleston Fashion Week and I’ve been daydreaming about it ever since.
  • Louis Vuitton Speedy: Of course I have enough purses, so this isn’t a time-sensitive Bee, but it’s something I need at some point.
  • Tailored Chambray Shirt: I have an oversized chambray shirt that I pretty much live in, but I want a more tailored one that can be dressed up a little more.
  • Everyday Sandals: During the summer, I whittle my poor sandals down to scraps. I need a good, sturdy pair to replace some of my borderline-broken ones when that fateful time comes.
  • Nars Lipstick in Schiap: I’ve been meaning to try this color forever, but my lips kind of hate lipstick so it will remain a Little Bee until my dermatologist can work her magical healing powers.
  • Michael Kors Chain Link Watch: I’ve had the blonde tortoise MK watch for years, but I’m over it. Don’t you wish Michael had a trade-in option?!
  • Perfect Trench: This is something every woman needs. Not a pressing issue, but sometime in the near to distant future.
  • Long Necklace: I recently realized that I only buy short, bib-type necklaces. Perfect excuse to get more jewelry!
  • Black Jumpsuit: This will be perfect to dress up or down this summer — I just haven’t found the right one.
  • Big Girl Camera: This big-ticket item should probably be moved up to my Big Bees list. I’m a blogger for goodness sake — this is a necessity.
  • They’re Real Mascara: I’ve heard amazing things about this mascara but I’m waiting until my current mascara runs out to purchase. See guys, I’m frugal!
  • David Yurman Buckle Bracelet: I really want this, but it’s way overpriced a little expensive, so it will have to sit in purgatory as a Little Bee until I win the lottery.
  • Valentino Rockstud Slingbacks: See “lottery” comment.

This blog post may make you think I’m a materialistic shopaholic, but no, I’m just a fashion blogger. We possess the blessing/curse of having to think about this stuff. I just think these lists are a great way to organize my wants & needs so I don’t buy unnecessary things.

What are some of your biggest bees?

(image source: etsy.com)

Moving in With Your Man

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So you decided to take the next step with your S.O. and get your own place together — congratulations! Moving in with your boyfriend is new, exciting, and fun. However, it can be a little frustrating trying to decorate your new place as a couple. Where you envision a cute antique bookshelf, he might prefer to see his video game collection. Whether you and your man agree on every aspect of the interior design plan or you don’t exactly see eye-to-eye, I’m here to help. I recently made the same transition and I have a few tips to help make the process as painless as possible.

Get Inspired
The first thing I did was make a new Pinterest board. I started browsing gender-neutral rooms and color palettes that not only appealed to me, but also what I thought W would like. I fell in love with a few color combos — that didn’t include pink, shocking! — which got me even more excited about The Big Move. Sometimes I would pin by myself, sometimes he would even sit down with me so we could do it together (yes, he’s a keeper) — this way, we could really get a feel for what we agreed on. Although it took him a while to get on board with the fact that yellow is not a girlie color, we finally decided on a bedroom color scheme of turquoise, gray, and yellow/gold (photo below). This is a really helpful first step because you can see what furniture, colors, and patterns you both like – then you can use this consensus as a base to build your home around.

Take Inventory & Shop Together
Before you buy all new stuff, it’s a good idea to see exactly what y’all have. Figure out what you’re keeping, what you want to get rid of (goodbye, fratty futon!), and best of all, what you need to shop for. Then go shopping together and make it fun! This isn’t supposed to be a chore; make a day (or several) out of antiquing, picking out bedding, and getting to know each other in a whole new way. It was so cute to see W get into the apartment shopping process — I loved that he was having fun out of his element and it was nice to learn that we had very similar taste. I can’t stress this step enough — it’s really important to do the majority of the shopping together!

Make It Personal
Don’t start thinking your home has to be perfect — it should be personal, cozy, and feel like your home! My favorite way of doing this is putting photographs absolutely everywhere. Of course there are about a dozen couple pics, but I also made sure to print out several of his friends & family (as well as mine!) so we both felt right at home. I also think it’s important to have areas designated to spending time together, like a cozy carpet in front of the fireplace, home-cooked meals at the dining room table, or a love seat strictly dedicated to popcorn & Game of Thrones. Not only do we have special “us” places (ours is the screened-in porch!), but we also both have designated “me” areas. For example, when I had my own room, I loved being able to have my accessories displayed across my giant vanity and other girlie things all over the place. I didn’t love having to give that up, so I have my own little space in a corner of our room (photo below). Worried about making your place personal? Don’t sweat it – it will become homey and unique with time.

To get a little inspiration for your shared space, check out some photos of how we decorated our apartment:IMG_5052
{ our living room has a loose color palette of taupes, greys, blues, greens, and some warm accent colors like yellow & red. }

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{ we wanted the office/guest room to be super cozy, so it has big, comfy furniture, lots of pillows, and bright, warm colors like yellow, red, green, and brown. }

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{ we did what we could with our tiny kitchen — lots of pictures + colors! }

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{ the dining room doesn’t get as much use as i would like but i love all the natural light in this room. }

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{ itty bitty apartments require lots of storage space. this antique baker’s rack is one of our favorite pieces in the apartment. }

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{ our turquoise, grey + yellow bedroom — we love the headboard look we get from those paintings! }

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{ my little corner! i allow this area to be as girlie as it gets, complete with an antique dessert stand that i use for rings, bracelets, + necklaces. }

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{ my sister gave me these sweet wooden letters in my initials [cwf], but w + i figured out that they could stand for our initials too! we thought we were funny by putting them here, making our bathroom british. }

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{ our favorite “us” spot – nothing like a screened-in porch. }

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{ another way we made our apartment personal — songs that mean a little something to us became wall art that went perfectly in our new apartment! for the left one i chose colors that went with our bedroom color scheme, for the right one i used a map as the base which went well with the lyrics and the fact that we were moving 500 miles away. to learn how to make these, click here! }

As hectic as moving can be, try to have fun with the process and remember what it’s about — the two of you taking a huge step together! It’s okay to fight over the point of throw pillows for five minutes, but spend the majority of the time daydreaming about how nice it will be not living out of overnight bags at each other’s places, laughing at the fact that you’re going to have to get your couch up 4 flights of stairs, and planning out the order of Netflix shows to binge-watch.

Just remember…
pivot

(image source: brides.com, pinterest.com)

Nautical Night at the Marysia Swim Event with Look Linger Love!

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Dress: J. Crew   |   Shoes: Forever 21   |   Clutch: Tory Burch   |   Sunglasses: Asos   |   Earrings: Lisa Kerns   |   Cuff Bracelet: Finicky Filly   |   Chain Bracelet: J. Crew   |   Neon Bracelet: J. Crew   |   Rings: Nasty Gal & Forever 21   |   Lips: Clinique   |   Nails: Ulta

Last night I attended an event at Everything But Water in Charleston Place, co-hosted by Marysia Reeves of Marysia SWIM and blogger Chassity Evans of Look Linger Love . I went with my sweet blogger friend, Brittany Blewer of Southern Meets Chic, and we had so much fun! Y’all should check them out if you haven’t already!

For my outfit, I went with a ‘nautical meets edgy’ look. When I go for a beach-inspired vibe, I try not to look too preppy & sweet — this is Charleston, not Nantucket. I started out with a black + white striped dress from J. Crew Factory (my obsession continues) and my gold Tory Burch clutch. To counter the preppy vibe of these pieces, I opted for black studded sandals, some sassy sunnies, and knuckle rings. To play up the nautical look, I wore my Lisa Kerns shark tooth studs that I purchased at Charleston Fashion Week, a starfish cuff, a chain-link bracelet, and a neon yellow bracelet for a good pop of color. I just love the look of nautical + gold paired together, and it felt very fitting at a swim collection event. Check out some of my photos from the night’s event below!

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{ “kid in a candy store” doesn’t even begin to explain how i felt last night — i wanted absolutely everything. }

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{ loved these sweethearts working the event. they were so helpful! }

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{ so glad we finally got to meet the gorgeous gal behind one of my favorite blogs, look linger love! }

Who else is ready for summer??

Steal of the Week: Woven Tribal Print Sandals

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Target is one of my absolute favorite places to find affordable yet adorable clothes and accessories, so I wasn’t too surprised to find these little gems in the shoe section. These sandals come in three colors, but I’m absolutely obsessed with the woven tribal print ones. They’re perfect for summer (I know I know, the first day of spring was like a week ago) and are super versatile. For only $19.99, these stunners can be yours! Click here to scoop up a pair now.

Although these snazzy sandals can be worn day or night, on errands or to bars, they give me a distinct festival vibe. You probably have your outfits picked out for Ultra this weekend (and let’s be real, this outfit isn’t Ultra material), but this look just screams Coachella or Bonnaroo. Since the shoes have so many colors happening, I chose a simple & breezy black maxi. To accessorize, I went with a fun fringe bag, tortoiseshell sunnies, a gold pyramid stud bracelet, and a cross ring. For a good pop of color, I picked some bright drop earrings and turquoise nails. Check out my fab festival outfit below!

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maxi dress   |   fringe bag   |   tortoiseshell sunnies   |   drop earrings   |   stud bracelet   |   faith ring   |   nail lacquer

What do you think of this SOTW?

Neon + Leather for Charleston Fashion Week Finale

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Dress: J. Crew   |   Jacket: H&M   |   Booties: H&M   |   Necklace: Urban Outfitters   |   Ring: Willy Jay’s   |   Ring: Willy Jay’s   |   Sunnies: Asos   |   Purse: Francesca’s   |   Lips: Ulta   |   Nails (Mint Candy Apple + Penny Talk): Essie

Over the weekend, I was lucky enough to go to the Charleston Fashion Week Finale. I was pretty bummed that I couldn’t go the rest of the week because of work & after-work events, so by Saturday night I could not contain my excitement. Picking out my outfit was tough – deciding what I wear on a normal day is hard enough, but to Fashion Week?! Come on. I finally decided on this neon scalloped dress (a major steal from J. Crew Factory!), a jacket with quilted leather sleeves, and black booties. I liked the way the look combined sweet/feminine with edgy/chic. To accessorize, I played up the edgy vibe with a spiked necklace,  mixed metal rings, and subtle cat-eye sunglasses. I played up the feminine vibe with a classic quilted purse, coral lips, and a pastel + gold mani. What do you think?

At the finale, I got to meet some gorgeous fellow fashion bloggers and other sweethearts in the industry. Take a look at some of my favorite photos from the night:
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{ finally meeting the beauty behind bourbon and boweties – if you haven’t seen what this babe is capable of, check it out now! }

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{ seriously obsessed with my new b&b bling — blog post on carley + her jewels coming soon! }

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{ absolutely loved meeting these fab fashion bloggers — go follow them! the retail therapist | northern lights – southern belles | southern meets chic }

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{ charleston fashion week was certainly one to remember! can’t wait for next year. }