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LET’S CATCH UP 12.14.18

Be honest with me – have you finished shopping or have you not even started yet? I fall, embarrassingly, into the latter category. This weekend is my chance to play catch up. And to that end – I thought there were a few errant thoughts that I wanted to share with you all. Happy reading and then happy weekend!

  1. We went uptown to see all of the holiday storefronts on Fifth Avenue and the Rockefeller Tree last weekend and even with impossible crowds of tourists, it’s still just plain magic. Even more so when you are carrying a thermos of hot toddies. A spiced tea with this recipe will do the trick.
  2. I’ve been waiting for the return of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel all summer and am trying to slowlyyyy pace myself on the new season. It’s got me thinking about female comics and exactly what it is about them that enamors me so much. Lucille Ball, Tina Fey and Julia Louis-Dreyfus are all sort of personal heroes to me. I think it’s because they cared far less about their looks than making the crowd laugh and pushing back against the status quo. This interview with Julia Louis-Dreyfus only further confirms my fandom. 
  3. If you’re also in the ‘last-minute shoppping’ boat – Anthropologie is having a 30% off sitewide sale. I love their little giftables like candles or cold weather accessories for the ladies in your life. 
  4. I’ve got 5 more days at the office before 11 blissful days off. I plan on finallyyyy getting through my last #SteeleMaidenBookClub stack. Reviews and what’s next on my shelf coming soon!
  5. Pantone has deigned ‘Living Coral’ as the 2019 Color of the Year. I like this illustrated guide as to how they came to the decision.

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WINTER WHITES WITH TALBOTS

As much as I love a good, colorful holiday moment (exhibit A and exhibit B) – I also love a simple, ‘winter white’ cold weather look.

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I love how this ivory faux fur lined parka is neutral enough to go with everything but still really brightens up a dreary winter day (as opposed to my typical black parka that just plain depresses me by the time February rolls around). Perfect for taking a spin around the ice rink.

Speaking of ice skating – this Winter I’m determined to embrace the activities that can only be done in cold weather (instead of spending approximately 3 months wishing for 70 degrees to show up again). Even if that’s just cozying up inside and allowing more time to read, or finally watching a bunch of classic old movies I’ve never seen. Things I’d never do in summer. Winter is exactly the time! And if I do have to actually you know, leave the house, at least I’ll be bundled up in a cute coat.

Talbots Parka, Cashmere Sweater, Grey Ankle Jeans and Fair Isle Scarf c/o – all 40% off right now!  

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CLASSIC HOLIDAY PARTY STYLE

I always find the hardest holiday events to dress for are those that fall somewhere in between 0-NYE glitz. A Christmas Eve dinner with your in-laws for instance or your office holiday party. Where you want to be more conservative than say, a backless sequin dress, yet still dressed up and festive. This outfit is my solution.  

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I love the simple shape of this knee-length wrap dress and the fact that it’s made fun by the metallic knit – which gives just the right amount of subtle sparkle. My office holiday party is always at the end of a regular workday so finding something that doesn’t look crazy when I walk to work at 8AM but still feels party-ready at 7PM can be tricky. This would definitely work. I paired with these cute embellished flats (my family functions are usually pretty casual so heels feel overdone) and these super lightweight statement earrings for a finishing touch. 

Also – this hairstyle looks fancy but couldn’t be easier to do. I’m going to add a quick tutorial to Instagram this week! Basically a tuck and roll situation.

Metallic Wrap Dress c/o Talbots |  Statement Earrings c/o Kendra Scott | Vintage Bag |Boden Embellished Flats – similar here or here

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WINTER STYLE: RED PLAID COAT AND HIKING BOOTS

The Steele Maiden: Winter Style - Red Plaid Coat and Hiking Boots

Oh you know, just out here collecting firewood for our decorative fireplace.. ha. But really, I finally revealed the before/after of our Fireplace Makeover and am still kind of just staring at it in awe. Home is always what you make of it and a little bit of DIY magic can go a long way in my opinion.

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DIY FIREPLACE MAKEOVER WITH HOME DEPOT

The Steele Maiden: DIY Fireplace Makeover with The Home Depot

I’ve been bursting to share this project with you guys! This all began months ago, flipping through design books and swooning over incredible fireplaces. Staring at the decorative fireplace in our living room I couldn’t help feeling like it hadn’t quite reached its full potential. And so my little dream of a fireplace makeover began. And also where The Home Depot came in. I was thrilled to sign on to partner with them on this project since they’ve always been our go to source for home DIY projects throughout the years. For the complete play by play of how this whole thing miraculously came together (just $300, a few splinters and a swear word or two along the way…) – visit my full post on The Home Depot blog.

BEFORE:

The Steele Maiden: DIY Fireplace Makeover with The Home Depot

AFTER:

The Steele Maiden: DIY Fireplace Makeover with The Home DepotThe Steele Maiden: DIY Fireplace Makeover with The Home Depot The Steele Maiden: DIY Fireplace Makeover with The Home Depot

And just for fun – a few things we learned along the way. In case you’re inspired to tackle your own rental-friendly DIY fireplace makeover (or really any other home project your heart desires).

THINGS WE LEARNED:

  1. When all else fails – search for a YouTube video or sand it down a bit more. Ha.
  2. Measure twice (or three.. or four times), cut once. Something my Dad (the ultimate DIY-er) ingrained in me very early on. I can’t tell you how many times we checked measurements on trim for this and thankfully never made a mistake in cutting.
  3. Working with brick (and old apartment floors!) is tricky since you’ll never get a perfectly level surface or straight edge. Instead of letting it drive you crazy – make friends with shims. There’s a couple of them hidden throughout this fireplace.
  4. A lot of people find DIY home projects with their partner to be a recipe for disaster. We’ve found having a really clear plan (lots of lists and sketches), talking through each step before we begin and encouraging each other when the other starts to lose hope (somewhere in hour 35 I promise it will happen) goes a long way.
  5. Most importantly – don’t let the fact that you’re a renter stop you from maximizing your home’s potential. Sure, we likely won’t live here forever so someday we’ll have to leave this fireplace behind and technically we invested time and money into someone else’s place. But in the meantime? It’s ours and I have a smile on my face every single time I walk in the door and see this fireplace. Totally worth it in my opinion. Same goes for bothering to paint the walls in a rental, switch out a light fixture or upgrade drawer pulls. The littlest changes can have the greatest impact and make your time (however fleeting) in a rental infinitely more enjoyable.

Thank you to The Home Depot for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

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The Steele Maiden © 2012

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle. Based in NYC.