Spring Cleaning Fashion Favorites

Spring Cleaning Fashion Favorites

In preparation for Spring, I’ve decided to do some closet cleaning. I tend to hold onto clothes for way longer than necessary. I was able to gather A LOT of items to donate to Goodwill. There’s something about Spring cleaning that is therapeutic and leaves you feeling more positive. Letting go of the old to make room for new things is the way that I look at it both mentally and physically. However, there are always pieces that don’t end up in the Goodwill bag. I wanted to share some of those items that did make the cut during my cleaning binge!
Items for keeping:
1. Pom Pom earrings from Charming Charlie
The Pom Pom and tassel trend was huge last Summer and it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. These were definitely a must-keep for me because they’re fun, colorful AND lightweight (always a plus for statement earrings).
Earrings: Charming Charlie
Photography: Denise Kokinis

2. White Pointed Toe Heels 
Okay I have to admit, I’ve had these heels for two and a half years now and they are one of my favorite pairs! Aside from being comfortable, they are also versatile and can be worn to work as well as for a night out. Again, the white shoe trend is huge this year, so these babies will not be leaving my closet anytime soon. White is also such a classic color, making these pair well with different outfits.
Shoes: Ralph Lauren from Macy’s
3. Silver Purse
When it comes to purses, if you’re like me, you have your everyday purse that you wear until it either breaks or you get sick of it and need a new one. You also probably have other purses that you pair with different outfits or for special occasions. I always like to keep neutral color purses in my closet because they go with just about every outfit. This silver Kensie purse is the perfect example of a bag that can compliment just about every outfit. 
Purse: Kensie
Photography: Danielle Heinson
Have you started Spring cleaning yet? Let me know which items made the cut in your closet! 
XOXO,
Gee
White Boot Love is True Love

White Boot Love is True Love

My Chicago folks! What has been happening with this crazy weather? Snow one week, then rainstorms, sunshine, and now upper 80s! It leaves me waking up in the morning wondering what the heck should I wear? I stored my winter coat in the back of the closet and do not plan on taking it out until next Winter. Since the Winter seemed to be never-ending, I did a lot of shopping and ended up with way too many boots and booties. However, I am definitely not having buyers remorse about my white booties I picked up from Nordstrom! (but then again, I never have second thoughts about any of my purchases haha). I love these booties so much that I refuse to put them in the back of the closet with my Winter coat. With that being said, I will be wearing these booties this Spring and Summer (and basically until I can’t wear them anymore).

White is such a classic and season-less color that you can get away with wearing any white merchandise all year long! (Don’t let anyone fool you with that no white after Labor Day nonsense). 
Here, I paired my white booties with my new favorite Spring jumpsuit. OH, and my new Spring haircut! 
Jumpsuit: T.J. Maxx. Find other styles here
Sunglasses: Find similar here
Shoes: Nordstrom. Find here (and on sale now!)
Gold Cuff Bracelet: Find similar here
Fashion Fixer Upper

Fashion Fixer Upper

Some people like to spend their days watching people flip homes on TV, I like to spend mine by shopping and flipping clothes. Just give me my own TV show and call it The Fashion Fixer Upper. I love a good bargain, but also enjoy having unique clothing pieces. I haven’t always been a huge fan of online shopping, but when I learned about Shoptiques, a website that sells clothing from different boutiques around the world, I had to give it a try!

I came across a very interesting denim patchwork dress for only $3.00 (see below)! There was something about this piece that really intrigued me. I wanted to purchase it so I could fix it up and style it to be more flattering to me and my body. This is something I’ve always done since I was a little girl. I would by the fashion pieces that were left over on the sale rack and would challenge myself to style and bring them to life in a new way. Something about this has always been fun to me. 
In the next few pictures you will see how I styled and personalized this piece to make it more flattering to my body shape and personal style. 
Before:
(Image via Shoptiques)
After:
The first thing I did when I received this dress was cut the three hanging fabric/ribbon pieces off on the side. Since this dress is one size fits all, it’s more of a looser fit (as seen in the original photo). I paired it with a belt and rolled up the sleeves to make it hug my figure more. I left the first few buttons undone and added my go-to favorite necklaces, a fun clutch, and velvet booties (of course).
This dress is my new favorite “fun” addition to my closet. I can’t wait to wear it again! 
I encourage everyone to switch up their day-to-day fashion pieces by styling them differently or pairing with new accessories. You will see just how new you can make your clothes look! Maybe challenge yourself to hit the sale rack or a thrift store and see if you can “fix up” something to make it your own. Rock your new masterpiece and send me your pictures 🙂 
XOXO,
Gina

Dress: Shoptiques. Find here
Shoes: Steve Madden. Find here
Necklaces: Pink Jules Boutique
Clutch: Diane Von Furstenberg 
Belt: Macy’s
Location: Catalyst Ranch
The True Meaning of Namaste and Empathy

The True Meaning of Namaste and Empathy

I haven’t been teaching yoga very long, but what I have learned is that there is something therapeutic about speaking and explaining your intention to the class. If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, usually the teacher will offer or invite you to set an intention for your practice (a mantra, quote, poem, etc.). Both as a teacher and a student, I like to center my intentions around something I am working on/towards or a lesson I’ve learned. The word that keeps coming up for me lately is empathy.
I don’t often share these intentions with the world, but I feel this one is important. In yoga, we say Namaste when we conclude our practice. But what does Namaste actually mean? My soul honors your soul. Sounds great, now can we start saying this to everyone and not just to our fellow yogis? Let’s end our meetings by saying Namaste. Tell the cashier at the grocery store Namaste. The guy at the deli who fixed you a sub, Namaste to him. You catch my drift. This word has been so glamorized on social media (I am also guilty of it) that I feel it’s lost its true meaning. Namastay in bed, Namastay at home, Namastay on the couch. We are “namastaying” everything and everywhere.
I came across this quote on Pinterest, “See the light in each other. Be the light for each other.” It made me think of the true meaning of Namaste. Honoring one’s self as well as your neighbor. We are all going through our own difficult battles so why not come together and be there for one another? You don’t need to be best friends with everyone, but showing empathy is a great place to start. In a world where there are some people who aren’t very nice, be kind. It doesn’t mean you are weak, it means you are strong and true to yourself for showing kindness and love to people that test you. 
I attended a restorative yoga class last year and the instructor had us spend a few moments in a seated meditation. She had us think about someone that is very difficult to get along with (all I could think of is that this is not going to be very meditative). Then, she instructed us to send love and positive thoughts to that person even though it might be very difficult to do so. Let go of the anger and negativity you are holding on towards that person and counteract those emotions with kindness. This is something that will stick with me forever. We are all human. When faced with difficult situations and people, we react a certain way. We can’t go back in time and change the way we reacted or the emotions that came up, but we can change the future. We can send kindness and love to those people that test us. It might sound crazy, but once you let go, you create space for really great things to come into your life. 
Shirt: Vibrate Higher. Find here and use code “gina” for 15% off your order.
Pants: Lululemon
Hat: Relephant Matters. Find here
Shoes: Converse
Viva La Brunch!

Viva La Brunch!

Ways to make me happy:
1. Take me to brunch
2. Make me brunch
3. Be brunch
Pretty simple right? After all, I didn’t think I was that complicated 😉
But seriously, why do I like brunch so much? I have no idea.. maybe it’s the idea of bottomless mimosas, delicious food and spending quality time with your family/friends. If you’re from a place that brunches hardcore, then chances are you know what I’m talking about. In Chicago, I would say we are pro brunchers. We have so many delicious brunch spots there’s just too many to name (and too many to try!). 
So what is the most important thing about prepping for brunch? Picking out the perfect brunch outfit (after you’ve picked the most Instagram-able brunch spot, of course). 
For me, the perfect outfit depends on a few deciding factors: the plans I had the previous night, the location of the brunch spot, who I am brunching with, and the time. 
A graphic Tee with a cute (brunch) quote is usually the winner for me, and yes, I have multiple shirts with brunch quotes. Weather depending, I will throw on a jacket because I am ALWAYS chilled in restaurants, until the mimosas start flowing. A pair of yoga pants is usually the go-to if I am going more of the sporty look route (which is usually what ends up happening), BUT this time, I chose to wear my SUPER comfy jeggings- which are basically leggings that look like jeans, so it’s actually perfect. Top the look off with a cute hairstyle or if you are feeling a little lazy/don’t want to add any more dry shampoo to your hair, a baseball cap or floppy hat will do the trick!
Then you are ready to brunch.. now just be sure to warn your fellow brunchers that you need to capture the perfect Instagram photo before they can touch their food!
Comment below with your favorite spot to brunch at 🙂 
Gina’s favorite brunch spots in Chicago:
Beatrix
Bub City
Kanela Breakfast Club
Meli Cafe
Yolk
Hub 51
Siena Tavern
LYFE Kitchen (great healthy choice!)
Troquet
Pinstripes
The Hampton Social
Mahalo
Rockit 
Blue Door Kitchen & Garden
Carnivale
Lou Mitchel’s
Shirt: Old Navy. Find similar here
Jacket: Pacsun. Find similar here
Jeans: T.J. Maxx 
Purse: From a street vendor at a fest
Hat: Icing (sold out online) Find similar here
Yoga Pants Every.Damn.Day

Yoga Pants Every.Damn.Day

I come home from work and immediately put on a pair of yoga pants. Then, I eat dinner, run errands and go to a yoga class. When I come home, I shower and change into a pair of my “sleeping” yoga pants. I wake up and do the same thing over again. The weekend comes and I spend pretty much every day in yoga pants. Hence the title of this post, yoga pants every damn day! The amount of yoga pants that I have is insane and probably a little excessive. My justification for purchasing another pair of yoga pants is that I literally wear a pair every damn day. 
I’ve realized, that everyone spends money on their guilty pleasure, mind just so happens to be shopping for a new pair of yoga pants. Since I love fashion and yoga, it works itself out 😉 
Now, I may have an excessive amount of yoga pants, BUT they are mostly from stores such as Burlington, T.J. Maxx, Ross, Target and other discount retailers. I highly suggest checking out these retailers as they often carry name brands such as Under Armour, Nike, Adidas, etc. 

Moral of the story, buy more yoga pants! Haha, kidding. BUT, if you were looking for a sign, this is it 🙂
Shirt: Spiritual Gangster. Find here
Denim Jacket: Ci Sono. Find similar here 
Yoga Pants: T.J. Maxx. Find similar here
Shoes: H&M. Find similar here
Transition From Winter To Spring

Transition From Winter To Spring

It’s been pretty nice in Chicago even though there’s still snow left on the ground. The big question is: what do I wear during this awkward time when it’s not spring yet? I’ve seen people walking around in the city wearing shorts and flip flops and then there’s people that are still wearing their long North Face jackets. I decided to create some Polyvore boards with different outfit inspiration ideas and color palettes for the time when it’s 50 degrees outside, but it’s still not the appropriate time to pull out those shorts.

For men, you can start wearing those brighter colors. Instead of wearing flip flops quite yet, try a pair of colored oxfords or even a pair of heavier boat shoes. Pull out the sunglasses and accessorize with a watch and belt (you can even try fun socks with the oxfords). A lighter weight button up shirt is always the perfect go-to shirt instead of just wearing a T-shirt. I decided to add a trench coat because it’s the perfect weight for that awkward time between seasons. I also love to layer outfits because it makes the whole switching seasons a lot easier.


For women, these joggers are so cute, comfy, and perfect for the in-between seasons. I decided to pair them with open toe black booties or if you don’t want to wear heels, you can simply wear them with a pair of slip-ons. I recently bought found a pair of sparkly Keds from Macy’s on sale for $13.00. I paired this outfit with a T-shirt and blazer and you can play it up with accessories. Bring out the bright colors and pastel nail polish!

Time to start cleaning out your closet and do some Spring cleaning!
Happy Shopping
XOXO,
Gina Nicolette