CC Crew Creations: Gym Shoes Done Right

So I have a new crush...the neon yellow gym shoes of CCS that came with us to New Orleans!

Truth.  I was jealous of them for 4 days and feel like if I had to wear gym shoes with a dress, CCS' shoes would have been a far superior (and more fashionable) option.

And while I do not have a pic of her exact shoes, I will use these as a placeholder for color's sake.

New Balance Classics
$52 at Zappos.com To Buy

The reality is when traveling, especially if it involves sight-seeing, walking tours, shopping and in some really odd cases, exercise, bringing your gym shoes along may be a necessity.  This is why I think it is important to bring a cute pair just like CCS did.  If your gym shoes are fun, clean and cool, they can actually make your sporty outfit stylish.

adidas adiZero Aegis 2 Running Shoe
$99.99 at Dick's Sporting Goods To Buy
(these are the ones I like that can be neon friends with CCS' shoes)

Such was the case with CCS.  While she was running around New Orleans, both literally and figuratively, she let her neon yellow tennies be part of her fashionable ensemble.  Paired with cotton basics and denim cut-offs, neon yellow gym shoes are fashionable and functional.  You can even take it to a dress as long as that dress is cotton-based and sporty in its design.

Cotton Spandex Jersey Long Sleeve Criss-Cross Dress
$36 at American Apparel To Buy

Since we were roomies, it would have been real easy for me to stick those shoes in my suitcase, but sadly, my feet are 2 sizes bigger than the dainty feet of CCS.

So through the teachings of CCS, I too, one day will master the gym shoe and appropriate outfit look.

                CC Crew Creations: Gym Shoes Done Right

Items included in set: Layered dress $20, Old Navy short sleeve shirt $13, Old Navy distressed shorts $23, Anne Klein nylon hosiery $7.95, Forever21 clutch bag $23, Betsey Johnson green jewelry $24, Forever21 round sunglasses $5.80, Jennifer Ouellette headbands hair accessory $19, New Balance Classics WL773 Yellow $65

CCS Safety Tip:  Always wear a bike helmet...seriously!


CC Crew Creations: Polished Basics

So today's recap of New Orleans travel fashions brings us to CCE.

CCE is a lady a lot like me.  She loves color, likes funky things but has a classic side as well.  However, where we differ, CCE was a much better packer on our trip to New Orleans.  For example, she never wore a dress with gym shoes.

(not CCE's actual luggage but a representation of the size of what she packed in...amazing!)

Packing is where I think we could all learn a fashion lesson from CCE.  Fill your carry-on with polished basics and a few fun items and you will have an entire trip's worth of outfits that feel fashionable and pulled-together.  The benefit of this packing method is you have versatile pieces that mix and match together giving you more outfit options without taking up a lot of suitcase space.

CCE's fun item, although not this identical top, was a striped neon yellow and white knit top.

Neon Cowl Top
$14.99 at Charlotte Russe To Buy
 (I love this shirt...especially the back!)

So this top is a great start to a polished basic outfit; fun color, stripe detail, interesting cowl neck and extra points for cute cut to the back.  Its outfit possibilities are endless within a trip wardrobe.  Work it back to a pair of skinny jeans and heels for a night out or flip flops during the day for sight-seeing.  And because we were hanging in 100 degree heat, CCE's shorts were the perfect bottom to this top.

BDG 5-Pocket Short
$39 at Urban Outfitters To Buy

The image above does a great job of illustrating how same top, same shorts and different shoes can give the outfit a totally different look.  In fact, pick 1 casual pair of shoes and 1 that can be dressed up, and really 2 pair of shoes is all you need on your trip.

L to R: Neon Stripe Printed Flip Flop
$5.00 at Old Navy To Buy
Tinley Road Sarahh
$29.99 at Piperlime To Buy

What I love about CCE's outfits is that a simple swap of footwear gives you totally different wardrobe options.  Picture this same top with a black cotton skirt.  Flip-flops feel casual.  Heeled sandals feel appropriate for dinner and drinks...or a visit to Harrah's for a quick $20 in video poker.

But the piece that CCE so smartly packed to pull it all together...the famous black blazer.  The perfect piece to pack for not only warmth at night but also to and fro traveling on the plane.  A black cotton blazer makes any outfit look more polished and sharp.  Even on Bourbon Street.  It still works.

5-Button Cotton Jacket
$79.90 at Express To Buy

So as you can see 1 fun top + 2 shoe options + 1 polished blazer + a few basic bottoms = a carry-on of fashion success when traveling.  And we have not even discussed accessories and how they can dress your outfit up or down whether it be a straw fedora or a statement ring.

CC Crew Creations: Polished Basics

Items included in set: Charlotte Russe neon top $15,  5-Button Cotton Jacket at Express $79.90,  Tinley Road Sarahh heeled sandals $30, Old flip-flops $5, Betsey Johnson stud earrings $24, Forever21 daisy ring $4.80, Forever21 straw fedora $11, Old Navy aviator sunglasses, $9.50

So to CCE, I say well done.  You packed the heck out of your carry-on.  Literally she packed in a duffel bag but looked as if she had wardrobe options for days.  To say I was impressed was an understatement.  I may have even said, "CCE, that's all you packed in!"

And when I was packing for my recent road trip, guess who I was inspired by?  CCE!  She helped me avoid the pitfalls of tennies and dresses...because apparently this is not obvious to one Mrs. CC.  Needless to say, my travel wardrobe was much improved thanks to CCE.

CCE Tip:  For jewelry, bring necklaces in the same finish and /or color story so you can mix and match; wear alone or layer.   White and gold make for a versatile option.


2nd Best Day Of The Year: Holler B

I basically have had the most exciting week ever between the True Blood season premiere and Beyonce's new album coming out today.

I love Beyonce.  She is my girl.  I live my life for her.  She is a little crazy, super classy and hands-down the best performer ever...I mean she sings and dances a whole show in 5 inch heels.  Even if you don't like her music, you have to be impressed by that seeing how I can't make it through a whole night in heels.

Beyonce is also the only concert where I got a little choked up when she came out onto the stage...I was an adult when this happened so feel free to judge.*

My favorite Beyonce songs:

5.  "Dangerously In Love"

4.  "Irreplaceable"

3.  "Deja Vu" (f. Jay-Z)

2.  "Upgrade U" (f. Jay-Z)

1.  "Crazy In Love"  (live from Singapore) *Said moment would be here

CC Crew Creations: Statement Necklace

Continuing with this week's series featuring CC's fashionable friends in New Orleans, I would like to introduce you to CCN. 

CCN might go down in history as one of the best sports as she cheerfully endured a ghost tour, sweltering heat and an almost 2-hour trolley ride stuck to my sweaty leg because we were packed in like sardines.  Did I mention CCN is pregnant?  CCN was the epitome of an expectant mother: responsible and of course, fashionable.

(Another fashionable mom wandering the streets of New Orleans...
we did not have kids with us but there may have been Cheetos)

CCN is a walking fashion lesson.  A little statement necklace goes a long way.  A statement necklace dresses up your basics and adds instant polish.  Best ever a well-placed statement necklace draws the eye upward and becomes the focal point of your outfit.

CCN effectively mastered this twice on our NOLA weekend.

Start with a comfortable knit dress in a neutral color, a smart choice for a maternity-based wardrobe...or any wardrobe for that matter.*

Jersey Maxi Dress
$69.95 at Gap To Buy
(also available in a beautiful jade)

Empire Waist Knit Dress
$49.50 at Loft To Buy

Then the rest is easy, breezy and fun.  Pick any statement necklace you want to work back to your basic dress.  A longer strand with graduated layers will make you look taller whereas a chunkier piece that sits just below your neck draws the eye to the most flattering area of any women's body...the collar bone.  Win/Win.

Layered Island Necklace
$7.80 at Forever21 To Buy
(long & layered)

Tinley Road Peach Cluster Drop Necklace
$34 at Piperlime To Buy

What I love most about CCN's outfits is that even though she is dressed as a Mom-to-Be, us non-expecting ladies could use these same tricks and wear these same outfits.  A good fashion trick knows no body type...or due date.  Plus it's easy to pull together and comfortable to wear.  Besides who doesn't love an empire waist?

Oh CCN, you and Angelina keeping the streets of New Orleans fashionable one Mom at a time and apparently one black maxi dress at a time.

*I should note that neither dress CCN wore was maternity-wear.  CCN's dresses were also not either dress above but similar to hers in color and/or style.

CC Tip:  This never gets old...


CC Crew Creations: Line Dance Skirt

If you recall Memorial Day Weekend I went to NOLA for a Bachelorette Bash.

Essie Bachelorette Bash
(the official nail polish of our trip!  2 gals showed up wearing unplanned! So festive.)

Although a total blast, parts of it were not so pretty as you can imagine...namely your one and only CC wearing a going-out dress from Express with gym shoes circa Working Girl 1988 for a night out on the town.*

(none of these women are me but just an example of how this look rarely goes well)

That being said, the rest of my trip wardrobe did not really come together either with an exception of this dress which continues to be amazing.

Allen B. Dot Ruffle Shoulder Dress
$34.99 at JCPenney To Buy
(and now available online!!!)

That is where the CC Crew stepped up to the plate.  They brought the ferosh fashions y'all.  So instead of writing about what I wore, I am going to show you what this lucky CC's friends wore to maintain the sterling CC reputation in The Big Easy.

First up, CCJ took one of my favorite tricks and ran with it; start with one homerun piece, keep the rest simple, pop in a few fun accessories and you are instantly chic.

CCJ started with this skirt from Francesca's Collections, our weekend shopping hot spot.

Line Dance Skirt
$38 at Francesca's Collections To Buy

The Line Dance Skirt is the perfect warm weather skirt; a little shorter than the usual, fun bright accent color and can be dressed up or down depending on top and footwear.  And there are pockets!  Perfect for storage!

My girl CCJ worked in some fancy flats for comfort's sake and a fun bracelet that may or may not have not survived the trip to no fault of our own.  She kept her top simple with a basic black tank so her skirt could be the star.  And she definitely had a purse that could carry all the info it takes to keep a party of 12 organized.  We loved her for it big time.

Comfortable and cute...the 2 most necessary components of CC dressing.

CC Fashionable Friend: Jewel

Items included in set: Sheer tank$48, Line Dance Skirt $38, Tinley Road sandals $40, Kensie girl shoes $30, Hive Honey gold jewelry $24 

*(It was a walking tour followed by an evening out and I was comfy...no one in NOLA was aware of my CC reputation so I made a bad choice...feel free to disregard further fashion advice.)

CCJ Tip:  I had a takeaway tip from CCJ.  Start a file folder for all major events to bring with you to keep all your important information in one location for quick reference.  Totally busting this out for my upcoming road trip.   Thank you CCJ for not only saving the CC reputation but being a mentor.


The Best Day of the Year

The best day of the year is this Sunday, June 26th.

Some may think this date indicates some sort of major sale breaking or a new product finally being available.

Not the case...this Sunday means True Blood is back!

I seriously get giddy, excited stomach thinking about it. I can't wait.  I love that Sookie Stackhouse.

And just in case I need to wear appropriately themed make-up as I view my tv obsession, tarte has it covered.

tarte for True Blood Limited Edition Palette
$52 (a $331 value) To Buy

I am going to go ahead and assume this is not a necessary purchase to enjoy the show but I do kind of like a few of the shades...and I do get expert tips from True Blood's award-winning lead make-up artist.  Is there a potential weak moment purchase in my future?  Ah, Sookie.


Waiting All This Time

Do you want to see the one thing I have been waiting the last 4 months for?

Bird Bottle Opener
$8.50 at West Elm To Buy

I ordered it back in February and it finally showed up last week because it was on backorder.  Who knew bottle openers were in such high demand?  I hate to say it but I see why.  It is pretty cute sitting on my bar.

Want to see what I am still waiting for?

Fish Wine Opener
$10 at West Elm
(no longer available online)

Apparently animal-themed bar accessories are this season's must haves.

And here I have been foolishly going on and on about coral and stripes.  Silly CC!


Beauty Buy #7: Watermelon Slice Shower Smoothie

Watermelon Slice 3-in-1 Shower Smoothie
$9.99 at Ulta To Buy 

So it hasn't really felt much like summer the last few weeks but every morning in my shower it sure does!  I am really feeling this Shower Smoothie product from Ulta in my all-time favorite fruit flavor, watermelon.  If you liked watermelon-flavored Hubba Bubba as kid, this is all you.  It will take you back to that place.  The formula is actually pretty decadent and silky; perfect for shaving legs or as a body wash.  For $9.99 you get a lot of volume for not a lot of dough.

Besides smelling great and making me feel young again, the Watermelon Slice Shower Smoothie just makes me happy and that is priceless.


What My Mom Bought

While I was out of control on the Macy's sale rack, my Mom bought these:

Wilma Flat by Franco Sarto
$59 at Macy's To Buy

They looked so cute with her shorts and we decided something different to walk around in besides flip-flops and gym shoes on our upcoming trip.  I also love the polka dots!  So now of course I think I need these.


Thank You Dallas

David J. Phillip / AP

Who doesn't love a good man hug?  It looks so cozy.  


Patent Bows...And A Friend

You all know I love the Valentino bows, so while I am saving up, I have found a few substitutes to tide me over.

Jessica Simpson Kendale
$51.35 at Zappos.com To Buy

Despite all the other issues my dog has, she has never been a big chewer...except when it came to my shoes.  But not all shoes.  Just my patent leather shoes to which she chewed just one shoe of two different pairs.  So since that day about 4 years ago, I have been looking for a red pair of shoes.  I bought this pair at Macy's this week for $25.  I love the bow, the leopard lining and of course the lower heel.

Maiven Pump by Enzo Angiolini
$62.30 at Macy's To Buy

Also on the clearance rack at Macy's? The Enzo ikat shoes I had been eyeing all season. And they were only $25 too! I never get that lucky on a clearance event.  I already have worn these with a black dress and white jacket over...super cute and super pulled-together.

Mezzo Pump by Enzo Angiolini
$69.30 at Zappos.com To Buy

If the two shoes above had a baby, the third shoe would be its offspring.  If you are new to the Enzo open-toe pump and like the look of bow pumps, then this is the shoe to try.  The Ezno open-toe pump is so comfortable and those bows are adorable.  Seriously, how cute are the blue shoes?  These are the perfect shoes to wear to the office, for after work cocktails or with an evening dress.

Now if they can just magically appear on the clearance shoe rack at Macy's.


CC Alert: More Kohl's Shoes

Recently I was going through some old magazine clippings to see if I found myself inspired...well inspired, not so much, but more convinced that Kohl's is my affordable  footwear soulmate.

Enter page 270 from the March 2011 Instyle:

via InStyle
(I love these 3 outfits and plan on doing a CC version...stay tuned)

My apologies on the sub-par image but I am impressed in my overall improvement using technology (despite what this image reflects).  I knew I had seen the middle pair of shoes before...but where?  Oh, I remember the clearance section of Kohls.com!

ELLE Libbie Peep-Toe Platform
$19.49 at Kohl's To Buy

Who knew that when I ripped that page out 3 months ago I would be such a Kohl's devotee and newly converted platform lover?  I love how these shoes look with the shorts in the pic above and I totally would be able to wear them with my new linen shorts from Loft...as well as the secret brown skirt I have been coveting but resisting the urge to buy.

And they are only $20 reduced from $65!

What do you think?  Should I buy them or has this Kohl's thing gone too far?


Weekend CC Bulletin

Some exciting news!

via InStyle

Diane Von Furstenberg is designing a line for GapKids and babyGap.  If that doesn't make you want to have kids, I don't know what will!  This makes me super excited because I have some fun little ones who should have arrived by then...and some fun bigger ones I can help mold into mini-CCs.

via InStyle

I was obsessed with this gown when Blair Waldorf wore it in an episode of Gossip Girl.  So when Kate Middleton wore a similar version to her first post-wedding gala, the fashion world was a'buzz noting the similarities in gown choice between Queen Bee and Princess Kate.  Although both dresses are from the Jenny Packham Spring 2011 collection, they are in fact different dresses.  Thank you InStyle style sleuths for cracking that case.

Remember this dress?  It is in fact a mini-skirt and being shipped back to Forever21 as we speak.  However, I am keeping the goofy ring I bought just to get free shipping.  Back to the drawing board for what to wear with my coral ruffled platforms.

Rhinestone Pyramid Ring
$3.80 at Forever21 To Buy

Bath and Body Works began their Yellow Tag Sale today so now is a good time to stock-up on your summer time favorites.  Of course I loaded up on my favorite anti-bacterial hand soap; scooping up new flavors Fresh Picked Watermelon and Island Margarita.  I also am trying the Fiji Passionfruit shower gel and body spray for the first time so we shall see.

Have a great weekend!


Recent Summer Savings

Recently I purchased two new pieces at quite the summer discount.

Diana Metallic Stripe Shorts
$29.99 at Loft
(no longer available online)

I have had my eyes on these shorts for awhile now but the last couple times I checked my local Loft, they never had my size.  Well, lo and behold, I stopped by on a whim earlier this week and not only found my size but found them on sale AND 30% off the markdown.  I walked out of that Loft feeling proud as a peacock.

I love Loft shorts because they are appropriate.  Long enough but not too long.  No Daisy Dukes here.  Loft right now has a variety of colors, lengths and fabrics so if you need some shorts, I suggest stopping here and stopping soon because their shorts go fast.

I plan on wearing these shorts on my upcoming vacation with basically the exact outfit the model is wearing above.  We can have a "Who Wore It Best" face-off.

Simply Vera Vera Wang Chaos Peep-Toe Booties
$29.99 at Kohl's To Buy

So I am back at Kohl's buying more shoes...my official footwear provider this Spring.  I am still waiting for these to arrive in the mail for a true review but I thought I would share.  Again, I don't have much of a vision for their purpose but I am thinking they will look great with my cuffed jeans and slouchy black knit pants.  In my head, they will be a nice transition shoe from Summer to Fall and I love the lower 3-inch heel.