A Plaid Lover’s Gift Guide

Plaid Lovers Christmas Gift Guide

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! I am really enjoying reliving the magic of Christmas through my daughter. Three is such a fun age and she is finally old enough to really get into the Christmas spirit. Everything is so amazing, the lights are fascinating, she told Santa what she wanted, we build and decorated a Gingerbread House, and we love singing Christmas music together. This year it just REALLY feels like Christmas as a mom! But…

With the holidays comes the gift giving. For the kids, it’s usually pretty easy when they are young- the latest toy will work. It’s the adults and tweens that make it a little more difficult. I recently put together a unique gift guide for the person who has everything and you can view it here. Today’s post is a little different. Some of the things are unique and can be personalized but they are more of a classic item. And who wouldn’t want something that never goes out of style?

Do you know someone that is Mad for Plaid like me? Well I have put together some of my favorite gifts under $100 dollars for that plaid lover in your life. The holidays are a great time for this festive tartan fabric to make an appearance (and all year if you are me). From jewelry under $20 to shoes priced at $100 there is something for all your PLAID LOVING friends!

SHOP EVERYTHING HERE:

[Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you shop from my blog, I may be compensated for clicks or purchases that you make.]


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Mad for Plaid!

Fashion Blogger Plaid History Jonathan Ivy

It’s FINALLY cold enough to start wearing my winter wardrobe, yay! I have always been obsessed with plaid and truly consider it a staple in my wardrobe. It seems that the winter months bring out the plaiditude in everyone!

Fashion Blogger Plaid History Jonathan Ivy

The History of Plaid:

Did you know plaid isn’t technically the correct term to use? This fabric named “tartan” originated in Scotland and has been traced back 3,000 years! The Scottish used tartan to differentiate between clans and some even had their own family tartan (I want to have one for my fam!). Plaid was actually a term used to describe a heavy cloak or blanket used to keep them warm- similar to a modern blanket scarf or poncho.

Tartan was originally made from wool and the color draft is called a sett. With modern technology we use machines to create tartan but back in the day they used the sett to specifically describe the color combination of threads. Now the sett is used to describe threads but also to play with sizing for different garments and accessories. For example, a men’s tie sett would be much smaller than a sett used for a skirt.

It wasn’t until the 19th century that tartan was actually a fabric used for women’s clothing. It is now a classic for men, women, and kids of every age. Once the tartan fabric was popular with American and British textile makers, it received the name plaid. Although tartan has become plaid, the history of origin still remains. It’s been recognized more for its beauty than for its deep rooted history.

Fashion Blogger Plaid History Jonathan Ivy

Fashion Blogger Plaid History Jonathan Ivy

Fashion Blogger Plaid History Jonathan Ivy

This outfit post was inspired by my love for plaid. The simplicity of everything else lets the plaid bag stand out. I chose to pair the dress with some suede boots and simple jewelry to finish the look. This simple outfit would have been rather boring without the plaiditute this bag brings. I have linked some of my favorite plaid bags below and stay tuned for next week’s gift guide for the plaid lover in your life!

[Disclosure: This post was done in collaboration with Jonathan Ivy Photography, as always opinions are fabulously my own. This post also contains affiliate links. If you shop from my blog, I may be compensated for clicks or purchases that you make]

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Unique Gifting Guide

gift guide fashion blogger worldly gifts

[This post was not a collaboration with any of these shops just some that I love. Thank you to Alicia from Thinking Girls Boutique and Sarah from Gracefully Sassy for allowing me to include you in my gift guide graphic!]

So the question still remains this holiday season, what do you get the person that has everything? I know this thought crosses my mind every year and I start to stress a little. Also as a mom with 50,000 toys in my house I start to think out-of-the-box for gifts that are small and/or unique. Yes, it’s the thought that counts but that is exactly the point.

As a mom on the go, I don’t have a ton of time to shop, sip eggnog, or browse the net for days. I need places where I can find different items and I need them QUICK! A gift you can’t buy on Amazon. Don’t get me wrong, I love Amazon for everything else and Prime Now has saved me in a pickle many times! But if you are looking for unique gifts, I have saved you the trouble and put together some of my favorite places to shop for something special and different.

1. Thinking Girls Boutique
If you are local to Houston and have not checked this place out, they have a ton of cool things from all over the world. The owner, Alicia, has a serious case of Wanderlust and travels the world to find unique treasures. She is also a supporter of local artisans which is always a plus in book! Not only is this place so quaint for shopping they offer a ton of classes, workshops, and you can even host your own event there. Check out her site here to shop and my post of a lovely wrap dress from the boutique here.

2. Burdlife
Another local shop for the jewelry and accessory lover in your life. Burdlife offers a unique selection of beautiful pieces that compliment any outfit. They can go from day to night and anything in between. I have always been a fan of tassels and they have tassels galore- the tassel clutch here and tassel earrings here. Check out their site here for more unique items.

3. Taco Gear
So I have mentioned this many times before but I love Tacos. Taco Creative’s Taco Gear is a fun play on words for any taco lover. Their line of unique clothing and accessories is a Taco lover’s dream. All of their items mention Tacos in some way. Yes, you may think you do not need another t-shirt, but I guarantee you will change your mind when you see how cute these are. Check out their site here and my collaboration here.

4. Original Wear Travels Abroad
This online boutique also offers unique things from all over the world. The owner, Myriam (from Texas), lives in Spain and also travels to find her exclusive materials and items. Her online shop includes beautifully embroidered bags, clothing, footwear, and much more. Her unique clothing makes sure you are the only one to wear it. Check out her site here and some of my posts with here items here.

5. Le Boutique Shop
This online shop is a girly girls dream. They have fun graphic tees, matching mommy and me vests, and super cute jewelry at great prices. There is always something new and fun to discover. They also provide lots of stylized photos and outfit inspiration. Check them out here and check out the cutest mommy and me vests here.

Good luck on your unique gift shopping and hope you find something for that impossible person to shop for. These shops really have something for everyone on your list. If you enjoy giving different items and shopping small these are the shops for you! Happy Holiday Shopping Loves!

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SoCozy + Bath Time!

So Cozy Hair Products Beauty Blogger

So Cozy Hair Products Beauty Blogger

So Cozy Hair Products Beauty Blogger

So Cozy Hair Products Beauty Blogger

So Cozy Hair Products Beauty Blogger

socozy

[Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with SoCozy, as always options are fabulously my own.]

I have said it before and I will say it again, my child was blessed with high maintenance hair and she don’t care. With the Houston humidity managing frizz and taming the flyaways have always been challenging. I comb her hair in the morning and pick her up after school and it’s like I never touched it- wild as ever!

Thanks to SoCozy a line of salon products for kids, we are able to better manage her unique hair. Kids bath products are usually so generic but SoCozy has products just for her, the curls line- Boing. Not only is this a great product that my little one loves, it has “no nasties,” like it says on the bottle. This product is free of Parabens, Sulfates, Phthalates, Synthetic Color, or Propylene Glycol. And it’s free of Gluten, Wheat, Peanuts and Tree Nuts.

Bath time for my little one is a time to play and relax before bed. She is becoming quite the little Miss Independent. She loves to help with washing her own hair and body and I let her. This unique formula makes it easier to comb out the tangles and let her curls form.

As a mom on-the-go, I am always looking for ways to save time. You can pick up SoCozy on your next trip to Target (I am not responsible if you walk out with 20 more things like I usually do, LOL)! They also have a Multitaskers 2 in 1 shampoo and a line called Boo to scare away lice. Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and check out SoCozy for you little ones!

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Thankful this Season!

Tender Nest Photography

It’s the first day of Thanksgiving week and I can feel my pants getting tighter already! Can’t wait to see my family and friends and eat way too much food. This year has been full of challenges and obstacles but I have nothing to complain about, I am so thankful for everything. Sometimes we get way too caught up in the fast pace of life and forget how fortunate we are. I try and make it a point to sit back and remember all of my blessings often.

The top 10 things I am thankful for this year:

1. Health – I am a cancer survivor so every year in remission is a blessing. You just never know when your health condition can change and I am thankful that I am still healthy this year.
2. Being a Mother – Aly is a miracle baby (see my birth story here) and I thankful for her each day. She teaches me patience and how to love unconditionally every day.
3. Family –My family that supports me and helps me in everyday life.
4. The ability to do what I love – This year I was able to quit my 8-5 and pursue my love for Fashion and blog full time.
5. Friends – I am so thankful for my friends who are my biggest cheerleaders, most of my besties don’t live in the same city but still manage to be supportive and I couldn’t ask for more.
6. Education– I am so thankful that I was able to obtain a degree, earn an advance educational certification, and learn more than one language. I have such a thirst for knowledge that I plan to continue this forever. Oscar Wilde says, “You can never be overdressed or overeducated.” No truer words have been spoken.
7. Lessons I have learned– Like I said before life is full of obstacles and challenges and without these we do not grow.
8. Wine, Coffee, and Tacos– My favorite food and drinks! Without these I would not survive.
9. Failure – I am thankful for the failures I have encountered, learning from them and analyzing what I could have done better. Life isn’t perfect and doesn’t have to be to be beautiful!
10. Vacation– I am so grateful to be able to take vacations and get a little break once in a while. Traveling with children can be wearing but I want my child to see the world and learn about different cultures.

Hope you all take a step back and remember everything you are lucky enough to have this season. Join me and my fellow Houston Latina Bloggers as we share what we are thankful for this year!

This post is part of the Houston Latina Bloggers’ Thanksgiving Blog Hop. Please follow along with all our beautiful bloggers! And let’s give thanks! ¡Demos Gracias!

Monday, November 14th – Coppelia / www.Coppeliamarie.com
Tuesday, November 15th – Sybil Sanchez / www.sybilblog.wordpress.com
Wednesday, November 16th Anel Lestage / www.tendernestportraits.com
Thursday, November 17th Martha Villegas / www.LifetimeofBliss.com
Friday, November 18th Lauren Coto / www.wiferellatoboymom.blogspot.com
Saturday, November 19th Lizet Karla / www.makeupforever25@blogspot.com
Sunday, November 20th Amanda Hewitt / www.PositivelyBeautifulLifeblog.com
Monday, November 21st Valerie Carmona / www.ValAroundTown.com
Tuesday, November 22nd Ahidee Romero / www.houseofromero.com
Wednesday, November 23rd Mary Nieto / 3nmeblog.com

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Patriotic Looks for Election Day!

red heart purse fashion blogger StacyAndersonPhotography(168)
menswear inspired look fashion for work career chic
fashion blogger career look
It’s no secret this election has everyone on their toes! This is the craziest election season I have had in all my thirty-something years!The thought of either candidate makes me want to cringe but moving out of the country is not an option (at least for right now). I will not be sharing who I voted for or what I think you should do. This subject is so controversial and I am just over it all! I want to talk about something a little more light-hearted and that is fashion. I decided on this election day, I would round up my favorite red, white and blue ensembles for a little fashion distraction from the election!

The first look, A Fun Look with My Heart on my Sleeve, is a fun off the shoulder top and denim skirt. At the rate we are going, with the hot temps, this off the shoulder top could be worn until Christmas. The red heels and heart bag add some spice to a classic outfit.
My second look, Menswear Inspiration for Work, shows you 5 ways you can easily incorporate menswear into your career look. I did quite a bit of pattern mixing with this ensemble but it still has a cohesive look. I also show that menswear can still be girly by fe-MEN-izing your wardrobe.
The final look, Taking Classic Pieces to Fabulous Pieces, show you ways to take the classics and add some pizazz. I paired polka dots and solids for a complete head-to-toe patriot look. Again, this posts has suggestions on how to freshen up your classics by adding one simple piece.

This election day will probably be one of the longest days of the year. I hope I distracted you for a brief moment and inspired some patriot looks in your future. A lot of my inspiration for my style has come from one of our first ladies Jackie O. For more of my fashion looks click here. To see the 44 First Lady Fashion Looks from Eleanor Roosevelt to Michelle Obama click here.

Happy Election Day!

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Tacos Are Always in Style!

Taco T-Shirt Taco Gear Taco Graphic Tee Mexican T-Shirt
Taco T-Shirt Taco Gear Taco Graphic Tee Mexican T-ShirtTaco T-Shirt Taco Gear Taco Graphic Tee Mexican T-Shirt
Taco T-Shirt Taco Gear Taco Graphic Tee Mexican T-Shirt
Taco T-Shirt Taco Gear Taco Graphic Tee Mexican T-Shirt
Tacos and Fashion, two of my favorite things! It’s not a typical combination, but who says it has to be? We are constantly asked what are you doing to be different?

From the time I can remember, tacos have always been a part of my life. I never realized how much we ate tacos until I moved out of the country (to France) to work. What do you mean you don’t have tortillas here-lol? I thought about Mexican food in general but tacos more than anything. What I would have given to have a homemade tortilla with beans and cheese for breakfast. Don’t get me wrong, the pain au chocolat was pretty amazing and crepes weren’t a bad substitute! But, it’s the little things in life that we sometimes take for granted.

As a taco lover, I was super excited to partner with Taco Creative. Taco creative is a Corpus Christi based company started by Gerald Flores, a graphic designer. His line, Taco Gear, is a taco lover’s dream – everything has the taco theme. His line includes the ever popular graphic tees, trucker hats, and taco accessories.

Having a fashion design background, I was giddy at the thought of designing my own shirt. As fellow creatives, Gerald and I were able to design something that merged our two brands into one. I was able to create a Val Around Town signature shirt bringing two of my favorite things together. It’s not your typical combination and I am sure you will not be served tacos at the next runway show but tacos will always be in style in my book.

If you love to support Texas/local based brands like me, check out Taco Gear and all their specTACOular designs. These make great gifts for your taco lovers and are a different take on your graphic tee.

“And always remember, trends come and go but TACOS are always in style.” Val

Taco Gear can be found:
Website: http://www.tacogear.com
Facebook: TacoCreative
Instagram: @tacocreative

[Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Taco Creative, as always options are fabulously my own. This post also contains affiliate links. If you shop from my blog, I may be compensated for clicks or purchases that you make]

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Celebrity Style for Less & A love for Collars!

karl lagerfeld cocktail dress jonathanivy

karl lagerfeld cocktail dress jonathanivy

karl lagerfeld cocktail dress jonathanivy

karl lagerfeld cocktail dress jonathanivy

karl lagerfeld cocktail dress jonathanivy

Shirt collars aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of party dresses, but this year it might be? The collar trend is in full force and everywhere. The decorative collars are on dresses, shirts, and even being worn as jewelry. I absolutely love this look and have always loved button up shirts. The fact that this look is translating into other garments has me in love!

My look was inspired by the recent outfit of Jill Kargman from Odd Mom Out at the Emmy’s (if you haven’t seen that show its hilarious). Although I did not find an exact replica, I did try and replicate the feel of the dress. Jill actually has such a fun girly style with decorative bows, collars, and lace. Definitely, every girly girly’s dream wardrobe. I wore this look to the Runway Houston Fashion show event at River Oaks District.

My look is from the Karl Lagerfeld collection from Dillard’s. Karl is such an influence in the fashion industry, being the creative director and head designer for Chanel and Fendi plus having his own line. The man never sleeps, I can relate. I was so happy to see his collection at Dillard’s at a more affordable price. I love mixing high and low end but surely can’t afford Chanel’s entire line so this is one of my solutions. The collection has tons of collars and Chanelesque looks at prices that won’t break the bank. And it’s no wonder it reminds me of Jill’s style, her father was the former president of Chanel.

The collar is such a fun way to add structure and whimsy to any outfit and you don’t even need a necklace. I truly believe there is collar style out there for everyone from leather to jewels and anything in between, trust me, they have you covered. With so many exciting styles it will be hard to choose just one! I have linked some of my favorite collared looks from the Lagerfeld Collection as well as some fun collared garments.If you haven’t already, I hope you will try this style soon!

To see a similar style with a pearl collar, click here and for more fashion posts click here.

[Disclosure: This post was done in collaboration with Jonathan Ivy Photography, the Pink Envelope, and Crystal Ballroom at the Rice. As always, options are fabulously my own. This post also contains affiliate links. If you shop from my blog, I may be compensated for clicks or purchases that you make]


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Cowboy Boots for Fall Ya’ll!

Cowboy Boot Style  with Embroidered Dress

Cowboy Boot Style  with Embroidered Dress

Cowboy Boot Style  with Embroidered Dress

Cowboy Boot Style  with Embroidered Dress

Cowboy Boot Style  with Embroidered Dress

Cowboy Boot Style  with Embroidered Dress

Unicorm Bracelet

Boot season is in full swing! Even with the temps being the way there are we are still rocking them on a regular basis. As a true Texas gal, I include my cowboy boots into my boot wardrobe. I am of the opinion that cowboy boots can be worn year round and look great. My favorite way to wear boots is with dresses, it’s an easy look and brings a Texas feel to my aesthetic.

Did you know cowboy boots aren’t even from Texas? All my life traveling around (and living in France) people always think we ride horses to work and wear cowboy boots. Well actually, fun facts: 1. Cowboy boots were an influence from Spanish Vaqueros 2. They were not considered fashionable in the beginning; they were worn as work boot so that men didn’t get their nice boots dirty 3. The lack of laces helped prevent the cowboys from being dragged if they fell off the horse 4. Texas was one of the first states to adopt them in the US, but so was Kansas 5. Companies still consider their producing methods “trade secrets” and that is why there is no standardization of sizing and boots across different companies fit quite differently.

I love sharing fun facts and history but let’s talk about this ootd. For this fall-like look I chose a simple embroidered dress, if you know me you know I love embroidered anything and the fact that it was under $30 is a plus! I seriously could wear embroidered clothing every day. The ease of the dress and boots combo is great for a woman on the run that wants to look stylish. Not to mentioned that this dress is extremely comfortable with the giving waistline. Of course I couldn’t forget a cute bright clutch to complete the ensemble.

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This photoshoot was done in collaboration with Stacy Anderson Photography and Tousled and Teased.
[Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you shop from my blog, I may be compensated for clicks or purchases that you make]

Mom Uniform LBD

LBD Mom style

LBD Mom style

LBD Mom style

LBD Mom style

LBD Mom style

It’s Friday and I am super excited to be attending the Blog Elevated conference again (see my thoughts on last year here)! I am always on the go, around town, and running errands. As a busy lady and a mom, I don’t always have a super fashionable outfit on. I love fashion but sometimes I need practicality over fashion. Not to say I don’t try to bring some fashionable elements into my looks but just a comfier take on it.

Today I wanted to provide some inspiration for the moms out there. This jersey dress has become one of my “mom uniforms” as I like to call it. It’s easy, no iron, and comfy enough to run around all day. You can really pair it with anything and it is the necessary LBD for the woman on the go. Did I mention it has pockets?

5 Reasons why this is a mom uniform staple:
1. It can be worn in any season.
2. You can layer nicely because the material is not that thick.
3. Accessorizing can change it up completely.
4. You can bend over, crawl up the playground stairs, and chase your little one without showing your parts to the world.
5. You feel like you are in pajamas but don’t look like you are.
I like the color black for this garment because it can be dressed up for other occasions but you really can find them in any color. I have put together a couple of my favorite styles for this season. You can shop the looks below.

This photoshoot was in collaboration with:
C Wright Photography
Instagram: @cwright.photog
Eastlake Events, LLC
Instagram: @eastlakeevents
Tousled and Teased (Crystal)
Instagram: @tousledandteased

[Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you shop from my blog, I may be compensated for clicks or purchases that you make]

Your Fashion Latina Mom on the go!