Monday, December 29, 2014

Bundled

"It might be that to surrender to happiness was to accept defeat, 
but it was a defeat better than many victories." 
{W. Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage}

Despite New Year's Eve being on Wednesday, you'll just have to wait until Thursday to see my "ring in the new year" outfit. Today, I wanted to share with you all my latest obsession in blanket scarves. I'm on numero trés and counting. This is my first non-Zara, non-square blanket scarf but I love it all the same. The color combination is a little different than what I would typically gravitate towards, but sometimes different is good and you surprise yourself by how much you love it. From Dylan has easily become one of my favorite shops as I've raved in the last post because it's quality that is truly affordable. For all you plaid blanket scarf fiends like me, this scarf comes in two other colorways here and here, and they have a ton of other scarf options here -- I highly recommend!!

Being an East Coat gal, I not only love scarves but I have an unhealthy obsession with outerwear. Unhealthy mostly because it takes up a ton of closet space and it's extremely heavy, making it all just kind of a headache to store. However, that hasn't really stopped me {yet} from acquiring more for my collection. This year has been a lot about the cocoon silhouette, and of course since I'm boring and I just like wearing black, white, grey, and blue with the occasional pop of color/metallic, I decided I probably needed a marled black and white cocoon coat {total sarcasm because I have another jacket quite similar to this one in fabrication}. This one has been a totally easy throw-on piece from The Mint Julep Boutique, and it makes for a great fall to winter coat, depending on the weather and how you like to layer. I'm also partnering up with the girls over at the Mint Julep Boutique to bring you a $25 gift card to their shop! Giveaway is open until December 31, 2014 at 11:59 PM, U.S. participants only. Please see widget below to enter! 









Coat c/o The Mint Julep Boutique || Aéropostale Shirt c/o || Joe's Jeans Denim - similar here || Nine West Heels {old} - similar here || From Dylan Scarf c/o || Rebecca Minkoff Bag {old} || Rafaello Bettini Hat - similar here

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: This giveaway was graciously sponsored by The Mint Julep Boutique, however all opinions expressed are my own. The giveaway is open to U.S. participants only. By entering this giveaway, entrants confirm that they are 13+ years of age. The winner will be selected at random and will be notified via email. He/she will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. I have represented the sponsor with the expectation that they will fulfill their prize in a timely manner, however I will not be held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prizes. The sponsor will be sending the prizes directly to you. If there is an issue, please notify  Refined Couture within 30 days. 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Debonair

Ironically, making a statement with words is the least effective method; 
Being yourself is the prettiest thing a person can be.

The distance between Christmas and New Year's is too short, and it's officially time to start brainstorming the perfect New Year's Eve outfit. I, for one, love to sparkle. It's taken me a long time to figure out the niches that define what my personal style is. I went through more phases than I can count, each time thinking to myself that {this} is what I'm all about. However, in this last year, I've come to discover a lot about my taste when it comes to getting dressed up, and I've noticed to a fault that I love things that border on overelaborate, ornate, or ostentatious. It's that extra punch that I love to add without going too crazy and over the top; the perfect touch that just ties an outfit together as "totally something Erica would wear". 

Enter the most elaborate and perfect statement necklace I've ever received. When I first picked this necklace out from the From Dylan website, I in no way expected it to be this large. I thought it was a beautiful accessory and would add a nice touch to a simple tee or dressed up. However, when I opened the package I was shocked to say the least. Though it wasn't what I expected, it's actually the perfect necklace to pair with any simple dress, creating a faux bejeweled bib design and it really is the perfect statement piece to top off an otherwise plain Jane NYE outfit. Click here to check out their entire holiday accessory collection! I had so much trouble deciding between the necklace I'm wearing and the Erica necklace {largely influenced by the fact that it had the same name as me} -- both would be perfect for New Year's festivities!












Rabbit Fur Jacket {old} - similar here || Tibi Dress - love this, try this, or save with this || From Dylan Necklace c/o || Aldo Pumps {old} - similar here || Chanel Bag

Monday, December 22, 2014

Light & Love

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. 
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
{Martin Luther King, Jr.}

In light of the holidays and all that's going on in the world around us, I stumbled across the above quote and it really got me thinking. There has been so much violence recently -- whether people are fighting just to fight, fighting out of hate, fighting out of anger, or fighting because they've been truly wronged, and it all makes me so deeply saddened. Though I don't personally celebrate Christmas, it's always been one of my favorite times of year because the air during the holidays is just so full of joy and love and kindness. However, this year it kind of feels like Christmas crept right up on us and half the world has not yet been able to enjoy the spirit of the holidays because there is so much unresolve. 

Though I wish all of the underlying issues could have been solved without all of the recent events, at the same time I question whether we as people are capable of finding peace without first finding calamity. I just finished reading All the Light We Cannot See yesterday {I highly recommend it}, and it made me think of our present day. Despite all of our world's history, we somehow never cease to let history continuously repeat itself. So many others before us have gone through great lengths in pursuit of what now seems like the lofty idea of peace and equality. Yet we continue to do this dance of three steps forward, two steps back until we find ourselves in a sort of unspoken stalemate that holds together the edges of peace until the next major event breaks the dam. But really, how does this problem ever end if neither side is ever wrong? The victim seeks vengeance on the perpetrator, and in turn the perpetrator is now the new victim who also feels the need to be avenged. 

I grew up as an Asian American in a predominately caucasian area. The question of race inevitably infiltrates your mind when you are treated different or when a situation seems to end unfairly. The idea of race is an ever-present thing in so many situations that some people might not ever realize -- the food you eat, the way you speak, the holidays you celebrate, the traditions you have, the demeanor you carry, etc. I've found that the only solution to the issue is not to try and assimilate or blend in or compromise who you are, because it's a fact that I will never be the same as someone who was raised as an all-American or an African American or an Indian American or whatever other background you may come from, and the same holds true vice versa. Even if you closed your eyes and tried to walk twelve thousand miles in my shoes, you still wouldn't understand and that is totally fine because that is the beauty of difference. However, I think to accept difference it requires a level of indifference. Indifference towards the fact that we don't all look the same, indifference towards the fact that not one is superior to the other, indifference towards the fact that difference will always be a constant, and indifference towards the fact that no two people will see the world in the same way and using violence and blunt force to make your way the high way has never won any battles. There is no way to change or annihilate difference, so why don't we all turn the other cheek before the whole world goes blind and fill this holiday with light & love versus darkness & hate?

xx,
Refined Musings










Lauren Ralph Lauren Coat {now on sale!} || Madewell Shirt {sold out online} - different color here, similar here || Abercrombie & Fitch Jeans c/o || Zara Scarf - similar here || Sam Edelman Boots {old} || Louis Vuitton Bag via Sister Couture

Thursday, December 18, 2014

These Are a Few Of Our Favorite Things || {Holiday Gift-Away}


'Tis the season of giving {or gifting}, and I've partnered up with three amazing bloggers + four amazing shops to give away a few of our favorite things to one lucky winner during this holiday season!! 

Here is what you will win:

1 Customized Bracelet of Your Choice via TatumBradley&Co {Van's Pick}

 1 Chevron Layering Necklace via Coco+Marie {Erica's Pick}

1 December Little Luxuries Box via Sunset45 {Samantha's Pick}

1 Watch of Your Choice via Rakani {Christina's Pick}

To enter: You must be following all of us {bloggers + shops} on Instagram! Please make sure your profile is public when the giveaway ends.

Once you complete the Instagram entries, you can unlock additional entries via the Rafflecopter widget below. This giveaway will be open from 12/18 @ 6:00 AM EST - 12/25 @ 11:59 PM EST. A winner will be announced on December 26th! Best of luck to everyone, and happy holidays!!

xx,
Van, Erica, Samantha & Christina


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: This giveaway was graciously sponsored by our brand partners, however all opinions expressed are our own. The giveaway is open to U.S. participants only. By entering this giveaway, entrants confirm that they are 13+ years of age. The winner will be selected at random and will be notified via email. He/she will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Please note that prizes may vary from the images depicted above. We have represented each sponsor with the expectation that they will fulfill their prize in a timely manner, however we will not be held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prizes. The sponsors, in most cases, will be shipping their prizes directly to you. If there is an issue, please notify the blogger you won the prize from within 30 days. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Holly // Jolly

A dream, all a dream, that ends in nothing, and leaves the sleeper where he lay down,
but I wish you to know that you inspired it.
{A Tale of Two Cities}

I've been very inspired lately by layers, plaid, and bows. What I'm trying to say is, I essentially have been trying to turn myself into a human Christmas present. Totally kidding! But I can't help that the air is teeming with holiday cheer and it's simply seeping into my brain and manifesting itself in my clothes. I've really been in the mindset of "what would I wear to a holiday party"? Today's outfit is a mash-up of lots of re-purposed pieces from my closet. I wanted to play with a bright cherry plaid mixed with stripes, tied together with a festive bow. Sadly, said holiday party is non-existent but I've done a great job coming up with endless outfits to wear to nowhere but the internet! Thanks for humoring me, friends ♡

Tune in Thursday for a super fun collaboration! Hint: It's a gift-away...!

xx















Plaid Coat {old} - similar here || Madewell Dress {old} - love this || J.Crew Striped Tee {last year} - this year's here || J.Crew Pumps {old} - similar here || J.Crew Necklace {old} - love this || Chanel Bag || Satin Sash {used as bow} - try this