A Velvet Crush

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Rebecca and I (The Crystal Press) have both been on board with the crushed velvet trend. She recently scored some blue velvet booties and I recently picked up these grey ones. I love the way these boots compliment the TIJN mirrored sunnies in this ensemble. Not to mention, these Simmi booties give this ASOS black dress just the uniqueness that I was looking for. What velvet pieces are you crushing on this season?

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Don’t Stop Beliebing

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When I purchased this Justin Bieber shirt from Forever 21, I thought writing a blog post about it was going to be a no-brainer. Not only because is it an awesome graphic tee but because I’m obsessed with Justin Bieber like……obsessed in the way that I know my beliberness annoys the shit out of people and there’s no LOL about it. What I’m trying to say is: this post is not as easy as I anticipated and I am having a hard time putting my love for him into words. As much as I wish this were not true, I’m no master communicator. That being said, I am just going to have to let this shirt speak for itself and say you should get one too. Support the Biebs, guys.

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Roan If You Want To

Roan (noun): A realm of color, pattern, and texture that is never the same, never dulls, and has unlimited possibility.

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Richmond peeps, have you been to Roan in Carytown? If you haven’t, you need to get there. From one of a kind dresses for a special occasion to the perfect outfit for a drink at Can Can with friends, this boutique has got you covered. The eye for impeccable style and design that Hank, the owner/buyer, has is out of this world. As if the shopping experience that Hank and his team have created at Roan isn’t enough, do you see this Roksanda dress I am wearing? Hank picked it out for me! I am an all-black-everything kinda girl and this dress fulfills my all-black needs with just the right amount of white peaking from the back of it.

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Doing the Unstuck

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Nothing says Happy Friday quite like a good ole soliloquy on feeling stuck, because let’s face it: everyone has times when this blah feeling creeps into their life.  There are different remedies depending on the stickiness of the situation, and if I had to make a comparison between concrete, quicksand (a phobia of mine since The Jungle Book), and mud – I would compare my recent sticky situation to being stuck in the mud.

That being said, I did what any person stuck in said metaphorical mud would do, and flooded all of my friends’/family members’ phones with questions asking for advice. While said advice was awesomely insightful, the conversations ended with me, myself, and that still very much stuck feeling (kind of like after a shopping therapy session at Barney’s).  After a couple of tries at the getting-advice-game, I came to the realization that I was trying to get someone or something to pull me out of the mud. However, this time, I needed to use my own muscles to pull myself out.

 

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A Fashion Blogger from RVA’s Guide to LA

As I said in my last outfit post, I had the pleasure of jet setting to the West Coast to visit one of my BFFS, Tiona,  recently. I’ve known about this trip for awhile but in true cathclaire fashion, I left all of the packing until the last minute. Thankfully, my travelers guardian angel reminded me to pack light and to bring a larger suitcase than necessary in anticipation of LA shopping. Here is what was in my over sized suitcase:

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( Utility Camo JacketForever 21 (worn here, & here), Eyelash SlipFree People (worn here),  Peak Black Multi boots (with a gold sparkle)Steve Madden , Le Color Destroyed Skinny JeanFrame Denim‘Bia’ Bikini: Vix , Remmy SunniesRaen (worn herehere, & here), Rykie Ankle Strap HeelSteven by Steve Madden , Satin LipstickNARS “tolede”  ) 

Truth be told, packing isn’t the only task I leave until the last minute. Everything is the only task I leave until the last minute. That being said, I scooted on over to Barnes & Noble with a specific airplane book in mind the night before my flight. Shopping for books is never more fun than when you are shopping for an airplane book if you ask me, but anyway… the book I had in mind was “I’ll Drink to That” by Betty Halbreich. I guess the early bird really does get the worm because this book was nowhere to be found except on the internet with a 2 day shipping timeline that I clearly didn’t have. What else did I have left to do except play the game called walk-down-the-fiction-isle-and-grab-the-first-book-that-speaks-to-you game invented by yours truly. The result? Valley of Dolls by Jaqueline Susann.

Valley of Dolls was published in the 1966 and was well ahead of its time. When I realized that it held world records and such, I dubbed the above mentioned game I played in Barnes & Noble successful. I’ve enjoyed the book in its entirety and found it especially interesting because the 70s sprung out of late 60s fashion, all of which is making a comeback in fashion today. Below are a few pics of Valley Of Doll’s experience throughout the trip.

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Valley of Dolls in the ATL airport hanging out at PF Changs.
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Valley of Dolls on the flight to California.
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Valley of Dolls laying out in Cali.

Despite my last minute tendencies, I made it to the airport with enough time to read a significant amount of my airplane book and to enjoy an airport brew. Two things that saved me on this long a** flight: lululemon leggings & the delta app. The Delta app acted as a pseudo personal assistant because it updated constantly and left me a lot of flexibility to wander around the airport instead of my usual: to be glued to my gate when traveling by myself. What can I say, I tend to be a scaredy cat when it comes to the possibility of missing my flight.

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Lululemon legging airport attire, check.

Fast forward traveling time and a 3 hour time difference, and I arrived in the City of Angels in one piece. After freshening up and getting into a more Southern California  appropro outfit, Tiona and I headed to Hyde on Sunsent Blvd for Post Modern Jukebox Night. Not only did I enjoy the most delicious cocktail with fresh red pepper extract in it (The Love Unit) but I experienced the best live entertainment. Holy talent. Check out this video to see exactly why my first night in Cali at Hyde blew me away.  Fun fact: Biebs made an appearance the week after I was there. Yes, I am 26 years old and yes, I care.

Hyde on Sunset Post Modern Night
Hyde while waiting for the beginning of Post Modern Night

The time change was killing me the next morning- but I wasn’t going to let it stop me from exploring. I woke up, got some fuel at Le Pain in Brentwood & began my solo Cali day. What did I do you ask? Well, I spent the majority of my time at The Grove. Malls make me feel at home, especially outdoor ones that Cam Gigandet frequents with a baby strapped to his body. I was looking for something to the likes of this:

Cam Gigandet  & Family at Toast Bakery and Cafe

My treasure hunt may have not resulted in a Cam Gigandet sighting but I did get a blowout at the Nordstroms Blow bar (a special treat since RVA doesn’t have this luxury yet and only $35), some fun Forever 21 & Free People pieces, & a happy hour glass of Rosè at Morels Steak House.

Morels LA Happy Hour Travel

Morels The Grove LA Happy Hour

Being in a family of 9 kids, I am not one to venture off to do anything by myself. Growing up, I always had someone to be my sidekick so I was proud of myself for chatting it up with strangers and exploring LA on my own. After my independence was established (lol), I met a friend for some Cali mexican. (I’m sure this comes as no surprise since we mentioned our love for mexican too many times in the travel NYC post.) I met her right across the street from The Grove at El Carmen Tequila & Taco Bar on 3rd for some catching up & guacamole. I was into the red lighting and the decor, check out El Carmen if you get out to Los Angeles and share my love & adoration of guac.

El Carmen LA Travel Post

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Later that night, Tiona & I made it out to Warwick for some dancing. This place was my jam because they played about 10 Drake songs in a row. If you like Drake and like to dance like moi, that is your place.

The next day, we went to the Chateau Marmont for lunch. Now we are to my favorite part of the whole trip. Once I got to our table on the patio, I loved it so much it was like I was physically glued to my seat and was never going to be willing to leave. My BFF and I drank yummy Rosè, chatted it up with Lenny Kravitz (jk but we did see him), and enjoyed our lunch in the most angelic scenery of all time. Life goal: to frequent the Chateau.

Chateau Marmont Travel Post

chateau marmont LA travel postMe & my BFF, Tiona (my lovely hostess)Besides being touristy and treasure hunting around The Grove, I also got a chance to go thrifting and to venture out to Malibu. My favorite second hand store that I visited was Wasteland. There are several locations of Wasteland but I’ve heard from valuable sources that the one on Melrose has the best pieces. I can personally attest to that advice because I scored the most beautiful leather jacket. Stay tuned for this beauty to show up in future outfit posts! As for Malibu, there are no words. Not only is Malibu absolutely gorgeous but the drive from LA to Malibu is absolutely breath taking.

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Patio of Paradise Cove Beach Cafe, where we dined that evening.

Malibu, CA travel post

Don’t you dare think that I was going to end this travel post without a brunch recommendation. Tiona took me to Tarte Restaurant on Fairfax Avenue right next to the Farmers Daughter Hotel. The brunch was delicious but my favorite part was the punch bowls. Yes, they are exactly what you think they are – a ginormous bowl of delicious tasting alcohol infused punch. We opted for the Blackberry flavored vodka bowl called “Blackballing Punch” and it was to die for. If you sit outside on the patio, they have a super fun and talented Bass player named Dream Upright who goes around to each table serenading you. Talk about service. Another fun aspect about Tarte? If you are feeling wild and in the mood for a free brunch, you can jump into the Farmers Daughter hotel pool fully clothed. We witnessed, and by witnessed I mean snap chatted, that plunge first hand and it was quite the cool experience!

Dream Upright, the lovely entertainment at Tarte
Dream Upright in the pool near Tarte.

Tarte LA Brunch Travel PostTarte Restaurant

I don’t have a single negative thing to say about Los Angeles except for that fact that my trip was too short, Reb & my bf Kevin couldn’t make it, and that Buddha the maltipoo didn’t get to experience the fun Cali vibes. I cannot wait to get back out to California with the whole crew for more explorations and you can bet your bottom dollar its gunna be soon!

PS Stay tuned for my next Cali outfit post and for my latest one here.

Buddha the Maltipoo

LAX travel post fashion blogger

Until next time,

Cath xx

PS Don’t forget to check me out on The Crystal Press site here.

How to Style Overalls: A Fashion Photoshoot with J & D Photography

My partner and I from The Crystal Press had the opportunity to shoot with the amazing team at J & D Photography. This was my first professional photo shoot and to say I was nervous would be the understatement of the century.

I’m talking drink-copious-amounts-of-champagne-before-I-get-in-front-of-the-camera-nervous.

I quickly realized once I got on site that I didn’t even need to pop open my bottle of Veuve Clicquot because of how easy it is to work with and to be around Jada & David Parrish from J & D Photography. One of my favorite parts about my experience with them was the insightful direction they offered throughout the entire shoot. David and Jada know their stuff and to be honest, I felt like a movie star.

What more can you ask out of a photographer for a special occasion than to feel like a movie star and recieve mind-blowing photographs as a result of it?

I can’t stress enough that David & Jada are a blast to work with, extremely talented (as you can see in the pictures below), and truly know how to elicit your best for an array of incredible photographs. If you like what you see, mosey on over to www.j-dphoto.com to see all of the amazing things these two have done! Jada and David do a wide range of photography from destination weddings to boudoir shoots. If you have an itch to do a photo shoot or are getting hitched anytime soon, what are you waiting for? I highly recommend you contact Jada and David for an unforgettable experience.

PS How awesome are these overalls? No, the aren’t OshKosh B’gosh. Outfit details are below and stay tuned for my next outfit post with pictures from J & D Photography!

Posted while listening to Retrograde by James Blake.

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jd 10 Sheer Navy Top with Bell Sleeves: old (similar here); Crop Top (underneath): Free People; Overalls: Free People; Layered Coin Necklace: Forever 21; Rings: Cartier Love Ring & David Yurman Cable Ring (similar here); Sunnies: Forever 21;  Bucket BagLouis Vuitton “Petit Noe” in monogram canvas;  Fuchsia Suede Stilletos: Manolo Blahnik (similar here)

Travel: NYC

The Crystal Press, a lifestyle blog I started with my friend Rebsharez,  was so excited to be invited up to The Big Apple to attend an international tradeshow called Formshow NYC. How can we say no to New York City when it involves fabulous fashion designers, one of a kind shopping, and a quick ride on Amtrak? If you are wondering why we are drinking Coronas in the dead of winter in the picture below, let’s just say we like to be reminded that warm weather still exists.amtrak to nyc

Speaking of weather, it was no surprise that it was snowing the moment we got out of Penn Station. We have had our fill of snow this winter in Richmond, and the weather man did not warn about this impending doom in NYC. That being said, the day we arrived was our designated shopping day, and we refused to let the snow wreak havoc on our big plans.

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As soon as we got to the city, we checked into The Wyndham Garden Hotel in Chelsea. When we travel, we use Kayak for the best deals on quality hotels and that is exactly how we got lucky with The Wyndham. Kayak made sure we got all the accommodations we requested, including an early check in. Did we mention the Hotel was also 100% Green & Eco-Friendly?

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Then it was time to hit the snowy streets! Our first stop was Free People.

Just recently, Richmond was blessed (cue Big Sean’s new song feat Drake) with a Free People store of our own. Talk about a Hallelujah. The Crystal Press loves the brand and the girls that work at our home store, and we were stoked when we saw that the FP 5th Avenue store was only blocks from our hotel. We walked out of that store ecstatic over new purchases, but not so much over our bank accounts. (see ootd posts for details)

PS Don’t you dare think our shopaholic selves stopped there, we also scored some beautiful purchases at Zara, Nordstrom’s Rack (found these white boots!), and Steve Madden.

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After our snowy shopping expedition and money very well spent, we felt obvious cause for celebration. Cheers to NYC, the new additions to our closets, and our room with a view (lol).veuve clicquot

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After getting ready and pretending our fancy would last through the weather, Barrio Chinolured us back out into the snow. Let us be clear: not just any restaurant would get these two warm-weather-loving-ladies out into a snowy mess. Barrio Chino is a must see restaurant in NYC with a variety of awesome margaritas and the best guacamole in the Lower East Side. Yes, we ordered two helpings. If you get the opportunity to go to this hot spot, you must try the Habanero Grapefruit or Watermelon Margarita.

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Remember how we mentioned that The Crystal Press loves warm weather and Coronas? Well, Sunday morning we hit Fonda in the East Village for some more guacamole and a bottomless brunch to meet  friends. No, this is not a coincidence and yes, both mexi-meals were premeditated. Between the bottomless mimosas, bloody marys, and frozen hibiscus rosalitas (a must try), we had yet another delicious Mexican meal at Fonda. If you are a fan of traditional huevos rancheros, try the Huevos Divorciados for a twist on your favorite brunch experience.

fonda restaurant nyc

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Being Oscar weekend, we had made steadfast plans to be in front of a TV for the red carpet hour. After prancing around, thrifting, and exploring the city, we realized that it was getting dangerously close to that time. We didn’t want to miss a minute, but as we passed through Washington Square Park, Eataly was calling our name.Thankfully it was across the street from The Wyndham and we had time for a charcuterie plate and the most extraordinary glass of rose in La Piazza. (It was the 2013 Scalabrone Tenuta Guado al Tasso. Go there. Get a glass.)

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One glass clearly wasn’t enough, so we opted for a bottle of 2013 Rosato di Refosco, Bastianich from the Eataly Wine Store in honor of the Oscars. Because, the Oscars. And it certainly did not disappoint.

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Why are we in bed and not attending a fancy schmancy Oscar party? Why not take advantage of the glorious king bed. But really, the truth is we had to get our beauty sleep in anticipation of Formshow NYC the next day. Stay tuned for our next post about our time at the show & all of the fabulously inspiring designers we got to meet.

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See Rebecca & I’s full blog here.

sing to the tunic

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Tunic: vintage (similar here); Black denim: Sevens “The Skinny” (DIY distressed); Boots: Isabel Marant “Dicker” in black leather (similar hereRings: David Yurman Cable ring (similar here) stacked with Cartier love ring; Bag: Chanel Wallet on a Chain, Lips: Nars “Tolede” 

Photos: Rebsharez

Also on www.thecrystalpress.com

fashion blogger wish list

what i want wednesday

1. Top Shop Split Back Duster Coat:  I can never have enough of this shade of green in my wardrobe.

2. Stella McCartney iPhone Case: How can I turn down an iPhone case that will improve my selfie game?

3. Tibi Pierce Sandals: I am really into leather ties for Spring/Summer 2015 thanks to this impeccable Louis Vuitton belt.

4. Dolce by Dolce & Gabbana: I tend to be attracted to anything with neroli in the mix.

5. SK-II Iconic Face Mask: If I am being completely honest, I want this SK-II product because I know it will make me feel fancy and it is the only SK product I can “afford.”

6. Nars Nail Color in “Zakynthos”: The perfect barely there nail color.