For Starters – A Black Dress!

On Wednesday, I gave you suggestions for styling a simple black skirt. I love taking one item of clothing and mixing pieces with it to create a variety of styles. Today I am sharing my favorite way to style a black dress.

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I wore this dress to BalletMet’s performance of The Nutcracker in December. I added this fabulous Chicago Chain Bib necklace from Accessory Jane for a simple, yet chic look for the ballet. The necklace is sold out, but she often restocks favorites. Be sure to stop by and check out Accessory Jane’s amazing and affordable collections!

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I purchased my dress at Old Navy. Any dress with pockets is a good dress! This exact style is sold out, but check out the ponte knit option with leather sleeves!

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I chose to wear tall boots and fleece lined tights to the ballet, because it was freezing outside! You could wear this black dress to a more formal event by adding pumps and simple stud earrings. Or, you could pair it with ballet flats or Chuck Taylors for a daytime look. My daughter wore a lace sleeved black dress with booties, which is another option for you.

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What is yor favorite way to style your black dress? I would love to hear your ideas! Blessings!

Black Dress


Mint Velvet long sleeve top
$125 - johnlewis.com

chloe + isabel
chloeandisabel.com


Susan
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For Starters – A Black Skirt!

This week I am sharing a few tips for styling basic pieces that you probably already have hanging in your closet. I had full intentions of creating an outfit for myself and sharing photos on this post. However, sometimes life takes over and you create Polyvore sets to share with readers instead.

Today’s starter piece is the little black skirt. My favorite way to style a black skirt is paired with a bright, printed blouse or sweater. You can add simple, classic jewelry and pumps for a night time look. Or you can wear flats and fun statement pieces for a day time, or work outfit.

I created a set to share with you. I am in love with this top!! What is your favorite way to style a black skirt? Stop back in Friday and I will share my tips for styling a simple black dress. And I will have real photos to post as well! Have a fabulous day today!

Black Skirt



Susan
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Style Inspiration – Blanket Scarf With Shanna!

I think that 2015 will be the year of the blanket scarf. I have seen them everywhere from Pinterest to blogs, and they are now sold in almost every major retail shop and online boutique. I purchased one last year and fell in love with the style and the warmth it provided. I feel that keeping your neck warm helps to maintain your body temperature in the cold. Not scientific – just my personal opinion.

So for today’s style inspiration, I am showing you several ways to style the infamous blanket scarf. I started following Shanna, of Because Shanna Said So, two years ago. If I had to pick a favorite blog, it would be Shanna’s. There are so many blogs I love and read on a regular basis, but Shanna is real and I could not get dressed without her! She is a Texan (they seriously breed amazing bloggers down there), a mom to two precious little girls, and one of the most stylish women on the internet. Did I mention that she is kind, down to earth, and makes you feel like you are her neighbor? If you don’t know Shanna, meet her here today. You will love her. I can’t hold a candle to her style, but she inspires me, so I am giving it my best shot.

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For this look, I folded the scarf in half and belted it over a J Crew Factory Charley sweater. I have this sweater in several colors, and it is a must have for every season!

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My buffalo plaid clutch was made by Sarah of SewSarahR.

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I paired a puffy vest with my blanket scarf for a different look. This outfit was so warm and comfy, and it was perfect game day look for the Ohio State Sugar Bowl!

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Here are a few more ideas for styling your blanket scarf. I am unsure of the original source, so please update me if you know! I found it on Pinterest. Thanks and have a blessed day!

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Susan
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IT Cosmetics Review!

My mom gifted me with some fabulous beauty items this year for Christmas! I love trying new brands and I am excited to share two items from the IT cosmetics line with you today! First up is the IT Girl Limited Edition CC Lip Serum Holiday Collection. This set of three glosses contains argon oil and collagen to increase lip hydration and suppleness and reduce the appearance of fine lines on your lips. These serums also have specific formulas to help color correct your lips. Can I just say – AMAZING product!!

I have been trying to incorporate more lip color into my daily beauty routine. As I get older, my lips have lost their natural color and fine lines are popping up on a daily basis. I need a product that will add color and hydration! I have always been a fan of the Buxom Lips shades, but these IT lip Serums are my new favorite! They left my lips feeling plump and hydrated, and the colors are perfect for almost any skin tone!

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The set includes three exclusive shades – Under The Mistletoe (rich red), Snow Bunny (light pink), and Joy To The World (berry). I never dreamed of wearing a bright lip shade, but I actually love Joy To The World! It brightens up my pale winter face!

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Here are the three shades together. These colors are not just for winter. I will be using them all year round! This set was a win! Thanks Mom!

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I also received IT Cosmetics Celebration Illumination Foundation. It came packaged with the Double Air Brush Foundation Brush, which was a nice bonus. I have watched the application tutorials on QVC and have been wanting to try this product forever!

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The Illumination Foundation is a full coverage foundation that claims to provide you with a soft candlelit glow. I was really disappointed that I did not like the coverage. the live tutorials demonstrate this product covering nearly every flaw. It felt like it sat on top of my skin, rather than blend in. Perhaps I was using the wrong shade, but I did not like how it felt heavy and powdery on my face. The coverage was good, but I woke up with a major break out the next morning. Sadly, I had to return the foundation set. I would like to try it again in a darker shade to see if it blends better, but I will be hesitant due to the break out situation.

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I also love the IT Cosemtics CC cream! That is a daily staple for me too! Which products have you tried from the IT Cosmetics line? I would love to hear about your experiences! Have a blessed and beautiful day!

It Cosmetics



Susan
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Lucy’s Energy Bites!

This was one of my very first blog posts, nearly two years ago. Since many of you are newer followers, I wanted to share it with you again. It is one of my family’s favorite healthy snacks! I hope you love it!

If you have read the “About Me” tab of Charming Lucy, you already know that I am not a pro in the kitchen. I successfully burn, overcook, or destroy just about everything I put in the oven. So surprise!!!! I am sharing a recipe today! This is one I can not burn, overcook, or turn to mush. No cooking involved! I had been searching for a healthy snack for Lucy, who is a dancer and a vegetarian. It is difficult to find quick, easy, healthy snacks for her on dance nights. I ran across this recipe on Pinterest and it has been a huge hit in our house. Easy to make, tasty, and healthy – perfect! Today I am sharing my version of Lucy’s Energy Bites.

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Combine the following ingredients in a large mixing bowl (I start with the dry ingredients, mix, then add the honey and peanut butter): 1 cup quick oats, 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1/2 cup flax seeds, 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 2/3 cup coconut flakes, 1/3 cup honey, and 1 tsp vanilla. Mix the ingredients together and roll it into bite size round morsels. I layer the bites in a Lock and Lock container with aluminum foil between the layers. Place the container in the fridge for about an hour and they are ready to eat! Be sure to store them in the fridge. I am not sure how long they last after you make them because ours are gone in 3-4 days.

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These are one of the most delicious and healthy snacks I have ever eaten. The pictures I am posting show a double recipe which will last only a few days in our house. I love that the flax seeds provide necessary Omega vitamins and I use local honey to help combat our seasonal allergies. The peanut butter provides you with protein, so they fill you up as well. The oats and chocolate chips offer quick energy. You can substitute several ingredients as well. You may omit the chocolate chips and add peanut butter chips, raisins, dried cranberries, chopped nuts, or other diced dried fruits. Delicious and healthy.

If you try this recipe, please post pictures of your masterpieces and let us know what other ingredients you added or omitted.

When I make Lucy’s Energy Bites, I always have company in the kitchen!  Blessings to you for a happy and healthy day!

 

 

Healthy snack success

My kitchen assistant always ready for me to drop something on the floor


Susan
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Inspired Style – Leopard Dress As A Skirt!

I am enjoying mixing up my wardrobe this month and styling items I already have in my closet. I love a good shopping ban challenge! I started Inspired Style as a way to help me shop my own closet by getting outfit ideas from my favorite bloggers. Today’s style inspiration comes from Charnele, who blogs at Cha Cha The Fashion Genius. Charnele is a graduate student studying for her dream job as a high end brand consultant. I love her chic, edgy, yet timeless style. Charnele paired her leopard Loft dress with a sweater, transforming it into a skirt! I have the same dress in my closet, so this was the perfect style inspiration for me!

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Charnele

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I layered a maroon Loft sweater with my dress and added fleece lined leggings for warmth. The leopard dress is no longer in stock at Loft, but you may be able to find it in stores. I will let you know if I see a restock too!

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I can see so many options with this short sleeved dress! It is fabulous to know that I can wear this same dress in the spring with cobalt ballet flats and then pair it with tights and a military jacket in the fall.

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Thanks for the inspiration Charnele!


Susan
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Julep December Edition!

I am a bit late in reviewing my latest Julep Maven box, but you won’t be disappointed with these amazing winter beauty picks! I selected the Classic With A Twist box in December. I find that I select this box more often than the others, as the classic shades suit my taste best. While it is fun to add bright colors to my nails sometimes, I typically tend to stick to neutral polish colors.

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As always, this box included a few extra goodies, like this 30% off coupon and yummy peppermint candies.

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The November box included two gorgeous, rich shades for winter. Ilga is a rich bordeaux red creme shade. It was perfect for Christmas, but I love it for Valentine’s Day too! The other shade was Sienna, a sophisticated shimmery gold that I will wear as an accent shade all year!

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Finally, Julep included their latest beauty product, orbital eyeshadow. I chose Zenith, a rich cocoa with gold pearl undertones. This multidimensional eyeshadow is triple pigmented for long lasting wear and intense color. You can apply it with a brush or your finger tips.

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For more intense color, I dampened my makeup brush and applied the shadow wet! There are several other shades of this new shadow, and you can find them here.

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I know that is a crazy picture! I am not a professional photographer, but I really wanted you to see this shadow on my lid!! This has to be one of my favorite shadows ever! I simply primed my lid with Bare Escentuals Brightening primer and used the pad of my finger to apply the Julep shadow from lash line to crease. I love the shade, and I could make it darker by adding another layer. It had great staying power, didn’t crease, and offers just a hint of shimmer. Get this in every color! You won’t be sorry!!

You can get a FREE Julep set of three polishes right now by clicking on the link in my side bar! They are gorgeous, neutral shades that are the perfect introduction to Julep polishes. It is a $42 value for free! If you don’t want this set, you can order it for me;)

If you are unfamiliar with the Julep company, let me educate you about this fabulous monthly subscription. Signing up is super easy. Go to the Julep web site and complete your style profile. Each month, Julep Maven subscribers receive a collection of nail polishes, and other beauty accessories, which are hand selected by Julep stylists according to your style profile answers. Julep will send you an e mail previewing your upcoming Julep Maven box on the 20th of each month. If you love what they have selected for you, do nothing. If you want to try a new style, skip a shipment, or send the box to a friend, simply submit your request on the Julep website between the 20th and the 24th of the month. The subscription costs as low as $19.99 per month, so it easily fits into my new budget! Julep Mavens also receive a 20% discount on each order they place on the Julep website.

Did you know that Julep’s very popular monthly beauty box just got even better? Yes! Maven subscriptions can be customized to fit your style, your likes and your favorites even more now. Each month, Julep Mavens get:

A fully customized monthly delivery of over $40 in nail polish and beauty products for $24.99 a month, or just $19.99 a month if you sign up for the 3 month option
As a Julep Maven you will receive flexibility to try one of five beauty styles each month or upgrade to get them all, as well as 20% off and free shipping on other products at Julep.com You will also have exclusive access to the Secret Store each month and first dibs on monthly Mystery Boxes. You receive points when you or a referral orders products, so you can earn free products! The Julep Maven subscription is one of my favorites. It has helped me build my polish collection affordably, and it makes a perfect gift for the beauty maven in your life! If you would like to become a Julep Maven, simply click here and follow the prompts! Easy Peasy! I hope you all enjoy a blessed day!


Susan
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Zig Zag Stripe!

I find myself wearing tunics and leggings quite frequently in the winter. It is a comfy outfit that can be worn for almost any occasion, and I can add layers on top for extra warmth. I purchased this Maxine tunic from Zig Zag Stripe in the fall and I am so excited to style it today. It is so soft, and I love the pop of color on the sleeves.

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I have purchased several items from Zig Zag Stripe and I have been impressed with their quality and customer service. I recently signed up to be a brand representative with ZZS, so I can earn credits toward my purchases. You can do the same here! They offer daily deals on their web site and you can follow their shop on IG at thezigzagstripe.

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My number one rule for styling leggings is that they are not pants. All girl parts must be covered in order for leggings to be appropriate. This stands true if you are 14 or 84! Zig Zag Stripe has an amazing selection of fun tunic tops here!

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What is your favorite way to style your tunic tops? I am always looking for new style ideas! Have a great day!


Susan
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Inspired Style – Chambray and Black Denim!

Today’s Inspired Style is one of my favorite classic winter looks! I found this look on Alison’s blog, and I think I could wear it every day! It is appropriate for work, a shopping trip, and church. And by adding some baubles, you could wear this outfit for a night on the town! Alison is the gorgeous blogger behind Get Your Pretty On. I have been reading her blog for two years, and her classic, chic style suits my lifestyle perfectly. Not to mention that she is insanely beautiful and one of the most sincere, kind-hearted women in blog land. She is a mom, a wife and a former model who started blogging to share ideas for putting together outfits that will work for everyday life.

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This is Alison’s Pinterest creation that inspired me to try this style!

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Believe it or not, I don’t own a pair of black denim. I am on the hunt for a great pair. I have learned that it is better to have fewer pairs of fabulous jeans, than many pairs of average ones. I do love Loft denim, and I would love to try Vigoss. If you have suggestions for a great pair of black skinnies, I would love to hear! I substituted black leggings from Maurices for my spin on Alison’s chambray and skinnies look!

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Alison also offers virtual style sessions to her readers. She has created a work wear session, as well as a build your basics session, and a fall collection. She recently offered the Winter Style Challenge. For a minimal cost, she sends a shopping list and daily outfit combinations to your e mail address to help you get dressed all season! She also created a private Facebook group so participants can share their styles! I have personally participated in two of Alison’s virtual style sessions and would recommend them to anyone who is hoping to create a usable, chic affordable wardrobe. Thanks for the fun today Alison!

Winter-Challenge-FB-Banner-URL


Susan
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Happy Birthday Lucy!

This weekend, my precious daughter will celebrate her birthday. It is always such a fun occasion, but it is also a little reminder that our time raising this beautiful girl is fleeting. Lucy is our only child, which makes our time together as a family unit even more precious. If you don’t know Lucy, you should. She is tender hearted, yet feisty when she needs to be. Smart, charming, witty, kind, and beautiful, Lucy has an amazing capacity to love. Her heart is giant. Too big for her little body sometimes. She makes me laugh so hard that I can’t catch my breath. And no matter what is going on in my life, when I see her sweet face, I know that everything will be ok. She has made my life richer than I could have ever imagined. I thank God for choosing me to be her mom every day. I am so unworthy, but eternally grateful for the opportunity He gave me to be her mother. With each birthday, I find myself letting go of her hand ever so slightly. Turning her out into the world to make her own way. I pray that she walks closely to God and that she finds the path He has chosen for her. I pray for her future husband, her future children, and her in laws to be. I pray that they love her and take her into their family as their own. I pray that, through marriage, she will finally have the siblings my husband and I always hoped she would have. I pray that she has the opportunity to live her dream of becoming a Disney dancer, a Rockette, a physician, and that she graduates from college and becomes the women, wife, mother, and Christian God intends her to be. But most of all, I pray that she follows Christ. I pray that she maintain her relationship with Christ so she can have an eternal life of peace with Him, and so that we can be together forever in His presence. Happy birthday to my precious daughter, my best best friend, my soul mate. I hope that your year is filled with love, health, laughter, and blessings. You are my dream come true. I am proud to be your mom!

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Stitch Fix

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Susan
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Charming Lucy is a part of several affiliate advertising programs. If you click and/or make a purchase through certain links on this site or any related social media platforms, I may make a commission from that click and/or purchase. With that said, all opinions are my own.