Fall Handbag Essentials with U by Kotex

Many thanks to U by Kotex and Walmart for sponsoring today’s discussion.

u by kotex

As I was walking out of orchestra rehearsal last night, I heard a loud gasp from behind me. I turned to find a fellow cellist staring in horror at the largeness of my handbag. She then produced the world’s tiniest bag, which prompted me to return her horrified gasp. How could someone possibly keep everything they need in something so puny?

Needless to say, I have quite a few things in my bag. For this post, however,  I was challenged to choose my top five handbag essentials for fall. So, after weeding out the diapers, wipes, crackers and various other “mom” supplies, I was left with five things that are definite must-haves for my fall bag.

fallbag41. Tampons. I always keep a back supply of lady products in my bag. We’ve all had that unfortunate experience of being without a tampon; not a good feeling. I like U by Kotex Click tampons because I want discrete protection. These are compact, unscented and wrapped in colorful pouches.

*Tip – Click here to get a free U by Kotex coupon.

2. Kleenex. From lipstick smudges to baby messes, Kleenex is a handbag must anytime of the year. I was excited to hear that U by Kotex boxes are currently coming with a bonus Kleenex Slim Pack (exclusively available at Walmart). I picked up the little slim pack pictured above with my U by Kotex box. I love the design – so cute!

*Tip – Click here to get a free Kleenex coupon.

3. Lip Gloss. Fall, with it’s wind and cooler temperatures, is the perfect recipe for dry lips. I prefer lip glosses to lipsticks because they offer both hydration and a hint of color. This gloss from Physicians Formula is one of my favorites. It’s a gorgeous raspberry shade, has a mirror on the side, and even lights up!

fallbag54. Tinted Moisturizer. For the same reason mentioned above, having a quality moisturizer in your bag is a fall necessity. I tend to forgo heavy foundations, and opt for a tinted moisturizer. Getting good coverage without heaviness or caking is key to a youthful complexion.

5. Hair Clips/Bobby Pins. Keep wind swept tresses tamed and out of your face with cute hair clips or bands. I always keep a handful of bobby pins in my bag too. I’m growing out my bangs and bobby pins are a lifesaver during this somewhat awkward transition.

Share and Save

So tell me – what are your top five handbag essentials? If you need to stock up on U by Kotex and Kleenex, check out their new Share and Save opportunity. The more times you share on Twitter, Pinterest, or Facebook, the higher the coupon value you receive!

The offer includes three coupons for Kleenex ($0.50, $0.75, $1) and three for U by Kotex ($0.75, $1, $1.50).

Click here for your free coupons.

I was compensated for this post.

Knitted Fringe Shawl from Caralase

Shawls have taken over! Have you noticed? They seem to be everywhere, and I am loving it. Wearing a shawl is like cuddling up in your favorite blanket, and it doesn’t get any better then that. As a fun alternative to the sweater, this is a perfect transitional piece as we head into the cooler months.

shawl(The Knitted Fringe Wrap c/o Caralase)

You ladies already know I’m a sucker for fringe (see my favorite summer fringe fashions), so when I saw this cozy knitted shawl with it’s delicious fringed edge, I was sold. It is so soft and pairs well with many different outfits. Throw over your favorite summer dress, and you’re ready for a fall night out.shawlAs women, we deserve to feel fashionable and comfortable in our clothing and Caralase, an online boutique, strives to provide those special pieces that help us feel beautiful. The name Caralase comes from the Greek word for grace, and this quality is apparent in their clothing selection. I love their laid-back, feminine styles – simply graceful.

Tell Me: What is your favorite piece at Caralase?

I received this wrap for free in preparation for this article.

Achieve Layering Harmony – A Guide

layeringfinalMikarose Dress
Old Navy T
Crew Cardigan
SoleSensibility Boots

As we begin the transition from summer to fall, you may feel the urge to pack up your tanks, shorts and summer dresses in favor of a warmer wardrobe. Do your best to resist! This transitional season, with its chilly mornings/evenings and warm days, is the perfect time to mix and match those summertime pieces with your cozy sweaters, leggings and boots. While many steer clear of layering in fear of added bulk, when done right, this technique brings a new level of personality and depth to your outfits while being practical and flattering. Follow these fool-proof tips to achieve layering harmony.

Basic Philosophy of Layering

  1. Thin to thick. Put on your thinnest piece first and save your thickest, heaviest item for last. Example: cami, cardigan, jacket.
  2. Mix materials to add interest. Cotton, lace, leather, faux-fur – it’s your choice, but using a variety of fabrics keeps you looking fresh not dowdy.
  3.  Keep pants fitted. When adding layers on top, keep pants fitted to avoid looking bulky.
  4.  Add a belt to define waist. Don’t lose your waist! Belting helps your figure shine through.
  5. Choose one bright pattern or color. Pick one piece to highlight and keep the rest neutral. Example: white cami, floral button-down, denim jacket.

These guidelines work perfectly when combining warm weather clothes (usually thin) with fall/winter wear (heavy and warm). Take the sundress above. With the addition of a thin long-sleeved t-shirt, belted cardigan and boots, this summer dress has been transformed into an ensemble fit for fall.

Other Layering Ideas:

  • Plaid (green/blue) button-down, black sweater, camel-colored jacket
  • Lace mini dress, over-sized cable knit sweater, leggings, boots
  • Shear tunic, fitted sweater, chunky scarf
  • Chambray button-down, sparkly sweater, medium length trench

Now, it’s your turn – go to your closet and mix it up. I would love to see what you come up with (show me on Facebook)!


Crimson and Pearl: ModCloth Nail Klub Challenge

I sometimes feel I have two lives – the blogger and the musician. They usually don’t intertwine, but this is a special occasion. You see, last week was big for me musically. It was my first symphony rehearsal in five years. I LOVE playing in the orchestra, and I am so excited to be performing again. Anyway, last week I was also challenged to come up with a nail design that captures the essence of one of ModCloth’s fabulous summer dresses (visit the ModCloth Nail Klub page to see what it’s all about). As I was scrolling through the dress options, I came across the Beyond Compare Dress. This crimson gown with metallic flecks and ornate bid collar is a stunner and would be an absolutely perfect dress for performing.

beyondcomparedressAfter seeing this dress, I knew it was the one. So, I played around with some different nail designs until finally I came up with this:

ModCloth Nail KlubThis nail design, like the dress that inspired it, is overall a simple look that is amped up with a little embellishment. It is super easy to recreate too, read on to see..

How It’s Done

After applying one coat of Covergirl Outlast in Forever Festive, I sprinkled on a sparkly red glitter to mimic the metallic fibers in the dress. Next, as a nod to the embellished collar, I used a dotting tool to create pearl-like drops in a crescent shape along the cuticle edge. After everything was dry, I added a second dot of polish onto the first. This made the pearls appear rounder and stand out further. Finally, I finished the design with a clear coat to keep everything in place.

rednails1 rednails2 rednails4Tell Me: Which ModCloth dress is your favorite? Do you ever match your manicure to your outfit?

Fall Love – Ankle Boots

Even though back-to-school clothes shopping is a thing of the distant past for me, I still feel the urge to stock up this time of year. And, in my humble opinion, nothing beats fall style. I love the creatively layered outfits, colorful tights, cozy over-sized sweaters, and cute jackets. So, to help get you in an autumn mood, I've put together a little collage featuring one of my all time fall favorites – the ankle boot.

fall ankle boots

Cole Haan chunky heel ankle boots / Sports shoes / Short western boots / Timeless peep toe bootie / ALDO high heel booties / Charlotte Russe platform booties / Nine West short boots

Jewel tones, decorative buckles/straps, and unique accents are all big trends this fall, and the mulberry Sports Shoe from Modcloth (middle of the top row) has it all. The thin wrapped straps, floral applique, and beaded tassels take this ankle boot to the next level.

The Timeless Peep Toe Bootie from Pret a Beaute (bottom row, second from the left) is truly a one of a kind shoe. With swirls of sequins contrasted by a strip of suede and an adorable peep toe, this bootie is definitely something special.

Finally, forget black and brown, add some fall-tastic color with the Cole Haan Cassidy Bootie in deep teal (bottom row, far right). The clean, go-with-everything design insures this boot will get plenty of mileage this season.


Tell me, what are you most looking forward to this fall?