Every Date Should Be Made of Clothes Like These.

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Look 1 - Banana Republic Floral Vee Dress (c/o) in Candy Teal, Banana Republic Nude Wedges (past season, similar here and here), assorted bangles, including Keani Found You Cuff in Rose Gold

Look 2 - Banana Republic Sleeveless Embroidered Bib Top (c/o) in Gold, Free People Rolled Crop Skinny Jean in Ella Wash, BCBG Heels (past season, similar here and here), Banana Republic Colorblock Clutch (past season, similar here and here), Anthropologie Glimpse Hoops, Nails are painted in Watermelon by Essie. Photos by the dreamy Stevie Hale.

You better believe that date night is sacred around here.

Before the days of a baby and a mortgage, date night happened easily and often. It was so easy to throw on a colorful top and my snazziest heels, toss a Nars lipstick in a clutch and enjoy wandering the city with my best friend. Date night was all wine, trying new restaurants, talking about dreams and making travel plans. When we lived in Atlanta, it was jazz at Churchill Grounds and dessert at Cafe Intermezzo. When we lived in Boston, it was dinner at Grafton Street and drinks at Plough and Stars. When we lived in New York City, it was making our way through every restaurant recommendation we received, which was a lot, believe me. We pretty much never stopped eating when we lived on the Upper West Side (thank goodness for all that walking!) Nowadays, with family priorities and increased career responsibilities and, you know, mowing the lawn, date night takes a little more intention and planning than it used to. But you know what hasn't changed? The thrill of getting dressed up, experimenting with a bold lipstick or messy updo and letting all that suburban responsibility go for an evening. Holding the hand of my best friend, grabbing a bite to eat and making those dreams happen. We might be getting a bit older, but the mystique of date night is actually growing sweeter with time. The added need for intention is actually making me more of a romantic these days.

When Banana Republic sent over these clothes, I knew they had hot date written all over them. I had so much fun getting dolled up and out of the house in this BR Floral Vee Dress and Embroidered Bib Top. I love how the dress moves and practically dances on its own, and I didn't even mean to pair it with an old pair of Banana wedges that I had in my closet, but they were just the best shoes with the dress, so there you go! I love the clever, elegant stitching and how the supple silk brushes against my skin (while I twirled around like a little girl - seriously, the feeling this dress gave me was that good.) The Bib Top is rich with gold pigment, which I probably wouldn't have chosen for my skin tone (because I fear turning yellow, it's a Italian girl thing), but I actually love it on, especially paired with this bold fuchsia lip color and clutch. These clothes just make me feel ladylike and adventurous, all at once. Just the kind of garments that elevate an occasion from "dinner" to "date" :)

I hope whatever stage you're in, wherever you live, whatever your responsibilities are, you take a moment away from all that and plan something intentionally special for your next date night. After all, there's no time like the present to grab that hand of your love and make all the plans you can. Over wine. And dessert. And maybe a cheese plate, too. Why are you waiting for a special occasion to get dressed up, friend? Date night is for dresses and heels and lipstick!

What are your go-to date night looks? I'd love to hear in the comments!

Disclaimer: Thanks to Banana Republic for sponsoring this post and providing free product.. All opinions expressed are my own.

April Delights List

April Delights List

April Delights List by oykristen // 1. Hunter Bubble Umbrella // 2. Madewell Military Anorak // 3. Target Tortoise Sunnies // 4. Anthropologie Isharya Pearl Beacon Ring // 5. Essie Fashion Playground // 6. Ranunculus on Pinterest // 7. Scoutmob Italian Leather Tote // 8. Lifefactory Glass Water Bottle // 9. Anthropologie Pilcro Hyphen Chinos // 10. Ban.do iPhone Cover // 11. Johnathan Adler Triangle Socks // 12. Michael Kors Mid-Calf Rain Boots // 13. Peeps Marshmellows //  

April Showers.

True to the old saying, April has welcomed itself to New York in a soppy, rainy fashion. It's time to pull out the rainy-day gear, or invest in a few fun, lasting pieces. It's also time to put away those bulky sweaters, and hopefully, begin delving into the long-awaited lightweight spring clothing that has been stored away for too many seasons. We're on to a brighter and, (fingers crossed!), less soggy future!

// 1. Hunter Bubble Umbrella

We all need a good sturdy umbrella for this season's surprise showers. And the happy pop of color really does wonders for the soul.

// 2. Madewell Military Anorak

I want one. This type of jacket is SO versatile and cute. And somehow it just looks tough, like only cool girls wear them. I want to be a cool girl. In this jacket.

// 3. Target Tortoise Sunnies

Round are back. There's not much else we can do but embrace it.

// 4. Anthropologie Isharya Pearl Beacon Ring

Such loveliness. I would gladly let my ring finger be a beacon for the spring :)

// 5. Essie Fashion Playground

I'm addicted to Essie. Seriously. The colors must have addictive properties because I just cannot seem to get enough of the goodness that they make.

// 6. Ranunculus on Pinterest

It's been decided. This is THE FLOWER of the spring. C'mon, get happy.

// 7. Scoutmob Italian Leather Tote

I wish I had the cash to afford one of these delicious totes back when I was in Italy. The dream still lingers in my heart.

// 8. Lifefactory Glass Water Bottle

Glass water bottles. I want to invest in these bad boys.

// 9. Anthropologie Pilcro Hyphen Chinos

I bought these exact shorts and I've been so pleased. The color and wash is so fun and spring-y and they are so soft. For a preggo lady attempting to buy non-maternity shorts, this is actually not an insane option, because the fit is so relaxed.

// 10. Ban.do iPhone Cover

An unexpected, whimsical color block phone case. Yes. Amen. Ban.do.

// 11. Johnathan Adler Triangle Socks

Why does everything this guy makes immediately turn to gold? These socks are perfect for a spring day that still has a hint of chill in the air. 

// 12. Michael Kors Mid-Calf Rain Boots

I have last season's version of this boot, and it is SO COMFORTABLE. I seriously want to wear these everyday. They are mega-cushioned on the inside, do you don't get that awkward rubber-bulk feeling of most galoshes. And that hunter green color just seems so go with everything.

// 13. Peeps Marshmellows

What can I say? I'm such a sucker for Easter. Best holiday ever. Other than Christmas. And my birthday. And summertime in general. Get your Peeps on, people!

Bring on the warmth, April!

February Delights List

February Delights List

February Delights List by oykristen // 1. Anthropologie Celestial Coaster Kit // 2. Essie Resort Fling // 3. Anthropologie Capri Blue in Hibiscus Teakwood // 4. Mrs. Meyers Basil Room Freshener // 5. Anthropologie Eloise Chiara Hand Towel // 6. Pottery Barn Essential Egyptian Cotton 300-Thread Count Sheets // 7. Shop Terrain Hanging Glass Terrarium // 8. West Elm Gallery Frames // 9. Kate Spade New York Gardens of Paris Earrings // 10. Anthropologie Palmer Towels // 11. Shop Terrain White Robe Hydrangea // 12. Barnes and Noble The Message Remix New Testament // 13. Urban Outfitters Plum & Bow Chenille Diamond Pillow //   

February Delights.

February is all about refreshing. It's ever so cold outside, you're spending most of your time indoors, and as you look around... you notice things. The dingy cotton towels. The pilling bed sheets. The musky scent coming from your closet. In combination with a good spring clean, your home could also use a mini facelift. Nothing too drastic, but all those essential items that you use everyday... when was the last time you updated them? Linens, towels, candles; just a few refreshing upgrades can make you feel great about the space you live in. Because winter isn't over yet, but your home doesn't have to remind your of the winter blues.

I shopped around and found some awesome, affordable items to upgrade my apartment. Sheets and towels are a big one (these look great in my bathroom), since I think our building's community laundry machines tend to wear really hard on our linens. All of you who have your own washer & dryer, please look up and say a quick thanks to the God above. YOU ARE LUCKY. For the rest of us slummin' it in city paradise, we have to find other ways to dampen the odd odors that reek in from the neighbors "recreational hobbies".

This room freshener is a great, inexpensive find, and this candle (my sis gifted it to me for Christmas) makes a world of difference. I've even updated my bible reading with this modern-text version of the New Testament. Don't forget to refresh your soul, people. This is an inside/outside spring cleaning! A clean coat on the nails and a few well-placed plants (try to hang this terrarium indoors!) will certainly round out this "I'm ready for you, Spring!" attitude.

Here's to a minty-clean February!

Holiday Gift Guide: For Her

Thanksgiving is over, but the holidays are in full swing! That means we are legally allowed to listen to Christmas music and shop for our favorite people (as if I needed the excuse.) The big holiday question: What makes a really great gift? I think it’s something you would never buy for yourself. Something just a touch extravagant. Something unnecessary; a “just because” item. Well, here is the opportunity to celebrate the most wonderful chickadee in your life, whether it be your sister, mother or best friend. These fun treats are sparkling with holiday cheer, thoughtfulness and straight up fun. If you’re stumped on what to give, look no further! Presents are just… the best.

1. Sephora Perfume Sampler - $50

I know that Sephora never fails, but I am ridiculously impressed with this gift idea, a 12-piece perfume sampler with a voucher for a full-size of your choice. Not only does this lovely little kit contain mini perfumes from a range of big-name designers, but once your dear friend your dear friend can bring in a voucher (included) to any Sephora store for a full-size version of her favorite! I have the smaller version of this kit and I absolutely love it. The perfume lasts a long time and I love having so many choices to switch between. Does Sephora get women or what?

2. Vonny Casserole Carrier - $48

This adorable carrier is for the true bearer of warm holiday treats. This is a necessary accessory for the lady who likes to cook and likes to share her cooking even more. This case is made to fit a standard 9X13 dish (or smaller) and is available in a variety of colors. What a delight. I want one!

3. Birchbox Gift Subscription - $30

Looking for the perfect gift for that lady who is always on the cutting edge of trends? That’s always hard for me. How can you surprise the ultimate fashionista in your life? Well, Birchbox has made it a lot easier. This 3-month gift subscription contains a variety of full-size and sample-size beauty products and arrives in a perfectly packaged present each month. However, there is a waitlist for this subscription, so hurry and sign up!

4. Baublebar + Essie Snap Happy Set - $50

For the lady who loves to showcase her hands Baublebar has teamed up with Essie to create custom nail polish-jewelry Snap Happy Gift Set. Choose a shade from Essie’s winter collection and two complimentary bracelets for decked-out hands and a surefire gift.

5. One Canoe Two Letterpress Calendar - $26

This 2013 calendar by One Canoe Two adds a special twist to a holiday gift staple. A letterpress calendar is the perfect way to add some whimsy to the year, plus, whomever you give this to will think of you with each passing month! Bonus: This calendar comes complete with a wooden stand, so at the end of the year you can use it to prop up a picture or personal photos. Or a brand new calendar. Love it.

6. Anthropologie Marguerite Headband - $32

This headband is the ultimate girly indulgence. A glitzy headband is the perfect ingredient to amp up any outfit (plus, it decorates your head!) My little sis is a sucker for girly headgear, so maybe yours will be too. Plus, it’s an Anthropologie gift, so how could you go wrong?

Happy Shopping!