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The Gathering Project

8 Jan

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Today, I’m really excited to share with you a cool project I’ve been working on for the past few months! One of my friends, Chelsea Rose Moore, and I have started a creative workshop that’s debuting on January 25th. It’s a one-day retreat in DC with four sessions hosted by local artisans from the Northern Virginia area. tgpMLT2

Do you like working with your hands? Making your home beautiful? Entertaining and organizing pretty events? I think you might just like the Gathering Project. We have four amazing workshop hosts who will be teaching you about their favorite things and then help you make them! Bonus: You’ll get to take home something you make from each workshop!

During the event, you will learn to style a winter table with Rebecca Gallop of A Daily Something, make seasonal drinks with Rebekah Pizana, craft a winter wreath with Amy Showalter, and paint signage art and lettering with Erik LandstromJanHost5

We really want you to come to our first event. We are also providing breakfast and lunch during the day! From 8-4:30pm, you’ll be hanging out in an awesome DC loft (The Loft at 600 F), which is super chic and artsy. We also have a ton of amazing sponsors including (but not limited to)  Eric Nielsen of Mahogany Print Productions, LoCo Joe’s Coffee, ScrapCutsLily and Val, Knead and Know, June JarsKaufmann Mercantile, and Birch Fields Photography.

Some of these sponsors have even offered amazing things for us to give away so you won’t want to miss that!

Hey look, it’s me and Chelsea! 


To sign up, click here and enter the promo code: friends for a 50% discount. I would love to meet you there, so get your tickets today!
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Casual Day / Green Jeans and Black Boots

19 Dec

Today, I’m enjoying the last day of work before a long Christmas holiday! These last few days have been casual around GenJ so I had an excuse to wear these comfortable green jeans to work. Paired with black suede boots and a cozy sweater, these cold days have nothing on this new go to outfit. IMG_6982 IMG_6998 IMG_7043Sweater: Old Navy — Pants: Target (similar) — Boots: Target (similar) — Necklace: Old Navy (similar: here and here)

Workwear: Mint Blouse and Red Sweater

12 Dec

Jumping on the mint trend that has been roaming our closets for years now, I’m presenting this outfit full of color and class. Or at least I hope.

I love how everything worked together and the beige flats provide the perfect classic finishing to the outfit. I didn’t want to add a necklace because the red/mint top combo and the black/brown pants combo seemed interesting enough. Enjoy!afterlight (4) afterlight (3) afterlight (2)Blouse: Old Navy — Sweater: Old Navy — Pants: Old Navy — Belt: Target — Flats: Target

Your Style / Mixing Prints

5 Dec

Two weeks ago I asked my readers to send in their mixing prints styled outfits. I was featuring my own outfit where I paired a polka dot shirt with a striped sweater and wondered what you guys could come up with! My sister-in-law Heather put together quite the incredible mixed prints outfit using the color blue.

Remember how I mentioned, when you’re mixing prints in an outfit, it helps to have a base color? Heather’s base color was blue. Each piece she is wearing has that color in it, which helps tie the whole outfit together!

Thanks for sending in your pictures Heather! It’s an honor to feature you on my blog today. 🙂

photo (15) photo (16) photo (14) After seeing this feature and my original post, if you would like to be added to this blog reader showcase of mixed prints in an outfit, send your pictures my way! Just email me:

Workwear: Polka Dot Button-up and Yellow Sweater

21 Nov

I love mixing stripes and polka dots, prints and graphics, and plaids and florals (ok the last one might be a stretch for me). In this outfit, these prints go together perfectly for a couple of reasons. Let me explain why:

1) Same color scheme. When mixing prints, try to stay in the same color vicinity. If you’re wearing a bright color like yellow, it might not be favorable to also throw on a loud red or fuchsia. Stick with one vibrant color and then mesh everything with it. Here, yellow and black/grey/white take main stage. 
2) Large-scale/small-scale. Try and wear one print that is small than the other one. Two large-scale prints don’t work well. If the polka dots were just as graphically loud as the bold stripes, they would be competing with and not complimenting each other. 

IMG_3603I’d love to see what you come up with when you mix prints! Send your pictures to and I’ll feature you in an upcoming style post!

IMG_3604Shirt: Loft (similar) – Sweater: Marshall’s (similar here and here) – Pants: Target – Belt: Target (similar) – Flats: Target


Apartment Design / Kitchen Walls

20 Nov

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I’ve been wanting to write a couple posts about updating our lovely apartment after two years of living in it. The pictures below are from our eat-in kitchen area. I love Julia Child quotes so I found these printables on a blog. (Unfortunately, I printed the off so long ago that by the time I actually got them up and took pictures I can’t seem to find where they were from.) Here are a couple other options in case you’re also looking for some great “typographically sound” printable Julia Child wall art (design 1) (design 2) (design 3) (design 4).

IMG_6730Here I am looking into a mirror I refinished.

IMG_6732 IMG_6734It used to be a gold-ish black color and unfortunately matched the previous look I was attempting to achieve. After the inspiration to put up a white floating shelf with white frames and colorful quotes, I knew the mirror had to change as well.

IMG_6735I took it outside and spray painted it white. However, it didn’t really change the mirror frame color white. It became more of a salmon pink. Against our light tan walls, let me tell you, it was a gorgeous color (not). IMG_6736So I ran to the store and grabbed another can of spray paint. This time a soft and dark grey color. It really covered up the awful pink nicely.

IMG_6738 IMG_6739When it dried (after several attempts while it was still wet), I used two different weights of sandpaper to rough up the frame. It reveals some of the “white” underneath and gives it a washed and worn effect.
IMG_6741I really like the looks of where this new kitchen is going! Sometimes inspiration hits and when it does, I like to grab spray paint and get some design work going!

Workwear: Green Skirt and Animal Print Scarf

30 Oct

I’m loving the Blazer trend right now. I’ve started to pair the three that I have with just about everything, pants, dresses, and skirts. This skirt is a newer one in my closet and I just love it. It adds the right amount of color without going too over the edge. I love how all these different colors, brown, green, grey, black and animal print, go together in one outfit! I think that’s my favorite type of look. One where I can put on many different colors but it still looks chic, classy and pulled together for the office.
IMG_3526 IMG_3527Skirt: Target (similar) — Blazer: Macy’s (similar) — Shirt: Target (similar) — Scarf: Amazon (similar) — Boots: Famous Footwear (similar)

Workwear: Plum dress and Tan Blazer

23 Oct

This tan wool blazer is a new addition to my wardrobe. It got it for a steal at Target a month ago and have worn it at least 10 times already. It’s great for work and dressing up jeans on the weekend.

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Dress: Target (similar) — Blazer: Target — Infinity Scarf: Gift (similar) — Belt: Target — Flats: Target

Workwear: Blue Print Blouse and Nude Flats

10 Oct

Getting back into blogging means putting together new outfits and thinking up creative ways to dress at work! I’m glad that it’s fall again. That means that I’ll be wearing work outfits more regularly and well, everyone knows that fall clothes are the best and most versatile (can you say, LAYERING!)

I found this blouse on Old Navy online. It was on sale and with the 40% off coupon (emailed to me every week) this one item ended up being $4. With the beige/khaki pants and flats combo, my leg line extends down to the ground. Remember talking about how keeping colors the same makes you appear taller?  (in this post and this one).

I think I’m beginning to like this kind of look: untucked blouse with skinny pants and flats. It feels easy yet pulled together and something I can put on for work but doesn’t take tons of effort in the morning.

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Blouse: Old Navy online — Scarf: Gift (similar) — Pants: Target — Flats: Target

What’s your “go to” look?

Back on line

2 Oct

How does one get back on line? Do I have to apologize for an unexcused 3 month absence? To start things out, I grabbed my own domain!! You can now visit me at Big step. FYI, will redirect you to my new domain name in case you get lost. 😀

Well, then there was summer. Let’s continue there.

I promised you a Gala. And well, we had a Gala. Remember, I talked about the centerpieces, flowers, theme, and overview of camp? The first week in June, our first camp was held in Virginia and was a smashing success. The Gala was no exception. It went off really well. With help from my friends, co-workers and counselors, we assembled and pulled off a great event with only 2 hours of prep! It was incredible and a testament to what you can accomplish when you plan ahead and have all your friends pulling together.

First of all, the room we use for this event each year is a library. It has study cubicles, book shelves, blue carpet and cream walls. Not the spot I would hold a Gala, but I do love a challenge. You have to work with what you can’t change.

We decorated the bookshelves with some rosettes and made a cute conversation area.

IMG_2663Pushing all the study tables and most of the chairs to the side, we had to block off part of the room. We used all the flags from our International Summit (one simulation at the camp) to decorate the Ambassador’s VIP area. That was a cool touch.

IMG_2683I layered the large tissue paper flowers over the middle double doors at the back of the room.  They really added a lot of color and life.

IMG_2664Here’s what some of the centerpieces ended up looking like! I added orange and red cloth squares to tables to layer on the color. What do you think? (I love the up lighting!)

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I love how this sombrero complete fit the theme and the color scheme.IMG_2690I used some of the vases and skewered tissue paper flowers to line the half wall down the entrance ramp.

IMG_2691 IMG_2676This is what the food tables looked like. We arranged them into a “+” shape. I lay down burlap as table coverings and then topped them with red and orange runners. As the main centerpiece, I used a large red vase and then arranged smaller vases, battery votives (no flames allowed indoors), and tissue paper flowers around it. I think that the limes and lemons in the tall clear vases also brought in a great natural and vibrant touch.


We served cheese, crackers and fruit plates. Chips were served in terra-cotta pottery with queso, salsa and 7-layer dip accompanying them. Then we covered styrofoam cones with glazed donut holes. Those made a great impact in the room! We also made bite-size key lime cheesecakes.  Since the Gala was right after dinner, minimal food was required.
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I absolutely love this picture! Just look at all the variety of textures, colors and sizes.IMG_2653 IMG_2654People started to arrive and we broke out the virgin mixed drinks: Margaritas, Lemonade, Strawberry juice, Pina coladas and Watermelon Refreshers. Our “bar” was never empty or dry!

IMG_2661 IMG_2667 IMG_2673As you can see here, we also strung twinkle-lights around the ceiling and the pillars in the room. With some like Spanish guitar and salsa music, we were ready to get the event started!1039721_10151754944288561_939463409_o 1048192_10151754944748561_1980015192_o 1040666_10151754944268561_1038031452_oI’m very happy with how everything turned out. I think it was a great success. From the decorations, to the food, and the atmosphere (lighting and music) to the flow, the Gala from beginning to end was a blast to plan and throw. Can’t wait for next year!