The Refined Woman

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OUTFIT | Fresh Floral Pants

Do you ever go to take a photo of your outfit, see the image, and then remove your necklace because all of a sudden it’s too much?

NO? Just me and my own styling insanity. 

Ok then.

Here’s some photos Kat took of me in my current favorite floral/jungle pants. Normally I wear them a bit lower on my hips but this time I decided to experiment with wearing them a bit higher up and tucking my silk cami into the front.

Let’s just not talk about the necklace incident, shall we? Deal. 






While these trousers from Zara I could not find online anymore, I did however find a whole BEVVY of amazing printed pants. 

Find your perfect pair below. 

xo, Em

weekly round up : BEST WEEK EVER

Hey friends!

Em here, it was the BEST WEEK EVER because Kat was visiting us! we had so much fun getting to catch up and dream big for what’s on the horizon for The Refined Woman.

I’m so grateful for Lauren putting together this week’s roundup because Kat and I were busy doing THIS : 

That’s right ya’ll, new photos for The Refined Woman team!


We were so lucky to get to work with Jessica Burke + Melissa Hoffmann to make our dreams come true. We can’t wait to see the magic Jess captured behind that lens of hers!!

Patience, friends. The rest of those photos will come soon enough. 

Now onto our weekly recap with Lauren : 

We’re at that time of year when I get a little giddy with the thought of fall (mostlybuying new sweaters), yet at the same time seeing summer fade away makes my heart sigh. So here are some links from this week that get me excited for fall, but also remind me to cherish these last days of summer!

Kat wrote a lovely article for Darling Magazine about experiencing her sister trip purely in the moment.

AND…it was Em’s birthday Tuesday!!

How chic is Helena’s grey blazer simply paired with a white tee and black skinnies?! (also perfect for transitioning to fall!)

This dewy cheeks look is literally perfect (and SO easy) for the hot + humid days ahead.

Loving Mango’s minimalism in their new fall lookbook. Simplicity = Stunning.

This mini cobbler looks absolutely divine. I think I’ll save both for myself!

Can’t wait to try this lip stain technique come fall ~ C’est très jolie!

Seriously crushing on Julia’s camel sweater coat. Seriously. Get in my closet.

Love this reminder to find the positives in life’s moments.


Lauren, (& Em + Kat)

Happy Birthday Em!

Photo by:  Tec Petaja

Emily you embody grace, confidence, and dignity.

Seeing you transition from wife to mother has been inspiring.  The past few days spent with you I am in awe at how you do it all.  I have watched you selflessly take care of precious Charlie with your whole heart while doing laundry while styling an amazing shoot.  There’s nothing you cannot do when you put your mind to it.

I acknowledge you for creating space in your life to love your family and community deeply.  

I acknowledge you for the excellence that seeps out of every thing you do in your life from your business to the unnoticed details.

You truly are The Refined Woman + I cannot imagine having any other lady on this journey with me!

I adore you Emthegem!



Weekly Round-up | Summer lovin’

Hope all you lovely ladies had a wonderful week. Here’s to cherishing the warm nights of summer that allow for trying new summer-y looks and recipes, and spending time with great company outdoors.

Our oh-so-lovely Kat was featured on Darling Magazine with the perfect way to style an all-white outfit

I’m always looking for new music to add to my summer playlist + Darling has curated the perfect playlist for your next summer dinner party.

Excited to try out a new Rosé this weekend thanks to the Glitter Guide!

Adding Wanderlust & Co.’s delicate jewelry to my wish-list.

This chickpea and roasted pepper salad will certainly transport you to Tuscany!

A white blazer = Instant glam. Lovin’ how the many ways Jacey styles hers! A perfect style staple. 

…And loving how Helena styled her dainty jewels! Some classy jewelry really finishes every outfit. 

Need a sweater that will transition from summer to fall and beyond? Mackenzie gathered some perfect fishermen sweaters.

Would you try the matching sets trend?! I’m on board!

Loving what is inspiring Apartment 34 - especially the beautifully styled entryway + that nail salon! Swooon.

Those colors in Emily’s lovely dress and bedroom are perfection! 

And lastly, two viral videos that made my life just a bit better this week. 

Why I’ll need to have at least one more baby. 

I’m not a cat person, but this makes me almost want one. 

Even if you’ve watched them already, why not once more. 

It is Friday after all. 

Have the best weekend friends!


Em, Lauren + Kat

OUTFIT | White on White


This summer has been go-go-go.  I truly cannot complain about all the amazing trips I’ve been able to go on this summer, and I will tell you one thing I’ve come to really learn is to keep it simple.  (I mean I’m not a huge jazzy dresser in the first place, but especially when I’m in and out of town every few days I need some good go-to classic staples.  

This basic white tee + white denim shorts have been my summer staples.  Whether in NY or LA I can throw this outfit on + feel put together while still being comfortable (and you know Em + I are all about those outfits that look “put together”, but feel like pajamas!  

You can’t go wrong with white in my opinion; it’s one of my favorite colors to wear + today you can my Summer How to on White on White color palettes on Darling Magazine!  Check them out + leave them some Refined Woman love!






Photos by Lindsey Shea


Weekly Round-up

Well hello Friday and hello August! Yes, it’s August, but three cheers for Friday!

Here are some links we found around the web this week with plenty of fun things to try this weekend. Enjoy!


The Refined Woman

Lauren shared about her recent trip to Haiti on Beauty Is

Kat shared about her recent sister trip abroad and fabulous travel style!

We were crushin’ on blush this week.

Would you consider cooking with flowers? Why not?!

14 crop-top inspiration that is both 9-to-5 chic + not so much.

Love Emily’s 8 steps for boosting self-confidence.

I’m all about the girly glam décor- here’s 5 steps to styling the perfect coffee table look.

This fish taco recipe from Victoria is perfect for a delicious yet easy dinner.

Love the 3rd pair of d’Orsay flats that MacKenzie found. Wear now + wear later!

Anyone else ever been in the tedious hunt for the perfect white-tee? Well, Jules made it a whole lot easier! PTL.

A beautiful + insightful article addressing how beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I’m completely on board with the avocado toast trend + Song of Style’s recipe looks divine.

Who doesn’t love a little pom-pom action? Rue’s pom-pom placemat DIY is cheap, easy, + chic!

Beauty Is…Etched on her soul

Our amazing intern this summer, Lauren, just went on a trip to Haiti + we wanted to give her a space to share her experience!  Get to know this lovely soul of a person!


Kat + Em

"Faces become etched in your mind, and smiles will be eternally inked upon your heart.

Adjusting to life back in the Silicon Valley has been hard, because though I enjoy the clean water and amenities that only the first world can provide, my spirit aches for the joy and happiness that I discovered in Haiti. The faces are what make my heart ache, because they are inked like tattoos. My mind races when I think of them, when I juxtapose my life to theirs. Our lives are so different, yet don’t we dream of the same things? Likki, Johnson, Malyka, and Jeuna…don’t they crave family, friendship, and love? Though we were together for such a short time, in retrospect their souls have touched mine. We are intimately connected, and forever their names and faces will be imprinted upon my heart and my soul.

I was busy in Haiti, yet the busyness is most likely what kept me going. I travelled with a team of 15, all relatively young adults from my church. We helped with construction projects, provided soccer clinics and played scrimmages, and did lots of arts n’ crafts with locals from the various villages around the town of Cabaret (40 minutes north of Port-au-Prince). We worked to make the lives of these people temporarily better, but truly it is them who made my life better.

Reality hits you hard when you’re on a humanitarian trip. Sometimes it’s your firsts that will stick with you. The first village we played soccer is forever engrained in my memory. Among the banana trees that lined the village were many blue Samaritan Purse-provided shacks. Mules and emaciated cows wandered nearby, which I laugh about because in the City we worry about pigeons and feral cats. The little children crowded around us without shoes, many clad in rags, and even wearing simply a shirt. Nonetheless, many of their faces beamed with huge smiles, and their eyes held a look that can only be described as playful and happy. That day all they wanted was to play, and play we did.

Engaging with the Haitian people, young and old, brought me tremendous joy and is a cherished gift, yet grappling with our juxtaposed lives makes my heart heavy. Here, I have been brought up comfortably with a multitude of amenities. But even more so, I have been encouraged and empowered to dream big; knowing that I CAN make my dreams a reality, my destiny is limitless. In Haiti, it feels as if there is nothing that can pluck them from their circumstances. As we walked through a tent city in Port-au-Prince, the helplessness and desperation of the impoverished, which is a majority of Haiti was powerfully evident. These images weigh heavy on me, because though they may dream big, the reality of their circumstances seems to crash down on them.

On one of our last days, as we gathered at the village down the hill from where we were staying to play soccer with the locals, God gave me a wonderful little gift. As I was taking in the beautiful scene of our team joyfully engaging with all the little children and the village’s soccer team, this little girl, around 2, in a pink dress came running towards me with hands stretched to the sky wanting to be played with and loved. Her smile and laugh were infectious and full delight. She was quite the little flirt- taking in the attention from just about everyone. Yet as we started to walk home I carried her peacefully in my arms, her head resting on my shoulder. I didn’t want to let her go, and I don’t think she did either. This little barefooted, girl was full of so much joy. As I set her down- God reminded me of my childhood- of all that I had at her age and all that I had ahead of me. I can only pray that this little gem can have the ability to dream beyond her wildest dreams. That she is nurtured, educated, and most importantly empowered as a woman to dream and pursue those dreams.

Forever she is etched on my heart, just as I hope that her dreams will stay forever imprinted on her soul.


Photos from Lauren + Sam Odio

Outfit | TravelWear


Every year my mom and her two sisters have a sister trip.  Rain or shine, no matter the schedule, the things that have to be shifted around the trip has happened 10 straight years.  

For years my sisters and I talked about what it would be like when we were grown ups and were old enough to take our own sisters trip!

Well last year was our inaugural trip.  Both Laura + Caroline visited me in LA, and we knew it was the start of a very long tradition.  This year was the trip of all trips (so far!)…we met in Paris for 8 days + then went to Ireland to visit our Aunt Ann.

This trip was a trip for the soul.  Yes yes yes…Paris was magical + I cannot wait to share my film pictures with y’all, and Ireland quieted my busy distracted soul.  It was grounding to be away from the hustle and bustle + be with (literally) my soul sisters.  We walked the gardens of Versailles having some of the most raw and beautiful conversations of our lives.  We sipped wine and played cards under the eiffel tower.  We got in fights, we laughed, we cried, we sat in silence over the Cliffs of Moher in Irelands, and together we became unified and just were.  God met us deeply in that space, and more than the crepes + beautiful sites I will remember the sweet moments with my precious sisters.

I cannot wait for next year’s adventurous sister trip!  My vote is Cinque Terre, Italy!


So yes these pics were taken on my iPhone by my amazing sister!  My fotostrap was perfect for my 35 mm film camera on this trip.  As for my outfit I found this dress at Zara in Paris + it has quickly become my new favorite dress + was perfect for traveling!  I paired it with converses during the trip, but it can easily be worn with wedges, or a blazer and pumps in the fall.

Yaaaa for versatility + yaaa for Zara being like soooo amazing in Paris!!






Oh ya…my sister surprised me with a Longchamp for my birthday while we were there!!! I’m a lucky lady!

Monochromatic Mondays | Blushing

There’s something so feminine about the color blush.  Growing up a tomboy I never wore pink, and it still isn’t a huge part of my wardrobe.  However, recently I have come to appreciate the calm, feminine ease with a beautiful blush.  Even adding touches of it throughout your wardrobe can make you feel just a bit more like a lady whether through solid colors or patterns!

This week is all about owning every ounce of our femininity + letting ourselves blush a little bit!