The Refined Woman

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I’ve been really digging all the blue I’ve been seeing lately. From Indigo to powder baby blue - it’s all good. I even love it mixed together - try pairing a striped navy tee with a printed baby blue pencil skirt! 

And now we’re on Polyvore! Find us below. We’re slightly addicted. 

xo,
Em

feeling all kinds of blue by therefinedwoman featuring suede pumps

Topshop long sleeve tee / Zara coat / Long stretchy skirt / Alexander McQueen suede pumps / J Crew watch / Sperry Top Sider lightweight summer scarve
I’ve been really digging all the blue I’ve been seeing lately. From Indigo to powder baby blue - it’s all good. I even love it mixed together - try pairing a striped navy tee with a printed baby blue pencil skirt! 
And now we’re on Polyvore! Find us below. We’re slightly addicted. 
xo,
Em

OUTFIT: Flower Power

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What is it they say?  If you give ‘em an inch, they’ll take a mile?  Ya…that’s what it is.

New Yorkers were running wild last weekend.  The glorious sun graced us with her presence, and we experienced 45 degree weather for the first time (literally y’all) in months.

You would’ve thought Jesus was on his way back friends.  There was a bounce in everyone’s step, people were looking at each other and smiling while walking down the street (probably because we weren’t all afraid of face planting on the ice), and people were wearing shorts and t shirts.

That is worth repeating…in the 45 degree weather people were wearing SHORTS and T-SHIRTS.

Naturally being 45 degrees outside people were picnicking at Prospect Park + having brunch on the outdoor patios of restaurants; it was absolutely glorious!

I took this brief moment of reprieve from the winter to bust out some spring wear!  Just wearing florals, bright colors, + my favorite white blazer made me one happy gal.

Happy Spring NYC…ummm…hopefully!  (Like crossing my fingers, praying fiercely that the Polar Vortex is done + over forever + ever!)

XO,

Kat

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After a winter of puffer jackets + all black this amazing Adrianna Papell blouse paired with these rad floral pants make me so very happy!

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Want my look?  Find my key pieces below friends:

Necklace:  31 Bits

BABYMOON : MILL VALLEY

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Have you heard of this thing? The BABYMOON? 

It’s basically just an excuse to get out and enjoy one last weekend away before you have a baby. Aaron and I used it as an excuse to explore a part of the Bay Area we never frequent - and shop and eat and eat and shop some more. It’s what we excel at, really.

And it was glorious. 

We sat by the fire in our room at the Mill Valley Inn.

and we ATE all the things…

Beth’s for Custard Filled Cronuts

Equator for Coffee

Super Duper for Burgers + Shakes 

Boo Koo for Amazing Green Curry Noodles

Buckeye Roadhouse for a night out / Steaks + Smore’s Pie

and we SHOPPED…

I dream of Rugs. All the rugs.

MINT - most lovely store for kids things and beautiful gifts

Sprout SF - They have a new location in Mill Valley, and we found a crib! And I can’t believe I wanted it in PINK.

Marin Farmer’s Market (is this shopping? eating? It’s both, I guess.)

Curious and trinkets at Moss + Moss

Guideboat Co. : We went in for the Mr. and I came out with the best new scarf. This store is beautiful and full of good stuff

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I don’t think you’re ready for this belly. 

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Find the scarf here. 

And the rest here : 

More C I T Y   G U I D E S :

NYC in 72 Hours

SF with Apartment 34 

xo, Em

Photos by my Refined Man

XOXO, Gossip Girl | Part I

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I have been enchanted with the “scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite” since Gossip Girl aired in 2007.  You know how people say they listen to rap because of the “sick beats”, I watched Gossip Girl because of the “sick fashion”.  (Or at least that is what I tried to get people to believe).

I remember my first Fashion Week at Lincoln Center, and totally geeking out when I realized the Empire Hotel was next door.  So you can imagine how much I totally geek’ed out when I went to a rooftop party at the Empire Hotel last September.

Maybe when my sister came and visited me last November we had an entire Gossip Girl afternoon (Columbus Circle, the steps at The Met, the New York Palace Hotel, drinks at the Empire, dinner at PJ Clarkes)…I don’t know…maybe that happened.

Moving out here I realized I had to re-watch the series, and as my sister puts it she is “actually concerned” that I may have amnesia.  It’s like I’m watching the show for the first time…I basically have remembered nothing since 2012 evidently.  But I’m sort of glad that’s the case, because I’m watching it with whole new eyes.  

Really though, the wardrobe team for this show slays me.  (How do you think I even know about Alice + Olivia?)  

I was watching an episode with Serena in these amazing blue pants, and realized I had similar pants.  And then my mind started spinning as I realized I may not have a gold sequined jacket, but I do have a black and gold sequined jacket.

I thought it’d be fun to re-create some of my favorite Gossip Girl outfits on a Brooklyn girls budget.

So…here is my attempt!  Enjoy.

XOXO,

Gossip Girl (sorry…I couldn’t help it!)

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Oh…you want to look like Serena too?  Shop the post below:)

New York Fashion Week from My Lens

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Fashion Week is over.  Le’sigh.  

Balance + Creativity.  Those are my two words from Fashion Week, and if I had a third it would be freeeeeeeezing!

Creatively, what consistently inspires me with each Fashion Week I have attended is how committed designers are season after season to continue creating.  These sometimes less than 10 minute runway shows represent a culmination of upwards of a year of dreaming, planning, and executing. There is always a deadline. With the final bow from the designer after her September show, she knows that she has precisely 6 months until her next bow. There cannot be a moment wasted between bows.

And then there’s the aspect of balance.  As opposed to last February with Em when we ran ourselves completely ragged, my goal this February was to remain balanced in the chaos.

This meant me making choices and practicing saying no to some really fun things (Any FOMO’ers out there will sympathize with me on this).  

It meant choosing a night in as opposed to going out for a fancy dinner, church instead of a runway show, the ballet with friends and not a networking event, flats instead heels (some of the days), one on one coffee dates and not a late night swanky party.  It was good for me to tangibly walk out balance, and to be present with the idea that working hard is important, but we are so much more than what we do.  

I will say I dearly missed Miss Em this Fashion Week; it’s much more fun to go to things with a partner in crime.  Thankfully though God provided some wonderful buddies for me to run around with.

I walk away from the past week exhausted, yet inspired.  Inspired to keep creating + to keep striving for balance in my life.

Now onto my photo journal…I just have so much to show y’all

First off:  Alice + Olivia.  Hands down the most creative experience all week.  The Alice + Olivia presentation was comprised of 7 unique fairy tale experiences in the McKittrick Hotel where the infamous play Sleep No More is housed.  Not only were the clothes beautiful, you truly felt you were on this fairy tale journey through the mind + heart of Stacey Bendet.

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Like I said Fashion Week wasn’t all work, I got to run around the city with my sweet friend Lauren.  From coffees to Hillsong to late night Bingo at The Standard we had a blast together.  I’m so thankful for this girl.

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Then I got to meet + photograph this fellow Southern gal Anna, who is not only super sweet, but an uber talented stylist!

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I just can’t really talk about the Nautica Menswear Collection.  Oh em gee, those men were so incredibly handsome.  Oof.  That’s all I’m going to say about that.

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Mid-day coffee breaks at Saturday Surf were a must.

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My heels came straight off after the shows, and fit nicely in one of the slots in my fabulous camera bag.

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Night at the Ballet; it was inspiring + melted my soul.

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Y’all might not know this, but I was first introduced to fashion week, over 3 years ago.  I photographed in the pit for 12 seasons, and as crazy as it is I found myself missing it terribly this season.  Maybe next September I can find myself back in the grind!

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Mara Hoffman’s Collection was ethereal + bold.  Her mixtures of geometric + tribal-esque patterns were surprising and refreshing!

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Wall-o-instagram in Lincoln Center.  You could use their hashtag #mbfw + if you were so lucky + (if you had a gazillion followers) your picture would appear on the wall!

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Dear Monique Lhuillier,

You slay me.  Season after season after season.  You make style look so effortless and chic.  Your work embodies femininity and strength.  You inspire me.

Love,

Kat.

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This gold + creme dress was my favorite!

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Then sometimes you go to shows, and you feel like you’re herded cattle and have to wait outside in the 15 degree weather for 45 minutes.  #notglamorous #imsurprisedmyfeetstillfunctionbecausetheyweresocold….

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…only to be let inside + realize that your seat has been taken + this is your view of the show…

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BUT THEN…my whole day was worth it because I saw the legendary Bill Cunningham.

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And this leads me to my final show:  Nanette Lepore, which was an exquisite way to end my week.  (Not to mention I sat across from effortlessly chic and elegant Kelly Rutherford AKA Lilly VanDerWoodson)

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It pains me to say I cut out so many images…guys I shot so so much, but in not wanting to be redundant/bore you to death I tried to keep it down.

That being said, if you have made it to the end of this epicly long post, bless you.

Until September, I bid fashion week adieu!

XO,

Kat

OUTFIT : Black Magic

Getting creative with the outfits continues to challenge and (let’s be honest) frustrate me.

It’s week 34 and with 6 weeks (roughly) to go until the little babe makes her debut, and while I am getting mostly just anxious to see her sweet face, I am also really looking forward to wearing real clothes this summer.

I’ll be appreciating everything in my wardrobe with new eyes, which is something else I am grateful for. Not that I plan on getting out of my sweatpants for the first 10 weeks or so after she’s born… I think I have pretty realistic expectations about that. 

This outfit is just a long sleeve tee with a skirt I’ve worn before - it’s not maternity - I am just wearing it higher over the bump. I like that black on black makes it look like a more complete look - it’s basically black magic. 

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All photos by Meg Perotti 

xo,

Em

See more looks with this same pleated skirt!

An American in Paris

Grandma Style

OUTFIT: Baby It’s ( S T I L L ) Cold Outside…

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Winter is here.  In full force.  Last February at this time Em and I were just getting into the city ready for our first whirlwind Fashion Week together.  Who would’ve thought a year later that she would be about to have her first baby, and I would have moved to Brooklyn New York?

God’s plans for our lives are always more epic than the ones we could dream up for ourselves; it’s one adventure after another often filled with lots of bumps in the road and heartache along with sweet and rich moments filled with joy and laughter and peace.  

Today marks the beginning of Fashion Week for me.  I’ll be running around to and from shows, trying to not break my neck in the snow and ice.  (True story…today I was crossing the street talking to my mom on my cell phone and slipped in the ice and threw my phone about ten feet into the sludge.  A few choice words may or may not have slipped out of my mouth).

If you’ve been watching the weather or been on any social media platform you know that we’re experiencing quite the winter here on the East Coast.

To the snow + sludge + rain I say “you will not win”.

Ladies let’s embrace our femininity even in the worst of weather!

Keep it simple.  For me it’s all about layers + classics.  (duh…do I sound like a broken record?).

My Vote for a Snowy Day in the City:

Check out my article on Darling Magazine for more tips on "How to Dress for the Cold + Stay Feminine While Doing So".

PS…Be sure to follow us on instagram so you can keep up with my Fashion Week adventures!  I’ll do a major recap next week!

Photos by the one + only:  Chaz Cruz.

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What’s in the Bag | NYC

A purse in the city is a woman’s survival kit.  Especially in the city since most of us do not have cars and depend on public transportation; it has to have everything you need for your work and play and anytime in between.

Moving to New York City from Newport Beach California has been quite the transition.  It seems like almost everything in my life has changed in the past six months, even the tiny details of my life like what I keep in my purse.  With winter in full force here in the city and Fashion Week just days away; it’s about time to share what’s in my survival bag purse.

(Check out the my full post on my NYC Survival Kit over at Rue Magazine).

  • First of all, the everyday bag I carry in the city is a Longchamp “Large” Navy Blue Tote.  It is no a coincidence many women carry this specific tote in the city.  You need a purse that is big enough to hold your extra pair of shoes amidst other essentials.  A city woman always wears her flats enroute, and slips on her heels before entering her destination.  (On that note be sure to always have a ziplock freezer bag in your purse to put said shoes.  NYC streets are not the cleanest).
  1. Bag-o-Essentials:  Bandaids, hand sanitizer, and chapstick ().  Why?  With so much walking around, blisters become a close friend.  Always always have a stack in your purse.  Hand sanitzer:  I have never been that type of person that carries hand sanitizer around with me, but after one week on the subway I was practically bathing in it after each ride.  Lastly, chapstick is a must; it is cold and extremely dry in the winter, and your lips will thank you for having this on hand.  Trust me.
  2. Make-up Forever HD Powder + travel brush:  I never wore this until moving to the city, but with so much running around, and temperature changes (it’ll be freezing outside and a sauna once you step foot inside anywhere and vice versa for the summer time).  This HD power is magic.  A few quick swipes after getting off the subway, and you’re ready for the day.
  3. Tech SupportWireless Battery Charger, headphones, and a good book.  Something about being in the city just steals that battery juice.  On top of that there’s no service on the subway (so keep your phone on airplane mode while you’re underground).  There’s nothing worse then being away from home or the office with a dead phone and charger.  My mother bought me a cordless iphone charger and for Christmas and I never leave home without it.  Also, headphones and a good book are always good to have on hand in while in transit, or in case you’re waiting for a train; it’s just nice to have something to do.  I may or may not have read Divergent in two days.  Oops.
  4. Aveda Blue Oil:  A friend of mine introduced me to this stuff; it’s amazing.  The city can be…how should I put it… stressful and stinky?  Lots of smells going on in this place, and when you’re stressed or just need a little break take out that oil and dab it on your temples, the back of your neck, and if it’s really smelly I dab a drop under my nose.  Viola; it’s a calm in the storm.
  5. Too Faced Lip Primer + NARS Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl:  Now whether you live in the city or on a farm I would say never leave home without these two items.  I am a strong believer that every woman can rock a red lip.  Too Faced’s lip primer is wonderful.  Be sure to put it on and let it set for 3-5 minutes before applying your lipstick.  What I love about NARS lip pencils is that they’re matte, last on your lips for hours (I can go at least 5-6 hours before reapplying), and it doesn’t bleed.  

Happy Tuesday ladies, and don’t forget to head on over to Rue Magazine to check out the full post on "What’s in MY Bag | NYC Survival Kit".

Photo above by:  Angi Welsch

OUTFIT : Made in the 80s

I have to admit that I’ve been coveting all the fabulous winter coats I’ve been seeing… but when I’m moving into a season of life where I’m mostly on the couch and about to hit maternity leave it (oh and it’s almost 70 in California these days … Sorry Kat) it doesn’t make much sense for me to get a new one. 

Usually when I’m feeling the need to shop I do one of two things : try to come up with new ways to wear things I’ve neglected in my own closet or go to the thrift store. Or some days I just need to remember that what I have is already enough. 

I got this fun 80s blazer a while back at the thrift store and as crazy as it is I love the color, and I love how it can punch up a plain white tee and black leggings. Today, I am being challenged to be satisfied with what I have… 

It’s enough. 

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You can find my new favorite bag from Clare V. here. I also love it in navy!

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xo, Em

Huge thank you to Meg Perotti for snapping these photos for me on our Carmel Getaway!