Spring Forward 2016, Look Five

I hope I’ve given you some ideas on what to be shopping for this spring.  Here’s the last outfit in this little spring collection.

This last look is for when the spring turns warmer because these little rompers are everywhere!  While this one might be a little bare as presented on the model, I paired it with a cute little bralette that is meant to be another layer.  I also topped it with a cardigan to cover up in that’s actually longer than the romper because of the fringe.  This is a look that goes against what your mama taught you.  But it’s a trend no less.  I kept the accessories earthy and simple.

And those are my five looks for a Bohemian spring. I’ll be excited to see what you’ll be wearing!

Spring Forward 2016, Look Five

For more information on these pieces, check below:

Spring Forward 2016, Look Five by stylefromthesticks featuring a fringe top

Fringe top

Multi color jumpsuit
$14 – yoins.com


Spring Forward 2016, Look Four

This is a date night look.  Pair a pretty little Bohemian dress with some flirty little add ons.  I especially like these shoes that will go with many different looks.  And the bag reminds me of something my grandmother would have carried.  Don’t forget to make each wrist sparkle a little with some great bracelets.

Spring Forward 2016, Look Four

You can find more information on each piece here:

Spring Forward 2016, Look Four by stylefromthesticks featuring gold bangles

René Derhy red cocktail dress
$88 – pret-a-beaute.com

Kayu white handbag
$235 – net-a-porter.com

River Island gold bangle

Gold bangle

Spring Forward 2016, Look Three

Need a break from jeans but not ready yet for shorts?  Don’t forget the easy style of the maxi skirt.  Last year’s floppy hat will still get some wear this spring and so will those neutral boots that you wore all winter (since it’s still not quite sandal weather outside).

To more information on each piece, check out the links below:

Spring Forward 2016, Look Three


Spring Forward 2016, Look Three by stylefromthesticks featuring band hats

Floral blouse

Pink maxi skirt

Band hat

Spring Forward 2016, Look Two

Another day, another spring look!  This one has a mix of styles, Bohemian, paired with some Hunter boots just in case of mud and a touch of preppy with the emerald green blouse.

Fringe is still really hot this season and you’ll find it on just about everything from shoes to bags to tops.  It captures my inner hippie.  Plus it’s fun to wear!

spring forward 2

Spring Forward Look 2

More details on the pieces here:

Short sleeve top

Long floral kimono

Tall rain boots

Tassel pendant

Tech accessory

Spring Forward 2016- Look One

“I might even take a wild, boyish fling at writing,” says Paul Varjak from Breakfast at Tiffanys.  (If you haven’t seen that movie, put it on your must watch list for old movie night.)
I realize my productivity with this blog has lapsed but I think things are starting to come round!  I had a teething baby to wean and so many a day I’ve spent rocking a crabby baby.  I know I’ll miss those days all too soon!
Now I’m seeing the light at the tunnel though, probably just in time for the kids to get out of school and create a whole new set of challenges.  Meanwhile, let’s think about spring.  My kiddos have been out of school for break this week and it has me thinking about new spring fashion trends!
Here’s day one-
spring forward 1

Spring Forward 2016

The theme for my looks this week is definitely going to have a Bohemian influence because that look is everywhere!  And I love it.
I cannot believe I’m saying this but guess what’s big for spring…chokers.  Yes, it is 1992 and you’re pairing them with your bodysuit.  Wha????  Yes chokers.  You can blame this fashion trend from the boho look that is sweeping through stores and my closet.  While I will be a part of this trend, I will reserve wearing my choker for junking trips and nights out dancing.  I probably won’t be sporting it on the playground.  But kudos to you if you do!
A few other trends in this look are the flowy wrap blouse, the peeptoe booties, and the round sunglasses (I love those!).  Prints are big for spring.  So be on the lookout for some new patterned tops when you’re out shopping!
Here’s more info about each piece:
Spring Forward 2016 by stylefromthesticks featuring a blue shirt

Topshop shell necklace
$12 – topshop.com

The Third Piece

“Picture it,” I say in my best Sophia of the Golden Girls voice, “it’s 1994 again and you’re shopping at the Buckle.  You’ve saved up from that awful waitressing job to buy another pair of Lucky brand jeans and a flannel to wear with your Doc Martins.”

Or maybe it was yesterday.

Nothing against anyone who shops at the Buckle, they do have cute clothes.  It will just forever be tainted in my mind as the store of my youth (and I was a youth in 1994!).  I can’t bring myself to shop there.

But today’s post isn’t about the Buckle or brand name jeans, it’s about something that I remember everyone saying over and over again at the Buckle at the time.  “Layers, layers, layers.”

So what was “layers” in 1994 is now what I’ve heard referred to as “the third piece.”  Have you heard about this?  I can’t remember where I first read about it but here’s the gist- to make an outfit visually interesting it needs a third piece.  So it has to be beyond just a top and pants or skirt.  Think about that for a  minute.  Look over the pins in your Pinterest board for fashion.  What makes them special?  Generally, it’s the third piece.

Now, in the wintertime, the third piece is pretty easy.  And no, I’m not counting your coat, although it does add some dimension.  Most of the day you’re not in your coat.  During winter we bundle up in scarves, furry vests and cardigans.

But in the summer the third piece has to be a little more creative.  Some ideas for a third piece in the summer are a lightweight vest, a statement jewelry piece, a lightweight long sleeve button up, a statement belt and if it’s not too warm, a blazer.

I hope this is just a little incentive to make your every day outfits say more about who you are than just a plain old shirt and pants.  While it might not be the “layers” of yesterday, the third piece still adds a bit of something extra to make your outfit special.

I dare you to add in that third piece!

Here are some great “third piece” ideas from one of my favorite midwest fashion bloggers I turn to for inspiration! (She’s so adorable.)

Black and white prints for work chic!:

Black and white prints for work chic!

This is a great work outfit look featuring a cute little cropped blazer from Chic Street Style.  Note the bag and sunglasses are part of this look.

For more information on this look, you can visit her blog at:


Here’s one of my favorite fall looks-

Cute rainy day style:

Cute rainy day style

I’m pretty sure I own a version of that scarf.  That’s really the third piece here but don’t forget that bag with fabulous boots!

Here’s the link to that look- http://chicstreetstyle.me/rainy-day-wiww/

And lastly, here’s that allusive summer look that she does so well-

Casual summer attire - love those crochet shorts!

Casual summer attire

That thin little top is a great third piece and covering her arms makes her legs the attention getter!  So cute and just a little bit gypsy for those who are, like me, obsessed with that look.

Again, here is the link to read more about that outfit-


Thank you so much Brenna for letting me feature you!


Online Shopping Tips

Don’t you hate it when you get something in the mail that you ordered online and it doesn’t fit right?  Or it just isn’t what it appeared to be?  I am no expert at making purchases online.  But I do have a few tricks that I am giving away so our online purchases will make us delighted instead of frustrated.  Below you’ll find my secrets for finding better fits for clothing purchased online, without trying it on.  Because most of us can’t tell how something is going to fit our body on the hanger.

My face when I get the mail. :)

My face when I get the mail. 🙂

Woman Being Shocked By Amazon.com Delivery by franky242 via freedigitalphotos.net

5)  Look carefully at how the clothes fit the model. Duh, right?  But I think what I’m trying to say here is to look CAREFULLY.  Here’s some examples.

One of my pet peeves is where shoulder seams hit.  There’s a trend right now to have shoulder seams hit about mid-bicep.  This isn’t what I’m referring to (although you should probably note that, if that’s not the look you’re going for).  I’m talking about if the shoulder seam sits right at the top of the shoulder or if it hits slightly off.  For me, having them hit slightly off makes my already broad shoulders appear much broader.  Lots of cheap clothing isn’t tailored well and one thing I look for first.

See how this shirt’s shoulder seams are past the end of her shoulders.  This is a great look for ladies who need to broaden their shoulders but a terrible look for those of us with muscular shoulders.  🙂  That small little shirring at the shoulder (did you notice that?  if not, you didn’t look close enough!) is also going to make my shoulders look even bigger!

Thumbnail Image of Color Swatch 0473 Image of Gingham Henley Tunic

Loft Gingham Henley

Do you see how this one is better?  The shoulder seams are just a bit higher, hitting more on the start of the shoulder blade?

Primary Image of Utility Blouse

Loft Utility Blouse

Other examples are-  is the shirt fitted all the way down or does it fall away from the body?  Pants are very difficult to buy without trying on but pay attention to what KIND of pant you’re looking for.  If you have a curvy body, straight fits might not work well on you.

The best advice I can give you here is this- if it doesn’t fit the model well, stay away!  There’s no hope for the piece if it doesn’t fit the “desirable” body type!

4) That leads me into the next part of shopping online.  Pay attention to the description and check out all the photos.  Again, if skinny jeans aren’t your favorite, then don’t be looking at pants that are described as skinny!  Or body skimming.  Or fitted through the leg.  Most good clothing companies are going to give you all the important details of the piece in the description.  If you don’t want back flap pockets then you better be reading the description. Another big tip, never buy a pant online without seeing the backview.  If there’s no back view picture, forget it.  WALK AWAY.  How can you tell if the pockets hit high or low?  (If you’ve forgotten, never buy jeans with high, small back pockets!) So what I’m saying here, if there isn’t a good description, be weary.  Like buying a swimsuit that says shelf bra in top.  Do you need cups?  Do you need shaping?  If you can’t see more, you might end up with a trainer bra that wouldn’t have worked for you in junior high!

I’m just going to make a big generalization here, but I find it true.  The cheaper the piece, the less description there will be!  If they are leaving out important details like the fabric or there’s only a front shot, keep in mind there might be some surprises when you get it in the mail.

3)  Know your body.  This one goes for shopping anywhere.  Do you have a long torso?  Do you have long legs?  A small waist?  Or broad shoulders?  A big bust?  Some of these things need to be taken into consideration.  A bigger hipped lady needs a curvy fit.  If you have long legs, you might need a tall length.  A big bust, be careful that the button top you’re eyeing will close over the girls.  The more you know about your body, the easier it is to narrow down what will work on you and what won’t.

2)  Again, I’m telling you a picture is worth a thousand words.  Look very carefully at the picture. Zoom in.  Do you know the differences between fabrics?  Is this garment 100% cotton, be careful that it might shrink.  Does it have more than 2% spandex, it might fit more like workout gear.  Does the fabric wrinkling strangely?  Does it lay right?  How about the color.  Don’t go by what it looks like on your phone.  Check on your computer if color is an issue.  Here’s another big tip- what’s the coloring of the model who’s wearing the piece?  Is she blonde and fair?  Or olive skinned and brunette?  That

1)  Read reviews, especially on swimwear and shoes.  Do they fit true to size or are they running narrow?  Are some girls complaining about the torso length?  If you’re buying boots, remember the calf width.  Some fabulous boots won’t go over my thicker legs.

Clearly there are no guarantees.  But with these tips, hopefully you’ll get better at the shot in the dark buying clothing online can be.  I say, practice makes perfect.  😉

Back into the Swing of Things

Stressed Secretary

Source: freedigitalphotos.net, credit Africa

You’re not going to believe this, but I celebrated my last Christmas on the 8th and my last round of guests left on the 10th.  So now that all of you have enjoyed weeks of resolutions and clearing out Christmas, I can finally begin.

At least putting Christmas stuff away doesn’t take near as long as getting it out and setting it all up, right?  That’s what I’m going to tell myself anyway.

I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things.  It’s been a long ride this Christmas.  And January is half over already!

These bitterly cold days are leaving me in a bit of a funk.  I’m trying to slow life down just a bit and trying to not overschedule myself.  But I’m also feeling the siren call of the paint can and I’m sure it’ll be project central here after those last Christmas totes are put away!

What do you have lined up for the new year?  I need to borrow your mojo.  As Home Depot says, “let’s do this!”

Merry Christmas, Enjoy the Tour

As promised I snapped some pictures of my home all dressed up for Christmas.  I have WAY more Christmas decorations than the average person and I tend to go a bit overboard with the decorating.  But my name is Holly, I have to love Christmas!

I hope you enjoy the tour!

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And have yourself a very merry little Christmas!

Time Heals All Wounds

Enough time has passed now I think I can talk about the front door situation without muttering any cuss words under my breath.  I’m half kidding.

When the Mr. and I looked to replace the front door, we knew we wanted an entry system.  That basically means that there are sidelights and a transom (the “window” above the door).  We should have some experience purchasing said item as we put in a new entry system in our former home.  That too was a long and painful experience that I have since pushed out of my memory like last year’s labor and delivery.

I don’t know how general contractors order these things.  I suppose they just get everything standard and are in and out of Menards in a matter of minutes.

We, however, were not that lucky.  We had some rotten luck straight out of the gate.

As the designer on this project, I had an idea in my head of what I wanted to choose for the new entry system.  I wanted a craftsman look and surprisingly, I can make those choices at the design counter rather quickly that might have stumped your average joe.  Because you know you can’t buy an entry system off the shelf at your local home store.  It’s all custom order.  Which leads to madness.  MADNESS.

What color do you want your hinges?  Do you want a hole b-o-r-e-d (ironically, that is how it’s spelled) for a dead bolt?  These are all questions I can get through.  And with the Mr. there helping with measurements, etc.  We kinda knew what we wanted.

The very first time we were looking in the home store for IDEAS for an entry system, there was a returned entry system there on clearance.  To save you the sad details of this experience, suffice it to say, we did not come home with said clearance entry system and we basically bought the same exact one for full price.  Full price.  That was bad luck number one.

Then we went countless rounds with our home store on trying to get the look we wanted- grills in the sidelights and in the transom and all matching white.  I lost track of how many times we entered the door into that system.

We ended up finally ordering the door locally to get all of the specifics we were wanting and their price was better.  But somewhere in the process we did not have the door prefinished.




Here is a picture of the door as it came.

However, I was confident that I could stain the front door.  People do this every day, right?  I did a bit of researched and decided to try the gel stain option.  I watched some YouTube videos on how to apply it.  And I got to work.

Again, in summary.  I’m not a big fan of gel stain.  At least not in this application.

I really took my time and applied the stain with a brush, very carefully.  I mean, I have paint skillz!  Here it was after application number one-


I was happy with it but the Mr. thought it looked too streaky.  I thought that was the look we were going for but I told him that I would apply a second coat.

Here it is after coat number two-



Now it looked just streaky in spots and I didn’t like it.  So after much sweating, researching and swearing/crying/freaking out, I applied coat number three.  Here is the results of that-


Now, it looks great, don’t get me wrong.  But basically I feel like I could have just purchased brown paint.  That was not the look I was going for.  But what is done is done.  I finished with a top coat and I never want to do that again.  NOT EVER.

What’s your experience with gel stain?  Have you ever stained a front door?

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