9 Fall Wardrobe Staples You Need In Your Closet

CollageCardigan  //  Skirt (sold out, similar one linked below)  //  Jeans (similar)  //  Boots  //  Beanie (similar)Fall Closet Staples

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With the weather finally starting to feel like fall (we went from 90 degrees to 40 degrees in 2 days last week), I’m sharing my top 9 wardrobe staples that you need to add to your closet now! I have items very similar (if not exact) currently in my closet.

Before I get started, I wanted to update you guys on what has been going on with Styled Muse behind the scenes! I know I have been MIA, but this is mostly because I have been working on revamping the website! In the past, I focused heavily on fashion and beauty. Now, I’m going to focus on building self confidence. I’m currently trying to build up my own, and I’m going to bring you guys along for the ride and help you build up your own self confidence! This will range from fitness and health, to fashion and beauty. Right now, I have posts scheduled for twice a week with one being fitness or health related, and the other being fashion or beauty related. If there is something specific within each category you would like to see posts about, please let me know! You can comment on here, send me an email, or DM me on Instagram!

Not only will I be changing the website, but I’m also going to do social media a little different. I’ll be sharing more about myself, including things I love that might not seem “Instagram perfect”. For example, the type of music I like (this may surprise you) and my nerdy side. I’m hoping this will help me get to know you guys more, too!

Now, on to fall wardrobes! Fall has and always will be my favorite season. Not just because I love my fall wardrobe more than anything else, but I love the chilly weather, bonfires, and pumpkin flavored anything. You maybe call me “basic”, but I call it a lifestyle, haha!

This fall I have been obsessing over mini skirts with over the knee boots, cozy cardigans, and western style ankle boots. Normally I’m not into the whole “western look” (wow, that made me think of The Hills!), but for some reason I really love these black ones I just got! These tan ones are super cute as well, and I had a hard time deciding which pair to get. I also love jeans that are distressed at the bottom. I’m 5’4″ and a lot of jeans end up long on me, but since the end is somewhat cut off, they fit me perfectly and are great to wear with ankle boots since you don’t have to cuff the bottoms.

Beanies have become a staple with almost every fall outfit so far. I currently have 4, and I’m sure I will have a few more by the end of winter, haha! I have two white and one gray that are similar to this one, and I have a leopard one similar to this one, but without the poof on top.

What staples do you have in your closet for the fall? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading!

Valerie

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Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2018

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The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is HERE! Early access started on July 12th for card holders, but starts on July 20th for the public. I have already placed 2 orders on the 2nd day the sale started for card holders. I was hoping to have the items before the sale started for the public tomorrow so I could take photos of each item, but Nordstrom is overwhelmed with orders right now, and my items haven’t shipped yet. So when you do order, make sure you keep in mind that normal shipping times are a bit longer.

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is one of the biggest sales of the year! You can find brand new designer items for fall that are up to 40% off. I went through every page of the sale (yeah, it took awhile haha!) and rounded up my favorite items that I thought were the best deal! I have them in categories for accessories, beauty, clothing, and fitness. Many items have already sold out, so make sure you act fast on items you love!

Accessories

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  1. Brixton Fiddler Corduroy Baker Boy Hat (I purchased this in my 2nd order, and I can’t wait to style it in the fall!)
  2. Nordstrom Genuine Calf Hair Leopard Print Clutch
  3. Sole Society Fluri Faux Leather Backpack (This backpack was in my first order, but I got it in a gray color. The gray is sold out, but the black is still available!)
  4. J.Crew Bead & Raffia Earrings
  5. Madewell Colorblock Blanket Scarf
  6. Halogen Violet Genuine Calf Hair Mule
  7. Steve Madden Trace Studded Mule
  8. Steve Madden Carter Slingback Platform Sandal

Clothing

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  1. Caslon Peplum Top
  2. Billabong Meadow Swing Stripe Shirt
  3. BP. Ruffle Sleeve Print Shirt
  4. Leith Tie Front Skort (Purchased this, and probably my favorite item so far!)
  5. Love, Fire Button Front Skirt (also got this, I have a thing for skirts this year!)
  6. Billabong Love and War Ruffle Trim Minidress
  7. Taylor Shift Dress
  8. Caslon Plaid Shirt
  9. Leith Tie Front Pant
  10. Kensie Faux Fur Jacket
  11. STS Blue Emma Raw Hem Ankle Skinny Jeans
  12. Halogen Lace Detail Jacket
  13. Caslon Asymmetrical Drape Collar Terry Jacket
  14. Dreamers by Debut Nubby Cardigan (I really needed a cozy cardigan, so I purchased this one!)
  15. Zeza B by Hue Ripped Knee Denim Crop Leggings

Fitness

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  1. Adidas Made to Move Tank
  2. Zella Madison Tank
  3. Adidas Originals Trefoil Tank
  4. Zella Loop Back Tank
  5. Adidas 6-Pack Trefoil Superlite No-Show Socks (I purchased these, I couldn’t pass up the $12 price tag, and the colors are super cute!)
  6. Adidas Stadium Hoodie
  7. Hum Nutrition The Essential Collection Dietary Supplement Duo (I ran out of my Hair vitamins and probiotic supplements, so I decided to give these a try! I’ve used Hum Nutrition Supplements before and I love them!)
  8. Zella Sun Salutation High Waist Leggings 
  9. Zella Sheer Drama Crop Leggings
  10. Zella Street Style High Waist Leggings (I LOVE the detail on these!)

Beauty

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  1. Serene House Cool Mist Cosmos Scentilizer Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser (perfect to place on your vanity!)
  2. Too Faced Sex, Gold and Chocolate Set (the palette by itself is normally $49, but you get a mascara and primer with it as well!)
  3. Impressions Vanity Co. Touch Trifold XL Dimmable LED Makeup Mirror
  4. Beautyblender Set
  5. NARS Hot Escape Eye & Cheek Palette
  6. Stila Good to Glow Liquid Eyeshadow Set (I have one of these at home, and use it all the time!)
  7. Diptyque Candle Set

I also purchased a pair of Platform Converse Sneakers (color: white) that I received in the mail yesterday, and I’m so excited to wear them! Unfortunately they are sold out. I’m hoping they will restock more items once the sale opens to the public tomorrow, because I also have my eye on this BP. White Lace Cami, It’s $22 and a staple item! It sold out in my size on the first day of the sale before I was able to add it to my cart!

Tips to shop the sale:
-Go through the sale and put everything you might want on your wishlist, so when the sale goes live, you can just add the items to your cart.
-Shop the sale as early as you can (I heard someone say that it goes live at 2am CT, but don’t quote me on that!)
-Even if you are unsure about an item, purchase it anyways! If you receive it and don’t love it, you can always send it back! Items sell out super fast, and you don’t want to miss out on an item!

What items are you planning on purchasing during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading, and happy shopping! ❤

Valerie

How To Dress Out Of Your Comfort Zone

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Shop The Look

Top: Soft Surroundings // Shorts: Target // Bag: Target // Shoes: Similar //
Necklace: Similar 

With warmer weather starting to arrive, I decided to start posting summer looks. Soft Surroundings just released their summer collection, and I’m in love! SO many bright colors. The mixed prints and beaded detail are what caught my eye on this top, and knew I had to add it to my summer collection. It’s also perfect for transitioning from spring to summer. I styled it here with jean shorts and wedges, but you can style it with any pair of jeans or white pants.

What I love about this shirt, is you can wear it buttoned up, unbuttoned, tucked in (like I did here) or tie it together in the front. The back is a bit longer, so you can also wear it with leggings.

The top is a lot brighter than some of the outfits I usually wear, and the jean shorts are way shorter than what I’m used to, but I’m really trying to dress out of my comfort zone this year. I always tend to dress by what people may think about me (kind of what I’ve done my whole life). This year, one of my goals was to live my life the way I want, be my own person, and be happy in my own skin. Do what makes ME happy. So that’s exactly what I plan to do! WEAR WHAT YOU WANT! JUST BE YOU! The only person that can make you happy is yourself!

Here are a few tips to dress out of your comfort zone:
1. STOP caring what other people think! (obviously, the main one)
2. Wear bright colors! (or dark colors if you always wear bright ones).
3. Afraid to wear that 2 piece swim suit? GET IT! Love your body!
4. Wear tighter fitting clothes! (baggy shirts aren’t always flattering anyways 😉 )
5. Don’t put yourself down!
6. BE YOU.

I hope this helps you buy that tight dress you’ve always wanted, or that cute two piece swimsuit at Target. Have other tips? Leave them in the comments below! Thanks for reading!

Valerie

This post was in collaboration with Soft Surroundings. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Styled Muse possible! ❤ 

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Mothers Day Gift Ideas

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We are officially halfway through the week! A little life update (2 things): First, As some of you may know, I work at the National Personnel Records Center as an Archives Technician. We basically send military records to veterans that request them. I’m currently on the burial team, and Friday is my last day. I’m officially going back up to the preservation department where I first started at the records center! I’m so excited to be working with my old coworkers again, and will somewhat be using the degree I am paying for each month, haha!

Last: This week my Aunt and Uncle from Georgia are visiting! I plan on spending all weekend with them. Saturday we will be spending the day at the lake BBQing and Fishing. The weather is supposed to be SO nice, so it will be perfect. Lake season has officially started, and I could not be more excited for warmer weather!

On to today’s post! Did anyone realize how close Mother’s Day is? Only two and a half weeks away! Usually I wait until the last minute to find something, but this year I’m trying to have a game plan. I did a quick round up of my favorite items that would be perfect for your mom listed above! I’m posting it ahead of time so you have plenty of time for shipping.

You can’t go wrong with Kendra Scott Jewelry, or anything coffee related! You can even throw in there a gift card to her favorite restaurant, coffee shop, or salon/spa! Don’t forget flowers ;). One of my favorite things to get my mom each year is a vase full of her favorite flowers or a plant she can put out in the yard.

I love bright colored scarves for spring and summer. You can add them to your bag, or tie around your neck for a cute statement piece. Of course I had to add a beach bag, since I have summer on the brain!

Do you have Mother’s Day gift ideas for your mom? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!

Valerie

 

Spring Trends For 2018

Spring Trends

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Happy Hump Day! I know I have been MIA lately. I came down with the flu a few weeks ago, and it knocked me out! For a week straight, I had high fevers and no energy. Ever since then I just couldn’t get back to my normal routine. I’ve also been concentrating more on my weightloss journey. Sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated with two things (my favorite quote from Ron in Parks and Rec: “Never half a** two things, whole a** one thing”). Though this is true, I’ve decided to try and stay motivated with both by setting time aside for each thing, and only concentrating on it during that time. I also plan on having a lot more fitness related posts on here (next Friday I’m sharing fitness tips that helped me lose 25 pounds so far!).

Also, the Instagram algorithm has been bringing me down MAJORLY (anyone else??). Most of my website views came from Instagram, and now that only 200 (of the 10,000 followers I have) are seeing my posts, everything has dropped dramatically. It’s very discouraging for all bloggers and small businesses. Right now, I’m just going to continue creating my content like normal, but also focus more on other social platforms and hope that will help a little. Another thing, has anyone noticed how unreal everyone’s Instagram feeds are looking lately? Can you even relate to anyone? One thing I’m going to start working on is being real with you all, and showing the real me (because I obviously don’t live in a mansion, drive a BMW, or have a private jet. Tiny 2 bedroom duplex and a Ford Fusion, over here!). Okay, rant over! 🙂

With warmer weather approaching, I’m starting to bring out more of my spring clothes and accessories. I decided to do a round up of some of my favorite trends for spring this year. My favorite? The Cult Gaia Bamboo Shoulder Bag! It’s a splurge for sure (not in my budget, but for sure on my wish list!), but there are a ton of dups on Amazon! Just search “Bamboo Bag” and the tote and shoulder bag styles will both show up.

I’m also obsessed with floral printed blazers this season. I just bought this one from Target for under $35, and will have it on the blog in a couple weeks!

Another huge trend? Calf hair mules. These are a little pricey, but you can get the espadrille version from Target for under $25! I just bought them last week and can’t wait to style them. I also picked up these Sam Edelman Bow Mules a couple weeks ago when they were on sale.

Has anyone noticed the pearl trend? It’s literally on everything including jeans, shoes, and jean jackets. I have a pair of jeans very similar to these, and love the detail on them!

Of course, statement jewelry like these earrings will always have a place in my heart. There’s just something about them that catches my eye (and wallet) every time. I love the feathers on these! Stay tuned for a HUGE statement jewelry round up coming soon!

What’s your favorite spring trend this year? Let me know in the comments! As always, thanks for reading!

Valerie

The Best Gifts For Everyone

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Only SIX DAYS until Christmas! Can anyone else believe that? If you are a last minute shopper (like myself), I’m rounding up some of my favorite gifts for everyone on your list. A lot of these can be delivered before Christmas, you just have to pay for expedited shipping! But, if you love something yourself, just use those gift cards you receive in your stockings ;). Also, make sure you enter for a chance to win a Soapbox bundle! (details are at the end of this post).

Soapbox Soaps:
I know I rave about this company all the time (they truly are the best, and the only products I have in my bathroom right now), but you really can’t pass up giving a gift that gives back. For each item you purchase, they donate a bar of soap to those in need. The bundles can get gifted to anyone on your list, including men! Use code bestgift17styledmuse to get 10% off your entire purchase!

Maria Shireen:
My favorite bracelet that hides your hair tie! There are so many designs and hair tie colors to choose from. Perfect for your mom, sister, or bestie. Use code FTW20 for 20% off your entire purchase!

Rachel’s Grove:
This is seriously the cutest boutique in St. Louis (but they also have a website)! I visited them for the first time at the beginning of this year, and found this wristlet that I use everytime I go out! They are sold out of it, but I’m in love with this velvet crossbody! 

Boho Betty:
I have a few of these wrap bracelets and I wear them all the time. This one is my favorite and is currently on my wish list! Use code STYLEDMUSE to get 20% off your entire purchase!

JustFab:
Lately, this is the only place I have been buying shoes from. Your first style is only $10 when you sign up!

Mala Prayer:
Mala Prayer has gorgeous handmade necklaces! You can see me wearing mine in this post HERE. Also, each purchase you make goes towards women entrepreneurs to help invest in their businesses! Use code VALERIEHELTON20 for 20% off your entire purchase!

WallsNeedLove:
For the person who loves decorating their home! WallsNeedLove is a company that makes removable wallpaper! I have the cutest banana leaf wallpaper by them, and I’m so excited to put it above my vanity!

Young Living Essential Oils:
I use essential oils for everything. Not only do they smell amazing, but they are free of harmful chemicals. You can use them for everything from stress and headaches to beauty and cleaning products! You can order your own essential oils by using the link above! I will have a lot of essential oil tutorials in the new year, so keep an eye out!

Ruth & Philomena:
The sweatshirt I’m wearing in the photos above are from this boutique! They have gifts for anyone on your christmas list! You can use code NEWFREE to get free shipping on your order!

Kohl’s & Ulta:
When I’m not sure what to get my sister or bestites, my fall back is always makeup gift sets you can find at Ulta and Kohl’s. This Lorac lipstick gift set is my favorite, and is currently on sale for under $22!

3GIVEAWAY! Win this Soapbox Coconut Oil bundle! To win:

  1. Comment on this post telling me what the best gift you have ever received for Christmas was.
  2. Sign up for the Styled Muse newsletters! Click HERE to subscribe to new posts and giveaway updates via email!

***CONGRATS TO REBECCA NILES! YOU ARE THE WINNER OF THE GIVEAWAY! Please send an email to styledmuse@gmail.com with your shipping information!***

Thanks for reading, and happy shopping!

Valerie

Gift Guide: The Guy In Your Life

Gift Guide

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This is my first gift guide of the season! I’m starting off with the hardest person to stop for: the guy in your life! This can include your boyfriend, dad, grandpa, father-in-law, brother, etc. I always find it easy to shop for my mom and sister, but always have the hardest time shopping for my dad (he literally has everything!)

Right now Macy’s is having a HUGE friends and family sale, so all of these items are from their website! If you use code FRIEND when checking out, you can take an extra 30% off! Some departments are excluded, and will only give you 10 or 15% off. This code is good until December 11th, so it’s the perfect time to get your Christmas shopping done!

One of my favorite items I found on Macy’s website, has to be this wallet! It holds your phone, cards, money, and also has a phone charger built in to charge your phone with! I think I’m going to get this one for my dad this year!

My boyfriend loves button down shirts. I got a few of these for him last year, and he loves them! They are comfy, but can also be dressed up a bit. He also loves anything Nike, so these shoes and hoodie are on his list this year.

This Polo cologne is my boyfriend’s dad’s favorite. He gets it for Christmas every year. I feel like cologne for a guy is always the best present. You can’t have too much cologne, and it can last him all year.

For the guy that has everything, I love the idea of getting him a travel bag (if he travels a lot), a drone (if he’s into tech stuff) or this flask and business card holder set (for the business guy that likes to have a drink every now and then 😉 ).

Click here to view my full Gift Guide for the guy in your life on Maven’s website!

Next week I will have my Christmas post up with a bunch of my favorite items that would be perfect as Christmas gifts, so keep an eye out for that! My plan was to have that up at the beginning of this week, but my dad got really sick and was in the hospital for most of the week. He’s feeling much better, but still having a few issues, so please keep my family in your thoughts and prayers!

Have a great weekend, and thanks for reading!

Valerie

This post was sponsored by Macy’s and Maven. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Styled Muse possible!