Browsing Tag



You’re Only 5 Items Away From A Fresh Spring Wardrobe

fresh spring wardrobe header

Regardless of the generally mild season we’ve had, Winter is not leaving without a fight… and a few Winter Storm Warnings.

Honestly, this bi-polar weather is really cramping my Spring style. Luckily, these few “bonus days” in heavy knits and boots has given me a chance to fine tune my Spring wardrobe. I’ve curated a tight collection of 5 versatile pieces that will give your wardrobe that fresh feeling — once all this snow melts!

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Home Decor

Spring Home Refresh

spring home refresh header

With each spring, my motivation kicks into turbo charge and I take on the challenge of a home decor refresh.

Clutter gets eliminated, furniture gets moved around and small tweaks are made throughout my living spaces — swapping textiles and throws, the addition of a new statement piece, switching art prints, etc. None of this is overly difficult or expensive, but the end result is always a breath of fresh air.

This type of change feels good.

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Spring’s Best 10 Under $50

Spring's best 10 under $50 header

Anyone else spend their President’s Day weekend online (window) shopping?

With the sun continuing to shine down, it’s hard to resist all of the spring fashion — especially when it’s discounted.  I decided that there were way too many great deals that it was worth sharing Spring’s best 10 under $50 finds with YOU!

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Spring 2016 Nail Polish Trends Header

Spring 2016 Nail Polish Trends

Spring 2016 Nail Polish Trends Header

Today is a very special day.

“Why?” you ask…

Today I discovered the mystical golden unicorn of the nail world. After almost 4 years of struggling to find a Cleveland based nail technician that can complete a pristine mani/pedi combo in under 2 hours without drawing blood, I found her. She actually exists! Her name is Sandy and she is spectacular.

All joking aside, a talented nail technician who you trust is high up there on the list of things every woman should have in her life… right behind an amazing hair stylist and a thorough and efficient (because no one wants to be on THAT table longer than necessary!) waxing specialist.

The modern woman’s glam squad.

Sandy managed to be speedy on application, yet meticulous in technique at the same time. In under 90 minutes I walked out of the nail salon with perfectly polished tips and toes and a new appreciation for quality handiwork. There was no aggressive cuticle hacking and no rough edges — only the most flattering spring-ready shades of taupe I would have never picked on my own.

Which brings us to today’s post… While unfortunately I can’t send Sandy directly to you, I CAN pass along some of her spring color selection wisdom as well as some of the other spring runway nail polish shades that are going to be your new favorites!


Pink Quartz: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4

Spicy Reds: 5 // 6 // 7

Grey Storm: 9 // 10 // 11

Liquid Metal: 8 // 12 // 13

Serenity Blue: 14 // 15 // 16 // 17

Did you notice PANTONE’s 2016 COLORS OF THE YEAR peeking through? You’ll be seeing a ton of Pink Quartz + Serenity Blue making their appearance in everything beauty, fashion and decor!

Sandy helped me pick really clean and easy neutrals for my own mani/pedi situation. We went with OPI Tiramisu for Two on my hands (#1) — I used the longer lasting gel formula. It’s a really pretty opaque, pinky beige, best described as the color of coffee with a lot of cream! On my toes, she recommended going slightly darker with, OPI A French Quarter For Your Thoughts (#9). I would describe it as a warm grey with purply, taupe undertones.

Do YOU have any favorite nail polish colors for spring?!


(header image via)


Spring Dress Collection


I gotta tell you… the worst way to start a Monday morning is waking up, trying to get dressed and feeling as though you have nothing to wear. I am pretty certain that this has happened to each and every one of you.

C’mon, fess up!

Show me a woman who hasn’t walking into her closet, stared aimlessly at her wardrobe and said, “I hate everything in here!!!” It’s practically a right of female passage.

Over the years, I’ve realized that the best way to combat a case of the “I-Have-Nothing-To-Wear-Mondays” is with the simplest of solutions: a dress. With little to no fuss and not much thinking involved (because who really wants to think that much on a Monday?) you can instantly look put together AND have a bit of extra time to make that pit stop for a grande non-fat latte, extra shot of espresso to get you on point for the long day ahead.

It’s a win-win scenario… for everyone.

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Whether you’re getting ready for back-to-back meetings at the office or a day at the park with the kids in tow, you really can’t go wrong with a dress!

Now go caffeinate… we’ve got a long day ahead.

XOXO signature



Who Wears Short Shorts?

shorts_header_the_heart's_delightI recently had a conversation with a friend about shorts and the fact that I rarely wear them.

A titillating conversation, I know. Don’t worry, we also talked about other way more exciting/scandalous subjects over a few glasses of rosé. Is anyone else as excited as I am about the return of outdoor drinking… and all of the rosé?

But I digress…

I’m not quite sure why, but shorts have never been a huge part of my summer wardrobe. I was trying to get a mental tally going and I could only come up with 3 pairs of shorts that I currently own. A measly little number. There’s definitely nothing wrong with shorts– I am pretty attached to my DENIM CUT-OFFS as a matter of fact, but for whatever reason, I’ll pick a skirt, jeans or dress over shorts any day.

Since I know I’m not alone in my shorts scarcity, I wanted to put together a collection of cute short styles to get you all through what is predicted to be, a hotter than usual summer.


1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12

Who wears short shorts? You and I should.

XOXO signature



Pastel Perfection


When spring style arrives, most people have visions of soft pastels and delicate florals.

Well, not me.

It’s one of those cases where it’s just not my fashion jam. You know? While my workhorse wardrobe of classic neutral colors and basic patterns (stripes/animal print) can get me effortlessly through most of the year, by spring I am ready for a change. A lightening, of sorts.


This season, I decided to dip my toe into the pastel pool, but on my own terms, of course. Rather than go whole hog “pretty in pink,” I decided to tone down some of the pastel sweetness with more of my signature style. In this case, a broken in soft t-shirt, a worn and faded denim jacket and some killer heels.

150417Stella207 Pastel Perfection pencil skirt Zoe Karssen graphic tee Gap denim jacket Saint Laurent pumps Loeffler Randall colorblock bag


This minty-green pencil skirt (no longer available; SIMILAR) was a 2014 clearance find off the online racks of PIPERLIME (Have you guys seen my best PIPERLIME CLEARANCE SALE PICKS yet?) and I’ve surprisingly gotten a lot more wear out of it that I had ever thought possible. The minty color is a refreshing change, yet the black tuxedo stripe and t-shirt pairing adds back that masculine edge that defines my style.


150417Stella233 Givenchy drop green crystal earring


Rhyme & Echo PENCIL SKIRT (no longer available; SIMILAR)// Zoe Karssen T-SHIRT (no longer available; SIMILAR)// GAP DENIM JACKET // Saint Laurent PUMPS (no longer available; SIMILAR + LOOK FOR LESS)// Givenchy EARRINGS (no longer available; SIMILAR) // Loeffler Randall HANDBAG (THIS SEASON’S VERSION)

The most important part of fashion is feeling comfortable and your absolute best in your clothes. Whether that’s in feminine, pastel frocks, or an edgier, structured look, well, that’s up to you!


Pastel Pencil Skirt-

Black Graphic Tee-

Denim Jacket-

Cap Toe Pumps-

XOXO signature



Spring 2015: Capsule Basics

Spring 2015 capsule basics how to build a spring wardrobe capsule

As you may recall, I dipped my toe into the MINIMALIST CAPSULE WARDROBE approach to fashion last fall. While I’m by no means a die hard advocate of limiting your closet to a set number of items and associated hard and fast rules, I do find value in a well-edited, tight seasonal collection that really gets some action in your day-to-day life. There is nothing worse than a new purchase that sits unworn with tags still attached, hanging sadly in your closet.

For those of you who haven’t tried this approach, I cannot express how easy it is to get dressed and recognize all of the available options in your wardrobe when your closet is filled with only items you love. I still struggle with parting with some beautiful clothes and accessories that just don’t “do it” for me, but with time and practice I find that I’m buying less, closet purging less and shopping my own closet more. It’s a long term win-win scenario.

With spring approaching, I took to evaluating my own wardrobe and creating a capsule that can work perfectly in this in-between type of weather as well as into the warmer spring months. Here’s what made it into my seasonal capsule (items that need to be purchased are notated with a *)!

You might recognize most of these pieces as items I’ve written about or worn in the past. Which is kind of the point I guess?! You don’t want to go and run out and spend a fortune buying an entire seasonal wardrobe every few months. Rather, what you’d like to happen is to easily combine pieces you already own and fill in the occasional gap with a new, on-trend item that works with the rest of the collection.

Over time, I’ve realized that I’m definitely not too much of a skirt girl, but I still want a feminine touch to what is a pretty androgynous assortment of clothes. I selected 2 dresses in easy silhouettes to give me a few more lady-like dressier options. How amazing is that sheer COS CRINKLE DRESS? I can see it layered over a nude slip and worn on it’s own with a heeled sandal, or even worn open over a tank/tee and a pair of jeans. The long, emerald colored TOPSHOP TUNIC DRESS can easily be dressed up or down as well. The HELMUT LANG MINI SKIRT is a comfy jersey blend that just seems to work with my lifestyle. In my hectic day, a bit of stretch is always a good thing!

Now, onto accessories!

As you know, accessories can be a game changer for any outfit. I really tried to account for any scenario that could come up in the next few months using items that were already in my closet. Unfortunately that means some of these items have sold out. For example, that grey ALEXANDER WANG TOTE? Gone, gone, gone. In case you’re interested, HERE is a good alternative. Also, that CHANEL CROSSBODY BAG? It was something I borrowed from my mother circa-2001 and ‘forgot‘ to return. Love you, mom!

Those STUART WEITZMAN LOWLAND boots are probably my favorite purchase of the year. A bold statement, I know. I’ve literally worn them with everything. Don’t believe me? Here’s DOCUMENTED PROOF. I’m hoping to get a good number of wears in before I trade them in for the GLADIATOR SANDALS. This specific pair is splurge worthy, but check out THIS POST for some true steals!

So, have I made any capsule wardrobe converts out of you yet?

I’d love to hear how you go about curating your own seasonal wardrobe! Are you a fly by the seat of your pants kind of gal, or do you have a solid strategy in place? Please share any tips or thoughts in the comment section below.

XOXO signature


Gladiator Sandal

gladiator sandal summer style 2015  header

It’s incredible what a little sunshine can do to improve a mood.

Yesterday was the first inkling that spring just may happen this year. Bright sunshine, temperatures in the mid-40’s and melting snow (finally!) made the whole area come alive and emerge from their winter hibernation. It was nice to actually come out of the house in non-snow boots and not have to do a full strip down of coats, hats, scarves, etc. when coming back in. It’s the little things, folks.

I’m thinking now may be the right time to bring up a very passionate topic for many people, myself included: shoes. More specifically, this summer’s biggest footwear trend, the gladiator sandal.

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What do you guys think about the gladiator?

Truthfully, for the past 2 summers I’ve been wavering in opinion on the lace-up, ancient-Greek inspired throwback. I thought they were kind of cool, but sort of impractical, you know!? Like who really wants leather or suede encasing their entire lower leg during the hottest, sweatiest months of the year? You know what… I think I might. While my general personal style falls into the category of minimalist and modern, my summer style is just a slight bit more bohemian and feminine, which is a perfect compliment to a gladiator sandal.

With Spring Break around the corner, I’m envisioning white gauzy tunics, cut offs and a flat laced gladiator for day and loose, flowy dresses with heeled gladiators at night. Decisions, decisions…

In case you’re like me and trying to decide if the gladiator look is for you, here are some important style notes to keep in mind:

1) Select the right height

Not everyone is as genetically blessed at Gisele Bundchen with legs miles long. If you happen to fall into the camp of more petite (a.k.a. short), or have fuller/muscular legs and ankles, stick to a shorter length shaft. Also, a tan or nude color (try to match your skin tone) will further trick the eye to elongate your legs. Finally, a heel (stacked for day and stiletto for night) can give you that much needed boost to visually slim and lengthen.

If you are blessed with long, slim legs any color/length/height works. It’s just a matter of narrowing down a style that you like best which based on my initial shopping research is easier said than done!

2) Not all sandal straps are created equal

Finding the perfect gladiator sandal is all about proportion. If you’re a woman with thin ankles and narrow feet, try to look for sandals with thinner straps. Anything wide or heavy can overwhelm your foot/leg and make it look like you’re swimming in shoes that are too big.

The reverse is true for those with thicker ankles and a wider foot: look for thicker straps and a chunkier heel to balance out your natural body proportions. The more of the story is: you gotta work what’cha mama gave ‘ya.

3) Keep it simple

This is clearly a style note that applies to many fashion trends and styles, but in terms of the gladiator sandal you want to keep the rest of your look as un-fussy as possible. Gladiators, whether high or low make a statement on their own, so there’s no need for many style extras or embellishments. In this case, simple really is best.

Here are some great street style images of gladiator sandals in action. A picture is worth a 100 words, right?

The polls are officially open and I’m inviting you to cast your vote.

Tell me, the gladiator sandal: yea or nay?

XOXO signature

(images 1 / 23 / 4 / 5)


Target Shopping List: Women’s Clothing + Accessories

target shopping list header

On my agenda yesterday, was a quick trip to TARGET to pick up some depleted household items. You know, the usual tissues, kitchen cleaner, toothpaste, etc. One hour and $118 later, I walked out with 8 bags of things that I most definitely did not know I needed. I don’t know what it is about Target, but it sucks you in like a vortex and despite your best intentions, you can never come out with ONLY what you had written down on your color-coded list. There really should be a professional study about the psychology of Target shopping. I’d be happy to volunteer as a subject.

During my hour-long Target spree I took a look at some of the clothing and accessories and was pleasantly surprised. Target’s designs and quality seems to have come a long way in the last few years. I was impressed enough, that when I got home I checked out their website to see what other gems I could find. Let’s just say, my virtual shopping cart is pretty full.

1 // 2 // 3 (less than $7!) // 4 // 5 (under $50!) // 6 // 7 // 8 (tassels are going to be a big spring trend!)// 9 // 10 // 11 // 12 // 13 (how comfy do these sandals look?)// 14

As with any bargain shopping, your primary concern should be composition and quality. Sometimes, that shirt/dress/shoe is so inexpensive because the materials that it’s made out of are flat-out cheap: polyester, acrylic, vinyl, etc. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that as long as you know that it’s not the best quality and will probably last you no longer than a season. It’s a perfect example of, “You get what you pay for.”

All that being said, the products I selected above seem to be a step above the “usual”: real leather, gold, diamonds, merino wool… you get the idea. Also, when shopping at a store like Target, I generally go for clothing and accessories that are more simple in nature with less complex embellishment and seam-work. The combo of better materials and clean designs make my bargain buys nearly indistinguishable from much more expensive splurge purchases. Next time you’re cruising down the aisles of the infamous Tar-jáy, keep this more discriminatory shopping strategy in mind and I guarantee you’ll end up with a (slightly) lighter cart and a fuller wallet.

What’s on YOUR Target shopping list?

the heart's delight Stella Compiseno


P.S. While this post was focused on clothing and accessories, I noticed there were so many new fun home items being stocked while I shopped. I’ll definitely be doing a Target home decor/accessory roundup in the near future! Stay tuned.