Working Girl

In this day and age no woman carries just one title. The 2017 woman is a working girl 24/7. She has a 9-5, she’s a mom, she’s a student, she owns her own business, she supports others and is involved in her community. She travels to places she’s never been, moves her family across the country, the state, or the world. She has a wide range of experience, a diverse pool of friends and an ever-growing knowledge base because more opportunities than ever are available to her.

Working Girl

Working Girl

Bag, Louis Vuitton Neverfull: Tradesy (2016), Shoes, Valentino Rockstuds: Friends & Family score (2016)

Think about all the women you know. How many of them fit this description? Pretty much all of them, right?! I can’t think of a single moment where I don’t feel like I’m working. But I think that’s a good thing. The moment we aren’t working towards something is when we stop growing and learning. I don’t know about you, but there’s no way I’ll ever be close to knowing everything there is to know.

Working Girl

You might find this a discouraging thought! But to me it’s exciting to realize no matter how far I reach out, I’ll always touch something I’ve never experience before, which means there’s literally no way I can ever get bored with life! The only thing I have to do is stretch a little further each time. And I think we can all benefit from a little stretching. After all, it’s the first thing we do each morning, and doesn’t that feel good?

Working Girl

Working Girl

For me (and probably most people) dressing well while working contributes greatly to my productivity level! If I don’t look like I know what I’m doing, I don’t feel like I know what I’m doing! Crazy how what we drape our bodies in can have such an emotional effect on our physical abilities, right? You wouldn’t try to run a marathon in heels, would you? Conversely, you wouldn’t pitch an idea to your boss wearing pajamas, right? The old adage, “dress for the job you want, not the job you have,” can be so misleading. It’s good advice, but how can you dress for the better job when you’re still on the old job’s salary? You’d be speechless to know how much of what I own was second hand or came from an Estate sale and the thrift store! I also can’t tell you how many times I’ve found out people think I spend insane amounts of money on my wardrobe. If they’d just ask I’d tell them how my favorite Chanel dress is 25 years old and was discovered at the bottom of a Goodwill bin for $11! You’d be amazing at what a good cleaning and a little tailoring can do for a garment! And this brings me to my next point; FIT. Fit is EVERYTHING. If a garment doesn’t fit you well it automatically looks cheaper. I have many pieces of clothing from Target and TJMaxx that I got for a steal, then immediately took to the tailor (or tailored myself) to fit better. I have this one dress from Target someone told me they thought HAD to have cost me at least a few hundred $$$’s based on how good it looks on me. Nope, I told her! I added some sew on crystal appliques to the collar and had the bodice fitted better! The most hilarious part about it was that the dress was a size 12 (I’m a 6-8) and was on the cast-off sales rack because a button was missing! I think I spent $8 on it and another $20 fixing it up! Now for my last point on dressing for your dream job: There IS such a thing as too much. Another quote I like (that’s also a bit confusing to put into action without some explanation!) is this: “Before you leave the house always look in the mirror and take one thing off.” – Cocoa Chanel. You can easily take an elegant outfit from classy to tragic with too much ‘clunk.’ Did you know that you do not HAVE to match all your accessories? WHAT?! That’s right, matchy-matchy outfits also toe the line of ‘cheap’! Think about it; Do you have a bold pair of bright blue heels that look killer with that white cocktail dress? Instead of matching it with a blue bag, earrings and a big sparkly necklace, match it with a white or tan bag and dainty jewelry. Let ONE statement piece take center stage. Do not wear more than one statement piece at a time. And tone everything else down about 50% more than you typically would. Ask yourself if Kate Middleton would approve, and then ask yourself if your favorite fashion icon would approve. Choose a middle ground that still true to your own style while taking queues from women who have defined the look you want!

Working Girl

Jacket, Chanel: Thrifted! (2017) Dress, Chanel: Thrifted! (2017) Necklace: J.Crew Factory (2013), Blouse: ZARA (2012) = Total less than $150!

working girl

Working Girl

Now a note on luxury items: If you really badly want an $1100 pair of shoes or a $1200 bag it’s not completely impossible to have one in a matter of months. Something I did was skip Starbucks and ordering out lunch for a few months and put that $ aside, couple that with saving a few quarterly bonuses I earned at work, and searching Tradesy, TheRealReal and TJMaxx Runway, I was able to easily score a few luxury pieces without pulling out a credit card or dipping into savings! I’ve built my luxury collection (and now have about 12 VERY NICE pieces) over the last 7 years and have NEVER paid retail. If you do happen to find a pair of Valentino Rockstuds or a Louis Vuitton Neverfull for $200 you can probably go ahead and assume it’s NOT real though! If a luxury item like that is “marked down” on eBay, or the like, it’s probably a fake. Trust me, you will not regret waiting and saving for the REAL THING, because you can absolutely tell the difference in quality! I’ve honestly never spent big money on clothes because I’d rather spend it on my feet! I know that may sound odd, but think about it; you’re on your feet all day, every day typically… You wouldn’t run a marathon in cheap, knock off Nike’s because the logo isn’t what makes a pair of shoes great… it’s all about the craftsmanship. So think about the things you spend the most amount of time in, and invest in that. Don’t feel guilty about paying $ for something that’s going to improve your quality of life at work.

For example: You can turn a $20 Forever21 dress into the chicest outfit in the room with a classic pair of shoes (Nine West from 6pm.com for $50), an investment belt, and a statement jacket that shows off your personal style, like I did below! Having just one really nice belt in your wardrobe like that can take the simplest LBD or white tee and jeans into the It-girl-street-style stratosphere! Dress also seen on me HERE & HERE.

💄☞#OOTD☜👠

A post shared by Rachel Kennedy-Christian (@southern.in.the.city) on

Working Girl

As far as ‘treating myself’ goes I like to invest in manicures, eyelash extensions and quality hair cuts. I’ll talk more about my beauty routine another time if that’s something y’all are interested in hearing about, but just know I’m not blowing thousands every year on treatments, products and makeup! You can absolutely look fabulous, classic, chic and elegant with a little smart maneuvering and making investments in a few small things that make a difference. Tell me, would you rather have 20 pairs of $30 shoes or 2 GREAT pairs for $300 each that people compliment you on all the time and automatically gets you that look of respect from women you pass on the street? Something to think about, Girl boss!

working girl

NO matter your job is know that you deserve to be proud of who you are, what you’ve accomplished and all that you can bring to the table. So here’s to you: The mom up at 3am answering e-mails and breast feeding her new born, the Waitress 10 hours into a double shift on a Friday night, the ER Dr. with someone’s life in their hands every moment they’re at work, the fresh-out-of-Uni grad walking into her dream job interview, the Soldier on her 3rd deployment, missing her 1st Anniversary with her new husband… Here’s to you: #RiseAndStretch

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Belle & the Enchanted Rose Beauty and The Beast Disney Inspired Makeup

Although I love Beauty and The Beast’s story I’ve always been more intrigued by the Enchanted Rose. It symbolizes the delicacy and slow bloom of love, yet is powerful enough to transform anyone. Today’s makeup look is inspired by Belle and the Enchanted Rose. I always thought Belle had a very rose-bud-esque look with her earthy eyes, flushed cheeks, beautiful skin and mauve pink lips. The whole idea for this look came together quite some time ago when the Lancôme La Rôse à Poudrer Highlighter‎ released in February. Just like the Enchanted Rose I immediately imagined this highlighter belonging under a glass bell!

Beauty and The Beast Belle Inspired Makeup

Once I decided on the Enchanted Rose theme I started thinking about other rose inspired makeup that could be incorporated into this look.

Beauty and The Beast Belle Inspired Makeup

Of course it was natural I choose the Huda Beauty Rose Gold palette and the Flower Jelly lipstick with the tiny rose embedded inside (just like the Enchanted Rose trapped in the glass bell!) From there it was simply a matter or replicating Belle’s glow-y, doe-like look. Check out the video below to find out exactly how to create this look for yourself!

NOTE: I do have eyelash extensions in, so you won’t see my putting mascara or lashes on in this video, but my favorite false lashes are THESE & THESE. I get my lash extensions at Hunter Paige Salon and they’re done by BethSee links in YouTube video description box for all products used!

Lancôme® Official Website - La Rôse à Poudrer Highlighter‎

Beauty and The Beast Belle Inspired Makeup

Beauty and The Beast Belle Inspired Makeup

Beauty and The Beast Belle Inspired Makeup

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Easter Bunny Manicure with Jen Tsourvakas, Celebrity Nail Artist

Easter Mani by Celebrity Nail Stylist, Jen Tsourvakas

Easter Mani by Celebrity Nail Stylist, Jen Tsourvakas

Easter Mani by Celebrity Nail Stylist, Jen Tsourvakas

Easter Mani by Celebrity Nail Stylist, Jen Tsourvakas

I hope y’all aren’t tired of my @jen_of_all_trades manicure updates because I love posting them! Even though this isn’t the usual post (where I show you how to DIY something!) it still lends to creativity and inspiration! What better way to get inspired than to look at creative nail art, right?! I always get great ideas for all kinds of projects after browsing unique, brightly hue-ed manicure designs on Pinterest, and I’m sure I’m not the only girl who does this! For April I knew I wanted something Easter themed with my monthly manicure, and after creating this year’s bunny-centric Easter blog content I wanted to stay with the bunny theme! I texted Jen a couple of photos to get our creative juices flowing. Our design is a shellac gel manicure, and Jen drew the half-moon on each nail, as well as the tiny bunny faces, by hand. One of the reasons I chose the half-moon on each nail is so that my manicure lasts longer! I first asked for a negative space at the base of each nail with last month’s mani (which I didn’t blog because it was so simple, but I absolutely loved it because it’s so my style). By leaving the base of the nail blank you can’t tell when the nail starts growing out. There’s nothing worse than a chic nail design having to be re-done or removed before it’s time because it’s growing out! My nails grow unusually fast (yes, I am lucky!), however Jen’s manicures typically last about 4 weeks for me, so it’s always such a shame when I must have the beautiful designs removed just because they’re growing out! Hence, my sneaky little trick of leaving a little shaped space at the base for the nail to grow so I can enjoy the manicure longer! I chose a rose-pink color for all the nails, except the ring fingers, because it’s such a pretty shade for Spring, and is an easy neutral to wear with anything. Each little bunny face is dark gray with white eyes and inner-ears, and a matching pink nose. Aren’t they the cutest thing?!

To see more of Jen’s work, visit her on Instagram @Jen_of_all_trades. To book an appointment visit Parlour 3 in Brentwood, Tennessee, call (615) 942-9020 (Tell them Rachel sent you!) or go online at Parlour3.com. Jen also does incredible makeup, brow shaping and brow microblading!

Jen’s shellac manicures start at $40. Prices are subject to change. For additional pricing inquiries call Parlour 3.

Easter Mani by Celebrity Nail Stylist, Jen Tsourvakas

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Grown Up Easter Basket Inspiration

Grown Up #Girlboss Easter Basket Inspiration!

One of my favorite requests to receive from friends and family is my help finding a gift for someone special. Over the years I’ve been asked to put together Easter baskets and I thought I’d share some of my favorite things to include for a non-food/candy basket for grown up girls! These photos are of a ‘mock’ basket of ideas that include gifts I have personally received that would be perfect to give for Easter! (Of course, I’m keeping all of these items, but you get the idea!)

Grown Up #Girlboss Easter Basket Inspiration!

I love seasonally packaged makeup like this darling bunny shaped Lipsmacker! Bonus: It also smells and tastes amazing! The Anastasia Beverly Hills highlight palette is a new beauty release and very hot right now. All the cool girls are going to be trying to get their hands on this one for Spring! Bath bombs are another currently trending item. Try to find some in fresh Spring colors like these from Forever21, Urban Outfitters or Etsy.

Grown Up #Girlboss Easter Basket Inspiration!

This fun-sized-Instagram-worthy Instax camera is one of my favorite things I ever received in a brand PR package and it makes the perfect gift! You can pick one up from here or here. If you know her size consider some athletic gear like a Fitbit watch strap or a pair of trainers. I don’t know any girl who doesn’t love a fresh new pair of gym kicks! These pale pink ones by Nike are comfy and chic!

Grown Up #Girlboss Easter Basket Inspiration!

Mugs are one of the easiest gifts to find and give. There are always cute ones for ever season at places like Target and Michael’s. This pink and gold “I Get You” mug is from TJMaxx and was gifted to me on Valentine’s Day by a dear friend.

Grown Up #Girlboss Easter Basket Inspiration!

The basket and filling is the easiest part. Choose something a little ‘nicer’ than your typical dollar-bin straw version and opt for a metal style in silver or gold. This one was only $5 from HomeGoods and I picked up the squiggle shred from the greeting card section of the drugstore.

You can always tuck a few seasonally shaped chocolates somewhere in the basket, just to make it quintessentially Easter, but it’s not a requirement! I tried to make this whole process as simple as possible, so if you have a husband/boyfriend or someone who isn’t super creative with Seasonal gifting to worry about, send this link their way! Hopefully they’ll be pointed in the right direction and be inspired!

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Cocoa Couture Easter Tablescape

Cocoa Couture Easter Table Scape

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of entertaining a group of incredible women for a Progressive Brunch. A progressive meal or “Safari Supper” is made of successive courses prepared and eaten at the residence of different hostesses. This involves consumption of one course at each location. Each of us ladies prepared a part of traditional brunch and Ubered from each of our houses to the next, after each course, enjoying the company and styling of each person’s take on a brunch tablescape!

My house was the first stop and I hosted the Mimosa and fruit course! I wanted to share my tablescape with you because I have to show you how easy it is to design a party table without spending a ton of money on theme décor. Every element of the design are DIYs I’ve blogged about previously with a few drugstore Easter isle props thrown in!

Cocoa Couture Easter Table Scape

Cocoa Couture Easter Table Scape

Disco balls are ornaments seen before here. TIP: If you have any pastel ornaments or at least a bunch of smaller Christmas ornaments all the same color you can group them together around a floral centerpiece in a tray, or pick up a bag of plastic eggs for a few dollars.

DIY Silver and black box centerpiece here. TIP: This is literally just an empty box to give height to the center of the table. You can use any cardboard box you already have and spray paint or decorate it (glue on jewels, flowers, glitter, etc.) to match your color theme and you’ll instantly have a customized centerpiece!

 Chanel bunny DIY seen before here. TIP: The centerpiece doesn’t have to be the most expensive part of the table, it just has to tie everything in.

Cocoa Couture Easter Table Scape

If you don’t have fabric napkins or a table cloth, consider borrowing some from a friend or family member. Fabric linens really elevate the whole look vs. using plastic or paper. If you’re considering purchasing a table cloth and napkins, opt for all-white or all-cream, since a neutral background color will work for almost any occasion. The ones I used were gifts from my Mum who passed them on to me when she realized she was no longer using them regularly and she knew I liked them.

Cocoa Couture Easter Table Scape

One of the easiest ways to create a cohesive layout is by grouping similar items together, such as candles, of the same color. I grabbed a few black and pink candles from around my house and placed them on the table to continue the black and pink theme.

Cocoa Couture Easter Table Scape

This is one of the oldest tricks in the book, but if you make your food / drink part of the theme, the necessary items on the table can instantly lend to the decor palette. For example, I made white chocolate fondue colored light pink with a few drops of red food coloring, blueberries and strawberries on skewers (for easy dipping!) and chose ginger ale, champagne and gin bottles with pink and black labels and packaging.

Cocoa Couture Easter Table Scape

Lastly, I grabbed a few Easter Lindt chocolates that lend to the Easter aspect (mini carrots and bunnies are so cute, and can double as party favors!) as well as a bunch of pink roses and greenery, because nothing says, “Spring” like fresh flora!

Cocoa Couture Easter Table Scape

The tiny ceramic bunnies I purchased several years ago while living in Germany at their version of the Dollar Store, but I’m sure they have similar ones in the States.

Cocoa Couture Easter Table Scape

Cocoa Couture Easter Table Scape

What are your thoughts? Have you ever hosted or been to a themed progressive meal?

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