Cult Gaia Ark Bag

Here you have it ladies, this season’s hottest “it” bag! I, much like everyone else on the internet was struck by this beautifully unique hand crafted bag from the moment I first saw it on social media. Not only does it have a unique shape, but the bamboo material makes for a timeless heirloom piece that will be sure to live in your closet forever. Created in 2012 by Jasmin Larian, Cult Gaia’s vision is to create pieces that resemble art and can stand the test of time. I received this bag as an “early birthday” gift from my sister/co blogger (our birthdays are both in August) and I couldn’t be happier/more paranoid about this beautiful item she bestowed onto me. Firstly, I received the smaller size that measures 11″ x 8″ x 3″. I personally think this size suits my small frame better than the larger one and gives me a much needed reason to downsize all of the crap I lug around all day in a huge purse. I am comfortable putting a small card wallet, my phone and perhaps a very small pouch with room for lipstick and one other beauty item to touch up. A couple of other smaller items will indeed fit but here is where the paranoid part kicks in, I’m afraid to break the precious intricately woven wood with too much crap. This bag will be my highly coveted baby for years to come. Huge thanks to my sister for buying it for me and to the brand for creating such a lovely piece to add to my collection!

I styled this piece with an all-black ensemble so as to let the bag have its own moment. The bell sleeve black top is from ASOS and the high waist wide leg trousers are from the brand French connection that I scored at Marshalls. I also brought out my high key sunnies from the DesixQuay Collection and let me tell you, I may have to buy another back up pair (that’s how good they are!). Links to items down below!

Cult Gaia Ark Bag- Natural
Desi Perkins X Quay Australia- High Key Fades
Similar Top
Similar Pants- Here,Here

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Storage Unit DIY

I know I teased this on Instagram a long time ago but the time has finally come to reveal my awesome DIY storage project for my room. I was on a bit of a décor kick as of recent and wanted to bring my interior style game up a notch now that I’m getting older. One way to do that was introducing mixed metals to my new mirrored furniture and find ways to incorporate natural elements like wood to make it cozier. A full room tour might be necessary in the near future! For now here is how I jazzed up this ordinary shelving unit to be perfect for my aesthetic.

Things you will need- Everything can be purchased from Walmart.com

  • Storage Unit
  • Gold Spray Paint
  • Screwdriver or Drill (I only used a screwdriver)
  • Marble Contact Paper (or any pattern contact paper for that matter)
  • Pencil, Ruler and Scissors (or scrap booking knife)
  1. Prepare your work space with enough room, you will only need a screwdriver or drill (if you’re fancy)
  2. Follow the directions to screw each shelf to the columns (starting from the bottom helps)
  3. After its constructed take it to an outside open area and spray with gold paint, let dry and do a second coat
  4. Measure and cut pieces of contact paper with the pencil and ruler (make sure to write on the back portion of the paper not the visible marble part)
  5. Cut out the pieces and smooth them over the shelves with the ruler or a rag to smooth out any air bubbles
  6. Embellish shelves with books or home décor items, get creative!

I had originally planned on leaving the bottom shelf open for a hamper or larger items but later decided to add the missing shelf for a more cohesive look. I also plan on eventually getting some pull out mesh drawers from IKEA and de clutter it. For now I love the finished product and can’t wait to play around with the items and change them up for the seasons!

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XOXO- Ari

Marimekko for Target 

As some of you know Ari came up to NYC for a short weekend visit almost two weeks ago (boy does time fly). I took her to a bunch of cool places, ate some amazing food and snapped a couple of outfit shots for the blog.

Now I know I’m a tad bit late because these items are no longer available (don’t worry I’ve linked some equally cute sets down below) but I had been dying to take photos of this blue, black and white printed matching set that I bought in back in April. Marimekko collaborated with Target creating some amazing prints for homeware, clothing, swimsuits and accessories. I was also very happy to see that the clothing line included plus sized items. I purchased a matching set (which I am all for these days) the top in a 1x and the bottom in a xl at only $24.99 a piece. 

Now on to the review: Tops that are too boxy don’t normally suit my body type but this one has flexibility and isn’t too stiff. As for the shorts they are loose enough where you feel comfortable but they don’t stretch to the point where you feel like they’re going to fall off. Overall I love how this fits and would recommend it for other body types as well.

I paired this outfit with slide black sandals from Target which I got on sale for $16.99! Here’s a closer look… 

I hope you all enjoyed this outfit of the day. Stay tuned for the next outfit I’ll be sharing!

Here are some similar matching sets from Asos:

Ruffle Stripes

Top  Bottom

Pink Clove Printed

Top  Pencil Skirt

Target Slide Sandal

Till next time, 

xx, Gwen

ASOS SWIM

ASOS is literally my go to site whenever I am in need of special one of a kind pieces. This time around I wanted to treat myself to some stylish swimsuits for my tropical get away with my sister and mother. Not only did these suit me perfectly for the trip but they are also versatile for pretty much any water related event. With recent weight gain I desired more coverage with certain trouble areas and figured one pieces were the way to go. When looking for bathing suits I look for a couple of things, texture, details, and shape. I prefer feminine sweetheart neck lines that accentuate my bust with added surprises like the peplum to give the illusion of a curvier bottom half. I typically steer clear of added material to my chest seeing as it can draw the eye more to this area but could not resist this beautiful ruffle frill trim on this white polka dot suit! Sometimes it’s ok to let go of your style rules and it can pay off in the end. Lastly the scuba material really helps to create structure and sculpt any problem areas like the tummy. This white suit is unfortunately out of stock for the moment but the red peplum is still available in black. I have also linked similar items that may be of interest down below.

  • Disclaimer, if you are more into comfort versus style these wouldn’t be for you! I couldn’t exactly lift my arms with the shoulder straps and the scuba material peplum sucks you in for a tight fit perhaps not working well with water sport activities. These suits are meant to be admired and sun bathed in :0)

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XOXO- ARI

ASOS Swim Suits- Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here

Forever Swim

As some of you know from our Instagram posts Ari our mom and I went on a much needed vacation to the Dominican Republic during Memorial weekend. We had the best time celebrating our moms 50th birthday, so much eating, drinking, exploring and relaxing by the beach/pool and last but not least sneaking in a few photos for the blog. 

Before any trip I usually like to buy a couple of new things, especially swimsuits since they can begin looking worn out after only a few uses. I picked up two one piece swimming suits and a top piece from Forever 21 (plus size) and I couldn’t be happier with them. Here’s a closer look…

This black and cheetah print one piece ($32.90) has such a flattering heart shaped top, perfect for busty girls who desire some sort of structure in a suit. 

This all black and mesh swim suit ($32.90) was also a good fit for me as it sucked everything in. The mid section is mesh material which adds a nice touch of edge/sexiness.

Unfortunately this is the only shot I’ve got of the Yellow and black top ($17.90) but I’m hoping you can still get a feel of how it fits. I don’t usually wear two pieces but I couldn’t pass this one up. It lifted and supported me so amazingly well. I’m thinking of getting it in another color! 

I purchased all of these swimming suits in a 1x for those needing a size reference. 

Cheetah one-piece

Black Caged one-piece (Similar)

Yellow Top

Hope this post helped any of my plus sized ladies looking to purchase a new swimsuit this summer. 

Till next time, 

xx, Gwen 

Flower Power 

Two weekends ago I was in Brooklyn celebrating a birthday when I stumbled upon some amazing murals along the sidewalk. It’s such a rare occasion when I am able to take outfit photos that I of course jumped at the opportunity and made my friends take some of me on their cell phones.

(Disclaimer: Hence why they aren’t the best quality, but I thought why not share).

Not sure if living in London for part of last year had some influence in my style but as of lately I’ve been very much into dark colors, (Shocking right!). When I saw this dress it immediately caught my eye because it has dark undertones but what really stood out was the pop of orange. The dress is from H&M and I purchased it back in the Fall for $14.95! Side note: I am loving the fact that H&M now carries more of their clothing items in a size xl. Unfortunately it is no longer available but, there’s a similar sleeveless style at the moment in stores. 

Now on to the boots! These white block heeled boots are one of my favorite purchases I’ve made in a while. I saw them on the Aldo website and proceeded to hunt them down in store. They are sort of an off white/beige shade with a chunky black and silver heel. They can easily be worn with jeans, dresses, skirts, shorts, you name it! Once again they are not available but I did tag the clear heeled missguided boots my sister wore in a previous post.

H&M Dress
Missguided Boots
Ray-Ban Aviators

Hope you all enjoyed this quick ootd. Ari and I will be traveling together soon, which means I’ll make her take loads of photos of me! 

Till next time, 

xx, Gwen 

Sensible Fashion

Dressing fashionably doesn’t always have to take such a toll, it can be sensible just as much as it is on trend or chic. Granted I still have my moments where I want to wear heels and a dress to go grocery shopping (don’t think that will ever change. I am becoming more aware of the old a phrase “less is more” when it comes to dressing for day to day. Once you figure out the fit and cut that best suits your body type, the rest of the details can be tweaked here and there to add interest. This shirt dress was an amazing find from forever 21. With a solid neutral color, slit detailing and shape it is so versatile and comfortable. It can be belted and worn with booties as I did or given a more ethereal look with sandals. The dress, booties and belt are all Forever 21 while the Tommy Hilfiger cap and Ralph Lauren Cross body were scores from Marshalls. Wear what you like, be comfortable and overall remember that clothing can be simplistic and yet still make a statement. Links to items below!
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High Slit Shirt Dress

Similar Booties

Tommy Hilfiger Cap

XOXO- ARI

H&M Boho Chic

For this holiday season I had the rare opportunity to see my sister and co-blogger! Since living in separate states can be difficult we always try and make the most of it when we do finally get together. This ootd post was taken on a random dirt road and I couldn’t be happier with the results! Make sure to also check out Gwen’s outfit from the same shoot for more rustic inspiration. The flowly boho maxi dress is from h&m and features a v-neck, tassled tie strings, a cinched waist and flowy ruffles and floral accents all around. It sounds like a lot for one dress but it looks beautiful due to the muted earth tones and meticulous placement of all of the dramatic parts. This dress (or something similar) can be transition from a casual day time event like brunch to a night out for dinner. I paired it with my Guess brown leather sandals and a top knot for a more off-the-cuff vibe. Links below and stay tuned for more pics from our family visit.

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H&M Dress

XOXO- ARI

“A Bloggers Thanksgiving”- Top 6 Fashion Items We Are Thankful For

As bloggers we are both inclined to always try new trends or styles in order to consistently stay abreast of all the latest and greatest. Although we love shopping and reviewing new things, there are those constant tried and true items that will always be staples in our lives and really stand the test of time. Here are our top 6 fashion items we are grateful exist in this world that make us look and feel our very best.

Top 6 things Ari & Gwen are grateful for this year-

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  1. Peplums/A-lines cuts- Neither of us were born with any God given curves on the bottom half and so we fake it till we make it! Peplums do a great job at hiding the tummy while giving the illusion of curves on the sides. A-lines cinch you in at your smallest point and then give the illusion of hips with the free flowing nature of the cut.
  2. V-Neck- Whether it be in the form of a dress or top V-necks work great to elongate the neck and show off our greatest assets. Having a bigger chest sometimes makes it hard to rock a standard rounded collar because it may mess with your proportions.
  3. Booties- As we both get older booties are taking the spotlight for most settings. Whether they are suede, leather or have some cut-outs they can be so versatile and much more comfortable than the alternative while still offering a polished look.
  4. Nude Sandals/Heels- For when it is absolutely required to rock a heel you cannot go wrong with a nude staple sandal. We love a matte leather finish that can transition from the work place to night with ease. Can we also say legs for days?
  5. Shapewear- We could write an entire blog post about this (we probably will sometime in the future). Not only does it suck you in all the wrong places, it also helps lift and accentuate the parts you are happy with. Not to mention it helps conceal your body with any sheer clothing and avoid that dreaded belly button outline we all hate.
  6. Denim/Leather/Anorak Jacket- You guys get the hint, basically any jacket will do! Not only do they keep you warmer in cooler temps but they also complete a look in a way that no other item can. Drape it over your shoulders, tie it around your waist or keep it on your body the old fashioned way, a jacket can dramatically change the entire look of an outfit from boring to fabulous.

All in all we are thankful for one another and our families and can’t wait to reunite for Christmas. Our blog is going in a great direction and we cannot wait to see what the future will bring.

Love Ari & Gwen

Utility Jumpsuit

Utilitarian is the perfect word to describe this amazing jumpsuit from Forever 21. Compared to a classic anorak jacket or trench, this color and fabric can be paired with almost anything and will look amazing! Featuring a long sleeve, button front, collar and slanted front pockets it is 100% cotton and impeccable quality. I paired mine alone with classic nude sandals and my everyday Kate Spade bag to really make the outfit the focal point. You can roll up the sleeves as I did and even the pant legs to go with some combat boots or flats. This is a great transitional piece (especially here for Florida) as the nights get a little cooler for the fall. I can see this paired with a long duster coat, or even a denim or plaid accent tied around the waist. I consider this an investment piece seeing as it can be worn all year round, it is great material and it’s in a neutral color. At only $40.00 it’s a steal from Forever 21! Links down below.
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Contemporary Life in Progress Utility Jumpsuit
Similar Sandals

XOXO, ARI