A Fresh Start: First Look at the 2017 Kate Spade Planner

For as long as I can remember, I’ve believed in taking notes, making to-do lists, and writing things down to make them happen. So, I’ve always had notebooks, agendas, and notepads around. In the past couple years, though, I found myself leaning more heavily on technology, like my iPhone and laptop, to keep my daily schedule organized. I appreciated the pop-up reminders for major scheduled events and eventually let these gadgets replace my paper organization tools. That was until I was reminded of how helpful the process of physically writing things down was and how important it was for me to be able to view my day, week, month, or even year at a glance. This year, then, I decided to return to my favorite Kate Spade planner to keep tabs on my life.

2017 Kate Spade large floral 17 month agenda 4c

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2017 Kate Spade large floral 17 month agenda 2c

I had this realization of the importance of my old school planner system fairly late in the year, so I purchased a cheaper planner while I waited for the release of the 2017 Kate Spade planner. These planners are 17-month agendas, which run from August 2016 to December 2017. By the way, how beautiful is this new patio floral design? The planners are also available in the classic gold dots, bold black and white stripes, and a couple other designs. I’m using a size large agenda; there are also medium and jumbo sizes.

2017 Kate Spade Set the stage 17-month large agenda patio floral 11c

What I look for in a planner is that it has the features I value in helping me stay organized. Below are my favorite ones, including interior pockets, which are perfect for storing post-it notes or any loose pages that I’d like to keep handy.

2017 Kate Spade large floral 17 month agenda 5

Need to take a quick look at 2017? I can do so easily because there are complete 2017 and 2018 calendars at the front of the planner.

2017 Kate Spade large floral 17 month agenda 16c

Want to know when Easter or International Women’s Day will fall in 2017? Before googling it, I can just flip to my list of major holidays in the planner. I’m also fond of the celebrations pages that I can use to note important days throughout the year, like my wedding anniversary and friend’s birthdays. There are even a few blank notes pages that follow those sections.

2017 Kate Spade large floral 17 month agenda 13c

I anticipate spending most of my time in these next few sections―the monthly and weekly spreads―of the planner. By the way, in the Kate Spade planner, each monthly section begins with a quotation.

2017 Kate Spade large floral 17 month agenda 9c

I use the month at a glance pages to highlight the most important goals, events, or deadlines occurring in that month. Getting an overview really helps me set up the tasks I need to complete in order to get the work done.

  | I also use these

2017 Kate Spade large floral 17 month agenda 10c

I spend most of my time on the weekly spreads, writing down tasks that anchor some major goal and checking them off when completed.

2017 Kate Spade large floral 17 month agenda 17c

These are the only I use. Like ever. Right now, I’m keeping them in a (on sale) from the Reed Krakoff collection for Kohl’s.

REED Atlantique Medium Pouch in fuchsia orange 1c

The Sexy, Sophisticated Appeal of a High Slit Tunic

When I think of a tunic, I think of a wardrobe must-have for comfort and versatility. Your girl loves a tunic too. You’ve seen me wear my and my with everything from shorts to skinny pants to jeans. I’ve never viewed tunics as sexy, though, that is, not until I tried a street-style favorite—the high slit tunic trend.

How to wear a high slit tunic 1c

Tunic: Alythea ()

Pants: (in )

Shoes: (, )

Clutch: c/o


Rings:  (on sale), c/o  (on sale)

Watch:  (in )


How to wear a side-slit tunic 3c

I found this striped tunic in a Ross store for under $25. Hidden deep in the racks, I was drawn to it because of the beautiful stripe pattern. When I took a closer look, I noticed the super high, side slit and knew immediately I wanted to try it on. It fit and had such a sexy but sophisticated vibe about it. I started envisioning all the bottoms I could pair with it, including my favorite .

How to wear a side-slit tunic 4c

A striking black and white print makes an ideal foundation for mixing prints. I imagined that my Chameleon Bags mud cloth clutch would pair well and was thrilled when it did.

Mud Cloth Clutch on Striped Tunic 1c

I, then, thought that a pop of color would nicely accent all the black and white. For even more fun, I made that pop of color my floral pumps. And, just like that, this look became a print-on-print-on-print ensemble.

How to wear a side-slit tunic 7c

6 Reasons Why I Want to Embrace African Prints

From tie-dye to gingham to African prints, attention-grabbing patterns are glamorous wardrobe must-haves for Summer 2016. While solids are always in season, rocking in-your-face prints is a ticket to an elevated style this warm season. Tis the summer to go bold or go home! African prints are among my favorites to wear because the colors are rich and the patterns echo an equally rich cultural history.

I’ve particularly enjoyed the rise of the African print micro-trend because the prints have become readily available. I can walk into Anthropologie and purchase a skirt from an African designer or go online to order an African print head wrap from a Brooklyn-based designer. Today, I’m sharing 6 reasons why I embrace African prints in my style.

1. A wear-with-everything African print clutch is always the perfect finishing touch.

J.Crew Beaded rope earrings 1c

2. African print skirts always look good with a classic white tee.

Six ways to wear African Prints

3. African fabrics make the funkiest scarves.

How to mix prints, pattern play trend 2015 8c

4. African prints are super cool in print-on-print creations.

Anthropologie Legend & Song Dutch Wax Mini Skirt, African print skirt, Banana republic stripe tank 1c

5. The colors in African print skirts are a roadmap for fun color pairings.

Maryam Garba African Print Skirt 10c2

6. An African print scarf can transform a bad hair day into a fashion statement.

J.Crew striped boatneck t-shirt, Express high rise released hem denim culottes 5c

Seeing Double: Mixing the Same Pattern is Fabulous!

Print on print! Who remembers Project Runway Season 8 from way back in 2010? I credit Mondo Guerra, the runner-up designer that year, for inspiring me to be more adventurous with fashion by mixing prints. Guerra’s print combinations were bold but always looked effortless and polished. I liked that. I wanted to do that. So, I did, and six years later, mixing prints is my go-to styling strategy. Today, I’m mixing dots, leopard spots actually.

Mixing Dots-How to mix the same pattern

Dress:  at St. Louis Premium Outlets (, )

Sandals: (sold out, )

Earrings: (sold out, )

Clutch: ()

Bracelet: (sold out, )

Rings:  (on sale), c/o  (on sale)

Watch: (in )

Kate Spade leopard dot tie back dress 6c

There are a few best practices for mixing prints like a pro. I rounded up the ones I consider when creating my own print-on-print ensembles in , an article of mine that was featured on Mode.com. Combining the same pattern was number 7 on my list in that piece. Mixing the same pattern almost always creates harmony and offers the opportunity to stretch out by playing with color and scale. It’s a wardrobe lifesaver when you own many items in the same print. More ways to wear them all!

Kate Spade leopard dot tie back dress 2c

Nails:  | Rings:  and  (both on sale)

Kate Spade leopard dot tie back dress 1c

My leopard dot dress was a lucky and affordable find in the Kate Spade Outlet store at the St. Louis Premium Outlets. I’ve been swooning over the leopard dot print since it first released in Kate Spade stores. I wish-listed two of the bags that featured the print. Unfortunately, both sold out before I was able to purchase one of them. I was disappointed but never even considered the clothing in the print because the price point was too high for me. Imagine my surprise, then, when I walked into the Kate Spade Outlet and saw the leopard dot tie-back dress at 60% off!

Kate Spade leopard dot tie back dress 9c

It’s interesting that I paired my Linea Pelle Bowery bag with the dress because that bag, which is on mega sale right now, was my alternate choice for the Kate Spade leopard dot clutch.

Kate Spade leopard dot tie back dress 7c

If you’re near a Kate Spade Outlet and like this print, it’s also available on a full skirt, a blouse, and a super fly romper.

Kate Spade leopard dot tie back dress 10c

I’m joining the weekly linkup over at .

How to Make Short Shorts Look Sophisticated

I’m more inclined to flaunt my shoulders than my legs. But, it’s summertime, and shorts are a must-wear, right? I purchased today’s featured pair of short shorts in Express early last year in preparation for a trip home to St. Kitts. See how I wore them on island in this post. I knew I would be spending lots of time liming (island term for hanging out) on the beach, so I didn’t pack any “dressy” clothing. I did, however pack a versatile pair of black shorts.

Mango Belt Blouse, Diba Tradin Up Sandals 1c

Top:  | Shorts:

Sandals: c/o 

Bag: Linea Pelle (sold out, , )

Earrings:  (old, )

Bracelet:  (old, )

Rings:  (on sale),  (on sale)

Lip: , 

Mango Belt Blouse, Diba Tradin Up Sandals 2c

Though more leg-flaunting than my staple summer shorts, I chose this  (now under $30) because its front pleats and cuffed hem added an air of sophistication that appealed to me. I also got them in black, a safe color choice for versatility and polish.

Mango Belt Blouse, Diba Tradin Up Sandals 4c

When paired with a luxe blouse, like my , these short shorts look quite elegant. Talking about my print blouse, I’ve been wanting to build a mixed print look around it. I imagined pairing it with my striped ankle pants (seen before in this post), but the prints didn’t marry as well as I had hoped. When I put my leopard Linea Pelle bag next to the blouse, though, there was an instant connection.

How to wear short shorts, Express Pleated Cuffed Soft Shorts 1c

Have a wonderful weekend!

Mango Belt Blouse, Diba Tradin Up Sandals 3c