New Year's Resolutions 2016

Can NOT believe it is New Year's Eve again already!  And I am married!  Wow - a lot can change in a year.  I going to give myself a B+ for my 2015 resolutions (read them here) because 2015 was one heck of a year and I survived it and I think I survived it quite well actually!  I just didn't work out or eat as healthy as I had planned, but I did the best I could with all that's been going on :)

What a year! Graduated college, started my dream job, got married! I don't know that I'll have another year with as many major life events!

So I am going to keep things simpler for 2016 by having just 2 resolutions.

1) Commit to and Focus on my brand.  This one is a huge task but also something I am really passionate about.  I know it will be a challenge but I want to focus all that I can on growing my blog, building my following, and creating and selling new and great products on Etsy.  This is what I want to do for a living (in my wildest dreams!) and I want to see what I can do if I really commit (while still maintaining my real full time job... hmmm this may be more challenging than I think! ;)

2) Feel fulfilled.  I think sticking to resolution #1 is going to play a big part in this one.  I want to make a difference in the world and I feel like blogging is a great place to start.  Even if I can write or make something that changes one day for one person I will be happy!  I also want to get more involved in my church and community.  I think serving others is the best way to feel fulfilled yourself!

So wish me luck!  Those are some tall orders to fill, but I always say I work better under pressure. What are your resolutions?  Comment below!

Happiness and Blessings to you all for the New Year!

Don't forget to Sparkle!
XO ~ Katie

Bonus resolution: buy our first home!  I'm pretty confident this will happen in 2016 so this time next year I will at least be able to say I stuck to one resolution ;)

Think Pink Gift Guide

It is almost Christmas so I should call this a last minute gift guide!

Quick side note - my wedding is less than 2 days away! This is my last post before I'm a Mrs., last post with my last name, last post before I marry my best friend!  I can't wait to share allll the wedding things with you all!  I've been waiting because I don't want to reveal anything to my guests before hand :)  But many details to come!!

So back to the gift guide, if gold is more your speed, then check out this post.  Buttttt if you love PINK like me (who doesn't?) then keep going!

What's your favorite?

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!

Don't forget to Sparkle!
XO ~ Katie

#PowerOutfit | ShopStyle Bloggers Give Back with Dress for Success

I love a good cause.  And Dress for Success is a good one for sure.  They are all about empowering women and helping them become self sufficient.  You can visit their website to learn more; I am definitely going to look into donating my clothes to them after my next closet clean out!  Want to help sooner?  10% of All sales made through my blog today and tomorrow (12/8 - 9) will first be matched by Shop Style and then donated to Dress for Success!

Top || Skirt (similar) || Shades || Heels (similar)

A power outfit to me is something that when you put it on, you feel so confident and beautiful!  A recent outfit that made me feel that way was this one:

I can wear it to work or out to lunch with a girlfriend, its versatile and comfy and cute!  I'm so lucky that I have always had a great female role model in my life - my mom!  Not only is she my best friend, she's someone I look up to who has a ton of confidence in herself and in me!  She is always there to answer my calls when I'm feeling down, and she can usually boost me right back up.  I hope you all have someone in your life like that, and if not then just contact me and I'll remind you what a superstar you are!

Anything you can spin in is going to make you feel great!  Kind of like a kid again!

I also love the way these heels make my legs look extra long and shapely.  I don't wear heels a lot but I think they're fun when I do.  I always feel a little bit more fancy when I have heels on!

What do you like to wear when you're going to give a presentation at school or go for an interview?  What is your power outfit?  Tell me in the comments!

Bonus: here are some inexpensive gifts you can pick up for your besties while helping out a great cause!  I included a few that would be great for not just the holidays but also for a bridal shower or bachelorette in case you have a friend who's a bride to be!  The 'year of the wedding' is almost up for me but I just can't get enough of anything bridal, so I had to include some of the cutest stuff!

Don't forget to Sparkle! (and shop!)
XO ~ Katie

Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons Palette

Something awesome is happening tonight!

This great palette is going to be available at midnight EST (click here)!  I love the pink packaging, heart shaped shadows, delicious chocolate smell, and large mirror inside for easy use anywhere!

I also have the original Chocolate Bar palette and if you love that one too, you're going to want this one.

There is a shadow called Totally Fetch for crying out loud!!

I can't wait to create some looks with these shadows to show you guys!

A HUGE thank you to Too Faced for delivering this along with a champagne, yes that's right I said champagne, infused chocolate bar.  Are you kidding me?!?  Monday made!

Don't forget to Sparkle!
XO ~ Katie

Loren Hope Necklace

Jewelry is something really cool.  You can use it to enhance your outfits, but sometimes you get a piece that MAKES the outfit.  This Loren Hope necklace is one of those pieces.

Isn't it SO pretty!?!  I got this beauty in my recent Rocksbox, a jewelry subscriptions service (that I'm crazy about!).  If you'd like to give it a try, click here for a free month with code katiexoxo1

When I want the focus of my outfit to be on my accessories, I like to wear something really simple.  This easy black top with these J. Crew cropped pants makes it easy for your eye to go straight to my necklace.

Also, I just love wearing all black.  I think it is so chic!  What color would you wear an entire outfit of?

Orlando Eye

Don't forget to Sparkle!
XO ~ Katie

Holiday Gift Guide - Gifts of Gold!

I have absolutely fallen in love with all things gold this year!  It's even the main color in my wedding (not sure if this is the cause or effect of my obsession...).  Luckily, every single thing this year seems to come in gold this year!  Hope you enjoy my picks!  Follow the links below to check out what's on my list this Christmas.

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

Happy December!

Don't forget to Sparkle!
XO ~ Katie

Bridal Shower Outfit + Details

A few weeks ago I had my bridal shower!  It was such a fantastic time with great friends and family.  I wanted to blog about it to share with you all but also to have a sort of journal entry about it so I can always remember the details.

First up - outfit details!!  This GORGEOUS French Connection dress was perfect for the occassion!  The top is beautifully beaded and the skirt is covered in organza.

"It spins!"

My earrings are from Kate Spade and were a special purchase for the day!  Ok fine, the dress was a special purchase too...

My best friend and maid of honor hosted my shower at her house.  She had so many cute decorations and pictures of me and my boo all over the place!

The colors were black, white, and pink; similar to my wedding colors black, white, and gold!  On that day there were 63 days to go, now there's just 1 month left!  Crazy how fast time is going!

We played several different (luckily not too embarrassing!) games, talked, ate, and opened gifts during the shower.

Almost all of the ladies of both families were able to attend!  That meant SO much to me that everyone cleared their schedule for little 'ole me!  I am so lucky, blessed, fortunate, and happy that I have such loving family and friends!  I would put up all the pictures but I know certain family members may not be thrilled to see themselves on the internet (talking to you moms and grandmas!) but hopefully these girlies will be okay with it:

Me and my bridesmaids!

Thank you SO much to all of my favorite people who came to my shower and made me feel so loved!  You are all loved right back <3  And an extra special shoutout to the best maid of honor EVER (she's on the far right in the bottom pic) for just being the best in all aspects of life, love you!

Don't forget to Sparkle!
XO ~ Katie

Gretchen Scott Designs | Work Wear | Neutrals

Isn't it the best when you discover something so great and you feel like none of your friends probably know about it yet and so when you tell them you are going to be, like, their hero?  Well thats how I feel right now as I introduce you to *drumroll please* Gretchen Scott Designs!

I first found this brand on Instagram and fell in love with their classic yet modern patterns and styles. I always describe my style as modern traditional (why yes that IS an oxymoron!) and this brand does it perfectly.

Since graduating in May, I have been in the professional world.  Now I thought I had a rather large professional wardrobe (especially for someone just starting out!) but after just a few months I feel like all I do is wear the same stuff each week!  So these two new tops were like a breath of fresh air into my closet!  I am just now realizing they are kind of inverses of each other - patterned top and plain skirt, then plain top and patterned skirt.  Funny!

Hope you enjoy these two examples of how to rock neutrals (oh and also enjoy the photos, somehow this shoot ended up being more outtakes than actual good shots #bloggerproblems)

Outfit #1

First up is the Boyfriend Shirt in Solstice.

I paired it with a tan pencil skirt and nude heels, making this top the clear star of this look!

I love the detail of every piece by Gretchen Scott, roll up the sleeves for stripes!  Pairing a really busy top like this with a solid shirt and shoes makes it office appropriate.

Outfit #2

I LOVE this skirt!  It is Aqua from Bloomingdales and it has pockets!! The only problem is I never had a great top to go with it, until now.

This ¾ length sleeve Grosgrain Heaven Blouse is so easy and can go with anything! I want it in every color, again the details are so stunning.

I love twirling in this skirt too!  Although twirling (or walking, standing, etc.) in heels is a challenge for me!

P.S. That whole thing about nude heels making your legs look long - TRUE!

Don't forget to Sparkle!
XO ~ Katie


Instagram Roundup + Life Update October 2015

You might have noticed that my blog and Instagram posts have been a little slow lately (and by slow I mean I post on Instagram every other day instead of every day... lol) but I am here to explain why!

Well as you probably know I am getting married in December!  And if you've ever gotten married or been involved in wedding planning then you feel me when I say it takes over your life.

As fun as wedding planning has been, it sometimes feels never ending.  Every time we check something off the to-do list we think of two more things to add.  There are so many details that I know will all be worth it on our perfect day but right now its exhausting!  I haven't done any fashion posts recently because I spend most weekends changing between pjs and shorts and a t-shirt - not exactly fashion forward but perfect for running errands! 

As if that isn't enough, Brian and I decided it would be a good idea to start looking for a home.  Because why wouldn't you want to do the two biggest things in life - getting married and buying your first home - within the same 3 month span?!  We are slightly insane but we're not bored!

We haven't actually started to purchase anything yet but we are looking and taking steps towards getting prepared to buy a home.  Again, its a TON of work and so much research is involved for every part of the process.

Basically I am just trying to ENJOY this crazy time and be in these memorable moments as much as possible.  As sad as I'll be once this is all over I am looking forward to blogging and Etsy-ing full force again!  I can't wait to share all the ideas I've had running through my mind all this time!

Here's a little Instagram round-up in case you've been MIA like me :)

Sugar Spice and Sparkle celebrates it's 1 year anniversary this month!  How crazy is that?  I can't believe how much it has grown in a year and I'm excited for all the growth and changes to come in year 2!

If you don't have these candles, run don't walk to your nearest Bath and Body Works and grab 'em up!  I have finally decided to accept the fact that it is fall but only because of these candles (and the slightly cooler weather in the mornings!).

I finally shared my engagement story!  Read it here.  

Well that's all for now folks!  Time to head to Pinterest for some house inspiration!  If you want more, just follow me on Instagram @sugarspiceandsparkle!

Don't forget to Sparkle!
XO ~ Katie

How He Asked Engagement Proposal Story

I've been meaning to write this post since last year but really wanted to make it special and have never found the time.  So here I am less than 3 months from the wedding day finally sharing how it all started!

Brian and I have been together since high school so we have quite a few traditions.  One of them is going to Disney to see the Christmas lights.  So on December 17th 2014 we planned to do just that.  I love getting dressed up any chance I get so of course I got myself all dolled up for our annual date and took some pictures before leaving, thinking I would write an outfit post later!

Well this isn't exactly a fashion post but my skirt and top are both from Forever 21.  :)

So we went around and saw the beautiful lights.  Wow this is really making me want Christmas!  Can we just skip fall and go straight to winter please?

We had a great time but I did notice Brian acting a little different,  we had been together for just about six years at this point so of course we had talked about getting married (a lot!) and approximately when we should get engaged (we wanted to wait until we were done with college), so I can't say I didn't always have getting engaged in the back of my mind - hey I'm a girl, what can I say?!  

I really was trying to STOP thinking about the future at that time though because we were about to go into our last semester of college and I really wanted to enjoy it and live in the moment, something I often struggle to do.  I'm a planner so I constantly talk about the future and what's next.  I know that is really bad and so I was (and still am) trying to live more in the moment.  Ok - that was a tangent!

So back to the story... I noticed Brian was maybe acting a little odd but tried not to let my imagination run wild and just enjoy the night.  After the 'tour de lights' we got some popcorn (Disney popcorn is irresistible!) and headed toward the car.  Brian suggested we keep the night going and head to some of the hotels for more viewing of decorations.

Our first stop was Grand Floridian - my favorite because of their HUGE Christmas tree and life size gingerbread house!  We got inside and started looking around, taking in all the wonderful sites and smells.  I stopped in the gift shop to check out the Lilly Pulitzer they had in stock (again, I'm a girl, I can't help it!).  We went up to the second story balcony and this is when I started to know something was up.  Brian wanted to take more pictures, clearly I wasn't into it.

Random selfies.

And kept checking his watch.  Now is when my heart started pounding, my mind was racing, and the story gets a little blurry.  The moment I had been waiting for for six years was finally here!  Somehow we ended up standing by a Christmas tree next to the Jazz band that was setting up.  Brian took my hands in his and said the sweetest things!  I knew people were starting to gather around us but I couldn't focus on that, I could only focus on him and try to grasp what he was saying when all I could think was "ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod"

He got down on one knee and popped the question!  I think I said "Yes!!" before he even finished getting his words out!  The people around us (quite a little crowd at that point) were clapping and Brian whispered in my ear to listen closely to the band.  They were playing our song!  I later found out allllll the planning that he had been doing and couldn't believe he had kept it all from me for so long!

As another surprise our parents, his sister, and my best friend emerged from hiding and we were all able to celebrate together.  As if that wasn't enough he had also arranged for a photographer to be there so once in a lifetime moments like these were captured:

And we were able to take our engagement pictures right then!  I don't think I realized how happy I looked until I saw the pictures days later.  It was such a crazy experience and I was so happy, excited, in love, and every other amazing emotion you can think of!

Oh my gosh, how could I almost forget the ring?!  It. is. perfect!  I am so happy I get to wear this thing every day for forever!  We had kind of discussed what I liked but he knocked it out of the park!  Later when he finally got to tell me all his planning secrets I found out that he had my ring completely custom made - it is one of a kind!  I can't believe he designed something so beautiful and put so much time and effort into making it perfect in every way!  Love you Brian!

Since then more than a little planning has happened and a few other life changes (graduating college and starting full time jobs!) have taken place.  Now our big day is in less than three months (CRAZY!) and I am getting so super excited!  I just can't wait to spend the rest of my life with my best friend, I'm so lucky to have had him in my life since I was 16 years old.  I honestly don't know where I would be without him and I never want to find out!

I hope you enjoyed our little story!  Can't wait to share the wedding details with you all soon!

Don't forget to Sparkle!
XO ~ Katie

P.S. I LOVE all this mushy love stuff so if you've written about your engagement story, link it down below!  I'd really enjoy reading it!