Archive for the ‘Fashion Finds’ Category

Agapanthus & Tree Branches en Route!

My room is boring. I’ve known this for some time now, I suppose. Sure, I spiced it up with a chocolate brown duvet and some latte-inspired sheets, but the drab walls and metal door definitely add to the institutional feel of the place. After visiting a fellow postgrad’s room in the same building, I realized that despite the limitations of room size and overall dullness, there is a huge possibility to make the room a million times cooler and more homey: her place was covered in cool posters, fun accessories and bright colors; very her. In any case, between reading about the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa and discovering that Michel Foucault was gay, I found myself perusing the AllPosters website to find some new items to add some color to my room. An hour later, I am the proud owner of three amazing decals! I was this-close (envision my thumb and forefinger nearly touching) to purchasing a chic set of London/Paris/Roma/New York posters to grace my walls, but instead I ran across these bad boys:

These are going right above my bed (as shown above), which I think will be perfect for taking up the open space. Plus, it’s the first thing you really see when you walk in through my front door.

These decals are going right above my study area. I actually grappled with the idea of getting the Gandhi quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” but that particular set was twice as much… being that I’m a student on a severe budget, I’ve opted to carry Gandhi’s touching quote in my heart and purchase the less expensive (but nearly as cool) decal set.

These are actually going to be cooler than they look, I think (I hope). I got all of the decals in the chocolate color to go with the overall neutral-chocolate-latte color scheme in my room. I’m planning to have the Agapanthus sit on the wall right next to my bed (as if they’re sprouting from my bed) to fill up the large empty wall in my room.

I’m hoping that those pieces will add enough spice. If not, I’ll have to grab some fun accessories from a local store to make the room a little more unique. Home sweet home?

Happy Sunday!

Signature Stamp - Shannon


Ready for Halloween?

Sooo… somehow it got to be the end of October, which is a tid bit incredulous to me. For some reason, I thought I had plenty of time to get my Halloween costume together, but it’s already here! So, after much deliberation and the scouring of numerous Halloween costume websites, I have decided to go as a pirate captain.

CaptainBootyI have the costume and I have knee-high black boots and black pumps (depending on which end up feeling more appropriate), plus I’ve pulled out my makeup collection to pay homage to Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean. I’m going to double-coat my sunless tanner tomorrow so I look a bit darker than normal + using loads of fun bronzer and highlighter to give it a more rugged appearance. I’m actually quite excited because there are a load of eyeshadows and pigments that I’ve owned for years and have wanted to use and they finally get to come out tomorrow!

MAC Pirate MakeupI’m going to keep my lips pretty faint (almost unnaturally nude) and make my eyes super dark and pirate-y. I also brought out the fake lashes which may make an appearance tomorrow night, too!

As for accessories, I managed to get the sword that I needed (think 10 year-old play toy sword), but the hat wasn’t happening. The idea of the hat was great, but it was super cheap looking and didn’t fit the overall vibe/coolness factor of the costume. Instead, I’ve decide to try to do my hair to fit the costume. I was looking at this girl’s hair for some inspiration (ignore her alien-esque facial features):

Pirate Hair I think her hair is kind of cool and works for the look that I’m going for, unfortunately I also think it takes some level of skill to make hair look that cool. I’m not sure how much skill I have on the hair front, so I may end up just putting it half up and teasing it a bit to give it mad volume.

All in all, really excited to get dressed up and even more excited to go on the Heaven & Hell Boat Cruise on the Thames!

What are you guys going as for Halloween?

Signature Stamp - Shannon

Halloween Loving!

I’m sitting in my room, post-workout, enjoying a bowl of Fruit ‘n Fibre cereal and preparing for a day of costume shopping! A couple of the halls of residence are hosting a Heaven & Hell boat cruise on the Thames for Halloween and we’ve decided to go! Halloween is one of my favorite days of the year because I absolutely loooove dressing up. As luck would have it, there’s a shop in Covent Garden called Angels that’s home to five floors of costumes, make up and accessories! I hit it up yesterday to take a gander and see what my options were. The place was a tid on the crazy side since Halloween is right around the corner, but I did find a few outfits that sparked my interest. Initially, Alex and I had talked about going as a devil and an angel to coincide with the Heaven/Hell theme, but it seems to lack a bit on the creativity front. Instead, I found a couple of outfits that I personally love, and I also had a few ideas for group/ensemble outfits that would make for the most spectacular group pictures of LIFE!

So, here we go.

First off, I’ve been wanting to go as a pirate/captain for a while and there were a few cute outfits that fell into this category:

Captain Costume‘Captain Booty’ is the name of this costume. I didn’t make it up.

Pirate QueenThen there’s this ‘Pirate Queen’ costume which is also pretty cute. There were some other cool ones, but they were a little intense.

I also considered going as a warrior or viking and found this costume that was pretty sweet:

Warrior Princess

Now, for ensemble-type outfits, we talked about going as either

The Wizard of Oz cast, where we could have a Dorothy, Glenda, Wicked Witch, Tin Man, Scarecrow & Cowardly Lion. Leg Avenue (the producer of the cutest/hottest costumes EVER) makes super cute costumes for each of those.

Wizard of Oz

orrrrr going as Disney Princesses, where we could have a Snow White, Pocahontas, Jasmine, Ariel, Cinderella, etc.

Snow White

Snow White

PocahontasJasmineJasmine {but in blue}


Sooo, now I’m off to get ready so we can make a decision! Heading off to Angels.

Any ideas or suggestions?

Signature Stamp - Shannon

Fabulous Fridays!

So, after being an amazing student this week and forgoing a number of nights out to actually study and write an essay, I felt 100% justified in treating myself to a bit of shopping at Top Shop and grabbing a few goodies before heading out tonight! Although I hadn’t planned on spending much money, I ran across three dresses that were calling my name and I had to invest. On the bright side, Top Shop offers 10% off for students, so my £97 bill ended up dropping to £88ish. Not bad considering I got three super cute items that are easily reusable.

Long Sleeve MiniThis mini is super mini and entirely too sparkly, but it’s definitely cute for a fun night out. I was actually interested in investing in a black angular mini, but this one had to suffice.

Top Shop MiniThe zebra print (above) was super cute on, but I actually found the same item in a royal purple that was gorg. Definitely stands out in a crowd. It looks really tiny but it’s actually not so bad… relatively speaking. I’m not the tallest of human beings so I think it’s a good fit.

I also snagged a darling white, one-shouldered mini dress that’s perfect for going out and has serious potential for my Halloween angel outfit. Alex and I are (likely) going as a devil and angel pair for Halloween (for the Heaven & Hell Ball)  and the white mini is spot on for this outfit. I need to find myself a pair of super cute wings and a halo to finish off the outfit, but I think it’s doable!

Tonight, we’ve gathered up a group (including Wen Fa, who I must mention herein) to celebrate Peter’s birthday tonight at The International! We wanted to find a super cool, lounge-y place where we could dress up a bit and celebrate and this joint looks spot on! It’s sister bar is the Dirty Martini which we hit up the other night and loved so we thought this place deserved a fair chance! I’ll keep you posted on how amazing it actually is tomorrow!

Now I’m off to do some scholarly work and get ready for a super fun evening!

Lots of love,

Signature Stamp - Shannon

Friday Already?!


I absolutely cannot believe that it’s Friday already. Last time I checked it was Monday, but somehow that really long day morphed into Friday which will, in turn, morph into a much-needed three-day weekend packed with working out, tanning, relaxation and packing. Although the week has flown by, on the whole it has been rather productive. My suitcases had found a home deep in the corner of a room where the sight of them constantly haunted me — “start packing your bags, Shannon… only 14 days left.” It’s true. As of today, there are only 13 days left until I’m on a plane to begin my year overseas. Considering how fast time has flown in the past few months, I thought it best to get a move on on the packing front. I managed to pack almost one full suitcase with loads of goodies (a surprising amount) and still have one and a quarter suitcases + a carry-on to fill with pieces of my life. Much to my (pleasant) surprise, I managed to fit a peacoat, a trench coat, a few smaller jackets, fifteen or so sweaters, some tops, leggings, five scarves, a few dresses, some hats, my make-up, a pair of shoes, and some other items into 3/4 of a bag using the highly-respected rolling method. It’s pretty exciting to see how small an otherwise large item can become once it’s rolled tightly into a neat wad. The packing has been very encouraging thus far, but I will keep you posted on the happiness/packing factor come next week.

Also, whilst packing I made a list of all of the makeup that I have, in addition to the items that I need to stock up on prior to the move. After filling three-plus pages with fancy names for eyeshadows, lipglosses, lipsticks and pigments, I have come to realize that I have purchased way too many of MAC‘s coveted beauty bits over the years. On the bright side, the only things I needed (I use that term very loosely in this context) to purchase were a new mascara (for back up), a backup of my most favorite lipstick (Creme d’Nude — best lipstick on the market), a backup eye kohl and a couple new shadows, of which the lipstick and eyeshadow were free courtesy of the Back to MAC program.

Also, since the MAC store abuts the Aldo store, you know I had to pop in to see if they had cute/comfy, walking boots. I should have never had a doubt that my favorite shoe store in the world would come through for me!

IllsleyAldoI adore these boots because they’re versatile, canvas-y and the buckle details are darling! To boot (no pun intended), they have a built in 3″ wedge to give me the lift I’m looking for without the standard stiletto heel. I am in loovvvve with them and so far (for the ten minutes I’ve worn them), they are comfortable.

Hope everyone else is having a productive week! Have an amazing three-day weekend!


Signature Stamp - Shannon

On the Hunt!

As of yesterday, I have pretty much all my necessities sorted out: clothing’s in order, luggage is in place and my cell phone & bank accounts are ready to rock. The last order of business: shoes that will be my friend whilst exploring London on foot. As anyone that knows me can attest: my closet knows not what a “flat” looks like. Heels are the only thing in my closet, with the occasional boot or wedge thrown in (for seasonality). The closest thing I have to flats are the tennis shoes that are relegated to my gym bag and the Uggs that I use while lounging in the cold. That being said, I am starting to face the reality that heels are not going to enjoy weathering the long walks and cobblestone abroad, so I must start looking for comfort (mildly overrated) & rain-proofness (proofability?)

I actually tried on a pair of flats yesterday (gasp!) in an effort to expand my horizons, but to no avail. My preconceptions were just solidified — they look gross because they make my feet look long, plus they’re uncomfortable! I mean  really, who enjoys feeling like they are walking on the concrete? I like feeling like I’m actually wearing some foot covering, not a barely-there foot cloth. I tried. Really, I did. After the first pair sucked, I attempted two other, slightly more fashion-forward versions which (no surprise here!) tanked, as well. I’ve given up on flats. Uggs will be my friend and I will purchase a pair of low wedges for the coming year. I think that a low (one to two inch wedge) will be enough to feel like I’m lifted off the ground without being so high that I risk plunging face-first into the cobblestone, or — worse yet — breaking the rubber off my heel tip. Here’s what I found that I think may work:

ColeHaanWedgeThese wedgy flats, courtesy of Cole Haan via DSW are about $129, but they look comfy and they’re pretty cute… for flats.

SteveMaddenWedgeThese guys are a similar style, but much (much!) less. Steve Madden via DSW for $39.95.

SeychellesThese have a tid more of a lift (which I like) and they’re a rugged brown color, which could be cute with jeans. I’m 50/50 on the buckle accent. Seychelles via DSW for $59.99.

SteveMaddenBootThis Steve Madden boot (via DSW) has a slight wedge (1″) so I won’t feel like I’m walking on the ground quite as much. There’s something odd to me about owning a boot that doesn’t have a 4+ inch heel, but I guess it’s doable… In the boot’s defense, I like the cognac color quite a bit!

The alternative to the flat boot would be a an awesome high boot with a decent sized hidden platform that wouldn’t make the angle feel so extreme. I did find one pair that fit this criteria, but I wasn’t willing to drop the $250 at the time!

What do you guys think about the wedg-y flats? Still comf? Cute at all?

Lots of love,

Signature Stamp - Shannon

Turn that Frown Upside Down. Yo.

Today has been one of those days: one of the relatively unproductive, I-don’t-want-get-out-of-bed, sickish days. So much so, in fact, that I called in sick to work (which is a rarity, to say the least). I think this is probably the only sick day I have used this entire year! Although I would much rather have used my sick day on a Friday (where my sick day could have morphed into a three-day weekend), I’m grateful for a so-called mental health day. In an effort to rid myself of the rampant ‘woe is me’ syndrome, I hit the gym early in the AM to get my blood flowing and start the day right. After which, I took a quickie shower and sat down with a cup of coffee and a ravishing edition of Marie Claire (which, by the way, showcases some amazing fashions & an intriguing article about about abortion. Worth $3.99).


There are a few things that truly turn my sick-o frown upside down and coffee and fashion happen to be two of those very things. Coffee works in two astounding ways for me. First, the flavor of coffee wakes up my taste buds in the morning in a way that no other food and/or beverage can. The stronger, the better I say. I used to be a black coffee drinker, but after drinking work-brewed coffee for four years I have become a fan of some unassuming vanilla creamer and a couple packets of Splenda (gotta love the power of Splenda). Secondly, I happen to be addicted to caffeine, which is where coffee’s second comfort comes in: it reduces my headaches and just makes me feel good. Well, actually, the truth is that it helps me not feel bad: if I don’t drink two-plus cups of coffee daily, I will surely feel the wrath of a caffeine headache, one of the world’s worst kinds; that endless throbbing at your temple that just screams, “drink some Splenda-infused coffee if you want to ever have your brain back.” Thusly, the coffee this morning really had a calming effect on my soul. Plus, I like that you can feel coffee flowing down your throat and into your heart as you drain the cup. It’s invigorating, really. Fashion, well… it’s fashion. How can Marie Claire not turn your frown upside down? The booties and heels for fall 2009 definitely brightened my mood, despite their $1000-plus price tags. Hey, a girl can dream, right?

Now, as if the coffee & magazine weren’t enough to brighten my mood, I hit up the store to grab a piece of luggage for my upcoming trip and let me just say — helllllo, bargain shopper. I found the most perfect piece of luggage for my trip: 29 glorious inches (61 linear inches) of pure perfection. If it weren’t enough to find the perfect piece, I purchased the $340 classic for a mere $50 at a discount store. You read right: $50. I mean, really? Can you even get a carry-on for that price? If you’re Shannon, bargain shopper extraordinaire, anything is possible, I suppose, but even I was impressed with this steal. 

In conclusion, after what could have  easily been a day spent marinating in misery, three simple pleasures have definitely turned my frown upside down. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to grab another cup of bliss (aka coffee).

Signature Stamp - Shannon