Author: stephaniespieker

Summer Lovin

Summer Lovin

One Teaspoon shorts
bloomingdales.com

Free People beach hat
freepeople.com

Quay cat-eye glasses
lordandtaylor.com

Sun Bum sun care
dermstore.com

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Pop of Teal

I always love a good blazer. Whether it be black, a bold color, or a vibrant floral, a blazer adds a chic touch to any outfit. We went out in SF on Friday night, and this For Love and Lemons crop top is gorgeous, but a little revealing by itself for a dinner out, so I added one of my favorite cropped blazers for a pop of color, and a little more coverage. I linked the look for less at the bottom, and I hope you all have a lovely week!

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

XO,

Stephanie

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The Look For Less:

Blazer :: ShoeDazzle

Lace Crop Top :: Forever 21

High Waisted Skinnies :: Forever 21

High Waisted Belt :: Lauren Ralph Lauren

Heels :: ModCloth

Bucket Bag :: Unita Verso

Sunnies :: Asos

 

Spring Transitions

Just when I thought the warm spring weather was here to stay last week, a few days of April showers came through the Bay Area. We need as much rain as we can get in this drought, so I am thankful that the universe gave us a little more moisture before the sweltering summer heat. April is a month of flux for me. I am not much of a girly girl, but when April rolls around, I do like to incorporate florals, and pops of color into my wardrobe. I bought this Flynn Skye dress last summer and have been dying to wear it, so I paired it with my moto jacket and booties on our date night at Michel Bistro on Lakeshore. I am not ready for bare arms and sandals yet, so this was the perfect way to feel like spring, but keep it edgy. I have stayed true to the shopping my closet vow I made in January, so I will continue to post similar pieces to create the “look for less”. I hope you all have a fabulous week, thanks for stopping by!

XO,

Stephanie

 

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Love the chandelier at Michel!

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The Look For Less ::

Dress :: Melodic Day

Jacket :: Nasty Gal

Bucket Bag :: Urban Outfitters

Booties :: Restricted

 

 

Pitaya Yum!

Recently I have been obsessed with Pitaya aka dragon fruit bowls for breakfast. Pitaya is a less well known superfood that is full of antioxidants, fiber, Magnesium and B vitamins. It really gives me a boost of energy to start my day. I was so excited when I found Pitaya Plus frozen smoothie packs so I can make these awesome bowls at home. There are endless possibilities of toppings, but my favorites are bananas, granola, coconut, blueberries and chia seeds. I love the vibrant pink color, and it is so fun to create pretty arrangements for Instagram;) Here are some of the recipes that I have blended up lately, plus a delicious and easy dessert parfait, enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by, XO

Stephanie

Topping Prep

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Barbie Bowl

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Fruitopia

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Mangolicious

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Dragon Banana Parfait

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Instagram Roundup

Hi All! I have been posting more of my “shopping my closet” content on Instagram @oaklandblonde lately, so be sure to follow! I thought it would be fun to round up my fave looks, and give you the look for less. I am so excited about spring fashion, and I promise in the next couple weeks, I will be posting a spring themed blog post 🙂

Bold Florals

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Colorful Pilates Fit

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My Fave Bikini

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Edgy Uniform

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Classic White top, and High Waisted Jeans

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The Look For Less:

Floral Blazer

Gold Broach

Color Blocked Sneakers

Tribal Leggings

Plaid Button Down

Floral Bikini Top

Cheeky Black Bikini Bottom

Moto Jacket

Black and White Printed Blouse

White Cap Sleeve Blouse

High Waisted Belt with Silver Hardware

High Waisted Skinnies

 

 

Back to Basics

Hi everyone! Sorry I have been so MIA, I got offered a full time position at my job, and the transition took some time to find a balance between work and blogging. Roger and I finally had a chance to start shooting for the “shopping my closet” segment of my blog, that I decided to write after doing a full closet clean out in January. It was such a refreshing clean slate that has helped me rediscover some old favorites that have not gotten any love lately.

Since I started the year with a clean closet, I thought the perfect theme for my first post would be a unique take on basics. With neutral basics, I like to play with silhouette, different tones in the same color family, and texture. This can take a basic outfit from boring to chic. I am obsessed with my distressed boyfriend jeans from Allsaints that I have had for years, and have contributed to countless outfits. To add a feminine touch, I chose this Dolce Vita lace embroidered top paired with textured cream booties by Sixty Seven. A brown saddle bag is a versatile staple for style and utility, and offsets light neutral colors beautifully. I hope this helps you see your basics in a different light, don’t be afraid to get creative 🙂

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XO,

Stephanie

The Look for Less:

Top :: Forever 21

Jeans :: Love Culture

Booties :: Sole Society

Bag :: Nine West

Closet Clean Out

I am not one for New Years resolutions, I’m all about finding balance and simplicity throughout the year, and one source of stress and disarray was definitely my closet. I have been inspired by the blog un-fancy to clean out my closet, and work on a capsule wardrobe to fix this problem. Life can be so chaotic due to things I cannot control, why not do everything I can to live simply, and end this cycle of conspicuous consumption?Here we go!

My approach was in 3 catergories, it can seem overwhelming otherwise:

Step 1: Completely empty your closet, I know this seems crazy, but you will understand when you start putting the pieces that you love and would change into right now back in your closet, and you start to see the development of your personal style. This would be difficult to see if you still had all of the “maybe” pieces still hanging in your closet.

Step 2: Sort each item into one of these four piles:

  • Wardrobe staple and would wear it right now! These are pieces that you get excited to wear, and have worn in the past 2 months,  put it back in your closet.
  • Maybe: This is for pieces that have sentimental value, unique vintage finds that you don’t know out to outfit yet, pieces that still have the price tags on them…
  • Nope: Weed out the pieces that you have not worn in 6 months or more that you cannot see yourself wearing anymore, damaged items that you have not fixed yet, things that do not fit…sell, donate or do a fun clothing swap party with friends.
  • Seasonal: Little strappy sundress when it is 30 degrees, fancy party dresses after wedding season/the holidays have ended…these are pieces you want to keep but are not going to wear right now. If you have space in your closet, when you put the clothes back in after the purge, separate into seasonal sections, if you need more space, seal them in boxes under the bed and take out when you need them.

Step 3: Pack up the “nopes” you want to sell into a rolling suitcase, put together a bag of what you are donating, and set aside pieces for a clothing swap party with your friends. Now hang your staples in color families back in your closet. Then, if there is space, make a summer/spring section, and an outerwear section. If you are trying to maximize space, pack the warm weather stuff into a box, and when that season rolls around, pack the outerwear into that box.

This seems like a ton of work, but only took me about 3 hours and it feels SO GOOD now that I can see what is in my closet, and have rediscovered some old friends I forgot about in the disarray!

Next step: taking my pared down wardrobe, and putting together a capsule wardrobe, STAY TUNED 🙂

Here are the before and after shots of my closet overhaul:

Half of my closet laid out on the bed in Step 1:

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The empty half, so refreshing to put my favorites back in 🙂 the crazy mess on the right…

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Un-shoppable closet…

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The “After” of the right side whittled down to about 80 pieces, I have a suitcase of about 100 pieces in the “nopes” that I haven’t worn in years…

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Heavy outerwear:

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Heavy outerwear, fancy, and spring/summer on the left

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Phew! Always more work to do, but feels so much better, stay tuned for my attempt at a “capsule wardrobe” in the next couple months 🙂

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Happy New Year!

I wanted to wish everyone a very Happy New Year, Yay to 2016!  I hope this year brings all of you good luck, positivity, and adventure.  I am making it a goal write down at least 1-2 positive things from each day, something someone wise told me to manifest positivity into daily life. It will also be a concrete reminder I can look back on to keep me in a happy mindset when I have a bad day.

Before the New Year, my brother in law who is great at purging and organizing came to stay with us and helped us clean, and realize how much stuff we really have. In this blogosphere, I feel like buying and conspicuous consumption, a cycle that just keeps you wanting the next thing, and not using or appreciating  what you already have is a huge issue. Monetizing a blog is essentially advertising for companies, and feeding into that cycle. So this year I am going to attempt something I have never tried before, I am not going to buy any new clothes for a year, and shop my closet. I am lucky having worked in the fashion industry for the past 10 years, so I have some great pieces to choose from, and in my links to similar items, I am going to find items on sale, and at lower price points to get you guys some deals 🙂 Or, do the challenge with me, and try to create fresh and fun looks out of your own closet!

So excited for starting 2016 on the right foot, I can’t wait to share new and exciting photos, & projects on the blog so stay tuned, be sure to follow along on my Instagram as well: @oaklandblonde

XO,

Stephanie

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How Rescuing a Dog Changed our Lives

I am a dog person through and through. From an early age, if there was a dog present, I would be on the floor giving back scratches and kisses within seconds. My first dog Frankie is a Boston terrier that I found in the classifieds in the San Jose Mercury news. She was in a “mistake” litter of two puppies, so I raised her from 10 weeks old and she has never known anything but love. She is a little bit spoiled if I do say so myself 😉

My husband Roger and I always knew we wanted to get a big dog once we bought a house and had enough space. We bought our home in November 2013 and in May of that year, we started looking online for a rescue Rottweiler. We researched their temperaments, and they are sweet and loving family dogs, but also protective which is great for when I am walking on my own. We found our pup Murphy through GEPDA animal rescue out of San Martin, CA. They are a donation based rescue on a farm that believes:

“Fight Cruelty and Violence Against Animals”

The primary objectives of this organization shall be to
foster respect and compassion for all animals; to alleviate pain and suffering for abused,abandoned animals; and to raise public awareness to the need for spay/neuter programs, micro chipping and humane education in the United States and abroad.

We fell in love with Murphy’s picture and description, and emailed them to inquire. Katy promptly emailed us back within 30 minutes, and we set up a day the next week to meet him.

The following Thursday, we drove to San Martin to meet our potential new family member. We met Katy and Maryann, two wonderful ladies who love animals so much that Maryann has set up rescue kennels on her farm, and houses up to 20 dogs at a time at her home. It is donation and volunteer driven, so Maryann and Katy do this out of love. They brought out Murph and he was comfortable with Katy and Maryann, but because we were strangers, he was painfully shy. Katy went on to tell us that Murphy had been starved, beaten, and abused from birth, and probably used as a bait dog in dog fights. Instead of becoming aggressive like many dogs, Murphy went the opposite way and became painfully shy and scared. Maryann saw him on death row in a kill shelter that labeled him “unadoptable” because of his shyness. Maryann said no way, took him in and worked to get him out of his shell. We are so thankful she did. He was shy at first, but warmed up and we decided to adopt him.

When we brought him home, we soon realized that once he felt our love for him, he did not want to let it go, cue “separation anxiety”. We tried to crate train him but he was so against crates, that he broke out of three different kinds. We then decided to “dog proof” the downstairs area when we left the house. This means, no breakable things, (Murph is a bull in a china shop) closing bathroom doors (he likes to splash in the toilets) and closing bedroom doors. This led to the tearing down of the front blinds and scratching the paint off the front door, but we knew that once some time had passed, and he knew this was his forever home, he would calm down.

And we were right! It has been a year and a half that Murphy has been in our lives, and with daily hikes and consistency, he has become the most loyal, loving and appreciative dog that I have ever had. The fact that he went through so much and was so starved of love and basic care for the first year of his life, he returns that love ten fold. Roger was saying last night that every evening when he comes home from work, it is the best part of his day to be met at the door by Murphy’s unconditional and pure happiness to see him. Murphy has truly become a light in our lives, and all of the ups and downs in the first year are worth adding this affection, fun, laughter and snuggle time into our family. There is a bit of sibling rivalry, but I can tell Frankie loves him too.

The moral of this story is, there are so many dogs out there in shelters and rescues, dogs that need you desperately, just like Murphy. Why pay a breeder hundreds of dollars when you can donate to a cause like GEPDA, that has a strict rule for all dogs they adopt to be spayed or neutered to help fix the problem, not add to it. Adopting Murphy was one of the best decisions we have ever made, and we will always rescue.

Here are some of our favorite memories with our pups since Murph’s adoption:

 

 

Last Minute Gift Guide Under $50

Last Minute Gift Guide Under $50