Winter Coats

2019 Fashion, Fashion, Favorite Features, Winter

I am not a winter person, but I do love buying winter coats. Here are my tips if you’re looking for a winter coat. You need a few, and one in each of these categories:

  • Colored Coats
  • Pattern Coats
  • Classic Coats

Do you ever go to a house party and when you go to get your coat before you leave, you have to dig through a huge pile of black coats for your black coat? This is reason enough to invest in a good colored coat.

One of my favorites is my orange ASOS coat, worn here. It’s always easy to spot in a crowd.

The next category is patterned coats, which is super trendy at the moment. The animal print coat has definitely been the hot choice this season. Tweed is one of my personal favorite coat patterns, like this one.

The last category is the classic black, grey, navy or camel coat. These are all solid choices. This coat is worth investing in because it will be the coat you wear the most.

This year, I finally upgraded my old black coat for this one from Zara, which is also available in gray. I love the classic shape and deep pockets. I personally also love its masculine lines. This is my go-to coat for the office and any professional event. I also have a black Patagonia coat, last worn here, that is all practical and is my go-to coat for running errands on the weekend or when it’s just too cold to look cute.

Whatever your style, these are the three types of coats you need to stay warm this winter.

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Zara, peplum top, all black, aldo heels, beret, petite, fashion

Black, Dramatic Peplum Top

2019 Fashion, Fashion, Favorite Features, Winter

Happy Martin Luther King Day!

  • “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

This is one of my favorite MLK quotes, and it’s very apt for my focus on seizing new opportunities this year. Even though I can’t see where the end of 2019 will take me, I’m taking it one step at a time.

Hope you are enjoying the long weekend! I’m styling one of my favorite trends – monochromatic.

As a petite woman, I love the monochromatic look because it makes me look tall.

I opted for a dramatic peplum top and fun printed heels to add some interest and detail to the ensemble.

The top is versatile as well. I plan to wear it with shorts for going out in the summer!

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January, self-care, winter, petite, fashion

Love Yourself

2019 Fashion, Fashion, Favorite Features, Winter

January is definitely the self-care month. Everyone is thinking about ways to start the year off right with good habits.

Here are a few tips on how to focus yourself and treat yourself:

  1. Take the 16 Personalities Test
  2. Watch Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix
  3. Treat yourself – spa day? new hair cut? manicure/pedicure? dermatologist appointment?
  4. Exercise
  5. Grocery shop, meal prep and eat healthy
  6. Book a holiday/vacation

I took the 16 Personalities test and it said my personality was an “executive.” I’m loyal and enjoy having fun, but I find it difficult to read other people’s emotions and can be stubborn. Basically, this test nailed me. Examining yourself and understanding your personality is always healthy.

My partner says: self-assess, self-correct, and self-promote.

Understanding who you are and being aware of your flaws is the first step so you can correct and push yourself to be the best version of you.

I enjoy having a clean space, and let’s be honest, everyone is watching Marie Kondo on Netflix because it is too cold to be outside in January. As she would say, find the joy in your “stuff” and chuck everything else out. I always try and start a new year with a closet purge, which is really hard for me because I love clothes. So if I can do it, so can you! (I will admit I’ve only managed to get rid of a few things… so need to do more purging.)

After you finish, you will be emotionally exhausted so you should treat yourself. For me, I booked a hair appointment to trim off the dead-ends from coloring my hair last summer. It’s weird how something like dead-ends can add stress to your life without you realizing it. Anything can count as treating yourself though:

  • Was there a yoga outfit you really wanted to buy to inspire you to workout?
  • Do you bite your nails; therefore, you are in desperate need of a manicure?
  • Have you always wanted to get a Vitamix so you can make smoothies at home?

Exercise. Hit the gym. No one likes to do it, but you will better after you do. The first step, get a gym membership. A lot of places are running special promotions in January. For example, I’m trying out Gold’s Gym for the first three months. I also have a smartwatch to track my fitness – remember this blog post where I shared my 30-minute high-intensity-interval-training and 10-minute ab workout and this awesome Misfit Wearables?

I personally feel better when I’m eating healthier. Over the holidays, I definitely overindulged in my favorites snacks, desserts and fast food restaurants (recalling all the road-trip food ). I find the best way for me to be eat well with my schedule is if I meal prep on the weekend.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know I love travelling. My personal goal is to leave the U.S. once a year. This year, I’ve been thinking about Cuba – leave your comments with tips and recommendations of places to go this year!

I love travelling, and when I book a holiday I immediately get excited because now I have something to look forward to for the year. If you don’t like travelling, booking any form of holiday or special occasion would work. The idea is that if you know you have something exciting planned for later in the year, you know there will be a reward for all your hard work.

Don’t give up! You can do it! (Or at least we can struggle to do it together!)

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Snow Day

2019 Fashion, Fashion, Favorite Features, Winter

Happy Snow Day! Did you get snow? In Washington, D.C. we got snow over the weekend and woke up to a winter wonderland!

Unfortunately, D.C. is not Southern enough that this snow would call off work. (As a child in the South, we used to get snow days from school if there was a forecast of snow!)

So if you’re like me and making the trek into the office today – try one of my favorite winter office looks – sweater dress and knee-high boots. This combination looks professional and is also very comfortable.

This sweater dress is an old one from H&M, but I’ve linked to a few great options below!

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My Instagram Got Hacked

2019 Fashion, Fashion, Favorite Features, Lifestyle

If data security is not in your New Year’s Resolutions for 2019 – you should make it one.

There has been a rise of data breaches in the past few years, and it’s time we woke up to its dangers. In the 21st century, our personal data is like oil.  It’s the social lubricant  that makes us feel connected with families and friends online, but it’s also the information companies want to monetize and nefarious online agents want to weaponize to spread fear and hatred.

Above all of this, our data belongs to us. While there are legitimate business concerns around GDPR (the EU data privacy regulation) – in particular for SMEs – it is also a step in the right direction to return the power back to individuals.

Americans are behind on the data curve. We have not gotten outraged that our data is being misappropriated without consent, yet people voice concern when pop-up ads appear on their phone for a gadget they were just talking about with their friend on the phone.

Remember in March 2018 when Cambridge Analytica was able to analyze 87 million Facebook users data through a third party app?

Remember when Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s admitted that personal information of their online customers (like credit card details) were exposed? This has happened to Sears, Addida’s, Best Buy, Delta, and so many other companies. It’s pretty shocking how exposed our personal data is in today’s age of technology.

This issue really came home to me when my instagram got hacked last year.

I never thought it would happen to me because I don’t have millions of followers. Truth is, it can happen to anyone. Hackers pick accounts by random, and there has been a notable increase of attacks on Instagram given its growing community.

When my instagram got hacked, I felt totally helpless. It happened last November, when I got an email from socialwork@tutanota.com notifying me that they’ve hacked my account.

 

If this happens to you, do not respond to the hackers. Contact Instagram and notify them of the issue. The process can take some time to recover your account, but it is usually possible. I was lucky because I had a friend that works at Instagram who was able to help me resolve the hack and restore my account quickly.

My Instagram account got hacked and so can yours.

Therefore, here are a few tips to ensure your account can be more secure.

Use two-step authentication for all of your log-in details. Most platforms have this option now, but it’s not the default so you have to opt-in in your settings.

You can go one step further and use a time-based one-time password algorithm app like Google Authenticator. There are loads of varieties of these apps, and they link to your account and generate a random code every time you access the account that you type in.

When I set-up two-step verification, almost within the same week, I got notified that someone with a Cyrillic e-mail account was trying to access my Instagram. Because of this safeguard, they were not able to, but it reinforced the need for me to ensure I was taking my online security seriously.

I’d also recommend regularly updating your passwords for your various accounts. I’ve decided to do this on an annual basis. At the start of this year, I went through all my different accounts and changed their passwords. This will take some time because there are a lot of different platforms you probably never thought about it. For example, I even changed my password for my Pandora and Spotify accounts – even though it’s very unlikely anyone would want to access my account.

To create a strong password, I’ve used randomized password generators, and I also create passwords that are full, complex sentences that would be hard to crack.

When I reset all my passwords, I also went through the settings to review my privacy settings. Many platforms allow third-party apps to see the data. I went through and removed any third-party apps that I was not familiar with and also logged all devices out of my accounts.

It is annoying to have to sign back into your various accounts on your different devices, but it’s worth the extra precaution to ensure old devices that you may no longer be using do not have access to your accounts.

True story – I found out my old IPad that I had given away was still accessing my ITunes account.

So here is the skinny, protect your data.

  1. Update your password to something strong, using a combination of at least six numbers, letters and punctuation marks (like ! and &). It should be different from other passwords you use elsewhere on the internet. It can be a full, complex sentence so it’s easy for you to remember but hard to crack.
  2. Set-up two-step verification on your account.
  3. Use a time-based one-time password algorithm app like Google Authenticator.
  4. Check all third-party apps linked to your account.
  5. Unlog yourself from your account on devices you do not recognize.  (Both steps 4 & 5 can be done within the platform in your security settings.)

Sweater Weather with Lou & Grey

2019 Fashion, Autumn, Fashion, Favorite Features, Winter

Stay warm by layering! I’m wearing a Lou & Grey sweater, which I love because their fit is loose. I’ve paired with high-waisted American Eagle jeans and over-the-knee boots (last seen here) to keep the proportions balanced. I wear these two pieces all the time. They are a staple of my winter/fall closet. These boots are so comfortable and the quilted detailing adds the right amount of interest. They are a dupe of the more expensive Stuart Weitzman (linked below).

If you’re shopping for scarves this season – try a simple two-toned scarf like this one from H&M. It’s very versatile and I like the simplicity. I wear it all the time! Also try something surprising like a faux fur hat to cap off your winter looks. This one is made from baby alpaca fur. I bought it at an animal rescue shelter in Peru. It’s such a fun memento from my trip and also helps make a  statement with my winter style.

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Modcloth poppy dress

2019 Fashion, Autumn, Fashion, Favorite Features, Winter

This fit and flare poppy dress from Modcloth is currently on sale! I’m wearing the XXS and it fits really well – although a bit longer on me than it appears on model. It looks more floor-length instead of midi-length. However, it still looks nice and works well as long as I wear heels or wedges.

I love floral prints and any dress with pockets! What I love most about Modcloth is that their vintage take on modern style makes every piece very unique. Here’s to 2019 and standing out in the crowd!

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New Year, New You

2018 Fashion, Fashion, Favorite Features, Fitness

Regretting all the food you ate over the holidays? It’s never too late to get fit and ready for the new year. As they say – summer bodies are built in the winter!

I started with getting myself new athletic/workout gear. Check out Fabletics, which I talked about here. They offer great gym clothes for reasonable prices. I also often get cute workout clothes at Target, Forever21 and T.J. Maxx. While I really like brands like Lululemon (and I do have a few of their items) I don’t like how expensive their brand is for clothing I will ultimately sweat in. However, their travel and athleisure style is great!

We all get busy with life, and it’s hard to stick to a routine. I try and keep my fitness goals mangeable so I can achieve them. I aim for at least 30 minutes every day Monday-Friday. In reality, I only work out about 3-5 times a week. However, if I aim for five times a week, I generally an make it to to at least three times.

I have a gym membership, and I do take a few classes around town. However, I also have a few circuits that I do at home to ensure that I have no excuse not to get my 30 minutes of activity in each day.

A colleague of mine at my office gave me this high-intensity-interval-training (HIIT) circuit, and it works! No matter how many times I’ve done it – it is hard every time.

For five minutes, you rotate through each exercise group with a one minute rest in between. You can do this with a partner and take turns in between each exercise or do it by yourself and go as hard as you can for five minutes. I generally count it as a success if I can do at least two full circuits within each five minutes.

30-Minute HIIT Circuit

Burpees – 25 reps
Lunges – 25 reps

Rest: 1 minute

press ups – 25 reps
squats – 25 reps

Rest: 1 minute

box jumps – 25 reps
triceps dips – 25 reps

Rest: 1 minute

shoulder press – 25 reps ( suggest using barbells)
bicep curl – 25 reps ( (suggest barbells)

Rest: 1 minute

kettle bell thrust – 25 reps
leg up sit ups –  25 reps

If I have the time, then I’ll add 10-15 minutes of core exercises and finish with some stretched. Do each below abdominal exercise for 40 seconds with a 20 second rest in between.

10-Minute Ab Exercises

  1. Starfish
  2. Crunches
  3. Bicycles
  4. Side planks
  5. Leg lifts
  6. Side twists
  7. Leg kicks
  8. Leg Circles
  9. Windshield wipers with legs
  10. Plank hold for 1:30 minute

 

What are your fitness goals for the new year?

Track them with Misfit Wearables, which offers gps tracking (if you’re running), heart rate monitor, measure your steps and also shows you the weather, syncs to your phone for notifications and music!

 

 

 

Animal Print & Leather Pants

2018 Fashion, Autumn, Fashion, Favorite Features, Winter

Looking for style inspiration this fall/winter? Go no further than animal prints – it’s the fall fashion trend this year. I love this Vince leopard blouse I picked up, and I’ve been wearing it on repeat rather at the office or shopping around town. I’ve paired with these BLANK NYC vegan leather pants (they are still in stock and available for less than $100)and knee high Michael Kors boots.

These faux leather pants have been on repeat this fall, but I wore them last on the blog here for an all black look.

The holiday parties are starting up, so check out GlamSquad, which is offering $10 off when you first sign-up. It’s a phone app that connects you with a stylist who will come to your house and help you get ready for your events – rather its hair, make-up or even nails! They are in Washington, DC, San Francisco, New York, Southern California, Southern Florida, Boston, and Long Island. For Black Friday, they are offering special packages 20% off their usual price.

Gifts for the Working Her or Him

Autumn, Fashion, Favorite Features, Holidays, Winter

Need Christmas gift ideas that are gender-neutral?
To help you get ahead of your Christmas shopping and take advantage of the all the great Black Friday sales this week, here are a few gift ideas for the working man or woman in  your life. Got a girlfriend, mom or sister that hustles at the office? These gifts will help her succeed. They are also gender neutral, which makes them a great gift for the husband, boyfriend or brother as well!
These gifts are also great for
Don’t leave your christmas shopping to the last minute, check out all the great deals this week on my sales page.
Gift Ideas:
  • Nespresso Machine (and nespresso pods and holder)
  • Table for your bed so you can keep working on your laptop, sketching in your notebook or reading that magazine.
  • Wireless Headphones – I use the Apple Airpods, but I would actually recommend the ones with the neck wire connecting them for working out (less likely to lose an earbud while running/biking/lifting).
  • Noise Cancelling Headphones – Do you work in a cubicle in an open plan office or have a noisy family or roommates that you wish you didn’t have to listen to or are distracting you? This is a game changing gift!
  • Fitbit – Wearable technology makes for a great gift as it can often feel like a luxury item for someone to buy for themselves.
  • Moleskin Notebook – Everyone takes notes in meetings, or at least brings a notebook with them to doodle in. Try a paper one or a digital one, both are great gift options.
  • Yeti Mug – Everyone has a thermos, but the Yeti Mug is the next step! It will keep your liquids hot or cold for literally hours. I received one a few years ago, and they are now the only mugs I use.
  • Watch/ Sunglasses – A good pair of polarized sunglasses and a classic watch always make for great gifts. I’m also partnering with MVMT so you can get $15 off your purchase with promo code “katestylepetite15“! In the photo, I’m wearing MVMT “legend” sunglasses that can be yours for less than $50! I love how their polarization makes the fall leaves look even more vibrant!