Gift Guide: Festive Finds

by Jessica Sturdy on November 13, 2014

I don’t know if it’s the cooler temperatures or the upcoming holidays, but I am in MAJOR nesting mode. I feel like that kind of has a pregnant connotation, and I am most certainly not that, but I’ve just been in the mood to focus on making my apartment nice and cozy. Sprucing up my decor (well, actually, finishing the decorating that I barely started back when I moved in May), decluttering my cabinets, drawers, and closet, making meals at home, you name it! I’ve been over-analyzing new bedding for weeks, maybe even months. I’m obsessing over throw pillows and which prints I want to mix on my new couch. I spend countless hours on Pinterest trying to decide just how I’m going to layer my living room rugs. Don’t get me started on my search for a coffee table. And it doesn’t end there… Enter, my kitchen…

I have a pretty amazing kitchen (by New York standards). Lots of cabinet space, a good amount of counter space, stainless steel appliances. It’s probably my favorite part of my apartment! And although I barely make time to cook in said kitchen, I’ve been filling my plethora of cabinets with all sorts of festive finds.


A few weeks ago, Carly & I met up for breakfast and much-needed caffeine at the Nespresso boutique on the Upper East Side. I pop into the Soho location on the reg to pick up capsules for my machine, but this was my first time dining. (So good, highly recommend!) After breakfast, we went and did some holiday shopping at Sur La Table. Like I said, I barely cook. The only time I really use my kitchen is when I make a Nespresso in the morning before I shower. And then again when I make another Nespresso before I leave for the day. However, something came over me when I was at Sur La Table. I went kind of crazy buying new dish ware and all sorts of festive Thanksgiving and Christmas tabletop accessories. You would think I was hosting family dinners over the holidays with the amount of things I picked up. For a minute, I thought about hosting the girls for a festive brunch. But then I realized that would require more cooking than my usual scrambled eggs & coffee weekend breakfast. (And I can’t fit everyone in my studio apartment… So there’s that.) So it looks like I’ll just be cooking-for-one in a very stylish and festive manner over the next few weeks! Or ya know, just putting my seamless delivery order on really cute plates. ;)


& Other Stories Sweater | J. Crew Blouse | J Brand Jeans | Ralph Lauren Booties (20% off in Bloomies’ Friends & Family right now!) | Gucci Bag (similar for less!) | Jawbone Up Band

I figured I’d share some of the cute things that I got at Sur La Table, as well as some of the fun things I have on my wish list, in a Festive Finds Gift Guide. Since Turkey Day is just around the corner, I figured I’d share a Thanksgiving and a Christmas board. #OverAchiever, I know.

One item that’s a repeat offender for both holidays? The Nespresso Vertuoline. Because really, who isn’t in need of a pick-me-up around the holidays?! For the last year, I’ve been using my regular Nespresso machine and I’ve loved it. However, I’ve been using the Nespresso Vertuoline for the last two weeks and have loved it even more! (I didn’t even know that was possible.) It’s so amazing because you can brew both a large cup of coffee and a shot of espresso in the same machine. Seriously brilliant!

A few goodies to help set the table for a fall family gathering…

festive finds nespresso sur la table thanksgiving

Pumpkin Plate | Copper Measuring Spoons | Pumpkin Cocotte | Nespresso Vertuoline | Espresso Cup & Saucer | Copper Roasting Pan | Wood Slice Serving Board

And a few items to spread holiday cheer…

festive finds nespresso sur la table

Snowman Topper | Plaid Plate | Winterberry Branch | Snowman Spatula | Candy Cane Spreader | Holly & Pine Mug (also love these plaid espresso & coffee mugs!) | Nespresso Vertuoline | Peppermint Bowl | Pine Branch

Thank you to Nespresso for sponsoring this post!


Twenty Five Days of Gift Guides

Day 1: Jessica’s Wish List | Day 2: The New Yorker | Day 3: Sparkle Obsessed | Day 4: Festive Finds | Day 5: Plaid & Tartan

Or check them all out on this Pinterest board!


Bow-Tie Barbour

by Jessica Sturdy on November 13, 2014

barbour jacket

I’ve always been a bit of a human magpie. (I mean, did you see my last gift guide?) While I do tend to get distracted easily (#ADD), my attention always diverts when there are sparkly things around. I love a little glitz, what can I say?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a ‘jewelry girl.’ (And a shoe, watch, bag, sunglasses girl… Okay, maybe ‘accessories girl’ is a better fit.) I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that a single piece of jewelry can transform almost any outfit. My go-to? A statement necklace. Statement necklaces are the bomb dot com. What other accessory can you wear with a sweatshirt and also a ball gown and it looks fabulous either way? That’s why I’m usually willing to pay a little bit extra for a sparkly statement necklace. The versatility and cost-per-wear can’t be beat!

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Fun Fearless Life

by Jessica Sturdy on November 12, 2014

express moto jeans

Spending a weekend in the city without traveling was everything I hoped it to be and more! While I definitely could have laid in bed all weekend (majorly sleep deprived over here), I’m glad I had hot tickets to tear me out of bed. As I mentioned last week, I got to go to the Cosmopolitan Fun Fearless Life event with Express on both Saturday and Sunday. I know this sounds crazy, but I had never actually been inside of the David Koch Theatre at Lincoln Center before this weekend. I’ve definitely been missing out… It’s so pretty, especially out on the second floor terrace. Now I’m dying to go see a ballet!

Both days of the event were equal parts fun, entertaining, and inspiring. The panels absolutely flew by!

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Gift Guide: Sparkle Obsessed

by Jessica Sturdy on November 12, 2014

Today is Bows & Sequins’ 4th birthday. Crazy, right?! I can’t believe I’ve been posting in this little corner of the internet for four whole years. I still remember the night I started it, the first email I received from a sweet reader, the day it turned one, the very first time someone on the street told me that they loved my blog, the first time I took outfit photos, the first time I took outfit photos with a tripod, the days it turned two and three, the first time I worked with a brand I loved, the first time I met a “blog friend” in real life … I could go on and on. It’s not just ‘a blog’ to me, Bows & Sequins truly is an extension of my life. I mean, this blog has been around longer than any boyfriend I’ve ever had, which might not be saying a lot, but you get the idea. ;)

I’ve made so many memories, life-long friends, and have gotten to experience so many unbelievable things because of Bows & Sequins. I feel like I was looking for “my thing” my entire life until I created this blog. And now I truly feel like I’ve hit my stride and have something that I’m insanely passionate about. I can’t even express how fortunate I feel on a daily basis! Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for checking in every day and following along. Thank you for every single one of your comments and emails. Thank you one million times over! xoxo

Now, what’s a birthday without some sparkle?! Today’s gift guide is definitely fit for a celebration. I created today’s gift guide with the glitter girl in mind. Whether it’s you, your best friend, your niece, your mom, your cousin, or someone else I’m forgetting — If she loves sparkle, this gift guide is for her!

what to buy the sparkle lover

‘Tis the season for Puttin’ On The Glitz!

Necklace | Beanie | Eyeshadow | Flats | Bracelet | Shimmer Hair Spray | Clutch | Nail Polish | Watch | Coasters | Sneakers

Honorable mention that I found after I made this collage? These MZ Wallace Bag Tassel Charms. So fun for dressing up your MZ metro totes!

And a few notes about the products above…

I got a sample of Joico’s Gold Dust Spray during fashion week and it’s prettyyyyy awesome, especially for the holidays! (And I actually packed it for my last Vegas trip, too. When in Rome.. Or, well, Vegas.) It’s a finishing spray that has a really light hold… and is packed with shine and shimmer. It’s a really pretty rose gold color in my blonde hair… I’m obsessed! It’s so subtle, but when the light hits your hair it’s kind of magical. It’s great for a glitzy holiday party and definitely made for New Years Eve. And obviously, the perfect stocking stuffer for the sparkle lover in your life!

I also have the pictured coasters, eyeshadow, sneakers, and necklace. From one glitter girl to the next, I can highly recommend them all. :)

Click through the slideshow below to shop these gifts and more…


Twenty Five Days of Gift Guides

Day 1: Jessica’s Wish List | Day 2: The New Yorker | Day 3: Sparkle Obsessed | Day 4: Festive Finds | Day 5: Plaid & Tartan

Or check them all out on this Pinterest board!


Gift Guide: The New Yorker

by Jessica Sturdy on November 11, 2014

what to buy a new yorker for christmas

Bliss Spa | Uber | Soul Cycle | Seamless

If you ask a New Yorker what they want for the holidays, they’ll probably just tell you Rent Money. Or Sleep. Or a combination of the two.

Now that I’ve been in New York for two and a half years, I’ve learned a thing or two about living in this crazy city, and I’ve definitely developed my share of (crazy expensive) habits.

Rent is astronomical. You’d never believe what I pay for my studio apartment in a walk-up building in a grungy neighborhood in Manhattan. I’ve seen a mouse (still suffering from PTSD) and a cockroach in my apartment, yet I still somehow pay more in rent than a mansion mortgage in Illinois. So yes, cold hard cash for rent definitely tops my wish list. #MakeItRainSanta

Grocery Shopping? I’m not sure I know what you’re referring to. Ha, I kid. But seriously, there have been months at a time that I’ve gone without stepping foot in a grocery store. (And then when I finally did make a trip to Whole Foods, I got caught in a torrential downpour and the contents of my bags splattered across Houston Street… But that’s a story for a different day.) Seamless is a girl-on-the-go’s best friend. While I really do try to make more meals at home, I play the “too busy” card on the reg. Seamless is just too easy! Funny fact: I actually deleted the Seamless app from my phone because it’s just too easy to order food. Especially after a night out! ;)

I can’t forget about Soul Cycle. Considering it’s essentially a therapy session and a workout all in one, I justify the hefty price tag. I definitely wouldn’t be mad if I discovered a mad stack of Soul Cycle gift cards under the tree this year!

And since stress and sleep deprivation is all too common in New York, a spa day at Bliss would never, ever be turned down.

Bliss Spa | Uber | Soul Cycle | Seamless


Twenty Five Days of Gift Guides

Day 1: Jessica’s Wish List | Day 2: The New Yorker | Day 3: Sparkle Obsessed | Day 4: Festive Finds | Day 5: Plaid & Tartan

Or check them all out on this Pinterest board!


Stripes, Sequins & Shimmer

by Jessica Sturdy on November 10, 2014

rachel zoe collection

I still have a few posts from Paris to share with you, but I figured I’d break it up a little and tell you a little bit more about my trip to Vegas two weekends ago!

We really had the best time with the whole team at Zappos. We dined at some great restaurants (Carson Kitchen, Park on Fremont & Wild), got to spend a ton of time outdoors (in warm weather!), toured the Zappos HQ (excited to read their CEO’s book – Delivering Happiness), discovered a lot of new-to-me-artists at the Life is Beautiful Music Festival, and spent a whole lot of time goofing around with Anthony, Justin, and Hallie.

Read More…


25 Days of Gift Guides

by Jessica Sturdy on November 10, 2014

Hi guys, Happy Monday! I feel like I’ve been flying under the radar a bit the past few weeks. Between my #JetSetJess travel schedule and work being crazy, I haven’t been able to post as much as I would have liked. However, I’ve been working on a ton of content behind the scenes.

I’m kicking off TWENTY FIVE DAYS OF GIFT GUIDES today! That’s right, 25 different gift guides to help you out during the holiday season. Starting today and wrapping up on December 12th, I’ll be posting a new gift guide each and every day, Monday through Friday. (Don’t worry, I’ll still be posting all of my outfits, too! #twoadays) I know it seems kind of crazy to be thinking about holiday gifting already as we’re not even to Thanksgiving, but I want to give you plenty of time to browse, shop, and not have to pay for rush shipping.

If you don’t plan on starting your holiday shopping for a few weeks, I hear ya. My suggestion? Pin the gift guides now and reference them later!

Whether you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest, the hashtag to search my gift guides will be #BowsGG. And to keep it easy, I’ll be storing all of my gift guides in one easy-to-access Pinterest board.

PS: If you have any gifting questions this holiday season, tweet me or email me! I’m happy to help! Picking out the perfect gifts for friends and family is one of my favorite things to do. :)

To kick things off, I’m starting with my own personal wish list! It’s filled with bows (natch), sweet scents, deep jewel tones, and a lot of sparkle. One of each, please, Santa!

bows and sequins gift guide wish list 2

Rachel Zoe BookPerfume | Sunglasses | Cuff | Hair Bow | Tassel Key Ring | Leopard Clutch | Perfume | Velvet Pumps | Crystal Bow Pumps | Lipstick | Candle | Ring | Bow Eye Mask | Bow Clutch

Click through the slideshow below to shop these gifts and more from my wish list…


Twenty Five Days of Gift Guides

Day 1: Jessica’s Wish List | Day 2: The New Yorker | Day 3: Sparkle Obsessed | Day 4: Festive Finds | Day 5: Plaid & Tartan

Or check them all out on this Pinterest board!


Weekend Reading

by Jessica Sturdy on November 9, 2014

j.crew bow sweater gingham shirt

Photo by Lydia Hudgens from this post.



An Inspiring Weekend Ahead

by Jessica Sturdy on November 6, 2014

cute fall outfit with hat and scarf

As much fun as traveling is, I am so ready to park it in NYC for the next few weeks until the holidays roll around. Fall in NYC is definitely my favorite time of year here and I want to enjoy it before winter sets in!

This weekend I’m staying in town and attending the Cosmopolitan Fun Fearless Life Conference on behalf of Express. It’s a two-day event (Saturday 11/8 & Sunday 11/9) right near Lincoln Center at the David H. Koch theatre. The panel line-up is pretty stocked — Joanna Coles, Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan, Chrissy Teigen, and Elizabeth Crystal, CMO of EXPRESS, just to name a few.

If you’re interested in attending (find me and say hi if you do!), you can get discounted tickets with the code EXPRESS20. See you there!

Even though I won’t be on a plane this weekend, I’ll still be wearing my typical travel look that also works well for a weekend conference — a cozy sweater, comfortable jeans, a thick scarf, and a pair of booties. I was joking with one of my girlfriends the other day about how “once you go cashmere, you can never go back.” But I definitely stood corrected when I tried on this sweater at Express! It’s so soft, and almost feels like you’re wearing cashmere. (At a fraction of the price!) A scarf is my go-to neckwear. Especially with the current blanket scarf trend, you’ve got an accessory, a pillow, and a light throw all in one!

I always wear my boots or booties on the plane so they aren’t taking up space in my carry-on suitcase. And while I wish I could just wear sweats on the plane, I usually don’t have time to make outfit swaps. Comfy jeans are key. I’m obsessed with Express’ mid-rise legging jeans… The perfect amount of stretch and the fit is spot on! If I’m packing a hat, I always wear it on the plane because I don’t want to risk it getting smashed and ruined in my suitcase.

fall stylish travel outfit holiday

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Press Pause

by Jessica Sturdy on November 4, 2014

what to wear with white jeans in the fall outfit

I don’t know if it’s because I’ve basically been away the entire month of October, but I really can’t believe it’s November. I seriously feel like I was drinking rosé by the gallon al fresco just yesterday. When it briefly snowed in Chicago on Friday, it was a rude, rude awakening for the winter weather that’s bound to be here before we know it. I wish we could just press pause and it could stay October forever. In my mind, there’s nothing better than wearing a cozy cowl neck sweater, a light Barbour jacket, and tan booties.

On the topic of these booties, I am seriously obsessed. I got them right before my Paris trip, but I was hesitant to bring a brand new pair of shoes on vacation. Seems like I would be asking for blisters, right? Wrong. While I didn’t bring them to Europe, I’ve been wearing them non-stop since I’ve been back and regret not bringing them along. The first day I wore them, I ended up walking 16,000 steps running around NYC on a sunny Saturday. (Still loving my Jawbone Up band!) Not so much as even a foot cramp. Absolutely no break-in time.. Perfect heel height for everyday wear.. The most gorgeous go-with-everything tan color.. And a classic gold zipper detail!

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