Mad for Plaid

Hooray for hump day!! I dunno about y’all but I am in need of a weekend already – this week has been bananas!! The nesting phase has absolutely kicked in and I spent the last two days putting up Christmas, finishing the nursery, packing the final hospital bag necessities, and moving around all the furniture in my house. No joke, my glass and marble bar even got moved (because the location and setup of my BAR totally matters right before bringing a newborn home)…my big ol’ preggo butt took it apart shelf by shelf and carried each (ridiculously heavy) piece to it’s new location. I’m sure my OB would be thrilled. Also finding new homes in my house: my wingback chairs, hallway table, stendig calendar, Harper’s standing nursery lamp, two giant mirrors (switched for shape), and my 9 foot christmas tree. Ba-BAM! Mama’s been busy. Someone who has NOT been busy, at all, lately is my baby. I have now had Non-Stress Tests done at both my weekly check-ups and will continue having them weekly until she arrives because she is a sloth. I think she’s just about out of room and can’t hardly move around anymore, but my doctor is closely monitoring her because of it.

In other news, I have a very special post for you today thanks to P+P’s newest Fashion contributor (and total babe), Emily! You might remember Em from this (super old!) post where we styled Cobalt Blue together. She is gorgeous, has such amazing taste, and the absolute sweetest personality to go with it. Go check out her blog, The Style Hunter if you’re not already following her. You can also find her on Instagram, where she posts tons of great OOTD’s.

The Style Hunter Collage

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mad for plaid

There are very few things I can honestly say are staples in my wardrobe. I love to switch things up, make unexpected pairings and take advantage of the fact that trends change every season. Adding items to your wardrobe that will make an impact are my specialty. Currently these items include, but are not limited to…

1. Gigantic, slightly obnoxious sized baubles. Statement necklaces are a favorite.

2. A good leather top. I’ve currently got a short sleeved and a crop top version.

3. A crimson colored lip. Or really any bright lip.

4. A wool fedora.

5. FUR. Fur vest. Fur jacket. Fur lined hoodie. (faux fur of course!)

The only way these show stopping pieces can reach their full potential is by the great basics that become a canvas. For example, in this look, denim and a great flannel plaid with a neutral bootie make the other pieces shine.

If you find a pair of jeans that speak to you, hug every curve and make you think they were literally painted on, do your Superbowl touchdown dance in the fitting room. Make sure your booty looks good. Give yourself a pat on the back and then buy multiple pairs.  My newest favorite has to be the Lookout High-Rise from J. Crew. They suck you in, and give every one I’ve seen try them on that hourglass figure. And who doesn’t want that?!

This fall, and every fall I think, plaid is always a staple. It just works. And this one, also from J. Crew (shocker), does not disappoint. For those of y’all that don’t know, I am a vPS (very personal stylist) for J. Crew, so basically I fall in LOVE with everything they do, the second it hits the floor. And let me tell you, this flannel sold out at my store in a matter of days. INSANE. But it’s that good.

What are some of your staples and some of your more trendy items for fall?!

xo, Emily

Guest Post: What’s In My Bag?

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Wanna know what’s in my bag? My Crazy Wonderful friend Shelley has so kindly opened her blog to me today and invited me to share my secret hoarding habits, AKA the contents of my purse, with all her readers as part of her Inside My Bag Series. Come visit me here. Let me be honest for a moment…I may have cleaned out the old goldfish scattered at the bottom, and the eighteen thousand Target receipts first, but everything of importance – including a ticket – are yours for the gawking. Don’t judge me, or my 11 lipglosses. ;-)

If you’re new to Shelley’s blog (have you been living under a rock? She’s kinda a big deal, and was even published in a magazine this month!!) then you can look forward to laughing a LOT, wishing you could move into her house, and wanting to become Martha Stewart just like her. Check out some of her DIY’ing mad skills. Even her kids are adorable.

For more of her amazingness, follow her on Instagram.

XO – Samantha

Guest Post: Emily of The Style Hunter

We’re halfway through the week, loves! We will survive…at least that’s what I keep telling myself. It’s been one of those weeks for me. (You know, the ones that call for wine for breakfast…what? You don’t do that ever?)

I have Emily of The Style Hunter guest posting with me today, and we are showing you a few ways we’ve been styling Cobalt Blue into our wardrobes. First of all, I just have to tell you how much fun this adorable girl is; she’s pretty much the most fantastic person ever! I think Emily has great taste, so of course I follow her blog, but it’s her pictures that I love most. She’s always so happy, and looks carefree and like she’s having a blast! She never looks like she’s taking things too seriously….here are a few pictures to prove it. (Sorry Em, you’re just too cute to keep all to myself.)

Here’s a little about Emily, her darling blog, and how she styled cobalt blue:

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Hi! I’m Emily, author of TheStyleHunter. I’m the girl that loves all things fashion. I am utterly obsessed with texture, pattern, shine and a bit too much. A girl that will wear red lipstick to a football game or layer on baubles for a trip to the grocery store. I love a good bargain and believe that the happiness in life could come from a walk around your favorite store.
Pops of color are what I’m about. Having everything else be basically neutral, with one bold color as the focal point of your look. In this case, the cobalt blue pants are clearly the star of the show. I found them at the LOFT and fell hopelessly in love. A good pair of pants is like a good car. Side note, ironically my car is blue. Hmmm, I may quite possibly see a pattern emerging. You need something reliable, that won’t stretch or break down (i.e. rip or get a hole unexpectedly) and one that will be a showstopper. Clearly these pants do the trick. Add a dash of leopard, since leopard is indeed a neutral and you are set. I will add leopard to any and every outfit I can, it might be an addiction, but one I wear proudly. Another thing I like to do when creating an outfit is to add something unexpected. I like mixing colors or patterns that some wouldn’t necessarily think of. These (on sale at Target) Sam & Libby pumps for $11 do the trick. A little bit festive, but not as dominant as the pants. That is the key to mixing. When mixing unexpected items, have one still be the dominant so that they don’t compete, but compliment in a new way.
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You can shop my look here:

Pants // Tee // Scarf: similar // Leather jacket: (old) similar // Pumps // Sunnies: similar
xo, Emily
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Now that you’ve fallen in love with her too, you can follow her on bloglovin’ here. :-)

Neither Emily nor I knew what the other person was doing for this “challenge”, which honestly made it that much more fun to see the final pictures. I styled my outfit for cold, and colder weather. Austin can’t make up it’s mind and decide if it’s still fall or full-on winter yet. Here’s a glimpse of what I wore…

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Come visit me over at The Style Hunter to see the rest of my pictures, and to shop my outfits.

We’re also super excited to be giving away this gorgeous blue ombre scarf from Shoptiques!

Enter the giveaway below. Hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday…and if all else fails, pop open a bottle and pour yourself a glass. It’s gotta be 5 o’clock somewhere!!

XO – Samantha

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Guest Post: My Simple Kitchen

Today is the last day in my crazy week of guest bloggers, and I’ve saved the very best for last. I have Rene, one of my very best friends, guest posting from her blog My Simple Kitchen. She has always been an incredible cook, and I remember when we worked together she would always bring yummy lunches, and I’d be drooling, or she’d tell me about the meal her and her husband cooked on their grill the night before…and I’d be drooling, again! I remember getting to go visit her in Oregon (where she currently lives) and I went by her parents house and saw their beautiful kitchen, and they had a pot rack hanging with the nicest pots and pans I’d ever seen. I’m talking about EXPENSIVE, high quality pots and pans, not at all like the ones I have. They ENJOY cooking, and have passed that awesome quality down to her.

Here’s a VERY old photo of us. I adore her. <3

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Hi all! I’m Rene, a brand new blogger over at My Simple Kitchen. I am so excited to be a guest at Playdates and Pearls today!  My goal when I started My Simple Kitchen was to share recipes that are easy to prepare and taste great!  I grew up with some awesome cooking from my mom. She always made healthy and creative dinners. But only in the last couple years have I really started to enjoy cooking and was able to appreciate all those homemade meals as a child. With our busy lives of work, family, activities, etc. sometimes it’s hard coming up with meal ideas that are quick, tasty, and don’t break the bank.

This meatball pasta is super easy, takes under 30 minutes, tastes great, AND costs under $15.00!

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What you’ll need:

Sausage (you can use ANY kind you like. I like to use chicken sausage, makes me feel like it’s healthier :P)

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 ½ tsp. minced garlic

1 small onion, diced

1 jar marinara sauce (or you can be fancy and make your own)

2 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. thyme

Parmesan cheese

What you’ll do:

Roll sausage into meatballs.  Or, if you’re using links like I do, pinch desired size meatballs out of casing.

Heat olive oil in skillet on medium heat.

Sautee onions and garlic until tender.

Add meatballs and cook until done. 5-7 min each side, depending on size.

Add 1 jar marinara sauce, oregano and thyme (If your sausage is already spiced, omit the oregano and thyme.)

Cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes.

Serve over noodles and top with parmesan cheese.

If you’re staying away from carbs or just want a lighter version, use zoodles instead.

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Pardon the glove. I’m not a big fan of handling raw meat. Ewwww :P

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Total cost for this meal for 4 = $14.39!

Thanks for reading and come see what Samantha whipped up in her kitchen!

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If the picture of Rene, wearing her purple gloves, squeezing that “sausage” doesn’t make you cry from laughter then you need to scroll back up and look again. When she e-mailed me, I nearly lost it. She told me she took a TON of photos trying to not make it look so “nasty”. HA!

Rene and I are teaming up to bring you a very exciting GIVEAWAY! You can enter to win “The Can’t Cook Book” and a beautiful Anthropology Apron below.

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Scroll to see photos of both prizes.

Go say hi to me over on My Simple Kitchen. I’m cooking pizza, drinking wine, and pretending I know how to cook as well as my friend. :-) You can also follow My Simple Kitchen on Bloglovin’

XO – Samantha

P.S…My site was down for a short time yesterday, so if you didn’t get to see my guest post with Style by Kristen Blair, please go check it out. She’s so chic, and said the nicest things about me. *Blush*

Guest Post: Style by Kristen Blair

Happy Hump Day!
 I have another amazing guest for you guys today, the beautiful Kristen of Style by Kristen Blair. She is so sweet, and has impeccable taste, so I hope you go check out her blog, and follow her here.
Guest Post for Playdates and Pearls

 Hi, I’m Kristen!

I’m a 20-something student, intern, fashion lover, daughter, little sister, best friend, and author of Style by Kristen Blair. I am a lover of all things, clothes, shoes, and accessories… Basically anything fashion related. You name it, I probably love it.  I am a senior marketing major at James Madison University, and I am hoping to get a job somewhere in the fashion industry after graduation in May! I started blogging as a requirement for a class, but after the class ended I kept going in hopes of sharing my love of fashion with the world.  I live in Northern Virginia, but I am hoping to move to New York City (my favorite place in all of the land…) after graduation! If you want to learn more about me and my blog, stop by and visit at http://kristenblair.com!

1. In 10 words or less, describe yourself.

Sister, Daughter, Best Friend, Fashion Lover, Outgoing, Goofy, Workout Fanatic

2. “In my dreams, I live in…” 

New York City.  When I was 6 years old my family went on a road trip and each on of us got to pick a place that we wanted to go on the east coast.  Well, I picked New York City.  When we were there we were on the Staten Island ferry, I remember looking up at my dad and saying “Daddy, I’m gonna live here one day…” and ever since then I have known that was where I wanted to live.

Living in the city for 7 weeks this summer while interning at a fashion PR firm really was a dream come true.  It was one of the best 7 weeks of my life and it only made me all the more excited about the possibility of one day calling the city my home.  (Also, chasing a career in fashion, that is really where I need to live… So, I’m hoping that after graduation in May I can go home and work for the summer, save as much money as I possibly can, and then make the big move!)

3. “If I were a pair of shoes, I’d be…” 

Jimmy Choo black patent leather pumps.  They are just a timeless classic that everyone should have in their closet! They really are a staple… My black pumps are one of my most frequently worn shoes that I own.  I would be Jimmy Choo because he is my favorite shoe designer… (My goal is to be able to buy a brand new pair of Jimmy Choos and wear them on the first day of my big girl job after college! … A girl can dream!)

4. What beauty product can’t you live without?

Granier BB Cream.  Where to even begin?!  This stuff is absolutely amazing… every girl needs to at least try it.  I promise you will love it.  It is basically a tinted moisturizer, but it does so much more than the average moisturizer.  In addition to moisturizing, it also mattifies your skin tone, minimizes pores and conceals imperfections to give your skin a smooth, matte, flawless finish.”  Pretty much the only place I don’t wear BB cream is to the gym!

5. Why did you start blogging?

Read all about how I got started here.  (http://kristenblair.com/about)

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Thank you so much Kristen! I’m guest posting today over on Style by Kristen Blair, so come say hello!
On a side note…
Remember these x-benches? If you follow me on Instagram then you already know that I finally got around to spray painting the legs a lacquered black, and reupholstered the cushions in a black greek key fabric. I might be a little in love. :-)
See you guys tomorrow for a special cooking edition of P&P with my sweet friend Rene of My Simple Kitchen.
XO – Samantha

Guest Post: Begonia Sky

I am so excited to have Kyra guest posting today, and I know you guys are going to absolutely love her, and her blog. Kyra and I met through a Lucky Magazine contributors forum, and after looking over her blog, I knew that #1. I (secretly) wanted to be her BFF because she’s so cool, and #2. Her blog was way too good not to share with all of you! ;-)
Guest Post

Marc Jacobs black handbag, $2,240 / Matte lipstick / ASOS red high waisted legging / Dr. Martens leather boots / London painting, $24
1. In 10 words or less, describe yourself.
Avid traveller, self-proclaimed fashionista, and animal documentary watcher.
2. “In my dreams, I live in…”
In my dreams I live in London or Italy. I’m in love with the culture. I’d love to be in a place with a view, nice kitchen and a really big closet!
3. “If I were a pair of shoes, I’d be…”
If I were a pair of shoes I would be Dr. Martens because I like to think I’m intimidating sometimes.
4. What beauty product can’t you live without?
I can’t live without a bold lipstick. I have three in my purse right now, which is probably a bit over the top.
5. Why did you start blogging?
There wasn’t much of an opportunity to write about fashion in my school’s journalism program, so I started my own blog. It’s so much easier to post on my own time and post about whatever I want. And I wanted an excuse to go shopping more — to be honest, that’s the main reason.
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If all of you aren’t thinking “WOW she’s beautiful!” then you either didn’t look at her picture, or you’re blind.
Thank you Kyra, you have been so fun to get to know, and I think your blog is going to become so much more than just a reason for you to shop. :-)
Go check out my post over on Kyra’s blog, and see what a day in my life really looks like…I’ll tell you a secret…it’s not glamorous!! Check out her hair transformation too. She went from light brown with ombre highlights, to red, and then to a dark brown in just a few days.
XO – Samantha

Guest Post: Kay’s Couture

I am so thrilled to introduce my very first guest blogger, the lovely Kayla, from Kay’s Couture! Kayla has a great sense of style, and she puts together really beautiful outfits that are accessible at every girls price point. She is also one of the sweetest girls I have met since starting my blog, so I would love for y’all to show her some support.

You can find me over on her blog,  so come say hi!

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blogger swap

Zara brown coat / Frye boots / Old Navy flat shoes / West Elm faux fur throw / West Elm mirror / Black purse

1. In 10 words or less, describe yourself.

  Im loving, outgoing, protective, stylish, responsible, hard working and maternal. 

2. “In my dreams, I live in…”

  In my dreams I live in a moderate sized home, with a nice open layout, lots of windows, and a big kitchen.  I want my home to be cozy but still lavish, the bigger the house the more there is to decorate so I don’t want anything too big, I don’t want my house feeling like a museum.  Definitely an open layout so that my future children can roam freely.  I love sunlight so windows are a must.  Everything looks better in natural light and it created a brighter environment.  The kitchen needs to be a good size for company, and of course family time (i’m all about the family).

3. “If I were a pair of shoes, I’d be…”

If I were a pair of shoes I would be a cap toed flat in a fun color.  The cap-toe comes from my protectiveness. I love flats because I am a true believer in comfort and the fun color shows my fun side. 

4. What beauty product can’t you live without?

  I really can not live without There Real mascara by Benefit.  It really gives you great long lashes and is definitely worth the twenty something dollar price tag!  I love false lashes but this mascara is great for everyday use and is build-able for a more dramatic look.

5. Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging to express my style and to put my foot in the door for personal styling.  I believe that looking good makes you feel good and i’m all about positivity.  I want to make people feel good by looking there best.  Theres nothing better that looking in the mirror and feeling like a million dollars.  

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I am absolutely loving those gold toe shoes. Thank you so much Kayla!

XO – Samantha

Guest Posts

I am thrilled to announce that PLAYDATES + PEARLS will soon be welcoming guests! One of the reasons I started blogging was because I love the sense of community, and the awesome friendships that are formed with fellow bloggers. I have been meeting so many lovely women in the last few weeks, and I want to share them, and their blogs, with all of you!

I have put together a couple of fun questions for all of our guests to answer, which will provide you with a sense of who they are, and what their blogs are all about. I will have someone new guest posting every Wednesday, and I will be a guest over on their blogs, which I will link to so you know where to find me.

Here’s a look at what you can expect:

Guest Blogger Template

Christian Louboutin shoes / Kate Spade watch / Jonathan Adler modern bench
Each guest blogger will present thier own version of this fun “mood board” which tells you a little about themselves. Let’s all pretend I’m todays guest poster, and I’ll tell you about me!
1.|| In 10 words or less, describe yourself.
Mom, Wife, Sister, Daughter, Friend, Decor Obsessed, Beauty & Fashion Lover
2.|| “In my dreams, I live in…”
Paris. I vacationed in Paris recently with my husband and daughter, and it was unlike any other place I’ve ever been. Parisians lead a different lifestyle than Americans, and they take time to enjoy each other, good food, good wine, and they seem to have mastered “working to live”. I loved the architecture, the history, the art, the incredible food and wine, and the language. I saw a quote that said “Paris is a feeling”, and I think those 4 words say everything. 
3.||”If I were a pair of shoes, I’d be…”
A pair of classic nude heels, with a pop of color on the sole. I enjoy vintage, classics, traditional. On the flip side of that coin, I love colorful, funky, modern designs as well. In my home I like to pair very classic furniture pieces in tried-and-true colors with very loud, modern, and colorful textiles. I have a similar approach to my wardrobe. I find the contrast between the two adds interest, and appeals to me. 
4.|| What beauty product can’t I live without?
Clinique “Take the day off” cleansing balm. It’s such a no-fuss product. It’s scent free, it doesn’t irritate my skin, and it even removes my waterproof mascara without having to scrub at my eyes. Did I mention it last forever? I’ve had the same one for months, and I’ve barely made a dent. Beautiful product, I highly recommend. 
5.|| Why did I start blogging?
I talk about that here. :-)
I hope you are all as excited as I am. The first guest post is on Wednesday, so be sure to come back to meet Kayla.
I’m starting my Home Tour series tomorrow, so come back to get the first glimpse inside my home.
XO – Samantha
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