• fashion,  holiday

    Sharing the Gift of Timeless Love with Michael Hill Jewelers

    This post is sponsored by Michael Hill Jewelers. All opinions are mine alone.

    jewelry ideas under $100

    Last month I partnered with Michael Hill Jewelers to showcase my journey of love and a how a beautiful pair of halo stud earrings from Michael Hill represents just that. ‘Tis the season, and I’m partnering once again with Michael Hill Jewelers to help spread the joy of meaningful giving to our loved ones.

    My mom and I have a complicated relationship. I wish I could say she is like those warm and fuzzy tv moms like Mandy Moore’s character on This is Us, or Family Ties’ beloved Elyse Keaton. But my mother, well, she’s more like the Vietnamese version of Ray Barone’s mom, and drives me mental. Ya feel me? I was (am) always the black sheep in the family, fiercely independent and frequently admonished for rebelling. I try my best to remember that my mom grew up in a different culture, and that her harsh persona and extreme nagging are par for the course for her generation and upbringing. We recently finished watching the The Vietnam War documentary film by Ken Burns. It gave me a renewed sense of pride and love for my parents for their sacrifices to bring me and my brother to America when fleeing the Fall of Saigon in the 1970s. (You can read more on the blog about my family’s perseverance to seek freedom.)

    This Christmas, I decided to choose a timeless piece of jewelry to give my mom – to honor the unconditional sacrifices a mother makes for her children, time and time again. Jewelry is a luxury for my mom, so she never shops for it herself (not even costume jewelry), even though we all know moms deserve something pretty now and then.

    With this in mind, I headed over to Michael Hill Jewelers at Oakbrook Center, in search of the perfect piece that would serve as an expression of my eternal gratitude. Michael Hill Jewelers is one of the few jewelry retailers to have an in-house team of master craftsmen, so this makes any gift from here even more meaningful! After studying the dazzling displays, I finally chose this vintage style pendant with luxe cubic zirconia in sterling silver that fits the bill. It has a classic design of a 10-point flower encircling the center cubic zirconia to ensure she will sparkle at every angle – perfect for those special occasions.

    For her everyday style, I chose a modern sterling silver stud earring set featuring a circle design. It’s a simple piece my mom can wear every day without pomp or circumstance, but still looks put together. I can’t wait to see the look on my mom’s face when she opens her gifts on Christmas morning. In what ways do you gift love back to others? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!

    jewelry ideas under $100

    jewelry ideas under $100jewelry ideas under $100jewelry ideas under $100jewelry ideas under $100

    michael hill necklace

  • gift guide,  holiday

    Holiday Gift Guide: The Best Box Subscriptions

    Holiday Gift Guide Box Subscriptions-121615

    It’s December 16… how are you doing on your Christmas shopping list? If you are like me, you might have clicked a few gifts to your shopping cart on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But truth be told, I despise shopping in malls and I’m not really into wrapping presents as much as I love to give them. I’m also often a last minute gifter – but last minute doesn’t have to mean any less thoughtful or inspired. (You might have seen this post about my winning subscription gift to The Giant for his birthday one year.)

    So if you are still scrambling around to find the perfect last minute gifts for friends, family and/or your significant other, take a look at my favorite picks for the best box gift subscriptions. Some of them are SO good, you’ll have your recipient gushing about how out-of-the-box you think. (Excuse the pun.) Don’t feel bad if you end up gifting yourself, too!

    Rent the Runway Unlimited: $139/month. You choose 3 designer pieces that you can keep as long as you want and exchange anytime. Return 1, 2 or 3 of your items when you’re ready and select new pieces for your next shipment. You can cancel your auto-renewal anytime.

    Stitch Fix: $20 styling fee (apply towards your final order) plus whatever items you choose to keep. Your personal shopper selects pieces customized to your spending preferences. Celebrate with a discount when you love all 5 items!

    Trunk Club: No styling fee and pay only for what you choose to keep. Though technically not a subscription service, Trunk Club will send you a trunk featuring hand-selected, premium brands. Because there are no commitments, trunks are scheduled only by you, only when you see fit. Take 10 days to decide what you love, and return what you don’t.

    DITTO Endless Eyewear: $24/month. Classy. Country. Nerdy. Glam. Let them express their unique style all year long with an gift subscription in 3, 6, 9, or 12 months. Members receive 15% off the purchase of their glasses.

    Ipsy: $10/month. Sample 5 amazing beauty products tailored to you in a collectible bag.

    Craft Beer Club: $39/shipment. Exceptional craft beers from the country’s best, small, independent brewers.

    Blue Apron: Plans starting at $59.94/week. Fresh ingredients, great recipes delivered weekly to the home. Meal delivery is especially awesome for those who live in cold climates and don’t want to get out to grocery shop!

    Nourish Snack Box: You’ll enjoy an assortment of pre-portioned, healthy and yummy snacks ranging from sweet to salty to chewy to crunchy.

    BarkBox: Plans starting at $39/month. BarkBox is a delivery of 4 to 6 natural treats and super fun toys curated around a surprise theme each month. 1, 3, 6, or 12 months subscriptions available.

    Kiwi Crate: Starting at $19.95. Every month a new theme, with all the materials and inspiration for kids to build, make, and develop their creative confidence. 1, 3, 6, or 12 months subscriptions available.

    See all holiday gift guides curated by Melissa Takes Fashion:

    Holiday Gift Guide for Him

    Microfashion for the Littles

    For the Stylish Mom on the Go


  • gift guide,  holiday

    The 12 Best Holiday Party Dresses

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    1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12

    I’m so excited for the holidays – especially dressing for the occasion, and holidays provide the best opportunities for this. From festivities at work to those with family and friends, there are a million excuses to get dressed up! (Not like I need any excuse on a normal day, but for parties, I do like to amp up the glam factor. WAAAAY up!) If I’ve learned anything in the past about dressing for the holidays, it’s that you need to start planning and shopping early, or all the best pieces are gone. Once Thanksgiving has passed, the holiday parties start happening in early December (I’m not mad about this!).

    This season I’m loving laces dresses that are anything but matronly, like this red HAWT lace number or this romantic floral lace. To sparkle all night, how about a gold sequin dress or this silver metallic high-shine halter dress? If you’re feeling demure but still want to make a statement, try this sculpted hi-low hem beauty. Check out my top 12 festive frocks at all different price points!

    What will you be wearing this holiday season?


  • gift guide,  holiday

    Holiday Gift Guide: Microfashion for the Littles

    Holiday Gift Guide_For the Littles 111815

    1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 /
    14 / 15 / 16 / 17 / 18 / 19 / 20 / 21 / 22 / 23 / 24

    Shopping for your child or your niece/nephew/friend’s kid used to mean a quick trip to the mall. Not anymore! Kids these days are way cooler than we used to be, and with e-commerce at our hands we now have one-click access to designs, brands and shops that are a lot more haute couture than Target (don’t get me wrong, I do love me some Tar-jay!).

    Shopping for a high tops-obsessed tike? How about these cool kicks by Supra? Or perhaps you have a budding fashionista on your hands who would love a faux fur J. Crew coat? Got a little fella who would look dapper in a blazer? (I couldn’t resist buying this adorable Zara knit blazer for Roman to wear for our family photo shoot next week.) If you’re still on the hunt for that too-cool-for-school mini #ootd, then I have you covered. While they may be the cool kids, some of these have me wishing they came in my size!

    See other holiday gift guides curated by Melissa Takes Fashion:

    For the Stylish Mom on the Go