champagne & black coffee

A lifestyle and fashion blog offering personal style & beauty tips, inspiration, and glimpses into my everyday life.

Month: March 2016

The perfect everyday casual messenger

THIS BAG is the bargain of the century… even at full price!!  This Dakine Jive small messenger bag is perfect in every way for the every-day.  It’s light and low profile so you hardly know it’s there.  It comes in a huge variety of fun prints and colors.  It’s small, but not too small – it can hold all of your necessities, even the big giant phones with the big indestructible cases (like mine)… guilty.  And it’s just $15!  FIFTEEN.  That is insane.  They should probably raise their prices….no, wait! No. It’s perfect.

I found this bag while I was wandering through Ron Jon Surf shop in Key West earlier this month – I think one of my girlfriends was looking for a sweatshirt or something random.  There was a whole rack of them and I just couldn’t pass it up because the price was so.freaking.reasonable.  I did some online searches a few days ago and found that this bag is available in various prints, in lots of places (Dakine, Amazon, Zappos) and is VERY well-rated on every single site.  Check it out for yourself.


#OOTD: Sleep-deprived Corporate Mama

This week is only half over but it feels like it should already be Saturday by now.   Although my husband and I both travel fairly often for work, his trips are generally 4-5 days for a scheduled event while I can usually plan my customer visits precisely and keep it to a 2-3 day stint.  This week he’s in Dallas + Houston all week, then flying in late late to the NC coast to meet A and I at the beach.  That means I’m playing temporary single mama all week on top of making sure we have everything we need for our long weekend + a million other non-work and non-Mom things I have going on.  [As an aside, MAJOR PROPS to all of the real single parents out there!!!  You are truly amazing individuals and I do not envy the juggling you have to do all on your own.  Seriously, you guys rock and I can learn SO much from you!]

So when I woke up late this morning after hitting the snooze what I can deduce was around 4 times + an early meeting + a needy-mama-hold-me toddler, I decided to handle the necessities (i.e. armpits, TnA, dry shampoo + messytopknot) and throw on something quick and cute.  Luckily I’m a pretty strict routine and prep person when it comes to next-day meals, daycare, and any bags that need to walk out the door with me (another blog post on that later).  I got TONS of compliments on my outfit today – and strangely enough, hair – so apparently the world was completely unaware of my crazed and quick get-ready routine this morning.   Outfit details below.


  • My FAVORITE jeggings from Ann Taylor Loft. Looks like they’re out of stock but Loft is currently having a pretty great 50% off sale.  When they have their 50 or 60% off sales I usually stock up for cheap!
  • Crocheted poncho by New Directions for Belk and on sale for under $32 right now
  • Teething necklace by Mama and Little. I LOVE this brand and have 3 different necklace designs.  This is the perfect creation for a baby or toddler mama who wants to stay stylish.  There are a few other brands selling a similar product – I don’t know about them first hand, but could be worth a try for a few bucks less (they’ll show up in Amazon’s suggested items if you click the product link)
  • Simplified gladiator sandal with zip back from Franco Sarto.  I have worn the heck out of these shoes! They are a season old but here are some similar styles:  Tahari ($79), Sam Edelman ($130), Lacoste ($119), Topshop ($85), and Bettye Muller ($250)
  • Sunglasses and cross-body mini messenger (below) from Coach – I won the purse at a sales meeting (my company’s “color” is orange) 🙂 and the sunglasses are probably 3-4 seasons old but are the ONLY pair of nice or cheap sunglasses I’ve never lost.  Knock on wood.ootd3.30v2

Spring Beach Must Haves

Today I started the packing process for a long weekend at the beach.  This turns out to be a multi-day process because I’m not only packing for myself, but also for the kiddo and my husband, plus one of the dogs, too.  He’s traveling this week and will be flying in directly from TX so it’s just me and A.  On top of that, we are generally VERY heavy packers.

As I was making my list and starting to gather items, I thought it would make sense to make an initial intro to my personal style through this post.  Now, this is just a glimpse into my suitcase, but I guarantee you it will be FULL to the brim when all is said and done.  And we won’t talk about the rest of the bags or containers – it’s ridiculous. And embarrassing. 🙂

If you boil it alllll the way down, here are my personal must-haves for a long weekend at the beach in early spring (it’s still a bit chilly on the NC coast in April).  The goal is to keep it simple, but colorful with a hint of trendy.


  • Striped coverup with tassels – found on Amazon, a steal at just $15.99 with Prime free 2-day shipping
  • Cutoff jeans – I bought these from Buckle last season, but they still have their Black Fit No. 53
  • Crocheted poncho with tassels (yes, more tassels!) – this one is from Belk by New Directions. It fits a bit on the large side, so size down. Currently on sale for under $32!
  • A good hat – I prefer this fedora I scored at TJMaxx for under $13.  They have a pretty good selection here (I love this MADDEN option), and Target has a wide variety here for around the same pricepoint!
  • A simple sun dress – I love this black open-back one I bought from Buckle last year (Lucky Brand) because I double it up as a beach coverup. I like this one from Billabong, this one from Free People, this one from Kendall+Kylie and this one from NYTT on
  • A solid swimsuit.  For me that means, cute, comfortable and agile!  This blue swimsuit is from Athleta (top and bottom) and it is one of MANY I’ve bought from them over the years.  They continue to make high quality, true-to-size suits and have a selection for EVERY body type.  I am a bit chesty so I sometimes struggle to find suits that aren’t mix and match and are both cute and SUPPORTIVE.  This one kills it.  I’ll be writing a separate post about some of my favorite swimsuit styles by body type.
  • Workout clothes, whether you use them or not. I know. I know exactly how most people are – and I’m guilty, too, but improving – you pack running shoes, a few outfits and sports bras and work out exactly ZERO times.  And that’s ok.  But you should definitely check out these similar capris from Brooks.  I am a HUGE fan of Brooks running shoes (this is my fifth pair – my first one that isn’t Pure Connects) but have recently tried out some of their clothing, too, and LOVE it!  You can also catch them on Zulily sometimes at a discount.
    And then of course I have to rep my Pimpin Joy t-shirt.  The idea is essentially about paying it forward and random acts of kindness, plus, the proceeds are all donated to different charities and causes.  Find this tee and other merch here.
  • And last but not least, some beach-friendly flops, a hoodie and some oil-free sunscreen! It can get chilly at night, remember.  I scored these Roxy’s at DSW for under $20 and I live in these H&M hoodies and zip ups around the house.

I hope you enjoyed and find a few deals along the way.  I can tell you that I am a HUGE fan of all things sale/discount/deal.  I wander around my local TJMaxx, DSW, and Home Goods stores wayyyy too often, and they are killing my bank account now that I can shop online, too.  Speaking of… Zulily is my current weakness, although I have many!
Happy shopping!


My name is Brook and I look forward to sharing glimpses into my everyday ordinary life with you.  I’m a Mom to the cutest little boy, a wife and a full-time software salesperson.  You can read more about me in my About section and FAQ.

This picture is from this past weekend from my best friend’s wedding.  My bridesmaid dress was gorgeous in navy lace and tulle by designer Bill Levkoff, tailored perfectly by the only tailor I trust, Krystyna’s Tailor Shop.  Amos was the ringbearer and we outfitted him in these adorable navy Converse Chuck Taylors, Old Navy grey khakis (on sales for $14), navy suspenders from Belk, and Gap’s Oxford Button-Up Bodysuit.

Some of her wedding vendors:
Location – The Rickhouse in Durham, NC
Chad Biggs Event Planning & Design
Expressions of Love Florist
Greenhouse Picker Sisters vintage rentals


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