Wonder Woman

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“I wanted to be independent.”

Sitting down to conduct research on an upcoming assignment for my internship class, I came across a video that was the second in a series of fashion designers opening up their studios to The New York Times. Seeing that their second feature was on Diane von Furstenburg – I immediately swooned. Opening up your home is a very intimate thought, and to be invited into Diane von Furstenburg’s space seemed like some magical secret that I just couldn’t wait to discover. It felt like my style icon was inviting me to tea, or something of the equivalent.

(Note: for copyright reasons, I could not insert the video into my post. Please click the link below to watch the video, and read the article.)

Diane von Furstenberg: A Life in Five Floors

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Her office is just as you would expect. Colorful, vibrant, full of life, charming, electric. Words that I could imagine describing DvF perfectly. I admire this designer for a plethora of reasons. For her charitable works, a positive spirit, timeless beauty, artistic vision, and her wisdom to women all inspire and light a fire in me to pursue my passions in the fashion industry.

So while I was on this DvF kick (it isn’t the first), I continued to search for more content on both her and the brand. I came across another clip regarding Diane’s take on confidence. It’s filled with impactful and moving words. Take a look.

“So the more complacency you have with yourself, the better your life is. I was very lucky to discover that really early on.”

Complacency. Hm. Complacency is a terribly scary word. It’s a double-edged sword. Complacency can take a turn for the better or a turn for the worst. You get the point – it can have a double meaning. Regardless, we know DvF meant “for the better”,  but I’d like to focus on another word instead that I believe she would 100% support. And that word is contentment.

As a 20-something on the verge of college graduation I am typing this piece on a style icon on my life and style blog while [ironically] sitting curled up on my couch, yoga pants on, hair all a mess, socks on feet, and a tent-sized tee to top it all off. I do not look stylish, cool, effortless, or chic. I look messy. But I savor days where I can lounge and wear a t-shirt that feels like a second layer of skin. It’s comfortable and since my current job requires a much, much different attire Monday-Thursday, I am taking advantage of being anything but the “stylish” person that my career path demands I take during the work week. I’m content, and comfortable. And what’s so cool is that lately, my whole life has felt like a big ball of contentment. I’m content with my internship, coworkers, new home, new city, new state, new friends, old friends, family, and faith that gets renewed and tested every single day. You could say I’m complacent, but more accurately so I’d like to say that I’m content.

How do you reach a plateau of contentment, though? I think, as young women the climb to contentment is an ongoing one. However, the very first step is to eliminate comparison. Eliminate jealousy, bitterness, envy. Living in a very stressful world that demands so much of us and that expects us to keep up with a certain criteria of beauty, intelligence, wit, and humor can leave you feeling drained, unequipped, and never good enough. But that’s just not true. What’s true is truth, what’s right is taking care of yourself, what’s best is eliminating comparison.

Of course we each have our own goals, our icons that we admire, and that’s all well, and necessary. But when we begin to belittle our own interests, our passions, and our own strengths because they may not be as impressive as the person’s staring back at you on your Facebook screen – we have encountered a serious problem. Comparison truly is the thief of all joy. And just as Diane said,

“You have to be true to yourself.

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Pre-order Diane von Furstenberg’s new book, “The Woman I Wanted to Be” on Amazon.com!
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Your questions.. ANSWERED

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. NOTHING makes me happier than receiving a call, text, a Facebook message, or an email from a reader sharing their support for Lillian & Dot. However, there is ONE thing better than fan mail (*hair flip*), and that is when I receive an email from a reader asking for advice. (Like, that means you think I know what I’m talking about. Cue excited squeal.)

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So yesterday, I received an email from a reader who was inquiring my opinions on skincare – moisturizers to be exact. She said she was interested in a moisturizer offered from a large company and wanted to know my opinions on: 1) the company, and 2) moisturizers in general.

I won’t disclose my opinions on the company, but I tried to answer her question on moisturizers to the best of my ability, and I realized that if she had this question, then perhaps others may, too!

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To adequately find a solution to this question it is important that you start your search by being extremely familiar with your skin type. Some may scoff, and say ‘duh’. But others may not have ever really thought about what it is that their skin actually needs. Do you have dry skin? Oily? Combination? Sensitive? The first step is to IDENTIFY your skin type. This is crucial because all skin types vary and all skin types have a product that is designed specifically for them.

Next, you need to do your research. Know what it is that your skincare regimen should contain and what it SHOULDN’T. Clearly I’m here to help you skip this step. So let’s make this simple. The ONE word you NEED to know while commencing the skincare search is non-comedogenic. My dermatologist shared this magic word with me last year and it has made a world of difference when choosing not just skincare products, but makeup products as well. Non-comedogenic simply means that the product does not contain additives, oils, fragrances, or any other junk that will cause your pores to clog. Seriously, magic word. If a product claims to be non-comedogenic it is claiming to work, people.

So when trying to answer my reader’s question, I discovered that the company that she was interested in purchasing a moisturizer from offered a non-comedogenic moisturizer (hoorah!). However, the price was pretty steep for only 4.5 ounces. So my advice to her? The advice my dermatologist gave me. Save your money and don’t funnel so much into department store skincare products that are oftentimes filled with fragrances and additives. Instead, head to your local drugstore to purchase these guys:

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Yep, that’s right. The classic Cetaphil and the popular CeraVe. Both are non-comedogenic, offer a variety of options for every skin type, and are significantly less-expensive. Kinda hard to beat wouldn’t you agree?

And what’s so cool is that that’s not just MY opinion, it’s my dermatologists expert advice. Don’t you just love the free tips? I don’t even charge a co-pay!

So let’s keep the questions rolling. Drop me a line at:

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Happy Wednesday!

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Fuel Your Week

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As Labor Day weekend comes to an abrupt close, it’s time to rev up for a new week. Monday’s are difficult as is, but It’s always terribly hard to start a work week after a long holiday that consisted of family, food, and way too much fun. However, you gotta do what you gotta do, and if you follow my “Ultimate To-Do List”, you will be fueling your week to run seamlessly! Complete this list the day before your week starts and you will be so glad you did! Then bam! It will be Friday again before you know it!

1 – Literally FUEL UP! Put gas in that guzzler on Sunday to avoid an unexpected gas light mishap when you crank the car Monday morning.

2 – Plan your week. Doctor’s appointments? Write ’em down. Play dates? Record those, too. Bills to pay? Pencil them in. Deadlines? Do I even have to tell you to make sure that’s in bold in your planner?!

3 – Take out the trash. Empty trash bins not only make things look neater, but there’s something refreshing about getting all that junk out.

4 – Wash those sheets! There truly is no greater feeling than crawling into a clean bed. Fresh sheets help YOU start fresh and get a better night’s sleep!

5 – Wash those clothes! If you’re single, you can accomplish laundry in a few hours. Do this on Sunday so you have dresser drawers full of fresh undies and basic necessities. (If you have items at the cleaners, make it a habit to pick them up on Friday or Saturday. You don’t want to be fishing in your closet come Monday morning only to realize you haven’t picked up your things!)

6 – Clean house. Get a lil vacuum action in, dust, wipe down the countertops, clean the dishes, scrub the shower, whatever! Just get your space sparkling!

7 – Stock the pantry. Get your grocery shopping done! Plan your menu for the week, make your shopping list, and head to the store! Nothing is worse than coming in on a long Monday to open the fridge and find NOTHING. Don’t be victim of an empty fridge failure!

8 – Iron and steam. This doesn’t necessarily have to be completed all on a Sunday, but be sure to complete this each night before you head to bed. Running around in a frenzy attempting to get yourself and your clothes in order is not an ideal way to start your morning.

9 – Groom yourself! Girls, paint your nails. Deep condition the hair. Pluck your brows. Get yourself in tip-top condition at the beginning of the week.

10 – Get some Zzz’s! Retire to bed EARLY on Sunday night. That’s the best way to guarantee a smooth Monday morning.

So even though this week’s Tuesday is our “Monday”, follow these tips today and EVERY weekend and you will be sure to have a week that’s just a little less worry free!

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PS – Honorable mention #11 on the list is to get yourself a Grande Non-Fat Pumpkin Spice Latte. It’s time! It’s time!

White Hot Fashions

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As long as it’s not white linen, most style experts will nod and say, “White after Labor Day? Of course. Winter white is so hot.” However, many ladies still find themselves hesitantly staring at their white things unsure of how to incorporate white subtleties after the supposed “white cut-off date.” So here we are, staring Labor Day in the face, and Lillian & Dot is here to tell you to stick it to Labor Day, wear what you wish, and soak up the fun that this long weekend is sure to bring.

But if you’re still a little hesitant, to keep things easy for you, Vogue shares “How to Wear White After Labor Day: Ten Pieces for Fall”. An extremely helpful guide that will make you think twice about the ways you can wear what you already have in your closet!

But this weekend, you have free range – wear the linen, the white shorts, the white shoes, everything! You’ll be sure to shine!

So do you have big plans for Labor Day? I’ll be spending mine with my family exploring Nashville. I’m ready to throw on my ripped boyfriend jeans, Chucks, my favorite tee, and turn up my [currently] favorite tune: Riptide by Vance Joy. Take a listen here.

Have a safe, and happy Labor Day!

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Save or Splurge: Hair Care Edition

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When it comes to hair care I have learned that you never know what you’re going to get for the price. In some instances I have invested in brands that are supposed to be “the best out there” and to my dismay they hardly get the job done. In other instances I have invested in brands that cost as much as a cup of coffee, and I ended up pleasantly surprised. And vice versa, of course. So when it comes down to it-I’m not a hair care brand snob, or unusually particular. In fact, I like to keep a good mix of products as long as they are getting the job done. Because that is the goal in optimum haircare: find what works for YOU, YOUR budget, and YOUR hair.


In order to help you achieve this end goal, let’s try to answer the age old question.. Save OR splurge?

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 Click on the image above to be sent to my Polyvore where you can check out links and prices to the featured products.

To give you the quick and dirty SAVE or SPLURGE: Hair Care Edition, we are going to cover 5 categories. Brushes, shampoo, texturizing spray, hairspray, and shine spray. The following products are super comparable in quality. And I can speak from either personal experience, OR extensive research.


SO, if you’re thinking “hmm.. I really need to save”. Go for these products:

1 – Brush: EcoTools

2 – Shampoo: L’Oréal EverCréme 

3 – Texturizing Spray: Organix Moroccan Sea Salt Spray

4 – Hairspray: L’Oréal Elnett Satin Hairspray

5 – Shine spray: Mark Hill Defrizz-ilicious Bedazzled Anti Humidity Shine Spray


If you’re thinking “hmm.. maybe I can afford to splurge.” Go for these products:

1 – Brush: Mason Pearson

2 – Shampoo: Living Proof Restore Shampoo

3 – Texturizing Spray: Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray

4 – Hairspray: Fekkai Sheer Hold Hairspray

5 – Shine spray: Unite Shina Mist Spray

So what are your theories on hair care? Does pricier lead to prettier? Does cheap work wonders? What are your favorite products that amaze regardless of price?

Share the wealth of knowledge, ladies! We need to know!

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Wisdom for Your Wednesday

It’s HUMP DAY! Which means it’s time to dish out a lil wisdom for your Wednesday!

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So I was going to feature a picture of a camel. Ya know? For hump day? Then I found this gorgeous CAMEL coat, which seemed more fitting for the weather I’m wishing for. And plus.. Starbucks.

Lately I’ve been scouring the web looking for post inspiration, doing some research, and even some online shopping browsing. I ran across so many interesting links that I just couldn’t wait to share a few with you! So in total Cupcakes & Cashmere fashion, here are five different links of articles and goodies that will just make your Wednesday.. wiser!

1 – Fast Company, in their collaboration with Net-A-Porter on a series of “up-and-coming” women that are leading companies fearlessly, features Bozoma Saint John SVP & Marketing Director of Beats Music.

2 – If you’re tired of going to the same oldy (but goody) Coco Chanel quote on being irreplaceable and yada yada yada, check out this article from Marie Clarie on “The 50 Best Style and Fashion Quotes of All Time”.

3 – Southern Living wants you to be savvy on who the “75 Most Stylish Southerners” are, and with people from New Orleans to Alabama to Tennessee, you’re bound to find someone you identify with on the style front!

4 – Mango is my new go-to for online browsing. Love the prices, love the style.

5 – The adult sound machine: Noisli.


 

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But wait! Want more Lillian & Dot on the go? When you don’t have time to peruse the blog? How about checking out the Lillian & Dot Twitter or Instagram? Thanks, readers!

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Lillian & Dot take on Downtown Franklin

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Today marks the first official day of my internship with LEONA. So yesterday I made sure to take advantage of my last bit of freedom. I’m glad that I decided to head to Downtown Franklin where I enjoyed coffee, community, local shops, and welcoming smiles.

My first stop landed me at Frothy Monkey. A fan of the the 12 South Frothy Monkey- I had not yet ventured to their newest location in Franklin. I was happy to score a Hazelnut White Mocha, and a nice view on the porch. It was a little warm out, but I was able to write, take in the scenery, and sit next to a precious pup named Aspen. This was all well and good until I found out later yesterday evening that HARRY STYLES (One Direction) was getting his coffee at the Frothy Monkey.. in 12 SOUTH. Face palm. Regardless, Frothy Never disappoints. Celebrity siting or not.

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After getting frothy I took a stroll back to my car, exchanged my laptop and backpack for my purse and was ready to hit the stores. I stopped at a few novelty shops. One was spectacular, but I was bummed they didn’t allow photography. There was even a sign that stated “No selfies with merchandise”. Awk. So I didn’t even attempt to ask for permission, and I pushed on.

I ended up landing at what I am convinced is one of the sweetest stores in all of the South: Lulu. Described on their website as an “elegant lifestyle store”, I can 100% vouch for that. Lulu is filled with elegance, heart, fun, and spunk. The ambiance is light, the store smells fresh, the quotes on the chalkboards scattered throughout the store are on top of their game, and the customer service and owner herself are spectacular. To top it all off, I was ecstatic to see that they carried Tokyo Milk, and I ended up with Dead Sexy no. 6 fragrance. I will definitely be returning to Lulu as a frequent shopper.

After Lulu I found myself at Anthropologie. I don’t even remember making the conscious decision to go in there. It just.. happened. Anthro is kinda like witchcraft for the suburban house mom and her tween to young adult daughter. Anyway, Anthropologie is one of my favorite retailers so I couldn’t miss an opportunity to step inside. Every Anthro is always unique and different and the Franklin shop definitely didn’t disappoint. Customer service got a ten, and the sale they were having off additional sale items got an “okay, now we’re biffles” seal of approval. I ended up with the sweetest bangles in all the land.

After Anthropologie my sweet tooth was tempting me to stop for a snack at Kilwins, but I felt a little guilty that I left this little buddy at home. So I grabbed my goodies and called it a day.

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SO, what did I miss? Where should I head to next in Franklin? I’m thinkin’ 55 Southbut you KNOW I’m open for suggestions!

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PS – Give all of these wonderful companies some love by visiting them if you’re in the area, but definitely by following them on social media if you are, or are not!