Breast Cancer Awareness with Mom

breast cancer awarenessbreast cancer awarenessbreast cancer awareness breast cancer awarenessbreast cancer awarenessbreast cancer awareness

SWEATER: J.Crew| NECKLACE: Touchstone Crystal by Swarovski {c/o}| HAT: BP

Photos by Dad! {I’m quite impressed}

Today is an extra special post because my mom {and Tipper!} are making their debuts on Sequins are the New Black! When the opportunity came up to partner with Touchstone Crystal for their breast cancer awareness pendant I knew I had to jump on it. 

 With the holidays quickly approaching { how is it already Thanksgiving tomorrow!?} it really has me thinking about what’s important in life: my family, my health and my family’s health and how thankful I am to have all three 🙂 If you were wondering why this post is happening after Breast Cancer Awareness month, I did that on purpose. Due to personal experience, in my heart, I believe breast cancer is a disease we should be talking about year round, not limiting it only to 30/365 days per year.

I typically don’t get super personal on my blog, but I felt there is no better time than the present to open up. Let’s take it back to May of 2003 when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. The night my parents broke the news to my brother and I at dinner is something that will stick with me forever as one of the scariest moments of my life. Fortunately, the oncologist caught it early and my mom went in for a mastectomy and chemotherapy soon after to start the cancer ass kicking process. I promise this story ends well.. 🙂  I remember my first day of high school so well. Not because it was my first day at a new school, but because it was my mom’s last day of chemo! This September marked her 13th amazing year in remission!!! Every year I reflect on what I could have done differently during that time and what I gained from that experience..

  1. Live life to the fullest: Cliche, I know but if you’re lucky enough to know her personally, my mom often says “I could be dead tomorrow” when she’s talking plans. I’ll never forget the family trip to Hershey Park we took the summer she was going through treatment. The woman was so determined to not let cancer slow her down that summer. Even in the extreme heat while not feeling her best, she still made the most of our time away. Mom, you’re a rockstar!! 
  2. Positivity is the only option: Watching my mom battle cancer and the sickness and pain that came from aggressive chemotherapy, her spirit never broke. Of course, some days were better than others but overall she remained in high spirits that this step back was not going to break her.  She would always say,”Negativity is what kills you” and that stuck with me! I try to live my life in the same fashion. My mom is truly one of the most positive people I know and I love her for it.

At the end of the day, yes my blog is fashion focused but my hope and dream is to always inspire my readers to see the beauty in every aspect of their life!!

I would love to hear in the comments below what you’re thankful for! 🙂 

Thank you so much for stopping by & I hope everyone has an amazing Thanksgiving <3

xox, Tess

Black Drape Jacket

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DRAPE JACKET: MakemeChic {c/o} | DRESS: Pam & Gela | HEELS: Vince Camuto | EARRINGS: House of Harper | LIPS: Laura Mercier {Wildflower} 

I have to be honest and say that I feel pretty Kim. K in this tight midi dress/ black drape jacket combo. Greg on the other hand, got a kick out of calling me “The Matrix” all day! Since I haven’t seen the movie, I’m not sure on how to take that hah! Anyways, there are three things I love so much about this jacket, 1. it’s super affordable at only $35, 2. the fabric is really lightweight, perfect for these 60 degree November days,  3. the classic color { I have almost nothing black in my wardrobe!}.

Over the weekend I took a trip to Ikea with my mom to cross some items off the apartment “to buy” list. I picked up a bookshelf, desk and shelving unit for decor. I’m currently writing this on my new desk and it’s already made such a difference in my productivity! I have a really hard time focussing/ staying awake while sitting on the couch so having a designated work space to call my own makes me really excited! Planning is underway on how I want to arrange the gallery wall for my new “clo-fice” {office in a closet}. Does anyone have any recommendations of their favorite place to buy fun prints/quotes? 

Thanks so much for stopping by!

xox, Tess

Jord Wood Watch

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FUR VEST: Love Token | WATCH: JORD Wooden Watch {c/o} | JEANS: J Brand | TOP: SheIn {c/o} | HANDBAG: Henri Bendel | HEELS: Missguided

Happy Tuesday and Happy Election Day, everyone! Sorry I was MIA last week, Greg and I moved into our new apartment and I’ve been feeling a little unsettled while we organize the place. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that we have more closets here than our last apartment, yet I’m having a hard time fitting all my clothes, bags and shoes hah! I can’t wait to share all my new home decor once everything is put together 🙂 These leopard pillows are on their way and I could not be more excited!

I wanted to pair a minimalistic accessory with this vest, so I went with this JORD watch I got earlier this fall. Each piece is made from word, making this the lightest watch I’ve ever tried on. When I came across the Frankie Watch in Zebrawood & Navy I knew I had to have it! It’s unlike anything else in my watch collection { I mostly wear gold and silver} so I found the wood details great for making a statement in a unique way. JORD has a great selection of wooden watches for both women & men!

I’m so excited for the amazing giveaway I have for you! My friends at JORD and I are giving away a $75 e-gift card to one lucky reader! All other entries will receive a $20 e-gift code automatically emailed to them JUST for entering! Yes, you heard that right, everyone wins! Click HERE to enter 🙂

Thanks so much for stopping by!

xox, Tess

*Thank you JORD Wood Watches for sponsoring this post!

Wooden Wristwatch

Edgy Fall Florals

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DRESS: Sammy Dress {c/o} | LEATHER JACKET: BLANKNYC | HANDBAG: Zara | PUMPS: Steve Madden | LIPS: Laura Mercier in Wildflower

Happy Wednesday, babes! Who knew delicate florals and edgy leather would look so cool together? My goal with this look was to really amp up the edge factor and this velvet & chain crossbody was the perfect touch! You really can’t go wrong with the fall floral print, length and price of this dress, coming in at $20!!

Did anyone noticed something new on my site!? I finally crossed “update blog logo” off my blogging to do list and I couldn’t be happier with the finished product! “Sequins are the New Black” is out with the boring black font and in with the new gold glitter writing..thank you, Kelsey!! Hope you’re having a great week so far!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

xox, Tess


How to Style a Choker

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Blazer: SheIn {c/o} | Pants: BLANK NYC {similar} | Striped Top: J. Crew | Pumps: Vince Camuto | Clutch: Sole Society | Choker: SheIn { only $4!}

Who would have thought the 90’s choker trend would return?  They were one of my favorite fashion accessories back then and I’m majorly crushin’ now. But to be honest, when I initially saw chokers were back in style, I was hesitant because the 90’s vibe wasn’t what I was looking for, I wanted a more updated look. Which means, today I’m sharing how I style a choker!

This wrap choker is under $4 and what I love about it most is it’s versatility to style it several different unique ways. For this look I wrapped the wrap around my neck twice and then tied a loop lower down my chest, but you can see on the model wearing it hereshe tied the bow closer to her neck. Both are an easy way to spice up an every day look or to further glam up a killer outfit! For an extra girly touch I’m loving this crystal choker 🙂 

Another way I love spicing up an everyday look is swapping out my tradition black blazer with a chic cape blazer

I hope I’ve inspired you to try the choker trend yourself!

Thanks for much for stopping by!

xox, Tess


Glam Fall Decor

glam fall decor

1.Skull Martini Glasses |2. Leopard Pumpkin | 3. Metallic Skull  | 4. Beaded Pumpkins |5. Gold Wreath | 6. Skull Decoration | 7. Silver Glitter Pumpkin | 8. Skull Towels | 9. PomPom Throw Blanket  | 10.Black & White Striped Pumpkin | 11. Studded Pumpkin

When thinking about home decor for fall, Halloween in particular, “glam” typically isn’t the first thought that comes to mind. On the other hand, if you’ve been following my blog for a while now, you know metallic and sparkle is the only way I know how to decorate 🙂  When each season changes, I get so excited to add seasonal decorative pieces around the house, fall/Halloween being one of my favorites! On Sunday, Greg and I had a nice {much needed} chill day together at home so I had a chance to break out my metallic pumpkins! 

This entire post was inspired by this metallic skull from Z Gallerie that I came across while shopping for new fall decor, can you see why!? I don’t know if it’s just me, but there is something so chic about skulls, someone please tell me I’m not the only one!!? I immediately fell in love with the GLAM factor and knew I had to share the inspiration behind this post! I can’t get over how cute these party napkins would be paired with these skull martini glasses.  Also, this “shoes off witches” doormat is absolutely hilarious! Be There In Five is one of my favorite Etsy shops for her creative reminder and affirmation doormats, I currently have this at my front door and the compliments are nonstop!

For all my Boston fashion show lovers, the Harvard Business School Retail & Luxury Goods Club Charity Fashion Show is happening this Thursday, October 13th with all proceeds going to the Greater Boston Food Bank! Last year was amazing, but I have high hopes this year will be even more fantastic featuring designers like Diane Von Furstenburg, DKNY, Ted Baker & more! Tickets are still on sale here– hope to see you there! 🙂

Would love to hear what your favorite way to decorate for fall is!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

xox, Tess


Apple Picking.

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Photos by Kim Bixby!

UTILITY VEST: Nordstrom Rack | JEANS: BlankNYC  | SHOES: Splendid old {similar here } | BACKPACKVera Bradley | NECKLACE: Forever 21 {under $6!} | NAILS: OPI {hot & spicy}

And just like that, it’s October. September passed by so quickly that I can hardly believe it! The weekend before last, my girlfriends and I decided to do what every other preppy person in New England does and went apple picking! We chose Nashoba Winery {50 minute drive from Boston} because 1. it looked gorgeous, tasting and 3. apples…the perfect combo for a beautiful fall day! After picking {and eating} what felt like 3673 apples, we went for a wine tasting at the vineyard. I’m still thinking about the wine slushies they served, soo yummy!! Growing up, apple picking was a yearly activity, but fast forward 15 years,  I’m pretty sure I had as much {if not more} fun than I did when I was a kid. 

I also wanted to share a new inexpensive clothes & jewelry website {we all know thats my jam} I recently discovered! I ordered this $19 necklace and can’t get over how unique and gorgeous it is! Definitely worth taking a look if you’re in the market for fun costume jewelry 🙂 

As mentioned here, fall always puts me in the mood to bake so with a large bag of apples still in my fridge, I thought it would be fun to share my baking bestie, Becky’s apple crisp recipe!! She is one heck of a baker! She’s so good I gained 5lbs my senior year of college when we were roommates from all the amazing treats in the house 😉 

For The Apple Base

6-8 Tart Apples (I use a mixture of McIntosh and Cortland, but Macoun also work)

1 tbsp orange zest

1 tbsp lemon zest

1 tbsp milk

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp fresh squeezed orange

1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon

½ cup granulated sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground cloves

¼ tsp nutmeg

For The Oat topping

1/2 cup flour

¼ cup granulated sugar

½ cup light brown sugar

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp cinnamon

¾ cup oats

½-3/4 stick cold unsalted butter, sliced


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the dish of your choice. I use an 8×8 inch square baking pan so that the crisp is thick and full of yummy apples.
  2. Peel, core and cut the apples into large wedges. I leave a few peels on to add texture and additional flavor. Place chopped apples into a mixing bowl.
  3. Combine the chopped apples with the zests, juices, vanilla, milk, sugar and spices and cover the apples completely.
  4. Pour the apples into the prepared baking dish
  5. In the same (now empty) mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugars, spices, oatmeal and cold butter and mix until combined and crumbly. Note: I use my hands to mix because I love to get dirty while baking, but if you’d rather keep your hands clean, you can use a standing mixer with the paddle attachment.
  6. Scatter the oatmeal mixture on top of the apples in the pan so they are distributed evenly
  7. Place the crisp in the preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the apples are bubbling and the top is slightly browned
  8. Let cool on the counter and serve warm with vanilla ice cream

Tip: If you fresh pick your apples at an orchard, pick up a bag of fresh apple cider donuts on your way out and crumble a donut or two on top of the oat mixture. Apple crisp AND donuts in one delicious dessert….yum!

Thanks so much for stopping by!!


Sweater Season with Sammy Dress

sweater season with sammy dresssweater season with sammy dresssweater season with sammy dresssweater season with sammy dresssweater season with sammy dresssweater season with sammy dresssweater season with sammy dresssweater season with sammy dresssweater season with sammy dresssweater season with sammy dress

SWEATER: Sammy Dress {c/o} loving this for only $18! | TEE: Shopbop {also here } | JEANS: Nordstrom | HANDBAG: Henri Bendel | PUMPS: Sam Edelman | NECKLACE: Etsy | RINGRoss Simons

 Sweater season is my jam! There’s a chill in the air in Boston and I have all the fall feels!

There’s nothing quite like the thrill of finding quality, affordable clothes that look {and feel!} like a million bucks!  I find it’s the best way to feel as though you own all the clothes you want while still being affordable! With fall weather in full swing, I turned to Sammy Dress to stock up on sweaters and was blown away with the quality that comes with such a low price tag! This black cardigan is a STEAL at only $18 🙂 

Other Sammy Dress pieces I recently received and can’t wait to wear is this dress {so feminine!}, this poncho {perfect for an apple picking day!} and this ruffle blouse {great for the office!}. It’s truly hard to go wrong when each piece cost less than $22!  This mermaid blanket is on my wish list, it’s so stinkin’ cute & perfect for those lazy cozy Sundays on the couch- I want one in every color!

Few of the best parts of the changing seasons {in addition to sweater season}:

  1. Spending time in the City: Now that beach season is over {so bittersweet} I no longer have that anxious feeling of having to get out of the city to soak up the sun every weekend. It’s been so nice to wake up early on Saturday morning, get in a barre class {my new favorite work out!} or stroll Marlborough St. in Back Bay and historical Beacon Hill to check out beautifully decorated front porches- so dreamy!
  2. Every day is a good hair day: It’s been nice to dust off my hair straightener and sport the straight look again 😉 Long are the days of needing to double up on anti-frizz product to keep my mane from resembling a lion, hah! 
  3. The cozy factor: I love spending time outdoors on those perfect, sunny Septemeber days but let’s not discount how glorious it is to cuddle up on the couch with a fuzzy blanket, hot tea in hand and bingeing all my favorite fall shows {who else is excited for How to Get Away with Murder!?}. How can you say no to a good snuggle? Also, with Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving and football tailgates back on my social calendar, the desire to bake is back!  Sally Baking Addiction is my go to for the easiest, yummiest ideas!
  4. Candles: During the summer months I don’t burn candles often since the windows are always open, so once the temperatures drop and all the windows are closed I get LIT with all my favorite candles 😉  Bath & Body Works has the best scents with an impressively long burn time! My favorites include this & this.
  5.  Mums: It’s no shocker that I love flowers {I am a girl after all} but one of my favorite ways to decorate for fall is mums! The orange, purple and yellow tones are just beautiful and compliment pumpkins perfectly 🙂  

What’s your favorite part of sweater season!?

Thanks for stopping by!

xoxo, Tess


Casual Fall Outfit

casual fall outfit casual fall outfit casual fall outfit casual fall outfit casual fall outfit casual fall outfit casual fall outfit casual fall outfit casual fall outfit casual fall outfit

TOP: SheIn {under $10!} | JEANS: BlankNYC | HANDBAG: Tory Burch | BOOTIES: Seychelles, old {similar here }| HAT: Hinge {also love this } | NAILS: OPI Alpine White

It’s not often the word “casual” appears on Sequins are the New Black, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that this is my first ever outfit post wearing skinny jeans! There’s only a handful of times where I’ve worn pants, so today’s casual fall outfit is perfect for all my jeans and t-shirt loving ladies!

As much as I love sweater weather, fall scented candles, and the fun activities that come with the seasons changing, I cringe at the fact that dropping temperatures means I have to wear pants more often. My opinion of jeans all changed for the better when this pair of denim came into my life! They are so comfortable you feel like you’re wearing leggings 🙂 Now thats what I’m talking about! This top is hands down the softest tee I own! The criss cross front adds something extra to your basic solid colored t-shirt and at a price point of less than $10, I ordered one in every color! Accessories make or break a look so to ramp up this casual fall outfit, you can never go wrong with a floppy hat, a classic handbag and heels, of course!

My goal was to have this post live yesterday, but the JonBenét Ramsey special absorbed all my attention- it’s so interesting!! Has anyone else been watching!? I’ve always been fascinated by crime/murder mystery documentaries {and books} but this case is one of most peculiar, it all doesn’t add up so far! I still have the second and third parts to watch tonight- I can’t wait to see how it unravels! 

Thanks so much for stopping by!!

xox, Tess


Gold Skirt for Less Than $20

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Skirt: SheIn {c/o} | Top: ASOS | Heels: ASOS {similar here here} | Bag: DVF | Bracelet:Francesca’s

Happy Monday! Hope you had an amazing weekend 🙂 Greg and I attended a wedding in my hometown for one of my oldest friends and had an absolute blast! The bride was drop dead gorgeous, we had so much fun dancing and the food was super yummy! I took home 5 massive centerpieces to play florist and rearranged them into vases all over the apartment- it smells so dreamy! 

Another day, another SheIn piece! I clearly have a thing for midi style dresses & skirts lately and this gold skirt is just the right amount of metallic for a fun, electric look and only $14! Since the weather is not quite in the fall temperatures yet, this sleeveless turtleneck top is a great transition top.

Do you have any current SheIn favorites?

Thanks for stopping by!

xox, Tess