Blush Poncho and Crocodile Details

As you may have gathered from my recent inspiration board, I am loving blush tones right now. Lace blouses, cozy cardigans, chunky knits, even my pajamas have joined in on the new color scheme. This seems fitting considering we're less than 1 month away from Valentine's Day and my home office is filled to the brim with pink cocktail stirrers, 'Love' throw pillows, and heart-shaped styling props alike. 

On Saturday, my day was dedicated to finishing the last edits of our secret relaunch and I knew in the morning that there wasn't even a fair chance that I would get out of my sweats. The only time that I ventured from the bed (decidedly much comfier, and less crowded than my home office) was to get a refill on chamomile tea and to have dinner with Sam. It very well could have been a 3 hour day - at least that's what it felt like to me. I had opened my laptop to answer a few emails and next thing I knew it was 1am, moving into Sunday and my hair was still in a messy bun. And not a cute one... by the way. 

Sunday morning when my photographer and friend, Jade, texted me I knew that it was time to peel myself from the bed filled with crumbs from a 2am snack-binge, take a hot shower, and venture back into the real world. By Sunday afternoon, it was all of 18 degrees and a wind chill that had it feeling more like we were on the peak of Mount Everest than surrounded by high rises in Baltimore. OK, maybe that's a bit dramatic but, you get the point. If we had not planned the most amazing shoot on a garage rooftop overlooking the harbor, I might have climbed right back in bed.

By coincidence, both Sam's and my main pieces in this style post were purchased at Forever21. They are both wallet-friendly and can be styled with a ton of different items. One of the items that I styled this blush sweater with is my Rebecca Minkoff embossed leather crossbody. Sam bought it for me as a Christmas present this year and it truly was a special and sentimental gift. I'll give you a little backstory as to why - About 8 months ago, I told myself that I would buy a new purse for myself as a little treat (the last time I bought myself a nice bag was over 4 years ago) but, ONLY IF this certain event in my life happened. After hours of searching for my next coveted bag, I carefully picked out the most perfect one and I kept my eye on it every week, knowing that I would hit the "purchase" button once this one thing happened. Every time I felt discouraged, I used this bag as motivation to keep trying. However, month after month, letdown after letdown, I stared at this gift, this "treat" on my computer screen, feeling further and further away from actually realizing that goal. This life event just wasn't happening for me and it felt like a betrayal if I bought the purse anyway because I didn't feel like I "deserved" it. Truly, it wasn't even about the bag itself or the money spent to get it; it was the purpose behind the reward. Eventually, after months of torturing myself over this image, I gave up. I exited out of the shopping screen after one utterly defeating night, crying into my Indian food with Sam by my side.

Fast forward to Christmas morning, Sam and I promised each other that we weren't doing gifts this year because of one, very expensive new mattress that we bought instead. I walked downstairs, excitedly chanting 'Merry Christmas' to Oliver on the couch and behind me, Sam stood with a wrapped gift in his hands which ended up being this beautiful purse. Immediately my eyes swelled with tears, not because of the bag, but because it meant so much more than that. Sam stood with me through this major disappointment for over 8 months, watched me cry at the drop of a hat, and with this gift made me feel worthy of praise, even when I didn't see it myself. Needless to say, it has quickly become my favorite bag that I've ever owned.

Shop this look:

How do you dress up for a date night downtown? I'd love to see your look. Tag me in it via Instagram or Facebook!

xo Anna Elizabeth