About Melanie

Melanie is a stylist who adores bold prints, local farmers markets, and getting down to 90's music.  Her mission is to make women feel confident through their clothes.  This native New Yorker currently resides in the Bay Area with her fantastic husband, adorable, chubby baby and her impossibly cute puppy.  

Thursday
Jul102014

Marriage is...

This morning I woke up with an overwhelming sense of nostalgia.  I can't believe that today is Andrew and my four year wedding anniversary!  It seems pretty nuts that on this day in 2010 I was having one of the best days of my life.   What's so interesting is I wrote a post about our anniversary two years ago and still say the same things about our wedding!  Milestones such as this always make me super sappy, but I will try and stay focused.  Even though it's been awhile, I may have slacked in the "making a professional photo album department".  Last night I decided to start creating one.  It's clearly time.  It was actually a really lovely way to go back and remember each detail of the day.  As I was going through them, I realized not only has so much physically changed since then, but mentally as well.  I have so much more clarity and understanding of what marriage is.   

 When I look at these photos I am instantly transported to that mixture of feeling contentment, excitement and pure joy all at once.  I feel so fortunate that Andrew still makes me feel that way.  When he walks in the door, I still get giddy.  You should see the scene here when he comes home.  The puppy is charging toward him tongue out, the baby is squealing with delight and I'm running to the door to give him a kiss.  I genuinely feel like I still want to jump up and down and say "Marry me!  Marry me!" just like I did as we were saying our vows.  I do NOT take this for granted.

As I was looking through these images, something became so clear.  The saying "It takes a village." couldn't be more appropriate.  Holy Moly.  There were SO many people who were instrumental in that day going as smoothly as it did.  When I look back at the photos I can't help but feel... SO LOVED.  You can see how supportive my friends are, how excited my family was and most importantly the way Andrew and I are looking at each other in every.single.photo.  

One of my all time favorite photos is the shot above of my mom, sister and bridesmaids all helping me get ready.  I mean... how crazy is it that this shot wasn't posed?!  I actually needed that many people helping me get dressed!  And they were all SO on it!  I have the best friends.  But really, this photo captures the essence of sisterhood.  When you need something, your true friends will gather around you, hold your hand, put your shoes on, button a gazillion buttons and make sure a picture was taken to document it.  This photo is literally the reason I do what I do.  I want to help be that person for as many women as possible.  It's like I'm your own personal bridesmaid.  Sheesh.. that being said, please don't make me trade your gin and tonic out for water every twenty minutes and help you go to the bathroom all the time.  THANKS!

Wow. So much can change in four years.  It doesn't seem like that much time, but so much has happened!  Four years ago Andrew and I were living in Connecticut and our lives were COMPLETELY different.  Now, I have my own business, a baby, a dog, a house, and I live across the country!  I mean... that's just the start of the changes that have occurred!  I'm so lucky that I was able to go through all of theis with someone who is totally and completely by my side.

When you commit to someone the way you do on your wedding day, they are just words that you WANT to mean.  That's why you choose to stand up in front of everyone you know and say "You are my person... for the long haul."  Or something like that. haha  But they aren't implemented yet.  We have been together for 9 years and I will say that our journey has reaaaaally been different since we started dating.  But ultimately, I sincerely feel that from the moment we said our vows to each other our lives changed.  This was something that surprised me.  I thought, "Hey we have been together a long time.  Not much will change."  That just simply wasn't true.  Something became completely different in us as a couple after our wedding day.  We didn't know it was possible, but we both felt so much more "together".

 Then, when we had Zoe, a brand new phase began.  Having a baby shifts that love and commitment in a whole new way.  You have to become a team in a much more intense meaning of the word.  It's not like "Who is going to do the laundry and who is going to make dinner."  It's like "I'll tag team dinner, laundry, garbage and walking the dog if you bathe, feed and rock the baby to sleep while standing on your head and singing a lullaby."  Oh and by the way you are going to be sleep deprived and hungry and your mission is to not take it out on me.  This year more than ever I have a new appreciation for who my husband is, and who we are becoming together.  

I don't think I realized when we got married the true definition of the word.  This is what my new definition of marriage is as of July 10, 2014:

Marriage is understanding.

Marriage is commitment.

Marriage is unconditional love.

Marriage is passion.

Marriage is helping to clean baby poop situations and laughing about it after.

Marriage is apologizing.

Marriage is appreciating the small things as well as the big.

Marriage is communication.

Marriage is growing together.

Marriage is deciding together to fix what's broken.

Marriage is letting yourself be seen and them loving you all the more for it.

Marriage is trust.

Marriage is scratching your husbands back (because he asked nicely) but REALLY not wanting to and secretly wishing you didn't promise to do that in your vows....

Marriage is so much more than love. Marriage is a love that grows and changes and molds and becomes something even bigger and more precious. 

To my main man, my partner in crime, my hubster, and my love.  Thanks for going through this journey with me.  I'm pretty much the luckiest.  Here is to being the cute old couple holding hands and wine tasting at 95.  

All Images by Barnaby Draper Studios

To see my post from two years ago (with our wedding video attached) click here.

xoxo,

Melanie

 

Thursday
Jul032014

July 4th Mama and Baby Style 

July 4th is one of my absolute favorite holidays. I'm just one of those strange people that loves any occasion that comes with a dress code.  It gives you parameters for your outfit which I always find makes me think outside the box.  This year is no exception.  I've been dreaming in red, white and blue.  Whether you are patriotic or not, I think I speak for all of us when I say a baby in a stars and stripes bikini is something we can all get behind.

Let's get something straight.  When I say the words patriotic, red white and blue and festive that doesn't mean you have to go cheeseball town with your clothes.  I mean, unless that's your thing and then rock on with your bad self.  But I find that most women shy away from dressing in a "festive" manner because they don't want to come off tacky.  The word "festive" can mean a plethora of things.  For example, let's say you tell two different people to dress for a Christmas party in their "Holiday Best".  One person is going to show up in an ugly christmas sweater and the other a gorgeous red cocktail dress.  

Remember, when it comes to fashion, everything is relative.  Don't feel like when there is a dress code for a party that means you can't be yourself.  It's actually the perfect opportunity to shine.

That is what this Mama and Baby style post is all about.  You can still show up to that summer BBQ dressed to impress, without feeing like you are a walking flag.  And if you are like me and have a baby in tow, this rule does not apply to the kiddos.  Just look at that big ol belly hanging out of a red, white and blue bikini.  Clearly, this baby is meant to break fashion rules.

I love that the play on patterns takes a dressier outfit and makes it quirkier and way less serious.  By adding a pair of polka dot (and cork!!!!) Keds, I’m playing up the fun factor (and the Functionality Factor) while still being appropriate for the event.   Most outdoor daytime parties (especially those that involve kids) are not heel friendly so I'm pretty sure I'll be rocking these sneaks like it's my job.  Well... it kind of IS my job.  

*** What's the Functionality Factor you ask?  It's a key characteristic I look for in all my clothes to make them fashionable and functional.  I talk ALLLL about it in my style guide How to Style a T Shirt and Jeans.  Add your email to the right (or above!) to get access.

Hope everyone has a fantastic holiday weekend!  Tag me on Facebook or Instagram and share your outfit with me!  I'm such a sucker for a good July 4th inspired outfit!  I'm dying to see what you come up with!

 

Photography // Krista Marie Lynch

Hair and Makeup // Melissa Hoffmann

Polka Dot Button Down // Banana Republic

Gingham Skirt // Banana Republic

Sneakers // Keds

Necklace // J Crew

Earrings // Ann Taylor Loft

Watch // Michael Kors

Bracelet // Ann Taylor Loft

Ring // Madewell

Scarf // Free People

Baby Bathing Suit //  Old Navy

xoxo,

Melanie

Tuesday
Jun242014

Bathing.Freaking.Suits.

 

Me and Zoe last year on July 4th.  She's rocking the sunnies and I'm rocking a bathing suit post-pardum.

You know.... I wasn't gonna go there.  I wasn't going to be a cliche and talk about bathing suits and confidence  so early in the summer.  But you know what... BATHING SUIT SHOPPING IS HARD.  And all of us women need to rally, support and help each other.  Believe me, I know first hand how difficult it can be.

It was exactly a year ago when I found myself staring at my post-pardum body in a bathing suit.  Why didn't I think of it earlier?!  My daughter was born in the spring so that meant I was going to be having to wear a bathing suit ... well... looking like I just had a baby.  I took a deep breath and went head first into trying on as many bathing suits as I could.  Something HAS to work I thought to myself.  Thank goodness my best friend Dina was in town to be my moral support.  We went through the racks with a careful eye, knowing that I wasn't going to feel great. BOOM.  That was my first problem.  I was already setting myself up for failure!  Once in the dressing room I had to remind myself (and so did Dina) that I had to be kind to my body.  Um, hello!  I just had a baby!  But still, it doesn't change the fact that bathing suit shopping is hard no matter what's going on.  Putting on a tiny amount of clingy fabric on your lady parts and walking down the beach can be downright daunting.  You are putting yourself in a vulnerable position and that can be overwhelming.  

So, there I was totally consumed by the task at hand and I realized I had two options.  I could either walk out of the store without a bathing suit and not celebrate my absolute favorite holiday (July 4th is the BEST ya'll!) this year.  OR I could step out of my head for two seconds and realize that I was being WAY too critical of myself.  I decided to treat myself like a client.  

I told myself "You are beautiful, your body is beautiful and pretty freaking amazing.  Now let's get you some bathing suits."  

And then I came up with a plan.  Below are my top three tips that helped me get through bathing suit season with more confidence.

1)  Identify your "favorites" - Go into your closet.  What are trends you see?  Do you love hot pink everything? Are nautical stripes your thing?  Like to wear low cut, revealing tops?  Whatever it is, identify those things and then seek a bathing suit out that has those characteristics.  

2)  Wax it, Dye it, Primp it - What makes you feel good?  Do THAT.  It may not seem directly related to bathing suits but it is helpful whenever you are trying to boost your self confidence.  You don't want to be thinking about your hair AND  your body in a suit.  If you are like me and you always feel better when your nails are done, or your eyebrows are waxed.... then please wax those brows!

3)  Make it an outfit - When getting ready for the beach, create an entire look.  This can be casual, I'm not saying rock stilettos and a ball gown to the beach.  But wearing a cute pair of sandals and your new sunhat will definitely help you to feel good about your overall appearance.

So have you had a similar experience?  How are you feeling about bathing suit shopping?  I can't wait to hear about your experiences AND if these tips helped you!  

Also, over on my Facebook page I share a video talking about these same tips as well as a few other pointers for feeling great.  Check it out here.

Happy summer and happy shopping!

xoxo,

Melanie

Wednesday
Jun182014

I have something SO exciting to share with you...

Hello my love!

I have some seriously exciting news to share! A few months ago I asked you ladies what you were struggling with and how I could help you.  It was pretty astounding how similar the answers were.   The response was loud and clear! You all said:

 “I want to feel confident in a t-shirt and jeans.”

 You spoke about how when you wear a t-shirt and jeans you feel insecure and not put together.   About how you wish you could accessorize with more self-assurance and leave the house feeling ready to take on the day.  Well, ask and you shall receive! 

 I have created a FREE style guide for you called “How to Style a T Shirt and Jeans.” and I can’t wait for you to read it.  It’s the bee’s knees.  All you need to do is enter your email to the right of this post (or above in the minty chevron header) and all the information is yours!

In this Style Guide you will learn how to go jeans shopping for your body type, the right t-shirt to buy, as well as three ways to style them to perfection.  Stick with me and you will feel well versed in the art of creating a look from head to toe.  If you put in the work, you will undoubtedly see instant results and your confidence will start to soar. 

Don’t forget, at the end of the style guide there is a crucial step that I don’t want you to miss out on.   Make sure to connect with me and tell me all about your fashionable “aha” moments! 

Hashtags to Connect: #confidentstyle #headoverheelswithmelanie

Head Over Heels with Melanie is about creating a Confidence Revolution.  A movement if you will.  It’s time for women to start feeling confident with themselves.  Life is too precious to waste time focusing on “the last 10 pounds” or greasy hair.  You can feel confident and amazing with how you are right now.  You just need someone to help you get there. This revolution starts with one simple step. 

 

It’s so simple!  If you are inspired, and want to help women feel like the best versions of themselves, SHARE this with them.  Spread the word!  Here’s How: 

Send an email with this blog post attached.

Tweet this!  

Share the love on Facebook

Follow me on Pinterest or Pin an image on this page!

Instagram (my favorite!) it up!

I’ve got it all and I’d love for you to help me, help women!  I am bursting at the seams with excitement for this new chapter.  I hope you are inspired to come on this journey with me.

I can’t wait to get this stylish party started!  With your help I feel unstoppable! 

Lots of love,

Melanie

Sunday
Jun082014

Adding a Pop of Color with Jordana Paige

Helllooooo Cobalt Blue!  When I first set eyes on this Jordana Paige "Quinn" bag, one word came to mind.  Brilliant.  

1)  Brilliant color 2) Brilliant functionality 3) Brilliant price 4) Brilliant size.  

I'm not gonna lie, it's big.  But that's what I like about it.  When Jordana originally started her company she began by focusing on handbags for knitters.  She wanted to create chic yet functional bags for women who were carrying their projects with them.  Each bag addressed specific knitting needs, such as pockets for tools and a way to knit while keeping the project in it's place.  That attention to detail and uniqueness is still apparent in her bags, even though she no longer caters to just knitters, but to fashionable "non knitters" as well.  I could see this bag as a diaper bag, carry on travel bag, a beach tote, even an over night bag (unless you bring your blow dryer... theeeeen you are probably gonna need a duffel).  Check out her website here for more of her fabulous bags.

A pop of color is a quick and easy way to spruce up your outfit.  It's one of my favs as you can tell from this post or this post, or anything you see me in really.  

Some of my go to ways to add that special bit of color include red lipstick, a bold purse, a fun pedicure and a statement necklace.  What's the one thing they all have in common?  They are EASY and FUN.  If there is anything you should know about me, it's that I  am not the kind of girl that spends hours getting ready.  I also don't take fashion too seriously.  Those two things combined mean that I am always looking (and sharing with you) for easy ways to complete a look.  In the comments section below I'd love to hear about your favorite way to add a pop of color into your outfit.  Do you find it's easy or challenging?  I'd love to know.

 

Outfit Details - Previous Post

Photography: MELANIE DUERKOPP PHOTOGRAPHY

Hair and Makeup: MELISSA HOFFMANN

xoxo,

Melanie