Welcome to Real Life Style Blog!

Can changing your wardrobe really change your life? Of course it can! Imagine how light and powerful you would feel if 100% of the clothes in your closet were the right clothes for you right now. Imagine that your wardrobe reflected both your personality and your personal style, while suiting your lifestyle. That, ladies and gentlemen, is called Real Life Style. Want to be able to look and feel put together in just 2 minutes a day? You can.

Click here for more information about how you can work with Lani and click here to schedule your free consultation. Because fashion should be an outlet for fun, not frustration!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The RLS Guide to Picking Pastels for Fall

Fall is just about here and it's time to break out the pastels! Huh? Pastels, particularly pink...for fall?! I know, I know. It sounds crazy to everyone but true fashion folk, who love anything they haven't seen before.

The look on the runways for Fall Winter 2013/14 favored head-to-toe lilac, mint, baby blue, and the aforementioned pink. Too much for real life? Here are some tips to pick your pastels.

Step 1. Choose how far you are going to go with the trend: small, medium or large. 
Step 2. The easy part: pick your favorite pastel! Let's say you decide to go big or go home. The other hot fashion story on the runway is the voluminous coat. Imagine a pale pink coat over a monochromatic charcoal or black look, probably already hanging in your closet. Très chic, non?

Does it scare you to buy an investment piece, such as a fall coat, in such an improbable fall color? Then take it a step back and grab a fall bag in your pastel color of choice. Just like the coat example, mix it with the dark colors you already own. Imagine a baby blue bag next to a cozy chocolate brown sweater...

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Anthropologie Grows a Garden

Every trip is an excuse to go shopping and eat good food, is it not? I was recently admiring a client's jewelry when she told me she had purchased it from Terrain, innovative garden store/restaurant/nursery concept from the folks who brought us Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and Free People. An invite to a baby shower outside of Philly this past weekend was the perfect excuse to head to Glen Mills, PA and check it out.

My visit to Terrain was a dream, perfect weather and...an Heirloom Tomato Festival! There was a limit to what we could buy while traveling with a toddler stopping to splash in every puddle and dig in every pot of dirt. However, I did come home from Terrain with fresh Wild Flour Bakery bread, Peppermint Goat's Milk Soap, and Little Flower Candy Company Sea Salt Caramels. Keep reading for more details to help you plan your trip to Terrain. Just don't leave on a Saturday morning and drive through beach traffic, like we did...

Watch this fancy 30 second video to see the magical setting and local fresh food at Terrain's restaurant. What the video doesn't show is the GIANT popover (baked in a clay flower pot!) that they serve each table. Our table required two. 

Edible goods for sale in the Terrain shop.

A jewelry trunk show just a few feet away from the tomato table.

Beautiful scarves hanging along side floral art.

Terrain has a thing for Terrariums.

I almost had my husband convinced to let me take home this branch chandelier until we realized we don't have the 15 foot ceiling it requires. However, I'm still pining for one of the birdie mirrors pictured below.

An outdoor vignette

If you aren't in the Philly area and you can't get there, here are a few products you can buy online.. You can also visit their other store in Westport, Connecticut.

These blue studs are perfect for a cool blonde!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

An ARTful Weekend in Chicago

A quick trip to Chicago last weekend to see family turned into an outright lovely vacation and another stop on my major museum fashion tour. What fashion exhibit is the exact opposite of Punk, the last exhibit I wrote about? It is called Fashion, Impressionism and Modernity at the Art Institute of Chicago, and is a joint exhibit with the Musée D'Orsay in Paris and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Imagine a room of impressionist paintings highlighting the fashion of the times, complete with outfits from the time resembling those in the paintings. Although we all know about Monet's land and cityscapes, who knew about his "fashion work"? It was eye-opening! 

A Sunday on La Grand Jatte is one of the Art Institute's most famous paintings. Did you know that over the two years in which George Seurat worked on the painting (1884-1886), he continued to enlarge the bustles on the dresses as the style became more exaggerated? This factoid alone was worth the price of admission for me.

Sunday in Millennium Park, just outside of the Art Institute. I took this picture after we left the museum on one of the most clear and sunny days I've experienced in a long time. Chicago really is one of the most gorgeous cities in the world.

In contrast to the sweet, old-fashioned flavor of the Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity exhibit, on the way out we stumbled upon a modern study of fashion by Tomoaki Suzuki. The figures were inspired by the artist's life in London. More punk! Am I the only one who is a sucker for anything in miniature? Especially cool punk figurines with the Chicago skyline in the background? I couldn't get enough. I kind of just wanted to stay and hang out with them! Here are some pictures I took myself.

Saturday night we got together with friends for dinner at The Southern. The drink of the evening was a work of art in itself. Maple Bacon Manhattan anyone? I refrained and instead enjoyed the Smoked Mac "N" Cheese.

On Sunday we took Max to the Lincoln Park Zoo, which he thoroughly enjoyed, and then to Ginza Festival at the Midwest Buddhist Temple. Am I the only one who finds it strange that a Buddhist festival serves what my husband refers to as, "the best chicken in Chicago"? Anyway... Here is a picture of Max enjoying a piece of corn with his Dad. And yes, my child is still blonde-haired and blue-eyed. By now we think it will stick.

I hope you are having a fun summer enjoying family, friends, and fresh corn on the cob!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The 5 Questions: Why You Should Clear Your Clutter

This week I was inspired by a series of de-cluttering articles featuring clutter guru Peter Walsh in a past issue of O Magazine. I was actually re-reading the issue in my own attempt to get rid of clutter, specifically magazine clutter! I had saved it because the magazine had a fabulous list of worthy charities to donate unwanted items. This time around it occurred to me that not only should I bookmark the list online, instead of saving the physical magazine, but that I should share it with you dear readers!
J. Crew's Creative Director, Jenna Lyons
I'm not going to beat you over the head with a million reasons why you should clear your clutter; instead I am going to give you 5 questions to ask yourself.


1. How does looking at the cluttered area make you feel now?

2. How would you feel if the area bothering you were clear?

3. What could you do if the area bothering you was organized and cleared of clutter?

4. How does this clutter and your frustration with it affect other members of your household?

5. What is a first step you could make to clear your clutter?

Since the closet is my specialty, I'll give you some sample answers using this as the example space.

1. "Looking at my cluttered closet every morning makes me feel overwhelmed before I even start my day."

2. "Clearing the clutter in my closet would make me feel peaceful and in control of my wardrobe and style."

3. "If my closet were cleared of clutter, I could put together coordinated and accessorized outfits every day, which would make me feel confident enough to ask for a raise."

4. "My husband gets frustrated that it takes me 45 minutes to get dressed for date night and that there is no room for his clothes in the closet."

5. "To start, I could pull out all of my shoes and get rid of the ones that don't fit and are worn out or out of style."

Walnut & Platinum elfa décor Organized Walk-In Closet
Imagine if this was your closet!

Need more motivation? There is no better motivation than Karen Kingston's book Clear your Clutter with Feng Shui. Don't be intimidated by the Feng Shui part of the title. I used to keep extra copies of this book at home to give clients who wanted to keep going through the rest of the house after we had cleared the clutter in their closets. My personal warning before you start reading? Don't begin the book before bed or you will be up all night!

The easiest way to get motivated? Start with one small area, such as your jewelry drawer or your pantry and see how good it feels when you are done. Pick one area a week and keep going. Or hire someone! Think of it this way...Could you exercise regularly on your own? Of course you could but if you make an appointment with a personal trainer you are not only guaranteed to show up and put in the time, but your workouts will be much more efficient, resulting in faster, superior results.

I don't want you to stop at your closet so here is a list of Professional Organizers whom I personally recommend to help you tackle the rest of your space! Live out of area? Like me, most of these organizers offer sessions over Skype.


rachel pink dress
Rachel Strisik of Rachel & Company for general and family organization

Kacy Paide of The Inspired Office for all things office and paperwork related

Katie and Kelly McMenamin of Pixies Did It


Stacy Urben Rechtin, Founder Urben Renewal
 Stacy Urben Rechtin of Urben Renewal


It's All Too Much

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Do You Dare to DIY? I Did!

Thanks to my most fashionable friend Rosa of Rosa Loves DC, I spent this past Sunday afternoon creating a new statement necklace and clutch for myself. See her blog about it here. I have boxes of crafts to work on at home, but I still haven't finished my honeymoon scrap book 3 years on, so let's just say I don't get to crafting much these days. I had so much fun! See details below on what I did and how you can get to crafting yourself. 

Topaz and Arrow is a monthly craft session and DIY workshop founded by Virginia Arrisueño of DeNada, an emerging accessories line, and Morgan Hungerford West of the blog Panda Head. Their creative projects cover everything from personal style to home décor to wedding parties. I can't wait for the next one!

A snapshot of some finished clutches as well as some raw materials. I used one of the gold rings in my necklace. Why not take a large ring and make a clutch you already own into a bracelet clutch? Cute and practical!

The raw materials for my necklace.

Rosa took these great photos of me in the midst of crafting away!

The final product!

The clutch I threw together at the last minute. After watching Rosa and Carmen figure it out!

Not in DC but love creating your own accessories such as these? Then meet your new best friend: Project DIY! Created by the crafting masterminds behind M&J Trimming in New York, Project DIY is a subscription based service that sends all of the materials needed for your monthly DIY fix straight to your home. Each project is designed by in-house jewelry designers inspired by the latest street fashion. Sign up for Project DIY to find out when it officially launches!

Looking for even more inspiration? P.S. I Made This... is always teeming with DIY fashion accessories that are relatively easy to put together yourself. Complete with easy-to-follow guides and videos, this blogger makes totally plain and boring accessories look exciting and fresh! 

We love collecting treasures from our travels. Whether sifting for sea glass or gathering stones, bringing a piece of nature home means creating long-lasting memories. In our final installment of Pretty Savvy with StyleList.com presented by Jeep, Erica shows you how to take it a step further by pulling them off the shelf and wearing them your self!  

To create: Squeeze a dollop of E6000 onto the backside of your agate; press and hold it against the center of the cuff for a few seconds. Wrap gold wire around both the agate and cuff to secure it in place (P.S- this also adds an extra flare to your new arm candy, so don’t be afraid to wrap more than necessary). Snip off the wire end with the scissors on your swiss army knife. If you don’t have agate lying around, use seashells or coral from your summer beach trip or repurpose a vintage brooch! 

Also, check out my DSN Stylist Spotlight and for those who couldn't view my radio interview with WTOP last week, here is the link!