Friday, July 30, 2010

channeling audrey.

Jump Girl dress, Aldo shoes, Charlotte Russe clutch, Bloomingdale's earrings, J.Crew bracelet, Forever21 cocktail ring, mall kiosk sunglasses

I am not a believer in the idea that every girl needs a little black dress. In my opinion, every woman needs several in her closet. Let's be honest -- your always-dependable first-date LBD is not the same as the LBD you wear to dinner with your parents. So despite owning a few already, I fell in love with this chic dress. Simple and ladylike, the textured skirt adds some visual interest to the easy shape. Rather than pairing it with my favorite black pumps, I added my trusty nude heels for a look that I hoped was a bit more unexpected. Adding a pair of cheapie oversized sunglasses only seemed natural to add a touch of mystery to this look.

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend!
xo Josie

Thursday, July 29, 2010

military love + giveaway winner.

COVETING: 3.1 Phillip Lim Skylar Twill Military Jacket; retail $298
Is it okay that I'm panting right now? Probably not. I've always been weary of the whole military trend because I worry that it can cross into cheesy very quickly. However, I've recently decided that Phillip Lim is a new favorite of mine and was browsing the 3.1 collection when I spotted this STUNNING jacket. I'm obsessed. It has just a touch of military inspiration without seeming overworked, and the buttons, color, and zipper pockets are simply perfection. Furthermore, I can't think of a better transition piece for summer into fall. I would love throwing this over denim leggings, a sundress, a romper, a skirt -- I don't even care; I would wear this every single day.

A huge, HUGE thank-you to every one of you fabulous readers who entered my Merona boyfriend watch giveaway! I was so thrilled to see all of your comments and it was so exciting to get so many entries! The lovely reader (thank you,!) who will be sporting this pretty piece of jewelry is...

The absolutely lovely Anna Jane of See Jane.! This charming girl covers everything on her blog, from house-hunting to music to her own personal organizational issues. Check her out, please, as she is completely fantastic. Make sure to e-mail me your info, my dear, so I can send you this charming watch!

Thank you all so very much for entering! There will certainly be one more summer giveaway which I absolutely cannot wait to host -- and I couldn't have thought of a better way to celebrate my six months of blogging. Love you all!

xo Josie
Thanks to Neiman Marcus for the photo.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

tips and tricks -- kitchenware meets kitchenwear.

ATTAINABLE: Heritage 1981 Pinstripe Lightweight Shirt; retail $19.90
As fall clothes begin to flood the racks at stores everywhere, I find myself at a bit of a loss. I have a solid month and a half to fill with pretty summer things and, as much as I LOVE finding out-of-season things on clearance, I still want something that will carry nicely into fall. Thank goodness for blouses -- especially ones like this one. The pinstripes are perfect for crisp fallwear, but the pastel colors and easy shape allow me to cling to the last shreds of summer.

I LOVE to bake with a passion, but my cooking skills (beyond Kraft mac and cheese, which I maintain is superb) could use a bit of honing. Regardless, I love wandering the cooking sections of Crate & Barrel and the Anthro home section as I daydream about being a fantastic cook. I have to say that what really excites me is not necessarily the idea of being able to host spur-of-the-moment dinner parties (although I do love those), it's the cool kitchenware and kitchenwear (get it?) out there. Basically, I figure that I can always order takeout and put it on a pretty platter as long as I'm wearing a great apron and am seen holding some kind of mixing bowl.

Anthropologie Buttoned Lace Apron; retail $28
If I'm going to wear an apron, it's going to be adorable. And there is simply no better place to look than Anthropologie for such items. While the above apron is my personal favorite (how gorgeous is this teal shade?), there are dozens of pretty coverups to choose from. And please don't tell me that it's just going to get dirty. That's what washing machines are for.

Anthropologie Latte Bowls in Assorted (various shades); retail $30/set of 6
I've raved about these bowls before, but I'm simply in LOVE with them. They're perfect for everything from cereal to pasta and come in a crazy variety of colors. I'm stoked to pick up a few of these in yellow and navy (the colors that my roomie and I will be using to decorate next year) to put on my dresser for the express purpose of holding oft-used cocktail rings and necklaces.
Product Image
KitchenAid Artisan 5-qt. Stand Mixer in Green Apple (comes in a ridiculous plethora of colors, each of which I want); retail $299.99
I'm absolutely in love with KitchenAid mixers. They may be my favorite kitchen appliance -- I use the one at my house ALL the time. And I've fallen head-over-heels for this darling green one. The color is so chic and the sleek design is absolute perfection. Perfect.

Martha Stewart Collection 6-Piece Multi-Color Melamine Bowl Set
Martha Stewart Collection 6-piece Multi-Color Melamine Bowl Set; retail $34.99
My best friend works at Macy's and she tends to be stuck in the Home department. Little does she know, I visit her the most when that's where she is. The Martha Stewart collection is literally my favorite thing in the entire store. I'm obsessed with it. Everything is full of color and, although I don't know what most of the gadgets do, but who DOESN'T need a colorful cutting board with a build-in colander? That's what I thought. And these fun bowls are perfect for both mixing and serving.

What do YOU like to use in the kitchen? And don't forget that today is the last day to enter my boyfriend watch giveaway!
xo Josie
Thanks to Heritage 1981, Anthropologie, Target, and Macy's for the photos.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

obsessed -- joie.

ATTAINABLE: Banana Republic BR Monogram Ruffle Tier Dress in Black (also in Antique Clay); retail $150
This amazingly chic dress is, though a touchy pricey, absolute PERFECTION. I tend to feel like a cupcake in tiered pieces, but I love this shape -- layered without seeming puffy. It's essentially a tiered sheath, which is quite unique and too pretty for words. I love how it can be dressed up easily with a metallic belt, statement necklace, and heels, or dressed down slightly with flats and understated jewelry. Absolutely gorgeous.

As summer continues, clothes that are floaty, filmy, and comfortably chic become even more appealing to me. These pieces are easy to dress up or down, making them perfect to transition from summer days to nights. Lucky for me, brands like Joie specialize in just such items. These cozy pieces are comfortable without looking sloppy in the slightest and are just perfect for everything from shopping to barbecuing with friends to going to a movie.

Joie January Linen Dress
Joie January Linen Dress; retail $198
I love everything about this dress. It has a look that is slouchy but doesn't feel like a bathing suit coverup, the stripes are right on-trend, and the Henley placket is too cute. Whether paired with a pretty pair of flat sandals for day or a pair of fun wedges for evening, this go-anywhere dress is sure to draw attention.

Joie Thandie Top
Joie Thandie Top; sale (now) $94
I love, LOVE this pretty white blouse. The floaty shape has just enough structure to it that I wouldn't feel as if I were wearing a tend, and the little lacy sleeves are too gorgeous. I love that this top can be paired with crisp shorts now but would look fantastic under a suit or with dark jeans for fall.

Joie Karla Dress
Joie Karla Dress; retail $258
I am simply in LOVE with this dress. The punchy color, short hem, and vertical detail work together to create a truly adorable frock. This incredibly versatile dress would be perfect with a boyfriend cardigan and flat sandals for a movie or with platform nude pumps and minimal jewelry for dinner. Simply chic.

Soft Joie Mesa Top
Soft Joie Mesa Top in Black (also in White); retail $118
I've truly fallen in love with Soft Joie, a second Joie line. Specializing in ultra-soft basics, this line is chock-full of chic casualwear. Every single piece in this line is just so cozy-looking, and I especially couldn't resist this gorgeous top. I love the buttons, pushed-up sleeves, and Mandarin collar -- it's perfect to pair with shorts or tuck into a high-waisted skirt.

What are YOU obsessed with right now? And time is running out to enter my boyfriend watch giveaway!
xo Josie
Thanks to Banana Republic and Shopbop for the photos.

Monday, July 26, 2010

inspiration -- boys.

Rag & Bone Sahara Oxford  Wedges
COVETING: Rag & Bone Sahara Oxford Wedge in Nude; retail $390
I fell absolutely in love with these shoes after seeing them on my pal Valerie, despite her warnings about needing a high pain tolerance in order to wear them. I've added them to my ridiculously long lust list for shoes. I love the platform, the lacing, and the fabulous nude shade. Although it may seem that the season for nude wedges is drawing to a close, I can absolutely see these transitioning easily into fall with darker skirts and dresses.


If I was forced to choose my greatest fashion inspiration of late, it would almost certainly be anything stolen from a boy's closet. While we may complain about bulky flannel shirts and baggy jeans, I must say that these items are just so appealing to me. From oversized blazers to boyfriend jeans, I've embraced this trend wholeheartedly, though I do like to tie in some ultra-feminine elements to keep from looking as if I'm late to Boy Scouts.


There's just such a charm in dressing in clothes inspired by boys. While it can certainly be adorable to dress in actual little boy's clothing (thrift stores, anyone?), I'm also a fan of boy-inspired pieces made for women. The charm is there without sacrificing fit and, of course, remembering that you are actually a girl. Plaid shirts, fedoras, oxfords... I'm ready to play dress-up, aren't you?

inspiration -- boys.Fashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore

inspiration -- boys. by jfranske featuring Mulberry bags

Speaking of boy-inspired items, don't forget to enter my boyfriend watch giveaway! What's inspiring YOU today?
xo Josie
Thanks to Shopbop and WeHeartIt for the photos.

Friday, July 23, 2010

shades of gray.

Banana Republic sweater, J.Crew top, J Brand denim leggings, Hunter boots, Aldo bag, Coach scarf, Merona watch, Nordstrom earrings, Marc Jacobs umbrella

Despite the fact that it's midsummer, Minnesota is currently plagued by gloomy weather. While I have been the first to grab a bright dress throughout this season, I suddenly feel like dressing to match the gray, gray days. Thankfully, my new Hunter boots let me brave the rainy weather in style (not that it was easy to get them; there was some serious color deliberation that went on in the middle of Bloomingdale's) while adding just a bit of color to the look. And while I'm not yet convinced that denim leggings work on my shape, this pair is soft and stretchy enough to make me feel like I'm wearing my pajamas, a MUST for me on rainy days.

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend -- and don't forget to enter my boyfriend watch giveaway!
xo Josie

Thursday, July 22, 2010

obsessed -- alainn bella.
ATTAINABLE: Freeway Apparel Ivory Striped Tank Dress; retail $56
I so love this pretty little dress. The stripe pattern is so fun and chic -- I love how they're angled. And since I've always wanted to try the dress-under-a-dress look but fear that I'll look bulky, I love the tank-style top attached to this darling sweetheart neckline. But best of all in my book is the punchy red belt that breaks up this look beautifully.

I love, LOVE finding out about new shopping sites... Since I clearly spend a slightly ridiculous amount of time browsing online. So when Megan, the charmingly sweet creator of the new online boutique Alainn Bella, asked if I'd feature the site, I jumped at the chance. This online shop is packed full of pretty dresses, gorgeous jewelry, and attention-grabbing accessories -- I've featured my personal favorites below. And what I love most is that not only is it all adorable, it's utterly, utterly attainable. Especially when you, as a lovely reader of With a Wink and a Smile, get 20% off every full-price item by using the special coupon code that Megan has created just for you! Just type the code "josie" at the checkout. Happy shopping!
Greylin Navy Blue Romper; retail $98
Although romper season is drawing to a close, I'm determined to find some chic, dressy rompers that I can bring into fall, to wear at night with heels and a cardigan or with tights for day. This navy blue gem is just such a romper. I love the dressy details and the cuffed shorts, and the navy color is to die for -- perfect for dragging summer into fall a bit.
Freeway Apparel Ruffle Bust Babydoll Shirt; sale (now) $19
I am in love with this sweet little top. It's the perfect shade of deep black and is fresh without feeling juvenile. Plus the ruffles just feel so fun. Paired with white shorts and sandals or skinny jeans and boots, this top is sure to flatter.
remi & reid Quad Clutch; retail $98
I am so into foldover bags right now, and I am absolutely LOVING this one. Though it's officially a clutch (definitely a very roomy one at that), I'd carry it by the handles OR sling it over my shoulder. I love the studs and soft black leather -- just enough edge for me.
Glam Noir Multichain Bracelet; retail $44
I am a big fan of layering my bracelets right now, but I'm all about accessories that make my life just a bit easier. Hence this fabulous multichain bracelet. I love the many dimensions of it and the lovely mix of metals. I'd so pair this with denim leggings, flats, and a chic jacket to pull my look together.

Should you stop by Alainn Bella to take a look around, don't forget to use coupon code "josie" to get an extra 20% off! And don't forget to enter my boyfriend watch giveaway!
xo Josie
Thanks to Alainn Bella for the photos -- I have been compensated in no way beyond the coupon code for this review.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

six months + boyfriend watch giveaway.

When I started With a Wink and a Smile six months ago, I never dreamed that blogging would become such a positive thing in my life. I don't want this post to become too sappily (yes, that's a word -- I just made it up) reminiscent of this one, so I'll just say again that my readers are the best -- thank you all so much; I'm sending each and every one of you a wink and a smile right now. Here's to many more six-month anniversaries.

{Cupcake in the perfect shade of Tiffany blue -- much thanks to my bestie Meg for basically handling the cupcake decoration. I was nervous to put this one too close to my hair due to an unfortunate high school chem class incident}

Of course, I couldn't truly appreciate my stunning readers without a lovely GIVEAWAY to celebrate this happy milestone! I've received so many e-mails and comments regarding my boyfriend-style Merona watch (yes, it is from Target, but no, it is not available online -- and yes, I do own it in both gold and silver... I have a problem) that I've decided to give one away to a fabulous reader!

{Getting a good photo was utterly impossible -- check out decent photos of my own here, here, and here}

Details to Enter:

This giveaway is open to all "with a wink and a smile" followers -- old and new! Just leave a comment so I know to enter you.

All entries MUST be in by 11:59 PM central time on Wednesday, July 28. will help me select a winner.

For extra entries (let me know in your comment):

Like "with a wink and a smile" on my Facebook page (5 entries)
Follow "with a wink and a smile" on Twitter (5 entries)
Tweet or blog about this giveaway -- please provide a link in your comment! (3 entries each)

I'm so excited to see who will be rocking this pretty watch! Good luck!

xo Josie

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

inspiration -- figure skating.

Elizabeth and James 'Tokyo' Silk Top
COVETING: Elizabeth and James Tokyo Silk Top in Mallard (also in Aubergine); sale (now) $169
It's no secret that I love anything Elizabeth and James -- every single thing in that collection is consistently stunning. This simple top is one of my current favorites. I love this blue shade (although the purple is really lovely) and the flowing chiffon fabric. The pleats are perfection, and the shirt has a look that is unique without looking silly. I love that this top would pair as well with jeans as with white shorts or even tucked into a pencil skirt.


There are a lot of things that I wanted to be as a kid -- an actress (this dream was cut short when I inexplicably attained a severe case of stage fright at age 16), a singer (ditto), a model (this was destined to fail when I didn't grow past 5'3"), a famous volleyball player (hand-eye coordination? Not my thing)... But I really wanted to be an ice skater. I had dreams of being the next Tara Lipinski and even took skating lessons.


Unfortunately, I lacked the grace required to excel at this sport -- as in, lacked to the extent that I still trip over my own two feet daily. Despite this, I still love watching figure skating during the Olympics. The grace, the strength, and, of course, the costumes never fail to impress me. I so love seeing a beautiful skater land a triple axel, and the chiffon, sparkles, and sequins are just icing on the cake. I myself am ready to throw on sequins, tiers of flowing fabric, and a pair of sky-high platforms to relive my childhood dream.

*Click above for product details.

What's inspiring YOU today?
xo Josie
Thanks to Nordstrom, WeHeartIt, and Polyvore for the photos.

Monday, July 19, 2010

pretty things -- summer weddings.

ATTAINABLE: Gap Varsity Cardigan in Oatmeal (also in Navy); retail $49.50
Anyone who has ever met me can tell you that I have a penchant for cardigans. I don't know quite what the allure is -- the old-school sweaters just have a tendency to capture my heart. Despite owning far too many, I'm certain that this sweet Gap sweater will find its way into my wardrobe by summer's end. I love the vintage shape and fun stripes on the sleeve. How cute would this be with denim leggings or -- better -- over an ultra-feminine dress or romper? Pure genius.

Though summer is half over (sssshhhhh, I'm in denial too; it's okay), there are still plenty of summer weddings to attend (I overheard a girl at the store where I work saying that she had TEN to go to this summer!). While I do love the sentiments of love and pledging to be with another for the rest of your lives, I'm the first to use a wedding as an excuse to get a new dress. Luckily, there are plenty of bright, pretty frocks to be found that are perfect for celebrating the joining of your friends. Just remember to stay away from white!

Wanna  Hava Dress  - Click Image to Close
Lulu's Wanna Hava Dress; retail $59
Okay, so you have a million weddings to attend. Okay, so you want a different dress for each one. That makes it a little more complicated, at least budget-wise. Thank goodness for Lulu's; that's all I can say. These fun dresses are inexpensive without looking it, and there are literally hundreds to choose from. This is one of my favorites -- the punchy color is perfect for a daytime wedding, and the fluttery layers add a feeling of lightness. Absolutely lovely.

Rebecca Taylor Night Out  Dress
Rebecca Taylor Night Out Dress; retail $395
How gorgeous is this color? Nothing is flirtier than a flowy purple dress -- thank you, Rebecca Taylor. This ultra-flattering shape is chic without feeling old, and the neckline is absolutely stunning. With nude heels and pretty gold earrings? Yes, please!

Generra Ruched Waist Dress; retail $295
Of course, for any wedding (especially an evening one), you can't go wrong with a trusty little black dress. I've always been drawn to simplicity, and this dress is a gorgeous example of that. I love the flattering shape and perfect length, but beyond that, it's a blank canvas. Add a statement necklace, a fun pair of shoes -- it's all about using your imagination to make this look completely your own.

ADAM Layered Dress
ADAM Layered Dress; sale (now) $346.50
I find yellow to be such a summery color -- and so happy. Weddings are, after all, happy occasions. Furthermore, it's a great shade to show off that Jergens tan that I KNOW you've been working on for the event. I love this sweet dress from the front, and it only gets better in the back, where these perfect pleats fall into cascading ruffles.

What are YOU wearing to summer weddings?
xo Josie
Thanks to Gap, Lulu's, Shopbop, and Piperlime for the photos.

Friday, July 16, 2010

coming attractions.

Cotton Candy shirt, Calvin Klein tank top, J.Crew skirt, Steve Madden wedges, Longchamp bag, Coach scarf, Forever 21 necklace, American Eagle aviators, Merona watch, Juicy Couture bracelet

It always feels as if no later than the sun has started turning my hair red, it's time to think about fall wardrobes again. However, if you're anything like me, you really can't afford to buy out the J.Crew catalog in order to achieve that crisp fall look. Luckily, I've learned over the years to buy pieces that can stretch easily from season to season. This light cotton plaid shirt feels breezy and relaxed now, but will carry nicely into fall as a chic necessity. Ditto to the tan wedges, which I've been wearing EVERYWHERE. Don't be surprised if you see me traipsing around Notre Dame in this exact look in September.

Bonus: I've done a guest post (in which I reveal some of the secrets to my famous chocolate chip cookies) at the lovely Marcie's Lemons and Laundry today -- be sure to check it out!
xo Josie