05 March, 2014


14 February, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day + Sincerely Sweet Boutique Giveaway - CLOSED

Let's talk about the brilliant marketing ploy otherwise known as Valentine's Day. Each year, the minute New Year's parties are over, the world is suddenly overtaken by heart-shaped balloons, obnoxiously-overpriced bouquets and teddy bears the size of real bears. I am genuinely curious: how does this nauseating circus make you feel – besides, well, nauseated? {Consider this a free-of-charge therapy session.}

Contrary to what the first paragraph may have lead you to believe, I am most definitely not anti­–Valentine's Day. In fact, if my outfit is any indication, I’m as pro–Valentine’s Day as they come. In the hierarchy of important holidays, the day of love is right below Christmas and Easter in my book. And before you write my opinion off as the unbearable ego of a happily–married woman, allow me to explain.

The stigma attached to this commercialized day is obvious: singles are annoyed by the month–long reminder of their less-than-thrilling relationship status, while everyone else is annoyed by the pressure to impress their lover in a way that has never been done before. {For the record, “true love” should probably be celebrated every day.}

I, for one, am annoyed by everyone’s annoyance. If I’ve learned anything in my 24 years, it’s this: “Blessed is she who expects nothing, for she shall never be disappointed.”

And this is coming from someone who truly is happily married in every sense of the word.

Here’s a proposition. This year, and every year following, do yourself a favor and turn February 14th into a celebration of love across the entire spectrum of human interaction {not that you should require a special invitation for that either, but if you do happen to need a reminder to stop and smell the roses then so be it.} On behalf of the world and all of its people, I thank you in advance. 

Whether you're single, dating, engaged, married, or somewhere in between, use the day as an opportunity to shower everyone around you with love.

Speaking of love, if you follow me on Instagram, you already know how excited I am to partner with Sincerely Sweet Boutique to show you some lovin' by giving you a chance to win a $50 gift card to www.sincerelysweetboutique.com.

As if Monday's Sparrow Boutique giveaway isn't enough, now you have two chances to score big!

The rules are simple:
  1. Follow @SincerelySweetBoutique and @FoxyOxie on Instagram.
  2. Repost any of these photos on your Instagram account using the hashtag #SweetLovesFoxy. Don't forget to tag both @SincerelySweetBoutique and @FoxyOxie
  3. Also tag up to 10 of your best friends who love shopping as much as you do! You will receive an additional entry for each friend that you tag in your Instagram post. 
  4. For those who do not have Instagram, don't fret! Simply leave a comment below and you too will be entered to win! 
The giveaway is open internationally and ends on February 28 at 11:59PM. The winner will be chosen at random and contacted directly by Sincerely Sweet Boutique, who is responsible for prize fulfillment.

1. Top, c/o Sincerely Sweet Boutique // 2. Skirt, c/o Sincerely Sweet Boutique // 3. Necklace, c/o Urban Peach Boutique // 4. Sunglasses, c/o Sincerely Sweet Boutique // 5. Lipstick, Maybelline // 6. Nail polish, Revlon // 7. Boots, ASOS // 8. Clutch, DailyLook

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10 February, 2014

Sparrow Boutique Giveaway {CLOSED}

If you follow me on Instagram, you already know how excited I am to partner with Sparrow Boutique to offer one lucky FOS reader a $50 gift card to www.shopsparrow.net. {If you don't follow me on Instagram, you most definitely should – if nothing else, then for the latest and greatest giveaways.}

To enter, you must like Sparrow Boutique and FOXY OXIE SUPERNOVA on Facebook, and leave a comment below, telling me which Sparrow Boutique items you're currently coveting.

There are lots of ways to receive additional entries {see giveaway widget below}, but remember, you will not be eligible unless you complete all three steps above. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends on March 3 at 11:59PM. The winner will be selected at random and announced on March 4.

Sparrow Boutique has also agreed to offer FOXY OXIE SUPERNOVA readers an exclusive 20% discount off the entire site! Just use the code FOS20 at checkout, valid until March 31!

In other news, the winner of Girl Intuitive Jewelry Giveaway is Petra Vadas! Congratulations, dear! Be on the lookout for an email from Girl Intuitive! If you weren't so lucky this time, you can still take advantage of the exclusive discount code, also valid until March 31. Simply enter FOXYOXIE25 to receive 25% off your entire order at Girl Intuitive!

1. Skirt, c/o Lulu*s // 2. Top, Zara (similar here) // 3. Blazer, c/o Sparrow Boutique // 4. Hat, Zappos // 5. Boots, Nine West // 6. Necklace, c/o Sparrow Boutique // 7. Sunglasses, vintage (similar here)

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04 February, 2014

Travel Tuesday: Rigi Mountain

Rigi Mountain, located in central Switzerland, is also known as "The Queen of the Swiss Mountains," and while my photography skills {or lack thereof} may not do justice to the majestic beauty of this iconic site, it's no wonder why it's called "The Queen." 

Obviously while traveling through Europe, the husband and I could not leave Zurich without a day trip to the mountains.

Nothing makes you feel so minuscule and insignificant like floating nearly 6,000 feet above the rest of the world.

And while the drive to the foot of the mountain took over an hour, then the ascent {first by cable car, then by train} took another hour or so, once we reached Rigi Kulm {the highest point}, the panoramic views of the Alps made the adventurous trek all worthwhile.

Snow-covered mountain peaks in the middle of summer is definitely not a sight you see every day.

Maybe it's the crisp mountain air, or the high altitude, {or a mixture of both}, but there is just something about the mountains that forces introspection and causes you to wonder about the One who created them.

Typically mountains are associated with trials or uncertainty in one's life, but on that day I had a certain feeling of serenity – an inexplicable peacefulness that all will be all right.

The spirit-uplifting thought was just the reassurance I needed as we embarked on the rest of our three-month journey.

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30 January, 2014

The Art of Being a Lady: 20 Ways to Cultivate Your Character

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, anyone else regularly reading this blog or if you just happen to come across it for the first time, today is your lucky day. Due to the overwhelmingly positive response to bringing back The Art of Being a Lady series, I've resolved to do just that.

Speaking of resolutions, each year people resolve to "turn over a new leaf" and make positive changes in their lives in hopes of the next 365 days being better than the last. Needless to say, far more often than not, the results are less-than-thrilling. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm as much pro-losing those extra 10 pounds as the next girl. But in all honesty, I have yet to lose those said 10 pounds.

And you know why? So glad you asked! I'll tell you why.

In the hierarchy of life's many purposes, losing 10 pounds is the lowest level. In fact, most of our resolutions, or goals, or whatever you want to call them, whither away and die because they are rooted in a purpose more superficial than substantial. I realize I may have missed the bandwagon of making resolutions by an entire month {hello, February!}, but on account of "better late than never," I resolve to do the following:

  1. Give more than I take.
  2. Encourage others.
  3. Be thankful.
  4. Defend the defenseless.
  5. Treasure the beauty of everyday moments.
  6. Be content.
  7. Practice weekly random acts of kindness.
  8. Pray without ceasing.
  9. Spend more time improving character than apperance.
  10. Celebrate and communicate my love for others.
  11. Challenge myself.
  12. Give grace to others.
  13. Keep a positive attitude.
  14. Strengthen my circle of genuine friends.
  15. Listen more, and talk less.
  16. Learn to make others feel at ease.
  17. Strive to be a humble example of good morals.
  18. Learn a new skill.
  19. Practice self-discipline.
  20. Invest more time in family.

OK, your turn. Spill your deepest, darkest secrets in the comments section below. Or simply tell me what you resolve to do in the new year. 

1. Dress, custom made by my dear mother (similar here) // 2. Shoes, Jessica Simpson (similar here) // 3. Necklace, c/o Girl Intuitive {Use code FOXYOXIE25 to save 25% on your entire order until March 31} // 4. Rings, ASOS // 5. Nail polish, Revlon

Slightly off-topic, but no less important is the winner of the Custom Designed Art Print Giveaway. Congratulations Maria Alexis! You have 48 hours to email me to claim your prize! 

As for all of you who didn't win in this round but are, never-the-less, interested in a custom designed print for your home or office, feel free to browse or request a custom order in my Etsy shop.

Also, make sure you enter the Girl Intuitive Jewelry Giveaway, below, which ends February 10, and stay tuned for lots of other gorgeous giveaways, including two $50 gift cards! XOXO 

28 January, 2014

Travel Tuesday: Venice

Dedicating only one post to Venice is like trying to describe an entire lifetime in one day. Venice is one of the most unique places I have ever been to – and I've been to quite a few. The city was build in the 5th century on 118 small islands, and it seems to simply float on the waters of the lagoon. 

Of the many names used to described Venice, "The City of Bridges" is one of the most common. The Venetian islands are connected by over 400 bridges.

On our second day in Venice, we took a quick boat trip to Murano, a series of islands famous for the centuries-old art of glass making. {Hence, the phrase "Murano glass."} After hours of wandering in and out of boutiques adorned with the most exquisite glass handiwork, we happened upon a historical glass factory demonstration where we watched the formation of a gorgeous, one-of-a-kind glass lamp and the hard work required to make just one of these beautiful works of art. Today, to protect the original Murano glass art from foreign markets, the most famous glass factories of these islands have an official trademark, so look for it next time you think you're buying authentic Murano glass. 

Although I am not an art connoisseur by any means, I do appreciate art and am always fascinated by art history relics – treasures in which Venice is very rich. The influence of Venice on the development of architecture and the arts is undeniable. The entire city is an extraordinary architectural masterpiece in which even the smalles buildings contain works by some of the world's greatest artists such as Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese and others. The building above is the house of Italian painter Tintoretto {1518-1594}, also known as "Il Furioso" because of his phenomenal energy in painting. 

Wandering through the Venetican streets, there is so much remarkable history and architecture that deserves to be captured on film, but there came a point for me when I realized I was more focused on capturing the beauty on film than reveling in the moment. However, when we happened upon this building, I absolutely knew it was a treasure of sorts, but it wasn't until later that I learned the significance behind it. 

The flower-draped window sills and balconies are a very common feature of historical buildings in not only Italy but all of Europe. It is absolutely incredible the beauty a few simple pots can add to the overall appearance of houses, streets and entire cities. I was instantly overcome with daydreams of one day living in a pink-colored Italian villa with beautiful large balconies full of flowers of every sort and color. I just may dedicate an entire post to European balconies in the near future.

Views of the historic city center greeted us as our cruise ship arrived in port. 

Here we have more cotton-candy buildings, flowery balconies, and trattorias {meaning an Italian-style eating establishment, less formal than a restaurant.}

Needless to say, Venice is full of charming surprises, like this "Arrivederci" sign over an alleyway. 

Between the brick alleys of Murano, the ancient art of glass blowing continues much as it did hundreds of years ago.

Built at the beginning of the 17th century, the Bridge of Sighs {seen above} links Doge's Palace to a prison. Legend has it that prisoners crossing the bridge would sigh in despair at seeing the city's lagoon for the last time. Hence, the name.

The infamous Latin lover Casanova walked the bridge in 1755. He was arrested but managed to escape the confines of the prison 15 months later – with the help of a monk.

One of my favorite experiences was wandering through parts of town typical tourists simply skip over. Wherever I travel, I am always curious to see locals living everyday life. The freshly washed laundry swaying in the breeze, smells of Italian cuisine wafting out of open windows, Italian bambini playing in the alleys – all these seemingly cliche details evoke the old-world charm of another world, one that is undisturbed by modern conveniences. 

Besides being filled with tourists and breathtaking architecture, St. Mark's Square is also full of pigeons. The city recently passed a law that banned the feeding of these birds; however, most tourists seem to be oblivious to said law.

The Redentore Church on La Giudecca is a 16th century Roman Catholic church, designed by Andrea Palladio and built as a votive church to thank God for the deliverance of the city from a major outbreak of the plague. 

On our day trip to Murano, we came across a series of remarkable large-scale glass sculptures, one of which you can slightly see in the center of the photo. Designed by Simone Cenedese, this incredibly work of art is called "Blue Comet."

St. Mark's Basilica is considered one of the world's best examples of Byzantine architecture. 

St. Mark's Basilica is known for its opulent design and gilded interior mosaics and is nicknames Chiesa d'Oro, meaning "Church of Gold."

Venice is sometimes called "The City of Canals" because of its 177 canals.

Currently, cruise ships like the one we were on pass within 1,000 feet of St. Mark's Square, granting a stunning view to those aboard the ship. 

However, as of November 1, 2014, ships larger than 96,000 tons, with a capacity of 3,000 to 3,500 passengers, will be banned from Venice. So obviously my advice to you is to book a cruise before November. It truly is one of – if not the most – economical ways to travel Europe. For more reasons to book a cruise, visit one of my earlier posts.

Charming details, like this moss-covered building or the teal-colored lamp-post, can be found around every corner.

Again, I simply cannot resist taking photos of Italian balconies. They are truly a work of art.

St. Mark's Square is the center of Venice. Elegant palaces and hotels line three sides of the plaza, while the fourth is occupied by St. Mark's Basilica. 

St. Mark's Square Campanile, or bell tower, stands 324 feet tall and offers what I'm sure is a breathtaking view as far as the Alps. Seeing how we had already been to the Alps, and seen the incredible views from there, we decided to save a little cash and forgo the ascent.The tower has been the inspiration for several other copies across Europe and North America, including the Metlife Tower in New York, the Sather Tower in California, and the Venetian Towers at the Plaça d'Espanya in Barcelona.

St. Mark's Square boasts some of the most elite and high-end shops and restaurants you can possibly imagine. The restaurants offer live orchestra music while a suave Italian waiter dressed in a white dinner jacket and bow tie takes care of your every whim. Or you can forgo the pompous activities and simply sit on the steps of the shops, watching the ignorant tourists feed the pigeons.

Of course I could not resist including another photo of Italian balconies. Ladies and gents, this is the stuff my Italian daydreams are made of. 

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P.S. Don't forget to enter the Custom Designed Art Print Giveaway (ends January 29) and the Girl Intuitive Jewelry Giveaway (ends February 10).