It’s a Girl!!!

STOP… I’m not pregnant! But my high-school friend is and she’s having a girl (Of course I got her a tutu!). I was not sure what to wear to her baby shower until I received this great blouse as a birthday present from my sister-in-law, Sandra. I immediately knew what I would wear it with…my favorite BCBG high waist, wide leg pant.

I may upset some of you but the truth is, I am not a Forever 21 fan. It’s not the clothes, it’s the store. It’s so overwhelming! But I may have to suck it up because I’m very intrigued by the F21 Contemporary line!

I married the two pieces by tucking in the front of the blouse to give it a neat-disheveled look, if such thing exists.

TOP: Boxy Chiffon Pocket Blouse – Forever 21 – F21 Contemporary – Check it out by clicking here. Also check out the F21 Contemporary website!

PANTS: I stumbled upon this great website called Lyst that searches all retailers for specific items. Because my BCBG pants are from a few seasons ago I wasn’t able to find them, but here are great alternatives!

EXTRAS: I am recently obsessed with my Dior Addict Gloss in Gold Rain.



My husband, Stefano, thinks I look like a musician in these photos, for some reason. I’m just glad my photos are getting better! lol

Hope I inspired you in some way today!



First Wedding Look of 2015!

Happy New Year! Believe it or not, I’ve already attended my first wedding of 2015! It was a great one! The bride and groom requested formal attire, therefore I opted for a long dress, as I usually do, but with a less traditional look. Because the dress is simple, I decided on a more bold necklace and clutch. I am in desperate need of a hair cut and I wanted a more glamorous look so, I went for the big bun! This is such an easy DIY option and it looks fancy! I had a black shawl for the ceremony and if it got a little chilly inside, even though it was so warm outside I barely used it!

Dress: BCBG

Necklace: TAudrey

Clutch: Michael Kors

Hair and Makeup: Moi!

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I hope you had an awesome first week of 2015!



Merry (Day After) Christmas!

I’m loving my Free People bell-sleeved mini so much, I wore it for Noche Buena! Paired with my Michael Kors wedges (I wish I would’ve bought these in black!), TAudrey Jewelry (duh!), and my cross body Marc Jacobs. Perfectly casual for our backyard pig roast! Shop the dress here!  #lateblogpost



Merry Christmas, everyone!




Perfect Holiday Looks

Holiday parties, eggnog, family, SHOPPING, ’tis the season! Here are a few dresses I’ve walked by every day at work, and I’m googly eyes for! I think they would make great looks for the Holidays.

I am recently obsessed with the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen contemporary line, Elizabeth & James. It’s feminine but edgy, simple and sexy. Perfect for the sophisticated girl who likes to have fun.

What’s the trend?

With Elizabeth & James, the trend is very much about solid colors, cut, and hardware. Design is not only about bead work or sequins, stitching and cut are probably the most important. The price ranges from $365 to $445. I want all three!

Photo Dec 10, 10 04 11 AMPhoto Dec 10, 10 03 03 AMPhoto Dec 10, 10 02 28 AM

Alice + Olivia is a more well-known line of contemporary clothing that has great holiday items. I prefer their separate pieces but this dress continues to catch my eye! This is perfect for a family Christmas party. The shape is very flattering and the slight shimmer makes it festive but not tacky.

What’s the trend?

Stripes and cut outs. And I think they are here to stay. This dress retails for $597.

Photo Dec 10, 9 56 57 AMPhoto Dec 10, 9 57 14 AM

Talking about stripes…Nicholas is a new designer to our store and I am in love with this dress! The structure of the top is very flattering even though it cuts straight across. The length is appropriate for a more formal or corporate event. The price is also great at $390.

What’s the trend?


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If you’re looking to wear a high wasted pant with a great top, look no further than Tibi! What a BEAUTIFUL line. It’s truly different and feminine. Great quality and comfortable. This piece retails for $398.

What’s the trend?

Crop tops. Fancy crop tops. Fancy crop tops that don’t really show too much skin but just adds another dimension to your look.

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Last but certainty not least is this gorgeous ivory dress with sheer cut outs from Sachin + Babi. I love ringing in the New Year in white! And this is a great dress for your NYE party!

What’s the trend?

Sheer materials like Nylon and Tulle. These materials give the illusion of two pieces with the comfort of wearing one.

Photo Dec 10, 9 58 53 AM

That’s all I have for now! Leave me a comment!



Not Your Average Holiday Gift Guide

I apologize for my leave of absence, the past two months have been an adventure!

A new, amazing job + a new, super fun puppy = exhaustion! 

But I’m back, and I’ve got some great ideas and posts scheduled!

We are well into the holiday season, my favorite time of the year. On my free time, I’ve been reading the third book of Hunger Games: Mockingjay; and I’ve been searching for DIY projects and unique gifts that are inexpensive, yet personal. Here is a short list of a few items I’ve made and found, that would make great gifts!

For the Newlyweds:

DIY – Wedding Invite Christmas Ornament

When I found this on Pinterest, I made one for myself right away…in July. This is a beautiful, simple gift that the newlyweds will cherish every year. All you need is a clear ornament, scissors, and some ribbon.

Step 1: Cut the invite into strips.

Step 2: One by one, wrap each strip of the invite around a pencil, or your finger, and drop them into the clear ornament.

Step 3: Tie a pretty bow to the top of the ornament. Voila!

You can find a clear Christmas ornament at Michaels. Click here for options!

Wedding Invite Ornament


For the Dog-Obsessed Friend:

Personalized Stamp

I have to admit, I recently wished for this item in my Secret Santa exchange! My husband and I are totally in love with our little Frenchie, Jax, and this stamp is just too cute! Of course it’s from Etsy, and just perfect for that friend who is obsessed with their pooch (as my sister would say)! It’s a $40, 100% customized gift. It doesn’t get more thoughtful than this! Visit the mapleandcotton shop, by clicking here!

From MapleandCotton Shop on Etsy!
From MapleandCotton Shop on Etsy!

For the TV Show Fanatic:

Does your family member or friend religiously watch Walking Dead, or Scandal? How about, Sons of Anarchy, or Modern Family? Many different retail and home stores have created clothing lines, home-goods, games, etc. in line with our favorite shows.

I recently bought my husband the Game of Thrones Graphic Novel Volume 1.

Check out all of the Breaking Bad T-Shirts Target has!

How about some Mad Men Pieces from Banana Republic?

Brooks Brothers’ The Great Gatsby Collection is pretty dapper! (I know this one was a movie.)

Hey Crate & Barrel, you better jump on this, quick! Check out their oh-so-similar Olivia Pope Wine Glasses, that have the Fanatics crazy!

Whatever show it may be, I’m sure you can find something original with the click of a button!

For the Host:

Is your friend hosting this year’s Christmas gathering? How about these mustache silicon drink markers? I’m sure they will absolutely love them!


That’s all I have for now! Check back soon for some holiday looks!




Jax Stole Our Hearts

It’s funny how things happen. The last three weeks at the Rainelli household have been a whirlwind! Unexpectedly (and totally awesome), Stefano and I were given/bought a beautiful, brindle, baby boy, French Bull Dog! He’s sweet but feisty, sleepy with bursts of energy, and so much fun! Of course, right away, we had to buy him a few things, below are 3 that are worth sharing (2 of them were amazing finds from Marshalls).

    1. A place mat! We didn’t have a place mat at first, and when he would drink water, or sit on his bowls (not sure how he finds this comfortable), he would make a mess! Marshalls had a great variety. I love what his place mat says, and the way it matches our home! Of course the price cannot be beat at $3.99!

      Live Bark Love
    2. A mini harnest! He already chewed through one, so we needed another one! Marshalls had these in every size! These are the best because the leash won’t get caught under one of his legs, especially since he still learning. The color is so cute too!

      XS Harnest
    3. A Tag! My husband knew immediately that he wanted his tag to have a picture of Jax from Mortal Kombat. (It’s not my favorite) But it’s cute to see this little puppy wearing a picture of a big, tough guy with bionic arms! We ordered the tag online from Dog Tag Art. It was easy and quick! The tag is good quality and seems to not be easily destructible. There are different sizes, we may have ordered his too big, but he’ll grow into it! My plan is to order one with the U from the University of Miami on it! I highly recommend Dog Tag Art, check them out!
photo 3
He sits funny!
photo 1
Posing for the photos!

Make sure to follow Jax on instagram @ImJaxtheFrenchie!


Flower Crowns

How did you celebrate your Labor Day Monday? I had been itching to make my own flower crowns for football season (Go ‘Canes!), and finally had the time to do so! These crowns are fun for bachelorette parties, to wear to a concert, or just because! See below for step by step instructions on how to make your own!

1. Supplies: Flowers, rope, hot glue gun, towel, scissors, paper plates, glitter (optional), and a friend to help!

What you need! Plus scissors!

2. Measure the rope around your head. Make sure it overlaps so that you can tie a knot.

Doesn’t my braid look cool?!?

3. Remove the plastic back to your flowers. Some flowers also had plastic spacers in between the layers, you can opt to remove them or keep them. Trim the stem.

The plastic back has been removed from the orange flower, and the stem was trimmed.

4. Remove one layer of the flower. Squeeze a small amount of glue right below the stem, and place the rope on top of the glue. Then add the layer of the flower you removed on top of the rope. You can also glue the plastic back, you removed earlier, for reinforcement.

Place a small amount of glue, carefully.


Flower sandwich!



5. Repeat until you’ve reached your desired design!

Orange and white!
Make your crown with 3-6 flowers!

6. Optional – Add glitter to the center of the flowers to add a little sparkle! What do you think of the finished product?

Different variations! Can’t wait for the tailgates!


I would say my attempt was successful. I need a little more practice. If you love these but don’t have the time, get some at Headbuds! Check out their Insta:

We’ve got some ‘Canes over here! Woosh, woosh!




Master Your Next Interview

Interviewing can be stressful! But if you follow these 8 steps, you can approach your next interview calmly, confidently, and knock it out of the park!

1. After securing an interview make sure to confirm time and location, or who is calling who. You do not want to find yourself unsure if the interviewer was to call you 15 minutes before the interview. Simply email your contact to re-confirm the appointment and clarify any questions you may have.

2. Prepare! Read up on the company, the position, and the person who is interviewing you. Nowadays, it’s much easier because we have access to LinkedIn and other social media platforms. Knowing a little bit about your interviewer can help break the ice. Example: “I saw that you attended the University of Miami, so did I!”

3. Dress to Impress. A slim black suit is always in style, but sometimes it’s just too cliché. Opt for something colorful or a dress. Here is an example of an outfit! Take a bag that fits your portfolio and keep the accessories simple, so that they don’t distract from YOU!

A colorful dress with pumps is perfect for this time of year.
Don’t over accessorize!

Dress: Diane Von Furstenberg (Check out her multi-color dresses at Saks!)

Shoes: BCBG Generation

Bag: Michael Kors (Get it Here)

Accessories: Macy’s and Taudrey

5. Expect these questions: I asked a few of my friends, who are going through the interview process, what questions they are typically asked, and this is what they said:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why are you looking to leave your current position?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • Why are you the right person for this opportunity?

6. Arrive early! This one is a given. When I was competing for the title of Miss Florida, the pageant producers always repeated this phrase: “If you’re early you’re on time, and if you’re on time you’re late.” I’ve never forgotten this, and it’s just nice to be able to sit and unwind for a few minutes before being called into the room.

7. Take multiple copies of your resume, CV, or cover letter; whatever you submitted when you applied to the position.

8. Smile! You’ve already captured them with your accomplishments, and they’ve invited you to interview. And remember, this is your opportunity to interview them as well!

Good luck!


4 Things to do in Austin, Texas

There’s a reason why Austin’s motto is “Keep Austin Weird”. I’m not 100% sure I figured it out, but it was definitely not what I would expect from a city in Texas! It was a very fun city, and there’s a little bit of everything for everyone. Here is a snapshot of our itinerary, of which 4 are a must do!

The first night we ate at La Condesa Mexican Restaurant. The decor and lighting were beautiful! The food was also good, not the best Mexican you will have in the city, but worth the visit!

We visited Don’s Fish Camp to float down the San Marcos River, Friday. This was a blast! Driving up to the river can be a tad intimidating but once you get to the river, it’s beautiful!

Easy Tiger Beer Garden was one of the prettiest, unexpected places we visited. You would never believe that it’s off 6th Street. It’s a Slow Down. Stay Awhile. type of place.

My Must Do’s in Austin

1. Eat the Carrot Cake French Toast at South Congress Cafe. Yes, you read right. With a side of warm, gooey, pecan, cream cheese icing. I wish I had a photo to share with you all, but I realized after it was too late.

2. Have a photo shoot at HOPE Outdoor Gallery. HOPE stands for Helping Other People Everywhere. “This project was developed to provide muralists, graffiti artists and community groups the opportunity to display large scale art pieces driven by inspirational, positive and educational messaging.” – HOPE Campaign Website

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This was my favorite wall. Can you “eye” me?

photo 4

3. Buzz Harry Craddock at Midnight Cowboy! This place sounds shady and maybe it’s slightly, but the drinks are incredible, the music is easy, and the conversation flows. We also laughed way too much at with the bartender! I ordered the Lawn Tennis Cooler, and it was delicious. It actually had raw egg and ginger beer! Note: You have to make reservations! If there’s six of you, request one of the back rooms.

photo 1
Lawn Tennis Cooler
Midnight Cowboy
That’s me!

4. Hang out on Rainey Street! This street consists of a bunch of homes-converted-bars that are each unique. I specifically enjoyed Icenhauer’s. Icenhauer’s was beautiful inside, and has a great patio area in the back where you can dance!

Rainey Street
Rainey Street

Do you plan on visiting Austin?

Hope you enjoyed! xoxo,


The Fishtail

Braids are everything to me, and they are obviously trending. I love braids for work, date-night, day-time events, and the list goes on! One of my friends recently asked me to schedule a how-to braid sesh, and it got me thinking…I should draft a how-to post!

So, here it goes… how to fishtail your own hair!

Step 1 (optional): Twist your bangs into your braid! Bobby pin the hair. (Hint: use the ribbed side down for extra security.)

Start at the top and as you twist grab your bangs, until desired length is reached.

Step 2: Grab the top portion of your hair and split it into two.

This is the easy part, haha!

Step 3: Bring about 1/8th of one side over to the other half.

Grabbing a small piece from one side to cross over.

Step 4: Pick up a little bit of more hair from the side you just transferred hair from.

You can drop one side to help collect more hair.

Step 5: Repeat the same on the other side, always crossing over.

Tighten as you go!

Step 6: After you’ve “picked up” all of your hair, simply cross portions of one half over to the other half, until you’ve reached the end.

Keep repeating: crossing pieces and collecting hair.
I’ve collected all the loose hair.

Step 7: It’s easier for me to bring the braid to the side to finish. If you decide to do this, now you will pass the portions of hair under to the other side.

I couldn’t reach any longer so I brought my braid to the side.

Step 8: Tie the end of your hair. I like using small Goody elastic bands.

Step 9: Tug apart your finished fishtail to give the braid a fuller look.

Pull apart softly!

Step 10: The finished product! I like wearing my braid to the side.

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Of course this takes a lot of practice, but hopefully it helps! Leave me a comment!