the best way to spread christmas cheer

Libby

When it comes to Christmas cheer, I believe firmly in the words of my friend Buddy, the Elf: “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” 

It’s fair to say that the sheer, child-like joy I have this time of year may give Buddy a serious run for his money, but how can you not be giddy about Christmas lights and peppermint hot chocolate and pretty packages and the sweet spirit of the season?

As an early gift from us to you, we curated a list of our all-time favorite holiday tunes. From Nat King Cole to Frank Sinatra, Michael Bublé and Mariah Carey, this playlist has all the best tracks—perfect for wrapping, celebrating or cuddling next to the fire.

What records resemble this time of year for you? Our girl gang is always on the hunt for new music + we’d love to hear what you’re listening to! It’s our hope that this playlist will become a compilation of our all your favorite tunes, too. Send us your suggestions and we’ll add them to the list.

Sending love from us to you!

it’s the most wonderful time of the year

Libby, Matti

Anyone else stoked that it’s DECEMBER? Fa la la la la, love it. This month is my all-time favorite. I love the spirit of the holidays—I love the smell of pine in my home, I love the enchantment of Christmas lights and the sounds of crackles and pops on my dad’s favorite Christmas records. Seriously, this time of year is the best.

In true V+V fashion, we curated a beautiful mood board to celebrate the holidays. Head over to our Pinterest page and take a look at all the things inspiring us this season!

winter mood board

the truth about victoria’s secret

Libby

Raise your hand if you’ll be watching the Victoria’s Secret fashion show tonight! I wish all of you could see me waving my hand about. I’ve got my wine poured and after admittedly stalking Karlie, Lily and Bella, I’m ready.

I’ll be totally honest… I get a little giddy inside when I think about the show. As a girl who grew up in the world of competitive dance—roaming around in dazzling sequins, vibrant colors, eloquent fabrics and anything that sparkled—I get all the heart eyes for the details that make this show all that it is.

While the planning and production of this monumental fashion event amazes me, I’ve seen this show evoke a negative conversation around the standard of beauty and body image over the last few years. Influencers, magazines, and brands in the fashion/style sphere often share critical content through a comical lens that elicits and fuels a negative conversation around what’s sexy. By playfully insinuating a sense of urgency to hit the gym, shaming the art of stuffing your face with a perfectly good pizza and demeaning different forms of beauty that don’t replicate the beauty strutting down the runway, we’re all contributing to a conversation that suggests a very distinct and determined definition for what constitutes beauty. Even if the intent is to be light-hearted and funny, I think this show translates as an opportunity to celebrate all forms of beauty, instead of acknowledging just one.

It’s easy to watch a fashion show like this once and subconsciously sink in to patterns of comparison and self-criticism, and I think that’s true for all of us. So, as the founder of a blog that celebrates female empowerment, body-inclusivity and women who are unabashedly themselves, I want to take the time to start a conversation where we all celebrate the things that make us beautiful. And I want you all to join me!

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(Photo // Anastasia Gentry of Chapel Lane Photography)

This past year I’ve been incredibly fortunate to work with some amazing photographers in the Cincinnati area. These images are just a few shots that bring my favorite features forward and make me feel confident and beautiful. I love the way these photos compliment my eyes, my style and me doing what I love most.

View More: http://brookeandwilhelm.pass.us/libbythefrock

(Photo // Brooke Genn of Nomadic Newlyweds)

While we’re ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the glitter and glam of tonight’s fashion show, I challenge you to remember that no matter how our sizes differ, we, as women, are united in the fact that we are all victims to self-criticism. We all have things we’d like to change about ourselves and we all have features we dislike, but when it comes to the things that make us beautiful – we’re all in this together. Defy the tendency to fixate on your shortcomings and consider a few of  the things you love about yourself instead. We’ve all got to remember that we can admire the beauty of other women without questioning our own. It’s on us to rally together, lean in to these conversations and define what beauty is on our terms. Pick out your favorite self-portrait and share it with us on Instagram using @velvetnvinyl. We can’t wait to see all the things that make you lady bosses feel like your best, most beautiful self.

 

what it means to be a woman

Libby

A few days ago, while sipping some late night vino, “wine-ing” down from my day and clearing unwanted emails from my inbox, I happened across a subject line that caught my eye.

“101 Reasons It’s Damn Good To Be A Woman in 2017”

Prior to reading the thought-provoking Glamour article, the girl gang here at Velvet + Vinyl had given thought to what it means to be a woman in today’s world. Today we’re excited to formally launch the beginning of this series. Throughout the month of November, each boss babe on our team will share her thoughts on this opened ended issue.

View More: http://brookeandwilhelm.pass.us/libbythefrock

It’s damn good to be a woman in 2017. Despite the non-stop chaos that’s consuming our world right now, women are making a comeback unlike ever before. We’re leaning in, fiercely marching towards our victory, and we whole-heartedly refuse to take “no” for an answer.

When I think of what it means to be a woman in today’s world, the first thing that comes to mind is an army – I think of women by the masses, unified despite our differences while pursuing the things that align us as a force to be reckoned with. I think of relentless bravery, audacious grit, and a bold and unapologetic sense of valor.

View More: http://brookeandwilhelm.pass.us/libbythefrock

From the strides of senators, the voices of victims, fearless feminists in the film industry, full-circle inclusivity from Rihanna’s introduction of Fenty, a hail to hijabs for Muslim athletes, the meaningful nature of the #MeToo movement, increased recognition of real, untouched beauty, and the persistent and passionate madness that defined the Women’s March… these are just a few instances that demonstrate the magnitude of our womanly power fully exposed. I see it and I feel the women around me rebelling courageously in full force.

View More: http://brookeandwilhelm.pass.us/libbythefrock

I’ve been inspired to see how the women of our world have courageously refused to accept the “no’s” that have silenced our voices, confined our passions and have summoned us to mere, quiet, irrelevant corners we’ve become all too familiar with. For me, being a woman in today’s world resembles a shift where women are rising above who we once were — we’re redefining our potential and approaching our lives with the intent to meticulously invent an adventure that fuses passion and purpose. I see women defying odds, pushing borders, challenging the norm and pursuing dreams that once felt far-fetched. When I think of those women – boss babes like Reese Witherspoon, Malala Yousafzai, Rupi Kaur, Sheryl Sandberg, Sophia Bush, and Elizabeth Warren, just to name a few – these are the women I want to embody. I want to be an agent of this change. I want to stand next to women that represent all forms of conviction, grace, meaning and beauty; women who complement me and women who challenge me in my differences. I want to be surrounded by an army of bold, take-no-shit, visionary badasses who bring internal realizations forward, and translate groundbreaking, world-changing ideas to life. For me, my life and my personal goals, that is why there are 101 reasons and counting why it’s damn good to be a woman in 2017.

View More: http://brookeandwilhelm.pass.us/libbythefrock

 

– A million thank-you’s to Brooke Genn of Nomadic Newlyweds for making magic behind the camera and shooting the portrait photos you see here. Check out her beautiful work! Xo.

over the moon for under aurora

Libby

My infatuation with Under Aurora began when I stumbled across their Women We Love Organic Hand Lotion. Brought to life in collaboration with illustration pro Leigh Cox, this product struck me as being such an inspiring way to celebrate creative women with visions and dreams. Cue the unwavering heart eyes for everything about this brand.

When I delved in to Under Aurora’s shop, it’s no wonder I was hooked. By blending plant-based ingredients, essential oils, cruelty-free testing and eco-friendly packaging, this vegan beauty brand struck a cord with me and I just haven’t been the same. From “The Poet” Botanical Body Spritz to the lemon zinger Brightening Face Scrub, these products compliment my energy, my creativity and my own sense of beauty. See why these are my favorite products below.

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gettin’ pretty with finola jewelry

Libby

GUYS.

I’m so excited to finally share with you Vol. 4 of Smitten! I recently partnered with Finola Jewelry and Anastasia Gentry Photography to bring our V+V fans an exclusive giveaway.

Based in Cincinnati, OH, Finola Jewlery appeals to the type of woman who’s in tune with trends, but also values her own sense of style and strives to assert her independence as opposed to blending in with the masses. An example? Fringe and tassels are currently all the rage, and the Avai Blush Tassel earrings draw inspiration from this trend while rockin’ their own personality and flair.

I love that each handmade piece of jewelry from Finola emboldens every woman to embrace their style and individuality. See below for more from our shoot + head to our Instagram to win a pair of the Celeste Gold Tassel earringssmitten vol 4smitten vol 42smitten vol 43smitten vol 44smitten vol 45smitten vol 46smitten vol 47smitten vol 48smitten vol 49smitten vol 410smitten vol 411smitten vol 412smitten vol 413smitten vol 414

Dying for a pair of these earrings? Head to our Instagram to enter the giveaway!

creating beauty for berlin skin

Libby

For years now, I’ve been smitten with Berlin Skin. An all-time favorite when it comes to minimalist beauty brands, Berlin Skin naturally and effortlessly enhances my skincare regimen. The energy, the aesthetic, the aroma – every single component of this brand inspires indefinite heart eyes for beauty brand enthusiasts.

I’ve been particularly loving the cocoa eye butter and the geranium + rose toner. With high-quality, sustainably sourced ingredients that dazzle each and every small batch, every product from Berlin Skin is made with love through and through. For the rejuvenation and nourishment you need to infuse inspiration in your every day, choose Berlin Skin.

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meet matti

Libby
V+V, meet Matti. She’s our new content creator and we’re so stoked to have her join our girl gang!
Matti is a creative powerhouse and is full of inspiration. In addition to revamping V+V’s Tumblr, she’s bringing her eye for aesthetic to our Instagram page and her flair for vintage to the blog.
Read below to learn more about Matti + keep your eyes peeled for more of her amazing work coming soon.
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meet matti

What do you love most about photography? I love photography because it gives me the ability to capture my perspective in a creative way.

How do you reinvent your sense your creativity? Every time I feel the need to get inspired, I go out and find a new cute shop or neighborhood that I haven’t been to and just walk around to try and find something that sparks my interest.

Who do you listen to when you’re editing photos? When I’m editing photos, my current go-to artists to listen to are LANY, Jackson Dyer, or Jack Johnson if I’m feeling a more calming/nostalgic vibe.

 

you should go and love yourself

Libby

Despite the current rush of red, blue, Bud Light, country music and America’s favorite fried chicken, today is Compliment Your Mirror Day. While these informal holidays can be silly, the idea of complimenting yourself and affirming your best qualities felt parallel to the mission and values of Velvet + Vinyl.

So, to celebrate, our girl gang took to our mirrors and reminded ourselves of the things that make us who we are.

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“It’s okay not to be perfect. I don’t need to prove myself to anyone because I’m capable of being successful.” – Rachele

“Be gracious with you heart, persistent with your progress and give yourself some credit.” – Libby

“I am beautiful with and without make-up. With or without, love what you see.” – Marin

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“You are more than enough.” – Gabrielle

“I have a big heart, and a big butt to match!” – Baili

“You’re doing far better than you think you are.” – Kristin

What compliments are you giving yourself today? We want to know! Tag us on Instagram with @velvetnvinyl. Xo.