10 Quotes To Help You Slay Your Work Day

Off The Shoulder Blouse // Similar Pants (check in store for exact) // Laptop Bag // Choker c/o (20% off with the code LegalLee) // Heels 

10 Quotes to Help You Slay Your Work Day:

1) Hustle until your haters ask if you are hiring

2) Mirror mirror on the wall, I will get up after I fall. Whether I run, or walk, or crawl, I will set my goals and achieve them all. 

3) Attract what you expect. Reflect what you desire. Become what you respect and mirror what you admire.

4) Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will ~ Suzy Kassem
5) Goal: make an income while making an impact

6) Toss your hair in a bun, drink some coffee, put on some gangsta rap and handle it

7) Become the CEO your parents always wanted you to marry (then find someone you actually like) 

8) Say yes, and you'll figure it out afterwards ~ Tina Fey 

9) No one is you and that is your power

10) The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me ~ Ayn Rand

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linking up with: mix it mondays // creative mondays // #howispring //  

World Book Day (My Favorite Books & What I'm Currently Reading)

Happy World Book Day!! (I bet you didn't know that was a day; did you? haha) I learned last week that today was in fact World Book Day and I wanted to celebrate that since I am huge reader / book nerd. To do so, I wanted to share with you my absolute favorite books of all time as well as the books that I am currently reading / enjoying. 

My Favorite Books:

1. East of Eden - John Steinbeck 
  If you haven't read East of Eden, seriously drop everything and go read it right now. I definitely do not always like books that are considered classics (do not get me started on my hatred of The Great Gatsby) but East of Eden is an absolute masterpiece. It's a slow start setting the scene but stick with it. East of Eden is essentially a story about decisions - and how our lives end up the way they do. It's examination on free will told through a number of family relationships in two families over generations. One of my favorite passages is the following:

“I believe that there is one story in the world, and only one. . . . Humans are caught—in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity too—in a net of good and evil. . . . There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well—or ill?”

2. An Imperfect Offering: Humanitarian Action in the Twenty First Century - Dr. James Orbinski

Fair warning: Emotionally, this book is one of the hardest things i have ever read. It's heartbreaking, but so, so important. The author, Dr. Orbinski, is the former head of Doctors Without Borders. An Imperfect Offering is a memoir of Dr. Orbinski's work, primarily while working in Rwanda in the mid-nineties. I repeat, this book is really upsetting in a lot of ways, but it's also incredibly uplifting in his focus on the human spirit and the kindness in the midst of tragedy. It's also a great look read into the world of modern day humanitarian work and where we need to improve vs. what aspects are working. As someone who started out in international development (I actually got my Master's degree in International Relations and worked for a non-profit before going to law school) I found this book fascinating and inspirational. Dr. Orbinski is one of my personal heroes. 

3. Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
I first read this book in high school and was immediately hooked. I've always loved stories surrounding the French Revolution. A Tale of Two Cities is set in both London and Paris in the years preceding and during the French Revolution. It's a great read that deals with a number of big issues all while providing a fast-paced narrative (especially once we get to mid-revolution France).

4. Eat Pray Love - Elizabeth Gilbert
 This book was a game-changer for me. In 2008 I got out of an 8 year relationship, and was given this book. It helped me gain perspective and see the forest through the trees (so to speak). If you've seen the movie, but not read the book, it's definitely worth a read. The movie actually does quite a good job of covering her story (in my opinion) but you just get so much more depth with her written work. I think every woman should read this book at least once in their life.

5. The Harry Potter Series - J.K. Rowling

 I had to include this haha. I'm convinced that every child who grew up in the 90's has this on their favorites list. I recently decided to buy the (below) box set just so I could have the whole collection together.

Currently Reading: 

1. When Breath Becomes Air - Paul Kalanithi
My mom recommended this to me, and so far it's an incredible read. Author Paul Kalanithi was in his residency on the way to becoming a neurosurgeon when he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. The book serves as his memoir and a guide for not taking life for granted and appreciating all that life has to offer. 

2. American War - Omar El Akkad 
  I received this book last month and am only a few chapters in so far. So far though I would give it a 9/10. American War is a fictional futuristic story of, you guessed it, war in America. It's set in the 2070's in the American south - which is in the middle of a civil war with the North over, from what i can tell, a refusal to abide by federal government bans on the use of fossil fuels. I love fiction that is 'other worldly' and this is just the right amount of that with a scary amount of 'holy s**t, this could actually happen'. 

3. Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI -David Grann
This is sitting on my desk, but I haven't had the chance to open it yet (I want to get through American War first). From the book jacket though, it looks really interesting and I am excited to start it. The book is based on the true story of a series of crimes in which dozens of people were murdered. There deaths are wrapped up in issues of the American hunt for oil as well as the creation of the FBI. Interesting stuff.

 4. Veronica Mars: Mr. Kiss & Tell - Rob Thomas 
 First things first; if you have never watched the show Veronica Mars you absolutely need to. This is my favorite show of all time. The heroine Veronica, is a bad ass teenage detective who is all kinds of dark and twisty and intelligent. I am obsessed with all things Veronica Mars (I even pledged in money to the Kickstarter that got the feature film made a few years back). I read the first V Mars book by Rob Thomas, but somehow didn't realize that there was a second one! I am trying to savor ever page. If you like strong female leads and mystery / crime solving, this is the book for you. 

Have you read any of these books?? I would love to hear your thoughts if you have! What are your favorite books?

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linking up with: weekend blog hop //

Fitting Room Review (Saving You Time So You Can Shop Online) - H&M

The response to my last fitting room review was so positive, that I thought I would do another one! This time I am sharing with you my review of some of the spring/summer wear-to-work items currently available at H&M. H&M has long been one of my go-to stores for work wear. The quality is decent, the prices are great, and I love that H&M finds a way to incorporate trends (currently: lace, ruffles, cut outs) into classic work wear.

What I don't always love about H&M is the fit of the clothes. I find the items can be super 'hit or miss'. H&M, I therefore realized, would be the perfect choice for my next fitting room review! Below you'll find pics and reviews for 9 different items that are business casual / perfect for any working woman for this spring/summer. I've linked the items underneath each set of photos, or you can scroll to the bottom of the post for a widget with ALL of the items in today's post. 
As always, if you have any questions about fit, quality, styling, etc.; let me know in the comments below and I will be sure to get back to you! Happy shopping!

1. Lace Pencil Skirt / Blouse / Nude Suede Shoes

Lace Trim Button Down Shirt (can't find the exact online; but this one is similar) // Blue Lace Pencil Skirt // Nude Suede Pumps 

Skirt Overall: 5/5
Quality: Excellent. Love the fabric.
Fit: True to size
Thoughts: This is my favorite item of all of H&M's spring pieces. The unlined layer of lace at the bottom adds some drama to an otherwise conservative length skirt. This is a must-have for spring. 

Shirt Overall: 5/5
Quality: Good. I would prefer a less clingy fabric though.
Fit: True to size
Thoughts: This shirt is great for spring because while it is long sleeved it is quite light weight. 

Shoes Overall: 4/5
 Quality: Medium. They aren't very sturdy in the sides.
Fit: A bit tight. I would go a half size up.
Thoughts: I love these for the price, but I think they are more of a 'wear them out' type shoe than a classic piece you can keep from season to season.

2. Ruffle Shoulder Pinstripe Top / Black Pants / Grey Suede Heels

Blouse Overall: 3.5/5
Quality: Medium (I wish it was less see through)
Fit: True to size
Thoughts: I'm obsessed with the shoulder detailing. This is what I mean when I say H&M does an amazing job of making a trend work appropriate - ruffles don't exactly scream business casual, but they have made them work with this shirt! I give this shirt only a 3.5 for two reasons though- the see-throughness (pretend that's a word haha) and the dreaded "button gap" around the chest, which is my #1 clothing pet peeve.

Pants Overall: 4/5
Quality: Good.
Fit: True to size
Thoughts: While I don't love these as much as my staple work pants, they are quite good. I like that they are loose throughout the leg - it's a universally flattering cut!

Shoes Overall: 4/5
 Exact same review as the nude suede heels. I bought these because I have been wanting grey heels for ages (perfect for a navy suit) but I don't anticipate them lasting for too long.

3. Leopard Top / Beige Slim Fit Pants 

Leopard Tee Overall: 5/5
Quality: Medium (good for the price, but feels cheap-ish)
Fit: A bit big - I would size down (I'm wearing a S)
Thoughts: I LOVE leopard print year round, and this tee is a great way to wear it in the spring. I would consider this tee a 'must-have' because you can wear it to work- styled with beige pants- but it is actually tunic length so it is also a perfect comfy weekend top to wear with leggings. Multi-tasking shirt for the win!!

Pants Overall: 5/5
Quality: I am obsessed. The fabric is so soft.
Fit: True to size
Thoughts: The slight sheen to these pants comes from the soft fabric. I can't recommend these enough.

4. Blush Frilly Blouse / Olive Pants

Blouse Overall: 4/5
Quality: Excellent.
Fit: True to size
Thoughts: This blouse is just gorgeous. I can't say enough about the collar and sleeves. Obsessed.

Pants Overall: 2/5
Quality: Bad (way too thin)
Fit: True to size
Thoughts: These are more like leggings than pants. They are side-zip and skin tight - not a flattering look for the office. Hard pass on these bad boys.

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linking up with: fabulous friday // weekend wear // friday favorites // friday favorites // flashback fashion friday

Wednesday Wants: Spring Classic Work Wear

The Work Outfit:
My bow blouse is probably my most worn shirt in my entire wardrobe. I can't get enough it, and definitely want another one like this. I love the idea of it paired with a feminine lace pencil skirt. The scallop hem on this skirt is also such a great added touch. Paired with classic (comfortable) black pumps and a functional bracelet and you are ready to take your work day by storm! If you haven't heard of this 'functional' bracelet before, it is the Maria Shireen hair tie bracelet and I have 3 of them! I love them because it means I can have an elastic on my wrist but still look professional. 

The Weekend Outfit: 

This dress is such a showstopper! I saw it and immediately wanted it. It's a beautiful spring floral pattern (obviously) but I really love the laid back cut of the dress - that's what sold me on it! The pale blue crossbody is a great addition to your closet for spring as it goes not only with this dress, but is a perfect compliment to so many spring styles such as a chambray dress, an off the shoulder white blouse or a tan romper.

Shop all of this Week's Wants: 

Embroidery & Pleats

Skirt // Top c/o // Shoes // Lipstick (shade is "bad blood")

How showstopping is this embroidered ruffle blouse?! The detailing is so stunning, I feel like I am wearing a piece of art when I wear it. I have worn it dressed down with denim on the weekend, but I also really like it dressed up for work. This pleated green skirt seemed like the perfect match to all the colors in the floral embroidery. 

I have also worn this button down shirt to work with a navy blue suit and with my rust colored pants (from this post). It's such a versatile top! This was one of my first Chic Wish items - having heard about the store for ages. I am always weary of smaller online retailers, but was actually very impressed with Chic Wish. I received this embroidered top as well as this blouse. Both were much better quality than I expected, and I love them both! 

Happy Easter to all of you! I hope you all have the day off work and get to spend some time with family or friends. I'll be spending the day in the airport (flying back to Vancouver) but I can't complain because I had a great week visiting family in Ontario. Back to work tomorrow!

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linking up with: #howispring // hello monday // mix it mondays // style swap tuesdays // on trend tuesdays // fashion elite

Lipsense Review (from a Non-Distributor)

I recently got introduced to Lipsense long lasting lip color and was excited when I spoke with Jalynn from The Red Closet Diary about reviewing Lipsense here on LegalLee Blonde. Lipsense is a makeup game changer. I do not sell lipsense, so I am not trying to sell it to you. Rather, as a user of lipsense I wanted to give you my honest review. (Please note Jalynn did provide me some of the lipsense colors for free so that I would have enough to review. This does not change the honesty of my review!)

How Lipsense Works:

Lipsense is a multi-step system. Step one is to apply the color. Depending on the shade you will likely need 2-3 coats. As a tip, make sure to wait at least 20 seconds between coats and to swipe the color in only one direction (so that you don't remove part of the color you just applied).

Step two is to apply the gloss. The standard is their glossy gloss (which I LOVE). I also tried the matte gloss, but I don't recommend it. The glossy gloss is incredibly hydrating and leaves your lips feeling smooth. The matte gloss doesn't last as long and doesn't preserve the color quite as well. 

And that's it! Within less than 2 minutes you'll have lip color that lasts all day. To remove (step 3, if you will) use the "oops" remover.

Lipsense Color Picks:
I have three colors of lipsense, as you can see from the photo above. My personal favorite is the crimson red because it is so nice to have dramatic lipstick and know that you don't have to worry about it smudging all day/night. I also (not pictured) have fallen in love with wearing two layers of fleur de lisa and one layer of bombshell. It creates a perfect light pink for every day wear.

Lipsense Review:

 Overall, I love lipsense. I am hooked and can't wait to get more colors. The only negative I have to say is regarding the removal. I know some women find the remover works amazingly, but I have dry lips and I found the color incredibly hard to remove! I personally need to apply the remover and leave it on for a few minutes and then do a gentle scrub in order to actually remove all the color. As I have been using lipsense more and more (and my lips are becoming more hydrated from the gloss) I found this to be less of a problem. Take it as my warning though; this was a huge problem for me in the beginning!

One other issue to point out, is I found that the gloss goes down incredibly quickly. Because you need to reapply throughout the day and if you have dry lips, like me, you also want to use it on days when you aren't wearing color - the gloss goes so quickly. I would almost go so far as to say you should just buy two when you make your first purchase. I wish they just made a larger tube of the gloss!

And that's it! If you have any questions at all, please let me know in the comments below. Of you want lipsense, be sure to head over to The Red Closet Diary where you can purchase directly from Jalynn. PS. if you are terribly indecisive when it comes to color *cough* me *cough*, Jalynn is AWESOME at helping you choose the best color for you!

linking up with: fabulous friday // FFF // WW

Wednesday Wants: Spring Trends for Work & Weekend

Spring style can be tricky because of the unpredictable weather. This week's outfits are perfect for spring weather with on trend cuts and color pallets. 

The Weekend Look:

I have fallen madly in love with the embroidery trend ... and the bell sleeve trend for that matter. This shirt is so pretty, and it's so perfect for spring. Paired with high waisted denim and the "it" accessory for spring (this Gucci belt is so popular and goes with everything) and you've got an on-trend spring outfit. I also fell in love with these rose bud heels the moment I saw them! These would go with so many casual spring outfits- from chambray dresses, to rompers. These are definitely worth a buy!

The Work Look

Spring at work is tough because you want to move away from black and navy, but you still need to wear professional colors. Grey and blush is therefore my favorite work day color combination for spring and summer. This grey sweater is cashmere and is SUCH a good deal right now. I love adding sweaters to my closet in the spring because a) they're so much cheaper and b) you will still wear them in spring - especially if you work in an office (since they seem to be cold no matter what). I also love tie waist pants for spring (you may remember my rust colored pants). I definitely want to add these blush pink ones to my wardrobe!  

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