Fashion & Beauty

Stylish Star 50 Handbags Inspired By 50 States

"And that is the uniqueness of Star 50; with each bag you get a trip back in time to memories that we all miss and like to keep close. With these handbags, the memories are never far behind you, in fact, they're in the palm of your hand."

Glimpse of Gorgeous: SpoonFed Fashion

Disney's The Little Mermaid first introduced us to alternative uses for silverware in 1989 with the "dinglehopper". "Just a little twirl here and a yank there and voila. You've got an aesthetically pleasing configuration of hair that humans go nuts over." I mean, what a technological break through! For years following that, little pig-tailed disney princess fans all over the world cried in frustration after a failed attempt to brush their hair with their mother's Oneida forks. One bad-haircut later, we finally learned our lesson and stuck with utensils for eating purposes and props in extreme sleepover games.


Then, recently, I was introduced to, a much less painful, much more fashionable use for utensils.


Los Angeles based designer Karin Collins began fashioning spoons into pendants as a way to deal with an eating disorder. What started as a small collage project grew into what became SpoonFed Art in 2004.


The necklaces featured on the website are exquisitely designed. My favorite is the Lady Madonna painted with a variety of shimmery blues and greens in the background and layered with a classic cameo. I also love the ones featuring the Eiffel Tower, but not surprisingly, they have already been sold. Each pendant is unique and beautifully handmade using a variety of colors, sparkles, and accents. They range in price from $85 to $110.


These necklaces are growing in popularity in the L.A. area. You can order yours online at or visit the various Los Angeles. locations where Collins' jewelry is being sold.


Because making these pendants has been a form of therapy for Collins throughout her struggle with an eating disorder, SpoonFed Art supports the National Eating Disorder Association.


So, wear a spoon around your neck (trust me, your mom has NEVER seen beautiful silverware like this!) comb your hair with a fork ( a dinglehopper, for old time's sake), support a cause, and be GORGEOUS!

Get Inspired: Every BODY is Beautiful and Everybody Can Help!

My hairdresser confessed to me that his goal is to finish his Christmas shopping by Halloween and have everything wrapped by Thanksgiving. I confessed to him that my goal is to start shopping on Thanksgiving and have everything wrapped by Christmas day. I'm a writer, procrastination is what I do. If you aren't one of

Glimpse of Gorgeous: Sleep Longer, Wear Headbands!

Every morning, my alarm clock and I fight. It plays its obnoxious little song starting at 7:30 a.m and continues between every five-minute snooze break until I bring myself to get out of bed. Sometimes I lie in bed and think of reasons not to get up. Lately, I have been convincing myself that my roommate is in the shower, so there's no point in me getting up just yet. She's never actually in the shower, but my brain has learned that half- awake sleep-deprived Melanie falls for it everytime. This daily struggle to crawl out from undeneath the warmth of my covers causes me to be in a perpetual state of running-late.

I've learned all the short-cuts. I can apply make-up and brush my teeth simultaneously and I have taught myself how to blow dry my hair and eat breakfast at the same time, but my one true lifesaver has been my discovery of headbands.

I've unsuccessfully attempted headbands my entire life. I've gone through phases but they've never really been my thing until recently. A few weeks ago, I bought a quilted black headband at Forever 21 for $2.80 because it was cheap and matched my Chanel bag. Ever since then, it has been love. I can wash my hair the night before, get up the next morning, straighten it, and throw on a headband in less than 15 minutes and I look stinkin' amazing!

I have also noticed tons of celebrities wearing them on and off the red carpet. They are a great way to glamorize up-do's without the drama of a tiara. Headbands are a god-send to us snooze-hitters too because they keep hair out of our eyes and oily roots under cover. Plus, they are way cuter than baseball caps!

I don't know about you but I value every opportunity to sleep just a few minutes later and sieze every chance I get to look fabulous. So, try a headband (if it matches your purse, even better!). You may find them as a great reason to hit snooze and just another way to be GORGEOUS!

The Art of Accessorizing: A Lesson in the Dos and Don’ts

"Accessories can make or break an outfit. Think of accessories as frosting on your favorite cake--the cake will probably already be moist and delicious, but when the frosting is added, it becomes amazingly scrumptious."

Glimpse of Gorgeous: Smell as Good as You Look!

Some people smell the same way their entire lives. I, on the other hand spritz myself with perfume upon leaving the house every morning and then again in the evening (if I go out), and after a year, I am so sick of it, so I replace it with another bottle of smelly goodness until I eventually tire of that one as well. I've tried unsuccessfully to maintain a signature scent. I want so desperately to love Chanel No. 5. It would be so Marilyn of me, but I just can't bring myself to wear it, not even to bed.

On the other hand, I do think it is important for a girl to smell good at all times. I mean, you look good, you feel good, why not exercise another of the five senses and smell great too? Here are some of my favorite scents for those of you who also happen to be plagued with fragrance ADD.

1.) Princess by Vera Wang: So rich and beautiful! It really does make you smell like a princess!

2.) Daisy by Marc Jacobs: It's my new favorite. I asked for it for my birthday. The woman at the Macy's fragrance counter got a real kick out of saying "a dollop of Daisy" over and over again.

3.) Chance by Chanel: It's young and light and reminds me of my best friend.

4.) Hello Hydration by Herbal Essences: for the allergically inclined or maybe just those with dry hair. Either way, it smells amazing!

5.) Tahiti, Sweetie! hand cream by Bath and Body Works: a little piece of summer all year round.

6.) Oil of Olay Ribbons Bodywash: It's so thick like lotion and the fresh smell stays on your skin all day long.

7.) Yellow Cake, Thanksgiving Dinner, Bon Fires, Cinnamon Rolls, and boys who wear Tommy cologne: I've submitted these as suggestions for new fragrances, maybe Britney Spears or Usher will pick them up.

Experiment with these scents or others that you love. Combine them for your own unique smell (mmm...yellow cake and bonfires!) If you already have a signature scent, hold onto it because there are millions of girls out there suffering from "fragrance ADD".

Whether you wear Chanel No. 5 to bed (ugh I'm so jealous!) or prefer just plain old soap, smell GORGEOUS! and be GORGEOUS!

Glimpse of Gorgeous: Buying Handbags that Last

This past weekend, while I was at home, my best friend asked me what I would do if I only had a week to live. Being the type of girl who always thinks of others and also the type of girl who says the first thing on her mind, I replied, "I'd drive to New York, open up a bunch of credit cards, shop, and buy my sisters Chanel purses that they can pass down to their daughters." I'm not even kidding. That's exactly what I said. Because I know that if my nieces have to grow up without their fashionable Aunt Melanie, then I at least want them to have a great handbag.

For those of you (probably everyone who is reading this) who can't afford Hermes or Chanel without the prospect of death, there are still some things you can keep in mind while selecting a great handbag for this season.

Fabric/Material: Leather is always a good choice. Patent is so hot this season and will modernize any look. Heavy, stronger materials will cost more, but last (as long as you don't carry spare cinderblocks in your bag). Just make sure it says 100% Authentic Leather somewhere on the tags because fake will peel or fall apart.

Color: Choose a bold color that will add contrast to your outfits. As Stacy London would say, "It doesn't have to match, it just has to go." I love red for accessories. It never gets tired. Try plum, kelly green, fuschia, burnt orange, or mustard yellow to add some spice to any outfit.

Size: If you are small, there is no real point in carrying an oversized bag unless one of your friends plans to carry you around in it, like Polly Pocket. Select your bag in proportion to your body size and shape. The length of the handles/straps also plays a key role in how well your bag will compliment your figure.

Purses are such fabulous accessories. They are the female version of baseball cards or whatever it is that men hoard these days. Purses are collectable and some may be worth more than others. Try to snag a few good ones to save as "future vintage". Choose classic and high quality materials so that one day, your heir will have the same opportunity to be GORGEOUS!

Sienna Miller Launches Fashion Line Based On Her Eclectic Style

"Noted for popularizing an eclectic, boho chic style, Sienna Miller’s new line, Twenty8Twelve by s.miller is the most anticipated celebrity clothing line of the season."

Glimpse of Gorgeous: Fabulous Colors for Fall

You have not seen autumn until you've lived in the mountains. The vibrant shades of reds, yellows, and oranges, color the landscapes and cause your brain to wonder whether God just reached down and painted them while the world slept. Between the colors of the trees and the crazed Hokie football fans decked in head to toe maroon and orange, fall is never mistakable in Blacksburg.

However, the fashion gods are bringing us some other vibrant hues this season. The fall runways were painted in rich, glamorous color combinations while the rest of the world stared bright-eyed with amazement.

I've dreamed of saying this all my life: Grey is officially the new black! Although black is slimming, classic, and forever timeless, grey is really a way to modernize black. Look for grey trenches and drop-waist coats or try a grey sweater dress with brightly colored accessories.

I am loving midnight blues, deep plums, and fushica because I happen to look fabulous in them. Wear them in the form of dresses or pair one with an overall neutral outfit for an extra pop. If you're feeling extra brave, how bout some eyeshadow? what about nail polish? or maybe just a pair of sexy pumps?

As for accessories, matching your shoes to your bag is so over and so are boring, muted handbags.The way I see it, you can't go wrong with a colored bag (anything in patent is so hot right now). If you select a handbag in a deep kelly green or a burnt orange, you won't have to change your purse to match your outift. Plus, there is a lower risk of forgetting your wallet (or God forbid, your lipgloss!). I am also loving the use of metallics and hardware to create modern, stylish bags, and I just cannot get enough of the black and gold combination.

The colors this season are so rich and beautiful and produce the same soul-stirring effect in me as the changing leaves in the mountains. Take advantage of them and stock up on pieces in colors that you love.

Enjoy Fall in all of its beauty while it lasts. Soon it will be winter and we'll be forced to contemplate the fashion legitmacy of Uggs (again). And whether you're shopping, watching the leaves change, or just enjoying some Hokie football, don't forget to be GORGEOUS!

Glimpse of Gorgeous:"Oh, But It's SOOO Comfortable!"

“I don't understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little - if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that's the day she has a date with destiny. And it's best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.” -Coco Chanel

I believe that every girl should be beautiful and feel beautiful, but I absolutely, positively HATE it when girls go to class in their pajamas! I mean, how much effort does it take to put on a pair of jeans? They don't even have to be clean! Just try to be pretty. You never know who you are going to run into. It could be your lucky day!

On makeover shows they'll ask, "Why do you wear grey sweatpants in a XXL when you are a size 6? Where do you even find fuschia stirrup pants?" "When are spandex pants ever appropriate?" And the answers are always the same. "Oh, but it's so comfortable," or "I prefer comfort over fashion". Apparently, the same ideas apply to wearing pajamas in public.

Okay ladies, enough is enough. It sounds to me, like a lazy excuse. The only person allowed to wear pajamas in public is Hugh Hefner. There are plenty of ways to be comfortable and fashionable.

For example, jersey dresses or skirts made of sweatpant material. These pieces are cute and can be dressed up or down-I sometimes wear them to work and they are the epitome of comfort! You don't have to wear heels (even though you would look totally hot if you did), but at least find some cute, comfy flats.

I acknowledge that college is not a fashion show, but try to look like someone in pursuit of a higher education rather than someone who ended up in Biology as a result of sleepwalking.

When you take time to look nice, people will notice you and respect you, not to mention your confidence will be much higher. Plus, you won't have to explain the "funny story" behind your chili-pepper pj pants.

Like Coco Chanel said, you never know when you may have a date with destiny. Now I don't know about you, but when I meet destiny, I do not want to be wearing pajamas. So, wake up at least ten minutes before your class starts, put on actual clothes, and be GORGEOUS!