Chat with CaseApp

CaseApp Custom IPhone Case

My phone is my favorite accessory. So it’s no surprise that I will splurge on fancy cases. When CaseApp approached me about designing a custom iPhone case, I was thrilled. I’ve had the same gold Swarovski-inspired case since I upgraded to the iPhone 6 last year. Although I loved it, it was time for a change.

CaseApp has many designs to choose from, covering everything from the iPhone 4 to 6 Plus. If you have a Samsung phone, iPad, or MacBook Air, CaseApp can cover those gadgets, too.

CaseApp Custom IPhone Case

The user-friendly CaseApp software made the design process a blast. Their marble options grabbed my attention (isn’t a marble case so chic?), but I wanted to personalize my case. After whittling down my marble choices to the one with just the right contrast between light and dark tones (I went with White Icy Stone, in case you were wondering), I dove into the design process.

Once you’ve decided on a background you can get creative with the rest of your case. Don’t see a background that suits your taste? CaseApp lets you upload your own photos to make the case unique to you. Or have fun with a collage and add in your favorite pieces from their Clipart selection.

CaseApp Custom IPhone Case

My case was a combination of my own design against a background from CaseApp. I had just decided on my new blog logo before creating the phone case, and since I’m a full-time blogger constantly working from my iPhone, it seemed fitting to incorporate the two together.

CaseApp Custom IPhone Case

I’m drawn to monograms, and I added the “V” initial to the bottom of my design. My business cards also have a diamond on them, so after browsing through the Clipart section, I was elated when I found a small diamond to put alongside my initial.

I opted for the “tough” case since my phones absorb considerable punishment (although I have yet to crack an iPhone, thank you very much!). It looked sturdy when I examined the case online, but it lacked the bulkiness of the standard protective case, which was an instant attraction for me. When the package arrived I couldn’t believe how gorgeous and strong the case was. I slipped my phone into it, and it felt like I had a brand new, better protected iPhone in my hands. The sleek case hugs my phone and protects the front and back of it, while still keeping the phone light and easy to hold while texting and talking.

CaseApp Custom IPhone Case

CaseApp Custom IPhone Case

The design itself was even more impressive in person than on the computer screen. Every small detail of my logo was perfectly printed — note my red lips and the small, cursive “Living in Steil” underneath the image. The quality of the case is exceptional and it is one of the nicest cases I’ve ever had…at a fraction of the price of others.

CaseApp Custom IPhone Case

Searching for the perfect holiday gift? Look no further. My friends and family may just be getting one of these beauties for the holidays. You can’t go wrong with a personalized gift like this that the recipient will actually want to use!

CaseApp Custom IPhone Case

Want to make your own beautifully designed case with CaseApp? CaseApp is offering Living in Steil readers 20% off using the code LIVINGIN20. But hurry — this discount is only valid for one week from today!

One lucky reader can win his or her very own case (a value of up to $40) from CaseApp by entering the giveaway I’m hosting. Just follow all of the rules below and cross your fingers. The giveaway will close next Thursday, December 3rd at 11:59 pm EST. I’ll select the lucky winner next Friday, December 4th!

To enter the giveaway:

– Leave a comment on this post

– Follow me on Instagram @livinginsteil

– Like CaseApp on Facebook

*Phone case courtesy of CaseApp
Photography by Vlad Polchaninoff
Photo Location: Southdown Coffee, Huntington Village, New York

Happy Thanksgiving

Wild Turkey

I wanted to take a minute to wish my readers and their families a Happy Thanksgiving! It’s because of all of you and your support that I followed my passion and devote so much time to this site. Thank you for your daily visits, lovely comments, and for your “blogging friendship.”

Recently, I made a new friend — one who has appeared in the backyard, has two legs, a beak, and wings. I won’t ask you to guess, but if you thought wild turkey you’re really good. Let’s call him or her Taylor the Turkey. I’ve had a blast watching this bird meander around the yard, look at me quizzically, and make its home in one of the trees when it’s ready to call it a night. I’ve gone with a gender neutral name because I vacillate daily between whether it is male or female. Either way, I think Taylor has made him-or-herself quite at home in the yard and I don’t think he or she will be house hunting anytime soon.

Whether you’re cooking this Thanksgiving, eating at your favorite restaurant, or you are living outside of the United States, we can all think of things to be grateful for. Let’s take this one day and celebrate life’s blessings, simple pleasures, and things we normally take for granted with the ones we love.

Here are a few things I’m thankful for this year:

1. My health
2. The support of friends and family
3. The good fortune in finding my passion
4. The ability to learn something new every day
5. You, the reader who visits this blog and creates a warm and friendly blogging community

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving 101

Thanksgiving Turkey

Once again, my procrastination tendencies are hard at work. Thanksgiving is t-minus three days away and the menu has yet to be decided, grocery items still not purchased, and the idea of having Thanksgiving dinner at IHOP is sounding better and better. Pumpkin waffles still count as Thanksgiving dinner, right?

I’m sure you are all way more prepared for the holiday than I am. But in case you find yourself needing some Turkey Day inspiration, here are helpful posts and recipes that I’ve rounded up from fellow bloggers.

First off, I am mostly interested in the dessert menu. So let’s start there. Camille Styles shared the recipe for a delicious no-bake pumpkin mascarpone pie (emphasis on no bake!) on her blog last week. It’s doesn’t get any easier than this delicious looking pie that will have your guests thinking you’ve been in the kitchen baking away for days. And if you’re still looking for side dishes to impress your guests, Camille’s got you covered with her post on 15 easy and delicious Thanksgiving side dishes.

If appetizers are your thing and you want to prepare the perfect spread for guests, then check out Emily at Cupcakes and Cashmere. She offers guests variety before the big meal by mixing simple fixings with decadent bites such as sliced cucumbers topped with crème fraîche and caviar.

And if you need help planning the meal from start to finish, Megan’s post at The Fresh Exchange is a life-saver. Megan lays out a breakfast, lunch, main course, side dish, and dessert menu that is fit for a King (or a Queen). Of course, we can’t forget the drinks — a cranberry orange bourbon cocktail, which sounds like it will be a crowd-pleaser on Thanksgiving.

What’s on your Thanksgiving menu?

Photography by Vlad Polchaninoff

Gift Giving: For the Host/Hostess

Gift Giving: For the Host/Hostess

Happy Monday, friends. Let the gift giving begin! As Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season this week, I’ve rounded up great gift ideas for those hard working hosts and hostesses. Who wouldn’t want to receive a copper mug set, a plush throw, or a sassy coffee mug? Personally, I’m loving the monogrammed tray (it even comes in ‘V’!) and the Aveda hand relief gift set. But whatever your plans for the holiday this week, the time is coming to stock up on gifts. So why not start now?

What would you like to receive as a host/hostess?

The Search is Over

OTK Boots

The group, Survivor, probably wasn’t talking about the search for over-the-knee boots when they wrote “The Search is Over” back in 1985. But I’m happy to report that my search is over.

I finally found the perfect pair of OTK boots.

OTK Boots

After feverishly scouring the internet, haunting sites like Nordstrom Rack, and returning more times than I would like to admit to DSW, I am now the proud owner of black suede OTK boots.

Despite finding tons of great options online, I was hesitant to buy a pair of boots without trying them on first. Would they come up too high on me? Would the size be okay? Would they be comfortable? These questions kept running through my mind.

Fortunately, DSW didn’t let me down. After perusing the store and walking up and down every aisle multiple times, I spotted the Tracey boot from Diba. I hadn’t heard of the brand before, but their looks begged me to give them a closer inspection. The heel wasn’t too high (meaning I could wear them all day), they could be worn with the top cuffed down (perfect if you’re petite), and they were incredibly comfortable (winner!).

OTK Boots

Although I found the love of my life, that particular DSW only had my size in a wide-calf, so it was back to haunting other locations for the right size and fit.

The stars aligned and I managed to snag the only pair in a size 6 and regular calf at another local DSW (#success).

Since I purchased these OTK boots, I’ve worn them to lunch with a friend and received many compliments on them. They’re just as comfortable to walk in as when I first tried them and they didn’t even need to be broken in.

OTK Boots

My favorite part of this whole saga, you ask? I used two DSW coupons, a birthday one for $5 off and another one for $20 off, and scored these babies for $57 (originally they were $79).

But the story doesn’t end here…stay tuned for part two!

Photography by Vlad Polchaninoff

Stealing the Spotlight: Smashbox Lipgloss Set

Stealing the Spotlight:  Smashbox Lipgloss Set

{From left to right: Orchid||Disco Rose||Superstar||Pout||Coraline}

Nothing makes me happier than finding new lipstick and gloss. So you can imagine my excitement when I spotted a lipgloss set from Smashbox with five new-to-me shades. And then saw that they were only $20 (valued at $80). How fast can you say “sold”?!

Since it’s fall, I’m all about soft pinks, deep plums, and reds, which were generously represented in this collection. I have plenty of lipsticks to carry me through until spring (that’s a hint to myself that I should refrain from buying any more). But I tend to shy away from lipgloss due to the tacky nature and the frequent need to reapply. However, when it’s from Smashbox I can overlook these shortcomings.

Stealing the Spotlight:  Smashbox Lipgloss Set

{Left: Orchid || Right: Disco Rose}

While these aren’t the full-sized versions, the tubes offer enough product to get you started. The set contains the following shades: Orchid, Disco Rose, Superstar, Pout, Coraline. I can already tell you that two of the colors have received a lot of wear. Any guesses which ones they were? If you said Orchid and Disco Rose, you’d be correct.

All of the shades go on fairly sheer, so be prepared to apply a double coat for maximum coverage. You could even wear the gloss over a complementary lipstick shade to add some sheen to your pout.

Did I mention that this set would make a great gift for the holidays?

Are you a lipstick or lipgloss lover?

Breaking Out The Beanie

Breaking Out The Beanie

Riding boots? Check! Scarf? Check! Winter coat? Check!

Yes, I have finally caved and brought out the winter coat. It is November, after all. I even treated myself to a new coat this year that is most certainly Olivia Pope-worthy. But for keeping my head toasty when the temps really start to dip I’ve got zilch, zip, nada — nothing in my closet to keep my poor noggin warm. So I’ve rounded up a few picks ranging from bling to buffalo check that will allow you to be super stylish while braving the cold temps, if you, like me, are also lacking proper headwear. Seriously, how sweet is that burgundy beanie?

Which beanie is your fave?

Birthday Briefing

Birthday Briefing


Thank you for all the sweet birthday wishes! I loved reading everyone’s comments and I wanted to share with you how I celebrated my birthday weekend. So far, 29 doesn’t feel any different than 28 (luckily, I had few expectations that it would). I plan on fully embracing my final year as a twenty-something and I am looking forward to acquiring more life lessons over the next twelve months and beyond. It was interesting to put my Lessons from my Twenties post together last week and to see how far I’ve come since those college and recent graduate days. I’m glad the post resonated with so many of you, and I hope you can utilize a few of the lessons in your own life.

Now for the big birthday weekend…

I kicked off the celebrations on Friday with the photo shoot for yesterday’s post (dare I say, it may have been my favorite shoot, ever?). If you missed it, you can read it here. How fabulous is that cape? I know it will be an item that is on major repeat this season. Spending the afternoon on horseback, while admiring the remaining fall foliage was great. It’s been a number of years since I’ve been back in the saddle and it was nice to return to a passion that was once a large part of my life.

Then came some shopping at Anthropologie, DSW, and Nordstrom Rack. Let’s just say, I was a happy birthday girl. More on my fabulous purchases will be coming your way soon.

And no birthday would be complete without brunch…am I right? A Saturday morning spent at IHOP with one of the most decadent breakfasts I could have ever imagined, and an evening ending with dinner at my favorite chocolate and wine lounge really made me feel like a Birthday Queen.

Birthday Briefing - Anthropologie

{Monogrammed pouch from Anthropologie. A pre-bday gift to myself.}

Birthday Briefing

{A sweet birthday gift from a friend}

Red Velvet Pancakes from IHOP

{The most decadent Red Velvet Pancakes from IHOP}

XO Restaurant and Lounge

{Birthday dinner at XO Restaurant, Wine and Chocolate Lounge}

Follow me on Instagram to keep up with all of my musings!

Styling a Cape with SheIn

Styling a Cape

{Cape: c/o SheIn||Sweater: Mossimo||Leggings: Mossimo||Boots: Franco Sarto}

This season, I am crushing on capes. What’s not to love about them? They’re classic, warm, and easy to wear over any outfit. So when SheIn, an online wardrobe company, asked me to select a piece from their collection to showcase on my blog, the cape was the clear winner. Even though I had made my decision, there were so many stylish pieces on their site ranging from dusters to leather jackets and long coats, that it became easy to second-guess myself and want one of each. But a cape that functioned as outerwear was missing from my winter wardrobe and I found myself returning to this item.

As a former equestrian, I knew this photo shoot had to incorporate a majestic horse. And a Friesian named Dutch was the perfect partner…just look at him! Luckily, my photographer also happens to be an equestrian and his owner, and was gracious enough to let me work with him for this shoot.

Styling a Cape

I have to admit that I have a newfound respect for those Ralph Lauren models. Working with a 1300-pound horse while trying to pose and look elegant proved challenging. Dutch was getting impatient, we were waiting for a reclusive sun, and we had to race to get the shots before darkness.

Styling a Cape

Styling a Cape with SheIn

I would never actually wear a cape to go horseback riding. But the fact that I pulled it off for this shoot is a testament to the comfort of this grey number. I stayed fairly toasty despite the relentless wind and quickly setting afternoon sun. The neutral color made it easy to pair this cape with virtually every outfit in my closet, and its attached hood is perfect for added warmth. Since I am petite, I worried that the cape would be too long on me, but the length worked and there was plenty of room underneath to pair it with a chunky sweater, as I did for this shoot. I adore the cape’s front opening; it allows for your outfit to peek out and eliminates the feeling that you are bundled under a coat. I wanted to infuse a pop of color to break up the black-and-grey color scheme, and chose a burgundy sweater to complete the look.

Styling a Cape

This cape would do justice to any superhero! But if you are a mere mortal, this versatile cape would go well over a cowl neck sweater and skinny jeans or a dress and tights. Have any traveling on your holiday itinerary? You’ll want to pack this along.

Styling a Cape

With the winter months approaching, be sure to visit SheIn for some fabulous fashion that will keep you cozy in style!

Please note: Always wear a helmet on horseback.

Photography by Vlad Polchaninoff