3/22/17

Blush Cardigan + Black Skirt

11 comments |
As promised on Monday (to myself, mostly!), just another simple outfit post today. I'm scheduling this one several days in advance, and judging by the forecast, by the time this post goes live this outfit won't make a lot of sense for the predicted rain. But it was 80° and sunny when I wore it so I promise it did make sense in real life at the time!

Cardigan: Target "Light Purple" | Tank: Target | Necklace: Kendra Scott "Gold Gunmetal" | Bag: Amazon | Shoes: Amazon | Skirt: Express (SimilarLonger Similar Style) | Sunless Tan: Amazon

This is my second time wearing this cardigan from Target (previously shown here) and it really is the perfect weight for warmer days. I have a feeling I'll be using it often in the summer. I kept the color scheme for my outfit very similar to the last time I wore it (even using the same bag and necklace) but what can I say? I just like these colors together!

And yes I did just wear this skirt last week. I guess I'm making up for lost time from all the long winter months this skirt sat in my closet unworn. It's been a great addition to my closet, and I would like to add a couple of other colors in a similar (soft, comfortable, not too long or too short) style, but that is easier said than done. This one from Gap still looks to be the closest current option to mine, although a bit longer which might not be a bad thing.  The light grey option would have worked nicely with this outfit as well, so I think it's just a matter of time before I order that one. [Updated to add: Rachelle just let me know this morning about another very similar option from H&M. This actually looks more similar to mine than the Gap version. It's only $12.99 and comes in black and grey!]

My grey satchel has also been getting lots of use since it's such a great neutral and a great medium size. The shipping time was a full two weeks, so not short by any means, but worth the wait, especially considering it's only $33.

Since we've had consistently warm weather for a couple of weeks, I also started incorporating this $14 sunless tanner into my routine for a bit more color on my legs. I use Jergens Natural Glow year round, but when I know I'll have more skin on display, I add this one in about twice a week for a darker "tan."

Front View:
Cardigan: Target "Light Purple" | Tank: Target | Necklace: Kendra Scott "Gold Gunmetal" | Bag: Amazon | Shoes: Amazon | Skirt: Express (Similar) | Sunless Tan: Amazon

As a quick update on my dress reviews last week, when I got both of the Old Navy dresses in my size...they were still just a bit too much on my frame. I felt like the navy floral option fit a bit smaller than either the black or white. So I guess Dress Quest 2017 will continue on, hopefully with some eventual success!

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3/20/17

Grey Cozy Cover Up + Monday Motivation

11 comments |
This week I'm getting ready for my mom to come to town and spend some quality time with my family, and in the interest of being fully present with her time here, I'm planning to keep my blog posts on the short side this week. So let's just dive right in with today's outfit!

Outfit: 
Sweater/Jacket: Express | Cami: Express (White Sold Out, Similar) | Jeans: Express | Bag: Amazon (Similar) | Shoes: Amazon | Necklace: Kendra Scott (Gold/Gunmetal) | Ring: Stella & Dot | Watch: Fossil

Outfit Notes:

This is my second time posting this grey jacket/sweater-thing, and I still struggle with what to call it. They label and categorize it as a jacket but I just can't get on board with that! It's not structured enough and doesn't have any buttons or zippers for closure. But regardless of the name, it's incredibly comfortable and I throw it on as lounge wear all the time (but I don't bother to post those non-outfits on the blog!). I've also shown how I wear it as a cover-up over fitness apparel (see it here in my All Things Fitness reference post), but I wanted to try wearing it as part of a normal outfit and I was happy with how it worked out!

My eco-friendly jeans are a new favorite and I really love the light wash for Spring. They run true to size, and I posted three additional outfits with these here.

And finally, my no-fail white Barcelona cami! When in doubt, I can always make an outfit with this cami plus pretty much any jacket or cardigan I own and some jeans. I have a round-up of twelve outfits for all four seasons with this piece in this post.

Front View: 
Sweater/Jacket: Express | Cami: Express (White Sold Out, Similar) | Jeans: Express | Bag: Amazon (Similar) | Shoes: Amazon | Necklace: Kendra Scott (Gold/Gunmetal) | Ring: Stella & Dot | Watch: Fossil (Similar)


Monday Motivation: Priorities

When my blogging friends are going through a tough time in life or just have a little too much on their plate due to one circumstance or another, I am the first one to tell them not to stress themselves out so much over missing a post here and there. The blog will be there when they get back, their followers won't shun them over a couple of missed days, most people are very understanding that life can get a little hectic at times, etc. I don't think any readers have ever been unable to carry on with their day due to the lack of a post from a particular blogger. And yet when it comes to my own blog, I have a hard time taking my own advice and keeping this perspective!

Something that really hit home with me when I read The 5 Love Languages recently was the importance of giving loved ones our undivided attention, not just, "I'm listening while I look at photos on Instagram/fold laundry/wash dishes, etc." As I mentioned in the intro, my mom will be in town visiting this week and I really want to make quality time with her my top priority. For me to do that, blogging and social media simply have to take a backseat and be a bit less consistent. So all that is to say I'm more motivated to be a good daughter this week than to be a good blogger, so I appreciate your understanding as I try to keep my life priorities in order!


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3/18/17

Weekly Outfit Recap 3/18/17

2 comments |
Welcome to my weekend outfit recap! These posts are just a very simple recap of outfits I wore and links to current or similar options if my exact item is sold out. If the outfit was featured in a blog post I'll link you to that as well as I usually offer more info on fit, sizing etc. of pieces I'm wearing in those.

Once again I'm including my top-view outdoor photos as well for a better look at the jewelry and accessories.

Weekly Outfit Recap:

Black Strappy-Shoulder Top, Light Grey Jeans:
Top: Amazon | Jeans: Express | Necklace: Express (Similar) | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks | Bag: Amazon | Sandals: Forever 21 (Similar) | Ring: Stella & Dot

Front View: 
Top: Amazon | Jeans: Express | Necklace: Express (Similar) | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks | Bag: Amazon | Sandals: Forever 21 (Similar) | Ring: Stella & Dot

Mixed Media Peplum Top:
Top: Express (Pretty Option w/ Lace, Similar) | Jeans: Express | Shoes:  Amazon | Necklace: Express (Similar) | Bag: Amazon (Similar) | Watch: c/o Fossil | Ring: Stella & Dot 

Front View:
Top: Express (Pretty Option w/ Lace, Similar) | Jeans: Express | Shoes:  Amazon | Necklace: Express (Similar) | Bag: Amazon (Similar) | Watch: c/o Fossil | Ring: Stella & Dot 

White Portofino, Jeans:
Top: Express | Jeans: Express | Shoes: Target | Top Necklace: Kendra Scott "Harper" (Gift) | Bottom Necklace: Kendra Scott "Debra" (Gift) | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks | Bag: c/o Amazon | Earrings: Kendra Scott (Rose Quartz/Gold) | Nails: OPI Let's Be Friends

Front View:
Top: Express | Jeans: Express | Shoes: Target | Top Necklace: Kendra Scott "Harper" (Gift) | Bottom Necklace: Kendra Scott "Debra" (Gift) | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks | Bag: c/o Amazon | Earrings: Kendra Scott (Rose Quartz/Gold) | Nails: OPI Let's Be Friends

Striped Tee, Jeans:
Top: Nordstrom | Jeans: Express (Similar) | Bag: c/o Fossil | Shoes: Amazon "Natural" | Short Necklace: Stella & Dot (Gift) | Long Necklace: Express | Ring: Rebecca Minkoff (Gift, Similar) | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks | Nails: OPI Let's Be Friends (Similar) | Full post: here

Front View:
Top: Nordstrom | Jeans: Express (Similar) | Bag: c/o Fossil | Shoes: Amazon "Natural" | Short Necklace: Stella & Dot (Gift) | Long Necklace: Express | Ring: Rebecca Minkoff (Gift, Similar) | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks | Nails: OPI Let's Be Friends (Similar) | Full post: here

Faux LBD, Olive Cardigan:
Sweater: Gap | Tank: Target | Skirt: Express (Similar) | Sandals: Amazon | Necklace: Express | Bag: c/o Amazon | Bracelets: Charmed StacksRing: c/o Kendra Scott (Daisy Ring with White Druzy via Color Bar) | Nails: Sally Hansen "Creme de la Creme"

Front View:
Sweater: Gap | Tank: Target | Skirt: Express (Similar) | Sandals: Amazon | Necklace: Express | Bag: c/o Amazon | Bracelets: Charmed StacksRing: c/o Kendra Scott (Daisy Ring with White Druzy via Color Bar) | Nails: Sally Hansen "Creme de la Creme"

White Cold Shoulder Top, Jean Shorts:
Top: Macy's (Similar) | Shorts: Guess (Similar) | Necklace: Kendra Scott | Boots: c/o Amazon | Bag: c/o Fossil | Ring: c/o Kendra Scott (Daisy Ring via Color Bar) | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks | Full post with lots of lacy white top options (cold shoulder and regular): here

Front View:
Top: Macy's (Similar) | Shorts: Guess (Similar) | Necklace: Kendra Scott | Boots: c/o Amazon | Bag: c/o Fossil | Ring: c/o Kendra Scott (Daisy Ring via Color Bar) | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks | Full post with lots of lacy white top options (cold shoulder and regular): here


Thanks for stopping by today and have a great weekend!


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3/17/17

White Cold Shoulder and Peasant Tops under $100

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I wasn't really an early adopter of the cold shoulder trend, and when I finally found this top at the end of last summer, I wore it like it was going out of style...because I was kind of worried that the trend was only going to last the summer! Well it's back in full force this Spring and I took advantage of an 80 degree day to pull this top back out of hibernation!


Top: Macy's (Similar) | Shorts: Guess (Similar) | Necklace: Kendra Scott | Boots: c/o Amazon | Bag: c/o Fossil | Ring: c/o Kendra Scott (Daisy Ring via Color Bar) | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks

Outfit Notes:
I don't have a lot to share in terms of fit for my top and shorts since I'm linking to similar options for both. But scroll down in this post for a huge round-up of similar white tops with lace detail (with or without cold shoulders) that are perfect for Spring, under $100, and could be styled in the same way as this top.

These boots are very affordable (under $30) and run true to size for me. They are really similar to another taupe pair I have, but in person these are slightly more beige and I do find that subtle difference makes it worth having both since they each seem to work better with different color palettes.

This crossbody bag c/o Fossil (I'm linking to the exact bag on Amazon only because it's no longer available on the Fossil site but Amazon still has it) might be my favorite crossbody bag. It's just the right compact size, the tassel detail is really cute, and it has an exterior compartment that fits my iPhone for easy access, which comes in so handy, especially since the front has the flap (which would make it harder to get to my phone if I had to store it in there).

Front View:

Shop the Look:



Friday Favorites: White Spring Tops under $100

Since my top is sold out, I rounded up eight options that are currently available in most sizes, have similar cold shoulder white top options from a variety of retailers. I also listed the current price for each option because nobody has time to be clicking on links for things out of their budget!

Cold Shoulder:
White Cold Shoulder Tops
Top Row: Charming Charlie ($22) | Macy's ($28) | Nordstrom  ($69)| Express ($60)
Bottom RowWHBM ($88) | NY & Co ($30) |  Forever 21 ($35) | Bailey 44 ($70)

If cold shoulders aren't your thing for whatever reason, here are a few white peasant tops (also under $100) that will give a similar look and can be styled in the same way as my cold shoulder top. I also ordered the first one below for myself because sometimes the cold shoulder detail is just too cold or just doesn't feel appropriate for certain events.

Covered Shoulders:
White Lace Peasant Tops
Top Row: Abercrombie ($60) | Revolve ($60) M/L | Amazon ($65) | Shopbop ($85) 
Bottom Row: Nordstrom ($78) | Express ($40) | Nordstrom Rack ($40) | Revolve ($60)

I listed the current price of each top but many of them have frequent sales and promotions so the price or inventory may change by the time this post goes live since that's just how things go with retail stores.

Have a great weekend and oh, Happy St. Patrick's Day! Obviously I don't do much to celebrate that myself! If you check in here on the weekend I should have my weekly outfit recap posted by Sunday, then on Monday check back in for some Monday Motivation to get the week off to a positive start!


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3/15/17

Faux LBD + Casual Spring Dress Reviews

13 comments |
What you haven't seen behind the scenes is here is that I've done a a bit of buying and returning casual Spring dresses on a hunt for one or two that will give me easy, one-and-done outfit options. I finally had some success in that hunt (more on that below) but it didn't happen until after I wore this outfit and with my faux-LBD casual skirt and tank combo:

Outfit:
Sweater: Gap | Tank: Target | Skirt: Express (Similar) | Sandals: Amazon | Necklace: Express | Bag: c/o Amazon | Bracelets: Charmed StacksRing: c/o Kendra Scott (Daisy Ring with White Druzy via Color Bar) | Nails: Sally Hansen "Creme de la Creme"

Outfit Details:
My skirt is from Express awhile back, but the Gap has an almost identical option right now that I'm tempted to try for myself in the light grey option.

This maternity tank has been a staple for a few years for reasons that have nothing to do with maternity! It's a nice thick fabric (non see-through, even in white), longer in the torso than a regular tank (but no side ruching that most maternity tops have), and the scoop neckline is just right for my preference. I have a similar black racerback tank dress, but it goes into a deeper v-neck in the front and some days that just won't do.

This sweater is (so far) my favorite Spring cardigan. You can see my last outfit with this color here, and an outfit with the white version of this sweater here.

Front View:

Shop the Look:


Spring Dress Shopping:
ONE: Dress, Shoes | TWO: Dress, Necklace, Shoes | THREE: Dress, Shoes

ONE:
While I loved the cut, style and comfort of this navy embroidered dress from the Gap (and bonus points for the pockets), I wasn't sure it flattered me. I used my text-a-friend option and my friend confirmed it wasn't the best fit, so ultimately this was returned. I'm wearing an XS here so I think it's a relaxed fit that runs a little big and will probably work better on someone taller and possible curvier. It also wasn't the easiest to take on and off since there are no zippers anywhere and no stretch to the fabric.

TWO:
This dress from Old Navy comes in white, berry, and black (edited to add: it also comes in Petite and Tall sizes!). I loved the boho vibe (I tend to like a bit more of that in the warmer months) the comfort, the sleeve detail, the under $30 price tag (with promo code) and the length (in the correct size, at least). I am wearing a Small in this picture because they didn't have an XS, so I tried on the next dress with the same cut (but doesn't have the sleeve detail) for size reference before ordering this one in black and white. 

THREE:
I primarily tried on this dress (also from Old Navy) to see which size I should get in the previous dress, but I thought the print was very pretty and worth sharing! This exact style also comes in a black print with tiny flowers. I'm wearing an XS in this dress (vs. Small in the white dress) so I think it runs true to size. I'm 5'4", so you may have to mentally adjust how long or short these dresses will look on you, but again, it does come in Petite and Tall sizes and for me the length of the "Regular" size option was just what I wanted.

We've had the perfect weather to wear Spring dresses lately (if not summer dresses!) so I'm sure Murphy's law will have it that by the time my dress order arrives, the weather will be cold and rainy again and I won't get to wear them for another month!

That's all for today! I'll see you back on Friday with another outfit and some Friday Favorites!


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3/13/17

Striped Tee + Time Management Tips + Giveaway

12 comments |
I hope you all had a great weekend and are feeling ready to take on the new week! We have a few too many "extra" things happening this week for my preference (e.g. two doctor's appointments and a school play) and I don't know why our schedule seems to go that way so often. There will be nothing out of the ordinary for three weeks, then three extra things all in one week. This week I'm sure I'll be reaching for a lot of quick, easy and comfortable outfits like this one, and you can read on after the outfit for a few of the ways I (try to!) stay on top of all the activities and appointments in my family.

Outfit:
Top: Nordstrom | Jeans: Express (Similar) | Bag: Fossil | Shoes: Amazon "Natural" | Short Necklace: Stella & Dot (Gift) | Long Necklace: Express | Ring: Rebecca Minkoff (Gift, Similar) | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks | Nails: OPI Let's Be Friends (Similar)

Outfit Notes:

This t-shirt is a favorite that I own in a couple of other neutral, basic colors (white, grey, and black to be specific), so when they came out with a striped version it was a no-brainer. It runs true-to-size and has a nice relaxed fit. I normally air dry mine so they don't shrink but my white one accidentally went through the dryer once and it did shrink just a bit, but not so much that it was ruined. I still recommend air drying just to be safe, though!

My exact jeans are old/no longer available from Express but they have a new distressed knee option (currently available in all sizes and lengths) that I want now thanks to shopping for a similar pair to this one! Maybe next time they go on sale for 40% off since I really don't need any new jeans right now.

These shoes run true-to-size and I have to give you fair warning that they're very stiff at first. It took several wears for them to break in and I was almost regretting them at first. But they worked so well with so many outfits I couldn't send them back (and I also couldn't find an affordable alternative at the time, either). So I kept them and I'm glad I did because I do find them pretty comfortable now. The footbed doesn't have a lot of padding but some inserts would easily take care of that.

Front View:

Shop the Look:


Monday Motivation:

Back in January, I started a Monday Motivation series to keep myself accountable and on track with the goals I made for the new year (you can see those here).  One of the values I'm focusing on this year is Time Management. In our family there are four different schedules to coordinate, and as a stay at home mom, it's primarily my responsibility to keep track of it all, especially when it comes to the kids and myself. It's a juggling act for sure and I have dropped plenty of balls in the act over the years! There are two key tools I'm using right now that help me stay reasonably sane and organized...

1. Weekly-View Planner:
This year, I made the slightest change to the type of planner that I keep at my desk and it's been a big help in keeping me more organized. In the past, I used a weekly planner, but the week was broken up in two pages. Like the one below, it was spiral bound so when it's open on my desk, I can only see half of the week at once. With this version, my whole week is staring me in the face all the time. I use it like a weekly checklist of things to accomplish since a lot of things I need to do don't necessarily have to be done on a certain day (e.g. make a dentist appointment for the kids), but I probably should get it done by the end of the week.
The opposite page of the book has a checklist area, but since I don't have room to keep the whole book open on my desk, I don't usually see that side so it's not that helpful for reminders of what I need to get done. I mostly use that area for notes throughout the week that aren't critical reminders.
It helps me a lot to visually see the list of tasks I need to accomplish, and if I find myself wandering off task or surfing the net when I have more important things to do, sometimes I'll make deals with myself like "if I cross two things off this list then I can browse for 10 minutes."

My planner is Sugar Paper brand from Target, and I have still seen them in stores here, usually on an end cap in the office supply area. Unfortunately they don't have this exact one online. This one is the same size but the interior pages don't have the week-at-a-glance view as I'm loving with mine.

2. Cozi App

I first posted about the Cozi app a year ago when I had just stared using the free trial version, and I was already a fan at that point. I've now been using the Gold Version ($30) for a full year and it is a huge help in keeping our family organized and in helping my husband and I communicate effectively about scheduling for the entire family.


We primarily use the calendar feature and not the list features (we're set in our ways with the Our Groceries App for groceries), but it's worth the $30/year for that alone. It allows us to share a family calendar and see what everyone has going on each day. One of the key benefits of the Gold membership (and the main reason I was willing to pay for it) is that when I create an event in the app that my husband needs to know about (and vice versa), I can choose to send him an email notification for the new event as my way of telling him about the event. One of our common issues is that one of us will get an invite or makes plans and then forgets to tell the other person by the time we see each other again at the end of the day. Then when they day comes, one person insists they told the other person, and the other one swears this is the first time we've heard of it! Now we just say, "it's in Cozi" or, "it's not in Cozi" and that pretty much settles the debate. It has taken us some time and missteps along the way to get consistent about using it, but it's a great tool and I expect to be using it for quite a few years to come.

If you have any key tips and tricks for keeping yourself on task and managing your time, I'd love to hear them in the comments!

Giveaway!
Last but not least, I'm teaming up with a great group of bloggers today to give away an amazing prize combo of a Macbook Air & Canon Rebel Kit. Please submit your entries using the Rafflecopter Widget below by following the social media accounts of the participating bloggers. All Terms & Conditions of eligibility are listed on the widget, so please review them carefully prior to entering.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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3/11/17

Weekly Outfit Recap 3/11/17

4 comments |
Welcome to my weekend outfit recap! I keep these posts simple with just the outfits and links to current or similar options if my exact item is sold out. If the outfit was featured in a blog post I'll link you to that as well as I usually offer more info on fit, sizing etc. in those.

Once again I'm including my top-view outdoor photos as well for a better look at the jewelry and accessories.

Weekly Outfit Recap:


Tan Blazer, White Tee: 
Blazer: Express (Similar) | Tee: Target | Necklace: Forever 21 (Similar) | Shoes: Amazon | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks | Bag: Amazon

Front View: 
Blazer: Express (Similar) | Tee: Target | Necklace: Forever 21 (Similar) | Shoes: Amazon | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks | Bag: Amazon

Neutral Cardigan, Olive Cami:
Sweater: Target | Cami: Express (Olive sold out, Similar color option) | Jeans: Express | Necklace: Express | Shoes: Amazon ("Natural") | Bag: Amazon

Front View:
Sweater: Target | Cami: Express (Olive sold out, Similar color cami option) | Jeans: Express | Necklace: Express | Shoes: Amazon ("Natural") | Bag: Amazon

Little Black Dress:
Dress: Rent the Runway | Bag: Express | Ring: Kendra Scott (Similar) | Shoes: Aldo (Option) |
Nails: Sally Hansen Creme de la Creme

Front View: 


Dress: Rent the Runway | Bag: Express | Ring: Kendra Scott (Similar) | Shoes: Aldo (Option) |
Nails: Sally Hansen Creme de la Creme

Plaid Shirt, Grey Jeans:
Shirt: Express | Jeans: Express | Shoes: Sole Society (Similar) | Necklace: Kendra Scott (Exact color sold out, Rose Druzy/Rose Gold is similar) | Ring: Stella & Dot | Watch: Fossil (Similar) | Nails: OPI Let's Be Friends | Original post with more details here

Front View:
Shirt: Express | Jeans: Express | Shoes: Sole Society (Similar) | Necklace: Kendra Scott (Exact color sold out, Rose Druzy/Rose Gold is similar) | Ring: Stella & Dot | Watch: Fossil (Similar) | Nails: OPI Let's Be Friends | Original post with more details here

Denim Jacket, Black Jeans:
Jacket: Nordstrom | Tee: Nordstrom | Jeans: c/o Mott & Bow | Shoes: Sole Society (Option) | Bag: Amazon (Similar)   | Ring: Stella & Dot (Gift) | Necklace: Kendra Scott | Original post with more details here

Front View:
Jacket: Nordstrom | Tee: Nordstrom | Jeans: c/o Mott & Bow | Shoes: Sole Society (Option) | Bag: Amazon (Similar)   | Ring: Stella & Dot (Gift) | Necklace: Kendra Scott | Original post with more details here

Taupe Jacket, Pink Tee: 
Jacket: Express | Tee: Gap (Soft Plum) | Jeans: Express | Sandals: Amazon (Taupe) | Bag: c/o Amazon | Necklace: Kendra Scott | Original post with more details here

Front View:
Jacket: Express | Tee: Gap (Soft Plum) | Jeans: Express | Sandals: Amazon (Taupe) | Bag: c/o Amazon | Necklace: Kendra Scott | Original post with more details here

Have a great weekend!


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