9/18/17

Dresses and Jeans Review + The Happiness Between

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I posted some of my Labor Day weekend sale purchases awhile back (here and here) and wanted to follow up and share how some of them worked out for me since I learned a few things that might benefit someone else. I really wanted to find a couple of transition weather dresses that were easy to grab-and-go when I'm in a hurry to get dressed. I've also been loving a lot of pieces from Abercrombie lately and wanted to try their jeans to see if they would work for me.

Here are the pieces I ordered:

1. Grey Abercrombie Dress
This dress runs true to size and is a nice soft, comfortable fabric. I thought it would be a keeper and the length in front is about what I wanted. Then when I turn to the side it's another story.  The way the fabric meets at the side makes it come up much higher than I'd be comfortable wearing for this type of daytime dress. If you're shorter than me (I'm 5'4") or want a tunic to wear with leggings it might still work, but as-is it just didn't work out for me.

2. Black Express Shirt Dress
The length on this dress was much better for me and overall I think it's a nice quality piece. It runs true-to-size and comes in a few other colors and prints (all options here). It has a definite office vibe so if you need it for office wear, it's perfect! I like this a lot but decided to return it and keep looking for something with a slightly more casual fabric and overall look to suit my lifestyle better.

3. Abercrombie Jeans
This is my first time every trying a pair of Abercrombie jeans, and I think they're pretty good! This particular pair is considered "low rise" and they felt only slightly lower than Mid-Rise jeans from Express (in other words, not really low at all compared to the way jeans used to be!). They're very soft and comfortable, and the sizing ran the same as Express. If anything, these had slightly more room in the waist area than any of my Express jeans in the same size, but I personally wouldn't be willing to size down for that because I wouldn't want them any smaller in the hips and thighs. They don't have any stitching on the back pocket (that's a plus for me), and all in all they were nice. I decided not to keep them because they looked too similar to a pair I already own from Express (shown in the second outfit in this post), but I'm glad I finally tried them anyway so I have a better idea of what to expect if I find another pair I like in the future.

Monday Motivation: Happiness Comes from Between
This week's Monday Motivation is like Part Two of what I posted last week. ICYMI, I talked about how I've been doing some life analysis to figure out what makes me happy vs. what doesn't. As always I loved reading the comments and feedback from others who have figured out a few of those things for themselves or are working through the same process! I read a quote in a book last week that relates to this discussion and really made a lot of sense to me so I wanted to share it here as well:

"Happiness doesn't come from within. Happiness comes from between.
It comes from getting the right relationships between yourself and others,
yourself and your work,
and yourself and something larger than yourself."

--Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind (Full review on this will be in my October Book Reviews, but as a caveat the majority of the book has nothing to do with seeking/finding happiness. Also since this passage came from an Audiobook, the formatting is my own and may differ from the print version.)

I've often heard variations on the saying about "you can't buy happiness/happiness doesn't come from material things" etc., but they're usually coupled with the part about happiness coming from within. This is the first time I've heard the saying, "Happiness Comes from Between" and in my life, that's a more accurate statement. If any one of my close relationships (friends, family, etc.) are experiencing strain, I'm unhappy, and it's hard (if not impossible) to contain those feelings to a point that they don't affect my other relationships. And sometimes it may not be a strained relationship causing the feelings of unhappiness but a lack of a certain relationship we desire. I know at times in my life when I didn't feel like I had a close girlfriend, I felt that void and I felt less happy overall because of it.

Last week, I did a life audit and ultimately cut out some things that were taking up a lot of my time but no longer contributing enough to my "happiness between" to make up for it. One of those things that I've shared quite a bit about here was Tae Kwon Do. When I first started taking lessons, I was attending with my kids and using it as a bonding activity for the three of us. After a new management company took over in January, my kids no longer enjoyed the classes and were ready to pursue different hobbies. I was too close to my Black Belt to quit, so I kept going on my own. I earned my Black Belt in May and continued to attend classes, but now that my kids are back in school, it just doesn't feel right to be rushing off to classes separate from them and repeatedly asking my husband to step in when they need help with homework or rides to/from their activities. That's not to say I can never take classes again, just not right now. Achieving the Black Belt goal brought me a lot of happiness and satisfaction, but it seems the subsequent levels of progression would come at a higher cost (much more time away from the family than the first degree required), without adding higher levels of happiness in exchange.

So that's a bit of a life update for you today coupled with some thoughts on my motivation to increase happiness by putting a greater emphasis on everything "between!" As usual, I'd love your thoughts on whether this rings true to you, too! Maybe not martial arts in particular, but if you've found that striving for happiness between is more effective than striving for happiness within. I hope your week gets off to a good start!


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9/16/17

Saturday Shopping: Burgundy Bags, Slides and Embroidery

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Happy Saturday! Here are a few trends I'm tracking and considering adding to my closet. I like to check out options from high end to low end, brand name to budget-buy before making my purchase so I'm sharing all of those options with you as well.

Burgundy Bags

1. Shop Studio 33 Bags (Mini Satchel Pictured)
2. Shop Milly Bags (Camera Bag Pictured)
3. Budget Crossbody $23 
5. Budget Tote $40

Slides


1. Shop Brand Name Leopard Slides (Valente Pictured)
2. Budget Leopard Slides $43
3. Shop Brand Name Embroidered Slides (Raylee Pictured)
4. Budget Embroidered Slides $35
5. Shop Steven shoes (Swanki Pictured)
6. Budget Black Slides $23

Embroidery

1. Shop Blank Denim Jackets (Embroidered Moto Pictured)
3. Shop Tory Burch Bags (Parker Pictured)
4. Shop Brand Name Embroidered Booties (Bryce Pictured)
5.  The Fix Embroidered Booties
7. Shop Rebecca Minkoff Shoes (Lulu Too Pictured)
8. Aldo Tan Booties
9. Express Embroidered Crossbody $50

Happy shopping and have a great weekend!

9/15/17

Everyday Outfits 9/15/17

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I am so glad today is Friday! We had a great trip visiting with friends and family in Phoenix last weekend but my poor 6th grader had to pay a high price in makeup work this week. That will be the last time I take him out of school for non-emergency purposes, that's for sure. I didn't take any pictures of what I packed/wore in the Arizona heat because I didn't have a good mirror in our hotel room, but I also didn't wear anything you haven't already seen so you didn't miss much. That means not too many outfits to share in my everyday outfit recap but here it is anyway!

Outfit Recap:

Black Ruffle Trim Top:
Top (c/o) | Jeans | Shoes (c/o) | Bag (c/o) | Necklace | Earrings

Fit Notes:
This top runs true to size and on the relaxed/roomy side of that. I often size up at SheIn to be on the safe side with my orders but there was no need for this piece. For all of my sizing/ordering tips for SheIn see this post. My jeans and shoes also run TTS.

Light Pink V Neck Tee, Pearl Slides:
Tee | Jeans | Bag (c/o) | Shoes | Earrings | Bracelets (Get 10% off any order w/ code: onthedailyx)

Fit Notes:
Everything runs TTS. If you don't see a bracelet set like this one on the Charmed Stacks Etsy page, contact the shop owners and let them know what you'd like. They're very responsive and happy to do custom creations.

Neutral Jacket, Black Cami:

Fit Notes:
All pieces run TTS. The jacket is plenty roomy, so definitely don't size up on this. It originally came with a long layer of sheer ivory fabric attached at the bottom (as shown in the product photo), but I preferred it without that so I snipped it off.  To see the cami sans jacket and with a couple of different layering options check out this post.

Instagram View:
I haven't done this lately for various reasons but today I wanted to add the aerial/Instagram view for these outfits since I don't think my mirror selfies do much in the way of showing details on jewelry and bags.

Black Ruffle Trim Top:
Top (c/o) | Jeans | Shoes (c/o) | Bag (c/o) | Necklace | Earrings

Light Pink V Neck Tee, Pearl Slides:
Tee | Jeans | Bag (c/o) | Shoes | Earrings | Necklace | Bracelets (Get 10% off any order w/ code: onthedailyx)

Neutral Jacket, Black Cami:

That's all for today! We have plans to go horseback riding on Saturday with some friends and I can't wait! I haven't been riding in quite a few years and it's something I loved doing as a kid but I rarely get to do as an adult. Hope you all have a great weekend too!


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9/13/17

Tie Sleeve Cold Shoulder Top + Link Up

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If you followed any of my Labor Day Sale try-ons, nothing in this picture will be very new or surprising to you! But since the fitting room lighting was terrible and I'm really loving both this top and these jeans, I thought they were worth putting on in 95 degree heat for outdoor photos anyway. Okay, that wasn't my exact thought process but that's what ended up happening so I'd have something to share on the blog today. And in better news, this top is currently on sale for under $20, which is even cheaper than the Labor Day Sale price!

Top | Jeans | Necklace | Bag (c/o) | Shoes | Bracelets (get 10% off with code onthedailyx) 

Top | Jeans | Necklace | Bag (c/o) | Shoes | Bracelets (get 10% off with code onthedailyx)  

Both my top and jeans run true to size (and shoes for that matter), and the top also comes in five other colors. Initially I thought I'd be able to wear a regular bra with it since the shoulder straps are wide enough, but I found I had a hard time getting the bra straps to stay perfectly hidden so I guess I'm not putting away my strapless bras for the season just yet!

I'm keeping it short today since yesterday was my book review post and for my own time management and sanity I don't like to have too many lengthy posts in one week! So if you need a book recommendation make sure to check out yesterday's post, or just head up to the menu bar up top and go to Categories > Book Reviews for all of my past reviews!

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9/12/17

September Book Reviews 9/12/17

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Welcome to my September Book Reviews! This month wasn't my best in terms of reading lots of books that I couldn't wait to recommend here, but there were a couple that were very worthwhile and none that were terrible, so read on for my thoughts on each of these!

September Books:

Fiction
The Lying Game by Ruth Ware
This book got off to a little bit of a slow start for me, and it also followed the pattern of alternating chapters in flashback vs. present day narrative. I think I'm getting a little burned out on that formula, but regardless I was interested enough in the story to keep going. A group of women who were friends as teenagers are asked to come back to the town where they met and went to school by one of one of the women in their friendship circle. They share a secret that they all want to protect, and any time there is a concern that their secret may be revealed they can only meet in person to discuss it for fear of being found out. This causes complications in their personal lives on many levels, and naturally their fear of being found out has been a source of anxiety in their lives since they were teenagers. Once the stage has been set and we have some idea of the secret they are keeping, the plot picks up quickly and I zipped through to the end. One of my biggest issues was that the landscape of one of the key scenes in the book ("The Mill") was very confusing to me, and it played a big role in the book. It was on the coast or a swamp and the ocean was washing it away? I just didn't understand but I tried to go along with it anyway. I've never really had that kind of an issue with a book and think it will be interesting if it ever becomes a movie so I can better understand the location visually. This currently gets an average of 4/5 stars from reviewers on Amazon, and I would rate it the same as well. If you enjoyed Ruth's book "The Woman in Cabin Ten," you'll probably enjoy this, just expect a slow start.

P.S. From Paris by Marc Levy
This was my Amazon Kindle early release book of the month, and at the time of my selection it had the most positive reviews, which influenced my decision to read this book. There are two main characters in this story: Paul and Mia. Paul is an American author living in Paris, and Mia is a British actress hiding out in Paris because she has learned that her husband has been unfaithful and she wants some time away from the public eye (she's not very well known in France). Paul and Mia meet on an accidental date of sorts, though Paul doesn't know Mia is a famous actress and Mia chooses to hide that fact from him. They continue to be friends who develop feelings for each other, and the book reads a bit like the script of a Romantic Comedy. It was an easy, entertaining, and fairly enjoyable read, though not particularly impressive to me, probably because I'm not usually big on this genre in general. If you're in the mood for a cute love story though you'll probably enjoy this.

The Heavens May Fall by Allen Eskens
This is my third book by Allen Eskens and it did not disappoint. The first one I read by him is still my favorite (The Life We Bury), but all three have been interesting and worth the read. Although they aren't a series and you don't need to read one to understand the others, they do have overlapping characters who make cameo appearances. As for the plot, this is a standard murder mystery. A woman is found dead, and the detective called to investigate finds out that she's the wife of his nemesis, a local attorney (Lawyer A). To further complicate matters, the two men share a friendship with another attorney (Lawyer B) who is asked to represent Lawyer A in court, which puts a strain on the friendship with the detective. Nothing groundbreaking in the plot but overall an enjoyable read, and although it comes to a satisfying conclusion, it does set the stage for another book with one of the main characters.

Non-Fiction (*Audiobooks)
Mistakes were Made (but not by me) by Elliot Aronson, Carol Tavris
This book is the most thorough explanation and examination of cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias of any I have read. It's very similar to Being Wrong, by Kathryn Schulz (my review for that book here) and unless you're particularly fascinated with this topic you don't really need to read both since they cite a lot of the same research. "Being Wrong" was much longer and gave far more examples of situations throughout history where humans have been egregiously mistaken. This book tends to get more personal in explaining how cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias can affect all of us in our marriages or relationships and in other things that may have an indirect effect on us like war and police work. I enjoyed both but would probably pick this one to recommend to others since it's a bit more succinct in making the same point.

10% Happier by Dan Harris
This author is a successful ABC News anchor, currently on Nightline and Good Morning America weekend edition. I don't watch either of those programs so I was actually unfamiliar with his news background/level of fame until I started reading the book. The book is kind of an auto-biography of his life and the experiences leading to his current success in the news business. He focuses quite a bit on his interactions with some of the religious and spiritual leaders he met through his work (e.g. Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, the The Dalai Lama, Ted Haggard), because he was also on his own personal quest for happiness and inner peace and wanted to see what he could learn and incorporate from their teachings. He came to be a believer in meditation and feels it has made him about 10% happier in life (hence the title). Kristi recommended this book to me after reading my Monday Motivation post where I referenced meditation, so it was a timely read! The only part of the book that was really slow for me was when Dan went to a ten-day meditation retreat. He went as a doubter and left as a believer, so the experience was very significant to him, but it was covered in almost painful detail. On the flip side I really enjoyed his summary of Buddhist teachings. He also explained a term I hadn't heard before: Hedonic Adaption. I personally held a similar theory about happiness but didn't know there was a name for it, so that was a highlight for me. Overall I enjoyed this book and found his experiences and journey to the top very interesting (he's brutally honest in his opinions on some big names in the news business) and I always find parallels between life in the entertainment business and life in the blogging business.

A Thousand Miles to Freedom by Eunsum Kim
This book gets 5/5 stars and is my top recommendation of the month. Given the current social and political tension with North Korea, I wanted a better understanding of what's happening there on a human, personal level and this book gave me exactly that. It was the true story of one young woman's childhood in North Korea and her eventual escape, a process that took many years to complete. I was riveted throughout the story and amazed by her personal strength and sacrifice. The story was engaging and well-edited so I didn't ever feel like I was listening to extraneous details or a lot of political commentary. It also wasn't a terribly sad or depressing book. Yes, there were absolutely hardships and difficult times, but it's ultimately an inspiring story of survival, hard work and determination.

Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin
Anytime Audible offers a sale or promotion, I check out the selections to see if anything looks interesting since the prices are always better than full audiobook/credit prices. That's how I discovered this book, and when a reviewer mentioned that it was a good follow up to Outliers (one of my favorite audiobooks this year...definitely one I want to re-read), I went for it. This book examines the common assumption that successful people (e.g. Tiger Woods is one of the case studies) just got lucky or were born with an unusual amount of natural talent. In case after case the author demonstrates that there is much more to each of those stories than either luck or natural talent. He finds some very specific factors that consistently contribute to success across many disciplines (e.g. music, sports, business). It did feel like a follow-up book to Outliers and it was interesting overall, but ultimately I'm not sure I retained a lot of new information from this one. It reiterated what I learned in Outliers, and I still prefer that one, especially the narrator.

*Love & Death: The Murder of Kurt Cobain by Max Wallace & Ian Halperin
(*This is not available in audiobook format so I read the Kindle version. But I still thought it made more sense to categorize it under nonfiction.) Last month I reviewed the biography of Kurt Cobain and discussed the documentary Soaked in Bleach (available on Netflix) which goes over the troubling issues around the suicide ruling in Kurt's death. This book is everything in that documentary and then some. They carefully examine every element in his death from the improbable heroin overdose, position of the shotgun, handwriting inconsistencies in the "suicide" note, personal conflicts of interest within the Seattle Police Department, etc. They provide more backstory on some of the people in Kurt's life, especially Courtney Love, her life, and her other acquaintances who died under mysterious circumstances. I felt the authors truly made every attempt to be as unbiased as possible and examine the facts objectively. I was really impressed with this book and would love to see this case get reopened someday.

Reading List:
I don't usually choose books far enough in advance to post about them, but this month a couple of my favorite authors have new books coming out so I'll be reading those ASAP. Based on their release dates (October 3), I might not have both completed in time for next month's reviews, but either way they're on my "must read" list for the near future. Also, I've already chosen my Kindle First Book (one free pre-release book per month for Prime Members) so that's on the docket this month as well. Just thought I'd share in case you'd like to read along this month and share your thoughts in October!

Thanks for reading and I hope you found a book or two to add to your reading list!


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9/11/17

Pearl Details + The Pursuit of Happiness

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I've noticed that pearls are having a moment lately as an accent detail on just about everything, and this particular trend is really growing on me. It's just a fun way to fancy-up an otherwise simple piece. My first purchase in this trend were my pearl slides (shown in outfit five here), and it didn't take me long to add another piece with pearl details.

I had to resort to attempting a flat lay for this outfit in order to show the details because this top did not want to be photographed from the top-down like I usually do for Instagram. Partly because of the way the sleeves are attached (they are dolman sleeves) and also because I specifically wanted to show the pearl and bow details on the sleeve, that just wasn't happening!
Top (c/o SheIn) | Similar Jeans | Shoes |  Necklace (c/o)

Aside from the selfie-issues the top is great! It runs true to size (I'm wearing an XS below) and it's perfectly comfortable for this type of blouse. It's not t-shirt material (it feels more similar to Portofino shirt material), so it's easy to dress up if you need to wear it with slacks or skirt for an office setting. It's hard to tell from either of my pictures, but the sleeves are open in between the pearl details. The ties are what keep them together, but there's still a lot of air flow going on with them, making it a great transition weather piece.

Front View:
Top (c/o SheIn) | Similar Jeans | Shoes | Bag | Necklace (c/o) 

Monday Motivation: The Pursuit of Happiness

Thanks to the famous words in the Declaration of Independence, in the U.S.A., we're all about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. On the latter point, there's a quote I've always liked that goes like this: "The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself." This quote has been attributed to Ben Franklin, but according to many sources such as this, there's really no proof he said that. Regardless of the actual source, the quote rings true for me, and what a funny, challenging, enigmatic thing happiness is to pursue!

In trying to make some life decisions behind the scenes here lately, I've been frequently asking myself, "What makes me happy? Does blogging or my other hobbies make me happy? Would I be happier in a newer house? Would I be happier if I lived closer to family?" I'm always trying to maximize my life and happiness so in order to pursue that goal, I have to analyze what does and doesn't work for me and make changes if necessary.

Most of us always have one or two elusive things in life that makes us think, "When I get ____, then I'll be happy." (Fill in the blank with a better job, nicer house, partner, baby, lose 5 lbs. etc.) When we lived in Seattle, we weren't crazy about the weather, but we had some really great years there with great friends and we were pretty happy. Still, when we decided to move to San Diego, we foolishly thought better weather = better life. After four years here I can tell you that's not the case. The weather is a nice benefit, but it really doesn't guarantee or create happiness in and of itself. And I don't think our friends and acquaintances here are even marginally happier on average than our friends in Seattle were. (And side note, but that whole "Seattle has the highest suicide rate" thing is also a myth.) That's not to say I regret coming here at all. It was a good choice for a lot of reasons, but it also taught me I personally overrated the affect of weather on happiness.

 Besides reflecting on this myself I've been discussing the topic with friends and family and doing a bit of reading on it as well. My husband sent me this article on The Economics of Happiness, and it's one of the most interesting and specific I've read on this topic. It's targeted toward men in some parts, but makes interesting points that are relevant to everyone. Here are some of my favorite points:

"...no matter what income level people are at-rich or poor-they always think making 20% [more] would increase their happiness. Which is why even though the standard of living has been rising for many decades, people aren’t getting any happier."

"People who do more “prosocial spending,” using their money to buy things for others and to donate to charity instead of getting things for themselves do experience a lasting increase in their happiness. But our inner-caveman fights this conclusion; humans naturally want to display their status to other members of the tribe in conspicuous ways."

"The most consistent factor in happiness is the strength and extent of our social network. Whether we’re introverts or extroverts, spending time with others greatly boosts our well-being. Our relationships give us a sense of belonging, identity, security, support, and fun. Study after study has found that having strong, positive relationships with family, spouse, children, and friends provides the biggest boon to our happiness."

In keeping with my Monday Motivation theme, all of that is the long way of saying happiness is always one of my goals. And not just for myself, but I want the same for my friends and family, too! It seems to be a lifelong process of trying, changing and letting go of things to find the right balance for me. I'd really love to hear from you and learn what things you've experienced along the way that did or didn't contribute to your happiness in the way you expected!



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9/8/17

Everyday Outfits 9/8/17

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If things go according to plan, by the time you read this I'll be in Arizona tagging along on my husband's work trip and visiting some family! However as I'm writing this in advance, the trip will potentially be canceled, so my weekend is completely up in the air. That said, I've plenty of reasons to get dressed in something beyond lounge wear lately, so here's a look at what I've been wearing on the daily.

Outfit Recap:

Crochet Detail Peplum Top, Dark Wash Jeans:
Peplum Top | Jeans |  Similar Bag | Shoes (c/o Amazon)

Beige Choker Tank, Black Jeans:
Choker Tank | Jeans | Mules (c/o Amazon) | Bag (c/o Amazon)

Grey Cardigan, White Lace Trim Cami:

White Denim Jacket, Black on Black:
White Jacket | Similar Tank | Black Jeans | Bag (c/o Amazon) | Shoes (c/o Amazon) |

I should add that it's still quite hot here, so with most of these outfits I end up switching to shorts and removing the jackets/cardigans once I'm done with the doctor's appointment, school meeting, errands, etc. I just don't bother photographing the alternate beat-the-heat outfit at this point in the year since the fashion world has already moved on to fall.

Have a good weekend (and if you're in the path of Irma - stay safe!!) and thanks for stopping by!



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9/6/17

Denim Jacket Outfit + All About Mules

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This week is packed with classic "mom life" action for me...back to school night, doctor's appointments for the kids, and plenty of driving to and from their after school activities. The busier I am the more likely I am to reach for neutral basics like this denim jacket, tee, and jeans.
Jacket | Tee | Jeans | Shoes (c/o) | Bag (c/o) | Earrings | Necklace Bracelets (c/o- Get 10% off your purchase with this code: onthedailyx)

My denim jacket runs true to size. It's a soft, comfortable, stretchy material that's easy to move in. It's more of a splurge item for me but I'm pretty loyal to this brand in denim jackets and don't mind spending more on classic pieces. I suppose the distressing makes it a little less classic, but I don't see distressed denim expiring for at least a few more years so I'm still sure I'll get my money's worth out of it before then!
Jacket | Tee | Jeans | Shoes (c/o) | Bag (c/o) | Earrings | Necklace Bracelets (c/o- Get 10% off your purchase with this code: onthedailyx)

But if we're talking trends, mules fall more into that category, but it's a trend I'm really liking for convenience reasons. They're easy to get on and off and but look much nicer than something similarly convenient, e.g. flip flops. This pair in particular is also very comfortable! Amazon recently launched their own line of shoes and handbags called "The Fix,"  and through my partnership with them I was able to test these from their initial launch. So far I'm really impressed The leather is very soft and the heel is just high enough to lengthen the legs (I'll take all I can get in that department!) but still low enough to be very comfortable for a lot of walking. I haven't had any issues with them slipping off, rubbing my feet uncomfortably, or being noisy when I walk, which were all of my main concerns with this style.

I recently ordered a pair of taupe mules (#4 below) after liking them so much in my recent Fitting Room Review.  They're a great nude/neutral shade so I'm thinking between those and my black pair I'm probably set on this style, but if you're thinking about trying it for yourself here are a few neutral shopping options from high to low end.

Brand Name vs. Budget Mules:

1.Shop Jaggar Shoes ("Touchstone")
2. Budget Laser-Cut Mules $32
3. Shop Dolce Vita Mules ("Enyo")
4. Express Mules
5. Shop Jeffrey Campbell Mules ("Perpetua")
6. Budget Grey Mules $30
7. Shop Phillip Lim Mules ("Cube")
8. Budget Blush/Pink Mules - $34 (Highly Rated)

This is pretty random (but related...bear with me), but my dad used to train mules as a hobby and to take them up backpacking in the mountains. Here's one of my favorite pictures he took of his mule at a campground a few years back:

I used the word "mule" to talk about shoes over a dozen times in writing this post and of course it always made me think of my dad, followed by wondering how on earth these shoes got named after this particular animal! Well, pardon my ignorance if you already knew this, but apparently they got their name from the Ancient Roman term Mulleus Calceus...not from the animal. Ha! The shoes themselves have a very interesting history! This article gives a thorough explanation, but for the Cliffs Notes version, in the 18th Century they were shoes for women of the upper-class since they were too impractical for working class women. Then once prostitutes started wearing them (one can only imagine the reasons...) they gained a trashy reputation. Marilyn Monroe brought them back into good graces in the 1950s, and now they seem to go in and out of style with the regularity of just about any other trend! I enjoyed learning a little more about this trend and I hope it was news to some of you all as well! Have a great Wednesday and I hope you'll join us for Style on the Daily!


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