define your style

4.21.2014

Forever 21 crop top (exact, similar); ℅ Elizabeth and West midi skirt; Kohl's heels (similar); Target clutch (similar.)

I get my writing ideas everywhere, but most of the time I find little nuggets of inspiration in the books I am currently reading. I typically have about four books going at one time; a romance novel, always, (because LOVE is awesome), an inspiration-y, self help type book, a style or how to book, and a re read of something or other that I want to revisit. My current favorite style book that I picked up recently (to add to my book hoarding collection!), is Rachael Zoe's Living In Style. I have her first style book and look over it often, so I knew that I would love this one, too. While reading through last week (and admiring the gorgeous images), I found the advice of choosing three words that define your style, and sticking to them. This resonated with me and really got me thinking about what my style words were and how they help me when I get dressed each day. It took me a week or so to figure out exactly what my words are, but after careful consideration I think I found them. These words help me define my personal style, and give me something to work towards when I'm at a loss for whether or not something is me. Style doesn't have to encompass all of these words in every outfit, but if one element at a time is included and you can say for sure, this look is ….., then you are ahead of the game. 

Here are the three words that define my style:

Effortless. The biggest thing I strive for when it comes to personal style is a feeling of effortlessness. I want to appear like my look was easy and pulled together with no effort, no matter if it took five minutes or five hours. I don't want to look like I'm trying too hard or taking it too seriously, you know? I always like to have a sense of being undone as well. If I have a complicated look going on, I like to have messier, undone hair. Or if I have a looser, boho look going on I find it okay to have other elements be more polished. Not being too matchy-matchy, or have everything be perfectly put together is important to me. Adding in an element of surprise (an unpredictable shoe choice, or a piece of jewelry that is quirky, like skulls with a shift dress), is a fun way to mix things up. I never want to look like I'm trying too hard, and that is what effortless style feels like to me. 

Eclectic. I don't want to be defined by one type of style, ever. I like that someday I can be buttoned up or classic and other days I can be completely undone or trendy. When I was out in the workforce I was a very classic dresser. I loved a basic shift dress and heels, simple accessories and sleek hair. I wanted to look professional and felt that the more classic look fit my personae in the workplace. As a stay at home mom I have a more creative licence to dress as my mood dictates. I tend to me more edgy and bohemian, pairing looser fit clothing and mixing patterns fearlessly. I like waking up each day and deciding who I want to be that day and dressing like it. There are no rules in eclectic dressing and that appeals to me. I can choose to be whoever I want to be from day to day. 

Appropriate. I thought long and hard about this last word, not sure what else fit me and my lifestyle. I initially wanted to include the word fun, but felt that it was encompassed in the previous word. I feel appropriate works in all situation, because it is the best gauge for all occasions. I use this word a lot with my daughter (you may or may not be surprised by what a six year old feels is appropriate!) I like a lot of different types of clothing and trends, but if I'm not dressing appropriately, than what does it matter? I won't dress the same way for a Blogger conference, a wedding, a trip to the grocery store, a work holiday party, or a day at a theme park. It's up to me to decide if what I have on is appropriate for that day. I may decide to wear  crop top and body con skirt for a date night, but would never show skin at a school conference. There is a time and a place for every type of look, and it's important to know the difference. 

Tell me, what three words define your style?




the best of festival wear (and what you should be buying, right now!)

4.18.2014

Free People top ℅ Zappos (on sale! Size down.); American Eagle jeans; Lemons and Lace floral headband; Curious Creatures necklace; Target sunglasses; Chinese Laundry flats (though I wish it was warm enough to wear my Birk's!)

By now I think the Coachella photos and updates via social media are a bit much, but I still enjoy seeing boho style at it's best, especially when it is done right. I don't love seeing how celebrity's style themselves for Coachella, because they have endless cash flow and stylists and such, but I do enjoy seeing real life women interpret festival wear. I've been looking online and seeing so many great pieces to add into my closet that is festival inspired (a little window shopping never hurt anyone, hmmm?), so let's get down to it.

Seeing how Free People is the mothership for boho lovers, we can start there. This sleeveless, embroidered peasant top would look great with denim shorts OR over a long maxi skirt. 

I like the short in front, long in back dimensions of this filmy white blouse.

White dresses are my THING in the Summer, loving the ease and flow of this one. 

I would wear this voile slip dress over shorts to add some fun. (And a floral headband, obvi.)

I follow Lulu's via Instagram and always find cute little looks and pieces that they post. They have great inspiration photos that I really get inspired by daily. I also have a couple of their pieces and really love the quality. 

Here's another white dress (there are NEVER too many), but this one is tipped in crochet. Gorgeous.

I have a couple of Roxy dresses and think they have the softest fabric imaginable. This tie dye baby doll dress is adorable.

A beautiful, lace maxi skirt.

A long and swishy teal maxi dress.

Lastly, for me boho style is mostly about the accessories. Long turquoise necklaces, an armful of The Shine Project  bracelets, simple sandals and some type of headband (floral!) are musts. Oh, and round sunglasses. They scream Penny Lane to me and I adore them.


Tell me, do you like boho style, or is it not your thing?

P.S. Did you know Teva's are back? I know. I've always hated them, but Damsel in Dior made me kind of like them. Darn it.

the 'what she wears' summer line up (and my personal floral fave!)

4.17.2014



Dani from See. Dani. Style


I'm starting to realize that a lot of the things I love in life (the color pink, florals), are non existent in my closet. I have nothing pink and maybe two floral items? I recently acquired (via my sister in law who conveniently lives near one), a floral kimono from H&M, and find that it looks good over everything. Seriously, I am over wearing that poor thing to death. (Even my six year old daughter is obsessed and borrowed it one night when we went bowling.) Which means I need more, obviously, so I can switch it up;) I loved how Dani from See. Dani. Style. layered her kimono over a lace dress in the link up last week, because it is exactly what I want to copy and wear 24/7. I think she looks effortless and fun and perfect. (Also loving her style HERE, too.) That's what I like about link ups, we can explore the same theme each month and still be ourselves. Seeing how so many of us style a theme in completely different ways is really inspiring, and it gives me so many great new ways to switch up my own wardrobe. 

For the next couple of months the girls and I decided to switch up or one month at a time theme reveal for What She Wears and give you the line up for the entire summer! We wanted to pick themes that could be interpreted in different ways, and kept it basic to let you and your style show through. I am really excited for the prompts we picked and I look forward to seeing what YOU wear every first Tuesday of the month (don't worry, I'll remind you!)

May's theme is STRIPES
June's theme is POLKA DOTS
July's theme is RED, WHITE and BLUE (I mean, we had to!)
August's theme is WEDGES

Also loving:

give me alllllll the pretty things




When it comes to getting dressed in the warmer months, I want nothing more than to be clothed in brown, white and turquoise. I love easy pieces. Really love. Nothing structured or tight, or dark. (Though I DO enjoy and all black look, obviously.) I'm currently on the lookout for gold accessories, multiple rings in bright turquoise, and a one piece suit that has the perfect mix of sexy (yet wholesome), and retro.

Also, I need multiple pairs of Birk's now that I have a black pair. White or tan sound PERFECT to me.

Tell me, what is your favorite way to dress in the warmer months?

let's challenge a mom myth today

4.16.2014



When I was first pregnant with my son I was SURE he was a girl. From the depths of my mama soul I just felt that I was having a second girl, and I was thrilled. I had her named (Isabella Delphine), I had her nursery colors planned (turquoise and hot pink), and I had dreams of being a mama of two little girls. I already had a daughter and knew that having a family of little girls was going to be my thing. How could it not? I am a girly girl through and through, and having one already I knew the fun of dressing her up and knowing the greatness of watching her grow. 

I went to that ultrasound with this knowledge, I just needed confirmation. I lay on that table, my belly slathered in jelly and the sound of my baby's heartbeat in my ear, that whoosh/whoosh/whoosh that resonates with you and makes you smile. The images flash on the screen, too blurry and fast to really be able to tell what you are looking at. Until it slows and you see a profile, or an arm bent towards their face. Precious glimpses. Ultrasounds are always so brief, technicians are often in a hurry to rush you through the door, wanting to get to the next patient to make their day go faster. Your baby is just another baby to them, there is no need to linger. Except this moment was ours, a day where our family was being shaped, where one sentence would change us. 

It's a boy.

I saw it, the image that showed so clearly that day, the picture that showed that the little girl I thought I was carrying was no more. You see, there's this thing we have as humans, the need to be politically correct all the time. We're not supposed to say what we are really thinking, we're  supposed to say what people want us to say. "I don't care what I have as long as it's healthy," or, "I'll be fine with whatever I have." These phrases are true of course, we all want healthy babies, that's the assumption. But what about the people that don't feel this and end up feeling less somehow? I was disappointed to find out that I wasn't having a girl as I had thought. For a couple of days I was annoyed. This wasn't my vision!  Where did my two little girls go, sisters forever? I grew up with a brother, but had no knowledge of how to raise one. I knew girls, therefore I was more comfortable having one. It took me a couple of days. I stewed a little. I felt cheated a bit and wondered what I was going to do with this boy coming my way. 

Then I figured it out.

I saw the baby boy clothes that looked so adorable. I remembered how much my little brother had adored my mom, and smiled at the thought of having a little mama's boy myself. I gradually made the switch in my head to having one of each, and knew how lucky I was. I became excited to become a mama to a little boy, to raise him into a thoughtful and kind man. 

When my son was born he instantly became the newest love of my life. Different from his sister, but in all the best ways. He was calmer, he took to nursing right away and was always happy to be snuggled right against my side. He stole by heart the second I laid eyes on him and I forgot every bad feeling I had about him not being what I thought I wanted. He was better.

I've had the privilege to be his mama for four and a half years now, and every single day has been a gift. I'm honored to have him, honored to be the one he wants to hug the tightest, honored that he looks at me daily and tells me that I am "so beautiful." He steals my heart every single day and I'm grateful that he is everything I didn't know I needed. I think sometimes we are given things that are the best case scenario in our lives, we just don't know it at the time. On that day five years ago, when I found out he was not what I thought, I was disappointed. I look back all the time and say thank you, thank you to whatever forces are out there that create the things we need the most. I wouldn't trade him in for a zillion girls. He is the best addition to our family and to be able to say, "I have a son", is something I treasure always. 

21 ideas of what to wear this spring

4.15.2014

I've been digging through my archives lately and found I have a lot of options for Spring dressing to show you (especially since I lived in Florida for most of it, where everyday is Spring down there;) I may live in Michigan now, but the weather is slowly but surely warming up and I am thisclose to breaking out the bins with all my warm weather clothing. I am ready to say goodbye to heavy sweaters and boots and HELLO to simple and easy pieces that can be effortlessly worn a zillion different ways. 

My first favorite thing to wear in the warmer months is maxi skirts. Target has the best, most softest ones out there and each year they have new patterns. Loving this basic black and white stripe, and this ethnic patterned one. Lulu's has great options, too, for dresser versions. Loving this boho lace maxi,  as well as this sheer black chiffon one. I love pairing my maxi skirts with simple tanks and tees, usually half tucked in, with flat sandals and a headband of some sort. 
My favorite type of pants this time of year are fun patterned ones. They make every outfit better and there are options everywhere (at every budget) for us all. I'm loving palazzo pants this year, they feel easy and stylish to me and just right, you know? It's easier sometimes to use a basic color palette of black and white when trying out a new style. I have a pair similar to these that I plan on wearing with a simple white tank and Birkenstock's. I also love a fun pair of patterned denim, whether it be polka dot or striped, to add interest to a basic tee and jeans look.
There is nothing better in my opinion, than the perfect maxi dress. It's impossible to mess up styling a maxi dress because there is nothing to match. One piece, with some accessories added in for fun, and you are done. I get the majority of mine from (you guessed it,) Target, but know there are tons of good options everywhere you look. I'm currently liking long, fitted styles, they just feel current to me. Layering a patterned dress with a flowy, floral kimono is my favorite way to style a dress right now. 
Honorable mention: this floral boho extravaganza of awesomess. I would go overboard and wear a floral headband to continue the theme, because hey, why not? And a fringe maxi, too!
Ripped and worn looking denim is my thing. It works with a tee and sandals, as well as heels and clutch for a night out. Is there any better, more functional item in a closet? It's tough to find a pair of denim that is flattering, yet has the perfect amount of slouchiness. My current favorite pair of distressed skinny jeans are from Old Navy, but I've also had luck at Asos and Zara.
I'm not always the biggest fan of shorter dresses, but find I have a lot of below the knee options that I love. Again, Target is my main source for these styles. I love them for everything, but often use them as bathing suit coverups as well. This style of dress looks great with flat sandals for day OR wedges/heels for night. This year I have been eying these Chinese Laundry wedge sandals, and I lust over this Free People dress (or all of the Free People dresses, if I'm being honest;)
My absolutely favorite type of shorter skirt to wear is the body conscious style. I like wearing them casually, often with a  slouchy tank and sandals, or even with some heels for a date night. I feel cuter in this style rather than a looser fit, you know? I find the best ones are under $10 and are from H&M and Forever 21. I do have couple of fit and flare skirts, and wear them often with a tucked in tee to elongate my legs.
Finally, and the most obvious choice for Spring, are denim shorts. I have a couple of lengths (clearly!), but my favorite are my most recent cutoffs I received from Levi's. They are a good mix of distressed  denim and aren't too tight. I'm picky with shorts. I don't like them too short as my legs aren't my favorite, but too long can feel matronly. I DID buy a pair of knee length denim shorts last Summer and completely felt like Frances Houseman in Dirty Dancing. I can't wait to wear them again. I love styling denim shorts either completely casual (slouchy tee, long necklaces, simple sandals), over a bathing suit (as a cover up), or dressed up more (with ankle boots and a patterned top.) 

Tell me, what are your go to pieces to wear in the Spring?
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