i have boring clothes (and what accessories you should be buying, right now)

4.25.2014


I have a lot of boring clothes. Seriously! My closet is filled with basic cotton tops, fifty shades of light denim pants, little to no pattern anything, and I tend to wear the same type of shoes constantly. I think my closet in itself is really uninspiring and wouldn't create envy in anyone, but what makes my girly girly/bohemian/edgy heart sing is an armful of pretty things to pile on to make my boring clothes anything but. Here are some things I have and wear constantly, (as well as some items I am lusting over currently.) Online shopping/browsing is like therapy, am I right?

I'm intrigued by the thought of a turban lately after seeing one on Rachel Zoe in her new style book. I would start with this basis black one, then work up to something more daring after I got comfortable with the idea.

A rainbow of cloth headbands! Strawberry print (dying), camouflage, and a super cute anchor print;)

…as well as a plethora of floral headbands! Creamy yellow ranunculus, Peach rose, and a Flower Crown hair comb.

I'm obsessed with looking at silver and turquoise jewelry lately, I love the idea of a native american/southwest theme in the warmer months! St Eve has amazing stuff and I am fanatically putting stuff in my online cart there constantly. Loving this Mexicana cuff, this moonstone ring, and this Desert Moon necklace

Loving these dainty feather turquoise earrings from Kotah Bear jewelry.

I think totes and crossbody bags are a great way to add fun to a look. Target is my go to (obviously!) for the price point, but also find that American Eagle and Urban Outfiter's have great boho options, too. 

The cutest macrame cross body bag, ever.

Love the slouchy-ness (and the fringe!) of this hobo bag. Great neutral color, too.


I also like how a pair of sunglasses can really make a difference in how an outfit is perceived. I'm a big fan of a big ol' round pair, as well as a retro cat eye. Patterned frames are pretty fun, too;)

Tell me, what store/shops do you buy your favorite accessories from? Any cool Etsy shops?

in which my pants could double as parachute fabric, if necessary

4.24.2014


H&m kimono (similar, similar); Windsor tank, old (similar, similar); E Moore Store necklace, no longer available (similar); Chinese Laundry flats; Target pants (similar, similar) and sunglasses (available online.

I bought these pants maybe three months ago, in the heart of the polar vortex. These billowy and printed palazzos, which screamed out for warmer days, literally leaped into my bright red cart and refused to leave. I've stared at them from time to time in my closet, tried them on half a dozen times with different tops and shoes, just searching for a way to make them work. Their voluminous fabric legs are reminiscent of pajama pants (and quite possible, parachute material), so much so that one day my six year old gave me the side eye and and asked me why I was wearing pajamas out of the house (and why couldn't SHE?) This made me doubt myself, and I quickly went and changed and waited until I could come up with a way to wear them. 

In the best case scenario, these pants float and flutter, catching small breezes and making me feel quite gypsy like and free. Worst case scenario? I run into a mom at school who is wearing actual pajama pants that resemble my real pants quite closely, and I wonder why did I make and effort to get dressed if I don't even look like I did? My verdict was that these aren't for everyone. I like pairing them with a floaty chiffon kimono and loose tank because I enjoy looking a little ridiculous sometimes. I do! I felt free and fun and ready for anything (or in my case), ready for a trip to the grocery store with my youngest. You know, just living the dream one day at a time;)

Tell me, what are our thoughts on printed palazzo pants. Would you wear them?

currently

4.23.2014

Grocery store cardigan (seriously), option; Target dress and bag, old (similar); Sam Edelman slip on sneakers (and a leopard sandal option, cute!); Ray ban sunglasses; Lemons and Lace headband.

Reading: Re-reading my fave series ever (Outlander), because it's awesome and I like to revisit my favorite characters form time to time. 
Playing: Gah! I'm not a big "let's sit down and play with my kids" type of person, but I'm trying to do this more. Tea parties, Lego building extravaganza's, and other such games are in my future. 
Watching: I watch QVC 95% of the time, the rest is spent on trash reality television, like Total Divas in E!
Trying: I'm trying to change how my mind works when it comes to my business and switch things up to enable my success for the future. This involves justifying spending money to make money, which is hard!
Cooking: I don't enjoy cooking, ever really. I do enjoy a good homemade soup and grilled sandwich lately, though. 
Eating: The same thing almost everyday. Loving a Lara bar for breakfast (with coffee, always), and chopped salad for lunch. I'm working on losing the 15 pounds I gained last year (??), and have two more to go!)
Drinking: Coffee and water. And boxed Moscato wine if the mood strikes me;)
Calling: I call my mom almost everyday, and talk to my brother and best friend several days a week. 
Texting: My best friend, Katie, multiple times a day.
Pinning: Anything style related, that site is like crack.
Tweeting: Whatever comes to mind, which is the pint of Twitter, hmmm?
Crafting: Um, nothing? I'm not a crafter.
Doing: My workout routine has been interrupted due to my back injury, so I'm doing a lot more stretching and hoping to get back to light workouts on the treadmill this week. I miss it. 
Going: Hopefully making a trip over to Chicago SOON. I've never been and can't wait to explore. 
Loving: Warmer days, hours spent outside with the kids, and the promise of Summer. 
Hating: Any type of negativity online. If I think you are rude and not making my life better? Unfollow.
Discovering: That I need to take a step back and figure out what I really need, rather that want.
Enjoying: The feel of the sun and the sight of bare ground and new grass in my backyard. 
Thinking: Of how grateful I am to have an amazing husband who makes me a better person, and children who make me smile every single day (despite their particular brand of crazy.)
Feeling: Better after starting physical therapy on my back. Apparently I have bad feet and weirdly aligned hips. Go figure.
Hoping (for): I'm working on investing in my blog and making it everything it can be. Big changes coming soon!
Listening (to): I'm mainly a country music gal, but I love Mumford and Sons, The Avett Brothers, The Lumineers, Kings of Keon, and Lana del Ray, too. 
Celebrating: Another holiday with my children, who make special days and occasions so much better. 
Thanking: Thankful for friends that know me and forgive my faults, and the happiness of having people that are there for me always. 
Considering: Not shopping for several months, it really frees up my mind for what is really important and makes me more grateful for what I have. 
Finishing: This blog post;)
Starting: To plan our Summer activities and looking forward to sunny days at the lake and long nights by the fire pit with good friends.

i used to dress like crap (and a J crew giveaway!)

4.22.2014


Target top, old (save/splurge), dress (also loving this fringe version!), necklace and boots (similar); Urban Outfitter's hat (similar); ℅ Anjolee three stone necklace

A few years ago, before I started this blog and was sort of forced to think daily about what I choose to wear and why, I didn't have any personal style. I wore the same things over and over again, with little thought beyond tossing on a pair of jeans, a tee, and flip flops. You wouldn't have looked at me and said, "boy, SHE should start a personal style blog." I just didn't put a lot of thought into what I was wearing and how I was presenting myself. I claimed to love style and fashion and all things pretty, but my appearance didn't back this up. 

Most of my problem at that point was having two kids back to back and not having the time. I mistakenly thought that real style came with having hours to get dressed in the morning and an unlimited budget. I put together looks that didn't showcase who I was, but did show that I wasn't caring about myself and how I wanted to be viewed. I wasn't taking care of myself physically or mentally. Instead I focused on being a mom only (which is pretty common as children are sort of all encompassing, hmmm?) Everything I chose to wear was ill fitting and unattractive. 

Before kids I had more time and more income to shop, and I did. A LOT. I bought quantities of clothes for work and play, but didn't pay that much attention to what particular styles looked good on me or not. I bought trends, I never tried anything on, and I cringe when I look back on pictures sometimes. I thought of myself as a stylish person, someone who adored clothes and accessories. Dressing up and going out was a weekly thing, but again, the thought behind finding what looked good on me was not there. My twenties were not my best years style wise, and I often wonder (and admire!) those that seem to dress really well at an early age. That was not me. It wasn't until I turned thirty and began this personal style blogging journey that I really started to see what worked and what didn't. I had accountability (I had to post five days a week!), a no holds barred way to look at myself (full length fashion photos are very revealing), and an audience to sit there and tell me what they liked and what they didn't, (that's you!) 

Over time I found that I DO have a good eye for putting looks together naturally. I can mix and match different looks quickly and love coming up with cute outfits and sartorial looks. I can be more creative and take more risks, because I've realized that I only have to please myself when it comes to what I wear. I no longer wonder what others will think when I get dressed, I think about how I feel. I've discovered that I don't have to dress one way, I can experiment and make mistakes, and that's okay. I still dress sort of boring some days, I think it's natural to wear more basic things and be comfortable, but I know that I feel better when I'm making more of an effort. Taking that simple look and making it special with accessories, patterns, or a fun pair of shoes. I like standing out and knowing that I can look good in clothes, because it is my form of self expression and a way to be myself while taking care of my kids. Staying home with my children has been eye opening for me. I don't have to necessarily get dressed up, I can choose to wear workout clothes or I can choose to wear something that makes me feel good about myself. I've been on a mission lately to make more of an effort in what I wear on my 'off' days, because I have a good amount of days where I don't have to get dressed at all other than dropping my kids off at school, yet I find it important to make the effort. I think it shows that I care about myself, that I care about how I look, and I know that doing this is essential to my mental well being. 

I don't think there is an age where you can say, I have no style and I give up. I'd like to think I am proof that a unique personal style can take time and some energy to achieve, but it is possible. I find so many ideas of looks to try online, through Pinterest and other style blogs, and love that there are so many different ways to dress and express ourselves. All of us have our own comfort zones, be it classic or comfortable or trendy, it just takes a little bit of attention to detail and the willingness to find what works on you. Don't be afraid to experiment. Don't be afraid to make the extra effort, either by wearing a bright lipstick with a jeans and tee, or adding on a fun printed scarf with a cotton dress. Don't be afraid to be the most dressed up person at the grocery store. It's not about how others view you, but how you view yourself that shines through here, and it's the best lesson I've ever learned, style wise. 

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On another note, my group sponsors have a lovely giveaway today where they are giving away a $125 J Crew gift card to one of YOU! I love a gift card to a more expensive store, because it gives me the chance to splurge on things I wouldn't necessarily buy with my own money (like this white panama hat and this Sisal beach tote!) The giveaway will last a week, is open to International readers, and it pretty awesome. Good luck;)

Also, if you are interested in being a part of May's group giveaway and want a great way to lead new readers to you, this is the place for you. Every single person that has participated in this giveaway spot as increased their readership by A LOT. All you have to do is create great content, let me lead the readers to YOU! There are only six spots currently available, hurry up and reserve your spot NOW.

You can sign up for the group giveaway spot HERE.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.
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