Versatile Jumpsuit

I love a good jumpsuit, or romper if you will. It takes the effort and guesswork out of putting together a whole outfit and to me is a total time saver! Sometimes, you just don't feel like having to put together a whole outfit!

I found this romper a few weeks ago and wore it for my birthday! Being that it was freezing and my birthday of course I dressed it up a bit with heels and a blazer. I have said time and time again how I love pieces that are versatile- that can be worn more than once. This romper does just that! While I was out for some birthday drinks I quickly realized it would be the perfect addition for my Mexican getaway with my husband!

Since we went with my husband's plumbing supplier (which included about 60 other people as well) we had a couple of dinner obligations while we were there. Those were the nights I wanted to dress up a bit more! I saved my more casual looks for the days we could lounge at the pool or beach until the sun went down!

Outfit Details:
Jumpsuit: Forever 21 /// Necklace: Gifted (thanks Aunt Mary Sue! Sorry I like it too much to give it back! Hehe) /// Sandals: Target, old (similar) /// Hat: Target /// Sunglasses: Target /// Bracelets: Alex and AniStella and Dot /// Clutch: c/o Blair Ritchey 

If you don't have a romper/jumpsuit, I recommend you get one! You will be so surprised at how versatile they can be! I can't wait until the temps get warmer so I can wear it- like every day. Go get one!! 



Bloggers Closet

If you are anything like me, you draw inspiration from other bloggers. I can't tell you how many things I have purchased because I saw another blogger wear it, or how many times I was inspired to pull items from my own closet to recreate something I saw!

I know I am in good company when it comes to coveting other bloggers' closets! An extremely talented (and so kind) blogger friend of mine, Lauren from Style Elixir has created one of the most genius ideas- sort of one of those "why didn't I think of this?" ideas. You see, there is this awesome sense of community within the blogging world- one where everyone supports one another, you make friends you never though you would- its wonderful! I love supporting other bloggers when they start a new venture!

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Bloggers Closet is this wonderful website that Lauren created where you can shop the items of your favorite bloggers closets! Everything from jewelry, shoes, dresses, tops and more! If you absolutely love to shop, and are madly in love with the fabulous fashion of your fave bloggers, you can join Bloggers Closet and start shopping!

I've created my own closet that you can shop- I will add items pretty regularly so keep checking back! Currently I have some cute shoes and a few sweaters up for grabs!

Happy shopping! And if you get a chance, congratulate Lauren on this awesome accomplishment and follow Bloggers Closet on twitter and instagram for up to date additions!!



Jet Setters Go-To Guide for Carry On Essentials

Ok, ok, I am definitely not a jet setter, but I can pretend, right?!?! As much as I like to over pack (I always have to put some of my things in my husband's suitcase), I try to keep my carry on to a minimum. Mainly because you have to lug it all throughout the airport, rummage through it on the airplane, and then make sure it gets to your final destination. I like it to be smaller with things easily accessible.

I rounded up some of my necessities I like to take with me when I fly. Simple, but a must!

My Blair Ritchey tote was great for this trip. Since it is more of a spring/summer bag I thought it would be perfect. It is roomy, durable and it doubled as my pool/beach bag while I was there! Magazines are a no brainer for me. My husband likes to refer to me as the Magazine Queen, which is pretty accurate. I always have a stack a mile high on our coffee table! 

A scarf is great for the plane ride because it can get pretty frigid in flight sometimes. I also toss in a pair of socks just in case my feet get cold (which they always are, along with my hands!). This Mini Emergency Kit was one of my faves in my Lucky FABB gift bag. It has everything in it from lip balm, stain remover to safety pins. You never know what you will need! I love that it is small enough to not take up a ton of room!

I usually take all of my essentials out of my big wallet (id, debit card, insurance card) and put it in my smaller Blair Ritchey wallet. I leave my larger wallet at home! Again, the smaller takes up less room! Gum, is for the ear popping, my phone for Candy Crush (duh) and music (along with my ear buds), and my Kindle to help pass the time by reading! 

My striped Stella and Dot pouf is perfect to store my makeup essentials for the trip. My makeup storage at home is typically pretty large, so I usually like to downsize for trips and only take a few things. Lets be honest, I do not need all of my blush, eye shadows, eye liners, etc. I like to keep my makeup in my carry on just in case my luggage gets lost. At least I will have my makeup! Sunglasses are just something I can't go anywhere without! I feel naked if I don't have them on me!

A couple of things that I don't have showing in the picture are a change of shoes, which I chatted about in my post yesterday. When traveling from a cold to a warm climate and vise verse, I like to have a change of (not overly bulky) shoes. I also keep a small bottle of tension headache medicine! I get headaches pretty frequently so I always have some on hand, particularly for long travel days! 

Ok, so here is a recap of my carry on essentials:



Traveling in Style Part Deux

Oh my what a week! Mexico was absolutely amazing! So relaxing, great drinks, quality time with my husband, and no children! I missed my girls so much, but it was awesome to get away!

This is going to be a pretty short post today- I have so much to do and I am (very) slowly getting back into the swing of things (we got in right before the girls' bedtime last night!), starting with Charlotte's pre-op appointment today. She is getting tubes in her ear's this coming Monday. As much as I don't want to see her put under anesthesia I am looking forward to the outcome of the tubes, which is hopefully less ear infections and possibly more speech! Busy day right off the bat! Aaaahhh!

Last week, before I left, I chatted a little about my travel outfit, and what I typically like to wear (not that I travel that much though!).

Traveling home was a little bit more tricky, because I was leaving sunny, 80 degree weather and returning to cold, harsh 20 degree temps. Yikes!

Leggings were my go to for this flight home. I knew I had a long day ahead of me so I wanted to be comfy of course. I found these leggings not long before I left and figured they would be perfect! Plus, I can't wait to winterize them with a cozy sweater and some boots! So versatile!

Outfit Details:
Chambray: Gap (similar) /// Leggings: Target /// Sandals: Old Navy /// Sneakers: Converse via Kohl's /// Hat: Target /// Bag: Blair Ritchey /// Bracelets: Alex and Ani

I kept my Chuck Taylor's in my carry on (check out my post later this week sharing what else I pack in my carry on) for when we arrived back in the states! These sandals would most definitely not cut it in the snow!

Have a great day everyone...I am off to catch up on emails, phone calls and everything else I put aside while I was gone! See you tomorrow!  



A Mama We Can Relate To

Hey ladies! Hope you are all having a great week! I am excited to introduce you to Darcy today!! She is a shoe lover, just like me and one of the most relateable women there is! I think as Mommy's we can all relate to her and her story in some way! There is much to be said about picking yourself back up and dusting yourself off, am I right?

Enjoy! And don't forget to head over to Twitter and follow Darcy!

I’ve lost my footing and I can’t get up… but I’m trying

Three years ago…

 I was a responsible teacher by day teetering around in my 4 inch wedges, shiny flat ironed locks, blonde high lights, party girl by night stumbling in shoes that pinched my toes. I had wedges and purses in every color to match any possible outfit. If there was a popular trend out there I owned it, and usually in multiple colors. I prided myself on being the best dressed out of my group of friends because I was competing with the size two’s and I was definitely not a size two, but I needed to at least act and look the part. Maybe the void inside was filled with designer labels. Before you stop reading because I sound like some superficial snob, please endure me for a bit longer.

Three years later…

I pray there is no snow so I can wear flip flops, as I grab my Trader Joe’s grocery bag/purse/diaper bag and  rush out the door, 1 year old half hanging out of my arms and doing a mental check that I brushed my teeth this morning and reminding myself to fix the bird’s nest bun on my head in the car. It was just the other day I looked depressingly at my closet because I had nothing to wear to go out with my friends. I don’t mean nothing to wear because I couldn't decide, or half the clothes didn't fit. I mean nothing to wear as in all I had were flip flops, flats, yoga pants, hoodie sweatshirts and some “teacher” clothes that no 30 year old should ever be caught dead in.

I sat on the floor among my yoga pants crying and filled with anxiety at how I could possibly show up to a bar in stretch pants. I was a mom now, how do moms dress? I couldn't seem to remember that I used to love shoes and designer purses and could create a mean “smokey eye.”  Lacking a proper outfit for a night on the town symbolized so much more than my vanity. It was showing me that I had lost myself. It’s not that I wanted to go completely back to that old person, because it’s not like that life was so fabulous. But I missed feeling careless and womanly and most important, attractive. It has felt like I have spent 2.5 years on autopilot because I didn't know how to heal the scars that have plagued me from a difficult pregnancy and even harder first year filled with health issues for myself and my son and how I couldn't cure my fiance’s depression or even worse I couldn't’ control it. I had let the downfalls of life creep into my soul, shaking me from the person I used to be. I felt ugly and needed to look it too. At only 30, I felt worn down and battered because while I was changing from party girl to motherhood I forgot to keep the fun while I was filling up with angst and responsibilities.

And with anything that falls down… at some point it must be brought back up…

Being a mom is not all doom and gloom, and has given me strength to realize that when I’m down, I have to pick myself back up. I mean seriously who would clean up the cheerios, wipe the snotty nose, inspect butt rashes, and dissect various colors and shapes of poop etc… there is not enough time in the day to sit and feel bad for myself. However, at some point there needs to be time in the day for me to “get myself together.” I tell my students, “Get it together!” when they show less then desirable behavior, I realized over winter break that it was my time to “Get it together!” So I bought a pair of mid-calf  small wedge boots to wear over my new skinny jeans. I went to Sephora and let them talk me into buying a bunch of over- priced make up. I may not be able to wear those 4 inch heels again, lets face it, I was way too clumsy in them anyway, but I am finding my way back to myself one pair of shoes at a time.



I'm In Trouble When Ella's a Teen

I can (most of the time) count on Ella to be my little fashionista. Yes, she has been into wearing her comfy sweatpants just about every day (that she has in 5 colors) but she does love a good dress that twirls, frilly skirts, and anything that sparkles. Thank goodness I have her to be a girly girl with because Charlotte (who my husband and I have nicknamed Chuck because she is just not a girly girl. Charlie was even too girly for her personality!) is just not frilly!! Like every other month, Ella was really excited when she got to pick this month's FabKids. "Mommy do you think this dress twirls? If so I want this one."

A lot of the time, regardless of whether or not an outfit matches, she totally prides herself in it! Her confidance is out of this world and always has been. I am sooooo in trouble when she becomes a teen if she keeps it up! Just the other day she dressed herself and I told her she looked pretty. Her response? "I know, Mommy. That's why I chose this outfit. Can you put eyeshadow, blush, lipstick and perfume on me, take my picture and put it on your blog? Thanks." Oh my! Before I took these pictures she was practicing her poses in the mirror. What five year old does that?!?!

Of course...a dress that twirls! 

Outfit Details:
Dress: c/o FabKids /// Leggings: c/o FabKids /// Shoes: Target (similar)

FabKids has made some pretty cool changes too. You can one of several things, based on what is more convenient for you. After you take your style quiz (based on your child, of course) you can shop outfits that have already been put together for your child based on the quiz, you can shop styles, and build your own outfits if you like, or you can shop wardrobes and buy several outfits at once which takes some stress off of you! I love that they are already put together. I can't tell you how frustrating picking out an outfit with Ella is. Regardless of whether or not we do it at bed time (to save time in the morning), or in the morning (because I didn't want to delay bedtime any longer), it is a PROCESS!!! FabKids outfits takes away some of that headache for sure.

Have a great Wednesday, everyone! 



Post Baby Body Wardrobe Woes and a Giveaway!!

Hey everyone! Hope you are all having a wonderful week so far! My husband and I are off to Mexico for the week without the girls and I couldn't be more excited! Well, I am excited, and I know the girls are in good hands with my in laws and my parents, but there is still that anxiety with leaving them. It throws off their whole routine and week. Fingers crossed my in laws and parents have a smooth week while Ryan and I are sleeping and drinking all day by the pool!

I am super excited to introduce Jennifer to you. I instantly connected with Jennifer. You see, we are on the same "post baby, get back to your old self while still remaining stylish journey." Any woman who I can share the frustrations with is a keeper (although she is a tad bit-ok a lot- closer to her goal than I am). I love her honesty, and seriously...she can pull off a tight black dress like its nobody's business! And for a good chuckle, you have got to check out her worst pictures of 2013. Regardless of whether or not you are a parent...you can appreciate them!

Before I hand it over to Jennifer, I am teaming up with some awesome bloggers for a pretty great giveaway to none other than Target! You can enter at the bottom of the post! Best of luck to you all!!

Post-baby Body Wardrobe Woes

Hello there!  My name is Jennifer and I blog over at Mommy Life After Ph.D. I birthed four babies and two graduate degrees in six years ('cause we're crazy), and completely wrecked my body in the process.

I also wrecked my wardrobe.

Before having kids I was a professional working woman.  I had pretty heels and nice slacks and tailored button-downs.  Throw in some accessories and call me ready for the day.

Then I got pregnant. Four times. With 9.5 to 10 pound babies.

And I got sucked into the hideous vortex called maternity wear.  Because let's be honest, nobody is spending their whole paycheck on the cuteness that is A Pea in the Pod.  Instead I tried to get by with size Large non-maternity cardigans worn over maternity tops. I could at least wear those again after baby arrived. 

I also used belly bands so I could keep wearing my Express and Banana Republic pants as long as possible. And when in a pinch, I'd throw on those tents otherwise known as maternity dresses. As if I needed help looking bulky! Add in some maternity tees and you have my entire wardrobe.

Fast forward five years and here I am, sitting in my comfy non-maternity yoga pants about 10 lbs. (thanks a lot, Christmas cookies) from my goal weight with a closet full of clothes in four different sizes--many of which are really no longer in style. Many of which no longer fit my day-to-day life. The rest of which don't fit period.

To add insult to injury, my feet grew a half size so I had to give all my pretty heels to my younger sisters. Can we just have a moment of silence for the size 8.5 Nine West stiletto pump?

Heels or no, as much as I would like to be back in the office, my current life revolves around school drop-offs, grocery store runs, and meetings with the trainer at the gym. My uniform is less professional-woman and more mommy-on-the-move.

So what's a girl to do?

First, find blogs like Mommy in Heels to get some amazing ideas for staying cute in and amongst the chaos.  I mean honestly, how gorgeous are Rebecca's outfits?  And her "Hollywood to Housewife" series was so fun for this housewife!

Next, I try to remember that dressing well is something I can do for myself.  I'm a bargain shopper, so it really doesn't have to involve lots of cash (T.J. Maxx, anyone?).  But it does have to involve effort on my part to take pride in my appearance.  It does involve me being something more than mommy.

I'm on a journey of sorts right now.  I'm reclaiming my identity and my body and restoring my broken wardrobe one printed scarf at a time.  It might be a little while before I feel comfortable in my clothes again, but I think there's a lot of fun (and fashion!) to be had in the process.

What about you?  Have you suffered any wardrobe woes of late?

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Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off to Mexico!

Thank God for plumbing! Without that, my husband wouldn't have a family business to run, and without that, we wouldn't have this amazing tripe to Mexico, sans children! As excited as I am to go, I am of course having major anxiety over leaving the girls. I have been away from them before, but not both of them, and not for this long. I know they will be in wonderful hands, as my parents and my in laws are splitting the time and staying at the house (so Ella won't miss school), but still- I just feel guilty about disrupting their lives (both my parents, in laws, and my girls). I know all parties involved are thrilled to be able to spend time with Ella and Charlotte, but still! I am sure once I get there I won't worry as much, and once I get a drink in my hand and a massage under my belt I will worry even less....its just the initial getting there that's the hardest part!

You know what else is hard? Packing. Especially for a tropical trip this time of year. Of course I have dresses and whatnot but I want new ones, and this is so not the time of year to buy summer dresses. They are no where to be found. No where. I really don't care for shopping this time of year anyway, because a lot of stores are in between season and the selection sucks, but I really despise shopping now because I can't find anything cute for the trip! (ok I am exxagerating when I say I can't find anything).

Anyway, when I travel (which is not often....don't get the impression I am a jet setter or anything) one of the first outfits I plan out is what I am going to wear on the plane. I typically like to be comfortable and I also like to wear layers so I can take off and put on as needed. I always think it is a little more tricky when you are leaving twenty degree temps for eighty degree temps!

Outfit Details:
Jacket: H&M (similar) /// Cardigan: (similar) /// Shirt: J Crew /// Jeans: Gap /// Shoes: Old Navy (in stores) /// Bracelets: Stella and Dot /// Hat: Target (old) 

Have a great Monday....by the time you read this, I shall be relaxing, drinking, and most likely catching up on rest! 



Brushing the Dust Off

I know I am not alone when I say "I have had this in my closet forever and just ripped the tags off." Happens all the time. Either I forget about it, I don't like it as much when I get it home and then never return it, or I just simply don't wear it. This shirt is one of those! I couldn't resist when I saw it at Kohl's. It sat and sat for a while-why, I don't know! For some reason- today of all days, I felt the need to wear it! Because of the hummingbird print, I wanted to keep everything else pretty simple and low key.

Outfit Details: 
Jacket:  /// Shirt: Kohl's (sold out online, avail in stores) /// Jeans: Gap /// Shoes: Target (on sale!) /// Watch: La Mer for Target (similar) /// Bracelet: Target (chain link bracelet), Jawbone 

I am so glad I decided to brush the dust off of this shirt and take it for a spin. The booties I have grown to love as well. They aren't the most comfortable, but they are the perfect color. They go with everything and are on sale for less than $15! I love how the taupe color brings together the burgundy with the print of my shirt! Perfect! 

Hope you all have a great weekend! Don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY with some other fab ladies to win some awesome prizes (including $100 to Nordstrom!).

I will see you here Monday! 



Dainty Arm Candy

I love accessories- it is no secret that I love how easily they can dress up an outfit or change the whole look or feel of an outfit!

Statement necklaces are one of my favorite pieces, with bangles and bracelets coming in a close second! Over the last few months, I have been known to wear stacks upon stacks of bangles. Love it!

Lately though, I have been feeling like less is more. Maybe because I have been seeing more and more of them- they are definitely trending! I think a stack of dainty, thin bangles make just as much of a statement as a stack of big, loud, intricate bracelets! I received a few thinner bangles over Christmas and my birthday, which is just feeding my 'want' for more! I am particularly fond of bangles with initials!

Here are a few of my favorites that I have rounded up.

Dainty Arm Party
1. Sarah Chloe via BaubleBar /// 2. Sarah Chloe via BaubleBar /// 3. BaubleBar /// 4. BaubleBar /// 5. Max & Chloe /// 6. Alex and Ani /// 7. Max & Chloe /// 8.Stella and Dot /// 9. Stella and Dot

One of my best friends gave me two gorgeous Alex and Ani bracelets over the holidays (this one and this one) to add to my collection that was started at Lucky FABB! I can't get enough of them! What I also love is that they are made in the USA and they are eco friendly.

Brin and Bell is another that I have recently fell in love with! My cousin gave me the cutest bangle for Christmas with mine and my husband's initials and I have been wearing it just about every day!

Tiny Gold Initial Bangle Bracelet...Small Initial Bracelet...bridal party jewelry gift idea birthday

How adorable is that bangle? I loved it so much I ordered one for one of my bf's birthday's and I ordered a necklace for myself with my daughters' initials! 

Tiny Silver Lower Case Letter and Silver Heart Necklace...Silver Sweetheart Necklace...Love Necklace Minimalist Jewelry Wedding Bridesmaid

You can custom order your piece- mix and match solid bangle with a chain bracelet, or choose gold or silver! The prices are super reasonable too, which is always great for the wallet. 

Have a great Thursday- see you tomorrow!