Friday, September 12, 2014

my everyday style: the first of fall!

We've definitely gotten our first feel of fall here in West Michigan with a few very chilly mornings lately! Brrrrr! I'm still in denial that bathing suits and flip flops aren't in our normal repertoire of clothing anymore… so I still sneak in a few sandal wears here and there.  Usually I am sneaking in jeans & sweatshirts in August… but this year it was the other way around.  The summer was just too too short.

There are a few things about fall I sure do love though…
- dark nail polish again
- dark hair again (just got the summer sun taken out of my hair and it feels so fresh!)
- optional leg shaving
- cozy scarf wearing
- quiet afternoons at home while my kids are at school
- cider and donut indulging, which I have plans to do this weekend!

(photos by Jennifer Ketchum)

Scarf, H&M (old but similar, similar or similar)
Sweater, Banana Republic - 40% off today!!!!
Jeans, Gap (old but similar, similar or similar) - 25% off today!
Bag, J.Crew - arguably the best leather bag available for the price. I adore this bag.
Sunglasses, Ray Ban

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

on my radar/September!

Just a few things catching my eye lately… what's been on your radar lately?

druzy bracelet… obsessed with anything druzy lately. So gorgeous, right?

distressed jeans… I'm perfectly okay with adding another pair to my harem.

cozy swingy roomy sweaters… this one in every color please.

j.crew scents… of course I have to hop on this bandwagon. Has anyone smelled these in person? Curious to know how they smell.

eyeglasses… back to school season always has me craving a new pair of specs.  You know?

vintage LV… vintage LV has been on my mind lately and I just discovered Piperlime is carrying select styles. Very intriguing. I would love to hear your thoughts on LV/vintage/vintage LV.  Do tell.

classic green Hunter boots… winter is a b*#$%! why not have another pair of boots to make it easier to handle.

Also, on a completely different note.  A blogger that I had never heard of (and am SO glad I discovered her blog) recently sent me some love by linking to me.  So insanely sweet of her. Remember the old days when bloggers linked to each other other the time. I realized I miss those days.  So as an added bonus:

Here are a few bloggers on my radar lately… 
Un-fancy, she was so sweet to link to me and I just LOVE her blog and the premise of her seasonal shopping strategy. Seriously, check this gal out.
Burlap and Lace, she can decorate my house any time. Girl's got style.
Merrick's Art, she sat next to me at Garance's keynote speech at Alt Design Summit, since then I've been a fan.
Brown Eyed Fox, my hair dresser just told me about her the other night, she doesn't blog much but her Instagram is great.  (I kinda want her dog)

Just a few blogs I'm loving on lately… I'll bring you some more soon!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

my everyday style: fall re-runs part 2!

I've just got a few more re-runs on outfits here on the blog while I wait for the weather to start catching up with the season… we've had some super cool mornings and evenings here lately.  Fall is here! I'll be back on the regular outfit posting very, very soon here!

In the meantime, here are a few more of my favorite looks from last fall.

Monday, September 8, 2014

how do you feel about the "athleisure" trend?

The athleisure trend is one that has been on the brink of emerging for years now… think the Juicy Couture sweatsuits that Oprah raved about, or the hundred dollar yoga pants that women swore they could wear to the office because they fit so well when Lululemon first launched.  I've never seemed to really subscribe to those notions.  Work out apparel is for the gym, not for days when I don't feel like getting dressed.

But lately the athleisure trend has really morphed into something different.  Leggings with cozy sweaters is kind of my jam… but tanks and compression pants for everyday wear isn't.  But now the line between those two ends of the spectrum has really blurred.  Absolutely stunning pieces is are now being introduced into the market as "athletic wear" so it's no surprise ladies are saying that they don't just want to wear those pieces for working out.  What do you think of this trend? Do you subscribe to the athleisure trend? Do you still think work out clothes are for the gym or can you see wearing them everyday too?

My opinion is that if you take the athleisure trend seriously and dress that way for day time that is fine… but leave the sweaty yoga pants at home after gym class. (although I do admit the other day I ran errands in my gym clothes because I had such a busy day).  Hey, rules are meant to be broken, right!?!

So I would love to hear your thoughts on this trend!  

Thursday, September 4, 2014

my everyday style: fall re-runs!

I'm in the mood for fall now that school has started. Give me apple pie, cozy sweaters, the last of the bonfires and warm apple cider.  But the weather isn't really quite there yet… not in my neck of the woods and probably not in your neck of the woods either.  We are so close… so while I (and hopefully you!) enjoy the last of the summer weather - let's take a look at some greatest hits from last fall!

(above: similar shoes, similar sweatshirt, similar chambray)

(above: similar trench, similar sweater, similar bag)

(above: similar waxed jeans, similar sweater, similar shoes)

(above: similar scarf, similar bag, similar shoes)

(above: similar graphic tee, similar jacket)

(above: jeans, similar bag)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

fall must haves 2014: boots!

It's hard to choose a favorite item to buy in the fall… but boots definitely are up there on the list.  And while I don't always love the price tag that comes with boots I have always found that you get what you pay for in this department. Spending $100 to $200 or more on boots is definitely a hit to the clothing budget and pocketbook but putting on a great pair of boots and having them last you through the cold and long winter and then some is a great feeling.

Leather boots are always worth the investment and this time of the year is the best time to snag a new pair.  Here are a few of my favorite picks for this fall and a couple of ways I hope to style them up!

(above: one, two, three, four, five, six)

(get the look above: jeans, sweatshirt, glasses, boots, bag)

(get the look above: bracelet, leggings, sweater, bag, boots, scarf)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

my everyday style: it's (unofficially) fall!

It's unofficially officially fall.  Which gives me major whiplash and leaves me a little dumbfounded to be honest. Wasn't it just June?

Apparently not.  My kids start school today (praise the Lord, hallelujah!) and I'll be busy this week getting caught up on whatever I didn't get done over the past three months of non stop fun and complete indulgence.  Which is pretty much everything.  So here's to fall and to an "everything" to-do list on a Tuesday that feels like a Monday.

Enter an easy outfit… that's about all I can handle this morning.

(photos by Jennifer Ketchum)

Oxford Top, H&M (similar)
Shorts, Gap
Bag, J.Crew
Sandals, Sole Society
Watch, Daniel Wellington - ℅ 

Friday, August 29, 2014

the damage: August 2014!

At the end of each month this year I am planning to pause to take a look at my spending as it's related to my closet. I call these posts "the damage." Each month my target budget is $300 and only 5 pieces of clothing or shoes. For 2014 I chose 5 items because I am working on making my closet a more curated place and also to try to put an end to the constant closet clean outs where loads of clothes get sent to charity - but I have failed pretty miserably at the 5 things goal. It was a lofty goal I experimented with this year and I guess you win some you lose some, but this was in the "lose" category for sure.  Oh well, just keeping it real here for you gals!

For some this budget may sound like a lot and for others it may not... for me personally this is my monthly goal. It works for my budget and lifestyle and doesn't break the bank. Shopping budgets are a personal thing, but I share mine here to show how I stretch my budget and work to create a well curated and fully stocked closet.

It's hard to believe we are wrapping up August! I am headed out this weekend so I thought I would check in with my August clothing budget before the weekend fun begins.

J.Crew Factory, Quilted Vest, $98 with $5 off was $93
J.Crew Factory, Warm Spun Elbow Patch Sweater, $78 with promotions was $62.40
J.Crew, Cocoon Coat, $365 with 25% was $273.75
Old Navy, Mid Rise Rockstar Jeans, $36.50 with promotions and coupon was $12.03
Banana Republic, High Low Cardigan, $89.50 with 50% off was $44.75
Banana Republic, Zip Back Cream Sweater, $69.50 with 40% off was $41.70
Banana Republic, Faux Leather Sloan Dress, $150 with 50% off was $75

Total Spent: $509.63 (saved: $376.87)

Thoughts on the budget: I splurged on the Cocoon coat and I'm still undecided about it. It is a GORGEOUS coat, just stunning. But that price isn't messing around.  I'm glad I got it on sale but it really busted the budget and is hands down the most expensive piece of clothing I have ever bought (handbags not included).  The J.Crew Factory pieces have me a little bummed out as I bought them in store hardly on sale - I didn't do my online research before shopping and I really should have because I definitely didn't get the best price for them.  That can be the problem with shopping on vacation sometimes - I wasn't really thinking and I don't have a store near me for a price adjustment or returns.  Oh well, live and learn.

Thoughts on the pieces: My fall shopping is off to a solid start! I'm starting to really get excited for fall (even though it's brutal to say good bye to such a fun summer) and shopping for fall clothes always helps.  I went for a lot of neutrals, which is definitely my style lately - but also the predominant style this season it seems too.  These pieces will be great staples for my fall wardrobe.  The dress is for a fun upcoming event - I can't remember the last time I bought a cocktail dress so I am super excited about that.

Did you blog about your clothing budget this month? Leave a link so I can check it out!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

currently obsessed: Beautycounter!

Have you heard of Beautycounter?  When a friend recently posted on Instagram about a beauty retailer that publishes a "never" list, I was super intrigued.  Beautycounter is a new-ish beauty brand that takes safety and authenticity in product development to a new level.  Their "never" list lays out all the products that they promise to never put in their products.  It's a startling fact that the United States has not passed a federal law pertaining to ingredients in personal care products since 1938.  The EU (European Union) has a strict code banning more than 1300 additives and ingredients to personal care products but the US only bans 11.  That's kinda scary.  Because if you have read the back of your makeup bottles lately it's practically in a different language.  So who is looking out for the consumer?

Enter Beautycounter - they have committed to not using over 1500 ingredients that they don't feel are safe in beauty products all while offering the consumer a great finished product.  One that is safe and beautiful on the inside and out.  We worry so much about what is in our food, but we often overlook the products and chemicals we are putting right on our skin!

With recent mentions in magazines like Allure, Vogue, Elle and Lucky word is spreading fast about this revolutionary brand. Even J.Crew is carrying a few of their items these days. This is a brand to watch for sure and one that I am seriously falling in love with.  Here are a few of their products that I can't wait to get my hands on… (they even have kids products!).

Have you heard of this amazing company before?  They also have a great blog that talks about product safety, how to use their products and more… it's such a great resource.

(please note: this is not a sponsored post, I am just super excited about this brand… so excited that I signed up on my own to become a consultant to spread the word!)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

fall must haves 2014: track pants!

If you are just tuning in I have taken a few days over the last couple of weeks to cover my favorite fall trends right here on the blog. I try to comb my favorite stores for the easiest and most practical of the "trends" and break it all down right here for you.  So far we have covered:

Today's must have is super trendy and while I like the idea of it… I'm still on the fence about the trend in general.  Today we are talking "track pants" - not your average run of the mill pants you wear to the gym, no these are the fancy-pants kind that are made of sumptuous fabrics and nice slim cuts.  They can be dressed up and down and you can find them at all price points this fall.  Here are my top picks and few tips on how to style them. 

Will you be jumping on the track pant trend this fall?  Check out this inspiration below and then let me know what you think of this trend.

above: one, two, three, four, five, six

above: pants, top, jacket, flats, bag

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

my everyday style: last call for summer!

Can you feel that in the air… the end of summer? This is the time of year I start doing a snatch and grab on all my favorite summer pieces and wear them as much as possible.  I can feel summer slipping away and I hate to see it go without a fight.  You know?

I hardly wore my white jeans all summer - such a shame - so I decided it was time to remedy that stat.  This black tank from Madewell has seriously been my summer mvp, I haven't worn it here on the blog much but my husband and girlfriends are probably sick of this top as it's been my going out to eat/girls night out/wear it on vacation/if I see you at the store/it's my birthday/date night tank top - all summer.

Not only is it light as a breeze, but I'm also a little obsessed with tuxedo-inspired tops, which by the way seem to be in style this fall as well! (hello, I'll take this one and this one!)  What items are you trying to wear as much as possible before summer is over?

(photos by Jennifer Ketchum)

Top, Madewell (or similar, super cute and on sale!)
Jeans, Gap (or similar)
Bag, J.Crew (similar or similar)
Necklace, Sole Society
Sandals, J.Crew (similar)

Monday, August 25, 2014

fall must haves 2014: the hottest handbags!

There is nothing like the thrill of a new handbag in the fall!  When it comes to handbags I really like to go for quality over quantity and invest in a new handbag a couple times a year.  Fall is a great time to switch up your handbag and invest in a new one.  This season beautiful neutrals are where it's at for handbags which makes investing in one so easy because these beauties won't be going out of style any time soon.

Here I chose a few of my favorites and then styled them up for you for inspiration… just add crunchy leaves and a pumpkin spice latte and you are set for fall!

above: one, two, three, four, five, six