Friday, April 21, 2017

diy the trend: patchwork jackets for mother & daughter!

The embellished or embroidered patch trend is popping up everywhere and my daughter mentioned how much she loved the look when we were perusing the craft store recently.  So on a whim I decided it would be super fun to DIY denim jackets together in line with this trend.  I picked up inexpensive denim jackets from Old Navy and then ordered a whole slew of iron on patches online.

My daughter had an absolute BALL picking out which patches would go on her jacket and just for fun I let her pick out the patches for my jacket too.  She was a on roll... who was I to stop her?  The best thing about this DIY is that it literally takes 5 minutes!  You can use items you already own like shorts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, fabric totes, or like we did: denim jackets.  Then we (she) had fun picking out which patches would go where then I simply ironed them on. It was start to finish a 5-10 minute project with instant results, making it the perfect DIY to do with your kids (I don't know about your kids, but mine have zero patience!)  Read on to see some of my tips for this simple project!

Tips and tricks:
1) I ordered all our patches from Amazon.  I like these, these, these or these. But feel free to search for more
2) Have some fun picking out your patches... make sure you try lots of different variations and then pin them on before you iron them. 
3) Iron them on! All the packages I purchased said not to use steam... but guess what, I'm impatient and that didn't seem to work very well. So I steamed the heck out of them and voila! They were stuck for good instantly. 

Or you can shop the trend here...

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

current obsession: beach inspired bags!

Lately I am OBSESSED with beach inspired bags for summer!! The beach bag or straw tote trend is a hot one for this summer and there is no need to wait until your next beach trip to sport one of these darling bags!  They are perfect for adding a little bit of sunshine to any spring or summer look.  Here I rounded up my current favorites...

top row, from left: multi-colored pom pom totemulti-colored toteraffia clutch (on my wishlist and available in 4 colors!), "going places" with black pom poms (um, yes please!)

second row, from left: tassel clutchcream striped with pom pomswicker basket bag (so darling!), navy embroidered pom pom tote (NEED!)

Or shop the bags by scrolling below...

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

travel diaries: one shoulder crush!

Today I've got some more fun photos from our time in Hawaii.  A few of you have asked what activities we did and what suggestions we have for a vacation on the Big Island. While we only did about HALF of what we wanted to do (the time went way too fast!), but I will pull together all my recommendations in a future post - I promise!  On to today's outfit...

I so badly wanted to hop on the off-the-shoulder trend, like I've mentioned about a million times before, but for some reason that trend just doesn't work for me.  When I found this cute one shoulder top... it felt like it was (and IS!) the perfect alternative to the off the shoulder trend.  It's super easy to wear and I can still move my arms (my number one complaint with off the shoulder tops) and for a super hot summer night... it's the perfect way to stay cool.  The night we took these photographs in Hawaii it was incredibly hot and humid - you can almost see the humidity in the air in these photos. It was the one night that we had that felt this hot and no surprise it ended up raining later in the evening (also our only night of rain - albeit sprinkles!).

This denim skirt was a big hit on my recent trip to Puerto Rico and it was again for this trip!  It's the perfect length (I went for the petite size) and it's a great alternative to denim shorts which I am admittedly not always in the mood for. Plus, it's so easy to dress up for a girls lunch or night out - I wore this look to the luau we attended in Hawaii.  The only thing I worried about all night was spilling my Blue Hawaii drink on it (wink, wink!) - but no white skirts were harmed that night, I'm glad to say!

I'm a huge fan of the bandana/handkerchief trend this spring and summer... but it doesn't always work around the neck - or hey, you may not be into that look, I get that! But it doesn't mean this trend isn't for you... instead think of it as a $10 upgrade to an existing handbag you own! I love the idea of tying a scarf on a bag for spring and summer and getting a whole new look out of it!  So easy!

Outfit Details:
Scarf - no longer available... here are tons of bandana options!

Monday, April 17, 2017

my everyday style: casual sneakers!

Somewhere along the way I have turned into a total sneaker person... yes of course I still love my flats and sandals, ankle boots and what have you. But the whole sneaker thing caught me by surprise. It started with these sneakers this past winter - which I still wear ALL the time, by the way, and has just continued right on with these sneakers into the spring and summer! I had been wanting a pair of Vans Slip-ons (there are so many fun colors to choose from!) for a while and couldn't find a pair I liked.  Turns out I just needed to go down a half size - so if you have found the sizing tricky in the past - that tip may work for you too. Or if you have never owned a pair of Vans and are sometimes between sizes, keep that in mind. They are the perfect shoes for bopping around town and let me tell you they earned me some serious street cred with my kids.  (both of whom are usually resistant to Vans, which in my opinion are the perfect, easy kid shoes... and now they both of them want a pair!)

I got this lace up top before we left on spring break and have been wearing it once or twice a week at a minimum.  Something about the fabric lays really nicely and I love the shorter, not quite 3/4 length, sleeves.  All around I find it super cute and super easy to wear - which is always a win in my book.  It's also available in navy, which looks like it's on sale right now.

And like I've mentioned before... my leather jacket is an absolute spring staple.  Paired with jeans and tee it pulls together any look and is ready for chilly spring mornings.  This one is so super old, but I found this super cute one with lots of size options for only $60! Might be time to snag one if you don't already have one you love.

Outfit Details:

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The SHOPBOP sale is here!

The Shopbop sale happens a few times a year and is always one to make sure you shop!  Right now through 4/14 you can get 20% off your purchase at Shopbop or 25% off if you spend more than $500 with code: EVENT17 (there are some exclusions, but I've scoured the site and didn't see but one or two items).

Shopbop is known for their amazing designer duds that rarely go on sale, so if you have been thinking about making a investment purchase - now is the time to do it.  While Shopbop is synonymous with luxury and trend - there is more to it than that!  Today I rounded up some great spring and summer pieces that are UNDER $100 as well as some splurge worthy pieces as well.  There is something for everyone's budget here.  I also rounded up items that I own and love that are on sale at Shopbop too.
Under $100

Splurge/Over $100

Shop under $100...

Shop splurge...

Or shop items from my closet that I swear by...

Havaiana Flip Flops - the only flip flops I will wear... they are so soft!

It may seem crazy to buy BOOTS right now... but these Sperry boots are perfect for spring, fall or winter! AND, they are UNDER $40!

The most classic pair of white sneakers ever. They are available in four colors!

Knotted & striped espadrilles I recently got that I can't wait to wear this summer!

I LOVE these ankle wrap sandals - I have these in silver and they are quite comfy!

You can't resist Hunter boots on sale! These are perfect for rainy spring days!

I just snagged these loafers this spring and wear them non-stop!

These Tory Burch flats are SO comfortable and perfect for running errands and travel.

This Mini MAC bag by Rebecca Minkoff is the perfect cross-body bag for travel or running errands.

This leopard print clutch is so classic and versatile!

This large Tory Burch tote is perfect for travel or as a laptop bag!

My all time favorite jeans - these are the jeans I wear about 90% of the time!

I recently splurged on these sunglasses and haven't regretted it. They are quite comfortable and so cute!

Or view more pieces in outfits here...

Shop the items from my closet...

travel diaries: late afternoons on the patio!

One of my favorite traditions both during the summer AND when we are vacationing in a warm climate is late afternoons on the patio.  Our family loves to spend time at the pool and the beach whenever we possibly can!  We are total sun-seekers. After we've had a morning and afternoon of sun and fun the best way to wind down towards dinner is hanging out outside in the shade and finally out of our wet swimsuits. I love to throw on an easy dress and mix a few cocktails before dinner.

A few years ago on vacation my husband invented the "wine spritzer" drink that has now become my favorite vacation and summer drink.  It's light and fresh and only about half the alcohol and easy to make with whatever you have on hand while on vacation (which is usually limited).  We usually have a full kitchen while vacationing (I can't live without it!) and we keep a limited supply of food that we can finish within the week.  I like to make sure there is fruit on hand, plenty of Lacroix or sparkling water and of course, wine.  My husband simply mixes up one part wine with one part sparkling water then adds in a some sliced fruit. Just fill up a big cup with ice then fill it half with wine and half with the sparkling water. It's so easy! This is the perfect poolside or pre-dinner drink because it's so light and refreshing but is easy on the alcohol AND calories!  When we are home, or if we splurge on vacation - it's extra delicious with a dash of St. Germain thrown in.  It's hardly a 'recipe' it's so easy!

I'm a unapologetically a sucker for striped dresses and while I love THIS one for dressier events, the one I am wearing today is super affordable, machine washable and perfect to throw on when you need an effortless look. Sadly, this exact dress is only available in black right now (which I also own and love!) - but no worries... I linked to a few other easy-peasy striped options under $100 below!

Outfit Details:
Similar Striped Dresses under $100 - see below

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

instagram lately: hawaii!

This year our family visited Hawaii for spring break - talk about a trip of a lifetime! We have had Hawaii on our wishlist for a while but always seemed like something we would do 'later.'  I think we actually surprised ourselves booking the trip!  We knew nothing about any of the islands and randomly booked at the Big Island.  So many people looked at us weird because apparently Oahu and Maui are much more common islands to visit. But we are never the type to do what everyone else is doing and when we landed we knew the Big Island had our heart right away.  Not visiting the other islands, I can't speak to them - but the Big Island isn't very touristy, no high rises, tons of open space filled with lava rock (which is surprisingly beautiful) and is beautiful beyond words!   

If you follow me on Instagram you already saw some of our adventures... but I thought I would recap them here on the blog as well!

The pineapples in Hawaii are AMAZING. OH MY! It's like I had never had a pineapple before! It was the perfect afternoon snack or dessert in the evening.  I wore these shorts almost the entire trip! They are so comfy and relaxed and this sweater (I believe it's on sale!) was the perfect extra layer when the sun went down at night. Also, I was worried these sunglasses were too big... but I rocked them loud and proud the entire trip and loved them (or less expensive option here).

Again with these shorts... and this hat was a real winner all trip long too. I tried a few new sun products this trip.  The Supergoop sunscreen oil and the Supergoop face spray SPF. I liked (not loved) the sunscreen oil, but I am IN LOVE with the face spray.  The face spray smells amazing and feels really great on your skin. I highly recommend it. 

No shame here: we ate a TON of shaved ice in Hawaii. It's my absolute favorite and hard to find in West Michigan.  I wore a lot of long sleeve light weight oxford-type tops the entire trip. I love that they are easy to throw on over a bathing suit and are a light weight protection from the sun also. 

We found the cutest road-side stand selling pineapple, mangos and bananas from their farm along with (more) shaved ice and fresh chilled coconuts to drink out of. I was basically in heaven.  Also these kekui nut bracelets (and necklaces) were for sale all over the island. And of course I had to snag a few! They are so beautiful and shiny! These were $4 a piece, but I saw them for as low as $2.50 a piece in stores. They were the perfect little souvenir to bring home. 

Hanging out on our back lawn and drinking wine spritzers was a daily occurrence in the late afternoons. This dress (under $25!) was perfectly easy to throw on after a day in the sun. I will feature my 'vacation' wine spritzer recipe later this week on the blog! Oh and these sandals got a ton more wear this trip too...

I randomly picked up this pineapple float for the kids and I to play with in the pool... I had no idea it would be SO LARGE and also that pineapples would end up basically being the theme of our trip! We all had such a fun time playing on it all week. (find my suit top & bottom here)

I am SO missing these aqua blue waters.

This one sleeved top was fun to wear to dinner one night. It's super cute and easy to wear. I paired it with shorts but it would be cute with skirts and jeans too! (shop my shorts, similar Loren Hope bracelet & earrings)

I hope you enjoyed my Hawaii instas! Stay tuned to the blog for lots more fun outfits I captured in Hawaii that didn't make it to Instagram...

Monday, April 10, 2017

my everyday style: mothers day gift guide with Nordstrom!

Motherhood is by far my greatest accomplishment in life. I LOVE my kids and would do anything for them, but motherhood is HARD and a daily struggle to be my best self for my family - there is nothing like a day where my kids and husband take a break just to spoil me for a bit. Other holidays, like Christmas and birthday's, are about me scurrying around behind the scenes to make everything magical for my family.  But on Mother's Day I get to just be and let everyone else take charge.  I love it.

When we have a weekend morning without kids sports we have our weekly traditions. My husband always does a big pastry run on Saturdays (he seriously hits up like 3 of our favorite bakeries, our current favorites are Nonna's Pantry, Nantucket Bakery and Donut Conspiracy if you are local) to stock us up for the weekend.   Then on Sunday's we always do brunch together as a family.  I don't shy away from adding a mimosa or two to the mix for a special occasion either! I love our little family traditions and as my kids turn into teens right before my eyes, I'm glad they can still be swayed to think their parents are marginally cool and worth hanging out with over a donut or eggs and bacon.

Besides baked goods my husband and kids know that the way to my heart for Mother's Day (and really any occasion) is a new purse. I'm pretty predictable that way. Other favorites? Earrings, a new necklace, or a beautiful candle can always make me feel special.  Today I'm not only featuring a peek into how we celebrate Mother's Day in my house but also an amazing round up of Mother's Day gifts in collaboration with Nordstrom.  Use these ideas to shop for the amazing moms in your life... or forward the post to your loving husband who may need a few hints this year. It's up to you!  Read on for tons of Mother's Day gift ideas at all price points!

Also stay tuned to the blog - there is lot's more fun Mother's Day content coming up in the next few weeks!

My outfit: 

Shop under $100 gifts...

Shop splurge gifts...

This post was created in collaboration with Nordstrom. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog!


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