Tuesday, September 19, 2017

my everyday style: fringe sweater!

What's your biggest challenge in getting dressed each day? I always love to pick out cute outfits and plan them out carefully, but I'll be honest that some days I just get too lazy to get dressed.  So instead I will just throw on a ratty old t-shirt and jeans and then call it quits.  Since I work at home there are a lot of days that I don't interact much with other adults and since I doubt my kids notice what I am wearing, it seems like too much effort.

That's why I love to have wardrobe formulas on hand that are easy to pick out and easy to throw on so I can avoid the ho-hum outfits.  Don't get me wrong, there isn't anything bad about my jeans and a t-shirt combo, it's just that I feel better about myself and usually feel more productive when I actually have an "outfit" on.  I find that making these "formulas" as EASY as possible means I'm more likely to go for them when I get out of the shower vs my lazy standbys.  Jeans and a sweater is my go-to for fall and winter.  It's so easy, it's warm, the sweater can be worn on it's own or with a coat or jacket over top - it's everything good about an outfit.  I especially try to keep sweaters on hand that are fun to wear, have a little extra something to them (like this fringe detail, shop it here or here) and of course that are soft and not-itchy so that I can wear them all day with ease.  Then I can just throw on a pair of jeans and flats and I am set for the day!

I rounded up some of my other favorite sweaters right now below... who's going to join me hoarding sweaters for the winter like squirrels!?

Outfit Details
Sweater (here or here, I'm wearing a small)

Shop my look...

Shop sweaters I love for fall...

Monday, September 18, 2017

instagram style lately!

Fall is in the air people! And by in the air, at this exact moment I mean, in my head. After having a cool end to August and a cool start to September we are in a full on heat wave with near 90 degree temperatures.  And to be honest, it couldn't come at a worst time.  I LOVE fall and I LOVE summer...  when it's actually time for fall and summer and not the other way around. You know?  I feel the pain of all you gals in the southern states just begging for cool temperatures. I about melted into the metal bleachers at a football game this weekend and a trip to the apple orchard this weekend as a family left us all sweaty and grumpy.  Can we get fall back? Like now!?!?

Until then, we can use this Instagram inspiration from when it actually WAS feeling like fall a few weeks back and then be as patient as possible to start layering and sipping warm drinks again.  Patience is a virtue friends and I have to remind myself of that continually.  Until I master it... here are some of my favorite Instagrams as of late.

For a trip up to Northern Michigan recently we spent the warm days at the beach and cool nights bundled up in layers.  This beach towel is a favorite of mine... other travel necessities include my 'boat and tote' bag, this cozy jacket (or less expensive option)and a pretty purse.

If you've been following along on my Instagram, most of my outfits are centered around sports and traveling to sports.  This outfit proved the perfect travel outfit when we drove to Indy recently (which, BTW - love that city!).  Cozy loafers, classic skinny jeans, a striped top, and most importantly my car-ride necessities: a cashmere wrap (this one is on sale!) and this tote.

Dressing for soccer games is one of my biggest challenges... it's warm one minute, cool the next... and I need to be comfortable and (hopefully) a little stylish too.  Easy white skinny jeans, a v neck tee and Birkentstocks are the perfect outfit in my opinion (now soccer in the rain is a different story!).  And this little jacket (or less expensive option) is a new favorite and quite warm!

It's crazy to think that just a week ago I was sporting all these layers for a football game after the sweat shesh we just had this past weekend.  But this vest & sweater combo were perfectly cozy for a fall morning on the bleachers.  I love the loop detail on this sweater (find it here or here).  Paired with distressed jeans (similar) and ankle booties was the perfect fall look in my book!

I'm having a pretty serious sneaker moment lately... and really, when they are this stylish - why not!?!?  This pair is black calf hair, I mean... yes please! (also shown, jeans and rug)

I will never turn away a fresh striped top (or find more sizes here)... I love the button detail on this one.  Paired with a scarf for chilly mornings and my mom uniform of skinny jeans/flats/tote - this is the perfect running errands/busy mom look.

Again with the sneakers (color: gun metal)... I desperately needed a new pair this fall and LOVE these!  Paired with a sweatshirt and easy jeans... this is my favorite type of outfit, no doubt. (sunglasses here)

Friday, September 15, 2017

4 easy back to school meals!

My easy meal formula posts continue to be a popular series here on the blog... I guess you guys come for the fashion and stay for dinner, huh!?! I am okay with that, because truth be told, when I am feeling uninspired for meals I actually can look back on my own posts now.  

Like clothing, my meal planning changes with the seasons... this time of year I go from summer where I rarely cook organized meals to fall where I have to be uber organized to get everyone fed around our super hectic after school schedules.  I depend on TWO things for feeding the family when we are all going in our own directions between the hours of 4pm and 8pm.  The first is the crockpot - of course! And the second are majorly, majorly easy meals.  Today I've got a little bit of both of those types of meals for you!


Chili with Corn Dippers
Canned chili may be a head scratcher to you (I mean, it seems a little 1980's TV dinner-ish) but Trader Joes makes a really delicious canned chili (both their beef and their vegetarian!).  I love this meal because it's easy to have on hand for in a pinch since it's mostly pantry items and it's ready to serve FAST.  Warm the chili on the stove top, then everyone can top it with their favorite toppings.  We like shredded cheese, avocado or sour cream (or all three!) and then use the corn chips for dippers.  Everyone is fed in about 10 minutes here, so you can't beat it!

Chicken Noodle Soup
Every year I kick off the school year with a big batch of chicken noodle soup. It's one of my kids' favorite meals.  It can be a little labor intensive so to make it easier I put the chicken and about 2 cups of broth in the crockpot in the morning on low and cook it all day.  Then about an hour before I serve it I shred the chicken (leaving it in the crockpot), saute the carrots, onions and celery (about a cup of each) and add 6 more cups of broth, the sauteed veggies and about 2 cups of noodles to the crockpot (still on low).  That comes together in about an hour and it's ready to serve with a garnish of parsley and plenty of oyster crackers.  This is a great meal to keep on the counter warming all evening and everyone can eat as they are able. It's perfect for a night when everyone is running in opposite directions.  Then I always freeze the leftovers for a cold and cloudy day in the future. 

Pot Roast
Pot roast has got to be one of my favorite meals when the weather gets cool.  Its a little indulgent so we don't eat it often, but that makes it special too.  I'm obsessed with the Cabernet Beef Pot Roast from Trader Joes mostly because all the seasoning is included, so its SO EASY.  I fire up the crockpot on low in the morning and fill it with the meat, the potatoes, 1 cup of water and 1 cup of wine.  Then dinner is ready to go at the end of the day.  This recipe is so mouth watering and the entire thing gets gobbled up in minutes by the whole family.  Then of course, there is almost a full bottle of wine left over... consider it your prize. ;)

Easy Mexican Feast
We, like most families, love to eat Mexican inspired meals. They are so easy to prepare and usually everyone loves them.  But we also find that we get a little sick of tacos after a while... so it's fun to mix it up a bit.  The tamales from Trader Joes are SO delicious and they cook up in the microwave super fast. I am not above a microwaved meal from time to time.  Pair them with some roasted corn and a bagged salad and this meal comes together in minutes and everyone loves it.  I will say we are pretty partial to the chicken and cheese tamales, but the cheese and green chile version is a close second. This is another meal that is easy to have on hand.  I usually have some type of freezer meal ready to go and when you pair it with a fresh salad it doesn't seem so last minute.

If you want to see all the easy meal features from the archives... click here!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

on my radar: September 2017!

With the back to school (read: back to reality) season here and in full swing I'm started to get my head above water with life in general (read: work, finally making dinner again, laundry, school forms, etc). I feel like I am finally getting back to myself after the crazy, albeit fun, days of summer.  One of those pieces that is finally coming together is simply getting dressed again each day.  There is no more throw on a swimsuit and cover up type days (RIP) so instead I'm working on pulling together a fall wardrobe that is just as comfortable.  More than ever before I am craving comfort and ease in my everyday looks.  I think it's just the season I am in with life and motherhood.  Of course, I always walk the line of keeping my looks stylish as well... so with both of those goals in mind, these are a few things on my radar these days.

top row:
cardigan, with huge swings in daily temps I'm finding cardigans to be a wardrobe life saver lately.  50 degrees in the morning and 80 in the afternoon is never easy to dress for - thank goodness for easy layers!

crescent necklace, since I'm not in the sun all day or at the pool I am loving getting back to wearing necklaces and earrings on a daily basis.  How pretty is this one?

knot mule loafers, without fail my current style status is "grab and go" easy mules with adorable bows like this pair is perfect for pairing with jeans and a t-shirt.

jogger pants, any one else noticing that it's getting darker earlier now? Thank goodness for cozy lounge pants that can also double as "real" pants when I run the carpool or the early morning bus stop run.

tote bag, I've been looking for a new fall handbag and I LOVE this roomy tote in classic caramel brown... of course, it only comes second to this one that I can't get out of my head/heart but probably isn't in the budget right now.

'au revoir' sweatshirt, give me all the sweatshirts and no one gets hurt.  Who's with me?

bottom row:
'volunteer librarian' tee, (hands raised!) I'll volunteer at the library any day... I'm sure that work involves sitting and reading books all day, right!?!?

iPhone case, I purchased this iPhone case earlier this summer and I get SO many compliments on it.  Bonus! It's on sale right now!

chewed hem denim, these crazy hemmed jeans are my current obsession and this pair is perfect for shorties like me, they are the perfect length.  These will be coming to the blog soon or check out this less expensive option.

tassel scarf, who else is soooo ready for scarf season and I am loving this super affordable tassel scarf.  It's available in quite a few colors too!

sneakers, this mama needed a new pair of sneaks (just like her kiddos) to kick off fall this year.  I absolutely LOVE this pair!

tie sleeve sweater, okay the embellished sleeved trend just won't quit. But how cute is this tie sleeve sweater? I love the relaxed oversized vibe. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

my everyday style: sweater weather!

Sweater weather is the best weather in my opinion!  There is nothing like slipping on a soft and cozy sweater on a cool morning or evening as fall kicks in.  I especially love when a sweater has a little extra something something like this one (found here or here in more colors)... the crossed back on this one is perfect for early fall as it offers not only a fun little texture element at the back, but is also provides a little AC if the temperature happens to swing plus or minus 30 degrees in one day. Which Michigan weather is known to do.  It never fails that I leave the house in the morning when it's 50 degrees out, only to be drowning in sweat 4 hours later when it decides to be summer again.

And as I am typing I am realizing that this is the second pair of black jeans I've featured this week... suffice to say, I'm big into black jeans lately.  This pair is ultra stretchy and comfortable and I loved the unique hem. There are two reasons I really seem to be fond of them these days... the first is that they are just so dang flattering.  Black clothing hides a multitude of sins and black jeans are NO exception.  When I'm feeling like my ego needs a boost or I just can't find anything I really want to wear, black jeans always work for me. The second reason is that they always look a little more pulled together than they feel.  So I can feel like I am wearing my comfiest pair of blue jeans... but I look about 50% more pulled together.  And I'll take that 50%, thank you very much.

Outfit Details:
Sweater -  here or here in more colors
Necklace - 50 % off

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

3 ways to style sneakers for fall!

Sneakers have quickly become a go-to piece in my busy-mom wardrobe these days.  I'm thankful that sneakers are seen as "trendy" and cool right now, because that means I can slip them into outfits here and there without compromising style or comfort.  Two things that I value highly in an outfit.

Today I pulled together three fun sneaker inspired looks for inspiration on how you too can pull together easy outfits that look and feel great too.  Whether you are embarking on a road trip or taking to the skies for an upcoming trip, hanging with your kiddos at the farmers market or just getting ALL the errands done, these easy outfits are comfortable and chic and oh so easy to pull together!

Shop the looks...

Look #1

Look #2

Look #3

Monday, September 11, 2017

my everyday style: fall layering with Old Navy!

This post is created in collaboration with Old Navy. All opinions are my own.
Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog.

This is it friends... the first official scarf sighting of the season! You got that right. I'm sporting a scarf for the first time this fall and I'm pretty thrilled about it.  Fall weather has descended on Michigan (minus a few straggling 80 degree days forecasted this week) and I'm in full on fall mode for outfits. Lightweight layers are key right now because just as fast as I can layer them on for chilly mornings, the clouds will part and I will have to layer them all off again.  I've also officially gotten my first warm drink from Starbucks for the season, so we are in deep friends! (next up... the fireplace, Uggs and pumpkin sightings!)

Old Navy isn't just my destination for my kids' back to school clothes (although, let me tell you - we found some GREAT pieces there!), it's also one of my favorites for classic fall layering pieces. This super soft henley top is perfect on it's own or under a cardigan later this fall.  And I love this hooded jacket (that covers my bum!) for football games or visits to the apple orchards.  Black skinny jeans are my favorite this time of year (so flattering and comfortable) and this pair is perfectly stretchy. And yes, I finally broke down and added a scarf... here I tucked it under the collar of my jacket for an extra pop of pattern, I love camo print for fall and it's such an inexpensive way to add some personality to any outfit.

If you are local, ArtPrize kicks off in a few short weeks and since downtown will be crazy then we decided to pop down to Calder Plaza before the insanity starts. I remember running around the bright orange-red Calder when I was a kid and I remember bringing my kids here as little toddlers to do the same. We still love to hang out here now that my kids are a little older because who doesn't love a little hide and seek between all of Calder's nooks and crannies?

Outfit Details:
Top - courtesy of Old Navy
Jacket - courtesy of Old Navy
Scarf - courtesy of Old Navy
Jeans - courtesy of Old Navy

Friday, September 8, 2017

3 ways to wear...

I recently snagged this adorable balloon sleeve striped top (on sale!) and was having some fun styling it for a photoshoot soon and thought, hey I should document this quick for the blog.  It will be coming to the blog soon... in the meantime you can shop it on sale and maybe get some styling inspiration for your long holiday weekend. I'm always tweaking outfits last minute, so it probably won't be any of the combinations you see here which speaks to the versatility of this fun top.

Can you believe the (unofficial) end to summer is already here? I am SO SO ready for a long weekend but still feeling a little sad about summer being over.  I hope you enjoy your weekend!  Check out my Facebook page all weekend, I will be posting some Labor Day sales there.

(above: top, shoes, jeans, tote, earrings, perfume
This first look is perfect for a more casual office environment, date night or meeting friends for drinks.  Black jeans always elevate a look and are so flattering - I love them paired with these knotted mules.

(above: top, necklace, shoes, clutch, jeans)
Perfect for running errands or heading out to dinner as a family. Classic dark wash jeans and a fun necklace pull this look together perfectly. 

(above: top, shoes, bag, jeans)
I am hanging on to my white jeans for September for sure.  I love the striped top paired with a little heel and nude accessories for brunch or meeting a friend for lunch. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

my everyday style: Everlane launches denim today!

This post is sponsored by Everlane and Shopstyle. All opinions are my own.
Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog.

One of my favorite brands is launching their denim line today and I couldn't be more excited to help them promote it!  Everlane has LONG been my go-to destination for wardrobe basics.  I am obsessed with their u-neck tees (so soft!), their affordable cashmere and they knock a striped top out of the ballpark. Everlane's affordable and transparent pricing and ethical manufacturing process make them a clear winner in so many ways.  Today they are launching their first ever denim line.  With classic cuts like high- and mid-rise skinny leg or a relaxed boyfriend fit their denim has also earned a spot in my closet now too.  Today I am wearing the mid-rise in bone (love this creamy white!) and the dark rinse in high-rise.  And just FYI, I sized up in both fits... since these jeans are inspired by the classics cuts of the 80's and 90's they have NO stretch... which makes for even more good news: they won't stretch out! The BEST part (you will hardly believe it!) they are only $68.  Yep! Under $70 for premium denim.  I mean, come on, it's no surprise why I'm smitten.

From running weekday errands to weekend pastry runs, these jeans are the perfect addition to my busy mom-life wardrobe.  I seem to have embraced white jeans more this early fall than I did all summer.  I love how they look paired with darker accents like a cozy cotton sweater and a darker bag. With such cool fall mornings lately I've had to bundle up for our usual weekend pastry runs.  Classic high-rise jeans and an easy striped top make for the perfect summer to fall outfit foundation.  You can pile a bunch of extra layers on as needed and then peel them off as the day goes on.  It's basics like these that I depend on to look pulled together and feel comfortable all day long.

Look 1 Details:
Sweater - courtesy of Everlane
Jeans - courtesy of Everlane

Look 2 Details:
Striped Top - courtesy of Everlane
Jeans - courtesy of Everlane

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

my everyday style: lakeside in Northern Michigan!

I've mentioned it here (about a million times) but our family loves taking advantage of living near Lake Michigan as much as possible. It's our families' happy place.  There is something about being near the water where I feel like I can just take a huge exhale on life.  And of course, there is no one I would rather do that with than my little gang of people.  It's nice to know that even as the kids get bigger, we can all still have a fun time together.

I love chilly evenings at the lake - they really get me in the mood for fall.  We popped out to the water to get some wiggles out before dinner when we were there a few weekends back.  I love when the air is getting cool for the night, but the sand still has the warmth of the sun in it.  We found a bunch of cool rocks, some wild grapes growing and the kids found "tide pools" (even though we don't have a tide on the lake) filled with tiny fish.

I'm officially obsessed with this quilted jacket... it's everything you loved about the excursion puffer vest, but with sleeves.  It's lightweight, surprising warm and I have already gotten lots of wear out of it in the couple weeks I've owned it.  J.Crew really seems to be going back to it's roots this fall, and I couldn't love it more.  This button neck top is really giving me classic J.Crew vibes and it's perfect for layering under jackets, cardigans and vests this fall.  Both of these pieces are already MVPs in my closet and it's only the first week of September.  That's a win in my book.

Outfit Details:
Striped Top (or here)
Shoes - or similar


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