7/13/18

Embroidered Shorts + Friday Four

13 comments |
Well, after saying earlier this week I wasn't going to shop the Nordstrom Sale, I saw a few very tempting things once the sale launched. As much as I tried not to go browsing the sale, it's so hard to blog and engage with your blogging friends and avoid it entirely! But once I had them in my virtual shopping cart, the site wasn't letting me check out. I'm sure it was overloaded with traffic, but I took it as a sign that I should hold off on buying them right away. In the meantime, I have plenty of summer clothes to wear and share, like today's outfit with these embroidered pull-on shorts and my new favorite summer wedges.
Similar Navy Tank | Embroidered Shorts | Sandals (c/o) | Tory Burch Bag (c/o Shopbop) (Budget Option) | Necklace | Earrings | Charmed Stacks Bracelets

SHORTS: These embroidered pull-on shorts are comfortable and true to size. They also have an 
interior lining so you don't have to worry about them being too sheer despite their ivory color. 

TANK: My tank is a couple of years old from Target, but I couldn't find a current version in this color online. They're usually pretty good about re-issuing staples like this each year, but at least Old Navy has a similar version at a good price. 
Similar Navy Tank | Embroidered Shorts | Sandals (c/o) | Tory Burch Bag (c/o Shopbop) (Budget Option) | Necklace | Earrings | Charmed Stacks Bracelets

 SANDALS: I have been wearing these sandals a lot since I got them, and I can't say enough good things about them. The heel doesn't feel high at all since it has a platform in the front, and the soles are also light so I don't feel like I'm clomping around when I wear them. I've noticed that a lot with espadrilles -they have a very heavy sole and it's just not as comfortable walking around in those for me as it is with these. The blogger favorite Treasure & Bond wedges were that way for me. They look darling on everyone but the soles felt really heavy to me, plus I was between sizes and there was just no way around that. So I'm glad to have found these since they serve a similar purpose.

Here are three of the ways I've worn these wedges so far. They really do go with almost everything!

Here are my four random things for this Friday!

1. Coffee & Conversation: On Wednesday I attended another Hatched Collective "Coffee and Conversation" Event at Frost Me Gourmet in Little Italy. These are organized for female entrepreneurs of all kinds to connect and share in person. What I love about these events vs. more blogger-oriented events I've attended is that we dive in to deeper sharing on relevant topics with prompt questions that the host provides. I personally find this a lot more enjoyable than just making small talk with random bloggers or women that I'll probably never meet again. While I can't say I've made any new lasting connections (yet) in the two events I've attended, they were still worthwhile in and of themselves.

2. Instagram Polls Lately: I might be a little addicted to taking polls on Instagram lately. I can't help it - I just think it's fun to see how other people weigh-in on a particular topic. Here are the results of a couple of my recent polls:
Although I can't vote on my own polls, my vote for this one was with the 63% majority. In fact I made a goal not to buy any new swimwear this summer. All of my suits from past seasons are in good shape and I really don't need anything new. I often do better with my shopping budget when I strike out full categories like "Swimwear" or "Nordstrom Sale." Then I just don't go looking for trouble there!

This is one I did for my own benefit, really. I hesitate to post a lot of sale info on Instagram when I feel like soooo many bloggers have already posted about it. I thought it would be helpful to know how many who follow me are already following sooo many other bloggers as well or if they follow just a handful and might appreciate the sale alerts and such.
Well...it's practically a tie. For the most part I've just kept doing my usual thing and posting a sale mainly when there's something I own and recommend.

3. Speaking of Polls: I did take a blog-only poll a few weeks back regarding my posting schedule here and whether you all would prefer M/W/F posts or shorter, more frequent posts.  Here's how that ended up:
Thanks to your feedback, I'm sticking with the M/W/F schedule. I will still add an extra post here and there when it makes sense, like I do with my monthly book reviews.

4. Speaking of Extra Posts...I will definitely have an extra post next Monday evening or Tuesday morning (whenever I finish it) for Amazon Prime Day. I'm re-posting this segment from my Book Reviews post on Tuesday for those who missed it. In case you do not already have a Prime Membership, it's worth noting that you can sign up for a 30-Day free trial to see if it's worth it for you and take advantage of all the Prime Day deals.
I'm a huge fan of Amazon Prime. And yes, in full disclosure I have worked with them as a Fashion Influencer for about two years but I've been a Prime Member since 2006. So the love goes way back and this is a very organic brand partnership for me. That said, I still pay for my own Prime Membership, Kindle Unlimited, Audible Membership etc. and genuinely love and constantly use those services. Prime Day is coming up on July 16 and there will be all kinds of amazing deals for Prime Members across numerous categories. Even if you're on the Free Trial plan you'll be able to take advantage of those deals! I'll definitely be blogging some of my favorites on Prime Day, click here to sign up now and thank me later when you're scoring the best deals on Prime Day and enjoying the benefits of 2-Day Prime Shipping and free returns on all the things!

And that does it for today! I'm looking forward to a nice relaxing weekend. We have a few activities lined up for the kids and will most likely try to do a date night at a restaurant with some outdoor space to make the most of summer. Hope you all have a great weekend too!


Linking up with:  JoLynne | ErikaAndreaNarci | Andrea | The Blended Blog

7/11/18

Black Sundress + Tory Burch Miller Dupes

36 comments |
I could just as easily have titled this post, "What to wear when it's too hot for clothes" because that's about how I was feeling on the day I took these pictures. We had a crazy heat wave here last weekend and it was at least 110 degrees outside, so an easy breezy sundress was all I could tolerate. Groundbreaking fashion? No. Real-life practicality? Yes!
Black Sundress | Earrings | Necklace | Tory Burch Bag (c/o Shopbop) (Budget Option) | Sandals (c/o) | Charmed Stacks Bracelets (get 10% off with code onthedailyx)

SUNDRESS: This dress runs true to size (I'm wearing XS here), and since Old Navy runs a different promo every day it's hard to say what the pricing will be when I post this, but it's generally under $25. It was perfect for a hot Saturday of running a few errands with the family and then reading on the couch. Moving as little as possible also seems to help beat the heat!

On a side note, this summer I'm really trying to avoid my strapless bra as much as possible purely for comfort reasons. As a result I'm favoring regular tanks instead of the camis that have been my staple in summers past. That said, regular bra is not an option for this dress, so I used my NuBra instead. It works pretty well with this dress because the bodice is fitted, so that helps hold them more securely in place. Does anyone else worry when they wear adhesive bras that you'll get sweaty and it will come unstuck and fall out at an inopportune time? It can't be just me! Anyway, I've had my NuBra for a few years and it's held up very well, but I've also heard great things about this Target Adhesive Bra and I might try that when my NuBra wears out.
Black Sundress | Earrings | Necklace | Tory Burch Bag (c/o Shopbop) (Budget Option) | Sandals (c/o) | Charmed Stacks Bracelets (Get 10% off with code onthedailyx)

TORY BURCH MILLER SANDALS: When I first got a pair of Tory Burch Miller Sandals, I wasn't quite sure they lived up to the blogger hype. Now that I've had them for awhile and have a nude and black pair, I have to say I do reach for them a lot. That's not to say I can truly say the cost is justified, but that if you do decide to splurge on them and have a casual lifestyle, you'll get your money's worth and bring the cost per wear way down over the summer. They're true to size for me, but I've read a lot of reviews that say go a half size up, so maybe it depends on your foot shape or toe length? At any rate, I've tried to offer a few budget option links in the past but I've just recently found a few more Miller dupes/Miller-inspired sandals worth sharing. Any of these would work just as well with a sundress like this.

1. Tory Burch Miller - Black Patent | 2. Tory Burch Monroe | 3. Tory Burch Miller - Sand Patent
4. Amazon  | 5. Amazon | 6. Cato Fashions | 7. Amazon  | 8. Amazon

Most of the Budget Options above come in multiple colors so if you like the style but not the color, click through the link to see all available options.

And thanks to a savvy-reader comment on this post had to update this post to add one more option here! These are very similar indeed! At $55 they're a little more than the budget options above, but give a much closer look to the two Tory Burch colors pictured below:

3 Ways to Wear a Black Sundress
While I haven't needed any layers lately, this dress does "play well with others" so to speak. It paired easily with some basic jackets and cardigans.

On a separate note, you may have heard from other blogs that the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale starts tomorrow. For what it's worth, I'm personally not planning on shopping the sale or creating content around it. Historically I just haven't found it to make a lot of sense for me to buy fall clothes in July when I know I won't be able to wear them until November. By that time there are plenty of other fall options to choose from at all retailers at equally good prices...if not better. And in retrospect, I've never once regretted not shopping the sale! I try not to be a sale hater because hey, I have my favorite sales that I post about too. So I can't be a hypocrite just because someone else has a different favorite sale than mine. And it's always possible I'll cave and order one or two things I can use right now (e.g. jewelry), but if by chance you wondered whether I'd be covering the sale...now you know!


Linking up with: The Blended Blog | Kelly, Anessa | Brooke | Dawn | JoLynne




Link Up Hosts:
Join us to share your Style on the Daily by linking up your latest fashion-related posts below! If you link up, we ask that you link back to your hosts Amy Ann and Gina and follow us on the social media platform of your choice. Thank you!

7/10/18

July Book Review 7/10/18

38 comments |
Welcome to my July Book Reviews! As usual I have a mix of fiction and non-fiction, and all reviews are free of any major spoilers. My non-fiction selections were audiobooks via Audible, which does affect my experience with the book. With all that in mind, let's get on with the reviews!


FICTION:
Between Sisters by Kristin Hannah
Basic Plot: Sisters who were close in childhood grew apart in their teen and young adult years due to life circumstances somewhat beyond their control. Now life is bringing back together and they try to make amends.
My Verdict: Do Not Recommend. This was quite a disappointment for me. I've read several books by Hannah and this was the weakest by far. The characters were a bit cliché and their actions just didn't ring true for me. The sister relationship also didn't connect for me and their grievances with each other seemed forced. Overall the book just didn't hold my interest very well and didn't live up to the standard of character and story development I expect from this author. Kristen and I chose to read this book together this month so stop by her blog for another POV on this.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
Basic Plot: Lucy struggles to get along with her co-worker and hates the fact that she's attracted to him even though she can't stand his personality. They compete for everything, but of course there's some underlying sexual chemistry between them, too.
My Verdict: Recommend! This is like a sexier Sophie Kinsella book, so if you enjoy her books you'll probably like this. Romance and humor and sexual tension all in one. It didn't take long to get into this at all and it was pure fun after that. I really didn't have any complaints, which makes for a short and easy review! This is my top fiction recommendation for the month, especially if you want something light and fun for summer!

The Girl with No Name by Diney Costeloe
Basic Plot: As World War II is breaking out, a German girl is sent away from her home to foster parents (complete strangers) in London for her own safety. No one's safe in London either, so her struggles to cope and survive continue there.
My Verdict: Recommend. This wasn't exactly a page-turner, but it was a really good book and it held my interest well at least 80% of the time. It really drew me into life in London in during World War II so I could really get a feel for what a terrible time that was. The character development and story arcs were excellent. It had a good love triangle and lots of other interesting relationship dynamics and development. I was primarily interested in the perspective of the title character, so sometimes when the story shifted to a supporting character I would get a little bored, but all of it did have a purpose so it wasn't like the story just wandered. If you're interested in this era I think you'll enjoy this book, and I also think it would be a great book club selection since there would be much to discuss about the various relationships and experiences of the people in the story.

Neighborly by Ellie Monago
Basic Plot: Kat is a wife and new mom who buys a home she can't truly afford just to get into a very desirable neighborhood. She quickly discovers the old adage, "if something looks too good to be true, it probably is." The neighborhood is full of dirty secrets, and Kat has a few of her own, too.
My Verdict. Do Not Recommend. If I were doing star ratings, I'd give this three stars out of five because it wasn't terrible. It generally held my interest and I didn't struggle to finish it. That said, I didn't find any of the characters likable and they weren't very well developed, so it was hard for me to care about their outcome or invest in them. The "twist" was a little hard for me to believe, and the ending was rushed and kind of ridiculous. It was free on Kindle Unlimited so if you want a soap opera-y summer read it's alright for the free price on Unlimited.

NON-FICTION:
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
This is a sad and thought-provoking memoir by a brain surgeon who was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. He goes through the difficult process of re-analyzing his the purpose of his life knowing that he no longer has the same life expectancy he once thought, nor will he have the physical capacity to spend his remaining time in the way he would like. This certainly brought back memories of what my dad went through when he was diagnosed with cancer, only Paul was a much younger man than my dad at the time of his diagnosis, which is indeed a much crueler fate. Paul's story ends abruptly, because of course, so did his life. The afterword was written by his wife and brought on buckets of tears. This isn't one I can easily say I recommend/not recommend since its impact on any given individual probably depends on your personal experiences with grief and loss and how much you're ready to truly process your time here. I can only say it was well done and worth my time.

Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis
I grew up listening to RHCP and still like some of their music, so I thought it would be interesting to know Anthony's backstory. After reading about half of this book, I've decided I'm better off not knowing and probably won't pick up any rock star bios in the future. I listened to it on Audible and it's a 14-hour book, which is quite long. (In my experience anything over 10 hours is "long.") In reading I realized it's long because Anthony has an incredible memory for detail of every drug he took, every lyric he wrote, every friend he had, and of course, every sexual encounter he experienced. Anthony's childhood was highly unusual, with a permissive father who enabled his sexual encounters and drug use starting as young as twelve. I had to stop reading (unfortunately right as the RHCP career was taking off), so this is a DNF. He and his dad and friends were constantly doing crazy, illegal stuff, but he started to describe a dare that made me so sick to my stomach I had to quit the book entirely. Even writing this is going to make me ill, but if you're truly curious highlight the next sentence to read: Anthony was sick and coughed up a disgusting ball of mucus phlegm and dared his friend to eat it. I didn't want to know anything beyond that so I stopped right there. Don't say I didn't warn you! So. If you're a die-hard RHCP fan and really want to read this...go ahead. If not, don't do this to yourself.

How to Break Up with your Phone by Catherine Price
This book is excellent and is exactly the motivation I needed to make some additional changes with my phone time. The first half outlines some of the damaging effects we are experiencing as a society due to our smart phone addiction. The second half of the book is a specific 30-Day Plan to help individuals re-define their relationship with their phone. One thing I will say is that listening to it on audiobook had some pros and cons. Pros: The narrator was excellent and the material was presented well, so it was an easy listen. Cons: There's no way I can recall the steps for the 30-Day program without having them written down. So I ended up pausing the book a lot to take notes, which was pretty inconvenient and meant I couldn't listen to the entire second half of the book in the car or at other times when I normally listen to audiobooks. At any rate, if you are looking to reduce the amount of time you spend on your phone and get a high level summary of some of the research about the damaging effects of our societal phone addiction, I highly recommend this. The author summarizes some of the key findings of other books I've already read, e.g. Irresistible by Adam Alter and The Shallows by Nicholas Carr, so my nerdy side felt validated for having read those and I was nodding in agreement with her analysis. I will say that in order for me to do the actual 30-Day Plan, I think I would need a support group or person...Phoneaholics Anonymous or something. But on my own I've done some of her steps out of order and it's already made a positive change, so two thumbs up for this book.

How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett
Calling all neuroscience and behavioral science nerds! This is a good one! The author disputes the Classical View of emotion theory (which basically states that emotions exist in our mind/brain and are universal in all humans) and instead argues for the Constructed Theory of Emotion (i.e. we create emotions through language, society, etc.). I can't really say I'd thought too deeply about the existence or creation of emotions prior to this book so it was truly fascinating and thought-provoking. The first half is definitely heavy on the science and the minute I started thinking, "I'm getting lost...this is too advanced" the author would bring me back in with her analogies. She was a pro at making complex things easier to understand via entertaining analogies. (I especially loved all the baking analogies since they're right up my alley!) I also loved learning how different cultures have different emotion words that we lack in Western culture, and since reading the book I've been constantly viewing my past and present life experiences through the lens of Constructed Emotion and thinking of all the different emotions I've experienced that don't have a specific name. So it's not a light read and not for everyone, but it will be a memorable one for me. Thanks to Heidi (my sister-in-law) for recommending this!

Quick Picks: 
If you just want a quick recommendation without the specifics of what I did/didn't like in a given book, here are the ones from this month that I'd be most likely to recommend to friends and family in real life!
Fiction: The Hating GameThe Girl with No Name.
Non Fiction: How to Break Up with Your Phone, How Emotions are Made

Current Reads + Up Next:
My current fiction selection is All of It by Kim Holden. It's free if you have Kindle Unlimited and entertaining so far. This is my third book by Kim Holden. I especially liked Brightside (also free with Kindle Unlimited) so I hope this will be nearly as good. In non-fiction I'm listening to The Honest Truth About Dishonesty by Dan Ariely and also enjoying it so far. Full reviews on those coming next month! Also, Kristen and I usually pick a book a month to read and review together, and for our August reviews we're going to pick one of the Kindle First/Prime Reading selections so we can have the reviews up while the book is still free (if you have Amazon Prime, that is!).

Prime Day Coming Soon!
In case you do not already have a Prime Membership, it's worth noting that you can sign up for a 30-Day free trial to see if it's worth it for you. I'm a huge fan of Amazon Prime. And yes, in full disclosure I have worked with them as a Fashion Influencer for about two years but I've been a Prime Member since 2006. So the love goes way back and this is a very organic brand partnership for me. That said, I still pay for my own Prime Membership, Kindle Unlimited, Audible Membership etc. and genuinely love and constantly use those services. Prime Day is coming up on July 16 and there will be all kinds of amazing deals for Prime Members. Even if you're on the Free Trial plan you'll be able to take advantage of those deals! I'll definitely be blogging some of my favorites on Prime Day, click here to sign up now and thank me later when you're scoring the best deals on Prime Day and enjoying the benefits of 2-Day Prime Shipping and free returns on all the things!

Thanks for stopping by to check out my book reviews and I can't wait to read your thoughts on this month's selections!

Linking up with: Steph & Jana

7/9/18

Black Shorts for Summer

14 comments |
Black jeans are one of my closet staples for cooler months, and I usually try to have summer versions of my favorite pieces so I can copy those go-to outfit formulas for the current season. Yet I've never had a pair of black jeans shorts until now! I guess I generally wear less black clothing in the summer as a beat-the-heat strategy. But I knew if I did find a pair I liked I'd have plenty of options for styling them based on how much I wear my black jeans, and luckily the first pair I tried from Old Navy worked out!

SHORTS: These shorts are really comfy with a good amount of stretch and a pretty generous leg opening. So if you have more muscular/athletic thighs and run into trouble with shorts that fit the waist/hips but are too tight in the thighs, give these a chance. My normal size worked great in these and fit just how I wanted, but if you're between sizes you can probably size down since they're on the roomy side of true-to-size.

T-SHIRT: My Z-Supply t-shirt came from a 3-pack with my favorite camo tee. They run true to size with a relaxed fit (I'm wearing XS here), but they are a bit of a splurge. For a more affordable version this one from Express is pretty similar.

SANDALS: My sandals run true to size and are pretty comfortable. Not as comfortable as flat sandals or sneakers of course, but for a shoe with a heel they're great. I think they elevate the outfit so it looks nicer than what it sounds like when I break down the elements: jeans, t-shirt, and sandals!

The problem with sharing additional styling options for these shorts was not coming up with ways to wear them, but narrowing it down to just three! If you want a few more ideas I have some saved to my Pinterest boards under Summer and Flatlay Favorites.

Here's a little Monday chit-chat for you! I usually make notes in my phone throughout the week with topics that come up with my family and friends in real life to share here since I like to think that people who read my blog would probably be the type to want to talk about this stuff in real life too!

1. Summer Nails. I just switched my nails from the pinkish-white I had all Spring to a more true white for Summer and I'm liking the (subtle) change. I shared all of my DIY manicure essentials (base coat, top coat, cuticle remover etc.) in this post, but here's the color combo I'm wearing in the outfit photos above, plus a close-up of how it looks on my nails.

The bottles look identical in stock photos, but Non-Stop White is a more opaque white (after two coats), similar to Essie Blanc. Pearl of Wisdom is a sheer white with a very, very subtle glitter. So subtle that I couldn't even get my camera to capture it in sunlight, but I promise it's there. It gave the white a softer effect that I'm really liking. 

2. I loved this short article on Why Reading Makes you a Better Person that Rachelle shared on her Instagram Story last week. I know a lot of it is certainly true for me!

3. Speaking of reading....tomorrow is book review day so stop by if you need a suggestion to make yourself a better person or just to entertain yourself during some downtime!


Linking up with: Rachelle | Lauren | JoLynne

7/6/18

T-Shirt Dress Friday Four

18 comments |
I hope you all had a fun and festive mid-week holiday! We went to the beach on Wednesday and it was the most crowded I've ever seen it here! I expected it to be busy but it was absolutely packed. We still had fun and luckily there was plenty of room for everyone in the water so the kids boogie boarded and body surfed their hearts out. I was going to post this outfit on the 4th (hence the red door posing!) but bumped it today since this t-shirt dress was unaffected by holiday sales. It's under $20 even without a sale so no need to wait for one, either!
T-Shirt Dress (c/o) | Denim Shirt (tied at waist) | Necklace (c/o) | Earrings | Tory Burch Bag (c/o Shopbop) (Budget Option) | Sandals (c/o Shopbop) (Less Expensive, Budget Option) | Nails: Non-Stop White (2 coats) + Pearl of Wisdom (1 coat)

Believe it or not this t-shirt dress is my first ever t-shirt dress. I know it's a staple for a lot of people, and I've been warming up to the idea of t-shirt dresses for awhile. But I have tried and returned about a dozen options before keeping this one. First off, it's just the right balance of fitted and relaxed. Most I've tried are either bodycon or swing dress styles and neither of those work for me. This has some shape to the waist without being tight everywhere (for reference I'm wearing XS in this). Second, it's not too short and doesn't ride up at all while I'm walking/moving around. Of course, length will depend on your height, but I'm 5'4" and this is a great "mom on the go" length for me. I can wear this to school and activities or running errands with kids and feel 100% appropriately covered. Finally, the neckline is a flattering scoop without being low cut. Most t-shirt dresses seem to be crew neck, and I generally don't like the look or feel of those myself so this was exactly what I needed.
T-Shirt Dress (c/o) | Denim Shirt (tied at waist) | Necklace (c/o) | Earrings | Tory Burch Bag (c/o Shopbop) (Budget Option) | Sandals (c/o Shopbop) (Less Expensive, Budget Option) | Nails: Non-Stop White (2 coats) + Pearl of Wisdom (1 coat)

When I pulled this dress out of the packaging I thought to myself, "I thought I ordered navy blue?" The dress looked black in my house lighting, and you might see why I thought that in my selfies below. But I liked the fit so I didn't mind if it was black (it does come in black plus several other colors), though I was thinking navy would be better for summer. Then after I saw these pictures...I could definitely tell that it was navy so I felt like I was having an interpersonal Yanni/Laurel moment. At any rate...just wanted to mention my own color confusion in case you order navy and go through the same thing yourself!

I'm doing my best to show additional styling options for the newer/still-in-stock items, and I was originally thinking I could style this dress with a cardigan or two. Then I tried it with multiple cardigans of different lengths and fits, and honestly, I didn't like the way it looked with any of them so I didn't bother posting those outfits. But I did find it worked easily with several different jacket and shoe options.
Here are my four random things for this Friday!

1. Shopbop Summer Sale: FYI Shopbop is having a big summer sale with up to 70% off items from top brands like Free People and Rebecca Minkoff.  You can shop all sale items here, or for the best bargains check out the sale picks under $100 section, including the Free People dress below:

Shop All Sale Clothing | Shop All Sale Bags (Parisa Wang "Addicted" displayed) 

2. Figgy Pops. I am really loving these two flavors of Figgy Pops for times when I need something to tide myself over before an upcoming meal. This always seems to happen on the weekend when I start getting hungry but have lunch or dinner plans within the next couple of hours and don't want to fill up beforehand, but I also don't want to get hangry . These are perfect! My local Target and grocery stores have stopped carrying my favorite flavors (usually I find them in the raisins/dried fruit section), but Target still has these online (linked below).


3. Fitness Myths. I really enjoyed this article from Cathe.com on five fitness myths that need to be retired once and for all.

4. Still Skimming. It's been awhile since I talked about The Skimm, but I'm still a fan of their daily news emails (weekdays only). I hardly ever watch television news these days, but I like staying somewhat informed on current events and their emails are perfect for that. They have brief, high level explanations of current events that take just a few minutes a day to read. And they always have some humor or snark infused in their writing to keep it entertaining. I even have my 12 year old read their emails at times when he wants to understand a current event that I find difficult to explain. I get zero dollars if you use my referral link, but I'd be flattered if you did anyway!

We've been enjoying some beautiful weather so far this summer but we're heading for a big heat wave this weekend, so let's see if I change my usual, "I love summer" tune by Monday! I hope you all have a great weekend and stay cool and comfortable wherever you are!


Linking up with: JoLynne | ErikaAndreaNarci | Andrea | The Blended Blog

7/4/18

Sale Favorites + Currently

25 comments |
Hello and Happy Independence Day! I hope you have some fun plans for the day. Ours are going to be decided at the last minute depending on the weather. If it's not too hot, the boys might try to play some golf.  If it's hot, we're due for another beach day. My outfit today isn't festive, but it is made up of plenty of pieces on sale right now that have been solid additions to my closet. If you do want some last-minute 4th of July outfit ideas I do have some further down in the post, but first here's the scoop on this outfit.

JACKET: My jacket is 30% off, true to size and a really great summer jacket. It's soft, comfortable, stretchy, and the neutral shade goes with everything! I removed the belt since it just got in the way and I haven't looked back.

CAMI: This black cami is on sale for only $10! It's a basic but very functional piece. I usually wear a small in fitted tanks like this, but I find LOFT runs a little big so I went with an XS in this.

JEANS: My jeans are 40% off and true to size (I take the Short Length at 5'4".) I love this lighter wash for spring and summer, and they're my go-to jeans for pairing with black tops. Express recently updated the stock photo on these so the color on them looks totally different than mine, but if you scroll down to recent reviews you'll see the user photos are much lighter than the product display (like mine).

SANDALS: These sandals are only $26 through today! They're true to size and pretty comfortable once you get used to the height!

EARRINGS: My Kendra Scott Alice earrings are not on sale as I'm writing this, but I did want to mention that they have been re-stocked in this Antique Silver color. They were sold out for quite some time earlier this year and I'm happy to see they're back! They're great for date night or just adding some fun to a slightly more basic outfit like this one.

Since we're talking 4th of July Sales, here are a couple of things I've shared recently that are on sale now, along with a more summery style option for this jacket:
ONE: Moto Jacket (30% off)  | White Tank | Similar Shorts | Sandals (c/o)

Each of these outfits have been featured in previous posts with more detail on the sale items. For the full post with my moto jacket + shorts go HERE, for more outfit ideas with the black skort go HERE, and for three ways to wear this lace top go HERE.

On the first Wednesday of every month I love joining up with Anne for her "Currently" link-up. She provides the variety of topics for current happenings in our lives, we provide the answers! This month all link up participants are sharing what we're Loving, Wearing, Celebrating, Visiting and Baking.

Loving...evening walks with the extra daylight! I have to say once again I'm so glad belt bags are "in" right now because it's the best thing for comfortably carrying my phone and keys with me. I talked about how much I loved my belt bag on my last trip, and I've since convinced a couple of family members to take belt bags on their trips and their loving them too.

For my walks I've been using this camo option from Target (sold out online but check your local store), and I thought it was a pretty reasonable dupe for the Rebecca Minkoff option below. These really are a hot item right now so it's easy to find a high end or bargain option to suit your style and budget.
1. Shop Rebecca Minkoff Bags (Nylon Belt Bag) | 2. Gucci-Inspired Belt Bag $16
3. Shop Rag & Bone Bags (S/M Dwight) | 4. Studded Belt Bag $17
5. Shop Steven Alan Bags (Alexander | 6. Beige Belt Bag $26 
7. Shop Parisa Wang Bags (Allured) | Black Belt Bag $17

Wearing...all things red, white and blue! If you came by for some last-minute 4th of July outfit ideas, here's a little recap of some 4th friendly outfits I've shared.They're easy on the red since I don't own a lot of red clothing, but add a red lipstick, earrings, nail polish or bag (or all four!) and you'll be set.

You can also check out this post or this one for more options!

Celebrating...aside from the obvious holiday today, I'm truly celebrating every day of summer. It's my favorite season and I'm making it a point to find some small pleasures every day, even if it's just going for a walk or sitting out in the back yard to read my book for awhile.

Visiting...Oregon later this month for my family reunion. I can't wait! We'll be doing a lot of the same activities we did there last summer, only this time with my side of the family instead of my in-laws. I'm pretty sure this is the first time for most of my family members to visit Cannon Beach and I hope they like it!

Baking...bread. In late 2017 I made a goal to reduce my sugar intake so I've cut back on baking cookies and sweets except for special occasions and celebrations. However I still bake a loaf of whole wheat bread for family consumption about once a week. My recipe is similar to this one, but I've reduced the portions just a bit so I can make the dough in my bread machine. Then I transfer it to the oven to bake.

This is the exact Bread Machine I use and it works like a champ!

Well, I was planning to do a "short" post today but I guess things didn't go quite as planned! That's fine...I'll just give myself the day off from blogging today to make up for it. But if things go as planned the rest of the week, I'll still have another post up Friday so I hope you'll stop by and check it out!

Linking up with: The Blended Blog | Kelly, Anessa | Brooke | Dawn




Link Up Hosts:
Join us to share your Style on the Daily by linking up your latest fashion-related posts below! If you link up, we ask that you link back to your hosts Amy Ann and Gina and follow us on the social media platform of your choice. Thank you!

7/2/18

Olive Tank, White Shorts + Splurge vs. Save Finds

16 comments |
I shared so many 4th-friendly looks last week I thought I'd take a break today and go with an un-festive (but still a summer favorite!) olive and white combo. And surprise, surprise...I'm wearing another pair of pull-on shorts. But really...how many is too many? They're just so comfortable and easy-breezy for summer.

For the current pieces I'm wearing, my tank and shorts run true to size. And these shorts are on sale for only $8 today! Can't beat that! I'm wearing a Small in the tank and that's pretty normal for me in very fitted tops like this. It's quite long, so it should work even if you're tall, but it also comes in Tall and Petite sizes for more fit options. The fit is very similar to my favorite Target maternity tanks, but this had a couple of color options Target didn't have and the price was still reasonable, especially with all of the sale codes.

That seems like a pretty short product/sizing section but there's not really much else to say! I usually try to share two photos of an outfit for different details/angles but this one was so simple a second one didn't really seem necessary. So let's just move on to some additional outfit ideas for the key pieces here.

Olive Tank Top Outfits:
White Pull-On Shorts Outfits:


My Monday Memorandum is just a way for me to share a few extra items of discussion...some fashion-related, some not. So here's what's on the memo this week!

1. Splurge vs. Save/designer inspired items always seem to be a hit, and since I've seen a few good options lately I thought it was time to share another round-up!
Row One: Shop Steven Shoes (Greece) | Budget Option (Another Budget Option, more colors!)
Row Two: Shop Loeffler Randall (Beattie) | Budget Option (striped slip ons)
Row Three: Shop Cocobelle Slides | Budget Option

2. Speaking of Splurge vs. Save, last week one of the Instagram Story topics a few of us shared was where we save vs. splurge in our everyday lives. I loved seeing other people's answers to this, so if you missed mine, here's where I save vs. splurge:

SAVE:
- Hair Stylist. Wherever I live, I always shop around find a budget-friendly hair stylist. This may not be an option for everyone's hair type, but stylists often tell me my hair is pretty easy to do. It's just a matter of careful communication to get my expectations met. I like to keep my highlights fresh and when my hair is short, I also have to trim it often to keep the style shaped nicely. Those regular appointments add up! The most I've paid for my haircut + highlights is $80, and that was in the Bay Area. Here I pay $60 for both! If you're a local and want details on my stylist send me a note!
- DIY Nails. I always do my own fingers and toes. (You can find my staple products in this post.) I do indulge in a salon pedicure 2-3 times a year as a "treat", but for the most part I don't like spending the time or money on those services since I can do a pretty good job on my own.
- Home Decor. This is one category that just doesn't speak to me! I hardly ever buy any new home items unless it really serves a functional need, like a bookshelf or desk. All of my decor items are from when I first got married (19 years ago!) and I don't even think it would bother me if we had no decor at all. I guess I'm a minimalist in at least one area of life!
- Workout Clothes. Since I workout almost exclusively at home, I don't like to spend a lot on workout clothes (no one sees them!) and whatever I buy lasts me a long time.

SPLURGE:
- Food/Groceries. This goes for my whole family, not just me! We do have a meal delivery service and tend to buy a lot of organic produce and such, so the food items add up quickly. On the flip side, we don't go out to eat often and prefer to eat at home, so at least there's some balance in that!
- Jewelry. Well, if you're reading here it's no secret that I love Kendra Scott and Stella & Dot jewelry, neither of which are what I consider budget friendly. I will definitely buy budget-friendly options too, but I just love the pieces from those lines and feel like they add a lot to my basic wardrobe pieces.
- Starbucks. When it comes to iced coffee, I have never been able to find a DIY version that I like. I've also tried several pre-packaged options (even by Starbucks) and again, I just don't care for the taste. So in the warmer months I tend to splurge a little more on iced coffee drinks for an afternoon pick me up!

Let me know what categories are save vs. splurge for you!

3. Even though Wednesday is a holiday, I'll still have a new post up that day...prepped in advance, of course, so I can enjoy the actual holiday! If you have a few minutes of downtime before or between festivities I hope you'll stop by the blog for a "Currently" post and a quick outfit share. And as an FYI to my blogger friends, Amy Ann and I will still be co-hosting the link up so we hope you'll drop in and link up!


Linking up with: Rachelle
Verified: f5df1907c08cf4ac4a56c1f45a4c1336862c0767c191eff2ef