On the Daily EXPRESS

7/17/19

OTS Tee + Laser Cut Sandals

4 comments |
Last summer I became a big fan of pull-on shorts, and with summer in full swing here I'm starting to reach for them a lot again. Sometimes jean shorts just seem too heavy for the weather!
 Last week I shared my newest khaki pair, but in the next few posts you'll be seeing some old favorites, most of which are either available again this year or have similar options in stock. I shared six ways to wear this olive pair when I first got them last summer so feel free to check out that post for more styling ideas. But this time I wanted to pair them with my newish off-the-shoulder-tee.

I swore off this style of top last summer after being annoyed with the fussiness, but I gave it one mroe shot this year and I really am liking this! I can't tell you it's as un-fussy as a regular tee, but I've worn this one a few times now and though it does take just a bit of adjusting throughout the day, I don't find it bothering me too much. Or maybe I should say that I find the occasional adjustments worth it for the overall look of the top...your tolerance of "fussiness" may vary!

The top (I'm wearing a Small) and everything else here ran true to size for me. For reference here's a look at the first way I styled this top...with another pair of pull-on shorts! Oops. Not a lot of variety here but I like the balance of fitted on top, flowy on bottom.
LEFTBlack OTS Tee (c/o) | ShortsSimilar Hat | Earrings | Necklace | Similar Bag | Sandals (c/o)
RIGHTTee (c/o) | Sandals (c/o) | Shorts | Necklace | Earrings | Bracelet Option | Sunglasses (c/o)

You can also see how the top rides a bit higher on the shoulders in the photo on the left vs. the right. The opening is cut very wide so you can't really wear it on your shoulders, but if you want it to stay way down (like the outfit on the right), you will have to adjust it more often. The photo on the left is probably the more natural placement of the top, which is still "off the shoulder" enough for me.

One of the most common requests on my blog and most others (from what I see on reader surveys and such) is seeing items styled multiple ways. If you're into that sort of thing, I've shared almost every piece from both outfits here multiple ways. For easy reference, here are some past posts featuring more ways to wear these items:
All that's left to repeat from today's outfit are my nude laser-cut wedge sandals. I talked about these in Monday's post of Amazon favorites for July. They're new to me this year and I've had no problem putting them into multiple outfits. If you'd like more details on any of the other pieces in the outfits I've linked to their original post along with the outfit details below:
LEFT: Open Sweatshirt (c/o) | Cami, Similar w/ more sizes | Similar Chino Shorts | Sandals (c/o) |  Similar NecklaceEarrings |  Handbag (c/o) (Original Post HERE)
 MIDDLECami | Similar Shorts | Sandals (c/o) | Necklace | Earrings | Similar Bag | Similar Bracelets (Original Post HERE
RIGHTJacket (Similar for less) | Similar Cami | Skirt (c/o) | Sandals (c/o) | Necklace | Earrings | Handbag (c/o Shopbop) [Budget Option] (Original Post HERE)

I think some of my past "Multiple Ways to Wear Posts" could use an update this summer, so don't be surprised if you see some repeat topics in the coming weeks. While the topics might be recycled, the content won't be the same since there are new outfits to include and updated shopping options for this year. The longer I have some of these pieces, the more chances I get to wear them, photograph them, and make a legitimate case for their usefulness! My blogging goal for this year has been to shift  away from having a lot of one-and-done outfit posts, so I hope you've enjoyed seeing more "multiple ways to wear" posts. And if you have a request for an item you'd like to see styled multiple ways, I'd love to hear it so leave me a comment here or send me an email!





Link Up Hosts:
Link up your fashion-related posts below! If you link up, please link back to your hosts! Thank you!
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

7/16/19

Prime Day Continues!

3 comments |
First things first, if you don't have an Amazon Prime Membership, go get started with your Free Trial Here and take advantages of these sales. Second, I don't know about you all but I find this sale overwhelming! In my first Prime Day post I promised to share some picks and favorites once the sale launched but it's a rabbit hole trying to browse the deals and narrow down what to share! For lack of a better idea, I decided to start with pieces I already own and can confidently recommend!


Thanks to Amazon for providing the fashion items I'm wearing and highlighting in this post! 

First up, this T-Shirt Dress. The burgundy and light heather grey version are only $10 for Prime Day! It's true to size - I'm wearing the XS in the navy version for reference.

Second, this lace dress is my go-to cocktail dress! While my basic black version is not on sale for Prime Day, several of the colors and styles under this listing are on sale for under $25!

The "Black Ruffle" option of this dress is only $22, the "Red" option is only $20, and the "Halter Black" version is only $28! I'm wearing a Small in this and I think it runs true to size (so in my case, this dress in a Small is a little less fitted than the XS in the Daily Ritual t-shirt dress I'm wearing above). I don't have too many occasions that require something this dressy, but this has been a great "insurance policy" dress to have on hand without having to spend a fortune.

Next up is this Daily Ritual Maxi Dress, on sale for $25 in "Grey Heather Spacedye" and "Black and White Stripe." Size selections are limited on this and XS is completely sold out in all colors. Sorry about that! But Small through XXL are still in stock in the sale colors.

I wear this maxi dress it almost every day after I apply my sunless tanner to let the product dry but still be covered while I work or do other things about the house. It's the Daily Ritual "supersoft terry" fabric, which is thicker and closer to a sweatshirt material. I've only worn this in public once as shown above, but it's only because once was enough to make me realize I'm just not a maxi dress person. There's no rhyme or reason to it, but I either prefer pants or a shorter length skirt. That said, it's still a great dress that I do recommend if you're in the market for this style.

Best Brands to Browse:

Amazon Exclusive/House Brands Here - You might notice that I heavily favor Amazon Brands for my own personal selections. Daily Ritual is a particular favorite! The main reason for that is that of all the brands I've tried through Amazon, I've had the most consistent luck with their house brands in terms of fit and quality for the price, so I'm much more confident in recommending those lines to others.

J. Crew Mercantile Clothing - After browsing a lot of sale selections extensively I think this brand has some of the best options this year! Item Three and Four in the collage below are from J. Crew Mercantile. Most of the items I get from Amazon Exclusive Brands are basics, and if you're set in that department and want to add more fun or trends, this line is worth a look! Really cute styles, great savings, and better quality.

Premium Brands: Splendid, Theory, Parker, Karl Lagerfeld and More- If you're looking for Prime Day savings on higher-end brands, this section is the place to browse! It has a great mix of basics and fun statement pieces.

Adidas - this is one I'll have my husband and sons browse since their shoes and apparel are staples in our family.

Under Armour - same as above!



Where do I find ALL the Prime Day Deals?
In case you missed it in my first post of the day, here are some quick links for browsing the deals!
Go to This Page for ALL Prime Day Deals
Go to This Page for Prime Day Fashion Deals

The Amazon App is really helpful for tracking the deals you're watching and getting notified on Lightning Deals. If you don't have it yet, I definitely recommend it if only for today!

My Prime Day Pick:
This is a bit of a repeat form my earlier post, but if you're curious about what I'm getting for Prime Day, I did take advantage of the deal on Apple Air Pods for myself. I already have a pair and love them, but I want a "travel pair" to keep in my handbag/car. Apple products rarely go on sale, so even though this wasn't a huge discount, it was better than nothing!

That's probably going to be my only Prime Day purchase for myself since it's a bit of a splurge! I do want to do some early back to school shopping for my boys though. They usually end up with an Adidas or Under Armour backpack as it is, so I might as well take a look now and see if I can't save a little (or a lot) by shopping early! Let me know if you're shopping the Prime Day deals and have any "can't miss" favorites! 


7/15/19

Prime Day + July Amazon Favorites

9 comments |
If you have an Amazon Prime Membership, today is the day to shop their best deals of the year! If you don't have a membership, it's not too late to get started with your Free Trial Here and still take advantage of the sales!

Prime Day started today at Midnight Pacific and runs for 48 hours! So you have through tomorrow to browse the deals and make your selections. My plan for today is give you a quick run down of where and how to find the deals. I'll also share a few of my Amazon Fashion favorites in case you want to add one or two to your cart while you're shopping on Prime Day! Then once I've had a chance to browse the deals myself, I'll have a bonus post up by tomorrow with some of my finds and favorites.

Where do I find the Prime Day Deals?
Go to This Page for ALL Prime Day Deals
Go to This Page for Prime Day Fashion Deals

Tips for Staying on Top of the Deals?
Amazon insists that, "the surprise of what, exactly, will be on sale is part of the fun of Prime Day." As someone who likes to carefully plan, consider and budget my purchases I'm not 100% sure I agree with them on that! Ha! It stresses me out to only have such a short time to review the sale items and make decisions. However I found This List of Tips to be very useful in explaining how to get notified about deals on the Amazon App, how to find Sneak Peek deals and watch those/get notified when the sales go live. There are also tips on that page for how to get a few extra savings! I found a link to that page buried in a promotional email from Amazon and I almost deleted it without reading, but I'm glad I read it since I learned quite a few things I didn't know!

Are Prime Day Purchases Worth It?
For me the answer is yes! I have several fashion and household items that I use regularly or Amazon services I decided to try due to Prime Day Promotions that are now favorites. Without knowing the exact sales yet it's hard for me to predict what I'll get this year, but you can check out my Last Year's Prime Day Post for some of my favorite services and fashion items.

The Best Early Prime Day Sales:
There are a couple of things I love and use every day that were added to Early Prime Day deals (and should still be on sale through Prime Day) so I was able to include them in this post.

1. AirPods! First up, Apple Air Pods! I got these in May and I love them! I use them every single day, primarily for listening to audiobooks on my iPhone. Prior to having these I had a wired pair and I can't believe how much more convenient it is to be sans wire.

These are normally $159 on sale for $145, which admittedly is not a giant savings. But since Apple products rarely go on sale, I am all for taking advantage of any savings I can get. Every person in my house has a pair of these and we all love them. I'm getting a backup pair to keep in my handbag since I end up taking them with me everywhere I go. 

2. Audible Membership Savings. My two favorite early deals go hand in hand! I use my AirPods mainly to listen to audiobooks via Audible on my phone. And for Prime Day, you can save 66% on a new Audible Memberships! Click the banner below for details and to get started on your membership:

I read on average 4-5 extra books per month thanks to Audible! If you've never listened to an audiobook and are thinking about giving it a try, now is the time! For some suggestions on audiobooks I love and recommend, check out this post.

July Amazon Favorites:
While we're talking all things Amazon, I thought I'd share six of my Amazon Fashion Favorites this month! These are all things you've seen before on the blog and are perfect to have and wear right now and through the rest of summer.

ONE: V-Neck Dress

This is a great little basic summer dress! I first shared it back in April, and while I've worn it again, I haven't bothered to photograph it again because I don't style it any differently for summer so there's nothing new to show or tell about it! It's true to size and only $20! 

TWO: Tiered Skirt
Jacket (Similar for less) | Similar Cami | Skirt (c/o) | Sandals (c/o) | Necklace | Earrings | Handbag (c/o Shopbop) [Budget Option]

This skirt is a fun little flirty option for summer! After I wore it the first time, I was a bit worried that it wasn't going to be a very versatile color and I was limited to only wearing it with white tops. I thought if I paired it with black I'd look too Halloween-y. I tried it again with a black tee and I actually liked it. Maybe because it's not a true orange, but I didn't feel overly October at all.

THREE: Bateau Neck Tank
White Sleeveless Tank (c/o) | Denim ShirtLeggings (c/o) | Sandals (c/o) (Budget Option) | Bag (c/o) (Budget Option) | Necklace | Similar Earrings

Spoiler alert: I have another outfit coming up with this tank later this week! Try to act surprised when I feature it again. Ha! That outfit will be with shorts and more summery, but with this photo you can see the length and shirttail hem of the tank, both features that I really like about it. I also like the bateau neckline since I find that more flattering than a crew neck. I have this in black and white and it's true to size. The only bad thing I can tell you about it right now is that some of the colors (like this white version) seem to be available only in a 2-pack! It's under $12 per top. so maybe split a pack with a friend or keep one as a backup for spills!

FOUR: Laser Cut Sandals
Cami | Similar Shorts | Sandals (c/o) | Necklace | Earrings | Similar Bag

I have been wearing the heck out of these sandals! You can see them in Outfit Two above along with several other posts this past month. They're a great "nude" option with a comfortable, not-too-high wedge heel. They're an excellent, budget friendly option (some sizes/colors are under $20) for the Jeffrey Campbell Besante Wedges.

FIVE: Sweatshirt Skirt
Jacket (c/o) | Tank | Skirt (c/o) | Necklace | Earrings | Handbag (c/o)

You're probably sick of hearing me say that Daily Ritual is my favorite Amazon house brand, but if you're new here and happened to missed it the hundred or so times I've said it before...now you know! Three of my six favorites today are from this line (this skirt, the bateau neck tank, and the v-neck dress). My Prime Day game plan will be to see if any Daily Ritual items that I don't already own are on sale for Prime Day. If they are...buy now, decide later. I can always return if it doesn't work out but this isn't the type of sale where things go on sale again a few weeks/months later. There were several great items included in the Prime Day sale last year so it's definitely possible. Anyway, on to this sweatshirt skirt! It's a great basic piece made from comfy, thick stretch sweatshirt material. I guess since it's sweatshirt material it's not the lightest weight/most breathable fabric for summer, but it does keep it from being see through or revealing. And it's a skirt anyway so there's plenty of ventilation by nature of the garment. It's true to size and easy to style with any basic tee or tank! Nothing fancy, but here's another way I wore it recently:

Also, one thing I wanted to mention is that while the rust skirt has a lot of cute factor going on, San Diego is pretty windy/breezy and that skirt has to be kept in check! This black sweatshirt skirt is much less of an issue that way. The heavier fabric and cut of the skirt keep it in place. They're both great for different reasons, but this one is a more practical piece for a lot of activities in my life. 

SIX: Linen Shorts
Jacket (c/o) | Henley Tank | Shorts (c/o) | Sandals (c/o) | Necklace | Earrings | Similar Handbag

And last but not least, I'm loving these linen shorts! I just shared them on Friday since they're a new-to-me item so you can refer to that post for more details. But simply put, if you want breathable, lightweight shorts these are the way to go. I went neutral for maximum mix and match options, but they do come in plenty of other colors. 

Happy Prime Day shopping! I'll try to get a little post up for tomorrow with some favorite promotions once I can review the live sale details!

7/12/19

Linen Shorts + Friday Favorites

11 comments |
I am always on the lookout for key neutral, versatile pieces that I can add to my wardrobe and easily mix and match with what I own. My latest addition is this pair of linen shorts in "natural" from the Amazon exclusive brand 28 Palms. This is my first time trying anything from this brand since most of the items in their collection are more Hawaiian themed than what I go for in my everyday life, as I'll share below. But for a simple pair of affordable, beat-the-heat summer shorts, these hit the mark!

Thanks to Amazon for providing the jacket and shorts in this outfit and thanks to Shopbop for providing my sandals and handbag.

Most of you all know by now that Daily Ritual is my favorite Amazon brand, and they do carry a very similar pair of linen pull on shorts. Both have a 4" inseam, are 100% linen and are under $30. I considered both options since I knew I wanted a neutral, khaki-ish pair of summer shorts. But I opted to go with these simply because I liked the XS-XXL sizing, rather than the numeric 2-16 sizing on the Daily Ritual shorts. All of the pull-on shorts I own from other brands are XS-XXL and it just seemed easier to get the right size this way!

For what it's worth 28 Palms also carries a 6" inseam version of these shorts for anyone who prefers a bit more length. As far as other pieces in this outfit, my henley tank and jacket are both true to size.

Aside from that, this is a pretty simple outfit so there's not too much else to say! My photographer on this particular day (my 12 year old son) was not liking the ties on these shorts. Personally I didn't mind them, but then his comment made me a little self-conscious so I decided to try folding the waistband over and tucking in the ties in this next photo:

I did like the clean look of this, but it was actually a bit more difficult to keep them "just so" in real life this way. If you know for sure you wouldn't want the ties showing you might be better off with the Daily Ritual pair after all since those have no ties and the waistband already has a folded look!



Time to join up with some blogger friends for Friday Favorites!

1. More Favorites from 28 Palms: Like I mentioned in the intro, I chose by far the most neutral piece from this brand. In general everything has more of a Hawaiian vibe than my shorts. I didn't really feel I was doing this line justice if I only shared this one pair of neutral shorts! If you're planning a trip to Hawaii or some other tropical destination (or just a summer luau perhaps?) their dresses would be perfect!
 ONE $45 | TWO $40 | THREE $20 | FOUR $29

All of these dresses come in multiple print options, so if you see a style you like but want one of the other print options, check the product listing since each dress style has way more selections than I can feature here and some of the prints are offered in different length/style options. As much as I'm not usually a floral person, for the right location and occasion I would definitely be all about it! 

2. Favorite Recital Dress: Speaking of dresses, I got this dress and shared it way back in September, and it only took nine months but I finally had a reason to wear it in real life! My son's guitar recital was in June and it was great to have this ready to go for the event. It was a warm day but with A/C indoors I felt covered and comfortable.
Dress (c/o) | Similar Necklace | Sandals | Similar Crossbody | Bracelet | Earrings

I'm wearing a Small in this for size reference, and it does come in other colors along with some cute striped options.

3. Favorite N-Sale Purchase from Last Year: My general plan for the N-Sale this year is to avoid it as much as possible. I am considering getting a Barefoot Dreams cardigan in another color, but I find it painful to buy items in July that I can't wear until December, which makes it easy to resist a lot of the sale selections! The Rebecca Minkoff leopard crossbody I'm carrying above (completely sold out now) was my one and only purchase from the N-Sale last year. While I really do love it and use it a lot, it went on sale for less than what I paid during the sale within a month after I purchased it. That experience frustrated me and made me even less inclined to shop the sale! I doubt anyone wondered whether I was going to shop the sale/share any coverage on the blog...but just in case you did, now you know where I stand!

4. Knit Blazer Back in Stock: This piece is really not a great fit for the summer season, but that's probably the reason it's actually in stock! This "knit cardigan" is a great "looks like a blazer, feels like a cardigan" option for dressy/casual wear, and it would also be a great option for travel. I had to stalk the black version of this for seven months to snag it back in January, then by the time I posted it on the blog it was already sold out again! At any rate, despite not being the most summery piece I'm sharing it anyway while it's in stock since it is a great wardrobe piece that will stand the test of time.

5. Prime Day
: While I don't have much to say about the N-Sale, I do plan to post about Prime Day on Monday. If you don't have a Prime Account, get yourself ready for the sales by starting your Free Trial now!

6. Pre-Prime Day Sales: Some Prime Day sales are starting a little early this year! See This Page for the full list of current fashion promotions. The Burgundy and Slate Grey colors of my Daily Ritual T-shirt Dress are part of the pre-sale, currently just $15!

And that's a wrap for today! Thanks for stopping by and I'll see you back on Monday for Prime Day!



7/10/19

Evereve Favorites

11 comments |
Today's post is definitely a "bloggers made me do it" post! I'm not one to really seek out new boutiques to try, either in person or online! But over the past year or so I've noticed a few cute pieces on other bloggers that ended up being from Evereve. I held off buying anything there for awhile since we don't have a brick and mortar store here in SoCal, which means I would be paying return shipping for anything that didn't work out, and of course no one wants to do that! But I finally took the plunge and got this jacket for Mother's Day, and since then I've added a couple of additional pieces so I'm sharing them all today in one place.

My most recent purchase from Evereve is this "leopard print" cami. Obviously this is not what you'd consider a biologically accurate leopard print seeing as it's all pink and blush, but that's why I liked it!

I'm not usually big on prints, but I do find that if I happen to be drawn to a print, it's usually abstract or geometric like this. And since I own so few prints, it looked like it would be something fun and different to add to my closet! I am wearing an XS in this cami, which is what I'd wear in a Barcelona Cami or Portofino shirt at Express, so the sizing is very much the same. The other thing to note is that this is very thin, sheer material. If it were white it would probably be see-through, but the print keeps it from being too revealing. I wore a nude strapless bra with it and didn't have any issues.

I have it untucked in the photo above, and you can see that it's not a very long cami. Definitely not cropped, but be warned that if you want to wear it tucked in, it doesn't stay put very well. I tried tucking it in for some of the photos, and by the time I was done with this walking sequence it was already slipping out of place!
Cami | Similar Shorts | Sandals (c/o) | Necklace | Earrings | Similar Bag | Similar Bracelets

Luckily I really only need this for casual wear so untucked it just fine (and less fussy), but if you want something that works better tucked-in, you might want to check out this LOFT Cami. The print and colors are very similar but it has a longer shirttail hem, and those usually better for tucking in my experience.

It's probably getting too warm to wear this jacket in the immediate future, but I really do love it and have put it to good use since Mother's Day!
Jacket | Tee | Similar Shorts | Similar Sandals | Necklace | Earrings | Handbag (c/o Shopbop)

It's really soft and comfortable and the front stays draped open rather nicely. Sometimes on this type of drape front jacket, the draped part will just flop down, flap around, or drape shut, which defeats the whole purpose! But this one passes my "stay put" standards and is a fun one to dress up and down. Here's another way I wore it with a little bit of a dressier vibe:
Jacket | Tee | Jeans | Necklace | Sandals | Handbag (c/o Shopbop)

And last but not least, what do you do when the free shipping minimum is $50 and you want to buy a cami that's $39.99? Why you find something as close to $10.01 as possible to add to your cart! Why pay for shipping when you can basically get earrings for "free" this way? Or at least, that was my logic for adding this pair for $12.99 to my cart: 

I'll be sharing an outfit with these in Friday's post, so stay tuned for that! They're super light weight, so if you don't like heavy earrings, you don't have anything to worry about with these. They really had a lot of cute earring options so it was hard to narrow it down, so I won't be too upset if I "have" to get another pair there to avoid paying shipping on a future purchase!

To be clear none of my Evereve items were sponsored in any way. I know they work with a lot of girls on Instagram, which is apparently effective since that's how I found out about them in the first place when I was active on that platform! But in this case I'm just an influencee sharing a few of my favorites today!




Link Up Hosts:
Link up your fashion-related posts below! If you link up, please link back to your hosts! Thank you!
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

7/9/19

July 2019 Book Reviews

31 comments |

Welcome to my July 2019 Book Reviews! As usual I did a mix of Kindle reading and audiobook reading, so I'll make a note if I listened on Audible with my thoughts on the narrator(s). There are no spoilers aside from what you need to know to get the gist of the basic plot. I also avoid sharing whether the book has some kind of plot twist. For me, when I've been told to expect a twist, it changes the way I read the story and it makes me look for the twist. I think it's more fun to be surprised so I try to let you have the same experience! On with this month's reading list!


If She Wakes by Michael Koryta
Basic Plot: A deadly car accident leaves Tara in a coma, but the insurance investigator (Abby) suspects it wasn't an accident at all. Abby seeks answers, putting both women in danger.
My Verdict: Recommend! If you like fast-paced, action-filled, yet fairly realistic and not too gruesome suspense, this book is for you! This is my third book by this author and so far I've really enjoyed two them. Those Who Wish Me Dead was my first by him, and I also recommend that one. How it Happened was the second I read, and that one was just okay for me. Not a miss but it lacked the same intensity as the other two. Regardless, I'll keep reading more by this author because I'm really enjoying his writing style.

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Basic Plot: When Emma is finally moving on from the death/disappearance of her husband, he is miraculously found alive. Now she has to choose between her new fiancé and husband.
My Verdict: Recommend. This was an easy to read, enjoyable love story. I will say...I had to suspend quite a bit of disbelief in regards to the returned-from-the-dead husband. I didn't find the explanation very realistic, but it was necessary to set up the plot so I tried not to over-analyze it. That piece of the story aside, it was a cute book. Not an all time favorite but very enjoyable.

The Huntress by Kate Quinn
Basic Plot: World War II era historical fiction told from three perspectives: Jordan (teenager who is suspicious of her father's new girlfriend), Nina (former female Soviet fighter pilot/navigator), and Ian (British reporter who is hunting a specific Nazi war criminal known as "The Huntress" in order to bring her to justice). We alternate between past and present as the stories come together.
My Verdict: Enjoyable. This book is long and thorough, and that meant it was pretty slow in parts. I listened on Audible, and I find this type of book makes a good "companion book" throughout the day since I don't have to be giving my full attention to each moment of dialogue or each detailed description of scenery and events. I think it might have resulted in a lot of skimming had I read on on Kindle. But the narrator did a great job with a range of different accents and voices that were required for the cast of characters. I wasn't thrilled with the resolution of this book, but I did find some of the WWII angles unique and interesting. And the overall storyline of each character was also good. So I enjoyed it but wouldn't say I loved it since it could have used some editing and improved pacing.

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms
Basic Plot: Amy is a single mom who ends up with a child-free trip to NYC over the summer. She re-evaluates her life via her adventures in NYC.
My Verdict: Alternately Entertaining and Annoying. This book was cute and enjoyable in parts, and then very long-winded and annoying in others. To me, Amy was like the friend at a dinner party who can't just tell you, "I have big news! My son got accepted to Stanford!" She has to say, "I have big news! My son...oh wait...let me start with his conception story and birth story and preschool graduation so on" before getting to the actual point of her announcement. There was also a lot that was too far-fetched for me, from cliched characters to Amy's too-good-to-be-true friends and opportunities. I get that it's meant to be like an escape fantasy life for overworked moms, but it didn't quite work for me. I listened on Audible and had no complaints on the narrator. All of my complaints were with the character and plot!

According to a Source by Abby Stern
Basic Plot: An undercover Hollywood gossip reporter's life gets a little messy trying to balance her job, love, friendships and family.
My Verdict: Mindless Entertainment. This book is about what you would expect from the subject matter! I guess it was fine for a very fluffy summer read, but not exactly memorable. It could have been called: Behind the Scenes of Us Weekly. I didn't find the characters especially likable, but I suppose I should have expected that given that they were all obsessed with fame-seeking or fame-watching! In this book, the author uses adjective-filled pseudonyms for celebrities most of us could probably guess, e.g. "Not-So-Innocent Pop Star" for a character that was meant to be the Britney Spears of this book. While it was clever, it was irritating at times, especially since they were often long names. Plus, there were several celebs that I couldn't figure out (e.g. Sexy Indie Film Star? I couldn't narrow that one down.) and it ended up frustrating me and distracting me from enjoying the book.

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
Basic Plot: The sex life and other adventures of Vivian Morris, who moves to New York City in the 1940s to live with her aunt after failing out of college.
My Verdict: Entertaining-ish but Overrated. This book has been recommended/discussed on every book podcast I listen to, so I had to check it out. It's a character driven novel, and I can often enjoy those as long as there are enough story arcs to pique my interest. This didn't really have that. Plus, Vivian was full of herself and constantly bragging about her money, beauty, sexual desirability and sewing skills. I didn't find her very endearing. That said, some of her adventures were entertaining in and of themselves so I generally wasn't bored with the novel. I just didn't love it or understand the hype. I listened on Audible and the narrator was excellent. Otherwise I might have struggled to finish this in print.

The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin
Basic Plot: Two women who have been best friends since medical school are forced to re-evaluate their lives when someone from their past starts making his way into the present.
My Verdict: Recommend if you like Medical Drama. While reading this book, I kept thinking, "This has to be written by a doctor." It is heavy on the medical jargon and technicalities of various medical procedures, not to mention the lifestyle of medical students/doctors. Sure enough, it was written by a doctor! If you enjoy medical drama on TV, you'll probably enjoy this book. While it was somewhat predictable, it held my interest throughout and I enjoyed it. I wasn't exactly crazy about the ending, and I felt the need to talk about it with someone else who read the book, so this might be a good book club selection for that reason. There was a lot to analyze with the characters and their choices and relationships.

Quick Picks
For quick recommendation without the specifics of what I did/didn't like, here are the books from this month that I'm likely to recommend to friends and family in real life:
If She Wakes
One True Loves
The Queen of Hearts

Current Reads + Up Next:
I'm currently reading The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne on Audible and absolutely loving it.  My current Kindle read is An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. This one took awhile to get going for me (around 30%) but I'm finally interested so I'll stick it out to the end.  After that, I have a lot of books on my list thanks to the recent Summer Page Turners Collab I did, so if you need some more suggestions make sure to check out that post!

Can't wait to hear what you've all be reading or which books from this month you'll be adding to your list!


Linking up with: Steph & Jana

7/8/19

Perfect Summer Accessory: White Handbag

7 comments |
Believe it or not, I actually go on Pinterest and search "___ handbag outfits" before I add a new color or style to my collection because I want to be sure it's going to work with a lot of options in my wardrobe. If anything in my closet needs to be versatile, it's shoes and bags! I've made the mistake in the past of buying those items in "fun" colors, only to realize I can only use them with one or two of my outfits. My closet's really not big enough to justify keeping such large items that have such limited use. Last year I added a white handbag to my collection and it ended up being a great choice! It went with a lot of outfits and the white really added a summer vibe to the look. I just pulled this bag back out again for the season so you'll be seeing a lot of it in upcoming posts, but here's a look back at five ways I've styled my white handbag:
LEFT: Tee | Similar Jeans | Belt | Necklace | Sandals (c/o)
RIGHTDress (c/o) | Shirt | Sandals (c/o)

Most of the outfits I'm sharing below feature neutral basics, but the addition of the white bag gives them a fun pop of  "color." My exact white bag here is the Tory Burch Half Moon Crossbody (c/o Shopbop), which is sold out everywhere I've checked. So I won't be linking it with each outfit, but I do have a section further down in the post with some current shopping options at a variety of budget points.

ONE: T-Shirt and Jeans

TWO: Casual T-shirt Dress and Sandals
Dress (c/o) | Shirt | Sandals (c/o)

THREE: "Fancy" Top and Jeans

FOUR: Basic Tank + Flirty Skirt

(My "skirt" here is actually a skort, but it gives the look of a skirt and I couldn't find any similar skort options, so I just went with skirt for simplicity!)

FIVE: Henley Tank, Shorts and Utility Jacket


If you're thinking about adding a white bag to your wardrobe for Summer, it seems like every designer has an option in white! Here are a few of my current designer favorites at Shopbop:
One: Shop Tory Burch (Fleming)
Two: Shop ZAC Zac Posen  (Biba Buckle Wristlet)
Three: Shop March Jacobs (The Editor 29 Bag)
Four: Shop Clare V (Le Box Bag)
Five: Shop Rebecca Minkoff (Kate Circle Bag)

On the budget-friendly front, I started browsing some white bag options on Amazon and noticed that Sam Edelman had some styles that were very similar to the designer options for much less! But they're similar in a way that doesn't try to be an exact replica. They're more "inspired" than "dupes" in my opinion. If I were shopping for a budget friendly option, this season, I'd be choosing something from this line! Except for Option One, all of these are available on Amazon.
TwoDome Satchel $53
ThreeCamera Belt Bag $31
FourBackpack $31
FiveRound Wristlet $88 

If you're a Pinterest person or just like to see all of the outfits in one place, here are all five outfits with my white handbag:


Here's the latest of what's going on in the blog world and in real life lately!

On the Blog: Coming up tomorrow are my July Book Reviews! It wasn't a stellar reading month but there were a a few I really enjoyed so I'll give the full breakdown tomorrow. Then on Wednesday I'll be sharing some favorites from a newer-to-me boutique. That brings us to Friday, and I have a new Amazon line to share that's perfect for summer plus a few Friday Favorites

In Real Life: We are gearing up for our family vacation/reunion with my husband's family in August so we've been working on details for that.  We're heading to Coeur d'Alene, ID and planning our activity options there. It looks beautiful this time of year and there's a lot to choose from! Aside from that, nothing too special going on around here. Just enjoying some gorgeous summer weather and relaxing evenings!

See you back tomorrow for Book Reviews!

Linking up with: Rachelle