6/28/17

What's Up Wednesday June

10 comments |
Today I'm joining What's Up Wednesday for an end of the month, behind-the-blog life update (along with hosting Style on the Daily Linkup with Amy Ann, as usual!). You can view the prompt questions for this post here, or just read on to find out what's been going on around here lately!

What I'm wearing:
This June has been hotter than usual so I already have my summer uniform of t-shirts or camis and shorts on repeat. Usually in June I need a jacket or cardigan for the mornings and evenings but even that hasn't been necessary lately. If you follow me on Instagram, you've been seeing a lot of this lately:
Top: Banana Republic | Shorts: Old Navy (Similar) | Sandals: Sam Edelman | Bag: Amazon | Ring: Stella & Dot | Bracelet: c/o Charming Charlie (Similar)

This cami is my current favorite because it has a side zipper that makes it easy to get on/off without compromising on the tapered fit throughout the body. It also hits my hips at a point I like so it doesn't require fussing with a tuck/front tuck (see front view below). I reviewed this cami and compared it to several others from different brands in this post. It's also on a great sale right now - it's marked down to $34.99 (originally $58), and you can get 40% off on top of that, taking the price all the way down to $21. It also comes in navy, and you can see how I styled that version here.

Front View:
Top: Banana Republic | Shorts: Old Navy (Similar) | Sandals: Sam Edelman | Bag: Amazon | Ring: Stella & Dot | Bracelet: c/o Charming Charlie (Similar)

What I've been up to:
We're on week three of summer break and I'm gradually figuring out how best to manage my time so I can maintain a regular blog schedule and balance it with my mom duties. On the weekends, we've had some fun social gatherings with old and new friends and a couple of family movie nights as well. We finally bought the movie Better off Dead (a favorite from my childhood) so my kids could see it since it wasn't available on any streaming services. They enjoyed it and have been cracking me up with quotes from it lately.

What I'm dreading:
The bees! Oh my goodness, San Diego has been plagued by some vicious bees this year. A swarm of bees killed a dog and another swarm attacked a mom and baby out for a walk. My youngest son has been stung twice this month! Once was on the elbow and it wasn't too bad, but the second time was on his face and it was terrible. It took several days for the swelling to go down, and at one point his eyes were so swollen shut it was hard for him to see. I've never been terribly afraid of bees but I kind of am now!

What I'm working on:
Planning a family reunion for my in-laws. It's my husband's turn to plan the reunion for his side of the family, so I'm trying to take on as much of that as possible since his day job is really demanding right now.  My sister planned the best family reunion for my side of the family last summer (recap here) and I'm trying to duplicate that experience as much as possible for my in-laws. It's challenging since we're headed to the Oregon Coast, and I've only been once so I'm not all that familiar with it. And regardless of location it's always a challenge to find activities that will appeal to a large group of people with a variety of ages and interests!

What I'm loving:
I not very blessed in the hair department, and I just try to make the most of it, but when the weather is hot and humid here it's hopeless. But I have recently found a "hairstyle" that I love for summer because it's easy it and always cooperates regardless of weather. I present, the messy bun:


Ready for my tutorial on this style? Ok, here it is:

Step One: Purchase this Hair Piece from Amazon. (It's under $15. Some colors are more expensive than others...don't ask me why they discriminate.)

Step Two: Put your own short hair into a sad, sad bun using an elastic hair band. Put as little effort into this step as possible. It doesn't need to be neat because you're about to cover up all the problems. My natural "messy bun" looks like this:

Step Three: Wrap the hair piece around your sad bun and attach it with one or two of these hair clips.

And that's it! I showed the pictures in reverse order ("after" followed by "before"), but hopefully you get the idea. I don't have enough hair in terms of length or volume to create that first hairstyle with my own hair. But the extension piece just wraps around my hair and blends in with it nicely. You can also do a better job than I did of hiding the attachment clips, or use bobby pins, etc. It took a couple of orders/returns to get a hair piece that matched with my hair color, but it was well worth it for the time it saves me now. (And by the way, the one I'm wearing above is called Platinum Blonde.)

What I'm watching:
I'm not keeping close tabs on either of these shows, but I have watched a couple of episodes of World of Dance and the premiere of the show Boy Band. World of Dance is amazing, and Boy Band got off to a slow start but the episode picked up a little as they started their training and performing.

What I'm reading:
I am currently reading The Guise of Another by Allen Eskens and really enjoying it. I read "The Life We Bury" by the same author a few months back (review here) so after reading a couple of duds this month I wanted to go back to a familiar author for better luck. So far so good!

I have been trying to separate my book review posts out from my monthly recap posts because they are each already quite long on their own and it became too much to prepare both for one post. Tomorrow I'll be posting a list of my favorite page-turners so far in 2016 (with some previously-reviewed books and some new ones as well). Then my next book review post will be July 12 so I can join Steph and Jana for "Show Us Your Books."

What I'm listening to:
I'm currently listening to the Audiobook version of Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are. This book is so fascinating. The premise is that we are more honest about ourselves in the things we type into Google (or any other completely anonymous internet forum) than anywhere else in our lives. If you are a fan of books like Freakonomics I think you will enjoy this one.

What I'm doing this weekend:
I'll be taking my kids to their lessons and activities for a good portion of the weekend. On Saturday night we have a date night with some friends to go see an 80s cover band. Should be fun!

And that's the latest from here! Join us below for Style on the Daily if you have a fashion post to share, or stop by tomorrow for my Best of Books post! Then I'll see you back on Friday for my weekly outfit recap!


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6/26/17

Summer Basic Tee + Embracing Change

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You know, I'm not sure I could have picked a more contradictory outfit to go with my Monday Motivation topic of Embracing Change. It would have made a lot more sense for me to share an outfit with something outside my comfort zone (like maybe gingham print or floral or something?). But no, my planning leaves something to be desired so let's just say I was going with irony! I will admit that I am a work in progress when it comes to accepting change or trying new things, and while I have been doing more of that this year as far as clothing, on this particular day I was all about the comfort zone. I am pretty sure I have worn this exact outfit a few times in the past, but no need to reinvent the wheel and all that!

Tee: Nordstrom | Shorts: Guess (Similar) | Sandals: Jessica Simpson (Similar) | Necklace: Express | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks (Use code: onthedailyx for 10% off!) | Bag: c/o Fossil 

This t-shirt runs true to size and has a nice relaxed, breathable fit, making it perfect for summer. I often find that for layering with a sweater or jacket in the cooler months I like a more fitted tee (especially the One Eleven Skimming Tee from Express) but I prefer this fit for wearing just on its own. I do have it in a couple of other colors as well (Heather Pewter and Stripes) and I'll show a few other outfits I've worn with these shirts below as well.

Front View: 

Shop the Look:


Same T-Shirt, Alternate Color/Outfit Options:

Outfit One:
Tee: Nordstrom | Jeans: Express | Necklace: Stella & Dot | Bag: Sole Society | Shoes: Target | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks (Use code: onthedailyx for 10% off!)

Outfit Two:
Tee: Nordstrom | Jeans: Express (Similar) | Necklace: Express (Similar) | Shoes: Amazon | Bag: Amazon (Similar) | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks (Use code: onthedailyx for 10% off!)

Outfit Three:
Tee: Nordstrom | Jeans: Express | Shoes: Amazon (Similar - same brand) |

Monday Motivation: Embracing Change

On Mondays I share a little bit here about my efforts to stay motivated and accountable with my goals for the year (read those in this post). This week I'm focusing on the value of Personal Growth, and specifically on embracing change. For awhile now I've had this feeling that I'm in a season of change. Maybe it's that my oldest is just finished Elementary School (and my youngest is only a year behind) so we're getting out of the "little kid" years and into the tween and teen years. Maybe it's that I earned my Black Belt in May, so now that drive to achieve such a big, specific goal is missing. In reflecting on the year so far (hey, we're halfway through with 2017!) I can make a pretty long list of big and small changes that happened this year and it's probably the cumulative effect causing this feeling.

I wouldn't say I am especially comfortable with change, and in some areas I can be particularly anxiety-ridden about it! Especially when it involves me proactively making a change (e.g. looking for a new job when I was unhappy in a current job), versus accepting a change that happens in the natural course of life (e.g. kids growing up).

I've been silently repeating the saying, "embrace the change" to myself lately, and finding a lot of comfort and inspiration in the experiences of others dealing with big changes in their life. I just read Lauren Graham's Memoir "Talking as Fast as I Can" and actually found it motivating on this subject. Her roles and experiences on TV Shows like Gilmore Girls and Parenthood were really great times and experiences in her life...but they had to end sooner or later. It was difficult and sad for her but what can you do besides accept it and move on? (Or as she says in her book, "Keep going, keep going, keep going."

I'd like to think that with age and experience I've gotten a little better at accepting change and even proactively making changes in my life when I need to or just want to with the hope of something better.  I certainly want to be the type of person who can adapt to changes with a positive attitude but it's a work in progress. I found a few articles and quotes that resonated with me as I reflected on this topic this week, so if this is something that speaks to you as well you might enjoy these.

From: Six Life Lessons on Embracing Change and Impermanence
"The more I permitted change and impermanence in my life, the more I grew as a person. Embracing change has brought newfound strength into my life and surprisingly, more inner peace."

From: Five Ways to Embrace Change at Work and in Life
"It is better to initiate changes ourselves using free will than to let our life progress down a negative path until change affects us in a dramatic way."

From: How to be Successful by Embracing Change
"...if you don’t learn to embrace change and if you don’t move forward, you will be left behind."

As always, I love hearing your thoughts on these topics! Books, articles and any strategies you've found that help you make and embrace changes are always appreciated!


Linking up with:
Monday: Rachelle | CaryleeLaura | Karen

6/23/17

Summer Faves and Modest Alternates Part 2

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Welcome to Part 2 of my two part series where I attempt to find similar, alternate pieces to some of my summer favorites that offer a little more coverage than my choices. This was equal parts an attempt to be helpful to those who have a more conservative dress code for work or a variety of personal reasons (even just personal preference), and partly just my own curiosity to see how difficult it would be to do this! You can see part one of this series here, and here's part two with some modest options for three of my current favorites.


Red Cami:
Top: Amazon | Shorts: J Crew Factory | Sandals: Target | Bag: Express (shown in first photo) | Ring: Stella & Dot

Alternates:


One $33 | Two $17 | Three $18


Black Stripe Dress:
Dress: c/o Tobi | Necklace: Kendra Scott (Current) | Bag: c/o Amazon | Sandals: Sam Edelman | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks  (Message shop owners for custom requests similar to this set + Use code: onthedailyx for 10% off!)

Alternates:
One $15 | Two $20 | Three $13


Blue Top with Lace Detail:
Top: Express | Shorts: Target (Similar) | Bag: Sole Society | Shoes: c/o Amazon | Necklace: Stella & Dot (Gift) | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks (Use code: onthedailyx for 10% off!)

Alternates:


One $29 | Two $24 | Three $34

This was a fun, interesting challenge for me, and depending on reader feedback and response I may try to do it one more time this summer. Once Fall weather hits I naturally end up covering up a lot more to stay warm, but usually that's not until November around here so I don't want to get too ahead of myself! I don't have an outfit recap today or this weekend because I ended up working all of my outfits into this week's posts, so have a great weekend and I'll see you back on Monday!


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6/21/17

Summer Favorites and Modest Alternates Part 1

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It's the first official day of summer, and the weather around here has been sure to leave no doubt about that! With the heat lately I've been wearing my usual summer staples of shorts, tank tops, and camis because I have a casual, stay-at-home mom lifestyle that allows me to do that. But in thinking of the majority of my friends and family members in real life, what I wear is only realistic for them on the weekend, or not at all if they prefer more conservative styles for various reasons. So today I wanted to try something new-ish and share some alternative options to pieces I've been loving lately. I specifically tried to choose more modest pieces that fully cover the shoulders and the cleavage, and they can be worn with a regular bra (no strapless!).  Oh, and they needed to be under $35 since I don't really like to pay more than that for tops myself!

These are some of my recent favorite tops, and as you can tell I've been trying a lot of the current trends in top styles this summer (e.g, cold shoulders, off-the-shoulder, and peplum details). I'm sharing three alternates below for each one of these. They either have a pretty similar look or are just an alternate item with a similar detail that could be styled the same way.

Blue Cold Shoulder Top:
Top: c/o SheIn | Necklace: Stella & Dot (Similar, Gift) | Shorts: Target (Similar) | Sandals: Target | Bag: Sole Society

Alternates:

One $15 | Two $27 | Three $22


Peplum Cami
Cami: Amazon | Necklace: CCO (Gift, Similar) | Jean Shorts: Old Navy (Similar) | Sandals: Sam Edelman | Bag: Amazon | Ring: Kendra Scott "Daisy" | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks  (Use code: onthedailyx for 10% off!)

Alternates: 
One $35 | Two $10 | Three $18

One Shoulder Top:
Top: Abercrombie | Shorts: Target (Similar) | Shoes: Target | Bag: c/o Charming Charlie | Necklace: Pictures on Gold (Gift) | Ring: Stella & Dot

Alternates:
One $27 (with current sale price) | Two $20 | Three $27

* * *

Well this was definitely an eye-opening experience for me so I hope it was helpful to some of you! It ended up being more difficult than I expected to find similar pieces with more coverage than average given the current trends and season. On Friday I will share Part Two of this theme with three more pieces I'm loving this summer along with their "more coverage" counterparts so stay tuned! And for my blogger friends, don't forget to link-up below!


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6/19/17

Amazon Shopping Tips and Tricks

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A couple of years ago, I was heading out on a family vacation and realized I didn't have a good travel-sized bag to take with me. My handbags were small to medium size and wouldn't fit all of the extra things I like to carry with me on an airplane like a magazine, book, snacks, etc. I didn't have time to go driving around to multiple stores to see if I could find something I liked for a reasonable price. I already had an Amazon Prime account, but I had never shopped there for fashion-related items. At that point Prime seemed like my only option to get a bag in time without paying exorbitant expedited shipping rates. I ended up finding a bag I liked  (posted here), and that experience ended up being a game changer in my shopping habits. While shopping for that bag, I stumbled on a bunch of other cute, affordable bags and things, so I started a wishlist and made more purchases here and there. Nowadays I'm a very frequent Amazon shopper! In the past couple of years I have learned some effective strategies for digging and finding "the good stuff" on Amazon, so that's what I'm sharing with you today.

Shoes and Bags are my top two favorite departments when it comes to Amazon Fashion, so here's a look at some of my still-in-stock, most-loved picks:
All bags from Amazon, Shoes in Outfit Two and Three from Amazon. Full Details Below.

Outfit One:
Top: Abercrombie | Jeans: Express | Shoes: Jessica Simpson (Similar) | Bag: Amazon | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks (Use code: onthedailyx for 10% off!)

Outfit Two:
Jacket: Nordstrom (Similar) | Tee: Express (Similar) | Jeans: Express | Bag: c/o Amazon | Shoes: Amazon | Ring: Express (Similar) | Necklace: Kendra Scott

Outfit Three:
Top: Charming Charlie | Jeans: Express | Bag: c/o Amazon | Shoes: c/o Amazon | Necklace: Stella & Dot

My Strategies for Finding the Best Fashion Items on Amazon:

1. Take Your Time
While I was on a "deadline" with my initial Amazon quest for a specific bag and that worked out well, usually the items I end up sharing on the blog have been a few weeks in the making. That includes time to run numerous searches (more on that below), buy multiple possible options, compare them in person, then return the ones that don't make the final cut. Sometimes none make the cut in person and I have to go back to the drawing board altogether. Planning ahead and not being in a rush improves your chances of finding something great. Occasionally I get lucky on the first try, but the more time I have to search before I need to wear or share an item, the better chance I have to get something I love vs. something that does the job.

2. Make Lists
Let's say you're on the hunt for a new Pink Crossbody Bag. Start by searching that term on Amazon since it's the first that came to your mind. Make a Shopping List on your Amazon Account and save items to that folder that look somewhat like what you had in mind. They don't have to be exactly what you want. They might be too big or too small or not the right shade of pink or not even pink at all but exactly the bag you wish they made in pink but it's only in black! It just has to be close enough in some way to drop a hint to Amazon that you want a certain type of bag. Once you do that, they will start making suggestions for you. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I think there are certain items on Amazon you can only find by their suggestion. They will not show up in a generic term search, but after I've browsed a similar item, new items I've never seen anywhere before even though I've searched for that option will start showing up on their suggested options.

After steps 2-4 below, you'll find several ways to bring up new items. I recommend saving anything that looks like your style to one of your lists. Even if you're not in the market for it right then, it seems to help Amazon understand your taste and provide better recommendations for you. I have several lists on my Amazon accounts with a few dozen items I'll probably never purchase. But they're placeholders and hints for Amazon, and sometimes I start my searching from those items if it's in the general category (e.g. bags, shoes, tops) of what I want to find.

2. Change Your Search Terms
This step is probably the most effective trick I've learned. Let's say you ran your initial search for a Pink Crossbody Bag and didn't find quite what you wanted. Start thinking of synonyms and related terms to change out for your next Amazon search. e.g. Blush Crossbody Bag, Light Pink Crossbody Bag, Dusty Rose Crossbody Bag, Pink Satchel, Pink Handbag, etc. If at first you don't succeed with your search, try, try again...with a slightly different term each time. What I consider to be a crossbody bag might simply be labeled a purse (or handbag/satchel/clutch etc.) by a Korean handbag company, so many options that might be what I actually wanted won't show up on my first search. And it's not just a language barrier. Amazon searches don't seem to get the gist of my searches so I have to work around that. If a company used the term "Pale Pink" and you searched "Light Pink," Amazon might not show you that option in your search. What I call "beige," another brand might call "khaki" or "nude" or "taupe." A "wrap front top" can be a "crossover top," and even "top" could be switched out for "blouse" or "shirt." Each minor change you make to your search terms will yield new results. The more alternate terms you can think of to swap in, the better chance you have of finding exactly what you want. (And now you can see how this leads back to Point One of how long all of this searching can take!)

4. Check Out Amazon's Suggestions
In my opinion this is the second most important trick. Going back to the Pink Crossbody example, let's say you've clicked on an "almost but not quite" bag that came up in your original search. Underneath the product details, Amazon will display multiple other products on scrolling widgets with labels like "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought..." or "Sponsored Products Related to this Item." Along the same lines of what I said in Step Two, start clicking on any of the items displayed that look remotely like what you want. Even if they're the wrong size or color, click them if they appeal to you on any level. When I'm shopping for something on Amazon I end up with a dozen tabs open on my browser. As I go through them I decide whether they are worth saving to a list or not, but every Suggested Option that I click brings up some new Suggested Options that I haven't seen on any of my previous searches.

5. Click the Brand Name
Somewhere in all of that clicking and searching of pink, light pink, pale pink, blush, rose blush, soft blush and so on, let's say you found a bag you really liked but it's the wrong size. Click on the Brand Name of that bag. (It's hyperlinked in small text above the name of the product next to the photo.) Once again, doing this brings up options from that brand that didn't seem to show up in my other searches. And once again, clicking on any of those options will lead to other Suggested Items that you haven't seen before. I've founds several pieces this way, like my taupe shoes in Outfit Two.

Does all of that sound like you've just gone down the Rabbit Hole of Amazon? If so, then great! You're on the right track to finding good stuff! After two years of doing these Rabbit Hole searches, I feel like Amazon has gotten better at making suggestions for me. So while it does take a long time, it doesn't take as long as it did at first and the suggestions have gotten much better. Also, it probably goes without saying that none of this is really applicable if you already know the specific brand and item you want and just want to know if Amazon carries it. E.g. My Dolce Vita Sandals (pictured in Outfit Three above) were not hard to find because I knew the exact brand and style I wanted, it was just a matter of finding whether Amazon carried them.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am an Amazon Affiliate Partner but I was not asked to write this post nor compensated for writing it by Amazon (or any other brand). This post was created in response to a reader request for information on how I find things on Amazon. I do receive shopping credits from Amazon through my affiliate partnership and any items purchased with those credits are always designated c/o (courtesy of) in my posts. Any items without that designation were purchased with my own money. And as always indicated by my sidebar disclaimer, I do use affiliate links on my site for products I discuss, so any purchase made after clicking through a link on my site may result in a commission for me from that sale. This does not add any cost to the consumer and is simply a way for retailers to thank bloggers for referring traffic to them. And to those of you who read my blog and choose to support me through your clicks, purchases, page views, and comments - thank you! I very much appreciate your support! You are literally (and I avoid using that word as much as possible!) the reason I am able to continue maintaining this blog!

* * *
I hope all of this was helpful and gave you some new ideas to try for shopping on Amazon! I decided to do this post today in place of my Monday Motivation because, well, I was motivated to respond to a reader request in a timely manner and this was the best time for me to do it!


Linking up with:
Monday: Rachelle | Carylee | Laura | Karen | ErikaAndreaNarci | JoLynne |

6/16/17

Outfit Recap 6/16/17

4 comments |
Well, we survived our first week of summer break! And by "we"...I mostly mean my kids survived! I have never seen them more physically exhausted at the end of the day than I have this week thanks to their surfing camp. It was challenging but they loved it. (If you're local or just planning a trip to San Diego and interested you can check out the camp here.) As for me, I am going to continue with the format of posting my Outfit Recap/Outfit Singles on Friday (v.s Saturday). Three posts per week is helping me survive the blog-life balance issues and I am all about that. That said, let's get to the point with a review of what I wore this past week for some warm days and long commutes to and from camp!

Outfit Recap:


Peach Tee, Jean Shorts:
Tee: Abercrombie | Shorts: Nordstrom Rack (Similar) | Sandals: Sam Edelman | Necklace: Express | Bag: Amazon| Bracelets: Charmed Stacks (Use code: onthedailyx for 10% off!)

While I do think this tee runs true to size, I opted to size up for a more relaxed fit. Ironically it's called the "Relaxed Tee" but I didn't find the fit very relaxed. Maybe they meant that it's good for relaxing? Regardless, it's very comfy, only $10 and comes in a bunch of other colors, including a striped version I ordered that I'll be sharing here soon.

White Denim Jacket, Black Striped Skirt:
Jacket: 6pm | Tank: Target | Skirt: Express | Necklace: Stella & Dot | Shoes: Sam Edelman |
Bag: c/o Amazon |

I gave the full scoop on this white denim jacket in this recent post, but it does run true to size and has some good stretch to make it comfortable and easy to move in. I also opted to size up in this striped mini skirt to make the length and fit a little less revealing.

White Eyelet Cami, Black Jeans:
Cami: BR | Shorts: J Crew Factory | Necklace: Pictures on Gold (gift) | Bag: c/o Amazon | Sandals: c/o Amazon | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks (Use code: onthedailyx for 10% off!)

I wore the blue version of this eyelet cami earlier this week (see it here), but I loved it so much I had to get both colors. It does run true to size, as do each of the other pieces shown here.

White Eyelet Cami, Black Shorts:
Cami: BR | Shorts: J Crew Factory | Necklace: Pictures on Gold (gift) | Bag: c/o Amazon | Sandals: Sam Edelman | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks (Use code: onthedailyx for 10% off!)

This was a "half and half" day where I spent half the day in shorts and half the day in pants thanks to cool mornings and hot afternoons. I realize this outfit is 90% redundant to the previous version, but I try to share both options when I have them since I find my blog readers to be about half and half too! (Half need to wear pants for the majority their lifestyle, half relate to the more casual looks.)

White Tie Sleeve Blouse, Jeans:
Top: c/o SheIn | Jeans: Express (Similar) | Bag: Sole Society | Shoes: Amazon | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks (Use code: onthedailyx for 10% off!)

This top is One Size which is a little risky, but I really don't have any short sleeve blouses, and I liked the fact that I wouldn't need to fuss with tucking it in since it has a crossover front. I also thought the tie detail on the shoulder was fun. It is a bit wide (which you can't tell with my arms down at my side like this) but I think it's just meant to be oversized/relaxed fit that way. It's also hard to tell from the photo with the white background but it does also go long in the back. (So...it's like a mullet top I guess? Short in the front, long in the back!)

* * *
It's Father's Day this weekend and I'm sure mine is going to be a little extra-emotional since it's my first without my dad (he passed away back in November). But I still have much to be grateful for, particularly the fact that my own children have a great father (a.k.a. my husband)! We have some fun activities planned with friends that I'm hoping will be a good distraction from the more difficult feelings of grief and loss. If you're in the same boat where Father's Day isn't exactly the happiest holiday for you for one reason or another, you'll be in my thoughts this weekend and I hope you can turn yours into Sunday Funday full of good distractions too!



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6/14/17

Lace Date Night Top + Linkup

13 comments |
One of my favorite things about summer is the social energy in the air.  People are (understandably) a lot more willing to get out of their houses and meet up when the weather is pleasant! Summer is also practically the only season where I don't have to layer on a jacket or coat for the entire evening, so it feels like an added bonus that my night-out/date night pieces actually get to be seen! With this lace peplum top I think it can be dressed up or down, but since I had an opportunity to wear it dressed up for my husband's birthday dinner last weekend, I took it!

Top: c/o Tobi | Jeans: Express | Necklace: Kendra Scott (Gift) | Shoes: Target | Bag: Express | Bracelet: Stella & Dot (Similar)

The pretty detail on this top from Tobi caught my eye instantly, but it also comes in a gorgeous blush shade so I had a hard time choosing between the two colors! I opted for white just because I thought it would have more contrast against my skin, which I like in general but pay more attention to as a result of blogging and wanting my readers to be able to see the details! It runs true to size, and it does have a zipper up the back to make it easier to get on and off. The code TN50 currently makes this top under $30!

Front View:
Top: c/o Tobi | Jeans: Express | Necklace: Kendra Scott (Gift) | Shoes: Target | Bag: Express | Bracelet: Stella & Dot (Similar)

Tobi currently has free shipping on orders of $50, so in case you need another option to hit that free shipping threshold here are all three of my Tobi pieces. I will link to the exact item below along with my original post about each piece with further details on fit and so on, but in general I found the sizing and quality to be very comparable to Express.

 Lace Top | Striped Dress (Original post here) | Cold-Shoulder Top (Original post here)

Hope you are all having a good week so far and I'll see you back with another post on Friday!


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6/12/17

Blue Eyelet Cami + Being Assertive

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It's the first full week that the kids are out of school here and I feel like I've entered an alternate universe! Mine are signed up for some fun day camps throughout the summer (like surf camp this week!) to prevent their boredom and protect my sanity, but it's going to be a nice change of pace from the regular school year schedule. Speaking of a change of pace, every since Express stopped making my favorite cami (the Barcelona Cami), I've been trying out camis from different brands and so far, Banana Republic is taking the solid lead as my new favorite. I've had really good luck with the fit, quality and pricing (since their 40% off sales are so frequent), including this blue eyelet cami.

Cami: Banana Republic | Shoes: Target | Jeans: Express | Necklace: Kendra Scott | Bag: c/o Amazon | Ring: "Daisy" c/o Kendra Scott  | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks (Use code: onthedailyx for 10% off!)

This cami ran true-to-size for me and has a nice amount of stretch to make it easy to get on and off. It doesn't have a side zipper like the other cami they make that I love (see I how I wore it in navy here and champagne here) but it doesn't really need it because the material on this is different (softer and stretchier). I love where the neckline hits and that it doesn't gape open at all when I move around or bend forward. I also love the curved hemline so I don't have to fuss with tucking it in. 

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Monday Motivation: Being Assertive
Last week was the last week of school, and I was ready to end the year on a high note with parties and and celebrations all week. But then there was an "incident" at school on Monday while I happened to be on campus to help out with one of the events. I wanted to ignore the issue just to keep the peace and finish up the year. It wasn't a major problem and it would have been easy to just let it go with only three days left, and I'm sure it would be forgotten by next Fall. But I didn't feel good about that because it involved my child feeling he had been wronged by a teacher (part of which I witnessed thanks to being there that day), and he was very concerned about clearing up the issue for his own personal sanity. (I am trying to carefully respect the privacy of the parties involved, so I apologize for the vague explanation of the issue. It's not at all serious, otherwise I wouldn't think of letting it go or even discussing it here.)

When I was finished helping out, I went out to my car and called my husband to get his input on whether this issue was worth escalating. After he agreed that yes, it was, I took some deep breaths and went back in to ask for a meeting with the principal in hope of some resolution. Even as an adult, meeting with the principal is intimidating! I have a lot of respect for our school principal, and I don't want to be "that parent" who causes trouble for her or complains a lot, etc. I briefly explained my concerns as calmly as I could, and she was courteous and professional as always. By that night I had an email from the teacher involved explaining her side of the incident, and that helped clear the air because I knew the principal had explained my son's situation to her, and I also completely understood her choice of actions based on the information she had at the time. Then I talked with my son again to help him better understand her position so we can all move forward.

I recently shared about strengthening my risk-taking muscle, but last week's issue reminded me that my assertive muscle is can pretty weak too due to lack of exercise! I am just not in a lot of situations anymore where I need to speak up about something or confront someone. When the moment arises, doubts and discomfort step in. It is so much easier said than done to, "just talk to them about it!" I was glad that I spoke up this time, but there have been other times when I didn't and probably should have.

Being assertive is a valuable skill that I am motivated to cultivate not just for myself but as a parent.  I remember my mom intervening on my behalf in middle school when I wanted the teacher to move my seats to get me away from a boy who was relentlessly teasing me. I wasn't comfortable discussing it with the teacher so my mom made the call for me (which probably wasn't easy for her!) and I was extremely grateful for that. I want my kids to be able to count on me to step in when they need a little backup! After "the incident" last week I read a few articles to see what I could learn to be more prepared if and when I find myself in one of those situations again. This explanation of assertiveness from WikiHow accurately explains my objectives: "Being assertive falls right in the middle of being passive and being aggressive. If you're passive, you'll never get to vocalize your needs; if you're aggressive, you'll look like a big bully and will likely be misdirecting your frustrations. But if you're assertive, you'll be able to express your desires while respecting the needs of others, and you'll have a better chance of getting what you want and deserve."

So that's my something I'm personally motivated to work on right now...maintaining the assertive mindset! (In a polite, respectful manner, of course!) As always I love hearing from you all if have books, articles, tips or experiences that have helped you improve in this area!


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