Save vs. Splurge Finds + Echo Look Update

I've seen quite a few budget-friendly options around the web for some blogger-favorite, moderately more expensive items so I rounded up a few of them to share today. Pull-on shorts are a big trend right now but there are so many cute, affordable options there's really no need to spend a lot. And even though I'm not personally in the market for a fancier dress, 'tis the season for weddings and other special events where some of you all might need one, so I'm sharing a great budget option for one of those as well.
Splurge: Olive Splurge Shorts- $49 | Save: Olive Shorts-  $18
SplurgeChambray Shorts - $49 |  Save: Chambray Shorts- $20, Chambray Shorts - $18

Splurge: Camo Shorts- $45 | Camo Shorts- $52 | Camo Shorts- $88
Save: Camo Shorts- $12 (Hundreds of 4-5 star reviews) |  Camo Shorts- $15  (All 5-star reviews) | 
Camo Shorts - $30

Splurge: Lace Dress 
Save: Lace Dress Under $30 Option One (Red Displayed) | Option Two (Black Displayed)
$50 Option for this dress style comes in Light Blue and Light Green

Last week I shared a little about the new Echo Look I received c/o Amazon Fashion (see below for a promo code). I experimented with a little more over the past week and wanted to share an update today. I figured out how to do a "Style Check" with the app and it's pretty fun and somewhat addictive. Per the FAQ page, the Style Check "Style Check is a service that can give you a second opinion on which outfit looks best on you. Style Check takes into account fit, color, styling, and current trends. You can get feedback by changing your styling, a single piece or your whole look."

I tried a few different comparisons for fun, and I'll share the results so you can see if you agree with the app's comparison and preferences!

In the first Style Check, I compared two outfits with only one slight difference: the shoes. In the first outfit I was wearing these nude low-heel sandals, but they're hidden by the check mark. In the second outfit I wore pink wedges since I thought a color pop might be fun, but the app didn't seem to like those as much.
Above you can see two options in Blue for further feedback on the comparison: "Ask the Community" and "Find Out Why." Frankly I'm a little intimidated to try ask the community at this point, but I could see myself doing it if I had a special event and really wanted to make sure my outfit was on point. I did really like using "find out why," and you can see the explanations given in the next two examples. Those came up after my style check was complete and I clicked "find out why."

My son had a doctor's appointment the morning that I wore this outfit (and I went with the nude sandals per the Style Check advice!), but in the afternoon I wanted to dress down a little more so I changed to shorts and flat sandals. I let the Style Check rate those two outfits next:

This time it was 60/40 in favor of shorts and flat sandals! And personally I prefer that outfit so I agree with the app on this, but I thought the longer skirt and dressier sandals seemed more appropriate for the doctor's office. I threw a denim jacket on top of that on my way out the door too but didn't have time for another photo!

Finally I compared a different outfit (although it's still somewhat similar since that's just what I've been wearing lately) to see how that would compare:
Once again, I'd say I agree with them on the preference, but let me know what you all think! Do you agree with their preferences in each case? For me it's really fascinating to get totally unbiased feedback. I'm already somewhat used to people rating my outfits thanks to Instagram and blogging, but this feels less personal, which is actually a nice change. One "con" of this device for me is that it's slower to use than just snapping a mirror selfie. I could probably make a collage of the selfies and text a friend for their opinion faster than I can use the app for this, which is worth noting if you're buying one. You really have to plan adequate time to take the photos and run the comparisons, so it's not going to work if you're rushing out the door and need a quick decision. Just something I think is worth noting so you all can make an informed decision!

If you are interested in getting an EchoLook for yourself, you can save 20% off an Echo Look (with code: ECHOLOOK20. That's a $40 saving and it expires June 22! Can't wait to hear your thoughts on this!

Linking up with: Rachelle | Carylee


Nine Summer Casual Outfits + Friday Four 6/15/18

It's been a couple of weeks since I've done an everyday outfit recap, so I'm playing a little catch up with some extra outfits today. I won't go into too much detail about each piece since it's such a long post already, but I will try to give a bit of sizing info if it was unexpected sizing or a newer-to-me brand. I suppose some of these might qualify for Spring outfits since we've had a bit of Spring and Summer weather over the past few weeks, but that's to be expected this time of year.

Group One:

1. Tan Bomber Jacket, Coral/Orange Tank: All pieces ran true to size. I'm wearing the Short length in jeans, but I still had to cuff them under to make them work with these shoes. So you may notice in the stock images of the product that they have a frayed hem, but it just doesn't look like it in my pic because they're rolled under.

2. Chambray Jacket, Henley Tank: My jacket runs TTS but the tank runs small so I recommend going one size up, possibly too if you're a little busty because you'll need the length. I take my normal size in Miller sandals, but I've seen many people recommend going up half a size so it's worth keeping that in mind.

3. Striped Side-Tie Tee, Pink Sandals: This tee runs true to size, but I went one size up for a more relaxed fit and because I like the length better on myself. It stretches a bit with wear throughout the day, but when I washed and dried this one it went right back to the way it was before.

Group Two:

1. Striped Tank, Jean Shorts: This tank runs true to size, but I will say if you're tall or have a long torso you might find it a bit short. I'm 5'4" and wouldn't mind if it were a bit longer, but it was long enough for me to keep it.

2. Grey Tee, White Eyelet Skirt: Everything ran true to size. The white skirt is comfortable and only $25 with Prime Shipping, but it doesn't have pockets which is the only thing I would really change about it.

3. Camo Tee, Jeans: My t-shirt runs true to size with a relaxed fit, and I linked a more affordable option below as well. These are the same jeans I'm wearing in the Group 1, Outfit 1. They're true to size and very soft and comfortable. In other words...my new favorite pair!

Group Three:

1. Striped Tee, Sneakers: My striped tee runs true to size, but I had to go down a FULL size in the sneakers. This was my field day volunteer OOTD, which explains the sneakers since as you may know by now I don't usually prefer wearing sneakers unless it's the only practical choice.

2. Grey Cover Up, Orange/Coral Tank: I'm wearing a Small in this cover up, and that size is currently sold out in grey but still available in black. I added a link to a similar grey cover up option below with more sizes available and on sale for under $30. My sandals also ran true to size.

3. Black Tee, Olive Pull-On Shorts: I mentioned these under $20 Target shorts last week and only regret that I didn't start wearing this style of shorts sooner. They are so comfortable it's ridiculous. They're true to size, and my t-shirt fits true to size as well.

As usual I'm sharing four random things worth mentioning for Friday:

1. Shopbop Sale
Shopbop is having a big summer sale worth checking out if you're looking for a great deal on designer items: Take an additional 25% off these sale items with code SCORE18. I'm sharing a few bags from my favorite brands that look like great go-with-everything summer neutrals, and all of these except the Tory Burch Crossbody are under $120 with the sale pricing. Exact bags are linked below, but since some items will probably sell out between the time I put this post together and the time you see it, you can shop all sale bags here.

2. It's a 10
On Week 4 of my Instagram Story Challenge we had a lot of participants for the topic of favorite hair care products, and so many people mentioned It's a 10 that I finally had to try it. I am happy to say I'm really impressed with it! It smells nice and magically makes my hair feel more moisturized without weighing it down. If you haven't tried this yet I think it's worth a shot, especially since so many people with different hair types seem to love it.

3. Margarita Cake Balls
For my husband's birthday get together recently we did all Mexican themed foods and I wanted a coordinated dessert, so I gave these Margarita Cake Balls a try. They were good, albeit rather expensive to make when you take into account the tequila and triple sec. I'd make them again for a special occasion, but they Key Lime Version sounds like it would be similar and family-friendly, which would be nice since my kids really wanted to try these and couldn't!

4. Poll Update
Thank you SO much to everyone who took my quick poll! Your replies and especially comments were so helpful. As of now, the answers are 60/40 in favor of keeping a Monday/Wednesday/Friday blog schedule. So I'm thinking I'll keep a M/W/F schedule...at least 60% of the time. I'm sure I'll throw in some additional posts whenever I have a chance, which is more or less what I do now, but it's nice to know where you all stand on that. One of the main things that came up in comments is that you come here for affordable fashion, so I will keep that a priority and continue offering budget options if something I'm wearing is more of a splurge. I also appreciate that several of you mentioned you are not on Instagram, and since I think that's a smart life choice, I will continue trying to share any relevant content from that platform here on the blog rather than try to push you to add more social media to your life.

Thanks for spending a bit of your time with me today and have a great weekend!

Linking up with: JoLynne | ErikaAndreaNarci | CherylNina |  Rachael


Fancy Summer Top

The past few weeks have been filled with a lot of special events around here, from recitals to concerts and birthday parties. I'm generally happy for an excuse to get a little more dressed up than usual, so knowing I had several such events on the calendar, I picked up this lace top over Memorial Day weekend to wear for some of these events that call for something a little more fancy than usual t-shirts.

LACE TOP: This lace top is a little more expensive than my everyday tees and tops, but still currently under $50, which I think is pretty reasonable for a "special occasion" piece. It also comes in blue and white if this rose/pink shade doesn't suit you. I'm kind of between sizes in tops depending on the brand and style, so I went with the bigger of my two sizes on this since the reviews said it ran small. I don't really think this runs especially small, but I'm also glad I didn't go smaller since I wouldn't want it any tighter. I think most people will fit their normal size, but I recommend going with your bigger size if you're between sizes or you just want a more relaxed fit. I should also note that this top actually comes with a matching pink v-neck cami (or blue/white if you select those colors) The original cami is in the far right image below (with white jeans), but it's really too low cut for me to wear almost anywhere besides date night. I liked the contrast of the white cami underneath, but if I happen to see a matching cami with a higher scoop neck I might grab it to use with this.

Three Ways to Wear a Pink Lace Top:
Even though I bought this to wear for some "fancy" summer events, it can also be dressed down with jean shorts or styled somewhere in-between for brunch or other casual gatherings with white jeans and espadrilles/wedges.



And before I go, just a couple of additional fit notes on the exact pieces in today's outfit:

SANDALS: These Target Sandals are my go-to dressy sandals this summer. They are true to size, very affordable, and really comfortable considering their heel height. I also have these in black (shown in this post) and find these two colors cover all my bases for "dressy" events, but they also come in blush and gold.

JEANS: My jeans often look black in my mirror selfies (e.g. in the trio of images above) but in real life they are a dark, inky blue. The outdoor photos in this post are more accurate representation of their actual color. They're "Supersoft" jeans and they really are super soft! 

I wore this outfit last weekend for our music studio recital, but if you see me in real life today I'll probably be wearing the exact same thing again for my younger son's 5th Grade Promotion Ceremony. They don't use the term "Graduation" here until high school graduation, but I feel like I'm graduating too in a way since after tomorrow I'm done being a mom of elementary school age kids! It was truly one of my favorite stages of parenthood thus far so I have very fond memories of this era, but I'm surprisingly not sad about leaving it behind, either. Well, I say that now but there's a good chance I'll get a little teary-eyed during the ceremony anyway! At any rate, thanks again for reading today and hope you're having a good week!

Linking up with: The Blended Blog | Brooke

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!


June Book Reviews 6/12/18

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

This is How it Always Is by Laurie Frankel
Basic Plot: A family of five boys is in for a journey of challenges when the youngest boy decides he would rather be a girl.
My Verdict: I did not love this. It came highly rated and highly recommended, so maybe my expectations were too high, but it was a bit of a let down. I struggled to get into it and then I struggled to finish it. The middle was pretty engaging and I would even say some parts were very interesting. It just wasn't strong enough for me all throughout to put it on my "recommend" list. I did enjoy following along with how the family handled some very complicated issues with a transgender child and considering how I might handle that situation, so it gave me some worthwhile food for that. That said, the writing wandered and went on a lot of tangents that didn't really seem relevant to the core of the story. And I thought the ending was a little too neat for such a complex issue. Again, it was a decent book, just not great for me. I read this along with Kristen so for another POV on this book check out her post today.

Bright Side by Kim Holden
Basic Plot: Kate moves from San Diego to Minnesota to attend college and get a fresh start. Her life is more complicated than it seems at first glance: love, loss, and heartbreak all play a part in her story.
My Verdict: Recommend! Especially if you're a Colleen Hoover fan, this has similar elements of complicated romance. Be warned: this is definitely a tearjerker! I had to finish it in private because I didn't want anyone to ask why I was crying! I found this easy to get into and it held my interest well enough throughout, but I wasn't completely hooked or thinking it was anything special until about halfway through when some twists come into play. I won't spoil it, but do be aware the first half is more average. In fact, I was getting annoyed with Kate (the main character). For one, I thought the "San Diego Accent" was overplayed. Second, she was just too perfect: every guy wants her and every girl envies her...but she doesn't know she's beautiful. That's fine for a One Direction song but not endearing for me in a lead female. But...then things got more complicated and my opinion of Kate changed by the end of the book. That's all I can say without spoiling! When I finished it I immediately picked up the sequel (see next review) because I just could not wait to read more about the characters. Thanks to Alice for recommending this one!

Gus by Kim Holden
Basic Plot: Well, I don't want to spoil the previous book here so this review is tricky. It is a standalone book and you don't have to read Bright Side to understand it, but I don't recommend it as a standalone. This book puts one of the supporting characters from Bright Side in the spotlight
My Verdict: Recommend *only if*...you read Bright Side and want more closure. Overall this book was an easy read and fairly enjoyable to me, but it didn't measure up to Bright Side. I liked the way the primary relationship developed, but I didn't like one of the characters (Michael). He was meant to be an adversary, but his relationship with one of the main characters seemed too contrived as a plot point. Again, good enough as a follow-up/closure book, not quite so much on its own merits.

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
Basic Plot: Nora gets invited to the "hen party" (Bachelorette party as we call it in the states) for a friend she lost touch with a decade ago. She can't understand why she's being invited so she goes to satisfy her curiosity and things get strange from there.
My Verdict: Recommend. I've read two other books by Ruth Ware (The Woman in Cabin 10 and The Lying Game) and I liked this one at least as much as the Woman in Cabin 10, if not more. They Lying Game was just meh to me, so I definitely preferred this one to that. I had my expectations set that I wouldn't enjoy it, though. and I was happy to be wrong. It grabbed my interest from the start, the suspense built quickly and the overall the story held my interest throughout. I don't really have any complaints so I'd say this is a solid read for suspense fans.

The Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty
Basic Plot: Ellen is a hypnotherapist who learns that the man she is dating has an ex-girlfriend who is stalking him.
My Verdict: Recommend. Liane Moriarty is a reliably entertaining writer for me and this book was no exception. I wouldn't say it's my favorite of hers, but it grabbed my interest rather quickly and held it...75% of the way through. I think my biggest issue was that after the story peaked, it went on too long and there was too much detail given in the resolution. Aside from that, it's a fun and easy summer read.

Siblings without Rivalry by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
This book gives some very practical advice on how to help your children get along and how to avoid creating negative feelings between them as a parent. I didn't think my children had major issues with sibling rivalry going into it, but after reading the book I can see where I have some improvements to make. It also gave me some interesting insights into my own childhood and sibling relationships, which I wasn't expecting. Although I didn't enjoy every second of the book, it was ultimately worth my time to read since I gained some good insights and specific things I'd like to change. I also think it would be nice to have this in paperback form to highlight some specific tips that are relevant to me and review them periodically. At times I didn't love the narration of the book, e.g. the narrator uses baby/kid voices to role play conversations with children (including whining) and that got on my nerves as much as actual whining. But it was there to make it easier to distinguish between people in a conversation so I understood why they did it and can forgive that. All that said, I would recommend this to parents of multiple children since most likely you'll gain a few worthwhile ideas. Thanks to Shea for recommending this last month!

Against Empathy by Paul Bloom
I would never have expected anyone could make a solid case against empathy, nor could I imagine why they would want to try, but this book does just that! If you don't know this from some of my other reviews I love books that challenge "normal" ways of thinking. Anything that can make me question what I thought I knew is especially attractive. This book does indeed make some excellent points against empathy. I would say it convinced me to believe that empathy is overrated and many times a very ineffective tool for judgment, but I am not persuaded to be against it. If this topic sounds interesting to you then yes, I would recommend it. It was interesting enough to be worth my time. But if the concept has you thinking, "WTF?" then pass because it will probably frustrate you.

Captivate by Vanessa Van Edwards
I liked this book quite a lot and think everyone could benefit from some part of it. The author gives some very practical, research-backed ideas for how to connect with people, be a good conversationalist, and maximize all of your interpersonal interactions. She drew upon the work of other popular authors I've read (e.g. John Gottman, Dan Ariely, Gary Chapman), but put it all together in a very clear way. A lot of things she said really resonated with me, e.g. her concept of understanding your "survive" vs. "thrive" social events and "the vulnerability hangover" (this happens all the time with blogging!). She does repeatedly reference/push people to visit her own website, and at times that did get a little tedious, but it didn't take away from the fact that there was plenty of useful, worthwhile information in the book so I'll give her a break for the self-promotion.

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
Two parenting books in one month? Who am I? This usually isn't my favorite genre, but since Siblings Without Rivalry proved to be worthwhile and the title speaks to one of the biggest issues in my current stage of parenthood, I decided to give these authors another go. And I'm glad I did since I I got even more strategies to put into action from this book than "Siblings..." As with the other book, I wasn't riveted to every second of narration, but overall it was well worth the time spent for the number of practical, fairly simple suggestions I got out of it.

Current Reads + Up Next:
Kristen and I will be reading Between Sisters by Kristin Hannah for our July Book reviews, and my current nonfiction audiobook is When Breath Becomes Air. After that I have quite a few books that I bought on sale (like "The Hating Game" for $1.99) or that I got for "free" with my Kindle Unlimited Membership that I need to get through before I can buy any of the newer releases that interest me. I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else is reading this month and hearing your thoughts on any of these you might have read!'

Kindle Unlimited Membership

Linking up with: Steph & Jana


White Cardigan Outfits + Echo Look Preview

My white cardigan has turned out to be a good purchase earlier this spring and now that I've had it a few months, I wanted to put a post together with a few of the ways I've worn it so far. I love the contrast it gives with Spring and Summer colors, and even when I pair it with all neutrals it still gives the outfit a more summery look. I most recently dressed it way down with shorts and a knit cami for a casual Sunday of errands with the family.

CARDIGAN: This cardigan runs true to size and is nice and lightweight (although not sheer or too thin) for Spring and Summer.

KNIT CAMI: I took a size XS in this knit cami (which also comes in light blue and white), and typically I like a size Small in fitted tops/tanks like this. So I'd say it runs true to size for LOFT (I usually find their items run a little big), but maybe a little bigger than similar tanks from Express or Target.

My shorts and sandals are from past seasons but I've linked similar current options above.

Three Ways to Wear a White Cardigan:
White Cardigan | Pink Cami | Similar Jean Shorts | Similar Sandals (Budget Option) |  Charmed Stacks Bracelets

White Cardigan | Taupe Henley Tank | Jeans | Taupe Espadrilles

White Cardigan | Purple Lace Trim Cami | Jeans | Lace Up Sandals

Here's a little Monday Memorandum (a.k.a. random chit chat) before you go today!

1. Echo Look: Thanks to my ongoing partnership with Amazon Fashion I recently received their new Echo Look to test out. I'll be sharing on my Instagram Stories as I experiment with it, but if you're an early adapter and want to get your hands on one to experiment for yourself, they did give me a promo code to pass along to my readers: Save 20% off an Echo Look with code: ECHOLOOK20.
It allows you to take (hands free) photos of your outfits and gives you various options for filtering and organizing them by date, color, etc. Plus you can even get feedback on your outfits based on pre-programmed algorithms (see the image above). I've only just started using it so all I can tell you so far is that it was super easy to set up. I plugged it in, installed an app on my phone and the app guided me through everything else with very clear video instructions.

The organizational features are right up my alley so once I've had more playtime with it I'll probably do a longer blog post on it. Again, in the interest of full disclosure I was gifted the Echo Look but not compensated or required to write my opinion about it.

2. Poll Update: Thank you to everyone who took my one-question poll on Friday, and especially those who went the extra mile with their comments! Right now M/W/F is ahead by two votes...so it's essentially a tie. If you missed it and would like to weigh in, the poll is still open and will take less than one minute to complete!

3. Coming up on the blog this week: Tomorrow is book review day, and on Wednesday I'll be back with another outfit post for Style on the Daily. I'm overdue for an Everyday Outfit recap, but I've been posting them pretty consistently on Instagram. For those of you who aren't on Instagram, you can always see the latest posts on my Shop Instagram page. Just click any image for details and it will open up a new page with shoppable links.

I hope your Monday gets off to a good start and see you back tomorrow for June Book Reviews!

Linking up with: Rachelle | Carylee


Target Shoe Sale + Favorites

This week at Target there's a BOGO 50% off sale on women's sandals and shorts. I have quite a few favorites in the shoe department that are still in stock and part of the sale so I wanted to highlight a few of them before the sale ends. I shared this first pair only once before (see the last outfit here) but didn't go into detail about fit, etc. so I'll explain a little more about that below the second image. My camo jeans and white t-shirt are longtime staples I've posted many times before, but these shoes give the outfit a nice update for the season.

T-SHIRT: This t-shirt runs true to size and has held up really well after multiple wears. One of the most common questions I get about tops like this is in regards to how sheer it is. I'd say this is average sheerness for a white t-shirt: not too sheer but not exceptionally thick either. I wear a nude bra underneath it (this one from Gap is my favorite for smooth lines) and don't feel that it requires a cami or additional layer beyond that.

CAMO JEANS: These camo jeans are true to size: I'm 5'4" and wearing the Short length here. They are "ankle jeans" so the they're shorter than the average "Short Length" jeans at Express. Camo jeans are surprisingly neutral and easy to pair with other basics. I posted six more outfits with these in this post and get just as much use out of these as any of my other "regular" jeans.

HANDBAG: My handbag here is the Tory Burch Fleming, and it's the full size version, not the Small option. It doesn't actually say "full size" in the product name, it just doesn't say "Small" so it can be confusing since they don't look very different in photos. My exact color is "New Mink" which I can't seem to find at any retailers right now, but it's very similar to Shell Pink and Bedrock, which is currently on sale. This Budget Option comes in several similar colors for under $35 with Prime Shipping.

SANDALS: These Target Sandals ran true to size for me. I tried a half size up to make sure I had extra room at the toes when my feet slide forward while I walk, but the straps on those were too wide on my foot, so there is considerable difference between the sizes. These are a dupe of the Dolce Vita Porcia sandals at roughly half the price. I wasn't sure if these would stay on my feet while I walked and they actually weren't too bad except if my feet were especially dry. Mind you, I wouldn't recommend wearing them for walking on a lot of grass or uneven terrain, but for shuttling my kids around town, taking my mom to the airport and grabbing a quick dinner out last weekend they were just fine!

More Target Shoe Favorites:
In looking through my posts from the past month or so, I'm wearing Target shoes in at least 75% of them. So here's a quick look back at some recent posts with current favorite Target shoes. I'll link to the shoes below the image along with a link to the original post for full outfit details and more info on each of the shoes, but for quick sizing reference I took my normal size in all of them.

Top: One: Cognac Mules, Outfit | Two: Taupe Espadrilles, Outfit | Three: Nude Sandals, Outfit
Bottom: One: Black Sandals, Outfit Post | Two: Black Heels, Outfit Post | Three: Shoes, See Above

Just a short and sweet Friday Four today since we've already covered a lot of ground today!

1. Target Shorts Sale...Target shorts are also part of the BOGO 50% off sale. I have many pairs of favorite shorts from Target but almost all of them are from past seasons. The only current pair I can recommend is this olive pull-on pair. I haven't had a chance to wear and photograph them for the blog yet, but you'll be seeing them soon. They're soft, comfortable, true-to-size and under $20 even without a discount.

2. Tory Burch Miller Sandals are 20% off at Bloomingdale's right now. And if you join their (free) Loyallist Program you get free shipping on every order, no minimum.

3. Stories on the Daily...on hiatus. If you follow me on Instagram and are familiar with my Instagram Story Challenge, I'll be taking a break next week. Next week is the last week of school here and I have a full plate, so I need to cut back on things like Instagram. I hope to resume the week of June 17 with more co-hosts and more fun, random topics!

4. Quick Poll. If you've made it this far in the post and have time to spare for a one question poll/survey, please go here to give your opinion on my blog schedule. I did add a space/question for additional feedback if you have more you want to say since I know many readers don't like to comment openly on the blog. But the first question is the main area where I could really use your feedback! Blogging and social media are constantly changing, so I'd love to do what I can to meet your preferences here going forward.

Speaking of scheduling, next week is book review day on Tuesday. I will have a new round of reviews ready to go, but I'm planning to skip Monday's post to make that happen on time. So next week I should be posting Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday instead of M/W/F. Unless of course I manage to be ultra-efficient with time management, but no guarantees on that so if you don't hear from me until Tuesday, don't be surprised. Have a great weekend!

Linking up with: JoLynne | ErikaAndreaNarci | CherylNina |  Rachael


Designer Inspired Bags + Summer Wishlist

I started preparing a few of these things to share on Instagram and for my Friday Four tomorrow, but the posted started getting a little too long so I thought I would separate them out and share these today since they're ready to go! First up, this cute designer-inspired crossbody bag for under $30! The color selections are different than the original Rebecca Minkoff bag, but the style is very similar at fraction of the cost.
Exact Bag - Rebecca Minkoff 
Budget Option Under $30  (All Colors)

On another note, I made a Spring Wishlist back in April and I found it really helped me be mindful of my shopping habits and make more intentional purchases, so I wanted to do another updated version this month with some things I've been looking to add to my wardrobe.
Top L-R : See by Chloe Joan Small Shoulder Bag | James Perse Pants (Slouchy Sweatpants)
Bottom:  Dolce Vita Sandals (Celita) | Kaanas Sandals (Recife)

1. Cognac Handbag. I find myself frequently wishing I had a handbag in this shade, especially as I start bringing out my summer clothes since I tend to wear more things this time of year that would go with this shade vs. my black bag. This bag was also on my Spring Wishlist but I wasn't sure if there was a better option (usually a more structured satchel works best for me) so I never ended up getting it. I'm still drawn to it, but whether I get this exact one or not, I do want something in this color family for summer.

2. Jogger Pants. I have seen so many cute outfits on other bloggers with this style of pants lately and they seem like they would work well for my lifestyle and pair easily with my current wardrobe. And of course, they look comfortable! The struggle is that I've bought and returned two pairs of jogger pants so far because it is not easy to find a flattering pair. Although if you're tall with long, thin legs you may have a different opinion on that matter!

3. Red Earrings. I am pretty sure I need these for the 4th of July! I just love this style but keep hoping they will run a free shipping promo or sale so I can justify the purchase.

4. White Slides. I do love the white shoe trend and would love to get a pair of white slides for summer. Both options pictured are something along the lines of what I would like, but as with the cognac bag I'm not sure they're exactly what I want.

Do you have a Summer Wishlist this year? What's on your list? And do you find it helps you stay more organized with your shopping habits?
Linking up with JoLynne


Kimono Outfit + Currently

For the past few summers, my blogger friends have been singing the praises of kimonos. I hear them loud and clear, but I just hadn't made an effort to shop for one myself. I decided to change that this year and I spent some time browsing options from a few different retailers before settling on this under $20 option from Amazon.White and black are always easy to work into my wardrobe, and since I don't tend to wear a lot of prints, the subtle print on this was more aligned with my usual style.

KIMONO: This Kimono is under $20 (with Prime shipping) and a "One Size" piece. In this case I think the open, relaxed fit should work for XS-Large. (For larger sizes in a simple white-based kimono I would try this one or this one). Also, if you check the reviews it's worth noting that there are several different styles under one listing so not everyone is reviewing the same piece. In fact it doesn't look like any of the reviews thus far are talking about this "white-floral" version. My own review of this piece is that it's about what I expected for the price. Nothing fancy as far as fabric or quality, but it was easily worth the low price. It's a great lightweight throw on piece that added a fun touch to the outfit and made my otherwise dark outfit look more Spring-appropriate.

HENLEY TANK: This black henley tank runs a little small. I'm wearing a Small and after wearing it a couple of times I think I could have gone with a Medium. It rides up at the waist a little throughout the day and needs to be pulled down/adjusted, and I don't prefer having to fuss with my clothes like that. It is a decent length and I do like that it's not a deep, low-cut scoop like so many tanks. But at least you all can learn from my mistake and size up since it's otherwise a good piece!

SANDALS: These sandals are the same style I wore with my black sundress in Monday's post, just a different color. They're true to size and pretty comfortable for all day wear. I purchased both of these last summer and wore them a lot, and so far it looks like I'm on track to repeat that habit this year.

EARRINGS: These earrings are only $10 and very lightweight and comfortable. I think these will be a fun way to add some bright color to my wardrobe this summer without spending a lot and without taking up a lot of space. I don't have a huge closet so the more space efficient I can be in changing my wardrobe for the seasons, the better!

JEANS: My exact jeans are sold out from Express but this current option would give a very similar look, especially if you wanted to add your own DIY distressing at the knee.
On the first Wednesday of every month I love joining up with Anne for her "Currently" link-up. She provides the creative variety of topics, we provide the answers! (Sometimes creative, sometimes not!)

Traveling...only within San Diego county for the near future. Our next "real" trip won't be until our family reunion in July, but we have plenty to do here to keep us busy until then.

Grilling...technically nothing since we don't have an outdoor grill. But my kids and I both like these Morningstar Farms Grillers Prime patties. That was the first thing that came to my mind with the word "grill," even though I actually make them in the oven or on the skillet. I first made them into hamburgers for my kids and they didn't even know they were eating veggie burgers. For what it's worth I'm not a vegetarian, I just think these are easier to make and more affordable than higher quality/organic beef.

Exploring...some new places in my city recently. On Memorial Day I took my family to Sunset Cliffs. It's one of the top rated local activities and despite being here five years we hadn't been until now! And while my mom was in town last week I took her to the Japanese Friendship Garden and the Mission San Diego de Alcalá, two more somewhat well known local sites that were new to me. Both were great Mother-Daughter day date locations that my kids and husband probably wouldn't have enjoyed as much as we did.

Planning...the kids' summer activity schedule. It's been a busy school year and we're aiming for a more relaxed pace in the summer. I should be planning the family reunion I mentioned under "traveling" but that's going to have to wait until school's out and we're in summer mode. (Sorry to any family members reading this who may have wondered what's going on with that!)

Playing...jacks. My mom brought some jacks when she came to visit and taught my kids how to play. It was a fun way for them to learn a little more about her childhood, and I was surprised at how much fun they had with it! I wouldn't have expected tween boys to even give it a chance, but they surprised me. So if you need some fresh ideas to entertain your own kids or want to be the favorite aunt for your nieces and nephews, there's a fun retro idea for you. My mom said she picked up her set at Wal-Mart, but you can find some options on Amazon too: here's one for $7 and a nicer set for $10 with Prime Shipping.

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

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