On the Daily EXPRESS


Amazon Picks: Rust Crush

This rust tiered skirt was one of my favorite new pieces this summer, and I'm so glad that this color is continuing to be popular in stores for fall. I guess that's not surprising since it's generally a fall color, but I'm happy about it anyway because it's grown on me a lot over the last few years and I'm not ready to set it aside. I'm trying to get some good use out of this skirt before the weather gets too cold for bare legs, and I have my eye on a few other pieces I'd like to try for actual fall weather!

Thanks to Amazon for providing my top and skirt in this outfit + thanks to Shopbop for my handbag.

So far I've always worn this skirt in casual outfits, and that was actually my plan when I was getting dressed on this day. I tried it on with this black off the shoulder tee, but once I had both pieces on, I thought it looked dressier than necessary for Saturday errands. I decided to save this combo for date night and just wore it with a basic tee for daytime, but then made a quick and easy change  back to this top for dinner!

These pieces are both very comfortable and have a straightforward true-to-size fit, which means I don't have a lot more to say about them since they're also both repeats! My earrings are the only new piece here, and they're a fun $12 Amazon find. I realized I only had one pair of Rose Gold earrings, so when I saw these I thought they'd be a fun addition!

Since we're talking my favorite Rust pieces from Amazon, I have to mention this cardigan again. It's lightweight and perfect for transition weather...or just Fall weather if you live in a warmer climate like me! I shared a few more ways to style this in Monday's post ICYMI!

I've seen so many other options for pieces in this color: everything from dresses to sweaters to earrings and shoes! I have a few of these on my cooler weather wishlist (especially Option Two!), but if you haven't tried it yet, you can always start small with something like earrings. And if you're not sure the color will flatter your skintone, a skirt (like mine above) or pants would be a good place to start since the color isn't right next to your face. Here are some additional shopping options from Amazon. Most are under $50 but the shoes are a little more so I had to call it "Under $100."
ONE: Top $18 (Over 1,000 positive reviews)
TWO: Sweater $32
THREE: Dress $24
FOUR: Boots $80
FIVE: Earrings $12
SEVEN: Tie Waist Pants $39

Also, just a little tip: let's say you want to see more sweater options in this color. If you've tried searching for "Rust Sweater" and can't find anything you like, try searching for Burnt Orange or Brick Red instead. Some of the pieces I found above came up under those search terms but not under rust!

How are you all feeling about this color for fall? Are you still loving it or over it already? Can't wait to hear your thoughts!

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Cardigans for Now & Later

While neutral cardigans are one of my wardrobe staples, I also like having a handful of seasonal options on hand. As we're heading into fall, I've been looking back through my outfits archives to get some outfit ideas for the upcoming season, and it's been interesting to see which cardigans really stand out to me as solid purchases. Today I'm sharing four of my summer-to-fall transition favorites that I come back to year after year.

Since some of these outfits are a few years old, the exact items are no longer available. I've linked to a similar option for all of the clothes and shoes below since I was able to find current, similar options for those. But for jewelry and handbags that are Old/Sold Out yet prominently featured in top view photos, I'll only be listing the original brand/retailer. I couldn't find truly similar options for those. and I don't want to frustrate you all with Not-Very-Similar Links!

1. Rust Cardigan 
Cardigan (c/o) | Similar Cami | Similar Shorts | Similar Boots | Earrings | Rebecca Minkoff Bag

I got this cardigan in 2017 and I continue to reach for it every year around this time. And if you haven't noticed this rust color is having a major moment this year! I think it's always going to be acceptable/popular in fall, but some years it trends stronger than others and this is one of those years. It's very lightweight and honestly not something I would consider amazing quality...but considering the under $25 price tag, you get what you pay for! But it has still lasted me for several years, and the fact that it's thin is what makes it work so well for transition season. It's still going to be warm here through October so I don't need anything heavy. 

I'm wearing this cardigan now with shorts, but in another month or so I'll be wearing pants again, so here's an easy way to style this cardigan with jeans:
Cardigan | Similar CamiSimilar Jeans | Similar Shoes | Tory Burch Crossbody | Charming Charlie Necklace (RIP) 

This dresses up nicely too! I forgot that I ever wore this cardigan with a dress, but since Fall 2019 has been the season of dresses for me, I'll be repeating this outfit ASAP!
Cardigan | Dress | Necklace | Sandals | Rebecca Minkoff Bag

2. Striped Cardigan
Amazon Cardigan (c/o)  [Similar, Similar] | Lace Tank | Belt | Similar Jeans | Similar Boots | Necklace | Earrings 

I guess I'm working backwards with this one since I'm showing the "wear it later" photo first! Here's what I've found with my striped cardigans: I tend to reach for this option with black stripes more in the Fall and Winter, whereas my navy striped cardigans get more use in the Spring/Summer. There's no rule about it, just my personal preference. Navy stripes give me nautical vibes, which I just don't associate with fall! I wore this last year with my all-time favorite Foolproof Outfit Formula, and I wore it last week with a transition weather denim skirt outfit:

3. Olive Cardigan
Cardigan (c/o) | Similar Cami | Similar Shorts | Sandals | Earrings | Stella & Dot Necklace | Rebecca Minkoff Crossbody 

I used to think of olive as a Fall color, but looking back through my outfits I really do wear it almost year round. Maybe a little bit less in the Spring? Regardless, it's fairly neutral, so it's a great option to have for Transition Season or Any Season! My exact one above is sold out in size XS (which is what I'm wearing) but still available in other sizes, and here's another option available in all sizes (for now!). Here's a "wear it later" outfit with jeans:
Similar Cardigan | Similar Tank | Similar Jeans | Similar Shoes | Stella & Dot Necklace | Sole Society Crossbody

Since my exact cardigan is sweatshirt material, I tend to keep it to pretty casual outfits. It works great as an athleisure piece with leggings!

4. Burgundy Cardigan
Cardigan (c/o) | Similar Cami | Similar Shorts | Similar Shoes | Similar Bag | Stella & Dot Necklace

This burgundy cardigan is the only piece from today's post where I don't have a great front view photo of it. Just like the Rust Cardigan, I got this in 2017 and this will be my third fall/transition season to use it! It's a great wear now/wear later piece. It is a bit warmer/heavier than the Rust Cardigan (similar weight to my olive cardigan) so if you live in a very hot/humid climate this exact cardigan might not be your best best for a "now" option. As for later, this is another "I forgot I wore it like this" outfit that I need to repeat since I still have all of these exact or similar pieces! I'm liking the burgundy + grey here, and my grey jeans really don't get enough use these days!

Cardigan (c/o) | Similar Cami | Similar Jeans | Similar Shoes | Amazon Bag | Amazon Necklace

Those are four of my favorites  - what about you? Do you have a favorite color or style that I'm missing? All of mine here are mid-length cardigans but I've seen some really cute longer duster style cardigans lately that have me intrigued. I'm just not sure whether they will drive me nuts or get stuck in my car door when I'm out running errands or something! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts, and I'll see you back here for Wednesday's post!


Friday Favorites 9/13/19

Another Friday, another round of favorites! I was glad to hear from so many of you last week who have the same feelings about these posts: we love them but coming up with a decent list of blog-worthy items each week can a creative challenge! I'm going with a loose interpretation of the word "favorite" these days to make the post happen, but here's what's on my list this week!

1. LOFT Dress

Dresses made my list of Warm Climate Transition Staples...and they also kept me from doing a No-Shop-September! Once I found a couple of dresses that I liked, I realized how useful they were, so I've been on the lookout some additional options to round out my collection. I picked this up at the LOFT Labor Day sale and I love it. If it's not on sale today, hang tight a few days because I'm sure it will go on sale again. It's short sleeve and a really stretchy, comfortable knit material. Plus: Pockets. I appreciate how LOFT mentions that in the title of many of their dresses! They're on to our obsession with pockets! I wore this to Back to School Night during the midst of a major heat and humidity wave here last week and it kept me cool and comfortable, plus it was just the right balance of dressy but not too dressy. I do wish it came in a different color since I already have my black eyelet wrap dress (shown here), but that one is a bit more ruffled and feminine. This one is more low-fuss, so I can see myself wearing both for different occasions.

2. Stella & Dot Riad Necklace

This outfit might look familiar from Wednesday's post, but I wanted to share the top view perspective for details on the necklace. It's a new purchase from Stella & Dot and it does come as a three piece set. I mainly wanted it for the mixed metal tassel portion (above), but I think I'll also be using the shorter spiked version (below). I know their pieces are more expensive, but you're essentially getting three necklaces in one for this, so it helps to take that into consideration.

I usually photograph my "nicer" outfits on the weekend when I get dressed to go out into the world, but I like to balance it out with some selfies of my everyday casual stuff too just to keep "authentic." (That word has become really over-used, but I'm yet to come up with something better!)  I wore this to work at home all day, then run the kids to music lessons at night. After our heat wave last week, it started to cool down a bit again in the evenings so I actually needed the cardigan by 7 pm!

3. Burgundy Bags
I've spotted some gorgeous burgundy bags lately that would be perfect for fall, so here are some Splurge vs. Save options. The Save options are all under $100, so while they aren't all Target pricing, they'll still save you a few hundred compared to the Designer options!
ONECoach Bags (Glovetan Saddle Bag)
TWOAmazon ($100)
THREERebecca Minkoff (Pippa Mini Dome)
FOURAmazon ($43)
FIVESenreve (Medium Maestra in Bordeaux)
SIXSole Society ($70)

Option Two is the most expensive of the Save options, but if you like that style and are open to other colors (black, grey, cognac and more) try This Option for only $36!

4. Speaking of Bags 
Rachelle shared this article If Men Carried Purses in her newsletter a few weeks back and since then, it's been on my mind every time I reach for one of my larger-sized bags and up carrying stuff for everyone else in my family. It talks about how women "ended up being the pack mules of society" and gives a little lesson on the history of purses: they used to be a man-only thing! I think it's time we make it acceptable for men to carry some kind of bag again! Ever since I stopped carrying a giant diaper bag everywhere I've been working to train my male-dominated family to not expect me to carry all of their stuff, but I think I need a little more societal reinforcement.

5. Eye Makeup Remover
A couple of years ago Amazon sent me a sample package of LaRoche Posay skincare to try out. I didn't really post about it at the time, because for most skincare products I think it really takes some time to see how effective they are. But now I can tell you that this was the standout item from that package. Even though I was originally gifted a bottle to try, this is now on my Amazon Subscribe & Save list and I've purchased it myself numerous times since then.

This replaced Neutrogena as my favorite eye makeup remover, and it's hands down the best I've tried. It removes mascara and eye makeup very easily without irritating my eyes or leaving a greasy feeling. It's a little more expensive than Neutrogena's, and trust me, I hate going from a less expensive product to a more expensive one as my staple, but this has been worth it to me. A little goes a long way with this, and each bottle lasts me about six months of daily use. I also like the cap on this since it's easy to control how much liquid comes out. The Neutrogena bottle has an open top once you screw off the lid, and I can't tell you how many times I've accidentally knocked that over, wasting half the bottle! (That's probably why I went through it so much faster!) This has a tiny dispenser hole, so you can squeeze out just a drop or two if needed. (I'll do this onto a Q-tip to clean up after mascara application.)

If my review isn't enough, check out the other glowing 5-star reviews on Amazon. The only three star review comes from a man reviewing to say he's "not sure" his fiancĂ©e likes it that much. Ugh! I'm not sure why she couldn't write the review herself in that case.  I hate when people review products they haven't really used or books they haven't read, but whatever. If you think your eye makeup remover could do a better job, give this a try!

6. Flashback Friday
Last Spring I did a Flashback Friday segment where I shared a favorite past outfit to help me shop my closet for the season, and I think I need to bring it back to get me through transition season. Lately when I go into my closet to get dressed, it just feels like stepping into a giant puzzle room. Except all the pieces from different puzzles have been dumped out and somehow I have to sort them and figure out which ones go together. Oh, and some pieces go with multiple puzzles! I'm not always in the mood to solve the puzzle, nor does it really seem worth it if I don't have much going on that day! Yet I always feel better when I'm somewhat put together, so I make an effort as much as I can. This is where past outfit photos can come in handy! It's much easier to look at a "solved" puzzle and just put the pieces back together. I highly doubt anyone in real life (or even blog readers) would remember that I wore the exact outfit 1-2 years ago. So here's an outfit I wore last September that I'm going to be re-peating IRL today. It might be too hot for the cardigan but I can add/remove it as needed:

If you don't want take photos of your own outfits, I know Stylebook App (on the app store) is great too and can serve the same purpose. I started using it last year but had a hard time keeping up with it since I started a new job and had kids going back to school at the same time. I did like it though! I just found it easier to take a selfie everyday instead since I was already used to that from blogging!

And that's it for today's favorites! Have a great weekend and see you back on Monday!

Linking up with ErikaAndrea, and Narci 


J Crew Wrap Skirt + Foolproof Outfit Formula

Did you all know that Amazon carries a small selection of J. Crew Mercantile pieces on their site with Prime Shipping? I've stumbled on a few of their pieces in my browsing but never added anything to my cart until this month! I loved having a black sweatshirt skirt this summer (see it styled here), but it's a very casual piece, and I thought it might be nice to have something one step up. This ruffle wrap front skirt fit the bill perfectly!
Denim Jacket Options: Save, Spend | White Tank | Wrap Skirt (c/o) | Sandals | Handbag (c/o) [Budget]  | Necklace | Earrings

This skirt is true to size and a nice lightweight material, so it's great for transition season. For reference, I'm 5'4" so the length may look different on you depending on how tall you are. If you've ever wondered why I repeat myself about my height all the time (believe me, I know it's repetitive and I'm sure regular readers are like, "Yes, we already know how tall you are!"), it's because when I fail to mention my height, that is inevitably the one time I get a new visitor who asks my height! Murphy's Law and all that I suppose! So redundant though it may be, height really does make a difference, especially when it comes to skirts and dresses.
Denim Jacket Options: Save, Spend | White Tank | Wrap Skirt (c/o) | Sandals | Handbag (c/o) [Budget]  | Necklace | Earrings

Once again black proves to be a bit of a struggle to photograph and accurately show details, but this does have a little ruffle detail on the wrap front area and at the hem. It made for some fun, swingy movement while walking and moving about and I wasn't mad about that! I didn't have any issues with the wrap part flying open in the breeze, but if that's a concern it's an easy fix with some fashion tape.

I'm also wearing the Stella & Dot Riad Necklace here, though you may notice on the product listing that it's a three piece necklace and I'm only wearing one segment. I loved that it was a mixed metal piece (my fave these days) plus a more delicate style of longer pendant necklace than I've worn in the past. I was a big fan of the Kendra Scott Rayne pendant for years, but for one reason or another they fell out of my "favorite" category. Once I got out of the habit of wearing them regularly, they started to feel so big and heavy when I did wear them! I'm sure jewelry minimalists felt that way about them from Day One! I still have most of my Rayne pendants because do like the style and I won't be surprised if the pendulum of my preference swings back towards them again. But for now, this seemed to suit my current taste and style a little better with the mixed metals and lighter weight.

If this outfit looks familiar to others I've worn, well...that's because it is! This combo of blue, white and black is one of my go-to, foolproof outfit formulas. I love having similar pieces in a dressy and casual version to simplify the process of putting together an outfit. Here's a look back at several other ways I've put this combo to use:

The bottoms especially dictate how dressy or casual my outfit ends up looking, but I've found that pretty much any type of black bottom (pants, skirt, leggings, shorts) will get good use in my wardrobe at this point since I already have enough of a "supporting cast" of other wardrobe pieces to pair with them.

ONE: Blue Denim Jacket + White Tee + Black Jeans
Similar Denim Jacket | White Tee  | Similar Jeans | Similar Shoes (c/o) | Necklace | Earrings | Sunglasses (c/o) | Handbag

TWO: Blue Chambray Jacket + White Tank + Black Sweatshirt Skirt
Jacket (c/o) | Tank | Skirt (c/o) | Necklace | Earrings | Handbag (c/o) | Sandals (c/o) 

THREE: Blue Denim Jacket + White Tank + Black Flounce Skirt
Similar Jacket | White Tank | Wrap Skirt (c/o) | Sandals | Handbag (c/o) | Necklace | Earrings

FOUR: Blue Denim Shirt + White Tank + Black Leggings
Top (c/o) | Leggings | Sandals (c/o) | Handbag (c/o) | Necklace | Similar Earrings

FIVE: Blue Denim Shirt + White Tee + Black Shorts
Tee (c/o) [Budget Option] | Denim Shirt | Shorts | Sandals (c/o) | Belt | Handbag (c/o Shopbop)

Most of my shoes are black, nude or leopard and they would all work with this formula even though I didn't happen to choose leopard with these examples. As long as they match with the dressy or casual feel of the outfit as a whole, it's pretty easy to find a shoe selection that works. The other great thing about this formula is that it works year round! None of these colors are strongly tied to one season, so just by having a few different pieces for different types of weather, there are plenty of options for mixing and matching.

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September 2019 Book Reviews


Welcome to my September 2019 Book Reviews!  It wasn't an epic reading month by any means since there was a lot going on with Back to School and what not. But almost everything I read was reasonably enjoyable, so I'll just say I went for quality over quantity! Here's a look at my selections this month followed by my reviews!

Someone We Know by Shari LaPena
Basic Plot: A neighborhood is full of secrets that all start coming because someone spies and someone dies.
Read Via: Kindle
My Verdict: Enjoyed. Shari LaPena is a solid suspense writer for me and this one did not disappoint. I don't think it had quite the same, "OMG must turn pages" factor that her book The Couple Next Door had for me, but it was still entertaining throughout. There were plenty of possible suspects for the murder to keep me guessing and it was a fun ride seeing how it all played out. I'm not going to say I strongly recommend it since it didn't have anything especially new or unique to make it really stand out from other suspense novels, but I don't regret reading it.

Hello Lovelies by Hayley DeRoche
Basic Plot: A small time blogger who looks up to Top Bloggers (but also loves reading her favorite Blogger Gossip site) plots away to befriend her favorite Top Blogger.
Read Via: Audible (Audible Exclusive)
My Verdict: Entertaining and Annoying. The narrator for this book had a really cute voice that reminded me a lot of Kristen Bell, which I thoroughly enjoyed. That said, she had a tendency to pronounce the name Jessica with two syllables rather than three (dropping the "i"). That name seemed like it was the most used word in the book, and that pronunciation really started to irritate me over time. Second, the characters in this book used the F-word a lot. If you've read any books I've read, you'll know I'm not a stranger to seeing this word in print (or hearing it on audio), and yet somehow for this book and these characters, it seemed excessive. That's just one of those personal preference things, but for my preference it was overdone. Those are some of my nit-picky details, but in general the book was okay. It was amusing to me because of the fictional yet kind of realistic behind the scenes look at the Influencer world, but the plot was a bit predictable and the characters not especially likeable, so it wasn't a favorite or a "must read."

I'm Fine and Neither are You by Camille Pagan
Basic Plot: Adulting is hard. Penny struggles to manage her marriage, family, friendships and career while dealing with tragedy
Read Via: Audible (Free with Kindle Unlimited)
My Verdict: It Was Fine (and neither am I?) Just kidding...I'm fine. But after reading a couple of books in this "real life at mid life" genre, I've realized it's just not my thing. I did think this book was well done and very realistic. But I guess maybe it's too realistic for me? I like characters who behave realistically, but I'd also prefer a few more pure entertainment elements (romance, humor, plot twist, suspense!) thrown in the mix to move things along and hold my interest. This did keep me entertained reasonably well and I'd recommend it if you enjoy this genre, but I think I need a break from it for awhile.

Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
Basic Plot: Rowan is in prison for a crime she says she didn't commit against a child. In her own defense, she retells the story of how she became the nanny for an ultra-rich family in Scotland living in their house full of luxury and creepy secrets.
Read Via: Kindle
My Verdict: Entertaining. When I pick up a Ruth Ware book, I expect the pacing to be fairly slow, and that was indeed the case with this so it's good to go in with that expectation. In fact it didn't really pick up for me until the last third of the book. That's not to say I wasn't interested or that I didn't like it up to that point...I did enjoy the story. It just wasn't intense for me until the end, even though I think it was supposed to be creepy and scary in parts throughout. I could see how it was for the main character (Rowan), but I didn't have that edge of my seat feeling until almost the very end. I think Ruth Ware's other books are the best litmus test for this one. If you generally enjoy hers, you'll probably like this (as I did). If you've read one or two and didn't care for her style, this probably won't change your mind.

What You Did by Clare McGowan
Basic Plot: A group of six friends who have been friends for over 20 years get together for a little reunion weekend. One friend accuses another of rape and their lives and friendships unravel.
Read Via: Audible (Free with Kindle Unlimited)
My Verdict: Recommend.  This was a solid, entertaining suspense novel. The characters were believable enough in their actions and reactions, the story pacing was good, and the suspense of trying to figure out who to believe kept me turning the pages. This had a similar to style to some of Lisa Jewell's suspense novels (The Girls in the Garden had an especially similar vibe), so if you enjoyed that you'll probably enjoy this. My friend Britt read this too (her review here) and we both felt it was about a 4/5 stars book. There wasn't anything OMG AMAZING or unique about it that would make it five stars, but it was still totally enjoyable and I didn't have any big complaints or things that bothered me in this book.

The Reckless Oath We Made by Bryn Greenwood
Basic Plot: A Kansas woman with a troubled past wants to save her probably-kidnapped sister and gets help from a man on the autism spectrum.
Read Via: Kindle
My Verdict: Recommend. Good grief my plot summary just can't do this justice! This book was unique, engaging, and impressive. When I finished this book I read the author's bio, which says she has a Master's Degree in creative writing. All I can say is...it shows! The characters and story were very well developed. This author is not afraid to push boundaries and let the story get messy and complicated. If you enjoyed her book All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, I think you'll like this too. If you were bothered by the age difference by that one, that won't be an issue here. This is also totally different from any of the other books I've read that featured characters on the autism spectrum, so don't worry that it's going to be like those. It's one of a kind and I definitely enjoyed it! I will also add that a good chunk of the book is written in Ye Olde English and that can take your brain a minute to adjust and "translate." I noticed that some reviewers didn't like that, and I can understand that, but I thought it added to the charm of a certain character.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb
Basic Plot: The *quasi-memoir of a therapist: her journey to becoming a therapist, her challenges in treating her patients and what she learns from seeing her own therapist.
Read Via: Audible
My Verdict: Recommend. I really enjoyed this and thought Lori was a great storyteller. *I call it a "quasi-memoir" because in order to maintain her patient's confidentiality, she had to fictionalize a lot of details about them. That did make me wonder throughout the book what percentage was memoir vs. fiction, and sometimes that took me away from the story. e.g. I would be analyzing each anecdote with thoughts like, "did that part really happen? Is just the name fake and the experience real?" Aside from that, I thought it was full of good little lessons and insights into the work of therapy and the value it can add to people's lives. When I finished it I felt like I had been to therapy for the week and it wasn't a bad thing!

Things you Save in a Fire by Katherine Center
Basic Plot: Cassie is a firefighter who deals with the challenges of being the only female in a male dominated workplace along with significant personal and family challenges.
Read Via: Kindle
My Verdict: Cute but Just Okay For Me. This book was majorly hyped, but in this case I don't think that was the reason I didn't love it. It just felt too contrived in parts and I really had a hard time believing some of Cassie's capabilities, e.g. self-taught expert level parkour in a matter of months. I also expected a little more from this author. Usually she does romance with some element of deeper meaning/life lesson, and the balance of this one was far more on the romance side. And by all means it was perfectly cute and enjoyable that way, just not something I really loved or think I'll find memorable in time.

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:
Someone We Know by Shari LaPena
Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
What You Did by Clare McGowan
The Reckless Oath We Made by Bryn Greenwood
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

Current Reads + Up Next:
I just finished Things You Save in a Fire last night and need a complete change of pace from Romance, so I got Harlan Coben's Don't Let Go to read next. I'm over halfway through Magpies by Mark Edwards (free on Audible with Kindle Unlimited) and it's alright for a free Audiobook. It's a good "companion" book since it keeps me company throughout the day without requiring my full attention every second to follow the plot. I pre-ordered Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell and that comes out today! I'll be starting that as soon as I finish Magpies!

Can't wait to hear what you've all be reading or which books from this month you'll be adding to your list! As usual I'm joining Steph & Jana for Show Us Your Books so head on over there if you need more recommendations!


Transition Staples for Warm Climates

Summer weather is still holding strong around here, in fact last week was the hottest, most humid week of the year! I'm not dressing for fall in any way, but with Official Fall less than two weeks away I'm starting to incorporate some transition pieces. Living in a relatively warm climate, I've found a few staple pieces that I can realistically wear when it's still warm. Here are three of my favorites that either transition nicely to fall outfits or give off a more fall-ish vibe than their summer counterpart.
RIGHT: Dress (c/o) | Sandal Options

1. Lightweight Plaid Shirt

A plaid shirt is a great option to wear now and wear later! As long as it's lightweight, it works just like a cardigan over a basic tank or cami. As the temps cool off it pairs just as easily with your favorite jeans and boots.
Similar TopSimilar Save | Similar Jeans | Similar Boots | Handbag (c/o) [Budget]

My exact shirt is sold out from Express last year, but there are very similar options available in stores this year, linked above. If you're not a fan of plaid, you can create the same outfit with a solid shirt in a fall hue (burgundy, olive, caramel) or other print you prefer, like a darker floral print.

If you're thinking it's too hot to even wear a shirt as a layer at all, my plaid shirts often get used as a "belt" in transition weather. I'll tie it around the waist with a tee or dress (shown further below with favorite #3). Band tees are trending this fall, and for once I'm a little ahead of a trend since I got this t-shirt last year. Ha! It's sold out now but I've linked a couple of other Nirvana tees below.
Similar Tee, Tee Option | Similar Shorts | Sandals (c/o) 

2. Denim Skirt:

I love wearing jean shorts all summer long (as evidenced by this post), but when fall hits, sometimes I start to feel those look too summery, even if the weather allows it. I don't like to be a slave to fashion and wear something uncomfortable just because of the season, but after six months of jean shorts weather here, I'm ready for a little variety. Last year I added a denim skirt to my wardrobe after not owning one for probably twenty years, and I just loved it! It kept me just as cool and comfortable as shorts, but took the Pure Summer look out of an outfit, especially when paired with darker colors and peep toe boots or ankle boots.

As far as transitioning a denim skirt into fall...well, it still has to be warm enough for bare legs so it can only take you so far into the season depending on your climate. But a good neutral cardigan layered over each of these looks helps with chilly fall mornings and evenings around here. I just ditch the cardigan by mid-afternoon when the temps are back up into summer territory!
RIGHT: Cardigan,  Similar | Tee | Skirt Option, Skirt Option | Similar Shoes

The first denim skirt I owned was from Express (the distressed version above on the Left) and it ended up not working out due to length and sizing. But I gave the style another go last Spring and found one I will be hanging onto for quite some time (on the Right). The exact one I'm wearing on the Right is only available in Size 26 here, or you can get the Black Version here, plus I've linked some other similar styles above. My current skirt has a slight A-line cut, and I found that made it quite a bit more comfortable. It doesn't ride up as much as a straight-cut denim skirt and it makes walking and moving about a little easier.

But the point I really want to make is this: if you're open to the idea of adding a denim skirt to your wardrobe, don't give up if the first one you try doesn't work out. Aside from the two I've owned here, I tried on several others that were too short, too long, too distressed, too hard to walk in, etc. All of the little details make a really big difference, and it can take some trial and error to find one that's just right. This has really become a three season staple for me (Spring, Summer, Fall), but it's especially great for transition weather!

3. Dresses

Last but not least, dresses! I am so late to the party on this but just like the denim skirt, I had to go through quite a bit of trial and error to find the right ones for me to really see how useful a dress can be for transition weather. Case in point: I recently  tried Nine Amazon dresses and only found two worth keeping! Now that I have a few I love, there's no turning back! I love the convenience of one-and-done outfit styling, and the fact that I can still be cool and comfortable in the heat but have fall vibes in my outfit with the right dress color. Or like I mentioned above, I can add a fall print like a plaid shirt (Staple #1) as an accessory to infuse some fall without sweating for the sake of fashion!
Those are three of my summer-to-fall transition staples, but if you live in a warm climate I'd love to hear if you have additional staples that I don't! I have the blogging community to thank for persuading me to finally try more dresses, and I'm so glad that I did! I'd hate to be missing out on another great staple that I could be using! Here's a little recap of this post in a Pinterest-friendly graphic if you'd like to save it for reference.

Tomorrow on the blog is Book Review Day so I hope to see you back here!


Friday Favorites 9/6/19

You know, Friday Favorites have been around for a long time, but it still remains one of my favorite post types to read as a blog reader. Every post I open has some fun surprises and great ideas that I likely wouldn't have found on my own. I love playing along, although some weeks I struggle with coming up with anything to share that I think might be of use or interest to anyone else. I keep a running list of ideas on my phone and desk planner, but some weeks it's just blank! Thankfully this week the list was not blank so I do have a few favorites to share! Here's my list, and I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else is sharing too!

1. Wedge Sneakers

I've said this before, but sneakers are not my favorite type of shoe to wear unless I absolutely have to wear them for functional reasons. A couple of weeks ago we went to a Padres game and I felt I was going to be miserable with the amount of walking we'd have to do in any type of shoe other than a sneaker. I've toyed with the idea of getting wedge sneakers for awhile because they do have a bit more of an ankle boot look, and finally decided to take the plunge and get this Target pair for this game. They worked out really well! They're true to size, but I did think the foot bed was not very cushioned so I opted to add my own gel insert. I never want to buy a pair of shoes just for a single use, but I reasoned that I can wear them to my son's flag football games coming up this fall, so I'm hoping to surprise myself with how useful they turn out to be. 

2. Gold Flip Flops

This summer I wore out a pair of flip flops that I use around the house. I added it to my list to pick up another pair at Target on my next Target run, but our local Target has completely cleaned out all flip flops! I know they're making room for fall stuff but come on! This is San Diego. We need flip flops nearly year round! Alright then, Amazon will just have to get my money instead! I ordered these $11 Flip Flops in gold to "elevate" my lounge wear (ha!). Okay, really I just thought the gold looked like a nice neutral. I normally wear a 7.5, but these only come in whole sizes, so I ordered both the 7 and the 8 to decide between them. It was a tough decision! I kept the 8 which I'm wearing here. I thought they had just a tiny bit more room than I really needed. The 7 fit, but I wanted it to have just a tiny bit more room than it did. This seems like one of those things where you have to wear it for awhile to decide whether it bothers you, and thankfully they're only $11 so if I ended up needing to get the smaller size, it's not a huge loss. The quality is pretty nice on these with a good amount of cushion on the foot bed.

3. Splurge vs. Save: It's been a minute since I've done a Splurge vs. Save segment on the blog, but they always come up as a reader favorite in polls so I wanted to do a quick one today. Snakeskin print is everywhere this season. I have zero pieces so far but am thinking something small like shoes or accessories will be my best bet for trying this trend. Here are some Small Dose options for trying the snakeskin trend, Splurge vs. Save Style!
Stuart Weitzman (Laney $425 ) | Marc Fisher ($40-100)
Shashi (Boa $42) | Amazon ($10)
Rag & Bone (Boyfriend $195) | Amazon ($10)

The Stuart Weitzman pumps caught my eye last month, and my blogger friend Lisa mentioned the Marc Fisher option for less, so thanks to her for the find on that Save item!

4. Wrist Brace: This past month or so I have been getting terrible wrist pain my left wrist at the end of the workday. I don't think it's carpal tunnel since I don't have the other key symptoms like tingling and finger numbness. I'm self-diagnosing tendonitis for now, but I still had to do something about it because it was getting so painful. I ordered this wrist brace off Amazon and it has been a life saver.
Wrist Brace

It takes a little getting used to typing with it on, but after a week of wearing it day and night I am happy to report I'm no longer in pain at the end of the day. I'm hoping this will be all I need to prevent future pain or problems!

5. Family Movie: We don't watch movies as a family very often, mainly because there just aren't that many that appeal to all of us. But over Labor Day Weekend we watched The Upside with Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston and we all really liked it! If you need a good movie to watch this weekend (with or without family members) I definitely recommend this one. 

That's it for me this week but you can stop by ErikaAndrea, and Narci for more Friday Favorites!