On the Daily EXPRESS


Affordable Finds: Dresses + Moto Leggings

Amazon fashion finds are one of my most-requested post topics, so I'm back with a few more today. First up, a mix of dressy and casual dresses under $30 with Prime Shipping options! Not every color/size combo for each of the dresses below will have Prime Shipping, and that's just how it goes sometimes. But option One and Two are Prime Exclusive brands (meaning you must have a Prime membership to purchase them- start your free trial here), so those options all have 2 Day Shipping.
ONE ($30 - 5 colors) | TWO ($20 - 5 Colors) |   | THREE ($24 - 9 colors #1 Best Seller) | 
FOUR ($24- 4 Color) | FIVE ($21 - 4 Colors)  SIX ($24 - 3 colors)

Option One and Two are Amazon's Daily Ritual line. This is my favorite Amazon exclusive line - every piece is comfortable, affordable, and great quality for the price. I own a couple of dresses from this line (see them here and here) and they both run true to size. One thing to note is that the navy blue fabric they use (for everything from t-shirts to dresses) is almost indistinguishable from black. So if you're leaning towards that color option, just know that you might think you accidentally ordered black when it arrives!

Option Five is the long sleeve version of the dress I shared here. It's also true to size and a very comfortable t-shirt material.

Next up: Splurge vs. Save Moto Leggings! A few weeks back my niece asked me if I knew of any more affordable options for the Alo Moto Leggings (regular price: $120) she had seen a blogger wearing. I took a quick peek on Amazon and found quite a few less expensive options with respectably good reviews.
ONE (Splurge: $98 Sale Price)  | TWO ($60) | THREE ($30) | FOUR ($16) 

I haven't personally tried any of these but they do all have some reviews with extra info on sizing, etc. so it's not a complete gamble if you decide to try them.

A few quick notes before you go today!

On the Blog this Week: On Wednesday I'm sharing an outfit with a couple of my most recent Express purchases. One piece is definitely not something I'll even try to tell you is versatile or that it will stand the test of time. But it's cute and comfortable, and I love it anyway. I'm also sharing a little about the domino effect of going back to work.

In Case You Missed It: I have a few more fall friendly Amazon dresses at the end of this post. Option Two from that set is still calling my name, so I might consider that one for next month!

Instagram Lately: I mentioned in my October Book Reviews that a certain book I was reading convinced me to remove Instagram from my phone. It's been about a week and so far I have no regrets! I will admit I do miss the entertainment sometimes (e.g. I like watching stories when I'm eating breakfast and lunch) and I have moments of FOMO, but I feel like the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. I may expand on this more at some point when I've been away longer, but for now I'll just say it's been a positive change in my life. All of my other attempts to moderate my time or feelings there never really seemed to work for long. If you followed me over there, I'm sorry for abandoning ship, so to speak, but I hope you can understand that I'm just trying to do what's healthiest for my sanity, time management and budget! But most of all I especially appreciate that you're still hanging out with me here!

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Amazon Cardigans + Everyday Outfits 10/12/18

'Tis the season for cardigans in most parts of the country (even here in San Diego lately!), so today I wanted to review a few of my recent selections from Amazon. As part of their fashion associates program I get to select a few items each month to share with my readers. I really do try to choose things that I think will be of interest to other people besides myself! Hence the reason I've shared a lot more dresses in recent posts because that's been a top request! And funny enough, trying more dresses in order to help others with my reviews has kind of made me a dress person! I know some of the non-Prime items on Amazon can be a gamble when it comes to sizing, quality etc. And in some of those cases returns are not worth the hassle. All of these cardigans are non-Prime options from overseas retailers, so I hope my reviews give you a little bit better idea of what to expect if you order!
ONEKhaki Cardigan (c/o) | Similar Cami, | Sailor Pants (Marisa Fit) | Necklace | Shoes (c/o) 

ONE: Khaki Oversized Cardigan
I did a full post with this outfit on Wednesday but I wanted to put all of my recent Amazon cardigans in one place so here we are again! This is pretty bulky and oversized (I'm wearing a Small), but the quality is pretty good for under $30! I tried draping the collar a bit wider here than I did in Wednesday's post, but that didn't really help keep it in place any better. That said, I still think it's pretty cute and I like the color so it's a keeper at least for the season.

TWO: Leopard Cardigan
This leopard cardigan is only $25, and it's very similar in style to a Nordstrom option $65 (currently sold out). For me, this is just a bit too long in the arms and body (I'm 5'4") but if you're taller it might be a good option. I wasn't crazy about the raw hem along the front, but then I looked at the Nordstrom version and it's the same way. So I'd say the $25 version is a pretty good deal!

THREE: Striped Cardigan
This one is actually my favorite of the three! It's $24 and the cut was the most flattering for me. I will tell you it's the thinnest of the three, so if you live in a colder climate you might need a warmer layer underneath than a cami.

All three of these had free shipping (but not Prime) and took a solid 2 weeks to arrive - just slightly more for the khaki cardigan. But if you don't mind waiting a few extra days it's a great way to save a lot on some on-trend fall layers.

Here's a quick look at a few things I've worn this week. Most of my days are spent working from home, but then in the evening we almost always have some errands to run or a lesson of some sort. So comfortable, casual, and presentable are my main goals! I'll link each of the pieces below with some quick fit/sizing notes for each look.
TWO: Dress (c/o) | Denim Shirt | Booties (c/o) | Necklace
THREE: T-Shirt (c/o) (Budget Option) | Scarf | Similar Jeans | Booties (c/o)

ONE: I'm wearing XS in the sweater (true to size with a relaxed fit). I normally wear a 7.5 but the he shoes only come in whole sizes so I ordered a 38 (U.S. 7) and that fit well for me. Shoes take about 2 weeks to arrive but the sweater has Prime shipping.

TWO: All pieces are true to size. The dress is comfortable, soft and stretchy, but it's fitted so I kind of feel like I'm wearing leggings all over my body. Which is great for comfort, but I do feel like I need a shirt tied at the waist or a longer jacket with it so that it's not too revealing, especially on the backside. See notes on Outfit One for fit info on the shoes.

THREE: This t-shirt comes in a 3-pack and is a splurge but true to size with a relaxed fit. (Budget option linked as well). These peep toe booties are also only available in whole sizes. I'm a 7.5 in most shoes and the 7 in these worked great. No size notes on the scarf, obviously, but in case you missed it, I shared the Pros & Cons of becoming a Stella & Dot stylist in this post and my take on when it's a good time to become a stylist!

That's it for this week friends! Work and family life are keeping me busy these days so I'll be saving the "extra" updates for posts like Currently (first Wednesday of the month) + my end of the month update (last Wednesday of the month). I always appreciate you spending a few minutes of your day with me!

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Linking up with: Rachelle |  JoLynne | Erika, Andrea, Narci, Andrea


Sailor Pants + Oversized Cardigan

For the past few years, the only type of pants I've worn have been very casual: jeans, leggings, or joggers. My lifestyle is pretty casual and even for most dressy events I can just wear "nice" jeans with heels. But I've always thought it would be a good idea to have a pair of nicer black dress pants on hand, and when I saw these sailor pants, I knew they were The Ones. They probably aren't the most classic style, but I can think of at least three events I have in the next two months where they'll work so I think I can get my money's worth out of them well before they go out of style.

These sailor pants are the only pants I own from LOFT so I can only compare their sizing to Express pants...and they ran the same for me as Express and Abercrombie jeans. So they're True to Size from my frame of reference. I'm also wearing the Regular length (I'm 5'4") so keep in mind the length may be different if you're taller. I saw that they have both a "Julie" and "Marisa" fit and I really have no clue what the difference is, but the Julie fit didn't come in black and I knew I wanted black, so Marisa it was! Luckily they worked out! I did get them during a LOFT 40% off sale, and they have them at least once a week! So if they're not on sale today, I'd add them to your cart and keep checking/waiting for a sale since there's no need to pay full price.

So let's talk about this cardigan. It's under $30 with free shipping, BUT...you do have to wait awhile for it. Mine took two weeks and four days total to arrive after I ordered it. That's pretty standard in my experience for a lot of the budget clothing options on Amazon. I'm wearing a Small in this cardigan, and it's pretty oversized. If you want it oversized, just order your regular size. If  you have the option to size down and want it a bit less bulky/more fitted you can do that too. I ordered this because I liked the color and the drapey collar look in theory, but in practice it was a little fussy to wear. The collar didn't stay put how I wanted it, although after looking at the model in the photo maybe I was doing it wrong? I don't know. I know this type of chunky/oversized cardigan style is really in right now, but after trying this one I'm not entirely sure this trend for me. Again, that's not to say anything bad about the sweater itself. It's actually great for the price. But you always have hits and misses when you try new things in fashion, food....and life in general! The sailor pants are a hit for me, the cardigan I just didn't love as much. Most likely someone else could try both of these exact pieces and have the opposite experience!

Just a quick note about these leopard pumps: when I got them last year they didn't cost nearly as much as they do now. Sorry about that! I usually try to find a good budget option for the pricier pieces I have but I really couldn't find anything like this under $100 that I thought deserved a "similar" label. The best I can do is a round-up of more affordable leopard mules (flats) in this post.

I usually like to have a little more to a post than just an outfit like today, but on Book Review week, my book reviews end up being the "more!" So make sure to check out Tuesday's post if you need a good book!

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October Book Reviews 10/9/18

Welcome to my October Book Reviews! As usual I have a mix of fiction and nonfiction, and all reviews are free of any major spoilers. My nonfiction selections were audiobooks via Audible, which does affect my experience with the book. With all that in mind, here are the books I read this month, so let's get on with the reviews!

The Lake House by Kate Morton
Basic Plot: A police detective is put on mandatory leave when she makes a mistake on a case. She uses her time off to investigate a cold case of a missing boy from 70 years ago.
My Verdict: Tough Call. Generally, I'm not going to recommend this to people because it was SO SLOW. It took me 40% of the book to get really interested in the plot, and it's not a short book. Overall I just thought the author gave too much detail in parts of the story that weren't relevant to moving the plot forward, and I had to start skimming that stuff if I was ever going to finish. That said, in the end, I will say I was pleased with how the story came together and eventually it did hold my interest when I finally became invested enough to care how the mysteries would be solved. The character development was good and it had some unexpected twists and turns along the way which is always nice. So yes, it's a well-written book...just a bit too slow for my liking.

Josh & Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
Basic Plot: Josh and Hazel were acquaintances in college who cross paths again a few years later. They consider themselves incompatible with each other, but want to be friends since they have mutual friends. Their "not dating" strategy is...unique!
My Verdict: Cute-ish but didn't love it. This was a pretty cute, quick and easy read. Normally I like that (especially coming off the heels of something slow like The Lake House), but to be honest, Hazel annoyed me. Josh was great, but I just don't click with too-perfect female characters. Hazel is quirky and outrageous and naturally thin (despite being known for always eating huge amounts) and even more beautiful without makeup than with any makeup. Her zany ways also weren't endearing to me in any way, and I can't really say why. I'm probably projecting my own insecurities here, but it is what it is. It was enjoyable enough but definitely not a favorite in the chic lit/romance genre.

Sing, Unburied Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Basic Plot: An equal parts dysfunctional and loving family saga of parents, children and grandchildren in rural Mississippi. The story centers around a trip to a prison to pick up a newly released ex-con.
My Verdict: Engaging and Unique. Sorry, this month I just cannot stick to recommend/do not recommend as easily because of the nature of these books! It's not as easy to recommend this type of novel as easily as something by say, Sophie Kinsella where most people will enjoy it. This has some horrible violence and tragic circumstances. I will say that when I searched this book on Amazon to grab the link, Little Fires Everywhere and Pachinko both came up under it. I agree this is similar to those in the complex family dynamic, and those are probably a good litmus test for this. I liked Pachinko more and Little Fires somewhat less than this. I should also add, this book has supernatural elements that I didn't expect and totally confused me at first. It actually says "supernatural" on the cover, but I guess it goes to show I don't judge a book by its cover, much less read the cover! At any rate it was a good book and kind of a page turner for me, but I can only take this heavy, depressing type every so often so be prepared.

Tailspin by Sandra Brown
Basic Plot: A private pilot is asked to make a risky flight to deliver precious (but secret) cargo. Things don't go awry in flight and sparks fly when the pilot meets this client expecting the cargo.
My Verdict: Pretty Good. I've read a few Sandra Brown books and they're always action-adventure-mystery-meets-romance. Some of them have been too cheesy for me, but I liked this one was less so and I liked it pretty well. It was decently paced in the beginning, but by the time the plot was fully developed in the second half, it was fast-paced and entertaining. Overall an enjoyable read, but I wouldn't have minded if the plot had been fully developed a bit sooner. If this genre sounds interesting to you, give it a try!

The Coddling of the American Mind by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt
Wow, this was such a timely, thought-provoking, and informative book. The authors discuss what they call "The Three Great Untruths" that are being (unintentionally) taught to kids these days. 1) What doesn't kill you makes you weaker. 2) Emotional Reasoning (a.k.a. always trust your feelings), and 3) Us vs. Them (a.k.a. Life is a battle between good people and evil people). They go through each untruth and how these ideas are spreading in our culture (with a particular emphasis on college campuses) and the harm they cause to society. The second half of the book discusses how parents can avoid teaching these untruths to their children (in other words, what parents have already done wrong to lead us to the point of teaching these untruths). I really loved the second half, and it encouraged me to make some immediate changes in my parenting strategies. Overall this was an excellent book, and the only thing I would have preferred was to have the second half (i.e. common, well-intentioned parenting mistakes) put first, because it seemed more logical to me to think in terms of actions (parenting mistakes) followed by consequences. A minor critique to be sure though since I really enjoyed the book as-is.

The Hacking of the American Mind by Robert H. Lustig
Okay, you know that old saying, "Well, it's not rocket science!" (Used to imply that something isn't all that difficult to understand or accomplish.) I'm beginning to think we should amend that to, "it's not neuroscience!" While I'm really fascinated by neuroscience, sometimes it's just too complicated to understand via audiobook. There was a lot that went over my head in the first half of the book, explaining how different parts of the brain work related to the "reward system" of the brain. I pushed on because the author kept saying that he'd explain more about XYZ in future chapters, and the XYZ was what I wanted to read about in the first place. The final third was what made the book worth reading for me, though I don't recommend it to others because it took so long to get to the stuff that non neuroscientists can understand.

The Dip by Seth Godin
This book is exactly what the subtitle says! A mini guide to helping you decide whether something is worth continuing or quitting. If you're stuck on a decision, this is short and worth the read. It's actually cheaper on Audible than Kindle though, so I recommend going that route! It gave me some good food for thought on my own personal struggles, though nothing especially groundbreaking. But sometimes I just need input and ideas from a few sources to think things through so it was great for that.

21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari
This was another fascinating, thought provoking look at where human life is likely headed in the 21st century. If you think about how many jobs there are today that didn't exist 50 years ago...then imagine the workforce changing just as much 50 years from now, that gives you a real sense of that picture. And it's not just jobs...it's all aspects humanity with a particular emphasis on socio-cultural issues. I admit the political parts of this book bored me and lost me a bit, but I was very fascinated by his commentary on religion, healthcare, and the possibilities for the future job market. All in all it was an excellent read!

Quick Picks
If you just want a quick recommendation without the specifics of what I did/didn't like in a given book, here are the ones from this month that I'd be most likely to recommend to friends and family in real life:
Fiction: Actually, none of my fiction books make my "Quick Picks" this month. Even though I did enjoy some of them, there wasn't one I could easily recommend to a lot of people! In this case I think you have to go by personal preference decide what sounds interesting to you or not.
Nonfiction: The Coddling of the American Mind21 Lessons for the 21st Century is a close second.

Current Reads + Up Next:
My current nonfiction book is Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now. If you've followed my blog for the last year or so you probably know this is an area that's been unsettling to me for awhile so I'm always interested in the latest research and ideas for this topic. I can tell you that I'm about four chapters into it...and I've already deleted Instagram off my phone! It's very persuasive so reader beware! I also have two book club (one virtual, one IRL) books purchased and ready to start: Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows and The Westing Game. I'd never heard of either one before but they have good reviews and I'm looking forward to reading along with others!

Can't wait to hear what you all read or what strikes your interest this month!

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Plaid Blazers & Sale Picks

One of the big fashion trends this fall is the Plaid Blazer. I am seeing them all over blogs and my Instagram feed, and personally I'm a fan. I don't need to wear a blazer all that often these days, but I think it would be a fun piece to wear over a black dress for a night out instead of my white or black blazer. I've rounded up a bunch of options at all price points for you today, and I'll tell you which ones I almost ordered vs. what I actually ordered!
Splurge Options: Shop Cupcakes & Cashmere | Shop: English Factory
Save Options:LOFT | Target | H&M | Express | H&M 

With the Express 40% off storewide sale (see my five favorites in this post), I immediately checked out their options since I knew I had plaid blazer on my wishlist and would much rather get it on sale. And they do have some options similar to the higher end brands you can get at retailers like Shopbop. But even on sale it was going to be $75, and I wasn't sure I wanted to spend that much on this trend. I don't think I'll wear this piece very often and I don't see this trend lasting a long time, you know? So instead I decided to order the Target Option for $35. It has great reviews, but if it doesn't work out I think my next stop will be Amazon. They also have quite a few promising options under $50!
ONE ($41) | TWO ($39) | THREE ($33) 
FOUR ($41) | FIVE ($40) | SIX ($29)

All of the Amazon Options have Free Shipping, but Prime Shipping is available on Option One, Two, Five and a few sizes for Option Four. 

Here's the latest of what's going on in the blog world, real life, and a few other notes!

Newsletter News: I finally sent out my very first Newsletter last week and it had a surprise giveaway for newsletter subscribers only! Congrats to Anne S. for winning the Stella & Dot earrings! I shipped them to you on Saturday so I hope you get them this week! If you missed it and want to be included next time, go ahead and subscribe below!

New Rental/Box Service Options from Top Retailers! I have seen ads on Instagram recently for new Box Services/Rental Options at Express and Ann Taylor! I think this is such a cool idea! I love using Rent the Runway for special occasion dresses, and they do have a clothing program too but the options didn't look that practical for my lifestyle. Obviously I have no problem working Express clothes into my everyday lifestyle! With Express Style Trial, you can rent 3 pieces a month for $70 with free shipping both ways. There are a lot of trends I want to try but not necessarily keep forever, or especially with the holidays coming up there are occasions where I want a fun new outfit but wouldn't can't justify something I can only wear once! I am pretty sure I'll be giving this a try in November (seeing as I found out about it after I already made my October sale purchases!) The Ann Taylor Option would be excellent if you need a more classic, conservative and professional wardrobe.

40% off Sale Picks...If you're wondering what I got from the current 40% off sale, here's a peek at my order:

The City Shirt has replaced the Portofino as my go-to button down blouse. I've learned my lesson about collecting all of the colors, but black and white are staples for me so I'm set with these for awhile!

This Camo Cover Up is definitely a trend that I might have considered for the rental program if I'd known about it! But I'm loving the camo trend and comfy, casual pieces like this are perfect for my lifestyle right now.

The Circle Hem Tunic is an Express staple that a lot of my friends have had and loved for a few years. I'm not sure why I haven't purchased one before, but it looks long enough to wear with leggings which makes it great for my work from home days.

Double O-Ring Belt I included the cognac version of this belt in my five current favorites post, but that one has gold hardware and there have been quite a few times when I wanted silver hardware, so I'm scooping this up during the sale!

On the Blog This Week...Tomorrow is book review day! Wednesday will be a regular outfit post, and Friday will be whatever I can throw together this week! Or it may be a day off depending on how things go in real life! TBD!

Hope you all have a great week!

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Five Favorites 40% Off

Well surprise! Express is having a storewide 40% off sale! They had one Labor Day weekend and I'm sure there will be a big sale for Black Friday (usually storewide 50% off) so I'm sharing some of my recent favorites. Some of these are repeats from my Labor Day sale post with a couple of more recent outfits mixed in.

ONE: Red Plaid ShirtThe plaid shirt I'm linking to is made of the same exact material as mine. The only difference is my version has tiny stud details on the pockets and collar (which you can't really see in this type of photo anyway) and it's sold out now. But if you like this red/black plaid print you're still in luck! I took my normal size in the shirt as well as all of the other current/exact pieces here.

TWO: Military Jacket
This jacket is soft, comfortable, true to size and flattering. If you're in the market for a military jacket this season this is a great one.

THREE: Double O-Ring Belt
If you only get one belt this year - get this! It's the perfect shade of cognac. I originally got this in XS, but in the summer I had to get it in a Small because my shorts all tend to be lower rise and the XS was too small to fit around my hips (rather than closer to my waist). So depending on where your jeans fit (waist vs. hips) you may want to go up a size.
ONE: Top (Also 40% off)  | Similar Shorts | Belt | Shoes (c/o)

FOUR: The City Shirt
If you're looking for a great basic blouse blouse, The City Shirt (in white below) and The Chelsea Shirt (in plum above in the outfit set with the Double O Ring Belt) are my top two current favorites at Express. The Chelsea Shirt has the same fabric as a Portofino Shirt in a pullover style (button details are for looks only). The City Shirt is a bit of a softer, silkier fabric and it's a full button down. They're both great though and it's just personal preference as to which you like best. Obviously I like both! I want to get one of these two in black while they're on sale and I can't decide which style!

FIVE: Blue Plaid ShirtTwo plaid shirts, one post, and I styled them both in fairly similar ways. Again this is something where you certainly don't need both, but I liked the variation between the two types of plaid and don't plan to add any more to my collection this year! This is an oversized shirt but I still took my normal size. I also styled this shirt here with my denim skirt. This dress and my black jeans are also true to size.

The sale goes through Monday so I'll be sharing a few of my picks for the sale in Monday's post!

On Fridays I like to share a few random things here that wouldn't make it to the blog otherwise! From fashion finds to favorite articles to real life happenings. Today's four are actually not random at all.  They're all related to answering a question I had on Monday about being a Stella & Dot Stylist, but since it got a little lengthy I broke it up into four parts.

1. PROS: The stylist discount is really good. The October rate to sign up to be a stylist is $199 and you get $1,000 in product with that. It's $99 up front and $100 at the end of the first month. If you are spending near or above that amount per year on Stella & Dot pieces (or have that much on your wishlist there), it's worth it to sign up. You will get about three times as much product as you would buying retail. I really should have done this sooner but I was worried I wouldn't be able to sell enough to make it worth it. In my case I find it's worth it just for the pieces I want for myself and for gifts and giveaways.

2. CONS: They send a lot of email on the regular once you sign up! Ha! (Seriously, it's a little annoying). I also find the back end of their stylist portal/website to be confusing and overwhelming, so I wouldn't say I'm especially pleased with that. I can also assure you that to make money at this you would need to be pushy and spend a lot of time trying to get friends, family, Blog/Insta followers to host trunk shows and buy, buy, buy. That's just not my style. I will share what I like and what I wear (like I already do) and if people decide to buy something, great. I'll be thrilled if I make back what I spent on my Starter Kit over the course of the year. I don't even know if that will happen because their products are not what I consider affordable. Most people don't go filling up their carts on a regular basis.

3. Who Should Do it? Ultimately, my opinion is sign up if you want a great discount for yourself (and/or to buy gifts for friends and family) or if you have a network of friends (IRL or virtual) with large bank accounts who have money to burn on jewelry and accessories. The time commitment isn't really a factor because there are no requirements to sell a certain amount to maintain your stylist status or anything like that. I believe there is a renewal fee for your site once a year but I haven't hit that mark yet to say for sure what it is.

4. How Do You Work it Into Your Schedule?: The truth is, I don't feel like I work it into my schedule per se. I just wear the pieces I've purchased (at a discount) and share them as part of my regular outfits on the blog and Instagram. And just in case there is any confusion: being a Stella & Dot stylist is not my day job as a personal stylist. They are totally separate but since they both use the term Stylist it might be confusing. I knew I wasn't going to have a lot of extra time to devote to Stella & Dot so I didn't expect to turn this into a job much less a true side hustle. From what I understand, some people can do that. I just didn't go into it with that as my goal or expectation, and I think for me that was a practical, realistic choice.

Hope that helps give you some insight and of course, send me an email if you have additional questions! Have a great weekend!

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Four Ways to Wear Cognac Mules + Currently

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, and the participants provide the answers! This month we're all sharing what we're currently wearing, collecting, making, taking, and planning. Coincidentally my Wednesday posts usually start with what I'm wearing anyway, so that's convenient for me! Most days that I'm working from home I keep it pretty simple with basic tees and jeans (or shorts depending on the weather). If I'm going somewhere in the afternoon or evening (e.g. running errands or taking kids to their lessons), then I "fancy up" my basics with some jewelry. This outfit epitomizes my day to day uniform lately!

These t-shirts are lightweight, which makes them great for transition weather/cooler evenings here, plus they'll be nice for layering in the winter. I wear either XS or Small in this brand depending on the item. I went XS in this and I like it. It's not too tight but not baggy either. My shoes are true to size and really comfortable. Plus easy to throw on and go when we're running late for something!

I've had to take a break from styling each item multiple ways on the blog lately as I adapt to some life changes outside the blog. But this is the fourth time I've worn these in photos (even more in everyday life)! So that made it a little easier to just put the pictures altogether in one place!
ONE:  T-Shirt (c/o) | Necklace | Similar Jeans | Shoes (c/o) | Earrings | Handbag (c/o) 

With the "wearing" category out of the way, here's what I'm currently collecting, making, taking, and planning!

Collecting...mules, apparently! I got my first pair last fall and it has quickly become my favorite transition shoe style. The other pairs I've been wearing (aside from the ones in today's outfit) are out of stock so I've just been linking to similar options. I am partial to styles with a low to moderate block heel, but I have seen so many cute options for flats that I had to share some today. I know some of my friends and family who read the blog prefer flats so no sense in keeping these to myself even if I'm not getting them.

One: Shop: Jeffrey Campbell Shoes (Charlin) | Two: Shop Schutz Shoes (Dana) | Three: Shop Madewell Shoes (Remi) | 
Four: Amazon  (Under $30) | Five: Amazon (Under $30) | Six: Amazon (Under $25 - Also comes in Black and Grey)

Making...changes to the blog format and content as I try to figure out this working mom/blog life balance. I shared a little more about that in Monday's post if you want to know more.

Taking...a chance on a couple of book clubs! I've never done an official book club in person or even online, but I'm giving one of each a shot for October. If you're interested in the online book club (run by one of my family members) feel free to send me an email! Both of the books the clubs selected look interesting and I never would have found or selected them myself, so I'm looking forward to both!

Planning...for Thanksgiving. It seems a little far away, but for the past five years (since we lived in San Diego), we've waited until the last minute to even think about Thanksgiving, which means we end up staying local and feeling a little sad the whole weekend because we miss our extended families. This year we're determined to make plans and try something a little different for ourselves!

Looking forward to hearing what you all are up to lately too!

Linking up with: The Blended Blog | Brooke | Dawn | Liz | JoLynne | Kristen

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Pajama Style + Monday Memo

Up until last summer, I would have been extremely embarrassed to show you all what I slept in! It was comfortable, but far from cute. Then last summer I got this pajama shorts set from Target, which was almost an identical dupe of a set Nordstrom had in their anniversary sale, except even less than the Anniversary sale price! It was nice to have cute PJs again, but now that the nights are cooling down I can tell I'm going to need something warmer. My first stop was Shopbop to check out the latest trends, and of course they have some really cute pajama sets.
ONE: Bluebella (Claudia)
TWO: PJ Salvage (Sleepin' In)
THREE: Rails PJs (Trouser Pajama Set)
FOURCosabella (Bella PJ Set)

The options above are more of a Spluge, with the Bluebella set (Option One above) the least expensive at $64. However if you're looking for a Save option, I found a few similar choices on Amazon for under $45 (most are $30-40). 
ONE: Amazon ($32)
TWO: Amazon ($38)
THREE: Amazon ($34
FOUR: Amazon ($44)

All of the options above come in multiple color variations so if you had a specific color combo in mind, check through the links to see if it's available My niece has Option Two (which might even be the exact same as Option One but from a different vendor) and loves them! I'll probably go with basic black again, but the pink ones are pretty tempting too.

When I posted these on Instagram I had a request for Spring/Summer options too, so I thought I might as well include them here so all the pajama collages are in one place for easy reference.
ONETarget ($20) | TWO: Amazon ($25) | THREE: Amazon ($20) | FOUR: Amazon ($20)
FIVE:  Amazon ($33) | SIX: Amazon ($24) | SEVEN: Amazon ($25) | EIGHT: Amazon ($18)

Again, all of these styles come in multiple colors and prints. I kept most of them in the same color family just because I think it's easier to tell the slight differences in the styles that way, but if you're looking for a certain color combo, check the link of the style you like best before discarding the option altogether!

On the Blog...you might notice some changes to my usual format and style. Since going back to work recently (plus my photographers a.k.a. kids going back to school), I really needed to make some changes in order to make blogging sustainable for my current lifestyle. The first thing I needed to reduce is outdoor photos. If you've followed my blog for a long time you'll know I've only been doing that style of photo for about a year, and it's a big time commitment. It's also not something that really seems to improve my blog traffic, engagement, etc., nor is it really my favorite part of blogging so it was a pretty easy decision for me to cut back on those. I'll just be doing posed photos once a week for my Wednesday Style on the Daily Linkup. On Mondays I will probably share fashion finds (like today) plus my Monday Memo, and on Fridays I'll keep sharing my Friday Four probably add in some mirror selfies of my everyday outfits (like this post from last winter). So if you notice those changes in upcoming posts, I wanted to explain what I'm doing here and why! I figure if you're taking the time to read this you might like to know that sort of thing.

On the Blog This Week...On Wednesday I'll be sharing what I'm currently wearing, collecting, making, taking, and planning! Then on Friday I'll have my Friday Four with some Stella Dot style and some budget-friendly Amazon items that came in recently.

In Real Life....Well the "On the Blog" topic overlaps a lot with what's going in IRL lately! Work and family life! I'm enjoying my current Audiobook 21 Lessons for the 21st Century and hope to finish it in time for my next round of Book Reviews on October 9.

As always, thanks for your support and understanding as my blog evolves along with my life!

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