On the Daily EXPRESS

12/11/19

The Easiest Foolproof Outfit Formula

21 comments |
Today I've got another Foolproof Outfit Formula post! These are just simple combinations of pieces that work well together and take a little guesswork out of mixing and matching pieces in your wardrobe to put together an outfit. I also think they help me shop a little smarter since I can analyze a new piece I'm thinking of buying and easily tell whether it will work in one of my go-to combos or if it will require a whole new supporting cast of purchases to make an outfit. I try to avoid those purchases altogether these days, but that's another story! Anyway, our weather this time of year allows me to wear one of my favorite foolproof outfit combinations on repeat: White T-shirt, Jeans, and just about any great jacket.

"Great" is a totally subjective term, but to me it just means that if instantly I love a jacket when I see it hanging on the rack in the store or when I see it on the model online, then it's "great" to me! Your "great" might look different than mine, and that's okay! This formula works regardless of personal preference on the style and fit of the jacket. I also happen to be wearing tall boots in all of these photos, but in this case I don't really count footwear as part of the outfit formula. Some of these outfits would look great with sneakers or flats or whatever type of shoe suits your lifestyle, climate, etc. I love tall boots but that's just me!

Black Moto Jacket + White Tee + Jeans:

This combination is probably the easiest since a black moto jacket seems like a staple that women are most likely to have in one form or another. For me a black moto jacket (not this exact one in particular) was sort of the "gateway jacket" that started my jacket collection. Once I saw how easy it was to make a basic tee and jeans look more polished just by adding a jacket, I was sold on the idea. I love wearing a t-shirt and jeans anyway and I often need a jacket for warmth, so I just shifted my thinking from a jacket as outerwear to a legit part of the outfit. I actually don't have this exact jacket any more because the belt on it drove me nuts. It was always slipping out of the belt loop. But every time I look at these photos I regret passing it on just a little bit! Oh well. I can always re-purchase but I'm trying not to do that since I have enough other jackets to choose from.

Plaid Jacket + White Tee + Jeans:

From my oldest style of jacket to my newest! Right now my top four places to shop for great jackets are Amazon, Express, Evereve, and BB Dakota. Amazon also carries a lot of BB Dakota jackets, and sometimes the styles from a past season are a much better deal than the latest version. And it almost takes a microscope to spot the difference between the "old" vs. "new" version! My exact jacket is from Amazon and it's true to size. It is sold out in XS now so if you need XS, check out this year's almost identical version at BB Dakota.This is called a "wool-like" jacket, and the exterior feels a little more like flannel so it's nice and soft, not itchy like wool. The interior is lined so it's comfortable inside and out.

Grey Moto Jacket + White Tee + Jeans:

And finally here's one more way I've worn this combo with a neutral grey jacket. I am trying to think of any color or jacket style that wouldn't work with a basic white tee and jeans and I really can't think of any! It really is foolproof. Okay wait...I take that back. This is personal preference, but I wouldn't wear this combo with a denim jacket. I'd only do that with black jeans - not blue, as shown in a previous Foolproof Outfit Formula post. I have seen other people wear denim jacket + blue jeans and make it look good, like...supermodels on Pinterest. For me it's a no-go, but to each their own!

My exact jeans have been a staple style at Express for years, but they sold out during the crazy holiday sales, and just before I hit publish on this post, I got an email that they were back in stock. It's probably due to returns, because they're only stocked in limited sizes, hence the reason I offered another denim option with more sizes above. I have to tell you I had a heck of a time finding a similar option to link! I am kind of wondering if the pendulum is swinging away from distressed jeans? Has anyone else noticed a slight shift away from that trend? It just seems like retailers are currently offering a much bigger selection of rises and lengths and leg styles vs. various levels of distressing. If that's true, I guess I'm not too sad about that change since I've been gravitating away from distressed jeans and preferring more classic styles most of the time myself lately. But it is always interesting to see how trends come and go over time and which ones last longer than expected (hello skinny jeans!).

Thanks for spending a few minutes with me here today! I hope your week is going well and can't wait to chat with you again on Friday!




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12/10/19

December 2019 Book Reviews

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Welcome to my December 2019 Book Reviews! I didn't get through a ton of books last month due partly to the holidays - spending time as a family means I'm going to the movies, playing games etc. and generally doing things other than reading on my own. And it was also partly to some DNFs and slow books that took me awhile to get through. But I did have some really worthwhile reads, so there's quality if not quantity this month! Here's a look at selections followed by my reviews.
The Family Upstairs | The Handmaid's Tale | Ask Again, Yes | Nothing More Dangerous | When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing

 Book links are affiliate links, which means if you decide to purchase a book I recommend via Amazon, I may earn a small commission from your purchase at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting my reading and reviews!

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
Basic Plot: A girl inherits a house on her 25th birthday from her birth parents. The house has a mysterious history, which we learn via flashbacks and present day investigation
Read Via: Kindle
My Verdict: Enjoyed but...didn't love it as much as I hoped because I do love this author. I still like her and wasn't totally disappointed with the book, nor do I regret reading it, it just wasn't my favorite of hers. I had a few things that just bothered me throughout, from the title (which doesn't really fit what happens in the book in my opinion) to the ending. This one is a marriage of her family drama and suspense styles, and I did like that. I'm thinking out loud here in analyzing what else I didn't like, and I think another key is that I lacked an understanding of the motive for the behavior of some key characters. I needed more clarity on why they were doing certain things/letting them happen. It fell just short for me, so if you usually like Lisa Jewell, go ahead and read this but don't rush to put it to the top of your list. If you've never read a Lisa Jewell book, don't start here. Ha!

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Basic Plot: One woman's struggle in a dystopian modern era where women are (once again) reduced to being the property of men due to a religious sect taking over the United States.
Read Via: Kindle
My Verdict: Mixed Feelings. Well, this did not start strong for me at all. I was struggling to stay interested, and frustrated by the fact that I didn't understand much about the world they were living in or how it got that way until 50% of the way through the book. But I was determined to finish this one due to the hype, the sequel and the TV show, so I plugged along. Then around 70%...things got very interesting and I cruised through to the end. Suddenly I knew why the sequel was so eagerly anticipated, and yes, I do want to read it fairly soon while this is fresh in my mind. Since it was a rather depressing story I can't say I loved it but it did pay off in the end. I am glad I read it to be in the know, but I can't say I will be telling others to read it unless they're so inclined for a similar reason to myself.

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane
Basic Plot: A tale of two families in suburban NYC and how their lives intertwine in interesting and sometimes tragic ways.
Read Via: Audible
My Verdict: Enjoyed. First off, since this was an audiobook, I have to say I would have preferred a different narrator. I looked up this narrator and she has also narrated parenting books, and to me...her voice would be better suited to that book style than this. That reduced my enjoyment of the book a little for me because I found her voice distracting. That said, the story was excellent. Very carefully woven lives that intertwine and characters that seem very realistic and grow/change throughout the story in believable ways. If you like character driven novels and family sagas, this is a good one.

Nothing More Dangerous by Allen Eskens
Basic Plot: A boy comes of age in rural Missouri in the 1970s. He's something of an outcast in his town, and racial tension plays a big role here.
Read Via: Kindle
My Verdict: Recommend. I had to sit on this one for a couple of days when I finished it to digest my feelings, and as each day went by, I realized yes, I really enjoyed this one and will recommend it to a lot of people. e.g. I think both of my tween/teen boys would enjoy this. If anyone has older kids and wants an audiobook for a holiday roadtrip, this would be great (though I didn't do the audio...I'm going just by the story alone). I just thought this had a good balance of action/adventure to keep the plot moving, along with some depth and thought-provoking content as far as the racial tensions of the town and the choices people make. This is my second favorite Eskens book after The Life We Bury.

When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing  by Daniel Pink
Basic Premise: Ever heard the saying, "Timing is Everything?" This book will take you to a new understanding of that concept, with plenty of research studies to back up the claims.
Read Via: Audible
My Verdict: Recommend. I really enjoyed this, and Daniel Pink's writing style and narration were totally engaging and approachable. Sometimes science-backed books get too heavy on the research data and become tough for me to follow, but this was very user friendly and had lots of great food for thought. I know it's a good nonfiction book when I find that the concepts immediately work their way into every day life and I end up quoting the book to share what I learned to friends and family members. That's exactly what happened here! Some of the topics discussed in this book reminded me a bit of things I learned in, "The Power of Full Engagement"  (by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz), but this one drew me in just a bit more.

DNF Notes:
I don't usually spend a lot of time discussing the books I did not finish (DNF), but this month they're worth mentioning for reasons of follow-up or hype! First, A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum was on the Goodreads list for top books of 2019. I could not get into it on audio! I gave it a couple of hours and just didn't feel like it was moving along enough to hold my interest. So I double checked the reviews and that made me decide to abandon ship altogether.

Also, last month I mentioned I was starting Thinking, Fast & Slow by Daniel Kahneman. That's a twenty hour book and I got through nine hours before giving up...for now. This book was quoted a lot in a book I read last month and it was also quoted a lot in "When" this month! So I do really want to finish it, but I needed a break. I did find the content interesting, it was just a very research/data heavy book and it was too much for my non-scientist/psychologist self all at once.

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:
Ask Again, Yes 
Nothing More Dangerous (Top pick of the month)
When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing

Current Reads + Up Next:
I'm currently reading Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson. It was slow getting started for me, but I'm at 30% now and it's starting to pick up. I loved Never Have I Ever by this author so I wanted to try another by her. On Audible I'm listening to Civilized to Death by Christopher Ryan. I'm loving it so far, and can easily see myself recommending it to anyone who liked Sapiens or Sex at Dawn. (Hint hint Rachelle! Haha! We usually have very similar taste in nonfiction.)  Colleen Hoover also has a new book coming out today: Regretting You. I'll definitely be ordering that and starting it when I finish my current fiction selection.

And that's it for December! 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 for more recommendations!


12/9/19

Try On Session: Amazon + Express + Evereve

10 comments |
Over the course of last week, almost all of my Black Friday/Cyber Monday purchases arrived plus a couple of my Amazon selections for the month, so I made it a priority to get everything tried on and start the returns process ASAP. Since I shared that I had ordered these items in previous posts, I wanted to follow up with my official review on them for anyone interested in these items. Most of them will no doubt still be on sale or will go on sale again soon as stores make room for their Spring collections coming in January! I wish I were kidding but that really seems to be the retail cycle reality! At any rate, on to the try on session and reviews! For anyone curious my nail polish in all photos below is CND Vinylux Dark Lava.

Evereve + Express Try-Ons

Evereve Striped Sweater-Tee

This top is so soft! If soft and cozy materials are a high priority for you, this is a great option to consider. It's true to size, and although it's called a "tunic" - I wouldn't personally label it as such because it's not long enough for me to wear it by itself with leggings and have it cover the proper front and back regions. I left it untucked in the front view photo below so you can see the length. There were a couple of reviews on this that gave me some concern when ordering: one thought it would have that worn out look rather quickly and another commented that it shed. The soft material has a fuzziness to it, and it does look like it might pill easily. So I do get where they're coming from, especially since this isn't exactly a low-priced item. But I kind of feel like it's a trade-off for the coziness of the top, and because it's so cute and fits well, I'm willing to take a chance on it.

Evereve Burgundy Cami

This is a great little cami! It's true to size with adjustable straps. It's just barely long enough for me to do a front tuck, but I also think it looks decent untucked on the model so I may ultimately wear it that way if it's too much trouble to keep it tucked in. In the winter, I always wear a regular bra with my cami tops for comfort since I am 99% sure I'll be keeping my jacket or layer on at all times. I did think the color was a little more red on the website and a little more berry/burgundy in person, but I love the color in person as-is so I didn't mind.

Express Trapeze Dress
Dress | Necklace | Boots (c/o)

For some reason I thought this was going to be a sweater dress, but I guess I didn't read the name carefully when I ordered. It's a "Cozy Trapeze" dress, but not a sweater dress. The material is more like a thick t-shirt or thin sweatshirt. But it's cozy so it's all good! I usually avoid trapeze dresses because I don't think they're very flattering on me, but this one has a nice shape to it so I'm really liking it. It's a little bit more like a fit and flare style, thought not super fitted on top. This is true to size, and it looks completely boring from the top view! But it's a great blank slate dress for adding a scarf or jacket. The sleeves are also really cute, and you'll get a better look at those in the front view below.

Express Trapeze Dress + Abercrombie Scarf

I shared this scarf in Friday's post and while I did think it was a little overwhelming, I really like it paired with this dress! This definitely made for a cuter top-view outfit than the dress all by itself, so I couldn't resist sharing this combo here.

Front View:


Amazon Try-Ons

Daily Ritual Turtleneck Sweater

Camel Sweater Quest 2019 Continues (see previous Amazon camel sweater options in this post)! I think this is my favorite of the three I've tried because it has the right shade of camel (for my preference) combined with the right amount of comfort. I'm like Golidlocks with these things: one was too itchy, one was too dark, and this one is just right! The other two options I tried were crew neck and this is a turtleneck, but it's not tight or fitted around the neck. In the front view below you'll be able to see that it fits away from my neck rather than up against it. It's true to size (I'm wearing XS) with a fairly relaxed, roomy fit.

Pattyboutik Cardigan
Cardigan (c/o) | Similar Jeans | Necklace | Boots (c/o) 

Pattyboutik continues to impress me with their sweaters! This is so nicely made! The material soft but also feels very durable. It's hard to explain, but all I can say is this is a really great deal for under $35. I think this type of collar detail mimics a blazer a little bit so it dresses up a basic outfit a little more than a standard open-front cardigan. I'm wearing XS in this cardigan and I'd say it's true to size. Oh - and this does have pockets! I almost forget to mention that and I didn't show it in my front-view photo. But if that's an important detail for you in a cardigan, you're safe with this.

 Goodthreads Turtleneck
Sweater (c/o)| Jeans | Boots (c/o)

For months I have been wanting to try a sweater from the Goodthreads line on Amazon, but it was too hot here to even consider trying one on, and then all of the colors/styles I wanted sold out! But I finally found one to try, and I'm happy to say that Goodthreads can remain on my Nice List this holiday season. This is true to size, comfortable, and nicely made. When I pulled it out of the wrapping I was worried that it would be too short/boxy, but after trying it on, I actually liked the relaxed fit and that I can just wear it untucked. Low fuss is always a plus! It's not an ultra-soft plush material or anything, but it does pass my comfort requirements and is zero percent itchy, so this is a keeper for me. 

Front View:

All things considered, I had a pretty successful Black Friday/Cyber Monday. I wasn't expecting so many things to work out because usually they don't! Now I have absolutely no reason to say, "I have nothing to wear" for the rest of winter. Oh, and if you missed Friday's post, I have two more Amazon pieces that are a little more festive for the holiday season, including a really great sweater dress for under $25. If you missed that, head on over here to check it out.

I'll be back tomorrow with my monthly book reviews, and it's a pretty short post since this month was big on family time and not as much on reading time. And if you're not a reader, no worries I'll see you here on Wednesday with a Foolproof Outfit formula post!


12/6/19

Friday Favorites: Festive Edition!

11 comments |
With less than 20 days left until Christmas I'm thinking it's about time I share some holiday stuff here if I'm going to share any at all this year! As it happens, I've purchased a few festive things to wear this month, so I'm thinking I can't wait much longer to share them in case anyone else is interested in getting them in time for a holiday event. So for today's Friday Favorites I'm starting with some favorite festive purchases! And later in the post, I have a few favorite gift ideas I've received and really loved, so stick around to the end for those!

Festive Try-On Session:
'Tis the season for adding some red and green to your wardrobe if you don't already have any! I don't have a lot of pieces in either of those colors, but I have a couple of events coming up where I think a slightly festive outfit or detail would be fun, so I found a few pieces to try.

Blanket Scarf:

I thought a scarf would be a fun holiday accessory since I can add it to a normal/neutral outfit and easily give it a slight holiday vibe. I just loved the print on this one the best of all the options I browsed, so I sale stalked it and snagged it on Black Friday. Now that I have it in my hands, I can tell you it's very soft and cozy, so I do like that about it. My only concern is that it's quite large. It feels a little overwhelming on me. I know some people cut their blanket scarves, but I don't know if that would work well with this one. It would definitely make it thinner, but it would still be really long. I'll share the front view of this below so you can let me know what you think of the sizing. It hardly seems worth the trouble to return since it was such a good deal and it is really cute and comfy, so I want to make it work!

Red Sweater:
Sweater (c/o) | Jeans | Boots | Necklace 

Despite the fact that I don't wear a lot of red, I do really like the color! I'm just picky about the exact shade of red. This type of richer, darker red is what I prefer and it seems to be harder to find! I'm just not comfortable in brighter, fire engine red shades. I thought this would be a fun basic option to wear on its own or layer for the holidays and Valentine's Day if I'm thinking ahead. This sweater is true to size but on the more fitted side. It's also thin - it doesn't provide any warmth beyond a standard t-shirt or blouse. I'm okay with that because a) I wanted it as a layering piece, and b) I live in a warm climate. But if you want a warm cozy sweater this won't do. This is by Lark & Ro on Amazon, and I haven't had great luck with their sweaters in the past other than their cashmere. I almost didn't order this except for the fact that the shade of red was exactly what I wanted and I couldn't find it in any other decent quality line on Amazon! But I'm glad I gave this line another chance. This is a solid piece for the $29 price. It also comes in a bunch of other colors, including a brighter red if that's your thing. I'm wearing XS here, and at first I was wishing I had gotten a Small, but it did stretch a bit with wear so I think this will be just fine. Go with your normal size unless you definitely want it looser/more relaxed.

Green Sweater Dress:

Of all three pieces I'm sharing today, I'm most impressed with this dress! And it's currently only $22! This is also by Lark & Ro, and to be honest I wish the red sweater above were made from this same material - this dress is just a bit thicker, sturdier and also softer! It's comfortable and feels cozy but still looks polished. I'm planning to wear this to an upcoming holiday concert, but it could easily work as office wear if needed. This comes in black and red as well, and runs true to size. I need to order a slip to go with this though...it was definitely sticking to my tights. And speaking of tights, ages ago Caryl recommended fleece-lined tights for winter. This is my first time wearing them and I'm a fan! They're cozy and really helped keep my legs warmer than regular tights.

Front View:
Here's the front view of these three pieces for another look at the length and fit.


Nails of the Week:

I just switched my nails to one of my favorite winter nail colors - CND Dark Lava. It's a blackened plum with some slight shimmer. For some reason I find dark colors a little more wearable when they have some shimmer vs. a dark matte color. Or maybe I just like looking at them when they reflect the light...or maybe both reasons! Haha!

Holiday Nails: 

Since we're on the subject of festive favorites, my current favorite Holiday Nail Color is CND Crimson Sash. I'll probably switch to this color closer to mid-December since it has just a bit more red it in! 

Favorite Gifts I've Received:
I don't consider myself a very creative person in the gifting department (gift cards FTW!), but I do have some friends and family members who have a knack for that sort of thing. Over the years they'e given me some gifts I didn't know I needed...but ended up loving! I think I'm a difficult person to shop for since I truly already have everything I need, so I'm always impressed when people can surprise me! If you're still doing some holiday shopping and wouldn't mind a few more gift ideas, here are some that were winners for me!

ONE: Beauty Salon Gift Card - Last year a few of my blogger friends did some sneaky research to find out my favorite local beauty salon and they got me a gift certificate there. It was so nice to get my hair done for "free" a few times! I was really trying to stick to non-gift card gifts for this list, but I loved the practicality of this gift, plus since I knew they had put effort into finding out the most useful place for me, it still felt like a very personal gift and not "just" a gift card at all.

TWO: The Game of Things - I had never heard of this game until a friend gifted it to me as a hostess gift a few years back. Now we play it at just about every get together we host! It's very easy to play, and how clean or Adult the game is depends 100% on your participants and their answers. I love that it can be totally family-friendly or more risqué for the right crowd. But any way we play it, we always end up laughing and having a great time.

THREE: L'Occitane Shower Oil - I had seen this stuff all over the blogosphere for years, but no way on earth could anyone convince me that a shower oil was worth this price tag. Well, once my blogger friends gifted me a bottle for my birthday, I was hooked! Now it's all I use in the shower. This makes a great gift, especially in the winter when a lot of us are battling dry skin.

FOUR: J Crew Necklace - If you've followed my blog for the last couple of years, you have seen me wear the segments of this necklace no less than a hundred times - and I'm wearing it in two of the outfits above! Rachelle gifted it to me a few years back and I had no idea I was missing such a staple piece in my jewelry wardrobe! This comes as a layered necklace, but I separated mine into two necklaces because I found the separate segments easier to style with the necklines of my existing tops. So it was like getting two necklaces in one gift. I did adjust the length a bit on each segment (adding an extender to the longer one and removing links from the shorter one), to get the lengths just right, so you may or may not need to do the same depending on your preference, but I'm used to doing that with a lot of my necklaces since I'm picky about the length, so it was no problem for me. I never think to shop for jewelry at J. Crew so this gift was such a pleasant surprise, and the quality has really stood the test of time.

FIVE: Label Maker - This gift is the epitome of "things I didn't know I needed." My best friend from college gave this to me probably 20 years ago, and it still comes in handy pretty often! I have containers all around the house with labels on them, and I can't tell you how many times someone has yelled, "Mom! where are the Markers??" And I yell back, "In the cupboard above the microwave in the container that says Markers!" Works every time! Ha! My kids also have labels on their school folders so they can easily tell which subject is in which folder. Sure, you can use a piece of tape and a marker to label things, but this is fun and convenient to use once you have it.

Since this is likely my one and only Gift-related post of the year, I'll quickly recap some of my past gift posts for you. The links are most certainly outdated, but there are still some useful ideas in my humble opinion!

Sentimental Gift Ideas: Self explanatory, but these are gifts I've given many times!

Gift Ideas for Older Boys: I polled a group of my boy-mom friends and family members and they delivered a lot of gift ideas for older boys (roughly eight and up).

Gift Ideas for Men: This could also be called "Stuff My Husband likes and the man in your life might like it too!"

And here's one more fun idea I just purchased! I just bought this scratch off map on Etsy for one of my kids, and I'm 99.9% sure he doesn't read here so hopefully this will remain a surprise!

One of my kids really want to travel more, so I thought this might be a fun visual for him to keep track of where we go. Hopefully it doesn't backfire and make him upset that we haven't scratched off more places! My kids always give me a wishlist but I always like to have one or two little surprises for them as well and this was the best/only idea I had!

And there you have it! A few of my Festive Favorite things for Friday! As always I'm joining up with ErikaAndrea, and Narci today, and I'll see you back here on Monday!

12/4/19

Leopard Cami 2 Ways + Currently

19 comments |
So how did everyone do on Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals? Did you all shop till you dropped? I know I did my fair share to support the economy, and I'm sure I wasn't the only one because when I was trying to find exact or similar links for my outfits today, some places were just cleaned out of inventory. Usually it's not that hard to find a fairly similar pair of jeans or boots to what I'm wearing, but today was a different story! Thankfully a few key pieces today are still in stock, particularly this leopard print cami since my entire goal with this post is sharing I how take it from day to night!
RIGHT: Moto Jacket | Cami | Similar Jeans | Boots (c/o) | Earrings

I've made it a point to have similar layering pieces in my wardrobe for different levels of dressiness. It makes it very easy to transition an outfit from day to night or casual to more dressy with just a few tweaks instead of a complete outfit overhaul. So for example if I get a lot of use out of a black cardigan, I might also find a black blazer and a black moto jacket useful for dressing up the same top just a little more. Last month I shared a more business casual to date night outfit transition (find it here), using a black blazer for my daytime look. This month I went a little more casual with a cardigan, since this is what I'd be more likely to wear for my everyday casual daytime errands and child-chauffeuring.

My cami is the only exact piece still in stock here, and it's true to size (wearing XS). I wouldn't mind if it had a little more length in the torso so I could do a front tuck...but even if it did, I'm not sure it would stay put because of the silky material. It would probably just slip right out. But it's body skimming enough that I don't mind it untucked. Plus, after shopping around for different leopard camis, I just liked the print + price best on this one so that was that!

It's getting a little too cold at night for me to wear my go-to date night sandals, so my over-the-knee boots are coming back into the rotation.
 Moto Jacket | Cami | Similar Jeans | Boots (c/o) | Earrings

I swapped out my black cardigan for a black jacket and voilà! Date night ready with two simple changes. My exact OTK boots are still in stock and also true to size. They are an amazing value for under $55, and they stay up nicely on the leg. If you're been hesitant about trying this trend (especially since some of the more popular brands of OTK boots are a bit of a splurge), this is a great way to try the trend without spending a fortune. The three inch block heel also makes them really comfortable for plenty standing and walking if that's in the cards for your evening.
That does it for the outfit details today, but it's the first Wednesday of the month, so once again I'm joining Anne to share a few things for her "Currently" link up. She provides the creative prompts for this, and today's participants are sharing what we're currently wrapping, baking, lighting, sending, and enjoying. I'm also joining Kristen for "What's New" since the answers apply to that as well!

Wrapping...up 2019! It's a little hard to believe next year is 2020. That just sounds so...futuristic!! I have a few personal projects I want to finish by the end of the year so I need to get going!

Baking...with my sons. Speaking of those personal projects, I am working on teaching each of my boys how to bake two family favorite recipes of their own choosing. For one, it won't hurt them to have some basic culinary skills. For another, I think it will be cool when the go off on their own if they can impress their friends (girlfriends?? eek!) with their own homemade breads and cookies! They've each made their recipes once, but we need to work on it a few more times so they can master it on their own.

Lighting...these Vanilla Birch candles from Target are still my favorite to light around the house.

Sending...back all of the Black Friday purchases that didn't work out. Yikes. This is starting to feel like a part time job! For the record it wasn't just me...there were plenty of orders for my husband and kids too!

Enjoying...YouTube TV. My husband finally got fed up with both of our local cable service providers and decided to try YouTube TV. So far so good! I really don't watch a lot of TV (especially now that Dancing with the Stars is over), but if my husband's happy with it that's a good sign. We did have a bundled package with our Internet service, but surprisingly this is not costing us any more per month having separate providers for the two services. It's nice to have so man options these days, that's for sure!

Can't wait to hear what everyone else has been up to! See you all back on Friday!





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12/2/19

November 2019 Outfit Recap + Sale Purchases

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Welcome to my Monthly Outfit Recap, Volume 3! I started this recap as a way to consolidate all of the outfits I've worn into one spot for more convenient reference. This month was crazy weather-wise, with hot days (highs in the 90s) and cold-for-us days (rain with highs in the 50s)! My outfits definitely reflect those extremes with a mix of everything from shorts to cozy sweaters!


But first!  
Since today is Cyber Monday, I'm sharing my Black Friday purchases for anyone interested since the deals for these items should still be going strong today.

ONE: Evereve Striped Top - Stripes + tunic length + thumbhole = what's not to like about this top? I have been waiting for a sale on this and Black Friday meant I was waiting no longer. It's not a major bargain but I'll take what sales I can get.

TWO: Abercrombie Scarf - How perfect is this plaid print for the holidays? This looks like the perfect accessory to give some of my neutral outfits a holiday vibe without being too festive. It was under $20 for Black Friday and will hopefully be just as affordable for Cyber Monday.

THREE: Evereve Wine Cami - Speaking of holidays, I've been craving some rich Holiday Reds and I love a good lace trim cami. I usually favor richer reds rather than a fire engine red, so this wine color is right up my alley.

FOUR: Barefoot Dreams Cardigan - After I got my first BFD Cardigan last year, I immediately knew I wanted a second color. I had this on my birthday wishlist but when it went on sale last week...I didn't want to risk missing out on the sale!

FIVE: Express Sweater Dress - Sweater dresses are trending strong right now, and I'm intrigued since I've never owned one! It was surprisingly difficult to find a style that had a good balance of giving some shape without being too bodycon or too short. Not sure how this will work out since it says "trapeze" and I prefer more fit and flare, but I'm giving it a try!

SIX: Reversible Belt - I have been wishing I had a smaller black belt for some outfits, and this looks nice and classic/simple. And I especially love that it's reversible! It's like a 2-for-1 deal. Black and cognac all in one belt! Brilliant!

Of course, some of these may end up getting returned depending on how I like them in real life, but that's how it goes with online shopping.

Amazon Cyber Monday Deals:
If you're still doing some Cyber Monday shopping and want to check out the deals on Amazon, here are a few of the best places to browse:
Private Label Deals: My favorite category includingbrands like Daily Ritual & Goodthreads
New Balance Shoes up to 40% Off: Great deals on good quality shoes for the whole family
Champion, Puma & More up to 40% Off: Shoes + athletic apparel deals for the whole family

Outfit Recap:
So now let's go on with the outfit recap! I've included links to original posts that give more detail on fit, sizing etc. if needed.

Black Shirtdress + Tall Boots: Original Post HERE
Dress (c/o) | Boots (c/o) [Budget]  | Similar Bag | Earrings

Burgundy Sweater + Jeans: Original Post HERE

Black Printed Cami + Blazer: Original Post HERE

Black Printed Cami + Moto Jacket: Original Post HERE
Jacket | Cami | Jeans | Boots (c/o) | Necklace | Earrings | Crossbody (c/o)

Rust Moto Jacket Dressed Up: Original Post HERE
Jacket | Cami | Jeans | Belt | Shoes (c/o) [Budget] | Handbag (c/o) | Necklace | Earrings

Rust Moto Jacket Casual Style: Original Post HERE
Jacket | Tee (c/o) [Budget] | Leggings (c/o) | Similar Boots | Similar Bag [Budget] | Similar Earrings

Wrap Cardigan + Leggings:


T-Shirt Dress + Ankle Boots: Original Post HERE
Dress (c/o) | Necklace | Shirt (Similar w/ Prime) | Hat | Boots (c/o) [Budget]


Rust Cardigan + Black Cami: Original Post HERE


Striped T-Shirt Hoodie + Leggings: Original Post HERE
Striped Hoodie (c/o) | Leggings | Shoes (c/o)


Black Blouse + Jean Shorts : Original Post HERE


Red Plaid Shirt + Jean Shorts: Original Post HERE


Lightwash Denim Shirt + Leggings: Original Post HERE


Olive Utility Jacket + Jean Shorts: Original Post HERE


Black Sleeveless Top + Camo Jeans: Original Post HERE


Neutral Moto Jacket + Grey Tee: Original Post HERE
Similar Jacket (Exact - my color sold out) | Tee | Jeans | Similar Necklace | Shoes (c/o) | Nail Polish


Denim Jacket + Black Skirt: Original Post HERE

Neutral Cardigan + Grey Jeans: Original Post HERE
Similar Cami | Similar Cardi, Similar Cardi | Similar Grey Jeans | Shoes | Similar Necklace 


Olive Utility Shirt + Black Shorts: Original Post HERE

Blush Jacket + Black Tank: Original Post HERE

Well...not too bad for not taking any outfit photos the last 1.5 weeks of November. Things just got busy at the end of the month and I also had a lot of try-on photos to take. There are only so many good lighting hours in a day, and even less with all of the clouds and rain we've been having!

Thanks for reading today and Happy Cyber Monday shopping. See you back on Wednesday for a day-to-night outfit plus what I'm currently wrapping, baking, lighting, sending, and enjoying!