Dec 30, 2015

Break Brain + Link-Up

Welcome to the weekly Monday Lovely Little à la Mode Link-Up...on Wednesday?!

Yes friends, this teacher brain is officially on break and completely forgot to post the link-up a few days ago!  I wasn't planning to take a blogging hiatus but apparently I needed one!

I don't have an outfit post ready for you today but here is a little peek into my holiday season.

And now it's time to link-up your favorite posts from the last week!

Dec 21, 2015

Comfy Christmas Break Style + Link-Up

Ahh, I have finally made it to Christmas Break!  While I am super passionate about teaching, it can be a physically and emotionally draining job.  Lately I have been feeling particularly zapped of energy and a little bit down in the dumps so I am really ready for this time away from work.

I'm not going to lie, I plan to spend most of my vacation days in leggings, a comfy top and fuzzy socks.  But when I do actually have to get dressed, I plan to be in outfits just like this one!

Tunic top + cozy scarf + comfy jeans + Converse = done!  I think that the scarf and the Converse take this outfit from a little bit boring to put-together without being much work at all!

And since it is winter in Michigan, a cute coat is a must for any last-minute holiday errands I will be running.  I bought this coat years ago at H&M when I lived in France and I still love it as much as the day I bought it.  The plaid and toggles add fun details to any outfit!

On the day that I wore this ensemble, I actually took a turn behind the camera to take maternity photos for one of my best friends and her husband!  (Fun fact: I have two best friends and they are both pregnant right now!)  We had so much fun and I don't remember the last time I laughed as hard as I did while trying to pose the two of them in Pinterest-y ways.  Luckily, Best Friend's Husband was accommodating enough to snap a few photos of Nicole and me, too!

Showing Best Friend's Husband how it's done!

Nicole is due on Thursday and I CAN'T WAIT to meet the little one!

What I'm Wearing:
Top: Banana Republic (similar, similar)
Scarf: LOFT (similar, similar)
Jeans: American Eagle (exact)
Converse: DSW (exact)
Coat: H&M (similar, similar)

Now it's time for that weekly Lovely Little à la Mode Link-Up!

Dec 18, 2015

Blogging Besties: Skinny Jeans

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This week is brought to you by: “ballet flats, floral top, pashmina scarf, a chunky cardigan, or skinny jeans”. For your viewing pleasure, I give you: skinny jeans. The extra bits: So the good news is that, in the month that I've taken a break from this blog, several positive things have resulted. My clothes shopping has pointedly declined; I've shut down my Poshmark store and have donated four full trash bags of my store's product to the Epilepsy Foundation's thrift store program; I finished knitting a wool blanket large enough to satisfy my husband; I have loads more free time on my hands to indulge in brainless, de-stress activities like binge watch Netflix shows (Daredevil and Jessica Jones were uh-mazing!) or play FB games (everyone needs to join me in breeding dragons on Dragon City).

The not-so-good news is that I do feel my sartorial IQ slipping. I've gotten rather lackadaisical about my outfits, and I actually, honestly don't really care all that much. I've not bothered with accessorizing or layering or pattern mixing for weeks now. I've worn the same pair of shoes two days in a row one time. And I think I'm looking more and more "age appropriate" and "mom-like" every day.

Thank Buddha for skinny jeans. They've become my de rigeur, go-to item because they allow me to be casually put together even in my gradual fashion decline. And lucky me, it happens to be one of my choices from Alex's ensemble last week.

Here, you see them worn in a perfect example of my new style niche - I like to call it #jcrewgoals. They've got that clean-cut, all-American, East Coast suburban vibe that I've always been drawn to but could never afford. However, with the help of Poshmark (yes, that's an authentic Downtown field jacket acquired for free because I had credit) and Old Navy (I get all my striped tops from them), I think I managed to successfully dupe a catalog-worthy look, yeah?

And kudos to my crafty, Pinterest-obsessed daughter for showing me how to cut the sleeves off a too-tight-across-the-shoulders sweatshirt and repurposing it as a vest rather than throwing it away. I'm gonna succeed in sustainable living yet!

Anyhow, Blogging Besties is taking a break so all four of us gals can enjoy friends and fam for the holidays (and watch Star Wars. Oh, that's just me? Okay then...)

So Selah’s got some time, but when we return in two weeks, she's tasked to play with the following: skinny jeans, furry boots, striped top, Fair Isle pattern, or favorite jacket.

Vive le vendredi! And season's greetings to one and all!

Dec 14, 2015

Winter Wedding + Link-Up

There isn't a whole lot in this world that I love more than a pretty dress, the holiday season, or a sparkling wedding.  So when I get to wear the above-mentioned pretty dress to a sparkling wedding during my favorite season, you could say that I am in heaven!

I attended a beautiful celebration of love at the end of November.  The event was lavish and the dress code was black tie only.  And oh do I love an excuse to wear a beautiful, formal dress!  

For this occasion, I chose a mixed media dress made of black lace and berry brocade.  The materials felt well-made and decadent and the colors were perfect for the holidays!

To complete the look I added a velvet clutch and pumps.  I felt comfortable and beautiful as I danced the night away with my family.

Are you wondering what to wear to a holiday event or winter wedding?  I think that lace makes for a perfectly elegant and holiday-ready look.  Here are a few beautiful lace dresses for you to peruse.

Perhaps it was serendipity, but earlier in the fall, the lovely Ada of Elegance and Mommyhood invited me to participate in a Winter Wedding collaboration.  I had enjoyed working together to feature Fall Wedding Looks so I jumped right in!

Please visit these other beautiful bloggers today to see what they chose for their Winter Wedding Looks!  I love how different yet perfect for a holiday occasion each of our looks are!  Which would you wear?

And now it's time for that Lovely Little à la Mode Link-Up!

Dec 11, 2015

Blogging Besties: Ballet Flats

Happy Friday, friends! I am only one week away from the end of the semester, and I am SO ready for a break! 

Last week, Whitney wore this ensemble in front of the most gorgeous background EVER:

I chose to pass on ballet flats. This is a huge copout for me because I wear ballet flats so often that they're a standard for me, but I like this outfit and it had flats so who cares? I pulled out the purple of this pattern for the scarf and green for the shoes, and then added a cardigan because it's COLD here! 

Tank: Thrifted (similarsimilar)
Jeans: Forever XXI (similarsimilarsimilar)
Cardigan: Old Navy (similarsimilarsimilar)
Flats: Old Navy (similarsimilarsimilar)
Scarf: Thrifted (similarsimilarsimilar)

Next week, Maricel will pass on one of the following elements: ballet flats, floral top, pashmina scarf, purple, a chunky cardigan, or skinny jeans! 

Featured On:

Dec 8, 2015

A Gift Guide for the Glamorous Teacher

Do you have a special teacher in your life?  Perhaps she's your sister, your daughter or your best friend?  Or maybe you want to treat your son or daughter's favorite teacher?

Between mountains of papers to be graded and sneezing students, teaching isn't usually considered a glamorous job.  But this special teacher of yours might have a glamorous side just waiting to shine through.  Pamper her a little this Christmas by treating her to a few practical and a few fancy gifts that will make her life easier and her job a bit more fun!

1.  Teachers are constantly on their feet and talking with students, parents, colleagues and administrators.  I can't tell you how much water I drink during the school day.  It's so important to stay hydrated.  A pretty water bottle makes hydration more fun and adds a pop of glamour to a teacher's desk.

2.  Oh, school supplies.  I think I might have become a teacher so I never have to stop buying school supplies.  And there are just so may pretty options out there!  These notebooks are gorgeous, these pencils are super cute, and don't even get me started on these pencil cases!

3.  I have never worked in a classroom that maintains a comfortable temperature.  I can go from sweating in the morning to freezing in the afternoon.  The key to staying comfortable is layers!  I like to keep a jacket or scarf on hand for those times when I need a bit of extra warmth.  These scarves would definitely be a splurge but perhaps you are in a position to treat that special teacher in your life.  You know she can't afford to on her teacher budget!

4.  Staying fortified is just as important as staying hydrated during the day.  On top of that, teachers don't get a ton of time to eat lunch, let alone snack.  I've recently become addicted to Justin's Almond Butters.  They are delicious, healthy, and come in convenient, individual servings!  The butters come in several different flavors and would make for a perfect stocking stuffer!

5.  On my list of things I need to survive a school day, coffee is number one!  I don't allow myself a single sip of coffee until I've made it to work.  It's my reward for getting the day started.  I enjoy that warm, creamy beverage through my first couple of classes.  A pretty mug just adds to my enjoyment (and that cat one, too cute).

6.  Are you surprised that we've come back to school supplies?  Your favorite teacher spends hours per week grading papers...and grading papers is way more fun with brightly-colored pens.  Papermate's Flair Pens are my personal fave.

7.  Cold and flu season has definitely arrived at my school.  To stay healthy, I swear by Emergen-C.  They are flavored powders that you add to a glass of water and that pack a Vitamin C punch.  I drink one once a day and I truly believe that it helps keep the germs away.  My favorite flavor is Tangerine!

8.  And finally, a chic tote is a must for the glamorous teacher!  I am constantly carrying papers, props and school supplies back and forth to work.  Target has some super cute and affordable totes.  If you're looking for a special treat, though, Shopbop has some beautiful options!

Dec 7, 2015

Professional and a Lovely Little à la Mode Link-Up

Monday just seems like an appropriate day to talk about work-wear, don't you think?  Often I find that my best inspiration for teaching outfits comes at the beginning of the week when I'm fresh and energized.  Last week I showed you a typical school outfit for me.  Today I'm featuring a slightly more professional look.

Truth be told, a lot of "professional" clothing feels too straight-laced for teaching.  Other teachers may disagree but I just don't feel relatable to students when I'm wearing a pencil skirt.  And I'm less apt to be walking around the classroom, helping students when I'm wearing 3-inch pumps.

One way that I do like to spruce up my work-wear, however, is by adding a blazer.  Blazers provide that extra professional touch but I still feel comfortable doing my job.  Patterned blazers, in particular are a fun way to to up the professionalism!  Here are a bunch of patterned blazers that would be great additions to your professional wardrobe (I'm particular to the plaid ones, this time of year).

I wore this particular outfit for the first night of parent-teacher conferences.  My outfit had to take me from teaching by day to talking to parents all night.  I was comfortable and I felt put-together for a crazy, 12-hour day!

What I'm Wearing:
Blazer: Macy's 
Dress: Banana Republic Outlet (similar, similar)
Necklace: Peach Jewel (exact)
Watch: JORD
Tights: Nordstrom (exact)
Booties: DSW (exact)

Now it's time to link up!

Dec 4, 2015

Blogging Besties: Green-Hued Skirt

Selah must have known how much I would love this outfit of hers when she posted it last week:

I mean, do you remember this post?  Obviously I could have just recreated Selah's entire look and I would have loved it!  But in an attempt to not be completely repetitive, I decided to pass-on my favorite skirt.

Like Selah, I chose patterned top to pair with my skirt but instead of stripes I went with a subtle animal print in greys.  A statement pearl necklace and a bit more grey completed a comfy yet put-together outfit that I wore to one of my best friend's baby showers!

And I can't believe that this purse is finally making its first blog appearance!  Late this summer I was on the hunt for a quality, mustard cross-body purse.  But alas, instead of finding a yellow bag, I fell in love with this beautiful little burgundy number.  I absolutely adore the rich color and the glossy leather.  The quality is amazing and I would highly recommend checking-out some of the other gorgeous Liebeskind leather goods.  And I just have to mention that Shopbop has determined burgundy bags to be one of fall 2015's biggest trends!  (Not that I need another, but I kind of love the third one in).

Alright Alex, your choices for items to pass-on next week are a (subtle) animal print, a sweater, a (green-hued) skirt, grey, tights and ballet flats!

Featured On:

What I'm Wearing:
Sweater: c/o Le Tote (exact)
Necklace: Amazon (exact)
Skirt: Old Navy (similar, similar)
Tights: Anthropologie (similar)
Flats: Etsy

Where I'm linking-up!

Nov 30, 2015

Another Monday + Link-Up

Well, it's Monday again, friends!  I'm sure I'm not the only one that feels like Thanksgiving weekend just flew by!  I had lofty goals of checking-off to-do lists, spending quality time with loved ones and passing much of the time lounging about.  Do I feel like I got enough of any one of these things?  Of course not!

Why is it that time seems to fly the fastest around the holidays?  This is my absolute favorite time of the year and I wish that the clock would quit spinning so that I could truly enjoy what this season has to offer.

But here we are, back to the daily grind.  In honor of that daily grind, I'm featuring a pretty typical teaching outfit for me!

To me, the key to a good teaching outfit is comfort and fit!  When you are at the front of a classroom, you have about thirty pairs of eyes on you at any given time.  It's super important to not be tugging at your clothes or worried that something isn't covered-up properly.

Cute colored pants and a top with a bit of detailing are easy pieces to mix and match for a put-together teaching look.

My final "must have" for a day of teaching is a warm layer.  I teach in an old building with really inconsistent heat so my denim jacket goes on and off several times a day depending on the temperature.

What does a typical work outfit look like for you?

What I'm Wearing:
Top: J.Crew Factory (similar, similar)
Pants: c/o Stick Fix (similar, similar)
Denim Jacket: hand-me-down (similar)
Flats: DSW (similar)

Time to link up!

Nov 27, 2015

Blogging Besties: Black and White Stripes

Last week, Maricel wore an infinity scarf and double dog dared me to wear one too.

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While I respond well to encouragement, my typical reaction to a dare is:

So, no, I did not pass on the infinity scarf. Sorry, not sorry. Instead, I went with black and white stripes and a deep green skirt.

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Alright Whitney, I know I made this easy on you! You can choose from: stripes, circle skirt, green, ankle boots, fringe, and a pendant necklace.
Top: Chaps via Kohl's (similar)
Skirt: Old Navy (exact, in Night Dive)
Ankle Boots: Journee Collection via Amazon (similar)
Necklace and charm: Gingersnaps (exact necklace, exact charm)
Previous Editions of Blogging Besties

Nov 23, 2015

My Take on the GYPO Fall Challenge + Link-Up

With a blanket of snow covering the ground here in Michigan, I think it's time to recap my experience with the Get Your Pretty On Fall Challenge so that I can move on to winter style!

For those of you who aren't familiar with the Get Your Pretty On challenges, I'll start with the basics.  Each seasonal challenge costs around $50.  Upon signing-up, you receive a shopping list of both classic and trendy items that comprise a capsule wardrobe.  You purchase the items according to your own budget or find the pieces (or similar ones) already hanging in your closet.  Once the trial begins, you receive daily outfit formulas featuring the items from the list.  You get twenty-some outfits that are ready-to-wear!

What I liked:

I really love this challenge in theory.  I love the idea of remixable pieces.  I love pairing classic and trendy looks.  I love the hunt for all of the items on the list according to my budget.  And I especially love having cute outfits already planned for me (that way, getting dressed for school at 5:30 in the morning doesn't feel so daunting).

What I didn't like:

But like I said, I love the challenge in theory.  In execution, it just didn't work for me.  For one, sometimes the "outfit of the day" didn't work for what I had planned.  I just can't wear distressed boyfriend jeans to work on a Tuesday.  I ended-up using the outfit ideas out of order to fit with my plans but, for me, this created more work than just choosing an outfit from my closet.  I would spend my evening combing through all of the outfit combinations to find one that would fit my needs.  The next struggle was in making sure that all of the pieces I needed for that outfit were actually clean.

The other trouble I encountered was with the clothing items that I substituted.  For example, I couldn't find the grey cable knit sweater on the shopping list so I substituted the recommended neutral sweater that I already had in my closet.  I just didn't like my outfits featuring substituted pieces as well as I would have if I had purchased the actual recommended items.  This makes me feel like I want to buy each specific piece on the lists in the future...which just isn't compatible with my teacher budget.

In Summary:

I know that lots of women love these challenges so I'm in no way trying to portray it in a negative light, I just want to be honest about my experience.  And even though I found the program to be more difficult than I expected, I did find myself in the middle of a great Facebook community of women who were participating as well.  Everyone in the group was super encouraging and supportive.

All of that being said, I will not be participating in the Winter Challenge.  I'm hopeful that I can try another one in the future but I just don't have the money or time to give this next one a go.

The Outfits:

And finally, here are two outfits that I created based on the prompts from the Fall Challenge.

This was one of my favorite outfits that I created from the daily prompts.  I really enjoyed the color pairing that I wouldn't necessary have thought of myself.

And this is an outfit that I didn't necessarily dislike but I would have liked it better if I had the grey cable knit sweater with a white shirt underneath.

What I'm Wearing:
Scarf: Target (similar, similar)
Pink Shirt: Old Navy (exact)
Red Pants: c/o Stitch Fix (similar, similar)
Gold Flats: DSW (similar)
Camel Sweater: J.Crew Factory (similar)
Pearl Necklace: Amazon (exact)
Black Jeans: Zara (similar, similar)
Leopard Flats: LOFT (similar, similar)

And now it's time for the Lovely Little à la Mode Link-Up!

Nov 20, 2015

Blogging Besties: of super casual Friday

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This week is brought to you by: "green, lace dress, cargo jacket, fall statement necklace, combat boots, earth tones, and fall classics". For your viewing pleasure, I give you: green, cargo jacket, combat boots, and fall classics (as in, the luvverly infinity scarf). The extra bits: I think it was a good thing for me to go on a style hiatus. Because I'm finding myself getting quite lax and relaxed with my wardrobe choices recently. (Actually, is it a chicken or egg scenario? That is, have I gotten more lax because I went on hiatus or is it because I went on hiatus that I became more lax?) Ah, conundrums! Suffice to say, I was quite pleased and relieved when I saw Alex's challenge from last week. Cargo jacket? Combat boots? I heart you, girl! Coz that's the perfect combo for a super Casual Friday ensemble. Like Alex, I had a hard time finding the perfect cargo jacket and this isn't it. It's too stiff and green for my tastes. But it's the warmest of the bunch (Oh, yeah. You know I bought and kept three of them in my search for the perfect one) so it won the toss-up. I'm still searching for my holy grail of cargo jackets, but until I can afford the J.Crew downtown field jacket, my quest continues. The combat boots are pretty perfect, purchased after my cheapie Charlotte Russe ones bit the bullet this summer. Of course, it took me multiple tries and several returns to find them - you hear that, cognac booties?! - but eBay did me right eventually. And the striped shirt? That's a Pinspiration, my friends. Otherwise, I would've thrown on a chambray button-down and called it a day. See what I mean by lax and relaxed? I still do feel more ready for a leaf-strewn walk in the woods rather than a suburban classroom, but such is my life nowadays. Anyhow, here's Selah's challenge for next week: forest green, stripes, black leggings, infinity scarf (Do it, Selah! I double dog dare you! LOL!), or outdoorsy wear. Vive le vendredi!

:: Just the facts, ma’am :: Top – Anne Taylor LOFT Jacket – F21 Pants – Karmaloop Scarf – H&M Boots – G by Guess
:: Linking :: Fun Fashion Friday @ Fashion Should Be Fun
:: Scream it from the top of your lungs :: Shake It Off by Taylor Swift

Nov 16, 2015

Paix pour Paris

I'm not sure that I have the right words to write this post.  I've spent the past several hours combing through articles, images and videos describing the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday.

I can't begin to imagine the shock and heartache that the people of Paris and of France are feeling.  While the French people are experiencing significant pain, I'm feeling my own personal hurt regarding these attacks.  I began studying French when I was twelve years old and have since chosen to build my life around my passion for this culture.  I've studied French, I've lived in France, I've loved the people that I met while there.  I currently teach French, sharing everything I love about this country with students every single day.  Today I hurt for the beautiful country and the beautiful people who hold a special piece of my heart.

While you are reading this, I will be talking to my students about the terrible events of Friday.  In the hours I've spent looking through pictures and watching videos of reactions around the world, I've created lessons for this week that I hope are sensitive, informative, heartfelt and hopeful.

Having spent my energy and emotion figuring out how to present this to my students, I haven't written an outfit-related post for today.  If you happen to follow my little corner of the internet, I know that you come for a light-hearted chat about personal style, so I apologize for not having that conversation with you today.  I'll be back with another outfit in my next post but, for today, here are some of my favorite images of Paris that I've taken during a few of my trips to the City of Love and Light.  Paix pour Paris.

While I didn't have an outfit post ready for you today, I still want to see your posts!

Nov 13, 2015

Blogging Besties: Green

I am just in love with Whitney's outfit from last week. That shirt and skirt look like they were made for each other--an effortless mix of colors and patterns.

I kind of copped out this week and passed on the color green, because I am enamored with this jacket I found at Old Navy! I have been looking for the perfect casual cargo jacket for the longest time, and I've ordered several from Old Navy in the past only to return them because they weren't right. I think what I like best about this is that it's more of a cropped length like my denim jacket--I can still wear it with a shirt and pants, but it's short enough to be flattering when worn with a dress (as opposed to longer jackets that bulk out at the hips.) It's also a soft cotton so although the color gives off the cargo look I want, it's super comfortable and fits so nicely. 

I wore it a few other ways this week, but for this outfit I paired my cargo vest and combat boots with my lace dress for a mix of masculine and feminine pieces. I finished it off with a multi-colored gem necklace which I have loved for this fall! 

Dress: Thrifted (similarsimilarsimilar)
Jacket: Old Navy (similarsimilarsimilar)
Necklace: Thrifted (similarsimilarsimilar)
Boots: Target (similarsimilarsimilar)

The elements of this outfit are: green, lace dress, cargo jacket, fall statement necklace, combo boots, earth tones, and fall classics!