Jan 29, 2016

Blogging Besties: Buffalo Plaid

Last week, Alex fully rocked her red and black ensemble, weather and photo shoot snafus notwithstanding.

So this week is brought to you by: “topknot, buffalo plaid, midi skirt, strappy heels, clutch, and winter glam! ”. For your viewing pleasure, I give you: buffalo plaid.

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The extra bits: End of first semester and big things, they are a-happenin' in my life. I'll refrain from boring you all with the dirty, little details since they'll be meaningless to most anyhow. Suffice to say, never have I looked forward to retirement more than I have recently. Insert "grrr!" face here. My general malaise rolls over into sartorial territory, unfortunately. Alex gave me such a wonderful palette of style options last week, so I feel particularly guilty for not rising to the occasion. Because how adorable would a TARDIS blue midi tulle skirt have been paired with this buffalo plaid knotted at the waist with some camel peep-toe stilettos and a sparkly statement necklace thrown in the mix? And it's not as if I had weather woes plaguing me, what with our SoCal climes falling at most into the low 60s this week. (Yeah, yeah, I know. Don't rub it in!) But general malaise is a brutal mistress, so all you get from me this Blogging Besties turn around is more of my same old, same old M.O. - dress down casual that teeters on the brink of almost too cheeky and cavalier to be work appropriate. Even my attempt at a topknot (see first pic) is underwhelmingly haphazard, to say the least. Thank Buddha a blazer elevates any outfit, right? And although my fave Macbeth quote immortalized on a pendant pretty much sums up my current state of affairs, at least I summoned up enough wherewithal to accessorize. For Selah's outing next week, then, I leave her with: layers, monochrome, or a literary-inspired accessory. Vive le vendredi!

:: Just the facts, ma’am :: Buffalo plaid top – Old Navy Blazer – Gap via Poshmark Jeans – F21 Shoes – Chucks aka Converse

:: Scream it from the top of your lungs :: Breakable by Ingrid Michaelson

Jan 26, 2016

Create28 Winter Edition is Almost Here

Hi lovelies!  I don't have any outfit photos for you today but I wanted to pop in and let you know that another round of Create28 is headed your way!

For those of you who are new to Create28, Carrie, Casey and I have created one outfit prompt for the first 28 days of February.  Our challenge to you is to create 28 new outfits using each of the prompts as inspiration!

We will be sharing our looks with you on our blogs and we hope you will show us what you're wearing, too!  You can participate by linking-up with us on Mondays or by posting your outfits on Instagram.

And stay tuned, because we are spicing things up a bit this time around by including some of our favorite blogging buddies!

Jan 25, 2016

Last of Le Tote + Link-Up

Well friends, I started using Le Tote back in May and have decided that it is time to say goodbye to this clothing rental service (at least for now).

Overall, I have to say that I have been very pleased with Le Tote.  Of course there have been items that I haven't much liked, and pieces that didn't fit well, but I've been able to find something I've enjoyed wearing in each box!

Here is a peek into several of my past Le Tote deliveries.

Since I've been enjoying Le Tote, you might be wondering why I've discontinued the service.  This mostly has to do with my busy schedule.  You see, with LT, you pay around $50 per month to receive unlimited clothing deliveries.  The "unlimited" aspect is contingent, however, upon you wearing pieces promptly and then getting them returned to the post office.  Unfortunately, with my crazy teaching and coaching schedule, my last Le Tote sat on my closet floor for well over a month before I was able to return it.  I decided that this wasn't a responsible way to use my money.  Perhaps in the future when my schedule is a bit more flexible, I might revisit this service!

But before I say my final farewell to Le Tote, I have a couple more outfit pictures to share with you that have been sitting on my computer for a couple of months!

This fun, floral dress arrived in one of my deliveries this fall!  I had fun pairing it with metallic flats and a rose quartz necklace (literally rose quartz the stone, not just the Pantone color) for brunch with my best friend.

This dress had the perfect touch of glamour so I chose to wear it with heels and black tights for a special date night to see the Nutcracker with my boyfriend in November.  The "Bonjour" clutch was also a Le Tote item!  By the way, can you find the cat tail hiding in one of these pictures?

Now it's time for our weekly link-up!

Jan 22, 2016

Blogging Besties: Top Knot

Last week, Whitney looked ultra-cool and casual in her all-neutrals outfit.

I especially loved her pretty top knot. Since the sock bun (or the shame puff, as some on the Interwebs would call it) is one of my favorite hairstyles, I chose to pass on that element in my own outfit! I think a sock bun/top knot looks especially cool with fancy, glam outfits--it is elegant while keeping the hair up and out of the way to show off fun, feminine details (like my necklace in the outfit below.) 

Folks, I had such big plans for this outfit. The juxtaposition of masculine and feminine! The midi skirt! THE WINTER GLAM! I laid it out the night before, spent all this time getting ready to shoot the outfit, but once I got outside to take photos, I met the front end of a snowstorm. So despite my best efforts, the ice started sticking to everything--most importantly, the camera lens (and it messed up my bangs, to boot.) Once I went to look at the photos on my computer, I realized that most of the photos were unusable because of the snowflakes on the lens. I thought about trashing all the photos and starting from scratch with a new outfit tomorrow, but I liked this outfit so much that I decided to just use this one photo I salvaged and leave it at that. So, never mind my wonky bangs and ice spots and just enjoy the outfit! :D

For Maricel next week, the elements of this outfit are: topknot, buffalo plaid, midi skirt, strappy heels, clutch, and winter glam! 

Shirt: Old Navy (similarsimilarsimilar)
Skirt: Forever XXI (similarsimilarsimilar)
Heels: BCBG Maxazria via TJ Maxx (similarsimilarsimilar)
Necklace: J. Crew (similarsimilarsimilar)

Featured On:

Jan 21, 2016

What's In My Bag: Teacher Edition

I don't know about you, but I always enjoy when bloggers post a peek into their bags.  I think our personalities shine through what we choose to carry with us every day and it's fun to catch a glimpse into my favorite bloggers' everyday lives!  So today you get to nose through the bag I carry with me to school all week!

This fall I mentioned that I was in the market for a new, grown-up work bag.  I've been carrying fun Vera Bradley totes for a few years but felt I was ready for a more streamlined and sophisticated look. I took this opportunity to splurge on a beautiful Longchamp Le Pliage tote that I have been coveting for ten years (I kid you not)!

I fell for the simple, classic tote when I studied in Tours, France during the summer of 2006 but didn't let myself spend the money on one until this fall!  Ten years is definitely the longest any one item has been on my wish list!  Having waited so long for it makes the bag feel extra special.  For this reason, I'm featuring my Longchamp tote (in Cedar) as my most cherished item for Bri's Third Thursday Threads prompt this month.

Now that you know a little bit about this special bag of mine, let's see what's in it!

1. Paper Organizers: I teach in two different buildings plus I coach a JV cheerleading squad.  In other words, I have a lot of paperwork that I cart between home, multiple schools and various basketball games.  As a self-proclaimed school supply nut, I have fun picking-out fun colored folders and pockets in which to organize and carry all of my papers!

2.  Coach Wallet: I told you I love Rose Quartz!  I've owned this RQ (or blush pink) wallet for a few years now and still love it's pretty feminine color.  I keep all of the essentials in my wallet and then switch it back and forth between my school bag and my purse, depending on what I'm doing for the day.  It's the only item that I need to swap, which makes the bag exchange smooth and simple.  Shopbop has bunches of pretty pink wallets these days.  I mean, how can you resist those scalloped little Kate Spade numbers?!

3.  Pouches: The only downfall of the Longchamp tote is that it is lacking in interior pockets.  In order to make-up for lost pockets I've been picking-up pretty pouches when I see them.  I have one pouch for pens and pencils (Papermate Flair Pens for the win) and another pouch for my hand creme, bobby pins, and favorite lip products (I can't get enough of the honey flavor from Burt's Bees).  And here I go again with the Kate Spade, but I would love to add one of her adorable pouches to my collection!

4.  And how could I almost forget my planner?!  If I don't write something down, it doesn't get done, which makes my planner one of my most important possessions!  I also get really excited about hunting down the perfect planner!  For the past two years, I've purchased mine from Plum Paper Designs.  They are super cute and I love just about everything about them.  My only complaint is that each day they include space for three "to do's."  Tell me, who only has three things to accomplish every day?!  In any case, I'm thinking about trying something new when this planner runs out at the end of the school year (mostly because there are just so many cute planners to be had).  I'm contemplating the Day Designer by Whitney English or a Passion Planner.  Does anyone have experience with these planners or any others you would recommend?

So tell me, what's in your work bag?

Jan 20, 2016

Rose Quartz January

Good morning, friends!  Welcome to the first monthly edition of my new series about how to wear Rose Quartz throughout the year!

For me, January is the month for simplicity.  Don't get me wrong, I love the glitz, the decadent food and the excitement of the holidays.  But by the time January rolls around, I'm ready to take a step back.  It's the time to clear my busy weekend schedule to snuggle under a blanket with a book, the time to start eating healthy foods again, and it's also the time that I reach for simple yet put together outfits.

In my quest for simplicity, I like choosing a pretty blouse that will do all the talking.  If you wear a top with enough detail, you don't need lots of accessories to complete your look.  I love the blush pink and gold brocade on the back of this shirt as well as the pretty ruffle and buttons on the front.

Because this blouse is pretty enough to stand on it's own, a pair of comfy skinny jeans and metallic flats easily complete this look.

So this January, choose a simple outfit!  Find a top with Rose Quartz detailing and let it be the focal point of your ensemble!

What I'm Wearing:
Blush Top: Anthropologie (option, option)
Jeans: American Eagle (exact)
Flats: DSW (similar, similar)

Where I'm linking-up!

Jan 18, 2016

Lace + Link-Up

On Saturday, Carrie posted the style prompt Upstyle, Update for Downtown.  I had so much fun participating in her little challenge from the previous Saturday that I immediately knew I wanted to try this one, too.  One little problem though, I had no plans to get gussied-up to go downtown this weekend.  In fact, my plans were quite the opposite.  I wanted to do absolutely nothing!  You know, this kind of weekend:

So this may be considered cheating, but I had these pictures sitting on my computer from the last time I dressed-up for a night!  I wore this outfit to my parents' restaurant's holiday party.  Have I ever mentioned that my parents own a restaurant?  If you are ever in Lansing, Michigan and are looking for a delicious bowl of soup, fresh salad or sandwich, please head to Zoup! and say hello to Mark and Sue!  Anyways, I've worked for them before and am there eating frequently enough that I'm friends with most of the crew.  I was pretty excited when they all wanted me to attend their holiday party so that we could have an opportunity to socialize beyond work hours!

Now, there's something about lace that just feels so fancy to me!  I know that you can wear it during the day as well, but it really does add a little something to an evening outfit.  The same thing goes for white jeans and heeled booties.  They feel a little bit more special than the usual jeans and and flat shoes that I wear to work and run errands.  Do you agree?

If you are looking for a special something to spice-up an evening look, here are some beautiful lace blouses, good quality white jeans, and fun taupe booties!

What I'm Wearing:
Lace Blouse: LOFT (similar, similar)
Necklace: Gift (similar, similar)
White Jeans: LOFT (exact)
Booties: Target (similar, similar)

And it's that time of the week again!

Jan 15, 2016

Blogging Besties: Chucks

Selah looked sporty yet feminine in last week's outfit:

She gave me the option of passing-on masculine/feminine, a bomber jacket, a fit and flare dress, fuchsia or white Chucks (or Converse as I usually call them)!

I attempted to pass-on both the fuchsia and the Chucks but the outfit just wasn't coming together.  Then I decided to fall back on a few of my favorite, classic pieces...including the Chucks!

I've you've spent any time at Whitney à la mode you know that I love a good black and white striped shirt.  This vest has also been in my closet for years and I still love its muted purple color as much as the day I bought it.  These two pieces + my trusty over-sized pearl earrings + boyfriend jeans + Chucks made for a super easy, comfy and classic look!

If you aren't a Converse convert yet, I would highly recommend buying a pair!  They take your average comfy outfit and make it sharper and more put-together.  Plus they have various colors and styles to choose from!

By the way, my hair is finally (barely) long enough to wear a top knot!  I'm so darn excited!

Up next week in our Blogging Besties series is Alex!  Here are the pieces she has to choose from: a topknot, pearls, a striped shirt, a vest, boyfriend jeans, or Chucks...or a pet photobomb!

Meet Blu, my boyfriend's dog!

What I'm Wearing:
Shirt: Banana Republic (similar, similar)
Earrings: Macy's (similar)
Vest: Eddie Bauer (similar)
Jeans: Old Navy (exact)
Converse: DSW (exact)

Featured On:

Jan 12, 2016

Rose Quartz and Serenity

Do you know what time it is?  It's time for a new color of the year from our favorite color gurus, Pantone, of course!  And this year we get not one, but two colors to celebrate all year long!  So now, I introduce you to Rose Quartz and Serenity!

Pantone descries Rose Quartz as "a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure.  Like a serene sunset, flushed cheek or budding flower, Rose Quartz reminds us to reflect on our surroundings during the busy but lighthearted spring and summer months."

Serenity  "comforts with a calming effect, bringing a feeling of respite even in turbulent times.  A transcendent blue, Serenity provides of with a naturally connected sense of space."

If you are interested in learning more about Rose Quartz or Serenity as well as the rest of Pantone's Spring Collection, check-out their color report here.

It just so happens that Rose Quartz, or blush pink as I have called it in the past, is one of my favorite colors!  For this reason, I'm more excited about the 2016 hue than I have been in past years.  I've decided to do a monthly series featuring Rose Quartz where I put together a seasonally appropriate outfit featuring this color.  You can look for the first installment of this series on January 20th!

In the meantime, here are a few blush pink (err Rose Quartz) items that I have my eye on!

1.  This sweater that I may or may not have ordered at 60% off.  Keep your fingers crossed that it's as cute on me as it is on the model!
2.  Now if only this skirt would go on a 60% off sale!  In the meantime I might just have to settle for this adorable blush pink, cat mug (umm, all of my favorite things combined into one adorable drinking vessel!)
3.  Shopbop, being as on top of the style game as they are, is even featuring an entire collection based-on shades of Rose Quartz.  And don't even get me started on all of these beautiful blush pink pieces!
4.  My friend Kate has good things to say about Old Navy's Pixie Chinos and it would be really fun to have a pair in Mango Magic!
5.  Oh man, a blush pink graphic tee with French writing on it?!  And I thought the above mentioned mug was perfect for me!

Have you found any fun Rose Quartz pieces lately?  And what do you think about Pantone's color choices this year?

Jan 11, 2016

Winter Parties + Link-Up

Does anyone else ever find themselves stumped about what to wear to a winter party like a baby shower or a birthday party?  During the summer it's just so easy, throw on a sundress and a pair of wedges and voilà, you're ready to go!  But during the winter you have to account for chilly weather and the potential for snow and slush.

In the last month I've attended a baby shower and a birthday party.  Leading up to the events, I struggled in creating an outfit but, in the end, was pretty happy with what I chose!

I wore this outfit to one of my best friend's baby shower (not to be confused with the other best friend's baby shower).  The ponté dress was put-together without being too dressy for a brunch shower, the wedge booties seemed a bit more dressed-up than my usual black flats, and the scarf added interest and kept me warm!

Speaking of the elements in this outfit, they are some of my favorites for this season!  So much so that it might be time to add a few more to my wardrobe.  I wear both of my pairs of suede booties so frequently that I've been thinking it would be fun to purchase another, nicer pair in a different color.  Here are so many cute bootie choices.  I am kind of loving the H by Hudson pairs that are currently on sale!  Which color do you like better, the grey or brown?

What I'm Wearing:
Scarf: Cotton On (similar, similar)
Dress: Old Navy (similar)
Tights: Nordstrom (exact)
Booties: DSW- Nine West (exact)

And now it's time for that weekly link-up!

Jan 8, 2016

Blogging Besties: Favorite Jacket

Last time, Maricel was adorable in skinny jeans and a Fair Isle print. 


She gave me the prompts: "skinny jeans, furry boots, striped top, Fair Isle pattern, or favorite jacket." While I love the skinny jeans and furry boots combo, it's been in the 70s in the Southeast! So, I grabbed my favorite lightweight jacket instead (the striped sleeves that match Maricel are a bonus!).

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Up next week, Whitney can choose from: Masculine / feminine, bomber jacket, fit & flare dress, fuchsia, and white Chucks.
Dress: Old Navy (similar)
Jacket: Old Navy (similar)
Sneakers: Target (exact)
Previous Editions of Blogging Besties

Jan 6, 2016

Currently: January 2016

resolving: to diligently read my Daily Guidepost each day.  My grandma gifts the book to me each year and for those of you who haven't read it, the book provides a daily anecdote written to inspire and encourage faith.  Towards the end of 2015 I fell a bit behind in my reading and was losing faith in a few areas of life.  I'm starting 2016 with a clearer mind and renewed faith!  I plan to keep it that way!

reading: The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George.  This novel has been sitting on my nightstand for months but due to a crazy work schedule, I finally picked it up over Winter Break.  Granted I'm only a few chapters in, but progress is finally being made!

organizing: my make-up!  I received a gift card to Ulta from my parents for Christmas and plan to use it on a make-up tutorial refresher and some new products.  Before I do that, though, the make-up I already own must be organized!

loving: the Scentsy wax warmer that my sister gave me for Christmas.  The smells are delightful and I can't get enough of my glowing Eiffel Tower warmer!

craving: light, healthy food!  Does anyone else feel like they never want to eat again after the holidays or is it just me?!  I recognize that I can't stop eating completely so I've been craving some of my healthier go-to foods that got lost during the sweet potatoes (but not the gooey casserole variety).  These sweet potato quesadillas look delicious!

Photo Credits: resolving, reading, organizing, loving, craving

As usual, linking-up with Anne and Jenna!

Jan 4, 2016

A Year in Review + Link-Up

Happy New Year!  How did you ring in 2016?  I had a low key evening with my family and boyfriend while watching the Michigan State Bowl Game.  Unfortunately the Spartans didn't win, but I had a relaxing night with my loved ones while wearing my comfy green and white garb.

For our Lovely Little à la Mode Link-Up this week, Carrie, Casey and I will each be sharing our favorite looks from 2015.

Which one of the looks below do you like the best?  Let me know by leaving a comment, and cheers to another great year!

Now it's time to link-up!