Feb 29, 2016

Create28: Whitney's Recap

Even with an extra day this month, February still flew by!  Personally it has been a challenging month for me, with some family struggles (more on that Wednesday), the most blah time of the school year, and a crazy cheerleading coaching schedule.

While it was a bit of a struggle to stay on top of my Create28 posts, this season's challenge really helped to raise my spirits.  My friendship with Carrie and Casey has been strengthened and I enjoyed featuring some of my closest blogging friends.  I sometimes find it difficult to explain this hobby to outsiders, but the positivity I receive from my blogging relationships is so rewarding!  Thank you, ladies, for lifting me up when I need it the most!

Here are my personal favorite looks from Create28: Winter Looks 2016.  I'm sensing my theme this winter has been warm layers and skinny jeans.  That makes two seasons in a row that I've opted for pants over skirts and dresses.  As a dress-lover, I'm finding this really strange!  Maybe my taste and style is shifting?  Maybe it's just a phase?

Here are my favorite looks from Carrie and Casey this time around!  When I think about why I chose these looks, I realize my thoughts have gone a bit deeper now that I truly consider these ladies friends.

Carrie has been working really hard to minimize her closet and to really define her personal style.  To me, this look has Carrie written all over it!

And with a slightly heavy heart, I would like to announce that Casey will no longer be joining Carrie and me in our weekly link-ups and seasonal Create28 challenges.  While I'm sad that I won't be working with her as frequently, I'm excited that Casey has found a new calling focused on helping others achieve fitness and happiness.  To me, her sporty look reflects her new passion!

And this challenge wouldn't have been the same without a little help from our friends!  I want to take a minute to truly introduce you to some of my favorite bloggers.

Kate of A Journey in Style is a graduate student who features style that works for teaching as well as for all of the school work she accomplishes.  Kate is a lover of bears, has a great sense of humor, and a genuine spirit.  On top of that, Kate and I have a one-degree of separation connection.  We live in such a small world!

Emily of Darling, Dearest is one of my newest blogging friends.  She's got super cute style, an infectious smile, and an inspirational love for the Lord.  

If you are looking for a couple of genuine girls with great style, please check-out their blogs!  You won't be disappointed.

So thanks for following along and participating in our challenge this season!  Carrie and I hope to see you in May for Create28: Spring Looks!  And don't forget to link-up below!

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Feb 28, 2016

Create28: Jackets and Vests

Well, this is it friends! The last day of Create28 Winter Friends Edition. Tomorrow I'll recap my looks here and Whitney and Casey will do the same on their blogs. It's hard to believe how quickly this month has flown by but I'm fairly confident we all are waiting impatiently for March to enter. What I mean by that is spring is at the gates...YES! Last year I featured several of my favorite jackets that I want to share them again today. Typically, I love a good denim jacket. I have both blue and black, which I wear often. They are perfect alternatives to cardigans. Before I started on a no-shopping challenge, I was able to find a blazer and I have loved it's versatility this season. I find it another alternative to my constant cardigan wearing. But last year I searched and searched and could not find one so I purchased another jacket instead. That piece is in several looks from last year's favorite jackets in this post.


This little moto style jacket was perfect for me and created a variety of looks. It's one of my favorites and my blazer alternative from last year.

Dressy Look


Skirt & Jacket

Since I've shared earlier in the series about vests {here} I thought I would just focus one jacket with this post. It is a lightweight camo military jacket. Again, I tried to find just the military green vest or jacket but could not find one. After searching what felt like forever, I settled on this camo one instead. I've worn it quite a bit and am happy with it.


This look ended up being a little more muted than I had hoped but I would still wear because I just love neutrals. The interest comes from the little pattern mixing.

camo jacket

Well, friends that's a wrap on all of our prompts this month. Hope you'll add your jacket or vest looks on Instagram and hashtag #create28winterlooks. Remember tomorrow is the recap. Hope you'll stop back and see everything we featured this month.

week 4
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January and February Budget

It's been ages since I've done a budget post!  I have to admit that this is because, towards the end of 2015, I wasn't doing a very good job of sticking to my clothing budget.  I'm happy to report that I'm now back on track!

I'm actually finding it super easy to stay within my $250 quarterly budget at the moment.  I'm feeling completely uninspired by the clothing that's out there right now!  I actually wouldn't mind purchasing a little something for myself but I just can't find anything that's worth spending my money on.  Where have you been finding cute clothes lately?  I need some inspiration!

The first quarter of my budget runs from January-March and here's what I've purchased so far:

LOFT Striped Knit Turtleneck Tunic: Paid $18 (Originally $49.50)
This has made for a cute, comfy and easy layering piece this winter (already worn here)!  It's still available and is on sale!

Loft Cable Sweater: Paid $25 (Originally $59.50)
I've worn this sweater twice for Create28: Winter Looks (here and here) and I don't plan to stop anytime soon!  It's also available (in lots of colors) and is currently on sale.

Gap 1969 Icon Worker Plaid Standard Fit Shirt:  Paid $38 (Originally $55)
Yes, I purchased a men's shirt this month.  I was on the hunt for a classic, plaid shirt for our Winterfest Spirit Week and because I didn't actually own one that fit well and that I liked.  I wasn't loving any of the women's options but really liked the colors and classic fit of this shirt!

Total Spent: $81
Total Saved: $83
Total Remaining: $169

Linking-up with Fran's Budgeting Bloggers!

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Feb 27, 2016

Create28: Olive Pants

Hi! I'm Shaunacey and I'm soooo excited to be here!! I'm a mom of 2 busy kiddos and am constantly fighting a battle with the frump. I blog over at Simply Shaunacey about fashion, family and life in general.

When Casey asked me to contribute to Create28 I was almost sure she emailed the wrong person lol. I'm a formerly frumpy mommy of 2 super cute kiddos.

My style is pretty casual and needs to work with chasing around the littles!

I chose to style olive pants because I kind of love colored jeans but for some strange reason I have found it challenging to to style my olive pants. So for you guys, I'm getting it done! I even decided I would forgo the iphone mirror selfies and take some pics with my 'good' camera.

Here are a few ways I'll be styling my olive pants:

For a date:

Olive pants aside, the fur vest is another piece I love but struggle with. Why not get completely crazy? Plus, date night/afternoon is pretty much the only time I can get away with wearing this vest (fur and teething/drooling babies who put everything in their mouth do NOT mix - just an FYI).

Throw on some gold accessories and you're good to go!!
See how I have previously styled my fur vest here and here.

For warmer weather:

This look is a little more spring-y. I hope all you warm-weather folks will enjoy it. In the meantime, I'm up here in Canada reeling from a huge dumping of snow. Now is NOT the time to remind everyone that we don't all live in igloos... because... well... snow.

I LOVE my demin jacket. I am pretty sure I have had this since highschool (which is way longer ago than I'm willing to admit at this current moment). It's a wardrobe staple and I'm so glad it survived so many closet purges!

Plus, how perfect is it with olive pants?! Score!


A big giant THANK YOU to Casey for asking me to be a part of this!! I love what you ladies are doing!

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Feb 26, 2016

Create28: Outerwear

It's slightly ironic that I'm writing a post about outerwear on a day that I don't plan to leave my apartment.  I have been curled up with a good book, my favorite coffee and Girl Scout Cookies all day because we have a SNOW DAY (our first this year...thanks, Mother Nature)!

But, with the exception of today, outerwear is a huge part of my wardrobe during the winter months.  Actually, it seems almost silly to worry about a cute outfit while running errands these days because it stays hidden the entire time.  A cute coat, on the other hand?  Now that is a smart style investment when you spend your winter in a colder climate!

There are so many cute coats out there!  And while I'll admit to having more than one, I do try to resist the temptation to buy all the adorable coats on the market.  I mean, how many coats does one girl truly need?

One way that I resist that coat temptation is to change-up my coat looks with fun cold-weather accessories!  First, choose a good quality coat that you love.  My parents purchased this plum number from Land's End for me for Christmas a couple of years ago.  I love the rich color that adds interest but is still classic enough to work at various occasions and for years to come.

I wear this cozy knit, winter white accessory set when I'm going to a nicer event or evening out.  The traditional look and neutral color lends an air of class to the ensemble and doesn't clash with the dressier clothes that I have on underneath.  You won't find this exact set in stores because my grandma knit these pieces for me!  Isn't she talented?!  I enjoy choosing outerwear accessories that have sentimental value because it makes going outside in the cold a little bit more fun!

This is more of an everyday outerwear look for me!  The pieces are super functional and warm but I think they are still pretty cute and fun.  And again with the sentimental value, I purchased these mittens in Iceland so wearing them reminds me of a fun travel adventure!

And finally, this is more of a statement look.  I would wear this to an activity where I'm spending significant amounts of time outside and my outerwear look is doing the talking.  The bold colors are super fun and really change the look of the coat from the last two photos.

What outerwear are you wearing this winter?  Do you practically live in a coat or are you in a warmer climate where it's only sometimes necessary?  Do you own lots of coats or do you change up your looks with accessories?

My snow day companion and photo shoot assistant is the best! #crazycatlady

Don't forget to share your Create28 looks with us at our Monday link-up or on Instagram (#create28winterlooks)!  And this season's challenge is almost complete!  Join us tomorrow to see how Shaunacey styles olive pants!

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Blogging Besties: Of Agent Carter and the 1940s

Well, hullo, hullo, my little duckies! Last week, Alex looked utterly charming in her professional ensemble:

So this week is brought to you by: “stripes, blazer, navy, statement jewelry, tights, and wedges”. For your viewing pleasure, I give you: stripes, a blazer, navy, and statement jewelry.

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In the month since we last saw each other, several monumental things happened that led to my current fashion metamorphosis:
  1. I caught the pernicious bug that's been going around. It laid me out flat for six days, the most I've ever been out from work in the eighteen years I've been teaching.
  2. I was so weak that I didn't leave my bed in those six days - not even to eat.
  3. But my mind was strong, if my body was not, so to keep from going stir crazy, I ended up watching the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) franchise in perfect order. (Yes, even especially the TV shows.)
And as I plowed through superheroes and epic battles and aliens and high-tech gadgetry, the one character that captivated my imagination was the indomitable Peggy Carter. Originally set up to be Captain America's beau in the first Cap film, Peggy ended up being such a strong lead in her own right that they granted her her own TV show. Binge watching the brilliant but woefully underrated and under-advertised Agent Carter made me long for the days of yore. It didn't hurt that Hayley Atwell, who plays the titular role, is stunning and dominates the scene every time she's on screen, and that the show's costume designer, Giovanna Ottobre-Melton, has an impeccable sense of style. So of course, when I was finally well enough to function, I went balls out. I created a Big Band station on Pandora. I researched and subsequently made lunches based off 1940s menus. I forced myself to learn how to use a curling iron so I could do a proper - if haphazard - 1940s 'do. I painted my nails a shameless scarlet and even bought the exact shade of lipstick Peggy uses on the show. And - surprise, surprise! - I scoured Poshmark and eBay for any and every conceivable piece that would give me a brand-new vintage wardrobe sans the vintage price. After some careful shopping and some serious re-evaluation of my current closet, I can proudly say that I have enough pieces to keep me retro happy until the end of the school year. How perfect, then, that Alex's fashion prompts coincided with one of my 40s outfits. I tried to work the filters to show you that the suit really is navy - it photographed quite dark in the light I had available - and I took a close-up so you can see the blazer's clever use of sharp, detailed stripes (almost chevron-like in the placement, doncha think?). The statement necklace is a newly-acquired St. Jude medal. I purchased it when I realized I'd never be able to find an exact replica of Peggy's Carter family crest pendant, so I chose something that would be more personal and meaningful to me. Much more appropriate for everyday wear and less cosplay-esque, right? And at least I got the earrings pretty darned close. Anyhow, Selah's challenge for next week is comprised of the following: pearl earrings, silk, tassels, or red. Vive le vendredi!

:: Just the facts, ma’am :: Silk top – Dialogue via Poshmark Suit – Tahari Tasseled loafers – Born via Poshmark
:: Scream it from the top of your lungs :: Mambo Italiano by Rosemary Clooney
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Feb 25, 2016

Create28: Mixing Three Colors

It's time to mix up some colors...three colors to be exact is what' up today for Create28. During Create28 last year I tried a look which mixed three colors. This is something I hadn't done before but I have definitely done it since then and liked it, I might add. I tried a couple of different looks using three different colors with this prompt last year. My favorite look incorporated mixing purple, blue and green. I really like the combination quite a bit.

Three Colors 3

Wardrobe confession time: I did let the pants go in the purge. They were just lower-waisted than I liked, which made me not love them. I kept the other pieces but I recently wore the purple sweater and decided it just doesn't lay right. It's making an exit soon. Another look created using this prompt was part of my inspiration for this year's look. Well, actually I was using the inspiration from the purple sweater and had decided to pair it with the pumpkin blouse and blue sweater. Then I discovered this look from last year.

Three Colors & Leopard

So I went with this look for this year. Top pieces are the same but using the purple inspiration on bottom.


three colors

This look is one that is just okay to me. I've really struggled to love the purple skinnies. When I bought them I was super excited thinking they would go with almost everything in my wardrobe. But then....I found that to be a little false. They are also a brushed fabric and guess what? I really don't like it. Truth is I really like purple and it is one of my better colors. Letting go of these two purple items will mean I'm purple challenged in my closet. I'm sad about that but hopefully something wonderful in purple will be added in the future. What about you? What colors do love? Do you have them in your closet? Well, friends, I'd love to see your take on mixing three colors. Don't forget to share on Instagram using #create28winterlooks. Can't wait to see what you come up with today.

week 4

Tomorrow Whitney is up with outerwear. This is something I have not much experience with this year because of our extremely warm temperatures so I'm looking forward to seeing what she puts together.
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Feb 24, 2016

Create28: Business Attire

Hi there, y'all! I am Jennie from A Pocketful of Polka Dots and I am so thrilled to be a part of Carrie, Whitney and Casey's Create 28 Winter Friends Edition. Today I will be sharing a look I know a little something about - Business Attire.

Create 28, Office Looks, Pencil Skirts, Winter Looks, Professional Style, Black Blazer, Nine West Black pumps

When Carrie approached me about sharing a professional look, I was excited because my closet is packed full of pencil skirts, trousers, button-ups, and blazers. The only problem I had was narrowing it down to what kind of business attire to showcase. I finally went with what you see today. When it comes to dressing for a more formal office environment, I've been told many women find the clothes to be boring and uninspiring. Here are a few style tips I use to bring some visual interest to my professional looks:

-Add a bold color - with a top, jacket, skirt, pants, or shoe.
-Prints break up the blahs - add at least one or two to your look.
-A fun shoe is a fabulous way to jazz up even the most basic of business attire.
-Accessorize! Jewelry and scarves truly help elevate a look and are a great way to add personality.
-Patterned, textured, or colorful tights are perfect for adding visual interest and additional warmth when wearing a skirt or dress.
-Layers are your friend. Instead of wearing just a sweater, add a button-up underneath, and perhaps go with a vest or jacket over that. I could go on and on with this one, as the possibilities are endless.

Create 28, Office Looks, Pencil Skirts, Winter Looks, Professional Style, Black Blazer, Nine West Black pumps

Create 28, Office Looks, Pencil Skirts, Winter Looks, Professional Style, Black Blazer, Nine West Black pumps, Charming Charlie Necklace



I hope I was able to offer you a little style inspiration today. The next time you have to dress for a big meeting, or just a regular day, perhaps these suggestions will help you remember that dressing professionally does not have to mean boring. For more of my office looks, as well as casual style, swing on by A Pocketful of Polka Dots.
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Feb 23, 2016

Create28: Mixing Textures

One of my favorite things about winter clothing is soft, cozy textures!  And why wear just one when you can wear a couple at a time?  Mixing textures is an easy way to add interest to an outfit if you don't want to add more color or patterns.

My favorite texture to work with is lace but I decided to do something a little bit differently today.  It is, after all, Create28 where we put together 28 new outfits with what we have in our closets!

Here I've mixed the cable knit in the sweater with the flannel in the skirt.  Yes, the skirt is made of flannel and it has an elastic waistband.  Can you say hello pajamas in skirt form!?  It's difficult to see in the photos but my flats are quilted, adding a third texture to the mix.

The colors are subdued and there aren't a lot of patterns going on, but the textures make this outfit more interesting than just the basics.  By the way, I'm sorry about the poor quality of the pictures.  This is what a real teacher looks like at the end of the day: a little wrinkled with faded make-up but still standing and (kind of) smiling!

What I'm Wearing:
Sweater: LOFT (exact)
Necklace: Chewable Charms (exact)
Skirt: LOFT (similar, similar)
Tights: Anthropologie (similar)
Flats: Lindsay Phillips (similar)

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Feb 22, 2016

Create28: Pinned It and Did It

Today's "Pinned It and Did It" attempt could be considered a Pinterest fail.  My outfit didn't quite turn-out like the photo in the pin.  However, in a pinch, I took what I had in my closet and I made it work.  I think I still pulled-off the easy, comfy vibe from the inspiration photo so I'm going to consider it a win!

I initially had on a light brown, cable knit cardigan but it was a little too fitted to create the look I wanted.  This one is super comfortable so it's the first one I grabbed as I was heading out the door to meet my mom for a day of shopping.

What have you been pinning lately?

What I'm Wearing:
Shirt: Dressbarn (similar)
Cardigan: LOFT (similar, similar)
Jeans: American Eagle (exact)
Purse: Nordstrom Rack (similar, similar)
Converse: DSW (exact)

And now it's time to see your Create28 looks!

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Feb 21, 2016

Create28: Twin Style

Hi everyone!  We are Katey and Betsy, identical twins who write the blog Two Peas in a Blog together.  We are so excited to do a post for Carrie, Whitney and Casey's Create28 Winter Friends Edition (#create28winterlooks).

We were asked to do a "Twin Style": Date Night Looks.  These 2 looks are what we usually gravitate to when we get the luxury of a night out.  With 5 kids between us, that can be tricky!

Lace look:  Top: Wayf, also here // Jeans: Old Navy // Heels: Jessica Simpson // Clutch: old, love this, more affordable option here

My go-to "date night" outfit usually consists of jeans and a statement top.  I'm loving the sexiness of the black lace mixed with the girliness of the ruffled peplum.  Our date nights usually consist of  going to one of our favorite restaurants for dinner and enjoying some wine and a chance to talk and catch up.  Having 3 kids, sometimes the craziness of the everyday gets in the way of truly having a conversation.

Dress Look: Dress: Anthropologie // Tote: Forever21 // Heels: here and here // Earrings: Baublebar 

When I think of a date night look, I always think of something girly and feminine.  But it also has to be something I feel comfortable and confident in.  Dresses are always an easy look.  With some great jewelry and strappy heels, you're ready to go.  I love the loose, flowy fit of this dress and it's beautiful floral pattern.  The perfect look for drinks and dinner!

What is your "go-to" date night look?

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