May 31, 2016

Create28 Starts Tomorrow!

Hello, friends!  I'm back and recovering from the most spectacular birthday weekend ever!  I will definitely be sharing the details of my vacation soon.

In the meantime, Create28: Summer Edition with the ladies of The Blended Blog starts tomorrow!  We hope that you will play along by dressing according to the daily prompts.  You can post your outfit pictures on Instagram with #theblendedblogstyle and link-up with us on Wednesdays!  Here are the prompts for the first week of June:

We are kicking-off the series with Lana who will be styling her summer go-to look!  What is your favorite outfit combination when the weather gets warmer?

May 28, 2016


Today I'm turning thirty in the happiest place on earth, Disney World!  Pop-over to my Instagram to follow along as my favorite people and I pamper ourselves, "try the grey stuff," ride Splash Mountain, marvel over the fireworks, sip Butterbeer and drink our way around the world!


May 27, 2016

Blogging Besties: A Contradiction in Shorts

The Blogging Besties series is the brain child of Alex @ Undergraduate Style and Whitney @ Whitney à la Mode. In 2015 the series expanded to include Maricel @ My Closet Catelogue and me, Selah @ A Bibliophile's Style. It's based on the idea of "take one, pass it on," but we're passing on an element from another blogger's outfit. It's a fun challenge that inspires us to be creative!

Last week, Maricel wore a fabulous handmade sweater:
Image (21)

The prompts she gave me were "something red, something striped, something contradictory, or a handmade item".

As challenging as "something contradictory" sounds, I actually thought of these shorts rights away (probably because I was wearing them when I got the email of her post). The shorts are contradictory in two ways. First, they are grey bouclé tweed, which is a fabric that screams COLD WEATHER, but they're shorts, a decidedly warm weather article of clothing. Secondly, the fabric and style of the shorts are on the dressy side, but they're actually so stretchy and comfortable that they feel like pajamas.

I leave Whitney the following prompts: pajama clothes (clothes that feel like pajamas, unless she wants to show us her actual pajamas), eyelet lace, floral jewelry, or new hair!
Eyelet Tank: Kohl's (Similar)
Shorts: Old Navy (Similar)
Pendant: Michael's (Similar)
Sandals: Payless (Similar)
Previous Editions of Blogging Besties

May 26, 2016

Rose Quartz May

Phew!  I'm barely squeezing-in my rose quartz post for the month!  Can you believe that May is almost over?!  By this time tomorrow I will be headed to Detroit to catch an airplane to Orlando for my birthday!

In case you've missed my previous posts, Pantone has chosen rose quartz to be the official color for 2016.  Given my love for this shade of pink, I've challenged myself to wear it differently each month of the year.  You can catch my previous months here.

Can you spot my rose quartz today?  I'm wearing my pink, ultra-comfy Sperry's!  So this month (what's left of it at least) I challenge you to wear rose on your toes!

I wore this outfit on a beautifully sunny day spent at the East Lansing Art Festival.  It is one of my favorite local events of the year.  I love wandering the booths and admiring the creative ideas and talents that the artists have on display.  Usually I buy a little something (often jewelry) but not this year...unless you count a delicious scoop of ice cream!

I struggled to come-up with an outfit around this pair of shoes for some reason.  In the end I chose super basic pieces and I'm really pleased with the result.  Sometimes simple is best!  I felt comfy yet put together all day!

What I'm Wearing:
Tee: Old Navy (exact)
Jeans: American Eagle (exact)
Sunnies: LOFT (exact)
Purse: c/o Shopbop (similar)
Shoes: Gift (similar, similar)

Where I'm linking-up!

May 25, 2016

A Nautical Look for Style Perspectives

It seems to me that nautical-inspired outfits are a fresh and in-style look each time summer rolls around.  Because who doesn't think about the seashore and salty ocean waves when the weather is warmer?!  I think the reoccurring appearance of nautical pieces every year makes this look a true summer classic!  Nicole has picked this sunny style for the ladies of The Blended Blog to feature today.

What comes to your mind when you think about putting together a seafaring-inspired outfit?  Stripes, navy, blues, espadrilles and gold accessories are, to me, defining elements of nautical style.

Stripes, check! Navy, check!  Blues, espadrilles and gold accessories, check, check and check!

I wanted to wear this swing dress from Old Navy as soon as it arrived at my doorstep!  It is so so comfortable and flattering (not to mention classically nautical).  It will be fun to play around with different cardigans and accessories but for its first outing, I stuck with monochromatic blues.

I actually wore this outfit on Mother's Day.  My mom and I had a lovely day spent shopping, indulging in sushi and sipping on wine.  I'm lucky to have a mom who I have so much fun with!

Can we take a quick moment to admire this purse?  This is possibly the nicest purse that I've ever owned.  I love the color for spring and summer but the quality leather and shape make it a purse that I can use for years to come. I purchased the purse using Shopbop credits.  I'm so grateful for my experience working with Shopbop because I can treat myself to quality pieces that I wouldn't normally be able to afford.

Well friends, this wraps up the Style Perspectives series for The Blended Blog!  Please link-up your nautical looks below!

But before we get to that link-up, I'm excited to announce the next style series with TBB!  Do you remember Create28 that I've done with Carrie and Casey?  Well we are switching it up and doing it with our friends from The Blended Blog this time.  YOU are still an important part of this challenge so you will still receive daily style prompts and link-ups will be available on Wednesdays.  Here are the prompts for the first week!

May 20, 2016

Blogging Besties :: Knits

Blogging Besties is a weekly series featuring Whitney of Whitney à la mode, Alex of Undergraduate Style, Maricel of ::My Closet Catalogue:: and Selah of A Bibliophile’s Style. Each week, one of the bloggers will choose one component from the previous week’s outfit to pass on in a brand new look. This “take one, pass it on” challenge is an inspiration to stretch your closet and your imagination!
Last week, Alex looked utterly adorbs in one of my favorite ensembles of hers to date:


So this week is brought to you by: “monochromatic, knits, skater skirt, or tortoiseshell jewelry". And for your viewing pleasure, I give you: a knit.

Image (21)

Yes, my friends, I knit that! Here is proof positive that I didn't just abandon my regular blogging activities to loll about with slothful abandon. I am doing productive things with my finite spare time. Not only have I rediscovered reading again (currently have 30 books checked out from the library), but I also pulled out ye ol' knitting paraphernalia and whipped up this bad boy in a week. The knitting obsession was reborn partly due to a paucity of 40s inspired knits. I was looking for a specific length and sleeve style and neckline and I couldn't find anything on eBay or Poshmark that suited my fancy. In frustration, I turned to Ravelry and queued up over thirty knitting patterns that worked for me. And because we'd experienced a brief cold spell when this all went down, this was the first project I attempted.

Image (20)

 It's 50% wool/50% alpaca, but the design is more apropos for warm weather, and although seemingly contradictory, I made this choice on purpose. It means the piece is warm enough for So.Cal cold spells (especially if I layer; imagine this over a fun long-sleeved button down top!) but cool enough to do double duty on milder spring days (hence the short sleeves and boat neckline). Since it was decidedly warm on the day of my photo shoot, you see it styled here with a flirty trumpet-esque skirt and Mary Janes sans stockings. For Selah’s turn next week, I challenge her to the following: something red, something striped, something contradictory, or a handmade item. Vive le vendredi!
:: Just the facts, ma’am :: Top – handmade by moi Skirt – Banana Republic via eBay Heels - Marimba by Aerosoles
:: Scream it from the top of your lungs :: Summertime by Ella Fitzgerald

May 19, 2016


It is with a heavy heart that I write this post and I'm not sure that I have the right words to express my feelings.  You may already be wondering why I've titled this post Happy and I hope that you will read until the end to find out.

A little over one week ago, my Grandpa Emery passed away peacefully at the age of 92.

If you have to go, and everyone does eventually, he really left us in the best way possible.  On Tuesday evening the doctors told us that we had about twelve hours left with grandpa.  This gave us time to prepare our hearts for his passing.  Grandpa fell asleep Tuesday night and did not wake-up in the morning.  My dad and grandma were with him as he departed.

While I feel a sense of peace because I know my grandpa is resting comfortably in heaven.  I still miss him a lot.  Grandpa Emery was a truly wonderful man.  He brightened the lives of all he met.  And he loved meeting people!

His outgoing and friendly personality are the highlight of my favorite memory about grandpa.  When I was in high school, any time my grandpa was out and about and would see another teenager wearing Lakeshore High School apparel, my grandpa would start a conversation and ask if the student knew either my sister or me.  This was particularly embarrassing when a cute upperclassman would approach me at school the following day to tell me he met my grandpa!  While embarrassing at the time, this is now a fond and happy memory.  The truth is, Grandpa was always extremely proud and loving of his grandchildren.  I am lucky to have had him always in my corner for my first thirty years.

It's funny, I don't remember my grandpa ever being upset or in a bad mood.  He was always happy.  In memory of this cheerful and loving man, I would like to spread more happy into the world and I'm hoping that you can help!

For the next week, will you help me honor my grandpa by performing random acts of kindness towards others?  I've already purchased coffee for the person behind me in the drive-through and have made it a point to compliment at least one student an hour for something I wouldn't otherwise acknowledge.  There are so many ways that we can make this world a happier place!  Will you help me?

Until we meet again, Grandpa Emery, I love you.

May 18, 2016

Style Perspectives: A Graduation Look for Teachers

It's hard to believe but this is already my fifth week of participating in the Style Perspectives Series with the lovely ladies of The Blended Blog!  Does this time of year fly for anyone else?  As a teacher, it feels like the end of the year is so far away but at the same time we are speeding right ahead!

This week Sheila chose our Style Perspectives prompt, a graduation look!

I do believe I am done with my own graduation ceremonies, having completed my Master's degree, and I don't yet have children of my own to watch graduate.  But teachers often attend these ceremonies to celebrate the success of their students!  This is the first year that I don't teach seniors so I will not be attending graduation, but I will be attending our 8th Grade Awards Night where I get to present the French Award to a few of my outstanding students.

To me, this is the perfect graduation look for a teacher.  It is bright, fun and celebratory!  But it is also modest, work-appropriate and comfortable.  I definitely don't want to stand in front of an auditorium of 8th graders and parents feeling over-exposed!

This dress was a recent find at Ann Taylor on sale!  The material is thick and flattering while still being comfortable.  I decided the floral print seems retro to me so I decided to up the vintage vibe with my oversized pearls.

What I'm Wearing:
Dress: Ann Taylor (exact)
Necklace: Amazon (exact)
Tights: Nordstrom (exact)
Shoes: DSW (similar)

Make sure to visit the other ladies of The Blended Blog to see their graduation looks and continue reading this post to link-up your very own!

Next week we are wearing our nautical navy stripes!

And here are our blazer looks from last week!

DAILY STYLE FINDS: The Personal Stylist
FOXY’S DOMESTIC SIDE: The Crafty Engineer
SIMPLY SHAUNACEY: Reformed Frumpy Mommy
TWO TEENS AND THEIR MAMA: Stylish Midlife Mama
RSQUARED: The Not So Nerdy Accountant
SHOES TO SHIRAZ: The Shoe Hoarding French Teacher
PUPPIES AND PRETTIES: Cube Dwelling Fashionista
MAKING THE MOST OF EVERYDAY Classic Yet Current Over Forty
NICKANDNIK: Mama with Curves
LIVING ON CLOUD NINE: Blissful Fashionista
WHITNEY À LA MODE: A book-loving French Teacher

Where I'm linking-up!

May 16, 2016

Spring Fever at The Blended Blog

Bonjour, friends!  I'm just popping-in to mention that I've published my very first post over at The Blended Blog today!  Here is a little sneak peek at what I'm talking about with the readers of TBB.

Please stop-by to find out what spring things have been making me happy lately and to learn more about what The Blended Blog has to offer!  I really hope to see you there!

May 13, 2016

Blogging Besties: Preppy

Blogging Besties is a weekly series featuring Whitney of Whitney à la mode, Alex of Undergraduate Style, Maricel of ::My Closet Catelogue:: and Selah of A Bibliophile's Style.  Each week, one of the bloggers will choose one component from the previous week's outfit to pass on in a brand new look.  This "take one, pass it on" challenge is an inspiration to stretch your closet and your imagination!

Last week, Whitney wore a trendy all-white outfit! I chose to pass on the "preppy" element from her look. I went with a monochromatic theme, pairing a mint sweater with a teal skirt, layering a crisp white button-down and tights underneath for warmth as it was a rather chilly spring day! 

For next week Maricel can pass on one of the following elements: monochromatic, knits, skater skirt, or tortoiseshell jewelry.

Sweater: Target (similarsimilarsimilar)
Shirt: Ralph Lauren Polo (similarsimilarsimilar)
Skirt: Old Navy (similarsimilar)
Flats: thrifted via Clothes Mentor (Tory Burch versionsimilar)
Necklace: thrifted via Clothes Mentor (similarsimilar)

May 11, 2016

The Spring of the Blazer for Style Perspectives

I know I've mentioned a few times that I made it a goal to wear my blazers more this spring.  I have so many that I really like but find myself reserving them for special occasions that never occur.  I am happy to report that I have been wearing my blazers more frequently and a few of these outfits have even made it to the blog (here and here).

I'm excited for Carrie's Style Perspectives prompt today because she encouraged me to wear another one of my blazers!  The ladies of The Blended Blog are all wearing a blazer, jeans, a tee and sneakers today!

The last couple of Style Perspective prompts made me think a little bit, but not this one,  I knew immediately what I wanted to wear!  This blazer is one of my absolute favorites because of the bright color and the pretty ruffle at the bottom.  I think it has more character than your average blazer.  I also love it because it is an Anthropologie piece that I got for a great deal!  I fell for it when it was full-priced and then watched it until a sale made it affordable for me.  There is something about scoring a major deal that makes me love an item of clothing even more!

I've never worn this blazer in a more casual look before but it was clear to me that I had to pair it with one of my classic, striped tees.  When you throw in my Converse that I have been wearing all of the time lately, voilà, outfit complete!

I hope that you will stop by and visit the other Blended Bloggers to see how they styled their blazers and sneakers!  And don't forget to link-up your own look below!

What I'm Wearing:
Blazer: Anthropologie (similar, similar)
Tee: Banana Republic (similar, similar)
Jeans: American Eagle (exact)
Converse: DSW (exact)

May 9, 2016

Recenty Purchased Reviews: J.Crew Factory and Old Navy

Good morning, lovelies!  Including today I only have twenty-five more school days.  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!  Any other teachers out there ready for a break?!?

I'm trying something new on Whitney à la mode today!  Voilà, my first review post!  I really enjoy when some of my favorite bloggers post shopping reviews.  Part of me enjoys living vicariously through them because my shopping budget is rather tight.  I also find it helpful to see clothing on real bodies, not just the models on the store websites.

This past winter, I wasn't loving what I saw in stores and therefore didn't purchase much.  Now that the warmer weather is arriving, though, I'm really itching to add some fun new pieces to my wardrobe!  I took advantage of recent sales at J.Crew Factory and Old Navy to update my closet.  Here is what I ordered!

J.Crew Factory

1.  Factory Long-Sleeve Striped Boatneck T-Shirt in Red Oat Stripe
I am an avid lover of stripes and have been wanting to add a classic red and white striped top to my collection.  This tee is exactly what I was looking for.  The stripes and colors are classic and the material feels thick.  It's a good quality staple that will last for years!  I typically wear a medium and this top fits true to size.

Verdict: Keeper!

2.  Factory Printed Pocket Skirt in Mint Cream
I immediately fell in love with the print of this skirt while perusing the Factory website.  The skirt is colorful, fun and comfy...just what I'm looking for while I update my closet for summer.  I was worried because the skirt was sold out in my typical size medium.  I just couldn't pass up on the print and sale price, though so I ordered a large.  Granted, I can't compare it to the medium but considering it's a shorter skirt, I think I like the larger size better because it might give me some extra length!  I don't find the waist to be too big at all because it's elastic.

Verdict: Keeper!

3.  Factory Printed Linen-Cotton Sidewalk Skirt in Seashore
I already own a couple of skirts in this style from J.Crew Factory.  I own a plain cobalt blue version, a plaid skirt and an olive linen skirt.  I know that I like the way this skirt fits and was drawn to the vibrant colors.  I wear a size 8 in all of these skirts and this version was no different.  Ultimately, though, I told myself I can only keep one floral skirt and I loved the other one more.

Verdict: Ready to Return

4.  Factory Striped Skirt in Navy Stripe
I saw this skirt on Kate's Instagram and knew I had to order it!  Did I mention that I have a stripe addiction?  Anyways, this skirt feels really well made.  It is lined and the skirt is almost silky smooth.  Plus it has pockets (enough said).  I am wearing my typical medium.  The funny thing is, it feels like it fits but my mom thinks it looks to big.  Ultimately I've decided to return it because for $45ish, the fit should be perfect!

Verdict: Ready to Return

Old Navy

1.  Rib-Knit Swing Dress
I think that swing dresses have become a summer staple in my book.  They are just so comfy and easy to throw on while still looking put-together.  This little number from Old Navy didn't disappoint.  The fit is loose but still flattering and the material feels thick, not like it will become misshapen the first time it's washed.  Again, I'm wearing my typical medium and it fits true to size!  It's only available in white stripes now but it's less than $15!

Verdict: Keeper

I had high hopes for this dress because, well, it's a swing dress!  I also thought the pattern was unique and pretty.  Unfortunately the dress really didn't work.  I would actually call this more of a baby doll or smock dress than a swing dress.  It had a seam at the waistline but wasn't fitted.  The effect made me look way wider than I actually am.  I also didn't like that the pattern didn't match-up at the seam.  I think I got the size right (medium) but the fit of the dress was just off.

Verdict: Ready to Return

Okay, so technically this top is from Gap but it arrived with my Old Navy order.  Did I mention already that I love stripes?  I'm also a sucker for all things French.  Now I'm not sure if this top is intended to be read in English about a person who likes to voyage or in French as the verb meaning to voyage.  I'm just going to go with the French interpretation!  I'm wearing a size medium and the top fits well with a nice, thick material.  It was a steal for under $12!

Verdict: Keeper

I have been on the hunt for basic yet pretty skirts to take on my upcoming trip to Orlando.  My chambray shirts have been so versatile so I thought I'd try a chambray skirt!  The medium fit true to size and the elastic waistband made it super comfortable.  The material was really thin, however, and was super wrinkled when it arrived.  Given I'm looking for a skirt that travels well.  The wrinkles are a big deterrent.  

Verdict: Ready to Return

5.  Mock-Neck Swing Tank in Grey Gardens
While I love layering, mixing and matching my clothes, it's oftentimes too hot for that in the summer and I find myself reaching for tops that have enough detail that I don't need to wear much else.  That was my exact reasoning when I added this top to my shopping cart.  And I'm so glad I did!  The swing fit is super comfortable but still flattering and the eyelet detail is so very pretty.  I ordered the grey which I'm loving because it's a bit more interesting than plain white and is different than anything I already own.  The medium fits true to size!

Verdict: Keeper

6.  Smokcked Gauze Skirt in Black
Just to clarify, I wouldn't wear this top and skirt together (but no one wanted to see a topless skirt review).  This was another skirt I purchased with my upcoming trip in mind.  The thick and elastic waistband makes for a super comfy and flattering skirt.  I also like that the material seemed to travel well.  Again, the medium worked for me!

Verdict: Keeper

7.  Chambray Peplum Tank (out of stock)
I hoped this top would be a winner like the grey swing tank but alas, it was not.  I loved the idea of a simple chambray with a pretty peplum detail.  Unfortunately, it fit similar to the baby doll smock dress above.  The seamed part of the shirt wasn't fitted and just made me feel extra big.  The medium worked in the chest and arm holes but the overall fit was off.

Verdict: Ready to Return

That wraps up my first return post!  Is this something that you enjoyed and would like to see more of?  Is there anything I could improve upon?  Any details I forgot to share?  Let me know what you think and have a wonderful Monday!