Jun 29, 2016

New Summer Style Series

Well friends, Create28 with The Blended Blog is coming to a close!  I hope that you were able to use our prompts as little bursts of inspiration while getting dressed this month.  Did you create any new outfits with us?  Please link them up below!

If you did play along with us, what were your favorite prompts?  Make sure to visit TBB today for the final week's review.  What were your favorite looks from TBB contributors?

Now that Create28 is wrapping-up, those of us at TBB would like to invite you to participate in our style series this summer!  It's kind of like a "create your own adventure" story but for your outfit!  Just choose one descriptor from each of the columns above to create an ensemble!

We will still be hosting style link-ups every Wednesday for you to show-off your creations!  And you can post your outfits on Instagram any day of the week with #theblendedblogstyle.  So tell me, will you pick, pair, share with us this month?

Jun 28, 2016

Easy Espadrilles for Create28

Can you believe that it is the last week of June already?!  Summer is flying by, as it always seems to do!  Do you have anything fun planned for 4th of July weekend?  I will be attending the wedding of my cousin and his delightful fiancée.  I'm so excited because I have a red, white and blue wedding ensemble to wear.  I am sure it will make a blog appearance sooner or later!

But before I get ahead of myself, I have a fun post today in collaboration with The Blended Blog.  We have been working our way through the Create28 series this month featuring lots of bloggers wearing some fun summer trends!  We hope that you have been joining in the fun!

I have been writing our weekly Create28 reviews at TBB so I feel like I have been super involved.  It's hard to believe that this is only my second outfit of the series (you can find my first look, Pretty Peplum here).

Today I'm here featuring Easy Espadrilles.  I've already mentioned my love for these shoes!  Espadrilles are such a classic, summer look that seem to be on top of the trend list year after year.  I'm loving this year's take on the classic espadrille sandal.  Instead of a wedged shoe, they are comfy flats!

This particular pair have a cushioned sole and enough arch support to make days and days of travel feel like a cushy walk in the park.  Ladies, I have been wearing these shoes non-stop!  They look elegant with dresses but cute with jeans as well.

I wore this ensemble the day that we traveled to Orlando for my birthday weekend.  The jersey dress was perfectly comfortable on the airplane with my denim jacket as an extra layer, just in case.  And the shoes made wandering the vast airport a total breeze!

Have you been wearing espadrilles this summer?  What is your chosen style: flats, wedges, slides?  Show us on Instagram (#theblendedblogstyle) and link-up with us tomorrow!  Also make sure to visit Alison tomorrow for our last Create28 prompt: Super Stripes!

What I'm Wearing:
Dress: LOFT (exact)
Espadrilles: DSW (exact in blue)

Jun 24, 2016

Orlando Outfits of the Day and Travel Must-Haves

Thank you so much for all of your positive comments on my Orlando adventure photos that I have been posting all week.  If you haven't seen them yet, here are the posts:

A Magical Birthday: professionally captured moments at the Magic Kingdom.
The Belle of the Ball: pictures of my birthday activities.
Just a Muggle: a glimpse at our adventures in Harry Potter World.
Conquering the World One Drink at a Time: a review of our drinks around the world at Epcot.

You've already seen the outfits that I wore during my vacation but I thought it would be fun to talk more specifically about the outfit details and what you must take with you for a trip to Orlando!

Picking-out the outfit for your thirtieth birthday is an important task!  I wanted to feel pretty, classic and like myself.  I also wanted to be cool and comfortable because I knew we would be at the Magic Kingdom for the majority of the day.  This dress from Loft checked all of the must-haves off my list!  I love the v-neck and crossover details that make the dress lovely, unique and flattering.  The jersey material was perfect for a hot day on the move!  The dress is currently 40% off and comes in other colors and patterns.

And now let's talk about these shoes!  I had been on the hunt for some classic cognac flat sandals but with pretty detail.  After searching for a month or so, these beauties popped-up in my Pinterest feed.   Low and behold, the pin actually led to a purchasable link!  The sandals were definitely a splurge but they were exactly what I had been looking for.  They are very well made with strong and soft leather.

As much as I love these sandals.  I would actually not recommend them for a day at a theme park.  While the straps were comfortable and didn't cause any blisters, the soles of the shoes have no padding and left my feet very sore at the end of they day.  Next time I will be looking for sandals with more support!

Pictures compliments of Brittany Morgan Photography.

I had lots of luck shopping at Loft for my birthday weekend ensembles.  While searching for the perfect birthday dress, I came across this fun romper!  The fabric and fit was breathable and the elastic waist made for a super comfy outfit.  I also think that rompers have a playful vibe so what could be better than a romper for a theme park?

And these shoes were a much better choice for a day on the go.  The flat espadrille look is certainly on-trend this summer and the thick, squishy soles were perfect for my already-sore feet.  These exact shoes appear to be sold out but here are the same espadrilles but in denim.

To go with the fun t-shirts that my sister made, I wanted to wear something a bit more fun than jean shorts but still comfortable.  This skirt from Old Navy was perfect!  Plus it travels really well.  This is a great piece to add to your vacation suitcase this summer.

Along with comfy shoes and breathable clothing, here are a few of my other must-haves for a trip to Orlando:
-A small, casual purse: I wanted a bag that would fit the essentials but wouldn't get in the way when riding rides (granted you will probably need a bigger bag if traveling with kids).  I also wanted something that wasn't expensive just in case it was ruined by water, sweat, sun screen, ice cream or any other vacation uh ohs.  This purse from Old Navy was perfect for the task and is super cute with the tassel detail.
-Sunglasses: Do I even need to give an explanation here?  A pair of aviators are a classic accessory for any warm-weather outfit.
-A cooling towel: I mentioned this amazing little towel in an earlier post but my recommendation bears repeating.  When you wet the towel, it doesn't get drippy at all!  But as it dries, it cools!  It's perfect to wrap around your neck or lay across your forehead when you are feeling overheated.

Well friends, that wraps up my Orlando posts!  Thanks for revisiting the memories with me!

Blogging Besties: Recent Acquisition

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 stunned in this blue and white floral dress:

The prompts she gave me were "something floral, something navy, something light and airy, or a recent acquisition".

I'm on a self imposed clothes shopping ban. However, my beloved purple purse was on it's last legs, so I recently replaced it. This pink, quilted, dome satchel is my recent acquisition.



Whitney, I challenge you with the following prompts: pink (not really a challenge, I know), quilting, handbag, or favorite accessory.
Eyelet Tank: Kohl's (Similar)
Skort: Asos (Option, Option)
Necklace: Gingersnaps (Exact)
Wedges: Payless (Similar)
Handbag: Scarleton via Amazon (Exact)
Previous Editions of Blogging Besties

Jun 23, 2016

Conquering the World One Drink at a Time

Welcome to the last of my birthday weekend review posts!  Thanks for  celebrating my birthday, visiting the Magic Kingdom and exploring Harry Potter World with me already this week!

After visiting Harry Potter World on Sunday morning, we headed back to our rental house to freshen up a bit and then ventured over to Disney's Epcot!

My sister made these fun t-shirts for us to wear as we visited the different countries featured at the park!  (She even created my own hashtag)!

Jun 22, 2016

Just a Muggle

Happy Hump Day!  How have you spent your day so far?  I attended my second yoga class ever this morning and I'm loving it!  Add a post-class iced coffee and I am having a lovely morning.

Before I jump into more Orlando vacation photos, make sure that you head to The Blended Blog for a review of Week 3 of Create28.  If you scroll to the bottom of this post, you'll find our weekly link-up and the prompts for the last week of the style challenge!

On Monday I posted some profession photos of my birthday visit to the Magic Kingdom and yesterday I shared some personal snapshots from the day.  Today I will be sharing my pictures from our time in Harry Potter World at Universal Studios.  P.S.  I still can't fit the rest of my photos into this post so stay tuned for just one more vacation recap.  I hope you don't mind!

I haven't talked much about it on my blog, but I'm a huge Harry Potter fan!  Like, I'm still waiting for my letter from Hogwarts kind of a fan!  I can't explain how excited I was to visit Harry Potter World and to feel J.K. Rowling's stories come to life.  I had butterflies in my stomach and tears in my eyes as I entered Hogsmeade!

I share my adoration of Harry Potter with my dad and my sister.  It was such a special moment to enter this magical world together!

Jun 21, 2016

The Belle of the Ball

Good evening, lovelies!  I usually schedule my posts in the morning but ahh, the luxuries of a teacher on summer vacation.  I was able to write during the day!

Thank you so much for your positive comments about the birthday pictures I posted yesterday!  We were so grateful to have Brittany Morgan along to take the beautiful photos!  As promised, I'm back today with more pictures from my birthday weekend that were taken by amateurs (my family, friends and me) with amateur equipment (iPhones).

As I was looking through all of the captured moments from the weekend, I struggled to narrow down just a smattering of photos that truly depict all of the fun we had!  And what the heck, this is my little corner of the internet, so I'm going to spread these pictures over my next two posts!  What you see today are my memories of the night we all arrived in Orlando and the pictures from my actual birthday (the first full day in Florida).

One of the best decisions of the weekend was to rent an Airbnb house so that the whole crew could stay together!  I was able to spend every moment with my loved ones and that is what made the weekend so special.  My sister was a party planner extraordinaire and had the house decorated when we all arrived.  She made a fun banner, Mickey-themed cupcakes and welcome gifts for all of us!

The house was perfect!  I just had to share a picture of the super-fun Minnie Room where my friend Michelle and I lived for the weekend!

Another fun feature of the weekend was a Disney-themed cocktail of the day!  My brother-in-law, Brad mixed delicious beverages for us...this was the Belle of the Ball!

Jun 20, 2016

A Magical Birthday

If I had to choose one birthday to remember and cherish for the rest of my life, thirty would be the one!  I traveled to Orlando, Florida with ten of my closest family members and friends to celebrate at Disney's Magic Kingdom on May 28th.  Disney is one of my favorite places in the whole world but what truly touched me was the turnout for the party.  I am the absolute luckiest to have so many loved ones in my life with whom I get to spend the little moments and the milestones!

There's nothing quite like walking down Main Street, U.S.A. and catching your first glimpse of Cinderella's Castle, is there?  The lovely Brittany Morgan of Brittany Morgan Photography joined us for the afternoon and captured some beautiful moments!  It's these that I will be sharing today but stay tuned for a week's worth of Florida fun!

Did you know that if you visit Disney on your birthday, you get to wear a fun button for the day (and possibly a tiara)?  But the special treatment doesn't stop there, every single Disney cast member (a.k.a. employee) will shout across the sidewalk to wish you a happy birthday!  I really felt like a princess!

Jun 17, 2016

Blogging Besties :: a last-minute spring outfit

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 sported super fun, book-ended cognac:

And this week is brought to you by: “lace, leather, booties, or a last-minute spring outfit". So for your viewing pleasure, I give you: a last-minute spring outfit.

Image (25)
It's actually summertime for me right now. My last day of school with kids was June 9th. Sadly, I still have through the 24th completing professional development, so a break is still long in coming. The only good thing about this extended work period is that I get to wear fun dresses and not look overly made up as I go about my day. This one is a beaut and a recent acquisition and is so light and airy, it is indeed reminiscent of spring.

Image (26)
It's a breathable, forgiving cotton blend and I feel like a fairy princess when I twirl or when the wind catches it at just the right time. And yet it's weighty and substantial enough that I don't need a slip even though it's white. Oh, and those pumps? They're actually navy, not black (curse you, Marfa filter!) and they're the first pair of Aerosoles I've tried that actually live up to the brand's reputation of being both cute and comfy. I guess I just have to remember to get wide width in this label. Selah’s turn next week, I challenge her to the following: something floral, something navy, something light and airy, or a recent acquisition. Vive le vendredi!

:: Just the facts, ma’am :: Dress – Penelope Vintage Pumps Marimba by Aerosoles
:: Scream it from the top of your lungs :: Nice and Easy by Frank Sinatra

Jun 15, 2016

Rose Quartz June + Create28 Link-Up

Good morning, friends!  Phew, as you are reading this, I am completing my last day of the school year...which means I've almost made it!

My end-of-the-year checklist has seemed a mile long and at the same time I'm going through a bit of a rough patch in my personal life.  For that reason, I haven't felt up to taking my monthly "how to wear Rose Quartz" pictures.

I don't want to leave you hanging, though, so I thought I would try something fun and combine the Create28 Series from The Blended Blog with my Rose Quartz post for the month!

Create28 is all about making new outfits with what you have in your closet based on some fun, summery prompts!  And Rose Quartz June is intended to show you how to wear Pantone's color of the year in a seasonal way.  So, here are some fun ways that you can use Rose Quartz to fulfill the Create28 prompts, past and future!

June 10th: Beach Bum  I would totally wear this fun graphic tee with a comfy pair of shorts (perhaps with pom pons) over my swimsuit for a relaxing day at the beach.  Thermos of rosé: optional. 

June 12th: Bold Bottoms  This drapey pair of shorts look so cool and comfy yet refined!  I would love to wear them with a black and white striped shirt and a pair of espadrilles.

June 14th: Summer Swing Dress  Swing dresses just might be my new summer staple.  And one in my favorite color with a cute little ruffle detail?  I'm sold!

June 16th: Sunglasses Style  Pink, gingham sunglasses?!  Enough said!

June 28th: Easy Espadrilles  I just cannot get enough of espadrilles this season!  They come in so many shapes and colors.  These would make for such a fun pop of summer pink!

June 29th: Super Stripes  And to round it all off, an adorable striped Kate Spade purse.  This would be fun to pull out of your closet every spring and summer!

Now make sure to head over to The Blended Blog for a review of our week two looks for Create28 and link-up your own looks below!  Here are your prompts for next week:

Jun 10, 2016

Blogging Besties: White Bottoms

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 was a straight STUNNER with her neat Michigan wall and cute outfit! I cannot resist an opportunity to wear my white jeans, so today I'm "passing on" white bottoms!

I wore this spring outfit for my photo shoot with the legendary photographer James Hoyt--white jeans paired with cognac leather and a pretty lavender lace blouse.

photos by: James Hoyt

Blouse: thrifted via Clothes Mentor (similarsimilarsimilar)
Jacket: Target (similarsimilarsimilar)
Jeans: LOFT (similarsimilarsimilar)
Booties: Forever XXI (similarsimilarsimilar)

Next week: Maricel has the following choices to pass on: lace, leather, booties, or a last-minute spring outfit! 

Jun 8, 2016

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Before I get into my post for the day, I'm hoping you will hop over to The Blended Blog for a review of the first week of Create28 (click here if you are new to the challenge)!  Instead of Carrie and I doing this series on our own, our friends at TBB have joined us for even more fun and inspiration!    Below you will find the prompts for Week 2 of Create28 as well as a place to link-up your looks from the first seven days.  We really hope that you will join us!

I officially participated in Create28 on June 3rd with my Pretty Peplum look but I will also be linking-up today's outfit.  Which prompt does this fall under, you ask?  It's kind of a mix of two different prompts: nautical navy and fun flats!  Nope, I'm not actually wearing navy but something about the classic combination of red stripes and cuffed jeans makes me think of a sailor.  And Converse are a favorite pair of flats that I wear often during the summer!

Plus I wore this to a baseball game.  Create28 is all about creating new looks this summer and what screams summer more than  ballpark outing?  I went to watch the Lansing Lugnuts with a group of teachers from my school.  Since the Lugnuts are a smaller, local team, I don't own any Lugnut apparel so I chose some sporty basics in the Lugnuts colors.

What I'm Wearing:
Shirt: J.Crew Factory (exact)
Jeans: American Eagle (exact)
Converse: DSW (exact)

Don't forget to check-out the first seven looks of Create28 at The Blended Blog today (plus yours truly wrote the review post).  You will also find Week 1's link-up at the bottom of this post or at TBB.  And here are your prompts for the coming week!

Jun 7, 2016

What's In My Handbag

Happy Tuesday, friends!  The countdown is officially on.  Only seven more days of school left!  Although just thinking about everything I need to accomplish within these seven days is enough to send me into a tizzy.  Deep breaths...

Speaking of being a teacher, in January I wrote a post about what you might find in my teacher tote bag on any given day.  I'm back with a similar post today about what's in my handbag!  Today will be a little bit more fun, though, because it's a blog hop through The Blended Blog!  From here, just head back to TBB to discover what three of my blogging friends carry in their purses.  We are also hosting a link-up!  Within the next ten days, we would love to see what's in your handbag.

I know that I've mentioned this purse in other posts, but I am completely enamored by it!  The color is fun yet classic.  The leather is thick and smooth.  And the bag is quite spacious!  It is definitely a splurge and I was lucky to be able to purchase it with Shopbop credits.  If you are interested, they have lots of beautiful purses like this one made by Cambridge Satchel.

Enough about the purse itself, let's see what's in it!

I actually think I'm a little boring in regards to what I carry with me on a daily basis.  All I need are the basics!

-Wallet from Coach: blush pink might just be my favorite color (have you noticed?) which is why I chose this fun wallet.  A couple of years in, I'm thinking that I perhaps should have chosen a darker color as this one is showing stains.  If I upgrade soon, what brands of wallets would you recommend?

-Beauty basics: lotion (taken from a hotel room bathroom), hand sanitizer, my favorite lip moisturizer and my latest obsession in lip color take me through my day.

-And rounding-out my collection are a pen and a hair band because you just never know when you might need one!

Don't forget to:
-head back to The Blended Blog to see what my friends carry in their handbags
-link-up the contents of your purse below
-continue to follow TBB's What's in my... Series (see below for details)!

Jun 3, 2016

One Outfit, Two Challenges: Create28 and Blogging Besties

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 Selah looked oh so ready for summer in her shorts and eyelet top!  She gave me the following prompts from which to work: pajama clothes, eyelet lace, floral jewelry or new hair.

I always enjoy Selah's creative prompts that motivate me to think about my wardrobe in a different way!  While Selah's inspiration didn't disappoint, I feel like my execution fell a little bit flat this week.  I decided to go with "pajama clothes" as my prompt since this peplum is just so darn comfortable!

Alex, here are your choices to pass on for next week's Blogging Besties: a peplum, stripes, white bottoms, metallic shoes, a glitzy necklace or a state-themed background!

While I could have taken Selah's prompt and run a bit further with it, I did double up on challenges today.  I am also participating in The Blended Blog's Create28 Summer Challenge.  Today is my day to wear a "pretty peplum!"  So here you go: a pretty peplum that feels like pajamas!

I think this top will be a staple this summer.  The stripes and peplum detail give it enough interest that the top can stand on its own without lots of layers.  It is also really light-weight and rather swing-like so it will keep you cool in the summer sun.  The top is currently on sale in navy stripes and peach!

While I think the peplum is pretty on its own, I really tried to run with the "pretty" part of my prompt.  Instead of blue jeans and casual sandals, I dressed the top up with white jeans, metallic flats and a little bit of sparkle!

Isn't this background fun?!  It is one of the walls of a delicious restaurant in Lansing, Michigan called the Soup Spoon.  Delicious food and fun blogging backgrounds?!  My kind of place!  They even have a fun gratitude wall where diners can use chalk to express their thanks.  It just so happened that the wall already had an entry about birthday dinners and I was there to celebrate my birthday with one of my best friends!

If you are wearing a pretty peplum today, make sure to show us on Instagram with #theblendedblogstyle and by linking-up with us on Wednesday.  You can find the daily prompts below if you want to play along!  And please visit Sheila at Making the Most of Every Day to see how she styles "nautical navy" for day three of Create28!

What I'm Wearing:
Top: Old Navy (exact)
Necklace: Rocksbox
Jeans: LOFT (simliar)
Shoes: DSW (similar)