Dec 31, 2016

Best of 2016

For my last post of the year, I've scrolled through each post of 2016 and have chosen my favorite outfit from each month.  Not only is it fun to revisit what I've worn all year, but each outfit reminds me of something fun that I did or someone with whom I spent time.  It's funny how a style blog can turn into a bit of a diary, a place to store my memories.  For each outfit I've chosen, you can find the link to the original post right above the picture.

And after reading my friend Carrie's review of 2016, I'm adding my thoughts on each month so that I can always look back and find memories of this year.

January: Winter Parties

The year began calmly and quietly for me.  I honestly don't remember too much that happened in January...but considering how the rest of the year would turn-out, that is fine by me!  I do know that I celebrated the baby shower of my dear friend since second grade, Lisa, because that was the occasion for this outfit.

February: Create28: Faire Isle Sweater

In February I co-hosted the Create28 Challenge with my friend Carrie.  We invited other blogging friends to join us this time and had a blast!  Personally, February proved to be a really difficult month.  My vibrant, generous and loving Aunt Ninie suffered a ruptured aneurysm.  My family and I spent many hours with her at the hospital only to find that she wouldn't really recover.  She is still alive but now spends her days laying in a bed at a nursing home.  We still visit and pray that there is some sort of recovery in her future.

March: Little Changes

With March came the end of (cheer) coaching season and a little bit more free time!  I took advantage and flew to North Carolina for a weekend with my above-mentioned friend Lisa, her husband Ryan and their brand new baby girl, Charlotte!  I expected a weekend in snuggling with the little one, but my travel-loving friends took me to Asheville to visit the Biltmore and to eat delicious southern food.  A little perk of heading south was that I got to meet my long-time blogging buddy, Selah, and her adorable kiddos!

April: Style Perspectives: Plaid

In April, I was invited to join an amazing group of women as a contributor for The Blended Blog.  Joining these ladies has been the biggest blogging blessing (say that three times fast).  They are so very loving and supportive during all of life's ups and downs.  They each have a unique blogging voice so I definitely recommend getting to know them!

May: Style Perspectives: A Graduation Style for Teachers

Oh man was May a great month!  I celebrated my 30th birthday in the company of some of my closest friends and family in Orlando!   We spent my actual birthday at the Magic Kingdom but also got to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and drink around the world at Epcot.  I'm still blown away by how many of my loved ones made the effort to be there with me.  I am a lucky lucky girl!  On a sad note, we lost my beloved Grandpa Emery in May after a long and happy life.  I have one heck of a guardian angel up there!

June: Take Me Out to the Ballgame

June was a month of healing for me.  I said goodbye to a man that I cared for deeply and began to rebuild myself.  Lots of yoga and iced coffee had me feeling a bit better by the end of the month.

July: Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Red, White and Blue

In July my family and I traveled to the Pittsburgh area to celebrate the wedding of my cousin Eric to the hilarious and amazing Mandy!  They were married during Fourth of July weekend so I got to wear this fun red, white and blue outfit to the event.  After Pennsylvania, my mom and I headed to Nashville to spend time with my niece!  I got lots of Eloise snuggles and my mom and I had a fun night out in the city.  At the end of the month, I got to spend more time with my favorite people.  I took a trip to the Washington D.C. area (where I used to live) to be with my friends and eat at my favorite restaurants.

August:  Styled by Someone Else

In August I had one last summer hurrah at the beach with some lovely friends before heading back to my classroom to prepare for the school year.  I also started another season coaching cheerleading with some wonderful girls!

With school and cheerleading in full swing, I don't think much else happened during the month of September.  Oh yeah, there was Michigan State Football.  But let's not talk about the Spartans this year.  At least the tailgating was fun!

October was full of fun!  At the beginning of the month I traveled to San Antonio to be in the wedding of my friend since middle school, Michelle!  I loved spending time with her and her family and enjoyed the warm Texas weather.  I also got to meet Carrie!  Talk about hitting it off!  I feel like I've known her my whole life and I'm so blessed to be her friend.  At the end of the month, two of my closest friends from D.C. came to visit!  We had tons of fun going to the MSU vs. UofM game (even though we lost) and celebrating Halloween together.  Wow, I'm just so lucky to have such wonderful people in my life!

Along with getting into the holiday season, in November I went to CHINA!  It still seems so surreal!  I mean, I got to walk along the Great Wall of China, reflect at the Summer Palace and eat a scorpion.  Truly a once in a lifetime experience!  I realize that I still haven't written a post about my trip.  You can expect that in the next couple of weeks.

And December has been filled with holiday sparkle, friends and family!  I've loved spending time in my cozy little apartment, all decked out for Christmas!  For the actual holiday, I traveled to Missouri to spend time with my loved ones.  And when I got back, I finally did something that I've been planning for years!  I got my first tattoo and I absolutely love it!

And with that, I'm off to figure-out what to wear for NYE tonight!  What have your highlights of the year been?

Also I would love to know, which of these looks is your favorite?  And what were some things that you loved to wear this year?

And friends, thank you for being a part of my 2016 and happy new year!

Dec 30, 2016

Rose Quartz December

Can you believe there are only two days left this year?!  I don't know about you, but I'm ready to say au revoir to 2016 and will be welcoming the new year with open arms!

But with the end of 2016 comes my last Rose Quartz post of the year!  If you are a few (about twelve) months late, Rose Quartz was one of Pantone's colors of 2016.  Since this blush pink color is one of my favorites, I ran a monthly series showing different ways to wear the hue throughout the year.  You can find all of the posts here!

For my final post, I'm re-featuring a sweater that I posted about in July.  I purchased this sweater during Nordstrom's big yearly sale and am excited to finally be wearing it!  I absolutely adore the color, the polka dots and the silver sequins.

I threw in some very subtle pattern mixing with my grey plaid flats.  If you are interested in trying pattern mixing, I definitely recommend mixing your shoes with your top.  They are far away from each other so the patterns won't be too in your face.

And with that, we can say goodbye to Rose Quartz and hello to Greenery, Pantone's color of 2017!

While I'm not quite as smitten with this color as I am with blush pink, I love the idea of reassurance, rejuvenation and revitalization!  What do you think of Pantone's new choice?

What I'm Wearing:
Sweater: Nordstrom (similar, similar)
Jeans: American Eagle (exact)
Flats: Target (exact)


Dec 27, 2016

'Tis the Season for High Heels

Do you want to know something funny about me?  I actually wore high heels tons more in high school than I do now.  I suppose once I started teaching, my practical (read: boring) side won I started wearing mostly flats.  And wearing high heels is definitely something that requires practice and tolerance.  Now when I try to wear them, I feel like it's way more difficult than it used to be.

But darn it, sometimes I just want to wear a pair of heels!  Especially this time of year for New Year's Eve parties!

Cue Sole Patches!  Sole Patches are cute, flower-shaped stickers that you can place directly on the ball of your foot or heel or permanently in your pair of shoes to make them more comfortable.

When I received a set to review, I placed a pair permanently in a pair of heels that I wore to coach my very first cheer competition.  I was on my feet for four hours straight and was running back and forth across a high school gym.  And you know what, they helped!  Without the Sole Patches, my heels would have been off and my Ugg boots back on within an hour.  Nope!  I kept those shoes on all night!

If you are a sucker for cute but uncomfortable shoes, definitely give Sole Patches a try!

Dec 25, 2016

Merry Christmas

From my family to yours, have a very merry and crazy bright Christmas!

P.S. Izzo the cat really does love me despite the look on his face. 'Tis the season to make your cat wear reindeer antlers, right?

Dec 23, 2016

That Holiday Sparkle

Happy Christmas Eve Eve, my lovely friends!  Today's will be a quick post because, as I write this, it's 10:40 p.m. and I still need to finish packing for my trip to Missouri tomorrow.  My parents and I are driving to see my sister, brother-in-law and niece for the holiday.

On Christmas Day I don't actually plan to change out of my plaid pajamas.  But do you know what I'll be sporting under my pajama top?  This glittery reindeer top!  I just love that the holidays give you an excuse to wear festive and sparkly things.  But you know what?  Maybe I should always dress festively and sparkly if that's what I want!  Hmm.  Style thoughts to ponder for the new year...

In any case, when Zaful offered me the opportunity to choose a couple more products to review, I couldn't pass up on this Christmasy top!  I purchased my usual size medium and while it fits perfectly in the torso, the arms are a bit tight.  Still wearable but I definitely feel more comfortable with a cardigan on top.  I would recommend sizing up!  It might seem late to order a Christmas top but for the price, you might want to add it to your closet for next year!

As for this year, safe travels if you are plaining, training or automobiling to visit loved ones and have a great start to your holiday weekend!

What I'm Wearing:
Top: Zaful (exact)
Cardigan: Macy's (similar)
Earrings: Gift (similar)
Watch: c/o Shopbop (similar)
Jeans: American Eagle (exact)
Flats: Target (exact)

Dec 22, 2016

Merry and Bright

The theme of my holiday season this year is most definitely merry and bright!  From my holiday decor and gift wrap to my cozy sweaters, I've been gravitating towards the cheerfullest of hues.  Heck, my Christmas cards even wished my loved ones a "very merry and crazy bright" holiday.

So for this sparkly sweater's first wearing, I wanted to wear an outfit full of color!  My bluest jeans, purple socks and a necklace reminding us all to shine a little brighter made for an outfit full of holiday cheer.

I love this sweater because it's bright and sparkly, but also because it makes me feel nostalgic.  Gap released a very similar sweater that I loved back when I was in middle school and was first noticing trends and fashion.  I even remember Gap's holiday ads that season!

The actual sweater is not featured but those scarves feature the striped print that I remember!  As soon as I saw this sweater, I knew that adult me had to have it!

What I'm Wearing:
Sweater: GAP (similar)
Shine Necklace: c/o Rocks Box
Choker: Stella&Dot (exact)
Jeans: American Eagle (exact)
Socks: L.L.Bean (exact)
Boots: DSW (similar)

Dec 21, 2016

The Coziest of Cardigans

Hey, y'all!  I'm here with a quick post today to participate in The Blended Blog's Cozy for the Holidays Series.

I recently purchased this cardigan from Old Navy and it seriously is the coziest of cardigans!  Not only is it over-sized and drapey, the material is super soft!  I couldn't recommend it more for those cold, winter mornings when getting dressed feels like a struggle.  I purchased it in a pretty green but it's available in two other color and pattern combinations.  Not only that, but it's less than $20 right now!

I also want to give a quick shout-out to my blogging buddy, Carrie, for gifting me with a discount code so I could purchase my second JORD watch!  JORD's wood watches make for a great conversation piece.  I receive compliments and questions about mine every time I wear them!

And since the blooper in my last post went over so well, I'll leave you with one more!

What I'm Wearing:
Cardigan: Old Navy (exact)
Tee: Old Navy (exact)
Watch: JORD (exact)
Jeans: American Eagle (exact)
Converse: DSW (exact)

And please link-up below with your coziest December looks!

Dec 19, 2016

Comfy and Festive

Oh my goodness, friends!  I actually made it to Winter Break!  About a week ago I was on the verge of a meltdown.  You know those moments in life when there is so much going on and none of it seems to be going well?!  All you want to do is curl up under a blanket for a few days but you just have to keep going?!  Well, I've finally made it to my day where I get to stay curled up under that blanket and I couldn't be more thankful.

I know that I'm a lucky one with two glorious weeks off of work while many of you are still putting in the hours this week.  So let's talk about a few ways that you can be festive yet comfy while surviving these last few days of work!

My first recommendation for being comfortable but put-together is a cute dress that feels like a nightgown!  Cue this little number, my most recent gift from Shein!  This dress is made in a beautiful grey, jersey material and couldn't be more comfortable.  Plus, it has adorable button detailing at the neck.  Have I ever mentioned that I'm a sucker for buttons?  I'm wearing my typical size medium and it fits perfectly!  And you aren't even going to believe the price.  I'm serious, go check it out!

A neutral dress is the perfect base for my second tip for looking festive while feeling comfy: colored tights!  These burgundy, fleece-lined tights were so cozy and warm but definitely upped the interest for this outfit.  Have you ever tried fleece-lined tights?

And because everyone loves a good blooper photo, here is me doing some sort of fabulous hair flip!

What I'm Wearing:
Dress: c/o Shein (exact)
Tights: Target (similar)
Ankle Boots: DSW (exact)

Dec 14, 2016

Kylie Lip Kit Review

Happy Hump Day, y'all!  I enjoyed a blizzarding snow day on Monday so my last week before Christmas Break is even shorter than anticipated.  That makes me one happy teacher!

And do you know what also makes me happy?  The Blended Blog's Cozy for the Holidays Series!  From my cuddly cat to ginormous blanket scarves, I love all things cozy.

But sometimes cozy doesn't always mean holiday glamour...and I want a little bit of both this time of the year!  My solution to looking glamorous while wrapped-up in a cozy cardigan and scarf?  Rocking a bold lip!  And lately I've been obsessed with the infamous Kylie Lip Kits!

Since a few of my fellow Blended Bloggers also sport Kylie kisses.  We thought we'd do a mini-blog hop today to show you how the different shades look on our different skin tones.  If you are arriving from Deena's blog, it's only fitting since she got me hooked on these lipsticks!

If you are unfamiliar with Kylie Lip Kits, they are lipstick sets sold by Kylie Jenner of Kardashian fame.  The set includes a lipliner and a lipstick that goes on wet but dries matte and lasts

As for my overall review, these lip kits are definitely long lasting!  I apply when I do my face in the morning and I still have a full lip when I wash my face before bedtime.  In fact, I have to scrub the color off and am still left with a tint when I wake up the next morning.

My only complaint is that the matte lipstick is quite drying...although that is the case with most matte lipsticks.  I definitely notice some flaking and pealing throughout the day.  I think that just means I need to invest in a lip scrub.  Does anyone have one they would recommend?  Also as a tip, I applied a bit of Burt's Bees lip balm throughout the day to smooth away the flakes.

The first color I'm featuring is a holiday special called Merry.  It is a deep burgundy-red and works well on my fair, pinkish skin tone.  Make sure that you use the lipliner with this shade (although I recommend the liner for long-lasting wear, anyways) because I did experience a bit of color bleeding around the edges of my lips.

The second color I'm wearing is Posie K.  It is a berry hue and is my favorite of the two I own.  If you've got fair skin and blue eyes, this color is for you (although I would imagine it's flattering on so many different colorings)!  I also received the gloss in this shade so that I can wear the color matte or shiny!  The top photo is the matte and the bottom is the gloss.

Ok, what do you think?  Have I sold you yet?  If you still need some convincing, hop on over to Sarah's blog to see her favorite Kylie colors!

Dec 12, 2016

Bright Holiday Baubles and Religious Christmas Cards

bright holiday baubles

One holiday tradition I enjoy every year is receiving Christmas cards from my loved ones around the world!  But up until this year, I stuck with receiving greetings as opposed to sending them.  Why? Because it seemed that most holiday cards come from families with lots of smiling kiddos as opposed to celebrating single gals.  But no longer!  I've decided that since I, too, live a fun and fulfilled life, I will also be the spreading holiday cheer!

My Holiday Home Tour

Joyeux Noël and welcome to my warm and cozy holiday home!  Christmas is absolutely the most wonderful time of the year, in my book, and I love decorating my apartment to make it a festive representation of my style and love for the holidays.

I am so excited to be participating in a blog hop with my friends at The Blended Blog today so that we can share our holiday homes with you!  If you are coming from Andrea's post, welcome!  She is such a sweet and genuine homemaker, I'm sure her decorations are fabulous!

I wanted the feel of my holiday home to be warm and white with pops of bright and festive fun!  A neutral, yarn-inspired wreath will welcome you in and eclectic, brightly colored baubles can be found throughout my apartment.

My new, rose gold tree is definitely the centerpiece of the décor!  As soon as I saw it, I knew that it was absolutely my perfect tree and I am oh so in love with it's feminine sparkle!  A knitted tree skirt and bright wrapping paper add to the colorful ambiance.

Dec 9, 2016

Blogging Besties: Throwback


The Blogging Besties series is the brain child of Alex @ The Cheerful Closet 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 looked cozy in fall layers:

The prompts she gave me were "camel, plaid or a throwback look".
I decided to do a throwback look (from February 2014), that just happens to incorporate plaid:


I love adding feminine details to my typical plaid shirt and skinny jeans combo. In both of these looks, I've paired plaid flannel with lace, and added an antique locket.

As we are taking the rest of December off, in January Whitney can choose from: feminine details, black & navy, or an antique accessory.
Previous Editions of Blogging Besties

Dec 7, 2016

Cozy at Home

An evening blog post!  What's going on around here?!  A crazy, busy life is what's going on!

This is my absolute, favorite time of the year but it is oh so hard to slow down enough to enjoy it, am I right?  So tonight I'm going to kick back and relax with a glass of something bubbly, my cuddly cat and your company!  Because this blog is something that brings happiness to my life and should be enjoyed, even amidst the craziest of schedules.

And tonight's topic should make a relaxing night in just a bit more cozy!  Why, do you ask?  Because the focus of The Blended Blog's Wednesday link-ups this month is Cozy for the Holidays!

For this first Wednesday of the month, I decided to feature a cozy outfit that I would wear while relaxing around the house.  I actually wore this for a small Thanksgiving meal spent with my parents but it would also be perfect for a day of holiday baking or enjoying your favorite Christmas movies.

I know that I've mentioned LuLaRoe bunches of times around here and tonight I'm adding one more shout-out.  This brand has become my go-to for comfy, cozy outfits!  You can find more information about LuLaRoe here!

For this post, I'm wearing a pair of LuLaRoe's super-soft leggings and one of their Irma tunics.  In terms of sizing, I typically wear size 8 pants and the One Size leggings are a perfect fit.  Definitely size-down in the drapey Irma, though.  I normally wear a medium but can take a small (or even an extra small) in this top!

A chunky cardigan and fuzzy Ugg boots made for the perfect cozy outfit to enjoy family time and a quick visit to Michigan's main Christmas tree!  Did you know that my parents live just blocks from the capital?

What I'm Wearing:
Leggings: LuLaRoe
Irma Tunic: LuLaRoe
Cardigan: LOFT Outlet (similar, similar)
Uggs: Gift (exact)

And while you're here, don't forget to link-up your favorite December Cozy look below!