Mar 31, 2017

Blogging Besties: Lace

Blogging Besties is a weekly series featuring Whitney of Whitney à la mode, Alex of The Cheerful Closet, 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!

Did anyone else love Selah's take on polka dots last week with her faux-ka dots?!  I have such clever blogging friends!

From her look, she prompted me with pavé jewelry, lace or herringbone.  Believe it or not, I don't really own pavé jewelry or anything in herringbone!  That left me with one of my favorite textures: lace!

I'm loving the fact that the weather is finally warm enough for bare ankles!  Do you live in a climate where you get excited over something so silly?

For next week, Alex can choose to pass on any of the following: silver and grey, bare ankles, or a shirt that matches her eyes!

Mar 27, 2017

Defining Your Personal Style

Is your personal style something that you spend time thinking about?  Since you're here on this, a personal style blog, my guess is that you do.  Do you feel that you have a defined sense of your style?  Do you feel that all (or at least the majority) of your outfits fit this mold you've created for yourself?

Lately I've found myself a bit lost when answering these questions.  Call it the plight of a style blogger who spends way too much time thinking about clothing!  But in any case, I want to have a definition of my style and to be someone you look at think, "Yes!  That's totally her!"

A few months ago during a heart-to-heart with my dear friend, Carrie, we got to talking about these questions and decided to really focus on answering them.  So, for the foreseeable future, Carrie and I will be taking the last Monday of every month to talk about this style journey we're taking!

Today we're both sharing a few thoughts on how to get started in defining your personal style!

Thought #1

Collect photos of yourself wearing various outfits (Carrie has done a great job of sharing her daily outfits on Instagram lately).  Divide these pictures into two categories: outfits in which you really feel like yourself and outfits that don't quite hit the mark.  Then take a look at these pictures and find some common themes in each category.  This will help you narrow done what works and doesn't work for you.

Here are four outfits that feel very me.  What I gathered from these photos is that I like classic and fitted structures, pattern mixing, vibrant colors and feminine details.

Thought #2

Create a Pinterest board for Wardrobe Inspiration (you can find mine here).  This board is where I dump any and every outfit picture that I love.  It doesn't matter if I can recreate the looks with what's in my closet or not.  From there I analyze the pictures in much the same way I look at my own pictures that I like.  What are the common themes?

Thought #3

Find a particular clothing brand or celebrity style that exemplifies the look that you are going for.  I'm particularly drawn to the classic but whimsical styles from Boden and I always love Reese Witherspoon's looks.  Keeping both in mind when thinking about style gives me something concrete with which to compare possible looks that I'm creating.

So friends, this is how I've jumped into defining and wearing my style that I've decided to call classically feminine with a bit of whimsy.  What do you think?  I would really love your feedback on the progress that I'm making and any tips that you might have!

Mar 24, 2017

Blogging Besties: Polka Dots

 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 wore a vintage 60s polka dot dress:

The prompts she gave me were "mustard, polka dots, or something thrifted/gifted/vintage".
I took the easiest option and went with polka dots, or in my case, faux-ka dots:

These dots are made from oversized eyelet lace :

Not seen in my signature selfie, is this circular pave pendant:

Next week, Whitney can choose from: pave jewelry, lace, herringbone, or she can break out some chevron (since that's really all herringbone is, imaright?).
Previous Editions of Blogging Besties

Mar 20, 2017

Spring Bucket List

Happy Monday, loves!  I have a different kind of post for you today.  There are no outfit photos involved! You see, my sweet blogging friend, Leslie, proposed the idea of writing a Spring Bucket List and, because I'm to-do list obsessed and so ready for spring, I knew that I had to join her!

Here are the things I'm set on doing to make springtime a little bit sweeter:

1.  Buy fresh flowers for my apartment.
2.  Watch a Lansing Lugnuts (the local baseball team) game.
3.  Read a cup of coffee or a glass of wine on an outdoor patio.
4.  Go on a weekend getaway.
5.  Read a book in the courtyard of my apartment complex.
6.  Try a meal ingredients delivery service.
7.  Find a new hiking destination for #ourmonthlyhike with my best friend, Nicole.
8.  Purge my closet of clothes I no longer love.
9.  Buy a pair of fun sneakers for the warmer weather.
10.  Experiment with a more advanced yoga class.

What's on your to-do list for the new season?  Do any of ours match?

If you are looking for more springtime inspiration, check-out the Spring Bucket Lists from several amazing bloggers:
Leslie of Once Upon A Time and Happily Ever After
Michael of Out and Back
Danielle of Family.Love.Inspiration
Tamara of My Retirement Project
Ashley of Perks and Ponder

Mar 17, 2017

Blogging Besties :: Layers

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 was fire with her pop of color.

This week is brought to you by: “layers, hot pink, corduroys, or a vest". And for your viewing pleasure, I give you: layers.


 It's a bit of a cheat, really. Yes, I have on an oversized cardi (my librarian cardi, as Aly calls it) which, on its own, would certainly count as a layering piece already. But I know you expect a little more than "good enough" from me, my friends, so I paired my cardi with a piece that looks like a sweater over a dress - more layers! - but is in fact a two-in-one affair. I guess dickeys were a thing for a while in the 70s, but I missed that boat entirely so the concept of faux layers isn't as horrifying to me as it ought to be. I quite like the efficiency of throwing on one thing while mimicking two things, and without the bulk of two things at that. This is a definite plus for me, living in the warmer climes of SoCal like I do. I also appreciate the minimal thinking involved in utilizing these two-in-one pieces. The designer has already done the color/pattern pairing for you; all you have to do is add accessories, a decision made simple by pulling from the pre-created palette. Oh, and I love that I don't have to do that discreet, skirt flip-shirt tug move that usually plagues me when I wear layers. (I just have to make sure my heavy cardi doesn't fall off my sloping shoulders.)


 The biggest bonus for this particular ensemble, however, is that it's thrifted vintage. I'm traveling decades, setting aside the 40s for the present and moving into my 60s phase right now. Go, polyester! For Selah’s turn next week, I challenge her to the following: mustard, polka dots, or something thrifted/gifted/vintage. Vive le vendredi!

:: Just the facts, ma’am :: Dress – eBay Cardi – F21 Boots - Ross
:: Scream it from the top of your lungs :: The Calendar by Panic! at the Disco

Mar 16, 2017


I think it was the very first time I watched the opening credits of Sex and the City that I realized how feminine, romantic and fun a tulle skirt can be!  In this outfit, I feel like the best possible combination of Carrie Bradshaw, a princess and a ballerina.

I'm so grateful to have received this skirt from Zaful and happy that my friend, Carrie, picked it out for me!  (Carrie, how did you know about my decade-long dream of wearing a tulle skirt?!)  I was a little bit nervous about the "one size fits all" sizing of the skirt but am pleasantly surprised by the fit.  It is definitely a pretty and comfortable length!  The elastic waistband is a tad on the tight side but not unwearable.  (I'm normally a medium for reference).

As much as I love tulle, this skirt is a bit much for everyday life.  So I decided to style it for a winter (because brrrr) date night look!  I'm excited to bring the skirt back out when the weather warms up!

Mar 10, 2017

Blogging Besties: Blue & Brown

Blogging Besties is a weekly series featuring Whitney of Whitney à la mode, Alex of The Cheerful Closet, 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 looked positively radiant in her fun sweater vest and multicolored stripes! Because I do not own a sweater vest or anything in multicolored stripes, I decided to go with the "blue and brown" prompt by default. Luckily, I had the perfect outfit to fit that description!

For my "blue and brown" outfit, I styled my navy blue vest with my brown cords, with a layered shirt & sweater underneath. I finished this outfit off with a glam necklace at the neckline!

Shirt: Old Navy (similarsimilarsimilar)
Sweater: Target (similarsimilarsimilar)
Vest: Old Navy (similarsimilarsimilar)
Cords: Old Navy (similarsimilarsimilar)
Necklace: Francesca's (similarsimilarsimilar)
Watch: Target (similarsimilarsimilar)
Shoes: Converse (exactsimilarsimilar)

For next week, Maricel can choose from the following prompts: Layers, hot pink, corduroys, or a vest!

Mar 8, 2017

When Sweatshirts are Pretty

Can we take a quick moment to observe the massive ice sheet that I'm standing on?!  For whatever reason, the patch of sidewalk right outside my front door turns into an ice skating rink regardless of how much salt is used.  The rest of the sidewalk will be completely cleared but this ice remains.  It's a wonder I've made it all winter without falling.  Although now that I've said that, I'm bound to wipe-out soon!

Alright, alright, now we can get to the clothes!  I've reviewed some pretty fun pieces from Zaful in the past but, you guys, I've found my favorite!  This sweatshirt!  First of all, it's super comfy (you know, being a sweatshirt and all).  On top of that it's super pretty and will be easy to dress up or down.  Who doesn't love a sweatshirt you can wear to work!?

I wear a size medium in most brand but typically size-up with Zaful.  I'm wearing a large here and still had plenty of room underneath to layer my chambray shirt.  I would very highly recommend this sweatshirt if you are thinking about it!

Anyways, Happy Hump Day!  I hope you are having a fabulous week!

Mar 6, 2017

Le Bon Macaron

You know those days that are just good for your soul?  The days where the simple pleasures show you just how beautiful life is?  I had one of those days back in January and I'm just now getting the chance to post about it!

On a lovely day off from school, my best friend and I took a day trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan.  We started the day at the cutest coffee and macaron shop, Le Bon Macaron, the site of this photo shoot.  After coffee and sweets, we shopped all afternoon and then had dinner and drinks at Brewery Vivant. Amidst our busy lives, it was just so nice to be able to spend a day together doing fun things and experiencing some great places that Michigan has to offer!

For our date, I wore an outfit I loved!  Plenty of color, a whimsical print and classic lines are features that feel very me.  Evidently, my favorite kind of outfit is sort of reminiscent of a bunch of macarons!

So thank you, my beautiful friend of the past decade, Nicole, for being with me through thick and thin (and for taking these pictures)!  I can't wait for our next day together!

Mar 3, 2017

Blogging Besties: Distressed Denim

Blogging Besties is a weekly series featuring Whitney of Whitney à la mode, Alex of The Cheerful Closet, 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 pretty in pink and gave me the following prompts from which to choose: floral, distressed denim or ballet flats.

I really debated which prompt to use because I love all of them and am so ready for some spring-time floral in my life!  But ultimately, I went where inspiration took me and landed on distressed denim.

I purchased this sweater vest at the GAP Outlet this fall and didn't love my first attempt at styling it.  Since then, though, I think I've got it figured out!  I definitely prefer it with longer sleeves sticking out.  I wore the vest with lace during my trip to China and have added stripes here!

Alright, Alex is up next and here are her prompts for next week: a sweater vest, blue and brown or multi-colored stripes!

Mar 2, 2017

Book Review: All the Missing Girls

Okay, you guys.  I have to admit that I'm having some anxiety about this post!  I love to read but I've never written a book review before and I hardly know where to start.  I feel as if I'm writing a book report for school again!

I suppose I will start with the reason for this book review post.  A few of the ladies from The Blended Blog started a Virtual Book Club a month or so ago!  For February, we picked several book, read as many as we could, and then were joined by some other awesome ladies for an online book discussion (wine optional but recommended).  Does this sound good to you?  We would love for you to join us in future months!  Blogger or not, please sign-up using this link.

To wrap-up our first month of reading and discussion, we're doing a blog hop review of each chosen book.  If you're stopping by from Sheila's blog, welcome!  And when you're finished here, head over to visit librarian extraordinaire, Leslie!  But first, let's take a look at the book I chose for our group this month, All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda.

About the Book:

The story follows our main character, Nic, who must temporarily leave her carefully-crafted life in order to attend to business back home, a home to which she never intended to return.  Once settled, Nic works to prepare her childhood home for sale and checks in on her mentally unstable father.  But when a local girl goes missing, Nic's world starts to fall apart.  The incident churns up memories of Nic's childhood best friend who went missing ten years earlier.  As more clues are uncovered and as Nic loses her grip on reality, it becomes clear that the two occurrences are linked, but how exactly and who is responsible?

The narrative structure is what sets this novel apart from others in its genre.  The story is told in reverse chronological order.  The suspense is amplified as the reader works backwards to discover what has happened in this small town.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book!  I would liken it to several other popular suspense novels that have been released in recent years like The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl.  These are typically the kind of books that I like to read so it's no surprise that I flew through this one.

At first, the telling of the story in reverse order threw me (I didn't realize this was the ongoing structure until several chapters in).  Once I recovered from my confusion, I liked it!  I definitely wouldn't want to read all of my books this way but it made for a creative reading experience and upped the suspense.

One potential downfall to this book is that the main character, Nic, isn't particularly likable (in my opinion at least).  She really starts to go crazy and it's frustrating to witness when she doesn't seem to be doing anything to help herself.  Normally when I don't like the main character, I struggle to like the book.  In this case, however, my feelings about Nic didn't interfere with my enjoyment of the story.

I would definitely recommend this book if you are a suspense reader.  I give it four out of five stars!

Mar 1, 2017

Currently: March

watching: Once Upon a Time on Netflix (I'm only on Season 3 so no spoilers, please)!  My best friend and I have been working our way through the series at the same time.  It's fun to have someone to talk to about the crazy story lines.  We just love how so many characters are woven into the story.

eating: broccoli tots like it's my job!  Have you tried these from Green Giant!?  They are so good and one portion equals an entire serving of broccoli!

saying: lots of goofy things in French!  I'm back to using the TPRS method of teaching language to my 7th graders (my youngest group).  The method involves using vocabulary to tell really crazy stories.  Lately I've been talking a lot about wolves...

wearing: Oribe Après Beach Wave and Shine Spray.  I received it in my very first Birchbox and love it!  I've been washing my hair at night, letting it air dry, using a straightening iron to curl it in the morning and then using the spray to make pretty, shiny waves!  As an added bonus, the spray smells amazing!

posting: fewer outfits this month!  My Create28 series with Carrie got to be quite the bit of work there at the end of February!  I will be cutting myself some slack this month with fewer (but still some) outfit posts.

Linking-Up with Anne and Carrie!