Jun 30, 2017

Blogging Besties: Wedge Heels

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 yours truly @ My Closet Catalogue and 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!


Greetings! Last week, Maricel showed off a wonderful printed dress that she made herself (which never ceases to amaze me!) I love her retro look and how she incorporates those elements into modern outfits.

For my turn, I chose to pass on "wedge heels." Wedges are my heel of choice for the obvious reason of comfort. But I also love the quirky vibe a nice suede wedge adds to an outfit rather than a normal heel. They make me feel very cute and put together!

Here, I styled my classic black wedge heels with a black blazer, white striped top, and maroon everything else! I love a matchy-matchy look like this; it makes my brain happy to pick out items in the same color and pair them together! 

Tee: Target (similarsimilarsimilar)
Blazer: Target (similarsimilarsimilar)
Skirt: Clothes Mentor (similarsimilarsimilar)
Necklace: Clothes Mentor (similarsimilarsimilar)
Wedges: Payless (similarsimilarsimilar)

Next week, Whitney can choose from the following elements: maroon, a statement necklace, a blazer, or a favorite outfit formula!
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Jun 28, 2017

The Blended Blog Style

Hey, friends!  Can you believe that June is almost over?!  Do you have any plans for the upcoming holiday weekend?  I will be relaxing at the beach and enjoying the sunsets over Lake Michigan.

But for today, you can find me over at The Blended Blog for our weekly style post and link-up!  Hop on over to find out where I found this perfect, floral dress (hint: my new favorite online boutique).  See you there!
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Jun 26, 2017

Summertime and the Livin' is Easy with SOAK

Oh sweet summertime, I'm so happy you're here!  I'm loving your morning runs by the lake, midday Netflix binges and late-night s'more sessions.  What I'm not loving?  That sometimes oppressive heat that prevents me from wearing my beloved layers, tights and scarves!  Yep, like most bloggers, fall and winter are my favorite times of year to dress for.  I find it difficult to create interesting outfits when the temperatures soar!

But I'm here today with three ways to keep that summertime look cool and easy while still feeling put-together and stylish!

Fun little details: Whether you're grabbing a cute top or a summer dress, I look for pieces with fun little details like a print or an interesting texture.  These pieces hold their own so that you don't need to add lots of layers or heavy jewelry (which can sometimes feel stifling in the heat, am I right?!) to feel finished and polished.  I'm loving my new, breezy tank (purchased with my favorite Blended Bloggers while in Toronto) because of the adorable, tiny fruit print!

No-Heat Hairstyles: As much as I love my straightening iron waves, sometimes it is just too darn hot to be stuck under a heated styling tool!  Not to mention I usually want to hop out of the shower and head directly to an ice cream date or happy hour on the patio.  Cue quick and easy styles you can create while your hair is still wet!  My favorite is a pancaked dutch braid slicked back into a low bun.  It's a no muss no fuss style that still looks like you put in some effort!

Stylish Slides: Okay, so I'll admit that sometimes buckling sandals feels like too much work when I'm ready to be out enjoying the season.  Flip flops used to be my go-to shoe every summer but lately I've been wanting a more elevated look.  Slides are the perfect solution!  There are no buckles and they are definitely in-style this summer!

If you are looking for the ideal summer slide, please check-out SOAK Slide Sandals. They come in a variety of hues (in metallic, solid or color-blocked).  When they graciously offered to send me a pair to review, I chose a solid in Neon Papaya.  They provide the perfect pop-of-color to spice up any outfit!

These sandals feel incredibly high-quality and are easily wiped clean.  They also provide arch support and plenty of cushion -- so hard to find in cute, flat sandals!  If I haven't sold you on these shoes yet, they are recyclable, vegan and made in the USA!

So head on over and check-out all of the fun colors SOAK offers!  To sweeten the deal, SOAK is offering my readers 15% off their first order using the code WHIT15.  So go on, check them out and let me know which color you would choose!

(A note on sizing: they do not offer half sizes so I would recommend sizing-up if you are in-between.)

I would also love to know how you're staying put-together and cool this summer!  Make sure to comment below.
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Jun 23, 2017

Blogging Besties :: Pretty in Gold

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 yours truly @ My Closet Catalogue and 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, Selah showed much courage in daring to wear a color that was challenging for her:

This week is brought to you by: “something olive, blush, gold, or just something that makes you want to sing I Feel Pretty”. And for your viewing pleasure, I give you: something gold that makes me want to sing.


The other day, my precocious tween thoughtfully mused that my new aesthetic was a cross "between a 70-year-old grandma and a 6-year-old girl". The 40+ something in me was rather taken aback by this comment. Should I take it as a compliment? An insult? A sign that my daughter is finally developing a sense of style independent of me? When I got over my mommy angst, I was disheartened to realize that it was immediately replaced by mid-life crisis angst. Have I truly gone over to the dark side of sartorial ineptitude? Did my foray into vintage fashion skew my aesthetic entirely? Am I in a fashion slump?! I suppose learning how to sew didn't help matters either. I confess that I chose simple silhouettes to match my seamstress skills, and the easiest things to make are dresses. Trapeze dresses, to be exact. No need to fuss over bust darts or waistline placement. No worries about buttons and buttonholes. Trapeze dresses became my go-to project. (Yes, I sewed the dress I'm wearing for this pictorial.) And yet, despite all the fun I was having finding retro fabric to match the retro 60s vibe, I may have crossed the line from cool into kitsch. I mean, take a look at those buttons, why doncha?


When I think about backing away from the vintage thing, though, I feel a stab of sadness. I like zany prints. I like exaggerated a-lines and fit-and-flare circle skirts. I like peplums and large lapels. I feel pretty wearing throwback pieces. So really, I should just continue doing what makes me happy. After all, I think I'm old enough to have earned the right. And, if anything else, I can always take pictures from far away and Photoshop the heck out of them.


For Alex’s turn next week, I challenge her to the following: zany prints, wedge heels, or a comfortable silhouette. Vive le vendredi!

:: Just the facts, ma’am :: Dress – made by moi Wedges – eBay
:: Scream it from the top of your lungs :: Bloom by The Paper Kites
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Jun 21, 2017

Spring Bucket List Update (And My New Summer Bucket List)

As of today, summer is officially in full swing!  Around the world, people are celebrating the solstice and I'm enjoying my first week of freedom from school.  What a perfect day to take a look back at my Spring Bucket List to see what I accomplished!

1.  Buy fresh flowers for my apartment.  Okay, so I didn't actually buy fresh flowers but I updated the faux bouquet that brightens my desk.  That totally counts, right?!

2.  Watch a Lansing Lugnuts (the local baseball team) game.  Check!  A bunch of teachers from the high school where I work enjoyed a Friday night at the ballpark complete with spring weather, beer and hot dogs (of course)!

3.  Drink a cup of coffee or a glass of wine on a patio.  Technically this is beer, but again, who is paying attention to the details?!  In any case, the patio at The Peanut Barrel is my favorite place to have an outdoor beverage.

4.  Go on a weekend getaway.  This really handsome guy and I went to Traverse City, Michigan and the surrounding areas for my birthday weekend.  He ran a marathon and we sampled lots of delicious wine.  It was the perfect weekend!

5.  Read a book in the courtyard of my apartment complex.  I actually enjoyed a book outside on three separate occasions this spring.  It might just be the best way to relax.

6.  Try a meal ingredients delivery service.  We cooked three awesome meals from Blue Apron and will definitely be trying some more.  The one pictured is a Smoked Trout Salad with Asparagus!

7.  Find a new hiking destination for #ourmonthlyhike with my best friend, Nicole.  We tried a couple new hiking trails this spring, Woldumar Nature Center being my new favorite!

8.  Purge my closet of clothes I no longer love.  Nope, I did not accomplish this one.  I've been weeding things out here and there but I didn't do the the full closet purge that I intended.

9.  Buy a pair of fun sneakers for the warmer weather.  Yes!  I'm loving my new Adidas sneakers (and twinning with my boyfriend).

10.  Experiment with a more advanced yoga class.  I twisted this one a little bit, too.  So I didn't actually try another yoga class but I did take up running again and feel great about my progress.  I'd say that's an even swap!

Nine out of ten ain't bad, huh?!  Plus I really enjoyed checking these items off my list and the enjoyment each activity brought to my life.  Now I'm excited to tackle my Summer Bucket List:

1.  Run a 5k.
2.  Go camping.
3.  Take a boat ride.
4.  Try a new grill recipe.
5.  Spend a day at the beach.
6.  Get a pedicure.
7.  Try a new hiking trail (a repeat from my Spring List but you can never explore too many trails!)
8.  Buy fresh fruit at a farmer's market.
9.  Watch a sunset.
10.  Explore a new-to-me city.

If you have a bucket list you would like to share, please link-up with us below!  And a big thank you to Leslie for organizing our bucket list posts!

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Jun 16, 2017

Blogging Besties: Comfort Zone

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, Whitney wowed in a pencil skirt:

The prompts she gave me were "stretchy, form-fitting, teal, or outside of your comfort!".
Whitney's post got me thinking about my fashion comfort zone and how it has evolved over the years. I remember being leery of blush / peach, thinking that it would wash my fair coloring out. It was Whitney who inspired me to give blush a chance, with this post. So, this peachy blush is something that was once outside of my comfort zone, but now makes me feel oh-so-pretty.


Maricel, next week show us something olive, blush, gold, or just something that makes you want to sing "I Feel Pretty".
Previous Editions of Blogging Besties
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The Blended Blog Loves: School's Out!

Happy LAST DAY OF SCHOOL, my lovely friends!  To celebrate, I'm posting at The Blended Blog today and am featuring some of my favorite posts of the week that have me excited for summertime!  So pop-on over and share an iced coffee with me!
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Jun 9, 2017

Blogging Besties: Pencil Skirt

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!

Have you ever noticed that Alex is the queen of pencil skirts?!  She rocks them fearlessly all.the.time!

So when she gave me "pencil skirt" as one of my prompts for this week, I knew I had to go for it.  You see, I tend to shy away from pencil skirts because I often feel self-conscious about the way they fit my (curvy) lower body.

But I've had one just sitting in my closet since last fall, waiting to be worn.  This Cassie skirt is one of the first LuLaRoe pieces I purchased because I loved the print.  When I received it in the mail, though, I totally chickened-out on wearing it.  And then it was buried underneath other skirts...until now!

And you know what?!  I felt great in this outfit!  The stretchy skirt is super comfortable even though it's form-fitting and I still love the print and the pop-of-teal!  So thank you, Alex, for making me step outside my comfort zone!  That's the point of Blogging Besties, after all!

Selah, my dear, for next week you can choose from: stretchy, form-fitting, teal, or outside of your comfort!
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Jun 7, 2017

Currently: June

planning: lots and lots of trips for the summer!  From camping in the Mitten State to Belgium and a road trip along the East Coast (including my beloved Alexandria, VA), I'm looking forward to lots of summertime adventures!

wishing: it were the last day of school.  Only eight more to go...not that anyone is counting...

learning: about literacy instruction.  To make the end of the school year a bit more of a struggle than usual, I'm taking a graduate-level class about literacy in order to renew my certification.  It's an intensive, six-week course and it's almost over!  Thank goodness because I'm really planning to enjoy my summer. (photo credit)

browsing: all the LipSense.  Thank you, Sarah, for my most recent make-up obsession!  You can find a great review of the product as well as the photo I used above here.

going: to oh so many places in Michigan.  After a lovely weekend spent in the Traverse City area for my birthday, I'm excited to plan a few more Michigan getaways this summer including a trip to my hometown with a certain special someone.

Linking-up with Anne and Erin!
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Jun 5, 2017

My Weight Loss Journey with Nutrisystem

I'm sharing personal story over at The Blended Blog today for our Tasty Tuesday link-up!  You see, in the past year, I've lost 15 pounds using the Nutrisystem plan.  Curious about how the plan worked for me?  Head over to TBB to read my review and to learn a few of my tips and tricks for success!
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Jun 2, 2017

Blogging Besties: Floral

Blogging Besties is a weekly series featuring Whitney of Whitney à la mode, Alex of The Cheerful Closet, 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, Maricel looked positively radiant in her floral dress! I love the colors in the pattern--they remind me of tutti frutti.

She inspired me to style this floral tank in a new way with peach and a pencil skirt! I usually wear this tank with darker colors pulled from the pattern, but I love how the peach looks with it for spring! 

Don't mind the furry photobomber--Rosie is still a little nervous around the tripod and doesn't like to be too far away from me when I bring it out!

Tank: Plato's Closet (similarsimilarsimilar)
Cardigan: LOFT (similarsimilarsimilar)
Skirt: Target (similarsimilarsimilar)
Flats: Target (similarsimilarsimilar)
Necklace: Forever XXI (similarsimilarsimilar)

Next week, Whitney can choose from the following elements: pencil skirts, ballet flats, peach, or a new color combination! 
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