Feb 5th, Running Errands

DSCN6501DSCN6502Hey friends! I’m actually feeling a tiny bit better today- whoot hoot!

I’m not up for running errands, but I did decide that I’d actually take a shower, get dressed, take a quick photo and share it with you- then I’ll return to the couch to rest my back and watch another episode of Friday Night Lights (which has become my all time favorite show…)

To me, a typical ‘running errands’ outfit consists of jeans, a top, a cardigan and flat shoes. That being said it would be really easy to just go with the outfit on the right.

However, it’s also really easy to make a few minor changes- and yet have a much cuter, more polished look- as seen on the left. Remember, I’m not claiming to be a fashion plate- or style expert- I’m just a mom who likes to put a tiny bit of effort into my outfit!

All I’ve done here is roll the hem of my jeans- replace the tennis shoes with ballet flats, and add a bright (neon) yellow silk blouse under my cardigan instead of the plain white tank. The old me would have thought a silk blouse it too dressy for a stay at home mom. But let me tell you, it’s not too dressy!  It adds a nice texture under the cardigan, is very forgiving (doesn’t cling to my mommy belly) and the bright yellow is very eye catching.

So simple- and yet much cuter.

Blouse: Loft, Cardigan: Banana Republic, Jeans: CABi, Shoes: Tory Burch, Necklace: Anthropologie

Blouse: Loft, Cardigan: Banana Republic, Jeans: CABi, Shoes: Tory Burch, Necklace: Anthropologie

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Feb 1st, Outerwear

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Hi friends, and happy Friday! For today’s post I decided today to focus on outwear.

Since so many of us are running errands all day- dashing in and out of the car from one shop to the next we might actually never even take our coats off!

That being said, it’s easy to look dated and frumpy in a coat- and it’s also easy to look pulled together, so basically it’s your choice!

How much do you really care? For me- I care, only because I feel better when I feel pulled together. I feel more energized, more spunky (I know, stupid word- but I couldn’t think of anything else to say!) and I just feel polished.

When I’m out running errands dressed in frumpy clothes- I honestly feel like I don’t get as good of service as when I have put a little effort into my look. Call it superficial, but in my opinion, it’s true.

Let’s look at my photos. In my ‘before’ look I am wearing this enormous shapeless coat (which actually is my hubby’s) but I wanted to show you a before picture of a coat that is so large it literally is overwhelming me- making me look far larger than I am.  The baggy jeans and Uggs (while incredibly comfortable) are also adding to the frumpy look.

In my ‘after’ shot you’ll notice I replaced the baggy, frumpy jeans for my skinnies. I know, I know, you want to be comfortable. I hear ya! But let me tell you, these skinny jeans are truly the most comfortable pair of jeans I have EVER owned. The brand is Madewell- and I don’t know how they do it- but the cotton is so incredibly soft and stretchy, these jeans feel like yoga pants! I promise.

I’ve also replaced the ugly Uggs with my Frye boots. Again, I hear ya, you’re running errands and on your feet all day and you want to be comfortable. I feel your pain! It is so important for me to be comfortable too! By investing in these more expensive boots, I have made an investment into my foot comfort. These Frye boots are so comfy that I could wear them all day and my feet will not hurt. Plus, they look so much more stylish than the Uggs, don’t you think?

Lastly- my coat. This coat is such an improvement over the one on the right- simply because rather than swallow me up- it emphasizes my shape- while keeping me nice and toasty. The best part? I bought this coat at Target! It’s perfect for me because it covers my butt (which is essential both for keeping warm and for when wearing skinny jeans) and because of the cute belt. A belt on a coat is a must- it helps define your waist and makes you look more polished.

Finally, since this outfit is so devoid of personality (and color) I added this gorgeous bright scarf. It completes the look- and adds a nice focal point for the outfit.

Coat: Target, scarf: J Crew

Coat: Target, scarf: J Crew

Here are some good examples I pulled from Zappos. All of these coats are cute, but in my opinion, the belted ones are more flattering.

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This is the same model as above, but doesn't she look a lot thinner in this belted coat?

This is the same model as above, but doesn’t she look a lot thinner in this belted coat?

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Again, same model as above- the belted coat just makes her look thinner.

Again, same model as above- the belted coat just makes her look thinner.

Jan 28th, Tennis Shoes

dscn5359dscn5356Let me share with you a little story… if you are a long time reader you will know one of my all time LEAST favorite looks is tennis shoes with jeans, especially ‘mom jeans’.

Well, about a few months ago I was down at the school bus stop waiting for my daughter to get home from school. One of my good friends was standing there in jeans, a cute shirt and flip flops. It was 45 degrees out. I exclaimed, ‘oh my gosh, aren’t your feet frozen?’ to which she answered, ‘yes but I didn’t know what shoes to wear. You (meaning me) are always writing about how you can’t wear tennis shoes with jeans, so my only other option is flip flops.’

Sigh… I realized that she didn’t quite understand what I meant when I said no tennis shoes with jeans. She thought I mean NONE. EVER. PERIOD.

The thing is, there are some versions of tennis shoes that are actually quite cute- and will look adorable with skinny jeans, or whatever you are wearing. Puma in particular has come out with an incredible line of ‘tennis shoes’ that are actually styled to look like ballet flats (which happens to be my favorite shoe of all time).

So readers- when I say don’t wear tennis shoes with jeans I mean the old clunky tennis shoes that you wear to work out in (as seen above right). Instead, invest in some cute, streamlined ballet flat style ‘tennis shoes’ and your feet will be comfy, and toasty (although you CAN NOT wear socks with these. EVER) and stylish!

Obviously my favorite are the Puma ones, which you can see here but there are some other cute ones as well, as seen here or here.

Here are some more examples of outfit for you!

Mom jeans and tennis shoes- a HUGE 'no no' in my book!

Mom jeans and tennis shoes- a HUGE ‘no no’ in my book!

By switching out the mom jeans for dark skinnys, my legs look leaner and the ballet flats/ tennis shoe completes the look.

By switching out the mom jeans for dark skinnys, my legs look leaner and the ballet flats (my Pumas would have looked cute here as well) complete the look.

Even if all you are wearing is a tank and a zipped up hoodie, these streamlined tennis shoes are so much cuter!

Very simple and casual 'everyday mom' look!

Very simple and casual ‘everyday mom’ look!

*These are all old pictures that you might recognize from older posts, sorry! I’m still flat on my back wearing my sweats.

Jan 24th, White Jeans in Winter

DSCN4099DSCN4100Here is another old photo I found- I looked back through old posts and couldn’t find it, so I wonder if I took the picture and never used it?

I bought these white cropped skinny jeans at J Crew a while ago. Lots of people are afraid to wear white after Labor Day- but personally, I love it! From everything I have read, that is an old, outdated rule that you do not have to follow!

White jeans are easy to wear because they go with anything- but I really love pairing them with neutrals.

In this picture I chose a brown tank and this cute cropped trench coat. To tie it all together I wore a Tiger’s eye necklace (from Forever 21- great place for cheap trendy jewelry) and my favorite leopard belt (from Target). 

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Jan 23rd, Recyling

DSCN3904DSCN5929Hello friends! Today I am actually recycling an outfit that I showed you all last Jan. Since so many of you are new readers- you probably wouldn’t have even noticed- but just in case you did I thought I better come clean!

Unfortunately, my back pain continues to bother me- so I am now on bedrest for the next month (or so). That being said, I will try to get dressed and show you a cute outfit each day- even if all I do is take it off, put back on my sweats and get back in bed.

Anyhow- enough about me- let’s talk about this outfit!

This is a dress I bought a LONG time ago at Anthropologie. I actually think it is a nightgown, but I wear it as a dress. It is super soft and super comfy! All alone it isn’t anything special, but it is a great base for layering!

Today I have turned it into a skirt by adding a long sleeve black t shirt over the top, then layering a cute sweater over the top. To keep my legs warm, I have on black tights (one reader from Minnesota suggested that she wears fur lined tights. I haven’t ever seen those, but boy do they sound warm!), and black boots.

This would be a cute outfit for lunch with friends, work, volunteering at school… really anything!

The long necklace finishes off the look. A long necklace like this makes you look thinner- it draws the eye down, creating a longer- leaner look (or so I've read!).

The long necklace finishes off the look. A long necklace like this makes you look thinner- it draws the eye down, creating a longer- leaner look (or so I’ve read!).

Jan 16th, Puffy Vest

DSCN6431DSCN1956I’m working from home again today (actually working from my bed- I’m still having my back issues) so I’m dressed in ultra casual, ultra comfy clothes.

I’ve opted for my black leggings, a grey sweater and this cute patterned puffy vest (although truth be told, while I’m in my bed I don’t have the vest or boots on! :))

It’s a much cuter outfit than the plain one* on the right, don’t you think?

Leggings: Nordstrom, Sweater: Nordstrom, Boots: Frye, Vest: Old Navy

Leggings: Nordstrom, Sweater: Nordstrom, Boots: Frye, Vest: Old Navy

* this is an old picture taken last summer- hence the gorgeous flowers behind me. If I took it today, you would see frost! 🙂

Jan 14th, Cargo Style

DSCN6414DSCN6418 If you are a long time reader you’ll remember that a while back I was on the hunt for some skinny cargos. My sister ended up finding these for me- they are Michael Kors (did you know he had a clothing line in addition to purses and shoes?!).

I really love these pants- they are exactly what I was looking for- soft cotton, enough stretch that I can actually move in them, and I love the skinny style.

Now my only problem is what to wear them with?!

Today I decided to go with a blue open knit sweater. Like the pants, this sweater is super soft- and the long length is perfect for skinny pants (read: my bum is covered). It’s really hard to see in the photos- but this sweater actually has a cute striped pattern to it. I tried to take a close up photo- but it didn’t translate very well (sorry!).  For my shoes I opted for my black wedge booties*. And to finish the whole look off, I chose this Stella and Dot necklace.

I think this a much better outfit than the one on the right- the short cardigan is too plain on it’s own- and the length doesn’t work with the skinny cargos (absolutely no bum coverage here). The black sneakers are also a distraction- they seem dated and frumpy.

Kind of a weird pose, but I wanted you to see the cute slit on the sides!

Kind of a weird pose, but I wanted you to see the cute slit on the sides!

I tried to take a close up so you could see the subtle pattern.

I tried to take a close up so you could see the subtle pattern.

Sweater: Banana Republic, Pants: Michael Kors, Necklace: Stella and Dot, Shoes: DSW

*Full disclosure- I’m actually working from home today- so I’m not wearing these heels around the house. I have on my comfy Birkenstocks- but I know you don’t want to see those! 🙂

Jan 11th, Inspired by Pinterest

If you haven’t already discovered Pinterest, let me warn you that it is a total time suck! Plan on spending hours looking at all the amazing and creative ideas people post. You can find outfit ideas, decorating ideas, party ideas, recipes, parenting tips… basically it’s a gathering place for people to share (or discover) ANYTHING you want!

I tend to go on it when I look at my closet and think ‘I have nothing to wear’. I’m always able to find inspiration- and usually have items in my wardrobe that are close enough to copy an outfit that I like.

Hence- today’s outfit.

Below is my inspiration photo plucked from Pinterest:

Now, I don’t have the exact same sweater (wish I did though, this is cute) so I decided a turtleneck in a similar color would work. Below is my version:

DSCN6389And just cause I think it’s fun to see before and after pictures- below is my before! Please know that I would never actually wear these jeans for real. I bought them for a Halloween costume- but they are such perfect ‘mom jeans’ that I keep them in my closet purely for comparison!

DSCN6392Let’s look at them side by side:

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Jan 10th, Three for Thursday

271553052501223865_lQhfpgHr_bDSCN6376Hi friends! Sorry I skipped yesterday. I actually had a very early appointment with a specialist about my sciatica- and then spent the rest of the day in bed resting. ARGH!

Anyhoo… it’s Thursday, so time for another edition of Three for Thursday. For you new readers, this is where I show 1 item worn 3 ways. Pretty simple stuff!

As usual, my lighting in my bathroom is terrible, so you can’t really tell- but these are my purple skinny jeans. They look black in the pictures- but they are actually purple- I swear! To give you a true idea of what color they are, I included the picture (above right) from Pinterest.

In my first outfit I chose to keep it very casual and just added my blue and white striped shirt and my denim jacket. For shoes I chose my short boots.

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For the next outfit, I also kept it really casual. This is a great weekend outfit- very simple, yet stylish. I chose my denim shirt and then added this cool infinity scarf and some fun bracelets. For shoes I chose my brown boots.

Denim shirt- J Crew, Scarf: Macy's

Denim shirt- J Crew, Scarf: Macy’s

My third look is more for a casual work outfit. Here I chose to wear a sweater (notice the cute ruffle detail around the neckline), and then I added a necklace and a stack of bracelets. For fun, I rolled the hems of the jeans and chose my leopard ballet flats.

Sweater: Loft, Shoes: Target, Necklace: Stella and Dot

Sweater: Loft, Shoes: Target, Necklace: Stella and Dot

Because I was inspired- I decided to try 2 more looks with these purple jeans. The first is a bit strange- and I’m not sure if I like it or not. Here, I chose a blush colored silky blouse and then added a cable knit dark grey cardigan. I like the contrast of the feminine blouse and the chunky sweater. It’s the shoes I’m not sure about. I love these slip on loafers- but the bare ankles paired with a big cardigan may be too much of a contrast.

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For the last look I chose to show a date night look. Rather than just wear regular denim or black jeans, I decided to try a cute going out top with these purple jeans and added strappy black heels. Since the neckline of this top is so decorative, I skipped a necklace. Instead I added a fun chunky silver bracelet.

DSCN6385Which outfit would you wear? Any of them? Please comment, I love hearing from you!!

Jan 8th, Faux Suit

DSCN6374I have a work meeting this morning, so I want to look somewhat professional- but notdscn6038 too formal. I decided to go with a pencil skirt and my leather jacket- to make sort of a ‘faux suit’.

I paired my brown pencil skirt with my lace t shirt and then layered my leather jacket over the top (instead of a suit jacket). To complete the look I opted for my brown boots.

Looking at the photos, I don’t like seeing my bare legs peeking out, I may need to go put some tights on. What do you think? Should I add tights?

Skirt: Nordstrom, Top: Madewell, Jacket: Nordstrom, Boots: DSW

Skirt: Nordstrom, Top: Madewell, Jacket: Nordstrom, Boots: DSW