Friday, April 18, 2014

new arrivals: gap!

When the seasons change one of my favorite emails to get from retailers are those featuring the new arrivals!  New arrivals! New arrivals!  The happiest online shopping times in my book… (I don't mind the sale emails either!)

I am really loving the Gap's super laid back spring pieces lately… Plus it seems they are always having a promotion anywhere from 15 - 40% off so keep an eye out for sales to snag new arrivals. Gere are some highlights:

1. grey blazer… This is a super versatile piece and the pop of neon on the cuff is so fun for spring! Wear this with a simple white tee or graphic tee all spring!

2. open knit sweater… I love a good spring sweater.  They are cozy but light as air and perfect for days when the sun says spring but the temps say cold.

3. pale pink chinos… Don't these look like the ultimate in laid back chic? I would pair them with a black tee and black pointy flats for a edgy spring look.

4. pleated denim skirt… A new take on a classic denim skirt.

5. blue leather tote… I always love Gap's ultra simple handbag styles. This bag would be a great tote/purse option for spring.  

6. striped dress… This breezy classic dress with an updated hemline style is the perfect spring dress in my book.  I would pair this with a denim jacket or bold necklace.

7. eyelet back sweatshirt… Eyelet paired with a sweatshirt.  A dream come true in my book!

8. bright printed scarf… As I packed away my winter scarves I realized I seriously need some new spring-y scarves. This one would add a great pop of color to any outfit.

9. sequined espadrille sandals… These sandals are practical and simple but totally blinged out at the same time.  Love it!

10. eyelet shorts… I can't wait to wear the similar pair of eyelet shorts I got last summer.  If you don't have a pair yet… check out this pair!

What new arrivals are you loving these days?

Have a great weekend and happy Easter! I hope you have a warm and sunshine filled weekend!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

my everyday style: jacket season!

Some time vortex just occurred and it's Easter this weekend.  And Easter is even late this year.  Am I the only one who this snuck up on? I think not actually because as I was doing a fast grab for Easter basket goodies at Target yesterday I was not alone.  No my friend, there were plenty of other moms doing the same thing!

While I have been waiting ever so patiently for spring to arrive (or not patiently at all) it's still hard to believe that it is kite season already.  Fess up, who else got a kite in their Easter basket every year as kids? I can't be the only one who broke a kite on Easter every year as a kid (so depressing).  My kids will know this season as sidewalk chalk season… that's what they get in their baskets every year. Parents are quirky like that.

Are your Easter baskets packed? Or did you eat all the candy already (If you did, I will confess I did too.  If not, then well what candy?)?  I hope you are enjoying spring in your neck of the woods.

Jacket, Zara - old (similar or similar)
T-shirt, J.Crew
Necklace, Baublebar*
Jeans, Old Navy - ℅ last year
Shoes, Kate Spade (similar or similar less expensive)
Bag, J.Crew (similar - cute and under $100!)
Sunglasses, Ray Ban

*if you are keeping track at home of my clothing budget/allowance (see posts here) accessories like this necklace don't count for my "5 pieces".  I recently did do a little "stock up" at Baublebar for spring and you will see those pieces here on the blog or on my instagram!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

3 ways to style a white tee!

The other day I had this crazy flashback to one of the first posts I ever wrote here on this blog… it was all about my favorite basic t-shirts. It's hard to believe that was 6 years ago! While this blog has evolved drastically in the past 6 years (seriously, don't visit the archives - they are terrible!) my love for a simple t-shirt on any given day has not evolved.  I love them dearly.

I love how a t-shirt can go from simple and plain to dressed up and pulled together with just a few extra layers and accessories.  But simple or not… they are always comfortable, which is a huge bonus in my book.  Here are a few inspirations for wearing your basic tees this spring…

bottom look: white tee, jeans, sandals, scarf, bracelet, purse (so cute and it's from old navy!)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

my everyday style: vacation looks!

After spending a week in California I'm super blissed out this week.  We had a really long travel day on Sunday (a red eye then a five hour layover - seriously, I don't recommend that!) and I was dreading what this week would be. But now that I am back in the swing of things I realized how much I really needed a break - from life and from the blog. I seriously can't thank you readers enough for giving me the break and coming back this week again!  I feel on top of the world right now… and that is definitely a 180 after this rough, rough winter.

I posted just a few outfit looks while on vacation last week to Instagram… I wish I would have posted more because I just love laid back vacation outfits. But the truth was I was SO laid back (read: lazy!) that I just didn't.  California treated us so so well. This vacation will seriously go down as one of the best ever in our families history I am sure.  We absolutely fell in love with California.  The mornings and evenings are cool (perfect for sporting a pair of jeans and light sweater) and the afternoons are deliciously warm and sunny (think: shorts, tees, bathing suits, flip flops on repeat).  Layers were key for the whole trip… we usually spent the mornings and sunsets at the beach and the late mornings and afternoons at the pools (rough, huh?).  Even though the evenings were a touch cool sometimes we vowed to eat every dinner outside.  And we did!  We were pleasantly surprised that most patios at the restaurants were heated (my dream come true!).

Here are a few of my vacation looks…

(above: J.Crew sweater - on sale!, Ray Ban sunglasses, H&M scarf  - similar, AG Jeans, Sole Society wedges - similar or similar)

(above: J.Crew striped top - similar, Dear Pru necklace - similar, Old Navy skirt - obsessed with this skirt!, Gap sandals, American Eagle denim jacket ℅ - similar, J.Crew bag - similar)

(above: J.Crew sweater on my shoulders - similar, J.Crew "merci" tee - similar, Gap white jeans, Kate Spade sunglasses)

Check out more vacation pics and randomness on Instagram!

Monday, April 14, 2014

a fresh crop of chambray for spring!

Whoa! It feels great to be back on the blog again today… a huge welcome back to you ladies too! A million thank you's for being patient while I took a little break and for joining me back here today.  I had the most relaxing (and quick!) week off enjoying the California sun and my family.

California gave me the most wonderful taste of spring… and thankfully the weather here in Michigan might almost be getting the hint as well.  I have a feeling spring is finally here! Chambray is a definite favorite for spring and summer… and  this new crop of chambray for spring are all the perfect addition to any spring wardrobe.  How fun are these pieces?

(And would you wear chambray pants? They are pretty cute I think!)

see you around...

Monday, April 7, 2014


Y'all, I'm taking a vacation from the blog!  I rarely take even a day off of this little corner of the internet… but I've decided I need a little break to rest and recharge and hang out with my family.  Instead of you gals popping by and wondering where I was I thought I would just tell you.  I'll be MIA here for a week or so.  I'm a little scared because I've never taken a break from the blog - but I'm also excited to come back with increased creativity and inspiration for you gals!  Plus, you gals will totally be here for me when I return, right!?!

In the meantime, follow me on Instagram… you know I'll be posting all my adventures (as in, outfits, food, drinks, palm tree shots) there!  Or take a moment to follow me on Pinterest… you can revisit past good life inspiration there if you are having withdrawals (wink, wink).

oxo, JillGG

Friday, April 4, 2014

a new smoothie recipe!

You gals loved the last couple of smoothie recipes and were begging (okay, maybe just politely asking) for more!  I have been in a smoothie rut and not feeling too adventurous in the kitchen.  I wanted to bring you a new smoothie recipe that was out of this world and super amazing, one that would change your smoothie-loving life.  But it just wasn't happening.

Then one day I was making my classic strawberry and banana smoothie for the kids and thought… hey, I could just share this one! It's nothing fancy… but it's good! And while my kids won't go for the greens (I simply omit them) this is a smoothie our whole family loves so I usually make a double batch. If your kids don't like greens (like mine, if only greens were clear!) simply make the whole smoothie without them and pour theirs out of the blender and then add some greens and blend a little more to make your own green smoothie.

The orange juice (valencia oj is the only way to go!) adds the sweetness that the kids love while the whole smoothie gives them a solid serving or two of fruits and plenty of vitamin c for cold and flu season.  And the chia seeds are called "strawberry seeds" in our family. No way would my kids drink this smoothie if there was something "healthy" in them… so that little white lie goes a long way!

I hope your family loves this smoothie as much as mine… or if you are new to smoothies, this is a great first one to try!

If you are in the market for a blender… I can't recommend The Breville more! It's comparable to a Vitamix but at a way lower price point.  It's goes straight in the dishwasher without having to take any pieces apart - which is a huge bonus in my book.  We LOVE this blender and it gets used daily (if not more) around our house!

For more smoothie recipes…click here!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

what's your summer sunglass style?

What is your summer sunglass style? I think one simple pair of sunglasses can totally set the tone for any outfit… aren't these fun outfits proof?

get the looks:

boho: top, shorts, bracelet, shoes, sunglasses (love these, they are a cheaper alternative to these sunglasses!)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

the ultimate at-home mani/pedi guide!

I swing back and forth between shellac nails and traditional manicures wildly.  I've been on a huge shellac kick for the past six months.  But this past weekend I was craving a good at-home nail session and now I am back to my at-home mani and pedis.  Do you do the same?  Go back and forth?

At home manicures and pedicures are super easy, especially when you've been at the nail salon regularly and your cuticles and nail shapes have been maintained.  If you haven't been to the salon lately, no problem either… just take a little extra time to shape, buff and carefully trim your cuticles.  I find that the hardest challenge with an at home mani/pedi is just the time it takes.  To paint and to dry I usually need about an hour and a half of down time (not always easy to find, but weekend afternoons and week day evenings seem to work for me).

I use Essie nail color religiously.  I love the colors and I am familiar with the brush (practice makes perfect!).  I usually do two solid coats.  Try to make them even, but if you can't do one thicker coat and one thinner coat in whatever order works for you.  Then I let the nails dry for about 10 minutes and top them with Sally Hansen's Mega Shine.  It gives the shine that I love from the salon, but at home.  Then for me no mani/pedi is complete without some cuticle oil to hydrate and hide cuticle imperfections.  I always try to let my nails over-dry… chips or dents right out of the gate is a huge bummer (and waste of time) so grab a book or turn the tv on and sit still for an hour or so to let those babies dry, dry, dry!

These simple steps will give you a mani just as good as the salon… and don't forget, practice makes perfect! The more you do your own nails, the better you will get!

Below I feature my favorite Essie colors… what are your favorites? Let me know!

all seasons: Essie "ballet slippers"
spring: Essie "go ginza"
summer: Essie "secret story"
fall: Essie "chinchilly"
winter: Essie "carry on"

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

scallops for spring… a recent obsession of mine!

A dainty scalloped hem-line is a recent obsession of mine.  After purchasing this bathing suit for spring break I am hooked!  Then I started doing a little digging and found a few more gems that I sure wouldn't mind adding to my closet this spring and summer… it's such a feminine and flirty style that I can't wait to wear.

While you can find scallop hems on all sorts of wardrobe pieces I especially like a scallop on black clothing and accessories. It seems to be the perfect juxtaposition between the overtly feminine and the bold.  Paired these picks with white tees or jeans, pastels or even a fun pattern like polka dots or stripes for simple and fun spring and summer looks.

Monday, March 31, 2014

the damage… march 2014!

At the end of each month this year I am planning to pause to take a look at my spending as it's related to my closet. Each month my target budget is $300 and only 5 pieces of clothing or shoes. I chose 5 items because I am working on making my closet a more curated place without a lot of hubris and also to try to put an end to the constant closet clean outs where loads of clothes get sent to charity. Not that there is anything wrong with giving clothes to charity, it's just that I hope to make my clothes last longer in general. For some this budget may sound like a lot and for others it may not... for me personally this is my monthly goal. It works for my budget and lifestyle and doesn't break the bank. Shopping budgets are a personal thing, but I share mine here to show how I stretch my budget and work to create a well curated and fully stocked closet.

My March shopping budget was right on track for budget and for pieces… maybe after a few months of this challenge I am getting comfortable with it.  I will say that shopping this month was challenging, I wanted all of the things and none of the things at the same time.  What I mean by that, is that with spring coming I felt a serious urge to press 'reset' on my closet and buy loads of clothes but at the same time I was SUPER picky and slow in deciding what I wanted and what I was going to buy - I tried on more clothes this month than I have in a really long time.  And while I bought five things that I absolutely LOVE this month… I was surprised that I didn't find more. If that makes sense.  Maybe the challenge is sinking in and I am becoming more critical and careful with my purchases - or maybe it just wasn't my month for shopping.  It's hard to say.

This is what I bought this month:

Gap, White Cuffed Jeans, $69.95, with promotions paid $41.97
H&M, Cargo Jacket, $39.95
J.Crew, Reversible Lightweight Merino Sweater, $138, with promotions paid $103.50
Gap, Denim Shorts, $49.95, with promotions paid $32.46
Gap, Sandals, $39.95, with promotions paid $25.97

Total Spent: $243.85 (total saved $93.95)

Some thoughts on the budget: Under budget for the 3rd month in a row! Not by much… but this is a record for sure!

Some thoughts on the pieces: Like I said above I wanted to buy so much more and didn't really find as much as I thought I would all at the same time. It was a weird month for shopping for me. The white jeans and denim shorts are staples that will replace existing worn-out pieces in my closet.  Before I left for spring break I knew I wanted to replace those pieces.  My closet seems quite devoid of sandals (last season I donated a lot of pairs that I either didn't like or got rid of pairs that were too worn out from previous seasons) so those were a must have for spring and looking forward to upcoming months will likely be another purchase, in addition to these, that I will need to make.  I have been wanting a jacket like this one for like four years now - so I finally pulled the trigger on the one I found for this post (I ordered it online and haven't received it yet… so it's still TBD if I will like it or not).  And the sweater was love at first sight. It's kind of like a sweatshirt but kind of like a sweater all at the same time.  So far I have worn it with a chambray top underneath but I look forward to wearing it on it's own with jeans and shorts as the temps warm.  Overall I am thrilled with these pieces… each of them will be going with me on spring break and will likely become much loved staples this spring and summer.

If you want to see all the previous "the damage" posts… click here!

Friday, March 28, 2014

elements of style v.12!

I personally have three simple elements (or tricks!) to a simple but beautiful outfit. I call them them my 'elements of style'. They are something casual, something neutral and something dressy. These three elements combined are my fail-safe for outfits that are easy to put together and that look and feel feminine and relaxed.

Once spring rolls around (if it ever does) my white jeans go into heavy rotation until fall.  This simple combination of white jeans, a graphic tee and a denim jacket are going to be a no-fail outfit combo that I am likely to turn to again and again this spring.  The looks is casual and comfortable (not to mention super easy to pull together) and is easily dressed up with a classy pair of shoes, a clutch and some gorgeous earrings.  Done and done.

Your go-to spring look is officially here.

Have a great weekend! It's supposed to be 50 degrees and sunny here this weekend… it's going to be amazing!

If you like this style of post… you can find more here!

see you around...