Thursday, April 24, 2014

fresh finds under $50!

How is your spring wardrobe coming along? I always feel like I have a few holes that need to be filled when the seasons change.  This season is no exception!  Here I found some great wardrobe pieces all at under $50 that are sure to fill some gaps in your spring wardrobe and of course that will be super fun to wear this spring!

1. striped top 2. stacked rings 3. hair ties 4. cosmetic clutch 5. skirt 6. jacket 7. espadrilles 8. romper (perfect for a pool or beach cover-up!) 9. hat 10. sandals 11. scarf 12. sweater 13. clutch 14. sunglasses 15. bracelet

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

my everyday style: sweatshirt chic!

It's a given that if you buy a new sweatshirt you are going to want to wear it constantly.   This sweatshirt is part sweater and part sweatshirt which makes it even more alluring and wanting to wear it constantly is an understatement.  But I'm not here to talk about sweatshirts today (we should take a rain check on that though!). I thought I would do a little review on the J.Crew Pixie Pant that I bought a few months ago.  A lot of you were wondering about them and whether they were worth it, etc, etc.

After wearing them once I decided to get the length tailored.  You can buy them in a short length from J.Crew online but the sales lady at the store said she had done that (she was about my height) and said they were still too long.  So I took her word for it and bought the regular pair and the tailor hemmed them for inexpensive ($10 I think).

While I was at the tailor the gal that was helping me said they install stop zippers on these same pants quite often.  I was so intrigued by this but fore-went the zipper at the time.  The zipper that they come with can sneak down during the day - although I haven't really had a problem with it.  But what I would love about a stop zipper is then being able to get rid of the hook and eye closure at the top of the zipper. Hook and eyes drive me nuts mostly because I can't work them behind my back (am I alone?) and sometimes it digs into me while wearing these pants (only when sitting in the car I've noticed).  So eventually I will probably go back and get the stop zipper.

The other question a lot of you had was the "dry clean only" instructions that come with these pants.  If any one isn't a dry clean kind of gal, it's me.  Another tip from the sales lady was to hand wash them and lay them flat.  My washing machine at home does a REALLY good job on the hand wash cycle so after quite a few wears (I think 5 or 6) with a wish and a prayer I put them in the hand wash cycle on my washer. (Make sure you trust the hand wash or gentle cycle of your washing machine before doing this)  They were a little stiff and had shrunk the tiny, tiny, tiniest amount but after wearing them for an hour or so were just fine.  It was similar to washing jeans and then "breaking them in" again after the dryer (but I wouldn't put these in the dryer like jeans!).

The final verdict!?  I wear these pants about 2 times a week and absolutely LOVE them (I would seriously wear them more if I wasn't embarrassed to) so for $98 they are absolutely worth it in my book.  They aren't cheap but it beats picking up $10 leggings every other month because they fade or get holes in them.

I know this post was lengthy but I hope that if you were thinking about buying the J.Crew Pixie Pant you had some of your questions answered about them with this little review.







Details:
Sweatshirt Sweater, J.Crew (similar less expensive or also very cute)
Jacket, H&M (or this very popular option)
Pants, J.Crew Pixie Pant
Shoes, Piperlime (or in leather)
Sunglasses, Kate Spade (similar less expensive)
Purse, J.Crew (similar or similar or drool worthy)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

cool workout wear!

You guys… I quit my gym at the beginning of 2014 and I've never felt better, stronger or more in shape. Crazy, right?

The whole "gym" thing just wasn't inspiring me anymore. So one of my resolutions for 2014 was to switch it up workout wise (being 35 years old and NOT working out wasn't an option - sad, right?!?).  I started Pure Barre in January and between that and some at home pilates with Robin (her programs are awesome! I started with her slim & strong program last fall and am a huge fan!) I am feeling stronger and fitter than ever.  I've found the two programs (Pure Barre + Pilates) combined really works well for me and my body type.

Even though I am loving this duo we all need a little extra motivation now and then… you know? And for me that motivation sometimes comes from the scale (although I would rather it didn't) and more likely comes from some new rocking awesome fitness apparel.  I recently discovered that Anthropologie carries some really gorgeous and unique fitness apparel.  Who would have thought?

Hopefully I am not the only for which snazzy new gym shoes, compression pants and workout tanks make getting out of bed in the morning and getting moving easier (or coming home from work and getting moving).  Who's with me?  A few of these items are going on my Mother's Day wish list… aren't they gorgeous?







Also check out my Pinterest round up of great at-home work out routines.  I've tried a few of these and they are AWESOME! 


Monday, April 21, 2014

my everyday style: spring fashion with Zappos!

When you think Zappos you think shoes (and fast shipping!) right!?!? So do I friends… or at least I used to.  Zappos emailed me to introduce me to their amazing fashion offerings along with their ever present mastery of the online shoe market.  I was floored by all the great pieces they carry from the brands that everyone loves (think Joie, Loeffler Randall, Rebecca Minkoff and 7 for All Mankind to name a few).  Plus… the shipping for their great clothing pieces is just as quick and reliable as for their shoes.  They are the best in biz for shipping in my book.  And if you need any inspiration they have tons

In other news... spring has sprung! Finally… I mean look at me in bare legs and breaking out an orange handbag! It's heaven. The trees and grass still need a little greening but we are in business over here friends.  I am absolutely walking on air over it.  Is there any better feeling in the world than spring?

I hope you are properly "hopped" up (gotta love a good Easter pun) on candy from the Easter bunny on this Monday morning friends.








Details:
Dress, Soft Joie - ℅ Zappos.com
Jacket, American Eagle - ℅ (similar)
Bag, J.Crew (a cute orange clutch or an orange purse)
Necklace, Baublebar (or matching earrings… so cute!)
Sandals, Loeffler Randall - ℅ Zappos.com

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.






Details:
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

vacation.



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!)