Monday, August 22, 2016

my everyday style: white lace top!

What's better than a flowy lace top for the twilight of summer?

When I saw this top it was love at first sight!  It's the perfect late summer piece to wear with jeans or shorts.  Here I paired it with jeans (ugh, I'm SO over shorts for the summer) and wedges.  But it's already popped up on Instagram a few times in other iterations if you want to see other ways I've styled it. 

Can you believe summer is wrapping up already!? It seems so unbelievable.  I haven't had near enough time at the pool or beach with all the madness with us moving.  We've got two weeks left to really live it up! 

(photos by Jennifer Ketchum)

Outfit Details:
Top, Anthropologie
Jeans, Citizens of Humanity (my all time favorite jeans!)
Bag, J.Crew (no longer available, but similar or similar)
Wedges, J.Crew - on sale! (FYI, I found they ran big so size down)
Sunglasses, Tory Burch 
Bracelet, House of Harlow via Rocksbox (get your first month free with code: JILLBFF4 ) - similar
iPhone case, J.Crew (old, but similar)

Friday, August 19, 2016

free for all friday: my living room & dining room!

I'm super pumped for another fun 'free for all friday' where we go super off-script around here and talk about anything and everything but clothing or fashion.  So, remember my fun project with Havenly earlier this summer where we redecorated my bedroom?   When my photographer was shooting that project I also had her shoot a few other rooms in the house.  So today I'm showing off our living room and dining room combo.  One of our favorite (and only) places in the house to hang as a family and also one that I really enjoyed putting together.

But first a little back story... so technically this room doesn't look ANYTHING like this anymore.  Why? We sold our house!  It's been an unusually long and drawn out process but we move next week and we couldn't be more excited to make our new house a home.  It's so fun to look at these photos, especially now that our entire life is in boxes and ready for a moving truck next week.

Bottom line, we have LOVED our old house to pieces for over 9 years.  It was the perfect house with babies and toddlers and now that our kiddos are more like tweeners we needed more space.  We found a great new-new place and we can't wait to make it home.  So stay tuned for more from the new house... it may not be "blog" ready for a while, but I am going to try to Instagram more about house stuff at a new insta-handle: jillgghome

But let's get on to the room!

The focal point of this room is definitely the photo wall.  As our family has grown up the wall has evolved and we love to look at all the photos as a family and remember all the memories along the way.  (Especially the photos of our kids when they were really little... the photoshoots were HELL, but somehow the photographer made our kiddos look like angels and now we are SO thankful for those memories.)  Really the theme of this room is family 'mementos' - read on to see how I decorate on a dime with found items for a personal and memory filled home. 

Having this room be the combined living AND dining room had it's challenges, but the bold rug easily separated the spaces visually and decorating the entire space in black, white, grey and other neutrals made both areas come together cohesively. 

A lot of the decorative items are family mementos too... like this white piece of coral on the side table.  I found that at a cheesy shell shop in South Carolina on family vacation.  It was a horribly unsuccessful trip (it was cold and raining the WHOLE time) but we still have funny memories from that trip and the little piece of coral tells the story.  The side table is an inexpensive Target find.  I mean, Target can really do no wrong these days!

The room isn't huge, so to fit both a living room and dining room together in it was a challenge at times.  Small scale furniture like this tiny little dresser gave the room much needed storage and character but without taking up a lot of room. The "for like ever" print is a favorite of mine but a definite head-scratcher for my husband.  I'll be lucky if I get to rehang that at the new house... :)

This bowl (similar) was a Home Goods find and the rocks we have collected at the many beaches around the country we have visited.  Somehow there is always a rock in our beach bag... together they make a beautiful and unique collection.

From this view you can see a little peek into my office... which I will show you guys another time soon!  This bar cart is another small space work horse.  By day it holds a plant, candle and all our snuggly movie-watching blankets.  But whenever we have company over I wheel it outside or to the kitchen to hold drinks or appetizers. 

The one thing I will miss the most about this room is all the light.  There are windows on three walls in here and it's always been bright and welcoming.  Plus, it would always feel like living in a snow globe on snowy winter days. 

This cocktail table was a craigslist find (here is another one I like)... back from my heavy craigslist addiction days.  It's always been a favorite. I have a feeling that with a new house there will be lots more craigslist adventures.  My husband always loves the days I would call him on the way home from work and say - "We gotta go see about a table!"

We keep the mantle super minimal since the room is on the small size.  It's a simple floating shelf from IKEA for about $30 so it's also very economical too. The large piece of driftwood was another family find at Lake Michigan from when the kids were little.  It always reminds me of the crazy days of taking two kids in diapers to the beach (yikes!).  

The sofa is from IKEA, and yes it's kind of a pain to have a white sofa with kids, but the slip covers are pretty easy to either replace or wash so it's been a winner for our family.  Again, with the room being on the small size the white sofa visually opened up the space.  All the throw pillows shown here and the blanket and sheepskin rug are from Home Goods (for online options here are similar pillows here, here and here or a similar rug and blanket).  I could live in that place!

(photos by Jennifer Ketchum)

One of the space "splurges" for our house was putting a huge dining room table in a somewhat small space.  I never wanted to feel like I couldn't entertain in a small house so I made the sacrifice to have a big table just in case we wanted to have a lot of people over.  We never regretted it either.  This table could easily seat 8 and I think we've even squeeze more than that here!  Another fun and practically free piece of artwork are these framed feathers my kids found at the park.  I popped them in some cheap frames with white paper for a backdrop and voila!   The light is West Elm (sadly not available anymore, but this one is similar), the table is World Market, the chairs are Overstock (similar) and the rug is IKEA (similar).

I hope you enjoyed this little tour of my (now past) home!  We are so excited to start getting settled in our new home... so stay tuned for more on that.  If you have any questions about the room let me know!  Or you can shop similar pieces below by clicking on the arrows left and right. I will try to link similar pieces if the actual piece is no longer available. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

my everyday style: pink and black!

Earlier this week I featured this pink top in a casual everyday look that is perfect for casual weekends or everyday wear. I love to throw an easy tank and jeans on all summer... but it's fun to change things up a bit and dress up a little too.

These 'leather look' jeans are so, so amazing... I can't wait to pair them with comfy sweaters this fall, but they are great to dress up too.  And they are really soft and stretchy, which is a total bonus. Plus, who knew pink and black were such a fun combo!?!?

(photos by Jennifer Ketchum)

Outfit Details:
Top, Anthropologie (similar)
Purse, Louise et Cie
Shoes, Vince Camuto
Bracelet, Gorjana - c/o
Sunglasses, Warby Parker (similar or similar less expensive)
Earrings, Kendra Scott via Rocksbox, use code: JILLBFF4 for a FREE month!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

on my radar... august 2016!

This is always one of my favorite posts to write here on the blog, where I outline what's catching my eyes these days.  Mostly because it's a brain-dump of everything I am swooning for lately with a few pieces thrown in that I already own and love.

This month I've got fall on the brain... that and PINK!  I'm totally crushing on pink for fall - it's perfect to pair with navy or black or even army green for a fun and feminine take on fall style.  Read on below to see what's on my radar this month... and why!

I recently got a sample of this jo malone blackberry & bay perfume thrown in with a Nordstrom order - I am SO in love... it's a hard scent to describe but my kids and husband keep saying "you smell so good!" and it really does smell so good.  A little sweet, very fresh and a little something else that I can't put my finger on.  (So naturally now I am wish-listing this candle too!)

I absolutely love these earrings... they are perfect for fall with turtlenecks! Or for just easy everyday wear.  Aren't they pretty? 

I snagged this pink bag on super sale... and yes, I am totally having a pink moment! The leather is so, so soft and I love that the darker hardware balances the sticky-sweet pink hue. 

It was time for me to freshen up my ankle boot selection for fall and I decided on these.  The suede is super soft and it has a slightly pointed toe for a little bit dressier look than some of my other ankle boots.  They are super comfortable too!

I am swooning for the blogger Sincerely Jules' clothing line at Nordstrom. It's full of fun and feminine pieces that are also totally wear-able.  How cute is this cream ruffled top? It would be so fun with black jeans this fall or with denim shorts right now. 

Ahem, this pink coat!!!! Major crush here.

One more piece from my fall wardrobe.  This navy sleeveless turtleneck sweater is a great transition piece from summer to fall. It's perfect on it's own or layered with a blazer or leather jacket later this fall!

I just snagged my absolute favorite blue jeans (they are so comfortable AND super flattering) in grey - I'm also really loving this black version too... you need to check out these jeans if you haven't already.  The price is a little steep, but I wear these babies so much and they never stretch.  They are so worth it! (or there are tons of other washes/colors here too!)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

my everyday style: pretty in pink!

I admittedly don't wear a lot of color - in general it's because I just prefer the ease of neutrals.  But it also comes from being a slight commitment-phobe. Committing to a pink shirt means I want to be sure I will still love pink in a year from now... and some days I don't feel like I can make that commitment.  Am I alone? Or am I just crazy?

No commitment issues here... the minute I saw this pink tank I fell in love.  And then I've proceeded to wear it so much that even if I don't love it in a year from now (which I am pretty sure I will) I  have still gotten my money's worth out of it.  Here I paired it with a pair of distressed jeans and lace up sandals... stay tuned later this week where I dress it up for a fun date night.  That's what I love most about this tank, it can be styled up so many ways.

(photos by Jennifer Ketchum)

Outfit Details:
Tank, Anthropologie - on sale!
Jeans, Rag & Bone - similar or similar less expensive
Sandals, Madewell
Bag, Chloe
Sunglasses, Tory Burch - similar so cute! or similar less expensive
Bracelet, Gorjana - similar

Monday, August 15, 2016

wear it now and later: boyfriend jeans!

Today I've got another "now or later" post for you... I thought it would be fun to do these more regularly to count down to fall weather here on on the blog.  We are a ways off from fall weather here in the Midwest (holy hot summer batman!) but I have definitely started my fall shopping already.  I want to make sure that the pieces I am buying now are as versatile as possible in my wardrobe.  

One of my favorite staples for fall are boyfriend jeans. I love how relaxed and easy they are to wear and it's fun to show a little ankle before the temps drop super low for winter.  Boyfriend jeans are great for summer too... here I paired them with a summery tank and block heel sandals.  For fall boyfriend jeans are great with ankle booties and an oversized sweater for a cozy weekend with the changing leaves. 

What is your favorite way to style boyfriend jeans?

wear it now: 

wear it later: 

Friday, August 12, 2016

free for all friday: how to clean out your closet (once and for all)!

One of the questions I get asked by friends and blog readers in person the MOST is: "can you help me clean out my closet?"  I usually beg off or tell people that it's not really one of my strong suits.  And that's the truth.  I can clean out my closet like a champ.  But when it comes to cleaning out other people's closets - I steer way clear.  Why you may wonder?


In my opinion, cleaning out your closet is a super personal thing.  It's is really between YOU and your clothes to decide what works for you and what doesn't. You need to decide what style you are going for, if the pieces you own are pointed in that direction also and then ask yourselves the hard questions about what fits, what doesn't, what you love and what you don't love. I think all those questions are (again) very personal and having someone in the room with you may skew your answers.

About two or three years ago I seriously (and I mean seriously) pared down my closet in a crazy ruthless way.  When I did that I was incredibly surprised at what I learned about my style and myself and how easy it made getting dressed with way less clothes.  I learned I was holding on to things I didn't love or wear "just in case" which made getting dressed quite difficult. When I got honest with myself about what I wear and how I wear it, my own personal style suddenly snapped into place.


So today I will lay out the steps I use to effectively (and ruthlessly!) clean out my closet and in the end to find your personal style (if you are having trouble nailing it down).  There are so many "rules" of cleaning out your closet... some I adhere to and some I totally break.  But this is what has worked for me.

1) Start with a vision of what you want your personal style to be... either with a Pinterest board or a dream board or with the inspiration of a favorite blogger or celebrity (Jess Lively used to ask herself "What Would Jennifer Aniston Do?").  This will be your new road map.  I personally did this with a Pinterest board.  I pinned 25 - 50 of my favorite outfits and then quickly found a few themes and stuck with that.

2) Weed out any pieces that don't fit or need mending... right off the bat these are not pieces you need in your closet.  If they don't fit ,give them away or sell them and if they need mending, fix them or pass them on.  Honesty is going to be the most important aspect of your closet clean out.  Be HONEST with yourself about what fits and what doesn't.  It can be too big or too small - whatever the case may be, it's time to send it on it's merry way.  It's doing nothing for you in your wardrobe right now.

3)  Ask yourself the really tough questions about EACH and EVERY piece... This is where the rubber meets the road friends.  This is where we again get ruthless and honest with our clothes.   These questions will help you weed through what works and what doesn't.  Some of the questions won't click for you and some of them will.  Go through these questions and see which ones equal a "lightbulb" moment for you and then use them to evaluate each piece you own. As you evaluate each piece, make one pile for "keep" and one for "get rid of."
-  Do you wear this piece? (yes: keep! no: get rid of!)
- Would you buy this pieces again? (yes: keep! no: get rid of!)
- Does this piece fit my desired personal style? (yes: keep! no: get rid of!)
- Have you worn this piece in the last year? (yes: keep! no: get rid of!)
- When you wear this piece do you feel good about yourself? (yes: keep! no: get rid of!)


If you are long overdue for a closet clean out, don't be surprised if you get rid of half or MORE of your clothing, shoes, handbags and accessories.  It's going to be completely shocking at first.  But as you start to load the "yes" pieces back in your closet or dresser drawers you should be absolutely giddy with excitement.

You will begin to notice patterns and themes with the items you chose.  The pieces that remain will be your "favorites" and seeing them all together without the hubris will be super exciting.  Chances are your mind will already be buzzing with new outfit combinations and you will be excited to pick out a new outfit tomorrow.

Feeling overwhelmed? Don't worry.  That is totally normal too.  Sometimes I clean out my closet and I feel so FREE and inspired that I head straight to Goodwill with all my donations and never look back.  BUT sometimes I don't.  And that is fine too.  If you are wondering if you are going to regret it tomorrow or next week - this is my secret:  grab a box, a plastic bin, some empty shopping bags, etc and pack up the "get rid of" pieces nicely.  Then find a hiding spot for them in an unused closet, the basement, storage room, under your bed or just any where that is out of sight.   Leave them there for a few weeks... if after a month or so you have completely forgotten about them and moved on, then you are good to go! If not, that is fine too.  Maybe choose a few pieces to keep from them and then donate the rest.  That is up to you.  It's better to try and know than to not try at all!


Now it's time for the fun part!  Filling your closet back up with things that you ABSOLUTELY love this time... right!?!? Take note of the types of items that you just got rid of... is there a theme there as well? Too many sale rack impulse buys? Too much color when you love black? Too much black when you love color? Too many t-shirts when you what you really love is blouses? Too many blouses when you really are just a t-shirt gal? You get the idea.  You can learn just as much from your mistakes in your closet as in your successes.  

You don't have to fill the closet up right away... take some time to get familiar with your favorites again and then shop wisely!  

On a related note, I will be kicking off my wardrobe consultation services again in preparation for fall.  It's been a few years since I have offered them here on the blog but I have so many requests - so I am going to bring them back! I will only be taking a few clients at a time.  Email me if you are interested in getting on the list and learning more.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

my everyday style: the basics.

A lot of times as a blogger I feel like my outfits need to be special or have some special touch that makes them "just perfect".  But some days are just throw on a striped top and some jeans type of days.  And those are some of my favorite outfits too. Having solid basics on hand makes those days where you are just in a 'tee and jeans' type of mood easy and stylish to pull off.   

This boxy striped top pairs well with high waisted jeans and these striped espadrilles are so insanely comfortable for summer. Done and done.  There is no reason outfits can't be simple AND stylish! 

(photos by Jennifer Ketchum)

Outfit details:
Jeans, J.Crew
Shoes, Soludos
Bag, Rebecca Minkoff

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

wear now and later: an open front cardigan!

I just snagged this cozy open front cardigan for fall.  It's super cozy but still light weight so it's perfect for cool summer mornings or evenings AND will be perfect for layering up this fall.   Like I've said before... my head is totally in the summer game still (pool time! cocktails! beach days! catching fireflies!) my heart is definitely pointed towards fall style.

This open front cardigan would be so cute with a pair of denim shorts, a simple white tank and a fun pair of sandals for summer.  And then this fall I would pair this cardigan with ankle boots,  skinny jeans and a fun floral top for a great fall boho vibe.

Which look is your favorite!?!? I can't decide!

wear it now: 

wear it later: 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

final day of the #nsale!

The Nordstrom Anniversary sale ends TODAY! All the amazing NEW fall merchandise that is marked waayyy down today will see a spike in prices TOMORROW.  So now is the time to stock up on jeans, bags, shoes, sweaters, outerwear and more for fall while these low prices are around.

You can see all my posts relating to the Nordstrom sale here... I've got outfit posts, classic wardrobe staples, the pieces I chose for my wardrobe, my kids top picks and more.  So check those posts out too!

But I thought I would round up one more set of sale pieces just in case you still have some shopping to do.  I've hit the sale pretty hard this year - hello, fall shopping is in the bag! - but I may still grab a few more deals today yet.  The prices are too good to handle!

sunglasses - also in black!,  white dolman sleeved sweaterblack & white printed shift dressCuffed ankle jeansriding boots - just restocked in black & brown!, lace up flats - lots of colors available!, burgundy cross-body bag - under $200, draped utility jacketstriped sweaterblack drape collar coatbrown carryall satchel - under $200!sleeveless turtleneck sweater - also in black!high waisted flare jeanspointy pump - lots of colors available!brown ankle bootsgrey jogger lounge pant - three colors!cream tote bag - also in black!

Scroll left to right below to view/shop items!


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