Friday, June 7, 2024

packing list: Hawaii!

Aloha, friends! By request today we are traveling to the islands of Hawaii for relaxation, adventure and lots of time in the sun. Today's packing list is all about effortlessly chic essentials for the trip that have you looking and feeling your best the entire trip and most importantly, not overthinking the packing list!  

Here’s my easy tips for packing for Hawaii:

 Breezy and Versatile Dresses

Think light, flowy, and neutral. A simple yet elegant maxi dress in airy fabrics is perfect for transitioning effortlessly from a relaxed beach day to a casual dinner. Plus, I added a a simple drawstring dress for an effortless, ready-to-go look.

Island Ready Swimwear & Coverups

Pack a classic one-piece swimsuit or two that you can easily pair with a beautiful swim cover up for the beach or pair with shorts for a day of adventures. This summer neutral and earthy tones are super popular and they are so easy to wear too!

Easy Tops & Bottoms

I chose a couple of versatile tops that can mix and match easily for coffee runs or the farmers market. This finely knit tank and a classic linen top will keep you cool and stylish.  And you know I love neutral colors because they mix and match seamlessly while traveling. I included a few pairs of utility style shorts for waterfall visits, zip lining or brunch.

Easy and Laidback Shoes

Comfort meets style with a pair of chic sneakers for island adventures and some elegant sandals for laid-back beach days. Practical, yet polished!

 Mom Friendly Accessories

A woven handbag for carrying your essentials like sunscreen and sunglasses and a sleek satchel for hands-free adventures are the only two bags you need to keep your packing list minimalist!

I hope you enjoy every moment of island paradise! Mahalo and safe travels! Plus, stay tuned for more packing lists coming this summer and you can check out all past packing lists here!


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Wednesday, June 5, 2024

packing list: Paris & London!

By request I'm pulling together packing inspiration for all of your travels this summer! When I polled you all I found out that you guys are traveling to LOTS of amazing locales this summer. Wow, I'm jealous! Today we are chatting Paris & London since these two locations were by far the most popular. These cities are usually a little "dressier" than other vacation locations and so I pulled together lots of sophisticated neutrals that mix and match easily for whatever adventure the day brings! Plus, I made sure there were some simple layers too since the weather can be a little all over the place in London and Paris for summer. Sometimes the weather can be incredibly warm which is where linen shorts and pants and dresses work great and sometimes it can be chilly or gloomy where a linen blazer and jeans will be great to have on hand.  

I hope you love this European packing list to Paris & London and be sure to scroll down for lots of outfit inspirations too! Safe travels and bon voyage!

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Monday, May 20, 2024

spring must haves with Walmart!

 This post is sponsored by Walmart. All opinions are my own.

Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog.

Spring is officially underway and the sunny days and longer evenings are making me so happy. Evenings on the patio and long walks on the weekend are what I live for and finally they are here! I'm excited to be partnering with Walmart today to chat all things spring and summer style on a budget including a few new-to-me beauty finds too. So let's jump right in!

You are going to absolutely love the gorgeous under $50 dresses I'm sharing here today! They are absolutely perfect for warm days and all your spring events.  Whether you love a dress for everyday wear, the office or need a few new dresses for spring events like showers, graduations and weddings you will be sure to find something you love here today. It's impossible to choose a favorite here but this olive green button front dress is absolutely stunning in person with a very flattering belted waist and thicker woven fabric that drapes so beautifully. If you want something more easy and breezy this linen blend white belted dress is simple and classic with beautiful puff sleeves. For everyday wear I love a shirt dress and this red striped option is right on trend (red is so hot right now!) and practical enough for everyday wear. Lastly, this black square neck dress is the absolute cutest with smocked back for the perfect fit on top and an extra full skirt that is so fun to wear! You are absolutely going to fall in love with these dresses!

I also found some fun beauty items for spring from Walmart including the L'Oreal Lumi Glotion that everyone seems to be talking about right now and it's just as good as you have heard. I love adding a little to my cheekbones for some sun kissed glow or you can add it to your moisturizer for all over glow too. I also snagged some of my favorite Olive & June nail polish in Lollipop red for spring that I am super obsessed with and when I saw Hard Candy lip gloss (remember them from when we were in high school?) is back I had to buy one of those too!

You can get FREE and FAST shipping with Walmart everyday on orders over $35 and FREE returns too!



Shop the pieces: white dress (runs big, I went down a size to XS)heeled sandals (true to size)red cardigan sweater (runs big, I went down a size to XS)brown sunglassesblack sunglassesflat sandals (true to size)striped shirt dress (runs big, I went down a size to XS)olive green dress (runs big, I went down a size to XS)black dress (runs big, I went down a size to XS)

















Friday, May 10, 2024

under $100 finds for spring!

 If you are looking for some amazing budget finds for warmer and sunnier days I have a ton of great pieces today that I think you are really going to enjoy. From lightweight sweaters and white denim, to shorts and tanks, to linen pants and the perfect everyday dress. It's all here and it's all at prices that won't break the bank. I hope you enjoy this round up of budget friendly outfits for spring. 


(above) Shop the look:

(above) Shop the look:

(above) Shop the look:

(above) Shop the look: 


Monday, May 6, 2024

fresh new arrivals for spring!

 There are so many fresh finds at my favorite retailers for warmer days and I'm loving it. Today I'm rounding up some great finds for warm sunny days, weekend hangs at the ice cream shop, patio dining, happy hour with friends and even spring travel. However you enjoy these warm sunny days there is some outfit inspiration for you here! I hope you love these finds...



(above) I love these crips black and white finds for spring and summer days. It's such an easy combo that instantly looks pulled together.

(above) Red is a hot, hot, hot color for spring and summer! Paired with white and blue denim, it's a summer match made in heaven for warm days. From Memorial Day to Fourth of July and all the way to Labor Day, I just adore this color trifecta.

(above) Blue and white is my favorite summer combo... it's SO easy to wear and can be casual or dressed up. I love to have plenty of navy accents in my closet this time of year... and these pieces are just perfect! Simple and classic and so, so cute for warm days.


Friday, February 23, 2024

life lately (2)!

 

Lately: 

We have finally had some sunnier and milder days and it's giving me LIFE right now. I'm hoping the worst of winter is behind us and we can move on! The daily grind seems so ho-hum in the winter and I'm so glad to be almost on the tail end of it. Earlier this week I even opened the windows for some fresh air in the house for the first time since fall - it felt amazing! Lately I've been taking small joys in seeing new episodes of my favorite podcasts popping up, keeping fresh flowers around the house and scheming about some projects around the house. With milder days I'm scheduling in some outdoor walks (finally!) and watching lots of the smaller tennis tournaments on tv. During these waning winter days it's all about finding small little sparks of joy to keep the cold and grey away mentally. 

(above: I love these glasses for everyday use or for a cocktail!)

Watching, reading, listening: 

- The current season of The Bachelor is SO GOOD friends. I've been a long time Bachelor fan but in the past few years the seasons seem a little too dramatic and boring at the same time (is that possible?). I saw that the current Bachelor, Joey, was a tennis player and it piqued my interest. I've been binging past episodes and finally caught up with the show live this past Monday. I'm totally hooked and honestly, the girls this go round are total catches! It's going to be tough for him to decide.

- My husband and I binged Love on the Spectrum (Netflix) together. We had both heard such good things about it and it definitely lived up to the hype. It was incredibly sweet and we both got so invested in all the individuals featured on the show. It gave me such a better understanding of Autism, especially in adults, and gave me such a soft spot for their struggles and for their amazing family members that support them. It's not rare to interact with adults on the spectrum in our everyday lives and this really helped me bridge an understanding for their lives. We loved it.

- My husband and I also started Couples Therapy (Showtime) and wow. Just wow. This is a documentary that follows several couples through couples therapy. I'm almost a little speechless about this series because it's just so intimate with these couples being completely open with their struggles right out in the open of streaming television. We are only about half way through the first season, but this is going to be an easy binge for sure! And like most people that probably watch the show, I am asking: Can Orna be my therapist? She is an excellent therapist and also shows some behind the scenes of her own struggles in taking on the problems of her clients.

- I finished reading Homecoming by Kate Morton. It was a good story but man was that book long. If you are a die-hard Kate Morton fan I would say you should read it... but otherwise you might want to pass. It's just wayyyy too long for a very quick wrap up at the end. I did enjoy the twist, but it felt super rushed.

- I am currently reading Diva by Daisy Goodwin. I have really enjoyed ALL of her books and this one is no exception. It's a very fun historical fiction that moves quickly and is so fascinating. It's based on the soprano opera singer Maria Callas. I googled her name to get images of the Diva and she looks just like I imagined and it's a really interesting story. I highly recommend!

- Podcasts I've enjoyed recent: The Science of Optimism on The Blonde Files podcast, What is Your Shadow Trying to Tell You? on the Goop podcast, "Ask Us Anything" Beauty Edition on the Lipstick on the Rim podcast



Currently loving: 

- The prettiest dress for spring and summer. If you have events to attend like graduations, casual weddings or just a fun spring break dinner look - I highly recommend this dress.  It runs very large, I went down 2 sizes to size XS.

- These white jeans (shown above) are perfection. The gentle flare, the patch pockets and the perfectly cropped length. I went with my bigger size, 26, they run a bit small.

- We just got this noise machine and WOW... sleep is super important for me. I'm miserable after a terrible night sleep, I mean, who isn't? But I've noticed as I've gotten older that it's getting harder and harder to recover. I sleep super soundly with this new noise machine and I can't recommend it enough. It's even compact enough to travel with!

- It seems like pearl accessories are popping up everywhere for spring. Not that they ever went out of style but they are definitely having a moment. These oversized pearl earrings are SO fun! 


Let's do some Q & A!

Q. What are your top 3 must haves for spring?

A. I would say wide leg jeans for sure. This pair is so comfy and easy to wear! A pop of red is super on trend right now and such a fun bright color to wear on a sunny day. This pair of red flats would be such a fun statement piece dressed up or dressed down.  And for the third item I would have to say these fun sneakers... I reach for mine all the time. They are so comfy and super on trend right now - so they are the perfect of the moment piece.

Q. What are you wearing for date night/girls nights these days?

A. Well for winter it was just dress warm and hope for the best. ;) But I have to say, I have zero "going out" pieces. This time of year it's usually black jeans (these are the best black jeans and I wore them for date night last weekend) and then once it's warmer out I'll do white jeans or a dress.  I have to say, this is not my strong suit, I usually just go with an everyday-type look and will sometimes wear an extra piece of jewelry to dress up the look a bit.

Q. What is your usual morning routine?

A. I am NOT a morning person I should say first! I wake up early, but actually getting out of bed is my worst nemesis. I usually wake up about 6:45 and drag my butt out of bed to make sure my daughter is up and getting ready for school. Then I do a few things in the bathroom - brush teeth, put in my contacts, notice my dark circles are getting worse (why are they getting so bad as I get older?). Then it's dog duty next, he needs a quick potty and breakfast. Then I move on to vitamins, coffee and work. I am not a morning person but working is like the thing I always dive into first when I wake up because I like to have the feeling that I'm productive first thing. I will check in on emails and dms, write the newsletter on M/W/F, research the content I need to create that day like checking for any sales, etc and then post new content to socials. Then usually by 8 or 8:15 I am taking the dog for a walk. I don't love this part of the morning, especially when I need 100 layers just to get out the door but it always makes me feel refreshed and energized for the day. If I have a workout planned for that day (most days I do) then I quickly change and get out the door with a protein bar. Then after the workout, it's time to shower and do whatever work I have planned for the day contentwise. It's not anything very special at all! I wish I did something more inspired like journal or meditate or contemplatively sip tea, but indeed, I do not.

Friday, February 2, 2024

life lately!

Hello! Happy February! I'm not on the blog much these days anymore. It was nice to step back from regular blogging in 2023 when my life was turned upside down with my son's senior year and his heading off to school last fall. It was a wild year to say the least with lots of highs and plenty of tough moments. The more I think about this space, the more I want to bring it back, it's my roots! It all started here 15 years ago when I decided to stay home full time with my kids (then 1 year old & 4 years old!!!) and was searching for my personal style as a newly stay-at-home mom. 

I can't promise I'll be here daily like I used to, but I'm going to dip my toe into some more longer(ish) content here (longer than an instagram post to start!) and see where it leads for 2024. 

To start I thought we could chat some current favorites, what's been up lately, what I'm watching lately and then answer a few reader questions!

Lately: 

Thank GOODNESS January is over. That month man. I am not a winter person and January is always a really difficult month for me. The cold, the clouds, the short days... all of it. It always seems like the wasteland of the year. Ugh. I try to embrace it all with cozy nights in and lazy weekends, but now that it's over I couldn't be happier. I never feel my best in January no matter what I try. I'm ready to be a snow-bird. Is that too much to ask? 

Now that we finally have January behind us, I'm looking forward to some spring travel we have coming up and longer days with hopefully some sunshine. We will be taking a warm weather trip the four of us over my son's spring break and I can't wait to all hang together for a few days. 

I've mentioned it before on social media but the adjustment to having my son in college has been so jarring. He is really enjoying campus life and all it has to offer and thriving in his classes. So I'm very thankful for that, but on a personal level... I don't know!?!? Does one ever recover from their children growing up? I don't think so. It's so beautiful and heartbreaking in one breath. Everyday it still surprises me how much I miss him and how much my life has changed in just a few short months. 

This month has not been a dry January in our house. Instead, we've been experimenting with making some new (to us) cocktails. Some of our new favorites are a Negroni, a Campari spritz (this is delightfully light!) and Tom Collins. Usually I'm a gin and tonic (with extra lime) girl so it's been fun to try some new options.


Watching, reading, listening:

- I just finished watching Super Models on AppleTV+ and it was SO good. OMG. I loved it. I wasn't big into "following" the super models back in the 80s and 90s but I was a HUGE fan of magazines and, of course, knew who all the super models were. This documentary was just fascinating and gave me the biggest girl crushes on all of them both retroactively in their hay day and now into who they have all evolved to be in modern day. It was a fun and inspiring girly watch!

- My husband and I watched American Nightmare on Netflix. I never go for those types of true crime shows and halfway through my husband and I definitely regretted starting it.  Yikes! But then we couldn't stop watching! What a wild ride. Did you see it? I still have so many questions.

- I'm halfway through the show Twin Flames and honestly dragging my feet going back to it. What. The. Heck!?!? Mostly it's just difficult to imagine why people would fall into that trap and take so much bad advice.

- I'm halfway though the book Homecoming by Kate Morton. I have loved SO many of her books (The House at Riverton and The Secret Keeper) but this one is incredibly slow. Like painfully. It's a quite long book, so now I feel invested and like I can't quit. I am going to stick it out, but only because some reviews said the second half of the book picks up speed a bit. Wish me luck!

- The How I Built This podcast episode with Tiffany Masterson who founded Drunk Elephant was fascinating. I've loved and used Drunk Elephant forever but it's definitely very of-the-moment right now with teens. The brand has tons of really great products, many which I've ordered multiple times. But the highlight of their lineup is the BabyFacial. I'm not sure what year that launched, but I've been using it since about day one and have reordered multiple times. It's so good. 


Currently loving: 

- I bought these jeans in blue a few seasons back and just got them in white. I'm in love. So ready for white denim season! They run a touch small, I went with my bigger size, 26

- New arrivals from J.Crew I'm swooning over: this bold sweater (!!!), stripes are always in my cart (this is so fun!) and a little white dress is always a good idea.

- Just snagged these budget sandals. They are verrrrry cute in person!

- I've had this dress in my cart for a week or so and then it sold out! But it's back! Perfect everyday dress for spring break and into summer!

- As a long time gel manicure addict I finally had to take a break late last year because my nails were super dry and brittle. It was, in the end, my own fault, I should have been taking breaks with the gels... but I was lazy and wasn't doing it. Then I discovered THIS nail system. It's an at home gel-like manicure system with no UV light to dry and no soaking to remove the polish. And it fully dries in 5 minutes! As a chronic nail-chipper, I'm impressed. A mani lasts longer than even gel nails and I usually am inspired to change the nail color before the manicure has chipped or grown out too far. I've also swapped in my own nail colors in the system too - so no need to buy more color if you already own a few favorites. 


Let's do some Q & A!

Q. What to wear to Disney over Easter weekend/beginning of April?

A. I rounded up my Disney looks from last summer HERE. It was HOT... we went in August. So check those looks out for sure. Beyond that it's 100% dependent on the weather. Florida has had a cool winter and I'm hoping it warms up down there soon since we are headed to Flordia soon too. You could always add a sweatshirt or cardigan or sweater over the shoulders to any of those looks if it looks to be cooler. But otherwise fingers crossed for lots of sun and warmth!

Q. Hot trends for spring besides wide leg jeans?

A. Yes, definitely wide leg jeans, pants and trousers are among the big trends for spring. I love the trend, but if you don't care for it there are plenty of straight leg options too! As I always say... all trends are optional. You can opt in or out of them as you please! Beyond that - we are definitely seeing a lot of 90's inspired trends like menswear inspired pieces (blazers, button front shirts, loafers with socks and vests), red is back in a HUGE way (you can see some fun pops of red for spring that I've pulled together here, here and here) and a big return of silver in accessories is going to be another very modern look for spring and into later 2024 too. 

I will say that I am shocked at how little spring clothing has launched at my favorite retailers. In years past (I have the receipts - haha!) spring clothing has popped at all the retailers by now. This year it seems to be very slow to roll out and I'm not sure why.  Of course, I've got my ear to the ground and will be bringing tons of spring inspiration to my closet and Instagram once it starts popping up at retailers.

Q. What is your workout routine like? I'm in a rut and need something new!

A. I've been playing tennis for about 5 years now. I started late in life and it's been such a fun outlet. I play tennis about 2-3 times a week. I started back up with pilates a year ago, it was something I did when my kids were very young but hadn't tried it in a while. I really, really enjoy it for feeling strong and centered. I do pilates 2x a week. My favorite physical activity is walking. It's a huge stress reliever for me and it's so good for you too! It was difficult to keep up with through the busy-ness of December and then of course January was so cold and snowy it was not enjoyable (or safe really!) and I have really missed it. Now that we are getting some temps above freezing and in the 40s I will be excited to start walking regularly again. I always feel best when I'm getting 8,000-10,000 steps a day. Both mentally and physically.

I think working out has to be fun. I never see it as a punishment or "catching up" after time off. I do it for fun or for my mind or health or nothing at all. For instance, for a while I was doing weight lifting with a trainer. I know weight lifting is SO good for us women, especially as we age. But I found it so dreadfully boring that I just ended up switching to pilates. It's got lots of similar benefits. Someday I might return to weight lifting, but if I'm not feeling it, it's not going to get done. So I have to be into it. That doesn't mean that most mornings I still drag my feet (especially when it's cold!) but in the end I love tennis and pilates. 

If you are looking to mix it up, try a new class at a new studio, ask some friends for a walk or try a lesson (like tennis!) - it can be so fun to try new things!





Wednesday, January 24, 2024

the best workout basics for the New Year with Athleta!

 This post is sponsored by Athleta. All opinions are my own. 

Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog.

It's time for a January check in! How are your fitness goals going so far this month? I'm always trying to get pilates on the schedule as much as I can and even in the winter I'm trying to get out for daily walks. But these cold and grey days don't make it easy! I'm the first to confess. I will say having some new leggings and sports bras in the mix always make working out more fun. I always try to set out workout clothes for the next day before I go to bed. Whether it's lots of layers for an outdoor walk, my favorite legging and sports bra combo for pilates or a tennis skirt and tank, when I see it sitting on my dresser when I wake up, it makes it easier to just put on and go do the workout. It's the visual reminder (read: guilt trip) that usually does the trick for me in the morning. 

Having new gear always helps to lean into my workouts and gives me that small push I need in the winter to keep these small promises to myself. A new pair of leggings in January is the equivalent to some freshly sharpened pencils in the fall, you know? It just feels so good! I've been wearing and loving the Athleta Powervita pieces for years. I just adore the ultra soft compression that looks and feels SO good on the body. Athleta is all about empowering women no matter what your workout style is... from fierce cardio sessions, to gentle studio classes and everything in between. Their pieces are up for the challenge. Their Ultra High-Rise Elation 7/8 Tight have been my go-to legging for years. You can't beat how soft and comfortable these leggings are, I wear them for everything from walks to tennis - they stay put and feel fantastic against the skin. Here I paired them with the Conscious Crop Bra. Lately I've been obsessed with the longline bra, I find them to be so comfortable and I love that this bra paired with the high waist leggings they have great coverage without being bulky. The Whisper Featherless Puffer Jacket is the perfect pre- and post-workout topper. I love that it's warm but not bulky and the quilted material and tall collar make it look perfectly polished for leaving the gym and running errands in style. 

Other new items I have my eye on at Athleta right now are the Venice Mid-Rise Jogger (so many color options!),  the Ascent Seamless Turtleneck (would be great for layering for outdoor walks!) and the Seasoft Bubble Hem Hoodie (this looks incredibly cozy!)

Right now when you apply and are approved for a new Athleta Rewards Credit Card you can get 25% off* your first order when using the card. So it's a great time to stock up on their great athleisure pieces for the New Year! This limited time promotion runs 1/18/24 - 1/24/24 and you can find out more HERE. Plus, you can earn 5 points* per $1 spent at Athleta, Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic when using your card. (Exclusions apply. If you are not approved for the Mastercard, you will be considered for the Athleta Rewards Credit Card.) 

Shop the look: 

Ultra High-Rise Elation 7/8 Tight (true to size, I'm wearing a size small), Conscious Crop Bra (true to size, I'm wearing a size medium), Whipser Featherless Puffer Jacket (runs big, I wearing a size XS)










 

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