How to Pick Your Best Shoe Team

When you’re traveling away from all the luxuries of home, you’ve got to make sure your shoe game is on point. That plus the fact that you’ve only got so much room in the suitcase, means you have to pick the best and the brightest from your team of shoes!

Are you with me!? Ok let’s DO THIS.

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Here’s what qualifies a player to make the cut…

1. Versatility

Versatility is number one for a reason – it’s the most important factor. My neon pointy toe heels may look super chic and fabulous with that striped shirt dress, but if that’s the only thing they go with then they’re not worth the real-estate. My nude gladiator sandals on the other hand, will work with all five dresses in my suitcase.

Nude Gladiator Sandals, you’re in!

2. Comfort

Whether we’re packing for a vacation or for a work trip (in my case a couple weeks ago – both) comfort is a necessity. Most of the time you don’t completely know your schedule, so if at any point you end up walking around for hours, you’ve got to have a comfortable option. This means if two players are alike in a category (i.e.: casual sneakers) go with the guy that’s going to support your feet the best and build your outfits around him.

Casual Nike’s, get in there!

3. Bulk

Thirdly and really the least important is the size of your shoe. I have a pair of gladiator wedges that take up a TON of space. But this is a trickier requirement because if it falls within the confines of the first two (for example, if these wedges are really comfortable and if they’re going to go with a lot) then they make it on the team, but if they don’t fulfill any of those requirements then they’re first to get the boot. Again, if it comes down to two or three options and you just can’t decide – check to see which one will take up the least amount of space and go with it.

These rules don’t just apply to packing either. Versatility and comfort are two big factors when trying to decide whether or not to buy a pair of shoes. Sometimes we can get a little drunk on how cute a pair of shoes is, then wake up the next day after purchasing them to realize they treat our feet like dirt. Don’t fall into that trap. Respect your feet.

Junk Food Dress

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Getting dressed with a baby bump has been fun. I was looking forward to the new challenge and it’s proven to be the fun/interesting/refreshing adventure I thought it would be. I know it sounds weird, but I love a good fashion challenge and what’s more challenging than your changing body?

This dress is something I picked up in Indianapolis from their H&M. I was hoping to grab some of their cheap maternity clothes, but the store I went to didn’t have a maternity section. Instead, however, I found something better. This dress (and another one like it) that I can wear while pregnant and (most importantly) after.

That’s been my goal each time I shop – to find something that works now and later. It’s a habit I’ve gotten myself into even if I’m not shopping around a bump.

The important thing to remember when you’re buying in stores like H&M or Forever21, is that the pieces you pick up are what I affectionately refer to as “junk food.” It’s cute and delicious and it’s going to serve a short term purpose. But after a couple of wears, you’re going to be hungry again.

The lesson here is exactly parallel to what we put in our body – we can’t fill it up with junk food all the time, we have to have vegetables now and then.

The vegetables in this case would be classic, quality pieces that will stand through the trends and your changing tastes. It could be a little black dress, nude pumps, even a great coat could be considered a closet “vegetable.”Just as long as it’s something you know beyond any doubt that you’ll love for years and years to come.

This dress cost me $17 and is perfect for this point in time. It fits my growing baby bump and is something I’ll probably wear once or twice next summer even without a bump. Beyond that, I don’t think it will last long. But that’s OK because it’s just a bag of Cheetos.

The goal is to have a balance in your closet so that you can keep your look fresh, but not cheap.

Summer Beauty Swaps

This a post from last summer (as you’ll quickly surmise when you see my stomach ;) But I wanted to bring it to you again because all of these products are still relevant, and will help make your summer beauty routine a lot easier. Enjoy!

Now that it is consistently hotter than a cole miners arm pit outside, it’s a good time to summer-ize our beauty routine.

This time of year we need protection from the sun, tools to combat humidity, and products that will help us not feel like we want to melt into the concrete.

If you didn’t get a chance to watch yesterday’s segment, just press play!

Here is a list of all the products I talked about…

Aveeno body lotion with SPF: If you’re not already applying lotion everyday/every time you get out of the shower, you should be! Add this to your routine and you’ll not only get moisturized, but you’ll also get protection from the sun!

Pond’s BB Cream: One thing I forgot to mention on the show, is this only comes in two shades. I picked up the medium to go with my tan, and it seems to blend in well. It does come out a lot darker then what it ends up looking like on your face, so don’t get freaked out.

Maybelline Color Show in Pink Embrace: light pastel colors are great for your manicure if you don’t want to touch it up a lot. These lighter colors won’t show nicks and chips as badly.

Urban Decay Makeup Setting Spray: I don’t know why my face starts to feel gross by 3pm, but I do know how to fix it – this makeup setting spray does the trick every time. Spray it on your face after doing your makeup to keep it in place, then do what I do and use it as an afternoon refresher.

Sea Salt Spray by Organix: Get that soft beach-babe look in your hair without all the driving and that sand thing, with this great sea salt spray. It smells fantastic and will give your hair some texture to make it easier to put up.

White Hot Pants That Won’t Show Your Business

We all know the problem with white pants – they can get a little too “show and tell” *ifyaknowhatimean.

We want to look cool and crisp in their clean bright effortlessness, but we certainly don’t want our backside and Hello Kitty underwear on full display.

Thankfully, it’s possible to have great white pants without having to leave a room walking backwards. I’ve gathered four options from stores in West Town Mall to show you the different cuts and brands that give you comfortable coverage without cutting out the cute.

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Ann Taylor: These are actually eyelet pants, so they’ve got a great texture to them which will help mask any imperfections and panty lines. I also really like their relaxed look!

The Limited: For a more jean-like feel, go for these. With a skinnier silhouette they’ll play perfectly against billowy tops (or kimonos!).

New York & Co.: A long white pant is probably my favorite, and I can personally vouch for the greatness of New York & Company’s white pants. These would work in both the office and after hours with their slack-like shape. The material is heavy enough to give you coverage, but light enough to keep you cool.

White House Black Market: These are wrinkle resistant! AH! That’s so nice. And they’re the perfect length for showing off your cute summer shoes and pedicure!

If you’ve got your eye on a pair of white pants that aren’t in this list, I strongly advise you to read reviews. You’ll be able to learn a lot about the pants and whether or not to buy your size or not. Especially if you’re buying online, knowing if they run true to size really helps, and most of the time people leave that in the reviews.

For more on what’s trendy this season and whether or not you should incorporate it, check here, here and here!

Get the Most from Your Maxi Dress

The following is a post from last summer. I wanted to bring it to you again because now that the temperatures have heated up, it’s nice to know how to get really good use out of the most comfortable pieces in your closet – your maxi dresses! Enjoy and check back Wednesday for the white hot trendy item you’ll really appreciate having this season!

The one piece I end up missing the most when summer is over, is a maxi dress.

Thus while I’ve got summer on my side, I’m going to figure out as many ways to wear them as possible. This not only helps me when packing, but it also helps to stretch my dollars -and you can’t say that’s not fun!

Here are three examples of how I’ve taken a plain maxi dress and jazzed them up a bit…

There are so many great simple tank maxi’s out there, don’t shy away from them! Look at them as a blank (and wildly comfortable) canvas. Add your personality all over it by way of a belt, a long swingy necklace, a jean jacket…the list goes on and on.

purple maxi - first pic jpg

 

I hate having to work around my bra straps this time of year. That’s why I stock up on printed tank tops that aren’t razor backs so that I can wear them underneath a strappy dress like this one and still be comfortable in my regular bra. If you have a dress that doesn’t work with a tank top underneath, click here to read about a great strapless bra.

maxi dress

 

This striped dress has been with me all over the country. Because it’s so easy to pack and can be worn 10 different ways. Look for a maxi in a simple pattern like this one so you can wear it with a sweater, a shirt, a jacket, a sweatshirt…you get the idea. It’s freakishly versatile.

maxi dress

Ross has one of the best collections of maxi dresses I’ve ever seen. That’s where I bought the flower print one pictured. The other two came from Forever21 (JC Penney also has a great collection). Get out there and find one you love, then wear it ten different ways from Sunday!

Baby Update III

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It really freaks me out when Jackson moves while I’m walking around.

Most of the time he’s moving while I’m sitting or laying down, but last night I was getting ready to start my evening facial ritual and he moved hard core out of no where. I probably jumped so high I could’ve landed on our dresser.

Other than those crazy moments, having a little baby moving around in there has been so fun! It’s like a secret communication he and I have, yet I always give the secret away because my hand goes straight to my belly to feel it better. Sorry buddy, secrets out!

I cannot even count the amount of time I’ve spent staring at my stomach watching it move around all weird while he has play time in there. I’m sure it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the time I’ll spend staring at him when he comes out ;)

Clothing wise, I am so thankful to have not reached a point of frustration. We believe strongly in what the bible teaches about sowing and reaping – how that everything is a seed you sow and that you can expect a harvest (Matthew 13:1-23). So early on in the pregnancy, I cleaned out my closet and sowed the biggest clothing seed of my life in faith that I would reap a harvest in the form of always being happy with what I had to wear while pregnant.

I know my clothing standards and when they’re not met while not pregnant it’s frustrating, I certainly didn’t want to experience that frustration with the mixed cocktail of pregnancy hormones surging through my body.

Just know, sowing seeds like that really works! I’ve not only gotten some really awesome deals on the few maternity pieces I’ve bought, but I’ve also had the wisdom to know how to make things go farther (for example the addition of these and the fact that I can wear them afterwards as well really helps).

And that is something we can do whether we’re bringing a child into this world or not. If you’re in need of something, test the system. Sow a seed into someone’s life and be ready for your harvest!

Want to read other baby updates? You can do so here and here. You’re welcome.

(This whole outfit came from Target by the way) :)

A Cheap Trendy Item for Everyone

In the marketing department I work in we have a saying about kimono’s. When we’re looking over our work, we try to determine if we’re going “open kimono” or not. It’s not a good thing if we are because it means we’re giving away too much information.

We’d rather be “showing a little leg” and leave the people wanting more.

I don’t know if it was our constant jokes with kimono’s or what, but I’ve suddenly been craving this trend.

Here’s how these can really help your summer wardrobe…

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Belk // Forever21 // Dillard’s // Charlotte Russe // JCPenney

Because of their fluid shape and open front, kimono’s are great no matter your size/shape/age. And in all my kimono shopping I have found that there is a wide variety of patterns and colors out there.

I will say, it’s a little harder to find ones that don’t have a floral or tribal print, but it is possible. So take it from me – you can find some that fit your style.

If you’re wondering how to style a kimono, my advice is always always wear it with a crop top. Show as much as your belly as you can…then finish getting dressed and walk out the door.

Really, they can be worn with a lot of things. You can throw it over a tank top and jeans to add a great color/movement/pattern to your look, you can pair it with a simple dress, or you can (and here’s where you really get your money’s worth) use it as a bathing suit cover up.

The girl sporting the tribal print kimono from Dillard’s is wearing it with a bathing suit (she was going too open kimono in the front *ifyaknowwhatimean so I had to turn her around ;)

I love them because they translate such a relaxed vibe and add great visual interest to simple outfits. They work great with a growing baby belly because they fit no matter what, and they’re not going to make you hot. At least not in the temperature sense – A-OH! ;)

Try one out and see what you think! You can read up on my thoughts about trends (and why I’m doing this series) here, and catch last weeks featured item here.

Meanwhile, check out these figure-flattering bathing suits from Dillard’s…

An Easy Blue Dress

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Pregnancy brain is a real thing. I once drove to work in the wrong direction for almost two miles before realizing what I had done.

And now I’m asking myself if I’ve written this already because it feels like I have…(see what I mean!?)

I can’t give you a scientific explanation for it, but I do know that the minute you look at that little positive stick a whole new world of thought opens up in your brain and sticks with you (I’m assuming) for the rest of your life. It’s not just about you anymore, it’s about a whole lot more.

Knowing the mental load that pregnancy carries with it, I determined early on that I didn’t want maternity clothes to be a point of frustration for me. So I did a lot of planning, looked at a lot of pictures and started formulating how I was going to translate my style while pregnant. I did something else that I believe was the greatest help of all, but you’ll have to wait to read about that on Friday :)

Shopping for shower dresses started way early and I went at it hard. Dresses are a very tricky thing to shop for when you have very specific taste. Then add to that a baby bump and you have me for the past month – scouring every dress website known to the wide world.

If I found one with a pattern I liked, it had two slits up the sides that my husband pointed out would only get higher when worn with a baby bump. Ha. True. Pass.

If I found one with a perfect bump-accommodating shape, it would have some kind of print that definitely didn’t translate “Elizabeth” (more like boho hippy child, on an Indian reservation).

I even ventured into the world of maternity dress shopping, which I’ve purposely treated like the plague so that if I can wear as much as I can now and later.

This dress gorgeous non-maternity-yet-bump-accommodating dress was found on Amazon (Lord help us all when you can get free 2-day shipping through Prime) but I originally found the same dress much more expensively on a big department store’s website. I copied the name of the dress and searched for it on Amazon, and sure enough there was a cheaper version (over $20 cheaper). Score!

It’s so comfortable and it’s got pockets!

I wore it to a beautiful baby shower thrown by my sister-in-law, and I’ll be able to wear it to Jackson’s kindergarten graduation if I so choose (and that’s no joke, I plan to re-wear one of the dresses I bought for my bridal shower).

A draping maxi dresses like this one flatters all kinds of body shapes, because the draping masks a lot. And if you want to balance out fuller hips and disguise the tops of your arms, pair it with a structured and hip grazing jacket.

I also really loved pairing it with a gold chain right at the neckline to give the top of the dress some interest.

2 Cute Things and a Game-Changing New Cleanser

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This weekend marks our 7 year anniversary. When asked how things were going in our first year of marriage, I’d always start gushing about how much fun it was. I’d then immediately be reminded by the person that it’s only our first year. Give it time, they’d say. *Blank face emoji

And while I know 7 years in isn’t much, it’s been enough for us to experience plenty of highs and lows. Turns out, if someone were to ask me today how marriage is – I’d still be gushing.

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I’ve known for a long time that small things are just so cute. I wear a size 10 shoe, so I’m looking at you size 6 shoe wearers. But the cuteness factor in little boy clothes? Oh Lord, it just won’t quit.

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When I lived at home my room was really far away from the bathroom. This prompted me to change my face-washing routine to using wipes instead of going all the way downstairs and splashing water on my tired face and having it annoyingly drain down my arms.

I’ve since learned that using face wipes every night probably isn’t the best way to go. You don’t get as deep or thorough as a clean with them. So I save the luxury for once or twice a week when I know I’ll be coming off a long day.

I’m excited to report that I get to bump that schedule up a couple of nights with this new product. It’s called “micellar water” and it’s French. It’s water that has tiny oil molecules in it that attract dirt and makeup from off your face. So the oil pulls out the dirt, while the water stays behind to hydrate, giving you a deep clean without that dried-out feeling.

It’s wonderful to use in the morning too because it makes your face feel fresh and hydrated before applying makeup.

Here is the brand I use. Of course you can go way up or down in price, but after looking around I felt like this was the best option for the cost.

To use it, all you do is squirt some on a cotton pad (much better than a cotton ball, I found) and wipe your face like it’s toner. I’ll sometimes go over my face a second time just to get everything. Afterwards, you’ll have a really clean face, but really feel as if you cheated because it was so easy.

Give it a try this weekend!

Now Trending: Fringe

And so begins the first post in my series of letting you know what’s on trend and how/if you should work it into your closet.

*Cracks knuckles* here we go…

Recently while shopping for next weeks featured trendy item (Ooo you’ll have to come back to see what it is!) I noticed there was a whole lot of fringe going on.

I’m going to come right out and say that it’s a turn off for me, however, if worn properly it can be cute and add great movement/visualization to your look.

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A bikini with the fringe on top (sing it Oklahoma style) can even add volume riiiieeght where you need it *ifyaknowwhatimean.

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If you are going to go with the sway and swoosh in other non-water resistant outfits, keep your jewelry understated especially if the fringe is on the bottom of something with a pattern. I would pair this kind of thing with mostly earrings seeing as how any kind of necklace would be too much movement going on. Even a statement necklace would be overkill (in my book). If you just can’t hold back with a necklace, then layer a few that have thin chains.

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Fringe on your shoes could be super cute, but again keep everything else understated and let them be the highlight of the outfit. I would most certainly stay away from doubling up on fringe. Unless you were getting ready to attend FringeFest 2015 (which, come to think of it, is better known as Bonaroo). ;)