A Spiffy Girl

elianna

When I say we’re going to need a bigger closet, I mean it.

elianna

This week we announced news we’ve been relishing in ourselves for almost three months now – we’re having another baby!

I was excited to get all the details out at the same time – the fact that it’s a girl and her name is Elianna (middle name TBD).

The idea that I’ll be dropping “Dude” and Dinosaurs for “her” and bows (also TBD, haha I’m trying to work up a love for bows currently) is still settling in, however, she is truly an answer to prayer and I am resting in the fact that God will equip me to be a mother to this little sweetheart.

I’ve had this name picked out for over 15 years – before I even knew my husband. In Hebrew it means, “God has answered.” And boy, is that spot on! We’ve been believing for another baby and He has answered in the perfect way.

There’s so much more I can say but I’m still in processing mode so it’s not coming out as smoothly as I’d like.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing in our excitement!

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The Perfect Summer Run-A-Round Dress

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No special bra required.

Fashion challenge: Park opening with two toddlers, news cameras and city officials in the summer heat + West Town Mall grand opening – what do you wear without changing?

This dress.

You guys, if you don’t already own what I call a “t-shirt” maxi, what are you even doing with your life?! Honestly this piece right here is THE ONLY thing I miss about summer time. It’s so versatile, comfortable and flattering – sweat can be running down your back and no one notices because the dress is so awesome.

I wish I would have bought 3 of this dress that way I would have it for the rest of my life. I got this particular one at The Loft in Tanger Outlets years ago, but I’ve found some more that you can snag at stores throughout West Town Mall.

But seriously, buy one in a dark color and wear it to a kids splash party – you can look nice, stay cool and not have to worry about water marks from picking up your kid out of the pool. You also don’t have to worry about bending over and flashing everyone which is always feels like a win when that care is off the table, ha!

(And yes, I realize the first two options I bring would show wet spots from a toddler immediately but I’m on a constant hunt for more of this exact dress I’m wearing in the picture, and when I find it I’ll alert you!)

JCPenney: Even though this isn’t a “maxi” version, it’s long enough to where you’re still being modest and look how cute it goes with sneakers!

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This one is also from JCP and has a great cinching at the waist which will help disguise any extra extra you’ve got in that mid region :)

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This one is from Fresh Kale Bath Company – right outside of JCPenney so you don’t have to walk far! And they have it available in multiple colors which will work well into fall… Throw on some booties and a scarf and pick up a pumpkin spice latte and BOOM you’re seasonally appropriate!

 

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And this one…HAS POCKETS (well so does the one above – how great is that!?)

It’s from New York and Co. I also love that is has a hood – which yes, it does make it harder to dress up, but it does add a nice detail that would look good peaking out over a jean jacket.

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The best part? None of these require special under garments. Yay for no strapless bras! :)

Wondering how to wear a maxi dress multiple ways? Oh girl, I got you.

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What this Jean Snob Thinks about Old Navy Jeans

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jeans, old navy jeans, where to find good jeans, good jeans, good skinny jeans, where to find cheap jeans, great skinny jeans

Buy them.

Last year, I had to go out and buy new jeans for the best possible reason – I had lost some weight. My favorite jeans were fitting poorly and I was tired of looking like a Backstreet Boy so I bit the bullet and went out to buy what I thought were a cheap, throw away pair of jeans from Old Navy. (At this point if you’ve bought Old Navy jeans you’re thinking…”Ha, Oh young, naive Elizabeth. You’re so young and beautiful.”)

Forgive me, as I can’t remember how much they cost – maybe $30? No more than that, for sure as I had some Old Navy cash on hand. But I will say that whatever the cost? TOTALLY WORTH IT.

You guys, these things are amazing! They’re so comfortable, and form fitting. And did I mention comfortable? Like I can sit criss-cross apple sauce and they don’t get baggy; I can bend down ask my kid why he’s crying and they don’t show off my underwear. I can wear them with sneakers, wear them with heels and I can’t stop looking fabulous.

The unfinished hem is my favorite part because it shines a trendy light on whatever shoe I’m wearing, and they’re light weight enough to wear throughout the day without getting hot.

Oh and the dark wash is perfect because it’s dark enough to go with everything that I usually wear with black but not so dark that it makes me look too dressy.

They are, the perfect jeans.

The pair I’m wearing is their Rockstar Mid-Rise size 6. An 8 was really comfortable but a 4 was too tight so just try on one size up from what you would normally grab and see what you think. If you can buy jeans straight from a website – you are my hero.

Also, (and I just discovered this while searching out the link for you) they have never fade black jeans!!!!! YOU GUYS that’s what I NEED. (hopefully my husband won’t read this or come to the awareness that I own over 10 pairs of black pants) I NEEEED THEM.

Also, also, shout out to the Old Navy employee who saw me looking at the jeans and encouraged me to buy them. In-store feedback like that is sooooo great.

(PS: Hump Day t-shirt courtesy of Ed Rupp himself! And while I know it’s not Wednesday, I can’t think of a better alternative day to post a Hump Day t-shirt than FRIDAY, right?!)

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What to Do When You’re in a Shopping Rut

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When “sale” doesn’t give you butterflies.

Let’s first talk about the reasons for this post… I’ve found myself in several conversations recently where we started lamenting the fact that there’s not just one store you can walk into that has everything you want.

That, combined with other conversations where I hear things like, “Oh I would never go in there,” or, “that store’s for _(insert either young or old) people__.” It got me to thinking…

What should we do when we’re in a shopping rut? Do things out of the ordinary.

Start by shopping where you normally wouldn’t (in that place that’s for a perceived older or younger crowd). This is going to either open our eyes to new things, help us discover a store we would have otherwise written off, and best case scenario it’s going to provide us with an item that will enliven our whole closet. Did I say best case scenario – I meant, dream world scenario ;)

Worst case? We’ll have burned time. Bright side? We didn’t spend money. And if we walk in with an open mind, we still may glean an idea or two of how to style an outfit. You never know.

Something else that can get you out of a shopping rut is to try things on you normally wouldn’t. I talked about that here when I ended up with a top that I was not looking for, but have already worn twice – all because I tried it on.

Go ahead, pull a thing or two and spend some time with them in the dressing room. And don’t just throw it on and say it doesn’t work. Stand there and style it. Do a mini runway! Have fun! Take selfies!

Again, worst case you burn some time. But you’re stirring those creative juices and you may walk out with an idea for how to wear something you already own. Best case? Honestly – my best case scenario is when I walk out more in love with what I own. I cherish the times I’ve walked in and out of stores finding nothing, but instead spending the whole time thinking of what I’ve already got in my closet.

That to me is not wasted time – that to me is the best time because it’s showing me that I don’t have to wonder “what’s out there?” or whether or not I’m missing something. Nothing is out there. I’m missing zilch.

So what do I do then? I walk into my closet, say “hello boys” and start shopping my own looks. Trying on outfits and forcing myself to use and wear things I may not have previously touched.

I save money, I use what I’ve got and I’m a happier person for it – oh wait – that’s right, I’m out of my shopping rut because I don’t feel the need to shop any more.

See what I did there?

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From Brunch to Business: Cute Tops from Express

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I even talked myself into one of these cuties.

If you haven’t walked into Express in a while, you need to change that. They have a hot selection of clothes that tip on the dressy scale of dressy/casual (and a beautiful collection of business pieces) but they also have polished casual clothes, which you’ll see below.

I walked away with one of these pieces (and have already worn it twice in one week). And as I loaded these pictures I regretted not having taken home another top.

At the time I tried these on (which was a week ago) these tops were all under $30. They may be even cheaper now – clearance was an extra 30% off (isn’t that a beautiful sentence?)

Here’s the top I’ve worn twice now… Once with leopard pants and once with ripped gray jeans and pink heels.

Sorry the quality of the picture isn’t great – it was low lighting in there. This top is a satin material and I absolutely feel in love with the long, un-done tuxedo feeling sleeves.

Of all the tops I went to try on, this was lowest of my list of “need”, however trying it on I realized how many holes it would fill in my closet (case in point: I’ve already worn it twice). So my advice? If you’re headed towards the dressing room anyway, grab something you never would have thought about, it may be your favorite piece.

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This is more a lavender color in person, and I thought I would love it more once I tried it on, but it’s still something beautiful that could get tucked into a skirt or some high wasted jeans… You could also balance it out with torn jeans and booties.

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This is the piece I’m now wishing I would have grabbed. Love that it’s a higher quality material (silky feeling) and not just another striped top.

Another great thing to do, is style something you’re trying on. Don’t just throw it on and say no. Play around with it for a second. Don’t force yourself to like it, but give it a chance!

It’s got a t-shirt hemline which I’m typically not a fan of, but it’s long enough to overcome my annoyance.

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express, west town mall, striped top, knoxville blogger, knoxville fashion blogger

 

The next two are tops that fall in the “casual but still polished” category. Such a fan of the silver thread in the button down shirt. Gosh, that with a pair of ripped jeans or shorts and some slip on sneakers – you are ready to stylishly pound down some brunch.

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Like I said, all of these tops were under $30! You can find them (except for a small in that black one *muahaha) at Express in West Town Mall!

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