Summer Date Nights

A few years ago, I tried wearing shorts for date night. We were heading down to the beach, to our favorite sushi spot on the water, and it was a warm summer evening. Jeans just didn’t seem fit for the occassion, so I tossed on a pair of shorts and heels…. When I looked in the mirror, the shorts and heels immediately came off, and I tossed on the jeans. Then we left. It wasn’t a good look. Fast forward a few years, to several weeks ago, when the temps were too unbearable to even entertain the thought of jeans for a quick evening out. I decided to try the whole shorts for date night thing again… this time, balancing out proportions with a low block heel mule and longline crochet fringe cardigan.

Back when I failed miserably at my first attempt, I didn’t really have anything between a high stiletto heel and flat sandal. Now, my wardrobe consists of the beautiful low block heel. The perfect height for any gal who wants a sandal that will work for any occassion. I love the muted blush tone of this fringe option, and also wear my studded ones all the time. These lace up sandals, as well as these low block heel strappy sandals are two other great options. Yet, when I’m wearing shorts, I prefer the mules, as they elongate my short legs…..

Tossing on a longer cardigan helped to balance out the contrast of the shorts and heels…. and this fringe option is a great choice for summer with its short sleeves and open crochet detailing. I’m also loving this breezy ribbed white cardigan….. another great pick for a summer date night.

Either way, I’d have to say that round two was slightly more successful than round one!

(Outfit Details || Cardigan (c/o) | Camisole  (comes in 15 colors) | Shorts | Mules (c/o) | Bralette | Tote | Pom | Sunglasses | Necklace)


Summer Stripes + Summer Bucket List

With today marking the official day of summer, and temps nearing the 90’s, there is no mistaking the sunny season is upon us. We spent all of yesterday outside…. starting at the beach and then ending it in the pool… and the rest of the week looks pretty similar. Given that, outfits like today’s will be omnipresent…. lightweight, easy to move in, and über comfortable…. because I have a summer bucket list I’m looking to complete… and comfort + style are key. When I saw this stripe tank, I knew it would be perfect for those warm summer days… and nights. It’s an easy, and quick, option for when I don’t know what else to wear…. and I love the cute tie at the shoulder. And, since my main goal this summer is to make memories with those I love, easy clothing options are key for helping us complete my summer bucket list… which I’m sharing below. Would love to know what’s numero uno on your list this summer!

1. Attend at least one concerts in the park…. little miss loves music, and I think I’d be willing to extend her bed time for a little dancing al fresco! 
2. Pack a picnic dinner (or just grab some to-go pizza…. huge fan of Blaze Pizza) and head down to Corona Del Mar… they have the prettiest overlook to catch a summer sunset. 
3. Take Harper to see the Disneyland Fireworks…. or just Disneyland in general…. 
4. Take a couple of short weekend trips to Palm Springs… we love staying at La Quinta Resort + Spa for a family friendly, and absolutely gorgeous, option. 
5. Make these delicious summertime popsicles… this year little miss can enjoy too.
6. Ohhhh, and these adult popsicle mimosas for a fun brunch… or just for a poolside treat.
7. Make s’mores with a twist…. instead of regular chocolate, maybe a Justin’s Peanut Butter Cup and some strawberries….
8. Take Harper out on a little boat ride…. Newport Beach has the cutest electric duffies and I think it would be such a fun afternoon with the family!
9. Protect my skin with this sunscreen…. and then enhance a tan with this self tanner.
10. Switch up my summer beauty and make-up routine…. thinking a trip to the beauty counter is in line… and looking for some neutral summer lip colors and eye shadows.
11. Get in a weekend getaway with TJ
12. Perfect my air dried waves…. I currently use this aprés beach spray.
13. Take Harper to get numerous Balboa Bars (YOLO)….
14. Spruce up our patio. We currently have these little foldable chairs (different print), and I would love to get these plant stands and put in some potted greenery. We have these string lights, and I’m thinking about adding this little fire pit and neutral outdoor rug.
15.  Pick up bike riding again, with a little toddler carrier in the back.
16. Take a family day trip to Catalina.

(Outfit Details || Top, also here (wearing XS) | Shorts | Slides | Hat | Tote (similar) |Pom | Sunglasses)



Summer Style || Embroidery

Well, today (Monday evening as I type this) couldn’t have been any more different than the day I wore this dress…. I wore basic cut-offs and a new favorite ruffle front top (highly recommend, btw) and went to music and story-time with Harper in the morning…. only to have a completely different daughter return. My word! Limit testing left and right…. with a 20 minute show down when I asked her to clean up…. I used lots of “when-then” + “if-then” statements and did tons of bringing her back (she ran away whining each time….), but after 20 minutes she raised her white flag and decided she would help clean up…. then, when I went to pick her up for nap-time (which she didn’t want to go to)…. she sat down, threw herself back, and had the biggest knot in the back of her head. One call to the pediatrician, and a quick google search later, I realized she didn’t have a concussion, and that yes, she would go down for that nap. Yessssss….. 2.5 hours of quite. #RealLifeMoment

Ok, now onto this embroidered number. When I first started searching for a dress for my sister’s bridal shower, I wasn’t certain as to what exactly I was looking for. I thought I wanted something floral…. and thought about this dress. Then, I decided I wanted something completely different…. something more tunic like… but couldn’t find just what I was looking for. I considered this orange one…. as well as this yellow option. Then, I stumbled across this embroidered maxi. I was sold. Game Over.

I, of course, ran through my check-list… asking myself when, where, and how I could re-wear this dress again (I used to buy so many dresses… and only had one place to where them too….#WaistOfMoney…). I decided it would be perfect for a weekend getaway to the desert. Excellent for sunset cocktails at the beach (this is on my summer date night list). A no brainer for our trip to Hawaii in October (hello happy hour Mai-Tais). Pair it with a low block, open toed mule and a straw hat for a dressier brunch. Toss on a jacket in the cooler, fall months, with a cute pair of ankle booties (I can’t believe I just mentioned fall….)…. you probably won’t see me frolicking around in it at the park with little miss… but, it sure is a piece I know I’ll wear over and over again…..

If you’re looking to add something embroidered to your closet this summer (which I highly recommend) a few favorites include this off the shoulder dress, gorgeous floral smock dress (these colors are amazing!), off the shoulder dress (such an amazing price point),  stripe embroidered top (I own this one), and this gardenia button up top (own it too and love it… featured here). I also love these embroidered mules (own them in the oat color). Another similar option to my dress, that is on major sale, includes this maxi dress.

(Outfit Details || Dress (4 color options, runs TTS) | Bralette | Sandal (sold out, similar)| Necklace | Sunglasses | Cuff (similar) | Tote (similar) | Pom Pom)


A Four Day Makeup-less Experiment + A Closet Basic Must-Have

I went make-up less for the first four days of the week. TJ headed out of town for work on Sunday morning, and since we do a lot of blog photos during the week, and I knew he wouldn’t be home, we worked overtime the week before and on the weekend. I thought, “Yes, no make-up this week…” Don’t need to touch my hair. I’m going au-natural and stretchy pants all week. I thought I would feel relieved…..

Day 1 was spent by the pool at my parent’s house. No make-up necessary, just some good old sunscreen on my face.  Only a bathing suit required. The quintessential summer uniform.

 Day 2 was pretty nice too. Took a 5 minute shower, put on some moisturizer, ran a brush through my hair, tossed on my leggings and hoodie combo, and out the door we headed. I thought, “I like this, I could get used to this….” When it came time to my evening skin care routine, it didn’t take nearly as long. Another bonus.

On day 3, I was feeling a little blah… thought maybe it was because TJ was gone and I was pretty exhausted from doing double duty. I assumed the no-fuss beauty routine was something that would make getting through the day easier. By the end of the day, I remember chatting with TJ, and feeling sort of negative about myself….. strange, not a feeling I usually have.

Today (so, day 4…. but Wednesday as I write this), I decided I was over the no beauty routine and went through my everyday make-up routine and freshened up my hair. I retired my leggings, pulled out a favorite pair of jeans, distressed tee, and utility jacket (it was June gloom chilly)…. and something shifted. I felt better. Almost immediately. The mere act of pulling myself together, putting effort into myself, lifted my spirits….

I realized that beauty and clothing isn’t vain, it’s an investment in yourself. If it helps you feel put together and fabulous, then it’s something worth putting time into. For me, the simple act of doing my hair, make-up, and putting on actual clothing makes me feel good… just like my morning workouts and eating healthy do. Which is why I’ve gone to great lengths to establish a 5 minute beauty routine (hair tutorial), and have closet basics, and go-to’s, that I can grab for those days when I’m on a time crunch, or just don’t want to put much effort into getting ready….

Between the jeans, tees, sweaters, sweatshirts, cut-offs, and jackets, I have a few simple dresses that I know are sure to be perfect for any occassion. Enter this simple, comfortable, and versatile t-shirt dress. It’s the perfect length for hanging out with Harper (hits just above the knee), but when belted, becomes shorter and a little dressier. I’ve worn it with sneakers and a denim jacket, and as is today for a lunch with my mom. Tee dresses are such an easy grab and go closet staple because it’s the only piece you need… no need to pair a top and bottom together…. literally, toss on, grab a cardigan, and go.

A few other favorites that I am loving include this mauve option, grey ruffle sleeve dress, basic cut-out tunic dress (lots of cute color options), and this knotted grey maxi.

(Outfit Details || Dress (c/o), currently on sale!, black version | Cardigan (identical, same brand) | Sandal | Belt (similar) | Tote (very similar) | Pom | Sunglasses | Necklace)



Little Fringe Top + A Real Life Moment…. The Reality Behind Social Media Photos

Social media is an interesting beast. On the one hand, it keeps people connected, almost seamlessly. Yet, on the other hand, it makes getting caught up in comparison way too easy. So today, I thought I would share with you the crazy evening I had last night….

We live in a condo, and in order to get to our unit, we have to walk through a parking structure. That being said, the goal is to get back to the house in one trip…. regardless of how many bags you have to carry on your arms (I think the record is 10… held by TJ). Tonight, I had a diaper bag, purse, large heavy tote bag, and two grocery bags… along with little miss in my arms (she’ll run the opposite way if I put her down…). As we entered the house, Captain (our spastic labradoodle), jumped up to greet us. Between calming him down, putting Harper on the ground, and still holding the bags, I somehow managed to pull a muscle in my upper back. It now hurts to breathe.

As I was cooking dinner, I went to check on the asparagus in the oven. I was in a hurry, so I didn’t grab an oven mitt, and instead opted for a dishtowel. Well, as I was grabbing the oven rack to pull it out, the towel slipped, and I now have a nice branding of the oven rack on my thumb. All Harper could repeat the rest of the evening was “ouuuuch.” Thank goodness that was all I said.

In the midst of soothing the burn… my thumb was immersed in cold milk and I was madly searching for my lavender oil… Harper somehow got ahold of a bag of chia seeds. Yes, they went everywhere…. and Captain wanted a piece of the action too.

TJ was out for the evening, so I was flying solo.

Let’s just say, I’m ready for bed as I type this (since I write all my posts the night before…)….

Yes, I realize that there are situations much worse than the one I just painted. Yet, I guess the point in sharing it was to paint a very #RealLife picture… behind the well curated photos, crap goes down…..

Ok, so, all that aside, I’m still loving fringe as we head into the summer season. It’s a perfect way to dress up an otherwise basic outfit… or a fun addition to an already fabulous piece of clothing. Given all that, this top was made for me. For starters, it’s white (love anything white). It’s soft. It’s practical (since it can also be worn on the shoulders). Annnnd, it can be dressed up and down…. so, it fits my versatility criteria (just toss on some cute heels or wedges…)…. It’ll be on heavy rotation all summer long.

A few other fringe favorites I have my eye on include this summer sleeveless cardigan, black fringe sleeveless knit, white tassel trim tee (such a cute basic), adorable fringe slides, tassel trim embroidered tank, and this fringe canvas tote (so. cute.).

(Outfit Details || Top (c/o) | Jeans | Sandals | HatThumb Ring | Tote | Pom | Sunglasses | Necklace)




Summer Wardrobe Staple || The Little White Dress

There are a few staple items I go in search of at the beginning of every summer season…. pieces that I know will create my summer “capsule” wardrobe. A little white dress is always on top of the list. It’s the perfect item to take you from day to night and casual to dressy. Wear it with sneakers during the day, and a low heeled sandal at night…. make it casual with a denim jacket, and dress it up with a few favorite accessories and something leather or suede….

As I look at my choices over the past few years, they’ve all had similar features…. most are above the knee, looser fitting (well….. there is one body con…. but that hasn’t been worn since I was pregnant……), and have a feminine element to them…. all of which, I believe, makes them versatile enough for any situation. When I stumbled upon this little white number, it fit the criteria and I knew it was “the one.”

A few other little white dress favorites, ranging from ultra casual to a little dressier, include this adorable ruffle cut-out dress, this lace-up shirtdress, oversized bell sleeve dress, lace mid dress, layered frill shift dress (so.fun.), and this lace bell sleeve fit and flare dress (the dressiest of them all).

 I’m pretty much ecstatic that it’s Friday…. Harper has been molar teething this entire week, so I’m ready for a little relaxation! I hope you all have a great weekend!!

(Outfit Details || Dress (runs TTS, wearing XS) | Slides (on sale) | Denim Jacket (c/o) | Tote | Poms | Earrings, more colors | Sunglasses)


Everyday Elevated || Functional Off The Shoulder Tops

I was recently asked if I felt that off the shoulder tops were manageable with a toddler running around. I took a moment and thought about it. I don’t believe in putting trends aside because I’m a mom…. but I do believe that there are ways to “functionally” incorporate the off the shoulder look into my daily wardrobe. Since I’m not always in mom role, or, because I don’t always feel like wearing a basic tee, I own multiple off the shoulder tops (love the trend). Yet, I do have a few criteria when I purchase them…. or when I choose to wear them. These tips work for anyone who doesn’t want to be pulling up, or down, their off the shoulder top every five minutes…. so, I guess, everyone……

1. Cold Shoulder Option: This is one of the easiest ways to make this trend functional. When there is the option to wear the top as an off the shoulder and cold shoulder top, it makes the trend completely manageable. It’s pretty much a two for one, IMO. I own a few with this option. I wear the cold shoulder when I’m running around with little miss, and opt for the full off the shoulder look when I’m little miss-free. I own this top in white lace (also comes in black and red), and am considering this black off the shoulder top (so many great color options), striped ruffle option, and this striped tassel off the shoulder top (with the best sleeves!) as well.

2. Zip Up: When I was shopping for our last Cabo trip, I stumbled across this stripe off the shoulder top and knew it would be perfect. The zip up option helped it to stay put throughout the day and night (margarita sipping is strenuous….). I was sold on that component for making the trend everyday friendly, so when I saw this pretty white one (seen today) I knew it would be great for the summer months. A couple other zip up options include this gorgeous red lace top and this eyelet crop option.

3. Separation: When there is a separation between the arm hole and the body of the top, it’s much easier to wear on a daily basis. What I’ve found is that traditional off the shoulder tops pull up when you raise your arms… with the separation, an action by the arms doesn’t necessarily impact the body of the top (aka, it stays put). A few favorites are the top featured today and the stripe off the shoulder top I mentioned above.

4. Ask For Help: Annnnd, when I really want to wear an off the shoulder top that doesn’t meet the criteria above, I do so when I know TJ and/or other family members will be around…. or, I simply plan on pulling it down several times throughout the day. Sometimes, function doesn’t matter if you want to look cute….. Which is why I’m obsessed with this pretty lace inset black top.

Hope that helps!

(Outfit Details || Top (wearing size S) | Shorts (excellent length and coverage) | Sandals (come in several colors, run TTS) | Hat | Necklace | Bag | Sunglasses)


Quintessential Summer Uniform + 10 Fun Facts About Me

It’s hard to believe that the unofficial start of summer is rapidly approaching…. I feel like it was The New Year just yesterday (I think I’m getting old….). All that to say, I’m looking forward to the long weekend, a fun hike, relaxing by the pool, and bar-b-queuing with family and friends.  Pretty much my ideal way to spend three days off… and when I think of the perfect weekend, I also imagine an outfit much like today’s…. a casual top, cut-offs, wide brimmed hat, and comfortable slides. It’s quintessential “Don’t bother me, I’m sipping rosé.” In all honesty though, when I stumbled across this adorable top, I knew it would take me all throughout the warmer seasons (which is why I snagged it in the eyelet option as well…). Madewell has pretty much hit a home run with their newest items…. I’m loving everything from the classic designs to the soft pinks and eyelet options…. A few other favorites from their newest collection include this blush hoodie (which I wear all the time), little white dress, petal pink swing tank, coral sweater tank (so cute with cut-offs), and this embroidered stripe blouse.

And, since I’m in a fun state of mind, I thought I’d share 10 things about myself that not many people know (some fun, some silly, and a couple serious…):

1. I was originally a pre-law major in college. After one semester of political science classes, I realized that wasn’t for me and switched to psychology with an english minor.

2. I am deathly afraid of cockroaches (just writing it gives me chills) and sharks (I can feel my breathing getting  shallow, and my heart rate racing, when I go on those snorkeling excursions…I last about 10 minutes in the water).

3. I’m an introvert…. not shy…. an introvert. I prefer sitting on the couch, with a good book, over a night out with a bunch of people…. it took me a while to realize that, but now I choose how I spend my time wisely.

4. I could eat some form of Mexican food everyday. If I had it my way, I’d probably have tacos nightly.

5. I wasn’t always 100% sure I wanted to be a mom. Now, I couldn’t imagine my life without Harper.

6. I once bleached my entire head of hair, without telling my mom. She took it surprisingly well.

7. I hate watching the same movie multiple times (unlike TJ who has watched Titanic and Good Fellows at least 30 times each…..).

8. The worst hangover I’ve ever had was when TJ and I were in France… limoncello, champagne, nightcap bellinis…. and a face-time call to my mom…. again, she took it very well (neither of us have lived that one down).

9. I was more team Backstreet Boys than an N’Sync… and Ryder Strong was my celebrity crush.

10. On a slightly more serious note, by today’s standards, when I was in middle school and high school, I was bullied and it created a fear within me about being misperceived and judged. When I started this blog (11 years after graduating high school), part of it became therapeutic for me. Putting myself out there, and learning to not worry about what people think, has been good for me… so thanks for tagging along on the journey!

(Outfit Details || Top (wearing XS) | Shorts | Slides (come in 4 colors) | Cardigan (similar) | Hat | Necklace | Sunglasses | Tote | Pom Poms)


The Dress || Versatile + Comfortable

I went through several dress options before I made the final choice for my sister’s bachelorette party. At first, I thought I wanted short and spicy. I played around with this little electric blue number, as well as this two piece set. I loved both, especially the colors, but struggled with the fact that I probably wouldn’t wear them much after the final fling. Then, I thought I’d go for a full blown maxi…. but it sold out before I could snag it (I hate when that happens….). So, I waited a week or so before beginning the search again. That weekend, I went to dinner with my girlfriend and she showed up wearing the prettiest little dress. I knew it would be perfect for the weekend. At first, she told me I should just borrow it… but I loved it too much that I had to have my own. It ended up being such a great choice for a warm evening out in Palm Springs…

This dress is pretty much my new favorite go-to. From the breezy fit, smocked top, and cute off the shoulder ruffles, I knew I would be able to wear it so many times post party. It’s casual enough for a day date and dressy enough for an evening of sunset cocktails. Toss it on with cute sandals and wear it to a shower…. or a low heel for a rehearsal dinner.  A straw hat and neutral slides makes for the perfect casual daytime look. For cooler evenings, a casual denim jacket is the perfect lightweight layer…..

Tiare Hawaii is a new favorite for dresses (and adorable rompers and tops) just like this one. A few other favorites from their line include this off the shoulder dress (I ultimately decided on the blue one, but it was a hard decision), adorable tassel romper (so cute), gorgeous printed blouse, and this pink floral off the shoulder maxi dress. Again, they’re fun options for a tropical vacation, shower, wedding, or just a casual day with the girls or signifiant other!

(Outfit Details || Dress | Sandals (also wore it with these) | Earrings (and here) | Sunglasses | Tote | Pom Poms)


Denim on Denim || Trust Your Gut

Over the years, I’ve tossed on several D.O.D (denim on denim, if you will) combos that were immediately removed. I either looked too much like a cowgirl or as if I was living in the 80’s. Either way, it’s a tricky combo. Yet, it’s one I love. If done right, it looks laid back, casual, and a little classic. And while I’ve come to simply trust my gut with the combo over the years, I’ve also found a few little tricks to making it work.

1. Color: In my personal experience, the more similar the denims, the more you veer into the “no no” category. I like to have a few shades of difference between the denims. Create a little contrast.

2. Material: I’ve also found that when the denim thickness is the same you move a little closer into the “wore it wrong” category. I once tried to pair a light wash denim jacket with a light wash jean. I can’t really say why, but it was just a big no all around. Like, it was back on the floor within seconds….. What I learned from that experience was a thicker denim needs to pair with a softer, or more lightweight, option. Think chambray material with denim jeans.

3. Accessories: There has to be something… otherwise, I feel like I’m heading out to ride a horse (nothing wrong with that… it’s just that I don’t ride horses that often….).

After following these three small rules, I came up with this denim on denim combo. When I spotted this super soft ruffle chambray top, I knew it would pair perfectly with these denim shorts (it’s also super cute with white shorts or jeans… I just wasn’t feeling those that day….). And, since I wore this outfit for a super casual day, I simply tossed on my favorite everyday basics…. a neutral cardigan, comfortable slides, and favorite gold accessories. A few other chambray tops I’m loving right now include this off the shoulder top (it has a cold shoulder option too… a two for one…), this stripe cold shoulder chambray top, bell sleeve off the shoulder option, and smocked chambray top (so cute!!).

Moral of the story? Trust your gut. If the denim on denim looks to circa B-Spears and Justin Timberlake…. you’re probably right. You’ll feel it when it’s good!

P.S. Tomorrow’s blog post is my monthly Q&A…. if you have any questions, looking for recommendations, etc… feel free to leave them in the comments or send me an e-mail: shannonpulsifer@gmail.com

(Outfit Details || Tank (under $45) | Shorts | Cardigan (very similar) | Slides | Tote | Pom Poms (back in stock) | Sunglasses | Necklace)