02.19.2018

Weekend Recap || Palm Springs

I shared the above photo on Friday evening, right after we had arrived to Palm Springs. My caption was this….

“While this trip won’t be perfect, there will be perfect moments…. Always hold onto those small moments of happiness, laughter, and love….”

And while the trip wasn’t perfect (early toddler wake-ups, toddler meltdowns, and some small accommodation issues), there were certainly perfect moments…. which is what we say about life…. life isn’t perfect, nor is each day, but I’m pretty sure if we look hard enough, we can find small, and perfect, moments in each day….. So, here is to a week filled with finding small, special, moments. Have a good one friends!

P.S. Sorry this is shorter than usual, we’re here until tomorrow and I’m trying to enjoy all the time with the fam I can! 

(Love those palm lined streets….)

(A cozy pullover for Friday evening happy hour….)

(La Quinta Resort has so many gorgeous bougainvillea bushes…..)

(Pool bound with my little fish…. my dress, tote, Harper’s suit, cover-up, sandals)

(When little miss naps……)

(Crips white eyelet for fireside cocktails….)

(Love sunny desert mornings….)

(Sunday morning comfies…. sweatshirt, shorts….)

(Little missy loved the water…..)

(Last night out in an easy throw on and go pullover….)

(We enjoyed morning workouts, post a delicious homemade breakfast… leggings, tank, shoes)
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I’m officially registered for the Encinitas 1/2…. for March 4th… literally 2 weeks away. That being said, I ran 10 miles last Friday, and have the goal of 11 this coming Friday. I’m love, loving, running in these socks….. they’re the perfect thickness. We’ll probably be making these tasty loaded sweet potatoes sometime this week too!

I shared all my President’s Day Sale favorites, most of which are still going on, in this post.

A few new spring arrivals that I have my eye on include this double layer tank, henley tank (super great layering option), long sleeve henley top (the material looks super comfortable), and this floral bodysuit + ruffle floral tank would both be super cute for date night!

The temps are supposed to get real cold this week (I guess winter decided to show up….) so I fully anticipate wearing this cozy velvet baseball tee, hooded thermal, blush pullover (for post workout), and this super soft mauve cardigan.

I’ve also been loving all of honeydew intimates loungewear items, including this adorable heart set…. and Calvin Klein Underwear (I own tons of their pieces) just came out with these sleep shorts…. which I have my eye on.

02.16.2018

Champagne Chatting || Question + Answer

(Tee | Shorts)

Finally Friday friends! I hope you all had a great week, and are ready for the (long) weekend ahead. We’re heading out to Palm Springs for a few days and I’m looking forward to some relaxation…. we’ve never been in the spring, so looking forward to enjoying their mild temperatures and actually being outside without sweating buckets…… Sharing my monthly(ish) Q+A today….
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1. I have a weekend trip to Vegas with my husband and two other couples coming up and would love your suggestions on dresses (or even a skirt and top combo) to wear for the evening. We’ll be going to a nice dinner then after-dinner drinks, and maybe dancing if I can stay awake (I’m 33 and a mom of two little kids so that could be a challenge).

SO fun! And totally know what you mean about staying awake… I don’t remember the last time I made it past midnight… That being said, you want to look fabulous! I love this one shoulder lace dress or embellished slip dress (with a leather or suede jacket). I also love rompers for Vegas like this gorgeous embellished romper, floral romper (I wore one similar to this out in Vegas last summer with heels and dainty gold jewelry and it was the best), and pleated blush romper.  You could also do this skirt + black cami combo.

2. My daughter is almost 16 months old and my husband and I are planning on going to Wine Country (my first time) for our first trip away from her! We plan on going for only three nights. We live in Tampa, so its quite a flight, but I’ve been dying to go for sometime now. We’d like to add another little one to our family, so figure it’s a good time to go before we have another infant. The area seems a bit overwhelming, as it’s so large and so many wineries! We want to stay at a reasonably priced hotel (I know the area is quite expensive). What area do you recommend staying? Any reasonably priced hotels that you know of? Any advice, recommendations or resources would be extremely helpful!

You’re going to have so much fun, one of our fav places! As far as areas to stay, you’re right, there are so many different areas. We’ve really enjoyed staying in Sonoma and the Carneros regions, but staying in Napa is likely the most central option. That being said, prices for hotels fluctuate drastically based on the time of year you are going, with summer, and the weekends (if you can go mid-week you’ll get much better rates) being one of the most expensive times. A few trendy hotels, that right now have reasonable prices include the Hotel Senza, Andaz Napa, The Westin Verasa (we’ve stayed there and it was great).  You can also check on VRBO, Homeaway, or Air BnB for super cute rentals (which we’ve done before and really enjoyed….). I hope that helps!

3. Is there a half marathon training program you are following?

Yes! I created this program, based on my experience with a few different training programs. I structured it around my fitness level and personal fitness interests. Also, one of my girlfriends created an entire website on training for runs. Check it out, as she has so much knowledge!

4. Would love your thoughts on bow to be productive, but also present, when home with a toddler. I struggle on days in with feeling like I need to do 100 things, but also don’t want to feel like I wasted a day with my little.

Great questions…. one I am always working on. I think I try to designate days where when we’re at home I need to get things done. I usually use two days a week for this, and the other three days are ones where we go to the park, or a more special outing. One the days when we stay home, I do try to have her help me with things that need to get done…. she loves being a helper, so having her help me take out the laundry, or put things away helps me to keep her engaged, while I’m still accomplishing things. If she’s watching some TV, I do a few things, and then make sure I check in with her every 10 minutes or so, just so she knows I am here. I talk with her about what is going on in the show (usually some Disney Junior one), and then let her know that I have to go do “xyz” and that I’ll be back in a minute.

5. What do you give Harper for snacks throughout the day? I would love to see a day of what she eats.

Here are some snacks that I give her throughout the day:
Perfect Bar (she’s obsessed), Love Grown O’s , Late July Crackers   String Cheese, Apple slices, Grapes, Banana, Dried Cranberries, KIND fruit + veggie bar Purely Elizabeth Granola ,Bell Pepper Slices,
Horizon Snack Packs

6. Where do you get your denim from?

I get my denim from all different places. My favorite pairs are this skinny jean, Levi’s (specifically this high waisted distressed pair , light wash pair, + these boyfriend jean), and these high waisted frayed hem jeans.

7. I majored in communications and psychology in college and have been considering going to grad school to become a social worker or therapist. What program did you do and do you have any tips before someone begins this long road? In your opinion is it worth the money? 

I did a Master of Arts in Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage + Family Therapy. As far as tips before entering a program, I recommend either getting an internship in the field (if you’re still in college) or getting a paying job in the field to see if you are passionate about the work. That way, you’ll get a general sense of if you want to move forward with a graduate degree. I always think education is worth the time/money (it’s something no one can ever take away from you….) if you’re passionate about the field. I have never regretted the time or money it took to get my Master’s degree.

8. I’m looking for a church appropriate, but cute, dress for my son’s baptism. It will be in late April in NYC so could still be cold. I’m having a hard time! Any suggestions? Must be petite friendly, I’m the same height as you! My budget is between $200-250. 

Such a special day! Including dresses within and below your range….. I love this dress…. it’s beautifully modest, but the sleeve detailing and dress material keep it from looking matronly. This pink sweater dress is gorgeous (might have to have the ruffle hem brought up if you’re short like me….). I’m obsessed with this gorgeous floral maxi dress (it has long sleeves) and reminds me of the one I wore for Harper’s baptism (likely will need to be hemmed). This black and white long sleeve wrap dress + this gorgeous pale blush embroidered wrap dress (short sleeved, but beautiful…).  Annnnd, this is one of my all time favorite maxi dress (perfect for short gals too)…. it’s embroidered and long sleeved.

9. Can you share the music you listen to on a long run? I get so sick of the same songs! 

California Love – Tupac
Toxic- Britney Spears
Work B*tch – B. Spears
8 Mile – Eminem
Filthy – JT
Finesse (Remix) – Bruno Mars
Woman – Kesha
Milkshake – Kelis (DJ Zinc Radio)
Too Much Jewelry -Migos
Right Above It – Lil Wayne + Drake
All I Do Is Win – DJ Khaled
Stronger – B Spears
Fighter – Christina Aguilera
Survivor – Destiny’s Child
Can’t Stop The Feeling – JT
Born This Way – GaGa
Poker Face – GaGa

10. Right now I am brainstorming travel destination ideas for our 5th year wedding anniversary. Do you have any travel recommendations in CA? We’ll have our daughter stay with my parents and we don’t want to go too far away on our trip.

So fun! We love Palm Springs… specially La Quinta Resort + Spa. The grounds are gorgeous, and it’s such a great spot to disconnect and reconnect. Santa Barbara (Los Olivos) are favorite areas as well…. you have the beach, wine country (or The Funk Zone), hiking, and great restaurants…. San Diego is another favorite area…. you can stay in La Jolla or Del Mar (L’Auberge is a favorite “special occasion” hotel) or Downtown (The Pendry is our fav… trendy, rooftop pool, close to a happening downtown area). Hope that helps and have so much fun!

11. What home equipment do you use to workout? 

I wrote this blog post on at home equipment, but I recently added a heavier kettlebell (20lbs) to my rotation.

12. Can you share some vacation wear items from ASOS? Would love some recommendations for an upcoming trip. 

ASOS always has such great suits and cover-ups! This tie front maxi dress is absolutely gorgeous (perfect for day-night) and I love this casual olive green maxi dress. A cute black and tiny polka dot romper is super cute too. This pom tote is adorable, and this lace kimono is a great beach cover up option. As far as suits go, I think this plunge front floral one is pretty, as well as this white high waisted two piece option. A few non ASOS favorites include this floral black and white kimono, stripe romper, and this striped tunic.

13.  Can you share a few other lariat necklace options? 

Yes! My favorite Gorjana one is currently sold out, but I personally own and love this delicate option, pavé slider necklacelong pendant necklace, and this fan necklace.

14. Would love to hear how you pack for you and your daughter while traveling. How do you keep style a priority with a toddler? What do you pack for her when you’re on a flight? My son is 2 and we’re taking his second flight this spring. 

For Harper on a flight I pretty much pack our kitchen cupboards worth of snacks….. a few novelty toys (books, stickers, crayons, coloring books, etc….) and always an iPad. The other toys will keep her occupied for maybe an hour tops, but she will sit nicely, eating snacks, and watching a few shows for almost the entire duration of a long flight. I’ve always brought our baby carrier along with us to get through security lines (she does not like waiting in a line… what toddler does) but doesn’t mind sitting in the carrier. So it for sure helps managing the long lines that can come at an airport. We are always sure to bring her car seat + pack and play. Now that she is two, we will be bringing her carseat on the plane. Hoping this will help her actually sleep en route to a destination (she’s never been great at sleeping on planes).

As far as making style a priority, I keep my “vacation” style in line with my everyday style… pretty practical + neutral (with a few fun pieces thrown in there) so I can put an outfit together, quickly, that’s both easy to move around in, comfortable, and cute. If it’s a “city” destination, jeans, cute tops, moto jackets, joggers, sneakers, booties, and hoodies are what I toss in my suitcase… as I can easily mix and match them. For a more leisurely vacation, say a resort, I pack cut-offs, flow-y cover-ups, comfortable sandals, and a practical swimsuit (I really don’t need anything falling out at this point….).  For travel I almost always wear leggings, joggers, a comfy cardigan (or oversized pullover), and a tee…. it’s all about comfort when traveling with a toddler.

15. I turn 40 in a couple of weeks and looking for a cute + stylish outfit for dinner in the city. We live in Boston, so it’s still winter here so it makes it a little harder. Any suggestions (Budget is up to $500 for a dress or jeans + top)? 

Such a fun birthday to celebrate.! If you want to go the jeans and a top route, I am obsessed with this beautiful silk lace blouse with black jeans (my all time favorite pair)… basically, love the look of the model in the top. An alternative to jeans and a top could be a pair of wide legged pants (or velvet option) + a beautiful  lace silk camisole. Or, a fabulous jumpsuit… like this plunging neckline option (creates a beautiful statement, given the rest of the outfit is modest….) or pleated metallic option…. and this dress is simply beautiful…. everything about is gorgeous…. and at the top of the budget.

16. Do you have any suggestions for bathing suits while pregnant? Either a one piece or two piece! 

So, ASOS has some really cute maternity wear, at reasonable prices, and I love this asymmetrical frill suit (also comes in coral). For a two piece I love this ruffle bandeau top + bottom combo…. and this gingham top and bottom are super cute (and 30% off this weekend)….. and when I was pregnant I splurged on this top and bottom combo and wore it the entire summer. It fit perfectly, and I actually still wear it now…. if the set is too much, I recommend just buying the top and pairing it with another swim bottom (like the one I linked above).

17. Are you still a practicing therapist, and if not, when did you decide it was time to walk away? 

I actually just put my license on inactive status, which means I can’t practice, but can move my license to active status at any time by taking 36 continuing education units. When I was pregnant with Harper, I was feeling a pull in a different direction, yet I wasn’t sure what that was. I had been blogging for 3 years already at that point, and after she was born, the blog was at a point where I could focus on it full time. It was at that point that I had to make a decision to go back to work part time or focus on the blog full time. I couldn’t do both being a new mom, and chose the blog. You can read about that decision here.

02.14.2018

Wellness Wednesday || Loving Your Life

“I still remember the days I prayed for what I have now….”

Starting out today a little differently. Asking you to take a quick moment and write down (or just think about) a few things that you have now that you used to pray/wish/hope/worked super hard for (for me, it’s personally prayer, but I acknowledge that’s not how it is for everyone). I feel as if I don’t do it often enough and I’ve been thinking about the above quote a lot lately. Given that it’s Valentine’s Day, I figured today would be an ideal opportunity to touch upon it. I had a few different ideas for this “love day” themed post…. a wellness smoothie to love yourself with… some self care ideas…. etc…. but what I really thought was important was talking about loving the life we are given…. the good and bad…. perfect and imperfect….

For me personally, as I look at my list, it’s pretty lengthy, and for that, I am profoundly grateful. I remember the days I prayed to get into graduate school… unsure if it would happen. How many job rejections I initially received post grad school (8 to be exact….) before I landed the job that was really right for me (and you better believe I prayed hard with all those rejections….). I worked, and studied, so hard to get my license to practice… We prayed hard for Harper, especially after it wasn’t as easy as initially anticipated…. We prayed for a new job for TJ (his former company had been going through a lot of changes….)….. and then we prayed for this blog….

And the funny thing is that sometimes the very things we pray (or wish) for, bring their own set of challenges. I know, duh, right? But think about it…. each “thing” I/we prayed for, brought a unique set of challenges we never had before… sometimes making life slightly more difficult than before. How was I going to pay for graduate school??… balance work, studying, + a social life….. once you get the job, there are the natural stressors…. reviews, co-worker differences, meeting expectations….. TJ’s new job (which he loves) has him working from home…. we live in a small condo, which often creates tensions we never had before…. and when Harper arrived, we had an entirely new lifestyle to become accustomed to….. which is continually evolving. Taking photos for the blog was so much easier when she was younger…. and now, just scroll below (I included those for a little humor)….

When I catch myself harping on those challenges, I find that simply reminding myself that this was something I wanted so badly, often puts it all into perspective. Life isn’t meant to be lived without challenges, low points, or frustrations…. and sometimes to get to the next phase in our lives, we have to weather through those rough patches. I think about the long sleepless evenings when Harper was a newborn…. in oder to get to where she is now, we had to go through all of that…. and the tantrums and sassiness of this stage will eventually lend itself to another beautiful phase in her life (which will also come with challenges)…. arguments with TJ often lead to a better understanding of one another (although, not always in the immediate moment)…. negative feedback from a boss can often lead to growth in our professional lives….. struggling through graduate school can often lead to a fulfilling career. I know it’s easy to say, “I didn’t ask for these challenges,” or “I didn’t ask for it to be difficult….” but I did ask for what I have… worked hard for it… and it’s up to be to me to manage the ups and downs….

I guess what I’m ultimately trying to say is that loving your life doesn’t mean that it is void of challenges…. it means embracing the journey…. the highs and the lows, and knowing that your life is much richer because of it…. because without the downs, how can we ever know the joy that come with the ups?
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(Outfit Details || Jacket (discounted here) | Henley | JeansSneakers | Sunglasses | Harper’s Jacket | Harper’s Leggings | Harper’s Shoes)

02.13.2018

Everyday Living || At Home Date Nights… 5 Ways To Make Them Special…..

With Valentine’s Day being tomorrow, it got me thinking about our past “love day” celebrations. TJ + I had our first real date on Valentine’s Day (13 years ago….). We went out to a favorite spot, right on the beach, and had tacos + drinks….. and then there was the weekend 9 years ago, when he proposed. We had a relatively “fancy” V-day celebration that year (obviously). Yet, for the most part, we tend the keep the day relatively low key. Annnd, since becoming parents, have become much more selective as to how we spend our time away from little miss (usually a morning workout and brunch, as opposed to a weekly evening out….). Yet, we still value spending evenings at home fully engaged and present with one another. All that to say, we’ve really worked to hone in and make date nights at home equally as special as date nights out…. and thought we’d share with you the five ways we do so….

1. Make It Fun: Just because you’re at home that doesn’t mean you can’t have just as much fun as when you’re out and about. Decide what you want to do…. cook a meal together in the kitchen… or order out from your favorite spot…. have a movie marathon with sweet treats…. or play some of your favorite games together (we’re huge fans of “Heads Up…”)…. For TJ and I, we love to cook, so deciding on a cuisine and whipping it up together is a great opportunity to bond….. we pick a Pandora station (something along the lines of John Mayer…. Coldplay….) and listen to it on this speaker system (have had it for years, it’s a great investment), grab a bottle of wine, and relax. It can be as elaborate, or mellow, as you like…….

2. Electronics Away: I think one of the reasons why date nights are so important is because it gives you an opportunity to disconnect and focus on each other. Yet, when you’re at home, it’s easy to fall into the everyday temptations to pick up your phone, look something up on your computer, etc…. Put. Them. Away. As in, put them in a different room. Be intentional, and an at home date night can be equally as connecting as getting out of the house.

3. Dress Up: I know, I know, seems kind of counterintuitive to “dress up” when you’re staying in, but it can make such a difference. Think about it, you get all dolled up for an evening out, why not put a little thought into an at home evening too? Pick some cozy loungewear and it’ll feel a little more special. TJ’s loungewear was needing a little pick me up, so he snagged this super soft striped top and lounge pant combo… and loved these slippers (the perfect pair to wear around the house in warmer temps as well). He also got these comfy lounge shorts as we make the transition into spring. Nordstrom has such a great selection of casual, and comfortable, loungewear options for men. A few other favorites include this beige v-neck tee + lounge pants combination, two toned raglan t-shirt, stripe pima cotton tee with this pullover and these black lounge shorts. I picked up this stripe pajama set, and love that the pieces can be mixed and matched with other loungewear I own (and the top can easily be worn with jeans).

4. Special Pieces: I remember when I registered for those “special” entertainment items, people told me I would never have an occasion to use them. Well… I recommend pulling them out for those date nights at home. Special wine glasses (like these rose colored ones), plates, and your favorite candle can all make it feel just a little more special and add to the ambiance.

5. Make It A Little Different: Ok, so if it seems like it will still just feel like a regular old night at home, do something a littler different. Usually hang out on the couch? Take it to the bedroom (not in that way….)…. but, seriously. TJ and I spend most of our weekend nights lounging on the couch, so sometimes when we have an at home date night, we do what we do on vacation…. sip the vino in our room. For some odd reason, it always makes it feel like we’re actually away.

Date nights are all about making effort to spend time with the one you love…. so, if getting out isn’t always an option, put some effort into it at home. I promise you’ll have just as much fun!
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(Outfit Details || TJ’s Top | TJ’s Pants | TJ’s Slippers | My Pajama Set | My Cardigan | Glasses (similar))

Thank you to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post

02.12.2018

Weekend Recap || Choices

Friday morning, I laced up my shoes and headed out for a long run…. and felt super invigorated when I crushed my goal. Yet, when I opened up my instagram account, I was welcomed with several nasty comments by the same person….. basically making assumptions about the person I am and criticizing me. It stung, and I spent some time thinking about how best to handle the situation. I chatted about it with my sister (who always offers humorous insights….) and TJ…. and took a few hours before taking any kind of action…..

I shared this on my stories, but as I was contemplating what to do, I had two thoughts. One was the saying, by Michelle Obama, that when others go low, we go high. We don’t need to stoop to other’s level of negativity and hurt. The second thought that came to mind, and which is more of a personal belief, is that we either allow negativity to stay in our lives, invite it in, or choose to walk away from it…. and based on that line of thinking, I chose to block her and not even acknowledge her hurtful statements. I could have defended myself…. and left a few choice emojis…. or called her out publicly…. but what good would any of that do? That essentially takes me down to her level of immaturity…. I simply went “high” and took the negativity out of my life….

I firmly believe that we can’t always control what happens to us…. we can’t make people treat us nicely…. but we always have a choice as to how we want to respond. And that, that’s the ultimate form of control… and when you take the high road, you’re always coming out ahead…. even if it doesn’t feel like it in the moment…

So, as we embark upon a new week ahead, here’s to always taking the higher road, and cutting negativity out of our lives. Life is too short to have space for any of that. Have a good one friends! xx

(Kicked off the weekend in comfy stripes….)

(Saturday morning SoulCycle date….. leggings, pullover, sneakers)

(Post spin brunch…. breakfast bowls with a side of avocado toast…..)

(Saturday evening happy hour fireside…. pullover, jeans, mules)

(Saturday night cozies…. cardigan, shorts, henley)

(Sunday stripes for a morning spent at church)

(Sunday evening snuggles with this little lady…. tank)

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So, I’m 90% certain that I will be committing myself to a half marathon on March 4th…. meaning I’ll be upping my running significantly in the next couple of weeks. I ran 9 miles last Friday, and will be pushing for 10 this coming week…. I’m also incorporating tons of HIIT training for pace, and APLs (see above for exact color) have been my fav sneakers for cross training.

I recently purchased these denim jeans and they are amazing. They come in a short inseam as well, so the distressed hem hits at the perfect length. I also have my eye on this pretty little fringe sweater, floral button front camisole, cute stripe v-neck tee, mauve micropleat top, and this cute drape-y basic tee in the mauve color (such a great basic!). A few cute layers for cooler weather that I love include this ruffle sleeve cardigan, two toned blush sweater (obsessed), suuuper cozy hoodie, and this blush striped balloon sleeve pullover (currently 20% off).

We’re heading to Palm Springs this weekend, and I’ve purchased a few items from this vacation shop (one of my all time favs)… like these fringe slides, casual ruffle shorts, and super cute beach bag (which takes you from beach to happy hour easily). I’ve had my eye on a Solid + Stripe suit since last season, and snagged this one (also love the hot pink and this white asymmetrical suit). I also snagged this rose maxi cover-up…. another day-night transitional piece (toss on with a cropped, light wash denim jacket and slides for a cute evening look….).

For little Harper, I couldn’t resist these linen wide legged culottes, gingham dress, white breezy maxi, swam swimsuit, and these jellie sandals (her favorites from last year, which were restocked).

 

02.09.2018

Motherhood Update

“A good mom has bad days + great days + normal days + perfect days + overwhelming days + trying days +supermom days + just being a mom days + a whole lot of love + real + crazy motherhood days…..”

I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to continue with my motherhood component… trying to figure out if monthly updates are the best way to go…. or if I should switch it up to quarterly…. or post as interest/questions arise. And while I don’t have a definitive answer for how to continue, I do know that the format will change slightly. In the past I’ve focused a lot on Harper…. Harper’s likes, sleeping, eating, etc… and while I think that’s helpful, it’s also not something that changes as frequently as it used to (I don’t want to get repetitive….). So, today, I might focus a little more on the “motherhood” side of things… and briefly touch on the components that I have always touched upon…..

(My Tunic, Harper’s Sweatshirt)

General Thoughts: Hands down, the quote above encompasses all of my thoughts and feelings from the past month. We had great days…. days when I felt I was doing everything right… and challenging days… times when I felt like I wasn’t doing anything right…. and nights when TJ and I looked at each other and asked “What are we doing wrong???” Yet, I think that’s the journey of parenthood…. it’s filled with ups and downs… times when you feel like you’re on a roll… and times when you feel like you’re hitting a roadblock at every turn…. and accepting that allows us to give ourselves, as moms… as parents… more grace.

I know I’m not a perfect parent… and I know that I will never be a perfect parent…. it’s just not possible. There are times I snap, when I’m not as present as I should be… and times where I give in out of fatigue. Yet the beauty of it is, that in my “failure” moments, I’m also able to teach Harper a lesson. That it’s ok to make mistakes… to take ownership of them and apologize… and that life doesn’t have to be perfect…..

One thing I do believe that makes the journey a little easier is self-care. As moms we must take care of ourselves. I touched on that briefly in my last Weekend Recap, but when we don’t, we can’t possibly take care of others. And sometimes self care isn’t about getting our nails done, or treating ourselves to a coffee. Sometimes it’s about saying “no” to something  we know we can’t possibly juggle (and no feeling guilty about it)…. or taking an extra 10 minutes to yourself in the morning so you can read your morning devotional…. or do some meditation…. self care is really knowing what we need to fill our own buckets. For me, it’s having time to myself. I need it…. it’s why I wake up so early to get my workouts in and organize myself for the day ahead. It’s also connecting with friends and loved ones outside of our parenting roles. I grabbed coffee with a girlfriend yesterday (without kiddos) and it felt so good to be together outside of our roles as moms. We sat, for two hours, uninterrupted… and when I came home to Harper I was in a much more present space.

And while I sit here and type all of this, tomorrow could be one of “those days….” and I’ll simply pause and ask God to grant me the patience I need to make it through the day….. and remember that it’s Friday… wine time!

(My Jacket (on sale), Henley, Jeans, Slides (on sale), Harper’s Tee, Harper’s Jacket, Harper’s Sandals)

Sleeping: Last month I chatted about having (or going through) the 2 year sleep regression…. yet, we appear to have fallen back into rhythm. Thank. Goodness. On my radar in this area is transitioning to a big girl bed. I fall somewhere between slightly terrified + completely confident she’ll be able to handle it with regards to the transition. I’m going to hold off here as long as possible…..

Eating: I’ve been asked a few questions about some of Harper’s favorite meals so I thought I would list them below (and while I’m listing these, please note that she currently likes these foods… she could wake up tomorrow and hate them all…..):

Waffles + Blueberries for breakfast
Oatmeal with bananas
Eggs, bacon, and blueberries
Quesadilla (using these tortillas), bell pepper, and avocado (although she all of a sudden doesn’t like that anymore…)
Brown rice, Trader Joe’s lentils, mixed veggies with some melted cheese
Chicken Fingers (available at Sprouts’), grapes, and cottage cheese
Hilary’s Eat Well Bites, siggi’s yogurt, and raspberries
Macaroni and Cheese
Snacks: Purely Elizabeth granola, Annie’s crackers, apple slices, bell pepper slices, dried cranberries, banana chips, cheerios…….

(Cardigan, Tee, Jeans, Harper’s Tee, Harper’s Jeans, Harper’s Shoes, Harper’s Vest)

Limit Setting + Consequences: I added this segment last month, and couldn’t decide if I should continue with it or not, since there are so many different ways to limit set and provide consequences. Yet, I figured I’d continue with it….

I’ve always loved Erik Erickson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development and keep it in my mind in most of my interactions with Harper… including my limit setting and consequences…. That being said, I try to follow up “bad choices” with logical consequences….. she dumps the dog’s food all over the floor, I have her clean it up (instead of moving on to play with blocks, which she would much rather prefer). When she is engaging in a behavior that I don’t like, I tell her what I would like to see (i.e. “We don’t jump on the couch, we sit on our bottoms. If you continue to jump, I’m going to take you off the couch.”). That way, she’s in charge of the choice she makes… and in turn, the consequence she will receive (good or bad).

I also highly recommend the book The Whole Brain Child, which does an excellent job of explaining the meltdowns of a child in a practical way…. it’s a book I used with families all the time… and it helps me to understand Harper a little better (although, that doesn’t mean it makes anything easier…….). The tools within the book really help teach us, as parents, how to connect the emotional experiences of our kiddos, with what is logically going on (I am simplifying it…. but that’s the general concept) which helps to create emotionally healthy children.

(Joggers, Tunic, Jacket, Sneakers, Harper’s Tee, Harper’s Jacket)

Products: Little miss’ hair is so curly, so I’ve been using this conditioner and I’m loving it. Leaves her hair tangle free and so soft. I’m also thinking about getting her this little bike to take to the park and on our walks…. Annnd, a few spring clothing items I’m loving for her right now include these adorable stripe culotte pants, gingham dress, blush moto jacket, drawstring chambray shorts, and this blush hoodie.

02.05.2018

Weekend Recap || Self Love

I posted a photo on instagram yesterday, asking people what they were planning on doing to show themselves some self love this week… and the answers were amazing! So many people talked about taking a long bath…. others mentioned a favorite workout… lunch with a girlfriend…. getting their hair done… a couple minutes of meditation with a book…. and someone else wrote sleeping in until they woke up on their own (without an alarm). What I loved most about all the responses is that they were unique to each individual. Even if someone said a bath, some mentioned having candles… others a glass of wine… or some mellow music.

 And while I asked the question, it was a reminder to schedule in some “me” time as we embark upon the week ahead. When I worked with moms in a therapeutic capacity, I emphasized “self love” more than anything else. So often, they were worn out + stressed…. not giving themselves any “love.” As they began to recognize the importance of doing so, they realized that in order to be the mom, wife, friend, etc that they wanted got be, they had to start with themselves. For me, giving myself some love often results in a more present, happier, and rejuvenated wife, mom, and friend. So, here’s to finding time for you this week friends! xx

(Weekend libations….)

(Basic stripes for a casual Friday…..)

(Happy hour ready… tank, cardigan, jeans)

(Sunday morning reinforcements…)

(Sunday slows with a walk for coffee….. tank, joggers, and cardigan)

(Pizza + rosé… nothing better…. slippers)

(BAE…. sweatshirt)

(Nacho noshing friendly outfit for the Super Bowl…. joggers, top, slides)
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I set my a goal, at the beginning of last week, to run 8 miles on Friday. I accomplished it, and am now hoping to get a 9 mile run in this week. I wore these new running shoes, and they were super comfortable for the run

 We went to the mall this past weekend and I picked up a few cute pieces for spring…. like this stripe v-neck top (love the soft material), wrap sweater, blush and white ruffle top, and this blush sweatshirt (good for post workouts). I also saw this adorable button front cami and stripe button-up top, which would be excellent basics. I also love this cute basic off the shoulder top in black (comes in lots of colors though).

We’re going to Palm Springs in a few weeks, and I am obsessed with this gorgeous rose colored maxi dress… perfect to transition from pool to happy hour. I also love this stripe tunic dress and lace inset top (would look super cute with jeans).

BB Dakota has the cutest spring pieces (love their on trend items, at good price points)…. like this floral one shoulder top (which I bought for Palm Springs), stripe long sleeve top, gingham tank, and this lightweight jacket.

And, Eberjey pajamas have been my fav lately… including this stripe pair.

Annnd, I wanted to share a few budget friendly pieces… like these adorable gingham slides, light wash denim with raw hem (thanks to a reader who alerted me to them), and this “Love You” graphic sweatshirt.

02.02.2018

Favorite Products January || Food, Beauty, Fashion….

Happy Friday friends! We made it another week… and it’s hard to believe that we’re in February. With that being said, I’m sharing some of my favorite products from January. I stuck pretty closely to my tried and true foods, so hoping to experiment in that category a little more this coming month…. yet, I tried a lot of new beauty products that I’m really loving and think you will too! And, of course, my go-to fashion favs from the month. Mostly comfy options that can easily be worn lounging or out and about…..

I hope you all have a great weekend! TJ and I are heading out for a little spin date Saturday morning, and then watching the Super Bowl on Sunday…. I get oddly excited for this strange “holiday…” maybe it’s the nachos that I love making, and eating….. Either way, I hope you all have a good one!!
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FOOD

1. Kitchfix Waffles: I picked up these grain free/dairy free waffles from Sprout’s a couple of weeks ago, and they’re so good. I originally bought them for little miss, as a quick breakfast option, but both TJ and I have enjoyed them on an occasion or two. Simply toss them in the toaster, top with some honey or nut butter and fruit, and you have a tasty, sweet, breakfast! We have the Banana Cinnamon flavor.

2. One Hope Hummus: This stuff is so good. Tastes super fresh and authentic and I’ve been loving spreading it on my lunch wraps, or dipping bell peppers and carrots into it as an afternoon snack. I get mine at Whole Foods.

BEAUTY

1. Big Sexy Hair Powder Play: I was looking for a product to give my hair some good volume and texture when doing a half-up hair do…. and I had heard good things about this product, so I picked it up. I’m loving the volume and texture it gives my hair when doing a half-up look…. really does the trick. A little goes a long way too!

2. ORIBE Dry Texturizing Spray: Again, I was looking for something to give my hair a tousled look, and have had tons of success with Oribe products. When I saw they had a texturizing spray, I decided to give it a try. I’ve used it several times. It smells amazing, and adds a lightweight tousled look to my curls.

3. REALHER Do Your Squats Shadow Palette: I received this palette in my FabFitFun box and fell in love instantly… and have used it everyday since. I love the neutral shades, perfect for everyday, or can easily turn into an evening look as well. The entire line is natural, vegan, and cruelty free, and 20% of proceeds go to organizations that seek to empower women.

4. Sea Salt Body Butter: I was looking for a new body lotion when I was introduced to this line. It’s made from almond butter and has kept my skin feeling moisturized throughout this winter season. I’m not a huge fan of scented products, but this one is subtle and reminds me of being at the beach. It’s free from parabens, mineral oils, and phthalates.

5. Kate Sommerville Intensive Exfoliating Treatment:  So, when I received this in my FabFitFun box I wasn’t even sure if I was going to use it, since I love my TULA exfoliating mask so much. Then, when I ran out of TULA, I remembered that I had this and decided to give it a try (I didn’t even realize how expensive it was until I sat down to write this post…. makes the box so worth it at $50). Anyway, the first time I tried it I wasn’t sure what all the hype was about. Yet, after about four usages, I had a few people ask me if I had gotten botox (no, but I’ll happily take the compliment…). I now regularly mix it in with my TULA exfoliating mask. My skin is for sure brighter, and my skin appearance is more supple.

6. TULA Kefir Moisturizer: I first used this moisturizer several months back, but stopped for a little while. I recently started using it again, I’d say in the past month, and have fallen in love with it. It has a velvety feel to it, and I love how intensely it moisturizes my skin. 20% off with code SHANNON.

FASHION: 

1. APL Sneakers: So, remember that girlfriend I mentioned in yesterday’s post? Well, same one here had these kicks on NYE… I tried them on and fell in love. I wouldn’t say they’re good for running, but they’re great for cross training (I do HIIT, stairs, and walk in them on the regular). Annnnd, I mean, the color is pretty perfect.

2. Super Soft Cardigan: (featured above) I snagged this right before Christmas and have seriously worn it so many times. It’s a great neutral color, and not itchy at all. I can easily wear it lounging around the house, out and about for errands, or for a day of wine tasting.

3. Eyelet Blouse: When I saw this top, I knew it would be perfect for spring (top styled here). The ruffle details and eyelet material make it super feminine, and it goes with anything… also fits my criteria of being able to be dressed up or down. I plan on wearing it with denim shorts, distressed jeans, and this cute skirt.

4. Stripe Tee: A staple I look for every time around this year, and this little one is perfect. It’s super basic, which means it’s perfect for everyday living. I love wearing it with my light washed jeans (found more sizes available)… or these distressed ones.

5. Pearl Lounge Pants I wasn’t sure if I was going to like these when I initially bought them, but they’re SO soft, and the pearls don’t get in the way at all. I’ve worn them lounging sipping vino, but also with kicks + a basic henley to run errands.

6. Moto Leggings: These are a great workout-errands/all day living item. I bought my in the gravel color and have been obsessed with them every since I got them. I wore them out for a run on Saturday morning, then tossed on the APL sneakers above, and this pullover and headed out for some quick errands and breakfast with the fam. The moto detailing makes them perfect to dress up easily… denim jacket, white tee (front tucked), and some white street kicks and you’re good to go for the day.

7. Henley Top: great option for those transitional temperatures (if where you are living is allowing for that right now). It’s 3/4 sleeves, and lightweight, so it easily layers under a jacket… or can easily be worn solo with jeans and/or shorts. I love the tassel ties, which means you can either wear the neckline open or tie, creating two different looks.

8. Thermal Henley: Snagged this right before Christmas and for sure wear it at least once a week. I love the swing nature of the body, but how to arms are fitted… it’s a feminine silhouette, but the material and henley style makes it everyday perfect. I wear it with joggers, jeans, shorts, lounging around the house, and layered under jackets.

9. Longline Cardigan: Another great option for spring… especially in the blush color (my fav, styled here). I love pairing it with jeans, a tee, and my favorite accessories…. but you could easily dress it up with booties, and a silky tank (don’t forget the jewelry). In CA, it’s heavy enough to be a layer on it’s own (with a tank underneath), but when it was cold, for like two weeks, I wore it with a long sleeve henley underneath.

10. Lounging Joggers:I know, I know, I mentioned a pair of joggers above, but I had to include these. I have them in two colors, and I sleep in them nightly. Yet, I’ve also been known to wear the darker color out to breakfast (I did on vacation…. #VacationLife). They fit like a dream and are super comfortable at a great price point.

11. Tortoise Shell Sunglasses: I have lost two pairs of aviators this year. Both sipping wine by a fire pit….. All that to say, my parent’s gave me this pair of sunnies for my birthday and I’m obsessed with them. I love the round frames (a slight throwback) and the tortoiseshell coloring.

01.29.2018

Weekend Recap || More Than A Number

(Pretty little blooms for the week ahead….)

We laid low this weekend…. a family run for some avocado toast on Saturday morning, followed by an afternoon of working on taxes (we’re looking to sell/buy a house, so we need those done ASAP), and then some happy hour libations…. followed by a morning spent at church, and then prepping for the week ahead. It’s now Sunday evening, and I’m left wondering where the weekend went…. and asking myself why Monday through Friday never goes as fast as Friday through Sunday….

And, as I was perusing the internet today, I came across this quote….

“We think we’re made of numbers: percentages on a test, pounds on a scale, likes on a photo, price tags on clothes, but we’re not. We’re made of love, happiness, and the way we laugh. We’re made of good memories and late nights. We have more substance than numbers…” 

Which I thought was such a great reminder as we head into the week ahead…. no matter how you perform in your job or school…. or how you feel you measure up to your friends…. remember that behind all of that is who you are at your core. What defines us is not a number, ever, but more the relationships we have, the memories we create, the people we get to come home to at night, and the feelings we have (good or bad). Have a good one friends! xx

(Friday casual for a lunch with my momma + Harper…. jacket, henley, jeans)

(Girlfriend digging in….)

(Partner in Crime….)

(Spent all day Saturday doing taxes…. a big ol’ glass of wine was the perfect ending)

(Super basic for happy hour…. jeans, tee, jacket, booties (here too), necklace, lariat necklace)

(Take-out sushi + comfies…..)

(All about the comfies…. joggers, tee, cardigan)
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I was able to get back into a regular workout routine last week and it felt great. I’m trying to increase my running mileage to potentially run a half marathon in the next couple months, so I’m shooting for an 8 mile run this week. That being said, I just bought these running shoes, since my old ones are pretty worn down and not providing enough support. I’ll probably make these loaded potatoes sometimes this week… and if I get around to it, these energy bars (much cheaper than buying “bars”).

So many gorgeous blush items out there lately, and they’re getting me ready for spring (although, it’s going to be in the 80s this week….). A few favorites include this stripe dress, textured crew sweater, cozy slouchy cardigan, pullover knotted sweater, oversized cropped sweater, and this cozy sweatshirt. There are also tons of cute blush shoes, like these kitten bow heels, classic throwback sneaker, low wedge slide sandal, and this espadrille flat.

Also on the search for the perfect stripe tee for spring. A few I have my eye on include this ruffle sleeve tee, basic v-neck, and this v-neck pocket tee.

Madewell has some of the cutest spring arrivals too…. like this blush pleated top, wrap sweater, blush and white stripe ruffle top, and this comfy sweatshirt.

And lastly, I’m kinda loving this cute graphic sweatshirt… would be perfect for lounging around or with cut-offs and kicks.

 

01.26.2018

Champagne Chats || Follow Up Q+A

(Top (on sale) | Jeans | Shoes | Sunglasses | Cuff | Beaded Bracelet)

I had some mom brain last week and missed a few questions for the monthly Q+A… and instead of waiting another month, figured I would answer them today (along with some new ones that came in)….

We have another weekend with no plans on the calendar, but the weather is supposed to be nice, so we’ll likely be spending it outside… and, yes, there will be a glass of wine or two. I hope you all have a good one! xx
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1. I am 39 now, and have a 19m son. I have always had fine hair but noticed it seems to be thinning out.  Could be the tragic hair experience I had with new colorist, recent weight loss (best shape of my life – win), recent move to  super cold MN climate or just getting older (+still haven’t gotten my period back post breastfeeding so need to look into that – hormones could be totally to blame). Here is my question: what products have you found REALLY make a difference and how long before you saw them? Diet changes, Collagen powder, biotin, any tonics?  I aim for natural if possible but i know that is tricky sometimes.

First of all, so sorry for the hair loss. I know first hand how frustrating that is… since I thought I was going to go bald after having Harper (like, clumps would come out in the shower!). The only product I used, and can attest from my own experience, is the Collagen Peptides (I used Vital). I really feel that they helped my hair loss stop, and also helped with the regrowth process. I think they took several weeks to really start working, and it was more of a gradual change than dramatic. Overtime I started to notice that my hair wasn’t falling out as much in the shower and after about a month I noticed that the bald spots weren’t as sparse as they had been. I wrote an article on them about a year and a half ago. A lot of people also recommend taking a prenatal vitamin, but I didn’t do that.

2. I love seeing your outfit choices and I’m hoping you could give me some suggestions…I workout daily and am always in workout clothes to some degree and I find jeans a bit uncomfortable (I think I turned into my mother! Ha!)! I have 2 little ones at home so I’m always worried about getting food or other things on my clothes as well…so my question is what would you suggest I wear running errands or over to see family without feeling like I’m trying too hard but I still want to look fashionable! Hope that makes sense!

I feel ya momma! I always suggest joggers. They’re in between leggings and pajama pants, and a lot of them are super stylish. I think they look super cute paired with sneakers (which I’m sure you wear all the time running after two little ones) and I’ve paired mine with pearl slides lately (the weather in CA is up and down….). You can easily toss on a cute denim jacket(or this distressed option, styled here), and tee, with the joggers, and you’ll look super cute. The joggers that I have on rotation include this gray and blush-ish higher waisted option, sweatpant pair (don’t let the name fool you, they’re super cute!), camo joggers (these are not the silk pair I’ve featured before, a little more kiddo friendly, styled here), and this pair (a little heavier fabric than the others I listed). I also love wearing this pearl pair (and lounge around at home in them too). I’ve styled all these joggers on my instagram account several times. I also love pairing them with a simple pullover. My favorites are this oversized option, thermal pullover (I own in gray), or this lightweight one front tucked (I own in white and mauve).

When I was in college, during the summer, I worked at Nordstrom and they always had the 3 piece rule…. if you wore jeans and a top, you needed to have a third piece to pull it together, such as a belt, hat, blazer, scarf. It’s a rule I still use to this day, even with casual wear, and it seriously makes such a difference. Leggings and a pullover immediately look more pulled together with a hat or beanie…. Also, simple things, like a front knot to an oversized tee, or a quick front tuck, make any outfit look much more pulled together. I do it all the time, and it makes such a difference.

3. What camera do you use to take your photos? 

For the blog we use a Canon 60D with a couple different lenses. I’d say that 98% of my instagram photos are taken with my iPhone 7plus.

4. How do you use some of the essential oils you have shared when you were sick? 

I’m no expert at oils, and everything I know comes from my friend Katie. That being said, I used the peppermint + Breathe Doterra oil blend to help me breathe when I was sick. I rubbed them on the temples, behind my ears, and around my nostrils (not inside). I also had it steam in the shower (I put it on the floor while I was showering) and also used it in a diffuser. I also used the On Guard blend on the bottom of my feet. All three were incredibly helpful!

5. What do you use to curl your hair? 

I use a t3 micro 1″ barrel, and sometimes the curling iron. You can see a tutorial here.

.6. What are those necklaces that you are always wearing in your instagram stories? 

I wear this long crescent necklace almost daily, along with this evil eye necklace, initial necklace (which is currently knotted and I’m trying to get it undone), and this horseshoe necklace as well. They all layer really well together.

7. I have a trip to Hawaii planned in the next few weeks, can you give any suggestions of what to bring?? Maybe a cute dress, swimsuit, bag, sandals, and some shorts?? 

Hawaii is going to be so fun! I recommend these denim shorts, hands down. They aren’t the cheapest, but they are my all time fav. I think I wore them everyday last summer (maybe washed them twice #ooops). A few cute top options include this one shoulder eyelet top, ruffled eyelet top I wore in yesterday’s post, simple wrap front tank, and this ruffled bodysuit (super cute with above mentioned denim shorts).  I think this little white dress is gorgeous… perfect for day/night. Swimsuit wise, I am obsessed with this stripe cut-out option, as well as this pink cutout one. This is such a cute straw tote (this tote is cute too), and these fringe sandals are super cute.

8. Do you cut most of your jeans at the bottom? If so, how do you get it to look so good? 

Since I’m a shorty (only 5’2″ on a good day, maybe 5’1″….) I cut all my jeans. I did this tutorial on the step-hem but it gives you a basic idea of how to make sure you get the cut where you want it. For the frayed detailing, that comes with time. I’ve washed my jeans a couple times, which will naturally create the frayed look.

9. What advice would you give to someone who feels like they need a total closet purge and reset? Where would you suggest I start? And any advice on growing your closet on a budget? 

My first piece of advice would be to look at the items you’re looking to give away and ask yourself why. After I purged my closet, when Harper was born, I found myself getting rid of dressier items, brighter colored pieces, and those that I felt weren’t very versatile. That told me not to buy as many of those items, and to stick with some more neutral pieces (that’s not to say you can’t ever buy those pieces again, just in smaller quantities).

Then, figure out what items still fall within the “new” direction you are looking to go. I kept a lot of items that were quality, neutral, basics… then I took inventory of what I felt I needed to add to my closet. I recommend good staples. Tees, cardigan, sweater, jacket, blouse…. 2 good pairs of jeans, a dress of two in your style, and some good accessories. Building a wardrobe on a budget is all about having neutral items that you can mix and match together to create different outfits…. that way you don’t need a lot of different pieces. You can wear a striped tee with a pair of jeans and a cute cardigan with sneakers… or jeans with the same tee, but with a blazer/jacket and booties. A few simple swaps takes the look from casual to dressy.

10. I was thinking of switching from Proactive to TULA and wondered if you had any suggestions for a starter set. Also, do you currently have a promo code? Thank you! 

I’ve been a huge fan of TULA for almost 2 years now. I recommend beginning with their Discovery Kit. It gives you all the essentials (like the illuminating serum, moisturizer, face wash, + the eye cream). I also really recommend their exfoliating mask. It’s one of my absolute favorites and really makes a difference in your skin’s appearance. If you use code SHANNON it will get you 20% off.

11. How do you use the Collagen Peptides you’ve been using on stories? 

I currently dissolve them in my morning hot tea, as well as my iced tea (although they don’t do as well in cool beverages…. someone suggested dissolving them in warm liquid first). I don’t eat as much oatmeal as I used to, but I used to dissolve them in the water I used to cook the oats…. and I also toss them in smoothies. You can see other ways to use them here.

12. What are your favorite restaurants in the Del Mar/La Jolla San Diego area? 

We love Flower Child, George’s On The Cove for a good rooftop drink and tacos (downstairs is more formal), L’Auberge Del Mar (our favorite hotel, and their fire pits are a great spot for an evening cocktail), Fuego is good for casual Mexican food, La Valencia Hotel is gorgeous (good for drinks, or lodging too), We Olive is a cute spot for wine tasting, Cucina Enoteca (delicious pizza), Naked Cafe (we’ve only been for breakfast), The Cottage has a great brunch, and Shorehouse Kitchen (breakfast). Hope that helps!

13. Can you recommend a non-distressed pair of jeans? 

Yes! I bought this pair last week and I’m obsessed. They fit perfectly (I’ll of course be cutting the hem) and I love the light wash for spring/summer. They have a slight stretch to them, and come in just under $100. Oh, and they’re high waisted, which I love too!