08.06.2017

National Sister Day || Sister Style

I hope you’re all having a great weekend! Excited to have my sister here with me in honor of National Sister Day….

While I consider myself incredibly blessed to have a handful of women in my life who I genuinely call my best friends, the biggest female relationship (aside from that with my mom) in my life is the one I have with my sister. In the speech I delivered at her wedding, I talked about the ways in which our relationship has evolved over the years from that of sisters to best friends… despite a five and a half year age difference. In fact, I actually think it helped….

You see, we didn’t argue over things such as clothing…. who borrowed what without asking…. since it wasn’t possible for us to share clothes growing up. She was in middle school when I was in college… and when I was in college, she was in high school…. by the time we could share clothes, Allison went off to college and I came back home (we did share an ID at one point though…..)…..

Now, things are different. We finally live in the same county… a mere 20 minutes apart… and can borrow clothes whenever we like. While our styles aren’t identical, they are similar enough that we can incorporate the other’s clothing pieces with our personal wardrobe. Obviously we’re similar enough, as we chose the same bomber jacket to wear on a cool summer evening sipping rosé (one of our favorite things to do together…..).

I saw this quote the other day, and decided it would be the perfect way to end this post on National Sister Day…..

“She’s the one you’ve known forever. The one you go to for honest advice and genuine support. The one who accepts your quirky little habits and understands you in a way few others can. She’s the one you can call at any hour, to laugh or cry or complain….. the one whose voice has been there all along, sharing secrets and dreams and singing your song when you needed it most. She’s the one who can read your mind, hear your heart, and love you just the way you are. She’s your lifelong friend, but so much more….. She’s your sister.” 

If you have a sister, or someone who is everything above to you, make sure to give them a call today to tell them how much you appreciate them… relationships are the crux of life.
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(Outfit Details || My Top | Bomber Jacket | Shorts | Mules (on sale) | Sunglasses | Bag | Allison’s Dress | Jacket | Purse | Sneakers | Sunglasses)

All clothing items provided by Sanctuary Clothing 

08.04.2017

Monthly Q+A Series || July

(Shorts | Pullover)

Happy Friday friends! Sharing the answers to questions asked over the previous month…. I consider it a happy hour conversation with you!! Cheers to the weekend, hope you have something fun planned!! I’ll be sharing a fun post on Sunday as well, so I’ll see you then!
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1. Would love to get a pair of everyday sneakers from the Nordstrom sale. What would your top picks be??

The sale is such a great time to snag a great pair of sneakers for fall. A few favorites include this platform dusty rose pair, white perforated pair (such a great option!), velvet platform slip-on, and these Adidas Stan Smith kicks.

2. What do you wear when you run?

When I run I like to wear items  that I know I will be comfortable in (i.e. they don’t ride up). That being said, I opt for cropped pants, a good sports bra, loose shorts (biker shorts tend to ride up on me….), and a tank. Some of my favorite running bottoms include these high waisted crops (currently on sale), these mesh capris, racerback tank (currently on sale), lightweight tank (obsessed with how soft it is), sports bra, shorts, and most recently these running shoes (on sale and run small).

3. How many days a week do you run and how did you work up to 4.5 miles? 

I run about 5 days a week, and cross train on the others (spin or stairs). I’ve found that this is the most effective workout for me, personally. My body responds well to it, and it’s mentally refreshing for me. I get a lot of thinking done when I run. I’ve been running for several years, and when I started, I gradually worked my way up each week. I would start by running/walking, then I would increase the time and distance each week. For example, I would set a goal of running 1 mile for each run during the week. Then, the following week, I would increase the mileage by 2. This worked really well for me when I was training for my first half marathon (my training schedule here). My girlfriend also created a guide, which is very comprehensive.

4. What are your favorite rosés? I really want to try some. 

Rosé, and champagne, are my two favorites. I love Whispering Angel, Miraval, Cotés des Roses, Zinké, Brander, and Tolossa. They range in price points, and you can’t go wrong with any of them.

5. What is your stroller preference? I’m looking for something that is in between a jogger and umbrella stroller. 

My favorite stroller is hands down the UPPAbaby Vista. I have two other strollers and whenever I return to this one, it just makes life easier. It’s not cheap, but worth the investment. It has amazing storage capabilities (that’s what I miss the most when I use the other ones), excellent handling capabilities (I can easily navigate it), and Harper really likes sitting in it as well. I also own the BOB jogging stroller and it’s fantastic for running. Storage is minimal, which I don’t need when we’re running. We also have this Nuna PEPP stroller (read about it here). It’s much smaller than the UPPABaby, which we like for traveling and quick outings. It collapses easily, and is much easier to travel with than the other two.

6. What are some comfortable, yet stylish shoe choices for the fall? I love sneakers, flats, booties/boots? Heels are a thing of the past for me! 

So many great options for fall! One of my favorite fall bootie options is this low heeled grommet detailed bootie, which is currently part of the anniversary sale (super comfortable too). These booties are also a great option, as the brand is typically very comfortable. I always love a good pair of cross trainers to wear on a walk (or indoor HIIT workout) and to run errands (multi-purpose items give you a great bang for your buck). For that I love the Adidas Tubular kicks… they aren’t comfortable for running, but excellent for cross training, errand running, and chasing after a toddler. I wear mine all the time for those purposes. I also think a good over the knee boot is a great option…. you can wear it with dresses, with jeans, and when the heel is flat they can work for daytime or evening. I own and love this pair. A great pair of flats are these espadrilles (I own them in two colors) and I think this pinot color is gorgeous. I am also a huge fan of mules and these scalloped flats (they look like the chloé version).

7. I had my son last week and I am exclusively breastfeeding, but I’m interested in starting to pump to build up a supply and allow for dad to feed. I remember you saying you also did that early- any tips or tricks to help build a back-up stash successfully? 

First of all, congrats on the arrival of your little man! Breastfeeding, for me, was one of my biggest challenges as a mom, since Harper wouldn’t take a bottle for the first 9-10 months. That being said, in the beginning, to build a supply when she was taking a bottle, I pumped while I was nursing. So, while she was nursing on one side, I pumped on the other, and when she switched, I pumped on the other side. It worked well for me, and it didn’t impact my supply for her. I ended up with a huge stash using this method. Hope that helps!

8. I am about to apply to graduate schools for Psychology. I would love to know what drew you to the field and what you liked/disliked about graduate school and your career. 

I have always been drawn to the reasons people do what they do, as well as how relationships impact individuals. I also grew up in a family that emphasized helping others. So, the field of psychology seemed to fit when I was choosing a major/career. I loved graduate school and don’t really have anything bad to say about it. I loved learning, and gained so much knowledge about human nature and relationships. I also grew a lot, personally, during that period of my life and met a few of my best friends through the process.

When I graduated, I started working for a county funded agency that provided in home therapy services to children, adolescents, and their families who were at risk for losing placement (i.e foster system, juvenile hall, or psychiatric hospitalization). In all honesty, it was such intense work, that I began feeling burned out after about 5 years. I eventually moved into a more case management role, which was something I really enjoyed. In that role I did less direct care and more management of individual cases. I think it’s very important, when you choose the population you want to work with, that you put a lot of thought into it. There are so many different areas of psychology (i.e. substance abuse, family therapy, couples therapy, depression + anxiety, intense psychiatric care, eating disorders, dual diagnosis, etc) to choose from, so I would recommend working in a few different areas for your practicum and internship, if possible. That way you will be able to see which areas work best with your interests.

One thing that challenged me most about the career was that not everyone seeking help was willing to do the work themselves. There was a misconception that the therapist had the magic to fix all problems, or tell them how to fix the problem. It was often a difficult to help people understand that only they could create the change they wanted to see, and that the therapist was a helping agent along the way, providing a mirror and reflection, as well as some tools to use. Yet, when clients worked really hard, and changes occurred, it was incredibly rewarding to see that process!

9. How do you store your jeans and sweaters in your closet? Do you hang or fold them? 

I store my jeans by folding them in this tiered storage container. I’ve done it for years and it works pretty well. I do the same with my sweaters. Most of them stretch out when I hang them, so I’ve found that folding them works best to maintain their shape.

10. I have a question that night be sort of strange. So I LOVE the way you dress. I want nothing more than to own your whole closet! My only problem is I’ve always had a pretty large chest but small everywhere else. For example, I am a DDD but I wear a size 2. I’ve found that when I wear the oversized look it just doesn’t look the same on me and makes me feel like I am wearing a tent. Do you have any tips or ideas for incorporating your gorgeous style with a strange body type like mine?

Thank you! While I know it’s not exactly the same, I do remember that when I was nursing (I grew 2 cup sizes), a lot of the pieces I wore before just didn’t look the same… That being said, I acquired a few tips over that period of time that I hope will help! I think wearing a v-neck always elongates the neckline and makes pieces look less tent-like. I also found that I needed to wear longer items if I wanted to do oversized… or else it just looked too boxy. Front tucking a longer, v-neck top (like this one) looked better than an oversized crewneck option. I could also do an oversized, longer, off the shoulder sweater or top… showing the shoulder seemed to break up a “boxy” or “tent” like fit. So, I guess that my top two tips would be a v-neck option and to make sure that the items are a longer fit. I hope that helps a little bit!

11. I am looking to buy a new tote, that will transition from the gym, carrying baby things, and stylish enough to run errands and travel with. Any suggestions?? 

I love this leather tote bag, which I own in the blush color. I have also been considering this black quilted bag as well. I’ve used this bag for several years and it’s great too!

12. I would love to know what foods you give to Harper?!

I try to give Harper lots of different foods (see post here, here). For breakfast she eats scrambled eggs, fruit, yogurt, homemade waffles (without the protein) + pancakes, and oatmeal. For lunch she loves veggie burgers, chicken nuggets, almond butter sandwich, grilled cheese (she loves this), avocado, fruit (watermelon, plum, cantaloupe, berries….), veggies (carrots, broccoli, peas, green beans), yogurt, string cheese, turkey slices, and chicken. For dinner, she typically eats what we have…. shrimp, salmon, cauliflower rice, brown rice, lentils, quinoa, lentil pasta, and veggies. Oh, and she LOVES this mac n cheese. Of course, sometimes she eats more than others, and sometimes she doesn’t want what I make her. Yet, I don’t fix her anything else… which was recommended by the pediatrician and it seems to have cut down on pickiness.

13. Did you use a walker, exersaucer, jumper, or none for Harper? I can’t decide which one is best.

We used this jumper for Harper and she loved it! We didn’t end up using a walker just because my pediatrician recommended against it, saying that it can actually hinder a child from learning to walk on their own.

14. I’m looking for a super cute, everyday romper that I can wear. Nothing too short, any ideas welcome!

My favorite everyday romper for summer is this black one. It’s such an easy throw on and go option and will easily transition into fall with a suede jacket and booties (or kicks). I also just added this long sleeve jersey romper to my cart… so perfect for fall too. I also love jumpsuits as we move into the fall, and even for the end of summer. My favorite is this grey option and love it paired with a denim jacket and kicks.

15. What do you use to store your jewelry? I’m looking for a smaller jewelry box, but not having any luck! 

I am horrible at this! My jewelry collection is probably the least organized section for me! All that to say, I have small trinket dishes for rings, a Waterford ring holder my Nana and Papa brought back for me from Ireland years ago, and I use this glass jewelry case for some of my pieces. I also have a box very similar to this one (not cheap) and it holds a lot of my “investment” pieces.

16. I saw on your insta-stories that your refrigerator was stocked with Kombucha. How much do you drink a day and what are the benefits? I really want to get my family on a clean eating routine and would like to include it. 

We love kombucha. I had a lot of gut problems for a little while and decided to do an experiment of drinking one a day for a month. After a month, I noticed a significant difference, for the better, in my digestion and gut health. My favorite flavor is HealthAde (which you can find at Trader Joe’s). This is a great article on it’s benefits.

17. What kind of sweet wine would you recommend? I like sweeter wines. 

If you prefer your vino on the sweeter side I recommend the Riesling, White Zin, or Muscat varietals.

18. Did you experience an 18 month sleep regression with Harper? Do you ever lose your temper with her? We’re struggling over here! 

I don’t know if we went through a full blown 18 month sleep regression, but for about 1.5 weeks, we had some major problems with little miss going down at night. Like, she wouldn’t let me put her in the crib. She wanted to stay up and play, despite the fact that she was very tired (rubbing her eyes and yawning). We handled this by sticking with the routine (bath, book, songs, bed) but spent a little longer rubbing her back at night. Over that time period, it became progressively better, until she just started going down like she did before.

Do I lose my temper with Harper? Ha! What mother doesn’t feel like pulling her hair out from time to time (and if you don’t, please let me know your secrets). I do find that there are time I speak much more firmly with her, but I try my hardest not to yell and to walk away from the situation (assuming she is safe). Sometimes I close the door, if TJ is home, and ask him to take over. I think it’s just so important to know that you aren’t going to be patient 100% of the time (although, that does make me feel guilty… hate #MomGuilt)… that helps me to become more self aware that there are going to be times that I become frustrated, and that I need to be able to walk away and compose myself. There was a situation a couple of weeks ago where Harper looked at both TJ and me and threw a glass bottle on the floor. It shattered everywhere. We were both caught off guard and spoke much firmer and louder than we typically do. It happens. It’s not the norm. 10 minutes later she was running around and laughing with our dog.

19. What kind of workouts did you do while pregnant and did you stick to your clean eating? Any tips on how to keep up with working out and clean eating while pregnant?

Congrats!! So exciting! When I was pregnant, my doctor told me that as long as I could carry on a conversation, I could continue all of my cardio workouts (except road biking). So I continued to jog, spin, and swim which helped me a lot. I also continued to strength train, and used Tracey Anderson’s Pregnancy Project, which is a great fitness program for pregnant women.  As far as eating went, I made sure to listen to my body, but was also aware that I wasn’t technically “eating for two.” I followed the recommended caloric increase, and accounted for that increase with healthy foods…. peanut butter on my banana, extra avocado, extra piece of fruit, etc…. I made sure to have healthy food readily available at all times. If I found myself craving something salty or sweet, I’d have a small serving of it, just as I would pre-pregnancy, to satisfy that craving. I hope that helps! Have a great pregnancy, and congrats again!
20. Not sure if you have already covered this before, but was interested to know how you fit in workouts, self-care, and just daily responsibilities with a toddler. The struggle is real over here!
I feel you on this one! Adjusting to life from a baby to a toddler wasn’t easy over here, and took some time. To squeeze in my workouts I have always woken up at 5:30am, every morning M-F, in order to get them in, along with breakfast, before Harper wakes up. It’s worked well for me over the past year and a half. For self-care, I wrote an article here on the topic. I also try to have some help once a week…. whether that’s my sister, mom, or a babysitter, having some time to myself is very helpful…. but something I have to make time for or I am a hot mess! Daily responsibilities aren’t easy, but I try to get those done in the morning, when her mood and attention span are at their best (evenings are no bueno for this). Life as a mom is about balance and shifting…. I’ve come to understand.
08.03.2017

Summer To Fall Style || Favorite Knits

My ideal date night has changed over the years. It used to involve a late night dinner, followed by an even later round of cocktails….. Now though, it typically involves an evening on the couch, with a glass of wine, and a good Pandora station with TJ. Let’s be honest, at the end of the day, we’re both typically pretty exhausted. And, if it isn’t a relaxing evening in, we typically opt to get a babysitter for an invigorating morning spin class and breakfast date (my, how times have changed…. #ThisIsThirty….). Yet, when TJ and I were out at all the wedding festivities last weekend, we both turned to each other and remarked on how fun it was getting dolled up and heading out for a fun evening. Of course, a tux and fancy slip dress aren’t realistic for a weekend date night (although that would be a fun one….), but a perfectly slouchy open knit and cute little berry colored kitten mules are…..

Nordstrom has so many great summer to fall date night options in the trend department (one of my favorite departments for their quality, price point, + styles) so when I stumbled across this open knit I knew it would be the perfect summer to fall option…. pair it as is here, in the summer, for a date night of sipping rosé on an outdoor patio, and in the fall toss it on with distressed jeans (own these in grey and love them) and the same mules, or a cute pair of booties, for a casual date night out. It’s a versatile piece, so the options are quite endless (you could even wear it as a cover-up now….). And, because date night’s call for something a little more special than your everyday uniform, I couldn’t resist these fun tassel earrings. So. Fun.

A few other great fall to summer knits from the trend department that I personally love include this longline cardigan (I own it in white), my favorite side tie grey cardigan (which was recently completely restocked), open knit cold shoulder sweater, incredibly soft pullover, and this gorgeous chunky knit cardigan (which I own in blush). So, while I’m not looking to push summer out quite yet, I don’t mind incorporating a few multi-season friendly pieces here and there…..
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(Outfit Details || Knit (under $60, two color options, wearing S) | Shorts | Mules | Earrings | Sunglasses | Bag)

Thank you to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post

08.02.2017

Wellness Wednesday || 5 Ways I Detox Post Vacation

So, I know I’ve talked about vacation indulging for the past two days…. and I promise this post will be the last of it! Over the years though, I’ve come to realize that letting yourself vacate life for a little while, is easier when I have a plan in place to get back on track when I return. It allows me to fully embrace the vacation experience and to not have any guilt about doing so. Life is meant to be lived, so living it in balance is key…. big weekends here and there and getting back on track when you get back is what I’m all about. That being said, I have a few ways that I detox from a major vacation binge…. and I’m not just talking about food-wise. After a long vacation or weekend, I find my skin looks a little dull, I’m fatigued, and feeling the bloat. Given that it’s a full body detox, I use five different strategies to get my body, and mind, back on track…. and I thought I’d share them with you today.
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1. Clean Eating: This is one of the most obvious ways to get back on track from a bloat standpoint. I typically immediately return to eating lean proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains (but typically reserve them for the daytime, as I like to have my metabolism churning while I sleep….). One of my favorite tiny tricks includes using butter lettuce in place of taco shells and buns. I’ve been doing it this week and have been feeling great! I also return to drinking kombucha. On vacation, I attempt to find it, but it’s not always available. I’ve found that it helps my digestion, and gut,  get back to where it needs to be.

2. Drink Water: It seems counterintuitive, but increasing water intake actually works to decrease bloat (and prevents constipation…. and, if we’re being honest, sometimes those weekend aren’t the best on the gut and stomach…..). So, I try to make sure that I get half my body weight in ounces of water daily. It seems to help speed along the process.

3. Sleep: One of the best ways to get myself feeling back on track is to make sure that I get enough sleep. Sometimes it’s easier said than done with a toddler though. When I’m trying to slip back into my routine, I try to go to bed about 30 minutes to an hour earlier than usual (so, 9 or 9:30pm). After a few days of doing so, I find I’m increasingly clear minded, my skin looks more refreshed, and I’m in a better mood (anyone else get irritable when they’re tired??). I’ve also found that using a little bit of lavender oil on my wrists, and temples of my head, helps to ensure a restful night sleep.

4. Skincare: While I never neglect my skin while I’m away, sometimes different climates, time changes, and eating habits naturally impact it’s health. Most often, I experience dry skin when on vacation. So, when I return, I am sure to use this moisturizer, algae mask, exfoliating mask, body salt, and body oil. When combined with the above, I find that my skin starts to look better after a couple of days.

5. Workouts: I typically try not to neglect this component when on vacation, but 90% of the time it’s not as intense as when I am at home. For me, personally, I increase my cardio, HIIT, and do a good leg strength training workout in the days immediately following. I read somewhere that working out the legs is one of the best ways to increase metabolism, so I’ve always followed that regiment. This is one of the HIIT workouts that I did this week (so.good.), and this is a great workout for the booty and legs.

That’s it! I’m three days in to vacation detoxing from last weekend and I’m already starting to feel better. Just have to work on the sleeping…..
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(Outfit Details || Jacket | Leggings (my favorite and so soft) | Sports Bra (c/o) | Slides | Tote (c/o))

08.01.2017

Post Vacation Comfy Pants || Why They Should Be In Your Closet

True story. A few years ago, after a trip to Chicago with some friends, TJ and I were chatting with one of them. He mentioned that after the hugely indulgent weekend, his belt buckle busted. I seriously laugh out loud to this day thinking about the conversation (and he reminded me of it this past weekend, so it’s fresh in my mind)…. And while I’ve never had that happen to me personally, after particularly indulgent weekends, or vacations, I typically feel the bloat big time…. and while my jeans continue to fit, sometimes, in all honesty, they just aren’t that comfortable. So, I keep a few “back-up” pants in reserve for such occasions and affectionately refer to them as “comfy pants.” I hope everyone has a pair of these lifesavers in their closet, because they literally allow you to feel pulled together, while ignoring the fact that your belt buckle could bust at any moment. I’m probably exaggerating here, but you get the drift….

A pair of pants that are loose fitting, drawstring preferable, and appropriate for everyday life (read: not sweatpants) are a must have. Which is why, when I saw this slouchy cargo option, I knew they deserved a spot in my closet (and suitcase….). They are perfect for a day of running errands, lounging around the house, a casual (healthy) lunch, and can even be dressed up for a date night with a silk blouse and a mule. Yet, right now, I’m enjoying them as my comfy, post-vacation, pants.

A few other cute and similar options include these relaxed crepe pants (with cute pockets and an elastic waist), stretch jersey jogger pants, and these cuffed drawstring pants.
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(Outfit Details || Pants (wearing P, currently 40% off) | Tank | Bralette | Sandals | HatEarrings | Beaded Necklace | Crescent Necklace | Sunglasses | Tote)

 

07.31.2017

Weekend Recap || Letting Loose

(Cute little streets in Cleveland)

I went into this past weekend with good intentions…. plans of going to bed at a reasonable hour, working out, eating as clean as possible… all while still having a great time catching up with friends. My hope was to take advantage of not being on a schedule…. seeing and doing as much as possible in the short amount of time we had…. Yeah, that didn’t happen. At all. All my pre-plans for this trip went out the window the minute we were reunited with old friends we hadn’t seen in years. We stayed out until 2:30am every night, indulged in every way possible (think pizza, cake, cookies, tacos, and sliders…..), and drank more than we should have….

My longest workout was 25 minutes, which I barely pulled myself together for…. and we slept until 11am daily. I boarded the plane utterly exhausted, and slept pretty much the entire way home…..

Yet, I wouldn’t change a minute of it. While I veered way off course of my usual self (didn’t eat the same, stayed up way later than typical, let myself get a little tipsier than I ever do….), sometimes, it’s okay to do that. Healthy even. This weekend reminded me that throwing routine and schedule out the window is necessary from time to time. Do I care to live in that state permanently?? No thank you. Did I have a heck of a time while we were in it? Oh yes. Do I need another weekend like that soon? Again, no thank you. That’s why I lived it up when we were there.

So, as I head into the week ahead, I am grateful for the fun we had over the few days we had away…. and excited to get back into the routine we’re so used to. Have a great week ahead friends! xx

P.S….. my monthly Q&A will be up on Friday. Feel free to send questions by Thursday afternoon!

(A 3:45am wake-up called for an oversized sweater and comfy slides for the long day of travel)

(Thursday night’s rehearsal dinner landed us at a post-party at Punch Bowl… such a fun time! TJ’s top, My romper)

(Woke up craving something healthy to undo the previous evening’s indulgences… think pizza, tacos, cake…. so we headed to Restore Cold Pressed. Such a cute spot, with some of the yummiest smoothies. I got the #1 and added spinach and almond butter….)

(My dapper boo…. we forgot how much fun it was to drink, dance, and stay up waaaay past an acceptable bedtime. My dress)

(We stumbled upon Azure Rooftop Lounge Saturday morning and relaxed there with our friends until it was time for us all to depart and head to the airport…. a great spot if you’re in the area! Black Romper)

(Ending the first leg of our trip home…. gorgeous views of the Vegas Strip.)
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As I mentioned above, to say this weekend was indulgent would be a huge understatement. That being said, the refrigerator is stocked with nourishing and healthy food choices and we’re ready to get back on track. I made a batch of these egg muffins, have this ground turkey dish on the menu for one of the evenings, and will be making this smoothie and this one for my afternoon snacks.

I was looking around some new arrivals for some upcoming posts and came across some of the prettiest little blue tops… not sure why, but I was really drawn to this color. I especially love this bell sleeved blue thermal, stripe peplum top, polka dot silk tie tank, stripe button-up, and this stripe one shoulder bow top. All of them are such great options for the end of summer, and such a gorgeous color. I also stumbled across this drapey henley tee, black one shoulder teetie open back tank (just bought it and love it), slit v-neck tee… both great basics for everyday.

And, even though most of the Nordstrom sale focused on fall, there are still so many great warm weather pieces out there, that can easily transition come the fall (or, if you live in CA, you wear them well into October). I love these blush stripe drawstring shorts, which would easily transition with this cozy pullover (featured above in my travel photo). This white embroidered jacket is gorgeous. A few cute dresses for the end of summer include this cute drawstring drop-waist option, tiered ruffle long sleeve dress (which I’m obsessed with), ruffle sleeve t-shirt dress (part of Nordstrom sale), and this blush stripe dress. This sweater tank is also such a cute option for summer and fall.

07.28.2017

Favorite Products Of The Month || Wellness, Beauty, + Fashion

Happy Friday friends! I hope you all have something fun planned for your weekend ahead. Sharing all my favorite products from the past month with you today. For the beauty section, I switched it up a little and decided to share my favorite products that are currently included in the Nordstrom Sale… all other items are new favs!

Wellness 

1. Purely Elizabeth Grain Free Granola: I swear I’ve never tried a flavor of her granola that I don’t like. It’s always so dang good. I didn’t budget my time correctly this past week and ran out of time to grab snacks for yesterday’s travels. I remembered that I had a few bags of her granola and grabbed this flavor. Let me tell you, so good. I almost went through the entire bag solo.

2. Lara Bar Bites: Um, these are amazing. I grabbed them on a recent trip to Sprout’s and we’ve been buying them ever since. In looking them up for this post, I noticed so many different flavors I want to try (like the Caramel Sea Salt Flavor)…. they’re gluten free, dairy free, non-gmo, with pretty simple ingredients. They’re a huge hit with the whole family, especially little miss. I typically have a couple after dinner.

3. Cowboy Salsa: This corn salsa from Trader Joe’s is pretty DG. I put it in my salads, morning egg scrambles, or dip some bell peppers in it with some guacamole for a delicious afternoon snack. It’s available where all the jar salsas are.

4.  Raw Sugar Soap: I’m trying to make the switch to non-toxic products in the home. I haven’t fully gotten there yet, and it will likely take a little while as I try to find products that are just as good as the ones I have been using for years, but I started by switching out my body soap. I’m pretty obsessed with the raw sugar line. It smells great and leaves my skin feeling super soft.

Beauty

1. T3 Hairdryer: I’ve talked about my love for T3 products in the past, but they do typically come with a hefty price tag. Their signature hairdryer is included in the half yearly sale. In the past I always purchased hairdryers that would break after a few months, and, after a year I had spent what I would if I had invested in a higher quality product in the first place. I don’t see as much breakage and it cuts the drying time down by about 5-8 minutes…. which is valuable time for anyone.

2.  T3 Straightening Iron: Another one of their products currently marked down. It has tourmaline and ceramic plates which are designed to protect hair against breakage… and since I apply heat to my hair almost daily, this is critical. I also never noticed any tugging or pulling on my hair, which also decreases breakage.

3. Hand Salve: As I mentioned in Wednesday’s post, my hands tend to get very dry and I hate when they crack. I’ve been using this hand salve for several years now and, after a few uses, my hands start to feel more nourished.

4. Nude Lip Trio: I don’t buy makeup that often, mainly because I typically like to stick with what works. Yet, I was looking for a new lip color for this upcoming trip, and when I saw this trio I thought it would be perfect. It’s not flesh colored, but it gives me just the right amount of color to look alive!

5. Mario Badescu Travel Set: I love taking this set along with me on my travels. It includes a drying product design to help with unexpected breakouts, and I love the facial mist as well.

6. Clarisonic Cleansing System (Men): This alpha fit sonic was part of TJ’s Father’s Day gift and he absolutely loved it. I think men so frequently forget to take care of their skin, but this little gadget really does the trick. TJ said that it leaves his skin feeling clean, fresh, and incredibly soft.

7. NuFace Trinity Toning Kit: This thing is pretty amazing. My mom has one too. It pretty much helps to stimulate the skin to prevent, or reverse, sagging skin and wrinkles. It’s an investment, but a great one at that.

Fashion

1. V-Neck Tee: I stumbled across this great basic at the Nordstrom sale and knew it would get a lot of wear. I snagged it in black (as seen above) and think it’s a great layering option as well. It’s super soft, and I sized up one for a slightly looser fit. I am also loving this white, oversized option too. I’ve worn it so many times since first purchasing (comes in 5 color options).

2. Lounge Set Shorts + Pullover: Quite possibly one of the softest pieces of clothing that I own. I’m obsessed. Snagged them at the Nordstrom sale and couldn’t be happier with them. I love that the top could also work with a pair of joggers, or layered over a tunic tank with leggings, for a casual weekend look. I’m contemplating grabbing a pair of the joggers for the cooler months.

3. Mesh Workout Top (I have a size M): Love this mesh pullover (I have it in the mauve, but it comes in black too) for a post workout layer now and to workout in during the fall and winter season. It runs small, in my opinion, so I sized up a couple sizes.

4. Straw Tote: My sister gave these as part of her bridesmaid’s gifts, and I am obsessed with mine. It holds so much and I think it’s the perfect summer tote.

5. Low Heeled Mule: So, I originally bought these to go with my dress for the wedding, but the mauve/berry hues clashed together and I decided to go a different route. I’m still keeping them and wearing them to the rehearsal dinner with this romper. They’re comfortable, the perfect heel height, and I can wear them now and later. Oh, and the color is gorgeous.

6. Tassel Earrings: I don’t wear a ton of statement jewelry, but ever since I bought these at the beginning of the month, I’ve been loving the little extra they add to neutral outfits… especially when I’m wearing cut-offs and a plain tee. They’re light weight too, so they won’t tug on your earlobes.

7. Tassel Slip-Ons: These have quickly become one of my favorite throw on and go pair of kicks. Similar to the earrings above, they make an everyday outfit look slightly more elevated. They’re comfortable and run TTS.

8. Rosé Sweatshirt: I call this my wine sipping sweatshirt, and happily enjoy sipping my rosé while wearing it. It’s comfortable and pair perfectly with the lounge shorts mentioned above.

9. Racerback Workout Tank: I featured this in last week’s Wellness Wednesday post, but I’ve worn it several times since, and absolutely love it. It’s lightweight, and provides great ventilation while working out. I have it in the blush color, but it comes in two other great color combinations as well.

10. Coverup Wrap: I know there has been a lot of talk about fall clothing items, but I’m still loving all things summer. I bought this wrap pareo for a few beach trips we have coming up and I love how gorgeous the print is. You can always wear it several different ways, which makes it super versatile. I’ve worn it on my hips over a one piece, but also tied across my chest over a pair of cut-offs.

07.27.2017

Everyday Casual || Comfy Kicks + Tops

I’m currently siting in a hotel room, glass of vino in hand, as TJ and I prepare to head out to Cleveland tomorrow morning for a college friend’s wedding. It’s been a while since we’ve hit the wedding circuit, so we’re pretty excited for a little college reunion, libations, dancing, and, most likely, a late evening. We dropped little miss off with my parents earlier this evening…. and I couldn’t help but feel a little tug at my heart this time. She’s been growing up so quickly as of late, so I can only imagine how much she will change in those fews days!…..

And while she’s growing, so is that little attitude of hers. We headed to the mall earlier this morning so I could return a few items… and I wanted to look for a pair of these shoes for her. She had a fun time trying them on, and putting them in my bag (when I hadn’t paid for them yet…. thank goodness I looked before I walked out of the store) that when it came time to leave, there was an utter stand off. Like, in my head I could hear the announcer “In one corner we have mom, Shannon, and in the other, she may be small but she’s certainly mighty, Harper.” I won, but let’s just say it took a lot of patience. All that to say, the outfit like you see today has become the norm as of late…

Comfy kicks…. or sandals… anything over a 2 inch heel for daytime is just out of the question… my denim shorts I’ve never washed (should I admit that???!… I just hate how they feel after they’ve been washed….) and a comfortable throw-on-and-go top… oh, and the belt makes me feel cool, so I add some kind of accessory that makes me feel pulled together rather than the hot mess I feel like inside….

A few other comfortable tops and kicks that can help you pull this off too include this cold shoulder option, this ruffle pullover (which I own and is super comfortable), and this henley…. because, when you’re in a pinch, you need quick options like these!
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{Outfit Details || Top (runs TTS, comes in so many different colors, part of Nordstrom sale) | Shorts (which I wear waaaay too much) | Sneakers (seriously so comfortable) | Belt | Sunglasses | Bag | Harper’s Shoes | Harper’s Shorts | Harper’s Tank| Harper’s Thermos

07.26.2017

Wellness Wednesday || Summer Skin Care

I’ve always been super rigid about my skincare routine….. no matter how late the night, my make-up came off and moisturizer was applied. Not much has changed. I remember the night I went into labor, I insisted that I needed to remove my make-up and go through my entire routine…. I simply can’t stand when my skin doesn’t feel clean, or when old make-up is sitting on it. All that to say, I invest in my skin, since, it’s pretty much what everyone sees and I’d prefer to take care of it now, than regret it later…..

So, aside from wearing a wide brimmed hat every time I’m out at the pool or beach, I also apply my sunscreen, and use the following products to keep my skin feeling youthful, hydrated, and glowing.

**For all TULA products featured, use code Shannon20 to receive 20% off your order. 

Moisturizer: 

1. TULA Overnight Skin Rescue Treatment: I can’t tell you how many bottles of this goodness I have gone through. Yet, in the summer months my skin tends to be on the dry side and this stuff makes it feel completely nourished and hydrated. I put it on last in my evening skincare routine.

2. Osea Atmosphere Protection Cream: I use this incredibly lightweight moisturizer before I apply my make-up. Since it acts as a barrier to environmental stressors (wind, pollution, and dry climates) it’s a great bottom layer in my morning beauty routine. It also helps my make-up go on more smoothly.

Self-Tanning:

1. Coola Dry Oil Mist: I’ve never been a fan of self-tanners, but this stuff is pretty amazing. I apply it when needed and within a few hours, I can start to notice a difference. It’s super easy to apply, since you spray it on, and there isn’t any weird smell. I’ve been using it for a little over a month and have been extremely happy with the results.

2. Sunless Tan Anti-Aging Serum: I apply this a few times a week during my evening beauty routine, to create a gradual tan on my face. I mix it with some of my overnight cream, and it smells great. After using it for about a month, I’ve noticed a gradual bronze glow in my face.

Serums: 

1. TULA Eye Renewal Serum: I’m a huge fan of both TULA’s eye creams. This eye renewal serum is applied with a cooling metal applicator, and it helps to de-puff and minimize the look of crow’s feet and fine lines. I’ve noticed a difference in the puffiness under my eyes since using (several months now).

2. Illuminating Face Serum: Love this product. Absolutely love it. I literally feel like my face looks fresh and has a nice glow to it when I use this serum. There was a time when I ran out and had about a week gap in between when I ordered and when it arrived. My face looked slightly more dull and just not as fresh and youthful. I apply this before my moisturizer both day and night.

Masks: 

1. Osea Red Algae Mask: I use this mask once a week, and it’s like most of OSEA Malibu’s  products, it makes me feel like I’m sitting in a spa, undergoing a luxurious treatment. My face tends to breakout in some spots, and have dry patches in others, during the summer months. This mask hydrates and firms my skin, masks blemishes, and helps repair skin that has been exposed to environmental stressors. I leave it on for about 10 minutes, and then wash it off with warm water. My skin feels so soft immediately after.

2. TULA Exfoliating Treatment Mask: This is my favorite exfoliating treatment mask, hands down. I use it three days a week, and it makes my skin glow. I leave it on for about 5 minutes, and then rinse it off with warm water and a washcloth. My face glows after.

Body Treatments: 

1. Salts Of The Earth Body Scrub: I am obsessed with this product. It makes me feel like I’ve just spent an afternoon at the spa with its smell and luxurious exfoliation effect. I use this daily, right before I rinse with soap, and it leaves my skin feeling incredibly smooth and silky. If you want to add some luxury to your shower, this stuff is the answer.

2. Algae Oil: Another great product for promoting youthful looking skin. I use it two to three times a week, in the evening, and love how hydrated my skin looks and feels. On evenings when I know I’ll be having a couple glasses of wine, I’m sure to use this, as it minimizes the effects of de-hydration. I also love using it on my hands, as they get so dry and cracked from washing them so frequently.

Hydrating Mists:

1. Urban Defense Hydrating Mist: When I’m traveling, or out in the desert, this mist is a great way to re-hydrate my skin. It calms and soothes my skin amazingly well.

07.25.2017

The Versatile Tunic || Pieces For Work + Play

I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to write about today. When I tossed this tunic and embroidered denim jacket on, all I knew is that I loved both pieces, and that the tunic was a great versatile piece. Then, someone sent me a message requesting that I share some workwear inspiration (since, you know, these shorts aren’t exactly workplace friendly….). So, while today’s outfit is not work appropriate (at all), I thought I’d take a moment to chat a little about how I went about picking out workwear pieces when I worked a traditional 9-5 job, and a few items I’d buy now…..

When I first started working, I always cringed at the idea of spending money on formal workwear pieces. The thought of not being able to wear them for the more “fun” events in life made me feel like it was a waste (I know this is faulty logic…. spending 40 hours a week in those clothing items wasn’t a waste….). Luckily, I worked in a semi-casual work environment (jeans were okay), so, I did have a little flexibility there. Given that, my one rule was that the items I purchased needed to be versatile enough to pair with “workwear” pieces and “weekend” wear. This tunic would have fit the bill perfectly. It easily tucks in for a more formal office setting, or front tuck it in a semi-casual office. Then, pair it like I did here on the weekend… or to grab a post-dinner casual glass of wine or dinner. I guess the key for me was to always find those pieces that easily transitioned from work to play….

And while I plan to put together a full post in the next couple of weeks, I wanted to share several items that I found that are versatile enough for a work/play wardrobe. I think a good flat is a must. This scalloped pair (almost identical to the Chloé ones) is a great option, as are these mules (I personally own and love these). I also think a plain white button up shirt is classic for the work environment, and easily dresses down with a pair of denim shorts. A lightweight, mid-length cardigan is a nice top layer for cold AC offices, and super cute when paired off duty with leggings, denim shorts, or a simple tank dress (which I bought when I was pregnant and still love). I also adore the step-hem of these structured cropped capris, and the relaxed fit of these drawstring pants and  elastic waist pants. All can be worn with sneakers and slides on the weekends, with a basic v-neck tee or tank, and all three come in petite sizes. I also think this lace appliqué tank, flutter sleeve top, eyelet tank, and off white tunic are great, dual role, options.
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(Outfit Details || Tunic (several color options, on sale, under $30) | Jacket (part of N. Sale, under $50) | Shorts | Sandals | Sunglasses | Bead Necklace | Crescent Necklace | Tote)