Tuesday, April 25, 2017

An Update on a Classic | Cabi Striped Trench


 Up until a few years ago, my coat closet always felt a little dejected..kind of like something was missing. It held tons of options including (multiple) denim jackets, a green utility jacket, numerous cropped leather styles, the dreaded Winter puffer and even a weather resistant wind breaker which saved me in Ireland. But it just never felt quite complete…until a lightweight, khaki colored trench hung on a hanger among the others. It was just right – sophisticated enough for work, classy enough for fancy nights out and stylish enough to dress up the most basic white t-shirt and jeans. 

When the weather allowed, I started wearing it with everything…that is until, the classic trench got a little competition from a new kid on the block -- the striped trench coat which made me wonder yet again where it has been all my life? The light trench is slightly pinched at the waist which offers a flattering cut and is outfitted with large navy buttons, so naturally I was automatically drawn to its nautical flair.  I'm also a huge sucker for navy and yellow together, so it only seemed natural to pair this with my favorite yellow Spring heels.


SHOP THE LOOK:






Wearing:

Jacket: c/o Cabi Clothing
Maternity T-shirt: Old Navy
Heels: c/o Sole Society (very similar)
Maternity Jeans: LOFT
Bag: Target
Sunnies: Old Navy
 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

No-Chella

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Over the weekend I enviously watched my Instagram feed turn into everything that I love most in the Summer. Live music and clothing perfected for festival season! Sure, some of these looks are more like costumes, some are over-the-top tacky, but there are others of you who plot these styles for the year leading up to Coachella (and Lollapalooza) and hit the nail on the head. Head to toe festival perfection is so my jam and I love watching all of your outfit come to life! 

This outfit was not plotted for the past year, nor was I able to attend Coachella over the weekend. However, I saw these amazing pants on the Cabi Clothing IG account and was like "hello lovers!". In honor of the kick-off of festival season, I decided to style a #nochella inspired look. I love pairing high-waist pants with a crop top and a long cardigan. It just feels easy and breezy while giving you the coverage you need to keep the sun off your shoulders. I am all about SPF and layers in summer. Toss on some round framed sunglasses, a great pom pom bag, plus a bright lip and your look is ready for a day out in the sun listening to some of your favorite live music. Oh and don't forget the braids! Every great festival look always has some braided hair detail (in my opinion that is).

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Cardigan: Target // Top: Forever 21 // Pants: c/o Cabi Clothing // Bag: Verloop Knits // Sunglasses: Ray-ban // Heels: JustFab // Rings: c/o Park Lane Jewelry // Choker: Lili Claspe // Long Necklace: Hallmark // Lip Color: Glo Minerals- Dahlia

(Photos by Cecilia Jean)

Are you a fan of festival wear? 
What do you think of my no-chella inspired outfit?


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Call Me Mellow Yellow | Cabi Spring Jacket


 Spring has finally arrived and it's a breath of fresh air in more ways than one. We certainly can’t complain about the Winter we had in the Midwest but I seem to be even sensitive about the state of the outdoors due to my changing pregnancy hormones lately so needless the say, the flowers blooming in my front yard and a streak of sunshine over the weekend brought me back to life a bit.

It was a wonderful but very busy weekend. Having Friday off work was a blessing and my Mom and I spent it eating our way through Geneva. We started with a quick bite (hello orange scone!) at Graham's while we waited for our table at Buttermilk which I have been dying to try – Can we just dedicate a hot second to their coffee bar? My cousin/bestie has been raving about it for months and since I typically save coffee treats for the weekend these days, I figured it was a perfect time to try it out. When you walk into the rustic meets modern restaurant, first thing you see is a coffee bar with a menu that’s just begging to be tried. My eyes darted to the cookie butter milkaccino – I can’t even tell you what that means, but all I know is, you really couldn’t go wrong. I actually ended up ordering a slightly less sweet option, an iced toasted almond latte which was delicious and paired perfectly with my healthy start waffles…I pretend this is a real thing because it came topped with Greek yogurt and fruit. Do what we must :)


Post-Buttermilk, we took some photos, sat by the river and once we had more room in our stomachs, headed to the Sugar Path for an afternoon treat (yet ANOTHER scone...Can you tell we love to eat?) I like just sitting in their bakery, people watching and enjoying all the amazing sights & smells. I would love to own a coffee/bakery shop one day...I just feel so happy in these places filled with passion and community.




SHOP THE LOOK:


In other news, while I'm not the biggest advocate of maternity wear, my pregnancy has allowed me to play with a few styles that might regularly be a bit out of my normal rotation. Thanks to Cabi, I have added a few new Spring jackets to my collection and this yellowbutton up style is so different than anything currently in my closet. I tend to over wear my denim jacket (it’s a bit of an addiction!), so I love that this preppy alternative motivates me to mix it up and also adds a bright pop of color to any look. I liked pairing it with navy stripes, 1) because navy & yellow is an unbeatable combo and 2) because I think the prints go well together, especially since the jacket print is nice and subtle. 

Also, everyone told me I would "pop" around week 25 or 26 and wow, were they right. Here I am at 26 weeks and this belly is officially making a statement. I made it almost 5 months with friends and Family saying they could hardly tell I was pregnant...Let me tell you, nobody is saying that these days! My boy has decided he's ready to show off so here's to accepting the challenge of making this bump as stylish and comfortable as possible over the next 3 months. Wish me luck ;)








Wearing:

Top: Old Navy
Jeans: LOFT
Jacket: c/o Cabi Clothing
Heels: Sole Society (similar)
Scarf: Swap w/Lisa
Sunnies: Old Navy
Bag: Target
Lipstick: Lancome

Monday, April 17, 2017

3 Tips for Managing a Full-Time Job and Blog


I recently had the pleasure of working with Muses to write about a topic very familiar to me. In case you didn't get a chance to read it, I wanted to share my tips here and hopefully start a conversation with other bloggers (or anyone) who is trying their best to juggle all of their passions...

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I consider myself lucky to maintain a blog that is up and running 5 days a week AND excel in a marketing position at my full-time job. Both roles give me freedom to exercise creativity but are both unique in their own way. I am beginning my 7th year at a small design agency that specializes in custom trade show displays and my 5th year writing for Sisters Marie, the lifestyle blog I co-manager with my sister-in-law, Lisa

In my newest and surely most important role of my life, I am embarking on the wonderful journey to becoming a first-time Mom so a shift hangs in the balance. With this adventure underway, it is imperative I find a schedule that works best for me to maintain a healthy work-life-mind balance. Balancing all of these commitments can take some time and patience but as long as you truly enjoy what you’re doing, all of the effort is worth it. 

So, is it possible to work AND blog full time? 
The answer is YES and here are 3 tactics I use to help it all run smoothly: 

1. CREATE YOUR OWN SCHEDULE

I’ve always been good at staying organized and when it comes incorporating the blog into my workweek, this is crucial. My office hours are the basic 9-5 so with this general time frame in mind, I try to work in blog content before or after which can sometimes mean some crazy wake up calls. My Mom and I have started meeting for coffee one morning a week so she can not only help me shoot an outfit for upcoming content (giving me necessary time to edit, write, etc.) but it also serves as a great way for the both of us to catch up and begin our days on a positive note.


Whether it’s taking a walk, going to yoga or having coffee with a loved one in the morning, this sets the tone for the day and as a blogger, I can often turn these activities into viable content. Though, one side note. living in the Midwest makes this kind of schedule much more difficult during Winter because it’s dark (and so cold!) both before and after work so there’s very little opportunity to take photos. During these months, it’s imperative to utilize your weekend time in the best way possible to knock things off your list.

2. DIVIDE & CONQUER

Sharing the blog with Lisa is not only special for us but it's also a huge asset in allowing us to provide consistent and authentic content. Our partnership helps us uphold our busy schedules and provides our readers with a wider range of viewpoints and topics. Instead of running the blog all on my own and feeling pressure to crank out a certain number of posts each week, I can dedicate more time and effort into the ones I am writing in order to provide the best possible work.



Even if you don't have a blogging partner, there are many ways you can lighten your load including opening your site to guest bloggers, meeting up with local bloggers to shoot photos or outsourcing some of the more tedious tasks (updating the site's design, theme, etc.). Don't feel like you have to do it all on your own. 

3.CONSIDER IT YOUR CREATIVE OUTLET

It’s all about perspective: If you think of your blog as another item on your to-do list, it can become more of a task rather than an enjoyable activity. Remember why you started blogging in the first place. Maybe your full-time job wasn’t fulfilling enough creatively, maybe you were interested in advancing your writing skills or perhaps you found a great support network through your local online community. All of these aspects are wonderful perks to being a blogger and can make some of the more stressful moments easier to manage. I tend to look at blogging as “me time.” It is a space where I can create with no boundaries and write about things that have inspired me, with the goal of hopefully inspiring others.



It has granted me so much over the past five years: I have vastly improved my photography skills, worked as an ambassador for some amazing brands, and made many important connections, some of which led me to being a contributing writer for one of my favorite magazines. With that said, this tiny little dot com space has opened so many doors for me and the memorable experiences I’ve had will last me a lifetime.

I HOPE...

The same for you, whether your blog remains a hobby or becomes a full-time career, it’s a fantastic way challenge yourself and to stay connected to so many people across the world. 

Thanks for reading! Xo



Thursday, April 13, 2017

Rocked it & Swapped it


Hello sunshine and Spring clothing! These mid-rise linen pants with an elastic back waistband became fast favorites for us both. Structured, comfortable, and lightweight, what's not to love? The subtle blue vertical stripes make it super easy to match them with literally anything and can be worn to so many different occasions during this Spring and Summer season. 

I styled my pants with a classic white tank and layered a white cardigan that has lace detail over it. By adding a statement necklace, neutral heels and bag, and a bright pink lip, my outfit was perfect for an afternoon out with my girlfriend. When Kaitlyn styled her pants (24 weeks pregnant, might I add), she tucked in a great navy lace top and paired it with a straw hat and neutral shoes. The pops of color with her coral bag and bright lip were perfect for her weekend day by the water. 

Are you a fan a linen pants? 
You can pick these up these beauties for just under $90! 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

An Edgy Twist on a Tulle Dress

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Sometimes my favorite outfits happen by pairing items that I didn't necessarily think I would end up wearing together. Let me back up a bit. I was recently gifted this beautiful tulle dress from eShakti. This dress was literally made for me as I choose this dress from their site, and then added a cap sleeve to the style. How cool is that? If you've never shopped at eShakti before, I would highly recommend playing around on their website. It really is great to show up places knowing no one will have the same outfit on as you because you are rocking custom clothing! 

Ok, now back to the pairing. The plunge neck ended up being lower then I expected. I tried on two bras before thinking I'd have to either wear no bra or a bralette underneath. Last week I bought this edgy strappy one from Express and figured why not at least try it on with this dress. I had it in my mind there was no way I would like it, but it took on an entire new look as soon as I did! To keep the edge, I put my hair in a faux hawk style braid, a bold pink lip, and lots of great gold jewelry. 

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Dress: c/o eShakti // Bralette: Express // Shoes & Bag: JustFab // Sunglasses: Ray-Ban // Rings: c/o Park Lane Jewelry // Necklace: Amazon (similar) // Cuff: Coach (similar) // Earrings: Box of Style // Lip Color: Glo Minerals- Sorbet 

Do you ever wait to make the finial call on your outfit until you try everything on? Most times I surprise myself how much my opinion changes once I actually put the clothes on me and not just look at it as a flay-lay.  

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Summer Wishlist & Shopbop Sale!


Did you guys hear the news? A massive Shopbop sale is brewing which happens to be perfect timing because it's just starting to warm up so we're all eyes on new trends for Spring. The sale officially goes live on 4/12 but we're excited to offer early access to our readers starting NOW! UPDATE - The sale was extended so savings end on Sunday, 4/16... find all of the official details here.




The sale is a great excuse to try some trends you may have been hesitating about...whether it's your first pair of mules or an off the shoulder top, you can use this as motivation to expand your personal style horizons. Now, because there are so MANY amazing pieces to choose from, it can be overwhelming to scroll through them all. SO, to help you ease into it, start with each of our top 12 items for the coming Spring & Summer months. Click on any item to shop and don't forget the coupon code: EVENT17.



LISA'S WISH LIST


KAITLYN'S WISH LIST

What piece is on your must-have list this season? 
Happy shopping! Xo