Holiday & Seasonal
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Thoughtful Mother’s Day Gifts from Hallmark at Amazon

Happy Tuesday, friends! Can you believe it’s the last day of April? When I looked at the calendar this morning, I did a double-take. Usually March and April drag for me, but this year they’ve flown.

As we flip the calendar to May, it’s time to start thinking ahead to Mother’s Day gifts and how we can honor the important women in our lives, and Hallmark at Amazon makes it super easy to find the perfect gifts from the comfort of home.

I’ve always been close to my mom, but the farther along I get in my own parenting journey, the greater appreciation I have for her and the sacrifices she made for her children over the years.

When I first had my babies, I was overwhelmed by the emotions attached to motherhood. I remember one night, sleepily nursing a newborn, realizing that my mom had those same incredible feelings for me. It was one of Those Moments that sticks with you forever.

But as my kids get older, and I experience the emotional tug-of-war that comes with giving them roots and wings, my appreciation for my mom grows even deeper. I’ve realized lately how hard it must have been for her to make some of the parenting decisions that I totally took for granted at the time.

When I sent my son off to college last fall, just 30 minutes away, it felt like part of my heart was walking off without me. It made me remember how my mom sent me to college five states away.

Now only did she allow me to go, but she encouraged it and supported me in every way. I know now how hard that must have been for her, but she knew it was the right decision for me.

And then again when I got married, and she sent me off to Philadelphia to live forever with a man she barely knew… I don’t even want to think about the day when I may have to do that very thing for one of my girls.

Of course each season of parenting brings a new kind of wonderful, and I’m learning that you don’t really lose a part of your kids when they grow up; you just add new layers to the relationship.

With each change of season, my relationship with my mom has grown deeper, and it’s reassuring to know that there are great times ahead with my own children as they continue to grow and gain independence.

While I cherish the memories of their younger years, I’m also excited to see what the future holds for them and for us.

I’m sure we all have special women in our lives who have taught us many of these same lessons, and what a better time to show them our love and appreciation than on Mother’s Day?

Whether it’s your mom, mother-in-law, a special aunt, a mentor, a daughter, or a dear friend, Hallmark has made it super easy and convenient to find the perfect gift by partnering with Amazon!

That’s right, whether you’re celebrating a mom near or far, Hallmark Jewelry and Hallmark Flowers at Amazon can help you make her day.

They have a great selection of gifts to help you show your love and appreciation to the women in your life, and what could be better than shopping for gifts from the comfort of home?

Plus with Amazon’s super fast Prime shipping, it’s the perfect way to get a gift out fast if you’re prone to procrastination… not that I know anything about that, ahem.

Flowers are one of my favorite gifts to give and receive, and Hallmark Flowers at Amazon offers a nice variety of traditional cut-flower bouquets as well as plants like orchids, succulents, anthuriums, and tropicals.

They gifted me this gorgeous pink orchid in 10″ lavender ceramic container, and I’ve been enjoying having it on my kitchen table for the past few weeks.

All plants and flowers are carefully packaged fresh from the nursery and shipped free with Prime in a Hallmark gift box, and I was thoroughly impressed by the care with which my plant was packed.

It even came with heat packs to keep the roots the proper temperature, and the delicate flowers were all in tact.

If flowers aren’t her thing, Hallmark Jewelry at Amazon includes a beautiful selection of pendants, rings, and bracelets — each designed to remind your special someone of your love and admiration. Plus all Hallmark Jewelry at Amazon offers free two-day shipping.

The folks at Hallmark offered to send me a piece from the collection, and I chose the “Mom” Heart with Flower Pendant Necklace.

This necklace is so delicate and pretty, and I love how it has both silver and rose gold tones. It comes on an 18″ sterling silver chain, which fits perfectly in a v-neckline.

It’s such a lovely reminder of the most important role in my life.

I’ve worn a lot of hats and carried a lot of titles over the years — from daughter to wife, teacher to influencer, sister to friend — but being Mom is by far the most precious.

Shop Mother’s Day Gifts from Hallmark at Amazon:

This post contains affiliate links. When you shop through my links, it helps support my business (at no additional cost to you) so thank you!

photos: Alison Cornell

Beauty
20 Comments

Current Beauty Favorites

I’ve been trying out some new beauty products lately so I thought I’d round up a list of my current beauty favorites.

This is the perfect time to talk beauty products because the Sephora Beauty Insider Spring Bonus Event is going on now!

my current beauty favorites... just in time for the Sephora Beauty Insider Spring Bonus Event!

They have it set up so that their Rouge members have first access to shop the event at 20% off with code HEYROUGE, and then the sale opens to VIB and Insider levels starting May 2. VIB members will get 15% off, and Insiders will get 10% off.

If you’re not a Sephora Beauty Insider Member and think you’ll want to shop the sale, sign up now, and stock your cart with the items you want. Then when May 2 rolls around, you can take advantage of your discount! I’ll be sure to put out another reminder on 5/2, but I wanted to get this post up now so any Rouge members can take advantage.

Not everything in this post is available at Sephora, but if it is, that’s where I’ll link to it.

Current Beauty Favorites {April 2019}

Almay Eye Makeup Remover Pads // I’ve been using these for years to remove my eye makeup. They’re gentle, and they work. What else is there to say? Oh, yeah, they’re cheap! Well, at least compared to the rest of my beauty favorites. Ha!

Sport Continuous Spray SPF 50 in the Guava Mango // I love all Coola products. I use their sunscreen exclusively — the Guava Mango spray is my favorite all-over body SPF, and I also love the Liplux SPF 30 and the Classic Face Sport SPF 50 for my lips and face. I have a travel set from Amazon that came with all three plus the ER+ Radical Recovery After-Sun Lotion.

Clarins Self Tanning Lotion // This is my ride-or-die self tanner. I’ve been using it for years. It works well, doesn’t streak or cake up in your dry areas, and it doesn’t stink. It does have a scent, but it’s mild, and I don’t find it unpleasant.

L’OCCITANE Cleansing And Softening Shower Oil With Almond Oil // I absolutely love this stuff. It’s all I use in the shower. It smells sublime, and it’s moisturizing as well as cleansing. I use it to clean my body and also to shave with, so it’s really a 2-in-1. I still use lotion almost every time I shower, but it definitely makes my skin feel smoother and softer, and I feel like it helps me be able to skip lotion occasionally, when I’m in a hurry.

Kiehl’s Since 1851 – Creme de Corps // This is my current favorite body lotion. A little goes a log way, and this lotion has virtually eliminated my itchy, dry skin. It is unscented, so guys can use it too.

T3 Featherweight Compact Folding Dryer // I always bring my own hair dryer when I travel because I don’t trust the hotel to have a working one (I’ve been burned before, no pun intended.) Also, this T3 is so much more powerful than the ones most hotels provide. It folds up and comes with a little travel tote to put it in, although I don’t usually bother with that. I do use the velcro cord wrap though.

I also have the Whirl Trio Interchangeable Styling Wand, the SinglePass Flat Iron, and their full size hair dryer. Mine is old, and it’s been replaced with the Cura Professional Digital Ionic Hair Dryer. I love all my T3 products and highly recommend any or all of them.

Monat Black Shampoo + Conditioner // I’ve been using this shampoo for a couple of years. Yes, it’s for guys, but it was recommended to me by my consultant, Emily Hostetler, because I wasn’t seeing results with the other products I was using.

Did it make my hair grow in thicker? I don’t know. For a long time, I didn’t notice any difference in my hair loss (which was substantial), but I liked the product as far as how it treated my hair and that it has mostly natural ingredients, so I kept using it. In the past few months, my hair has stopped falling out and gotten thicker.

The timing doesn’t make any sense, but do you think I’m going to stop using this stuff now? Of course not!

FYI, I also use their Revitalize Conditioner because the Monat Black Shampoo + Conditioner doesn’t get rid of my tangles. The conditioner makes my hair super soft.

CND Solar Oil – Nail & Cuticle Conditioner // I’ve written about this product several times, but I have to include it here because this stuff saved my nails. It is the only way I’m able to get gel manicures on the regular.

I use it every night right before bed, and again during the day if I think about it. I notice almost immediately when I slack off because my nails get dry and brittle and start breaking. I have the 2.3 fl. oz. in my bathroom and the 0.5 fl. oz. on my desk, and I buy the refills to save a few pennies.

Skincare Favorites

The most significant difference I’ve made recently in my skincare routine is double cleansing. I should probably write a whole post on this, but for now, here’s what I’m using, and in order…

Colleen Rothschild Beauty Radiant Cleansing Balm // Love this. Feels so good, smells like a spa, and gets my face so clean.

Elemis Biotec Skin Energizing Cleanser // I read about this on another blog, and because I’m a sheep, I had to try it. You guys, I know this is an insane amount of money to spend on a cleanser, BUT… it smells like you’ve died and gone to heaven, and it should last me at least a year. You get 6.7 oz. in a bottle, and that’s a ton of cleanser because of the way it foams up; you only need two pumps. And the scent, ohmyword… it’s my favorite part of the day. I almost wish I’d never tried it so I wouldn’t know what I’m missing.

All that said, if you want to try double cleansing, you can try the Colleen Rothschild Beauty Balancing Gel Cleanser to use after her Cleansing Balm. It’s half the price of the Elemis, and it gets amazing reviews. It’s 6.8 fl oz (so comparable in size to the Elemis cleanser) and I thoroughly trust Colleen Rothschild products. In fact, I may order it if/when I run out of my Elemis.

Colleen Rothschild Matcha Tea Treatment Toner // This toner is so soothing, and if there is any makeup residue left on my skin — which there never is after double cleansing — it takes care of it straight away.

Colleen Rothschild Beauty Retinol Supreme Night Oil // Supposedly using retinoids is important for aging skin (hi, I’m 46!) and this product incorporates retinol without being harsh to the skin. It’s long been one of my favorite Colleen Rothschild products.

Jan Marini Antioxidant Daily Face Protectant SPF 33 // This has been my go-to daily SPF moisturizer for the past three years. It was recommended to me by the esthetician who does my facials, and I keep replacing it because it’s so good. It doesn’t leave a white film like some SPF creams can do, and it has a lovely, light citrusy scent. It isn’t cheap, but it’s a great quality product, and a little goes a long way so it lasts a long time.

I apply this daily, whether I wear makeup or not, and I make sure to apply all the way down my neck and onto my chest, as I tend to get a lot of “accidental sun” on my chest from daily living. I’ve got some sun damage from years of getting burned when I neglected sunscreen on my chest because wasn’t expecting to get any sun.

Makeup Favorites

Mally Beauty Perfect Prep Poreless Primer // I don’t use this every day, but I do when I’m going to have a photo shoot or times when I want especially flawless looking skin.  I love how easily it goes on and the way it instantly smoothes out my skin. It looks like it was airbrushed.

MAC Studio Sculpt in NW25 // I really like the Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation I’ve been trying out. It goes on so beautifully and leaves a gorgeous finish, but the color I have is too light now that I’m using self tanner, and it’s pricey so I’m saving it for next winter and going back to my tried-and-true MAC Studio Sculpt. It’s a little heavier, but it has great coverage and also leaves a nice finish, and the price is a lot more palatable.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Concealer in 4 // This is a recent discovery, and I’m loving it. It blends in so easily and covers mild discoloration without creating more luminosity, which I feel can tend to emphasize under-eye bags. I also like the way it covers scars and sunspots.

Nars Blush // I’ve been using this in the famed “orgasm” color for years, and while I’ve tried others that I like, I always come back to this one.

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Pillow Talk // As you age, your lips can get thinner and lose definition, and that has definitely been true for me, so I always, always line my lips. Even if I’m in a rush, I line my lips before applying lipstick.

I love how this lip liner is designed to resize and reshape, and I do apply it a little outside my lip line on my upper lip. The best part, though, is that doesn’t allow your lipstick to bleed. Until I started using this, I always had trouble with my lipstick bleeding, and now it stays put.

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk // This is my go-to daytime lipstick. It’s designed to help lips appear wider and fuller, and I need all the help I can get! It goes on smoothly and it has a lot of staying power. Pillow Talk is their best seller, and it really is a great neutral.

MAC Lipglass in Cultured // I always top off my lipsticks with this lipgloss. It’s moist but not sticky, and I feel like it helps my thin lips look plumper.

Anastasia Beverly Hills – Brow Wiz in dark brown// I’ve been using this for several years, and while I haven’t tried anything new since I discovered it, I haven’t felt the need to. If you have something else you recommend, feel free to share!

Dior Backstage Eye Prime // This is a phenomenal eyelid primer. It really helps give my eyeshadow staying power, and it evens out any discoloration on the lid so you can go without eyeshadow if you wish.

Urban Decay Naked3 Palette // I love all the Naked palettes I’ve tried, but this is my favorite for everyday. You can see my full eye shadow tutorial HERE.

I’m also still using the Trish McEvoy shadows I got a few weeks ago for my Nordstrom post but I want to go back and get a 4th color to fill in — something in between the blackberry granite and the rose quartz.

And I also still like the Lorac  pro palette from Kohl’s. I used to wear the same eye shadow every day, but now that I have so many good options, I’m enjoying changing it up a bit depending on my mood.

Lancôme LE STYLO WATERPROOF Long Lasting Eyeliner in Noir Intense // Still my favorite eyeliner, although I’m open to trying others. I wouldn’t call it waterproof, as it claims, because it doesn’t hold up that well in the summertime when it’s hot out. I’d love to hear your recommendations if you have any. What I do like about it is, it’s soft and goes on smoothly, and it’s easy to blend. I hate a dry eyeliner.

Lancôme HYPNOSE DRAMA Instant Full Body Volume Mascara // Still my favorite mascara. I’ve been using Lancôme mascara since high school. I’ve tried others over the years, but I always come back to it. For the past ten years or so, I’ve been loyal to the Hypnose Drama, but lately I’ve been trying out the Monsieur Big Mascara, and I like it too.

I’m sure I could come up with more beauty favorites, but this hits the highlights. I’m not beauty guru, by any means, but I do enjoy trying products and sharing what I find. Let me know if you have any questions!

Shop The Post

This post contains affiliate links. When you shop through my links, it helps support my business (at no additional cost to you) so thank you!

photos: Alison Cornell

Diary
36 Comments

Coffee Talk 04.28.19

Well, spring has sprung here in Philly for sure. The flowering trees are in full bloom, and the rest of our deciduous trees started putting out leaves this week. Our landscape is starting to fill in, and the grass is lush and green. Most mornings it’s comfortable enough to sit on the deck and enjoy my first cup of coffee. It’s been glorious.

It’s hard to believe that this time last year we were negotiating our current house and getting our home of 13 years ready to sell.

A lot has happened since then! We bought a new house and sold our old one, our oldest child graduated high school, we sent him off to college, he auditioned and scored a spot in his university’s marching band, and our youngest started middle school.

It’s definitely been a year of changes, but it’s all been good change.

It’s also been a year of change and growth for my business. I switched affiliate networks last June, and that was a big adjustment as well. It turned out to be a good business decision, but it’s had its own set of challenges.

I’m looking forward to the rest of 2019 and hoping it continues to be a much less eventful year than the last. Even good changes can wear on you after a while, ya know??? I can only do so much adjusting in my old age, ha!

In more current news, my vertigo seems to be gone, but I’m continuing with the testing my ENT wants me to do. I have the bloodwork scheduled for Tuesday and the MRI on Thursday. Needless to say, I’m not looking forward to either, and I can’t wait till this week is over. I hope it seems to pass as quickly as the last few have.

Also, I’m doing the GLO teeth whitening at my dentist’s office tomorrow, so I’ll let you know how that goes. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, and I’m excited to see the results. I’ll take before and after pix.

I’ve also got a photo shoot on Wednesday and some fun brand collaborations coming up in the next couple of weeks. I’m open to post ideas too. I’ve been struggling a bit on that end, which is unlike me. I usually have more content ideas than I can develop without doubling up on posts.

So yeah, it’s another full week! It seems like all I do anymore is run from one appointment to the next. Hopefully I can get everything taken care of, and things will slow down for a while.

Well, that was all over the place, wasn’t it? And here I am, late getting out for my run yet again! I always think I have nothing to say when I sit down to write these posts, and then 30 minutes later I’m still typing.

I hope you all have a relaxing and blessed Sunday!

Spring/Summer Fashion
32 Comments

Try On Haul + This Week’s Outfits

Happy Saturday, friends! I have another try on haul for you today, and I also rounded up this week’s outfits at the end of the post.

For anyone who is new, I’m a 46-year-old wife and mom of three and full time blogger. I work from home so my wardrobe is fairly casual, but I still like to have a few dressier pieces for church, date nights, and events that might crop up.

I’m 5’5″ and just under 140# (always trying to get to 135) with a short-waisted, hourglass shape. I usually wear a small in tops, 6 or 8 (28 or 29) in jeans and pants, and an 8 in dresses. When I say something is TTS, that means True To Size.

Try On Haul: J.Crew Factory, Nordstrom, Trunk Club & LOFT

Let get started! All links and descriptions are under the pictures.

J.Crew Try On Haul

This first set is from J.Crew Factory, and they currently have 40-60% off a large selection of their site, prices as marked. If you place an order, I highly recommend signing up for J.Crew Rewards. It works for both J.Crew and J.Crew Factory, and in addition to earning rewards you can redeem at a later time, it gets you free shipping on all orders.

(FYI, J.Crew has 30% off full-price styles this weekend with code LUCKYYOU.)

J.Crew Striped open-neck cami top (size small) // This is just a basic stripe tank to wear alone or layered under a cardigan, and I love it. The material is nice and thick and stretchy, and I just really like the stripe pattern. Something about the width of the stripes is just-right. It’s nice and high under the arms (hard to find in tank tops!) so my bra doesn’t show.

While I think this looks okay in pictures, it’s a little snug for my comfort level, so I have ordered the medium to try and compare. I think it will be a better fit and also allow for shrinkage. For $14, you can’t beat it! FYI, it also comes in yellow and white stripe.

J.Crew Mercantile Women’s White Denim Shorts (size 28) // I’ve been ordering a ton of shorts in preparation for my shorts review post coming soon to the blog! I didn’t try many on for this post, but I did pull these on since they worked well with several of the tops I ordered. I’m very pleased with these shorts. They have a comfortable high rise, and they’re soft but not thin. I don’t feel they’re too see-through, and they’re not super white. They’re more of an off-white, which is nice for a change.

They have a 3 1/2″ inseam, which I personally like on me, but I will be trying longer lengths in my shorts review so there’s something for everyone. I’m in the 28, and I usually size up to a 29 in shorts, so I’d say they run TTS or size down if in between. Also, these shorts are currently on sale for $22.50.

Tory Burch Miller Sandals (size 8) // These aren’t new, but I always get a ton of questions about these this time of year so I thought I’d address those here.

First, everyone wants to know about sizing. A lot of people recommend sizing up, but I take my usual 8. That said, I often size down to a 7.5 in sandals, so maybe that does mean sizing up.

Next, people often ask about comfort and support. I find these sandals incredibly comfortable. When I slide them on, I feel like I just came home. (Ha!) Seriously, though. I get so happy when I can break out my Millers out for the spring/summer season. That said, they do not have support. They’re definitely a flat sandal, so if you have finicky feet, they may not be for you.

The other question I get a lot is about color: Sand Patent or Makeup. I have both (which sounds ridic, I know.) I had the sand patent first, and now that I have both, I mostly wear my sand patent ones to the nail salon when I’m getting a pedicure, the pool, the beach, anywhere that they could get messed up because these things are virtually indestructible. I wear my makeup pair with my everyday outfits during the spring and summer.

I do like the makeup color better, but if you’re worried about wear and tear, go with the sand patent. They’re both great neutrals.

Also, the quality is outstanding. I cannot believe what mine have held up to over the years — especially the patent pair. I swear they still look new. The makeup pair does have some staining on the footbed because I’m careless and slide them on when I’ve been walking around barefoot, but otherwise they still look great as well. Yes, they’re a chunk of change, but on a cost per wear basis, mine are mere pennies at this point.

These shoes never go on sale — at least not the popular colors — so your best bet is to buy them when you can get a bonus points offer of some sort. They’re currently part of the Bloomingdale’s Power Points offer: Loyallists get a $25 Reward Card for every $100 you spend on items labeled “LOYALLIST POWER POINTS.” Unfortunately they’re priced just under the $200 mark, but if you throw in a pair of socks, it will get you over the $200 so you can get a $50 reward card.

Also, FYI, Bloomingdale’s sends Reward Cards out within several days of purchase. They don’t make you wait weeks or months like some retailers do.

J.Crew Tie-sleeve button-up shirt (size small) // I was drawn to this stripe shirt because it doesn’t have a collar as most button-up styles do, and it has the cutest bow detail on the sleeves. (Collars irritate me. I think it’s because of the length of my hair — they always seem to be in the way.)

Anyway, this top is really cute, it’s lightweight and the colors are so pretty for spring. You could also wear it with jeans or pink or yellow pants, but I threw it on with these white shorts for this post. It runs TTS; the small fits me perfectly, and it’s on sale for $26.

My issue with button-up shirts is always what to do with the hem. I tried styling it a few ways… first untucked.

Then with a full front tuck.

And then the half front-tuck. This is the current way to wear it, but I always feel a little try-hard when I do this. What do you say?

also wearing: J.Crew Mercantile Women’s White Denim Shorts and Tory Burch Miller Sandals (Bloomies Power Points eligible)

J.Crew Textured stripe shirtdress (also on Amazon; size small) // I thought this shirtdress could be a nice piece to have; I don’t typically wear shirt dresses, but the colors on this are so pretty, and again with the collar issues… there are none! I also like the neckline — the narrow V is flattering but still modest, keeping it work appropriate.

It’s TTS; the small is a good fit, and for $34, I think it’s a good value.

I tried it first with white pumps (Sam Edelman Hazel Pumps are my go-to; good quality and so comfortable) and then dressed down with white sneakers…

These are my Veja Esplar sneakers. I love them, but they’re really hard to find all of the sudden. Your best best is Saks. They’re the only retailer where I can find them fully stocked, and you can get free shipping with code FREESHIP.

J.Crew “Le weekend” T-shirt (size medium) // I think this tee is so cute and fun. It’s fairly thick and soft, not see-through. I ordered the small and medium, and I’m wearing the medium here. It’s a good fit, and hopefully will still fit well after it’s washed.

Blank NYC Denim Cuffed Distressed Shorts in Weekend Warrior (Size 29) // I’ve shown these before, but it’s been a while. These are just fun for bumming around in the summertime. They’re great for the beach or throwing on over a swimsuit to go to the pool. I’ll wear them around the house, as I work from home. They’re really comfortable, and I like the distressing. I know some of you don’t, and that’s fine too. To each her own!

also wearing: Tory Burch Miller Sandals (Bloomies Power Points eligible)

J.Crew Flutter-sleeve faux-wrap top (size 6) // This top is really pretty and flattering — perfect for work or church. I appreciate the “faux wrap” styling — it is tacked at just the right place on the chest so it doesn’t gape open on those of us who are more well-endowed, but I need to size up to the 8. It’s definitely too small.

Quality wise, the material is a little flimsy, but for the price (it’s $17!!!) I think it’s a good value. I just re-ordered in the size 8, so I’ll keep you posted on how that fits!

also wearing: Madewell 9″ Mid-Rise Skinny Jeans in Pure White (more regular sizes at Shopbop) and Sam Edelman Clara Mules (Bloomies Private Sale eligible)

I shared these Madewell jeans in last week’s try on haul and I am still thrilled with them. I think a lot of you ordered them… I’d love to hear your thoughts! They’re TTS or size up if in between; mine are a 29, for reference.

I’ve also shared these Clara mules before, but in case you missed them, they are really comfortable. They’re TTS or size down if in between. I went down to a 7.5 because of my thin/flat feet, and I can walk fine in them. They’re currently $25 off at Bloomingdale’s with code PRIVATE.

LOFT Try On Haul

Okay, next up… LOFT! I placed a LOFT order during their last 40% off sale, and it just came in. Right now they have 50% off select styles throughout the store.

LOFT Earth Month Shirttail Open Cardigan (size small) // This cardigan is sooo cute. I love the shirttail hem and the texture of the knit. Also, it’s made with recycled cotton, to help reduce textile waste, which is nice to hear from a company like LOFT that I typically associate with fast fashion. It’s soft and comfortable and true to size. Best of all, it’s 50% off!!!

also wearing: J.Crew Vintage Cotton v-neck t-shirt (size medium) with AG Legging Ankle Jeans with Raw Hem in 7 Years Break (30% off!) and Vince Camuto Leera Espadrille Wedge Sandals (Bloomies Private Sale eligible)

These AG jeans are one of my all-time favorite pairs of jeans. I’ve had them for several years, and the fit can’t be matched (at least for me; we’re all different!) I also like this wash because it can be dressed up or down. Right now they’re 30% off at Bloomingdale’s, which is as good as it gets.

Also, the sandals are eligible for their $25 off $100 but they’re $99… so yeah. That stinks.

LOFT Button V-Neck Flutter Shell (size small) // I absolutely love this blouse. The color is so pretty, it’s so easy to slip on and go, and the flutter sleeves and gold button placket are nice feminine touches.

I can see this with white jeans and heels for church, with blue jeans and flats for a dressed-up casual daytime look, or with grey or navy trousers for work wear. It’s also 50% off and fully stocked in the pink.

also wearing: AG Legging Ankle Jeans with Raw Hem in 7 Years Break (30% off!) 

Lou & Grey V-Back Open Cardigan (size small) // I love this lightweight cardigan by Lou & Grey. The shorter sleeves and open weave make it perfect for wearing all summer long. The v-back styling is a fun touch, and it has a relaxed fit that keeps it casual but not overwhelming. It is also 50% off, but some sizes have sold out already. It also comes in a really pretty linen color.

also wearing: J.Crew Vintage Cotton v-neck t-shirt (size medium) with MOTHER Looker Ankle Fray Skinny Jeans in Love Gun (TTS; Bloomies Power Points eligible) and Sam Edelman Laurna Mules (30% off; size down half)

These Mother jeans are fast becoming my new favorites. I actually find myself reaching for them before my AG legging jeans (shocking, I know!) The comfort and fit is absolutely amazing; I don’t love the wash as much as some of my AG jeans, but I’m enjoying these just the same. They aren’t on sale, but they are eligible for the Power Points offer.

Here’s some shopping math for you… These jeans are $228, and the Miller sandals are $198. Order them together, and it puts you right over the threshold to get a $100 Reward Card. #enabler

LOFT Denim Button Front Skirt (size 6) // This denim skirt is really cute, and I like the fit but I think I need the 8, and the larger sizes are all sold out. Womp…womp… It’s worth watching, though. Sometimes they restock when they get returns.

also wearing: J.Crew Vintage Cotton v-neck t-shirt (size medium) with Eileen Fisher Lee Espadrille Flats (size up half; Bloomies Private Sale eligible)

I’ve been loving these Eileen Fisher espadrilles and wearing them a couple days a week. They’re so nice for this time of year when it’s a little early for sandals, but you want a springy shoe. They’re lightweight and so comfortable, and you can get $25 off at Bloomies with code PRIVATE!

LOFT Gingham Skinny Ankle Pants in Marisa Fit (size 6) // These pants are really soft and stretchy and comfortable, and I love the black and white gingham print for spring. They would make a nice work wear pant if you’re in a more casual work environment.

also wearing: J.Crew Vintage Cotton v-neck t-shirt (size medium) with similar espadrille flats (Bloomies Private Sale eligible)

LOFT Embroidered Shoulder Tie Waist Dress (size small) // This dress is really cute on, and I’m pleasantly surprised that it is long enough!!! I’m only 5’5″ but it seems like LOFT dresses tend to run really short. This one is perfect, though. It’s really comfortable and is made of a nice quality knit. The back looks a little wonky at the waist in the picture above, but I think I could fix that if I jushed it a bit.

It has a keyhole closure in the back, and the eyelet embroidered cap sleeves are cute. I just need to be sure to wear a darker bra with it next time. It’s true to size, I believe, or you could try sizing up if you want some extra length. It’s also 50% off and fully stocked!

also wearing: Eileen Fisher Lee Espadrille Flats (size up half; Bloomies Private Sale eligible) or Tory Burch Miller Sandals (TTS; Bloomies Power Points eligible) 

Trunk Club Try On Haul

I received just a few things from Trunk Club this week. I actually wasn’t supposed to get these, but they were my size, so I tried them on, haha!

Charles Henry Fringe Trim Stripe Shift Dress (size medium) // I wasn’t sure about the fringe when I pulled this dress out of the box, but I actually think it’s really fun. The dress has a flattering fit, the material is nice and thick, and it’s fully lined. In fact, I was surprised it wasn’t more expensive than it is.

Vince Camuto Karika Cage Sandals (size 7.5) // These sandals were an exchange from a previous Trunk Club order. I had to size down half, and I requested the black rather than the brown that came in my original trunk. I think these are so fun. I love the cage styling, the suede straps are very soft and comfortable against the foot, and the 2 3/4″ block heel is stable and easy to walk in.

I’m not sure they’re best suited for this dress, however, so also snapped a few shots wearing it with my white leather espadrille flats…

also wearing: Eileen Fisher Lee Espadrille Flats (size up half; Bloomies Private Sale eligible)

Chelsea28 Floral Print Maxi Dress (size medium) // This dress is a little weird, but I can’t tell if it’s because it’s just not flattering or if it’s because I need a small. I like the print, and the idea of the side tie.

also wearing: Sam Edelman Hazel Pumps

Nordstrom/Everlane Try On Haul

Everlane The Soft Cotton V-Neck (size small) // You’ve seen this before, but I was stalking the pink, which was sold out in my size. It finally came back in stock last week so I snagged it, but I have to say, I’m a little disappointed. It’s not the gorgeous blush I was anticipating. It actually has a lot of peach in it, and I’m afraid it’s not as flattering on me as the other colors I’ve tried, so I think it’s going back. I like it, but I don’t lurrrve it, you know???

also wearing: Madewell 9″ Mid-Rise Skinny Jeans in Pure White (more regular sizes at Shopbop) and Sam Edelman Clara Mules (Bloomies Private Sale eligible)

Sanctuary Astrid V-Neck Linen Tee (size small) // I’m so bummed this has already sold out. It is sooooo flattering! It was at Bloomingdale’s earlier this week; in fact, I had it in my cart because it was on sale and I bought mine for full price at Nordstrom. (They don’t price match “private sales” for whatever reason.)

ANYWHO. It seems to be gone now at Bloomies, and I can’t find it anywhere else either. Boo to the hoo. I’m keeping mine for sure, but I hate that I won’t be able to link it.

also wearing: MOTHER Looker Ankle Fray Skinny Jeans in Love Gun (TTS; Bloomies Power Points eligible) and Sam Edelman Clara Mules (Bloomies Private Sale eligible)

Eliza J Stripe Sleeveless Sweater Dress (size medium) // I’m kind of digging the preppy vibe of this striped sweater dress. I ordered the medium rather than the small because I’m usually an 8 in Eliza J, and the size guide says M=6-8. While it’s roomy, I’m afraid the small would be too short, and I like having some breathing room… but I’d also like to try the small to compare before deciding to keep or not.

also wearing: Stuart Weitzman Marabella Suede Espadrilles in Dolce (size 7.5; other colors are Bloomies Private Sale eligible; similar for less)

Leith Midi Wrap Dress (size small) // This dress is cute, but way too small. I’m holding the phone over my chest for good reason!!!

also wearing: Sam Edelman Hazel Pumps

Leith Midi Wrap Dress (size medium) // The medium is much better, and I like this navy print better on me too. I think it’s better suited to my coloring.

I still don’t like how this is a traditional wrap style, so there is nothing to hold it together over the chest. I would need to pin it or use fashion tape, and neither is ideal. If I were smaller on top, I think it would be perfect, so I definitely recommend it for anyone out there who is not as “blessed” in the chest area.

The quality isn’t the greatest, but for $59, it’s about right.

also wearing: Sam Edelman Hazel Pumps

Sanctuary Terrain Crop Cargo Pants (size 29) // I ordered these to try because I’ve had requests for lower priced cargo pants, but I’m just not loving the fit. They’re too straight or something? I have wide hips and thin legs, and so straighter cuts aren’t the best for me, but if you have thicker legs, you may like these. I do like the rear pocket placement.

Wit & Wisdom Flex-ellent High Waist Cargo Pants (size 6) // You may have seen these in yesterday’s post but I took these pictures last weekend, so I figured I’d include them. These have a slimmer fit than the ones above, which work better for me. They’re also longer, so I cuffed them. I like the flat rear and side pockets, and the material is nice and sturdy but not stiff. They come in 4 colors, and are TTS or size down if in between.

also wearing: Caslon Rounded V-Neck Tee (old color) and Tory Burch Minnie Travel Ballet Flats in Goan Sand (Bloomies Power Points eligible)

I love and adore my Minnie travel flats and wear them almost every day at some point. The popular colors never go on sale, but they are currently included in the Bloomies Power Points offer so you can get a $50 Reward Card with a purchase.

Whew! That was a lot. Okay, moving on to what I wore this week…

This Week’s Outfits

This was my Easter outfit. We went to church and then to brunch with my in-laws. I suppose it’s kind of dark for Easter, but I love the dress so I decided to go for it. I do wish I’d had on a brighter/lighter polish on my toes, but I happened to be wearing dark blue.

FYI, this dress is marked down to $40! Also, my Stuart Weitzman sandals are part of the Bloomies Private Sale so they’re $75 off.

This is a great example of how to do high-low fashion. I’m happy to splurge on shoes I’ll wear for 10 years, but I hate to spend a lot on a dress I may only wear twice. This dress feels great on and was comfortable to wear all day, and I got several compliments on it.

Chaps Floral Ruched Sheath Dress (size medium) // Stuart Weitzman NearlyNude Sandals (size 8; Bloomies Private Sale eligible; similar for less) // Nordstrom Finn Convertible Leather Hobo // Stella & Dot Rhett Cuff // similar earrings

I wore this on Monday for a day of appointments and errands. I know it’s plain, but this is my jam — quality basics that are comfortable, fit well, and stand the test of time. When I realized I didn’t care for the pink Everlane sweater, I decided to keep the navy. ☺️

Everlane The Soft Cotton V-Neck (size small) // Rag & Bone Ankle Skinny Jeans (size 28; lighter wash here, similar here and here, and similar for less) // Sam Edelman Laurna Mules (30% off; size down half) // earrings // star necklace // pendant necklace // bracelet

I think I wore this on Tuesday — more errands and working from home.

Splendid Kate V-Neck Tee (size medium; Bloomies Private Sale eligible) // PAIGE Mayslie Slim Cargo Pants (30% off) // similar espadrille flats (Bloomies Private Sale eligible) // earrings // bracelet

Keeping it real, I didn’t even have time to change out of workout clothes on Wed and Thurs. Those days were insane. That said, I posted this look to Instagram on Thursday. It’s what I wished I was wearing, haha!

Here’s one more outfit I didn’t end up wearing this week. I put this on yesterday and then changed my mind, but I took a picture anyway. These pictures sometimes end up on Instagram when I need something to post, but I figured I’d share it here since I have it.

Caslon Side Slit Sweater (size small) // AG The Legging Ankle Jeans (30% off; similar for less) // Tory Burch Minnie Travel Ballet Flats (Bloomies Power Points eligible) // similar earrings

This is what I ended up wearing yesterday… I know, it’s almost the same as Monday, but keeping it real, that’s how I roll.

Everlane The Soft Cotton V-Neck (size small) // MOTHER Looker Ankle Fray Skinny Jeans in Love Gun (TTS; Bloomies Power Points eligible) // Tory Burch Minnie Travel Ballet Flats (Bloomies Power Points eligible) // star necklace // similar earrings

This post contains affiliate links. When you shop through my links, it helps support my business (at no additional cost to you) so thank you!

Fashion
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Spring Cargo Pants Outfit

Are you guys tired of cargo pants and white denim yet? I hope not, because it’s pretty much all I want to wear right now. Bonus when I can wear them together!

I put together this spring cargo pants outfit with some of my favorite wardrobe basics, but there are so many possible variations.

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Wit & Wisdom Flex-ellent High Waist Cargo Pants with a pink t-shirt, KUT from the Kloth Helena Denim Jacket #fashion #cargopants #springfashion #fashionover40

After I shared three ways to wear cargo pants, I had some requests for more budget-friendly options so I started poking around to see what I could find. I was surprised that there weren’t more options out there, but what I did find was pretty good: these Wit & Wisdom Flex-ellent high waist cargo pants.

Wit & Wisdom is a Nordstrom-exclusive brand that makes clean, classic pieces at mid-range prices. These pants retail for $68, and they come in 4 colors. I ordered the thyme, and I agree with the sizing notes on the website: Size down if in between. For reference, I’m wearing the 6.

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Wit & Wisdom Flex-ellent High Waist Cargo Pants with a pink t-shirt, KUT from the Kloth Helena Denim Jacket, and white Eileen Fisher Lee Espadrille Flats #fashion #cargopants #springfashion #fashionover40

The material is nice and sturdy but not stiff at all, and it has a good amount of stretch for comfort and movement.

They fit my short-waisted 5’5″ frame extremely well, and I really like the pocket design. Flaps on the thighs can add visual weight, but these flat pockets are in keeping with the cargo styling but don’t draw undue attention to this area.

Wit & Wisdom Flex-ellent High Waist Cargo Pants

They have a 30″ inseam, so I cuffed mine 3 times to get the length I wanted. I think they’re flattering just above the ankle bone, but you could wear them shorter.

In other words, if you’re taller, no worries. If you’re shorter, you may need to roll them more than 3 times.

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Wit & Wisdom Flex-ellent High Waist Cargo Pants with Eileen Fisher Lee Espadrille Flats #fashion #cargopants #springfashion #fashionover40

On top I wore a pink tee and my white denim jacket. I love the combination of the pink with the muted green/grey pants, and the white jacket gives the look added interest and more structure.

I wore white espadrille flats to bookend the look, but I almost wore my black ones. Either would work. I would also wear nude or grey shoes with this outfit, or white sneakers would look great with it too.

I’ve talked about these flats before, but I find myself wearing them more and more now that the weather is getting nicer. They’re super lightweight and flexible and so easy to wear.

This spring cargo pants outfit is perfect for casual work environments or weekend errands.

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Wit & Wisdom Flex-ellent High Waist Cargo Pants with a pink t-shirt, KUT from the Kloth Helena Denim Jacket, and white Eileen Fisher Lee Espadrille Flats #fashion #cargopants #springfashion #fashionover40

cargo pants // similar pink tee // white denim jacket // espadrille flats // crossbody

This post contains affiliate links. When you shop through my links, it helps support my business (at no additional cost to you) so thank you!

photos: Alison Cornell

Fashion
23 Comments

Spend, Save, Splurge: Summer Sandals

We’ve been having an unusually mild spring here in Philly, and I’m not mad about it.

In anticipation of sandal weather, I’ve got a spend/save/splurge roundup with the season’s best sandal trends along with some of my favorite classics for your shopping inspiration!

Spend, Save, Splurge: Summer Sandals

one // two // three // four // five // six // seven // eight // nine // ten // eleven // twelve

Conventional wisdom suggests that we spend or splurge on items we will wear a lot and the classic pieces want to have in our wardrobe for many years, and save on the trendier styles that we may only wear a few times or tire of quickly.

Personally, I tend to buy most of my shoes in the spend or splurge categories. I appreciate a good quality shoe, and I find the comfort worth paying a little more for, but there are certainly times when it makes sense to save.

Of course we all have different budgets to work with, so I’m using a wide scale here. Hopefully there’s a little something for everyone!

Spend, Save, Splurge: Sandals

Please note: The prices displayed in the shopping widgets below do not always reflect the lowest sale price. Be sure to click through to to see the final promotion.

SAVE: UNDER $50

It’s pretty easy to find cute sandals under $50, as they don’t require as much material as boots and sneakers. I rounded up a bunch that I’ve tried recently as well as a few more that I think look good.

SPEND: $50 – $150

I feel like this price range is the sweet spot between quality and value, and I could have easily added another 20 pairs to this section. There are sooo many adorable sandals out there right now in this price range, I finally had to make myself stop adding to this widget.

I tried to get a good mix of flats and heels, and I also threw a few comfort styles in there for those who need them.

Also, don’t forget that Bloomingdale’s is running a “private sale” through 4/29/19!

SALE ALERT >> Take $25 off every $100 you spend at Bloomingdale’s on regular price items labeled “PRIVATE SALE SAVINGS WITH CODE: PRIVATE” . On almost everything else, Loyallists get a $25 Reward Card for every $100 spent. This offer is valid on items labeled “LOYALLIST POWER POINTS.”

The Bloomies sale includes almost all Sam Edelman, Stuart Weitzman, Marc Fisher, and Tory Burch. (Most Millers are part of the Loyallist Power Points offer, but a few colors qualify for the $25 off every $100.)

SPLURGE: $150+

My favorite shoe brands to splurge on are Tory Burch and Stuart Weitzman. I could have filled this entire section with the Stuart Weitzman Spring Collection because I love every. single. one.

I also threw in a few luxury designer brands like Gucci and Jimmy Choo, but honestly, I think you can get the same comfort and quality in some of the lower priced designer brands.

I hope this post was helpful! Do you have any of these? Which ones would you recommend?

This post contains affiliate links. When you shop through my links, it helps support my business (at no additional cost to you) so thank you!

photos: Alison Cornell

Fashion
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5 Ways to Wear a White Denim Jacket

Greetings, friends! I’ve had several requests for various ways to wear some of our go-to closet staples, and one suggestion was 5 ways to wear a white denim jacket.

I wear my white denim jacket a ton during spring and summer. It’s perfect for dressing down a dress or skirt outfit, and it also has a way of dressing up jeans or colored pants. Plus it adds that “completer piece” that so many outfits need to take them to the next level.

Here are 5 easy ways to wear a white denim jacket now and through the summer months. Most of these are outfit formulas that can be recreated a ton of different ways, depending on what you have in your closet.

5 Ways to Wear a White Denim Jacket

#1. With a Casual Dress

Shop the Look:

I love to add a white denim jacket to a casual dress during spring and summer. It gives an outfit that element of juxtaposition by combining a feminine wardrobe piece with one that is more tough and rugged. A blue jean jacket does the same thing, but I feel like the white denim adds an elegance that works especially well with a dress.

You can always wear a cardigan if you need a layer over your dress, but the denim jacket provides more structure, which I think keeps it from looking frumpy.

Here are a few more examples of how I’ve worn this look over the years:

And I rounded up some other casual dresses that would look great with a white denim jacket:

#2. With Floral Top + Blue Jeans & Heels

Shop the Look:

This is my favorite spring/summer date night outfit formula for sure. Whenever I wear blue jeans with a floral top, I find myself popping my white denim jacket on top.

I love the combination of white and blue, it’s such a fresh and clean look. Add a floral to it and some neutral sandals, and you have a great outfit that will take you so many places this time of year.

Here are some other ways I’ve worn the white denim jacket with a floral blouse and jeans:

How to Style Light Wash Jeans

And here are some more floral blouses that would look great with this look:

#3. With Black Pants + Black & White Top

Shop the Look:

I suppose this outfit formula is the same as #2 — just with black jeans and a black and white top — but it seemed like it should have its own designation because it’s a little more sophisticated than the light-and-airy looks that I created with florals and blue jeans.

A black + white outfit is always crisp and fresh, and while you can certainly wear black + white all year round, I particularly like this combo in the spring and summer.

Here are some more black & white tops for spring:

#4. With Blue Jeans + T-Shirt and Sneakers

Shop the Look:

This look came together when I threw on a bunch of my favorite spring wardrobe basics. I love the all-neutral color palette for an effortlessly chic casual look.

Of course, you could wear just about any color t-shirt with this outfit. You could also change up the footwear, but I think the sneakers are the perfect laid-back vibe for the jeans and tee outfit.

#5. With Colored Pants

Shop the Look:

I love olive cargo pants with a blue jean jacket, but white denim is fun too for a change. I think I’d prefer a grey tee with this, but I did a grey tee in the look with the bluejeans and I was trying to keep some variety.

I also like a white jean jacket with a grey tee and pink jeans, but I couldn’t find any pictures in my archives. Maybe I’ll wear that today and photograph it!

Shop White Denim Jackets

If you don’t have a white denim jacket, I highly recommend the Kut from the Kloth Helena — the one I’m wearing in all the photos above. It’s lightweight and has great structure through the waist area. It’s also stretchy so it’s very comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. This jacket runs small; I have it in the medium.

Another great option is the Vince Camuto white denim jacket. I have the blue version and it’s also got a great shape to it and nice stretch. It runs big, though; I take a small in that jacket.

I’ve included those and some more budget-friendly versions in the shopping widget below:

This post contains affiliate links. When you shop through my links, it helps support my business (at no additional cost to you) so thank you!

Beauty
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April Favorites

And just like that, another weekend is over and it’s back to the grind! I hope you all had a lovely weekend. I’m finally getting around to posting my April Favorites. This is a roundup of new finds and old favorites that I’m particularly loving right now.

one // two // three // four // five // six // seven // eight // nine

I actually compiled this list a couple weeks ago, so I have a few new additions at the end of the list that aren’t pictured in the graphic.

April 2019 Favorites

one // These earrings are so fun for spring and summer. They’re super lightweight and easy to wear.

two // I’ve been really pleased with these dark wash Lucky Brand legging jeans. They’re a nice basic, and under $50!!! (The 40% off sale ends today.) They’re TTS or size up if in between; I have the 29.

three // This stripe ringer tee is a really nice, lightweight piece for spring. You can also cuff and push up the sleeves for warmer days. It has a really fun, sporty vibe, and it’s currently $16 with code GETITGETIT.

four // I’ve already shown/worn this sweater so many times, I don’t think there’s much left to say about it. I absolutely adore the neckline, and the variation in the grey knit is so pretty. The quality is outstanding, and it comes in several other colors too. I can see wearing this all summer long — I’ll wear it with shorts and sandals once the weather is too warm for jeans. It’s TTS; I have the small.

five // This is another piece that probably needs no introduction. The fit is so nice, it’s thin but not flimsy, and it has a nice stretch to it. I recommend sizing up if in between; I have the medium.

six // I get this from my hairdresser, but I also found it online at Walmart and Amazon. (It’s much cheaper at Walmart.) This volumizing spray is great for my thin, fine hair. I use it liberally every time I wash my hair — I spray it in when my hair is damp, just before blow-drying.

seven // I love this hooded sweater for spring and cool summer nights. I haven’t worn it as much as I thought I would, and I’m not sure why. I think I’ll wear it more when I can put it with shorts.

eight // Absolutely in love with this bag. It took me a while to find my go-to daily handbag this year, but once I put my hands on this one, I knew it was The One.

The size is perfect, everything is so accessible, the quality is amazing, and it’s understated yet still so gorgeous. I usually find myself reaching for it instead of one of my higher priced luxury bags. If I could only have one bag in my wardrobe this spring and summer, this would be it.

nine // Still loving these mules, although admittedly, I end up wearing my TB Minnie ballet flats that are a similar color far more often, simply for practicality and comfort reasons. These mules are comfortable enough, but I tend to tweak the tendon behind my right ankle bone when I wear mules for more than an hour or two.

That said, when I want a trendier shoe with the menswear-inspired vibe, I go for these mules. They’re still on sale but sizes are starting to get depleted.

ten // I discovered these pants after I put this list together, but I couldn’t leave them out because they’re all I want to wear. I got them for 25% off during Bloomingdale’s Friends & Family, and now they’re $50 off at Neiman’s with code NMAPRIL. You may have to put the code in again on the checkout page, but they are included in the promo.

They’re TTS for Paige; I have the 29. Also, Nordstrom has them now in pink and stone (but not on sale).

eleven // I’ve mentioned it a few times, but really loving this new concealer. Of all the new products I tried for my spring makeup refresh, this is my favorite.

twelve // Another pair of shoes I’ve been loving lately, and one that I find more wearable for long periods of time, are these d’orsay espadrille flats. They come in 5 colors, and while I love the white leather, I’m also crushing on the latte nubuck. Also, if you like my black leather espadrilles, these come in a black leather option as well.

If you’re not familiar with Eileen Fisher, this brand is known for comfort and quality and ethical business practices. You pay a little more than you do for fast fashion, but you’re getting a good value for the price point and supporting an ethical company to boot.

thirteen // Finally, this tee is on constant repeat because it is cute with so many things. It looks good with denim, with my cargo pants, with shorts or jeans. It has a nice shape to it, I like the quality a lot, and the neckline and sleeves should be flattering on most anyone. I like it so much, I’m considering ordering the navy one with the stripes.

Okay, that’s a wrap! I have an early morning appointment with my ENT to get my balance testing results. I’m curious what he has to say, but judging by how nothing they did made me dizzy, I’m afraid he’s going to order more tests. Hopefully we can get to the bottom of it!

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This post contains affiliate links. When you shop through my links, it helps support my business (at no additional cost to you) so thank you!

Diary
21 Comments

He Is Risen! #CoffeeTalk

Greetings on this beautiful Easter morning! I hope you’re all having a nice, relaxing weekend whether you’re traveling or staying close to home.

I spent almost all of yesterday reading a book. It was glorious, but by the end of the day I felt so lazy and antsy — like I needed to go out and run a mile. Of course, I didn’t. I just went to bed, so I guess I’ll have to take care of that this morning.

Earlier this week, I finished reading Finding Georgina. (I recommend anything written by Colleen Faulkner — who also happens to be a blog reader and frequent commenter, which is so fun!) I was looking for something new to read, so I polled Facebook and got tons of suggestions!!!

After reading through them all, I downloaded A Well Behaved Woman, and I could. not. put. it. down.

It’s the story of Alva Vanderbuilt, and I love anything based on a true story, even better if I can learn some history from it. I have to believe there’s a lot of fiction involved to keep the story going, but I have no idea how much is documented and how much was a figment of the author’s imagination. After I finish a book like this, I always want to read up on the person to see what information is out there and how much was accurate.

At any rate, it was a fascinating read, and I would definitely read more from the author. I tend to do that if I like a book — I go see what else I can find by the same author. If you have an author you particularly enjoy, let me know!

So the rest of our week was pretty busy. I had a variety of appointments and things going on. I had my balance testing on Thursday, which wasn’t terribly unpleasant, but I won’t get my results till tomorrow.

When I got home from that, my younger daughter was here alone and bored on her first day of Spring Break. (My older daughter was off with a friend.) I didn’t have the heart to spend the day working, and I was pretty caught up (for once!) so I suggested that we plant some flowers. (I had a few planters I wanted to fill. I’m not tackling the yard just yet!)

I’m usually lazy and buy planters already assembled, but I wanted to come up with something fun to do with Becca, and I had a feeling she might enjoy arranging flowers. You see, she is very creative and craftsy, and I am, well, not. Haha! (My older daughter is just like me.) Becca definitely got that gene from the other side of the family! I often feel guilty that I can’t do more of that kind of thing with her.

But this is something I can do, and I had a feeling she might enjoy it, and she did! As it turns out, she really has a knack for picking plants that are pretty together, and I think we may have found a new hobby to do together.

We filled two urns for the front porch, one ceramic planter for the side entrance, and one hanging planter for the light post out front. Now we want to go back and get some planters and flowers for the back deck.

We moved into this house in July of last year, so I never got around to putting any flowers on the deck, but it will be so much nicer back there with some color. I just need to figure out what sizes and combination of planters I want back there. Sounds like a job for Pinterest!

Friday was more errands, then Caroline made Easter cupcakes and Becca helped me make dinner. David came home from college for the weekend, and some of his friends ended up hanging out, and it was almost like “old times.”

All in all, I’m really glad we decided not to travel and to just hang out here at home.

Today we have church, of course, and then we’re going to visit my in-laws this afternoon, so I better get a move on!

I hope you all have a blessed Easter Sunday, celebrating our risen Savior!

Spring/Summer Fashion
32 Comments

Try On Haul + What I Wore This Week

Hello and happy Saturday, friends! My kids have been off from school since Thursday, and I’ve been working sporadically, so this sorta feels like my third Saturday in a row. Every morning I wake up and have to stop and think which day it is. Not that I’m complaining…

Today I’ve got another edition of try-ons and what I wore. I didn’t get to try as much this week as usual, but I’ll share what I have.

Try Ons

For anyone who is new, my stats are as follows: 5’5″ and 140# with an hourglass shape. I usually wear a 6 or 8 in pants, 28 or 29 in jeans, small in tops, 8 in dresses, and 8 or 8.5 in shoes. As usual, links and descriptions are BELOW the pictures.

I’m still trying to get out of my denim rut, so I ordered a few dresses, jumpsuits, and another pair of shorts.

Caslon Utility Shorts (size 6) // I shared these in last week’s try-on post, but those were the size 8, and these are the size 6. As usual, with shorts, I’m somewhere in between. I have wide hips and thin legs, so I struggle with shorts. If they’re too wide in the thigh, they look frumpy, but neither do I want them tight in the belly or the rear. Typcially it is wise to size up one in shorts so you don’t have the wedgie issue, but I think I may prefer the smaller size in these.

As a reminder from last week, these are the black ones in the size 8…

Caslon Utility Shorts (size 8) // It’s really hard to see details in black, but these are a little too wide in the thigh. That said, they don’t risk a wedgie… haha!

Either way, I like the shorts. They have a just-right 5″ inseam, with patch pockets in front and mitered flap pockets in the rear. The material is sturdy without being stiff, and they come in four great neutrals.

also wearing: Caslon Rounded V-Neck Tee and Dolce Vita Cait Leopard Slide Sandals

AEO High-Waisted Tomgirl Denim Bermuda Shorts (size 8) // Believe it or not, this is where denim shorts trends are going. The AG Nikki is similar, but AEO has a much better price point so I thought I’d give these a try first.

What I DO like about them is that they’re not super long for Bermudas (the inseam is 7″) but I just can’t get excited about the high waist “mom shorts” look any more than I can can get excited about the “mom jeans” trend. I mean, it’s even in my bio: “Friends don’t let friends wear mom jeans.” Although I’ve debated adding “even if they’re trending” to the end of that. Haha!

I also don’t love the acid wash on the AEO pair.

Here’s the AG Nikki for comparison… these pix are from last year.

AG Nikki Shorts (size 28) // I like the wash on these a lot better, and I like the cuffed look in longer shorts. Even though they’re distressed, I feel the cuff gives them a more finished look. Plus they have a 9″ inseam uncuffed, so cuffing them makes them a better length. I didn’t keep these last year, but I may give them another try if I can find them on sale.

Treasure & Bond Sleeveless Twist Detail Dress (size small) // I was hoping this dress would be a fun casual alternative to shorts, but it’s kind of small and short on me. I sent it back, but I may order it again in a medium. The color is pretty, and the twist detail is flattering.

also wearing: Soludos Slotted Thong Sandals (love! these are true to size)

BISHUIGE Women Summer Casual T Shirt Dresses Beach Cover up Plain Pleated Tank Dress (size medium) // I just can’t with the product names on Amazon… but anyway. You may remember that I tried this on a few weeks ago in the small, and I told you it was too tight and was going back. I reordered in a medium, and it took like three weeks to arrive. It came straight from China and required a signature… for a $19 dress. So do with that information as you will. I do have to wonder about the factory conditions and the ages of those employed…

Speaking to the merits of the item itself, it’s okay, but I don’t love it. The fit is a bit off for me. It’s cut rather low under the arms, and the skirt is kind of stiff and flares out in an unflattering way. I’d say it’s a swimsuit coverup at best.

That said, pear-shaped ladies may like the fit. If you like fit-and-flare styles, and you’re smaller chested, this might be really cute on you. The material is nice and thick, so there’s that.

Rock & Republic Utility Jumpsuit (size medium) // I had such high hopes for this jumpsuit. It’s made of a really soft jersey material, which is comfortable to the point of pajamas, and I love that is snaps up the front rather than buttons.

However, it runs really small and short. I couldn’t even get the small on, and the medium is about an inch too short for my short-waisted 5’5″ frame — both in the bodice as well as the inseam. Sadly, it’s going back, but if you’re petite, you should definitely try it.

Just be sure to pair it with shoes that don’t play into the pajama vibe. (I don’t think my sandals were the best choice.) I think this would look better with a heel of some sort.

Topshop Utility Shirtdress (size 8 US) // Continuing with the utilitarian trend… I thought this utility shirtdress could be a nice addition to my spring wardrobe, but I’m conflicted on whether I like it or not. I wish it were an inch longer, I know that.

Also the waist tie came attached to the dress, so when I cinched it, it pulled material around from the back to the front — so it’s hard to tell how it will fit when it is detached. I didn’t want to detach it, and then decide to return it, so I’m stuck not knowing if I like the fit or not.

While I like the idea of it, I think those flap pockets on the boob are the deal breaker. They just look droopy and draw attention to an area I don’t need attention drawn to. So, I think it’s going back, BUT if you’re smaller on top (and no taller than my 5’5″), you might like it.

1901 Square Neck Top (size small) // I was drawn to this top because of the square neckline, but it is really snug and body-con, so if that’s not appealing to you, you won’t like it. I think it’s cute, but I would like to try the next size up.

Ding! Ding! Ding! Winner, winner, chicken dinner!!!

Madewell High Rise Skinny Jeans (on sale for $69 at Nordstrom Rack!!!) // These jeans are definitely the best fashion find in today’s try-on haul. In fact, I’m calling it now. These are officially THE BEST WHITE JEANS I’ve tried this year… or maybe ever.

I saw another blogger friend extolling their virtues, so I decided to try them, and ohmyword, FINALLY! A pair of white jeans that fits well and is not see-through in the slightest! I didn’t think they existed, but lo and behold, Madewell did it. As an aside, I ordered a pair for my 16-year-old daughter, and she loves them too.

I’m in the 29 regular, and they have a 9″ front rise with a 28 1/2″ inseam. They also come in petite, tall, and taller sizes at Madewell. If you’re 5’4″ or shorter, go for petite. If you’re 5’9″ – 5’11”, go for the tall. Over 6 feet? Go for taller.

I was going to do a whole white denim review post, but now I think it’s a moot point. Just buy these jeans and be done with it. If you can get your size on sale for $69 at Nordstrom Rack, grab them right now, but I would totally pay full retail for these. Unfortunately there are only regular sizes at the Rack.

What I Wore

Okay, so on to what I wore last week…

We’ve had the most gloriously warm weather, except for like one day when it was cold and rainy. It’s raining again today, but it’s still warm, and the temperatures look like they’re going to hold all week. I am beyond excited. April can be dicey here in Philly, but we’ve had a fairly mild spring this year, and that makes me so happy.

SATURDAY

 Joie linen tee (sold out) // Joie skinny cargos // Tory Burch slides (30% off!) // Michael Kors crossbody // necklace (sold out)

I wore this last Saturday to run some errands with the girls and then to host friends on our back deck that evening. This Joie linen tee is a few years old, but it’s amazing quality and has held up beautifully. I love the shape of the neckline and the cap sleeves.

I paired it with my new black cargo pants and Tory Burch slides. I was so excited to finally get to wear these sandals. I love the metallic trim logo.

SALE ALERT >> These slides are 30% off at Neimans this weekend, and Nordstrom is price matching! 

SUNDAY

Caslon drawstring maxi dress // Steve Madden espadrilles // Rebecca Minkoff Darren shoulder bag (on sale!) // denim jacket (option) // necklace (30% off) // bracelet

This is what I wore to church and out to lunch after. Again, so excited I’m finally getting to wear the spring clothes I styled in March! This dress is low inventory in the black, but it’s still well stocked in the red as well as the stripes.

My Rebecca Minkoff Darren shoulder bag is on sale in the white, and I believe it also qualifies for the Buy More, Save More promo on top of that; and these Steve Madden  espadrilles are on sale in certain sizes at Amazon. They’re really lightweight and comfortable, and they also come in blush.

MONDAY

This week was a bit of a blur, and I’m not even sure what I was doing each day. Basically every day was mundane errands and appointments, chauffeuring kids around, and working from home, so I’m not going to attempt to tell you where I wore these outfits…

http://www.shopstyle.com/shop/dcrmom/43237601

Everlane cotton sweater // Mother skinnies // Tory Burch ballet flats // necklace (sold out) // earrings

What I can tell you is, I would wear this outfit every day if I could. These Mother jeans have broken in quickly and are super comfortable, and you’ve seen this sweater approximately 50 times already this spring. The TB flats are old faithfuls, and I added a few pieces of jewelry to keep the look casual but put-together.

Tuesday

Boden graphic tee // Paige slim cargo pants (15% off, or more if you buy additional items) // Tory Burch Miller sandals // Nordstrom bucket bag // earrings

Another casual but put-together outfit for whatever the day might bring… you can see more of this look in my 3 ways to wear cargo pants post. If you’re looking for more budget-friendly cargos, I recommend trying this Wit & Wisdom pair.

I don’t know what happened to Wednesday and Thursday, so moving on…

Friday

J.Crew raw edge v-neck tee // similar pink jeans (option/option) // Eileen Fisher espadrille flats // Tory Burch McGraw hobo // earrings // necklace/necklace // bracelet

Pardon the crazy hair, there was a breeze coming in through my open window. This outfit is super simple, but I love it. It was warm and humid yesterday, but if I were going anywhere with A/C, I would have brought my trusty denim jacket to throw on top.

Also, I want to draw your attention to a couple of things I’ve worn that are on sale.

Sale Alerts

Banana Republic stripe knit dress // Veja Esplar sneakers (option) // Kut from the Kloth Helena denim jacket // Tory Burch McGraw hobo // earrings

Banana Republic is running a 40% off + additional 10% off promo, but this striped knit dress is 50% off + 10%, which brings it down to $53.55 in cart.

LOFT striped tie front top (size up; I wish I had) // Kut from the Kloth Donna skinnies // Veja Esplar sneakers (option) // necklace (sold out) // bracelet (option)

LOFT is running a sitewide 40% off sale, and this LOFT striped tie front top comes down to $23.70.

Also, these are the Kut from the Kloth Donna skinnies, which are also fairly thick and fit well. I also like the 27″ inseam, but the Madewell jeans are definitely the keepers. They just check all the boxes, and I think they’re going to hold their shape better over time.

LOFT drawstring jumpsuit // similar sandals

This jumpsuit is also 40% off, but sizes are limited.

Okay, so that’s a wrap! It’s a rainy day here and we don’t have plans, so I’m probably going to pull on my cozy joggers and a sweatshirt. Some days are just made for loungewear, ya know?

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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Fashion
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3 Ways to Wear Cargo Pants #FashionFriday

Cargo pants go in and out of style, but they’re having a moment right now, and I’m loving them as an alternative to jeans this spring. I’ve surprised even myself by how often I want to wear them, so today I’ve rounded up 3 ways to wear cargo pants!

3 Ways to Wear Cargo Pants This Spring

During the Bloomies Friends & Family sale, I ordered 3 pairs of cargo pants to try and shared them all in this try-on post. I kept the Paige pair, but before I sent the others back, I shot these looks in my backyard. I thought it might be nice to see the 3 ways post with 3 different pairs of pants.

And yes, I realize these are all on the spendy side, so I rounded up some other styles for under $100 at the end of this post.

The Friends & Family sale ended, but Bloomingdale’s is currently running a Buy More, Save More promotion, so you can still save up to 25% off depending on the size of your order.

3 Ways to Wear Cargo Pants

Of course there are way more than 3 ways to wear cargo pants. Like jeans, the possibilities are virtually endless, but here are a few for starters.

#1. With Striped Shirt + Wedge Sandals

I feel like this look photographed rather dull, but I love it in theory. A black and white stripe top with olive pants is a classic combination. Maybe it’s because the landscape behind me is so dull, or maybe because the shade of green in these pants is darker than most. Anyway, you get the idea.

These are the Joie cargo pants, and they have a 8.5″ rise and a 27″ inseam. I like how the legs have a regular hem (as opposed to the jogger style), and the 27″ inseam is the perfect crop length on me. These pants are also at Amazon and Zappos.

To dress the look up a bit, I wore wedge sandals. These are the perfect not-too-dressy, not-too-casual pair of espadrille wedge sandals, and they have a comfortable cushioned footbed. I wore them with a black maxi dress to church and out to lunch last Sunday, and they felt good all day.

The striped top is the Sanctuary brand, and it’s a nice linen fabric that can look dressed-up or more casual, depending on what you wear with it. I like the split neck and the longer sleeves.

Because the look is pretty simple, I added large geometric hoop earrings and a cuff bracelet. I think I’d also like a couple of delicate gold necklaces in the neckline. I wish I’d thought to add them.

I love the juxtaposition of the feminine/dressy wedge sandals with the masculine/casual cargo pants, and this linen top bridges the gap and pulls them together perfectly.

Shop the Look:

(The Joie pants are not sold out; I don’t know why it says that.)

#2. With Navy Top + White Jacket

This outfit is the most casual of the three because of the sneakers, but the white jacket keeps the look polished.

I wore a navy tank for variety’s sake (the other two looks feature lighter tops) but I think I might prefer my light hthr grey tee with this look, or the subtle pink would be nice too.

Typically I like navy and olive green together, but I’m not crazy about the shades of these two pieces in combination. I think the navy needs to be darker, or a black top would work too.

I added a white denim jacket as a completer piece, and I like how it picks up the white from the sneakers.

For accessories, I wore a silver layer necklace and cuff bracelet.

These cargo pants are by Sanctuary, and they have a 26″ inseam with a 9.5″ rise. They also have an elastic waistband, which is not my favorite, but they’re a really pretty shade of green. They’re also a little baggier in the legs than the other two pairs, which could be a pro or con, depending on your needs.

I carried a neutral tote to break up the look a bit and keep it from being too matchy.

Shop the Look:

The navy tank is not sold out, but sizes are limited. I love it but recommend sizing up if in between. I have the medium.

 

#3. With Graphic Tee + Denim Jacket

This is my favorite of the three looks by far. I have actually worn this a few times already. These are the pants I kept. They’re by Paige, one of my favorite denim brands, and they have a great fit. Plus I found them the most comfortable of the three pairs I tried. They have a 9.5″ rise and a 26.5″ inseam.

I was conflicted between these and the Joie pair (#1) but my husband was walking through the bedroom when I was going back and forth between the two of them, and he declared these to be more flattering, so I ripped off the tags and wore them, and that was that!

They really wear nicely all day, don’t bag out, and because of the higher rise, they’re super comfortable and don’t need constant “hitching up”.

I wasn’t crazy about the jogger style at first, but as it turns out, I think it gives them a great casual-cool vibe. Since my lifestyle is very casual, they’ve been working out great for me.

I’ve also worn this look with a grey tee and espadrilles, but I love how this white graphic tee pops against the rest of the colors in the outfit. Of course I added a denim jacket!

I went with neutral sandals and a neutral bag to keep the focus on the colors in the outfit.

I wore this exact look to a friend’s house for a patio party, and it was perfect for a casual spring gathering. I have a feeling it’s going to get a lot of wear this spring and summer.

Shop the Look:

Spoiler alert: I ended up ordering the Joie pair in black. I was wearing the Paige pair so much, I decided I should get a pair of cargos in a different color, and the Joie had been a close second choice all along. Here’s a picture of how I’ve worn them. I guess I could have called this post 4 ways to wear cargo pants.

#4. With a Pink Tee + Denim Jacket

The Joie pair also wears well and does not bag out, but because of the lower rise and skinnier leg style, I do find myself hitching them up throughout the day.

As an aside, I’m loving cargo pants with espadrilles for spring. I’ve been wearing them a lot with the black ones shown here, and also the white Eileen Fisher pair.

Shop The Look:

Again, the Joie cargo pants are not sold out.

I have so many more ideas and ways I want to style my cargo pants this spring. Stay tuned, as I’m sure I’ll have more looks I can add to this post over the next few weeks!

Cargo Pants Under $100

And as promised, here are some more options for cargo pants under $100 for those who are interested.

Fashion Friday

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If you’re here for your weekly dose of fashion inspiration, you’ll find plenty of that here. Have a beautiful weekend!

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photos: Alison Cornell