Try-On Haul: Sweaters, Jackets, Denim, Shoes & More

Greetings and happy Friday! This Try-On Haul is going to be a two-parter.

I went to the mall yesterday and tried on a bunch of things, but there was no way I was going to get all of those pictures uploaded and edited, find the links, and write out my thoughts on each piece in time to get them into this post today.

So, I did a poll on Instagram Stories to see if people would prefer me to hold the post until tomorrow and put all this week’s try-ons in one place, OR post what I have ready today and post the rest tomorrow. The majority wanted me to split it up into two posts, so that’s what I did!

Today’s post is all the pieces I ordered and tried on here at home, and tomorrow’s post will be everything I tried on at the mall yesterday.

Before we get started, a word about sizing. I’ve lost a solid 5 pounds over the past month, thanks to intermittent fasting, and it’s finally starting to show in my clothes. (I’ve also lost an inch or so from my hips, waist, and bust.)

All that to say, it’s going to make my sizing recommendations a bit different from what they’ve been in the past year or so. I know a lot of you rely on my sizes to help determine your sizes, so I’ll try to give as much detail as I can when it seems necessary, so I don’t steer you wrong.

Trunk Club Unboxing and Try-On Haul

Let’s start with my latest Trunk Club delivery!

For those who aren’t familiar with Trunk Club, it’s a clothing subscription service by Nordstrom. You can either set a delivery schedule (like once a month) or you can just let your stylist know when you’re ready for your next box. She chooses things she thinks you will like based on your profile, and conversations you have. You can be as specific or as general as you like.

You try on everything in the comfort of your own home, and you only pay for what you keep!

I really like how you keep the same stylist and she gets to know you, but you have to give it time. I just got assigned a new stylist after having the same one for several years, so we’re still getting to know each other, and she’s learning what works for me and what doesn’t.

She’s is really trying to tempt me with luxury goods this month, so I’m warning you, the prices on a lot of these is really up there. And unfortunately none are on sale at the moment, so I have to make some hard choices. I’m not sure what I’m keeping yet, so I will be curious to get your input.

Vince Breton Stripe Turtleneck Cashmere Sweater (size M) // The first thing I noticed about this sweater was the soft, plush cashmere.

Earlier this week, I published a post about What Makes A Garment Good Quality (or Not) and this sweater is the textbook definition of good quality cashmere. It’s thicker and denser than any of the under-$100 cashmere sweaters I’ve tried, and all you have to do is touch it to tell the difference.

I also love the cut and the fit of this sweater — the sleeves are nice and long, the traditional shoulder seams are perfectly placed, and the 22 1/2″ length is right in my sweet spot. Plus, the stripes are fun for a change, since all of my luxe sweaters are solids.

Besides the price, the only thing holding me back from keeping this sweater is that I feel like I’ll only want to wear it with white jeans. I know it would look fine with blue jeans or black jeans or pants, but for some reason, I really only like it with white — and not stark white, like these jeans, but it would be perfect with the Everlane high rise skinnies in Bone.

So yeah… I’m just not sure I’ll get the cost per wear out of this. And also, I need another grey sweater like I need a hole in the head.

For size reference, my stylist called this one exactly right. She sent the medium, even though I always wear a small in Vince, and I definitely need the medium in this. For some reason, it runs small.

Joe’s The Charlie High Waist Crop Skinny Jeans (size 28) // So these jeans… The 26″ inseam is the perfect length for pairing with booties, which is a plus.

They’re also very stretchy and extremely comfortable, but they’re a bit see through — it’s not that they’re thin so much as tight and stretchy — too much like white leggings. Maybe I need to try the 29, but I’m afraid with this much stretch, they might slide down.

Linea Paolo Anna Wedge Sneaker (size 8) // Now, these were a pleasant surprise. I’ve seen these shoes around, but I never really gravitated to the styling.

They are soooo comfortable, though! If you like a casual, comfy shoe, and want a little bit of added height, these are a a great choice!

Club Monaco Button Neck Cashmere Sweater (size S) // Club Monaco is another high-end brand that typically does a really nice quality sweater, and this one is a lovely knit — nice and soft and dense, and I really like the button neck style — you can also unbutton a few and let it split open over your shoulder.

The 24″ length is still within my sweet spot range, but I don’t love the length of the sleeves or the drop shoulders. I feel like it makes me look top-heavy.

Incidentally, I’ve had people tell me they think I’m a carrot body type or inverted triangle, but my shoulders are 38″ and my hips are 40″, so I’m not even close to being that body type. Depending on my weight, my hip measurement has been as much as 41″ at times, although the shoulder measurement never really changes, and my chest ranges from 38″ – 40″ depending on my weight and the time of the month. (My waist is usually 30″ – 31″, for anyone wondering, and that is why I’m an hourglass body type.)

All that to say, I’m pretty well-balanced. If anything, my hips are wider than my chest and shoulders, so if I look like an inverted triangle, I’m definitely doing something wrong with the clothes I’m wearing.

also wearing: Joe’s The Charlie High Waist Crop Skinny Jeans with Linea Paolo Anna Wedge Sneakers

Alex Mill Ribolata Wool Blend Turtleneck (size S) // So this sweater is not cashmere — it’s a 50/50 wool/cotton blend, so all natural fibers. The wool content doesn’t bother me, but I don’t typically wear sweaters this body-con. The ribbed knit generally draws more attention to my chest than I prefer, although this one seems okay, but it’s kind of plain.

That said, I have plenty of bulky sweaters, and not much navy. I like the split hem and split cuff detail, and it’s very comfortable to wear. I’m debating keeping this one… I need to try it on with some other outfits and see if I would get a good cost per wear out of it. At least the price tag is more palatable than most of the other sweaters that came in my Trunk.

Rag & Bone Ramone Western Booties (size 8.5) // These also came from Trunk Club, and they are GORGEOUS. But, I do think I need a size 8. The website says to size up, so my stylist sent me the 8.5, but they’re pretty big on my feet.

Sizing issues aside, the quality on these is outstanding, and I really like the taupe color, as well as the 2 3/4″ angled heel. Also, the overlapping topline with a buckle strap is such a fun detail.

The only thing holding me back is the price. Rag & Bone booties rarely go on sale, but I did manage to score my Margot booties on sale because I was patient and held out, so I know the smart thing to do is hold off on these and stalk them until the end of season and hope for the best.

Rag & Bone Shredded-Hem Ankle Skinny Jeans in Flint (size 28) // I reviewed these jeans in last week’s Haul, but they weren’t on sale at the time. I did get mine on sale, though, and they’re on sale again today!

I really like these, and I decided to keep them because a lot of my jeans are getting too big, and these fit like a second skin. I also really like the lighter wash and the shredded hem.

If you’re considering placing an order, I would say they’re TTS; I think the 29 would have fit me better a couple months ago.

Vince Ribbed Mock Neck Wool & Cashmere Sweater (size S) // I absolutely ADORE this sweater… I loooooove the details in the knit, and I love the way it skims the body without clinging, plus the white is so fresh and pretty. I have a lot of taupe and ivory, but no white sweaters.

Unfortunately, it is soooo itchy!!! It’s 72% wool and 28% cashmere, but wool doesn’t usually bother me. I was so bummed because this is by far my favorite sweater she sent in this trunk, but then I read the reviews on the Nordstrom website, and that really gave me pause. Plus, of course, the price.

I never pay full price for Vince sweaters because you can always find some on sale. So, as much as it pains me, because I would love to add this sweater to my winter wardrobe, it will have to go back.

also wearing: Rag & Bone Shredded-Hem Ankle Skinny Jeans and Rag & Bone Ramone Western Booties

Vince Boiled Cashmere Funnel Neck Pullover (size S) // Okay, last Vince sweater! So this is another conundrum. This is such a pretty cool taupe color, and I absolutely love how thick and soft and cozy it is.

This is even thicker than the stripe one above, due to the fulling process, whereby knit fabrics are agitated with hot water to shrink the fabric, resulting in a dense felted fabric that resists fraying and further shrinkage. That’s what “boiled cashmere” means.

Remember those “boiled wool jackets” we all wore back in the 80s with the gold buttons??? Same process, but this time with cashmere.

The result is the most luxurious, thick, soft, cozy sweater. The warmth in this thing is unbelievable. I could feel it, just pulling it on and off.

And while I don’t typically love the longer styles with the relaxed fit, this one front-tucks beautifully.

Oh, it is tempting…. but the price.

also wearing: Rag & Bone Shredded-Hem Ankle Skinny Jeans and Rag & Bone Ramone Western Booties

PAIGE Transcend Hoxton High Waist Coated Skinny Jeans (size 28) // These coated skinnies were also in my Trunk, and they kind of crack me up. They have almost a space-age vibe. Calling Captain Kirk…

They run small, the 28 barely buttoned on me. In my experience, even when I wore 28 in AG and Joe’s other brands, I always needed a 29 in Paige. These are also longer than I like, so yeah, I’ll have no qualms sending these back.

That said, if you’re tall, you may like them. The quality seems really good — they’re much thicker than my other coated denim jeans, but also soft and comfortable. (Some I’ve had in the past were very stiff.)

R Minkoff Katherine Sweater (size S) // This sweater is just okay for me. The crewneck is awfully high, and it’s chunky and not very soft. (The fabric is 55% acrylic, 38% nylon, 7% wool.) The colors are pretty, though.

also wearing: Rag & Bone Shredded-Hem Ankle Skinny Jeans and Dolce Vita Tierra Suede Ankle Booties

Try-On Haul: Jackets

I ordered these two jackets on a whim — I always wear a denim jacket or a leather moto when I need a completer piece for an outfit, and sometimes I feel like I need something different.

Thread & Supply Amsterdam Fleece Lined Trucker Jacket (size M) // This first one is a play on a denim jacket, but it’s lined with fleece so it’s warmer and can be worn on milder winter days, and I like the off-white color for a change.

Clearly this jacket is too big. But beyond that, I like it, but it feels cheap to me — both on the inside and the outside. It’s soft enough, but the material just feels kind of flimsy — it’s probably the density that we talked about in my post on how to discern a quality garment. For the price, I was expecting a little more substance.

also wearing: Agolde Toni straight leg jeans with Caslon long sleeve crew neck tee and Vince Camuto Gigietta booties (tortilla suede)

Chelsea28 Plaid Corset Menswear Blazer (size S) // This was another disappointment, and again, it just felt cheap to me. The material has a soft cottony feel to it, which shouldn’t be a bad thing, but I guess I expect a blazer to feel more sturdy.

It’s fully lined, but the lining didn’t line up very well — you may be able to see at the bottom, the fabric of the jacket doesn’t lay flat, indicating that the lining on the inside is too short. And despite the 2% spandex, I didn’t feel any stretch, and it’s not very comfortable to move around in.

It’s also probably a size too small for me. I definitely wouldn’t be able to button it — not that I ever would, but it’s probably good to be able to. So I recommend sizing up, if in between.

I do like the plaid color and pattern, so there’s that!

also wearing: Agolde Toni straight leg jeans with Caslon long sleeve crew neck tee and Jeffrey Campbell Siren booties

Try-On Haul: Denim

In addition to the jeans I got in my Trunk Club delivery, I also ordered a few pairs from Anthropologie to try when they were having a sale a few weeks ago. Several came last week, so they’re in last week’s Try-On Haul, and the rest of my order arrived this week.

DL1961 Farrow High-Rise Button-Fly Skinny Jeans (size 29) // These are a nice weight, not see-through, and they have decent pocket placement — a little big, but ok.

They’re actually quite stiff, but they may loosen up. I think white jeans have to be a little stiff, or they show through too much of what you don’t want to show through.

I like this length and the leg opening, especially for wearing with booties. They have a 10″ rise, 26″ inseam, and 11″ leg opening, so they’re technically a skinny but read more as a slim straight.

So yeah, these might be keepers! I do have the Everlane pair, but they’re more of an off-white (they’re actually called Stone), and these are very crisp and white, plus the raw hem keeps them more casual.

My only complaint is the exposed button-fly. I’m not crazy about that. I may look for similar white DL1961 jeans with a traditional button and zip.

also wearing: Everlane The Soft Cotton V-Neck // This sweater FINALLY arrived! I’ve been stalking it since last summer. I feel like the grey color is a little different than last spring’s — it has seems to have some subtle green undertones, but the cut is the same, and I am so happy to have it back!

Citizens Of Humanity Citizens of Humanity Emannuelle Mid-Rise Slim Bootcut Jeans (size 28 Petite) // So I don’t think I meant to order these in petite, but ironically, they’re perfect for pairing with flats!

Citizens makes a really good quality denim, and these did not disappoint. They’re nice and thick and soft, and they have just enough stretch to be comfortable. The fit is good in 28, so you may want to size down if in between, but it’s hard to say — I may have needed a 29 at my higher weight.

also wearing: Chelsea28 Cowl Neck Sweater with J.Crew Pointy Toe Leopard Flats (25% off with code SHOPNOW)

Citizens Of Humanity Citizens of Humanity Rocket High-Rise Cropped Skinny Jeans in Carbon (size 28) // Now, these are a little snug in the 28, and I would need a 29, but they have a nice grey wash, and I love the distressed detail around the ankle. This is an example of superb quality and workmanship.

I ordered these because I wear my grey jeans soooo much, and I thought I might like to have a cropped pair. I think I need to hold onto them and try them with a few different things — I like how they work with these Chelsea boots. I’ve been struggling to pair these boots with the other jeans in my closet.

also wearing: Chelsea28 Cowl Neck Sweater with Marc Fisher LTD Yale Chelsea Boots

Try-On Haul: Sweaters & Shoes

I shared sweaters and shoes in the Trunk Club section above, but I also ordered a few on my own, which I’ll share here. I’ll have even more sweaters, and a few that give a nod to spring, in tomorrow’s try-on haul.

BP. Tie Dye Sweater (size S) // I ordered this when I was putting together my Spring Fashion Forecast last weekend. I really like the colors and the pattern — it’s a great little transition piece as we start to think towards spring.

That said, it runs small, and it’s kind of short and snug in the waist — definitely designed for wearing with high rise jeans. (It’s 22″ length, which is about as short as I can go.) I think I would like it if I exchanged for a medium.

It’s 100% cotton, but not very dense or soft — so probably not the best quality cotton, but still 100% cotton, which is a plus.

I’d say it’s priced to go on sale — the quality is more of a $30 or $35 sweater, not a $49 sweater, so I’m going to return the small and watch it and maybe snag the medium if it goes on sale.

Chelsea28 Cowl Neck Sweater in Pink Shock Combo (size S) // I have this in the ivory, which I’ve worn a ton since I got it in July, but since I’ve shown it so much in this post, I guess I should just mention this pink one.

I finally ordered it because I love this color for this time of year, and I don’t have much pink in my closet. I hate paying full price, when I got my ivory one for $49 at the #NSale, but it has not gone on sale since, so I gave up and just ordered the pink for full price.

I love the 23″ length, the super long sleeves with extended cuffs, and the relaxed cowl neck. It’s very soft and stretchy — not super high quality, but about right for the price point (better when on sale… but what can you do??) For anyone checking fabric content, this one is 55% cotton, 26% polyester, 11% nylon, 5% wool, 3% spandex.

It is very boxy, so not as flattering as some, but it’s fun for a change.

Linea Paolo Presta Pointy Toe Flats (size 8) // And finally, a pair of cheery pink flats! I have so many neutrals in my closet, that when I saw these, I ordered them on the spot.

I really like the notched vamp and the pointed toe, and they have a little bit of padding in the footbed.

Size-wise, I’d say they run a little small and narrow. I kept the 8, but I’m wondering if an 8.5 would be more comfortable. I actually ordered both sizes, but only the 8 came so far, and I wanted to wear them in my photo shoot yesterday, so I did, and now I have to keep them.

I think they’re going to break in and be okay, but if you’re ordering, you may want to order two sizes and return the ones that don’t fit. Also, I recommend these for women with more narrow feet, which I have, so they work great for me, but I noticed the one reviewer commented on how narrow they are, and I would agree with that.

Okay! That’s all I’ve got for now.

Tomorrow I’ll be sharing try-ons from Nordstrom, Gap, and LOFT. I have mostly sweaters (more spring than winter) and jeans (various price points) as well as a good t-shirt find and a couple of cute blouses. Stay tuned…

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5 Ways to Wear Black Cigarette Pants: Desk to Dinner

I’ve got a new 5 Ways to Wear series in the works and this one features a wardrobe classic — black cigarette pants.

For this series, rather than posting every day for a week, I’m going to do one post each week — hopefully every Thursday for the next five weeks. That way it won’t get quite so redundant, but I can give each outfit a full post.

Cigarette pants are slim-cut pants with a high waist, side or back zipper, flat abdomen area, and a narrow leg opening that end at or just above the ankle.

They became popular back in the 50’s — think Mary Tyler Moore, Audrey Hepburn, and Sandra Dee — and they’ve since become a classic wardrobe staple that can easily be dressed up or down.

These pants are the Banana Republic Devon legging-fit washable bi-stretch ankle pants. Whew! That’s a mouthful.

They have a sleek side-zip so there’s no added bulk in the front, and they definitely fit close to the leg, but I don’t find them to fit like leggings, despite their name.

That said, if you want a pair that isn’t quite as fitted through the leg, the 1901 4-way stretch skinny ankle pants at Nordstrom are a nice choice. Both pairs come in black and navy, and I recommend sizing up if in between. I have a size 8 in both.

For a more upscale pair of cigarette pants, check out M.M. LaFleur’s The Foster Pant (the length is actually adjustable!) And the Veronica Beard scuba pants come highly recommended from several JLS readers — they’re a little bit shorter than the rest.

Shop Cigarette Pants:

Yesterday we talked about quality garments, and I mentioned that natural fibers are generally preferable to synthetics. That said, there is a time and a place for synthetics, and cigarette pants are definitely one of those pieces that benefit from a little stretch.

These BR Devon pants are 47% cotton, 44% rayon, 9% elastane. (The 1901 pants are similar — 52% cotton, 42% rayon, 6% spandex.) In my opinion, this is a nice compromise.

The cotton content gives them a nice finish and allows them to breathe, the rayon gives them a silky texture so they’re dressier than a pure cotton pant, and the elastane gives them some stretch for ease of movement and shape retention.

Neither of these pants is lined, but that’s pretty typical for pants with this much spandex. They don’t feel as nice against the skin as a lined pant would, but the fabric is dense, so they don’t cling or show through. Also, both of these pants are machine washable.

For this first post in the series, I paired my black cigarette pants with a leopard teddie sweater and black suede pumps for a chic work wear look.

These pumps are perfect for work because the pointy toe is flattering, but the chunky 2.5″ heel is practical and very walkable.

Unfortunately, this sweater sold out a while ago, but the idea here is to pair black cigarette pants with a printed sweater that can be the focal point of the outfit.

I think a fine-gauge knit works best because it is more refined and work-appropriate than a chunkier knit, but it all depends on the look you’re going for. A chunkier knit would be a little more casual.

Leopard and other animal prints are trending right now, so I was able to round up some other options that are still in stock, or perhaps you have something like this in your closet already.

Shop Leopard Tops:

You could add a blazer for extra interest, or to break up some of the animal print, but I don’t have one, and I kind of like the simple look.

I went with classy silver hoops and a black satchel to complete this office-appropriate outfit.

If you want to take this look from the desk to dinner, simply throw on a leather jacket, and you’re good to go!

Or, if you want to take it up another notch, you could swap out the conservative pumps for sock boots.

The leather jacket adds an edgy vibe, and the boots are a little more modern and fun than the pumps, but either works.

The nice thing about these boots is the shaft is very slim and fits close to the leg, so you can pull the pants down over top for a long, lean leg line.

They’re also extremely comfortable to walk in. The heel is 3.75″, but it really doesn’t feel like it, and the neoprene makes the boots soft and stretchy against the foot, plus they have a padded footbed.

Because the pants have a fairly high rise and no button/zip, I left the sweater untucked, but that’s a matter of personal preference.

If you don’t like wearing prints, a classic cashmere turtleneck in a flattering color would also be nice with this outfit — especially with the leather jacket and sock boots. And you could always throw on leopard print or snake print shoes to get that print in there somewhere.

Stay tuned for a more casual way to wear black cigarette pants… coming next week!

Outfit Details:

similar sweater // pants // similar leather jacket (budget option) // pumps (also at Nordstrom; budget option) // sock boots (budget option) // earrings (option) // satchel

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photos: Alison Cornell


What Makes A Garment Good Quality (or Not?)

As I’ve been focusing more on quality over quantity this year, I’ve had some requests for a post about what distinguishes a low-quality garment from a high-quality one.

For example, why are some cashmere sweaters $500 and others are $50? Isn’t all cashmere the same?

That’s a fair question. (And no, it is not.)

On the one hand, there’s some truth to the saying, “you get what you pay for.” But on the other hand, you can find quality pieces that won’t break the bank. You just have to know what to look for, and learn how to shop smart.

But first you have to understand the difference between a high quality garment and the cheaper “fast fashion” version.

Before we delve any further into the topic of quality, I had someone asked me to explain fast fashion, and I suppose that’s a good place to start.

What is Fast Fashion?

Fast Fashion is a term that’s getting thrown around a lot right now, and it basically refers to trendy clothes that are cheaply made and designed to last only for a season, after which they will most likely end up in a landfill.

The problem with fast fashion is, it’s terrible for the environment as well as for the people who produce the clothes.

The good news is, people are becoming informed and starting to seek out higher quality clothing from brands and retailers who are using sustainable and ethical business practices.

I’ve never cared for cheap clothing because I don’t like how it looks and feels, but now that I’m becoming more aware of the ethical implications of fast fashion, I’m even more motivated to shift my focus here on the blog and in real life to prioritizing quality over quantity.

Which leads us to today’s post…

What determines the quality of a garment?

When I talk about a quality garment, I’m thinking about workmanship, durability, fit, and feel.

I will admit, I’m more of a “go with your gut” kind of shopper. I can usually tell the quality of something by looking and touching it — even when browsing pictures online, I have this uncanny knack for falling in love with the most luxe pieces before my eyes land on the price tag!

While price can be an indicator, you can’t necessarily expect a higher price tag to equal a higher quality garment, so let’s talk about what goes into the making of a higher quality garment and how to tell the difference.

#1. Fabric

In general, clothing made of natural fibers (cotton, wool, silk, linen, etc.) tend to be nicer than those made with synthetics (i.e. acrylic, polyester, rayon, etc.) Natural fibers are more breathable and hold up better to general wear and tear.

Synthetic materials are more likely to pill, and they often require special treatment (i.e. dry cleaning.) They’re also treated with harmful toxic chemicals during production, which is bad for your skin (as well as the people making the clothes, and the environment.)

That said, every type of fabric comes in different levels of quality. In other words, not all cashmere is created equal.

One way to tell the quality of a fabric is to look for density. (The more tightly woven the fabric, the better it will wear over time.) Check the density of a garment by holding it up to a light. (Even a fine fabric should not be transparent.) You can also tug on it just a bit to see if it’s tightly woven or not.

Also, softness generally indicates a higher quality product, so I rely heavily on touch and feel when determining the quality of a garment.

#2. Details like zippers, buttons and pockets

First of all, the absence of these details is a sign of a lower quality garment.

Have you noticed how some cheaper brands don’t bother with zippers on blouses and dresses, so you have to put the garments on over your head?

And then they don’t fit as well through the waist, because if they were cut to fit your body properly, you wouldn’t be able to get it on and off over your head without a zipper. That’s a shortcut a lot of cheaper clothing brands use to keep costs down.

If an item does have those details, take a close look at them. Do you see loose threads, sloppy stitching, and other defects?

Metal zippers generally hold up better and zip more smoothly than plastic zippers, and metal or wood buttons are generally going to be higher quality than plastic buttons.

Make sure the zipper zips and unzips smoothly. Check for buttons that are sewn on securely without a lot of threads sticking out. Buttonholes should have tight stitching and a neat slot for the button to go into.

Smaller or absent pockets is another short-cut cheaper designers use to save a few bucks. Good quality pockets will be reinforced at the opening with a few extra stitches.

Very tailored pieces will often come with pockets that are closed by a line of stitches to keep a smooth silhouette — that way, you can decide if you open the stitches or not.

Attention to detail and those finishing touches indicate higher quality.

#3. Seaming

Seaming is often over-looked by discerning shoppers, so low-budget brands will often cut corners by skimping on the extra seam work it takes to create a garment that retains its shape and structure over time.

Look for loose threads along the seams, and check for signs of unraveling, missed stitches, loose stitches, snags, crooked lines, and other imperfections.

You can also grab the fabric on each side of a seam and tug lightly to see how well the garment holds together.

Check whether the patterns line up at the seams — it takes more material to align the seams correctly, and those costs add up.

Also pay attention to how the seams are finished on the inside — unfinished edges are a sign of poor quality, and they won’t hold up as well over time.

#4. Lining

Unlined or partially lined garments are typically a sign of lower quality.

Lining helps clothing lay neatly on the body, and a lined garment will generally hold its shape better than unlined. It also gives your clothes a neater finish on the inside, which looks and feels nicer.

Also, the lining of a garment absorbs some of your skin’s natural oils, which can prolong the life of the piece.

If the garment is lined, check to be sure the lining isn’t sticking out from the hemline, or around your wrists in blazers and coats.

The lining also shouldn’t pull anywhere. There should actually be a slight amount of excess fabric to allow for body movements. If the outer fabric has wrinkles even though it’s not creased, it’s probably a sign that there isn’t enough of the lining fabric.

Things that are more flowy and loose-fitting don’t always need to be lined, but more tailored garments should be. (Look for the words “fully lined” on item descriptions.)

#5. Fit and tailoring

Cheaper brands often cut corners in the tailoring.

They will try to save money by using as little fabric as possible to produce a garment, so sometimes sleeves are a little too short, or there’s not quite enough room through the shoulders, or the clothes don’t drape or fit well.

Look for blouses and dresses with darts so the fabric doesn’t bulge under the bust, coats and blouses with a shoulder yoke for a neater fit around the shoulders and a smoother drape across the front and back, and coats with seams that follow the curve of your back.

Also, more attention to detail usually equals higher quality — jeans with a fabulous wash, sweaters with some contrast stitching, dresses with extra seaming to flatter a woman’s curves, shoes with an interesting heel shape, etc.

Ultimately, though, no matter how well-made, if a garment doesn’t match the outlines and proportions of your body, its a no-go.

Fit is very individual, and often clothing off the rack needs some tailoring for it to fit just right.

Things To Know About Denim

The quality of a pair of jeans depends largely on the quality of the cotton used to create them and how it was woven, but you can find good quality fabrics on lower priced jeans.

What really drives up the cost of a pair of jeans is the wash and the workmanship that goes into the finishing details.

This is less a matter of quality and more about the production costs, but it’s what separates a $50 pair of jeans from a $250 pair. Denim with more complex washes — over dye techniques, rips, tears, and custom finishes — will be more expensive, especially when done by hand.

One of the major factors that sets an expensive pair of jeans apart from a cheaper pair when it comes to finishing details is the whiskering. (Whiskers are the tiny lines on the front of pants near the zipper and inner thighs of jeans.)

Whiskering is done by hand with sandpaper, and it takes years to learn the craft. It’s actually considered something of an art form. Cheap whiskering done by a hastily trained worker ends up looking like straight lines across the fabric. (This is one of my biggest pet peeves with cheaper denim.)

When done by a skilled hand, the whiskers will have dimension, asymmetry, and curves that look natural to what a body would create.

Here are two pairs of popular denim brands… can you tell which one is cheaper pair, just by the whiskering alone?

Seams and grommets are two other areas to look at when discerning the quality of a pair of jeans. High-quality denim will have flat-felled seams with a clean finish, rather than a regular seam with the raw edges finished with merrowing on an overlock machine.

Better quality jeans will also have sturdy grommets with a nice clean finish, whereas cheaper jeans might have fabric stuck in their grommets. Yes, these are minor details. You get to decide if they matter to you or not.

I’ve never noticed the grommets or seams, but I’m super picky about the wash on my jeans.

And finally, like with any other garment, higher quality jeans generally fit and flatter better and feel nicer on.

A lot of this is subjective, so it’s important to consider cost per wear and how much you care about each of these factors.

Things To Know About Cashmere

I’ve shared a lot of cashmere sweaters over the past few months, some as low as $40 and some as high as $400, and I often get asked how they compare.

First of all, you should know that cashmere is the fine hair from the undercoat of cashmere goats — mostly from Mongolia, China, Italy, and Scotland, where the harsh climates force the goats to adapt by developing a double fleece.

Inner Mongolia is generally seen as the best origin for cashmere because their harsher winters produce the longest, thinnest, and softest hair. When you see “100% pure Mongolian cashmere” in the description, you should be getting the finest cashmere available.

The most important factor in the quality of cashmere is the length and fineness of the fibers. Longer fibers can be spun into a finer yarn, and fine yarn can be more tightly bound, which makes the fabric stronger, more durable, and less prone to pilling.

Longer fibers also tend to make a softer yarn, another indicator of quality.

The other big difference between luxury cashmere and sweaters under $100 is the weave, or number of plies. (This goes back to the discussion about density in the Fabric section above.)

When I’m comparing cashmere, I look at how dense the knit is and how it feels to the touch. Some of the lower-priced brands like Halogen feel soft compared to other materials like wool or acrylic, but when you try on a cashmere sweater from Naadam or Vince, you can immediately tell the difference.

Even Nordstrom Signature, Nordstrom’s higher end in-house brand, feels quite different from their Halogen cashmere sweaters. (In fact, I highly recommend shopping the Nordstrom Signature line — you get a lot of bang for your buck because you aren’t paying for a designer label, but you’re getting similar quality.)

This is not to say I never buy Halogen cashmere — I do, but I don’t expect it to last more than a couple seasons, and it doesn’t feel nearly as luxurious as the higher end brands.

Things To Know About Leather Goods

Leather is another area where you’ll find is a large disparity of quality and price point when shopping for apparel, shoes, and handbags. I have so much I could say about shoes alone, but that’s another post.

There are basically three types of leather: genuine leather, top-grain leather, and full-grain leather.

Did you know that when an item says”genuine leather,” that doesn’t just mean that the product is made of real leather? It is, but it also means it’s the lowest quality of real leather.

Mind blown. (I just learned that today!)

Genuine leather is actually several layers of low quality leather bonded together with glue and then painted to look like a better-quality leather. You’ll find this in a lot of lower-priced belts, shoes, and handbags.

Top-grain leather is considered the middle-of-the-road leather quality. Its surface is sanded with a finish coat, which makes it less breathable and gives it more of a plastic feel. It’s fairly durable, but eventually it will break down and look worn. Top-grain leather has better stain resistance and is less expensive than full-grain leather, so you’ll find it used in a lot of mid-priced wallets and handbags.

Full-grain leather is the best quality leather money can buy. It has not been sanded or buffed to remove natural imperfections, and it’s characterized by its luxurious, smooth surface. Rather than wearing out, full-grain leather develops a beautiful patina over time, and it will last you a lifetime if properly cared for. Full-grain leather is typically used in making high-quality footwear and furniture.

One way to discern a quality leather is the smell. (Leather should smell like leather.) I will never forget buying my first pair of Frye boots. They are leather inside and out, and every time I put them on, I could smell the leather — a far cry from the leather boots I typically buy.

Also check the edges. If the edging is blue, the tannery didn’t let the leather tan properly. Often they paint leather edges to hide blemishes.

Finally, look at other areas of the item — good leather quality will usually have quality stitching to match, so check for flaws in stitching, hardware, and lining.

Like all other fabrics, the look and feel will tell you a lot.

The more different price points you look at and try on, the better you will get at discerning the quality of items you’re shopping for. This goes for all categories, not just leather.

In Conclusion…

I share all this not to suggest that you should only buy top quality everything, but so we can all be better informed shoppers.

At the end of the day, buying based on quality is just part of the equation. Budget and preference obviously come into play when making purchasing decisions.

Some people appreciate the finer details and value quality more than others, and some really don’t care, but most of us are somewhere in between.

Quality means different things to different people, and each woman gets to decide where to allocate her clothing budget based on her needs and personal preferences. Isn’t that awesome?

That’s where cost per wear comes into play.

Really consider how often you will wear an item, how long you want it to last, and then use the guidelines in this post to help curate a wardrobe that works for you.

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Embracing Wellness in 2020

It’s that time of year! Everywhere I turn, someone is talking about prioritizing wellness, establishing healthy habits, and shedding a few holiday pounds… and I’m here for it.

Like most of us, I allowed myself to indulge a little too much over the holidays, and so often busyness got the best of me.

Well, the social events are over, the hustle and bustle of the holidays is behind me, and I’m ready to make wellness my top priority once again.

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Zella Nola Full Zip Hooded Sweatshirt

My journey to wellness is a long and complicated one, and it has been well-documented over the years on this blog of mine. Let’s just say, I’ve come a long way!

Whenever I’ve taken the time to do the research and inform myself about health and wellness, I’ve made great strides towards improving my quality of life. There have been some detours along the way, but overall, I am so much healthier now than I was 10-15 years ago. And best of all, I’m medicine-free.

Unfortunately, I got lazy last year and started slipping back into old habits, but no more! I’ve been making some changes to my diet and workout regimen, and they’re working really well for me so far!


Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Zella Nola Full Zip Hooded Sweatshirt with Beyond Yoga leggings and Nike Zoom Pegasus Running Shoes

#1. More Walking, Less Running

I’ve been gradually running less and less over the past year or so due to a myriad of reasons. I miss it, but I can’t seem to get my old mojo back, and now I’m struggling with a hip injury. It wasn’t caused by running, but running definitely exacerbates it.

At 47, I have different expectations for myself than I did 5 or 10 years ago — not lower, just more realistic.

I may never get back to the shape I was in when I ran that half marathon in 2013, and that’s okay.


I used to get depressed when I couldn’t run, so I just wouldn’t do anything. This time, I’m not letting circumstances beyond my control put me in a funk.

What I can do is walk, so walking is what I’m doing.

Hopefully I’ll build back up to more intense workouts once we get my hip issue sorted out, but for now, at least I’m getting fresh air and releasing those feel-good endorphins!

#2. Motivational Podcasts

Walking is b-o-r-i-n-g. While I need music when I run, it doesn’t motivate me to keep walking.

To keep myself distracted, I’ve started listening to podcasts on my new Airpods, and now I don’t mind walking alone for 30-45 minutes. In fact, sometimes I add another loop around the neighborhood so I can finish listening to the show!

Even more importantly, I’m listening to podcasts that encourage me to embrace a healthier lifestyle. So not only am I getting a walk in, I’m getting information and encouragement that helps move me along in my journey to wellness. (Get it Move along? Haha!)

Which leads me to #3…

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing a stylish all-black workout outfit with Sweaty Betty merino hoodie and 7/8 technical leggings, Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 running shoes, and Adidas Trefoil Baseball Cap.

#3. Intermittent Fasting

I’ve shared a few times about my new-found intermittent fasting lifestyle. It’s only been a month, but I’m already looking and feeling so much better.

The scale is down a few pounds, and I’ve lost an inch from each of the key areas (chest, waist, and hips.) I also have a crazy amount of energy.

I realize it sounds extreme, but I urge you to research it before making up your mind about IF. Besides the weight loss potential, there are some really amazing health benefits associated with an intermittent fasting lifestyle.

Also, it’s very flexible. Your IF life doesn’t have to look like mine. It’s worth looking into if you’re looking to make some changes.

#4. Regular Strength Training Workouts

This isn’t new to me, as I’ve been working out with a trainer for years, but we always get a little off-kilter during the holidays.

We are both busy moms with jobs that have a lot of moving parts, so we were rather inconsistent with our workout appointments over the past few months.

Now we’re back to our regular twice-a-week schedule, and I can definitely feel the difference.

I often get asked if you can work out while fasting, and you can. We’ve been taking it slowly while my body gets used to it, but it’s actually recommended that you work out in a fasted state.

Sweaty Betty All Sport Backpack

#5. Stylish Workout Gear

New gear always helps me feel more motivated to work out… no shame in that game!

Nordstrom has been my go-to resource for quality activewear for years, but I recently tried out a few new-to-me brands. This Sweaty Betty merino hoodie was a splurge, but it’s both practical and stylish.

I like it for throwing on with my tank top and leggings to go to and from my workouts, and it’s so stylish and flattering, I don’t mind wearing it to run errands afterwards.

In fact, I’m going to start integrating some stylish athleisure outfits like this one into my daily looks so it’s easy to go for a walk during the day.

That’s another way I’m helping myself achieve my wellness goals — eliminate excuses!

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing a stylish all-black workout outfit with Sweaty Betty merino hoodie and 7/8 technical leggings, Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 running shoes, and Adidas Trefoil Baseball Cap.

Proper gear is as important as clothes, so I picked up this Sweaty Betty All Sport Backpack to carry my shoes and other workout gear to and from the gym.

I used to throw everything into my everyday tote, but I like having a dedicated workout bag. It takes less time to get out the door when I’m already packed up and ready to go.

This bag will also be nice to take with me when traveling.

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 running shoes in Black/Gold/Red/White

And these Nike running shoes are great for my long walks around the neighborhood.

They’re super cushiony and soft inside with good arch support, plus they’re a stylish addition to my workout wardrobe.

My new Adidas baseball cap is the perfect accessory to finish off my stylish workout look, and don’t forget about socks!

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing a stylish all-black workout outfit with Sweaty Betty merino hoodie and 7/8 technical leggings, Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 running shoes, and Adidas Trefoil Baseball Cap.

One thing I’ve learned over years of running is good socks are as important as good shoes.

These Bombas ankle socks have a midfoot support system that cradles your foot, and they are super soft and thick.

I picked up a few other pieces for my outdoor walks in this cold weather —  this seamless dip dye long sleeve tee with thumbholes is the perfect base layer for chilly days, and I’ll be able to wear it alone when the weather warms up. (Other good options are here and here.)

Then this cozy zip-up hoodie layers on top to keep me nice and warm. This one’s by Zella, one of the Nordstrom in-house brands. It’s priced well under $100, and it comes in two great neutral colors.

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Zella Nola Full Zip Hooded Sweatshirt with Seamless Dip Dye Long Sleeve Tee

Lastly, hydration is key to health and wellness. I’ve gotten into the habit of bring a bottle of water with me whenever I leave the house.

This stainless steel Hydro Flask keeps my water cold all day, and because it’s so sturdy, it rarely gets dented or dinged up. It’s also BPA free and phthalate free! (My white is sold out, but the black is one is great too! I also like Swell water bottles; I have several of those as well.)

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing a stylish all-black workout outfit with Sweaty Betty merino hoodie and 7/8 technical leggings, and Adidas Trefoil Baseball Cap.

And that’s it! Those are the 5 steps I’m taking to embrace wellness in 2020.

Whenever you get down on yourself because you aren’t where you want to be, just remember this: Wellness isn’t the destination, it’s the journey.

Everyone is in a different place, and I don’t think there is some final wellness utopia one can reach. We all get busy or lazy sometimes and backslide a little bit, and that’s okay. Just pick it up where you left off, and keep pressing on!

How about you? Did you set any wellness goals for 2020? I’d love to hear about them.

For more activewear and fashion inspiration, you can follow my Nordstrom Looks page! I’ll be updating it regularly with lots of outfit ideas as we head into spring.

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photos: Alison Cornell


SPRING FASHION FORECAST: What’s In and What’s Out for 2020

Who’s ready to talk 2020 spring fashion trends??? I’m in full-on winter mode here and spring isn’t even a twinkle in my eye, but I had some requests during last week’s Facebook Live to talk about what’s ahead for spring, so I did some research and this is what I came up with!

There will be plenty more winter outfits, but for today, let’s look ahead to what we might be wearing this spring.

First, let’s discuss color trends for spring. The 2020 Pantone Color of the Year is Classic Blue, which is awesome because it’s such a versatile color, and universally flattering.

As far as fashion trends, well… we’ll have to wait to see how these trends will translate to the mainstream, but as of right now, they are pretty far out there!

All of the fashion websites following the runway trends list corsets, sheer tops, hot pants, super long bermuda shorts, sheer (as in see-through) outfits, bralettes under blazers, and high side slits… oh, boy!

Nevertheless, I persisted.

I dug deep and came up with 10 wearable trends we may be seeing in stores this spring. 

I’ll be curious to see how some of these styles translate to the masses when our favorite retailers start rolling out their spring lines.

Then keep scrolling to see the trends that are probably going OUT this spring.

Spring Fashion Forecast: What's In and What's Out for Spring 2020

The 10 Most Wearable Spring 2020 Trends

Remember, these are TRENDS. You do NOT have to wear them all. Pick and choose which trends you will try based on your body type, lifestyle, personal style aesthetic, etc.

But, I do encourage you to pick one or two to experiment with. It’s a good idea to integrate a couple of the season’s trends into your existing wardrobe –that’s how to keep it modern and fresh!

(All images are clickable.)

#1. prep trend

The trend watchers report seeing the prep trend all over the runway, and the easiest way to get this look is with loafers.

Evidently they’re cropping up in all sorts of futuristic shapes, but I predict we are going to see more of the traditional loafers and loafer mules that have been around for the past few seasons.

#2. suits

This probably goes along with #1, but the suits I’m seeing are pretty funky. I don’t find suits very practical for my everyday life, so I will probably sit this one out.

#3. crochet

This was in last year’s list, but I never saw it much once spring rolled around. Did you?

Crochet is one of the more wearable trends, but it’s got a bit of a boho vibe, so choose a piece that works with your personal style aesthetic.

If it’s a little bit see-through, don’t let that deter you. You can always wear a tank underneath. Or try a crochet bag!

#4. big bags

This cracked me up, from “For those who prefer practicality over the micro trends, it’s finally time to retire 2019’s itty-bitty-it-bags that didn’t fit anything to begin with. Think big. Bottega Veneta and Off-White are ushering in XXL editions large enough to fit all of your life’s problems. Literally—they can probably fit your therapist.”

I couldn’t find an example that was as dramatic as the ones they were showing, but this one from Topshop is kind of fun… it also comes in a pretty caramel color too.

#5. elevated polka dots

Polka dots for spring certainly aren’t groundbreaking, but we can look forward to seeing this classic print popping up in new shapes and sizes.

#6. wide legged pants

They keep telling us wide legged pants are coming back in style, and they’re all over the websites, but I’m not seeing a lot of them in real life or even on the other fashionistas I follow.

This is a tricky trend to pull off, especially for those of us who are larger on top and short-waisted, but they can be really chic on the right person.

#7. plaid

Plaid was hot last fall, and it’s going strong right into spring. I kind of like the idea of plaid cropped skinnies in spring colors…

#8. psychedelic prints

60’s and 70’s inspired styles are huge this spring, and along with that comes clashing colors and psychedelic prints… I’ve always had a thing for tie dye, and I’m seeing a lot of it already this season!

#9. neon and brights

Bright colors and neons are cropping up again this season — I’m pretty sure this was on last year’s list too. My favorite way to incorporate a bright color into my outfits is with my footwear.

#10. long dresses

Long dresses are here for another season, along with high slits and 60’s and 70’s inspired prints.


I added this section last year, and everyone seemed to like it.

#1. chunky dad sneakers // To which I say with glee, buy-bye!

#2. clear bags // I’m surprised by this one, mainly because some stadium rules make them a necessity. We shall see…

#3. letter necklaces // These were super popular with the younger girls, I didn’t see them much in our circles. At any rate, I thought I’d include it.

#4. leopard print slip skirts // I chuckled when I saw this because someone just asked me if these will be in style for another few years. I never know how much credence to give these lists… it really depends on where you life. I would still wear it!

#5. boilersuits // Good riddance, I say! I never got on that train. Some girls looked really cute in them, but I think you have to be young and reed-thin.

#6. bike shorts as streetwear // These were hot on last year’s list, and a few of the younger bloggers I follow tried to embrace this trend. It was even the image I chose for my Spring 2019 Fashion Forecast (they were styled with a blazer and pumps.) But the trend never really took off, and Harper’s Bazaar lists it as one of the trends to retire in 2020.

#7. hair clips // Again, this is a trend I saw mostly on the younger set. Evidently the headband trend is still going strong, but the hair clips are going out. I don’t wear either, so I’m kind of eh on this one.

Okay, go for it. Tell me what you think.

But before you say “I will never…” remember that there will be more wearable versions of most of these trends as the spring lines start to hit the stores. I’ll be curious to see how that pans out!


Subscribe to get email updates! In addition to my most recent blog posts, you’ll receive exclusive newsletter content like special sales, my newest favorite finds, and an occasional peek behind the scenes — all delivered right to your inbox. PLUS you’ll be automatically entered for a chance to win a $100 gift card each month!

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!


Coffee Talk 01.26.20 ☕️

Well, we survived our first week with C as a licensed driver. She’s in that super helpful honeymoon period where she will jump up at the mere mention of any want or need and offer to run out and get it.

Need milk and eggs? Sure! I’ll go.

Want to go to Chick-fil-A, R? Sure, I’ll take you!

Want your car washed, Mom? I’ll do it!

Need gas? I’ll go get it for you!

It 👏🏼 is 👏🏼 awesome.

I know it won’t last forever, but I’m taking advantage of it while I can.

In other news, my kitchen is coming along…

Kitchen Update

Our new fridge and dishwasher were installed this week, but the wall ovens are sitting in a box in the garage until the carpenter comes on Tuesday. He will probably need to cut out a little more space in the cabinetry to accommodate the new one, and I’m crossing my fingers that it fits without interfering with the fridge, which is right next to it.

As it is, we had to pull the fridge out an inch or so because it was hitting the corner of the existing oven when we opened the right door all the way. All that to say, I’m holding my breath until Tuesday when we see if the two appliances can play nicely together.

I absolutely LOVE my new refrigerator, though. Here’s a little before and after for you.

Not only does it look nice in my kitchen, it’s so light and bright inside, and I can see things so much better. I’m really enjoying the French door style with the lower freezer, and my new dishwasher is a dream as well.

The microwave and drink fridge are sitting in my garage beside the wall ovens because they can’t be installed until we get the lower cabinet replaced where the desk currently lives.

Here’s what I’m talking about, if you missed it when I mentioned it before…

We are removing the desk and putting in a drink fridge (on the right) and a pull-out microwave (on the left) and a set of drawers in the middle.

I’m also going to have the carpenter install this wine rack in that open space under the upper middle cabinet, which will get the wine off the counter.

I got almost everything else ordered and scheduled this week.

We can pick up our new lower cabinet on February 17, we have a contractor lined up to come the next day to install it, the countertops are scheduled for installation two days after that, and the painters start the cabinets the following Monday!

We picked cabinet paint colors this week as well — Ben Moore Chantilly Lace on the perimeter cabinets and Sherwin Williams Iron Ore on the island. And I’m currently trying to decide on a tile for our backsplash and new cabinet hardware, but otherwise, we’re pretty much set.

There are a lot of moving parts, but it’s all coming together.

Microblading Before & Afters

In other (totally unrelated) news, I had my eyebrows microbladed on Tuesday.

It’s been something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, and I finally decided to go for it. I asked around and consulted with a couple of people before deciding to go to Colleen at Color Theory Cosmetic Tattoo, for any locals who are interested.

If you’re not familiar with microblading, it’s basically a form of eyebrow tattooing. It’s semi-permanent, meaning it will fade over time and need to be touched up every few years.

Unlike traditional tattooing, microblading artists apply each hairstroke with a handheld microblade that produces a very fine line that resembles real hair. The strokes blend in with your existing eyebrow hair for what you hope will be a natural look. If you want more info, read the Microblading Q&A on Colleen’s website.

I never plucked my eyebrows to be this thin, but over the years, they’ve gotten thinner and thinner, and I was at the point where I was recreating my eyebrows every morning with eyebrow pencil. It was getting very time consuming and frustrating, so this seemed like a great solution.

Here’s me with a full face of makeup and no eyebrow pencil… Compare that to the Coffee Talk image at the top of the page, where I’ve penciled them in.

The thing is, you really have to find someone who gets you and what you want. Any good salon will provide a free consultation, and they will use a pencil to draw on your eyebrows to show you how they will shape them.

The first person I consulted with was going to make my eyebrows a lot thicker than they are, and she also wanted to bring one side up higher to match the other, and even suggested I pluck out some of my own eyebrows so they wouldn’t distract from the new shape.

That made me very nervous, so I decided to “shop around” a bit before committing.

When I found Colleen, I knew I was in good hands. She assured me she could make my brows look very natural, and then we could always go darker and add more density at the touch-up appointment if I wanted that. (It is common procedure to go back after 6 weeks and get a touch-up, as the color lightens up a lot once it heals.)

That all sounded good to me, so I made the appointment.

While they look great the day of the procedure, there is a period of about 4 weeks where they are healing, and you have to baby them a bit.

They actually got darker on days 2 and 3 after the procedure, and now they’re lightening up again. I’ve been warned that they will almost seem to disappear for a while, around weeks 2 or 3, and then they’ll come back as your skin regenerates.

Then you go back for your touchup after 6 weeks, and go through the whole process again!

So yeah, it’s a bit of an inconvenience, but I’m already loving not having to pencil my brows in every day. It easily shaves 3-5 minutes off my makeup routine. #nojoke

I bet you’re curious to see a before and after, aren’t you???

Here are a few pictures taken the day of the procedure. This is my right eyebrow, my thicker one.

And here’s my left eyebrow, the renegade. This is one I struggle with so much when I’m penciling them in.

Sorry I’m looking right at the camera in that top one. It’s a little freakish!!!

My left one is still thinner than the right, and while I don’t necessarily want them to match exactly (because no one really has identical eyebrows) I do plan to ask Colleen to make that one a little fuller towards the top.

You can see if you look closely that there are some strokes up above that brow, and I think she’s planning to fill in and make those look thicker at the follow-up appointment.

She has a better picture of that brow here on her Instagram, if you’re really curious. You can also see the blue dots she drew on to outline the shape she wanted to fill in.

So yeah, all in all, I am thrilled. I feel like I definitely found the right person for me, and I can’t wait to see how they look after my next appointment.

Finally, as if this post isn’t long enough, I have to tell you about my adventures last night!

Phil Phillips in Concert

I’m a huge American Idol fan, and I’ve watched just about every season from start to finish. Phil Phillips is one of my top 5 all-time favorite AI contestants, and Paul got us tickets to his show in Philly last night as part of my Christmas present!

He was performing in at City Winery — a small, intimate venue where you can dine while listening to your favorite artists up close and personal.

City Winery is located right by the Fashion District — which is really just a mall, I guess.

It’s not like the NYC Fashion District, but the sign was pretty cool, and Paul insisted that I should have a picture. He’s such a good Instagram Husband. 😂

I also stopped a guy inside City Winery and asked him to get a picture of the two of us. Yes, that is an entire wall of wine.

Paul got us tickets that included a meet & greet before the show, and we were seated right up front, within a few feet of Phil and his sidekick, a super talented guitarist whose name, unfortunately, I can’t remember, even though Phil gave him several shout-outs through the night.

That table of people you see there… we were right next to them.

It was pretty awesome!

Food and drinks were served in between the meet & greet and the concert, and we were seated across from two women, who we ended up chatting with quite a bit. It was a really fun time. Phil is such a talented musician, and it was so cool to see him perform that close.

Here’s my blurry meet & greet picture. I felt kind of silly, but I wasn’t about to turn down the opportunity!

And in case you were wondering, Phil really does seem like a genuinely nice guy.

We got home just in time to catch the 4th quarter of the Sixers vs. Lakers, and happily we won! So that was the perfect way to end the night.

I’m dragging a bit this morning, but I can take a nap this afternoon, so it’s all good!

With that, I’m off to get ready for church. I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!


My Daily Looks: What I Wore Lately Vol. 4

You guys, I’m getting all out of whack with my scheduling. These posts are supposed to go up every other Wednesday, but I’ve been working for hours on a post for today, and it is nowhere near finished.

It’s about what makes a quality garment, and it is going to require more time than I have this morning, and I really want it to be helpful.

So! I am going to drop back and punt… as my mom used to say.

I grabbed these pictures, which I already had edited and uploaded for next Wednesday, and I’m going to share them today. I’ll share the post on quality clothing one day next week.

What I Wore Lately

For anyone new here, I’m 5’5″ and I typically wear a small in tops, 28 or 29 in jeans, and size 8 in dresses. Everything I’m wearing below is a small or size 29 unless otherwise noted. Click on the picture or the link below to see the items I’m wearing.

First up, a look I wore last Thursday to CBS (Community Bible Study)… This is nothing new to the regulars, but it’s proof that fashion bloggers do re-wear clothes!

I still love this sweater and these jeans… the sweater is on sale and available at several retailers. The jeans, unfortunately, sold out, as did the mules, so I linked a similar pair for both of those.


The next day was Friday, and I wore this casual look around the house. I wanted to see how these jeans held up to a few hours of wear, so even though it was chilly for cropped jeans and sneakers, I wore it anyway. (And I did cut off that tag… I am keeping the sweatshirt too!)

All three of these pieces are from Amazon, and I am very pleased with the quality of the sweatshirt and the jeans — for the price, they’re both a very good value.

The sneakers are cute and comfortable, not particularly good quality, but worth the price. I like how lightweight they are, and how much cushion they have around the tongue and the ankle area. If you like the look of Golden Goose and not the price tag, these are an excellent budget-friendly alternative.


This was Saturday, and I got myself all gussied up to go to a ladies’ Bible Study at church, and then it started to snow and I decided to stay put.

I actually wore this for a good part of the day at home — these boots are that comfortable. But eventually I switched to my grey UGG slippers.


And this is what I wore to church on Sunday. It was a coooold day, so I figured knee-high boots over jeans were my best bet, and then I added a cozy sweater on top.

This sweater sold out; it’s the 360Cashmere one that I picked up recently at Nordstrom Rack — I highly recommend checking there when looking for higher end sweaters. You can often find great deals, especially this time of year. I usually search by the brand I’m looking for.


I know, you’ve seen this a gazillion times… but when it’s good, it’s good! On the plus side, all of these items are still fully stocked. I wore this working at home on Monday, after a photo shoot with Alison.


Tuesday was the day I went to get my eyebrows microbladed, and I wore another one of my favorite cozy sweaters, jeans, and booties. It was another frigid day so I wore black socks. (I often get asked what socks I wear with booties in the winter… I went with black because my boots were black.)


And this was me at home on Wednesday… I wore this all day, waiting for my appliances to arrive. I went out for a walk in the afternoon, and it was really nice to be all ready go to!


And finally, this was yesterday. I’ve been wearing this hat because I haven’t washed my hair yet… but, today is the day!

I’m trying to protect my new eyebrows, but I can’t go any longer so I will have to be very careful not to get any shampoo on them.

I went with a 28 in these jeans, by the way! (They were on sale when I got them, so I would not recommend paying full price.)


And that’s a wrap! I hope you all have a fabulous Friday!

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A Day In The Life

This post is a little different… but I get asked from time to time what my typical day looks like, and I thought it would be fun to write a post about “a day in the life.”

Now, don’t go expecting anything exciting or glamorous.

My job has some cool perks, but at the end of the day, it’s a just job. There are parts I love and parts I hate, there is stress and there are deadlines, but I also get to shop and call it research, and sometimes I get to hang out with Alison and shoot pictures of my daily activities!

Which brings us to today’s post…

Alison was here on Monday to shoot for a brand collab I have coming up, so we decided to take pictures for this post.

Every day is a little bit different, so there is no “typical day” really, but they all start out the same way.

I always get up before the rest of the family — between 5 and 6AM. After I wash up, I go right downstairs and make my first cup of coffee. (Love my Nespresso!)

Then I usually go into the living room and have my devotions. I don’t know why I go to the living room, but I always do. I did at my last house too. I guess it feels set apart from the rest of the house. There is no TV, no computer — no distractions.

After that, I go into my office and start working.

Of course, I’m still in my pajamas at that time of day, but I grabbed this picture from last year. (My office isn’t nearly as big as it looks here!)

I take a break to get my daughter on the bus around 6:45, and then I’m back at work until I need to go somewhere.

There are days that I hardly leave my desk to eat, and others when I’m out of the house for most of the day, but I always put in a few hours of work before I go anywhere.

I’d love to say that exercise is part of my daily routine, but it’s more like 3 or 4 days a week right now. Hopefully when the weather warms up, it will be more than that.

Running is my favorite activity, but these days I’ve switched to walking until I can get this hip issue figured out. I also work out with a trainer 2X a week, so on those days, I go to her house.

After I exercise, I get ready for the day.

I try to get dressed in street clothes every day, even if I’m not going anywhere.

I’m laughing at this picture of me picking out what to wear… since I’m already dressed. OOOPS! We should have shot this while I was in my robe or pajamas. 😂

Once I’m dressed, I always take a mirror selfie before I go downstairs.

I had no idea I put my one foot so far in front of the other… seeing my rear view taking this shot is rather enlightening!

Here’s an outtake for you… haha!

On photo shoot days, I’m usually up and out early. If we’re shooting on location, I load everything into my car.

This picture only shows a fraction of the amount of stuff I usually bring to a shoot. I rarely make it to the car in one trip.

I try to have everything steamed and grouped on my hanging rack ahead of time, but that rarely happens. I’m usually scrambling to put outfits together at the last minute.

It was waaaay too cold to shoot on location on Monday, so we did what we could inside my house, and then stepped outside for a few outdoor shots.

Truth be told, photo shoots are my least favorite part of my job.

It’s super awkward to be taking fashion shots in public locations, and I’m either freezing or roasting.

Plus, all the clothes and shoes and accessories to pack up and then put away when I get back… ugh!!!

But every job has its upsides and its downsides, and happily, I only have to do a few photo shoots each month.

On the positive side, working with Alison has made photo shoots a lot more fun, and easier too. She scouts out the best locations and backdrops for my outfits and has a lot of ideas as far as posing and staging the pictures.

She usually gets the proofs back to me the day of our shoot, and I pick the ones I want her to retouch. She retouches and sends them back to me, usually within 24 hours, or even sooner if I have a deadline. She’s been a life saver as my job has gotten more demanding over the past few years, and she has never once canceled for being sick or having a sick kid. She’s amazingly dependable, and I can’t imagine doing this job without her.

Paul is still a great backup cameraman when I need him, though. God bless Instagram husbands everywhere!

If I don’t have an appointment or a photo shoot or a reason to run to the mall during the day, I’m at home working at the computer.

Writing blog posts and responding to comments is by far and away my favorite part of my job. I love the days when I can just sit here and write all day long. I spend way more time than I probably should editing and tweaking my writing, but that’s what I enjoy most. And of course, interacting with you all!

Besides writing blog posts, there are contracts to negotiate, emails to answer, comments to respond to, my newsletter to produce each day, technical issues to troubleshoot, images to design, photos to edit (I edit all my mirror selfies in Lightroom), analytics to ponder, blog posts to plan, topics to research, and products to select for sponsored campaigns. (Believe it or not, that task can take several hours!)

Actually, the steps that go into a sponsored campaign could be a post in and of itself!

And of course, there are all the tasks involved in being self-employed. I finally hired an accountant and a bookkeeper because I couldn’t keep up, and our taxes were getting more and more complex.

Then there’s Pinterest, my Facebook Page (which I neglect horribly), my Facebook Group (which is so much fun!), and of course Instagram and Instagram Stories…

If I’m not at my desk, I’m usually on my phone. For every Instagram post, I have to generate the ShopStyle widgets and link up all the clothes I’m wearing, and half the time I forget to check the box to link it to my Shop My Feed page.

When I want to share an outfit or try-on to my Story, I have to look up all the links to plug in for the swipe-ups, and if it’s for a brand collab, I have to type out the appropriate hashtags on each post. If I make a typo on anything sponsored, or if I post the wrong link, I have to delete and redo.

It may sound silly, but it’s very time consuming. Instagram is probably my least favorite part of the job — aside from the photo shoots.

And then there are all the boxes… I come home almost every day to find a stack of boxes by my back door. Of course, I have to open them all and try everything on.

Trying on clothes is a huge time suck, and it makes a gigantic mess. That’s another part of my job that I’m not fond of, but I’ve gotten better about having a system and keeping things organized.

Rather than trying things on as they come in, I try to save them up and do them all in one afternoon. Then I take all the returns back downstairs to my office, and stack them neatly in one of those foldable bins on my bookshelf until I have time to get to that task.

Anything I’m going to use for a photoshoot and items I’m not sure I’m keeping go on the hanging rack in my bedroom. And I put away anything I’m keeping, along with all the things I drug out of my closet to create various outfits.

I finally hired a college-age girl to come in and help with returns, and that’s taken a huge weight off my shoulders. I was letting things pile up for far too long because I dreaded the task.

Now, Kate comes in three or four times a month, and we bang it out in a couple of hours. She also takes all the boxes to the post office, which allows me more time to take care of the tasks that only I can do.

Some days I do live chats, and I set up my phone inside this ring light.

Speaking of which, I love interacting with you guys in various ways, and I’m excited to bring back my Facebook Lives for 2020!

I did one on Tuesday, as a matter of fact. I just hopped on spontaneously because I saw it on my calendar, and I happened to be home at that time and wanted to share about my microblading appointment. (You can watch the replay HERE.)

I’m going to do my best to go live every Tuesday at 1PM EST. Sometimes I have appointments that get in the way, but I put my Lives on my calendar, and I’ll try to protect that time slot.

If you want to join me, be sure you’re following my Facebook Page. I do them on my Page, rather than in my Group, because it’s more public and more people can see it there. I do try to remember to give a quick heads-up in the group before going live, though.

In the afternoons, I often have to chauffeur kids around to appointments and lessons, but otherwise, I pretty much work every weekday from the time I wake up until it’s time to make dinner.

That’s when I shut it down. I pretty much never come back to my office after dinner.

I will check my phone, but mostly just scrolling social media without the pressure of work, and I enjoy that.

Most nights, we have dinner as a family, and we usually hang out in the family room and watch TV afterwards. This is, hands-down, my favorite part of the day.

My 14-year-old and I like to watch Survivor, American Idol, and DWTS during their seasons. We also like This Is Us. Paul and I like The Crown, and we were watching Victoria. I hope it comes back! When D’s around, we always watch Jeopardy, and if there’s a Philly sports game on, that trumps all.

If there’s nothing on TV, I read something on my Kindle. The dog usually ends up curled up next to me, which is pretty much the best thing ever, now that my kids are too big to ever want to be this close to me.

Around 8:30 or 9:00, I head upstairs to get ready for bed. I know, I’m a grannie!

If I haven’t done it already, I take off my makeup and apply all the lotions and potions. I have quite an extensive nighttime routine these days. #thisis47

Once that’s all taken care of, I lay in bed and read or look at my phone for a little while before falling asleep. Then I wake up the next morning and start all over again!

Or, more likely, I wake up a few times in the night, check the time on my phone, get a sip of water, and wait for 5AM to roll around so I can justify getting up. Haha!

I don’t know if it’s due to perimenopause or my newfound IF lifestyle, but I need to remedy this situation ASAP. I’ve always been a great sleeper, and I can’t stand waking up all night long.

I’ve actually been trying to cut out the phone usage right before bed because I’m sure that doesn’t help, and I just bought a canister of this magnesium powder. I’m trying to remember to drink a glass every night before I close my eating window.

I don’t love the flavor, though, so I’m having a hard time being consistent. Maybe I should give up and try a pill.

Anyway, if you have any other helpful tips, feel free to let me know!

I hope you enjoyed this post. I’m sure I forgot something, but it pretty much covers it. As always, I’m happy to answer any questions in the comments.

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photos: Alison Cornell


Try-On Haul: Denim, Activewear, Rain Gear, Accessories & More!

Happy hump day, friends! I’m slowly moving these Try-On Hauls to Fridays… but this week I decided to post on Wednesday because I have a lot of things to share with you, and I didn’t want to wait any longer. I’m always afraid things are going to sell out.

This week I have some activewear, a few rain coats, several pairs of jeans, a dress, a moto jacket, and even a couple layering necklaces!

Let’s get started!

Try-Ons: Denim

For size reference, I’m 5’5″ and typically wear size 28 or 29 in jeans. I’ve lost a few pounds over the past month, but I’m still fitting into all of my jeans. They’re just a little bit looser than they’ve been in a while.

First up, I ordered a couple of pairs from Everlane. Their prices are much more palatable than the premium denim I usually wear, but their quality is good, and they’re a sustainable brand.

I found both of these rather stiff, but the fit is pretty good. I would need to wear them around a bit to see if they loosen up with wear.

Everlane The High-Rise Skinny Jean in Bone (size 29 ankle) // I ordered these because I’m looking for a second pair of white jeans for summer that’s more of a cropped length.

(My current go-to white jeans are these Madewell 9″ high rise skinnies, and they have a 28.5″ inseam and a 10″ leg opening. I like them with most of my wardrobe, but I also want a shorter pair.)

For those of us who love our skinnies, this is a good way to keep our looks modern without embracing the straight silhouette. The ankle length that I ordered, has a 26.5” inseam and a 11″ leg opening, so they’re a little wider than my other skinnies — again, keeping them current without totally going straight.

Finding thick white jeans is a challenge, and these are really good. Not see-through at all. I tried them with both sandals and mules, and they’re a good length for both.

Fit-wise, they’re snug on me in the 29, especially in the waist. I would recommend sizing up one.

The other thing I always look at — especially with white jeans — is the rear view. As an aside, I hate these rear-view shots, you guys. But they really are important.

These pockets are higher than I like, but they’re placed well otherwise, and they’re a good medium size. I also like how the jeans fit my legs — compare to the dark wash jeans below to see what I mean.

I also styled them with a t-shirt and sandals to see how they will work for summer…

And with heels and a striped mockneck top

I wouldn’t front-tuck this top, but I wanted to show the rise on the pants.

VERDICT: I think I’m keeping these jeans… it’s a silhouette I haven’t found in any other white jeans, and I think they will be nice to have this spring and summer.

Everlane The High-Rise Skinny Jean in Black (size 29 ankle) // These are the same jeans in black, and I ordered them for the same reason as I ordered the white — to have a shorter pair to play around with. I’m not sure why I didn’t try them with booties… I guess I was still thinking more towards spring.

I’ll play around with them some more before deciding if I want to keep or not.

By the way, both this pair and the white above also come in regular lengths (28.5”) and tall (30.5”).

also wearing: Everlane The Cashmere Crew (M) with Steve Madden Flavor Mules

Goodthreads Women’s Mid-Rise Crop Straight Jeans in Deep Blue (size 28) // I’ve showed these before, but not in a try-on haul. These are from Amazon, and the price is really good.

The rear pocket placement is pretty good, although I don’t love the rear view on me — I think the flare at the bottom emphasizes how my legs are shaped. (I’m kind of knock-kneed, lol!)

They’re a crop straight, but they do flare just a bit at the bottom, giving them a bit of a crop bootcut silhouette. For the price point, these are really good jeans. The 28 is really snug on me, but I also ordered them in a 29. (See below.)

VERDICT: Returned. (Too small; didn’t love the wash.)

also wearing: Rails leopard sweater (also at Saks and Nordstrom) and old R Minkoff mules

Goodthreads Women’s Mid-Rise Crop Straight Jeans in Bleach Wash (size 29) // These fit much more comfortably, and they don’t stretch out. I wore them all afternoon, and they still fit well. They’re fairly thick, and not terribly stiff. All in all, I’m impressed. I just wish I liked the rear view more.

I like this lighter wash for spring and summer — they’d be cute with casual looks.

VERDICT: I held onto these, but after looking at the rear view pictures, and trying on more styles (below) I’m not sure I love them on me.

AG Prima Crop Skinny Jeans in 18 Years Vacancy (size 28) // I ordered these because I like my AG Prima ankle jeans from the #NSale last summer, and I was wanting a shorter version. They were on sale when I purchased them — I got them for $74.25! So don’t buy at full price.

I got the 28 because they didn’t have the 29, and also because I’ve been able to wear 28 in AG in the past, and with my recent weight loss, I thought they might fit. They do, but they are verrrrry snug in the waist.

They’re also a lower rise than I’m used to these days, so I have a little muffin top that you would see in a thinner top. Plus the wash is just okay to me. For the price, they’re kind of hard to pass up, but I’m on the fence about keeping them. I should probably hold out for a higher rise.

Also, I usually love AG rear pockets, but I feel like the rear view picture above looks a little dumpy… but maybe it’s the sweater?

VERDICT: Undecided…

also wearing: Chelsea28 cowl neck sweater and Two Tone Star Lace up Fashion Sneakers

rag & bone Shredded-Hem Ankle Skinny Jeans in Flint (size 28) // These were another sale purchase, that unfortunately are back to full price. (I got them for $126.) I tell you my price because I want you to know what you could hold out for, if you like them but want to wait for the next sale.

These are suuuuper soft and stretchy, and I love the hems. They’re a raw hem with just a little shredded detail. I ordered because they’re skinnies with a 27″ inseam, so they’re going to look a little cropped without totally shortening the line of the leg.

I’ve been wearing 28″ inseam for a long time, but I’m really liking 27″ these days. They look more modern to me, and at my height, I think they’re a better length overall.

Also worth noting — the rear view. These pockets are placed nicely, but they look a little big to me — it’s not a deal breaker, though.

I didn’t think I liked the wash when I pulled them out of the bag, but I really like them on. They have a casual, weekend vibe that I think will come in very handy this spring and summer.

VERDICT: Keeping! I think…

also wearing: James Perse t-shirt (also at Off Fifth; size 2) and Two Tone Star Lace up Fashion Sneakers

Agolde Nico Ultra High-Rise Slim Jeans (size 29) // Since I love my new Agolde straight crops in the blue denim, I ordered these white jeans to try when they went on sale at Anthro (I paid $126)… but I’m surprised they’re even by the same company.

For one, these are too big for me. (And the 29 in the blue jeans are snug.) But I also don’t care for that 11.25″ rise.

VERDICT: Returning!

also wearing: Everlane The Soft Cotton V-Neck and Sam Edelman Laurna Mules (and J.Crew Pointed Toe Flats in Leopard)

Ella Moss Mid-Rise Skinny Ankle Jeans (size 29) // These were another Anthro sale purchase. (I paid $71.) I thought they were worth a try, even though this is a brand I don’t typically think of when I think of jeans.

They have a really cute fit, but they’re a little loose. They feel like they will definitely stretch out some, so I’d need a smaller size.

Unfortunately, they’re also too thin and see-through for my comfort zone. I am not even going to share the rear view!

VERDICT: Returning.

Mother The Stunner High-Rise Skinny Ankle Jeans (size 29) // Okay, now these are cute! I was excited to see some colored denim for spring.

The fit seems good initially, but they felt like they might stretch out some. Mother jeans have good shape retention, but these just felt a little loose… so probably worth trying the smaller size.

I would also want to cut them a little bit shorter. While this length is flattering on me, it doesn’t look as modern as I’d like.

The one thing I don’t love about these (besides the length, which is an easy fix) is the pocket placement. They’re set a little too far apart.

I threw on a denim jacket to show you a completed look…

Then I swapped out the sneakers for leopard flats… I like this too!

In fact, I like the length of these jeans a lot better with the flats, since the low vamp allows some skin to show. Still, though, I’d like to see them in a smaller size with an inch or to cut off.

VERDICT: Returning because I think I may need a smaller size. Unfortunately, they are no longer on sale, and they’re sold out in the 28. Oh well… I’ll keep an eye out for similar colors/styles!

also wearing: James Perse t-shirt (also at Off Fifth; size 2) with Vince Camuto jean jacket and Veja Esplar sneakers (and J.Crew Pointed Toe Flats in Leopard)

Whew! Okay, that’s it for denim.

Try-On: Accessories

Madewell Glass Inlay Layered Necklace Set // This is a cute little layered necklace set. It’s adjustable, and can be worn separately or together.

VERDICT: Keeping!

also wearing: Everlane The Soft Cotton V-Neck (one of my favorite sweaters from last spring!)

Luv Aj The Layered Pave Coin Necklace // And I love this set, but it’s all one piece. I wish there was an option to wear without the longest chain. Still, I kept it.

VERDICT: Keeping!

Try-Ons: Activewear

I ordered some activewear for a post I’m doing with Nordstrom. I don’t usually share try-ons before I post a sponsored photo shoot, but I wanted to talk more about each piece, and for some reason, we didn’t get many good front-on shots of some of these pieces.

Word of warning: these are pricey. I typically stick to brands like Athleta, Nike, Zella… good quality, but not what I’d call designer activewear. In other words, I don’t usually venture into the Lululemon territory.

Then recently someone was telling me how much they love their Sweaty Betty activewear, and I was curious, so I ordered some. I have to admit, I was cringing at the prices as I placed the order, but I might be a convert… #ooops

Sweaty Betty Athlete Seamless Workout Tank (size M) // I could use another tank top for gym workouts, so I grabbed this seamless workout tank. It’s a nice substantial, stretchy fabric, and it’s hard to see in these pictures, but it has a nice texture to the fabric.

Basically, it just fits well, and it’s not too revealing, which is hard to find in gym tanks. It’s definitely a body-con fit, so you have to be okay with that, but I really like it.

Size-wise, it’s pretty true… or maybe a little big. I usually wear a medium in workout tops, but I could probably size down in this.

VERDICT: Keeping!

also wearing: Wacoal Contour Underwire Sports Bra with Sweaty Betty Power 7/8 Technical Leggings and Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Running Shoes

I also want to mention the bra. Obviously, not posting MY picture, but I was asked to review some sports bras, and I’m in the market for a new one, so I ordered this Wacoal Contour Underwire Sports Bra and the Freya Active Underwire Bra.

I like the fit of the Wacoal, and it runs TTS. It’s not supportive enough to run in with the straps attached like this, but I can work out in it. That said, I just discovered that it can be converted by re-attaching the straps, so I am going to try that. YAY!

The Freya can be converted to racer back much more easily with the J-hook, my preferred style, but it doesn’t fit me quite right.

I currently run and work out in the Chantelle High Impact Sports Bra, which I love. It’s flattering, super supportive, and you can easily convert the back style with a J-hook.

I’ve also worn the Natori Yogi Contour Convertible Sports Bra, and it’s very comfortable, but not supportive enough for running.

Of course, sports bra preferences are very personal, and every woman is built so differently, that it’s definitely worth trying out any of the above. They’re all great bras.

Okay, back to the Try-On Haul…

Spiritual Gangster More Love Muscle Tank (size M) // This top is fun, but I don’t care for the fit — the way it’s low under the arms. It might look better on someone who is smaller chested.

VERDICT: Returning.

also wearing: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Running Shoes with Sweaty Betty Power 7/8 Technical Leggings

Sweaty Betty Power 7/8 Technical Leggings (size M) // Oh, my goodness… where to begin with these! I like this fabric a lot. It’s not as soft as some of the ones below, but not in a bad way. It just has more of a shiny, silky feel to it.

I really like this 7/8 length — it’s flattering, and also a little cooler than full-length leggings for weight lifting.

But what I really love about these is the seaming around the thighs and rear end… sooo flattering. I tried to get a picture, but I’m not sure you can really see it.

Also, they stay put and never sag in the crotch area. I’ve already worn them to work out, and they held up beautifully.

My only complaint is the waist isn’t QUITE high enough for me — but I am very short-waisted. There is a teeny bit of a muffin top when wearing a body-con top like this one, but it’s not a deal breaker. Maybe before IF, I would have sent it back, but now that I’ve trimmed down a bit, it’s not terribly noticeable.

Here are the measurements: 24″ inseam; 9″ leg opening; 9 1/2″ front rise; 13 1/2″ back rise.

These are TTS; I always wear medium in leggings, and they fit perfectly.

VERDICT: Keeping!

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Running Shoe (size 9) // These are amazing sneakers for anyone who wants something super cushiony with good support. I don’t run in these, as I need more structure, but I’ve been wearing them around some during the day, and they are sooooo comfortable.

I love the gold on black for a chic {almost} all-black workout outfit, but the other colors they come in are all good too.

They’re TTS for Nike; I am in my usual size 9.

VERDICT: Keeping!

Beyond Yoga Midi High Waist Leggings (size M) // I also ordered these full-length leggings, and they’re the ones I mentioned in yesterday’s January Favorites. This brand is new to me, but ohmyword, the softness… And they fit so well.

These also do not slide down when you stretch or run, and they are insanely soft and comfortable.

They also have a higher rise (11 1/2″) so there’s absolutely no muffin top when wearing a body-con top. You can see by the photos on the website, if you compare these to the Sweaty Betty pair above… how these come over the belly button, and the Sweaty Betty sit just under it.

Here are the measurements, if you’re into comparing: 25″ inseam; 9″ leg opening; 11 1/2″ front rise; 13 1/2″ back rise.

VERDICT: Keeping!

also wearing: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Running Shoes with Sweaty Betty Power 7/8 Technical Leggings

Alo High Waist Lounge Leggings (size M) // Another pair of full-length leggings, these are by the cult-favorite brand, Alo. These are actually called lounge leggings, and they are deserving of that name. If possible, they’re softer than the Beyond Yoga pair, and a little bit thicker.

They also have a super comfy high rise, but not quite as high as the Beyond Yoga pair. Here are these measurements: 29″ inseam; 8″ leg opening; 10″ front rise; 13 1/2″ back rise.

I like the banded hems at the ankle, and they’re nice and long.

Also worth noting, these and all the styles above passed the squat test! I always have one of my daughters double-check that when buying leggings. You do not want to be THAT girl at the gym… #justsayin

I also ordered these in pink, thinking they’d be cute with grey. For some reason, the pink is even softer, but they’re a tad see-through.

VERDICT: If I was looking for loungewear, I’d have kept these, but I will be working out in whatever leggings I keep, so I kept the two above and returned these.

also wearing: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Running Shoes with Sweaty Betty Power 7/8 Technical Leggings

Sweaty Betty Escape Luxe Hoodie (size S) // Here’s where the prices start to soar… this sweatshirt really is insanely comfortable, though. I love the styling, the way it’s cut longer in the back.

It’s the perfect thing for throwing on over your workout clothes when you can’t go straight home and need to run errands or something. It comes in a bunch of colors, but I ordered the Charcoal Grey Marl.

Fit-wise, I ordered the small (not sure why; I always order medium sweatshirts) but it fits great. Go figure!

This is definitely luxury activewear, but if it’s in the budget and suits your lifestyle, I highly recommend it.

VERDICT: Undecided, but only because of the $$$

also wearing: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Running Shoes with Sweaty Betty Power 7/8 Technical Leggings

Sweaty Betty Rhythm Merino Hoodie (size S) // I ordered this one with running in mind, I guess because the description reads: Keep cozy on your next run… 

I probably won’t run in this, though, mainly because of the drawstrings. Any runner knows you can’t run with drawstrings slapping you in the face.

That said, this hoodie is soooooo cute, I am tempted to keep it for wearing to and from the gym, and maybe even start spending more time in athleisure looks at home.

I mean, why not? There are days that I never leave the house, besides picking my daughter up at band practice. I don’t really need to dress in jeans and a sweater every day. If the activewear is stylish and flattering, there’s no shame in that.

Size-wise, I wish I had ordered the medium to compare, as I like how it fits the model on the Nordstrom website. But maybe the closer fit is better for me for a change. Most of my sweatshirts are more oversized. I didn’t realize I had ordered the small until I looked up my order to verify for this post.

VERDICT: Undecided…. but tempted!

Also wearing: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Running Shoes with Beyond Yoga Midi High Waist Leggings

Zella Nola Full Zip Hooded Sweatshirt (size M) // Finally, a classic Zella hoodie… this price point is much more palatable than the Sweaty Betty options, and this sweatshirt is super soft and thick and very cozy.

I’m not sure why I ordered small in those and medium in this, but I think I could size down in this.

VERDICT: Undecided… this one is much more practical, for sure!

Try-Ons: Rain Gear

Okay, switching gears… I had a few requests for rain coats for spring. More specifically, for an alternative to my The North Face Laney Trench, which finally sold out.

I went to Zappo’s, since they were the last to carry my trench, and I found a few options…

Columbia Here and There Insulated Trench Jacket (size M) // This one is my least favorite of the 3 I ordered, because it’s not very flattering. That said, it seems to run big. Maybe I’d like it better in a small.

It does have some insulation, which is nice if you live in colder climates and want more than just a raincoat — or I guess, if you live in a warmer climate and never need anything heavier than this… at any rate. It has some insulation. LOL!

It’s nice quality and feels good on, and definitely has a casual vibe. It has a hint of stretch, which is nice if you’re layering over a bulky sweater, and I’d say it runs a bit big.

Also good to know, it is waterproof and fully seam-sealed.

VERDICT: If you need waterproof with a little extra warmth, this is a solid choice, but size down.

Columbia Splash A Little II Rain Jacket (size M) // This one is way more fitted and has a more refined styling. It’s certainly fine for everyday, but it’s not quite as casual as the one above.

The sleeves are nice and long, and you can adjust them with a velcro strap. It’s a bit shorter than the one above, which I find more flattering. I really like the streamlined, minimal design. This one is also waterproof and fully seam-sealed.

This one is very thin, though — definitely just a rain jacket, and the price reflects that. It’s a solid choice if you just want rain protection — also, there’s no stretch to speak of, if that matters to you. It comes in other colors too.

VERDICT: A good price for a stylish, minimalistic rain jacket.

The North Face City Midi Trench (size M) // This one is my favorite of the three. The fabric is a little more trench, a little less raincoat, giving it a more elevated look and feel.

It also has a very flattering fit, and the length is just a tad longer than the Columbia Splash A Little Rain Jacket. You will pay a little more, but I think it’s worth it.

It’s waterproof and breathable, but there is no stretch — so definitely go with your larger coat size. The medium fit me perfectly without much room to spare.

VERDICT: Highly recommend for an elevated rain jacket/casual trench!

And A Few More Random Try-Ons…

Sole Society Kaniesa Sport Elastic Flats (size 8) // I ordered these shoes after seeing my friend Lindsay style them a few times. They’re really comfortable, but I recommend sizing up half. I really need the 8.5.

Also, I need to work with them to figure out what to wear them with. They have a sporty vibe, and I don’t love them with this look.

VERDICT: Undecided…

French Connection Sweet Stripe Long Sleeve Sweater Dress (size M) // This dress got QUITE the mixed reviews when I shared it with my JLS Tribe… some loved it, some hated it, and some said they liked it but it’s too memorable.


First, let me say that I expected a sweater dress… I mean, it does say it’s a sweater dress. But it’s not. It’s a thin viscose/poly blend with a little bit of stretchy stuff. Obviously, it’s very body-con, but if you’re okay with that, I think it’s really cute, and I LOVE it paired with these Jeffrey Campbell sock booties.

That said, I have NO idea where I would wear this, so…

VERDICT: Returning. That said, it’s 50% off, so if you like it and have somewhere to wear it, grab one! (But size up!)

BLANKNYC Suede Moto Jacket in Coral Cedar (size M) // After watching this jacket for weeks, I decided to bite the bullet and order it.

It’s more pink than coral, but I think it will be really fun for spring. It’s on the heavier side, and we tend to have chilly springs, so I think I’ll get quite a bit of wear out of it. And for 50% off, I couldn’t pass it up!

Size up; I always wear M in BlankNYC jackets.

VERDICT: Keeping!

also wearing: Vince sweater (old) with AG Farrah skinnies (similar) with Jeffrey Campbell booties (similar)

Charter Club V-Neck Cashmere Sweater (size M) // I ordered this sweater from Macy’s because I was planning to wear it in the photo shoot with my new dishes… but it didn’t arrive in time!

Oh, well. It gave me the opportunity to review their cashmere. Charter Club is one of Macy’s in-house brands, similar to Halogen at Nordstrom.

This sweater is very soft, definitely a thinner cashmere, but I was impressed with the quality for the price point. I found the v-neckline very flattering, and it has a nice, classic fit.

VERDICT: Returning because I don’t need it, but it’s a good value for the price.

Goodthreads Stretch Hooded Cardigan (size S) // I can’t remember if I shared this before or not, but I couldn’t find it in last week’s try-on haul. This cardigan is very soft and stretchy, and I like the slim cut to the arms and the slouchy pockets, although they probably draw attention to the hip area.

It has a relaxed fit — so not terribly flattering from behind, but if you want an affordable, cozy cardigan at a good price, it’s worth a look.

VERDICT: Keeping, but I’ll mostly wear around the house. I can see this with the Alo lounge leggings above in the pink… Hmmmm….

also wearing: Goodthreads Women’s Mid-Rise Crop Straight Jeans in Bleach Wash (size 29) and Two Tone Star Lace up Fashion Sneakers

Goodthreads Women’s Modal Fleece Popover Sweatshirt (size S) // Anyone remember the Goodthreads Women’s Modal Fleece Popover Sweatshirt Dress from last fall? Well, this is the sweatshirt version.

It’s really thick, nice quality, and suuuuper soft inside and out. (Softer on the inside due to the fleece lining, but still feels nice on the striped side as well.) Very nice for those chilly early spring days on the ballfield…

VERDICT: Keeping!

also wearing: Goodthreads Women’s Mid-Rise Crop Straight Jeans in Bleach Wash (size 29) and Two Tone Star Lace up Fashion Sneakers

Ann Taylor Striped Mock Neck Top (size S) // This top would be great for work wear this spring. I love the cut of the arms, and the design of the stripes. It’s very thin, but not in a bad way. It’s very nice quality, and it runs TTS.

Here it is with the black jeans, as another styling option…

VERDICT: I definitely recommend this to anyone needing professional work wear for spring!

also wearing: Sam Edelman Hazel pumps and Everlane The High-Rise Skinny Jeans

Whew! That was a lot. I hope it was helpful. I’d love to hear what you are shopping for right now, and what you’d like to see in future Try-On Hauls!

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January Favorites 2020

Every month I like to share a roundup of things I’m particularly loving at the moment… some of these are new finds, and some are old favorites, but they’re all getting a lot of use these days.

January Favorites 2020

Warby Parker Hayden frames // I loved my old eyeglasses, but they would not stay on my face. I even took them back to LensCrafters to try to get them fitted better, and I was told they couldn’t make them any tighter — something about the length of the bow being too short for me?

I finally had enough, so I stopped into Warby Parker one day when I was at the mall and found these. They aren’t quite as pretty as my old pink ones, but they are lighter and fit my face a whole lot better. Plus, my in-store experience at Warby Parker was super quick and easy!

Lenox Textured Neutrals dishes // I shared these in yesterday’s post, but I’m loving them so much right now, I had to include them.

It’s really fun having printed dishes after having plain white for so many years, and I love how there are several designs that can be mixed and matched.

Chelsea28 cowl // This sweater harkens back to the #NSale in July, but it’s still one of my go-tos, and I wanted to include a sweater that isn’t wool or cashmere because I know some of you can’t wear those fabrics.

Okay, I just checked, and it does have 5% wool, but I do not find it itchy at all. For size reference, I have my usual small, but it’s roomy. You could size down if you wanted a closer fit. It comes in a bunch of colors and is still well stocked.

Agolde crop jeans // You’ve probably seen these already, and you will be seeing a lot more of them! I’m excited about incorporating a new silhouette into some of my daily looks.

The denim on these is super thick and soft, the wash is perfectly worn in but not distressed, and they have a flattering slim fit with a straight cropped leg. Also, Agolde is a sustainable brand that is made in the USA.

Apple Airpods // I finally treated myself to a pair of Apple Airpods, as I’ve been running with a cord dangling from my earbuds for the past few years.

It suddenly struck me how ridiculous that is, when my kids are walking around with Airpods in their ears half the time, so I decided it was time for me to upgrade. I LOVE THEM.

I find myself wearing them some around the house when I want to finish a podcast I was listening to in the car, and it’s great because there’s no cord to get in my way as I’m cleaning the kitchen and things like that.

UGG Quincy boots // These are my go-to boots for the coldest of days. They are sooooo cozy and warm, and comfortable enough to wear around the house all day. I often put them on when I’m not going anywhere b/c they’re warmer than my slippers… see #9.

These boots run a little small; I recommend sizing up half.

Nordstrom Signature Bateau Neck sweater // I’ve been wearing this sweater at least once a week since I got it for Christmas. It’s so luxe, and the details in the knit are super pretty. It’s a great bang for your buck, especially at the 40% off sale price!

It runs big; I have my usual small, but you could size down for a closer fit.

Beyond Yoga leggings // I just ordered a few different pairs of leggings to try… more to come in Friday’s Try-On Haul! These are my favorites of the ones I ordered. They are so, so soft, and not at all see-through. They have a comfortable high rise, and they don’t slide down when I run.

You can actually see the texture a little bit better below.

UGG Dakota slippers // These were another Christmas gift, and I’ve been wearing them pretty much non-stop around the house… except when it’s so cold that I go for my UGG Quincy boots (above.)

I found these true to size, but some people like to size up.

Kiels Creme de Corps // This body lotion has saved my skin this winter. As long as I use it every time I get out of the shower, I never get that nasty dry, itchy winter skin. It’s nice that there is no scent, so my husband can use it too.

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If I Were To Create A Wedding Registry Today…

After all of my friends and cousins got married 20-25 years ago, I went years without attending a wedding. Then recently, I’ve suddenly found myself back on the wedding circuit… but this time, I’m not friends with the bride and groom. I’m friends with their parents!

I’m having so much fun looking at registries and picking out gifts, and it makes me think back to when I was planning my own registry. I remember it like it was yesterday…

Visiting Paul here in Philly and going to Macy’s to browse all the different china patterns, crystal goblets, and silver flatware. They were the destination for all things registry and weddings back then, and they still are today!

I still love the Lenox china pattern I registered for way back then on Macy’s Wedding Registry, and it still looks like new.

But if I could create a wedding registry today, I’d forego the two sets of tableware, and go for one that is super versatile. I’m thinking something that’s both elegant enough for fancy dinner parties but also practical enough for everyday.

Well, guess what? I just got to do exactly that!

I had so much fun teaming up with Macy’s for this post, browsing the Kitchen department on their website to see what’s out there these days, and picking out new dishes, glasses, and flatware. (It’s hard to imagine not having a website to browse 25 years ago!)

One thing was for sure, I don’t want anything that can’t go in the dishwasher or microwave. I also need something durable that will hold up to a lot of use and abuse, because I have teenagers. #nuffsaid

As I perused the website, I was drawn to the Lenox patterns that have several different designs that work together to mix and match for more interest on your table. It’s like Garanimals for dishes!

I finally settled on this Textured Naturals dinnerware collection.

I love how calm and soothing the colors are, and they work in perfectly with the decor of my home. And after years of having only plain white dishes, these are so pretty and fun!

The tablecloth and napkins are also by Lenox. This natural color is perfect under my new dishes.

I think the serving pieces are my favorite part of this collection.

This low serve bowl is perfect for side dishes on the dinner table as well as putting out with chips or fruit when I’m hosting more casual gatherings.

And this water pitcher is the perfect size and shape to use as a vase for cut flowers, or of course, you can use it for water or juice.

I also picked out a new set of wine glasses, also by Lenox.

We usually buy the cheapest ones we can find, and they are always breaking. I hope to have better luck with these.

The quality is really impressive. I can definitely feel the difference, plus the shape is so pretty.

And finally, stainless flatware… I’m still using the set I got from my wedding registry 25 years ago, and it’s pretty beat up.

This Cantera pattern is fresh and modern and complements these dishes perfectly.

The best part is, all of my new tableware will look just as good in my kitchen as it does in my dining room, and everything is dishwasher safe. The dishes can even go in the microwave.

I love that Macy’s was the destination for all things registry and weddings 25 years ago when I got married, and they still are today. Are you getting married, or know someone who is getting married? It’s super easy to create a Macy’s Wedding Registry online! #timeshavechanged

If you were to register all over again, what would you choose?

Shop the Post:

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photos: Alison Cornell

Health & Wellness

In Which I Answer All The Intermittent Fasting Questions

Greetings and good morning! We’ve had quite a weekend in our house. Most notably, C got her driver’s license yesterday!!!

She is very excited, and it will be convenient to have her driving, but of course another cause for mama to worry. Ahhh, parenting… Ain’t it fun?

And we finally got some snow! Not a lot, but it’s pretty. It snowed lightly all afternoon, and I enjoyed watching it through the big window in our family room.

I spent most of the afternoon watching HGTV, snoozing on the couch, and reading my latest book. Later on, Paul built a fire in the fireplace, and we watched the Sixers beat the Knicks in a very tight game, which was awesome.

All in all, it was a cozy but lazy Saturday, and I’m looking forward to getting out of the house for church today.

This post is mostly about IF, but first I’ll give you a quick kitchen update.

Kitchen Makeover Update

I finally got a few good “before” pictures… I love the wide angle lens on my iPhone! It actually captures the whole room.

At this point, mostly everything is picked out and tentatively scheduled. You can see our Kitchen Makeover Plans here, if you missed it last week. (Scroll down about half-way.)

Our new appliances arrive on Wednesday, and I cannot WAIT for that. At least I can start using those while we wait for the rest of the plan to fall into place.

We scheduled the template and the install for the counters for mid-February, secured painters for our cabinets, and got a design plan for the desk area. We also found a contractor to install that as well as the backsplash.

I still need to pick out new cabinet hardware and backsplash materials, but there’s time for that. Needless to say, I’m excited to see it all come together. I hope to get it all wrapped up by the first week of March.

Intermittent Fasting Q&A

I have had a lot of questions about IF this week, so I thought I’d do a Q&A format. I think that’s easier to digest than when I just ramble on for 2000 words.🤪

Q // I am interested in how you found out about this intermittent fasting. I would like more personal experience on how you got interested.

A // I was first introduced to the concept of Intermittent Fasting when I tried FASTer Way to Fat Lost back in the fall of 2018, but evidently, it’s been around since the 1960s. I found FWTFL overly complicated, but a lot of you told me at the time that you do IF without the carb cycling and macro counting, and I was intrigued by that.

Somewhere along the way, I heard about Gin Stephens’ Delay, Don’t Deny Facebook Group, and I eventually joined. I read the posts that randomly popped up in my Facebook feed, but I was just gathering crumbs of information here and there. I was craving more, and I wanted to be sure I understood the science behind IF, not just falling for the newest fad diet.

When someone mentioned Gin’s book, Delay, Don’t Deny, I ordered it and started reading right away. That’s when I got serious about IF, and almost immediately, I started noticing changes in my body, energy level, and yes, even the scale.

That’s also where I learned about the amazing health benefits that come along with practicing intermittent fasting. Let’s just say, I was sold hook, line, and sinker!

Q // What health benefits are you talking about?

A // Read about autophagy and how intermittent fasting plays a role.

Q // What hours do you usually eat?

A // I usually eat between 3 and 7PM, give or take, but I didn’t start out with such a short eating window. You should definitely build up to longer fasts.

Q // How do you go until 3PM without eating when you get up at 5AM?

A // It’s not hard, once you start to become fat adapted. I’m sure I’m not totally there yet, but I don’t usually have any issues working out while fasting, or getting shaky or lightheaded throughout the day. (I was verrry hungry when I first started fasting, but that has gone away.)

Q // What is fat adapted?

A // From “Fat adapted” is the metabolic state your body is in once you’ve been in ketosis long enough that your body has efficiently transitioned from burning carbs/sugar for energy to burning fats from your food, body-generated fats, and your stored body-fat reserves for energy.”

You get the same results from a keto diet, but with Intermittent Fasting, you don’t have to count macros or limit your carbs and sugars. That is not to say you can binge on junk during your eating window and lose weight, but you aren’t limited to any certain food groups, and you can still have a treat here and there.

Q // I tried IF, but I didn’t lose weight, so I gave up. 

A // Okay, that’s not a question, but I hear this a lot.

Here’s the thing: You should not expect immediate weight loss with IF.

If it happens, that’s awesome, but not everyone will have that experience. That’s because IF is not just another method of calorie restriction; it actually trains your body to process food differently, and it takes a while to become fat adapted.

I like to say IF is a marathon, not a sprint. (This is what I tell myself when I see the scale moving in the wrong direction.)

Also, a lot of people will changes to their body right away, but they may not be immediately reflected on the scale.

If weight loss is your goal, you may need to tweak a few things to get the results you want. For example, I didn’t see a lot of change when I was doing 16:8, but as soon as I buckled down and started going 19:5 or even 20:4, I noticed a drop on the scale.

All that to say, there are a lot of ways to do IF, and everyone has to find what works best for them.

Q // What do you add to your coffee that doesn’t break your fast? Or do you drink it black?

A // UPDATE 4/19 — I’ve been drinking my coffee black for weeks, now. I only drink black coffee or water during my fasting hours. The more I read about it, the more I was convinced that a “clean fast” does matter. 

I’ve been adding about 1/2 tsp of heavy cream — that tiny amount takes the edge off the bitterness, and allows my calorie intake to stay under 50, even if I have several cups.

Some would say that breaks my fast, but some believe keeping total calories during your fast under 50 calories does not. I’ve also read that you can still see weight loss doing that, but not autophagy.

I expect no one really knows, and for now, that makes my super strong Nespresso coffee palatable, so I’m allowing it. (I can drink other coffees black.)

Q // What a typical day is like with the program?

A // I get up around 5AM and drink two cups of coffee.

I have my fasting app (I use Zero) set to 18:6 (UPDATE 4/19 — I have it set to 19:5) because I try to fast for at least 18 hours, as long as it works out with my social life. Once the app alerts me that my fast is over, I decide whether or not I want to eat right away.

That depends on how hungry I am, and when I plan to serve dinner. Sometimes I go another hour or two or three, and sometimes I eat something as soon as the alarm goes off.

I try to break my fast with something healthy — leftover soup or dinner, tuna salad, or a scrambled egg. Then I usually have a sweet treat — often a gluten-free cookie with a cup of coffee (and this time, I treat myself to a generous pour of heavy cream… yum!)

I may have a snack while I’m making dinner, and I try to eat a good-sized, well-balanced meal. I also take a hair, skin & nails vitamin, and I try to incorporate a scoop of collagen powder into something I’m eating along the way. I like it best mixed into soup.

After dinner, I may have another cookie or sweet treat, and then I close my window. (I actually tap Start Fast on my app, so it’s a conscious decision to stop eating.)

My eating window may be 2 hours, or it may be 6, but usually it’s around 4.

Q // Was it hard to get used to fasting? 

A // Not really. The best part of IF is how easy it is, and it was actually a relief not to have the pressure of finding something healthy to eat during the day.

I mean, sure, I was hungry at times as my body adjusted, but I’m usually too busy during the day to eat well, and I had gotten into a bad habit of snacking on junk and grabbing a sugary breakfast bar as I ran out the door, which just kept my insulin spiking all day.

On the days I’m around the house more, it’s sometimes hard to walk through the kitchen and not grab a snack, but I will get a glass of water or another cup of coffee and then just get busy with something.

Q // How do you handle social situations for breakfast and lunch?

A // IF is super flexible, and I can easily shift or expand my eating window to accommodate lunch, so that hasn’t been a problem.

I rarely have a social situation involving breakfast, but when I do, it just depends… If I’m at an event where food is around, but it’s not formal sit-down meal, I may just have black coffee and socialize.

But if we’re on family vacation, and the family is gathering for breakfast, I will join in and eat. I’ll get back to my regular fasting schedule the next day, or when I get back from vacation. Supposedly your body gets right back on track.

Q // How much weight have you lost, and what is your weight loss goal?

A // I’ve lost a solid 5 pounds, which puts me back into all of my clothes comfortably.

I went into this without a specific weight loss goal in mind, and I’m happy where I am right now, but also interested to see where the lifestyle takes me.

I wish I’d taken “before” pictures wearing form-fitting workout gear, so I have a good baseline, but I didn’t think about it.

This is the best “before and after” that I could find, but I think you can see a difference. It’s subtle, but it’s there. The picture on the left was taken on 12/23, and the one on the right was just this morning — so almost a month apart. I got serious about IF on 12/27.

Q // Can you explain more about how you think you body has changed?

A // The first thing I noticed was that my puffy belly started to deflate, and my clothes felt more comfortable — especially in the waist area, which is where they tend to get tight. That happened within the first few days of moving to a 5-hour eating window.

My chest has also gotten smaller (I can tell by the way my bras fit), and my hips look slimmer in my jeans. Basically, I feel like I look slimmer overall, and my body looks familiar to me again — not the middle-aged alien that has been inhabiting it for the past 6 months, haha!

It seems too good to be true, but only time will tell!

FINAL WORDS ON IF: If you read nothing else, read this…

I share all this because I have been getting so many questions, and I’m always happy to share what works for me when it comes to heath and wellness.

But PLEASE, don’t just start fasting because some random fashion blogger on the internet happens to think it’s the best thing since sliced bread.

Do your own research, and make an informed decision. Gin’s Delay, Don’t Deny is a good place to start, but she isn’t a doctor. She just synthesizes the information she has gleaned from her research. I recently downloaded The Obesity Code (one of the books she references a lot) and plan to read that next.

You really need to understand IF before diving in — to give yourself the best chance at success, and also to be sure it’s right for you.

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