June 15, Striped Dress

My son is graduating from high school on Monday, and today is their Convocation. I don’t know much about this event, and have no idea what people will be wearing, so I decided to wear a casual cotton striped dress and hope I’m not underdressed!

Colorful striped dresses are very on trend right now- but I’m not one to wear super bright colors, so instead of totally following this fad, I have opted for a more muted version that is more my style. I just found this fun dress at Nordstrom Rack, and I absolutely love it. I think this will be a perfect summer staple for any occasion. The length works for day or evening, and it’s so different than anything I own. Today it’s a bit chilly, so I am pairing it with my denim jacket (with the sleeves rolled up), but for a hot day- I could easily wear it alone with cute white slides.

And check out the cute back! Love the tie!

Here is what the tag says, which I think is awesome!

These are words to live by!

Sidenote- I was in a classroom last week and there was a poster on the wall that said ‘Grace is showing kindness when it isn’t deserved’. I thought that was such a great way to define grace. While I’d like to think kindness is always deserved, I think what this means is that even when someone is being a total jerk- you still show kindness to them. I love that our elementary school children are learning that character trait. I need to remember that in my own life!

Dress- Nordstrom Rack

White slides- Target

Brown slides- Steven (TJ Maxx)

June 14, Striped Top

Today’s outfit is my distressed jeans and a cute black and white striped dolman sleeved top.

In the before photo I am wearing straight leg jeans- and I have the top pulled down way too low. It’s much cuter scrunched up at the waist and with the sleeves pushed up. Also, if you look closely, you can also see my bra strap peeking out. If you’re wearing a shirt that has an open neckline like this, try a fun bralette instead. This looks so much better than a regular bra straps. The distressed skinny jeans are also a better option than the straight leg jeans- and the strappy sandals complete the look! Happy Friday everyone!

Jeans- 7 for All Mankind

Top- OC STyle

Shoes- Lucky Brand

Bralette- Target

June 13, Tunic Dress

I bought this cute dress last summer in Kansas City at TJ Maxx. Every year my sisters invite me to attend a White Party at their Country Club (where everyone is dressed in white) and I needed something to wear.

I love the tunic style of this comfy dress- and the cute embroidery adds interest to the otherwise plain outfit. To keep it casual I chose simple braided leather sandals. It’s perfect for a hot summer day, or a casual pool side party!

Dress- TJ Maxx

Shoes- Target (old!)

June 12, Summer’s Here

It’s going to be another hot day here in the PNW, so for my OOTD I have chosen denim shorts and this cute bright orange top.

Looking at the before photos, the denim shorts on the left are not flattering. They are too tight- and my legs look like sausages. I hate the way the fabric clings to my curvy hips, plus this is uncomfortable. The shorts on the right are a better option for me. The loose, flowy fabric fits better- and the fact that they aren’t skin tight actually makes my legs look thinner. By tucking in the top and adding cute snakeskin sandals & an armful of colorful bracelets, I have created a super casual, super summery look.

June 11, Maxi Dress

I bought this striped maxi dress a few years ago- but I rarely wear it, because I don’t love the way it looks on my curvy body!  But, it’s going to be a hot day today, so I thought I’d see if I could make some small changes to the way it looks.

 I decided to tie a white tank over the dress. This breaks up the stripes while creating the illusion of a skirt and top. Without the tank the dress is unflattering, all those stripes across my tummy area are not doing me any favors. But by tying the tank- I have created a waist, and broken up all the stripes. Adding the long necklace also helps break up the solid tank. By also tying the bottom of the dress, I have a cohesive look that is super relaxed, easy and fun to wear! Enjoy your day!

Dress- Gap (old)

Tank- Fabletics

Shoes- TJ Max

June 10, Blue and White

As you know, blue and white are one of my favorite color combos! It’s just so classic, so crisp and so easy! Today I chose my cropped white jeans and a simple blue button down blouse from Loft.

I love this blouse because it is rayon, which means it hangs really well. I hate things that cling to my tummy (my problem area), so a blouse like this is perfect because it looks nice- and is slimming at the same time! Looking at the photos, I like it better with the cropped jeans and the cuter sandals, and I suggest tucking it in and adding a fun leopard belt to really elevate the look.

It looks black in the photos, but it is actually a deep navy blue.

Jeans- Gap

Blouse- Loft, old, but here is a similar look, and another one here

Shoes- TJ Max (link is to a similar pair on Amazon)

Belt- Target

June 9, What to Pack for a European Vacation

A friend of mine (and loyal reader!), Marilyn, recently wrote asking what to pack for a 2 week trip to Europe- so this post is for her- and for anyone else who might be traveling this summer.

My suggestion is to pack as light as possible, especially if you are moving from place to place. When we went, we did 2 different cities, and even that was a pain! I brought my enormous suitcase- and believe me I regretted it every day. Dragging in on the metro was a pain, then dragging it on the old and bumpy streets was a pain, and to top it off, the Air B&B we rented was on the 5th floor of a very old building with no elevator and a teeny tiny winding staircase and it was almost impossible to get that damn suitcase up the stairs! Plus, I didn’t need most of the clothes I brought!

So… my ideal packing list is as follows:

Tops- Black tank (or t shirt), White tank (or t shirt), Striped tank, 1 or 2 patterned tops, chambray shirt, solid sweater

Jackets- Bomber jacket or Denim jacket, Utility style Jacket with pockets and hood 

Bottoms- Dark wash jeans, Black Jeans, skirt, black dress

Shoes– sporty tennis shoes, brown leather comfy sandals, black sandals . Make sure your shoes are SUPER comfortable. You may walk 10 miles a day!

Purses– 1 cross body bag

Scarves– 2 scarves (I brought 1, and then bought one there! Which made for a fun souvenir)

Hat– 1 baseball hat 

Jammies– leggings (that could be worn in the day in a pinch) + tank or t shirt

Socks– If you want to wear socks with your tennis shoes, I would suggest bringing no show Smart Wool socks. They are my favorite!

** Bring slip shorts to wear under skirt and dress to prevent chafing 

Here are 3 different versions of a black dress to bring. Any of these would work!

Outfit combos: 

  1. Dark jeans + striped top + sweater + tennis shoes
  2. Dark jeans + printed top + utility Jacket + tennis shoes 
  3. Dark jeans + white tank + scarf + sandals
  4. Dark jeans + black tank + bomber jacket + black sandals 
  5. Black jeans + black tank + denim shirt + statement necklace 
  6. Black jeans + printed top + sandals 
  7. Black jeans + white tank + bomber jacket + scarf
  8. Skirt + striped tank + utility Jacket + tennis shoes
  9. Skirt + white tank + denim shirt + leather sandals 
  10. Skirt + white tank + scarf + sweater 
  11. Black Dress alone
  12. Black Dress with denim jacket, hat and tennis shoes 
  13. Black dress with scarf
  14. I’m sure you could come up with even more combos than I show here

The idea is to chose basic colors that work well together- then add a few fun prints in to mix things up a bit.

You may also want to bring a pair of black shorts in case it is warm! Keep in mind that very few places in Europe have air conditioning, but depending on what time of year you go this may not be a problem. We went to London and Paris in late June and July, and it was actually very pleasant, low 70’s. Also, a bathing suit is probably not necessary, depending on where you are going- and unless you know your hotel has a pool. 

Another idea is instead of the cross body bag, is to consider a backpack. I used one when we went to Europe, and I could throw my coat and/or scarf in there in case I needed it, plus it held snacks, my map, guidebook, bottle of water… you name it. Yes, I looked like a tourist, but so what!

Lastly, remember to wear your bulkiest clothes on the plane!

Have a fabulous trip- and let me know if you have any suggestions that I may have missed. I love hearing good ideas for traveling light! Even though we aren’t headed to Europe this summer, I am headed to Kansas for 2 weeks and would love to hear your tips!