Oct 7, Cozy Sweater

Every Saturday morning I wake up early and plan my meals for the upcoming week. To keep it super easy, I keep a general plan (Asian Monday, Taco Tuesday, Whatever Wednesday, Souper Thursday, Pizza Friday), this helps me plan meals without feeling overwhelmed. Once I’ve figured out what we are going to have I print all the recipes and create a grocery list. Then as soon as my hubby gets up we go out to breakfast and head to the grocery store. We think of it as our weekly date (how romantic!), plus it keeps me organized and is helpful after a long day at school to come home and know exactly what is for dinner that night!

I am sharing this because over the weekend I received a marketing email from Nordstrom with outfit ideas for the week (cozy sweater on Monday, jumpsuit on Tuesday, menswear on Wednesday… and so on) which made me think about how I spend so much time planning my menu- but have never thought to plan my outfits for the week. Below is what Nordstrom sent:

Today’s theme: a cozy sweater.

I’m wearing a color block fuzzy sweater from Nordstrom (old). It’s so comfy and cozy, and perfect for a chilly fall day. I’m going out on a bit of a limb by wearing ripped jeans, hoping the school I’m subbing at today won’t mind. It’s a middle school, so I thought the ripped jeans might be ok?! I sure hope so! As usual, I have tucked my sweater in, just so it doesn’t look like I’m swimming in it! And finally, the black booties are sleeker than the clunky Uggs.

Have a great Monday, and check back tomorrow for another Nordstrom inspired outfit!

Sept 24, Growth Mindset

I’m not even going to talk about today’s outfit, party because I think it’s just an ok outfit (these early school mornings are killing me), and also the changes are pretty self explanatory.

Instead I want to tell you about something I learned about myself last night. 

I was out to dinner with friends and I shared that I have been trying some new vegetarian recipes for my family, and how my daughter has been reluctant to try my amazing concoctions. However, rather than force her to eat it, in our family we have what I call a ‘no thank you bite’ meaning you must take a bite and try it and then you can say ‘no thank you’. I always thought this was a great way of getting my kids to at least try new things. 

However, after I shared this story, my clever friend Stacey said, “why wouldn’t you call that a discovery bite? When you call it a ‘no thank you bite’ you are already setting the stage to saying no….” 

Wow! How had I never thought of that? She is totally right, and that is the perfect example of a growth mindset.

Have you ever heard this phrase? I honestly hadn’t until I started back teaching 3 years ago. Now, I hear it daily. Growth mindset is the idea that instead of saying to yourself ‘I can’t do that’, you say ‘I can’t do that- yet’! Meaning there is always a possibility that you may grow or learn something new! Cool, huh?

So, now I will say to my family, “would you like to discover Ginger miso salad?! Smokey cauliflower tacos? Chickpea faro stew… ?” and I’m hoping their response will be, “I’ve never had that- yet… but I’d love to try! “ Do you see where I’m going here? By simply changing the way I phrase my suggestion to try something new- I hope I can teach my kids to explore- and grow! 

I don’t know why I had to share that, except for the fact that it really made me reflect on how I present things to my children (and students) and maybe even possibly myself. Am I saying no to things because I haven’t mastered them? Am I afraid to try something new? Do have a growth mindset? Thanks to Stacey, I will now approach my life in a more open minded and exploratory way! We are never too old to learn! 

(jeans- Gap, flannel- American Eagle, boots- Nordstrom)

Sept 19, Leather Jacket

First off, let me apologize for not blogging the last 2 days. I posted my outfits on Instagram, so if you’re curious, head over there to see what I wore…

Now, on to today’s look. Funny story about this leather jacket. My husband bought it for me years ago at Nordstrom, and while I think it’s gorgeous, I was never really sure how to wear it. So, it sat in my closet for years gathering dust. I actually had it in a pile of clothes that I tried to take to my local consignment store to consign. Having never done that before, I wasn’t aware of the process. The lady at the store was sort of rude to me since I didn’t have an appointment. Without even looking at my clothes, she told me she wasn’t interested in what I had. I sheepishly left feeling rather insulted. When I got home I left the bag of clothes in my garage, not sure what to do with them. A few days later I saw on Fashion Jackson (one of my all time favorite Insta style gals) a fabulous photo of her wearing a leather jacket- so I decided to resurrect mine from the garage and give it a try… and here you go!

Tonight I’m going out wine tasting with some friends, so I decided this would be a perfect night to break it out. It’s a much more stylish look than the North Face jacket on the left. Other little changes that you may notice- I am wearing a much cuter white top in the outfit on the right. The top on the left has a weird neckline (that V is so high!) and it is too clingy. The top on the right is rayon, which drapes much better. I also swapped out the rounded toe leopard flats for the pointy toe version and added a long necklace. By making these little adjustments, I now have a cute and stylish outfit to wear out tonight! So thank you rude sales lady, you actually saved me from giving up a fabulous jacket!

The details on this jacket make it interesting!

Jeans- Gap

Top- Nordstrom Rack

Jacket- Nordstrom

Shoes- Nordstrom Rack

Sept 10, Fall Y’all

It’s Fall, Y’all! We have been having the weirdest weather the last few days. Normally September is still warm and sunny for us in the PNW, but lately it’s felt a lot more like fall. We’ve had crazy rain, wind and overall dreary weather. Perfect for breaking out my flannel shirt!

In the before photo I paired this cute windowpane flannel shirt from Old Navy (old) with grey jeans and grey orthopedic shoes. I think this look is just blah. It’s too boring and predictable. To change it up a bit, I have chosen my distressed skinny jeans and slip on tennis shoes from Dr. Scholl’s. I like how the color of the shoes matches the shirt, and how the blue distressed denim gives a super casual, relaxed vibe to the outfit. Rolling the sleeves and loosely tucking the shirt add to the casual look.

Sept 6, Inspiration

One of the reasons I started this blog back in 2011 was I wanted to find ideas on how to put outfits together. I have a closet full of clothes, yet sometimes don’t know what to wear! It’s been fun discovering people with similar interests and style- and I’ve been inspired by many of them. One of those is someone I found recently over on Instagram, a teacher from Wisconsin called @Madstylestudio. She has such an effortless, casual look that I love! Today’s outfit is inspired by her outfit from yesterday!

Here is what she wore:

Straight leg jeans and a floral top. So simple, yet stylish! So… that got me to thinking about my own floral top- and decided to try it paired with 3 different bottoms.

First I tried my wide leg Levi jeans. I love the washed denim look, and I think this is cute- but I wish the jeans didn’t flare out so much at the bottom. A straighter leg would be cuter. On that note, next I tried my straight leg Lucky jeans. I definitely like this look more- but wish the jeans had a more faded, worn look like @madstylestudio

Finally, just for fun, I decided to try my new joggers. While these don’t make my legs look skinny (in fact, the opposite), I absolutely LOVE the comfort and ease of wearing them. Plus, I think it’s a fun and different look than blue jeans. The grayish color in the floral top goes well with the pants- and gives me a casual, relaxed outfit.

So thank you, @madstylestudio for inspiring me. You rock! And if you don’t currently follow her, I suggest you get yourself on over to Instagram and look her up. And let me know who else you follow! I’m always looking for more inspiration.

Happy Friday everyone! Have a great weekend!

August 29, Back to School Shopping

I took my daughter back to school shopping today. Yes, I know- most of the country is already back at school, but in the PNW we wait until after Labor Day to start, so we still have a few more days of summer. Yeah!

I knew I wanted to wear jeans because I am always cold in the mall, and I decided to keep it simple and classic by pairing my jeans with a white button down. However- comparing the two looks above, you can see that in order for this to be a cute outfit, I need to make a few changes.

Instead of the dark straight leg jeans, I decided to go with distressed skinnies from Nordstrom (7 for all Mankind). Since a button down is a little dressy, the distressed jeans balance it out by being super casual. To keep from looking like I’m wearing my husband’s dress shirt (which I am in the before photo), I swapped out this thick starched shirt for a much thinner, casual one from Nordstrom (Treasure and Bond). Then I rolled the sleeves and unbuttoned a few buttons. To add some interest, I choose my leopard belt from Target and added a white cuff bracelet. My leather braided sandals completed the outfit.

August 25, Jeans and a Tank

Today’s look is a very basic, very simple look of just jeans and a tank, but as usual, it all comes down to the details.

In my before look I’m wearing straight leg cuffed jeans that look really awkward, especially paired with these orthopedic shoes! Paired with this boring logo t shirt- I look dated and out of style.

So, instead I will wear skinny jeans and this cute v neck tank. I’ve tucked it in to give it some shape, and added a belt, bracelets and my leopard slides. These little details make all the difference in the world. Happy Sunday!

August 3, Blue and White Again

Another day, another blue and white outfit. Today I’m showing a very simple, basic look of blue jeans and a white blouse. But in the photo on the left my proportions are off.

The wide leg jeans and the boxy blouse don’t work well together. When you have big on top, you need to go skinny on bottom. So the skinny jeans on the right are an improvement. I also wanted to keep this outfit super simple with neutral shoes. But I don’t love the loafers on the left, they seem old and tired. I think the cute tie up shoes on the right are much better, don’t you?

And check out the details on this blouse- I love the pattern, and the detail on the shoulder are so cool.

Blouse- Madewell

Jeans- Lucky Brand

Shoes- Paul Green

July 30, Monochromatic

There are some days when I go into my closet and can’t think of what to wear. If I’m not feeling creative or inspired, I go back to the basics and stick with what I know works. One look that always works is monochromatic.

Dressing from head to toe in the same color is a simple and easy way to look stylish and slim. However, you can’t just throw on two items the same color and call it good. Take the outfit on the left. Here I have on straight leg jeans that are too big and look messy. See how they bulk and gather at the knee? I also have on an oversize blue pullover. This isn’t stylish at all- it’s perfect for working out, but not so perfect for a lunch date with friends.

To improve the outfit, I switched to my dark denim skinny jeans. The dark color is slimming, as is the cut. I then added a blue silk button down top. By tucking it in and adding a cute leopard belt, I have given the outfit some interest, but not strayed from the monochromatic look. To complete the outfit, I’m wearing my faux Hermes sandals. These have a 2 inch block heel, which also adds to the slimming effect and make me look taller! And the color is perfect with my belt and purse.

Some of you may wonder where I get my ideas from, so I wanted to share one of the books that I love as a resource for dressing for your shape. I’ve included a link for it on Amazon, and it’s only $10!

This book is a great resource!
A quick glimpse at her advice (and where I get my expertise from! )

Jeans- Gap

Blouse- Ann Taylor

Shoes- TJ Maxx

Belt- Target

No links because all everything I am wearing is OLD!! Sorry!

June 21, Sisters

I feel so blessed to have 2 amazing sisters. I honestly consider them to be my best friends! Unfortunately, they both live far away (in Kansas City) so I only get to see them about 4 or 5 times year. This week, my little sister is visiting to help celebrate my son’s graduation and my daughter’s 16th birthday, so I thought I’d post a sister’s photo.

My little sister is very stylish- she totally inspires me! She has a very classic, polished look- and isn’t afraid to spend a lot on clothes (unlike me- who is a cheapskate!)

Here she is wearing white on white- which can be hard to pull off, but she makes it work by choosing stylish white jeans with a frayed hem and a cute white cotton t-shirt with a ruffle detail on the sleeves. By tucking the shirt in and revealing the cute brown belt she breaks up the white and keeps her outfit from looking too plain. To add a little more interest & fun, she choose cute leopard slides and added some jewelry.

As for me, I’ve chosen my dark skinny jeans and paired them with a cute floral blouse. I NEVER wear floral, so this is a stretch for me, but I think it looks feminine and sweet. I’ve been looking for a floral top for a while, and found this cute one at Nordstrom Rack the other day, and I really like it!

To complete my outfit, I chose my block heel slides and added a couple of bracelets.

Happy Friday everyone!