Friday, July 31, 2015

Navy Stripes

We had another significant heat wave this week and, as much as I wanted to stay at home in the comfort of our air conditioning, my kids were itching to get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine.  This breezy dress was the perfect choice for walking around town & grabbing a bite to eat.  I love pieces like this that are comfortable but still look chic, plus I'm a sucker for anything with navy stripes.  I found the vertical lines of this shift style made it extra flattering & I definitely appreciated the lightweight fabric on such a hot day.  Note: it comes with a self-tie belt to help cinch in your waist, but I chose to remove it for a more flowy relaxed feel.

What I'm wearing:
Ya Los Angeles dress c/o Liz & Honey (wearing a Small), c/o Vince Camuto sandals (on sale!), 
Forever 21 bag, Bracelets: c/o Blu Bijoux and Vintage (similar), Forever 21 earrings (similar), 
Rings: c/o Old Navy (similar) & c/o ShopLately (similar), Target sunglasses (similar), 
Lips: Revlon Smoked Peach, Nails: Essie Big Spender


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Traveling Light

Today I'm doing a follow-up post continuing on from yesterday's theme about summer getaways to share my personal packing tips.  Many of you have emailed in the past few months asking about this specifically so I hope this will help answer some of your questions.  This year in particular, as a family, we have planned more camping excursions, road trips & weekend getaways than ever before.  And most of the time, we're restricted to bringing just one bag per person. Though I never considered myself a light packer, through plenty of trial & error, I have now developed a system that works well & ensures I only bring exactly what I need.  

1) Choose appropriate clothing for your destination & activities
Two years ago when we flew home to Oregon for the summer, I made the mistake of packing pretty sundresses & silk blouses that I really wanted to wear.  But, most of the days were spent lounging by my parents’ pool & relaxing on the farm, so they were not practical clothing choices and, consequently, never ended up being worn.  As hard as it may be, it’s crucial to think realistically about how you’ll be spending your time & choose pieces that make the most sense for those activities.  I also make it a point to check the 10-day weather forecast for where we're headed so I know exactly what temperature range to expect.  

2) Plan your outfits from head to toe
I used to be famous for throwing in a bunch of random items at the last minute that I felt I would somehow "need"...which would inevitably never end up getting worn.  So I started using this system instead: once I have a good idea of what types of pieces I'll need for our trip, I go through my closet and create head to toe looks (this includes footwear, jewelry/accessories & bags).  When I have the complete outfit on, I take a picture of it with my phone in the full-length mirror.  Then I have those photos available for quick reference while we're traveling and I'm not scrambling to put an outfit together each morning.  In order to pack as light as possible, I try to select items in colors & patterns that will be easy to re-wear with other pieces I'm bringing.  For example, using the pieces in the photo below, I was able to create 9 different looks by mix & matching items.  

Here's what I packed:
* 1 hat - Target Panama Hat & 1 scarf - Pom Pom Scarf
* 2 pairs of sandals - J. Crew Slides // Mossimo Fringe Sandals (similar)
* 3 bottoms - Joe Fresh Shorts // Ann Taylor Stripe Shorts (similar) // SO Linen Pants (similar)
* 2 dresses - Gap Chambray Maxi // River Island Off-Shoulder Dress (similar)

3) Pare down your toiletries
For a long weekend away, I try to keep my beauty routine as simple as possible.  I only select two lip colors & two eye-shadows to bring with me and I fill small reusable bottles with my favorite shampoo & conditioner to save on space in my bag.  These POND'S Cleansing Towelettes have become my go-to wipes for removing my makeup on those nights when I'm too tired to crawl out of bed.  But, I've come to love them even more this season because they are easy to take with me wherever I go - from the gym to the beach to camping in the woods.  They gently remove dirt, oil & makeup while instantly hydrating my skin, which is essential for summer travel when women tend to overwash their face with soap & water.  And unlike other facial cleansers, they're not liquid, which means I can toss them in my carry-on bag to use on a long flight.

My go-to outfit for the day that I'm traveling is comfortable layered basics.  I typically wear a knit tank, lightweight jacket, stretchy jeans & comfortable flats.  I also prefer to wear my hat, when possible, so I don't risk it getting smashed in my bag.  If you're heading to a warmer climate, try layering an airy oversized scarf over your top, instead of a jacket - it can double as a wrap or blanket should you need it en route & you can remove it once you arrive.

What I'm wearing:
Oasis jacket (similar here, here or here), c/o Old Navy tank (similar here or here), Vila jeans (similar), 

If you have any secrets for traveling light or packing tips you've learned over the years, please share in the comments below.  And let me know if you'd like to see a further in-depth post about how to pack more mix-and-matchable pieces to build multiple outfits for your trips!

This post was created in connection with my appointment as Influencer for POND'S.
Visit POND'S Pinterest for more skin care tips.
All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Summer Escape

It's hard to believe that the summer is more than half over and it's almost August already!  I, for one, want to savor every moment before the cool weather hits and school starts again.  One of the best ways to take full advantage of this last month is to take a mini-getaway.  Whether it's a day trip to the beach or a long weekend to explore a new place, now is the perfect time to escape the everyday, soak up the sun and relax a little.

Today I'm sharing 3 new looks using Old Navy items that I would wear throughout the day on a quick trip out of town.  I chose neutrals that would be easy to mix and match with global-inspired patterns.  These are the ideal end-of-summer pieces because they have a comfortable relaxed feel, which is exactly the type of effortless style I crave when I'm on vacation.  Today only,  you can get 30% off your online purchase of $75 or more at Old Navy when you use code ENJOY!


When I'm exploring a new place & know that I'll be walking most of the day, comfort is of the utmost importance. But there's no reason to sacrifice style when you're sightseeing.  This chic patterned skirt has deep pockets & an easy fit that's just right for a warm summer day.  I topped it off with a gorgeous olive green tee made of a soft silky fabric, which further elevates this casual day look.

What I'm wearing:
c/o Old Navy V-neck Tee (comes in 7 colors; wearing an XS), c/o Old Navy Jacquard Skirt (wearing an XS), 
c/o Old Navy Sandals (similar here or here)Similar Necklace, ALDO Hat (similar), 
Madewell Bag (similar), Similar Bracelets (here & here)


Packing light for the weekend means selecting items that can do double-duty in a pinch.  If I know that we'll be heading to the beach or a lakefront, I make sure to choose a cover-up that I can also wear as an outfit if needed. This patterned tunic is slightly sheer, which lets the fun print of my swimsuit show through, but works just as well layered over a cami & paired with shorts.

What I'm wearing:
c/o Old Navy Tunic (wearing a XS), c/o Old Navy Bikini Top & Bottoms
c/o Old Navy Denim Shorts (similar here or here), J. Crew Sandals
c/o Old Navy Tote (similar), c/o I Love Jewelry Necklace, c/o ShopLately Earrings (similar)


The embroidered details on this dress makes it a festive choice for dinner out + the forgiving cut means I can indulge a little without it showing (what vacation is all about!).  Though I chose to wear it in the evening, it's one of those pieces that can be easily dressed down with flat sandals & a roomy tote.

What I'm wearing:
c/o Old Navy Dress (wearing an XS), Dune London Heels (similar), c/o LuLu*s Clutch (similar), 
J. Crew Factory Earrings (similar), Madewell Cuff (similar), Lips: L'Oreal Volcanic

This post is brought to you by Old Navy.
All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Helping Hands

I was recently reading an article that stated that one of the first things people notice about someone else is their hands.  I thought this was a little strange, as I typically look at someone's hair or eyes before glancing elsewhere. But, it makes sense when you consider that you often shake a hand when being introduced and, if you're animated like me, use your hands while talking.  But, unfortunately, the earliest signs of sun exposure & aging show up first on the hands, sometimes even before they appear on your face. So, it spurred me to think a little bit more seriously about how I am caring for my hands on a daily basis.

1) Treat
Similar to caring for the skin on your face, the sooner you establish a daily regimen, the better your results will be.  I like to apply a rich lotion in the morning once I'm done getting ready & a couple times a week, I put on these gloves at night before bed for a deep moisturizing treatment.  And don't forget to protect your hands with  a hefty dose of sunscreen when heading outdoors!

2) Frost
Because it's one of the first places where the eye is drawn when you meet someone new, why not add some subtle sparkle?  Layering dainty rings feels fresh right now and it's an easy trend to try without investing a fortune.  Wear one on each finger or layer them together for even more of an impact.  Here are some styles I'm currently craving:
3) Primp
I'm a little obsessive about always having my nails painted, thanks to my mom who was & still is the same way.  I shared my tips for achieving a flawless at-home manicure over four years ago (here) and these are still the steps I swear by today.  Looking for a little nail inspiration?  You can see all the manicures I've created on the blog here, though I'm now anxious to try a negative space nail design like the one seen above.


Monday, July 27, 2015

Weekly Top Ten

I've fallen a bit behind on posting this segment on a weekly basis like I originally intended, so I'm making up for it today with some of my top picks from one of my favorite stores.  I know it's hard to think about wearing fall clothing right now, but new arrivals are starting to hit the shelves already & these prices are far too good not to share!  Right now, Old Navy is offering 35% off your online purchase thru 7/28 using code COOL (that includes these amazing new arrivals) + free shipping on orders over $50!  Here are the pieces that I've got my eye on:

Striped Tunic (also in taupe stripe & blue stripe) // Canvas Field Jacket (also in olive)
Quilted Top (also in black) // Boyfriend Plaid Pullover (also in blue gingham, navy & blue/green plaid)
Pleated Soft Pants (also in tan & black) // Leopard Crossbody Bag (also in solid colors)
Bucket Bag (also in olive) // Plaid Midi Skirt (also in black/blue plaid)


Friday, July 24, 2015

Summer Style: Day to Night

It's no secret that I love a good sale, but particularly when I can find higher-end brands for less because I know the quality is great and they will last through multiple wears and washes.  Today I'm sharing two summer outfits I've created using pieces from Bloomingdale's - though they are well known for carrying expensive designer brands, they also have an amazing selection of affordable styles that fit my budget perfectly.  And they just launched a great sale yesterday, which means you can save even more!  Get $20 off every $50 you spend on select sale styles when you use code SUNSHINE (now thru 7/26).  All of the items I'm wearing in both looks are currently on sale & eligible for this promotion. In addition to these pieces, I've also included my top picks from Bloomingdale's below (everything under $100).

What I'm wearing:
c/o Free People Army Jacket (wearing a Small; also in tan), c/o Guess Crochet-Trim Cami (wearing a Small), 
Similar Shortsc/o TOMS Crossbody Bag, Similar Sandals, Similar Bracelets (here & here)

What I'm wearing:
Thank you to Bloomingdale's & ShopStyle for kindly sponsoring this post.  
All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

20 Under $20

Although I told myself that I wouldn't purchase any more summer pieces, there are so many amazing end-of-season sales happening that I haven't been able to help myself!  I've rounded up dozens of my top picks below (all $20 or less!) and used them to create six different warm-weather looks for every occasion.  I'd love to hear which one is your favorite & what deals you have scored this month!  NOTE: to receive the extra 40-60% off J. Crew's sale items, use code SHOPSALE + shipping on all orders is free today only (no minimum!).



Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Crochet Fringe

We had such an incredible heat wave over the weekend that I was honestly thrilled when it finally cooled down into the low 70's and rained yesterday.  I was just waiting for the lower temperatures so I could wear this crochet sweater.  The open-knit design & fringed hem makes it such a fun & unique piece that's perfect for pairing with distressed skinnies & heels.  Note: if it's warmer where you live, this would be equally as cute with denim shorts & flat lace-up sandals (like these or these).

What I'm wearing:
c/o Joe Fresh sweater (also here), H&M cami, Vila jeans (similar here or here), 
Charlotte Russe heels (similar here or here), Zara bag (similar here or here), Madewell bracelet (similar), 
Sole Society ring (similar), c/o Outrage Fashion earrings (similar), Ray-Ban wayfarers,
Lips: NYX Cosmetics FuschiaNails: Essie Lollipop