Thursday, October 29, 2015

J.Crew Factory New Arrivals

If loving J.Crew Factory this much is wrong, I don't want to be right! I just recently posted about all of the overlap between J.Crew & J.Crew Factory (see the post here), & then J.Crew Factory released another batch of new arrivals, & my Christmas List was made. But seriously family/friends - I will take any of the pieces below!

What new arrivals are you loving?

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

stepping out

turtleneck: J.Crew Factory (on sale for under $20!)

shoes: gold cap toe flats ℅ Rockport Shoes

I don't know how many days I was supposed to wait before showing a repeat wear on the blog, but I just couldn't wait to pull this skirt out again! I previously wore it during our Bloggers Who Budget collaboration with a blazer and strappy heels, but I wanted to show off how fun this skirt could be for those of us who live in flats. 

The midi length can be tough to pull off with flats, as anytime you cut off your body at a wider part (i.e. your calves, they are the widest part of your lower leg), you run the risk of creating an unflattering silhouette. Many people offset this widening effect with elongating heels, but I think that these pointy toe flats do a great job of slimming the line of the look too. 

These flats are recent from Rockport, but for some reason I can't find them online yet. However, I keep an eye out & let you know when I find them. Sometime today I am going to have to make Snapchat showing off how much padding is inside these flats - seriously like walking on a cloud! Find me on Snapchat by searching "jesshereandnow" in the add by username screen. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

teacher life

blazer: Super old from Urban Outfitters (shop this similar style from J.Crew Factory)

pants: J.Crew (shop a similar style from J.Crew Factory below)

shoes: Sole Society (similar wedge style, also love the kitten heel on this tan suede pump)

We officially have the 1st quarter of the school year in the books & while I am also afraid to say this for fear of jinxing myself, I'm feeling pretty great about this year!

Last year was my first year of teaching & it was terrible. I didn't sleep & barely had enough time to feed myself most days. I had SO much to learn about teaching & wanted to figure it ALL out so that I could be an effective instructor for my students. I knew my students deserved the best me, but what I didn't realize was that when I showed up to school sleep deprived, frustrated, & frazzled to my last nerve, I was actually doing a disservice to everyone. I somehow made it through, & was even crazy enough to sign up for another year.

Now in my second year, I am starting to settle in to my teaching groove. The lesson plans that I made from scratch last year are absolutely awful, but I at least have a place to spring board off. Instead of spending 6 hours a night planning the next day's lesson into the wee hours of the morning, I can spend 6 hours on a weekend planning the entire next week - it feels so good. I have found tips & tricks for maintaining the balance of rigorous instruction, building relationship with my students, pleasing the administration & finding time to be an actual human. And most of all, I am thankful for my students from last year that I get to see everyday. 1 or 2 come back to my class to visit each week, reminiscing about the good times they had in my Science class - one even asked to come back! That little brown-noser!

Teaching truly takes a village & I couldn't do it without my support team - my husband, parents, fellow teachers, school administration, & my 105 7th graders who have a dazzling future before them!

Help J.Crew support teachers by purchasing this fun pencil tee designed in partnership with Teach For America. We sadly do not have enough high quality teachers where we need them the most - areas of high poverty, rural counties, inner cities that serve a large population of minorities and/or recent immigrants - but TFA is working to end the disparity in education, one passionate teacher at a time. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

J.Crew vs. J.Crew Factory

I am old enough to remember when J.Crew Factory stores were just J.Crew outlets, random shops (on our way to the beach each Summer), where you could buy last year's J.Crew cast offs for way cheaper. The outlet idea eventually morphed into a secondary J.Crew line -  J.Crew Factory - offering similar styles, but made mostly in China (vs. Europe as many of their main-line items are made), so that they could sell them at a lower price. The "Factory" concept must have been super successful, because J.Crew expanded the line, opening up brick & mortar stores across the country, & recently launching online sales.

In the beginning, the Factory selection was pretty hit or miss. The styles were technically similar to full price J.Crew offerings, but they still lagged a season or two behind. However, In the last year, I have seen more & more overlap between what is currently offered in J.Crew & J.Crew Factory. I have J.Crew dreams, on a J.Crew Factory & am often on the prowl for look-alike items. As I was shopping the other day I thought it would be fun to share the pieces that are most similar between the two stores.

Take a peek below, & let me know - what would you want to spend on, & what you would want to save on? I'm personally trying to decide if the full price parka jacket is really that much better than the Factory version.

Blazer: J. Crew $248 // J. Crew Factory $124.50 

Leopard "Chelsea" Boots: J. Crew $318 // J. Crew Factory $105 

Silky Tank: J. Crew $98 // J. Crew Factory $24.50 

Parka Coat:  J. Crew $365  // J. Crew Factory $194.50 

Puffer Vest: J. Crew $120  // J. Crew Factory $68.50 

Ballet Flats: J. Crew $125  // J. Crew Factory $53.50 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Dare To Be

jacket: H&M (super high quality for under $70!)

flats: shop similar styles at all price points. Save (under $15!) // Treat your self ($50) // Splurge ($100+)

necklace: Kendra Scott "Coby" necklace (in rose gold)

I am not much of a T-shirt girl (which is why my overflowing T-shirt drawer is even more embarrassing!), but I had to make an exception for this one because the story behind it resonated so much with me. In high school I got to be a part of a super fun, & very talented, competitive dance team. Our motto was "dare to be different" - choosing to go against some of the "trendy" dancer things, & pave our own path - which eventually led to 2 state championships (#humblebrag). The 16 year old me didn't really realize how special it was that I got to train with a group of my peers who supported each other in our uniqueness. Truth is, we are all a little weird, & finding people to embrace your weirdness is one of the great searches of life.

So when this shirt from the ESPNW x Homage collection came into my life, I knew it was meant to BE! The ESPNW x Homage "BE" collection as a whole was inspired by the individual spirit & incredible courage of female athletes throughout history, with each piece sharing a story of a professional athlete who has followed her passion.

The "DARE TO BE" tee pays homage to hockey star Hilary Knight who did incredible things for U.S. Women's Ice Hockey in both the 2010 & 2014 Olympic Games. What I love is that Hilary did not let her youth stop her from achieving greatness & I love sharing her story each time I wear this top. Find your own story worthy piece from the collection here

I like the look of T-shirts, but don't like wearing them to work out (usually too bulky) & rarely wear them in my daily life (with the exception of plain Old Navy tees), so when styling this shirt I made up some of my own tee styling tips.

1. You don't have to only wear your T-shirts with yoga pants. When dressing this shirt, I paired it with pieces I would normally grab for any other shirt. This move will make you one step closer to your dreams of achieving that "effortlessly cool girl" vibe. "Oh this, I just threw this together as I was running out the door…"

2. T-shirts make great layers. Peeking out from under a leather jacket, cozy flannel* or sweater, T-shirts can be a fun way to add a pattern or cheeky message to your outfit.  *I just scooped up this flannel top that I think will look great with layered tees! Plus stayed tuned to see how I wore a T-shirt to work (oh the scandal) next week.

3. Don't be afraid to pile on the jewels! Dress up your tees with some of your favorite pieces - try mixing different lengths & metals to compliment the look. I love some of the more dainty pieces from Kendra Scott because they add visual interest with out blocking/overpowering your outfit. And I'm also totally crushing on this delicate necklace from Bauble Bar.

How do you dare to be? 

Any other tee-styling tips? Please share in the comments!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

easy Fall layers

I declare this sneaky-PJ season! You can wear clothes that are seriously as comfy & cozy as your jammies, without sacrificing style. Blanket like sweater - check. Stretchy pants - check. Comfortable tank + shoes - check. Handy purse for all my things - check!

I stopped in to Old Navy last week to shop for this post & was literally a kid in a candy store. I love the poncho trend, and Old Navy has so many chic options! This open front cardigan that I'm wearing has the most gorgeous colors & is perfect for wearing to work or out on the  weekend. I just switched over my closet for Fall/Winter, and was happy to be reunited with my Old Navy sweaters & flannel button downs from last year. If you haven't tried out their selection yet, scroll down to shop all of my favorites (sweaters, purses & more!).
Shop these exact pieces + more Fall favorites from Old Navy (be sure to click over, as these items are all available in other fabulous colors too!)

This post was compensated by Old Navy, but all thoughts & opinions are my own.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Bloggers Who Budget x Lulu's

skirt: ℅ Lulu's

Shoes: Steve Madden

Regardless of the price point, I always want to feel like I'm getting a good value for my money (whether it is a car or a new $5 nail polish). That is why I LOVE Lulu's - their prices are super fair, and I always know that I'm getting a great piece, for a great price, that I will be able to wear many different ways.

This skirt is such a fun new addition to my teacher style wardrobe (no I didn't wear these heels to teach - stay tuned for an outfit featuring this skirt + flats next week).

I was really into keeping the look simple with black & white, adding just a touch of leopard (because we all know that leopard IS a neutral!).

Oh this skirt! The fit is perfect, the fabric is just the right weight, and the longer length makes me feel so chic! I am already thinking ahead to New Year's & am almost 100% decided that this sequin skirt from Lulu's needs to come home with me - what a stunner! 

If you too like a great piece for an awesome price, check out how all of the Bloggers Who Budget (linked up above) are rocking new Lulu's items for Fall for this month's collaboration!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

weekend reading: 10.17.15

1 // 2 // 3

This weekend why don't you :: rock your stripes!

{what you might have missed on Here&Now}

{1.} Outfit Post: checking out the latest Kendra Scott collection

{2.} The best Fall booties - cannot get over how comfortable & cute they are! 

{4.} Pulling out some simple Summer staples one last time. 

{5.} Help me in supporting Dress for Success on Instagram. 

{posts I'm loving around the internets}

{1.} I love using Rent the Runway & this photoshoot Bri did with some of their new gowns is just beautiful!  

{2.} Really enjoyed reading this article about what it takes to start a start-up

{3.} I'm a huge fan of tying scarves on my bags - some new fun ways to tie one on

{4.} The Blog Societies has launched! Read more about how you can get involved (I have loved being a part of the Southern Blog Society & can't wait to see what they do next!) 

{5.} Ok, I'm Snapchat obsessed (find me by searing for the username "jesshereandnow"). These are 50 other bloggers to follow on Snapchat! 

{what I'm shopping now}

{1.} One of my favorite shoe brands is now branching out into jewelry! Support their new project through Kickstarter

{2.} Shoes! These leopard Chelsea style rain boots are bananas (& under $70!). I got these splurge worthy lace up leather boots last year & they were the single biggest reason I was excited about Fall this year… they are still available & fully endorsed by moi! 

{3.} Coats! I know it seems too early to start shopping for coats, but now is the time to get them while they are still on sale. I got a camel coat last year & it is so versatile! My top camel coat picks are this classic cocoon coat, a more parka style coat with faux fur accents, and this chic quilted number. Oh & the famous J.Crew Factory herringbone print puffer vest is back in stock in all sizes. #yourewelcome

{4.} I might be alone in this opinion, but I recently got out my blanket scarves from last year & they all look RIDICULOUS! I am much more feeling this minimalist black & white style from FashionABLE for this year. Get 10% off your order when you shop with my referral link: http://livefashionable.refr.cc/MFTV378

{5.} It's been a while since I shopped at BaubleBar, but their new arrivals are enough to draw me back in! This bracelet with lip details is so sassy & fun!

Friday, October 16, 2015

go confidently

For me, style is best accessorized with confidence. If there is anything I hope I am teaching my 7th graders, it would be to passionately & confidently pursue their dreams!

Growing up, one of the style lessons I learned was that in order to do your best work, you have to feel your best. This means wearing comfortable clothes that you are confident in. Not the dress that might be super HOT, but you always feel the need to tug it this way & that. 

Today I am excited to share with you a new Nashville brand, Aloncii. Aloncii is still in pre-launch stages, but I am totally inspired by their vision of confidence, comfort & creativity! Find out more by following along with the Aloncii story on Facebook

Thursday, October 15, 2015

a walk in the park

Here&Now: Old Navy Fall Sweaters
Here&Now: Kendra Scott Mirror, Mirror Collection

sweater: Old Navy

(love those ladies, if you are in Nashville you have to visit them!)

Here&Now: Vera Bradley Natalie crossbody

The Kendra Scott "Mirror, Mirror" collection just dropped & it is MAJOR! I got a sneak peek of some of the pieces a few days ago, & I am blown away by the amazing new materials & mix of metals. This necklace is one of the standout items, the rose gold chain is nice & chunky, the pyrite pendant is absolutely gorgeous, & the length is on point for layering with sweaters this Fall/Winter. 

I also really appreciate the new finishing touches, like adjustable length bracelets & the addition of pave crystal accents on some of the more traditionally "Kendra Scott" pieces - like these beautiful earrings

My absolute personal favorite is anything with the mirror rock crystal stones - in fact, these rock crystal + gunmetal earrings (the first ones in the slideshow below) are currently topping my Christmas list (hint hint hubby!)

Here&Now: affordable fall styles
Here&Now: Kendra Scott new collection, "Mirror, Mirror"
Here&Now: Old Navy cable knit sweater
Here&Now: Kendra Scott druzy earrings
Yes, I AM wearing these jeans AGAIN! They really are so good (I got the petite version)! The Ridley fit is proving to be a very flattering cut & the knee rips are just right - not too much! 

Sale Out Warning: This particular style seems to sell out pretty frequently, but have been restocked multiple times since I got mine at the beginning of September. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

simple staples

clutch: Le Tote

booties: DSW (similar from Steve Madden <-- currently buy 1, get 1 50% off with code WOW)

watch: Michael Kors

This past weekend in Nashville offered up some seriously warm temps & sunny skies - the perfect opportunity to break out some Summer favorites one more time!

My style is definitely a study in simple staples as of late. Simple touches like this gold lariat necklace from HumbleChic.com, seasonless booties, and a textured skirt I can't wait to wear with tights!