Thursday, March 31, 2016

so nice, I purchased it twice

Ok I promise I am still working on that Asheville guide, but life has gotten a little crazy this week (job interviews, watching my students dominate at their soccer games & gearing up for end of the year testing) - oh how difficult that little thing called BALANCE can be!

Now on to the outfit - when I saw this top I knew that it was a total ME piece, the only problem was figuring out what color/print to get it in! Ultimately, I couldn't narrow it all the way down, so I got two (whoops!) - this block printed one & the adorable gingham one I linked on Instagram here & here.

top: Old Navy peplum tank in block print & gingham print (The gingham one is only $16 & currently stocked in all sizes!)
Fit tip, the peplum cami does not fit snug at the waist. I got the XS & it is still a little oversized/flowy.

jeans: DL1961 ripped white denim (I love these jeans! Also available in non-ripped style, slightly less skinny version, and boot cut style)

shoes: Nisolo "Serena" sandals (the "caramel" color ages beautifully)

bag: Nisolo leather tote (mine is the "Oak" color)

watch: leather strap watch c/o Le Coeur

sunglasses: Ray Ban aviators (mine are the green & gold option)

I basically wore some version of this outfit for our entire visit to Asheville & it really did work for all occasions - from brewery tours, visiting the Biltmore, & grabbing dinner downtown.

I have also worn this top multiple times over the past two weeks & I definitely recommend it! The adjustable straps make it practice & ruffle bottom is just too FUN! 

What pieces have you been gravitating to this Spring? Any duplicate purchases lately?

Don't forget to enter to win the NYC trip for 2 to visit the Annie Leibovitz portrait exhibit. More details in yesterday's post

Shop these exact pieces now:

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

My Hero

Not all heroes wear capes, in fact some use lipstick & pearls as their secret weapons. My grandmother (AKA Memaw) is my everyday hero! For much of my childhood, my Memaw & Pops lived next door, in a house my father built for them. The love my grandparents showed me helped shape me into the woman I am today, but it was the stories my Memaw shared about her own childhood & experiences as a young woman in the 1940s that I could never get enough of. 

My grandmother was a strong-willed, sassy, tells it like it is woman, with a fierce gaze & the best belly laugh! I think many would say that she passed these traits down to me & I couldn't be happier to carry this piece of her. My grandmother was a teacher for 35 years, & after she passed away last Fall, it was with great joy that I sorted through stacks of class portraits, her (now 50 year old) grade books, correspondence from former students throughout the years, & newspaper clippings she had saved from her many pupils. She was passionate about her students, getting involved in their lives, & for many of them, forever remaining their favorite teacher. 

As I am now following in her footsteps as a teacher, I often find myself channeling how I imagine Memaw must have been in her classroom - gathering peace in stressful situations, looking at my students as whole humans rather than the mistakes they have made in the moment. One of the last letters Memaw sent me (she was a master letter writer!) included the line "may you be happy all the days of your life" & I plan on finding the joy in every moment to continue the legacy of my Memaw. That is why she is my hero.

I love this photo of my Memaw - her signature hair style, dazzling eyes - perfectly capturing  her fierce spirit.

In 1999, celebrated photographer Annie Leibovitz published her first book Women, a collection of portraits, highlighting her ability to capture the essence of each person with a single snap. Now, Annie Leibovitz is taking a new show on the road - using pictures to explore the changes in the roles of women today. In partnership with UBS, Annie Leibovitz launched a global exhibition for Women: New Portraits! It kicked-off in London in January 2016, & will be in ten cities over the next year.

The exhibition is free (& currently in San Francisco), but 2 lucky ducks are going to win a trip for to NYC to visit the exhibition in November 2016. A winner will be selected at random each month. To enter, Instagram your everyday female hero & her stories using #ShareYourHero + tagging @UBS (see the other entries here under #ShareYourHero). Let’s celebrate the everyday heroes in our lives that are capable of extraordinary things – your mother, your sister, your friend, your girlfriend, your teacher, your doctor, your grandmother, your mentor, etc. 

Who’s your everyday hero? If you instagram her, link your Instagram profile below – I’d love to see it!

Visit www.ubs.com/annieleibovitz to learn more.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

empties & re-fills

It is time for the changing of the guard in my beauty cabinet & I wanted to share the products that I have recently used up & those that I just re-filled. 9 of these products are ones that I LOVE & #10 is one that I'm dying to try. Check out my go-to products, and let everyone know in the comments what you have been loving in your beauty routine now that Spring is here (for most of us!)

1. Jergens Natural Glow (+firming) lotion - I use this lotion every few days to keep my Summer glow going without having to fry my skin, & have actually been using it since February, so that when it was time to bare my legs, I wouldn't blind strangers with my ghostly white stems! I recently ran out of my current stock & will definitely be re-ordering! Pros: light scent (not the usual self-tanner smell), builds over time, also a really great lotion.

2. Murad time release Acne Cleanser - really the whole "Anti-Aging Acne" line from Murad is amazing, & after using it consistently for the past year, I really can't remember the last time I had a pimple + my skin has never felt healthier! I was a little surprised that it has zero lather, but I use it with my Clarisonic & it feels very refreshing.

3. Davines Hair refresher "dry cleansing mist" - Ok, I use a LOT of dry shampoo (anything for those extra 15 minutes of sleep!) & actually have different products for different days of my non-hair washing routine. This is my light dry shampoo (see #4 below for the big guns). It really is what the name implies - a nice refresher for your hair after a day or so of going dirty. As a brunette, I have to be weary of dry shampoo turning my hair grey, & this one goes on with very little color, and absorbs immediately. The scent is pretty incredible too. 

4. Klorane dry shampoo - this is my heavy-duty dry shampoo, for days when I have some serious grease to contend with! It is much thicker than the Davines product above, & as such soaks up any grime that I'm dealing with (my hair gets pretty oily by day 2). This is also a great product for giving my hair "hold" if I'm trying to rock an up-do or bun. 

5. Essie "madmoiselle" - I don't know if I have ever used a nail polish bottle all the way to the bottom, but I have been applying this shade to my nails weekly for many months now, & it has finally run dry! I love this color (the perfect light pink), but am actually looking for a new light pink - any suggestions??

6. Vaseline Lip Therapy "rose lip" lip balm tin - I actually can't remember who gave me the tip (if it's you, holler at me so you can get your much deserved credit), but several years ago I was dealing with some scary chapped Winter lips, & they suggested slathering on Vaseline every night before bed. I now have a huge tub beside my bed, & smaller tins in every bag/desk that I frequent! After seeing these adorable tins, I just couldn't help but add to my collection. The "rosy lips" has a great smell & gives a nice pink tint!

7. It Cosmetics "Vitality Brightening Anti-Aging Face Disk" - I fell in LOVE with It Cosmetics last year at the Southern Blog Society conference & have been almost exclusively using their products in my daily-routine. My favorites include the Bye-Bye under eye concealer &
Bye-Bye pores pressed finishing powder, but the top dog in my make-up bag (like, stranded on a deserted island can only have 1 product item) is the "Vitality Brightening Disk". It is a bronzer/blush/highligher all contained in 1 slim compact, & the colors are so flattering! I totally re-ordered this before I ran all the way out because I couldn't stand the thought of going without it, for even 1 day!

8. Murad active radiance serum -  from the Murad "Environmental Shield" line, this serum is my go-to during Summer months, but I have actually been using it all year. Along with the eye lift firming treatment and hydro-dynamic moisturizer, Murad calls this trio their "model off duty look" - & I agree that these three products make me look rested, dewey & fresh!

9. St. Ives Nourish & Soothe - I love & trust the St. Ives brand to make products that not only fit my needs, but also fit into my lifestyle. This lotion is divine - super moisturizing, without being too thick, absorbs quickly, & smells great! I use their spray lotion during Summer months, but as I am trying to get rid of my Winter alligator skin, this is the perfect formulation for right now!

10. A want to try: The Pixi "GLOW" tonic has been getting rave reviews & with packaging that cute, I don't think my will power will last much longer! Have you tried it?

Shop all the products mentioned in this post here:

relaxed? check!

Tyler & I snuck away to Asheville, North Carolina last weekend to try out their world class breweries, hang out in the mountains & pretend we were billionaires for a day while at the Biltmore Estate.

Tomorrow I'll be divulging packing tips + our favorite Asheville spots, but I just couldn't wait to share my traveling outfit any longer. I've said it many times (sorry not sorry!), but my favorite clothing silhouette is an oversized top + slim bottoms, so this "boyfriend fit" popover top is my dream item! It is the perfect balance of slouchy & feminine with the softest fabric! I have noticed the split back detail on several other pieces for Spring & it might just be my favorite subtle detail of all time.
Here&Now: oversized gingham top
Here&Now: easy weekend style
(fit: I ordered a size small, order your regular size for a comfy "boyfriend fit")

(the platinum color goes with everything & I swear it looks more gold tone online than in person!)

backpack: Michael Kors leather backpack 
(I also love my canvas backpack - also in gray, I *might* have a gray bag problem - from Herschel)

Here&Now: Michael Kors backpack
Here&Now: Nashville Lashes by Shala
Here&Now: oversized gingham tunic, split back top

Shop these exact pieces:

Monday, March 28, 2016


With each new season, comes the changing of the wardrobe & addition of fresh new pieces! This past weekend I folded away the heaviest of sweaters (knock on wood that I'm not cursing myself!), & steamed out some items that have been in hiding, waiting until the weather was just right!

I think the beginning of a new season is so sartorially exciting because you are seeing pieces with fresh eyes, & you have the opportunity for layers - those crisp mornings & warm afternoons force creativity! With my Spring items hanging next to some of my heavier pieces, I am having fun making new pairings that I hadn't thought of before - it's all about shopping your own closet people!

I popped into Banana Republic last weekend on my epic work pants search & not only scored some work pants (finally found a winner with their "Logan" trousers), but was blown away by all the prints & fun things going on with the BR Spring collection. 

A big trend for Spring is - believe it or not - BUGS! This embellished sweatshirt is super whimsical, & bugs are also popping up in the form of pins & jewelry! For this outfit, I wanted to ground the funky sweatshirt with some of my favorite polished basics, but also think this top would look chic under a blazer, or dressed up with these fun fringe heels.

One place where I am finding inspiration for my Spring wardrobe? The Banana Republic #itsBanana feed where they feature how customers have worn their pieces, including some of my favorite bloggers! Preppy basics updated to include fun Spring trends is my JAM!

What new pieces have you been gravitating towards for Spring? Any new places you've been finding inspiration?? Do share!

top: embellished sweatshirt c/o Banana Republic

jeans: similar Banana Republic dark wash skinny jeans

shoes: similar Banana Republic skinny strap heels

purse: similar Banana Republic teal cross-body bag

Shop these exact pieces:

Banana Republic provided free product in exchange for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Sunday Shopping: Spring Break Essentials

Looking for the perfect Spring Break look?! I am excited to share a new brand with you today - Sakroots! Sakroots has curated a collection of must have functional spring break accessories featuring colorful & original artwork… and they support various nature & music charities! 

Whether you feel deeply about elephant rescue, the life of the honeybee (a cause close to my heart!) or music education in schools, Sakroots gives you the opportunity to support what you love with their Choose Your Karma program. And it is super easy! First, choose your art from their collection of original artist printed accessories, then choose the charity you want to support. Sakroots matches all donations.

Each print below is supported by a charity, or you can donate to a charity of your choosing from their list when you buy from sakroots.com! I love that not only are their prints super fun & funky (hello music festival style!), but they give back!

If you grew up in the 90s (my hand is in the air), you might notice that this is the little sister of the have-to-have-it "Sak" purses of our youth (#7 below has throwback vibes for sure!)
Here&Now: Sakroots Spring Break Essentials

{1} floral rain boots // {2} backpack // {3} small satchel // {4} "LOVE" tote // {5} medium satchel // {6} weekender bag // {7} pom pom cross body bag // {8} Patterned flip-flops // {9} sea horse cosmetics case // {10} printed espadrille

I have been toting my Sakroots bag & super comfy espadrilles every where lately! They both went to Asheville with us & then again to Arkansas last weekend. These are high quality items that I know will be staples for years to come!

Looking to kickstart your Spring Break? Sakroots is offering 15% off your first order (sign up for the discount code here) & enter to win a free Large Cosmetic in the print of your choice if you follow @sakrootsbrand & @jesshereandnow on Instagram. One winner will be selected at random TOMORROW. (more details on my Instagram here)

Saturday, March 26, 2016

weekend reading: 3.26.16

1 // 2 // 3

This weekend why don't you :: rock a little gingham!

I always feel a little Dorothy (a la Wizard of Oz), but I can't get enough of this print! I just picked up an oversized button down & peplum cami in blue + white gingham.

{what you might have missed on Here&Now} - it's been a while since my last round up, so there are a lot of new posts!

{1.} I have added a few new purses to my wardrobe for Spring & realized that 4 of them are on sale (yay!) - check out this post for full details

{2.} Dreading the swim suit shopping trip? I just discovered Kortni Jeane and am in love with their flattering cuts & mix/match styles. See the new suit I picked out here

{3.} During this early Spring season I have been absolutely living in dresses & here are 6 dress outfits to prove it:

- Bringing back that huge flower necklace from a few years ago? You betcha I am! (outfit)

- The "swing" dress shape is one of my favorites & this one has all the right details.

- Pantone named blush pink + baby blue the colors of the year for 2016 & I finally found a combo of those shades that felt "me" (outfit)

- When I think of March, I think of Kelly Green (St. Patrick's Day, new grass, blooming trees!), so this dress is my March dress, an ode to green!

- Transitional dressing is the name of the game lately (for all of you who just got snow, my deepest sympathies, & I have no clue how you do it!) - this shirtdress strikes the perfect blend of "it's getting warmer", but "it isn't summer yet baby"

- Who doesn't need a pink party dress? Yup, put this cutie on your wishlist! (outfit

{4.} I've also been getting dressed for work lately too (go me). This teacher outfit includes one of my favorite brands for work wear & I'm also styling one of my go-to teacher pieces, the midi skirt, in this look.

{5.} Spring time means it's high time to bust on the floral prints! I found this amazing floral print trench that was featured in this month's bloggers who budget post & am dying to style this floral tank top a gazillion ways when the weather heats up to stay.

{posts I'm loving around the internets}

{1.} In case you haven't heard, Nashville is having a serious MOMENT! On any given weekend, the majority of people I run into are tourists, & most people look at me like a rare bird when I share that I've been here for a whopping 7 years! The most asked question I get from readers is "I'm coming to visit Nashville, what should I do/see/eat?"… so this "Welcome to Nashville" video totally made me giggle. Whether you are a "local" or just wanting to visit soon, give it a peep.

{2.} The 2nd most asked question I get from readers is about blogging tips. Unfortunately, I feel woefully unqualified to answer those questions, as my whole blogging career is based on super detailed Google searches. However, I am great at finding tips from other bloggers! Jessica of My Style Vita just shared her 5 favorite sites for blog tips, & I would like to 2nd the vote for The Fox & She - in fact, she just shared an awesome resource about growing your Pinterest following that was super helpful.

{3.} Last week I went on an epic pants shopping trip where I tried on ~15 pairs of work pants (I blacked out lost count somewhere after 13), & while I found two pairs that I will be reviewing on the blog next month (the Banana Republic "Logan" trousers & Ann Taylor "Ann" classic fit trousers were my two favorites), I also love the clothing reviews that Franish does. I know us humans aren't all the same size, & her thoughts are always super on point & honest. Everyone say it with me now - The struggle to find work pants is REAL!

{4.} As someone who deals with anxiety, it was refreshing to see Kendi open up about her own experiences. It definitely helps me to get some me time, doing something to get my mind off of the overwhelming anxiety when it hits. 

{5.} I seriously want to like overnight oats - especially after seeing these 3 simple recipes - but I can't get over eating them cold. Any tips about how you heat them up? I tried microwaving the mason jar, & it literally exploded in the process. #MessicaJessica

{6.} I have been tackling some Spring cleaning (AKA pre-moving de-cluttering/deep cleaning) & this Spring Cleaning Check List is mega-helpful! 

{7.} Trend I'm watching: cropped flares. Is this going to be a thing that makes it to the mainstream? I mean, even Blair looks pretty awkward & circus-y rocking these, so there's no way that I could make this look non-costumey… right!? 

{what I'm shopping now}

{1.} FASHIONABLE is a local Nashville business that should totally be on your radar! Even if you just haven't checked them out in a while, a return visit is due! A little bit about their story (more here) - FASHIONABLE employs women, creating jobs that pay fair wages, to provide a way out of property for these artisans in Ethiopia, & surrounding African communities. 

FASHIONABLE just came out with new Spring products including the "Meles" leather handbag, "Tadesse" bucket bag & their gorgeously classic "Mamuye" leather tote is now available in a yummy pewter shade. Don't forget you can get your leather goods personalized & they have the best selection of scarves + dainty jewelry too!

{2.} I know that I have been talking about more quality over quantity, but the one place that gets me every time is Old Navy! I posted about my favorites from their Spring New Arrivals, but since then I have purchased 2 of their peplum tank tops + this slip dress & it is LOVE! 

{3.} I have been doing clothing reviews on Snapchat (find me by adding username: jesshereandnow), & my last round included 3 new arrivals from Chicwish - this blush pink dress (you have to see the gorgeous back straps!), a floral maxi skirt & this white top with fun ruffle details.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

teacher swag

Here&Now: Spring teacher style
Here&Now: Morning Lavender midi skirt
skirt: heather gray midi skirt c/o Morning Lavender 

sweater: J.Crew Factory "Clare" cardigan (+ they now have the "Caryn" cardigan in lots of fun colors for Spring!)

bag: Pijama computer bag c/o Fab.com

shoes: J.Crew Factory tortoise bow flats (similar flats with a bow & without a bow)

necklace: vintage from my husband's grandmother (don't ever pass up on vintage pieces from relatives!!)

sunglasses: Carrera sunglasses c/o Sunglasses Shop

Here&Now: teacher style, midi skirt

I wear a lot of midi skirts to work & love that I found this one from Morning Lavender! If you haven't shopped from Morning Lavender, you are totally missing out & without linking to every item currently available on their website, here are some not-to-be-missed pieces. If you are as in love with midi skirts as I am, this floral midi skirt is too pretty to pass up! Surprisingly, my husband loves a good romper, & this lace number is absolutely stunning! I don't *need* another tulle skirt, but if I was in the market, I would definitely be getting this polka dot tulle skirt. I can't get enough of the long sleeve maxi dress trend & although I tried to embrace the chambray off-the-shoulder dress last year & failed, I would be willing to give it another try with this dress. If we were going to Steeplechase or The Kentucky Derby this year, I would be torn between this scalloped dress (love that back!!), or this lace illusion dress.

In terms of perennial basics, this striped shift dress looks so comfy & gray purses will always been my favorite neutral handbag!

Just for your reference, that is only a tiny sliver of the amazing pieces that they have, & you will be pleasantly surprised by their prices too!
Here&Now: how to style a midi skirt for work
Here&Now: easy teacher style outfits
Here&Now: pointed toe flats

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


Here&Now: pink party dress
Here&Now: Shabby Apple pink party dress
dress: pink party dress c/o Shabby Apple

necklaceJ.Crew "Venus flytrap" necklace (a forever classic piece!)

shoesSteve Madden (similar style with a slightly lower heel)

purse: old, but the "tiny tote" from Dagne Dover is super similar & you can get it for 20% off using code HEREANDNOW20 (valid until 4/1)

scarf: fox print scarf c/o Fab.com

sunglassesCarrera sunglasses c/o Sunglasses Shop

Here&Now: how to add scarves to your outfits

A pink taffeta party dress might not be on your NEED list, but it certainly should be on your WANT wishlist! I love the fit & flare cut of this pretty number & as always Shabby Apple doesn't skrimp on the quality of their pieces. Paired with classics - like this forever chic crystal necklace & minimalistic shoes - this dress has the potential to make quite an impression at your next party function! One of my favorite ways to add some color/print to my outfits is with a fun scarf - see my tips on wearing scarves in your outfits here. You have to see this scarf in its full glory - with the most adorable foxes (apparently they are calling them coyotes, but they are totally foxes!)

Shabby Apple is a brand I love & wear often. See all the ways I have worn Shabby Apple on the blog here.

Here&Now: Shabby Apple pink nutcracker dress
Here&Now: how to style a fit & flare dress
Here&Now: pink party dress for Spring

What items are currently topping your clothing wishlist?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Spring Purses (for Less!)

Many of my Spring bags are now on sale & I just had to share! These 4 bags have already been featured on the blog many times, and I have been wearing 1 of these 4 bags every day for months now. They are road tested & Here&Now approved! 

I call my Dagne Dover Tiny Tote "tiny but mighty" because while it is small in stature, it is an organizational power house! Score this purse for 20% off using code HEREANDNOW20 (until 4/1) 
Outfits: 1 // 2 - coming soon  // 3

This Beau & Ro cross body bag/clutch is a new addition to the family, but I have fallen in love with the super soft leather, adorable tassel & perfect size for my Spring engagements! Now, you can get this perfect clutch/cross body combo for 30% off using code HERENOW (until 3/25 - hurry your tushy!) Their sale section is also now an extra 30% off too!
full outfit here.

The bucket bag is a big trend for Spring & I love how the Sole Society bucket bag is the perfect shape/size/color, but a total STEAL! This exact bag is on sale on the Sole Society site & also on sale at Nordstrom.
outfits: 1 // 2 - coming soon!
I cannot get enough of this purse - you might have noticed with its heavy appearances on the blog lately. My Gigi New York convertible clutch is part of their most recent collection, but if you sign up for their newsletter you can get 10% off your entire order! They have also recently started a collaboration with Vaseline where you can get a customized Vaseline lip tin (my favorite) + a monogrammed holder for your lip tin with your $100 order from Gigi New York. 
outfits: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5