Monday, May 23, 2016

Bloggers Who Budget: Dresses For Less

We had our first wedding of the season this past weekend, & it was such a beautiful & totally "Nashville" shin-dig! I wore this dress, & I've gotta say, it was very nice to receive many compliments on it, and ever nicer to be able to brag about how affordable it is!

This month, the Bloggers Who Budget are showing off the budget friendly dresses that we have been loving lately! Check out these babes below & their warm weather looks:

dress: pink satin dress ℅ Chicwish

When I first tried on this dress, I was admittedly underwhelmed & shared my "blah" feelings on Snapchat. While the dress did have some fit issues, I loved so much about this dress (the open back, perfect blush color, length, thick satin fabric) that I was dedicated to find a way to make it work. I considered getting it tailored, but the open back straps made that route more complicated than I wanted to deal with. Then I remembered my favorite armadillo belt (leave it to Kate Spade to make a chic armadillo belt!) - and as it cinches to any size, it did the perfect trick for making it fit along my waist, & made the back ruffle detail look much, much better.

The wedding involved lots of dancing, and I felt secure and confident in this dress all night. Sometimes just playing around in your closet leads to the best outcomes!

*Backless/open-back dresses do come with their own underwear issues, but I have a low back bra (similar to this one) that I wore on my own wedding day, that I still wear with any open back dresses - I love that the bustier style stays up so much better than most strapless bras do on me!

belt: similar skinny gold belt here & here (both under $40!)

Have you had any recent triumphs in solving a clothing fit issue?

Any one else super excited for wedding season?? I love getting to party with my friends & see their love cemented into something so special!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

punchy poncho

Ok folks, we have picked a new city & set a moving date! We are relocating to DENVER & our last day in Nashville will be June 4th! With less than 3 weeks to go until blast off (!!!) we are trying to cross as many items off our Nashville bucket list before we leave the amazing place we have called home for the past 7 years. On the first warm weekend at the end of April, we enjoyed one of our favorite snack spots in town - Las Paletas - although I will be very surprised if we don't end up back there in the next few weeks. Packing should always be rewarded with popsicles!!

top: poncho c/o francesca's

I wore this poncho as a swim cover up, but thought it was so cute it deserved its own spin out on the town! The pom-pom trim is just my all time favorite ever! In the market for a new poncho - francesca's has some super fun options here

I also can't help but share some of the other fun tops I spotted at francesca's recently! This peplum tank is so polished! Graphic tees are making a come-back & this one has a message I can totally get behind (& should probably remind myself of daily)! As you are well aware, off shoulder styles are mega hot for Summer, & this one is a little sassy & sweet (white lace gets me every time), while this hot pink number is so chic (both are under $35)!

I seriously love these jeans - perfectly distressed, and thick denim fabric that is super flattering! Call me crazy, but these distressed camo (yes, I said camo!) jeans are totally calling my name too!

sandals: classic Jack Rogers sandals (I can't recommend the platinum color enough!)

What is on your Summer bucket list??

Monday, May 16, 2016

teacher style

The end of the year is near - only 8 school days left!!! - and I feel like I'm finally finding my teacher style groove! Today I'm talking about how I overcome my own teacher style challenges & sharing some great style tips from the experts over at the National Education Association Member Benefits. If you are a teacher, the NEA Member Benefits fashion tips are some really great resources that have helped me see new ways to overcome the difficulties of dressing for our jobs!

Cardigans are my #1 teacher style weapon. They help on those days that start out chilly (especially when you have to leave the house before the sun comes up!), & also cover up my shoulders when wearing sleeveless dresses/tops to maintain our conservative dress code.

This basic black dress can be so many ways, easily accessorized with scarves, necklaces & sweaters. Its versatility comes in handy on my "I have nothing to wear days" & also quickly transforms from my teacher duties to any after school activities!

My jewelry is the biggest part of my wardrobe that I can wear for both school & play. This necklace has been my go to piece for dinners out with my husband & long days at school. The gold fringe adds the right amount of jazz to any outfit!

These are the most comfortable pair of heels I've ever worn! The soles are covered in padding & the heel is the perfect heigh to be flattering, without the pain! I just love the pink leopard spots, & the kids always give me the sweetest compliments when I wear these :)

Fit tip: I am typically a 7.5, but the 7 fits perfect in this style!

Teaching has its own very particular set of wardrobe challenges that I never even considered before I became a Middle School teacher. Most schools enforce professional dress codes (dresses or slacks for women, slacks + ties for men), which oftentimes come with their own fit issues (but seriously, why are work clothes so awkward!?). But then teachers also have to consider the range of activities that they do during any given day - lunch duty, bathroom duty, recess duty, cleaning their rooms (I go through a can of Lysol wipes practically every week), setting up Science experiments, the list literally goes ON & ON! And while I can't speak specifically for the male teachers, female teachers also have to make sure that their skin is appropriately covered, ensuring that when they bend over to pick up pencils, or reach up to write on the board, extra bits are not peeking out!

Combined with the toll standing on your feet for 8+ hours a day takes on your legs & feet, picking out my outfits each morning is much more difficult than when I threw on jeans + a tee everyday as a graduate student.

May is teacher appreciation month, and The National Education Association (NEA) is also celebrating National Member Appreciation Month. To help their community of teachers and educators feel confident in their daily roles, NEA member benefits is taking about teacher style during the month of May. NEA gave three educators amazing makeovers with a style expert.

I loved getting to watch 3 deserving education professionals getting their style updated:

Jossette, is a paraeducator who wants a bolder wardrobe - see her transformation for yourself. Cameron, a 6th-grade teacher who’s stuck in a style rut - see his make-overTara, a 4th-grade teacher who is on a weight-loss journey & got her teacher style updated here

AND, along with the other amazing member benefits that NEA offers, they are now also giving away a personal style make-over too! 1 winner will receive a $1,000 Visa reward card for his or her own style shopping spree, and 25 winners will win $100 Visa gift cards, too. Check out all the details & enter here

Get social with NEA: Twitter // Facebook // Instagram // Pinterest

This post was sponsored in part by NEA Member Benefits, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Shop these exact pieces:

Friday, May 6, 2016

short shorts

Is it ok that it is only the first week of May & I am already declaring these shorts the piece of clothing I will be living in this Summer? #sorrynotsorry

I lived in this chambray top + Panama hat last year, & I love how fresh these beloved pieces look with my new lace up sandals and tassels-on-fleek shorts! (is sleek still a thing?)

How are you updating your warm weather items for the new year?

shorts: fringe trim shorts c/o francesca's
Other favorites include these ivory drawstring shorts, & these embroidered ruffle trim shorts)

purse: tiny tote c/o Dagne Dover

bracelet: anchor bracelet c/o francesca's

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Yesterday was our 2nd wedding anniversary, & my husband was actually in Denver interviewing for jobs, which perfectly sums up this chapter of our lives - moving & shaking!

These past 2 years of marriage (& 7 years total together!), have been so incredible. It is wild to think of the person that I was when I met Tyler at age 22 & the people that we have grown up into in the intervening years. I can honestly say that we are better together. 

I LOVE love & wedding season is such a fun celebration of the very thing I've signed up for, for the rest of my life #tilldeathdouspart (just realized #TillDeathDoUsParty would be a killer wedding hashtag!). Weddings are all my favorite things - getting to see all of your friends, travel to new cities, & dance the night away (now if only plane tickets and hotel rooms grew on trees!). This outfit below is my Nashville wedding guest look - most of the weddings I've attended here have been dressy, but as Nashville is a slightly more casual city, this is the perfect look for a day time wedding in our part of the world. The best part is that all of the individual pieces can all be worn other ways - both dressed up & down!

top: Ann Taylor ruffle neck shell (the neck has a clasp that can be work open or closed - check out the stock photos to see how it looks open)

shoes: Nisolo "Serena" sandals

purse: convertible clutch c/o Gigi New York

earrings: Bauble Bar ear jackets

What are you wearing for wedding season? 
Any fun destination weddings on your planner for the coming months?

Monday, May 2, 2016

teacher appreciation

May is Teacher Appreciation month, & if you have a special teacher in your life, she wants to be appreciated with a new Vera Bradley bag!

Below are my favorite Vera bags from the past few years. I continually turn to Vera Bradley for bags because of the thought that goes into creating their designs. Their bags are perfect for work, play, & travel, with every bag specifically designed with you in mind! I cannot get over the thoughtfully placed pockets, durable fabrics & well designed features that are standard on all bags! Below I am taking a stroll through memory lane, reflecting on my favorite Vera Bradley bags for work, play & travel. 

Shop my favorite bags for work:

Shop my favorite bags for play:

Shop my favorite bags for travel: