Monday, April 10, 2017

work dress of my dreams

It is embarrassing the number of "work dresses" in my closet that I can't actually wear to work. Teaching demands a lot of bending, reaching above my head, leaning over to chat with students, & other unique positions - meaning that my clothes have to stand up to these tests, especially when it comes to covering my shoulders, chest, knees and bum (don't want 7th grade boys getting the wrong impression!). Despite my best efforts to test items of clothing for these weaknesses in a dressing room setting, most do not reveal themselves until I am standing up at my SMART board realizing that if I raise an arm to write at the tippy-top, my bits are at risk of being exposed.

At the heart of my work wardrobe are the work-horse pieces that have stood the test of classroom demands, & every single piece I have ever picked up from Of Mercer (all outfits featuring Of Mercer here). In my last Teacher Capsule Wardrobe, I had two Of Mercer dresses that definitely stood up to the teacher test - the windowpane print dress (outfits here) & a super versatile black dress with leather accents (outfits here).

This time around, I have another amazing Of Mercer dress, & not only does this item make me feel amazing at work, I also enjoy wearing it during my time out of school as well (stay tuned for that outfit tomorrow). I love that this dress has a perfect at-the-knee length, a nipped-in waist that is very flattering, long sleeves (it's nice to not have to wear cardigans every day), & POCKETS!

What have you realized is not work appropriate at an inappropriate time?

{Shop These Exact Pieces}

dress: "Baxter dress" c/o Of Mercer

belt: skinny black belt (I don't even remember where I got this bad boy, but it MAKES so many of my outfits. I love that it cinches to fit any size & I found a belt with similar magical powers here - it even has a removable bow)

shoes: old kitten heels - found a similar pair from Sole Society here (although this sassy studded pair would be fun too!)

blazer: tweed blazer c/o Of Mercer

bag: Tori tote c/o Gigi New York

Friday, April 7, 2017

Life Planned

Ya'll I am so excited to be partnering with Erin Condren to show you how I keep all my life, school, & everything in between events/to-do list/meal planning all in one place. 

If you are a friend of mine, you have heard me gush about Erin Condren, & probably also received goodies elevated with Erin Condren items (address labels, gift labels, cards) through the years. Erin Condren items are my favorite because they are intentional, functional, positive, & fun! The Erin Condren "Life Planner" is the height of thoughtfulness & usefulness and it seriously makes me happy and sane at the same time!

To start, you can customize your planner so that no two will ever be the same. Mine has a "marble" cover, with a rose gold coil, and my initials. You can also opt to add personal photos & other details on the cover - seriously, the options are endless.

To make this planner work for my life, I like the vertical layout on the weekly pages, & a 12 month calendar to keep me planned from January to December. I also added the weekly meal planner and productivity inserts, monthly sticker book (close to 300 stickers that are gorgeous, and high quality), elastic bands, and dual tip markers.

What makes this planner different than all others? The most noticeable by looking at the front cover is the durability - plastic instead of paper covers, laminated tabs, moveable inserts that you can use in your planners for years.

In addition, everything inside is functional, nothing is wasted - you can tell that this is made by people who use the products and love them.

So let's get into the details of how I plan:
- MEAL PLANNING Tyler and I are trying to save money to buy a house in the next year and through budgeting identified that we were spending over $1,000 a month eating out (YIKES!). To make sure that we have food at home that we want to actually eat and have time to cook after our busy work days, meal planning is our best friend. The meal planning insert allows us to map out our weekly meals, make our grocery list, and know what yummy meal we have to look forward to each day. You write on the insert with permanent marker, and then remove the writing with a cleaning wipe when it is time to start the week over.

- MONTHLY PLANNING Having things to look forward to makes me happy, and the monthly overview is the perfect place to write down fun events coming up throughout the month. Each Life Planner comes with colorful stickers to mark birthdays, appointments, and other moments to be highlighted; additionally, the add-on monthly sticker pack adds playful touches and inspirational messages - I am seriously looking forward to June so I can use those cute cactus stickers for something super fun!

- SPECIAL EVENTS Sending my family/friends notes on their special days (birthdays, anniversaries, promotions) is a way for me to stay in touch even from far away, and I love how easy it is to see upcoming dates so that I can equip myself with cards, gifts, and text messages. Each planner comes with a "perpetual calendar" so that you can write down important yearly dates, and transfer it to all of your planners for years to come.

- DAILY PLANNING Sweating the details is my middle name, & having ample space to write down daily events, to-do list items, meetings, and memories is key to staying on top of everything. The weekly spread is my tactical dashboard for productivity. In fact 90% of the time, my planner is open to the current week on my desk so that I can add items with they pop up & satisfyingly cross things off my list when they are completed.

As I am getting more into this planner game, I would love to know your best planner tips, and your favorite social media planners so that I can continue to funnel fresh inspiration into my organizing/planning obsession! Do you have an Erin Condren Life Planner? How do you get the most out of this amazing tool? 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Erin Condren. The opinions and text are all mine.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

stripe in the name of love

Nothing worse than coming to a fashion blog to read about fashion & finding weather talk... so let me tell you about the weather in Denver right now.

Last night it snowed 3 inches, tomorrow it is supposed to be 70... "unpredictable" is an understatement. Gone are the days when I can make assumptions about the daily temps/precipitation before the morning of - part of my daily routine is checking the weather & updating the outfit I picked out the night before accordingly. As a teacher that leaves my house at sunrise & often returns after the sun has set, I need my clothes to keep me warm in the morning, keep me cool in my sweltering classroom (it is 2017 & apparently every public school in Denver is controlled by a central system... how is that even possible!?!?), allow me to be comfortable if I have recess duty, and everything in between.

So yes, the solution to this is layers! I always prefer to keep my core warm and my legs cool, so vests and scarves it is! I previously wore this striped dress with a silk scarf and ballet flats (outfit post here), but also like the doubled up stripes from this combo. Which one is your favorite?

{Shop these exact pieces}

dress: J.Crew Factory striped dress (also available in blue stripe)

vest: old from BB Dakota - found similar styles here & here

scarf: J.Crew striped scarf - sold out in stripes, but still available in polka dots (update the look with this silk scarf for Spring)

shoes: Sole Society booties (also love this peep-toe style for Spring)

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

picnic ready

I know I was just exalting the amazingness of stripes in my blog post yesterday, but can you really ever have enough!?!? This top is a new piece from The Mint Julep Boutique, and while I admittedly fell in love with the tie detail at the wrist like the basic lady that I am... when I put in on in person, it is the softest, most flattering striped shirt that I own (and I own enough to have put in my market research).

For some reason when I slipped this outfit on during a sunny, warm Denver Saturday a few weeks back, I felt like I should be headed to a picnic. This is just such a happy outfit & everything about it makes me smile. How can the simple act of tying a scarf on your purse change your outlook on the whole day!?

{Shop These Exact Pieces}

shirt: striped tee with tie details c/o The Mint Julep Boutique

skirt: J.Crew Factory (this style is several years old, but this style is very similar - easily styled up or down)

shoes: Saludos leather sandals (Obsessed with this pair - they sold out quickly last year)

purse: Vera Bradley Quilted mini-bag (Now on sale for over $100 off! I love the small size & on point details!)

**If you haven't checked out Vera Bradley lately, you are missing out. I could NOT be more in love with this watermelon mini-bag (just try to stare into this watermelon goodness & not fall in love too!)

sunglasses: Ray Ban aviators

scarf: vintage scarf (I usually find them on Etsy)

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


My style as of late: I believe in simple pieces that can be paired many different ways. I believe in only having items in my closet that make me feel 100% every time I slip them on. I believe in taking style chances by mixing & matching what you already have. And I believe in stripes.

I have been a long time lover of stripes, & as I was searching for the last time I paired this scarf with a striped dress (yes, I'm that predictable), I found many favorite striped dress favorites from my blog archives. Surprisingly almost all of these pieces have survived every closet purge over the past 7 years - evidence that they are definitely in line with my style philosophy above.

May 2013: I picked up this neck scarf (as worn in the outfit above) in 2009 while traveling through Venice, and it is such an amazing example of tying memories to things. I have a hard time finding souvenirs on trips, but now I'm thinking that a travel scarf collection doesn't sound so bad. {full outfit}

February 2014: I was pretty happy with the fact that I found a way to turn this warm weather striped dress into an outfit for cooler temps too. Stripes are all powerful! {full outfit}

July 2014: Definitely thought this was a style risk at the time, but I love how pairing a striped top with a striped skirt turned out. {full outfit}

April 2015: I still love this striped dress to this day, and the blue + cognac accessories is definitely something I'm going to have to repeat soon. {full outfit}

March 2016: Stripes are classics in my book, but they can be fun too! This swingy warm weather dress is a perfect example of stripes for fun! {full outfit}

April 2016: The slip dress is back! I'm betting this will be a big trend for this Summer too. Happy that I took a chance on this Old Navy dress that looked pretty blah on the hanger, but pretty bomb once on! {full outfit}

{Shop these exact pieces}

dress: J.Crew Factory striped cotton dress (also linking some sleeveless options below)

shoes: J.Crew Factory bow flats (although if my work didn't require shoes with backs, I would live in these pointed toe slides... so dreamy!)

clutch"Bonjour Au Revoir" clutch from Le Tote (similar here)

scarf: purchased while backpacking through Venice - some of my favorite scarves are the vintage Vera ones I've found on Esty (I adore the colors in this one!)

What are your style philosophies?

Monday, March 27, 2017

In Bloom

This post was sponsored by Elizabeth Arden as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. All opinions expressed in my post are my own.

Since Spring has sprung, I've been a busy bee freshening up my daily routines for warmer temps. Tyler and I have been enjoying more days with the windows open and afternoons spent on patios with friends. This means that my clothes, and beauty routine needs to be updated for Spring too. There is something so amazing about seeing favorite clothing items that have been in hibernation since last year. While I am still not sure what is going on with Colorado weather, slowly sweaters are being replaced by tunics (how great is this floral one I'm wearing below), & booties are swapping places with sandals. Right now I'm in a stage of small changes - mixing in warmer weather items with my seasonless basics, like these black jeans that I can't get enough of, regardless of season. Eventually I'll be ready to bust out all the sundresses & open back tops, but for right now, I'm just happy my wrists and ankles are being kissed by the sun.

The transformation in my closet is happening slowly, but I'm fully embracing Spring with my daily fragrance. As a child of the 90s, it actually makes me giddy that my favorite celebrities now have their own beauty/fragrance lines. It has felt like I grew up with Britney Spears - from "Hit Me Baby One More Time" coming out in Middle School, to being on team Britney when she was making her come back, to seeing her in concert 2x as an adult, thinking of her & her music will hopefully always bring back happy memories of my youth.

During the cooler months, I have been using Britney Spears' fantasy fragrance, but have recently traded it out for her fantasy IN BLOOM perfume. This is one scent that is perfect for day or night, & it makes me think of fresh flowers every time I snag a whiff. 

If you are looking for a new Spring perfume, I definitely recommend Britney Spears' line. Britney Spears fantasy IN BLOOM is currently available at Kohl's nationwide & on

Not only do I love the well balanced scent of cherry blossoms, the bottle looks so pretty sitting on my vanity! I love how Britney describes her latest fragrance:

I love flowers, and fantasy IN BLOOM gives me that fresh feeling of smelling a gorgeous bouquet. It’s like a daydream in a bottle – a beautiful garden where the warm sun is on your skin and blooming flowers are all around.” – Britney Spears 

Find Britney Spears Fragrances on Facebook & Instagram

Friday, March 24, 2017

wrap it up

We made it to Spring Break! And yesterday I officially accepted a job position teaching middle school engineering for next year at an amazing school in Denver. I feel so free going into this break, looking to finish the current school year strong, while also look forward to the possibilities of my new position.

This is the third look in my series of styling these Ann Taylor trousers for my Teacher Capsule Wardrobe. I previously styled them with a stripe top that I can't get enough of (here), & a punchy yellow floral look (here). 

What I really like about this outfit is the ballerina inspired combo of pink stripes & a wrap sweater that nips in the waist. This combo easily pairs with a pencil skirt and ballet flats too!

{Shop these exact pieces}

shoes: Sole Society wedges (several years old and they have truly stood up to the test of time, and the test of a teacher work day - comfortable and high quality!)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

flower power

As of this moment I am 100% on cruise control until Spring Break. After this Friday I am celebrating my twin nieces 5th birthday, headed to visit my best friend in Houston & family in Arkansas. While my mind is firmly in Spring mode, I'm also crossing ALL of my extremities that we get a snow day soon - they keep telling me that Colorado weather is unpredictable!

Sorry I haven't been as plugged in to blogging/social media recently, I am busy looking for a new teaching gig for next year, and really throwing myself in the search so that I can find a great fit at a school where I could see myself staying for the next 3 - 5 years! I already have 3 job offers plus several interviews on the way, but please keep me in mind, I'm hoping to find a placement by the end of Spring Break!

{Shop These Pieces}

top: J.Crew Factory floral blouse (from last season, love this one for Spring!)

shoes: Sole Society wedges (now in limited sizes, but I also love this similar pair from J.Crew Factory)

purse: Dagne Dover petite tote (in a limited edition color from last year)

sunglasses: Ray Ban aviators

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

birds of a feather

I am excited that over the next few days I will be showing 3 outfits that I created with these Ann Taylor trousers as the foundation, as part of my Teacher Capsule Wardrobe (round 2, see the full recap of my first go here). 

I have struggled for YEARS to find appropriate work pants that could stand up to all of the rigors of teaching middle school everyday. These Ann Taylor trousers passed every trial - don't gap at the waist, stay put when I raise my hands, perfect length with my go-to teaching wedges, flattering cut with lay flat pockets, & a nice all-season weight. If you are curious to know all the trousers that I tried out before settling on these, check out this post where I reviewed 15 pairs of work pants & these were my hands down favorite!

While my husband might judge, there is always room in my closet for another striped shirt. I adore the boxy cut of this one from J.Crew, & I am super impressed with the heavy, luxurious weight of the fabric.

{Shop These Pieces}

top: J.Crew color blocked striped tee (now on sale 30% off! Also found a similar style from J.Crew Factory here)

necklace: Taudry hand-stamped necklace (mine is stamped with my social media handle @jesshereandnow) 

purse: Michael Kors "Selma" purse (now available with reversible/changeable covers - love this combo here)

Also - this is one of my favorite mural walls along my favorite street. If you are in town, you have to hit up Larimer Street in RiNo to see the best street art! The art is always changing, so I'm hopeful that I will always have a fresh stock of murals for my photo backgrounds. #BloggerBliss