Wednesday, June 21, 2017

baby blues

Happy Summer AKA Wedding Season. I love weddings as they are a wonderful excuse to party with family & catch up with friends, & to get a pretty new dress too of course! When I saw this ruffled beauty, I simply couldn't help myself & can't wait to put it to the twirling test on the dance floor at our next event.

This is my first dress with this halter style, & while I was afraid it would look wonky on my shoulders, I actually find the cut to be very flattering. One thing to note about the fit of this dress, I am typically in between a Small & an Extra Small, but ordered this in a Small, & it is as tight as I would want it to be in my bust/around my neck. It works for sure, but if I wanted to go with a loose fit, I would have certainly gone back for the Medium. It does come in 5 gorgeous colors & if you order the coral one ("red saucy" - best color name ever), you have to tag me on social media, because I know it is going to be a showstopper.

Also on my must have list for wedding season is a go-with-everything clutch & this one from Gigi New York is perfection. It has a removable strap, so it is super versatile for those destination wedding weekends where you are exploring by day & then dancing the night away. My new obsession is traveling with the least amount of items possible (anyone who has traveled with me before is laughing, because that has not always been the case) & these do it all wonder pieces are what has been making it all possible.

What are you wedding guest must haves?

dress: Nordstrom halter ruffle dress (available in 5 gorgeous colors, and if you are stuck between sizes, go a size up - I got a size Small and it was just a tad tight)

purse: Gigi New York convertible purse (if you are looking for something smaller, I love the tassel on this clutch, and this style is so versatile!)

shoes: Steve Madden

All Photos | Noah Berg Photography

{shop these exact pieces}

Monday, June 19, 2017


I am still trucking along on my latest Teacher Capsule Wardrobe. I tried to put a few "risk" pieces into my capsule, & have also been pushing myself to put together outfits that are more unique too, including: monochromatic colors, mixing prints, & playing around with pants (I live on the wild side, I know).

One piece that is certainly not a risk is this custom made pencil skirt from Rita & Phil. I have had this skirt for over a year & think it is absolute crazy pants that it hasn't made an appearance on the blog yet, because it is hands down the best fitting piece in my closet, is super comfortable (not like those other binding pencil skirts that make you do the pencil skirt shuffle), & I adore the print!

You might be thinking that I must have a money plant at my house to afford custom made clothing, but Rita & Phil is more affordable than you might think & the process of sending in your measurements is so quick & easy! I happen to have a hip-to-waist ratio that mass produced clothing simply does not fit, & usually spend an extra $15 - $30 having a tailor adjust the waist bands of my skirts/jeans/pants - after having paid for the actual price of the item - highway robbery I tell you! But, I absolutely hate having my skirts spin around during the day, & as someone who spends most of her time with vicious middle schoolers, they are merciless when they realize that the butt of your skirt is in the front - they have even given it a name, "front butt" (admitedly they aren't the most original namers, #facepalm).

I got my custom Rita & Phil skirt made in the "Irene" print & love that when you check out there is no "size" to select, because the skirt is made to be size YOU! Looking to start the process to have your own custom skirt made, use my referral link to start earning points to earn a free skirt! And if you aren't sold on my recommendation, I urge you to read their customer reviews - everyone who tries it, loves this service!

Have you ever tried a custom clothing service? How did it go? Who else is making quality, affordable custom clothes?

top: J.Crew Factory striped top (I have this top in a small & an XS, & prefer the XS)

vest: older from Le Tote - linking similar styles below

skirt: customized pencil skirt c/o Rita & Phil (currently on sale for $20 + sign up for their newsletter to get 20% off your order! Bonus: they have free international shipping/returns)

sunglasses: Ray Ban aviators

purse: "Tori" tote c/o Gigi New York

shoes: old mules from DSW - linking similar styles below

All Photos | Noah Berg Photography

{Shop these exact pieces}

Friday, June 16, 2017

I like big bells...

Ok, I caved on the "statement" sleeve trend, & I have to admit that these sleeves make everything more fun! I was a little worried about the effectiveness of my hands while wearing this top (kind of like how I feel about using my arms with those off-the-shoulder-tops...), but the open slit makes the sleeves move out of your way for full hand use - SCORE! Have you ever put on dangly earrings and wanted to move your head all day... that is my exact craving with my arms in this top! I'll just be over here waving my arms in the air... like I just don't care... Have you adopted the statement sleeve trend for yourself yet?

Also - my jean shorts, sunglasses & sandals are all from Nordstrom & all staples in my Summer wardrobe. Having grown up in Arkansas, I didn't step foot in my first Nordstrom until several years after I moved to Tennessee in my mid-20s, & at first I was overwhelmed with the over abundance of choices, but over time have learned my own strategies to find everything I need & am a total Nordstrom-convert!

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is coming up (are you already sick of hearing about it - SORRY), & I wanted to share a tip for those of you who do want to shop for next season's pieces at killer prices.

Get first dibs on the sale by applying for a Nordstrom debit or credit card! If you are approved before July 9th, you will receive a $20 Nordstrom Note toward your first purchase during the sale! Plus, as a cardholder, you will receive Early Access to shop the best arrivals at their Anniversary Sale discounted prices.

If the card isn't for you, you can join Nordstrom Rewards (what I do), without applying for the credit card & you will still receive a $10 Nordstrom Note to spend on the Anniversary Sale! 

I will be putting together a list of items in my closet that are available at the Anniversary Sale shortly, but would love to know if there are any items on your wish list that you would like for me to keep an eye out for - holler at your girl :)

shirt: bell sleeve top c/o Chicwish

shorts: Levi's 501 jean shorts (I like to order my jean shorts at least 1 size up to get that "boyfriend" look; this style is also available in a black wash & with a longer, rolled hem)

sandals: Jack Rogers whipstitched flip flop (If you are indecisive about color: platinum is so versatile!)

sunglasses: Ray Ban aviators (green & gold)

All Photos | Noah Berg Photography

{shop these exact pieces}

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Summer Staples: white & blush

Blush + pink are definitely favorites in my closet for Summer & everything about the items I'm featuring today send them straight to STAPLE status!

Where to even start on his Cuddy Studios white lace dress!? I love the balance of the shorter hem, & boxier cut - it makes it so breezy + easily dressed up or down. Then there is the cut out in the back, & the gorgeous lace details. #swoon

Have you heard of these Olive & June sandals before? They are the new "Saturday" sandal from the loveliest Southern California nail salon Olive & June (are you following them on Insta? #ManicureGoals). The original design was born from the need for stylish post-pedicure shoes (imagine how much trash is made from those plastic disposable ones), but in the process, an insanely chic sandal that can be tied a million ways (I'm still testing that number) emerged! They have a super soft footbed, & seriously, you can make an insane number of combos with these adjustable straps!

In terms of accessories, I love these mirrored sunglasses because they manage to be trendy AND classy & at less than $13, you have no excuses! I have been carrying this blush pink clutch since last Summer, and it is the perfect size to grab and go, or pop in a larger tote bag for longer adventures. AND - is is now on sale for under $35! 

What are the Summer staples you have added to your closet recently?

dress: "Hanna" white lace dress c/o Cuddy Studios

sunglasses: Mirrored Tortoise sunglasses - only $12.50

purse: Cuore & Pelle blush pink clutch (now on sale for under $35!)

shoes: "Saturday" sandal in blush c/o Olive & June (I am usually a solid 7.5, but sized up to an 8 in these sandals as their site recommended, & the fit is spot on)

Mural By | Thomas Evans

All Photos | Noah Berg Photography

Monday, June 12, 2017

Here&Now x Erin Condren

top: J.Crew Factory cap sleeve shirt - now under $20 (also love this scalloped, sleeveless style!)

skirt: J.Crew Factory printed sidewalk skirt (currently not available in this exact print, but J.Crew Factory has so many printed skirts for budget friendly prices, many that I have linked below)

shoes: old from DSW, linked similar styles below - including this identical pair for $35, available in black or a fabulous leopard print!

sunglasses: ASOS mirrored sunglasses - under $15!

planner: Erin Condren Life Planner - shop it now with $10 off when you sign up using my referral link + get an extra 15% off with code GETSOCIAL15 - act fast, the deal ends 7/31/17.

All Photos | Noah Berg Photography

{Shop this Post}

I understand that when most people think of teachers, they are jealous our of "3 months off", & while some of my time between now & when school starts back in August will be spent reading novels by my pool, I am also already busy planning, preparing, & crafting for next school year.

I will be taking on a new role next year, transitioning from teaching 7th grade Science for the last 3 years, to a 6th grade Engineering position. I am already training on my new Engineering curriculum (it is so cool!!), & planning out all my Units/Tests/Projects using my Erin Condren Life Planner.

If you haven't ever tried Erin Condren planners, let me educate you! I have talked previously about my love for these thoughtful, attractive and super functional planner on the blog (full post here), and joked with my fellow teachers that we all need "Teachers Who Condren" bumper stickers to proclaim our love officially. Why are these planners the best? From the durable, and customizable plastic cover to the very well thought out pages that allow me to intentionally plan for my work & personal lives, this is the most functional planner I have ever used, & reasonable sized!

Ready to customize your own Erin Condren Life Planner? Shop Erin Condren now with $10 off when you sign up using my referral link + get an extra 15% off your entire order with code GETSOCIAL15 - act fast, the deal ends 7/31/17.

Post coming soon about how I plan for my Teacher Life - can't wait to start filling these pages up come August! I got my planner for the school year (August - June), but you can pick what months you want in your planner, starting now, or for the new year to come.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Love, Like, Hate: Recent Purchases

When we moved to Denver, I went into hermit crab mode. I pulled into my shell, not sure of my surroundings. I certainly wasn't doing much shopping as the new climate totally had me thrown for a loop, & I was completely at a loss of what I needed in my closet.

Since I started back blogging (hey girl hey), I have a little more disposable income, & I *think* I'm starting to get a hang of this Denver thing, so I have been branching out to shopping again. Below are somethings I've recently gotten that are MUST-HAVES in my book, some things that are great if you are looking for something extra (LIKE status), & while HATE is a strong word, I'm also including a couple of misses that totally missed the mark for me.

What have you purchased & LOVED recently? I'm on the hunt for a new pair of white jeans so send any of those rec's my way ASAP! kthanks.
{Love} pieces that need to be in your closet ASAP
1. As a former Nashville gal, & having been a young girl in the 90s, Reese Witherspoon is my spirit animal & I just can't get enough of what she is doing with her clothing line Draper James! The Draper James store in the adorable 12th South neighborhood is a MUST VISIT if you find yourself in Nashville, but now the pieces are available at Nordstrom too! I just picked up this ruffle top & it hits all the right notes for Summer - light weight, airy, & fun - but this is a spendy piece that I hope is in my closet for years & years! (Fit Tip: I ordered a size 4 for a not too tight, not too loose, just right fit)

2. It's been a good bit since I spent more than $20 on a pair of jeans (thanks Old Navy), but I have been on the hunt for the perfectly not-too-stretchy, but a little stretchy, not-too-ripped, but a little ripped, not-too-blue, but blue jeans... and my hunt is over, & I spent less than expected. This pair from Nordstrom comes in right under $60 & I think they are super flattering! (Fit Tip: I ordered my normal size - 27 - and they fit PERFECT! I LIVED in these bad boys over Memorial Day weekend)

3. Last year my Summer wardrobe consisted of two colorful, printed dresses from Cuddy Studios (as seen here & here). This Summer I have added this Cuddy Studios ruffle dress to my wardrobe & I just think it is the perfect piece for Summer weddings, backyard shindigs, & beach getaways! Coming to the blog soon! (Fit Tip: Runs a little big, I ordered a size small & probably should have gone down to a size XS)

4. After almost a year of living in our new city, I STILL can't find the box that has my sunglasses in it! While I love my Ray-Ban aviators (the only pair that I had in the car with me when we moved), I have really been needing a new pair so bad (Denver is apparently one of the sunniest major cities in all of America... great time to misplace the sunglasses, huh!?). I love the look of mirrored lenses, but wasn't sure how they would look on me, so I went for a budget pair first. This pair of mirror-lens sunglasses from ASOS hit the mark & fit the budget (under $15)! 

5. You might have seen it on Instagram (here), but I've been living in this J.Crew Factory gingham dress. One of my favorite features is that it can be worn with a neck strap, or strapless - keep your options open ladies! (Fit Tip: The XS is perfect for me)

{J.Crew Factory is killing the gingham game, shop my favorites below}

{Like} Pieces that I definitely enjoy, but Bianca from "10 Things I Hate About You" said it better:

Bianca: There's a difference between like and love. Because, I like my Skechers, but I love my Prada backpack. 
Chastity: But I love my Skechers. 
Bianca: That's because you don't have a Prada backpack. 

6. I am not big on "body con" pieces, so this white lace midi dress certainly has me conflicted - I love it, but am not sure I can pull off the fitted silhouette... coming to the blog soon, so you can be the judge! While the fitted style is the con for me, it has lots of pros: great price, flattering cut, versatile foundation piece for Summer.

7. There is A LOT to love about this ruffle Midi-dress - I got it in the baby blue color & think it makes me look so tan (which I am not, so it is basically magic). The thing that put it on the "like" instead of "love" list is the fit of the halter. I always thought that I had a "normal" proportioned torso/neck, but for some reason this halter goes all the way to my neck & feels a little tight... is that how it's supposed to feel? This is my first halter piece of this style, but that just can't be right... #bigneck

8. I had high hopes for this J.Crew Factory white midi skirt, but I didn't realize that it has an elastic waist & it runs a little big. It has so much going for it, but since the smaller size is now sold out, back it goes for me.

9. & 10. The next two pieces would most definitely land themselves on the love list, if they were just  a little more practical. These fall into the statement piece category, but they are so fun, budget friendly & I just couldn't resist. 

This striped, bell sleeve top takes the award for statement sleeves. And I can't get enough of the ruffles on this one shoulder top.

{Chicwish is kinda crushing it with statement tops lately, shop my favorites now}

{Hate} A strong word, but these pieces just did NOT work for me
11. I literally never successfully got this asymmetric maxi dress on my body - it was sad, hilarious, & embarrassing. I almost wish someone else would order it & make a tutorial for how to put it on - please share it with me when you do! I love the print & the idea of the open back, & I sincerely wish that I could accurately explain to you how difficult it was to put on!!

12. This open back black maxi dress sounded so perfect for me, but the fit was just off. It is definitely made for petite gals (would have been worn with flats on my 5'3" frame), but also ones that have a bigger bust that me. The open back is just perfect, but the lack of pockets & fit issues made it a definite return.  

13. I love my body & rock what I got, but this one-shoulder romper made me look like I had a preggo-belly, something I will be happy to have one day, but today is not that day. I could not figure out a way to make this item flattering & I desperately wanted to, as I love the colors of the stripes. 

Friday, May 26, 2017

a date night classic

pants: ASOS ripped knee jeans (this high-waisted fit of jeans is perfect for me - they also come with more rips (#Shredded) & no rips at all)

blazertweed blazer c/o Of Mercer

shoes: Steve Madden heels (they seriously now have this style of shoe in lots of different heel heights, and even a chunky heel that looks super comfortable - see the options in the links below)

purse: Michael Kors cross body bag (this exact style is finally back in stock & it is PERFECT for Summer travels, it even have a padded pocket for your Kindle!)

All Photos: Noah Berg Photography

{shop these exact pieces} 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

pink about it

This "sleeveless blazer" was all the rage last year (I styled it here & here), but I had been struggling lately to incorporate it into my weekly wardrobe - so it was find a way to wear it, or send it to the donation pile.

I was looking for layers to use in my Teacher Capsule Wardrobe & I thought it would be a great time to put this trendy piece to the foundation item test. This is one of the ways I have been wearing it to work & I can't wait to show you the other ones as well.

Pink on pink is such a fun way to do "neutrals" in my book.

top: J.Crew Factory pink striped tee (also available in short sleeve here)

skirt: J.Crew Factory pink pleated skirt (I also have this pleated skirt - available in lots of colors, just not pink - & love it)
This pink, linen skirt is also super chic for Summer! Shop it here.

blazer: sleeveless blazer (old from BB Dakota) - linking similar styles below

shoes: black booties from years ago - shop similar styles below

bag: Tori tote c/o Gigi New York

All Photos: Noah Berg Photography

{Shop these exact styles:}

Monday, May 22, 2017

work to play all day

I'm still working on my 2nd Teacher Capsule Wardrobe post (see the first round up here) & this Of Mercer dress is definitely a rockstar of my work outfit rotation. But no piece in my closet is allowed to be a one hit wonder, so although love this dress for work (like in this outfit), I also wear it out & adore how flattering the cut is. As my mom always told me, "modest is the hottest", & this dress is super feminine without being revealing or uncomfortable. If you are always looking for high quality & functional work clothes & you haven't checked out Of Mercer yet, do yourself a favor & head there now!

What are you best tricks for making your work clothes do double duty for events outside of your 9-to-5 life?

dress: "Baxter dress" c/o Of Mercer

belt: studded belt (saw Carrie wearing it in the Sex in The City movie & don't regret this purchase for a second!) I remember getting mine for cheap from a fast fashion site years ago (2008?), but found 2 second-hand styles for sale here & here.

shoes: open toe booties (old from DSW) - this style of shoe is a serious staple in my Spring wardrobe, so I've linked many similar styles at all price points below.

All Photos: Noah Berg Photography

Shop these exact pieces: