Monday, February 27, 2017

what works

For my first outfit post since last September (read this post to learn about where I've been for the past 5 months), I wanted to share an outfit that represents where my style is now in one look, the pieces that I gravitate towards most, the things that I know work, & what I always enjoy putting on.

This sweater is from the Melissa McCarthy Seven 7 collection. Did you know Melissa McCarthy had a clothing line, & it is awesome? I have worn this sweater A TON since receiving it, it is fitted at the waist, has the most beautiful forest green stripes, & the mock neck makes me feel chic! 

I also recently added this suede moto jacket to my closet after seeing it on everyone & drooling enough times that I just HAD to have it! For a real suede leather jacket, the price point is great, & I cannot get over the amazing details! One thing to note, it is a pretty heavy jacket, but I like that it feels so substantial when I wear it.

Paired with my go-to jeans (on sale for $29 now!), favorite necklace, clutch & easy to wear booties - this outfit is a no brainer, but I like it because it makes me feel GOOD!

What do you wear when you want to feel comfortable & confident?
jacket: Nordstrom suede moto jacket - I'm wearing the Small, in "coffee bean"

jeans: Old Navy "Rockstar" skinny jeans (now only $29!)

topMelissa McCarthy Seven7 mock neck turtleneck - I'm wearing the XS (similar style also available at J.Crew - shop it here)

necklace: Kendra Scott (old, but I've linked similar styles at the end of this post)

sunglasses: Ray Ban aviators

shoes: Older style Vince Camuto booties from Nordstrom Rack // this peep-toe style is very similar.

{Shop these exact pieces}

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Best Gifts: Uncommon Goods

One of my favorite things is giving gifts - for birthdays, holidays and just because! Of course it is fun to get a gift that the person will enjoy, and extra credit if you get something that they didn't even know they wanted, but adore! Uncommon Goods is one of my best resources for picking unique gifts that are perfect for special occasions, just because & everything in between. I love how their website is organized, so you can find the perfect gift based on occasion (including awesome picks for your anniversary or all those graduations coming up this Spring) or recipient (girlfriends, bridesmaids, or your wife)! And as the name suggests, they are all so unique and sure to please!

Below are my top 10 gifts from Uncommon Goods that fit any budget and occasion! Only 1 more week to get your sweetie something for Valentines Day, and I know that I have many Spring Birthdays coming up quick too!

{1.} Evil Eye Blanket - the print is so on trend, but without being obvious! The perfect thing to class up a new apartment, or make the college student in your life feel super chic when they are curled up studying! 

{2.} Feather Stained Glass Charms - These make me think of my good friend who has an amazing feather tattoo - equal parts free spirit & stylish lady! Gorgeous on their own, or grouped together in a window.

{3.} Wrapped in love Scarf - give your loved one a gift that will remind them of your love every time they wrap this sophisticated scarf around their neck! The script is so pretty, & it feels like a secret love note. 

{4.} "With You I'm Home" Print - My husband & I enjoy getting prints for our house that remind us of cherished memories, & this print makes my heart soar with joy because it reminds me of our road trip past Summer. If you are into prints, Uncommon Goods also sells ones from Pop Chart Lab - I have previously gotten this Beer Print for my husband & we both love referencing it when we try a new brew. 

{5.} Llama Pouch - Can you ever have enough bags & pouches? Me thinks not! Up your pouch game with this adorable llama! Llama for your mama... too much?  

{6.} In the Stars Cuff - Perfect for birthdays or a celebrated occasion, get the sign from the month you got married, or celebrate the lovely Leo lady in your life! 

{7.} Light Box & Letter Set - I have seen these cute light boxes popping up all over Instagram! Make the dinner menu pop, or leave a love note for your sweetie to find before work! 

{8.} Peas in a Pod necklace - Growing up, my mom, sister & I said that we were three peas in a pod. Regardless of the number of peas in your pod, this necklace celebrates your pea pod bond. 

{9.} Personalized Tree Trunk Glasses -  I have always wanted to carve my initials into a tree, but these glasses are so much better because no trees are harmed in their creation, & they hold delicious drinks! Get them with any initials! Many more personalized gifts here!

{10.} Yarn Bowl - Based on my Facebook feed, pretty much all of my friends took up knitting this year, & this adorable "Sherman" the sheep yarn bowl would be the perfect buddy for the knitting buff in your life - regardless of their experience level! 

Where is your favorite spot to find unique and personal gifts? Any favorites from my list above?

Monday, February 6, 2017

Life Update: Slow Blogging

Hello strangers! It does actually feel a little strange to be back in this space after a 3+ month break, but also super exciting! Many of you followed our Summer road trip last year as we relocated from Nashville to Denver & man the process of moving was so super fun, but the reality of moving away from the city we had LOVED for 7 years didn't sink in until we had been here for a couple of weeks, and it was a feeling I just couldn't shake. Below is something that I wrote back in September, but wasn't brave enough to share - it is a small snippet of what I was feeling when I realized we had landed in a foreign town, with no friends, and that the dream job I thought I had landed wasn't quite the dream I thought it to be…


As my 5 year blog anniversary approaches this Fall, I have been putting much thought into what I want out of this space.

When I initially started Here&Now, it was out of a desire to spend more time in pursuit of creative endeavors. In 2011, I was attending graduate school at Vanderbilt University, working towards a PhD in Biomedical Research. Grad school was not a great fit for me - I had a less than supportive mentor who did his best to remind me that research science is a male dominated field; I worked in a toxic environment where co-workers regularly yelled at each other, and I went to the bathroom to cry at least once a week; and I ultimately didn't even know what I would use my PhD for, it more felt like the next required step in the education/career path I had started in college.

Fast forward to today: I am in my 3rd year of a teaching career that I LOVE, my husband and I celebrated two years of marriage this year, I am living in a new city that I can't wait to explore corner to corner, & life is pretty dang good.

I started Here&Now because I hated grad school & wanted to find my own personal style, but now I am in a career that fulfills me and challenges me in ways that I couldn't have ever imagined, and do truly feel like I have grown into my own body/mind/spirit/style over the last 5 years.

In a time when many bloggers are quitting their day jobs to become full-time online, I am headed in the opposite direction. I am not 100% going to quit blogging here, but I am going to take a step back to focus on my teaching job, relationships, and exploring Denver.

My priorities have shifted, but I cannot imagine a time where I do not seek creative fulfillment through blogging. I am increasingly craving a "less is more" lifestyle, especially as my husband and I dream of buying a house and starting a family (he says the pugs don't count as actual children) one day very soon.

I am going to call this new chapter of my life "slow blogging". I will blog when inspiration strikes, & I will continue to post outfits, murals, Denver explorations, & the pugs on Instagram & more everyday life stuff on Snapchat.

When I think about leaving the blog world for good, it is the connections with people I have met online that make it beyond my ability to commit at this point. I want to be better about connecting & hopefully with less posting, I will have more time to visit other blogs and social media accounts.

Please do not be a stranger! Let me know what you think in the comments. Is blogging on its way out? Is the future of blogland going to be taken over by the mega-blogger? What is your favorite way to connect online?


So while my thoughts about being a "blogger" continue to be conflicted, I am back and ready to share some great experiences here in Denver, brands that matter to me, and my personal style journey as I get shockingly close to 30! Please let me know what you want to see on this site, and know that I am going to continue to be ME… as I work to figure out what exactly that means.