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)