Tuesday, April 21, 2015

OUTFIT: Spring scallops

Bonus: real life outfit photo-taking with a 4 year old nearby...

Activity: Meeting for worship

Top: TJ Maxx (similar)
Jacket: thrifted (similar)
Skirt: J. Crew Factory (similar)
Shoes: Michael Kors via Nordstrom Rack (similar)
Bag: Ralph Lauren via TJ Maxx (exact)
Necklace: vintage, thrifted (similar)
Bracelet: gift (similar)

I'm loving how adding pale spring colors to items I already own, like this skirt and these shoes, creates a whole new look.  The scalloped items out this spring are really fun, too.  Sometimes a simple, current $20 item is all you need to refresh a look!  

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Big Plans

I haven't really mentioned much about the family adventure we are currently enjoying, so thought I'd share a little about that.  Last spring, my little family sold our home and scaled down our possessions to get ready for a family-friendly work/travel adventure before our son starts school.  Last fall, we were able to make our dream of many years ago a reality, when my husband started work at a large, nationwide travel nursing company.  They pay his salary and living expenses, he chooses from multiple work contract listings within that company (usually each one about 3 months long), interviews for the positions he's interested in checking out, and decides which position to take if/when it is offered, then we move to that location.  We figured this would be a great way to check out other areas of the country in which to live, since we had a couple of years before Gavin starts kindergarten.

First assignment: Dallas, TX.  We've had a great adventure, posted some travel hints about the city and its environs (still planning a post on our great San Antonio trip), and even extended our first contract of 3 months into a 6 month assignment.  Through our congregation, we've met lots of friends here, including some I hope will be lifelong buddies.  We really couldn't have asked for a better first assignment, even though it was not even close to on our radar when we talked about where we would go. And, who knows?  Perhaps it will be the home base we choose when the time comes!  We like it that much! (Although we haven't experienced the hottest part of the summer...)

Now it's time to move on to our next 3 month adventure: San Francisco, CA.  We'll be living in Daly City, just south of the city proper, and Mike's work will be right next to Golden Gate Park.  He's never even visited the city (and I've only been on there on a day trip over 20 years ago!), so it'll be a new experience for all of us.  So, look forward to plenty of West Coast adventures over the summer!

But, in the meantime, before we take our cross-country road trip from Dallas to San Francisco, we've decided we need another quick shot of adventure: a family vacation and scouting trip to Ecuador, in South America.  (Nothing like packing for 2 big trips and moving all at once!)  It's a place many of our friends have visited, lived and enjoyed over the years, and some place we might be able to do some longer-term volunteer work as a family in the future.  (Plus, it completes another continent of travel for me!  Only Australia and Anarctica left....)  

So, adventures of life (and hopefully fashion) await readers of my blog (all 2 of ya - ;) ).  Stay tuned, it's just about to get good....

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

OUTFIT: Graphic tee and Gap moto jogger pants

Activity: Casual day

Jacket: Gap, thrifted (similar)
Tee: Feist concert, old (similar)
Pants: Gap (exact - on sale!) (reviewed here)
Shoes: Converse via DSW (similar)
Bag: Coach via ebay (similar)
Earrings: ebay (similar)
Hat: vacation in Mexico (similar)

I mentioned in this post that I often try changing elements of an outfit to see how much difference it makes in the overall feel (in this case I think I realized it was warmer than I had thought, so I changed from pants to a skirt, so it was less fashion and more function...).  I said that I would be posting an example of an outfit with one element changed where it didn't make much difference - this is it.  Well, it's a perfectly fine look, and a bit of a departure for me overall to remember to wear my hat and to stick with the ultra-casual Converse shoes.  But, as far as a change from the original look, meh.  Next time I'll try changing out the hat or shoes also...   

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Corporate or casual, it's all in the coat

It never ceases to amaze me how different looks can be created with mostly the same clothing pieces - I think that might be one of my favorite things about fashion.  Sometimes I play around while I'm taking outfit photos to see which changes affect the overall look the most.  Often, changing just one piece doesn't really make a notable difference (I'll be posting a look that demonstrates this soon - just changing a skirt to pants didn't measurably alter the overall feel of the outfit).  In this case, however, the only change made in these two outfits, was changing out the coat - from a denim jacket to a trench coat.  Doesn't it look like more than that changed, though?  The feel of these two outfits is completely different - one is completely corporate (at least it would be appropriate for the dress code at the hospital where I work, it could be different at your workplace) and the other completely casual.

Even though I usually focus on changing out shoes and bags, especially when I travel, it's worth remembering that bringing two different coats can double your wardrobe possibilities. Might make stuffing that extra coat in your luggage worthwhile!

More pictures and outfit details follow.

Activity: Errands

Trench coat: Zara, thrifted (similar)
Jacket: Gap, thrifted (similar)
Tee: J. Crew Factory (exact)
Skirt: Old Navy (exact)
Shoes: Nine West, thrifted (similar)
Bag: Ashley Brooke via DSW (similar)
Earrings: vintage Navajo via ebay (similar)

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


Activity: Another fun day with Nana

Shirt: J. Crew (similar)
Jeans: LOFT (similar)
Shoes: Nine West, thrifted (similar)
Bag: Marc Jacobs (similar)
Bracelet: Magnolia Farms store, Waco, TX (similar)
Earrings: Chandelier earrings, gift (similar)
Jacket: Old Navy (exact)

I'm loving simple tops that add a hint of style with some interesting seaming or shape.  We all wear tee shirts, probably often, so why not find some tops that feel as comfortable as that ratty tee you wear to bed, but look considerably more grown-up.  It has also helped that I have come into the 21st century as far as top prices go.  Since I am often a thrift shopper, where tops are usually $2-5, it's hard for me to spring for a cute top that is basically a fancy tee shirt.  Seriously, though, with just a bit more cash (on average, discounted to $15-35 or so), I have started to assemble a respectable collection.  No one needs to know that they are just as comfortable as my previous pilled, stained and worn-out versions....  Shhhh.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

OUTFIT: Linen blazer, lace tee and shorts

Activity: Casual errand day

Blazer: Merona, thrifted (similar)
Shirt: J. Crew Factory (exact)
Shorts: Gap (exact) (reviewed here)
Shoes: Sperry via Nordstrom Rack (similar)
Bag: Ralph Lauren via Marshall's (exact)
Earrings: vintage Navajo via ebay (similar)

I could have tried to be fancy and photographed this outfit with heels (which would be a great date night option), but this is how I really wore it.  And I felt good that day - like I had hit that elusive place where you're dressed up, but not too much, your outfit says you tried, but not too hard and you're still comfortable.  The outfit "sweet spot", if you will.  Yours may look completely different, but you'll know it when you find it.  And everyone else will respond to the confidence found only in that place...

Friday, April 3, 2015

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

OUTFIT: Casual pencil skirt

Activity: Errands, park with Gavin

Jacket: Gap, thrifted (similar)
Tee: Feist concert, old (similar)
Skirt: Old Navy (exact) (reviewed here)
Shoes: Converse via DSW (similar)
Bag: Coach via ebay (similar)
Earrings: ebay (similar)
Hat: vacation in Mexico (similar)

I've been feeling in a bit of a fashion rut lately, especially in my dressed up outfits.  Pencil skirt after pencil skirt outfit, you get the idea....  (That's why I haven't taken many dressed-up outfit pictures lately!)  So, I decided to shake up my fashion "formula" for daytime.  Why not use a pencil skirt in a completely different way than usual?  Add Chucks, graphic tee, hat and denim jacket, and the wardrobe staple is hardly recognizable.

Do you have any tricks for breaking a fashion rut?