Style | Starry Night Top + What to Wear to a Class Reunion

My husband has a class reunion coming up this summer.  I'm really excited to go.  We started dating a few weeks before his 10 year reunion, and, in a flash, the best 10 years of my life have passed!  It will be fun because we keep in touch with a lot of his high school friends, and, coincidentally, my sister graduated high school with my husband, so she'll be attending!!

Going to a class reunion, everyone wants to look nice and put together, but it's not the time to take fashion risks.  Who wants to have a fashion faux pas with people they haven't seen in 10+ years?!  Comfort is important.  Don't grab that dress that rides up or down or sideways!  Obviously, you want to take venue into consideration.  For us, it's going to be at a nice restaurant, but we're from a small town where there isn't a lot of fashion risk taking in general, so I'm going a little more casual.

I loved this top the second I saw it (also available in petite and similar plus size)!  For reference, I got the petite XS, and I'm 5'3" and weigh about 110.  The model is shown wearing it with white on the bottom, and it looks so pretty!  Navy is such a classic color, and while I'm not normally drawn to prints, I love the subtle stars.  It also covers a little of the backside.  Even with a petite, it has some length.  That's a great feature, especially for evening.

I don't have a white skirt, but white shorts and jeans, I can do!  I chose these white jeans for our evening event but also plan to wear it with white shorts for a daytime graduation party.  I love a versatile piece (this one could also function as a work shirt)!  These block heels are still available in some sizes, and I found a really similar pair, too.  For jewelry, I went with these earrings and a delicate necklace.  I love this one!  My bracelet is old, but this bracelet is a great option.

If you're looking for a dress, this one would be beautiful with all the same accessories and shoes (just trying to make your life easy)!  And, for more ideas on what to wear to your reunion, check out this post by one of my favorite bloggers.










Easy Meals | Fish Tacos with Trader Joe's

My husband and I LOVE Mexican food, and we're lucky enough to have several really good restaurants close to where we live.  One of our favorite dishes is fish tacos.  If you live anywhere near Rochester, New York, you have to try them (or anything else) at Selena's and Rio Tomatlan!

I'm not claiming that today's meal formula is in any way close to what they serve at these two amazing restaurants, but we think it's a pretty good at-home, easy weeknight meal alternative.  Even if Trader Joe's isn't where you do your regular grocery shopping, it's worth it to go occasionally.  They have so many delicious and unique choices.  If you don't live anywhere near a Trader Joe's, you can most likely find similar equivalents at your local grocery store, but I can't promise the same delicious outcome!

This meal has only three ingredients: fish, salad topper, and wraps.  These tilapia filets are in the frozen section, and they have just the right amount of crunch for fish tacos.  Simply mix the corn and quinoa salad (found in the refrigerated section) earlier in the day to let the dressing soak in a bit.  Bake the fish, add a few heaping spoonfuls of the salad on top, and you have a delicious fish taco!


 




Style | Striped Espadrilles

Sharing my outfits on this blog has made me realize that I'm pretty traditional and my closet is full of neutrals.  I don't take a lot of fashion risks with colors and styles, but I know what I like, and I'm okay with that!  If you're like me in that regard (which I assume you are to some extent if you read this blog) you need something to add flare to your outfits.  That said, I think a plain outfit is just fine sometimes, too!  I often find the flare I'm looking for in the form of shoes.

These striped espadrilles are just adorable!  They're black and white (one of my favorite classic combinations) and add pizazz to an otherwise plain outfit.  I found them to run true to size.  I paired them here with a simple black t-shirt dress (similar here) and denim jacket (similar here).  Here is my bag (the dupe of this).  You could wear these espadrilles with shorts, skirts, jeans, or dresses.  Being able to wear a piece in many different ways is always something I consider when purchasing something new.

shoes (also available here + here), similar dress here + here, similar denim jacket here + here, bag (original version here)






Life | Father's Day Gift Guide

Father' Day is next weekend, and it's time to start thinking about how to make that day special for your dad, grandpa, husband, etc.  I'm lucky enough to be surrounded by the very best, but in my experience,  they are the toughest to shop for!  I enlisted the help of the dads in my life and developed gift guides for all of them.


The New Dad
My cousin has an infant, and he had some great suggestions.  I'll start with my favorite, this Papa + Baby Bear shirt set.  Adorable!  He also suggested a good whiskey (for obvious reasons), a manly cookbook, and a chess set (since he's now spending a lot more time at home -- and let's be honest, little babies don't do a whole lot, so why not learn a new hobby?!).  Last is a book full of great information that he found especially helpful as a dad who was as clueless as they come.  #heknowsitstrue

The Musician
My husband is a musician, and he knows his stuff!  I can't speak to his suggestions because I am not a musician.  To give you a little background, he is formally trained in classical guitar and can play several other instruments, so he knows what a musician would like!  This is what he suggested: his favorite guitar strings, a variety pack of guitar picks he uses and lovesa speaker for a lover of music (musician or not!)a tuner, and his favorite guitar cables.

The Intellect
My dad is the hardest to shop for.  He doesn't value things as much as he does learning and experiences.  So my suggestion for a dad you're trying to shop for in this category is to search classes (my sisters and I have taken cooking classes with my dad in the past), small trips (we once traveled together to his hometown -- such a treasured memory), theater tickets (this year we're taking him to a musical), or books!  Here are some ideas, inspired by what I found on his bookshelf: my dad's all time favoritefor the history bufffor a reader braver than me!, and a new release.

The Traveler / Tech Lover
My brother-in-law is a traveler and lover of all things techy.  He's been all over the world, and here's what he'd love: adapter for international travelnoise cancelling headphones, electronics organizer, laptop backpack, and luggage organizers.  

Style | Memorial Day Sales

The Memorial Day sales are in full swing.  Here's what I've found!

L.L.Bean doesn't do deep discounts or frequently offer site wide sales, so now is a good time to grab items you've been eyeing.  Their products are high quality and made to last.  They're offering 20% off today.  Use code SUMMER20.


Abercrombie has 40% everything.  No code needed.  They are so good at doing pretty.


J.Crew has 40% off and free shipping!  Sale items are priced as marked, but there are still some really great prices in the sale section.  Use code GETAWAY.  Also, the dress from this post is available in some sizes right now!

Gap is doing 40% off + 10% off + free shipping with codes BEST and MEMDAY.  Here I found kids' clothes, because I think theirs are the cutest and comfiest for my boys!


LOFT has free shipping on all orders + 40% off of full priced items + 50% off of sale items.  Here are my favorites.

Enjoy your Memorial Day!  I hope it brings you picnics, water, good food, friends, and family!

Style | Red, White, and Blue for Memorial Day

Memorial Day weekend is one of my favorite weekends of the year.  It's a weekend of celebration, as my birthday always falls somewhere around it.   It's the unofficial start of summer -- woohoo!!!  Of course, most importantly, it's a day to remember our servicemen and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

In the fashion department, it's time to bring out all your red, white, and blue!  My closet is full of white and blue (mostly navy, but that works).  I'm lacking red.  Actually, I don't own one piece of red clothing!  I'm more of a neutrals gal.  I usually don't do colors that pop, so I found this adorable neckerchief for under $10 to add just the right amount of red to my outfit.  I tied it to my bag (similar), but it would also be perfect worn around your neck or as a headband.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again that casual dresses are probably my favorite summer pieces.  There is nothing easier than only needing to throw on one article of clothing!  The dress I'm wearing here is sold out (I have seen it pop up now and then over the past few weeks on super sale on J.Crew's website, if you want to keep checking back).  Otherwise, I found some great options of blue and white striped dresses.

This dress is very casual, which fits for a busy mom on a holiday weekend.  I'll be chasing my boys around outside for much of the weekend!  Anyone else?  It would also be a great beach cover up.  This similar option is a budget friendly at under $20.  If it's going to be hot where you live, try a tank version.  Last, here is a dressier striped dress for the fancier picnics.

Have an amazing weekend!  If you want to take advantage of the sales that will be happening for the holiday, check back this weekend.  I'll share the sales and my favorite pieces.










Style | Old Navy Basics + Sale!

I had to go to Home Depot today (not my favorite store, although my little one does love to try out all the riding lawn mowers, so that's a plus).  Fortunately for me, it's right next to Old Navy.  There is a great sale going on right now.  It's online only, but most stores honor the pricing if you pull up the items you are buying on your phone.

The sale is 40% off your entire purchase plus free shipping on orders over $25 (normally you have to spend $50 to get free shipping).  Use code STYLE.  I know sometimes ordering online can be hit or miss, so keep in mind that Old Navy takes online returns at their stores.  Here are some items I tried on and loved, most falling within the $10-20 price range!  Click on any image to shop it.

Light and Airy
This top is a beautiful off-white gauzy material.  It runs quite large, so make sure to size down.  I normally wear an XS, and I was swimming in it.  Luckily, petite sizes are available!  The striped top was another pretty option, perfect with white shorts or pants for summer.  It's breezy and lightweight for hot summer days.


Basics
This tee is a winner for sure!  It's a linen blend, comes in four colors, and is soft and comfortable.  The draping is just right and for shorter girls (I'm 5'3" for reference); it covers most of the behind.  It's a perfect casual tee.  My favorite of all the pieces I tried was this tie front shirt.  I loved the black.  It's a thicker (almost woven) material, so it has more structure than you'd expect from a tee.  It's such a great piece, especially for the price!  Last is this darling tie back tank.  The knot adds just enough detail to step it up a notch, and what a great excuse to throw your hair in a ponytail (anyone else get all frizzy and lose their curls in the summer?!)  and show it off a bit more! 


Dresses
I love dresses for warm weather.  They are so darn easy.  This midi length dress is such a comfortable jersey material.  I would definitely need the petite size (again, I'm 5'3"), but other than the length, it was true to size.  A simple tee dress basically feels like a t-shirt with no pants.  Hello, comfort!!  It comes in a bunch of colors and patterns.  I would stay true to size, and stick to regular fit unless you like it short!  Last, is a casual chambray dress that could take you from church to the playground to a barbecue.  Versatility is a mama's friend, for sure!

For the Littles
My son wore these sneakers to death last summer.  They run a little big.  I also love to put my oldest in stripes and patterns that make him look little, because he is!  Toddler henleys for under $5, yes please!  This is a great time to stock up for the kids.  

Father's Day
This sweatshirt is the perfect summer layer for your little ones (12 months-5T).  Memorial Day and Fourth of July aren't that far off!  They have a matching option for Dad, too!  I love these tees for Father's Day.   Here is The Original (women's version) and The Sequel (available in multiple size groups).  Adorable!!

Happy Tuesday!  

Easy Meals | Barbecue Chicken Pizza

In case you haven't noticed, the meals I share here on the blog are super simple.  I do make more complicated meals.  However, I'm not a skilled enough cook to come up with those recipes on my own!  I only share with you the things I've thrown together with my own formula (not to say I invented barbecue chicken pizza, but you get the idea).

We love barbecue sauce.  We also love pizza.  It's such an easy dinner to throw together with a simple salad, so I like to try different variations.  I was shopping at Trader Joe's and saw this pizza crust, which looked so good to me (it was lunch time and I hadn't eaten...).  You could use any precooked crust, or you could bake your own.


I grilled the chicken.  You could easily bake it or even buy precooked chicken for an easier meal.   It was really delicious grilled though!  First, I brushed a little olive oil onto the crust.


Next, I brushed on the barbecue sauce.  We love, love, love Sweet Baby Ray's.  


I sliced and pan fried the onion for about 10 minutes on medium low. 


I put the onion right on top of the barbecue sauce.


Next comes the mozzarella cheese.  At this point, I baked the pizzas for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees.  Just keep an eye on it.  We like it to brown on top.


I cut up the grilled chicken and put it right on top of the cheese.  I forgot to take a photo, but at the very end, we did drizzle a little extra barbecue sauce over the chicken.


It was delicious!




Style | Chambray + White Denim

The combination of chambray and white denim screams SPRING to me.  I love white denim, and pairing it with a chambray shirt is such an classic look.  I sometimes struggle with button down shirts though.  I feel like I need to balance the "menswear" style with something feminine.  Anyone else?  Maybe it's just me...

When I came across these drop earrings (old but very similar here and here), I knew it was the perfect touch to add femininity.  Of course, the right bag does the trick, too (splurge, steal).  I paired this look with my favorite summer slides (mine are old, but I'm pretty sure they are the exact same).  They are so comfortable and go with every outfit.   

This combination would work for everyday wear, church, a picnic, and more.  If you threw on a tee under the shirt, you could transition easily from cooler morning temps to the hot afternoon sun.  Versatility is key for a busy mom on the go!


  
similar jeans (same retailer), similar shirt (same retailer), shoes
similar earrings here + here (both same retailer), similar bags splurge + steal






Life | Children's Books

Reading with my kids is one of my favorite things to do as a mommy.  It's the snuggles.  It's the idea of instilling in them a love of something so very important to their growth and development.  It's seeing how my oldest has grown into an awesome reader himself.  We read Harry Potter as a family recently with our oldest, and it was all he talked about for a long time.  I feel like we're establishing a great way to connect, especially as they grow older and don't always want to connect with mom and dad!  My dad used to take us to the library when we were little, and it's one of my favorite weekly outings with my boys now.  My littlest doesn't have much of an attention span, and often walks around or bounces while I'm reading to him, but I know he still enjoys it so much.

One of the ways I know he loves the stories is because he starts "reading" or singing them on his own.  I posted about some of our favorites in this post, and today I have two more to share!  There Once Was a Man Named Michael Finnegan by Mary Ann Hoberman (ages 2-6, my opinion) is a sing song silly story.  My two year old sings it all the time.  Disclaimer, it will get stuck in your head.  The back of the book has the music so you can play it on the piano, too.

Chicken Cheeks by Michael Ian Black (ages 2-7, my opinion) is another really silly story.  It's about rear ends.  I'm the first to admit that I don't love Captain Underpants or stories that go there (Call me crazy, but I'm trying to raise gentlemen!), but this one is cute and tastefully done.  We first discovered this book at our library.  Your little ones with giggle the entire time.


Life | Mother's Day Gift Guide

Mother's Day is just around the corner, and I can't wait for it!  Our tradition, as of the past few years, has been to have early brunch with my mom and sisters followed by a special afternoon/evening with my boys.  This year, I'd like to sit on the deck with my husband, have drinks and a really good meal (crab legs, please!), and watch our little guys play in the backyard.  I guess I want to relax and soak it all in (and avoid the potential of a disaster at a restaurant, which is likely to happen with our rambunctious two year old)!

It goes without saying that all moms deserve to be spoiled now and then.  We work hard!  For me, it's also a day to step back and take time to reflect on how grateful I am for both my own mom and for the two little stinkers that made me a mommy.  I couldn't ask for anything more.  What are your traditions?  If your husband or significant other needs a little help in the gift giving department, send them the link to this page for ideas!



Jewelry is always a good idea.  One of my personal favorite pieces is an initial necklace that my husband gave me with my son's initial on it a few years back.

*Click the right arrows to see more.

Mother's Day is the perfect time to give and receive products for pampering.

Becoming a mom turned me into a big softy.  Cue the waterworks.  Here are some gift choices for all the feels.


For the fashion-loving mamas in your life, here are some on trend pieces they would love!   I have to mention what I'll call the "it" dress because everyone raves about it in the blogging world.  This dress has 1,700 four and five star reviews!  That's a lot of positive feedback, and for good reason.  It looks good on every body with ruching in all the right places.  Bonus, Nordstrom has free shipping AND free returns.  Always.  It's adorable with a jean jacket and flats or classy with heels for a night out.  It's on my wish list along with the rest of these pieces!
Happy Mother's Day!!

Style | Starry Night Top + What to Wear to a Class Reunion

My husband has a class reunion coming up this summer.  I'm really excited to go.  We started dating a few weeks before his 10 year reuni...