Tuesday, November 21, 2017

holiday gift guide 2017: for the tweens/teens!

My gift guides continue today with another hard to buy for crowd... the tweens and teens.  Since my kids are 10 & 13 now I am officially retiring the "kids gift guide" and moving into a gift guide aimed at older kids with maybe a few items thrown in for those "young at heart" teens.  It's hard to believe those kiddos of mine are so grown up these days. But they are! And while I am really enjoying this stage of motherhood it is a really tough one to buy for.  They usually want a lot of big ticket items (like a computer, iPad, iPhone, etc...) that they may or may NOT be receiving, but I still want them to have a few more gifts wrapped under the tree.

This gift guide for tweens and Teens is inspired by my own kids.  They are PICKY and I know that they would love each item on this list - I scoured the internet to find creative and fresh gift picks for those hard to buy older kids and also threw in a few classic gifts as well.  My kids always love a few practical gifts like a new robe or beanie hat that will get lots of use this winter. For the kid at heart this snap together X-Wing Fighter model is pretty awesome, I adore this astronaut duvet set (there are also ballerinas, dinosaurs and more!) and these fashion icon paper dolls are pretty rad. For the adventurer these packable and portable hammock kits are awesome and they are available in tons colors and under $50.  For the techy teen in your life a fun polaroid camera or charger cord set is the perfect gift. My kids are super into crazy socks right now... these llama (camel!?!) socks are so crazy and weird I know they would be a hit.  Shoes are ALWAYS a winner for my kids... they can't get enough of new sneakers and hunter boots are always a win for the girls.

I hope this list inspires your gift buying for those tricky tweens and teens in your life!

heart robestriped robeboys 'chill' beaniesquishies (my kids are OBSESSED with these right now!), portable hammockfair isle pom pom hathunter bootsX-Wing Fighter model (easily snaps together), charger cord set (under $15!), polaroid camerablue fleece pull-overarmy green sneakersfashion icon paper dollsastronaut duvet set (so fun! Or there is a ballerina, dinosaur and others!), headphones (under $50!), waterproof bluetooth speaker (under $50!), llama sockspink hooded t-shirtkitty socks (only $15!), DIY tinted lip balm kitsour candy set

Shop the pieces by scrolling below...

Monday, November 20, 2017

my everyday style: sequins for the holidays!

Today I'm bringing you MORE holiday outfit inspiration and MORE velvet... I just can't quit the velvet lately. And really, why should I be expected to? You gals really loved the velvet look I posted last week and I've got another velvet piece today that I just adore.  This velvet blazer is PERFECT for holiday gatherings - dressy or casual.  It would be gorgeous thrown over a lace dress or dressed down like I did here with a simple striped top, SEQUINS shoes (dying for these!) and jeans.  It's SO simple but definitely still has that holiday vibe that we are all going for these days.

Throwing a festive blazer over wardrobe basics is the perfect way to dress for the holidays. I've mentioned it before, but I don't want pieces in my closet that aren't super versatile.  So for holiday dressing I focus on pieces I can wear multiple times.  The sequin shoes mayyyyybe break that rule a bit, but I mean, HOW FUN are these?  I will definitely get my money's worth with these beauties because at this point I plan to wear them to every holiday party I can.  Just watch me ;)

I hope you ENJOY your Thanksgiving week. I know this is a week my family and I look forward to every year. Taking time for family and fun and of course getting a crack on my holiday shopping with all the amazing deals later this week.  This week I've got some really great content coming... I'm launching my kids gift guide (which is geared towards tweens & teens since that is the ages of my kids right now) and it's GOOD.  Then I've got two more holiday inspired outfits coming for you that I think you will really love - one dressy and one casual.  I will kick off my holiday SALE coverage bright and early on Thursday morning, and again on Friday morning.  Then to end the week I have a really fun post featuring my favorite holiday activity. Can you guess what it is?   All this to say, check back often this week, because there is going to be SO much good holiday content for you guys! I'm so excited to bring it all to you.  And if you aren't sick of me and still want more... my family and I will be hitting DISNEY hard later this week... so if you want behind the scenes peeks of our Disney adventures be sure to follow me on Instagram and Instagram stories.

Outfit Details:
Velvet Blazer (size down, I feel like this runs big)
Sequin Shoes - on sale, also in black!

Friday, November 17, 2017

holiday wardrobe checklist!

Holiday party season is upon us friends... and if you don't have a few pending invites for events, you are sure to very soon! I often feel like planning special outfits on top of all the other plans that need to be made this time of year can be overwhelming. Anyone else? I know I have to get myself to an event and wrap a gift and bring a dish to pass and pick up a bottle of wine on the way and... and... and... and the outfit comes dead last. So to avoid the "what am I going to wear to this holiday event?" question I like to keep a few items stocked in my wardrobe for whatever the event calls for.  A classic little black dress is a no-brainer, I love this velvet dress!   But a few other fun items like a plaid shirt,  some tassel earringsbow flats, a bow clutchvelvet jeans or a beautiful velvet blazer are great to have to have on hand to quickly pull together a festive look.

I personally tend towards the dressy-casual when attending holiday events and usually we don't have a lot of super "dressy" events on the calendar either. For events like a girls' Christmas luncheon, a book club cocktail hour or a white elephant exchange with friends there is no need to go overboard. Just a touch sparkle, plaid or other festive flair will do.  So for me a perfect outfit would be a plaid shirt paired with a metallic midi skirt and bow flats.  Or velvet jeans paired with a simple cream bell sleeve top and tassel earrings and heels would be great too! A velvet blazer easily pairs with skinny jeans and a pair of sparkly sequin mules gives the whole look a festive feel.  I try not to overthink a holiday party outfit and instead go for pieces that I know I will feel comfortable in for the entire event.

What is your holiday party style?

Thursday, November 16, 2017

holiday gift guide 2017: gifts for her!

Today I've got another awesome gift guide for you! And this time it's all about the ladies in your life... mothers, babysitters, teachers, bffs, sisters, nieces... or let's be honest - YOU! There is no shame in forwarding this blog post on to the guy in your life for inspiration. The guys usually need a little, ahem, 'inspiration' now and again!

When I pull together these gift guides I always like to make sure I am keeping it real... for my guys gift guide (here) I always run the gifts by my husband first.  I make sure to ask him if it's something he would ACTUALLY like to see under the tree for himself to make sure I am on the right track.  For the girls gift guide I always choose items that I love and also that I think are a good price point or are reasonable for what I would spend on a gift.  It's great to splurge on a gift from time to time but it's important to have a few budget friendly picks too!

These gifts here are some of my favorite to give and get.  A gorgeous scarf, the perfect pajamas, my favorite candle and candy, a few practical gifts like luggage or a cosmetic pouch,  a few beauty picks like my mini facial oil set or a lip gloss set and even a few home items like this cozy blanket or an aromatherapy diffuser (I use mine non-stop in the winter) round out the list. So whatever budget or lady you have to shop for, there is sure to be something here for her (and by her, I mean her and you, wink wink).

leopard walletkendra scott necklacepom pom hat (only $15!), polka dot pajamas (under $100!), faux fur/pom pom throw blanketlip gloss set (I love their minty scent!), pink scarf (under $25!), candy bento box (under $50!), 'she believed she could so she did' bracelet (only $35!), luggage set'make mine a double' insulated mugfleece lined slipper socksvolcano candle (my FAVORITE candle to burn!), nude eye trio (I'm obsessed with this eyeliner/eyeshadow combo!), polka dot cosmetic pouch (only $15!), convertible bow gloves/mittensrose gold wireless headphones (under $100!), pull over fleece (under $100), "hello" balloons shelf art (so cute!), aromatherapy diffuser (under $40!)

Scroll through the items below to see them all!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

my everyday style: velvet for the holidays!

You guys! Velvet is so hot right now and I can absolutely say I am loving it! It's the perfect festive accent this time of year and I definitely plan on wearing it to holiday parties and gatherings from now until New Years. From velvet skinny jeans (gimme gimme!), to easy velvet long sleeve tees, to blazers, to festive dresses, bags and shoes.  You are really going to want to snag some velvet pieces for your closet this winter!

It was love at first sight with this velvet top I am wearing here. I love the drapey cut and the peplum is so flattering!  It's crazy soft and the peplum seam is elastic - elastic! - so it's incredibly comfortable too. This is the perfect wear to Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve top and it's available in a few colors too... although this pink stole my heart.

If you are loving velvet as much as I am this season then read on below... I've rounded up some super cute velvet pieces that you are sure to love this holiday season!

Shop the look here...

Outfit Details:
Jeans - on sale!

Shop my look here...

Shop my velvet picks here..

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

holiday gift guide 2017: for him!

I am kicking off my holiday gifts guides TODAY!  Cue the confetti!  I'm definitely starting my holiday shopping already because... hello, December is busy enough on it's own. I like to start early to take the stress out of it all and make sure I am still having fun with the gift giving process.

Today I am tacking the GUYS on your list - because if the guys in your life are like the guys in my life, they are the most difficult to shop for.  My husband admits that if he wants or needs something he usually snags it for himself, which I am totally okay with - until birthdays and Christmas rolls around and I am at a loss. Plus, he's a pretty low maintenance guy. Those two factors make him difficult to shop for - and guys in general can be that way... brothers, uncles, dads, grandpas can all be so tricky to buy for.

I am always trying to think one step ahead of them... what is something they don't know they want yet! You know? Fun techy gifts like a new nest thermostat (my husband totally geeks out over ours), a turn table and his favorite 90s LP, new wireless headphones (my husbands are always breaking!) or a bluetooth speaker for his office or the garage are great ideas. Practical gifts for the traveler like my husband include new rolling luggage set (LOVE this set!), packing cubes or a new YSL Homme cologne set that has a travel size (I can't tell you how many times my husband has left his full size cologne in a hotel - sob!).  I always like to include a few more practical ideas too... like a gorgeous watch, a half zip fleece pullover (this is my husband's favorite style) or leather gloves.  And for the kid at heart I love this funky pair of sneakers, an smart phone projector (so fun!), dark chocolate bourbon bears or a fun "geeky" board game. I always love to throw in a few books as gifts too... I've heard awesome early reviews about Artemis, a sci-fi space adventure, and what guy doesn't a compendium on whiskey?

I hope you find something here for the special guys in your life... there will be more gift guides coming over the upcoming weeks and of course a huge Black Friday shopping guide coming at you soon too!  So stay tuned!

Browse the gifts below by scrolling left or right...

Monday, November 13, 2017

Instagram Lately!

I always love pulling together my favorite Instagram looks together here on the blog every month. It's one of my favorite posts to pull together and it's one of your guys' favorite posts too.  It's a great visual overview of the past month as far as outfits go and also doubles as a great reference for outfit ideas... don't know what to wear? Recreate one of these looks!  How easy is that?

If you don't already follow me on Instagram... what are you waiting for? Head on over! There is lots of extra content there that you don't see on the blog and also some behind the scenes stuff that is fun too! I hope you will join me there!

I'm all about the cozy sweater and scarf pairings these days! (sweater, scarf, boots, jeans)

I love a good cape! This past weekend was so freezing it was all the warm knits all weekend! (cape, jeans, similar boots, similar hat, mittens)

A pom pom hat is definitely a part of my mom uniform these days... they are so warm and perfect for protecting that blow out from rain or snow! (sweater, hat, bag)

One of my favorite parts about colder temps? The cozy pajamas of course! These thermal pants are so soft and I buy a few new pairs each year - they are under $20 and are available in the cutest patterns! (sweatshirt, hat)

Neutrals are perfect for cold and gloomy days! (similar jeans, flats, sweater, scarf, bag)

I've gotten an unbelievable amount of wear out of this quilted jacket. It's just so cozy! (less expensive version of jacket, sweater, ankle bootssimilar jeans)

I've got scarves and sweaters on repeat... and repeat. (sweater, scarf, jeans, flats, purse)

I'm obsessed with this striped sweatshirt! It's perfect for Saturday errands and lounging. (jeans, sneakers, tote)

Saturday, November 11, 2017

my current beauty routine!

I've been getting a lot of questions on Instagram Stories lately about what makeup I am using and loving right now... I answer all the questions I get - or try to! And to make it way easier for you and me I'm just pulling together a quick post to review the beauty products that are currently in my makeup rotation.  As you probably know, I've been using a lot of Beautycounter lately because I just love the products so much and I am committed to using safer products any where I can in my life - both in beauty, self care and even household cleaning products.  But that being said, a product has to be 110% effective for me to use it. It can't just say "safe" but then not really work for me.  So there is a mix of Beautycounter AND the products that I either haven't replaced yet in order to avoid being wasteful and then a few products that I love so much I just can't quit (like this mascara).

Feel free to let me know if you have any additional questions... I'm always happy to answer them!

from left: 
lip gloss (from this set), foundation (I wear #1 color, but the color is very forgiving and I could easily wear #2 also), mascara, under eye highlighter/conceler, brow pencil, liquid eye shadow & liquid eyeliner (available for a limited time), blush, highlighter (available for a limited time)

If you are interested in adding safer beauty products to your routine - this is a great set with a pretty hefty discount included that I highly recommend! 

Friday, November 10, 2017

my everyday style: leopard print vest!

Each holiday season I like to snag a few quintessentially "festive" pieces for my wardrobe.  A plaid scarf (I'm loving this one), something a little glittery (how about these beauties!?!?) or something that is over the top and wintry like this leopard faux fur vest. I can see this getting pulled out for LOTS of holiday parties and events this year.

I loved pairing it with a long sleeve striped tee for a mild late fall day, but I can also envision wearing it with a sweater for cooler temps or even layered over a leather jacket for very chilly days. Wouldn't that be so cute? And the best part is that while it looks festive and fun it feels super comfortable and easy to wear.  That is the best combo in my opinion. This outfit would be a great Thanksgiving Day look... or perfect for tackling those Black Friday deals.  Or dress it up with black pants or leather-look leggings for Christmas party season.

Outfit Details:
Jeans - on sale!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

decorating the home for the holidays with Gordmans!

This post is sponsored by Specialty Retailers, Inc. All opinions are my own.
Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog.

I am pretty excited about getting in the holiday spirit here at my house these days and today I'm partnering with Gordman's to pull together a super cute and wintry holiday mantel at my house! If you've never checked out a Gordman's near you... put it on your holiday to-do list! I recently stopped by our local Gordman's store (it's in Grandville for all you local ladies and it's HUGE!) and had a blast pulling together some holiday decor for my home. Gordman's mission is to thrill and delight every guest with  unique finds and great deals at every turn.  There's no "hunting" for deals at this off-price retailer.  The good deals find you... or at least they found me!

As you may know our home has recently gone under a full renovation on our main floor.  Last year we had contractors in our house until the week before Christmas and we couldn't really decorate around their work (brutal!) so this is the first year we actually get to decorate the new house! yay!  Our fireplace and mantel is the centerpiece of our family room and since we didn't have a very big mantel at our old house I was sorely in need of some supplies to decorate it for the holidays.

So off to Gordmans I went!  First I snagged a gorgeous faux garland for under $25. They had a great selection of garlands and I love how real this one looks without the mess of needles everywhere.  The BELIEVE swag was a must have, I mean, I LOVE some glitter this time of year, and it and white mini trees were all under $13 each if you can even believe it!  I picked up a number of these pinecone ornaments for under $3 each - they are SO beautiful in person and since they aren't glass there is no worries with kids in the house. Then finally I snagged a bright red fleece blanket that was under $8 and a wire basket that was only $12 for all our families' Christmas books. To set up a cozy reading nook by the fire.  In the end the entire looks was a breeze to pull together and I absolutely love how it turned out.  Bonus, the grand total was under $100!  Please note I was provided with a gift card to purchase the above mentioned products. A big thank you to Gordmans!

Outfit details: top, jeans, shoes, similar earrings

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

my everyday style: a classic peacoat!

When it comes to outerwear you can't go wrong investing in a new coat (or two!) every winter. Especially here in the midwest where the winters can be bitterly cold and endlessly long.  I like to have a few super warm and more utilitarian coats in my closet like the one I wore here and then a few dressier options like this navy peacoat. The red details on the button holes and the gold buttons made this coat so irresistible - I just knew I had to have it. And the best part is at $125 it's a great value as well. While it's not the warmest coat in my closet right now it sure wins the award for the most beautiful and I'm wearing a size 2 with plenty of room underneath for a sweater to keep warm.

I loved pairing it with a plaid scarf with red accents (red and navy: swoon!) and a simple camel sweater which I also wore here - it's quickly found it's place in the rotation. From now until about February I use any chance I can get to sneak some plaid into my outfits. Plaid lovers unite! And this plaid scarf is only $26! Snag one now if you love it, because this baby is likely to sell out quickly this year - it's too cute and at that price, such a deal!

Outfit Details:


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