Graphic Tee Syle: Thanksgiving & Fall Collection

As someone who has been through 3 babies in 3 years, you can imagine I’m all about some comfort in my life. I’ll admit that since I am an stay-at-home mom, I get off the hook most days and can wear whatever I like. It is nice to dress it up a bit from time-to-time, but even on the occasions I am going out for non-major events (grocery runs, the park, doctor appointments) I like to dress nice, but still in comfort.

That is why I LOVE two major trends of today: leggings/yoga pants and graphic tees! I know, not everyone cares for graphic tees, but you have to admit they have gotten crafty and fun with the designs and sayings they sling. What’s even more interesting is the way fashionistas have taught us that even a t-shirt can be jazzed up to look classy. I’ve seen them paired with skirts of all styles, cute jeans and booties, blazers and flashy neck ware. I love it.

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Three Ways to Dress Up a Graphic Tee

And what holiday is more important than dressing comfortably than Thanksgiving when you want the freedom to eat to your heart’s content? Check out some seasonal fun below and know you have the freedom to dress them up or keep them casual. I would love to see some of your favorite fall-festive tees as well!

Thanksgiving Tees

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Feast Mode

 

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It’s Turkey Time

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I’ve Got My Fat Pants On
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Eating For Two
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This Isn’t Pumpkin Pie

Basic Thankful Tees

 

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Pumpernickle Pixie Tees

Pumpkin Spice Tees

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You Had Me At Pumpkin Spice Latte

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Fall Season Tees

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I’m A Happy Camper
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Tailgates & Touchdowns
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Adventure Awaits

Friday Fall Fashion Dreaming

This is coming a day late, I know, but it’s Friday night, and while I am a SAHM, I am also a WAHM, meaning my nights are spent working. I take Friday nights off. Tonight the hubs is gone and it’s just me. I had a GREAT day of just being home with the kids and now I’m winding down with a Netflix binge and I thought I’d dream-shop online. I LOVE fall-wear and this year it’s not about what I can and can’t afford (although, always a factor), but it’s more about my still-growing third-trimester belly and the fact fall will be nearing it’s end when preggo-body is gone. So my “dream shopping” is what I’d be looking to wear if I wasn’t pregnant.

As you may realize at this point, I’m a pretty casual dresser. Part of that is lifestyle (living away from EVERYONE, being a SAHM), but it’s also just my style. I like trendy but comfortable, particularly when it comes to warm-wear. This year, aside from a few baby/wedding showers, we don’t have any weddings or formal events, so I’m not even thinking that direction. But I do love sweaters. SO cozy. Hoodies have had my love since I knew fashion was a thing.

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Tunic Hoodie | Paneled Tunic | Duster Cardigan

Dressing it up a little more, without going to an extreme, I am loving some lace and floral and I’d definitely add some booties to my closet. (Not that a baby belly prevents shoe-shopping…)

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Print Blouse | V-Neck Tunic | Lace Top | Booties

The reality is, plain-jane shirts are more  than likely my daily attire around here, but it doesn’t hurt to feel cute while chasing crazy kids, right? I especially love the “Blessed” sweatshirt. The “Game Day” shirt can be customized to be any city you wish.

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Flowy V-Neck | Game Day | Blessed Pullover | Dolman Top

I also love to accessorize–but for me it’s not so much on jewelry. Don’t get me wrong, I love some bling, but I’m better at choosing my own accessories that are functional and letting someone (like my blog-partner Jo) choose my sparkle. Boots, vests, scarves, hats: things that keep me warm and can also dress up an outfit are up my alley. Take a plain white tee and jeans and add any of the above and you’ve got something totally new.

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Utility Vest | Beanie | Infinity Scarf | Boot Cuff | Slouchy Boots

I will note one item I am loving for fall that actually could work for my preggo-self and soon-to-be nursing self, are the flowy wraps and cardigans. These can be used to dress-up or down just about anything.

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Kimono | Button Wrap Cardigan | Stripe Cardigan

I know I didn’t include any dresses or pants on this list. I think I am so stuck on cozy leggings and harlem pants that I didn’t go there with pants and with no weddings, I don’t have dresses on my mind either. (And honestly, once it gets too cold, I steer clear of dresses.) I would LOVE for you to share your fall inspiration. Leave a comment and share links!

 

Summer Essentials & Wish List

Summer is starting to show itself with some 70 and 80 degree days and we are LOVING it. Time to pack up the sweaters and boots and pull out the sandals and sun dresses. Here’s our checklist of essentials and a few wish list items for 2016!

Wardrobe

Sundresses and maxi dresses for days, my friends! What’s great about summer dresses is the fact many of the ‘in’ styles can be used for both dressing up and casual occasions. It’s just a matter of how you accessorize them.

T-shirt dresses are cozy and simple but with the right shoes and jewelry–maybe a cardigan–you can make them look perfect for fun summer gatherings that require a little class.

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Old Navy

Maxi dresses are a must in your wardrobe and the beauty is the array of styles and looks. Much like the t-shirt dresses, they can be dressed up or down, but they are always comfortable and cool for the warm weather.

Solids

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Color Blocking

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CiChic

Prints

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Luulla

Cardigans aren’t your first thought when it comes to summer-wear, but we’ve all experienced the frigid temperatures of a place that keeps their AC way too high. Or there is the occasion to dress up your sleeveless sun dress with sleeves. Cardigans are perfect for this. Your neutral colors are always handy, but bright colors that pop are perfect for summer. Check Nordstrom, Banana Republic, and Ann Taylor for a great selection. (And don’t forget to check around for coupons, special offers or sales on these sites before buying!)

Shoes

Who isn’t always ready to add a new pair of shoes to their closet? Shoes are a key part of dressing up some of the above mentioned dresses to take them to the next level.

Wedge sandals are always a summertime win. With events from weddings and barbecues to horse racing taking place outdoors, having a a sturdy wedge heal makes getting around with a glamorous look no problem.

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6PM (Zappos)

Flats are always a great essential. The standard neutral colors are staples in a closet, but summer is the perfect time to add some sparkle, color or pizzazz to your flats.

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Ann Taylor

Flip Flops go far beyond cheap plastic shoes you slip on for the pool. In fact, you can even snazz up the pool these days with super cute flip flops. Perhaps a little on the high end (especially in cost) but you’ve got to have a wish list item, right?

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Tory Burch

Mules can make for a super cute summer look. Mix the open toe bootie with good jeans or dress for just the right look.

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Vince Camuto

Jewelry

Hot summer weather makes dressing comfortably and simple a necessity. Sometimes it’s just too darn hot to put on too many layers or something that isn’t super breezy and comfy. That’s where jewelry is the magic ingredient. The right necklace can spruce up anything from a plain dress to even a t-shirt. Take advantage of using jewelry to ad a pop of color.

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Bauble Bar Ynez Y-Chain 

Swimsuits

Picking a new suit (or four!)  for summer is one of the most exciting parts of summer. Whether you plan to sit out at your own poolside, you’ve got a beach vacation planned or you’ll be hitting the lake on weekends, find the suit you feel most comfortable in. Solids are always a classy look and don’t be ashamed to go for a tankini. My post-baby body needs one and the styles available are beyond cute and flattering.

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Victoria Secret

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Sunglasses

I’m notorious for buying a zillion cheap-o gas station sunglasses, simply because I love to mix them up constantly AND I’m terrible about losing them, but having a nice pair you take care of is a great way to go. Pick something classy, like gold, that goes with everything and can be worn for any occasion.

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Ray-Ban Aviators

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Make-up Essentials:

Just because you’re suddenly outside 10x more and the temperatures rises, you don’t want your stunning glamorous look to change. While you may keep the same overall look, finding products that last all day and through water (and possible sweat!) are crucial. The Estee Lauder Double Wear accomplishes this and looks great on camera. Summer is also the time to add some pop to those lips but keep them looking smooth and moist. Nobody needs chapped dry lips out in the sun! Try  this Clinique lip gloss and for something fun, check out this Christian Dior Lipstick (Tromp L’oeil 123)

Nail Polish

Have fun with those nails this summer, girls! If you ever want to do something bright, fun and new, this is the season for it. Check out these current favorites: O.P.I.’s  bright coral “My Paprika is Hotter Than Yours”; L’Oreal’s purple “Royalty Reinvented”; and Essie’s pastel blue “Bikini So Teeny.”

We want to see your must-have and wish list items for the summer! To be honest, I also have on some new cozy running shorts and tanks. (Not that I’ll be doing much running excepting the kind that results in chasing kids!) Happy shopping, friends!

Maternity and Nursing Wardrobe Staples and Hacks

Not preggo or nursing and still want some wardrobe tips? Jump over to the Vlog to get Holly Jo’s tips wardrobe staples. 

Fun(??) Fact about ME: I’ve been pregnant or breastfeeding for 3 years straight! Eek!

So, safe to say I know a thing or two about dressing for the need to fit one, the other (and occasionally both!)

Here’s the secret (especially you first-time moms): You don’t NEED to spend a fortune on a specially marketed maternity and/or breastfeeding wardrobe. I’ll admit, I did have an amazing friends/family who lent a lot of maternity/nursing clothes, cutting down on my individual shopping for any, but I still stuck to the essentials in what I did wear and what new stuff I bought. 

Before going on a shopping spree, take a look at this list and tips… Don’t go crazy and instead save some funds for that solo outing you’re going to need after baby arrives so you can use it to buy something cute just for YOU and just for FUN.

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The Staples 

Camis & Tank Tops – Call me crazy, but I can’t have enough of these. Wind. Rain. Sun. Snow. I wear them year-round. Through pregnancy and breastfeeding, tanks have been my life. 

  • They’re stretchy and comfortable, but fit tight enough to be worn underneath pretty much anything and everything.
  • They’re CHEAP. (Walmart, Target or any department store will have them in a slew of colors for next to nothing prices–so why not get every color??)
  • For maternity: Get a few in larger sizes. They will stretch kind of long, over your belly, and even if they stretch out too much to wear beyond maternity–you will get your money’s worth.
  • For breastfeeding: I find tanks with built-in-bras handy for around the house or even low-key outings in postpartum (when your nursing schedule is very unpredictable).

Leggings/Yoga Pants – Hallelujah for leggings and yoga pants being “in” right now! It’s a preggo ladies dream come true. Trust me, no matter the style, you’ll be sporting some elastic waistlines through pregnancy; this way you’re not alone and can still feel cute.

  • You can be comfortable at home, but not need a full wardrobe change to run out.
  • They can be dressed up or down: wear them with a hoodie or t-shirt; wear them with a nice sweater or even a cute dress.
  • For maternity: You may want to buy some that are actual maternity style OR accept that they will get stretched out (this is what happened with me). 

Accessories!!! – Yes, the exclamation points are necessary. I have a mild obsession with all accessories–from hats and scarves, to sunglasses and jewelry. Why? Because accessories are what can make a limited wardrobe go a long, long way.

  • They work in different ways through different seasons.
  • They can dress up almost any outfit.
  • You can mix and match so much that the same top can have a thousand looks, thanks to different accessories.

Maternity Wardrobe Hacks

Maternity

Don’t limit yourself to a maternity selection–a lot of it is too costly anyway. Look in your own closet or add to it by purchasing some things you can wear again next year, sans-baby bump. (Note, if you buy something to fit your normal size, it may not work in your final weeks or pregnancy, but some of these things will work through the second trimester.)

  • Maxi dresses/skirts – If you’re going to have a bump in the warmer months, Maxi dresses are your new best friend. Dressing while preggers is all about comfort, and don’t we all know that a Maxi is about as breezy and nice as it gets in the summer? 
  • Tunic Tops/Dresses – Great news about this one… There are awesome options for all seasons. Add a pair of leggings (also comfortable for maternity) and you are set! **These tops–not dress–are also handy for breastfeeding.
  • +1 Size – You have to be careful with this, but I found that buying certain tops in a size or two up worked out well. Let’s be clear: This doesn’t work with all shirts. A huge t-shirt? That won’t be so flattering. (Not that I didn’t wear my husband’s clothes from time to time!) A good example? I found some cute, women’s long-sleeved tees at Walmart and bought a couple in a size large and wore them into my third trimester. Since they were designed to be a little fitted, the arms fit nicely, but the large size accommodated for my belly. I wore a tank underneath to make sure my belly was fully covered.

Maternity items worth buying:

Pregnancy only lasts nine months and for some of those, you won’t even need maternity clothes, but there are certain items worth investing. Because, let’s be honest: you want to look cute [sometimes] while preggo… And sometimes you are NOT going to feel cute at all (and that’s OK), but embrace the moment and dress that bump. Here are a few things I was glad to have:

  • Jeans: Spend money on maternity jeans. For awhile you’ll get away with the whole rubberband through the buttonhole trick, but don’t ruin your favorite jeans. Invest in some that are comfortable and make you look (and feel) good.
  • Slacks/dress pants: Because I worked from home, I actually didn’t need these, but if you are working, you’ll want to be comfortable at work.
  • A cute dress: Whether it’s your own baby shower or a friend’s wedding, more than likely you’ll have at least one special occasion to attend during pregnancy. Pick out a cute dress for your bump. Check Zulily for some great deals.
  • Solid ruched tees: These come across as plain, but that’s the thing about solid, plain shirts: they can easily be jazzed up. The same black shirt can carry a hundred different looks with some of those accessories I mentioned. Having just a few maternity tees will go a long way.

Warning: I know you’re excited, but don’t buy everything too quickly… Pregnancy is weird and you might find certain materials and types of clothes drive you crazy. On top of that, you have no idea how your body will grow, so invest in things that fit and feel right. 

Postpartum/Breastfeeding Wardrobe Hacks

BreastfeedingLSM

So… I had a couple of nursing tops in the beginning of my breastfeeding journey, but I honestly found them more complex and frustrating than helpful. Perhaps I was too “cheap” to buy better ones, but seriously, who wants to spend their fashion funds on nursing tops? 

  • Wraps/ponchos/sweaters: These have been my best friend through breast feeding.  By wearing one of my tank tops under a wrap of some sort, nursing became much more relaxed for me and my babes when out and about. I did this a lot in the first weeks/months when I knew the nursing schedule was very unpredictable. (i.e.: Sometimes the only solution to a crying baby is mama’s milk!) The tank top, covered my midriff in areas other than where I had to lift it up (sometimes I could pull down), and I could use my wrap to more easily cover and adjust myself before/after wearing my nursing cover.
  • Cute Hoodies: Working out isn’t just for high school jocks, so workout clothes are available for everyone. On top of that, there are super cute ones. These are great in the cooler months. Leggings, a tank and a hoodie make for a cute, comfy outfit that is easy to take care of baby in.
  • Button ups – So many nursing tops have these secret buttons and zippers and snaps to help get your ta-tas out without being exposed, but, I say, why be so secret? Just wear a shirt that is SUPPOSED to have buttons. Again, I throw on a tank top under a button up and I’m off

Piece of Advice: Avoid wearing dry-clean only clothes or things that can’t be thrown in the washing machine. You’ll have enough on your plate and specialty washing does not need to be added to that list,. Trust me when I say that the chances of getting milk (and worse) on you on a regular basis are extremely high. 

Nursing items worth buying:

I honestly cannot think of a lot of MUSTS for nursing. The downside is… wearing dresses are kind of out of the picture, unless you do buy a special nursing dress. I, personally never felt the need for this. Here are a couple of things I was glad to have:

  • Cute Jammies: If PJ’s aren’t your life the first weeks after delivery, you are a superhero. For me, I was in the comfiest of comfy clothes, constantly and having something that felt cute and not 100% slouchy-mcslumpster was nice. This will also help you if you have company visiting the wee-one somewhat unexpectedly.
  • Nursing Bras: I have spent a fair amount of time in sports bras or the built in bras in my camis, but I don’t know what I’d do without having a nursing bra. One piece of advice, though: don’t buy more than one of these in advance. Your size is going to be unpredictable.

How did you go about not spending a fortune on maternity and breastfeeding clothes? The biggest struggle is simply that you will likely get tired of your limited wardrobe, but by the final weeks, you really won’t want to invest in clothes you’ll wear for a short period. Keep in mind this is a fleeting time in life, and when you look back, your wardrobe won’t be the important part.

Not preggo or nursing but want some wardrobe tips? Jump over to the Vlog to get Holly Jo’s tips wardrobe staples. You may be surprised by things you already own that can be used in new ways or dressed up. 

 

 

7 Bargain Shopping Tips: Keeping it Trendy

So my super-awesome-blogging partner in this LSM adventure is off and running and posted an EXCELLENT video on finding bargains and deals. I’m the slacker and am behind on blogging, but her tips are so excellent I HAVE to share some of the info here in a quick summary…

But watch the video, she can tell the best tricks there.

I know, I know… There are probably a zillion how-to’s on this topic, but seriously, if you want advice on it from someone, Jo knows and she gives you the top tips in less than 5 minutes.

 She’s the queen bee when it comes to fashion, style and making everything in her life look good (despite having a 2 year old and 5-month-old!)

BUT paying top dollar is NOT something she is into and you’d just never know it to look at her…her house… her kids… or anything about her.

If anyone knows that paying full price is a scam, it’s her. She worked retail at some high end stores and quickly learned how marked up items are to start, how deals work, and just how low the cost can be if you shop right.

Watching the video is best, but here’s a quick run-down on Jo’s tips.

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SAVVY & TRENDY DEAL SHOPPING TIPS

1. Look on pages 2 and 3 of your Google Search
Page one has sponsored Links…Sponsored = Someone paid money to be there = They want more money from you!

2. Use online resources to find any available coupons:
RetailMeNot.com
GoodSearch.com

3. Wait to shop on Thursday or Friday
Most companies will start a sale Thursday or Friday before the weekend.

4. Find free shipping deals
Look for a site with Free Shipping or wait for Free Shipping, as it’s a common deal.

5. Shop Brick & Mortar if possible
In-store shopping will bring for random but amazing deals because of needing to clear items out of stock rooms.

6. Use In-Store Coupons
Use the app Shopular to find in-store coupons.

7. Online Factory/Outlet stores
See if your favorite stores & brands have online factory outlets.

Here are some of Jo’s favorite brands & shops–and don’t let the big names scare you off… They all regularly have 40%+ Off sales, coupons and even free shipping deals:
J. Crew
Banana Republic 
Gap
Nordstrom
Dermstore

See the video on our Vlog here!

Happy Shopping!