A Green Saturday

What a crazy week we had! We had the excitement of getting a little snow, then the disappointment of getting some but it not sticking. Then when we had almost given up hope, we got a little more snow and it stuck! The boys had a good time playing in the light dusting we got, like true southern kids that rarely see snow.

Today all signs of snow are gone. It’s a beautiful sunny weekend day and I am ready for spring. I know I have a month or two before that actually happens, so I decided to add a little green to the house. This is easy to do and can give you a little happiness until the days are warmer.

I started with some little planters that I recently got from a friend (thanks, Jill!) You can find little planters like these for a few dollars at yard sales or around $10-$20 at antique stores. I already have some stashed around the house to hold random things like wine corks or vacation seashells. You can also grab some tiny pots at the store or use old things around the house, like an old coffee cup. Get creative!

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Aren’t they cute?

Next, make a visit to any gardening center and pick up some small plants. I grabbed these from Wal-Mart and they were $3-$4 a piece.

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I added a few rocks to the bottom of each planter for drainage when watering since the planters don’t have drainage holes. Then,  some potting soil and the plants.

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Instant spring green in the middle of winter. Now, if I can just manage to keep these babies alive…. Happy Saturday!!

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A Neutral Wardrobe

Do you all ever wake up in the middle of the night, start thinking about random things and then come to some sort of realization? Well, it happened to me last night. One of the kids woke me up around 2AM and I couldn’t get back to sleep, so naturally I do one of three things at this time. I watch Law and Order: SVU, design rooms in my head, or design outfits in my head. (What can I say? I’m a creative Pisces with a love for Benson and Stabler.)  Last night I started thinking about clothes, while watching SVU (multitasking) and randomly decided to grab my phone and start a new Pinterest board with neutral outfits. I found a few new things to pin and then decided to go through my regular fashion board to move some neutral outfits over to the new board. That’s when it hit me, I really love neutral clothes. Now, this is something I already knew about myself but looking at just how many neutral outfits I had already pinned, it just hit me that I REALLY love neutral clothes.

What Makes a Neutral Wardrobe?

1. Obviously, neutral colored clothes. A neutral wardrobe is made up of clothes that are white, black, camel, grey, navy, chambray, and any stripe pattern made of those colors. Ok, I may have made the stripe thing up just now, but I think stripes are always a good idea.

2. Denim, Denim, and more Denim! Give me all the denim: light wash, medium wash, dark wash, destroyed, flared, straight, skinny, and boyfriend. Denim can be worn with anything and take you from weekend wear to work wear (think dark trouser jeans).

3. Another key thing to having a great neutral wardrobe is finding flattering pieces that work for you. A neutral wardrobe is made up of timeless pieces that fit well. It really is better to pay more money for a great pair of jeans that fit you well, even if you have to have them professionally hemmed, than to keep wasting money on jeans you either end up hating or only wearing for a season.

4. Accessories are where you switch it up! I love accessories!!! (Hello, Stella & Dot stylist) You can own the same pair of jeans and white button down for years but constantly make it different with jewelry, scarves, shoes and bags. It’s like a blank canvas for your accessories. It’s better it invest money in the core pieces and then buy new accessories that change with the seasons.

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Why a Neutral Wardrobe?

  1.  Duh?? Everything goes with everything!! I don’t know about ya’ll, but I don’t have time in the morning to try and put together some amazing outfit before I go to work. I have to get myself and three kids out the door before the sun is up. Having a neutral wardrobe means that it all goes together. Black pants, khaki pants, and olive green pants go well with shirts that are white, black, grey and navy. Plus, I have always hated having an outfit in my closet that only goes with itself. I can only wear it every few weeks or so, because (gasp) people might notice that I’m wearing the same thing over and over. A woman’s worst nightmare- right?

2.  Which leads me to my second point, you can switch things up constantly.  Since it all goes together, you can stretch your wardrobe further. You can be creative and give the illusion that you have a lot more clothes than what you actually have. I’ll demonstrate this shortly. (Keep reading and scrolling)

3. A neutral wardrobe is timeless and classic. Of course you can add more fashionable pieces from time to time, but a good chambray shirt will be a great wardrobe staple today and five years from now. A great black blazer never goes out of style. A grey Patagonia Better Sweater will still be the same design ten years from now. A camel colored coat, well, you get the point.

4. Hey, It works for Jennifer Aniston! Don’t believe me? Look up Jennifer Aniston style on Pinterest and you will notice how put together, yet relaxed she always looks in neutral pieces. If its good enough for Rachel Green, its good enough for me.

Where to Start?

Not sure where to start. A few key pieces to begin investing in are: Denim, and not just jeans. Get a great denim dress. J. Crew, Gap, and Madewell always have some. They can be worn any season by changing up accessories and shoes. A chambray button down shirt goes with EVERYTHING!! Also a crisp, white button down shirt does too. Again, you can grab one at J.Crew, Gap, Madewell, or Old Navy. A good tee shirt in white, black and grey. I love Madewell’s tees. They are super comfy! As for me, I think I will continue to develop a great neutral wardrobe. I plan on cleaning out and editing my closet. (Don’t worry, I’ll still have pops of color) I just plan of investing more on good quality clothing that will last for years instead of clothes that I’ll be tired of after wearing a couple of times.

To prove my point to you, I grabbed 6 items out of my closet and started putting together outfits by switching pieces and accessories.

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1. Caslon Rounded V-neck tee, Nordstrom. $25 2. Rockaway Wash Skinny Jeans, J.Crew Factory. $47.50 (on sale) 3. Textured Bell Sleeve Sweater, Loft. $29.75 (on sale) 4. Chambray Shirt, J. Crew Factory. $41.50 (on sale) 5. Striped Boatneck T-shirt, J. Crew. $29.50 6. Excursion Quilted Down Vest, J. Crew. $89.99 (on sale)

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This and That

Happy Tuesday!! I don’t know about y’all, but it took all of last week for us to get back on track. This week feels much better and we are running smoother as a household. Now that Christmas is over, I’m totally ready for spring. I’m anxiously waiting for my new Stella & Dot spring samples. I can not wait for them to get here!! Every season it just gets better and better. I’m thinking about hosting my own trunk show at the end of the month to show off the new pieces and sell off some of my retired pieces (for half off). If any of you would be interested in stopping by and checking it out, let me know.

I got in part of my Loft order from the major sale that is going on. P.S. -It is still happening with an additional 60%-70% off sale items. This tee is going to be perfect for spring. They only have XS left in the Iced Lavender color. I sized up to a medium since the reviews said the sleeves run small and I’m glad I did. There is still so many cute things left for great prices. Go check it out!!

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Tee- Loft $12. Jeans- Mossimo, Target $29 Shoes- Qupid, Amazon (last season) Necklace and Rings- My Stella & Dot shop

 

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Loft -Seamed Tee (sold out this color)
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You can order these jeans from Target online and get them in short, regular or tall!
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Aven Layering Necklace $89
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Brier Sparkle Ring $29
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Signature Engravable Ring $59

http://www.stelladot.com/lindsayjcollar

Kicking Off the New Year!

Happy New Year! I’m a little late writing my New Year’s post, but I’ve been under a blanket trying to keep warm for most of this week. What a brutal start to a new year! The temperature hasn’t gotten higher than the mid 30’s this week, my kid still needs dental work after paying mega bucks in December, there is a strange light that keeps coming on in my car that I’m guessing a mechanic should look at (not just me, the manual and google), and the washing machine leaves a puddle every time we run it for the past few weeks. I would play the lottery, but I’m currently too broke to buy a ticket. However, I woke up this morning, my family is healthy, and we have a warm place to call home, so I refuse to sweat the small stuff. (I’ll just complain about it on my blog. Ha!)
Most of the blogs that I read have already wrapped up 2017 and explained how they changed and what they are looking forward to in 2018. Most of them asked their readers what they wanted to see more of this year. Well, as far as this blog is concerned, I have no idea where it’s going or what my goals are. I’m definitely not going to ask you what you want to see more of this year for fear that no one would answer me and I would feel like a big blogging failure. I just enjoy writing about family, fashion and home decorating and I hope that it may inspire someone out there. So for now, it’s going to remain a little hobby that I do when I can and when inspiration strikes. I do have some pretty big personal mile stones in 2018. This will be the year that I turn the big 4-0…..I have to pause for a minute and just let that soak in. Frankly, I have no idea how I got here! Wasn’t I just in my 20’s a couple of years ago??? I guess when you spend most of your 30’s having babies it’s just all a big blur. This will also be the year that I (hopefully) graduate with a degree in Elementary Education after student teaching this fall. And what will probably make me shed the most tears this year, is that my sweet Samuel will start school in the fall. I can handle 40 and I can handle insecurities about being in the classroom, but the thought of watching my baby walk down the hall at school and into a 4K classroom, makes me want to ball my eyes out. For real! I’m having heart palpitations right now, just thinking about it. He’s just a little bit spoiled rotten.
Enough reflection for now, let’s talk SALES!! And right now, Loft is having a big one. All sale items are 60% off with no code needed. Ya’ll, I love Loft. It has some really great pieces that are work wear appropriate but also look great with jeans on the weekend. It can sometimes be difficult to find clothes that aren’t too young looking or too old looking, especially when it comes to work wear. I have put together two looks for you with a couple of items I purchased back in December and you can get them a lot cheaper than I did! When I checked this morning, there were still a few sizes left in each of them, but if not there are so many other great things still up for grabs.

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I love a fair isle sweater and this one in lemon yellow can brighten a dreary winter day. Sale price is $27.
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I kept my jewelry simple with this adorable sweater and these Stella & Dot Luxe Sparkle Studs in blue (but they’re more of a lavender) $24.
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I’m a complete sucker for a simple white blouse and jeans and I couldn’t pass this one up!! It’s called the Vintage Romance Blouse and the sale price is $23.
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This is the sweetest shirt! Just look at the details!! And it looks great with these Stella & Dot Pave’ Arabesque Earrings. $59

I picked up this Seamed Long Sleeve Tee today in both of these colors. I think they will be great spring colors, will look amazing with some of the new Stella & Dot spring line (coming out tomorrow!!!) and for $11.95 a piece, why would I not grab them both?!?

Where to Shop

Sweater and Blouse:  www.loft.com

All jewelry:  www.stelladot.com/lindsayjcollar

Previously Loved Clothing

I hope y’all are having a great Christmas season. We are just about ready for it at our house. I have one last gift to buy and some wrapping to do, but other than that, we are just waiting for Santa!

With all the Christmas shopping and a couple of trips to the pediatric dentist for one of the boys, my purse only has some change jingling around in it. This got me thinking about ways to add a little cash back in my wallet. One of my favorite ways to do that is to clean out my closet. I love selling my clothes on second hand websites. The only thing you need to do is snap a picture and list it. I like to use the app Poshmark. If you have not tried it, you should check it out. I’ve been buying and selling clothes on there for a few years now. You can find some great items, that still have a lot of wear in them for cheaper than new prices.

The app makes it easy to sell your clothes. Like I said, you snap a few pictures, fill out some quick info about the item (size, brand, original price, listing price, etc) and post it to your “closet”. People can view your clothes, “follow” your closet, and purchase with the click of a button. Poshmark sends you an email when something sells with a pre-paid shipping label. You simply box up the item and send it on its way. Most “Poshers” wrap the item in cute tissue paper and send a written thank you note.

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Up for grabs in my closet- this J.Crew dress. New without the tags.
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Along with a ton of other items from sizes XS- M, I have listed this geometric pattern coat from Old Navy, size M

It’s fun to shop on the app too. Let’s say you just got a new job and need some dress pants. You go to the app and type “dress pants” into the search bar along with your size and all kinds of options will pop up. You can also shop by store or designer. (Example, J. Crew or Lily Pulitzer.) Another great thing about the app is can find designer items for cheaper prices. Have you been eyeing a Tory Burch bag, but don’t want to pay the department store price? You can find one cheaper on Poshmark. Just make sure that it’s the real deal. You can ask sellers questions and bargain with the “offer” button.  Once your item arrives, you inspect it and then go on the app to “accept” the item. This is important! Once I ordered several items from one seller (you get a discount for doing this with most sellers) and I briefly looked at everything and “accepted” the items. Several days later I actually inspected the items and found that one of the dresses had a hidden stain on it that hasn’t come out and another dress was badly worn in several places and completely unwearable. Lesson learned- check your items well!! All in all I’ve had great experiences on this app.

Here are a couple of my more recent finds on Poshmark.

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Here is a Vineyard Vines button down for $15 with jeans, booties, and my favorite Covet by Stella&Dot bag.
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This Loft sweater was $13 and here I styled it with a pair of wine colored cords and my Lucky Brand booties.

You can download the Poshmark app to your phone or tablet. You don’t have to sell to shop or shop to sell. And check out my closet @ljcollar

Happy Shopping/Selling!!

 

 

 

Christmas OCD

Today is the day we get our Christmas tree every year. The children have tried to make me feel bad all week for being the ONLY people without a tree. We wait until this weekend for two reasons. One, we are usually out of town for Thanksgiving and two, we get a live tree and I prefer it not be dead Christmas morning.

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Getting and decorating the Christmas tree can be a little stressful. For some people putting lights on the tree is their biggest headache, but for me, and many other mamas out their, it’s letting the children decorate the tree. I can handle the lights, I can handle the constant questions and the little hands wanting to grab at decorations. But watching them put ornaments on the tree drives me nuts!! I breathe in and out and hand them the ornaments and try desperately to not look at the spots on the tree that have ten ornaments in one small place or the large places at top that have absolutely nothing. I fight the urge to snatch the decorations right out of their hands and place them where I want them. I want them evenly spaced! I want them somewhat color coordinated! I want them actually on a branch and not just hanging on by a prayer, waiting for a small gust of wind to come by and knock them to the floor!! But, I keep my OCD in check every year. Watching just how happy they are makes it tolerable. They love picking out all the ornaments they’ve made through out the years and hanging it on “their side” of the tree. Plus, I know that when they go to bed, I’ll rearrange it the way I want.

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I’ve also been looking for a tree topper for years. I just couldn’t find something that didn’t cost a fortune and looked like it belonged on our tree. I finally found one!  I hope I love it as much as I think I will when it arrives in a few days. I found it online at Target and it’s by Hearth and Hand by Joanna Gaines.

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I also grabbed this little cutie by Joanna’s line while I was Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping. It came in already and is SO adorable!! Im not exactly sure where the boys placed it on the tree. I’ll have to find it later….

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What Am I Doing???

Hope y’all had a great Thanksgiving. We sure did! We packed up the car and headed to my in-laws for lots of turkey and some family togetherness. We ate too much, watched our Clemson Tigers win and did some shopping. The monkeys and I went see the movie Coco and had a great visit with some sweet friends that I don’t get to see nearly enough. All in all, a great holiday.

Today, of course, was back to reality where I was asked the question, “Why do you keep posting clothes? What is this that you’re doing?” Not the first time I’ve been asked “Whats up with this blog thing?” Ummm…I honestly don’t know. This is something that kept me from starting a blog for a while. The fact that I knew people would wonder, “What is she doing?”,  “Who cares what she’s wearing?”, or even worse “Who does she think she is?” The fact is I don’t know what I’m doing. I know a few people read my ramblings and I appreciate that so much! I know NOTHING about being a “blogger”. My blog has no identity. I called it a “lifestyle” blog, partly because it sounded good and partly because I felt like I could write about whatever I wanted. Here’s what I do know. I read blogs. I love reading blogs. There are some really awesome, smart, funny and creative ladies out there. Some are fashion bloggers, some are home decor/organization bloggers, some are Christian bloggers and some are lifestyle bloggers. They inspire me to put together cuter outfits, try new hair styles, decorate my house, and be a better Christian. They inspire me and I think women encouraging and inspiring other women is awesome! I hate to see women tearing each other down. Take inspiration from others and work on being the best you that you can be. I write this blog because it’s an outlet for me creatively. I love clothes, decorating, taking pictures and seemingly writing. (That’s new to me.) But if I have to answer the question of “What exactly are you doing?” I guess I’d have to answer with, hopefully tossing a little inspiration out there for other women.

So, here’s an outfit for you! My sweater is wrinkled, but here’s the deal, this striped dress is at Old Navy and less than $20 right now. It super comfy and versatile. This morning I threw a sweater over it for  a different look. You can also try a denim jacket, a vest or long cardigan. PS- I borrowed the sunglasses from a co-worker but wanted to keep them. They were so cute!

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