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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Trending, but Not For Me…Maybe???

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. The time has just slipped away  while we were trick-or-treating, having birthdays and battling the flu. Uh!! Once October hits, I feel like I need to just hang on for the ride. It goes so fast, but I am ready for Thanksgiving and all the fun that comes with it. You know, food, shopping, food, Clemson/Carolina game, and food.

Today I wanted to talk about a trend that I’m seeing everywhere but first I wanted to give a disclaimer. I do not want to offend anyone in this post. My opinion is geared towards my style and as someone who likes fashion, I can appreciate when people look cute in things that I feel are hideous on me and/or may not be my taste. Got your curiousity up? Good! Now let’s talk about this LulaRoe epidemic.

So months and months ago (I have no idea when it actually was), after hearing about and seeing this stuff everywhere, I was finally invited to a trunk show. Curiosity got the best of me and I had to go. I walked around and checked it out and I must confess, I didn’t get it. Women around me were circling in a frenzy and grabbing like it was Black Friday and all the boots at Belk were $19. (PS- this Friday a ton of boots ARE $19 at Belk!) But, the patterns on these clothes were crazy, loud, and dare I say it….just ugly. Yes, I said it! You can hate me later, but for now, hear me out. I finally picked up one of the few pairs of plain colored, one-sized leggings. By the way, apparently these one-sized leggings will fit a size 2 and every size along the way up to a 10 or 12. What?!? How is that possible?!? I’m still not sure on that one, but my friend that invited me insisted that I HAD to try them on. Off I went to the bathroom with a pair of lavender leggings… yes, lavender. It was really my best option. This is the part of the story where I got totally confused because these darn leggings are THE SOFTEST things I’ve ever put on! I walked around with them for a while trying to find a top to wear with them, but I couldn’t get down with any of the patterns. Eventually I purchased these lavender leggings and wondered the whole way home what in the heck I was going to do with them.  I even carried them around in my purse for a few days and made my co-workers try them on.

Since then, I’ve been wearing those leggings around the house and secretly trolling LulaRoe Facebook pages late at night hoping to find a pair of leggings I could actually wear outside my house. I mean, where are the black, navy, or maroon leggings?!? I’ll tell you where they are. They’re all listed on eBay for, like, $100 and labeled as “unicorns”! What? Come on LulaRoe! I love a great pair of pants with a pattern, but I can’t get down with these crazy leggings. What’s a girl got to do to get a pair of plain black leggings?!? I really want to like these things despite my better judgement. I see other people wearing them and they look cute, but then I think, would Jackie O. be caught dead in LulaRoe? Probably not.  Do you see Reese Witherspoon walking around in them? Nope.

So, after all the secret late night trolling, I finally found a pair of black with gold feathers and I decided to give them a try. I mean, they’re mostly black, so I figured I could work with them. I bought them and have been looking at them for like a month wondering if Im going to actually wear them. Then today was one of those days. You know the kind. It’s Monday, a short work week, so I already didn’t have a ton of “care what I look like” in me. Add to that the three desserts I had yesterday and well, today I decided to give them a try. I paired them with a black swing dress from Old Navy and tied it in a knot to one side, to give it a little bit of something-something. I added my black Frye knee boots and a black moto jacket from Target to give it a little edge. I also wore a feather necklace I got in a Stitch Fix and my favorite Stella & Dot Wisten Feather Earrings. The look was ok, I was comfy all day, but I’m still not sure this is “me”.

Final decision is that I will probably continue to secretly stalk the LulaRoe Facebook pages that I’ve “liked” and odds are I’ll end up buying something else. (Mostly because I’m a shopaholic) Hey, even if Reese doesn’t wear them, this 39 year old, mom of 3, just wants to wear something super soft and comfy from time to time…even if it is ugly! 😉

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Not so Fun Weekend and a Wish List

This weekend has been a tough one at our house. Three out of five of us have a nasty virus, one of us is fighting off a sinus infection that I’m pretty sure is winning and the last is running around declaring how invisible he is to getting sick (he is destined to go down soon with that kind of attitude). We also woke up yesterday to no water, which is a serious problem when you live in the country and have well water. It was the pump, you know the part that is at the very bottom of the well. Yep, that was fun to get fixed but after many hours, we had water again.

Since Ive had a lot of down time, I’ve been reading and doing one of my favorite ways to kill time…online shopping!! I’ve put together a few things that I would love to see in my closet.

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Yellow and Tree PomPom Slide Mules, Amazon- $19.00!                                           Sam Edelman Penelope Quilted Book bag, Nordstrom Rack- $90

Pom Pom shoes are a trend this fall and I like them, because they’re fun. I fell in love with a pair of pink heels with pom poms about a month ago, but couldn’t justify the money on pink shoes. Like any trend, I wouldn’t spend a lot of money on it. Odds are it won’t be “in” next fall and then you’re stuck with them. I found these on Amazon for less than $20 and they come in a few other colors, so I might be adding them to my closet soon. I love this backpack by Sam Edelman. I pretty much love anything by Sam Edelman. We are long out of the “diaper bag” stage, but I still have two kids under five years old and that means I sometimes need stuff. Quick trips don’t require much and I can just grab my purse, but day trips, like the zoo or Christmas train rides, require me to bring wipes, blankets, snacks, etc. I also need both hands, because, well…two kids under five. This back pack would be a cute solution to this problem.

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Free People Kolby Brished Scarf, Nordstrom- $48                                          North Face Aconcagua Down Vest, Nordstrom- $99

This scarf!! Man, does it look cozy and warm! It comes in a bunch of gorgeous colors, but I would choose this light grey or the camel color. A neutral color would go with a ton of things already in your closet and would ensure that you wear it for many years to come, making the almost $50 investment for a scarf, easier to handle. This North Face vest is a good investment piece also. It comes in several neutral colors. You can wear it with work out gear or over your favorite flannel or tee. Stylish and warm, what more can you ask for? I love this greenish?, taupe? color, but I also like the black and the navy. Tough decision!

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Hunter Original High Gloss Boots, Nordstrom- $150                                           Sam Edelman Penny Boots, Nordstrom, $150

I’ve wanted a pair of Hunter Rain Boots for a while now, but I’ve always had two problems. 1. Am I really ready to pay $150 for what is essentially a pair of rubber boots? 2. What color do I choose? I love these high gloss red ones. They would be so much fun on a rainy day! But, like I talked about earlier, if I buy an investment piece, I usually try to pick a neutral color, so it goes with a lot of things and I don’t get tired of it. Still thinking on those… I am also very much in LOVE with these Sam Edelman Boots. The color is PERFECT!! I invested last winter in a really nice pair of  Frye Melissa boots in black and I think I may have to invest in this one very soon. The color is called Whiskey- uh, so gorgeous I can’t stand it!

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Frye Harness Leahter Bucket Bag, Nordstrom Rack- $199.97.                    Antelope Slit Leather Boot, Nordstrom Rack, $119

In case you were dying to know, this color leather speaks to me! Whiskey, rust, cognac, whatever you want to call it, I LOVE IT!! It literally goes with everything. Everything! I love it with black, burgundy, orange, olive, you know any and every fall color you can think of. This Frye bucket bag would be great to add to my collection of bags. It can be worn crossbody and is easy to reach into to grab what you need. And it would go great with these Antelope slit booties. How cute would these babies be with a dress or cropped jeans! Oh, a girl can dream and dream and dream…..

xo-

Lindsay

Kitchen Inspiration Board (and some other stuff)

It’s 4:30am and I’m awake because my children love to wake me up around 3AM and then they go back to sleep leaving me wide awake. So I thought I’d write a post about the randomness that is happening right now in our lives. There are currently candy wrappers all over our house, thanks to Halloween. Thank goodness most of it is almost gone because it drives me nuts! Why do little boys NOT know what a trash can is for?

We had a nice little fall break. I finally got my front porch steps painted and I love them. My hubby built them for me back in the summer and it’s taken me this long to paint them. I’ve also been caught up in a good book this week. I love to read but I don’t get a chance to read as much as I’d like. I get sucked in and I don’t want to do anything else! Plus, I get a little sad when it’s over. I’ve been reading by The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman. If you’ve never read one of her books, I recommend you do that soon. She is the author of Pactical Magic, which was made into a movie with Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. Her books are darkly romantic and usually have a little (or a lot of) magic involved. She has been one of my favorites since I read her book Here On Earth and decided to name one of my children Hollis. Years later, I met my husband who wasn’t real keen on naming a boy Hollis. Oh, well…

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In even more exciting news, I’ve been saving up a little money for a kitchen makeover. I’m calling it a Makeover and not a remodel, because nothing is being moved around, just bringing it out of the 90’s and into this decade. I have already made several purchases, but I had to order the sink I wanted and it won’t be in for a few weeks. Because of that I’m not exactly sure of the time frame of this, but I’d like it finished by Thanksgiving. (Not that I cook, but I want it done before I pull out the Christmas decorations). In the mean time, I’ll just keep looking at my inspiration board I put together. Sigh….

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Happy Thursday, y’all!

Lindsay

Rejoicing In My Weaknesses

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Last week was one of those weeks. You know the kind. Those weeks you find yourself juggling about a million things, stressed to the max and realizing that you aren’t giving 100% to any one them. As, women we have these moments often because we wear so many hats. On a daily basis I am wife, mom, daughter, co-worker, friend, chauffeur, chef, maid, diaper changer, bath time person, part time small business owner and college student (just to name a few). That doesnt even include my “hobbies” or anything I try to do for myself and don’t get me started on trying to fit in a little fitness. Sometimes it’s so overwhelming because I want to be the best version of myself for all those people and things. If I feel like I’m not doing a good job at these things, I get so stressed out and I don’t like to cut myself any slack. In my mind I should be able to deal with it all.  I’m not perfect and neither is my life, but I like to set high expectations for myself. Maybe because I was the oldest- we’re the over-achievers, right? Or maybe because I spent my twenties being a complete underachiever. I was on a very long journey of self discovery. Or maybe because I lost my brother at a young age and know how quickly life can end. Maybe it’s a combination of all those things. The point is, sometimes I set the bar a little too high and I have to take a step back.

But, I’m also thankful for these crazy times in my life. I’m thankful when I feel like I’m on the brink of losing my mind. Why? When I feel overwhelmed, I know that I’ve been wrapped up in me and my many roles. I know that I’ve also been stretching thin everything, including my  time with God and He is always right there, patiently waiting for me to realize that I haven’t been putting Him first. God has a way of reminding us that we are weak without Him. And I rejoice in that weakness, because it shows His power.   So, Monday morning, I sat myself down in the quiet early hours, read my devotion, and had a little talk with Jesus to start my day off. It’s amazing how easily things start to fall back into place after that. God’s word is there to guide us and rejuvenate us when we are feeling overwhelmed. He is always waiting for us to turn to Him, deepen our relationship with Him, talk with Him and walk with Him through this life.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Favorite Bloggers- A Bowl Full of Lemons

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Why is October so busy?? I love it but I’m just about ready to move on to November and that sweet time of chilly but not cold.  There are a few quiet weekends before the Holidays start to relax. We have been somewhere every night this week. There are just too many fun things to do in October, Fall Festivals, hay rides, corn mazes, pumpkin carving, football games, etc, etc. However, the house is surprisingly not a wreck and that is particularly due to the fact that I have been reading a new book.  I purchased “The Complete Book of Clean” this week by Toni Hammersley. If you don’t already, you should follow her blog, instagram account and/or Facebook pages at A Bowl Full of Lemons. She has the best tips on cleaning, budgeting and staying organized. Something we need serious help with around here. Her website and pictures are clean, pretty and inspiring. The website is easy to maneuver. She has tabs for “Home”, “Blog”, “Shop”, “Home Tour”, “Favorites” and “Begin Here”. I like the “Begin Here” button because quite frankly, it makes it easy for those who are just discovering her site for the first time. Under the “Shop” button, you can find printables for any area in life that you might need help organizing. There are printables for budgeting, cleaning, menu planning, a weekly planner and even a Holiday planner, plus more.

The book focuses on cleaning and gives you list for everyday tasks, monthly and yearly tasks. It gives advice on where to start so that you do not feel overwhelmed. It also gives recipes on making your own cleaning solutions. I love this and have tried several in the past, but I will be trying more. One of my favorites that I’ve been using is baking soda with a few drops of peppermint oil for a carpet/rug freshner. I keep it in a jar that has holes punched in the top for easy sprinkle action. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer and the peppermint oil makes it smell great. You could probably use lemon, lavender or whatever essential oil you like to smell.

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Toni also gives some great tips on how to get the work done. One thing she suggests is something that I have done since I was a kid to help get my chores completed and that is to crank up the music! I have gotten away from this lately. I think because while the boys were tiny, I needed to be able to hear them. Now that they are older and growing more self sufficient everyday, I can turn the music back on while I’m cleaning the kitchen or folding the laundry. Who am I kidding?? These are little boys- they ARE NOT self sufficient, but they are old enough to come get me if they have a problem. I hate to clean up the kitchen, but some great music makes it better and I love when the boys join me for good kitchen dance party.

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If you love to clean and organize or if you hate it and need some help, A Bowl Full of Lemons is definitely worth checking out! It’s very useful and inspirational. I highly recommend!!

XO-

Lindsay

 

Skin Care- A Lifetime Battle

Sadly, the weekend is coming to an end and wow, did it go by quickly! Hope y’all had a great one. We had a visit from family along with a little church time this morning. Looking forward to a busy week ahead.

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Let’s talk skin care. I’ve been battling my skin for the better part of 3 decades now. My skin started misbehaving in 5th grade!! (I was an early bloomer.) In 5th grade my hair turned from blonde to very strawberry blonde, which I immediately hated, and my skin started breaking out. In my 5th grade picture I have an enormous spot on my chin from a pimple that I wouldn’t leave alone. I endured high school with a face full of break outs and caked on Cover Girl. Times were tough in the 90’s. We didn’t have Proactive. We had Stridex pads that I’m pretty sure were just straight alcohol. We also had the orange Neutrogena soap that made my sinuses go crazy. I would wash my face and then sneeze for half on hour. So, on top of the pimples, I would then have red, swollen eyes and a red nose. Add that to my reddish hair and pale skin and things could get really rough looking. Do you feel sorry for me yet? Ha! You could also forget going to the dermatologist back then. They only gave you prescription strength retinol cream that burned the zits right off your face and gave you red flakey skin. Teenagers today have no idea how good they have it.

Things got better in my twenties and even better in my early thirties. Pregnancy did wonders for my skin! I thought things were on the up and up until about a year ago. The break outs started again. I couldn’t believe it! Who has pimples at 38?!?! So, I decided to get more serious with my skin care. Between the wrinkles and pimples, I couldn’t rely on the same drug store products I had been using since my twenties. I set out sampling different products to see if I could find something to help. I have a few favorites that I have discovered. I love Mario Badescu products. I recently purchased a few new ones to try out. Since using these, my breakouts have gotten better.

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The first product I tried is the Oil Free Moisturizer and I am now a huge fan. I use it in the mornings and it moisturizers without the oily feeling I can get by lunch with other products. It also contains SPF which is a daily must.

I also like the Seaweed Cleansing Lotion. I use this at night after I’ve washed my face and it makes my skin feel extra clean and soft.

But, what might be my favorite product is the Drying Lotion. I mean, where has this been my whole life. Apparently, it’s been around, I just didn’t know about it. So, I’m passing the info on to you in case you didn’t know. If you suffer from the occasional pimple, this stuff is amazing!! It dries blemishes up in no time. You simply dip a q-tip in the pink stuff and dot it on your pimple. By morning, you will notice a definite reduction in the size.

There you have it! Those are my top three at the moment, but I am always on the lookout for great products. I’d love to hear what you all use and what works for you.

Kimono a Go-Go!

This week was a busy one! I started a new class after taking a two week break. It was SO nice to not have any schoolwork for a few weeks! This week was also my husband and my 14th anniversary. We have not really had a celebration in 10 years, because our oldest monkey was born on our anniversary. We celebrated with family on his birthday and then again with more family this weekend. I spent my entire Saturday working on a cake for him. My mom always made us a cake for our birthday and its a tradition I like to keep with the boys. Sunday morning we went to church and I wore my new kimono, which brings me to my point. If loving a kimono is wrong, then I don’t want to be right!

I have owned a kimono for several years now, but because it is short, I don’t wear it too much. I’ve been on the look out for a long one to take home and love for a while and finally found it at a local boutique. I wore it this morning with a simple black swing dress from Old Navy, and booties. It also goes really great with my Stella & Dot Riva Tassel Earrings in Blush and my bangle stack that my friend at Beckett’s Beads (find her on Etsy at BeckettsBeads) made for me. And I’ll just go ahead and admit, even though I shouldn’t, that I loved this outfit so much,  I promptly took it off after 2 hours of church and hung it up to wear to work tomorrow. That’s right, I’m wearing it again, and I don’t care who knows it!

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You can also style it with jeans, a tank or tee and boots for a more laid back look. Wearing a kimono is fun because it can take a basic jeans and tee outfit and instantly make it look pulled together. They are fun, feminine and a little boho (which I love). You can wear one no matter what size you are and they can help cover the belly when you’ve been enjoying too much birthday cake over the weekend.

IMG_6576What about you guys? Do you own a kimono? Are you convinced you need one yet? Loft has all these gorgeous kimonos on their website and tonight they are 40-60% off. Better hurry and go check the out!

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Still Waiting On My Powers….

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The past two weeks around our house have been interesting. I’ve got to give it up to the single mothers out there, your job is not easy (not that I ever thought it was for one second). My hubby has been out of town and I’ve had to be the lead and only ringmaster to this circus of mine. I actually find that I am a lot more organized when I know I don’t have my wingman. I get outfits laid out the night before, I keep everything super tidy, and I run a very tight ship (Absolutely no video games during the week, and bed time is 8:00 sharp, not 8:10ish). As hard as I tried to keep it together, life tossed me a couple of curve balls. In the last two weeks, I have had to kill a large snake that thought he could hang out at the front door steps, rescue two lizards from the jaws of the cat after she brought them inside the house, wash the dog after he found the dead snake in the woods, deal with a scissor accident (not sure if I’d rather deal with the snake or the blood), keep up with money from a school fund raiser, try and make, but miss a 4-H meeting (groceries were a necessity that day), take a three hour road trip with all three kids and the dog by myself, and try to pretend that I’m not at all freaked out when the dog starts barking at the window, at night, into the darkness, for no apparent reason. Why does he only do this when my husband is away?
There is also no one to help me diffuse situations like when I come home with a car load of groceries that need to be put away and I have a five year old holding onto my leg screaming that he needs something to drink RIGHT NOW! And when I try to be a super chill mom and explain to him that mommy has to put the groceries away, then I’m going to get him something to eat and drink, he just screams “NOOOO!!! I want you to SIT WITH ME!!!” Wait, what? I thought you were dying of thirst? So, still being super chill mom I explain again, because maybe he didn’t hear me clearly the first time, that in a few minutes I will have him something to eat and drink and then we can sit together later. A reasonable solution, I thought, but… I was wrong. The screaming ensued. This is usually where daddy will scoop the screaming child up and discipline/distract him for a few minutes while I finish what I was trying to start before my sweet little ray of sunshine turned into the poltergeist . But there is no daddy right now so super chill mom suddenly turns into sarcastic mom and tells the five year old, “Fine, then let’s go sit down and we just won’t have anything to eat or drink tonight.” I knew that I had just launched a grenade into this fight and it wasn’t going to go over well, but sometimes my natural personality just comes out. I can’t help it. That’s when the screaming five year old screams again for something to drink. I can’t keep up at this point. Drink or sit?!? What do you want from me?!?! This is absolutely the point where I should discipline the child, but it’s the end of a very long day, I’m playing the part of a single parent, I know he is tired and missing daddy and so am I. And quite frankly, he is screaming so loud and pulling on me so much, that my nerves are shot and I just want it to stop so I can pour a very large glass of red wine. Enter in my mom to save the day! Praise the Lord! I actually don’t even remember what she said at this point that got his attention, I was just grateful that it worked. Exit the poltergeist and enter back in my little ray of sunshine. Seriously, it’s like a hurricane you did not see coming and were not prepared for.

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These are the times in my life where I remember my childhood fantasy of wanting to be Samantha from Bewitched. I thought Elizabeth Montgomery was so pretty and the coolest mom. (I also had an obsession with Charmed later in life.) Did anyone else want to be a witch when they were little or am I just weird? It’s totally ok if you think I am, I’m use to it. I would wiggle my nose and wish for things to happen. I would stare at things, squinting and concentrating so hard, wanting to move it with my thoughts. I recently caught my oldest child staring at something with his face all squinted up and I immediately knew what he was doing. I wished him luck, but told him it never worked for me. He just laughed. (We just get each other, like that, sometimes.) I was only going to use my witch powers for good, obviously, but it just wasn’t to be. Those powers sure would come in handy these days, though. You know, like when you have a child on your leg screaming for you to sit and hold him but also for you to magically get him something to drink, all while putting the groceries away.
Bottom line, I sure am thankful for a partner in life that is here to handle the emotional roller coaster of parenting with me. Honey, I couldn’t do it without you…unless, my witch powers finally come in.  Happy October! ; )

XO-

Lindsay

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Fall Where Are You?

Seriously? The heat this week, gah! It feels like July and makes me wish I were at the pool. They only problem with that is I already started work on my winter body and I’ve been making pretty good progress on that. I would hate to have to go on a diet and undo all my hard work. So, for the sake of my winter body, let’s pretend it feels like fall and look at how a simple black vest can change any outfit.

As you may know, J. Crew is my favorite and I recently purchased a new black vest at J. Crew Factory for half off! I can’t begin to express to you how much I love a vest. I have never been comfy in a jacket or coat,  so it’s probably a good thing I don’t live up north. I just don’t like the bulk and it makes me feel like I can’t move. But a vest, now that’s a different story! With a vest, I get warmth without the bulk. A vest can also give you a lot more outfit options.  I put together a few cute fall outfits and then styled them again with my new vest. This one item of clothing just gave me three new outfit options.

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This grey sweater is from Old Navy and less than $20! It is really light weight and is more of a thick tee.
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White Peplum top from Nordstrom and come is a ton of colors. $39
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The vest gives the outfit a whole new look. Flats are Old Navy and less than $20!
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Dress is Old Navy and less than $20 and amazingly comfy. 
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All jewelry can be found on my Stella & Dot website http://www.stelladot.com/lindsayjcollar