My New Favorite Outfit: July 2014

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Dressing Up Shorts

I recently found this jacket for next to nothing at Loft, I almost didn't buy it because I won't get much use out of it this summer, but I know I'll wear it like crazy this fall and winter. I decided to dress up shorts today with this jacket and my sequin top. I wore this outfit  to book club this week and it was a nice excuse to dress up a bit; I'd look pretty ridiculous wearing this or errands or the park with Grant.

Have you entered my giveaway for a $50 gift card to Esli's Boutique here yet?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Navy and Mint

Ok, it's official, I can't say no to a deal at J.Crew.  I really feel like I should just send them my budget at the beginning of the month and say, "Here, take it all, and I will trade it for everything on your sale rack."  So, I'm being a little bit dramatic, but I scored this mint cardigan for $10 and this stripe dress for $20.  How can one say no to that?

I wore this outfit to church recently and love how soft the dress is and I'm excited to wear it when we go back to school, which is next week, by the way....

Have you entered my giveaway for a $50 gift card to Esli's Boutique here yet?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Not every outfit I love makes it on the blog, so here's a look at some of my favorite outfits on Instagram this month:

Have you entered my giveaway for a $50 gift card to Esli's Boutique here yet?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Maxi Love with Esli's Boutique

So, I decided to give the blog a facelift this weekend, I was ready for something different and came up with this.  I like the simplicity of it, and kept the layout the same to make it easy for everyone. Now onto my outfit:

It's no secret I love a good maxi dress and we super excited when the ladies at Esli's Boutique sent over coral and navy dress.  It's so different than anything else I have and have a fun crochet detail on the back.  Today I styled it with my ever-loved denim jacket but am excited to pair it with my cream cardigan next for a dressier look. 

Today is your lucky day, Esli's Boutique is giving away a $50 store credit, just enter using the Rafflecopter down below. Good Luck!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Campus Book Rentals and Operation Smile

Well, it's that time again, time for school.  I'm starting back for teacher workdays in about a week, college students around the country are preparing for 8:00 A.M. classes, and many professionals are preparing for grad. classes to start.  That being said, today Campus Book Rentals has asked me to share some with you some great information about how to save money on textbooks as well as a great way to help others with Operation Smile.

I remember the days in the campus book store, list in one hand and basket in the other.  Some professor only has one book on their list, others had nearly a dozen #englishmajorproblems . It would come to no surprise to me to send upward of $500, only to have some professors barely reference the books.  Seriously????  As you all know, I'm teaching myself now and have a master's as well, but many of my co-workers are working on their master's degrees, and I hear them complain about the cost of textbooks.  That's where Campus Book Rentals comes in.  They offer:

-prices that are 40-90% off of the bookstore price
-free shipping both ways
-you can highlight in the textbooks
-you can chose how long you need the book

Friday, July 25, 2014

Graphic Prints

 I'd be lying if I said I didn't freak out a little bit when I found ikat tank on special for $4 at J.Crew Factory recently.

 I'd be lying if I said I kept this white denim jacket on for very long.  I wore this outfit for a play date at the splash park and the extra layer was wishful thinking, it was hot and my shoulders now hate me, because I forgot to put on sunscreen.

I'd be lying if I said good hair days didn't influence how much I like an outfit and pictures. Seriously, if I like my hair, I like the outfit. Yep, totally weird. Also, I recently learned that after blowdrying you should do a cold shot of air all over your hair.  It closes the follicles (or something sciencey like that) and helps keep your hair from getting too big (#thickhairproblems).  This is the best tip, and it's really helped me have a lot more good hair days.

 I'd be lying if I said this has been a normal year for friendships.  I had three good friends move to other states with their families, and Brian and I switched community groups at church and lost some friendships in the process.  However, we've met some great new people and I'm really enjoying time with these new moms and their kids.  Grant and I spent time in the morning with a number of friends, then after lunch went swimming with another mom and her kids.  It was a great day!

Are you wearing shorts today? Link up with Andi and I down below. : ) Thanks to everyone who has joined the fun this week too!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Accidental Copy Cat

 I was recently chatting with Andi about how I haven't really been using Pinterest for inspiration much lately, so one morning I went in to "clean out my pins." I started to delete some pins I've tried or don't really care for anymore.  Tell me I'm not the only one who does this? Anyway, a few hours later  I was getting dressed and put on this  top and these shorts.  I  liked it, but thought it needed a little something, so I threw this cardigan on top.  Cute.  Then it dawned on me, my outfit was very similar to this pin.  My brain tucked it away without even thinking about it. So, I guess I shouldn't be too quick to give up on Pinterest, because even though I pinned Tara's look like two years ago, it helped me create a really fun look today.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Print Mixing

I've been so crazy about these shorts and was excited to find this top recently at J.Crew Factory. I adore it and these two pieces together. I also added this adorable bow necklace Edith Marie Jewelry sent over and my white denim jacket, which was perfect because on this day I got to movie with one of my great girl-friends.  We went and saw "The Fault in Our Stars," and it was amazing.  If you haven't read the book I highly recommend it, then follow it up with the movie.  Also, it was my first experience with the fancy reclining seats, holy smokes that has cozy, it definitely makes the movie experience even better.

Are you wearing shorts today?  Link up with Andi and I below!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Pink and Stripes with thredUP

I recently tried thredUP for the first time. I think I'm a little slow to jump on the bandwagon, but ordering online and I haven't always gotten along.  I never know what size to order, of if it'll fit right. However, I feel like I'm getting to know my body better, and the way specific brands fit, so when an Instagram friends shared a 40% off code with me I decided to take a chance. Honestly, I feel silly for not trying it earlier.  Like-new clothes + great prices = right up my alley.

When looking at thredUP, I immediately liked that I could search by my size and choose special brands to search as well, like my favorites such as GapMeronaLoftJ.Crew, and J.Crew Factory. I could also just choose to search tops matching my size and brand, or dresses, etc.  

 thredUP also let me search for a special item. I've really been wanting a leopard print skirt and ended up getting this one for $3.  Today I'm wearing another find, this brand new Gap blazer, which I picked up for $12.  If you're interested, there are a bunch of other cute Gap blazers available too.

The last piece I chose was a cute eyelet tank from J.Crew which set me back a whole $3.  Overall, I'm really excited about the shopping possibilities.  If you haven't signed up yet, you can sign up here to get $10 off your first order and I'll get a $10 referral credit too.  

Today's look was inspired by Andi at Just Another Smith. She wore it yesterday and I was excited to try it, being I'd just gotten my thredUp box and couldn't wait to wear the blazer.  I wore this with Grant to go the the movies.  I love the $2 summer movie special here and it's a nice treat for Grant. Are you wearing shorts today? Link up with Andi and I down below. : )

Monday, July 21, 2014

Stripes and Denim

Welcome to shorts' week with myself and Andi of Just Another Smith. I'm all about shorts in the summer, so over the past couple of weeks I've been saving up some of my favorite shorts outfits to share this week. After the fact I realized I'm wearing my denim twice this week and my white jacket twice this week too. Oops. Whelp, now you know without a doubt what my favorite layering piece is.  Link up your shorts looks down below. 

As for today's outfit, these shorts have been on heavy rotation and this time I decided to pair them with my bright top I picked up from Loft last year and my denim jacket.  I actually wore this for the 4th of July and once again since then.  It was actually pretty cool the night of the 4th here, the so denim jacket for perfect, the rest of the day I wore it simply with the bright top.  I'm also crazy about it with this necklace from Edith Marie Jewelry. I adore it and have been wearing it like crazy too.

Friday, July 18, 2014

How to Pack for Vacation, and OOTD, and Vacation Highlights

We just got back from Lake of the Ozarks earlier this week and it was a great trip, and really the first one Brian and I have been on since getting married nearly seven years ago and definitely the first one with Grant.  My parents rented a house, so I didn't need to worry about "roughing it," (thank goodness!), but I did really put some thought into what we should pack.  We needed to take food for meals, some toys for Grant, and all of our clothes.  I wanted to make sure not to over-pack but I didn't want to under-pack either.  We were there for six days, which was in my opinion, a great length of time for the trip.

Here are some things I did to make sure I could still look cute, but still have everything fit well into one suitcase:

  • Keep accessories to a minimum, I chose three versatile necklaces and left all my bracelets at home.
  • Chose neutral shoes. I picked two sandals, gold and black, that would go with everything, therefore taking up less space.
  • Chose light-weight, low wrinkle pieces of clothing.  Who wants to iron on vacation, pick pieces you won't have to worry about and breathable fabrics too.  
  • Plan outfits ahead of time and take a quick picture of each outfit, then pack all the pieces of the outfit together.  This will simply getting ready in a new environment.  I don't know about you, but it always takes me longer to get ready in a new place, and digging though your suitcase to pick out an outfit is no fun. 
  • I also packed planned outfits I've worn before.  In my opinion, vacation isn't the time to try new outfits, what if you don't like it once it's on, no fun.  If you want to try a new outfit on vacation, make sure to try it on ahead of time to make sure you'll like it.
  • Take one extra outfit for back up and one or two basic shirts if the outfit you planned doesn't fit the daily activity.
  • Pack extra undergarments, and plastic bags for your dirty clothes to keep them separate from your clean clothes.
  • Pack one light jacket, like a denim or utility jacket. It is summer, but you want to be ready for cool mornings.

Here's a visual of the outfits I planned and wore.  These worked out great. I pretty much wore them in the morning for our activities, then lived in my suit in the afternoon and into the evening.

I had my sister snap one outfit picture while we were there.  I wore this for a morning of going to the outlet mall nearby.  It ended up warming up quickly, so the jacket didn't stay on long.  I think I've worn this top and shorts together about a million times.  I really love it with my necklace from Edith Marie Jewelry and my favorite gold sandals of the summer.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Pops of Neon

Earlier this week I went on a lunch date with Andi from Just Another Smith.  We had a great time and I used it as an excuse to dress up, which as you all know doesn't happen much for a teacher in the summer.  

I recently found this skirt at J.Crew Factory for $12 and I silently thanked whoever returned it, so I could nab it up.  One skirt + my size = fate : )  I decided to pair it with this next Kendra Scott look alike necklace.  I found it on an Etsy shop, and sadly they're all sold out now, but it was super inexpensive and will definitely work to fill my Kendra Scott urge.  

Also, Andi at Just Another Smith asked me to co-host her monthly link-up next week.  This month's theme is "shorts."  So, if you've planning to wear shorts next week, link up with us!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Keeping it Casual

Recently Brian, Grant and I ran out to the outlet mall.  Brian has wanted a Tommy Bahama shirt for a long time and thought he'd check out their sale.  I just wanted an easy outfit to wear and have been wearing my denin jackets like crazy.  It's been unseasonably cool and the extra layer has been great.  I was excited to wear my new necklace sent over by Edith Marie Jewelry.  I love the combo of the teal from the necklace and red from my shorts. 

As for the outlet mall, Brian didn't find a shirt he wanted but I, of course, found this top and this tank for great weekend sale prices.

Grant wanted to pose for pictures too, so there's a fun shot of him down below.  He's wearing a button up because he wanted to be "handsome," and insisted on buttoning the top button.  Who am I to argue with personal style. ;)

Also, Andi at Just Another Smith asked me to co-host her monthly link-up next week.  This month's theme is "shorts."  So, if you've planning to wear shorts next week, link up with us!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cobalt and Stripes

I really like today's combo, it's like a Jedi Mind Trick, it looks dressy, but feel super comfortable. I wore it recently for a day of errands while Grant was at daycare.  It was kind of cool and overcast, so the layer of the cardigan was perfect.  I also loved the pop of color with my necklace from Edith Marie Jewelry.

Also, Andi at Just Another Smith asked me to co-host her monthly link-up next week.  This month's theme is "shorts."  So, if you've planning to wear shorts next week, link up with us!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Denim and Prints

I first wore this print dress on the blog here, and I can't get enough.  I mentioned pairing it with a denim jacket for a more casual look and decided to try that today. I actually wore this to church lady Sunday, yep, same dress two Sundays in a row.  I just couldn't wait any longer to wear it again.  I also think the fun pop of neon with this necklace and my new this summer sandals help to create a great casual look.  I'm thinking I want to pair it with my white blazer next. : )

Linking up with Shanna for Random Wednesday.

Also, I'm taking a few days off from blogging, I'll be back next Tuesday with a new post :) 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Pretty Florals and Coral

I've been wearing this cotton blazer  from Kika like crazy. It's the perfect light-weight layering piece, and I love the color. Today I decided to pair it with my bright floral shorts and lace top I got from Loft last summer. I wore this for a lunch date with my mom, then we did some birthday shopping for the Granster.  I can't believe he's four now! Time. Flies.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Chevron and Confessions

Confession Time: I didn't actually wear this cardigan with this outfit to church.  Instead I wore an ill-fitting one in the same color that I needed to donate like three years ago.  I just couldn't do it, because I loved the color.  Then, I found this cobalt cardigan right after church at J.Crew Factory for $10.  Sayonara old ill-fitting cardigan.

Confession Time: I have a hard time buying dressy clothes in the summer because I only dress up once a week for church, although I much prefer dressing to casual outfits.  However, on the same trip to J.Crew Factory I found this print dress for $20.  I couldn't pass it up.

Confession Time: I really don't like how short I look in this outfit, but I felt great wearing it, so I'm posting it anyway. I sometimes miss just feeling good in clothes, pictures can sometimes take way from that.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Pretty Print Love

 Ever since I first saw this print I've been ogling over it, seriously.  I usually wait until J.Crew Factory has their 50% off sales to buy, but wasn't able to make it out to the outlet mall to take advantage.  Then, about a week ago we went out to the outlet mall after church.  J.Crew Factory was having an awesome sale on clearance and I was able to pick up this print dress for $20.  I. Was. So. Excited.

I posted on Instagram the question of how to style it first, with this cardigan or my denim jacket. Pretty much everyone said the denim jacket, but I felt like I've been wearing that too much on here recently, so I decided to pair it with this cardigan for church first.  This dress is definitely my favorite thing in my closet right now and I'm so glad to have gotten it!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Pattern Mixing and Loft Love

Recently Loft had one of there 50% off sales and I had a gift card from my mom that was wanting to be spent.  Right when I walked in I spotted these shorts and then close by I found this top.  Now, I very rarely buy pieces at the same time that I'd wear for an outfit, but when I put these two on together I was sold!  

Loft has 50% off again today, so you can nab these pieces up for a steal along with anything else your heart desires. Happy Shopping!

I wore this yesterday for a lunch date with Brian and might am wearing the shirt and top again today with my denim jacket.  Hey, when you only get to wear something you love for a short time, it needs to be re-worn. Today my mom and I are taking Grant to the children's museum, as today is his actual birthday, then tonight Brian and I are taking him the Amazing Pizza Machine.  This kid has had a pretty amazing week, with a family party last Saturday and a party with friends on Sunday. He's also pretty excited for the fireworks Friday for "his birthday."  I'm not quite ready to burst that balloon yet....

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Tomato Cucumber Salad

Today I decided to share another recipe with you all, and it happens to be one of my favorite side dishes, tomato cucumber salad.  Now, I have to admit this side was foreign to me until I met my husband about eight years ago.  His mom cooks for a living and is excellent at it.  His dad also always has a huge garden, and there is always a plethora veggies on hand at any given time.  One time when we were down visiting she make a version of this side and I was hooked.

Brian and I have made a few additions to her recipe, so I thought I'd share it with you all today! We enjoyed it with filets and corn on the cob, the perfect summer meal in my opinion.