My View Lately

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So. Hey there. How’s it going? Been a while, hasn’t it? Instead of clothes and potential outfits, my view lately has been some tea and my laptop (and yes, some nail polish when I need a break).

Ok, that’s a lie. Of course the clothes are still everywhere. Surely you noticed that J. Crew magazine in the photo.

So honestly, I didn’t mean to take a step back from the blog. At least not such a big step. I love this blog and the little community it’s created, but I also needed to prioritize. I had finally gotten to a point where I was ready to tackle that thing which I had been dreaming about doing since I was little – and had been working on in earnest on since the beginning of that year. If you follow me on Twitter, you may already know what I did.

I wrote a book.

It’s a first draft of a book, which means it’s bad. Seriously, I went back and edited it and was mortified. But it’s done. The words are all there, even if they’re jumbled and don’t make much sense and are going to be hacked to bits when my editor gets her hands … er, eyes on them. But it’s DONE. And I cannot adequately explain how massive an accomplishment that seems to me, except to say I celebrated it for two weeks, then started on book #2. These books will hopefully become part of a five-book series that I plan on selling one day – fingers crossed, in the not-too-distant future.

But here’s the thing about writing: it’s really, really hard. Even if it’s been your dream since you were 5 to write a book, it’s hard. And then you get done with one, and you have to get to start the next one. I’m really, really excited about my books, but I also know that I can’t do it all. Life + work + friends + animals + writing + blog = a lot of half-assed things. So unfortunately blog got the short stick and had to go quiet. At least for a while.

I don’t really know what all this means for the blog. I have so missed writing about my outfits – but what I’ve really missed is talking to all of you. This is a very long-winded way of me saying I’m sorry for abandoning this blog, and I promise I’ll be back in some capacity – I’m just not sure when, nor how.

I hope you all are doing very well. If it’s any consolation, I’m still shopping like mad (and still very active on Twitter, so come say hi).

Outfit of the Day: My Favorite Skirt

Coral shell and blue striped skirt  Coral shell and blue striped skirt

Banana Republic shell • J. Crew skirt • Talbots shoes courtesy of my sis-in-law • Alexis Bittar Miss Havisham rose gold pendant necklace

I have been a pretty lazy blogger lately, and I have no good excuse for it. It’s hot, and at the end of the day, I’m so tired, the only thing I feel like doing is putting on my yoga pants and passing out. I also haven’t liked my outfits for the pats few days, which means I’m pretty But I love sharing outfits, and I miss hearing from my readers.

But this outfit, I like. This outfit, I love. I love this skirt so much. The shape, style and colors are perfect. The material doesn’t wrinkle (very easily). J. Crew (and any other clothing retailers listening), THIS is the style of skirt I’ve been craving. Please make more of these.

Coral shell and blue striped skirt

My Perfect Game Day Outfit

game day outfit

Clay Matthews jersey • Coach Bleecker Striped North/South swingpackOld Navy Sweetheart distressed white skinny jeansRay-Ban original aviatorsConverse Chuck Taylor all-star sneakers

I am so excited for football to start. It’s one of the many reasons why I love fall. As a Hoosier, of course I’m a huge fan of the Colts – but I have always had a thing for Clay Matthews and the Packers. My grandpa was a Wisconsin native and was a huge Packers fan, so I consider it part of my family legacy to root for Green Bay. And come on, Clay is hilarious. When Fanatics invited me to create my favorite game day outfit out of my favorite jersey, I knew I had to go with his.

And yes, I realize wearing white jeans to a football game is asking for someone to spill their beer on you, but I will always go for the cute outfit before the practical one.

Outfit of the Day: Denim Jacket

A denim jacket and a maxi dress

A denim jacket and a maxi dress

Target Merona knit maxi dress • Target denim jacket • Enzo Angiolini sandals • kate spade new york sunglasses via TJ Maxx  J. Crew bubble necklace

I’m not afraid to eat my words, especially when the meal would be a result of me finding a piece of clothing I had been searching for. I used to see bloggers wearing cute outfits with a denim jacket and roll my eyes – mostly out of jealously, because the perfect denim jacket eluded me. Then I definitely said on Twitter that I was just one of those weird fashion bloggers who didn’t like denim jackets. That is, until I found this one at Target. It was a total impluse buy, since I was already skeptical of denim jackets, but one that paid off. I love this jacket. It has a hint of spandex that gives it just enough stretch to be comfy. My problem with denim jackets was they were always so stiff. This one feels like it’s been lived in for years, and of course goes with everything.

So basically what I’m saying is now I get it, guys. Denim jackets are awesome.

P.S. Can I also rave about the lip gloss I’m wearing? It’s NYX butter gloss in apple strudel, and it’s basically amazing – super smooth and wears well with other lipsticks. My lip product addiction is still going strong.

A denim jacket and a maxi dress

Gap Friends & Family Sale

My picks from Gap this fall. Shop the sale here: http://rstyle.me/n/ncb6dkx9e
Silk cotton shirt
Slouchy cuffed sweater topTissue henley • 1969 legging skimmer jeans • Plaid boyfriend shirtSunkissed scallop-hem shorts • Mesh-stitch cardiganSkinny mini skimmer khakis

If you’re a frequent reader to this blog, you know I’m a huge J. Crew fan – until this year. J. Crew has been majorly disappointing me with too-high prices, lower quality pieces and BLAH colors.

But Gap has been knocking it out of the fabulous clothing park. Their pieces are comfy and wearable, their prices are fabulous and they’re ALWAYS having amazing sales! This weekend is the Friends and Family sale – you can get 40% off pretty much anything on the site by using FFBEST at checkout. And no, Gap didn’t pay me for this fashion PSA. I just love them so much, I had to share it with y’all.

These are my favorite pieces from Gap that are currently in my shopping cart, but will most likely be purchased before the end of the day. I am in love with their comfy knits and muted blues and pinks. And here’s some good news for girls who like me have trouble with blouses and the dreaded gaposis – Gap’s blouses will totally not gap at the buttons! Seriously! They’re amazing!

Happy shopping!

Being Skinny Isn’t Going to Make You Happy

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I’m stepping aside from fashion for a moment to talk about something that’s been on my mind lately: happiness. And yes, I admit that title is a little brazen. I suppose I should have added one more word – being skinny isn’t going to AUTOMATICALLY make you happy. Let me explain.

Besides my physical well-being, I have been working on my emotional well-being over the last few months. Too often in the past, I’ve looked to people or material goods for happiness. I think it’s a common trap to fall into. We expect our partner to make us instantly happy instead of coming into the relationship a well-rounded, emotionally healthy person. We have a bad day, and automatically order something off the internet to make us feel better. Sure, I love seeing a package waiting for me at my doorstep when I come home. But the happiness is fleeting. I’m left with that same pit in my stomach, the emptiness that is looking outside for happiness instead of finding it within myself.

It’s the same for me when it comes to my body. I may wish I could just magic a few (or 15) pounds away. But even if I could, that would not make me instantly happy. My life would not suddenly be in perfect order. I have been trying so hard lately to just be content and happy with where I am in life. When I started watching what I ate, I found myself slipping back into my old habits. I actually thought to myself, “Ok, if I can only lose this weight, I will be happy.” It doesn’t work that way. And the difference is, now I know that. I can recognize looking to something else for happiness, instead of looking within myself, and I know how unhealthy that is.

Happiness is more than what I look like in the mirror or what dress I’m wearing or even who is holding my hand. My definition of being happy is inner contentedness at the end of the day, that warm feeling when I lay down at night, thankful for what I have and excited to wake up to a new day tomorrow.

It’s a journey to get there. I only hope I can appreciate it along the way.

Outfit of the Day: Bam. Color.

Neon yellow sweater and blue pants

Gap luxlight cardigan • Banana Republic chiffon tank (similar) • J. Crew cafe capris • LOFT sandals

I was asked a question the other day about how I tone down bright colors. I laughed and answered, “I don’t.” This outfit is proof that brights are just better together. More is more when it comes to color, people.

And can I once again use this platform to complain about the COMPLETE and TOTAL lack of COLOR this summer? These pants are from J. Crew’s spring line a few years ago, and they’ve been one of my biggest Lack of Color Offenders. This year has truly been the Season of Perpetual Neutrals. I get that whites and tans are classic, but COME ON. Where’s the color? We certainly won’t see that this fall, minus the usual jewel tones.

Sigh. It’s so difficult sometimes being obsessed with clothes.

Neon yellow sweater and blue pants

Book Review: “Then Came You,” by Jill Shalvis

I’m going to be writing about something new on the blog today – a book review!

Then Came You by Jill Shalvis

I was on the beach last week, and I picked this book up at the local grocery store. Jill Shalvis is one of my automatic-purchase readers – I don’t care what the topic is, I will buy her books. Then Came You is part of her Animal Magnetism series, books that center around hunky guys and adorable animals. Come on, what more can you ask for?

Emily is a veterinary intern who wanted a different job in Beverly Hills but instead got stuck in Sunshine, Idaho. She lives in a rental with her sister and is obsessed with sticking to her Plan and getting back to L.A. as soon as possible. Instead, she finds out on her first day that her boss, Wyatt, is also a guy she had a one-night stand with at a vet conference. While Emily tries to stick to her plan, the people of Sunshine have different ideas for her.

I finished Then Came You in a day. I laughed out loud about 10 times and didn’t want the book to end. One of my favorite things about Shalvis is her characters – they come alive and instantly feel like my best friends. I can name so many of her books that are my favorites: this one is perfect if you love baseball, this one is perfect if you’re having a bad day and you need a heroine to sympathize with and this one is perfect if like me the closest you come to theg great outdoors is reading about it.

Then Came You is a perfect summer read, and I highly recommend it!

Oh, and that book was seriously laying on a side table next to a vase of (fake) flowers and nail polish. I didn’t arrange it like that. I’m just hella classy.

This has nothing to do with the book. It’s just an adorable picture of my adorable dog.

Let me know what you think about this blog post. Do you want to read more romance reviews? I’m happy to share my book recommendations if you’re happy to read them!

Barre Workout Style

Barre Workout Style

C9 by Champion open yoga layering topStella & Dot sparkle studsOld Navy Active compression caprisC9 by Champion sports braPROJECTDAHLIA starfish necklaceGapFit Breathe heathered tankBarreAmped DVD

I’ve talked about my love for BarreAmped before on the blog – and now I wanted to talk about what I wear to class! Is it wrong to care about what you look like when you’re working out? (Do I really want the answer to that question? Obv. not) Call me vain, but I swear my workouts are at least 75% better when I feel good about what I’m wearing. I’m not saying I go in with a full face of makeup and leave class glistening with each hair perfectly in place. Normally, I look like a hot mess who went temporarily insane, and it’s all I can do to slowly stumble out of class as my muscles are still shaking. BarreAmped will do that to you.

But like my sleepwear, I am very picky about what I work out in. If my outfit doesn’t feel right, it’s all I can think about, instead of concentrating on my workout. And good workout clothes are SO comfortable! I hesitate to admit how many of those GapFit tanks I have. (Four. Crap, no, I have five.)

And if you live in an area that doesn’t offer Barre classes, you can always work out from the comfort of your home with a DVD! I bought the BarreAmped DVD for when I can’t go to class and love it. It’s honestly like taking a class, and Suzanne offers lots of modifications for beginners (and tired people like me). She’s encouraging and comforting at the same time on the DVD, which I appreciate.

If you take barre classes, what are your favorite pieces to wear?

Outfit of the Day: Tunics are Fun

A tunic and J. Crew Minnie capris

A tunic and J. Crew Minnie capris

J. Crew tunic coverup (really old. Like college days-old. Alas) • J. Crew Minnie pants Loft sandals

I don’t know about you but I love a good tunic. They’re flattering and have extra coverage, which means they work great with leggings/tight capris (like my favorite Minnies). This top is actually a swimsuit coverup. You can’t see it very well in these photos, but it’s pale pink and has the most lovely subtle embroidery on it – far too pretty for just the beach. Swimsuit coverups are a great way to find beautiful tunics to wear for more dressy occasions – I got a cute one from Old Navy a few weeks ago that I’ll be wearing in an outfit post soon!

And ooh look, I have short hair!

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