3/27/17

Grey Blazer + Goal Getting

7 comments |
I hope you all had a fun and fulfilling weekend! Mine was really nice having my mom in town. We didn't do the touristy stuff that we've done on some of her past visits, partly because we've already done it before! We did see Beauty & the Beast, which was perfect for a Mother-Daughter date. And she joined right in with our everyday family life and got in lots of quality visiting time.

On another note, it's Performance Season at school lately, and I've established a go-to outfit formula for all of the recent events: Blazer, knit tee or tank, jeans, and comfortable heels. I used this formula for two school orchestra concerts (first outfit in this post and the second outfit in this post), and recently again as shown below for the 4th Grade play.

Outfit:
Blazer: Express | Tank: Target | Jeans: Express | Shoes: Forever 21 (Similar) | Necklace: LOFT (Similar) | Bag: Amazon | Ring (below): Kendra Scott | Nails: China Glaze "Let's Chalk About It"

Outfit Notes:
This grey blazer seemed like it would be a good addition to my closet since I love my grey moto jackets and grey cardigan, but I do have events (just like this) where neither one of those seems like the right piece to finish the outfit. A moto jacket felt too edgy and a cardigan felt too casual for me, so the blazer was perfect. I have a few Express blazers (two of them in this exact 24-inch, one-button style) and they each have a nice amount of stretch to them. That makes them pretty comfortable and easy to move in, and in general they're really nice quality for the price (especially when you watch for the sales). For size reference, normally I wear an XS in tops and all of my Express blazers are a 0. This one is as well, but if I wanted to close the front button I would need to size up to a 2. I don't ever button my blazers, so I kept the smaller size since I prefer the more fitted look at the waist and I can still move comfortably.

And once again it's the Target maternity tank! I wear a Small in this because it gives me some extra length in the torso (which I especially need when I'm wearing it with leggings) and is only a tiny bit bigger everywhere else than the XS. I sometimes wonder if pregnant women can even wear these past their second trimester- they just don't seem long enough!

Front View:
Blazer: Express | Tank: Target | Jeans: Express | Shoes: Forever 21 (Similar) | Necklace: LOFT (Similar) | Bag: Amazon | Ring: Kendra Scott | Nails: China Glaze "Let's Chalk About It"

Monday Motivation: Write On and Goal-Getting
Before I get on with today's topic, I just wanted to say thank you so much to everyone who commented on my post about Priorities last week! There were so many thoughtful and supportive comments and I really wanted to reply individually to each of you, but didn't have a chance for all of the reasons stated in my post! But it felt great that so many of you related to my thoughts and had such encouraging words and great perspective.

I started this series as a way to stay motivated and accountable for my New Year's Goals and Values (originally posted here). Two months into this series and I can honestly say it is doing that and then some! Throughout the week, the thought of, "What am I going to write for Monday Motivation next week?" will randomly pop into my head, and that thought leads me to, "well I better do something worthwhile with my life so I have something to write about!" Writing here on the blog has been the best personal accountability tool for me, and it's the last benefit I ever expected to get out of blogging!

As part of my Personal Growth value this year I've read/listened to a number of books on psychology and personal development, and the power of writing things down comes up frequently.  If you don't want to read an entire book on the subject, just Google, "the power of writing down your goals" and you'll find plenty of articles supporting this point (e.g. here is a good one that's a very quick read). One even claims that people who write down their goals have an 80% higher chance of achieving them! (Here is that article, although they don't credit their source for those stats so take it for what it's worth.)

So I'm going to keep on writing here about goals, motivation and accountability with the hope that it shapes me into a better person week by week and month by month. I am pretty sure that posting on a public forum keeps me more accountable than if I simply wrote this in a journal, but I don't have any proof of that. But if you have a blog or a Facebook or Instagram and you need motivation and accountability in some area of your life...why not write about it?  Share it and see what happens. Or just feel free check in here in the comments and share. I love reading about other people's goals because they often inspire me in some way, just like Carrie's goal series last year inspired mine this year.

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That does it for today, but my book reviews and more are coming up on Wednesday. I have a few great books to recommend this month so don't miss it!


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3/25/17

Outfit Recap 3/25/17

1 comment |
Welcome to my weekend outfit recap! These posts are just a back-to-basics way of sharing of outfits I wore each week with links to current or similar options if my exact item is sold out. I'm switching up the formatting a bit today based on some reader feedback and skipping the recap of this week's outfit posts here in the interest of time.

Outfit Recap: 


Camo Jacket, Grey Cami
Jacket: Express (Similar) | Cami: Express (Similar) | Jeans: Express | Shoes: Amazon | Bag: Amazon (Similar) | Necklace: Express | (Outfit Inspired by Erin)

Black Marled Knit Jacket, Grey Jeans:
Jacket: Express | Tank: Target | Jeans: Express | Necklace: Target (Similar) | Shoes: Sole Society (Similar) | Bag: c/o Amazon

Black Plaid Shirt, Light Jeans:
Top: Express (Similar in exact style) | Jeans: Express (Similar) | Necklace: Kendra Scott | Shoes: Amazon | Nails: China Glaze "Let's Chalk About It" | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks | Bag: c/o Amazon

White Cardi, Grey Tank:
Cardigan: Gap | Tank: Target | Jeans: Express (Similar) | Shoes: Amazon | Bag: c/o Amazon | Necklace: LOFT (Similar) | Nails: China Glaze "Let's Chalk About It"

Top View for Jewelry + Accessory Details:

Camo Jacket, Grey Cami:
Jacket: Express (Similar) | Cami: Express (Similar) | Jeans: Express | Shoes: Amazon | Bag: Amazon (Similar) | Necklace: Express | (Outfit Inspired by Erin)

Black Marled Knit Jacket, Black Tank, Grey Jeans:
Jacket: Express | Tank: Target | Jeans: Express | Necklace: Target (Similar) | Shoes: Sole Society (Similar) | Bag: c/o Amazon | Ring: c/o Megan Auman | Nails: China Glaze "Let's Chalk About It"

Black Plaid Shirt, Light Jeans:
Top: Express (Similar in exact style) | Jeans: Express (Similar) | Necklace: Kendra Scott | Shoes: Amazon | Nails: China Glaze "Let's Chalk About It" | Bag: c/o Amazon

White Cardi, Grey Tank:
Cardigan: Gap | Tank: Target | Jeans: Express (Similar) | Shoes: Amazon | Bag: c/o Amazon | Necklace: LOFT (Similar) | Nails: China Glaze "Let's Chalk About It"

Enjoy your weekend and I'll be back with another post on Monday!



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3/24/17

Grey V Neck Tee, Frayed Hem Jeans

7 comments |
I hope you all had a good week! I am hoping mine was filled with a lot of fun visiting and memory-making with my mom in town but since I'm preparing this in advance I suppose I can't say for sure! But that was the plan at least! I had a lot of rushed mornings prior to my mom's visit, and that meant I went for easy, basic outfits like this...with a hefty dose of jewelry to make me feel like I tried!

Outfit:
Tee: Nordstrom "Heather Pewter" | Jeans: Express | Shoes: Amazon | Bag: Amazon (Similar) | Necklace: Express (Similar) | Ring: Stella & Dot | Bracelets: c/o Charmed StacksNails: China Glaze "Let's Chalk About It"

Outfit Notes:

This t-shirt is one of my favorites for wearing on its own (as opposed to layering with a jacket or sweater) and I just recently wore the striped version of this style (see it here) in the same simple manner. As much as t-shirts are an easy basic, the right fit makes all the difference in the styling and the overall look of the outfit, and for me, these are just perfect on their own.

These jeans are also a favorite! I love the dark wash with slight distressing but no visible skin. (I try to stay away from too much distressing on my jeans because it embarrasses one of my kids. True story.) They're comfortable (like most Express jean leggings) but I also feel like they're extra slimming and give some nice shaping, which gives them about ten bonus points if we're keeping score.

Front View
Tee: Nordstrom "Heather Pewter" | Jeans: Express | Shoes: Amazon | Bag: Amazon (Similar) | Necklace: Express (Similar) | Ring: Stella & Dot | Bracelets: c/o Charmed StacksNails: China Glaze "Let's Chalk About It"

Friday Favorites: Blush Pink Bags for Spring
My blush pink satchel bag is probably my very favorite bag. Just a quick glance at my Instagram feed will show how often I use it. It just works well with a lot of my clothes, and of course I'm reaching for it even more often now that Spring is officially here. Just changing my bag and shoes makes it easy for me to make my basic outfits feel seasonally appropriate.

Since the exact color of my bag has been sold out for over a year, I'm always looking for similar options to share every time I show my bag on the blog. Right now there are quite a few options that would serve the same function as my bag at the same price point. I believe my bag was $40 originally, so all of the options below are $40 or less! Exact prices and retailers are listed for your convenience.

Blush Pink Bag on a Budget:
Blush Pink Bags on a Budget

Top RowTarget - $40 | Target  -$40

Bottom Row: Amazon - $33 | Amazon - $40 (Same brand as mine, also comes in a slightly more pink shade) | Amazon  - $33 (Same brand/style as my favorite grey satchel shown here)

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This week was all about simplicity and basics in everything from my outfits to my posts! Next week should be a little more diverse so I hope to see you back then!


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3/22/17

Blush Cardigan + Black Skirt

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As promised on Monday (to myself, mostly!), just another simple outfit post today. I'm scheduling this one several days in advance, and judging by the forecast, by the time this post goes live this outfit won't make a lot of sense for the predicted rain. But it was 80° and sunny when I wore it so I promise it did make sense in real life at the time!

Cardigan: Target "Light Purple" | Tank: Target | Necklace: Kendra Scott "Gold Gunmetal" | Bag: Amazon | Shoes: Amazon | Skirt: Express (SimilarLonger Similar Style) | Sunless Tan: Amazon

This is my second time wearing this cardigan from Target (previously shown here) and it really is the perfect weight for warmer days. I have a feeling I'll be using it often in the summer. I kept the color scheme for my outfit very similar to the last time I wore it (even using the same bag and necklace) but what can I say? I just like these colors together!

And yes I did just wear this skirt last week. I guess I'm making up for lost time from all the long winter months this skirt sat in my closet unworn. It's been a great addition to my closet, and I would like to add a couple of other colors in a similar (soft, comfortable, not too long or too short) style, but that is easier said than done. This one from Gap still looks to be the closest current option to mine, although a bit longer which might not be a bad thing.  The light grey option would have worked nicely with this outfit as well, so I think it's just a matter of time before I order that one. [Updated to add: Rachelle just let me know this morning about another very similar option from H&M. This actually looks more similar to mine than the Gap version. It's only $12.99 and comes in black and grey!]

My grey satchel has also been getting lots of use since it's such a great neutral and a great medium size. The shipping time was a full two weeks, so not short by any means, but worth the wait, especially considering it's only $33.

Since we've had consistently warm weather for a couple of weeks, I also started incorporating this $14 sunless tanner into my routine for a bit more color on my legs. I use Jergens Natural Glow year round, but when I know I'll have more skin on display, I add this one in about twice a week for a darker "tan."

Front View:
Cardigan: Target "Light Purple" | Tank: Target | Necklace: Kendra Scott "Gold Gunmetal" | Bag: Amazon | Shoes: Amazon | Skirt: Express (Similar) | Sunless Tan: Amazon

As a quick update on my dress reviews last week, when I got both of the Old Navy dresses in my size...they were still just a bit too much on my frame. I felt like the navy floral option fit a bit smaller than either the black or white. So I guess Dress Quest 2017 will continue on, hopefully with some eventual success!

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3/20/17

Grey Cozy Cover Up + Monday Motivation

11 comments |
This week I'm getting ready for my mom to come to town and spend some quality time with my family, and in the interest of being fully present with her time here, I'm planning to keep my blog posts on the short side this week. So let's just dive right in with today's outfit!

Outfit: 
Sweater/Jacket: Express | Cami: Express (White Sold Out, Similar) | Jeans: Express | Bag: Amazon (Similar) | Shoes: Amazon | Necklace: Kendra Scott (Gold/Gunmetal) | Ring: Stella & Dot | Watch: Fossil

Outfit Notes:

This is my second time posting this grey jacket/sweater-thing, and I still struggle with what to call it. They label and categorize it as a jacket but I just can't get on board with that! It's not structured enough and doesn't have any buttons or zippers for closure. But regardless of the name, it's incredibly comfortable and I throw it on as lounge wear all the time (but I don't bother to post those non-outfits on the blog!). I've also shown how I wear it as a cover-up over fitness apparel (see it here in my All Things Fitness reference post), but I wanted to try wearing it as part of a normal outfit and I was happy with how it worked out!

My eco-friendly jeans are a new favorite and I really love the light wash for Spring. They run true to size, and I posted three additional outfits with these here.

And finally, my no-fail white Barcelona cami! When in doubt, I can always make an outfit with this cami plus pretty much any jacket or cardigan I own and some jeans. I have a round-up of twelve outfits for all four seasons with this piece in this post.

Front View: 
Sweater/Jacket: Express | Cami: Express (White Sold Out, Similar) | Jeans: Express | Bag: Amazon (Similar) | Shoes: Amazon | Necklace: Kendra Scott (Gold/Gunmetal) | Ring: Stella & Dot | Watch: Fossil (Similar)


Monday Motivation: Priorities

When my blogging friends are going through a tough time in life or just have a little too much on their plate due to one circumstance or another, I am the first one to tell them not to stress themselves out so much over missing a post here and there. The blog will be there when they get back, their followers won't shun them over a couple of missed days, most people are very understanding that life can get a little hectic at times, etc. I don't think any readers have ever been unable to carry on with their day due to the lack of a post from a particular blogger. And yet when it comes to my own blog, I have a hard time taking my own advice and keeping this perspective!

Something that really hit home with me when I read The 5 Love Languages recently was the importance of giving loved ones our undivided attention, not just, "I'm listening while I look at photos on Instagram/fold laundry/wash dishes, etc." As I mentioned in the intro, my mom will be in town visiting this week and I really want to make quality time with her my top priority. For me to do that, blogging and social media simply have to take a backseat and be a bit less consistent. So all that is to say I'm more motivated to be a good daughter this week than to be a good blogger, so I appreciate your understanding as I try to keep my life priorities in order!


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3/18/17

Weekly Outfit Recap 3/18/17

2 comments |
Welcome to my weekend outfit recap! These posts are just a very simple recap of outfits I wore and links to current or similar options if my exact item is sold out. If the outfit was featured in a blog post I'll link you to that as well as I usually offer more info on fit, sizing etc. of pieces I'm wearing in those.

Once again I'm including my top-view outdoor photos as well for a better look at the jewelry and accessories.

Weekly Outfit Recap:

Black Strappy-Shoulder Top, Light Grey Jeans:
Top: Amazon | Jeans: Express | Necklace: Express (Similar) | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks | Bag: Amazon | Sandals: Forever 21 (Similar) | Ring: Stella & Dot

Front View: 
Top: Amazon | Jeans: Express | Necklace: Express (Similar) | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks | Bag: Amazon | Sandals: Forever 21 (Similar) | Ring: Stella & Dot

Mixed Media Peplum Top:
Top: Express (Pretty Option w/ Lace, Similar) | Jeans: Express | Shoes:  Amazon | Necklace: Express (Similar) | Bag: Amazon (Similar) | Watch: c/o Fossil | Ring: Stella & Dot 

Front View:
Top: Express (Pretty Option w/ Lace, Similar) | Jeans: Express | Shoes:  Amazon | Necklace: Express (Similar) | Bag: Amazon (Similar) | Watch: c/o Fossil | Ring: Stella & Dot 

White Portofino, Jeans:
Top: Express | Jeans: Express | Shoes: Target | Top Necklace: Kendra Scott "Harper" (Gift) | Bottom Necklace: Kendra Scott "Debra" (Gift) | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks | Bag: c/o Amazon | Earrings: Kendra Scott (Rose Quartz/Gold) | Nails: OPI Let's Be Friends

Front View:
Top: Express | Jeans: Express | Shoes: Target | Top Necklace: Kendra Scott "Harper" (Gift) | Bottom Necklace: Kendra Scott "Debra" (Gift) | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks | Bag: c/o Amazon | Earrings: Kendra Scott (Rose Quartz/Gold) | Nails: OPI Let's Be Friends

Striped Tee, Jeans:
Top: Nordstrom | Jeans: Express (Similar) | Bag: c/o Fossil | Shoes: Amazon "Natural" | Short Necklace: Stella & Dot (Gift) | Long Necklace: Express | Ring: Rebecca Minkoff (Gift, Similar) | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks | Nails: OPI Let's Be Friends (Similar) | Full post: here

Front View:
Top: Nordstrom | Jeans: Express (Similar) | Bag: c/o Fossil | Shoes: Amazon "Natural" | Short Necklace: Stella & Dot (Gift) | Long Necklace: Express | Ring: Rebecca Minkoff (Gift, Similar) | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks | Nails: OPI Let's Be Friends (Similar) | Full post: here

Faux LBD, Olive Cardigan:
Sweater: Gap | Tank: Target | Skirt: Express (Similar) | Sandals: Amazon | Necklace: Express | Bag: c/o Amazon | Bracelets: Charmed StacksRing: c/o Kendra Scott (Daisy Ring with White Druzy via Color Bar) | Nails: Sally Hansen "Creme de la Creme"

Front View:
Sweater: Gap | Tank: Target | Skirt: Express (Similar) | Sandals: Amazon | Necklace: Express | Bag: c/o Amazon | Bracelets: Charmed StacksRing: c/o Kendra Scott (Daisy Ring with White Druzy via Color Bar) | Nails: Sally Hansen "Creme de la Creme"

White Cold Shoulder Top, Jean Shorts:
Top: Macy's (Similar) | Shorts: Guess (Similar) | Necklace: Kendra Scott | Boots: c/o Amazon | Bag: c/o Fossil | Ring: c/o Kendra Scott (Daisy Ring via Color Bar) | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks | Full post with lots of lacy white top options (cold shoulder and regular): here

Front View:
Top: Macy's (Similar) | Shorts: Guess (Similar) | Necklace: Kendra Scott | Boots: c/o Amazon | Bag: c/o Fossil | Ring: c/o Kendra Scott (Daisy Ring via Color Bar) | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks | Full post with lots of lacy white top options (cold shoulder and regular): here


Thanks for stopping by today and have a great weekend!


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3/17/17

White Cold Shoulder and Peasant Tops under $100

9 comments |
I wasn't really an early adopter of the cold shoulder trend, and when I finally found this top at the end of last summer, I wore it like it was going out of style...because I was kind of worried that the trend was only going to last the summer! Well it's back in full force this Spring and I took advantage of an 80 degree day to pull this top back out of hibernation!


Top: Macy's (Similar) | Shorts: Guess (Similar) | Necklace: Kendra Scott | Boots: c/o Amazon | Bag: c/o Fossil | Ring: c/o Kendra Scott (Daisy Ring via Color Bar) | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks

Outfit Notes:
I don't have a lot to share in terms of fit for my top and shorts since I'm linking to similar options for both. But scroll down in this post for a huge round-up of similar white tops with lace detail (with or without cold shoulders) that are perfect for Spring, under $100, and could be styled in the same way as this top.

These boots are very affordable (under $30) and run true to size for me. They are really similar to another taupe pair I have, but in person these are slightly more beige and I do find that subtle difference makes it worth having both since they each seem to work better with different color palettes.

This crossbody bag c/o Fossil (I'm linking to the exact bag on Amazon only because it's no longer available on the Fossil site but Amazon still has it) might be my favorite crossbody bag. It's just the right compact size, the tassel detail is really cute, and it has an exterior compartment that fits my iPhone for easy access, which comes in so handy, especially since the front has the flap (which would make it harder to get to my phone if I had to store it in there).

Front View:

Shop the Look:



Friday Favorites: White Spring Tops under $100

Since my top is sold out, I rounded up eight options that are currently available in most sizes, have similar cold shoulder white top options from a variety of retailers. I also listed the current price for each option because nobody has time to be clicking on links for things out of their budget!

Cold Shoulder:
White Cold Shoulder Tops
Top Row: Charming Charlie ($22) | Macy's ($28) | Nordstrom  ($69)| Express ($60)
Bottom RowWHBM ($88) | NY & Co ($30) |  Forever 21 ($35) | Bailey 44 ($70)

If cold shoulders aren't your thing for whatever reason, here are a few white peasant tops (also under $100) that will give a similar look and can be styled in the same way as my cold shoulder top. I also ordered the first one below for myself because sometimes the cold shoulder detail is just too cold or just doesn't feel appropriate for certain events.

Covered Shoulders:
White Lace Peasant Tops
Top Row: Abercrombie ($60) | Revolve ($60) M/L | Amazon ($65) | Shopbop ($85) 
Bottom Row: Nordstrom ($78) | Express ($40) | Nordstrom Rack ($40) | Revolve ($60)

I listed the current price of each top but many of them have frequent sales and promotions so the price or inventory may change by the time this post goes live since that's just how things go with retail stores.

Have a great weekend and oh, Happy St. Patrick's Day! Obviously I don't do much to celebrate that myself! If you check in here on the weekend I should have my weekly outfit recap posted by Sunday, then on Monday check back in for some Monday Motivation to get the week off to a positive start!


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3/15/17

Faux LBD + Casual Spring Dress Reviews

13 comments |
What you haven't seen behind the scenes is here is that I've done a a bit of buying and returning casual Spring dresses on a hunt for one or two that will give me easy, one-and-done outfit options. I finally had some success in that hunt (more on that below) but it didn't happen until after I wore this outfit and with my faux-LBD casual skirt and tank combo:

Outfit:
Sweater: Gap | Tank: Target | Skirt: Express (Similar) | Sandals: Amazon | Necklace: Express | Bag: c/o Amazon | Bracelets: Charmed StacksRing: c/o Kendra Scott (Daisy Ring with White Druzy via Color Bar) | Nails: Sally Hansen "Creme de la Creme"

Outfit Details:
My skirt is from Express awhile back, but the Gap has an almost identical option right now that I'm tempted to try for myself in the light grey option.

This maternity tank has been a staple for a few years for reasons that have nothing to do with maternity! It's a nice thick fabric (non see-through, even in white), longer in the torso than a regular tank (but no side ruching that most maternity tops have), and the scoop neckline is just right for my preference. I have a similar black racerback tank dress, but it goes into a deeper v-neck in the front and some days that just won't do.

This sweater is (so far) my favorite Spring cardigan. You can see my last outfit with this color here, and an outfit with the white version of this sweater here.

Front View:

Shop the Look:


Spring Dress Shopping:
ONE: Dress, Shoes | TWO: Dress, Necklace, Shoes | THREE: Dress, Shoes

ONE:
While I loved the cut, style and comfort of this navy embroidered dress from the Gap (and bonus points for the pockets), I wasn't sure it flattered me. I used my text-a-friend option and my friend confirmed it wasn't the best fit, so ultimately this was returned. I'm wearing an XS here so I think it's a relaxed fit that runs a little big and will probably work better on someone taller and possible curvier. It also wasn't the easiest to take on and off since there are no zippers anywhere and no stretch to the fabric.

TWO:
This dress from Old Navy comes in white, berry, and black (edited to add: it also comes in Petite and Tall sizes!). I loved the boho vibe (I tend to like a bit more of that in the warmer months) the comfort, the sleeve detail, the under $30 price tag (with promo code) and the length (in the correct size, at least). I am wearing a Small in this picture because they didn't have an XS, so I tried on the next dress with the same cut (but doesn't have the sleeve detail) for size reference before ordering this one in black and white. 

THREE:
I primarily tried on this dress (also from Old Navy) to see which size I should get in the previous dress, but I thought the print was very pretty and worth sharing! This exact style also comes in a black print with tiny flowers. I'm wearing an XS in this dress (vs. Small in the white dress) so I think it runs true to size. I'm 5'4", so you may have to mentally adjust how long or short these dresses will look on you, but again, it does come in Petite and Tall sizes and for me the length of the "Regular" size option was just what I wanted.

We've had the perfect weather to wear Spring dresses lately (if not summer dresses!) so I'm sure Murphy's law will have it that by the time my dress order arrives, the weather will be cold and rainy again and I won't get to wear them for another month!

That's all for today! I'll see you back on Friday with another outfit and some Friday Favorites!


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