4/24/17

Date Night Top + Goals Check-In

4 comments |
Today's outfit involves another case of "blogging made me do it." Marta originally posted this top on her blog about a month ago and I was smitten. I don't normally go for off-the-shoulder tops because I find them a bit fussy with the way they tend to ride up the shoulders. But I loved this top so much that I decided it was worth the trouble. Especially since planned to wear it for a night out where I don't need to do much more than sit at a table and chat with friends. And that's exactly what I did this past Saturday!

Outfit:
Top: c/o SheIn | Jeans: c/o Mott & Bow | Shoes: DV Safia (Option) | Ring: Kendra Scott | Nails: OPI Let's Be Friends (Similar)

Outfit Details:

This top is my second piece from SheIn and I think it will by my go-to for Spring and Summer date night, drinks with friends, etc. Hopefully those events will involve different people each time so no one will know exactly how often I'm repeating this piece! I wore it this past weekend and got more compliments from strangers than I can remember getting on anything I have worn. It's very easy to get on and off, especially since it has a zipper in the back and plenty of stretch in the arm/shoulder area. The neck tie was actually a little difficult for me to do on my own because once I'm actually in the top, it's hard to reach around my neck! But it's doable. I ordered my normal size in this, but I wonder if one size up might have given me a little more room in the shoulders and helped the top stay down a little better (since I frequently had to re-adjust it down on my arms), but it wasn't worth the trouble of returning/exchanging.

I did a full review of these jeans in this post, but the short version is that they run true to size and I find them very slimming! They've also become my go-to for a night out.

Front View: 
Top: c/o SheIn | Jeans: c/o Mott & Bow | Shoes: DV Safia (Option) | Ring: Kendra Scott | Nails: OPI Let's Be Friends (Similar) | Glitter Clutch: Express (Similar)

Monday Motivation: Update and Check-In

It's been a minute since I've done an update on the goals I've posted about in the past couple of months, so today it's time for a check-in. In my original New Year Goals post (find it Here), I listed three main areas of focus for the year: Relationships, Time Management, and Personal Growth. Here's a recap of what I've been working on in those areas since my last check-in:

Relationships:

1. Building Stronger Relationships (Here): I don't have anything significant to report on this one since it's always going to be a work in progress! Many of my goals aren't going to be something I ever get to mark off as "complete," but they're areas where I want to continually improve just to be a better human.

2. Giving Family My Undivided Attention (Here): I am really working on this and will admit it's hard! As this article stated: "Instant notifications are a drug that train you for a life of distraction." No matter what I'm doing I get antsy when I get a notification on my phone and feel like I must check it immediately at least to see who/what it is. That can be disrespectful to my present company, and I'm working on overcoming the urge to respond to my phone immediately, or else just putting it on silent somewhere out of reach so I don't even have the distraction.

Time Management:

1. Time Management Techniques (Here): While I didn't touch on it as much in this particular post, one of my big goals for time management this year was to work on punctuality. I feel like I am finally making progress on this one. I've had to get real about how long it takes me to get out the door for certain things, e.g. in my head I think I can be changed and out the door for Tae Kwon Do in five minutes, but really it takes ten minutes by the time I change clothes, pull my hair back, use the bathroom, get my water bottle ready, etc. I've learned to adjust my "must start getting ready" time accordingly or drop something off the get-ready list when I don't start on time. I've had to go to Tae Kwon Do several times with my hair down and annoyingly in my face because I didn't start getting ready on time, but I was on time for class and proud of it!

2. The one-hour packing plan (Here): Packing for a trip is one area where I struggle with procrastinating, so I made a plan for our Spring Break trip to set a timer, get focused, and get it done in an hour. Well that was a fail in real life. I didn't set a timer (when it came down to it the thought stressed me out), and I forgot to take into account that the kids would be home from school that day, so it wasn't realistic to expect a full, distraction-free hour of anything. But I did stay pretty focused on the task and would go right back to it after handling any kid-issues, so I still got it done in about two hours.

Personal Growth:

1. Improving Focus (Here): This was my most recent post (from one week ago) so I don't have any real updates here. I feel like I'm stuck on Step One, which is identify the problem. I really do want to improve my focus because I think it will help me be more efficient and also help with my time management goals.

2. Taking Chances (Here): Once again this a more recent post so I don't have much in the way of an update. This is also something that I don't always actively pursue (vs. improving personal relationships where it's a constant pursuit), but rather I try to be open to it when opportunities come my way. Sometimes I do have to seek out opportunities to take chances, but usually that starts from a desire to try something new (e.g. start a blog, take a class, add to my friendship circle, etc.), and I haven't had any of those urges lately!

* * *
Well now you are all up to date on my goals! How are you all doing? Do you still think about New Year's Goals (as a survey would say, Always, Sometimes, or Never?) or have you re-evaluated what you want to accomplish this year? I'd love to hear what's motivating you these days because I always get a fresh surge of motivation when others share their goals!


Linking up with:

4/22/17

Outfit Recap 4/22/17

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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. Also, all jeans are currently 40% off at Express, which coincidentally means nearly all of the jeans in this post are 40% off!

Outfit Recap:

White Lace Cami, Blue Jeans:
Top: Abercrombie | Jeans: Express | Shoes: Amazon | Necklace: Kendra Scott (Gift) | Bag: Sole Society | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks

Black Cami, White Jeans:
Top: Charming Charlie | Jeans: Express | Shoes: Charming Charlie | Necklace: Kendra Scott | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks | Bag: Sole Society

Black Peasant Top, Grey Jeans:
Top: Abercrombie | Jeans: Express | Shoes: Amazon (Similar) | Bag: Sole Society | Necklace: Stella & Dot (Gift, Similar)

Beige Moto Jacket, Grey Tee, Black Jeans:
Jacket: Express (Vintage Pink color is similar) | Tee: Nordstrom | Jeans: Express | Necklace: Stella & Dot  | Shoes: Amazon

Grey Duster, White Cami, Black Jeans:
Sweater: Abercrombie | Cami: Express (Similar) | Jeans: c/o Mott & Bow | Shoes: Target | Bag: Amazon (Similar) | Necklace: Express (Gift, Similar)




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4/21/17

Oahu Family Vacation Plan + What I Wore

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Last week, we took our family of four (two adults and two tween boys) to Hawaii and stayed on the island of Oahu for six days and five nights. Here's a look at what we did each day, what I wore, where we stayed, and what activities we would recommend or not for other families in a similar stage who are planning a trip to Hawaii.

View of Honolulu from Puu Ualakaa State Park (See Day Three)
Day One:
Travel to Hawaii, get settled 

We flew via Alaska Airlines and were very pleased with the in flight service, food options and entertainment options. Our only other direct flight option from San Diego was Hawaiian airlines and my husband had a bad experience with them on a previous trip so it was an easy choice. I hardly ever mention the airline we used (although usually it's Southwest) because it's just a means to an end, but Alaska really made the flight more enjoyable so I thought it was worth a mention.

We stayed at The Laylow (a Marriott "Autograph Collection" property) on Waikiki Beach.
This is a brand new hotel (it opened in March of 2017) and we loved it. It was perfect for our needs. It was very clean and modern, and the staff was always friendly and helpful (even down to simple things like letting us use their clean pool towels to take off-property to the beach every day so we didn't have to bring or buy our own). Plus the concierge made a lot of great recommendations for our trip since we had very little planned when we arrived. The location was also excellent. We were one block from the beach and there were probably hundreds of restaurants and stores within a two block radius. We settled on this place largely because our room had two King Size beds (which is pretty rare in hotels!) and that made sleeping a lot more comfortable for our family. And that was the main thing we were planning to do in our room since this trip was all about being out and about!

Day Two:
Dole Plantation, North Shore, Polynesian Cultural Center

Day two was packed (actually over-packed, more on that below) with three main activities:

Dole Plantation:

Our first stop and first activity of the trip was a visit to the Dole Plantation.  I'm actually glad this was our first because while we enjoyed it well enough, in retrospect it seems weak compared to the other stuff we did! If we had done it last we might have been a little more bored. The plantation has a maze (like a corn maze except pineapple, of course) and a little train ride where you learn more about the history of pineapples and other crops in Hawaii, plus a retail shop and snack area. It was interesting and relatively enjoyable, but we didn't stay long. We also didn't have any of the pineapple ice cream or specialty treats they sell because none of us were really in the mood for it. Overall I would still recommend this as an good family activity, but maybe on a day where you just need something slower paced. I wouldn't really consider it a must-see. I've been to all kinds of apple farms, strawberry farms, pumpkin patches, etc. here in California and in the Seattle area and this is pretty much the same thing, just a different crop in different weather.

North Shore: 

Next we drove up to the North Shore to check out the famous waves, and they did not disappoint! We stopped at Waimea Bay Beach park to let the kids play in the water for awhile...under close supervision near the shore. They had a blast letting the waves crash over them without any boogie boards or anything else. After that we kept driving up around the North Shore to find lunch and Shaved Ice. We stopped at Shark's Cove at an area with a bunch of food trucks. The food was just okay and the service was mediocre to bad at some of the trucks. But it was enough to fill us so we could go on to our final stop of the day.

Polynesian Cultural Center:
(I shared a video of this tree climbing demo at the PCC on my Insta-Story that day!)

This is a great place to learn about the history and culture of Hawaii, Tahiti, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji and Aotearoa through live presentations in a very scenic "theme park." Most people go and spend the full day here, which would be easy to do if you want to see a presentation at each of the villages, plus take in the night show (the best part, in my opinion!) at 7:30. That said, my husband and I have both been here before and he wasn't keen on spending the whole day here again. So we got there around 4:00 and only went to the final Samoa and Tonga presentations (several people told us those were the best two so we made sure to see them), followed by dinner in the banquet hall and the night show. I enjoyed everything we saw an experienced, and so did my family. But the biggest mistake we made in planning our trip was doing this activity on the day after our arrival when we were still on California time. The night show started at 7:30, which was 10:30 to us, so it felt very late on top of being tired from a full day of touring and wave-surfing. The kids were practically asleep when the show started, but it did grab their attention and kept them awake until they could crash in the car. The night show is my absolute favorite (probably of the whole trip) just because you all know I really enjoy dancing and watching different styles of dance, and the night show is all about telling the story of Polynesia through dance.


Day Three:
Hike & Bike Tour
  Rainforest to Reef: Hike and Bike Tour

This was one of the activities the concierge recommended for our trip and it was awesome. Prior to this, the closest I have ever been to a rainforest is Rainforest Café and this was far more beautiful and incredible. Our guide picked us up in a van about a block from our hotel and took us up to a hidden trail where we did a two-mile hike rainforest hike up to a waterfall (I honestly can't remember the name our guide told us, it wasn't Manoa falls and he said it isn't on Google maps...). We saw all kinds of beautiful, lush scenery and views. We never would have found and navigated the trail without the guide, and he was incredibly knowledgeable about every plant and tree in the rainforest, not to mention every aspect of Hawaiian history and culture! He was also well-prepared for us with rain ponchos, mosquito repellent (we still got bit though), snacks, water etc. The trail itself was not difficult in terms of incline, but it was slippery and narrow in parts and took some careful footing. Our guide provided us with Trek sticks to help with balance, and many times I had to use that plus a bamboo branch to make my way on the trail.

 Views from the Rainforest

After we hiked the rainforest, we came back down the same trail to the van where we drove up to Puu Ualakaa Lookout (see views in the intro of this post). We had lunch there (provided by the tour company) and then went up to the top of the hill to do our 5 mile downhill bike ride. It was a really fun way to enjoy the views of the island while sailing down the hill on a bike!

We returned from the tour in the late afternoon and the kids swam for awhile in the hotel pool, then we grabbed dinner and were done for the day!


Day Four:
Dolphin Watching and Snorkeling Cruise


For this tour package (which we also chose based on the recommendation of our concierge), a tour bus comes and picks people up at a few different hotels around downtown Honolulu before taking everyone out to the west side of the island to cruise around looking for dolphins and then snorkel. On the boat we were served muffins, coffee, sodas as we boarded, and later on they provided a full Hawaiian lunch and alcoholic beverages for those of age. It was a very full service experience. We cruised around in the boat a little until we found a pod of dolphins (or mega-pod according to the captain). They estimated about 200 dolphins so we really did see a lot of dolphins. There were a few dolphins who seemed to like racing our boat and stayed by our side for quite awhile. So for dolphin sighting in the wild: five out of five stars!

Next up we stopped the boat for the snorkeling portion of the day.

I don't snorkel (I just cannot get the hang of it) but my husband and kids did and they did see fish, but my husband felt it was nothing spectacular and not better than what you see at Haunama Bay. So for the snorkeling portion 3 out of 5 stars.

After snorkeling, they served lunch and drinks and just cruised around on the boat. (Again the food was maybe 3/5 stars. My kids would give it 1 out of 5 stars but they're picky eaters.) The sun was finally out for awhile at this point so it was nice to sit outside and enjoy the weather and scenery. When the boat took us back to shore, we got back on the bus for the ride back to Honolulu. We spent over an hour on the bus each way between island traffic and dropping everyone off at different locations in the city.

This tour is on my short list of "things I would do differently next time." When all was said and done, my kids enjoyed it and thought it was cool, so I'm glad for that. However, we were gone from 10:00 AM until about 6 PM, but out of an 8-hour day we only got a good 90 minutes of actual fun-time (30 minutes a piece of boat cruising, snorkeling, and dolphin watching). We spent almost three hours of the day just on the bus. We could have driven there ourselves in our rental car and saved a lot of time. The snorkeling wasn't so impressive or unique that it was worth the trouble of the bus and boat rides. I think a simple 1-2 hour dolphin sighting boat ride (minus bus service) would have been a better fit. (And in the bigger picture of scheduling, if we had done that one morning maybe we could have done the Polynesian Cultural Center in the afternoon/evening that day). The food, snorkeling, and bus ride just weren't worth the extra time and expense for us. I hate to say anything negative about the tour because the staff were all fun, friendly, and enjoyable. We signed up for it all knowing what it entailed and how many hours it would be, so that's on us. It wasn't a bad experience, it's probably just different stroke/different folks. I would also add that this happened to be the day of our trip with the worst weather: lots of clouds and intermittent showers. There was some sun here and there but more clouds than sun. So that meant we spent more time uncomfortably packed in the boat rather than out on the deck, which is no one's fault but took away from the experience all the same.

Day Five:
More Beaches and Snorkeling

This was our last full day on the island and we let the kids choose the activity. They wanted to get back in the water, so we decided to go to Haunama Bay. We pulled up around 9 AM...and the lot was full. They told us to check back every 30 minutes to see if we could get in. Waiting around and checking back every 30 minutes didn't seem like the best use of our time, so instead we googled nearby top-rated beach options and decided to head to Kailua Beach Park:


The scenery was beautiful, it was relatively quiet, and there were lots of trees with shade where we could hang out and easily watch the kids in the water, so that was nice. And since the water was very calm it wasn't as stressful as the North Shore. It would be a great place for families with younger kids. That said, mine were done here in an hour because they like a little more action. We decided to go back to Haunama Bay to see if we could get in yet, and luckily we did!


I'm so glad we went back and were able to get in here. It was truly beautiful and the kids had a great time snorkeling. We had heard from several locals and Hawaii-regulars that it was overrated, the snorkeling wasn't that great, etc. But we decided to go anyway and it was completely worth it for us.

Day Six:
Waikiki Beach and Travel Home

We didn't have to leave our hotel for the airport until 2:00 in the afternoon, so we decided to get in a little more beach time before packing up to head home. We decided to stick close to the hotel and just go to Waikiki Beach.
My boogie board crew on Waikiki Beach 

Is this beach touristy and busy? Sure, but it was convenient, very nice and enjoyable. We we went through the lobby of the Outrigger Waikiki (my sister is a Hawaii-regular and that's her favorite hotel), and it was great because we were able to rent two beach chairs, an umbrella and three boogie boards for $60 which made for a fun, comfortable beach experience and a nice way to spend our last morning.

After that we grabbed a quick bite at a nearby restaurant and then it was time to pack-up, clean-up, and go home!

What I Wore:
As you can gather from my activity list, I needed a lot of functional, comfortable outfits for this trip. I wasn't on a blogger-trip to showcase cute outfits in beautiful scenery, so I really tried to keep it very simple. I wouldn't even bother posting these outfits to the blog, other than hoping they serve as somewhat visuals for anyone packing for a similar beach/outdoorsy/family-friendly trip.


ONE: (Worn for airport travel both ways)
Shirt: Express (Similar) | Tank: Target | Shoes: Amazon | Bag: c/o Amazon | Leggings: Express

TWO: (Worn to Dole Plantation, Polynesian Cultural Center)
Tank: Target | Shorts: Nordstrom Rack (Similar) | Shoes: Sam Edelman | Bag: Fossil

THREE: (Worn for Dolphin/Snorkel Boat Day)
Swim Cover Up: c/o Amazon | Flip Flops: Target


FOUR: (Worn for Rainforest to Reef Hike & Bike)
Tank: Gap (Current) | Shorts: Target (Similar) | Sneakers: New Balance (Similar with more sizes)

FIVE: (Worn to hotel pool, sorry I was too lazy to iron this on vacation)
Swim Cover Up: c/o Amazon | Flip Flops: Target

SIX: (Worn out to dinner two nights. It was too dark to photograph this in real-time, but I was very glad I packed so I re-did the outfit picture at home to share.)
Dress: Express | Necklace: Kendra Scott | Bag: Fossil | Shoes: Vince Camuto (Similar)

* * *
This is quite possibly my longest post of all time, and that's saying something since I can be pretty wordy! I considered breaking it into two posts, but generally I find it easier for myself to locate past posts when the topics are consolidated like this so I decided to just go for it all in one spot today. To be clear, no portion of this trip was sponsored or compensated by any of the brands mentioned. This trip was entirely sponsored by my husband and his full-time day job! But if any travel brands would like to sponsor our next trip, by all means hit me up! 

Have a great weekend and see you back on Monday!

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4/19/17

Blue Striped Cold Shoulder Top

14 comments |
As much as I enjoyed being on Spring Break and making lots of great memories with my family, it's so nice to be home! I started working on a trip recap post for today, but quickly realized that I'm going to need more time to finish it. So I'll keep putting that together that behind the scenes here, and until that's ready I'll keep sharing some of my new Spring pieces, like this blue striped cold shoulder top.

Top: c/o SheIn (Under $20!) | Jeans: Express (Similar) | Shoes: Amazon | Bag: Amazon | Necklace: Kendra Scott | Ring: Stella & Dot (Gift) | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks (If there's no similar option in stock, contact the shop owners for a custom set and they're happy to help!)

Outfit Details:

This is my first time collaborating with SheIn, and I was reluctant to try them for a long time since it's always more of a gamble with an overseas e-tailer when it comes to sizing and possible returns. But after seeing so many cute, affordable options on other bloggers and being able to read reviews and see non-model photos on their site to get more info for fit and sizing selection, I finally decided to give them a chance. And I'm so glad I did!

This top is just what I wanted for a classic Spring top with a trendy twist in the cold shoulder detail. Many of the reviews for this said it ran big and to size down, but I ordered an XS (what I normally wear at Express or Gap) and wouldn't want it any smaller. It's a slightly relaxed fit but not oversized. The only thing I would note is that if you are taller than me (I'm 5'4") or have a longer torso, you might find the length of this too short for you. And just to give you an idea of what to expect on shipping time from SheIn, my order arrived in about 1.5 weeks.

My shoes have been in winter hibernation and I was happy to bring them back out for Spring. I'm also happy to see they're still in stock and reasonably priced (under $30). The color I'm wearing is Tan, and I took my normal shoe size. I love that they have a velcro strap at the back. I've had similar peep toe booties with a snap-back and those can be really difficult to fasten! I find these comfortable enough for a decent amount of walking. For instance, I wore them to the airport/on the plane for both segments of my Spring Break trip and didn't have any trouble walking all over the airport in them. They also kept my feet warm enough but not too hot on the plane, which always seems to be a struggle for me!

Front View:
Top: c/o SheIn | Jeans: Express (Similar) | Shoes: Amazon | Bag: Amazon | Necklace: Kendra Scott | Ring: Stella & Dot (Gift) | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks

The Shorts Version:
On the day I wore this top, I changed into shorts when the weather heated up in the afternoon, but kept all other outfit pieces the same. I wanted to share that outfit option here as well for those who are already into shorts weather (or maybe heading there on vacation!)
Top: c/o SheIn | Shorts: Guess (Similar) | Shoes: Amazon | Bag: Amazon | Necklace: Kendra Scott | Ring: Stella & Dot (Gift) | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks | Nails: OPI Let's Be Friends (Similar)

Front View: 
Top: c/o SheIn | Shorts: Guess (Similar) | Shoes: Amazon | Bag: Amazon | Necklace: Kendra Scott | Ring: Stella & Dot (Gift) | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks | Nails: OPI Let's Be Friends (Similar)

And that's all for today! See you back here on Friday!


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4/17/17

Olive Cardigan, Stripes + Motivation

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Today is my first day back from vacation and I'm sure it's going to be exhausting. Getting back in town after midnight, re-adjusting to the three-hour time difference, tackling a mountain of laundry (thank goodness I have a working washing machine again!), no food in the fridge...it's all about powering through as much as I can and mainly hoping tomorrow feels a little more normal! Most likely I'll be throwing on something like this easy, casual, comfortable outfit for the day.

Outfit:
Sweater: Gap (Olive out of stock, Similar) | Tank: Saks off 5th (Similar) | Jeans: Express | Shoes: Lucky Brand | Bag: Sole Society | Necklace: Stella & Dot (Gift, Option)

Outfit Details:

I follow Maribel on Instagram and she recently went on an olive and stripes kick...which made me feel like wearing olive and stripes! None of these outfit pieces are new-to-the-blog, but for sizing reference on the current items (sweater, jeans, shoes) all of it ran true to size for me.

Front View:
Sweater: Gap (Olive out of stock, Similar) | Tank: Saks off 5th (Similar) | Jeans: Express | Shoes: Lucky Brand | Bag: Sole Society | Necklace: Stella & Dot (Gift, Option)

Monday Motivation: Staying Focused
Time management is something I'm really working on this year (see my original post of New Yar Goals), and although I have mostly focused on improving my punctuality, I have noticed that a lot of times I can trace my issues back to a lack of focus on the proper task. e.g. Let's say I'm getting dressed to leave the house, but I get a text message and think, "I'll just write a quick reply." That turns into a back-and-forth exchange and ultimately it's eaten up those five minutes that would have made me on time.

On days like today when I have a long to-do list of mundane tasks, it is so tempting to procrastinate with easier, more fun distractions like social media, online shopping, etc. Cutting out those distractions completely could mean a full extra load of laundry gets put away! And yet...it's easier said than done! I'm really motivated to improve my focus and improve my self-control when it comes to distractions. In preparing this post, I googled "how to stay focused" and came across a couple of articles with tips that resonated with me. If you're struggling with this too, here are a couple of my favorite snippets:

1. From Nadia Goodman at Entrepreneur:
  • Train your mind like a muscle. When multitasking is the norm, your brain quickly adapts. You lose the ability to focus as distraction becomes a habit. Practice concentration by turning off all distractions and committing your attention to a single task. Start small, maybe five minutes per day, and work up to larger chunks of time. If you find your mind wandering, just return to the task at hand. "It’s just like getting fit," Rock says. "You have to build the muscle to be focused."
This struck me in particular because I am used to training my muscles with weight training and I had never really thought about mental focus needing to be trained in a similar manner. This is exactly what I needed to read. This also applies to my blogging time. I'll write a paragraph....zone out, check social media etc. A blog post that could have been finished in two hours takes three because I let myself get distracted, and this is an area where I really want to improve. 

2. From Stephen Guise: (I highly recommend this whole article!) 
  • Focusing is a lost skill, a casualty of the 21st century. People bury their noses in iDistracted and Distractdroid devices, practically salivating at the notifications which confirm their importance. Instead of commanding their day, they are controlled by their uncontrolled lust to be distracted....Instant notifications are drugs that train you for a life of distraction.
Harsh, but true! He goes on to give many tips in this article for improving your focus, and I found it very motivating! I was also amused that my search lead me to this particular article because just last week my sister Denae had recommended one of the author's books to me (Mini Habits, by Stephen Guise). I'd never heard of him before, and now he's come to my attention twice in one week. I was already planning to listen to his audiobook per my sister's recommendation but it's nice to know going into it that I'm already connecting with the author's writing and general message.

* * *

I have to say, I did a pretty good job staying focused on writing this post thanks to the nature of the topic and the influence of the articles I read. Let's hope I can apply some of the same discipline to my to-do list! Hope you all have a good Monday and see you back on Wednesday!



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4/14/17

Blush Crossbody Bag + Turquoise Plaid

7 comments |
Thanks for checking in today! I am currently on Spring Break with my family but have a few simple outfit posts planned to keep the blog going on my normal schedule. Here's a look at today's Spring-friendly plaid outfit with a few additional details.

Outfit:
Top: Express | Jeans: Express (Similar) | Shoes: Amazon | Bag: Sole Society | Locket: Pictures on Gold (Gift) | Ring: Stella & Dot | Watch: Fossil

Outfit Notes:

I bought this plaid shirt back in January thinking it would be great for Spring. And it turns out I was right for once. I wore it on a couple of warmer winter days but now it's officially Spring and it worked out perfectly for volunteering at school. Everything is covered appropriately and the fabric is lightweight and easy to move in. It is considered a "boyfriend shirt" so it's a slightly relaxed fit, but I still recommend ordering your normal size.

I have been using my blush satchel so much this Spring (more on that with several affordable current options here), but more often than not lately I find I prefer a smaller, crossbody bag style. I set out to find something in a color as close as possible to my satchel, just a smaller size, and I settled on this one from Sole Society. The price was right (I didn't want to spend more than $50), but I will say there are two small things I would change about this. First, the front flap has a magnetic closure and it's really not that easy to line up the clasp and get it to shut. Second, there's no exterior cell phone compartment. If I'm carrying a flap front bag I prefer it to have an exterior pocket for easy access to my phone. So it's not 100% perfect, but I really couldn't find a better option for the price and since it's the exact size and color I want, it's doable.

Front View:
Top: Express | Jeans: Express (Similar) | Shoes: Amazon | Bag: Sole Society | Locket: Pictures on Gold (Gift)

Thanks for sticking with me on my vacation week! I may not be able to answer questions or reply to comments promptly this week but I'll do the best I can to make it happen sooner rather than later!


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4/12/17

Three Ways to Wear: Grey Suede Moto Jacket

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Well hello friends! This week is Spring Break and I'm keeping my posts simple to enjoy my extra time with my kids while they're still young enough to want to spend time with me! Here's an outfit I wore recently with some extra details on fit and where to find similar pieces for the ones that are sold out.
Jacket: c/o Amazon | Cami: Express (Similar) | Jeans: Express | Shoes: Target | Necklace: Stella & Dot (Similar) | Ring: Stella & Dot | Nails: Essie "Pre-Show Jitters"

Outfit Notes:

I'm trying to get as much use out of my grey suede moto jacket before it's too warm to wear it anymore. It's a medium-weight jacket so it works better for our cooler days and nights. It does run true to size and I'll share a few other ways I've worn this at the end of the post.

These jeans are the Supersoft style and they are indeed very soft, true to their name! They ran true to size for me. This exact pair has been out of stock in the short length for quite some time (which is what I prefer for my height - 5'4"), but as I'm writing this, they are in stock in all lengths (Short, Regular, Long) and sizes.

Front View:

Jacket: c/o Amazon | Cami: Express (Similar) | Jeans: Express | Shoes: Target | Necklace: Stella & Dot (Similar) | Ring: Stella & Dot | Nails: Essie "Pre-Show Jitters"

Here are all three ways I've worn this jacket. Lots of variations on neutrals, but I've just been in neutrals in general lately!
Original post for each outfit: One | Two | Three (See Above)

Thanks for stopping by today!


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4/10/17

Black Cami Sundress + Packing Plans

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Today is the first "real" day of Spring Break for my kids  (weekends don't count since you get them off anyway, right?) and hopefully tomorrow we are heading off on a family vacation. I say "hopefully" because as of now we are on the fence about canceling the trip if the weather doesn't cooperate. For us, doing touristy stuff in the rain (no matter where we are) is not really enjoyable, and that's always a chance we take attempting to travel this time of year. I guess that whole, "April Showers..." thing is true! More on the potential trip after today's outfit, part of which I specifically with Spring Break travel in mind!

Duster: Abercrombie | Sundress: Express | Necklace: Stella & Dot (Similar) | Ring: Stella & Dot | Sandals: Target | Nails: OPI "Let's Be Friends" (Similar)

Outfit Details:
I wanted this sundress especially for my Spring Break trip, but it was so comfortable and flattering when I tried it on I figured there was no need to wait to wear it, I just needed to add a layer for warmth. Once again it's true-to-size, and bonus points for the pockets. This style of dress comes in a couple of other options, like this floral print and a denim version as well.

This duster sweater is the same as the one I featured on Friday, different color. It's true to size, very comfortable, and a great weight for spring. It's still on sale for $35 through today, with an additional savings of 10% or more plus free shipping on orders $50. (Normally free shipping starts at $75 for Abercrombie orders.)

Front View:

Shop the Look:


Monday Motivation: Packing Plans
I promise I'm not being evasive about where we're going for Spring Break for any reason other than the fact that it's on the brink of cancellation and it feels even more disappointing to cancel when I've blabbed about it to more people than just immediate friends and family.

That said, I think I'm usually a pretty self-motivated person, but when it comes to packing for a trip, I am the worst. I put it off to the same degree I put off making an appointment to the gynecologist. If we do end up going, I'll be packing this afternoon. And this time I have a new strategy I'm going to try. I'm going to make an "appointment" for myself and set at timer. I have this theory that packing expands to fit the amount of time you give it, whether you're moving house or going on vacation. So I'm going to give myself one hour to pack everything I need for six days, five nights. I think if I can condense the process by just staying really focused on it, maybe I won't dread it so much.

I'm also going to do the same thing with my kids. They are pretty good at packing on their own, but they do need supervision or a very specific list. I can't just write "Underwear" on the list or they will only pack one pair and we have to go shopping immediately after we arrive (true story). So we'll block out 30 minutes to pack for them...hopefully not back-to-back with my packing session because that will do me in. And somehow two boys can pack in about half the time as me. It really does make me think I am over-complicating the process somehow and there has to be a way to simplify.

So if you have secrets or strategies for a fast, painless packing strategy, by all means please share. I am in need of some motivation today and am hoping you all can point me in the right direction!


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