Casual doesn’t mean not dressing up!

When you don’t dress like everyone else, you don’t have to think like everyone else!

I am still learning this concept. For the longest time I had the notion that in order to dress casual it meant that I couldn’t dress up. And since I LOVE to dress up, I would very often have a hard time styling my casual outfits!

I am learning more and more every day, in fact, I would say that I am even starting top feel comfortable dressing down a little more than I ever have. I think for me the biggest challenge was that in corporate America I had to dress for business every day, and even on Friday’s it was a rule that we couldn’t wear jeans. That doesn’t mean I didn’t break the rule and wear different colors of jeans, jackets & skirts, but it definitely limited my creativity. Now I don’t have the same restrictions so I am starting to grow and have even more fun with my casual style.

Denim is such a versatile fabric, but I think it had a bad reputation for so long. I used to argue with my bosses that I would spend more money on my jeans than my business clothes, but somehow it didn’t change anything. I think the reason was that for most people, wearing jeans meant that they were in their “scruffs” and they would REALLY dress down the outfit to the point of just looking sloppy. Of course that wasn’t the norm, but it was what everyone seemed to remember unfortunately!

Hence, today’s post about denim…about how versatile, classy and professional it can still be!

Of course, I am not saying that anyone should not follow the guidelines of where they work, but what I mean is that if you have any leeway or any other times you can put together some denim outfits, then why not have fun with it 😉

Denim

Chambray – this is probably one of my favorite fabrics right now. It’s denim, but much softer. It is also not typical and could probably allow you to sneak by undetected in a company that has a rule of no jeans. It is feminine, it flows, and most importantly, it is cool for summer days whereas regular denim really isn’t!


Denim jacket – everyone needs one! Whether you are wearing it just to carry for those nights when you’re not quite sure how the weather will be, or you’re looking to dress down a more formal look…a denim jacket is such a versatile piece that I always recommend everyone has at least one (and I say at least one, because there are so many styles, that I would feel a little unprepared if I didn’t have a few different ones 😉 )

Denim skirt – especially one with a sexy slit is something that can be worn, look classy as well as a little sassy. I love a fitted denim skirt but there are so many styles out there, that there is one that will suit your body type and confidence level! Choose the style that best fits your unique style and dress it up with a nice blouse and some heels, or go for a more casual look with some summer wedge sandals and a T shirt!

I did a little research and found some great denim styles and I have linked them to shop below – just click the links…

New Spring Trends to Try…

Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will!

I don’t know about you but I am always looking for inspiration of new things I can try, how I can adapt things to suit myself and how I can incorporate current styles that I love into new season styles.

I have been really excited by a few that I have found recently, so I wanted to share them with you. Spring is my favorite time of year for trying new things because Winter and Spring are so different here in Utah that it really gives me an opportunity to change dramatically.

I love the optimism that spring brings, I love to see all the blossoms and flowers, and I love that the nights are longer. I feel like I have so much more time to do the things I want to do and I get excited about riding my mountain bike again, hiking, walking my dog through the neighborhood, and spending time playing ball outside or hanging by the pool with the boys.

Here are some great new styles and outfits I am excited to try this spring, what styles are you looking forward to?

Add a scarf – but wear it differently. Why not try tying it at the back rather than the front?

A pair of wide legged pants paired with some crochet or just rainbow colors

Add a pair of statement earrings to spice up your style – if you really want to rock out, style a simple denim outfit with some amazing tassel earrings

Leather with lace – the ultimate in edgy femininity

Break up an all black outfit with some colorful accessories or shades

Looking for places to find some of these styles, I have linked some great deals below…just click the links below…

Denim on Denim

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail!

I have to admit wearing denim on denim like I am in this post is not something I have done a lot of, but I wanted to experiment, so I wanted to share.

I always had some preconceived notions that it had to look a certain way, that only certain people could pull it off, and that it always had to be a contrasting denim…what I found is that I actually loved it and I will more than likely do a lot more of it!

As we all know there are so many rules when it comes to fashion (at least how fashion used to be), but I am here to remind you that those rules are really just GUIDELINES and you can adapt them to yourself.

Before I moved over to the U.S. from England I didn’t wear a lot of denim, I considered it a lot more casual than I liked so I shied away from it. Since I have been over here, I have found that I love it for all occasions. The best thing is that it can be dressed up or down and I can create any look I want. When I used to work in Corporate America there were rules for dress, and at one point we used to be “allowed” to wear jeans on Fridays until Casual Friday’s were taken away because they started to become a little too casual. I couldn’t understand it for a while because the jeans I was wearing actually cost more than a lot of my business clothes, and I always dressed them appropriately, but nevertheless it perpetuated that thought process in me that caused me to believe that jeans were TOO casual.

I honestly do believe that jeans or denim of any time can look just as professional, if not more when done correctly, than any business wear. It is also a fabric that is highly adaptable, versatile and fun…so experimenting is always fun! So, here are some quick and easy steps to styling your denim that will work for anyone:

  1. Add a statement piece – this is exactly what I did with my super funky jacket that my mum customized for me. The Black sleeves really break up the look and make it much more eye catching. Adding really cool accessories can work too.
  2. Steer clear of adding a denim handbag, scarf or shoes…it can be just a little too much for a denim on denim outfit.
  3. Make sure that the shade of denim you choose flatters your body type – the darker the denim the more flattering it is. If you are really craving a lighter shade, then make sure that the cut is only hitting you where you want it to.
  4. Adding a loose, flouncy denim like chambray is a great way to create a more feminine vibe.
  5. Try not to look too “matchy” – wearing the exact same shade on the top or bottom, with nothing to break it up, can just look like you’re trying to hard to get that perfect match.

You can shop some of my top denim picks by clicking the links below…

Thank Goodness for Warm Jackets

Life was always a matter of waiting for the right moment to act

I don’t know if I’ve been feeling the cold more since I came back from my birthday trip, or it’s just been A LOT colder, but I can tell you, taking pictures has been pretty painful 🙁 . It probably doesn’t help that my whole family, including me, has been sick all week with the flu.

It seems like we get moments of optimism where the sun shines, it gets up above 50 degrees and I start craving riding my mountain bike again. Of course, the foothills are still covered in snow, so I realize that it won’t be around the corner, but I do at least get hope. Then, just like this week, it snows, snows again and gets to temperatures in single digits or the teens.

Are you anything like me where you have a hard time thinking about style and fashion when you’re really cold? I find myself just wanted to wrap up in thermals and not leave the house (if only that were possible). Unfortunately, because it isn’t possible, I find myself searching my closet trying to come up with ways to create looks that make me happy while at the same time trying to not freeze to death – LOL.

A good jacket definitely helps, but when the wind is blowing hard and you have to stand outside for more than 5 minutes, the thickness of your pants and the amount of skin you are showing becomes more and more important. I know when I am going somewhere like skiing or sledding I am always really prepared but I find myself not quite so prepared for day to day activities.

This outfit that I’m wearing was perfect for a workday, but not so much for standing outside taking pictures – which of course I had to do because the lighting was just right.

I am linking the details of my outfit (the top is sold out but I have linked some similar), and the jacket is ON SALE so such a great deal. Click the links below to shop any of the pieces of my outfit.

Plans for the weekend: Sleep, clean, shop (ordering delivery from Costco because I hate going there at the weekend), and relax.

What do you have planned?

Dressing up your Jeans

Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be?

This may not be as big a deal to some of you as it is to me…
For 20 years I have worked for companies that only allowed us to wear jeans as sales people on Fridays (and after a while, not at all!). Since I left last October I’m not going to lie I have actually had fun experimenting with my jeans, and guess what I found out – looking good AND professional and that “put together” doesn’t need to exclude jeans.

I realize that I’m not talking about anything ground breaking here, but it has actually been really freeing for me to be able to dress exactly how I want, because I am mature enough to figure out how to dress appropriately for what I am doing and who I am going to be seeing.

Dressing for your audience is a huge deal – knowing what kind of a person they are, and making the right impression is important. I have always found that it’s better to err on the side of being over-dressed rather than being under-dressed! But jeans aren’t necessarily under-dressed, unless of course the person you will be meeting with is an ultra conservative person that never dresses down 😉

Skinny jeans can be really dressed up with a gorgeous sweater during these winter months and wide legged, high waisted jeans are one of my current favorites. They almost feel like you’re not wearing jeans at all. I added a fur jacket, high boots, big hoop earrings and voila…sass in jeans 😉 .

I have found that when I am happy in what I am wearing, it affects my mood for the whole day. I have learned to notice things that make me feel good, and I steer myself toward those things (whether it is who you hang out with, what you wear, the makeup you put on, you hair etc. they are all equally important if they make you feel good).

I have a challenge for you all…what if you came up with one style or piece of clothing that makes you feel good, and find ways to adapt it to make it UNIQUELY YOUR STYLE!

See how it makes you feel…
See if it affects your mood and ultimately your reaction to the day’s events…
See if it changes the results you get on that day…

I have found that the more conscious I am of myself, my surroundings, my feelings and my behavior the easier it is for me to not react or let things really get me down. When we’re not completely conscious that’s when we are in reaction mode, and I can tell you that’s not where I want to be because it causes me to react hastily and very often with anger.

Are you willing to take on this challenge?
I would love to hear your results…

You can shop my look & some similar styles by clicking the links below

Release your Inner Power

 

“I’m street, so look both ways before you cross me!”

 

I had to post today’s quote because it reminds me that I have that whole other level inside me that kicks in when I really want to accomplish something.

Do you know what I mean when I say that? Do you have that smolder inside you that lies dormant until someone tells you that you can’t do something or tries to stop you from achieving your goals.  I didn’t realize how strong mine was until I really sat and thought about what I wanted to be when I grow up.  I know, seems kind of crazy, but you could call it mid-life crisis or just a heightened awareness, but I definitely reached the point in my life where I didn’t feel fulfilled or happy with what I was doing.

I am sure some of you can relate to this in some way.  Is there an area of your life where you are not feeling fulfilled?  It could be your job, it could be your home life, it could be school…there are many ways to feel unfulfilled.  So what do you do when you find yourself in this place?  The simple answer is to change it…but that’s not always feasible.

I found myself in this place a few years ago, so I knew that I had to make a change.  I had to decide if I would be happy if I was in the same place in a year or even 10 years.  Obviously my answer was no, so that’s when I knew that I had to think about what I did want to be doing.  It took me some time to ponder this question, months even, but when I came to the realization that it was important to me to help people, I knew what I had to do.

That’s when I called on that inner gangster & determination that I knew was inside me because I had used it many times before.  The easy part is knowing what you want to do, the hard part comes when you have to slog away day after day, being consistent, undeterred and motivated (even when you don’t feel like it).  This is when the grit comes in. That part inside you that doesn’t doubt you can put in the work necessary to get it done.

 

 

One of Brandon’s favorite shows is Shark Tank, and recently I have been watching it with him.  I have found it so interesting to see these people that literally started with nothing, come up with an idea and grow that idea sufficiently that they are qualified to make it onto a show on TV.  I love seeing their belief in what they are doing, I love seeing them overcome fear day after day – because that’s what I know I must do.  It helps me know that I’m not alone, and that the only way anything happens in this world is if we believe enough in it and in ourselves to make it happen.

So what if, inside you, there is this inner bad girl with grit just waiting to help you accomplish your dreams?  What if I told you that it is there – you just need to find a way to harness it.  It’s no that it’s easier for some than others, it’s just that some will do whatever it takes to make it happen – they believe that much in themselves.

I may be that girl that eats organic foods, believes in the environment, believes that people and their feelings are more important than ideas, but I still love to listen to rap music.  I still love to be walking the line of conformity, because I know that when I am open, loving and real, that’s when I am able to feel love and fulfillment in my life.

Sometimes I feel the need to show the outside world that I am not just a pretty face, but I have an attitude and I’m not afraid to use it…that’s why I chose today’s more casual, get stuff done, inner bad girl look 😉

Shop my look by clicking the links below…

 


Rock Your Own Style

“Be a voice not an echo!”

No matter who you are, where you’re from, your style says a lot about you.  Whether you use your style to stand out or you use it to blend in, somehow your personality seems to shine through in what you’re wearing.

Style is not something that is as exciting to some as it is to others, but even if you don’t care about all the latest trends or styles, my guess that there is still some piece of you that wants to look great and make the most of yourself (even if you don’t know how to do that).

 

With anything there are always going to be some that seem to have an affinity to be more stylish than others, but it doesn’t mean that because it doesn’t come naturally to you that you can’t learn it and become better at it.

Just the fact that you are reading this blog tells me that you do care…so how do you translate that into taking some action?  Looking at how others style things (whether that’s in a magazine, in a blog, on Instagram or Pinterest or on TV doesn’t matter), just seeing the realm of possibilities when it comes to style, knowing where you can buy things, and how to piece together an outfit will become easier and easier over time.

I have known people over the years that buy certain designers because they think that if they are buying that designer means they are being stylish – the problem with that is that I have found that not everything a certain designer works for any one person.  They are catering to the masses and therefore some styles are not going to suit your body type, coloring or personality.  Also seeing a mannequin in a store wearing a full outfit again doesn’t mean that the full outfit is going to work for you.  The key to styling any outfit is to know beforehand what your body type is, figure out which styles work for you so that you kind of have an idea what will and won’t work for you.  Then comes the fun part, you can start looking at different colors, patterns, adaptions on the styles that work for you and finally accessories & shoes (or if you’re like me, the shoes usually come first).

I do like to check out certain stores, follow their latest released styles and see which ones will work for me. I do know what I love, and have an idea how I want to put a piece together into an outfit before I buy anything.  Knowing what you have in your closet is always helpful because then you don’t get home and realize you already have something similar to what you just bought.  I have been loving that mustard yellow color recently and after I went on a recent shopping trip, when I got home I realized I had pretty much just been buying things I already had (no wonder I loved them so much 😉  )

 

 

My outfit today features a custom made T shirt from a fellow blogger in the UK (don’t you just love it), some amazingly comfortable and chic palazzo pants that I recently got from DownEast Basics (one store I love to check out because they have affordable, modest and stylish pieces), a cute little cross body bag that I picked up in NY and some sandals from last year.

You can shop the pants by clicking here
You can find the blogger and shop the Tee by clicking here
You can find a similar cross body bag by clicking here
You can find some similar sandals by clicking here
You can shop some similar sunglasses by clicking here

Whatever your personality, don’t be afraid to express it through your style.  Your comfort zone didn’t start out as it is now, at some point in your life you weren’t afraid to try something new…what have you got to lose?  Be You!  Be Unique!  Be Bold!

Happy Humpday – hope your week is fabulous!

 

 

A Good Hair Day can just make a GOOD DAY!

“Good hair days make me feel like I can rule the world!”

Have you ever noticed how different you feel when you’re having a good hair day?  I have always loved having hair long enough to be able to put it up and style it differently (even though sometimes I try to style it the same and it just doesn’t work out 😉 )

After the terrible “hair” incident I had last year when my flat iron was turned up too high and fried the front of my hair, so much so that I ended up cutting bangs which I immediately regretted and started to grow out…I have really started to pay more attention to caring for my hair.  Especially now that my hair is longer, it requires more moisturizing, more protection and more care than ever before.

 

 

Have you ever done something to your hair that you immediately regretted or just wondered what you were thinking?  About 10 years about I decided I’d had enough of longer hair and decided to cut my hair into a pixie cut…and then to color it platinum blonde.  It was definitely a noticeable, stylish hair cut, and I was in love with it for about a year, but the bleaching burned my head a couple of times and I quickly started to become bored.  It’s a good thing that my hair grows quickly because when you have a style like that it’s really hard to grow it out.

Now I try not to use a flat iron or curling iron too much and I use heat protectants to prevent another “incident” like last year.  I love to pull my hair back and experiment with new styles of wearing my hair up.  My favorite way to find these styles is of course Pinterest.  The tutorials, the pictures and the ideas never disappoint.

In today’s post my hair is in a simple chignon and this is my “go to” style whenever I need to pull my hair back quickly.  I know how to make it look great in a matter of minutes, and this is what I turn to on mornings when I don’t have as much time to get ready.  Do you have a “go to” style for your hair?

I tend to post more about dressier outfits than casual, but this look is one that I pull out quite frequently for running errands, weekend casual dress, baseball games and so on…it’s comfortable, easy and still stylish.  Don’t think that sweatpants and a T shirt can’t still be cute…the camo print and wide legged cut make these sweatpants really cute AND comfortable!

Do you have a favorite way to wear your sweat pants & T shirts?  Comment below…I would love to hear.

You can shop some stylish sweatpants and T shirts by clicking the links below!

 

 

Denim & Ruffles

“Either you run the day or the day runs you”

 

Do you ever have times when you are feeling run down or have very little energy?…You know, when you’re a mum, have a full time job, as well as write a blog the world doesn’t seem to turn just right if you can’t keep everything going.  Not that I kid myself enough to think that I am the only one capable of doing everything (at least not anymore), but I guess I just have a hard time letting myself take time off things I know need to be done…

So, my question to you is…what gives you the energy you need to accomplish the things you need to do? Have you ever noticed that some days when you get home at night you feel more tired or have a distinct lack of energy?  I notice that when I am focused on too many things at once, all it really does is sap my energy.  With that being said, I want to talk about multi-tasking, and how it could actually be hurting you!

I have always worn my ability to multi-talk like a banner and shouted to the world that I could do so many things all at once, and I had it all handled.  But over recent years (and it could be because I am becoming more mature – or at least older), I have noticed that I feel exhausted, overwhelmed and just down on myself for not being able to do all the many things that are on my list everyday.  I used to beat myself up about not being as productive as I want to be (and again, these are the expectations that I put on myself), but I don’t do that anymore.  I have learned that the best ways for me to accomplish the many things that I need to do are by making sure I follow these simple guidelines:

  1. Don’t over-promise and under-deliver – spreading yourself too thin is only going to cause you a ton of stress.  If you know you have a lot of your plate, DON’T take something else on!
  2. Shift focus – instead of trying to multi-task and split your focus between multiple tasks, set aside time for each task you need to do and focus 100% of your attention at that time on that ONE thing!
  3. Delegate – this is a huge one for me…I had a hard time letting go of control, and would almost rather ineffectively complete a task than allow someone else the opportunity to grow and help. Even my kids are delegated certain tasks that I used to take care of, and while they may not love the idea, it is teaching them and they are growing from it.
  4. Take breaks – taking a 10 minute break every few hours where you can do something that will rejuvenate your energy will allow you to make up much more time because you won’t be burned out.
  5. Smile – even when you’re frustrated.  Smiling can physiologically change your body and allow you to be more productive than you ever thought possible.

 

 

I have found that smiling is something I didn’t used to do too much, at least not when I was by myself…but I am working on implementing this into my life more.  I look for things to smile about, I imagine people I love, traveling, and many more things and it’s funny, somehow that smile just seems to happen.  If you haven’t already tried it…perhaps it could work for you too!

Of course, it’s much easier to smile when you feel good about how you look or what you’re wearing.  Even people I know that aren’t into fashion or don’t care too much about the latest trends, still like to make sure they look good.  Feeling good on the inside very often comes from what we perceive on the outside! Do you remember being a kid and getting a new pair of shoes, dress, or some article of clothing?  How did you feel when you wore it?  Did you think you were the “bees knees” – I know I did!  The same is true as we are older, but I think we may not be in tune with it as much because there are so many other things going on in our lives…

Even sickness and lack of energy is no excuse to not have something to smile about 🙂

This Yellow top and denim skirt definitely made me smile, especially because Yellow is such a happy color anyway…you can shop some similar pieces below

(This post contains affiliate links meaning at no additional cost to you I may receive a small commission if you purchase through one of the links)

 


Dress up your Jeans

“Successful women have their feet on the ground, they just have better shoes!”

If you have been reading my blog for a while you may notice a common theme – I really love to dress up.  In fact, dressing down is something that is still a style of dressing I am experimenting with, and learning…

Today’s post is really about how even when you dress down or go for a more casual look, you can still look put together and classy.

I found these jeans in the Zara sale – and since Zara is one of my favorite stores, and since the store in Utah isn’t yet open, I am always checking out their app (it’s a dangerous thing) for new styles, and most importantly, for things that you aren’t going to see many people wearing around town.  Embroidered jeans are a really cute way to dress up your jeans, but with the turn up, I liked these ones even more.

 

You may ask yourself why dressing up is important to me, so here’s my little secret:

I LOVE to dress up or add a little extra touch because it’s what makes ME feel good.  I like to know that when I walk out the door (unless I am going to workout, planning on just running errands, etc.) I am put together and that when I glance myself in a store window, or in a mirror that I am going to be happy with what I see.  It may sound vain, but the truth is that when I feel good about how I look it’s weird but I definitely act differently.  Because I feel good, I tend to project an air of self-confidence and even charisma that seems to make other people react differently to me.  So the little secret is that I dress for ME and only ME…not that it isn’t great to hear compliments, but for me to love me and how I look is the most important thing.  Obviously, I do like to do things that Brandon will appreciate too…but ultimately if he liked something that I didn’t like to see myself wearing, I couldn’t do it.  In fact, I have found that he likes the things I like because he is reacting to how I feel about myself.

Have you ever experienced this phenomenon?  Have you experimented to see if people react differently to you when you feel good about yourself and how you look?  You should really give it a try, I can promise you will notice a difference!  And let’s put it this way, what have you got to lose?  At the very worst, you will feel good about YOU and that’s the most important love you can nurture…because then you’ll just have so much more love to go around 🙂

It may sound cheesy, and I wouldn’t ever tell you to do something that I haven’t tried myself.

BTW – these jeans were on sale and they are all gone, so I have found some similar ones and linked them below…

Hope you have a great Friday…