We’re kind of in that weird between-seasons time where stores are putting all of their Fall clothes on display, but it’s still too hot to stray from Summer-wear.
I’ve been asking around on Instagram, and it seems like most of you guys are taking this time to peruse both Summer and Fall pieces; I’m right there with you, starting to stock up for Fall but still taking advantage of the warm-weather clothes that are now getting marked down.
I’m expecting that, like with most other years, the change to cooler weather will be a bit delayed getting here, but once it comes it won’t be gradual.
In New Jersey especially, it seems like sometimes the seasons change overnight; but don’t worry, you’ll still be able to wear that cute new tank you just bought, or even extend the time you have to wear those great denim shorts.
The trick to getting more wear out of your Summer clothes: use layering to make them Fall- and even Winter-appropriate!
Below are a few of my favorite Summer looks and ways that I plan on continuing to wear them straight through Fall.
This white bodysuit is a recent Amazon find and goes perfectly with my beloved striped shorts from Shein, braided sandals, and a pair of sunglasses. It also works perfectly for Fall when I add a cute plaid, fringe cardigan, jeans, and some booties.
The majority of this cute tee and shorts outfit can be updated for cooler weather. Get some more wear out of the shorts by throwing on a cozy sweater and some cute patterned sneakers. The ever-popular Nordstrom Sale tee and Tory Burch bag go great with a leather jacket and patterned sneaks, as well.
I personally love to wear camis all year long; they’re so versatile and can go with pretty much anything. Wear a basic black cami with shorts or jeans in the Summer and dress it up with cool accessories. Add on a flannel shirt, worn open or closed, to flawlessly Fall-ify the look.
Okay, this is my favorite Fall glow-up of the bunch! This Venus tee goes great with shorts and a some yellow sandals for a Summery pop of color, but it also looks amazing with leopard print pants, booties, and a stylish Fall hat (even though my husband has already promised to laugh at me whenever I wear this hat, lol).
As always, I’d love to hear about your own thoughts on layering and see how you use it to create some great Fall outfits.
Share some of your suggestions or favorite layering pieces below!
And don’t forget that links to all of my outfits (including the ones shown above) can now be found on my Shop My Looks page, found in the main menu of my blog!
I’ll be back with some big updates soon…until then, happy styling!
There are still about six weeks left of Summer, but I’m already starting to fill out my Fall wardrobe and am sure plenty of you are, too!
I get so excited about the changing of seasons, bringing back old clothes that are better for cool weather, and creating new seasonal looks.
I’ve been browsing Amazon a lot lately and have found some really great items to wear in Autumn.
Check them out, and let me know where else you stock up on new clothes for crisper weather!
This cardigan has a hood, is under $35, and comes in seven colors, including olive green which is one of my favorites for Summer or Fall!
Faux suede skirts just scream Fall, in my opinion, as does this great light brown. This skirt comes in nine color options and is under $20.
I love the cute design on this $16 graphic tee. It would go perfect with some jeans and you could even layer it with an open flannel shirt.
This is another cheap graphic tee at $15. I definitely laughed when I read what it says, even though I’m not much of a pumpkin spice person, myself. (A scary thought, I know.)
This waffle knit top comes in over 10 different colors and has a casual tie-detail in the front. As with many other Amazon clothing items, price varies by size/color choice, but all are under $20 and some under $!0.
What’s Fall without a long, cozy cardigan to wear when the air first starts getting that bite to it? I really love all 5 color options on this $25 sweater.
Leather jackets are undoubtedly my favorite fashion item for fall. You get the look for less money with this faux leather moto jacket, under $50.
Fuzzy hoodies are cool because you can wear them straight through into winter. Plus, we ALL obsess over that plushy softness.
I’m really liking this striped short sleeve shirt. It comes in 9 different colors.
Of course there has to be something animal print on this list! This pullover is cute and I love the cool tone of the colors. Another great piece for the cooler weather.
This weekend I bought my first luxe investment item, and I’m really excited about it!
I think there’s a misconception that fashion bloggers have endless amounts of money and luxury bags/shoes, but most of us are just shopping addicts looking to find and share great deals like everyone else.
I saved up for a while and thought for a long time about what my first big “treat yoself” purchase should be, and when it should happen.
After sharing my beautiful new YSL purse on my Instagram, I found that several of my followers are currently trying to decide on which piece they want to be their first luxe buy.
Below are some tips for what to consider before making a large purchase.
I hope these help you to plan out a perfect first big buy that you’ll be happy with for years to come! 🙂
1. Do your research Before deciding what to buy, I browsed luxe brand websites for a long time.
I had my choice narrowed down a purse from one of my favorite designer brands: YSL, Alexander McQueen, Gucci, or Valentino Garavani, but I wasn’t sure exactly what item I wanted to get.
After looking through what was available and how everything was priced, I decided on a YSL purse and went to the store with three different bags screenshotted on my phone.
I’m so glad I looked online beforehand, because the bags on display were not all the same color options that were shown on the site.
It wasn’t until I showed the screenshot to the woman helping me that she went into the back and pulled out the bag of my dreams; if I hadn’t shopped around beforehand, I never would’ve known about that color option since it wasn’t out on the shelves.
2. See it in person If you can, I’d definitely recommend going to buy your new item live; especially if you’re having trouble choosing between multiple options.
Seeing a bag or pair of shoes in person is way different than seeing it online, because you’ll find out how it looks on your own body, what the fit and size are like, and you’ll know exactly what shade the color is.
Seeing pictures of something online, and on a model who may have a different body type, can be a bit misleading.
The color of something may look a little different on a computer screen than it does in person, so going to see it for yourself is the best way to know exactly what you’re buying and to make sure you’re 100% happy with it.
It’s also just a cool experience going into a luxe store, having someone help you find the perfect item, and then taking it home with you that same day.
3. Buy from a trusted retailer You’re going to be spending a big sum of money, and while it can be tempting to just type the designer and item name into Google Shopping and click one of the majorly discounted prices listed, that may not be the best idea.
I absolutely love sites like RueLaLa and others with frequent flash sales on luxe items, but make sure you read the fine print as some of these sites sell pre-owned or damaged and defective items with no opportunity to return after buying them.
When it came to my first big investment purchase, I decided to play it safe and buy the bag from a trusted department store like Nordstrom or from the designer retail store itself.
I ended up going to the Saint Laurent store at the Short Hills Mall (less than 20 min from my new future home…equally exciting and dangerous) and am so glad I did.
I got to see such a large selection of items and hold them in my hands before making my decision.
I also got my new purse wrapped up, boxed, and got some care tips (and super nice compliments on my dress!) from the sales woman who helped me purchase it.
4. Don’t settle Just as it’s tempting to buy bags from discounted websites, it’s also tempting to buy the cheapest item available as long as it has the designer’s logo on it.
Mini and super mini size bags are the latest trend, and when I first started browsing online I was pleasantly surprised to see beautiful bags from my favorite designers for $1,000 or less.
Upon further inspection, I noticed that these bags were much smaller than I thought when first seeing their pictures.
Even though the smaller bags didn’t seem as functional or attractive to me, I heavily considered buying them rather than the larger options so that I wouldn’t be spending as much.
I am not knocking the smaller bags and think they look great on the girls who I’ve seen wearing them, but I knew deep down that if I were to buy a smaller option, it would be purely to save money and wouldn’t be exactly what I wanted.
When it comes to making large purchases, to spend a little bit less and not be fully happy seems like a waste to me; I ended up spending a little more for the larger size but am so glad I did.
I also think that the bag I chose works much better for my personal style and what I’m looking for in a bag right now.
5. Buy what you love Trends come and go, but if you’re going to spend your hard-earned money on something, please make sure it’s something you love and not something that you want just because everyone else has it.
I try to stay true to this with anything I buy, but it’s especially important when we’re talking about hundreds, or even thousands of dollars.
The bag that I chose is not the most popular style or color, but I fell in love with it online and then again when I saw it in person (my husband said my face actually lit up when they brought it out from the back…lol).
These pieces are expensive because they’re made to last, and if you treat your investment purchase right you should have it for a very long time.
It would be a shame to spend all that money on something just because it’s the “cool” thing to have at the moment, and then feel like it doesn’t have as much value when everyone else has moved onto the next big thing.
I’m not saying you should avoid trends, just that you should make sure you are staying true to your own personal taste; if you are in love with something that happens to be super popular right now, you should go for it!
At the end of the day, shopping and fashion are about self-expression, and you can’t go wrong if you decide to buy something that makes you feel happy and beautiful when wearing it. ❤
While browsing through save the date ideas a couple of years ago, I found a unique approach that I instantly fell in love with.
I have been obsessed with reading from the moment I learned how, and although I didn’t want a literary-themed wedding, my husband and I found a lot of creative ways to incorporate my passion into the event.
The first way was by having a bookmark as our save the date!
got so many compliments on our save the date; people loved that it had
personal meaning, but also that it was something they hadn’t seen before
and could actually use.
decided to put together a list of other creative save the date ideas,
for those who are interested in doing something a little different.
Here’s the list of unique and functional save the dates!
Bookmark This is my very own save the date! We used one of the pictures from our engagement photo shoot. As I mentioned, we got a lot of compliments on these and people did actually use them while reading. They were made by RaspberryCreative on Etsy, who has a ton of beautiful wedding stuff in her shop! We also got door hangers for our wedding hotel made by her.
Concert or event ticket If you or your spouse are big music or sports fans, this could be a great option for you. I’ve seen this done a few different ways, all of which were awesome. This not only allows you to add some personality to your save the dates, it makes for a great keepsake afterwards. The example above can be found here on Etsy.
Boarding pass/luggage tag These are perfect for those interested in travel or for an actual destination wedding. My cousin and his wife did something similar leading up to their wedding in Puerto Rico and I still remember it years later because I found it so clever. A boarding pass can be very cute, like this one from Etsy, shown above. A luggage tag is also a great option and, depending on the type you send, your guests can use it when they travel!
Confetti pouch Get the celebration started a little early by sending your guests a mini bag full of confetti! These are so fun and adorable, and will likely make everyone on your guest list smile (as long as you ensure the pouch is sealed shut before sending them the bag, haha). Here is the link to the example shown above.
Scratch off This is another fun one that your guests can interact with. Have your actual date be revealed after they scratch off the spots on their save the date card! This can be tied into a theme or stand on its own, but either way it’s something for your guests (and both of you) to remember. Example from above is here.
I love all of the ideas above, and I really love that my husband and I decided to think a little outside the box with our save the date.
It set the tone for our wedding early on; not in the fact that our wedding was book-themed, but that it was a perfect representation of who we are as both individuals and a couple.
I hope you find inspiration in these ideas, and that you’ll share your own wedding ideas or plans with me!
I love weddings and would be thrilled to hear about your own personal experiences, past or present, in the comments below.
I know I haven’t…but my husband and I have been trying to make progress little by little whenever we have a few hours on the weekend.
I’ve discovered a few cleaning tips, tricks, and products that can help make things easier for you, just as they have for us.
Check out my recommended cleaning hacks and cleaning products below, click the images to purchase, and don’t forget to leave your own suggestions in the comments! ❤
Reusable Dryer Sheets: You’ve probably got these guys stored wherever you do laundry already, but did you know they can be used for household cleaning after you use them in the dryer? Used dryer sheets don’t need to be thrown away; they can be used to clean off mirrors and other glass surfaces, coffee tables, and even the inside of your toilet (preferably not all with one dryer sheet…lol). This is a great hack because it’s likely something you’re already using and therefore doesn’t cost you anything extra. Cheap (or free) hacks are the best hacks, no?
Drill Scrub Brush: I kid you not, my husband actually bought a drill just so he could clean our bathroom floor with this scrub brush. But hey, don’t knock it. Not only was the process a bit more amusing for him, he got our bathroom floor (grout included) spotless by using this drill scrub method. The brushes themselves are pretty cheap. We’re going to try doing the shower walls with it next so I’ll keep you all updated.
Dish Soap for Stains: This is more of a clothes cleaning than house cleaning hack, but still applicable, in my option. Did you know that dish soap can get almost anything out of clothing? Spill some marinara sauce on your white sweater? Get a grease stain on a t-shirt you love? Swipe your shirt sleeve with mascara while trying to get ready at the crack of dawn? Next time you get a tricky substance on your clothing, sheets, or a towel, put it under warm water, add some dish soap, and rub gently. You’ll be amazed at how well this works and all of the different things it works for.
Scrub Mommy Sponges: My aunt gave me these for Christmas a few years ago and I haven’t used another sponge since. These sponges are durable and useful, with one tough (yet gentle enough not to scratch) scrubbing side and one smoother absorbent side. They are great for washing any type of dish, cleaning counters, and cleaning off appliances as well. Plus they come in cute smiley-face shapes.
Robot Vacuum: Sure, having a robot vacuum probably feels a little bit like cheating, but you can’t deny how convenient it is that these things exist. It’s not as necessary right now as I live in a two bedroom condo, but once I move into a full-size house I know I’m going to appreciate our robot vacuum immensely. I can have it rolling around on the floor cleaning up while I’m taking care of other household chores. These are a little on the pricier side, of course, but if you invest in a well-made one, I think it’s totally worth it.
One of my favorite things to do on weeknights is relax in my bed and binge watch some old TV shows.
Lately, my guilty pleasure has been old teen dramas ranging from the late 1990’s to the mid-late 200’s.
All of these are shows I’ve watched before (most of them multiple times) but I still find myself pulled into the drama and I love every minute of it.
I guess, with so much happening during the day, it’s nice to have my mind occupied by something else; plus, it’s a little nostalgic being reminded of the things that we thought were so important back when we were in high school. 😉
Here’s my ranking of 10 of the most popular teen dramas from the 90’s and 2000’s, plus which popular streaming services you can find them on.
10. The OC This is your typical California teen show, and was also my first exposure to Rachel Bilson, who is currently one of my favorite actresses! It’s a cute show about best friends, boys, and high school and is basically what you’d expect from the early 2000’s, but tapers off a little for me around the last two seasons. Without giving anything away, I’ll just say that some of the decisions of the show makers left me confused and focused on what I wished the ending could be, rather than what it was. You can currently stream episodes of The OC on Hulu!
9. Dawson’s Creek Ok, so I’m probably going to get grief about putting this one so low on my list, but I just never got into Dawson’s Creek the way a lot of other people did. It certainly had a cute love story and lots of great drama, but it couldn’t hold my interest as much as the other shows of its time for some reason. This one is also available to stream on Hulu.
8. Laguna Beach Dubbed “The Real OC,” Laguna Beach was a documentary-style show on MTV that followed a cast of real teenagers throughout their last couple years of high school. I honestly can’t tell you why every teenage girl was so obsessed with this show back in the day, but I still find myself drawn into the episodes whenever re-runs are on. This is another one that got weaker as the show went on, in my opinion. By Season 3, the original cast had all graduated and a new crop of students became the focus; that’s where I lost interest. All three seasons are currently available on MTV.
7. Greek This ABC Family (now, Freeform) show was about Greek life at college, and even though I didn’t participate in Greek life myself, I found this show really entertaining. There’s a great on-and-off love story woven throughout all of the seasons, and I found myself on the edge of my seat every step of the way for this couple. Overall, this show is really cute and I would definitely watch it again. This show is available on Freeform or Hulu.
6. Gilmore Girls This is another show that many other girls my age would probably put much higher on the list. For some reason, I just couldn’t get into Rory and Lorelai as much as everyone else (even though my sister’s old nickname for me was Lorelai). I did love how into reading Rory was, though, and there were a couple of juicy love stories in this show that caught my interest. I still haven’t, and probably won’t, watch the Netflix reboot. To help you get caught up for their new show, Netflix has all of the old Gilmore Girls seasons available (in addition to episodes of the reboot series).
5. Friday Night Lights This show makes me so happy and sad at the same time. I absolutely loved it, but I feel like it could’ve been even better if it wasn’t a victim to the writer’s strike that happened in 2007/2008. I loved all of the characters, the dramatic high school story, and the exciting football scenes. I have a soft spot for any show that combines sports and love stories; and yes, that is a bit of foreshadowing for what’s to come in the remaining four TV shows for this post. Getting back to Friday Night Lights, the only reason this show isn’t higher on the list is because I wanted more of it, and I felt that a lot of pieces abruptly cut off. You can watch all of Friday Night Lights on Hulu and select seasons on Amazon Prime.
4. Degrassi: The Next Generation In a way, I feel like I grew up with the characters of Degrassi. This series ran for ~14 years and it covered absolutely everything you could possibly have to deal with as a teen: breakups, friend drama, embarrassing moments, and several other more serious topics like rape, drug use, and STDs. It’s kind of odd to say, but I feel like I really learned a lot from this show, and all of the serious issues they included were done tastefully and successfully, in my opinion. I used to watch this with two of my best friends on Friday nights, so thinking back to the show also reminds me of happy, carefree times. This show will always be special to me. There is a Degrassi YouTube channel with most of the seasons available to watch.
3. 90210 This spinoff of the original Beverly Hills show is another one that drew me in right from the beginning. One of the main characters, Annie, is actually played by a Degrassi alum, which is what originally drew me to the show. This starts off following another class of California teens, but the show expands to many different characters and story lines throughout the seasons. I’ve watched this series all the way through twice, and still follow some of the actresses on Instagram because I grew to love them. The show is currently available on Amazon Prime.
2. Gossip Girl So, I actually didn’t watch this show until a couple of years after it ended, but the first episodes I streamed had me hooked immediately. This show is your typical teen drama, but focuses on the elite, super rich side of New York. I love that this show takes place in the city, I love that it is centered on fashion, and I love Blake Lively and Leighton Meester (I also really, really love Chuck and Blair’s relationship…but who doesn’t?). My cousin is obsessed with Gossip Girl, and she’s the one who got me into it. I’m so glad she did because this is a great show to binge, especially if you want to get pulled into the story and forget about your own stress for a while. All of Gossip Girl is available on Netflix.
1. One Tree Hill I cannot even begin to describe my love for this show. Yes, I was horrified to hear the allegations against creator Mark Schwahn not too long ago, but this show and all of its beautiful messages still remain unblemished in my mind. OTH starts out as another high school drama, but it goes deeper into the relationships of the characters and who they are as people more than any other teen soap I’ve seen before. The main character’s love for literature speaks to my heart, and there is so much amazing music and art included in, and created for, this show. A really great decision the writers made was to skip over the college years; so we see the cast go through high school, and then jump to them being in their early 20s. It sounds weird, but it worked so well for the story. My favorite thing about this show is getting to see the evolution of each character throughout the 9 seasons (ie, 13 year time span) of the show. The transformation of some key people is not only amazing to watch, but it’s absolutely believable. This show taught me so much about myself and what I want out of the world; it inspired me and touched me deeply, and I would absolutely recommend it to a woman of any age. My husband and I recently watched it together and he loved it, too! One Tree Hill is currently on Hulu!
What are some of your go-to teen drama shows? I feel like shows in the late 90s/2000s were so much better than they are now, but everyone probably feels that way about a certain period of time that’s special to them.
It’s silly to think that a TV show, especially one that’s made to be over-the-top, could actually have an impact on its viewer; but a lot of these shows stuck with me over the years.
Going back to watch an old series sometimes feels like wrapping myself up in my own teenage blanket, remembering how I saw the world at such a crucial point in my life, reflecting on who I was and who I turned out to be.
Comment below with your recommendations for great dramas I can binge watch at night, or with a special show that means a lot to you.
I love to find out more about you guys, so please don’t hesitate to share!
Today I want to talk about my most used phone applications, including the ones that I use most for blogging as well as in my personal life.
I do try to limit my screen time, but like most other people today, I am on my phone a lot.
The cool thing is, there are so many apps that help with productivity and tracking progress, and that’s what most of my frequently used apps help me with.
Here’s a list of my go-tos and what I love about them.
Notes – The notes app is standard on iPhones and I’m sure there’s an equivalent on other phones, as well.
As a writer, I use the Notes app to take down random ideas or inspiration all the time.
I use Siri to create notes while I’m driving so i won’t lose a good thought, and I even write some blog posts on here while on the go and then transfer them to my laptop to add into WordPress when I’m ready to finalize and post.
This app is free and easy to use, and is continuously getting more advanced, which I think is pretty cool for a standard phone app.
Instagram – As much as I complain about social media, I do love Instagram.
I like being able to see little snippets of people’s lives and am always surprised by the photography skills of some of my friends and acquaintances.
I like Instagram better than other social media apps like Facebook and Twitter. I feel lien people just use those to complain or be nasty to others these days, and it’s a little easier to ignore that stuff on Instagram.
I also just like posting and browsing pictures of outfits and other lifestyle inspiration that people I follow post.
I definitely have not had as much time as usual for Instagram lately, but I do enjoy using it for both blogging and personal purposes.
Goodreads – Those of you who read regularly are probably familiar with this app, but if you aren’t then you should definitely check it out!
Goodreads is an awesome community, reading tracker, and review system for readers all rolled into one.
It allows you to rate books you read and see ratings from others if you’re considering a book.
It allows you to keep lists (i.e., shelves) of your read, to be read, and currently reading titles and has challenges that you can set for yourself; Goodreads is what I used to track my 50 book reading challenge last year.
Another cool thing about Goodreads is that a lot of authors get involved with it, so I’ll occasionally get emails about virtual Q&A sessions with my favorite writers or other updates directly from them.
Nike+ Run Club – I’ve been using this app for almost 10 years and, although it has changed a lot over time, it’s still my favorite run tracking app.
I find it super easy to use, plus it has all of my running data (and all of my PRs) from throughout the years.
My favorite feature on the app is that your friends can send you “cheers” in real time when you go on a run and you literally hear cheering cut into your headphones at random times throughout your workout.
I hate paying full price for things, so if I see something I really like I save it on the app (super easy to do once you download it) and I get notifications about it from then on!
The app notifies you if something is low in stock/out of stock, back in stock, and on sale.
I just got some great new shoes this weekend because the app notified me that they finally went on sale; I may have had to wait a couple of weeks, but I got the exact pair of shoes I wanted without having to pay full price for them.
Ebates – This is another app I wrote about in my save while shopping post, and have buzzed to my family and friends about for a couple of years now.
Ebates is an app that you use to shop, or a browser extension you can add, that track what you buy and gives you cash back on purchases from qualifying stores.
It’s a free and easy way to get additional discounts on things you want to buy!
Those shoes I mentioned buying this weekend? I got them for 30% off from Macy’s thanks to Shoptagr notifying me that there was a sale, and then got an additional 10% cash back from Ebates.
All of that discount came just from downloading a couple of apps on my phone…so awesome.
PicMonkey – So, I prefer to keep it as real as possible whenever possible, but sometimes you have to do a little photo editing for your blog.
My editing app of choice is PicMonkey, which I found by reading through a few lists of the best apps for bloggers.
It was an app that I had to buy in the app store; the only one on this list that requires payment, but it wasn’t expensive and it’s been useful to me since starting this blog.
The app is great for adjusting lighting, color, and adding some cool filters or effects
Pinterest – I can’t even count the number of amazing tips I have found on Pinterest, especially while planning my wedding.
Between my husband and I building a house, me being a Matron of Honor for my sister, and me constantly needing creative stimulation for my job, Pinterest has been a bottomless well of information and inspiration for me.
I can get caught up and spend hours poring through all of the great posts and pins, but my favorite thing about Pinterest is that I’m not just killing time on it, I’m actually finding things that will help me with what’s going on in my life.
There are a bunch more apps that I use regularly, but I think seven is a good amount to highlight for now.
All of these help me be productive in some way, and I’m happy to know that a lot of the time I spend on my phone is used to get things done.
It’s so important to relax and be able to do things that you enjoy, but it’s also important to spend the necessary time on your responsibilities.
It’s all about balance, and I’m glad that my cell phone and the apps that I use every day help me find a balance between work and play. ❤ 🙂