Fashion
June 21, 2017

Summer Chambray Dress

In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a big trend this summer, it’s called a Chambray Dress or what I’m reffering to as #summerchambray. These chambray dresses are everywhere in a bunch of different versions…..off the shoulder, one shoulder, shirt dress, tent style, you name it! And the price range is also all over the map. So, I pulled together some of the favorites I’ve seen online and in stores, including the one I decided to buy for myself.

Starting with the highest price, check these out:


Mid Range:

 
Least Expensive:

So, which did I end up with? Actually the one from Old Navy that is almost identical to the Soft Joie one!

Honestly, the tent style isn’t THE most flattering on me. But, I tried on the XS in the store and it just looked, well, “eh.” But I went home and decided to order the petite version and wow, does it fit me SO much better! It is a lot less tent-ish, so still loose but just has the right amount of shape to it. If that’s possible in a tent dress. Ha!

I plan to style it this summer both casual and a bit dressier which is one of the reasons I love it, versatility = key.

Sorry it’s wrinkled, this was after lunch with a girlfriend and the service where we ate was terrible – like enough to get a free meal (ha!) so I was sitting longer then expected making the dress look quite bad. Oh well. Wrinkles happen. My shoes are these, FYI.

 Happy shopping!

PS, here’s an outtake of the above picture. I’m smiling more but there is also my daughter in the back round.

Fashion
June 5, 2017

What I Wore – May 2017

Hi All and happy June – can’t believe May is over and I’m actually getting this What I Wore post out in the early part of the month. New trend? Ha! Well, May was another crazy busy month and while it is sometimes good to be busy, I’m a bit happy it is over! We’ll see if June turns out to be as busy of a month but in the meantime, here’s what I was up to in May and What I Wore…..

Marc Fisher

Last minute date night with the hubby: Top is old Michael Stars (I actually had it cut in length from what I originally bought it because it was just TOO long) | Jeans are old A Gold E Chloe – similar | Shoes | Necklace (One of the trio)

Steve Madden

Silent Auction Dinner for Charity (Selfie version): Tank – old, try this one | Jeans | Shoes | Purse – similar | Necklace – similar

Tart jacket

With the jacket from Rent the Runway (post about my experience using Rent the Runway here!)

pink purse

Just for fun, a non-selfie version of the picture courtesy of my husband!

Adidas

Casual Spring Day of doing not sure what: Jeans | Shoes | Necklace – old Stella & Dot

gray jean

Volunteering back stage at my daughter’s dance recital: Top | Jeans, DL1961 with rips – similar | Shoes | Necklace

BB Dakota

Special Pre-K Shabbat (this evening it turned out to be much cooler then usual and rainy, ugh!! and I took this photo so fast because I was running late it being a Friday and all): 

Jacket | Tank – Madewell from last Summer | Jeans | Booties

pencil skirt

The version of the outfit I originally planned to wear until the wear took a bad turn: Skirt – old BCBGMaxazria – similar or similar

Tkees

On Mother’s Day, after we doing a 5K that morning,  I just wanted to be laid back but cute so I went with patterned pants for fun and comfort and threw on the jacket because I wasn’t sure how the weather was outside when we went to lunch with my parents. Later, I went to see Snatched with my Mom: Pants – updated version or similar | Flip Flops | Tank – similar |

Athleta

Without the jacket

Toms

Really hot errand day: Necklace | Tank – Lou & Grey (no longer available in this color) |  Shorts | Shoes (mine are from last Summer but they appear to be the same)

Simple Parent Volunteer Breakfast at School: Shoes | Tank is old J.Crew | Jeans

Marc Fisher wedge

Decided to change my shoes to run an errand after the breakfast: Shoes | NecklacePineapple tee

Saturday morning Soccer game: Tee | Flip Flops – newer version | Jeans | Necklace (Mine says LOVE in cursive)

Junk Food

Sunday, I’m completely tired day: Top (My Mother’s Day present that my daughter picked out!) | Leggings | Shoes (which I don’t actually wear out of the house, ha! I know they’re very popular though despite me having mine for many years as my “slippers). I happen to love this version of the shoes, I’d wear these out of the house!

Jack Rogers

Dinner out at the beach of Memorial Day weekend (with kids): Top – similar | Shoes (So mine are from the kids department because of my size but here is the women’s version)| Necklace

Spiritual Gangster

Headed to the boardwalk with the family to play some games: Tank | Shoes | Necklace same as above photo

And that’s a wrap on May! Another crazy month is over and now we’re in to June. I have a few less events to go to in June but you  never know what will come up as the month goes along. For now, I’m just proud of myself for getting this post out earlier in the month then usual. Ha!

Fashion
June 1, 2017

Rent the Runway

Have you ever used Rent the Runway? The idea of it is amazing – you get to rent, aka borrow, some amazing pieces at the fraction of the price, package it up, ship it off and someone else takes care of cleaning it!

Personally, I love the idea of it for the time you have that one event you need (or want) a new outfit for but you don’t actually want to buy a new item because you won’t likely use it again.  Or another similar reason. This scenario happened to me about 5 years ago when I had a friend’s wedding to go to and no other fancy events on the horizon after it. I was tired of the dresses in my closet so I decided it was the perfect time to time Rent the Runway. I rented this beautiful dress and had a great experience with Rent the Runway. 

Then, it happened again recently. I had an event to go to and about week before the event, I saw that the weather was going to be quite different then what was originally forecasted (go figure!). So, instead of temps in the 70s, it was calling for temps in the 50s. I almost freaked out then decided that the best way to deal with the weather issue was to figure out how I could make my original outfit of a sleeveless top and jeans still work.  With warmer weather on the horizon, I just wasn’t in the mood to spend money on more long sleeve tops so naturally, a jacket made sense. But, I didn’t want to shop all around to find a jacket for a one-time use situation so it dawned on me that this was the perfect situation to consider Rent the Runway. I quickly went on to the site to see what they had in the way of jackets and as soon as I saw the one below I knew it would be perfect! And for only $40!

Here’s how the site works:

  1. You register for an account
  2. You select the item, or items you want
  3. You pick your size and a back up size (they offer a free back up size)
  4. Select the date you want it delivered – there is the option for a 4 day rental or 8 day rental (They recommend you have the delivery date a few days before you plan to wear the item)
  5. Try on the item and determine which size you’re going to wear
  6. Wear the item and have fun
  7. Pack it up per the instructions and ship it back
  8. Write a review online

I went for the 4 day rental and opted to have it delivered a few days before the event so I’d have time to try it on and figure out which size I was going to wear. I went with the XS. Then, I wore it and had fun!

Rent the runway

Here’s how it looked when it arrived

garmet bag

How it looked when I unzipped the bag

tart jacket

The jackets were nicely packaged and protected

Tart jacket 2

Tart jacket

Ready to go and have fun

Shoes | Jeans | Tank – old, Similar | Purse – or Similar

Return

Easy to follow return instructions

shipping back

How it looked when I packed it back up

shipping back

All ready to be shipped back!

If you’re in the need of one time only outfit, purse or accessory, I highly recommend Rent the Runway. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. You can use my link Here to shop the site.

Happy shopping!

 

PS This is NOT a sponsored post.

Fashion
May 24, 2017

What I Wore – April 2017

I’m back, with my latest installment of What I Wore after an unintentional break. Life just got extremely hectic the last 2 weeks and I was just left with zero mental capacity to put together a decent post. I usually work on posts in the evening – after dinner is done, dishes are clean and kids are in bed – and these past 2 weeks I was just craving my couch and Bravo TV to unwind. (Anyone else watch Southern Charm – Savannah? Not sure how different it is then the regular Southern Charm to keep watching ). Anywho, this month, like March, had a few different events then usual for me plus the same ole. Here goes….

Elsa top

Friend’s birthday lunch: Elsa Lilly Pulitzer top (updated cold shoulder version here) | AG Jeans | Toms booties  – new version| Horseshoe necklace (mine is 14K gold) – similar plated version

Vince camuto bootie

Passover Seder: Topshop Top | White Jeans | Vince Camuto Booties | Kendra Scott necklace

The weather had turned cooler so my original hope of wearing a tank got washed out and I settled for this  Topshop top I got in the Fall instead

Topshop

Another view of the outfit to show the back of the bootie betterTopshop Athleta

Road Trip Outfit to Raleigh: Topshop muscle tank, oldl –  Similar |  Athleta pants (Aspire) –  Similar | Nike Juvenate sneakers | Bracelets | Stella & Dot necklace – old

Louis Vuitton

Shopping: Tank – Old J.Crew Factory| Shorts | Reefs (for those with high arches like myself, these are, by far, one of the most comfortable casual pairs of flip flops I own) | Purse | Bracelets

Here I’m in the Uniquities boutique in North Hills shopping area of Raleigh, NC. This is a favorite little boutique of mine to stop in when I get a chance when I’m in Raleigh. There are a few locations in the area there, by the way. I came away from this little outing with a ridiculously soft gray dress (can’t really find a link to buy it online, sorry!) and a comfy light pink tee

Free People Athleta

Raleigh – day at park and road trip home: Free People tank | Athleta pants (different from the pair I wore on the trip down, these are blue and longer) – try these or these| Reefs (same as above)

Free People

Same day, at the park, hanging out with our dog (not seen ha!): Purse is same as above | Bracelets

Vans

Wore this to take the girls to a kids shoe tying event at Nordstrom (sorry it’s a little blurry!): Cloth & Stone top, old – similar | Shoes

Yup, this is a Nordstrom bathroom selfie – ha! The shoe tying event is put on before the store opens to the public so I had the bathroom to myself. Perfect for taking a selfie. 

Jslides

What’s April without a rainy day?: Zara jacket, old | Shoes Free People Tory Burch

Errand day: Top | Shoes | Jeans

 ATM Tory Burch

A variation of the previous outfit when I went to Bloomies to get a new racerback bra for Summer: Tee (the one I bought at the boutique in Raleigh) | bra or try this one

Note: I wear racerback bras ALL the time during Summer so I like to have more then 1. Also, why is the same purse in almost every picture you wonder? Because I was too lazy to switch back to my old purse for a few weeks. Ha!

Marc Fisher

Girls Dinner: | AG jeans | Wedges (new Summer favorite)

Soludos

A random Sunday where I ran to a charity shopping event: Top | Shoes (Full disclosure, I ended up returning the shoes. They really do run quite narrow and just weren’t comfortable for me in the arch area. I was soo sad!!)

LNA tee

Can’t Remember Day: Tee| Shoes

Nation LTD Avery dress

Lunch with a girlfriend on a really freakishly hot day: Dress (The one I at the boutique in Raleigh!) | Sandals – old | Necklace and Bracelet are old Stella & DotMarc Fisher Stella & Dot

Friends Baby “Sprinkle” Lunch: Tank and Skirt are old | Shoes | Necklace (1 of the 3 pieces) | Bracelet – old Stella & Dot

I was originally going to be out of town and wasn’t planning to attend my friend’s lunch but when I ended up being able to go the lunch, I had to pull together an outfit FAST. I was SO proud of myself for finding something in my closet to wear without having to buy something new – how often does that happen!?!

Anyway, that’s a wrap on April! May’s version will be coming soon. Hahaha.

Happy shopping!

Food
May 5, 2017

Healthy Diet Questions Answered!

It’s getting close to Summer so I thought it was the perfect time to do a little healthy diet question and answer with my Dietitian friend, Natalie. She’s a mom of 3 kids (all 3 are 5 and under), so an especially perfect candidate to have this little session with. This time, though, instead of a food journal like I did last summer (see it here), I thought it would be fun to just ask her some basic questions to answer some of life’s simple healthy diet and food questions.

Part of my idea for this post came from my own decision to switch my morning cereal milk from regular skim milk to unsweetened almond milk and I realized, while I’d heard it was a good to switch my milks, I really had no clue why! So, that started me down a path of thinking of my own questions I had about a healthy diet that just didn’t have a clear answer. And I reached out to ask some friends a few questions they had as well. Here’s what I came up with.

  • What is so great about unsweetened almond milk?

Almond milk is vegan, so that appeals to those that choose to avoid meat products.  Almond milk is also lactose-free, which may make it easier for those that are lactose-intolerant, to digest.  Further, because there is no lactose in almond milk, this also means there’s no sugar (or carbs) – as long as it’s unsweetened.  The major advantage of cow’s milk is that it is inherently a much better source of protein and vitamin D and calcium.

Unsweetened Almond milk

The current version I have in my fridge but other choice is Blue Diamond

  • Guacamole – is it possible it can be healthy? Is there an amount that’s ok before it crosses in to the unhealthy area?

Guacamole is very healthy.  Avocados have a lot of fat in them, but the fat is mono-unsaturated which means that it won’t clog your arteries.  Fat helps to fill you up and keep you full and it’s also beneficial for skin, hair, and nails.  Easy on the portions because the calories add up quick, but otherwise you can and should enjoy.

Guacamole

Photo courtesy of Simply Recipes

  • On that level, I love Mexican food. What is one of the healthier options on a standard Mexican menu to pick?

Mexican food is delicious and can be very healthy if you are able to tweak your order.  The dishes tend to be very high in carbs i.e. tortillas, rice, beans.  I would pick just one of the 3 carbs and omit the others or, if you want both rice and beans, try to consume half the amount given.  Light on the cheese, sour cream on the side, and you’re good to go!

When I go to a Mexican restaurant, I love to order shrimp tacos.  I make sure they’re filled with cabbage, lettuce, and salsa – all low calorie vegetables that take up volume – and I get the cheese, sour cream, and guacamole on the side so that I can control those portions.  Hold the rice and the beans.

A good tip is to ask for carrot and celery sticks to dip in the guacamole and salsa so that you don’t fill up on the chips, as well as a green salad, if that’s an option…..so that there’s room for a margarita or two. 

  • What is a healthy and easy cocktail to order from the bar? Wine, vodka or something else?

Wine all the time (you can quote me on that).  Vodka is always good, just be mindful of the mixers – soda instead of tonic and limes, lemons, olives instead of juice.

Titos Vodka

  • What ingredients should I have on hand to be able to make a fast, easy and healthy meal for my kids? Or as a family?

I always have ground lean turkey in my freezer – easy to make tacos, meatballs, or burgers.  Another option is an omelet – nothing wrong with having breakfast for dinner.  I also like to keep a cut whole chicken in my freezer to make chicken soup – just add water and bouillon and whatever veggies and other ingredients you like.  All of these options allow for added veggies and protein, depending on your family’s preferences.

Like everyone else, I use short cuts, too. I may pop an organic frozen pizza in the oven, bake some all-natural, hormone-free chicken fingers, or organic mac and cheese.  I recently found organic kale and spinach chicken sausages by the brand Gilbert – I tell my kids their hot dogs and they eat them right up.

  • Healthy snack suggestions that are easy for “on the go”, i.e. like granola bars? Are granola bars really best option? Any good brands you’d recommend?

I’m not a fan of granola bars.  Very carby.  Recently I’ve been obsessed with Applegate Farms Turkey Pepperoni – low cal, high protein, portable, and delish.  String cheese and hard boiled eggs (despite being smelly) are also good on-the-go options.  Siggi’s brand yogurt is higher in protein and lower in carbs than Chobani or Fage; I ate one in the car for breakfast yesterday.

Turkey pepperoni

Photo courtesy of Applegate Farms

  • Can a gluten-free diet actually help lose weight?

No.  Gluten-free diets are beneficial for people who have an intolerance to the protein found in wheat – gluten.  Otherwise I do not believe it to have any other benefit.

  • Is almond butter better for you then natural peanut butter? Why?

Almonds have more unsaturated fat (vs saturated fat) than peanuts, more fiber, and more vitamins and minerals than peanut butter.  However, both are very healthy.

Almond Butter

Photo courtesy of Justin’s

  • Could a nitrate free turkey stick considered a “healthy” snack?

Yes.  Turkey is a lean protein and is a great on-the-go snack.  So is turkey pepperoni and turkey jerky.

  • Would you consider popcorn a good snack?

Not on its own.  It’s a whole grain, so that’s good but I would pair it with a protein source i.e. nuts, string cheese to keep you more satisfied and less hungry.

Popcorn

  • After the gym, I now either eat a fage 0% yogurt with fruit  (the kind that comes together) or an egg muffin (recipe here) – is one better then the other or is either good?

Both are great, good job, proud of you!  If I had to pick a winner, it would be the egg muffin because it has almost no carbs and lots of veggies.  But both are great if you want a little variety in your life 

Thanks so much to Natalie, again, for her helpful insight!  If you want to schedule an appointment with her to talk about your own personal diet issues, you can contact her at natnutrition@gmail.com.

Happy eating!

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