Fashion + Style

Off the shoulder top with stripes

June 1, 2017
OTS, distressed denim shorts, English Factory, Straw beach tote

OTS, english factory, denim shorts, summer casual outfit

OTS, denim shorts, casual summer look

OTS, denim shorts

OTS, summer casual, distressed denim shorts, english factory, shopbop

Oh, how I wish I were in Maui sporting this outfit! I brought this simple white off-the-shoulder top with stripe detail with me to Maui a few weeks ago and paired it distressed denim, a go-to for me these days since it’s really starting to get HOT. Both the top and denim shorts are both pretty affordable, especially the OTS top, which I picked up during the Shopbop sale a few weeks ago and also featured here.

This denim can be a little short for some, but here is another pair I wear a lot that are still a good price point that aren’t as showy.  I will say, I am pretty leggy being nearly 5’10 so I think things just look shorter on me because I’m basically a giraffe. I think everyone should have a pair of casual denim shorts because they’re just so, so versatile as we enter these next few months. I can get multiple wears out of them without washing, too. Tip: hang to dry. You don’t want them to get any smaller (or tighter!) after going through the dryer. I am REALLY particular about the way I do laundry.  I feel like it’s helped me really extend the life of some of my clothes, especially investment pieces like classic denim. Maybe I’ll do a post on that soon…would you want to read that?

Side note: It’s been nice having the hubs home for two weeks so he can scratch things off our family to-do list (so much house stuff going on still. I’m not sure if it will ever end). He took on a different role at work so this is a new thing for us with an short-term, indefinite timeframe. I’m starting to get a little anxious about him leaving again next week. Eeek. Braden will be three in August, and I think that “threenager” stage is hitting us. Also, he just simply adores Ben. Like full on obsessed with his dad. It’s so sweet they have that bond, but sometimes I’m like…hey there, mom is here. I can be fun, too (in between making you eat peas and shoving vitamins down your mouth.). So threenager, mixed with all the change…pray for me, y’all. I just bought two more potty books and a sticker potty chart on Amazon last night. We’re breaking out all the stops including bribery, candy, etc. Sorry if you don’t care, but figuring out how to get my kid to poop on the toilet is basically a part-time job for me right now. #glamorous #momlife

I’m heading to my brother and sister-in-law’s  baby shower this weekend. I will be an aunt to twins — both a boy and girl  — come this August/September! Yea!

Hope y’all have a great weekend!

Outfit details: Top | Denim shorts | Sandals (old) – similar here | Straw tote (old) similar here

Fashion + Style Shopping

Bright Yellow Tassel Top & Memorial Weekend Sale Round up

May 26, 2017

yellow tassel top, white denim laureenloves.com

I’m really embracing yellow lately. It makes me feel instantly cheery, and if an outfit can help boost your mood, why not? I’m wearing my go-to white summer denim that I previously wore in this post with this fun tassel top that I picked up for Cinco de Mayo.

I wore this outfit when we went to dinner in Maui recently. Tassels have been everywhere this season. From tops to accessories like clutches or straw beach totes, I’ve seen them a lot but haven’t taken part in this trend until now.

I’ve found a couple of other yellow tops that I love like this one shoulder top and this adorable yellow eyelet tassel top  that are similar since this exact top is sold out. The top I’m wearing is still available in black and white, though. For reference, I’m a small. (I’m typically a small most tops from AT.)

Outfit details: Top (sold out, see similar links to yellow tops linked above) | White denim | Shoes | Clutch | Earrings (old) | Bracelet (old)

A little life catch-up

I’m SO looking forward to having a three day weekend. We’re making a quick trip to go to my nephew’s birthday in San Antonio. I really need to do some unpacking and organizing this weekend. We moved into the house about a month ago, but I haven’t been home on the weekends since we’ve lived in the new house so I haven’t spent as much time getting organized like I’ve desperately needed to. And, it’s just not going to happen in the evenings after a full work day so I really need my weekends for this. We were in Maui for a week and got back on a Monday morning, May 15, after taking a red eye flight, and I had a client meeting at 4 pm that same day. (Horrible idea, but too many scheduling conflicts so it was my only option.) Then, Ben left the very next day at 5am to go to Midland for a week. So, I was on single parent duty for one week with a toddler whose clock was all messed up because of the Hawaii time difference, and I had to jump back into a crazy work schedule. No bueno, y’all. We are loving our new neighborhood and have some great neighbors with kids the same age as Braden and they have all become fast friends. It will be so nice to see these kids grow up together. But, to add to my week of transition, one older woman, a neighbor, who had really become quite chatty with Ben during our home construction and was very nice to us during the building process basically texted Ben out of the blue the day after we got back from vacation. This was the nastiest, most judgemental  text message. It was apalling actually. It’s sort of a long story, but she basically said we were sacrificing Braden’s happiness by being overly ambitious ( I can only assume she has problems with women who work outside the home) and that I was basically a bad mom. Talk about judgemental! If you want to tick a mom off really fast, then call her parenting skills into question. Needless to say, I will not be interacting with her anymore and she is pretty much on my sh*t list.

So, Ben is back home and all feels right again. I am very fortunate that I have a true partner of a husband, and he is such a hands-on dad. When he goes away, we manage but things are definitely easier when he’s here. My world is just better with both my B&b.

I’ll be recapping our Maui trip soon, so stayed tuned for more on that front!

I’ve rounded up a few of the Memorial weekend sales that I’m eyeing. I have a whole list of things on my home wish list so I will definitely be doing some online shopping over the weekend.

Memorial Weekend Sales

J.Crew: 30% off full price items with code SWEET

Anthropologie: 40% off sale styles online

Ann Taylor: 40% off full price items with code SUMMER and an extra 50% off sale styles

Banana Republic:40% off your purchase with code BRSUMMER

Gap: 50% off everything with up to an extra 20% off everything with the code MORE – perfect for stocking up on PJs, swim trunks and rashguards!

Nordstrom: Half yearly sale is going on with 40% off lots of great pieces for summer

Pottery Barn/PBK: Buy More, Save More  – up to 25% off with code SAVEMORE online and in stores

Serena and Lily: 20% off with the code AMAZING

Ballard: 20% off up to $499; 25% off $500+

Have a great weekend, everyone! Happy shopping! 😉

 

Fashion + Style Loving Lately... Travel

Shades of blue I’m loving lately…

May 18, 2017

blue and white summer fashion, beach style

It was definitely tough coming back from a week long vacation. I am still dreaming of the beach, so I thought I’d share a few pieces that I’m loving right now inspired by the beautiful Maui beaches.

My mini-me keeps asking, “When are we going to the ocean, Mama?”  I hope again soon! In the meantime, maybe I’ll just dress like I’m going there. 😉

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Fashion + Style Working Mom

Casual workwear

May 10, 2017

suede blocked heels, red blazer, distressed denim, casual workwear, white Jcrew shirt

 

        I have been working a ton lately, so I thought it was fitting to share a workwear post.  This is very typical everyday work outfit for me. My 9-5, (or 9-7pm+, as many who work in my industry know) is a relatively casual environment. I can get away wearing jeans half the week unless I have client meetings. I work in PR & marketing, by the way. I feel like jeans can really be dressed up in the work environment, especially when you throw a blazer or other jacket/cardigan with them.  Because my day changes so rapidly and I often get pulled into meetings at the last minute where I have to look more put together, this is a go-to outfit using classics that I can wear during multiple seasons.

The jeans I’m wearing are probably a tad more casual than what I would wear to work most days, but if I don’t have any client meetings, I think these are great. I love the distressed ends and they were a steal, too. If I am wearing flats I would uncuff the ends.

I have been on the hunt of a red blazer that had arms long enough for a while. When I saw this one came in a tall, I knew it would become a closet staple. Speaking of closet staples, I bought these suede block heels  a few weeks ago when Ann Taylor had a 50% off sale. I’ve mentioned here, but I am such a big Ann Taylor shoe fan. Their shoes are stylish, comfortable, well-made and are always at such a great price point.

And, I couldn’t pass up this linen-like popover shirt. It has a texture to it that makes look more polished since linen can get pretty wrinkly.

I am so overdue for a house update, y’all. We moved into the #lucasfamily home about three weeks ago and it has been chaotic. Our house is probably 95% done, so we still have people installing closet shelves, doing touch up paint, etc. so we can’t get fully settled until that gets done. It’s sort of a stressful environment to live in, especially while having and toddler and working crazy hours the past two weeks. I’m so thankful we had some family come the first week to help unpack us because honestly, we just didn’t have the time. I was out of town one weekend for work two weeks ago, and we’re now in Maui for a much needed vacation.  Then, Ben leaves for a week for a work trip the day after we get back from Hawaii. We’re pretty much non-stop over here!

I have not been able to unpack many boxes except for in the evening once B goes to bed, and my energy level to do that is pretty much nonexistent. We’re slowly but surely getting there and now that a lot of the little things around the house are getting finished, I’m hoping to establish a normal routine again!

Shirt | Jeans | Blazer | Shoes

Fashion + Style Shopping

Yellow Dress for Spring

April 11, 2017
yellow anthropologie dress bridal shower baby shower

yellow dress for bridal, baby shower

yellow anthropologie dress bridal shower baby shower

 

yellow dress, bridal baby shower, feminine

yellow dress baby bridal shower wedding

‘Tis the season for spring weddings, baby and bridal showers, luncheons and more! When I saw this yellow dress, I knew it would be perfect for multiple events I have on the calendar in the next few weeks. If you’re doing an Easter brunch that’s a a bit more dressed up, then this could work for that, too.

What really drew me to this dress is the feminine and classic shape, so it’s one that I know I’ll wear for more than one season. I’m not afraid of color and I think anyone can wear any color out there, you just have to find the right shade for your skin tone. I’ve heard people say they can’t wear yellow before. I disagree. I’m definitely on the paler side right now ( don’t hate me for saying that); I think this shade looks great on people with really tan skin but would also look fantastic on someone with really fair skin, too. I have skin that tans pretty easily — I’ve just been cooped up for too long! Can’t wait for a beach vacation next month, and maybe I’ll be more tan the next time I’m sporting this outfit.

Another thing about this dress I love is how there’s a subtle pink layer underneath the dress peeking through the yellow lace-like fabric. That makes it go well with the clutch. By the way, this clutch definitely looks more pink in person vs. what’s on the site here.

I recently picked up these earrings, too, which are so, so simple yet unique and can be dressed up and down. With a bright colored dress, I think it’s better to go with understated jewelry like these earrings and bracelet. You can scoop up these affordable earrings I’m wearing during another great ShopBop sale going on now! Early access started today, and you can use code “Event17” for 20% off or 25% off purchases of $500+ or more. Sale is through April 14 at 11:59 p.m.

Happy spring shopping!

Dress | Clutch | Shoes (old) similar here | Earrings | Bracelet (old) similar here | Sunglasses

Home Design + Decor

Lucas Family Home Progress: Quick catch up and wood floors

April 5, 2017
white oak, solid wood floors, custom home

wood floors, white oak, custom home

Oh, where do I even begin…

If I had to give any advice to anyone considering building a home, I would say try to stock up on patience because you’ll need it for this process! It’s been a crazy, crazy few weeks, and it’s been hard to even have the energy to write about it. We went through a very frustrating few weeks because essentially nothing was happening. Frustrated doesn’t begin to describe it. Let me try to sum it up for you since my last update on the home front which you can read here.

  1. We sold our current house. Yay! We had multiple offers, so we are very thankful for that. The clock started ticking  once we went under contract in Feb. We did not tell our builder we had the option for a lease back and instead told him that we had to be out by the third week in March to light a fire under him. It’s April, and we’re not in our house so that didn’t really work…
  2. We found out our builder was basically misappropriating funds. What does this mean? We would give him money, and then he would not pay subcontractors. The whole time we’ve been building, we have to sign over funds from our construction loan for the work that will be done in the next phase. We found out there were multiple companies who were owed money from Nov. – Jan. for work that had already been done or mostly completed.  Because  they weren’t getting paid, they weren’t coming back to finish the job or delivering materials for other parts of the job. For example, the company who supplies all the trim, molding and doors for the house wouldn’t start making our custom front door because they weren’t paid for all the materials from months ago. Our builder said, “I’ve been working with them for 20 years, that’s BS.” It’s BS that a company wants to get paid for a service they provided? How ludicrous, right? *Insert sarcasm times 10 here*
  3. We let the bank in on how terrible the situation was and they were pretty much livid. By this time, we had already extended our construction loan twice. To have it renewed a third time is pretty rare, and they were pretty much fed up with the builder like us. We made a plan to bypass our builder and start working with the subcontractors directly and issuing them checks vs. having funds given to the builder.
  4.  To fire our builder could cause more issues, putting our house into a holding period, so we were basically being held hostage by his poor planning and mistakes. He pretty much ruined all relationships with subcontractors by being so late on payments. We consulted with multiple attorneys. We threatened legal action. We actually got in contact with another couple who is also building a house with our builder and they were having a similar, frustrating experience with him. We ended up meeting them in person, and walking them through our house which is much farther along than their house is. It was nice to meet very nice people to commiserate with. Half of this couple is an attorney who specializes in construction law. It was shocking to us that our builder would be this daft.
  5. In an effort to get out house done, we started dealing with the subcontractors and started paying them directly. Ben basically took over as the builder, lining up workers, paying people what they were owed even though that money was already dispersed to the builder. The hope was we would just get that money back after suing the builder.
  6. Ben had a little come-to-Jesus talk with the builder, who gave us a mediocre apology and promised to “finish our house.” Once everyone was paid and work was being lined up, we allowed the builder to get involved again, but we still would not issue any funds directly to him. All trust was lost here, so I wasn’t about to sign over any money to him.
  7. Work started happening pretty regularly again. There was still so much poor planning on the builder’s part  with the coordination of getting people in at certain times, etc. But, things were at least moving along.
  8. The countertops were put in the house. We did marble throughout and everything looks great! We went back and found some different marble a couple of weeks ago because the place we got it from, 3KA Stone, had some new options come in from Turkey. I love the clean look of white marble.
  9. Painting happened recently and that was A LOT of work to get done. A ton of prep work goes into painting. We chose colors months ago, which was such a hard process. We kept things pretty neutral and added some color on cabinets, Braden’s room and the bathrooms. I will probably add more color in the dining room and other areas once we figure out furniture and how I want to decorate everything. I will probably do a whole other post on paint at some point.
  10. Floors were stained a few days ago, as you can see from the pictures. It was hard to decide the color. Part of me wanted to do a lighter stain, which you see so much of now in modern farmhouse style homes or coastal homes. But, I’m pretty traditional and wanted a traditional stain would stand the test of time. We ended up doing a color called coffee brown. Fitting since I love me some coffee. 😉 The pictures were taken before the flooring people put down a coat of polyurethane, which seals the floors and makes them look so much better. They look a bit dull in these pictures but look great now that they’re sealed. They’ll get another coat of this later this week and be 100% done by the weekend. Will post more pics soon.

So, that’s pretty much the abbreviated version of what’s gone on as of late. We closed on our house last week so we’re renters at this point. Our house looks like it’s been hit by a tornado right now with boxes in corners everywhere. I can’t wait to be out of this transitional period. It’s driving me a little batty, and I’m pretty much run down. I have been sick for the past week and finally went to the ENT and got on antibiotics for a sinus and ear infection after not being able to swallow all weekend. Fun times, ya’ll.

The end is in sight. More to come soon!

 

Fashion + Style Home Design + Decor

Shades of Green

March 17, 2017

green accessories, green home accessories, green clothing

Partially inspired by St. Patrick’s Day, this post is also inspired by a color palette I’ve really been drawn to lately. A few green wardrobe items have been in my closet for awhile, but I’ve also picked up a couple more lately. I love green home accessories as well. Jewel tones are probably my favorite shade, but I don’t really discriminate! Greenery is the 2017 PANTONE color of the year, and I love the natural feel it brings to a space. I’m heavily leaning on painting some cabinets a moody green color in the #lucasfamilyhome. My husband thinks I’m crazy! Stay tuned to see if I get my way. 😉 I really need to make that decision in the next week or so.

Here are a couple of green items that I already have in my closet and a few more to get the wheels turning for you. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Cheers!

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Fashion + Style Local

Statement Earrings

March 1, 2017

Statement earrings, tassel earrings, lightweight, pompom accessories 

 

statement earrings, lightweight, tassel, pompom accessories

statement earrings, tassel

 

These earrings scream “let’s day drink on the patio.” 🙂  I certainly don’t shy away from a bold pair of earrings as you can see here. I’ve seen a lot of lightweight tassel earrings and pompoms on accessories lately, so I wanted to embrace this trend just in time for spring!  I will be packing these for my much-needed beach vacation in a a few weeks. Just need that house to be done…

Sometimes statement earrings are hard on the ears, but these aren’t heavy at all like other beaded earrings. I love that they have a mix of a neutral grey color to balance out the bright pom poms. I will definitely pair these earrings with an airy white dress or maxi once we officially switch seasons.

There’s a ton more where these came from at Elaine Turner. They have SO many bright resort pieces right now and a whole selection of these vivid earrings made by Peruvian jewelry designer Alejandra Aspillaga.

Elaine Turner is hosting a spring trunk show at three of its locations in Houston over the new next few days, so you can get your hands on some of these beauties.

Houston friends: definitely stop by to see all the different styles! There are a ton of colorful options that are so, so perfect for spring and summer.

Thursday, March 2 / Elaine Turner BLVD Place, 5-8 p.m.

Friday, March 3 / Elaine Turner Rice Village, 12- 3 p.m.

Saturday, March 4 / Elaine Turner CityCentre 11-3 p.m.

Lastly, in case you didn’t know, there is a MAJOR Shopbop sale going on right now.  The ‘Buy More, Save More’ event is the perfect opportunity to stock up on warm weather clothing! Use the code GOBIG17 through March 4 to take advantage of the savings.

Outfit details: Statement Earrings c/o Elaine Turner | White tee | Denim shorts (old) similar here | Handbag

Fashion + Style

Gingham + White distressed denim

February 27, 2017

 

I feel like this outfit screams Southern mom-on-the-go. Even on the weekends, it seems like we’re going a mile a minute. I can’t tell you how many trade offs with Braden we did this weekend, picking him from Ben so he could run an errand or vice versa.

Let’s face it: we pretty much skipped winter this year, so I’m busting out all the brights and whites.  I’ve always been drawn to navy and white combo so I definitely gravitate toward a gingham print. This long-sleeved top is really lightweight so it also would be perfect paired with white shorts when the days get even hotter in Houston Plus, it has this fun button-up back detail which makes it a little breezy. If you know me, I wear a lot of flats. It’s just so much easier sometimes to prioritize comfort first. I tend to wear a lot of colored shoes, which always brings a little something extra to neutral outfits.

I LOVE white denim, and I recently picked up another pair that’s only $59. I don’t like to spend a lot on distressed denim, and this pair is SO soft. And, they’re long enough. That’s always an issue for me since I’m nearly 5’10 and pretty much all legs.

Outfit details: Gingham top | White distressed denim | Orange flats (old) similar here | B & B necklace (charms and necklace separate pieces)

I’ve linked to a few other gingham prints that I wouldn’t mind having in my closet:

Gingham off-shoulder top |button up gingham | Navy gingham shirt for men – I have been to events to parties and multiple guys have  been wearing this shirt!

I know I am overdue on sharing the progress of the #lucasfamilyhome. A quick update on the home front: good news is we sold our current house, and we’re closing at the end of March.  Totally need to start packing by the way. However, on the new house, that process is pretty much been a nightmare.  We’ve been having a lot of issues with our builder and therefore, we’ve experienced a ton of delays. It’s extremely frustrating. So frustrating, in fact, that I’ve tried to sit down and write about it but I honestly just get really angry when I rehash the BS our builder has put us through. I will share more, but for now, I’ll just say it’s like having a second toddler.  Poor listening skills, lying to your face, selective retention, etc. Fun times. (I will say, Braden is really easy-going toddler, so I can’t complain too much about my mini me.)

 

 

Fashion + Style

5 reasons why the off-the-shoulder trend is sticking around

February 10, 2017
Love Wall Heights, Off the Shoulder, OTS

OTS, off the shoulder

With nice, 70-something weather in Houston, it’s hard not to start thinking about spring already. I definitely embraced the off-the-shoulder trend last year as you can see here and here. I’ve reshifted things in my closet to bring out those OTS pieces from 2016, and I may have already purchased one or two this year. That said, I think this silhouette will stick around for awhile. Plus, I think the OTS and its sister variation, the cold-shoulder top,  work really well for so many reasons:

1) You can eat a lot of queso and it hides all the bloating.

2) It’s pretty forgiving for women still in post pregnancy transition/30-something metabolism slow down transition. Takeaway: it’s forgiving.

3) Toting around a 10 lb. handbag and 30 lb. toddler can be a little rough. Add a coffee in one hand, and it’s just too much. I don’t have time to think about sucking in when I’m holding a human and trying not to spill my coffee.

4) It has an effortless but still put-together quality about it.

5) You know those days when you feel like your stomach is eh, your butt is big, etc.? Guess what? Shoulders don’t really get fat (not overnight at least). Just saying.

So, bring those last season OTS tops and dresses out of retirement from last season and pick up another one along the way. Here are a few that I have my eye on:

Off shoulder bell sleeve top | Long-sleeve OTS top | OTS dress with smocked neckline (Perfect for a beach holiday!) | Yellow OTS dress |

Outfit details: Off the shoulder blouse | Jeans | Sole Society shoes (old) but similar here and here | handbag

Hope everyone has a fun weekend, spending it with those you love!