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Fashion + Style

Burgundy Shirtdress with High Low Hem

November 8, 2017
burgundy dress rachel parcell

I mentioned that this was my favorite color of the season, and when it’s paired with a classic shirt dress silhouette, I call that a win. Add to cart with no hesitation.

I am just so impressed with the quality of this material. It looks luxe like satin but it’s actually a polyester blend, making it a fabric that doesn’t wrinkle. Total score. I love satin and other materials that, unfortunately, are typically dry clean only but the downsides of these fabrics are that they wrinkle after just sitting for a few minutes. This dress, however, didn’t have that problem, and I just love the classic style of it, so even though it feels very on-trend right now, I do believe this is a piece I’ll keep for a while that I can wear for years. The way I’ve styled it is probably how I’d wear it for church, but would probably wear a closed-toed heel for a work meeting or throw on a pair of booties plus a chunky sweater cardigan when it gets cooler. What I love most about this dress is the high low hem. I think it makes the dress.

Sizing tip: I am wearing a small in this dress for reference.  I’m always on the fence about sizing because I have broad shoulders but I would say this dress is true to size. I did buy a small in a top from this line, and it was a tad small, so I’m pretty sure I’m a medium in tops. I’m sure many of us follow Rachel Parcell, and I love that she has created these feminine pieces that aren’t totally breaking the bank.

rachel parcell dress, burgundy shirt dress

I think this shirtdress might be sold out in some size, but I know that happened a week or so ago then it got restocked, so check back! Also, I’ve linked to a few other burgundy dresses that are just as versatile as this one.

  • Another classic style, this wrap dress would look great worn to a winter wedding or holiday party.
  • Everyone needs a least one cozy sweater dress!
  • Well, maybe you need two sweater dresses 🙂 Love these ruffle sleeves.
  • This simple knit dress is a a great basic and only $42.

Fashion + Style Loving Lately... Shopping

Loving lately: Burgundy

November 3, 2017
burgundy fall picks

Burgundy, bordeaux, wine, merlot, oxblood  — whatever you want to call it, I’m all about it! This lovely hue might be my favorite of this season. I have an outfit or two coming to the blog soon so stay tuned next week for the first. 😉

I love the richness of this color and how it makes everything look a little luxe, especially in autumnal materials like velvet or suede. This color has been around for a while and I’ve dug this off-the-shoulder top out from last season to wear once again. I just can’t get enough. I know this hue is here to stay for many fall seasons moving forward!

Here are a few of my favorite finds:

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

  • This simple v-neck tee such a great basic! I have several of these tees in different colors and I’m definitely adding this one to my shopping cart. A simple tee and cardigan plus jeans is a go-to outfit for me!
  • I snagged these lightweight tassel earrings a few weeks ago when they were 50 percent off. I got a ton of compliments on them when I wore for the first time last week.
  • I own a ton of red shoes, but none that are a deep red or burgundy. I’m a big fan of Tory Burch flats, and I have several that I’ve had for years. I find them to be really comfy. I believe I’ve had my classic black Torys  for 12 years, and they’ve been resoled twice, so definitely worth it if you take good care of your shoes.
  • This cute tassel clutch is a great size, and I have the red version of it.
  • This simple long-sleeve dress is something I picked up recently and it fits really well and can be dressed up or down. I wear a medium for reference.

Any other burgundy picks I should add to this list? I’d love to hear!

Houston is pretty much shut down today to celebrate the Astros win. So pumped for the city, but did not want to deal with the downtown traffic and having a toddler there during naptime. Momma needs a break. 😉 Have a good weekend!

LL

Fashion + Style

Leopard Faux Fur Vest

November 2, 2017
jcrew faux fur vest, leopard, fall style

faux fur vest, jcrew leopardjcrew faux fur vest, leopard, fall styleleopard faux fur, fall style, jcrewjcrew faux fur vest, leopard

You’ve probably heard it before, but leopard is really considered a neutral nowadays. While this faux fur vest isn’t as versatile as a pair of leopard flats, it’s certainly still worth adding to your fall wardrobe! This vest is currently under $80 right now, and it’s so worth it. It’s super soft, and my kid proceeded to pet me repeatedly when he saw me wearing this two weeks ago.

I paired it with other basics — a chambray shirt and distressed black denim — all of which I’ve had in my closet for years to keep it casual. I would also pair it with a navy striped turtleneck (as pictured on the retailer’s website) or a simple black dress like this. I love that it has pockets, too (as any good vest should!)

P.S. J.Crew has so many good things this season, and they’re having an awesome sale right now so hop on that before it ends!

Not only is leopard a good idea when it comes to closet staples, but also it has become quite popular on the home decor front. I’ve been eyeing a few leopard pieces for several rooms in our house. Wouldn’t this rug be amazing in an office or in a master closet? Also, I’m loving these pillows!

Vest | Chambray Shirt | Jeans | Booties (Sole Society – old, but they have tons of great options) |Handbag (Marc Jacobs – old)

Leopard must-haves that I currently own or have nearly identical versions of these pieces

Scarf

Flats

Slides

Cardigan

Clutch

Pumps

Leopard Wish list

Booties

Blazer

Rug – I want this rug for my office  but need to convince my husband!

Pillows

Anymore I should add to my list? Let me know. 😉

jcrew faux fur vest, leopard

Family Fashion + Style

Plaid for Mom and the Mini-me

October 23, 2017
mom and mini matching, mommy and me, navy plaid button up jcrew,

I never thought I’d be one who would play matchy matchy with her kid. Honestly, I found it a little obnoxious when moms did this, but then I realized that I sort of love it when I see families do it…in small doses. Tell me I’m not the only one!?  Honestly, there is so much I didn’t think I would do until I became a mom to a sassy little boy. Monster Jam – check. Learn all the names of construction equipment – check. I’m currently re-learning the different types of dinosaurs. #boymom

There’s only a short window when you can be twins with your mini,  so I’m going to take advantage while I can! I think it would be 10x worse if I had a girl. This is the first time I’ve really done this with Braden, and it wasn’t even my intention at first. I received this plaid shirt in the mail and went into the store to make some other returns, and I spotted this little mini version of it and immediately scooped it up! I think little boys in button down shirts are just the cutest.

I’m also a big fan of this classic shirt style. I have quite the collection, and I wear them weekly for work and casual wear. While I’m no stranger to  button downs, this one is on serious rotation partially because of the mom and mini aspect of it, but also because plaid just screams fall to me. For reference, I order a tall in most shirts from here, and they fit me so much better. (I am wearing a 6 T to avoid button-gaping.) I love this shirt because it instantly makes you look fall-ready and would look perfect with a black or navy skirt for church, too.

jcrew plaid, mom and mini, mom and toddler

matching mom and mini, jcrew plaid

toddler fashion, mom and me, jcrew plaid

We’re all about the fist bumps.

plaid button down, mom and mini, plaid jcrew shirt

mom and me, toddler fashion, mom and toddler fashion, jcrew plaid shirt

Of all the things I’ve had a chance to do in this life, I’m most proud of just being this kid’s mom.  (Sappy,  I know, but so, so true!)

Mom: Plaid button down shirt | jeans | Booties  – Sole Society (old) but similar here | Necklace

Mini: Plaid oxford shirt | Shorts – Baby Zara (old) | Shoes – Baby Gap but similar here

Fashion + Style Shopping

Velvet pieces I’m loving lately…

October 20, 2017

velvet, velvet accessories, velvet trends

I had a burgundy velvet blazer from college (I’m talking 2004, people) that I recently gave away to Goodwill. Maybe I should have kept it! The cut was a little dated so I don’t feel bad about it. I was originally on the fence about velvet. But, I’ve found a few pieces that look luxe that have made me have a change of heart. I’ve rounded up a few pieces I have my eye on.

I think the key to wearing velvet is to let it be your standout piece. Don’t go overboard and wear multiple velvet pieces. I recently picked up a pair of wine-colored booties, and a pair of floral velvet booties which were at steal at 40 % off. I don’t think they’re available anymore, but here is another great pair for under $60!

I tend to gravitate toward velvet accessories. This is an easy way to jump on this trend without spending a ton. How cute are these earrings?! I probably wouldn’t wear a velvet dress but I love the idea of a velvet blazer. Most of the time blazers don’t go out style and this black one is timeless, so worth the price in my opinion.

Be careful when hopping on trends like velvet. The No. 1 thing I would recommend is to not buy something and then just never wear it. This could very well be the case if you buy something velvet. Be realistic about your lifestyle. If I bought a velvet dress, I would probably wear it once this winter and be done with it. I just don’t have anything planned right now where a velvet dress would make sense for me. Perhaps explore Rent the Runway to hop on this trend or just stick to something really budget-friendly like the earrings.

There are some great sales going on this weekend where you can find some great velvet finds like some of these that I’ve included here!

1 | 2| 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7|8 | 9 | 10

Anthropologie: 25 % for ANTHRO perks members on 10/20

GAP: 40% with the code MORE (good through 10/20 at 11:59 ET)

LOFT: 40 % off everything with code FRIENDS ( good through 10/22 at 3am EST)

Ann Taylor: 50% off everything with code ALLTHEWAY (good through 10/23 at 3 am EST)

Banana Republic: 40% purchases $200+ with code BRTREAT (good through 10/23 at 11:59pm ET)

Happy shopping!

Fashion + Style Food

Fall Favorite Recipe: Pumpkin Bread

October 18, 2017

fall baking, kitchen

There are two things I believe you should go big or go home on: baked goods and cheese. I think lowfat or low-calorie homemade baked goods usually taste terrible or unsatisfying. Same on the cheese front. I would rather just indulge in something delicious and satisfying in a smaller portion so I don’t feel ripped off.  Perhaps I just haven’t encountered a good recipe for a lowfat or healthy cake, pie or bread that I like, so I am certainly open to suggestions. I feel this way about ice cream, too, but I think there are some good alternatives with fro yo and coconut milk ice cream. But, I stand by the belief that you live only once and you might as well use some sugar or butter instead of unsweetened apple sauce to make something taste yummy. 😉

I eat pretty healthy most of the time, which basically forces my family to eat healthy, but as we enter my favorite season of the year, I want to start baking some of my go-to recipes that are more of a splurge from our regular eating habits. The world calls this season fall or autumn, but seasons can be so hit or miss in Texas.

So, I like to call this pumpkin season!  ‘Tis the season for all things pumpkin, including this pumpkin bread my friend Jeanette shared with me years ago that I believe she got from her MIL. I’ve adapted it a little over the years since I’ve made it so much, and I’ve included those notes below. I try to eat organic most of the time, and I’ve made note of that below in the ingredient list, but use absolutely whatever is in your fridge.

I haven’t met a single person who didn’t LOVE this recipe. Braden is a big fan, and if he knows we have it, he’ll request it multiple times a day until it’s gone! It also makes such great gifts for friends, teachers, neighbors, coworkers, etc. I’ve passed the recipe along to a ton of people, so I thought it was only fitting to share it here as well.

Ingredient List

3 1/2 cups flour

3 cups organic sugar (I reduced from the suggested 3 1/2 cups)

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons nutmeg

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

4 large organic eggs, beaten

1 cup water

1 cup vegetable oil ( I have also used Canola oil and it turns out the same.)

2 teaspoons vanilla ( I use Mexican vanilla  – my fave which I have also used in this recipe.)

1 15 ounce can organic pumpkin ( I stock up on Trader Joe’s canned organic pumpkin every year!)

1 cup chopped pecans

Directions

Sift dry ingredients together. Add remaining ingredients; mix well. Pour into 2 well greased and floured loaf pans. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.* Test with toothpick. Can be frozen for later use. (I’ve never done this but I’m told you can.) Refrigerate after defrosting.

*Some ovens vary. My oven tends to be on the quicker side, and I just watch it and it usually ends up around 50 minutes bake time. It also depends on the loaf pans. When I make mini loafs, they definitely take less time.

I love this fall loaf pan my friend gifted me a few years ago. Williams Sonoma still has it and it makes such a pretty loaf perfect for the fall season. Another pan I love is this ruffled loaf pan. Also, I  always stock up on decorative, disposable mini loaf pans every time I’m at HomeGoods. These are perfect for teacher gifts, which apparently must be given at all times throughout the year. Who knew? I’m kidding (sort of). I didn’t discover this until this past year, so I’m all about the homemade baked goods as gifts since it’s something I can easily whip up with very little notice since I  seem to forget that I need to do this until the night before. Also, this kitchen towel, y’all. Kind of the most adorable pumpkin thing I’ve picked up as of late. How cute would this be as a gift with some homemade pumpkin bread?!

 

 

Breaking out the fall clothes

Pumpkin season also means cozier fall clothes. I love this tie bell sleeve sweater in an oatmeal color. It’s pretty lightweight, so it’s very wearable right now. I love the tie detail on the sleeves- very on trend right now, but the color of this sweater still makes it classic so I know I’ll wear it beyond this season. The creamy color makes it versatile for wearing with normal denim or colored denim. These jeans are so comfy and are less than $70! The hem makes them ideal for wearing with ankle booties. I’ve worn this top with wine-colored denim and some burnt orange jeans (two of my fave fall hues!), too.

fall loaf pan with leaves | pumpkin kitchen towel | mini loaf pans (similar) | marble serving board | tie bell sleeve top | Jeans | necklace

Let me know if you have any pumpkin recipes or other fall recipes I should try. I love to cook this time of year, and I plan to share more recipes soon!

LL

 

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. 😉

1 | 2 | 3 | 4| 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

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