Marley Lilly Gift Guide

When I think of winter, I think of oversized sweaters that you can cozy up in while watching endless hours of
Netflix or effortlessly toss on and pair with some comfortable boots for a chic but comfy look to enjoy a night out (or in) with family and friends.

When I stumbled across Marley&Lilly I absolute fell in LOVE with all their monogrammed clothes, purses and accessories. I love a good monogramed item! The thing I love most about their site is they have such a large array of items that can fit anyone’s style and budget – you can’t beat that! They have so many fun pieces that would be perfect for layering for the winter months!
Midwest’s winters are long and cold so it’s nice having the holidays with family to break them up a bit – especially Christmas! While checking out MilleyandLILLYs page I found so many wonderful (personalized) gift ideas for family and friends for Christmas this year. Some of my favorite items I found are THIS and THIS. When it comes to giving gifts, I love giving monogrammed items – I think it adds an extra thoughtful something to the gift. And guess what? You still have time to place your orders to get them before the holidays!

Weather you like large monogrammed items or small, Milleyandlilly has something that fits everyone’s style! I have rounded up my favorite Christmas ideas for you below! Enjoy, and be sure to check them out! 

Have a great day, friends!



6 Things I’ve Learned In My First 6 Months of Blogging

Lesson #1: Believe In Yourself

When I started this blog the first thing I was worried about was what other people (I personally knew) would think of me.  Starting a blog is putting yourself out there – and being the “model” in the pictures is REALLY putting yourself out there.  I was nervous, like really nervous.

But I decided to push forward and push all those negative thoughts I was having to the side.  I finally came to the realization that just like anything in life, you cannot convince people to like you (or your brand), or care about what you say if you do not first believe in yourself. If you think you cannot, then you definitely will not. Don’t be your own worst enemy – go for it! 

Lesson # 2: Be Authentic

Writing comes pretty natural to me – I have an ever moving mind and have a lot to say (sometimes it’s hard to reel myself in and not make my blogs 9,999 paragraphs long.)   Grammatical stuff is NOT my strong suit, (thank goodness for my husband who is great at proof reading.)

I love talking about fashion and family and relating my stories of fashion to things that have happened in my life. I love encouraging others to be who they are and to own it.

To write about anything else besides relating my stories to my real life would not geared toward my target audience, and would not come from my heart – I would never write about something just for the “numbers” on Instagram – I have to believe in what I am putting out there. 

Lesson # 3: Your success is totally up to you!

The results (much like anything in life) or growth of your blog are a direct reflection of the effort you put in. I thought about doing a blog for about 6 months before I got enough courage to just go for it.  I knew going in that I REALLY wanted to do this, so that alone has motivated me to stay with it, post daily and continuously try and grow as a blogger.

I think the toughest thing about blogging is you might put a ton of effort into it and not see results or growth for a while (and I mean months and months) but if you keep at it, once you do start seeing some movement in your blog it is so rewarding.  Maybe it’s a share from a company you love, or a post from a fellow blogger you admire, or an opportunity from a company you never expected.  I just recently got into RewardStyle and that was my ultimate goal – I am so so excited!  The success can come in so many shapes and forms and don’t be afraid to celebrate your successes, big or small, because you earned it! 

Lesson 4: Do not underestimate the power of social media!

Your family, friends and blogger friends can only get your blog so far. Social media will elevate your brand and your blog, use them, and use them all! Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.  I have never been a “marketing” type, I mean, I am a social worker, and branding and marketing myself is not my forte!  I have taken a few pointers from my husband (who is an excellent sales-type entrepreneur, he is the definition of the quote from the movie ‘Tommy Boy’ “he could sell a ketchup popsicle to a women in white gloves”.  He has taught me to step out of my comfort zone, reach out to brands and companies and post on all social platforms. Thanks babe, I love you!

Lesson 5: Be Consistent!

This is the#1 way of increasing traffic to your blog; posting consistently. Giving your readers new and quality posts and photos to read and look at increases engagement which in turn increases your page views and followers.  I post new pictures on my Instagram and Facebook at least 6 days a week and am trying to post 2 blog posts/week on my actual blog.  Do what works for you and your schedule – you know your followers best!

Lesson 6: Connect with other Bloggers! 

This is the best part of blogging (to me), meeting other (fabulous) like-minded women! I have met so many inspiring, sweet ladies! There are so many blogging Facebook groups, Pinterest group boards, etc. to meet people in the same niche as you! These different kind of groups give you a great platform to share your content, and connect with others to help grow your (and their) brand! 

Let me tell you from personal experience – once I got over my insecurities and gained the confidence to actually do this blog, it has been a great learning and growing experience for me.  I definitely stepped outside of my comfort zone, and I am so glad I did.  I have met so many amazing women and have already got to work with some pretty incredible companies. I look forward to seeing what other opportunities open to me in the future.


Rules for Wearing White

With summer coming to a close, let’s talk about the “no white after Labor Day” rule and, specifically, white jeans. This was year two since I took the plunge and bought white jeans.  It took me this long because I used to think they were not flattering or they could only be worn only in the summer months (and let’s be honest I don’t wear jeans too often in the summertime so they would of just sat in my closet.) The “no white after Labor Day” rule is no more, and personally I love this trend.  Wearing white jeans after Labor Day is a great way to get the most out of your clothing without having to buy anything new.

I am sure there are still some of you out there doubting the ability of white jeans to be both slimming AND season-less (and there are a few tips and tricks to wearing white appropriately after Labor Day) so here’s a little tutorial on how to wear white jeans year-round!

  1. First and foremost you must find the perfect white (non-transparent) pair of white jeans – THESE are my absolute favorite and are a steal at only $64 (currently 30% off with code: VIP) I also love THIS pair and THIS pair.
  2. You have to style them with cold weather shoes – I personally love pairing them with booties or knee high boots. I really love pairing them with THIS pair (shown in pics), THIS pair (currently 33% off) and THIS pair.
  3. Pair them with heavier, warmer fabrics and colors. My personal favorites are pairing it with flannel, grey, chambray, black or tan/rust colored tops or pops of pink– some of my favorite sweaters to wear with white jeans are THIS, THIS (shown in pics) and THIS

And that’s it! 

Wearing white after Labor Day is no longer frowned upon and this Midwestern gal absolutely loves the white pant trend!

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day friends!

Marley Lilly Obsessed

Fall weather is just around the corner here in the Midwest, and this girl is pretty excited to say the least!  Apple orchards, pumpkin patches (well, pumpkin anything really), haunted houses, beer festivals, football games, the leaves changing colors and last but not least, cozy sweaters are what fall-weather dreams are made of. 

When I think of fall, I think of over-sized sweaters that you can cozy up in while watching endless hours of Netflix or effortlessly toss on and pair with some comfortable boots for a chic but comfy look to enjoy a bonfire with family and friends.

When I stumbled across Marley Lilly I absolutely fell in LOVE with all their monogrammed clothes, purses and accessories.  I love a good monogrammed item!  The thing I love most about their site is they have such a large array of items that can fit anyone’s style and budget – you can’t beat that!  They have so many fun pieces that would be perfect for layering when the fall and winter months roll in – I am absolutely loving THIS, THIS, THIS and THIS.

I am not going to lie, the only down fall to a Midwest fall is what comes after, the dreaded winters months, cue sad face.  Midwest winters are long and cold so it’s nice having the holidays with family to break them up a bit – especially Thanksgiving and Christmas! While checking out Marley Lilly page I found so many wonderful gift ideas for friends and family for Christmas this year.  Some of my favorite items are THIS, THIS and THIS.  When it comes to giving gifts, I love giving monogrammed items – I think it adds an extra thoughtful something to the gift. 

Weather you like large monogrammed items or small, Marley Lilly has something that fits everyone’s style!  Hope everyone is just as ready as I am for some fall weather, because she’s just around the corner!

Have a great day, friends!


A Suede Skirt for Every Occasion

Coming up with different looks besides the typical jeans and top in the colder Midwest temps can sometimes be difficult.  I have always been one to go straight to a good sweater or swing dress in the colder temps (which, let’s be honest I still plan to do all fall and winter long.)

This year I wanted to step out of my “normal” swing-sweater dress comfort zone a little and purchase a suede skirt to rock this fall and winter.  If you know me, you know I like to purchase things I can wear several different ways.  In my last post “these boots were made for walkin” I rounded up my favorite fall must-have boots.  I just recently purchased the perfect pair of black over-the-knee boots.   Because of this, I chose a neutral colored skirt (black) to style this fall and winter with my new over-the-knee boots. 

When rockin’ a skirt in the fall or winter, shoes or boots add an extra needed statement to the outfit – (and let’s be honest, sometimes in the Midwest the extra boot length on the leg is needed for the colder temps.)

When styling a skirt this winter here are a few tips:

  1. Don’t be afraid to show a little leg in the cooler temps! In my opinion, showing a little knee in the winter is 100% acceptable and 100% adorable. Adding knee-high boots with a skirt is a way of adding an extra “layer” to the legs but still showing a little knee!
  2. Pick a neutral skirt so you can style it several ways! Now don’t get me wrong, I am all about adding pops of color in outfits – but add the pop of color with a top. Having a neutral skirt is an easy piece to ALWAYS go to in your closet, that way you can color when you want, and keep it simple when you want. Having a black or tan skirt in your closet is a must have fall and winter item.
  3. Different fabric tops, same skirt! Suede skirts are so extremely versatile. You can basically wear ANY top with these skirts – dress it up or dress it down. You can tuck shirts in, leave them untucked, wear fitted shirts, sweaters, t-shirts – the options are honestly endless!

This year I am all about stepping a little out of my comfort zone, not only with clothing, but other things!! Stay tuned to see some other ways I am stepping out of the zone!

Have a great day friends!



Outfit details:

Suede Skirt /Black Over-the-Knee Boots / Flat Shoes / Purple Top /  Grey sweater / Grey Top /Leather Jacket

These boots were made for walkin…

There are a few staple items every woman needs in her closet come fall, and a fabulous pair of boots is one of them. 

When it comes to splurging there are some items I am willing to splurge on. I stated in one of my previous blog posts, ‘For the love of Curly Fries’, a purse is one of those “splurge items” – because a good purse can last a lifetime.

Another item to add to that list that I personally am willing to splurge on is a nice pair of boots. For starters, and the most obvious reason being, you walk in them, like all day, and who wants to walk in an uncomfortable pair of shoes all day every day? Nobody – nobody wants to walk a mile in an uncomfortable pair of boots. And secondly, a good pair of boots can last years upon years. Boot styles rarely go out of style and there are a few that will not be going out of style anytime soon, if ever.

I have rounded up my favorite fall boot styles of the year…

1. Ankle booties – I have never been much of an ankle bootie fan – not because they aren’t absolutely adorable, more because I just haven’t found the right fit – I just recently got THIS pair from Nordstrom’s and it was love at first sight. Some others I am absolute crushing over are THIS pair and THIS pair.

2. Over-The-Knee boots – There is nothing hotter right now then a good pair of over-the-knee boots. They are extremely versatile and can be worn with literally anything – shorts, pants, skirts and dresses! Finding the perfect fit can sometimes be difficult, as you want them to be tight enough to stay up, but not too tight where you can’t bend your knees when you sit down. I found THIS perfect Sam Edelman pair at DSW. The fit and comfort of these boots are both a 10 on 10 in my book – and they also come in the color tan, which is the most versatile color shoe to own. Some other boots I am head of boots for are THIS pair and THIS pair.

3. Sock Booties – Nothing is trendier than a great pair of sock boots. I have been eyeing THIS pair for months and haven’t yet pulled the trigger – but plan to ASAP! These boots are perfect to pair with skinny jeans and skirts! Some of my other favorite pair of sock boots is THIS pair and THIS pair.

4. Western Boots – This style of boot has been “in” a few seasons now, and I don’t think it will be going out of style anytime soon, if ever. Most ankle boots I have seen have a “western” like look to them so when I found these over-the knee/at the knee boots that also have a fabulous western-like look to them I HAD to scoop them up! THESE boots will literally be taking me through the next few seasons – they are the perfect shade of tan and go with almost everything in my closet! I also love THIS pair and THIS pair.

No matter what the “trend” is currently a great pair of boots will never go out of style.

Happy Shopping, friends!






My best friends wedding!

I had the honor of being a part of my best friend’s weddings in Punta Cana this summer. We stayed at the beautiful resort, Now Larimar.  Anyone who knows me knows I HATE and I mean HATE public speaking.  I am an absolute nervous wreck when having to give them.  I am a crier, like full blown – weddings, movies, happy-exciting times, even commercials get me going (Sarah McLachlan’s ASPCA commercial – come on who doesn’t that get to cry?)  This speech was no different. 

The key to a successful speech (for me, the crier) is to add in funny stories with all the sentimental stuff – that way I can get breaths in between all my tears.

Jaimi and I have been best friends for 16 years.  Our relationship is like no other – we are very similar and very different in several ways.  When it comes to love we are very similar we are both hopeless romantics – I love that about her – I always said she would be the perfect girlfriend (now wife) – probably the reason she makes such a great friend.  We are also very different – Jaimi is a straight shooter – she say’s what she means and means what she says. Me, you ask?  I am a full-blown people pleaser – I envy her on that.  She motivates me, supports me and loves me for exactly who I am and I could not love her more for that.

Below is my Matron of Honor speech I gave at her wedding in June and some pictures of her Bachelorette party and wedding in Punta Cana!


“I want to start off by saying that every once in a while two people meet, and you know it’s meant to be.  You know instantly that the stars have aligned and their paths would bring them together regardless what the world may through their way.  This was clearly the case 16 years ago, when Jaimi and I first met.

Like I said, I’ve known Jaimi for the past 16 years.  We know more about each other than we probably care to.  When you’ve been close to someone for this long, you gather a lot of juicy secrets and hilariously embarrassing stories, however, I will spare you from those stories because 1. It would take me days to tell them all and 2. Because I respect Jaimi too much to embarrass her on what is supposed to be one of the best days of her life.  But, if you happen to catch me anywhere else, the embarrassing stories are fair game.

Okay well, maybe I’ll share a few.

I have always said that “every brunette needs a blonde best friend” and I truly believe that is true.  Jaimi and I balance each other out. 

For example, the first time Jaimi and I really became good friends was when she was hosting (and by hosting I mean her parents were out of town and she was throwing a binge drinking house party in her parents basement) – sorry Laura & Phil! 

That night Jaimi had a few too many cocktails and was hanging out with a friend of hers, his name was “Mr Toliet”.  During this time, Jaimi was preoccupied in the bathroom, the party was getting a little too out of control so I took over and kicked everyone out of the house – you’re welcome Laura & Phil.

See what I mean by balance now?!?

Another time, when Jaimi was working as a cocktail waitress at the Casino I came in with Nikki and Breanne after a few too many cocktails and Jaimi refused to serve me.  Yeah, you heard me right, refused to serve her best friend alcohol because she said I “didn’t need anymore, and that I was lucky I was even allowed onto the boat”.  RUDE!  Well, I showed her and found another waitress who WAS willing to serve me and walked right by Jaimi “threw up my drink” and smiled.  In all reality, she was probably, and by probably I mean definitely right- I didn’t need more alcohol.  We again balanced each other out.

If you want a real good time though, like the best time, find us on the days that we are both on 10 and the “balance” we sometimes show turns into an amazing shit show – it’s a good time … you will see later tonight.

In all seriousness,

I may sound cliché, but I cannot think of two people more suited for one another.  Joey’s outgoing and infectious personality encourages Jaimi to step out of her comfort zone and experience things she would have never attempted without him. Joey has that fun down for anything personality and it has been making Jaimi smiles for as long as I can remember.

Joe, I can’t thank you enough for making Jaimi so happy.  You are smart, compassionate and funny and it is with comfort knowing Jaimi will always have you by her side.  You are everything and more that I could’ve hoped for, for my best friend.

Before this moment you have been many things to each other – acquaintances, school mates, friends, companions, lovers, and dancing partners.   You have laughed, cried, matured and have become stronger as a result of one another.  Today is not only a celebration of where you are now and the road ahead, but the road that has brought you here. 

From high school dances, to college party days to engagements, marriages, babies and to this very day, Jaimi has been my best friend.  She is honest, loyal, smart and beautiful.   Thank you for being such a wonderful friend to me and such a great Aunt to Baby Anna.  We could not love you more.

Jaimi and Joe, May you live forever in love and may love live forever in you.

If everyone would raise their glasses now and join me in congratulating the beautiful bride, “Princess Jaimi” and the handsome groom. 

Congratulations to you both.”



A few months ago I decided to start this little fashion and lifestyle blog.  The goal of this blog was to have a fun outlet where I could share all about my favorite things.  The blogging world is a big one, like, really big.  I am a small needle in a haystack of talented people.

In just a few short months, I have met so many wonderful women around the world.  They are inspiring, talented and supportive.  The greatest thing about the “blogging world” is the support – and I mean real genuine support that you find from other bloggers.  When I was working in the social work field, I was always an advocate for supporting, encouraging and helping others meet their goals, now being a stay at home mom, this has been such an amazing place to fulfil that desire again.

I think the thing that strikes me the most is the support that comes from the “big time” bloggers who have 100,000 plus plus followers who respond to ALL your messages, questions, etc.  These ladies are busy (and I mean BUSY) – I have a mere 1,100+ followers and there are days I find it difficult to respond to everyone – so I can only imagine how difficult it is for them.  They genuinely care, will take the extra steps to help you with your blog and are always willing to lend a helping hand where they can – BLOGGER GIRLS RULE!!

Over the last few days I have been getting some questions from other bloggers on how I started to grow my (little) following (which by the way I am so freaking proud of) – it’s a lot harder than you would think – and I am SO SO thankful for everyone following along with me on this journey!  I am NO pro on this what-so-ever and I felt very grateful that others are reaching out to me.  Over the last few months this is what I have noticed has helped:

  1. Interacting with other users matters – it is called “social” media after all – so this is definitely KEY! I think the main thing is staying true to yourself and engage with others that have similar accounts to yours or have accounts with topics that interest you. I love following fashion bloggers, lifestyle bloggers, travel bloggers, food bloggers and home decor bloggers – because ALL of those things interest me. Making comments on photos and liking photos is a way to build a relationship with others – although this is all over social media, you will build relationships with these women/men.  I have met SOOOO many wonderful women – and I hope one day I will get to meet (in person) these awesome ladies!
  2. Content matters – make it eye catching – when people look at your content the first thing they see is the last few posts you have made – so it is important to put effort into your content. I thought when I first started that I needed to hire a photographer – and while this is an amazing thing, I don’t think it is always necessary. You can have you friend, family member, husband (in my case) take your photo and have it blog worthy!  I have found I get just as many “likes” taking a mirror selfie as I do with professional photos – so as always, do what works for you!
  3. Timing matters – this is the most recent thing I have learned. Most Instagram users are most active before work/school, during lunch and other breaks at work and right before bed. I have also found that Friday and Saturdays are the “slowest” Instagram times.  It is important to make sure you aren’t posting too much or too little.  You want to stay engaged with your followers!  A lot of bloggers post 2-3 times/day.  I post one time a day – first thing in the morning before I get busy with the hustle and bustle of chasing around a busy toddler.  I spend nap time replying to all of my follower’s questions and comments.

As I have said, I think the key is being true to yourself.  I am proud of my small little blog – and weather it turns into something “bigger” or not isn’t the goal for me- it’s a fun outlet for me and I am loving engaging with all my followers and other blogger babes in the blogging world.

As a big Thank you to all of my followers I am doing a GIVEAWAY for my blog reaching over 1K followers!!!

Giveaway: I am giving 4 lucky followers each a $25 gift card to Nordstrom!!!

To Enter Giveaway:

  1. Follow me on Instagram –
  2. Then follow the remainder of the rules on my Instagram photo

Giveaway ends Friday, July 21st!

Good luck, friends and thank you from the bottom of my heart for following along!

Stylejams session below:


Father of the Bride

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I am a daddy’s girl through and through.  It has been that way as long as I can remember.  My dad is one of a kind. I cannot even begin to describe the pure perfection of a father that he is.  Let’s just start with childhood and work our way forward.  When I was younger, my dad didn’t miss one sporting event, dance, or mental breakdown I had throughout my grade school to teenage (well really any) years.  He has always been there to pick me up, wipe my tears and cheer me on.

I remember in 9th grade, I had just started high school, my dad and I were shopping at our local mall. We came out of one of my favorite stores, Vonmaur and I noticed some older “popular” kids all hanging out together outside Vonmaur. I quickly grabbed my dad’s arm and said “dad, I think I am done shopping we can go home now” – first of all ME done shopping – that is crazy talk!  My dad probably knew it at the time, but didn’t say a word about it. He just looked at me and said “okay, let’s go grab some dinner”.  The truth was I was embarrassed as a new freshman to be seen at the mall with my dad- silly, right?  I think about that small decision I made still to this day and it makes me sad.  Sad that I was so worried about what others may think of me, sad that I wasn’t confident enough in myself to show off the fact that I enjoyed hanging out with my dad, and sad I missed out on extra time with the sweetest man on the planet.

Well fast forward a couple years and a few confident boosts later, and a new “tradition” started.  Every year from the middle of 9th grade till the middle of my college career my father and I would take yearly bus trips to Chicago to go on a shopping trip around Christmas time – bless his heart.  He would get on a bus with me and 50 other women, bus 3 hours to downtown Chicago, shop for 8 hours and bus 3 hours back.  1 man, 50 women.  Now, I would say he was “taking one for the team” but my parents were divorced, so I am pretty sure being on a bus with 50 women wasn’t all that bad for him- haha!  Shopping  was his least favorite thing to do but spending time with me was his favorite thing to do- so he did it with a smile on his face, year after year.  And that is just the type of man he is. He recently just brought up how much he missed those shopping trips so we plan to start again this coming Christmas. 

Adulthood was no different, my dad was supportive every step of my undergraduate college career, which lasted longer than most – he stood by my side and encouraged me to keep going till the very end.  I did it, I graduated, and I had never seen my dad beaming quite like the day I received my diploma.  Fast forward 2 more years and I started my graduate classes, he stood by my side and encouraged me through all 3 years of that as well. The day I received my Master’s Degree I think was one of the best days of his life.  He has always told me to forget what people say, do your best – and nothing else matters.  He’s a simple man, and that’s what I love most about him, he’s genuine, generous and oh so thoughtful.  I could not have had a greater man by my side  growing up.  I am so blessed.

The day I got married, my dad, like every other occasion, stood by my side and walked me down the aisle and lead me to my husband, Jay.  Jay is a lot like my dad – caring, genuine, nurturing, honest and loving.  I have been so incredibly blessed by these two loving and patient men.  My dad’s speech was like nothing I had ever heard, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house – he’s just so tender hearted.  He will always be my best friend, my “number one stunna” and the man I can always trust, lean on and believe in.  Thank you dad, for being the greatest human on the planet and for loving me the way you do.  I love you “daddy-do”

On the topic of weddings, I don’t know about you but I am always “stumped” on what to wear and what not to wear.  Summer weddings are all about COLORS – don’t be afraid to add in different color combos to summer weddings. I have rounded up my favorite summer wedding reception dresses on the blog today that also double as PERFECT summer vacation dresses.  You will find out quickly that I am not one who likes to buy a dress for one specific occasion – I am a planner (and a cheap butt) and I like to be able to wear something to several different occasions to get the most bang out of my buck.  The best thing about summer dresses is they never go out of a style – these summer dresses will also be perfect for next year’s Easter festivities, bridal showers, or spring wedding season!

All dresses listed I either own, have ordered (and am anxiously awaiting their arrival) for my upcoming trip to Punta Cana or are on my summer wish list.  Just click on any picture below for a direct link to each item.

All pictures taken by my adorable hubby!  Direct link to yellow dress here and pink dress here.


For a little stylejams inspo – click link below:





For the love of curly fries

Coco Chanel once said, “Fashion comes and goes but style lasts forever.” I have to be honest, I never really gave this quote too much thought. I mean it is what it is – clothes are just clothes and nothing more, right?
When I sat down to write this second post I knew exactly what I wanted to write about, my grandma Enstrom. Since I was a young girl my grandma has always been my fashion icon. She has always dressed amazingly, has always put together the most fabulous outfits and will always be my favorite shopping buddy. I like to think I got my love of fashion (or shopping) from her. 

My grandma always tells the story of the times I would call her on the phone when I was younger and ALWAYS say “grandma, can I stay the night at your house this weekend, and can we go shopping and then go to Arby’s and get some curly fries” (smart little girl I was, who doesn’t love a good curly fry?). Well 20 years later, I still love shopping, and I definitely still love curly fries.

I’ve learned a lot from shopping with my grandma, who in my opinion is the greatest shopper who has ever walked this earth! Here’s a few of the many things I’ve learned from her:

# 1) She taught me if you don’t absolutely love an outfit at first glance, leave it. If you can’t stop thinking about it after some time passes, then go back and get it. There is no worse feeling then buying something and having instant regret. This handy little grandma trick has helped me a lot in the past on not having buyer’s remorse.

#2) She’s never truly expressed this next thought. But now looking back, she always splurged on the RIGHT items. This is something that took me YEARS to master. I used to buy a new black purse every so often for $50ish, and every year that purse would get so beat up and fall apart and I would have to buy a new one every 6-12 months. Well after 2 years of that, I spent well over $200 on purses I had to throw away. Annoying right? That’s when it clicked! Splurge on items that don’t go out of style and that can last a long time (if not a lifetime). Splurging a little on your purses will actually save you money in the long run. Now, I know everyone’s “splurge” is much different than the next persons, and that’s fine, I definitely won’t be splurging on a Fendi bag anytime soon. But I have found that good designers like Michael Kors, Kate Spade (my personal favorite) and Tory Burch are purses that are good quality and last a LONG time. I have had my Kate Spade purse for over 3 years and it still looks brand new, is still “in” and it is still my favorite go to purse. Now, if I would of purchased a not so “high quality” purse, I would of purchased 4-6 $50 purses in that time frame, which would have been more money then what I spent on my Kate Spade. There are several good places to find deals on Kate Spade purses, Michael Kors purses and on Tory Burch purses as well.

#3) My grandma always used to talk about outfit planning – how she could wear specific pieces several different ways or to several different occasions. When I was younger that wasn’t something on my mind. If I wanted a dress for a special occasion and I already knew I would never wear it again, I didn’t even blink an eye – I would buy it. Now that I am a mother, I am a more “practical” shopper. When I buy something I now think to myself, can I lug around a 25 lb child wearing this? Will my butt hang out when lugging around the 25lb child? Can I wear this outfit to several occasions? Is this something I will be able to wear for several years? Now, don’t get me wrong there ARE times you need to spoil yourself and buy that MUST have item. But for the most part it’s all about planning ahead or “smart shopping” – finding items that you know you can wear a lot of different ways for several different occasions. 

These shorts from J.Crew Factory are a hot item in my closet, meaning it is a piece I KNOW is worth the money because I will get a lot of use out of them. When I initially saw them I thought to myself those would be super cute, casual shorts for errands, day trips and even for golf, so to me that was enough reasons to buy them. It wasn’t till I got the shorts in the mail that I realized they were a slam dunk purchase! Not only was the price amazing, but I realized I can take these shorts from casual, all the way up to a dressier girl’s night out look! Here are a few different ways you can style the same shorts from casual, to semi-dressy, to girl’s night out dressy!

Anne Klein said it perfectly when she said, “Clothes aren’t going to change the world. The women who wear them will.” I just recently signed up to volunteer as a personal stylist for Dress for Success and I absolutely cannot wait to start! When I was still working in the social work field, I referred several of my clients to this wonderful organization. When my clients came back from their appointment, with their new head to toe interview outfit, they were completely beaming from ear to ear. It amazed me what a new outfit did for these women – it gave them confidence! Confidence to go into their interview and to knock it out of the park and that is what it’s all about. If you want to wear high heels when you work out or sweatpants to a formal event do it! Do what works for you and what is practical in your life. Clothes are just clothes, but it’s about how the outfit makes you feel that is truly magical. As women, I think it is important to always support, encourage and cheer on others in ALL their endeavors. BeYOUtiful. 

Special shout out needs to be given to my style guru and my favorite shopping buddy for life- my grandma. Thank you for always taking me on your shopping excursions and spoiling me with curly fries after. Those will be moments I will hold near and dear to my heart forever and ever! I love you!



(Note: Complete outfit details are linked under “shop my instagram” tab)

All photos taken by my adorable husband!

For a little stylejams jam session enjoy the link below!