April 18, 2014

Updating The Closet for Spring with Boden

I'm all for a wardrobe of workhorses; pieces that fit, flatter, are versatile and relatively timeless. However, I also find it important to update your closet each season with a couple new trends, fun colors or prints to add your personal style and keep your closet from being boring. Boden is one of my favorite places to go for pieces that infuse fun into a wardrobe without causing one to look like a fashion victim. Great colors, cheery prints, some of the best striped tops (and y'all know I love me some striped tops), but made with such quality and attention to detail that their fun pieces end up being wardrobe workhorses too.

One piece I have loved from Boden for a long time is their Ravello Top, a blouse that's a classic yet makes a statement. A machine washable silk blend makes it a piece that can dress up and down with ease; traditional enough to be a blouse under your interview suit but can also dress down with jeans or get festive with a full midi skirt and heels. While the solids are great, I was immediately drawn to the Blue/Red Paintbox Floral print and knew it would be a great closet addition for spring. Thanks to Boden's phenomenal phone customer service, I went with a size 12 and think it fits quite nicely.


This print is bold enough to hold its own with dark denim; I added leopard haircalf flats and a simple black leather clutch for a great outfit to grab cocktails with my girls or to go to game night at a friend's house.


The top is perfect for the warming temps; while it looks great under a blazer or cardigan it looks professional on its own. For this look I paired it with white linen pants and used a hot pink skinny belt to switch up the blouse's silhouette.

Expect to see a few more pieces from Boden on the blog this season; I think the line fits my curves nicely as well as my personal style and I found a lot of pieces that will nicely update my wardrobe this season but likely be favorites for many seasons to come!



This post was sponsored by Boden through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated by POPSUGAR to write a post about Boden, all opinions are my own.

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April 17, 2014

Wyoming


We’re not a terribly religious family, but we believe in taking a moment before we sit down for dinner to reflect on all which we are thankful for. We regularly let Emerson lead, and it’s great to hear what is important to her. One time Emerson closed with, “Wyoming” instead of amen (the previous night we read a book about the 50 states). It has become one of the “things” we now say at times when, “I agree,” or “amen” would be appropriate. And somehow, this word is more appropriate at many different times.

Today I type this with both hands, and with no pain. This morning for the first time since February, I was able to open the jar of coconut oil without some crazy setup with a silicone mat and my feet. Last night, I slept through the whole night without waking up so a stiff throbbing (or asleep) hand. I drove to work with my hands on 10 and 2. I can get in and get out my contacts. When Emerson stubbed her toe, I picked her up with both hands, and gave her a two-armed bear hug.

The past two months have sucked. I felt helpless, useless, a burden. On top of the injury, I had work stress and then was completely disconnected from the office thanks to short term disability. I couldn’t blog, I couldn’t write, I couldn’t drive and get away. Personal situations took place that were upsetting, overwhelming, and out of my control. I couldn’t talk about my situation because it just seemed like whining, and I needed to be strong in front of my daughter. I got back to work and felt as though I didn’t have a place any more. My regular suit of armor, my personal style, which gives me strength to get through tough times was unavailable.

It affected my sense of self and my relationships with loved ones.  It made me not want to create, to write, and it sure made me not give a damn about how I looked.  The recent outfit photos?  There were a few tears during them because I felt so ugly, so fat, so stupid.  We did them indoors because I had such anxiety being outside on display.  Karl said I had to force through even if I hated it because if I didn't I'd stop doing them all together, and he knows how much I love the blog.  I just had to get back on the horse.  Funny, my orthopedist said something very similar about getting back my hand and wrist - fight through the pain, work on it daily even though it hurts, or I may lose it forever.

I just got back from a short family vacation, one that was planned well before my broken arm and one I couldn’t cancel. I felt so guilty leaving work right after six weeks on disability, and feared it would jeopardize not just my job but the progress I was making on my arm. The drive down was long, and I spent it doing physical therapy. I practiced being able to again make a peace sign, sign I love you, give devil horns. When at my cousin’s house, I was constantly making a fist and then flexing my hand, pushing down my hand and then pressing it up to work the wrist. One day we went on a boat and the speed, choppy waves, and Emerson clinging to me left my hand a red swollen lump of pain.  I didn't do my hair the entire time, hardly wore makeup, and lived in comfy knits and jeans.  I let myself relax and focused on my healing and my family.

And now I am back to the real world... for real this time.  I again am wearing clothing that makes me happy and feel put together, my makeup and hair are styled and in a manner than feels right for me.  My strength is coming back in both my hand and in my spirit.  It feels so good to come back.

Wyoming!  Wyoming!  Wyoming!

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Spring Wardrobe Additions


Now that the cast is off and the swelling has gone down, I can finally get into the spring fashion spirit! Here’s a few things I have recently purchased and like very much:



1. Well all know my adoration for stripes; when I saw this shirt at J. Crew Factory was only $21 I had to try it. I love the fit, the shape, the fabric, everything. It’s tempting to get it in gray as well!

2. I don’t ever shop Walmart, but I was on vacation in a small town where it was the only place to go to get a pair of shorts for Emerson. While there, I found these shorts by Faded Glory for $12.94 and I must say they’re pretty great. Good length that is comfortable yet not dowdy, a bit of stretch so they’re flexible but also keep their shape, and a nice non-dorky wash. Totally got rid of the cheesy neon skinny belt and will likely do an at-home distressing on them, but not too shabby. As with any shorts, I went a size up for a better fit.

3. I don’t own this EXACT shirt from Boden, but unfortunately the one I got is no longer on the site. This shirt featured is the Eliza Top, and I own the Eliza, but in a cerulean and navy stripe (yep MORE stripes!). I absolutely positively LOVE this shirt; I love silk but hate washing it (this shirt is machine washable); I like ¾ and bracelet-length sleeves now to protect my scar but stay breezy (this shirt has it), and I love a top that is casual like a tee but can dress up for work (wearing it right now with a pair of trousers and pumps, looks great tucked into a pencil skirt, and this weekend wore with boyfriend jeans). The Eliza Top from Boden is a regular in their collection and a great addition to many wardrobes!

4. I now own five pairs of Nine West’s Flax pump (black, natural, silver, peacock print, red and black spotted haircalf). I know that seems a bit insane, but it’s a pretty perfect shoe. Single sole, pointed toe, walkable heel height, and a nice price. I’ve been wanting a “nude” leather pointed toe pump for over a year, but find each pair is too pale, too dark, too pink, too something for me. The Flax’s Natural Leather is a pretty perfect shade for me, and I love having a shoe that looks great with both pants and skirts.

5. Another silky shirt with an in-between sleeve length! This is the Sophie Blouse from Dobbin Clothing, and while it has the same basics I like from the Boden Eliza Top, it gives a completely different effect thanks to the details. Slightly crinkled silk, gold buttons down the front, and blousy sleeves. The color makes it work with black, brown, ivory, and denim quite nicely. I often wear this blouse untucked with dark wash narrow jeans, but also wear to work tucked into ivory tropical wool trousers.

6. I mentioned my desire for delicate gold this spring, and I am still loving my Rebecca Minkoff cuff; I also picked up this dangly but not too jingly bracelet from Nordstrom for $24; it doesn’t look cheapy, it’s stretchy and doesn’t get in the way when I type.

7. This Panama hat is only $17 from J. Crew Factory. Runs a bit wide, but I like that because I can twist up my hair and tuck it in the brim to keep my neck cool (or hide bad hair).

8. Me and my Lifetherapy bracelets – it’s an addiction! I love turquoise, I have a few bracelets from the company in blue (see here) so it brightens up my current collection, and this one has an Aquarius symbol! I like that these bracelets are just one long cord; I’ve been known to also wear them as a long necklace with tanks in the summer!

9. Seriously, the Converse Shorelines are my jam! I’ve missed having casual tennis shoes for spring and summer, and these are so easy to slip on, no heel blisters, and no looking as though I’m wearing shoeboxes on my already chubby feet.

10. Linen always looks like such a mess on me.  Well this spring I've given up being crisp, and have embraced the casual wrinkled-ness of linen.  My J.Jill white linen big shirt is great knotted over distressed jeans, and these pants (the Julie fit from LOFT) I love with a simple cotton knit sweater, silk blouse, or with a denim shirt.  

***

Outfit posts have been few and far between because it was slow and difficult getting dressed with the arm, and honestly pretty depressing. I gained weight and lost muscle being so sedentary during my time on disability, and just putting on a tee shirt could leave me in tears. And then, much of my wardrobe didn’t work with the cast, only having one arm to put myself together after using the bathroom, the stiff swollen arm and all that jazz. But I feel SO much better, have much more flexibility and less swelling and am feeling like myself again. So stay tuned, for actual posts of me wearing these new pieces!

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April 16, 2014

What I Wore: Black and White

Top: c/o Gwynnie Bee | Pants: Ann Taylor (similar) | Shoes: Nine West

It's hard to find sleeveless tops that are appropriate for the office. While I wore it with faux leather-front pants, this top also looked quite great with white trousers and pumps for the office. This top is another example of why I love Gwynnie Bee; this is a top I would normally not look at twice in a store but ended up liking on me. Gwynnie Bee extends my wardrobe but also my sartorial outlook. If you're a size 10 or larger and are interested in trying out Gwynnie Bee for yourself, use this link and get a 30-day free trial of the clothing rental program!

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