1 Tee, Endless Possibilities

We all a good tee that can be worn with everything right?!?!? Well I found two that I love and I am so excited to share them with you all.  The first one is from TOPSHOP at Nordstrom.  It is $20.00 and I like this tee for many reasons.  First off, this tee isn’t fitted, it is like a regular t-shirt, but not as long…..don’t worry, it’s not a crop top, but it shorter than regular tees. The material is a little thicker so it’s not see through and you won’t get those annoying tiny holes near the bottom.  I also like the slight distressed look to give it a little something extra. I loved this tee so much, that I bought it in 4 colors.  It also comes in a black and white stripe which is adorable.  They also have a few maternity options….here and here.

The second tee is the vintage wash crew neck tee from GAP.   These tees are the perfect fit: not fitted, but slightly loose and a great length.  The material is so soft and not see through.  It is a very clean cut tee.  I own several of these tees and they have held up so well and no little holes near the bottom.  Both tees are great to have, just slightly different styles depending on what you are going for.

More than loving these t-shirts so much, I wanted to share the possibilities that come with them.  I have learned that the t-shirt is the most versatile item in your closet and can be worn with just about anything for any occasion.  The biggest thing that I do to my t-shirt outfit is add fun accessories and shoes.

Here are some possibilities:

I’ve shared the black tee, but any color works!

1/2/3/4/5/6

1/2/3/4/5/6/7

Tips:

  1.  All jean colors and styles work with a tee. (black, gray, dark denim, white, distressed, boyfriend)
  2. Shoes and accessories change the outfit for different occasions.
  3. Think about where you are going when creating your outfit…..my girlfriends and I often go to our favorite pizza and brewery restaurant which is casual….I would wear the distressed jeans with the statement earrings and my flats for a little something extra.

 

 

 

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The Chambray Shirt

I think the Chambray shirt is a must in everyone’s closet.  It’s the shirt that can be worn from season to season with so many options.  My last favorite chambray shirt was from J. Crew…..I wore it so much that it finally got a hole in the armpit area.  (I had it for 4 years).  It is so soft, comfy and goes with everything and 30% off.  But last weekend when I took Gracie to the mall to get some spring clothes, I came across the perfect chambray shirt at GAP KIDS….crazy right?!?!  I decided to just go ahead and try it on and seriously it fit so perfectly. I ended up only paying $17.00 for it…..YAY!!!!  They also have this same shirt in the adult GAP for 40-50% as well.  They are both so soft, the color is perfect and I love the snap buttons.  For size reference, I got the XL in kids.  More options:  herehere , here and here.

My other favorite chambray shirt is from MADEWELL.  It is the short sleeve version and is soooo adorable.  This is the perfect spring and summer shirt.

GAP

Tips with a chambray shirt for spring and summer: 

  1. Wear it with white pants or shorts.
  2. Wear it with denim pants or shorts.
  3. Wear it with colored pants or shorts.
  4. Dress it up or down with shoes and jewelry.
  5. Tie it around your waist with a cute t-shirt dress.
  6. Wear it with skirt.
  7. Wear a ball cap.
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Spring Dresses

Like every other little girl, Hattie LOVES dresses.  Last weekend, we went shopping for a few new Spring dresses to add to our collection.  And as always, I ended up with way more than we actually need, but everything was super cheap…..good excuse right?!?! No seriously, I love cheap little dresses because kids are so rough on stuff.  With crazy spring weather, I love pairing these dresses with leggings, a denim jacket, and a variety of shoes.  I have also stocked up on the adorable CAT and JACK brand hair accessories at TARGET.

The dress that Hattie is wearing is from H&M, but isn’t available online.

So here are my favorite finds:

  

GAP: here, here, herehere, here

H&M: here, here

Old Navy: here

Hair Accessories

CAT and JACK hair accessories

JEAN JACKET

Gap: here

Old Navy: here

NEVER EVER buy GAP or Old Navy full price……I got all of my Gap dresses 50% off! They have a sale everyday.

H&M dress prices are amazing and honestly the quality is pretty dang good for the price!!!!  All of the dresses I bought were $4.99-$9.99.

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Crossbody Bags

Everyone knows I love my oversized handbags and thats all I’ve carried for years. They are convenient, spacious, and great when you have toddlers. (trust me, I will never get rid of my tote)  But recently, I’ve decided to switch over to a smaller cross-body bag for several reasons.  First off, I love the look and the convenience of the adjustable strap (which now straps can be worn high or low depending on what look you want).  I also like that it holds only what I need, phone, wallet, lipstick.  When I look in my tote bag, I literally feel like I am on an episode of Hoarders.  I constantly have my bag on the counter or floor digging for what I need.  I don’t even know why half of the stuff is in there or how it gets in the bag. Sadly, it’s not even the girls’ stuff, it is ALL mine.  So with all of that said, I’m excited to downsize to a new bag and become more organized.  Here are a few bags that I thought were cute, functional, and reasonably priced.  I’ll be excited to report back how this all goes….I can do this, right????

MADEWELL

MADEWELL

SOLE SOCIETY

OLD NAVY

FOSSIL

VINCE CAMUTO

After looking at the the bags at the mall, I ended up going with the MADEWELL bag because I loved it, I got it on SALE and I’m just a MADEWELL junky.  Honestly, all of the bags I shared are really great.  Very spacious and very functional.  The Vince Camuto bags at Nordstrom had awesome built in wallets which is a huge bonus.

I know it has only been 2 days, but I love my new bag.  I love the weight of it and how it stays so nicely to my body while I shop.

 

 

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Friday Night = PIZZA Night

For about 2 years now, we have been having family pizza night and it’s our FAVORITE night of the week….secretly DJ and I love it the most and we plan around it.  With the weekdays being so busy, this has become a fun tradition that we love.  It gives us the opportunity to slow down, live in the moment and enjoy something that we have created as a family. The best part is is that it is all homemade and very simple.

A few years ago for Fathers Day, I bought DJ the Breville pizza maker from Williams Sonoma and it quickly became our favorite appliance.  Seriously, if Breville contacted me, I would totally be their spokesman for this particular product 🙂  It is $150.00, but it often goes on sale for $99.00 around different holidays. Honestly, it is worth every penny. With everything new, it always takes a few tries to get things how you like them, but now we have this process down to a science and I could literally do everything with my eyes closed.  I am so excited to share our favorite recipes with everyone.  Even if you don’t have the pizza maker, you can bake it in the oven.

Through experience, I have learned to prepare everything ahead of time so I just have to make the dough. Just cook, slice and put in the refrigerator.

RECIPES

Pizza Dough

  1.  1 1/2 cups warm water (105-115 degrees) very warm, but not HOT
  2. 1 tablespoon active dry yeast (I use the Fleischmann’s Active Dry Yeast)
  3. 1 tablespoon sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  6. 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (plus more as needed)

Directions:

In your KitchenAid mixer bowl, stir in the water, sugar and yeast.  Let sit for about 10 min or until the yeast is foamy and dissolved.  With your hook attachment, start stirring and add the olive oil, salt and 1 1/2 cups flour.  Gradually mix in 2 more cups of flour until the dough pulls away from the sides. (I have to use a rubber spatula to push the flour off the side of my mixer).  If your dough seems a little wet, slowly add more flour until the dough barely sticks.  Once the dough is at the right consistency, knead in the mixer for another 3-5 min on medium low.

In a medium bowl, spray with cooking spray.  Add the dough to this bowl and cover quickly and tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise 1-2 hours. (mine typically seems to only take an hour)

After dough has doubled, remove from bowl.  Sprinkle your counter with some flour and knead your dough a couple of times.  From here, I divide the dough into 4 balls and cover with a towel for 15 min. (we each get our own ball to create our own pizza)

If you are using the Breville machine, it takes 30 min to warm up and then from there I put it on the medium crust setting.  If you are using your oven, preheat to 475 degrees.

On a piece of parchment paper, roll out your dough into a nice semi-thin circle. From here brush the edge of your crust with olive oil and garlic salt.  (I mix the garlic salt with a nice amount of olive oil  in a small bowl first) use a fork to prick holes in your crust.  Then add your sauce and toppings.

Parchment paper is a must in order to transfer your pizza to the stone.  If using the Breville machine, place your pizza on the parchment paper on the stone and close the lid.  After about 1 min, you can slide the pizza off the parchment paper and let it continue to cook, by just watching your crust.  Anywhere from 6-10 min.

In the oven, place your pizza on the parchment paper on a pizza stone or round circle pan and cook for 12 min and then broil for 2 min to get the cheese nice and melted.

SAUCE (seriously the best)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl:

  1.  2 cloves of garlic….I use the squeeze garlic and  typically squeeze out 2 to 3 squirts of garlic.
  2. 1 tablespoon of ground Oregano
  3. 1 (6oz.) tomato paste…..do not get the no salt added, salt is a must.
  4.  1 (15oz.) can of tomato sauce….again make sure it is the one with salt.
  5. 1 teaspoon paprika
  6. 1 tablespoon sugar
  7. 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning.

Toppings:  The possibilities are endless!!!!

Hattie’s pizza= just cheese bread because she refuses to try the sauce.  But is great for us to eat her extra pieces and dip in the sauce.

Gracie’s pizza=cheese pizza.

My pizza=everything…..Italian sausage, veggies, jalapenos, bacon, ricotta cheese(I use a spoon to just dollop it around my pizza), cheese and pepperoni. (I go ALL out on pizza night with no regrets!!!)

DJ’s pizza=Italian sausage, bacon, pepperonis, jalapenos, ricotta cheese and pizza cheese.

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My Favorite Jacket

Today I got thinking about my favorite jacket and how much I wear it year round even in the summer.  It is my green army jacket that I purchased at H&M when I lived in Pittsburgh.  Jackets of course add extra warmth, but they also make a great accessory to any outfit and can be worn with so much.  This style of jacket is not heavy and is very easy to move around in, I rarely take it off when I wear it.  My tip is to make sure that the jacket has a waistline to create a more finished and tailored look.  The outfit possibilities are endless with this jacket.

(I’ve been practicing using my tripod for pics;))

Black turtleneck sweater and booties

  

Black hoodie with white jeans and sneakers

My very adorable friend Emily wore her jacket with black pants, a white tee, an adorable scarf with her New Balances sneakers to lunch the other day.  ( I wish I would have snapped a pic)

Here are a few jackets that I found from a few of my favorite stores:

Here are the links to the jackets…Some come in a variety of colors and they are very cute and versatile as well.  Most of these jackets are on SALE!!!!!!

OLD NAVY , GAP and GAP, J. CREW, MADEWELL, and H&M

 

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Books

We all know how important it is to read to our children for a variety of reasons. Books have been a daily part of my children’s lives since birth and I love reading to them. It’s so fun to watch their little imaginations grow and run wild.  I love that through books, they develop a better understanding of the world.  For the last two years, Gracie has been working hard on becoming a reader.  Although it has been fun watching her growth, it was also been very trying  for ALL of us.  Teaching your own child to read is totally different than when I taught my 1st graders to read.  There has been a lot of frustration, tears and tantrums on all sides, but now all that hard work has paid off and the ugly is only on rare occasions.  Reading time is now enjoyable and it’s so fun listening to her read.  With beginning readers, finding independent books can be difficult.  When children have limited reading skills and word knowledge, books can seem boring and less engaging.   I wanted to share of few of our favorite books that have guided Gracie to  not only become a more fluent reader but have also made her feel successful as a young reader and on top of it, they are cute stories.

 

Gracie’s Favorite’s

LINKS:

  1. George and Martha
  2. Ira Sleeps Over
  3. Elephant and Piggie 
  4. Nate the Great
  5. Fly Guy
  6. Junie B. Jones

Nonfiction Favorites

National Geographic Readers Level 1

Family Favorites

Links:

  1. The Day the Crayons Quit
  2. The Day the Crayons Came Home
  3.  Dragons Love Tacos
  4. Interrupting Chicken
  5. Gingerbread Man 
  6. Pinkalicious

Remember to always take advantage of your local library.  They have wonderful resources for the whole family.  It’s a great way to try out different series before making a purchase.  This is how we all became to love the adorable Elephant and Piggie books.  Don’t forget that most libraries offer story time for different age groups as well.

Also utilize your school’s various websites that they offer and the kids use in class. Scholastic book orders have books for fabulous prices.

We also love to hang out at Barnes and Noble.  It is so fun to grab a coffee, browse and read books. They too offer story hour that usually ends with a small snack.

Epic is an app I found for the girls.  They have thousands of books for every level. There are both audio and regular books with a variety of genres.  The first month is free and then it is $5.00 monthly…I think that it is definitely worth paying for.

My Recommendations (with cute life lessons):

BOOK

This book is the sweetest book for teaching children about important life lessons using cookies.  It has some great new vocabulary words for kids with illustrations to match.  We love to give this book to our friends as a gift.

This is another sweet book that Hattie and I came across at Barnes and Noble.

BOOK

BOOK

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My Favorite Winter Gear

I wanted to share some of my favorite winter pieces that I think are worth spending your money on.  Currently my favorite winter pieces are collecting dust due to the fact that Denver is experiencing Spring like temperatures. (I’m not completely sad about it;)) My winter favorites aren’t going to waste though because they are classic pieces can be worn year after year.  All of these items are currently on SALE at J. Crew,  J. Crew Factory and a few other sites.

Use code WEEKEND at J. Crew for an additional 30% off.

COATS

My go to coat is the wintress puffer coat from J. Crew.  I have now owned it for 4 years and it is still looks brand new.  The reason I went with the J. Crew puffer over other brands is because of the tie belt.  I feel that for this style of coat, a belt helps to create a more flattering silhouette on women.  On top of being adorable, it is insulated so well and keeps me nice and toasty on cold winter days.  It comes in both navy and black.  It runs true to size….I can wear it with chunky sweaters and still have room.

J. Crew Factory also offers the same coat for a slightly lower price.  I’ve seen this coat in person, but don’t own it, but the reviews are great.  *Both coats have snap on hoods that are easily removed.

BOOTS

The Sperry shearwater flannel boots are currently sold out at J. Crew, but here are some similar choices here .  Shearwater pull on boots here and here.  Shearwater buckle boots here and here.  If you wear a half size, make sure to size up.

Sorel out and about boots: here, here and here. (Size up here too)

Sorel Joan of Arctic boots here.

WARM WEATHER ACCESSORIES

I purchased all of my warm weather accessories at J. Crew Factory…..gloves, hat, and scarf.

Have a great weekend!!!!!

 

 

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THE SNEAKER TREND

I love that the sneaker trend is EVERYWHERE.  I can’t deny that I have fallen hard for this trend and that they are my go to shoes.  I love that they can be worn with literally EVERYTHING.  But one trend that I was a little hesitate with this fall was the old school, classic TENNIS shoe, the Adidas Superstar’s and Stan Smith’s. Now, as of 2 weeks ago, I own my very own pair and I love them.  It happened while I was doing some last minute trip shopping through Nordstrom. My mom begged me to just slip a pair on and immediately I was sold and I wore them out of the store.  Not only are they adorable, but very comfortable as well.  Just a side note:  I ended up buying a 5.5 when I typically wear a 6.5 in ALL of my other shoes.  Even if you are hesitant about these shoes, I do encourage you to at least try them on;)

But with all that being said, I know that this trend is not for everyone.  Thankfully it’s just one part of the whole sneaker trend.  So I wanted to share some of my other favorite sneaker choices.

Sneaker Trend=Problem

My all time favorite sneaker that I’ve been wearing for over 2 years is my pair of  Nike Internationalists.  Every season I buy a new sneaker, but tend to always go back to his pair.  Besides being comfortable, I tend to gravitate towards this brand because of how they look on my feet.  When I look down, I like that the toe is a bit slimmer (not snug though) and I love how they hold their shape through the body.  These shoes wash up very nicely in the washer.

Red and Black
Light Bone and Black
Cool Gray Wolf
Black and Gray
Blue

And course, you can never go wrong with New Balance.  They are comfortable, stylish and more than anything have the best color and style choices.  Here are a few of my favorites that I found on Nordstrom for the spring.  *note: I love buying from Nordstrom because of their 365 day return policy.

 

Turquoise
Mauve
Black
Gray
Ivory

 

Another trend I wasn’t sure about was the high top sneaker. But once I tried them on, I was sold.  They can seem hard at first, but just wear them as you would wear a bootie.  I love how easy and convenient they are;) Here are some high tops at a great price point.

Navy

 

Brindle

 

Black
Grout

 

After all said and done, you really  can’t go wrong with any sneaker you choose.  As a final note, I wanted to share a tip:  Always expose your ankles. It will help make the leg appear longer.  I buy a lot of ankle length pants, but for longer ones try cuffing them a couple of times, but keep the cuffs smaller.  Have fun and make sure to be creative when pairing sneakers with your outfits. Oh and one more must have shoe, the slip on converse.

 

 

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