{OOTD} Wedding by the beach

IMG_3371_editIMG_3373_editLOFT maxi dress (sold out online) // Louise et Cie ‘Oroyo’ sandal // Kendra Scott ‘Alexandra’ earrings // Marc Jacobs Nail Lacquer in Shocking

Last Saturday, one of my very good friends from college married her longtime boyfriend. It was a gorgeous wedding near the beach and a fun mini-college reunion for me.

I’ll be honest — getting dressed for this wedding was a STRUGGLE. Obviously there’s the fact that I’m six months pregnant, which makes everything a challenge. But more importantly, the bride and her friends are some of the most stylish people I know. I typically don’t stress myself out about living up to whoever I’m hanging out with, but I really wanted to look good for this one. I’m not going to tell you how many dresses or pairs of shoes were ordered and returned in the month or so before the wedding, but it was a lot. Like, A LOT.

In the end, this dress from LOFT was extremely comfortable and flattering, and I know I’ll be able to wear it again. Is it the most exciting dress out there? No. But I felt good in it. My new Kendra Scott earrings (a well-timed birthday gift) added a nice little pop of color so I didn’t feel too boring.

New sunglasses and my vacation packing fail

PicMonkey Collage3Last week, my family and I spent an awesome week at the Jersey shore. It was relaxing (sometimes) and so fun to see our little guy enjoy the waves, the sand and the boardwalk. Now that I’m back, I’m trying to keep reliving the fun instead of being depressed that vacation is over — it remains to be seen how successful I’ll be in that venture.

Anyway, I thought I’d report back on my packing fails for the week for your amusement and to possibly serve as a helpful reminder for those of you with upcoming trips. Here are my takeways:

  1. This was not my honeymoon. I brought a bunch of cute dresses to wear in the evenings…while I fed my toddler dinner and played cards at the dining room table with my siblings. I’m not sure exactly where I thought I was going, but I definitely packed more for an all-inclusive retreat than for a family vacay.
  2. It is not that warm at the beach in the evenings, even in July. Being on the beach = sea breezes = somewhat chilly ocean temps. I packed a zip up hoodie and that was about it for warmth. I should have brought my J.Crew denim jacket and probably a cozy cardigan.
  3. Daytime attire doesn’t mean just bathing suits and cover ups. My family likes to go out to breakfast a lot and I’m not really into wearing my bathing suit if it’s not to the beach (unless I’m in Mexico, per #1), so most days I needed an outfit for the morning before we hit the beach. A t-shirt and shorts would be the perfect option here, but I only brought one pair of shorts. And they were white. And did I mention I have a toddler?
  4. Flip flops are everything. I brought two pairs of cute shoes (to go along with the dresses, I guess), but lived in my flip flops all week long. This should not have come as a surprise.

All that said, my questionable packing job did not take away from my enjoyment of the trip, even if it wasn’t the most fashionable week of my life. On the plus side, I picked up a new pair of TOMS sunglasses from my favorite surf shop (if you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen them already). I absolutely did not need sunglasses, but we were in there looking for a pair for Geoff, and they just called my name and wouldn’t let me leave.

IMG_20140725_115131I hope everyone had a great week!

 

{Sale alert} The 2014 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is on!

Happy Christmas in July, a.k.a. the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! If you’re not familiar with how the sale works, this post explains it. As my fellow Nordstrom devotees will understand, this is the most exciting time of the year (in terms of shopping) for me, and requires some real work. There’s the scouting of the catalog when it first appears, the scouring of every single item when the sale opens online, ordering way too much knowing (hoping?) that not everything will work out and therefore you haven’t blown your budget too badly, and finally, the painful wait for the weather to turn cooler so you can wear your new stuff. Last year’s Via Spiga boot purchase taunted me for months!

This year I have an added wrinkle in that I’m six months pregnant and have to anticipate what will work for me after the baby comes. So, I’m sticking to mostly outerwear — there’s PLENTY to choose from this year! — and a few random items like a scarf and some pajamas. That said, I’ve fully browsed the sale and pulled together some of my favorite items for your perusal!

 

Happy shopping, and let me know what you snag from the sale!

My beach bag must-haves

In just a few days, I will be off to spend a week luxuriating at the Jersey Shore with my family. Or at least as close to luxuriating as one can be with a hyperactive toddler whose favorite question is, “You wanna play with me?” Anyway, I’m in full-blown packing mode, which, among other things, means making sure I have all of my beach bag essentials. And since I’m already doing the work, I thought I’d share a list of some of my beach bag must-haves, with some specific picks in each category.


{Hats} First up is the floppy hat, which serves as both a functional and fashion item. As far as I’m concerned, the bigger the better, so you get some nice coverage of your shoulders in addition to your face. I wear my hats to the beach, on the boardwalk, eating outside…pretty much any time I’m going to be in the sun for more than a few minutes.


{Sunscreen} Possibly the most obvious, but also the most important, is a great sunscreen. You may not want/need SPF 50 like I do, but for the love of your skin, please use at least SPF 15 and reapply often!


{SPF Lip products} It’s easy to forget about your lips when you’re in the sun, but yes, they can get burned too. Don’t be afraid to use a product with some color, even if you’re used to going bare-faced on the beach.


{Hair products} My hair is shorter than usual right now, but is still frizzy and tends to get knotted very easily. For the most part, it’s in a ponytail and under a hat when I’m on the beach, but I still like to have a product with me for when I get out of the water. There are lots of options to provide heat protection, frizz reduction, detangling, beachy waves, or some combination thereof.


{Cute towels} If I’m being honest, most of my towels are from Costco, BUT I try to be selective and I’m always tempted by cute towels I see elsewhere. I also have added a Turkish towel to my collection this season, courtesy of a Popsugar MustHave box.


{Coverups} If you’ve got a body that you love to show off, more power to you. For me, while I’m mostly fine with my body, I’m also more comfortable keeping it somewhat covered most of the time. When I’m on vacation I tend to wear a dress-style cover up a majority of the time, so I’m safe


{Miscellaneous} And for our last category…everything else. Waterproof cases for your phone, a pouch to keep money for when the ice cream man comes around, baby powder to get sand off of your skin (it’s a miracle worker, I swear!) and antibacterial wipes for general cleaning up.

That’s my list — what’s yours? Any important items that I forgot?

Want. Need. Must have.

wnmh 7.9.14Of Mercer // Essie // Eva Franco @ Anthropologie // Banana Republic // Parker

{one} I was just recently introduced to Of Mercer and I’m now obsessed with their Stanton Dress. It’s the perfect office-to-evening outfit, and because of the simple lines and colors, could be paired with lots of options for shoes and accessories. The website describes it as “the perfect throw on and go dress,” which seems like an apt description.

{two} Every summer I tend to have a go-to color for my pedicures, and this year I think it’s going to be Essie’s “Too Taboo”. It’s a fun purple/pink/fuschia shade, and it looks great in sandals, even on my pasty skin.

{three} This orange of this Eva Franco Tangelo Dress is drool-worthy and reminds me of a cotton J.Crew dress that I wore on my honeymoon. It could potentially be tricky to wear, especially for those of us with a larger bust, but on the right person I think it would be gorgeous.

{four} Some of the few non-maternity pieces that I wear throughout my pregnancy will be my cardigans. However, I’m in dire need of some new ones and have my eye on this zip-up version from Banana Republic. It’s a great cream color that will go with anything, and the lightweight material would be good for summer office air conditioning on through fall.

{five} I’ve never made a secret of the fact that I am terrible at styling skirts (largely because they tend to hit me at my widest part — my love handles), but this Parker Topanga Skirt REALLY makes me want to try again. The flowy (but not too flowy) maxi cut is perfect, and that print is amaaaazing. Sigh.

 

{OOTD} Summer business casual

IMG_3355_editIMG_3354_editIMG_3350_editMotherhood tank top // A Pea in the Pod cropped jeans // Kendra Scott chalcedony necklace // Kelly & Katie nude sandals // Ray-Ban sunglasses (similar here & here) // Kate Spade Harmony tote (this color sold out)

Have you ever noticed that as the summer goes on, people start getting more and more casual? I think it’s something about coping with ridiculous heat that makes us feel like we can blur the lines of dress codes. Jeans are a no-no in my business casual office except for casual Fridays, but somehow in the summer white jeans and a tank feel completely acceptable. Hopefully HR agrees…

On a side note, while my new necklace matched nicely with the blouse I wore last week, I think I’m going to like it best in outfits like this, where it can stand out against a neutral background.

{OOTD} Minty fresh

IMG_3281_editIMG_3284_editGap Maternity sleeveless blouse (similar on sale here and here) // Banana Republic skinny pants (on sale!) // Kendra Scott ‘Rayne’ necklace // Kelly & Katie gold sandals (similar here and on sale here)

It was somewhere in the ballpark of 583 degrees out yesterday, with humidity that made it feel like you were walking through a sauna. So, getting dressed for work has gotten a bit challenging this week. Luckily, my parents gave me some really cute clothes for my birthday, including this super-lightweight top. I love the style, and I LOVE the color. Plus, my in-laws got me this beautiful Kendra Scott necklace that I had asked for, which happens to go perfectly with the top!

Other than wearing dresses, this is my summer sweet spot: cropped skinny pants, light flowy tops and flat sandals. And yes, this applies whether or not I’m pregnant.

IMG_3267_editAnd your bonus shot of the day: D is learning his best modeling poses. This is his blue steel — try to contain yourselves, ladies.

Want. Need. Must have. {Fourth of July edition}

wnmh 7.2Splendid // Gap // Everleigh // Yosi Samra

Stars and stripes, and red, white and blue — it must be the 4th of July! I thought I’d pull together a few pieces that would be perfect for the festivities (some more literal than others). My holiday weekend won’t be filled with barbecues and parties this year, but we will be visiting some good friends who have a son D’s age. Hopefully the weather will cooperate so we can enjoy some pool time and fireworks!

{OOTD} Birthday dinner

IMG_3239_editIMG_3243_editSplendid maternity tank dress // Stella & Dot necklace // Arturo Chiang braided wedges (similar here and here)

My birthday was on Saturday, and while I didn’t feel the need to make a big deal out of it this year, Geoff and I did go out for a nice dinner. We left the little guy at my parents’ house and went to this great restaurant on the river in Rumson, NJ. It’s rare these days that we eat a meal together that isn’t either dominated by a toddler or eaten in front of the television, so we took full advantage.

As I said in my last OOTD post, it’s a bit challenging these days to find things that still fit and make me feel good. This Splendid dress, which I got during my first pregnancy, is one of my few go-tos when I want to dress up a little bit. It’s a jersey cotton, so it’s really comfy, but the cut and color make it feel a little more dressy — especially when I throw on some gold heels and jewelry.

Cute maternity clothes for summer

As you know (and hopefully aren’t sick of hearing about yet), my eggo is preggo, so I’m facing the prospect of a long, hot summer with a big old belly. This is new to me, since I had the little guy in May and avoided having to deal with things like maternity bathing suits. This time around I’m trying to strategically buy items that I’ll get a ton of use out of, without breaking the bank. Here are a few tops, bottoms and dresses that I like, some of which I already own and love!

{TOPS}

maternity 3LOFT // Target // Tees by Tina // Gap

I own the top from Target and wore it for the first time last week. I had more than one non-pregnant friend ask if it was maternity and respond with disappointment when I said yes — always a good sign! For really basic tees, I go with Old Navy, which get the job done and are dirt cheap.

{BOTTOMS}

maternity 2Theory // LOFT // J.Crew // Boden

I focused on non-denim items here, but make sure to check out my post from a couple of weeks ago on maternity jeans for denim snobs!

{DRESSES}

maternity 1Hatch // Splendid // LOFT // Old Navy

This Splendid dress is among the best maternity investments I’ve made. I got it during my first pregnancy and have already relied on it heavily this time around. Throw on a blazer and heels and it works for a meeting. Flat sandals and fun jewelry and it’s perfect for the weekends. I highly recommend this one. I’ve also been eyeing the Hatch dress for a while as a possibility for an upcoming wedding, but haven’t pulled the trigger yet. I love the flowy look on the model, but sometimes don’t like that style on myself. If you’ve tried this dress, let me know!

I hope these picks are helpful to some of you. If you have any specific shopping needs (maternity or non-maternity), leave a comment or send me a message on Facebook!