My early Fall 2014 wish list

As usual, it’s about to be August and I have no idea where the summer has gone. Just as I’ve settled into my warm weather wardrobe, I’m starting to be inundated with fall looks. With baby #2 coming in October I won’t be doing much fall shopping this year, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have a wish list going! Here are some of the things that are already on my radar in preparation for the weather turning cooler.

I didn’t really plan out a theme here, but I’m obviously gravitating toward neutrals, with the occasional pop of color (how amazing is that pink coat?!).

What are the top items–either specifics, or categories–that you’re in the market for? I hope that you all buy some fabulous things and think of me sitting on the couch on maternity leave wearing yoga pants while you wear them :)

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.

 

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!

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!

{Summer essential} The LWD

I am very loyal to the LBD. Despite my occasional desire to branch out into other colors or prints, black dresses are just a comfort zone for me, so I come back to them again and again. But now that summer is upon us, we can’t forget that other important neutral, the LWD. Just as versatile as its black counterpart, the LWD is the perfect backdrop for bright accessories. I’ve been a fan of this staple for a long time, probably starting with my high school graduation dress, which was a simple white sheath that I felt extremely sophisticated in (I wish I had a picture). And of course last year’s Dîner en Blanc festivities renewed my interest in wearing all white.

LWD 1Marc by Marc Jacobs // Torn by Ronny Kobo // Banana Republic

If you’re sitting there thinking that you can’t be trusted to wear all white, trust me — I completely understand. But I’ve got one word for you: bleach. Unlike other light colors, you’re more likely to have success bleaching a white dress without ruining it (at least in my experience).

lwd 2Diane von Furstenberg // Anthropologie // Splendid

Are down with the little white dress, or are you too paranoid about stains to get comfortable? Any favorite dresses that you’ve seen lately?

Want. Need. Must have.

wnmh 6.3

Taylor Dresses // NCLA // Banana Republic // Anthropologie // AHAVA

Most of my recent shopping has admittedly been in the kids’ department, since I found out a couple of weeks ago that we’re having a girl! So, my life is currently being filled with hair bows and ruffles, and I couldn’t be more excited. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have fashion and beauty on the brain…so here’s my latest (overdue) list of things that are catching my eye!

{One} I have a friend who’s a manager at my local Nordstrom, so I’m always stopping in to visit when I’m there to shop. On my latest trip, she was wearing this great maxi dress that looked fantastic on her, and of course, I was jealous. It won’t work for me while I’m pregnant, but it’s a great style if you’re looking for a slightly dressier but not fancy maxi — it would be perfect for a business casual office or an evening out.

{Two} I got this NCLA polish in “As If!” in one of my PopSugar MustHave boxes, and it’s gotten me hooked on the brand. Great coverage, “5 Free,” and this shade is a perfect chalky lavender that I get tons of compliments on.

{Three} Some of my favorite wedge sandals have always come from Banana Republic. This year’s version has wide straps that look comfy, and a nice leather contrast on the sides.

{Four} The secret, slightly-Bohemian part of me is completely and utterly obsessed with this Anthropologie dress. I think it’s some combination of the neckline and the back view that’s making me drool a bit. It’s also making me want to have a dinner date near the water, which I think this dress would be perfect for. Sigh.

{Five} AHAVA sent me the Mineral Botanic Cream Wash from their new Tropical Pineapple & White Peach line and it smells like heaven. I tend toward fruit scents in general, but this is particularly yummy. It also makes a nice creamy lather that feels great. Two thumbs up.

What are you lusting after these days?

Five great SPF products to get you through the summer

SPF products

Honest Company // COOLA Suncare // Supergoop! // Supergoop! // NO-AD

In honor of the unofficial start of summer, I thought it was time to highlight some of my favorite SPF products. If you’re new to the blog, I should probably mention that as a fair-skinned, blue eyed person with a family history of skin cancer, I’m a bit of a crazy person when it comes to sun protection. Just ask my family members, who I drive nuts with lectures about sun safety. I love being outdoors, but that usually means wearing a big floppy hat, a coverup and lots of sunscreen.

Anyway, whether you’re a sunscreen nut like me or just looking for something to keep the wrinkles at bay, here are some great options!

1) I was at a friend’s bridal shower a couple of weeks ago, which turned out to be outdoors. In a very up characteristic move, I was wearing a sleeveless dress and had no sunscreen on, which spelled trouble for pasty little me. Luckily, the bride’s fabulous sister had a tube of Honest Company sunscreen in her car that she uses for her kids. Let me tell you, that stuff is thick as paste, but it works. I very rarely sit in direct sunlight for long, but I survived without my skin turning pink. I’ll definitely be buying this for my little guy (and maybe myself) at some point.

2) I typically do not trust spray sunscreen. I can’t tell where it’s covered, I’m paranoid about the wind blowing it away, and I’m just used to slathering on a traditional lotion. But there’s no question that a spray version is more convenient for touch ups, especially when you’re busy keeping an eye on a toddler who might nose dive into the deep end at any given moment. This Continuous Spray SPF from COOLA Suncare smelly yummy (pina colada), is organic, and in a very unscientific test at my parents’ pool on Memorial Day, didn’t result in me being burned to a crisp. This won’t be my primary sunscreen, but I’m sure I’ll be using it as back up for reapplication.

3) Even when I’m not going to be on the beach or at the pool, I make sure to have a decent SPF on my face. For the last few months, I’ve been using Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum, which is SPF 30 and doubles as my daytime moisturizer. It’s not too heavy, but still thick enough that I feel like I’m getting good coverage. Again, this is an everyday product for me, NOT for heavy sun exposure.

4) My other favorite from Supergoop! is their Acai Fusion Lip Balm, which is also SPF 30. Unlike a lot of sunscreens for the lip, this one isn’t thicky and pasty, but feels like a nice, smooth balm. Plus, it’s not really glossy, so you can make the men in your life use it too. I keep one in my beach bag at all times.

5) Now here comes the truth, after all of the fun products above (which I really do love): when I hit the beach, the most likely product to appear in my bag is NO-AD sunscreen. If you’re not familiar with the brand, it’s probably because – as its name suggests – the company doesn’t advertise. It’s a no frills brand that, if you’re lucky enough to find it at your local supermarket or drug store, comes in big bottles that are cheap. Really cheap. But this stuff does work, and a bottle lasts me forever.

What are your favorite SPF products, either for the beach or everyday skincare? Leave a comment and let me know, because I’m always looking for recommendations!

{Disclosure: Sample product provided by Supergoop! and COOLA Suncare for editorial consideration. All opinions and words are my own. I try LOTS of products, but I only write about the ones that I’m confident in recommending to you!}