Summer LBD: 2 Ways

Ready or not, it's Monday. I feel a little better knowing that this will be a short week, don't you? Today I've got another closet remix; this time with my favorite little black dress. I recently discovered the blog Fizz and Frosting (I could have used her cute maternity style for inspiration last year!) so I'm joining in for Mix It Mondays. 

For the Who What Wear summer style challenge (#WWWSummer30), day 2 was "add a bright belt" so that's precisely what I did to my LBD. I also added a bright floral cardigan and wedges to make the dress spring- and summer-ready. 

Cardigan: Target; LBD: Target; earrings: Etsy; belt: Old Navy; wedges: Old Navy 

For my second look I kept it simple with a silver chain necklace and funky snakeskin print flats. This look was inspired by this week's Inspiration Monday picture at Two Birds

Dress: Target; earrings: Loft; necklace: Forever 21; snakeskin flats: Sam & Libby for Target


Weekly Eats: Easy Weeknight Meals

Remember when I used to do regular food posts? Yeah, that was a while ago. Since then, I've realized that I don't have the time, patience, or photography skills it takes to be a food blogger. But (you knew there was a but coming, didn't you?) I'm still pretty crazy about food.

Because I consider eating to be one of my favorite hobbies (what, it can be a hobby) I'm starting a weekly food feature. I'll share my food-related highlights of the week, from recipes to restaurants. This week it's two easy, delicious weeknight meals I made. (Jona even got to try these!)

1. Chicken Parmesan Casserole from Thriving Home

2. Pasta with Italian Sausage, White Beans and Mascarpone Cheese from Giada's Kitchen: New Italian Favorites {winner according to Jona}

What have you been eating this week? 
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On Comfort Zones and Mixing New & Old

Before I discovered style blogs, I got most of my inspiration from the pages of my favorite magazines. (First Seventeen and Sassy, then InStyle, Glamour, and Lucky.) While I still love kicking my feet up and reading a fashion magazine from time to time, I rely on the internet for the bulk of my style inspiration. 

One of the first style sites I visited (and still visit) on a regular basis was Who What Wear. It helped me push my own style boundaries and have more fun with clothes. The older I get, I find myself making more "safe" choices and taking fewer style risks. When I saw that Who What Wear is doing a 30 day summer style challenge (#WWWSummer30) I thought it would be a good way to start tiptoeing outside my style comfort zone once again. 

Today's look may seem less than rebellious, but the prompt "Mix vintage with something new" inspired me to turn a favorite vintage scarf into a fun, funky headband. Hats and hair accessories are definitely outside my comfort zone; for some reason I feel very conspicuous when there's something on my head (maybe because, well, there's something on my head). I like how the scarf/headband turned out though! 

Do you push your own style boundaries or have you been making mostly safe choices lately too?

Vintage: Adrienne Vittadini scarf/headband; new(ish): Gap Outlet mint cardigan; t-shirt: J.Crew Factory; gray pants: Gap; sandals: Merona, Target

Learning to Love Leopard

I was fairly slow to jump on the leopard bandwagon. I started with a pair of shoes a few years ago, then added a blouse, and after that a belt. When those items started to become frequent flyers in my wardrobe, I decided I needed a leopard print scarf as well. (All I need is a pair of leopard pants and I've got myself a Halloween costume!) 

When Sammydress contacted me about doing a product review, what did I find on their site but a perfectly lightweight leopard print scarf? The colors, weight, and leopard pattern are exactly what I'd been looking for. I wouldn't say the quality is fantastic, but it's pretty comparable to other sheer, lightweight scarves I own. It will join the other much-loved leopard pieces in my closet and get plenty of wear, no doubt. Thanks Sammydress! 

Do you own any leopard print? What's your most-worn leopard item? 

White t-shirt: J.Crew Factory; green pants: Gap Outlet; leopard scarf: Sammydress; sandals: Ross

Working Mom's Life: Guest Post at In Residence

Working and being a mom can sometimes feel like a combination of a juggling act and a race. My to-do list is always miles long, and the time I have to check off that list seems incredibly short. I'm talking about my typical busy day as a working mom over at In Residence today. All week she's featuring bloggers in a "Working Woman" series; be sure to check them all out! 

Thanks Anne for letting me guest post! 
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Simple Black Sandals 2 Ways

A new Ross store opened up near me, and on my way home from work last week I went to go check it out. The lovely people at Ross gave me a gift card to do some shopping, and I picked up the black maxi dress and black sandals pictured below. (I guess I wasn't in the mood for color that day.) 

Ross is having a promotion on their Facebook page right now; just take the quiz to determine your summer style, and you will be entered to win a $150 gift card (two winners are drawn weekly).

I took the quiz and got "Family Fun Patrol" which was pretty fitting for my weekend of family fun. I wore the dress out to breakfast with my sister-in-law and nieces yesterday. I kept the sandals but changed into casual shorts and a tee for an outdoor birthday party. I love that these pieces are easy but polished basics that take me from one activity to the next. 

What are your favorite things to wear on the weekend?

Dress: Ross; necklace: Swell Caroline; bracelet: gift; sandals: Ross

T-shirt: Old Navy; shorts: Loft; bracelet: gift; sandals: Ross

Disclaimer: I was provided a gift card from Ross as part of this post. All opinions are my own. 

Classic Stripes and Red

I'm not sure I'll be able to handle all the cuteness that's in store for me this weekend, but I sure am going to try. My sister-in-law Gennie is visiting with my two adorable nieces (who are 1 year and almost 3 years), and they are always a hoot. Then, I have a friend's baby shower on Saturday, and what's cuter than lots of presents for a baby boy? (Plus, it makes me think of all the presents I got last year for my sweet baby boy!) My last stop for the weekend is a birthday party for my BFF's daughter Addie, who will be turning 2. (I can't believe it's been almost a year since this!)  

So there you go, my weekend, jam-packed with adorable. 

What are you up to this weekend? 

Striped blouse: J.Crew Factory; skirt: thrifted Nanette Lepore; belt: Loft; shoes: Target

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Mid Week Pick-Me-Ups

It’s the middle of the week, and I don’t know about you but I could use a smile or two. Here are a few things that are making me happy right now.

{1} KC Bloggers. Last Thursday I got together with the KC Blogger Meetup group at the beautiful Amigoni Winery for a fun night of drinks, snacks, and mingling. It was nice seeing some old friends and making so many new ones!

{2} 10 months. Jona turned 10 months old on Father’s Day. Despite the fact that I say over and over that time is passing too quickly, I also say “this is the best stage” at every stage. Seriously though, this is the best.

{3} Classic Prints. Summer makes me want to wear stripes constantly, and nothing goes better with stripes than a baby in checks, right?

{4} Summer reads. Right now I’m reading Khaled Hosseini’s And the Mountains Echoed and it’s completely captivating. I love a book that sucks you in (and breaks your heart) like that.

{5} Popsicles. As someone who loves to make desserts, can you believe I made popsicles for the very first time yesterday? I did my own makeshift version of this strawberryshortcake popsicle recipe from Babble. (I subbed graham crackers for the vanilla wafers and I used straws when I couldn’t find popsicle sticks. I also managed to put a wooden spoon in the blender, but that’s a story for another day.)

What are you happy about right now? 

*book image via Goodreads

Dotted Chambray: Then & Now

Happy Monday. Whenever I say that, I feel like it should be a question. Happy Monday? (Although I think I know what the answer is...) How was your weekend? Ours was pretty uneventful, but we did enjoy celebrating Aaron's first Father's Day (and my dad's first one as a grandpa). 

Earlier this year I lived in my chambray shirts paired with sweaters and jeans. Now the weather has warmed up, but I still can't get enough of my chambray. This time I paired it with white denim and sandals. I love the way the pink necklace pops against the blue denim, so I kept it this time around as well. 

What's your favorite piece of clothing that spans the seasons? 

Dotted chambray: J.Crew Factory; white denim: Loft; necklace: Bauble Bar; sandals: Merona, Target

Jona's First Vacation: St. Louis

A few weeks ago we went on our first vacation as a family of three. We didn't stray far; we drove four hours east to St. Louis, Missouri for a long weekend. Aaron and I both had been working hard and we needed a little getaway; this was the perfect trip. Here's what we loved about our trip. 

Our hotel was right downtown, so we were able to walk pretty much everywhere. As you can see, Jona was one happy boy during the trip! 

Our location was perfect for sightseeing. We walked around until our legs ached and Jona could barely keep his eyes open. Some favorite sights to see: the arch, beautiful buildings and fountains, the library (yes, we went to the library!), ballpark village. 

I would say one of the best things we did in St. Louis was eat. If we ever make another trip there, I would definitely return to Baileys' Range for burgers and shakes, Pi for pizza, and Zia's on The Hill for delicious Italian fare. 

Baseball was our original reason for going to St. Louis. Eventually we'd like to visit all the ballparks (my husband is a big baseball fan and I'm slowly but surely turning into one). We wanted to see the Cardinals play the Royals, and we were lucky enough to see the Royals beat the Cardinals! 

Honestly, we thought we were going to be bored to tears here, but the Missouri Botanical Garden was one of the best places we visited. It was absolutely gorgeous. (Even Jona enjoyed his view from the stroller!) 

Only one thing I would skip on our next trip to St. Louis: 

Jona's face sums up how we felt about the St. Louis Zoo. Maybe we just didn't catch it on a good day.  (We went too early? It was too hot?) Or, maybe our experience at the Omaha zoo last year ruined other zoos for us completely. (That zoo is phenomenal, seriously. Go to the Omaha Zoo.) It wasn't terrible of course, but it was far from our favorite part of the trip. 

Have you been to St. Louis? Where else should we have gone?