Tuesday, January 31, 2017

stripes on repeat

when: Wednesday before last  |  where: work  |  weather: 75 and sunny

Hey friends. I apologize for being a bit MIA last week. I went out of town unexpectedly, and decided it would be easier to take a break from posting. Though I did actually start this post over a week ago, so that counts for something right?

This shirt has been on major repeat lately. It's actually the third time I've featured in on the blog in as many weeks, but what can I say? I'm a creature of habit. I also made it's way into last week's carry-on bag, since it's so soft and cozy. It's been popping in and out of stock in both black and navy at GAP Factory, so it's worth it to keep an eye on it if you want one of your own.

cardigan: Loft (similar)  last worn here  |   shirt: GAP Factory (similar) last worn here  |  pants: Loft (similar)  last worn here  |  shoes: Sam Edelman (exact in other colors, cute pink similar)  |  necklace: Stella & Dot (exact)  |  earrings: Stella & Dot (similar)  |  watch: Target (similar)  |  bracelet: Kendra Scott (similar)

Don't forget: tomorrow I'm co-hosting Currently with Anne! Hope you will join us to share what you're currently packing, jonesing, texting, reading and hearting. 

//  Sharing on The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore.  //

Monday, January 30, 2017

january budget

January budget: $234.09
first quarter budget: $600 - $234.09 in January = $365.91 remaining

A new year, a new quarterly budget! I was a wee bit spendy this month, but I'm happy with all of my purchases so I don't even feel all that guilty about it. I've been wearing this GAP Factory stripe tee non-stop (see how I wore it here) - it's so soft it feels like pajamas! It's available online in very limited sizes, but if you live near a factory store, it's worth a look to see if you can find it. I got mine in a L, since an XL was no longer available, though I wish it was just a touch bigger for a more oversized look.

I apparently was all about the shoes this month with a pair of pumps, loafers AND sandals. As I'm getting older, finding comfy and cute shoes is a must. I love both of these shoes from Aerosoles, but pumps (see how I wore them here) have that perfect vintage vibe and the coral loafers are just so dang fun. The sandals were an impulse purchase while playing tourist a few weeks back. The husband went into one of the beach shops to find a new pair of swim shorts and I decided to grab these sandals as well. Living in Florida, impulse or not, I know they'll get plenty of wear. For reference, the pumps are an 8.5 and the loafers and sandals a size 9.

And then there was Loft. They're pretty clothes and great sales get me every time. Last January, I purchased a lovely wool dress coat - which I still love - but it's a little much for Florida winters, so I wanted to find something a little shorter and more casual for our colder days. I'm obsessed with this Loft funnel neck coat, it looks so much better in real-life than it does online and for $75 it's a great deal for a really decent coat. I wore it in Michigan last week and it was perfect for the cold weather and still fit in my carry-on bag. During their last 50% off sale, I also snagged this striped belted cardigan (that looks way better in real-life), this light blue ruffled popover (see how I wore them both here) and this gorgeous cream lace 3/4 sleeve top (see how I wore it here). All three are an XL and fit true to size.

Looking forward, there's nothing particular I'm in search of for my closet, but I'm sure I'll find a few somethings. :)

//  Sharing on Franish for Budgeting Bloggers.  //

Sunday, January 29, 2017

thoughts and whatnots 1.29.17

bows on my toes:  one  |  two  |  three

blog love:

on teal and polka dots:
  • on the blog: My grandmother was put into an end of life care facility last weekend and I decided Monday night to jump on a plane to Michigan first thing Tuesday morning so I could visit with her and say my goodbyes while she was still coherent and welcomed visitors. I decided to take a break from blogging and focus on family, which is why I only posted once on Monday.
  • on instagram: I saw snow for the first time in 10+ years!
  • coming up on the blog: Sharing my January budget finds tomorrow and co-hosting Currently with Anne on Wednesday! Hope you will join us to share what you're currently packing, jonesing, texting, reading and hearting.

favorite sales:

  • what I'm reading: I forgot to grab a book for the trip, so I snagged "Hidden Figures" by Margot Lee Shetterly to pass the time during airport layovers.
  • what I'm watching: Team UmiZoomi on repeat.
  • what I'm looking forward to: It's been a week of ups and downs culminating in the decision to put our house on the market. We have eight-years years worth of stuff to cull through and pack up, painting and to finish our floors in the next two weeks so we can have it show ready by mid-February. I was a single lady when I bought this house, and became a wife and momma while living in it, so it's definitely a bittersweet decision to sell, but we've outgrown our home and already have our eye on the perfect new house. So we're taking a leap of faith that we can get this place sold, and that our dream home will still be available in the next few months. I may be on here a bit less as we go through this new phase, but it should be an exciting one!

Monday, January 23, 2017

monday musings: week 4

Hope everyone is having a good start to their week. For the next year, each Monday I'm sharing a different "get to know you" style Q&A. I invite you to join in, since half the fun is learning more about you as well!

Q: Do you have a favorite color, and if so, has it always remained the same or changed throughout the years?

A: I think it comes a no surprise to anyone reading this that my favorite color is anything teal/aqua/mint. Hello, my blog name is half inspired by my favorite hue! But it wasn't always. As a little girl it was PINK everything, and for most of my formative years it was blue. I don't think it really shifted to teal until about five years ago.

all the teal/mint/aqua things please

A story about a shared love of teal. This summer my family and I went to Michigan for my grandparents' 65th wedding anniversary and my dad spilled the beans about my blog to my grandma. Her response was, "You named the blog after my favorite color! I adore teal." And you know, somehow I'd forgotten that. For her it meant the world that I'd honored her in that way even though it was unintentional. And though a share favorite color is such a simple thing, it makes me feel closer to her to know we have that in common.

I apologize for getting a bit sentimental. My grandmother has been very ill since October and declining rapidly. I found out this weekend that they expect her to pass in the next few days, and my heart is broken. I don't want to be downer, but I did want to share a simple story of ours in honor of her, though we have a lot more significant and better memories than just a color. :) But still. Love you grandma.

It's your turn. What is your favorite color and why? Let me know in the comments below.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

thoughts and whatnots 1.22.17

can't beat a good pair of jeggings:  one  |  two  |  three

blog love:

on teal and polka dots:
favorite sales:

  • what I'm reading: The Trespasser by Tana French - thanks Anne for the suggestion!
  • what I'm watching: Reruns of Friends, because, hey why not? 
  • what I'm crushing on: Pretty velvet smoking loafers with pretty bows, sparkly jewels and in a lovely blue hue.
  • what I'm looking forward to: A silly thing, but I'm in the process of making standard template for our university magazine and I'm in love with the combination of creativity and organization required of the project!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

not quite business casual

when: last Thursday  |  where: work  |  weather: 73 and sunny

I'm super fortunate in the fact that I can wear jeans to work. Though with the exclusions of Fridays, most days I opt to dress up a bit more with dark pants, dress, or a skirt, especially if I'm going into meetings or know I'll be interacting with the community. But last Thursday I knew I was going to be hidden away at my desk for most the day, and the lure of jeans was too strong. So it was jeans Thursday instead of jeans Friday - though let's be real, it's ALWAYS jeans Friday.

I say this not quite business casual, because in my option, jeans are never part of business attire (unless your lucky and work in a more relaxed professional environment like I do). So to make this outfit a touch more office appropriate, I added a colorful blazer and dressier flats.

It's business up top and a party on the bottom. :)

blazer: J. Crew Factory (similar)  |  shirt: GAP Factory (similar)  last worn here  |  jeans: American Eagle (exact) last worn here  |  shoes: J. Crew Factory (exact) last worn here  |  necklace: Kendra Scott (same design with a different stone)  |  watch: Target (similar)  bracelet: Loft (similar)  |  earrings: Fossil (similar)

//  Sharing on Fabulous Friday.  //

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


♫ working 9 8 to 5 ♫ (exact: necklaceshirt, shoes |  similar: skirt, watch. bracelet)

on Wednesdays we wear... (exact: pants, shoes, bracelets |  similar: watch, shirt, sweater)

a study in neutrals (exact: boots, necklace  |  similar: jacket, scarf, sweater, shirtpants)

striped shirt on repeat (exactnecklaceshoes, jeans  |  similar: blazer, shirtwatch)

blush + olive + stripes (exact: shirt, necklace, boots, jeans  |  similar: cardigan, watch, bracelet)

rainbow colored sandals (exact: sandals, jeans)

stripes on stripes (exact: necklace, clutch |  similar: shirt, cardiganwatch. braceletcuff, ring)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

sweater weather

when: last Tuesday  |  where: work  |  weather: 65 and sunny/windy

Winter is a fleeting thing in north Florida. We get a day or two of cold, but most of the time 60s and 70s is the norm. I wore this outfit last week in an attempt to "winterize" my midi skirts. Which in the south means closed-toe shoes and a light sweater. :) So inspired by Tanesha, I decided to pair a neutral sweater with this skirt.

Overall I'm pleased with the result, but confession, I was actually cold for most of the day. My skirt was just a bit too airish for the blustery day. Oh, well, the price of looking cute I suppose.

skirt: J. Crew (green optionpricey but cute smiilar)  last worn here |  sweater: GAP (similar)  last worn here  |  shoes: Aerosoles (exact)  |  necklace: J. Crew Factory (exact)  |  earrings: Stella & Dot (similar)  |  watch: Fossil (exact face with a leather band)  |  bracelets: Mooreseal (similar pearl cuff) J. Crew Factory (exact pave link)

Also, I'm all about these fun, retro pumps from Aerosoles. They have a nice block heel and cushy insoles which makes them pretty darn comfy for heels. They're definitely the most comfortable heels I own. This isn't a plug for Aerosoles, but I wanted to let you know how pleased I've been with them. I'm sure I'm not the only one whose continuously on a quest for comfy heels.

//  Sharing on The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore.  //

Monday, January 16, 2017

monday musings: week 3

Happy Monday friends! It's the end of a long holiday weekend, so forgive me for being a bit late in the day in posting this week's installment of Monday Musings. For the next year, each Monday will feature a different Q&A. I invite you to join in, since half the fun is getting to learn more about you as well!

Q: What did you want to be when you grew up and how does it align with what you're doing today?

A: I was one of those kids who couldn't decide on just one thing they wanted to be. One of the earliest was a writer (all my stories started with "it was a dark and stormy night"). Then it was a travel photographer/journalist, an artist, a book editor (getting to read for a living seemed like bliss), and right before I graduated from high school a historic preservationist. 

a writer, an explorer, a photographer, an artist - just a few things I wanted to be

In college I worked at a gift shop and fell in love with the idea of owning my own business and being surrounded by unique things that bring people joy. But I also knew I wanted to stay in college forever if I could just figure out a way to make that happen without having to do all the school work. :)

Today I work in marketing - though I really consider myself a glorified graphic designer - for a university. I also do a fair bit of writing, photography and event planning. My day-to-day varies, sometimes I'm designing a brochure or billboard, other days I'm writing press releases or student profiles, and other days I'm creating centerpieces of an event and later taking photographs. So in some ways, I'm kind of doing a lot of the things I said I wanted to do when I "grow up" - I write, design and even recently had the opportunity to help edit a book. And I figured out a way to stay in school forever. :) My job is super creative, and I can honestly say I love it.

I do still dream of one day owning my own gift shop. But much later down the road. Right now I'm pretty darn happy where I'm at.

It's your turn! What did you want to be when you grew up and is it anything like what you do today? Let me know in the comments below.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

thoughts and whatnots 1.15.17

sometimes I craft: one  |  two  |  three

blog love:

on teal and polka dots:

favorite sales:

  • what I'm watching: BBC Sherlock on Netflix. 
  • what I'm crushing on: Kendra Scott is having a major jewelry sale right now + an extra 15% off with code SALE2017. You can snag my arrowhead necklace on major sale and I wouldn't mind having the coordinating earrings and this granite cuff. Just saying... :)
  • what I'm looking forward to: My husband and I have tomorrow off of work, and daycare is open...party!

Friday, January 13, 2017

friday obsessions: living room refresh

Once the holidays are over and all the Christmas decor packed away, I'm all about updating the living room to give it a fresh look for winter/early spring. Below are 13 (in honor of Friday the 13th) save vs. splurge living room refresh options that I'm currently crushing on:

bold statement vase: save  /  splurge  |  global lumbar pillow: save  /  splurge  |  chalkboard globe: save  /  splurge   blush velvet pillows: save  /  splurge   |  pineapple vase: save  /  splurge  |  baroque mirror: save  /  splurge  |  dotted rug: save  /  splurge   |  storage baskets: save  /  splurge  |  teal tufted ottoman: save  /  splurge    |  herringbone throw: save  /  splurge  |  gold mirrored traysave  /  splurge  |  geometric pillows: save  /  splurge  |  stripe pillow: save  /  splurge

The black and white stripe, diamond and blush pillows from H&M were such a good deal, I decided to give them a try. They arrived earlier this week, and let me tell you for the price they do not disappoint. Granted they're the case only, which worked perfectly for me since I have a bunch of pillows already and it sooo much easier to store cases vs. pillows. I love the quick and inexpensive face lift they've given the living room! It's worth noting that both the diamond pattern and stripe pattern are printed on the pillows, but for $6 that's to be expected. 

Of all these items, on the top of my oh my gosh-just-want-it wish list is the teal ottoman from World Market - which is a steal at $180 - and the adorable PBTeen polka dot rug - worth every splurge worthy penny. I foresee a trip to World Market this weekend to check the ottoman out in real-life, I think it would fit perfectly with our L-shape sectional and aqua painted walls. As for the rug, sadly I can't justify spending so much on something that's more than likely going to be trashed by the toddler, but maybe one day it'll make it's way to me. 'Cause polka dots on a rug...with all the teal in the room...swoon....

How do you update your house after the holidays? Do you have any favorite stores for affordable home decor?

Thursday, January 12, 2017

pin to present: knitted pom pom hat

knit beanie pin to present
image source: michaels.com

I love to knit, especially quick easy projects like this knitted hat. I didn't have a plan to make this beanie, but whenever I go to Michaels or Hobby Lobby I'm compelled to browse the yarn aisles - whether I'm working on something or not - just to see what fun yarn and free patterns are available. I stumbled upon this free take one knitted hat pattern and decided to run with it (pattern available online here). As you can see, it's not exactly like the original, since I made some modifications, but I love how it turned out!

pin to present knit beanie 1 Instead of using the suggested yarn, I used one skein each of Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick in hudson bay (variegated yarn) and fisherman (cream). Since it is a bulkier weight than the suggested yarn, I went down to a size 11 needle instead of the suggested 13.

After that hat was all knitted up, I felt like still needed something, so added a fun pom pom made with a Clover Pom Pom Maker. Seriously if you haven't tried it, it's super simple and fun to make (though the instructions on the package were confusing, if found this step-by-step tutorial super helpful - what can I say, I'm a visual learner :)).

pin to present knit beanie 3
This hat was pretty quick to make. I forgot to time it, but I managed to finished it in two evenings between toddler chasing.

pin to present knit beanie 4
outfit details: hat (patterned here, adorable alternative)  /  sweater: Loft (similar)  /  chambray: Loft (similar)  /  pants: Loft (exact)  /  shoes: J. Crew Factory (exact)  /  bracelets: Bourbon and Boweties (exact three pearl, exact six pearl)

pin to present knit beanie 2 via instagram

Now if it was only cold enough to wear it ! Hopefully I'll get my chance in Nashville this February. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

ootd: lots of layers

when: Monday  |  where: work  |  temp: low 50s

We actually had a few cold days in Florida, and you know my scarf-loving heart rejoiced! Saturday and Sunday saw lows in the 20s and highs in the 40s and yesterday warmed up to the mid 50s, but the humid beach air made it quite chilly. My solution: wear lots of layers. Throughout the day I ditched the scarf and jacket, but it was perfect for the transitioning weather.

Plus, "cold" is different here, probably because of the humidity. It makes summers sweat to death hot and cold days downright frigid, even though the temps aren't really that cold. At first I thought my blood was just thinning out here in Florida, making me less equipped to handle cold weather. But when I went home to Tennessee after Christmas, temps in the 50s felt divine, barely a jacket needed. 50s in coastal Florida is freaking cold...break out the scarf and boots, cause you're going to need them. Guess that dampness goes right through your clothes...and frizzes your hair. :)

jacket: Old Navy (similar) last worn here  /  sweater: Loft (similar)  /  shirt: GAP outlet (similar)  /  pants: Loft (very similar last worn here  /  boots: Arturo Chiang (exact - on sale!)  last worn here  /  scarf: Banana Republic (cute striped alternative last worn here /  necklace: Kendra Scott (exact last worn here  /  watch: Fossil (same face with a leather band)  /  bracelets: Bourbon and Boweties (exact three pearl, exact six pear)

Sadly, starting tomorrow we'll be back to highs in the 70s, but it all the layers were fun while they lasted. :) I'm sure all you folks up north are yelling at me now...honestly, I know I have it good down here in the temperate south. I relish the few cold days we get, but would probably hate it if it was cold all winter long. 

//  Sharing on What I Wore.  //

Monday, January 9, 2017

monday musings: week 2

It's already the second Monday of the year - time sure does fly! - and time for the second installment of "Monday Musings." During the next year, each Monday will feature a different Q&A. I invite you to join in, since half the fun is getting to learn more about you as well!

Q: What's one ridiculous item of clothing you own (and actually wear)?

I these silly sweater leggings

A: My husband might insist that I have several ridiculous things in my closet (and he might just be right - I'm thinking of a blush tulle maxi skirt I'll probably never wear) but my most recent ridiculous purchase is these black and white patterned sweater leggings. They aren't the most figure-flattering, and not something I'm comfortable wearing in public. Which definitely doesn't make them most practical purchase, but, what can I say, they're insanely cozy, comfortable and fun! Confession: I technically did wear in public of my office Christmas party - but we were all wearing pjs, so that's okay, right?!?

 photographic proof of publicly wearing said sweater leggings

And to make things even more ridiculous, I might have scoured the internet in search of matching toddler leggings so Aubrey and I can have all the mommy and me matching goodness. :)

sweater legging flatlays are just too much fun!

You're up next. What's one ridiculous item of clothing you own (and actually wear)?