Newest Obsession: thredUP 

I got my first thredUP box over the weekend. People, I’m obsessed. It’s like consignment shopping online. And any kind of shopping where I get a huge discount without leaving my couch is always welcome.

They get their clothes from people like you and me cleaning out their closets. They accept Defect-free, On-trend, Top-brand clothing (DOT for short). Everything they accept, they sell and you get a payout (that’s the consignment part). 

the goods from my first thredUP box

I did have a credit in my account to try out the service, so these discounted pieces were even less expensive. The completed order screen said I saved 77% ($285.03) off retail  🙌🏻

This Anthropologie tunic is PERFECT for the current winter weather I’m experiencing. I’m looking forward to styling it casually with leggings, booties and maybe a white long sleeved button upfor my daily life. Dressed up with tights, heels or booties and a clutch for date night sounds pretty good, too.

Meadow Rue for Anthropologie Tunic paid $18 ($78+ retail)

I couldn’t resist this cozy cowl scarf by Madison 88 sold at Lord & Taylor and Anthropologie. Faux fur and $10 via thredUP. Perfect to add a little luxe to my very long, very cold, Chicago winter.

Madison 88 Faux Fur Scarf – paid $10 ($38+ retail)

And now, the item I’m most excited about: these Dior sunglasses! When I saw them on the thredUP site I was like SHUT UP. They were $40, but with my credit, they were even less. Compare that with upwards of $300 brand new! And, excuse me, but why didn’t anyone tell me that expensive sunglasses are actually WORLDS better than inexpensive ones?! 

 

Dior Sunglasses – $40 ($300+ retail), perfect condition!
 
I also love thredUP’s mission and message.  Here are some excerpts from the booklet that came with my purchases. 

  

  

You can read more about how they Do Good for our environment, our financial well being, and our communities. 

And in case you’re concerned about returning something, don’t be. Here are the return instructions from the packing slip.

  

I can live with those terms, especially if I didn’t have to leave my house (you can schedule a USPS pick up at your home, so really, no leaving the house)!

Wanna try it with a little spending money to start? You’ve got nothing to lose, except free stuff. And I know you don’t want to miss out on free stuff. 

Use this link to get $20 off your first order: http://www.thredup.com/r/6D2FQ4

Leave a comment and tell me what you would buy from thredUP! If you try it, let me know what you got. I’m sure I’ll be posting more thredUP purchases in the future. For now, I’m gonna chill in my cozy scarf and cool sunnies. ✌🏻️

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Pledge and Promise

Blogging: Some do it for business. Some do it for fun. Some do it as a creative outlet, or for therapy… or maybe they haven’t nailed down why they’re blogging at all. One thing is sure – you can immediately tell what category a blogger is in.

Let’s talk about the business bloggers for a moment, because I know many people have feelings about bloggers who do it for income, and this seems to be the only type of blogging people take issue with. I personally don’t mind the affiliate links if the blogger has actually used the product or service. I figure it’s a win-win-win for all involved: you have easy access to the product through the link (not having to Google something and weed through a bunch of unrelated links: win!), the company makes a sale if you loved the item enough to buy (all hail e-commerce: win!), and blogger makes a little pocket change from your sale (jingle in the pocket: win!). And if you love the blogger’s overall message, super cool that you can support him/her in this way, right?

So let me tell you up front – I’m here to change lives. Mine and yours. All through my writing about style and sanity and your reading about it, interacting with it and me, and, hopefully, implementing something you read. I’ve written My Pledge and My Promises to you, my dear reader. I’ve posted them by my desk so I can be reminded of them as I blog. And I want to share them here with you.

My Pledge

I pledge allegiance to my reader – that I won’t waste your time with meaningless posts. And if I leave an affiliate link, it will be for something I’ve personally paid for, used and loved, and felt compelled to tell you about.

(Now, if you’re an American, go back and read it like the Pledge of Allegiance. Did you laugh? Just me?)

In all seriousness, I can’t be bought. I don’t want products or services from companies that want to spread the word about their stuff through people that haven’t used their product or service yet. I know some people enjoy that kind of thing and make money doing it (kudos for the latter part), but that’s not for me. I prefer to spread the word about products and services I’ve already tried and love, awesome places I’ve been, and amazing people I think you should know, too. That’s a little more like real life, don’t you think? 

I get emails almost daily from companies wanting me to be a brand ambassador or influencer for their product or service. While most are cool and I’m sure could fill a need or want for at least one of my readers, if I wouldn’t pay for it or use it I feel I can’t, in good conscience, promote it. If I wouldn’t pay for it or use it, why would I recommend it to anyone? Could I make money off of it? Sure. Is that my purpose here? No. Does that mean I won’t work/collaborate with companies at all? No, also. It means I’ll only work with and promote companies that I’d spend money with. I hope to collaborate with others whose products, services and messages I believe in. Bottom line: If I don’t love it/wouldn’t use it/wouldn’t spend a penny on it, I don’t share it. Deal? Good. Now, keep reading for my promises…

My Promise

I promise to be genuine, like a trusted friend who would tell you if there was something in your teeth. I tell it like it is in real life, usually tactfully. I can’t always promise tact, but I do my best. I won’t make everything look like life is soft pastel in a naturally filtered glow with a blurred background. I just can’t. That’s not my real life. I can’t possibly be put together and at ease and picture perfect every moment of every day, and I don’t want you thinking that’s possible. 

I promise to give you useful information – whether it’s about a sale or an encouraging word – I want to add value to your life.

I promise to keep it mostly lighthearted. If you met me in person, you’d know I can’t go more than about 3 minutes without making a joke. I see no reason why my blog wouldn’t be the same way (did you see my pledge?).

I promise to keep it positive. No tearing down people, products or services here. If I don’t love something, it won’t appear here. There’s enough negativity in the world, #amiright? If you were to straight out ask me about a product and I don’t have a glowing review of it, I promise to tell you, but you won’t see a post titled “Worst ______ I’ve Ever Used” or something like that. My blog posts may never show up on HuffPost or ScarryMommy because of this policy, but that’s fine. 

I promise any affiliate links will be for products and services I’ve purchased with my own money, or would have purchased if it wasn’t already free. If you click on my link, I’ll make the smallest percentage if you purchase something (usually 4% – 6% of the retail amount paid), or even better, we both get a store credit or you get a percent off your purchase. If you’re cool with that, click away! If not, feel free to open up a new tab, Google whatever I just posted, like “black fit n flare dress”, and weed through the links that come up to see if you can find my exact one for the price I list on my blog. Easier to click on the link, right? *wink* 

If I receive the product or service free to give a review and you see it here, you can bet that I loved it and the word free didn’t sway me. Because if I get it free and keep it, I loved it. If I get it free and don’t like it, it goes back to the company or the service expires and you’ll never have to hear about it. I PROMISE.

The Real Deal

If you’ve followed me for a while on Instagram, you know my deal. I want to encourage you in your journey. I want you to value yourself enough to take care of yourself. I want us to all get along. I also REALLY like jewelry and arm parties, a good deal, a great outfit, strong coffee and community, and I know how all these things can revolutionize our lives. 

I’m excited for our lives to change through this blog. My hope is that you’ll resonate with what I have to put out there and put some of it into practice, and that you know that I do what I do hoping we are never the same, only better, because of it.

Writing Wednesday: What would you do if your sandwich fell upside down on the floor?

I thought I’d try out a fun segment here called Writing Wednesday. I’m always up for little creative writing, and I have to help my 2nd grade son with his homework. Two birds with one stone, right multitaskers?  Every month he brings home a “bingo board” with 20 writing prompts in squares (Ok, ok… they’re really rectangles, if you need to be specific), much like a bingo board. He has to complete usually 15 of the prompts, 4-5 (or more) sentences per prompt, with correct capitalization and punctuation. Every Wednesday I’ll share his 4 sentences (he FOR SURE stops at the minimum) as well as my response to the writing prompt.

I mean, it is the age old question, isn’t it? What would you do…? Pretty sure there’s a weekly show with that name. And I think they could totally set up a secnario around this:

What would you do if your sandwich fell upside down on the floor?

My son’s response was pretty straight forward for a 2nd grade boy.

“I would pik it up and put in the trash.”

In case you need a translation: 

1. I would pick it up and put it in the trash. (Right on, Bubby!) 

2. If mom was there, I would tell my mom. (Wait a second. How did I get involved?) 

3. My mom would make a new sandwich. (If this happens, I’m totally telling him to make his own sandwich – I can already see the blank stare of confusion.) 

4. It would be gross. (The upside down sandwich, I assume. ‘Cause I know you aren’t talking about the BRAND NEW sandwich I just made you after you CARELESSLY dropped the first one on the floor! What? Oh right – this is all hypothetical. 😁) 
Mine? Well, let’s just say, “It’s situational.”

What would I do if my sandwich fell upside down on the floor? 

That’s a good question, and the answer totally depends on what floor we’re talking about. My kitchen floor? Right in the trash. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Do not attempt to see if the sandwich has appeared to collect unwanted ingredients – because it totally has. There are stale crumbs and play doh and glitter and probably dried spaghetti now stuck to the sandwich. RIGHT. IN. THE. TRASH. 

My mother-in-law’s kitchen floor? Immaculate. The phrase “the floor was so clean you could eat off of it” may have very well originated in her kitchen. I’d consider picking up the rogue sandwich, giving it half a glance, brushing it off and eating it. I’m telling you, cleanest kitchen floors on earth. 

However, if we’re talking about peanut butter and jelly, I think that’s a no-go no matter what. You can’t brush dirt from that sticky mess, most of the pb&j has probably stuck to the floor anyway. Just make a new one. And if there isn’t anything left to make a new one, eat something else. Right after you clean up the goop you got all over the floor. 

In summary, it’s situational… and eat over your plate so your food doesn’t end up on the floor. 

So, what would you do if your sandwich fell upside down onto the floor? Let me know in the comments – because now I’m totally curious!

 

 

 

 

Style Secrets when Between Sizes

It’s January – the time when many of us find ourselves in one of two camps: the “holiday weight gain that has our clothes fitting a little tighter” camp, or the “weight loss resolution that will make our clothes fit a little too loosely” camp.

Properly fitting clothing doesn’t just look better, it makes you feel better. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than squeezing into your jeans, and nothing more annoying that pulling them up 20 times every hour.

Whatever camp you’re in, I have a go to uniform for you:

Tunic and leggings or skirts/dresses.

Below are some of my favorite stylings of these practical problem-solvers that are probably hanging out in your closet (read: don’t go buy new clothes just yet).

The tunic and leggings option is comfy and on trend. My requirements for this option are that the tunic come well past my butt. All important parts covered. Coverage to mid thigh is preferred. Maybe that’s not your criteria, but I find it to be less stressful if I sit down or bend over. And after having 3 children, I’m sure nobody wants to see any of that either.

Banana Republic sweater tunic (thrifted by a friend); Gap down vest (thrifted by myself); Old Navy denim jacket (also thrifted); Ralph Lauren button down (thrifted from the Men’s section); Target leopard print scarf (old); H&M leggings; Ralph Lauren boot socks and Sorel boots via Marshalls (old); Stella & Dot pearl spike cuff, renegade bracelet and Waverly petite crossbody (all current)

Old Navy cowl neck tunic (recent clearance find); Gap ponte zipper leggings (current sale find – also pictured above); Adam Lippes for Target flats (this past fall); Stella & Dot jewelry – Freya necklace, Arrow bangle, Sawyer stone bracelet, Renegade bracelet, Ally bracelet, Deco cocktail ring (all current)
And if you just thought, “It’s winter and I’m not freezing my butt off in a dress!” Shirt dresses are great to wear with leggings.

Gap cropped sweater (old); Merona chambray shirt dress (this past fall); Gap ponte zipper leggings (I have two pairs, people – don’t judge); Aldo booties again; Stella & Dot jewels and Waverly petite crossbody – Arrison stretch bracelet, Ally wrap bracelet, Alice bracelet, Sawyer stone bracelet, pavé chevron bangle, Maylee ring and engraveable ring (all current)

Gap flannel gingham shirt dress (last winter); blanket scarf found on eBay; H&M leggings; Sam Edelman suede booties (thrift find); Stella & Dot Waverly petite crossbody, artisan cuff, Sawyer stone bracelet and deco cocktail ring (all current)
Hot tip: Fleece lined leggings are a thing. I recommend wearing them under a pair of lightweight leggings because they usually don’t look like cotton leggings. You can even find them at Walgreens!

I’ll admit dresses and skirts are a little trickier if you live in a colder climate, like me. If there’s a day where it will be in the 40s, I’m totally willing to go with a dress and thick tights or even sweater tights. It’s like my desperation for comfort, cuteness and wearing clothing for warmer temps all converge.

Gap plaid dress (found it last fall for like $7) and leather booties (also last year, but a little more than $7); burgundy tights from Target; Stella & Dot Waverly petite crossbody, deco cocktail ring, renegade bracelet, Christina link bracelet (retired) and Amelie bracelet (retired)
I know firsthand that being between sizes, especially if you’ve worked hard to lose weight to look and feel better, is totally frustrating and makes getting dressed an unenjoyable experience. Embracing leggings and skirts/dresses as your default during this time should make the interim more bearable and keep you feeling beautiful.

Holiday Sanity Savers

Christmas should be the most wonderful time of the year. I hope you’re able to reclaim it for this year and plan ahead to make next year better, and more relaxed, than ever.

Put on that Party Dress for EVERY Party

The holidays are great… the decorations, the family time, the special events, PRESENTS. Ok, I know sometimes those are overwhelming and so is your task list. The idea of having to choose something different to wear to to each event can make you want to go all Grinch on the world.

Instead of going crazy and finding something new and exciting to wear for every event, consider restyling one dress for every party. I wrote an article with styling tips for the free online magazine The Perpetual You. See all the photos along with my tips for a little less stress in your style this holiday season right here. It’s on pages 22-23.The whole magazine is beautiful and gives some great insights on living life well. You should read the whole issue (after you read my part, of course).

Here’s my favorite look from the article and what I’ll be wearing to my next holiday shindig. It’s the most cozy and casual of the looks, but still cute, no? FullSizeRender(1)

Black Dress – fit n flare from Gap in black; Navy Cardigan – Old Navy; Plaid Blanket Scarf – eBay; Clutch and Bracelets – Stella & Dot; Leopard Kitten Heels – Bandolino (via Salvation Army)

Love the idea of restyling a dress for all your holiday parties? Or do you love to play dress up too much to wear the same thing twice? Let me know in the comments – I’d love to hear more about your holiday dressing philosophy!

in Style and in Sanity: A Website Is Born

Who builds a website and starts a blog during the holidays?! Yeah. That’s crazy and doesn’t promote that taking a step back during the holidays I’ve been reading so much about. Oops.

It would be super crazy if I had done it on a whim. Or if I wasn’t already doing it over on Instagram. But I’ve been contemplating this for MONTHS. I’ve been dragging my feet mostly due to self doubt (that’s where most of my procrastination comes from). All those thoughts that “I’m not good enough to have a blog.” “I have nothing new to say.” “I’m not a therapist and therefore have nothing to say about mental health.” “No one is going to read it anyway.” need to shut up. And if no one reads it, well, fine. I tried. And the trying and failing and getting up again – that’s often more valuable than success. So I’ll ask myself WWBBD? (What Would Brene Brown Do?… you can find out what she would do here), and JUST DO IT.

Here’s what I plan to share with you on in Style and in Sanity that I can’t quite do on Instagram.

  • Style tips with more than one photo at a time – yes, I know I can make a collage on Instagram. But you know what? Those look messy and people don’t engage as much on those posts. And tips are easier to understand when they are next to the photo they explain, right?
  • Links to my favorite products, services, wardrobe pieces. If you can get it online, I’ll share the link. Instagram isn’t link friendly. And I know you don’t want to type in some crazy URL when you want to buy something. Occasionally there will be Affilliate links, but not to worry, I’m not spending my time searching what I can promote that I don’t really care about. I’ll only recommend it if I love it (and I love that Brene Brown book I referenced, BTW).
  • Lots and lots of words… typing with my thumbs gets old quick. And when you have a lot of good things to say, the phone’s keyboard isn’t ideal.
  • Honesty. I promise not everything will be a stylized shoot done by a professional photographer. In fact, most of it won’t be. I promise to tell it like it is. I promise I don’t have it all together and I won’t pretend like I do. Life is good, but it’s messy… much like my kitchen most of the time.
  • More about mental health. Bottom line, that’s hard to photograph. Which brings me to my next and final point…
  • I reserve the right to post here without a photo. So often I leave important thoughts off of Instagram because I don’t have a good picture to share. And the last thing anyone needs to see is a stylized photo of coffee and coziness when you really want to talk about anxiety and stress.

I hope you’re cool with all of the above, want to hear more, and that you’ll follow along as I share my journey in Style and in Sanity.