Thursday, July 14, 2016

How to Dress for Vegas If You Are in Your 30's and Up

So you're about to take a fun trip, and you want to look your best.  How do you walk the line between your normal home look, and not looking like you think you're still 21?  While it does depend on your travel destination, here are some tips to look sophisticated and fun anywhere (all ridiculous phone pictures from a recent trip to Vegas).

1. Assess your current wardrobe:

What could you use that you already own?  Which dress has been languishing in the back of your closet because it is too *something* for home?  Which trendy piece do you own that is a little bit out of your comfort zone?  What pieces could you mix and match in a new way?  Vacation is a perfect time to pull those out and push your limits a little bit.

Night 4 (too tired to push any limits.  Comfy FTW), all previously owned
Top: Halogen via Trunk Club, Linen Pants: Pilcro for Anthropologie, Earrings: Stella and Dot
Travel Day, all previously owned
Shorts: Loft, Sweater: Halogen via Trunk Club, Sandals: Dolce Vita via Trunk Club

2.  Fill in with a few new pieces

If there was ever a time for a shopping trip, a vacation is it!  Don't allow yourself to buy any boring basics here-now is the time for statement pieces.  A new dress, a fun pair of non-jean pants, or a beautiful piece of jewelry will help you feel fresh and special on your trip.  (Or, if you're a shopper-maybe one of each!)

Night 1
Dress: Adelynn Rae via Trunk Club, Shoes: Steve Madden via Trunk Club, Earrings: Kate Spade

3. Take a picture

Not sure if an outfit is working?  Take mirror selfies while you are packing.  Yes, if you are over 30, this will make you feel awkward.  But it is SO valuable to see where a dress you really love is not working anymore, or that a new shirt you worry is too revealing is actually on the right side of sexy.  Which leads me to point #4-If you can't decide for yourself, why don't you...

4.  Get some help

Do you struggle with buying the same basics over and over?  Are you unsure of what looks best on your "right now" body?  Do you feel uncertain if a piece is trendy or just ridiculous?  Get some advice!  Maybe you could call your sister aka "your stylist", or you can get free styling at a high end department store like Nordstrom, or use a service like Trunk Club (I know I keep suggesting it, but that's because I genuinely find it so helpful!).  Before my recent girlfriends' trip to Vegas, I had my Trunk Club stylist Whitney send me a box full of fun ideas.  And you know what?  She did send me things that I would have never even tried on at the store.  I was definitely pushed a little out of my comfort zone.  But once I had them on, I LOVED them (and the things I didn't love went right back in that prepaid box.  Phew!).  It is SO valuable to get someone else's help to freshen up a vacation wardrobe.  If you aren't ready to take the plunge with a professional stylist, send your sister or your closest friends a text with those selfies you just took and ask their advice.  Make sure you pick someone who can be honest with you.  (I personally use Trunk Club AND send pictures to my girlfriends to double check my instincts).

Night 2 (this dress is one I would have NEVER picked on my own!  Pushed my boundaries, for sure.  It won't get much wear here on the farm, but it was fun to have for Vegas)
Dress: Felicity & Coco via Trunk Club, Shoes: Steve Madden via Trunk Club

Tell me, do you have any fun vacations coming up?  We are leaving for a family RV trip out West soon.  Considering that I have never been inside an RV, this should be a real adventure.  Or a total disaster.  Pray for us!  :)

Happy travels my friends!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

What I'm Into, June 2016 Edition

I am linking up with Leigh Kramer for the first time today to talk about what we were into this June.

1.  Coldbrew

We live an hour from the nearest Starbucks, so I don't get there nearly as often as I'd like. #firstworldproblems

But I have been traveling so much lately that I have gotten to stop in many, many times this summer, and one of the things Starbucks kept pushing is the Coldbrew.  I drink iced coffee everyday during the summer, so I was intrigued - how exactly is cold brew so different?  Turns out, cold brewed coffee is pretty similar to how I was making my iced coffee from this recipe.  You use cold water and coffee grounds steeped for 24 hours to make a coffee that is smoother and less acidic.  And as a bonus, it has double the caffeine of coffee brewed the traditional way.  Win-win 😂

2.  Keto Starbucks

On a similar note, for those of us who need to eat a ketogenic diet or low carb high fat, I have been totally obsessed with the following at Starbucks: Iced Passionfruit tea, Sugar-free vanilla sweetener, heavy cream.  Almost like a milkshake, if you don't pay too much attention.  (Moon Cheese is great low carb snack option, if you are stuck in the car or airport too!)  Not clean eating, for sure, but a fun treat.

3. Complete Hydration

Between my recent trip to Vegas, where it was solidly 115 degrees everyday, stepping up my half marathon training, and just general summer debauchery, rehydrating myself with more than just plain water has become a necessity.  But Gatorade, with its 34 grams of sugar, is not in line with my health goals at all.  And I hate giving all that sugar and artificial color to my kids too.  I have been relying on  Arbonne Complete Hydration instead.  With 3g of sugar, it isn't perfect, but it works exceptionally well.  (And for those of you who tend to overindulge a little in the summer: Complete Hydration is a hangover miracle worker).

4.  Ann Leary

You guys know I am totally infatuated with books.  For better or worse, I am also a very fast reader, which means I can go through several fiction books PER WEEK.  (This is really helpful for getting books read, but it also means that I am always looking for new things to read, which gets frustrating and expensive sometimes).  After (what felt like) exhausting Amazon's book lists, I stumbled upon The Good House, by Ann Leary.  It was so well-written that I buzzed through her entire catalog, including her new book The Children.  It was only afterwards that I realized she is the actor Denis Leary's wife.  I'm glad I didn't realize it before I picked her up, because I am so anti-celebrity authors that I probably would not have given her a chance.  Not great literature by any means, but solid, absorbing stories with well-developed characters.

5.  La Chic Boutique

I almost want to keep this one all for myself, but I really love you guys, so here it is:  A friend of mine told me about this resale shop that posts/sells their finds on IG.  I have bought SO many great high-quality pieces (Nordstrom, Free People, Lululemon, Athletic, Trina Turk, etc) from this shop!  Thrift store and consignment shopping out here on the farm can be very hit and miss, so it has been amazing to be able to easily pick up some of my favorite brands gently used for great prices.  Follow them on IG (@lachicboutiquesandpoint) to shop for yourself.  I even direct messaged her my sizes, and she sends me pictures of everything she has in shop.  (I have nothing to do with this business, and this is not an affiliate link....I just love it)

6.  Hummingbird Glass Straws

I knew I wanted to replace our plastic straws, (which are in rough shape and that I worry harbor toxins), with something safer.  I feel like drinking out of stainless steel straws makes water taste odd, so when I stumbled upon these glass straws, I was delighted.  I was even happier to read all the 5 star reviews from Amazon.  I bought a four pack of the bent straws, and I have been using them obsessively.  I even travel with them, and bring them to Starbucks and restaurants.  Seriously, everything tastes better out of these.  I am never going back to plastic or disposable straws.  As a bonus, the customer service is extraordinarily friendly.  I tagged them in a post on IG, and their customer service not only interacted extensively with my friends in the comments, they direct messaged me to say thank you for tagging them.

7.  Cello Whisps from Costco

A "chip" made entirely from Parmesan cheese.  We can't stop eating them.  These are the perfect chip replacement for low carb eaters, and every time I bring them to a party, people go nuts.  Delicious.  I just wish I could get them on Amazon for a better price, since we live so far from the nearest Costco.

8.  West Wing Weekly Podcast

I adored the show The West Wing when it was on TV.  My girlfriends and I (who mostly thought we were going to run the world one day) used to park ourselves in the basement of my sorority house and watch every week (remember when we had to watch TV in real time?!  Best of times, worst of times, eh?)

Listening to this podcast (led by Josh Malina, who played Will Bailey), has been so much fun.  Each episode recaps and revisits one episode of the TV show, with guests ranging from West Wing actors and crew to current senators.  Great listening for long run training.

9.  She Reads Truth Studies

I really want to be consistent about spending time in the Word everyday, but if I don't have a plan laid out for me, I struggle to focus.  I have been using the She Reads Truth app and purchasing their studies for about 6 months, and I really enjoy it.  They have tons of studies available, as well as one "live" currently running study (at this moment, Acts).  The studies combine verses that are relevant to a subject or book into a daily reading plan, short explanation and devotional, and room for discussion with other users.  Both the app and the paper version of their studies are beautifully done.  If you are looking for some direction for your Bible time, this is a great resource.  (So far, the Proverbs study has been my favorite).

10.  Small Town Races

In the past two weeks, I have run two different races here in NW Illinois - the Pretzel City 5K with my girls and the Stockton 4th of July 10K on my own.  While I enjoy big city races too, these small town races have had the best and most encouraging spectators!  Both were exceptionally well-organized, and it was SO awesome to see how many runners stuck around after their finish to cheer on those still running.  My 9-year old even placed in her age group.  Thank you to everyone who lined each course with funny signs, set up sprinklers and boom boxes in their yards along the route, and worked so hard to make these races a great experience for every level of runner.

So tell me, what about you?  What are you into right now?