Thursday, April 24, 2014

Vacation Fashion Ideas--[Don't worry, they're NOT my ideas!]

I'd like to introduce you to my amazing (real-life, in-person) friend Meagan!  We met oh so long ago right after we each had our second babies only a few weeks apart. At the time we both lived in Florida.  Now we both live in Michigan (crazy, right?) and if I'm honest, Meagan is one of the reasons I started blogging.  No joke! 

I LOVE LOVE LOVE her blog and I never miss a post because Meagan's got style, y'all.  Like real style.  She has a trendy, edgy look that I just love.  

So, when I reached out about my vacation style sitch, Meagan gave me the low down on all things comfortable and fashionable for vacation. Check back in next week to see which of the looks (see the links in the text below for the different pieces she recommends) I chose, complete with vacation pics!  I can't wait!  

Here's Meagan from Because of Jackie!

Hello, friends! I'm honored to guest post here today for my great friend, Jennifer! When she asked me to help her choose clothes for her upcoming anniversary trip, I wanted to put together a list of things that were easy to buy, both time, convenience and budget wise. A bit about me:  my name is Meagan and I have a personal style blog called Because of Jackie. I love dressing up and experimenting with my style, something that doesn't have to go away when you have kids (I've got two!)  I've been lucky enough to travel a lot over the past ten years or so and I'd love to share my thoughts on how I pack and what I like to wear while traveling. I've created a packing routine for myself that has worked and I would LOVE to share it with you today. Let's get started!
Vacation Fashion Maxi Dress
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 The most versatile item you can pack in your suitcase for a warmer weather destination is a dress (or three!) I like dresses because they can be dressed up or down so easily, can double as a bathing suit coverup, and take no thought when it comes to coordinating pieces. Most of my favorite dresses come from Target, they have so many great options and often are under $25 each, not to mention they have the best cottony fabrics. (Cute black, gray, and printed options here!)  I like to wear mine with simple sandals, a hat to keep the sun off my face (or a floral headband if you're daring!), and a long necklace for the fun factor. Add in an ethnic print large tote for days out shopping and strolling is also great, it gives you lots of room for new purchases,  there are so many lightweight and inexpensive options out there. At night you can wear the same dress with fun heels and a funky clutch for a quick and simple change. Easy peasy, right?
Vacation Fashion
 My next suggestion is a couple of things, but they all mix and match with each other in a really simple and chic way. I adore a pair of ripped denim (white is really pretty and not THAT hard to keep clean), and I also like to wear a fun pair of patterned pants. They flow, you pair them with a simple and slouchy tee, and you'll look really pulled together and cute. As for tops, I love a simple v neck tee shirt in three basic colors: white, gray and black. I size up a couple of sizes for a looser and easier look and find they go with everything. Picking a similar color palette is one of the biggest things I do to make packing easier. Black, gray and white are easier, with brown accessories and pops of color in my accessories. This makes matching unnecessary and getting dressed so easy. I love wearing black with brown a lot, too, as I think it is a bit off, something that makes an outfit more interesting in my opinion. I also like to wear one color head to toe as well, it looks pulled together with little to no effort (my favorite kind of look!)

When it comes to footwear there are a couple of cute (and comfortable!) options out there. I love a pair of simple sandals for light walking days. I  have a pair I bought at Target last year in brown (similar) that really do look great with dresses, by the pool, or out to a casual dinner. For days when there is a lot of walking, I suggest either going with a pair of lightweight white sneakers, like Converse, or you could even invest in a pair of black Birkenstock's, which happen to be really trendy this year (which is funny, because when are comfortable shoes ever trendy?) I'm not a big fan of workout/athletic shoes when traveling, but I'm also the type of person who ends the days with aching feet, so take my advice with a grain of salt;)
Vacation Fashion
A couple of other items I love to pack for trips? Printed maxi skirts (can be worn with slouchy tanks and a bathing suit), a denim jacket for chilly evenings, denim shorts for everything from days at the pool to sightseeing, and a great hat. I love packing items that can be worn multiple ways and are comfortable. Surprisingly enough, I'm not sure a vacation is the place where we need to be our trendiest and most fashionable selves. I think making an effort is great, but by packing items and accessories that look put together and make getting dressed easier, you can make the most of your time away. I love bringing fun and different accessories with me to jazz up an otherwise boring look. I'm a big fan of funky sunglasses, headbands, a wristful of beaded bracelets, and cool necklaces. Other that that I keep it fairly simple and tend to only pack a carry on with me as my children get the bigger suitcases now (oh, how times have changed!) 

My last bit of advice? Warm weather vacations call for a cute bathing suit and there are so many fun options right now. When I'm traveling with just my husband I like to wear a sassy little bikini, but I also enjoy a retro one piece as well. I think the benefit of a one piece is that they double as a top under a skirt or shorts. Modcloth has awesome retro options (polka dots!), as does Target (cute mint halter!) I am currently obsessed with this Kingdom and State striped suit as well, and really enjoy the look of a retro, high waisted bikini. Love! Toss on a panama hat and and cute sandals (plus a sassy little coverup!), and you will be set. 

That's it! I hope I haven't stunned you into a coma with that long winded bit of writing, and I hope I helped a little when it comes to packing and looking stylish while on vacation. The only thing left to do is now is to convince Jennifer to take me along on her vacation with her hubby (that wouldn't be TOO awkward, right?)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

What do you mean 'I can't wear yoga pants in Europe?'

So I've shared on here before that I kind of despise my entire wardrobe at the moment.  When one spends the better part of the previous five years either pregnant or carrying post-pregnancy poundage, the last thing one wants to do is torture oneself with a trip to a clothing retailer. 

Not that I haven't done that. 

It's definitely one of those experiences where you grab things off the rack that look super cute on the size zero mannequin, but accentuate all of your flabby parts. I'm sorry, but if a piece of clothing doesn't scream "you look five sizes smaller," ain't no way I'm gonna buy it. 

Or, you walk in and stick to the accessories, like just shopping whatever is closest to the check out lane.  Super fun.

As a result of these shopping experiences, I've taken a nice LONG hiatus from buying clothing for myself.  But now that I'm finally more comfortable with my weight/size, I think it's high time I squirreled away some pennies and purchased a few pieces of clothing.  Fun, right?

And on top of the fact that I have no wearable clothing, we also have a little 10 year anniversary trip coming up that I'd like to be at least moderately stylish for--cause they don't play in Europe.  Everybody looks nice all the time.  Something tells me my standard "mommy" uniform just isn't going to cut it. 

So I'm calling in the big guns.  'Cause girlfriend needs some HELP in the style department. These particular big guns come in the form of a great friend, Meagan, who has THE BEST style blog on the planet.  It's fun, and fashionable, and relatable all at the same time--just like Meagan!

I messaged Meagan and threw myself at her feet with my words, begging her to please have pity on a desperate style-less friend.  She helped me up, dusted me off with her email, and assured me that my cause wasn't completely hopeless. Not completely. 

We're going to do a little bloggy exchange here and Meagan is going to put together some looks for me, and then I'll pick a few outfits and do a big reveal from Europe.  Cool, huh? Makes me feel way more classy and sophisticated than I actually am. I promise not to come back a snob.  Pinky swear. 

I so look forward to sharing our adventures. And come on, we're getting a kiddy break! So really, we could go stay in a seedy motel for a week and it would still probably be the best week ever. We're already planning out the sight-seeing part of things (thanks to information from great friends) and will also include lots of trips to the pastry shops. 

So Meagan, here's my parameters: comfort (lots of walking), style (HELP ME), and maybe some loose-fitting tops and elastic pants so the clothes still fit by the end of the week.  (I'm KIDDING! Kind of.)

I can't wait to see what Meagan comes up with. So check back in Thursday morning for a vacation style post you won't want to miss!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Weight Loss Goal + A $105 CASH GIVEAWAY!

If you follow me on any social media platforms, you may have heard me screaming from the high heavens on Friday that I had FINALLY, after eight and a half long, rollercoaster months of diet and exercise, made my weight loss goal.


I shared my celebratory breakfast on Instagram...

...posted my excitement on Facebook...

...and on Twitter.

And I want to share more about it with you next week, like what worked for me, what didn't, and why it took SO long, but for now I'll leave you with...


I am teaming up with 10 other bloggers for a Spring Giveaway where you can win $105 cash money! I think that's a pretty amazing way to celebrate reaching goal weight, right?!

Here are all the amazing bloggers hosting this giveaway!

Aubrey of Dreaming About Someday // Lena of Root & Blossom // Jennifer of Mommy Life After Ph.D.
Ema of Our Love in Bloom // Fel of Fels Photos // Michelle of Our Three Peas
What an amazing group of bloggers!  There are many ways to enter and no mandatory entries!  Do as many or as few entries as you want!  Do them all to maximize your entry potential!  And don't forget to tweet about the giveaway for an extra entry every day!

Enter via rafflecopter below and good luck!  Happy Spring everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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