dress c/o sailor-sailor / earrings c/o tiny tassel / sandals – jack rogers /  bracelet c/o allison cole / clutch – j crew factory

Have you heard of Sailor-Sailor? This Connecticut based clothing brand is made in America and has so many dresses/tops/skirts with dozens of nautical patterns. While “preppy” can be defined many ways, Sailor Sailor is preppy in the truest sense of the term – like pieces you stumbled upon in a cute shop in a small beach town. The patterns are whimsical and fun, the fabrics are durable and hot-weather friendly, and the fit is truly flattering.

You know by now I’m a sucker for a sailboat pattern! Joe and I were engaged on a sailboat and he gave me a gold Tiffany sailboat necklace on our wedding day. I love the use of shades of blue on this dress and how it looks worn by the water.

We haven’t had a truly hot summer in Michigan in years, but this summer looks like it’s gonna be a hot one! I love hot weather so I don’t mind, but now I’m more mindful of the dresses I wear to endure the heat. I reach for sleeveless dresses to keep me cool, and the fabric of the Sailor Sailor dress isn’t thin, but it is lightweight and cooling. It’s not see-through one bit!

Check out Sailor-Sailor’s line, even just to see all the cute patterns. There’s many great navy/white options are well as some preppy pink and green ones that are really nice!


Lauren James Planner

planner c/o lauren james 

I’m someone who still likes to write things down vs. an electronic calendar, and I’ definitey not alone. There’s been a big spike in popularity in recent years of going back to handwriting, and you can see it through the rise of beautiful hand lettering, bullet journals, and more choices of agendas.

I love using agendas, but choices used to be slim and everyone uses them so differently. I was pleasantly surprised with the Lauren James planner because it encompasses everything I already need for a planner.

It’s pretty thick, going from August 2017 – July 2018, and has pockets in the back for loose papers and lots of stickers for parties, appointments, days off etc. It may be a little too big for a purse but perfect for a tote. It’s more like the size of an iPad.

I like that it has gift ideas in the front. Buying gifts can be challenging, so I like to keep a running tab of ideas when I come across them, even if it’s months ahead of time. I also like how goal orientated it is having you set goals in the beginning of the month and then every week asking you how the goals are going. Instead of making “new year’s resolutions”, it keeps you accountable month to month, such is more successful over time.

My favorite part is the month and week view! I have never found a planner that really fit my needs and this is exactly how I would design one. I love having the month at a glance view, but also to break down the week – but what makes this one different is the heath trackers. This is something I’ve done on my own with a bullet journal so I know it’s something I will be using with this agenda. You can plan your meals and workouts, and track your water intake. I’ve never seen a regular planner like this so I was really happy to see it integrated in a non-fitness planner.

I am looking forward to using this Lauren James planner come August to keep me on track!

Do you use a planner or have you gone digital? I’m really encouraged by stores like Paper Source because they show that print and writing is not dead. I love writing things down instead of typing them on my phone!

P.S. My favorite pens EVER for planners / may books  /etc. are Le Pen. I get the big pack on Amazon. 


Sail Away

dress – ralph lauren old / bracelet – kjp / shoes – clarks old, belt – c/o ll bean

I remember seeing this dress years ago from Ralph Lauren and never pulled the trigger on buying it. While I don’t advocate buying excessively, sometimes there are things that stick out to you that you didn’t buy and wish you did. This is one of those items I wish I bought, but thankfully Poshmark is the place for second chances!

I’m the last person on earth to discover Poshmark, but I’m definitely addicted. There are items I didn’t buy and regret, so I know when I can remember them years later that I probably should have purchased them. I love being able to search Poshmark and buy the items I regretted not buying now for a fraction of the price. This sailboat dress was purchased for $20!

This L.L. Bean belt above is my new favorite accessory! Made of thick rope and leather, it’s the perfect accent to any dress for summer. It compliments the sailboat dress perfectly, but would also make more of a statement on a plain dress. I look forward to wearing it often throughout the season.

Is there anything you’ve regretted not buying? I still have one more thing that haunts me – a hunter green j crew puffer vest. It was on sale but I didn’t buy it because a friend of mine just got a different green vest and I didn’t want to seem like I was copying her. That’s definitely not a good reason not to buy something! I check Poshmark every so often but am still searching for the exact one. 🙂

White Dress of Summer

Buckley Dress c/o Duffield Lane  / Shoes – Jack Rogers / Bracelet c/o KJP  / Purse – Dooney & Bourke

Duffield Lane recently sent me this beautiful white dress for summer and I adore it. White is so fresh for the new season and can be worn to many events over the summer, with the exception of a wedding. 😉

I have worn this brand many times over the years and am always impressed with the style and fit of the item. As I get older, the fit of my clothes becomes more important to me. A poorly fitted item can make even a great outfit look bad if the proportions aren’t right. Duffield Lane always nails the fit and I feel like the item was made for me.

The eyelet detail is darling and I love the neckline of the dress especially. White dresses are very versatile, but I also love the navy/white version as well.

I just got these shoes and was excited to wear them! I have wanted them for a few years but don’t love dropping that much on sandals too often, so when I do get a pair of Jacks I usually don’t buy any other sandals that year. I figure I’d rather have one pair of Jack Rogers than 3-4 cheaper sandals. My first pair is around 3 years old and still look great.

Do you have a go-to white dress? And how do you feel about Jack Rogers? I’d love to hear in the comments!

How to Style (& Not Style) Stripes

It’s no secret that stripes are everywhere, and the peak time to wear them is summer! You can see me in stripes often, mostly in my favorite colors of red, white, and blue.

These three shirts are my hands down favorite striped shirts. The two outside ones are from L.L. Bean and the middle one is from J. Crew Factory. I really love the one on the right with the alternating blue and red stripes and think it’s a fun addition to any summer wardrobe. You’ll be me sporting that shirt many times this summer!

I love the stripes on the dress on the left with the varying widths. It looks very pleasant especially on that cut of the dress. The outfit on the right caught my eye because I would have a hard time mixing stripes, but here it looks really cool. I may try mixing vibrant and subtle stripes like that!

While wearing stripes is mostly simple here are a few things I’m weary of:

  • You’ll seldom see vertical stripes, so be careful if you choose to wear vertical stripes. Make sure the lines are thin and far apart, or else risk looking like a referee. (I’m speaking from experience here!)
  • Tighter stripes are really cute but don’t photograph so great, and may look funny on social media platforms. There’s been more than once I’ve posted a seersucker dress on Instagram and the stripes are distorted.
  • Stripe tops and dresses are a no-brainer, but stripes on pants and shoes are harder to wear. You have to keep the rest of your outfit simple, and it’s tough to find flattering stripe pants. It’s not possible though, and when pulled off correctly it looks great.

What are you favorite stripes to wear?

What to Wear Wednesday: Critter Prints

Is there anything preppier than a well placed critter print? Critter prints, not to be confused with animal prints, are small silhouettes of the animal embroidered all over an item of clothing. It’s most commonly seen on shorts, particularly men’s shorts, but you can find a critter print on many things if you look hard enough. I have many critter print items including shirts, shorts, skirts, and even shoes. It’s both whimsical and preppy, and shows that you don’t take yourself too seriously. Life is too short not to wear fun clothes!

Among critter prints, you can also find similar items with an object motif on them, such as a small nautical embroidery throughout a print. This summer it’s easy to find these object motifs even through main stream retailers. Old Navy’s newest men’s collection has a ton of American flag motifs items that I’m tempted to buy my husband.

I love that J. Crew brought back the critter shorts reminiscent of their early days! The crab tote is pretty cute too.

It’s so easy to find critter prints for men, I’m rather jealous! My husband needs that seersucker pair with the lobster print on them.

It’s easy to get into a rut in the colder months of wearing the same old thing, which is why I use the warmer months to revive my wardrobe and wear my more “fun” items. Critter items are definitely near the top of the list of items that are more summer appropriate and go great with a lighter, brighter closet.

Do you own anything with a critter print on it?

Tassel Earrings!

There’s no denying that tassels are having a huge moment right now, especially in the form of earrings. I’m not normally one to jump on the trend bandwagon, but I’ve really admired how the tassel look adds a fun element to even the most classic outfits. The biggest turn off for me has been price. Many tassel earrings are anywhere from $40-$80, and when you want all the colors like I do, that starts to add up. Enter The Tiny Tassel – owned by Mimi Striplin, all her products are hand made in the USA and start at $12 a pair!

earrings (the radcliffe) c/o the tiny tassel

For me, trends are always a risk so I would rather invest money into classic items and then save money on trends since I don’t know how they’ll look on me. Sometimes I like how trends look on other people but not on myself. These earrings are low risk because of the great price and they’d be super cute on anyone. I immediately tried these on and was really happy with how they look! I wore them twice this past weekend and received tons of compliments. I can’t stop raving about these earrings to everyone I meet!

Summer is a great time to have fun with your style and these earrings will be in heavy rotation in my summer wardrobe. They style so well with any outfit – especially summer dresses. I currently have the cornflower blue and white pair, but I’m thinking about buying a red pair later this week since my summer wardrobe consists of lots of red, white, & blue. What I really like about these earrings is they are lightweight and they have no backs on them – they don’t come off at all and they’re so easy to take off at the end of the day! I can’t say enough great things about The Tiny Tassel. Give the website a peek and see the other jewelry/clothes/accessories that are available with tassels on them –  you won’t be disappointed!



Q&A Friday: Editing Photos for Instagram

Q: What photo editing apps do you use to edit your photos?

A: Snapseed!

Today I’m talking about my go-to apps for editing photos for instagram. I usually take my photos on a Canon in a manual raw image setting, upload to my computer and dropbox them to my phone, but when I get an iPhone 7 later this month I’ll probably be using that more since the quality is so great! I have played around in Lightroom a little bit, but I’ve been really happy with both Snapseed and Colorstory.

Snapseed is my #1 go-to for editing apps. The photo above is a great example of how I edited it via the app so that my hair color and door color didn’t blend so much. The more you play around with the app, you’ll find a rhythm to how you like to use it, however I have an order I tend to follow.

I always “transform” the photo to straighten it out. I rarely have a photo that’s 100 % straight (thanks instagram husband…), but that’s no problem for Snapseed! After that I will crop it to either a square or 5:4 ratio to fit the Instagram dimensions. Most often I do a 5:4 crop because I like the portrait (vertical) look of a photo. You can tune the images brightness, contrast, saturation, etc., but my favorite part is the brush. If you’d like to make one part of the photo lighter/darker, more saturated or less, etc., the brush is the best tool for this. Lastly, I use “heal” to take out anything I need to from the photo. I’ve used this to take out telephone poles, reflections of the camera in windows, car in the background, etc.

I also got a tip from my Instagram friend Jackie that the “grainy film” feature is great is you turn down the grain to 0, and then the filter to 25-50%, and then there are a lot of nice filters to choose from! Check it out!

This is one of my favorite photos I’ve edited via Snapseed and was featured on L.L. Bean’s Instagram account. I was sitting on the edge, but as you can see from the photo on the far left there’s a ledge that comes out more on the right side. I was able to edit that out, and then I used a brush to add color to the background without over saturating the boots themselves. The photo looks a lot better by using the “heal” feature on either side of my boots to take out the brush/ledge.

Another nice thing to play around with in Snapseed is that you can go back and erase certain steps of editing or even edit those steps. So if I’m not happy with how I straightened it and I’m almost done, then I can go back fix it, and then it will re-do all the previous steps so I don’t have to start from the beginning.

I also add “details” at the end to sharpen the image up just a tad without over doing it.

The second app I use is ColorStory, and I only use it once in awhile. The only thing I’ll use is the “flare/bokeh” feature for brighter, sunnier photos. If I feel my photos needs something extra, I’ll try a few and see if it fits. I don’t use this very often but am happy when I do.

One last tip – if you want your photos to be as clear as possible, it’s smart to upload them straight from the snapseed app to Instagram instead of saving them and then uploading them. The less steps to uploading, the less Instagram will condense them.

What app do you like to edit with?



What to Wear Wednesday: Fall Clothes in Spring

We can all get in the rut of wearing the same outfits the same ways over and over again. Sometimes I need a little inspiration or a new way to put a look together. If you still have some fall/winter clothes out, there are a few ways to work them into your spring wardrobe for a fresh, new look.

Camel: When I think of camel I think of a fall color often seen on blazers/coats/shoes, however, the color can look quite nice for spring. Paired with neutrals above such as a large portion of white, it breathes new life into the color. I especially like it with chambray and stripes like the photo on the right. I won’t be putting away my camel blazer anytime soon but incorporating it into some spring outfits.

Olive Green: I’m definitely guilty of seeing olive green solely as a fall color, but it can be so versatile for all year round. I have a favorite pair of olive green pants and it makes a great base for spring outfits. I especially like it paired with soft pink to mix in that feminine touch.

Plaid Shirts: I used to put all my plaid shirts away come spring but now I leave a few out and pair them with white pants. It makes the plaid pop more and makes it spring appropriate. I’ll try to add in at least one spring/summer accessory to the outfit to help transition it effortlessly into warmer weather. All the plaid shirts I keep out are cotton though, I put my flannels away til it gets colder again.


Are there any fall items you like to re-purpose for spring? I’d love to know, please leave your tip in the comments!

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