Non-Maternity Items I’ve Bought

I haven’t bought many clothes in general since being pregnant, and the majority of clothes I have been purchasing have been maternity staples. Honesty, it’s been sort of nice being in this state where normal clothes don’t fit me because when I do want a non-maternity item, I put more thought into it. Because it’s something I can’t wear right away, I have to really want it in order to purchase it. With that being said, the items below are all non-maternity items, most which cannot be worn until after pregnancy, that fit my standard for a “must have” item for the future.

Tuckernuck Earrings (sold out): Of course I can wear whatever earrings I want while pregnant, but these are so spring/summer that I probably won’t be wearing them until after the baby anyway. I SO badly wanted these earrings when they came out last spring, but couldn’t bite the bullet at $88. I ended up getting them for $17 + free shipping recently during their sale, and cannot wait to wear them when the weather gets warmer.  They’re sold out of the color I got but they still have other colors online.


Lilly Shift in Multi Sea Salt & Sun: An item I wanted when it first came out was this Lilly Pulitzer dress in this pattern. It reminds me of 1990’s Florida and I really love the fun print! It was marked down to $65 in their latest after party sale and I couldn’t resist. I got a little bigger than my normal Lilly size, so we will see how well it fits once summer comes.

Abercrombie Fair Isle Sweater: This isn’t an item I bought, but asked for from my parents for Christmas. I’m a sucker for fair isle and loved this red version of it. I’m looking forward to wearing it next December!

Vineyard Vines Funnel Neck Shep Shirt: I found this piece on Poshmark with the tags still on it. I wanted to know if the sizing was similar to their other Shep Shirts so I wanted to find the old listing for it on the VV website to read the reviews. What I found was it’s still for sale on their website currently, yet for some reason this lady was selling it on Poshmark, and I ended up paying $35 for it. The reviews all said it ran large, so when it came I tried it on and the XS fits me… at 35 weeks pregnant. They are easy to shrink so I’ll be attempting to shrink it after the baby comes. 🙂 I’m really happy with the style and quality of the item and recommend it to anyone interested in adding a fun piece of Vineyard Vines to their wardrobe!



Talbots Gingham Half Zip: I saw this on IG friend Devon’s story and instantly loved it! I got it for $25, and it looks like it’s still at that price. It’s a really warm fleece and has a cool navy feature on the top and back of the shoulders similar to a shep shirt. It’s an item that can be worn in cold weather when you’re sick of your normal winter clothes and want something “fresh” looking, and I’m hoping it can bridge the gap between winter and spring after the baby comes.

J. Crew Nordic Boots (Sold out): This is another item I asked for from my parents for Christmas. I LOVE these boots and featured them in an earlier post. They are extremely warm and comfortable, and may be the only shoes that are truly pleasant for my feet these days. I’ve been wearing them frequently for a month and they’ve proven to be a little more high maintenance than I’d like. They are not very waterproof so you have to waterproof them yourself. I used an entire can of nubuck leather waterproofing spray (three layers), and they look great, but if I get a little snow on them they seem to dry kind of funny. No permanent markings have been made so far, but I wish they were a little lower maintenance. The look and feel of them make up for the trouble!

Hunter Boots: This is the last item I didn’t personally purchase since it was a Christmas gift from my husband. It’s an item I can wear while pregnant, although I know they will fit much better once I deliver my baby and my feet/leg swelling goes away. It’s a fun addition to my wardrobe!


Old Navy Activewear leggings / jacket / leggings: I’m a fitness instructor so I had to purchase a lot of maternity workout items the further I got along, and got really lucky because the brand Lucy is being absorbed into North Face and had all their maternity items on sale for $12-$20. I wasn’t planning on buying any activewear that wasn’t maternity but I couldn’t resist this print Old Navy came out with recently. It’s very rarely you find “preppy” workout clothes and I loved the navy and stripes. They almost remind me of the J. Crew activewear line, but I’ve had good luck with Old Navy workout clothes in the past, but haven’t heard great things about many of the J Crew pieces.

The Best Gym Bag

monogrammed nylon gym bag c/o mark & graham / yoga mat c/o mark & graham / nike training shoe

It can be hard to take fitness gear advice from someone who’s a style blogger, especially when there are so many fantastic fitness bloggers out there. Something I don’t share on here too often is what I do in real life. Besides my day job, I’ve been a fitness instructor for the past 5 years at Life Time. If you haven’t heard of Life Time, it’s incredible and I love and enjoy every single part of my job and the facility itself. Calling it a gym or fitness center does it no justice!  Don’t tell my boss but I’d teach classes for free if that’s what it took. 😉

I’ve always been into working out ever since I realized I hated playing sports but still loved being active. I’ve been apart of some sort of gym / group fitness atmosphere for the past twelve years, and professional the last five, so I know a lot more about health and fitness than your average style blogger. Trust me when I tell you this is the best gym bag I have found to date.

Finding the right gym bag is a personal preference that really depends on how you use it. Some people are OK with a simple tote that they throw things in, while others depend on versatility because they work out often and/or shower at their gym. I fall into the later category and depend on the functionality of my bag to help keep me organized.

  • This bag has a total of EIGHT pockets and compartments – each designated for a different use. The very front of the bag has zippers on the side that once unzipped can hold a yoga mat, and right above the monogram is another compartment that I use for random hair ties and headbands (being without one can ruin a workout for me).
  • One side of the bag has a place for a waterbottle, and the other side has a compartment for shoes. I would never buy a gym bag that didn’t have a compartment for shoes and flip flops! I find it so useful and helps my inner germaphobe feel more at ease to keep it separate.
  • The back of the bag has a huge slim pocket that can hold anything you want easy access to.
  • The inside has three pockets – one larger one that I use to keep my iPad and workout class lessons in. It would also fit a laptop as well. Opposite of that pocket is two smaller compartments – I keep my instructor essentials in there such as a mic belt, windscreens for the mic, & wallet,  as well as extra headphones and socks.
  • The entire interior and exterior are completely wipe-able so it will look brand new for a very long time!

I’ve owned this retired Gaiam bag forever (7+ years), and while I bought other gym bags throughout the years, I always went back to it because of the compartments. I can now say that bag has been replaced and upgraded majorly with this new gym bag. I’ve never felt so organized in my life as this bag checks all of my boxes for my dream gym bag. I couldn’t have design one better myself!

While it may be more money than some are willing to spend on a gym bag, I find that owning the perfect version of something ends up costing you less over time. Settling on a lesser version of something so functional that will end up being replaced anyway costs time, money, and frustration over the years. Buying the right version the first time is worth its weight in gold. Plus, who can resist the navy and monogram?

What bag do you use for the gym? What are your must-haves for a gym bag?


Help Me Pick A Rain Jacket

It’s been a tiny bit milder in Michigan this week and we’ve had a tons of rain that has washed all the snow away. Naturally, I’m thinking spring and have my eye on adding a new rain jacket to my spring coat collection. I have a very old, lightweight yellow coat, but it doesn’t have a hood, the fit is a little tight for layering, and the color is more of a darker “fall” yellow. I’ve decided it’s time to get what I really want! I’ve narrowed it down but could use a little help deciding. Here’s what I’m working with for my decision:

  • I’ve always wanted a classic yellow rain jacket, but my only hesitation is that my husband Joe owns a yellow rain jacket that he really loves. Anytime it rains even a tiny bit, he’s wearing it. It may seem trivial, but do I really want to be matching my husband in bright yellow rain coats? It’s one thing to both being wearing navy or black, but imagine a Caucasian, blonde married couple walking around in bright yellow coats – we would be snap chatted by strangers for sure!
  • Secondly on the yellow color – I see it often on models with darker hair and it’s a lovely contrast. I’m worried the yellow might wash me out a little bit or just not look as good on me with having lighter hair.
  • I prefer toggle hooks, specifically a lighter color rope. I love the way they look and the nautical style they add to a jacket.
  • A hood is a must-have, and I love that each jacket below has a contrasting hood.
  • The footwear I’d most likely be wearing would be red Hunter boots, dark green rain boots, or duck boots.

  1. The Long Seafolly Jacket by Seasalt Cornwall (a UK brand), has many of the things I’m looking for: great shade of yellow, really nice toggle closures, contrasting hood. I kind of like that it’s on the longer side since most of my other spring jackets aren’t like that. The downside is because it’s shipped from the UK, I may have a harder time figuring out my size and then it’s a risk of whether or not it will fit. It’s a bigger pain to return it if I don’t like it in real life.
  2. The Classic Raincoat by Land’s End is really cute with the stripes and the inside lining is a cheery yellow. I like the look and length on it, but I’m afraid it will make it a little harder to find something to wear with it. I wear stripes a lot and with this jacket there would be a whole lot of stripes! I don’t like having to think twice about grabbing a jacket and I may do that with this one because of the pattern. The stripes would look good next to Joe’s yellow rain coat though! 😉
  3. The Coast Waterproof Jacket by Joules is the only option that doesn’t have toggle closures on the front, but it seems pretty heavy duty for the rainiest of weather. The hood is really cute, so I can assume the whole thing is lined in the navy stripes. It says the fit is boxy, but that’s fine since I’m not looking for a really fitted jacket for rain. This may be my least favorite option, but when I look at the other photos online of it, it’s growing on me. They don’t have my size right now, but it seems to be a product that is around year round and gets restocked often.
  4. The Whitby Waterproof Jacket by Boden is the front runner in mind, but I still have some hesitation. If you click through the link and look at the other images, the material seems off, like it’s extra wrinkly (is it just me?). I love the toggles but not sure if I’m a fan of the sideways triangle that holds them. One reviewer said the yellow was more of a dull, mustard yellow, which might be fine by me but I think I would like a more cheerful shade if I’m being picky. This one always stuck out to me because it checks the most boxes of what I’m looking for.
  5. The Whitby Waterproof Jacket by Boden again, but in this cute, blue gingham pattern. It looks amazing, and while I have the same reservations as the yellow version, I still am attracted to it. Again, it may give me less options for what to wear since I probably wouldn’t wear gingham or smaller stripes underneath it, but it would look fine next to Joe’s yellow coat. 😉 It’s more of a statement piece, so I can still see myself wanting a yellow coat even if I got this one.

What are your thoughts? Please let me know what you would choose if you were me below in the comments – THANK YOU! 🙂

Lace Tying Hacks & Other Good Tips

We all know how to tie our shoes, but today’s post is going a little more into detail on different techniques that aren’t taught growing up that can make your shoe tying experience a little better. I personally like being able to slip on shoes without spending a lot of time tying them up. Two pieces of footwear that I’ve “turned into” slip-on’s are my slippers and boots from L.L. Bean. You can use this advice on any version similar to what I own.

Let’s start with boots: I love wearing my Bean Boots but found sitting down to tie them a little tedious when I wear them so often. I’ve seen other people tying their boots this way (eastland knot) and decided to try it out, and 2 years later they’re still tied exactly how I did them and they’ve made a huge different in how I wear them. It’s SO easy to just slip them on and off, so I reach for them even more now. No more sitting down and spending time lacing them! I also like the way they look this way better than when I did a traditional shoelace knot on them. Here are helpful instructions on how to do the eastland knot on your boots.

Tips for tying boots:

  • Loosen up the laces to the point where you find them easy to slip on and off. They won’t be as tight as if you laced them up each time, but you will hardly notice a difference.
  • Start on notch lower than you normally would (see photo) to keep them at that loose point.
  • Know that if you keep this tying arrangement for any period of time your laces will probably be bent that way if you undo it. Laces are fairly inexpensive and I found the trade off for this slip on option to outweigh having straight laces later on. So far I haven’t undone them and don’t plan on it!


I also own and love the Wicked Good Moccasin slippers, but like most slippers that you tie, they used to come untied constantly and it became annoying. L.L. Bean came out with a how-to video on how to tie them using the seaman’s knot to ensure they don’t come untied too often. It’s pretty easy, and although they do still come untied, it only happens once in awhile and not everyday. You can tell in this photo it’s slightly different than a regular shoelace knot.


I tie a regular shoelace knot for my workout shoes, and then “double knot” them so they don’t come undone during my workout. I do, however, sometimes get in the bad habit of just slipping off my workout shoes when I get home instead of untying them. Make sure you always untie your shoes completely to help the laces last longer. The pair above replaced a different pair I had where I kept it tied all the time, and the laces had worn down and the shoes were not very snug when I did use them. I learned my lesson and now take the time to untie everything.

Do you have any shoe tying woes that you’ve solved?

Bundled Up

beanie – ll bean (sold out) / vail parka – j crew factory / striped shirt – abercombie (last year) /

corduroy leggings c/o lands end / nordic boots – j crew

I tend to gravitate towards pops of red in winter outfits to brighten up the mundane and bring a little après ski style to my everyday looks. It’s easy to deviate towards a very neutral color palate after the holidays but I’m a big fan of color and believe everyone should be adding it a little bit into their outfits.

Two items I want to highlight in this outfit are the leggings and boots. The leggings are corduroy leggings from Land’s End and have been in heavy rotation all winter long. I have had the tan pair for years and this year got the navy pair. It’s hard to tell in photos but they are thicker and much nicer looking than regular leggings. Land’s End runs sales pretty often so you can find a deal and try them. I can guarantee you’ll love them as much as I do! I wear a XS normally in them, but bought this pair in a medium for pregnancy purposes and they’ve been fantastic.

These boots are AMAZING. I cannot begin to describe how much I love them.  I was so hesitant about asking for these, and when I got them for Christmas I couldn’t be happier. They are extremely high quality in every way – the entire thing is shearling lined, they’re comfortable, they come with two pairs of laces (red and neutral), and can be worn with the flaps up or down for two different looks. They’re made of nubuck leather so I was told you should waterproof them before wearing. I used this product and ended up doing three layers before wearing them out in the snow. They got a LOT of snow on them from this quick shoot and dried very nicely. I wouldn’t wear them in heavy snow for long periods of time, but they’re perfect for everyday winter conditions. Walking in sludge, salt, a little snow, and then keeping my feet warm and dry  – I couldn’t be happier!

My feet have been hurting SO badly for the last month and these are a nice relief. I’ve been wearing them almost everyday. Thankfully it’s easy to create cute outfits around them! 🙂

What type of outfits have you been gravitating towards?

Do you find winter (post holidays) easy or hard to dress for?


What I Got For Christmas 2017

First and foremost, this isn’t meant to be a “braggy” post by any means. I love reading this type of post by other people and seeing what people got for Christmas so I thought I’d share mine! This year was a little different with my pregnancy so I didn’t ask for a lot of clothes outside of footwear since most won’t fit me. I actually really liked not getting a lot of clothes because it meant more “useful” gifts I’ll end up utilizing more often than wearing something every few weeks.

I love the calendars Paper Source comes out with every year. The illustrations are beautiful and look nice next to my desk. I don’t write on my calendars and just need to see the date at the glance so this kind is perfect!

Joe and I love snowshoeing and had two pairs that we had gotten from amazon years ago, but the straps are so annoying to get on and off when you’re actually outside in the snow. These L.L. Bean ones have a super simple closure that makes taking them on and off quick, and they are much nicer quality than our old ones.

I work out a lot and needed to replace my old pair of pink Nikes. I only wear cross-trainers and these are so comfortable!

The J Crew Nordic boot was something I wasn’t sure I’d love, but I kept seeing the similar styles out there and love the way these looked. The red laces are so cute, and they are incredibly warm! I’m waiting to waterproof them before wearing them outside.

Even though I have always admired Hunter Boots, I’ve never personally desired a pair for myself. That changed when I saw some red ones styled a few months ago and thought they’d be a fun addition to my wardrobe. To be completely honest – they’re a tad tight on my calves and I’m swapping them out for the “touring” pair that is supposed to be more comfortable and a little shorter. I’m hoping they work out!

I am picky about yoga mats and really like the grip this kind has and that it has a different color on each side so I consistently use the same side. I like to fold the top half I was using in half and then roll up, and the dual color helps keep this straight.

Joe got me a new camera and I couldn’t be happier! My old one had been acting up and even after getting it fixed it continued to give me problems. We love to take photos and with a baby on the way this is a wonderful gift!

I love the jewelry from Kiel James Patrick and am so happy with each of these choices. The bracelet is different than any other ones I have, the necklace is stunning and has gorgeous clasps, and I love the details of the earrings. I’ve been wearing them all week!

I was way too excited to get the Alexa Echo Dot, and two smart plugs that work with both the Alexa and my phone. I already have one smart plug and use it all the time, so I loved adding to my collection! You can set schedules, timers, etc. with it all from the app or by voice. Being pregnant, once I get into bed, I don’t want to get out so this has been handy for turning off lights.

I didn’t ask for many clothes except this sweater and pajamas that I know I’ll be excited to wear next year! I also needed new socks and these J Crew ones are great.

Joe and I saw these L.L. Bean mugs in the store a week before Christmas and I wanted them but Joe said we already have so many mugs (which is true). He later went back that week and got me a set. 🙂

I got a few other little items besides these including Bath & Body Works candles, wall flowers, and the car scents all in my favorite scent – “Winter”. I also got cute beauty items for stocking stuffers, a park pass to our favorite local park, gift cards to places we go, etc.


Did you have a good Christmas? What was your favorite gift?

Let me know if you want links to anything above and I’ll find it!




Top Winter Boot Picks

sorel / clarks / ll bean


Growing up and residing in Michigan, we have had more than our fair share of winter weather. I rely heavily on my winter boots to get me through the season, and have rounded up what I believe are the best of the best! I’ll go over my pro’s and con’s of each below:

Warmest: Sorel Boots

The pair I’m wearing above isn’t available anymore, but from my research both online and asking friends who own the Joan of Arctic pair, they tend to agree that they are the warmest of the bunch! Whenever I’m going to be outside for a long period of time, but not in snow (think paved sidewalks, etc.), these are my go-to.

Pro’s: Extremely warm and comfortable!

Con’s: Can be bulky, doesn’t transition well to indoor wear.

Most Waterproof: L.L. Bean

It’s no secret I love L.L. Bean – especially the Bean Boots! I own the thinsulate 8″ pair, and find they’re great for 3 season use (fall-spring). I use the L.L. Bean boot guard to waterproof the leather at the beginning of every season and they’ve held up fantastic over the past three years of pretty regular use and abuse. I don’t think they’re the warmest choice since the thinsulate option really means it insulates the bottom portion only, but with thick socks they’re not bad. L.L. Bean does make Bean Boots that are notoriously warm such as the Wicked Good Bean Boot and the Shearling Lined Bean Boot, but they’d be way too warm for use in the fall, spring, or indoors. I bet the Shearling Lined version would be a contender for “best overall”.

Pro’s: Attractive, very waterproof, guaranteed by the company, can be worn 6 months out of the year and transitions easily to being worn indoors without being too warm.

Con’s: Not the warmest option if you’re outside for longer periods of time, thinsulate only insulates the bottom and not the rest of the foot.

Best Overall: Clark’s Mazlyn Arctic

When the weather gets its roughest both in freezing temperatures and lots of snow, these are my go-to pair! I’ve own them for five years and they still look brand new even though I’ve put a lot of miles on them. When I go snowshoeing or long walks in the snow, I always opt for these because they are the best of both worlds. Being both extremely warm and waterproof, they’ve served me well. I wouldn’t opt for any other boot for being outdoors for long periods of time and being able to keep my feet warm and dry. The red laces are a pretty nice touch too!

Pro’s: Warm, waterproof, the top part can be folded down for a different look, high enough to be a great choice in deep snow, traction on the bottom of the boot for slick areas

Con’s: Not many, but they seem to fit a little too snug when I wear thicker socks. Thankfully I don’t need too thick of socks with these.


Do you have a winter boot you love? I’d love to know!

Ten Holiday Outfits To Copy

I’ve seen a few people do similar posts, and I’ve enjoyed them because it’s nice to get outfit inspiration especially this time of year. I love seeing how other people put together outfits to help inspire my own creativity in my closet. I pulled ten of my favorite holiday outfits from the past few years, please check them out and let me know your favorite in the comments!

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