Office Appropriate Outfits – Spring

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What’s your big dream?

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

On Monday I took the day off to attend a LuLaRoe training with Annabelle, since I’ve become her right-hand-woman as she starts her own business. We’re even becoming a “brand” in her VIP group on Facebook due to our shenanigans during FB Live sales (join the group so you can experience it for yourself).

Anyway, while some of the training was kind of cheesy and some was downright weird, I fully admit that when we were asked to write down our big hairy dream, I was a bit stumped. But then Annabelle asked me what mine was…and I started crying.

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Top via LuLaRoe Annabelle Winters | same jeans | same boots | Necklace via Stella & Dot | Watch via Stella & Dot

All I’ve ever wanted was to work a job where I felt like I was wanted and needed. Like I wasn’t fighting against the tide. Like I wasn’t trying to change everyone’s mind all the time. Like I wasn’t begging people to want to work with me.

Weird that I’d want to start helping out with what is basically a retail sales gig, right?

But I love customer service. I love helping people. I love connecting people with the information, people, or items that will enrich their lives or help them out in some way. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it’s one of the reasons I went to library school.

Unfortunately, because I didn’t know it at the time, I went a completely different way with my career and ended up in positions where I was managing change. Where I was moving people’s cheese and trying to get them to like it. And it wears you down, you know?

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Do I want to be my own boss? I honestly don’t know if I have the hustle for that. One of my favorite jobs was actually processing criminal case files at the county courthouse because it was fun for me and didn’t require me to do any kind of change management. It just didn’t take as much time as they thought it would (or I’m just really, really efficient) so I was bored a lot. I hate being bored.

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I don’t know exactly what my big dream is. I don’t know exactly what I want to be when I grow up. I just know that I want to do something that helps other people without me having to tell them how much it will help them if they just stop resisting change. And maybe it includes some data entry. Because I weirdly like that.

In the meantime, I’ll help out Annabelle, cry occasionally, and try and figure it out.

What’s your big hairy dream? What do you want to be when you grow up?

Oh, and if you want, I’m hosting a shindig at my house in June where you can shop for these exact Stella & Dot pieces in person. If you want an invite, just leave a comment and I’ll send it to you!

 

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Going a Little Loco [SIA Post]

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring · Style Imitating Art

Last week I was invited to attend a launch party for Captain Morgan’s new Loconut coconut liquor at a trendy Hawaiian restaurant called Mahalo. We had an AMAZING weather day and we were able to party on the rooftop. In Chicago. In April. Yes, I was in love with the weather, the drinks, and the company. Jason came with me! But, no pictures of him. Instead, he played photographer.

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similar top | same jeans | similar shoes

I knew I wanted to wear something fun and colorful and figured this was also a good chance to wear my Style Imitating Art outfit for this week. The pattern of this top works perfectly with Jen’s SIA choice.

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I’ve actually worn this top with white bottoms before. At my previous job I wore it with white flared leg dress pants and strappy wedge sandals.

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Personally, I like this new outfit so much more. I guess I’ve embraced the casual life. And, in the interest of full disclosure, I wore my nude flats around the office. See? Casual life.

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Also, the launch party was super fun. Being a blogger and having an Instagram account in Chicago definitely has its perks. Like getting to enjoy a normally packed rooftop bar with free drinks on a random Tuesday night.

Speaking of Tuesday’s, don’t forget to visit Librarian for Life and Style on Tuesday to see the SIA round-up!

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The closet clean-out that only kind of happened

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

I first saw a pair of leopard print sneakers on Shopbop a few years ago but I didn’t buy them when they had my size. I debated purchasing them on eBay, but never pulled the trigger. Then I saw these and knew it was a sign.

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same shoes | same jeans | same watch | similar shirt | same tank 

Yes, I know, this makes three pairs of leopard or cheetah print shoes that I own (sneakers, wedges, and flats). I recently took my leopard print heels to a clothing swap, though, so at least I don’t have four pairs!

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I recently read an amazing post on Style by Joules on how she got rid of a huge chunk of her wardrobe and paired it down to essentials. It’s very motivating, albeit a bit scary, to see how just her shoe collection diminished!

I got rid of a bunch of stuff when we moved but there are still things I can’t seem to part with. Like my navy J. Crew blazer. I longed for that thing but now I rarely wear blazers. Still, I am loathe to move it out of my closet. Even if my uniform most days is skinny jeans with a top like this or with a tank or tee and a cardigan. Because, yeah, this outfit is very similar to one I wore a few years ago…but that one had a blazer!

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Heels, though, I’m slowly donating. Some have ended up in Annabelle’s LuLaRoe boutique so if you’re trying on a dress you can see how it looks with heels (if you’re a size 7.5 or 8, anyway). Some have just gone to clothing swaps and ended up in thrift shops. Some I can’t get rid of just yet, though. Like these pink puppies.

Speaking of getting rid of things, these particular jeans I have on this photo gave up in the waistband (they’re actually jeggings and the elastic gave out), so I just bought them again. I’m not a fan of Old Navy’s “sculpt” jeggings, but their regular ones are some of my favorite things to wear.

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I’m also in love with these tanks from Target and will buy them in every color given the chance. Although, honestly, I should just buy 10 of the gray one and move on. I would wear it every day if I could.

Sigh. I should really just realize that all those fancy business clothes in my closet are just taking up space. Anyone need a blazer or two?

P.S. Did you win the Chicago swag giveaway? Go check!

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What I wore to party in the clouds [Giveaway]

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

On the last Thursday in March, I was invited to attend the launch of the newest event series at 360 Chicago, also know as the observation deck at the top of the John Hancock building.

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Unfortunately, the weather was not on our side unless you’ve ever wondered what it looks like from inside a cloud.

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However, that just meant that my outfit was all the more stunning since it didn’t have to compete with views of Lake Michigan or the Chicago skyline.

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LuLaRoe Kimono | same jeans (on sale!)| Zenzii earrings c/o Moonfish | same shoes

The lack of a view was sad, but there were snacks and wine, as well as beer samples for the latest Revolution Brewing beer. In fact, Revolution, a local Chicago brewer, is hosting Thursday Hoppy Hours at 360 Chicago from 5:30-8:30 PM starting now through the fall! If you’re a Chicago resident you can access 360 Chicago for only $10.25!

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Not into beer? That’s okay. 360 Chicago has other events as part of their Sky Series. These include:

  • Saturday Sky Yoga
  • Sunday Funday full of family friendly activities
  • Tripod Mondays
  • Tuesday Chicago Architecture Tours
  • Art Wednesdays

Details are available on their website.

I also have a fun little prize pack to give away! 360 Chicago generously gave us goody bags at the event and I thought some of my Chicago or beer lovers would be interested in what’s inside.

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You’ll get:

  • The reusable Revolution Brewing bag
  • A pair of 360 Chicago sunglasses
  • A Revolution Brewing keychain bottle opener
  • A Revolution Brewing Chicago-flag sticker
  • A Revolution Brewing Anti-Hero magnet
  • Four TILT! magnets
  • Four Revolution Brewing pins
  • A 360 Chicago mini-puzzle

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To win, visit the 360 Chicago Sky Series website and then just leave a comment here saying which 360 Chicago sounds most interesting to you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’ll announce the winner on April 19th. And, yes, I will ship within the United States.

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P.S. If you want to own these jeans they are currently on sale on Shopbop!

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Playing in the Garden [SIA Post]

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring · Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer · Style Imitating Art

Happy Monday, everyone! How was your weekend? I actually spent some time with Annabelle and, since I had the painting I chose for this week at my disposal AND a room full of clothes, I played dress up.

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There were so many floral patterns to choose from, but I went with something a bit more abstract since that’s what I prefer. This skirt is a stretchy pencil skirt from LuLaRoe and the style is called “Cassie.” It’s currently still for sale if you’re interested!

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The top I’m wearing is actually a LuLaRoe Julia dress! That’s the same style I have on in this post and it works perfectly as a top when tucked into the Cassie skirt. It’s also for sale currently.

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The necklace is one that Annabelle keeps on hand for playing dress up in her boutique. She told me she bought it on clearance from ModCloth awhile ago.

The shoes, though, are all mine. They’re these from Shopbop.

I had a lot of fun playing dress up and putting on an outfit style that I would have worn to my previous job. Over the past two years I’ve been getting rid of most of my pencil skirts since I don’t have any reason to wear them. So, it was a nice change of pace to have a (fun) reason to get a little bit dressed up. Even if was only for the photos!

Don’t forget to send me your outfits as inspired by this painting! Just snap a picture and send it to looplooks@gmail.com. I’ve already gotten a few and they’re all so different. I’ll be putting them all up on Wednesday.

In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek since Annabelle couldn’t help but play dress-up, too.

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The scarf of the pop-up you’re going to see

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

As I mentioned in a previous post, the latest Moonfish Pop-Up took place in Chicago recently. I went over there for a morning of mimosas and doughnuts and, of course, did a little shopping.

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LA Made Dress | LA Made Tank Top | KLD Signature Blouse | Necklace & Earrings c/o Moonfish

I didn’t take pictures of all the beautiful clothes, jewelry and purses because I was too busy shopping, sipping, and admiring the decor that is Sugar Fix Dental Loft. Seriously, who knew a dentist’s office could be so beautiful? Sarah at Moonfish does such an amazing job of finding spots to host her pop-up.

And, of course, I had to be the person who wore something from Moonfish to show my support: my favorite scarf.

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Scarf c/o Moonfish | similar cardigan | same jeans | same boots

Sarah gifted me this cardigan when I first met her last fall and it’s been a staple in my wardrobe ever since. Everyone at the pop-up was enamored with it. Personally, I was enamored with all the comfy, neutral items that were available for sale.

Believe it or not, I actually bought the navy dress and the polka dot top to replace items in my closet. So, it was almost a one in-one out situation. Almost.

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If you want to check out Moonfish yourself, the next pop-up will be in June in Edgewater. Make sure you sign up for the mailing list so you don’t miss out! In the mean time, I’ll be over here waiting for the weather to warm up so I can start wearing all of my new purchases.

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A study in casual [SIA Post]

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring · Style Imitating Art

When I posted this week’s Style Imitating Art challenge art, my mom commented that she immediately thought of the red, black and tan plaid top that I wore to Thanksgiving one year and that I gave her for Christmas after she commented how much she liked it (no, I didn’t give her mine. I bought her one for herself!)

So, of course, because mother knows best, I went with that top for this week.

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similar cardigan | similar top | same jeans | similar booties | similar scarf

This outfit is basically the casual version of one I wore back in 2013 when I worked my more “business casual” job. I kept the top the same and kept the same color outer layer and bottoms but swapped out everything else.

I also added my coffee mug since it matched perfectly. Shout out to the local NPR affiliate! This was our thank you gift for donating over the past year.

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I’m really looking forward to warmer days when I can sit on our back deck on weekend mornings and drink coffee. I never thought I’d be someone who would say that but, hey, it’s amazing how you can change over time.

Chewie dog, however, has not changed. He still wants to be outside with us when we’re taking photos, even when it’s ridiculously cold. Although, we have had people over three times since we’ve moved (even if two of those were for brief stints) and he barely ate anyone. He really just wants everyone seated in the same room and then he can relax. Such a herding dog.

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Fashion Philanthropy

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring · Shopping

I have a friend. Her name is Annabelle. She’s one of the nicest, most interesting, hardworking people I know. I’m thrilled that I’ve gotten to know her a bit better recently since I’ve ended up behind the scenes of her latest endeavor to raise money for services and create jobs for adults with disabilities.

She recently became a LuLaRoe consultant, which, if you don’t know what that is, is a clothing line that is sold online via Facebook groups or at houses during pop-up shops. Yes, a lot of women sell it to make extra money but Annabelle is hoping to use her side business as a way to create jobs for adults with developmental disabilities. She’s even donating part of her proceeds to her “day job” employer, Garden Center Services.

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LuLaRoe dress | same jacket | similar scarf | similar shoes

Because I think this is so awesome, I’ve been helping her out when I can. And spending my own money on things like this dress. It’s called a Julia and it’s basically stretchy t-shirt material.

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The thing about LuLaRoe is that when you see a pattern and style you like, you’d better grab it. Consultants order sizes and styles but don’t get to pick patterns. Which means that what they have is always a surprise! I was helping Annabelle unbox her initial inventory shipment when I spotted this dress. Lucky me!

The best way to shop Annabelle’s inventory is either via her Facebook group or at her pop-up shop in Lincoln Park, Chicago. In fact, she’s got one coming up on March 10th from 6 to 10 PM that will coincide with another fundraiser for Garden Center Services – the growARTS art show! So, you can shop for art or you can shop for clothes and either way you’ll be helping fund Garden Center Services.

I did both at the February art show and not only came home with the dress, I also came home with some lovely art.

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Art for sale is either painted by adults in the growARTS program or is donated by their family or friends. The artists in the program also get paid a commission for each piece that sells. There is truly something for everyone, though, and I had a difficult time sticking to just this one piece.

Same thing with sticking to just one dress. I have a feeling that if I continue to help out Annabelle behind the scenes I’ll own a lot more “LuLa”.

Oh, and speaking of art, there is so much street art in our new neighborhood! All three of these photos were taken within a 5 minute walk of our house. So fun! And, yes, it’s been warm enough in Chicago to dress like this. I’m loving this weather, too!

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may-2016-outfits

Favorite Outfit of May

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

I have a feeling I know what outfit you all are going to pick for May. Although, you might surprise me! But, before we get to my pick and your chance to vote, let’s do a little recap of some of what I was up to in May.

  • I worked at the Wisconsin Marathon on what might have been the windiest day ever.
  • I attended the New Leash on Life Dog Prom fundraiser.
  • I had dinner at MAD Social with a blog reader who is moving to Chicago!
  • I went to the summer kick-off party for the Randolph Street Market.
  • We had a low-key 13th wedding anniversary celebration with dinner at our local pub.
  • I watched my husband race his car and took pictures.
  • Rode my bike almost 60 miles in my hometown.
  • Helped my mom with some yard work and hilariously used almost every tool in their garage to do one job.
  • Said goodbye to my favorite personal trainer and started working with a new one.
  • Took Chewie to the dog beach for the first time this year.
  • Wrote 14 blog posts.
  • Helped finalize the Good Life Race’s gift to our charity partners.
  • And, as always, worked my day job.

I’ll get into it a little more in my goals post tomorrow, but May was a tough month for me. I’m honestly not sure why, but I’ve been feeling a little lost and aimless. Not sure what that means. Maybe it’s just the change in the seasons!

Anyway, on to happier things. Like awesome outfits! So, which one did I pick as my favorite for May?

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Yep, I went with this outfit because I actually wore it twice which is how I know it’s a winner.

Which one is the winner for you? Vote below for your favorite!

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What was your favorite outfit in May?

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This is what real life looks like

Office Appropriate Outfits - Spring

One of my favorite bloggers, Jen, recently wrote a post about the differences between style bloggers and fashion bloggers. I think this post exemplifies why I agree with her assessment on the difference and why I am firmly in the “style blogger” camp and not the “fashion blogger” camp.

This is me, in all my simple, wrinkled, slightly-damp-from-the-kiddie-pool-at-the-dog-park glory.

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Tee – Target | Skirt – J. Crew Factory (similar) | Shoes – J. Crew Factory (similar) | Purse – Le Tote (same

I wore this outfit to work paired with a denim jacket. Then I took off the denim jacket because it was 85 degrees outside and I was riding a Divvy bike home. Yes, I rode a bike in a pencil skirt. Yes, I have helmet hair.

Yes, I take pictures after work when I’m a little rumpled. Yes, sometimes I have my husband take them with my phone camera.

Yes, I’m a real person who wears real outfits that aren’t always full of pattern mixing or unique items or avant-garde item pairings.

And I hope that’s why you like me.

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