When you’re trying to come up with what to wear what do you do? Well, if you’re me, you turn to one of your favorite bloggers: Jen!
She wore her olive green pants with an adorable printed top, a gray cardigan, and her brogues. I thought about wearing one of my striped tops to echo the eyeglasses print of her shirt, but in the end I went with plain white and a necklace.
I’ve been thinking about replacing my black and white striped short sleeve tee. I’ve had it for years and I think I want something with a slightly thinner stripe and that fits a bit more loosely. Is it silly to want to replace a perfectly functional piece of clothing because your tastes change, though?
Oh, random tangent – do you watch Chicago PD? If so, you might occasionally recognize my neighborhood! Two weeks ago they were filming inside the physical therapy office that’s less than half a block from where I took these photos! Chicago Fire used to film in the building next door to my apartment, too. I’ve yet to see any of the stars of the show but I do see the film trucks!
Just one of the many reasons I love my neighborhood. Other reasons include the dog parks, the restaurants, and the ability to walk so many places. Like the dentist. Which is where I went while wearing this outfit. I lead an exciting life, right?
I got some sad news via email today. The Le Tote ambassador program is being discontinued! As an ambassador I got some nice perks just for doing what I was already doing: telling you how much I love Le Tote. I’ll still keep using Le Tote but I’ll have to rely on people using my referral link.
Anyway, speaking of Le Tote, today’s outfit features a striped blazer I got in my last Tote.
Blazer – Le Tote (same) | Camisole – The Limited (similar) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (similar) | Shoes – J. Crew Factory (similar)
I really wanted to like this blazer. It’s cotton-y and comfy and I would like a striped blazer to replace a navy and white one I consigned awhile ago. However, for some reason I just wasn’t feeling this one.
But, again, that’s what I love about Le Tote. I got to wear this all day and then make my decision about whether or not to keep it. And, if I decide later that I want to try it again, I can do that.
So, even though I will no longer be an official Le Tote ambassador, I’m still going to use them and share about them here on the blog. And that’s how you know that something is good, right? I get no perks for telling you about it but I do anyway.
Speaking of my furry partner in crime, this past weekend we had perfect dog park weather. Well, perfect for spring, anyway. Perfect for Chewie would mean it was warm enough for the kiddie pool and the hose to be out. That boy loves him some water.
Anyway, we took the opportunity to take some weekend casual dog park trip photos.
A jacket with pockets so you can carry extra bags, keys, phone, and maybe a tennis ball.
A shirt that’s easily washable. You will get fur on you.
Jeans. You will get slobbered.
Shoes that you don’t mind if they get a paw print or two on them. You will get stepped on.
You also get to see me in fill-on weekend mode. Meaning, you get to see me with my hair up. I rarely wear my hair up except on weekends. I’m still working on perfecting the messy topknot. My Type A personality has some issues with it.
Strangely, dog slobber and fur don’t bother me nearly as much. Which is why I think I need this t-shirt in my life. Seriously. I don’t think it could be any more accurate.
Chewie, however, was dying to go play, as you can probably see from the photos. And by “play” I mean try to get some dogs to chase him and then give up and stand next to us until we ask him if he wants to go home. He gets along great with other dogs but is also more than happy to be at home. Just don’t ask to come into our apartment without a LOT of warning. He won’t be too thrilled with that.
Over the weekend Jason and I went back to our hometown so that he could work on his car and I could make my first pie with my mom. Salted caramel apple, if you must know. And it turned out amazing. Anyway, on Saturday night we went out to dinner and, as we walked through downtown Champaign, Illinois, we walked right past the Thai restaurant where Jason and I went when we were first dating back in high school.
Blazer – The Limited (same) | Sweater – Old Navy (similar) | Necklace – Rocksbox (similar) | Pants – Old Navy (same) | Boots – Cole Haan (similar)
We started reminiscing about going on some of our first dates there, wondering if the owner would still recognize us. She used to know Jason by name since he went there so often. It’s why he took me there. In fact, it’s the first place I ever ate Thai food. Pad Thai, of course. And it’s now who I compare all other Pad Thai to. Jason and I even had our picture taken there for a newspaper article about “young love”.
I haven’t changed a bit! Except my hair color. I think this was a reddish blonde phase?
Anyway, we decided that on our way out of town on Sunday we’d stop by for lunch. We could tell from looking in the windows that NOTHING had changed. Not the seat covers. Not the decor. Not the signage. Nothing. We even saw the owner through the window!
So, we went in for lunch. And when Jason walked up to the owner she exclaimed, “JASON?” Yep. And the food was as amazing as ever. And we sat in the booth in the back of that newspaper photo. We didn’t even look at the menu. We always get the same thing, even here in Chicago. But nothing we’ve found in Chicago is as good.
So, “they” might say you can never go home again, but in this case that just isn’t true. We did go home. And it was amazing.
Happy Monday, everyone! I’m still in Tampa right now but I can’t be remiss in participating in this week’s Style Imitating Art series. Especially now that I’m one of the hosts!
Remember last week when I posted the beautiful “Bible Quilt”? Here’s a reminder:
Scarf – Le Tote (same) | Necklace – Le Tote (same) | Sweater – LOFT via Goodwill (similar) | Skirt – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – J. Crew Factory (similar)
I knew when Jen posted this quilt that I wanted to wear neutrals, specifically gray and tan. But I didn’t know exactly how I wanted to pair them. I tried a few different outfits and in the end settled on this gray skirt with a oatmeal colored sweater and my latest Le Tote accessories.
I actually loved this scarf so much the last time I had it in a Tote that I ended up buying it when I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Plus, you know, there are animals depicted in the quilt and this scarf is made of faux animal fur. It kind of makes sense, right?
The necklace added a much needed bit of color. Since I don’t own anything orange I thought the corals and pinks in this necklace were as close as I was going to get.
And, yes, I’m more dressed up than I needed to be for my job but, hey, I have a closet full of skirts. Why not wear them? With fleeced lined tights, of course. Because it’s Chicago. In winter.
Oh, and guess what! Next week I get to pick the art for the Style Imitating Art challenge! I hope you’ll think about participating. Remember, you don’t have to have a blog to share your photos with me! sc
Cardigan – Le Tote (same) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (similar) | Flats – J Crew Factory (similar)
Ah, if only I had my parents’ wine cellar. Yes, this is in their house. Yes, I am jealous.
It’s okay, though. I finally cashed in my gift from my parents from back in August when I completed the Chicago Sprint Triathlon. They let me go to Perman’s Wine and buy some bottles. If you live in Chicago and want a nice, local wine shop I highly recommend Perman’s! Even if you don’t drink wine but want something to give as a gift or take to a dinner party, they can pick out something awesome for you. They also have some unique beers, ciders, and spirits if those are more your thing.
I went on New Year’s Eve to get some wine to take to our neighbors’ as well as to have in the house. It’s come in handy this week when so far I’ve had some pretty crappy days. Tuesday was just a couple crappy meetings with my department VP and Wednesday, well, let’s just say that as I sit at my kitchen island writing this I can’t find my phone.
Yes, my phone is MIA. I had it on my desk at work but when I left the office to go the gym it wasn’t in my bag. I went back to my office but it wasn’t on my desk. Of course, when I can’t find something I get panicky so I might have overlooked it. Fingers crossed it’s actually on my desk when I get there in the morning.
Otherwise, it’s a new phone for me! Although, I honestly don’t know if the stuff on my phone is backed up. So there’s that.
Anyway, as much as I’ve wanted to drink an entire bottle of wine several nights this week, I didn’t. I stuck to one or two glasses. But, if I have to deal with getting a new phone, well, I might drink an entire bottle. No regrets.
UPDATE: Phone has been located! But I might still drink a whole bottle of wine. Because that was stressful.
It’s a good thing I have a backlog of photos to post. Why? Because my husband started a new job on Monday and I have a feeling that his new schedule and commute, combined with the slowly decreasing daylight hours, means outfit photos won’t happen nearly as often.
And, yes, for those of you keeping track, this is his third job since he graduated with his chemistry degree less than two years ago. The first one was not a good fit and the second one was a contract job with a corporate policy of A. not hiring people with “only” Bachelor’s degrees and B. not keeping contractors for more than a year.
This new job is at least contract-to-hire but, unfortunately, his commute is going to be horrid. Which is why we’re thinking of moving to the suburbs when our lease is up.
Which breaks my heart.
Blazer – The Limited (same) | Dress – Le Tote (same) | Shoes – J. Crew Factory (similar) |Necklace – gift (similar)
There are lots of reasons that it makes sense to move to the ‘burbs. It’s easier for me to commute downtown than it is for Jason to commute out there. We could get a place with a garage where Jason can work on his car and still save money for retirement (which needs to be happening at a much faster pace). And I’m sure there are other benefits that I can’t think of right now. Relationships are about compromise, right?
Nicole at Cedar & Rush recently made a similar move and she blogged about how sometimes we have to “give up things we LIKE, to get the things we LOVE.”
Does moving to the ‘burbs get me closer to something I love? I honestly don’t know right now. But, hey, even 5 years ago I didn’t want to move into the actual city of Chicago! Life isn’t always so black and white, you know?
A few weeks ago I finally got to try a new restaurant in my neighborhood: Bar Siena. I went with a group of friends and we enjoyed some yummy food and drinks. I knew I would be walking to and from the restaurant and I wanted to wear an outfit that was both cute and practical.
After I put together this outfit and wore it to dinner, my mom sent me some fun knit boot cuffs that would have gone perfectly with this! So, I foresee wearing this outfit again soon so that I can wear my new accessory.
Also, amusingly, two of my three friends I was meeting for dinner showed up wearing red jackets. I ALMOST wore my red trench to dinner instead of my denim jacket. Wouldn’t that have been amusing? Clearly I’m friends with some ladies with good fashion sense.
In case you missed the Internet on Monday, there was a crazy moon thing on Sunday. A lunar eclipse/bloodmoon to be exact. Jason and I went out to Chicago’s Adler planetarium and he rented a fancy lens to take photos of the moon over the lake.
And there were clouds. And we almost went home. But then the layers of clouds passed and we were treated to a perfect view.
When you’re going to be out near the lake in Chicago, even in the summer, it makes sense to also dress in layers. You just never know when a cool breeze is going to blow in.
But, when you take off the layers you want something of interest to stick around.
Which is where my brand new necklace comes into the equation!
I was at the Randolph Street Market on Friday evening and Saturday morning as part of the Editors and Designers Choice for Charity and I saw this awesome booth that was displaying all her jewelry and scarfs on white t-shirts. I thought it was such a great idea that I gave her my award for Best Booth. And then bought this necklace because I couldn’t stop thinking about it!
I promptly wore the necklace two days in a row. Yes, it’s a little Mr. T but, you know, I don’t really care. It makes for a great layered surprise.
When I was packing for my work trip to Ontario, I tried to keep the number of shoes I was taking to a minimum. Sandals, flats, casual and, of course, my workout sneaks. I decided to wear the sandals on the plane because they went with my black maxi dress.
What I didn’t realize was that the elastic strap on my sandals is about to give way on one of the buckles! Also, unbuckling them to go through the security line at the airport and then putting them back on afterward was kind of annoying.
I bought those sandals back in April of 2012 and considering they were $21 from Old Navy, aren’t real leather, and I’ve worn them every summer since, I feel like they outperformed their initial construction! However, I’m at the point now where when items like this start to fall apart I want to replace them with real leather goods that will, hopefully, last just as long, if not longer.
So, I turned to the cash back shopping site Splender to help offset the cost of the sandal upgrade.
Don’t forget to use code ERIN25 for 50% off your first month of Le Tote! Or code looplooksxoxo for a free month of Rocksbox.
Splender collates deals and coupons from over 800 online shopping sites, including Nordstrom, Macy’s, Ann Taylor, and more. You can browse by store or by deal and when you find one you like you just click the Shop Now button. After that you shop normally and anything you buy at that store you earn cash back. At Nordstrom, for example, it’s currently 4%.
Which is why I ordered these lovely Seychelles sandals. They have a zipper in the back so if I have to take them off in a security line in the future I can just unzip and slide them off!
I also debated about ordering this Trouve pair but, sadly, they were out of my size.
I was also lusting after these Frye sandals which, in all actuality, are the closest in look to my original pair. I found them in my size at Lord and Taylor which has a 6% cashback incentive via Splender but even with stacking the coupon codes and deals listed by Splender they were still more than I wanted to pay. I might regret that decision, though. And, if so, I’ll return the Seychelles ones and go back to Splender to buy the Fryes!
Splender is free to join and there are no ads, which is nice. You get your cash back via a commission that the store pays Splender. If you’re curious about how it all works, they have a fun YouTube video that explains it.
When I was searching for replacement sandals, I used Splender’s “Stores” function to filter all their stores by Shoes and Accessories and then scrolled through the alphabetical list until I a store caught my eye. The only thing I found a bit annoying was that sometimes they don’t have ALL the offers listed on the store’s listing on Splender. For example, when I clicked on Lord and Taylor it didn’t list that on that particular day they were having an extra 15% off sale on all full-priced items. Also, the Free Shipping filter doesn’t filter out stores that only have free shipping if you spend a certain dollar amount.
In a perfect world, I’d like to also be able to search by item (i.e. black sandals) and find stores that sell that item instead of just browsing at every store in the list. But, hey, I suppose it’s similar to hunting for what you want in the mall, too!
Overall, I liked that I could browse so many stores in one place and that it’s basically no extra work for me to earn a little extra money just for doing what I like to do: shop!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.