Did anyone do any Black Friday or Cyber Monday shopping? Honestly, I didn’t really. Although, I was tempted to buy one of everything at Old Navy because, let’s be honest, that’s really my current aesthetic.
I wore this outfit on Black Friday when, yes, we went to the mall near my sister-in-law’s house where I did buy two gifts. But nothing for me!
However, I love this outfit so much that I wore it again to work this week. Hey, it’s all different people who are seeing me so they don’t need to know I pulled it out of my suitcase and put it back on.
I LOVE these tees from Target and own them in multiple colors. The booties always get compliments. The jeans are actually jeggings. The cardigan was perfect for a 50 degree day. And the scarf is warm but not too voluminous.
Basically, I love every piece of this outfit and want to wear it every day. Maybe I should have bought multiple of everything during the sales?
Dannie at Stile Foto Cibo recently wrote a post about what happens when you see “that” photo. You know, the one that makes you cringe? The one you can’t seem to laugh off. Yeah, I had one of those photos recently. And I’m going to share the outfit that caused it. Because, I don’t want to seem like I’m perfect or I have it all together. I’m a real person!
I’ve written in the past about my workouts, my weight lifting, and even how I tracked all my fat, carbs and protein “macros” to get a six pack, crazy arm muscles, and still lose 10 pounds. But, I kind of quit doing that about a year ago. Partially because I wasn’t eating enough for my activity level or I had lost too much body fat. Either way, my body was giving me signs that I needed to back off.
And then I started marathon training last October and definitely didn’t track what I ate. However, I also haven’t gotten on a scale in months. I’ve gained body fat, for sure. But I know I’ve gained some muscle and I’m definitely stronger! I finally broke my long-standing PR of a 100 pound bench press (managed 105 pounds!), can do six unassisted pull-ups, am able to do 5 reps of 65 pounds on my overhead press, and I ran a marathon time I never expected to be able to do.
So, even if I am not as lean as I was almost two years ago, it’s really okay. These quads and glutes are allowing me to do some awesome stuff. Having a six-pack is not necessarily sustainable long term for me. And sometimes you just gotta drink some wine, eat a burger and finish up with ice cream, you know?
Plus, as I was cleaning up in the locker room post-workout on Monday, another woman said to me, “So, I notice you every day at the gym and you look amazing. I’ve tried to figure out your routine. What’s your secret?” We are our own worst critics sometimes, aren’t we?
P.S. I created a “Shop My Closet” page that allows you to get some sneak peeks of upcoming outfit posts and see product details for them in advance!
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.
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.
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.
Actually, if you want to hang with my dog, well….so sorry. He likes me, my husband and the people at daycare (apparently). He’s not too keen on other people. Although, to be honest, sometimes I’m not, either. And on those days I wear this t-shirt.
And, yes, I wear this shirt to work. And on weekends. And, really, any time I can. It’s one of my favorites. It’s soft and comfy and just the right amount of slouch. Maybe too much slouch. Looking at these pictures I’m realizing that I should probably stop eating like I’m still marathon training.
Actually, you know what. Screw that. I’m working on some major gains in the gym and I need to fuel those muscles!
Let’s move on to something else. Like, these duck boots. I bought them a few months ago and they are perfect for the weather we’ve been having in Chicago. They’re more versatile than rain boots or snow boots. They’re waterproof but easier to wear with regular clothes. So, if you’re on the fence about duck boots and you live in Chicago, get off the fence and go get yourself a pair!
For this week’s SIA I had grand plans to come up with something baseball or menswear inspired, take pictures at a local baseball field or even take a trip up to Wrigley Field (which is six miles away from me). However, this past week left me feeling…not so good. And then with the time change and going out of town for the weekend I ended up having to sneak in a few photos last evening just as the sun was setting.
Blazer – The Limited (same) | Top – Langford Market (similar) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (same) | Shoes – Nine West (same)
I actually got this outfit idea from my mom. When I was visiting this past weekend she said that this week’s art choice reminded her of this top. So, I went with it. The colors echo those in the scorecard cover and I went with a blazer instead of a cardigan to echo the men’s wear.
I’ll have a round-up of other outfits inspired by this week’s art on the blog tomorrow. Want to participate? Just send a photo to email@example.com today!
Top – North & Hudson (same) | Jeans – Old Navy (same) | Boots – Sam Edelman c/o Shopbop (same) | Necklace – Le Tote (same)
Seriously, I actually had a conversation with the owner and creator of North & Hudson clothing about how this is the perfect top to wear at home during the holidays. It’s just festive enough without being ridiculous, right?
I’ve actually worn it to work twice already and it’s also really comfortable. And, yes, it’s handmade.
It does, however, make me want a red scarf. Or maybe to do some pattern mixing with a navy and white striped scarf. Until then I’ll just wear necklaces.
What do you think? What would you pair with this top?
This time, though, I wore it to walk to work. I don’t usually walk to work but there’s a reason I did last Friday.
Scarf – J. Crew Factory (similar) | Sweater – American Eagle Outfitters (similar) | Vest – Groopdealz (same) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (same) | Shoes – TOMS (same) | Watch c/o JORD (same)
There’s a walk-up coffee, doughnut and gelato window in my neighborhood that’s on my way to my office if I walk. It’s called Bombobar, it’s part of a restaurant called Bar Siena, and on Friday they were offering free coffee and “bombolinis” (aka filled doughnuts) to members of the Windy City Blogger Collective. Sadly, when I arrived on Friday morning to get coffee to enjoy on my walk to the office they weren’t quite ready to be open. But, I’d already committed to walking to work so walk I did. It’s about two miles and I chose these TOMS specifically because I knew I could walk that much in them.
I stopped and got my coffee and doughnut on my way home, though! Jason and split a PB&J bombolini for dessert and I saved my coffee for breakfast the next morning. Not sure if that’s gross or not but it’s what I did.
Chewie, however, was very interested in my “prop” during our photoshoot.
After having the PB&J bombolini I decided I wanted to try the Salted Caramel one that everyone was raving about. However, once again I stopped by Bombo Bar on my way to work yesterday around 7:15 AM and there were no employees to be seen. I rang the bell and waited a minute but the only movement I saw was a cleaning person hosing off a mat in the kitchen. So, I walked to work sans coffee (and doughnut) again. But! There was a happy ending. Bombobar saw my disappointment on Twitter and brought me doughnuts and coffee at work! My coworkers were very appreciative.
I’ve recently noticed quite a few Chicago bloggers getting awesome partnership deals, finding amazing photographers to take their photos all over the city, even appearing on ads around town.
Scarf – gift (similar) | Shirt – Express (same) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (same) | Shoes – Steven c/o Shopbop (similar)
I am not one of those bloggers. My photographer is my husband. I don’t hustle and pitch to brands. I can barely manage to get photos once a week. If you ever needed any proof of that, this post is it. As I previously mentioned, my husband started a job that means we both leave the house before the sun is up and we both get home after the sun sets. Weekends have been full of exciting things which means no outfit photo shoots then, either.
Which is why today we are resorting to photos I took in the bathroom at work. Yep.
I don’t lead a glamorous blogger lifestyle and, you know, for as much as I envy some of those bloggers who have amazing photos and amazing brand partnerships I know that they worked really hard for those and they treat their blog like a part-time job.
Continuing with my current theme of outfits-I-wore-awhile-back, here’s one from the last time we were in Carmel, Indiana.
Sweater – Forever 21 (similar) | Scarf – J. Crew (similar) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (same) | Boots – Sam Edelman c/o Shopbop (same)
Downtown Carmel, also known as the Arts District, has so many great places to take pictures that we had a difficult time deciding. On the plus side, this means that I can have a mission every time we go to visit. Take pictures in a new place! Although, I think the next time we’ll be there it will be so I can run the Caribbean Christmas Half Marathon.
In the meantime, let’s talk about this outfit. There’s nothing particularly ground-breaking about it. It’s just jeans, a sweater, a scarf and boots. Just hand me a Starbucks cup and I’ll be about as basic as can be, right? But you know, there’s a reason it’s such a great formula that it’s become a stereotype – it works. It works for fall weather. It works for fall events. It just works.
And not every outfit has to be ground-breaking, am I right? Sometimes they just need to be functional but still a little bit cute. I think in this case it’s the scarf that put that finishing touch on an outfit that would otherwise just be blah.
I really like this particular scarf because it has the interest of a blanket scarf without being totally overwhelming. And sometimes you just don’t want to be overwhelmed by your accessories. You just want to be whelmed.
I’ve noticed over the past few months that I’ve gone from crazy pattern mixing to more solids paired with one pattern. I’m not sure why that is, but today I decided that I wanted to work on my pattern-mixing skills.
It helps that Bri at Work Clothes, I Suppose has plaid for her Third Thursday Threads theme. So even though we’re still having highs in the 80s I wanted to wear something that fit the theme. Layer a plaid shirt over a striped tank top with jeans and sandals? That will do.
Shirt – J. Crew (similar and 25% off) | Tank – Marshall’s (similar) | Jeans – American Eagle Outfitters (same) | Shoes – Express (similar) | Necklace – Le Tote (code ERIN25 gets you 50% off your first month)
I used to mix prints all the time, as evidenced by posts like this one (featuring this same tank top!) or this one (featuring plaid pants!). It actually felt a little good to wear these two items together. In fact, I have plans to pair more plaid and stripes this winter. Recreating this outfit I pinned, for example.
Although, I suppose that I should be wearing my dresses and skirts a few more times before fall really descends on us. Or maybe I can figure out when it is, exactly, that one can wear sweaters and skirts and bare legs…