Saturday Style | 11

happy monday! surprisingly, i woke up happy that it was monday because i have a full, normal week ahead of me. don't get me wrong, i love traveling! however, i also love my regular schedule and being able to work and take care of things at home, too. so, i have a list of to-do's for this week that i'm actually looking forward to tackling. 

now to the good stuff: the outfit. as you probably know, i don't always wear color. like ever. but, when i do, i wear color. top, bag, and shoes in the same shade of mint? sure, why not? i would also totally wear this casual weekend outfit with a slouchy grey tee or one of my chunky sweaters, since it's still not quite spring in chicago yet. my jean jacket has become such a staple of my spring wardrobe already. it's perfect paired with dresses, non-denim pants, maxi skirts...you name it! keeping the accessories simple and adding a little knot to my oversized tank, this outfit is great for running errands, grabbing brunch, or just wanting to feel like a real human on the weekend (by getting out to my sweats!).

top | Cotton On
jacket | J.Crew Factory
pants | Anthropologie
sneakers | Keds x Madewell (similar)
bag | Kate Spade
necklace | Elisabeth Ashlie


Travel Diary | Charleston + Nashville

it's been a couple days since Mike and i returned back to (SNOWY) Chicago from our trip down south, so i thought i'd share a little travel diary. we enjoyed a couple days in raleigh with my sister and her family on the front-end of the trip. it's always so fun to be with my nephews, and this trip was no different. David has developed a real liking for Mike, which is so cute. at one point, David led Mike upstairs and they were up there for about 20 minutes just playing in the rooms and doing whatever it is that you do with a 15 month old with a spatula for a hand ;) (for those that don't know, David can always be found with a steel grip on a spatula...future chef?) we enjoyed time with my sister and brother-in-law, too! Mike doesn't seem them as often as i do, so it was fun for all of us to be together.

after a couple days, we headed to Charleston, SC. we got into the city early afternoon and were both pretty hungry, so we headed right downtown to grab a quick bite. thanks to everyone's suggestions, we landed on King Street Grille and each enjoyed delicious sandwiches and waffle fries. i love waffle fries. it was raining and we knew we had the whole next day to explore downtown, so we drove over to the Isle of Palms to see what it was all about. the most beautiful homes line the coast there. it's worth a drive if you're ever in the area. we were both anxious to put our feet in the sand (even in our jeans and sweatshirts), so we found the beach and did some walking. it was actually quite peaceful, since there were very few other people walking in the rain with us. after a bit more exploring of the area, we headed over to Sullivan's Island for dinner at Poe's Tavern. Mike was on a mission to have as much fish and/or seafood as possible while we were there, and we heard they had killer fish tacos. coming from a non-fish eater, the Mahi Mahi tacos were killer. although my list of seafood that i've tried is pretty short, this was definitely the best. there's a cute little strip of restaurants, which definitely lends to the little island town feel. if we had more time, we'd have gone back to another one for lunch or dinner! 

the next day was spent exploring the USS Yorktown and everything offered there. we both wanted to make sure we hit some of the historical attractions while in Charleston, and this was on the top of both of our lists. then we headed over to the Battery and drooled over all of the mansions that lined the edge of the city. i mean, unreal mansions. it looked like many had been converted to bed & breakfasts and hotels, but it was cool to imagine what life was like when people called those 'home'. we took several hours to walk around downtown and read all the plaques on the old churches and buildings. we popped in for lunch and drinks at Poogan's Porch, which i would definitely recommend! it's in an old home, which is incredible, and the food was great! Mike had shrimp & grits for the first time and cleared his plate in about 4 minutes. it was pretty impressive. 

we enjoyed some more walking around and soaked in our final hours in what was quickly becoming one of our new favorite cities! while leaving the next morning, the blue sky appeared and rain cleared, so we were able to get a glimpse of just how beautiful it would be in the sun. we're both very much intending on making our way back down in the next couple years for another getaway! 

i'm pretty sure Mike misspelled my name with that second letter, so then he tried to tell me that this was my new nickname

since we had the flexibility of time and a car, we decided to pop into Nashville for a quick 24 hours. we'd both been told how fun it is and i love seeing new cities, so it was a YOLO moment, for sure. we had a great dinner at ACME Feed & Seed right at the end of the Broadway strip. if you've never been, there is at least one live band at every bar/restaurant on this stretch of road. you can just walk down the street and peek into every place to listen to the band and see if you want to go inside. we enjoyed some live music during dinner and then went up to the rooftop of ACME for a photo op and to view the city. we walked up and down the strip and popped into a couple places to enjoy music and soak in the Nashville-ness of it all. 

we wanted to have breakfast at the Pancake Pantry (since everyone raves about it), but the line was way out the door and we were pretty hungry, so we popped over to Fido for coffee and bagel sandwiches. both were delicious and highly recommendable. it's a super cool environment with a real coffeehouse feel. after that, we drove over to Centennial Park to walk around and enjoy the sunshine and warm temps. there's a recreation of the Parthenon that seems completely out of place but has some history to so it makes a little more sense once you read up on it ;) 

we didn't have much time to plan anything to do in Nashville, so we decided to hit the road after that to get back home before too late. if i were to go back, i think i'd want to take some more time to plan some things to see/do instead of trying to just stumble upon things. 

overall, both of us enjoyed Charleston immensely! it was beautiful and full of history and good food, which was good for both of us. we're looking forward to going back together sometime! i don't know that i feel the need to go back to Nashville again. (Nashville lovers, don't hate me!) i can totally understand why the nightlife is fun, but there wasn't much else that would entice me back. as we were driving out of the city, we were talking about our time there and how everybody that talks about it loves it, which we just didn't understand. there were a lot of, 'we must be missing something' statements! which is very well possible, since we were there for such a short time. i do think it would be a fun destination for a girl's getaway, especially if you go with girls that like to dance to live music! 

it was a busy week and we were both ready to get back home to homemade food, cats (me), and the gym (mike). and i was definitely ready to get back into regular scheduling here...working on some fun projects coming up and some new outfits for next week! 



i love thinking about the details of things. i like having the candle on the coffee table just so, my pillows fluffed just like that, and every single hair on my head just in place. obviously, with life, having things 'perfect' isn't realistic, like ever. but i can strive for my idea of it, right? i like things a certain way and that usually comes down to the tiniest details. 

i take the same approach when it comes to picking out an outfit. big picture: what am i going to wear on top and bottom? small picture: which shoes, accessories, and jewelry can i add that will make this whole thing look and feel how i want it to? from a layer of black lace under my striped tee to add some texture and depth to my outfit, to my necklace and lip color complementing each other. some of you may think it's a bit...neurotic? too much? to think of the smallest details, but that's the most fun part! picking out the stud earrings that you probably won't even see and the right wallet to go with my bag? cheap thrills, i tell ya. there's something in paying attention to those details that allows me to feel put together and thought-out, even if it takes a couple minutes to throw it all together. 

an easy way to take a look to 'the next level' is to think about those small details. it allows you to use your clothes in more than one way (think: dressing something up versus dressing it down) and it helps you to create an outfit versus being just clothes on your body. it's something that helps me to take that over-worn, under-loved top out of my closet and put it on one more time because i can see it in a different light. i could throw this tee on with ripped boyfriend jeans, sneakers, and a messy bun for a casual weekend look, or switch for black jeans, wedges, a bold red lip, and a statement earring for a night out. it's still the same striped tee, but it can look totally different depending on the details around it. 

and that is what i love about details. they can change the entire look of something. even if they go unnoticed, i'm always glad when i've thought through something as small as the rings i put on my fingers or as big as the shoes i pair with my outfit. 

details. they may the world go 'round. or maybe just mine ;)

tee | H&M
lace top | H&M (old)
jeans | ZARA
flats | DSW
bag | Fossil (similar)
necklace | Kate Spade (old)


A Little Bit Edgy

the end of last week was a little crazy, so i wasn't able to wrap up grey dress week like i had hoped. which means, that you get yet another idea for how to style one of spring's easiest and most versatile items. throw on your favorite vest, a chunky necklace, sassy shoes, and a bag that ties everything together and you'll put a bit of an edgy twist on a classic piece. a lot of the accessories are things that i've had for awhile that just happen to go well together...don't you love when that happens? i think this might be my favorite way to style the dress because it's a bit more than just throwing on a jean jacket but still super comfortable. and it should be pretty easy to recreate or change. instead of the animal print, you could do a sleek nude pump, statement earrings, and your favorite clutch. or you could go a bit more casual with a messenger bag, long pendant necklace, and brown strappy sandals. the options seem endless! 

dress | Target
vest | Target (from several seasons ago)
wedges | Banana Republic Outlet
necklace | Target


The Skirt Trick

...kinda like a hat trick, but with a skirt. 

if yesterday's post totally convinced you that this grey dress is perfect for spring, i'm here to convince you that it is also perfect for fall/winter. we're still in that awkward sorta-spring-but-still-pretty-chilly phase in Chicago, so i'm having to get creative with how i wear my spring clothes without freezing my rear off. an easy way? throw your favorite knit over your favorite new dress! 

the skirt and sweater illusion is one of my favorites because i love the look of a skirt but generally hate wearing them. i find them to be incredibly uncomfortable, always having to adjust them here or pull them there. i don't like wearing things that i have to continually think about, so skirts tend to take a back-burner to just about anything else. but this little trick of turning a dress into (looking like) a skirt gives me the best of both worlds. 

separately, i had a dream last night that i forgot to pack basically all of the essentials for my trip, like toothpaste, socks, pajamas. you know, things that matter when you're away from home. so, i'm going to be making a list and checking it five times just to be sure that i don't forget anything. i'm that girl that gets in the car and starts traveling to my destination only to have it hit me what i've forgotten something that seems to essential to my everyday routine that i can't even believe i've forgotten it. oh, you do that, too? great. 

also, if you're feelin' lucky, there's a giveaway going on over on Instagram for a killer necklace from Stella & Dot. you should go enter.

dress | Target
sweater | Madewell
boots | Target
necklace | Elisabeth Ashlie
clutch | Anthropologie