Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Guest Post: A Working Mom's Closet

While I am off on vacation this week, I asked a couple of my favorite bloggers from around the country to share how where they live might affect what they wear. Mostly because I want to know, and this was the easiest way to get them to tell me...

Today, it's Melissa from Florida, who always finds a way to express her own fabulous style, even while dealing with a pretty strict dress code, over at A Working Mom's Closet.


Hi everyone! My name is Melissa and I blog over at A Working Mom's Closet. While the fabulous Tara is out gallivanting and having a fabulous time visiting MY state on her vacation (and I don't even get to see her!), I'm here to make a grand attempt at keeping you all entertained for a day.

Since she's visiting Florida, and I live here, she asked me to share a little bit about how my location and climate might affect the way I dress and how I put outfits together.

Now, the thing about Florida is that while it is unbearably hot a lot of the time, the AC is usually pumping, so it's helpful to stay at least moderately covered. Especially if, you know, you have a JOB and want to dress appropriately. I'd like to remain employed, so I choose to do just that.

When I dress for the office, I try to choose lightweight pieces that I can layer over. I stick with dresses and skirts for the most part, and although last year I was infatuated with cardigans, it seems this year my obsession is blazers and jackets.

Typically I start with a dress. And then I find a way to style it differently from the last time I wore it, whether that means layering a blouse underneath or a jacket on top, switching the belt, or wearing different shoes. Sometimes all it takes is a lightweight scarf to transform the dress into an entirely different outfit! At the same time, it keeps it appropriate and functional in the heat. Another factor is what the schedule is at work, whether we're having a board meeting or staff meeting or anything else going on. My supervisor allows us some deviations from the corporate dress code, but we have to ensure that when we meet with anyone else, we're in code.

There are weekends, though. Weekends that involve theme parks. Outside. In the heat. And yet, I still end up wearing dresses most of the time. I do own a pair of shorts that I'll throw on occasionally, but not often. A dress and flip flops (oh, and a BELT!), and I'm set for Disney. Or Universal. Or whatever.

I have a dress I love so much that I bought it in four different colors: black, gray, purple, and brown. It's a cotton tank dress with a ruffled neckline and an elastic empire waist.  I've worn it to work with collared shirts layered underneath, I've worn it to Disney with a belt and flip flops...and I've worn it to bed. Those dresses are SO comfortable and easily changed with accessories to create different color combinations or layered to match the season. I love them.

I can't wait to see how Tara picks outfits for her vacation in this weather. How do YOU dress for warmer climates?


Thanks for sharing, Mel! 

And while I'm sorry to disappoint with my vacation-wear this week, I'm pretty much wearing nothing but a swimsuit. Don't worry, I'll spare you the pictures...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Guest Post: Spinning Threads

While I am off on vacation this week, I asked a couple of my favorite bloggers from around the country to share how where they live might affect what they wear. Mostly because I want to know, and this was the easiest way to get them to tell me...

First up, Claire from California, who posts some of the best stories about her adorable daughters (along with her fantastic outfits) over at Spinning Threads.


When I think of Southern California style, I automatically think “laid-back.”  Maybe it's our almost year-round warm weather, or the fact that we live in the heart of the entertainment industry.  Sometimes I think the further west you go the more casual the attire.  My sister, Polka Dots, lives in Hawaii and I think that just might be the only state that actually dresses more casual than we do!

Here are 3 go-to pieces I love and think represent Southern California.


The ultimate California staple.  From a casual day at the office to a night out on the town, I wear jeans everywhere...skinny ones, wide-leg ones, highwaisted ones, colorful ones.  I even had a few friends wearing jeans to my wedding (though I actually think that might be one of the few places jeans aren't actually appropriate for).


Whether it's cut-offs and a t-shirt at the beach or a nice pair of trouser shorts paired with a blazer for Sunday brunch, I think shorts are a definite must in California.  Even in the winter when we get to our “cold” 60 degree weather, I'll wear shorts with some colorful tights and/or knee high boots for one of my favorite looks!


When I think of New York City I think of black.  California is not only on the opposite side of the country, but the opposite side of the color spectrum.  Maybe it's a reflection of our outdoorsy lifestyles, with our mountains and beaches, or our almost always sunny weather, but something I always seem to gravitate towards, whether it's a short one or a long one is a colorful dress.

The great thing about these pieces is that they're extremely versatile.  I definitely think my choice of attire is affected by our weather and the activities that we do because of it.  But most of all, I think what really drives my style choice (besides my blog, of course) are my two little girls, Princess Sparkles and Pigtails.  Being a mommy of two toddlers, it's important for me to wear something comfortable and that can be thrown in the wash (because my girls LOVE to touch me with their dirty hands!).  Thank goodness for California's laid-back style, because it's definitely perfect for a busy mommy like me!


Thank you so much for sharing, Claire!

Monday, August 29, 2011

From Florida...

Hello all! I am here:

And I won't be posting outfit pictures this week, because while I packed all of this:

And all of this:

I don't plan on wearing much more than this:

And maybe this:

But I promise, I've left you in good hands this week. So, have a lovely few days and a fantastic Labor Day weekend, and I'll see you all next Tuesday!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Dog Days...

Random story of the day: My little* dog, Peyton, is such a neurotic mess that she can't stand being separated from us for longer than five minutes at a time, especially if she thinks we may be having fun without her. And while I usually find it funny that she has to be right on top of us, this has started to become a problem when Brigid's bedtime rolls around.

See, we always keep B's door closed because we don't want the cats to get in there and make themselves comfortable in the poor kid's crib. Cats shed, and it's kind of gross. And if we leave the door open for any period of time, they will come in and hide under the crib, until they can make their move.

They are sneaky little things, my cats.

So, at night, Steve and I head upstairs, with Brigid in tow, and confine ourselves to her bedroom for a good hour at a time, while B gets a bath, and we all dance to Gaga for awhile. And Peyton CAN'T STAND IT!

But...well...she's found a way around all of this, because, it turns out, Peyton can open the door. Granted, it's a lever knob, and B's door does open into the room, so all the dog is doing is doing is pulling down on the lever and leaning, but still...

My dog can open doors. And she's gotten really good at it, too.

They're readying themselves for a takeover, I can feel it. We're outnumbered by the animals, and they're going to win. If I disappear from this space any time in the future, at least you'll all know what happened to me.

Unless she also knows how to type, too. Then you'll never even know that I am gone...

*It should be noted that 'little' is a relative term here. Yes, she's smaller than our 50lb dog, but she's getting pretty close to the 30lb mark, herself, so she's a little tubby. Someone needs to stop eating two different dinners every night, I guess...

Tank: Target
Cardigan: Macy's
Jeans: Michael Kors
Shoes: Cole Haan

Thursday, August 25, 2011

In the Mood

I've spent the last couple of mornings listening to a combination of wave sounds on my phone and beach music on my radio.

I think It's safe to say that I'm ready for vacation.

I don't think I can be held responsible for my actions if I show up at work tomorrow in my bathing suit...

Dress: Loft
Shoes: Steve Madden

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Do you like how my cats have all of a sudden taken on a starring role in my daily pictures? I just can't keep them out of the shot for some reason.

They're such camera hogs.

(Honestly, I'm really not sure how I've managed to keep my pictures as animal free as I have along the way. With two cats, two dogs, and a toddler running around, there is always something underfoot. And unfortunately, they're all cuter than I am. Especially the toddler.

Which is why they're not allowed to play along, obviously.

Center of attention...hey-oh!)

Cardigan: Land's End Canvas
Skirt: Kohl's
Shoes: Nine West

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Getting Old

I'm going to share a secret with you all today...I am getting old.

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't really think 31 is that old...on other people, anyway. On me, though?

It's ancient!

Case in point: This past weekend, I spent all of Sunday cleaning the house. Laundry, vacuuming, dusting, dishes, toilet cleaning, shower scouring, carpet steaming, sorting through at least a month of mail...I went crazy.

(Steve will tell you that I went on a cleaning binge because I couldn't stand the thought of my neighbors coming over to check on the cats while we're gone, only to have them openly judge me for the mess I left behind, but I maintain it was because the layer of dust in our house was reaching Animal Hoarder levels. It's what happens when you only really clean once a month...

And besides, it's always nice to come back from vacation to a moderately clean house, in my opinion. So there.)

Anyway, in my younger days, a day of deep cleaning was nothing that my body couldn't handle. But, as I was lying in bed Sunday night, trying to figure out why exactly my hip was hurting, I realized that a day of deep cleaning was now seen by my poor old self as several hours of hard exercising. Which is a sad comment of the state of my fitness, I guess...

Unless all of my complaining finally convinces Steve that we need to bring in the cleaning service I want to hire, that is!

Here's hoping...

Blouse: Kohl's
Skirt: Target
Shoes: Nine West

Monday, August 22, 2011

All Clear

Just a quick post today, to share my Two Birds Inspiration Monday inspired outfit, before Brigid and I head outside to run around the yard in celebration of her clean bill of health from the cardiologist.

(Well, as clean of a bill as you can get when the diagnosis is that there's still a hole, but it isn't causing any problems, which is about all we were looking for today...)

So, the inspiration:

And the outfit:

Happy Monday!
Blouse: White House Black Market
Cardigan: Express
Shorts: Ann Taylor (outlet)
Shoes: Kenneth Cole (outlet) 

Friday, August 19, 2011

One Week

I am leaving for vacation in one week.

(Yes, I know I just got back from a vacation. But this one is on a beach! Which is something I need very, very badly right now!

And no, I didn't put in for vacation at work until yesterday, even though we've had this trip scheduled for months, because I felt bad about leaving AGAIN. Thankfully, I am really very lucky in the boss department, so it's all approved.

And I will be leaving in a week!

But seriously...vacation guilt? What is this all about?!?!)

Next week is going to be kind of tough, trying to get everything in order because there are some things going on at work that I have to take care of, and Brigid has her first appointment with the cardiologist in a year (think happy thoughts for us on Monday morning!), and I have to pack for three people and a dog, and we're boarding our other dog, and I have to clean the house from top to bottom so that when the neighbors come by to feed the cats, they aren't disgusted by the mess we've left behind, and...


 I will be earning my vacation next week, is what I'm saying.

Please send coffee. And wine. I may be needing some of both!

Tank: J Crew
Blouse: Target
Shoes: Steve Madden (from DSW)
Ring: Kate Spade 

And on a less whiny note...
(because who whines this much about going on vacation, right?)
...Happy Friday to all!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Early Mornings...

Do they make alarm clocks that pour you a cup of coffee as they are buzzing annoyingly at 5:30am? Because I'm pretty sure I'd have a better chance of actually getting up at 5:30 if I had one of those. As it is, I'm starting to get a little tired of always running late.

And yet, I just can't bring myself to get out of bed at the first ring. What can I say?

I'm a snoozer!

Worn to work last week:
Dress: Ann Taylor Loft
Shoes: Kenneth Cole (outlet)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


After doing really well through the first half of the year with eating right and exercising, my healthy plan has gone completely off of the track over the last couple of months. And while part of me just thinks that since I'm going on vacation in two weeks, I might as well wait until I get back to start things up again, the other part of me knows that I'll feel better if I try to try to ease myself back into things now.

And that would make perfect sense, if I could figure out the 'ease' part of things. Instead, I found a fantastic Nike app for my iPhone with a bunch of work-out options that involve cardio and strength training, with limited equipment, so I can do it while I'm watching the Bachelor Pad (Monday night's trashy t.v. of choice) or last week's Project Runway on DVR (last night's work-out background noise) in my family room. I kind of love it, except that it's totally kicking my butt, and it was all I could do to pull my poor body from bed this morning.

I might just have to call tonight an off night and search for a decent yoga app to do before bed, instead, because I'm pretty sure I'm going to be physically incapable of doing any sort of lunge anytime soon. It's about all I can do to sit in my chair without falling over on the way down.

As for getting back up again? That's going to take some work, I think...

Dress: Max & Cleo (from Dillards)
Sweater: J Crew (outlet)
Shoes: Nine West

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Family Outing

We took Brigid to the zoo on Saturday morning, and I was planning to do some on-the-spot outfit shots, but the outing went by a little quicker than I expected. So I was left with this...

That would be me trying to convince B that the big monkey statue wasn't as scary as she seemed to think it was. She totally wasn't buying it, though.
She was, however, perfectly ok with the mommy and baby monkeys on the other side of the patio...

Love that kid!

Tank Top: Gap (outlet)
Shorts: Ann Taylor (outlet)
Shoes: Old Navy
Purst: H&M

PS: I normally prefer to wear something a little more substantial, shoe-wise, on these outings, but last week's trip to the golf course kicked my butt, and I haven't really been able to wear shoes with backs since then. The blisters, they are there. 

It was totally worth it, though. My favorite golfer happened to be playing with one of Steve's favorite golfers, so we followed them for their first couple holes, took a break for breakfast at the hospitality tent (with complimentary bloody marys, of course), picked them back up for the rest of their round, then went back to the tent for lunch. After lunch, we parked ourselves at the green of one hole to watch all of the afternoon groups come through.

I kind of wanted to go back again...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Is it Fall, yet?

The lovely ladies at Two Birds actually picked a pretty good day to take us toward the Fall season for Inspiration Monday, as we have a cold front going through Atlanta this week.

Of course, an August cold front still consists of 85 degree weather, but at least we won't be hitting 90+ today. It's the small stuff that makes me happy...

The inspiration:

The outfit:

 Shirt: Old Navy
Jeans: Levi's (via TJ Maxx)
Shoes: Old Navy

And now, B and I are off to the dealership to get my car worked on for an hour or two. I'm on my second cup of coffee this morning, in anticipation for the fun that's just ahead of a dealership waiting room with a toddler.

Think happy thoughts for me, please. I'm going to need them!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tiger, Take Two

This outfit is for my favorite Australia-based blogger and her Auburn Tiger of a husband...because apparently, navy blue and orange is my new go-to color combination.

Really, though, I've had this skirt for a month or two now, and it's super comfortable, but I never wear it because I can't find a top that I like with it. Nothing looks quite right tucked in, and given the flowiness of the skirt, I needed something a little more form-fitting than your basic t-shirt or tank top.

Then I picked up this tied t-shirt from the J Crew sale a couple of weeks ago, and my new favorite outfit was born.

At least until my next new favorite outfit comes along, anyway...

Worn to work last Friday:
T-shirt: J Crew
Skirt: H&M
Shoes: Cole Haan (Off Fifth - Saks outlet) 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Difference of Opinion

Tomorrow, I will be braving 90+ degree heat and possible afternoon thunderstorms to watch grown men walk around and hit a tiny ball with a long stick. All starting at 8:00 in the morning.

If you'd have told me six months ago that I'd be ridiculously excited by this prospect, I'd have told you that you were insane. And yet, here I am, obsessing over tee times and group pairings...

Go figure.

Worn out with friends over the weekend:
Tank Top: Ann Taylor Loft
Shorts: Gap
Shoes: Kenneth Cole (outlet)

PS: After looking at the pictures, I added a pink belt because I thought the look was just lacking...something. It definitely helped, but I was too lazy to take another round of pictures. Sorry! 

PPS: Also, I think I've set a really terrible precedent with Steve, who ignored me for years when I complained about him watching golf. Now, he's learned that if he just badgers me with something long enough, eventually I give in.

Bad. So, so bad.

PPPS: Finally, I think you should know that I'd like Steve to wear this around the course:

But Steve was wanting to wear something more along the lines of this:

And this? Is why I should always be responsible for picking out Steve's clothes.

{photo credits:,,}