What Bags Are Your Essentials?

essential bagsHandbags are my favorite accessory, and when I thought about doing this post it was hard for me to narrow down which styles are the most important. These three represent the first three bags I would buy if I were starting over. First, a large satchel or hobo (top left), like the Kate Spade Georgina (similar). This is my favorite style, as it can hold everything and looks great with any outfit. I put two more below that I adore- that’s how much I use this style of bag. Second, a smaller crossbody bag for when you don’t need much and want to be hands free. This (black bag) is a Coach bag from a few years ago, so again the link is similar, not the exact bag. Lastly, a wristlet (bottom) is perfect for going out. When pushed, I can fit in my iPhone, a few cards, cash, a few keys (but not the whole key chain), and a lip balm. This one is Coach, but you can find them anywhere (similar).

bonus bagsThese are my two bonus handbags that I would be sad to live without. I actually use these two and the Kate Spade Georgina most of the time, but there are definitely occasions when I need the above two styles.

The yellow one I wrote about before in my birthday gift post, but it’s perfect enough to bring up again 🙂 This is the Coach Scout hobo in light gold/pale yellow.

The pale pink is by Emma Fox. It’s from last year and I couldn’t find it available (similar). I probably looked for a year for the perfect shade of pale pink, and then a coworker found this gorgeous satchel for me at Nordstrom Rack (yes, I have people out there bag hunting for me. I have an addiction. Isn’t admitting it the first step?). I had never heard of Emma Fox at the time, but she puts foxes on her bags!! I think that my dogs look like foxes, so this makes me very happy. Check out how cute the little fox is below!

foxTell me what your must have bags are! I thought about including bags to lust over, but I just cannot look right now. It’s so not in the budget, and I don’t want to develop a crush! I know that moms all need diaper bags, and that changes everything. I have seen a few cute diaper bags, but they are tough to find from what I’ve seen.

Jillian

My Style Icons

audrey-hepburn-quotes-sayings-woman-love-eyes-lipswall quoteblack and white image found here/ color from my wall

I love to look at fashion photos. Audrey Hepburn is one of my top favorites. She had perfect, classic style and she also had a big heart. She inspires me as a person and as a fashion icon. Here are a few collages of my top favorites for inspiration! Who else should I add to the list?

audrey collage

jackie collageOliviaEmilymichelleThere are so many others that I adore, but these were the top choices on my mind. I am really into Olivia’s cape. The Limited has a Scandal collection and what’s left is on sale right now. Of course the cape is gone. There was no way I could buy it before, it was over $200 🙂 I can’t get the idea of a cape out of my mind though. Has anyone seen any great ones with no wool that are affordable?

Jillian

Modcloth Sale- subtitle I Love Minimalism and Modcloth. It’s a Conundrum.

red dress**This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something from them, I will get a portion of the sale. My opinions are my own, and I really do basically get everything I own from Modcloth, with my own money.**

So, I just got an order from Modcloth. The trick is, starting today they have one of the best sales I’ve ever seen. Stuff I just bought is now 40% off. It’s making me crazy. Of course now I want to buy more stuff. They have this thing where they sell things in just one color, and slowly roll out new colors. It really sucks me in.

Remember when I talked about how much I love this red dress? Well, now they have a cream version, and it’s super cute and on sale. Did I ever mention how this dress has pockets? I really wish my husband didn’t hate it, but since he does I’m saving some money. For reference if you buy this, they’re not kidding when they say UK sizes are a lot smaller than US sizes. I usually wear a 10 in US sizes, and I got this dress in a 16 and it fits perfectly. Don’t say I didn’t warn you 🙂

A few more pretty things that I’m drooling over, but do not need (sales, I’m telling you… sucking me in!):

black gingham dress with lace back

gorgeous burgundy coat

super cute bag- I’ve been wanting the blue version of this for so long

soft pajamas

And for what I actually bought! I am quickly realizing that since I hurt both my calf and my knees, I can’t wear heels anymore for every day. All winter I have been wearing boots, but spring is coming fast and I have zero flats that aren’t boots. I’m going to be barefoot! I decided to try two different flats that aren’t even part of the sale. I’m hoping one of them is comfortable.

ballet like flats

simple, beige flats

iphone5/5s charger – I wish I didn’t need this so much, but I do. I am trying to come to terms with the fact that my phone rarely leaves my hand…

rainbow umbrella – I want this to go with my bright red raincoat and boots!

Does anyone have some super comfortable flats that they could recommend for wearing to the office? Our dress code is business casual.

Jillian

Am I the Only One Addicted to Magazines?

Magazine AddictionOnce upon a time, there was a preteen girl that wasn’t allowed to read magazines. They were a waste of money. Even if they were free, they were usually not appropriate for a preteen girl. A few years later that girl grew up and had her own money.

For a while, the magazines still seemed like a waste of money. $4.95?! You have to be kidding. That doesn’t even make sense! It takes an hour to read the thing and then I pass it on to a friend! Absurd.

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Eventually I figured out that subscriptions are much less expensive. I started with just one subscription. I loved reading Cosmopolitan every month (by the way, this was in my 20s. I now completely see why my mom didn’t want me reading this stuff as a kid. Some of it is shocking!). Reading magazines feels decadent to me. This may be because they were such a novelty growing up, but I think part of it is how much I value the written word. I read every article, cover to cover. I dream over the fashion, pretty make-up, sculpted bodies, and general gorgeousness. I dream of living in a big city and writing for a magazine. I picture glamour, but I’m sure it’s really all the Devil Wears Prada style grunt work.

Here’s where it got me in trouble. With sites like Groupon, I can get a subscription for a year for $5. Somehow magazines are just a trigger point for me. Every time I see a deal on one, I want to buy it. One time I figured out I had 13 magazine subscriptions! This year I meant to cut down to three, but somehow I still have everything pictured above coming to my house. I can’t completely figure out why I love them so much, but I do. I do know that part of it is holding them in my hands. I had a subscription on my iPad once and never once read it. I worry that the physical written word is going away. Newspapers and magazines are disappearing. Even textbooks are going digital. That makes it all the more precious to me.

My current breakdown:

  1. Women’s Running– best running magazine ever. For women by women, so empowering and inspirational. I decided to only renew one of my running magazines, and it was this one.
  2. Runner’s World– great articles and advice. I wanted both running magazines when I was training for a marathon (that I never ran- another post for another time). Side note, I have tried Running Times and found it so dry and more for coaches. Does anyone else feel the same way?
  3. O– I think Oprah is the best for general interest. She’s so relatable, and has great content on budgeting, fashion, beauty, current events, etc. It’s always something new. This has been a keeper for me for many years.
  4. Marie Claire– I didn’t renew this one, but then a friend gifted me with a subscription. I actually had missed it, so I am glad she’s an enabler! I like their fashion spreads and columns.
  5. Vegetarian Times– this was a killer deal. I love to read their recipes, and it makes me happy that they are catering to vegetarians. However, I’ve only actually made one recipe, so I probably shouldn’t renew?
  6. House Beautiful– this was another $5 subscription. We just moved and I thought it would be really fun to look through these, but I have two and actually haven’t looked at one yet.
  7. Lucky– I was planning on Lucky being my only fashion magazine this year. I’ve loved it in the past because they actually feature affordable pieces, but I’m finding this isn’t as true as it used to be (I just subscribed after not reading for a few years). Is this my imagination? I still like it, but I think I should only have one fashion subscription. Can I have two?

I am terrible at minimalism when it comes to magazines. I don’t keep them when I’m done with them. I do my best to give them to someone else to read, or recycle them. Still, it’s definitely consumption. Can anyone help me narrow it down? What is a reasonable amount? What are your favorites?

Jillian

Pretty Birthday Gifts

birthday giftsLast week was my birthday, and I was showered with beautiful gifts! I thought I would share some with you, just in case anyone wants to add them to their wish list!

Starting with the bag: Coach Scout Hobo. This beauty was a gift from J. I have been looking forever for a pale yellow handbag and everyone at work is super envious. Between this and my puppy, I am not really even safe to leave my desk anymore.

I can’t begin to imagine where this adorable bear dish came from, but I got it from my dear friend K, and I put it on my bookshelf and filled it with my bracelets. I adore bears, so this is perfect!

A bit of Packers gear from J. The soft helmet was my good luck charm through most of last weekend’s game, but it couldn’t hold out through the end 😦 This plush football folds out and becomes a cow!! Super fun!

The last picture is three of the same body butter- Brazil Nut from the Body Shop. Panda gave me a gift card, and I stocked up. I adore this scent, sometimes I open it and just breathe it in. The Shibas also like to lick it off me, which can be a little creepy. I have to be careful around those tricksters.

love from momSome of the best gifts are experiences and love. I got a lot of that, too! This screenshot is a Facebook message from my mom 🙂 Can’t you just feel the long distance hug? My aunt surprised me by showing up at my work with gifts. What a nice surprise to see a loved one on your birthday (she also gave me an amazing orange fleece jacket)! My dad called me the night before to sing me happy birthday. I’m feeling the love.

By the way, isn’t it funny that my gifts are a mix of super girly and Packers stuff? That cracks me up. It’s pretty much a description of my life.

 

more birthday giftsMy friend MK gave me this cool Packers infinity scarf, which I love! The body butter and nail polish were gifts that came with the SPA DAY that my sister surprised me with. I am not kidding you guys, she knows how to hook a girl up. She got us facials and mani/pedis, along with these spa gifts; and took me to one of my favorite vegan places (Native Foods). It was so great to hang out with her and be pampered! My boss was out of town, but sent me these pretty flowers. I also received this Kate Spade Idiom bracelet from M (likely due to my not so subtle hint in this post!). Isn’t it just lovely stacked with my other bracelets?

 

Jillian and RileyFinally, the gift that I bought for myself- on my birthday, my adoption of Miss Riley Annabelle was complete! She is a part of our little family forever now, and I could not ask for a better birthday gift. Thank you to Denise at Shibas4Life for making it possible.

A few more gift ideas: I received a magazine subscription, which is cool because it’s a gift you keep getting all year long. A coworker wrote me an email about how much she likes working with me- how sweet is that? Another coworker brought me a smoothie book because she “didn’t want to derail my diet with a cupcake”. Gestures like these don’t have to cost much (or anything), but are so special. What is your favorite birthday gift you’ve received?

Jillian

What I Wore to the Wedding- Follow Up Post!

wedding outfit*Please note, this post contains affiliate links. I have noted which ones they are. If you buy from any of these, I will get a small commission.*

Earlier this week, I asked for help choosing an outfit. I don’t consider myself to be too great at putting clothes together, and I wanted to look nice for E’s wedding. Not helping my dilemma was the fact that my husband can’t stand my favorite dress. I received several comments about how cute a silver wrap would look with my black and white dress. I didn’t want to buy one (in my quest for minimalism, it seemed silly to buy something I would use once). I loved the idea though, so I decided to go with a brightly colored wrap instead of my original plan of a bright green cardigan.

final outfitThe outfit: Company Cocktails dress by Modcloth (sold out, but similar- affiliate link)/ Give Me Gracefulness slip (affiliate link)/ silver clutch (etsy- cannot find the shop for the life of me)/ silver sandals (kelly and katie)/ bracelets by Kate Spade, Alex and Ani, and Silver Dove Jewelry/ coat by aniina from Modcloth (sold out but sort of similar- affiliate link), teal wrap (unsure, received as a gift)

By the way, everything on Modcloth (affiliate link) is 15% off from now until Monday, 1/26 at 1:00 p.m. ET, 10:00 a.m. PT. Just use the coupon code: GOOGLY. I just ordered a box of stuff from them, so this is bad news for me 😉 I may have to buy more.

 
 
 

On the MoonE’s wedding was so pretty. I helped make some of the decorations, so it’s possible I am biased. However, how can you argue with cool props like this? I just love weddings. I try to be tough and play it cool, but I am super romantic on the inside. J and I are both sick, so we left super early. I’m sad that we missed most of the fun. E was certainly the perfect, fairy tale bride!

What’s your perfect wedding guest outfit? This was my first time wearing a fluffy slip peaking out of a dress, and I thought it was super fun.

Also, where do you stand on gifts? I have only recently figured out that many people prefer to get gifts sent ahead of time. I think this is the best solution ever. I don’t have to lug around the gift when I’m walking in heels, they don’t have as much to watch and load up, they can send thank you cards as gifts come in instead of all at once. I think everyone wins, but I might be alone in this belief. Walking in without a gift was kind of awkward, so there’s that to consider.

Jillian