Mountain day

It is officially spring break here…hooray! After Easter Sunday service, we headed to the mountains for Asheville for a refreshing and lovely couple of days. The weather couldn’t have been more beautiful and we loved walking around town. I wore this outfit on our last day, but by far the most memorable thing I wore on the trip was apparently this bag!

If you saw the original version by Cult Gaia that took Instagram by storm last summer, it hasn’t gone anywhere! This bag is back and more popular than ever this spring; and fortunately for us, there are some wonderful dupes to be had. This particular version came from Amazon (for less than a third of the price) and it attracted the most random attention all weekend long! Nearly every place we went, someone (guys and girls) would make a comment. It cracked me up, but J got into it and told everyone where they could find one!

I love all the other elements of this outfit, too…especially these white mules which I have been wearing non-stop the last few weeks. Everyone who knows me in person knows that I am a heels girl, so I have been so surprised how much I loved these comfortable and chic slip-ons!

P.S. If you have never been to French Broad Chocolate Lounge in downtown Asheville, it is soo worth it! It’s one of our must-stops whenever we’re there. Our favorites are the liquid truffle, the pots de creme, the mocha stout cake…you can’t go wrong! 😉

Sweater: Loft (extra 50% off!)

Embroidered Jeans: WHBM (available in Regular and Petite)

Mules: Target (only $22.99!)

Arc bag: Amazon

Pre-spring stripes

Ah February, that time of year when one day feels like winter and the next day, it feels like spring may be peaking its head around the corner. Well, at least that’s how it is this year! It’s also the time of year when you’re getting tired of your winter sweaters and jeans and ready to move onto some lighter and brighter clothes. Spring sweaters are a great transition for these last few weeks of winter—keeping you warm while injecting new life into your daily wardrobe.

I love the beautiful colors of the stripes and the bell sleeves on this one. I’m also loving the step-hem jeans with the “racing stripe” on the side. There are so many unique and interesting styles of jeans out right now, adding interest to a basic outfit.

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Dress season

IMG_0197IMG_0199IMG_0252IMG_0257IMG_0260IMG_0262IMG_0264IMG_0266IMG_0255It has been hot here this week! Not just 80 degrees hot, but upper 90s–like where I grew up in Texas. We haven’t broken 100 yet though, so not quite like Texas 😉

Needless to say, it is definitely dress season and this is one of my new favorites. Black dresses of all kinds are so versatile. It’s cliché but true… This one is updated with shoulder cut-outs and a midi length and is soo comfy to wear! This midi length is longer than I would normally wear as a petite, but it actually felt different and fresh.

What summer dresses have you been enjoying in this boiling weather? I’d love to see your favorites!

 

 

Love, white and blue

Happy 4th of July weekend, everyone! Hope you are having a wonderful celebration with friends and family!

Although this isn’t actually quite my red, white, and blue outfit, this celebration of Independence Day feels extra special for us this year. Some of you know that we have been waiting for J’s green card (Permanent Resident card) for some time now, and this last week it finally arrived!! We celebrated with friends this past weekend and are extra happy to be celebrating the U.S. of A. tomorrow! This past year has been a trying one for our beloved country. Nevertheless, we are incredibly blessed in this beautiful land. This 4th of July, I feel gratitude for the privileges we are blessed to have, the freedom that many have given their lives to preserve, and the promise and hope that we stand for, even when clouds darken the light. “America, America, God shed His grace on Thee; and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea.”

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Outfit notes: Yes, this top is meant to be off-the-shoulder! However, when it arrived, the shape was already quite voluminous and I actually preferred it on the shoulder. My OTS top and dress collection has been rapidly expanding this summer, however…the other day I put on another off-the-shoulder dress, and J said, “So, is off-the-shoulder a trend or something this year?” 🤣 The white jeans are my absolute favorite from Nordstrom. Brand is Articles of Society…they run quite BIG so I would size down 1 to 2 sizes. Favorite summer heels are from Target and bubble earrings from Bauble Bar. Xx

White jeans: Nordstrom

Heels: Targetsimilar lower heel option

Earrings: similar

 

Matchy-matchy

I have a style secret…I secretly love a good matchy-matchy look. Jackie Kennedy photos with her matching suits and hats? Kate Middleton’s lovely matching coats and pumps? So elegant and polished.

Needless to say, I’ve been liking all the matching sets coming out in the last year! So chic and easy to put together as an outfit. This is first one I’ve bought, surprisingly enough (but I can’t resist a good Loft sale). Navy is an updated neutral which works through most seasons and feels a little fresher than black. I loved the idea that this set could be worn together or separately, and the look could be easily be changed up with accessories.

These accessories are actually pretty much my summer favorites. These heels have easily become an MVP in my summer wardrobe–I’ve been wearing them with everything from white jeans to summer dresses. They are a dupe for a popular, more expensive pair, but I’ve been impressed with how well they are holding up. The Bauble Bar “Crispin Drop” earrings set off an earring trend all their own this year. Although the originals will set you back around $40 (I got these on major sale), you can find dupes everywhere from Target to Charming Charlie’s. And this beautiful purse…shows the lovely embroidery trend this year and has been one of my absolute favorite purchases this spring.

Top: sold out (similar dress)

Shorts: Loft

Purse: Nordstrom

Heels: Target

Earrings:  Exact earrings sold out (similarsimilar)

same color,         so many colors

 

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Photo credit: Shannon Huang Blankenship

Happy {belated} National Stripes Day

I have to admit I didn’t know National Stripes Day was a “thing” until this week, but who wants to pass up a great Instagram-pic opportunity/excuse to wear stripes?! Maybe the most classic pattern of all time, stripes never truly go out of style and are constantly being reinvented in fresh ways…

…such as this darling off-the-shoulder dress from WHBM! Although I chose to add a pop of color with these sky-blue heels, this dress would be equally cute with cognac or black espadrilles or sandal, or even sneakers

Let’s also take a minute to talk about these heels. A “copy-cat” of the popular, more expensive rendition of this style, these shoes are an easy update to spring outfits with one of the biggest color trends and are a steal for $29.99!

Dress: WHBM

Heels: Target

Earrings: SUGARFIX by BaubleBar

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Bonjour

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Hello old friend,

It’s lovely to be back! I’ve missed you all! Haven’t got the hang of a busy work time and blogging, but I’m certainly going to try this spring. Life is good…my studio is full of dear students, I’ve had many wonderful chance to play and collaborate this spring, and my sweet hubby and I are going to celebrate our FIRST ANNIVERSARY next month! Hard to believe…where has time gone?

With the (mostly) unseasonably warm weather, spring trends have firmly arrived and I, for one, am so excited! There are some fun ones. Embroidery is definitely one of the biggest trends right now…appearing in all sorts of ways on jackets, dresses and even jeans! This jacket is not actually embroidered but definitely plays on the patterns. This jacket is so much fun and gets so many compliments every time I wear it! It has already been on heavy rotation in the last couple of weeks, and I have a feeling I will enjoy wearing it many different ways the next few months.

 

Jacket: Loft

Tank: Nordstrom

Jeans: WHBM (old)

Necklace: Versona

Heels: WHBM (no longer available)

 

 

 

 

 

Mango Tango

This dress was actually my travel and first night outfit for our honeymoon to Mexico! We had the best and happiest trip to the Riviera Maya. So worth the wait 🙂 I also highly recommend the resort where we stayed, the Valentin Imperial Maya! Beautifully maintained and landscaped grounds, gorgeous views, location on the beach, lovely rooms and some delicious food. Can’t say enough about how wonderful it was!

On to the dress! This dress is actually the first item I’ve featured on here that I bought at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I didn’t do a big post on it (there are so many fabulous blog reviews and YouTube videos if you want to check them out), but I picked up a couple of wonderful staples and fun pieces. In case you haven’t heard of it, the Anniversary Sale is an annual event of pre-season fall pieces, which are sold at great sale prices BEFORE they go on sale at regular price. So fun, and the fashion blog world becomes obsessed! The sale is sadly over now, but most of the pieces are still available at full-price.

This dress is incredibly comfortable and easy to wear. It’s actually not super lightweight, so it’s wonderful now that the weather has cooled a bit. Just a note…this dress is slightly on the short side when worn with heels, so I wore it with low wedges for work. I had originally planned to get the olive green color for fall (which would be great with boots), but couldn’t resist this happy, bright dress.

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Dress- Nordstrom

Necklace- old, from Congress Clothing

 

Summertime

Hi friends! Hope you’re having a good week! I am in my third week of teaching summer piano and preschool music camps before we leave for our HONEYMOON next week! I might be just a little excited… 😉

I picked up this top to wear for the 4th right before we headed to Texas in July, and it has been a favorite this last month. I wore it with navy lace shorts in Austin for the holiday, as I did here, but I have also worn it with white shorts, white jeans, and even navy skinny pants to teach. If you saw the YouTube collaboration video with my friend Shannon, you might recognize it from there. I think I need more off-the-shoulder tops and dresses in my life! It can be tricky to find the right one for you, but it’s such a fun and flattering summer look.

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LWD (Little white dress)

I love wearing white in summer. So many people say they’re afraid of wearing white because of spills and showing dirt, but the truth is I spill on my white clothes the same amount that I would on anything else and it’s nothing tragic! And I’m clumsy… Now I wouldn’t wear all white to the park or a place where I’m likely to rub up against a lot of dirt, but there is nothing more classic and refreshing than a gorgeous summer white outfit (except maybe a frozen treat on a hot day). I read the other day that mosquitos are attracted to dark colors, so supposedly, light colors in the summertime have a practical benefit too!

I wore this gorgeous white dress for a few events around our wedding and have pulled it out again several times this summer. I love that it’s comfortable and elegant and without being fussy, and I adore the scoop back detail. This dress pairs beautifully with neutral accessories of all shades (I love the contrast with a deeper cognac color) or looks great with a bright pop of color in the shoe. Today I paired it with a pair of lace-up sandals I picked up in Texas that I am loving, and some of my favorite accessories of the summer.

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