Unstyled : 002

Full Outfit 1

It’s the second edition of Unstyled, and lookie here, it’s SPRING in Kansas City! I actually had an entirely different outfit planned for this post, but then the weather was so gorgeous, I had to switch it up. The main item I wanted to highlight in this post is my favorite bag in the whole world, my Transport Tote by Madewell. I bought this bag about 2 years ago, and planned to use it as a chic diaper bag. My youngest was no longer an infant, but I needed a big tote that I could hold anything and everything I needed as a working mama. I talked about this tote a bit in my Blog Conference Essentials post last week, and how I have used smaller pouches to carry my supplies inside this larger bag. I do the same thing in my day-to-day life, carrying kid supplies (crayons, matchbox cars, snacks), work supplies (phone, camera, notebooks, laptop) and personal supplies. I have used this bag for travel and even for shopping at the market. It’s honestly one of the best, most versatile things I’ve ever owned.

So imagine my horror when I realized the bag I carry EVERYWHERE was starting to show wear?! One of the straps began to tear a bit, and while the bag is made to look worn in as you use it, it looked like the strap was going to snap any minute. On a whim, I went into my local Madewell and showed them the problem. Mind you, I had no receipt or proof of purchase, but I told them how much I loved my bag and asked if there was anything they could do for me.

Well, the Madewell team went above and beyond! First they took my bag to a local leather cobbler to see if he could repair it. When he said it couldn’t be fixed, they replaced the bag at no cost to me. They said while I obviously used the bag quite a bit and there was some wear on it, the problem with the strap shouldn’t have happened and they stand behind their products, so they wanted to give me a new tote. How awesome is that?! I was so impressed with Madewell’s customer service and it made me love this brand even more than I already do (which, let’s face it, is a lot).

Jeans : Madewell

Top : Cynthia Rowley

Shoes : Shoemint

Tote : Madewell

Watch : Kate Spade

Bracelet : Kendra Scott



Do you have any pieces of clothing or an accessory you can’t live without? Or have you ever experienced customer service so awesome it made you want to share your love of a brand with everyone you meet? I’m the Madewell’s number one fan at the moment, so if you see me on the street and compliment my outfit, I’ll probably start into my tirade about the amazingness of this brand!

Presidents’ Day is for Online Shopping


I love online shopping, but these days I’m doing a lot less of it. The combination of purging all of my stuff and now no longer having a steady paycheck (yay for doing what you love…but yikes for not having as much cash flow!). I usually end up buying a few things on holidays since the sales are all over the place, but this year, instead of hitting the buy button myself, I’m just going to pass these items on to you and put my credit card away.

At the Paperchat Etsy Shop, you can get the awesome “Treat Yo Self” (from Parks & Recreation) print on the right for $30, plus they are running a buy 2, get 1 free deal!

J. Crew Factory has 40-50% off EVERYTHING with an extra 10% off and free shipping with the code LOTSTOLOVE
(I’m loving this and this)

Madewell has an extra 30% off all sale styles with the code AMOUR (I’m a fan of these boots and this great plaid top)

Amazon has it’s awesome Amazon Fire TV on sale for $84 for limited time!

Rad music for FREE on iTunes today! Both Sleater-Kinney AND Father John Misty have tunes up for free on iTunes today. Trust me, they’re good.

UnStyled : 001


At the end of last year, I sent out a survey to all of my readers asking for some insight on what they wanted to see on this here blog in 2015. I’ve talked about this a couple times since, but seriously, my readers are the absolute greatest. You guys were so honest and sweet in those surveys, but there were a few surprises in there! One of which was the multiple requests for a style column.

I attempted a style column a few years ago, but I haven’t posted there in a while, mostly because I felt like it was super dorky. And goodness knows I wouldn’t want anyone thinking I was a DORK! Ha!

But seriously, in the past year or two my style has evolved from a lot of trendy, fun pieces to a more subdued look, and I just didn’t think it would translate in to a blog post. It’s funny, because it was only when I stopped caring so much what I was wearing that people seemed to notice what I was wearing! I can’t count how many times in the last few months I’ve met new people and told them I’m a blogger and they responded, “Oh, a fashion blogger?” And then I do my best not to laugh in their faces, because HUH?


I’ve done a lot of work in my life on letting go of the past and moving forward, and this process has caused some major purges of “stuff.” I have gone through my closet several times and ended up with trash bags of dresses, skirts, jeans, purses and shoes to donate. I tend to wear the same five outfits over and over again, so I decided to focus on buying more quality pieces and sticking with what I like. I used to be super into color and statement pieces, but now I’m finding myself in more basics with fun accents and accessories. It makes my life so much easier. I used to stare at my closet each morning and get so overwhelmed with what I should wear, but these days I just grab and go, because I literally love everything in there and it all goes together so I can mix and match without much effort.

Lately, a big online fashion trend has been creating a “capsule wardrobe,” a small number of curated clothing pieces, which you change out each season (you can read more about capsule wardrobes here). I’ve been reading posts all over the web about these capsule collections, and the other day I realized I’ve been unintentionally creating a capsule wardrobe for the past two years. It’s definitely the way to go if you’re having trouble finding your style or if getting dressed stresses you out. Since I’ve started curating my wardrobe, I’ve finally been able to find my own sense of style, instead of trying to emulate what others are doing.


My style is definitely a mix of form and function, which is the trademark of a mom and something I really focused on in the last style column I did. My days are a mix of work and parenting, usually simultaneously, so I need my clothes to be easily translated to both worlds. I like to look cute and put together, but I can’t be tripping over myself when I’m chasing Tate down the sidewalk! This outfit is pretty representative of a normal weekday. I would wear this to a photo shoot, then to coffee with a friend, then back to the office to get some work done before I pick up the kids from school.

Sweater – J. Crew
Legging Jeans – Hue
Blanket Scarf – Jane (sold out, but similar here)
Booties – Frye
Lips – Russian Red by MAC

IMG_9316 copy

Special thanks goes out to my friend Lane of Missalaneyus who shot these photos for me! We are so grateful that the rad staff at the Upper Crust Bakery allowed us to use their shop for a location, since it was 18 degrees outside on the day of our shoot. Their pies and pastries are amazing, and you know we couldn’t leave without a piece (or in my case, an entire pie).


Okay, the first UnStyled post is officially done! I decided to call this new column UnStyled because really, that’s what my personal style is all about. It’s not about looking perfect, but about being a little rumpled by life, and doing it with flair. I may not be the most fashionable girl in the room, but when I feel good about what I’m wearing, I think it shows.

A Few Things to Love Today : Blanket Scarves, T-Pain and Meditation

Anyone else in the midst of a crazy, wild, nutso schedule? I’m assuming it’s not just me, as the mamas of the world start gearing up for the holidays while still trying to maintain their regular responsibilities like work and making sure young children do not color all over their van seats with a sharpie. Just me? Anyway, I wanted to share a few things that are making me smile today, as I’m procrastinating all of my actual work.

Blanket Scarves
I ordered this through my friend Kelly’s website, Redefined Mom. Kelly has a way of finding THE BEST deals on the internet, and her site is one to bookmark, especially for the holidays. She has posted this deal for these amazing blanket scarves a few times, and after I saw hers in person, I had to buy one for myself. Early Christmas present?


I have pretty much been wearing it non-stop, and while some people (ahem, husband) think I look like I’m headed into the arctic tundra, a really cute hipster girl working at H&M pulled me aside to ask me where I got it because she liked it so much. Which, if you know me, is the best thing that’s happened to me all week. Also, when paired with this beanie from Aerie, make me “look like Christmas,” according to one of my friends. So, basically, it’s a win.

T-Pain Unplugged
I saw this story last week, and when I watched the YouTube video, my whole heart exploded. Read or listen the story first, then watch Faheem Najim (aka T-Pain) just blow your mind.

There is nothing I love more than when someone takes off all the armor they wear to protect themselves and is vulnerable in a way they haven’t been before. Glorious and beautiful and worthy.

Okay, this is a little woo woo for me, but meditation has become a daily part of my routine that is sort of changing my life. I say sort of because I’ve only been doing it a few weeks, and who knows, I may fall out of love with it as quickly as I’ve fallen in love! I’ve always really liked the idea of meditation, but my brain tends to behave like a squirrel on caffeine, so sitting in the quiet was not something at which I excelled. As a recovering perfectionist, I don’t enjoy trying new things, especially when I’m not a gold medalist right away, so when meditation was difficult for me, I decided it wasn’t something I could do. However, a few weeks ago a group of women I love and respect were talking about meditation, and they reminded me the whole point of meditation isn’t to be perfect, but to practice being in the moment. I’ve been trying a 15 to 30 minute meditation every day since then, just to see if it was do-able for me, and it’s enriched my life in ways I couldn’t imagine. I’m calmer with the kids, kinder to my husband, more relaxed in general. I didn’t even notice it until there was one day when life was too busy and I didn’t make the time to meditate…and whoa, the difference was scary! In the past I’ve been so caught up in doing it all perfectly, but this time around I’m just focusing on doing the best I can. I tend to like guided meditation, so I’ve downloaded a bunch of 15 to 30 minute podcasts by Tara Brach, a meditation teacher and phychologist, so I can listen to them whenever I get a chance. I’ve meditated in a quiet spot in my house, lit with candles…and in my car, and in the gym locker room, and waiting for pickup at the kids schools. Each time I feel like I’m probably doing it all wrong, but I do it anyway. Maybe that should be my mantra, “Do it anyway.”

Questions of Eternal Significance : Bangs or No Bangs

So, it’s been officially about 2 years since I rocked a sweet fringe on my forehead. (Yes, this is a post about hair…vapidness at it’s best!) I have to say, I’m getting a little antsy! I am thinking about taking the plunge and returning to the Blunt Bangs Brigade. But, as always, I am still undecided. On one hand, I loved my bangs. They gave me a fresh look without chopping off all my hair, they looked great with a ponytail or bun, and winter hats always looked adorable. On the other hand, my hair is so easy right now and bangs in the winter can get all electric with static. Also, last time I had bangs my hair was a few shades lighter than my natural color, so I’m not sure if I’d like them as much with my darker hair. Oh, the debate is endless! What do you think, friends? Bring back the bangs or keep my no-fuss locks?


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