Can’t Miss at Madewell

I can’t tell you how many times I walked past Madewell in Lenox Mall and never thought about going in. I shop surgically. 🙂 I usually have little time and I know my favorite places so I usually hit my top shops – Anthropologie, Nordstrom, etc and there’s not a lot of browsing around. When Madewell opened a location closer to me, I got interested and popped in. Now, it’s become a go-to shop for casual dresses. For example, this great short sleeve denim pullover. Loved wearing this over the weekend. It’s a great transition-to-Fall dress because you can add layers of boots as the weather changes. It’s a great color and the fit is perfection. It’s got pleats in just the right places to make it flattering AND comfortable – a balance that I love.

So… With all that being said, I don’t think this exact dress is still available. But, never fear because I’ve also learned this: There is ALWAYS more than one great denim dress at Madewell!

As a matter of fact, I’ve linked to 20 below.  Scroll down and shop the list I’ve put together.  Fun!


Fall Color You Can Wear Now

My first “next season” purchase every season is always lipstick. It’s a great way to wear the upcoming season’s colors even though the weather isn’t quite there yet. Yesterday I had some fun at the Bobbi Brown counter. Click on each picture to shop my color choices. Great pinks and plums with a Fall hue were my early season picks this year. 

Candy Stripes

I just could not live without this print once I knew it existed.  It reminded me of a beach umbrella and took me to a very happy place.  Not to mention it goes nicely with my Shirtdress & Espadrilles program I got going this summer.  Shop it HERE and other great items in this print below – even for little girls.  Simply irresistible!

OTS for an OTP Date Night

{I can’t get enough of this cute bag so I’m sharing it again!}

Off-The-Shoulder for an Outside-the-Perimeter Date Night

Sometimes it takes me a minute or two to get up the nerve to try a new trend and “off-the-shoulder” was one of those trends.  I got this cute top from ChicWish awhile back and finally decided to wear it out for Date Night.  Everywhere we went, I got compliments from perfect strangers.  It was so fun!  My ChicWish version is actually a knock-off of a Tibi that has been so popular since OTS came into style this Spring.  The Tibi one is gorgeous and it still may make its way to my closet someday.  I’m dying over the gingham version.  For you I’ve linked to many cute OTS options that are similar, if not almost identical, to the one I’m wearing.  I’m loving this trend and now have a dress or two in this OTS trend, too.  Shop the list below.  Time to show off those shoulders!


50 Elements of SMIJ Style • #25 • Travel Light with Summer Dresses

I love summer dresses for traveling.  You can always layer on top for chilly evenings or over-air-conditioned airports while keeping things simple, but chic.  A summer dress needs only a few little accessories and cute sandals and you’re all set.  No pants, belts, matching tops, etc eliminating half your packing list.  I usually bring one pair of white jeans and a cute top, but the rest is just summer dresses.  They make road trips potty breaks easier, too.  Just sayin’….

Here are some current faves that would be perfect for any summer trip.  I curated a list with some variety so you could have different looks that could take you from a travel day to a nice dinner.  There are only a million great dresses out there so I narrowed it down to some of my favorite dress retailers.  Happy Trails!


Driveway Bootcamp #1 • Low & Slow

Let’s start with an affirmation: Matthew 19:26 – With God All Things are Possible – Even working out with a 4 year old around. Ha! There… No excuses for me today.

I’m back in full swing with my Driveway Bootcamps and I am having so much fun.  I used to do this a few years ago and just forgot this system.  Selfishly, for my own accoutability, I’m writing about my workouts and what works and what is challenging.  Hoping to keep myself motivated and maybe even inspire someone along the way.  Would also love any ideas you have!

For today, I’ll share (1) setting yourself up for success and (2) one of my first workouts for breaking back into the routine and, of course, (3) great workout gear.

First of all, set yourself up for success.  Start with a quick prayer. I know God wants us to be healthy and I try to remember to thank Him for my health, the ability and resources to work out, these beautiful, lively children that hinder that and for Him to help me get this workout in.

Then, I take action… Sidewalk chalk is always handy for these workouts.  It’s important to keep the littles busy so you can at least get in a set or two between needs.  I usually pull out sidewalk chalk, bubbles, paper and crayons, even paint if I get really desperate.  Usually between sets I’m helping out with the activity, but it’s a great time to catch your breath anyway.  The point is everyone is having fun and getting stuff done!

Secondly, I take all the pressure of a perfect workout off my mind.  I have a loose plan and then expect to improvise as needed. My one goal is to keep my heart rate up the entire time.  At the very least, I’m doing high knees while I’m helping Reese, keeping my heart rate up even if that activity isn’t on my day’s plan.

Then, I put on a Pandora Workout Station and start my iPhone stopwatch.  In the real world, I’m stopping often to help Reese out with something, but the stopwatch at least gives me a gauge of how long I’m working out and the music keeps me moving.  I don’t stress myself out about keeping on a plan because that is unrealistic.

Now, time to get busy.  See workout below….

While getting back into this routine, I kept it really simple and low impact.  I love yoga and you’ll see lots of core and balance elements in the workouts I choose.  I like to pick three exercises and do 4 or 5 sets of those three when I really want to keep it simple.  Too often, people start full steam ahead on a workout program and end up with a cold or burned out.  I’ve learned that when I’ve been out of a routine for a few weeks, the best way to start is low impact and slow.

For this day, I chose:


10 Sun Saluations (Video Below to illustrate)


5 Sets of these 3 Exercises:

(1) 20 Walking Lunges

(2) 10 Burpees (for my first workout, I did these low impact with no push-up and no jump, just the up, down, back for getting started.)

(3) 20 Squat Kicks – Start with feet should length apart, sit back into a squat (as if sitting into an invisible chair), as you stand back up kick one leg up while coming to a standing position.  Repeat with other leg.

Finish with Abs.  This day I did simple crunches. I got lots of ab work in the Sun Saluations and Burpees already


I like to keep it simple with one piece dressing as possible. Love these full support tops.

50 Elements of SMIJ Style • #24 • If it Shimmers, Flows or Bronzes, it’s in the Bag

I love summer!  Sunkissed is how I prefer life so #24 on our list of 50 Elements of SMIJ Style should maybe be #1.  If it shimmers, flows or bronzes, it’s hard to pass up during the summer months.  I have the Tom Ford shimmering oil which has just been re-stocked at Nordstrom (grab one if you want it because it sells out fast!).  It’s beautiful and smells heavenly.  I love a good bronzer for summer make-up which for me pretty much is limited to waterproof mascara and a couple of swipes of bronzer.  I’m crazy about keeping my face out of the sun so bronzer is a must and I love lots of the Bobbi Brown options (linked below).  Summer beauty must haves include mascara, bronzer and shimmering oil.  Done, done and done!  Shop the list by clicking on any of the pictures below.

Try This at Home • Half-Up Top Knot

Half-up Top Knots or “huns” are in all the magazines currently.  Being a HUGE fan of a top knot, I decided to try this at home.  It was a great option for a girls’ day out.  I felt like my hair was out of my face for all the ups and downs of a day with a 4-year-old, but I still gave the impression that I did try at least a little bit.  You be the judge!  It was fun to try something from the mags that actually works in real life.  Follow along for more “trying this at home”… next up “Shirtdresses & Espadrilles”.

OOTD Details, of course… Dress from Francesca’s | Initial Necklaces in my kids’ initials from Anthropologie | Crystal Hoops from Nordstrom | Pink Racerback Bralette similar

50 Elements of SMIJ Style • #17 • Be a Head Case

Head bands and scarves are a cute way to say “summer hair, don’t care”.  I often go to my trusty top knot or pulled back low pony tail, but sometimes I like to make my not trying look a little more like I tried.  That’s where headscarves and bands come in.  This one I got at the beach, which is the perfect place to wear these, but there are many choices around town now, too.  See my current faves below.  They look cute with summer dresses, shorts and tees or bathing suits.  Reese looked at me on this day and said with her face all twisted up, “What’s that on your head?”  She immediately stole it for herself.  So, I’ll have to get two of whichever I want, I realize.  Good thing, there are a lot of inexpensive choices around, too.


50 Elements of SMIJ Style • #21 • Add Some Interest with Flip-Flops

Put the finishing touch on a summer tee dress with a cute, wild pair of flip flops.  My two go-to brands for beach and pool are Tory Burch and Havaianas.  They are waterproof, comfortable, fun and really liven up any beachy outfit.  Above I mixed prints which is so scary, but I think I nailed it… if I do say so myself.  I will be wearing the heck out of these wedge flip-flops this summer.  Green is a favorite color, these go with black and white nicely and the wedge gives some comfort and flatters the leg.  Sold!

I’ve gathered some great choices below.  Hope you find your new favorite!

You can either click on the picture for the details or I’ve also included links to each below.  

Tory Burch Thin Flip Flops • Tory Burch • $35
Tory Burch Thandie Wedge Flip Flops • Tory Burch • $65
Tory Burch Wedge Thin Flip Flop • Tory Burch • $65
Tory Burch Thin Flip Flops • Tory Burch • $50
Tory Burch Thin Flip Flops • Tory Burch • $50
TORY BURCH PVC thin flip-flops • Tory Burch • $60
Tory Burch Printed Flip Flops • Tory Burch • $75
Tory Burch Thandie Printed Wedge Flip-Flop Sandal, White/Ellora • Tory Burch • $48
Tory Burch Wilhelm Wedge Flip-Flop Sandal, Fiesta/Ivory • Tory Burch • $75
Tory Burch Thin Leaf-Print Flip-Flop Sandal, Black/Pas du Tout • Tory Burch • $50
Tory Burch Flip Flop • Tory Burch • $65
Tory Burch Wilhelm Wedge Flip-Flop Sandal, Poppy Red/Ivory/Royal Tan • Tory Burch • $55
Tory Burch Thin Rubber Flip Flop Sandal, Ivory • Tory Burch • $50
Tory Burch Thin Geometric-Print Flip-Flop Sandal, Poppy Red/Sarno • Tory Burch • $50
Tory Burch Printed Rubber Flip Flops • Tory Burch • $50
Tory Burch Printed Rubber Flip Flops • Tory Burch • $50
Tory Burch Thandie Wedge Flip Flops • Tory Burch • $45.50
Tory Burch Thin Printed Flip Flops • Tory Burch • $35
Charlotte Olympia Charlottes Web Havaianas Flip Flops • Charlotte Olympia • $115
Havaianas High Fashion Wedge Flip Flops • Havaianas • $38
Charlotte Olympia Kitty Havaianas Flip Flops • Charlotte Olympia • $65
Kate Spade New York Just Married Flip Flops • Kate Spade • $58
MM6 Printed Flip Flops • Maison Margiela • $240
TKEES Solid Flip Flops • TKEES • $50
Tommy Bahama ‘Whykiki’ Flip Flop (Women) • Tommy Bahama • $27.95
kate spade new york ‘nassau’ flip flop (Women) • Kate Spade • $48
Havaianas ‘Slim’ Logo Flip Flop (Women) • Havaianas • $26
Havaianas ‘Slim Animal Print’ Flip Flop (Women) • Havaianas • $28
Havaianas Slim Tie Dye Flip Flops • Havaianas • $30
Charlotte Olympia Bruce Havaianas Flip Flops • Charlotte Olympia • $50
Havaianas ‘Slim Liberty Lioncera’ Flip Flop (Women) • Havaianas • $42
Ipanema ‘Naja’ Flip Flop (Women) • Ipanema • $23.95
Havaianas ‘Slim’ Logo Flip Flop (Women) • Havaianas • $26
Havaianas ‘Slim Royal’ Flip Flop (Women) • Havaianas • $32
Teva ‘Deckers’ Flip Flop (Women) • Teva • $31.95
Havaianas ‘Slim’ Flip Flop (Women) • Havaianas • $30
Havaianas Slim Retro Flip Flops • Havaianas • $28
Havaianas Slim Paisage Flip Flops • Havaianas • $34
Havaianas Slim Princess Flip Flops • Havaianas • $30
Havaianas x Charlotte Olympia ‘Bruce’ Flip Flop (Women) • Havaianas • $55