September 15, 2016

The Most-Spotted Sneaker In Europe is GOOOOOD….


As many of you know, we spent a couple of weeks in August vacationing in Europe.  We did France for a bit (Nantes, Normandy, St. Malo), and then cruised down to Barcelona for our final week.  The trip was amazing on so many levels, but, as always, the street style was seriously good.  Oddly enough, one pair of sneakers popped up again and again and again – in both France and Barcelona.  These New Balance 410s appeared to be the shoe of choice for Cool Girls Walking: Europe Edition, so when I got home I promptly ordered them, just to see what all the fuss was about.

Yeah.  Those Cool Girls are totally onto something.

The New Balance 410s aren’t really running shoes, rather lightweight sneakers.  The kind of sneakers that you can actually wear without socks, the kind of sneakers that you can wear in hot temps, and the kind of sneakers you’ll wear all Fall.  They make a statement yet are not not bulky, therefore avoiding any potential BigFoot tendencies.

In Europe, tons of girls rocked these sneaks with dresses, skirts, tailored trousers, or jeans-and-scarves-combos.  Europe always feels a little dressier to me – it’s like everyone adds in one dressy element, whether it’s a dress, skirt, or something tailored, then grounds the outfit with sneakers and tshirts.

Here are two ways (out of many – I’ve seriously been wearing them nonstop) that I’ve been wearing my New Balance 410s. One is a nod to chic European style with a tailored short, the other is allll me (think sweaters and cut-offs at the shore).

Lastly, I also included a few pics with my Brooks Chariot sneakers.  They have a similar sensibility as the New Balances, but with really unique color combos.  Super easy way to make a tshirt-and-jean combo more interesting.

By September 15, 2016 24 No tags Permalink
September 14, 2016

Back To School Kicks For Kids (That Will Be Warm Enough For Winter)


Look at Pax, giving me the business.  Per usual.  But the little stinker started Kindergarten – today – and even though we drive each other nuts, I was a wreck.  My Little Chubbies is neither little or chubby these days, and part of me feels like My Work Here Is Done.   Thank You And Goodnight.

Of course that’s not really true…but having your youngest (YOUNGEST!!) start school certainly marks the end of an era.  Maybe I’ll start drinking more.


Each year when the kids start, I totally ignore the 90 degree issue and insist on finding “school shoes” that can withstand winter.  (I’m originally from Michigan, it’s how we do.)  The thought of sitting in a classroom all day wearing snowboots gives me the heebie-jeebies, so I’m looking for something warm-ish, but not overly so.  (Of course, last year Raines happily wore this pair of snowboots on the daily without complaint, but I always feel like There Could Be A Better Answer.)

I think I found it:  Warm, but not too warm (this find is still firmly in the shoe category, rather than the boot category), and – bonus – the kids can get them on/off themselves.  Do you know how hard it is to find shoes for an 8 year old that don’t tie???  #momfail #shutup

By September 14, 2016 24 No tags Permalink
September 13, 2016

Easy Early-Fall Outfit Idea: Jumpsuits, Booties And Denim Jackets


There is one thing I love without a doubt:  a jumpsuit. I can’t deny it. I may still be wearing them as a grandmama with a sagging bum and all. It’s just the way it is, because…me & them. I’ve been wearing jumpsuits since high school, through college, early married life and now kids. We have a long history together.

I’ve been appreciating them even more now as a mama, because they’re simple. They take away the need to pair a shirt with bottoms, so HEY. Cool! One less thing to think about. Also, with Fall not being exactly sooo Fall-ish around here (yes, I have boo-hooed about this before…), this kind of easy, comfortable outfit serves an incredibly noble purpose: it tricks my originally Northern self into feeling like I’m totally taking advantage of Fall style, without me having to sweat my derriere off.

All hail the jumpsuit.

By September 13, 2016 14 No tags Permalink
September 12, 2016

An Easy (And Cheap) DIY Leather Bolo Necklace

diy bolo necklace1

One of the biggest jewelry trends we can expect to be seeing this year are chokers.  I know, I know – I can feel the collective eye roll that happens at the mere mention of “chokers”.  I mean, we’ve already lived through the 90’s and survived that decade’s questionable style trends with our dignity (mostly) in check.  (Thank GOD there wasn’t social media then – amirght?) But recently, a wise TME reader Deborah reminded me, ” in fashion, all things that once were will be again.”

She’s right.

So, I caved in to the trend and bought a lovely velvet choker I’ve had my eye on, and was surprised by how much I loved it. The downside, however, was that the choker, well…it choked me.  So I started looking for a less claustrophobic option and found my answer in the leather bolo style necklaces by Vanessa Mooney and others (I also like this one). I adore the boho vibe of these necklaces but because I’m cheap and broke I wasn’t ready to part with $50 or more for basically a few yards of leather cord.  So.  Still desperate to have one, I macguivered my own version using leather cord and a few washers.

Here’s how you can make your own adjustable leather bolo happen tonight for less than $5.00!

By September 12, 2016 6 No tags Permalink
September 11, 2016

Fall Fav: Soft Blazers and Comfy Bomber Jackets


jacket | tee (similar or this!) | jeans | shoes (similar or these) | earrings

Fall! Fall has arrived with a gray, drizzly bang here in the Pacific Northwest. It literally arrived the day I tried most of these pieces on. And, although it was a really abrupt entrance, it’s gotten me super excited for cool weather, pumpkin everything and, of course…jackets.

I’m not the only one – several readers have been asking us to do a roundup of  soft blazers.  Many of you are looking for something like the one S wore in Europe (see her pics here), but with a lower price tag.  Knit jackets are mom gold:  comfy yet structured.   I started searching only for knit blazers, but expanded my search to include of-the-moment bomber jackets as well. Come along and see both the wins and the bombs…(pun intended).

September 8, 2016

Foolproof Shirt & Tie Combinations for Fall


“A well-tailored suit is to women what lingerie is to men.”

I don’t know who said that, but I whole-heartedly agree.  There’s just something about a man in a suit, right?  Not only do they look good, but all of a sudden they have this swagger that comes from putting it on (like my husband Zack and his BFF Chris in the pic above).  You can tell they feel good when wearing a nice suit.

Choosing a suit is the (somewhat) easy part:  Invest in one that fits really well and wear it for years (our favs are linked below).  The hard part, however, is finding inspired shirt & tie combinations.  So we sat Zack down (he has an seriously uncanny knack) and had him pull his favorite shirt-and-tie combos for navy, black, and gray suits from the insanely huge shirt-and-tie collection at Nordstrom.

Here are our favs…..

By September 8, 2016 3 No tags Permalink
September 7, 2016

I Heart Espadrilles (Where To Find Them Outside of Spain)


While in Barcelona, I bought a pair of espadrilles at La Manual Alpargatera, one of the more well-known espadrille shops in Spain.  The store’s shelves are lined with espadrilles of every shape and color, and the store is so popular that you are given a ticket when you enter, and must wait until your number is called.  I found the whole experience overly precious – since there are so many people in the shop, you may only request one pair of shoes at a time, wait for them to be brought out, try them on, decide yes/no and then request another pair to try on.  I tried on three and it took 45 minutes.   Crazy.  Especially since there are a ton of espadrille shops are all over Barcelona.  I suspect one can get cute, handmade espadrilles at another shop without the long wait.

But I’m loving these shoes.  They’re comfy right away (at least the ankle-wrapped ones are), and they go with everything – dresses, shorts, denim, and held up to all-day walking.  So keep reading for a few additional espadrille pics, as well as a roundup of where you can find Spanish espadrilles outside of Spain…..

By September 7, 2016 4 No tags Permalink
September 6, 2016

Amanda’s Fall Wardrobe Edit (It’s All About the SHOES)


Hi ladies! So I got a little excited about back to school shopping this year…for myself. Shopping for my kindergarten girl can be tricky since we have very different um, aesthetics? Her love of rainbow and animal print rivals mine for black and stripes. Living with her creative fashion choices must be rubbing off on me though, especially in the shoe department. While I’m not going to be pairing tutus and rain boots anytime soon these leopard high tops and silver booties are going to be on replay all fall. Want to see how I’m mixing interesting shoes with classic cooler weather pieces?

September 2, 2016

Our Labor Day Sale Edit



Holy cow, it’s Labor Day Weekend already.  But there are still s’mores to be made and rose to be drunk so I’m gonna keep this quick:  when you get a moment, there’s a few Labor Day sales worth checking out.  To make it easy, we rounded up our favorite pieces from the best of the Labor Day Sales.  Enjoy!

By September 2, 2016 2 No tags Permalink
September 2, 2016

Stay Proof, Day-To-Night Makeup (For Travel or Life)



Travel life rarely feels like real life.  We would leave the house in the morning and not return again until that night.  We’d wander around cobblestoned streets, pop into little cafes, discover fun parks or places to run the kids, and find ourselves – at some point in the day –  sitting outside with a glass or two of Champagne.  (Or Cava!)

It was bliss.

What isn’t bliss, however, is seeing pictures of yourself from that same day and realizing that while you felt like a princess-who-doesn’t-deign-to-work, you looked like a sweaty mess.  So I needed a makeup routine that could stand up to long days of travel (including overnight flights and a quick dip in the Mediterranean), yet something that didn’t look like a face full of makeup.  It’s summer, it’s hot, and a smokey eye isn’t going to happen.  At least not with this girl.  And lastly, sunscreen.  My routine had to include mad amounts of sunscreen, but without the sweaty shine.

Here’s what worked for me.  This routine isn’t short, but it is easy, and it definitely stood up to the overnight flight, swimming in the med, the windswept Normandy beaches, and the hot, sticky humidity of Barcelona.

By September 2, 2016 23 No tags Permalink