If there’s one thing I can’t buy for Mike, it’s shoes. I can usually nail the shirt-and-tie combo, suits are a no brainer (blue Hugo Boss all day long), and even with jeans and tees I have a success rate of over 50%. But shoes? Not even close. The man is super picky about shoes. And so is Scotti’s husband, Zack. And, now that I think about it….so is my Dad. Is this a man thing?
In any case, when Nordstrom asked me to take a look at their selection of guys’ shoes (which, btw, is starting to rival their women’s selection), I turned the whole thing over to Mike and Zack, instructing them to pick shoes they would actually wear this summer.
True to form, their picks surprised me. So. From our guys to yours, here are our favorite summer man shoes.
We’re all about celebrating real bodies around here. And while we’ll admit to seeking out soft lighting (hint: on the beach 6-7PM is pure magic), there’s no behind-the-scenes photoshopping. And why would we? Our bodies tell our life story. And for many of us, that life story involves some pretty serious joy, in the form of body-wrecking children, sure, but also of a life lived. Life is short. We choose fun.
So when Scotti and I were brainstorming about how to represent a wider range of body types (this becomes especially important with swimwear, I think), and she volunteered her amazing friends, I was THRILLED. They are fearless, fun, active, and totally opinionated, haha – perfect for getting the real scoop on swimwear. Hope this helps! (And if anyone else has figured out the perfect swim solution for themselves, feel free to send pics to email@example.com. I have a few from readers coming out later this week…)
Summertime usually brings with it a few outdoor events: poolside cocktail parties, beachside weddings, outdoor graduations, etc. It can be tough to find the right attire that will a) be flattering and b) provide you with options to wear again. I do hate having to buy a dress or outfit that I only wear once!
Enter the two-piece coordinating outfit (the British sites call them coords – love that.). With two pieces to work with, you can wear them to your event together (for the dressiest look), then pair them with other pieces for future options. I love the versatility! Three or more outfits in ‘one!’
Reader Randi wrote in asking about two-piece dresses and that’s what spurred this hunt for these hard-to-find yet 0h-so-versatile pieces.
I am desperate! I have a 40th birthday and a casual wedding coming up. I am looking for a fun two piece dress that is not a crop top and hides some of my extra winter pounds. I am desperate to feel fabulous!! Any ideas?!?!
Here are the key words here that complicate matters: not a crop top. Oh boy. Crop tops are everywhere right now, and the vast majority of co-ords feature some sort of crop-top paired with a skirt. And while there are some mamas who can successfully show off their toned abs (high-five, you!), many of us are a little…softer in that area.
The tricky part of this search was…how to search. Do you search for ‘two-piece dresses’? Yes, there are a few that come up. But you also get a lot of Mother-of-the-Bride outfits. Searching ‘coordinates’, brings up a few more options. Some of the pieces were discovered by simply hunting for a top and skirt in the same fabric/print…not as easily entered into Google. In any case, after much searching, a collection has been made! Thank you to Shana and Jess for help and some great additions!
The boys had their end-of-year hip-hop performance on Sunday. As you might imagine, it’s hysterical. They’ve been taking lessons since January with Movemakers Philly, and Vince, the founder and director is some kind of kid-wizard. The difference in my two boys in just a few short months (especially my shy Raines) has been profound. Family dance parties are now our daily norm, and I love that even Raines will just let loose. It’s a blast. (BTW – at the show, Pax was in his element. Vince introduced the littlest kids for a quick solo performance, a “Give it up for Pax!” kind of a thing, and Pax went nuts. The vid is up on Instagram, if you are interested. @shanachristine.)
But the performance was one of those times where I needed to look…presentable….yet the day was going to be grueling. We’re talking a noon rehearsal, followed by two performances (2pm and 4:30pm), and I had volunteered to help wrangle 50+ kids backstage. Yikes.
It’s times like these that I’m always searching for a fancy-ish top. The kind I can throw on with jeans, isn’t overly precious, yet goes far beyond the basic tee (like this one).
It’s been quite a week. Weeks like this – with horror and senseless violence fueled by hate – always leave me feeling….shaky. My first thought is always of the mothers. Of the crushing, inescapable sorrow. Of the gunman’s own mother – what happened to him, Mama? I stare into the open, loving faces of my two little boys and can’t imagine how any human can grow up to kill innocent people.
More hugs? That’s my personal answer when on shaky ground. More hugs and kisses and that overwhelming sense of peace that only comes when we’re all cuddled up in bed together, limbs intertwined. As my arms wrap and my feet tuck, I can literally feel the love coursing through my veins. God knows I am a flawed mom, but if I can get one thing right, it’s this: I want to openly demonstrate my unconditional love. It’s so easy to focus on accomplishments or good behavior (“you worked so hard!!” is our 2016 version of praise), but unconditional love is both more than that, and simpler, too. It’s love that will never have to be earned. It’s love that is there simply because I am their mom, they are my babies.
One of my very favorite children’s books is by Dr. Laura (of all people). Despite her, um, other issues, Why Do You Love Me? is a book the kids and I turn to when we all need a reminder of what unconditional love looks like.
“You are going to feel whatever you are feeling. Angry, sad, hurt or lonely – whatever the feeling is – it’s all right to feel it. But then take the time to remember that love is like the sun in the sky. It’s there, shining warm in your heart even on the angry, cloudy days.”
The message is beautiful. It’s pure love.
If you are looking to help in a more direct way to help, Everytown is a good place to start.
My husband has spent the last few years working on a predictive alerting and response system for severe sepsis. That system, called Penn Signals, finally went live on Monday. If anyone is interested, you can read a little about it (and more of Mike’s HIMSS talk) here.
We’ve been makingthis quinoa pizza crust on the regular. She adds fancy toppings, but we just add tomato sauce. It’s more like tomato pie (is that just a Philly thing??) and my kids LOVE it.
I’m thinking of readingThe Circle next. Has anyone else read it? Thoughts?
J.Crew is having a sale on sale. Take an additional 40% off already reduced items. In addition to this Hatch-like dress, here are five pieces I’m considering:
Lastly, I’m looking for an easy, everyday dress that I can wear with a regular bra and sneakers. Is this it?
Enjoy your Father’s Day weekend! We’re heading to a ball game #GoPhillies, and on Father’s Day the boys actually have a hip-hop performance, which should be hysterical. Raines is nervous and Pax? Well…we’ll see if Pax participates. He, uh, likes to do his own thing.
Anyway, I gotta run – I’m the Fun Friday mom at school today. It’s the end of the year, you guys, so I’m just bringing in play-doh and chips, all HERE KIDS. DO YOUR THING.
Sandals y’all. Writing about sandals…on a day with a high in the lower 60’s…oh, Portland. I’m wearing close toed shoes today, but against my will. Once I bring out the sandals my toes do not want to go back to being confined in regular shoes…especially when they are freshly pedicured!
For me, it’s all about finding the right nude/natural colored sandals and wearing the heck out of them for the summer. A nude sandal goes with everything and keeps my shorter legs looking long. My current loves are this pair by Matisse (pictured above, yes, in the rain). I love that they are handmade and the leather is breaking in oh so nicely.
Keep reading for a round-up of our favorite nude sandals (and the criteria we use to pick the best ones….think: walkable).
Hi lovelies, I’m super excited about this one since we actually need new beach towels. And by new I mean any. With two beyond-fair mini redheads and a handful of basal cell surgeries between my husband and me, we haven’t exactly been regulars on the beach scene – except last fall hubs found this awesome pop up beach tent that we’ve used for everything from backyard picnics to soccer games and this summer, for the tons of beaches nearby. (North Shore, MA locals: wear your sunnies, we’re going to be blinding.) Anyway, I found so many cool towel choices, I’m especially in love with the huge round ones.
Check out the cool, modern graphic beach towels I rounded up!
If you are new here (hi and welcome!) you’re gonna need a little backstory for this one. Last fall, I posted this outfit (or see below pic). They were high-rise, cropped flare jeans – posted to an overwhelming chorus of BOOOOO. (If you click over, be sure to read Terri’s comment – it’s hysterical and perfectly sums up all the others.)
But there were a few things that bugged me (and many things that bugged our readers) about the original post. Namely:
1. The jeans were too big. Not only was the length debatable (I’m only 5’2″, so even “cropped” jeans need to be hemmed), but the jean was also slouchy through the thigh.
2. My styling may have been too casual to give these jeans a fair shake. Whenever a truly new silhouette comes out, it always takes time for our eyes and hearts and minds to adjust. If you think back, most new silhouettes start out a bit dressy (or at least paired with high heels). In the original article, I paired the mom jeans with a basic tee and flats. It was a tough sell.
(Also not helping? My hair. Whatever.)
Round 2: Be Fancier
So. For Round 2, I first tried styling the original, too-big jean with heels and cashmere (I swear this combo fixes just about anything). Just to see if this particular pair of jeans could be saved.
Have you seen that article about things women shouldn’t wear past 30?? I can’t begin to explain how much I disagree with almost every single thing on this list. (Except maybe scrunchies . . . I’ll give them that). However, my biggest issue with this list? American Eagle. “Sure their jeans fit perfectly, but that doesn’t make it trendy for women over 3o to be wearing them.” Um . . . they fit perfectly? And are under $50? Yeah, I’m going to wear them. Screw the age police. Their ‘Tomgirl‘ jeans are my favorite jeans EVER. They key is to size DOWN. While I normally wear a size 8 in their jeggings, I buy these in a size 2 or 4 (the 4 is baggy like a true boyfriend jean and the 2, the size I’m wearing in the pics, are a bit more snug for a sexier look). They’re on sale right now for under $30. You need a pair . . . no matter how old you are!
TME reader, Karen reached out to us on Facebook with the following dilemma:
“In the spirit of ‘inspired by’ posts I’ve seen over the last few weeks, I thought I would submit and ask if you would consider whipping up some suggestions. A few friends and I are meeting in NYC for 4 nights (5 days) of kid-free girl bonding. We’ll be playing culinary tourists (so food baby allowance is a must) but obviously comfort and function trump everything. What basics and stand out pieces should I pack (or buy?) before heading out? Our days are likely to be spent touring (read: walking walking and more walking) while our nights will be cocktail lounges and semi-fancy dinners. My typical jeans and tees aren’t going to cut it! HELP?!”
First off, I’ll just come out and say it: I am completely jealous. How amazing does this trip sound?! A girls only getaway to NYC is the perfect way to recharge your batteries and create memories to cherish for a lifetime. And by “create memories” I don’t mean stand on a convenience store countertop at 4am and serenade the cashier with a drunken rendition of “You are My Sunshine” (because that wasn’t AT ALL what happened on my last girls’ trip to NYC) Ha..moving on…
When I read Karen’s Q, I jumped at the chance to help and maaaybe even live vicariously through her for a minute. Here’s what I discovered: