September 29, 2016

I Finally Replaced My Tall Hunter Rainboots

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I’ve been on a mission to replace my tall Hunter rainboots.  They just….they bug me.  I’m no longer used to tall boots, so these feel like clodhoppers, and they’re just so hot and uncomfortable if I ever go inside anywhere.  However, they’re also crazy practical, and for walking the boys to school in the pouring rain (and it can really rain in Philly)….they’re hard to beat.

So for the maelstrom of early morning drop off in the driving rain (which, if you follow me on IG, you’ve seen plenty of examples of – like this), I’m sticking with my tall Hunters.

But for the wet and drizzly days, or for the softly raining days…I’m switching to these little Chelsea rainboots.  I recently wore them to drop the kids off at school, then walked – in a light drizzle – to a doctor’s appointment, where I sat comfortably waiting for hours inside.  My feet were warm (but not overly so) and dry.  Besides, the pattern is fun, and a nice counterpoint to all of my neutrals.

By September 29, 2016 9 No tags Permalink
September 28, 2016

Updated Skinny Jeans, Soccer Walks and Beer

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First things first:  Nordstrom asked me to take a look at Fall denim trends, and, well…if you’re up on your blog reading this week, you know how I feel about The Chaos That is Fall Denim.  But there is something wonderful happening in the world of denim, something I hesitate to call a trend, per se, it’s more like a movement [cue swelling music], and that is….

Skinny Jeans.  They’ve gone all interesting.

Patches, rips, paint splatters, frayed hems, fringe hems, step hems, released hems, twisted hems (no I am seriously not making this up), [BIG BREATH], distressing, cool zippers, sailor-pant spoofs, moto spoofs, colorblocking and embroidery.

What these things do to a boring sweater.  SHIVERS, I tell you.  I get shivers.

My not-so-boring skinnies almost made up for the fact that our Sunday was terribly boring.  It was one of those days where Mike and I were trying our hand at Adulting: paperwork, bills, emptying the dishwasher, updating iPhone OSs, folding 276 loads of laundry.   You needn’t feel sorry for us – as evidenced by the sheer amount of laundry, Adulting is a rare occurrence that we save for when things are truly dire.

But Sunday was a perfect storm of  Too Much Adulting + Tired Kids and our usual remedy (GET TO A PLAYGROUND) wasn’t happening because, on top of it all….hangry.

So we grabbed a handful of nuts (WOMP WOMP), two soccer balls (cause sharing sucks), and set out on a Soccer Walk.  Destination?  The PHL Pop-Up Beer Garden*.

Man, we love Philly.

*Also, the game was on and they have TVs. You are welcome, Mike.

By September 28, 2016 24 No tags Permalink
September 25, 2016

The Most Wearable Fall Trends of 2016

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Hey, hey, HEY-AY, it’s Fall!  Officially.  And I’m so excited to talk Fall Trends.  I’ve been watching and reading and perusing for months, trying to come up with an easily digestible, totally achievable list of the key pieces you need to know about this Fall.

In order to make the list, the trends had to meet three criteria:

1. Accessible – There must be multiple options at every price point, not just, say, one pair of designer shoes that all the bloggers are wearing.

2. Easy – If a trend is overly tricky or complicated or requires a whole new wardrobe in order to rock it successfully….it’s not on this list.

3. New(ish) – This one is probably up for debate.  But in general, if a trend has been around for so long that it’s now a classic, I left it off of this list.  That doesn’t mean we won’t be covering it later, but it’s not a trend.  Leather jackets, leather pants and menswear, I’m talking to you.  (They’re like florals for Spring.)  Also?  Lace-up flats.  They don’t have the lifetime longevity of a leather jacket, but we’ve been talking about them for years now.  Yes, keep wearing them, I just don’t want to TALK about them.

A complete list of Fall Trends and styling notes are below, in this post.  However, you can shop all of our favorite fall trends in the drop-down menu at the top of the blog.  It looks like this on your computer…

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Or this on your phone….

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But the first thing you need to know about the 2016 Fall Trends is that denim….is a disaster.  A few years ago I could order a bunch of jeans, like most of them, and then have a tough time choosing which pair to keep.  Now?  I order 10 pairs and 10 pairs go back.  Rises are all over the map, hemlines are jumping around, sizes are the most inconsistant they’ve ever been, and the determination of leg widths (straight, skinny, slouchy, flare, wideleg) defy logic.  I swear the denim makers are out to get us.

The take-away?  There’s a major shift happening in denim.  It’s like when we went from bootcut jeans to skinnies.  Something…is…happening.  I can’t quite figure out exactly where we’ll end up (my gut feel is that high rise and mom jeans aren’t going anywhere), but in the meantime, I have a few strategies to keep our beloved skinnies current.  (And I promise we’ll talk about cropped flares SOON.)   But if there’s one thing we can learn from bloggers the world over…it’s that no one trend will ever dominate.

On that rather ominous note (ha, ha…ha)….keep reading for my list of the Most Wearable Fall Trends of 2016.

By September 25, 2016 27 No tags Permalink
September 22, 2016

Fav Fall Color Combo: Navy, Black & Camel

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Fall is officially here!  And this fall means back to work for me. Now, working from home I do appreciate being able to do my design work in my PJ’s occasionally, but for the most part, (as I mentioned in this post early this year) I try to get dressed everyday. It helps me get in the right headspace for work. And, as a designer, nothing gets me inspired more than finding a new favorite color combo!

This fall, the palette I’m obsessed with is navy, black and camel. I put together some favorite items in these colors and paired them with a few great pieces courtesy of Sole Society to round out the look…Join me (and one gorgeous cup of tea).

sweater | pants | boots (c/0) | bag (c/o) | earrings (c/o)

September 21, 2016

Cargo Pants Are Major (Commence The Celebration)

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Gang, get excited:  Cargo pants are a major trend this Fall.  I have loved, I mean L-O-V-E-D cargo pants since their first iteration in the early 2000s, when we’d wear them all super slouchy (like falling-off-the-hips-slouchy) with a lingerie-inspired cami.  Bonus points if a sliver of belly showed.  Remember?  Then roughly 8 years later JBrand reintroduced them again but as skinnies (aka the “Houlihan”) and we were all MIND. BLOWN.

If I could do cartwheels in these heels, I would.  Because this fall (roughly 8 years later again) JBrand’s Houlihans are back.  (I swear my friend Amber never stopped wearing hers.  Atta girl.)

One might argue that these cargo pants aren’t perfect.  I’ll grant you that they are a *touch* too long on my 5’3″ self.  A fact that was completely covered 8 years ago by those tall boots we all insisted on wearing.  Even over ankle zippers(!?!).  Therefore if you are shorter than I am, the Houlihans may not be your best bet.  But in the grand scheme of life (take a seat – getting philosophical here), a *touch* of extra length is something that doesn’t keep me up at night, especially for a pant that machine washes so well.  When nostalgia comes to play as hard as it did here, I’ll happily take ‘close enough’.

(I do wonder if I could shrink them in the dryer a bit…hmmm….)

So.  Keep reading to see two of my favorite outfit combos for cargo pants.  I have a date night version (I swear, the power of the cargo pant swells when flirty little tops and heels are involved), and an everyday version.

Let’s start with the date night version, just for fun.  Heels and lipstick, and happy happy happy.

By September 21, 2016 25 No tags Permalink
September 20, 2016

Sweatpant-Like Dress Pants, Styled For Weekend, Work, and Wink-Wink

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Meet my new favorite pants.  These babies are crazy comfortable and can go everywhere:  coffee, work, date night.  They are, technically, ponte pants, but they’re stretchier than the ponte pants I’ve worn before, yet are thicker and super soft.  The thickness (and rear pockets HOLLA) make these pants appropriate for work (even if you don’t have your bum covered), but feel like lounge pants.

I’m alllll about lounge-like pants.

Lastly, these pants are high rise so they smooth out your mid-section and don’t need to be tugged up.  Yes.  Yesyesyes.

Keep reading to see how I styled these pants for a precious weekend morning alone (yes to that, too), work (pretending that I’m still teaching), and date night (sexiest sweatpants ever).

By September 20, 2016 10 No tags Permalink
September 19, 2016

An Easy, Foolproof Way to Look More Alive

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Some days when it feels like the nearly two-year-old baby fog is beginning to lift, I remember that important self-care thing and Oprah-esque “live your best life” kind of motivation kicks in. I’m drawn to the idea of “feel better, look better”, and finding time here and there to go for a jog or nap on weekends, but neither of those things provides instant results to counteract years of sleep deprivation and non-clean (filthy, really) eating. Know what does? Snapchat filters. Specifically the butterfly crown one – I want it to permanently follow me around. Until someone invents that, makeup’s the next best option to mimic glowy, lit from within skin.

Here’s what happened when a minimal makeup-wearer tried five highlighting palettes, powders and creams to find the fastest, easiest, foolproof way to look alive.

By September 19, 2016 7 No tags Permalink
September 19, 2016

Fall Capsule Wardrobes for Toddlers & Kids

What’s better than capsule wardrobes for toddlers?  Capsule wardrobes for kids as well!  GAP has some seriously adorable options for little ones that are well made, last a long time and are often on sale (promo codes vary – currently it’s 40% off with code TREAT).  Greenlea’s no longer growing out of her clothes by the week, so I’m comfortable spending a little more for clothes that last.

Keep reading to see the capsule wardrobes I’ve put together for toddler girls, toddler boys, aaannnd capsule wardrobes for the school-age set.

2016 Fall Toddler Girls Capsule Wardrobe-01

By September 19, 2016 8 No tags Permalink
September 18, 2016

What To Buy At J.Crew Right Now (#dressingroomselfies and everything)

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Trends have been shifting, slippery things lately (especially in the denim department), so I wandered into J.Crew to see Ms. Lyons’ interpretation.  It’s…fantastic.  J.Crew is doing what they’ve always done so well (cozy sweaters, bright stripes), but have managed to update small details to keep the pieces relevant (hello, little bell sleeve, for example).  But the shocking surprise?  The denim.  Let’s get right to it….

By September 18, 2016 38 No tags Permalink
September 16, 2016

Weekend, Weekend, Fun Fun Fun

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Hey there!!!  How was your summer? If you’ve been following me on Insta (@shanachristine) you’ve probably guessed at ours:  a whirlwind.  A fun one, to be sure, but Mike is begging me to “dial it down” now.  He’s probably right, but….

No promises.

This is a big year for me.  Both boys are now in school – even Pax is in all day kindergarten – and whatever will I do with my time?  Ha, ha….ha.  [bangs head on desk]

On that note, the Fall trends article is ALMOST READY.  That is a promise.

Weekend Links

Since we’re in back-to-school mode, I am attempting to set up a homework station.  I mean just kill me now.  I’ll throw a pic up on Instagram soon, but it involves this seriously cool magnetic storage system (fun fact:  can also hold plants) and so far…..it’s keeping us “creative types” organized.   Fingers crossed.

The iPhone 7 is here!!  It boasts a much better camera and is, wait for it….water resistant.  YES.  The one downside?  No headphone jack – only wireless headphones will work.  At least it’s not blowing up.

The second temps dip below 80, I’m going to make this kale, chickpea, and mushroom rice dish.  Yum.

I need more leopard when it rains.  Thankfully, Sole Society just sent me these leopard print rainboots in anticipation of actual Fall and I LOVE THEM.

Remember when kids’ play mats only came in brightly colored foam, not chic, adult-friendly designs?  Painting time just got easier.

Speaking of painting, Tinkerlab’s glue-and-paint project looks fun and different.

The newest book by the Iggy Peck authors is out!!  It’s called Ada Twist, Scientist and obviously I love it.

For older kids (or, ahem, aging Harry Potter fans), Lockwood & Co book 4 was just released.  I’m totally and completely obsessed.

My favorite beach towels (giant, brightly colored) are on sale.  30% off.  (Mine was stolen, so annoying, Jersey Shore.  SO ANNOYING.)

 

What are you guys up to this weekend?  We have a school event tonight, then soccer tomorrow and the Dance on Falls Bridge.  I think I even get to wear something fancy.  I suspect this isn’t what Mike meant by “dialing it down”, but there’s just too much fun to be had in Philadelphia.

Happy Weekend!

S

photo credit: Amanda Danziger 

 

 

 

By September 16, 2016 5 No tags Permalink