May 10, 2016

Athleta Swim (#DressingRoomSelfies…At Home)

Hey hey…I got brave for y’all…swim suits!

I recently received Athleta’s catalog in the mail and LOVED some of their new swimwear. Many of the styles that I wanted to try were only available online, so I ordered some for home. I’ve been excited to check out their suits since many of you have said you love them. I agree! All of the suits seem well made. The fabric (Lycra Xtra Life) is supposed to last 5-10x longer than other swimwear fabrics and it does feel very sturdy, especially compared to the less expensive swimwear I generally go for. I tried bikinis, tankinis and rash guards – all mixed with a few different bottoms. Here’s what I found.


Palm Cove Bralette Bralette Bikini | Palm Cove Dolphin Short

I like this combo above a lot and these were the two pieces that made me want to try Athleta swimwear. Love this pairing for sports, beach walks/runs, and playing in the water with kiddos. I think the Palm Cove Bralette is a tiny bit long on me (it bunches a bit) but on mamas with a longer torso it would be perfect. It fits nice and securely but with lightly molded cups and underwires in it it doesn’t flatten your chest like a sports bra. Good. It’s hard to see here, but there are mesh stripes on the bottom part that are super cute, too. (Wearing size Small in both, for reference)

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May 9, 2016

For Mamas Who Play Hard: WETSUITS

cute wetsuits for jersey shore

At the end of last summer, I bought a wetsuit.  It wasn’t a particularly cold summer, the water temp was…pleasant.  So there was no good reason that I had spent the majority of my time on the hot sand, watching (and cheering) my boys on as they body-boarded, did some stand-up paddleboarding and played in the water.

Yay, Boys!!  You go and do that Boy Thing!

Ugh.  What has happened to me?

Pre-kids, I was always the one on the stand-up paddleboard, the surf board, the wind-surfer.  My Dad was a big believer in taking risks, in trying everything once, and my childhood summers were filled with all kinds of adventure:  that time I took my tiny sailboat out alone and got stuck across the lake (I learned how to tack after that).  The time my friends and I took off with Uncle Jim’s jetskiis and almost ran out of gas (hmmmm…he still doesn’t know about that one).  That insanely frustrating day I tried to one-ski and fell 20 times in a row.  THIS was summer.

So when, exactly, did I turn into the Mum on The Towel?  My downward spiral into spectator-only-mode was, most likely, an effect of years of sleep deprivation and general exhaustion but ultimately….WHO CARES?  It was, quite simply, time.  It was time to take myself back, to show my boys that This Girl Plays Hard, and when I’m 85+ years old sitting on the beach watching my grandkids play (assuming I’ll be so lucky)….hopefully I’ll have a sense of peace, knowing that my days were richly spent.

So.  It was time to tackle my biggest hurdle to ocean play:  Cold water.  I hate (hatehatehate) being cold.  I HATE it.  But I had been resisting the urge to buy a wetsuit because I felt like some kind of poser.  Surfing?  OK.  I get it.  But general frolicking and body-boarding with four year olds?  Uh….seriously?  A wetsuit?


Yes.  Seriously a wetsuit.  Once I got over myself, this wetsuit business completely changed my Mom-at-the-Beach game.  We’re talking hours of playing in the ocean, where my pre-wetsuit-self would only have lasted 20 min tops.

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April 17, 2016

Ann Taylor’s Massive Cyber Spring Sale: 50% off Everything (Plus Our Picks)

ann taylor sale

It’s always exciting to stumble upon an amazing online sale, and even better when you can share the excitement with others. Ann Taylor is currently in the middle of their massive Cyber Spring sale where every. single. item. is 50% off plus free shipping from now until Monday night but they are already going fast. Here are just a few of my favorites on offer:

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March 14, 2016

Spring Trend: Espadrilles (And My Favorite, Most Comfortable Pair)

espadrilles light blue

Over the past few years, I’ve noticed espadrilles slowly making a style comeback. And this year it seems that they are back in a big way. They are the perfect shoe for Spring and Summer: easy to dress up or down and comfortable. Plus, since most espadrilles are made with soft, flexible cotton canvas fabric, they are easy to throw in a suitcase or beach bag without taking up a ton of room.

I’ve always loved the idea of espadrilles- mainly because I can’t help but picture them being worn by a sophisticated and stylish European woman while on holiday to the French coast or the Mediterranean. Ugh,  even my daydreams make me jealous.

And since I don’t see a trip to Italy or Greece happening in my near future…gosh darn, I at least can have the shoes right??

Shana raised some really great concerns for me to consider while searching for espadrilles. First, how comfortable and wearable are they really? Some are made with hard leather inserts in the heel or stiff leather straps around the ankle, which of course causes rubbing and blisters. Second, many of the “authentic” European brands of Espadrilles don’t come in half sizes, only whole sizes, so what size would fit best?

Here’s what I found that worked best for me:

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July 13, 2015

Chambray Joggers All. Day. Long.



So.  I bought these chambray joggers last year, during one of LOFT’s many clearance sales (I think I paid a grand total of $15).  I’ve been wearing them like sweatpants (aka my favorite pants), but unlike sweatpants there’s no ambiguity – did she mean to wear those out?? – nor do you have to be all that cool or intentional with the rest of your outfit.  They’re just like real pants….wait!  They ARE real pants.  But comfy and easy and–

Easy like Sunday mo-orn-ning

Which is precisely when I wear them. (As Raines would say, “MOM.  DON’T SING.”)

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June 13, 2015

The Best Dresses To Wear With Sneakers OR Heels (And Currently 25% Off At Anthro)


backpack | leather jacket | sneakers

If there’s one styling trick that I’ve fallen hard for, it’s the sneakers-and-dress pairing.  I have a bunch of pics showing the different ways I’ve been wearing them all Spring, but…well….Anthro is offering 25% off all dresses this weekend and Revolve is having a huge sale so….let’s just DO THIS THING.  Personal style pics can wait (and some are already on my instagram, @shanachristine).

NOTE:  I picked dresses that would look equally great with both sneakers OR fancier shoes.  I like double-duty dresses.

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June 10, 2015

How To Pull Off Pencil Skirts and Flats (Even For Petites)




We had a blast at the World War Two Weekend in Reading, PA this past weekend.  (For more deets on the event, see my full coverage here.  It’s pretty amazing.)  But dressing for the weekend is always a challenge:  it’s hot, it’s sunny, I’m on my feet all day, and then at night…..there’s a swing band and dance party.  To make matters worse, most of the other attendees arrive in full 1940’s costume.  Every year they look GORGEOUS and glamorous, and that level of dedication truly makes the weekend feel like stepping back in time.

So. I wanted to wear something comfortable, but something that could hang with all of the pin-up girl glamour (although a few women came dressed as Rosie the Riveter which was awesome).  Inspired by Cam “grunging” her pencil skirt (bless her preppy little heart), I used Cam’s grunge to make mine…glam?

But here’s the thing:  Cams is tall. I am not.

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