May 15, 2017

Proportion Play: Mini Dresses + Cropped Jeans

I sure hope everyone had a beautiful Mother’s Day! Sienna, Camper and I got to have a special day recently where we pretended to be in France for a bit, right here in Portland. (You may have seen a sneak peek on my Instagram @elletrain) We bought lovely flowers at the adorable City Market and dined on French fare and pastries at St. Honoré. An old man with suspenders and a baguette in hand seriously walked by! I mean. Timing. And to top it all off, it was a sunny day here in PDX and it couldn’t have been lovelier. Special time with my girls plus pastries and sunshine? Good for this mama’s soul.

I wanted to wear a little something out of the norm for me, something with a bit more color that felt a little springy but still practical for chasing a kiddo and a puppy. The result? I came up with a new pairing I adore: springy mini dress + cropped ankle jeans. Check out this combo and our fun mother-daughter day.

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By May 15, 2017 6 No tags Permalink
May 14, 2017

Tailored Shorts for a Classy-ish Every Day Look

Do you ever get to have one of those real Olivia Palermo moments? Ya know what I’m talking about- it involves a nonchalant walk down the side walk, coffee in hand, designer bag in the crook of your arm, all while looking impossibly chic. People turn their heads when you pass, thinking…who is that?! Style: impeccable, not a hair out of place, shorts pressed and unwrinkled…. Wow.

No? You don’t??

Yeh, me neither.

Not ever. Not even for a second.

I do have a lot of Camille DiPaola moments, though. They look a lot like this – me, surrounded by children (or holding all of the children in my three arms), walking into the grocery store…loudly exclaiming, “don’t run into the middle of the street! STOP. No. You’re gonna die. No. We cannot get Lunchables for every meal. Yes, I do love you. No. Do not lay on the floor of the grocery store. Do not lick that! We don’t eat the bananas until we buy them. Walk. Walk…walk forward. Stop. Stop doing that.” 10x over (and over and over and over). My outfit? A bit ruffed and undone. I had tucked my top in when I left the house, but since then my three year old has pulled it out, in a rage of epic proportions over the fact that I didn’t hold his hand when he didn’t want me to. I re-tuck.

People do pass and turn their heads, because…well, the circus is fun! My eldest chants “cookies. cookies. cooooo-kies. COOKIES” and then breaks out into song and dance, almost whacking an entire display down. Anty has sort of gotten over his totally sensible fit and has resigned himself to clinging to my side for dear life and quietly whimpering, sometimes even letting out a pitiful “mama?” every few minutes or so. The baby? Well, he’s just in it for the ride, really…but does have a permanent look of concern plastered on his face, as if he’s just not entirely sure how he feels about his situation in life.

Yep. This kind of act is my normal everyday. I’ve really grown accustomed to it, honestly. I still wear the tailored shorts and the pretty little top sometimes, because eh I want to. I don’t care if it means that they’ll probably be wrinkly and tugged on. My version of refined and classy at this point in life is just a tad bit undone…and I’m okay with that.

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By May 14, 2017 6 No tags Permalink
May 12, 2017

Mixing Patterns: Gingham + Leopard

I was voted Class Prep in high school because I was obsessed with Abercrombie’s soft khakis in allll the colors (it was the late 90s) and once went the entire school year without ever wearing jeans.  Not once.  But now I literally can’t imagine wearing khakis (seriously, how did I do that for a full year??) and my wardrobe relies heavily on denim of all kinds.  So when we were discussing featuring some preppier style, I immediately turned to my favorite resource for all things preppy: J. Crew. I loved this gingham button up and took a cue from their pattern mixing and added leopard print heels for fun.  Gingham is everywhere right now and I rounded up some of my favorites for you below.

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By May 12, 2017 1 No tags Permalink
May 11, 2017

How We’re Actually Spending Mother’s Day

Sooooooo….Mother’s Day.  Maybe not brunch, amiright? But when the TME team started talking – halfheartedly – about Mother’s Day, we eventually realized that we all had something specific in mind, a sure-fire way to make our Mother’s Day amazing:

A trip to Paris.

Haha.  Just kidding.  In reality, we were confronted by things like RAIN, cold weather, sleepless nights, and the usual nonsense.  But when forced to dig deep (really, really deep in some cases), we were all able to come up with a “plan” [snort] of how we will be spending Mother’s Day.  Something achievable, yet special. So if you are still looking for a few low-pressure ideas for your Mother’s day, keep on reading.

And for those of you whose partner doesn’t start Mother’s Day with, “So whaddya want to do today, Babe?”….throw the rest of us a bone, and leave detailed descriptions in the comments.  Preferably ones we can just cut-and-paste into an email entitled, URGENT:  May 14.

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By May 11, 2017 4 No tags Permalink
May 10, 2017

Vince Shoe Flash Event on HauteLook – 3 Days Only!

Gang!!  Starting NOW, HauteLook is having a flash event featuring Vince shoes.  It lasts for only three days, but includes my verrry favorite pumps, the Vince Claire D’Orsay pump (pictured above).

HauteLook, for those of you who don’t know, unveils a new flash event every day at 11AM EST, with savings of up to 75% off.  They offer free shipping on orders over $100, and are a part of the Nordstrom family….which means you can return items that don’t work out to any local Nordstrom Rack.  (Currently, HauteLook ships to the US, Canada and Australia only.)

I’m especially pumped about the Vince shoes flash event because I’ve found that Vince footwear rarely disappoints.  Keep reading to see my favorites from this limited-time shopping event, as well as how I’d wear them…..

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By May 10, 2017 5 No tags Permalink
May 10, 2017

10 Modern Preppy Essentials for Summer

While I’ve never attended prep school, as a New Englander I’m no stranger to the occasional popped collar or monogrammed accessory. Preppy style just goes so naturally with this coastal area, like dropping “r”from the end of words and complaining about the weather. Windswept beaches and Hunter boots? Madras plaid and Cape Cod? Nude flats and…everything? All the yes.

But it’s too easy to go overboard and start looking like a Stepford wife in head-to-toe classics. So I started with ten essential preppy pieces and found updated versions with a twist or maybe a teeny bit of edge. Traditional can be a good thing, but shaking things up is refreshing – let’s give it the old college try, shall we?

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May 9, 2017

Spring Jackets

Spring! Look how springy these photos are! Sunny! Gorgeous! (Crying face emoji here) NO. Gray. Still gray. But this jacket makes me happy. It’s brighter and lighter yet provides that bit of warmth we inevitably need in the PNW this time of year. And it’s not a raincoat. So I’m stoked about that. Light jackets are my jam and I’ve found some gems for spring that are easy to throw on with anything for that transitional weather…

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May 9, 2017

The Best Backpacks Under $50

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I’m a pretty die-hard backpack fan.  They’re so much more comfortable to carry than regular handbags, fit a ton of stuff, and I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to bags.  I use mine so frequently that a backpack is one item I’m totally willing to splurge on.  From a cost-per-wear perspective, it makes sense (for me, at least).  So if you are looking for drool-worthy backpacks that will last season after season, see our article,  The Best Backpacks for Spring and Summer.

However, we also heard from many of you that your backpack price point was under $50.  Got it.  So, in response, we started rounding up a few options.  Know what we found?  So many good ones that it warranted a post of it’s own.

Keep reading to see our fav backpacks, under $50….

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By May 9, 2017 8 No tags Permalink
May 8, 2017

Bell Sleeves + Cutoffs: A Perfect Pair


I shied away from the bell sleeve trend for a while. At least, the super size bell sleeve style. I just kept wondering if I’d ever actually wear it. Ya know? I think one of my biggest concerns was that it wouldn’t be able to pass as casual, which automatically makes any clothing item less appealing for me, because…umm…MOMIFORM. #alldayeveryday

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By May 8, 2017 7 No tags Permalink
May 5, 2017

Just Momming Around (In A Pretty Little Dress)


Sometimes, a girl just needs a pretty dress.  I spend so much of my time in jeans and sneaks that when the weekend comes (and Mike is around to help)…..why not a dress?  It feels festive, somehow.  More…weekend.

Bonus points if I can keep the sneaks.

My favorite type of dresses are easy, everyday dre– HA!  #lies  In my heart-of-hearts, if I’m being completely honest, my FAVORITE dresses are dramatic, flowing, MET Gala-worthy things with a pattern that brings happy tears to my eyes, a slit up to there, and a label that reads: “Danger:  causes SWOONING.”

My goal, then, is to find pretty dresses that work for my actual life….while acknowledging that in my head I’m one of the glamorous women who swan down a red carpets and Attend The Opera.  (Obviously, in this reality, I’m also 6ft tall.  Obviously.)

But truth be told, I wouldn’t swap my real life for anything.  There’s nothing that makes me feel more beautiful, more at ease in my own skin, than watching my three guys watch me.  And when I make a tiiiiny bit of an effort, when I put on a little makeup, or wear a pretty dress?

It’s like I’m the most glamorous woman in the world.

Here’s to the everyday, Mama.  And to those days when you don a pretty dress amid the whining and the crying because you know you wouldn’t change a thing.

Keep reading for a few scenes from the weekend – one that had it’s share of whining and crying….but also plenty of snuggles, soft touches, and pretty dresses.  LOFT reached out asking me to take a look at a few pieces perfect for Mother’s Day, so I also rounded up my favorite, everyday dresses – the ones that would make me feel just a little bit glamorous.  (It wasn’t hard – LOFT’s dresses are gorgeous right now.)

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By May 5, 2017 9 No tags Permalink