My Christmas Wish List

As a Mom, it’s hard to find time to think about what we want or need. We’re so busy shopping for everyone around us that by the time it comes to our own wish list, it’s easy to come up empty.  So, in an effort to spark your imagination, I’m sharing my personal wish list for Christmas this year.  You’ll find splurges, steals, and everything in between, but hopefully, you’ll also find some ideas to pass on to your own friends and family or maybe even just go ahead and buy for yourself…..Lord knows you deserve it!

my christmas wish list with numbers

  1. A good book is always high on my list of wants. I may not always have time to read daily, but I make it a priority to read regularly.  This book has gotten great reviews and was awarded the title of “Best Suspense Novel”, so it’s sure to keep you engaged.
  2. When Rebecca Minkoff came out with this chic little phone charger tassel, I was intrigued, but then disappointed to find out they were only for Iphones and over $50.  Fortunately, they are now made by a number of brands at a much lower price and for Androids too!  I love the idea of a stylish way to stay connected and this fits the bill.
  3. These faux leather leggings from Spanx have been on every blogger’s page recently, which tells me they must be pretty fabulous. But with the promise of supreme comfort, ultra-flattering fit, and stylish “leather” material that can be dressed up or down, they are definitely on my list of “must-try’s” this year!
  4. OTK or “over the knee” boots are all the rage this season and I’ve been lusting over grey ones for a while now.  These have gotten great user reviews and are an awesome price right now, making them ultra affordable!
  5. This bone link necklace has gone in and out of stock over the last couple of months due to its extreme popularity, but is currently back in stock and a great price for a statement piece! With such a neutral color, it can go with anything and would look great paired against a chunky sweater, basic tee, or simple dress.  I’m already dreaming of all the ways I want to style it, so Santa, you’d better come through 😉
  6. Nothing says cozy like chenille so when you find lounge pants made out of them, you buy them!  These babies are half off right now, too!
  7. I wear ear buds to work out and to listen to my books when I’m cooking, walking the dog, or doing laundry. But, truth be told, mine could use an upgrade and these rose gold ones are just the ticket!  These would make a great stocking stuffer or a teen/tween gift too.
  8. I LIVE in my Patagonia Retool fleece pullovers, so I’m always in the market for another one.  This year they came out with a “Rosewater” color that is sheer perfection and therefore at the top of my list.  Once you try this thing on, you’ll be a believer….trust me.
  9. My husband sorta hates the perfume I’ve been wearing for the last seventeen years, so I’ve been sampling alternatives and am actually thinking I might like this one (Creme D’Nude) even more than my tried and true.  It is one of the fragrances inspired by MAC makeup’s lipstick shades, which I also love, and is just the right mix of musky and fresh.
  10. Everyone I know who has this new brand of shoes RAVES about them, so I’ve definitely had them on my list to try.  But when I saw that they had a leopard flat that looks like a million buck and feels like a tennis shoe, they shot up to the top of my list. If these truly are the holy grail of flats, offering maximum comfort without compromising style, then I’ll happily shell out full price for these any day.

So there you have it…..this year’s personal wish list. Now let’s just hope Santa sees it and is able to take advantage of some of the CYBER sales that are still going on over the next couple of days.  Happy hunting!

Winter Wear

I’m a Southern girl, which means I spend the majority of time in warm-weather attire. In fact, it’s mid-November and I’m just now busting out the sweaters. But, soon the temps will drop and we’ll even get a bout or two of snow, which will quickly make us realize how ill-equipped our closets are.  Unless of course you are reading this post, in which I’m going to tell you all of my favorite must-have pieces for the winter so you’ll be all kinds of ready!

First up is my go-to jacket and pretty much the standard uniform for all good Southern girls: the black puffer jacket.  North Face is my preferred brand thanks to their high-quality down and slim fit.  Even though this one is several years old, it still looks and feels great and the styles don’t change much, meaning I’ll be holding on to it for a good long while yet.  If you don’t have one in your closet yet, change that pronto.  For size reference, I’m wearing a small and I still have room to layer underneath. I also seriously adore this beanie with the fur pom pom. It isn’t so big that it overwhelms you like some do, but it’s long enough to pull comfortably over your ears, and looks adorable on pretty much everyone who wears it. At just $15, this would make a great stocking stuffer for any gal on your list!

Black Puffer Jacket // Black Pom Pom Beanie

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While my short puffer jacket is a great everyday option, sometimes even that isn’t enough on the super cold days or when I travel to colder areas.  That’s where the down-filled parka comes in handy.  This Vince Camuto one is on sale right now for a great price and has a fun “fur” trimmed hood for extra warmth, which can also be removed if that’s not your thing.  I ordered this in my regular size small and found it a little bigger than I felt comfortable in, so I ended up with an XS instead.  I got the grey color, but the navy and black would have been great, versatile options too!

Down Parka with Fur Trim

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And an item that’s still on my wish list, but I’m hoping not for much longer (hint, hint)…..these amazing duck boots.  Now, we’ve all had a pair back in the day, but they were way more functional than stylish. But I’d wear these babies any day of the week! I love the lace-up detail and the knee-high length.  Plus, they can be worn in the rain or snow!

Tall Duck Boots

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Lastly, let’s not forget rain gear. I don’t know if it’s a Memphis thing or what, but it seems like it’s ALWAYS raining! While I love my good ole Hunter wellies, these glossy booties have been giving them a run for their money lately.  Made by Sam Edelman, a personal favorite, they are way less clunky than the Hunter version and only $38.46 on sale!

Black Glossy Rain Booties

 

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Though I’ve lived in this Columbia SwitchBack Jacket for the last couple of years during the rainy weather, I realized recently that I needed something a bit dressier. This Cole Haan jacket, which hits at about mid-thigh, is still totally packable and comes with its own pouch.  The collar adds a hint of sophistication and the slim design is very flattering. Check out the tie detail on the back too! I’m really digging the eggplant color but the seaweed, champagne and indigo colors would have been fun options also.  It’s currently on sale for $129.90 and I’m wearing a small petite.

Packable Hooded Raincoat

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So, there you have it, folks. No excuses this year! Lots of great winter wear, all on sale. What are you waiting for? It’s not getting any warmer! Happy hunting….

Buffalove

I’m a sucker for a buffalo check, especially a red and black one. Even though it’s one of the most classic prints out there, it’s actually pretty trendy right now. From accessories like purses and scarves to sweaters and even pants, it’s the “it” print this Fall.  In fact, I’ve been teetering on the poncho trend for a while now, trying to determine whether or not it was something I could pull off at my size. But when I saw this red and black buffalo check poncho, I knew I had to try it!

Buffalo check poncho – $24.99

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I thought this would satiate my buffalove (a.k.a. love for buffalo check), but when I walked into Old Navy the other day, my heart skipped a beat…..there was buffalo plaid-a-plenty! They had it in a flannel shirt, of course, which is a winter staple for me. Here I am wearing the one I got last year from there with my new favorite black herringbone vest that’s a dupe for the J. Crew one.

Buffalo check flannel button-up – $24

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I was also really digging their buffalo check accessories….these are perfect accents to a basic black outfit or jeans and a white shirt combo.

Buffalo check socks – $10

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Buffalo check scarf – $15

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Buffalo check sneaks – $24.99

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Buffalo check purse – $29.99

plaid purse

 

But I also really loved this cardigan, which was ultra-cozy and on sale for $25! Tip: Size down, as it runs rather large.

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Check out these buffalo check pants! for $27. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen any like these, but I think they’d be awesome paired with a black sweater, a crisp white shirt, or even a denim top. They are made of ponte-knit, which is code for “ridiculously comfortable”, and feature a fun seam down the front, which dress them up a bit.

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And these uber-cute flannel pajama shorts are only $10 and would be a great stocking stuffer for any female in your life!

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So, that’s my roundup of all the buffalo-prints I’m swooning over lately.  What are your favorites? Happy hunting, friends!

“Faves under Fifty” from the Nordstrom Fall Sale

So, I know it feels like the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale was just yesterday and some of us may or may not still be paying off our bill from that. BUT, the fact remains that the Nordstrom Fall Sale is a good one and you won’t want to miss out!  If nothing else, it’s a great opportunity to buy Christmas gifts…..for yourself or others!  In fact, I already snagged one of these items for my mother-in-law, although I won’t say which one in case she’s reading this. And I am most definitely sending a few of these to my hubby, my Dad and my brother-in-law since, let’s be honest, men can almost always use some extra assistance with their Christmas shopping. At any rate, here are my favorites under $50:

fall sale collage

  1. Asymmetrical sweatshirt – $29.40
  2. Cowl Neck Poncho – $49.90
  3. Tie Hem Sweater – $49.90
  4. Thermal Tee – $40.80
  5. Ruffle Hem Tee – $35.90
  6. One Button Fleece Wrap – $39.90
  7. Rose Gold Sneaks – $35.96
  8. Fringe Infinity Scarf – $8.98
  9. Split Sleeve One Shoulder Top – $26.98
  10. Suede Clutch – $41.96

These are my favorites at a reasonable gifting price-point, but there are so many more items at great prices during the Fall Sale, which goes through November 12th.  Hurry and take a peek before it’s too late because sizes and items are going out of stock quickly! And as always, happy hunting!

Express yourself

I haven’t been to an Express since college, which was more than a decade ago (eek!). I guess their look just got too “young” for me somewhere along the way. But they’ve really matured they’re style in the last couple of seasons, and in a good way!  Their shoe game is especially strong right now and their selection of flats just oozes with sophistication. Here are some of my favorites, all of which are under $50:

Broken Heart Embroidered Patch Flats – $44.90

Calling all “Heart-Breakers”! These shoes are for you! They’d be so fun with an all-black ensemble, a red dress, or jeans and a crisp white shirt!

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Queen Bee Flats – $44.90

These “Queen Bee” flats have my name written all over them! Anyone else digging the “Blair from Gossip Girl” vibe?

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Ruffle Pointed Toe Flats – $49.90

These are both sophisticated and romantic and I adore the cross-strap ruffles! Can’t you just see these paired with a leather jacket?! Oh, the contrast!!

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“Eye Slay” Embroidered Patch Flats – $44.90

These babies say it all and remind me of some much-higher-priced shoes that can be found here and here.

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Velvet Knot Pointed Toe Flats – $49.90

Velvet and wine are a killer combo this season and these tootsies have both going for them!

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And last, but not least, my personal fave…..the pointed toe loafers! I bought these in the cognac color and L-O-V-E them!

Pointed Toe Loafers in Cognac – $39.90

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They are comfy and chic and feature a gold rimmed heel for that extra little touch. Unfortunately, they keep going in and out of stock, so I’m also linking them in the black and silver too, because they’re just as fab!

Black or silver Pointed Toe Loafers – $39.90

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You can’t go wrong with any (or all) of the above! Check out them out online or next time your’e near an Express store. Happy hunting!

Nordstrom Rack: Changing Room Check-In

I’m a Nordy girl……have been ever since I participated in my first Anniversary Sale three years ago. The free shipping, amazing sales, and awesome brands are hard to beat. But from what I heard, the only thing better than a Nordstrom was a Nordstrom Rack! So when one opened in my area a month or so ago, I decided I’d let the mayhem die down a bit and then try it for myself. It did not disappoint! It was like a TJ Maxx, but bigger, very organized, and filled with rack after rack of amazing clothes at Anniversary Sale prices! By the time I made it to the dressing room, I was loaded down with dozens of items and I hadn’t even laid eyes on shoes or accessories yet. So, here’s a breakdown of what I tried on…..first up: Tops! There were so many options and most under $40. From ruffles to cold shoulders to cardis, every Fall trend was fully represented and it was hard not to walk away with one of each!

Burgundy Waffle Knit Shirt – $29.97

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I’m wearing an XS in this, as it is pretty oversized as is, but if you want to wear with leggings too, consider your normal size (small for me)

 Kut from the Kloth Jeans – $39.97// Ruffle Sleeve Sweater – $19.97

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I’m wearing this sweater in the small (my normal size) and I think it’s a good fit! It’s a Merino wool-type material if that helps 😉 The jeans are from my favorite brand, Kut from the Kloth, and are that perfect ankle length with a great zippered detail at the pocket! I’m wearing a size 2, so size down (yay!). 

Ruffled Hem Blush Sweatshirt – $29.97

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Also wearing a size SMALL in this, but I do think I could have gone down a size. It says “sweatshirt”, but it’s really not! It’s more of a nice top to wear with jeans in my opinion!

 

Neither of the below sweatshirts are available online, but I still think they are worth showing because of how cute, comfy and affordable they are. I’m wearing a size small in both. For more details, click the image.  The black jeans in the pic on the right, on the other hand, are online and are a MUST!  I personally have been on the hunt for the perfect pair for quite some time and can’t believe I snagged some for under $40!  Articles of Society has always been a favorite jean of mine, thanks to the perfect stretch and fit. If you haven’t tried them for yourself, now’s your chance! I’m wearing a size 27, so I’d say they are TTS (true to size).

                                        Articles of Society Black Jeans – $36.97

Black Open Front Long Cardi – $26.97

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I sized down twice (XXS) and this long cardi is still on the big side, but that’s what makes it so cozy and so easy to throw on over pretty much anything! It is soft (not scratchy) and such a great price!!

I also tried on this precious “suede” dress from Max Studio, which was a steal at $54.97, but I think I would have felt more comfortable in the Small instead of the XS.  The bust was kind of tight and the bigger size wasn’t available. Unfortunately, it’s not available online either….

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I think my favorite snags were from the loungewear section. I was not familiar with PJ Salvage, but I can definitely add it to my list of favorite brands now!  These tops were under $20 but sadly only available in stores. As a side note, my husband was not amused by the one on the left 😦 No sense of humor, that one!

But this Honeydew Intimates Cardigan is online and is truly the stuff dreams are made of! This is a size Small and is perfection!  I know it’s loungewear, but I wouldn’t have a problem wearing it out and I dare someone to try and stop me!

Heather Grey Cozy Cardigan (also comes in ivory) – $39.97

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And I couldn’t leave without trying on some of my precious Zella activewear at a fraction of the cost, now could I? These leggings feel like a million bucks and hold everything in in the most flattering way.  I love the mesh panels on this black jacket, but couldn’t find it online, so I’m posting a similar option.  It too has that great structure, which means you can hit the gym and then run around town without skimping on style or sacrificing comfort.

Zella Jacket – $39.97 // Zella Crop Color-Block Leggings – $29.97

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Whew! That’s a wrap on my first adventure to the new Nordstrom Rack. I have already been back one other time on the hunt for a birthday gift for my sister, so I know it will be in my rotation going forward. If you don’t have a Nordstrom Rack near you, look online to see what you can find. They have the same great brands that Nordstrom does, but at discounted prices, making it a complete win in my book!

 

 

 

 

 

Packing for Seattle: A three day trip

A few weeks ago I tagged along on a business trip with my hubby to Seattle–somewhere neither of us had visited before. From all the movies I’d seen, I knew to prepare for rain and cool temps, but I had no idea where to start! I can pack for the beach with my eyes closed. A weekend at the lake? No biggie! But Seattle in the Fall? That was a challenge! After a lot of trial and error, I ended up with lots of layers, colors that would easily mix and match, and things that were comfortable, yet stylish–not an easy feat!

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I needed outfits that I could build on as the day got cooler, and shed pieces from as the temps warmed up. For our 3-day trip, I ended up with three pairs of jeans (dark, burgundy, and grey), a quilted vest, two scarves, a military jacket, a fisherman sweater, a lightweight cardi, several long sleeved tees, and shoes (rain booties, which I never even wore, black sneakers, dark slide-on sneakers, though I didn’t need both, and neutral booties). Here are some of the ways I ended up pairing the individual pieces:

Grey Jeans // Black Quilted Vest // Burgundy Tee // Black Sneaks

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Burgundy Jeans // Military Jacket // Slip-on Sneaks

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Fisherman Lace-Up Sweater // Grey Jeans // Taupe Booties

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Here’s an example of how I changed one outfit throughout the day to accommodate the cooler/warmer temps. I started with jeans, a long sleeve tee, and a lightweight cardi. This was totally fine for exploring the museums, but once I headed outside for the walking tour, I added a vest and scarf for extra warmth. The cardi easily tucked up under the hem of my vest and both the vest and scarf were easy to throw in my bag if I went inside or the weather warmed up again.

Lightweight cardi // Similar striped peplum // Black Vest // Burgundy Jeans // Similar Grey Scarf

Other key items I’d recommend include: a rain jacket (but since it only sprinkles, don’t bother with an umbrella), a crossbody purse, and sunglasses (it did actually get sunny once or twice during our stay!).

Not planning a trip to Seattle or Northern Cali any time soon? No worries! Most of these tips could be applied for any Fall trip you have planned. It’s always a challenge, in my opinion, to look stylish while still trying to be practical. Just because you are a tourist doesn’t mean you have to look like one, right?

 

 

 

Five pieces to stay on trend this Fall

If there’s one thing that never changes, it’s that trends come and go with the seasons, making it expensive to keep up. For that reason, I’m more of the mindset that you keep your big ticket items classic and add in affordable pieces that will help you stay on trend. So, if you’re looking to add in some of the season’s hottest items on the cheap, here are my recommendations.

First up, a military jacket. These have actually been on trend for several seasons now so you may already have one. But if you don’t, make sure you change that this season. Whether you go with the jacket or a vest, these military-inspired menswear pieces are perfect neutrals that will seamlessly transition you into cooler weather.

Military Vest – $14.98                        Military Jacket – $29.99

These pieces look great paired over my next must-have, the striped shirt. Fortunately, striped shirts are a classic and you can never have too many. So if you don’t have one, get one and if you do, one more won’t hurt 😉 This one from B.P. has deep side vents and a high-low hem, making it perfect for layering and super comfy.

Striped long sleeve tee – $19

striped tee nordy back

Also essential is a good long cardi (or three) to layer over striped shirts, basic tees, and camis as the temps cool off. I love this one from Old Navy with the tassel trim and pockets while the B.P. cardigan, another favorite, features a cozy knit and low-slung pockets. Both are a great length made of fabric that is lightweight enough to layer without adding bulk.

                    Old Navy tassel trim cardigan – $34      B.P. open front cardigan – $49

Next, we have the burgundy jean. I know, I know, you’ve been there, done that. But this time, we’re pairing them with a neutral like navy, black, tan, white, ivory, brown or grey, which makes them surprisingly versatile!  The rich, wine-infused tone adds just the right amount of color into an otherwise drab palette during the cooler months and offers a break from the age-old blue shades without sacrificing the comfort of your favorite jeans. But, let’s be real, this is yet another trend, so we don’t want to break the bank. Below are my faves from Articles of Society, which are currently on sale and made from super stretchy denim with a raw hem (another current trend).

Burgundy jeans – $31.98

burgundy jeans nordy

And last, but not least, some neutral booties with fun details.  I love the perforations on these Lucky Brand ones that I purchased during last year’s Anniversary Sale at Nordstrom and they have been my go-to with jeans and dresses alike. But now that they’re back to full-price, I’m happy to report that there’s a dupe to consider for about 1/3 of the price.

Perforated bootie dupe – $34.99                         Lucky Brand perforated bootie – $99.99

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So, there you have it! Five pieces that will keep you on trend without busting your budget. And here are a few ways I styled them together in different combinations.

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Happy Fall fashion, y’all!

Hail thee festival day!

Cuffed denim shortsBack to school means festival season around these parts and I can’t pass up a good opportunity to sample food trucks, hear live music, and people watch.  But to fully enjoy yourself, you’ve gotta be prepared.

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Let’s be honest. It’s still warm through October in the south, so cool, loose-fitting clothing is a must.  I usually opt for a sleeveless, flowy shirt in a print that will hide sweat and a bralette or sports bra layered underneath because nothing is more uncomfortable than a hot, lacy, metal contraption. Also, you’ve really got to think about which bottoms you choose. Chances are you’ll be sitting on the ground at some point, so white/light colors are obviously out.  I always go with good ole jean shorts (my favorites are linked below), but anything dark and loose that won’t show sweat or dirt easily is a good choice. Footwear, too, is key. You want comfortable and cool, and these Birkenstock dupes from Target are definitely both plus a good dose of cute!

Flowy, sleeveless, patterned shirt rec / Cuffed denim shorts / Birk dupes

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Wayfarer Sunnies / Crossbody Bag & Tote

And while clothing is important, accessories are critical! I am all about the Wayfarer sunglasses these days and fortunately, you can grab them for cheap anywhere from the Dollar Tree to Wal-Mart.  Inexpensive sunnies mean you can have multiple pairs and not sweat it if you break or lose them–a real possibility at an outdoor event like a festival.  Lastly, a cross-body purse is a must, allowing you to be hands-free so you can shop, hold your food, etc.  My favorite is this one that comes inside a larger tote.  I put all of my “necessities” in the small cross-body and then when I go somewhere, like a festival, that I need a lighter/smaller option, I just grab it and leave the bigger one at home or in my car.

charming charlie tote

So, are you festival-ready, friends? If not, click on the links above and you’ll be there in no time!

LBR: A.K.A. Little Black Romper

The iconic LBD (little black dress) is a classic staple in any wardrobe that likely won’t be going anywhere style-wise in this lifetime. But I have to say that the LBR (little black romper) is gaining popularity and has quickly become my go-to piece when I can’t decide what to wear, am not sure how dressy an occasion is, or just can’t muster the effort it takes to pull a whole outfit together.  Much like the LBD, the romper can take you from daytime to a night out with as little as a change in shoes and jewelry, making it not only a an easy everyday look but perfect for travel.

The other night, after spending a whole day at the soccer fields, the hubs and I were scrambling to get the kids fed and ourselves ready for a friend’s birthday dinner before the sitter came.  I stood in my closet completely overwhelmed by the choices and feeling utterly uninspired. I was tempted to keep on my bathrobe at this point, but then my eyes caught hold of my trusty black romper and suddenly everything was right in the world again!

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Since the birthday dinner was at a friend’s home, I opted for flat suede fringe sandals instead of heals, but added in the Sugarfix black and white striped triad ball earrings for some extra flair. The results were just what I wanted–stylish, classic, comfortable, and effortless, which pretty much sums up the LBR itself. If you don’t currently own a little black romper, I highly recommend adding one to your closet. There are lots of options, but here are a few of my favorites, all of which are affordable.

 

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  1.  Tassel Trim Romper from Nordstrom – $59
  2. Open Back Tulip Romper from Charlotte Russe – $18.89
  3. Strapless jumpsuit from H&M – $12.99
  4. Ruffle One Shoulder Romper from Nordstrom – $59
  5. Ruffle Sleeve Romper from Nordstrom – $49
  6. Sleeveless Pintuck Romper from Old Navy – $15.97
  7. Off the Shoulder Romper from Nordstrom – $86