Black + White

there's something so classic and effortless about an outfit made up of black and white (with a splash of grey!). starting with a basic palette of those two colors, you can easily add some interest by mixing textures, like the ribbing on the sweater with the lace detail layered underneath or the suede on the booties and the leather on the sleeves. finished off with (necessary) gloves, a cool necklace, and a structured bag, this outfit can be worn for so many different occasions. in my case, it was thrown together, walked around my neighborhood, photographed in a moderately questionable alley, and then quickly traded for yoga pants and a tee. but, ya know, now i have a great outfit in my arsenal for a future occasion that calls for black and white with a feminine, city-girl feel. 

also, white pants can totally be worn after labor day. 

sweater | Madewell (similar)
lace top | Marshall's (simlar)
pants | Target
coat | J.Crew Factory
booties | DSW
bag | Target
necklace | Elisabeth Ashlie
gloves | J.Crew Factory
sunglasses | Kate Spade

Feminine Neutrals

i've been seriously crushing on all things feminine, neutral, and light lately. i don't know if it's the fact that i've basically been living in workout clothes and dirty hair or it's just that time in winter when i'm ready for spring, but it's fiercely strong right now. to the point of me browsing pinterest and living vicariously through every pin that is pretty, soft, and lady-like. i've been making myself a lot of delicate jewelry, rifling through my closet every morning trying to find something to wear that isn't black or dark grey, and wearing the lightest colors on my nails that i have in my collection. here's a few other things that i'm craving:
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12

Weekend Wear

we've made it to friday! it's felt like a long week to me, so i'm definitely looking forward to this final workday before kicking my feet up this weekend. if you've been around here this week, this is the last installment of chambray week! i've enjoyed sharing outfit ideas for wearing chambray and this last one is about how you can style it for the weekend. paired with the right accessories and accents, it can be worn all weekend long but look entirely different with each outfit. here are a few ideas for transitioning chambray from a fun friday night, to a casual saturday, and a bit of a fancier sunday:
chambray | J.Crew Factory
top | Lush
denim | AG
necklace | Elisabeth Ashlie
hat | Michael's Craft Store (similar)
chambray | J.Crew Factory (similar)
cardigan | Target
denim | ZARA
purse | Kate Spade
chambray | J.Crew Factory (similar)
jacket | Lou & Grey
denim | Calvin Klein (old)
bag | target
necklace | J.Crew Factory

just a few changes in what you pair the chambray with and you have a totally different style of outfit for whatever occasion you might need! 

hope you have a great weekend! 

Pattern Mixing with Chambray

aside from the 6-week long phase in middle school (hello, popped collar!), i've never really considered preppy as a word to describe my style. especially after living in the south for over two years, i know that i cannot fit into the real group of prepsters around. however, chambray is one of those pieces in my closet that would argue my non-preppy ways. and so, on days when i'm feeling anything but proper and collected, i like to use a chambray top in a bit of an 'edgier' outfit. actually, i don't even think i can call this outfit edgy because it involves polka dots, but you know what i'm getting at. used as a layering piece, this chambray shirt is the perfect base for a look that combines patterns, textures, or even different colors. add a bright lip and your favorite boots and you're good to go! 

chambray | J.Crew Factory
cardigan | Target
jeans | Madewell (old)
necklace | Elisabeth Ashlie
watch | c/o Daniel Wellington
lip | Poppy by Bite

Chambray Layers

in continuation of chambray week, today's look is one of my favorites. you guys know that neutrals are the way to my heart, so this little ensemble walked itself right on. one of the reasons i love a good chambray shirt is because i feel put together without feeling stuffy. the structure, collar, and button-up aspect of the shirt adds a little more style to a look than just a tee. i particularly love how this popover pairs with my new favorite drape front cardigan:

happy wednesday! 

chambray | J.Crew Factory (similar)
drape front cardigan | Lou & Grey (similar)
pants | Gap
booties | DSW
initial necklace | Elisabeth Ashlie
crystal necklace | Stella & Dot
long necklace | Elisabeth Ashlie
bangle | Loren Hope
watch | Kate Spade

Saturday Style | 06

we had a beautifully mild weekend in the city, but if i'm being honest, i didn't spend much time outside. i had every intention of running errands and going to the gym saturday morning, but i forgot that i had a date with Netflix that i couldn't cancel ;) and then the same thing happened on sunday, plus a jigsaw puzzle and a little reorganizing of my closet, so i enjoyed the sunshine through my windows. 

separately, i've been on a chambray-wearing kick lately, so this week is sort of dedicated to outfits featuring it. it's one of those things that can be dressed up or down and worn in every season, so it's a great piece to figure out how to style differently. one of my favorite ways to wear it is layered under a popover sweater like this, for a more structured look. 

chambray top | Target (similar)
sweater | J.Crew (similar)
jeans | ZARA (similar)
booties | DV by Dolce Vita
necklace | c/o Vestique (similar)
watch | Kate Spade
bangles | Elisabeth Ashlie

Just Call Me, "Rambles"

i woke up this morning and felt the need to ramble about things. most that are of not much significance, but just as ramble-worthy. so, you are in for a treat today. 

first, and of actual importance, if you are a regular High Five for Friday participant, you can now link up with these ladies: Tif at Bright on a Budget, Caitlin at Coffee with Caitlin, Katie at Cup of Tea, and Della of Della Devoted. they're in their second week of hosting they link up and doing a wonderful job! i couldn't be more pleased with my new, head on over and link up! 

second, i joined a gym yesterday. when we moved back in august, one of the things that i was pretty excited about was the fax that there is a great gym within walking distance of our place. i belonged to the YMCA in North Carolina and loved having a place to go to workout, and a place to stay motivated! my old building had a tiny little workout room in the basement, so i didn't feel like spending the extra money on a gym membership, but i definitely missed belonging to one. i finally bit the bullet yesterday and walked my out-of-shape body over to the gym and joined! i'll be honest, some days it will be a real struggle to talk myself into braving the freezing temps, but i'm hopeful that it will totally be worth it. anyway, all that ramble to say, i found this top while shopping in Park City and can't get enough.
truth be told, i was coming up with a list of excuses to not join the gym yesterday and then i saw this in my closet and thought, 'wait! i can wear my new top! alright, i'm going'. hey, whatever works, right? i've never heard of this brand before, but it seems pretty comparable to the Athleta and Lululemon types, both in price point and quality. 

third, i'm dubbing next week chambray week. i thought it would be fun to pick a 'theme' for the week and share some outfits and inspiration surrounding that choice, so next week is a trial run to see how we all like it. 

fourth, it's expected to get up to 43 degrees tomorrow, so you can find me at the beach. but really, it's sad when all the weather and newscasters talk about is how it's going to break the 40's over the weekend...slow news week? 

and for my last ramble, the cats are alive and well! i've had a few concerned cat lovers comment on instagram asking if they're okay because it's been awhile since they've made an appearance. they're doing great, just hibernating ;) 

alright, i think you've suffered enough. go link up for H54F and have a great weekend! see on monday, wearing chambray. 

Desktop Organization

i've always been a pretty organized person. growing up, i'd spend hours in my room rearranging my furniture, cleaning out my drawers, and making sure everything was 'just right'. while organizing can be overwhelming to some, i find it relaxing and enjoyable. when my desk or room is cluttered, so is my brain, so i like to stay as organized as possible at all times. below are a few of my favorite ways to keep everything put together but still decorative. 

galvanized wall organizer || Target
i've always loved the look of galvanized metal and this wall organizer is no exception. perfect for holding mail, magazines, gloves, cute notepads, or whatever else you need to store. plus, it would work well on a gallery wall! 

glass boxes || Hobby Lobby or Anthropologie 
my mom actually gifted me a few of the boxes from Hobby Lobby for Christmas and i couldn't be happier to have more! i love this type of box for storing little things, like cards, washi tape, gift wrap, and chargers. they can easily transition for holiday decor, like adding christmas ornaments, candy hearts, or confetti, and displaying on a counter top or coffee table.

pencil holder || Anthropologie
i have a drawer organizer that holds most of my pens and pencils, but i like to keep a few on my desktop for quick notes or on-the-go purposes. plus, this one can double as a makeup brush holder! 

washi tape || Paper Source
weirdly, i find myself using tape a lot when i'm working at my desk. whether it's to wrap up jewelry, close a card, or something else random, i'm always reaching for tape. it doesn't hurt that this type of tape is cute instead of the boring clear stuff ;)

desktop candle || World Market
i've gotten into the habit of lighting a candle as soon as i wake up in the morning. there's something about filling my room with a nice aroma that's calming and peaceful. 

mini cat calendar || Paper Source
i was given this calendar as a gift for my birthday and i love it! while it's obviously not the most functional thing in the world (you can't write on it), i use it to quickly glance at the date. and it's better than having a full-size cat sitting on my desk. 

metal + leather boxes || Ikea
i have quite a few closed storage boxes in my workspace area for the less-than-pretty things that i don't need visible. i love the mix of galvanized metal with the leather straps on these. you can never have too many storage boxes, if you ask me! 

weekly planner mousepad || Rifle Paper Co
this mousepad is one of my favorite things on my desk. i love being able to plan out my week and see it everyday when i'm at my computer. it's great for jotting down blog posts, appointments, and other reminders.

dotted file folders || Kate Spade via Paper Source
keeping receipts can get messy and chaotic, so i've learned to use file folders to keep all of my relevant documents and paperwork organized and accessible. 

small clock || Target
what is the point of being organized if you're not on time? ;)

magazine files || Ikea 
i like to keep inspiring magazines on my desktop for times when i need a little creative jolt. these are also great for holding cards! (i'm a card-hoarder, so i have one that's just full of them.)

not pictured: a bowl of york peppermint patties and rolo's. no explanation necessary. 


i'm taking this week back to work nice and slow in a cozy graphic tee and my favorite cardigan-jacket. Mike, my parents, and i returned from Park City, UT late Sunday evening after a full week of skiing and relaxation. it was Mike's first time skiing out West and he picked it up so quickly that we were doing some blue runs by the afternoon of the first day. by our last day, my parents were both pretty tired from skiing, so Mike and i had the afternoon to ski by ourselves. we found the longest blue runs we could spot on the map and decided to venture over to the far side of the peak that we hadn't been to yet. as soon as we skied off the chairlift and down the run we'd chosen, we quickly realized that we were going to be the just about the only people skiing that side, with the occasional passerby. it was so incredibly quiet and peaceful, i found myself just taking in deep breaths of that mountain air and relishing the silence with him. 

there were very few signs on our trail, so we tried our best to stay on the skied area so that we didn't get lost. well, adventure got the best of us and we started taking some side paths, assuming they'd lead us back to the main trail. a few side paths later, we were about a foot deep in powder with only a couple ski tracks in front of us and a very steep cliff to what looked like the path below us. mmmm yeah, not risking it. i talked Mike into taking his skis off and walking back to the path with me, which he was less than thrilled about. ski boots + at least 12 inches of powder + trekking at 9k feet high = the shortest and most effective workout ever. about halfway through my 30 yard ski boot hike, i just plopped down in the snow, trying to catch my breath and remain calm, convincing myself that we weren't lost on the mountain, no matter how convinced i was that there was going to be a Lifetime movie made about us. we finally made it back to the trail, Mike rolling his eyes, me barely breathing, and one of my skis wouldn't click in properly. 

"GREAT. now i'm going to have to go down the ENTIRE mountain on ONE SKI." 

i nearly gave up and called the mountain safety patrol to give me a lift to the bottom when my boot finally clicked into the ski and we were ready to ski again...or so i thought. Mike had taken his skis off to help me and then experienced the same trouble clicking his boot in. WHY? WHY ARE WE GOING TO BE ABANDONED ON A MOUNTAIN WHEN IT'S DARK? naturally, the worst possible scenarios flash through my brain, without even considering that he will be able to get it to work just like i had seconds before. sure enough, about 7 minutes of trying later, we were all geared up and ready to follow the trail to some sort of civilization. i've never been happier to see an empty chairlift with two mountain workers than when we came across the first one. i think something along the lines of, 'we made it! it's a miracle!' crossed through my mind (dramatic, much? sheesh). 

lesson learned: i'm not so good on the empty mountainside with no signs and barely any signs of life. i will automatically assume that 'my time' has come and will miss the peace and beauty of the surroundings for a bit. 

aside from that blood-pumping sequence, we had a wonderful trip and enjoyed our time in the Park City/Deer Valley area. you could say that we L-O-V-E'd it ;) 

tee | J.Crew Factory
sweater | Line & Dot
jeans | Madewell (old)
necklace | Elisabeth Ashlie
lips | Poppy by Bite Beauty

Travel Style

Mike, my parents, and i had an early morning wakeup to hear to the airport. we're on our way out West to ski for a couple days and we're all looking forward to it! Mike skied for the first time last winter in WI, so i'm really anxious to see what he thinks of real mountains and all the beautiful scenery in Utah. 

i've been really into lighter palettes and mixing greys and neutrals lately. there's something about it that looks put together, but also spontaneous. it doesn't hurt that most of my closet is neutral anyway, so this is pretty easy for me to add. with the addition of some neutral accessories, a bold lip and matching purse, this is the perfect winter staple outfit for me. and the layers help for the ever-fluctuating temperature on airplanes. how have they not gotten that right yet?! 

if we're not sleeping on the plane, Mike and i will be watching the next couple episodes of Homeland.  we're s l o w l y working our way through season one and hoping to make a real dent in it during this trip. 

things may be a little quiet around here this week, but be sure to follow along on Instagram for updates throughout the trip! 

cardigan | Lou & Grey
tee | J.Crew Factory
pants | Gap
booties | Crown Vintage
purse | Rebecca Minkoff
scarf | LOFT 
necklaces | Elisabeth Ashlie and Madewell
bangles | Elisabeth Ashlie
earrings | Anthropologie
lips | Scarlet + Poppy by Bite Beauty

Saturday Style | 05

(actually, i wore this outfit on sunday. shhh, don't tell my post title.)

Mike made a quick trip into the city on Saturday to start burning through our pile of restaurant gift cards we received for Christmas. i wasn't sure when he'd get to my apartment, so i started getting ready to go out with what i thought was enough time before he'd arrive, only to hear the house phone  ring (yes, we're old school like that. actually, it's the only way to buzz someone into the building), which let me know that he was already downstairs.

i let him in and continued to get ready in the bathroom, feeling very blah about my hair. i had straightened it, thinking i'd try something different than the norm, but immediately regretted it. i was mentally calculating how much time i had and how long it would take me to redo it when i stepped out of the bathroom to, 'ohhhh you look so cute with your hair like that! you should always do it like that!' 

and then i resolved to only ever wear my hair straight*. because a reaction like that deserves some recognition. and a kiss or two. 

and then we devoured some delicious food and i tried to tie his boot for him in public and ended up turning his cheeks a very deep shade of red. oops. if i weren't laughing so hard at the sight of his dismay, i would've maybe felt the tiniest bit of guilt for embarrassing him.

*okay, probably not entirely true, but it will be attempted more often.

sweater | H&M
leggings | J.Crew Factory 
vest | J.Crew Factory (similar)
scarf | ZARA
boots | Hunters
bangles | Elisabeth Ashlie
watch | c/o Daniel Wellington
lips | Poppy by Bite 

Soft Hues

hello, 2015! you've only been here for a day, but you're already treating me well. as mentioned earlier this week, Mike and i headed up to Wisconsin for a little NYE getaway with a couple friends. we had a great time cooking, crafting up some cocktails, and playing lots of games. we had just about the laziest day in history yesterday, which was a great start to the new year, if you ask me! we talked on the drive home about our goals for the new year and i'm looking forward to seeing how all of those goals are met this year. i'm the typical 'forget about my goals by february' resolutionist (also, making up words, i guess), so my first goal is to change that ;) but after that goal, i hope to have more patience (something i am seriously lacking), meet some business goals i've set for myself, and to actually join a gym and actually exercise for actual better health. i see that i'm already having to convince myself to go to the gym and i haven't even joined...this is not a good sign.

anyway, here's to new years and new goals!   

p.s. this look is totally out of my comfort zone seeing as i typically wear black or grey, but i think i've caught some sort of 'light palette' bug and pinks, creams, and pastels are all i find myself reaching for these days! 

for all of you High Five for Friday regulars: 
with the start of the New Year, i'm changing things up a little bit around here. after about 3 years of hosting the link-up, i'm passing the torch off to one of you, if you'd like to host it! send me an email and i'd be happy to direct the H54F linkers to you next week! thanks for linking up and sharing your weeks with me - it was one of my favorite blog days, but i'm looking forward to having another day for different content and starting some sort of style challenge for fridays (still brainstorming details!). 

top | J.Crew (similar)
sweater | Target
jeans | Gap
scarf | ZARA
bag | Forever 21 (similar)
flats | Vince Camuto