My Vision for J’s Family Room

My Vision for J’s Family Room

It’s been a hot minute since I last posted on here, but I have a new few post ideas in line for the next week. If you missed my last one, I showcased my fall decor around the house, as well as an anniversary tablescape.

Fast forward to today….J and I have been talking a lot about his family room.  The furniture is older, the lighting needs some work, and there is just soooo much brown.  Since it’s hard for him to visualize what I am thinking, so I like to create a vision board with my ideas.  They also help me quite a bit when pulling all of the details together.

My three words for this room would be LIGHT. FUNCTIONAL. TEXTURE.

Here’s what I came up with….

NOTE:  A fireplace flanked with two windows are located in the room at the top of the board.

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It all started with these chairs.

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Holy cow!  I am in love with them.  They are from World Market and the reviews are good.  One gal even said her child spilled yogurt on them and it cleaned right up.  Plus, the majority of reviewers said this chair is super comfortable.   The color is to die for and the style has me swooning.

There is one element, well two, that I want to remain neutral and that would be the two sofas that will line both sides of the room.  After a little bit of searching for kid friendly, longer length couches, I found this one from Crate and Barrel.  Next weekend we are planning to take a ride down to the store in Philly to take a look. It received good reviews and they have a few neutral fabric color choices to choose from.

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I’m also planning some sort of gallery wall above one of the couches and extra lighting in the form of floor lamps and table lamps.  Plus, I’m on the fence about style and color of end tables, but I’m loving the look of a white Campaign-style with drawers for storage.

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For the rest of the room, I plan on keeping everything fairly neutral and light, including the carpet, with durable finishes to withstand the wear and tear of family life.  I would also like to add a few black touches such as a black bar cart in the unseen corner or black books on the coffee table.

What are your thoughts?  I’d love to hear!

Are comfortable, yet cute shoes an oxymoron?

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Let’s face it, I’m not getting any younger and neither are my feet.  Years of running abuse has taken its toll and I just can’t wear cute heels anymore, at least for long periods of time.  I have shoe envy for those teachers who wear heels all day long and I’d love to know their trick.  For me, after about an hour, I’ve had it and the heels are history.

Now flats, they are also trouble for me.  With reoccurring Achilles tendonitis, flat shoes don’t work well either.  A day in completely flat shoes involves flare ups and pain in my heel.  Still not good.

So in the end, shoe shopping can be quite the challenge.  In addition to my Achilles issues, I have a narrow heel.  This combination makes it extremely difficult to find a shoe that’s soft enough, doesn’t flop at the heel, is wearable all day…and still cute.  Since summer is coming, I thought I would do a little browsing for some shoes that might be a match for my picky criteria.

Birkenstocks – You either love ’em or hate ’em.  I, personally, am a big fan and have been for a few years.  I wear mine all summer long, including on trips to NYC when I’m walking all day long.  No issues, no problems.  The supportive arch and wide toe box make them a perfect fit for me.

I have these and these.  Both are favorites, but I tend to wear the black ones a little more.  My daughter has a wide foot and often times we have a difficult time finding her shoes.  I am desperately trying to talk her into a pair of these for this summer and I think I’m almost there.

Tevas – The jury is still out for me on Tevas.  I can’t say I’m a fan.  I know they are totally making a comeback, but this bandwagon is one that may pass me by.  I’ve seen several high-profile bloggers promoting a rose gold version, which is kind of cute, but still isn’t enough to persuade me in this direction.

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Clarks – I saw these sandals by Clarks the other day and thought they were chic and stylish enough to wear for work, but capable of being dressed down with rolled up jeans and a light sweater for casual date nights.  I like the heel height (not too high) and the gold hardware.  They just look so wearable and comfy.

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Dr. Scholl’s – An old school classic, Dr. Scholl’s sandals bring back a lot of memories.  I can remember clunking around in these as a kids.  I LOVED them, and my mom loved the arch in them.  We were never allowed to wear flat flip flops because they had no support…lol.  I’ve tried and tried these again as an adult, but I just can’t seem to find the right fit for me.

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Featured image via www.shoppingandinfo.com

So what do you think?  Can shoes still be stylish, yet comfortable?

two dresses styled for spring

two dresses styled for spring

The other day I had to run into Marshall’s to grab a water bottle.  To make a long story short, one of my students lost her water bottle that week at school and could not let it go. Signs were made and hung all over the school and every teacher in the building was aware of the lost item.  It was enough to keep her from concentrating on her work, so while J and I were running errands, I made him stop so I could run in and grab one.  I knew it would only take a minute, so he waited in the car.  On a mission to find a bottle, I spotted not one, but TWO adorable dresses hanging on the rack.  I had that feeling where I knew they would both be winners, so I promptly grabbed them both and headed to the cashier without trying them on.  Honestly, they will probably be my best purchases for spring since they both fit like a charm and were both under $20.

The first one is your basic chambray dress.  It is so soft, and the drop waist makes it super comfortable and easy to wear.  I love this type of dress for school because it hits right above the knee and its three quarter length sleeves are necessary in a freezing, air conditioned school.

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This dress can be worn with flat sandals, cute sneakers, or with a pair of colorful heels for date night.  I paired it with a pair of floral, strappy sandals and my new Zara bag, which I decided to keep.

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Dress: (similar) / Floral heels: (similar) these are $25! / Bag: Zara Round Raffia Basket Bag

The second dress had me at hello.  The cut and the fabric are spot on, and like the chambray dress, this swing style is another comfortable fit.  I’ve been seeing so many dresses lately in gingham plaid, both large and small prints.  Plus, black and white can be worn with any color of the rainbow.

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This fabric pattern is so special to our family.  When my grandmother was alive, all she wore were short sleeved shift dresses in all colors of “checks,” as she called it.  She made every single one of her dresses in her closet and they never had a zipper.  Why have a zipper when you don’t need one?  Why spend the extra money?  God bless her.  That woman never graduated from high school, but she sure knew how to save money.  My grandparents had money and CDs and savings accounts at banks all over town because of her math skills and saving ability.  When she passed, my mom and aunt took all of her dresses and had them made into small blankets for them and the four granddaughters.  We also received a framed photo of her dresses hanging on the line prior to them being turned into our blankets.  Sometimes the quilt hangs on the bar cart handle for added color, and the picture has a permanent spot on the gallery wall in my living room.

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This dress has such a desirable cut for spring.  The length is ideal and I am in love with the bell sleeves.  I paired this one with neutrals.  As the first dress, sneakers and flat sandals can be worn with it, but I kept it neutral and added my Marc Fisher wedges and new cage bag.  If you haven’t seen this extremely close dup of a more expensive version on Amazon, check it out.  It is so good!  As I do all year, my dainty gold jewelry will be worn with both dresses for a touch of shine.

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Dress: (similar) / Shoes: Marc Fisher Adalyn WedgeMarc Fisher Adalyn Wedge / Bag: Amazon

I simply can’t WAIT to wear these dresses.  Simple styles, soft fabrics and comfortable styles are what spring is all about!

spring’s straw bag frenzy

spring’s straw bag frenzy

Come on, spring!  Get here already!  Last Friday we had a crazy storm that brought a ton of rain, high winds and then snow.  There were so many power outages and trees uprooted from the ground, and people around here are sick of the weather.  Now today we are expecting up to 16″ of snow.  Sometimes we see little glimpses of warm temps here and there, but they are mostly just a tease.

But if I’m thinking spring, I’m thinking about the new pieces I want to add to my wardrobe to freshen things up a bit.  My old classics come out from year to year, but a couple of new items always make me feel updated and on trend.

The straw bag trend is still going strong.  It was huge last summer and I’m so glad to see it back again.  A couple of styles I’ve been eyeing up are different varieties of last year’s cage bag and the new round shape for this year.

I LOVED this cage bag from last season, but couldn’t justify paying the hefty price tag for a very seasonal and very trendy bag.

As luck would have it, it’s back and I found a close dup on Amazon for around $40!?  The reviews were stellar and it is gorgeous!

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It is so beautiful and well made in person and I can’t wait to carry it.  Essentially, it’s a work of art in my hands!  Below is the one I bought.  I purchased the larger size because I usually need the extra space, but I’m sure the smaller size is just as good.  It also came with a little note, a bookmark and a scarf…a nice, personal touch.

You may be wondering about losing or seeing your inside contents.  My plan is to put all of my money, cards, cell phone, lipstick, etc. in a smaller pouch that will safely tuck inside the bag.  Obviously it’s not your practical, everyday bag to lug around everywhere you go.  This one’s for dinner dates and nights on the town.

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I’m also into the round straw bags I’ve been seeing all over the fashion blogs.  Below I spotted a few images on Pinterest that show the trend, but I purchased this one from Zara about a month ago.  It’s their Round Raffia Basket Bag and its under $50.  I love that it has the cross body strap, but the question is….do I really need two summer bags in a similar style?

Zara’s image of mine….

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What do you think?  Keep or no?

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It is really cute….

Zara also had this fun cage bag that’s new to the website.

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Thoughts? Are you a fan of the summer straw bag? I’d love to hear….

Street Style: Dress + Sneakers | Thinking of FL

Street Style: Dress + Sneakers | Thinking of FL

First and foremost, I want to take a brief moment to mention the horrific shooting that took place in Parkland, Florida.  So far this year, [in just 46 days], there has been 18 shootings, 8 of which resulted in injury or death.  Something needs to be done.  I am an elementary school teacher and I go to school every day and look into the faces of 30 children.  I know they put their trust in me and expect me to keep them safe while under my care.  It pains me that some person at any given moment could come to my school, or any school for that matter, and do these unthinkable acts to the innocent.  Throughout the last few days, many questions have been swirling in my head…What would I do in a volatile situation? Where would I take my kids? Is it better to hunker down or to flee?  All questions that each and every educator faces each and every day.

So to the Florida victims, those injured and deceased, and their families, my heart goes out to you.  It is my hope that one day we can put an end to school violence.  Again, something needs to be done.

On a lighter note…

This 60 degree weather has me thinking spring!  I don’t know about you, but I’m ready.  I’ve had it with the bulky coats, I’m over my boots, and I especially hate running in the cold.  Plus, seeing all the spring styles out there on blogs and Instagram accounts doesn’t help either.

The one trend that I am glad stuck around is the dress + sneaker look.  It may not be for everyone, but for me, I’m still loving it.  You see, the past few years I’ve had trouble wearing some shoes due to running issues [mainly, achilles tendonitis].  And although I love flat sandals, I can only wear them in small bits of time because after a while, I end up with pain and it’s not fun.

Plus, if I could choose one piece of clothing to live in during the hot months, I would say it would be a dress.  Soooo….the dress/sneaker combo is perfect for me.  I can still be cool and look cute in a dress, but have all the comfort of sneakers that don’t make my feet hurt.  Win-win!

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Last night at Marshall’s, I finally found a pair of Adidas sneakers just like the one’s above for under $35(!)  I’m estimating that I’ve tried similar pairs during past shopping occasions and they never fit.  I guess last night’s bargain coupled with the comfy fit made it my lucky day!

So, for a little more inspiration, I sourced a few cute images that include combo….

Photo source: Pinterest

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Photo Source: Highest Heels

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Photo Source: Trend 2 Wear

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Photo Source: Snazzy Lair

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Photo Source: That’s So Darling

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Photo Source: Just a Pretty Smile

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Ok, so maybe not velcro…

Photo Source: Daily Mail UK

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And even Giada!

Photo Source: Daily Mail UK

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So, what do you think? Are dresses and sneakers for you? Or, do you think you’ll just stick with sandals?

PS. I’m also a big fan of Birkenstocks for the same reason, but more on that another time.