My Personal Style

My personal style is definitely one that has evolved over the years and it wasn't until a year or two ago that I feel like I've defined my personal style. I remember as a kid, I went through a phase where I refused to wear jeans and only wore stirrup leggings. Remember those?! 

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I feel like my style is classic with a hint of preppy thrown in there. I tend to stick to this and really don't purchase anything that is considered a "trend." For example, the ever-popular cold shoulder sweaters are just really not my thing!

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I view my wardrobe as an investment, and would rather spend $200 on a perfect-fitting pair of jeans than to purchase 10 shirts for that same price that will only last a season or two.

A year ago, I started dressing intentionally each day and it changed my life for the better; if you're interested in reading more about that, start with this post.

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I'd say that the vast majority of my clothes come from the following retailers mainly due to sizing / style:

J.Crew (my all-time favorite)
Nordstrom
Madewell
Banana Republic 

If I wear a pattern, it's almost always gingham or stripes. I tend to stick to neutrals with a "pop" of color somewhere in my outfit -- where it be a pair of earrings, a bright vest, etc. Most of my wardrobe is gray, white, pink, and mint. I never feel comfortable in super feminine details (lace, too many ruffles, etc.) so I tend to avoid those types of items.

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Layers
I love layers -- especially when it involves a gingham button down under a classic crew-neck sweater. Fall / winter are my favorite seasons not only for the changing leaves and multiple feet of snow, but also for the clothing options that the cooler weather brings.

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Jackets
Some girls are obsessed with shoes and handbags -- for me, it's jackets. Denim, leather, military, and the most perfect J.Crew Field Jacket -- I love them all.

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Sweaters
Like jackets, sweaters are another closet staple of mine. I own way too many of these ones, also love this one, and just ordered this one and this one last week. I prefer crew-neck sweaters to v-neck and will wear a cardigan on a rare occasion; I tend to stick to pullover sweaters most days.

Tees
In the summer, I love wearing a basic tee, statement necklace, and skinny jeans. This outfit is so easy to dress up with wedges and earrings for work, or dress down with casual sneakers or slip ons for running errands. These are my favorite tees ever.

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Denim
I'm such a stickler for quality denim! There are three brands that I tend to stick to when it comes to denim: AG, J.Crew, and Elliot / Current. I almost always opt for a skinny jean, but once in awhile will wear a boyfriend fit or flared jean depending on the outfit. Favorite jeans that are on heavy rotation over here:

Elliot / The Current in "Stagecoach" -- the perfect skinny jeans to be worn with tall boots!
J.Crew Toothpick jeans in Bryson wash and Lyric wash -- great everyday denim
AG Ex-Boyfriend Slim Distressed Jeans -- these are a favorite for summer

I wear jeans probably 6 out of the 7 days of the week -- I'm just a jeans girl! I always view my denim (and other investment clothing items) through a "cost per wear" lens. Rather than seeing how I'm dropping $150 on a pair of jeans, I estimate how often I'll wear them -- if I wear them 2-3 times per week for a few years, the cost per wear is actually cheaper than than a trendy top that I bought for $45 and only wore once before donating it.

Pants
I love J.Crew's black toothpick jeans, and their Minnie pant which is sadly no longer available. I believe the Martie pant is its replacement; however, I have yet to give those ones a whirl. On the Minnie / Martie pant, I really love the side zipper since it keeps a very smooth look from the front. Other favorites are distressed white jeans, and colored skinnies (sage green -- shown below -- is one of my favorite neutral pairs).

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Vests
These puffer vests are a must for cold Minnesota winters! I have them in gray, black, navy, and bright pink. I'll wear these to work, as another layer instead of a jacket during in-between seasons, and with athletic wear as I'm running to and from the gym.

I rarely ever wear leggings other than to the gym, and when I do, they are almost always Lululemon, Athleta, or Nike. These are my favorite athletic crops -- they're so lightweight and comfortable! I own them in a few colors, but the pelt color (formally called "black cherry") is probably my favorite! 

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A few notes on my style
I'm not a huge scarf person -- I always feel so claustrophobic in them for some reason. I also prefer my clothes to be fitted because I always feel frumpy or like I'm drowning in my shirts if I wear them slightly oversized. I gravitate towards items that can easily be mixed and matched -- tops, jackets, vests, etc. make it easy to make new outfit combinations without needing to purchase anything new.

These days, I lean more towards a capsule wardrobe approach to my clothing -- I take inventory of my closet every 4 months or so -- selling / donating anything that I don't find myself wearing regularly. I prefer to keep my closet and dresser drawers neat / tidy -- making it easy to see all of my options each day.

How would you define your style?
What's your go-to outfit?

Becoming a Morning Person

Up until graduating college, I was a night owl -- staying up late and sleeping in until mid-morning. Those days are long gone, and I attribute the drastic change to the fact that I had to alter my sleeping habits once starting my first design job.

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Morning is definitely my favorite time of day -- I love the feeling of a fresh start and the possibilities that a new day brings. I feel as though I'm most productive / motivated during this time of day and like to power through tasks to get my day off to a successful start. Most mornings, I'm up at 5:45am and enjoy taking my time to get ready rather than rushing out the door feeling frazzled.

Many of my friends are big fans of the morning hours, but the few that aren't have asked me how to become a morning person. Below are five ways I've made mornings a little easier and enjoyable:

1. Go to bed earlier
If you wake up tired, it's going to be hard to get out of a nice warm bed and start your day. I typically go to bed around 10-10:30pm to ensure that I get enough rest each night.

2. Set your alarm across the room
I charge my phone on the dresser on the opposite side of our bedroom, which makes it a lot harder to hit snooze! Also, once my alarm goes off, I get up -- no trying to fall back asleep for "5 more minutes" or laying in bed scrolling through my phone.

3. Establish a morning routine
I also have an evening routine (pack lunch, do something to unwind, lay out my clothes for the next day, etc.) and I really feel like this is the secret to success. Laying out my clothes the night before and packing my bag for work (lunch, gloves / hat, anything that I need to run an errand after work, etc.) is packed and ready to go so there's no scrambling around looking for my white cami tank to wear under my sweater eight minutes before I need to head out the door.

4. Have something to look forward to
This one is definitely key for me -- I love waking up early, showering + getting ready, and then cozying up my cup of coffee while reading for a bit. Sometimes it's a few chapters of a book, a devotional, or just reading through blogs on my Feedly app. 

5. Give yourself a buffer
One of my friends at my first job told me that she would wake up 20 minutes before she had to leave for work in the morning, throw on some clothes, and skip breakfast because she hated mornings so much. I don't know about you, but that's definitely not how I want to begin my day. I like to give myself some buffer time while getting ready, that way if I spill coffee on my shirt or if my hair just isn't cooperating, I have enough time to take care of the issue without being late to work.

Are you a morning person or night owl?
What are some things you do every morning?

Running Around The Town

Whew! We ended up being busy the past few days despite going into the weekend without anything on the agenda! It felt like were were running all over town but it was a good one!

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We headed out to the Mall of America on Friday evening just to browse around since it was cold outside! There were snow flurries and you'd better believe we were listening to the Holiday station on Sirius radio! 

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We grabbed a quick dinner before walking around and doing some window shopping. Freshii for me, Burger Burger for Andy! We strolled through Papersource for a bit so I could take a look at some of the holiday trends to use as project inspiration at work.

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How pretty are these holiday papers?!

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We made a quick pit stop for some chocolates along the way -- I'm super excited to try the gingerbread one that we got! 

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I also love checking out DAVIDsTEA for project inspiration as well -- they always have the best packaging designs full of cute illustrated patterns! 

Speaking of tea, we also picked up a tea from Teavana before heading home -- their white chocolate peppermint flavor is so good! 

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Saturday was spent cleaning, working on Christmas cards, and getting a bunch of things done around the house. A friend and I were talking about the old movie, Secrets in the Attic, at work a few weeks ago so I decided it to watch it that evening when Andy was out. It was so much creepier than I remember! 

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On Sunday morning, I headed out bright and early to grab a few groceries and pick up a few Christmas gifts! It's been awhile since I've had time to really browse Target and after walking around and sipping my Starbucks, I must say I don't really enjoy it as much as I used to? Kind of weird, but oh well! I left with everything on my list and then headed over to Costco.

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Costco was a total madhouse due to the Vikings game being on at noon that day -- I tried to get in and out of there as fast as possible. Then I swung by the house to drop off the grocery haul before heading over to Life Time to meet my friend Jen for a cardio session. 

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Later that afternoon, I wrapped Christmas gifts and it feels SO GOOD to be 100% done with my shopping! I have a few online orders arriving this week and then everything will be wrapped and under the tree! Thank goodness for Nordstrom making it super easy to cross off a bunch of people in one order!

The rest of the day was spend doing laundry, prepping some blog posts, meal prepping, and relaxing before kicking off another work week! 

PS I'm linking up with Biana today. 

Favorite flavor of truffles?
Do you wrap gifts right away or wait awhile?

Friday Favorites #17

It has been such a good week this past week! We've had projects flying out the door at work and I'm so happy with how they're looking. This weekend we have ZERO plans and I'm so excited about it after being so busy the past few weekends. 

I typically write the majority of my blog posts on the weekend since my weeknight evenings are always so full (gym, friends, running errands, etc.), so my Friday Favorites posts don't always get written since they require content from the week! Since it's been awhile, I've got a whole host of favorites to share with you guys! As usual, I'm linking up for this! 

This necklace + earrings set that Andy gave me for our anniversary have been on heavy rotation! I love the pretty colored stone and I have found that it matches so many different outfits. 

I've been trying to diffuse essential oils each evening when we're home -- my current favorite oil is Christmas Spirit! I also have been enjoying Tangerine and it's making me so excited for purchasing and eating many bags of clementines this winter!

I started this book last weekend and loved it! It started out a little slow, but definitely picked up with each passing chapter. 

This past week has been filled with productivity after work! I booked my hair appointments for the holidays before my stylist books up and I'm really looking forward to having fresh hair for both Thanksgiving and Christmas! I also had my rings cleaned and inspected, which was one of my goals for the month. Along with that, I am also finished with my Christmas shopping except for Andy's stocking stuffers and I dropped off a pile of clothes at the tailor's for repair. I feel so on top of things now that all of these items are completed and off of my to-do list.

These Milky Way Caramels are one of my new favorite candies -- I've realized that the only candy bars I really like are ones that involve a lot of caramel or coconut. These, along with 100 Grand bars are my all-time faves! Okay, and Almond Joy / Mounds bars -- can you tell that it was just Halloween?! Fun fact, I stash most of my candy in the freezer (and eat it frozen) -- my sister got me hooked on this when we were younger and I haven't looked back since! Anyone else?

We're designing our Christmas cards this weekend and I am so excited about it! I plan to grab a holiday drink from Starbucks, cozy up, and finish all of the illustrations by Sunday evening!

What's been a favorite from your week?
Favorite candy bar?

10 Things I Do Every Day

If you're interested in 10 things I do every week, click here! This is a random list of the first 10 things that popped into my head -- I'm very much a creature of habit and enjoy keeping my routines as long as they're working well for me.

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1. Shower + Get Ready
This is non-negotiable for me; I just do not feel my best unless I've showered and dressed for the day! 

2. Drink a protein shake
Being a vegetarian, I make a conscious effort to make sure I'm consuming enough protein each day. I like to start my day with a protein shake during my commute.

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3. Go to work
A good chunk of my day is spent at work, but I am so thankful for a job that I love! I really enjoy the work that I do, the people that I work with (it's a small company and definitely feels like a family), and the environment (lots of natural light and no cubicles!).

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4. Do something active
I love that saying -- "a body in motion stays in motion" because it is so true! It's so hard to find motivation to hit the gym if I haven't been going consistently. Plus, I feel so much better when I'm active, so it's a win-win! 

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5. Eat
This reminds me, I still need to do a full day of meals post since my last one was from before I became a vegetarian! I'm definitely more of a grazer than a meals person, so I generally eat something every few hours. I've been doing this most of my adult life and it seems to work best for my body.

6. Listen to music or podcasts
I love listening to music during my commute, while at work, and while working out. I have an Apple music subscription and love listening to my playlists and podcasts. I'm starting to switch over to Christmas music now that it's November, but during the rest of the year you can usually find me listening to my top favorite artists / bands:

PVRIS
Red
SafetySuit
Demon Hunter

7. Text my sister, Andrea and my bestie, Allie
My little sister has become one of my best friends and Allie and I have been the best of friends since I was in 8th grade! We usually have text conversations going throughout each day -- checking in with one another, sharing funny things, etc.

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8. Spend time with Andy
Our schedules are a little crazy this fall, but we always make sure to spend time together in the evenings after work and by keeping our weekly date night! 

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9. Prep for the next day
I like to set myself up for success the night before, so I usually pack my lunch, pack my bag for work, pack my gym bag, and lay out my clothes / jewelry / shoes for the next day. This also means staying on top of laundry throughout the week so that I have everything I need.

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10. Do something to unwind
This usually consists of watching a show, reading, painting my nails, diffusing essential oils, etc. I'm a high-energy person and but like to wind down before bed so that I can drift off to restful sleep fairly quickly. 

What are three things you do each day?
What's something you'd like to start doing every day?