Off the Shoulder Sweater // Lace-up Heels

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gold chokerdestroyed crop jeans

Asos sweater, tall version HERE and similar style HERE // Joe’s Jeans // Jessica Simpson heels, similar HERE // Choker, similar HERE // Kendra Scott Hand Chain // French Connection saddle bag // Target tassel bag charm, similar HERE // Ray-Ban sunglasses // Stila Vinyl Lipgloss in Merlot Vinyl

Back to my usually scheduled off the shoulder look!  Most people have insecurities about at least one body part.  Shoulders are usually not one of them.  That’s what makes the off the shoulder and cold shoulder look so flattering.  This was the sweater I started the day with last Saturday but had to buy a new shirt while roasting in the sun!  So, I can tell you that it is very cozy and will keep you warm!  This one is sold out but the tall version is still available and on SALE HERE.  The longer length would be super cute with a pair of leggings!  HERE is another option.

Lace-up shoes are everywhere!  I’ve been dying to get my hands on a pair and found these Jessica Simpson’s at TJ Maxx.  I love the tassels at the end of the ties.  HERE is a similar style.  Burgundy is a great color for fall and will take you through the winter.  It’s a slight pop of color without being too bold.

I tend to stick to a nude or neutral lip most days.  Once in a while I’ll get crazy and go for a bold pink or red lip but it’s rare.  I’m experimenting with doing it more often.  I recently picked up a Stila vinyl lip gloss is an awesome pink.  I loved it so much that I went back to get this color, merlot vinyl.  The colors are so pigmented and long lasting.  They can be a little sticky at first but I found that if you blot it’s much better.

I accessorized with a funky gold choker I picked up at Nordstrom Rack.  HERE is something similar.  I love a good hand chain and this rose gold one from Kendra Scott is quality.  The drawstring closure makes it super easy to put on yourself.  I found mine at Nordstrom Rack but it’s available HERE for the same price!

What to do on this chilly rainy night?  I think a movie may be in order.  What fun plans do you have for the weekend?

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Jake Rotger // Elder Island Movie Premiere

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Jake Rotger // Elder Island

I have to admire the “you can do anything” mentality that I see many young adults taking to heart.  It’s true.  Hustle, work hard, and the payoff will come.  It may not be easy but most things worth having rarely are.

Maybe I lived in a bubble at that age but I’m not sure I subscribed to those beliefs at that time.  They didn’t seem meant for me.  I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I applied to one school, got accepted, and off I went to find my path in life.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved everything about my experience at Michigan State University.  I would go again if I had to do it over again but I wonder how my life would have been different if I had had the courage to dream big and take risks during my late teens and early twenties.

I landed a job as a lobbyist for the American Cancer Society and worked there for almost 20 years.  It was a very rewarding job and I believed, and still do, in the cause.  I liked my job but I didn’t always love it.  I had a lot of achievements that I am proud of and are now a part of history.  Pretty cool but I’m not so sure it was the best fit for me long term.

When I got married two years ago, my step son, Jake, was finishing up his junior year of high school and was busy studying for the ACT and deciding where he wanted to apply to college.  By the time he graduated the following year he had chosen Indiana University and intended to apply for the business school.  He was all set to head to freshman orientation that summer when he divulged that he wasn’t passionate about business school and didn’t see himself at IU.  Instead, he sought his dream of becoming a professional actor.

This dream was a surprise to many.  While Jake had been in a few small movies that were filmed in Michigan during high school, it wasn’t something that he had been very vocal about.  I, personally, had no idea this was something even on his radar.  But, this goal wasn’t something he thought of on a whim.  He had been doing research for months, keeping a journal, and even writing a screenplay, unbeknownst to his family.

I can tell you that the weeks following his news brought many sleepless nights to his father.  It’s not what his parents would have chosen for him but, realizing how serious and passionate he was, they decided to get behind him. His whole family did.

With a seemingly fearless demeanor, Jake moved to LA a little over a year ago at the age of 18.  He started his adulthood living on his own in a modest, yet secure, studio apartment in Hollywood, nearly 2,300 miles from his family and friends.  In less than 6 months he found a manager and agent and had numerous auditions.  He is currently taking acting classes and working toward the requirements to apply to a film school.  He’s booked a few jobs so far but I have no doubt that, with his determination, that there are many more to come.

His trips back home have been good for him to relax and catch up with family and friends but he is always eager to get back.  He doesn’t want miss any opportunities.  My husband and I have even helped him film a few digital auditions during his visits.

Elder Island was one of the movies he filmed before he moved.  It recently premiered at the Main Art Theatre in Royal Oak, Michigan.  Jake flew home for the event and I had the honor of attending with our family to support him in this great accomplishment.

I give Jake so much credit for knowing what he wants, having the guts to put himself out there, and putting his nose to the grind.  Acting is not only a passion of his but it truly seems to come naturally to him and he is totally in his element when performing.  To be so comfortable in your own skin is a gift in itself.

If you have the pleasure of meeting Mr. Jake Rotger someday, I’m sure that you will find him to be, like I do, kind, compassionate, and charismatic.  He has surrounded himself with good people and has the support of his family which, coupled with his drive, is certain to result in much success and happiness.

Let Jake be an inspiration to you to pursue your goals, do what you love, and take chances.

Follow Jake on Instagram at @jake.rotger.

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Bardot Off the Shoulder Bell Sleeve Top // Lace Up Flats

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Joe's Jeans Destroyed crop

Pitaya top, similar HERE and HERE // Joe’s Jeans jeans // BCBG flats // F21 choker, similar HERE // F21 hand chain, similar HERE // French Connection saddle bag, similar HERE // Target tassel bag charm, similar HERE and HERE // Ray-Ban sunglasses

Let’s just say that when I started the day this is not the top I thought would be wearing nor was it one I owned!  While I normally would have thrown on a Michigan State top to watch them play on a football Saturday, instead I opted for a sweater that I’ve been itching to wear.  It was finally cool enough to wear it.  Or so I thought.

My husband and I met some friends at a bar with a great outdoor patio and lots of tvs.  Even though it was only 72, it felt at least ten degrees warmer in my sweater while we were sitting in the direct sun.  I sat and struggled through it for awhile but after my Spartans lost and we were onto the next game, I decided to take a time out and walk to a nearby store in search of a lighter top.

I ended up at Pitaya which I haven’t been to in quite awhile.  They always have on trend, affordable options.  It didn’t take me long to find this adorable Bardot off the shoulder bell sleeve rust colored top.  Into the fitting room I went.  You better believe I ripped off the tag to pay the cashier and wore it out of the store!  Relief at last!  I didn’t see it on their website but HERE and HERE are similar options.

I recently scored these destroyed crop jeans at TJ Maxx but HERE they are at Nordstrom Rack. They are a great length to show off these super cool lace up flats (great deal alert!).

I added a tassel bag charm, similar HERE and HERE to change up the look of my saddle bag, similar HERE.  Luckily everything I had on went with my new top including my choker, similar HERE, and hand chain, similar HERE.

This was such a comfortable and unexpected fall look but next time I better stick with my Sparty tee for good luck!

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Cold Shoulder Dress // Lace-up Sandals // Saddle Bag

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Boohoo dress // Catherine Malandrino Lace-Up Sandals, similar HERE // French Connection saddle bag, similar HERE, HERE, and HERE // Stella & Dot earrings // Natasha necklace, similar HERE

Another day, another cold shoulder ensemble!  I purchased this black swing dress a few months ago and it finally cooled down enough for me to wear it this past weekend.  (Not that I’m complaining.  We had the best summer!)  This is definitely a staple that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.

I was all sorts of giddy when I spotted these lace up sandals in my size at Nordstrom Rack.  I’ve been eyeing the style for awhile and I’m so happy I found them at a great price!  HERE is a similar pair.  They are so comfortable with the block heel and the lace up style is totally on trend.

I have secretly been wanting this Chloe saddle bag and thought I’d take a shot on THIS similar style.  It’s a great mid size crossbody and super soft.  If you are looking for a great fall bag, a saddle bag is a must!  HERE is another to consider.

This Natasha multi-strand gold choker, also purchased at Nordstrom Rack, is a fun statement piece.  Perfect for dressing up my solid black dress.  THIS one looks identical.

My tassel chandeliers are on sale and are nice pop of color.

The whole look incorporates a lot of my favorite trends: cold shoulder, lace up shoes, saddle bag, choker, and tassels!

I better get started on dinner for the fam!  Meat sauce over spaghetti squash is what’s for dinner.  What are you having?

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Butler’s Pantry

butler's pantry

Barn door

Crate & Barrel Rug // Dolan Designs Semi Flush Mount // Lowe’s Barn Door Track

Our butler’s pantry is basically our beverage center.  All things alcoholic and non-alcoholic are stored here including water, wine, beer, liquor, coffee and more.  It’s nice because it keeps less traffic in the actual kitchen.

We have white cabinets and a carrara marble tile backsplash in the kitchen and decided to carry that through the butler’s pantry as well.  While the counter in the kitchen are a matte gray quartz I did decide to switch it up in the butler’s pantry with a coordinating Super White quartzite.  It gives you the look of marble without the high maintenance.  Marble scratches and stains very easily.  I have marble counters in our master bath and honestly I wish I would have put the Super White in there too.

It’s convenient to have the bar sink.  We use it daily to make coffee and it can also be used to rinse out cups in between drinks.

I’m in love with my pantry.  We didn’t have one in our last home so it’s truly a luxury.  It’s so great to not only have our non-perishables displayed nicely and not crammed into a cupboard.  There is space to store our small appliances and platters.  It’s definitely a treat to be able to see what you have and easily access it.

The real showpiece of the room is the sliding barn door on the pantry.  I had intended to have it made out of reclaimed wood but our carpenter had hesitation in doing that.  He feared that because the wood was warped that it would continue to warp over time and give us potential issues down the road.  I conceded and asked him to make it out of pine knowing that I would find a way to distress it.  Trusty Pinterest to the rescue!  I found this pin by CeCe Caldwell’s Paints with a tutorial on how to achieve a barn wood look.  I decided to give it a shot!

I practiced on a few pieces of scrap lumber the carpenters had tossed out during the construction of our house.  I wanted to make sure I could accurately achieve the look before tackling the actual door.  In fact, I was having two made.  The other for my master closet.  More on that soon!

Satisfied with my practice pieces, I got to work on the doors out in the garage during in the cold of winter.  I was in a hurry to get them done so that they could be hung and ready before we moved in.

The beauty of this process is that you control the look.  Too dark? Add more white.  Too white? Wet a rag and remove some of what you’ve applied.

I ordered the barn door track online after consulting with my carpenter.  I made the handle with pipe fittings from Home Depot that I spray painted bronze.  I’m really happy with how they turned out and get a lot of positive feedback from visitors.

The wall color is Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore and the floors are Antico Caribou by Provenza.  The drum light fixture is a 3 light semi flush mount.  I love stripes and was glad I was able to find a spot for this runner.

It was a lot of fun choosing the elements for this room.  I simply took inspiration from photos and other homes and made it my own.  While I hadn’t planned on painting the door, it was very easy and gives it a unique look.

Happy Monday!  Who’s ready for the big debate tonight?

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Medical ID Bracelet

medical id bracelet

Lauren's Hope

Shinola watch, similar HERE // Lauren’s Hope Medical ID bracelet // BCBG wrap bracelet, similar HERE // Kendra Scott bracelet, similar HERE

If you or someone you love has a life threatening allergy or condition you know that time is of the essence.  If you/they were unable to personally seek the medical attention needed wouldn’t it be great to have information available to someone that could help?

I am deathly allergic to bee stings.  Most people close to me that know me know that and have been instructed on how to use my EpiPen in case I am unwilling or unable to.  They also know to take me immediately to the hospital for additional needed care.  (So far I have been unwilling every time!  Trust me, I would do it if I had to but I know how big that needle is and if I can look away and have someone else inject me I do!)  This allergy is one that gets worse with age and the more times you are stung.  So, while I have yet to pass out on the spot like everyone fears I will, there may come a time that that happens.  If it did and I was with someone who didn’t know what to do, I want to make sure that they could quickly find concise instructions to help me aka save my life.  Sounds dramatic but this is a very real issue for me.

Medical ID jewelry is not a new concept but having stylish options is.  I have had a medical ID bracelet for awhile but the truth is it doesn’t look great, isn’t comfortable, and is hard to put on.

This spring I stumbled across Lauren’s Hope, a company that makes attractive medical ID jewelry is many styles and colors for men, women, boys and girls.  They even have options in rose gold, my current obsession.  I ordered the Kylie bracelet and couldn’t be happier.  I wear it alone but often layer it with other bracelets and watches. It coordinates with my arm candy look but stands out enough that I’ve been asked by several people why I wear a medical ID bracelet.

I just checked out their newest styles and there are a few I have my eye on!  If you have to wear one it might as well look good!  I’m sure having these “pretty” or “cool” choices is helpful to encourage little ones to wear one as well.

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Born Yoga

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Z by Zella Girl Capri Leggings, similar HERE and HERE

A few months ago a friend of mine told me about this adorable yoga studio right down the street from me that she was at with her young daughter.  “So stinking cute” were her exact words!  She thought it might be something fun for me to do with my 2.5 year old niece and she was right!

Born Yoga offers yoga for teens, kids, and families.  They have everything from prenatal yoga, baby wearing yoga, parent and toddler yoga, all the way up to teen aerial yoga.  I talked to my sister about it and since she has started doing some yoga at home that my niece is all about, she thought it would be a great idea.

We’ve gone twice so far to the Parent and Toddler Yoga class, with me obviously subbing for the role of parent.  There was actually another nonparent in the class, a nanny, with a toddler.

The decor couldn’t be any cuter.  A bit of rustic modern charm.  A sliding barn door on the studio leads to an open studio with floors lined with interlocking floor mats that look like gray wood floors.

Both classes started with what I would refer to as a yoga obstacle course.  Various stations are set up in a circle with activities that the children are encouraged to participate in along with their caregiver.  The activities incorporate movement, balance or stretching.  I have a couple favorites that I think are so cute watching the little ones try to master.  One involves grabbing a plastic stick with ribbons hanging from it, placing it in one hand, and stretching from side to side like a rainbow.  Another has participants seated with the soles of their feet together while placing a plush flower in between their feet and bending forward to smell the essential oils sprinkled on it.

The rest of the class is filled with singing, story telling, and other interactive yoga activities.  It’s a bit of Kindermusik, gymnastics, dance, and yoga all rolled into one!

The class is 45 minutes long which is a good amount of time for little ones.  I notice my niece starting to lose some of her listening skills toward the end haha!  A big screen tv is available in the reception area to view classes.  My mom tagged along and was able to watch us that way.

It looks like they offer some cute events.  Coming up this month they have a workshop where girls bring a doll or stuffed animal and decorate a doll sized yoga mat to have a yoga with doll session.  Later in the month a costume Halloween party is taking place.

Of course I had to style my little fashionista-in-the-making niece!  I found these Z by Zella Girl capri leggings at Nordstrom Rack.  It doesn’t look like they are available online but HERE and HERE is what they do have.  She’s pretty tall for her age and already wearing a 4 in most bottoms.  These are XXS/4.  They are a little baggy on her but I’m sure she’ll fill them out in no time!

My leggings are a recent TJ Maxx find.  The brand is Kyodan and I have quite a few of their pieces.  The quality is great and I get tons of compliments anything I where from them.  I’m often asked if it is Lululemon if that tells you anything about how great they look in person.  So far it looks like TJ Maxx and Marshall’s are the only places that carry this line.  I highly recommend checking them out!

If you live in the metro Detroit area and have a little one in your life you need to check out Born Yoga!  It’s simply a darling studio that introduces girls (and boys – there were a few boys in our class!) at a young age to feel strong and beautiful.

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Overnight Steel Cut Oats

 

I know there a million recipes for overnight oats out there.  I’ve seen them.  I’ve pinned them.  I never made them….until recently.

My husband is an avid oatmeal eater but he has little patience for following directions.  His preferred method is to pour some (not a specific amount) quick cook rolled oats in a bowl, add a little (whatever he eyeballs) water, and microwave.

In the spirit of eating healthier, I introduced him to steel cut oats.  Not that rolled oats are bad for you, they’re actually pretty good for you, but steel cut oats have a lower glycemic index.

I buy the quick cook steel cut oats but they still take 6 minutes to make on the stove.  The thought of that on top of measuring the oats and water is simply too much for the hubs to commit too haha!  The directions indicate you can microwave them but 1. I’m a fan of little to no microwave use and 2. I have found that these make a huge mess in the microwave and don’t turn out great.

If I was a morning person and got up as early as he did I would be a good wife and make them for him every day.  But, I need my beauty sleep!  Enter overnight oats.  I thought I’d give them a whirl and see what he thought.  I adapted a recipe I found that he is a huge fan of.

They are meant to be served cold but I suppose you could heat them.  I gave him the option and he loves them cold so we’ve never tried heating them.  The result is a delicious oatmeal parfait!  Bonus – my step daughter likes them too!

overnight steel cut oats

Steel Cut Overnight Oats Recipe

Prep time: 15 min // Total time: 15 min

Servings: 4

What you’ll need:

2 Cups Almond or Coconut Milk

1 Cup Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats

8 oz Greek Yogurt

4 Bananas peeled and sliced

4 Handfuls of Blueberries (fresh or frozen) and/or berries of your choice

4 TBS Chia Seeds

4 TBS Hemp Seeds

2 TBS Honey

4 Dashes of Cinnamon

4 Wide Mouth Pint Mason Jars

Instructions:

  1. Add the almond milk and oats to a medium sized pot and over medium heat. As soon as it begins to bubble to boil, remove the pot from the heat and let the oats rest for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients. Stir well. Divide into the mason jars.  Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight or at least 8 hours.
  3. Stir well before serving. Serve cold within 4 days.

Overnight Steel Cut Oats

Enjoy!

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Stella & Dot Favorites

stella & dot favorites

Top Row L to R: Covet Initial Pendant // Chantilly Lace Cuff // Gilded Path Ear Climber // Multi Ikat Getaway Bag

Second Row L to R: Fete Bracelet // Lotus Tassel Chandeliers // Pave Sphinx Ring // Pave Triangle Path Ear Climbers

Third Row L to R: Renegade Cluster Bracelet // Seine Threader Earrings // Rebel Pendant // Signature Engravable Delicate Necklace

Last Row L to R: Signature Engravable Signet Ring // Gilded Path Double Wrap Bracelet // Eva Ear Jacket // Birdie Necklace

I’m hosting a Stella & Dot party this week and I couldn’t be more excited about it!  I have a major thing for accessories and I’m so impressed with their current collection.  I love that the company continues to stay on top of trends and updates their lines regularly.

A friend of mine let me know that she can’t make it in person but plans to order from my party online.  She asked me to let her know if I see any cute jewels.  So, I thought to myself “why not blog about some of my faves”?!  I have to admit it was a challenge to narrow the list to only 16.  Some of these I already own and the others are on my “to buy” list.

  1. Stella & Dot recently launched their Covet line which includes conflict free diamonds like those found in this adorable initial pendant.
  2. I have the Chantilly Lace Cuff in gold and it’s now available in black.  Is it bad that I want that one too?
  3. Ear climbers are one of the hottest trends in earrings.  I have several pairs that I wear regularly and I love these new Gilded Path Ear Climbers.
  4. The Getaway Bag is a must have for anyone that travels.  I have one in a discontinued print.  It fits perfectly under the seat in front of you on a plane and has a zipper at the bottom that allow you to expand the bag for any extras you may bring home with you.  I love the Multi Ikat print.
  5. Tassels!!  I’m so obsessed.  This Fete bracelet is simple yet cute.  I would wear this with other bracelets and a watch for the arm candy look.
  6. More tassels!  The Lotus Tassel Chandeliers are a gorgeous color and can be worn 4 different ways.
  7. I’m definitely getting the Pave Sphinx ring.  It’s just uber cool.
  8. I have something so similar to the Pave Triangle Path Ear Climbers.  They go with almost everything.
  9. I also have similar bracelets to the Renegade Cluster silver and gold Bracelets.  I don’t have one in rose gold which is probably my favorite metal at the moment so that one is definitely on my list!
  10. Threader earrings are another hot trend. Loving these edgy gold Seine Threader earrings.
  11. I have the Rebel Pendant in gold and LOVE it!  It’s now available in rose gold and you know how I feel about that!
  12. The engravable line is perfect.  I gave the bar necklace in gold to my bff for her wedding with her wedding date on it.  I love the Delicate Necklace in gold that is now available.  Only thing that would make it better?  Rose Gold of course!
  13. I’ve always been a fan of monograms and the Signature Engravable Signet Ring is on my list with a big “JRL” on it!  I just need to decide which finger I want to size it for.
  14. I’m a huge fan of arm candy and including a wrap bracelet is a common occurrence for me.  Pretty sure I need the white Gilded Path Double Wrap Bracelet to add to my collection!
  15. Ear jackets are another fab trend.  I have the Eva Ear Jacket.  I love the versatility of this piece.  It can be worn 4 different ways.
  16. I don’t wear a ton of statement necklaces but the Birdie necklace is one I’ve had my eye on for awhile.  Aside from it being 3 necklaces in 1, I’m drawn to the feather like pieces and the blush, cream, and gold colors.  It’s something that would go with a lot in my wardrobe.

What are some of your favorite Stella & Dot pieces?

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Denim Vest & Pom Pom Shorts

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detroit tigers

denim vest

pom pom shorts

fringe cross body

Levi’s Denim Vest // Old Navy Tank Top // H&M Shorts, similar HERE // DV Sandals, similar HERE // Rebecca Minkoff Crossbody // Ray-Ban Sunglasses // BCBG Bracelet, similar HERE

It doesn’t get much cuter than pom pom shorts!  I was lucky enough to find this pair on a super sale at H&M in orange and blue, my Detroit Tigers colors!  They are a little big on me but I didn’t care.  HERE is a similar style.

I styled this with a DIY tank I made years ago.  You can easily duplicate this look.  Get yourself a ribbed tank.  I found a men’s tiger’s tee at TJ Maxx and cut out the logo.  Leaving a raw edge, I sewed it on the tank.  You could also iron it on with this iron on adhesive.

I love how a vest completes a look.  This denim vest is a versatile piece that goes with anything.

What a fun way to show your team spirit at the ballpark while adding fun fashion to the mix.  Gooooo Tigers!

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