Faux Fur Hooded Jacket // Gray Blanket Scarf // Veiled Beanie // Pom Pom Gloves

Larry Levine Jacket // Etsy Beanie, similar HERE and HERE // Hunter Boots // Hunter Cable Socks // Limited Dress, similar HERE // The North Face Gloves // Express Pom Pom Gloves // BP. Scarf // Century 21 Necklace, similar HERE and HERE

If you live in a cold climate, a long puffer jacket is essential for the winter!  The key is to find one that doesn’t make you look like the Michelin Man!  Personally I look for ones with a cinched or belted waist to give you some definition.  The diagonal pattern on the front of this also gives a slimming effect.

Black is an obvious choice but it seems like everyone goes with black so I like to mix it up.  I love cream but that’s so hard to keep clean.  I have a light gray one that isn’t much better.  I love olive green and was so excited to find THIS ONE that checked all the boxes, including being on sale! The faux fur hood gives it a little extra flair that I’m not mad about.

There are mixed reviews on whether or not hats keep you from getting sick but I will tell you this.  I am the only one in my house that wears beanies pretty consistently and also the only (knock on wood) that hasn’t been sick this winter.  I used to avoid hats in fear of messing up my hair.  Let’s be honest, my hair looks messy majority of the time anyway so I’ve learned to embrace the beanie.

Either way, there are so many cute options out there now like this veiled beanie.  I found it last year on Etsy.  It comes in other colors as well.  I’ve also found a couple others for you HERE and HERE.

Blanket scarves are one of my current favorite accessories.  I have a couple plaid beauties but I wanted a cozy soft solid in my rotation as well.  I wore this super soft gray blanket scarf on my recent trip to Dallas.  I imagined the stares I would get getting off the plane being all bundled up but the truth is that is can get cool there too.  I was glad I had it.

The next day it was supposed to be a high of 74 degrees but when my friend and I left her house that morning it was on the cooler side. I had an off the shoulder top on and decided to use my scarf as a wrap.  Her mom, her, and her 2 sisters instantly ordered one after seeing mine!  I’ve had a few requests to demo how to wear blanket scarves so be on the lookout for that soon!

I’m sure I’m not the first to think of this but I felt like a super genius when I thought of layering gloves under fingerless gloves.  I’ve had my eye on these pom pom gloves for awhile but avoided purchasing them because realistically I need full coverage where I live right now.  I had an “aha” moment realizing that I could make them functional by layering my e-tip gloves under them.  P.S. Once you have e-tip gloves you’ll never want to wear gloves without them again! (they allow you to use your smartphones while wearing them).  So, you’re welcome if you’re like me and never thought of that before 😉  Oh and the pom pom gloves are on major sale right now! (Take an additional 40% off the clearance price)

Lastly, I found this velour gray marled swing dress recently at TJ Maxx.  It was made by The Limited.  I was surprised to learn that the company has recently closed all of it’s stores and filed for bankruptcy.  I haven’t shopped their in awhile but when I had a job that required professional attire, it was definitely on my list for my work wardrobe.  I hate to hear of businesses like that closing.  So, I can’t link this exact cozy dress but HERE is a similar style.

I’m having a busy week of focusing on me – my injured shoulder, my body, my hair, and more.  I’m excited to share some of the new (to me) therapies I’m experimenting with soon!

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Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Him

 

Valentine’s Day is just a few weeks away!  My husband and I don’t make a huge deal about it but we do celebrate.  Typically we’ll go out to dinner and exchange gifts.  This year he’ll be out of town for work but we’ll probably just celebrate the weekend before.  It’s better that way anyway since restaurants won’t be as crowded and we won’t be limited to pre fixe menus many have for high traffic days like this.

I’ve put a list together of gift ideas for the special man in your life.  Some of these I’ve already given as gifts that I know he likes, some are things he’s asked for, and others are just some fun creative ideas.

  1. Putting Green Mat

For the golfer who may want to practice his putting at home indoors.  It can be used on carpet or hardwood.  It doesn’t appear that it’s recommended for permanent outdoor use but it seems like you could use it on concrete.  We have the perfect spot for this in our basement!

2. HyperChiller

I have not tried this but it looks super cool, no pun 😉  It claims to chill the beverage of your choice in 60 seconds, including hot coffee!  Perfect for those drinks that you may not want to water down with ice.  Think wine (that’s what I’m thinking!), whiskey, pop/soda, coffee, water, etc!  This may be kind of gift for me too!

3. FitBit Alta

Todd wanted one of these for Christmas and Santa delivered!  It has a number of features but one that he was most interested in is tracking his sleeping patterns.  Of course it also tracks his physical activity and previews his text messages.  I purchased his from Costco in a size Large and it came with interchangeable black and blue bands that he does use.  It’s available in a variety of colors HERE for a great deal!

4. Knit Bomber Jacket

Bomber jackets aren’t just in style for women!  I tend to steer away from picking out clothes for my man.  He’s very particular and rarely likes anything I choose.  Last year I tried to get him on board with the joggers trend and it was a no go!  I even tried a few different styles.  It just wasn’t for him.  So, I made sure to run this gift idea for my post by him to see if it’s something he would wear.  He said he would!  He asked me to buy him one.  These are just IDEAS Todd!  I have to leave a little suspense 🙂  THIS one also comes in black.  There are many different types including styles that are considered outerwear.

5. Nike Cortez Sneakers

While old school Adidas is certainly having a big moment for men, women, and children, these Nike Cortez sneakers are also making a comeback.  My 20 year old step son asked for a pair for Christmas.  When Todd and I went shopping for them he was contemplating getting a pair for himself as well.  He told me when they were in style when he was a kid that he always wanted a pair but couldn’t afford them.  Well he can certainly afford them now especially at THIS killer sale price!  He got super excited when he saw these made my list. They come in several colors.

 

6. Zafu Meditation Cushion

I’ll be honest, this gift may not be for everyone.  But, Todd has been talking about wanting to get into a meditation practice to start his day.  I know he’s done it a few times since the new year but I’m not sure that he’s in a regular routine yet.  I thought by creating a specific space where he can go and be comfortable might support his goals.  THIS cushion comes in other patterns and you can find others in solid colors and prints to suit his/your decor.

7. PowerBeats 2

This is another gift Todd had requested for Christmas and received.  They are wireless headphones that not only can be used for music, video, etc, but also for phone use.  He spends a good amount of his work day on the phone and has used an earpiece as long as I have known him.  Being hands-free and cord-free is convenient but now he has good quality sound in both ears.  The cord that you see hangs behind your neck.  They come in other colors and are on sale HERE.

8. Whiskey Decanter and Glass Set

If your man drinks whiskey, this is a beautiful set to display and serve it in.  Todd likes to have a glass once in awhile and this would be a gorgeous piece in our home.  I discovered it a few days ago while researching housewarming gifts on the Nordstrom website for a friend and immediately thought this would be a a great gift and look stunning in our home.  It has since sold out there but I found it for you HERE!  If you don’t know, copper is on trend and huge favorite of mine!  Ok is this another gift for me? Ha!  I don’t drink whiskey but if it’s going to be in my house I’d prefer it be displayed in this beauty!

Whatever you decide, remember it’s the thought that counts right?  Don’t stress yourself out.  If you aren’t a risk taker, play it safe.  He’ll love you just the same!  XO

Magnolia Market // Off the Shoulder White Blouse // Pom Pom Earrings

J.O.A Blouse, similar HERE and HERE // Rag & Bone Jeans, similar HERE // BCBGeneration Shoes // Forever 21 Earrings // Stella & Dot Choker // Kendra Scott Hand Chain, similar HERE

A good friend of mine recently moved back to Dallas after living in Singapore for 4 years.  Last month she told me she wanted me to come visit to help her furniture shop.  I don’t know if she really thought I’d come but I’m so glad I did!  We covered a lot of ground in the 4 days I was there this long weekend.  We started with a mini road trip to Magnolia Market at the Silos in Waco.

The design of Magnolia Market is what you would expect, amazing!!  Just so darn cute inside and out.  The market itself has tons of little treasures for the home.  Well maybe not tons!  You can get through it in about 15 minutes not counting waiting in line for the cashier.  We didn’t buy much but we did get some inspiration for our future shopping endeavors.  Be sure to scroll all the way through this post to see additional photos of the design and decor.

It was in the low 70’s and I was super comfortable in this off the shoulder white blouse with tie bow details on the sleeves.  White blouses are a huge trend for this spring but I’m not talking your preppy button down.  What will make them on trend are the details.  Ruffles, bows, slits, one shoulder, cold shoulder, off the shoulder……you get the idea!  I found mine at TJ Maxx last week and just saw it at one today.  HERE and HERE are strikingly similar versions.

I have been searching for the perfect pom pom earrings and was delighted to find these cuties!  They come in other colors as well.  They are so lightweight and just super fun.

Magnolia also has a bakery, with a line out the door I might add (it moves quick and is super worth it).  They also have several very cool and tasty food trucks.  They have plenty of outdoor seating as well as outdoor games for kids or anyone that wants to hang out.  If you are ever in the area, it’s totally worth a visit just for the experience.  Don’t forget to keep scrolling down to see more of this beautiful place!

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I have to give photo cred to my bestie.  It’s not often I have someone available to take photos for me.  She totally gets me and actually offered before I even asked!

I had the most delish smoothie here (Apple Spice), that I’ve been remaking at home ever since!

 

 

NAIAS // Slip Dress // Velvet Lace Up Flats // Velvet Bomber Jacket

Vera Wang Slip Dress, similar HERE and HERE // Express Sweater // Velvet Lace Up Flats // H&M Handbag, similar HERE // Givenchy Earrings, similar HERE // Stella & Dot Choker

This spring my husband and I are considering selling our cars and finding something new or at least newer.  We bought both of our cars used and want to move onto something newer before we get into too many maintenance issues due to the age of the cars.

Both of our cars have been great and given us little to no trouble (knock on wood!).  In fact, there is a chance that I’ll get the same car but just a little newer.  We’ve also talked about looking into leasing this time.  Todd works from home when he’s not flying around the country or world.  The most miles he put on his car are his trips to and from the airport about 25 miles from our home.  My days of long road trips have ended, especially since we sold our cottage last year, so a lease could be a good idea.

In addition, my step daughter recently turned 16 and we will likely be buying or leasing her a car this spring.  Todd has taken her out to look at cars once but there is more looking and research to be done.  So far the Jeep Compass and Ford Escape are on the list.

I had the privilege of partnering with SheBuysCars to attend the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) here in Detroit this week for Press Days which allows the media to come and view all of the new products and technology on display before it opens to the general public.  (Be sure to scroll to the bottom for a chance to win 2 free tickets to the Detroit Auto Show.)

I went into it excited to see what options will be available to us later this year.  I wouldn’t say I’m that into cars but I do drive them and know what I like and what I don’t like.  Of course style is a big factor for me but I’m also drawn to the latest and greatest technology.  There was plenty of that at NAIAS!

To me, the most exciting part of the show was all the talk of autonomous, also known as self driving, cars!  Companies like Google have been testing these cars on the road in a few U.S. cities.  For now they have test drivers behind the wheel to provide feedback and in case of emergency.  The company behind the Google project is Waymo which stands for a new way forward in mobility.

Michigan Governor, Rick Snyder, kicked off the Waymo press conference where information was shared regarding the design, safety, and testing of their fleet.  They unveiled their newest vehicle in the fleet, a Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Minivan.  They’ll be adding 100 of thesee to road very soon.

It’s incredible to think of the efficiency that these cars could bring to every day people like you and I.  Think of the time you could save everyday if you weren’t behind the wheel having to focus on the road.  Think of your elderly grandparents that may not or should not be driving and the independence and safety this would offer them to get them where they need to go.

The software and sensors on these cars are incredible!  They can detect and anticipate movements with their sensors up to 2 football fields away in all directions!  How’s that for safety?  I don’t know any human that could do that.  In fact, 94% of all auto accidents are the result of human error.

The testing of these vehicles has really ramped over the last year and while Waymo seems to be the furthest along in their testing there are several other companies with concepts for future autonomous cars, including Hyundai.  Our group was able to view their Ioniq concept car on a private tour of their display with the company.

I was also able to experience supplier, Denso’s, self driving technology through virtual reality.  The scenario was a 3D experience of me in an autonomous car driving down a country road demonstrating the technology’s ability to detect deer and other objects in the road to avoid an accident.  Very cool!

It wasn’t all business at the NAIAS.  I had a little fun too playing an oldie but goody race car game, Gran Tourismo, at the Hyundai Racing display.  I’m about as average as I remember being though I was told I did pretty well by the staff and observers!

As long as I’ve been driving I’ve had a dream of owning a convertible so of course I was immediately drawn to this beauty.  A friend of mine had a Mercedes convertible that he let me tool around in when I would visit him in Naples, Florida in the winter.  It’s a fun little ride.  It’s not super practical here in Michigan but maybe someday I’ll get one when I retire to a warmer climate!

Socialite Velvet Bomber Jacket, similar HERE and HERE // Minkpink Dress, similar HERE // Catherine Malandrino Boots // Shinola Watch // Stella & Dot Choker (black) // Stella & Dot Choker (gold) // Nordstrom Initial Pendant

I currently have a SUV, a BMW X5, but Todd recently asked if I thought I could get by with a sedan instead.  The main reason we went with an SUV before is for our trips to and from our former cottage.  It has also come in handy as we have been settling into our new house to haul various items home.  Could I get by without one?  Probably.  On this particular day BMW didn’t have their full line displayed in their exhibit but I did take a liking to the M6 Coupe and Convertible.  A girl can dream!

A brand that I knew very little about before this week was Hyundai.  They graciously hosted our group for a private lunch in their executive suite and gave us private tours of their exhibits. Their mantra is “better”.  They seem to be doing all they can to make a better car for a better consumer experience.  I was impressed to hear that a portion of every purchase goes to Hope on Wheels, an organization dedicated to fighting childhood cancer.

Their luxury brand, Genesis, is one that I honestly hadn’t heard of before.  All of their models have received the top safety ratings in their respective classes.  There is literally nothing missing in these cars, including holographic windshield display, reclining rear seats, and a trunk that opens within 30 seconds when you stand in front of it with the key fob.  Complimentary valet service is available when you have maintenance needs. Your car will be picked up wherever you are and you will be provided with a Genesis loaner.

All G90 purchases come with a one year complimentary Amazon Prime membership and an Echo which integrates with the car (Think “Alexa please start the car” when you are in your house!)  I’m kind of geeky when it comes to new technology, especially for cars.

It was exciting to see the new innovations and dip my toe in the water for our car buying adventures in the coming months!  If you are planning on heading to the Detroit NAIAS you might as well go for free!  Enter the drawing below by this Friday for a chance to win tickets.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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*  This post was sponsored by SheBuysCars.com.  The opinions stated are completely my own.

 

Lace Up Sweatshirt

Nanette Lepore Sweatshirt // Express Leggings, similar HERE // Fair Isle Socks, similar HERE

When it’s 11 degrees outside it’s hard to find the motivation to move from the fire!  I actually did venture out for a bit today but only for the essentials!

I found this lace up sweatshirt at TJ Maxx on clearance the other day but don’t worry I found it HERE for you in all sizes and another color!  I love all of the details: lace trimmed sleeves, thumb holes, and lace up back with grommets.  It’s a longer length so it’s perfect to wear with leggings.  I often wear muscle tees to Pilates and this would be the perfect cover up to and from the studio.

Put on some cozy socks like THESE, grab a blanket, and snuggle with your favorite furry (or non-furry!) friends!  I’ve had a couple days home alone this week while my hubby was traveling for business so the pups and I have gotten some serious cuddle time in 🙂

One of my stops today was to another TJ Maxx.  It’s right next to Costco so it’s essential right? Haha!  I left with a swim cover up and a sweater.  I had to laugh.  I crave the beach but, until then, give me all the cozy knits I can find!

I just can’t with this little guy.  I call this pose the Costanza (yes a Seinfeld reference for any fans out there!).

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Slouchy Beanie // Winter Wedge Booties

 

David & Young Slouchy Beanie, similar HERE // The North Face Parka, similar HERE // SOREL booties, similar HERE // Mittens, similar HERE // Levi’s Jeans, similar HERE // Etsy Blanket Scarf, similar HERE // Ray-Ban Sunglasses

I have been wanting a slouchy hat for a few years and I finally pulled the trigger and bought one when I found this super cute one at Nordstrom Rack last month.  It isn’t featured online but HERE is a similar style.  I also bought a cashmere one that I’m trying to decide whether or not to keep.  I’ve been going a little bananas with all the beanie buying lately!  Unlike other hats I buy, I actually do get a lot of wear out of them so at least there’s that!

This look gives you a good idea of what I look like when I’m running errands if I’m not in yoga pants.  These skinny boyfriend jeans are a few years old but HERE is a similar style.  Boyfriend jeans are great because they give you a little extra room which means extra comfort!  I usually size down because I don’t like them to look too sloppy but the cut has a lot to do with that too.

I’m obsessed with these Sorel wedge booties.  They are waterproof and made to withstand the cold.  I bought mine last year but HERE are some others that I’m swooning over.  They have a slightly dressy look to them but casual enough for every day.   I’ve been known to wear them out to dinner if it’s snowy out!

I found this jacket at The North Face Outlet last winter.  I was always skeptical of lightweight or packable down jackets actually keeping you warm but this one really does.  It’s nice to not have the extra bulk especially when running in and out of stores.  I had been wanting a car length coat and was happy to find one in this style.  I do have longer winter down coats that I like but love this 3/4 length for bouncing around town.  HERE is a similar style.

I wear my plaid blanket scarf almost everyday.  Mine is from an Etsy seller that no longer carries this one but HERE is an almost identical version.

It was so super cold and windy today.  I’ve had to go and fetch our Christmas tree that’s waiting for trash pick up out of our driveway and street a few times today!  I’m not saying I like the cold or spend any extended amount of time in it but if you are dressed properly it helps you get through it.

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Open Back Sweatshirt // Stirrup Legwarmers

Splits59 Sweatshirt, similar HERE and HERE // Fabletics Leggings // Lululemon Stirrup Leg Warmers, similar HERE // Z by Zella Sports Bra, similar HERE // Stella & Dot Choker // Ribbon Elastic Headband, similar HERE // Flat Resistance Band, similar HERE

It’s that time of year where gyms and studios are packed more than usual with people with new year resolutions to get back in shape.  For me, getting fit and healthy is a weekly resolution.  Sure I had a few treats that I don’t normally eat during the holidays but for the most part I maintained my normal workout schedule and tried to stay on track with my healthy eating as much as possible.

It’s important to find exercise that you enjoy to keep you motivated to stick with it.  Another way is to wear something that you feel good in.  I don’t spend a lot of time putting my outfits together when I work out in the morning but I do make sure I have a variety of pieces that I can quickly grab to mix and match.

I found this Splits59 open back sweatshirt at TJ Maxx today but HERE and HERE are similar styles.  It’s lightweight and breathable so it’s enough to keep you warm but not too hot.

I recently bought this Z by Zella sports bra at Nordstrom Rack and was surprised to find that rang up as a penny!  THIS ONE isn’t a penny but it is on sale!

I’m usually barefoot in Pilates.  Sometimes I wear socks with gripper bottoms but I often wear leg warmers that I pull over my heels for added warmth.  These are nice because they have stirrups built in.  HERE is a similar pair.

The biggest things holding me back the last few month have been injuries.  They don’t hold me back from working out but I’ve had to modify how I work out.  I’ve had some pain in my shoulder for a few years now but it has worsened quite a bit recently.

It’s pretty evident I have a strain or tear of some sort in my rotator cuff.  I have been avoiding going to the doctor but did call an orthopedic specialist who informed me that I could not be seen until I get an MRI or CT Scan. I’m trying some other methods before I decide to go that route.  I’ve tried Rolfing and am going again later this month.  I’ve seen my Chiropractor and received laser treatment.  I need to go back for more.  I’ve also been advised to try some exercises at home to strengthen it.

These flat resistance bands are great for stretching and resistance training.  I’ve been using them to strengthen the muscles in my rotator cuff.  You literally can use them anywhere.  Tie them around a door knob or fold over a stair rail.  They don’t take up much space and are lightweight which makes them perfect for traveling.

I’ve also been using my band to stretch my foot.  I tore my plantar fascia a few weeks ago and I did end up seeing the doctor for that after severe bruising on my arch, both sides of my ankle bones, and the top of my foot.  The doctor advised me to avoid weight bearing stretching for a few weeks encouraged seated stretching.  Today was my first day trying some weight bearing stretches and not having to modify any of my pilates movements for my foot.

I have gone through most of my life injury free so making modifications to how I work out is definitely a transition and, to me, a sign of getting older.  Listening to your body is important and something I am constantly reminded of through my Pilates practice.  I believe I have a decent tolerance for pain and, in the past, have fought through it.  I’ve learned that that can often lead to prolonged recovery or worse, further damage.

Find something that keeps you going for back for more, don’t give up, wear something that makes you feel good, and listen to your body!

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Jeweled Beanie // Camel Belt Tie Wool Coat // Blanket Scarf

Natasha Beanie // Modena Scarf, similar HERE // Faux Fur Mittens, similar HERE // DKNY Coat, similar HERE // Rag & Bone Jeans, similar HERE // Adidas Sneakers // French Connection Handbag // Asos Sweater, similar HERE // Ray-Ban Sunglasses, similar HERE

I sometimes get in a rut of grabbing my go to black puffer jacket.  I have some great coats and am going to make more of an effort to get them into my rotation.  This DKNY camel belt tie wool coat is a classic staple for anyone’s wardrobe.  It started out as my “work” coat but really it can be dressed up or down.  I’ve had it for years and you can still find this style and color today.  HERE is an example.

This jeweled beanie is on major sale and comes in other colors.  It’s cute enough to consider it jewelry and part of your outfit even when indoors!

HERE is a blanket scarf that will give you the same effect.  I found mine at Nordstrom Rack.  Why not add a little (faux) furry flair to your mittens?  These are from Marshall’s but HERE is a similar pair.

My destroyed boyfriend jeans are uber comfy.  HERE is a similar style.  These pink suede Adidas sneakers are sold out but HERE they are in gray suede which I also love.  Since we are snow free for the time being I thought I’d get some more wear out of these beauties.

I hope you had a wonderful night ringing in the new year.  The end of the year is often a time of reflection for people.  I have a lot to be thankful for in 2016  including the completion of our new home and time spent in it entertaining family and friends, travel to Australia, and the beginning of this new adventure, my blog.  I’m excited for what 2017 has in store for all of us!  Happy New Year!!