Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A word from Whitley...

Hello lovelies!  I'm Whitley, and my little corner of creativity is Simply Whit in a Sequined Life, where I like to share my personal style and obsession for anything plaid...
or striped....
or polka dotted...
I just really love patterns :D
I am so excited to be guest blogging for Elizabeth while she enjoys time with her little munchkin (isn't he ADORABLE??), but I know she's excited to be getting back with you all pretty soon!
When she asked me to guest blog for her, I was of course happy to say yes, afterall she did blog for me while I was gallivanting about Germany!  But then I had to think of what I was going to share with you all....I thought about coming up with a genius complicated outfit with lots of patterns and colors, and then I thought about writing a "How-to" style post like how to style stripes for work...And then I thought why not  mix a little bit of both worlds??
Challenge accepted. :)
On most days, I stay pretty buttoned up (no pun intended) because as a teacher, I must look professional.  On the weekends, however, I am more than happy to ditch the pencil skirts and blazers for something easy and comfortable while running errands (I once went to the laundromat in, why did I do that, again???).  Although I am eager to be as comfortable as possible, I still want to want to look put together (I am a girl, after all)! :D
With the weather (THANKFULLY) getting warmer, thin knits and shorts have finally come out to play...Guess it's time to start shaving my legs on a daily basis!  (Who else has glowing white carpets for legs??)
The Deets:
striped top:  Target (in stores), similar here & here | gingham:  Gap | shorts:  American Eagle, similar
crossbody bag:  Louis Vuitton, love this one | shoes:  Keds, similar | hat:  Target, similar here & here
flower brooch: c/o Crystal Feather Boutiquesunglasses:  Kate Spade, similar

If you are like me, and have to dress up for work, and would like let your hair down on the weekends; or if you would just like to step your comfy weekend outfits up a notch, it's a lot easier than you think!  
 Let's do a breakdown of my outfit:
-basic tee
-button down
-crossbody bag
Pretty simple pieces that I'm sure most, if not all of you, already have in your closets!  I took two colors from the same color family (the blush striped shirt and the coral shorts) and then broke them up by using a second color (the mint gingham).  Added a crossbody bag for comfort (anyone else's shoulders get tired from carrying a giant tote all the time??), threw on some sneakers for comfort, and topped it off with a hat to keep my hair from getting tangled by the wind.  The mint flower brooch was a fun piece to add to the hat because it just so happened to match my gingham shirt. :D
This look would work with just about any colors; don't have a mint colored shirt?  Try a navy or a yellow, or even another pink shirt in a different shade!  Or try pairing different shades of blue and purple together like this outfit.
This spring, I've really been drawn to playing with different shades in the same color family.  While I still love mixing contrasting colors together (sometimes with not-so classy results....oy!), the more simple the color palettes, the more appeal they've had for me.  Something I've slowly learned this past year in blogging is that you don't have to pair three different colors together to appear fashionable; more often than not, less is more!
Thank you so much for having me here on The Book of Leisure, today, it's been fun taking over for Elizabeth! :)  Stop by Simply Whit in a Sequined Life to say hi, and you can always follow along on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. :)
Stay Classy!
Bloglovin' / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter Pinterest

Monday, April 14, 2014

Stephanie's newest obsession...

outfit details: earrings - Zarah Grace, lace tank - J.Crew old {similar <- 40% right now!}, pants - Target, pumps - Jessica Simpson old {similar, similar}, clutch - Clare Vivier, sunnies - Escada old {similar}, antler necklace - House of Harlow old but she's got similar pieces, watch - Michael Kors, all bracelets - Anna Beck.

Hey guys, so since Elizabeth just had her precious little one, I am guest posting for her today! I'm sure you noticed she looked a little like me in these pictures ;) I've never guest posted before, but when Elizabeth asked I was eager to give it a try. I'm a newbie to the blogging world, so I hope you find my insight interesting and will hop over to my blog and check it out []. Feel free to leave me any comments, suggestions, or even criticism (as long as its constructive :) ). Thanks again for the opportunity to post on your blog Elizabeth! And congrats again on your little angel!
If you follow me on Instagram [@stylemesteph] you've noticed an influx of statement earring posts... well here's why... I have recently been introduced to the Zarah Grace Boutique and, consider yourself warned, I quickly became obsessed with all of Kecia's pieces! Her statement earrings and necklaces are simply to die for, and so reasonably priced that buying just one is not an option! I received these white statement earrings (along with a few other goodies soon to be featured) just last week and I want to wear them with EVERYTHING! These statement earrings are such a fun alternative to a statement necklace. They really dress up whatever you're wearing whether it's a lace cotton tank and some military knit pants like me, or stunning black dress that hugs you in all the right places. Some say the "ear party" is quickly becoming the new "arm party" so feel free to stack these beauties with some of your existing pieces for a completely new and unique look! The Zarah Grace Boutique is also on Instagram and Kecia often posts exclusive sales on her page. Follow her ladies, and check out her store, seriously, you will not regret it!

Showering our boy...

Outfits 1, 2, & 4: ASOS Maternity; Outfit 3: Maxi-Target, Kimono-Bumpstyle Box

One of the best things about getting ready for our sweet little Hugh boy
was getting to celebrate his arrival with our awesome friends and family.
J and I are so blessed that God has put such incredible people in our lives.
I can't wait for everyone to meet our little guy, he's one loved fella:)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Mommy Wardrobe Staples

Hey guys! 
First, I cannot thank everyone enough for all of the love the past couple of weeks.
Jonathan are absolutely obsessed with our little boy. 
I can't wait to pick back up with the blog over the next couple of weeks,
but in the meantime I do have a few more awesome bloggers I'd like to share!
Today I'm so excited for you to hear from stylish mama Lauren, of Edit by Lauren.
Her style is so effortless, yet put together. Enjoy!

As a wardrobe stylist to lots of mothers and as a momma of toddler twins myself, I
have learned over the years the art of dressing stylishly on the fly. I know from personal
experience that for most of us moms, mornings are rushed and that our time getting 
dressed is anything from quiet and peaceful. Thus, having the “essentials” readily
available is a must to look effortlessly put-together when life feels quite the opposite!
That being said, I’m excited to share with you my “top 5 mommy wardrobe staples,” 
in hopes of alleviating some of stress while getting dressed each day. Like I always tell 
my clients, it doesn’t take a closet full of the most trend-setting clothes to look pulled-
together. Instead, it truly just takes a handful of the right items…items that fit well, that 
you love and feel fabulous wearing.

Without further ado, here’s my list…

1. A great fitting pair of dark-wash skinny or straight-leg jeans. Where-ever 
you are in your motherhood journey, and no matter how much weight you would 
ideally like to lose, you NEED a pair of jeans that fit and feel GREAT now. This 
doesn’t mean that you need to spend a ton of money on a designer pair if you are 
in the process of losing baby weight, but it does mean that it is important to find a 
pair that you feel fab wearing where you are currently. I love skinny and straight 
legs because they pair well with long and blousy tops and tunics, as well as with 
tees, they can be worn with flats, boots, wedges or heels, and because they give 
you the option of cuffing the hem for a cropped look, perfect for Spring/Summer 
wear. Look for a dark wash rinse {the most flattering color on the legs} that is a 
mid-rise with some stretch in the fabric. {My go-to favs :: Old Navy, Gap, Paige and AG.}

2. Flattering basic tees. These are the building blocks of your wardrobe, so don’t 
underestimate the power of investing in a few super-flattering tees. Look for 
something longer in length {so that it won’t ride up when you are bending over 
to care for your children} and one that a tad blousy {so that it doesn’t cling to 
every “unwanted” curve}. {My go-to favs :: J.Crew’s Vintage Wash Tees and Anthropologie.}
Tee: J.Crew

3. Scarves. Scarves add instant “chic” to the simplest of outfits, and are a 
quick, flattering way to dress up a jeans and tee outfit. If you are a new mom 
uncomfortable with your chest and/or mid-section, scarves are an easy way to 
hide these areas while looking super-stylish. Look for long scarves in breathable, 
light-weight materials for Spring/Summer. Scarves are also an easy, affordable 
way to incorporate trendy colors and patterns into your wardrobe in a subtle 
way. Think about adding some stripes, florals and bright colors into your scarf 
collection for Spring. {My go-to fav’s :: Stella & Dot, Target and Nordstrom.}
Scarf: Stella & Dot

4. A long pendant necklace. I tell my clients all the time that a pendant necklace is 
the most flattering piece of jewelry a gal can own. It draws the eye up and down, 
creating length visually, and is especially flattering to balance out blousy tops, 
that are in-style and that many of us momma’s adore! Look for a necklace that has
a bit of “weight” in the pendant, to keep it hanging in place, and choose whatever 
metal you prefer, silver or gold. If you are an accessory lover, consider adding 
several colorful necklaces to your wardrobe for Spring. These are easy to throw 
on with a tee, blouse or casual dress, as well as for dressier occasions. {My go-to 
favs :: Kendra Scott, Stella & Dot, but these necklaces are available everywhere at 
every price-point!}

Necklace: Stella & Dot

5. A neutral flat. I’ll be honest, I was never much of a “flats-girl” until I had kids. 
Now they are my go-to staple for running errands and play dates. The trick is to 
own a go-to “neutral” pair that takes the guess-work out of what shoes to select in 
the morning. By neutral, I mean a metallic or a camel brown to nude tone. Any of 
these shades pair with anything from black to gray to various shades of brown to 
any color. You won’t have to think for a second if they “match” your outfit, and
they make packing for a trip a breeze, since they can pair with anything in your 
suitcase! {My go-to favs :: Sam Edelman, Target, DV by Dulce Vita.}

When you own these five pieces, you’ll be able to mix-and-match countless looks 
without overthinking it. Pull on a pair of skinnies, throw on a fun tee {layering with a 
long cardi or cropped jacket if need be}, accessorize with a scarf or long necklace and 
slip on pair of comfy ballet flats or flat sandals and you’ll look and feel effortlessly 
stylish, while being comfortable enough to chase your kiddos through the adventures of the day!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Amy's mom moment...

Hello friends!!! I am extremely excited to be sharing with you all today on the blog! My name is Amy and I'm a blessed wife &amp; momma of 3!! Here are my 3 little blessings: 

Selah 7, Soelle 4, and Silas 2

I must admit that motherhood has changed my life to the max! It's made me a better person in so many ways and although it has it's challenging moments, I wouldn't trade it for anything!! I was blessed with 2 girls back to back and when the hubby and I decided to try one more time for the boy I'm extremely glad we did!! My sweet Silas is an answered prayer and a miracle! When I was pregnant with the girls we decided to wait till they were born to find out what the sex of the baby was, but with my 3rd and last pregnancy we decided to switch it up and found out early what we were having. I remember when they told us we were having a boy that I cried so much! I was an emotional mess!!! I was in utter shock and sheer joy that God heard our prayers yet again and gave us the boy we wanted and were praying for! Silas' pregnancy went well and was pretty easy until the last month. We had gone for our routine visits and in one of those visits they had noticed in the ultrasound that his heart wasn't beating like it should. I won't lie...I was devastated and scared!! I had never experienced this with my girls pregnancies. Those visits then became more and more frequent as they couldn't figure out why his heart all of sudden was going out of rhythm. When he was born he was taken quickly from me to the cardiologist and placed in newborn intensive care unit. I was so worried about my baby. I felt so helpless. I remember praying to God and asking him to take care of my baby and heal his heart. I had C-sections with all my pregnancies. So it was a bit of challenge to go see Silas in the NICU, but I'd do it! Pain and all I'd have my hubby wheel me in so that I could nurse him and just hold my tiny miracle. 

He was connected to wires all the time and under doctor supervision constantly. He had a rare arrhythmia and when we went home he had to leave with a heart monitor. 

He was under doctor care and saw a  cardiologist for the first year of his life. By the grace of God and power of prayer Silas' heart, by the age of 1, was found functioning great and clear of any arrhythmia's. 

My hubby and I decided our family was complete when Silas was born. Although adoption has always been our wish, that could be a possibility in the future! We'd love another boy via adoption. Physically the c-sections were taking a toll on me so that was a big determining factor for us to stop and close the "shop". Lol! I'm forever grateful for my 3 miracles! God gives good gifts and I'm completely in love with my children. If I could give Elizabeth a few words of advice it'd be to enjoy her new baby boy to the max, take lots of pictures, hold him as much as you can, and remember to take things easy as you adjust to your new lil blessing! The house may be a mess or you may not be able to accomplish it all in a day and that's okay! Take it day by day and enjoy it all, because they grow up SO fast! In a blink of an eye they are newborns going to the age of 5! I can't believe how fast time flies when you're having fun!  Motherhood is a lot of work but completely worth it! It's love at first sight! A love that you never thought could happen so instantly but once you meet your bundle of joy you're hooked for life!! There are sacrifices we make on a daily basis as moms, but freely give just to see a smile on their face! Whether it be reading book #4 because they don't want to go to bed and are stalling! LOL! That happens when they get a lil' older. Here are a few snap shots of my sweet family and handsome Silas! 

Thanks for joining in friends and a BIG congratulations to my dear friend Elizabeth on her new bundle of JOY!!! 

XO, Amy