Favorite Finds: Band Tees, Baby!

October 16, 2018

One of my favorite items to incorporate into my wardrobe is a good band tee. Perennially available at a bevy of retailers whether you search for a true vintage option at your local thrift shop or order a "vintage-inspired" version from a large retailer, they are surprisingly versatile no matter the trends or the season.

For an easy take on the look, try denim and your favorite pair of booties with a chambray or plaid layered over your tee. Swap out for cut-offs and Converse when the temps rise. For a more fashion forward twist, a bomber jacket and a calf length skirt for Fall. What about a knit blazer thrown over your shoulders with a pair of dark washed denim and good heels for a night out (if Carrie Bradshaw could do it, why not you?) Don't forget the added edge it gives athleisure whether you are leaving the gym or want to appear as if you just worked up a sweat. Finally, a simple pair of cropped, flare denim to complement front-tuck styling of your favorite band tee works just as well. One little tee, so many ways to update items you probably currently own!

Below I'm showing a few of my current favorite band tees at a variety of price points. How would you style the look? Let me know in the comments below!

Queen Tee, Revolve

Beatles Tee, Urban Outfitters

Led Zeppelin Tee, Free People

Johnny Cash Tee, Target

The Best Spooky (Not Scary) Halloween Movies

October 15, 2018
I am here to provide a list of my very favorite spooky (not scary) movies that you need to watch annually if you have a pulse and it's October. They are spooky (not scary) NOT because I have small children, but because I am infantile myself and do not enjoy true horror films. I do not have the constitution for them. I watch one and I will actually lose sleep for weeks. No 'It,' no 'Annabelle,' no thank you. I make the exception with one or two Hitchcock movies every year because no one beats his mastery of suspense (and there was so much less gore in the classics). So that being said...drumroll please....my list of Spooky (not Scary) movies in no particular order:

1. 'Hocus Pocus': I was born in the late 80s, grew up in the 90s and, frankly, if you haven't watched this movie every year since you can remember Halloween then I don't think you will find me all that relatable. This movie just makes me feel like it's Halloween. I love everything about it except for the fact that the cat's name is THACKERY and not ZACHARY. That is more unbelievable than the premise of three fabulous witches coming back from the dead to collect eternal youth. I love you, SJP. I love you, Bette Midler. Nothing beats the mid-movie song and dance moment and you know it.

2. 'The Addams Family': Another classic for those raised in the 90s, the dark humor and sarcasm in this movie just get better the older I get. The casting director nailed it with this one; Angelica Houston is Halloween #beautygoals and Christina Ricci brings out the evil little sister in all of us with her turn as the macabre Wednesday Addams. It's dark and strange and funny all at the same time and I love it. I can't tell if my kids will like this movie one day or just roll their eyes and tell me it's too weird.

3. 'Clue': The "original" Murder Mystery party, this whodunnit movie is solid gold in the comedy arena. It's the perfect mix of high-energy dialogue, slapstick comedy, campiness and Tim Curry. I don't think anyone has turned a board game into a movie I love more. Ok, I don't think anyone has turned another board game into a movie. But either way, this one stands the test of time and is just FUN to watch. Bonus points if you can turn the viewing into your own Murder Mystery dinner complete with costumes (extra points if you can incorporate all those great coats the women wear).

4. 'Ghostbusters': I don't care how dated the graphics are, I don't care how silly some of the plot-line is, Ghostbusters is a must watch during the Halloween season at our house. Isn't this the movie that introduced you to Bill Murray aka the kooky uncle of our generation? I stayed at the Biltmore a few years ago on a work trip and kept my eye out for Slimer the entire time.

5. 'The Nightmare Before Christmas': It's a mash-up of two of the best holidays, the songs are catchy, the characters are iconic and Tim Burton is at the helm of this one. I actually thought this movie would be way too scary for my little ones, but my daughter is beyond obsessed with Jack Skellington and Sally (she far prefers them to any Disney princess, she was a skeleton for Halloween last year and is essentially the next Helena Bonham Carter) so this one is a must watch in our house.

6. 'Casper': Wait, did they only make fun Halloween movies in the 90s? I grew up with this one as a holiday staple and loved it mostly because Christina Ricci was the coolest and Devon Sawa was a dream boat (spoiler alert: Devon Sawa peaked in the 90s).

Do you watch these movies or do you love the thrill of a REAL scare? Am I missing any of your favorites? Grab your popcorn and sound off in the comments below!

Friday Favorites 10.12.18

October 12, 2018

Favorite Treat: It wouldn't be Autumn without a trip to Yates for hot cider and a donut. The best part is, there is a Yates shop in Canterbury Village which is not far at all from our new house! If you're headed to the Rochester Hills location, I would suggest making a morning out of it and walking the nature trail; the colors are beyond stunning right now in Michigan.

Favorite Look: There's that sweet spot in the season where you can wear all your cute, third piece layers without having to cover them with a heavy winter coat and you can wear your suede boots without having to worry about them getting damaged from snow and salt. I wish I could find somewhere to live that felt like this year round (although maybe I wouldn't appreciate it as much if I did). I love this cape and these boots for this exact moment of the season.

Favorite Quote: From one of my all-time favorite writers, F. Scott Fitzgerald, this quote sums up my feelings about the season perfectly. It's finally cool enough for scarves, boots, hats, sweaters and all other things cozy and I only hope it's here to stay. Maybe it's the lifelong student in me, but Fall always feels like new beginnings, even more than the start of a new calendar year each January (image found via Pinterest).

Favorite Find: I'm seriously coveting this sherpa lined, buffalo plaid jacket that I found at H&M. Mustard is so on trend right now, but with such a classic silhouette and print I feel like it isn't trying too hard to be of the moment. So perfect with dark denim, your favorite white tee and booties for a casual look OR you could mix it up with a calf length accordion-pleated skirt and some fresh white kicks for a fun twist.

Favorite Song: 'Fare Thee Well' by Oscar Isaac and Marcus Mumford from the film 'Inside Llewyn Davis.' This one just sounds like Fall and is the perfect melancholy, folky song to be your backdrop for a rainy afternoon with a yummy candle burning and a cozy blanket on.

Favorite Finds: Trend Right Shoes (and the Hack that Helps)

October 11, 2018

There are two things I love: investing in a classic piece that will last me a lifetime and finding an amazing bargain on a trendy piece that I know I'll only get a couple seasons out of before I can't believe I ever wore it.

Recently I think stores like Target and H&M have been on point in their accessory selection. I am super impressed with the trend conscious shoes, handbags and hats I am finding and for such low prices it's easy to achieve the cute look you want without having to break the budget.

The only problem I have with this kind of footwear is that sometimes you end up sacrificing quality and comfort for price. There's an easy fix for that though! When I fall in love with a pair of shoes from a fast fashion line, I size up half a size and slip in a pair of insoles from my Nikes or other running shoes. Presto! You now have the cutest AND most comfortable shoes on the block. And you can use the money you saved to buy some bragging rights for what a thrifty shopper you are.

Below I've included links to the style pictured as well as a few other pairs that I'm coveting for the season, all under $50.

These Free People look-a-likes.
The perfect white booties for Fall.
The cutest fur lined mules.
These studded mules (that will go with EVERYTHING).
Ruffled flats in the color of the season.
Leopard sock booties that are surprisingly versatile.

Trick or Treat?: $4 Halloween Entryway Update

October 08, 2018

Fall really is the beginning of such a magical time of the year, isn't it? It seems to me like my calendar fills up so quickly as soon as the leaves start turning, but with most of the obligations being celebratory, Fall just feels FESTIVE. With festivities come a rotating door of decorations to pull together since the holidays are really lined up back to back to back and that can add up pretty quickly. I know I'm not the only one who gets sucked down the rabbit hole at Target where every item is perfectly priced to reasonably "just throw in the cart!"- that is, until I have a cart filled with 25+ "perfectly priced" items.

I was flipping through a few catalogs and scrolling Pinterest and I kept stumbling upon fun silhouette vinyls to decorate the walls for Halloween (think flying witches, spider webs, bats, etc). I like that this is a slightly more subtle twist on spooky decor. Determined to stray from my usual decorating/spending habits, I grabbed the scissors, $0.69 worth of black poster board and a quick Google search for "free bat template." In about 15 minutes I had updated my entryway for October! In fact with the small white pumpkins costing only $0.69 each at Trader Joe's (and the rest of the items being things I already own and use on my entryway table), the entire update cost less than $4.00! No tricks, THAT'S a treat. Happy Haunting!

Friday Favorites: 10.5.18

October 05, 2018
Rounding up my favorite things from this week before cozying up on another cold, rainy night with a movie and a warm cup of cocoa with my guy. Tonight we are watching the "new" 'Jurassic World' movie which may have been a summer blockbuster, but in all reality it usually takes us about 6 months after anything is released to finally see it. I'm ok with it though; nothing beats being able to press pause for snack breaks and last I checked, they frown upon you taking your bra off in the middle of a movie theater. I'll take a delay in viewing for comfort any day of the week.

Favorite Day: I got to tag along with my favorite preschooler on his apple orchard field trip today and we had a blast. I love making memories with my little ones and today was one for the books. Tractor rides, apple picking, petting zoo, hay maze, cider and donuts. From start to finish it was filled with the good stuff and even more special to get one on one time with my first baby.

Favorite Song: Mumford & Sons, "Guiding Light." Love it, love them, love that they released dates for their tour next Spring and I'll see you at the concert.

Favorite Find: I rarely meet an oversized sweater I don't like and H&M is certainly NOT disappointing in that category this season. Check out this little gem (a steal at $13) that would look perfect over a light washed pair of distressed denim and also looks long enough to cover your bum in leggings. While you're there, check out the selection of jackets (then immediately add-to-cart).

Favorite Sweet Treat: This one is a throwback, but all the reminiscing about our wedding day this week has me craving the macaroons from Cannelle Patisserie. We gave them away as favors at our wedding in two of my favorite flavors- coffee and chocolate.

Favorite Inspiration: This Halloween Party that I stumbled across on Pinterest via minted.com is too adorable and so many of the components looks like fairly simple DIYs. This would be a fun way to host some friends on Halloween before Trick-or-Treating commences.

Celebrate: Our Anniversary!

October 04, 2018

Today marks one of my very favorite days to celebrate (and I LOVE reasons to celebrate) because today is my wedding anniversary! When Kyle proposed five years ago, I was beyond certain that I would be a June bride. I had the idea in my head (I blame too many viewings of 'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.' Yes, my love for musical theater runs deep) and was so excited to plan our Summer wedding. Our color story was easy to choose (blush and bashful, haha) and Baby's Breath would accent the day like little clouds in a Summer sky. We knew we wanted the event to feel like a destination wedding without a HUGE travel commitment for many if we could help it and both immediately fell in love with the sweeping hills, stunning lake views, charming barn and winding vineyard paths of Ciccone Vineyards in Suttons Bay, MI. The place looked gorgeous in the summer sun and I would be a bride in June of 2014.

Well, through a series of unexpected events that I like to call LIFE we ended up welcoming our first little guy, Jack, only one day before our original wedding date (I would be hard pressed to find a more wonderful surprise in this lifetime if I tried) and we were lucky enough to be able to move our date to October 4th at the exact same venue with our whole team intact.

Keeping in the theme of surprises, Jack wasn't the first wedding surprise we had. With Fall came uncertain Michigan weather (read: it was the coldest and rainiest October in the history of Octobers), a scramble for umbrellas, a Plan B ceremony set up that quickly became a Plan A, a florist shop with a whole in the ceiling and a flood on the floor, a manicurist who didn't have the perfect shade on hand (mine was sitting back at the condo in my luggage) and last minute rentals of enough space heaters to warm a party of 150 in a drafty, spacious barn. But the thing is, all the things that went "wrong" quickly became the most memorable parts of the day. I couldn't imagine getting married in any season other than my very favorite one (I just love Autumn). And if I thought the vineyard was gorgeous in the Summer sun, I wasn't prepared for how perfectly moody, romantic and stunning it would be under cloudy skies and rain.

The day did not go off without a hitch, but we ended it hitched and when I look back I wouldn't change a single thing even if I could. I ended up married to the guy who still makes me heart beat faster four years later and helps me believe in the sun, even when it's not shining. Happy Anniversary, DK!

The Last 90 Days Challenge

October 02, 2018

I can’t believe that we’re already in the last three months of the year and while this is the beginning of my favorite time- crisp air, cozy layers, Halloween/Thanksgiving/Christmas- I do have to admit that my goals from January 1st feel like a thing of the past. I stumbled across Rachel Hollis’s Last 90 Days Challenge on Instagram and it sounded like the perfect restart for me as the holidays roll around to help build some momentum BEFORE making resolutions at the beginning of 2019.

In my early 20s I might have rolled my eyes at a motivational challenge or anything designed to help me chase goals, but times change! “Me time” is much more of rarity with four little ones and it’s pretty easy to find my personal goals and health on the back burner most days. I like that the challenge has a baseline focus on health (more water! get moving!) and being appreciative for what you have in life, but the overarching goal of the challenge can be individually tailored whether you’re focused on growing a business, writing a book or getting in shape. I also love that the challenge is based on social media bringing a sense of community and accountability to the 90 days.

Two days in and feeling hopeful so far! I’m planning to do a periodic update on how it’s going and excited to work toward some long term goals with what time I have left in 2018.

Celebrate: October Bucket List

October 01, 2018

My favorite time of year is here! I know there are many others who, like me, feel completely renewed and excited for the return of crisp weather, cozy layers and finding reasons to celebrate the season. I love that October 1st feels like the official kick off to the holidays (I'm a major holiday gal) and since I personally prefer cool weather, I am back in my element once this day arrives. I find that in autumn I am much more intentional with my time since there are so many great activities to pack into such a short season. A few things that we do as a family feel so integral to a "successful" Fall, that I can't miss out on a single one! I took some inspiration from a friend who made a fun bucket list for Summer with her husband and sweet kiddos and compiled a list of all my "must-do" activities to help make sure I'm soaking up every last drop of Fall.

1. Head to the orchard for apple pickin'.
Westview and Blake's are my two personal favorites for those in the Metro Detroit area. My oldest little guy and I are headed there for a field trip this week, so we get to to cross one item off the list right away!
2. Bake an apple pie with our haul.
The pie pictured is one that I made a couple of years ago and I'm planning to recreate something similar this year to take to my in-laws for family dinner.
3. Celebrate our wedding anniversary.
Through a series of unexpected events all those years ago, we ended up moving our wedding from June to October and once the day arrived I wondered why I ever started planning to have it in any other season.
4. Decorate the porch for the season.
I'm thinking white pumpkins, yellow mums, a cotton wreath and some black lanterns?
5. Hot apple cider, warm blankets and Halloween movies.
Confession- I keep my "scary" movies light. I am NOT a fan of true horror films. I just can't do it! My list of favorites for the season include 'Hocus Pocus,' 'Casper,' 'The Addams Family,' and 'Clue.' The exception being any Hitchcock film because there's nothing quite like the suspense of the classics. I'll torture myself with sitting through the fear of 'Psycho' and 'Rear Window'- two of the best.
6. Pumpkin Patch with the whole gang.
I love taking our babes for a hayride and Fall fun at Blake's to gather our pumpkins before carving jack-o-lanterns.
7. Pick out Halloween costumes.
I always have grand visions of hilarious/amazing/Pinterest-worthy themed family costumes, but in all reality I want my kids to have the memory of getting to dress up in the costume they truly wanted each Halloween. And they usually surprise me with some pretty great ideas. I can't wait to see what they pick this year!
8. The Boo Bash/Halloween Parade in Lake Orion.
I stumbled across www.oaklandcountymoms.com which featured quite a few activities near us and since we are still new to the area it is a great resource to find age appropriate, seasonal activities perfect for our little ones!
9. Cider and Donuts.
It wouldn't be Fall without Yate's fresh cider and warm donuts. I'm drooling just thinking about it. I think we'll pick some up during peak colors and take a drive to enjoy just how gorgeous Michigan is when the leaves change.
10. Test some new recipes.
Roasts, soups, chilis, pumpkin-goodness. I look forward to this time of year for bringing back comforting flavors (both savory and sweet) and trying them in new recipes. I especially love anything I can cook slowly throughout the day to fill our home with delicious smells while the football game is on. Hey, eventually I'll find SOMETHING my preschoolers will enjoy eating, right?!
11. Binge a great TV show.
This is the perfect time of year to use naptimes for catching up on a TV series or reading a new book. I'm going old school and watching 'Gilmore Girls' this Autumn because it is the perfect match for a hot cup of coffee and quiet, rest time.

What's on your Fall bucket list?

Friday Favorites: 8.24.18

August 24, 2018
The Pumpkin Spice Latte returns in less than a week (Aug. 28th for inquiring minds) which is like the Bat Signal that proves Fall is officially near (HALLELUJAH! I am a cool weather gal). We have a little over a week to get ready for preschool for our oldest baby boy, I've switched from iced coffee to hot coffee (well at least for the FIRST cup of the day) and I think I've located and removed the last plastic Easter egg from the playroom, so the change of season feels right. We're still in the dog days of summer in the Midwest weather-wise, so my Friday Favorites boasts a little mix of end of summer fun and cooler days ahead. These are the little things I'm loving this week.

Favorite Treat: I whipped up these vanilla meringues this week on whim and I have to say, I'm so pleased with how they turned out! They make for the perfect sweet, light bite to have after dinner and would also be a fun twist to add to a s'mores bar/dessert table. While they are crispy vs. soft, they have a similar flavor to marshmallows. I can imagine they would be so delicious dipped in a little bit of dark chocolate too. They would also be the perfect accompaniment to a mermaid or unicorn cake!

Favorite Quote: I found this quote via Pinterest and I love the reminder to focus on growth opportunities even during tough times. I try to remember that how I act through adversity is a true illustration of my character, especially with little people in my life who watch and learn from all of my reactions.

Favorite Sweater: I noticed this sweater during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and it's been in and (mostly) out of stock ever since. While I haven't purchased it for myself, it's definitely on the lust list and I would give it a major recommendation to anyone shopping for Fall cozies right now! I'll be hunting for this one or a similar version throughout the season.

Favorite Look: Wore this as a cover up to a splash pad date with my favorite little guys and it was the easiest way to feel pulled together while getting buckets of water dumped on my head. :) It is also a hit during drier days, tucked into a pair of denim shorts.

Favorite Song: "Kids" by MGMT. This throwback popped onto my playlist not long ago and I haven't been able to get it out of my head since. It's the perfect playlist addition to an end of summer soiree.

Weekend Update: Happy Father's Day!

June 18, 2018

We had a packed weekend which is always fun, but makes the arrival of Monday morning all the more surprising. Hello gigantic coffee!

Saturday morning we planned to head to Blake's Orchard and Cider Mill in Armada for u-Pick strawberries, but ended up getting rained out. We're hoping that the pickings are still decent in a couple weeks so that we can try again before the season is over. Berry picking is one of my favorite summer activities with the kids. It gets them so curious about how things grow, excited to make something from what they gather with their own hands and anything that gets us all out enjoying nature is a huge win in my book. I love baking, but I haven't landed on a recipe to try with this year's haul. Please leave any suggestions that you have in the comments! The nice thing about fresh strawberries is that they are just as easy to enjoy dipped in a little dark chocolate ganache or topped with some fresh whipped cream (or even just cleaned up and on their own)! These are some pictures from last year at the patch. I would definitely recommend Blake's to anyone in the Metro Detroit area for u-Pick, their annual Lavender Festival or any of their Fall activities. One of our favorite places to be sure!

With the rain delay, we just took the kids to the mall for a little fun, a large coffee and a change of scenery (and some window shopping, naturally). The weather cleared up in the afternoon, so we decided to live on the edge and take the squad out to dinner after naps at Sagebrush Cantina for some of our favorite Mexican food. Just trust me when I say that we don't often take four children out to restaurants (for the consideration of other patrons), so when we do we are sure to plan ahead (dinner at 4:30? Sure!) and pick the "right" location. One with enough space and one with enough noise to help mask potential meltdowns. We stopped at the park on the way to dinner and ended up turning a day with ruined plans into one filled with some fun memories.

To beat the heat, I wore a classic accessory in my new favorite way. Bonus- this bandana comes in a pack of two at Target for $3.99. Hello! There are so many fun ways to style this trend- you can wear in your hair, tied around your neck in a few different variations or around the handle of your handbag for a seasonal update. Ladies, I always look in the Men's section for items like this because 10/10 they are going to mark these up in our section!

Sunday morning, we headed over to my in-laws for a little Father's Day brunch to celebrate my sweet husband, father-in-law and brother-in-law. I helped the kids make Kyle some special pieces of artwork to give him on Sunday and they were so proud of how their masterpieces turned out. For dinner, I surprised Kyle with one of his favorites: marinated flank steak with chimichurri sauce and a side of grilled street corn. Delicious! Every year, Father's Day gets a little sweeter as the kids get more and more involved in helping with the celebration and I couldn't be luckier to have Kyle as my rock and the father of our big old crew.

I wore this easy kimono and body-con dress combo to brunch. The kimono is chiffon, so it's a hot weather day essential if you still want to wear a layering piece. Hope you had a great weekend and here's to a productive week ahead!

About Me

Hi, I'm Julie! I'm a former career gal turned stay-at-home momma working on raising our 4 babes in a home filled with humor and kindness. Join me here for our days of good eats, lots of coffee, laughter, projects in our first home and some messes along the way. This is my life, in style.

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