Mastering the Tomboy Look

It’s safe to say Jenna Lyons is my personal style icon. Needless to say, I’m always excited to come across an article with any type of styling advice from Jenna.

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Spin Magazine recently published an article in which Jenna discussed tomboy style and offers 5 pieces of key advice. Let’s begin, shall we?

1. Choose a well-cut blazer.

item2.rendition.slideshowVertical.tomboy-style-madewellDuskfall Stretch Blazer: Madewell

Jenna suggests a style that isn’t “nipped in at the waist and that [has] a defined line between the shoulder and the front of the lapel.”

2. Be picky with your boyfriend jeans.

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This is something I’ve always struggled with, and maybe I need to take Jenna’s advice and simply not settle! I haven’t been able to find the perfect pair yet, but the J Crew Point Sur certainly look like a winner. Jenna suggests searching for a pair with “authenticity” and a “truly straight cut.”

3. Add a personal touch

Jenna does so by embroidering her initials on all of her button downs- love this idea!

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I’m definitely on the hunt for a timeless, white button down. I’ve been eyeing up the Thomas Mason for J Crew Tuxedo Shirt. If it’s “the one” I’ll definitely consider embroidered initials!

Another great option would be monogramming. My favorite monogrammed item is my Madewell Transport Tote.

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I have it monogrammed in gold with my initials MVW and receive many compliments on it!

4. Visit the men’s section

My favorite piece of advice from this section was to pair oversized, chunky sweaters with mini skirts. My fashionista friend, Filomena, recently sent me a pic of a French Connection outfit she purchased from Bloomingdales and it fit this advice to a T!

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5. Wear thick, oversized frames

Definitely a Jenna Lyons staple.

item13.rendition.slideshowVertical.tomboy-style-warby-parkerWarby Parker “Duval” Glasses

One of my favorite pairs would be the Hepcat Shades: Madewell.

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So, how do you rock the tomboy style?

View the article in its entirety: The Official Jenna Lyons Guide to Mastering Tomboy Style

Silk Shirt Showdown

As a teacher, I have a thang for alliteration ;)

So…I’ve been on a silk shirt kick lately. It started at the end of the summer when I decided I needed wanted more sophisticated and classy pieces in my wardrobe. The first addition I was seeking was a timeless, ivory silk shirt- one that could be in my wardrobe for years and years to come.  After some research, I decided to check out the new Classic Silk Blouse at J Crew.

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This shirt is J Crew’s new release of the Blythe shirt. My favorite version of the Blythe was the ivory with polka dots from a few seasons back. This is one of my favorite pieces in my wardrobe.

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The Blythe had more of a fitted look, whereas the new Classic Silk Blouse has a longer fit.

Anyhow, when I got to J Crew, they didn’t have my size to try on. Disappointed, I naturally ventured over to Madewell. Upon realizing Madewell didn’t have an ivory silk shirt, I begrudgingly tried on the Silk Spotlight Shirt in the “wet boulder” color, which is essentially a blush pink. It was love at first sight.

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This shirt has everything going for it- it’s quite versatile and can be worn in many different ways. My vote would be untucked with skinny jeans and boots.

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Rockin the cowgirl look for my dad’s birthday!

Another option would be to pair with leggings due to the longer length. I also like how it looks tucked into jeans with a belt. However, you have to be careful because the slits on the side come up pretty high. There are mixed reviews on the site about this, but I kinda dig it- adds a touch of sexiness in my opinion. This can easily be avoided though by wearing a cami underneath. I also really like how it’s longer in the back. Silk is fast becoming my favorite fabric- it’s just so luxurious and I really enjoy wearing it.

Ever since this purchase, the original J Crew silk shirt that I had gone for was still in my mind. However, the ivory color no longer interested me…I wanted green.

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With J Crew’s 30% sale this weekend, I made the purchase.

This shirt has a slightly more boxy fit, rather than the flowy feel of the Madewell shirt. The sleeves are also a bit longer. Both shirts run big, so you may want to size down (I purchased a 00 at J Crew and an XXS at Madewell, which is smaller than the normal size I normally wear).

What I like about the Classic Silk Blouse is the single pocket and how the buttons are not exposed. It has the same longer “tail” and side slits as the Spotlight Shirt.

So…who wins the showdown? If you could only purchase one, my vote would go to the Silk Spotlight Shirt.

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Why? It’s just such a versatile piece with great quality material. The color is soft and subtle, and fits into any season seamlessly. However, the Classic Silk Shirt at J Crew is a very close second- clearly, as I  purchased both!

The Silk Spotlight Shirt is also 30% off this weekend at Madewell! Winna winna chicken dinna.

Will you be shopping the J Crew and Madewell Columbus Day sales?

J Crew Etta Pump

It’s been a longggg time since I’ve posted! I’ve decided to pick up blogging again because I really just need an outlet right now for my fashion obsession. I find myself spending copious amounts of time reading and rereading the J Crew Style Guide, J Crew and Madewell blogs, and stalking the “Looks We Love” sections of the J Crew and Madewell websites.

Lately, my obsession has been the recently sold out Etta Collection Calf Hair Pump.

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Dubbed as the “heels for the girl who only wears flats,” these shoes have had my attention for years. Yes, you read that right, years. However, with a price tag of $350, you could surely understand my hesitation.

It was this dress…the J Crew Hothouse Floral Dress, that finally led to me pulling the trigger on these shoes.

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I bought this dress two years ago for Christmas Eve- a HUGE holiday in my family that requires a new fancy outfit each year. Ok, let’s be honest, I made that new outfit rule for myself. Nevertheless, I bought the dress (at a hefty pricetag, all silk) and have only worn it once- Christmas Eve 2012. Call me crazy, but I never felt I had the right shoes.

Leopard has been called a neutral, and I couldn’t agree more. The Etta calf hair pumps go PERFECTLY with the Hothouse Floral Dress. Every time J Crew released a picture (on their website, in the style guide, on Pinterest, etc) the dress was paired with Leopard shoes.

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Now- back to the shoes. I noticed they went on final sale and decided to wait for an additional percentage off, as J Crew often offers. Welp, I waited too long and they slipped away. I even contacted a J Crew associate and they were GONE. Gone. Thus began my eBay scouring.

If you’re going to buy shoes on eBay, make sure you research size. I typically wear a 6.5 in shoes, however all of my research on the Etta revealed they run a half size too small. Thus, I began searching for a size 7. After a couple of weeks, I found a brand new pair in my size with no insole markings (on eBay, sellers often mark the insides of their J Crew shoes to prevent returns. This really bothers me, which is why I would not settle for a pair with markings). The price was pretty high, but the seller had chosen to also use the “Make an Offer” option. I figured I’d give it a shot and went with a low ball offer of $110. Well, would you believe it, she accepted!

Now the bad news…turns out all of the reviews were wrong, for me at least. They were too big. I should’ve stuck to my original guns and ordered the 6.5. Lucky for me though, I was able to find them at a discounted rate and the 6.5 fits perfect!

I’m thrilled, as I have two winter weddings this year and I plan on wearing the dress and pumps to both.

So- why am I posting all of this when the Etta would be out of your reach too? Because it’s not! J Crew releases the same shoe every couple of years, but under a different name. The Etta is now called the Stella and is available in leopard, houndstooth, and several shades of suede.

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For the leopard, you’d once again be looking at that $350 price tag. Since Stella is brand new, there is not much action on eBay. However, they are 30% at J Crew this weekend! If you’re looking for a better deal, I would recommend trying the Stella on in stores so you know your size, and then searching for the Etta on eBay to save yourself some $. Just make sure the insoles aren’t marked! And if you’re in need of a size 7, I have a brand new pair here at my house I can sell you ;)

Eat Like an Egyptian

Hello? Anyone still out there?! Sorry I’ve been MIA. Been super busy and hope to fill you in soon with deets. For now, I’ve been dying to share our recent food excursion…Egyptian cuisine!

It’s no secret that Pete and I love trying new-to-us cuisines. We’re lucky to live in an area where there are plenty of options for Thai, Greek, Indian, Mexican, and Italian. One of my students recently brought up a local restaurant called King Tut which serves Egyptian food. I asked around and one of my teacher friends had been there. She gave Pete and I some recommendations and off we went!

To start, our waitress brought us pita bread with a sun dried tomato dip.

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I could not get enough of this dip. Later when our appetizer and entree came, I kept dipping them into it as well! The pita was soft and warm. Really tasty.

For an appetizer, we chose the falafel. Neither of us had ever had falafel and I’ve always wanted to try it.

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Can’t believe I waited so long. This was probably my favorite item of the night, if I was forced to choose. It had a crunch texture to the outside and warm, soft inside. It came alongside a tahini dip. Pete was as obsessed with the tahini dip as I wa with the sun dried tomato dip!

For my entree, the choice was simple. Their menu literally had an item called “The Most Popular Vegetarian Dish in the Middle East.” Well, how can I say no to that? Plus my coworker and one of Pete’s coworkers (who is from Egypt) recommended it. The dish is actually called Koshari.

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The way that I describe it is layers and layers of vegetarian deliciousness. Chickpeas, lentils, elbows, rice, and very crispy onions. Quite spicy and so flavorful. I ate about half and wrapped up the rest, which was just as good heated up the next day.

Pete’s main course was called Chicken Tawook.

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The chicken was what you would imagine would be on a skewer. Served alongside cous cous that had a delicious butter flavor.

At this point, with everything tasting so amazing, we simply couldn’t pass up on dessert.

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Toasted almond cake. Basically, it was like a tiramisu as far as the texture and consistency, but without the espresso flavor. This tasted like cream and almonds. See that orange sauce? That little dash of sauce might well have been the best part. It was a mango sauce and paired with the cake was just divine. This dish was completely cleared, chocolate sauce and all.

Every single morsel that we tasted at King Tut was out of this world. We could not stop obsessing to our waitresses how much we were enjoying the meal. We will definitely be repeat attenders at this and other Egyptian restaurants!

Have you ever tried Egyptian food? If so, what was your favorite dish?

Do you enjoy sampling new cuisines? Which ones?

 

Burning Legs Workout

It’s no secret I have a love/hate relationship with my legs. In particular, my thighs are my “trouble zone” so I work legs every other day to combat this. I’m always interested in new leg moves and often scour Pinterest, blogs, magazines, and books for new exercises to incorporate. Below is my latest leg workout that I put together- be prepared to stumble out of the gym!

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Below are pictures and descriptions for each exercise.

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01: Place right leg behind you to rest on a bench/chair/plyo box, etc. Put left leg forward into lunge position. Lower down into a lunge. Upon raising, explode up into a hop. *Make it more challenging by holding dumbbells or a weighted medicine ball.*

02: Repeat with left leg behind you, right leg in front.

03: Get down onto all fours with your forearms in plank position. Place a dumbbell behind your right knee. Raise your right leg off of the ground 90 degrees (shown in picture).

04: Repeat with dumbbell behind left leg.

05: Stand with feet wider than shoulders with feet pointed outward. Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell with both hands in the center of your body (not shown). Slowly squat backwards. Upon standing, raise your right knee and crunch towards right side. On next rep, squat and switch sides by lifting left leg and crunching towards left.

06: Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand with feet hip width apart. Take a big step back with your right leg, crossing it behind your left. Lower into a lunge so knees are in a 90 degree angle. Return to start. Repeat by stepping back with your left leg and lowering into a lunge.

07: Standing directly against a wall, or against a stability ball, lower down into a seated position. Watch the clock for 45 seconds and feel the burn!

Be careful walking out of the gym- your legs will be quite wobbly!

Let me know if you try this workout! Please feel free to share your favorite leg wobblers!