Thursday, July 28, 2016

Black Orchid Denim and Jori & June!

I recently found the most incredible-fitting pair of jeans at Jori & June in downtown Geneva. I first wrote about Jori & June here-- I still wear my tassel necklace SO much. In fact, my sweet bro-in-law, Shawn, bought one for my sister Anna, too because she loved mine! (Pictured below with my nephew, Finn! Omg! He's too cute for words!)

I went into Jori & June to claim a gift certificate I had won from a drawing after posting myself with my Jori & June purchase; I never win anything, so this was seriously the best surprise ever (also, it was incredibly generous-- I was floored-- thank you so much!). Plus, I adore the owner, Melissa, and everything J&J posts on social media is amazing. (Follow them on Facebook: Jori & June and on Insta: @JoriandJune).  It is so fun for me to shop locally and support small businesses in my town when I can. It was a special occasion with my gift certificate, so I went a little wild (in my defense, I do have a summer job now!). But, my outfit was worth every cent. Also, hanging and shopping with Melissa was so great! 

These Black Orchid jeans are the best jeans I have ever owned. Hands down. 
One of the owners of Jori & June said she can wear hers 3-4 times without any unwanted sagginess or stretching. 

I bought an amazing tank top with my jeans, something totally unique and different, by LA Made. I hadn't heard of Black Orchid or LA Made, but now I follow both on Instagram. They have such a one-of-a-kind style, and it is something that you can't find at your typical mall stores.

This top! I seriously died over it when I saw it on the Jori & June Facebook page. It's so distinct-- I will wear it with jeans and shorts all summer long, and then I will pair it with some (tasteful) (faux) leather leggings come fall. Be sure you check out my Boomerang video on Insta and Facebook (@BelleOnTrend) of me putting it on. HA!
Head into Jori & June quickly because they still have a few left! 
I have an XS for reference, but a small would've been just fine. (They didn't have a small when I was in, but I liked the top THAT much-- haha!). 


These jeans!

I usually buy jeans for under $50 from Loft, Banana Republic or Gap. Mike always tells me, "You get what you pay for, Mar" when I complain about cheaply made clothing. I guess it makes sense that my $34 jeans are pilling after a few washes and stretch out beyond re-wearing after 1 wear. 
Enter: Black Orchid Denim. 
Melissa had these on in the store when I popped in. She raved about them, and they looked SO darn cute on her. I had to try them.  
Well, now it's my turn to do the raving! They are so flattering, they don't sag or stretch out, and they are comfortable! I love them! 

My earrings are my go-to Stella and Dot chandeliers, from about 7 years ago. 
But here, here and here are some equally fabulous options. If you want to buy from Stella and Dot and need a seller, I have a couple great gals who would love to sell to you! LMK!

I can't get enough of these Toms booties. 
You guys are probably sick of me raving about them, but they are SO comfortable and easy to wear.
Here, here and here are different colors and materials of the bootie.
My next purchase will be these black ones

We took photos at the Batavia Fabyan Parkway windmill, and it was beautiful. Such a cool site so close to us.  I've run past it for years, but I've never taken the time to stop and have a look. 

"Be a windmill!" My idea. haha

Below are the steps to get your LA Made tank on just right. It looks confusing, but trust me, it's easy! 
1. It's actually a long piece of fabric that will go around your neck.

2. Twist said piece of fabric! 

3. There's a little soft piece of fabric for behind your neck so you know it's set up properly. LOL
Ignore my stank face. 

4. Over the neck!

5. Even it out!

6. Fix your hair-- obvi!

7. Start to get situated... 

8. Ta da! Just the most adorable, drapey, one-of-a-kind, totally unique tank I own!

Cool story about this bag: it was actually my mom's! She bought it for herself when she was hired at Boardman Center Middle School in 1980 (where she then was a guidance counselor until 2009 when she retired!).  Side note: Anna and I both attended BCMS, too!
It's a vintage Coach bag! It is 36 years old-- amazing!  It just goes to show how long real, quality leather will last. It has a nice patina on the back of it, too. The strap is adjustable to be cross-body, as well. 
I am loving this and this as similar alternatives. 

More fun drapey tanks:

Are you in the market for the perfect jean? You MUST go to Jori & June! It's located in downtown Geneva, 25 S. 3rd Street, directly across from the Post Office. Visit their website, like them on Facebook and be sure to follow them on Instagram (@JoriandJune)!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale Top Picks: Menswear Edition!

Thanks to my very trendy and snappy-dressing husband, here are the top ten picks for men during the #Nsale!  Feel free to reach out to Mike in my comments below or tweet at him @Fremeauji with any additional questions. He picked these out; I am just doing the writing :) Remember, prices go back to normal on August 8. Act fast!

1. These Bonobos colored chinos.
They are perfect for work! Mike wears a colored pant and collared shirt on the daily to his office. The colors are fun for summer, spring and fall. Loving "Canyon Red", personally. They're comfortable and practical; you'll wear these a ton!

2. This very practical gingham work shirt.
There isn't a chore Mike and I hate more than ironing. So, we tend to not iron (insert monkey emoji covering its eyes!). Thankfully, this gingham shirt is non-iron! Amen! (Side note: we do love our steamer, thanks to Kelly and Rob. THAT is a Godsend). Mike loves Banana Republic shirts, but he was amazed that this Nordstrom find was much less expensive than his typical collared shirt from BR. My man loves a slim-fit shirt, and this is tailored and not boxy. Side note: I'm LOLing currently because Mike left for work this morning in an exact combo of numbers 1 and 2. Haha!

3. These classic Sperrys.
Speaking of Mike's outfit for work today-- it was definitely numbers 1, 2, and 3 combined. Haha! Mike owns 3 pairs of Sperrys (navy, green and brown) and wears them to work daily. I, too, have 3 pairs (gray, brown and blush), but honestly, I have had some of my Sperrys since 2009 and before. They LAST. My dear friend Jenny informed me last year that they are washable!  I gave it a whirl, and low and behold, they looked brand new. Talk about transforming your college Sperrys into something acceptable for work!

4. This Patagonia pullover.
Mike loves this for leaving the gym in the fall/winter. He doesn't like to lug his big puffer into the gym where he boxes, but this keeps him warm without being overly bulky. Also, it becomes a base layer for the real winter cold in Illinois. This is an outstanding pricepoint for Patagonia! This might be something to buy now and stick away for a Christmas gift. #justsayin

5. These Red Wing Work Boots.
When Mike was compiling this list for me, he goes, "Okay, you're going to laugh at these boots. But hear me out!"  When he said work boots, I got a flashback of the tan work boots I would wear as a 4th grader, and some PTSD occurred! They were hideous!  But these, I dig. They are NICE. And, Mike knows his stuff, that's for sure. He told me about why the soles are white (for wives to check their husbands soles to be sure they were clean when coming in from the fields/construction sites back in the day), which I thought was pretty neat.

6. This short-sleeved chambray shirt.
Mike loves a chambray shirt with khakis or colored chinos. Be careful to not become Denim Dan or accidentally wear a Canadian Tuxedo (as pictured above). Stick with chinos and not jeans with your denim. I love short-sleeved collared shirts on Mike! It's perfect for walking over for a patio dinner after work in the summertime. Also, this shirt has faint polka dots on it! Don't let that deter you; polka dots are hot!

7. This dressy gingham shirt.
Mike loves gingham (as does his wifey). This is a dressy version of #2 above. He owns this exact shirt! You could wear this under a blazer for a summer wedding, too. Gingham is extremely practical and on trend. You'll find that your gingham button-down shirts are workhorses in your closet, year-round. Whether you teach or work in an office, you'll need crisp collared shirts for the workweek. Why not stock up now when the prices are fantastic?

8. These club-master style sunglasses.
I have loved Mike's club masters since we met. In fact, I always want to steal them to wear myself (but his are prescription! dang). I have followed the RayBan clubmasters for a while, to try to get a sale, but I haven't seen anything as low as this Ted Baker pair! They are uber cool. Again, consider buying these for the man in your life as a stocking stuffer. I love to shop ahead for Christmas gifts (but I am also just super type-A and cray haha), but this could really alleviate some stress come December. Just a thought!

9. This Patagonia puffer.
If you live in the midwest, you know that November through March (sometimes to April or May!) can be utterly brutal. Mike bought this puffer (with a hood) last year, and he wore it constantly. It's lightweight and can be squeezed into the tiniest of balls for packing, but it is extremely warm. Patagonia knows its stuff! I would also say that this would be a great gift for the father or father-in-law in your life. Mike got a medium, so it's definitely true to size.

10. These Allen Edmonds dress shoes.
Mike wore these exact shoes to our wedding! He actually (somehow) found his exact size in a once-used pair on eBay, but this is a great alternative to that. These shoes are going to be your go-to for weddings, fancy events and interviews. Mike absolutely loves them. He owns the black pair. They're extremely classic and classy.

What menswear items have you purchased at the Nordies sale?

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Trending: 7.24.16-- Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale Picks!

My trending report today is dedicated to the Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale! OMG! Only the best sale of the year! This is when I stock up on items I have been lusting after all year, but I am too broke to afford them... until now.  In the past, I have gotten my Frye boots, my Nike Free tennies, both my silver and gold Michael Kors watches, and Tory Burch flats. This is the time to shop if you've been admiring an item for months, but it is a bit out of price range. The prices are so reasonable at this time. But do shop quickly; pieces sell out extra fast! The beauty of Nordies is that shipping is free both ways. Unfortunately, I don't have a super close Nordstroms near Geneva, but I can order online without any regrets. Bonus: shipping is ridiculously fast! Here are my top ten picks for the sale.

[1.0] These Toms Majorca Peep Toe Booties-- $78 on sale! Loving the gray color.
You guys know how much I love my perforated Toms booties; I wear them CONSTANTLY!  To teach in all day or on the weekends-- they never get uncomfortable. I can't tell you how many people are shocked to learn that my peep toe booties are Toms! They are true to size and extra comfortable. I always say that my biggest regret about them is not buying the black that my girl Mandy has, too!

[2.0] Kendra Scott Earrings-- $35.90- $42.90 on sale.
These are simply artwork. This style of earring is timeless, and they make a statement with any outfit. Kendra Scott earrings have been on my wish list for months. Now is the time! The Elle size featured is ideal because it's not the biggest size (which, for me, is a bit too heavy for my lobes!), but it is still a statement earring, which I adore.

[3.0] This Northface Winter Parka-- $169.90 on sale.
I bought this last year on sale, and I can't explain to you how warm it is! Mandy bought it first, and I HAD to have it! She described it as "lightweight, but soooo warm!" I have never had a better winter coat. I was totally protected from those -20 degree wind chills. I know it's hard to think about winter when it's 90+ degrees out, but I am telling you: this sale won't last! I bought a size medium because it runs a little smaller than the typical Northface parkas. It is more form fitting, which I prefer for winter coats because you can get lost under all those layers. I have a bright pink color. The hood is so awesome, too. The coverage is amazing for negative temps and snow!

[4.0] These Alo Capris-- $55.90 on sale.
I love Lululemon and their leggings, but I have to say, I've never had leggings that compliment my body more than the Alo leggings. I have the Goddess style, but these are equally as fabulous. They are true to size, and they seriously lift your ledge! You'll be getting so many compliments on these at your Pure Barre classes ;-) The mesh detailing is huge right now, and it is extremely flattering! I love the blush and navy together on these. The material is durable and thick, too.

[5.0] These Sperry Saltwater Duck Boots-- $79.90 on sale.
Duck Boots are such a staple for the fall and winter months (and spring if you live in Chicago, haha). Bean Boots from L.L. Bean, the original pair, are always back-ordered until March, and then you have missed the prime season for needing them. These Saltwater Duck Boots are ideal for days when you don't want to put on your bulkiest of Sorels or tall hunters. Plus, they're adorbs!

[6.0] These KUT from the Kloth Jeans-- $59.90 on sale.
These jeans are a perfect fit and length. I am loving the slight faded wash on them! These will be adorable with your ballet flats or with a pair of booties (see 1.0). I tend to shy away from anything with rips in it (simply because I can't wear that to school on dress-down/school spirit Fridays), so I love that these aren't destroyed at all.

[7.0] This dainty ruffle shirt for work-- $49.90 on sale.
Whenever I buy shirts these days, I really make sure I can wear them to teach in. It must mean I'm getting old. Haha! I always laugh with my friends and say that all my "party tops" are collared. Times have changed! But, this adds a fun ruffle detail to your typical work wear. I can see this under a blazer in the colder months or paired with a high-waisted skirt in the fall.

[8.0] This sleeveless ruffle shirt for work-- $37.90 on sale.
Again, practical! But lovely. This will be great for when it's still hot, but then I can throw a blazer or cardi over it for the winter months. I love the high neck, too! The wine color has fall written all over it.

[9.0] This gorgeous Tory Burch dress-- $176.90 on sale.
I've never owned a TB dress, but this would be such a beautiful one to start my collection. The detail of the full zippered front is so unique, and the colors are striking! I love multi-colored dresses, and this could be dressed up for a wedding with black pumps, or worn in the fall for a night out with black tights and tall black boots.

[10.0] These lace up ballet flats-- $59.90 on sale.
I feel like the Nordstrom's sale is another good time to try a trend that you've been admiring for a while, but you haven't wanted to spend a huge amount of money on it. Case in point: these darling lace up ballet flats. They're everywhere! You can style them to be dressy or super casual. But I wasn't quite ready to drop $100 on them, so this opportunity is fantastic. In black, they'd be on heavy rotation for work.

What are your Nordstrom's anniversary sale picks? Shop quickly because the sale ends August 8. Stay tuned for a men's version of sale picks thanks to my hubs!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

New Buffalo Anniversary Trip, Day 2

On the second day of our anniversary weekend, we went on a wine tour in a Wine-O-Wagon! I kid you not: a tractor pulled us around to 4 different wineries in an actual wagon. It was amazing! In the winter, we did the same tour in a bus for my friend Lauren's bachelorette, and it was equally fun! The summer weather was great for being in an open-air wagon, though. The tour is a blast; we were on it with a bachelorette party and two other couples, known of whom we knew, but by the end, we were all old pals! Our tour guide, JJ, was fantastic! He was extremely knowledgeable, too. It was the ideal way to safely get to 4 wineries without the worries of driving, parking, mapping, etc. 

Green clutch: old Banana Republic, very similar here (for $12!). 

This Limited maxi is one of my favorite summer purchases. I saw Kimmy wearing it at Megan's shower, and I had to have it! I bought it with a 50% off coupon that Kimmy was nice enough to give me. It's sold out online, but in stores, my friend Halle says it is down to $30!

There's nothing simpler than throwing on a maxi dress and heading out the door. I am linking a ton of fabulous maxis to apologize for mine being sold out! (But do try the store! My friends have had luck last week at their local Limiteds!). Bonus: flying in a maxi is perfect for the summer. You don't want to be overly warm when you land, but every plane I am ever on is arctic! Grab a cardi with your maxi, and you're ready for all airport/plane temps. 

Totally in love with my MFM monogrammed Jacks.
Monogram yours here
Some sale Jacks below: 

Loved the weekend with Mike!

I matched the Adirondacks!

Tassel earrings: Francesca's.  Also loving these Baublebar ones!

Summer maxi dress options (be sure to scroll with the arrow to the right-- there are so many!)

Neon: here.
Super fierce cut out: here.
Strapless and patterned: here
Dainty and girly: here.
Halter: here
Versatile tie-back: here
Peplum and yellow: here.
Floral: here.
Great deal: here
Lovely blush color: here.
Brightly colored and pleated: here.
Gorgeous print: here.
Lilly P!: here, here and here.
Pure comfort: here
Off-shoulder-ruffle: here

How cute were the doors? They were all colored! 

And some snaps from the remainder of our awesome day and winery tours!
At the first winery on the tour, Dablon

Outside winery #2, Gravity. One of my favorites!

Mike observing the varietals. HAHA! JK. I don't even know what that means. 
We also went to The Round Barn, which was phenomenal! 

With our new friends, LOL! 
Outside the last winery, Hickory Creek

Saturday night we went to the Stray Dog and had dinner on the rooftop. That is a must-do in New Buffalo, and it's walking distance from the Lake Country Inn. On Sunday, we drove to the public beach, read and laid in the sun. Lake Michigan was coooooold! We didn't go in, but boy was it beautiful. 

Mike was particularly a saint as he carried my two Lilly beach bags and my Vera Bradley cooler down to a spot on the sand. He rocks!

Recap of New Buffalo
For the best burger in New Buffalo: Redamak's
For the yummiest ice cream I've ever eaten: Oink's
For the best "fancy 'straunt" on the water: Bentwood Tavern
For the most fun you'll have on a wagon: Fruitful Vine Tours.
For the best rooftop dinner and beers: Stray Dog.
For the most amazing place to stay: The Lake Country Inn

What are your favorite spots in New Buffalo? Have you ever been? If not, you NEED to go! It was only about an hour and 45 minutes from Naperville when we left from Mike's office. It would be even less from the city!