Sunday 30 January 2022

Casual to Dressy Valentines Day Looks


Welcome to the last day of January, the longest month of the year!  Tomorrow February will be upon us and I find February usually goes by rather quickly.   Are you someone that looks forward to Valentine's Day?  Do you do something special with your partner, girlfriends or kiddos?  I've said it before on this blog, V-day isn't something we really celebrate around here.  I like to decorate and I enjoy the festivities with the kids at school, but Mr. and I don't make a big deal of it for the most part.  Sometimes, if it lands on a weekend, we will plan to go out for dinner, or we get a nice box of chocolates and wine to enjoy, but it isn't a tradition or expectation.  

I do however like to put an outfit or two that I can wear around the holiday for fun.  I've featured Valentines day looks in the past here and here.  Today I am showing you how I created a really simple shirt to wear to work, but also how it can be dressed up for a date night.  I purchased the long sleeved tee at the Gap outlet for $10 and used my Circuit Air 2 to create this cute XOXO tee.  I love that it's super simple and I can just throw it on with jeans or black pants for work and look festive.  While I've been eyeing up a few cute sweaters, I decided to refrain from spending money in January as I am hoping to go shopping in February when we get away to the mountains and hit up some stores we don't have locally.  

Casual Look

This is 100% going to be a look I'll wear this year.  I love how red looks paired with white jeans.  It's super simple and easy to pull together.  I paired it up with simple gold studs, necklace, metallic flats and a cup of coffee to take to work.  The perfect casual day outfit.

Dinner Look

I actually really like how this everyday shirt looks dressed up with tights, the black and white checkered skirt, and  my new black purse.  I added some dangly, statement earrings to dress it up and I am ready to have a lovely dinner out with Mr. or girlfriends or maybe we'll do a mix of the two and go out on a double date.  

                                               What are your Valentine's Day plans?   

Do you plan an outfit or two that gives a nod to the holiday 

or do you carry on as usual?

Shop This Post:

Aldo Hand Bag (sold out; similar)

Old Navy White Jeans

Skirt (old; similar)

Gap red shirt

Wednesday 19 January 2022

Ageless Style: Winter White With a Splash of Periwinkle

I am here with the ladies of Ageless Style for our monthly link-up, every third Thursday of the month.  This months periwinkle color prompt was inspired by Pantones color of the year, Very Peri.  Although Very Peri has a distinct violet red undertone, Periwinkle has a border spectrum of blue and violet hues.  I decided to use my Periwinkle blazer as my pop of color in a winter white outfit.  I love how this combination came together.  I am a big fan of monochromatic looks but this time I decided to add a twist of soft color with the blazer, and then the booties are navy suede staying in the same blue family.  I kept my jewelry really soft and subtle with winter whites, sliver and soft pastels beads in my bracelet.  With the freshly fallen snow as a a backdrop the pictures came out even better than I could have imagined.  I recently wore this exact outfit to work.  People always wonder how I can wear white as a prekindergarten teacher, but I honestly don't ever worry about it much.  Bleach is my best friend and I've had these white jeans for YEARS!   

This blazer has become a favorite of mine since buying it in early fall  and you can see how I've styled it here in three different ways.  One of my goals in the fall was to add more blazers to my wardrobe because they pair so well with jeans, dress pants, and dresses.  I also like how in the spring and summer they can easily be substituted for a coat and they instantly dress an outfit up.  

Be sure to check out all the Ageless Style ladies and how they interpreted this prompt for more ideas, and be sure to link-up with us below.  Thank you for stopping by and this Thursday post is instead of my weekly Monday, Jan. 24th post.  See you the following Monday!

Amy ~ Amy’s Creative Pursuits

Blog | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook |

Bo ~ Bo's Bodacious Blog

Blog / Instagram /Pinterest / Bloglovin'

Carrie ~ A Simple Lovely Life

Blog | Instagram Pinterest | Facebook |

Joanna ~ My Slice of Life


Jodie ~ Jodie’s Touch of Style

Blog | Instagram | Facebook |

Leslie ~ Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After

Blog | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook |

Marsha~ Marsha in the Middle


Mireille ~ Chez Mireille Fashion Travel Mom

Blog | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook |

Robin ~ Hello I am 50ish

Blog / Instagram / Pinterest / Facebook

Shop This Post:

Periwinke Blazer  (sold out; similar)

Old Navy White Jeans

Silver Three Chain Necklace (similar); Earrings & Bracelet 

Navy booties (old; similar)

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Sunday 16 January 2022

Sweater Weather: Staying Stylish Through Winter

Happy Monday friends!  Now that the weather has finally improved I feel so much happier and lighter (although work in nuts with report cards, new reporting systems, and Omnicron raging through staff and students).  That all being said, the fact that it is no longer unbearable and unsafe to be outdoors for more than a couple of minutes (no joke), we spent the last week getting outdoors sledding, cross country skiing, running, walking and enjoying winter.  I am looking forward to the end of the month when we can sneak away to our home away from home, our cabin, where these pictures were taken.

In winter my staples are cute sweaters.  Sweaters with jeans.  Sweaters over dresses.  Sweaters with skirts.  Sweaters with leggings.  The combinations and coziness is endless.  This oversized sweater is heavily in rotation late fall and through winter.  It can be a loose fitting tunic.  A sweater dress cinched at the waist with a cute belt.  An oversized, tucked into loose fitting or skinny jeans.  Pair this look with some leather casual booties like my Blundstones, cute knitted toque and mitts, for a weekend winter look.  Since the weather was mild you can throw on a vest for added warmth or if you are going out for drinks in the city, pair this with some cute slouchy heeled booties, throw on your wool dress coat, and leave it over to showcase your outfit.  Whatever your agenda is, having an oversized sweater gives you plenty of options to dress it up or down depending on your lifestyle but you never have to comprise on comfort or style.  

Tell me something good about your weekend or the upcoming week!!!!

Shop This Post:

Oversized Sweater (Amazon on Sale $20!)

Blundstone Boots (SoftMoc)

Toque & Mittens (similar; Twisted Goods)

Gold Hoops & Necklace by Hillberg & Berk

Sunday 9 January 2022

Part Two: New Year, Same Me


Last week I looked back and reflected on my 2021 goals.  I am a firm believer in the power of the reflection process, not only as accountability but more as a check in with myself.  Through the process do you know what I discovered?  I really want to continue focusing on all the same things more or less in the upcoming year.  My word last year was CONNECTION and apart from a blip in February 2021 when I experienced a really difficult time and some short term depression, I really was able to stay connected to what my personal and professional goals and needs where.  What was important to me and I learned how to let go of things that no longer serve me.  

As 2022 began and the onset on yet another round of cation, lock-downs and plans falling apart, I felt that "down" feeling and "disappointment" settling over me.  We had planned to go to Mexico in February as a family to celebrate my dads 65th and my husbands 40th birthday.  With the current situation we've decided to cancel and not risk being stuck in Mexico.  As we closed out 2021 and began 2022 and I was wrestling with the decision and then this image from my friend @fashinablyfit_with_t came across and had me pause.


I liked that I had the power to look at myself, the situation around me, and see not just the disappointment, but what other opportunities might be able to emerge from this disappointment.  This reminded me that I had the power to change my outlook in most situations.  Now we are looking at booking a local trip to the mountains with our kids.  Something we've talked about for years but have never done because we've always had to choose between a hot holiday or a mountain vacation.  We will contribute to our local economy.  Is it prefect?  No?  Could it be terribly cold?  Yes.  And if we have to cancel we will and we will have to seek another opportunity.  

So this year as my goals and focus is staying similar to last year.  Here is a list of the goals I want to continue to focus on that fill-me up in a good way.

1.  Relationship with my girls.  As they are getting older, they are spending less tangible time with us.  This year I am aiming to do a monthly  family that focuses on reconnecting with them.  I know they are getting older and part of that means letting them grow their own friendships and relationships outside of our family, so this is a good compromise.

2.  Read and write more.  I've been aiming for 12 books a year but this year I am bumping it to 24 because I want to continue to listen to audiobooks as well as read.  I also want to include more non-fiction content into my reading this year.  I also want to incorporate journaling into my life.  I recently have started to think about how journals can give our children a glimpse of who we were at various times throughout our lives, even after we are gone from Earth.  I purchased this lovely journal with various prompts that makes me excited to write and reflect.

3.  Continue to grow my side photography business, but only as long as I am enjoying doing what I am doing.  I would really like to do a graduation photoshoot this spring so if you are local in the area and want to be my model, please reach out and check out A & H Snapshots.

4.  Fitness!  This year I am hoping to do a mini-triathlon, if it happens with COVID.  One of my main goals this year is to make a team for the Frank Dunn Triathlon event this summer. It's something I've wanted to do for years and years and although  I feel confident in my ability to do the biking and running portions  of the event, I know I can't undertake the full swim.  That being said, I do want to get back into the pool and restart building my endurance in swimming.  

5.  Finances.  Oh man.  We need to start thinking about our finances and how to best invest or how to save for retirement.  We are so overwhelmed by the information nd I'd love any advice you might have on where we should start.  One way I'd like to contribute to our savings is by getting back to consciously buying clothes I actually need.  The past few years, I've honestly just been buying whenever I really wanted something.  I am not a big spender but I do think I sometimes buy just for the blog or for something to do. So this year I'd like to track my actual spending in the fashion department and I hope to keep it under $1500.  Will see.  

We brought in the New Year with good friends at home.  Since I haven't made a fashion post in a bit, not to worry they are coming back, I will leave you with my sparkly dress that I wore to our home NYE party because why not!  Have an awesome week and tell me what are some of your goals for 2022?

Monday 3 January 2022

2022 Part One: Reflecting on 2021 Goals

I love goal setting.  I am one of those people that loves to write it down and see my goals in print, giving me accountability to myself and what I want.  My goals are small and realistic. They don't turn my life upside down and they aren't meant to change the world.  Mostly my goals are there to check in and to continue to work on the things that give me the greatest joy or are the most important to me.  It's a way for me to keep them at the forefront and not lose them in all the other opportunities or responsibilities.  The next best thing is the REFLECTION part of this process.  I love checking in on my self quarterly to see how I am doing.  Not all goals are equally persuade at all times of the year, although some always are such as relationships.  Sometimes a check-in helps me reevaluate a goal, whether it serves me anymore, if it needs to be adapted or potentially dropped.  I love meeting every goal but I am learning to value the PROCESS not the RESULT.  

One of my goals in 2021 was to Run 1000 km.   I tracked it right from the beginning.  I was doing really well mid-year and going into the summer.  Then in August I gained an injury and slowed down.  I still continued to run but returning back to work in September and struggling with my back, I slowly started slipping a little bit.  I turned to walking daily, stretching more frequently and trying new therapies.  By mid-November I realized in order to meet the goal I would have to run a lot in the last month and a half.  I wanted to throw in the towel, I knew if I reached the goal I was going to be stressed and have to give up time in my other parts of life that were going well.  I would be so focused on reaching the goal that I would not enjoy the holidays and not make time for friends, reading, stretching, etc.  I had to dig deep and come to celebrate all the running I did do and could continue to do.  Also the fact that I had brought cross-training back into my life with Beach Body and was walking almost daily with my husband and connecting with him in a good way.  In the end I ran  at least 839km.  More importantly I had to practice  not thinking of my goals as process of growth and not having an all or nothing mentality.  In the end I am proud that I continue to put my health, wellness and exercise as a priority because it makes me happy, strong, and centered.


Let's take a look at my other goals.

1. Relationships.  ⭐⭐⭐⭐  I continued to hold my closest people close and didn't really expand further beyond that to be honest.  As much as I like the idea of expanding my tribe, the thing is, I love my tribe and those relationships require time, energy and tending.  I continued to connect with the women in my book club monthly and we even added a few new members throughout the last part of the year that I am looking forward to getting to know better.    

2.  Read 12 books.  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐  I read 15 books this past year.  Disclaimer I did listen to four audiobooks this year which is new for me but I am hoping to continue this trend in 2022.  To see my books and reviews go here.

3.  Blogging. ⭐⭐⭐  I am giving myself a three because I still struggle with finding time to balance all the things that I love including brainstorming, creating, writing, reading other blogs, and connecting on social media.  I just don't know how to make more time without taking up more time from my other responsibilities and hobbies that I love.  So that struggle continues.  BUT!!!!!  I have joined the ladies of Ageless Style and I am looking forward to growing my friendship and blogging connections with and through them.  Join us every third Thursday of the month by linking up your favorite fashion related posts with us!

4.  Finances. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐  I actually think we did really quite well on this again this year, probably due to limited travel.  We got away to visit my sisters family at the beginning of summer and that was a blast.  We saved enough money for a family all-inclusive for 2022 (that's getting canceled), managed to put away money for both a major trip we plan to take the girls on when they graduate, also just our savings towards whatever may be needed in the future and we splurged on a hot tub for the family!  Yep, overall we managed pretty well!

5.  Photography.  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐  My little side business grew this year and so did my confidence!  I am so thankful for all the families that have booked me over the past year and have supported my learning and growth journey in this area.  You can see a full gallery at 
A & H Snapshots or sometimes I post on my IG account.

Do you set goals or intentions? 
How do you tack/check-in on them?  
What's something you are proud of from 2021?