As soon as January is over, I think we all have spring on our minds. Spring colors, warm weather, sunshineall the things. However, if you live in the Midwest or many other places in the world, spring is still weeks away. It's still flannel and sweater weather, but I'm ready for sweaters that at least have fresh colors and patterns to remind me of spring. 

Today I wanted to share a few of my favorite spring-ish pieces right now. They are all the colors and patterns you yearn for with spring, but they still provide the coverage and warmth that 20-degree weather demands. :)

The flannel I'm wearing in this post is the perfect example of pre-spring apparel. It's still got the warmth factor going on, but in a light color with a fun window-pane print. I love pairing mine with gray denim as well as black and blue. It also goes well with one of my favorite spring-ish ankle boots, these pink velvet boots from Steve Madden. The velvet on these has held up shockingly well, and they've stayed even cleaner than some of my suede boots. (Case in point: Baker squirted applesauce all over the side of these boots the day I bought them. Cue shocked but not-so-shocked mom face. But thankfully it washed off so easily! Not a trace of stains or marks.)

I'm also loving this sweater and this sweater from Chicwish. Chicwish is somewhere that I often forget to look, but they often have really unique pieces that don't break the bank. Abercrombie also has a really fresh line of spring pieces right now. I just got this sweatshirt in the mail, and it is even better than it looks! 

I've linked a bunch more of the items I've purchased recently or that I'm loving below. When does your weather start warming up? Do you get spring in March or not until May?


The Perfect Bomber Jacket


JACKET- Stitch Fix (similar) // TOP- Stitch Fix // JEANS- Blank NYC // BOOTS- Sam Edelman // BAG- Madewell // EARRINGS- Bronze Beauty large // SUNNIES

Bomber jackets have been coming back onto the scene in a big way over the last six months. They are a unique alternative to a military jacket or a denim jacket and I've been on the hunt for just the right now. As much as I love the embroidered ones I've seen, I really wanted a classic green one. I knew I would wear it more if it was simple, but it took me a while to find any that were quite right. So when Stitch Fix sent this one in a recent box, I was thrilled! It fit perfectly and was simple but classic. I've loved pairing it with everything from a graphic tee to a black blouse to a striped top like this one (also from Stitch Fix). 

If you aren't familiar with Stitch Fix, it's a monthly subscription for a box of five items styled and handpicked for you. I've been receiving my box for almost two years now and you can read more about it firsthand from my trip to visit their HQ here. They also have a men's service that Soren has been utilizing and you can read more about that here. His last box was my favorite one he has received and after he opened it I wondered aloud if I had mistakenly added my Pinterest inspiration board to his account. They sent him a box full of things that looked like exactly like my style. It was funny but also awesome because I loved what he ended up keeping.

You can request certain items from Stitch Fix by pinning things to your inspiration board and making notes to your stylist in your profile or when you schedule your next fix. Feel free to pin this jacket or this top and then request it in your box. If it is available your stylist will be able to add it to your next fix! And if you don't want to wait, I did finally find this VERY SIMILAR jacket that you can purchase now. It's even reversible!

One more new thing about Stitch Fix that I wanted to mention is that they are partnering with Goodwill in a way similar to Amazon. You can now use your Stitch Fix box to donate items to Goodwill through the mail. You can print a label here and fill up your box with old items from your closet. Win, win!

Have you jumped on the bomber jacket trend? I think this will be a fun one to wear this Spring as well!

**This post isn't sponsored by Stitch Fix, but I do recieve a small commission if any of my readers sign up under my links. 


Overalls and Overwhelmed


This past weekend every time I hopped onto Facebook, I felt like I was being overwhelmed with so many different opinions about right and wrong and what is important and what isn't. Rather than being informed or uplifted by things I was reading, I just felt stressed. And I don't need more stress in my life. I really like the quote that says, "If you want to change the world, go home and love your family." And I believe there is so much truth in that idea. So much of what will make the world a better place starts at home and with the environment we create for our family. So I hopped off Facebook and tried to really focus on being a mom and enjoying my little guys. And we had such a great weekend!

Our basement is almost finished, so I spent time cleaning down there and hanging shelves in the downstairs bathroom. It looks so good! (I'm no professional decorator, but it looks great according to my standards!) After a trip to IKEA on Friday, I was armed with lots of plants, mirrors, and other things to hang. Soren was a good sport at helping me get things together and arranged. We might have started spring cleaning a little early, but oh well! I love refreshing old and new spaces!

Easton had his first basketball game at lunchtime on Saturday, and it was so much fun to watch! He made several baskets and really guarded his opponentalmost too well. We all cheered for him and laughed at how closely he was guarding his guy. He loved playing, and I'm so thankful he had a little taste of success to help motivate him to keep practicing and playing. The weather was beautiful, so we were also able to play at the park for a few minutes after the game. Fifty degrees in January is such a treat! Soren ran to work for a few hours while Baker napped, and then we met back up for a family pool date with friends. Someone on Instagram recommended that we try the Excelsior Springs Community Center pool, so we headed up north to check it out. The facility was really nice, and aside from the water being just a little too cold for me, we all had a good time.

We have church services at 1:00 in the afternoon on Sundays now, so Sunday mornings are really relaxed rather than a rush to get to an early meeting. The kids actually played well together instead of watching shows (although I typically only allow Veggie Tales or Nature on Sundays), and I pulled my Sunday School lesson together just in time. Church was great, aside from Baker missing a nap, and we ended the weekend well.

Our weekends aren't always full of fun and family time, but I really appreciate the ones that are. In the grand scheme of things, that family time is the most important thing we can make time for.


Styling a Lace Blouse in the Winter


SWEATER // TOP (similar) // LEGGINGS // BOOTS // SUNNIES // EARRINGS // CLUTCH (similar)
PC: Sarah Sweeney
When it comes to styling clothes, I think its especially admirable when I see someone get creative with basics. Anyone can buy something and make it look cute once, but to re-wear and re-style something over and over in new ways takes a lot of extra work. This year I want to stretch myself in those ways more. I always enjoy thinking outside the box, but this year I want to get my basics in on it. If I can put together fun new-ish ways to style overalls or a basic tee then I want to do it!
Today I'm pulling out one of my favorite lace blouses from the Summer to style in the Winter. I love a lace top or a blouse with a crocheted lace hem like this one, but typically they are easiest to wear in the spring or summer. Most of them are short sleeve and kind of scream sunny weather. But who says you can't wear one in the winter? Today I'm pairing mine with an over sized cardigan (one that covers my bum), my all time favorite leggings and OTK boots. You don't lose the cute hem of the blouse and even some of the front detailing, but you do get enough layers to stay warm and bundled in below freezing temps. 
Another way to style this top might be with a heavy military jacket, skinny jeans and tall boots with a heel like these. My exact top is sold out, but I found this and this that are similar and you'll easily be able to style either of them right into Spring. I'm so glad they restocked this cardigan and now I think I might need it in another color or two. It fits big so I sized down and got an XS. I can't say enough good things about these leggings and they fit TTS. I wear a small and prefer it over the XS. 
Do you have a top like this you can pull back out from Summer? Have you formed any style "resolutions"?


Sweater Weather


PC: Sarah Sweeney
Is it just me or does it seem like this month should be over already? We were in a meeting the other day, and someone asked what day it was. We were all SHOCKED that it was only the 6th. Somehow the holidays are over, but there are still so many things going on. And don't get me wrong; I love it. It's just been a whirlwind. I'm glad for the fact that January hasn't passed me by because dang it, I have more things to get done and improve on this month. 
So to catch you all up on life lately, I thought I'd share a little about what's keeping us busy. I bet you've got your own list you could share too!
- Basketball season is raring to go with Easton's first game this week. He has been in love with basketball since watching High School Musical in first grade. Troy Bolton is pretty much his idol, and I can't help but love it. We've never done basketball in our family, but I am excited for him to give this sport a chance. He loves to shoot hoops in our driveway with my old little iPod shuffle clipped to his shorts and his favorite music in his earbuds. So wish him luck on Saturday!
- Soren and I just got our passports in the mail today! He and I are going to ITALY next month, and until today it didn't seem real. We have some work business to do over therehence the tripbut I'm still pinching myself that our job is allowing us, even requiring us, to go to my dream destination. We'll be there for a week, and I think our plans include Milan and Venice. If you've been to either, tell us where to go and what to do!
- Our house is under construction again! We had our basement finished in the fall, but only the main living area down there. We left the bathroom and a big storage closet unfinished, and I immediately regretted it. Not finishing the bathroom was a mistake. So we had the workers come back. The three big boys have moved to the basement, so it only makes sense for them to have a bathroom to use down thereespecially in the middle of the night. They are almost done down there, and it will be so nice to see it all complete!
- And speaking of redoing parts of the house, I evacuated the boys from their room upstairs so that I could use it for an office. My recent Internet searches have been for office decor, and it's been really fun to see it come together. I still need a few cute supplies like a stapler, notepads, and other odds and ends. So if you have any recommendations for where to buy cute office supplies (besides Target), let me know!
- Nickel & Suede is always keeping me busy. And Soren too. Right now I'm prepping for our Valentine's Day campaign, and I can't wait to share. We ordered this pink couch for the shoot and to have in the store, and that isn't even the best part of it all! I can't say enough how amazing it is that I get to work on these kinds of projects for my career.
- Another reason we are so busy is all of the stuff we're surrounded by. We're still recovering from the influx of new things from Christmas. I feel like I've been picking up and rearranging since December 25. We didn't even buy a crazy amount of gifts, but they all need somewhere to go! I'm holding out for some serious IKEA toy storage solutions once the basement is totally done, and if that doesn't work I don't know what I'll do!
How is your year starting out? Do you feel like things are slowing down and becoming more organized? Or are they just as busy as ever and you're just holding on? ;)

How To DIY Staggered Hem Denim

SHIRT // JEANS (similar) // SHOES // CLUTCH 

One of my favorite pieces of clothing to wear on a daily basis is blue jeans. I rarely wear anything else, so I enjoy having a variety in the styles of denim I wear. Ripped jeans are pretty high on my list of favorite styles, and I've been known to crop a pair of jeans as I walk out the door. I think I've even had Soren cut rips in the knees of jeans I was wearing at that moment! Clearly I don't mind a raw edge on my denim. So when I started seeing staggered hems popping up on my trend radar, my interest was piqued. 

A staggered hem is basically where the front half of your jeans is cut shorter than the back. As you can see in the picture above, the hem in the front is staggered shorter than the back. I've seen this on a lot of different denim cuts, but skinny jeans are still the easiest and safest option to apply this trend to. 

I often like to "try before I buy," so this staggered hem DIY tutorial was born. You too can make your old skinny jeans into fresh, new, staggered hem skinny jeans. And in just a few minutes, too! See below for the full tutorial.

Supplies: A pair of jeans (skinny is preferable, but you can use bootcut, straight, or boyfriend cut as well)

1. Start with your denim of choice. I used these jeans, which I still recommend for fit, price, and rinse.

2. Cut the hem off of the denim all the way around. You could skip this step and keep the hem on the back of your jeans, but I needed to crop my jeans shorter, so my hem had to go.

3. Make sure you cut your hems off straight and evenly. Try on your jeans and make sure you like the length. I always prefer my jeans to hit about two inches above my ankle. 

4. Lay your jeans flat and measure and mark along the seams 1.5-2" from the bottom. Start with 1.5" and see what you prefer. I cut mine to 1.5", but I own these jeans, and the difference between the back and the front is 2". Either way looks good!

5. Cut the 1.5" -2" section of your jeans out by cutting up from the bottom and then cutting straight across. (I borrowed my son's ruler for this tutorial, and it's marked with "KIDS" so that he knows how long to cut the string he uses for his bracelet business. ;) ) 

6. Cut the second leg and make sure they match. Try them on and check the overall leg length again as well as the cropped section. 

7. Next use the edge of the scissor blade to rough up the edges of the raw denim. Then throw them in the washer and the dryer to really help them fray. You'll want to cut the long excess strings, but a worn-in raw edge is preferable to a fresh cut.

(See the full outfit here.)

And that's it! So easy, right? If you are nervous about getting the cuts right, it's always better to start by cutting less and then cutting more after trying them on. You can do it!

I'd love to hear how this DIY staggered hem tutorial works for you! Let me know on social or feel free to leave a comment. Enjoy!

PS: If the DIY option isn't for you, I've linked several staggered hem jean options below. 

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