Stylish Reptile

Dress (Macy's); Necklace (H&M); Shoes (Jessica Simpson, Marshalls)

I don't know if this is a reptile print, a snake print or a strange combination of the two... but between the color and the unique print, this dress is a fun, playful, and office appropriate look. The only drawback is that there is no back zipper... which means putting it on is an awkward dance in trying to keep both my makeup and my hair mess-free while pulling it over my head. And then getting it off is another ridiculous struggle of trying not to stretch or bust a seam.  My wish for all dresses would be that they all come equipped with buttons, zippers, or anything else that allows us to dress like human beings... anything else is cruel and unusual punishment.  And yet I still wear it :) 


Great Outdoors

From top left: Morning view of Fence Lake; Rex and I getting ready for a boat ride; 
the three amigos; Wisconsin tap handles before a wonderful meal

For Labor Day weekend, we went to my in-law's cabin to celebrate the last hurrah of summer. And even though I prefer every possible amenity to roughing it... there truly is something you get from experiencing the great outdoors in its rightful place in nature that can never be replicated in the city, suburbs or in front of any screen. Like disconnecting from technology and playing board games (although we did have to Google the rules)... Waking up, throwing on sweats and not even thinking about hair and makeup... Looking up at night and seeing thousands of stars in the sky (nothing beats the beauty and wonder of a diamond filled sky).  And the best part is the way time slows down, just enough to help you enjoy every sip of coffee, every wave in the lake, and every crackle of the campfire. There is a reason for the saying "life is better at the lake".

And my personal favorite is trying to get Rex out in the water... Click here for the video :)


Date Night

Dress (Calvin Klein, Macy's); Shoes & Bag (Target)

For our latest night out we opted for the classic dinner and a movie date night.  So I decided on a classic date night wear; LBD (this one is of the more casual hooded variety) and shoes that scream something fabulous is happening below the ankle. I don't wear these gold loafers nearly enough, although my husband may have banned them after noticing the amount of glitter left in his car. But like I told him, he now has a sparkly reminder of our latest date night that should instantly make him happy :)  

And PS. Straight Outta Compton is an awesome movie - if you haven't seen it, you have an excellent reason to get a dinner/movie night of your own on the calendar!

Friday Find

Carmex Varieties - Vanilla, Lime Twist & Pomegranate

I have had a love/love relationship with Carmex for as long as I can remember. I have tried Vaseline, Neutrogena, Nivea.. you name it. And I always come back home to Carmex.  My only beef with Carmex is that I was limited to the original, and sometimes a girl needs a fun flavor now and then... so when I stumbled on these three versions I was literally doing the happy dance.  My favorite is the vanilla - but each one is a great spin on the original. So if you are also a Carmex lover - you have to check these out. Oh, and they all have 15 SPF - BONUS!

Okoboji, Iowa

Front top left: Beautiful lake view; Free little library; Swinging on the bar chair; Sunset view

When I found out a work trip had me going to Okoboji Iowa, my first reaction was "Oko-huh?"... I had never heard of the place, and I had no idea Iowa had a chain of Great Lakes.  Well let me tell you about this charming little lake town in northwestern Iowa. It's known as Iowa's #1 vacation destination, and it's not hard to see why.  Between the breathtaking natural lakes, amusement park, and fun bars in between (like the outdoor bar with swings for chairs) - it's the kind of place that makes you want to grab onto summer with both hands and never let go.  Truly a hidden gem in the midwest that I will have to put on repeat... 

And check out these amazing lake homes I spotted during my morning walks - each one prettier than the next.  Another find from my walks is the "free little library" (pic in upper right)... I have never seen anything like this! The sign reads "take a book, borrow a book, share a book, enjoy a book".  Could this town be any cuter!?


100 Years of Fashion

100 Years of Fashion (Mode.com)

Have you seen Mode's 100 years of fashion in under 3 minutes?  It's an awesome recap of the biggest trends that created each decade's most iconic fashion. It's amazing how some decades drove the trend for the next (like 1955 to 1965), while some move in an entirely different direction completely (like 1975 to 1985).  I love looking to past trends for current inspiration... why reinvent the wheel when there are so many gorgeous looks waiting to be modernized?  My personal faves are 1955 & 1965... I love the nod to Hollywood glamour and the idea of dressing up for every occasion. 

Not to mention it was in the 1960's when the women's liberation movement started, and there was a strong cultural change with more of women entering the paid workplace. Can you even believe in the 1960's a bank could refuse to give an unmarried woman a credit card?  Women also couldn't get an Ivy League education (Harvard didn't admit women until 1977), and we earned $0.59 to the dollar that men made. So while we have made progress (women now earn $0.77 to the dollar) - we have a long ways to go... and I feel a personal duty to maximize the opportunities that women of the past made possible. We need to continue to fight to be seen as equals so we can all celebrate the day when women earn $1.01 to a man's dollar :)


Office T-shirt

T-shirt (Stylemint); Skirt (Banana Republic); Sandals (Nine West)

Summer office style is easy, casual, and laid back (which for me means less makeup, less jewelry and open toe sandals). And one of my favorite things about a pencil skirt is that you can pair almost anything with it, and it automatically creates an office appropriate look. Like this striped 3/4 sleeve shirt - which I typically wear with sweats around the house. Since I can't wear sweats to the office - this is the next best thing. And these pics of Rex are a glimpse of my after work routine... he is always a few feet away and ready to play. So really this look is perfect for my post work transformation... less time required to get ready for playtime with my favorite furry buddy.