Summer Style | 4 Looks For Late Summer

Here we are almost to the last week of we got here, I have no idea.  Has this summer flown by for you too?  All of these fall clothing sales have me thinking cooler weather is just around the corner...but unfortunately for us Texans (and southerners for that matter), we've still got at least 2 more months of heat.  Grrr.

Which means, summer style is still going if you're in need of some late summer closet inspiration, I've recapped my four summer style series looks from earlier this season.  Check out the separate posts for versatile ways to wear each particular look (and links), plus style tips for taking the pieces into fall!

Monogrammed Maxi Dress >>> Full Post HERE

Flowy Tops >>> Full Post HERE

Palazzo Pants >>> Full Post HERE

Kimonos >>> Full Post HERE

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10 Favorite Finds >>> Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Well my friends, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is in full swing, which means I've had the chance to peruse ALL the sale items several times over and pick out my favorites.  I even went to Nordstrom yesterday to see some of the items in person (for good measure and making my bday wish list).  This sale is the best one all year, of any retailer, hands down.  Do you know why?  Because the pieces on sale are items you're about to need come fall/winter.  They're not last season's has-beens that no one wanted/'s stuff that's on your prime shopping list!  And to have an opportunity to buy reduced priced must-haves for the upcoming season is a gift which just can't be wasted! :)

I've pick out what I deem as my favorites of the sale...both in great deals (see the MAC brush set) and key fall/winter staples you'll get tons of wear out of (see black denim and suede booties).  On a more selfish note, I'm aiming to try REALLY hard this fall to stick to a capsule wardrobe, meaning keeping only a few pieces on rotation that match with each I've added those essentials here too.  I hope you find some pieces to help brighten your day, prepare your fall closet, and help get you through the dog days of summer!  Happy Shopping!

{Simply click on each item to shop}

>>>Nordstrom Sale Picks<<<

1.  Tory Burch Sunglasses // $139

2.  LUSH Tunic // $27.90

3.  Sam Edelman Ankle Bootie // $109.90

4.  Barefoot Dreams Cardigan // $60.90

5.  MAC Brush Set // $52.50

6.  Halogen Slub Tee // $15.90

7.  Kendra Scott 'Dylan' Necklace // $38.90

8.  Michael Kors Watch // $166.90

9.  Triangle Stud Earrings // $22.90

10.  J Brand Black Skinny Jeans // $118.90

Summer's Madness + 4th of July

As I type, I'm realizing this is the first time I've sat at my computer and had a moment to actually blog.  And in reality, I've got WAY too much stuff I need to be doing, but hey...someone's gotta keep this thing up...even if it means checking in only once or twice this crazy summer.

I've been MIA for a while mainly because I haven't been around.  When I say this summer is crazy, that's actually an understatement...and if anyone likes to exaggerate, it would be this girl.  Today we leave for Tyler Bree's dance national competition in Dallas, from which I'm coming back early to shoot a wedding and then leaving for Mexico for a week.  See, told ya.  Summer is nuts, but in the best way possible...we're making memories!  My mantra has been: Focus on today, don't worry about the madness tomorrow.

I only got a few 4th of July pics on my phone, but here they are nonetheless.  We had a lovely day with family, friends, and fireworks!  

// This was her 2nd...or 3rd. //

// Making 4th of July cards //

// His first sparkler! //

 // Hometown fireworks with friends //

// Jansen jumping pic...their favorite //

// basically the hit of their day...ALL. DAY. LONG //

Hope you and yours had a wonderful Independence Day!  I'll be posting soon about the wonderfulness that is the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale...cardholders' get to start tomorrow!!!!  TTFN!

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May The 4th Be With You: B's Birthday

Oh how sweet that little face is!  Seriously, this kid melts my heart on the daily.  It's hard to believe I gave birth to him (the roughest delivery of all the kids) just four short years ago, but here we are celebrating with him Star Wars style.

Of course, he wanted to do a Star Wars themed party...but he really has no friends and we don't do big parties until they're a little older, so we decided on a simple family get-together at my in-laws...which was perfect.

^^^ Baseball with his only boy cousin...until late summer. ^^^

^^^ Chasing cousins ^^^

^^^ Opening gifts...Daddy reading him a card.  Clearly, he's hanging on every word. ^^^

^^^ Big blowout!  Luke Skywalker cupcake topper not pictured. :) ^^^

^^^ Star Wars nerds.  Blakely and I were the outcasts. ^^^

^^^ We found this Luke Skywalker costume in our Halloween box and it could not have made him happier! ^^^

Tyler Bree went through a similar Star Wars obsession around the age of 6, and she also had a themed party.  We went a little bigger with that one, so if you're thinking along those lines, there are so many easy ideas on Pinterest!

This kid lights up our lives.  He sisters love him so much and have just as much difficulty dealing with his rapid aging as I do.  I guess he'll always be their "baby".  Happy Birthday B-Man!

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Dance Recital Diaries

After a whirlwind of a week, I'm thankfully able to breathe a bit before the next round of craziness starts.  Recital week went off without a hitch, mostly thanks to my mom and Blake, as I was having to split time between it and a church youth conference.

Being the crazy time that it was, I really wasn't able to catch many photos of the girls, but thankfully I snapped some at Riley's dress rehearsal.  She only had one routine (acro), while Tyler Bree performed multiple dances in in 6 recitals.  If that sounds nuts, it is...but what I've learned is that recital is pretty chill compared to the madness of quick competition changes and the stress that accompanies performance expectations.  So really, our schedule may have been busy, but the time I was able to be at the recitals was quite enjoyable.

We still have Nationals coming up in July...there's really no off-season.  And now, 8 years into this dance thing and 2 years into competitive dance, the momma who wrote this post is now almost unrecognizable. 


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On the Cusp

I had a moment of panic, sadness, wonder, love, and pride...all rolled into one, yesterday.  Tyler Bree and I were walking up to a building, and in an instant as I glanced her way, she looked as if she'd grown overnight.  In her running shorts, tee, and chucks, I saw a glimpse of my child, my FIRST born, on the cusp of young womanhood.  It hit me hard in the gut...I mean HARD.  Moms (and dads for that matter) don't usually notice growth in their children because we see them day-to-day.  I've actually "seen" growth in my kids only one other time, and that was when I had been away for a week...and let me tell you, it hit me hard then, too.

But this time, it was different.  It wasn't just that she'd grown, but it was my halting recognition that she's almost no longer my "little girl".  She's basically a pre-teen.  She's on the edge of something I thought would never come.  She's becoming beautiful in a way that isn't necessarily synonymous with childhood.  Yes, of course she's still a child and looks as such...but in this moment yesterday, I saw something more...and it sort of broke my heart.

I feel like in my role as mother, my job description is vast, but fairly simple.  I'm responsible for the nurturing, love, and spiritual guidance of my children...making every effort to be a good example to them and set them on the path for a covenant life.  But in addition, I constantly check myself attempting to "live in the moment" for fear that one day I'll look back and not know where the time went.  Who am I kidding?  I know that's inevitable....time goes way too fast...but I still hold onto some hope that by consciously cherishing even the mundane moments with them, will somehow more permanently etch the memories of their childhood into my mind.  Wishful thinking?  Probably...especially considering the black hole that is my memory retention.  But maybe they will remember more than I do, which is an acceptable consolation prize.

When we got in the car, I looked at her and said, "Tyler Bree, I think you've grown."  I must have failed miserably at hiding my feelings of that statement, because she promptly replied with "Don't worry Mommy, I'll always be your baby."  

Cue heart explosion.

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Summer Style Series For Moms On-The-Go // Maxi Dresses

While maxi-dresses have been on the scene for a while now, they're still so very popular and certainly aren't going anywhere.  A maxi dress (or two or three) completes a summer wardrobe because of the ease with which one can wear it...and they're usually very breezy and cool to offset the warm (or "scorching" depending on your local) temps of summer.  A really hot trend right now is monogramming...Although, should I call it a trend?  It's actually more of a traditional, classy style...yet, we're seeing them on everything from caps, to bags, to dresses, etc.  I just adore how Tiaras took a simple maxi and turned it into a personalized dress for me!  (Did you know they did monogramming!?!)

While I'm wearing it in these photos as a cover-up (we just got back from a wonderful weekend down at the beach), there are lot of variations to style this mom on-the-go must-have!  Read on for styling details...

Style Tips:

>>> I love the way a maxi dress looks with a looooooong necklace.  Big jewelry is the way to go with this closet staple.

>>> If going with a two-tone dress like the one I'm wearing, go with a darker color on bottom for a slimming effect.

>>> When trying on a maxi dress, make sure the length fits your frame properly.  If you end up tripping over a long dress, I can pretty much guarantee it won't get much wear not matter how much you love it.

How to Wear:

>>> Throw a jean jacket, thin cardigan, or kimono over a maxi dress for more coverage, while also adding interest to your outfit.

>>> As with several of the other pieces featured in this Summer Style Series, maxi dresses can be dressed up (not super fancy, but "nice casual" depending on the fabric) or worn super chill around the house or as a cover-up (as shown).

>>> My favorite way to wear a maxi dress is with simple, flat sandals and light layer over...instant outfit!

>>> Another not-as-common way to wear maxis are layering underneath.  Paring an under-layer, such as a simple tee or 3/4 top, helps take a summery dress into fall.

In other summer news, if you've yet to find the perfect swimsuit (I mean really...don't we all put off this task?), Swim Outlet has TONS of options.  This past weekend at the beach I really loved wearing this Kenneth Cole tankini top I got from there!  

Outfit details:
Maxi Dress // c/o Tiaras
Tankini // c/o Swim Outlet
Beach bag // Magellan

>>> Make sure to check out PART 1, PART 2, and PART 3 of this Summer Style Series!

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