10 Winter Coats for 2015

I admit it. I live in Florida and there is no need for me to stock up on winter jackets, boots, and all those warm and cozy accessories you lucky northerners get to have. But here’s the thing… my handsome fella and I are heading out on a road trip in February and I want warm, trendy, and perfect to be the three essentials my wardrobe has.

I’ve poured through countless sites to find what’s in, what I genuinely would wear and came up with an idea. Why not share with all you babely ladies what coats and jackets are considered to be “it” this year! So I’ve compiled a list of 10 great choices in various colors, fabrics and styles, all under $200. That’s right, winter wear that will last you from now until spring and well into the next few winters.

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1. The LB Brand PLM Varsity Jacket – $135

For all you gorgeous gals out there that happen to be mother’s too, The LB Brand is where it’s at. This black varsity jacket not only embodies the essence of cool, but reads “PROTECTOR, LOVER, MOTHER.” A beautiful and bad ass way to show off your Modern Mama style.

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2. Bottle Green Wool Coat by Zara – $129

This gorgeous coat comes in many hues including Burgudy, Mustard, and Navy, but this Bottle Green is just perfect. A dash of emerald to mix with your bundled winter wear, this coat adds just enough interest to a classic style.

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3. Fitted Coat by HM – $70

Looking for something a little more on the chic and professional side? This fitted coat by HM is the perfect addition. Felted fabric with imitation leather accents, this coat looks beautiful with pants of dress, heels or boots. Dress it up for a night out or take it down a notch with jeans and ankle boots for a day out.

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4. Slim Funnelneck Jacket by Free People – $168

Forever a fan of Free People, I can’t get enough of this utilitarian style with it’s fitted sleeves and dreamy white lining. Belted to accentuate your waist, this coat just begs to be warn on your next winter adventure.

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5. Fairfax Plaid Coat by Gypsy Warrior – $68

Oh, plaid, how I love thee. The extra length and bright color of this coat is sure to make a statement. Gypsy Warrior is never lacking in the sheer awesomeness and quality of their products and this coat is no different!

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6. Wool Toggle Coat by Gap – $168

I’ve always loved Gap. I’ve worn it since I was tiny and will continue wearing it until the day I die. This charcoal grey coat is a great homage to simplicity and timeless fashion. This lighter colored option can be paired with just about anything and is sure to be a staple in your closet.

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7. Fab at the Fundraiser Coat by Modcloth – $170

The moment I saw this coat, I couldn’t resist. It’s just the right amount of intriguing with the perfect touch of class. The removable faux fur shawl adds a wonderful warmth and air of sophistication to a maroon houndstooth base. This is definitely a coat for the adventurous, enigmatic woman in you!

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8. Somedays Lovin Hail Sunrise Sherpa Jacket – $159

Show off your bohemian spirit and stay cozy with this beauty. Just looking at this I feel so warm and snug! Enough room to wiggle and a beautiful flare to the front, this coat is a throwback to the 70s in the best way.

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9. Denali Faux Fur Jacket by Sanctuary – $198

I’ve always wanted to indulge in a furry jacket that was not only warm, but softer than love itself, but I just can’t bring myself to buy real fur. Usher in the age of faux fur and this delectable coat from Sanctuary.

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10. Hooded Quilted Jacket by TopShop$115 SALE $65!

For a more casual jacket with still a flare for trends and comfort, this amazing quilted jacket is pitch black with a touch of texture to work with any outfit. Perfect for those who’s wardrobes are dark and bold.

Halloween Must-Haves: Cats + Bats

September is totally, one hundred precent, a perfectly acceptable time to start getting ready for Halloween. Some of us may be a little more into the spooky holiday than others, and ya know what? That’s ok.

Since I was a tiny human, I’ve always loved Halloween. The dressing up, the decorations, the smells in the air. Come on – it’s free candy and pumpkin pie time. Even down here in Florida we get the hint of fall in the sea breeze and a taste of the ever delicious candy apples from the Oktoberfest and Fall Fairs around the area.

I started thinking early this year, with so much inspiration from small shops I get to keep in touch with to amazing accessories from companies who specialize in keeping imagination and play in their products. This is the first of few jam packed lists to help you get you and your family in the Halloween spirit with items and apparel that can be used year round. Just because I can, I’m starting with some rad cat and bat themed goodies you’ll want to hang onto. And don’t you fret, I’ve included links to where you can get each item, because I love you.


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Toothy Bat by JellyCat

If you aren’t already smitten by this little fella’s smile, then get ready to feel one of the softest stuffed animals in all of creation. This sweet bat is made by a wonderfully child friendly company that has it’s eye on making sure their products are soft, safe, and cuddly.


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Right Meow Cat Shirt

by Indie Nook

For a while now, I’ve fallen in love with all things Indie Nook. So it was a kick ass coincidence when I was scrolling through their site to find this pretty kitty. This shirt has the ability to be worn with just about anything, comes in grey, black, or pink and available in adult and children’s sizes. Sounds like you need to go get this tee RIGHT MEOW.

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Early Edition Toddler Sheet Set (Cats) by Land of Nod

Land of Nod has always been our go to for room decor and all things kid. Leave it to them to have the perfect sheet set to ring in the Halloween season. These sheets not only scream hallowed creature perfection, but are versatile enough to last through every month of the year.


Night Night Shirt by Bubblegum Forest

 nightNightShirtWhite_grandeIf you’ve followed this blog at all, you’ve probably seen my little boy in this exact tee. Bats are always in, be it winter, spring, summer or of course, fall. Bubblegum Forest has an amazingly unique talent for creating apparel for kids (and adults too!) that are not just cute to look at, they’re works of art. You best believe this is a staple in Ronin’s wardrobe and this mama is thinking she needs one too…


Bat Mask by Opposite of Far 

Screen Shot 2015-09-05 at 10.10.24 AMIf you haven’t seen these amazing masks yet, hold onto your butts. Opposite of Far has been pumping out everything from unicorns and dinosaurs to cats and owls for kids of all ages. We absolutely love our mask – the comfort of the strap, the softness of the felt, and the durability of the make is magical. Heck, they even have an entire Halloween line you can get to here!


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Kawaii Black Cat Leggings by Whistle & Flute

  Leggings on kids are just too cute. It doesn’t matter boy or girl, infant to youth, they’re a wonderfully comfortable way to dress your little human while still having the style and fun of kid’s clothing. While Whistle & Flute has a myriad of sweet cat items, these leggings are the perfect everyday wearable with just a hint of that October spirit.


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Sphynx Cat Ring by Meowington 

If the name of the company doesn’t win you over, then this cutie should. Who doesn’t need a little white gold kitten wrapped around their finger? Adjustable in size and on sale right now, a ring like this can be work anytime of year.


Wild Sunshine Threads: Brands We Love

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It’s been ages since I’ve had Ronin be my model for a post, but a great mood and sunshine after a storm seemed to be the perfect formula. When he was little, bibdanas saved us on numerous occasions from spit, food, and whatever else seemed to dribble down his sweet chin. These days, we love to use them as not only bibs, but as additions to outfits too!

Through the wonderful world of social media, we happened upon the lovely shop, Wild Sunshine Threads. This sweet company, headed by one heck of a maker mama, Emily, makes not only amazing quality bibdanas, but turbans, slouchy hats, and mommy + me sets. Emily takes the time and care needed to create great pieces that work with your little ones and offers them for a great price. Believe me, we’ve spent an arm and a leg on baby accessories, but it’s always the brands with the best customer service we stick with. Wild Sunshine Thread has not only shown great love in their quality, but also customer satisfaction as well.

One of the few that Ronin will keep on all day, this particular bibdana features a soft grey flannel for its backing, keeping his little neck comfy and clean. The print itself is beyond beautiful… I love anything geometric, triangles most of all! The colors are neutral and work with so many outfits, it’s hard to not want to have him wear it everyday!

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To pick up some of these amazing products, check out Wild Sunshine Threads! With how much we love her products, we know you will too. Use code WILD15 for 15% off your purchase – offer expires August 13, 2015 at 5pm PST.


Follow along with Wild Sunshine Threads on Instagram for some of the cutest customer and shop photos. Believe me, every photo you see will make your ovaries ache for more squishy babes of your own!

Project Capsule Wardrobe: Shoes

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This is by far my hardest capsulation… shoes.

How do you pair down to the essentials? Well, I let myself stray a bit from my usual strict numbers that reign supreme in my closet. Shoes are a different beast, a totally unusual specimen. They can make or break an outfit, be solely for winter or summer, rain or shine. So why be so hard on myself? Why take away from something I love so much, something I truly take joy out of?

Remember, capsule wardrobes can be done for every season or the whole year. Shoes are no different. Rain/snow boots, flip-flops, sneakers, high heels, all have a time and a place to be worn. Don’t beat yourself up if you end up keeping a few extra pairs that you know may come in handy or have in the past. My Hunter and Minnetonka boots for instance, are for absolutely different uses, just as my Merrell and Converse sneakers are. I wear them all for various reasons and none stay dormant in the depths of my closet for more than a few months.

So here’s my suggestion for all you shoe lovin’ gals like me. If you wear ’em, keep ’em.  If you’ve been hoarding them since high school or the soles are stapled helplessly back on, it’s time to say goodbye. I’ve created a simple checklist for must-have categories with a few extra spaces for you to decide what to keep.


The Sneakers:

Exercise/Running

1-2 Pairs of Casual

The Beat Up Pair

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The Boots:

Rain Boots

1-2 Pairs of Ankle Boots

Snow Boots (if applicable)

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The Fancies:

Flats

High Heels

Clogs

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The Sandals:

Birkenstocks

Sandals

Flip Flops

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Remember, these are simply suggestions. Take or leave what YOU prefer. I have a thing for sneakers and Toms, and my wardrobe reflects just that. Going into fall, I really suggest having a great pair of boots, a kick ass pair of clogs, and a wonderful pair of sneaks. For a brief rundown of what I like to keep on hand, look below! I’ve included links to where you can purchase some of them as well.

Don’t judge, I know I have a few too many, but let’s be honest here.

I’m a woman and I love shoes. A lot.

What’s in My Closet?

The Sneakers: Black All-Star Lean Converse, White Keens MaderasBlack Authentic Vans, Blue Lo-Pro Vans, Merrells, Red Canvas TOMS.

The Boots: Minnetonka Tramper Boots (Brown), Minnetonka Fringe Boots (Black), Black Gloss Hunter Boots, Brown Ankle Boots

The Fancies: Lotta from Stockholm Nubuck Clogs, BCBG Peep Toe Pumps, Mossimo Peep Toe Mules, Mossimo Beige High Heeled Booties, Mossimo Black/Brown Flats, Mustache Loafers

The Sandals: F21 Black Sandals, Rainbow Flip-Flops, Reef Flip-Flops

So I’m not the worst… but I’ll admit, I’d love to have a walk-in closet with so many shoes that I could wear a different pair every day for a year. But alas, that’s for my crazy heart, not based in practicality at all. So I’ll stick with my almost 20 pairs of shoes and call it a day. Happy purging!!

Sakura Bloom Styelathon + A Minimalist Mama

For those of you who know me or follow along with my ramblings and snapshots, you know I love wearing Ronin. Not only is it convenient, but its the closest thing to wearing sunshine I can get. I was beyond excited when Sakura Bloom, a lovely ring sling company whose love and quality shine through each sling made, asked me to take part in bringing back their Styleathon feature.

Now I by no means consider myself on the cutting edge of fashion, nor do I spend the time I use to getting ready in the mornings. The days of showering alone are long gone, as are the primping hours that use to make my life seem all the more glamorous. These days I take solice in my capsule wardrobe and the power of facial moisturizer. Minimizing my choices when it comes to the apparel I grab and the shoes I slip on not only cuts down on my getting ready time, but also my stress level throughout the day.

Like any day that involves chasing around my little guy, I go for comfort and class. I relish in lightweight cottons, stretchable jeans, and my favorite shoes to add that little extra oomph. Today we headed out for a day in Cocoa Village, a lovely little historic town nestled just off the coast of Cocoa Beach, Florida. Not only is it one of our favorite parks, but our favorite cafe lays just on a corner of sweet shops and a bustle of locals and tourists alike.

Florida in the summer, let’s be honest, it’s hotter than the underside of a blogger’s laptop. My buttery soft tee can be found just about anywhere, goes with everything, and has been through hell. Paired with my medium wash Bullhead skinny jeans (the perfect daytime wash), I’m halfway to looking like I didn’t chase a nearly two year old around the house cleaning up Cheerios that mysteriously look like they’re dropping from his pant leg. The finishing touch, my Lotta from Stockholm clogs. Holy smokes folks, these shoes are not only tractor heeled perfection, they’re more comfortable then my sneakers and flip flops. My Nectar Chambray sling from Sakura Bloom gives my outfit the perfect pop of color, a beautiful combination of sunshine yellow and a floral orange. Last, but not least, a simple cross body purse from R.Riveter (If you haven’t checked them out, go now – they’re mission and quality are beautiful, as are the lovely folks behind the handcrafted brand).
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I wish you the happiest of day trips, be it with tiny humans or your favorite giants. For more information on Sakura Bloom, check out their site, Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook and see the wonderful community they have helped create.

To learn more about starting a capsule wardrobe, check out Project Capsule Wardrobe on the blog or #projectcapsulewardrobe on Instagram!

xo Mary

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A Capsule Wardrobe + A Sakura Bloom Sling

When asked to do share some of my favorite looks in the Sakura Bloom Styleathon segment, my mind started spinning. I wanted to showcase my style at it’s best; outfits that would secure me as a fashion force to be reckoned with. But the more I thought about it, the more it sank in. I’m not a fashionista. I’m not a mom who keeps up with every trend. I love simple, classic, and versatile pieces. So why not share outfits created from items I have, items from my capsule wardrobe?

DSC00271Florida is hot. It’s a given. When you move here, grow up in, or visit the Sunshine State, you know shorts will be a frequently utilized staple in your wardrobe. My outfit may seem plain, I can’t tell you how often I wear these pieces. At the core, a simple grey tee and a pair of high waisted shorts from TJMaxx. I default to high rise bottoms on the off chance my stomach may show – stretch marks fit so perfectly beneath the trend!

Next, my favorite Madewell shirt, a light wash of the softest fabric that makes for the perfect overshirt. I wear this thing everywhere… out to dinner, the beach, grocery shopping, everywhere. I bring it in my tote, wear it over dresses, with jeans. This is my anytime, anywhere shirt.

For lazy days, I prefer not to carry around a giant bag. Totes are such an easy accessory that allow room for everything I need, is washable, and a light enough fabric that it doesn’t make me even hotter to carry it. My darling friend Tracy, an incredible designer and artist from LA, owns Yay for Friends. This tote is just one of her adorable designs, all available in neural colors to match perfectly with my capsule wardrobe. I love the words and images printed on the bag, “Eat Well, Travel Often.” I’ve lived my whole life by that motto, and this tote bag is helping me continue on.

Last and probably my oldest go-to, Vans. I may still wear kid sizes, but I rock the hell out of them. I’ve had countless pairs in tons of different colors, but my black Authentics will always be my favorite. Gone are the days of trekking around Warped Tour in checkered slip-ons, hello to chasing toddlers on hot summer days.

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And of course, my sling is Nectar Chambray by Sakura Bloom. Out of the box it is the softest linen perfection in the color of sunshine and floral orange. I’ve gone through so many slings, searching for the perfect one… single layer linen, silks, artisans, but chambray has won my heart. Double layer support is a dream for wearing my toddler and the linen is light and breezy for summer wear.


These photos were taken in Cocoa Beach, Florida, by my stepdaughter… she’s pretty amazing!

Kindred Wrap

Babywearing has become so much more than a functional way to keep our little ones close as we battle our daily lives. It has become an art form, a thing of beauty. Wraps, slings, SSC, all have become a part of our style, our identity, our image.
Through the evergrowing babywearing community, I was able to meet Halli, the majestic and talented woman behind Kindred Wraps. Not only has she created a line that is sure to warm your heart and complete your ensemble, but her mission and dedication to her brand is unwavering. I got the chance to pick her brain on what inspired her to create Kindred and what drives her to share her love of babywearing with all.

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What prompted you to start Kindred Wrap?

I was first introduced to babywearing during a trip to a small village in Vietnam called Sapa. As a textile designer and lover, I was instantly captivated by the traditional dress of the local women; colorful, vibrant and intricate. Over our short stay, I loved learning about these women and their culture, which included an incredible work ethic; hands stained from indigo dying, piles of quilts to be stitched, and fields of rice to be tended. All this while keeping their little ones close, wrapped up on their hip or back; I was in awe.

When I returned home from the trip, my best friend had just welcomed her first little one and had fallen in love with woven wraps. I was so excited to see her using this same beautiful method of babywearing that I had first seen in such a distant part of the world. As I learned more about woven wraps, and watched her and her little one bond through their daily wrap adventures, I knew it was a product I would love to work with and eventually create. As a textile designer I found woven wraps to be a beautifully pure product in their aesthetic qualities and even more so in their function. I dove into researching weaving techniques and qualities, carrier styles and methods. I felt that I had a unique design perspective to offer the market and so Kindred was born.


Kindred is a word that encompasses so much; what is the meaning behind the name for you?

The name came about as I thought of the brand’s mission, which is to provide customers with a quality product that serves to promote bonding with their little ones as they go about the responsibilities of their day. The definition of Kindred is: similar in kind; family; a person whose interests or attitudes are similar to one’s own. From the outset I hoped that our wraps would become a part of the lives of those who use them. It is about serving and celebrating the unique connections within each family.The name Kindred Wrap embodies the brand philosophy of cherishing the moments you have with your family, your tribe, your kindred ones.


What do you love about wrapping and/or babywearing?

Babywearing in all forms is extremely functional. It allows parents and caregivers the ability to nurture their little ones while going about their day. It is the ultimate tool for multitasking and inherently invokes nurturing. Simply put, it keeps loved ones close to experience and share moments together. Wrapping, I find it particularly beautiful for its moldability, its heirloom quality and for its simplicity. Wovens require no hardware, no buckles, snaps or inserts. You simply wrap your loved one close to connect and bond throughout even the most bustling of days.


What is your favorite wrap currently?

KindredWrap_Halli_Pic3My favorite wrap is Tiburon in Honey. It was the first design I created and was inspired by one of my favorite movies, The Sound of Music. To me the design is a modern take on a vintage style and the color, Honey, is so cheery and warm, I just love it.  Also there’s no wrong side which is always a plus!

 


What is your inspiration behind color, design, and style?

As a textile designer, I envision Kindred as a pattern/print brand first and foremost. Every individual design has its own story and inspiration with the first consideration being the modern woman and what might accentuate her wardrobe. I try to offer a variety of moods for our customers from classic stripes to cheerful florals that lend themselves to mixing and matching. I’ve loved creating the Spring ‘15 line, but I cannot wait to share what is coming! I think it’s going to be really exciting. All I can say is it’s less focused on motifs and more focused on mixing textures.


Do you have any words of wisdom for those who find wrapping intimidating or maybe haven’t taken the plunge to try yet?

Honestly, there are so many babywearing products out there, I think it is important to find what works best for you. For those interested in wovens specifically, a great way to begin the process is to visit your local babywearing group to gain firsthand experience and face-to-face mentoring from the very knowledgeable members. It is a great helpline, not to mention an excellent way to test-drive a variety of wraps and fibers before purchasing. Otherwise, there are many excellent youtube tutorials out there to help you develop wrapping confidence. And as always, we are here to offer support and answer any questions with a simple email to info@kindredwrap.com .


KindredWrap_Halli_Pic4Check out more of the artistry & beauty shared by Halli and the Kindred community at the social media sites below and order a wrap of your own at kindredwrap.com.

Minimalist at the Beach

What to do when your fella heads to work and it’s breathtakingly gorgeous outside? Beach day, that’s what. With the salt water and sand just minutes from our house, we popped our teepee and a cooler full of watermelon in the car and started our day.

I normally love sneakily getting a photo of us splashing through the waves or building the most epic of sand castles, but it just wasn’t in the cards today. However, Ronin had on what I can only describe as the most wonderful swim trunks ever and I had to document it. Boden, a company for the whole family, was recommended to me by a friend for their amazing swimwear for little gents. I stocked up on a striped pair and adorable sharks to last Ronin through the summer. They stay on amazingly, with or without a swim diaper  (disposable or not, we use the iPlay reusables from Target).

Besides his O’Neil swim top, sun hat, and towel, that’s all we bring for Ronin. I’m sure slowly that our stock will grow as we add more water toys and sand construction tools, but for now, sticks and shells capture his attention.

As for me, I’m just as simple. A swimsuit, my chambray shirt from Madewell, sunnies, towel, hat and flip flops round out my necessities. I’ve always hated the bulky journey from car to sand and have found most items we use to carry just stay in the beach bag.

For the last few items, I won’t be caught without. Babyganics sunscreen, which we love with a passion for its ability to stay on and save tiny human skin, our Land of Nod teepee, a blanket, cooler for snacks, and one of my Sakura Bloom slings. Nectar was my sling of choice today and let me just say, it was made to be in the sun. It was the perfect brightness to end our trip with as the clouds rolled in over the darkening sea.

That’s it – one trip.

This was just the start of our beach day adventures, the beginning of this year’s fun in the sun. I hope to see you in the waves soon sweet folks!

Project Capsule Wardrobe: The Button Ups and the Denim

Whittling down your wardrobe to be a sliver of what it once was is a difficult task. Let’s face it, there’s a flannel you have that you wore to an epic concert one night or a pair of jeans that got you through high school. Take a second and ask yourself…

Have I worn this in the past year?

Does it fit?

Is it in wearable condition?

Am I able to add this into my capsule wardrbobe?

Did you answer no to any of these? If ya did, to the giveaway pile it goes. If yes to it all, keep it! It must have weathered the closet for a reason.
For me, I love the versatility of button ups. As an over shirt or on its own, with skirts, leggings, or pants, over a dress elegantly knotted at the waist, the options are endless. I hoarded flannels from years ago and had three chambray shirts collecting dust.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetThere were four that made the cut: Madewell Chambray, Old Navy Flannel, Cotton On Green Button-Up, and an ancient HM 3/4 Sleeve Flannel. Each item has been worn recently and embodies a neutral class that I love for any outfit.

Onto denim… I say denim because this doesn’t include all bottoms for me. Skirts and shorts will follow in another post, but right now, it’s all about the denim. I’m a believer that jeans can be justified for almost any occasion. Black. Green. Blue. Dark Wash. Destroyed. Boyfriend. Skinny. The choice is yours!

I reserve the right to switch out any pair at any time, but honestly, as a pretty short gal who enjoys skinnier fits, Bullhead is my go to denim. After managing a PacSun for years, I’ve seen their stock vary and denim come and go, but Bullhead has pulled through on top. Varying styles and washes make them a one stop shop for me and always leave me stoked on my purchase.

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From left to right, I have Bullhead Skinny Chinos in Green, Bullhead Black Jeggings, Bullhead High Rise Skinniest in Medium Wash, and Bullhead Low Rise Skinniest in Dark Wash. Like I said, I love my Bullhead. I live in them.

So there you have it, button ups and denim for #projectcapsulewardrobe! Check back in soon for a worksheet to help you sort and plan your wardrobe. Feel free to ask any questions or for help in finding the pieces you need to make the perfect wardrobe for you. Remember, the colors, styles, and number of items per category are completely up to you. Hate jeans? Sub in another skirt or dress. Nothing is set in stone, it’s all about you and your style.

Happy closet purging friends!

Mint & Birch

I’m constantly on the hunt for the perfect accessories to be forever pieces in my dwindling collection of jewelry. As part of my capsule wardrobe, I’ve rid myself of necklaces that have never been worn, rings collecting dust, and bangles that will never fit my scrawny wrists. I was beyond excited to work with the lovely Mint & Birch, an incredible company of handmade perfection.

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With a selection to fit ladies everywhere, you’re sure to find a quality piece of jewelry you’ll want to wear everywhere. Adding to my everyday wear, my Mama Bar Necklace and Nature Inspired Bird Nest Necklac, these gorgeous pieces not only look adorable, but share my favorite job – motherhood. When owner of Mint and Birch, Jessica, sent the dainty nest necklace my way, I doubt she expected tears upon its arrival. Three sweet eggs in a nest. Three. For those who don’t know me, I do have one son, Ronin Riot, but there are two more special young ladies in my life. My handsome fella has two gorgeous daughters that I’ve gotten to know, love, and treasure over the years. The three eggs was more than just a sweet necklace, it was a reminder of how lucky I am to be living my life.

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For those of you who are looking for the perect Mother’s day gift, head on over to Mint & Birch. Choose from an amazing array of custom and already designed necklaces and earrings. Buy them for yourself, you loved ones, or a mom to be… you and they will be awestruck at the simple beauty and charm each piece holds.