The Ten List: February 2021

As women, our load has become so great that we see taking any amount of time for ourselves as the equivalent of self-care. It’s not.

Happy February Ladies! 

Let’s start this short month with The Ten List, my monthly round up of conversation starters, style, beauty, food and entertainment. 

1.Quote of the Month

As women, our load has become so great that we see taking any amount of time for ourselves as the equivalent of self-care. It’s not.

If you are a woman who has ever felt like a trip to Target or going to the supermarket alone was a mini-vacation, take three minutes and read “Women Tending to Their Basic Needs Is Not Self-Care.” There is not an ounce of commentary that I could add to it. I felt every single word. 

At 41, I’m almost embarrassed to say I have no idea what will recharge me. 

I have fallen into the mindset that going to the bathroom by myself is a treat and not, you know, a personal right. 

A real vacation would be nice, I guess? Maybe if someone else was in charge of packing us up without forgetting anything. 

Reading is a beautiful escape, but I end up falling asleep with the book on my face after a few pages. 

Like so many of you, I’ve spent the last almost 20 years focused on my marriage, kids, and career. It left me little time to create a hobby, or space to hear myself think. 

So in 2021 I’m committing to figuring out what I need to feel truly recharged. Not just kinda rested. 

Tell me in the comments below, what works for you? What feeds your soul? Where do you get lost and come out feeling at peace? How do you recharge?

 

2. Dry Hair Fast 

Hair Turban

2. Hair Turban, $21 

With three daughters, two well on their way to being teenagers, my home life is becoming reminiscent of my sorority days. They steal my clothes, use my make-up and, even though we have two other bathrooms, are always in mine. To make life a little bit easier I’ve gotten into the rather expensive habit of buying three of everything, like this AQUIS Hair Turban.

I use mine every single day to help quickly dry my hair. Just wrap your hair once you get out of the shower. It stays in its place so you can get ready, do your make up, etc. Then you can blow dry and style your damp hair and save a ton of time.

3. Home Office Upgrade

Standing Desk Converter

3. Standing Desk Converter, $90 

A few years ago, we converted our unused detached garage into a beautiful home office. The idea was that it would be a proper space for me to work. Instead, it’s become my husband’s office, gym, and random storage space. So I finally put my foot down and reclaimed it as my own.

I ordered this under $100 standing desk converter (you can see all the five star reviews here), and it has made such a difference. You can easily go from sitting to standing, and you can place it anywhere you like. With working from home being more popular than ever, I can’t recommend this enough. It helps me get into a work mindset and increases my productivity.

4. Sweet Heart Sweatsuit 

Heart Sweatshirt from LOFT

4. Heart Sweatshirt, $80

I love this cheerful heart print sweatshirt and matching bottoms from Lou and Grey at LOFT. February is cold and snowy here on the east coast, so it’s nice to have a few “better” lounge pieces to make staying in feel not so dull. 

5. Winter Lips Relief 

Balm Dotcom in Coconut

5. Balm Dotcom, $12 

I am obsessed with Susan Yara, founder of Mixed Makeup. For me, her beauty and skin care recommendations are always spot on. When she mentioned Glossier’s Balm Dotcom lip balm was one of her favorites, I immediately ordered it. 

Between the cold weather and the stale inside air, my lips get extra dry in the winter, so I need something better than a chapstick. Balm Dotcom (in coconut, specifically) feels more like a treatment. I slather it on at night, and my lips feel so much better in the morning. 

I also put it on after my morning routine before I start my makeup to prep my lips.

6. Striped Sweatshirt

Gray Striped Hooded Sweatshirt

6. Sweatshirt, $35 

This sweatshirt by Goodthreads on Amazon is one of my favorite finds. It’s made of extra soft modal fleece, so it’s comfortable and washes well. I know this for a fact because I’ve been wearing it on repeat. I have it in the grey stripe above and just ordered the black and white stripe to pair with shorts in the summer. Buy one size up from your normal size. 

7. What I’m Cooking: Protein Muffins

Protein Muffins from Eat This Not That

My kids have been in in-person school since September (Hallelujah!), so our mornings are back to being 60 minutes of chaos. Because my almost 11-year-old is a softball pitcher who trains year-round, we have to be intentional about her diet and recovery. And because she’s naturally tall and lean, keeping weight on her is a challenge.

It doesn’t help that she’s the pickiest eater I know who would live off mac and cheese if given a chance. So any time I can sneak protein into her meals is a plus. 

I found this simple recipe for protein muffins, and they are a huge hit. You can serve them warm with some maple syrup to dunk or, more realistically, throw them to the kids as they run out the door for the bus.

They make a nice after school snack too. Sometimes I swap out the blueberries for a few chocolate chips. 

 

8. What I’m Binging: Ted Lasso 

Ted Lasso on Apple TV is a sitcom about an American football coach who becomes an elite British football club manager. I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a show so much. It is hilarious and heartfelt, combining the best of American and British humor. I laughed so hard my face hurt, and it reminded me what it felt like to be genuinely optimistic about things. I didn’t want it to end. 

9. What I’m Reading: American Dirt

American Dirt

I only just started American Dirt for a book club I’m in with some friends, but I’m already devouring it. This Oprah Book Club pick and New Your Times Bestseller has been described as “the defining book of 2020.” 

We have a snow day today and I’m carving out some time when the baby takes a nap this afternoon to jump back in, it’s an unbelievable page turner. 

10. Follow The Well Dressed Life on Instagram

 

Follow The Well Dressed Life Here

We are SO CLOSE to hitting 11,000 followers over on Instagram. If you enjoy our content here, please consider following along there too! It would be a huge help in building our community! I share fresh content, outfit inspiration and how to videos, plus a few pictures of my very boring life at home. 🙂 


Our Style Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please  follow on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

Learn about our mission to help women look and feel their very best, every day, here

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The Ten List: January 2021

It takes courage to say yes to rest and play in a culture in where exhaustion is seen as a status symbol.

Happy New Year, Ladies! 

We’re back and kicking off 2021 with The Ten List, my fun and thoughtful monthly round up of style, beauty, food and entertainment. 

It takes courage to say yes to rest and play in a culture in where exhaustion is seen as a status symbol.

1. The Importance of Rest

On New Year’s Eve morning, my husband took two of our girls over to my parents’ house; a tradition started years ago when Bri and I were fun and young enough to go out for the evening.

These days, we use the time without the kids to clean up from the holidays and get ready to return to work and school.

This, of course, was my plan, and as usual, I had a long to-do list.

But as I came back after waving goodbye from the driveway, I noticed the stillness of the house. It was maybe the quietest and most peaceful it had been all year.

My oldest, who is almost 14, was asleep in her room on the other side of the house. There was no chance I’d hear from her until at least noon.

So, I poured myself a fresh cup of coffee, slipped back into bed, and started to read my book.

What an indulgence, I thought. I decided to give myself an hour.

I can’t tell you the last time I read anything for pure enjoyment before 10 pm.

Within minutes, without even trying, I fell asleep.

I slept for seven hours.

Out cold.

My husband came home and was in and out of our room all day, and I didn’t budge until I woke up at 4 pm.

Every woman I know is the center of her family’s universe, no matter how big or small, or your stage or season in life. We’re like an invisible forcefield around those we love, keeping the wheels turning and ensuring everyone is safe.

2020 tested us. We were asked to do the impossible, and we did it. That looks different for all of us, but make no mistake; we have all been running on fumes for months, propelled only by adrenaline and our primal instinct to take care of our families.

The toll the last year took on us doesn’t disappear just because the ball dropped or we’re ready to turn the page. There is no magical reset. I’m sure you’re exhausted. I know I still am.

So, as we enter 2021, I’m not making any resolutions or elaborate lists of goals like I usually would. However, I am committing to taking better care of myself and not in a face-mask-and-manicure kind of way.

Instead, I’m easing up on myself, permitting myself to rest and recharge when necessary.

I hope you consider something similar after the year we all just had. It’s time to heal; it’s time to refuel; it’s time to take the many lessons we learned in 2020 and turn them into action. For me, one of those lessons means radical self-care since I now truly understand all I’m charged with protecting.

Affordable Vitamin-C

Vichy LiftActiv Peptide-C Ampoule Serum Anti Aging Concentrate

2. Peptide-C Anti Aging Ampoule Serum, $30 

Vitamin C is an essential skin care product for those of us trying to age gracefully. When used correctly, it helps promote collagen, reduces fine lines, and evens out skin tone. It’s beneficial if you have hyperpigmentation and brown spots because it inhibits melanin production in the skin. I tried several last year (including Goops new and expensive GoopGlow which I was underwhelmed with). 

I discovered Vichy’s Peptide-C Anti Aging Ampoule Serum after going down a rabbit hole of online videos, and it’s terrific and affordable. Use in your morning skincare routine, after you cleanse, and before moisturizer and sunscreen. It not only helps smooth and brighten your skin but will prevent future damage from free radicals and daily pollutants.

3. Most Popular Shoes of 2020 

Birdies the starling loafer in black

3. Birdies Starling Loafer, $95 

I love running end of year reports to see the overall theme of the year. I would have beat money on joggers being the top-selling, most popular item for the year, but I was wrong. That honor belongs to the Birdies Starling Loafer. I lived in these beauties over the holidays, and they are just the thing to get us through these last few months of staying close to home when you want something better than a slipper but just as comfortable. 

* Run true to size.

4. Favorite Instagram Account of 2020

 

Go Clean Co Instagram

4. Go Clean Co Instagram

I cannot emphasize enough the value and satisfaction I get out of the Go Clean Co Instagram page. A Canadian home cleaning company with an incredible 1.6 million followers, it literally teaches you to clean, with tips that have saved me time and money.

And I have cleaned everything in my house, from the hood over the oven to the parts of my front loader I didn’t know I was allowed to touch. The biggest takeaway has been discovering the power of powder Tide. Add a tablespoon to scorching hot water, and you can clean almost anything – it’s incredible and easy.

5. Affordable Parka

Old Navy Fur Lined Parka

5. Faux Fur Lined Parka, $65 

I love, love, love this Faux Fur Lined Parka from Old Navy available in regular, tall and petite. It’s warm and cozy, chic and polished and on sale for $65. If you are looking for an affordable and stylish coat to keep you warm for the rest of the winter, check this one out. 

$30 Satin Pajamas

 

Satin pajamas in champagne

6.  Satin Pajamas, $30 

I bought five pairs of these Satin Pajamas from Amazon, including the “champagne” color above. They are affordable (under $30), wash well and feel so luxurious. I did a quick purge of any ratty or worn out PJs and replaced them with these. They run true to size. 

What I’m Cooking

What I'm cooking: Home Chef meals

7. What I’m cooking: Home Chef 

If you’re as tired of taking out as I am and committed in the New Year to try to get more organized with meal planning, give Home Chef a try. I ADORE it. We’ve tried every single box/meal/subscription service, from Blue Apron to Freshly and Home Chef blows them all away.
First, the variety and quality of food are top-notch. They make it easy to substitute the protein, so if you don’t want red meat or pork, you can replace it with chicken, and you can customize the serving size.

Second, you have options with the kind of meal; they have meal kits, 15-minute meal kits, and oven ready dinners. For the meal, kits order the exact serving size (I order four servings, which is enough from two adults, two kids, and a toddler). For the oven ready dinners, I order six servings, which feed us all with a little leftover for a single lunch the next day.

Use this link to get $35 off your first order. (NOT SPONSORED)

What I’m Binging

What i'm Watching: The Haunting of Bly Manor8. What I’m Binging: The Haunting of Bly Manor

I should say, What I Binged because we watched this stunning 7 episode series in three nights. I also watched The Haunting of Hill House, which I enjoyed, but The Haunting of Bly Manor is a beautiful, tragic “ghost” story you can get lost in that left me crying by the last episode. 

What I’m Reading

What I'm Reading: The End of Her

9.  What I’m Reading: The End of Her 

Before I passed out for seven hours on New Years Eve, I was looking forward to finishing The End of Her by Shari Lapena. I highly recommend if you enjoy page-turning thrillers. I was hooked right away and was proven totally wrong when I got cocky and thought I had the story all figured out. 

10. Our Free New Year Wardrobe Challenge Starts Friday!

 

I’m so excited to host the first Wardrobe Challenge of the year! Join me right here, every Friday, for the next four weeks as we pull your personal style, closet and wardrobe together. Click here for all the details


Our Style Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please  follow on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

 

 

 

The Ten List: October 2020

The Ten List October 2020

The Ten List was our most popular series in 2019. This year, it moves from being a weekly to a monthly post to make more room for style focused content.

Here I share a thoughtful quote, a little insight, and some products (that don’t require their own post), articles, and other conversation starters that I’m enjoying. As always, I hope it’s a helpful bit of inspiration for your day and love to hear from you in the comments below!

Does anyone else wake up and wonder, “How is this still going on??”

Over the last six months, I’ve used every ounce of energy to keep life moving forward. The “balance” of keeping our family safe while maintaining their mental health, managing the kids’ education and preparing for their future, running a business without staff, trying to protect our careers, all while attempting to stay optimistic, is wearing me out.

Today, life feels the most normal it has in months (my kids have been back to school in person for four weeks now!), but there is this enormous heaviness hanging over everything.

I feel tired in my bones. When I finally get a minute to sit down and work, it’s like my brain can’t click into gear.

But I’ve always found the Fall magical. Something about watching the beauty of the season change every day gives me comfort. It feels like a new chapter, or a rebirth. 

While waiting for this chapter to close, focusing on staying grateful has been the singular thing I’ve done to keep my head on straight.

 

The Ten List October 2020

I was reminded recently of the importance of actually writing down what you are grateful for. It’s one thing to think it, but it’s an entirely different experience when you take pen to paper. These days, I can’t make a production out of anything. So I simply scribble words into my notebook: happy kids, health, community, excellent school, etc.

Especially in those moments of total overwhelm and exhaustion, it’s often the push I need to reset and refocus.

Also, I can’t wait for this year to be over; hang in there, everyone. xx

 

2. Two- Tone Earrings 

Two Tone Earrings

Earrings, $68 

Want to update your earring game for the fall? These two-tone hoops are just the thing. You can easily switch from gold to silver to keep your look cohesive. They are light but still substantial, perfect for Zoom meetings, and an excellent value at under $70.

3. Amazon Sweater 

Amazon Sweater

Amazon Sweater, $29 

I was looking for a “house sweater,” something I could throw on with cute boyfriend jeans and a white tee shirt. I landed on this cozy and slouchy under $30 option from Amazon. It’s available in 6 seasonal colors and runs true to size (I purchased the medium). 

4. Triple Cooling Rack

Triple Cooling Rack

4. Triple Cooling Rack

Perhaps I’ve been living under a rock, but discovering this cooling rack blew my mind. It has three tiers! With the holidays right around the corner, I’m so looking forward to baking with the kids, and packing up treats to send to neighbors. This will make big baking days a lot easier to manage. 

5. Monogrammed Pouches

Monogrammed Pouches

Monogrammed Pouches, $45 

I have three daughters. My oldest are 13 and 10, and they steal each other’s everything all day long. So I ordered them these pouches to corral all the things they use daily like chargers, air pods, deodorant, lip balm, etc. They keep them on their desks in their bedrooms, and it gives them a place to keep all the things. Does it work? I would say enough that they are not continually searching for missing items and bickering about who stole what, so yes. 

6. Pumkin Spice Candle

Candle

Candle, $25  

I’m not a pumpkin spice fangirl, but I found this candle on Etsy by Basic Bee Candle Co., and I LOVE it. So much so I ordered 5 of them. They are non-toxic, smell amazing, and burn clean. I light one every day in the kitchen, and it fills the space with this warm and comforting fragrance that’s not too sweet. I’ve even given a few out as thank you gifts to friends, and they all have raved about it too.

7. Knit Pumpkins

The Ten List October 2020

Knit Pumpkins, $8.00 + 

Another Etsy find is these adorable knit pumpkins. They come in a variety of sizes and colors and are so cute in person. I have them piled around the fireplace in a basket. I love the texture they bring into our fall decor. 

Sherpa Pullover

 

Sherpa Pullover, $30 

Over the years, I’ve purchased so many versions of this pullover from J.Crew; one could argue that I don’t need anymore. But I love that I can throw this on over a pair of joggers and get through our busy and chilly mornings. You can keep it casual and sporty with leggings and sneakers, or layer over a button-down with jeans and ballet flats. Available in four colorways up to a 3X

Manicure Tool

Manicure Tool, $16 

Influencers everywhere are singing the praises of LA-based nail company, Olive & June. They claim their tools provide salon-quality at-home manicures. 

I say the products are just okay. I’m not a fan of their nail polishes, and the hype around their tools is just good marketing. However, this little gizmo called  The Poppy is pretty great. You pop it onto the top of your nail polishes, and it helps keep your hand steady for a smooth, professional-looking application. Available at Target online and in stores. 

A Well Dressed Life Insider Logo

Our Fall Insider Membership will open on Friday, October 23rd

The Insider Membership mimics the 3 – Step Process I created for clients back in my personal styling days, but at a fraction of the cost.

It’s designed to help you create a classic and chic seasonal wardrobe.

Membership is seasonal, for three months at a time. The 2020 Fall Membership includes October, November, and December, with wardrobe offerings reflective of the season and year-round basics.

With membership, you’ll receive access to our new password-protected ad-free member portal.

You’ll find a seasonal shopping list, a wardrobe capsule, and over 50 outfit combinations.
The shopping list and capsule work together, and each month I’ll add a few new items and outfit combinations so you can continue to build your wardrobe. 

Plus! I’ll host LIVE monthly style coaching sessions in our Private Insider Facebook page so I can personally answer your questions and provide guidance. 

The cost is a one time payment of $59.95. 

To get on the waitlist and be first in line for membership, please add your email below. 

Stay tuned for more details coming this Monday, October 12th. 

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The Ten List: September 2020

Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be Kind. Always.

The Ten List was our most popular series in 2019. This year, it moves from being a weekly to a monthly post to make more room for style focused content.

Here I share a thoughtful quote, a little insight, and some products (that don’t require their own post), articles, and other conversation starters that I’m enjoying. As always, I hope it’s a helpful bit of inspiration for your day and love to hear from you in the comments below!

Hi Friends, 

After six long months, my kids are officially going back to school full-time, in-person, tomorrow. I’ve always loved our school, but this just cemented my affection forever. Our teachers, administrators, and parents created a plan that keeps everyone safe and helps our kids get as close to a normal school experience as possible.

The last two weeks of summer always kicks my butt as I get them ready for the new year. This year, with all the extra fatigue and stress, felt even more challenging. Over the weekend, I checked 700 math problems, helped finish book reports, bought uniforms, and labeled supplies.

Happily, everyone is ready, physically, and emotionally and I can’t wait to get back to work.

I want to thank you all for being patient as I took some time off last month. I didn’t realize how overwhelmed I was until I stopped for a minute. The time away just reinforced that I can’t keep running this business by myself. Now that the girls are back to their routine, I can put the wheels in motion to get some much-needed help.

So here’s hoping that the kids in school stay there, that the kids who are learning at home get to go back soon, and that the end of the school year doesn’t look nearly as weird as the beginning.

And God bless our teachers for everything they are doing to take care of all of our kids. 

1. Quote of the Month

Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be Kind. Always.It seems like everyone’s emotional temperature is running high these days. Between the pandemic, societal unrest, and our polarizing political landscape in constant 24-hour news rotation, you would think that is the only thing going on in the world.

But the truth is, everyone is still living their lives and dealing with all the challenges that come with that. Everyday life outside of the headlines is messy and complicated.

People are dealing with issues we know nothing about, so as we head into a new season filled with so much uncertainty and division I’m trying to lean into this quote purposefully.

Let’s try to give more grace than usual, not be so quick to judge and assume the best of people. 

2. Perfect Butter


Butter Bell Crock

Butter Bell Crock, $27

Sometimes the smallest things are the most delightful. My kids love toast with butter in the morning, so I picked up this simple butter crock to keep it soft and spreadable. When they woke up and discovered it on the island by the toaster, you would have thought it was Christmas morning. 

2. Hair Cleanse 

Biolage Clean Reset Shampoo

Clean Reset Shampoo, $30

After a summer of sea salt, sand, chlorine and all the product we pile on, our hair needs a good cleanse. This reset shampoo is fantastic. It removes build up and leaves your hair and scalp clean without drying it out. I use it on my straight hair and my girls’ curls. 

4. Loft Savings

 

Sale pieces at LOFT

Loft Sale

Loft is always having some kind of promotion, some better than others. If you need a few pieces to carry you through working-from-home in September, you might want to check this one out. This Zoom ready knit blazer is marked down to under $40 (sizes are limited), olive drawstring joggers are always popular and sell out fast, and my favorite, these pull on pants in “wild cherry” are adorable. I picked them up to wear with a denim jacket and sneakers. 

5. Under $100 Day Tote 

Lo&Sons Catalina Day Tote

Day Tote, $89

When I was flying all over the country for work, Lo & Sons was my go-to. Now that corporate travel has stopped, but life is getting a little more normal, I need something smaller in scale with a similar utility. This “day tote” is terrific. It’s under $100, durable, and serves a dozen purposes. I’m using for everything from a diaper bag to a weekender for kids sports tournaments.

6. Drugstore Find

CeraVe Daily Lotion

Daily Lotion, $12 

Who doesn’t love a drugstore find? When my 13 year old asked specifically for this body moisturizer I bough one for myself too  (because 13 year olds are in the know!). I can’t believe how much I like it. It’s light, not sticky, quick absorbing and inexpensive. 

7. Transition Sandal 

Vionic Bianca Suede Sandal

Suede Sandal, $130 

I don’t know where we’re going but goodness these are gorgeous. These are a stunning transition sandal with rave reviews for comfort. Wear them with jeans and a casual blazer, or a lightweight sweater dress when the weather is crisp but not cold. They are ideal if you’re lucky enough to live in year-round warm weather state. 

8. Simplified Planner

Daily Simplified Planner

Simplified Planner, $46

Many of us have a million and one balls in the air with school back in session. For whatever reason, a digital calendar doesn’t cut it for me. This planner, by Emily Ley, has been my go-to for years. It’s super high quality, with bright and preppy cover options and a simple yet practical layout.

At the start of each week, I try to map out our schedule and then list everything I have to do each day. It helps hold me accountable and keeps me somewhat organized. You’ll find it extra helpful if you are so managing virtual learning this fall. 

9. Thrive Market Savings

Thrive Market

Thrive Market 

After seeing ads for Thrive Market on Facebook and Instagram, I decided to give it a try, and I’m so happy I did (by the way, this is NOT an ad). Here’s how it works: sign up for a membership, either $10 a month or $60 annually. This gives you access to their inventory, which is about 35% less than retail. It’s all the brands you love and see at better grocery stores, like Whole Foods. 

It’s great if you are following a specific diet or need gluten and sugar-free options. I like it to stock up on school snacks, pantry staples, and cleaning products. They have so many brands, including some of my favorites like Primal Kitchen (I LOVE their dressings and marinades), Simple Mills crackers, Annies, and Jovial pasta. I’ve placed two orders so far of items I would have bought at Whole Foods, and have already saved over $100. 

The only downside is their shipping feels a little slow given how spoiled we are with Amazon Prime.  

 

10. What I’m Reading and Watching
The Home Edit

The Home Edit 

I’ve followed Clea and Joanna of The Home Edit, known for their sense of style and organization, for years. They’ve inspired countless corners of my home and are why all of our books are in rainbow order. My family thinks I’m nuts, but the truth is, I function better when everything has a place

. The Home Edit helps you create functional spaces that are pleasant to look at, without shaming you into throwing away your things. I have their books (above is their latest), and I can’t wait to binge their new Netflix series that starts this week!


Our Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ten List: August 2020

We Repeat What We Don't Repair

The Ten List was our most popular series in 2019. This year, it moves from being a weekly to a monthly post to make more room for style focused content.

Here I share a thoughtful quote, a little insight, and some products (that don’t require their own post), articles, and other conversation starters that I’m enjoying. As always, I hope it’s a helpful bit of inspiration for your day and love to hear from you in the comments below!

#1 Quote of the Month

We Repeat What We Don't Repair

The biggest lesson I’ve learned in my years of therapy and time spent working on myself is that we have to heal what is damaged in us if you want to stop our harmful behavior.

Turning 40 gave me a real sense of urgency to prioritize my own healing and mental health. 

For me, getting to the root of my constant negative self-talk, low self-esteem, and hiding behind perfectionism (which is so far from perfect) has been a long but freeing journey and I’m only just scratching the surface.

This year has brought out a lot of emotions, so I just want to share that if you’re finding yourself during this strange time trying to figure out why you do, think or react a certain way, stay on that path of discovery.

None of us get out of life without some kind of trauma. It can be painful to relive some of your past experiences. For me, it’s been equal parts healing and humbling. But the work is worth it, especially so we don’t take our pain and project it on the people we love the most. 

I’ve been working my way through the book: EMDR: The Breakthrough Therapy for Overcoming Anxiety, Stress, and Trauma. It’s been a powerful resource to help me understand why I process feelings and interpret situations the way I do. It holds you accountable for your behavior while helping you understand why you are feeling triggered – and once I learned that, I was better able to manage my anxiety in a much healthier way. 

2. Gallon Water Bottle

Gallon-Sized Water Bottle

  Water Bottle, $21

This month I’m doing a 30 Day Challenge where every day in August I drink a gallon of water.

By now, we all know the benefits of staying hydrated. But I didn’t realize the impact it has on reducing under eye bags and dark circles. And boy do I have them these days.

Turns out, downing a gallon of water a day isn’t that difficult, and after the first few days you stop running to the bathroom every hour.

To help make the challenge fun, I ordered this gigantic water bottle from Amazon.

It’s the actual size of my head, so not something you want to commute with, but it sure does help keep you on track. I fill it each morning while the coffee is brewing and add slices of lemon. Then I just keep it on the kitchen island and drink throughout the day.

My kids think it’s hilarious. They are constantly checking to see my progress, and a week in, I’m already feeling better.

#3. Protein Powder

Be Well Protein Powder

Protein Powder, $50

In the morning, a green smoothie has long been my go-to to maintain a semblance of good health, and nutrition and wellness expert, Kelly LeVeque has been my north star for guidance.

So when I learned she launched a protein powder, I ordered it immediately. Kelly is obsessed with bringing only the best information and now ingredients to her clients and followers.

The powder is more expensive than most. She fully funded the launch herself and is transparent about how she is working on lowering the price while maintaining the highest standards.

Most protein powders upset my stomach, and have an odd after taste. This one is delicious and I’ve had no side effects. 

I add it to my smoothie every morning. It has 23 grams of protein, only two grams of carbs, and is Keto and Paleo-friendly. It’s available exclusively on Amazon and already has over 100 5 Star Reviews. The unflavored is currently available, but vanilla (my favorite) and chocolate are being restocked.

Here books, Body Love and Body Love Everyday are some of my most favorite health and nutrition guides. 

4. Joggers

Athleta Attitude Pant

Attitude Pant, $89 

Joggers aren’t going anywhere, and thank goodness because neither is homeschooling. I’m using August to get a few things lined up for an insane fall and school year.

So I picked up these joggers from Athleta to have something to throw on first thing in the morning, take a quick walk and be ready for whatever the day is going to throw at us.

They are super lightweight (read all the reviews here) and available in regular, tall and petite sizes up to a size 16.

With a simple white tee and your favorite sneakers they are pretty much perfect. 

5. Peplum Top 

J.Crew Peplum Top

Peplum Top, $80

Here’s a little sneak peek at a key piece for next week. I received so many requests for some buy now, wear now and later items. I’m starting with this painfully chic polka dot peplum top from J.Crew (use CODE GOSALE for 25% off). 

It’s a year round, super versatile piece. Stay tuned for Thursday’s Wear it Two Way post! 

6. Apple Watch Strap

Chain Link Apple Watch Strap

Apple Watch Strap, $99 

Looking for a more sophisticated strap option for the Apple Watch? Well look no further than this classic, chain link jewelry-like option from Rebecca Minkoff available in gold or silver tone

It’s gorgeous! Use it as a stand alone piece, or go ahead and layer it with your other favorite bracelets for a real statement. 

7. Hanaure Facial

Hanacure Facial

Hanacure Facial, $29 

I’m a big believer in small indulgences. But with salons and spas across the country either closed or limited, it’s not easy to sneak away for a much needed minute to ourselves. That’s why I love at-home treatments, like the Hanacure Facial that I use once a month.

This face mask is wild.  Mix it per the instructions, paint it on, and watch your skin tighten to the point that you can’t move your face. After about 20 minutes, rinse it off with a warm cloth, and your skin will look and feel incredible.

It has a cult-like following, and after a few treatments you’ll understand why.

8. What I’m Reading

Finding Freedom

What I’m Reading: Finding Freedom 

For Harry and Meghan’s wedding, a couple of my friends and I booked a spa weekend at a fancy hotel. We checked in, had a massage, dinner, and then woke up very early, ordered room service, and watched the entire spectacle from bed with no husbands or kids around to spoil our good time.

It was so fun and stupid, and a much-needed break from our real lives.

So we’re all in on this journey, and this book is going to be another break from the seriousness of the current state of the world.

9. What I’m Cooking

Gooey Butter Cake

What I’m Cooking: Gooey Butter Cake 

Not much these days, it’s too hot out, but I ordered this ice cream by Jeni’s and holy molly it’s incredible. I considered stocking the basement freezer with it, so we always have it on hand, but my savage children would eat through it in a day, whether we had a pint or a case. 

I wonder if I can put a small freezer in my closet? Where do moms hide their treats these days?

 

10. Wardrobe Challenge – Save the Date!

Wardrobe Challenge

We’re coming up on our Fall Wardrobe Challenge! Starting on Friday, September 11th. I have a whole slew of fun and help activities planned and as always, it’s totally FREE.  More info to come next week! 


Our Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

The Ten List: July 2020

July Ten List

The Ten List was our most popular series in 2019. This year, it moves from being a weekly to a monthly post to make more room for style focused content.

Here I share a thoughtful quote, a little insight, and some products (that don’t require their own post), articles, and other conversation starters that I’m enjoying. As always, I hope it’s a helpful bit of inspiration for your day and love to hear from you in the comments below!

#1. Quote of the Month

July Ten List

The other day I was working at the pool, looked up, and caught a glimpse of my Ava walking across the diving board. The sun has this way of hitting her making her hair, eyes and freckles all the same color red and it always takes my breath away. She was glowing in the light, and I stopped to watch her.

The club we belong to has a highly competitive swim team. The kids start young, and they are good, so the diving board has a non-stop line of flips and spins and perfect dives.

But we are not a swim team family, and my kids are, um, lacking in their aquatic skills.

Ava walked across the board, who, no matter how many hours she spends in the sun, is the palest kid I’ve ever seen in my life, leaped in the air with her extra-long arms and legs stretched out like a firework and landed in the pool sideways.

She came up out of the water with a ridiculous smile and I was struck by her joy. 

So simple, so pure. She spent hours going off that diving board. Not trying to be perfect, or fit in, just enjoying every moment of being airborne. 

I can’t say I’ve had a ton of joyful moments during this season. Like everyone, my thoughts have been filled with frustration, fear, and anxiety over not knowing what will happen next, and I’ve been under some pretty intense personal pressure. 

But over the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to surrender to what is happening around me and releasing my compulsive need to control outcomes.

Instead, I’m focusing on my perspective and choosing to find joy, in the smallest of moments. And, as it turns out, when life is stripped down to the basics, it’s actually pretty easy to do. 

I’m taking tomorrow off for the holiday weekend, but will be back on Monday with our regular content. 

In the comments below, tell us the simple joys you’ve discovered during this season of staying close to home and have a happy 4th of July weekend 🙂 

 

#2. Overnight Bag

MADDIE OVERNIGHTER2. Overnight Bag, $269 

Even though so many big trips are postponed this summer, lots of us are still trying to get away more local for a bit of break. This overnight bag by Mark & Graham is so chic. It’s roomy with lots of little organization to keep everything you need close. Obviously, opt for the monogram. It would also make a fantastic graduation gift!

#3. Dresses from LOFT are $35

Loft floral dress3. Floral Dress, $100 (NOW $35)

LOFT has been a fantastic resource this season. Lots of inventory, fabulous sales and fast shipping. They even make returns super simple.

I am heavily leaning on dresses to get me through and right now ALL DRESSES ARE $35! I picked this dress up a  few weeks ago (you can see it here) and just ordered this black maxi, (available in missy, petite, plus and tall!) and this white beachy midi dress

 

#4. Perfect Snacks

Perfect Snacks4. Perfect Snacks

I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but every now and then I want a little something to ease a craving. I discovered Perfect Bars, these peanut butter protein bars you keep in the fridge that are heavy with protein and low in sugar. They are delicious.

Then I discovered they make chocolate peanut butter cups and they are perfection. Not too sweet, just the perfect bit, and not terrible for you. You can find them on Amazon, or in the cold section at Target or Whole Foods. 

#5. Prosecco Candle

Prosecco Candle5. Prosecco Candle, $38 

A prosecco scented candle? Sign me up! This gorgeous candle by Marie Hunter is a new favorite. “Top notes of Satsuma citrus balance with subtle floral notes of muguet. Apricot and passionfruit complement the sweetness of sugared black currant.” It smells sweet and light, with a little bit of warmth. I’m preordering a few to restock my gift closet so I have a them on hand for gifts in the fall. 

#6. Self Tan Drops

Self Tan drops6. Self Tan Drops, $49 

Long time readers know I am a self-tan expert. Yes, expert. I use self-tanner or get a spray tan, all summer long. But the one area that is a challenge is the face, because it fades first, and you have to use makeup to keep your face the same color as your body. 

During the Sephora sale, I ordered Tan-Luxe The Face, a self-tan oil you use with your moisturizer. It’s a game-changer. 

Simply add a few drops (I add 3 -5) into your moisturizer or night cream – or the last product you put on before bed, and it turns it into the most subtle tanner. You’ll wake up with a sun-kissed glow as light or dark as you want. 

#7. Tory Flip Flops

 

Miller Flip Flops7. Miller Flip Flops, $198

The Miller Flip Flop by Tory Burch is one of the most popular shoes for summer. Currently you can grab certain colors on sale at Nordstrom here, or go with this sophisticated neutral, at full price, but selling quickly. 

#8. Top Knot Headband

Leopard Headbands8. Leopard Headbands, $13 

I ordered these headbands several months ago. I absolutely love the subtle leopard print, the soft pleat detail, and the low key top knot – and the price is crazy at 3 for $13! Turns out my teenager love them too, since I’ve had to order a second set for her. Well, I had to order a second set for me since she took mine. 

#9. Seven Lies

Seven Lies Book9. I don’t usually read thrillers, but Seven Lies came so highly recommended I decided to give it a go. It’s dark, compelling, had me engrossed within the first few pages. If you’re looking for an all consuming beach read, the kind you can’t put down, this is the book for you. 

#10. Become A Well Dressed Life Insider!

Become A Well Dressed Life InsiderSign Up for Our Waitlist Here

I’m so excited for our very first Membership Program: The Well Dressed Life Insider

This is a seasonal program for readers who want even more content. Through our members-only portal, you’ll receive access to:

our Summer Shopping List (so you can shop your closet)

our Summer 2020 Wardrobe Capsule (so you can buy what you’re missing)

our How to Wear Guide (so you can see how to wear everything)

and LIVE group style coaching with me for the rest of the summer. 

Don’t worry, the blog content will remain unchanged, our Wardrobe Challenge will always be free, and our Private Facebook group isn’t going anywhere:) 

Registration opens July 8th – July 11th, and the portal opens on July 13th. If you want to be first in line to sign up, join our waitlist here. I am limiting membership so I can best manage the group.  


Our Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.


 

The Ten List: June 2020

"Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet."

The Ten List was our most popular series in 2019. This year, it moves from being a weekly to a monthly post to make more room for style focused content.

Here I share a thoughtful quote, a little insight, and some products (that don’t require their own post), articles, and other conversation starters that I’m enjoying. As always, I hope it’s a helpful bit of inspiration for your day and love to hear from you in the comments below!

#1 Quote of the Month

"Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet."

Thank you to everyone who commented or sent me a note after yesterday’s post addressing the current crisis facing our country. What is happening right now is overwhelming, and as I said yesterday, I am not educated or eloquent enough to be a source of social or political commentary.

I know that is not why you are here. I’ve always promised to keep our space light and positive, and that is what I am going to continue to do.

Because now more than ever, we need community. As this month begins, please know that I am heartbroken and angry. But walking around heartbroken and angry does me, the people I love most, and my community no good.

The best thing I can do is use this platform’s mission to be a place of inclusion and celebrate the beauty of womanhood. We all believe in the idea that when we take care of and honor ourselves, we show up as the best versions of ourselves in the world.

I feel it’s going to be the inherent empathy and compassion of women that bring up real change.

So let’s start today.

2. Patent Leather Sandals

Sam Edelman Sandals2. Patent Leather Sandals, $100

Sam Edelman makes a great shoe. They are always high quality for a reasonable price with a style that defines “classic with a twist.” If you need to update a pair of flat sandals, considered their “Bay Flat” sandals for $100. I love them, they work with shorts, ankle pants, dresses – anything. 

3. e-Cloth Starter Set

 

e-Cloth Starter Set3. e-Cloth Starter Set, $25

I discovered these e-Cloths last month, and they are incredible. With three kids, who have been home NON STOP for three months, I feel like all I do is wipe down counters and sinks, and my windows and doors are covered in fingerprints. (And my kitchen is all white so you see everything.)

This set comes with four “general cleaning cloths” and one polishing cloth. To use them, wet a cleaning cloth with warm water, you don’t need cleaning agents or harsh chemicals, and go about your chores. Follow up with the polishing cloth, you use it dry, and it leaves faucets, glass, and stainless gleaming.

4. The Chiffon Trenches 

The Chiffon Trenches4. The Chiffon Trenches 

We’re headed to the beach this week and I am so looking forward to indulging in this juicy tell all about the career Andre Leon Talley. 

The Chiffon Trenches offers a candid look at the who’s who of the last fifty years of fashion. At once ruthless and empathetic, this engaging memoir tells with raw honesty the story of how André not only survived the brutal style landscape but thrived—despite racism, illicit rumors, and all the other challenges of this notoriously cutthroat industry—to become one of the most renowned voices and faces in fashion.”

I mean, I can’t wait. 

5. Belted Shirtdress

Ann Taylor Belted Shirtdress5. Belted Shirtdress, $159

This gorgeous, buttery dress is on sale at Ann Taylor for 40% off bringing it to $95. I’m so thrilled more retailers are finally offering size scale, this dress comes in “regular,” tall and petite up to as XXL. (Size down it runs big.)

Wear it with neutral-to-you wedge sandals and fun earrings. If it feels long a simple hem from a tailor or dry cleaner will do the trick. 

And keep in mind, as the new landscape of retail evolves, it is so much easier for a company with the size and resources, like Ann Taylor, to offer size range. The smaller brands and boutiques are incredibly limited by order minimums and budgets to offer all sizes. 

6. Slim Canvas Wallet

Dagne Dover Slim Canvas Wallet6. Slim Canvas Wallet, $75

Need a graduation gift? This under $100 wallet by Dagne Dover is perfect. It’s classic and timeless but modern enough to fit into any style. I’m featuring it in “Bleecker Blush” but it’s also available in “Graphite” which is equally gorgeous. 

7. Statement Earrings

Kendra Scott Statement Earrings7. Statement Earrings, $98

I love Kendra Scott Jewelry but sometimes the pieces look too “Kendra Scotty.” Does that make sense? Not these! These are BIG earrings, that pack a punch. They are far outside my own style preferences, but if you’re looking for something oversized, that will still go with everything, give these a try. 

8. Toiletry Travel Bag

Toiletry Travel Bag

8. Toiletry Travel Bag, $23

I picked up this toiletry bag for the summer since we are planning on taking a few road trips to keep my toiletries and make up organized. It’s nice quality for the price!

I like the idea of packing, hanging it, and then zip it back up when we’re leaving. Since we’re traveling for the first time as a family of five, I’m trying to do everything I can to minimize effort and maximize space, especially with a toddler in tow.

9. Nail File

Nail File9. Nail File, $12

While many of us continue to wait not so patiently for nail salons to reopen, I picked up this nail file and buffer. I’ve been trying to be low maintenance and let my nails breathe for a bit to get them healthy. This file is great because you can use it to shape your nails, but the real magic is how it buffs them to a glass-like shine. It looks like you have on clear nail polish!

 

Tikka Masala Sauce10. Tikka Masala Sauce, $5

If you are looking for a quick and easy dinner, pick up this Tikka Masala Sauce. I have a house of picking eaters – I can’t even begin to explain their long lists of complaints and requests – 99% of which I ignore. (We are a house where dinner is dinner, I’m not a short-order cook.) They ALL eat this. Simply cut some chicken breasts into cubes and brown them, add this sauce, and let simmer for 10 minutes. I make some brown rice and serve with naan. It’s delicious.

* Two jars and three pounds of chicken feeds four with a bit of leftovers. 


Our Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist View Post and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.