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.


The Ten List: May 2020

Glennon Doyle

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 

Glennon Doyle

Last week, the totality of everything going on in the world hit me like a ton of bricks.

I was worn out, exhausted, bored, overwhelmed, totally over it, filled with sadness, angry, and resentful – all of it, all at once.

As I was venting to my husband, I started apologizing for my feelings, for not keeping it all together, for being selfish and he said, “You have been operating on adrenaline for two months. This is impossible. Why are you apologizing?”

After he reminded me that a guy would never apologize for his feelings, he suggested I take a few days off. So that’s what I did.

On Friday, I walked away from my computer, spent some time in the sun, played with my kids and didn’t watch the news for the entire weekend.

It was a much needed break.

What I realized is that I have a hard time processing and validating how bad I feel in this situation, because I know others have it worse. Then I feel guilty, then all the negative feelings bubble up until I burst. 

The truth is, we can be grateful for our personal circumstances and still upset about what is happening.

How could we NOT be?

So let’s practice being gentle with ourselves.

When we start to feel these feelings, let’s acknowledge them rather than sweep them to the side. 

Maybe you need a good cry or scream into a pillow. 

Then get out, take a walk, turn off the news, read a good book, clean something out, paint your nails – anything to give you a quiet minute to process your thoughts.

And let’s all pray that this month turns a corner and brings healing, rest and comfort to everyone.

2. Ka-Brow!, $24

Ka-Brow Eyebrow Gel
We all know that eyebrows are the key to a youthful look. They frame our face, giving it structure and shape. But, as I’ve aged, my once full and lovely brows began to fade.

Ka-Brow! by benefit, brings them back to life. I use it every single day, no matter what. You can achieve a natural look with very little product, or add a bit more for extra drama.
What makes it fantastic is the applicator, which helps create soft, natural brows, and a formula that layers, doesn’t smug, and washes off easily.

3. Date Night Table Topics, $25

Date Night Table Topics

I usually think these conversation starter cards are cheesy. But, desperate for a “date night” that wasn’t just take out and Netflix I ordered these by Table Topics. They are great! Bri and I went through half the box and a bottle of wine one night and it was just what we needed to feel kind of normal for a few hours. 

4. “Cloud Bag”, $34 

White Cloud BagThe “Cloud Bag” was first introduced to the world by  Bottega Veneta a few years ago and quickly became an “it” bag.  The beauty of it is that it’s soft, yet structured, in a shape we don’t usually see in a bag.

I love it. Since then various versions have come out at all different price points.

This one, for $34 is an easy winner if you want a soft white bag for the warmer weather. It’s available in lots of other colors in a small or large size. I went with the large. 

5 . Floral Maxi, $30

Floral Maxi

Trust me when I tell you that I have worn some questionable outfits towards the end of April, all in the name of surviving the day. And I can say with certainty that the day is infinitely more miserable when I don’t try to pull myself together. So I ordered this inexpensive floral dress from Nordstrom Rack for another work-from-home option. It’s pretty, comfortable, and works with flip flops now, or nice sandals later. 

6 . Juicer, $20

Juicer

One silver lining out of the last few months is that Bri has taken his role as bartender very seriously. From resurrecting some old favorites, like a cosmo, to perfecting a jalapeno margarita, we’ve created a fun weekly ritual to look forward to.

The large electric juicer we were using was taking up too much space and a pain to clean – especially after a few cocktails. So I picked up this hand held one, and it’s fantastic! You get more juice out of your lemons and limes, makes little mess, and lives in a drawer when not in use.

7. Milk Frother, $50

Milk Frother

We drink a lot of coffee around here. But that first cup, the one we try to have before the kids wake up, is sacred. I look forward to it as I fall asleep. Frothing your milk is a lovely little way to make it feel all the more special like you’re at a local coffee shop. I ordered this one to have for just that, but you can also use it for hot chocolates, lattes or cappuccinos. It would make a wonderful Mother’s Day gift!

8. Pajama Pants, $18 

May 10 ListTarget has a chic selection of affordable pajamas right now. I picked up these for under $20. They are a pretty lounge pant that you can pair with a simple white tee and throw a cardigan over. They range in size from a XS – XXL. 

9. Office Ladies Podcast 

The Office Ladies Podcast

We are big fans of The Office in my house. Even my kids find it hilarious. It was my 13-year-old who turned me on to this podcast by co-stars and real-life best friends, Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey. Each podcast covers one episode revealing fun facts and stores about everything that went on behind the scenes. It’s an intimate and sweet conversation, that right now is a welcomed break.

10. Book Club!
Untamed by Glennon Doyle Book Club

Last week I announced our Book Club pick for May, Untamed, by Glennon Doyle. I was SO happy to hear from many of you who either already read it or immediately ordered it. It covers a lot, so we’ll have plenty to discuss. If you haven’t yet, please join our Private Facebook Group, where we’ll meet virtually on Sunday, May 24th, at 8 pm EST.

The Ten List: April 2020

The Well Dressed Life's 10 List for April

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

The Well Dressed Life's 10 List for April

The news right now is terrible, and this week is going to be hard. After an already grueling three weeks, many of us are feeling lost and a little hopeless.

So if I may offer one piece of advice to help us navigate it a bit better, something that’s helped me immensely, it would be: try to do one, (or two or three) acts of kindness.

It’s pretty incredible the shifts that happen when we focus on doing good, no matter how big or small when we’re in a moment of fear or sadness.

Last week I was starting to feel sorry for myself and was getting worn out from what daily life has turned into. Knowing that acts of service keep my anxiety at bay, I came up with an idea.

The fact that area small businesses have taken such a hit bothers me more than I can put into words.

I wondered, how hard would it be if we tried to raise some money to spend at some of our local favorite restaurants and use it to send food to hospital workers and other local  first responders?

This idea, I later realized, is not unique at all, but wasn’t happening in our community yet.

So, last Friday, I quickly set up a Go-Fund Me and Facebook page, and texted about 20 neighborhood moms, asking them to help me spread the word. I thought, maybe we would raise $500.

Instead, in the first 24 hours, we raised close to $2,000. One week later and we raised $7,000 so far. 

We’ve already sent out six catered meals to hospitals, a local nursing home staff and our police department, with more scheduled for the coming weeks.

So why am I sharing this with you?

Not for head pats, I assure you. I can’t stand when people humblebrag.

I’m telling you because it was easy to do. People were incredibly generous; restaurants and frontline workers were overwhelmingly grateful. And all it took was some organization and a few text messages to get us up and running. 

Personally, life feels normal when I’m organizing the logistics of a delivery.  For a few minutes (and that’s all it takes)  the narrative isn’t tragic; it’s empowering. It’s created a feeling of community that I am really starting to miss.

The goodness that’s in humanity doesn’t get news coverage because it’s not a sensational headline. But it’s out there in abundance, and experiencing it first hand is probably the single best thing any of us can do right now. 

There are so many things you can do to spread good this week. In your home, you can do something kind for who you spend your life with – this can be as simple as fixing their coffee, or making Sunday pancakes for your kids on Tuesday morning. 

You can send your local police department some pizzas, have your kids make cards for people in nursing homes, send flowers to a neighbor who lives alone or have groceries delivered for an elderly couple to save them or their caretaker a trip to the store.

The simple act of turning the attention away from ourselves not only helps us manage our understandable anxiety, but it collectively puts goodness into the world, and right now, we need all the good we can get. 

 

2. Snap-Up Fleece

The Well Dressed Life's 10 List for April2. Snap-Up Fleece 

I am a 40 year old mother of three, so I can’t believe I’m sharing anything from Abercrombie & Fitch, but this asymmetrical snap-up fleece is so cute.It’sperfect for the chilly early spring.

I ordered it in the “cloud” above in a large. There are lots of other options available. I’m wearing it now with distressed jeans or leggings for a morning walk. But what I’m really looking forward to pairing it with shorts for weeks at the beach this summer. 

3. Helpful Advice 

The Well Dressed Life's 10 List for April3. How to Ease Children’s Anxiety about COVID-19 

We talk a lot about the importance of routine, self-care and virtual connection in our adult lives, but they are also so important for our kids right now. This article is a good reminder that our kids are processing this differently, need a lot of grace, and a solid routine filled with structure AND space.

4. Capri Blue Lagoon Candle

The Well Dressed Life's 10 List for April
4. Capri Blue Lagoon Candles

The Capri Blue Lagoon Candles at Anthropologie are some of my favorites. I ordered a few more to keep around the house. As we continue to try to create “balance” around here, I like the idea of lighting them while we clean up from dinner and settle into a nighttime routine. They smell heavenly and look chic even when they aren’t lit. 

5. Updated Pajamas

The Well Dressed Life's 10 List for April
5. Updated Pajamas 

Some people will end this stay at home order with a few painted rooms, maybe an organized garage.

Me? I’ll have new pajamas.

There is no better time to treat yourself to an updated set, especially if they are on sale like this pretty set from Nordstrom. I ordered them in the gray (I’m not crazy about the blue option). They are perfect for these nights filled with movies, or Sunday’s that are extra lazy. In fact, I wouldn’t be mad if you spent the whole day in them. 

6. Kate Spade Keds 

The Well Dressed Life's 10 List for April
6. Kate Spade Keds

Over in our Private Facebook Page we got into a discussion about leopard print sneakers. Are they a classic? How wearable are they? To which I said, yes! they are classic and you can wear them all the time.  These Kate Spade Keds are a bit of a splurge but my favorite. You can wear them with jeans, or leggings, a tee shirt dress, or a long maxi dress. Just use the print as a neutral and you’ll update any outfit. 

7. Waterproof Cosmetics Pouch

The Well Dressed Life's 10 List for AprilWaterproof Cosmetic Pouch

I found these waterproof cosmetics pouches on Amazon (they get rave reviews) and scooped them up to put in my big girls’ Easter Baskets. They’re great for them to take to the pool or beach to keep all their essentials like phones and sunglasses out of the sand and water. Grab them if you need a $25 gift (for teachers!), or use it as a base and fill it with some lip balm, sunscreen and a gift card. 

8. Follow Me! Please? 

The Well Dressed Life's 10 List for April
8. Instagram Follow

Here’s the deal, I am 1,500 followers away from hitting 10,000 followers on Instagram. Why is that important? Because once you hit 10K, Instagram unlocks business features that will make using my profile easier for readers. Now more than ever having any extra leverage will help me navigate this unknown time so if you haven’t already liked me, and you enjoy our content, would you head of there and hit “follow.” I promise I’m not annoying. 

 

9. Join our Book Club

The Well Dressed Life's 10 List for April

In light of everything that’s happening in the world, I started looking for a lighthearted book to escape with and decided to turn it into virtual book club. I was so happy to see how excited everyone was about it. All you have to do is order Evvie Drake Starts Over (here on Amazon or call your local bookstore and see if they’ll do a curbside pick up), start reading, and we’ll “meet” up the weekend of April 18 in our Private Facebook Group.

10.What’s Your  Happy Song?

https://www.facebook.com/187761984666423/videos/533420370691215/

We all have that one song that lifts our mood every time we hear it.  For me, it’s I Want it That Way by the Backstreet Boys. So silly, I know. 

The second I hear the first few notes, I’m immediately back in my dilapidated sorority house on Temple University’s campus, living with 18 of my best friends, the song blaring out of bedrooms. It’s part of the soundtrack of the happiest years of my life. 

Since then, it’s turned into my feel-good anthem. It sort of hangs in the background of parties, and nights out, especially at the shore, all us old moms huddled in the middle of a dance floor singing along like we are kids again. 

Last week they played it as part of Elton John’s living room concert, and I found myself with a big stupid smile on my face. 

So I’ve been playing this and all the songs that take me back to happier, easier times at home. My kids think I’m nuts, which also feels appropriate for where we are right now. 

I wonder, what’s the song that takes you back to your happiest time? Share it in the comments below. 

 

The Ten List: March 2020

Where you are a year from now is a reflection of the choices you choose to make right now.

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

Where you are a year from now is a reflection of the choices you choose to make right now.

It’s often said that real, life-altering decisions happen when you’ve just had enough of your current situation to such an extreme that you have no alternative but to make a change.

For me, that was this time last year. I had just had a baby, my older girls were getting more independent and therefore, busier, and I felt like my chance at building the business I wanted was slipping threw my fingers like sand. 

Very well-meaning people would tell me, “Oh, you have plenty of time to work; just enjoy your kids now!”

And I would think a 40-year-old woman (me) who needs to pay for her kids’ education and her retirement does not have plenty of time to work. 

The runway many of us have when it comes to reaching our personal, professional, and financial goals seem to start and stop at the same place and time. 

One morning, around 3 am, after feeding Vivi, I started to think. I knew I was unwilling to give up time with my kids, and equally unwilling to loose my professional shot. 

So I decided that I was going to throw everything I had into building this site. 

It meant reevaluating where I was spending and wasting time, and creating a priorities list of only two things: my kids and my work.  I gave up basically everything else and I had to be even more organized and focused than before. 

It’s been 12 months of nonstop, 7 days a week work. 

And it was worth it. 

I’m on the other side of it, and I can say with certainty, after a year of focus and discipline, our site is up from last year in all the important metrics. Our community continues to grow at a rapid rate and we now have countless opportunities to monetize in a way that feels congruent to my own integrity.

The work isn’t finished. In many ways it’s just getting started. But I’m so happy I did it. And honestly, I didn’t miss much. By cutting out a lot of the “fat” I was still able to be available to my kids, volunteer in big ways in their school, and had room to work. 

So today, this is just a reminder that if you have something on your heart that you want to create, whether it’s a business, a career change, a shift in your lifestyle, or a weight loss journey, every choice you make now will determine where you are a year from now.

The best choice is often the hard one, but a year from now you’ll look back with such satisfaction and pride, it’s worth the sacrifice.

Chic Sweatshirt

The Well Dressed Life's March 10 List

Varely Barton Sweatshirt: $99

I was in Anthropologie on Sunday and the woman in front of me in line bought and wore this sweatshirt out of the store, of course I stopped her to take a closer look.

It’s adorable. She had it on with slim cut dark jeans and sporty loafers, and looked so chic and cozy.

I immediately bought one for myself. It’s the perfect piece to elevate a work-from-home outfit. 

Comfortable Feminine Loafers 

The Well Dressed Life's March 10 List

Cole Haan Caddie Bow Loafer: $130

I read a lot of popular style blogs, but not for why you think. I usually skip over the expert commentary and head right to the comment section. Here, I can figure out the pain points of consumers and the specific challenges they face when shopping. Then I use that information to inspire relevant content for our readers. 

Now and then, I even discover some product recommendations, like these Cole Haan loafers that are getting rave reviews for comfort. I saw this specific shoe mentioned so often that I tried them myself, and they are wonderfully comfortable.

Loafers tend to feel clunky, but these have a lovely, feminine shape that will help elongate your leg. Available in black (above), tan, coral, blue, and white. These are popular, and Cole Haan tends to sell out quickly in the beginning of the season, so scoop them up if they are on your shopping list. 

Glow Boosting Drink

The Well Dressed Life's March 10 List

Goop Glow Morning Skin Superpowder, $60

I’m a big fan of Goop; I don’t care what the critics think. I’ve tried many of their products, and while they all haven’t been for me the ones I that have, are incredible. If you’ve been reading here a while, you know that I would take the Goop Instant Facial with me if I were stranded on an island, and I’ve been ordering Vintners Daughter from them for years.

One of their products I’m shocked I like as much as I do is their Goop Glow Morning Skin Superpowder. 

I love it so much I have it on auto-delivery.

I add one pack to a glass of water while my coffee is brewing, and sometimes another to my water bottle at the gym. It tastes delicious, like a bright orangey-lemony drink, and it’s full of good for your skin ingredients (you can read all of them here). I’m also convinced that the super shot of Vitamin C is why I haven’t even had a cold since I started drinking it. 

Fresh Clean Skin

The Well Dressed Life's March 10 List

Drunk Elephant’s Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser, $32

Speaking of skincare, I started using Drunk Elephant’s Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser, and oh-my-goodness, I love it. As you know, I’m committed to my skincare routine and rarely deviate from it. But lately, I’ve felt like I needed a more potent cleanser at night for a deeper clean to rinse off my day.

This is glorious. It’s gentle, yet you can feel a difference. 

They recommend only using at nighttime, so I’m now I’m using this in the PM and then my beloved Tatcha cleansing oil in the morning. 

Bonus: I also picked up the Drunk Elephant SPF 30 for my face and am delighted. It goes on like moisturizer, absorbs quickly, is waterproof and layers under makeup nicely. If you are looking for a good, everyday face sunscreen I HIGHLY recommend it. 

Style Elevating Bracelet

The Well Dressed Life's March 10 ListOmega Two-Tone Cuff Bracelet: $65

Sometimes our jewelry recommendations get lost in our posts. Happily, lot’s of readers reporting back that this cuff bracelet we featured last month works well within their wardrobes. It’s such an easy piece to wear on its own or layer with other bracelets.

I like it because the two-tone nature of it allows you to mix metals and create a cohesive look with the jewelry you already own.

Updated Slip-on Sneaker

The Well Dressed Life's March 10 ListSlip on Sneaker: $39.00

I needed an updated slip-on sneaker. Initially, I was going to order a pair of Vans, but when I realized that my preteens exclusively were them, I decided against it. So I started looking around and found these on Amazon for under $40.

They are surprisingly comfortable and much like the loafers above, feel slimming on my feet (I wear a size 10). I like them with leggings, slim jeans or even joggers.

I’ll post a pic later today over on Instagram so you can see them in real life.

Instagram For Real Life Pictures!

I spent a couple hours last week setting up a corner in my office so I can “easily” take real life outfit pictures in real time. 

Wardrobe Challenge Starts on March 15th! 

The Well Dressed Life's Spring 2020 Wardrobe Challenge

Every Friday, starting on the 15th, I’ll post a series of challenges designed to walk you through the process of discovering your personal style, editing you wardrobe and coming up with the pieces you need to pick up to create a closet full of clothes you love to wear. 

It’s free and there is no up sell, it’s just a fun and helpful activity I offer every season to our readership. You don’t even have to sign up but joining our private Facebook group is helpful. 

 

The Ten List: February 2020

Get in the Habit of asking yourself, "does this support the life I'm trying to create"

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, 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

Get in the Habit of asking yourself, "does this support the life I'm trying to create"

Turning 40 was a real positive shift for me. Perhaps it’s the combination of my experience, understanding that time does fly by, and gaining the confidence in myself that I lacked in my youth, but I’m so happy and grateful to be in this chapter of life.

Conversely, my 30’s felt like one big distraction. So this new decade has given me what feels like a fresh start, an opportunity to take the lessons I learned, and get rid of everything (and anyone) that doesn’t suit me.

It’s like I finally get to say, this is me, I’m strong, ambitious, not so people-pleasing, and I demand the best out of life.

One of my realizations from the last ten years is that to accomplish the goals I’ve set for my family and my businesses; I need to be more intentional with how I spend my time, where I allow my thoughts to go, and who I give my energy.

I’ve learned to ask myself, “does this support the life I’m trying to create?”

Amazingly, it works for everything. Whether it’s committing to taking on another volunteer role, going to a social event, or deciding how I’m going to react to something.

For example, I got my feelings badly hurt around Christmas time by an extended family member. It had to do with my girls not being included in something, and I was furious. 

After a few minutes of being angry, I thought to myself, do I want this kind of thoughtlessness in our lives? Do these people support the life I’m trying to create? 

And it was wonderfully obvious. No. 

At that moment, I gained a ton of power because it not only prevented an unproductive argument, but it also helped me see that I was investing too much time in a one-sided relationship. 

In years past, something like that would have bothered me to the point that I would have lost hours and days of my life. It would have distracted me, cut into my time with my kids, and the little time I have to work. 

This simple question has already given me so much clarity and control in countless ways.

I encourage you to give it a try this month, any time you’re faced with a decision, no matter how big or small, does it support the life you are trying to create? 

2. Love at First Sight

This dress does it for me in so, so many ways. Wear it now with tights and boots, and add a moto jacket for an extra layer. Come spring, throw on your favorite heeled sandals for a perfect look. It’s under $70, also available in a gorgeous olive green. 

3. Gen X Women are Exhausted

Gen X women are stressed out. We are in our prime, at the peak of our personal responsibilities during the fastest-moving, ever-evolving, most interconnected chapter of human history. Add motherhood, caring for aging parents, managing a career, saving for retirement, and keeping everyone’s balls in the air; it’s no wonder why we are all so physically and mentally fatigued.

If you find yourself in the same phase of life, pick up this book, Why We Can’t Sleep, by Ada Calhoun. My friend recommended it to me, and I couldn’t put it down. You’ll feel validated, laugh, and while it won’t make your life easier, it will help you reframe your thoughts and perspective.

4. Sparkly Feet

Practical shoes are a big topic of conversation around here, but does anyone need a  totally impractical, fancy sparkly pair? Because these are so gorgeous. I’m not saying you can walk in them, but sometimes I just want a pretty pair of shoes to find a fun home. 

5. Razor 

The age difference of my kids makes for some crazy, funny situations. Like one minute I am changing a diaper, and three minutes later I am in the shower, helping someone that is not me shave their legs. It’s a mind bend, for sure.

Last month I discovered the Flamingo 5-Blade Razor at Target and bought them for all the razor-using girls in my house. They are fantastic! No knicks or cuts. They fit nicely in my grown up hands and my pre-teen’s and I love that they come with a suction cup holder to keep off the shower floor.  

6. Bobbie Brown Stick Foundation

If you are looking for a lightweight, long-lasting, comfortable to wear foundation, consider Bobbie Brown’s Stick Foundation. I’ve been using it for over a month, and I love it so much. I’m not too fond of liquid foundation but do want enough coverage to take the red out of my skin and cover some age spots. This is so easy to apply and, somehow, covers what I want to hide and still shows off my freckles.

7. #GirlDad

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

When I was pregnant with Vivi and told people we were having our 3rd girl the overwhelming, immediate response from almost every single person was: “THREE GIRLS?! Poor Bri” . It made me crazy, and furious. . Poor Bri. . Poor Bri, surrounded by the endless love only a daughter can have for her dad. . Poor Bri, getting to raise three little girls to become the strong, determined, self assured, ambitious young women our world needs. . Poor Bri, having to have tea parties, and Disney sing-a-longs, and teaching them to surf and coaching them in softball. . Poor Bri, who is loved beyond reason because he gets to be a #girldad. . 💔It’s such a shame that it takes an unimaginable tragedy for girl dads to trend. . But maybe people will stop acting like men bare some burden because they didn’t get a boy. . 🎉Here’s to all the girl dads who take their role in their daughters lives so seriously and know how precious a gift they were given.

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Basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter’s tragic death, along with their friends on their helicopter, cut through the heart of the country. It seems like, collectively, we all projected our vulnerability onto a truly unimaginable loss. Like everyone, I haven’t stop thinking about and praying for all of the families, who likely started their day as the rest of us, and then were instantly shattered. 

In the wake of their loss, we’ve learn so much more about Kobe, namely, what a devoted dad he was to his girls. It’s hard to miss, in all the images in the media, he looks positively in love with each of his daughters.

The #girldad started to trend, with men all over the country posting about how proud they are to have their girls. 

Over on my Instagram I talked about the crazy comments people said to me when I told them  that Vivi, our third, was in fact another girl. I was even more amazed to hear how many other parents of all girls experienced the same thing. 

8. Size is Just a Number 

Supermodel Ashley Graham is a pretty cool chick who is changing the face and size of beauty. If you ever didn’t buy something because you needed to size up in it – do yourself a favor and watch this three minute video she created about vanity sizing and how bad it is for our mental health. 

9. Long Live Taylor 

 


We are a Taylor Swift house. After I took my girls to their first Taylor Swift concert I was a fan. After the next one I was a SUPER fan. Her Netflix documentary is powerful, and opens up space for a lot of important conversations to have with our girls. I’m watching it tomorrow night with them while their dad is on a business trip as a “girls night” surprise that will hopefully bring bigger topics to the forefront. 

10. WDL Shop! 

Thanks for all the kind words about our new shop!!! I’m really excited to roll it out – and yes!, it’s been a ton of work. I’m working of figuring out the kind of help I’m going to need and will likely be looking to fill a position within our team by the end of the year.

Stay Tuned!

This month we have so much content to share as we start to think about spring. Please continue to share your ideas and questions – they are what fuels our daily content and now, also, the shop!