A few weeks back I shared the cutest nautical baby box from one of my favorite Ohio brands – Erie and Anchor. Erie and Anchor is an Ohio based company that sells unique nautical products. … More
Few things are more refreshing to me than a pair of crisp white pants and a bright colored top. This outfit combo instantly transports me to warmer weather, time spent outside, refreshing drinks, and summertime meals. I typically reserve my white pants for after Memorial Day (not a rule anymore by the way!), but this year I’m bringing them out early. The cold, gray, dreary days of winter in Ohio are making me crave all things bright and airy. So this year, I’ve decided to pull out my white denim jeans now and bring some color into the world with my Lilly Pulitzer tops.
I bought this Lilly Pulitzer top during the fall After Party Sale and it was the first non-maternity top I wore after having L. I’m such a sucker for anything navy and pink so I knew I couldn’t pass up this blouse. Plus, the flamingo print is so so cute and reminds me of Palm Beach (I mean the Lilly Pulitzer brand did originate there). It looks great paired with jeans or skinny black pants, but it really pops with white denim. I have several of this style of blouse in various prints – it’s so flattering.
This look easily transitions from winter into spring/summer by pairing it with nude flats and a khaki trench coat (I bought this one about five years from H&M and it has held up amazing!! I always feel like I’m channeling my inner Audrey Hepburn when I wear it). It’s the perfect ensemble for grabbing lunch, shopping, or hitting up happy hour with friends.
If you are feeling those winter blues, I highly suggest brightening up your wardrobe. It truly makes a difference during these last few weeks of winter!
p.s. Send me pics of how you are brightening your look!
SHOP THE LOOK
WHITE JEANS (SIMILAR) | LILLY PULIZTER TOP (SIMILAR) | J.CREW FLATS | KHAKI TRENCHCOAT (SIMILAR) | SHOP LU LOU EARRINGS | KATE SPADE HANDBAG (SIMILAR) | KATE SPADE WATCH (SIMILAR) | KJP MONOGRAM BRACELET
Having been on maternity leave for the past few months and having my leave fall over the holidays means that mama doesn’t have tons of extra funds to spend on new clothes (and let’s be real, I buy for L now anyway because baby clothes are the cutest!). I thought it would be fun to create a timeless collection series! This series will focus on re-wearing classic pieces that I already have in my closet and making them fresh by pairing them with different accessories.
As a fashion lover, I’ve definitely jumped on board with my fair share of trends. However, the older I get the more I value timeless pieces that I can wear over and over again. For example, this pink gingham blouse that I’m wearing in these photos, I bought two summers ago. I wear it all year round and probably on a weekly basis.
The gingham print and button up style are so classic and will never go out of style. I love switching up how I wear it. Sometimes it’s with a different statement necklace, sometimes it’s with jeans, and many times in the warmer months I style it with white shorts. I love layering it with other pieces like I did with this particular knit sweater from Gap. The sweater is great because it’s slightly oversized and it’s lightweight, which makes it perfect for layering.
Another timeless piece that is worth investing in is a puffer vest. I’ve had this navy one from J.Crew for about three years now and I wear it all the time. It’s perfect to wear in the fall – just layer it with a sweater. I also wear it underneath my rain coat or winter coat if it’s extra chilly.
I’m a huge advocate for purchasing winter items that will last season after season. My khaki coat is from five years ago and it will always be in season because of the classic trench cut. The fur hood adds the little extra warmth that you need for these cold Ohio winters. And of course I love my Hunter Boots! I was gifted this green pair for Christmas and I’ve been wearing them on repeat – especially when I wear navy, which is basically every day. Although they don’t keep your feet warm, they do keep them dry and they are the best boots for not slipping and sliding on the ice and snow. I add an extra layer of socks for added warmth.
And there you have my first timeless collection pieces. Hopefully this inspires you to invest in classic items (that may be a little more expensive) that you can wear season after season and year after year.
SHOP THE LOOK
Nothing gets me more than a cute navy blue, nautical outfit. My mom surprised me with this adorable sweater from my favorite Rhode Island boutique for Christmas. It’s 100% cashmere and the one of the coziest pieces I own. Everything about the sweater is totally my style – from the navy and white color scheme, to the block “SAIL” letters, to the perfect anchor.
I don’t own many cashmere pieces, but it’s seriously the most magical fabric. You can wear it in the winter and be all cozy and snug or you can wear it in the summer on a cool night. I loved styling it with a classic white sleeveless button down, jeans, and my Hunter Boots for this post. I’m already planning a fun outfit idea for spring/summer where I pair it with white shorts and my Jack Rogers.
You guys all know I’m a huge fan of the East Coast brand Kiel James Patrick. I’ve been following the brand and Kiel’s wife, fashion blogger Sarah Vickers, for years (serious life goals right there). When Rob and I first started dating he bought me my first anchor rope bracelet. Fast forward seven years and he’s still buying me new pieces for every birthday and Christmas (he’s the best!).
This year he gifted me this adorable pearl bracelet that uses nautical flags to spell out your monogram. LOVE. IT. And what’s particularly lovely is my nautical monogram actually bears some resemblance to the Scottish flag. All my favorite things in one!
This was the perfect outfit for a coastal jaunt along the river. You can never go wrong with navy and white and a pop of prep.
SHOP THE LOOK:
I think it’s safe to say winter is officially here. And in traditional Ohio style, it will probably last well into April. It’s really important that I have cozy and stylish winter accessories to help stay warm and make winter a touch more tolerable (If you recall, I’m no snow bunny). Whether you love winter or can’t wait for summer, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite places to shop winter accessories!
For Fun Winter Hats
Pink Pineapple Shop – This small boutique out of Rhode Island has the BEST pom pom fur hats. I have two now and receive compliments everywhere I go. Not only are these pom pom hats so cute and stylish, but they are also really warm and flattering for everyone. Plus, the fur pom pom snaps on and off so you can change it out – so fun!
For Cozy Warm Blanket Scarves
Nordstrom – I’m a huge fan of scarves. I especially love blanket scarves for when it’s below 30 degrees. They are perfect for layering and so cozy. Nordstrom has some of the best blanket scarves, and at great prices. I recently was gifted this pretty one for Christmas and I love how soft it feels against my face. Definitely a must have for cold snow days!
For Dry Snow Boots
Hunter Boots – I pretty much exclusively wear wellies in the snow. Although they aren’t super warm, they do keep your feet dry. You can buy stylish fur, knit, or fleece lined socks to wear underneath that keep your toes toasty (you can find them anywhere, mine are a few years old from Macy’s). Definitely a winter must have!
Sperry – I also have a pair of Sperry wellies that are fleece lined AND are plaid on the outside. So cute! These are a better price point than Hunter Boots and still equally cute.
For Warm Puffy Jackets
J.Crew Factory – My favorite place to purchase warm winter jackets is J.Crew Factory. I own a long puffer coat, a short puffer coat, and a puffer vest from J.Crew Factory. They are SO warm and classic. Plus, if you buy at the end of the season, you can score them at an insanely awesome price. They also have a line of incredibly stylish wool coats in a variety of colors. I plan on purchasing one at the end of this year for next year! (p.s. Pretty sure J.Crew Factory has 50% off regular items and 60% off clearance items this week!)
For Fleece Lined Gloves
Anthropologie – A couple of years ago I bought three pairs of fleece lined gloves from Anthropologie while on a shopping trip in Columbus. I still have them and they are the only gloves I wear. They are so soft and warm (sometimes they are too warm!). Plus the price point doesn’t break the bank, which is a win in my book!
Hopefully this quick round up gave you all some options for purchasing fun winter accessories! Stay warm out there friends!
SHOP THIS LOOK:
Happy New Year!
I hope you all enjoyed a joyous holiday season filled with family, friends, lots of laughter, good food, and too much wine.
Many people create goals or resolutions at the start of each year. I’ve never really been one to get into making new year resolutions so unlike most bloggers, I don’t have any resolutions to share. However, I do have dreams and aspirations for this little blog of mine [I’m still here too] and one of those ideas is to inspire others in any way that I can. Whether it be through fashion, home décor, or sharing my experience as a new mama, I hope to connect with a community of like-minded creatives and spread a little more positivity throughout the world.
One of my favorite topics to talk about as of late is how life has changed (for the better!) as a new mama. One topic that has been on my heart for the last couple of weeks is maternity leave. For those of you unfamiliar, I have been working for the past five years at a local non-profit that provides services to individuals with autism. I oversee the marketing, which in non-profit language translates into all the traditional marketing, social media, graphic design, and public relations. I love the work I do and the mission of the organization.
That being said, I also love being a mama! I’m due to return to work next week and I’m completely devastated about having to leave my baby girl. In all honesty I’ve really been struggling with having to leave L (if anyone even asks me about my leave I tend to burst into tears). Although I’ve been fortunate enough to have 12 full weeks off, I feel very strongly that the maternity leave in our country is completely unrealistic. Leaving a newborn after just three months is far too early. A baby changes SO fast and it’s so unfair that a mother (and father) must return to work so quickly and miss out on so many developmental changes. I fully advocate for at least one year of maternity leave for all mothers in order to be able to care for and bond with their baby.
Unfortunately, we don’t have the option for me to be a stay at home mom at this stage in our life. The past few weeks, and this week in particular, I’m having to really find ways to be at peace with going back to work. I’m sure other new mamas have similar feelings about returning to work after spending so many precious moments with their babies, so I’ve compiled a few ways in which I’m coping in the hopes that other new mamas will find ways to feel a little more at peace about having to return to work.
Support System – Having a strong support system has been a game changer for me. I am one that has always worn my feelings on my sleeve and it helps me so much to be able to talk about and voice my insecurities, worries, and fears. I’m so blessed to have such an understanding, patient, and loving husband. He is my rock and if it weren’t for him, I’d be a complete hot mess. [I rocked a Dad bod before being a dad, now I’m a real hunk] It also helps that our families live in the same city as us and have been tremendously helpful these past few months. A few family members will even be helping us out and watching L, and that makes a huge difference in putting my mind at ease!
Yoga – I’ve been practicing yoga for almost three years now. I started yoga as a way to harness my anxiety and it has become a way of life. The mind, body, and spiritual balance is just incredible and I’m grateful for each time I step onto my mat. I was able to continue my practice into the third trimester of my pregnancy. However, it did become increasingly difficult towards the end of pregnancy and it’s taken nine weeks postpartum to finally get back on the mat. I’m making a point to do at least a twenty-minute practice each morning to help center myself and ease my anxiety of returning to work. So far it’s helping and enabling me to think a little more clearly and positively.
Something New – Now this may sound superficial, but one of the ways that is helping me to get back to work is knowing that I have a new outfit and new handbag for the first day. I know this sounds so silly, but having something to look forward to on a day that I know is going to be insanely difficult actually helps spur some excitement. I also printed out a bunch of pictures of L that I’m bringing to the office to hang up all around my desk. It’s the little things that count here people.
Being Present Now – The last way in which I’m trying not to let my anxieties and worry get the best of me is by being present now. With all the social media and distractions nowadays it’s increasingly difficult for people to be present in their own lives. I’m making a point to get off my phone and completely focus on her when she’s awake and ready to play or cuddle. (She’s of course napping as I write this). I’m committed to enjoying every.single.moment with my sweet L. By being completely present, I can put my mind at ease that I’ve done everything humanely possible to make the best of this next week and enjoy all the baby cuddles, smiles, and giggles.
I would love to hear suggestions from all you mamas (and dads!) about how you have transitioned back into work after being on maternity leave. Hopefully some of the ways in which I am coping will inspire some of you and make the transition just a little bit easier.
As always, thanks for stopping by A Dash of Solt!
Shannon [and Rob too!]
p.s. These pictures were taken at Maumee Bay State Park – a local gem of Northwest Ohio with access to Erie Beach (one of my favorite places to take pictures and get my water fix!)
SHOP THE LOOK
Ever since I was a little girl I’ve been fascinated by fashion. I love the art that is couture fashion, but I also love studying fashion from decades past. My absolute favorite time period for fashion is the 1960s. All the styles were so classy and stylish. I even went through a phase in college where I tried desperately hard to dress like I was living in the ‘60s.
Nowadays, I still love and appreciate the runway and all the current trends. However, my personal style has evolved into something much more preppy and timeless.
I particularly enjoyed styling this outfit because each piece was bought in a different year and everything is still in fashion. The hot pink mini skirt is from my retail days working at The Limited (would you believe that I’ve owned this skirt for six years!). I adore this skirt, not only because it’s hot pink, but because it reminds me so much of something from the 1960s. It instantly reminds me of Swinging London.
The cable knit sweater is always a classic choice and everyone should own one for those cold winter days. I bought this one last year from Gap and it’s just perfect for layering. The fit is flattering and the soft cotton material feels so good.
If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen this J.Crew navy gingham blouse before. I literally wear it all the time. I love the fit; plus,gingham never goes out of style. I also have this shirt in pink and denim. It’s definitely a staple that everyone should have in their wardrobe.
I’ve always enjoyed pairing bright colors together. That’s probably why I love the Lilly Pulitzer brand so much (and the silhouettes are so 1960s – sense a theme?!). I could have paired this skirt with black, white, or gray, but the pop of blue and the gingham pattern just make it so much more fun.
Hopefully this timeless outfit provides some inspiration for your wardrobe or holiday attire. I’ve linked each item below so you can shop the look!
“A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for.” – Anonymous
Words that were never more true. So many emotions have emerged these past few weeks as we have welcomed our sweet little bairn (Scottish word for baby for those that are not familiar – I’ve been watching too much Outlander) into this world. We have experienced fatigue like we never have before. We have felt immeasurable joy and pride in seeing mini versions of ourselves. We have experienced anxiety and despair while trying to calm a screaming baby. But most of all, we have felt love so great it brings us to tears.
Obviously when you bring a new human into the world, many things change. We have had to completely adapt to a new way of life (which we were anticipating, but it doesn’t make it any easier). There are so many things we have learned over these past few weeks and we want to share our experience with others, in the hope it will bring other new parents some hope or comfort. And hopefully this post will help anyone thinking about starting a family.
No Sleep. – This one is obvious, but you really don’t understand what it means until it happens. It LITERALLY means NO SLEEP. This has been by far the hardest adjustment for me. I’m an in bed by 9pm kind of girl who never pulled all-nighters and would beg my friends in college to leave the bars at midnight so I could go to bed. I need at least nine hours of sleep to function. Whelp, not anymore! I’ve lost count of how many all-nighters we’ve pulled in the past seven weeks.
The first week was by far the hardest. No one tells you that babies aren’t born with a built in circadian rhythm (aka, they don’t know night from day and have to learn that). That first week Miss L would not sleep at all at night, and definitely not in her bassinet. The only place she would sleep was on mom and dad. We would have to take 2-3 hour shifts holding her so the other could sleep. It was really rough.
But, everyone told us things would get easier, and it does. Each week Miss L adds on a little more sleep in between feedings. We are now up to 4.5 hours between feedings which means I can get more than an hour or two of sleep at a time. YAY!
Breastfeeding is really hard! – This was as big a shocker to me as the lack of sleep. I knew I always wanted to breastfeed, but I had no idea how hard of a job it would be. The first few weeks you are feeding that baby every two hours and it takes 30-45 minutes for each feeding. That gives a breastfeeding mom just over an hour to try and eat or take a shower or sleep or do just about anything.
Breastfeeding is also really painful at first. Your breasts are not used to being used like that, so you are constantly sore and in pain. Around week 4 I finally felt comfortable again and at week seven I actually enjoy feeding my sweet babe. I’ve come to realize what a blessing this special time is with her and I love the bonding that happens between us.
(p.s.Breastfeeding makes you extremely thirsty! I recommend all mamas who are going to breastfeed to have a glass of water next to you at all times!)
Baby is just as scared as the parents. – Realizing that being born into this world was just as shocking for L as it was for us really helped to center us when she was upset. Many people don’t realize that for a baby, this is a whole new world, filled with unfamiliar sounds, smells, and faces. It’s a shock to their system (remember they’ve been comfortably cocooned for nine months) and it takes them awhile to become adjusted. The first couple of weeks when she would cry,I would always try and remember that she was just as scared as me and that definitely helped me to cope better and comfort her better. My mom sent me this piece a day or two after she was born and I still cry so hard when I read it. It’s so painfully beautiful, but it has helped SO much when trying to comfort L.
Set a routine earlier than later. – Setting a routine for L is something we JUST started doing. I am reading the book Secrets of the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg and one of the ideas that has really stuck with me is putting baby on a flexible schedule as soon as possible. Tracy calls it the EASY method – Eat, Activity, Sleep, You (time for Mom). Babies need to be taught what is expected of them and they like a structured schedule. When I started implementing this idea about a week or two ago, I saw a huge change in how much more content baby (and mom!) have become. That being said, I’m also a huge advocate for figuring out what works for you and your family. There are so many books, ideas, and opinions coming at you from every direction and it’s really important to pause, listen to your baby, and implement things that work for your lifestyle.
Two products we have loved. – I thought it would be fun to share some of the baby items that we have come to love and use on a regular basis. The first item I highly recommend is the Boppy pillow. We have two of them (one for the nursery and one for downstairs). We use our pillows every single day (hubby even naps with them!). They make breastfeeding so much more comfortable, plus as baby grows you can use them to support their back when they begin to sit up on their own.
Another product we use daily is our rock n’ play seat/sleeper. L LOVES this seat. It has a vibrating function, as well as the ability to rock. I’m convinced she gets some of her best sleep in this seat. Plus, it folds up super easy and so traveling with it is a breeze.
We could talk all day about our experience the past few weeks, but we don’t want this post to be too long. Hopefully what we have shared will help other new parents or expecting parents. At the end of the day, having a baby is the most challenging but the most rewarding thing you will ever do. We can’t imagine life without our sweet L and cherish each day with her. She is such a blessing and a gift and we are so excited to embark on this new adventure with her.
Tis’ the season for holiday plaid! If you’ve been following me for awhile now, you know I’m a huge fan of tartan plaid (it’s those Scottish genes). When I saw this adorable sweater with a splash of plaid from J.Crew Factory I knew I couldn’t pass it up!
One of the things I love most about J.Crew is the quality of their clothing. The material of this sweater is top notch and even softer than I imagined (a must for this new mama!). Plus, the cut and long hemline are so flattering.
This sweater is a great holiday piece. The tartan makes it festive for any party and the black makes it easily transitional from day to night. I dressed it down with jeans, booties, and a fun necklace. If I wanted to dress it up, I would pair it with a mini skirt or nice pair of black skinny pants. Throw on some heels and pearls and you have a comfy, classic outfit for a work Christmas party or out to dinner with friends.
Each piece that I’ve styled is from J.Crew Factory. I’ve linked the details below!
On a side note, thank you all for the kind words and excitement about the arrival of Baby Lilly! She is already six weeks old! It’s amazing how quickly time goes now. But besides being sleep deprived, mom, dad and Lilly are all doing great!
SHOP THE LOOK!
It’s finally fall in Ohio! Which means I can fully embrace my maternity fall wardrobe (give me all the leggings, oversized sweaters, and plaid scarves!). I recently stumbled upon this cute boutique based out of Oregon. Thriver is a small online women’s boutique whose mission is to inspire and encourage women to be their best self. They select each individual piece with their customer’s style in mind.
If you are looking for some fun, stylish pieces to enhance your wardrobe, I highly recommend checking out this cute boutique!! They have classic, timeless pieces, as well as the latest trends (if you love the off the shoulder trend they have tons of cute pieces!).
I recently purchased this amazingly comfy, oversized sweater from them. I figured it would fit the baby bump now and work great for post baby. The luxurious soft knit material and the dolman sleeves make it a dream to wear. Plus, the asymmetrical detail on the hem is so cute!
Since I’m in the last leg of my pregnancy, I’ve definitely styled it with comfort in mind. It’s perfect for a casual look with leggings, a scarf, and tennis shoes or boots. Or you can dress it up by styling it with skinny jeans, booties, and chunky necklace. Either way, it’s an amazingly comfy, versatile piece.
I’ve linked a few other items I have my eye on below. I highly recommend checking out this fun boutique! And, bonus! If you use the code “ShannonS” at checkout, you get 10% off your order! Plus, they always offer free shipping on all domestic orders. Be sure to comment below and let me know what you pick out!
MATERNITY LEGGINGS | SHOP THRIVER OFF BALANCE TOP (I’M WEARING A SIZE SMALL) | BLANKET SCARF | RIDING BOOTS (OLD) | LONGCHAMP
THRIVER MUST HAVE’S:
I’ve been wanting to write a post for the past couple of months that talks about maternity clothing. I’ve always loved fashion and over the past nine months I’ve enjoyed exploring different maternity styles. Pregnancy can get really uncomfortable at times and investing in a wardrobe that is comfortable and stylish is so essential to feeling your best while your body goes through new changes.
When I first found out I was pregnant, I was at a loss of what “maternity” pieces I would need and how much I would need. I probably went a little bit overboard with my purchases early on, but having pieces that are flattering and comfortable have made all the difference these last few weeks. To help out some other new mamas-to-be out there, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite pieces and what I think every new mama needs in her maternity wardrobe.
- Leggings – Hands down the BEST purchase I made while pregnant. Maternity leggings were one of the first items I purchased and I’ve definitely worn them into the ground. I invested in a thicker black pair as well as a thinner, cropped pair in navy. Both have been essential in helping me feel comfortable, but also stylish when paired with a tunic or oversized sweater.
- Fitted Tees – Fitted tees were a later investment that I wish I would have purchased earlier. I purchased two short sleeve ones from Target, two short sleeve from Gap Maternity and one long sleeve one from Gap Maternity. I would definitely invest in several of these – they are comfortable and make you feel like a million bucks, especially during that sweet time of your pregnancy when your bump is super cute (weeks 20-36).
- Tunics – Even without being pregnant I love a good tunic paired over leggings with boots or flats. Early in the pregnancy I was able to get away with wearing a ton of non-maternity tunics. Once I hit the 3rd trimester though, the non-maternity ones just looked unflattering and so I invested in four maternity tunics and I’m so happy I did! They are so flattering for your bump and are a dream to wear. Throw on a scarf or tassel necklace and you will look like one stylish mama!
- Fitted Dresses – This is a piece I didn’t invest in until late in my 2nd I bought my first fitted dress for my baby shower and from that point on I was obsessed. Fitted dresses hug you in all the right places and flatter your bump. I ended up purchasing a fun short sleeve one and a classic navy one. I regret not investing in several more, particularly some striped ones. Pink Blush has the cutest prints so I highly recommend purchasing a few!
- Maxi Dresses – Having been pregnant throughout all the warm months, maxi dresses have been essential to my wardrobe. They are SO easy and so flattering. I invested in two maternity ones and had an old empire waist one from J.Crew and I probably wore all three on a weekly basis. Plus, it’s easy to size up one or two sizes for maxi dresses if you want to shop some trendy ones from Forever 21, H&M, or even LOFT.
- Maternity Hoodie – My mom gifted me this gray maternity hoodie from Old Navy for my birthday in September and I’ve literally been living in it every chance I get. It’s insanely comfortable and looks so cute when paired with a fitted tee, leggings, baseball hat, and keds. It’s definitely my weekend go-to.
- Maternity Nightgown – I’m a huge fan of nightgowns and always have been. I highly recommend investing in several maternity nightgowns (some can even be used for nursing post baby). Eventually t-shirts will just not fit your bump right, so a maternity nightgown is where it’s at for a comfortable night’s sleep.
One non-maternity piece that has been essential to my pregnancy has been the swing dress from Old Navy. This dress style is amazingly comfortable and has so much room as your belly grows. I’ve worn the same four swing dresses throughout my entire pregnancy and I’ll still be able to wear them next summer.
One piece I did not include above are maternity jeans. I did invest in a pair from Gap Maternity, but truth be told they have not been my favorite piece. Many other mamas I’ve talked to swear by maternity jeans, so I think those are personal preference and it depends on where you buy them.
My favorite places to shop for maternity clothing has been Gap Maternity, Old Navy, and Target for basics, and Shop Pink Blush for fun dresses and tops. I’ve also heard from other mama-to-be’s that H&M has great, inexpensive pieces.
Hopefully this post helps some other new mamas out when it comes to deciding what and how much to buy for your pregnancy! I’ve linked a few pieces I bought above in my recommendations and below!
We can’t wait to introduce you all to our sweet baby girl in a few weeks!
Fitted Tees: Gap Maternity (multiple colors) | Target (multiple colors)
Tunics: Target – 1, 2, 3, 4 (similar)
Fitted Dress: Shop Pink Blush | Old Navy
Maternity Nightgown: Shop Pink Blush