FASHION: CITY COAT REVIEW

Living in Ohio, you never know what winter will bring.  Some years we experience mild temperatures and very little snow.  Other years we have subzero temperatures and one snow storm after another.  Because our great state is so temperamental, one must have winter attire for every scenario.  

One style of coat that has been lacking in my wardrobe is a nice wool coat. I’ve been eyeing the J.Crew Factory City Coat for several seasons, and this year I decided to ask for it for Christmas.

I’ve been wearing it pretty much nonstop for the last couple of weeks and overall I’ve been thrilled with this coat.  Below you can find my review of the coat, broken down by style, fit and warmth.

STYLE

A classic cut and a pretty feminine color (love this lovely lilac so much) makes this coat stand out. The clean, straight lines and standing collar make it polished and chic. This coat gives me some serious 1960’s vibes and I feel like I’m channeling my inner Audrey Hepburn. Plus, it comes with some nice size pockets and any coat with large pockets is a win in my book.

FIT

The one qualm I have about this coat is that it is slightly oversized and because of that, it can look a little boxy. It’s supposed to be a mid-rise fit, but I’m only 5’2” and it’s longer than I would like. And because of my petite frame, the sleeves and shoulders a bit too big.

WARMTH 

I styled this coat in 18 degree weather so I can definitely attest to its warmth. Comprised of a wool/polyester blend, this coat is warm and heavy, so it doesn’t require layers upon layers. It has a pretty silk lining that adds an extra layer of style and warmth. I wore a tissue thin turtleneck and an open front cardigan underneath and I was perfectly cozy.

Overall, I do adore this coat and definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a versatile winter coat.  I think one of my favorite aspects of this coat is how easily I can dress it up or down.  I chose a casual look for this post, but it looks equally stylish with skinny black pants and booties.  

I’ve linked the details of my outfit below, so feel free to get shopping! 

Sláinte,

Shannon 

SHOP THE LOOK:

J.Crew Factory City Coat | Hunter Boots | Longchamp Bag | S.Lynch Knitwear Hat | J.Crew Denim

MY BLOGGING JOURNEY

Happy 2020 friends! I took a short hiatus from my blog to be present over the holidays, but I’m back and ready for the excitement of a new year.

Instead of doing a resolutions post or even a goals post, I want to write about why I blog. In a market that’s insanely saturated with fashion bloggers, mommy bloggers, interior design bloggers, etc. it can feel daunting and intimidating. So I need to write this post for me, to remind myself why I started this journey.

In 2012 I was working in retail management and needed a creative outlet for my love of fashion.  I launched my first fashion blog and had a blast styling outfits.  It was probably my most creative era of dressing and I seriously had so much fun.

In 2013 I landed a job doing social media and marketing for a local nonprofit.  My blog was pushed to the wayside because I wanted nothing to do with social media by the time the workday ended.

Fast forward to summer 2017 and I had that itch again. I needed a creative outlet to share all my passion and love for fashion and home decor. I relaunched my blog and started gaining some traction. And then in early 2018 I became pregnant with our sweet Lillypad and I was soooo sick. I could barely look at my phone, let alone get on Instagram or blog. So I took a whole year off.

I started blogging once every week or two in 2019 and shared everything from fashion to home decor to Motherhood.  And it felt good.  I started creating partnerships with brands and meeting so many amazing people who I can say are truly my friends and a great support system.  

As great as 2019 was for my blogging and Instagram, it was also a year full of comparisons and feeling not good enough. It’s extremely frustrating to watch new bloggers launch their blog or Instagram and overnight, have thousands of followers. Don’t get me wrong, I’m SO happy for these individuals who are putting themselves out there and doing what they love. BUT, it definitely makes me question what’s wrong with my content? Why isn’t my IG following growing? I’m doing all the same things as that blogger and they have tons of more followers. All of these thoughts are constantly circulating in my head and many times I’ve wanted to quit.

BUT I haven’t. And that’s important. My focus has shifted so much over my blogging journey and although I’ve definitely struggled with the numbers game and finding my identity as a blogger (Am I fashion blogger? Home decor blogger? Mommy blogger?), I’ve realized it’s the journey that matters. It doesn’t matter how many followers I have or how many clicks or comments I have, what matters is doing what I love and connecting with other humans. Who cares if I don’t have 50K or even 5K following me (do I really want that many followers anyway? Especially with showing Lilly sometimes?). I think what I have learned is that I have found my tribe. I have an amazing support system and some incredible people who follow me and support me in this endeavor and those are the people I want following me.

This blog is a space where I can share all the things I love and am passionate about.  It’s a space where I can let my creativity run wild. A space for me to have fun with fashion, share decorating projects, and connect with other mamas.  It’s a space for me to show others the beauty of coastal Ohio.  And it’s a space for me to support other women, creatives, and bloggers who have truly become friends.  

So this year, my goal for my blog is to create and cultivate a community of fellow likeminded humans who are passionate about fashion, motherhood, home decor, small businesses, and coastal Ohio (or any place coastal really). I hope my content, whether it is fashion advice, a home project, a motherhood update, a trip to a Lake Erie island, or sharing a new brand, will either inspire you, connect with you, or resonate with you in some way.

I really believe blogging and Instagram were created to provide a sense of community in this crazy digital world and that’s exactly how I am going to use these platforms in 2020. 

So cheers to a blessed year full of creativity, community, inspiration, and showing up.  Thanks for following along on this solty journey of mine. It’s going to be a magical ride.

Sláinte,

Shannon

SHOP SMALL FOR THE HOLIDAYS – PART II

I was going to wait until next week to post part II of shopping small for the holidays, but I didn’t want to wait! Plus, with it being Black Friday, I figured everyone is already shopping and there are some great deals out there!

This second round of women owned, small businesses are all based in my home state of OHIO! All of these brands are so special and I’ve had the opportunity to get to know some of these ladies – and they are awesome! 

ERIE AND ANCHOR 

Where to begin with Erie and Anchor. One of my absolute favorite brands and products that I wear every.single.day. Erie and Anchor sells the COMFIEST apparel! The sweatshirts are my absolute favorite and I can’t recommend them enough. They also offer the best in tees, baseball hats, pullovers, mugs, keychains, etc. etc.

This is a top notch brand with an even better business model.  For every purchase made, 5% of earnings are donated back to Lake Erie to help support water quality and research.  The family based company is passionate about ensuring the lake will still be a place of enjoyment and relaxation for decades to come.  I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know the owner over the past year, and to me, that makes supporting this brand even more special.  

Click here to shop all things Erie and Anchor!  AND: Use code NORTHCOAST for free shipping on any order! 

Instagram: @Erieandanchor

MICHELLE BRUNNER ART 

If you love impressionism and Ohio, then you have to check out Michelle Brunner Art. Michelle Brunner was my first Instagram turn real life friend! Michelle’s art speaks to my soul in a way that I can’t even describe. Her paintings bring me so much joy and they transport me to a place of peace and contentment.

With a style that is somewhat abstract and somewhat impressionistic, Michelle’s focus on color and texture is just outstanding. A true reflection of Ohio Midwest living, Michelle’s paintings bring to life long summer days on the lake or relaxing car rides through Ohio’s’ farm country. Michelle Brunner Art is a perfect gift for the person in your life who loves modern art or coastal and farmhouse décor.

Click here to shop Michelle Brunner Art!

Instagram: @michellebrunnerart

SHORE SOCIETY

Shore Society, another favorite coastal Ohio apparel brand, prides itself on creating pieces that are reflective of the lakefront lifestyle that encompasses the Great Lakes and the Midwest. Founded in 2012 by Rachael Koenig, Shore Society products are inspired by the nautical aesthetic of Cleveland’s coast.

If you have ever seen the “Lake Erie Love” print floating around on merchandise, you will be happy to know that this is a signature of Shore Society. In the seven years since its founding, Shore Society has expanded to include sweatshirts (for Lake Erie and Lake Michigan fans), tee shirts, hats, totes, mugs, candles, pennants, art prints, and so much more. It’s a lifestyle brand that offers something unique for all coastal lovers. They also launch incredibly fun, seasonal apparel products that are hugely popular.

I’m a huge fan of Shore Society products and am happy to support such a great Ohio brand where I know the products are high quality and stylish.

Click here to shop all things Shore Society!

Instragm: @shoresociety

I hope you come to love these three women, owned small businesses as much as I do! Happy Shopping!

Slainte,

Shannon

SHOP SMALL FOR THE HOLIDAYS – PART 1

I can’t believe Christmas is one month away!! This year’s holiday season totally snuck up on me (I think I was too busy planning L’s birthday party!).  Before life gets too festive though, I want to share a two part series for shopping small for the holidays.  This two part series isn’t going to be your normal gift guide.  I’m not focusing on actual products, but focusing more on my favorite brands.  

Personally, I love shopping small for the holidays – the gifts are more meaningful knowing someone poured their heart and soul into creating something they love.   This week I’m sharing some of my favorite women owned, small businesses and next week I will share my favorite Ohio based brands! 

S. Lynch Knitwear

If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen me sporting the coziest accessories from S.Lynch Knitwear. I HIGHLY recommend purchasing a cozy knit piece for someone on your gift list. S. Lynch Knitwear products are hands down my favorite winter accessories! The craftsmanship is beautiful, the products are WARM, and they fit perfectly. Plus, there are several styles that are “Mommy and Me” so you and your little can twin!

Click here to shop hats, scarves, mittens, and more!

Kate Hammer Art 

If art and watercolors is your thing, then Kate Hammer Studio is your shop. Kate Hammer Studio offers the most beautiful watercolor botanicals and acrylic landscapes. Kate specializes in gorgeous paintings of fruit (lemon and peaches), herbs, landscapes, wildflowers, and my new favorite – blue and white plants! She also accepts custom orders. I personally own three of her art prints and they are all hanging in my kitchen.

Click here to shop Kate Hammer Studio!

Sewcialite

I discovered Sewcialite on Instagram on my maternity leave and have been obsessed since. Inspired by the coasts of Maine and New Hampshire, Sewcialite offers modern, handmade accessories that are created out of rope. Yes, rope! Sewcialite can take ordinary clothesline rope and turn it into functional art. From rope clutches and satchels, to planters and wall baskets, Sewcialite has one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone! I am fortunate enough to own one of her beautifully woven rope bowls and the craftsmanship is top notch.

Click here to shop unique conversation pieces!

Anchors Aweigh Supply Co.

Hands down my favorite hand towels. EVER. Anchors Aweigh Supply Co. is a Turkish-American business that sells luxurious seaside inspired essentials. This woman owned and run business sells high quality, handmade towels (beach, bath, kitchen, etc.), baby bibs, bathrobes, and more! Not only do I LOVE the look and quality of the products, but I also love that all of their products are 100% Turkish cotton, free from harmful chemicals, and all of the items are handmade by Turkish women using safe and ethical working conditions. AMAZING! The owner has real relationships with the women who make the towels and I absolutely love that.

Click here to shop luxurious, ethically made towels.  

THOM KELLY

If I was still working in the fashion industry, working at THOM KELLY would be my dream job! Using only sustainable materials and created right here in the United States, THOM KELLY creates classic, comfortable, and stylish clothes that are no fuss and easy. Each piece is designed to be effortless and built to wear for any occasion (running errands, wearing over a swimsuit, or heading out for date night). Button-up shirts are available for women and men and they recently launched some amazingly cozy and flattering sweatshirts for women (you better believe one is on my Christmas list!). Plus, they are members of 1% for the Planet, which means that each time you make a purchase, you will be making a positive impact on our planet. WIN.

Both photos courtesy of THOM KELLY

Click here to shop American made, sustainable, classic clothing!

I hope this list provides you with some options for shopping small.  I’m a huge advocate of shopping small and I love supporting women run brands. 

Come back next week for a guide for shopping small in Ohio!

Slainte,
Shannon

3 PREPPY WAYS TO STYLE A SWEATER BLAZER – PART III

PART III – Work Style 
Last week I did a poll on my Instagram stories asking how you guys wanted to see this sweater blazer styled for work.  You guys voted for a dress style shoot, so here you go! 
This look can easily work for a business professional job OR for the holidays.  I chose a cute little navy dress (I prefer navy over black, but a little black dress will also work!).  I tried on several dress styles to pair with this sweater blazer and a shift dress is definitely the most flattering.  
When styling this sweater blazer with a dress, you want the length of the sweater to be just a touch shorter than the dress.  Otherwise the blazer looks too boxy.  
I don’t wear a ton of heels at this stage in my life (if you can chase a toddler in heels you are the epitome of grace).  I chose ballet flats with this look, but booties with tights is a perfect alternative as we head into the long winter months. 
Since this look is styled for the office, I kept the jewelry classic and low key.  You can never go wrong with pearls if you want to accessorize your look for work. 

Hopefully this three part series has provided some style tips, ideas, and inspiration for how to wear this sweater blazer multiple ways.

Shop the details of this look below!
Sláinte,
Shannon 
SHOP THE LOOK

3 PREPPY WAYS TO STYLE A SWEATER BLAZER – PART II

Part II – WEEKEND STYLE 
Last week I shared how to style this J.Crew sweater blazer for the holidays and today I’m sharing how to style it for the weekend, aka a more casual look. 
One of the things I love about this sweater is it’s versatility.  I do wear this to work A LOT.  It’s the perfect neutral and helps to instantly make my look more professional.  BUT, it also works perfectly if you are going for a casual look.  
My weekend look usually includes a t-shirt and jeans with a sweatshirt.  By swapping out my sweatshirt with this blazer sweater, my look is still casual, but a teensy bit more out together.  And comfy as heck! 
Adding a pair of booties also gives this look an extra splash of style.  But you can easily swap out the booties for tennis shoes, boat shoes, Wellies, or snow boots.
I’ve linked the details of my outfit below! You’ll definitely want to check out where my tee and knit hat are from (hint hint: two of favorite women owned small businesses)! 
Have the best week friends! 
Sláinte,
Shannon 
SHOP THE LOOK

3 PREPPY WAYS TO STYLE A SWEATER BLAZER

PART 1: Holiday Inspired 
I have shared this gorgeous open front sweater blazer on my Instagram before and you guys LOVE it.  My mom gifted me this for my birthday this year and I wear it ALL THE TIME.
This J.Crew Factory sweater blazer is polished, elegant, and oh so stylish.  I love the structured shape and the collar detail.  The color is gorgeous! And guess what, blush is my FAVORITE neutral.  This sweater blazer is a perfect transitional piece for fall and spring, but it will also carry well into winter as a layering piece for those cold, bitter days. 
Since you guys love this blazer as much as I do, I thought it would be fun to show you how to style it three different ways. 
The first way is for the holidays! With Thanksgiving and Christmas just on the horizon, you are probably brainstorming outfits.  I’m not typically a red holiday person (I prefer navy and gold), but I love how this red plaid pattern pairs with the subtle blush pink.  So pretty and festive! 
Pairing the sweater with a pop of plaid instantly amps up the holiday festiveness.  Wear some skinny black pants or black mini skirt and you will be comfy and stylish.  I chose pointy black suede flats for my shoes, but booties or knee high boots would be equally cute.  
I almost always wear a chunky necklace and fun earrings when dressing up.  I love how the gold pops against the red plaid and I love how the blush and gold earrings tie everything back together. 
Hopefully this look has sparked some inspiration for your holiday outfit! The sweater blazer is on sale this week so I’ve linked this style as well as  my other outfit details below. 
Sláinte,
Shannon 
SHOP THE LOOK

DAY TRIPPIN’ TO THE BAY

One of my absolute favorite things about Ohio is it’s proximity to Lake Erie.  People never think of Ohio as a coastal state.  But in fact, the entire northern border of the state rests on the lake.   There are 100 miles of Lake Erie shore between Toledo and Cleveland.  I never appreciated my proximity to this body of water until the last few years.  I’m so fortunate that we live 25 minutes from the bay and about an hour from Marblehead Point.  

This past weekend we took L to Maumee Bay State Park, which sits right on the bay of the lake (hence the name).  Maumee Bay State Park includes two sandy public beaches, a two mile boardwalk, nature center, and a golf course, along with many other activities.  

We took L back in April, but she was too young to enjoy the water.  I was thrilled to see how much she loved it this time around (just like her mama!).  We wouldn’t let her get in because Lake Erie isn’t the cleanest of lakes (every summer we get an awful algae bloom – I will share a post on that another day).  
It was so refreshing and rejuvenating to walk along the lake and listen to the quiet waves crashing on the beach.  I have no idea where my love for the water comes from, but I sure do love it. 
This trip was even more special being able to share it with L.  She was completely entranced by the water and I wanted so badly to let her play in it.  I think one of the greatest joys of being a parent is watching your children experience something new with such immense joy.  I savor these special moments.

I love talking about coastal Ohio and am happy to share more of you guys are interested! You can also check out Ohio Explored or Ohio Find It Here.  Both are great resources for all things Ohio! 
Sláinte,
Shannon 

OUTFIT DETAILS:

S.LYNCH KNIT HAT | J.CREW FACTORY VEST | J.CREW FACTORY STRIPED SHIRT | J.CREW FACTORY DENIM JEANS | HUNTER BOOTS

GIVEAWAY!

You guys know how much I love supporting local businesses, so I was thrilled when Angela from Pineapples and Parties reached out to do a giveaway!

Pineapples and Parties is a local event planning and decorating business that specializes in attention to detail. From weddings to showers to parties and fundraisers, Angela does it all!

She also provides budget analysis, day-of coordination, event design, gift baskets, favors, florals, full event planning, guest list creation, holiday decorating, partial event planning, timelines, to-do lists, and vendor selections.

Pineapples and Parties celebrated their ONE year anniversary this summer! In celebration, I’m partnering with Angela to give TWO of our followers a Pineapples and Parties t-shirt, tote bag, and a $50 gift card to Pineapples and Parties for a future event!

Head to my Instagram for the giveaway details and to enter! (For those that live out of town, you can still enter to win and Angela will work remotely to help you plan an event!)

Sláinte,

Shannon

CHAMBRAY WITH A TWIST

Every preppy dresser needs a chambray shirt in their collection. Chambray pairs so well with white denim, regular denim, skinny black pants, and skirts. It’s casual enough for everyday wear but it’s easily dressed up for a business meeting.

I have several chambray shirts in several different styles. I have a handful of button downs in long sleeve and sleeveless. But one style I do not have is one with ruffles!

I love a good ruffle. A ruffle instantly adds a touch of feminism and elegance to an outfit. When I saw this ruffle chambray button down from Loft I knew I wanted to add it to my chambray collection.

I love the flirty-ness of it and I love how crisp and classic it pairs with my white denim shorts. I tucked in the front with my high rise waisted shorts, but you could easily tie it at the waist. I’m excited to wear this with skinny black plants, ballet flats, and a sparkly necklace.

You can shop the details of my outfit below!

Sláinte,

Shannon

SHOP THE LOOK:

CHAMBRAY SHIRT | WHITE DENIM SHORTS | SANDALS | KATE SPADE HANDBAG

P.S. ALL OF MY JEWLERY IS KIEL JAMES PATRICK.