STYLE: THE 9-5 EDIT, SUMMER CASUAL

With Ohio slowly re-opening again, many people are heading back to work.  That means the summer work wardrobe is in full swing.  My summer work attire is very casual (partly because of my work environment and partly because it’s summer).  I’m either wearing a dress or linen pants/white denim with a blouse.  I can easily make these casual looks for work by how I style them.  Below I’m breaking down my formula for dressing summer casual with white denim and a blouse.  

The Basics: White Denim + Blouse

Start with the basics, aka classic white denim or easy linen pants. Make sure your pants are clean, tailored, and pressed (and avoid denim with holes, even if that is trendy). I make sure my pants hit just above my ankle for slim pants and about an inch above that for my linen pants. Avoid mini-skirts, capri pants, and shorts.

If I’m wearing this pants and blouse combo, I make sure my blouse is dressy – this can be a structured fit or loose depending on the style of pants. Avoid tank tops, halter tops, and anything that shows cleavage. If you choose sleeveless, style with a cardigan sweater, just in case. For this style shoot I chose a fresh take on the button up. With the square neckline, bold buttons, and oversize cap sleeve, this J.Crew Factory blouse is perfect for summer.

Accessories

I’m a firm believer in accessorizing. I think accessorizing an outfit with jewelry and a handbag instantly adds style to any ensemble. Dressing it up with bold floral earrings, bracelets, a chic straw tote, and Jack Roger sandals makes this look casual, yet work appropriate. Sometimes I will swap out the bold statement earrings for a long necklace and hoops.

Shoes

Most work environments don’t allow flip flops or sandals. Luckily, mine allows dressy open toed shoes, so my Jack Rogers are usually perfect. If your work environment does not allow open toed shoes, opt for ballet flats or a comfortable wedge. I like these flats from J.Crew Factory and espadrille wedges from Sam Edelman.

At the end of the day, make sure your look is tailored, fits well, and comfortable for you.

Happy summer!


Slainte,
Shannon

MOTHERHOOD: SEEKING OUT JOY

If you all are like me, I’m sure you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and even afraid during these uncertain times.  A germaphobe on my best day, I’m really having to seek out the little things that bring me joy to help me feel centered and grounded.

Staying connected to people always helps me to center myself. I’ve never felt more love and support from my IG community and for that I am truly thankful. When my friend Sarah from Cozy Little Joys reached out and asked if I wanted to do a collaborative post with her about seeking joy, I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to help others in the midst of chaos.

Below are some ways of how I am seeking out the joy and establishing some sense of normalcy to our everyday lives.  

  • Take a walk. For me being near the water grounds me, so there will be many family walks down by the river and lake in my near future.
  • Learn a new hobby. I’ve wanted to learn how to use the manual mode on my DSLR camera. What a perfect time to teach myself a new skill and capture precious moments in the process.
  • Practice yoga or meditation every morning and as needed. L loves to do yoga poses with me so might as well make it a family activity.
  • Catch up shows or movies you’ve been wanting to watch (hello Newsies, Sound of Music, and everything on Disney Plus).
  • Turn on your favorite music and have a dance party.

If there is time to learn how to disconnect from all the noise, now is that time.  We must take care of ourselves, mentally, emotionally, and physically, in order to get through these very trying times.  We also must take care of those around us too. Be kind. Be flexible. Be loving. Have faith. Hug your family tight and let’s all hope for the best. 

For more ways on finding the joy in the everyday, head over to Sarah’s page, Cozy Little Joys!

Slainte,

Shannon 

MOTHERHOOD: A DAY IN THE LIFE, WORKDAY

A few weeks ago I shared a glimpse into what a day looks like when I’m at home with L.  Today I’m attempting to share a look into what a day looks like for us when I’m working.  Our morning and afternoon routines are always the same on working days, but my actual work day in the office varies.  I can provide a general idea of what my day consists of, but working in public relations means no day is the same and you constantly have to adapt to the unexpected.  So, without further ado, here is another peek into our life. 

6-6:30am: Hubby and I wake up.  Sometimes I get up and do yoga and sometimes I sleep until 6:30 (the latter is more realistic ha!).

6:30-7:00am: I shower, get dressed, put on my makeup, clean up the master bedroom and bathroom.  Hubby heads downstairs and takes care of the dog, eats breakfast, empties the dishwasher. 

7-7:30am: I make my breakfast, pack my lunch and L’s lunch, write out her schedule, pack up our bags, etc. 

7:30-7:50am: L wakes up and gets breakfast. 

7:50-8:00am: Babysitters arrive (if it’s a Monday, one of us drops L off at my sister’s house).

8:00am: I arrive at work.  For anyone new, I manage the public relations and marketing for my city (Yes, I work for the government and I love it). 

8-9:00am: I check all the social media accounts and respond to questions and comments.  I read and respond to all emails. Then I go over my to do list for the day and prioritize what needs to get done 

9-12:00pm: This is where it gets tricky to quantify what I do.  Depending on the day, I could be in meetings, responding to media requests, working on graphic design projects, planning out social media for the week, developing new marketing and informational materials, drafting talking points for City officials, the list goes on and on.  Each day is different and that is what I love about working in PR. 

12-1:00pm: I generally take an hour lunch break during this time.  Sometimes I go home and eat and relax, sometimes I run errands, and sometimes I stop by and see L.  Just depends on the day! 

1:00-2:00pm: Social media and email check-in.  Review what needs to get done on that particular day and prioritize those tasks.

2-4:30pm: Similar to earlier, I could be in meetings, responding to media requests, working on graphic design projects, planning out social media for the week, developing new marketing and informational materials, updating the website, drafting talking points for City officials, etc. 

4:30pm: Leave work and pick up L.

5:15-6:00pm: If I’m picking L up, we usually get home about 5:15.  We unpack the car, bags, and lunch boxes, take Gryff outside, change our clothes, prep dinner, and play if we have time. 

6-6:30pm: Family dinner time.

6:30-7pm: Playtime with daddy while mommy cleans up the kitchen.

7-7:15pm:  Bath time.

7:15-7:30pm: Relaxing and watching Peppa Pig, Blue’s Clues, or Paw Patrol.

7:30pm: Bedtime. 

And there you have it! The days I work are extremely busy and I’m usually ready for bed by 8:00pm!  But I do love the variety of the day and love that most weeks I know that the following day I get to be home with my sweet girl! 

Slainte,

Shannon

STYLE: THE 9-5 EDIT

SLEEK SEPARATES

I’m so excited to be sharing this new fashion series, The 9-5 Edit!  Once a month, I’ll share a work inspired ensemble for all you working ladies.  My wardrobe has to be very versatile since I work three days a week in public relations and then stay at home two days a week.  Even on my days at home, I like to get dressed and look put together, so I try to buy pieces that will work for both work and my casual days off. 

The first outfit in this series is focused on sleek separates.  So let’s get down to business, shall we?

WHY SEPARATES?

Purchasing separates allows you to mix and match all day long.  Investing in two to three cardigans, four to five stylish blouses, two to three button ups, a blazer, a skirt, and two pairs of classic pants or trousers will provide you with a closet full of chic and easy outfits to choose from.   You can really get creative with pairing different items together, which makes getting ready for work (or at least I think so).

When shopping for separates, look for pieces that are tailored, structured, and comfortable. In my opinion, it’s better to splurge on classic and timeless styles that will last for years. If you love trends, you can still look have fun through your use of color, pattern, and accessories.

HOW I STYLED SEPARATES:

A classic navy or black cropped pant in stretch twill or ponte is a must have for me. This style will always stand the test of time and having a pair of navy and black gives you unlimited styling options. (No joke I’ve had these navy pants for six years!)

I chose a monochromatic look (back on this trend again) by pairing my navy cropped pants with a navy gingham button up. I opted for no fuss pearls, my Kiel James Patrick bracelets, nude flats, and a classic, 1960’s inspired hair style to complete the look. Oh and I can’t forget the belt! The belt breaks up the navy and the anchor detail adds a little extra prep. This is such a simple, clean and polished look, perfect for the work day.

Investing in classic separates is the easiest way to have a clean and refined wardrobe for work. I’ve included a few of my spring favorites below.

Sláinte,

Shannon

SPRING SEPARATES IDEAS:

Blouse 1 | Blouse 2 | Cardigan (I have this!) | Trouser Pant | Skinny Pant | Shoes 

Working Mom, Stay at Home Mom

One of the aspects of my life I haven’t really talked about on this platform is my role as both a career woman and a mom.  

I read and hear about the challenges and joys for working moms and stay at home moms, but I never really hear much about us part-timers.  I consider myself both a working mom and a stay at home mom. For those that don’t know, I work part-time (three full days a week) in public relations.  I do all the PR, marketing and social media for my city (suuuch a fun gig!).

I’m soooo fortunate to be able to work part-time in an amazing job that is two minutes from my house. And I’m equally fortunate to be able to stay at home with my sweet baby girl two days a week.

Although this setup works great for us in this stage of our life, being a part-time working mom and part-time stay at home mom definitely presents its own challenges though.  

One of the biggest challenges is feeling like you aren’t giving enough of yourself to either your job or your family. When I’m at work I feel like a chicken with my head cut off, running all around trying to play catch up and stay ahead. I have that same feeling on my days at home, trying to juggle quality time with L but also trying to get some basic household chores done. I often feel anxious that I’m not doing enough on my days at work and vice versa on my days at home.

Some weeks I work over my regularly scheduled hours, which means less time for my family and that is always really hard on me. (Thankfully I have a stud of a hubby who picks up the slack and takes care of L, the dog and the household.) And then other weeks (like this one), my family demands more attention and I have to give less at work.

Another big challenge of being a part-time working mom and part-time stay at home mom is finding time for myself. It’s really important for me to be fully committed to my job and to be fully present at home.  That leaves very little time for me and that wears on me over time.  And I’m definitely someone who loves my me time and my hobbies.  

But this arrangement definitely has its plusses. For one, I get to spend two days at home every week, just me and L, which is amazing. And, on the flip side I get to do work I love, in a city I love, with some pretty stellar human adults. I get my dose of motherhood and my dose of adult interaction every other day and for me, that’s perfect.

We spend a lot less on childcare since I’m home twice a week.  Childcare is ridiculously expensive and I feel for you families who spend a fortune on it when there is no other option. 

I have more time to blog and produce creative content with this arrangement. When I was working full time I only had time on the weekends to write blog posts and take pictures. Now I can work on some of my blogging during L’s naps and on the weekends.

I also get to spend more time with my family on my days at home with L.  In the summer that means going to the zoo or swimming at my parents with my siblings and nephews.  In the winter that means shopping with my mom or going to the aquarium with my nephews.  I’m definitely one who needs my family close and to see them often so I’m grateful we are in a position where I can do this. 

This is definitely a topic I love to talk about, so please reach out if you have questions, comments, etc.  Whether you work full time, part-time, or stay at home, all of us are doing the best we can with the resources we have and all of us mamas are in this together.  

Sláinte,

Shannon