10.10.2014

Insta Fashion Friday



Don't you tell me that it's 98 degrees still so I can't wear my favorite Fall-ish things. Don't you dare.
Maybe I got some stares for my oversized fleece blanket scarf this morning from the man at the gas station who was buying a case of Bud Light and a pack of cigs for a day out on his boat. But hey, you've got no room to judge, dude. Don't think I didn't see you open one of those cans and pour it into your solo cup in your truck's console at 7 AM.

Anyway, it's October, which means it's technically Fall which means that I can dress for the occasion even if it is impractical. Weather man says tomorrow it's actually going to be 70 instead of 98, so you know, there's that. 

Here's a quick snap of my casual Friday Fall look. This might become my go-to Fall uniform.




Shop the look here:




9.26.2014

Simple



You know, just finding more ways and reasons to wear glorified sweat pant pajamas in my everyday life. These kind of remind me of the longjohns I used to layer under my ski bib when we'd hit the slopes every year when I was younger and I don't hate it.

 I went for a simple look this time with a basic black slouchy tank, simple delicate gold jewels and a high bun on my head. I jazzed the look up just a little bit for work with these sa-weet sky-high L.A.M.B heels I got last year. I kept a pair of black converse sneaks and a denim jacket on standby, though. Just in case.




Tank: Nordstrom // Pants: F21 // Shoes: L.A.M.B // Clutch: Express

9.23.2014

Grey + Black




Been on a crazy grey and black kick lately. As I type this I realize I'm wearing a grey sweater, scarf and shoes with my denim today. I'm uhhhhbsessed right now. There's something so cozy and sleek about neutrals during the fall - I can't get enough! And of course, when all else fails, throw on an all black ensemble and you're golden. If all black isn't your thing, throw on a chunky grey knit sweater, your favorite jeans and a top knot bun. Works every time.

Here are some of my current favorites featuring these hues - click the picture to shop it!



9.22.2014

Fall Must-Have: Plaid Scarves under $50!



There's no fall accessory I adore more than a chunky plaid or tartan scarf. It brings such an element of snuggly coziness and instantly transports you to some log cabin by a campfire in the woods. Complete with snow-capped mountains, good friends and mugs of hot chocolate + Bailey's, of course. 

 Oh, if only. Excuse me while I go cry and remember that it's still 98 degrees in Dallas.

 I love these because they can bring a great pop of pattern to a basic tee or sweater and boots! I've found a couple of suuuuuper ca-ute ones and compiled them all here. Just in case you've got the Monday blues and shopping is your cure-all. Enjoy!



9.18.2014

What I Wore: Printed Joggers




Sometimes the fashion stars align and they serve up something that satisfies our cravings of cute, comfortable and realistic all on one big sparkly gold platter. This year, our dreams have come true in the form of the jogger pants. Maybe you're into them, maybe they're not your style...but rest assured they are the best darn thing since like, Mega sized M&M's. I LOVE the new megas. Who wouldn't want the deliciousness of an M&M in a bigger size? Alright moving on. I'm weird. And now I want chocolate.

Anyway, the slouchy pants come in all forms and are a great look for any occasion. They're perfect with sandals and a tank for running errands or grabbing brunch, or, you can wear them the way I love them most - mixed up with dressier pieces for a great, unexpected look! I love when casual meets glam and with these joggers, that's so easy to reach! Counteract the slouchy, everyday pants with a clean pump or wedge heel, a structured moto jacket and a tee! Love love love this look.

Here's how I wore the look to the office this week:






Jacket: Gap; Sweater: F21; Pants: F21; Bag: F21; Heels: Aldo

Shop some of my favorite printed, woven joggers below:



9.17.2014

White After Labor Day :: Part Two



Still throwing out ways you can style your fave white pieces after summer officially comes to an end. At least the season. The weather's here to stay for a little longer. It was 108 degrees in Dallas like, 4 days ago. What?! Reeeeeediculous, mother nature. Reeeeeeedic.

Anyway. I love me a good vest, no matter the season, and this white one is no exception. It's tailored and clean and is the perfect crisp piece to wear to the office or mixed up with distressed boyfriend jeans and a slouchy tank. 

If you're not sure you want to fully commit to breaking that old rule, start with small white pieces like a vest or tee. A vest is a great layering piece, that, with fall accessories, can help you make that wardrobe transition! I paired mine with stripes and leopard - two prints that are sure to move from season to season with no problem! My favorite black skinnies and red suede pumps add just enough pizzazz and make the stark white pop!







Tank: H&M; Vest: Target; Scarf: F21; Denim: H&M; Bag: Target; Pumps: Target; Watch: Michael Kors; Bracelets: Madewell, H&M

Shop the Post:


9.14.2014

White After Labor Day :: Part One



We've all heard the old "you can't wear white after labor day" mumbo jumbo, right?

Well, my friends...I'm here to tell ya that that's all out the window. Yep, you heard me. Wear all those white pieces that you love. Wear them to your heart's content. Just be careful when you're drinking red wine. I'm the queen of spills. Like a 6-year-old. Except 6 year olds don't drink wine, so.....better analogy next time.

I feel like lately I've had 35 people ask me about this old rule, so after shelling out ideas to each of them of just HOW they can wear those favorite jeans or dress or whatev it may be, I just thought, hey. Blog. Duh.

For the first part of this series, I give you my favorite eyelet camisole dress I got back in March. It's comfy, breathable, lightweight....WHY would I want to stash this bad boy away!? I don't.

The secret to transitioning your favorite white dress from summer to fall is to pair it with those fall neutrals or jewel tones. I'm on a neutral kick lately, so I grabbed my tan oversized slouchy boyfriend cardigan to hang around my shoulders and threw on a great felt hat and my comfy brown suede booties. If it was a little colder outside, I would have thrown on some black leggings, too.

Pairing those lightweight summer pieces with heavier fall/winter pieces is a great way to keep your favorites in your closet and take them from the warm months into the colder weather!






Dress: Old Navy- old (can we talk about how adorable THIS one is!?); Sweater: LOFT (similar here, here); Booties: Target; Hat: Express; Rings: H&M; Bracelets: Madewell, F21

8.21.2014

Jeans, Jeans the Magical Fruit



[Shop my look on and other #ootd posts on Instagram: @blaineashley]

There's just something about a great pair of jeans that can make any girl feel like a million bucks. The chic-ness of basic denim is sometimes forgotten. And then you see a pic of someone like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley or Miranda Kerr in a tee and basic skinny jean and you drool over the simplicity because it looks so perfect. No matter your body type, we can all agree that finding that perfect pair of jeans is kind of like winning the lottery. But let's be honest here, how many of us have actually found that go-to pair that checks off all of our denim must-haves? 

"OK, so it fits around the waist like I want it to, but what's up with this weird length?"
"OK so they fit great now, but are these going to stretch out after 10 minutes of wear?"
"Man I wish my butt was bigger so that it would fit in these jeans like it's supposed to.."

Alright, so maybe that last one isn't something you typically find yourself asking, but I do. The tiny-bottom struggle is real, y'all.

These are all questions that I have found myself asking as I stare at myself in dressing room mirrors. I'm sure you can all relate in some shape or form! 

SO, I have the answer for you jean-searching frustrated gals out there. Or guys, whatever. Guys wearing girls' jeans is apparently a thing now.

 There is a pair that meets all of your fit needs. Squeezes the leg through the ankle, comfortable and forgiving through the waist, lifts the rear end, pockets in all the right spots and angles...

Familiarize yourself with PAIGE Denim, you guys. PAIGE DENIM.
THE. BEST.  EVER.

They run a bit on the pricey side, but I have found that investing in a great fitting pair of jeans is worth it. Good quality denim makes all the difference in how a pair fits and holds together after a long day of wear! And they last forever. Say no more to those $19 jeans that will fit for the next two months and then stretch out and warp and get all catawampus before you have a chance to even enjoy them. Invest in one staple pair that you can wear with everything and enjoy for a very long time!

And, if you're lucky, you have a bomb diggity local TJMaxx that always has a few pairs hanging amongst the racks. That's where I found mine. For $45. Game. Set. Match. Win.

Shop my favorite PAIGE denim below:





8.20.2014

Life Lately



Just know before you read this that there's really not any point to this post. If that's OK with you, then proceed...


So, I'm back in the swing of somewhat normalcy around here. So I'll be back to running this blog consistently. Normal aside from the fact that I have a tiny human being that now leans on me for all sources of her tiny little 10-week-old life. I didn't have that before, obvs. Well, before 10 weeks ago. Actually, before about 50 weeks ago, because that was the last time I wasn't with child in any way, shape or form. It's weird to think that it's been almost a year since I got pregnant. Yes, I know the exact date. No, I won't tell you the deets. That's gross and creepy and totally weird since I know my mom and other family members read this. But you know, now that I am no longer with child but now with child (that makes sense in my head, ok?) I have gotten into a new swing of normalcy and it's been it's own kind of fun. I had to go back to work last week. Booooo. I know. Some people are worker bees, some people are I-wanna-stay-at-home mama bees. I'm somewhere in between. Like maybe I want to find a job that pays decent money for me to stay at home with my baby but there's also a nanny there just in case I need a gym break or help cleaning the house or something. You know? That would be a good gig. Unfortunately though, that job doesn't exist in my world. So, I had to go back to work. Lucky for me, my sister and her husband are currently living with us, so baby girl is at home with her Auntie for the time being. Going back to work is a little easier when you know the babe is in good hands with your pediatric nurse, kid-lover of a sister. I do feel a little sorry for my parents now, though. I'm pretty sure living with us and our newborn has convinced my sister and brother-in-law that they do not want a child any time soon. Oh well. One day our little baby G will have a cousin on this side of the family.

This brings me to my next topic. If you're ever faced with the decision of moving into a new house and you think that doing it one week post-partum is a good idea? Reconsider. If you're ever faced with the decision of whether or not you can house your sister and her husband and all their gear for a couple of months in said brand new house? Totes do it. It's like college dorm meets The Real World meets Christmas with the fam all rolled into one gigantic bowl of fun. Ideal? Maybe not. Especially when your sister is 5'10 and her husband is 6'5 and maybe the only spare bed you have for them to sleep on is your old Full-sized mattress you had in college and it sits on a janky yellow metal frame that is one stub of the toe away from giving you Tetanus. But hey, they're good Christian folks who don't have a complaining bone in their bodies, so they're making it work. It's so great. My brother-in-law leaves the house around 6 AM for the day, husband leaves around 7, I leave around 7:30 and my sister and baby do their thing until we all get home and have family dinners and watch good television like Hard Knocks, Criminal Minds or Botched. The house shuts down around 10:30 and we all get a good night's rest (some of us probably more than others due to aforementioned tiny bed problem) and then we're back at it again the next day! This includes baby because she's already sleeping at night from 10 pm-6am.SCORE! So fun. I'll be sad when the day comes and they move out into their own place. Coincidentally, there are several houses that have recently gone up for rent on our street and I'm doing my best to convince them to consider them. If we can't wake up and have coffee together piled onto a $100 Ikea couch, at least we could wake up and stand on our front porch and wave to them as they're also having their coffee on their front porch three doors down. I can already see Gracen in a few years running down to Aunt CeCe and Unkie D's house for that cup of sugar I need for the cookies I'm baking. Just kidding, I don't bake. Oh, and did I mention that one of our roommates is also a current badass rookie QB for the Dallas Cowboys? Sorry I said badass, mom. But you know, he is. Yes, it's my brother-in-law in case you were confused on which of my roommates I was referring to. It's not my sister, although she CAN throw a mean spiral, so sign her up. But yes, he's out there all day everyday doing great things and well on his way to being the next franchise quarterback in a few years. Just pursuing his dreams. So happy for him. I will get you an autograph if you ask nicely.

What else? Oh, my husband started football again, so you know....football wins. It always does. The school year hasn't even started and he's gone from 7 am to 8 or 9 pm each day. What is there possibly to be doing for that long every single day that pertains to high school football, you ask? I don't know, either. I quit asking. It's all OK though, because having a husband who gets to wake up everyday and do something he is passionate about is totally worth any crazy schedule in my book. It's a good thing I love football, too. So I'm not complaining. Don't take this as as a gripe, here. He's also now in a school district with seven high schools and two more coming in the next two years. SO this year will be a little different, considering the last two years were spent at small-town, single high school school districts. The school he's at now has fancy things like an indoor practice field and windows in all the classrooms. I think we have arrived, y'all. No more driving an hour to his Friday night games, either! All of the schools play each other and all games are located at one of two stadiums. Both of which are like, six miles from our house. I mean...seriously. We have arrived. He's happy, I'm happy. His new school colors include navy blue and I love navy blue, so I'm double the happy. It's a good sitch for us to be in. He's so great at what he does and I couldn't be more proud of him. Life is good.

Outside of our little bubble, I have a sister starting her senior year of high school. WHAT!? She's so great. Can't believe she's going to college next year. I swear it was just yesterday that she was sitting on my lap at my desk when I moved into my freshman dorm. She's going to go play Division I volleyball at Wichita State next year, and they're a top 25 team, so ya'll be on the lookout for her on ESPN in a few years....;) I have a brother that is going to be a sophomore and will be getting his driver's license in a few months...that can't be true, can it? And my youngest sister is going to be a big, bad 8th grader. Running Four Points Middle School, that one is. I have another brother-in-law and sister-in-law that recently moved to Bryan/College Station because he got a fab job at a new high school there. Yes, you guessed it. Coaching football. I told you, football runs our family. They have a precious 5-month-old daughter, too. There's just so much greatness happening in our family right now. SO thankful.

I don't really have a way of wrapping this up in some all-encompassing statement because, like I said, there's not much of a point other than to talk about what's going on in my little world these days. So, like Selena says in the movie Selena, "I want pizza."

Which is exactly what I'm off to go get.

Have a happy Wednesday. And don't write me some hate mail complaining that you just wasted your time reading this. I warned you.

8.19.2014

Birks are Back


In case you haven't heard... Those old ugly sandals that were all the rage 25 years ago are totes back with a vengeance. Maybe I was skeptical at first, because hey, maybe they're the glorified, bulky, sandal version of Crocs. And while Crocs might be like walking on a rubber cloud, they don't exactly scream attractive. And up until now, the ole Birkies didn't either. However, the brand has kept their traditional shoe alive in different colors, but they've also added more styles and prints for our liking. So, I've been seeing them everywhere these days, and the more I see, the more I approve. They give any look a laid back I-don't-care-but-I-really-do cool girl type vibe. Not to mention, they're all sorts of luxurious on the foot comfort thing. So, I'm a big fan. Big. Huge!

... I just said that in my head like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman...you know you did too.

So, what I'm saying is, if you're looking at your closet and you're like mannn...I wish I had a super comfy shoe that maybe isn't super attractive but is trendy so it's kind of cute for the time being and I'm always in a rush and super busy it has to be something that I could slip on quickly and wear everywhere I go, resist the urge to invest in crocs. Grab a pair of Birks. You'll thank me later.

Here are a few snazzy little pairs that I have my eye on...click the pic to shop!



8.18.2014

Brand Spotlight: SHOWPO


I recently stumbled upon this super swanky little online brand, SHOWPO. They have a variety of styles of dresses, sweaters and skirts that I just fell in love with! A little somethin' for every gal out there. I thought I would share with y'all because well, who doesn't love discovering a great new place to pick up some new pieces for your wardrobe? Not to mention it's Monday and shopping makes every Monday better. 

I've done the honors of selecting a few of my favorite items for you to scroll through -- check them out below!

PS - Everything I selected is under $70. I meannn...score!



Happy Shopping!



8.05.2014

Bliss



Every once in a while you have a moment that stops you in your tracks. An aha! moment that reminds you what life is about...a moment that makes all of your stress, struggles, demons - whatever they may be - disappear.

Tonight was one of those moments for me. Pretty sunset light coming through our bedroom windows...handsome husband...baby dozing in and out of sleep...pure bliss.

Love watching my man and my baby girl together. They already have a precious bond that is so evident every time he holds her and she gazes at him. Her eyes constantly follow him around the room and she always manages to quickly nuzzle down and fall asleep against him.

My exhausting days tending to her and the nights of no sleep are all forgotten when I sit back and take in the love between this daddy and his girl. 

Ain't no better feelin', y'all. Ain't no better feelin'.





7.30.2014

She's Here.



So, things have been crazy around here as of late. The little munchkin that had her shoulders in my left hip and feet up under my right rib cage for 9 months finally made her big debut on June 12. We were so thrilled to finally meet her and the last month and a half has been a whirlwind of emotion and new responsibilities. There's not a book, specialist, article, class or doctor that can prepare you for the new life that having a baby throws at you. There has been little sleep, lots of frustration, many sweet snuggles and kisses along with an influx of uncontrollable tears over the last several weeks! It's so strange to watch a tiny little human being sigh as she's in a deep sleep and examine her teeny tiny finger nails and all her precious details and think that all of that, right there, is a part of you. You + your man, obviously. She was a part of me, literally, growing and developing those precious miniature fingernails and lungs for breathing, for 40 weeks of my life. It's a hard concept to wrap your mind around - and for me, it's amazing to look at her now and remember that she was that gigantic bump on my stomach for the last nine months. The circle of life, I tell ya. It's pretty dang neat.

She was born weighing 9 lbs. 10 oz and measuring nearly 21 inches long. A big, squishy, 100% healthy ole thing that looked more like a three-month-old than a newborn. She was alert and precious and had the sweetest disposition about her immediately. The first night in the hospital I stayed up all night long, holding her and just staring.

Seven weeks in and she's already got us wrapped around her finger. She's the cutest thing I've ever seen and sometimes we just sit and stare at her. She doesn't do much other than sleep, eat, dirty diapers, squirm and fidget, but every little bit of it is a precious happening. She's getting stronger each day - learning to hold her head up, focusing her eyes and smiling at us now - and it's amazing to watch her grow by the minute.

I find myself looking forward to her next milestones - however, I'm constantly reminding myself to stay in the now and appreciate her each minute. We're already learning that time really does go by too fast! 

We're so blessed and thankful for our little angel!

My camera is in the shop, so I haven't done her official newborn photo shoot yet, so iPhone snaps will have to suffice for now.

Here she is - our sweet, squishy, big-eyed babe, Gracen Kinley.

















5.30.2014

That 'M' Word...



It's been kind of a crazy, whirlwind nine months, y'all. Forty weeks seems like an eternity to be pregnant, yet somehow I find myself shocked at how quickly it all unfolded. People told me that in the beginning, too. "It'll go by so fast!" However, when you're barely 6 weeks pregnant and thinking about the entire process that lies ahead, it's almost impossible to actually believe them when they say it'll go quickly. Yet, here I am. At the end. Thinking it all went by so quickly. Funny how that happens. It's kind of a bittersweet feeling, too. There's nothing I want more than to be done with this pregnancy and feel physically comfortable again, but sometimes I find myself a little nostalgic that this time has come to an end. It's one of those things that you think about all your life...getting pregnant, what it will be like, the process, having the baby, having your own baby to take care of...yada yada. It has always seemed like one of those things that you see in your future but never really imagine it happening to you. Does that make sense? And now that this time has come for me and I've experienced my first pregnancy and now am about to experience giving birth to my first child, all I can think about is the fact that I did it. I'm here. The unknown of pregnancy has been lived and conquered. It's that same feeling I got the day after my wedding. That, "So that was it?" kind of feeling. And not like a disappointed "that was it" type feeling, but more of a, "It's over and done with and I won't get to experience that again," feeling. So thrilled and pleased with the happening, but a little bummed that milestone has come and gone. I know, I know, there can and probably will be more pregnancies for me, but it's this first time thing that I'm talking about. The newness of the experience.

I really don't have any complaints about this whole pregnancy thing. At least not any of the unselfish kind. Of course I can tell you that I feel like Large Marge and I miss the cute clothes and waistline and all, but those are all superficial whinings that come with the territory. I really did have the easiest pregnancy ever. I never got sick, my emotions never really got elevated in any direction, I didn't have any weird cravings or aversions, there's been no stretch marks or swelling of the hands or feet, my blood pressure has remained low and steady...I mean, I'm a lucky gal, I get it. And knowing this, I know I have no room to express any kind of frustration solely because I'm uncomfortable. It could be worse and I certainly have heard the stories. I'm so thankful it wasn't. My heart goes out to you women.

Now, this will come as a surprise to no one, but I am not the poster child for pregnancy, either. I am not one of those bubbly girls who feels like pregnancy brings out the inner Greek goddess unicorn warrior princess lurking inside of her. I don't feel like I can conquer the world simply by strutting my pregnant belly around for all to see, and I certainly never had that glow about me that people rant and rave about all the time. In fact, I've gone about my business as usual for the last nine months and have avoided any additional attention or pregnancy discussion at all costs. I haven't felt all that different than I did beforehand, life has just gradually gotten a little more difficult to maneuver through. You know, physically and all.  In a weak moment, I did find myself sympathizing with the women on My 600-lb life on TLC a time or two, though. I mean, I too have found myself sitting back with my plate of  food on my belly because it's too hard to lean forward and eat and breathe at the same time. I've felt the pain of having to propel your body forward with a grunt to get up off the couch or out of bed. I can't see the lower half of my body anymore. I can't squeeze between tables without bumping into someone. And yes, maybe the floor boards of my car and the area around my desk at work is a little messy because bending over to pick up dropped items is a task that sometimes just isn't worthwhile. I've also found myself crying during trashy TV shows like 16 & Pregnant on MTV because there's a tiny portion of my soul that sympathizes and can relate to these disastrous little girls. I don't know. I don't really know where I was getting with that. Don't watch TLC or MTV while pregnant, I guess.

Anyway, pointless ramblings aside, this time is now coming to an end any day now. I'm totally freaked and equally as at peace about the process. That makes no sense really, but somehow it does to me. The unexpected of what will happen when we bring her into this world terrifies me because it's an uncontrollable that I really can't plan for. Yet I remind myself daily that women were designed for this and I know that whatever happens, holding this little nugget of ours for the first time will bring a calming peace and trump any other emotion I've ever felt. It will all have been so worthwhile and I can't wait. It's exciting to think about and wonder what she will look like, too. After carrying her for nine months, I've dreamed about her and talked to her in private and developed a relationship with her that can't be explained to anyone who hasn't experienced it themselves. Though I get busy and life is business as usual, every once in a while I stop and remember that there's a little human being squirming around in my belly, living my life right there with me every step of the way. My little buddy. It's beyond exciting to imagine the moment that we will finally get to hear her scream and see her swollen little body for the first time and kiss those squishy little cheeks that our sonographer has commented on for the last few months! I'm so thrilled that we're so close to the end and that we've had such a positive experience. My mind is consumed with the thoughts of what is to come over the next few days or weeks and it makes me smile every time I walk in my front door and see baby items that are patiently awaiting their new owner. As quickly as she moved in and took over every inch of my midsection, this little lady has totally stolen our hearts already. 

Can't wait for this new chapter of life and every crazy detail that will come along with it. It's going to be hectic and wild (did I mention we're moving to a new house TWO WEEKS after her due date? AH!) but so so fun. Part of me finds it hard to believe that I am here, and the other part of me can't imagine it any other way!

So, the next time you hear from me on this bad boy I will be a few lbs lighter, on cloud 9 and totally a mom. 

AH! The 'M' word....WHAT!? Never thought the day would come.

Ok, I'm ready, little miss Gracen Kinley. Let's do this.


5.13.2014

#stylethebabybump



So...I really enjoy this blog. And I really really enjoy fashion and styling and getting dressed in the mornings and sharing with you all my outfit choices. I follow tons of other bloggers and find so much of my wardrobe inspiration from them, so I hope that my outfits do the same for those of you who are always looking for ways to work your wardrobe! However, being pregnant and all has made capturing an outfit these days is a little taxing, I'll admit. I wish I was more diligent about it, but I haven't been. However, I do manage to take snaps of my looks on the days that I like it and I keep up from time to time on my Instagram. So, all that being said, I don't have any kind of fancy photography type of outfit shot for you just yet (sorry!), but I have compiled some selfies snaps of my favorite looks as of late. 

Here are a couple of my recent favorite looks for those of you that are expecting and need a little inspiration in the wardrobe department. It can be hard styling that bump, y'all!

<<Confession: I've done everything I can this pregnancy to buy minimal "maternity" labeled pieces. One pair of both denim and black denim skinny jeans and a few cotton tees and tanks are the only maternity-specific items I've invested in. All the other items in the images below are pieces I already owned and luckily could still make functional over the last nine months! So don't discard your pre-pregnancy closet, you'd be surprised at how many of your favorite pieces you can still rock!>>