Fall Wardrobe Picks!

Good morning!!! Happy first day of fall!!!

I am sitting here 39 weeks pregnant, home from work with gestational high blood pressure (not preeclampsia thankfully) trying to stay busy! I will be on maternity leave and really trying to save money this fall/winter so I am committed to NOT shopping for a while, but I couldn’t help sharing my faves for new fall staples!

The two websites I always gravitate to are J Crew Factory and LLBean, so here are my picks!

J. Crew Factory

Cotton V-Neck Sweater in Light Mustard- $29.50 Its time for the sweaters to come back out!!! I love the v-neck because it looks great by itself, and then later in winter you can layer the button downs and flannels underneath. The light mustard color is great for fall.

Tweed Mini Skirt- $51.00 Every year J Crew Factory has a cute plaid mini or tweed mini that becomes such a classic, and I am really loving this one!

Cuffed Striped Boatneck Shirt- $29.50 So this shirt might not scream fall so much, but I love a long sleeve navy and white stripe shirt as it gets cooler and while I am not sure how nice the cuff looks in real life, I would be open to checking it out!

LLBean

Mountain Pile Fleece Jacket- $79.99-89 I am really loving this fleece zipup with the Katahdin LLBean logo tag. This is the sandstone color which is one of the ones that is on sale for the cheaper price point.

Tumbled-Leather LLBean Boots- Flannel Lined- $149 These Bean boots are a part of the small batch boot collection. They are being released in October but you can order them now and the website says they are backordered at the moment. I want these….real bad, but I know I should resist- we’ll see haha.

Scotch Plaid Shirt Slightly Fitted- $49.95 I can’t recommend the LLBean Scotch plaid flannel shirts enough. I want them in every color and want to live in them all fall and winter. The color I featured is ‘Princess Mary’ which I really like. These sell out pretty fast usually, so get em now while all the colors are still in stock!

Signature Cotton Fisherman Tunic Sweater- $99.00 I have a couple of the regular sweaters which I love, but I really like this longer tunic sweater too! I would definitely get the black cherry color because I think its such a nice fall color.

Signature Merino Textured Fair Isle Crewneck- $99.00 This is the one thing that I actually DID buy! I love bird sweaters, and am obsessed with loons. I have been looking for a loon sweater for a few years now. This is a reproduction of a sweater LLBean made back in the 80s I believe. I can’t wait to be able to wear this one 🙂

What are your fall favorites this year? I will admit, every year I look forward to all the fall bucket list/fall wardrobe staples blog posts. I love this season; its so fun that my little boy will be a fall baby! Enjoy the first weekend of fall!

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Spring horse show season has begun!

Many horse professionals from New England travel to the Aiken South Carolina or to Wellington/Ocala Florida for the winter to continue training and showing and return in time for the show season up here! My former barn in Massachusetts, Orchard Hill Equestrian Center, started their schooling show series in April AND the very next weekend was the UNH Spring Trials, a recognized show important to many Area 1 eventers. The schooling show at my old barn was a 2 phase, meaning just dressage and stadium jumping. Right now the cross country field is too soft/muddy. The event at UNH was all three phases meaning dressage, stadium jumping, and cross country.

I volunteered as dressage scribe for the schooling show, which is always a fun job. It can be crazy furiously scribbling down every word the dressage judge says onto the score sheets, but I always learn a lot. I am always too busy during dressage to take any dressage pics. Once dressage was done though, I got to be a spectator for the stadium jumping.

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This particular rider lost her stirrup very early in the round, you can see in this pic her foot is out of the stirrup!!! Superstar!

From where I now live in NH, UNH isn’t that far at all! Mizpah and I headed over to watch some friends from Orchard Hill compete. We weren’t there early enough to watch a lot of dressage, but we did get to see some stadium jumping and cross country. Walking the cross country course is always a lot of fun with Mizpah. We totally have her do all the jumps and play in the water complex haha. The course was definitely muddy and wet in some areas, but UNH did a great job of spreading gravelly sand to the approach and landing areas for jumps that needed it. The UNH students in the equine science and agricultural programs volunteer to make this show run as smoothly as possible.

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Pretty much the only good pic I got of my friend stadium jumping
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Mizpah in the XCountry start box!!
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Beautiful scenery for cross country

A great place to watch some cross country is here at the water complex. In that one area you get to see a few jumps and of course the spaaaalash into the water!

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Jump before the water complex
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Jump over the log down into the water!
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Coop after the water! Lots of pats and exclamations of excitement after this jump!

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The earliest I will be riding again will be this coming winter, so for my own sanity, I will be trying to attend a lot of horsey fun events to get my fix until then. It was so nice seeing my barn friends and supporting the schooling show at Orchard Hill as well as the riders at UNH. Mizpah was an absolute star. Most horse people also looooove dogs, so it was a great day to get her out on the leash greeting kids, adults, other dogs, and select horses who I know are ok around dogs. At horse shows its particularly important for Mizpah to NOT jump on people because no one wants muddy paw prints on their riding pants before entering the ring!!

Anyone planning on getting out to some horsey events this spring and summer? Maybe a polo tournament, a race, or a local show?? Kentucky Derby is coming up, wish I was going!!!

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New LLBean Staple: The Rugby

LLBean has brought quite a few wardrobe staples into my life. There’s the fisherman sweater, the slightly fitted Scotch plaid flannel, the sweater fleece pullover, Bean boots, camp socks, and now, the super soft rugby.

The shirt comes in two solid colors right now, gray and navy. It also comes in three striped colors combos– red with white stripes, cobalt with white stripes, and white with navy blue stripes. The stripes start around the chest and get wider as you go down the shirt. The lining inside the collar, down the button front, and in the side slits is a soft chambray type material. The shirt itself is a cotton French terry material- its maybe just a bit thinner than the Vineyard Vines shep shirt. The LLBean logo on the front is the traditional little LLBean/Katahdin patch that I just love.

I purchased the solid navy shirt and as usual with LLBean, I sized down to a small. The shirt is light, comfortable, and as advertised, slightly fitted. I wore a tshirt under it which worked, but it is definitely more fitted in the shoulders/arms than the sweater fleece pullover, so it might not be meant to worn over too much. I wore it on a casual Friday to work when we had a professional development day- got lots of compliments.

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The price point? Not too bad- the solid colors are going for $39.95 and the striped colors are $44.95. The red and navy strip combos, and some sizes for the navy and gray solid options are already backordered! I think it will be a popular item heading into spring and for years to come. I am looking forward to more colors in the future.

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Christmas Wish List 2016 Edition

I can’t believe that Christmas is coming up this weekend!!! This year has been full of big changes for me- getting married, moving to NH, buying a house, new job…my husband and I decided that really the best thing we could get each other would be a weekend away full of winter fun and relaxation! We will be spending a weekend later this winter up at The Eagle Mountain House in Jackson NH. Its one of the big old hotels in the White Mountains and I can’t wait to stay there.

When it comes to the other people in my life asking for ideas for Christmas presents, here are some of the items on my list! I try to think about people’s budgets when I come up with lists for the family. A bunch of items in the $30-50 range is nice because it gives people some flexibility with their budget. If their budget is $30-50, well perfect, if they are looking spend more like the gift is from multiple people, they can double up and do a couple gifts. Of course I think that time and conversation are the best gifts from family, but I also get the frustration trying to come up with gift ideas, and a well thought list can really help your family out!

  1. First up! A winter hat from LLBean! The Katahdin Pom Hat in midnight at $29.95. Many social media influencers were given the more colorful version of this hat, but I really like the classic navy and white of this one. fullsizerender-8
  2. Next, I am in love with this snow globe sweater from Talbots! Its currently on sale from $89.50 down to $53.70. fullsizerender-9
  3. This past summer I got so much use out of my Harding Lane mountain needlepoint hat. I decided I could use some more hats for this coming summer so here a few that I told my elves about!
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    Harding Lane @ $35
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    Port Royal Outfitters @ $20

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    Smathers and Branson @ $30
  4. I love my KJP bracelets. I realized this past year that a color combination that I could really use is blue and white. Here is one called Mackarel Cove at $40.00. KJP has really blossomed into so much more than just a bracelet company. I love this pearl necklace too! Maybe a birthday present? fullsizerender-11What are some things on your wish list this year? I truly love all the holiday blog posts, keep em coming everyone!

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Backyard Footwear and other canvas sneakers!

Living in New England means a lot of different footwear depending on the season and the weather. I love it because you can never get bored with your wardrobe, just when you think you can’t bear to put those boots on again, its time to take out your Palm Beach Sandals! A hole in my wardrobe recently has been a nice pair of casual canvas sneakers. There are a lot of choices out there, but I got these Backyard Footwear sneakers that I found on @dave_money3‘s insta. I didn’t want to do white because I KNOW I would get them so dirty, but these gray ones were perfect for me. The sizing is European as they are from Denmark, and I am a size 8 which translates to a 38. They were a little snug so I sent them back for a 39. They were $60 with free shipping and they can also be purchased on Amazon! They are gray canvas with little  blue suede inner toe patches and the rubber soles are molded up around the toe, so the rubber isn’t glued on.

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These are some of the other options out there that I checked out before purchasing my Backyard sneaks. Let me know if I forgot any!

LLBean sells Superga sneakers here. They are $65, free shipping, and come in some nice colors. My problem with these is I like a rounded toe to my sneaks and these have more like a square/trapezoid shaped toe I guess? They look like fabulous sneakers though.

FullSizeRender-6 Sperry has some beautiful canvas sneakers too here in many colors for $60 with free shipping. I really liked these because they have the traditional topsider laces, but they have a similar toe box to the Superga sneakers AND I felt like I saw these everywhere this past spring and summer, so I wanted to find something a little different. I have a friend who has them in navy and said they are wicked comfortable.

FullSizeRender-5J. Crew sells a couple different canvas sneakers. There are the SeaVees for $78 and then the TreTorn sneakers for $68. I sort of crossed these off my list because they were more expensive and some of the colors are backordered.

Of course, there are Keds which are the classic canvas sneaker. Here is a link to the canvas sneaker page because honestly its pretty cool to see the whole collection. They have so many colors!! The sneakers run from $45-60 for the most part. I had Keds growing up, and loved them…but I kicked the crap out of them ha. I remember retiring many pairs of Keds with holes in them and the rubber around the sides coming off. The quality might be much better now…hopefully it is because they are more expensive now than I remember…but I guess I have those memories and wanted something more sturdy.

FullSizeRender-2Converse Chuck Taylors are also a nice classic canvas sneaker for a great price at $50. My sister has a pair of these and loves them. I like them and have a pair of the taller Chuck Taylors in green.

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I am looking forward to wearing my Copenhagens on days when I don’t want to wear sandals, am not ready for boots, my neon blue/green running sneakers would be a little overkill.  They are handmade in the same factory in Europe since 1972 in an eco-friendly way and they are cushioned for wear all day. Lets be honest, I kinda want them in every color.

The Superga, Tretorn, and Sperry sneakers all sort of flare out to the toe. I like the Seavees, Keds, Chucks, and of course the Backyard sneakers because they taper to the toe. I suppose its personal preference.

What is your go to sneaker??

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Barbour Clearance Center, Milford NH

So my celebratory-finished my MS-shopping weekend (see my other shopping victories here)  continued and brought me north into New Hampshire. I have been searching for deals on a hood for my Barbour Argon jacket and for a jacket for my pup, Mizpah. There is a new Barbour outlet in the Merrimack Outlets, but I was surprised to see a location in Milford, NH. Milford NH? Yep, that’s right, the US headquarters for Barbour is in a warehouse/tech park in Milford ha. Everything that is sold in the US goes through this facility, and repairs/reproofing are done here too.

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This is the real deal factory/warehouse outlet!
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The warehouse & repair/rewaxing area!!

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This gorgeous image hangs above the cashier area, one of the few pieces of decor in the store
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I was checking these out because I would really love a navy quilted jacket someday!

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The outlet attached was awesome. The sales associates were really sweet and helpful- they had to go out back to find me a hood- it was the only one left! Lets go over the deals here though….

-All items have some sort of markdown. They sell out fast of any classics that come in, as well as any dog stuff sadly.

-Buy 3 or more items and you get 20% off! One of the sales associates told me that they are getting in some accessories like socks soon which will make this easier on the wallet!

-They do sample sales- size 6 in women’s and large in men’s. Sometimes the discount doesn’t seem huge on an item in the sample sale, but its the best of the best stuff usually. So if you are those sizes, you could get some cool stuff.

-Red tag sales- any item that has been deemed imperfect is on sale for huge discounts. Sometimes the item might just be missing a snap, which they will fix for you!

I am now on the email list for the sample and red tag sales- pretty exciting stuff. I am still on the hunt for a jacket for the pup, but I love my hood. The hood is typically $49, but at the outlet it was $29.

We did hit up the Merrimack Outlets too, and just an FYI, I liked the Milford outlet way better. I got a great deal on a staple Polo Ralph Lauren oxford- $30. I am a perfect medium in the custom fit. Oxfords can be tough- finding a shirt that fits your shoulders, bust, and arms that isn’t too boxy feels a little like winning a contest haha. IMG_4841

If you want to see more pictures and get more info, Salt Water New England has a great post on the Barbour headquarters in Milford. The only thing to remember though is that the outlet is only open Thursday- Saturday 10-6, and Sunday 11-5. After our shopping adventure, we grabbed dinner with my inlaws for Mother’s Day at the Common Man in Concord, NH. Definitely my favorite chain of restaurants in NH, so lucky my mother-in-law loves it too! If you are ever traveling through NH, stop at the Mt. Washington Hotel, the white mountains, and check out Lake Winnipesaukee….but if something from Barbour sounds like a good souvenir, swing by this out of the way location in Milford!!

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TJ Maxx Finds!

My MS is done!! I finished at the end of last week, and did a little shopping this past weekend to reward myself for all my hard work. I had a TJ Maxx gift card from bridal shower, which was actually an awesome gift because it was more for me, than for the home or the kitchen. I will be honest, I get a little overwhelmed at TJ Maxx and Marshalls. My husband is all like, be a maxxinista! and I’m like omg all these racks to go through. I lucked out though on some good stuff!

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These earrings….they were $19.99 and exactly what I was looking for. I had been looking for an every day earring that was the pin cushion style. These are little fake pearls with a little halo of crystals around it. I have really small ear lobes, and these are the perfect size. IMG_4844

This navy blazer is a really light weight, linen type material. The lining is white and navy stripes and it has two gold buttons. Its great for this time of year with the sleeves rolled up just a touch. It was $29.99. Such a great deal. Fits me perfectly too.

IMG_4845Ok, basic white tank top doesn’t seem like such an amazing find but I like having a few white tanks to wear with my printed shorts/skirts. This one is great for $16.99. Its a little flowy which is nice especially if we are going somewhere where I will overeat…you know what I mean. Good white tank tops that aren’t tissue thin are hard to find. The shorts are pink seersucker with navy embroidered anchors. Again, $16.99! They are thin, like you can’t do colored underwear, but that’s ok, we just plan right?

I have been taking classes for this masters for years. Its amazing to be done and have my afternoons and weekends back!!! Everyone have a good Kentucky Derby?? The bar we went to didn’t have mint so I got an old fashioned. We got one of those mint julep kits- mint, sugar cubes, and sugarcane swizzle sticks and did them on Sunday for Game of Thrones! So much mint for just two people haha. They are a pretty drink though.

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Happy Monday everyone!! It’s been a good one here because the sun is finally out!!

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Talkin Derby 2016 Looks & Bets!!

Today is the Kentucky Derby! Attending all three of the Triple Crown races as well as the Maryland Hunt Cup is on my bucket list. Last year I went with some friends to a Derby party in Boston, right on the water, it was so fun. This year, the weather has been so blah that we didn’t make any plans. My husband and I will probably just go somewhere local and grab a drink to watch the races. I think that derby day is a great time to unleash some floral prints as it is the race for the roses. Here are some fun dresses that I found for a nice price!

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                                                Eliza J Floral Fit & Flare Dress @ $54.97

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                    Db Signature Sabrina Floral Dress @ $39.50 not in many sizes now, but there               was a huge selection of floral dresses at Dress Barn

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Mahi Gold Paradise Parade @ $98.00 in Hydrangea Walk- the most expensive out of the 3 but with the iconic Cape Cod blue hydrangeas…I need this. Mahi’s dresses are so soft and comfortable. Mahi Gold is definitely one reason why I love shopping in Chatham.

Now, one retailer that I have left off of my list is Vineyard Vines. They are the official style of the Kentucky Derby. They have a rose print dress that is gorgeous BUT its $248….and they have a white dress with a rose print sash for $198. If I was going to the event I would steer clear of these because you will see a lot of ladies wearing them and they are expensive….so unless you got it c/0….I mean, just look this year at all the gentlemen wearing the rose print sport coat from VV. If I was going, I would want to wear a dress that wouldn’t break my budget and that I wouldn’t see on every girl there 🙂

I am not much of a big hat girl, but I can’t wear headbands for a fascinator because I will get a headache. What I would actually probably do is decorate a hair clip to match my dress. These fabulous hair clips would definitely be my inspiration!

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Hair Clip via Etsy
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Hair Clip via Etsy

Making a decorated hair clip means it can’t have too much weight, so I would probably do mesh/organza and feathers- maybe one flower….but you can’t do too much or it will be too heavy to stay in your hair!

As for who I am rooting for this year at the derby, Nyquist is the favorite. Nyquist is one of three babies, along with Mo Tom and Outwork, in the derby that have the same sire, Uncle Mo. Crazy. If we look at trainers, two proven trainers have contenders this year: Bob Baffert has Mor Spirit who is a favorite, and then Todd Pletcher has Destin and Outwork. Steven Asmussen has Creator and Gun Runner in the race, and he has had some good horses out there too. His career survived a PETA investigation in 2014 and now he has 2 horses in the derby- not too shabby. Nyquist is the top money winner in the field with over $3 million in earnings, and surprisingly Lani with not so great odds is 3rd place with the money at $1.3 million. Second place is Exaggerator at $1.7 million but he has pretty good odds right now.

Nyquist is a safe bet, there is a good chance this guy will be in the winner’s circle. If you are looking for a horse that would be fun to bet on because they are in the mids for odds, then maybe Mor Spirit, or Destin, or if you are just looking for a fun name, then I like Oscar Nominated. The rules to name a thoroughbred for the Jockey Club make for some creative names!

Alright folks, from rain soaked Massachusetts, I am wishing everyone a fabulous Kentucky Derby day, I can’t wait to see all the looks on blogs and instagram, and watch the most exciting 2 minutes in sports tonight. Enjoy it!

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