monday musings: on my lack of shoe self control & J.Crew

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Good morning (still morning in PST!) & happy Monday?

I don’t know why but I seem to sleep poorly on Sunday nights…maybe in anticipation of Monday? Who knows. But, both this week & next week are 4 day work weeks for me (victory dance) since my sister will be here for a long weekend, so we’re going to call today my Tuesday.

Anyway, this outfit.And my lack of self control. The two things I actually wanted to talk about today. I like to think everyone lacks self control in different areas. Some people love ice cream, some people love alcohol, some people have weird fetishes that get them on TV. Me? I really like shoes. And always manage to justify them to myself.

Case and point (Mom don’t read this) – I bought 5 pairs of shoes in seven days. (Mind you, this was after I told myself I wouldn’t shop in July)

FIVE.

Three of those were items I had been eyeing/looking for/waiting for them to go on sale (aka pre-planned purchases) and two were purely because “I want those.” Even for me, five pairs in a week is excessive. (Publicly admitting I have a problem.)

One of the five pairs are these absolutely perfect gingham heels from J.Crew that I’m wearing in these photos.  Please don’t even try to convince me they aren’t stunning. (Sidenote: I wore this outfit to dinner Friday & it may be my favorite summer outfit EVER. No joke. I wish I could wear it every day!)

The other four: yellow Steve Madden (I only paid $30 don’t worry) leopard Sam Edelman (again, paid $35), nude caged heels & Ivanka Trump boots (I blame these on the Nordstrom Anniversary sale)

I’ll be styling all of them in the upcoming weeks, so prepare yourselves 🙂

So, now that I’ve confessed I have a shoe shopping problem, I would love to hear what everyone else has a slight addiction to! haha

Have a great day,

-M

PS. Unfortunately this wonderful dress I’m wearing is sold out right now, but Nordstrom restocks some items often so if you really love it then I would check back. I truly cannot recommend it enough. I like it so much that I even wrote a review. I’ve also linked a handful of similar dresses below

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let’s go to the beach, each, let’s go get away

Corona Del MarCorona del Mar, CA – this beach is about a 1.5 mile walk from the new apartment

I LOVE WATER

 So much. I love to sit by it, swim in it, drink it constantly…you get the picture. It is definitely in my top 10 things I love, right beside mexican food and exercise. Don’t worry, I have another top 10 list for people – my family is (generally) better than mexican food.

But back to the water. We really lucked out with this new apartment having a 25 yard pool & being just over a mile walk to the beach, so on the weekends you can generally find me at one of the bodies of water. Or maybe both in the same day.

It doesn’t feel too different living in California yet (minus the lack of rain) because my summers in Michigan were  spent either working at a country club pool or heading out to Lake Michigan. But, once it gets cold in the Midwest and I’m still in a bikini, I’m sure I’ll notice a difference.

Walk to Corona Del Mar Pirates Cove

en route to Corona del Mar

Today I’ve rounded up a few of my “essentials” for the beach. They’re not glamorous, I’m not a makeup at the beach or body jewelry kinda gal. But if you want to rock a cute suit and keep your eyes and skin protected, then check out my picks below.

This year I finally purchased my first (and second) MAAJI swimsuits and I’m very happy with the fit. They’re a bit more expensive ($50-$70 per piece) but are reversible, so you end up with 2 suits! My favorite part about them – they don’t hug the love handles too tightly & they offer cheeky cuts.

Tell me, do you have any beach trips planned this summer? I sure hope so!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend – we will be continuing my birthday celebrations with a friend flying in from Chicago! PS. I finally gave in and am now actually using SnapChat – you can find me at mihalym

-M

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It’s my birthday & I’ll wear what I want to

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I’m officially 24.

In some ways it feels really old (when I listen to my teenage sisters talk) & in others really young (when I listen to my co-workers talk).

 Regardless, I already like it better than 23 because its an even number, so let’s hope that sets the tone for the next 12 months. Birthdays become less exciting as you age (especially when you’re not celebrating an monumental number), but the one thing I will always love is free birthday food! (Sipping free birthday Starbucks as I type).

With all the changes so far this year, and the million more to come, I set a few personal goals for my 24th year. Goals that will make me mentally, physically and emotionally stronger. I’m hoping by sharing them it will keep me on track, so here are my 6 goals for 24:

  • banish the negative body/self talk  – it has to go; the only person its hurting is me.
  • read one book per month – I just joined the Newport Beach library!
  • go to yoga 3x per month – we have free yoga offered at our apartment complex, and so far I’ve made it 3 weeks in a row. You can’t pass up free yoga.
  • travel to Hawaii – its less expensive & easier to get to now
  • do my best to positively impact people I meet
  • launch ELEVATE (you’ll see what that is soon!)

Now, onto the outfit. This dress is not something I would normally wear, but it caught my eye at Ann Taylor in early June. (the same shopping trip when I went a little overboard and bought the pineapple shorts, the polka dot dress and the patent bow pumps!)

As soon as I tried it on I felt AMAZING…so you bet it came home with me. The dress is quite well made, and the lace is surprisingly thick. Because I love it so much I will wear it to work and be completely overdressed, but if anyone needs a date to a more formal wedding – let me know! I’ve got my outfit ready.

Sadly, the dress has since sold out. But, if you love it and wear a size 12 – I found it on eBay for you! Or, here are two similar styles at Ann Taylor now: this eyelet shirt dress & this eyelet sheath

Hope you all have a wonderful Thursday – I need to make it through today at the office then I get to pick up my guy at the airport after work!

-M

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Online shopping made EVEN easier

It is WAY too easy to shop these days.

I can order an item from Amazon in one click, Target always has my credit card info saved and ready to go, and Nordstrom saves my cart for me then emails me so I don’t forget to purchase. But, have you ever been on the hunt for a certain item (think white jeans, gray ankle boots, etc) and been unable to find a good one?  I’ve been there. I searched high and low for a pair of gray ankle boots but was never able to commit to any (in my price range). I would go to websites, search through all their ankle boots, then repeat until I had exhausted my options.  Thankfully I’ve since realized the errors of my ways, and now use shopping sites, such as Octer or ShopStyle to make life easier.

I’ve been using ShopStyle for years, but Octer was a recent discovery. One thing I love is how their pages are set up. When I click on “women” I’m redirected to a wonderfully laid out grid with all my options. Does it get any easier?

Octer Image

 

I prefer to shop on sites such as Octer or ShopStyle when I’m looking for something specific; that way I don’t get distracted along the way. If I’m searching Banana Republic’s website for a pair of jeans, I generally end up with more in my cart than I came for. By searching and looking at only jeans, I’m able to compare different brands and prices side by side, without getting distracting everything else on the brand specific site.

Tell me, do you use any shopping sites to help you streamline or compare options? I would love to hear which ones you use!

PS. Gray ankle boot update: (even though you probably don’t care) I snagged a pair at Nordstrom’s anniversary sale that I think may be the winner. I’m going to debate them (aka stare at them, try them on in the house, model them with outfits in front of my mirror) for a few weeks then decide. Let me know what you think!

Happy Hump Day!
-M

Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post, but all thoughts and opinions are my own, as always. I only work with companies that I support and that fit the Cassidy Lou brand.

Revisiting a high school favorite

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I remember Express being really cool in about 2008. They had the perfect short-shorts with nautical style buttons up the front, the sassiest “going out” tops, dresses for Christmas Dance (that were still appropriate enough so you wouldn’t get kicked out) and the quintessential black mini skirt that I easily wore into my sophomore year of college.

And then, just like that, I forgot about Express. It wasn’t until 2015 that I even ventured back in there in an attempt to find new dress pants. I managed to find a style I loved (and wrote a whole post about them) and discovered their Portofino shirts (an essential for any lady needing business casual blouses!) Since then I occasionally check back in – I did snag this skirt a few years ago & she’s a keeper.

I recently saw this camo jacket on Instagram (NOW 40% OFF YOU LUCKY DEVILS) and decided I had to have it, so I ended up back on Express’s website. And since I loathe paying for shipping, I managed to sneak this faux leather skirt & this slip dress into my cart as well (telling myself I would return them). Clearly I didn’t end up returning them, but it was time to say goodbye to my other faux leather skirt from Forever 21 (circa 2012).

Moral of the story here people – next time you need a camo jacket, a faux leather skirt, or a slip dress – you should check out Express. I have also heard from my tall friends that their jeans are awesome if you need a longer inseam!

PS. (I’ve been eyeing these cute bomber jackets as well).

Have a wonderful day & thanks for reading 🙂

-M

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Cheers to 3 years!

Happy Friday! (and TGIF let me tell you). Amen.

Today celebrates 3 years of me publicly blabbering on Cassidy Lou (and my 500th blog post!), which is wonderful, crazy and slightly embarrassing all at the same time. If I were a real fashion blogger I would have a perfectly staged professional photo shoot of me holding a giant number 3 balloon and throwing confetti. But, alas, I’m not. I’m currently sitting at the office with no makeup, half of my nails painted & wearing my glasses; dreaming about the nap I’m going to take after work.

In honor of 3 years, I did some digging through the good ol’ blog archives and found my favorites I wanted to revisit. I chose my top 15 favorite outfits (ever!) and my top 15 posts that reveal more about me personally and my experiences over the past 3 years. Scroll below to check them all out 🙂

It appears that blogging (and writing in general) are therapeutic for me, so expect a lot more writing as I keep going through this (somewhat uncomfortable) transition to my life in Southern California.

CL birthday favs

mixed prints downtown /// “dressy” overalls /// a killer Rent the Runway look

CL birthday favs 2

full floral suit /// my favorite (faux) leather dress /// pattern overload

CL birthday favs 3

a polka dot dream /// Lauren Conrad feature /// head to toe sequins 

CL birthday favs 4

sneakers in San Francisco /// plaid in Northern Michigan /// feelin’ like a lady

CL birthday favs 5

Nikes in Paris /// Pineapple party /// colorful Santa Fe

Thank you SO much to anyone who takes time out of their day to read Cassidy Lou. I really appreciate you; whether you’re a consistent reader, a sporadic reader, or someone just creeping from high school to make sure I haven’t gained 40lbs or gotten too weird. You all rock.

also. HUGE shoutout to all the friends and family members I con into taking pictures of me. You’re the real MVPs.

Last but not least (I feel like I’m making an Oscar speech; just notably less important), here are my 15 favorite writing focused posts; dealing with everything from my most embarrassing moment, to figuring out what the heck I should do with my degree.

my MOST embarrassing moment

when I realized I didn’t have career goals

10 ways to be a smarter shopper

wishing social media didn’t exist

the importance of life in your danger zone

if you only read one of my posts…

talking about my fears

why I strive to be real

why is body confidence so hard to have?

how to avoid buying clothes you don’t like

style advice from my teenage self

festival style: a memoir

my 2015 year in review

if I were a jacket

8 reasons I’m a bad fashion blogger

(the only thing that’s changed is I now eat way too many macarons!)

Have a wonderful weekend!

-M

Never give a boring gift again

Gift giving is hard.

 Especially when you love your people so much you want to get them everything they’ve ever dreamed of. But, if you’re a gal on a budget like me, you have to settle for less than the world.

As I mentioned last week, a lot of important ladies in my life have summer birthdays. My mom, sister and Natalie (one of my best gals!) all have birthdays in the second half of July. So, as you can imagine, I began brainstorming early for gifts. While on the hunt, Yvette from Uncommon Goods, a B corporation reached out to me and I was excited to discover all the awesome gifts they had, especially the unique jewelry items (perfect for my ladies).

Have you ever been on a plane, and found yourself flipping through SkyMall looking at all the unique (and sometimes downright weird) products for sale? That is what Uncommon Goods is, minus the downright weird. (No dog rain jackets here) (If you think I’m joking then click RIGHT HERE!)

A did some digging & found some of the best gifts on their site (in my opinion), with a range of gifts for everyone & every occasion (including the crazy amount of summer weddings!). So sit back, relax & get gifting!

 

UncommonGoods Collage

 a collectors map for any beer lover /// a handmade ring (so beautiful) /// solar lantern

wine in your salad? yes! /// phone charging purse (lifesaver!) /// beer in your BBQ?

for your inner child /// skewer grilling perfection /// the ultimate travel companion

Overall, I would recommend looking at Uncommon Goods next time you’re stumped searching for a gift, or looking for a great personalized item!

Make sure to check back Friday, as I’ll be celebrating something exciting on the blog!

-M

Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post, but all thoughts and opinions are my own, as always. I only work with companies that I support and that fit the Cassidy Lou brand.

5 things no one tells you about moving across the country

delicate arch, moab uta snap from our stop in Moab, UT at Arches National Park (Delicate Arch) – one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.

1.) You will sleep on an air mattress longer than you’d like to publicly admit

(75 days my friends. I did not own a bed for 75 days.) I did manage to sleep on: couches, the floors, friend’s beds, planes, my parents house, a tent…etc.

sneak peek of the new bed & bedding…does this make me look like an adult yet?

new bed decor

2.) You will get pretty darn lonely some days

As someone who thrives off social situations (majority of the time) this whole “being across the country from almost all friends and family” thing is REALLY hard. So much so that I’ve probably already told people I’m ready to move back about 15 different times.

3.) You forget about how much you will actually need to furnish a new apartment

Those silverware drawer dividers and ice cube trays you took for granted in previous apartments? Yep, you will spend at least 3 weeks searching through assorted local Targets for those only to realize you’ve been skimming over the correct aisle EVERY SINGLE TIME.

I conquered Target last Thursday so now if you come visit our silverware will be organized and you can have ice in your beverage. Little victories.

silverware

all the forks are in the dishwasher…don’t worry.

4.) You will have to find a new EVERYTHING

grocery store, pharmacy, running loop, car wash, bank, closest Target…the list goes on. So far I’ve found my grocery store(s), my running loop and I opened a bank account out here.

Next up: finding all the doctors/dentists/healthcare providers; wish me luck.

5.) People will think you have an accent

I’ve been asked about my accent at least 5 times so far. Apparently I say my A’s weird?? (who knew!)

That’s all I have today guys, I hope you’re all feeling refreshed & ready to tackle this Monday. I know I’m already feeling a heck of a lot better than last week. More on that later…maybe.

-M

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compliment a stranger today

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Good morning guys! Can you believe its July 7th? It doesn’t even seem possible that my birthday is 2 weeks from today. TWO WEEKS. that will be here in no time! July is a big celebratory month for me (for many reasons): my mom’s birthday, my birthday, my sister’s birthday, multiple friend’s birthdays, Cassidy Lou’s birthday. Plus we have a friend visiting one weekend and my sister flying out for her birthday weekend!

The last week has been a bit trying for me, so I’m definitely looking forward to all the good things this month 🙂

Anyway, I digress. The whole point of this post was to inspire you to (genuinely) compliment a stranger today. I wore this outfit when I was flying back to Michigan in June, because I feel much better if I’m put together at the airport. While boarding the plane, an older gentleman tapped me with his newspaper and told me “That’s a really great outfit.” His compliment took me by surprise (probably cause he hit me with a newspaper), but it made me smile. It was nice he went out of his way just to tell me that my outfit was cool.

So, your challenge for today – compliment someone you don’t know! Society could use a few extra smiles. 

As always, thanks for reading!

-M

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Culotte craze

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Happy Tuesday – I hope you all had a wonderful (and hopefully long) weekend. I’ve had it WAY too easy with work lately; a week of training, a week of vacation, a four day week last week, and another four day week this week. Next week is going to be a rude awakening for this gal!

One of these days I’ll figure out how to not work summers (without being in the education field), but until then I will take all the PTO and holiday weekends I can get 🙂

I’m back with these culottes again, as I really wanted to show you how to wear the set together and separate. I showed you the matching set back at the end of May, the top remixed last week, and now the culottes remixed (although I kept the orange shoes because I’m digging the pairing).

I debated a classic navy gingham button down with the culottes, but wanted to keep it toned down (for me) so I stuck with the simple navy v-neck tee. This could definitely be a summer office look!

What are your thoughts?

-M

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