Closet Copy Cat: Over-sized Shirt

the Grant life
Natalia & Christie from Ma Nouvelle Mode and Kelley from the Grant Life are so creative. Each week Natalia sends a style inspiration directly to your inbox and challenges you to get creative with your closet. I LOVE IT! You should sign up for the challenge and link up with them on Thursdays! _________________________________________________________________________


This week we were challenged to pull out an over-sized top and rock it! I don’t have an over-sized t-shirt like the inspiration outfit. However, I do have a Dolman style top that I usually wear with leggings and boots in the winter… 
Since the goal was to step out of your comfort zone and get creative with your closet, I paired the top with black pants and heels for a day in the office. (Again, the photo is horrible. Maybe one day I’ll actually take the time to include a quality image…maybe.) 
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(Top: Marshall’s, Pants: The Limited, Shoes: Etienne Aigner)
I also spiced the outfit up with some variation to my normal hair routine. I used a curling iron to create soft curls. 

I’m loving the over-sized top! What do you think?

Esty Coupon Organizer

Over the past couple of years, I’ve struggled with finding a sustainable solution for organizing my coupons. I’ve tried using a cheap plastic organizer that drops in my purse and then tried the big fat coupon binder (whoa!). Each of these solutions left me frustrated and proved time intensive. My original plastic coupon organizer categorized items alphabetically so if I needed a peanut butter coupon I had to quickly recall all of the brand possibilities. The coupon binder was awesome because it arranged everything by category but it took longer to maintain and don’t even get me started about the way I look while walking around the store with that big honkin’ thing!
While stalking Etsy, I found a solution truly works for me.  I bought a cloth coupon organizer from Grandma’s Little Lilly. The product not only fits in my purse but can be attached to the front of the shopping cart with ease. LOVE! Also, she leaves the labels off of the dividers so I organized the pouch to meet my needs. I’m delighted to have finally found a solution that works!

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Do you coupon? If so, what method of organization do you use?

Leaving Kiddos for Vacay: 7 Tips for You and Your Sitter

I’ve been a nanny/babysitter/big sister for as long as I can remember. For the last decade, I’ve helped one family several times each year. Sometimes the parents will get away from their kids for business, sometimes it’s pleasure and many times it’s just to take a well deserved deep breath. This family has taught me many valuable lessons on parenthood. One of which is the importance of taking time away from your kids.  As a parent getting out of the house helps renew your mind and as a married couple it strengthens your marital bond which often gets pushed to the sideline once the heathens kids arrive.
If you currently do not take time away from your children, please let me encourage you… it won’t kill you or your kids. In the long-run it will be a very good thing. I think many parents do not take a break from their kids because they do not have anyone they feel they can trust with their children. 
However, with proper planning your nanny/babysitter/big sister can be a decent substitute in your absence. (I say big sister because for me most of the relationships I’ve established have turned into such strong bonds, I feel like I’m family).  With that being said, I’ve compiled a list that has helped me tremendously while playing “mommy”. 

  1. Find a sitter that you trust.  First and foremost, you have to find a sitter that you trust with your kids. This may take time and you may weed out a lot of sitters by trying them out during your weekly date nights. Stick with it and find a sitter that can respond wisely in difficult situations.
  2. Outline your trip information.  Once you’ve decided to take the plunge and travel away from home whether it be a weekend or an extended trip, make sure you outline the trip itinerary for the sitter. She/He needs to know where you are at all times and if you’ll be accessible in case of an emergency.
  3. Provide appropriate contact information.  It’s important for a sitter to know who to call if there’s an issue. By providing the name and number of a friendly neighbor, etc you are giving the sitter resources when/if there is an emergency. If you’ll be gone for an extended period of time, include pediatrician,  plumber, etc or the number of anyone that could respond in the event of a maintenance need, etc.
  4. For extended trips: Money. If you plan on traveling for an extended period of time, give your sitter some cash to entertain with, buy groceries if necessary etc. Also, if there is an emergency fund, let the sitter (or oldest child if you don’t feel comfortable) know when it would be appropriate to use and where it’s hidden.
  5. For extended trips:  Grant Authorization. While you are traveling, there is a possibility that your child will need to seek medical treatment for minor health issues like sinus infections, flu symptoms etc. By leaving a medical authorization for your sitter to seek medical care on for your child, you are granting access for them to go to the doctor with him/her and obtain necessary medications. Also, remember to leave your insurance cards. Another important authorization is at the school. Make sure your sitter can pick your child up from school with ease. Add them to the pick-up list or place a temporary grant in his/her school file.
  6. For extended trips: Food. If you want your child to be comforted and still feel like you are near while you’re traveling, freeze meals. This not only helps the sitter with meal prep but also gives your kid the sense that you are close. Nothing says dinner like a meal from mom.
  7. For extended trips: Detailed Schedule. No matter the age of the child, a sitter cannot depend on a child to tell them when and where they need to be. Write it out in detail with addresses and contact information and normal start/stop times. Your sitter should be able to maintain daily routines effectively if you provide them with details on your normal schedule.
While this list may seem a little basic, it’s important to take a step back and remember many times when trying to get out of town, your head gets cloudy. You are thinking of beaches and drinks with umbrellas and fail to recall the basic logistics of your daily routine. With a little planning,  your child and their sitter can have a wonderful time while you’re away! (And guess what… you will too!) 

Closet Copy Cat: Chambray

the Grant life

Natalia & Christie from Ma Nouvelle Mode and Kelley from the Grant Life are so creative. Each week Natalia sends a style inspiration directly to your inbox and challenges you to get creative with your closet. I LOVE IT! You should sign up for the challenge and link up with them on Thursdays! 

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This week we were challenged to dress up a chambray. I love chambray tops just as much as the next wanna be fashion star so I was stoked to for this challenge. However, life got in the way and photos were not taken in a timely fashion and my hair was jacked up when I finally remembered to take a photo so… you know, the pictures are awful… but at least I’m trying, right?!

So here’s what I ended up with….

Although we were encouraged to “dress up”, I opted for a casual look. I’m wearing an Aerie Chambray top, burgundy Limited jeans and Steve Madden leopard flats. This picture was taken post Mexican dinner with girlfriends and in poor light but you get the overall look… I’ll be rocking it again for sure.


Also, I wanted to share this pic from last fall because you could certainly wear a Chambray shirt like this for business events. In this particular picture I’m wearing a Lauren Conrad black blazer, Lands End Chambray shirt and black pants. This type of outfit is perfect for work!


As you can see Chambray is versatile and an essential staple in your fall wardrobe. My advice, for what it’s worth, if you don’t have a Chambray top… go get one, today! 

Farewell Summer, Hello Fall!

The blog world can be so fun sometimes. Recently, I signed up to participate in the Farewell Summer, Hello Fall blog swap hosted by one of my favorite bloggers, Stephanie from The Vintage Modern Wife. The participants were asked to send a farewell summer care package to another blogger. 
Steph and I were paired up and she sent me the cutest goodies along with a precious note! Purple is my favorite color and I have a weak spot for Thank you notes so I was pleased when she re-upped my stock! 
Also, she sent me the prettiest earrings! I can’t wait to wear them. 

Not only was this swap really fun but it encouraged bloggers to get to know one another better and for that I am grateful!

P.S. Thanks Steph for hosting and being so sweet! You are the best. 

Closet Copy Cat: White Jeans

the Grant life
Natalia & Christie from Ma Nouvelle Mode and Kelley from the Grant Life are so creative. Each week Natalia sends a style inspiration directly to your inbox and challenges you to get creative with your closet. I LOVE IT! You should sign up for the challenge and link up with them on Thursdays! _________________________________________________________________________

This week we were encouraged to incorporate white jeans (post Labor Day!) and master the art of the ever so popular cat eye. Although, I was a little bit paranoid about rocking white after Labor Day, I received several wonderful comments on my outfit. My favorite compliment was “Oh you look so European!”(I LOVE European style!) 
I chose a longer silky shirt in UK Blue (or Royal Blue for non-UK fans!) and nude flats. I wanted to show off the cat eye in the photos but the sun was so incredibly bright… Normally, I wear this shirt with black flats and black pants but I was excited when I stepped out of my comfort zone for this challenge.

(Top: Cynthia Rowley- Marshall’s, Jeans: Banana Republic, Flats: Steve Madden, Earrings: Premier Jewelry)

Do you wear white after Labor Day? If not, you should. 

Closet Copy Cat: Graphic T


the Grant life
Natalia & Christie from Ma Nouvelle Mode and Kelley from the Grant Life are so creative. Each week Natalia sends a style inspiration directly to your inbox and challenges you to get creative with your closet. I LOVE IT! You should sign up for the challenge and link up with them on Thursdays! _________________________________________________________________________
For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been trying to participate in the Closet Copy Cat challenge without success. Most of the time life gets in the way and I forget to link up or take a picture of my outfit, etc. However, when they posted a challenge of styling with a  graphic tee, I knew I was golden because rocking a tee is my go to style choice.
(Tee: J Crew, Jeans: The Limited, Shoes:Sperry’s)
 For this challenge, I seriously just got dressed like normal. The inspiration outfit paired the graphic t shirt with a hot orange skirt but being as consertative and lame as I am, I rocked the cardigan as a way to stay warm inside of the office (dress down Friday makes me HAPPY!).

For hair and make-up, I chose a no fuss approach. It was raining so the hair got thrown up and my make-up took around 5 minutes.
Is the graphic tee a style staple in your wardrobe? Because it is in mine whether I like it or not…

Weekly Goals.

I like goals because they help you get things right… It gives you the opportunity to plan for tomorrow and I feel more normal and less anxious (I’ve got issues) when I know what’s going on.  Sometimes forget to write down my goals but when I saw this quote recently, I thought… I know exactly what I need to do to get it right….

(Source: Pinterest)
I’ll spare you anymore ramblings and share my weekly goals… Let’s see if I can stick with it. (That’s the hard part!)
 mind right…
1.) Outline Chapters for Final Exam in Macroeconomics
2.) Outline Chapters for Final Exam in Statistics
soul right
1.) Continue allocating 20 minutes a day to pray for J. 
2.) Complete devotion 5 days a week.
body right
1.) Keep running with accountability partner for couch to 5 K training.
2.) Take 2 yoga classes to keep back and core strong.
 home right…
1.) Clean the house before I leave to house sit.
2.) Make sure J has groceries/snacks before I leave.
3.) Buy paint for downstairs. 
work right…
1.) Say something encouraging even when I’m holding back an eye roll.
2.) Wrap up the August Goals/ Transfer incomplete goals to the September list. 
If you want to link up for Menu Monday + Goals at The Grant life, follow me here… I love all things Kelley and you should too! Check her out. 🙂
Have a great week!