crunch crispy.

I have spent the last five years of marriage trying to master rice crispy treats. My husband had the most precious family that watched him when he was little and we are now fortunate to have them close by and also, in our lives (I’m talking multi-generational perfection, here). I mention this because those are the rice crispy treats that I have been trying to match in comparison.

Whenever I make them, he eats them, but I get a, “they aren’t Thelma’s”. The last two batches have been vocally confirmed as being closer to her recipe and I’m going to have to call it a secret recipe because I never measure. I add marshmallows until it looks right and slowly add store-brand-only rice crisps until the consistency might be what I want it to be. I never really know if they turn out perfect until they are cool and that’s past the point of no return, so it’s a toss-up. In this process E and I have had the best time throwing in marshmallows together and she is now a HUGE fan of “crunch crispy treats”.

I have loved seeing her enthusiasm for the kitchen grow. It’s something that I can always remember being a part of and I am thrilled that she loves to help me just as much as I did as a little girl.

This shirt is my new summer favorite. It’s a great, rich blue and E already had a lot of things that coordinated. This t-shirt is a perfect example of one that I like to dress up and down. Here it’s for a day at the house with a pair of culottes that can also be dressed up with a great heel. We are a no-shoes-in-the-house family, so here I’m barefoot, but it would look great with a natural espadrille for a casual look.

Mom: Shirt. Similar shirt here (under $6!). Similar pant here and here. Watch. On sale now, under $80

Mini: Similar pants here. Similar top here. Bow. (these two are the same look, but in yellow rather than blue)

Kitchen: Pot. Glass Jar. Similar dish here.

suit up.

I am really in to suiting lately. I think it is great dressed up, but I also love the separates with a t-shirt or jeans. Maybe even some sneakers. The unfortunate realiy, though, is that suiting can be expensive. It’s most obviously targeted toward professionals and is usually great quality, but there are other ways of achieving the look without actually buying from the “suiting” section. Additionally, finding separates that have different textures, but are the same color also adds dimension when you do choose to wear them as co-ord pieces.

J Crew trousers are usually my go-to. I know my size, they fit well and it’s pretty easy to find a color that I want because they literally have rainbows of options (and ALSO different weights of fabric in the same fit, so it can bring you across seasons). I like the slim legs because I prefer a boxy or over-sized blazer and I like the shape those two create together.

I got the blazer and pants not even thinking to wear them together, but one day when I was playing in my closet, noticed that they went well together and achieved the structured suit look that I really wanted. When I tried the blazer on, it felt too unfinished so I thought I’d pull the look together with a great pin. I essentially used the pin (one that my Mom gave me years ago) as a button and attached it to the jacket through the button-hole. Doing things like that can completely change the shape of your article of clothing and give it a COMPLETELY different and fresh look. Taking a minute to fuss with your clothing also helps. I almost always pop the back of the collar on my blazers. I like how it frames the neck in general and can either accentuate an already long neck, or give that appearance and I also love a rolled cuff. It’s those kind of touches that give the pulled together, but a little less stuffy feel.

E’s outfit was a no-brainer. She loves dresses. Especially ones that she can twirl in. This on is under $10 right now AND I sized up because it can be longer now and next summer hit at the knee. The jacket has a sweet tulle bowl that brings an extra soft touch and the texture of her jacket reminds me of an old school Chanel jacket.

I know this post got a little lengthy, so here are some bullet point takeaways:

  • Pair separates of similar color families for an affordable, versatile suiting look.
  • Use unique personal items to add some character to your look. A pin, a flower, a knot whatever your creative little mind loves, work it in to your outfit.
  • Make a mess. Sometimes, taking things OUT of your closet and laying them on the floor or bed help you to be visually creative. If you’re in a rut, pull 10-15 items out and just play.
  • You have to style your clothing. When you see an outfit on Pinterest or in a magazine, the individual didn’t just put the shirt on and leave. They likely had a team of people styling the items, so pretend that you are your own stylist. Shove sleeves, pop collars, tuck shirts, layer and have FUN.
  • Coordinate, don’t match. If you’re like me and like to match your kids, don’t over-pay for explicitly matching items. Have staples in similar colors and be flexible with the coordination. The pink jacket and pink shoes were purchased at completely different stores, but they work together. They can be worn totally differently with jeans or with a bright yellow and still work for the purpose of looking cohesive.
  • Shop the holiday sections after the holiday. That bucket that E is carrying is supposed to be an Easter basket. I got her three of them for $4. She collects things, organizes her toys, goes “to the market”; quite simply, it was very inexpensive entertainment.

Photos by Minh of Instant de Vie

Mom: Pants, Blazer, Similar shoe here, Watch, Similar pin here.

Mini: Bow, Dress, Jacket, Similar bucket here, Shoes.

candy striper.

Along with turtlenecks. I have a stripe addiction. I would argue that half of my shirts are striped. Usually ivory with navy, but I don’t discriminate when it comes to the colors. If it’s striped, I’m going to give it a second look.

I loved that this JCrew top was striped in different directions: the ruffle, vertical, juxtaposed to the horizontal on top. I also love that the skinny jean is taking a back burner. Don’t get me wrong, they are still one of my most flattering picks, but the straight and wide leg jean are freeing my squished calves and I’m okay with that. These jeans have fun patchwork on them, that makes this top feel less dressed up and a bit more fun.

On E, I’ve mixed patterns. It’s something that I am really starting to have fun with. Because I tend to like things in the same color family, it is pretty easy for me to do. Navy stripes with a navy polka dot or navy floral would be great, but here I have a fun little buffalo check legging next to her navy stripe.

I’ve linked similar items below! Most are on sale now. Woot woot.


Kerry Renee Photography

Mom: Top. Similar top here. Similar jeans here. Shoes.  Bag.

Mini: Similar shirt here. Similar legging here. Shoes here.

Candles at Local Shop, Green Roost