Fourth of July always comes right when we all need it. Summer boredom may have ensued for those of you with kids home from school, and adults are ready to be off duty for an extended weekend. Whether the American holiday takes you near or far, I hope it’s chock-full of summer fun. Five links as always!
I’ve given in to the basket bag craze, and I’m glad to see Garance has too.
A move forced me into a closet refresh, and it’s true: slimming down your wardrobe makes your most beloved items feel special again.
My mom’s favorite holiday is Easter, and it’s hard to blame her. With winter behind us and the sunshiney seasons ahead, it seems like the best of 2017 is still to come. Here are some good reads while you unwind with your family over the long holiday weekend:
Happy New Year, y’all! How did you ring in 2017? With two little ones and a two month old our plans we’re pretty low key. Even though we just cooked at home, the girls and I still dressed up in sequins anyway….
I want to thank y’all for an awesome 2016! Seriously, it’s readers like you who keep me going. I pour so many hours into L. Avenue and hearing from you makes it all worth while. One of my resolutions for 2017 is use this space to get to know you guys more. So let’s kick things off with the burning question….
WHAT DO YOU WANT to see on L. Avenue in 2017?! What posts do you like? What post annoy you? Ha. But seriously, I really want this to be a place you enjoy hitting up with your morning coffee, or more realistically in the carpool line or on your maybe even your phone in bed. We’re in full on 2017 planning mode at L. Avenue and want to make 2017 our best year yet!
Outfit details | sequin dress sold out similar here and major steal here | champagne bag (old) similar here and more festive bags here, here, here and here | Christian Louboutin heels (old) similar here, here and steal here and splurge here | Mignonne Gavigan earrings
There’s a scene in the movie Christmas Vacation where Ellen complains to Clark about his ridiculously high expectations on big events like holidays. Boy can I relate to old Clark Griswold. My family will shake their heads in agreement while reading this post. And I’m pretty sure they’ll remind me for years to come about how I frantically went to great lengths to dismantle our dead Christmas tree in order to put up a new, fresh tree just 5 days before Christmas. Stringing lights with a newborn strapped into the baby bjorn…do not try this at home, folks. I digress here, but have to ask, do any of y’all obsess over this type of stuff too? If not the tree, stressing over getting the right gifts for people, writing thank you’s in time, making sure you sent a Christmas card to your OBGYN because well, she was responsible for a safe birth of your newest family member on the front of the card. Ha!
Seriously, there is so much chaos during the holidays, how do we not all go cray cray? I spent the best part of December worrying about things that are mostly out of my control, like what if a kid is sick for the holidays? There isn’t enough hand sanitizer out there to prevent this fear from coming to fruition sometimes. And the sickness train rolled into town and stopped at our house multiple times this Christmas.
My biggest anxiety was realized when a perfect storm of illness swept through my family a few days before Christmas. As a result our social calendar of festivities with family and friends was shut down. And we were on lock down. But in the end it was still a great Christmas. Maybe the best one yet. How can this be??? Well for starters we were forced to be at home with just us. Our new family of 5. At times I longed for my sisters or a babysitter or someone (anyone!) to just give us a hand while in the trenches. But while we were down there some really magical moments happened.
I guess that’s what you might call the spirit of Christmas. The good stuff. While I was too sick to even text my friends Merry Christmas (sorry guys, can this blog post shout out count?), I was laser focused on my kids on Christmas day. I spent zero time cleaning up anything (the house can wait) even though towards the end of the day the kitchen was starting to remind me of a frat house. I spent zero time trying to get my family dressed to the nines to go to Christmas dinner at our friends house. And as much as I look forward to going to that fun festive party, I honestly didn’t mind frozen pizza and pigs in a blanket with my party of 5. Gathered around the table eating the freezer’s finest, holding Jack while he slept so angel-like, the sweet voices of my little girls, and catching my husband’s eyes and knowing that he got it too. I’ll store this scene in my mind as the best Christmas memory to date. No frills, just us. And then next December when I get all crazy about Christmas being perfect I’ll remember what perfect really is.
We just received our New Year’s cards in the mail from Minted and I love how they turned out! In case you missed my earlier post, you can read more about the design process here. And in case you didn’t get around to sending out a Christmas card this year, there’s still time to put together a festive card celebrating the new year on Minted.com. The process is super easy and the card design options are pretty legit. There are cards with real gold foil, glitter (my fave!) and the letterpress options are gorgeous. Once you upload your photo/photos, there’s this slick feature that let’s you preview a sample card in each design template with that photo. This saved me so much trial and error and I put our New Year’s cards together in less than 20 minutes. I included the feature to print addresses on the envelopes which is also a major time saver. And Minted had my cards to me in less than 3 business days. It doesn’t get much better than an efficient, seamless process for beautiful cards for a mama with not a minute of free time to spare these days.
What family traditions do you look forward to around the holidays? One of my favorites from growing up was getting a new pair of Christmas pajamas each year. I still love collecting Christmas pj’s and have introduced this tradition to the girls now too. Each year the day after Thanksgiving I plan to gift them a new pair. Even more exciting, we have a new baby to coordinate with. A few year’s ago, we rocked Hannah Anderson’s ever popular stripe pajama and last year was a plaid year for the Z fam. This year, I found these adorable “Night before Christmas” themed pj’s which include a copy of the book too. This pajama set is such a cute gift idea too, if you’re still crossing names off your list.
In case you have yet to add something Christmasy to your bedtime wardrobe, here are some of my favorite pajamas this season….
When it comes to dressing for holiday festivities, I’m all about accessories. It’s so easy to jazz up a staple outfit in your wardrobe with a little metallic, sequin, velvet or extra glitter this time of year. I found some really great accessories at Nordstrom and have been rocking them on the reg this Christmas season. I went for a steal with this ombreclutch and a splurge in the shoe department. Throw in a fun statement earring and cuff bracelet and the only thing missing from this outfit is a candy cane martini. Not to mention, this cold shoulder little black dress is one that will stand on it’s own without the glitz and glitter come 2017.
Sequins, and studs and metallics, oh my! When it comes to dressing for the holidays, more is more. I can’t have enough embellishment this time of year. I found some killer accessories at Nordstrom that will be on repeat this holiday season, including this on trend red velvet clutch (under $100 + comes in 3 colors) and these shiny metallic loafers. And I don’t think you have to limit festive outfits to one statement piece. So let’s sparkle and shine during the wonderful time of the year!
Today marks my first official day back to blogging sans baby bump. I have to say pregnancy wasn’t my favorite time to be a style blogger. It wasn’t the lack of fun bump-friendly options. There were a lot more than I expected. But changing clothes multiple times during shoot prep (it takes some trial and error to find looks that I want to share with y’all!), and shooting multiple outfits per hour on shoot days was uncomfortable and exhausting the bigger the bump got. So, if you can tell by these photos, I’m SUPER excited to be back to blogging as usual. And after taking 8 weeks off (even though you saw posts, I stopped shooting well before the end of pregnancy) it kind of feels like it’s day 1 back on the job! And I like it!
With the awesome madness approaching that is the holidays, let’s take one stresser out of the equation now, shall we? The Christmas party wardrobe. I think the holidays are the perfect excuse to go all out on fun festive frocks. So, the L. Avenue team has been stalking the internet for weeks to bring you our favorite holiday party outfits. Today, we’re featuring our favorite Christmas dresses. These gems will have you rockin’ around the Christmas tree in style!
I’m “in between sizes” this season aka the post baby bod is far from my typical size. My girls still think I have another baby in my belly, ha! So I’m all about the usual suspects that I gravitated to during pregnancy, shift dresses and anything flowy. #3, #7, #8 (my favorite!) and #15 fit the bill quite nicely.