Style Series Part I: Workwear

HELLO sweater weather! Oh, how I’ve missed you. I’ll probably be singing a different song in a month, but for now I’m very much enjoying the cooler temps. I’m starting something new around here, something that I’m uncleverly calling, Style Series. Y’all know by now how much I adore sweaters, so for the next 4 weeks, I’m putting together a few ways to style your sweaters for all sorts of activities. To kick-off this series, we’ll start with the place that affords me to purchase all these cute, cozy sweaters—the office.

Around the office

Workwear

Where I work, the ladies take their style very seriously. In my first week, I knew I had to step my game up, but honestly, sometimes minimal effort is the way to go. Queue the casual cardigan look. I love this look because it makes me feel like a creative nerd. I mean how hipster is this look? But I love it—it’s like Harry Potter meets millennial graphic designer. And I probably just lost all of my 3 readers, but if you continue I promise I won’t toss in nearly as much cheese as I just did. Another reason I love this look is because of the versatility. You can pair it with graphic tees, solid tanks, and even prints if you’re feeling frisky. Not to mention, this outfit works with sneakers, booties, slides, boots, birks, sandals, etc. Versatility folks.

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Blanket scarves have really been saving the day around the office. We have a green building which depends on sunlight for heating, and since we’ve had so many cloudy days over the last several weeks, it’s been an icebox in the office. I love the body and shape blanket scarves can add. I usually pair mine with a crew neck fitted sweater, however, I’ve been playing with over-sized sweaters and wearing the scarves as a wrap or a shawl. 

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This is one of my favorite finds this year. I have been loving and wearing this Target sweater almost every week. It’s SO soft and I adore this color. I’ve been wearing this top with a French tuckbut untucked is fine, as well. I like to pair this top with high-waisted black denims and booties, but you can also wear with jeans. 

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This style I’ve been playing with and I’m not 100% confident with it, but my policy is—as long as everyone believes you’re confident, you’re as good as gold. I would love to adapt this style with other dresses, however, my dress selection is pretty limited at the moment. If I were to redo this fit, I would definitely opt for OTK boots and a slightly longer dress. Here are some stylings that I think are slightly better executions. 

So that’s just some ways I style sweaters around the office. Next up, athleisure/what I live in outside of the office. 🙂 Please share if you like styling your sweaters in certain ways, or if you’re just tossing them on for the functionality (I feel ya, there). I hope this series will inspire you to achieve looks that are both fashionable and functional! Until next week! ✌️

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6 Styles I’m Digging Right Now

IMG_1328Somewhere between a fractured ankle, a time-consuming garden, creating 3 months worth of content, and ever fluctuating temperatures, we skated into fall. For quite some time, I’ve wanted to share my summer and my fall inspiration, but tbh, things have been moving so rapidly over here, that I can’t keep up with the changing seasons. So to get back into the swing of things, I’m sharing 6 styles I’m really digging right now.

  1. Sweaters

No surprise here, and not really a style, but I absolutely adore sweaters and fall temperatures. There’s just something so sweet about bundling up in a warm, cozy sweater and sipping coffee. Ahh, can’t you just smell the morning brew? This year, L.L. Bean has been diligently targeting me, and I’m shamelessly hooked. Another go-to as of late has been a retailer out in Utah, called Roolee. They have the cutest styles and they’re SO affordable! I’ve bought several pieces from Roolee and they’re very good quality, so I highly recommend.

2. Mules

I am absolutely obsessed with mules and slides. These babies are effortlessly chic. Seriously, throw on a black top with black pants and a pair of fabulous rose mules—you will be instantly transformed. You can wear them with virtually anything. Trust me, you can. I strongly believe that every woman needs a pair of these in her closet, and I’m not sure I’ve ever felt this strongly about any garment or accessory. That’s super serial, friends.

3. Millennial Pink

Can’t stop, won’t stop. I’m absolutely obsessed with dusty rose hues (or as YouTube calls it—millennial pink). I have begun a small collection of household items, as well as clothes and accessories in these delightful shades, and I can still use more of these colors in my life.

4. Athleisure

Can I just say, that I am so glad we live in a day and age where leggings and sweatshirts are socially acceptable in public? Athleisure is nothing new, but every year it seems to continue to grow and become more relevant and stylish—which I’m am absolutely onboard with. What I love about athleisure is that (at least for me) it inspires me to be more healthy, to get out and get moving. Plus, there’s the comfort factor. That my friends is a win-win.

5. Naturals

Perhaps it’s the people I follow, or perhaps it’s me easily falling victim to trends, but I am loving all the camel, chocolate, beige, natural color palettes. What I love most about the above styles is that they are modern renditions of timeless pieces, e.g. the trench (Casablanca, anyone?), high waisted trousers, turtlenecks, and of course, we mustn’t forget off the shoulder tops (thank you, 80’s). One of my favorite gals (Cella Jane Blog) really turned me on to this palette. But seriously, scroll through her IG feed and you’ll be hooked too. It’s just so warm and fabulous.

6. Trousers

Last spring I bought a pair of wide-leg trousers and I fell in love. What I love most about this style is the versatility. You can literally wear trousers year-round and keep your outfits fresh. Right now, I’m styling mine with booties, dark sweaters or turtlenecks, and a scarf. I love that these trousers can be styled up for the office, or dressed down for a weekend outing, brunch, or visit to the art museum. While these pants may not be for everyone, I do recommend giving them a try—you’d be surprised how well these pants work.

So there you have it—6 styles I’m really digging right now. What are some styles you’re into? Share in the comments below! Until next time, ✌️.

Confessions from a content creator.

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Sometimes life (always) gets the best of us (me), and we don’t make the time we need to do the things we love. It’s almost funny how often I come back here with a plan and end up falling short. But trust me, I’m really trying to breathe some life into this.

Content creation is my full-time job, and surprisingly or unsurprisingly, a very time-consuming one. Most people probably think I’m just scrolling on Instagram all day, but most days I’m looking at and/or plugging-in data, and planning. Planning takes a lot of work, especially when you’re dealing with seasons that are several months in advance. But every day I’m learning, and planning, and searching, and I’m inspired, energized, and excited to do more with my own personal account, while also balancing time with my puppy, Josh, friends, family, taking care of my garden, taking care of my body (still handicapped 😞), and cooking meals. It’s a lot to maintain, but I can’t give up.

Right now, I am “challenging” myself to work with what I have. Within my means, and attempting to discipline myself to be more creative. I don’t have a super awesome camera so my phone will have to do for now. And let’s just state the obvious, I don’t need to go shopping anytime soon, despite Instagram’s relentless effort to get me to purchase more clothes. Ugh, they’re so cute though, and fall is my favorite season!!! In the meantime, I will plan, learn more about photography, editing, and styling, while I save up for a dope ass camera.

I have a lot of ideas that I look forward to sharing with you. Until next time.

Ciao!

Life Update

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Apologies for the not-so-clever headline, I just mean to say it like it is. I think it’s probably a good time to share what’s been going on at la casa d’Ayres—and if you’re thinking that was neither Spanish nor French, you would be correct, but I digress. First of all, I’m undergoing a content makeover, so expect to see more content, and a lot of polls as I start to incorporate new schtuff. And please—your feedback is more than welcomed and very much appreciated.

Second, I’ve been dormant (again) due to all of the changes in my life. Most significantly, I’ve accepted a new position managing social media for a company that sells fashionable medical uniforms and equipment. Random, I know, but that’s sort of been the normal throughout my professional career. What I’m most excited about is that this new position will be more “my speed” and give me much more time to focus on things I want to do outside of work, like for example, this here blog.

At the very least, I can solely focus on one brand, which will enable me to do social media right, opposed to juggling multiple brands, products, and industries, and only being able to focus on specific tasks.

Albeit the category of clothing, this position does lend itself to “styling” and thoughtfully putting content together, because these are fashionable scrubs, after all. Plus, I will be very involved in styling shoots which will totally benefit me in this arena.

Outside of work and this blog—like literally outside—I’ve been working on my garden. Super, super stoked about that. I’m creating a pollinator-friendly garden this year, starting from seed. Much of my last couple of weekends have been spent working on that, in addition to wrapping things up at G/L. I’m very much looking forward to seeing how all of these wonderful things start to flourish, and I’ll be sure share all the details along the way. 🙂

Sweater Fever

Today, I wanted to talk about a topic that’s very near and dear to my heart: sweaters. It seems the past few years I’ve had an obsession for, traditionally, one category of either clothing, accessories, or shoes. Nevertheless, it seems to be a seasonal fix each year. Last year it was scarves, the year before coats, and before that booties. This year just so happens to be sweaters. I can probably point a lot of blame at a blogger or two, but we don’t need to get into the dirty details of influencer marketing.

As promised, I mentioned on the gram (give or take a week or five) that I would share a few from my own collection and some favorites that I have refrained myself from purchasing. So without further ado, here are my favorite sweaters this season, and links on where to snag em!

Mock Necks

Lucky Brand Mock Neck

The mock neck is sort of in-between a full-on turtleneck and a crew neck, and is probably one of my favorite trends this season. And while the mock neck has been around (here) for much of 2017, the style definitely dominated the sweater category this past fall and I’m so glad it did. My favorite mock neck sweater pictured above, was a steal from a Lucky Brand outlet store in Colorado. But you can find similar items here:

 

  1. White Nep Pullover – Target
  2. Button Side Tunic Sweater – Target
  3. Donegal Northfield Mockneck – Madewell 
  4. Cropped Turtleneck – Target
  5. Knit Sweater – H&M

More favorites here:

 

  1. Let’s Link Up Cable Pullover – Free People
  2. Patchwork Mock Neck Sweater – Nordstrom
  3. Knit Wool-Blend Sweater – H&M
  4. Links Links Mock Neck – Free People
  5. Cuddle Up Pullover – Free People
  6. Ottoman Slouchy Tunic – Free People

Power Sleeves

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Ah, the power sleeve. Not an official style title, just my own personal feeling about them. They are big, they are bold, and you sort of have to have a bit of confidence when you’re wearing such ridiculously large, ballooned-sleeves, amiright? But let’s be honest, all I think about when it comes to a power sleeve is Jerry. But if you’re bold enough to flaunt the power sleeve, more power to you.

 

  1. Ruffle Sweatshirt – Lucky Brand
  2. Wrap Sweater – Treasure and Bond x Something Navy
  3. Cocoon Sleeve Oversized Crew Neck – Target
  4. Wide Sleeve Sweater – Nordstrom
  5. Her Turtleneck – Free People
  6. Park City Pullover

Ok, to be fair, none of these options are too much power puff—maybe except you green.


Colorful Knits

 

  1. Dundee Fringe Cardigan- Anthropologie
  2. Kaylee Pullover – Anthropologie
  3. Marled Wool Blend Turtleneck – J. Crew
  4. Shelley Pullover – Free People
  5. Castles In The Sky Sweater – Free People
  6. Knit Sweater – H&M

There seemed to be no shortage of spectacularly embellished, bright and colorful sweaters this season, and I can’t say I hate it. Just pure awesomeness. In a closet full of mostly black and grey, I could seriously use a pop of color. I had loads of candidates for this category that unsurprisingly, sold out. 😦


Over-The-Shoulder

image2I tried to find one of the sweaters pictured below in-store at Free People, but the St. Louis store has a lame buyer—sorry, not sorry—I did, however, find this gem at a fraction of the cost of the sweater I initially wanted to buy. You win some, you lose some.

 

  1. Off The Shoulder Sweater – Target
  2. Cold Shoulder Chenille Sweater – Lucky Brand
  3. Off Shoulder Sweater – Lucky Brand
  4. Alluring Sands Pullover – Free People
Turtle Neck

Fear not of the traditional turtleneck. Albeit, a popular and modest style for 80s-90s moms, and classicly paired with a jumper, the turtleneck has made a big and cozy comeback with sweaters this season. No undershirt necessary.

 

  1. Flecked Turtleneck – Madewell
  2. Knit Your Love Turtleneck – Chic Wish
  3. Grid Turtleneck Sweater – Chic Wish
  4. She’s All That Knit Turtleneck – Free People
  5. Heart and Soul Patched Knit Sweater – Chic Wish
Cardigans

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A staple necessary for everyone’s wardrobe if not only for their cozy, casual, and cocoon-like qualities. Here are some of my favorites:

 


That wraps up some of my favorite sweaters this season! Any favorites you can’t stop wearing this winter? Share em with me in the comments below or tag me on the gram! Thanks for peeking!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moving Forward in 2018

Reflecting on life over the past year and steps I’m taking to move forward in 2018, to improve my skills, capabilities, and my peace of mind.

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2018, I couldn’t be happier to greet you. 2017 was off to a tumultuous start, but on a personal level, made a turn for the better. Josh and I bought our first home, I got a new job, my sister and my future brother-in-law got engaged, several of our wonderful friends got married, I made multiple (mind you) pie crusts from scratch, plus their innards. I was gifted a kitchen aid mixer 🙏🏼, we bought a vacuum cleaner that is the best vacuum cleaner I have ever used, and this past fall, I started planning and working on my garden, which I’m so stoked to really cut my teeth into this spring. Now, if that isn’t a successful year (and super adulting), I don’t know what is.

But all of these accomplishments didn’t come without their hardships. In all my years of life, I don’t believe I have ever been this stressed, riddled with anxiety, fear, and uncertainty. I have been challenged, tested, broken, renewed, re-energized, and reconsidered my life decisions more often than I care to admit.

But now I feel (at least today), that I can finally get a grasp on my life, my job, my goals, and finally take a deep breath in, and let it allll out.

I have been reflecting on life over the past year; the accomplishments, the failures, and steps I took to move forward and this year I’d like to take more strides to improve my skills, capabilities, and my peace of mind. To do so will take much persistence and practice, but here’s what I want to focus on in 2018:

Eliminate Stress

Sure, I won’t be able to cut-out all of the stress in my life, but accepting that life happens and continuing to move forward may help reduce some of that pressure. One thing is for sure, I don’t have the energy to deal with stress in 2018.

In addition to continuing my practice of yoga, another way I plan on relieving stress is through meditation. There are so many health benefits of meditation. My only problem is, I can only sit still for about 6 minutes max, and my mind is a mile per minute. Any pointers from anyone who practices? 🙋🏻‍♀️

Preparedness

Not surprisingly, a lot of my stress was a direct result of my lack of preparedness, which had me constantly struggling to keep up. This year I want to focus on seeking opportunities to plan ahead, improve my knowledge and skills, and improve my overall confidence by being prepared.

Being Present

Ironically, it’s difficult to be present in a digital age, especially when your job is social media. However, this year I’d like to be more present to the people who mean the most to me. While I don’t believe I was particularly terrible at being present/communicating before, I think there’s room for us all to improve here. Let’s all put down the phones and have some solid discussions with each other (unless you’re reading this post ;)).

While there are multiple goals/changes I’d like to focus on in 2018, these preceding goals are most important to me. What goals are you setting for 2018? What steps are you taking to achieve them?

Three Thanksgiving Day Styles (stuffing approved)

Tis’ the season to stuff of our faces full of delicious food and be thankful for our family, friends, good fortunes, and 4-day weekends. This year I am thankful that I have a job that pays the bills, puts delicious healthy food on the table, and gives me time off the be with the people I love. I am thankful for a new chapter in my life, and I am thankful, always, for my brothers and sisters, and my girlfriends, who I might not see or talk to everyday, but who are always willing to listen when I’ve got something on my mind.

With that being said, while those listed above will love me unconditionally no matter what, they’re still going to give me trouble if I show up to Thanksgiving dinner in sweatpants and a sweatshirt. So here are three outfits styled for Thanksgiving Day (stuffing approved).  

Lounge-Like 

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If you are a child of divorce, you can empathize with this child of divorce who has 3 Thanksgiving’s tomorrow, and don’t even get me started on Christmas. Let’s just say the holidays are always, sigh, exhausting. This year I’ve made note on what clothing works for both the comfort of travel and over-eating. Enter leggings, over-sized cardigan, and loose T. You bet I will be wearing this tomorrow.

T-Shirt from Target here. Cardigan (different color) from H&M here. Black Fringe Booties (similar) here. Leggings here.

Denim and Discreet

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Over-sized sweaters are where it’s at this season and not only are they seasonably practical for the weather, they are also practical for eating lot’s of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls, pumpkin pie, green bean casserole, and vegetables I guess.

Hi, Rodger.

Sweater (similar) from H&M here and here. Booties from Target here. Blanket scarf here.

High Waisted Hero

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Ok so this skirt seriously rocks. I wore this for a Friendsgiving and I had no issues, even after a huge plate of starches and a bottle of wine. If you’ve got any high waisted pleated skirts, I highly recommend those. They’re comfy, chic, and do a lovely job at hiding any bloated discomfort. No high waisted pants, those are way too much pressure on full bellies.

Faux leather skirt from Nordstrom Rack here. Flannel from Target here (only seems to be available in plus size online). Over-the-knee boots from DSW here.

I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving holiday, full of delicious food, laughter, family and friends, love, and zero politics! Peace, love, and pumpkin pie. Cheers!