The Five LuLaRoe Styles I’m Constantly Reaching For

I have been purchasing, wearing, hunting, styling, selling, living, breathing LuLaRoe for over a year. It’s no secret to you that I love LuLaRoe. But what may be a secret to you, dear reader, is the list of five styles I grab most often when I get dressed in the morning. So I thought a post about what styles I personally wear most frequently would give you a little insight into the methods behind my madness and help you decide which styles will work best for your lifestyle. This post is to also combat the whole LuLaRoe looks like pajamas idea that is floating out there, which I think is totally absurd!

As many of you beautiful people know, I am a full-time high school English teacher and mom of two, so the pieces I’m about to highlight just simply fit my lifestyle and the occasions I dress for!

So, here we go…in no particular order…

The Sarah Cardigan

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I have been a solid cardigan addict for about 12 years (ever since I started teaching). I love layering because it’s one of the easiest ways to create interest in your outfit. And from one cardigan addict to another, the Sarah is THE BEST. Bottom line. The pockets, the length, the quality…and since I live in central Illinois, I am wearing cardigans at least eight months out of the year and even more often if I’m in air conditioning. Believe me when I say that you won’t find many cardigans out there like the Sarah for all of the above reason and more. And one final note…it’s a piece that I can literally wear for any occasion…teaching, church, date night, hanging out with kiddos, running errands. Well worth the investment.

The Joy Vest

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I wear a ton of neutrals that need a little extra oomph, and that’s what the Joy vest provides my wardrobe. I love printed ones and solid ones. The length helps to elongate and slim my frame, which is also an added bonus. I love how unique this piece is as well…a lot of stores sell long vests, but most of them are over-the-top (with excessive fringe or something) and not classic for an everyday look like the Joy. Again, just like the Sarah cardigan, the Joy is on heavy rotation for any occasion really!

The Classic Tee

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I may blog about style, but in all reality, I love a tee and jeans combo. Kinda boring, right? Well, the Classic Tee is great with jeans but also with skinny trousers, a pencil skirt, or knotted over a Carly dress for a fun casual look. I have told you all many times in my posts that I don’t have time for clothes that I can’t wear in multiple ways! The Classic Tee is honestly one of the most versatile pieces LuLaRoe offers, in my humble opinion.

The Cassie Skirt

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As one who carries her weight in her bottom half, I was actually pretty skeptical of the Cassie skirt when I first tried one over a year ago. And I was pleasantly surprised, like I can wear a pencil skirt AND be comfy at the same time?! Mind blown…

I wear this one casual with my favorite band tee or to work or anywhere, really…are we seeing a theme yet? Depending on how it’s styled, I think LuLaRoe can be worn most anywhere! It’s all in the execution!

The Carly Dress

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The Carly has been a lifesaver for me this summer because in all honesty, shorts give me huge self-esteem issues!! I wish it wasn’t true, but alas…it sadly is. My number one body insecurity is my legs. They do not have much shape other than SOLID, and yeah. I could write an entire blog post on that issue, but going back to the Carly…I love how in the summer, I can throw on a Carly and not sweat to death AND avoid the inner turmoil that comes with wearing shorts. The Carly can literally go anywhere, again, when executed/accessorized for the given occasion!

HONORABLE MENTION: The Amelia Dress

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I would call the Amelia the sixth man on my “wardrobe team.” I love this dress for work, a job interview, a wedding, an upscale dinner, even church, though my church is a little more casual in dress. The pockets are everything, and the silhouette is one of my favorites (fitted at the top, flaring out from the hip area).

So there you have it…THOSE are the pieces that I keep on heavy rotation all throughout the year. They work very well in unison with the other non-LLR in my closet for my lifestyle and the occasions I dress for. If you would like to shop for your own LuLaRoe, join me HERE!

Why Living (and Dressing) Intentionally Works for Me

In this season of life I’m currently in, I find myself having to weed unnecessary tasks out of my day. I simply don’t have time to do it all, and I don’t know about you…but my daily to-do list gets about 20 percent done on a good day. The unfortunate part of reaching this epiphany is that since I’m not working this summer, I think about my limitations and those things I’ve weeded out all day, every day…

I’m a thinker, and I really excel at overanalyzing. Not cool most of the time. When I’m teaching, this aspect of my personality serves me well, as I am able to reflect on what went right that day and how to fix what wasn’t super successful. But when my mind can’t use my overanalyzing tendencies to focus on something productive, this aspect of my personality isn’t as desirable. I have spent many of my summer days struggling with that simple fact: I can’t do it all. I think back to the days after I graduated high school (more often than I’d like to admit, actually), at a time when I had little to no experience adulting, when I thought that I could do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, at any given point in time because I was finally FREE. That is like SOOOOO funny, right? I had this idyllic view of life, and not to sound all Debbie Downer, but life just isn’t really that way. Like at all. But I am learning as I go not to be bitter about that reality but rather thankful and grateful for the people and experiences that make my life what it is.

Now I think I’m at the point where I want to start discovering what I need and what I want to make time for. And oddly enough, I have the same views on my closet. My summer days used to be spent shopping for every little jacket, accessory, pair of shoes, etc., I saw on Instagram and “needed.” Then my closet was full of pieces that I would never wear and that worked for others in terms of their personal style but not really mine. Now don’t get me wrong…I still love to shop, but I find myself being more intentional about it, I guess.

One of my requirements for clothes, as many of you who follow my blog know, is that if a top cannot be worn for multiple occasions, I probably don’t need it. One such top that is the ultimate multi-tasker for me is the LuLaRoe Perfect Tee.

Date night: I love styling a printed Perfect Tee with neutral and classic accessories (pendant necklace, skinny jeans, peep toe booties) for a nice blend of trendy and timeless.

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Top: LuLaRoe Perfect Tee (size XS), Pendant Necklace: Francesca’s (a few months old), Jeans: American Eagle jeggings, Shoes: Groopdealz (Qupid brand)

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And here is another date night look appropriate for early spring or fall. I just simply added a leather jacket and lace-up flats for the same effect that’s seasonally appropriate.

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School: I am a high school English teacher, and I love the same Perfect Tee for a day of teaching. I have paired the same Perfect Tees I wear out on a casual date night to school in a very similar way. I have also worn one over a Julia dress to work and loved the combo.

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Sizing and Fit: The Perfect Tee is fitted in the arms and features a scoopneck, which is flattering to many body types. It is fitted in the chest area and floats away from the body in an A-line shape. It also features slits on each side so the top floats effortlessly away from the hip area, a place where many women carry a good amount of their weight.

Perfect Tees run 1-2 sizes large. I am typically a small in LuLaRoe pieces that run true to size (Sarah cardigan, Julia dress, Randy tee, etc.), but in Perfect Tees, I typically wear an XS, which fits sizes 4-10.

If you need a Perfect Tee, I would love to be not only your favorite blogger but also your LuLaRoe Retailer (wink wink). Please join my Facebook VIP Shopping Group, where I talk about styling your LuLaRoe and hold weekly sales.

Thanks for reading, friends! Chat again soon!

Much Needed Radio Silence (in a Cropped Leather Jacket, Celebrating Lady Gaga)

Social media is a quicksand pit of comparison. It is no secret to anyone who knows me extremely well that I fall into the comparison trap quite easily. I don’t like this unbecoming quality, but I won’t deny it anymore. All over social media platforms, I realize what I am not. And that’s why I need social media + blogger radio silence from time to time.

I have always tolerated certain aspects of myself that I’m not all that excited about, but putting yourself out there as a blogger and on social media opens you up to all sorts of icky feelings and thoughts. For one, it makes me realize, yet again, what I’m not.

When I come out of these funks, though, I have some sort of weird pride about the person I’m not. Examples?

  1. My Instagram pictures are what I can take in a one-to-two-minute time frame before I pick up my kids from preschool. No professional photographer. My tripod and I have a date most days of the week.
  2. My hair is in a frizzy mom bun a lot of times because I choose extra sleep or extra cuddle time with my babies, who are EARLYYYYY risers.
  3. I don’t have clear skin most of the time.
  4. I overdo it on carbs on the daily.
  5. Three years later, I still have a slight hint of a mom pooch situation.
  6. The number I see on the scale would seem astronomical to the same people who tell me, you’re really thin.
  7. There are aspects of my teaching job that, even after ten years on the job, don’t come easily to me.
  8. I wear braces at age 33.

I could go on, but you get the point.

I have struggled a bit lately in confidently stepping into whom I was created to be. I am a work in progress in this area and have been my entire life. But Lady Gaga resurfaced recently to remind me that my self-deprecating thoughts are trash.

My “way back” friends and my family know I had a slight Lady Gaga obsession when she rose to popularity, and I think it was because she was so different and didn’t care. And that’s precisely THE THING I’ve never been able to be. Different without care. I have always been slightly unconventional in most areas of my life. One example? While every teenage girl was crushing hard on Justin Timberlake (in his *NSYNC days), I was crushing hard on Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit?! Do we remember?!). You know how girls used to put pictures of their crushes in their lockers? Yeah, I so did that with his picture on the cover of Guitar World. And that is just one example. But back to Gaga.

At first I was a little underwhelmed with her Super Bowl performance because there weren’t any big surprises. But then I thought about Gaga for the rest of the night and started playing her music again. I have never been the biggest fan of “Born This Way,” but for the last three days, I have really listened to it, like really listened about 15 times, to the lyrics. Sure, there are others who struggle with identity issues I cannot fathom, but as Cherry Valance (and Ponyboy) say in The Outsiders, “Things are rough all over.” (I share that quote with my seventh graders on the daily…so much truth.)

We all have our struggles. But we can embrace how we are uniquely made. That’s what Gaga meant. LIGHT BULB MOMENT for a 33-year-old suburban mom of two. That song is for me, too. Admittedly, I laughed at the line, Same DNA, but born this way. If you have ever seen a line-up of my sisters and me, it’s like, one of these is not like the others… HA. My build and my height are just completely different, and I have regrettably spent a lot of time groaning about it. I admit that being 33 and having insecurity issues is less than endearing, but you know what? Here are mine. And I struggle with them ALL.THE.TIME.

And while we are on the topic of struggles…the Instagram thing. Building a following on Instagram is like the ultimate trap of comparison. Why? Well, I used to get really discouraged when my amount of likes weren’t there or my number of new followers began to dwindle. And I am sitting right around 2,300, which is like a drop in the bucket compared to the bigger bloggers. AND THAT’S OK. I want to grow my audience ORGANICALLY. It’s important to me. And while we are on this tangent, for GOODNESS SAKE, why are people doing the FOLLOW and UNFOLLOW thing?! That is just disturbing to me. Sure, that last comment may offend some, but I need to say it. We can build each other up on social media rather than play these weird mind games. I had a company reach out to me recently offering me more followers and likes, “based on [its] policy of following and unfollowing.” WHAAAAT. That is so wrong. I’m sorry. I have ladies daily who will follow and unfollow me. For your sake and mine, please just don’t. Let’s celebrate and follow those who offer us something of value, encouragement, or lightheartedness, not play this silly game with one another. I bless you all in your fashion blogging endeavors. But let’s not do this following and unfollowing thing, as I firmly believe it is beneath you.

Like Shakespeare sometimes does, now that we have discussed something kind of tense, let’s balance it with something light-hearted and fun!

I think a cropped leather jacket is a wardrobe must. Truth be told, I have had this jacket for almost 7 years, and it still feels fresh and relevant in my wardrobe! Now black leather isn’t for everyone, but think about what colors speak to you and your wardrobe. I love balancing the cropped jacket with a longer, flowy top like the LuLaRoe Perfect Tee (wearing an XS). This leather jacket is from The Limited (RIP), but you can snag budget-friendly ones at Target or Express.

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So when thoughts and opinions and ideas rattle around in my head, I love to purge them in a blog post. Next time, we may get back to our regularly scheduled programming. Love and blessings, my friends.

LuLaRoe Irma, Meet the Structured Jacket.

Hey, friends! I hope 2017 is treating you well so far! You know what helps me kick the winter doldrums? 1. Working out and 2. Planning my winter-to-spring transitional wardrobe. One closet staple that I think every woman should have in her closet is a structured jacket, or one that is fitted to the body. Usually it nips in at the natural waist. This piece especially works great during a seasonal change, like the glorious time when winter leaves us!

One LuLaRoe piece that I think pairs so nicely with the structured jacket is the LuLaRoe Irma tunic. It is made to be oversized and is a wonderful option (obviously) to wear atop leggings. But to maximize the wear of your Irma, throw a fitted jacket over it to balance out that oversized fit. This fitted vs. oversized pairing creates interest in an outfit, not to mention a bit of polish for days you need to look more put together and less casual.

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My favorite Irma size is an XS, but I am not afraid to size up to a S if I love the color or print because I know the fitted jacket will help balance things out.

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For canvas/utility jackets and jean jackets, I like to shop at GAP or Old Navy. If you are tall like me, I suggest you check out Old Navy’s jacket options that come in tall.

For leather jackets, I love this Target jacket in a size small. For less than $50, it has a luxe and interesting look, not to mention the great fit.

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If you have a little more to spend on a leather jacket (but still not more than $100), can I just share the awesomeness that is this jacket from Nordstrom?! It’s faux leather but feels like the real thing and fits like a glove. I read reviews from bloggers that said to size up, so the one pictured above is the gray color in a medium.

I mentioned working out earlier as well. My friend Dannette, who is an amazing fit mama and teacher, was nice enough to connect me with her trainer, and I started on January 1. Documenting my journey here may be annoying to some, but I do what I want… 😉

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In all reality, blogging about one of my January goals (working out 5 times a week and incorporating running into 3 of those days) keeps me accountable with my little audience here. I mentioned in my last post that I am making three goals a month this year, “mastering” those, and adding 2-3 more each month so as not to overwhelm myself in January like I have done in previous years.

And believe me…sometimes working out more means loosening up in some other areas…like let’s not talk about the state of my dishes right now in the kitchen. My husband is an amazing partner in our household, and his broken ankle situation has made it a little tougher…but this, too, shall pass. The dishes will be there tomorrow, right?

Bottom line? I love pairing my LuLaRoe with the MVPs in my closet, and I hope you will be inspired to do the same to achieve a universally flattering but easy look.

My Style, 2016. My Goals, 2017.

Happy (almost) New Year to you! On my Instagram, I promised you a post on my top five favorite looks of 2016. I posted my top nine most “liked” pictures yesterday.

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You know what’s interesting, though? Not very many of these made the cut in my own personal top eight list. (I really wanted to whittle it down to five, but I just couldn’t!) I thought it would be fun for those of you who have followed my blog/Instagram to see my personal favorite looks and read the “why” behind my choices. These are in no particular order, actually. I should probably say that first. Also, I want to end with a little reflection on my year and what I’m hoping for most in 2017.

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This was a date night look I put together, and I’m wearing my very first LuLaRoe Perfect Tee. I was a little afraid of the volume of the Perfect Tee since I had never owned anything like it before, so I added a structured leather jacket to it for balance. That is a tip I will take with me into the coming years…balance volume and flow with structure. Isn’t that true in life, too?! Deep…

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This one is so sentimental. It is my very first LuLaRoe outfit. I searched high and low for our matching Valentine’s leggings (my daughter Johanna is two and a half but wasn’t even two quite yet here…now her hair is halfway down her back…pardon me while I tear up), and I fell in love with the LuLaRoe Irma. In the span of six months, LuLaRoe went from a fun little exhilarating hobby (shopping for clothes via Facebook) to a business that helps to support my family AND my passion for style. Rule I’m taking from this outfit? When in doubt, buy the striped Irmas…they go with everything and offer you a safe way to print mix.

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Again with my girl, this time in BRIGHTS. The thing I am pretty proud of in my own style journey is that I wear what I love, not necessarily what the masses of Moms like me (early 30s, two kids, etc.) would typically wear. I got SO excited when I spotted this dress. That excitement helps me know when something belongs in my closet. It got mixed reviews (too bright, etc.), but I feel absolutely awesome when I wear this LuLaRoe Amelia. This one is a size XS. Bottom line: Wear what you love with confidence.

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I felt so awesome in this spring-to-summer look. And here’s why. Real talk: one of my top insecurities is my legs. On this day I discovered how heels make this insecurity so much more manageable. HA. And I am not typically a girlie girl, but I fell hard for this pink LuLaRoe Lindsay kimono this spring and wore it all summer long, too!

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Ah, my birthday outfit. I turned the exciting age of 33 this year, and I wanted to dress up a bit for the occasion: a dinner out with my little family. I had owned this Irma since February (my birthday is July 18…go ahead and mark your calendars…), but I never thought to tie it in the front and pair it with my first LuLaRoe Cassie skirt! This outfit is one of my outfits pinned the most on Pinterest, so it seems like others like this print mix just as much as I did! Again, say it with me…buy all the stripes!

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I wore this outfit for my very first Facebook Live sale as a LuLaRoe consultant. I actually borrowed this gray Perfect Tee from my friend Bobbie, and she was sweet enough to let me have it. HA. Thanks, Bobbie. You’re the best. I think I like this one for its visual interest. A lot is going on (tiger print, lace, fringe, bracelet stack…), but it’s fun and interesting (to me, anyway!).

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2016 was the year I got acquainted with the LuLaRoe Julia and Sarah as well. I learned that when you’re not quite sure about totally rocking a Julia, wear a Sarah over it and feel better! I love the balance of a curve-hugging dress and duster cardigan, not to mention how much I have worn these Target booties with the cutout at the ankle! I saw these on Instagram and knew I had to have them. Like right now. And I have insecurities just like every other woman on the planet, but surprisingly, the Julia makes me feel very feminine and confident at the same time.

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Target boots strike again! I’m a sucker for boots under $40, and these hiker boots were no exception. But the reason why this outfit was a favorite is because I tried stripes on stripes for the first time. Now when you say “stripes on stripes” out loud, visions of circus tents may be generated. But I took a risk here and was quite pleased with the result, an outfit that was visually interesting, reflected my personal style, and was work-appropriate!

On to 2017…

I have done quite a bit of thinking about life in 2016, evaluating what’s important, wondering what’s not important…and I came up with one conclusion: I miss the days of the report card.

As a student, I was disciplined. More than disciplined. Regimented. Focused. I knew if I did X, Y, and Z, I would get the desired outcome on my report card. My grades told me about my performance and taught me balance: if one grade started to slip below the others, then I spent more time in that particular subject.

But life as a wife and mother is nothing like that.

Right now I feel like the opposite of regimented or focused. There’s no report card to tell me how I’m performing in life, and I often have to go by how I feel, which is overwhelmed a lot of the time, feeling like I’m underperforming. Feeling like I want that A but am at a C or even lower. Upset with myself for not tending to this or that the way I would like to.

But a new year has arrived. And I have to make my own report card.

Usually, a new year starts with me making huge lofty resolutions that (just like everyone else) I struggle to stick to. So I am trying a new method and thought you may find it helpful: 1. Write down all of the goals you have for the new year. 2. Determine which are most pressing. 3. Stick to three goals maximum a month and add a few each month.

What we can resolve to do, though, no matter what philosophies we have on new year’s resolutions, is to step into the truth that we control our joy and our thoughts. We can choose how we perceive ourselves and our lives. Positive self-talk and choosing joy? What do they do? Lead us to a better quality of life.

I may look pulled together on the outside (ahem. Most of the time. Sometimes I roll up to daycare in sweats and Ugg slippers), providing styling tips and what not, but please know this: I am figuring this all out. I am imperfect. I fight battles just like you do. This working mom gig is not easy. This mom gig is not easy. But I have realized I have spent too much of 2016 complaining about my circumstances and NEED to step into 2017 with joy in my heart and gratitude on my tongue.

Here’s to hoping the same goes for you, dear reader. (Psst…who caught that Jane Eyre REFERENCE?!)