Life Lately

summer family photos

I’ve been enjoying sharing some more lifestyle-related content
here over the course of the last year and the general consensus is
that you’d like to continue to see it too!  Though I have no
intention of completing shifting my blog in that direction, it’s
been fun to expand every so often to topics beyond just fashion
& beauty.  To that end, I’m sharing a new post with you
today that’s highlighting what I’ve been up to lately, some
things I’m buying for fall + a few home updates.  (P.S. the
picture above is from a summer family photo session we had done
& I am so happy with how they turned out!)

STYLE

I get questions all the time about what I’m buying for fall,
so I thought I’d share my recent purchases with you.  One of the
“hazards” of my job is that I’m constantly checking for the
best sales & budget-friendly finds to share with you here –
so I have to resist the temptation to buy every time I come across
a good deal.  I’ve been trying to be more purposeful with what
I’m adding to my closet by asking myself these questions: Do I
already own something similar? How many different ways can I style
this with pieces I have in my closet now? Can I justify the cost
per wear? (see a more comprehensive list of questions
here
) So, here are the items I’ve bought for the coming
season that have passed my test:

recent fall purchases

Faux Suede Trench
I can’t say enough good things about this – it looks so luxe
and it feels buttery soft to the touch.  I fell in love with the
rich cognac color – I think this will be such a great layering
piece for early fall.  I found it to run true to size (I got it in
a 4 & I have plenty of room to layer sweaters underneath).

Pearl Drop
Earrings

These pearl earrings have a cool modern feel to them & you
can’t beat the price!  They’re very lightweight & can
easily be worn with a sweater & jeans or a pretty floral fall
dress.

Gold Beaded Bracelet
Set

I’ve been wanting some gold beaded bracelets like this for a
while, so I finally pulled the trigger on these.  I have really
small wrists, so most bracelets don’t fit me well – but because
these are stretchy, they work perfectly & are great for mixing
with pieces I already own to create my own custom stack!

Cable Knit
Cardigan

You know how much I love this rust hue for fall, so when this went
on sale, I immediately snatched it up!  The sleeves have a slight
balloon shape to them & I like the button-detail in front. 
This also comes in ivory & will be great for layering over
camis & tees when it cools down a bit.

Printed Square
Scarf

This classic square scarf is under $10 and comes in tons of
different patterns – I’m thinking about ordering multiples! 
Wear it around your neck, tie it in your hair or add it to the
handle of your bag for a fun pop of color.

Striped Long Sleeve
Tee

This was the year that my favorite striped tee finally had to be
retired, so I ordered this one as a replacement – this also comes
in several solid colors & a black or grey stripe.  It’s a
cotton/modal blend, which makes it so soft & it’s long enough
to wear with leggings (and the price is great!).

Paper-Bag Waist
Skirt

I don’t wear pencil skirts anymore, but the detail & fit of
this one was too good to pass up.  This would be a great work
option for those of you looking for affordable office-wear.  The
belt is removable & it also comes in black – recommend sizing
up as there’s very little stretch to the fabric.

Houndstooth Poncho
I love a good poncho for fall and this one is such a classic
pattern – it’s currently 50% off and will be so chic with jeans
and over-the-knee boots or with faux leather leggings &
flats.

Croc Belt Bag
I wore my Target belt bag all summer long and really fell in love
with the hands-free ease of it.  So, I wanted to buy one for fall
that would go with all of my neutral sweaters & printed
dresses.  Thanks to the croc texture & gold hardware, this one
looks much more expensive than it is & it doesn’t look too
bulky when worn.

Satin Midi Skirt
I can’t seem to resist this color right now & I liked that
this satin midi has a slight a-line fit, which I find to be more
flattering on my shape than a lot of the other bias-cut skirts
I’ve tried on recently.  This also comes in navy & is under
$35!

Skinny Ankle Pants
I haven’t been shopping at Old Navy as much lately, but the color
of these pants caught my eye so I ordered them & the fit is
amazing (runs true to size).  Today is the last day of their 40%
off sale, which makes these only $17.99!  I also picked up
these button-fly jeans
(super flattering) and this
tunic sweatshirt
(perfect for those chilly soccer games).

FAMILY

Our schedules are going to radically change next week when my
kids head back to school & my son starts his fall sports
practices (he shocked us all by choosing to do soccer this year
instead of football!).  Thankfully, we have completed all our
school supply & clothes shopping, so that’s one less thing I
have to worry about.  But, I still have a few things to wrap up
before the summer ends – the last minute tasks still on my to-do
list are as follows:

Bento lunch box

1) Buy bento boxes for school lunches
I decided to go this route instead of using baggies for all their
various food items this year and I honestly wish I had done it
sooner.  This will not only save us money in the long run, but
it’s much more environmentally-friendly.  I ended up purchasing
these based on the cost,
positive reviews & the size of the compartments.

organizing family photos

2) Order summer photo book
At the end of
every summer, I sort through all the photos we took on our various
trips, camping adventures & hiking excursions and put together
a photo book.  I’ve been ordering the small square versions from
Artifact
Uprising
for the last 4 years and have been so impressed with
the quality.  I buy two of the same book each year and plan to
give one to each of the kids when they leave for college, so they
can look back on all those fun memories while they’re away from
home.

fall table decor

3) Plan back to school dinner
This is one of
our family traditions that I’ve done since my kids were little. 
The night before the first day of school, we have a special meal
that usually consists of their favorite foods (this year we’re
doing meatloaf,
mashed potatoes, green beans, brazilian
cheese bread
& pumpkin
bars
for dessert).  I set the table with fall-themed decor
(using the good china!) and we spend the evening reminiscing about
our favorite summer memories & talking about the coming school
year.  I always give my kids a verse for the year & challenge
them to step outside of their comfort zone – whether that means
trying a new elective, standing up for what is right or befriending
someone new.  Merrick recently did a
whole post
about this & gave some great suggestions &
ideas to try.  It’s such a great way to connect as a family
& start off the new school year on the right foot!

HOME

Normally, I wouldn’t start decorating for fall until mid to
late September, but because we have family visiting from out of
town next week, I decided to add a few autumn accents a little
earlier than usual.  Our color scheme is primarily neutrals, but I
love adding in warmer colors this time of year.  I always focus on
making seasonal updates with affordable pieces & try to shop
when there are sales or promos offered.  T.J.Maxx has so many great new
arrivals for the home & they’re offering free shipping today
only!  I like to add chunky knit pillows like this, this & this (most of their pillows have
zippered removable covers, which makes them easy to wash when
needed).  They also have gorgeous throw blankets at great prices
like this, this & this.  And I’m loving this preserved wreath &
this coconut wax
candle
.  Here are a few more pieces I’m eyeing:

fall home decor

Knit Pillow //
Velvet Pillow // Faux Cedar Wreath
Small Gold Candlestick //
Tall Gold Candlestick
Glass Pumpkins //
Tasseled Throw //
Storage Basket

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Source: FS – NY Fashion
Life Lately