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back to basics / 05: spring staples


Although I haven’t quite jumped on the capsule wardrobe train, I’ve been trying to pare down my closet this year and am focusing more on buying good staple pieces that will hold up well and that are versatile. To celebrate the coming of spring (which may or may not be here to stay…), I thought I’d put together a post with a few pieces I’ll be wearing a lot this season.

striped tee | everlane

I was all over this striped tee the day that it came out. I like that it’s a little bit more structured and thicker than other shirts; it’s great for this transition weather and works equally well with jeans, shorts, and skirts. There’s a white/black version too but grey is kind of my favorite “color” and I think this color combo is a little springier anyways.

denim vest | old navy

I’ve been eyeing the madewell version of this vest for awhile now but couldn’t justify the price difference and actually like the wash on this old navy one a little better, and it fits just right. I’m planning to wear this over just about everything this season.

ponte skirt | j.crew factory

I have been watching this skirt online for awhile and finally went for it when they had a 30% off sale and free shipping. I love it.  The fit is perfect, it’s amazingly comfortable, and the fabric is just thick enough to have some structure but still breathable and light for spring/summer. The blue is a great color but I think I’ll be ordering one in black (and any other colors they come out with) as well.

vintage-inspired sneakers | brooks

If you saw my running clothes post a couple weeks ago, you already know that I’m obsessed with Brooks running shoes. I like to wear tennis shoes on the weekends for running errands, especially since it’s not quite sandal weather yet, but I don’t like to put extra non-running mileage on my good shoes. These vintage-inspired Brooks sneakers are super comfortable, (obviously) super cute, and come in a ton of color combinations. I got the fuchsia but would easily order pretty much any of them.

statement necklace (similar) | madewell

I don’t wear a ton of jewelry but enjoy a good statement necklace from time to time. This particular one is great for dressing up a simple white t-shirt. It’s not in stock anymore, but I’ve seen similar ones at other stores and also really like madewell’s arrowstack necklace.

What are some of your spring staples?

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back to basics / 04: running gear

We’re currently training for another half marathon, so have been running 4-5 times/week, and unfortunately it’s mostly been in below-freezing temperatures. Consequently I’ve started to amass quite the collection of cold-weather running gear, and thought I would share a few of my favorites here, in case you’re in the market for anything yourself. Happy running!

RUNNING copy copy

shirt | GapFit Breathe long-sleeve tee

These shirts are really soft (like, I’ve worn it as pajamas) and relatively expensive, and bonus: usually on sale online. I think they’re perfect for days where it’s not cold enough for a jacket but you still want a long-sleeve layer, and the thumb holes are another of my favorite features. These tops also work great as a base layer under jackets, etc.

vest | Athleta Stripe Jammin’ Run Vest

I recently got this vest less for an extra layer of warmth and more as something semi-reflective to wear during morning runs in the winter months when it’s pitch black outside. It’s a great top layer and also functions as a light windbreaker because of the material it’s made out of. The side pockets are perfect for my phone, too. And as an added bonus, it’s cute enough to wear around running errands after a workout (or you know, after not working out).

tights | Under Armour ColdGear Qualifier Run Tight

There are a million different kinds of tights out there, ranging from super lightweight to super thermal. I like having something in between that keeps me warm on single-digit runs but that I don’t get super hot in once I’ve warmed up. I have about 5 different pairs and so far, these UA ones are my favorite. They have a light thermal layer inside but still feel really breathable and don’t get too warm. Women’s tights tend to not have pockets so I love that these have one in the back, perfect for carrying a debit card, a few dollars, or some GU.

shoes | Brooks Glycerin 12

Shoes are hard to recommend because the type you buy should be dependent on your gait, pronation, arches, etc. If you’re in the market for new running shoes, as tempting as it can be to buy the $40 pair at DSW (been there), you really should visit a local running store (here in Omaha we love Peak Performance) for a gait analysis and invest in a quality pair of shoes. Your feet will thank you. My last two pairs of shoes have been Brooks Glycerin 12s, so if you’re a neutral pronator with medium-to-high arches then I can’t recommend these enough. Plus they come in obnoxious/amazing colors, like highlighter yellow.

pocket | Roo Sport Magnetic Pocket

I almost always run with my phone, whether for music and/or as a safety precaution, so I usually try to wear something with a pocket that can hold it. That doesn’t always work out, though, so in those times I’m without a pocket, I use the Roo Sport. It’s the perfect size for a phone and has a CRAZY STRONG magnet. That thing isn’t going anywhere once it’s clipped on. It also works well for carrying cash, car/house key, etc. There are a few different sizes available based on what you plan to carry in it.

gloves | Target C9 by Champion Gloves

If you’re running in single digit or below-zero temps, you’ll definitely need some serious gloves. I’ve gotten by with Target ones for a long time, and in really cold temps will usually layer them over a cheap cotton pair for extra warmth. I’m still on the hunt for a really good cold weather pair that doesn’t cost a small fortune, but for now, this works, and it’s almost spring anyways, right?

headband | Target C9 by Champion Striped Twist Headband

I’m sure there are better headbands out there but I have several different versions of these C9 ones from Target, and they’ve served me well. I apparently have a giant head because beanies don’t ever seem to fit over my ears, so I usually opt for headbands. These C9 ones are warm, cover my ears (most importantly), and stay on pretty well. They also usually have a ponytail hole which is nice.

socks | Target C9 by Champion Heel Tab Socks

I’m willing to spend a lot of money on many other running attire components, but socks do not tend to be one of them. Target never seems to have the exact same socks, so I have many different versions of these C9 ones – I look for the ones that are ankle-cut but cover my heel, and that are made of “athletic” material rather than just cotton, but otherwise, they’re a go! Socks, like shoes, are a super important component, so make sure you find something that works for you, and then stock up and be consistent.

fuel | GU Nutrition Energy Gel, Salted Caramel

For long runs (5 miles +) we usually bring some sort of fuel to have during or sometimes right afterwards. We’ve tried lots of different brands and products but our favorite right now is the Salted Caramel GU. Before I tried it, it sounded like the last thing I’d want to eat in the middle of working out, but it’s actually totally delicious and pretty refreshing. I’d legit put this stuff over ice cream. It’s the perfect sugar boost to get you through those last few miles, and super easy to use since you can just rip off the tab, hold in your hand, and squeeze (it’s basically adult Go-Gurt). As with all electrolyte replacement fuels, make sure you wash it down with some water.

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one little word: simple.


i’ve followed others’ one little word journeys in the past, but haven’t ever given it much thought myself. after seeing this post last week, however, i was inspired to finally give it a try for myself this time around, ya know, in the name of new year’s goals.

i have read a few stories about how people go about choosing their words each year, and many folks write about how their words just seem to find them. a little cheesy, it sounds, as i write that, but i guess i’m about to join the club, because i felt much the same way. the older i get (yes, i realize 27 is not that old), and more intensely in this past year, i’ve felt an urgency to simplify. as i’ve said, 2014 was a really, really awesome year, but i’m determined to make 2015 just as good, and part of that is getting rid of all the mental and physical clutter in my life.

here are a few ways i’m thinking about simple for 2015:

i want the way we cook and eat to be simple. i love scouring pinterest for recipes and buying pretty new cookbooks and reading back issues of bon appetit so much that sometimes it keeps me from the actual cooking part. i can get so caught up in the logistics and production of cooking sometimes that it ends up being the exact opposite of the stress-relieving activity that i had wanted it to be in the first place. i often forget that some of my favorite meals – shakshuka, a simple pasta with veggies, a roasted pork tenderloin – are actually some of the easiest (and affordable) things to make. i want to stop worrying about getting a perfect meal on the table every night and instead just get a meal on the table every night. (and the nights when we don’t, i want to stop feeling guilty and just enjoy the occasional take-out splurge). i want to be better about keeping our dinner diary, for sentimental value and also for a place to turn when i need a dinner idea. i want to start sharing what we ate each week and what we’re planning for the week ahead, in a very simple format similar to this, for personal accountability and to maybe even inspire others to cook simple meals at home, too. and i especially want to continue our (sometimes) habit of sunday afternoons spent making meals ahead of time for the week, and making something a little bit special for sunday night dinner (#sundaysuppers), and enjoying a glass of wine together while we give thanks for the weekend, clear our minds, and gear up for a new week.

i want the way we keep our home to be simple. i want to get rid of or donate all the things we don’t need, and save up for high-quality versions of the things we do. in december, we began The Great Organization Rampage and made a list of the all the things that need to get done to make our house feel clean and organized – half-completed projects that need to get done, junk drawers that need to get cleaned out, old furniture that we need to schedule a goodwill pickup for. we’re working on crossing things off that list one by one, and it. feels. good. less physical clutter = less mental clutter, so this one is a double win. i want to be super intentional about any new things we bring into our home, and focus on long-term functionality rather than short-term gratification (this one is mega hard for me).

i want the way i buy new clothes and get dressed to be simple. last year, i wrote about how i’m trying to add pieces to my closet that are high-quality and versatile. i’ve done a pretty good job of that this year, adding a couple of great staples like this bag and this coat that i plan to make last for years to come. even though the few things i have bought have been pricier, i’ve found that the more i commit to only buying great, high-quality basics, the less i buy, because so few things fit the bill. (and also because, these days, i want to spend all my clothing money on workout gear). this year, i want to pare down my closet even more and get serious about only keeping around the things i’m realistically going to wear (and maybe even jumping on the capsule wardrobe train). i’m working towards loving absolutely everything in my closet and 2015 is gonna be the year.

and lastly, i want to write more. i want to write more on this blog – not worrying about whether it’s an original recipe or having perfectly-lit photographs or if anyone will even read it – but just write, about anything and everything, because having a creative outlet makes me happy. i want to write more in my own personal journal; it’s something i’ve always valued but have gotten away from lately. and i want to write more letters to kevin. my parents gifted us a beautiful leather journal for our third anniversary to write to each other in, and i want to start doing that. writing of all forms has always been a great way for me to clear my head, and so in the spirit of getting rid of mental clutter, i want it to be a big part of living simple in 2015.

cheers to 2015 and a year of (mostly) simple meals around the table and enjoying time with my best friend in our (usually, hopefully) clean and organized house. hoping to snag this book from the library soon for even more inspiration on simple living and prioritizing.

what’s your one little word for this year?

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