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Sister Style with Matilda Jane

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Sister Style with Matilda Jane

Matilda Jane knows how to coordinate prints.  My girls first wore Matilda Jane for photos when Madeline was 9 months old and Ellie was 3.  Here we are almost 5 years later and I am loving this collection more than ever.  Meet the Spring/Summer 2015 Matilda Jane Hello, Lovely collection!

Because of Matilda Jane's great patterns, it makes layering for Spring and Fall easy and fun.  Easter in the midwest is always a gamble, even in April.  We had a great Chicago day but still needed layers to skip the jackets.  Madeline's knot dress has a 3/4 length tee under it with the most adorable ruffled leggings.

matilda jane

Madeline is super slim, even leggings can be too big in the waist!  The adjustable straps of the knot dress plus the sash in the back really make this dress feel custom for her slender frame.

Ellie has a sweater from the new Tween Collection, 435, over her dancer tank dress.  The subtle pattern under the tulle on the dancer dress is the same as the apron on the knot dress.  It's those little details that tie the looks together and make photos look cohesive.

435 girls by matilda jane

The new Matilda Jane Collection, Hello Lovely, just had its first summer release and it's packed with the cutest looks for girls this summer.  Here are a few of my favorite outfits.

You can view the entire Hello Lovely collection for baby, girls, tweens and women at MatildaJaneClothing.com.

Thanks to Matilda Jane for providing outfits for this post.  All opinions are honest and my own.

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Wilderness Resort in the Dells

Anyone else done with winter? Between the subzero temperatures and insane snow drifts in the Midwest, I am ready for sunshine and swimsuit weather. Unfortunately, we have a long time to go, which is why I planned a trip to the Wisconsin Dells for my family and our friends! It turned out to be the perfect way to break up the winter monotony and spend some much-needed quality time with some of our best friends. I had never been to the Dells before, nor have I actually been to an indoor water park in this century! Between our friends and my family, we had four kids under 5: ages 1, 2, 3 and 4. Wilderness Resort was highly recommended, so I made reservations in one of their four bedroom condos for the eight of us. I loved that the drive was only 3 hours from the northern Chicago suburbs, making it a two DVD trip.

Accommodations

We stayed in a 4 bedroom Wilderness Frontier Condo and each of the kids had their own sleeping area down a hallway that was separated from the main room by the kitchen. This was a fantastic feature since the adults wanted to stay up and have a Bachelor viewing party (shhh...the husbands secretly love that show too!).

The condo was incredibly spacious- my 6'5" husband, who frequently feels claustrophobic at hotels, was amazed at how much room we had.

The condo included everything we needed and more: a dishwasher, washer/dryer, cozy fireplaces, and a massive whirlpool tub. The decor was traditionally "cabinesque," with log accents, moose print furniture and an antler chandelier over the dining room table.

What To Wear

Since I have a baby girl, I now realize where all my money will go this summer: buying her bathing suits. Is there anything cuter than little girl suits?! I headed to Target for both her bathing suits and mine, and my friend Wendy purchased hers there as well. Make sure to pack water shoes or flip flops for the kids- it is a lot easier than putting on socks and shoes! I also brought along a Wet Brush- a must have if your girls have long hair. Sunglasses might seem silly, but one of the water parks has a dome that lets the sunlight in. Also, a cute hair bow will keep her hair out of her face! My favorite place to get girl's hair bows for cheap: Forever 21.

Circo Girls One Piece Hawaiian Floral Swimsuit at Target, I Play Floral Swim Diaper at Target, The Wet Brush Squirt, Sunglasses (super cute ones here) and Sandals (adorable ones here) both Old Navy, Hair Bow from Forever 21

I brought along a beach coverup from Coolibar, and paired it with leggings and sandals (and made sure to update my pedicure). Although we were there during incredibly freezing temperatures, we were never outside for more than a few seconds. I just tossed winter coats over our beach attire and we hopped on and off the shuttles which ran constantly.

Coolibar Tunic- similar here, Silver Beach Bag- similar here, Mossimo Strappy Halter Bikini Top and Mossimo Strappy Bikini Bottoms both Target, Metallic Strappy Sandals- similar here, Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Kooka Mango

I just loved the fact that two of the parks had baby seats which allowed little ones to dip their feet in the water! Charlotte could have hung out all day, but she had mini slides to conquer and lazy rivers to ride down. Bryson, my 3 year old, actually tackled the water slides with his dad and was thrilled beyond belief. There was truly something there for every age, and during the 2 days we stayed, I never heard the dreaded "I'm bored" phrase uttered once.

For older kids, they have the nation's largest indoor wave pool and some pretty incredible water slides. They also have family raft slides that allow up to four people, which our 3 and 4 year old kids demanded to go on again and again. For adults, they have a swim up bar and indoor/outdoor hot tubs.

Food is always tricky, but we found it easiest to bring groceries and stock the fridge for meals. You cannot bring outside food into the water parks, so we headed back to the room for the majority of meals. They do have a number of restaurants to choose from, one of which includes a free kids buffet (kids 8 and under) for each adult buffet purchased.

Other Activities

We received Wild Fun Passes for the family, which includes access to all of these attractions and cost $24.95:

  • 1 Admission to the Northern Lights Sky Ropes Course
  • 9 Holes of black light mini golf at the Wild Buccaneer
  • 9 Holes of black light mini  golf at the Wild Abyss
  • 1 Bumper boat ride at the Wild West Bumper Boats
  • 1 Game of laser tag at the OK Corral Lazer Arena & Lazer Maze
  • 1 Admission to the NEW Wilderwoods Indoor Go-Karts
  • $1 Off hand-blended ice cream at Pistol Pete's

It was nice to get out of the water for a bit and enjoy some of the activities. Our older boys had a blast in the bumper boats and family water slide with their dads...and I think the dads almost enjoyed it more than the kids!

I would be remiss if I didn't talk about the cocktails that Wilderness has to offer. With four kids under 5, a fabulous drink was a welcome refreshment! The liquor was top shelf, unlike many of the all inclusive resorts we visit. I had a strawberry margarita and my friend had a mojito- we were pleasantly surprised that they were expertly mixed and totally hit the spot!

The Shopping

The moms left the kids during nap time and headed to the outlet mall, which is just a few minutes from the Wilderness Resort. They include some of my favorite stores like Banana Republic, Coach, Gap and J. Crew Outlets. Check out the adorable skirt I purchased from the Banana Outlet, which I plan on pairing with SO many different sweaters, blouses and tanks this spring! Imagine this with a cute black crop top and red heels...or paired with cobalt or emerald tops? Perfection!

Although the resort was packed, we didn't feel claustrophobic or crowded. The lines for the water slides were a tad long and it was tough to snag a table, but our kids had an amazing time nonetheless. We decided to make this an annual trip and will definitely be back to the Wilderness next year! The boys are already asking when we can go again!

Disclosure: I was provided with Wild Fun Passes for our group, but all opinions are honest and my own. This post may contain affiliate links, which doesn't affect the price you pay but I may receive a small commission if you purchase through the link.

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5 Unique Ways to Style a Scarf

I used to never wear scarves- I thought the only way you could wear then was to let the ends dangle messily and hope they didn't fall off or accidentally fall into your entree. My, my was I wrong- scarves can totally tie an outfit together, add a much-needed pop of color, and even cover up some wardrobe malfunctions (I always have one handy in my car for this very reason). Here are my five ways to refresh your scarf stash, or mix it up with a springy new print! Moon Cats, a fashion accessories brand that I recently discovered, is available exclusively online at MoonCats.com. If you know how I shop, I like to get the most for my money, and most of the scarves on Moon Cats are under $40, and shipping to the USA is free for orders over $50. Want an even better deal? Exclusively for our readers, you can use the code STYLEFILE30OFF for 30% off on all of the scarves!

They generously supplied one of their new spring lightweight styles, Cotton Candy, for this post. I love the weight of the scarf, the subtle pretty pastel pink design, and the length- great for styling!

1. Pin It

I learned this style from fellow blogger Economy of Style- I saw how she pinned a scarf with a vintage brooch on her Black Out post, and it was a light bulb moment! (Make sure to check out her blog- she does accessible fashion SO incredibly well).  First, tie your scarf into an "oversize cowboy". Do this by wrapping the scarf once around your neck, leaving one end longer than the other. Take an edge of the longer end and fan it out, tucking it into the other side near your neck.

Next, grab your favorite brooch- I adore the vintage ones my grandma left me. There are also hundreds available on Etsy and eBay.  

Tip- If you use the word "vintage brooch" in the search as opposed to "pin" you will hit the jackpot.

Simply pin it near your shoulder or over your heart! If your scarf is thin and your brooch is heavy, pin it through your shirt as well.

 

Here are some gorgeous vintage brooch options that have recently been on Etsy!

 

2. Bow

One of my favorite types of blouses are the tie neck ones, so why not re-create this look with a scarf? I would pair this scarf with a white silk t-shirt and cute black pixie pants. You simply tie a bow with the scarf, centering the knot around armpit length. You could also tie the bow tight to your neck and twist the bow so it doesn't look like a bow tie. For a tutorial, check out this post.

3. Headband

Ok, ok, so this might not be up your alley, but bear with me here. In the spring, when the rain comes and goes as quickly as fashion trends, this is a great option. Twist the middle of the scarf, wrap it around your head and knot it at the nape. You can also then roll your hair up into a bun and wrap the scarf around it, tucking it in to hide the ends.

4. Shawl

I remember I went to an event once and was wearing a spaghetti strap dress, and EVERYONE else (hundreds of people) were in business casual. Luckily, I had a scarf and I knotted it in the center of my back to automatically create a shawl. Problem solved.

5. Belted

I just bought this adorable silver adjustable belt, and thought it would be perfect to belt over a scarf and t-shirt! Simply fold drape your scarf evenly around your neck, spread out to one layer, and belt at your natural waist. You can also drape it around your shoulders cape-style and belt it for less bulk. This can be such a great look for spring, and a way to introduce your warm-weather dresses to the temperamental temperatures that spring can bring.

How do you style your scarves for the spring? Any favorite prints?

Disclosure: I was provided with a scarf for review purposes by Moon Cats; all opinions are honest and my own.

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Holiday Style with Savers!

My little one just turned a year old (eek!!) and she grows out of her clothes in approximately two weeks at this stage. Since I had a son first, I didn't have the opportunity to buy all the cute dresses I drooled over. Now that I have Charlotte, I have someone to wear them but quickly realized that my budget didn't include purchasing new outfits every two weeks! I started shopping at Savers for her, and it has made a huge difference in the amount of adorable outfits I can afford. Some of the brands I have found there include Gap Kids, Janie & Jack and Crew Cuts, all for a fraction of the price that I would have paid originally. The clothing I found has always been in excellent condition! I also love purchasing winter accessories for the kids- hats and mittens, which my little ones lose on the daily.

Here are some holiday looks that I put together for Charlotte this year. Most pieces were under $5 each- no breaking the bank, but (although I am biased) I think she looks adorable!

Holiday Style for the Little Ones from Savers!

This red wool dress is Janie & Jack that I picked up at Savers- it kept her warm and cozy when we went to the holiday parade!

Red Plaid Dress from Savers

Plaid is on trend right now, and adding a black ruffled cardigan brings it into the winter weather we are having.

White Faux Fur Vest from Savers

How about this ADORABLE faux fur vest? Yep, under $5 at Savers.

Holiday Dress from Savers

This fancy frock is originally from Gap Kids, but I found it at Savers for a lot less!

Now it is my turn!

I need a few new key pieces for the winter. I headed to Savers with a mental list of what I wanted- a new dress coat, warm winter hats, possibly a dress or unique shoes for the holidays.

Fur Coat for the Chilly Winter Months from Savers

Take a look at the coat I found! I recently wore it to the playCHIC Fashion Show and had many of my fellow fashion bloggers admiring (and petting) my new acquisition. My theory is if you life in a cold weather climate, your coat should be your biggest investment. This is a classic piece that I will keep and hand down to my daughter and regale her with tales of my wild nights on the town (that usually end at 10pm at this point in my life).

Hats from Savers- Fabulous Fashion for Less!

A winter hat, in my world, needs to provide both form and function without totally crushing my holiday hair that I worked for way too long on while simultaneously shaking a rattle with my foot to Charlotte and singing Jingle Bells over and over to Bryson. How do you like the three that I found, two of them were a DOLLAR?

DIY Fancy Hat from Savers

Want an easy hat DIY project for under $10? Purchase a felt or wool hat, a coordinating men's tie, and a pair of earrings. Wrap the skinny part of the tie around the band area of the hat and affix with hot glue. Break the back post off the earring and use hot glue to affix it to the hat. Voila! You just gave an old hat a new trick ;)

What pieces are you searching for in your holiday bargain hunt? Make sure to head to Savers this holiday season for all your style needs!

Disclosure: I was provided with gift certificates to Savers for review purposes. All opinions are honest and my own.

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Get Her What She Wants with #RossGifts

"Give her what she wants. Not always what she needs." That is my motto for a successful gift giving season for the lady in your life! Sure, you might need a new washing machine, but please don't pass that off as the gift of her dreams. You can spend a small amount of money to put a big smile on her face- it is all about knowing her style and the element of surprise. Here are some hints on how to shop for your honey:

Check out her Pinterest page.

There is probably a "For Me" section on her page, although it might be hidden. For example, all of the pins I add to my Fashion and Frosting pages (frosting= jewelry in my world...remember the movie How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days? Frost yourself!) are items that I would love to have. You can generally tell if she likes dainty necklaces or statement pieces, gold vs. silver, and the pieces she is lusting after. Here is the necklace I picked out from Ross that was inspired by a pin from my "Frosting" board! Such a bargain I had to keep it for myself:

Statement necklace for less from Ross #RossGifts

Pick up a magazine.

Gift guides in my favorite magazines, such as Redbook or Elle, are awesome. I usually circle, add a sticker, or otherwise mark items that catch my eye, whether for myself or others I am planning to give a gift to. I probably won't buy the item in question because, hey, it is the season for giving, but it caught my eye for a reason! You can get it for less at Ross- jewelry, decor, home goods, you name it. Oversize pearls are big right now, and I spied something very similar to this necklace in my favorite magazine! I picked this up at Ross for a lot less than I would have spent at a department store.

Pearl and gold chain necklace from Ross #RossGifts

What is she buying others?

We usually tend to buy friends and family gifts that we like as well, unless we have been specifically told what to purchase or we see a novelty item that involves a hobby or collection. For example, I adore statement earrings and often buy these for my friends because I think they are the next big thing. Want to wow me? Grab me something that I love to give others; I definitely approve! How about these art deco stunners from Ross?

Statement Art Deco Earrings from Ross #RossGifts

Make her feel special.

When you choose a piece, you can write a little note and include it with the gift, such as: "I chose this for you because I know how much you love the pearls your grandma always wore." It lets her know that you put thought into the present regardless of the price tag. Ross has gorgeous gifts at great prices- many of the necklaces I found were under $20, but look like a million! My grandma loved to wear costume jewelry and the necklace below reminds me of her style. I also adore the jewelry tree that I purchased to display it- I could afford to buy all three pieces because the prices are so amazing at Ross!

Necklace, earrings and jewelry tree from Ross #RossGifts

Create a memory.

I love having something sparkly and new to wear, but I love even more having somewhere to wear it to. Get her a gorgeous necklace, and pair it with tickets to a musical of her choice. How about a stunning pair of earrings with a dinner reservation? This way, she can always remember the amazing evening you had when she looks at the beautiful bauble you bought for her.

Make sure to enter the #RossGifts gift card giveaway! Check out their Facebook page for this week's challenge, or post your favorite holiday deals on your Instagram account and use the hashtag #RossGifts.

Disclosure: I was provided with Ross gift cards in order to shop for this post. All opinions are honest and my own.

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