Dressing Room Reunion

If 2020 has taught me anything it’s enjoy the little things in life. I’m sure you have guessed the “little thing” that I’m referencing. I recently had a day off from work and Ella was in school so instead of returning my online order by mail I decided to go to Old Navy-in person. Who knew that would be a big deal? #2020

I arrived at the store with return in hand and a mask on my face. I returned my items and then decided to look around (obviously). I miss shopping in person. Anyone else? I know that online shopping is safer and easier but it’s not the same. Also, online photos can be misleading. Just saying .

I walked around looking for some black denim jeans for work because what I had ordered online cut off my circulation. Damn high-waist denim. As I made my way around I noticed that the dressing rooms appeared to be open!! I had not been in a dressing room since maybe February or March? The main place I shop is Target and those dressing rooms have been closed since the start of the pandemic and will likely remain that way for many months to come. So I scooped up some items that I wanted to try on and made a beeline for the dressing room. I was actually nervous. It feels weird to say that but I was.

Being in that dressing room was an extremely small and insignificant thing but it gave me this feeling of normalcy that I think we are all craving and searching for in 2020. All the “normal” things that have been taken away this year like handshakes, hugs, birthday parties, school, sports, trying on clothes in dressing rooms, and the list goes on. I just wanted to share this one bright spot and let you know that I am struggling too.

I write this post knowing that things are not getting better in terms of Covid-19. I am prepared to have things shut down again and wear a mask for as long as necessary. It does not change my desire for normalcy for myself and my family.

Here are my outfits from my dressing room reunion. It was good to be back.

It’s the small things.

Commissioned Links Below

Star Jogger Sweatshirt- https://shopstyle.it/l/boyNW

Star Joggers- https://shopstyle.it/l/boyM2

Leopard Mock Neck- https://shopstyle.it/l/boyN0

Black Button Fly- https://shopstyle.it/l/boyM7

Sherpa Jacket- https://shopstyle.it/l/boyOc

Pink Thoughts & Espresso Shots

Disclaimer: This writer created this blog post based on my opinion and my clothing picks. The photos in this post are of this writer taken by this writer. The links in this post are commissioned links with Shopstyle Collective meaning if you click on a link or chose to purchase something this writer will receive a small commission from the advertiser at no additional cost to you.

Fall Capsule Wardrobe

Hello Friends!! It’s officially Fall and I know many of you are anxious for cooler weather. I think people are also anxious to usher out 2020. Sorry not sorry. Getting to Fall puts us one step closer! #2020dumpsterfire

With the season changing it felt like the perfect time to talk about a capsule wardrobe. The thought of a capsule wardrobe has always felt so overwhelming to me. Ironic huh? A capsule is suppose to make things more simple and give you functional basic pieces with multiple style possibilities. And honestly, that feels like me in a style nutshell. So I did my best in putting this together and I really liked how it turned out. Did I forget something ….yea probably….but who cares? It’s a place to start. And if I can do it you can do it!

In starting to put this capsule together I kept 3 major things in mind:

1. What pieces do I feel good in and love to wear.

2. What do I already have in my closet.

3. Are these pieces able to be mixed and matched to create multiple looks.

Keeping the above in mind, I was able to create a capsule from things I love, already own, and some pieces I would like to have in the future.

Here is a graphic of all my capsule picks!

Below are the shopping links if you see something you can’t live without!!

Black Cardigan: https://shopstyle.it/l/bmPJF

Chambray Button Down: https://shopstyle.it/l/bmPOj

Pointelle Sweater: https://shopstyle.it/l/bmPK0

Dress: https://shopstyle.it/l/bmPNw

Rolling Stones: https://shopstyle.it/l/bmPM4

White tee: https://shopstyle.it/l/bmZwM

Striped tee: https://shopstyle.it/l/bmPK3

Lululemon belt bag: https://shopstyle.it/l/bmPN1

Green Utility jacket: https://shopstyle.it/l/bmPNe

Sherpa jacket: https://shopstyle.it/l/bmPK1

Faux leather leggings: https://shopstyle.it/l/bmPOM

Leopard tote: https://shopstyle.it/l/bmPMZ

Scarf: https://shopstyle.it/l/bmPOj

Necklace: https://shopstyle.it/l/bmPLe

Hat: https://shopstyle.it/l/bmPM3

Black Cami: https://shopstyle.it/l/bmPNC

Distressed Denim: https://shopstyle.it/l/bmPLr

Dark Denim: https://shopstyle.it/l/bmPNS

Duck boots: https://shopstyle.it/l/bmPK4

Booties: https://shopstyle.it/l/bmPLA

Sneakers: https://shopstyle.it/l/bmPNV

I also wanted to share some of the outfits that I would create from the capsule. There are so many options so I will just share a few!! I hope you all enjoyed the post and find it helpful. Let me know what you think and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask!

Happy Fall Y’all!!

Pink Thoughts & Espresso Shots💕

Disclaimer: This writer has created this blog post based on my opinion and my clothing picks. The photos in this post were created and taken by this writer. The links in this post are commissioned links with Shopstyle Collective meaning if you click on a link or chose to purchase something this writer will receive a small commission from the advertiser at no additional cost to you.

Sheet Pan Nachos

Hello Friends! I am still around even though I have been absent from this space. It’s been such a hard year with COVID, the loss of my father, and just navigating my own mental health. Anyone else feeling overwhelmed? Know that it is totally normal to feel that way and you should do whatever is best for you and your family. With all the heavy feelings I wanted to share something simple and helpful. I also needed to get back to doing blog posts. I thought what better way to start than an easy and delicious dinner recipe! I am no cooking whiz–but honestly this one would be hard to mess up.

Sheet Pan Chicken Nachos

Ingredients

1 Rotisserie Chicken ( I bought mine at HY-VEE)

1 bag of Tostitos Hint of Lime tortilla chips (any tortilla chips will work- these add some additional flavor)

1 jar of Mrs. Renfro’s Mild Salsa (use your favorite salsa-no right or wrong here)

1 package mild cheddar cheese

Other Optional Ingredients

1 3.8oz can of sliced black olives

1 container of sour cream

1 container of guacamole (or if you’re feelin fancy make your own)

1 can of refried beans

Cooking Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Next, line a sheet pan with tin foil and place the tortilla chips all over the pan. Start shredding the rotisserie chicken either using a fork or your hand (I used my hands-less dishes). Spread the chicken all over the tortilla chips. Sprinkle shredded cheese, salsa, and sliced black olives onto the tortilla chips. Then pop it in the oven for 10 minutes. Once it is out of the oven the rest of the toppings are up to you!! I added sour cream, guacamole, and refried beans. The options are endless!

Nacho’s right out of the oven. Is there anything better than melty cheese? YUM

The great thing about this recipe is that everyone can make their own plate of nachos. So if you have picky eaters in your family, like I do, they can keep things basic and you can add all the things!! So no need to make different meals. I assure you this was a big hit at our house and we will be having it again. I will add a Margarita next time!

My own personal plate of perfection.

Thank you so much for following along! If you decide to make Sheet Pan Nachos take a photo and tag me on Instagram or Facebook!! I would love to see how you Nacho!!

Pink Thoughts & Espresso Shots xoxo

Disclaimer: This recipe was created by this writer. The photos belong to and were taken by this writer. I am not receiving any financial compensation for this post. If you would like to use/share this recipe I would ask that a link be placed directing the reader back to this blog post. Thank you!!

Gone Too Soon

This will be by 40th blog post. Truthfully, I’m at a loss for what to write. I have typed and erased several things at this point.

In October of last year my father was diagnosed with Stage IV Adenocarcinoma of the lung.  I will never forget that discussion around my parents kitchen island. It felt like an out of body experience. I was just hovering above everyone watching and listening to the conversation that consisted of chemotherapy, radiation, and six or less months to live. I am no stranger to these types of diagnoses. I spent close to 10 years as a Hospice social worker and spearheaded these conversations regularly. So to be on the other side felt out of place.

Dad decided no chemotherapy. I fully supported that. He had seen his closest friends endure the side effects of chemo and did not what that type of ending. He agreed to radiation and we did the daily appointments at the John Stoddard Cancer Center. My brother and I took turns transporting our father while also being there for our mother. During radiation, we learned that Dad had all the markers to be a candidate for  immunotherapy. When Dad’s oncologist told us this I cried in the appointment. He told me “Don’t cry this is good news.” I said ” I know- I’m crying because I’m happy.” For those who don’t know immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that helps your immune system fight cancer. There are several forms of immunotherapy and ways that it can be given to patients. My father ended up taking an oral option in pill form. Like any other family, we researched the success that other patients had with these drugs.  We felt hopeful.

After Thanksgiving Dad completed the radiation treatments.

Looking back, I’m not sure that he really ever recovered from those treatments. Ironically. However, he never complained.. not once. I remember one time bringing him home from one of those treatments and holding his hand the whole way.. knowing in my heart that our time together was fleeting. We had multiple conversations in those days about life. During once such discussion he said to me “There are worse things in this life than dying.” So true Daddy. What a brave statement for someone in that position.

We focused the next several months on gaining weight, strength, and seeing what the immunotherapy drug could do to decrease the size and spread of the cancer. My Mother took care of my Father at home during this time. She had retired her professional career as a nurse 2 years prior and picked it back up like no time had passed. He wanted to stay home and it was because of her that he was able to do so. Her care and love for him was unprecedented. I could never fully express the love I have for my Mother or the gratitude I felt watching her care for my Father. I believe because of her care we were given more time with him on this earth. And no one could tell me otherwise.

In early March my Father made the call to stop the immunotherapy drug. He made the statement to me that he felt like he was just “running up a wall.”  My interpretation of that was that he felt he was not making progress. And that was not a lie. I wish I could have told him that he was making progress but the facts were right there in front of us. He wasn’t gaining weight or strength. He didn’t really want to eat. And his quality of life was lacking.  So we followed his wishes. Was it painful? Yes of course. No one wants to “give up” on someone they love. But what else did he get to control at that point? It was only right that he should be able to make that call.

Fast forward to March 14th (my birthday). My father sat at the dining room table and ate homemade chicken & dumplings with my Mother, myself, and my husband and daughter. It was a special moment. He gave me all he had that day. He fed Ella peas (which she normally will not eat) but she happily ate them from him. I can’t imagine how exhausted he felt after that. My mother and I had several discussions that once he had stopped the immunotherapy drug he seemed more like himself.  Was that something we made up in our minds? Maybe. But it did come up several times.

And then it happened. COVID-19 came in full force after my birthday. I had been seeing things on the news and of course at work but nothing had really gained momentum.  And then the marathon turned into a full on sprint. People were starting to (over) stock on supplies, businesses were closing, and the world just seemed to stop. I work at the VA Hospital in Des Moines on the homeless team, my husband and brother are police officers, and my sister in law is a nurse practitioner. So we all had been deemed “essential  workers.” We made the decision to try to cut down our contact with my parents to try to protect them, especially my Mother who was caring for our Father. To be blunt-it sucked. It could not have come at a worse time. So we went less and wore masks when we did. It was hard but we made it work. Sometimes we went over and stood on the deck and talked through the window and other times I just stood at the front door and talked to my Mom thru the glass door. My heart broke for her. I mean could you imagine feeling isolated and then literally having to isolate yourself during probably the most difficult time in your life? Ugh. It was hard on us too but she had it the worst. My mother was a rock. She never complained and just continued to care for our Father.

As the days stretched on and the talk of COVID was the only thing on everyone’s mind we were talking about Hospice and how that was the next logical step. My Mother needed the piece of mind to have someone to call and we as her children felt like the extra support couldn’t hurt. I was at peace with it and I think that my Father was as well.

Everyday Dad slipped away a little more and rarely talked. I saw him a couple days before he passed and I took off my mask and said “Hi Daddy” and he said “Hello”. Later on he told me that he loved me. Before I left the room he didn’t say goodbye and I just said “That’s ok you told me you loved me earlier. So I’ll take that.”

And then he was gone.

I missed my mother’s phone call at 5 AM that following Friday morning. I shouldn’t have had my phone on silent but I did. She left me a voice message and my Iphone types out the voicemail so I actually read it before I listened to it. It felt like someone had punched me right in the gut. The pain of loss is not just a mental one it’s a physical one too. I got dressed and my husband came home early from work to stay with Ella so I could go see my Father before the funeral home came.  It’s hard to describe those hours we spent with him. It was the deepest sadness I had ever felt in my adult life.  I am thankful my mother, brother, and myself had that time. I think our soul’s needed it and I am certain Daddy appreciated it.

The next few days were a blur. The nagging feelings of grief and loss were ever present. To live a day without my father being alive on this earth didn’t feel right . Thoughts that our Father would no longer be there for birthdays, holidays, vacations, family dinners, graduations, and any other family milestone made us all feel physically ill. But we had to focus on funeral arrangements and in the “time of Covid” that was no small undertaking. But we made it happen. Was it the way that we would have liked it to be-No. But was it the best it could be-Yes. We had the funeral in Fort Dodge where my parents had called home for a better majority of their lives. Gunderson’s Funeral Home and the entire community stepped up to help us honor our Father. The funeral procession from the church to the graveside was open to the public. Our father would have cried. I am certain of it. All the law enforcement, first responders, and citizens that were there to honor him was something that I will never forget. Such a testament to him and the impact he made on people and the community. 

I am not sure where to go from here. I admit that writing this all down was in it’s own way therapeutic. I think about my father daily. I find that my drive to work is the time where I break down the most. I don’t know if it’s because I listen to music and it reminds me of him or if it’s just a “safe space.” No one else in the car and I can just feel how I want to feel. When asked by my boss at work how I was feeling I said ” I think I will grieve the loss of my father for the rest of my life.” I also said that I keep telling myself that I feel all this pain because he was such a wonderful Father.

If you have lost a parent or anyone that is close to you my heart goes out to you. It’s an experience that brings so many emotions. Some day’s it hard to know how to move forward. I think the most important thing is giving yourself the grace to feel how you feel. If you are angry then be angry. If you are sad be sad. If you are stuck and can’t move forward then just stay in that space till you feel strong enough to move forward.  But always aim to move forward. I believe it’s important to respect and honor these emotions. Is it easy? No. Do I believe that it will make you stronger? Yes. I look back at some of my biggest heartbreaks, losses, disappointments, and I know they made me stronger and brought me where I am today. And this loss will be no exception.

A few days after the funeral, I received a letter in the mail from my Father. It was typed out and I read it so many times with tears in my eyes. I felt like I could hear his voice, soft and loving. It was a beautiful letter. In closing, he told me his wished he could have stayed longer with us but that was not God’s plan. Cue all the feelings.

I love you Daddy. I wish you could have stayed longer too.

 

 

Office: Before & After

Hello Friends!!

I’m excited to bring you this post today as it’s something a little different. To give you a small backstory I started my blogging journey in April of 2017. I decided that I needed to do something that I enjoyed, a hobby of sorts. So, I created Pink Thoughts and Espresso Shots and started to talk about affordable fashion, my Midwest lifestyle, and the local businesses in the area that I admire and wanted to support. During that time, I created the blog website on my phone and it was a challenge. My husband saw my frustration so for my birthday the following year he bought my a laptop.

Fast forward to late 2018. I continued to work on the blog and along the way added a Facebook and Instagram page. I kept my laptop in our bedroom as I didn’t have any other place to really store it. My husband and I finally decided that it was time to bite the bullet and hire someone to finish our basement (best decision ever). Our basement has a bump out area at the bottom of the steps right before you walk into the main room. I realized while talking about our design plan that this could be the office space I never knew I could have!! My husband supported the idea and I was thrilled!! The basement was completely finished in August of 2019. I reached out to Hilary Prall and enlisted her design services. She came and walked through the space with me and gave me style tips, options, and helped my envision the space in a way that would fit me. She also helped me find décor items that I was struggling to find on my own. She was wonderful to work with and I would recommend her over and over if you need help pulling a space together. You can check her out at https://hprallandco.com/ .

I will admit that it has been a slow process, I’m indecisive, but I feel like I have a space that I can work, enjoy, and be proud of. There are a few things I might add along the way but for the most part I am finished with my “office”.  Now I need to work on the rest of the basement but that is another blog post all together.

Check out my Office Before & After down below!

 

Here are some commissioned links to items in the photo. If you see something you like you can check it out through the links below.

Desk- https://shopstyle.it/l/bdKMV

Chair- https://shopstyle.it/l/bdKMX

Rug- https://shopstyle.it/l/bdKI4

Floral throw blanket- https://shopstyle.it/l/bdKLP

Floating shelves- https://shopstyle.it/l/bdKLT

Floral wall art- https://shopstyle.it/l/bdKMs

Lamp- https://shopstyle.it/l/bdKMv

wooden beads on lamp-Department R -Local Ankeny Shop

Circle XO wood sign- https://www.etsy.com/shop/RosellaMargaret?section_id=23182112

Prettiest Girls/Des Moines print- https://www.thepermanentcollection.net/

Picture Frames- https://shopstyle.it/l/bdKGr     https://shopstyle.it/l/bdKCK

I hope you all enjoyed my Before & After fun! Home décor is not really in my wheelhouse but with the help of others and taking time to find the perfect pieces for the space it really came together. If you have any questions let me know!

Pink Thoughts & Espresso Shots xoxo

Disclaimer: This writer has created this blog post based on my opinion and ideas. The photos in the post belong to this author and may not be used without this author’s permission. The links in this post are Shopstyle Collective commissioned links, meaning if you click on a link or chose to purchase something this writer will receive a small commission from the advertiser at no additional cost to you.

 

15 Gifts Under $50

Hello Everyone!! I can’t believe we are already in December. My family and I did some shopping today and the stores were crazy! Everyone is out and about finishing up (or starting) their holiday shopping. I kind of love the rush and excitement of it all. Is it just me? So in the spirit of gift giving I wanted to share my picks here on the blog. It also just so happens that everything I’m loving this year is under $50!! (some prices are subject to change). I mean if that doesn’t make you want to do a holiday jig nothing will. So let’s get to it- shall we?

1. So first up are these personalized jewelry trays from Pottery Barn. I personally have something similar and I love it. I keep all my everyday jewelry in it and leave it on my dresser in my bedroom. It’s a practical and thoughtful gift and rings up at $11.50!! Shopping Link: https://shopstyle.it/l/bbxgw

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2. If you follow my Instagram or Facebook page you know I can’t say enough good things about Aerie Sherpa. It’s cozy, stylish, and the perfect gift for anyone!! These particular sherpas run big so I would recommend sizing down one size. Both of these are currently on sale between $35-38 (which will likely change soon). Shopping Links: https://shopstyle.it/l/bbxhM or https://shopstyle.it/l/bbxiE


3. Who would I be if there was nothing coffee related on this list? I have this Zak camp mug and I love it. It keeps my coffee warm and is the perfect size at 13oz. It would make a great gift and at $9.99 it’s a steal. Shopping Link: https://shopstyle.it/l/bbxia

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4. Sugarfix by Baublebar has these cute earring sets out at Target right now. It’s the perfect balance of an everyday earring and a fancy earring. Which is which?? You decide. The price is perfect at $20.  Shopping Link: https://shopstyle.it/l/bbxki

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5. This vegan leather weekender already gives me all the heart eyes but at $44 it also makes my heart skip a beat. A perfect gift for someone that travels or maybe someone who you don’t know what to buy? Anyone would be happy to open this gift!! Shopping Link: https://shopstyle.it/l/bbxjB

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6. What Does Mama Need? Coffee or Wine? Maybe both? Either way we have you covered. Priced between $14-$19 you could afford to get a coffee or wine to go with!! Shopping Links: https://shopstyle.it/l/bbxkK or https://shopstyle.it/l/bbxjP


7. I recently finished my basement and am still trying to get some décor going down there. I saw these galvanized house picture frames and thought they would be perfect for the holidays and beyond! I love the look and the versatility!! Priced between $24.50-$39.50. Shopping Link: https://shopstyle.it/l/bbxk0

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8. Belt Bag’s are still going strong in the world of fashion and I think this classic black Vince Camuto bag is the way to go. It’s the perfect size and that tassel detail takes it up a notch. Coming in at $29.97 also doesn’t hurt. Shopping Link: https://shopstyle.it/l/bbxlh

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9. One of my best friend’s gave me a similar necklace last year and I have worn it almost everyday. It’s the perfect everyday necklace and it adds just the right amount of charm. This one is pricey but I love the style and think it’s worth the price at $38. Shopping Link: https://shopstyle.it/l/bbxny

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10. I own these slippers and they are so darn cute and warm! Perfect for those of us who are always cold!! Also, they will not break the bank at $20! Shopping Link: https://shopstyle.it/l/bbxmG

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11. This desk calendar is so sweet and perfect for your officemate or someone who just dreams about traveling to far off places!! It’s worth every penny at $18. Shopping Link: https://shopstyle.it/l/bbxmU

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12. I have a Popsocket on my phone and I really love it. It helps me hold my phone more securely and I can also use it as a stand if I need to. Game Changer!! This one is priced at $15. Shopping Link: https://shopstyle.it/l/bbxm4

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13. Last, but not least, is this very cute hoop earring 2-pack. I love that one is basic and the other is perfect for the holiday or when you are feeling extra. Ya know? The best part of this pack is the $7 price tag (currently on sale so may go up to $12). Shopping Link: https://shopstyle.it/l/bbxor

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Well that is a wrap-no pun intended:) I hope this gift guide helped you check some gift’s off your list or at the very least gave you a bit of inspiration for your upcoming gift buying! A quick thank you to everyone who supports this blog and uses the links to purchase items! It may seem like a small thing but to this dreamer it means the world.

Happy Holidays
Pink Thoughts & Espresso Shots xoxo

 

Disclaimer: This writer has created this blog post based on my opinion and ideas. The photos in this post are from Shopstyle Collective. The links in this post are commissioned links, meaning if you click on a link or chose to purchase something this writer will receive a small commission from the advertiser at no additional cost to you.

Wedding Guest Outfits for Fall & Winter

How is it possible we are almost at the end of October? It’s all about pumpkin spice and Halloween costumes. That will quickly change come November and then everything will naturally shift to Thanksgiving and Christmas plans.

I recently had a sweet follower ask me about wedding guest outfits (that were not a sweater dress) for Fall or Winter. I am so glad she asked me about this as it gets much more challenging in the colder months to figure out what to wear to a wedding. And honestly, sweater dresses saturate the market these days. The bottom line is that sweater dresses are great but there are other options out there!

I thought about doing this post with clothes from my closet but then changed my mind. I wanted you all to be able to have access to the pieces that I picked. I think anyone that has followed me for any amount of time will not find it shocking that I chose Target clothing to create these looks. They have so many great options for wedding guest outfits!!

 

Look: NUMBER ONE

Ok- Yes, I do have on open toed heels and you might be able to get away with these in the Fall but if you live in the Midwest probably not the Winter. I wore tennis shoes on this particular day and I wanted to have some type of versatile heel to try on with all the outfits.

This sweater is the gray version of the one I wore for our family pictures this year. I sized down one size. It can be front tucked or untucked and looks great either way. I think these burnt orange cropped pants are perfect for Fall. They are actually listed as a red color online but I think in person they look more orange. A great outfit that can be dressed up with heels and jewelry and your out the door for a wedding.

Commissioned Links:

Sweater-https://shopstyle.it/l/9lNX

Pants-https://shopstyle.it/l/9lQk

Heels- https://shopstyle.it/l/9lN3

 

Look: NUMBER TWO

I could not pass up pairing this sweater with a pencil skirt!! It’s so GOOD!! Also, can we talk about the pockets on this pencil skirt? Sometimes I don’t know what to do with my hands so pockets are comforting to me. LOL  I love adding the leopard print heels to this and making the outfit stand out. This combo is perfect for a wedding but these pieces could be worn separately long after the wedding.

Commissioned Links:

Sweater-https://shopstyle.it/l/9lN6

Skirt-https://shopstyle.it/l/9lQw

Heels-https://shopstyle.it/l/9lN8

 

Look: NUMBER THREE

This was totally out of my fashion comfort zone. I don’t own or wear a lot of red. Unless it’s used as a pop of color.. like a red heel. However, I wanted to give you guys a wide range of ideas. I loved the style of this dress but I would recommend sizing down one if not two sizes. It was huge! I am wearing a medium and I felt like I was swimming in it. You could try a belt if you wanted to have some more shape. I wanted to try a more winter friendly idea with this dress and I think wearing it with the knee high dark boots really fits the season. This would look great with a crystal necklace. Could possibly be a Holiday outfit??

Commissioned Links:

Dress- Not available online yet. When it goes online I will let you guys know!!

Boots-https://shopstyle.it/l/9lRh

 

Look: NUMBER FOUR

I went back to the pencil skirt and put on a fine knit sweater and kept the leopard heels. I wanted to share another option besides the chunky sweater as I know not everyone it into that look. This skirt/sweater combination looks so classic and can be wore to multiple events not just a wedding. I keep talking about the versatility of outfit pieces because I think it’s  important to get the most out of something we spend our hard earned money on!!  Also, black and tan is such a popular combo this season so this look is right on trend.

Commissioned Links:

Sweater- https://shopstyle.it/l/9lOc

Skirt-https://shopstyle.it/l/9lQI

Heels-https://shopstyle.it/l/9lOh

 

Look: NUMBER FIVE

This pic does not do this outfit justice. I should have taken a few more but I was in a bit of a time crunch. This sweater was so soft it felt amazing! It has the best texture to it and comes in several colors. I am wearing it in a x-small here only because I did not see a small when I was picking outfits. If I did buy this I would want a small. I would encourage you to possibly size down unless you wanted a looser fit then order your normal size. These accordion style skirts are so chic and could be wore year round! I do have open-toed heels on with this outfit but dependent on the weather you could wear closed toed heels or even heeled booties with this look.

Commissioned Links:

Sweater- https://shopstyle.it/l/9lOp

Skirt- Not available online yet. When it goes online I will let you guys know!

Heels- https://shopstyle.it/l/9lOz

 

I hope this was helpful to everyone!! Let me know if you have any questions or have any other requests!!

Pink Thoughts & Espresso Shots💕

Disclaimer: This writer has created this blog post based on my opinion and my clothing picks. The photos in this post are of this writer and taken by this writer. The links in this post are commissioned links with Shopstyle Collective meaning if you click on a link or chose to purchase something this writer will receive a small commission from the advertiser at no additional cost to you.

Fall Outfit Ideas

I looked through my blog posts over the last couple years and I’ve done Fall fashion pretty consistently. There is just something about switching from tanks & shorts to jeans & sweatshirts that gets people excited! Me included. This year I wanted to switch it up and bring some different outfit ideas. I hope you all enjoy them!

Look One

I’ve talked about faux leather skirts in some recent posts. They are trending this season and I’m all IN. I know it’s not the most practical and I also understand it’s not for everyone. But like I said I’m bringing some different style ideas. I couldn’t pass up this camel colored, flap pocket, button down faux leather skirt from H&M. This outfit would be great for date night, church, work, you see where I’m going. Throw on a jean jacket and some flats to make this a more casual look.

Skirt-https://shopstyle.it/l/71kE

Sweater- https://shopstyle.it/l/71kN

Bootie (similar) –https://shopstyle.it/l/71kY

Look Two

Blazers are a huge hit this season. No longer is a blazer just worn at the office. I paired this blazer with a fine knit sweater and distressed jeans. I picked this lighter colored blazer to maximize my options for wear. A blazer is like a denim jacket – everyone should have at least one in their closet.

Blazer- https://shopstyle.it/l/71l4

Sweater-https://shopstyle.it/l/71l7

Jeans (limited sizes) – https://shopstyle.it/l/71lH

Look Three

Y’all didn’t think I would do Fall fashion and not include overalls did you? Haha!! I leveled up these overalls with a leopard print puff sleeve shirt. This outfit could be easily created with any animal print shirt. Did I mention animal print is also a big hit this year.

Look Four

If you caught my Insta-Stories recently you saw I did a Target try on session. I wasn’t in love with anything I tried on that day. However, everyone had an overwhelming positive response to this sweater dress. So I wanted to add it into the mix. You could definitely wear leggings or tights underneath in the Winter. Also, if heels aren’t for you think about swapping them out for flats.

Dress-https://shopstyle.it/l/72BJ

Booties-https://shopstyle.it/l/72BT

Look Five

I’m still in love with this look from a Target try on session a couple weeks ago. This ribbed skirt is so comfy and chic!! It would look great with a chambray button down and booties. It’s good to have some other options in the colder seasons besides jeans.

Skirt-https://shopstyle.it/l/72If

Pullover-https://shopstyle.it/l/72Io

I hope this post has given you some outfit inspiration!! All of the pieces featured are affordable, versatile, and stylish. As always I appreciate you stopping by the blog and supporting this dream of mine.

Have a great Fall Y’all! 🍁

Pink Thoughts & Espresso Shots xoxo

Disclaimer: This writer has created this blog post based on my opinion and my clothing picks. The photos in this post are of this writer and taken by this writer. The links in this post are commissioned links with Shopstyle Collective meaning if you click on a link or chose to purchase something this writer will receive a small commission from the advertiser at no additional cost to you.

That Time We Went to New York

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I’m going to be honest and tell you that if it were not for my husband I wouldn’t have gone to New York. This trip was on his “bucket list.” Most of the trips we have taken in our 9 year relationship have been places I wanted to go. And by “places” I mean beaches. My love language is beach vacations. Beach(or pool), sunshine, and a Pina colada in hand. So it was clearly his turn to pick a destination.

We stayed at the Moxy in Manhattan and it was an excellent hotel. Our room was cute and very small but I hear that’s common in the city. I will share some pictures of our room in the post so you can get an idea of the size. The location was great and within walking distant of several shops, restaurants, and landmarks. I would highly recommended it if you are planning a trip to NYC.

Day 1:

Soo.. our flight was suppose to be a direct flight early on Thursday morning. Things did not go as planned. We got bumped back in time and we had to fly to Detroit then on to New York. This always seems to happen to us. Anyone else? In addition, on the flight from Detroit to New York we ran into some turbulence. My husband and I were so happy to get off that plane. Needless to say we basically lost a day of vacation with the flight changes.

When we finally made it in to New York and to our hotel we did some exploring of the area and grabbed a bite to eat. We tired some pizza that was near our hotel and it was alright but nothing that I thought was outstanding.

Day 2:

We headed out and grabbed coffee at Gregory’s and then on to Dough Doughnuts in City Kitchen. City Kitchen is on the second floor and there are several eateries within the space. There are floor to ceiling windows and you can grab a bar stool and eat at a bar by the windows. It was lovely. Coffee, donuts, my husband, and people watching.

After  breakfast, we headed out to get on a bus tour that goes around the city. We used the bus company Topview and had a good experience. We were always able to get a seat on the top and never waited long for a bus at any of the stops. We chose this one because you can hop on and off at any of the routine stops. I think most bus tours allow for the getting on and off and it’s a nice way to see and travel the city.

We hopped of the bus mid-way through to get on a the Liberty Cruise that takes you around New York harbor. During this we were able to see the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, a beautiful Manhattan skyline, and views of the Brooklyn Bridge. The cruise was longer than we expected but we enjoyed it.

After our boat cruise we ate nearby at P.J Clarke’s. We were able to sit outside under some patio lights and it was such a lovely outdoor dining experience. We ordered the fish & chips and a cheeseburger and split them between the two of us. The food and drinks were delicious and I would highly recommend going there if you are in that area.

Day 3:

We took advantage of our hotel’s roof top brunch at the “Magic Hour.” It was a beautiful day and the rooftop had such a cool vibe. The menu had both unique and traditional breakfast options. I could have definitely ate here every morning but you had to have reservations so no such luck on that. I tried to be very casual in my picture taking… lol

Once we finished our brunch we decided to go to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.  It’s such a beautiful and moving tribute to all that lost their lives that day. We decided to do the self guided audio tour and it was nice to have some more insight into the memorial and the events of that day. I’m sure most of you recall what you were doing that day. I was in high school at the time and we were able to watch the events happen on TV’s that were in our classrooms. I remember going home from school and there was a line about a mile long at the gas station near my house. I think everyone felt shaken and unsure what would happen in the days to come. I didn’t take any pictures at the memorial as I truly just wanted to be in the space and pay my respects. We spent about 5 hours at the memorial so I would recommend carving out some time if you are planning to visit.

Afterwards, we found a sushi restaurant called Haru. I’ll be honest and say that it was decent but I think the sushi restaurants we have in Des Moines are better. We walked to the Brooklyn Bridge after dinner and then went and got frozen yogurt at a place called Taiyaki NYC. It was sooo small inside and smelled wonderful. They are known for their fish cones and they have lots of different options or you can make your own. They have a few locations in the United States and if you are ever near one you should go.

Day 4:

We ate breakfast at Scotty’s Diner on Lexington Ave and it was good but nothing to write home about. The service was fast and friendly and the price was very reasonable for New York. After eating breakfast we realized how close we were to Grand Central Station so we walked through the grand terminal and looked at some of the shops/market inside.

We journeyed on to rent some bikes to ride around Central Park. It took us a minute to figure out where the bike lane started and what side of the lane we should be on. You can’t ride a bike in the park but they have a bike trail right around the park. You can get off it and walk your bike into the park. Riding the bike was a good workout and a great way to see the entire park. It’s truly magnificent. We went into the park when we were done with our ride. It’s such a busy place but not crowded and I believe you could always find a quiet spot if that’s what you wanted. It was Ryan’s favorite part of the trip and I think it might have been mine as well.

That night we went to Little Italy for dinner and it was fantastic. The city blocks off Mulberry street so there is no traffic and all the restaurants and shops are open and people are eating outside and going from shop to shop. I’m not sure if that is just a weekend thing or if that is even on weekdays? We ate at Buona Notte and it was excellent. It’s so hard to choose as there is so many options but I don’t think you can go wrong with anything. After dinner, we did a night time bus tour which was fun but a little chilly. To see New York at night is something in and of itself.  Also, you can cover a lot of territory this way.

Day 5:

We booked a late flight out of New York on our last day. Check out time at our hotel was 11AM so we were able to check our luggage at the hotel, free of charge, until we were ready to leave for the airport. It made it really nice to not have to carry luggage around the city.

We grabbed some coffee and then did some walking around. We really didn’t have a plan so we just did some exploring. We walked in Bryant Park, looked around Rockefeller Center, and went into Saks Fifth Ave (just to dream a little). We saw a movie being filmed outside of Saks and we watched that for a little while. Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory was there so we had our first and last celebrity sighting. We stopped by Magnolia bakery and I picked up a banana bread pudding. They are famous for it and I now know why, it was one of the best things I ate on this trip. Then onto pizza at John’s near Time’s Square.

We had an excellent time together and the city treated us well. I am so happy that we were able to go and check this off the bucket list. We were happy to head home to the Midwest.

 

Pink Thoughts & Espresso Shots xoxo

Disclaimer: All photos in this post belong to this author and were taken by this author. I am sharing my opinions within this post. This is a personal account of my trip to NYC and I am in no way receiving any financial compensation for this post.

One Shirt-Five Looks

Hey Friends! I hope everyone is having a wonderful start to Summer. ☀️It has been so hot in Iowa these last few days….. I love it. We are just getting back from our family vacation to Okoboji, IA and we had a wonderful time. I totally understand why people want to live the “lake life.” Are you headed out on a vacation this year or maybe a staycation?

I am so excited to share this blog post with you all! I recently purchased a ruffled trimmed blouse at Old Navy and FELL IN LOVE. I have been wanting to do a blog post showcasing a basic piece of clothing that can be worn multiple ways and this blouse was the perfect piece. It’s so important to have versatile basic’s in your wardrobe because so many looks can come from that basic piece. In addition, you are getting more mileage out of what you purchase.

Look One

In Look One I paired the ruffle blouse with white denim jeans and a wedge sandal. The white denim really makes the color of the blouse POP.  I think this outfit would look great with turquoise earrings or a necklace. Even adding a leopard clutch would really elevate this outfit. Sometimes it’s ALL about accessories. #illbeinacessories

 

Look Two

For Look Two I paired the ruffle blouse with black linen shorts and t-strap black sandals. This might be one of my favorite looks of the five. I love that it looks so sophisticated but at the same time is so comfortable. I mean who doesn’t want that? The small front tuck of the shirt gives shape to the waist so it doesn’t get lost with the ruffle top and loose knit style shorts.

 

Look Three 

In Look Three I decided to mix it up with some blue striped wide leg pants and a brown t-strap sandal. Wide leg pants are back in the fashion rotation this year and I am not upset about it. I love the look of the coral against the blue stripe pant. Also, the front tuck is good for this outfit so you have some waist definition. I may be pushing the line of looking like a sailor but I’m ok with it.

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Look Four

For Look Four I paired the blouse with a pair of distressed denim jean shorts and t-strap black sandals. This is a much more casual look with the distressed denim and the untucked blouse. This is another favorite look of mine. This blouse truly looks great tucked or untucked and that can’t be said for all shirts.  I think it’s a huge advantage when trying to create different looks.

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Look Five 

For Look Five I paired the blouse with my favorite pair of tomgirl jean shorts that are longer in length. If you are wanting shorts but don’t feel comfortable wearing a traditional short these are a great option. These shorts are snug fitting so if you are wanting a looser fit you may need to go up one size. I kept with the more casual look by keeping the blouse untucked and wearing sandals.

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So there you have it: One Shirt-Five Looks!

I hope you guys enjoyed the post and got some fashion inspiration out of it! I am going to post the shopping links below for the pieces I used to create these looks. I appreciate you using the links as that supports my blog and enables me to create more looks for all of you!

If you have any questions always feel free to send me a message anytime!!💕

Pink Thoughts & Espresso Shots xoxo

 

Commissioned Shopping Links:

Blouse – https://shopstyle.it/l/5f9I

White Denim Jeans- https://shopstyle.it/l/5f9K

Wedges- https://shopstyle.it/l/5f9N

Black Linen Shorts- https://shopstyle.it/l/5f75

Plus Size Black Line Short- https://shopstyle.it/l/5f76

T-Strap Black Sandal- https://shopstyle.it/l/5f90

T-Strap Brown Sandal (similar) – https://shopstyle.it/l/5f90

Tomgirl Bermuda shorts- https://shopstyle.it/l/5gaH

 

Disclaimer: This writer has created this blog post based on my opinion and my clothing picks. The photos in this post are of this writer and taken by this writer. The links in this post are commissioned links with Shopstyle Collective meaning if you click on a link or chose to purchase something this writer will receive a small commission from the advertiser at no additional cost to you.