Trendy, Affordable Back to School Style for Juniors

This post is sponsored by Kohl’s. All opinions are my own.

As a boy mom, it’s not every day I get to go shopping for girl stuff, so when I get the chance to take my niece Elia out for back to school shopping – I grab it by the horns and then we finish with what else, ice cream. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always loved this time of year and there’s something about getting your school shopping done early that always makes it feel like the school year is starting off on the right foot. We headed straight to Kohl’s, where you can get everything for you, your family and your home, all designed to fit your personality and budget – including all your back to school must-haves in one place.

Elia had a blast shopping with her super fun, super cool auntie (me!). We ditched the boys at home and upgraded her school wardrobe for the incoming year. When you’re a growing girl and trends change all the time, Kohl’s makes it super easy to send them back to school in style without breaking the bank. And you know us girls, our tastes change from week to week!

There are always the staple basics every teen girl needs, like denim jeans and hoodies, but I think it’s also important to get some fun, trendy items that give them something to look forward to. We discovered an awesome Juniors’ brand at Kohl’s called SO designed for girls ages 13 to 24. It’s SO fun and youthful – see what I did there? Here are a few cute SO shirts and jeans that we love for back to school!

SO Cropped Hoodie in Sugar Glitter Tie-Dye: Because tie-dye never goes out of style and is forever young. We also love this colorful graphic tie-dye side knot tank guaranteed to “bring on the sunshine” to school days.

SO Off Shoulder Smocked Plaid Midi Dress: Because girls don’t want to live in jeans every day! Try on this adorable smocked midi dress – perfect for study dates or shopping at the mall with your girlfriends.

SO Paperbag Waist Vintage-Style Mom Jeans: Take the mom trend back to school this year. Bonus: these paperbag waist jeans come with a cute bow belt.

SO High Rise Vintage Bermuda Shorts: These vintage Bermuda shorts definitely pass the “fingertip” rule for school-approved dress code.

SO Solid Zip Front Hoodie: Comes in many colors including one with a varsity stripe down the sleeves – great for battling the classroom tundra or for Friday night lights.

Back to school prep with Elia was so fun! I wanted to show her how planning your first day of school outfit (and styling it with fun accessories) can jumpstart the school year. And really, what’s better than a shopping spree followed up with a sweet treat with your cool aunt?

Don’t forget, the Kohl’s Back to School offer runs from 8/2-8/18 and can be used on all SO apparel – receive $10 off $50 BTS purchase! Run, don’t walk!

Love Letter to My DILF + Father’s Day Shopping at Woodfield Mall

Where do I start with this Father’s Day post? For fear of being cliché, I want to write about all the things that The Giant is to us: he’s a loving husband and an amazing dad – basically, all the things that coffee mugs say, Dad of the Year, Best Dad Ever, #1 Dad.

Where do I start with this Father’s Day post? For fear of being cliché, I want to write about all the things that The Giant is to us: he’s a loving husband and an amazing dad – basically, all the things that coffee mugs say, Dad of the Year, Best Dad Ever, #1 Dad. Truly though, I count my blessing every day that we have him in our lives. He’s so hands-on with our kids, which is somewhat rare when I hear some of my girlfriends talk about how their husbands are not. Even though he is a VP at his company, he gets home every day at 5:30 to take over for me. He’s been responsible for bedtime with the kids every single day for the last 8 years. When his boss asks him to travel for work, they know he has to ask his “real boss” (me) for permission and that I’ll say no. I feel so lucky that our kids have such an amazing and present father in this season of their lives — and I know he really loves being able to play such a large role in their daily lives — teaching them, being there for milestones, and building relationships with them that will endure a lifetime.

Because fathers deserve a little something special this Father’s Day, in collaboration with Woodfield Mall, I have pulled together a quick list of my favorite Father’s Day gift ideas to give a little bit of an upgrade to those everyday essentials in their lives. Whether he is the “casual type”, “the fashionista”, or anything in between, I’ve got you (and him) covered.

Father’s Day shopping at Lacoste at Woodfield Mall.

Classy sneaker

Every man should have a classy leather sneaker, one that can be dressed up or down. I love this leather and suede sneaker from Lacoste in a luxury tumbled leather with retro styling.

Father’s Day shopping at Lacoste at Woodfield Mall.

Cool Shades

Get summer ready with a new pair of sleek shades from Sunglass Hut, like these rectangular acetate frames by Persol. Choose from Sunglass Hut’s curated selection of shades to complement his look and lifestyle, from classic to sporty. Free engraving included! (Maybe a naughty DILF?)

Grab the perfect pair of sunnies at Sunglass Hut at Woodfield Mall.

Classic Denim

With denim jeans starting at just $40, you can’t go wrong with a classic pick from The Levi’s Store. My fave for men is the 511 Slim Fit Advanced Stretch Jeans – it looks tailored but feels so comfy and stretchy!

Sophisticated Shaving Kit

In my experience, most men won’t take the time to buy their own grooming stuff, so treat the special guy in your life to an all-in-one bundle from The Art of Shaving, like this Sandalwood 4 Elements Bundle with Badger Brush – it includes all four essential elements of the perfect shave: pre-shave oil, shaving cream, shaving brush, and after-shave balm! It’s a no-brainer!

Sporty Accessories

For the sports enthusiast in your life, head to Champs Sports for his favorite team accessory. You can’t go wrong with a local sports team, like this Chicago Cubs MLB cap. I may have zero interest to watch sports with him, but that doesn’t mean I can’t deck him out in his fave team spirit! #bestwifeever

Of course, there are tons of retailers at Woodfield Mall to find your perfect Father’s Day gift. (I also love picking up quality basics from the new Uniqlo store and classic cheddar and caramel popcorn mix from Garrett Popcorn!) With more than 2 million square feet of retail shops, restaurants, and family-friendly amenities, there’s so much to do, shop, and eat at Woodfield Mall

This post is in collaboration with Woodfield Mall. All opinions are my own.

Back to School Shopping At Woodfield Mall Shopping Center

It’s that time of the year! I remember as a kid, it was one of my favorite time of the year. This year, I will have three kids in school! I’ll have a preschooler, a kindergartner, and a first grader. To be honest, I’m very sad they’re all going back to school. As much as they drive me mental daily, I love having the freedom to take them anywhere to explore.

We were able to take care of all their back to school shopping needs in one trip! So not kidding! From fall clothes (because it’ll be cold in just a few short Midwest weeks!) to shoes, we got it all covered. That’s the best part about Woodfield Mall. There are so many kids friendly stores to choose from. Have you shopped at Woodfield Mall lately? I got to check out their new food court. It’s about time! It’s been long overdue. It’s nice and bright with a nice selections of good eats. Are you planning on going to Woodfield Mall for your back to school shopping? What are your favorite stores?

Check out some of our favorite finds from last week’s shopping trip!

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Just because the kids are shopping for back to school doesn’t mean this momma can’t! I couldn’t help it! After all, I’ll be doing three drops off at two different schools and three different time pick ups!

All these great finds were from H&M, Nordstrom, Zara, and Colombia Sportswear. Will you be doing your back to school shopping at Woodfield Mall this year?



Lady in Red: Desert Fashion Photography

Lauren Ashley Photography arizona

What are you most looking forward to this spring? Me – sunshine, warm weather (or just warmer, because, Chicago) and DRESSES! Like this gorgeous dress that I may have stolen from my glamazon girlfriend’s closet (hi, Tiff!) for a desert shoot at Salt River in Coon Bluff, Arizona. She’s like 4” taller and the dress is way too long for me, but look how it moves! Like a dream. Speaking of dreams, I’m already daydreaming about Spring Break with the kids, and have booked tickets back to Florida to visit the grandparents! After having visited Florida once already in December, my friends are starting to joke that I’m becoming a snow bird! 😉

You know the Instagram vs. reality jokes? I love how this desert shoot turned out. Everything looks so peaceful and idyllic, right? But let me clue you in on a little behind the scenes. There were three of us – me, Lauren A. (my photographer), and Lauren U. (Lauren A’s bestie who I was also going to shoot). Because of the multiple outfits between the three of us, and because we were shooting at sunset and running out of light FAST, I said F*ck it – and ended up shooting both Laurens in my bra and underwear between wardrobe changes. Lauren A. swore someone from all the way on the ground beneath us whistled. Check out Part 1 of my desert shoot here!

Tell me in the comments – what fun travel plans do you have upcoming, and more importantly, do they include warm weather?

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