Simply Black and White

Sometimes simplicity is best. It’s easy for me to overthink an outfit, especially if it’s for a special occasion. Today, I saw all these amazing photos of women in black and white outfits and they reminded me how elegant the combo is.

Black maxi skirt + white t-shirt

Brocade skirt, Black shell, statement necklace

Winter white coat with black ankle boots

Oversized sweater with shorts and flats

Nothing boring here! White blouse with black cropped pant, heels

Chunky white sweater, white coat, black silk pant

Stay well and warm!

x Laura

“When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls!”
― Ted Grant

Stop, Drop, and Chill

List of to-dos,
Parties to cruise.
School plays,
Shopping daze.
Decking the halls,
Parking at the malls.
Guest room a mess,
Whoops, time to get dressed.

Does your to-do list have you fired up?! It’s difficult to maintain balance between work, home and community at this time of year. Your list is probably longer than mine, but every now and then we need to stop and take a moment to chill. There are a few things I try to practice when my body and mind start telling me that I’m out of sync (which is a lot lately).

Yin Yoga

My body gets out of whack pretty quickly if I don’t stretch regularly. It started after being pregnant — one of my hips is tilted now. I regularly do Vinyasa yoga for a workout, but I love my Yin Yoga practice to maintain happy, healthy hips and connective tissue. Yin is a slow, practice that holds positions for long time. It’s kind of like a working meditation, because you’re loading tissue with resistance while zoning out. This loading works to lengthen fascia and keep it supple. I always feel a sense of lightness, calm and yoga euphoria after class.

All it takes: 1 class a week (60-90 minutes)

Foam Roller

Oh, how I love this little piece of foam! People use foam rollers for physical therapy, to iron out too tight muscles and too keep hip and back issues at bay. Recently, Goop featured this awesome foam roller workout and I am hooked. In 10 minutes, I’ve rolled my tight hamstrings, IT bands and calves, while getting in a decent core, butt and upper body workout to boot. Sometimes I’ll do it twice a day. If you roll, you’ve got to check it out.

All it takes: 10 minutes while watching TV.


Get Out

When I’ve got too much in my head, the best thing for me is to get outside. My brain responds to walks with wide open vistas, meadows and parks. Just that feeling of expansiveness allows my mind to wander and empties out the stress, frustration, anxiety or melancholy of the day. When I need to solve a problem or refuel creativity, I gravitate towards trails and the woods.

All it takes: 20 minutes at a nearby park, garden or open space

Take a Dip

For me it’s a shower, but for you it might be a bath, jacuzzi or a a dip in the hot springs. I love taking a shower any time, but there science behind taking a relaxing warm shower (or bath, etc) at night before bed. It helps ready our body for sleep. Add a lavender scented candle or lotion to the routine and get ready for some zzzzzz’s.

All it takes: turn off devices earlier than usual and take a dip instead.


First thing in the morning, while I’m still in that half-slumber state of mind, I make a mental list of what I’m grateful for. My first thoughts are of the blessings in life and my thanks for all that is well. I spend those first moments in gratitude, even if I suspect that day ahead might be difficult.

All it takes: 20 seconds

I know you’ve got your own restorative methods that you use to stay calm during the holiday season. What are they? How do you maintain your balance or at least take the edge off?

x Laura


The Glory: Elizabeth Banks in Elie Saab Couture

Elizabeth Banks at The Mockingjay premiere London in Elie Saab

Elizabeth Banks at The Mockingjay London premiere in Elie Saab

This dress is beyond beautiful and Elizabeth Banks just glows with confidence and glamour on the red carpet. This is the fantasy of fashion. The sheer art and luxury of couture. I can only imagine what she must have felt like, walking with yards of gossamer fabric floating behind her. And it’s not just the dress — it’s her in the dress. That is a moment of magic.

Here is the dress again at the Elie Saab Fall 2014 Couture show, from the front.

Elie Saab Fall 2014 Couture

Elie Saab Fall 2014 Couture

Isn’t it satisfying when a star dresses like a star?!

x Laura

More Like This

My Trusty Six

Fall Snow (Douglas Cushnie via Flickr)

Winter plopped down this week like a sledgehammer. I’ve lived in Colorado for over 40 years and on the one hand, nothing surprises me weather-wise, but on the other hand, this was a buzz kill even for me. Getting dressed today had me diving into the dark corner of my closet to unearth my snow boots, so I could take Jackson for a walk, while the temps were still in the teens. I think it’s sliding into single digits tonight. Good grief.

Living through countless winters of ice, snow and freezing temps, I’m here to share the tried-and-true boots that carry me through an entire winter. I recently added the Moto Boots from the Nordstom Half-Yearly Sale to make up my indispensable six, and I love them.

The Moto Boot / Waterproof / Wear with Jeans, Leggings

Aquatalia by Marvin K ‘Sweetie’ short boot

The Tall Boot / Wear with Skirts, Jeans / Dress-up or Down

Ugg “Darcie’ boot, with adjustable calf buckle

The Active Boot / Waterproof / Sledding, After-Ski, Dog Walking, Kid Toting

Sorel ‘Joan of Arctic’ Knit boot

Rugged & Mountain-y / Weatherproof / Casual, Weekend, Mountain Girl

Bos. & Co ‘Outercity’

Short Boot / Waterproof Suede, Non-Slip bottom / Dressy, Great City Boot

Aquatalia ‘Famous’ bootie

Ankle Boot / Waterproof, Non-Slip bottom/ Dressy, Date-Nights

Aquatalia ‘Ruby’ bootie

As you can tell, I’m a huge fan of waterproof options. I love suede and hate the idea of ruining it in wet weather. Aquatalia makes gorgeous suede in flexible, cushioned, weather-proof options and I always get mine during a Nordstrom Sale, even if it’s the middle of July. These six boots are my BFFs all winter long and what I’ll be reaching for day-in and day-out over the next few months.

How many winter boots do you have? Which ones are your winter BFFs?

x Laura

 “My 30th birthday will be arriving in a few months. It’s not arriving unexpectedly, I just wish it would have given me more of an advance notice, say another 30 years.”   — Jarod Kintz

5 Random Things: Nov. 7

It feels like the calm before the storm of the holiday season. The next two weeks will be a good time to put fall projects to bed, snip the last of withering plants from the garden, and to get my ducks in a row for family visits, end-of-year school programs and holiday parties.

To make sure we’re taking care of ourselves, my husband and I have challenged each other with a sticker chart (exactly like the ones we do for our kiddo) for working out. It’s amazing how much we enjoy getting a sticker for each workout. Just having it visible in the kitchen and being accountable to each other has made for good, friendly competition. Just trying to stay motivated!

In no particular category or order, here are 5 Random Things from this week:

  1. Heading out over the next months? Here are 11 Things You Should Never Delay Before Your Trip.
  2. With friends coming over it’s time to spruce up the place with 8 Ways to Decorate a Center Table, using things we already have, which I love.
  3. Fascinating video on how the wolves in Yellowstone have changed the flow of rivers, in a good way. Why Mother Nature usually knows best.
  4. How one woman became President of this online fashion darling, only 10 years out of university. And she’s killing it.
  5. Not happy with your black leggings? Me neither. Here are the 10 Best Black Leggings that take you from couch to cocktails.

Happy Friday!
x Laura