How To Look J. Crew-y

I heard this ages ago and have had a hard time verifying it, but rumor has it that J. Crew employees are always encouraged to wear five pieces, which is apparently a magic layering formula to look put-together and J. Crew-y. 


My Style Icon, Jenna Lyons

Look at Jenna Lyons on the left: tee + cardigan + blazer + belt + skirt = five pieces.

(I think this formula describes what you wear on the main part of the body and doesn’t include shoes).

While not quite hitting the five mark, I also liked this sleeveless sweater over long-sleeved shirt with jacket look from In Style:



And finally, a few tips on How to Look J. Crew: 

  • Wear just one piece of bright clothing (or an accessory) against a backdrop of neutrals. J. Crew often showcases neon pieces this way. I particularly like light gray as a canvas.
  • Consider these building blocks as your J. Crew wardrobe staples: 
    • Light sweaters or cardigans, button-down shirts, V-neck tees, simple leather flip-flops, bright ballet flats, printed heels, a schoolboy blazer and a classic wool winter coat in a bright color.
  • Mix smart pieces with casual items. 
  • Cuff your sleeves the J. Crew way.
  • Don’t be afraid to combine prints, especially stripes + anything else.




Rhinestone Necklace

Two weekends ago, I was shopping at J. Crew and saw one of the employees wearing this rhinestone necklace:



A closer look:


It looked really cool and was honestly not too overdone for work or daytime wear.

This Swarovski beauty is currently full retail at $165 (and backordered until April).


Here are a couple of alternatives:

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Both of these are Kate Spade, but obviously two different colors. I’m thinking I like the silver better, which is great because it’s on sale right now at Nordstrom for $66, versus $98 for the gold version.

Another from J. Crew:


Less sparkly, but I still like these two clear stone necklaces (Bauble Bar and Kate Spade – currently 1/3 off, respectively):

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What would you choose? I think it may be possible to layer one of the clear stone necklaces with one of the rhinestone ones, too.



Nighttime Checklist

Trixie (5) definitely appears to have inherited the List Making gene from me.

I find her attempts at writing completely adorable, even if it sometimes takes a while to figure out what she’s trying to say.

Last weekend she made a checklist for when each of her (creepy) dolls was tucked in for the night:


Their names:

  • Sunset Shimmer (seen above, wrapped in a bandana from Pirate Night when we went on a Disney cruise)
  • Rarity (a.k.a. “Rarade”)
  • Pinkie Pie

Big check for Pinkie Pie!

I also love how she fancied up her ponies for a party:


That rainbow ‘do is spectacular.



Friday Night Long Run

About two years ago, I went through a running slump.

I was signed up for an October marathon and by August, I was up to running about  15 miles.

And I dreaded every minute of it.


Now, this is really unlike me.

I love to run and while I’ve worked through injuries before, this loss of mojo was something new.

I eventually backed off and gave up on that particular marathon, but before I made that decision I was dreading the long weekend runs so much that I started doing them on Friday nights, just to get them out of the way.

Through that experience I found out that I *could* cover up to about 15 miles after work, but it usually wasn’t a fun thing to do at the end of a long week.

Fast forward to now: I have a few races coming up next month, and I needed to get a ten miler done this weekend.

Except Spouse had to leave early Saturday A.M. for a work trip, so I wanted to be proactive.

Enter the Friday night ten miler.

My initial plan (dream?) was to leave work early and be done with running by 6:30 P.M.

That plan was quickly foiled by the single digit temps and my exit from work after 6.

It was treadmill time.

The workout wasn’t easy, but I got it done. 

Here are my tips for treadmill tolerance, particularly if you find yourself in a situation where you need to run a long, long time:

  • Break it up. I set the workout time for an hour, then got off long enough to re-fill my water bottle, get a fresh towel and re-set for the final 30 minutes. It was just enough of a break.
  • Distract yourself. I try to keep music playlists rotated and current, and I’ve watched lots and lots of movies or TV shows on my iPad during treadmill runs. I’m finishing up the second season of “Homeland” and moving on to “Breaking Bad.”
  • Fuel up. For post-work runs, caffeine is key for me. I’ll usually get a coffee about two hours before I plan to run and this energy boost seems to help a lot. Ditto a small snack, like a banana and a Kind bar.
  • Take it easy if you need to. Long slow distance means long slow distance. After a long week of work, it’s hard to do intervals. Be a turtle but keep moving.
  • Bring post-run supplies. Besides a fresh, dry shirt, I knew that with the frigid temps I would need a warm hat and scarf that could stand getting a bit sweaty for the ride home. Skip the cashmere beret.

On the plus side, Friday night at the gym is great! Crowds are non-existent and I didn’t feel even a tiny bit of guilt when I later ate two slices of pizza.

It also felt great on Saturday morning to wake up at my leisure, help get Spouse out the door and then spend quality time with the kids without herding them to the gym.