Tuesday, June 25, 2019

4th of July Style Inspo!

I can't believe 4th of July is already around the corner! The first few years of my life the 4th of July meant a huge party at my house that was a shared birthday party for my aunt and I.  Now I almost feel like the 4th of July is the start of the end of summer. Soon school supplies will be back on shelves and fall clothes will be hitting the racks. Nordstrom sale will be on every blogger's mind. Summer seems to fly after the 4th!

I bought this cute dress a while ago with the plans to shoot it as the weather warmed up and link, but of course by the time the weather has warmed up it is now sold out. I have scoured the internet for other cute USA pieces, some of which I own and others that I just think are really cute.

I have a similar pair of red flat sandals from last year that I loved to pair with my USA sweatshirt and to add a pop of color to other outfits. This year Target came out with a wedge pair and I had to have them. I will almost always buy a wedge over a flat because I am so short and last year it wasn't an option.

I am going to link below a bunch of cute 4th of July options and the pieces that I am wearing that are still in stock!

Friday, June 21, 2019

Liketoknow.it Day coming sunday!

What is Liketoknow.it (LTK) Day?

The app LTK has partnered with a group of retailers to do exclusive discounts this Sunday, June 23 through the app. The participating brands include:

Abercrombie and Fitch
Colleen Rothschild
Kendra Scott
Outdoor Voices
Serena & Lily
The Styled Collection
Urban Outfitters
Victoria Emerson

What is Liketoknow.it?

LTK is a shopping app. I have been using it even before I was an influencer on it. It is like a Pinterest for shopping for lack of a better way of describing it. It has a feed that updates that can be browsed multiple ways. You can browse the feed of the influencers that you follow, you can browse all influencers, you can browse by putting in search terms like maxi dress, or by using the categories on the top such as family, under 50, etc. Unlike Pinterest though, all the items are linked and shoppable. You just click the product and it takes you directly to the store to buy it! I also use the app for fashion inspiration to browse styles and save them to recreate later.

It is easy to shop the sale! All you have to do is:

1. Download the Liketoknow.it app
2. Shop!
3. When you click on a product that is part of the sale a popup will appear with the LTK day code for the discount, just copy the code, and paste when you make your purchase!

Starting yesterday, I have been posting in my Instagram stories (youngwidowedstylishmama) looks from the sale. I have been linking everything in my LTK profile on the app (youngwidowedstylishmama). You can get a head start by "hearting" looks that you love from stores that are offering the promotion to go back and shop when the sale starts on Sunday.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Widow Wednesday--Blog update/ End of the school year!

I know my blog has been quiet, not for lack of things to post about, but because of the weather and how busy life has been. I haven't been able to keep up with shooting outfit posts because the weather here in Michigan has not cooperated at all. It is the middle of June and still pretty rainy and cool. I had some indoor ideas, but no one to shoot them if I am in them. Now that the kids are home my mini photographer can get back to shooting some looks for me. We already did one this week so look for a post soon! 

Plain busyness has also kept me from being able to post. The end of the school year is always so busy with dance recitals, end of year field trips, school activities, and photo shoots. It seems like time just flies after Easter. We also went on a cruise at the end of May which seemed to only make things go by faster. I am thinking of doing a post on cruises too. What to bring, helpful tips, etc. 

So that is a little blog update and why it has been so quiet, but I also wanted to touch on the end of the school year and this one in particular. This one ended a chapter for us here in the Chaptini household, we are out of elementary school. I am so sad about this. They say time flies and it really does. I can't believe both of the girls are done with the longest span they will have at a school and it went that fast. That just means the rest of schooling will probably go by just as fast. This also means we are that much closer to them being 18 and tested for the gene, which is something that makes me so anxious. I know I have talked about this before but while most kids are thinking about what they want to do in the future after high school I can't help but think about this being the beginning of what might be a long journey for them having to make a lot of other choices. College may not be a priority for either of them, but instead their health. Even though this is quite a ways away I just know how quickly it goes and it will be here before I know it. 

School endings used to be very exciting for us because Daddy would be home with us. My husband was a teacher, for those that don't know, and although he worked during the summer his other job and even summer school we would still see him more. 

School endings and ceremonies at school are just another time that I feel sad and think about how much their Dad is missing out on. I know he is always there, like on Lily's graduation morning my memory that popped up was a picture of us on her 2nd birthday (his last one alive) and some songs played that day that always make me feel like he had something to do with them coming on. In fact, the last little bit before school ended I heard a lot of songs on the radio that reminded me of him. I know I am lucky that the girls have a lot of support from other family that were at the graduation but it still made me sad to have to stand alone when they asked for parents to stand that were leaving the school that year. I know he would have been so proud to be there. 

Now that summer is officially here I hope to have the time to get back to my blog, because this is something i have truly missed doing!

Friday, May 3, 2019

Mother's Day Gift Guide & What I really want

I thought I would put together a Mother's Day gift guide, but thought what do I love most and really want for Mother's Day? My honest answer is healthy, happy kids and homemade gifts from the heart. Those are what I really want. I love when my kids come home so excited to give me something that they made. Even the little notes I find around the house throughout the year make me know I am doing something right. For those that want to treat themselves or someone wants to treat them I put together a little gift guide. I included items for dog/cat moms and even step/bonus moms.

Most of the things I seemed to be drawn to were pampering items or things to relax. One of my favorite items I own is the steamer I linked. This little thing came in handy when I was between espresso machines. I would use my Keurig to brew espresso coffee and steam my milk in the steamer and make my own mochas at home. The girls like to use it to steam lemonade to make medicine balls. It is so easy to use and quick.

I love to read, so any book is always appreciated. I have been hooked on Elin Hilderbrand books lately. Every one I have read I don't want it to end because I feel like I am so attached to the characters.

A good "mom" graphic tee is always fun to wear. I found dog mom, bonus mom, and even some funny saying shirts to link. These are easy to throw on and when you just look like a mess and want everyone to know it is due to #momlife!

The camera is a HUGE splurge item, but that is what I really need! A fun, cheaper option is this camera we have one and love to bring it on trips and put together a little memory book with the photos.

A few of the stores that always have cute little gifts items like the name plate I linked, mugs, frames, candles, and jewelry are Charming CharliesFrancesca'sUrban Oufitters, and Anthropologie.

Of course, gift cards for Starbucks, mani/pedis, or other activities are always an easy gift. Thinking outside the box, like a gift card to do a cooking class at Sur La Table or maybe making a craft at a local retailer is something different and unexpected. A subscription box is also another unique idea. They have so many options of different boxes now you are sure to find something suitable. 

Whether the gift be big or small, store bought or from the heart I hope everyone has a nice Mother's Day and is appreciated in some way. Even if you have to spoil yourself!

Friday, April 26, 2019

We are going on a cruise!

For Easter, the girls were surprised with a scavenger hunt from their grandparents and in the end they received a message that they are going on a cruise! Last year when we went, we all wore coordinating outfits the day we got on the boat. It was so fun to all be dressed alike, but not the same or in matching t-shirts. We were stopped by multiple people complimenting our attire.

Of course, as soon as we booked the trip months ago my mom was asking if we were getting the outfits again. We purchased the outfits from Old Navy last year and I have been waiting for them to put out their new summer arrivals to get the matching outfits. They finally started to put out the pieces. As of now, these are the pieces that coordinate or match! The little girl's shirt on the bottom center was just added today, so more pieces may be arriving.

I purchased the dress on the top and plan to wear it with some wedge sandals and maybe a belt at the waist. Summer chose the bottom middle shirt to wear with jean shorts. She is my comfortable girl and of Lily, my dress girl, picked the dress.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Widow Wedneday--Friends Visiting while sick

While Ray was sick he had "good" days and "bad" days. The days we would say he was doing "good" didn't mean he was getting better. It just meant he finally had some strength and might have actually wanted to see someone.

He was very particular about who came over and when they came over. I am not sure if he didn't want them to see him sick or what it was. It was never something I questioned. I always tried to just do what he would ask.

People would ask all the time to visit and he would only allow certain people and at certain times. He had asked for a few people specifically. A few of his very best friends, a friend that would come and pray with him, work colleagues.

Ray didn't have Facebook so I was getting requests from a ton of people...friends of his, students of his, co-workers, etc. My private Facebook went on to accept a lot of people I did not know. Most looking for updates to his condition. Over the years I have received quite a few messages from people that he touched in some way. This has always meant so much to me. Facebook was my way to communicate what was going on without having to talk to a bunch of people or retell the story over and over.

The cards and other gifts sent while he was sick were very much appreciated. The offers of help. It is hard to know what to ask for but the pot of chicken noodle soup didn't go to waste or the card offering prayers was just as much appreciated. No gesture was ever too small or went to waste.

I have had over the years friends message me to ask what to do for someone that is sick or what to send and honestly, every person is different. Ray was always freezing and his heated blanket and fleece pants were his most used items. He relied on Slurpees to get him through his days. For a long time I couldn't have flowers in my house because they reminded me of him being sick because we always had flowers in the house while he was sick.

I think the thing that was most helpful was just letting him know you were there and praying for him. Reaching out with a text or a card. Allowing him to decide if he wanted to make contact, if he was up to it. I think more than anything he wanted to be treated normal and not sick. He liked when someone would come and watch a baseball game. He looked forward to the cards he received from his one co-worker that would come regularly (even when she was in Mexico for the summer she still sent them) that were funny cards and had updates to everything going on. I know he hated more than anything being sick and becoming weaker and less and less like himself. The sicker he became the less he wanted company.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Spring/Summer shirt recommendations!

Today's post I am going to highlight some of my favorite tops for Spring/Summer! If you know me you know I like to shop all different price points and styles, although I do have some go-to stores that I browse pretty much browse daily to see what is new.

My favorite stores to browse are SheinASOSBoohooNastygalVici CollectionRed Dress BoutiquePink Lily Boutique, and Zara because they usually have new inventory daily! They have the trendiest items and I can always find something unique. 

I also have stores that I tend to rely on for tried and true favorites. Some of these include ExpressJ. Crew & J. Crew FactoryNordstromNordstrom Rack, American Eagle , Abercrombie and Old Navy (and their affiliated brands). I, of course, shop at other stores too based on what I am looking for but these are some of my favorites. 

Some of the top trends for spring are eyelet, animal print, floral, stripes, button front tops, and tie dye. Kimonos are also making a statement this season and I think they look great paired with jeans or shorts and a basic, like the Express cami, underneath. 

For some classic pieces I look to Lilly Pulitzer. They are an easy go-to and can be dressed up or down. They scream summer with the bright colors and can be paired easily with white denim, etc. The pullovers make a great layering piece with jeans or shorts especially if you are on vacation. They are classic and never go out of style. 

I also love a great graphic t-shirt or sweatshirt. There are so many options out there right now you can almost find them to say anything. The boutiques I linked above have a ton of great options. 

I like to have on hand a light white sweater like I linked because they can easy be thrown on if you go into a cool building or on a breezy night and go with pretty much everything. 

A chambray top is also something I always own. I like to wear it paired with patterned shorts. The one I linked has a pretty ruffle which can dress up the outfit a bit. 

Button front tops can be found on pretty much every site right now too. I purchased a button front sweater tank from American Eagle, but it appears to be sold out now online. I wish it was still online because it has just the right amount of stretch and is so flattering on. 

For the past few years I wear bodysuits a lot! I love that they stay in place and tucked in. I don't find them uncomfortable and think they give a nice clean silhouette. They can be found on pretty much any site at multiple different price points. 

The last thing I included with tops are lace bralettes because I love to wear these under low cut tops or dresses, etc. I don't like the thought of my bra showing so I either wear these or a bralette.

Hopefully my little round up is helpful and if you are looking for more ideas let me know! I am always happy to do some digging and find what you are looking for!