I have an addiction to coats.  An addiction that really doesn’t make sense living in Orange County.  With the Winters we have, the weather rarely warrants them.  No, the true Orange County coat is the long cardigan.  Not quite as thin as a sweater but not nearly as thick as a coat.  They are the essence of cozy on cool days and can easily be transitioned from running around after the kids in boyfriend jeans and sneakers to dinner out in skinny jeans and heels.  They are easy to throw on over everything and light enough to carry around without being a burden.

Right now Bloomingdale’s is having their Friends and Family event and you can receive 20% off a number of long cardigans that will take you right from Fall to Winter.  Whether it is simple like this classic Vince Cardigan (I have had mine for years and it continues to be a staple) or colorful and printed like this blue and red MinkPink one  (added bonus: FUR!), you cannot go wrong with any of these.  Simply use the code: FRIENDS at check out!   Plus, you get free shipping with an online order.  Can you tell from my selection that I tend to have an addiction to neutral colors?  Just click the photo and it will take you directly to it!

You can shop the entire Friends and Family event by clicking here.  You have until October 5th to reap the benefits!

 

I had so much fun creating looks inspired by interior design for JWS Interiors that I thought I would keep at it, giving design inspiration for your home while also giving you some style inspiration to match!  What I love about this living room is the little pops of color and prints throughout.  Even though they have kept with a very white and clean look, there was the right amount of prints, textures and color to give the room some warmth.

Living Room Elle

Black, white and red are pretty traditional but I love the pops of yellow and blue in the pillows and wanted to pull them into the look.  Sometimes it just takes a little bit of unexpected to make something rather simple and traditional a bit more fun.  Everything in this look can be worked into different looks from your closet, making each piece extremely versatile and perfect for Fall.

Screen shot 2014-09-28 at 2.08.02 PM

< sunglasses / shirt / denim jacket / clutch / lipstick / nail polish / cuff / earrings / booties (half off!) >

Here is a little more from this color combination…

Photo via

I know that I have already confessed my love for hats in this post and how perfect they are for Fall.  But have you heard of Janessa Leone hats?  Ah Ha!  I may have gotten you there.

Janessa Leone is an LA based designer and her hats are a combination of pure beauty and incredible craftsmanship.  Each hat is made my hand and through years of wear, will mold to your head becoming a “reminder of a life well lived”.  Janessa has been inspired by her family heirlooms, the many pieces that have been passed down to her from generations before, and is giving life to her designs that are as timeless as her treasures.

When previewing her collection, it is hard to not lust for every single one.  I am a sucker for the Savoy hat (and cannot believe I didn’t order it in time for tonight’s country escape)  but it is hard to pick a favorite among so many beautiful pieces.  Here are some that instantly caught my eye.

Janessa 2

<The Vincent>

Janessa 3

<The Lola>

Janessa 4

<The Sara>

Janessa 5

<The Charles>

Janessa 6

<The Noel>

Janessa 1

<The Savoy>

Regardless of your style, be it bohemian, casual or classic, Janessa has designed something for everyone, making the entire collection extremely versatile and worth the investment.  You an preview the entire collection here.

All images via Janessa Leone

Kale 1

This past weekend was one of those weekends when the food was just too good.  And I love food.  We ate at one of my favorite burger restaurants on Friday, had fresh bagels for breakfast Saturday, the hubby made homemade seafood risotto Saturday night and we topped it off with a Baptism celebration filled with my favorite Mexican food.  And let’s not forget all the wine involved in this.  From start to finish I had a wonderful time indulging all weekend long.  And then Monday came along.

With out fail, my body always tells me when enough is enough.  And by Monday, it had had enough.  All I wanted to eat all day long were plates and plates of vegetables and fruit.  It is funny how your body works like that, isn’t it?  Telling you exactly what you need?  I did a good job of getting back on track with breakfast and lunch and wanted to keep it going for dinner.  I made this Kale Salad but substituted the Marcona Almonds for slivered almonds (our store was out and I was not about to going running around town!).  I also added rotisserie chicken to make it more of a meal and provide additional protein.  It was SO easy to make, the dressing was delish and it was just what my body needed to feel like we had cleansed a bit with some good clean eating.  I will admit that I did follow it up with a small piece of brownie.  Sorry, I may generally be a healthy eater but there is no way I am passing up a brownie.  That would just be silly.

Kale 2 Kale 3

 

 

Now that the weather has cooled down a bit (YEA!!), I am officially into Fall prep.  Sure we have a bit of time before the weather really drops down but as I learned as a Girl Scout, you should “always be prepared”.

One of my favorite things to collect for Fall and Winter are coats and jackets.  My husband knows this as it seems to be his motto for holidays that if he is not sure what to get me, pick up a nice coat or jacket and I will be fine.  The sad part of this is that I RARELY get to wear these.  Our weather just doesn’t accommodate to numerous layers and though I will push the faux fur at times, they really do not make sense the majority of the time.  Vests on the otherhand, are perfect for when the temperature begins to drop but it is really not cold enough to warrant a coat or jacket.

When it comes to vests, there are three types of vest every woman should have in their closet.  The casual, the fancy and the denim.

Screen shot 2014-09-21 at 5.07.38 PM The casual vest makes for sense for everyday wear.  They are easy to throw on over workout clothes, denim or even your pajamas if you happen to be like someone I know who may or may not do school drop off wearing what she slept in.  Hey it happens.  I really love the classic quilted vest like this J.Crew one (currently 25% off!) and this fitted Athleta one (on sale!).  They both would work with the majority of a closet and are an easy quick grab for a little warmth without having to think much about it.

The fancy vest is perfect for day time, night time and everything in between.  Dolan makes some incredible vests and very reasonable prices and I have already picked up one for this Fall and plan on grabbing a few more.  I like this black one paired with a tank that works with a tank right night in warmer weather but will easy transition to Fall with a simple switch of the top.  For a classic Fall and Winter look, you cannot go wrong with a shearling vest and this Velvet one is just the right amount of warmth without being too heavy.

The denim vest is a no brainer.  It works in the Summer.  It works in the Spring.  It works in the Fall.  It works in the Winter.  There is really not much I need to say about this, just that everyone should have one.  I love this JCrew classic denim one (25% off!) and this Madewell white one (on sale!), both than can be worn now and even layered over a jacket as the weather cools down.


 

 

It feels like all I have been doing for the last week is sweating.

And yes, I understand that my next statement is going to make those dealing with extremely cool temperatures angry but I must say it.

“I am sick of hot weather.”

I didn’t say “warm weather”.  I love warm weather.  I said hot weather.  One hundred plus temperatures are not typical temps in Orange County and I must say that as much as I love the consistently warm weather we normally have this time of year, I am OVER the hot.

With the air conditioning constantly running and still finding myself sweating out of control, I have been dreaming of sweaters, sweatshirts, jeans, jackets, boots and fireplaces.

Is this an example of wanting what you can’t have?  Probably.

Will I be complaining later this winter that it has been too cold for too long and I want heat again?  Probably.

But for now, I cannot stay away from all the cute sweaters and sweatshirts hitting retailers and keep imaging what it would be like to actually wear one of them…by a fireplace…with it raining outside.

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< clockwise from top left: 1 (25% off) / 2 (US) 2 (UK) / 3 / 4 (20% off) / 5 / 6


If you missed it on Instagram yesterday, I was featured on the JWS Interiors blog, bringing together my love for Interior Design and Style through three different rooms and three Fall looks to match.  Design and style are so interconnected and have such an influence on each other that it only made sense to bring them together.  I had a wonderful time collaborating with Jennifer (who is crazy talented by the way) and you must visit the entire feature by clicking here!

One of my favorite looks I pulled together was this classic and chic combination of neutrals.

JWI Image 3 Screen shot 2014-09-15 at 1.38.26 PM

 

< cape / hat / eye shadow / jeans / lipstick / tote / nail polish / heels >

There is something extremely cozy and warm but yet still sophisticated and simple with this entire look.  The cape sets the tone and is complimented by a simple hat, tote and heels.  I have had a long standing love affair with capes and think they are the perfect outerwear for Fall and Winter.  This Ted Baker one is one of my favorites this Fall season but there are so many amazing ones available.  Sure it is a tad too hot for them right now in Orange County, but cooler weather will be here soon enough (crossing fingers, praying, hoping….).

Make sure to check out my other two looks over at JWS Interiors!

Image via

David Allen

When I first started this blog, I was 32 1/2 years old.

Yesterday I turned 36.

It is amazing what I have learned in the last three and a half years.

Among a list of many things, one of the most important things is that I can do anything I put my mind to, but I cannot expect to do everything.

I tend to over-extend myself without even knowing it.  I have tourettes of the word “YES”.  I tend to say yes to anything.  Even when I know in my head that I absolutely want to say no, I still say yes.  It comes out without me even knowing it.  I will go as far as to tell my friends that I definitely cannot add another thing to the list and then turn around and commit.  I do believe it is an epidemic as I have numerous friends who also suffer from the inability to say no (you know who you are).  The problem is, what seems like a lot of little things I commit to, when added together, become A LOT.  There are some days that I feel I have more commitments and responsibilities than when I was working my corporate job full time.  Sometimes I think I commit simply because I am afraid of being bored, but then I instead feel overwhelmed and unorganized.  Not really the feelings I was going for.

Adding all of this to the fact that my children are getting older and their lives are getting busier, it is really making me evaluate this 36th year.  This year, I am the Chair of a fundraiser in October, on the Board of an organization, trying to keep up with the kids schedules, this blog and simply getting household items done (grocery shopping, laundry, etc…you know the drill).  I love it all but I am realizing that perhaps I need to slow down a bit.  I have also begun turning down other volunteer opportunities because like I said, I cannot do everything.  Slowly, saying no is getting easier.

Why am I telling you all this?

This was a very long way to explain that going forward, I am going to place the expectation on myself that I will post Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays here on Juggling in Heels.  To be honest, having 5 posts ready a week is A LOT OF WORK.  It takes a couple hours to put a post together at times and I am beginning to find myself rushed to put together something so that I can move on to the next item on the list of life.  I want to ensure that each post has received the attention it deserves (I have worked too hard for all this!) and cutting back my posts to three days a week just makes sense.  It also allows me more time to focus on these organizations that I really do care about and want to ensure I am giving them proper attention.  Of course if I find inspiration I must share then I will post a bit more but I know it is nice to know when new content is available so this is the plan.

I welcome 36 with open arms as I feel that the 30’s have been the best decade yet and I cannot wait to see what is in store this year.  Looking back I laugh at myself in my early 20’s, thinking I knew so much.  I am quite confident today at 36 I really do not know much at all, yet slowly, I am beginning to figure some of it out.

Lucas and Memorial 3

I was always a bit nervous to tell my Middle Man what his birthday meant.

Telling a young child that a horrific act of terror on your country occurred on your birthday 6 years before you were born is a very emotional thing to bring up.  He has always been curious about what the day meant.  It is not very often you hear your birthday all over the news and radio.  He would bring it to my attention that his birthday was always on television and I would always reply with “it is a very important day to the United States”.

Then we went to New York, and it was time to tell him the reason.

I know that at 6, this is a lot to take in and many would disagree with me sharing the 9/11 museum with him or my other two children for that matter.  I just could not image being in New York and not visiting it.  The day before we went my hubby and I began sharing with them the full story of 9/11, what really happened and how important this memorial and museum was to our country.  For the first time my Middle Man knew why his birthday was so important.  The museum brought it to reality and the weight of this day became very real to them.  They could feel it, just like everyone else there.

And I am happy he knows.

Today he turns 7 and even though he is just as excited about his birthday as any little boy, he also mentioned yesterday that he wanted to make sure that we watch the readings of the names at the memorial.  I was shocked that he remembered us mentioning this while we were there.  He acknowledged that even though he is celebrating, there are others who are suffering.  I know that going forward, he will always celebrate his special day, but he will also never forget what it means to so many and always have respect and compassion for all that was lost and the importance of this birthday.

Happy Birthday Middle Man…

We Will Never Forget…

Have you taken a look at Banana Republic’s Fall Collection?

If this collection doesn’t make you crave cold weather, I do not know what will.

Thanks to their new Creative Director, Marissa Webb, the classic styles that Banana has been known for have merged with a little more edge I am loving the result.  Rich textures in their coats and sweaters, faux leather pants and skirts and catchy little tees.  Pretty much sums up my favorite Fall look.  Now if it could only stop being 100 degrees EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Banana 2

Banana 5

Banana 4

Banana 1

Banana 3

Coat / leather skirt / tee / Cardigan / faux leather pant

With Fall around the corner it is also time to start thinking about those Family photos for Christmas cards.  Yes, I know, but what will happen is you will put it off and then suddenly it will be too late.  Happens to me every year.  Except this one.  Remember our photo shoot with Vanessa Tierney Photography a few months ago?  Well, she is extending the Juggling in Heels deal for all readers who want to book a session for their upcoming Christmas photos.  Click here to see our family photos and the link to signing up with the discount!