Gingham For Spring 2018

Gingham is the most obvious thing ever for Spring, but something about it just draws me in every year!  You can literally find it everywhere this year and I am loving the fresh new ways it is being used from bags to shoes to housewares.  It just looks so happy and crisp to me, exactly what we need after this bi-polar winter we have had going on.  PS, even Gucci has some gingham shoes out!  (crazily priced, but still!)  I tried to round up some atypical finds that weren’t your usual gingham button down or shorts and hope you love them as much as I do!  As always, click on the pink link to see the item in store.


Off the Shoulder Top

First up is this adorable off the shoulder top.  It would be so cute with white jeans or shorts and would look equally good with black pants.

Wrap Gingham Top

Love, love, love this wrap gingham top.  It’s so airy and gives you full coverage if the off the shoulder top is too much for you.  Again, would look amazing with white jeans.


Gingham Dress

I call this one the grown up Dorothy dress.  I love it’s elbow length sleeves and the wrap top.  Such a cute dress!

Lace Up Denim

I was sincerely not prepared for how cute this lace up ankle denim is!  Gah!  Pretty sure I am going to have to purchase these.  I must warn you, they are very pricey!  Wait for a sale!  They come in both plus and missy sizes, petite and regular, so we can all geek out on our gingham!!

Not sure gingham is for you?  Ease into it with this headband.  Could it be more southern preppy?


Gingham Flats


How about these gingham flats for Spring and Summer?  For all of us who wear black all Summer long, these are perfect!  Pretty sure I am going to need to buy these too!

Monogrammed Gingham Clutch

The sight of this clutch made my monogram, preppy loving heart explode!  OMG!  This is a must have!  And the perfect gift for all those Spring birthdays!  FYI, she makes a ton of really cute bags in different fabrics.  Love them!

Gingham Mules

I like that these are so different and not your typical gingham shoe.  And I think you could get away with them from now until early September since they are closed toe.  Kinda torn between these and the other flats above.


Gingham Plates

Gingham for Spring doesn’t just stop at clothes!  Look at these all kinds of adorable gingham plates!  How cute would these be for Easter?  or the navy for Fourth of July?


Are you a gingham fan?  I’d love to hear about if you love or hate it in the comments!

Beauty Purchase Failures

I normally talk about beauty and makeup purchases that I love, but today I thought I would talk about a couple I didn’t love.  My makeup and beauty purchase fails!  We all have them.  Something that everyone is raving about, the latest and greatest makeup and beauty thing you have to have and you buy it and… just doesn’t work for you.  Here are my makeup failures for the last few weeks.

Bad Gal Bang

First up is Bad Gal Bang Volumizing Mascara from Benefit.  Every blogger on earth is loving this mascara but me.  It did give me amazing volume and it was non-irritating to my eyes, but by the end of the day I had smudges under my eyes, which for me is a deal killer on mascara.

They’re Real

Previously, I was using Benefit’s They’re Real mascara and I much prefer it to Bad Gal Bang.  Not as volumizing, but I’ve never had smudging from it.  Both do take a minute to dry, so keep that in mind if you are trying them out.

I love that Benefit has mini versions of their products, so you can try them out before committing to the full price option.  That’s what I tried with Bad Gal Bang and I was glad I hadn’t bought the regular size.

The best thing about this makeup purchase fail was I bought it at Ulta and they took it back no problem even after use.

My second fail is unfortunately also from Benefit.  (I swear I love Benefit normally, I just did not like these two new products).  I was super sad about this one, because I had been eagerly waiting to try it out because I loved the original so, so much.

Pearl Primer

I’m talking about the Pearl Primer from Benefit.  I really expected to love this one because it was supposed to give a brightening, radiant finish to your skin prior to adding foundation.  I couldn’t exactly pinpoint what I didn’t like about it.  It was something about the texture I think.  It just didn’t feel as smooth to me as the original.


The original I am referring to is The Porefessional by Benefit.  I swear by this one, it is so smoothing and I love using it alone or before my foundation.  I really think it smooths out any fine lines and just gives a beautiful base for your foundation.  I didn’t get that same smooth feeling with the Pearl.  Bummer.   I highly recommend The Porefessional for a primer.

Again, I bought the mini version and was able to return it to Ulta with my receipt.

Next Day Hair

My next beauty purchase fail is for your hair.  I had watched a you tube video of a famous hairstylist using this product to create that messy, undone look to a Lob.  Exactly the look I am always trying for with my hair.  I actually found it at my hairdresser, though the link above will take you to it on Amazon (which is cheaper than what I paid).

Here’s my verdict on it, first, it has a really strong smell.  Like a smell so strong my husband asked me what the heck it was when I used it.  And it stuck with me all day.  Second, I just didn’t feel like it did anything special.  I didn’t notice any of the texturizing benefits I thought it was going to give me.  I personally feel like I get better texture from dry shampoo.  It sort of acted like a hairspray/volumizer, maybe?  I just didn’t get it.  Now, I believe every person’s hair behaves differently with products.  What works for me, may not work for you and vice versa.  The results I witnessed on the you tube demo were amazing, so maybe I am just not using it right?

I am currently trying another hair product that is pretty amazing, but it’s too soon to say I love it. (I am pretty stingy with my product love-it has to earn it!)  So far it’s been pretty great, but we shall see.

Let me know if you like hearing about my product purchase fails just like you do the ones I love and I will keep sharing.  And I’d love to hear about your product loves and fails in the comments!



Plus Size St. Patrick’s Day Outfits

I don’t know what is happening this year, but somehow it went from February to almost St. Patrick’s Day in a blink of the eye!  Just me?

I love to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and have done plenty of blog posts about them in prior years (see links at the end of this post for year’s past), but I thought this year, I would do a round up of green choices for plus sizes.  I am really loving all of these and hope they inspire you to create your perfect St. Patrick’s Day outfit!   And of course, it goes without saying, they can be worn on any other day of the year too!


I love this emerald green side tie top.  It is so cute with jeans and perfect for that Spring in between weather.


If you don’t like green next to your face, these green pants are a perfect option.  I have a couple pairs of these in different colors and they can be dressed up or down.  I could see this shade of green with a chambray shirt and flats for casual wear and then with a jacket or printed flowy blouse for work.


I am in love with this ruffle dress.  It just looks so super comfy!


Keeping with the ruffle theme with this gorgeous blouse with ruffle sleeves.


This side twist, short sleeve top is super flattering.


I love the ease of this blouse and can see it with jeans or work wear too.

To check out any of these for yourself, click on the corresponding pink numbered link above.


Must Have Monday

I’m still in the midst of my love affair with blush pink and when I got an email featuring this Lace Trench, I almost passed out!

Lace Trench

I couldn’t find it anywhere local in store and it was selling out within hours of the email delivery, so I was really having an internal debate about whether or not I needed it in my life.  Could you even think of a more perfect Easter coat?  GAH!!!  Find it via the pink link above.

Black Dress

I bought a bunch of stuff online last week and it is finally starting to arrive.  Some were hits, some were misses, but this dress was a definite hit.

It’s super easy to wear, the sleeves give nice coverage and the box pleat front is very flattering.  I would call it medium to light weight material, so perfect for now until probably the end of May, but I personally think it would be too hot for dead summer.

I sized up one size in this, who knows why at the time? but I was glad I did.  I really wanted it to skim my body and it does, so I would recommend sizing up.  It is definitely a keeper! Find it via the pink link above.

IT Cosmetics

I have always been pretty loyal to Lancome foundation.  It was medium coverage, which is what I have always used, plus I have sensitive skin and it does not like change with regard to foundation.  For whatever reason, Lancome has always been my go to and any time I veered from it, I was left with a splotchy, itchy face.  The joys of genetics!

Unfortunately, Lancome quit making my old standby formula.  I bought their new version and I don’t know if I am happy with it yet.  I know that sounds weird, but trust me.  It may end up that I find a new one to love, but we aren’t at that stage of our relationship yet.  I am just not sure if I love the coverage / consistency yet.

While I was dithering about my Lancome situation,  I was watching a makeup tutorial on you tube and she used full coverage.  All of a sudden, I needed a full coverage foundation in my life.  I am sure you can relate!

Anyhoo, I happened upon this IT Cosmetics foundation right after that and had to have it!  I’ve worn it exactly twice since I got it and so far, so good.  No skin reaction, fingers crossed that stays the same!

But, what I love is the full coverage!  I thought I would hate it and feel like I had a ton of makeup on, but I didn’t.  I could tell it was way more coverage than I usually sport, but I didn’t feel like it looked like a mask (as I feared).  It looked pretty natural.  I loved not seeing freckles and really just seeing a smooth canvas.  Those of you who always use full coverage are probably thinking, duh! For me, it was so different, but good different. Time will tell if this becomes my new go to, but here’s my pros and cons to date.


Coverage is very nice. I bought the Light shade and it was a great match to my pale winter skin and actually warmed it up.  It applied very smoothly.


The bottle is tiny!  I had to use several pumps to cover my whole face and I think this little bottle is going to go fast!  I also am not sure how it is going to hold up over a 12 hour day.  I am not one to touch my face up (other than lips) through out the day, and I wasn’t 100% sure how well the hold up was after an entire day.  I will give it a couple more tries before I say it’s not good.


Foundation Brush

My other IT Cosmetics purchase was this foundation brush.  I watched a video of someone using it and was mesmerized.  It honestly is the easiest thing in the world to use plus it is baby soft!  You just pump some foundation on your hand, dip the tip of the brush through it and then sweep the brush across your face.

The way the brush is cut, it will sweep under your eye perfectly.  I found it a bit clunky around the tip of my nose, but I just smoothed that section out with my fingers.  This is a complete yes and definitely something I would recommend!  Find it on Amazon via the pink link or they sell it at Ulta too.




Spring Bags

I tend to reward myself with a new bag when something goes right (or wrong if I’m honest!) and I had a couple things go right last week, so it’s time!  Luckily, there are tons of Spring bag options out there to be checked out.

I, of course, love a black bag as much as the next girl, but I thought I might venture into some blush choices this go around.  Something about the new Spring blush bags is pulling at me.  I figured since I was already checking out the choices, I would share my contenders with my readers.

Leigh Faux Leather Tote

This faux leather tote is pretty reasonably priced.  I like the tassels and love that you can fit a ton inside.  Perfect for a trip.  It only had one review, so not sure of the quality.

Medium Transport Tote

This leather tote is a bit more pricey, but this brand is definitely high quality.  Tons of reviews online, all pretty positive.  I like this brand a lot, but I’ve never seen this color in person.  I’ve only seen their English Saddle color (but it is lovely!).   Again, it’s a tote, so you can fit a ton in it.  Perfect for your commute.

Faux Leather Ruffle Clutch

Completely different than the totes, of course, but I couldn’t resist including this ruffle clutch.  This is adorable and would be so great for showers and weddings!  It’s reasonably priced and pretty large for a clutch.  I have heard nothing but good things about Sole Society, though I haven’t checked out anything from them in person.  They basically sell out of everything I want to buy before I get a chance to pull the trigger!  I think this bag will probably sell out too!


Madison Layden Floral

Damn you Kate Spade and your super fun bags!  Ugh!  I do love this bag, and I have loved Kate Spade in the past and own a few bags, buuuuttt I really feel like their quality has gone somewhat downhill.  Anyone else feel that way too?  I feel like Coach has gone the same way.  When I compare older bags I own to their new stuff, it just doesn’t feel as substantial or well made.  Just my opinion and hopefully something both brands will remedy.  In any case, this bag is all kind of adorbs, but I need to check it out in person, especially at this price.  And really, I was looking for more of an every day bag, instead of a novelty one, but gah! KS gets me every time!


Mori Suede Crossbody

This bag is by All Saints and I’ve heard really good things about this brand.  I love the whip stitching on the bag and the tassels.  I used to have a pink suede bag years ago and I love, love, loved it! Definitely on the pricey side.

Darren Deerskin Feed Bag

I have a couple Rebecca Minkoff bags and I love them.  They are super soft leather and hold up well.  This one looks to be the same.  It’s different enough from the two I already have and of course, the blush is beautiful!  It comes in black too, but the hardware is gold and I have to say, that one is calling my name too!  I am pretty torn on this bag.  The other great thing is, it comes with a convertible cross body strap, so you can either use it as a shoulder or crossbody.  That appeals to me especially when trekking around on my commute.  It’s a bit pricey but the quality is great.

Je’Taime Convertible

Last but not least is this convertible number, also from Rebecca Minkoff.  This bag was all over blogland in the fall in the berry color, but this blush is to die for!  I love the idea of a small bag that I can always through into something bigger if needed, but then just have this for running around.  I know quality will be great and I love that the strap has leather where it hits your shoulder.  It’s a minor thing, but major if you ever have had to lug your bag around all day with a chain strap digging.

Which one would you pick?  Any others I should check out?  Let me know in the comments!


Federal Galley Pittsburgh

I had been waiting for the opening of Federal Galley on the NorthSide of Pittsburgh  for what seemed like forever!  It’s been open a few months and I’ve been able to check it out a couple times since it opened.  I thought those of you who are local to Pittsburgh and haven’t had the chance, might want to see what it’s all about!

Federal Galley is the second concept of this type in Pittsburgh.   The first is Smallman Galley located in Pittsburgh’s Strip District neighborhood.   Federal Galley is four restaurants in one location.  There are four very different cuisines available and a communal dining room and bar.

I absolutely love this idea!  It is perfect for groups of friends who all have different dietary needs or just can’t agree on where to go!  You can each order from your choice of restaurant and still sit together and enjoy each other’s company! One car, one trip, four choices!

You pick from one of the four, either El Lugar, Michigan & Trumbull, Supper or my fave, Provision Pgh.  Order and pay at the restaurant of your choice, go grab a cocktail at the bar (or order non-alcohol at the restaurants), pick a table with your companions and your food is brought to you!

All the restaurants have their own staff and kitchens.  There are chalkboard menus showing what’s featured at each above their registers.  All the staff has been super friendly during my visits and always willing to answer any questions I have about the food.

I’ve only been to Federal Galley during the work day, so I haven’t partaken of the bar yet, but those who have tell me it’s excellent.  Water is provided on each table, along with glasses and silverware can be found either at the restaurant window or at a nearby communal area with napkins and trash cans.

I’ve also only been here in the Winter, but can’t wait to visit once the outdoor patio area is open.  It looks amazing so far!  And even in the Winter, the large garage style windows let in tons of light which all of us native to Pittsburgh know is necessary!

There are a few small tables, but most are family style large tables with lots of seats so you can share your experience with others.  There is also a bar top along the ordering windows with stools.  You can see it a few photos above.

Now what’s really important, the food! I haven’t tried all four yet, but I can say so far, my very favorite has been Provision Pgh.  They have a lot of choices, but my obsession is their Provision Fries!  They are magical!  They actually told me their secret on Instagram.  Shhh! They are triple cooked!  Seriously, try them, no one I have turned on to them has been disappointed!!  Plus, the Provision Pgh staff is so accommodating to my super picky self!  They are so great about any tweaks I want to make to my order and so friendly!  I actually am going to try their Impossible Burger (vegan) next!

Even though Provision Pgh is my fave, I’ve never had a bad meal at any of the ones I’ve tried.  Friends brought along on my visits all ate at different places and all said the food was amazing.  Granted, I’ve only been here during the day, but we’ve never had a problem waiting in line or finding a place to sit.  You might need to share a table with other people, but you aren’t right on top of them (in my experience).

Now on to the second most important thing to Pittsburghers, where’s it at and where can I park?  It’s located in Nova Place, which used to be called Allegheny Center, it is in the plaza (outside courtyard) area between PNC’s end of Allegheny Center and the Children’s Museum.  On street parking recently opened up along West Commons (Allegheny Circle), so you can park on the street or park in the garage.

Federal Galley has various activities throughout the month and you can check out what’s planned on their website here along with directions. 

How to Choose Flooring for Your Home

We have tons of things on our wish list to swap out in our house to make it more us, but we agreed the first thing we needed to do was change out the flooring.  Hopefully, my experience will help you choose flooring for your home.

I went a bit crazy with the pinning and researching of flooring options, check out my Home Decor board to see what I mean!  We considered both  hardwood and laminate options.  I knew I wanted wide plank and a lighter color.  I was leaning toward gray washes and some barn wood options.

We needed something that could withstand some moisture and I wanted something relatively hardy and low care.  With a dog, we needed it to be able to withstand any errant nail scratches and random accidents.

We went to our local big box home improvement centers and brought home all the samples in our color range.  We were able to take our samples and try them next to the kitchen cabinets and in various rooms to see how they looked in different lighting.

This of course weeded out some colors.  I truly felt like Goldilocks.  Nothing was feeling exactly right and I was bummed.  My beloved gray washes were okay, but they just weren’t screaming yes to me.

We had pretty much ruled out hardwoods at this point, so I did some more research on laminates.  We found a Pergo product called Pergo Max Premier and it met all of our needs.

I turned back to my friend the Internet and found a color in Pergo Max Premier that I thought might work.  We went to several stores that said they had it in stock to see what it looked like in person, but unfortunately, all of their web sites were incorrect.  This was just the beginning of my annoyance with big box home improvement stores in this odyssey!

The color I thought was the answer to my flooring needs was Blonde Onyx Oak.  It was a blend of black, brown and a barnwood beige.  We decided to order a box of the shade to see it in person since no one had it in stock. Miraculously, we both loved it.  It looked great in different lighting and we were sold.

Photo from Pergo’s website of Blonde Onyx Oak

We went back to the store and ordered it and it was a nightmare from then on, but it’s over now and we love it!  I truly cannot recommend the store we bought it from, nor the installers, but we do love the product so far and we love the color.

I did have a minute of buyer’s remorse the first day I came home from work and saw it partially installed.  It seemed to have a lot going on and it took my eye a minute to get used to it in our house.  I chalk it up to being half of a room and the pattern not being completely throughout the room.  Now though, I think it looks great. The brown and barnwood beige colors tend to be predominate and the black is more of an accent to me.  I wanted something that worked with wood tones, black and gray and yet had a warmth and I think this flooring does that well.

It has also stood up to some pretty severe spills.  On Christmas, the Christmas ham platter spilled on to the floor and grease went everywhere.  It cleaned up, no problem!  I am anxious to see how it holds up in the coming years, but everyone we’ve spoken to said it is the highest quality Pergo product and should last a long time.

My 10 tips for choosing flooring for your home:

  1. Do research on laminate versus hardwood and choose what fits you and your family best.  There are pluses and minuses for both.
  2.  Grab every sample you think you might like and bring it home.  Some stores charge for samples and some don’t, but it’s a pretty nominal amount.
  3. Put the samples down next to your built ins and furniture and take a photo.
  4. Try them in every room and every time of day to see how the light affects them.  You can see in my photos how different my floor looks in my kitchen versus my hallway.
  5. Look at your photos and see what grabs you!  I was able to narrow down my choices via photos much easier than in person.  Weird, but it worked!
  6. Go back to the drawing board if you have to!
  7. Check the manufacturer’s website for colors not carried by the stores.
  8. Order samples of anything not in stock!
  9. Make sure you LOVE what you choose, flooring is not cheap and you are going to have it for a long time, be sure it’s a firm yes!
  10. Make sure your installers mix up the pattern with laminate.  Since the pattern repeats, you don’t want multiple pieces with the same pattern next to each other.