If you followed my blog/social media before Crohnically Blonde became what it is today, you know that fashion was a large portion of the content I shared (before I even knew “content” was a thing). I have always loved fashion – cue the years of me curating a huge book of magazine clipping inspiration in high school. In college I had a brief stint in fashion school in NYC which was my teenage dream and came back home without a degree but with exposure to a new platform to curate my inspiration. Tumblr. This was in 2009 when social media was just really at the very beginning of becoming a thing. A blogger was not yet an accepted job title, and a fashion influencer was not what we know it as today. I started sharing my own personal styling and outfits on my new blog on Tumblr and eventually Wordpress. Fashion has always been something that I have loved as a part of my life. I love putting together looks, I love sharing my inspiration with others, and I actually feel high off of finding a great deal on a designer piece.
When I started Crohnically Blonde I was in not a great place as far as body image or self-esteem. Crohn’s was ripping apart my body (actually pretty literally), I didn’t have control of my weight or how my body looked thanks to the medications I was on, and I honestly was happy to live in my comfiest sweatpants every day. The last thing that crossed my mind was sharing photos of me wearing things for the world to see, drawing attention to this body I had no control over. In the past, I was used to wearing whatever I wanted and not having to forgo trends based on my bloated stomach or weirdly unexplainable weight I was putting on in weird places. Fashion, as much as I loved it, was also the least of my worries at the time.
As an outsider looking in you probably would have no idea that I have struggled so much with this over the past three years. I come to work in my cute LOFT shirts and stretchy Old Navy pants that my friend so sweetly calls my “mom pants” and there is NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. I have figured out a “uniform” that makes me feel comfortable in my own skin for the most part which is what I wear out to social events. I stopped experimenting with styles and just sticking to safe because that is the way I would feel comfortable and draw the least attention.
This really doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, I know. But to me it really was because I was missing out on something that used to be such a big passion for me. I had come to terms with the fact that I was never going to have my pre Crohn’s body back and I should appreciate that this is what I had to work with. I should appreciate how much my body does to fight and keep it going instead of shaming it for looking “weird” here and there. The thing is, I had PERSONALLY come to terms with this but then I spent hours scrolling through Instagram comparing myself to every girl to post and outfit photo and sending myself into a panic that I could NEVER put myself in THIS body out there like that.
I know, again, to some people this may seem ridiculous. To me it is not. At this point I’m in eating disorder recovery and dealing with a body that does its own thing health wise so I am on every level feeling absolutely out of control. At the same time as much as I hate myself for not looking like and Instagram model, I hate myself for caring and letting that hold me back. I preach authenticity and am all about owning your body especially through the lifetime struggle of ED recovery. I preach these things, empower others to do them, but yet, I am terrified to post a photo of me in an outfit.
As I’ve grown in my blogging journey and participated in more events and photoshoots I have come to realize that I have to stop letting this hold me back. When you break it down I am literally NOT participating in something I am passionate about and that I love because I am scared of… what? Comparison? Judgement? Both not things that I can’t stand to be the reason I shy away from something I enjoy.
So here we are and I will continue to share with you all. I want you to know that behind that outfit photo there is purpose and meaning for me posting it. Not only am I genuinely excited to, again, share my fashion journey but I am also excited to hopefully show someone else that just because you aren’t meeting your ridiculous standard of perfection you should still go for it, put yourself out there, and don’t let it hold you back. I also hope that you all will take away from what I share that to me fashion is about feeling confident in what you are wearing and learning how to dress for your body in a way that works for you and makes you feel great. I’m sharing the real dirty deets on what I am wearing (stretchy jeans and all) because that is what is real and authentically me. So enjoy and I hope this will inspire you to continue on this never ending journey of finding self-confidence with me.
I'm really, really excited that you will be able to keep up with all of my favorite looks via LIKEtoKNOW.it (here!) or download the app! I have been a huge LTKI fan for years so I am thrilled to finally be able to use the platform to share my personal style and finds.
Photo by Jade Nikkole Photography
Fall is my favorite season to shop for. Piling on layers means more chances to mix it up with textures, colors, and patterns. I live for a good textured piece -- fur, velvet, leather, suede, fringe. I try and keep my wardrobe pretty monochromatic and use a pop of color and bold textured pieces here and there to liven things up.
I have my tried and true pieces that carry me from year to year but I like to buy some trendier things each year that I can put into my wardrobe rotation but won't break the bank. Over the past six months or so I have been on a mission to curate a list of tried and true websites that can be my "go to's" when I am in need of something fashion related. There are a lot of sketchy sites out there that make it seem like you can get a really good bang for your buck but they can be total scams or the quality is crap. I can go on the record here and say that all of these sites I am recommending I have personally purchased from and am a fan of the quality, customer service, and delivery time.
1. Vici - I learned about this site from The Skinny Confidential Facebook group and from my first order I have been totally obsessed. They have a mixture of classics and trendy pieces that aren't crazy expensive but still good quality. I bought a ton of dresses for our honeymoon from this site and they were so perfect. They are almost always running some type of 20% off sale (sign up for the emails so you can be in the know on these!) and they also have flash sales where you can get great pieces for $20 and their sale section is often around 50% off. The only downside is that all returns have to be credited back to you in the form of store credit so just know that going into it. I haven't had any issues with this because I can always find something else I want.
I am currently obsessing over this pullover. I have some store credit waiting so this one may be next on my list...
2. Fashion Nova - This site is my favorite for buying pants/skirts/any type of bottoms. They have styles that fit and flatter a wide variety of body types which makes their pants selection a lot more versatile than most online retailers I have come across. A lot of they bottoms are stretchy too which you know I love.
The jeans that I basically live in are these ones from Fashion Nova. I have them in black. They are super stretchy and high waisted so they really suck everything in. I also just ordered these leather leggings which I am pumped about.
3. Lulus - Lulus is my go to for dresses for special occasions as well as shoes and accessories. They will run different kinds of promotions on sale items and during those you can score some great stuff for as little as $10. Their shoes are also so cute but you don't have to feel bad about buying something trendy that may be out next season because they are totally affordable. Returns are easy and shipping is quick. Very efficient.
Last season I got these faux fur mules from Lulus and I am totally obsessed with them/ recommend them to every person I meet pretty much. Oh and they're only $27. Worth every penny.
4. Forever 21 - Throughout high school and college Forever 21 was my jam. I fell a bit out of love with it when I realized I was no longer 21. Or 22. Or 23. And definitely on the other side of my 20s. Their clothes didn't really do my grown up body justice anymore and left me frustrated because.... growing up. You feel me? Anyway, once I came to terms with the fact I wasn't going to be rocking body con dresses and mini skirts on the regular I started to appreciate Forever 21 again. It is truly a great place to get inexpensive trendy pieces. While they aren't the best quality, most of the things I am buying here probably will be out by next season anyway so, not a huge deal.
This season I have been loving all of the plaid they are featuring and I have also ordered a few sweaters this year in fun colors and styles. This sweater has been my go to for casual Fridays.
Drop me a message and let me know what your other online shopping recommendations are. I love hearing from other bloggers what their favorite online retailers are because my list is always growing!
Also, let me know what you think of this post. I am trying to share more of my fashion finds and tips so please please please share what you want me to give details about!
I love when I have the chance to team up with other boss babes to promote really cool products or businesses. When Boho Babe Jewels reached out to do a collaboration I was pumped because their jewelry is so freaking cute (I'll get into details about that later), but they also are supporting a cause that I can 100% get behind.
Proceeds from one of their collections went directly to support the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation. Seriously, right up my alley. Supporting fellow Crohnies is also something I am passionate about. It is hard to have your own business or a side hustle regularly but doing it with a chronic illness is even more of an uphill battle. I know I've shared my struggles with finding time to fit everything with Crohnically Blonde into my schedule while still taking time to rest and maintain my health. I'm sure there are a ton of you badasses out there who are blazing the entrepreneurial trail while trying to keep your health on track. If so, I'd love to hear about what your hustle is and a tip for how you balance it all?
Take a look at how I styled my pieces and make sure to head over to their website to pick out some of your own. They are having a HUGE sale right now on everything (I'm talking like $15 for some great stuff) so the stars have aligned with the timing here... go check them out!
I was very excited when my two chokers showed up because I have been trying to nail the layered choker trend and have not been able to find the perfect combination. The trick is definitely to do a chunkier piece with a more delicate one layered on top. This balances out the whole look and prevents tangling. I made the mistake before of pairing two super delicate chokers and things did not end well. You can also wear them separately which is ideal for traveling because you get multiple looks in one. All of their pieces are handmade in Alabama so you know you are getting some love and positive vibes sent your way when you wear these.
I love these necklaces, I love Boho Babe Jewels in general, and I love the cause that they stand behind. Keep on killing it and go support our fellow Crohnie by treating yourself to some cute new jewelry.
If you know me you know I love anything that can add texture to a look. Let me tell you, my house is full of faux fur, chunky knits, reclaimed wood, marble… you name the texture and I’m mixing it into my home decor or, of course, my wardrobe. I love a good classic piece in a unique texture to add some dimension to a look. I also love the fact that throwing in new accessories to an outfit you’ve worn before can totally revamp it. Each season I usually focus on a few trends I am loving and stock up on accessories that update my look. For spring, I have already gotten a head start and developed a new obsession. Wood watches.
When JORD reached out suggesting a partnership to promote their wood watches I was sold immediately after checking out their pieces. They sent me the Fieldcrest watch in a beautiful maple color. It’s a sleek, light wood with silver metal elements. It arrived in the mail right before my trip to Charleston so I was super excited to style it with some of my vacation looks.
Can we just talk about how perfect the packaging is though for a second?
My watch arrived in a beautifully made wood box complete with a little drawer for storing extra links/tools. This serves not only as a super cute delivery method but it looks great on my dresser.
I’ve been wearing this watch all over the place for the past couple of weeks and can’t tell you how many compliments I’ve gotten. Not only does the watch look great on its own but also layered with other bracelets. My favorite combo has been pairing it with a chunky sweater and my marble bead bracelet… allll of the texture.
My favorite thing about my new watch is the versatility. I’m a busy lady so I need pieces that can transition easily from the office, to a networking event, to dinner with my girlfriends. Luckily this watch can be paired with just about any outfit. For the office it adds some fun texture to my usual attire. My favorite way to wear it to work is with an all black outfit, nude heels and a top knot (it really stands out against the all black and the nude heels bring out the gorgeous color). For weekends I’ve been all about a chunky sweater with a fun stack of bracelets alongside my watch.
Whether you’re slaving away at your laptop or sipping rose all night (are both…. usually me), JORD watches have got you covered. They have so many sleek and classy wood styles in different stains and with different metal options. While I was perusing their website I got lost down the rabbit hole of all of the cool men’s styles they offer too. Take notes and you’ll thank me next time you need a gift for your husband…. Another option they offer are Apple Watch bands which I have already mentally noted as the next gift I am getting Matt.
Lucky for us, JORD is offering an EXCLUSIVE GIVEAWAY to Chronically Blonde readers. The winner will be announced on March 11, 2018 and will receive a $100 gift card to use on a purchase from JORD. Also, just for entering you will receive a code for 10% off of your first purchase!
Good luck! Can’t wait to see which style is YOUR favorite xx.
It is finally Fall! One of my favorite times of year is that sweet spot when summer is just leaving the air but the harsh chill of colder months hasn't set in yet. I have the best Fall memories from growing up. Saturdays were spent doing different seasonal activities, whether it was visiting a pumpkin patch or raking leaves to jump in at my grandparents' house. Sundays were spent with the windows open, football on all day, and always were full of yummy game day food. In my college years I would love sitting out on campus, with a hot latte just checking out the beautiful trees that were changing color and getting excited for all of the new opportunity of the new school year.
Now I look at Fall as the ultimate time to get family and friends together. Everyone is back from their summer vacations and are winding down back into their routines. Everyone appreciates a get together a little more when it feels like something exciting to look forward to at the end of their week instead of an added event to jam into their summer schedule. Some of my favorite activities for Fall are football Sundays, outdoor wine tastings, and craft nights to make seasonal decorations. I love anything that lets me be outside and enjoy this perfect weather while I can.
One of my all time favorite things about Fall is shopping for it. I love layering cozy pieces and one of my favorite places to get them is Marleylilly. I recently just got a TON of stuff from the site and I feel pretty sure that I have something to wear for just about every Fall event. I may be just a little more obsessed this year because I have an excuse to put my soon to be new monogram on everything. I won't lie, the site can be an overwhelming endless abyss that can swallow you and spit you out a few hundred dollars later (in a good way of course), but I wanted to try and make this easy for you all. I have rounded up my favorite Fall pieces from Marleylilly along with where I would wear them and included the links below. One of my favorite things about Marleylilly is that they have such cute stuff that is actually affordable for those of us that are trying to stay on budget (aka plan a wedding hellllp). Enjoy my roundup, share with your friends, and happy shopping! (:
These things are all the rage with "basic" college girls everywhere. I'm not going to deny the fact that I am pretty basic but these boots really are so convenient for my lifestyle. They are perfect for taking the dogs out for walks even in damp weather, for frequenting the hiking trail near our house, and just to simply throw on with leggings while running errands at Target on the weekend. These boots come with two additional toppers that you can attach to the boots to change up your look or just wear them by themselves!
I love these as a staple to wear with everyday outfits. Whether you are pairing them with a blazer and dress or jeans and a puffer vest, they are sure to provide a classy, put together touch and really "make" the look. They also come in a variety of different colors so stock up.
The plaid detailing on this one totally stole my heart. I love this pullover for just about any Fall activity. I'm thinking a pumpkin patch, sipping some apple cider. Sign. Me. Up. This also pairs perfectly with either jeans or leggings so you can dress it up or down.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this piece so much. It is cozy, it is chic, and it has quickly become a staple in my closet. I love this for a wine tasting, a girls night, or for traveling. I actually really think this piece is perfect for traveling because it is so comfortable and blanket like. I am getting sleepy just thinking of curling up in this. Every time I've worn this I've gotten so many complements and people asking me where to get it. I swear this thing is like the Traveling Pants (please tell me you got that reference) but it looks good on everyone and makes you feel like a chic but comfortable monogram lover.
Loafers are one of my favorite things. They are kind of "grandma chic" in the best way. They are comfortable, they are stylish, and from Marleylilly... they are monogrammed. If you haven't caught on yet, everything that I am really into is both comfortable and chic. These monogrammed loafers are so classy and perfect for the Fall weather. I would tell you exactly where I would wear these but the answer is literally everywhere. I haven't purchased them yet because they are brand spankin' new, but you better believe I am taking advantage of the shoe sale and these will be at my house in less than a week.
Pretty gloves will always have a special place in my heart. My grandmother had a beautiful collection of them and I used to love trying them on when I was little. Now in my adult years I like to slip on a pair of classy gloves to instantly make me feel like a regal lady. I love the plaid print on these because they can add a fun and unexpected twist to a routine Fall outfit.
This shirt describes all of my favorite things this season. I love this for movie nights with your S.O. or for tailgates or football outings. This shirt is so comfy but still so cute, you really can't go wrong.
It is never too early to start thinking of adorable holiday gifts! As soon as I saw these cute jewelry trays I knew they were going to be at the top of my gifts to give this year. They are so cute, functional, and a great way to personalize a gift without being corny or over the top. I may have to pick one up for myself too....
Make sure to like, share, and spread the word about CrohnicallyBlonde.com! Also, please DM me on Instagram or comment on my most recent post to tell me what Marleylilly items you are loving right now and where you would wear them for Fall!
If you guys haven't noticed I've really embraced Instagram Stories after a long while of shying away from anything following the Snapchat model. I never jumped on board to Snap bandwagon just because to me it honestly just seemed like a whole lot of work and set up for little to no ROI. Let me explain.... you have to make a conscious effort to make sure you are promoting yet another user name on another platform for your brand, you have to make sure you are keeping up adding brands you are going to promote on both Instagram and Snapchat, and it just was another app that I had to deal with. Sounds high maintenance but I also just couldn't get into the whole sharing every little thing in my life until I realized there was actually value I could add by doing so. I still don't share everything but I do get to share quick tips on products, funny things about my dogs, and give people a look at what my non curated life looks like. Not only does this leave my Instagram feed freed up but it also has helped me to connect with readers/followers of CB in a whole new way. I just love it now. I like that Instagram is already something that I utilize on the regular so adding a new feature is easily integrated into my social media habits. I love that I can just tag brands that I already love without having to go find and follow on another site and I love being able to see updates from not only my friends but businesses and bloggers I follow along with. Instagram you did it right. There are a whole lot of other things that I do not like about you right now but I will save that for a different post..... (in case you haven't heard, Google "Instagram algorithm" be prepared for lots of shade).
Basically the point of this whole rant is that I've been utilizing stories to share real time updates and finds so I think I have slacked a little on sharing them on here. I DO want to get back to doing that though because I think it really is important to have posts to go back to that round up the top content you are sharing day to day. So, takeaway #1- follow me on Instagram to see real time updates, #2- enjoy this new, updated post of all of my favorite new and now finds that I can't get enough of.
I absolutely LOVE decorating for Fall. That being said, though, I don't like veering from my neutral color scheme and the usual fall colors don't go with my whole "look" I have going on at home. In the past I have been all about the white pumpkin decorating craze that dominates Pinterest but this year I switched things up to green pumpkins! They aren't AS basic as the white pumpkins but still fit my color scheme requirements. I picked up some cute decor for Fall (including green pumpkins, at Hobby Lobby and Target).
FARMACY LIP BLOOM
I got a sample of this product at Sephora the other day and have been so obsessed ever since. It is super moisturizing, tastes amazing, and adds a perfect finish to your lips if you are going for a natural look (which I pretty much always am). I can't get enough of this stuff and have been recommending it right and left to pretty much every person I meet. You can get it for yourself HERE. You won't regret it.
LE PEN PENS
I am so OCD about office/school supplies and the pens/pencils that I write with so when I found these I was skeptical at first but soon made a believer. I ordered these bad boys off of Amazon (I have the multi color pack) for writing and color coding my planner and for organizing my notes at work. The thin tips make it so easy to write neatly and the color selection is amazing. You can get them on Amazon and have them at your house in two days. Score.
BRUSH ME ORGANIC WHITENING TOOTHPASTE
I did a whole Instagram post on this stuff but to give you a quick rundown.... this stuff is a miracle for whitening teeth painlessly. It is made of clay, it is organic, it is pain free, and you can get 30% off of your first order with my code "M30". Click here, you are welcome.
This stuff has become my go to. So far I have tried their Pinot Noir and the Rose and both have been heaven for my tastebuds. The wines aren't too sweet and definitely gets you a little buzzed with your first class (or is that just me?). Did I mention that they come in cans? Yup, cans. So they are great for bonfires and other outdoor Fall events. Especially for us gluten free folk who can't drink beer, these are a cool alternative so you don't have to look like the asshole drinking out of a wine class while everyone else has Miller Lite cans.
I always see Moon Juice products featured by The Skinny Confidential but haven't been totally sold. The other day I gave in and tried this Brain Powder one morning at work. I was pretty surprised that about 20 minutes after drinking the powder (I mixed it with caffeine free mint tea) I was more alert, awake, and focused. Usually it takes me a couple cups of coffee to get to that point but if this powder can get me amped up that quickly without the negative gastro effects from coffee then I guess it is worth it! Get yours here.
I am always on the hunt for products that will hydrate my skin without making me break out or have a reaction from it. ThirstyMud is heaven for skin transitioning seasons. I put it on for about 20 minutes while I am taking a bubble bath and when I take it off my skin feels plump, moisturized, and so smooth. A little of this stuff goes a long way so you can make the jar last.
KONG DOG TOYS
Charleston is obsessed with toys that we can stuff treats into and those things will keep him busy for hours. Kong toys are a lifesaver when we are trying to get things done around the house and need Charleston to be occupied. Rhaegar is a little easier to entertain. We put him in front of the window and he can stare for hours. I like to browse the different Kong toys at my local pet store to decide what is best for my boys. There are different ones for different ages and strength of chewers.
BLACK BEAN PASTA
It all started with Red Lentil pasta from Trader Joe's and then when I saw this stuff I had to give it a try. This has quickly become a dinner staple in my household especially when I need to whip something up quickly. While I usually opt for zoodles or spaghetti squash for a gluten free pasta alternative, this pasta is a great way to get your carb fix while still packing in protein and keeping gluten free. I usually just make this quickly with a bit of olive oil, garlic salt, and parmesan cheese. Perfect come home late from work week night dinner.
BUTTER LONDON WINK EYE PENCIL
I was going through my makeup to organize it the other day and found an unopened Butter London eye pencil that I got for free a while ago and never had the chance to use. What! So I started using this in Earl Grey and have become kind of addicted to it. I like that it is a softer color than the black I usually use. It blends easily and is long lasting so I don't have to worry about it smudging throughout the day, even when my eyes are watery from allergies. I've used other Butter London products, all of which have been great, so I wasn't surprise when this stuff exceeded my expectations. You can get yours from Ulta.com.
MARLEYLILLY MONOGRAMMED BALLET FLATS
I am a Tory Burch flats girl through and through. Call me basic, but I love how comfortable and durable they are. I have worn some variation of a Tory Burch flat almost everyday to work for the past year or so. My black flats are on their last leg so I wanted to replace them but try something new. I have been loving monograms lately, especially with my new monogram (I am so corny, I know). When I saw that I could get monogrammed flats from Marleylilly I had to place an order ASAP. I am so picky about my shoes but these definitely are up to my standards. They are cute, comfortable, and unique to you.
I can't wait to hear what you guys end up trying or have tried from this list! Also, please feel free to message me any recommendations on new things to try! I am always game for a new product.
Happy Sunday everyone! I hope you all had a relaxing, refreshing, and rejuvenating weekend! I have been curled up in my house, post Remicade, catching up on blogging and Real Housewives of New York. Today I had my big outing of the weekend and went to grab some Greek food for brunch with my mom, grandpa, and Matt. We tried a bunch of small plates (they have GREAT gluten free choices) but my favorite was the spinach frittata, seriously to die for. It's nice to get dressed and put some makeup on even when you aren't feeling so hot, it boosts my spirits a bit.
I sported my new Lulu's aviators which I ordered in my ER/pain medicine induced haze and I've ended up really loving them. Also, below is my live action shot of me yelling at Matt for something because I am a gem of a girlfriend. Just kidding, not yelling at him, love you boo.
Anyway, by time I got home I was totally exhausted and I knew writing the full post that I wanted to do was NOT happening. I got a little creative with this one and decided to just do a video of what I was going to do a post on. Genius! According to Gary V. video and audio content is the KEY right now so count me the F in. Honestly, when I am not feeling great it is way easier to articulate myself through spoken words than it is writing something witty and engaging (sorry yall!).
This week I wanted to show you all my favorite things that I am obsessing over lately! I feel like I used to do these in individual posts but I have been trying out so many cool new things that I feel like I needed to group some together. This segment has a mix of books, jewelry, beauty, sparkling water (yassss), and my favorite website for summer fashion. The best part is that everything I am recommending to you all is under $20 and you can get pretty much everything on Amazon. That is, minus Lulus.com because you can spend a boat load of money there. I am not responsible for that.
I hope you guys enjoy! Please let me know if this is a style of delivering content that you guys and enjoy and I can do some more of these!
Also, feel free to drop me a DM or let me know on my Instagram what products you are ABSOLUTELY LOVING RN.
Blonde babe. Maryland native. Crohn's crushing puppy mother to two sweet rescues.