Let’s Dress Up! The Denim Shirt Dress

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This past fall, my workplace slightly changed the dress code by letting us wear jeans to work on certain Fridays. (And since today is Friday, I decided to share this post.)  I was pretty excited since I can finally wear jeans to the office! But since I like wearing dresses more than pants, I asked if a denim dress would also be work appropriate. To my surprise, I was told it was! I immediately told my coworker about it (because who else would be excited with me? lol). She mentioned that she saw a denim dress online that might be work appropriate and then showed it to me. Of course, I fell in love with it. Unfortunately it sold out before we could purchase it to wear on our first denim Friday.

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But last month as I was browsing through the J.Crew website, I noticed a similar dress on sale so I ordered it (Yes, I need to stop that impulsive shopping). I tried on when it arrived and loved it. I plan to be wearing this to the office this spring and on the weekends or even on our trips. All perfect reasons to keep it, right? I brought this dress on our recent trip to New Orleans and wore it around while we were exploring the city. It was very comfortable to wear all day. The material is more like chambray than actual denim so it was light in weight. The belt did bother me for a bit just because I’m not used to wearing belts and having to adjust it as it got looser. For reference, I’m wearing a size 12. I decided to size up since I plan to wear to tops underneath it (i.e., tank tops and turtlenecks).

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I wore this dress with a pair of Steve Madden sandals I got from Nordstrom Rack  last year (similar ones here and here). I’ve been wearing this dress with tights and riding boots back in Chicago since it’s been so cold. I also took my Louis Vuitton Neverfull bag out of retirement for this trip…since it can hold everything, including my camera. My new favorite sunglasses have to be the Karen Walker Super Duper in black. It seems to fit the my shape of my face better and it actually stays on.

The dress I wore is sold out but I’ve noticed similar dresses that are reasonably price and work appropriate below.

Denim shirt dresses for work

1)  Gap  2)   AnnTaylor  3) Madewell  4) Club Monaco

 Thanks to my patient husband for taking the time to snap a few pictures of me in this dress.

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What Valentine’s Day Means To Me

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Growing up and even into adulthood, I never really enjoyed celebrating Valentine’s Day. Well, I do remember how much I loved getting cards in grade school  from my classmates but it wasn’t until middle school that I gave the “holiday” an eye roll or two. I figured I’d outgrew it and the holiday felt too commercial for me.

When Charlie and I first dated, he sent me a dozen roses….to the office! Although, it was very considerate of him to do so and I was very thankful for the beautiful bouquet, I told him that he didn’t have to because I wasn’t a big fan of Valentine’s Day. I didn’t want to make the holiday a big deal. He was somewhat happy to hear that…he hasn’t sent me flowers on Valentine’s Day since and we didn’t really celebrate it.

That all changed after we had Luke. Something happened to me after I had him. My perspective of the world changed. I express my love more openly. I want to find every reason to tell and show Luke that I love him, even on Valentine’s Day. I feel like I’m more emphatic. So if someone wants to celebrate the day for whatever reason, they should! Now our Valentine’s Day tradition is to get lobster tails from Whole Foods and celebrate at home. We buy Valentine’s Day crafts to make for Luke’s daycare friends….and Luke and I even wear matching shirts that says “Je T’aime” on it. It has been fun celebrating the holiday through his eyes.

But since 2015, Valentine’s Day will always be bittersweet for me. If I hadn’t miscarried, our baby would have been due on February 14, 2015. It was hard to celebrate last year because I kept on thinking how I would be celebrating the baby’s 1 year birthday. And how perfect it would’ve been to have a baby born on Valentine’s Day, knowing that both Charlie’s dad and niece were born on Valentine’s Day. That would have been a great coincidence. But it never happened.

I still wonder how it would be like to have Luke around with a sibling. It makes me sad thinking about it. But this year, I refuse to celebrate with sadness. I’m learning to move one and with every Valentine’s Day, I hope to mend my broken heart and fill it with the love I have right now.

So starting this year, I celebrate for Luke and our Valentine’s Day baby. For everyone else who has suffered from a miscarriage, I hope your day is filled with the love around you and with that love, I hope your heart is on the mend too. Happy Valentine’s Day.

 

 

 

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French Friday! My Favorite French Romantic Comedies

Bonjour! Welcome to the first of my “French Friday” post! I’ve always wanted to do this series so I made it one of my goals for 2017. I was inspired to start this series after talking with my Francophile friends about our love for everything French. Thanks to my friend Rebecca (with a magnifique blog called Every Day Parisian) who encouraged me to add some of my favorite French things to my blog.

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Last winter, I took an introduction to French class at the Alliance Francaise de Chicago. To be honest, it was really hard. Not only did I find speaking French hard to learn, but also it’s harder to learn a new language when you’re 40 years old, especially not being able to dedicate the time to it that you should. I really think the best way to learn is to immerse yourself in the language by living there. Overall, I had a great time laughing at myself butchering French words and phrases, meeting other Francophiles, and appreciating more of the French culture. I now know enough to start a conversation…well, to introduce myself and ask for help and the bathroom.

The French teacher told us that he learned to speak English by watching American TV. So he suggested that we watch some French movies (without subtitles) to try to figure out what was being said and pick up on some words and phrases we’d learn in class.

This was around the same time I signed up for the Amazon Prime membership…..which opened me to a whole new world of Amazon. It wasn’t just free shipping that I got with the membership…it was free movies (well, selected movies). So I searched for French movies on Amazon Prime and surprisingly there was a good selection to choose from. Somehow I picked French romantic comedies to watch.

I normally don’t watch romantic comedies but for some reason, the French do it so well. I got the humor and laughed out loud. The romance wasn’t sappy, it was relatable.  At the time I watched these movies, they were all free on Amazon Prime. I think the free status changes with time. Oh…I cheated and watched these movies with subtitles. I’ll try watching them without subtitles soon. Maybe.

Here are three movies that I loved watching. I promise I won’t give away the whole story line..just what I liked about the movies.

AMELIE

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I know, I know…before you say anything. I’ve never watched Amelie and it’s been out since 2001!  I’m mad at myself for not watching it sooner. Audrey Tatou is the ultimate French girl in this movie. I loved her quirkiness and her wit as Amelie, who helped people around her in the most subtle ways. I loved watching the everyday life in the cafe that Amelie works in, the market that she visits, and her strolls through the streets of Paris. It’s a great story line with a wonderful message – even when we’re busy helping others, we still need help ourselves. And that’s okay.

ROMANTICS ANONYMOUS

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This movie! OMG  Romantics Anonymous was a surprise find for me! I’m so glad I found it because it is one of my favorite movies. I watched it twice in one night, once by myself and then with my husband. I look at the art of chocolate making so differently after watching this movie and appreciate the process so much more. The movie is not all about chocolate, though. I found it so relatable because the two main characters in the movie have what I call social anxiety disorder. I get nervous meeting new people so I could understand how it can be, although I’m not that extreme. I loved the quirkiness of the characters and was rooting for them to succeed in their social interactions with others and with each other.

PRICELESS

I picked Priceless because the movie  was set in the French Riviera, mainly in Nice, France. Nice ranks up there with one of my favorite cities in France. Here’s another movie starring Audrey Tatou. Are you starting to see a trend? I kinda really like her. Audrey plays a totally different character in this movie compared to the character in Amelie. In this movie, she plays a gold digger who lives off dating older wealthy men only to be pursued by someone her own age that she met on a drunken night at a hotel he worked at. The story line is a little confusing but her admirer goes to Nice get her heart back through a series of very funny antics. Nice was the perfect backdrop for this movie.

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I also watch American movies set in Paris and/France –  Midnight in Paris and Chocolate just in case you didn’t want a movie with subtitles.

I’m pretty sure there are plenty of other romantic comedies that I didn’t include but I would love to know which French romantic comedy is your favorites?

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