bloom: my picks for spring

I don’t know about you guys, but my fellow Michiganders and I have endured a long, cold winter! Don’t get me wrong, I love winter; there’s something special about staring out the frosty window pane with a hot cup of chamomile in my hands! I love skipping through the snow wearing warm, fuzzy mittens and feeling like I’m in a snow globe.

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However, winter has had it’s turn for a few months, and soon it will be spring’s time to shine (hopefully literally, because I am incredibly pasty and in need of some sunshine). Now that it’s nearing the end of February, it seems like everyone has spring break on the mind, and though I won’t be vacationing anywhere tropical (unless you count babysitting a blind beagle as an exotic endeavor), I’ve put together a list of some of my favorites for spring (did you catch the pun in the title? If so, help yourself to some brownie points)!

Since springtime is all about new life, expect fun, fresh, and colorful! If that’s not your cup of tea, you have permission to peruse the rest of my blog instead (but everything else on here is basically a girly paradise, so good luck finding something that appeals).

1. Riley round crystal Bezel bracelet watch Nordstrom

Color-faced watches:

I saw this trend in Oprah Magazine (yes, I read Oprah) and fell in love. Watches with colorful faces are predicted to be one of the major trends for spring, so I was green with envy when one of my roommates came home with one of these bad boys! In fact, I am currently plotting a theft that reaches Ocean’s Eleven status (just kidding Macy). Rose gold and teal are some of my favorites, so to see them combined makes me feel weak at the knees, but there are plenty of other colors to fit your fancy! The featured watch can be found at Nordstrom, but if you’re balling on a college budget like me, you can find a whole menagerie of them on Etsy!

2. baby lips

Baby Lips Chapstick: 

This has been one of my favorite products since high school, so I had to include it! Winter definitely takes its toll with all of its dryness, so if you are searching for a great product to keep your lips super soft and hydrated, look no further! During a typical school week, I don’t wear any makeup, so the colorless balm (“Quenched,” featured above) is my go to. If you want to add a little bit more of punch to your look, Baby Lips has a variety of colors and shimmers you can choose from as well. Oh, and for all my low-maintenance beauties, you can find these at just about any grocery store or drug store!

3. Toms Sierra Wedge sandal nordstrom

TOMS Wedges:

I found a pair of Toms wedges at a cool little consignment store this summer, and I wear them religiously. Not only are the wedges cute, but they are comfortable and very user-friendly if you lean toward the clumsy side (like me, except I don’t lean, I topple/fall/tumble/timber/collapse, pick your plummeting adjective of choice).

4. crochet lace midi dress forever 21

Crochet Lace:

I found this pretty little thing on Forever 21’s website; this dress is fun, flirty, light, and elegant. This dress is great, because you can toughen it up with some edgy lace-ups like the model, or you can wear it with a colorful heel (I’m thinking coral, lemon yellow, or teal) for a sweeter feminine look.

5. fabletics

Fabletics:

Okay, I cannot say enough about how much I LOVE Fabletics. Created by Kate Hudson, Fabletics has an athletic look for everyone. New users receive a 50% discount when they take a “Fitness personality” quiz, which will set them up with a list of athletic outfits tailored to their workout routines, color preferences, and body type. My sister and I both ordered some apparel from Fabletics and have been incredibly impressed by how comfortable and flattering the outfits are! If you’re looking to whip yourself into shape for spring break, consider purchasing an outfit (or two!) as some incentive.

6. keds coral champion dip dye keds seersucker daisy

Keds Champion:

I got to model some of these kicks for a buyers’ show in the fall, and I’m obsessed. These shoes are so incredibly comfortable, and it took every ounce of self-control to take them off after the show (wow, I’m really making myself sound like a thief in this post…I promise I’m a law-abiding citizen!). These shows are comfortable, flattering to the ankles, and come in a variety of colors and prints that are incredibly cute! Oh, and Taylor Swift is their spokes person and this is part of her collection, so if that’s not enough incentive to make you run for your nearest JCP, I don’t know what is!

7. starfish studes in crystal francesca's

Starfish studs:

Okay, ever since I saw Aquamarine in middle school, I’ve had an affinity for starfish earrings. These are cute, delicate, and perfect for any occasion. If you’re interested, you can find them at Francesca’s (aka my favorite store).

8. tulle overlay cami dress forever 21

Tulle Dresses:

I see these dancing across my Pinterest news feed all the time, and I assure you this will be one of my next purchases. This midnight colored tulle overlay dress can be found at Forever 21. If you’re like me and go to a school where absolutely EVERYONE is getting married this summer, you can pair this with some pretty heels and some statement earrings so you are prepped to take on wedding season!

9. blogilates

Blogilates:

If you’re looking to get in shape (I’m not going to say “swimsuit season,” because you don’t need to have a specific body to wear a swimsuit) or show some love to your body through some exercise, Blogilates is a great destination! Cassey Ho is a certified trainer who posts fun youtube videos consisting of “Pop Pilates,” a great workout you can do at home! Cassey also has free meal plans and printables on her site, and sends out encouraging weekly emails her subscribers to keep them! If you don’t know where to start, this is one of my personal favorites! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZoR7YKqIe8

10. Redeeming Love

Redeeming Love:

Are you so over hearing about 50 Shades of Grey? Me too. Do you need a good book to keep you company on the beach (or with the blind beagle, if we are talking about Spring Break: The Kelly Doles Edition)? I will probably be reading it for the 4th time while I kick it with the beagle! This book has a solid plot, fantastic character development, and profiles a romance that is centered on respect, forgiveness, acceptance, and selflessness. Almost every single one of my friends has read this book at least one time, and all of them have given sparkling reviews! GO PICK IT UP NOW.

There you have it; the 10 things I am looking forward to & loving for this spring season! To those of you who are still surviving the icy tundra of winter, hang in there and cross your fingers we can wear some of these things by June 🙂 To those of you who are already living in sunshine, feel free to send some our way (sharing is caring).

Kelly Doles

Falling for Flannel

Everyone loves flannel. Quite possibly one of the most versatile pieces in the closet, whether it’s from the thrift shop or J. Crew, chances are, if you ask someone to name their favorite staple pieces, a plaid shirt is going to be near the top of their list.

With autumn slowly tiptoeing away from us, and winter getting ready to make her appearance, plaid is perfect for both seasons, and reigns as a powerful tool in the fashion world for dressing up and dressing down just about any outfit.

Wondering how you can make the most of your flannel this Finter (hybrid of fall and winter…yes, I just made up a word)?

Here are my top picks for utilizing flannel:

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Pretty in Plaid: Soften up the tomboy feel of your plaid by pairing it with a cute button-lined skirt and some tights. Since the plaid shirt itself is so conservative, it allows you to show a little bit of leg without looking like you’re begging for attention. Perfect for going out to lunch with the girls.

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Cable-Knit Cutie: Add a pop of color to your favorite sweater. Allow the collar to peek out at the neckline, and pair with some jeans for a cute and relaxed look. The doubled up layers will keep you warm and give you a cute look without looking like you’re trying too hard.

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Cozy and Casual: Planning on spending the day in the library cramming for that test? Throw a furry vest on with your plaid, and add a pair of jeans. The cozy vest will keep you comfy and warm, and it slightly tweaks the look, adding a little something extra to that cozy look that you want to create.

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The Coffee Date: Want something that looks cute without saying, “I stared at my closet for half an hour before I picked out the perfect outfit for today.” Pairing your plaid with a colorful cardigan and a neutral scarf makes you look cute without saying that you were trying on countless outfits for the occasion. Perfect for a casual coffee date or class.

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Denim Darling: If you’ve been dying to wear that new chambray, but the solid color just looks too plain with your leggings, rock your flannel underneath to add some visual intricacy to a basic outfit.

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Waist-(k)not: If you want to wear something chill and casual, but you don’t want to look too basic and boring, tie the sleeves of your plaid in a loose knot around your waist. Its a great way to wear your leggings without looking like you’re trying to say, “Look at my butt.”

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The laid-back little black dress: Take the casual flavor from the plaid and the formality of a little black dress, and fuse them together for a dressed-down dress, and a played up plaid. This is a great way to tone down one of your favorite solid-colored dresses if you want to wear it to class.

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Skirting the issue: Sweeten up your plaid, and amp up it’s girly potential by pairing it with a plain black skirt and some tights.

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Dress-shirt dressed down: Looking for a new way to soften the rigid formality of your favorite crisp white dress shirt? Throw your flannel on over your button up to create a look that holds it’s own from the couch to the classroom.

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The Statement-piece showcase: Everyone has that one statement necklace that they rarely wear, because they don’t know how to wear it. Button your plaid to the top and fasten the statement necklace under the collar. The girly touch of the necklace is a simple way to make your flannel a little more feminine.

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The Hipster Starter Kit: A knit hat and a simple side braid will keep you warm and cozy, and it’s a classic college kid look for those of us wanna-be hipsters who aren’t daring enough to rock the full-blown granola look. Image

Maxed out: Just because summer is over, it doesn’t mean that you need to ditch the maxi skirt! Take your maxi from beachy to leaf and latte ready by pairing it with your flannel. The plaid’s pattern brings to life to the basic black maxi and it’s an effortless way to stay comfortable without sacrificing your style.

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The Sporting Event: If you’re on your way to your school’s basketball game, but you don’t want to change out of your flannel, throw on a bubble vest and a baseball cap. Put the cute in casual and add some spunk to sporty.