Quarantine Gratitude List

Smocked Blouse: Wild Fable | Girlfriend Jeans: Rachel Parcell- similar , similar| Purse: Polished and Poised| Pearl Barrette: Amazon | Wedges: Jessica Simpson- Similar | White Hoops: Similar

I feel like there is so much bad news right now that it can be so easy to lose sight of the blessings that are still in our lives, or perhaps have actually come out of the pandemic. As a result, I thought I would list ten things that I am currently grateful for during this season:

  1. Being forced to slow down. For a couple of months now I have been running at such a fast pace that I could feel myself starting to head towards burnout. I began praying that God would provide an opportunity for me to slowdown, and while I never would have imagined a pandemic, I am choosing to see the blessing of being given the ability to slow down.
  2. School. I am so grateful to be able to continue taking my college classes online during this season and actually having more time to focus on them.
  3. Early morning quiet times. I have always loved my early morning quiet times alone with God, but I appreciate them on a whole new level now. When it feels like the world can be careening out of control, it is so comforting to start the day reminding myself that while the world is out of my control, it is never out of God’s control.
  4. FaceTime. I have loved being able to utilize technology so many times over the past few weeks by facetiming several friends. Even though we can’t connect in person, it is such a blessing to be able to still see each other’s faces and stay connected.
  5. Food. I never thought I would see the day living in a first world country that the grocery stores shelves would be empty. Yet that is exactly what has happened. While I may not have all of my most favorite foods in the house and be able to run to the grocery store to grab my latest food craving, I am grateful that God has provided and that I have food in the pantry I can eat.
  6. The Church. I have been loving seeing how God is reviving the church during this season and watching believers come together. While we all have known that the church is not a building but the people, it is so amazing to actually see that being acted out in real life.
  7. Medical Professionals. I am so thankful for all of the brave men and women that are putting themselves in danger as they face the front lines of caring for the sick. I am praying for you everyday and so grateful for your sacrifice!
  8. Time with family. Even though large chunks of my day are spent studying for school, I am so grateful for the extended time with my family. I don’t normally get to see them that much between all of my jobs and schoolwork, but I am loving getting to see them more and spend more time with them!
  9. Spring. I am going to be honest, social distancing would have been so much harder if it had happened in the winter. I am so grateful for the weather warming up and being able to go on long walks everyday enjoying watching the world come back alive. It reminds me that if God can bring life back every spring after the death of winter, He can definitely bring life back to our world from this pandemic.
  10. And the thing I am most grateful for is Jesus. In the midst of all of this turmoil and uncertainty, I can honestly say I have peace because I know my future is held in God’s hands. That doesn’t mean I don’t have the occasional moment where I feel stir crazy or sad and cry. What it does mean is that when those emotions come, I am able to carry them straight to Jesus and rest in the knowledge that He is carrying me through all of this. As a result, I have hope for the future and peace in the present.

What are some things that you have been learning during this pandemic and are grateful for? I’d love to hear, please share in the comments!

Xoxo,

Leighton Michele

(F)all the Activities

This past weekend I had so much fun traveling up to Louisburg, KS for the local Cider Fest. For many of us it was our first time, but we are already discussing making it a yearly tradition. I don’t care what stage of life you are in at the moment, the Cider Fest had something for everyone. To name just a few of the fun activities available: corn mazes, a pumpkin patch, orchard, craft fair, a darling general store packed with all the fall goodies, live music, and so much more! If you live in the Kansas/ Missouri area, you should definitely add this to your fall bucket list.

Blouse: Rachel Parcell | Skirt: Rachel Parcell | Booties: Merona-old (similar) | Hat: A New Day

If you decide to go, be sure to try the apple cider donuts, they are so good and I cannot recommend them enough. Also, while the free portion is wonderful and so much fun and you could make a complete day there alone, you should still go to the pumpkin patch portion. This is where the corn maze, apple orchard, hay rack rides and so many other fun activities is located. I have even heard that at night they have fun family friendly movies playing! They are open all October long and it is the perfect fall activity. (And if you didn’t notice, it would also be the perfect place to take some family pictures!)

Xoxo,

Leighton Michele

The Perfect Girlfriend Jean

Body Suit: H&M | Jeans: Rachel Parcell | Boots: Gianni Bini- sold out (similar) (similar) | Purse: Michael Kors | Tortoise Hoop Earrings: SugarFix by Baubelbar

As we slowly move into the cooler months, I like to make sure I have a few good pairs of staple jeans in my closet rotation. While I still love my trusty skinny jeans, I was so excited to add these cute girlfriend jeans to my jeans stash. They are so much fun with a simple bodysuit like I am wearing here, or dress up beautifully with a blouse or silk tank for a night out. I cuffed them to show off the boots for this look, but they have a great length when rolled down to wear with wedges or pumps. What is your favorite jean style for fall this year?

Xoxo,

Leighton Michele

White and Red

I’m so excited to be sharing this second look for the Fourth of July. I love the simplicity of the all white with the little pops of red. The fun gingham ruffles on the sleeves keep the Americana vibe going and the red shoes tie the red in perfectly. The basket purse was the perfect accessory to tie this whole outfit together. If you recreate this look for the Fourth, be sure to tag me on Instagram so I can see!

Xoxo,

Leighton Michele

Shades of Blue

Dress: Gianni Bini | Clear Purse: A New Day | Earrings: Rebecca Minkoff (sold out) similar | Sandals: Gianni Bini (sold out) similar

Happy Fourth of July week! Each day this week I am going to share a different look to give you some patriotic outfit inspiration. I LOVE dresses, so you are definitely going to see a trend in the outfits. Today’s look was inspired by shades of blue, I love the royal blue paired with the lighter blue of my clutch. This dress also comes in red which would be such a fun pop for patriotic holidays! My dress is unfortunately sold out in the royal blue color, but besides the red it also comes in a beautiful shade of navy that is also perfect for the Fourth!

Xoxo,

Leighton Michele

1 Dress 3 Ways

One of my most favorite things about dresses is all of the options for styling them! This post is the first in a continuous series I’m starting here where I’ll pick a dress and share multiple ways to wear it. With each post I’ll share a casual and a dressy way to wear the dress and sometimes even an in-between! Dresses are my go-to when I am getting dressed in the morning because I know that they can carry me through the whole day no matter what it holds and by changing a few accessories I can completely change the look!

Look 1:

Dress: Rachel Parcell (similar) (similar)| Purse: Steve Madden (similar) | Pumps: Old (similar) (similar) | Earrings: Baublebar (Sugarfix version)

The first look is something I would wear to a nice event like a wedding or church. I love the detail that the belt adds and the ruffles on the shoes go perfectly with the feminine details of the dress. My favorite detail are the statement earrings. I love how bold they are and that they have the blush centers tying all of the other accessories into the outfit.

Look 2:

Dress: Rachel Parcell (similar) (similar) | Sunglasses: Chloe | Earrings: Francesca’s| Cork Heels: Lulu’s (similar) | Basket Bag: Amazon (under $20)

I wore this look to church a few weeks ago, but it would also be perfect for a baby shower or bridal shower. The cork heels and basket purse are less formal than the pumps and statement earrings and I opted for simple gold hoops to go with the more simplistic feel of this outfit.

Look 3:

Dress: Rachel Parcell (similar) (similar) | Basket Bag: Amazon | Earrings: Francesca’s | Slides: Sam Edelman

The final look is how I wear this outfit for an everyday basis. For the earrings I did hoops, although simple diamond studs are also a great option. I kept the basket purse and traded out the heels for simple slides. In the summer this is basically my uniform and is perfect for running errands or grabbing coffee with a friend!

Xoxo,

Leighton Michele

Cozy Cute

Jack’s BB Dakota Shirt | Flying Monkey Jeans (sold out) Similar, Similar| Booties (sold out) Similar

Happy March friends! I haven’t done an outfit post on here for awhile, so today I thought I would share with you an outfit that I have been wearing on repeat lately. While I am ready to pull out my complete Spring wardrobe and begin wearing cute sun dresses 24/7, the weather here in Kansas is refusing to cooperate. Most days winter weather is the norm with highs below freezing, but we have had some warmer days here and there promising that Spring will return soon. In the meantime though, I am wearing as many pastel colors as I can to try to appease my Spring fever. This shirt in particular has been a favorite of mine that I have worn at least once a week since the end of January! I love how the muted blush color acknowledges we’re not in full fledged Spring yet while still giving a nod to the hope of what is coming. My favorite way to wear it is like I did here with my black jeans, but it looks just as cute with dark or light jeans! Versatile tops like this are always such a staple in my wardrobe!

Xoxo,

Leighton Michele

Doughnuts?

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Shirt: A New Day Jeans: LC Lauren Conrad JackRogers: Jack Rogers Similar,  Similar, Similar Earrings: Similar

I don’t know about you, but summer Saturday’s were made for morning doughnut runs and picnics.  One of my favorite local doughnut places is Hurt’s Donuts, a fun shop filled with unique doughnut creations!  Here I am eating the “Homer”, but I also picked out: chocolate birthday cake, little timmy, cookie monster, cotton candy and andes.  And the thing is, this is not even scratching the surface of all the options they have!  If you are ever visiting the midwest, it is definitely worth your time to drop by and make a visit.  (And bonus points, they are open 24/7!!!)

Xoxo,

Leighton Michele

 

 

 

Saturday Morning Farmer’s Markets

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Dress: Neesee’s Dresses, sold out Similar Purse: Target, sold out  Shoes: Target, old similar   Earrings: SugarFix

 

One of the things I love to do in the summer is visit the local farmer’s market on Saturday mornings.   I was so excited to hear ours was opening a few weeks ago and hurried over the first Saturday they opened.  While it is still a little early in the season to be able to buy my fruits and veggies there, I loved getting to walk through and pick out some flowers as well as look at all of the craft booths.  What are some of your favorite things to look for at the farmer’s market?

Xoxo,

Leighton Michele

Fresno… Change in Plans

Today’s post is a little shorter than my last post on my trip to California.  Our second day we were supposed to go to Sequoia National Park, BUT there was a blizzard there that day and none of us were feeling the need to go freeze, lol.   While we were sad we wouldn’t be able to go to Sequoia, we all decided to just roll with it and this day ended up being one of our most favorite ones from the trip!

We started the day hanging out at Megan’s house making breakfast, she made the BEST little egg muffins that we all enjoyed.  Truthfully, I am still craving them several weeks later!

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After breakfast we took our time at the house getting ready for the  day and discussing different options.   The weather was beautiful, so we decided to pack a picnic and just see where the wind took us.  We spent the morning driving through many of the beautiful older neighborhoods that Fresno has to offer and enjoyed dreaming about those beautiful homes.  When we finally decided we were hungry enough we headed to Woodard Park to enjoy our picnic.

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Since at this point the weather was still cool for the most part back home, this was my first picnic of the year and I loved getting to enjoy it with such great friends!

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After this we were off for the only big plan we made on this random, spur of the moment day: an escape room!  Almost all of us had been to escape rooms before, and up to this point we had all managed to be undefeated, so to say the pressure was on is an understatement.  Each of us are competitive, so the second we were “locked” in our room, we were all diving in trying to find our clues!  This escape room was unique from ones I have done in the past due to the fact that instead of many clues being available to be searched out at once in no particular order much of the time, every clue had to be found in a particular order to unlock the next clue.  It made for a very unique experience, but one that we all loved.  If you have never done an escape room before, stop reading this post right now and call up some friends to go do one together, you will not regret it!

Also, needless to say, our winning streak is still intact, we made it out with 11 minutes and 43 seconds to spare.

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After the escape room, we decided to drive around downtown Fresno and do some exploring.  While down there we found some unique wall murals that we could not bear to say no too.  The bright colours were so beautiful and really brightened the area up!

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(L to R: Me, Megan and Lori)

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Megan and her boyfriend Ben

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Megan with a Fresno wall mural

Then we decided to finish the day in the most California way we could think of, a visit to In-N-Out, and of course, you can’t make a visit to this famous burger joint without getting a selfie with one of their famous burgers:

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If you know me, then you know I am not normally a big fast food person, but not gonna lie, In-N-Out has gained a new fan.  Now when can we get one here in the Mid-West???

Xoxo,

Leighton Michele