PEOPLE YOU MIGHT LIKE TO KNOW

As a blogger, I’m part of a beautiful community of creatives. We may share our ideas through a virtual network, but often times we have the opportunity to connect in person, sit down and chat, and really get the creative juices flowing! Grab your coffee and meet my friends, appearing as guest bloggers in this near-to-my-heart section.

Mix ’n’ Match Freedom

Since the initial boom of mix ’n’ match fashion in the 1950s, the concept has steadily been making headway decade over decade. I’ll admit, there’s something undeniably efficient about having five pieces of clothing having the potential to be thirty different outfits on any given day. Also, along with the practicality of it all comes the daily creativity in choosing whatever suits the mood or occasion. (Plus, I love having more options for less cost!)

 

I’ve found the more that I add to my mix ’n’ match wardrobe, the less worry I experience on a daily basis about getting dressed—I know I’ll find something, even if pressed for time. One thing about ShopNational is that they always have high quality mix ’n’ match separates available—across their entire store. There’s the comfort of clothing, and there’s the comfort of the act of clothing (one’s self); here are some of my personal favorites that offer both!

 

Top by UltraSofts®

Americana Tulip Sleeve Top by UltraSofts®

 

women's mix n match pants

Pull-on, Pull-in Pants by National®

 

Embroidered Floral Skirt by UltraSofts®

Embroidered Floral Skirt by UltraSofts®

 

Americana Graphic Tees by National®

Americana Graphic Tees by National®

 

Sleeveless Polo by UltraSofts®

Sleeveless Polo by UltraSofts®

 

 

What’s your outlook on mixing and matching? Do you have any favorite go-to pieces you love? Feel free to share in the comments!

 

 


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Heroes in Red, White, and Blue

 

I am so thankful for all the everyday, hometown heroes – including front-line workers, business owners, and/or those staying home to combat the coronavirus – there’s a “hero” in all of us. On that note, Memorial Day is right around the corner—so I’ve decided to dedicate this week’s fashion blog to some all-American styles.

 

National’s new Americana Collection has reds, whites, and blues, plus plenty of stars and stripes that give a fresh pop to any wardrobe! I’ll definitely be grabbing some of these to wear on the 4th of July as well. From sun protection to stylish embroidery, here are some styles sure to pep up the wardrobe just in time for Memorial Day.

 

women's hat

Savannah Ribbon Hat by Sun ‘N’ Sand® – with UPF 50+. It’s foldable and packable, too!

 

women's dress

Floral Detail Dress by UltraSofts® – with lovely stand-out embroidery. Also has UPF 50+.

 

usa tee womens

Americana Graphic Tees by National® – summery-soft cotton-modal.

 

women's usa scarf

USA Flag Infinity Scarf by National® – vintage-chic with plenty of breathability.

 

Gigi Wedges by Grasshoppers® – that heel look, but with jersey lining and memory foam footbeds.

 

 

What are your favorite USA styles? Are you doing a go-to look, or trying something new this year? Feel free to share with us in the comments section.

 

Here’s to our heroes,

Rebecca

 

 


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Self-Love

Self-love and self-care tend to get left on the back burner sometimes–and this is as good a time as any to revisit the topic. Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, but here are a few things that I’ve found to be super easy to fit into any day of the week.

 

  • Donate to a charity or do some volunteer work. While helping those in need, philanthropy can also provide a sense of hope, purpose, and self-appreciation–and can also help make new friends and connections along the way.
  • Do your nails and/or toes! Sandal season is tiptoeing nearer, and this form of self-care can give you a look you’ll love that lasts for weeks (see this super easy mani & pedi guide by Martha Stewart).
  • Remind yourself of some of the things you do best. Doing something you love and enjoy is good for the soul, helps build confidence, and brings out the best in you!
  • Dress to enhance the parts you love most about yourself. I know for me in particular, after being very enthusiastic about quarantine snacks, muumuus and relaxed fits are definitely doing the trick for me right now!
  • On that note, easy once-a-day yoga or a walk around the block takes as little as a few minutes–and remembering to take a self-nurturing approach, rather than that of a chore, will prove to be ever-gratifying.
  • Strengthening the mind is just as important. Taking a class to learn something new, meditating, or any sort of introspective activity is a great way to improve while showing yourself you care (thirteen great ideas here).

 

And I leave you with this: there’s no need to feel guilty for not always being proactive–leisure is just as good for the soul. Hopefully, we all can do at least one thing this week out of love for ourselves. What’s yours? Share with us in the comments!

 

Stay lovely,

Rebecca


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Muumuu, May I?

The decelerated pace of things lately has re-introduced my appreciation for an all-inclusive garment—one that’s easy to wear, stow, and care for (and hides away my quarantined snacking-related choices). Thankfully, the muumuu dress has made its way from its Hawaiian/Polynesian roots here to the U.S. mainland, and lately, it’s proven to be a great investment for my wardrobe, wallet, and self-image. Fifteen seconds in the morning, and I’m dressed for a day of leisure, errands, or social time–whatever the day has in store!

 

Characterized by a relaxed, shoulder-down drape that offers extra room and comfort, muumuus have become increasingly popular among women across the nation and are widely available in an array of cuts and styles. Plus, they typically fold and pack well, and are light and breathable–perfect for summer trips and waterside cover-ups. I love mixing and matching with sunhats and sandals for being out and about–and, needless to say, the does-it-all garment offers at-home comfort all evening long.

 

Regardless of the many ways you can dress them, muumuus all have one thing in common: they create a look you can feel great about yourself in, no matter where you are!

 

Below are a few of my personal favorites – what style do you enjoy the most? Share in the comments below!

 

muumuu dress floral

Keilani Floral Lounger by National®

women's muumuu

Multi Print Lounger by National®

 

muumuu

Border Print Crinkle Dress by National®

 

muumuu caftan

Ikat Printed Caftan by National®

 

 

Relax and enjoy!
Aloha,

Rebecca

 

 


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8 Ways to Celebrate Mother’s Day in 2020

 

This year, Mother’s Day is going to be a little bit different, but in no way less special! It’s actually a great opportunity to show the women in your life how you’re always there, even when you can’t be physically present. So, let’s get creative! Here are eight things you can do this year to celebrate a safe and happy Mother’s Day.

 

1. Write a good old-fashioned heartfelt letter or poem. If you don’t want to send anything via snail mail, you can drop your message in an e-card and send virtually. There are both paid and free sites that offer beautiful pre-made, customizable templates. Either way, a message from the heart is a great way to stay connected, no matter how close or far you may be.

 

2. Customize popular household items with happy images or family photos. Put a smile on her face with a mug, tapestry, or even a jigsaw puzzle displaying happy memories, pretty visuals, or photos of loved ones (I’ve had a lot of success using Shutterfly).

 

3. Send a care package of clothes so soft, she’ll feel like she’s getting a hug. Pamper her with luxe, soft items like plush robes, furry slippers, or silken nighties to make at-home time truly special. Online shops that specialize in women’s comfort, like ShopNational.com, offer a wide variety of lounging attire and make the process quick, enjoyable, and hassle-free.

 

4. Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom to tell her how much you care.

 

5. Give her her very own spa day. Who says that self-pampering can’t be relaxing–especially in the privacy of home, sweet home? Also, I have yet to meet a woman who isn’t absolutely delighted by a lovely gift basket; or, here are some great DIY ideas you can put your own special touch on.

 

6. Gift a book or movie; some reading material while soaking away in the bubble bath, a funny flick while waiting for face masks or nails to dry, or some inspirational literature to lift the spirits are all great choices.

 

7. Prepare a delicious dish to leave at her doorstep. Here are a few dinner recipes to try as well as some sweet ideas for dessert. If you can’t make it over, having a meal delivered would let her relax all the same (keep in mind that buying from locally owned businesses would help support your community).

 

8. Flowers never fail. Brighten up her home all week long with a beautiful bouquet.

 

 

 

What would the special woman in your life enjoy most this Sunday? Share in the comments below!

 

Here’s to all the mothers,

Rebecca


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Stop & Smell the Roses

Hey, Friends! I’m so glad to see the temperatures steadily rising again here in Lexington, NC–slowly, but surely–and my warmest wishes to you this Cinco de Mayo! As we welcome in this first week of May, I’ve been thinking ahead to Mother’s Day this coming Sunday. This year, Mom’s special day falls during a week where nature is beginning to bloom once again, and vibrant, happy colors and prints seem more than appropriate to live in this season! Speaking of which, National has all-new styles that perfectly coincide with these flowering times of new beginnings, and I am delighted to share some of these with you all. Being in the spirit of May and Mother’s Day, here are some new floral favorites that will look and feel great this month:

 

dress

Button-Front Day Dress by National®

womens jacket

Embroidered Jacket by National®

womens blouse

Forget-Me-Not Printed Blouse by National®

womens jacekt

Floral Jacquard Jacket by National®

womens flower top

Bold Flowers Knit Top by Alfred Dunner®

 

Which one(s) do you like best? Share in the comments below!

 

Blooming with hope,

Rebecca

 


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“Home, Sweet Home” Project – Patio Container Gardens

All week, we’ve been talking about easy, breezy patio dresses–that perfect item to roam about the house, and yes, your patio, in. As you venture out your back door and onto the patio, what would make that space feel like your own personal oasis? A beautiful container garden! They’re easy to create using old jars, pots, cans, or tins–and almost anyone, anywhere, can grow flowers, vegetables, or herbs, with just a bit of sunlight, water, and love.

Here are a few options to help with getting the most enjoyment out of your patio container garden project.

 

 

 

(herb garden / harvesttotable.com)

 

Herb Gardens:

Cost-efficient and convenient, herb gardens make for a great self-replenishing resource that you can call upon again and again. I love how they add a hint of color along with that chef-ready appeal to my kitchen! Here are some suggestions for staples that can last year-round. Having your own herb garden is also an inspiring way to enhance your chef skills–they offer a brighter, crisper taste and make for lovely garnishes to any meal. Once you’ve grown your garden, a bit of light reading on prep and storage can help with getting the most out of your herbs.

 

 

 

(succulents medley / gardeners.com)

Plants:

There are many options for container-housed plants that will live happily in either mainly shady or mainly sunny areas, as well as those that receive both. Some things to consider are the landscape appeal, whether different plants will require different types of dirt, what might enhance the architecture of your house, and the size they may grow to be (more on choosing and combining here). Plants grown on your patio can also be transferred indoors to create great house décor–ferns, for example. Whether hanging or freestanding, plant container gardens can make a great addition to the curb appeal and experience of your home.

 

 

 

 

(tomato container garden / almanac.com)

Vegetables:

There’s nothing like the first delicious bite of a fresh tomato in summer. Having a supply of veggies readily available right outside your door is super convenient, and there’s no fresher taste than just-hand-picked. Luckily, a large patch of land isn’t necessarily required to grow your own edibles (here’s a step-by-step breakdown). When sustained, a veggie container garden will prove to be gratifying, while saving money and extra trips to the store. Plus, there’s just something special and comforting about that home-grown, organic appeal.

 

 

 

 

(flower container garden / southernliving.com)

Flowers:

Whether filling an empty space, covering an unsightly area, or creating the atmosphere of your patio, a container flower garden can be a great way to give your house a special touch of you. Certain potted flowers can even help protect that vegetable or herb garden from pests and insects (nine bug-beating plants here). Picking and choosing flowers for your container garden may revolve around a desired theme or color scheme and can further serve to accent the features and colors already present on your house. There are many gorgeous, easy-care options to choose from, but whatever your approach, you don’t need a green thumb to be able to reap all the benefits that a flower container garden has to offer.

 

 

From a single bud to an elaborately planned set-up, choosing the look and feel of your outdoor space with a patio container garden puts you in control, makes at-home time fun, and offers many benefits that can be enjoyed all season long! What’s your favorite type to grow? What have you had the most luck with? Feel free to share comments and/or pictures below!

 

With homegrown love,

Rebecca

 

 


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Say Yes to the Patio Dress

During these uncertain times, one thing that’s for sure is the warming weather’s becoming more and more reliable. And as the perennials return to bloom once again, this year, easy-wear patio dresses and muumuus are becoming a go-to style for women across the country. Hilaria Baldwin (wife of Alec Baldwin) has showcased their comfort and style recently, wearing National’s Print Sundress (special thanks to dailymail.co.uk for coverage on Hilaria Baldwin in Print Sundress by National®).

 

National Print Sundress

Hilaria Baldwin posts wearing the Print Sundress by National®

 

As this season presents opportunity for all things new, adding bright & joyful colors and new styles to our wardrobe, around the house, and/or garden will make for a great pick-me-up any day of the week. As there’s a wide variety of patterns, colors, and cuts to patio and lounge dresses, here are some ideas for inspiration, as now’s the perfect time to get ready for the brighter days and sunnier skies just ahead.

 

print sundress

Print Sundress by National® – around-the-house style that’s great for any body type (as worn by Hilaria Baldwin)

 

patio dress

Printed Crinkle Crepe Smocked Dress by National® – (a flowy, wear-anywhere style)

 

patio dress

Santa Fe Crinkle Cotton Dress by National® – (beautiful influences of the Southwest)

 

sunflower patio dress

Sunflower Print Lounger by National® – (just. gorgeous.)

 

Daisy Denim Dress by National® – (flattering, flowery, & flounced.)

 

What’s your favorite type of patio dress? Share in the comments below!

 

 

 


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What to Lounge-wear?

Comfy women's pajamas

 

Snap coats, robes, leggings, pajamas…sometimes, they all seem to run together as much as the days we seem to be spending them in lately. After all, is there really a difference between “sleepwear” and “loungewear,” if we can do both in either?

 

As ladies’ fashion has evolved in recent years, it’s not uncommon to now see women running their errands in things like sweats, leggings, and comfy-looking tops in heather or stripes–then choosing to spend their downtime in the same comfort. These types of garments would typically fall under the loungewear category: cuddly-soft separates that feel appropriate to wear both in public and at home relaxing, with comfort as a main contributing factor. And, while this may look like yoga pants and off-the-shoulder sweaters today, the concept is nothing new. As far back as the early 1700s, the “dressing gown” served the same dual-purpose in the Middle East, worn mostly by the upper class as a special garment for leisure before making its way around the rest of the world in differing forms.

 

As loungewear continues to evolve, it’s popularly enjoyed today in bouncy, soft fabrics like cotton or modal, with a hint of stretch here or there depending on the desired look and feel.

 

Shadowline Sleep Dress

 

 

Sleepwear, on the other hand, has the tendency to be worn more at home than not: pajama pants with bold prints (cats, dogs, hearts, etc.) or plaid flannels, for instance. With features like notched collars, cowl necks, and side-seam pockets, sleepwear is generally crafted with the purpose of being non-constrictive and breathable, yet warm enough to help regulate body temperature to help with getting a good night’s sleep. The clothing type has come a long way, evolving along with fashion but with different influences, such as utility-based styling and personal preferences (more at mentalfloss.com). These days, there are so many types of sleepwear that it can be hard to choose (help at 40plusstyle.com), but there seems to be a little something for everyone, for every time of year.

 

As pajamas continue to evolve, big designers aren’t sleeping on the increased interest of their styling, and we might just witness a trend similar to loungewear.

 

shop national women's pajamas

 

 

Of course, there are no hard lines, and either can reflect your sense of style, but both should make you feel your best, wherever you are.

 

Rest easy,
Rebecca

 

 

 

 

What are your favorite types of garments for R & R and ZZZ’s? Share in the comments below!

 


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10 Ways to Combat General Boredom

Having the one-up advantage of many years of experience enables us to navigate through situations which are unknown and unpredictable. Sure, being cooped up can get a bit lonely sometimes, but silver linings tend to glow even when we don’t really think to look up. As we’re here, inside, protecting ourselves and others, around-the-house productivity is always an option! Here are 10 great things to help make the most given these ample amounts of extra time.

 

1.  Learn a new skill or hobby–or practice yours. Experiment in the kitchen? Start a new painting? Work on your vocal range? Learn key phrases of a new language?

2.  Watch TV & movies, or read a good book – try some comedy, informative or inspirational content to keep the spirits high.

3.  Exercise your brain with things like Sudoku, crossword puzzles, etc. (there are a lot of great free apps like Lumosity now available), or take an online class (Khan Academy or Linkedin Learning, for example), and continue lifelong learning to enrich the soul and mind.

4.  FaceTime, Skype, or dabble in social media to keep in touch. There are some amusing boredom-based quizzes going around; consider biting the bullet and participating in one, and perhaps recall upon a funny thing or two about yourself while getting to know the people on your friends list a bit better.

5.  Map out a diet & exercise plan. Whether it’s slipping more veggies into your diet (here’s a great suggestion from eatingwell.com), practicing healthier cooking hacks (such as these everyday suggestions by healthyeater.com), or getting out for a daily stroll, having a plan and a routine is a great, healthy way to make life more predictable.

6.  Research fun new makeup, wardrobe, and hairstyle ideas. Maybe try some of them out – no need to worry about being seen in public.

7.  Clean that one place of your living space you’ve been meaning to.

8.  Redecorate your least favorite room.

9.  Try some self-reflection tools and meditation to relieve the stress.

10.  Do something nice for the one(s) you think of during this time–make them a card, or send them a recipe or a small gift to brighten their day.

 

You aren’t alone! Many people are working 24/7 to resolve the situation: we’re in this together.
What are you doing to pass the time? Feel free to share what’s working for you in the comments below!

 

 


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