Author: Erin Vondra

It is impossible to not start shopping for warmer weather even with snow still on the ground. My mind is already going towards how to improve my garden game to what sandals I want to live in.

  1. A new floral wreath can replace my still up holiday one.
  2. I cannot stop stalking this light parka. Just love the color and the shape.
  3. Easter is rolling in soon and my kids have zero dress clothes. This combo of dress and linen shirt would be cute.
  4. I made the switch to these drop in surface cleaners from my usual Method and have to say they clean great. I just reuse the plastic spray bottles I have.
  5. Coveting these sneakers I could wear with just about anything for Spring.
  6. My favorite sunglasses in tortoise are sort of a no brainer.
  7. My black thumb is urging me to go faux for my front porch planters this year. These have great reviews.
  8. This shamrock sweater just makes me happy and excited for St. Pat’s. Also how cute is this girls one?
  9. Need a refill on this Goop lip balm set. The colors are super flattering and the beam itself if dreamy.
  10. A smocked puff sleeve top, how ground breaking ha! But I really think it would be cute with high waist jeans.
  11. In search of a budget friendly patio set for our tree house. This one looks like it will stand up to kids/pet/weather and I do not have to worry about it.

This “spring” has already started to kick our asses a bit, right? So if you are lucky enough to escape soon to warmer temps and a break from the realities of juggling all the life, best to have some new pieces to lift the mood even more. Function and fashion are important factors when packing, so I tried to pull items that can be dressed up or down and go day to night.

  1. This light gingham dress would be such a sweet cover up.
  2. Glasses with a ton of style for a tiny cost.
  3. Mom jorts are the hero closet item you never knew you needed.
  4. This bright poplin dress looks comfy and relaxed but full of style. Also comes in leopard!
  5. This net cover up dress would seriously up my pool game.
  6. A hat that looks spendy, but won’t break your budget.
  7. A classic stripe tunic you will wear forever and gives you the shade you need sometimes.
  8. Waterproof pool bag you can hose down after your trip. Comes in lots of colors.
  9. Another comfy, breezy dress you can eat and drink with abandon in.
  10. This Glossier set will give you that dewy, glowy look without the sun damage. I love all these products so much.
  11. This Amazon find will be easy to pack and wear with heels or flats.
  12. I am such a sucker for a Terry jumpsuit, especially in this blue.
  13. Because these slides really are the most comfy and you won’t care if they get destroyed.
  14. This sweet gingham  swimsuit is also reversible.

There were some questions on the ski gear the kids and I were sporting in my stories. Here are a few of things that we love and my biggest advice is buy a size or two up for the kids so you can get more than one season out of it!

  1. My velvet pink jacket is no longer available, but the same brand carries this one and this one that are the perfect hue.
  2. I love these bib pants that are surprisingly warm, flattering, and keep the snow out when I inevitably fall.
  3. I ordered these helmets for everyone on Amazon, use the coupon code!
  4. These googles were an insta purchase from a couple years ago. I love that they come with both lenses.
  5. Mary’s perfect moment look is so easy to spot on the slops when I was trying to chase after her. It also comes in women’s size in red & blue.
  6. The matching pants
  7. It got snowy and cold, so this hoods that fit over our helmets were game changers. Kids (I actually wore this one) & Women
  8. I was jealous of Mary’s super soft PJs from Target that she wore as long johns
  9. I have ordered these amazon long johns every year as well.
  10. Tommy has preferred this jacket to his others. Keeps him warm enough without overheating while snowboarding.
  11. We all have a pair of these gloves. The tether is a game changer.
  12. Mary’s look capped off with moon boots was everything.
  13. You really can’t have enough socks. I like these packs from Amazon and kids never needed toe warmers.

There are so many items that I have bought over the years and been disappointed by. Products that do not live up to the hype, an outfit that never quite worked, or shoes that were for occasions that never happened. But the items that I order again and again are the ones that never let me down. I click that reorder button with no hesitation and replace immediately upon too much wear. This list are those hero items that I have bought at least five or six times with no disappointment. And in these times of e commerce and filtered photos, I only want the real deal coming to my doorstep.

repeat purchases

These Reformation Jeans are the perfect high waist and cropped cut in a flattering non stretch denim / I know these Emu Slippers have been knocked off (tried those!) but the OG are the coziest & softest / I do not leave the house without Elta Tinted Sunscreen on. It has just enough tint and soothes my skin / The holy grail of skin care is Biologique Recherche P50. It exfoliates, brightens, and tightens / This Splendid Pajama Set is just light enough to not be too warm to sleep in, but heavy enough to hang in as well / My other North Star of skin care is Vintner’s Daughter serum, which is my daily moisturizer. It is packed with all your skin needs to be brighter, smoother, and clearer / I am not a big vitamin person, but Goop High School Genes Vitamin Packs have been a nightly ritual and I can tell my body is a fan / One size up Gap Vintage Soft Sweatpants are the winner of the 2021 sweatpants wars that have been raging in my closet / Stripe & Stare makes the softest most comfortable underwear / The smell of this Necessaire Body Wash keeps my orders coming / I have this Koral tank in almost every color. It is so flattering and the perfect length to wear over leggings or tucked into a tennis skirt / I have tried MANY a bikini set, and if you do not want your cheeks hanging out, but also do not want to look like a grandma the J. Crew Surf Hipster Bikini is your answer / These Chimi Sunglasses are huge, so not for every face shape. But with a price point that only hurts a little and black out lenses to keep your eye rolls private you cannot miss / 2020 made me a bath person and while I love a fancy soak, this Dr. Teal’s Bath Soak & Bubbles set form Amazon is always stocked in my bathroom/ Glossier Lash Slick is the only mascara that gives you the most natural lash look for every day (cloud paint is another staple) /  Colorscience Mineral tinted sunscreen is a miracle product. It gives the best protection, is so easy to brush on, and is insanely water/sweat proof. I always have one in my bag / If you slather on Avene Lip Lotion at night, be prepared to wake to with the most soft lips even in the driest of months.

It has been a minute since I have written. I am usually slow to get back to the pace of blogging and social media after the holidays. There is always this pause for me where I have a hard time seeing how that fits into my professional life as a realtor and designer. Especially with my kids now packed schedules and my inability to get out of sweats most of the time. But as soon as I start to plot out post ideas and getting a string of stories going with lots of great feedback from you all, it gets me motivated again.

I used to write a current favorites post every week and I loved writing it. This post is more a wish list, but same same. I figure you might want to see some things I am drooling over to start the year. xo

wish list

An oversized Puffer Coat in a sweet hue is all I need to wear right now / How sweet are these Cherry Earrings? / I am sucker for  light wash retro denim / How perfect is this Heart Sweater for Valentines Day?  / Target win with this Green Fleece that I would order oversized for over leggings / In desperate need for some kick ass Black Boots / I LOVE my Defined Dish cookbook, excited for the new one / If you have a Dyson, it looks like this Hair Tool is a must / I love the ruffle detail of this Amazon find Green Sweater / I keep going back to these comfy, but cool Hiking Sneakers / I usually make popcorn on the stove, but this Popcorn Maker could save me some time and kids could do on own / Dying to try the new Goop Cleanser / These Spanx Black Pants look like the perfect work pant that you won’t want to burn by the end of the day.

So the last list is really for the last minute shoppers who need some ideas for the lady in their life. And to be honest, this is really my list! Lots of things to keep her cozy and a little bling if you want to take it up a notch.

Also check out the Custom Gift , Tweens and Teens, & Under $25Men’s Gift Guides! Plus, holiday dresses if you need one.

  1. A cozy coat for the dead of winter  $425
  2. A neutral sunglass option that are also a fun shape $390
  3. The perfect day bag to fit all the things. Contact here to order
  4. A diamond bar earring to round out here ear party$495
  5. Jessica Seinfeld new book to start off the year with more veg $17
  6. This shower wash and lotion duo is the absolute best $50
  7. Boots that can stand up to snow and still take you to dinner $695
  8. A great changes up to your studs pink stone earrings  $265
  9. The best skincare duo there ever was in a mini size $270
  10.  These cowgirl boots come in a ton of colors and can be worn with everything $328
  11. A chic laptop case to protect her work essentials $47
  12. New cozy boots to slid into all winter $335
  13. The pajama set I am wearing while writing this I love it so much. Love this new stripes $78

Staying in a budget for the holidays is near impossible, and finding quality items in that budget is even harder. You know the gesture is worth more than anything, but here are some items that she will actually cherish.

Also check out the Custom Gift , Tweens and Teens, & Men’s Gift Guides! Plus, holiday dresses if you need one.

under $25 gifts
  1. The best body wash, I love the Eucalyptus scent best  $25
  2. How could these slippers not brighten someones day?! $19
  3. Quite possible the cutest to-go mug I have laid eyes on $15
  4. Charlotte Tibury’s cult favorite lip duo $25
  5. The perfect bedside table duo of lip balm and hand cream  $22
  6. This sweet bowl would be a great hostess gift with fruit or cookies in it $20
  7. A lip mask for nightime that will be heaven this winter $20
  8. To me pajamas are the perfect gift, everyone always needs them $25
  9. For the gal that has all the gadgets and loves being organized $25
  10. A hot cup of coffee in this Santa mug means instant smiles $22
  11. This hyaluronic acid serum is amazing and perfect for winter skin $12
  12. A precious little love knot ring  $22
  13. These slippers could not look cozier $19

When the search for gift guides begins it is all fun and shiny bright, then things start to look boring and lame. Which then makes me want to not do gift guides! So after asking you all what kinds you want to see, I have a new energy and promise I will get a few more out. Next up is this tween to teen guide that a bunch of people had asked for. I am NO expert on this demo, but I did my best to find some unique things that will not get an eye roll.

Also check out the Custom Gift & Men’s Gift Guides! Plus, holiday dresses if you need one.

tween teen gift guide
  1. A cute poloroid camera $80
  2. A rainbow confetti cake kit for the aspiring baker $60
  3. “Siiiiick” new googles for the slopes this winter $234
  4. A book full of all things sneaker, which is apparently a thing $50
  5. The ugg of the season for the under 20 set $150
  6. A matching cozy set perfect for selfies $108
  7. Their own popcorn maker for movie nights with friends $22
  8. A cool girl belt bag $50 (comes in other colors)
  9. My favorite slippers in dip dye hues $70
  10. The coolest roller skates that I want now too $65
  11. Gaming headphones for hours of screen time fun $118
  12. A Sushi Making Kit, just add the fresh fish $35
  13. All the kids want this Virtual Reality headset $300
  14. Nike Airs for the golf course since he can’t get enough
  15. Gold huggie earrings that she will cherish $58
  16. And the perfect t-shirt for your kid that loves boundaries $22

Always, always you all ask for gift ideas for the guys. They are the hardest to shop for and most of them always ask for nothing. But do they really want nothing? I think not. This year’s guide includes a lot of things for being outside as it seems the pandemic has made us all outdoors people (note: not necessarily “outdoorsy” ha). There is still plenty of time to order custom gifts from this guide as well and look for my kids and ladies guides coming soon.

gift guide for him 2021
  1. A big smokeless free pit that he can throw wood in all winter $399
  2. A cozy way for him to get on the Shaket trend $129
  3.  The weekend print edition of the WSJ because its time for our kids to seee us read an actual paper again $24/month
  4. A 7 can Beer Cooler for his golf bag $24
  5. Crazy warm gloves to do all the outdoor things in $129
  6. A rough and tumble bluetooth speaker that is actually loud $202
  7. A soft hoodie from a local company from his beloved Northern Michigan $60 (check out all the great goods)
  8. An infrared thermometer gun so he can get thee perfect temp on that steak $29
  9. He will feel like an actual king in this RL velour robe $90
  10. These puffer coat beer coozies slay me $13
  11. A portable campfire so he can start instant fun anytime $28
  12. This mug and warmer set can even peek up a cold cup $88
  13. A cool way to wear Uggs that come in a ton of colors $130
  14. A three in one Northface because he really needs a new winter coat $360
  15. An incredible bluetooth speaker for golf that also gives distance and attaches to the cart $149

A little something to slip into when you have a festive dinner or party always makes the night feel even better. I usually like to add a little shimmer in my make up or in an accessory, but really it is about wearing something that makes you feel like you shine. I hope that this year we can settle back into celebrating and letting loose, while feeling the love of the people around us. On my to do list is always fun cocktail parties with friends, BCC Holly Ball benefitting the kids of Barrington (tickets here), and casual get togethers with family at home. I envision lots of comfort food, great red wine, and lots of candles while making sure to feel extra present and grateful for so many blessings this year.

  1. This black velvet dress is so classic and flattering  $228
  2. This knit jumpsuit has some shine and would bee so easy to throw on with heels $228
  3. This sweet Henley poplin dress comes in many colors  $55
  4. A rich velvet dress with ease and charm $265
  5. This plaid dress can be dressed up or down so easily $248
  6. A fun sequin mini dress for dancing $160
  7. Metallic puff sleeves to pair with tights and heels $399
  8. Love this chic knit dress to style in so many ways $230
  9. A neutral sweater dress with beautiful details $108
  10. Love the drape of this red dress $168
  11. I am sucker for a great plaid for anything in December $268
  12. Red velvet puff sleeve will be a go to for years  $300
  13. A cozy sweater dress to wear with boots $33
  14. A fun print dress that has just a hint of holidays  $364
  15. This soft shift dress would look great with lug boots or sneakers$198