holiday shoes under $100 & splurge

Hi, our names are Aj & Ashley and we have a problem:


We love shoes.

I’ve rounded up some of our holiday time favorites- in two batches.

The first, a round up of shoes that Ash and I own. Between us both we own most all of these shoes, some in multiples- and there’s a reason. They are our favorites. Yes, they are expensive- but, I will say I used to be the gal that had 7 pairs of “black pumps”, none of which I really liked, they didn’t last, and they were all incredibly uncomfortable. Now, if I had instead invested in one pair of quality black pumps- I would have spent the same amount, they last longer, they are more comfortable, and let’s be honest- I just like them better! So, that is my strategy now. I sometimes will buy a fun, inexpensive pair – but most of my shoes I invest in and replace multiple pairs of shoes in my closet that I then won’t wear.  Screen Shot 2016-12-07 at 2.13.32 PM.png

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14

The second batch – everything is UNDER $100 and some UNDER $50! Several of them are lookalikes for the expensive ones! Screen Shot 2016-12-07 at 2.18.47 PM.png

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16

Which ones are you going to grab!?




running shoes

Let’s talk shoes. I find a shoe- and I stick with it. That is until they decide to ‘redesign’ said shoe and then we break up and I find a new love. This is a frustrating process that usually leads to lots of trips to Luke’s Locker.IMG_4438.jpgShoes are everything. They take the beating as you’re hitting the pavement. If your knee starts to hurt, or your toes are going numb the first place you should turn is to your shoes. Go to your local running store and have them help you out. Tell them what you love in a  shoe- I love a wide toe box. I want lots of space for my toes to breathe and lets be honest, swell. I also prefer a light weight more minimalist shoe. Try different brands- and for goodness sake WHO CARES WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE! They are there to serve a purpose while you work hard. You can wear the cute ones while you run your errands but get the ones that feel the best on your feet, no matter what they look like, while you are putting the miles on them.

Remember to keep up with the mileage on your shoes. You need to keep them fresh. The more mileage on the shoe, the more broken down they will be which leads to a greater chance of injury. The general rule is 500 miles for a ‘normal’ shoe and 300 for a ‘minimalist’. You will get to the point when you just know it’s time to retire them to the running errands pile instead of the running miles pile.

The more you run, the more you will learn what you love and don’t love about a shoe. I started running years ago in Nike Frees. Now, as much as I love this shoe, I found myself getting a few stress fractures in my foot as my mileage increased. Some people swear by them, I am not one of them for anything over the half marathon distance.  I switched over the the Brooks Pure Flow. Now, Brook’s Pure line is amazing and I swore by them for several years. Had the trail shoe from the Pure Line as well. I had more of the same shoe, same color, than anyone. I LOVED that shoe. I ran my first marathon in it with no issues. They then did a major overhaul on the shoe last year and we had to break up. It became too tight in the forefoot and too supportive in the arch. I spent months trying to find the perfect shoe. Lots of trips to Luke’s during this time.

I found the Nike LunarTempo and ran in it for several months- had a couple pairs of them. No issues, (still love it for shorter distances and sprints) but when it was time to get a new shoe the Nike LunarEpic had just come out- I was hesitant because of the high top sock look that they had- but then remembered WHO CARES- and you know what, I LOVE THIS SHOE. They have since come out with a low cut version, but they are not the same. The high top of the shoe allows it to be looser around the main part of your foot- which is what I love. I just slip them on- no tying and worrying about them being too tight halfway through my run. I haven’t had a blister, lost a toe nail, nothing. I’m sold.img_4436If you prefer a non-minimalist shoe – or one with a little more oomph- Ashley loves the Nike Pegasus. She swears by them as the only shoe that she has never been injured in. So does our Mom, who is a 60-ish year old marathon runner! They, personally, are just a little too heavy for my damaged ankles.

So, don’t give up on finding a shoe! It may take some trial and error but there is a running shoe out there for everyone! Let me know if you have any questions- I’ve tried many other shoes and would be happy to chat with you about them.Screen Shot 2016-11-02 at 4.24.15 PM.png

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**had no intention of the purple blue color scheme- these are not the exact ones I have. As always, leave a comment with any questions!


happy running,




Ash’s obsessions

Steve Madden ‘Slithur’ Sandal now on sale for $89.90! (was $109.95).  As previously discussed in The Caged Heel post these heels super hot and they pair just as easily with jeans as they do a flowy maxi dress.

Rails ‘Hunter’ Plaid Button Front Shirt.  Because rails makes the best plaid shirts.  Super soft, super comfy, and perfect as we transition to fall.

ASOS Embroidered Mesh and Lace Midi Dress.  I’ve got a wedding to attend next month and I’m thinking this may be the dress I go with.  Great fall color and beautiful lace, all for only $113!

Aj’s obsessions

Screen Shot 2016-09-12 at 4.58.40 PM.pngVega Sport Recovery Accelerator .  I already used Vega for my protein powders, so when I found this, I had to give it a shot. It may be a mental thing, but about halfway through my training plan I started using this after my SOS {something of substance} runs, and I feel like it has helped tremendously!

Jeffrey Campbell Taggart Bootie. These were a hot boot last fall and they have hit the scene again as a must have! I love mine and Ashley owns them in a couple colors.

BLANKNYC ‘Good Vibes’ Distressed Skinny Jean.  I am obsessed with these jeans. They look amazing on everyone, great fit, good distressing and an even better price- $88!

family picture tips & tricks

let’s talk something that we all dread and hate, but– insist on doing and end up loving.

family pictures.

It’s that time of year! We start thinking about family pictures so we can slap one on a holiday card come December. Now, I can not be the only one who has this love/hate relationship with family pictures.

Typical pictures include: very few of my husband. I love him, but the fact he even shows up for them is an accomplishment! As for my kids, they will be crying, running off, making silly faces or some combination of those three. Then there is me. I will most likely be making some sort of mid-talking face or just something ridiculous in general because I am trying to get everyone to cooperate and be happy!

But- in saying all of that, there are always some photos that make the event worth it- which is why I want to share with you my family picture tips!


December 2015

Me: Anthropologie sweater (similar ones here) | Target tee (similar ones here)  |  Jcrew jeans  |  Sorel boots.
Hadley: Hunter boots | Old navy puffer jacket (similar one here)
Beckam: Target hat | Old navy puffer jacket (similar one here)


First: Pick your theme or a vision you have for your pictures. Boho, field, industrial, cityscape, lifestyle. Or, do something fun- baking cookies, dress up, playing your favorite family sport. Hit up Pinterest! Create a vision board.

Second: Figure out outfits. PLEASE stop doing “matchy-matchy” outfits. Instead, LOOSELY coordinate. This goes back to your theme- run with it! Pick a few common shades and make sure that you distribute those evenly among the family. I always start with my outfit,{selfish I know}, but my kids look cute in anything and let’s face it, men aren’t going out buying new clothes for pictures. From there I usually pick one of my kids and put them in something that has a color or a shade of the color from my outfit. Then repeat with my husband and the other little one.

Third: If your kids are little like mine- quit trying to pose photos. It WILL NOT WORK and will just cause you to be angry, upset, and feisty through your photoshoot, which will end up making your face in pictures look worse than anyone else! Trust me on this. Set aside 5 minutes to try and get “that” photo- then move on. Once they are older you can have everyone smile at the camera, but until then, embrace the natural pictures. It will take so much anxiety off of you.

October 2015

Me: Free People dress.
Hadley: Dillards dress (similar one here) |  Minnetonka boots.
Beckam: Toms Boots. H&M pants | Carters Top (similar ones here)
Husband: Jcrew top (similar ones here)

October 2014

Me: Alice & Oliva Dress (similar ones here, here, here) | Badgley Mischka shoes
Hadley: Gap dress.
Beckam: Burberry onesie.

November 2013

Me: Jcrew sweater (similar one here) | Jcrew Jeans Hunter boots.
Hadley: Gap boots (similar ones here) |  Old Navy jeansOld navy fur vest. Gap ear muff headband.
Husband: Jcrew flannel (similar ones here)

November 2012

Me: Anthropologie sweater | Neiman Marcus Last call silk top | Steve madden wedge boots (similar one here)
Hadley: Gap sweater dress |  Anthropologie clip on a headband


Lastly: Breathe. Relax. Enjoy. At the end of the day you are just wanting some pictures of your family to remember the years as they grow. Whatever you get is a reflection of your family that year.

A few of my go-to stores for family photo outfits:

jcrew.   old navy.   gap.   anthropologie.  neiman marcus last call.   nordstrom.   free people.   h&m.



*photographer: Danielle with Creatively Chic Photography

the caged heel

caged heel

The caged heel is THE current “it” shoe, and with its striking design it’s easy to see why!  There are tons of brand, color, and cost options for this style making it super hard to pick just one.  In fact, I love this trend so much I’ve already snatched up a couple pairs… and may even pick up a third.

caged heel - mossimo

Mossimo ‘Kylea’ Mossimo ‘Kylea’ – $35 at Target in black and taupe  .  Love the trend but don’t want to spend top dollar?  These are the way to go!  No they’re not real suede, and yes the sole is rubber– but for $35 they’re spot on trend and on budget!

caged heel - steve madden

Steve Madden ‘Slithur’ – $109 (on sale for $98!) at Macy’s.  If a range of colors is what you’re after, Steve Madden has you covered.  Leather upper with manmade sole, but who’s looking at the bottoms anyway?

caged heel - vince camuto

Vince Camuto ‘Kristana’ – $119 at Nordstrom in black and turquoise.  Additional colors (nude and pink) available at Vince Camuto (also on sale!)  A slightly different design, bit sexier heel, leather upper, and synthetic sole.

caged heel - schutz

Schutz ‘Juliana’ – $190 (on sale for $133!) at Saks in black, natural, and sporty pink .  The creme de la creme of lot.  A still sexier heel with suede upper and leather sole.


Which ones are your perfect match?