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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Falling for Back to School Essentials


Happy Wednesday! I guess this week should have been declared "Back to School" week here on ABM {you can read yesterday's packable lunch recipe HERE}! And whether you or your kids are heading back to school or college or you are just ready for a new season, there are a few staple pieces that every girl needs in her closet. And the best part about these pieces is that they can be mixed and matched to create several different looks. Super helpful if you are in college and have limited space. Do you remember how tiny your closet space was in your dorm??

**The above picture was from a post last year when we were back visiting my alma mater! You can read that post HERE. I've updated all the outfit details so you can find some similar pieces :) 

long cardigan {available in 7 colors} | striped tee | chambray top
cropped jeans | skinny jeans {only $9.99!} | black leggings {I wear these all the time!}

Two of my very favorite tops in my closet are a striped tee and chambray shirt. Not only can they be worn in multiple seasons, but they look perfect with blanket scarves {I just ordered THIS one and cannot wait for it to arrive!} or layered under sweaters and cardigans. Speaking of cardigans -- it's all about the layers in the fall and having a few cardigans on hand is a great way to achieve that cozy fall look, and stay warm!

My go-to pants for fall are skinny jeans and black leggings. I've mentioned this before, but THESE leggings are my very favorite. I have one pair for working out and another for dress up. They are a little thicker than most leggings and they are perfect to pair with oversized sweaters and tunics. As for jeans, I will always love skinny jeans {can you believe these are under $10?!} but I have already jumped on the "cropped jean" bandwagon! I have a pair in black that are similar to THESE, but I'm thinking about adding more colors to my cropped jean collection. Wear these trendy jeans with flats or ankle boots. And speaking of shoes, that leads me to my next category...


ankle booties {available in 10 colors!} | pointed flats {under $50} | comfy heels | lace-up flats

When it comes to shoes, I have a serious weakness. Especially if they are fall shoes. Since this is a back to school/fall essentials post, I wanted to break down my favorite styles that are a necessity in any closet. You can never go wrong with ankle booties because they can be styled so many different ways! I have loved THESE ankle booties for over a year now {they come in several other colors, too} but I ended up buying THESE perforated booties during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale {since they were less expensive during the sale}. I love the ones I bought, but THESE are still calling my name! 

Comfy heels are definitely a necessity if you have a 9-5 job and these are already on my wish list! I had a similar pair of heels {with this chunkier heel} that I wore for years. They were my very favorite, but I literally wore them to death. THESE would be the perfect replacement! 

Lastly, you can never have too many flats, since they are the ultimate in comfort. I love THIS pointed toe solid shoe and couldn't resist sharing THIS cheetah lace-up flat! You can never have too much animal print, right? ;)


Growing up, I always loved back to school time. I obviously loved shopping for clothes, but my very favorite was picking out school supplies and accessories! I am actually in the process of re-organizing my home office, so a lot of these office accessories are already on my wish list. How cute are these hanger paper clips?! And I love the acrylic stapler and tape dispenser. When it comes to clothing accessories, a fall hat is always a must in my book and a large satchel or tote scream back to school and fall. THIS faux leather and suede satchel is also available in cognac/black and eggplant/black. A seriously hard decision!

What are some of your back to school and/or fall essentials? Have a wonderful Wednesday!!



Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Quinoa Salad with Pesto: Packable Lunch Idea


It's that time of the year again! As kids are heading back to school, it's time to think about back to school clothing and fall staples {more on that tomorrow} and packing lunches. I always had a packed lunch throughout elementary, middle and high school {I wasn't a huge fan of cafeteria food!} and I still pack my lunch most days for work. But, coming up with packable lunch recipes can be difficult. Even if you aren't heading back to school, this is a great time of the year to hit the "reset button" on packing your lunch for work!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Fall Favorites: Olive Green & Leopard


Happy Monday, friends! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I was busy cooking up some food posts to share with you in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for those! I also played some golf and tennis and the temperatures were HOT. I think it's safe to say I am finally over these hot and humid summer temperatures!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Perforated LBD


Happy Friday Eve, friends! Today, I'm sharing THE most perfect black midi dress. I wore it on the last day of the TBS Conference in Charleston and it was comfortable not only during the day but also for driving all the way back to Virginia that night. Sounds too good to be true, right?! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


ruffled blouse | black tassel earrings | sunglasses {only $12!} | lipstick {"nude kate"} | monogrammed bracelet {available in 12 colors} | leopard watch {only $53!} | saddle bag {available in 5 colors} | suede sandals {I have these in black and they are SO comfortable!} | nail polish {"picked perfect"} | black jeans {25% off with code REFRESH}

Happy Wednesday! As we get closer and closer to fall, I am always drawn to more neutral colors. Not only are neutral colors easy to transition into the new season but it's a great excuse to break out the black and tan combination. And of course my favorite neutral, leopard :)

I spotted THIS ruffled blouse last week and just fell in love with it. With the crazy hot temperatures we have been experiencing the last few weeks, it would be perfect to wear now with a pair of shorts or throw a cardigan over it for fall. You have to love versatile pieces that you can wear now and once the temperatures change!

I mentioned my love for mixing black and tan and I could not think of two better tan accessories than THIS saddle bag with the cute tassel or THESE suede sandals. I received an email last week featuring this saddle bag and I became instantly obsessed. It reminds me of THIS designer bag that I've had my eye on for years, but not quite as expensive. And how can you not love that tassel?! When it comes to the shoes, I already have THIS pair in black patent leather {last seen HERE}, but I'm really loving the neutral suede for fall. They are super comfortable {thanks to the lower heel} and priced at only $60! I might have to add this fall version to my collection ;)

Thanks so much for stopping by and have a wonderful Wednesday!



Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Best Fall Recipes


When it comes to choosing a favorite season, Fall always wins in my book. There is something about the cool, crisp air and the warm and delicious flavors of the season that has me dreaming of the leaves turning during the heat of right about now! And although it may not seem like it with these temperatures, Fall is right around the corner. Today, I wanted to share some of my favorite Fall recipes that will even have the lovers of summer dreaming of these pumpkin, butternut squash and maple flavors!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Chambray & Stripes


Happy Monday, friends! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! If you follow along on Instagram or Snapchat {rach.mccarthy7}, you may have caught a few snaps and videos from the My2K Tour we went to Saturday night. My 13 year old self was BEYOND excited to see O-Town. But let's be honest, my 28 year old self was just as excited! If you are a fan of late 90s and early 2000s music and the tour is coming to your area, I would highly recommend it. Thanks to Richard for coming with me to the concert and putting up with my former {or current? haha} love of boy bands ;) 
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