Three Heel Clicks

Ballet Flats

The Perfect Wear Anywhere for Any Occasion Outfit

Fashion, StyleCrystal JacksonComment
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Having a go to outfit for almost any occasion really simplifies my life. Today’s outfit is modern, relaxed and most of all comfy perfect for a weekend activity, brunch, dinner dates or a leisurely stroll. Last week I shared How to Utilize Habit Routines to Make Getting Ready Easier to inspire you to collect a few items to put together for effortless outfits. Today I’m expanding on that idea to give you a few creative ideas to make a staple outfit stand out while still being easy to wear. Nothing is worse than being uncomfortable when you are enjoying life with those you love. I aim for comfort and ease above all else when putting together something to wear. If it’s not comfortable I probably won’t reach for an item in the future.

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Paper Bag Waist Pants

The pajama trend is still going strong and I’ve noticed pants are taking on a different structure than the leggings and skinny jeans of the past few years. Now I’m seeing an emergence of wide legged trousers, linen pants and paper bag waists all over the place. Look for pants made of cotton or linen for maximum comfort in the heat. Also, pants that are lightweight are perfect for summer travels. I prefer not to wear shorts if I’m riding in the car or taking a flight due to constant tugging and re-positioning. Instead, opt for a pair of relaxed paper bag waist pants to cinch the waist and the stripes help elongate your legs if you are petitie! Below are is a list including a variety of styles in neutral colors from $20-$100! Very budget friendly and all can be ordered online.

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One Shoulder Top

I’ve seriously had this top for 15 years. I bought it at Gadzook’s when a friend of mine worked there back in college. Although this particular top is obviously no longer in stock, I’ve rounded up a few other options in black, white and red. I like the modern ease of a one shoulder top. You can still wear a variety of undergarments like a convertible bra or use bra petals if you want maximum comfort. You can carry this top into the Fall by layering a blazer or jacket over it and adding a skirt for the office. I think this top has had more mileage than most in my closet and I highly recommend finding one that fits and creates slim lines!

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Buttery Soft Flats

After nearly two decades of practicing ballet and walking 4-5 miles a day I’ve grown to love the comfort of a good pair of flats. My go to brands include Marc Fisher, Banana Republic and Sam Edelman. I prefer to find flats that have support and padding with little need to break them in. The key to wearing a pair of ballet flats with relaxed pants is to find a pair that is on the slimmer side. You can opt for a classic pair of ballet flats or a pair of pointy toed ones. Either way these will quickly become a favorite when you find a good fitted pair!

Last but not least add a few accessories like a patterned purse and a pair of aviators. I love this bag my daughter picked out for me for Christmas. It is quintessentially me with it’s red rose print and structured medium size. I like to find a purse that converts to a cross body and this one checks the box! Also, you really can’t go wrong with a pair of aviators like these from Ray-Ban. They seriously make some of the most durable pairs and they also don’t hurt the sides of my head. If you have a smaller face like I do or a small bridge on your nose (guilty!) then choose the mini version for a better fit and frame!

What are some of your favorite pieces for a wear anywhere for any occasion outfit?

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Sweet Little Lemon Skirt in Birmingham

Fashion, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Packing, Petite Style, Travel, Style, VintageCrystal JacksonComment
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Recently I made a trip back to Birmingham, Alabama where my extended family is from. I go every few years to visit family there and this year was fun because the city was in full bloom. Birmingham was an overnight success back in the 19th century. It’s home to some of the best cooking (I have a weakness for fried green eggs) and so much industrial business. It’s filled with lush forests, white sand beaches and so many beautiful flowers during spring. Today’s post was photographed at my grandmother’s home in a little town right outside Birmingham. We’ve gone there since I was born and although the property no longer has my grandparents vegetable garden that I used to pick tomatoes from, it’s still filled with charm that leaves me with such a happiness.

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I’ve worn this skirt in two previous posts and it’s one of my favorite Amazon finds! Lemon prints have been in the past few Spring seasons and being a nature lover I jumped on the bandwagon early. A knee length cotton skirt is so versatile. On rainy days you can pair it with a rain boots. For work you can add a button down shirt and ballet flats. Today I featured it with a simple black tank top, wicker basket bag, scarf and black ballet flats for a classic easy going Spring look.

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If you are making your way out to the Birmingham area check out this post where I share an amazing jazz club! There are so many beautiful sites around the city and you will find the culture is different than other parts of the South. People from Alabama are the kind to sit on their front porch to watch thunderstorms roll in, make homemade deep fried dishes and sweet tea seems like it’s on tap at all times. Grab a cold glass and kick your feet up while you enjoy a slower pace of life!

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Freeport Bakery in Sacramento

Fashion, Lifestyle, Petite Style, Style, Travel, travelCrystal JacksonComment
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Hope your week is off to a good start! I’ll be honest, as much as I tried to have a positive perspective today (see this instagram post) it has been pretty rocky. I left early to drop off someone at the airport this morning and seemed to be a little less prepared than usual. In fact, I grabbed the wrong medication (taken every day at noon) and a broken tripod. Then, I showed up where I was planning on eating breakfast only to find they had zero outlets (was also planning on working while I was there) and it was freezing. Now it’s after lunch and I’m finally pulling it together. A few deep breaths and now working from a Starbucks, I think all is back on track and well within the world. Funny how a little latte can solve so much!

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Today’s post was one I’ve been itching to share with you guys. While staying in Sacramento two weeks ago we split our time between an AirBnB and a hotel. The AirBnB was located in the city walking distance from this adorable cafe. As soon as I saw it’s flowered painted exterior I was hooked and had to drop in. I am ALWAYS on the hunt for local coffee places and eateries when I travel. I seek them out for their ambiance, specialty drinks and food, and overall local service. Supporting small businesses keeps our American economy alive and flourishing. Local coffee shops or restaurants are a perfect place to find the best recommendations in the area. Yes, there’s so much planning you can do ahead of time when traveling but asking locals is the way to find the hidden gems such as the Freeport Bakery!

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Freeport Bakery is not just a place for delicious coffee, it’s a full bakery complete with custom cakes, puffy pastries galore and all of the carbs you can inhale. The decor inside has the most beautiful floral wall paper in shades of coral and cantaloupe. Outside you will find a lovely patio perfect for a stop during the warmer months of Spring. I mentioned last week just how beautiful Sacramento is during the spring! You can read more about the Capitol Park and rose garden here if you are stopping through this city. I really like visiting Sacramento. It’s not as busy and bustling as San Francisco but has a ton of historic sites with charming streets.

Pretty Pink Dresses for Spring

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For today'‘s look I wore a beautiful pale pink See by Chloe dress. It’s such a perfect dress for Spring on chilly days. Bringing dresses on a trip offers so much versatility. You can layer cardigans, sweaters, blazers or jackets over them. You can dress them up with heels or down with boots or ballet flats. The embellished bodice is really beautiful and intricate for this dress! Unless you live underground, you probably notice the plethora of pearly accessories right now. (Especially hair clips or barrettes. More to come on this subject.) I rounded up several pink dresses for you to browse above including budget friendly options like this one for only $19 or this one for about $70.

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I’ve also recently added this pretty brown leather and gold chain strap bag to my collection. The color of leather is light enough to mix with black, brown, tan, navy or cream. The little bit of hardware dresses it up but the leather finish keeps the bag from looking over the top. It has almost a vintage feel and is a great size for carrying the essentials to dinner in the evenings. I’ll be sharing 1-2 more posts about Sacramento and am returning to the city over the Summer. If you are a California gent or gal, please send me your recommendations for future parks, sights, coffee shops and restaurants. This has been my fourth trip to the city and I’m looking forward to returning!

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What are some of your favorite places to grab coffee?

Trend to Watch: The Pink Jumpsuit

Fashion, Houston, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Petite Style, Photography, Style, TravelCrystal JacksonComment
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A jumpsuit is my favorite alternative to a dress. It’s simple, streamlined and easy to put an outfit together. They pack nicely for traveling and you can dress them up or down with jackets, accessories and shoes. The one featured here is from Tibi and I can’t speak highly enough about this beautiful brand. Tibi makes clothing that are classic and modern with feminine shapes and details. I love how this particular jumpsuit has ruffles on the pants and a delicate halter neckline. It’s such a showstopper and I really enjoyed featuring the hard work I’ve put into toning through yoga over the past few months.

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I found this one was of my favorite vacation outfits over Spring Break. I’m putting together a complete outfit round up for you guys for Friday’s 5 on Friday post so you can have a guide for a resort wear inspiration if you are heading to the beach over the next few months. A pink jumpsuit is at the top of my list for resort wear. Although the one I’m featuring is on the more expensive side, I rounded up so many options above starting as low as $12. You can find great style at any price, but sometimes it takes a little searching! If you would like to invest a little more, check out this BCBG version or this one from Elisabetti Franchi a designer I keep gravitating toward. I also really love this Ulla Johnson version in a more muted blush tone.

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To keep your jumpsuit from looking frumpy, consider one with a belted waist or fitted waistline. Especially if you are on the petite side! It makes such a difference on the overall structure of your jumpsuit when it ties at the waist. I decided to add a few accessories in the same tones like a pair of beaded drop earrings and my favorite blush ruffle clutch from Sole Society. You can also dress this up with metallic gold heels for a dinner date or down like I did here with simple ballet flats.

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Since the jumpsuit makes such a statement with so much volume, I did my hair up in a sleek low bun. When you are wearing dramatic pieces, it’s nice to keep some of your outfit simple. Don’t over accessorize and choose a hairstyle that makes sense. Since one of the features of this jumpsuit is the delicate neckline I wanted my hair up and off my shoulders so you could see the entire outfit.

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These photographs were taken on the Galveston Sea Wall by the Pleasure Pier. I’m going to share more about the Pleasure Pier in an upcoming post, but it’s a fun attraction for kids! Basically, it’s a mini theme park built on a pier! You can ride the ferris wheel for an aerial view. You can also get a little rush from the rollercoaster and log flume if that suits you! All in all, it’s a fun family activity for all ages!

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How to Prepare for an Upcoming Trip

DIY, Fashion, How To, Lifestyle, Packing, Petite Style, Travel, StyleCrystal JacksonComment
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Travel can feel really stressful if you aren’t prepared. For over a decade I’ve traveled on a monthly basis. Sometimes it’s just a few hours away for the weekend and others are longer trips involving multiple types of transportation and hotels. I’ve found that if I stick to the following list I’m sharing in today’s post I have a better time during my travel and thus, lower stress levels. Today’s post is constructed in a chronological order of the things I do leading up to my next trip. I really hope this post is helpful for your upcoming plans for a getaway.

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As Soon As Trip Dates Are Finalized

  • Start with Pinterest. As soon as I know when and where I’m going I immediately look up places to visit and inspiration on Pinterest. I’ve found so many other blogs and trip iteneraries this way! It’s nice to hear an unbiased opinion of other adventurers about their experiences when they visit the same destination. I try to find all sorts of activities from family friendly to outdoors to even local restaurants. My goal with most trips is to experience the destination so I prefer to find small businesses or unique attractions that make the destination interesting.

  • Research climate conditions. You can’t even begin to have an idea about packing without knowing the climate. I made a mistake years ago of not bringing enough heavy items when I traveled to Europe. I was visiting in May and June coming from Southern Texas where this time of year is HOT. I use apps like Accuweather to give me a reasonable prediction but I always pack for multiple climates with lots of layers now.

  • Make arrangements for work, pets and/or children. Some of my vacations I can bring along my dog and others become family fun with the kiddo, but not every trip. Sometimes I travel for work and others for fun. As soon as I know my travel dates I immediately find childcare if needed and pet care. I also put a backup in place. People get sick and accidents can happen so I make sure this isn’t a last minute tragedy.

  • Finalize lodging and transportation. If I need to rent a car, I go ahead and do this as soon as possible. If there is a big event going on sometimes car rentals are sold out. If I’m not renting a vehicle, then I’ll book my flights, trains or other transportation now. I alto not so book my accommodations. I really love booking.com for accommodations because they have an option for many hotels where you don’t have to pay up front and if you give them enough notice, you can cancel a few days ahead.

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A Week to a Few Days Ahead

  • Consider all transportation needs. At this point, I research everything from subways to how I’m planning on getting to and from the airport or train station. I try to take a ride share to the airport if possible so I don’t pay for parking and can leave my car in a place I feel comfortable with. I also look at how I am going to get to my living accomodations once I land. I make phone calls to see if the hotel has a shuttle and also familiarize myself with transportation options available at the destination.

  • Pull outfits. I don’t pack until the day or two before but I do start reserving space for pieces I may want to bring. I use Pinterest again for outfit ideas. I try EVERYTHING on to make sure it fits before leaving. I also like to make sure I have enough variety that can mix and match. Although I will be packing in outfits, I make sure I can wear items different ways depending on the weather and the climate.

  • Manicures, Hair or Color Before You Leave. I don’t like to worry about these things on a trip. I prefer to get them out of the way so I look and feel refreshed without worrying about adding something else to the schedule. Get your hair cut or colored if you are due or go get a manicure a few days ahead. I like to get a powder dip manicure so I don’t chip it during packing.

The Day Before

  • Reserve Time to Pack and Tidy Up. I have found to decrease stress I need a day to get myself packed, my home in order and any last minute errands completed. If it’s a short trip I may only need a few hours, but for longer trips I make sure I give myself a full day (or two half days) to get everything organized.

  • Charge all devices. If you are bringing a tablet, back up battery, laptop or any electronic device now is the time to plug them in and get a full charge. Also, don’t forget wireless headphones if you plan on listening on board. It’s awful to finally make it on a flight and pull them out to listen to relaxing music only to find they are dead and you have no way to charge them. Another thing I charge up is a backup battery. That way if I’m in a pinch or my battery on a device drains I have a backup

  • Download playlists, podcasts, e-books and shows. While your devices are charging now is a great time to go ahead and download things to keep you busy on the road, waiting for check in or during a flight. I always bring a hardcopy book and notebook, but usually also have a few downloads available too. The worst is being bored and not able to fall asleep on the plane.

  • Make sure you have medication and prescriptions filled. Because I have medication that I must take daily I usually let my doctor know if I’m traveling soon so they can refill anything I need in advance. I also make sure to discuss a plan in the event medication is lost during the trip. Walgreens is a really good resource for travel due to the fact they can transfer prescriptions throughout the country if you fill it in your hometown. Another tip is to separate your prescriptions into two sections in the event something is misplaced you can buy yourself a day or two.

  • Prepare your home. If you have time to arrange a housekeeper it doesn’t hurt before you leave. It’s so nice to come home to a clean space after a long trip. At minimum take out trash, make sure there is nothing in the sink and clean sheets so you can crash when you get home. Also, I recommend having a quick meal or two on hand in the freezer so you don’t have to look for something to eat as soon as you return. I also like to make sure the house smells good so I leave plugins on low throughout my home when away.

  • Pack your suitcase. I try not to pack too far in advance or too last minute. Packing the day of can be super stressful. A day or two before I try to get my suitcase completely packed and I sit what I’m bringing on a trip by the door. Unless I’m camping or bringing a ton of things, I do not pack the car yet. I put everything in a space near the door and do a final inventory the day I’m traveling.

  • Pay bills. Any upcoming bills that are not already auto drafted need to be considered now. You don’t want to come home to a bunch of things you have to take care of.

  • Set up out of office notifications if needed. If you’re in sales, business for yourself or a blogger make sure you leave an out of office reply on your email and notify readers and/or followers if you are going to be in a remote location. This is also when I schedule a few blog posts so if I can’t make it to internet there’s some activity going on. If you work in a corporate job make sure to let team members know and also make sure to inform your backup of any information or resources they may need while you are away.

The Morning or Day Of Your Trip

  • Get yourself ready first. Take a shower or bath. When I travel it can be a while from the time I land to the time I can get to a shower so I always take one right before I leave. I usually focus on skincare so I pack my toiletries after I take my bath and get ready.

  • Do your hair, but skip the makeup. I mentioned this in January’s post on How to Perfect Your Flying Routine, but I do not wear makeup on flights. I try to rest if I’m not driving somewhere and I don’t want to arrive with racoon eyes. Instead I pack a few makeup items for when I’m landing or arriving and do my makeup at the destination instead of where I’m leaving. I have found that wearing my hair up for long periods of time makes me uncomfortable so I usually fix it in soft curls so that I can wear it down.

  • No coffee after you leave and eat breakfast. It’s easy to forget to eat. When you don’t feed your body nutrition or hydrate then it leads to unwanted stress. Nobody wants to deal with hangry you so have a good breakfast or meal before you leave. Avoid salt or too much coffee.

  • Pack your carry on. After getting my toiletries together I go ahead and pack my carry on. I always bring a notebook, pen and book but I also usually pack at least an outfit, pjs and swimsuit so that if luggage is lost I have something to change into. I also put my jewelry in my carry on and print flight tickets. I like having hard copies because electronics fail sometimes.

  • Check your flights, rides and arrangements for delays. I like to know if something is behind during travels. Inclimate weather can cause major delays. Also, check the weather to make sure your route is safe and be aware of traffic.

  • Lower or raise thermostats. If I’m traveling with others I go ahead and let them load into the car or wait outside while I lock up. I’ve found the fewer distractions during the last few minutes, the better. I do a quick sweep of the house to make sure things are in order and then lower or raise the thermostat to a low cost temperature but I do not turn it completely off.

  • Relax. Once I get to my travel transportation whether it’s a flight or car I relax. I use the time for skincare, rest and reading. I try to create the best environment possible full of comfort and serenity. So much of having a centered experience begins with being aware of how we feel inside. Sometimes I’ll put on my favorite song or a meditation to clear my mind before I leave.

Well, there you have it! A complete list of how I prepare. Although not every trip do I accomplish everything on this timeline, I use it as a framework and checklist to make sure I am prepared. At the end of the day, remember you can always buy something you forget to pack. Relax and enjoy the trip. Open your eyes to new experiences and have fun!

What do you do to prepare for a trip?

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