One Swainky Couple: 2017

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Work Dress that Feels Like Pajamas

K: Happy Wednesday everyone! Today we are continuing on with our "Back to School" segment here on the blog. Even if you aren't truly going back to school, the work environment tends to change in August (as we talked about in Monday's post here) and it's always nice to have a few new pieces for this time of year. 

As I get older, I'm finding that I want more items in my work wear closet that look sophisticated, yet feel like pajamas. Anyone else with me on this? For those early mornings when you really just want to stay in bed, this is the type of dress you should put on. I love this dress because it's so well made. It's not t-shirt material as far as the thinness goes; however, it feels soft and is actually a heavier knit than you would expect. Because of its weight, I can already picture it with tights, boots, and a cute coat in the fall. For now, I'll stick to minimal layers though, thanks to the Texas heat. 

K: I think that women often times grow fearful of dressing for work. I'm a firm believer that your work style and your personal style shouldn't be worlds apart. Even if you have to dress more formal than the look shown here, a black blazer over any dress in your style can be perfect for any office. Here, I added a little pop of "me" with the leopard shoes and silver jewelry. Don't be afraid to mix patterns for work or add a little bit of pizzaz. If you're a fan of dresses for the office (or the classroom in my case), I've linked my current favorites here, all under $150: 

On Katherine: Banana Republic dress, Steve Madden pumps (almost exact here), Prada tote, silver monogram necklace, Kendra Scott earrings, Michele watch 

On a separate note, you may have missed our Facebook Live that we did on Monday night! If so, we wanted to give you the opportunity to watch the replay here! Brandon and I are discussing our careers and work wear fashion. Please let us know if you enjoyed it or if you have feedback for a future video! Also, if anyone knows how to switch a video from "portrait" to "landscape", we would love to know! As Facebook newbies, we are still learning :)


Monday, August 21, 2017

A Typical Work Outfit for Us

K: It's that time of year again! In just one week, I will have a classroom full of 12th graders and school will be back in session. For many of you, I know that this doesn't fully affect your schedules; but even if you aren't going "back to school" in the true sense, this time of year brings upon change for everyone. Traffic increases and it seems as if those in the working world become a little more serious and "back to business" as we wave goodbye to the long days of summer. Is it just me? Or does "back to school" bring about the feeling of fall and change? 

If you're agreeing, that's why we've put together this two-week series on the blog. This is your back to school hub and what we really mean by that is a time for you to reset your goals, get back in the swing of work, and create a fresh start for fall. For me, it's back to the classroom and we'll be sharing more on that later, along with some pictures of my room. We've got you covered with everything from work wear fashion and inspiration, all the way to healthy lunch ideas. If you'd like to know the schedule for our posts, you can subscribe here

B: Once school season starts, traffic grows to monstrous proportions overnight. I plan for this occurrence every school season by leaving earlier in the mornings, and managing to arrive at work around the same time I do every other day of the year. Numerous others at the office however, arrive much later each day, much to my appease. I am able to accomplish a significant amount in just a short period of time before others arrive because there are no distractions. Those same individuals usually leave before me in the day due to their children having some activity after school, which is fine by me because the office is once again quiet and I can accomplish things uninterrupted. Moral of the story: school season has its drawbacks, but also benefits of its own.

K: To start us out with our back to school series, we wanted to share a real life example of what we wear to work. A pet peeve of mine is when a blogger shows a cute outfit, claiming it to be "work friendly", when in fact, her top is too low, she's wearing outrageous shoes, and the hemline of her skirt is far too short for any work environment. Keeping that in mind, when I put this outfit together, I felt so confident that it was "real", that I'm probably going to be wearing it in my first week back. The pants are comfortable, the heels don't hurt, my hair is out of my face, and I love the fun pop of color that the outfit has. Overall, this is such a typical work outfit for me, even down to my "teacher tote" that I really do carry with me every day to school. 

On a separate note, Brandon and I thought it would be fun to do our first ever Facebook Live! We're going to be talking more about work outfits and our own careers. If you have any questions about my teaching career or Brandon's role as a geologist, this is where we will answer them! Be sure and like us on Facebook here if you aren't already. The Facebook Live will be tonight at 7:15 CST. Can't wait to see you all there! 

B: Working in a causal-dress based office has been a slight challenge for me. In my working past, I have worn suits all day long, and have also worn flame-retardant coveralls doused in oil-based mud all day long. I was comfortable in both, and at the time, the dress code fit me perfectly. On the first day of my current career, my employer and mentor told me that "I could wear whatever I wanted." I certainly do just that. I range between jeans with cowboy boots, rainbow colored khakis with boat shoes, and skinny slacks with oxfords and a plethora of shirt colors, patterns, and designs. Do I wear this clothing variety to fit within the office look, or wear them to stand out? No, and no. Rather, I wear what I do because it makes me feel comfortable, confident, and true to myself. Through my journeys, I have realized and found it important to wear what you want for the reasons you want. Stand out in your performance, work drive, or personable skills, not by the color of your pants, or label on your shirt. But by all means, dress to your hearts desire and push the boundaries of your style, just keep in mind to stay within reasons of appropriate attire no matter your location of work, or out and about in public.

K: We want to take a quick second to remind you about the Back to School Challenge that we're currently doing and today marks Day One! You can read all about it here, but overall, we wanted to find a way to give back and support schools in San Antonio. For the next two weeks, anything that Brandon and I make in commission or through a sale on the blog, we'll give back 25% of that in school supplies. For example, if you like my pants and decide to buy them, we'll donate 25% of that sale to a San Antonio school in need of school supplies for their little ones. We're also encouraging that you take a few materials and supplies to your neighborhood school, even if you don't live in San Antonio. The need for supplies is huge and this need is all around America. For me, it's a subject especially close to my heart and even if you go out and spend ten dollars at Wal Mart, you're making a huge difference for a child. 

On Katherine: Similar topLoft pants, similar shoes here and here, Kendra Scott earrings, Jon Hart bag, Michele watch

On Brandon: Ted Baker shirt, J. Crew pants, Aldo shoes (on sale), Shinola belt,

Friday, August 18, 2017

The Best Memories of Our Summer

K: It's hard to believe that summer is over! Teacher in-service week starts on Monday and then students will be in my classroom on the 28th! On Monday, we're kicking off our Back to School two-week segment on the blog (you can read about it here) and we have some amazing content prepared for you guys! In the meantime, I thought it'd be appropriate to share an ode to summer with some of the best photos and memories rounded up. What was your favorite memory of summer?

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

All White A-Line

K: Last week, I posted this blue lace dress from Cuddy Studios and explained how I was still getting wear out of my summer items. A few of you left a comment stating that it was refreshing to see a true summer outfit, rather than something for fall. It got me thinking about how the blogging world always has to be one step ahead. We're in boots before October, shooting Christmas looks in October or early November, and constantly striving to be one step ahead. The last few weeks, I've been doing the opposite. I'm savoring every last day of summer before my school year gears back up and I have to shift my perspective back to teaching. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited; however, I've come to appreciate each day for what it is instead of always looking ahead. 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Back to School Community Challenge

K: As many of you know, I'm a high school teacher and I LOVE my job. This summer has been amazing because I had time to devote to the blog and it's been so much fun for Brandon and I to watch it grow. We feel blessed (and sometimes shocked) that so many of you come back, day after day, to our small little corner of the internet to read what we've written and see our adventures. Brandon and I have always talked about how we want to use this platform for the good of God's glory and to consistently find ways to help others. We've been thinking long and hard about a way to give back to the community and I think that this Back to School Challenge is the perfect answer.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Our Quirks

4 Quirks for Each of Us: 

We all have quirks. Brandon and I are the first to admit that we're sometimes weird...doesn't everybody think that at one point or another? Now that I'm older, I embrace weirdness, instead of running from it. We even joke about how we're going to have to tone it down once kids come along. We thought it'd be funny to share our little oddities today, knowing that it's the small things that truly make a person who they are. Brandon is writing on my quirks and I'm writing about his so that you can hear our perspectives on the other person's strange habits. Of course, we'd love to know what weird habit you have as well so leave a comment at the end! 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Blue Lace with Cuddy Studios

K: Can you believe that August is upon us? While most of the world may be expecting fall to roll in sometime soon, you can count on San Antonio to keep the 100 degree days coming, much to our dismay. There's no hope in bringing out the cardigans and boots until October hits; so in the meantime, you can find me getting a little more wear out of my timeless summer pieces, like this blue lace dress from Cuddy Studios

Friday, August 4, 2017

The Benefits of Traveling Together

K: If you can't tell by now, we love to travel. In fact, one of the main reasons we started this blog was to keep a document of our travels (we've got big things planned). When we were dating, Brandon and I both decided that we wanted travel to be a priority for us. We knew that we wanted to save money so that we could take the trips we want to, before children come along. The downside to travel is that it is expensive, which means that you really have to prioritize it in order to make it happen. Here are six reasons why we believe that you should invest in travel and include it in your relationship: 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Two-Piece Set + The Best Cross Body Bag

K: I haven't always gravitated towards matching two-piece sets; but I have to say, as a fashion concept, they're quite appealing. I love the idea of a printed set that matches and this one shows just the right amount of skin. The bow-back detail has me swooning and the lilac color is perfectly on trend. I had trouble finding this exact set online but managed to find some others that are just as cute and I've linked them here. For an easy outfit, throw something like this on, especially with the temperatures still scorching. 

Monday, July 31, 2017

His and Hers: Swimsuits

K: Swimsuits are tricky. Every girl alive knows the pain of swimsuit shopping. This year, it seems like one piece swimsuits are all the rage. I wore a one piece here and here on the blog, but if I'm being completely honest, I've always been a two-piece kind of girl, especially on a beach vacation. I like getting more of a tan and I've found that two piece suits are just more practical. I discovered two this season that I really love. We only managed to capture a few photos of the second one (featured all the way at the bottom of this post), but I wore them equally on our trip. We bounced back and forth from the pool to the beach throughout the vacation, loving every minute of it. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Strolling the Streets of Old San Juan

K: This was perhaps our favorite day of vacation. It was our first morning and after a short thunderstorm in the morning, Brandon and I prepared to tour the city of Old San Juan. With colorful houses lining the streets, ocean views, gorgeous flowers, and charming restaurants to cool off in, we felt like we could stay forever. If you've missed our last few posts, be sure and check out 7 Reasons Why You Should Go to Puerto Rico and our review of the Condado Vanderbilt

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Effective Habits of Happy People

6 Effective Habits of Happy People

Overall, I'd say that I am a pretty positive person and consider myself happy and upbeat in all areas of life. My relationship with the Lord is the number one factor in creating this happiness because He is the source of all joy. Aside from my spiritual life, there are a few things that I know help to assist in my happiness (and Brandon's too) and I really feel like they're effective habits that everyone can employ.

Monday, July 24, 2017

La Face: The Newest Skincare Products We Love

K: Skincare has always been important to me and I'm very habitual about my morning and nightly routine when it comes to washing my face and using products. For some reason, society seems to think that it's okay for women to invest in finer skincare products and anti-aging serums; however, when it comes to men, I have to say that I don't know many who truly spend time and money on a great skincare routine. Anyone else with me on this? Maybe you feel like you can justify a great cleanser but your husband is stuck using Clean and Clear? 

Friday, July 21, 2017

7 Reasons To Go To Puerto Rico

7 Reasons To Go To Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico had so much to offer and we had the best time exploring the island. Lots of people have asked us how and why we chose to vacation there this summer so we thought we'd put together a little list with 7 reasons why you should go to Puerto Rico. Hopefully, after reading this, you'll be convinced in wanting to book your flight. If you missed our first hotel review, you can see it here. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Transitional Dress (From Summer to Fall & From Work to A Date)

 K: As a teacher, I'm always struggling to make sure that my closet is balanced. There was a point when I realized that so many of my clothes looked a little too "teacher-y" and I didn't have much that would work for a date night or just simple weekend wear. I am constantly on the lookout for a great dress for school and for a date; this dress just so happens to do both...a rare find.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Puerto Rico: A Review of The Condado Vanderbilt

K: We're back! Our trip to Puerto Rico was exactly what we needed. Filled with rest and relaxation, Brandon and I took full advantage of a vacation together and now we're excited to share our pictures and stories with you! For the next few weeks, you can expect to see a full recap of our trip, starting with a review of our second hotel: The Condado Vanderbilt

The overall aesthetic of the Condado is breathtaking. Set on the rocks of the beach, the entire backside of the hotel is one long patio and sitting area. Brandon and I loved this spot for pictures because of ocean views and the darling blue lounge chairs and umbrellas. I sort of expected Puerto Rico to have a similar vibe to Mexico, but we found that it was quite different. The Condado was elegant, polished, while still remaining "beachy" at the same time. I think our favorite part of staying here was the location, the views, and the fact that it was not crowded at all! Most days, we had the beach and the adult pool all to ourselves. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Best Poses for Couples Taking Pictures Together

K: If you looked at the blog now, you'd probably never guess that before Brandon and I got engaged, we had about five pictures together. The quality of our photos was bad (hello, selfie) and we never took time to document our experiences. We finally got around to taking some engagement photos together and then, our wedding changed everything. We came to the conclusion that we needed to start documenting our moments together (the big and the small).  Now, armed with thousands of beautiful photos, we finally feel like we have some different shots and a variety of poses to put around our house in frames.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Summer Work Wear

K: Since I'm a teacher, I don't officially work in the summer; however, we've always got professional development seminars or conferences to attend throughout the season. Additionally, when we start back the school year, it's still scorching hot and I usually get a few more weeks out of my summer wardrobe. To stay chic, cool, and professional, I tend to opt for a great pair of pants. I absolutely love wide leg trousers and this white pair hits right above the ankle, giving a very flattering shape that doesn't overwhelm a smaller body. Since I'm 5'5, I have to be more careful about wearing wide leg pants as they have a tendency to drown me or seem disproportionate. The trick to making this style work is to find them in a capri cut, like all of these below. And don't forget about Ann Taylor's 50% off sale! My top is included in the sale, as are tons of other work wear dresses and blouses. 

Monday, July 3, 2017

How To Keep Your Sense of Adventure

B: For Katherine and myself, adventure has been an important component to our dating and married lives thus far. We love gaining new perspectives, experiencing cultures not of our own, and hearing stories from those we meet along the way. Sadly enough, many live life without the opportunity or drive to seek out the majesty of the world in a natural or domestic state. Ernest Hemingway once stated, "the only value we have as human beings are the risks we are willing to take". We are not broadcasting that adventures need to be risky, but we rather feel that once you are outside of your typical comfort zone, at whatever level that appears, a risk develops and the true journey of adventure begins. Whether you start small or broad with adventures to that acclaimed restaurant on the other side of town, or to provide relief to a war stricken country, Louis Vuitton reminded us in their 2008 add campaign (you can see it here) that a journey shows us not only the world, but how we fit in the world because the journey is life itself.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Your Ultimate Summer Date Guide

K: One of the major areas of focus for our blog is providing dating tips and ideas for other couples. Brandon and I feel like it's so important to date your spouse and try to give meaningful ways for you to connect and broaden your relationship. I'm so excited because today, we've teamed up with some amazing travel and lifestyle bloggers, all in relationships, who are here to share their advice and opinions on three questions that we asked:

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Wine + Cheese Night with Sudara

K: Brandon and I have an unhealthy obsession with cheese. There's nothing better than a wine and cheese night and this past weekend, that's exactly what we planned (along with a Game of Thrones marathon). For evenings like this when you know you aren't leaving your house, or maybe even your couch, there's a necessity for chic and comfortable loungewear and that's where Sudara comes into play. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

My Favorite New Sandals

K: K: I love a good linen dress, especially this TJ Maxx steal that was $34.99. I've got several in my closet right now and have found that the breathable fabric is airy and perfect for any hot, summer day. We've been having triple digit days already and Brandon and I are counting down until we're in Puerto Rico (only a week and a half now). If you've ever been, we'd love suggestions or recommendations! I know that this dress will have a spot in my suitcase because of its versatility and lightweight fabric. 

Friday, June 23, 2017

Classic with a Vintage Feel

K: I've always loved anything with a vintage feel to it. I grew up playing in my grandmother's attic, exploring all of my mother's dresses and colorful costume jewelry. When I saw this butter yellow dress, the silhouette felt classic with a vintage flair. I definitely plan on packing it for Puerto Rico (we leave in just two weeks!!) because it was such a breezy little dress and managed to keep me cool for the duration of the day.  Brandon and I had the best morning shooting this look with our friend and photographer Lauren Bosse and we're so thankful that she reached out to us, wanting to capture our style. If you missed Monday's post, be sure to check out the photos here. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Our Perfect Planter

B: Two weeks ago, Katherine and I set out on a quest for a great looking front porch planter (see our post here). We scoured garden stores of all over town, and assessed planters of every variety, size, and shape, until finally...we found a beautiful planter. The next step - plants! Katherine made the final decision with the planter, therefore the plant variety selection was left to me - at least mostly. We were limited to shade tolerant plant varieties because our front porch receives a mere few hours of sunlight every day. We have shared our plant shopping experience that led to finding and agreeing upon three colorful shade tolerant plants that hopefully our neighborhood deer will not eat in the middle of the night.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Summer Loving + More About Us

We're mushy. If you've been following us from the beginning, you know this and it shouldn't come as a surprise, seeing as how we are a couple blog. Stop right here if you aren't in the mood for sweet words and a warm heart. 

There's something about summer that brings a little love out of everyone. The warm breeze, the possibility of adventure, and long, lazy weekends with the one you love. This past weekend, that's what we accomplished as we set out for an adventure in Fredericksburg. We've documented the town once before (you can see our post here and here); but this time, we had an amazing photographer to capture every moment. If you're in the hill country area, we cannot recommend Lauren enough.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Transparency To Our Readers...

K: Today's post is a little bit different from our usual. Brandon and I want to make this a true couples blog where you hear from both of us consistently; with that being said, I do run the social media aspect of our blog and am more immersed in that part of it than Brandon. Over our last few months of blogging, I've learned so many new things and have been able to experience an entirely new side to social media and the blogging world. I thought it might be nice to be completely transparent in my opinions, in the hopes of sharing what our true mission is with this blog and what we hope you may gain from reading it.