Our budget friendly gender reveal

I am beginning to sincerely dislike days where I update my husband and I’s calendars. That was this mornings coffee-time task. You know what I realized? We have three weekends between now and May that we have absolutely nothing planned. Only. Three. It’s only the beginning of February! Frightening. I’ve already told Charles that we are reserving those weekends for alone time unless something drastic comes up. We have so much to do around the house / for Grayson’s arrival and we are going to have to start saying no to people, something neither of us are very good at, ha! Thankfully, I think we can make everything work, and it may even pass the time before baby arrives, but still, there’s a limit! Our world is about to change in a big way, so spending time together, just the two of us, is something high on my list of priorities!

Today I want to share with you a few pictures of our gender reveal party! Now, we didn’t know what we were having until the day of the party. Our party was on a Saturday,, but we had our gender ultrasound the Tuesday before. We wanted to be surprised at the party, so we had the tech place the gender in an envelope, which we promptly gave to my sister. Spoiler Alert: It was the most brutal few days. It almost makes me wish we just found out at the ultrasound!

We didn’t want anything fancy, nothing over the top, just very relaxed, limited amount of “fuss,” so we could just enjoy the day. We ordered “exploding golf balls” from Amazon, {called stork balls, HA!} because Charles loves golf so much. Aside from that, we had chicken salad croissants, tortellini pasta salad, the cutest cookies, chips and dip, and fruit. We had a few decorations, and that was that! All in all, we were extremely pleased with how it turned out. We actually were so nervous about finding out the gender that we forgot to take pictures of our guests! Or ourselves, for that matter, but we still had a wonderful time. Obviously you all know the outcome of our gender reveal, IT’S A BOY! Grayson Lowrey Alley will be making his debut in June. Enjoy a few pictures from his sweet, simple, and budget friendly gender reveal!

 

 

I hope you all enjoyed the not so slightly delayed photos of Grayson’s gender reveal! Mommy and Daddy are thrilled to meet this sweet baby boy. I hope you all have a wonderful Saturday night. Me? I have a brand new comforter sitting that just came out of the dryer, a clean room, two puppies cuddling at my feet, and a kicking baby boy. It’s also 7pm on a Saturday night, I’m in pjs, it’s raining outside, and there’s a marathon coming essentially through our neighborhood tomorrow which means I’m not leaving this house until Monday morning, happy pajama Sunday to ME. I hope your Sunday is just as pleasant!

Advertisements

You’re a Shoe In

Forgive me if whatever I’m about to write seems a bit chaotic, but I’m in a chaotic environment right now. My husband and I are getting our kitchen cabinets repainted & distressed, which means all of our kitchen cabinets are off right now and our kitchen looks like a war zone…not to mention the fact that with all of the cabinets off, Charles and I {along with anyone who comes over..yikes} can see how completely unorganized all of our kitchen items are. Actually, I’m just going to move this to another room so I don’t have to look at the mess {if I don’t see it, it’s not really there, right?!}

But for now, I’m going to sit here with my Pomegranate Punch smoothie from Tropical Smoothie {Now Open in Fort Smith – have you tried it?} and I’m going to attempt to focus amid the unorganized chaos going on in the Alley household.

As much as I love clothes {and believe me, I love clothes}, I’ve found that even the most perfect shirt I own can look completely wrong without the right pair of shoes. Shoes say a lot about your style and your mood {and most people notice your shoes right off the bat…}.

For example, some days, I’m in the mood to throw on an LBD, swipe on some red lipstick, and wear the highest heels I have. Some days, don’t even THINK about getting me out of my chacos. Some days, I want to ripped jeans and my favorite booties.

Love wearing flirty dresses, but hate heels? Maybe you just want to feel more comfortable? Throw on a pair of Keds to suit your own personal style. Want to amp up your outfit while wearing boyfriend jeans? Throw on a pair of heels and a blazer. Make it work for YOUR STYLE and YOUR SCHEDULE! Just because you’re spending a day walking around town or running a lot of errands and need to wear comfortable shoes doesn’t mean you have to wear a sweatshirt and jeans {although hey, no shame if that’s what you’re comfortable with!} You have options. Throw on a flirty sundress and some flats, or even your favorite Keds! {Or what about those adorable Adidas you’ve been eying…}

Here’s a few shoe trends that I have been continuously reaching for {and drooling over..} this season:

Lace Ups :   Maybe it’s the fact that I just miss tying my shoes, or maybe it’s because lace up shoes add a unique touch to any outfit. I’ve worn the tie up pair shown below with boyfriend jeans, skinny jeans, dresses, and maxi skirts. Versatility is what I need in clothes, and shoes are no different. The pair below was purchased at Suite One!

Mules  :   Mules are essentially just backless shoes, and I love the spunky aspect that the two pairs below bring to the table. One pair gives you the vibe of a fall like bootie, but is easily transitioned into spring, mostly in part by the fact that they’re backless! The other pair of mules shown below are open toe and backless, a winning combination in my book. The color with this particular pair is so unique and works almost any color you pair them with. The enclosed front pair are from DV Dolce Vita for Target {check them out here!} and the open toe paid is from Old Navy.

Fringe :   Enough said. Because who can get enough? Both below pairs are from Suite One!

shoes close 2

shoes close

shoes

Every Day Skin Care Routine

Oh what a beautiful morning {or at least it is here in Arkansas!}

The sun is shining, it’s warm, the birds are chirping, the wind is blowing, and I have all of my windows open to let my house breathe {because even houses need a break!}

Last Sunday, we chatted about my lazy Sunday routine. The last several Sundays around our part of the world have been kind of gloomy, chilly, and thunderstormy. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE those types of days where you cuddle up and nap all day, listening to thunder in the distance, but I am so thrilled that it’s so lovely outside. I’ve got a fresh pitcher of mojitos made and I think I’ll spend some quality time lounging around the backyard today!

On lazy Sundays, I typically pay a little more attention to my skincare and my haircare routines. I typically do a hair mask as well as a face mask and let them sit for an hour or so, and just amp up my everyday routine since I have the time {and since I typically don’t put on makeup on Sundays if I don’t have plans.} Today will be no exception, but it got me thinking that I wanted to share my every day skincare routine with  you all! I’m always on the hunt for great {and affordable…} skin care products, and I’ve picked up some fantastic finds lately.

Before I get started, I wanted to let you know that all of these products I actually use. This is not an ad, and all opinions are my own. Let’s get right into it!

skincare1

skincare2

1- Burt’s Bee’s Cleansing Oil {view it here!} :: I don’t know about you guys, but I’m the kind of gal that gets home from work and wants to wash the whole day off of me. Makeup {and the bra…don’t lie…I know you do this TOO!} are typically the first two things to go. Burt’s Bee’s cleansing oil is an oil that you pump onto the back of your hand and put onto a dry face {again, I repeat, a dry face, as oils don’t work well when wet} and it instantly melts your makeup off and cleans your face. It’s even gentle enough to put right onto your eyelids, which is a big bonus for the contact wearers of the world like me. You can buy this at any drugstore.

2- Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water {view it here!} :: Once I use the dry oil by Burt’s Bee’s, I typically have racoon eyes, so I take a cotton puff and follow up with the Micellar Water from Garnier. Have you ever heard of Micellar Water? I hadn’t until recently. Micellar water lifts up dirt and makeup off of your face with ease. I use this instead of an astringent, as astringents {though I do love the tingly feeling..} make my face red and blotchy and typically irritate my skin. This water is gentle enough to put on your eyes, and it removes all excess makeup that the oil left behind {and bonus, it has no scent, so you aren’t stuck smelling like rubbing alcohol like you do with a lot of astringents..} Again, you can find this at the drugstore and it’s so inexpensive — especially when you consider the amount of product you get.

3- Garnier Invigorating Daily Scrub {view it here!} :: After removing the makeup with the first two products, I go in with this scrub, which has gentle exfoliating beads {nothing harsh} and smells like spearmint! I promise you, this is the one part of the morning {other than my coffee} that I truly look forward to. It has a spearmint smell and it is cool to your face, it instantly wake me up and depuffs my still asleep face.

4- Garnier SkinActive Miracle Anti-Fatigue Wake Up Gel {view it here!} :: Phew. Try saying this one three times fast. This moisturizer doesn’t feel as thick as most I’ve used in the past, and when you apply it to your face, you et that instant cool and refreshed feeling. A little goes a LONG way with this product, so you don’t have to apply much. I add about two drops of Orange Oil to this moisturizer, as orange oil brightens your face, and my face tends to look fatigued and a little drab if I skip this step!

5- Rodan + Fields REDEFINE Eye Cream {view it here!} :: Oookay, so this one isn’t quite a drugstore find and it’s a little on the pricier side, but it lasts FOREVER! Once my moisturizer dries {I cannot stress enough to you guys, whether you’re doing your makeup or your skin care routine, wait until the first product dries before using the next…it’s imperative}, I use this eye cream to get rid of wrinkles and crows feet, and let me tell you, this. stuff. works. I found out about it through a friend who sells it, and I have been so impressed. This is something that’s worth every penny and you should all probably go run out and try it right now.

What miracle products are you currently using? I’m always on the hunt!

skincare3

Sundays are for snuggles..

Is it just me, or does anyone else out there get “Banana Pancakes” by Jack Johnson stuck in you head when you think of lazy, cozy sundays? I feel like the two go hand in hand.

No matter what kind of bottomless list of to-do’s my husband and I have to accomplish, somehow when Sundays roll around, staying at home and lounging around in comfy clothes cuddling on the couch with Cholla and Milli {who always, I repeat, always have to squeeze in between us like toddlers..}, and watching a movie {or a golf tournament…} seem to take precedence on our sundays.

This Sunday is no exception. Even with our never ending list of things we probably absolutely should be doing, we still felt that Pho Vietnam and movie watching on the couch will trump our chores today. I know that they say “A Sunday well spent brings a week of content,” and don’t get my wrong, I know there’s validity to that statement, but in our world, Saturday’s are for adventures and Sunday’s are for snuggles. 

BedandCoffee2

When I lounge, I love a few tried – and – true things: A messy bun, a cozy sweater, and some sort of ripped denim. This sweater is from a local boutique with the sweetest owners {that are also sisters!}. It’s called Indie {how perfect is that name for a boutique? As a special treat for all of you – they just announced today that they will be launching their online store very soon! Go enter your email address here and be the first to know when they go live!} I pair this sweater with a variety of pieces in my closet – jeans, maxi skirts and even over floral dresses for a unique twist. I still kick myself for not buying the grey version of this top when I had the chance. My ripped denim is my absolute favorite pair. You guessed it, they’re from Suite One and they are the brand JustBlack {like I could make it through the day without wearing at least something from Suite One…}

Closeupcoffee

I also have a love for rings. Rings are kind of my kryptonite – they’re my favorite accessory bar none. The two gold rings are from Suite One and I am wearing one as a regular ring and one as a midi ring. The midi ring by my wedding ring is also from Suite One. The final ring I’m wearing is from Old Navy {find it here!}.

CoffeeBed

I love drinking coffee throughout the day on Sundays. I’m not really sure why, but I just love cuddling up under a nice blanket and sipping on a hot cup of coffee. I switch up my mugs often – I’m kind of a coffee mug addict. The mug I used in this picture is from Target {this one here!} and I’m loving the funky flair it has. I originally bought a few of these to use in place of copper mugs when I drink my moscow mules, but the cup is versatile and can be used for hot or cold beverages.

What are some of your favorite things to do on a Sunday? If you want to stay in bed all day, I hereby give you permission {you can thank my by hitting the follow button… }

Don’t forget to check out my instagram to stay in touch – link is in the sidebar!

And we’re off

Home Office

With many sleepless nights and countless cups of coffee behind me, I’m STOKED to finally bring to you all Right Up Our Alley – A fashion and lifestyle blog by ME {Michele Alley!} When you have a last name like Alley, you sort of, kind of, are required to use it anyway you can.

To kickoff this party, I want to tell you a bit about myself {don’t worry, this won’t be an every-blog-post-occurence {trust me, this is not that kind of blog}.

My name is Michele Alley. I live in a small town in Arkansas with my husband Charles and our two overly adorable dobermans, Cholla and Milli. My husband and I both has 8 to 5 jobs, but we are very much work-to-live and not live-to-work kind of people. We enjoy being together, living life slowly, and enjoying every minute. I’ve always had a love of writing things down – you’ll never rarely catch me using my cell phone for notes or grocery lists – I’m a pad and paper kind of girl, and blogging has always been something that’s excited me.

As far as my style goes, I wish I could tell you what you’ll expect to see from this blog. My style varies – you’ll catch me in things that are on the more edgy, funkier end {such as below}, or you might catch me in something very minimalistic, such as blue jeans and a cozy sweater. My fashion varies based on my mood – I usually dress the way I’m feeling…I guess that explains why I can never pick my outfits out in advance. I break a ton of “rules” of fashion {mainly because I don’t know all of the rules..and who doesn’t love to break a good rule}. I’m a religious offender of the hairband on your wrist faux pas {sorry mom, you taught me better!} My nails are bare a good deal of the time, although I’m trying to get better at this one. My closet is basically work-to-play fashion, if I can’t find some way to transition a piece from work to play, I have a serious mental tug-o-war situation going on before I make the purchase. I’m truly bringing you things that are “Right up Our Alley.”

It took me a long time to find my style and stop purchasing things just because everyone else was! Feeling confident never came easy for me, but the game is changing. I hope you stick around on this blog, I hope you share with your friends, and I hope you find the fashion that is right up your own alley.

With that out of the way, let me bringing you my first outfit! You’ll probably get sick of me talking about my FAVORITE place to shop {Suite One Boutique in Fort Smith, AR – check them out here!} This entire outfit was from Suite One Boutique – and you can find in store or on their website.

Edgy

ShoesQupid – lace up and peep toe, and for UNDER $50! Insane. Jeans – JustBlack – inexpensive and they feel like pajamas. And the fit? Nothing better than the fit. V-Neck tank – Lush – comfiest thing you’ll put on, guaranteed. I have them in four colors, and they also come in regular v-neck tees. Bralette – not sure on the brand, but from Suite One as well, for only $20! It’s criss-crossed, which adds such an edgy and interesting touch to anything you wear it with.

Edgy

Check the blog out on instagram – rightupouralley – and stay tuned for a fun giveaway! {Oh, and if you want to click the follow button to the side here, I wouldn’t hate it!}