RACK of STYLE
As a young gal growing up in the world of retail, I hopped on the fashion train way too early. Despite my efforts to destroy any evidence of some of my early fashion choices, hints of my styling efforts creep up every now and then. Thankfully, I have found the straight and narrow of the styling world – in other words, I know how to work a closet! Check back each week for glimpses of my favorite fabrics, colors, and go-to styling tips!
As another week comes to a completion, I am making time for myself. The weather is so pretty and the air is so light, I’m inspired to move my body. You’re familiar with this adage:
Phyllis is an amazing woman full of life, vigor, and tenacity. She has inspired me to keep my body in motion with her informative and practical advice on being healthy and staying fit. I’ve come to learn, there are so many simple exercises I can accomplish every day. Setting small goals is helpful. I am determined to ease my mind, move my body, and relax my soul.
I think I will begin an exercise routine by walking in the park more often. I love looking at all the beautiful colors of flowers blooming and the trees just flourishing. Do you enjoy walking during the spring season? National has comfortable styles for doing just that.
Here are some soft, comfy clothes, and shoes to get you started on your new path of living healthier. I’ve found my spring collection at National and I know you’ll find yours. Share your fitness routine with me!
Keep movin’ & groovin’
Happy Earth Day from National! Today we celebrate the stunning creation that surrounds us – and take an opportunity to relish the many gifts it has afforded us.
As a mom, I recognize the importance of leaving our home better than we found it. I want my daughter to have the opportunity to explore the Grand Canyon, celebrate her birthday on clear blue water, and hike to the top of Pike’s Peak with nothing around her but the crisp Colorado air. I have tried to make concerted efforts to reduce the amount of plastic I use on a daily basis and be intentional about recycling. I’ve found incremental shifts make the biggest difference – and for me, step one was a great, multi-purpose tote bag.
This bag serves as a weekend suitcase, a quick grocery run tote, a beach bag and a catch all diaper bag. It is made with a striped paper braid and comes in a variety of colors (so you can hang onto more than one…just in case!) Sturdy leather straps and a zipper closure ensure all of your goodies will stay safe, wherever you go.
Here’s to small (and stylish) changes in our daily habits – as we work together to celebrate countless Earth Days ahead.
Today, I am thrilled to introduce you to Phyllis Lerner, founder and author of Follow Phyllis. I had the chance to catch up with Phyllis and ask her a few questions. Read up on our time below!
- What catapulted your courage to share fitness and encouragement with women worldwide?
I’ve always been a girl’s girl. Long before my career in fitness, I was a woman that supported other women. My commitment to fitness was born out of tragedy. When I was just about 23, I lost my 53 year-old-mother to a massive heart attack, which was primarily a result of her obesity and Diabetes. As you can imagine, this loss rocked my world. I was determined to lead a healthy life – for myself and for my future family. It wasn’t until I picked up a book by ArnoldSchwarzenegger that I fell in love with bodybuilding and physical fitness. Shortly after reading this book, I joined the first all-women’s bodybuilding gym in New York City.
I saw my body transform. I uncovered a newfound sense of happiness, pride and accomplishment. I established healthy habits. I met wonderful people. I became the best version of myself when I embarked on my wellness journey. After realizing the benefits that living a healthy life bestowed upon me, I combined my love for exercise and my love and support for women to create followPhyllis – a safe place for ladies to gather, inspire and be inspired.
- What first inpsired your love of fashion? How do you incorporate that love into your blog and overall “best life” routine?
Since I was a young girl, I’ve had a passion for beautiful clothing, just like my mom. There’s nothing quite like getting all dolled up. As a woman, my love for fashion exploded as I worked hard on maintaining a fit and healthy body.
When women work towards being healthy and fit, many develop a newfound appreciation for fashion. When I feel strong and empowered, I feel inspired to dress up. To indulge in fashion – hair, makeup, nails, clothes and self-care – is a celebration of you and your successes and thatis why it’s a big part of followPhyllis. As women join me on a journey to wellness, I want them to also join me in celebration. That is what fashion means to the followPhyllis community.
- For those of us a little intimidated by fitness, where do you normally encourage someone to begin?
While it’s perfectly normal to feel anxious when starting something new, I would tell any fitness beginner to keep one thing in mind – we all need to start somewhere. Arnold Schwarzenegger had a beginning. Jillian Michaels had a beginning. I certainly had a beginning. If you believe in yourself and invest in your personal growth, you’ve already won. Take the first step – that’s the hardest part.
If you don’t have much fitness experience, I recommend starting small. Two or three times a week, go for a walk. Do some floor exercises in between commercial breaks. Maybe experiment with 2-pound weights. Be consistent and over time, you will be able to up the ante.
Another great way to stay accountable is to grab a workout buddy and set goals together. The reward here is twofold: 1) You’ll help a friend become the best version of themselves and 2) You’re less likely to skip a workout or slack off when you have a partner in tow.
- What are a few of your favorite trends/styles for Spring?
Oh, this is fun! The one thing I love more than springtime itself isdressingfor springtime! I love color and fun prints for this time of year. I always like to challenge myself (and encourage my readers) to be bold with fashion choices.
The gorgeous Pintucked Print tunic and silky leggings I recently received from National Wholesale are right up my alley! With florals so popular this spring, this tunic gives you the trend without being overwhelming. This season, I encourage my followers to purchase a few staple pieces such as these two items that can very easily be dressed up or down for any occasion with the addition of fun shoes, purses and jewelry.
Another spring trend I love is the color lilac. It has always been of my favorite colors because I think it casts a beautiful soft glow on skin. The other current trend I’m in love with is ruffles, but I haven’t figured out how to wear them in a flattering way. Maybe a lilac, ruffled, floral scarf will be the answer!
Read more about Phyllis’ fitness, nutrition and style tips on her website, Follow Phyllis.
Last week, I shared tips on planting for this time of year and a preview of what the Wilson garden will include. We’re looking forward to Brussel sprouts, cucumbers and squash (of many varieties). Preparing for our harvest, I am already dreaming up a load of delicious recipes.
I love a good char on my Brussel sprouts and prefer a sweet and savory combination when cooking them. Cucumbers are great in everything and add crunch, flavor and texture. Below, you will find a recipe for an easy salad! Get those perfect grill marks on your squash and impress your friends with an incredible take on this easy-to-make veggie.
Click on the image to review the recipe in detail. What are some of your favorite presentations of food from your garden?
Last week, I shared some planting tips for this time of year. In the last few weeks, the Carolinas have received a great deal of rain but have finally experienced a pause – revealing lush greens and bright shades of pink, yellow and purple.
Inspired by the happy pops of Spring, our team developed exciting and new products an updated and stylish seasonal look. Below are some of our brightest, most spring forward looks. These prints are Pair easy to pair with a coordinating solid color or neutral shade of blue or black. Opt for a dark tank with our Saint Lucia Floral Skirt or brighten your look by pairing our 3/4 sleeve top with white denim jeans.
Is your closet ready for spring? Which one is your favorite?
Here’s to happy,
This weekend brought 75 degree afternoons after a week of gloomy days. We went out of town this weekend, and upon returning, we caught glimpses of the incredible blooms Wilmington boasts in spring.
This weekend is Azalea Festival – an annual celebration of the most plentiful flower in our city. We celebrate the array of colors all weekend long – in music, outdoor parties and downtown art markets.
National has grabbed a hold of some of my favorite floral inspired colors and translated them into warm and inviting staples for my closet this season. Some of my must haves – this cozy side button sweater, my favorite (and so lightweight) tote bag, and a splash of sparkle. You can tell that coral comes forward as a favorite shade for spring, mixing well with neutrals and serving as an easy option for a pop of color that compliments everyone!
Which piece is your favorite?
It’s another glorious spring day (fresh on the heels of a 35 degree evening), and I am gearing up for a seasonal tour of some of my favorite coastal towns.
The Carolinas are well known for many things – stunning tree-lined roads, colorful mountaintops, and sparkly shorelines. With warmer days ahead, I am planning our beach trips and preparing for time by the water.
Thankfully, I live near one of the best beach towns in North Carolina. If you’d like to experience an authentic Carolina beach town (without the commercialized and overdeveloped challenges of some of our neighboring areas), swing on down to Wrightsville Beach. You can enjoy strolls along our wide strand and nourish that sun-induced hunger with a hot dog from Trolly Stop or a fresh Poke Bowl from Zeke’s.
If you are searching for something with more history and a quintessential Carolina feel, make a pitstop in Beaufort. With stunning homes along Front Street and some of the most delicious food you’ll find along the coast, you will relish time in this postcard worthy town.
Are you headed further south? Make sure to add Murrells Inlet to your itinerary. On back-and-forth trips to Charleston, my heart grew attached to this quaint town – especially given its proximity to other amazing places on Highway 17 (Pawley’s Island and Charleston aren’t too far away!) Stroll along the water and enjoy coastal shops for miles.
What’s on your list this spring? Share your travel adventures with me in the comment section below.
In reviewing my traditionally “muted” (ok…dark) closet, I realized my wardrobe needed another injection of color – but with a twist. I researched printed options that incorporated my favorite spring shades and selected a few to couple with my favorite pair of denim jeans.
When hunting for an easy-to-wear printed tee, I search for a natural fiber blend guaranteed to hold its color and shape. I also prefer a long cut for comfort and a slimming silhouette.
If you’ve waited to add color to your wardrobe, tis the season for bright colors, and easy options for spring. Choose your favorite by clicking on the caption! Do you have a go-to print? Tell me which one catches your eye.
Happy National Ravioli Day! Little known fact – this is one of my favorite foods, but my desire to cook from scratch comes to a screeching halt when I think about ravioli. For whatever reason, the process intimidates me (especially given that I have zero Italian roots).
Bon Appétit produced a fantastic article to take you from beginning to end in crafting your own raviolis at home! Click here to learn more. What ingredients will you use?
Let’s talk sweaters.
I’ll be honest – I’m picky when it comes to the perfect sweater for transitional seasons. I want something easy to layer, if I choose, soft but lightweight, and flattering. Traditionally, it is difficult to find a piece that checks all of my boxes. But this year, National went above and beyond with its slub yarn knit sweater.
This particular sweater features faux horn functioning side buttons, which allows you to wear open like a poncho or tapered down to the hip. While it features a chunky knit construction, you do not have to layer it unless preferred (i.e. it’s not see through! Hip hip hooray!)
Available in a beautiful coral or a softer neutral palette of stone or cream, this sweater is one you buy in multiples, friends. What features do you like most about this piece?