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My husband over at Great Lakes Prep and I have been very busy these past months. We have finally made our dream of owning a Midwest apparel and prints brand come true!  All of our products are made in the USA by hard working American citizens.  My husband uses his Midwest upbringing and surroundings as inspiration for his designs.  And by the way did I mention, he hand draws many of the designs, converts them into usable files, sends them to print makers, keeps track of inventory, processes orders, completes the photography for items, responds to questions, created and runs the website and is the accountant for the whole operation?  I am one proud wife here ladies and gentleman!  Plus it’s not a bad gig to model for all the awesome products!  Check out the website ShopFlyoverPress.com to order some new gear or just to look at all cute pics of our adorable golden retriever Wrigley!

Chelsea

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Great Lakes Prep

Who doesn’t love a little bit of eye candy?  With punchy colors, these pieces will keep you on trend.  The style pendulum is swinging back towards gold and I am a fan!  I own a pair of the starfish earrings and I had to include them in this collection because they stand above the rest that I have found.  The rest of the pieces I would certainly love to own…hint, hint Mr. GLP.

1. Loren Hope Kelly Turquoise Necklace $140 / 2. KEP Designs Pearl and Gold Coin Toggle Bracelet $275 / 3. Mod Cloth Exclaim to Fame Ring $12.99 / 4. C. Wonder Signature Enamel Bracelet $38 / 5. Pink Pineapple Stockard Landing Earrings $25 / 6. Fornash Turtle Decorative Pin $25 / 7. J.Crew Factory Pave Starfish Earrings $24.50 / 8. J.Crew Factory Crystal Triangle Pendant Necklace $32.50

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Great Lakes Prep

(Mr. and Mrs. GLP 2006)

When going out on a first or second date, the first thing I looked for in a gentleman was his manners.  Any man who has been raised properly should know how to act respectably both in  public and behind closed doors.  The unfortunate thing is that this is not always the case.  If you want to know how to catch a lady, guys you had better learn some manners. This is a topic that I could write about for days, as there are so many different situations that call for different manners.  But for the sake of this blog, I will just go over the basic do’s and don’ts for you guys out there who are trying to date a lady.

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Great Lakes Prep

I don’t think there is anything better than watching the leaves change color in the Midwest.  The colors are absolutely spectacular on the soaring trees that line every road.  There is one road near my parents home in Southwest Michigan that I travel for no other reason than to view the beautiful orange, red and yellow leaves that blanket the sky above.  The changes in nature surrounding me inspire me to buy cozy, versatile pieces that I can wear from the football game to the pumpkin patch.  Here are a few of my favorite fall jackets for the 2012 season.

1. Zara Combed Fake Fur Padded Jacket ($89.90) /2. Orvis Barbour® Vintage International Ladies Jacket ($269) / 3. Loft Buffalo Plaid Double Breasted ($128) /4. Mango Leather Jacket ($339.99) / 5. J.Crew Excursion Quilted Vest in Herringbone ($138)

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Great Lakes Prep

1. J.Crew A-Line Ponte Dress ($138) /2. Tipsy Skipper Captain Morgan Clutch ($80) /

3. LC Lauren Conrad Floral Peplum Chiffon Blouse ($22) /4. Sole Society Alisa Almond Toe Pump ($49.95)

5. Kiehl’s Aromatic Blends: Vanilla and Cedarwood ($40 for 30ml) /

6. Lilly Pulitzer Leighton Blazer in Bomber Blue ($178) /7. J.Crew Flower Lattice Necklace ($228)

I don’t know about you, but this time of year inspires me to shop! Heading back to school was always an occasion to grab some new duds in my family.  Even though I will not be returning to school this year, I still love a little retail therapy.

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I have been absent from my blog for a quite a while now.  This can be attributed to many big life changes!  My husband and I received job offers back in our home town.  While this was a happy time, it has also been painful.  We miss our little Indianapolis home, co-workers, friends and favorite places in the city.  My husband’s blog, Great Lakes Prep, has also been growing and I have been playing more of a supportive role in the many new ventures taken on there.  We still are working on getting things settled, two months later.  Hopefully, I will be able to start publishing more here or at least linking my pieces from GLP.

Chelsea

In the Midwest, we grow up with a God first, family second, self third perspective.  Naturally you can assume clothing generally falls last in the long list of things that are important in life.  My husband and I did not grow up in affluent surroundings and we certainly did not contemplate attending an Ivy League University or traveling abroad for a year before attending college in order to “broaden” our horizons.  We come from blue collar families who taught us how to work hard and spend our money judiciously.   There are certain apparel items that are well worth a high price due to quality, however sometimes a less expensive alternative can be just as good.  A great solution for looking good and spending less are consignment shops.  Yes, it may be a daunting task and you will have to set aside a slot of time to look through piles of random items lumped together but for those who are cash-savvy it can certainly be a smart investment. Take a look at what I found this week after sorting through the racks.

Ralph Lauren Polo Cable Knit Sweater / Retail Price   $99.50 / Consignment Price $14.00

Blue Button Down Fitted Shirt from H & M for $19.95

Ralph Lauren Royal Blue & Aqua Paisley Print Short can be found in limited sizes on Ebay or you could opt for a very similar option from Lily Pulitzer in a floral print for $64 / Consignment Price $7.00

Jewelry from J. Crew, Ann Taylor Loft and Consignment

White Sandal Wedges from Old Navy / A great alternative option is the Angel Ankle Strap Wedge from Sole Society for $49.95 and if you head over to Gal Meets Glam you can find $15 off your first purchase with a code found here until 8/31/12.  If you haven’t checked out her blog yet I recommend that you do.  I can guarantee you will be glued to your computer screen pouring through her posts for awhile!

Chelsea