Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Building a Wardrobe: Tops

So now that we have your bottoms covers (ha!) lets talk about tops. This is a short post as tops are generally easy and relatively self explanatory. Remember, we are talking about BASICS for ALL SEASONS. I think talking about tops is the best part because it's what people usually notice the most.  The most important thing you need to remember when choosing tops is FIT! Not too tight in the boob area (or ANY area for that matter) and definitely not too tight in the arm area. A good rule it if you are uncomfortable crossing your arms, it's not a good fit. Also, please be aware that your body type may not be an "off the rack" type and THAT'S OK! That is what tailors are for! This is why it is so important to invest in quality items ESPECIALLY if you don't have an off the rack body type (I sure don't). Find a good tailor and have them custom fit your items to you. Yes, this means paying more but it also means looking fantastic in your clothes. Why spend the money on something if you aren't going to love it because it fits poorly? I usually do this with pants a jeans because I'm right in between a "petite" and "regular" size. You CAN do this with tops as well! Remember, things can be taken in but not (usually) let out. So when in doubt, if you are between sizes SIZE UP and then take it to a tailor. 

Basic tops you need:
-White button down: as much as I hate to admit it, my mom was ALWAYS trying to get me to buy a white button up top growing up and I always resisted. Thank you mom of instilling in me that classic never dies! Seriously, invest in a white top you guys. You will use it a ton! And it never goes out of style. 
-Chambray button down: I have a dark one and a light one and it's literally one of my go to pieces. Devin calls it my "uniform".  
-Stripped 3/4 sleeve shirt (any color is great! I think I have one in red, navy, black, gray...). I am obsessed with stripes as it is but stripped dresses and tops? I can't get enough. Classic, easy, and stylish.
-Black cardigan: I think I have a cardigan in every color of the rainbow. I'm obsessed. You can't go wrong with a cardigan in any color. And they don't have to have buttons! 
-Long & short sleeve black shirts (jersey material). Any solid color top is going to be a good staple. Just make sure the fit is nice (not too loose and not too tight!)
-Long & short sleeve white shirt (jersey material)

(Remember, you can click right on the items below and be taken to the retailer to see pricing!)

Yes, these items are SUPER basic. But once you have them you can start branching out. PLAID button downs, any color cardigan you want, any color top you want! Remember, we are trying to BUILD a wardrobe from scratch. These items are so versatile! Add a fun necklace or a scarf and water them with different bottoms and different shoes and seriously it looks like an entire new outfit. 
*Please stay tuned for how I use these pieces! It will be a few weeks as I will be doing my senior capstone in another state but be sure to check back at the end of august! I will continue to do posts as I am able while gone. On the agenda for "building a wardrobe": shoes, accessories, outerwear.*

Monday, June 29, 2015

It's OK...


It's been forever since I have done an "it's OK" post and it's high time I did, because A LOT of things are OK with me today...

It's OK... 


-That I desperately needed chocolate pudding last week and made it, and ate it, and loved it.
-That I have crossed over to the dark side of not washing my hair every day
-That I ate dessert more times than I care to admit last week
-That I would rather shop for my daughter than for myself
-That I literally did not fold laundry all week last week... I did laundry on Monday and it sat in the basket until Devin decided to do it yesterday... 
-That we aren't going out of town this summer... at all
-That my hair looks way better curly/wavy than it does straight (see above photo for reference)
-That this skirt looks WAY better in person (so does the entire outfit for that matter). The skirt is such a pretty blush tweed with silver threads woven through. 
-That I wish I had purchased this top in every single color it came in (I tend to do that quite a bit...) 
-That I wish I could get paid to bake for people
-To feel excluded- sometimes I definitely know I am
-To have a small circle of friends
-That I haven't seen any of the Jurassic Park movies... not a single one!
-That when Devin and I went on a date on Saturday we had to think back and remember the last time we were out just us... It was our anniversary... back in December... 
-That Charlotte isn't potty trained yet. I'm not forcing her yet. And to be honest it doesn't really bother me that she isn't right now. 
-That all I want to do is play at the pool and have picnic's this week! 


{My outfit. Shoes: Nine West. Skirt and Top: J. Crew. Necklace: Macy's. Charlotte. Shoes: Old Navy. Dress: Gymboree. Bow: My Beautiful Little Shop.}

Happy Monday friends! What's OK with you today? 




Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Building a Wardrobe: Bottoms

Let's start out at the very beginning. To me, the beginning of building a wardrobe is a good bottom (pun intended). Why? Because, they are EASY! And you can dress them up or down. It's the basic essential that everyone needs in their wardrobe: good fitting pants, good fitting jeans, and a pencil skirt (or 5).

Here is a basic starter kit:
-Dark skinny jeans
-Black jeans/pants
-Black leggings (yes yes I know but I wear mine all the time- I just make sure my booty is covered!)
-Boyfriend jeans (*optional, but you can pick any other kind of cut you want, ex: bootcut)
-Black pencil skirt

*Click on the photos to be taken to the the website where these products are sold!*


These are the building blocks and essentials you need in your wardrobe. Things to be careful of when purchasing these items.
#1. FIT
#2. QUALITY
I can't stress enough how important these two things are. If you buy low quality items, they won't last. My mom taught me that. It was when I was going through my "maybe I like Forever21 phase". If you spend a little more money on quality items they will last for-freaking-ever. True story, I have a few Express pencil skirts that are almost 10 years old and I still rock them quite frequently. So, INVEST in good fabric and a good fit. It's so important to TRY THINGS ON (if you can, if you buy things online still try them on when you get them ha!) I can't tell you how many times I have tried on things that have great hanger appeal but just look awful on my body. When buying jeans, be aware of the placement of the pockets!
POCKET RULES:
#1. Don't buy jeans where the pockets are too far apart (it will make your butt look wide)
#2. Don't buy jeans where the pockets are too long (it will make your butt look really long)
#3. Don't buy jeans that have really tiny or really large pockets

Also, make sure your jeans are tight-ish. I say "ish" because I'm not talking saying have your jeans hold you in like a sausage. No, no, no. A good rule of thumb with buying NEW jeans is that if you can fit your index and middle finger in your waistband (and you don't have a muffin top) you're golden. My advice is try on all different kinds and styles of jeans and pick one you really love. (Although I am a firm believer that every girl needs  a pair of skinny jeans/pants, if only to wear boots with in the fall!)

A few words about pencil skirts. Fit is so important with these as well. DON'T CHOOSE A PENCIL SKIRT THAT WILL MAKE YOU LOOK BOXY. You want that skirt to show that you are a women, not a cardboard box.


A few words about leggings. DON'T BUY CHEAP LEGGINGS THAT HAVE THING FABRIC. I'm sorry guys, but no one wants to see your booty through your thin leggings.
Once you have these 5 things in your wardrobe then you can start branching out into other colors and patterns! That's the fun part. 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Summer skin

It's no secret that people with gorgeous tanned skin fake and bake... or just plain fake that nice tan. SAY NO TO FAKE AND BAKE! My favorite thing right now, are tanning towels. In expensive, and they totally work! Plus, I pack on the sunscreen whenever I am outside because I am just terrified of skin cancer. 
So, here are my little tips and tricks to getting gorgeous summer skin!
Tip #1. EXFOLIATE! It might seem obvious but it really helps, especially the knee and elbow area!
Tip #2. Be sure to shave! Shave those legs ladies you don't want a funky tan...
Tip #3. Use a fake tan! I really love Tan Towels but St. Tropez is awesome too! {Kate Sommerville also makes some tanning towels!} St. Tropez also makes amazing moisturizers to help extend your tan.
Tip #4. WEAR SUNSCREEN. For real though, do I really need to talk about this? Shiseido and Ocean Potion are my absolute favorites right now.
Tip #5 MOISTURIZE, your face AND body. I LOVE L'Occitane's almond oil.
What are some things you guys love to use in the summer?
{Click on the photos for direct links to products!}


Friday, June 19, 2015

Strawberry Peach Pie

When we invited our friends over for dinner a few weeks ago, I knew immediate that I wanted to bake a pie. And definitely a fruit pie- that was a no brainier. I was at Target with Charlotte during the week and lo and behold there were peaches! Beautiful, glorious peaches. But I didn't want to do just a peach pie. So off to Pinterest I went and I found a strawberry- peach tart. Bingo! Strawberry peach pie. I searched and searched for a good recipe but most were just "throw the fresh fruit into the frozen pie crust and be on your way." I guess I just like doing extra work. So, I finally found a recipe I was happy with on Taste Of Home (albeit a frozen crust recipe) so off I went (my recipe is ever so slightly adapted as I wanted to do a lattice top but feel free to follow their crumble top recipe if that's your style). As far as crusts go, I have tried my fair share. Like, a lot. And I have definitely perfected the fluffy, yet crispy, buttery, yumminess that is this crust (adapted from the fantastic Paula Deen recipe- read below for my tips and tricks). There is a surprise ingredient in this pie- fresh basil. Just trust me on this, it works and it's delightful so don't skip that ingredient. It was seriously the best pie I have ever made. So I decided to make it again for a bbq because it was just that good. Be warned- this pie is extremely juicy! And peeling peaches is not my favorite thing to do because it's a sticky mess but oh so worth it. So, without further adieu- the strawberry peach pie!

*Side note. The first time I made this pie... I used nectarines. I just grabbed some at the store really quickly and didn't even think about it until I was peeling them and I was wondering why the skin wasn't fuzzy.  I made it a second time last night with peaches and peeling them was so much easier. Verdict is still out on if this pie tastes better with nectarines or peaches ha!*
(before egg wash and baking) 

The Crust
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
3 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1/4 cup vegetable shortening, cold
12 tablespoons butter, cold and cubed
1/2 cup + of ice water

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, salt and sugar. Add the shortening and break it up with your hands. (NOTE: I throw my butter into the freezer for about a minute before I do this. You want your butter SUPER cold!) Add the cold butter cubes and work it into the flour with your hands (It helps if you cut these quickly and as small as you can). Work fast so the butter doesn't get too soft. Mixture should be crumbly like coarse cornmeal. Add the ice water, a little at a time, until the mixture comes together forming a ball. When it comes together STOP working it otherwise the dough will get tough. Divide the dough in half and form each into a disk. Wrap each disk in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for about an hour. Roll crust out on a floured (*please make sure it's well floured! Otherwise it gets extremely sticky) surface to an 9-11 inch circle. Add to pie dish and trim edges.

Lattice Top 
How to do a lattice top. It seems complicated, but really you just weave. Make sure you roll your dough out evenly and slice into desired thickness. Alternate sides you place your crust on and "weave" your way until you get to the end. Trim and tuck edges for a cleaner look. Use an egg white (lightly whipped) to brush the tops and sprinkle 1/2 tbp sugar on top. 
(After baking! The egg wash really makes the top crisp up nicely) 

The Filling

Ingredients

4 sliced and peeled fresh peaches 
2 1/2 cups slices fresh strawberries (usually one carton is fine)
2 tbsp lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar- packed
1/4 cup cornstarch
2+ tbsp minced fresh basil (to taste) 

Directions

Preheat oven to 375. In a large bowl, combine peaches, strawberries and lemon juice. In a small bowl, mix sugars, cornstarch and basil. Add to fruit and toss to coat. Pour filling into prepared crust. (I like to place my pie pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper- this pie is seriously JUICY and got all over my oven the first time I made it). Bake on a lower oven rack 45-55 minutes. Enjoy with freshed whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. 






Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Building a Wardrobe

I got a message from a friend a few days ago about how to revamp her wardrobe. As I sat thinking about it, I realized that I had struggled with the same thing when Devin and I first got married. I remember we were sitting down for dinner one night and I had an Abercrombie and Fitch sweatshirt on and Devin said something like, "Abercrombie and Fitch is just so High School." Well, I definitely didn't want to dress like a highschooler anymore- so I went to pinterest, talked to my mom, and looked through all my favorite blogs for inspiration. I started buying classic pieces and quality pieces that would transcend (mostly) seasons and style changes. So, this has sparked a new segment on my teeny tiny blog- How to Build a Wardrobe. 
Before we get into specifics, let's talk about what to do to prep before you go out and spend money.

Step #1: Throw out (donate, take to platos closet...) anything that fits terribly, that you don't love, OR that you haven't worn in the last year. Because if you haven't worn it in the last year YOU AREN'T GOING TO (unless, of course, you are pregnant or had a baby recently- still get rid of things that you don't love!) 
*SIDE NOTE: I just got rid of 4 pairs of 7 for all mankind jeans because the fit was terrible- it hurt me a little bit on the inside because they were expensive! But, they really did look awful on.* 
When I was going through my first "closet purge" after Devin and I got married, I would hold up an item and Devin would say, "Do you love it? Do you wear it? Would you rather have something better?" Those questions have served me well in doing closet purges. I also try on as many things as I can (that I haven't worn or maybe that I forgot about). It really helps weed out the weaklings of any closet- SHOES INCLUDED! 

Step #2: Organize your closet
This is essential as it allows you to identify gaps in your wardrobe and see what you lack and need. It sounds so simple but it really helps! Sometimes we forget about items that we have (I know I do) and we get stuck in a rut wearing the same things over and over again. EVEN DOING THIS STEP can help you revamp your closet. 

Step #3: Identify gaps and make a list
I get it guys. Not everyone has the funds to go out and restyle their entire wardrobe in one go- I'm NOT saying to do that. I definitely didn't do that. But what I DID DO is prioritize. Is your closet lacking good fitting pants? Good, go out and search for good quality jeans/pants and start from there. Make a list of the things you need and prioritize for what's important.

Step #4: Set a budget
This is the dream smasher (if you let it be). Have a budget and stick to it! Maybe it's a monthly budget, maybe it's a bimonthly one- whatever it is, make it and stick to it. This helps you have realistic expectations about what you can get and when.

Step #5: WAIT FOR A SALE
I don't think I have paid full price for any item of clothing since I got married to Devin. I remember buying my first pair of 7 for all mankind jeans while Devin and I were dating and crying a little bit at the price tag. NEVER AGAIN! RIGHT NOW is such a good time to start because practically everywhere is going to have summer sales. So, online shopping just might be your best browsing friend- so you know what you want before hand and you can WATCH what you want until it's on sale. This serves me so so well.

Step #6: TRY STUFF ON!!!!! And find things that fit your body NOW
Ok, unless you have gone to a store a billion times (cough cough... J CREW... cough cough) and you know what size you will be in EVERY ITEM... TRY IT ON! Obviously if all you do is online shopping this does not apply to you. But if you go into a store, don't be afraid of the fitting room! Take a deep breath, and walk in with your head held high. I KNOW fitting rooms can be scary sometimes. Right after I had Charlotte I cried and cried and cried in fitting rooms for I can't even tell you how long. But it's ok! Dry your tears, and try again another day. 

Step #7: Rock what you wear with confidence.
If you feel uncomfortable in your clothes, you will LOOK it! Also, if you buy something and you don't feel like it's "you"- that's nonsense! Of course it's you! It got your attention and you bought it so it's YOU! Case in point- my tulle skirt. I was so afraid that people would think I looked ridiculous and that it wasn't me at all. But you know what? I stinking love that thing! Who cares if other people don't like it? I love it. And that's what matters. 

{Here are some of my current favorites for wardrobes. Some are basics and some are add on pieces. Please stay tuned for follow up posts about actually BUILDING a wardrobe. CLICK ON THE PHOTOS TO BE DIRECTLY LINKED TO PRODUCT}
Until next time friends!
XO

Monday, June 15, 2015

Spa Shower!

Last Friday my friends Sky, Allie, and Carrie and I threw a "Spa" baby shower for our friend Michelle. Michelle is expecting her second baby girl so after begging her have a party ;-) she finally agreed. She said she wanted something relaxing and more specifically something that was fun and more like a "girl's night out." It was so fun putting this together. We just had desserts which was fantastic! {Yes, I made the cheesecake.} We also had a DIY bath salt station (which went over really well!), a nail polish station, and Allie made homemade face masks! It was low key but totally fun. I wish we could do this all the time! It just turn out so stinking cute. I made cute prints for each station and I will link them below for anyone who wants to use them. 

The DIY bath salts are so stinking easy:
You'll need:
Epsom salt
Pink Himalayan Salt 
Rose oil (or any kind you want)
Dried rose petals (I made my own) 
4oz Mason jars 

To make:
1/4 cup epsom salt
1/4 cup pink himalayan salt
6 drops oil
1 tbsp rose petals
MIX and add to the mason jar. DONE! 

*Tassel garland is from studiomucci* 
 (Activity table!) 


(nail station)

(facials!) 

(How darling is the chalkboard my friend Sky did?)

(Yum! Costco lemon and brownie bites!) 

(strawberries with nutella dip)

(Sky also made this! So stinking cute!) 





(A few of our ladies! I wish we would have taken some photos with Michelle!) 

 Here are the prints I used! 



Aren't baby showers so stinking fun? <3 nbsp="" p="">