Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Building a Wardrobe: Shoes

Shoes are one of my absolute favorite things. Ever. Have you ever seen the movie, "In Her Shoes"? There is a scene in there when one of the characters says, "When I feel bad, I like to treat myself. Clothes never look any good. Food just makes me fatter. Shoes always fit." That. Is. Poetry.
Shoes always fit. 
I am a huge fan of killer shoes. HUGE! It is my bread and water. Absolutely essential. Here's the thing about shoes. They are probably the biggest investment in your wardrobe because THEY WILL LAST THE LONGEST. And BONUS they can be resoled, polished, and generally well kept. If there is one thing I can tell you about buying shoes, it's the same thing I have said for all the other posts- invest in quality. No, I am not saying to go spend $300 on a pair of Louboutin's (Yes, I know they are way more than that but I found some at a Barney's outfit for $300 and seriously considered buying them... but I didn't) because that is just not realistic for the majority of people in the world. My favorite place? DSW. And I WATCH the shoes I want and I wait for a coupon or for them to go on sale. (I am all about saving money and not spending full price on ANYTHING!)

So, here are the shoes you need in your arsenal.
-Black pumps: You will always need these. Always. I wear mine in every season with everything from jeans to skirts to dresses. 
-Nude pumps: If Kate Middleton has taught you anything, it's the value of a nude pump. That girl lives in hers and so do I. 
-Black flats: Again, something I wear in every single season. In the summer I usually swap these out for a flat black sandal. 
-Nude flats: Just like your nude heels these will be super versatile and a huge wardrobe asset. 
-*Red heels: If you have ever heard Kelly Pickler's song "Red High Heels" you will know exactly why you need these. You can omit these if red just isn't your thing but at least promise me you will try some on. I am telling you, a women in red heels can conquer anything!  
-Black or brown tall boots: FALL! I live in these during the fall and winter. If you don't already have a pair, start with a brown pair. I have had mine for.... 5 years and they still look awesome. 
-Casual sneakers: Because who doesn't love being comfortable? Converse are great and I am completely in love with New Balance's lately. You can dress them down with boyfriend jeans and a white top OR wear them with a cotton dress.

If you live in a colder climate for part of the year (like myself), I highly recommend investing in some Hunter Wellies. I wear them when it's snowing outside and icy. I have never slipped once! And BONUS you can purchase boot liners that are totally awesome and super warm!

(Remember to click on the photos to be taken to the retailers directly! Also, don't forget there could be more than one "page" of shoes below, be sure to check out all of my picks!)

Monday, July 6, 2015

4th of July Weekend


Lot's of photos from our fun Holiday weekend. It was filled with family, friends, fireworks, and lots of sugar... we are going to pretend that none of the sugar part happened ;-) 

(Denver LDS Temple)

(Temple selfie)

(Before)

(After! "Nummy!" she says)

(Is it wrong that I wanted to steal her outfit?) 

(These Marc Jacob's "star" sunglasses only come out on the 4th) 

(twins!) 

(IG filter for the win!) 

(always has to stop and sniff the flowers) 

(Those curls! I die) 

(Nummy gelato!) 

(of course, she didn't want to get wet but she did not want to leave!) 

(Picnic at the park) 

(She loved it!)

(Red Vines)

(our little family) 

(Sunday morning photos with her are my favorite! All too often I am behind the camera and not in front of it... it's a new goal!) 



(I'm gunna get you!) 

Our 4th of July weekend was awesome! We were a little worried as it is the first 4th of July here that we haven't had any family in town. Devin had Friday off so we took a day date to the temple- it was much much needed and we were so grateful to our friends who watched Charlotte so we could go. That night Charlotte helped me make no-bake cookies and cherry pie bars and I decided that I desperately needed a burger and parmesan truffle fries... and bomb pops. I went and got the burgers and Devin had my car washed and picked up the bomb pops. We ate our dinner outside in our back yard picnic style and Charlotte LOVED it. She got to eat her first popsicle on her own and she didn't make that big of a mess (haha) she didn't even drop any on the ground! I was super impressed. Side note: bomb pops are only 35 calories. SCORE! Saturday, Devin was up bright and early to go do the fun run at church and I was up early doing a Kayla Itsines workout (KILLER- seriously go download her free week). Charlotte SLEPT IN which hardly ever happens and we thought we were late to the annual 4th of July breakfast at church but we weren't. Devin and I had our first date on the 4th of July and he asked me out at the 4th of July breakfast so it's sentimental to us that we go every year. Plus... breakfast! And I didn't have to cook! We then headed to Boulder to walk around (which we did last year and had a good time). As soon as Charlotte saw the Gelato store she yelled "ICE CREAM!" and B lined it for the counter. Needless to say, she got some fresh strawberry gelato before lunch. Fun fact about Charlotte: she does NOT like getting splashed. So splash pads aren't here thing. She pretends like she likes them but really she just likes stomping in the water. Charlotte took a 4 HOUR NAP which was heaven. The night before the 4th Devin and I tried to light some fireworks to get Charlotte prepared for the big ones we would see but she FREAKED OUT! "I DON'T LIKE IT!"... "SCARED"... Poor girl was terrified. We were invited by some friends to go to a park and hangout for a bit and we thought about not staying for the fireworks but we decided to stick it out and see how she would do. Not so hot. She hid her head in Devin's chest the entire time. She likes seeing them from far away but not up close! It was an awesome firework show though- it had the best finale ever! And when it was all done Devin said, "Do you smell that? It smells like FREEDOM!" HAHAHA! Of course, on Sunday after Charlotte's nap the first thing she wanted to do was "Fireworks!" So, we went outside and tried again and this time she loved it as long as she was standing behind daddy. We had so much fun spending time  with friend's and family and RELAXING this weekend. This next week is going to be absolutely nuts for us as we try to get ready for my final quarter in nursing school. It's going to be b-a-n-a-n-a-s. I am so thankful for summer and the time I have had to play and enjoy the time with my little bug and hubby- I have decided it's my favorite. How was your weekend friends? 

{Don't judge my IG filter photos guys- I can't help it, I love having bright photos! } 
(One of my favorite photos of me and my girl) 

For those curious: 
My 4th of July outfit was all J. Crew. Charlotte's was all Old Navy. 
Our Sunday Looks:
My dress is from Junieblake, necklace is from jane.com, shoes are Nine West and my lipstick is MAC Red. Charlotte's outfit is all Gymboree. 

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.