I am obsessing over the color combos that Seafolly put together. As usual I am WAY too excited about our honeymoon so I am looking at any and all bikinis and when I came across this one it was love at first sight (I mean come on, it’s Valentines Day!) This has to be one of my favorite palettes. The coral red with the turquoise and gold necklace. The Seafolly Kiara bikini is amaze just because of the color but I just know I have to find that necklace. Did you even notice that it’s a gold CRAB and turquoise necklace? It’s a Karen Walker turquoise and 9K yellow gold crab necklace. Too bad it’s WAY out of my price range! Ahhh…. so pretty.
Fall is almost here. I love the transition from summer to fall when the leaves come off the trees and the rich golds and browns start to appear everywhere and the light breeze becomes a little bit more gusty and chilly. But first, before all of these wonderful things happen, I’m always on the lookout for the discounts and sales that pop up as retailers quickly try and replace their summer collections with the new hot and trendy fall items. A few of my favorite “get off the shelvers”:
A fun pair of polka-dotted American Eagle Print Jegging Ankle Pants – $29.99
A dynamic and eye-catching J. Crew 3″ Short in Tiki Print – $39.99
A flowy and breezy, maybe a tad bit oversized, Splendid Pocket Blouse at ShopBop – $61.60
A fun and neutral Zara Two-Toned Basic Heel – $19.99
A super girly floral Sleeveless Sundress from Mango’s Outlet that you definitely will wear next summer – $48.99
I am a sucker for a cute shoe, especially one worn by a celebrity. I was at the gym a couple days ago and while reading the most recent People Style magazine on the elliptical, I came across a picture of Eva Mendes wearing the most adorable red dress and caged gladiator sandals. I tore the picture out (I know, I know, I am THAT girl) and brought it home. It turns out, Zoe liked the shoes just as much as I did. So much so, actually, that she decided to shred the picture to itsy bitsy pieces. If I can’t have them, neither can you!
Good thing for my stalker abilities with clothing. After looking it up online, I discovered that Eva Mendes was wearing Rebecca Minkoff Drew Cage Heels in Lion Brown ($325). I’ve been on the hunt to add a casual brown sandal to my wardrobe and these are perfect but definitely on the expensive side.
2. Nine West MSFABULOUS – $59
4. Maxstudio Women’s Elaine – $89
I love shiny new things. I love them even more when I can find them at a discounted price or a lesser expensive version that is almost the same exact style. If you’re ever looking for ideas on outfits that include eye-catching pieces (shiny, sparkly or whatever they may be), watch E! News. Catt Sadler and Giuliana Rancic have the most amazing well put together outfits on every show. Right now, I’m obsessing over Catt Sadler’s silver, mirrored pumps that she wore on E!News the other night. A metallic pump adds the perfect amount of pizzazz for a night out and glamour to an otherwise casual outfit, as Catt did. As soon as I saw them the search began. But, with a $650 price tag, these Giuseppe Zanotti Mirror Patent Leather Pumps are way out of range. Want to get it for less? Here are some great options!
It was an incredibly stressful weekend with the move. The last couple days have been nothing but crazy and hectic and as for the actual move itself, well, nothing seemed to go according to plan. But I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I think Zoe is too. She’ll need some time to adjust… right now she follows me and watches me everywhere I go, especially when I’m getting ready for work (as shown above). The exciting part will be making it our own and adding those special touches that give it some character.
So, here are my top 10 moving tips and advice that will help you keep your sanity:
- Buy your boxes at Home Depot. Small, medium or large, they are all under $2. I don’t know who Uhaul and some of those other places think they are when they charge $5+ for a box.
- The magic marker really is magic. It will help you remember what you put in boxes, what rooms they go in and if you can’t unpack in one day, it will help you remember where you put all your underwear.
- Pack 2 large boxes before the move. Put anything in it that you know you won’t need, i.e. out of season clothing. The process will make you feel like you have accomplished something and gets your brain in that mindset.
- Leave the dog with a friend for the actual move. She won’t get in the way and it helps keep her stress levels down (of course, her needs come first)
- Upgrade your hangers. Buy “no slip” hangers BEFORE you start unpacking. I had a great variety of different colored, broken plastic and wire hangers. It’s time to become an adult. A friend suggested I go to Costco and get them. Duo Flocked No Slip Space Saving Hangers 35 Count on sale for $7.79. Best recommendation ever. I mean, you can’t beat that price.
- Put some music on and have a glass of wine when you pack and unpack. It will help keep your sanity, even if it’s only temporary.
- Introduce yourself to your neighbors. Bring the dog and let them know you are aware she screams bloody murder when you leave the house. It will help keep the peace. Trust me.
- Donate anything you haven’t worn in the last year. No, you will NEVER wear that sweater again that is so cute but has the tiny stain on it. Then, donate some more. It will make your life easier and you will avoid that overwhelmed, “who am I” feeling when you start unpacking.
- T.J Maxx and Marshalls are your best friends. Any nick-nacks or extra things you need, like a cute cutting board that is $20, get them there. It’s a one stop shop for great discounted furniture and stuff for the home after a move. It doesn’t hurt to pick-up a designer dress to add to your new closet either.
- Dance in your new place to your favorite song. It will take the sting out of leaving your old place and make you feel better about moving forward with your life.
Now that I’m full speed ahead in wedding planning, I’ve really started loving the idea of his and hers anything! For a while, I thought it would be fun to do a his and hers with 2 types of bread. A chocolate-chip banana bread was perfect for me (I LOVE bananas and chocolate just makes it even more amazing) and I thought a beer bread or sausage bread (which I have an amazing recipe for) would be great for him. But, the more I thought about the more I thought that this chocolate chip banana bread recipe would really actually perfect for both of us. He loves chocolate and as long as there is enough as in tons, of chocolate pieces in there for him, he will be satisfied. And, I LOVE bananas with chocolate – did I already mention that? Maybe throw some peanut-butter in there….ok, I’m getting side-tracked. Anyway, I found a recipe that is the perfect compromise to be both her and his bread, and modified it just a bit to our liking and the results are fantastic. After all, marriage is about the merging of the things, right? Sweet, gooey and with a sugary-crust, this is the best banana bread recipe I’ve found. I’ve already made 3 loaves and given them out to friends.
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar for bread
- 1/4 cup sugar for top crust
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 9x5x2 1/2-inch metal loaf pan. Whisk first 4 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Add 1 tablespoon flour mixture and toss to coat. Be sure to spread evenly as chocolate chips tend to stick to the bottom and can make it difficult to remove the bread from the pan once it’s cooked.
Beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating until well blended. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Beat in mashed bananas and vanilla extract. Beat in flour mixture. Mix in chocolate chips by hand. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Evenly sprinkle sugar into top of batter once it’s in the pan. Do not mix.
Bake bread until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Turn out onto rack and cool. Try not to eat the whole thing in one sitting.
I’m not really going back to school and I don’t have friends that are either but I remember the days when back to school shopping was the only good thing to look forward to at the end of the summer. The TI83 was cool and all, but clothes shopping was so much more fun that getting the classroom supplies that you may or may not pretend to use at some point. Rules, erasers, trapper keepers… really? I can totally appreciate the dynamic and funky designs that trapper keepers eventually came out with (they are probably even much cooler by now) but I much prefer oversized cable-knit summer sweaters and brightly patterned a-line skirts.
I have a small obsession recently with silk or silk-type shirts like the one above. I love the loose, relaxed and maybe a touch boho-chic look that they have. My favorite is pairing them with a structured a-line or mini skirt. I would wear this back to school! What would you wear?
H&M Chiffon Blouse – $24.95
MaxStudio Linen Twill Skirt – $48 (on sale from $118!)
Madewell Leather Transport Rucksack – $248 (splurge)
Every girl loves to be a little bit girly, or a lot a bit girly, once in a while and scallop-trim detailing definitely fit the bill. I particularly love these types of details for the days when you roll out of bed in the morning and hairspray, make-up, etc. just isn’t working. I’m talking about the days where you feel especially not-cute and maybe a touch… do I dare say, man-ish? You ate and drank too much the night before and your gut is popping just a touch, or you’re tired so you’re a bit more insensitive to others than usual or maybe you even got in a girl fight the night before and lost a few strands of hair (let’s hope not). Pretty details like scallop-trimming are a great remedy to help bring out the girly-ness that may have been lost somewhere along the way. A few of my faves…
Cynthia Steffe – Caroline Strapless Scallop Dress/Raspberry – $82 (on sale at Saks!)
CO-ORD SCALLOP EDGE SHORTS – $76 (TopShop)
Gianni Bini Shay Crochet Skirt – $27.30 (on sale at Dillards)
Scallop Vest Top - $30 (TopShop)
Basix Black Label Taupe Shorts. – $290. These were the amazing beaded and sequin shorts Emily Maynard wore on her date with Arie. Huge splurge but I had to get them on here because they are just so cute.
No, not that kind of coat, although a purple/lavender-hughed jacket is quite adorable (I have one from Target!). The kind of purple coat(s) I’m talking about are the ones that make your nails and hair look pretty. I’ve been looking for a light lilac or lavender-colored nail polish and Essie’s Lilacism was the perfect shade. Not too purple and not too blue, roses are red, violets are… I mean… there’s actually something nostalgic it. Maybe because it’s a transition color, like the change from summer and fall. Moving on, I’ve mentioned a few times now just how hot and humid it has been in Chicago lately so I’ve been glued to (or maybe it’s been glued to my hair) the best non-sticky hair spray by Aussie. On humid days, even the mild ones, it doesn’t make sense for me to even attempt to wear my hair down, but that’s not to say it doesn’t frizz and fro when it’s up. Aussie’s Sprunch hair spray comes in a fabulously purple can and does just the trick to keep the flyaways… away. I’ve got really thick, dry hair too so it’s important to have a quick-drying spray that doesn’t create curls to straight hair since it goes on wet. Loving both of these products this week!
It’s been way too hot in Chicago for the last couple days… no, weeks, actually. It’s really become quite the heat wave, the kind that threatens to grow by the millisecond and swallow you whole if you don’t find shelter. I always say I won’t complain (too much) about it, knowing how bad/cold/brutal the winters here can be, but let me just mention that currently, if you stand outside for more than 1 minute, you won’t look the same as you did before that horrible minute. Frizzy, sweaty, discombobulated and gross all over is more or less what you become. Needless to say, heading into the overly cool office is always a big relief but planning for it can be extra difficult. Prepare to melt and freeze all in a days work. Picture what that must look like.
This is why I am such a big proponent of blazers. Besides for my never-ending obsession with jackets (all kinds), which I’ve mentioned before here and I’m sure at least 10 other times throughout, blazers are the perfect professional accessory to create a finished, covered-up look to any tank top or otherwise skimpy-ish dress that might be needed to try and beat the heat. Zara is one of the best places to find both a fun or simple blazer and I, of course, couldn’t pass up the opportunity to check out their incredible sale this week.
My absolute favorite was this lime green cropped zip blazer. For me this was a must-have blazer. I see a lot of pairings with white t’s and tanks and a cool blue denim short or rolled ankle jean. This blazer keep that edgy appeal, but also gives the outfit the finishing, more pulled-together touch. ($59 on sale).
Super light-weight and with a fabulous striped textured material, this cream colored blazer has added dimension and business-like appeal with it’s structured shoulder and slightly longer length than your average blazer. ($89 on sale)
You can’t tell in the picture, but the colors in this blazer are vivid and beautifully bright. Hints of turquoise, pops of pink and splashes of orange paired with studs that line the fringy trim make this a fun and unique option! ($79 on sale).