A small anecdote in growing up an #introvert

I was 6 going on 7 in second grade at Immaculate Conception school in a tiny little town in Southern Illinois.  With a late-May birthday, I was one of the younger children in my class throughout middle school.  I was shy, hyper-aware of everyone around me, and easily distracted by other people and their thoughts about me.  I was a born introvert.

My teacher in second grade, Mrs. Stechmesser (a thin, light-complected woman with jet black hair perpetually styled in a tidy bob), had a favorite habit of rewarding the class with candy to get us to behave.  She kept a glass jar filled to the brim with Jolly Ranchers displayed on her rectangular pine desk.

While Jolly Ranchers were indeed my all-time favorite candy, I always seemed to be on my best behavior in any class through out my childhood.  I knew some classmates misread this as a classic “teacher’s pet,” and yes, while I also possessed the annoying habit of being a bona-fide people-pleaser, I mainly attributed my stock-pile of Jolly Ranchers to my quiet, introverted nature.

I can remember following my fellow second-graders into the classroom after each recess.  They would be hot and red-faced, loud and hyper from the outdoor activity, and not too keen on returning to their quiet school work.  I, on the other hand, would walk quickly to my desk, sit down carefully, and as Mrs. Stechmesser instructed, lay my head down on my arms and close my eyes.  She expected the whole class to eventually do the same and would of course reward those who remembered with candy.  For her it was a quick and easy method to calm down a room of 25 kids without having to raise her voice, and it was quite effective.  However, I always seemed to be the first to win this game after each recess.

And it wasn’t intentional.  I excelled at being quiet.

I loved closing my eyes and escaping the noise and clutter of that chaotic room and getting a few moments to collect my thoughts while I patiently waited for my fellow classmates to relax.  I couldn’t help but be the first one in that room to block out the world and all its distractions…and what was so funny to me, was that the LAST thing I wanted to gain from that exercise was to be called out in front of an entire audience of 25 rowdy classmates while accepting my candy reward.

I remember at the time (yes even at 6 years old) how painful it felt and how my ears burned walking up to that jar of candy on Mrs. Stechmesser’s desk in front of the entire room whose attention was now 100% focused on me.  After selecting a brightly colored plastic-wrapped square of sugar, I would scuttle back to my seat and stare straight ahead until my classmates eventually lost interest and the moment would pass.

Shy, maybe.

Anti-social, not all the time.

Introverted, absolutely.

How to impress your friends with these 4 fresh cocktails

My best kept secret for hosting an incredible party?  A signature cocktail!

Every good party comes with a single cocktail that guests can sip on throughout the evening.  Not only does a signature cocktail provide a fun way to add interest to your party, it also gives your guests the added convenience of choosing a yummy drink so they can concentrate on what’s priority – socializing!

I’d recommend having a small selection of wine and beer on hand as well, however in my experience, friends always choose the signature cocktail when offered.  It gives guests an immediate icebreaker as well as a way to connect to new acquaintances.  Everyone’s enjoying the same drink and starting off on an even playing field.

As temps rise and we begin the glorious spring season full of late night BBQs and patio parties, here’s my top 4 freshened up cocktails to add to your next get-together.

Pink Lady

This bubbly concoction is ideal for bridal showers, baby showers, bachelorette parties, or a girls’ night in.  I love the summery coral pink shade of grapefruit mixed with fizzy champagne.  It’s a light, sweet way to mix up this classic celebratory beverage.

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Add 2 parts champagne to 1 part chilled grapefruit juice and garnish with a tiny wedge of grapefruit.  Optional – soak the rim of your champagne flute in grapefruit juice and coat sugar or pink sprinkles on the glass for some added girly flair.

Summer Slush

Hosting the next casual BBQ?  Add this fancy summertime drink to your menu.  Refreshing lemonade mixed with sweet raspberry vodka makes this beverage the perfect dessert to top off an evening of burgers and brats.  The crushed ice gives it a full on ballpark aesthetic that both guys and girls will love.

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To mix a batch of this drink ahead of time, add 1 cup of raspberry flavored vodka or rum (Bacardi makes my favorite) to 1.75 liters of lemonade (or 1 jug of Simply Lemonade) to a pitcher.  Stir well and add more liquor depending on your preference.  Leave the pitcher in the fridge to chill.  As your guests arrive, pour the drink over crushed ice and serve with a lemon wedge or garnish with fresh raspberries.

The Cinco

Looking to make the perfect, classic margarita for your next holiday bash?  This recipe is yummy, easy and always a hit.  I love using several ingredients to whip up a batch of margaritas (in place of sugary pre-made grocery store mixes) to really impress my friends.

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You’ll need the following:

  • 1 750 ml bottle Silver tequila
  • 2 cups Triple Sec
  • 1 1/2 cups lime juice
  • fresh limes
  • sea salt

Combine the tequila, Triple Sec, and lime juice into a pitcher and chill.  Dice the limes into wedges and slice a cut into the top of each wedge.  Wipe the rim of your glasses with a lime wedge and twirl the rim into a dish of sea salt to garnish.  Serve the drink over ice.

Rockin’ Rosé

This is my favorite quick, easy signature cocktail to add some punch to a party.  To try this amped-up take on the blush wine trend all you need is a few bottles of your rosé of choice and fresh blackberries.  For a drink this simple, I like to add appeal by serving the rosé in glasses of varying styles (think champagne flute, cordial, brandy glass, highball glass, and martini glasses).  Pop a few blackberries into the drink and you’re done!

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Having a signature cocktail is an easy way to take your party to the next level.  Impress and treat your friends to a yummy beverage and take the guesswork out of what to prepare for your next event.

Which ones are your faves??

How to crush spring style with these top picks

I’m so ready to embrace longer days and warmer weather!  As spring heats up, so do my cravings for refreshing new trends and unique styles.  Here’s a sampling of my current faves and where to find them (under budget!).

Palazzo pants

Break away from the skinny jeans (an exhausted trend that everyone’s been wearing since their debut in 2007) and slip on an ultra-flattering pair of wide leg, flowy palazzo pants.  I love how the slimming vertical stripes add a cute springy nautical flair.  Style with a body-hugging off the shoulder sweater to balance out the voluptuousness of the silhouette.

Striped Palazzo Pants
Forever 21 $22.90

 

Feminine bomber jacket

Layering is essential during spring, and my current favorite way to stay warm while out on the town is by adding a comfy bomber jacket.  Find a style with floral prints, silky fabric, or light blush hues to maintain a feminine vibe while playing up your cool-girl status (and staying warm!).  I love the romantic print of this floral bomber and I’d wear over a white tee and dark blue denim for daytime.

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Jennifer Lopez for Kohls $66.00

 

Pastel crossbody bag

I’m a sucker for a good crossbody and Sole Society has the perfect line of pastel hued vegan leather and suede bags for spring.  They create the ideal way to carry around your cell, keys, wallet, and lipgloss.  I love the convenience of a compact, hands-free crossbody bag for running errands on hectic weekends.  This lovely pale blue shade is a refreshing neutral alternative for spring.

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Rowen Mini Crossbody $49.95

 

Culotte romper

Culottes are an extremely chic way to upgrade your pants.  They are slimming, comfy, and do a fab job of showcasing your gorgeous footwear.  Even more practical for a girl on the go, is a culotte romper which eliminates the need to throw together an entire outfit.  I’d add a light silky scarf for daytime and a belted long open front cardigan for chilly evenings.

 

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Lotus Ruffle Jumpsuit $89.50

 

Block heels

As a girl who loves her neutrals, I’m always looking to add a pop of color when it comes to accessories.  The latest trend in heels helps me do just that with ankle-strap block heels available in colors ranging from black and tan to bright fuchsia and cotton candy blue.  I love the heel height and bold lipstick red of these chic sandals from Target.  I’d keep the rest of my outfit low-key, pairing with light blue denim and a flowy white blouse for spring.

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Marcella Low Block Heel Pumps $27.99

 

 

What styles are you dying to try this spring?

My responses to the biggest love dilemmas

Valentine’s day is tomorrow!

Are you and your significant other making plans?

Or are you a #singleton ready to take the city by storm with your squad?

Or perhaps you haven’t given the holiday a second thought and are much more focused on the latest episode of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airing tomorrow night.

Whichever you may be, here are my opinions on some of the biggest mysteries of love and relationships in an little ode to Valentine’s Day.

1.  Do you believe in love at first sight?

I’ve never personally experienced love at first sight, but I do believe that anything is possible.  I’m not the most dramatic person and rarely do I “wear my heart on my sleeve,” however I think there are people who love fiercely and never question their emotions.  I met my college boyfriend at a party during our junior year and as we began talking, I instantly knew that we would be a couple, however I didn’t think I was in love until months later.

2.  Longest relationship and why?

My current one.  My husband and I have been together for 4 years (married for 6 months).  Our communication has been stronger than any other past relationship I’ve experienced.  We both had spent a significant amount of time being single prior to dating and I think that greatly strengthened our knowledge of who we are as individuals and the type of person we would be most compatible with.  We also happen to be complete opposites in a variety of ways which I think only bonds us closer.

3.  Favorite celebrity duo?

John Krasinski and Emily Blunt.

4.  Have you ever been dumped?

Once and it was the best thing that could have ever happened to me in terms of my love life.  I learned so much about myself post break-up and I grew immensely as an individual.  It was my long-term college boyfriend who I thought I’d marry and play housewife while he got his vet degree.  I was blindsided at first but hindsight is truly 20-20 and I’ve only been grateful that he was able to read the writing on the wall when I could not.  I enrolled in post-graduate classes, paid off my car, got a second retail job in addition to working my accounting day job, and eventually made enough money to comfortably buy a home in the city.  My friendships were strengthened and multiplied and I really enjoyed getting to know who I was and what I was capable of on my own.  I also lost 20 pounds!

5.  What’s your breakup playlist?  

I’m not a very patient person and I don’t tend to mourn and listen to slow, moody music…I coped with my breakup through angry alternative rock songs with pumped up beats that motivated me during long workouts.  My favorite way to get over the sadness and hurt that comes with rejection was to jog it out for long miles around my parents’ neighborhood in the burbs.  Britney Spears’ #Stronger was my anthem.

6.  Deal-breakers?

I’ve been very fortunate that basically all my relationships were fairly healthy and I truly dated some great guys.  There’s no bad blood between me and any ex…100% of my relationships fizzled out when the attraction slowly went away.  A primary deal-breaker for me would be if I’m not feeling like I’m his main priority.  If you’re not into me, don’t waste my time.

7.  What’s your breakup mentality for what you do with the sentimental stuff? (Notes, cards, presents, etc.) Do you give it back? Hold onto it?

Throw it all away.  I purge every last evidence of the relationship.  I also don’t keep in contact with any of my exes.  If we didn’t have social media, I probably wouldn’t remember half their names from high school and early college years.  Nothing against them, I just don’t like to live in the past and I think it makes it very hard to open yourself up to a new relationship and gain the trust of someone you’re wanting to date when you can’t let go of that ex-baggage.

8.  What’s your take on taking a break?

I’ve never done this before, probably because I don’t believe in it.  If either person is feeling like they want out, it needs to be over.  Especially the older we get, life is too short to waste time with someone you’re not really sure you want to be with.  That doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get your space.  I’m crazy-introverted, and when my husband and I first began dating, he was able to recognize those qualities in me.  He would make a point to give me some alone time after work before he stopped by so I could re-energize and re-group.  And after awhile, I discovered I wasn’t so dependent on that alone time and I grew to prefer to be with him as much as possible.

9.  Valentine’s Day – do you celebrate?

I’ve always loved this holiday, single or not.  It happens to be my Dad’s birthday (he turns 60 tomorrow!) so that was always a good reason for chocolate cake and visiting loved ones.  I attended an all-girls private high school and we were allowed to wear pink or red and jeans to celebrate the day (versus our strict uniforms) and I loved the excuse for a new outfit to parade around my friends.  With or without a significant other, I always liked the idea of celebrating love, whether you’ve already found it or are waiting for the one to come your way.

Southern Caribbean Cruise – Part 2

After spending a leisurely day in the beaches of Barbados, Mike and I were looking forward to another adventurous island visit.

Our forth stop of our excursion brought us to the gorgeous jungles of Grenada.  This tiny, quaint island provided some incredible natural scenery.  We booked a trek for the day which began with a roller-coaster bus ride through the winding little town of St. George.  We hiked with a tour guide who enthusiastically showed us every spice (nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon) and tropical plant life (banana tree, cocoa seed and aloe plant)  growing freely along our path.  The end of our trek brought us to the cascading Bamboo Falls, a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

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Fun times on a muddy trek through Grenada
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Bamboo Falls – Grenada

We were told Grenada boasts some of the finest chocolate in the world due to the pure properties of the cocoa seed they harvest from their island.  We decided we must try this delicious treat and easily found chocolate bars in many different flavors for sale in the shops nearby the port.  We selected hazelnut-infused and dark sweet chocolate bars.  Similar to a Hershey’s #pip, the candy was divided into mini bricks, and it did not disappoint.  The chocolate was rich and flaky, giving us the perfect pick-me-up after our long tropical hike.

After Grenada, our cruise diverted from the casual island-vibe, Bob Marley feel to a more formal, crisp, Dutch colonial atmosphere.  We made our way to the colorful city of Willemstad, Curacao on day 7, reaching the port in the early afternoon.  We again decided to experience the island’s favorite beaches and took a quick taxi to Playa Porto Mari.

While this beach was much more rocky than we were used to, it provided amazing snorkeling opportunities with all the diverse reefs collecting among the shoreline.  While Mike was searching for marine life, I made friends with a group of blonde, blue-eyed Germans from Hamburg.  They spoke extremely fluent English, and actually communicated to each other in Polish.  This was their first visit to the island and they were loving their vacation as much as we were.

Since our schedule at this port began later in the day, we weren’t departing until 9 that evening.  Mike and I were excited to witness a bit of the night life on the island and enjoyed a long walk through the city after leaving the beach.  We took a ferry to the main hub of the city and found a casual seafood restaurant where we dined outside and sampled fried tilapia and scallops.

On our walk back to the cruise ship, we crossed the Queen Emma Bridge which is actually hinged to open for boats passing through.

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Indulging at Playa Porto Mari
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Rocky beaches of Playa Porto Mari
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Viewing Willemstad from the Queen Emma Bridge
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Queen Emma Bridge, all lit up

 

Our final destination brought us to the sleepy little town of Kralendijk, Bonaire.  We arrived bright and early on day 8 and ventured out to our last beach stop.  We discovered a wind-surfing hotspot in Sorobon Beach and posted up on our lounge chairs.  The beach was surrounded by a natural, government-portected reef, keeping the waters calm and full of wildlife.  We were again in awe of the incredible clearness of the water and spotted many tiny fish swimming happily around our toes.

While at the beach, we drank pina coloda smoothies with rum and feasted on fried cheese, a Dutch favorite.  Our bartenders were two young girls from Denmark, working the island on their holiday break.

After the beach, we took the 20 minute taxi ride back into town and marveled at the rows of multi colored shops and restaurants packed into the city streets.  Famished from our day at the beach, Mike and I stopped into a local Dutch brewery for a pint and their delicious take on Swedish meatballs (essentially fried sausage and cheese).  YUM.

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Sorobon Beach – Bonaire
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Windsurf Boards piled high on Sorobon Beach
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Sampling local fair 

After departing the lovely island of Bonaire, we had almost three days of travel at sea before arriving back on American soil in Fort Lauderdale.  We spent the trip home debating our favorite islands (we still can’t decide), favorite excursions, and favorite hotspots.  We’re already planning our next trip back!

Mike and I had a honeymoon of a lifetime and we couldn’t ask for a better way to begin our lives together.

 

 

Southern Caribbean Cruise – Part 1

An 11-day Caribbean cruise is an experience I’ll never forget.

Mike and I had the honeymoon of a lifetime and not only did I accomplish my first cruise, but we managed to tour 6 remote Caribbean islands, even bringing us in sight of South America.

The cruise ship itself was small, but mighty.  The #Serenade of the Seas provided everything we could possibly need for two weeks including decadent meals, exceptional service, pools, hot tubs, movie theaters, bars and pubs, fitness center, shops, basketball courts, mini golf, spa, and endless live entertainment.

After two days at sea, Captain Kristoff navigated our ship to our first port: St. John’s/Antigua.  Mike and I had previously booked a catamaran tour for the island visit and once we embarked on the mini boat, we were greeted with friendly locals and their signature rum punch.

20 minutes into our boat tour, a giant manta ray floated delicately near our boat and we watched in awe at our first true ocean wildlife sighting.

Our guides took us to a public beach full of tourists and locals alike.  We were immediately met by local teens selling their handmade beach shawls and palm leaf figurines.  After having travelled at sea for the prior 3 days, I dug my toes in the sand and could not get over the happy sensation of being back on dry land.

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Catamaran Tour – St. John’s

After a delicious lunch of grilled lobster, Jamaican rice, roasted saffron potatos, and ice cold local #Carib beer, we ventured to another beach located in a national park.  We had this beach to ourselves and were completely dazzled by the crisp white sand and aqua green water.

 

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Beach stop 1  – St. John’s
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Beach stop 2 – St. John’s

The next day we found ourselves embarked at the neighboring majestic island of St. Lucia.  This island is known for its cascading waterfalls and lush green forests.  We decided to forgo a day at the beach in favor of a tropical hike.

Once departing the cruise ship, we found a waiting taxi driver who took us to the nearby Pigeon Island which featured Fort Rodney.  The fort was one of many littered through out the islands – each built during the late 1770s!  Mike and I hiked up to the fort and then proceeded to climb the rocky Signal Hill which overlooked both the Atlantic and Caribbean Seas, as well as the distant hills of St. Martin.

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Fort Rodney – Pidgeon Island – St. Lucia (Atlantic Sea to the left, Caribbean Sea to the right)
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Enjoying the breeze while looking down at Fort Rodney

After a day of challenging hiking activities, we were ready to unwind on a friendly beach, and we chose to do just that at our next port.

On our third day, we arrived in Bridgetown, Barbados.  We had heard that this was the place for incredible beaches and this happy Caribbean island did not disappoint.

We departed the confines of our cruise ship and decided to walk 25 minutes to Carlisle Bay beach.  It was an early Saturday morning and the little city of Bridgetown was just waking up.  We passed many coral pink pastel office buildings, a shabby pier littered with pirate ships, and an empty, tiny stone white chapel on our way.  While there didn’t seem much to do in town, we soon found that the beach was the place to be.

We selected a set of lounge chairs with umbrellas and spread out our towels.  Behind us were rows of small restaurants and bars, just starting to open.  After a few minutes we were greeted by a young local in board shorts and a bright orange shirt reading “Staff”.  We paid him the $10 per person daily fee for the chair rental and he offered to bring us whatever food and drinks we desired throughout the day.

The beach stretched out for miles and we could see several large resorts to our left and a pier with yachts and speed boats docked to our right.  Local vendors were selling everything from hand-made jewelry, to jet ski rentals, to glass-bottom boat tours to view the many sea turtles surrounding the bay.

Mike was easily persuaded to rent a jet ski while I was content sipping my #Piton beer and watching the beach activity from my lounge chair.  It was easily the most beautiful ocean water we had ever seen – more clear than a swimming pool with pearl white sand stretching out before us.

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Carlisle Bay, Barbados
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Carlisle Bay

 

We ended our lovely day at the beach with a stop in at a restaurant before returning to our ship.  We dined on brick-oven pizza and Cajun chicken wraps while a Rihanna look-alike in tight light denim and a hot pink crop top performed cover songs from a nearby stage.  We truly did not want to leave this delightful little island.

Things to make you smile on gray winter days

It’s been over a month since my last post!  The hectic holidays must be here.

We are in the thick of the gray winter days of December here in St. Louis.  Temps are barely reaching 30, the sun refuses to show itself, and we’ve yet to spot any snow flurries.  How do I keep from a gloomy winter funk?  Here’s my list of things to warm your soul and make you smile.

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Lately, Mike has been obsessed with toasted cinnamon raisin bread lightly smeared with Kerry Gold Irish butter (the all-natural good stuff) for breakfast.  Our kitchen is filled with the delicious wintry scent of sweet cinnamon each morning…which helps to wake up the senses and get ready to face the work day.

Raisin Bread for Raisin Lovers - Nothing skimpy about the raisin quantity in this easy, moist, soft & sweet loaf:

 

Decadent Christmas Wreath

I couldn’t wait to prep for the holidays this year as we celebrate our first Christmas together as newlyweds (and finally had time to decorate since we weren’t wedding planning!).  My first holiday decor purchase was a golden Christmas wreath to add some cheery bright glam to our front door.  I love this version from Wayfair:  Poinsettia Wreath.

Pre-Lit Gold Wreath
Pre-Lit Gold Wreath (Pier One)

 

Lush Velvet Dress

I’m obsessed with the velvet trend this year…flattering, warm, and rich.  It is basically the perfect look for a holiday party.  Mike and I will be traveling over New Year’s for our Caribbean Cruise and arriving into Jacksonville, Florida on #NYE.  I’m watching the temps in northern Florida and keeping my fingers crossed that it stays chilly enough to break out the velvet!  Still searching for your perfect cocktail attire?  I love this option from Nordstrom (and it’s under $60!): Everly Floral Velvet Dress.

We can’t wait to get our hands on this show stopping velvet skater dress, it’s an absolute wardrobe must have. It’s all about these ¾ sleeves this season. We’re majorly crushin’ on this Oxblood colour right now.  Be sure to turn ...:

 

Evergreen Scented Candle

I picked up this tip from my sister while I was visiting her adorable city home for a home-made dinner.  While cooking, she lit a cranberry-cinnamon Yankee candle which did wonders to enfuse the room with holiday spirit.  I immediately made a trip to Target and after an embarressingly long time in their homegoods section, picked out an evergreen scented candle.  Every evening when I get home from work I light the candle in our kitchen and after several minutes our entire first floor smells like a perfect winter wonderland, calming us and our puppy after a long workday.

Ett doftljus i glasbehållare. Diameter 7,5 cm, höjd 10,5 cm. Brinntid 45 timmar.:
Pine Forest Scented Candle (HM)

Whiskey and Soda

The holiday season is my favorite time of year to sip on my favorite cocktail, whiskey and white soda (just a splash).  I am a big fan of Templeton Rye and love the sweet mixture of the golden liquid enfused with bubbly white soda.  The smoothness of the whiskey immediately takes the edge off any chaotic holiday party and immediately warms you through and through on chilly winter evenings.  This drink has been my ultimate go-to this season.

Buddy’s Homerun | MLB Opening Day With Templeton Rye Whiskey  | Shana Was Here:

 

Hope everyone has a very safe, very merry holiday season.

5 fabulous lifestyle blogs that you need to know

In my ever-growing search for the perfect outfit, crowd-pleasing appetizer, and inspiring (but economical) home decor, I turn to the online blogging community.  It’s so easy to simply search #Pinterest for a basic ingredient and Voila!  You have a recipe for the most delicious-looking eggplant lasagna you’ve ever baked.

With so many options out there, I still keep coming back to some of my favorite bloggers for refreshing ideas on style, beauty, home decor, and yummy healthy meals.

Here are my top 5 blogs that I visit daily.

Yes, DAILY.

  1. Loverly Grey – Brittany Sjogren has absolutely mastered the art of what to wear.  Her outfit choices are incredibly chic, while completely affordable.  Follow her on Instagram for an up-to-the-minute #ootd.
  2. SkinnyTaste – Despite all our foodie options on Pinterest, I always find myself checking out Gina’s recipe box for inspiring and super healthy dishes.  From apps to entres, Gina provides delicious recipes that are wholesome, filling, and always easy to make.  Headed to your aunt’s for Thanksgiving?  Steal the show with these adorable mini spinach pies.
  3. Gal Meets Glam – Julia Engel is my girl for lifestyle EVERYTHING.  She is a travel guru, preppy stylist, beauty aficionado, and personal home decorator.  See something in a post that you just have to have?  Julia thoughtfully provides links to her clothes and accessories at the end of each post for you to indulge.
  4. Kelli Murray – I love Kelli’s whimsical blog for inspiring posts on her daily life in Southern California.  Check out her Etsy shop where she sells incredible hand-drawn artwork for all your print and invitation needs.
  5. Cupcakes and Cashmere –  I’m addicted to Emily Schuman’s quirky and cool style as well as her refreshingly effortless take on interior design which she shares on her blog.  Want to dress like Emily?  Find her affordable clothing line available at Nordstrom online.

Who do you love to follow??

 

 

Wedding photos are in! Flashing back…9.10.16

Just “a few” of my faves from an absolutely incredible day.

Do you have the absolutely perfect Halloween costume?

It’s been the ultimate conundrum since your trick-or-treating days…what should I be for Halloween?

Luckily for us, #Pinterest has evolved and so has our creative wit when it comes to coordinating the perfect chic, spooky Halloween costume.

So if you’re like me and have procrastinated to the last remaining days before that looming Halloween party, don’t freak!  There’s still time to pull together a super cute outfit all your best buds will envy.  Here are my favorite picks for easy, budget-friendly costume ideas.

The 90’s Girl

This one couldn’t be easier and more on point thanks to the extreme comeback 90’s fashion is having.  All you need is some plaid, a choker, thigh-high socks, and chunky boots to complete your ensemble.

Pinterest: StoneColddd Tumblr: shatteringthemoon IG: _jessiestone_:

Here’s some Rachel Green #inspo…the girl had flirty 90’s fashion down to a science.  Take advantage of her genius uniform of a slimming tee and A-line mini skirt to create the base of your look.

Rachel Green style:

My favorite way to embrace 90’s fashion – a plaid flannel effortlessly wrapped around your waist:

Fashion Fade Magazine | Blogger Spotlight: Little Black Boots | Pinaform, Dungaree Dress, White Tshirt, Check Shirt, Chunky Boots, Chocker Necklace,:

Complete the look with a delicate choker and chunky ankle boots.  Find yours here and here.  I love the school-girl charm of this cozy plaid flannel…or hype up the grunge factor in shades of olive green.  This figure-flattering mini skirt is my new go-to for fall…why not break it out for Halloween?

Modern Wednesday Addams

Looking for a quick costume that won’t cost a fortune?  You can’t go wrong with black on black ala Wednesday Addams.

Wednesday Addams (Christina Ricci) - best Wednesday Addams everr! lol:

Wednesday loved her classic little black dresses.  Try this updated HM style complete with flirty ruffles (now on sale for $29.99).  Add some cozy over-the-knee socks found here and here.

Somebody put "she's maleficent".. that's not maleficent.:that's Wednesday Adams from the Adams family:

Pump up your look with Wednesday’s trademark braids and add some dark lip stain along with bold brows to modernize the style:

Halloween Wednesday Adams makeup. Obsessed with this costume:

Halloween Girl

This look is my favorite and thanks to BooHoo online, I can pull together a super cute outfit without leaving my desk!

Tamara Halloween Printed Bodycon Dress
Tamara Halloween Printed Bodycon Dress $14

Just choose one of your favorite mini dresses, add some flirty head-gear and pile on the eye makeup for a conveniently affordable way to get into the festive spirit.

Halloween Amy Ghost Bodycon Dress
Amy Ghost Bodycon Dress $10

I love these updated Halloween headbands to add some thrill to your night…find yours here and here.

Lisa Halloween Witch Please Bodycon Dress
Lisa Halloween Bodycon Dress $14

Scariest part of all – shipping is free to the US on orders over $50!  Use code 50FREE.

Feeling motivated to pull together the ultimate Halloween costume??  What will you be this year?  Sound off in the comments below – I’d love to see your ideas!