Maxi-mum Summer

You know what I’ve been avoiding?! Maxi dresses. I’m like, 4’10” and that’s being generous, so since Midi dresses hit the scene, I’ve forgotten all about it’s longer, older sister. Maxi dresses are so awesome during the summer months, because they give you a comfortable breathable look, while still maintaining your chic-ness.

I found this maxi dress through a fellow fashion Blogger, Blair Driscoll of Rose Gold Outlook. She wore it for Easter and it was so adorable. I love how she styled it in a super dressy way on her blog, but when I saw the vibrant colors I thought it would be so perfect to not only dress up, but also dress down with a more boho vibe.

I wore it out to lunch with the family on a lazy Sunday afternoon before heading to hang at my Grandmother’s house for a while. It was the perfect laid back outfit that still looked cute enough for pictures after stuffing myself with all the carbs.

I love the tassel tie detail, and the slit in the front gives it the most perfect amount of movement. This dress is so flattering and so versatile. So keep it a little more chill, I wore my simple gold arrowhead necklace, bangles, and the easiest blush lace-up sandals.

According to my measurements I was right in-between sizes, and so I went with the larger of the two, so the dress was actually a little big to start with. However, I washed and dried it in my dryer and it shrank to the perfect size/length miraculously. If you’re not a risk taker like me though, I suggest going with the smaller size if you’re in-between like I was. <3

(couldn’t link exact one in widget so here are some of my favs, you can find the exact one in the 2nd paragraph link)

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Off-the-Shoulder

 

Target off-the-shoulder top

One of this Summer’s hottest trends has got to be wearing everything off-the-shoulder. You can find rompers, tops, dresses and even swimsuits sporting this fabulous trend. While I have never been much for “trends” I can not help but love this seasons style and have definitely picked up a few pieces that fall off-the-shoulder.

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One of my favorite new pieces is this top from Target. It looks great with shorts or jeans and is perfectly loose enough to easily nurse in on top of being super cute. I love the embroidered navy detail on this top, which pairs perfectly with these great high-waisted shorts I picked up at Target as well!

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While I’m still not at my pre-pregnancy weight quite yet, I still think it’s important to have things that look great and boost my confidence while I continue to get back into the clothes that once fit perfectly. The pieces that I’m getting now will still look great as I lose the weight, so I don’t have any qualms about spending money on clothes that aren’t my typical size.

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I love this top and this season’s trend. Do you have an off-the-shoulder obsession too?

 

xoxo,

b

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Summer Sunnies- National Sunglasses Day 2016

National Sunglasses Day

National Sunglasses Day

Summer is here and that means it’s time to talk about the season’s most important staple: Sunnies. I have an obsession with sunglasses, if money were limitless I could easily have drawers full. While I used to work at a small boutique and grab a few pairs of inexpensive frames each paycheck with a great employee discount, I’ve since gotten rid of that collection and traded up for designer frames.

National Sunglasses Day

I hear people say all the time that they lose or break sunglasses so easily that they wouldn’t dare spend a good amount of money on a pair of sunglasses because of the fear something may happen to them. I used to be one of those people too, but since buying my first pair of Ray-Bans in 2013 I realized that spending more means you put more value into the frame, which in turn MAKES you keep track of them and forces you to take better care of them. Aside from that, most designer frames come with a warranty so if for some reason they break, they are most likely protected and you can get a replacement pair very quickly.

National Sunglasses Day

Unless I find a great steal, I now only add one new pair of sunglasses to my collection a year. Because these are shades I’m going to be constantly wearing on a daily basis, I don’t mind spending a little more. A good way to think of the sunglasses investment is just like you do make-up, if you wear make-up daily you want to buy a decent foundation that won’t clog your pores and give you acne, and you don’t mind spending a little extra to ensure it keeps your skin healthy. In the same way, a great pair of sunglasses that you can wear every single day will jazz up your outfit and keep you looking stylish all the time. If you don’t mind spending $40 a month on a great foundation, why would you mind spending what equates to less than $1 per day on an accessory that goes with all your best outfits?

National Sunglasses Day

Last year I added the classic black Ray-Ban Wayfarers in 13″ to my collection, and this year I went with a 60’s throwback tortoise shell frame from Prada. I love how the Prada frames match the season’s festival trends perfectly, while my Ray-Bans and their classic silhouette can easily be paired with anything in the closet!

National Sunglasses Day

No Shade,

B

 

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Too short for shorts?

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I’ve always been a very short person, I think MAYBE I was of average size in 6th grade, but then I stopped growing completely in 7th at 4’10”. During my awkward adolescence I read some magazine article about how shorter girls will continue to look shorter if they wear shorts, and despite all my fashion expertise, it’s subconsciously stuck with me. I have worn shorts before, don’t get me wrong, I own a few pair for sure, but I’ve never felt COMFORTABLE in them personally. Between that 13 year old magazine article, and my cellulite, I always put them off as just “not for me”.

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However, a few weeks ago I found a pair of cut-off mint denim shorts that was on such a good sale, I figured I may as well purchase them, because who passes on a $4 pair of shorts? They could always be used for days I know I’m not leaving the house! It’s been SO warm down here in Saint Petersburg, that I threw them on yesterday, and I actually felt GOOD! I’m not talking like, “oh these are comfortable and I can move” good, I mean I felt SEXY. Something about how they fit my body just felt RIGHT.

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So I wore them out and about in PUBLIC- probably the first time I’ve worn shorts in public in a least a year. James snapped some awesome pics of me playing with Cash and running around with him. We had SO much fun & for a change I could move freely without sweating, or worrying that I was showing off some inappropriate parts!

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While it was warmer during the day, I threw a navy and white cardigan over my white tee shirt with the mint shorts before we went out. In St.Pete, we often get wonderful breezes at night, so I didn’t want to get chilly either. I also broke in my new teal flats! I love the punchy color of these flats, which were super easy to run in and added an unexpected pop of color to my outfit!

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What’s something you have always thought you “can’t” wear? Why? I challenge you to try something new with your clothing choices this week, you may be pleasantly surprised!

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End of Summer Neutrals

As summer is ending (has already ended for most northerners), I’ve been a little smarter with my clothing purchases. I talk a lot about transitional pieces that you can wear no matter the occasion, however I always neglect to mention some great neutrals you can wear all seasons! This simple eggshell dress from H&M, cost only $12.95 and looks great like I wore it below with sandals, and tan accessories, however I can’t WAIT to dress it up for winter with tan boots, maroon or mustard leggings and fun patterned scarfs!!!

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Natural Neutrals,

B

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A view from the west coast – The BEST Summer Sunnies

I received these products for free compliments of ICU Eyewear to review, the opinions stated are honest, unbiased and provided without compensation. 

I have what I’d call an affinity for eyewear, although the word obsession may be more accurate. I have perfect vision, however I do wear false-lensed glasses when I want to feel smarter, and don’t even get me started on sunglasses. I have a collection, from Ray-Ban’s to Bug-Eyes I found at the Dollar-Store and every pair in-between. It started when I was working as a Keyholder at Francesca’s, they had a HUGE summer sale and did an additional 60% off sale items. There were several pairs of sunglasses that had been marked down to $2.98 making them seriously only a tad over $1 for each stylish pair. So, since I was ALWAYS loosing my sunglasses or breaking them and having to buy a new pair, I figured I’d get one of each pair I liked (5 total) just so I would have back-ups in case something were to ever happen with the ones I already had.  Then really cute pairs would arrive in the store, and with my discount they were still totally affordable, and I realized I really enjoyed having the variety and being able to match my sunglasses to each outfit. To date I own about 25 pairs of sunglasses, and I must say my most recent pair has been taking over my whole “weekly rotation”.

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ICU eyewear, a company based out in Hollister, California, knows style when it comes to framing faces. Specializing in eco-friendly glasses made of recycled metal, reclaimed plastic and sustainable bamboo, they’ve given us a new take on what eyewear should be. Take it from me when I say the ICU-line is an eyewear fashion Mecca, or read some of their many accolades in Vogue, Women’s Wear Daily, and even The San Francisco Chronicle. Their line of reading glasses is awesome and makes me WANT to have vision problems so I could find a reason to order them, each pair seems to have it’s own personality. They aren’t only fashion forward, they’re fashionable, meaning anyone, not just the fashionistas can pull them off! The sunglasses are hands down my new favorites, it’s difficult to choose a specific favorite pair, but I love the ones I was sent, they’re very John Lennon-meets-Twiggy-esque. The men’s line is also incredible! James is really into new trends, and loves awesome looking sunglasses so this pair we got for him, almost like a black&gray tortoise shell, and the edginess combined with a overly-masculine rectangular shape is really perfect for him.

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Picking the right shape for your face can be challenging sometimes. I often hear women at the store say (and sometimes James has even had this concern) ” I can’t wear this style/shape on my face because it makes me look fat” or “makes my forehead look too big”, so here’s what you should be looking for in eyewear when it comes to the shape of your face, and making sure that your sunglasses compliment it correctly.

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Oval/Round Face: Your face makes a circle and that’s awesome for symmetry (if you’re a Nip/Tuck fan you know that that’s the key to real beauty), in order to keep your face from looking too round though, go for bigger-rimmed glasses, they are going to complement the natural curvature of your face. You can do big-rims in square or circular, however avoid smaller glasses altogether, my rule of thumb is for round faces, your sunglasses should cover at least 90% of your eyebrows. My recommendation from ICU, The Butterfly Wavy Temple: if you aren’t like me, and don’t have a pair for every outfit, sometimes grabbing a pop of color for your eyes is the easiest way to be bold, and still be cohesive with any outfit!

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Square-Face-Shape

Square/Rectangle Face: Your cheekbones protrude and your jawline is strong. The best way to balance your features is with classic styles, big-framed or small-frame doesn’t matter here, however you want to look for a hint of a rectangular shape when choosing eyewear. Many other shapes will seem ill-fitting and uncomplimentary. A good version for you is the classic Wayfarer, ICU has them in tons of sizes & colors! I love sunglasses in natural earth tones, because they always seem to go well on any complexion, and compliment any ensemble!

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Heart Face: A fuller forehead, and smaller chin with high cheekbones, pat yourself on the back if you were gifted this face shape at birth. Because of the great balance in features on a heart-shaped face, literally any shape will be great. So I recommend trying something fun&funky! A cat-eye is SO hard to pull off for most women, and SO chic!!! I love that ICU even made some with a leopard print on them! It’s like a “double-cat-eye” glass!

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Last, but certainly not least,

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Triangle Face: The weight of your face is carried on the jawline & cheekbone areas, and seem to point upwards to a smaller forehead and more narrow brow-line. To balance your face, and give it proper portions I again recommend staying away from glasses-frames that are small, however, you ALSO don’t want something too big. Goldilocks, you’re looking for that in-between just right size, the good news is the shape of the frame isn’t a big deal! You just want something the speaks for itself, without speaking for you. Nothing too over-the-top, but nothing too bland either. These retro-frames from ICU would look perfect on you, and will fit you like a glove!

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Sure, we all have specifications when it comes to what we like to wear on our faces, but as far as eyewear goes you won’t find more unique, fun, and fashionable eyewear at such low prices anywhere else, but at ICU. Try them out today, what’s your biggest requirement when shopping for shades?

Aviators & Rose-Tints,

B

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My favorite July looks

As I’ve mentioned several times before, I LOVE to participate in Instagram style challenges specifically “Style Me” challenges by Hilary Rushford of Dean Street Society and Sandae of Curvy Girl on the Run also puts out innovative ones each month as well! Since I’ve really been focusing my blog around #30daysofpositive change I wanted to take today, to refocus on fashion, and share some of my favorite looks from July as this month comes to a close.

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To start, I love leopard print, and a patterned scarf is the ultimate easiest way to jazz up jeans and a tee shirt! Top & Scarf available at Francesca’s Collections, 917 Skinny Denim from The Limited.

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This look is 100% from The Limited. Who doesn’t love a maxi dress in the summer? I love the contrast of the Kelly Green and Navy stripes on this dress, paired with a coral lip and gold/citron accessories I felt like a refreshing splash of citrus in this look from mid-July!

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Pineapple prints seems to be SO popular this summer, and I couldn’t help myself in joining this trend! It’s so fun! I paired this tank from Target with dark wash denim shorts, and a bright striped cardigan from Francesca’s.

 

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After James cut my hair in a more edgy-70s inspired style with bangs I’ve been loving all things 70’s. This shift dress from Francesca’s and woven Steve Madden flats were perfect afternoon play-date attire!

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Bangs + Headscarfs = my newest obsession, it’s crazy how just one small detail can really MAKE the outfit. Cardigan and Striped tee from Francesca’s, shorts and scarf are thrifted! This outfit is just a really good summary of my personal style, a little vintage, a little unique, and always put together!

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My look today: just because I don’t have any plans doesn’t mean I can’t be pretty! Today’s challenges were “woman in white” and “purple rain” so I took this great white sundress from Francesca’s and paired it with neutral accessories, popping purple on my nails and in my ears!

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I’ve used this dress before in my Tartan Tuesday post, this time though I paired it with an awesome vintage inspired headband from Francesca’s that accentuates my cool bangs. If you can’t tell by now, I may be a little obsessed with Francesca’s!

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Last but not least this has hands down got to be my favorite. Forever 21 makes these awesome sassy tee-shirt dress pi’s, but I love to accessorize them and wear them in the day time! I mean seriously this is wayy too cute to only wear to bed! For this one, I dressed it down with black peep-toe flats, black and gold watch&necklace, gold hoops and awesome oversized glasses so I could look like a smarty pants.

 

There you have it! July’s favorite looks! Hope to have inspired some of you mom’s to dress for the day in something other than your typical cozy clothes, and really start getting creative with your looks! For more inspiration join the August Style Challenges with me!

Make-Up and Macaroons,

B

 

 

 

 

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What’s in your beach bag? Hopefully a Sand Cloud!

I received the Sand Cloud towel for review purposes from Sand Cloud Apparel the opinions stated are honest, unbiased and without compensation. 

Beach days in July are basically a necessity of life for Florida residents in the summer. It’s so much fun to catch rays with your girlfriends or build sandcastles with your little ones. The sun shining and waves crashing can be so peaceful and refreshing, definitely a perk of living so close to the beach for sure! I’ve found since having Cash, sometimes getting EVERYTHING needed for a day at the beach from the car to the sand can be such a hassle. Toys, towels, umbrellas, beach chairs, bags of snacks and sunscreen, it can get a little chaotic even just packing for the ocean, which is why I’m so glad I found the Sand Cloud Towel. It’s such an awesome concept, you’ll be at the beach with ease next time!

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When packing a beach bag, I like to make sure it’s light enough to carry onto the beach, I have entertainment, protection, and something to insure minimal amounts of sand in my hair. The Sand Cloud fits so perfectly with my lifestyle. It’s a simple towel&pillow combination, so you don’t have a stiff neck after sunbathing all afternoon. The material is woven so perfectly that sand doesn’t get into the little cracks like with a terry-cloth towel, after using it for laying you can simply pop out the pillow, toss it in your bag,  give it a good shake, and use it as an actual towel OR even a sarong! So instead of having to pack a towel, a beach chair, and dry clothes, this works as all three! I simply roll it up, toss it in my bag, along with sunscreen, some magazines and awesome sunnies, and I’m ready for the shore!

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I seriously am unsure of how I lived before I found the Sand Cloud, it makes for the most perfect travel, it’s even really awesome to take to parks for picnics and playdates as well! They also come in a variety of really on-trend colors, I got the Sunset Orange to match my bathing suit when I wear it as a sarong, but it also comes in a really beautiful Lavender, Bahama Blue, and Island Green!

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To learn more about the Sand Cloud and see how it can fit into your lifestyle check out their Kickstarter Campaign and website! www.sandcloudapparel.com

http://kck.st/1yQlOOY

Sand and Surf,

B

 

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Dressing for Roller-coasters…It’s not as scary as you think

Summer is officially here, kids and teachers are out of school, and everyone is trying to fill their dog days with activities that are less boring than school was. Being a Florida resident definitely comes with its perks…discounts on tons of cool stuff, beaches everywhere and so many amusement parks to choose from! We have Busch Gardens here in Tampa, and just 90 minutes to the east we have Orlando which is filled with fun like Disney, Universal, Islands of Adventure, Ripleys… The list goes on and on. My Aunt and her family are coming for a visit and tomorrow we’re all going to Busch Gardens! I love roller-coasters, and fast rides, plus the food there is incredible!! Should be an awesome time. Here are my tips for picking out a perfect non-touristy outfit that will provide comfort, classiness, and mobility on a day filled with activities!

 

1. Wear a tank top

You’re going to be walking around in the hot sun all day, really think about it, do you want to be in anything more than a breezy tank? I didn’t think so, not to mention, even with loads of sunscreen the presence of sleeves while spending 8+ hrs in the sun will cause some major farmers tan…

2. Shorts- no skirts, sundresses or jeans

This is specifically for ladies who actually intend on riding roller-coasters. No one wants to see your whoo-ha on the giant picture viewer at the exit of the ride, so please, seriously. And not to beat a dead horse, but jeans…in FL…in summer? No thank you.

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3. Comfortable walking shoes

For me my go-to is my Converse because they still look cool (I fully believe running shoes are strictly meant for running in), and are really easy to wear all day long without getting blisters or sore feet. I do however think it’s absolutely OK to wear an athletic shoe if need be, I understand completely and won’t judge you at a theme park…the mall on the other hand would be a different story

4. Disposable Sunnies

Obviously Disposable one-time-use sunglasses are not really a thing, what I mean by this is just to wear some sunglasses you won’t shed tears over if they get lost. Amusement parks are crazy places and it’s so easy to set something down and forget about it cause you’re watching a show, or even worse to have them fly off your face while you’re plummeting 200 ft towards the Earth while riding Sheikra, be smart.

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5. A watch

Amusement parks for me always seem to suck the battery life out of my phone super quick, so especially if you’re traveling with multiple people in your party and know at some point you’ll probably go your separate ways and meet back up at a certain time…it’s good to have a watch on hand.

 

There you have it! Here’s my look for tomorrow!

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Kumba & Koalas,

B

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Tartan Tuesday…it’s a plaid, plaid world

Today was so fun! After meeting up with an old friend for coffee James and I decided to take Cash to the park! It was a blast! I knew ahead of time that it was hot outside, and that I needed to wear something that looked awesome, but was comfortable enough to enjoy the park in. For Mother’s Day I got this amazing red&blue tartan (the pattern used in Plaid materials) dress from (duh, my fav store) Francesca’s Collections. They were having a BOGO 50% off the ENTIRE store sale! I got another really adorable dress, that didn’t seem right for the day, but since I had yet to wear this one, I wanted to take it out for a swing!

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I can’t get over how amazingly this dress fit my body, it was a great length for hiding the chubby thighs I have yet to loose from Baby, the fit-n-flare at the top makes my boobs look amazing, without being too in-your-face, and the material was so light without being transparent! It’s a perfect dress for post-baby and will only continue to look better as the baby weight comes off! Not to mention that I usually have a hard time finding dresses in the correct length for my frame. I’m 4’9.5″, 4’10 on my license (the DMV lady rounded up for me), most of the time sundresses are either entirely too short (probably because they’re meant to be tunics and I’m trying to not wear leggings in FL), or they’re too long and make me look even shorter! UGH! No worries with this one though, the length hits right above my knee, which helps to even out my body and lengthen my legs!

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My last little obsessions on this dress are the amazing details! It has secret pockets, and I mean, who DOESN’T love a dress with pockets?!?! Not to mention this adorable little keyhole in the back, yes I’m in love, I can’t help gushing! Paired with my now go-to brown&gold Merona sandals, simple jewelry, and awesomely adorned Aviators from The Limited, this is hands down my favorite new summer sundress!

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Now to search Francesca’s online store to see if they carry more colors!!!

 

Tartan & Teals,

B

 

 

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