Friday, April 29, 2016

Easy, Breezy Summer Maxi

The Pink Lily Boutique maxi dress  | SheIn beltSam Edelman sandals | Zayver Designs necklace, earrings, and cougar bracelet | Green bracelets from Africa | Emma & Chloe ring  | Quay Australia sunglasses 

TGIF! This week was super busy, although it wasn't all work and no play. This week, I got to try the new Milk + Honey Spa and get a facial courtesy of my friends at Cosmedix, I had book club with my girlfriend's (we just read The Storied Life of  A.J. Fikry - a quick, easy read), and I shopped Trina Turk's Summer 2 collection in preparation for the event I'm hosting at their Galleria location on May 12th. If you're in the Houston area, I'd love for you to stop by their boutique between 6-8pm to shop and sip while we talk fashion - all full-priced merchandise will be 20% off!  

I guess I've been on a kick with numbers this week - my five fav pairs of white jeans, five tips to wearing colors, and now I'm going to share my three reasons to love a maxi dress! For the record I love odd numbers, and yes, 13 is my favorite one! 

What better way to start the weekend than by switching out of your work clothes and into a flowy maxi dress. Maxi dresses are perfect year round (if you live in a warm climate like me), and they are the perfect summer uniform.

Maxi dresses are equally as chic in the city, as they are on the beach. They definitely are all I pack in my suitcase when I am heading to Mexico, but they also are perfect for casual week night dates, brunch or a pool party while you're at home - just switch up the accessories. When I'm on vacation, I love to be as free and comfortable as possible. I only will pack one pair of sandals and one pair of wedges and limited jewelry with me when I travel to the beach (you're there to relax and show off your suntan, right?). When I'm at home, I'll wear the same maxi, but put my hair up into a donut bun, pile on the jewelry, grab a clutch and wear a chic pair of summer-ready wedges.

They are comfortable and effortless. What's easier than throwing on a dress? You don't need to worry about whether or not your top looks good with your bottom, because you know it does! What's even better about a maxi dress? You don't need to worry if you shaved your legs that morning, or if you forgot to use sunless tanner on your winter white legs, and you never have to worry if you need to wear that pesky slip as most are lined (thank goodness!!! Isn't that the worst?!). I have actually found a few that have built in bras for us small chested girls, so there's another bonus! 

There are styles that flatter every body type. 
Short: Although the length may be daunting (I've told you to invest in a great tailor!), it is not impossible to find maxi dresses for petite frames. Try a high-low maxi dress - short in the front, longer in the back - then you can show off those pretty shoes. Also, opt for a empire waistline to give the illusion of length.
Curvy: Fit-and-flare dresses that cinch in the waist are perfect for you, as they define your waist while still showing off your curves. Adding a belt to a flowy dress works perfectly too. Avoid spaghetti straps or strapless
Pear Shape: Maxi dresses tend to overemphasize the hips. Distract from this by finding a maxi that has an embellished top, like this one here - it will bring the eyes up. Use color blocking to your advantage and wear a maxi that is a lighter color on top and darker color on the bottom, which will have a slimming affect. 
Boyish/Tall: Show off your figure in a curve hugging maxi, or one with a fun, full design like I am wearing above. Embrace patterns and prints and find maxi's that have cinched waists to give the illusion on a more curvaceous figure. 
Busty Women: Embrace your assets by wearing a v-cut maxi dress. Other attractive fits are one's that are loose and flowy on top. Cap sleeves or thick straps are ideal in helping cover up those bra straps.

Check out some of my must-have maxis below! Have a great weekend. xo

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Color Burst

The Pulse Boutique dress and flower necklace  The Boutique Box | Henri Bendel bag (recently sold out - same style, different color here & similar style here) | Gucci heels (similar style here & here) | Repousse cuff ℅ | Charming Charlie earrings  | Henri Bendel sunglasses (previous season, similar style here

There are so many things I love about this outfit. How gorgeous is this cuff?! With warmer temperatures right around the corner means there's lots of events and occasions coming up. Whether it's Mother's Day (psst May 8th) or Father's Day, Cinco de Mayo, graduations, summer weddings or just your favorite Spring fling, there's not better time to pull out your bright colored party dresses than now.

I feel like I know so many people that shy away from color, so I've rounded up my top five fool proof ways to pull off color this season.

1) Take Baby Steps
If you're one of those people who shy away from color, like I just mentioned, take baby steps when you start integrating color into your wardrobe. Whether the patterns or prints are just too busy, or the color is too bold, start with accessories. Add a bright colored shoe, a trendy statement necklace, a fun printed scarf, or a bold hued handbag to your everyday ensemble to spice it up.When you're ready to add some color to you outfit, orange is a universally flattering tone, so start there.

2) Pair with Neutrals
If you're wearing a head-to-toe colorful ensemble, pair it with neutral accessories, like I did above with my nude heels. This also goes for your clothing. For instance, if you wearing bright yellow shorts, pair them with a cream or black colored top.

3) Play Around in One Color Family
Don't be afraid to go colorful head to toe - it;s easier to pull off than it sounds! Remember the color blocking trend? It's still on-trend. Pick different shades in the same color family - like a hot pink pencil skirt with a red silk blouse.

4) Plays Well with Denim
Pair a neon yellow top with dark denim jeans, or orange shorts with a chambray button-up. It's an easy way to pull off your look, that always looks great. Anytime your nervous it may be 'too much' for you, think no further, denim is your BFF.

5) When in Doubt, Wear Black
The dress I'm wearing above is great for a party, date night, or an event, but is a bit loud to wear during the day. To take it day to night, I would pair this same dress (or a similar floral printed style) with black nylons, a black blazer, and black heels. It is that simple.

Not only are colors great to wear once the weather and seasons change, but it also is proven to brighten your mood! So smile, and add some color to your day:) 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Top Five Pairs of White Denim this Season

Hudson jeans ℅ Azalea Boutique | Pleione orange blouse | Old Navy jean jacket (under $25) | Goyard handbag (available in-store, budget friendly version here &here) | Sam Edelman sandals | H&M necklace (old, similar here & here) | Kendra Phillip cuff and earrings 

Happy Monday! I hope you all enjoyed your weekend. 

I was so happy when Friday rolled around! It was nice to enjoy some nicer weather (although yesterday we had a bit of rain), to rest, relax, and grill. Every Saturday night, with the rare exception, we grill a big steak dinner and it is always the highlight of my weekend. As much as I like being out and about, I also love staying in, watching movies or binge watching the latest Netflix show. This weekend, we spent Friday and Saturday night watching some old Kevin Costner flicks. Seriously, my biggest childhood and adult celebrity crush!!! Ask my family, I have been obsessed with him since I was five - insert the heart eye emoji right about now! 

On a different note...I've been all about white denim this season. Whether it's shorts, jeans or overhauls, I can't get enough. White denim is tricky because A) a lot of time it's see through and/or B) it's extremely unforgiving (probably due to the fact that it is see through- ha!). I've tried and tested so many brands, expensive and cheap and I've rounded up my five favorites below. Trust me you won't go wrong and you'll feel comfortable and confident. 

I own the exact pair from each brand that you see below (if you get my newsletter and are unable to view the shopping widget, just head directly to the blog here). They all run true-to-size, although I went up one size in the Frame Denim. All these pairs are also not see through, and tone and perk in all the right places. 

If you have any specific questions on a particular brand please let me know!  The distressed denim I am wearing in the photos above is from one of my fav San Francisco boutiques, Azalea. Located in Hayes Valley, they carry their own label, along with tried and true cult favorites such as Citizens of Humanity, Loeffler Randall, and One Six Five to name a few! 

I hope you have a great week ahead - see you soon!

P.S. A quick shout out to my amazing hair stylists from Elements Salon. If you're like me, finding a hair salon when you're new in town is so stressful and one of the first things on your to-do list. I am lucky enough that I found my 'dream team' almost immediately when I moved to Houston. If you're in the area, Ana is my go-to (and trusted!!) hair colorist, and Stacey does my cut and fantastic blow-out! (case in point above!) 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Little White Dress + Your Perfect Go-To Strapless Backless Bra

Miles David dress (made-to-order, similar style here &here) | Clutch (similar style here & here) | Zayver Designs necklace & cuff | Forever 21 earrings 

Hope you're having a great week! It's been an interesting one here with storms on and off all week, but luckily everything is safe at our home and nothing was flooded. I was in Houston last year for the huge, unexpected Memorial Day flood, and just still cannot believe the tough time the city has every time a big storm hits. If you're in the area, I hope you weren't affected either, and that all your family and friends are safe (and at home), as well. 

I don't know about you, ladies, but I always end up loving dresses that you can't wear with a bra. Whether it is backless, strapless, has a deep front (or back) cut, or just simply has a challenging aspect too it, so many dresses and shirts require us to search high and low for a great alternative to the typical bra. I was introduced not to long ago to Nudwear, and all my problems were solved.

Nudewear's backless/strapless adhesive bra is only $48, comes in sizes A-D, and is made of advanced adhesive that is washable (by hand) and can be worn up to 100 times. Plus, it also gives you the lift and support you expect from a regular bra. Instead of being plain nude which you can find at some stores, they have gorgeous, lacy detail. For those more challenging tops or dresses, they also have "daises" that give full proof coverage and are seamless (great for a V-neck dress or sheer top). See, and shop these items below! Trust me, you'll be happy you did:) 

Nudwear daises | Nudwear backless/strapless bra

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Easter Island Travel Guide | Part One

J.Crew shorts | Shirt (similar style here & here) | Sam Edelman sandals (must have!) | Longchamp purse | Everything But Water hat | Accessory Concierge necklace (comes in a set of three) | Zayver Designs bracelet and earrings 

I've been lucky enough since day one of starting this blog that I have such great support system from my family, friends, new followers, old followers, and of course, you! Recently, every time I met up with friends, they kept asking me, "When are you going to start incorporating travel into the blog?"

Travel has long been a passion of mine. My parents are big travelers, so I was fortunate enough that I was brought up traveling. I've mentioned travel now and then when I would update you with where I was off to, or how to pack for a vacation, but I had yet to do a 'travel guide,' or embark on a blog post that was solely focused on a trip. 

 To date, I've traveled to six of the seven continents - I still have to get Antarctica checked off my list. Africa has been my favorite thus far, and I am always itching to go on my next adventure. For the past few years, I had wanted to visit Easter Island. There was no specific reason why, other than the fact that I love history and love to visit new places. 

This past March I spent a week in Easter Island - the most remote, inhabited place in the world. The closest land mass (Tahiti on one side, Chile on the other) is over 2,000 miles away, which is roughly equivalent to a 4.5 hour long flight.  I flew direct (yes!) from Houston to Santiago, Chile, where we stayed for two days before heading to Easter Island. To say this journey was the trip of a lifetime wouldn't even do it justice.

When to Go
Easter Island is located in the southern hemisphere, which means the seasons are reversed. Since it is an island, the weather doesn't change that much from month to month, or season to season. Average low is 72, high is 82. Every month, the island gets about two inches of rain. The sun is intense, I mean INTENSE, and it can be misleading. That's because there is always a steady breeze of 12-15mph and up, everyday on the island, so the sun won't feel nearly as strong as it is. Case in point, the day we strolled around and explored the main village, Hanga Roa, my feet got sunburned even though I had SPF 50 on everywhere. 

Where to Stay
When we started planning for this trip, we used, Abercrombie & Kent, to make all our Easter Island travel arrangements for us. Not only are they experts in the travel industry, but they do all the organizing for you. 

There are several levels of accommodations on the island. The two best hotels are Hotel Hangaroa Eco Village and Spa and Explora. We stayed at the Hotel Hangaroa, which offered an all inclusive package, which included all of our meals and tours. The hotel was situated on the edge of Hanga Roa (the only small town in Easter Island), as was easy walking distance to shops, activities and some of the sites. The food at the hotel was out of this world, but that I'll save for another post. 
There are a handful of three star hotels such as Hotel Rapa NuiTaha Tai Hotel, and Hotel Orongo. As well as a few bed and breakfast places and also a campsite. 

Whatever your budget, I guarantee you won't go wrong with wherever you decide to stay - the people are part of what makes the trip, and they all are amazing. 

What to Do 
Don't let the word island fool you, this is not a leisurely trip where you lay on the beach drinking pina coladas. Before going, I was talking with my mom about how many books to bring, as I was sure we were going to have all this down time, and that frankly, we may get bored. That was so far from the truth. 

Easter Island has so much to see and do, your trip will be go, go go. 
The island is only 64 square miles,and the majority of  the activities you do are outdoors, and hiking to see the famed moai is a must. The hiking isn't that challenging, but it is constant and non-stop. Plus with the intensity of the sun mixed in, you'll be exhausted by the end of the day. Renting bikes and ATV's are also a popular way to see the island and its history on your own.

 Other activities include, surfing, scuba diving, seeing a typical Rapa Nui cultural show, and of course, shopping! Although is was sparse, the shopping was excellent. I found unique shell and coconut jewelry, as well as gorgeous wood carvings (what they're known for), and a great clutch and sundress. 

Note: We had four days of back to back all day tours and our legs were ready to give out by day five. Giving yourself one day to just explore on your own is a must. Most travelers on average visit the island for three nights, four days. From my experience, this is definitely not enough time to circumvent and see the whole island, let alone all the history and sites it has to offer. We were there for six wonderful days, and couldn't imagine having it any other way. If you're going to travel that far, why not enjoy it to the fullest? 

The Moai
The natives on the island, also known as the Rapa Nui, originally built the large statues to honor their deceased ancestors. There are over 900 of the giant stone figures, scattered throughout the island. The ones that I took photos with above, were 'modern moai' that were in the village, meaning they are not the famed ones you may be thinking of. A lot of the famous moai are almost unrecognizable due to deterioration or the fact that they have not been reconstructed. There are a handful of reconstructed moai placed on the alters they would have been originally, however. The moai were constructed out of volcanic ash, and on average weigh 20 tons and are over 20 feet tall. The largest recorded (which is one that never was finished) was 69 feet tall, weighing 270 tons!  

I hope you've enjoyed learning a bit about Easter Island with me! I will posting another travel guide or two with some more photos from my trip. Please let me know if there are any questions you may have! 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Midnight Blue

David Peck dress (similar style here) | Stuart Weitzman heels (budget friendly version here) | Zayver Designs necklace, earrings and bracelet | Clutch (not available, similar style here & here) | Henri Bendel sunglasses 

Happy Thursday, friends! 

It has been such a busy week, in a good way! I have so many fun partnerships and collaborations that I can't wait to share with you in the next month. My office is already filled to the brim with clothes, accessories and shoes just waiting to be photographed, and there's much more to come! I love how the blog has given me the chance to partner with so many companies that I love, as well as introducing me to ones I hadn't known before. Building a business from your passion is hard work (I'm sure a lot of you know that all too well), so when it starts to come to fruition, it's that much more rewarding. 

Speaking of rewards, can we talk about all the delicious food in this post? I treated my mom to a special early birthday dinner on our cruise last month. Between the steak, her fish, all the sides and desserts we were full for days. I was happy that I was wearing this A-line dress so no one could see my food baby! I got this dress last year, but I've linked a similar one here that comes in nine colors and a range of sizes - so cute. Plus, it's under $100!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Blue + White

J.McLaughlin sweater ℅ | J.McLaughlin jeans ℅ | Zayver Designs necklace, earrings, & bracelets ℅ | Quay Australia sunglasses | Clutch borrowed from my mom, similar style here, here, & here 

I had promised that I was going to get back into the swing of things and already fell short. Eeek!! Does that ever happen to you? I literally just feel like I cannot keep my head above water right now. The quick weekend trip to NYC certainly didn't help either, although it was soooo worth it!

It was so chilly in New York. You think growing up in Vail, CO and Wisconsin, that a winter (ahem, Spring) chill would't bother this girl, but you guessed wrong! Plus, as much as I love my winter coats and clothes, they're just not as much fun to schlep around in. 

Adam had some business in the city, so when he asked if I wanted to join for a long weekend, it was hard to say no. Some of our weekend activities included seeing the musical, Kinky Boots, stopping at Laduree twice, visiting the 9/11 Memorial Museum, shopping, and so many delicious meals. At the top of my list was re-visiting the place where Adam proposed to me! It was truly a great weekend, but now it's time to focus on the blog...

This nautical rope sweater was another great addition to my wardrobe on my recent cruise. Not only was it festive, but it's perfect for spring and summer. I'm also so excited to get my white jeans back out again, although I know you spotted me a few times this winter wearing them. I absolutely love this pair (shown above). I would recommend sizing down, as they are fitted, but have more of a relaxed cut. Bonus - they come in 11 different colors!

I'll see you back here soon...
P.S. A shout out to my mom for being the best photographer (and sport) on our month long vacation! xo

Monday, April 11, 2016

Enter For a Chance to Win This Amazing Blogger Giveaway!!

A group of bloggers and I have teamed up to bring you another amazing giveaway. One lucky winner will take home an authentic Louis Vuitton Speedy 30, a pair of designer sunglasses, and a gold iPad mini. Could it get any better?!

Open to international contestants and must be 18+. Please review the full Terms & Conditions prior to entering. The more accounts you follow, the more chances you have of winning! Good luck. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Sail Away with Me

J.McLaughlin dress ℅ | Elise M. belt | Stuart Weitzman heels (similar, less expensive version here) | Zayver Designs necklace, braceletsearrings | Clutch purchased on a cruise a few years ago (similar style here & here) | Quay Australia sunglasses 

Happy Wednesday friends! 

Sorry I have been MIA the last week or so. With just getting back to Houston last Friday, I've been playing a lot of catch-up this week (no fun). The amount of packages and mail, not to mention laundry and unpacking that I accumulated over the month of March has definitely been controlling my time. 

Just as I'm getting settled back in, it's time to pack and jet off to NYC for a long weekend - my suitcase is getting a lot of use! I'm really excited for our trip, to see some shows, and of course shopping! Be sure to follow along with me this weekend on Instagram!

I was holding this J.McLaughlin dress (yes, it's a dress!) hostage in my closet before my trip to Easter Island & cruise up the coast of South America. Isn't it cute?? I got it in late February and wanted to wear it immediately, but knew I had to wait until the cruise to debut it. haha. Do any of you ever do that? Sometimes I buy things with an event, destination or occasion in mind. The stripes and spring-ready floral print just screamed nautical siren to me!

The week we spent in Easter Island was unreal (expect a travel guide coming soon!). The 17 day cruise on board Princess Cruises, Star Princess, that followed was fantastic, as well. As I mentioned, I've sailed with Princess a total of 13 times, and this voyage was exactly what I've come to expect from my favorite cruise line - fine dining, great ports of call, and pure relaxation. I can't wait to share more of my trip with you soon! xo

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