:: Watch Yo’self ::

We can talk floral all day long, but let’s get to what I’m most excited about here – the three-faced watch I picked up at Anthropologie. While sprinting through Anthro during the one hour I was given to shop in Kansas City last March, I fell in love with this watch. Of course, not for the on-sale price of $50 (sometimes it hurts to be thrifty). So I let it go, and decided to chance fate.

I then ran into this beauty again for $30 at the end of the month. We all know what that means… so we parted ways again.

On a recent Anthropologie venture, I scoured my go-to area: sale. There was my vintage-vibe friend, staring at me for LESS THAN $20! I did that thing that is kind of embarrassing – I grabbed it like someone was going to Black Friday me and snatch it out of my hand, and headed straight to the register.

As Elvis crooned – some things are meant to be.

 

Dress // H&M, Bag // Kate Spade, Wedges // DVF, Jewelry // Anthropologie Watch, H&M Midi Rings, David Yurman Ring

Dress // H&M, Bag // Kate Spade (love this one!), Wedges // DVF (very close!) , Jewelry // Anthropologie Watch, H&M Midi Rings, David Yurman Ring

 

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:: Crop it like it’s Hot ::

When I was in second grade, I got called into the office.

As a gifted and talented student who was running away with the win for number of books read that month, I was really confused. After arriving at the office, already feeling guilty for whatever I did not remember doing, I was given the phone to call my mom and get a change of clothes. This was just the beginning of being sent home for my sartorial selections. But that day – it was for a crop top.

I know, I know – why were you wearing a crop top to school?! Well, it was an outfit, and it was a rather adorable one at that. Not only did I have this outfit, my my sister had a matching one (le duh!).

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I love donuts, so you can imagine that I’m not a big belly barer – HOWEVER, I’m loving the high waist pants/skirts/shorts/crop top trend because, unless I’m reaching for the top shelf at Target (ugh – tall people), you never see a hint of skin!

Also, I’ve been living in this outfit, so if you see me within the next month and I’m in the same thing over and over again – sorry I’m not sorry.

 

Top:: H&M, Skirt:: J.Crew Factory, Bag:: Kate Spade, Sandals:: Coach (old), Necklace:: Max & Chloe, Watch:: Anthropologie, Ring:: Lulu Frost

Top:: H&M (Almost identical AND on sale!), Skirt:: J.Crew Factory, Bag:: Kate Spade (need this one, on sale! and looks like the Celine I would give my firstborn (but not my dog) for, Sandals:: Coach (old, love these), Necklace:: Max & Chloe, Watch:: Anthropologie (old, but you can totally find it in stores), Ring:: Lulu Frost (these people have THE best customer service)

 

We really liked matching outfits…

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Beauty B // Face Forward

I like to pretend I’m not a creature of habit, but when it comes to skincare – I most certainly am! After years of fighting breakouts, I can tell you nearly everything you need to know about every product on the face of the planet. During the year I was on acutane (high octane acne medication, which takes the Disney Villain approach – makes you a complete basketcase, but look flawless), I also tested out every moisturizer and chapstick known to man.

My mom has great skin, but since genetics didn’t bless me with her clear, smooth complexion, I’m going to go ahead and make my own luck. Here are my favorite products to help you put your best face forward this summer!

 

Beauty B - Summer Face

1// Jack Black Lip Balm – Lemon & Chamomile, 2// LUSH Beauty Ocean Salt Scrub, 3// FAB Beauty Ultra Repair Cream, 4// Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting Cream, 5// Supergoop Sunscreen, 6// Sugar Berry Lip Balm

1//I keep a Jack Black Lip Balm with me at all times. There is one in my purse, on my nightstand, one in my car, and another in my tote bag. All of the Jack Black chapsticks are amazing, but this one is the perfect blend of fresh. Plus, it reminds me of wandering through Los Olivos and picking up little finds like this one. And the wine purse clutch. And a bowl with a bunny in it. Because – tourists!

2// Thanks to my friend Brittany, I’ve developed an obsession with LUSH products. Call me an animal-loving,  save the world smelling like coconut water hippie (I’ve been called worse), but this stuff is where it’s at. The Ocean Salt scrub is gentle enough for my crazy skin, but leaves it feeling smooth as glass.

3// If FAB Beauty makes it, I buy it. Each morning and night, I use their cleanser and apply the Ultra Repair Cream. It does not burn, sting, or irritate my skin in the slightest, and protects it all day and all night.

4// I have always had a red tone to my skin, and it is SO annoying when trying to find the right make-up, without looking like I forgot my sunscreen. A pageant friend let me borrow her Smashbox Photo Finish Primer cream in clear, which took all the shine away, even under the Miss Oklahoma stage lights. It was a true miracle. THEN I discovered the green cream. Game over, red skin!

5// I received a Supergoop sample in my Birchbox one month. Now I won’t buy anything else.

6// Ok. So Jack Black makes an incredible lip balm, but if you’re willing to spend an extra $10-$15, and get a lip color out of it – this is a winner. The berry tone is just dark enough to pass for a lipstick, but isn’t as heavy as what you normally might wear. Perfect for summer, or honestly, anytime.

 

What are some of your favorite summer skincare products?

:: Take a Napa ::

 

However, in these pants… I could really go either way!

After spending a weekend in the Dallas patio heat, I totally understand why women brunch in Lulu Lemon. They don’t do it because it makes their butt look awesome (even though those pants are the next best thing to a plastic surgeon), they do it because the fabric is sweat wicking and they look like they are glowing instead of dripping. I was a shining example of the latter.

What I love about these pants, is that they are socially acceptable. They are as soft as pajamas, but make me feel like I should be sipping wine in Napa! When my friend Josh lived in LA, I visited for a week and we took a trip to the Santa Ynez Valley to see Los Olivos and Solvang – two of my most favorite places ever.

I fell in love with the most adorable dutch town where we ate fabulous danishes, baked fresh from I kid you not – a building that looked like a windmill. We roamed from tasting room to tasting room, trying dozens of wines and playing the part of tourist. However, the adorable clutch that Josh insisted I must get, turned out to be the wine tote I’m toting around.

Napa – I’m ready for ya!

Top > H&M, Pants > Anthropologie, Clutch > Local Winery Find, Shoes > DVF, Necklace > Dillard's, Rings > H&M

Top > H&M, Pants > Anthropologie, Clutch > Local Winery Find, Shoes > DVF (love these), Necklace > Dillard’s, Rings > H&M


Father’s Day Gift Guide 2014

Have you ever read The Five Love Languages book? I have always loved to give gifts, often as an act of service to thank someone for doing something special or to celebrate a big occasion. Even my friend Libby says that I am so talented when it comes to thoughtful tokens of appreciation (and maybe get a little too overzealous when receiving them too) that I should be a professional Gift Giver.

As a special gift to my readers, I’m bringing you a peek into what I consider to be excellent Father’s Day gifts – most are even Carlos approved!

Father's Day 2014 Gift Guide1

Father's Day 2014 Gift Guide

1// James Bond Giftset 2// The Ultimate Beer Brewer’s Starter Day 3// J.Hilburn Custom Menswear 4//As Seen On TV’s Stufz 5// Money Soap 6// Wine Fridge 7// Personalized Golf Balls

 

1. James Bond Giftset – Do I even need to explain this? Whether he is more like Clark Griswold or Pierce Brosnan, he will appreciate the entire collection of Bond, James Bond.

2. Beer Brewing Class – For one Father’s Day, we sent my dad off to a beer brewing class – and he was hooked. In fact, he loved it so much, that he gets together with his buddies and brews beer all the time. It’s a fun hobby, and his beer is awesome!

3. J. Hilburn Custom Menswear – When a friend asked if T would be interested in custom designed and cut menswear, I knew he would love it, so I joined the team! (Shameless Plug!) The clothing includes custom suits and shirts, plus a huge collection of ready to wear ties, cufflinks, polos, jeans, etc. at the same price point as Nordstrom’s or Dillard’s, but with the quality of Armani. After taking 15 measurements to ensure a perfect fit, I will work with you and the stylish (or not so fashion savvy) man in your life, to select everything from the collar style to the fabric. No more puffy waists or tight collars!

4. Stufz – You know those As Seen on TV commercials? My parents love them. I went home and my dad whipped up a three cheese stuffed burger with this gadget, and people – it was delicious! Think of the endless possibilities and creativity involved in crafting the perfect burger. This is a winner!

5. Money Soap – I bought my dad and Taylor’s dad this fun soap for Christmas. My dad immediately cut into his and found $1. Taylor’s dad used the soap for nearly a year, and found – $1. I suppose sometimes patience does not pay off, but they both got a kick out of it!

6. Wine Fridge – Because – life! This is the gift that keeps on giving. Every wino needs a place to store their treasured wines, and Wine Enthusiast has an incredible selection. Add that to my wish list as well….

7. Personalized Golf Balls – For the golfer with a sense of humor. We ordered these (exactly as pictured above) for Taylor’s dad, and he loved them. Sure, the guy is a scratch golfer – which made the golf balls that much more hilarious!

 

What’s the best gift you have given dad? I’m always looking for new inspiration to take my gift game to the next level!

 

:: More than 2 Chainz ::

It’s clear by now that you know I have a problem an affinity when it comes to jewelry. I’ve been layering for so many years, that it shouldn’t have surprised me when I was told I had scoliosis in the seventh grade.

Of course, at the ripe age of thirteen, I had no idea what it was and was certain I would die soon, but that little spine curvature hasn’t stopped me from much. I’m still kickin’ and still stackin’! When the Courtney Bib popped up on Bauble Bar I felt like I had found the holy grail of jewelry. Sure, it weighs the same amount as the prize watermelon at the county fair. However – every girl needs more than 2 Chainz in a statement piece!

 

Dress > Forever 21, Top > J. Crew, Necklace > Bauble Bar, Heels > Aldo, Clutch > , Bracelets >

Dress > Forever 21 (similar), Top > J. Crew (similar), Necklace > Bauble Bar, Heels > Aldo, Clutch > Christopher Kon, Bracelets > Anthropologie, C. Wonder (similar)

 

 

P.S. Thanks for all the welcome-back-you’re-not-alone-hang-in-there-your-thirties-are-worse messages! I couldn’t ask for better family, friends and complete strangers!

:: These Are My Confessions ::

I love donuts. Like, will eat a dozen if left alone with the box. My favorite drink is red, red wine. By the fourth of every month, my “shopping budget” is almost always kaput. My only motivation for doing cardio is fitting into my spring/summer 2010-2014 wardrobe watching Game of Thrones. I could be on hoarders if they ever found my costume jewelry collection.

 

These are just a few of my not so fabulous habits.

 

Isn’t it so easy to not love yourself? The day we took these photos, the wind was hitting 30 mph, plus it was hot. My boyfriend jeans were looking more “mom” than “boyfriend” and my necklace kept slapping me in the face. Are you really that surprised when I tell you that I wasn’t being my best self? After an unsuccessful go at using positivity to encourage me, Taylor gave in and took me for a Sangria pitcher.

Problem momentarily solved.

 

The past few months have been full of peaks and valleys (more valleys, and clearly – I wasn’t up to blogging at that time), and I was struggling to love myself. Call it a quarter-life crisis if you will, but I’m back and we’ll focus on moving forward and keeping up the as-expensive-as-therapy-hot-yoga, rather than being dark and twisty. No one tells you that your twenties are hard – but they are! People don’t actually travel Europe for months at a time, or have the money to be social every night, or buy everything they pin -AND, it’s not easy to make friends after college either. My friend Chelsie says it best, so go here for what I’m talking about. Social media gives us this opportunity to essentially “frame” our lives with all the cool places we are going and all the fun things we are doing. But no one posts what they look like when they’re late for work and their dog has had an accident the size of its four pound body. Because life happens.

 

And so for that reason, I’m giving you my confessions. Because – life! And – donuts!

 

Top: Kate Spade, Jeans: Gap, Bag: Kate Spade, Heels: Aldo, Necklace: Neiman Marcus, Rings: David Yurman, mom find, Bracelets: C. Wonder, Anthropologie, Coach

Top: Kate Spade, Jeans: Gap, Bag: Kate Spade, Heels: Aldo, Necklace: Neiman Marcus, Rings: David Yurman, mom find, Bracelets: C. Wonder, Anthropologie, Coach

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P.S. – I missed you all!

 

:: Pattern Play ::

Remember being a kid and you would put all sorts of different patterns together while dressing yourself, and it was ok, because you were a kid?

Meet my generation – the group who grew up and decided to keep pairing weird things together, just because they could.

The most beautiful thing I have learned from my generation’s use of pattern play, is that you can literally wear anything, and if you wear it with confidence, no one will say a word. Seriously – it will not only look natural, but you’ll be lauded for being the torchbearer of the laissez-faire. Have you seen the photos from SXSW? Nothing goes together, but it looks so fab because the people wearing it absolutely do not care. Very “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” no?

That’s not the only lesson I have learned. Here are a few important tidbits collected from the outfit below.

Never wear your hair down with a sequined top – you’ll practically be bald by the end of the day. Always buy shoes in your actual size. As you can tell by my beloved red suede pumps, either my foot shrunk or I still believed I wore an 8 when I scooped up my sale selections. Also – this crossover between harem pants and a trouser are the socially acceptable form of sweatpants. I pray they never go out of style!

Top: J.Crew, Pants: Dillard’s, Shoes: Zara (old – love these!), Bag: Kate Spade, Necklace: Similar here

Top: J.Crew, Pants: Dillard's, Shoes: Zara, Bag: Kate Spade, Necklace:

*Let the record show that I was not that child, and leaned more towards the matching print on print a la Donna Karan Spring 2012 route.

:: Bring on Spring ::

This happens every year. One really lovely, warm Spring day and I’m immediately coming up with a zillion various cold weather outfits that I could kick myself for not thinking of during the winter. Inspiration comes at the strangest times!

While springing forward really throws off my days, I was so excited to come home to an evening of sunshine. After spending my days indoors, it’s so refreshing to walk outside to the surprising warmth of a true March day. Here’s to dresses and the promise of Spring.

Dress - ASOS // Vest - Forever 21 // Necklace - Neiman Marcus // Shoes: H&M,

Dress – ASOS // Vest – Forever 21 (old, similar) // Necklace – Neiman Marcus // Shoes – H&M (similar) // Bag – Kate Spade // Ring – Beyond Baroque // Watch – Michael Kors

:: Kaleidoscope ::

Remember the Peter Pilotto for Target debacle from a few weeks ago? I had my eye on this dress from the get go, and even girlfriend who was shopping for her daughter couldn’t beat me to it! With a dozen weddings and showers in the coming year, I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot of this little gem. The cool tones with bright pops of neon make it so flexible in terms of weather. Adding a long sleeve top with tights and booties, or a collared shirt, will take it into the winter seasons. Throwing on a different belt and matching various colors and patterns of heels will keep it rocking through summer.

Did you ever look through kaleidoscopes as a kid? This dress reminds me so much of the magical, transforming shapes swimming at the end of the mirrored tunnel. I did a quick Wikipedia search of kaleidoscopes (because I spent four years in the journalism college being told not to do so), and learned all about the history of these gorgeous, greek-invented objects. Do yourself a favor and take a look here. Only, of course, after you take a look below!

Dress: Target, Shoes: Zara, Belt: ASOS, Bag: J.Crew, Rings: C.Wonder, Bracelets: Seasonal Whispers, J.Crew, Nails: Essie Marshmallow

Dress: Target, Shoes: Zara (similar), Belt: ASOS, Bag: J.Crew (similar), Rings: C.Wonder (super sale!), Bracelets: Seasonal Whispers, J.Crew, Nails: Essie Marshmallow

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