I would probably live in dreamy sundresses and feminine skirts if I could. But sometimes it’s good to switch it up. When I saw this top, I just loved the interesting frill detail on the sleeves and I knew it would make a statement. If you’re ordering, go one size up as it’s a bit short in the length… I’m 5’7″ for reference.
I paired this top with my favorite navy pants (still available in crop version) for a meeting downtown. Now I know you ladies in conservative offices will say you can’t wear this top to work, but hear me out… How easy it would be to switch into this top after work with happy hour or date night?! So cute. I can’t be the only one who used to pack an evening top and heels in my work bag?
Lastly, I just featured this beige tote on my Instagram. It’s the perfect size to use as your handbag but still fits a laptop or file folder. I love the color and the cute little bag tassel you can add onto it.
If you want the back story on this incredible jewelry line, read this blog post. And if you want to know the back story on my orange pumps, read this blog post.
It’s no secret I adore feminine fashion. Soft colors, silky fabrics, ruffles, and floral prints all make up a significant portion of my wardrobe. So when I saw this beautiful lace pencil skirt in such a bright peony-pink color, I had to have it. I think pencil skirts are flattering on nearly every body type, and I love the texture lace can add to an outfit.
My Tips for Styling:
Take a look at my post with tips on How to Wear Brights. In the post, I share my tips on how to wear bright colored pieces like this skirt anywhere by pairing them with the right accessories.
For work, I would add a neutral blazer, tote bag, and pumps to keep this look business casual… If your office is too conservative for pink during the daytime, it could really add some oomph to a work event or cocktail party at night instead.
A moto jacket like this one toughens up this lace skirt and gives it the perfect amount of edge for date night or girls’ night out.
I wanted to style an outfit for Fourth of July events that was patriotic, but still wearable throughout the summer. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’m totally addicted to the off-the-shoulder trend… I think these tops are so flattering and easy to dress up or dress down with accessories. This top is breezy, cool, and a steal at under $20. It runs just slightly small and since I think these tops look best more loose and airy, I would recommend ordering a size up from your usual.
Of course, I’ve paired this striped top with my favoriteripped ankle denim (I love the fit and look of these jeans so much I’m considering ordering a second pair) but I think it would look incredible with denim cut-offs. I’ve linked a similar off-the-shoulder top in chambray down below that would look perfect with white denim.
I’ve had my eye on a pair of pom-pom shoes for weeks now and couldn’t wrap my head around these pom-pom flats (even though they’re at least 40% off now) because they’re definitely a trendy item and not a classic investment piece. Then I found my pom-pom heels I’m wearing for under $70 and am thrilled to pair them with my summer looks. Order one size up from your usual size… They run small; I ordered a half size up and needed a full size bigger. They also come in a white heel version, a nude block heel version, and a nude sandal version so no matter what your heel preference, you can rock this look.
This is one of my absolute favorite handbags in my closet. If you’ve been saving or are looking for a Chanel investment bag, I would highly recommend the Classic Flap Bag in red because it will never go out of style (this style came out in 1955) and the bright red color works as a pop of color all year round. It looks great with crisp white and blue in the summer and chic with jet black in the winter. I was able to find this pre-owned Chanel Classic Double Flap Bag in a gorgeous bright red online… It’s the same size as mine (11-inch Jumbo) but in smooth lambskin, whereas mine is the textured “caviar leather”. You can take an extra 25% off with code TAKE25OFF for a limited time. I also found this pre-owned Chanel Classic Double Flap Bag in a similar red color but a size larger (13-inch Maxi) and in patent leather.
Lastly, I wanted to tell you about the necklace I’m wearing by a new Denver jewelry brand called Liberti. The necklace I’m wearing from Liberti’s <1% collection is for a great cause. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, there are about 14.4 million refugees worldwide. Of this huge number, just less than one percent are processed and submitted for resettlement. Through its beautiful and dainty jewelry, Liberti is raising awareness for refugees and gives those in the United States jobs in hopes that they can be free to live the American Dream.
This is the “Everyday Dress” and the name is so perfect because it’s the dress you’ll wear to everything from brunch with friends, running a few errands, or to a lunch date at your favorite taco spot. It’s lightweight, breezy, and flattering. The wearable fabric is versatile enough for everyday activities, but hints at curves just enough to be dressed up too.
Speaking of “everyday”, one of the most frequent questions I get from my readers and friends is what bloggers do each day. It’s an untraditional job that’s fun but can be complicated and super busy too. I’m excited to tell you that I’ll be writing and creating content for a great online magazine this summer… And my first post will be walking readers through a typical day in my life as a blogger. I think it will be a fun feature, but also may be helpful to those of you who want to start blogging or already are and aren’t sure how to balance your tasks. I can’t wait to share the news with you… It should go live sometime this month!
The beautiful Restoration Hardware store in the Cherry Creek Shopping Center is a place I go often for decor inspiration. (I previously did a blog post with its exterior as my backdrop.) My recent trip to RH was to scope out some new curtain rods and hardware, as I wasn’t thrilled with the ones I originally ordered for my closet re-do and ended up returning them. I can’t wait to show you the new closet when I’ve added all the finishing touches. The color scheme will contain my favorite colors at the moment… Blush pink and soft dove grey.
And speaking of blush pink and soft dove grey, the one I’m wearing above is one of my most versatile and comfortable outfits for spring/summer. The dress is by local Denver designer Never A Wallflower, and I love the lace-up detail that can be dressed up or dressed down. My favorite feature of this dress is the way the soft fabric gently hints at the body’s curves so it avoids being potato sack straight as many shirt dresses do. Instead, this dress remains feminine while moving with your body and is lightweight enough to be worn in high temps.
I accessorized the pink dress with soft grey accessories like my favorite faux leather moto jacket. I added my Chloé Drew Bag and these great heels I was thrilled to discover for under $35. I can’t sort out why the online version shows metal fringe detail as my pair of heels doesn’t have that. I’m not sure if it’s something you could easily pull off if you didn’t want it on? But I love the suede fringe either way.
The last accessory I wanted to mention is my gray bandana I’m wearing as a neck scarf. Ever since I went to Paris for the first time as a little girl, I admired the way French women wore the most beautiful scarves around their neck with anything from simple tees to dresses. Neck scarves are proof that the simplest touch can add so much to an outfit! I’ve linked a similar scarf, but really all you need is a small-ish square scarf to get the same look. If you’d like, I could do a little blog post or video on my favorite way to wear neck scarves and how to fold them.
Last but not least, I wanted to share my favorite summer drinks to grab on the go. The first is this Teavana drink I’m sipping in the photos. I order an iced Winterberry Tea (Strawberry Lemonade Herbal Tea and Strawberry Grapefruit Xue Long Green Tea combo) then I ask them to add Silver Yin Zhen White Tea Pearls… It’s fruity, tangy, and light. The second drink I love is one I recently Instagrammed from Starbucks… Their much talked-about “Pink Drink”!! It’s a Strawberry Acai Refresher with coconut milk instead of water. It is sweet and delicious! Let me know if you’ve tried either of these.
During the month of June, I’m going to be featuring some wedding-inspired posts. This is a wedding guest look, perfect for any wedding with a semi-formal dress code or a daytime ceremony before changing for a black-tie reception.
Also this month I’m hoping to catch up on my own wedding posts so I can share our ceremony and reception photos with you. Please let me know if you have any questions about wedding planning, our wedding, or wedding attire/makeup and I will try to answer those for you in upcoming posts!!
I just got back from a little over 24 hours in Nashville, Tennessee. I haven’t been there in ages, and while there I realized what a fun place it is. One of my best friends drove up to meet me since it was her birthday week and we indulged in Southern comfort food, a little shopping, and exploring the vibrant downtown area. We walked through the streets and listened to the live music pouring out of nearly every venue.
The next day, I attended a friend’s sweet Southern bridal shower tea with a “big hats and pearls” theme. It was so much fun and I left for the airport that night on a sugar high from so many sweet treats.
This pretty black lace dress would be perfect for any showers, graduations, or weddings you have this summer. We are always so busy in the summer and I understand how difficult it can be to find outfit options for every event… And none of us want to wear the same thing each time.
We know that LBD’s are an essential part of any wardrobe. And at under $20, this one is easy to add to your special occasion outfits this summer. I added a blush pink trench coat (now on sale) and blush pink handbag with suede heels in the same but slightly brighter tone.
Choose a classic style so you can wear your LBD as long as possible. Shift, pencil, and a-line are all great options that will last you years and years.
Accessorize your LBD with a pop of color to keep it from looking a little dull at happy occasions like showers and weddings or in “brighter” months like summer.
If you’d like to add more than one colorful piece like I did for this look, keep the colors in the same color family for a uniform, chic look.
I’ve been self-tanning since I was twelve and had several horrible self-tan mishaps at the beginning. My first experience involved being a pale sixth grader, using the darkest Neutrogena spray, and leaving my socks on to spray tan. So embarrassing, especially in middle school! At least I was adventurous, right?!
Since then, I have learned so many tips and tricks for achieving a flawless, natural-looking self tan. When people learn that I tan myself and have not tanned in a bed for years, they ask me so many questions and request how-to videos and blog posts on the subject. I made a video years ago – it was one of my first YouTube videos and the quality is terrible – but I liked the idea of typing everything out and explaining it here in a blog post for you.
I used to tan in a tanning bed in high school and college and didn’t listen to my parents’ warnings. After going to the dermatologist regularly and working for a skincare company, I learned more about skin cancer and was horrified to realize how much I was harming my skin all those years. A close relative being diagnosed with melanoma made me even more vigilant and cautious. I know you’ve heard it over and over, but sun protection should be a vital step in your skincare routine… Freckles are not cute little spots but are actually permanent skin damage. If you’re not doing it already, be sure to visit a dermatologist for yearly head-to-toe skin checks as early detection is key to preventing skin cancer.
I can get very pale in winter, but tan easily and never burn. I love being tan and have always assumed my skin type would protect me from skin cancer. However, my relative who was diagnosed with melanoma has the exact same skin as I do. We have Mediterranean and Native American genetics… It’s important to know that anyone can get skin cancer.
I am currently working on a post and video of my favorite sun protection products for you. It’s not to say that I won’t indulge and be in the sun while on a fun vacation, but other than that you will find me layered in SPF and under an umbrella or sun hat. Self-tanning is my way to look good and feel confident while knowing that my skin is protected and safe. And being able to self-tan at home saves me a lot of time and expense.
I hope you enjoy my tips, and please let me know if you try them!!
Step 1: Preparation
Be sure to get any intense exercise prior to self tanning because heavy sweating can ruin a spray tan. I also suggest doing any type of hair removal – waxing, shaving, tweezing – ahead of time. Most hair removal methods are a type of exfoliation and will remove your spray tan if you do them after you tan. I always like to get my manicure and pedicure prior to spray tanning as well since polish remover, nail tools, and exfoliation will remove your spray tan.
Step 2: Exfoliation
I like to shower right before I spray tan as it ensures my skin retains just a little moisture to prevent it from being too dry and absorbing too much color. A key step in my spray tan routine is exfoliating in the shower. I use an exfoliating scrub on my face, exfoliating polish on my lips, then cleanse with a facial brush.
If you are someone who does facials or professional skincare treatments, I highly recommend doing a dermal planing treatment prior to self-tanning. A less expensive option is to use a mini razor on your face to get the same effect and remove dead skin and fine hair.
After exfoliating my face and neck, I use a gritty scrub all over my body then use a loofah to really buff my skin smooth. If you don’t have a body scrub you can always use organic coffee grounds. As a finishing touch, I use a foot file on my feet to remove any dry skin.
Fold a towel in half or thirds and lay it on the bottom of your shower. Then lay a clean towel where you will sleep on your sheets and a clean hand towel over your pillow. I’ve never had spray tan stain my towels or sheets, but it’s always a possibility and you want to protect them as much as possible.
Step onto the folded towel in the shower and stand with legs apart. Be sure not to move your feet from this position throughout your self-tanning as doing so will cause your feet to pick up any color that has fallen or dropped onto the towel.
LOTION: I layer two coats of different self tanner formulas to get a more natural effect. Starting at the calves and working upward, begin applying self-tanning lotion to the legs. After applying to calves, use the remainder of the product left on gloves to lightly rub some in to the tops of feet and ankles. After applying to thighs, use the remainder of the product left on gloves to lightly rub some in to the knees and backs of knees. Making sure to rub self tanner in thoroughly, apply lotion to the booty, stomach, rib cage, chest, neck, face, and arms. I cover my entire body in product, staying away from the armpit area.
BACK: If you’d like to tan your back simply apply a bit of product to your gloved right hand and reach over your right shoulder and behind your back to rub in to the top of your back, then switch arms to reach the left side. You can even apply product to the front of your gloved hand and reach up toward your middle/lower back to apply, then switch and apply using the other arm/hand. I find that I’m able to reach all of my back area myself because wearing gloves allows me to use the front of my hand for application as well. You’ll look like a contortionist, but it works!
SPRAY: Then repeat the whole process using a self-tanning spray. As I mentioned above, be sure to only use excess from calf and thigh application to lightly apply color to tops of feet and knee areas. Working your way up, spray and thoroughly rub in self tanner all over body, face, and neck. Use the same method to reach all your back areas. If you’re still having difficulty reaching your back area, try using an airbrush-style self-tanning spray like this one.
HANDS: Carefully step out of the shower making sure not to step on the towel with self tanner. Squeeze dime sized amounts of self tanning lotion onto two cotton pads. Then spray two more cotton pads with 2-4 spritzes of self tanning spray. Remove one glove and with the gloved hand, gently wipe the cotton pad with lotion over the top of the ungloved hand, fingers, and blending down into the wrist area. Repeat with the other hand and be careful since you’ll now be applying with ungloved hands. Lastly, repeat on each hand with the sprayed cotton pads.
Stand in front of a fan or let your body dry for several minutes before getting into bed.
Step 4: Preserve
When you wake up the next day rinse off in the shower with lukewarm water, don’t use a loofah or body scrub, and lightly pat yourself dry. For the next 2-3 days don’t shower with hot water, scrub your body, get in chlorinated water, or sweat excessively.
If you have any streaking or spotting, you can use a scrub or loofah on those areas. Another method I’ve tried that works wonders on spots and streaks is applying cream Nair to the spotted area, letting it sit for 10 minutes or so, and harshly rubbing off with a dry towel.
Be sure to use your moisturizing body cream to moisturize your body each day to keep your skin soft and your tan looking smooth and even. About 2 days after I self tan, I like to start using a gradual tanner for face and body daily to help preserve my tan.
Step 5: Enhance
BRONZER: I also love using bronzing products after a self tan to bring out my glow even more… The trouble is each time I find one I adore it is discontinued within a couple years, so if you have favorite bronzing products I suggest stocking up! My favorite bronzer to use on my face and neck was Chanel’s Moisturizing Bronzing Powder in “Terre Ambre” but a similar version is Benefit’s Hoola Bronzer. These bronzers are the perfect color, aren’t too shimmery, and can be used for contour as well.
SHIMMER: I also highly recommend finding a shimmery bronze lotion or oil to apply on your arms and legs to beautifully highlight your new tan like the one shown from Pacifica. I’m currently browsing these glowy body products for my next purchase when my Pacifica shimmer runs out: shimmering dry oil and bronzing luminizer.
Each summer (well, each season really) I promise that we’ll do less and have more time to spend at home and relax. Yet each season brings more events, travel, and special occasions. If you’re like us, you have plenty of parties and weddings to attend this summer and you probably don’t want to wear the same outfit over and over.
I discovered this dreamy dress and it fit right in with my feminine, romantic style. At under $50, it’s a great piece to wear to a summer event and layer with luxe accessories for a beautiful look that appears high-end but is easy on your budget. I wore this with my orange suede heels for a pop of contrasting color.
Start with a glass of chilled sparkling pink lemonade. You can also substitute with pink champagne.
I like to add a splash of raspberry juice for a sweeter drink. But depending on your preferences, you can also substitute with homemade raspberry simple syrup for another sweet option or pureed raspberries for a more tart taste.
Garnish the drink with a few fresh raspberries. I like to squeeze a bit of orange into the lemonade for an extra dash of citrus flavor.
Preheat oven to 375. Generously butter and flour pan for large madeleines.
Using an electric mixer, beat 2 large eggs and 2/3 cup of sugar in large bowl until blended. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel, and a pinch of salt. Add 1 cup all-purpose flour and beat until blended. Gradually add 10 tablespoons of cooled melted butter in a steady stream and beat until blended.
Spoon about 1 tablespoon of batter into each indentation in pan. Bake 16 minutes, or until puffed and brown. Cool 5 minutes before gently removing from pan. Repeat the process, buttering and flouring the pan before each batch.
Dust cookies with powdered sugar.
MEMORIAL DAY SALES
Ann Taylor: 50% off full-priced items and extra 40% off sale items with code SUMMER50. 5.26 – 5.30