Coral and Floral Summer Dress for under $30

I never thought it would feel humid and balmy in Los Angeles, but June Gloom has proven me wrong. Mind you, it has nothing on Texas heat and humidity! As soon as weather like this rolls in, I quickly turn to lightweight dresses. Shorts and humidity do not mix well for me.

Growing up, I was always picked on for dressing too conservative at times. I then preceded to try and change my style in college. But honestly, changing my style to fit in did nothing for my confidence. Entering adulthood made me realize I should embrace styles that make me feel beautiful. So in the Summer, I steer away from short shorts and opt for flowing sundresses.

I am already a big fan of Ann Taylor Loft, and I was ecstatic when I found out their outlet store was online. The mark downs on these pieces are crazy! Especially for the quality you are getting. I probably should do a haul of all of the cute finds I bought from there, but for now I thought I would show you my favorite. I paired it with a fun floral earring from J. Crew and wrap sandals from Forever 21 (similar pairs below). Also, coral looks good on EVERYONE.

Books from Amazon for an Inviting Entry Table

Having a small space, I realized every design choice I make needs to be useful and something I truly love. There is a lot less room for error, because small spaces start to feel cluttered very quickly. I know that I will soon (very soon!) be moving into a bigger home, and thought interesting coffee table books would be a good investment. I am growing my collection because they are great filler pieces in any room. To be honest, some of my books are the star piece!

The books I am drawn to, bring up a lot of nostalgia of my childhood. My mom always had Traditional Home or Southern Living magazines laying around. I am an old soul when it comes to design, so classic and cottage styles are what I lean towards. Books are a great reflection of your personal style to guests in your home. I love walking into someone’s home and seeing a interior design or recipe book, and usually immediately ask if I can look at it! It is an inviting staple everyone should have a small or large collection of.

Below are the links to the books I have purchased from Amazon:

My Ikea Picks for Summer Organizing

After spending months at home, I began to realize how unorganized my home really was. Sure I found solutions here and there, but it was not streamlined. I have also began baking weekly, so I needed more storage for all of my ingredients.

I live in a small space, so I knew Ikea would offer me exactly what I needed, for a reasonable price. All of the items I found were under $20 a piece (the watering can is only $1.99!). To make sure I didn’t go overboard, I went to each cabinet and counted how many boxes I would need. It is always safe to get an extra box or two, because no one realizes how much space things actually take up. I thought the gray baskets would be perfect for sunglasses or socks. Shoes also tend to pile up in our closets, so these stackable shoe racks should help us keep things tidy.

The glass jars and cake stand are probably my favorite things from this round up! A classic biscotti jar and display of home cooked goodies makes even the blandest kitchen look like a bakery shop. I plan on putting all of my dry ingredients in the jars and placing them across an awkward low wall (keeps me from placing clutter there). I am using the white boxes in my pantry currently; I am thinking about buying some more to put in my fridge, to keep different snacks separated.

Comment your favorite organization tips!

The Best Summer Entertaining Piece + My Favorite Summer Wines

Typically, I would have had a few Summer get-togethers by now. I am missing creating colorful charcuterie boards and buckets of perfectly pink rosé. I like to pull the hues from my wines and create a board that is either warm or cool in tone. The photos above are a warmer look I did for my college graduation party. If you are having white wine, I would use berries instead of grapes and go for whiter cheeses or even ones that have a blue tone.

My all-time favorite party hosting piece is a galvanized bucket. They are inexpensive, versatile, and timeless. I got mine (pictured above) for around $20 at HomeGoods, and a few years later bought a similar one for my friend for a house-warming gift. But because we are all online shopping at the moment, I rounded up a few you could order:

For Wine, I have a few favorites! Although reds have grown on me, my favorite is still a nice crisp rosé. While studying abroad in France, I really got the cream of the crop. Luckily, most of those wines are sold in stores around the U.S. Below are some that I love, plus a few stateside white wines.

My Favorite Summer Swimsuits and Accesories

Our pool is finally open! And even better, you need a reservation which means we typically have it all to ourselves (trying to see the silver-linings here). I had my new Turkish beach towels and Yeti wine cup ready and waiting for this day!

This Summer I have found so many retro and feminine swimsuits. I have had to have EXTREME self control when online shopping, because there are so many cute options out there. These girly styles pair perfect with a floral bandana and oversized shades. I rounded up my favorite Summer swimsuits and accessories below!

Upgrading your Box Cupcakes

We have all had those days where you want to bake, but not spend time searching up the perfect recipe. Or maybe you ran out of flour or sugar (seems to be happening a lot lately!). A box cake mix has most of your ingredients, except for maybe an egg or 2 and oil or milk. They are simple and approachable. Sometimes though, you want to give them a little extra love to make them even more decadent. In the baking aisle, there is always crushed up favorites like Heath toffee, or extra-mini Reese’s baking cups. This will give your cupcake texture, and have your friends asking if you got them from one of those fancy cupcake ATMs! A little drizzle of caramel or chocolate really heightens the flavor and marries the crunchy texture of the candy and the fluffy texture of the cake. Box cake mixes were my intro to baking, and really it is not that far off from the real thing. There is no shame getting your start here!

Here are some combos of cake mixes and toppings I love:

  • Carrot cake, cream cheese icing, caramel drizzle, and Heath bits.
  • Strawberry cake, 1/2 cream cheese icing and 1/2 chocolate icing, fresh strawberries, chocolate drizzle.
  • Angel Food cake, Cool-Whip for icing, fresh raspberries, raspberry syrup drizzle, fresh mint for decor.
  • Chocolate cake, 1 part peanut butter to 2 parts cream cheese icing, Reese’s mini baking cups, chocolate syrup drizzle.

Perfect Pink Shift Dress

Simple classic shapes are what I look for when I am adding to my wardrobe. Shift dresses are the ultimate preppy Summer dress, that flatters all body types. I loved the retro feel of this one because of the tweed. It is also insanely comfortable and a nice conservative length, so I can move easily without having to adjust it.

To complete the look, I added a simple black sandal, comfy white sweater, and carried on the pink with a beaded bracelet.

Here are the links for my look: Dress, Shoes, Bracelet, Sweater

And here are some more shift dresses I have my eye on!

Wedding Wednesday: Choosing the Perfect Dress

My bridal style is the same as the style of my wedding; romantic, glamorous, and classic. I wanted my dress to carry on the overall feel of the florals and decor. At this point, you likely have a design idea and budget set aside for your dress. And if you do, this helps make dress shopping more about narrowing down to the perfect dress, instead of narrowing down to what style or fit you want.

I was approached by a friend from college pretty early on about the idea of her designing and making my dress. I couldn’t say yes fast enough! Leading up to her asking, I had spent hours searching for a specific shape and fabric. I either ran into dead ends of finding nothing, or the dresses I did love were twice my budget. Hannah’s company is called Heirloom Bridal. Even though she was across the country, she made the entire experience seamless. I got to pick everything from the lace to the beading. It was a special process that I would recommend to anyone, because when it finally arrived…it was the dress of my dreams! To have that much say over what I am going to wear on the most important day of my life, made the experience even more meaningful. She also provided a lot of professional guidance along the way, if you aren’t sure where to start.

If you would rather have multiple options to try, I would recommend doing some research through movies, magazines, and Pinterest. Pick a few shapes that speak to you, and have pictures of those ready to go to bridal salons. When you call bridal salons, make sure to let them know your budget. You don’t want to go to a very high end salon and get tempted, when you cannot afford those dresses. Daydream online all day, but trying on dresses is time consuming for you and the staff, so make sure it is a place you can see yourself finding something reasonable. That doesn’t mean you have to feel pressured to buy! It is completely normal to make appointments at a couple of places. On their websites, they usually have the designers listed. It would be smart to make note of that, to be most efficient with your time.

When it comes to who you should bring for trying on dresses…to be honest, less is more! Overall, I designed my dress without any advice from family or friends. I am a very decisive person, and I also didn’t want anyone shooting down an idea that I really liked. But if having your best friend or Mom around helps you make better decisions, then bring them along. You should probably keep it to people you would typically get fashion advice from, because they know what is most flattering on you while also understanding your personal style. I did have my Mom and Mother-in-Law watch me try on my dress once it arrived. It was such a positive experience that built my confidence and made me fall even more in love with my dress. So if you are nervous about too many opinions at try-ons, think about just bringing people along for the final fitting.

Working from Home: Updating your Office Space for under $400

I have always wanted an office space that was a mix of styles. My own design style falls somewhere between feminine European and modern eclectic. Sometimes I hate it, and feel like I need to choose and focus. But with an office space, you can get away with things not being so orderly and in control. You want a space that inspires you and keeps you motivated. A big motivation for me and Chris to keep hustling, is travel. We save for big vacations! Showcasing our collections from travels, or prints that take us back to a destination, keeps our eyes on the prize. It also gives our budget friendly furniture a mature and personal touch.

Below are a few budget designs that could be the perfect starting place for your home office. A small investment, that I believe will offer a big return! All are under $400!

Modern Mediterranean

English Sophistication

California Cool

Summer Basics: Neon and Denim

If you haven’t learned by now, I love color. Summer is my primetime fashion season, because everything is vivid and bright. I also love a good pair of jeans; they never go out of style. I am loving the new shapes in jeans that have been coming out in the past few years. The slit in my wide leg is a fresh fun take, which helps slim what could be a heavy look on a curvier girl like myself.

During the Summer I like to stock up on solid colored tanks and tees that are easy to dress up or down. Solids give you the chance to have fun with patterns in your purse or belt, or maybe a pop of color in your make-up. It is easy to create an effortlessly chic look, when you have the basics.

Here is what I’m wearing (Sunglasses-Ray Ban, purse-Louis Vuitton, necklace-Old Navy and shoes-Sam Edelman are old; similar options):