Jul 27, 2017

Christmas in July with The Blended Blog

Christmas is my most favorite time of the year!  I love singing along to Christmas carols in my car, enjoying holiday treats and relaxing under the lights of the Christmas tree.  But my favorite part of the season is that feeling of love, joy and peace shared between friends and family.  Some people might think gift exchanges represent a too-commercialized side of the holiday but I see it as an extra way to show love to my favorite people.

So why not celebrate Christmas in July with my fabulous friends from The Blended Blog?!  These ladies are some of the most radiant and giving women I know.  Plus, since we share the similar hobby of blogging, we just seem to get each other, making a gift exchange even more fun!


I was so excited when I received a package in the mail from Sarah of Foxy's Domestic Side!  Sarah is a Californian ray of sunshine with the biggest smile and sweetest heart around.  Her positive energy is infectious and you can't help but smile when you're around her.  Not only does she have a great spirit, she is so fashionable (as evidenced by the great tulle skirt below) and she does the most fantastic hair tutorials.  Ugh, can teleportation just be a thing so that I can hang-out with Sara all of the time?!  California and Michigan aren't close enough!  Alright, alright, you're probably ready to see what she gave me, huh?


As soon as I realized that Sarah was my Secret Santa, I was hoping there would be candy in my gift box.  You see, Sara and I had a great afternoon walking the streets of Toronto while sharing a bag of candy.  We both have quite the sweet tooth.  Sarah did not disappoint, she treated me to gummy bears and Swedish Fish!


And being the hair expert that Sara is, she also gave me some really awesome hair products.  Check-out this vat of bobby pins!  Y'all, I go through bobby pins like no other so I'm psyched about the sheer number of pins as well as the fact that they are Sarah (the hair goddess)-approved.  She also gifted me with a bottle of Amika's dry shampoo.  I actually received a sample size of this stuff in one of my Birchboxes and flew through it.  She somehow read my mind and now I have my very own, full-sized bottle!


Sarah, thank you so very very much for the thoughtful gift!  I love each and every part almost as much as I love being your friend!

Okay, ready for more presents?  I had a blast picking-out some goodies for the fabulous Nicole of Nick and Nicole + 4.  Head on over for some more unwrapping.  And oh yeah, Merry Christmas (in July)!
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Jul 24, 2017

Summertime Fun: Work-Out Faves

Hey, friends!  Sorry my posting has been a bit sporadic lately.  I've truly been relaxing and enjoying every little bit of my summer vacation!

One activity that I've dedicated a lot of time to this summer has been exercising!  I've mentioned before that I've tried to get into running on several occasions but it never became a regular part of my life...until now!  My boyfriend is an awesome runner so he has been helping to coach me.  His expertise and enthusiasm has me more motivated than ever to run farther and faster.  We've run two 5k's this month and I've beat my best time at each race!  I'm excited to keep pushing myself to see what I can do next!


Considering fitness has been a huge part of my summer, I'm excited to be participating in The Blended Blog's Summertime Fun Hop today because it's all about working-out!  If you are stopping by from Sarah's blog, welcome!

What we're most excited to share with you today is our favorite work-out video series by The Fitness Marshall!  Have you heard of him?  He creates these amazing hip hop dance routines to today's most popular songs.  You can find them for free on his Youtube channel.  After a few videos, you will definitely be working-up a sweat but you'll be having so much fun, you don't even realize it!  Need a little more convincing?  A few of the TBBers (myself included) made a video to show you just how much fun we have dancing with The Fitness Marshall.  Being recorded while doing a hip hop dance work-out was definitely embarrassing (what's with my facial expression?!?) but Deena did an amazing job compiling our little video.  I hope you enjoy it!

Fave Fitness Video from Dee on Vimeo.

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Jul 21, 2017

Blogging Besties :: Novelty Print

 
The Blogging Besties series is the brain child of Alex @ The Cheerful Closet and Whitney @ Whitney à la Mode. In 2015, the series expanded to include yours truly @ My Closet Catalogue and Selah @ A Bibliophile's Style. It's based on the idea of "take one, pass it on," but we're passing on an element from another blogger's outfit. It's a fun challenge that inspires us to be creative!

Last week, Selah stayed fresh and cool in a perfect summer ensemble:


This week is brought to you by: “shorts, glitter, novelty print, or cuff bracelet”. And for your viewing pleasure, I give you: a novelty print.

 

I was smitten by this dress because of the print, but I stayed in love with it because of the sleeves, the quality of the cotton (oh, so soft!), and POCKETS! Sadly, when I received it in the mail and tried it on, I was disappointed to realize that it didn't quite work for my body. I sashayed and swanned about in front of the mirror, trying to figure out how to alter it to make it work. Was it too long? Was it too tight? Was the waistline too low/high? Then it hit me: shoulder pads and chest pockets. Although the print and cut is reminiscent of the 40s (thus why I bought it in the first place), it's really an 80s dress. So it had severe shoulder pads that emphasized my linebacker shoulders even more. Not a look I was going for. On top of that, It had two chest pockets that highlighted my ample bosoms, another look I am loathe to sport. So out came the seam ripper and a glass of wine, et voila! Perfection!

 

Deleting excess and streamlining the silhouette was a piece of cake. And there's nothing more satisfying than altering a garment with minimal skill necessary; I didn't even have to bust out the sewing machine. I always told my husband I was best at demolition. And now I can wear this beauty with confidence and sass.

    For

Alex’s turn next week, I challenge her to the following: white, wedges, or a poufy skirt. Vive le vendredi!
:: Just the facts, ma’am :: Dress – eBay Wedges – Dexflex @ Payless
:: Scream it from the top of your lungs :: The Sound by The 1975
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Jul 19, 2017

Grandpa Jim


To the man who taught me...

...that life is best lived on your feet,
...that peanut butter and pickle sandwiches are actually delicious,
...that there is always a song to be sung,
...and that you always have room for dessert,

...may you rest in peace and know how much you are loved and missed.
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Jul 14, 2017

Blogging Besties: Distressed Jean Shorts

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The Blogging Besties series is the brain child of Alex @ The Cheerful Closet and Whitney @ Whitney à la Mode. In 2015 the series expanded to include Maricel @ My Closet Catelogue and me, Selah @ A Bibliophile's Style. It's based on the idea of "take one, pass it on," but we're passing on an element from another blogger's outfit. It's a fun challenge that inspires us to be creative!

Last week, Whitney looked adorable:


The prompts she gave me were "gingham, distressed jeans, cognac shoes or a hair do".
Since I live in NC, where it is 10-15 degrees hotter than MI, jeans in summer are a no go. I live in shorts from Memorial Day to Labor Day (often longer). So, I give you distressed jean shorts.

I paired my shorts with a pineapple print tee, glittery gold flip-flops, and a gold cuff bracelet.


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Maricel can choose from shorts, glitter, novelty print, or cuff bracelet.
Previous Editions of Blogging Besties
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Jul 12, 2017

À la plage



You know that outfit you seem to find each season that just feels special?!  Well this is mine for the summer!

The moment I happened upon this dress from Lilly Pulitzer, I was smitten.  The light fabric and swing cut make this such a comfortable choice for the warm weather and the print, where do I even begin?!  The sailboats are a quintessential sign of the summer and the bright colors are so much fun!  Have a mentioned already how much I love this dress?

I am wearing my typical size medium and it fits perfectly.  It's loose enough to be comfy yet form-fitting enough to be flattering.



My boyfriend and I had a special weekend getaway planned to my hometown, St. Joseph, Michigan, and I was so excited to debut this dress at the beach!  The weather and the Lake Michigan view did not disappoint.  And thank you to my handsome guy for capturing these spectacular photos!


The dress, a simple pair of Jack Roger sandals and a Kendra Scott necklace were the perfect combination for walking the beach and enjoying family time.  But I'm totally picturing the dress with a pair of wedges and a denim jacket for when school starts again!  What do you think?

And since it's Wednesday, please link-up with me and The Blended Blog for your favorite fashion post lately!


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Jul 7, 2017

Blogging Besties: Favorite Outfit Formula


Blogging Besties is a weekly series featuring Whitney of Whitney à la mode, Alex of The Cheerful Closet, Maricel of ::My Closet Catelogue:: and Selah of A Bibliophile's Style.  Each week, one of the bloggers will choose one component from the previous week's outfit to pass on in a brand new look.  This "take one, pass it on" challenge is an inspiration to stretch your closet and your imagination!

Last week Alex looked ultra-professional making me almost miss getting dressed for work in the morning, almost.


From her outfit, Alex presented me with the following prompts: maroon, a statement necklace, a blazer or a favorite outfit formula.  I decided to go with my current summer outfit formula!



My favorite way to keep an outfit interesting during the hot summer months is by wearing a top with a fun print (in this case, gingham), bottoms, flat sandals and a big 'ole messy bun on the top of my head.  That way I'm cool, comfy and somewhat put together!

Selah's prompts for next week are gingham, distressed jeans, cognac shoes or a hair do!
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