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Adventures in Giving the Cold Shoulder!?!

Adventures in Giving the Cold Shoulder!

Ok, it’s not what you think. Summer is here. (I mean just walk outside and “summer” will hit you like a slap to the face.) Off the shoulder and “cold shoulder” looks are really having a moment. I think it’s the convergence of fashion — a 70s lean — and comfort — exposed skin keeps us cool. There are really two kinds of styles I am talking about in this post… one is the classic off the shoulder and then one is the latest incarnation of a sort of peak-a-boo cold should look… See the difference?

Everywhere I look, I have being seeing shoulders making their fashionable debut. Here’s my friend Megan killing it in the peak-a-boo version:

Not sure how to make cold shoulder look work for you? Your girl Irene is here to clear the path.

Keep it simple. It’s constantly my advice with style — especially when you are trying something new. Since these bare shoulder tops have a flowing vibe combine them with clean lines of skinny jeans and chill accessories.

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If you are after a more fitted cold shoulder look, try something like this…

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I like a clean and fitted look when the shoulder baring top is more fitted. There’s something elegant and very Grace Kelly about that look for me. Check out this international babe, chilling in Berlin, showing us how to wear cold shoulder like a boss:

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Maria is spot on with simple jewelry and pulled back hair… it really draws the eye to her shoulders and makes her look so elegant. It’s a great way to be cool for summer and to also maintain some serious style cool.

Interested in having a bit more fun with cold shoulders? Stick with me! Pair it with patterns, bold accessories, or the of the moment denim — distressed jeans. I wouldn’t take it to far into the 70s with bell bottoms like you might be tempted. You don’t want to look like you are going to a 70s costume party.

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I think the peak-a-boo cold shoulder is a great transition piece for people not wanting to go full bare shoulders. It’s also a really cool summer alternative for people with “shy” arms. 🙂

Here’s one of my favorites! I get tons of compliments when I wear it.

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How would you make this trend your own? 

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Adventures in the Summer Time Snacks!

One of my favorite things about being a Floridian is really savoring summer. We take it seriously here. As a matter of survival it’s a uniform of shorts, tanks, and sandals. We spend time by the water, on the water, looking at the water. It’s just the best. Obviously the great thing about Florida is that you can spend the whole year round outside but in the summer, we are all kids out of school. We make the most of every moment!

If you are going to hit the pool (one of my favs), you will need snacks. Scratch that, you are going to need snacks at the beach too. 😉

My aunt Hilary got me through some dark days of law school and she’s one of my closest friends and biggest supporters. She’s also a really good time. We have a whole Sunday afternoon routine which necessitates some serious poolside snacks. We’ve experimented and found the perfect combination.

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Hilary has MANY talents and is an amazing cook. But perhaps one of my favorite of her creations (besides wings, taco dip, shrimp salad, homemade pizza, ribs — oh the ribs! — flank steak… you get my point) is her poolside drink, Strawberry Frozen Lemonade. She invented this drink when we were kids and it’s always been a staple. Of course, now that I am an adult we’ve added some adult elements to the drink. Here’s the recipe:

Aunt Hil’s Frozen Strawberry Lemonade 

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You ready for this… mix Countrytime lemonade, frozen strawberries, ice, and water (or WINE). You see where I am going with this?

Toss it in a blender. BOOM!

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Give it a straw, maybe a garnish like a strawberry or lemon slice or a piece of mint. Do what you need to do to make it cute because I promise you this, it will be delicious.

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Now that you have your drink squared away, it’s time to focus on snacks. I am not making layered dip or cutting up fruit here. We are going full maximum laziness and maximum flavor. You ready for this?

Irene and Hil’s UNBEATABLE Poolside Snack 

Mix this…

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With this…

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Mix together…

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Congratulations you just spent like 3 seconds making a delicious snack. I am not kidding. The cheese puffs combined with the buttery popcorn is incredible. You just get yourself a spot under an umbrella and try this combo. You won’t be sorry! (Also it’s gluten free if you care about gluten. Some people do.)

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Now you are officially ready to be poolside.

Get to snackin’!  

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Adventures in Fourth of July Festivities!

I challenge to find someone who doesn’t love the fourth of July. It’s a birthday party for our whole country. We disagree about a lot of stuff but we are united in our love of birthday parties and this is the biggest one!

How do you celebrate the fourth?

Me? I love the beach. Living in St. Petersburg, FL I am surrounded by awesome beaches. So the beach on the Fourth is my favorite choice!

 We hit Reddington Shores last weekend and it was beautiful. The water was so clear and the beach was gorgeous.

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Seriously, isn’t that view insane? (No filtering, no editing.)

I am glad we went when we did since I won’t be able to hit the beach or the pool for the next couple of weeks. I will be spending the fourth as far as away from water as possible. Why? I am laid up with a boot. (It’s not a big deal just need to rest my foot so it can heal and I don’t really live a life where I can sit all day with my foot up thus the boot!) Don’t worry there are tons of other water-free ways to celebrate!

To celebrate the fourth far from the water, I got my nails done. I know, right, I am wild and out of control. I was feeling sorry for myself about my water hiatus and decided to treat myself. I googled fourth inspired nails… there were so many!

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People get intense about their patriotic nails. I loved looking at the options. I settled on classic red with an accent nail:

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I know they are silly. But I have to say, I have got a lot of joy out of looking down and seeing my patriotic nails!
If you are looking for tips on cute outfits for the fourth, check out my post from last year. I love this post and would wear all of the outfits again in a heartbeat!

https://adventuresinpolkadots.wordpress.com/2015/07/04/adventures-in-fourth-of-july-fashion/

When it comes to celebrating special holidays like the fourth, I have a couple of no-brainer tips:

  1. Celebrate with people you enjoy. Whether it’s friends or family, you need to make sure you spend your day with someone who makes you laugh. I am a big fan of this lady… IMG_4991
  2. Be comfortable. I mean you can look cute and festive without being blistered or cramping from crazy heels. God brought Birkenstocks into this world. So wear them! IMG_9198
  3. Be kind to yourself. I know we are eating healthy, maybe even dieting, or cleansing… but this day, just take a break and relax. Eat a hot dog. Drink a cold drink. Be in the moment and celebrate.

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I hope you have a great fourth! Enjoy the holiday! XOXO

 

 

 

 

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Adventures in Adulting!

That’s right, people of the internet (specifically my mom, my friend P, and a couple of stalwart hometown followers), I have returned to blogging.

To celebrate the occasion and to mark the passage of time, I give you a year in selfies –>

From wine, to food poisoning (thanks, Mom), to picnics, to princesses (for T Swift), to dinos, to pool time, to birthday dinners, and absolutely no shame, this is me. 

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Why the break? To be honest, I felt like I was in a rut. I moved to a different city to live with my grandmother (roomie) and tried to save money to buy a house. I had to take a break from traveling and shopping (ok, I tried at least) to save money. It meant taking a break from blogging too. But guess what? IT WORKED. I have been in my NEW HOUSE WHICH I OWN for a month now and it’s been amazing.

Owning a house (I just pinched myself to make sure it’s real!) is adulting level 100.

What is adulting? Urban dictionary defines it as “Adulting (v): to do grown up things and hold responsibilities such as, a 9-5 job, a mortgage/rent, a car payment, or anything else that makes one think of grown ups.” Urban dictionary is talking about my life, who’s with me?

Now that I am back — in my city that I love and in my new house — it’s time to get back to blogging.

I hope you smile at least once every post and enjoy this adventure with me. Happy Adulting! 

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Adventures in Wedding Shower Planning!

WARNING: I accidentally posted this before it was finished so you might get it THREE TIMES. 🙂

My sweet cousin Rachel is getting married! And my family — because we LOVE parties — decided to throw her a shower. My cousin Erica, my aunt Hilary, and I collaborated on a shower that was as much fun to put together as it was to be there.

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I thought I would share my experience and give you some helpful tips! We decided to go with a Mexican Fiesta theme because it was the bride’s favorite food AND we got to have a lot of fun with it! We picked out a template for the invitations from Etsy and found a really great store where we were able to get a bunch of printables to that really made the details pop! We did the invitations, fans (Rachel is holding one above), water bottle labels, and favor bags! We even found a company on Etsy that did custom banners.

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Then I just went to the party supply store and went a bit crazy on the color scheme. See what I mean?

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We spent the weeks leading up to the shower working on it bits and pieces at a time. I made the pinata myself… I have to say this is an advanced level of crafting that might have been beyond me. I am glad I did it but it was A LOT OF WORK. Then my aunt Hilary did the water bottles, fans, and favor bags! She’s amazing!

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(Hilary – right — with my Mom at the shower)

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(My bro helped assemble the glasses and put up the streamers. And his GF Megan — not pictured — helped roll silverware and kept me sane.)

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(And here’s the beast of a pinata… surrounded by family photos and pictures of the bride!)

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(Here’s Erica who conveniently moved to D.C. right before we started planning but was AMAZING during the shower! She ran the show! It was so great to have a team!)

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(Oscar even got into costume and posed for pics!) 

We divided up the food and each made our favorites! My other aunts chipped in too and it really helped lighten the day-of load!
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We kept the activities simple… flower crown construction (they were a big hit and so look so colorful in the photos), the ring game, and wedding dress toilet paper challenge.

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What are my tips for hosting an awesome shower of your own? 

  1. Get organized. Make lists and a timeline. It will save your bacon!
  2. Do as much in advance as possible! It’s best not to be scrambling the day of… so get help — aunts, friends, whoever asks to chip in — LET THEM!
  3. Have fun! You are the host. You set the tone. So set the tone right! (See below!)

 

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It was such a joy to put together this shower for my cousin Rachel. She is beautiful inside and out and our family is so excited to celebrate her wedding to Kyle (we also love Kyle)! Showers are all about sharing joy. Don’t get lost in the details.

Have fun and celebrate! 

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Adventures in Girls Night Out Outfits!

Why is it so hard to put together a going out with the girls outfit?

Is it because ladies have a discerning eye?

(In other words… Is it because ladies can be super critical?)

Is because we want to balance feeling sexy and being comfortable — I mean, we aren’t models, we have to stand on those shoes!)

For me, it’s about bringing my A game. I love the opportunity to just get dressed up for the heck of it and not because I am hoping my plumage attracts other birds (#whyamisingle — also, Mom it might be a bit of a wait on this grand kids). I enjoy the challenge of feeling sexy and comfortable. Besides, my squad runs a tight game and I just want to keep up!

In retrospect, I don’t know why I worry, my friends are such warm, affirming people that we usually greet each other with a 20 minute conversation about great we all look. I have never bought into the stereotype that girls are always catty to each other and I went to an all women’s college! Represent Sweet Briar! Sure, there are ladies out there who aren’t nice and try to take you down but it’s pretty simple — Don’t be friends with them. Surround yourself with awesome, smart, sassy, beautiful ladies and if they are anything like my crew, they will be wonderful friends and fresh as hell.

But back to the topic at hand, I recently went out for my friend Mallory’s 30th birthday. Here’s the beautiful birthday girl:

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She was smart and killed it with a sassy blue dress from Rent the Runway! She looked so beautiful. \

Of course when I decided to think about what I was going to wear about an hour before I left my house I texted her that I wish I had ordered a dress too… because, of course, I hate all of my clothes. I may have a closet full of clothes but every potential outfit was rejected for various reasons.

We’ve all been there, right? 

In the end, I decided to keep it classic and go with a striped cotton dress and to dress it up with a smokey high, mixed metal jewelry, and my trusty wedge strappy heels. When I got to the dinner, it turned out I wasn’t the only one who used that formula… check out this squad. We owned black and white.

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The whole birthday party was like a blog post about great girls night outfits… so I am writing a post about it.

Check out how these two did shorts — one with a bold color against prints and one with a sassy romper.

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Nikki and Mal killed it in blue!

Like any party where ladies and spirits were involved things devolved into hysterics pretty quickly!
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Here are some tips when putting together your outfit for ladies night out:

1. Take a classic item from your closet like a dress or a romper. It can be cotton, striped, wrapped, or ruched.

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2. Pair it with wedge heels. Everyone can wear them. They take a lot of the stress and pain out of heels with all the benefit. I mean did you see Trina’s gams in the pic above?

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3. Have fun with your jewelry or makeup — OR BOTH! (But keep your hair classic!)

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Really the best advice in this and in all things is to surround yourself with awesome people, be yourself, and have fun. We certainly did.

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Happy 30th Birthday Mallory! 🙂