Friday, June 27, 2014

Made in USA Patriotic Tees

Holy goodness - the calendar flips to July next week! June has completely flashed by in a blink and I can't even comprehend how the Fourth of July is in a week. 

Major rant - every year a certain store known for its flashy commercials comes out with an American Flag t-shirt just in time for Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. And every year I think to myself how I can't buy one because its made in China or Bangladesh.  Something just really bugs me about wearing a shirt that proclaims 'Merica! if it isn't made here. 

Thankfully, there are plenty of patriotic made in the good ol' USA shirts available that will show your true patriotism. I've already ordered my shirt for next week's festivities and there's still a short amount of time for you to do the same. 

What's your plan for the 4th of July? We're putting in a new patio and that means lots of BBQing while we're working outside. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Reflect Your Style: Dressing Room Inspiration

The next home improvement project on my list is something near and dear to my heart. Our house doesn't have a decent master closet and that left a situation where the hubs and me were going to have to fight over closet space. I took the high road, commandeered a guest room and made it an impromptu closet. But, it's a mess. And it's a short-term solution because at some point in time there will be a little mini human taking up residency in that room (NOT PREGNANT - just thinking long-term). 

My hubs, bless that man, casually mentioned the other day that I should redo our office and turn it into a dressing room. It has great built-ins to work with and there is plenty of room to keep our computer and a filing cabinet in there. Plus, added bonus, my hubs said, "decorate it as you want, it's your room."

Needless to say, a very feminine dressing room has been on my mind and when the kind folks over at One Kings Lane asked me to style a vanity around one of their new mirrors I was more than happy to come up with a mood board. And I love it! Since the space I'm re-doing is so white I'd love to stick to a black and white color palette with lots of metallic accents. The great thing about One Kings Lane, in addition to their fantastic curator selections, is you can search by product, category, and most importantly for me - if something is made in the USA. Head on over to their Home Decor Handbook for inspiration on your next project. 

If you were given free reign to decorate a vanity how would you decorate it? A big mirror and artwork would be high on my list of investment pieces. 

Monday, June 16, 2014


Last week I mentioned to the hubs that we should drink those crazy sweet rum drinks we had in Brazil on our honeymoon. It took a few seconds for us to remember what they were called, but I don't think we'll ever forget how to make a Caipirinha now that we've made them once. I picked up a bottle of cachaça on my last liquor store run so that we could enjoy these during the World Cup.  These babies are so sweet, which means you definitely don't want to pair them with ice cream and they are made to be sipped and enjoyed at a leisurely pace. 

Cut up a lime into 8 wedges and muddle with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Add 1.5 ounces of  cachaça and enough ice to either fill your old fashioned glass (if you're a lightweight like me) or just enough ice to comfortably cover the other ingredients (if you're not a lightweight like my hubs). Sip slowly and enjoy the beautiful game! 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Winery Wedding


Made in USA: Clutch: Lauren Merkin (polka dot on sale!) // Necklace: Loren Hope // Nails: Essie 'Marathin' // 
Imported/Unknown: Dress: old J.Crew (made in USA option) // Pumps: Pour La Victoire 

This past weekend the hubs and I were out in Ohio for one of my sorority sister's wedding. Now, I love weddings. I'm not the most overly romantic person in the world, but there is just something about witnessing two people coming together to form one perfect union that gets me every single time. And I swear it's deeper than those "my face hurts from smiling so much" feelings from the open bar, even if it is at a gorgeous winery and the bartender kept a bottle of chardonnay on the side for me when the bar closed down. I just love weddings. There's a pure and simple joy present at weddings that is hard to replicate. 

However, I've said it before and I'll say it again. I refuse to believe that my wedding day was the best day of my life. And I hope the same for every couple. Don't let the best day of your life be in your past. I wish for you nothing but joy and happiness on your wedding day, but I also hope that the best day in your life is still out there on the horizon.  This is really just my philosophy on life so this works for everyone. 

Even though it rained this was still a gorgeous spot for a wedding! The only place people didn't take photos was out among the grape vines because it was just a tad bit muddy over there for fancy dresses and satin shoes. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Nerd Prom

Made in USA: Dress: David Meister (similar) // Nails: Essie "Marathin" 
Imported/Unknown: Necklace: unknown (similar) // Bracelets: vintage (similar) // Clutch: borrowed vintage (similar) // Shoes: Christian Louboutin 
Hubs: Suit: Brooks Brothers // Shirt: Jos. A Bank // Tie: Jos. A Bank // Shoes: Allen Edmonds 

My husband and I are both closeted nerds*. We're both jocks and people see that side of us more, but really we're nerds. The hubs was recently invited to a celebratory gala for one of his engineering societies and rather than shy away from the invitation we both embraced it. Actually, he asked, "hey, do you want to go to this black tie optional gala with me?" and before he could even finish asking the question I was saying, "heck yes!" 

I then promptly dubbed it "nerd prom" and went running with that theme. The hubs threw me for a loop because he wanted to be different and elected to wear his favorite navy blue suit, rather than a traditional black suit. Black and navy might be the new color combination of late, but I was not about to wear a black dress while he was in a navy suit. It's cool, I found a gorgeous blue dress and jazzed it up a bit in order to stand out among all of the other black dresses at the gala. Let's be honest, those sparkly shoes jazz up just about everything and I'm not complaining. 

As a *nerd I mean absolutely nothing negative with the term. Actually, I'm incredibly pleased with how the word "nerd" has gone from a negative title to a much more positive embrace in the past few years. Call it The Big Bang Theory phenomenon or just that people realize nerds get stuff done. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Made in USA Grilling Essentials

It's June and that means it is officially grilling season! Above you'll find my hubs go-to grilling essentials. I bought him a Weber charcoal grill for his birthday 4 years ago and not only has it survived two moves, but it has thrived while cooking a 20lb turkey for Thanksgiving, supplied brisket, hamburgers, hot dogs & wings for 3 pig roasts, countless cookouts, and it allowed us to enjoy a few home cooked meals during our kitchen renovation. That baby has been put through the ringer and it keeps on trucking. So much so that for the hubs 30th birthday I offered to get him a super duty massive grill and he flat out refused. I know, I was shocked too! Instead, he got almost every grilling accessory known to mankind and made in the USA. These above are his trusty favorites.

Honestly, I couldn't pick just one off the list. How can you say no to cooking a whole chicken on the grill and flavoring it with your favorite beer? And we like to use a grill pan, rather than a basket, for vegetables to keep the juices flowing. And you just can't cook fish on a grill without a solid wood plank. My personal favorite thing to eat off the grill are shrimp kabobs so you need skewers for that. While I'm not necessarily a wing person, I do appreciate a roasted pepper when I come across one so a pan that is dual purpose is A+ in my book. It would be impossible to omit the cast iron melting pot, because otherwise how could you keep the BBQ sauce warm and ready to re-apply during cooking?

Last, but certainly not least - the grilling tool set. That baby gets utilized every time the grill comes on!

Get ready for BBQ season by getting the essentials that are going to survive this year and for years to come. Except for the wood planks, because they do only survive a few uses!

What's your favorite grilling essential?

Monday, June 2, 2014

Stripes and Florals

Made in USA: Top: old Bobeau // Skirt: Karen Kane // Shoes: Sbicca // Shades: Oakley // Purse: J.W. Hulme 

Dear June - we've only just begun this month and I'm already exhausted. Technically the out-of-state-wedding the hubs and I celebrated on Saturday was in the month of May, however we were still toasting the happy couple into the wee hours of June so it counts. And then the next morning we had to down coffee, head back home and I had to drive off to a childhood friend's bridal shower. Zero complains because celebrating marriages should never include complaints.

This week we have a formal gala and then a wedding in Ohio. So many strapless dresses, so little time. Thankfully, we're unplugging for a few days later this month down in the Outer Banks and I can't wait to relax.

Hopefully by then I'll have THAT SCENE from Sunday's Game of Thrones out of my mind. Had to keep this vague so no one can cry foil over a spoiler alert.

Mix & Match Fashion