Archive of ‘Personal Style’ category

Summer in Pacifica

Pacifica is a pretty, beach town destination just south of San Francisco that’s popular for surfing. When I pictured going to Pacifica, I envisioned the whole Instagrammable scene unfolding like this: me, sitting on the warm, soft sand in a light breeze for hours in the shade of my sun hat.

That didn’t exactly happen. Why? Because it’s not SoCal, that’s why. Pacifica in the summer is windy, chilly and best experienced in a wetsuit. I’m not a Pacific coast newbie by any means, but I’m honestly still a little disappointed by the lack of warm beach weather in NorCal. But I did manage to get some pictures of the coast, the wildflowers and my straw hat (a summer must-have essential).

The views from Pacifica are lovely, as are the sunsets. It’s a great little daytime destination when you want to get away from San Francisco.

Note: the front of this pink tee is so cute–It’s in the last picture so scroll down to see it!

Notice that I’m wearing a fleece in this next picture…in the middle of summer. Ha, you win this round, windy NorCal beach weather. And here’s another hot tip: stick a few bobby pins through that straw hat to keep it on in the wind.

Wildflower season in California

Spring through early summer in California has pretty wildflowers. It’s the dry season, so the pops of purple and yellow really stand out.

When I started traveling to National Parks last year, I began collecting patches to commemorate the parks I’d visited. I thought of affixing them to a bag or jean jacket as I’d seen some other parks patrons do, but I couldn’t find the right piece to put them on. The solution became clear–the dog would have to display them on his jacket. Perfecto.

Summer outfit details

A special shoutout to Parc in Minneapolis, where I bought this lovely Just Female brand tee. It looks like there’s one left in stock so someone should snag it! I’ve long loved shopping there for its ethically sourced brands, and the store will be moving neighborhoods to North Loop in downtown Minneapolis. The new location will be open soon and I can’t wait to visit.

The hat I found at DSW and I’m bummed that I can’t find it online to share with you, so I’ll use my affiliate linker to share a collection of adorable and very affordable summer hats below. I love the Anthropologie one with white flowers and I can’t believe it’s under $30!

Healthy and Fun Smoothie Bowl Recipes

Banana Chia Green Smoothie Bowl

Want to make art with your food? Smoothie bowls let you do just that. I first discovered the fun of creating smoothie bowls last year when my roommate at the time brought home a book about them. It’s creative because you can use any toppings you like to create designs and patterns on the flat surface. Then you can eat your healthy snack!

Above is a green smoothie bowl I created for Midwest Living. The smoothie is two cups of spinach blended with water and banana. The toppings include banana chips, chia seeds and coconut chips. As you can tell from the ingredients, smoothie bowls are a nourishing, healthy snack.

Blueberry Banana Chia Smoothie Bowl

This is the first smoothie bowl I ever made. The base is plain, whole milk yogurt and blueberries. Toppings are banana slices, chia seeds, blueberries and fresh peaches. As you can see in the picture, the ingredients have a tendency to sink if the smoothie is too watery. For a picture perfect smoothie bowl, don’t try to use a thin smoothie recipe!

How to create the perfect smoothie bowl

So now you know the first rule of smoothie bowls: blending thick ingredients such as banana, yogurt and avocado. Next you’ll need the perfect size bowl. Think low and wide. A tall, deep bowl will fit way more smoothie than you can really enjoy. But you do want a fairly wide bowl that maximizes surface area for decoration. I found my perfect smoothie bowl bowls at a farmers market booth. They were created by a pottery artist and they are the perfect dimensions. I just measured them for the sake of this post and they are 5 and half inches in diameter and 2 inches tall. 

I did a little digging and found one at blog affiliate Macy’s that’s quite close to the one I use. It’s a durable design based on 1930s fiestaware.

The final step to creating the perfect smoothie bowl is the fun part: arranging the toppings. Creating stripes or half-moon patterns is an easy way to create an aesthetic appeal, as I’ve done in the examples pictured in this post.

Now you know how to create the perfect smoothie bowl! If you make one, be sure to let me know how it went! You can find me on Instagram, occasionally sharing pictures of smoothie bowls and other tips for living a conscious, beautiful life.

Mad for Blackwatch Plaid

Blackwatch plaid in styleIs blackwatch plaid in style? It’s a classic! It was especially popular this fall, but since I’m just getting around to posting about it now, there are currently tons of deals on blackwatch apparel. As far as I’m concerned it will never go out of style.

I was using blackwatch ribbon last year for Eco-friendly gift wrapping, I wore it this year to match Perry in this zip up vest, and I’ll surely be incorporating it in decor and style for years to come. As usual, I want to be transparent that the links in this post give me a very small (paper doll-sized) commission if you click a link or make a purchase.

When I saw Vineyard Vines had a blackwatch vest for sale I was interested–until I found a cheaper version for less than $20 and went that route instead. Plus, there was a matching blackwatch dog vest for Perry for 7.99! I’ve never actually matched outfits with my dog before and I was reluctant to do it because it’s a little bit too Elle Woods for me. Isn’t shopping with my dog enough? But I couldn’t pass up this opportunity for a matching plaid dog jacket, so here we are.

Deals and sales on blackwatch plaid styles

Here are the best in blackwatch plaid apparel sales that I’ve rounded up for you. Vineyard Vines and J.Crew are both clearancing out winter styles, including blackwatch items at great prices — extra 50% off final sale items right now.

Blackwatch plaid style for men

And men, I haven’t forgotten about you! Is blackwatch plaid in style for guys? Always! Here are some places to find your own deals on blackwatch plaid apparel.

Do you agree that blackwatch plaid is a classic?

 

Chi Chi London Dresses for Fall

Update: Get 30% off at Asos through 11/28 with code EPIC30!

I’m writing this post about one of my favorite formal dress brands, Chi Chi London. This post isn’t sponsored–I just seriously love this brand and get a lot of questions about it-but I have used some affiliate links within the post.

I like that you can’t find these styles in any store in the U.S. When you wear one of these dresses you’re sure to stand out. The styles I own are a bit springlike, but the fall line of dresses has red, black and navy dresses that would look great for Thanksgiving, a holiday party or even New Year’s.

For an ultra feminine, modest and classic style, this is my go-to brand.

Here are the three dresses I’ve worn, my thoughts about each one, and where you can get them. Keep reading for my tips on how to get the best deals on Chi Chi London too!

Chi Chi London Amber dress

I was inspired to get this after seeing it on another blogger. The pleats in the waist give most of the brand’s dresses a poufed, 1950s style look and this one is no exception. This dress is very structured. Even though it is gorgeous in person, I didn’t end up wearing it because the structured silhouette kind of dwarfed me. There are petite sizes, however, which I might try in the future. Currently, the floral Amber dress is on sale in limited sizes at ChiChiClothing.com  and at Dorothy Perkins in regular and and petite.

Chi Chi London lace dresses

I love lace so it was an easy choice for me to invest in the lace collection. I wore this to a wedding. The Daisie dress pictured here is also available on sale in limited sizes at ChiChiClothing.com.

The blue Rhiannon dress is one of the brand’s most classic and iconic styles. For more pictures, see how I wore it here.  A similar style is on sale at Asos.

You can also see photos of these dress on my Instagram.

Things to know before ordering from Chi Chi London

Based on the name, it’s not a big surprise that the brand is based in the UK. If you’re in the U.S. there are a few options. You can order directly from the brand’s site, which has the lowest prices especially when items are on sale.  But if it doesn’t fit you’ll have to pay return shipping to Great Britain and last time I checked, it would cost over $33 to return a Chi Chi London dress from the US. And that was the cheapest option through USPS. FedEx and UPS were even more. That seriously eats into the amount you might save. In my case, I ended up selling the dress I wanted to return on Poshmark, which worked out well and I got more money back than I would have returning it.

Alternatively, you can order through Asos or through Modcloth. These sites offer free shipping and returns. So even though you’ll pay more for the dress itself, you might save in the long run. Modcloth tends to charge more for the brand, so you can often save by ordering through Asos which is my recommendation for finding the best deal on Chi Chi London.

Chi Chi London Daisie dress

Another thing to know is that the sizing is all UK sizes, so order carefully!

Let me know if you have any questions about anything related to this brand. I’m always happy to talk about finding the perfect dress!

 

 

Stay Warm with Fall Layering

Thanks Cuddl Duds and Bon-Ton for sponsoring this post.

Fall fun

Like any lifestyle blogger, I love fall! Pumpkin spice! Pumpkin patches! Harvesting raspberries and pumpkins from my own garden! But ya gotta be warm while you do all that fun fall stuff.

As a native Minnesotan, I’ve learned how to layer to stay warm. And believe me, when it’s 20 below zero degrees Fahrenheit, the goal is to STAY WARM. (But also to look somewhat cute and be comfortable while staying warm.)

live in layers

Live in Layers

Ways to layer up this fall!

  1. Throw a soft, plushy vest over a turtleneck or sweater
  2. Don’t forget a scarf! Worn draped over your shoulders like I’ve done here, it’s like bringing a little blanket around wherever you go!
  3. Use soft, stretchy leggings like Cuddl Duds (available at Bon-Ton and online) under jeans or pants for extra warmth
  4. Add a base layer like Cuddl Duds cowl neck under sweaters (thumb holes give extra hand warmth)
  5. Tie all the layers together visually with a fun decorative pin. This adds a flair of personality and dresses up your layers. I got this pheasant pin practically free at a rummage sale.

Layering with Cuddl Duds

I am a big, big fan of Cuddl Duds leggings. The waistband is so comfortable, you guys. You don’t even notice it! They’re made with modal and spandex so they’re soooo stretchy. When winter comes, they’ve got you covered in every way. Wear them to bed, under a dress or tunic, and as long underwear under pants.

I went basic for this post, but the brand also has patterned leggings for a pop of fun! I wore a patterned pair in California and got tons of compliments even at the super upscale Stanford Shopping Center.

And now I tried for the first time a Cuddl Duds top, which has a cowl neck and flattering cut. Remember to layer! Throw on a fuzzy vest, a cardigan, another pair of pants over the leggings when it gets REALLY cold.

Have you done any fall things like picking pumpkins yet?

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