Summer is on its way, y’all! There are so many things I love about summer, but my favorite is probably all of the beautiful dresses I get to wear during the season. This year I’m more excited than usual because I can actually go out and wear my dresses in public now that COVID restrictions are relaxing.
When I’m shopping for summer dresses, I love getting them for a good price because in the Texas heat, you can sweat through them quickly. Here’s a round up of my favorite summer dresses for under $100!
Which dress is your favorite? Leave me a comment and let me know!
It seems that weddings are back in full swing which means you’ll need a refresh on your wedding guest attire. After more than a year of cancelled weddings and delayed engagements, it is so exciting to think about celebrating with loved ones and having weddings again.
A major wedding trend I’m seeing for this summer is the destination wedding, which I love! I’m all for traditional weddings, but destination weddings allow you and your guests let your hair down a bit more and you all get to enjoy a vacation together. For a destination wedding, I like to wear fun, elevated maxi dresses…here are a few I would wear if I were going.
Another wedding trend for this summer will be intimate daytime weddings held outdoors. For this occasion, I think wearing a beautiful sun dress is the best option. I love sticking to pastels for weddings, but since it’s summertime, maybe throw in a subtle pop of neon too.
For a more traditional wedding, I think the most popular dress code is cocktail attire. I can’t even remember the last time I wore a cocktail dress so it was so fun to look through cocktail dresses today. Here are a few I would wear for a wedding this summer.
Now for black tie…if you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that I loathe reading “black tie” on an invitation. Not because I don’t love getting dressed up, but because it is often misinterpreted. Nine times out of 10 when you are invited to a black tie wedding, most of the female guests are just dressed in really nice cocktail dresses and you show up in a gown and feel like a fool. BUT for the one time out of ten that guests are actually in gowns, I live for that wedding and I am here for it.
Just as an aside to all brides…please don’t say you are having a black tie wedding if it isn’t super formal! It is really confusing to guests and pretty unnecessary. So if your wedding starts before 6 p.m. or isn’t a formal seated dinner, consider putting “elevated cocktail” as your dress code.
Now back to ACTUAL black tie or white tie wedding guest dresses…. here are a few of my favorites that I would love to wear this summer! Let’s start with this beautiful blush number by Katie May. I love Katie May because her dresses are made well, look amazing and come at an even better price point. If you’re wanting to spend a bit more, I also love formal dresses by Chiara Boni La Petite Robe. They come at a moderate price point and look amazing on all body types. Now, if you’re wanting to SPLURGE…take a look at this citrus inspired gown by Oscar de la Renta!! I mean, it is the dress of my dreams. If I had been invited to a fancy wedding on the Amalfi Coast in Italy this summer, I would definitely be showing up in this.
Are you going to any weddings this spring or summer? Which dress code is your favorite?
Zara is currently killing it with their spring collection. I went to the Domain the other day with one of my girlfriends to do some spring shopping so we went to Zara and Oh. My. Goodness. We were blown away with how good their new styles are!!
Because of COVID-19, fitting rooms are closed to customers so I had to buy everything that I wanted to try on and now have 30 days to return the items I don’t want. So here’s what I went home with!
Without trying on the midi dresses, I kind of already knew that I would love them because I am a midi dress queen and also because the colors were SO lovely. Can you get better than mint green, bubble gum pink and white for spring and summer dresses?! The white ribbed midi dress I actually bought last summer and wore it everywhere so I was so happy to see that they brought it back this year. It is only $17 and looks just like my James Perse dresses. The flowy white midi dress is going to be a staple for me this summer because of how chic and comfortable it is. I am also just in love with the mint green and pink midi dresses too. When I wore them last weekend, I paired them with the Tan Wrap Sandals and got tons of compliments everywhere we went.
Now the more challenging part of the try-on process came with the mini dresses! For reference, I am 5’8″ so I don’t really wear a lot of mini dresses, but the jungle print and floral dress were just too cute for me to pass on.
In the end, I decided to keep the two white midi dresses, the mint green and the pink midi dresses and the tan wrap sandals. I returned the sporty green sandals, the relaxed green pants and the two mini dresses. Do you think I made the right choices?
Leave me a comment and let me know what you’ve been loving at Zara lately!
We are heading back to one of my favorite places…Watercolor, Florida!! As many of you know, we love Watercolor and have been going there A LOT over the past year. I have been visiting this area for about a decade and my husband and his family have been going for pretty much his whole life. To get ready for my trip, I’m sharing my packing list!
This trip to Watercolor is even more exciting than usual because we’re not only going to enjoy the beach, but we also get to celebrate Easter with our friends at the Chapel at Seaside which is going to be so special.
For those of you who don’t know, Watercolor and Seaside are two communities that back up to one another along the iconic stretch of the beachside highway known as 30A. You can distinguish where you are in this area by the architecture. Seaside is known for having almost dollhouse looking homes painted in pinks, yellows, blues, greens and white and Watercolor is filled with larger homes mostly painted in whites, blues and greens. All of these towns are connected with bike paths so you never have to drive anywhere which I love.
The weather along the Florida panhandle is gorgeous during the month of April and it’s usually a lot less busy than spring break and the summer. Since the vibe in the area is casual chic, I’m packing mostly dresses and pastel-colored swimsuits. I never go to the beach without packing a few sunhats…I live for my Eugenia Kim hat and it is just amazing, but it is kind of a hassle to pack. If you’re flying or don’t want to deal with bringing a big hat, check out this foldable one I found for less than $10. I use it way more than my other hats and I get so many compliments on it.
Have you been to Watercolor or anywhere on 30A? What are your favorite things to do in the area?
Skinny Jeans are apparently out so I needed to look to some other styles for inspiration this spring. Although I’ve loved skinny jeans for more than a decade, I have to agree with my Gen Z friends that there are more flattering styles out there. From Straight leg to mini boot cut, I’m breaking down my five favorite styles for you to try in the denim world this season.
Last year, I fell in love with the Levi 501 jeans that everyone raves about. I’ve also branched out or back to loving flare jeans…I think Veronica Beard does them perfectly and you can get this spring wash for under $100! Mango makes really good jeans too. The washes are a little funky, but for $50 a pair, I think it’s ok to experiment a little.
Are you still wearing skinny jeans or have you too branched out with your denim style?! Leave me a comment and let me know!
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will share their first interview post-royal life tonight with the legendary Oprah Winfrey. While their story will no doubt be enthralling, what has always drawn me to the royal family is the style of the women of Windsor. From Queen Victoria to Princess Diana and the two Duchesses, I cannot get enough royal fashions.
Personally, I think Kate is a greater style icon, but I can relate more to Meghan’s style. Meghan chooses beautiful pieces to wear, but for whatever reason, the fit is usually off or it may not be the best style for the occasion, whereas Kate nails fit and occasion every time.
What I love about both duchesses is that they blend high street fashions with couture pieces. One day we might see Kate in a Jenny Packham gown and the next morning we might see her playing with her children in a Zara dress. With both women, one thing we know for sure is that whenever they wear affordable fashions, the pieces are sure to be sold out in seconds.
I am loving Meghan’s style post-royal life. I think we are now seeing the real Meghan and she is a lot more comfortable with herself. Constant scrutiny and the need to wear over-the-top fashions every day must have been exhausting so I totally understand her desire to be back in California. And what better place to relocate than Montecito? Santa Barbara and Montecito have a very special place in my heart as I was married there and have spent a lot of time in the area. I think Meghan is nailing Montecito chic and I am so happy for her.
I see Kate as the style icon because she is someone I aspire to be and has a life I could really only dream of, as such her clothes are not things I would normally wear. Meghan’s style is much more accessible and her life now is much more relatable. Once in a while I will have the same dress as Kate (usually from Zara) but it is a regular occurrence that Meghan is photographed in an outfit that I also have and that is pretty cool.
What did you think of the interview tonight and who is your royal style icon? Leave me a comment and let me know!
Wow! After the coldest two weeks I’ve ever experienced in Texas, we escaped the frozen state for the sunshine of Arizona to see my parents. After weeks of wearing layers of leggings and sweats, I could not wait to bust out a few of my favorite dresses and soak up the heat. All of my styles for the trip were under $100 and perfect for Spring!
I have been living in this oversized sweatshirt dress during this trip. I’ve mostly paired it with my favorite Veja’s, but as the weather warms up a bit, it will be so cute with sandals too. The sage green color is so flattering and the silhouette is very forgiving. Whether you’re lounging at home, running to the store or out to lunch, this is a great piece to have and under $30.
Another favorite for the trip was definitely this green midi dress from the Australian online retailer, Petal and Pup. I cannot tell you how many compliments I got on this dress and it was a steal at $70. During the trip I wore it with tennis shoes and sandals and it looks great both ways. I got this dress in an Australian size 6 and wish I would have gotten an 8 (I wear a US size 2 normally) so I would recommend sizing up with this brand. Scoop this one up before it’s sold out!
Are you wearing your spring clothes yet? I hope you all love these styles and that you’re getting some sunshine wherever you are!
Miami here we come! When I think of Miami, color is the first thing that comes to mind so I’m packing my bags to the brim with my favorite summer clothes and counting down the seconds until I’m on the beach.
I think one of the keys to an easy weekend trip is to not check any luggage. But that is a lot easier said than done. I always travel with my Away Bigger Carry-on because it gives me plenty of room to fit a complete weekend wardrobe. I’m also bringing my favorite beach bag as my smaller carry-on so I don’t waste any space in my suitcase. I bought my Naghedi bag last summer as a beach bag, but I ended up wearing it around town all the time. It is great because it is water resistant, the sand flakes right off of it and it looks so sharp.
To keep your packing concise, I recommend planning your activities and outfits in advance, packing outfits in a similar color palate so you only have to bring one pair of going out shoes and one evening bag. Since we’re going to Miami, I’m packing colorful outfits that work well with neutral accessories. For this trip I’m bringing my favorite Bottega dupe from Amazon and the Castañer lace-up wedges. These shoes seamlessly transition from day to night and are the perfect accent to all of the clothes I packed.
What are your favorite things to do in Miami?! Leave me a comment and let me know!
Bridgerton might be the best thing that happened to television in 2020. The Regency period drama directed by the great Shonda Rhimes has brought intrigue, nostalgia and glamour to an otherwise bleak time. I have now watched it three times and since I can’t hop over to the Modiste for a new dress, I’ve scoured the internet to bring Regency glam to 2021.
Empire silhouettes are the hallmark of Regency style clothing. As evidenced by the clothing in Bridgerton, many of the ladies at the time favored pastel colors and delicate, flowy fabrics. In addition to the empire style, corsets were used during this period to shrink waistlines and accentuate the female figure.
Since the show aired on Christmas Day, “Regencycore” has been trending as the latest fashion phenomenon. Luckily, many designers have already added Regency-inspired designs to their collections. From Empire waistlines to bow embellishments and pretty pastels, you too, will be able to look like you’re heading out to promenade along the Thames.
What did you think of Bridgerton? Will you be rocking the Regencycore style?! Leave me a comment and let me know!
Snow has come to Austin! When I checked the weather the other day and saw snow on the report for this weekend, I thought it might be a light dusting, but we have had actual snowfall all day. It is beautiful and we have had the best day as a family playing in it (Charlie for the first time ever!)
Growing up in Utah, I loved skiing, but a whole winter of snow and cold temperatures was never really my thing. Now that I know I’ll be back in 65 degree temperatures by Thursday, one day of snow actually seems pretty nice. To stay warm, I broke out all of my winter clothes that I normally pack for trips to Montana and Utah, and my husband has been cooking his bolognese all day.
One thing I’ve learned about surviving cold weather is that it’s more important to be warm than cute… something I wish I would have grasped in middle school. A few years ago I finally broke down and bought the Sorel boots with rubber soles and fur tops. I always thought they were the most atrocious boots, but they have saved my life and mood in the cold! I used to try to wear my Ugg boots everywhere, but once they are wet, you get SO cold!! These boots may not be the cutest, but they keep you warm and dry all day. Underneath my boots, I always wear Smartwool socks, they are the best and wool is a great insulator.
No matter the season, you’ll find me in my Lululemon Align leggings. They work for a yoga class in the summer and for skiing in winter, and especially well for lounging around the house all day. I’m so sad that my Burberry jacket isn’t made anymore because it is one of my all time favorite pieces. It works for several climates because of the liner that is easily removable and it is water-resistant with a stylish hood.
To accessorize my winter look, I threw on my favorite Zara scarf, fluffy hat, Gucci dupe sunglasses and cozy cashmere gloves. I will say that cashmere gloves are not the most practical option in the snow and they are dry clean only, but they are SO soft and feel like blankets on my hands so I love wearing them.
Of course on a day like this, you have to cook something that will warm your soul so my husband made his bolognese. Several years ago when we were in Napa after hitting a few vineyards on a freezing day, we had lunch in Yountville at Bottega and we had the best bolognese we’ve ever had. After that lunch, Will studied the bolognese and the ingredients they used and obsessively watched Frank Prisinzano cooking videos to create the perfect bolognese.
Will says that contrary to public opinion, bolognese is a meat-based sauce, not a tomato-based sauce. Much like Frankie P, Will does not consider this a recipe, but rather a method so it’s not like the other step-by-step recipes I’ve shared with you all before.
¼ lb. Pork
¼ lb. Ground Beef
¼ lb. Lamb
4 Stalks of Celery
1 Yellow Onion
A few pinches of salt
Pepper to taste
1 can Tomato Paste
1 Bay Leaf
Heat olive oil in a deep pan and add salt and pepper. Add all three meats to the olive oil and sauté until brown.
Roughly chop vegetables and add them to a food processor. Pulse until blended. Add vegetable mixture to the browned beef.
Add white wine to the beef and vegetables and cook until there is no moisture.
Add tomato paste and combine.
Add milk and broth to the mixture and turn heat to low.
Add bay leaf and let mixture simmer for at least 30 minutes but could be several hours if you want.
Serve over pasta of your choice and top with freshly grated parmesan.
I hope you all love this bolognese “method” as much as we do and that you are all staying warm tonight! Happy Sunday friends, I hope you have a great week ahead of you!