Monday, July 28, 2014

If I Lie-Inspired Outfit

Hi, readers and fashionistas!  School is one. week. away.  Where did this summer go??!?  I have to admit, though, that I am excited to get back into the school schedule.  I have some REALLY exciting events planned for this school year and I just can't wait to get started!

Last week I reviewed the book If I Lie by Corinne Jackson--I loved Quinn's story of finding forgiveness and acceptance within her small, military-proud town.  Since Quinn is a military girlfriend for part of the book, I thought I'd design a cute outfit for girls welcoming home their soldier men.  So a little patriotic and a lot girly and cute!  Here it is:

I debated on whether to go with the bold red dress or something softer, like an olive green (military color).  But I think this color has a much more welcoming appeal.

  • This sundress is cheerful and flirty.  I love that it has a young factor but could be worn by women of all ages!
  • The jean jacket vest pairs nicely with the dress, both in material and color.  I like the layer that it adds without being as bulky as a full jacket.
  • I love these tan wedges.  The color is understated so that the dress gets the full attention, but they're summery and sweet.
  • A white watch and tan purse accent the look nicely and keep the patriotic feel.
What do you think?  Would you wear an outfit like this?

Watch--Marc Jacobs

*I am not associated with any of the companies/products mentioned.

More reviews coming soon!  Keep checking back!

Monday, July 21, 2014


Wow, it's been a did that happen??!  I won't even give you excuses but I'm happy to be back with a new review...especially this review!  It's If I Lie by Corrine Jackson, a book that I had to read for a committee and honestly thought I would dislike--it just didn't seem to grab me from the excerpt--but boy did I love it!  So let's jump right in:

  • Standalone novel
  • Realistic fiction
The Gist:
Quinn seemed to have it all--a handsome and beloved boyfriend, Carey, a spot in the popular crowd, and the respect of her peers.  This even increases when Carey goes off to Afghanistan to fight for the U.S., making him a hometown hero and Quinn the sweet girl waiting for him at home.  But when a photo of Quinn--half-naked with ANOTHER guy--leaks to the town, everyone turns on her.  Because how dare she cheat on her boyfriend, a soldier who is risking his life for her freedom?  And when Carey goes MIA during a mission, Quinn finds herself completely alone and bullied.

What I Loved:
  • Realistic fiction can sometimes take awhile for me to get through because there often just isn't enough action for me, but this book was a page-turner.  I was really interested in how Quinn's story was going to turn out.
  • I loved Quinn's relationship with George, a war veteran living in an assistance community.  Their friendship brought needed humor into the book and gave readers a look at how we can remember the stories of our veterans.
  • This gave us a realistic look at cyber-bullying and how easy it is to follow the crowd.  Quinn is practically a pariah after the photo of her circulates and it's fascinating to see how everyone treats her.
  • The flashbacks throughout the book were really well done.  Sometimes flashbacks drive me crazy, especially when I'm involved in a story, but Quinn remembering her mother added so much to her and Carey's characters.
What I Didn't Love:
  • Ok, even though I found the bullying to be realistic, the fact that EVERYONE turned against Quinn--even her own father--was not.  No one gave her any credit, and they didn't even know the whole story!  I've been in situations before where students have done some HORRIBLE things, and there are always staff members/students who give them a break.  There was little grace in this book.
  • We learn early on that Quinn is actually keeping a secret for Carey, and even though that secret is also revealed early, I guessed it right off the bat.  A little predictable.
It's hard for me to say what I didn't love, because I genuinely loved this book.  Kept me engaged and turning pages!  5 heels from me!

I'll be back with an outfit perfect for a military girlfriend...hmmm, what could I mean by that?!

Have you read If I Lie?  What did you think?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The One-Inspired Outfit

Hey, fashionistas who like to read!  I recently reviewed The One by Kiera Cass, a fun and satisfying conclusion to The Selection trilogy.  The covers of these books are ah-mazingly beautiful, so it was fun to create an outfit for each one.  The cover of The One was a GORGEOUS white ruffly dress, so I decided to create a classy white ruffle look.

So a reminder of the book cover:


And here's my design:

Let's break it down:

Obviously I wanted a white outfit with tasteful ruffles, but I added in the pop of blue to match the stunning background on the book cover.  Plus it just adds some fun to an otherwise all-white outfit.
  • The peplum top and ruffle skirt pair well together, because they create a double ruffle layer look.  A tasteful, clean way of adding ruffles without getting too over-the-top.
  • I love this chunk blue gem necklace.  It adds so many shades of blue (like a skyline) and gives a contemporary edge to the look.
  • The blue pumps bring the whole look together, and I love pairing a short skirt with pumps rather than flats.
So what do you think?  Could you see yourself pairing white and bright blue?

I've got more reviews coming your way so check back soon!

Peplum top--Tibi Chelsea Racerback
Skirt--Victoria Beckham
Necklace--Sissy Yates
Pumps--Gianvito Rossi leather shoes

*I am not associated with any of the companies or products mentioned.

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Hey, readers and fashionistas!  You can't get more fashionable on a book cover than The Selection series (I formerly reviewed The Selection and The Elite) by Kiera Cass.  And I couldn't wait to finish this series when the final book, The One, was published.  I saw Cass tweet about secrets that would be revealed in this third book, and I was definitely anxious to have some questions answered.  So let's jump into the review!

I mean, this cover is GORGEOUS, right?!
  • Third and final book in The Selection series
  • Dystopian
The Gist:
Prince Maxon has narrowed down his eligible brides to the top four.  The remaining girls, including America, must now put everything on the line in order to win his final affections.  But danger looms around the castle as rebels become fiercer and bolder.  And of course America is still struggling through her feelings for guard Aspen and her homesickness.  Her entire future lies in wait.

What I Loved:
  • Questions are answered.  In fact, I felt fully satisfied in how everything was wrapped up (this doesn't necessarily mean I loved the ending but that it felt resolved).
  • But I will say I was ok with the ending.  It was good (how's that for a deep comment?!).
  • I was shocked.  I mean totally shocked by the ending.  I was reading the ending in the car while my husband was talking to me (yeah, I don't get any wife points there), and my mouth literally dropped open at the ending scenes.  That sounds so cliche and it is but it's totally true.  Mouth-dropping ending.
  • I grew to love and appreciate so many of the characters, even the witchy Celeste!  I am thankful for the changes that occurred in the characters.
  • This book wasn't about all the fluffiness that we saw before in parties, dances, singing, etc.  It got into hardcore meetings, violence, and surprises.
What I Didn't Love:
  • America and Maxon could still be so wishy-washy with each other, and neither one having the guts to say "I love you" really drove me crazy.  At times I felt myself liking the side characters more than these main characters.
  • I was overly annoyed by the Queen and King.  Stereotypical in their own ways (the Queen submissive, the King practically a tyrant).
My favorite quote:  "I want the holidays and the birthdays, the busy seasons and lazy weekends.  I want peanut butter fingerprints on my desk.  I want inside jokes and fights and everything.  I want a life with you."  I could totally frame this quote in my house!

A really great finish to the series--I recommend it if you're looking for something fun!  Four stars!

I'll be back with an outfit based off the cover (I'm going to have fun with that one!!).  See you soon!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Happy Despicable Three, Ransom!

Yesterday our oldest, Ransom, turned three--or as we like to call it, the "Despicable Three."  But not because we're dreading it!  Because we think Ransom and his brother Cedar make the cutest minions around!  So we had a minion fiesta with our family and it was the BEST birthday party for our boys yet.  I say best because the weather was perfect, Ransom was old enough to be excited about it, and we had the party at my sister Lauren's house (which has more space and kept me from cleaning like a maniac!).  

I thought I'd post some photos for you to share in the cute-ness of the day!
Our neighbor bought both boys minion shirts and hats and Ransom wore his with pride!

Don't the boys look so cute together?!

The boys and their cousin, Heidi, made minion footprint art!  It was so easy--yellow/blue footprint with googly eye(s) and sharpie-added hair, arms, and goggles.

We told Ransom to hold up his presents for the photo--he took us literally!

Isn't this cake A-MAZING?!  My friend Kristen made it for me and it tasted JUST AS GOOD as it looked!  Definitely the centerpiece of the table!

We limited the decor (because why spend tons of $$?!) but this minion balloon was a-dorable!

Heidi loved the balloons, too!

Happy birthday to our chatty (and I mean CHATTY!), sensitive, imaginative, musical Ransom.  We love you, buddy!  And as the minions would say--asoibusfjbvsaofijsaefinaeroiehj *Rasperry*

Saturday, July 5, 2014

45 Pounds (More or Less)-Inspired Outfit

Hey, readers and fashionistas!  Earlier this week I reviewed 45 Pounds (More or Less), which chronicled Ann's desperate attempt to lose about 45 pounds before her aunt's wedding.  I didn't want to design a how-to-lose-weight outfit since diets can be too trendy and dangerous, but I did have another fashion idea.  So this post is going to show you some ideas for showing off your best body assets (modestly!)--arms, waist, or legs.  Your clothes really do determine what body parts you're accentuating, so if you'd rather show off your legs than your arms, use a few tricks to get the focus lower.

So here we go!

Showing off your arms:
Cap sleeves!

Cap sleeves cover just to the edge of the shoulders and show off your arms all the way down.  A great option for dresses or blouses, especially if you've been working out those triceps and biceps!

Showing off your waist:

First, belts.  Whether an outfit comes with a belt or you add a brightly-colored belt to an outfit, this accessory cinches right at the waist.  If your waist is the tiniest part of your torso, you'll want a belt to show it off.  Second, peplum tops.  These are all the rage right now and flare right at the waist.  Great with jeans or a pencil skirt underneath!

Showing off your legs:

You've got all kinds of options here.  Shorts with a blazer really shows off the legs (especially if you have patterned shorts).  The longer sleeves on top attract the attention to the legs.  You'll want to stick with skinny pants/jeans since they obviously slim your look.  And nude pumps always make your legs look longer!

So remember--you don't always have to lose weight to look/feel better.  You can just dress with a few tips to accentuate your strengths.

I'm an arms/shoulder kind of girl...what about you?

*All images found via Polyvore.  I am not associated with any items/companies represented.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

REVIEW--45 Pounds (More or Less)

Hi, readers and fashionistas!  Time for another fact, I need to get my booty in gear and get these posted since I have a few stockpiled up!  Today's review was one of my vacation reads--45 Pounds (More or Less) by K.A. Barson.  I think summer is the perfect time to read a weight-loss book since the weather is so warm and everyone wants to look good in a bathing suit, right?

So let's jump into the review!

  • Standalone novel
  • Realistic fiction

The Gist:
Ann is pretty overweight and everyone knows it.  What makes this even more obvious is the fact that her mother is definitely NOT overweight and can fit into the teen clothes that Ann can't.  And even though Ann has tried losing weight MANY times in the past, her getting asked to be a bridesmaid in her aunt's wedding has sped that desire up.  In fact, Ann wants to lose about 45 pounds by the end of summer and in time for the wedding.  But doing this will force her to face skepticism, criticism, and doubt--and not just from others.  She'll have to face herself.

What I Loved:
  • There was a very positive message by the end of the book, especially in how Ann viewed her and her half-sister's relationships with food.  It's not about the number, folks.
  • I really believed Ann's journey in losing weight.  It was very realistic--she tried to keep dieting secret, lusted over food, kept pushing back start dates, etc.  Been there for each of those so I know it's real!
  • This book also looks at the layers beneath weight (ok, that was probably a bad pun) and gets into the emotional reasons for how we view ourselves and especially our weight.  Dr. Phil would agree with that and would suggest you confront the family/self issues that are causing you to live an unhealthy lifestyle.
What I Didn't Love:
  • Weak adults.  Goodness I hate weak adults.  Ann's mother just threw her daughter's weight in her face so much.  And I felt like Ann's mother and grandmother were over-the-top.
  • I didn't believe Ann's romantic interactions with the guy at the mall, nor her quick friendship with one of her co-workers.  Based on her social issues, I just felt like those characters would have strayed away from her.
  • Pretty predictable.  Even though the premise of this book is very different than Robin Brande's Fat Cat, I couldn't stop thinking how much more I preferred Brande's book for its characters and plot.
Honestly, I didn't love this one.  I wasn't engaged in the plot and the characters overall bothered me.  Sorry to say that it won't be a re-read for me, which is disappointing since I think we need more healthier-image books for teens!

However, I will be back with some fashion tips to show off your favorite parts of your body--because we shouldn't be obsessing over what we dislike but tastefully show off our preferred features!