Monday, June 29, 2015

The Perfect Picnic Dress

I love a good picnic. I also love a good picnic outfit. This dress is the perfect thing to wear to your next picnic or summer BBQ with friends and family. I mean, it doesn't get more literal than wearing a dress that resembles a picnic blanket, right? I like to match the scenery whenever I can. If you follow us on Instagram, you've already seen this dress a couple of times, but it never gets old, does it? 

This dress is perfect in so many ways. For starters, the color is a nice bright coral and it has a nifty ombre effect at the bottom. Also, it looks nice and June Cleaver-y from the front, but then you twirl yourself around and BAM, a cute little cutout accentuates the back. June Cleaver wouldn't be showing off her back, just saying. 

My picnic basket like purse and white wedges are both from T.J. Maxx. This purse is different than other straw/wicker totes I have in that it is very sturdy and can hold a lot. These wedges are also super comfy (as far as wedges go) and don't make me feel like I am suffocating when I wear them in the heat. 

I loved this style of dress so much, I got it in a different pattern. It is the ultimate in flattering, girly fun. I'm going to keep my eyes peeled for more versions of it! 

Outfit details: Dress: LC Lauren Conrad for Kohl's, Straw tote: T.J. Maxx, Wedges: Nine West via T.J. Maxx 


Friday, June 26, 2015

Blue Crocheted Maxi

Wedding season is in full swing, and this is the perfect look for attending a whimsical outdoor wedding. The crochet trend is all over, and this is a way to really dress it up. A dress with daisy cutouts that's fit for a dressy occasion? Count me in.

I love how maxi dresses automatically make you feel a little fancier no matter what they are. Keep an eye out for maxis that are sheer or have cutouts from the knee down like this one, so you still get a nice airflow with the dramatic look of a long dress. It's all about the illusion of fanciness, my friends.

I paired it with this fun asymmetric statement necklace, to glam up the look a touch more, but you could totally take this in a flower child direction, too. Blush wedges were a perfect understated shoe for the ensemble. No need to wear wild footwear when you hardly see the shoes, anyway.


Also, I'm not sure it's physically possible to wear a maxi dress with a slit and not do the Angelina Jolie pose. Or is that just me? Just me. OK.



Dress: Von Maur, Necklace: Zara, Shoes: Vera Wang for Kohl's (similar)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail

Saddle up your horse and let's hit the trail! The Bourbon Trail, that is: a stretch made up of 9 distilleries in the fantastically scenic Louisville, KY area.

A few weeks ago, my sisters-in-law and their significant others, and my husband and I went to see what this bourbon birthplace and mecca was all about. We only had one full day of bourbon-trailing, so I can't claim to have done the whole trail (someday!), but we did hit Woodford Reserve, Four Roses, and the Evan Williams Experience.

This trip makes for a great little weekend getaway. Three days is suggested as the prime touring duration, but even one day will get you an excellent taste (quite literally) of what these bourbons and this whole region has to offer. We recommend packing up picnic foods and stopping at any number of the parks along the way to eat, to keep the costs low and experience more of the landscape. (This also means you can spend more money on fancy bourbon. Priorities. ;) )

On the distillery tours, we got to learn about—and see firsthand—the whole bourbon-making process, from fermentation and distillation to barreling and aging. It's truly amazing the craftsmanship that goes into making bourbon! 

One of my favorite parts of the tours (besides the bourbon tasting, of course) was the history. Did you know the reason horse racing and bourbon both flourished in tandem in Louisville is due to the limestone aquifers under the area? So the water used to make bourbon and also water grass the horses eat is sweet, and calcium-rich. This makes for tasty bourbon and strong-boned horses.

For trips where I know I'll be outdoors a lot and it will be hot, a dress is a must, because one piece of clothing is much more breathable and easy. I also tend to eliminate jewelry during the daytime; you don't need a necklace sticking to you and giving you a weird tan line. So, I opted for a bright patterned dress that could stand alone and fun, statement-making shiny platforms as my bold accessory.

Stay tuned next week when I'll share a fun recipe using some of the bourbon souvenirs we brought back. Happy trails 'til then!

Dress: Urban Outfitters, Shoes: Target

Monday, June 22, 2015

Shades of Neon

I've been on a huge neon kick lately. In my opinion, the best way to welcome summer is by adding pops of neon to your outfit. 

I put this bright tank with a super comfy skirt I snagged from T.J. Maxx. This outfit would be great for a night out with friends or a date night with your favorite person this summer. The tank and skirt are light enough to keep you cool in the heat. 

Why stop at the clothes and accessories? Go ahead and add a bright lip to really drive the bright point home! 

Can we talk about how great tassels are too? I don't know why, but they just bring me a great sense of joy. I guess it's because they are just so fun. 

You also might recognize these shoes from this post last week. This is another great way to wear them. Honestly though, they will look great with everything you style them with. Go forth and be bright this summer! 

Outfit Details: Neon tank: J.Crew Factory, Skirt: Cynthia Rowley via T.J. Maxx, Clutch: Von Maur, Tassel necklace: art fair find, Turquoise necklace: H&M, Wedges: Modcloth


Friday, June 19, 2015

Wear It Two Ways: Black Ghillie Sandals


Something you might not know about me (or Molly) is that first of all, we both have a lot of extracurricular activities. One of these for both of us is Celtic dancing. For those not aware, in both Irish and Scottish dance you use a dance shoe called ghillies. These look like a black soft soled shoe with lacing on the front that goes up the foot. If you're having trouble picturing them, just look at my shoes above and imagine them as flat and ballet like. Got it? Good. Let's talk about how I like to wear them (outside of dance class). 

I really love these wedges because they toughen up any outfit. I have worn them with skirts, dresses, shorts and jeans and I have to say, they look great with all of them. One of my favorite outfits to wear these shoes with is a blazer/tee combo and skinny jeans. Instant chic factor! 

I also just noticed that Molly and I share a love of large, bold floral prints. We really have this Wear It Two Ways thing down, huh? I got this top from Modcloth and love how it shows off my shoulders while also being breezy in the summer heat. Mint is one of my favorite spring/summer colors. I adore this Rebecca Minkoff tote mostly because it's mint, but also because I got it on super sale at Bluefly. There's nothing better than an awesome bag that you scored for super cheap.

Jodi Outfit Details: Floral print top: Modcloth, Jeans: Rock & Republic for Kohl's, Lace up wedge sandals: Modcloth (similar), Bag: Rebecca Minkoff Large MAB Tote


I have a confession to make. I decided I needed a pair of these shoes when I saw a shot of them in one of Jodi's outfit of the day posts (make sure you're following us on Instagram to catch these!). Our shoes aren't exactly the same, since mine are heels and hers are wedges, but the lace up style is really unique and they make quite a statement no matter how you style them.

When wearing these shoes, I always try to go for a more feminine or polished vibe, so I don't end up looking like (for lack of a better descriptor) a street walker. I think a structured skirt and bold florals are a perfect pair to stand up to these statement-making shoes. 

Remember when I channeled Jessa from Girls in our first Wear it 2 Ways post?  Well, this time I'm pretty sure I'm full-on Shoshanna. Prim, proper, girly details with a modern edge? Check. All I need is my bun moved to the front of my head and I'd be a dead ringer. I think Shosh would approve.

Molly's Outfit Details: Dress (worn as a shirt): Target, Skirt: Target, Shoes: H&M, Bow: H&M, Earrings: Kohl's, Clutch: Vintage, Bracelet: Vintage


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Frozen Yogurt Dog Treats

My hilarious pup, Reese, who you can see starring as the Mod Circus lion here, turned two this past week, so I made her favorite summertime treats for the occasion. (I know, I know, dogs don't really know they have a birthday, but what fun is life without little celebrations sprinkled in?)

My husband and I call Reese a "health pup" because she loves Greek yogurt, blueberries, spinach stems, asparagus, the list goes on. Granted, she does think just about any crumbs of human food that fall to the floor are delicious, but Greek yogurt is hands down paws down her favorite. When I open up the container, she patiently sits and waits to lick the spoon after I've served it up, staring intently the whole time. I'm sure it's not easy, because that's probably like a month in dog years. Such intensity for such a little creature.

Back to the task at hand! These little bites are so incredibly simple to make and only use two ingredients, both of which are good for dogs (in moderation, of course): Greek yogurt and peanut butter. Greek yogurt is packed with protein and probiotics and peanut butter is also filled with protein, and is essentially catnip for dogs.

You'll need:
1 cup plain Greek yogurt (not sweetened)
1/2 cup peanut butter (we use Jif natural)

Stir the ingredients together in a medium bowl until fully combined.

Line two large baking sheets with wax paper (make sure the baking sheets will fit into your freezer beforehand!).

Place the mixture in a piping bag or Ziploc bag with the end snipped off and pipe little dollops of the mixture onto the wax paper in rows, about the size of a dime for small dogs, or the size of a nickel for larger dogs. Try to work quickly, so the mixture stays fairly firm. You may have to pop the bag into the freezer for a couple of minutes if it starts to get to runny. Once you've filled up the baking sheets, if you have extra mixture left, sometimes I place this in a small measuring cup to freeze, to make a "scoop" of frozen yogurt.

Place the baking sheets in the freezer and allow to fully freeze, which should take about 15 minutes. After removing from freezer, roll the edges of the wax paper to pop the yogurt dots up and store in a freezer-safe container.

This recipe yields about 2 cups of treats—enough to last the summer!

So, whip up a quick batch for your furry friend for special occasions, or just a hot day. And I sure won't judge if you pop a couple yourself; they're delicious and nutritious for two-legged creatures as well ;)



Monday, June 15, 2015

Long Summer Kimono

If you live in the Midwest and haven't noticed yet: it is officially summer. Maybe not according to the calendar, but temps in the 90s means it's not spring anymore. It just isn't no matter what you tell me. 

Crop tops and airy shorts are perfect for staying cool, but sometimes you need to spice up those basics. A long sheer kimono can really help dress them up and make you feel like an ethereal indie rocker at the same time. 

The light and flowy material transitions seamlessly from a breezy daytime feel to a dramatic bold night look. This ensemble works just as well for a Saturday festival as for evening cocktails. And, man, it just looks so fancy when you walk and have a trail of floral patterns billow out after you no matter where you are. 

And, as a final touch, if a flower crown doesn't say summer, nothing would.


Outfit details: Kimono: TJ Maxx, Top: H&M, Shorts: TJ Maxx, Shoes: Target Necklace: Modcloth (similar), Flower headband: Payless
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