Monday, May 30, 2016

Dressed Up Gingham and a New Family Member

As you surely already know, we here at Mod Circus have a major thing for gingham. It's basically plaid's baby sister, so how could we not love it? Gingham means summer to me, so I like to wrap myself up in it as often as possible in the warmer months. There's something so timeless about the pattern as well. It's a perfect classic look. 

The other great thing about gingham is that it looks great on anything. Skirts, shirts, shoes, dresses, jackets, you name it, it probably looks great in a gingham version. 

I absolutely adore Eliza J, so when I saw this navy gingham dress by the design label, I knew I had to have it. This line of clothing is super affordable and great quality, which are two things I look for when adding to my wardrobe. Plus, the dresses are some of the most flattering I've ever seen. 

The color of this dress is even more gorgeous in person. It's a very piercing blue which contrasts nicely with the crisp white. I kept the rest of my accessories simple, so as not to distract from the dress itself. 

Let's get to the main purpose of this post though. I'd like to introduce you to the newest member of the Mod Circus family...Murphy! 

Murphy is my husband and I's new puppy. We rescued her from a local canine rescue organization about a month and a half ago and we've been completely in love ever since. She is an Australian Shepherd and Boxer mix and has the brains to prove it. She loves making friends with every creature and human she meets and really adores going on walks in the park. If you're interested in adopting a rescue pet, check out Wish Bone Canine Rescue in Bloomington. They were really great to work with and we highly recommend them! Now, excuse me while I go retrieve my slipper from a certain someone's puppy death grip. 

Outfit details: Dress: Eliza J (similar, similar, simialr, similar), Wedges: Seychelles, Bag: Reed for Kohl's


Friday, May 27, 2016

Patio Plaid featuring Hello Dolly

We love supporting local businesses and were thrilled when the local boutique Hello Dolly reached out to us to feature a couple of their new arrivals! The trendy boutique is known for having trunk shows and parties for gal pals to hang out and check out their latest and greatest items. What a cool and personalized experience! Lucky for those of you not in the central Illinois, they have an awesome website and you can order your favorite pieces online.

Here I'm wearing the Plaid Tassel Dress, which I think would be perfect for a summer patio party. (See the adorable off-the-shoulder top from Hello Dolly that Jodi styled earlier this week here.) I was so incredibly impressed with the quality of the dress. It's very well-made in addition to being ridiculously adorable. I just love the cut of it, how it wraps around, and the tassel detail at the bottom. As a matter of fact, last week, the today show named tassels and pom poms this summer's hottest trend, so tassel away, friends!
Nude wedges help elongate your legs, which I find especially helpful for midi dresses, so I don't look like a lil midi midget. Also, nude wedges match anything, so I'd highly recommend snagging some in something close to your skin color to make a staple in your summer wardrobe. 
Going for a retro picnic-inspired look, I styled the dress with giant daisy sunglasses, white flower earrings, and a baby pink lip color. Hot orange nails help modernize the look and make it fun and playful.
Annnnd, flower crowns are back this year. Last year we saw delicate headbands of flowers, but this year, the bigger the better. They don't have to be on the top of your head to make a statement, try it pinned back behind a baby beehive look, shown above, for a dreamy retro-ethereal summer look.
Run, don't walk, over to Hello Dolly and see for yourself what fun pieces you can snag. They have new releases every Monday, so go ahead and put that on your calendar to check them out every week!

Outfit Details: Dress: c/o Hello Dolly, Nude Wedges: Wet Seal, Sunglasses: H&M, Flower Crown: H&M, Lipcolor: Arkansassy Lips, Earrings: Francesca's

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Molly's Going Away Winery Tour

As you may have heard, Molly is making the move with her husband to Kansas City. As a special farewell, her work colleagues and a few local friends decided to get together and embark on a fun-filled day of winery hopping around Central Illinois. Everyone started with a delicious and filling brunch at Boone's Saloon in Springfield before starting the journey. 

Our first stop on the tour was West of Wise Winery, located in Petersburg, IL. The lovely couple that owns the winery stayed out and chatted with us while we made decisions and most of us opted for a full tasting. They were so informative as we tried each wine and we learned all about how the winery came to be. Plus, you can try a whole flight of every wine they offer for $6! You can't beat that deal and we were all so pleasantly surprised about how delicious they all were.

Even those of us who didn't like sweet wines as much found the sweeter selections to have a nice tart finish, and we liked those as well. Some of our favorites included the Oaked Chardonel and the red table wine. We really did not find a wine we didn't like at this place!

Overall, delicious wine, a great personalized experience, a relaxing atmosphere, and passionate and knowledgeable owners really made West of Wise stand out.

We could have stayed for one glass of everything, but we had to move on to the next stop. 

Next up on the tour was Danenberger Family Vineyards in New Berlin, IL. 

It was such a gorgeous day outside, we actually decided to stay at this winery the rest of the afternoon. The winery is built on the Danenberger family property and the tasting areas are an extension of their home. They take hospitality seriously! It's like a boutique experience in the middle of the countryside. The whole area is surrounded by those famous Central Illinois corn and soybean fields, which struck a stark contrast against the blue spring sky. 

Some of us did a tasting here too, but two of the big favorites were the Blanc and rosé. 

Don't worry, Jodi was only holding Molly's wine for her, not double fisting (ok, she might have tasted it too). ;) 

The yard area around the house and winery is beautiful with plenty of seating for big and small groups of friends. They even have a bocce ball court set up, which is perfect for passing the time. The guys in the group decided to have an impromptu game while the girls chatted. 

Danenberger also encourages you to bring your own picnic to enjoy with their wine. We had a pretty great spread of various cheeses, fruits and crackers. It's a great place for large groups, because there are so many different seating areas both inside and out. We'd highly recommend Danenberger as well for the great wine, ambiance and gorgeous spaces to relax.

We chatted away the rest of the afternoon and before we knew it, it was time to say goodbye. It was a perfect way to send Molly off to Kansas City in style. Perhaps we will need to do a Missouri winery tour post soon? 


Monday, May 23, 2016

Floral Off the Shoulder featuring Hello Dolly

We are all for supporting small and local business, so we were beyond excited when Hello Dolly reached out to us and asked us to feature a couple of their new pieces on Mod Circus. Hello Dolly is a very trendy online boutique featuring the latest styles for stellar prices. They also will come to you and host a private trunk show for you and your closest friends! 

I chose this beautiful navy blue floral off the shoulder top to style from Hello Dolly. The red flowers stand out in contrast on the dark blue background, making this a perfect spring top. 

The material is flowy and light, providing lots of movement when you walk. The sleeves are attached, but separate and hang loosely off of your shoulders. I'm very excited to wear this all through the summer, mixing in shorts when it gets warmer. 

I paired the top with flares to balance out the flow of it (and to make me look taller) and a bright red bag and red lip to bring out the pops of red in the floral pattern. Round sunglasses rounded (ha) out the look. Be sure to check out Hello Dolly's website and book them for a trunk show if you're in the Central Illinois area, and don't forget to invite me! Happy shopping!

Outfit details: Top: c/o Hello Dolly, Flares: Express, Bag: Kate Spade (similar), Wedges: Seychelles

Friday, May 20, 2016

Wear it Two Ways: Floppy Hat

Welcome to our latest installment of Wear it Two Ways! This month, we style a floppy hat for you. There are so many different kinds of floppy hats out there, you really can't go wrong when picking one out. They're perfect for shading your face on sunny days while being a fun statement. Below, we tell you how we styled our hats for spring! 



I went for kind of a boho-festival goer meets afternoon garden party vibe. Actually, (Jodi, feel free to disagree here) I think that if we'd said, OK, let's both go for a "boho-festival goer meets afternoon garden party vibe" for this shoot, we'd both be spot on. That's what I (and we hope you!) love about the Wear it 2 Ways features: that we both come up with something totally different, even when styling the same item. 

Pairing my gray wool hat with a thick crocheted lace top made for a fun and interesting mix of materials. I love pairing a strappy bralette under semi-sheer tops because it keep you breezy without really being too revealing. You can always substitute a cami for a more conservative look. Because a lot was going on texture-wise, I kept the color palette to black and white, with a pop of blush pink.

Cropped flares are a fun spin-off of bell bottoms that we're starting to see everywhere and this lovely fringe purse helps amp up that '70s boho vibe.

A bow choker necklace and gladiator sandals are simple basics that are perfectly on trend this season. I'm ready to listen to tunes in the garden all day while my floppy hat keeps me nice and shaded!

Molly's Outfit Details: Floppy Hat: H&M, Bandeau: Forever 21, Lace Shirt: TJ Maxx, Cropped Flares: H&M, Choker: Hobby Lobby DIY, Sandals: Target (similar), Purse: TJ Maxx (similar), Matte Lip Color: Modcloth (similar)


As Molly said above, and that I am in complete agreement with, we went for a boho-festival goer meets afternoon garden party vibe for this month's W2W, and unintentionally I might add! It's funny how similar, yet dissimilar we can be at times!  

Funny story about my hat. I was visiting dear friends in Central Lake, Michigan a few summers ago and we paid a visit to the newest antique/vintage shop that had popped up recently in the town. The shop had a ton of really cool and unique flea market finds and as we were on our way out the door, I decided to pick up a hat and try it on. I loved the way it looked, so I checked for a price tag. Low and behold, it was a Badgely Mischka hat for $15! I couldn't believe it. On top of that, it actually fit my head! You see, I have a huge noggin and a lot of hats don't fit properly on said noggin. Anyway, I scurried up to the front to pay for it and have been wearing it proudly ever since! 

This bell sleeved dress that I recently purchased is a perfect match for my lucky find hat. The bell sleeves really add to the whole 70's theme of the hat. It's a great material too, that really stretches, but also hugs in just the right places. It almost feels like a yoga pant dress. Is that a thing? It is now. 

To finish off the look, I added this pale blush pink bag and neutral wedges to keep things classy. Because who says you can't be classy at a boho-festival afternoon garden party? 

Jodi's Outfit Details: Dress: Miss Selfridge (on sale!), Hat: Badgley Mischka (flea market find, similar here), Bag: H&M, Wedges: Modcloth (love these)


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Molly's Bathroom Renovation

As you may remember from this post a few weeks ago, I'm moving to Kansas City at the beginning of June. My husband and I are so excited, but it's bittersweet. Our house is one thing we really wish we could take with us. We've poured tons of time and literal blood, sweat, and tears into renovating our 1915 bungalow for the three years we've lived there, and we've had to move up the timeline on a lot of those projects before we go. This will be the first of a few posts of the final farewell tour of a house we've put so much love into. See our entryway makeover from last summer here.
Is it weird that a mostly white bathroom is one of my very favorite rooms we've overhauled? We knew by the time we were working on this room that we'd likely be selling the house, so we made design choices with that in mind and tried not to do anything too stylized or outlandish. We still got vintage-inspired tile we loved, a retro-patterned frosted glass shower door, and a glossy white mid-century modern inspired vanity and linen cabinet. Looking back, I don't think I'd change a thing even if we'd planned to stay for 10 more years.

To see how far we've come, let's go back to how the room looked before. There was no bathtub, and the room was covered in heavy yellow wallpaper. It came complete with a marbled vanity that was, let's just say, not new.

We basically took the room down to the plaster and started from scratch. Though we added a bathtub, everything else stayed in essentially the same place, so we didn't have to redo existing plumbing. (Let the record state every time I say we, I mean my husband and father-in-law. I don't enter the picture until the priming, painting and caulking phase.)

Above is a shot down to the bare bones. Below, you can see many steps later with nice new mildew-resistant drywall, and the tub installed. Our pup, Reese, obviously has to inspect between each step to make sure we're up to code.
Below is a shot after we'd painted everything in crisp white and tiled the floor. I can finally say I've helped at this point! On HGTV, this would have happened in about 2 minutes. This took us about two weeks.
Last, we installed baseboards, the vanity, linen unit, shower doors, and toilet. Ta da! A fresh and clean full bath with a sleek and modern flair. I love that pure white doesn't have to be boring or basic.
I really love the vanity and coordinating pieces we got from Menard's and I feel like they set the tone for the style. It's a mix of Ikea simplicity and mid-century modern character. Also, the drawers and linen unit doors are slow-close, which is a total luxury I'd like everywhere I go.
I would not recommend undertaking any renovation like this unless you had people with solid knowledge working on it. We're so lucky that we did! We learned a ton in the process, but I'll leave it up to my husband if he's ever up for doing it again in the future : ).
Thanks for stopping by! More rooms to come soon!
Tile: Lowe's, Vanity: Menard's, Hanging Linen Closet: Menard's, Mirror: Menard's, Sconces: Menard's (similar), Retro Frosted Shower Door: Menard's, Towels: Target, Bathmat: Target, Curtains: Homemade with fabric from JoAnn's
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