Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Cocktail Roulette - Blackberry Bramble

Today, we're introducing a new blog series - Cocktail Roulette! The idea behind this actually came from one of Our Beautiful Husbands. In brainstorming ideas for the blog, he brought up the idea of devising a way to randomly pick a cocktail recipe out of the bartending books we have that rarely ever get used. This way, we get to experiment with new cocktails we normally wouldn't try, get use out of the books collecting dust on our bar cart AND build up our bar and bartending knowledge! 

When it came time to pick a cocktail, we were originally going to devise some sort of card system or build a spinning mechanism (like a roulette wheel) to pick the page numbers in the books. Well, let's just say, we had to do a lot of trial and error to finally land on a number that corresponded to a page number in the book that housed a cocktail. So, in the end, we just picked two numbers from a stack of cards until the combination landed on a cocktail recipe page. This go around, we ended up with a Bramble. 

I was excited because it was a fairly simple recipe and it used gin. I don't normally go for gin cocktails, so I was excited to try something different. This recipe only had four ingredients: gin, lemon juice, creme de mure and simple syrup. The creme de mure ended up being the hardest thing for me to find. I could not find it in the liquor store and ended up having to substitute it for blackberry liqueur. 99 Blackberries to be exact. That's right, I used 99 proof alcohol as a substitution. I later realized my mistake when I went to actually make the cocktail. Let's just say, it packed quite a punch. Don't worry though, I used fresh lemon juice. I'm not a monster! Here is the recipe (from The Curious Bartender): 

1 1/3 oz gin
2/3 oz fresh lemon juice
1/3 oz simple syrup 
1/2 oz creme de mure (blackberry liqueur) 

Build the first three ingredients over crushed ice in a chilled rocks glass, then pour the creme de mure over the top so that it "bleeds" down through the ice. Garnish with two blackberries and a slice of lemon.

All in all, I would say this cocktail was pretty refreshing for a summer evening! I definitely would make it again, this time using actually creme de mure and not 99 Blackberries, or settle for Chambord and call it even. You live and you learn! Have you had this cocktail before? Do you like it? Let us know! 

- Jodi 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Vintage Parisian

I recently found this fluttery button crop top on super sale at Urban Outfitters. I love the vintage pattern and delicate fabric and it reminded me of something from another century. 

Under the top, a strappy black cami was the perfect way to give the top a totally modern and edgy twist. After adding a studded bow choker, the look had a very "if Toulouse Lautrec's posters were created today" vibe. 

I reinforced the black and red scheme with bright red lips, black nails, and a dark smoky eye. Vintage-inspired sunnies fit the look perfectly. 

Final modern touches of a half top knot and flatform jelly shoes ensure this 1890s-inspired look is fit for a 2016 evening out. 

Do you ever use vintage art or culture as inspiration? I think it really helps a look cohesively come together! That and I'm always about making a look slightly costumey, but you already knew that ;) 


Outfit Details: Camisole: Forever 21 (similar and similar plus size), Button Top: Urban Outfitters, Skirt: TJ Maxx (simliar), Shoes: Off Broadway (also here), Choker: Etiquette Boutique, Sunglasses: Forever 21 (similar)

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Best Vest

It's that time of year again, when summer vacations end, the days start to get shorter bit by bit and we are looking forward to all of the fall fashion that is coming our way. In the meantime, it still might reach 90 degrees on some days here in the Midwest, which makes wearing your new fall wardrobe staples quite foolish indeed. So, we are all left with the unpleasant task of figuring out how to transition our wardrobe from one season to the other. 

I think the key to maneuvering this tricky terrain is about mixing and matching, but always keeping comfort and coolness top of mind. One of the big trends you will be seeing, and have most likely already been seeing, are long vests, cardigans, kimonos and dusters. Long vests are an especially chic way to dress up a summery tank or dress. 

I bought this vest last winter because I was immediately drawn to the design and structure. I was in need of a little something extra to dress up a strappy tank and black jeans last weekend, so I went straight to this vest. 

I think I will definitely be mixing and matching my fall and summer wardrobe staples a lot in the next few weeks awaiting the glorious day that I can break out my sweaters, plaid and boots. 

How do you transition from summer to fall?

Outfit details: Vest: Forever 21 (love this one and this one), Tank: Modcloth, Jeans: Rock & Republic, Wedges: Vince Camuto, Bag: River Island, Sunglasses: Quay


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

12 Ways to Style Gingham

We are (obviously) just crazy about gingham here at Mod Circus. It can be dressed up or down, it can look very modern or super retro, totally polished or whimsical. It's the fun cousin of plaid and it's perfectly suited for summer and fall alike. If you're still not convinced, take a look at some of the gingham looks we've styled to see for yourself what a range gingham can cover. 

Dress picnic chic in a dress inspired by a picnic blanket! The fun coral dress gives a new twist to the classic pattern you'll see at any BBQ, but we guarantee you'll be the chicest one there if you rock a lovely fitted dress like this. See the full outfit here.

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

Pair gingham with more gingham like in this playful retro jumper look. A gingham-trimmed top is paired with a gingham jumper, complete with a baby beehive hairstyle and baby pink lip for a super retro look. See the full post here.

Outfit Details: Top: Modcloth, Jumper: Primark, Shoes: Modcloth (similar), Lipstick: Revlon Necklace: The Limited

This midi skirt skirt may be a classic pattern, but the large scaled red gingham takes it to a new level! The deep red color is a perfect transition look into fall, too. To style it for warmer temps, try a crisp white top with some structure. See the full post here.

Outfit details: Top: Viva Aviva, Skirt: The Limited, Wedges: Seychelles, Clutch: The Limited, Sunglasses: GAP 

Bubble gingham is a fun way to spice up your gingham game. The reversed-out texture adds a whole new component to the classic pattern. This dress from eShakti lent itself perfectly to a baby beehive updo and '50s retro accessories. See the full post here.

Outfit Details: Dress: c/o eShakti, Shoes: Seychelles, Headband: Modcloth (similar), Earrings: vintage, Bracelet: vintage

Go for a super classic look in a cut that works as well today as it did in the 1950s. Matchy-matchy navy accessories help add character without taking away from the dress. See the full post here.

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

Oversized, artistic gingham is a fun way departure from super structured gingham. The flowy cut and tassel details make this dress perfect for a patio party. See the full post here.

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

Mix a structured gingham with fun accessories full of texture, pattern and color to spice it up. These leopard wedges and bag adorned with pom poms help give the style a modern whimsical look. See the full post here.

Outfit details: Dress: Modcloth, Wedges: Nine West, Bag: T.J. Maxx (also love this onethis one and this one) Sunglasses: Quay (similar), Bag Charm

Take your gingham all the way to the floor with a garden party maxi dress look. This fun dress is complete with off-the-shoulder ruffles. It obviously needed to be paired with a gingham purse, because you can never have enough gingham, haven't you learned anything? See the full post here

Outfit Details: Dress: SheIn, Sandals: Target, Purse: TJ Maxx, Sunglasses: H&M, Hat: from a small shop in Florida (similar)

Mix gingham with another bold pattern for an unexpected look. This fun orange top is a great balance both in color and shape (round vs structured). Top it off with a blazer to make yourself a summer suit! See the full post here.

Outfit details: Gingham shorts: Ann Taylor, Shirt: J.Crew Factory (also love this one), Blazer: Modcloth, Clutch: Stitch Fix, Wedges: Nine West, Sunglasses: ASOS

Make gingham super feminine with pastel colors like this pink midi skirt. Pair it with a flow top with ruffles or lace (or both!) and be sure to accent with lots of pink for a sweet summertime look. See the full outfit here.

Outfit Details: Skirt: Modcloth, Top: H&M (similar), Earrings: Vintage, Shoes: Amazon, Purse: Target (similar)

Take your picnic look to the next level with ants on your pants (or skirt!). We always say you should never be afraid to dress for a theme, and this ensemble is absolutely picnic perfect.

Outfit details: Skirt: Party Skirts, Blouse: Charter Club, Wedges: Nine West (also love these), Bag: T.J. Maxx (similar)

Instead of using a pop of color for an accent, try a pop of gingham! Here, it's inset as a bib detail and featured on a bag. It makes for a fun and playful look without being full-on patterned.

Outfit Details: Top: Modcloth (similar), Skirt: Urban Outfitters, Wedges: Forever 21, Purse: TJ Maxx, Sunglasses: H&M (similar toned-down version)

What's your favorite way to style gingham?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Burnt Orange Shift

I know I've mentioned it already, but I'm just loving shift dresses lately! The boxy, short shape is a fun throwback silhouette that's classic yet edgy. This rust orange polyester-looking dress complete with collar and outer pockets screams '70s, which is a trend that's still going strong.

The beautiful autumnal  color is perfect for the transition from summer to fall, since the cut is still fitting for warm days. 

Oversized olive sunglasses and mauve lips add to the groovy fall color palette. Chunky wood heels with a retro pattern were the perfect shoes to round out the look. 

Heels work perfectly with shift dresses, since they elongate the legs, which become the star since a  shift dress isn't form-fitting. 

If you need me, I'll just be dancing around to groovy tunes and finding beautiful parking garages like the one I shot these photos in front of. 

So, what's your favorite silhouette this season? I'm so excited about all the fun cuts I'm seeing pop up!


Outfit Details: Dress: Forever 21 (similar here and here), Heels: Modcloth (similar), Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters (similar), Ring: Vintage (similar)

Bonus: check out the super artsy shot from my husband, who may even kind of be enjoying taking these pictures now :)


Friday, August 19, 2016

Highest Highs and Lowest Lows

This top combines two of my favorite things, stripes and the ability to feel like a superhero. Who doesn't want to feel like a superhero? I try to channel my inner Super Jodi whenever I get a chance. 

I do love a good dramatic statement piece of clothing (or accessory, or just a dramatic statement in general), so when I saw this top, I had to have it. The price point didn't hurt either. They also have a slightly less dramatic version if you aren't quite feeling the almost floor length hem. 

I wore this outfit to a local street festival recently. I got a ton of compliments on this shirt and basically felt like a badass superhero the whole time. The fact that I kept twirling around in it and fluffing it out behind me probably didn't make me look like a superhero, but what can you do? Not everyone has a Beyonce fan machine at their disposal, so we just have to make do.

My husband said I like it so much because it's basically a cape in shirt form, and we all know how I feel about capes!

Since the top itself is so dramatic, I kept my accessories to a minimum and made sure they were understated. Perfect for fighting crime...or standing in front of a fan machine. 

Outfit details: Top: SheIn (less dramatic option here), Jeans: Gap, Wedges: Seychelles, Clutch: Stitch Fix, Sunnies: Quay


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Westport Cafe and Bar

One of the spots my husband I and tried out when we visited Kansas City four years ago was Westport Cafe and Bar, a charming French-inspired eatery, complete with an amazing bar. Since then, ownership has changed, but the important things have remained constant: good, interesting food, dazzling, delicious cocktails, and a low-key historical atmosphere.

This is a must-hit is located in the Westport District, which is a neighborhood chock full of lovely old buildings, vibrant young folks, great food, and killer drinks.

The white tile and old tin ceilings provide a decidedly European look, and the black and white accents help play up that classic cafe vibe. Two of the men on the new ownership team are French, so they absolutely know what they're doing with European influences. 

Their happy hour specials are worth the visit alone (you HAVE to get the mussels in coconut curry sauce and the cheese board is also amazing). Dinner is great as well, including a lot of items also French in nature, but with a modern twist. However, the thing we've been going bonkers over lately is their brunch, which is available on Saturday and Sunday until 3 PM! The prices of an entree range from about $12-14, but this includes a complimentary Mimosa or Bloody Mary. That's worth it right there, folks, and the excellent food backs it up.

We've tried four of the brunch entrees now and are still excited to try others. The Croque Madame crepe was awesome, and the burger was delish. (My husband even said that arugula salad alone would have been worth $14, muchless with a burger and drink.) The Croque Madame sandwich was very good and came with a giant bowl of fries that provided lots of leftovers. The Fried Chicken came on French toast (instead of waffles) like slices of heaven, and closer to bread pudding than any French toast I've ever had.

Or, just stop by for a craft cocktail a bit off the beaten path of the rest of the Westport bars, which can get a little crowded and check out their "reverse happy hour" from 10PM-close.

If you find yourself in Westport, or Kansas City, for that matter, be sure to stop by this charming cafe and bar and get a little taste of France and the old world for yourself!


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