Floral Beauty from Ted Baker

Sorry for my blogging hiatus. Should I admit the real reason I’ve been slacking on the blog front???

Well…

I’ve been sucked in to watching Orange is the New Black! For those who also love OITNB, you know how long it takes to watch these episodes! Everyone at work kept talking about it, so I had to join to club. I hated not knowing what the heck everyone was talking about! Oh how I love this show…and I only have two episodes left to watch!

But…I had to show this you gorgeous Ted Baker London Electric Daydream pleated maxi dress I wore last weekend. This is a dress that just makes you feel pretty. It’s flowy. It’s a gorgeous print. It hides that you’ve eaten too much Italian food!

Ted Baker Electric Daydream Print Pleated Maxi Dress

I had been eyeing this dress at Von Maur. If y’all haven’t shopped at Von Maur, I have no clue what the heck you are waiting for?!?!? Let’s go over the price of the dress. It retailed for $375. Yikes. I saw it on the sales rack when it was $187, which is great for Ted Baker, but still a little steep for me. So I did the waiting game…and went back a week later, and BAM! It was on sale for $93. $93, people!!! This gorgeous dress! Uh, put it on my VM card, pronto.

Ted Baker Electric Daydream Print Pleated Maxi Dress

 

Dress – Ted Baker Electric Daydream Pleated Maxi Dress (but I got it much cheaper!); Shoes – Charles by Charles David; Earrings and Bracelet – Stella & Dot (both retired); Purse – Louis Vuitton; Watch – Rolex

DSC_3616 Ted Baker Electric Daydream Print Pleated Maxi Dress

 

Since my hair is growing, I could actually put it half up and show off these gorgeous minty Stella & Dot earrings I have had for a while. LOVE being able to do new things with my hair then just having it down!

What’s the best deal you have gotten lately?

White on White

Now, I am very fair skinned. As in someone once teased me by calling me Casper The Ghost. But, I just kept thinking in the back of my head, “Go ahead and make fun of me, sun worshipper. When we’re both 50, I’ll look 40 and you’ll look 60 with sun damage.” So, that’s that. :)

I’ve been hesitant to wear white because I’m so pale. But, when I tried on this dress at Banana, I knew I had to have it. The fit. The flare. The comfy fabric. The A-line. White dresses have been all the rage this summer. And it doesn’t look bad – the white on white. Just added some pops of color – and voila. I’m embracing the pale!

banana republic white cotton dress banana republic white cotton dress banana republic white cotton dress

Dress – Banana Republic (sold out); Shoes – Seychelles; Bracelets – Henri Bendel and Michael Kors; Earrings – Banana Republic; Watch – Michael Kors

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy.

No Sharpener Needed – No. 2 Pencil Skirt

I continue my love of the J. Crew No. 2 Pencil Skirt (first talked about here). The end of the season is the best time to stock up on these gems. Why, you may ask? Because they are on sale! But I don’t love these skirts just because I can get them for a great deal. They are so well made.

Sturdy, cotton twill = Hides those flaws on the hips and booty!

They also come in fantastic colors. Primary, pastel, neon, print…the list goes on. I typically size down. I like mine to be more on the snug side. The only negative I have is the wrinkles – which you can obviously see in the photos. This was at the end of the day after I had been sitting at my desk all day :) I wish the skirt could be perfectly pressed all day!

j. crew no. 2 pencil skirt

j. crew no. 2 pencil skirt

Skirt – J. Crew No. 2 Pencil Skirt (on sale!!); Shirt – The Limited; Shoes – Charles by Charles David; Watch – Michael Kors; Bracelet, Necklace, Earrings – Tiffany

If Scuba Steve Was A Girl

When I felt the fabric of this dress, I immediately thought of Scuba Steve in Big Daddy. I thought if Scuba Steve – or Diver Dan…whichever you choose – were a girl, this would be the chic wetsuit he would choose. It is such a cool dress, that can even keep you dry! :)

I do not own anything like this. The print is so adorable; I love the neon accents. With the wetsuit feel, it does a great job of holding you in, too.

Loved the price, too! It was $79.99 with an extra 50% off in the store! That was just right for me because there is no way I would pay $168.

j. crew cove floral surf dress

Even has a longer pull on the zipper, just like a wetsuit.

j. crew floral surf dress

 

Dress – J. Crew Cove Floral Surf Dress; Shoes – Ralph Lauren; Bracelets – J. Crew and Stella & Dot; Watch – Michael Kors; and the FitBit Flex :)

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy.

Gray Day in Summer

I’m continuing my trend of wearing a dress almost every day to work. It’s just been so freakin’ hot here! Dresses are my way to stay cool. Even though my frigid office requires me to turn on my personal space heater under my desk even when it’s 90 degrees outside :)

Y’all know I love to wear color. So when I bought this dress, buying a more muted color was a little outside of my box. But it’s such a great little dress, with a fun little flip at the bottom. I added a little pop of color with some neon accents in my necklace and bracelet.

Oh, and it was on sale. Yay! And if you have a J. Crew store near you, it’s actually on sale for less in the store than online!

j. crew knit sleeveless dress j. crew knit sleeveless dress

Dress – J. Crew (on sale here!); Necklace and Bracelet – J. Crew; Shoes – Christian Louboutin; Watch – Michael Kors

 

Colorblock with Kate Spade

It has been so hot here in the ATL. And when I’m hot, my clothing piece of choice is easily a dress. I love the pattern of this dress! One reason why? I love the bright yellow and black in this dress – Go Hawkeyes (University of Iowa for those of you who are not Big Ten fans)! I guess Oregon fans could like it, too, with the yellow and green :)

Pockets…I’m a sucker for pockets. Whomever decided to put pockets in dresses is a freakin’ genius.

kate spade carol dress

Did I mention it is super fun to do girly twirls in?! ‘Cause it totally is!

kate spade carol dress

And what about the thick exposed zipper? Yep. Love that, too!

kate spade carol dress

 

Dress – kate spade; Wedges – Charles by Charles David; Necklace – Stella & Dot; Watch – Rolex; Bracelet – Tiffany

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy.

Strapless Dress for Work and Play

This Lily Pulizer “Spritz” pattern was out last year. I remember trying this dress on and falling in love with how cute it was! I left it on the rack. Even on sale, I didn’t want to pay that much for it.

Well…

I’m glad I waited. While in Hilton Head this summer, I hopped into SM Bradford at Wexford, which is basically a complete Lily store. Perusing through the sales racks – and there it was. My perfume bottle dress! For $59!!! Fo shiz that dress came home with me at that price!

I had noticed a lot of girls at work lately had been wearing their favorite strapless dresses with cardigans over them. So, I thought why not do that with this dress?!

So, here’s the work version with a white 3/4 length cardi:

lily pulitzer spritz strapless dress

Simply take off the cardi…

lily pulitzer spritz strapless dress

…and you’re ready for dinner and drinks after work. Thank goodness for a cardi!! This dress was now work appropriate!

lily pulitzer spritz strapless dress

 

Dress – Lily Pulitzer; Shoes – Charles by Charles David; Cardigan – Kohl’s; Watch – Michael Kors; Bracelets – Coach and Michael Kors

Tory Burch Kinsley Dress

The Porcupine boutique in Hilton Head Island was having a great sale, and I picked up this fun Tory Burch Kinsley dress…at a great price.

When I first tried it on, I thought to myself “Emily, you have enough dresses. You don’t need any more.” This was Tuesday.

On Thursday, mom and I were shopping in the Wexford plaza again and stopped in. Again, I picked up the dress. Mom goes, “Emily, you have enough dresses.” So I put it back on the rack.

And I kept thinking about how much I love this dress…

On Friday, I bought the dress. I needed it. :)

tory burch kinsley dress tory burch kinsley dress

In case you love this dress, too, it’s on sale at toryburch.com. It is a wonderful stretchy material and is super comfy!

Dress – Tory Burch Kinsley; Shoes – DVF; Bracelets – Spartina and Michael Kors; Earrings – Coach; Watch – Michael Kors

Anthropologie Matilde Dress

It’s not very often that I pay full price for anything at Anthropologie. Such beautiful clothes, but the price tags are usually more than I want to pay. BUT, when I saw this dress, I had to make an exception.

It has polka dots. (It comes in more colors, too!)

Adorable back.

Not too low cut neck line.

Little button details.

Comfortable fabric.

anthropologie matilde dress

 

anthropologie matilde dress

Yep. I had to give in and pay full price. It’s such a great summer dress. Here I dressed it down for a casual dinner on vacation, but you could easily put on some dressier wedges. And I have to say, I love that a bra works under it, too, even with the cute cutout back detail.

anthropologie matilde dress anthropologie matilde dress

This would also be a great time to say how much I love my Sam Edelman Gigi sandals. I have them in these black patent and in brown. They go with everything and hold up so well. I wore my brown ones a ton last year. These black ones replaced another pair of black Banana Republic sandals that fell apart after one year (urgh!).

Dress – Anthropologie Matilde; Shoes – Sam Edelman Gigi; Watch – Rolex; Bracelet – Lagos; Necklace – diamond from my original engagement ring

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy.

Daddy’s Girl

I don’t care that I’m 34. I will always call my dad “daddy.”

As an only child, I’m very close to both of my parents. But, I’ll always remember weekend errands with my daddy. Seems like we would always go pick something up at True Value…and end the day at the car wash. I loved hanging out with him, and I always looked forward to Saturdays.

He also tends to give me advice at just the right times. And when he does, I always listen. His advice is invaluable. He also always has a way to throw in some dry humor as well; it’s his way. I’ve learned so much about the working world from him, with the best advice being to “Choose your battles wisely.”

He’s also been the greatest Pop-pop to my kiddos. He is wrapped around both of their little fingers. And he would do absolutely anything for them – and they know it. I look at his relationship with them, and it warms my heart.

Here’s to you, daddy! Love you!

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My First Stitch Fix

Stitch Fix is the latest fashion craze…that I hopped aboard. I love shopping – anyone who knows me or reads this blog knows that for sure. BUT, I thought it would be fun to see what a stylist would pick out for me.

So…I signed up for Stitch Fix!

stitch fix box

I received my first box last month. It was like Christmas when I got it…I had to wait over two months to get it! (Yes, that’s how popular it has become!) When I opened my box, I had a mix of items – a dress, crochet tank, jeans, top, and necklace. I love the personal note and idea cards that came with my box.

stitch fix idea card

My first reaction was mixed. I knew I would love the dress, but I was unsure about the jeans (as I’m a hard one to fit jeans), tank, and top. Right away I thought the necklace looked a little cheap. I wish the gold wasn’t so shiny.

So, of course I rushed upstairs to try everything on. First up, the dress. I LOVED it. I love the fit and flare style.

stitch fix stripe dress

I was looking at the jeans (which are bootcut and the Level 99 brand) and kind of cringing when I slipped them on. But, I was shocked. They fit great! They had a great amount of stretch. The stylist did a great job picking these out for my body type.

And…you can see the crochet tank top that came with a cami underneath. Usually crochet isn’t my thing, but I loved it on. And I thought it of the many different ways I could wear it.

level 99 bootcut jeans level 99 bootcut jeans

 

Here is the necklace. I liked the design, but for the price and the look of the metal, I was going to pass.

stitch fix gold necklace

This silk blouse had potential. But, I have so many black and white stripe shirts, I didn’t need anymore. It had gold studs along the collar, and it was actually missing a stud :( The price was a little on the pricier side, so I passed.

stitch fix striped blouse

Of course the next day, I had to wear the dress! I got so many compliments. Plain and simple, it’s such a great dress. I paired it with this J. Crew statement necklace – and voila!

stitch fix stripe dress DSC_2981

 

So have you tried Stitch Fix yet? How do you like it?

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy.

Love and Hate Relationship with Shorts

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with shorts for the past few years. There are so many cute styles, I’ve tried to love more than hate lately.

My thighs have always been muscular. So, to embrace my muscles, I’ve had to learn how to shop for the right type of shorts. It’s important to feel comfortable in your clothes, right? So I’ve learned that I possibly have to size up to get them to fit properly. Because I do not want to look like some of those teenagers I see at the mall with teeny tiny shorts that are only 1 cm longer than their underwear…or are so tight it looks like their circulation is about ready to be cut off!

And I have to admit, I love shorts when I have a (fake) tan on my legs. For some reason a tan just makes them look better – at least to me anyway :) So I brought these cute navy shorts with me on vacation. Threw them on for a day of shopping with my momma.

banana republic top and shorts banana republic top and shorts

Top, Shorts, Belt – Banana Republic; Bracelets – Michael Kors and Spartina; Sunnies – Louis Vuitton; Sandals – Sam Edelman

Who Doesn’t Love a Maxi

I am so glad maxi dresses are so popular. The reason I love them so much – they are easy. Easy to just throw on and go. Easy to pack for vacation. Easy to wash (ok, maybe not the silky dry clean only ones, but…).

I picked up this great maxi at the Impeccable Pig in Buckhead. It didn’t really catch my eye at first, since I tend to gravitate more towards bright colors and not black. But the sales associate picked it up and showed me the back. LOVED it. I love interesting features on clothing.

I took this on vacation and just threw it on, added some jewelry, put on some sandals…and I was out the door. Like I said, easy peasy.

black maxi black maxi black maxi

Dress – Impeccable Pig; Sandals – Sam Edelman; Earrings – got them in Cozumel; Bracelet – Lagos; Watch – Rolex; Sunnies – Louis Vuitton

Black and Pink

It’s finally summer – yahoo! And summer means fun colors.

Wait. I love fun colors no matter what time of year! But, I digress. :)

Black and pink has been a favorite combination of mine, well, like foreva! What can I say, I’m a girlie girl and love my pink. Pastel or hot!

Here’s a crochet tank that I got in my first Stitch Fix (look for a post next week), and at first I didn’t really like it. But, I’m always up to step outside my box. I’m glad I did because I really liked it once i put it on! Thought I could dress it up a little with a statement necklace, skinnies, and heels. Voila!

black tank and pink skinnies DSC_3012

 

Tank – Stitch Fix; Jeans – Old Navy; Shoes – Michael Kors; Necklace – J. Crew; Bracelets – Michael Kors and Stella & Dot; Watch – Rolex

The Perfect Place for Lily Pulitzer

The last couple of years, I’ve added a couple of Lily Pulitzer pieces to my wardrobe. Now, some of the prints are not quite my style…but there are just some adorable fabrics lately. Take for instance, this adorable print!

Lily Pulitzer Ross Halter Dress

I went in my first Lily Pulitzer store in Key West and this dress just jumped out at me. So of course when I tried it on, I knew it had to come home with me. The cut, the length, the print were perfect. And I had a trip to Hilton Head where I knew I could wear it. Lily is perfect for the beach!

Lily Pulitzer Ross Halter Dress

Lily Pulitzer Ross Halter Dress

Lily Pulitzer Ross Halter Dress

I think I need to plan another beach trip just so I can wear this dress again soon. :)

Dress – Lily Pulizer; Shoes – Charles by Charles David; Earrings – The Limited; Bracelets – Coach and Stella & Dot; Watch – Rolex

 

Latest Finds at Ann Taylor

I haven’t shopped much at Ann Taylor since I had to wear business attire for my job. I tend to find their styles dressier than I need to be in my current super business casual work environment. But when I saw a huge “50% off the whole store” sign, I couldn’t help but go in and see what they had. I know, I know. I’m a sucker for a good deal.

First up, this cute shirtdress. I love the fabric; it’s light enough to wear in the warmer months, but keeps me warm in my ice box of an office in the summer. Also, the length is great for me who is 5’8″. It’s not too long and not too short for the office. I could also see this dress with just cute sandals to make it a little more casual.

Ann Taylor Leaf Print Belted Shirtdress Ann Taylor Leaf Print Belted Shirtdress

 Dress; Shoes – Pour La Victoire; Bracelets – Lagos and David Yurman; Watch – Rolex

I love fun skirts, and I immediately gravitated towards this skirt as soon as I saw it. It kept its nice sleek shape all day. It didn’t stretch out at all. Now, the fabric is not stretchy, so if you love this skirt, definitely order your normal size.

Ann Taylor Zebra Jacquard Pencil Skirt Ann Taylor Zebra Jacquard Pencil Skirt

Skirt; Shirt – White House Black Market; Shoes – Michael Kors; Necklace and Ring – Tiffany; Bracelet – Lagos; Watch – Rolex; Earrings – Simon Sabaag

I had been on the hunt for more patterned shirts. When I saw this silky number, I could imagine wearing it so many different ways. With these mint jeans, white jeans, under a blue blazer, tucked in to a pencil skirt…shall I go on? Let’s not forget the price was right!

Anny Taylor Block Stripe Shell Ann Taylor Block Stripe Shell

Shirt: Jeans – J. Crew Factory; Shoes – Splendid; Earrings – Stella & Dot; Necklace – J. Crew; Watch – Michael Kors

Did I mention Ann Taylor sale items are an additional 40% off? Perfect time to check things out!

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy.

Tips to Keep Your Spray Tan

tips for spray tan

 

I’ve had quite a few friends ask me for my tips for keeping my spray tans, which have inspired this post! I’ve been getting spray tans for vacations for the past three years, so I think I’ve finally figured out what works! If you get a custom spray tan (i.e., someone sprays the tan on you) and spend a decent chuck of change for one, you want that sucker to last! I have a fantastic girl at my local Solar Dimensions who does a fabulous job. She’s so meticulous, and I love that. These tips can work for your booth tans, too, but I think those tans can be so uneven to begin with, so it’s harder to keep it even after showering and sweating.

So here’s my tips for keeping that beloved spray tan!

  1. I think it’s so important that you have moisturized skin. Start lotioning up your body two weeks+ before you get your tan. I used to notice that my tans would start to have a crackle look after a few days, and I determined it was because I was NOT moisturizing my skin before and during my tan. Target those elbows, ankles, and knees. Any lotion works, but I love my Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter.
  2. I make my appointments in the evening. Truthfully, I hate the smell of the tans, and I don’t want any of the tanning product to get on my clothes. Also, I like the tan to soak in all night long before I take a shower in the morning.
  3. Right before you head to get your tan (I do it 30 minutes before), hop in the shower and exfoliate the crap out of your skin. Scrub your elbows, knees, and ankles really well. I also use my light exfoliator on my face. Afterwards, do NOT put on any lotion or makeup. Be squeaky clean!
  4. Some people wear their swimsuits, some go completely nude, some just keep their underwear on…do what feels comfortable for you during your tan. Just remember you will have tan lines.
  5. After you get home from your tan, avoid water and sweating. When you head to bed, the tanning solution will rub off on your sheets. BUT, it does come out in the wash.
  6. When you hop in the shower, there are different tips in themselves! Do not use a washcloth or loofah to wash your body. Lather up your body with your hands only. Washcloths are the worst – you will just see the tan come right off. No super hot water; my girl told me hot water is a no-no. Try to take shorter showers. Shave before your tan so you don’t have to shave those legs so much while you have your tan (so thankful I have blonde hair!)
  7. Once you turn the water off, pat yourself dry with a towel. Do not rub! Again, you’ll see the tan come right off on the towel.
  8. Then, immediately lotion up your entire body. You want to keep that skin and tan moisturized! Do this after EVERY shower.

Now, if you get a tan before vacation, you have the challenge of sunscreen. Dun, dun, duuuuuuuuunnnnnnn! I try and go for an oil-free sunscreen. Neutrogena has some great oil free options.

For those who love to workout, you just need to be sure to wear wicking fabric to take the sweat away and to pat dry with a towel.

My last tan I kept for 10 days! I was actually shocked myself! But over the three years, I’ve learned what not to do. What are some tips that you would want others to know?

A Momma’s Love in Red

I love my mom. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. She is an amazing woman who has taught me so much about love and life…and how to shop. But most importantly, she taught me how to be a mother. How to love my children unconditionally. I can’t thank her enough.

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This last Sunday was my 11th Mother’s Day as a momma! Well, one was when the girl was in the womb, but that totally still counts. Pregnant women everywhere would agree with that statement. These two are my world! I was a younger mom having the girl just after my 24th birthday, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. As I look at my life and reflect on how I’m mothering my children, I think I’m doing a pretty darn good job. I’m protective, but not a helicopter parent. I comfort my children when they are sad, and try and get them to talk about their feelings. I let them make their own choices (to some degree), so they can grow as individuals. It’s so important that these two grow up knowing how to handle life by themselves – that mommy and daddy won’t always be there to solve their problems.

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I had a great Mother’s Day. The girl loves to coordinate with me, and I’m cherishing every freakin’ moment!! So of course we both got new dresses to wear to brunch. I picked up both of our dresses at Von Maur (my favorite store on the planet!). I got mine on sale, while I spotted hers in the girl’s section and couldn’t resist. But, I know she will wear it a ton this summer. It is so fun being this girl’s momma! And of course my son, too! :)

Tabitha Cherie Dress Tabitha Cherie Dress

 

Dress – Tabitha (this was sold out at Anthro!); Shoes – Vince Camuto; Bracelet – Stella & Dot

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy.

Birthday in Blue

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Last Friday I turned 34. It’s crazy how fast time goes by. When I was 24 and had my first baby, I remember thinking to myself, “Gosh, when I’m 34, she’ll be 10.”

Uh.

I’m 34. And my first baby is going to be 10 in a few weeks. (insert small tears here!)

But, to me, age is just a number. I feel better now than I ever have. I’ve never been in better shape or in better tune with my body. With age comes wisdom – or at least it has in my book. One thing that has changed is my love for dresses – ha! Living in the south where it gets hot and sticky, I love wearing dresses. And I love this color of blue…that’s something that hasn’t changed. Blue is my fav.

I got this little diddy at Banana a few weeks ago. I just love everything about it – the neckline, the fit, the flare of the skirt, exposed zipper, the length. I could have put so many different colors with this dress, which makes it so versatile. I decided to wear my multi-colored wedges. I love these!

Banana Republic Fit and Flare Banana Republic Fit and Flare Banana Republic Fit and Flare

Dress – Banana Republic; Shoes – Charles by Charles David; Bracelet – Spartina; Watch – Rolex; Earrings – Banana Republic

One Piece Swimsuits Can Be Cute!

I’m not one of those mommas who gained 50 pounds with each pregnancy and didn’t get one stretch mark. I got a sh*t ton. But, like most mommas, I take pride in my marks because I know I grew two awesome babes.

As the years have passed, they have faded. But, I won’t lie. I’m super self conscious about them. Now, I’ve worn the occasional two piece swimsuit since the kiddos were born, but I typically opt for the one piece. And it makes me so happy that there are such cute options for one pieces! I have a few of the Juicy Couture swim dresses, but opted for a couple of new suits this season.

First, we have this Robin Piccone Penelope Crochet Overlay suit that I picked up at Nordstrom. It’s the perfect mix of a one piece and two piece. And if you like a full coverage bottom, this suit is for you. I never had to worry about it riding up at all. It does run small though, which most swimsuits do. I typically wear a size 6 in most of my clothes, and I bought this suit in a size 10.

Robin Piccone Penelope Crochet Swimsuit Robin Piccone Penelope Crochet Swimsuit

When Jessica Simpson hopped into one of her own swimsuits (the Seashells Bandeau) after losing weight, I wanted to try it on. I was really impressed with how it fit my curves. The suit doesn’t have as much rear coverage as the Robin Piccone, but it still does a good job and didn’t ride up at all when I was walking. I know this may sound silly, but it was kind of annoying when I had to go to the bathroom! I needed to keep the tie in the back tight, so trying to re-tie that myself in the bathroom was a big pain. But, I love the look of this suit, especially when I have a spray tan. It’s also hard to tell in the photo, but the body part of the suit is somewhat shear; it’s lined, but a little shear.

Jessica Simpson Seashells Bandeau Swimsuit Jessica Simpson Seashells Bandeau Swimsuit

 

So are you a fan of one pieces? Have you found any great suits this season?

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy.