Go-To Pink Business Dress

Thursday, April 28, 2016

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When I find myself in a fashion meltdown for work or have customer meetings I always find myself throwing on a structured dress. It is graduation season (congrats!) and when I first graduated two years ago I found myself loving work wear dresses but had the challenge of making it work with my budget. I love the shape of these dresses because they are flattering with many body types without being too tight as a distraction, forgiving when I had too much tex-mex for lunch, and the appropriate length. My first structured dress I actually found at Goodwill and it was a Rebecca Taylor, I found another at Forever 21, and then I found myself in department stores once I got a feel for what others wore in the office. I am known to overdress, but that is because I dress for the job I want, not the job I have. My coworkers joke around that I'm going to interviews when I walk in wearing my dresses. My goal is to one day splurge on some girl boss pieces, so I thought I'd share different price points for the same look depending on your business level. 

Girl Boss

Career Woman


I am always looking for new designers to check out for work wear. What are your favorites?

The Perfect Dresses For Brides: Engagement Party, Bridal Shower, or Rehearsal Dinner

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Dress - Gianni Bini at Dillards, Similar & Similar | Heels less expensive option here | Handbag, similar affordable option here & here (only $36!) | Sweater for the office or church - here

Wedding season is upon us, and I have rallied up my favorite dresses for brides to wear from engagement parties, to bridal showers, or rehearsal dinners. The best part is they are functional for after your bridal events you can wear them again. You don't have to be a bride to wear a white lace dress for Spring or Summer.

Occasion Dresses Under $250

Occasion Dresses Under $100

DIY Bridal Bouquet On A Budget

Friday, April 22, 2016

I am so glad I can stand proud that I was a hands on bride. I was heavily involved in planning my wedding in every little detail. I also work in project management, so handling a project like such is what I do best.  Reminiscing back 6 months later I am so proud of how I accomplished my vision.

After receiving quotes back from the most desired trendy florists in the area, then reassembled my jaw back in place, I had the mission of doing my own flowers on my mind (okay, and saving a boat load of money). I like flowers but not enough to drop the equivalence of a Chanel bag. Let alone, a bride's bouquet is the price of a Kate Spade bag. I am going to break this topic up in to two posts because I feel it is too much to cover in just one post. This is my take on the bouquets.

I spent hours scouring the internet for tips and tricks to get the look I insisted on. Pinterest then a few Youtube videos later I felt confident in the job I was taking on. I consoled in my bridal party, mothers, and some friends that had done their own wedding flowers before I started shopping around and then broke the news to the florist I would have hired. Depending on where you live, the price may be the same as having a florist. Compare both before making a final decision!

* If you are having a destination wedding this task can be a challenge. Approach this at ease unless you have friends and family in the area that can provide buckets, scissors, and other supplies you typically wouldn't travel with. 

1. Collect photos of your desired looks. You will need this before getting quotes from florists or shopping around so they/ you know your style you want and can give a more accurate quote.
These two were my inspiration. I wanted bright pops of color and loose flowing silver dollar eucalyptus. 

2. Know what is in season and compromise! If you want peonies out of season you are going to need a healthy budget. However, you can improvise with a garden rose which isn't as expensive. I made another compromise and went with regular roses through trial learned when they are more open and mimic a small garden rose. I also wanted dahlia's, so I replaced them with mum's (October wedding).

3. Money talks. Quote flowers from wholesale flower shops, Sam's Club online, Costco, Online wholesalers, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, or ordering through a florist.  I went with Sam's Club for a majority of my flowers then got a variety of flowers for bouquets from Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. 

4. Supplies. If you have enough time to plan you can get your supplies when Michael's Craft Store, Joann Fabrics, or Hobby Lobby has a sale on their floral department to get supplies. I did get ribbon 50% off at Michael's ( Buy extra and return any leftovers after the wedding!).  Also try to get extra flower food from your local grocery store.

5. Plan and order. Plan how many flowers you will need depending on how many bridesmaid you have, if doing centerpieces (will discuss topic in a separate post) , and compile it into a spreadsheet or make your own graph to plan out how many for each bouquet/ centerpiece. This will guide you to know the total of flowers you will need. If ordering from Sam's Club I recommend ordering 4 weeks out! This allows proper processing and the flowers to arrive 2 days prior to your wedding. I highly suggest arrival 2 days out.. which leads me to the next topic

6. When your flowers arrive / Go shopping for flowers.  I had my flowers arrive on Thursday morning. They were at my doorstep at 9 AM. * I did get the time of delivery confirmed by FedEx for my neighborhood to ensure I would be home to sign and wouldn't get ruined by the Florida heat.  As soon as you can, get the flowers out of the boxes and into water.

Now on to the fun stuff!

 Steps of Assembly:

1. Mix flower food in buckets of water. *Pick up extra packets from your grocery store for bouquets

2. Free the flowers from the boxes. You will want to remove any thorns and cut an inch off the ends. The major key is to remove any foliage/ leaves that would be submerged into water. This invites bacteria to grow in the water. Then place in buckets of water. 

3. Go run more wedding errands while you let the flowers hydrate.

The flowers I had ordered from Sam's Club were packaged great and had little bags of water tightly fastened on the end of the stems. I let them settle for 3 hours while I went to get accent flowers for the bouquets. When I returned the hydrangeas were much fuller.

 I would have only gotten eucalyptus if i did it over again. The bottom photo, filler was hardly used.

4. Start with the biggest flower, for me is the hydrangea which works as a filler and helped place flowers in the bouquet. Then work in threes. As in adding in 3 similar flowers even placed. I did get mums to add more size to the bouquet.

5. Add the filler! I then surrounded the bouquet with filler. I use mostly eucalyptus not only for the calming scent but the whimsical appearance it added to the bouquets. ( I am not a perfect symmetrical bouquet fan.)

6. Once happy with the appearance, I'd recommend having someone photograph you holding the bouquet or have a bridesmaid hold it so you can decide if you are happy with the look. If you are happy, then proceed with wrapping the bouquet with floral tape to keep everything in place. Cut the stems. Then finish with a ribbon. I'd recommend adding the ribbon the day of so they do not get wet.

7. Lastly put in water and store bouquets in the fridge if possible. Check with your location of ceremony, as I later found out there was a fridge just for flowers in the bridal suite. I could have stored the flowers over night and never had to hassle with it in the morning, meaning more time to relax the day of.

Here is the final result!

Photos by Cat Pennenga Photography

This project can be overwhelming depending on the bride. I had plenty of people around to help but once I got started I used the extra hands to cut, tape, and model. I enjoyed the company the most since I don't get to see everyone all in the same place. Enjoy the process!


As Seen On Insta

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Happy Hump Day! I've rounded up the looks I have shared on Instagram lately and included where everything is from in case you missed it or don't use the Shop Style app! I use Shop Style to make it simple to find out where my items are from and it even directs you directly to the item. There are times an item is sold out but I do my best to find an identical item. I love this innovation to the world of fashion and I also love to share a good sale with fellow fashionistas!

Jacket (now 30% off) | Shirt |  Pants | Shoulder Bag | Sunglasses | Shoes (now 30% off)

Dress from Target is sold out online - similar here | Wedges | Sunglasses | Purse

Top (huge extra 50% sale!)| Jacket | Pants (on major sale) HandbagSimilar | Watch | Shoes

Top (on sale!) | Pantssimilar for less | Handbag | Watch | Sunglasses

Sports Bra | Shorts (some colors on sale!)

Blouse (huge 50% sale going on now!), similar | Similar skirts, 1 2 3 | Heelsaffordable option | Handbag | Sunglasses

Jean Jacket | Top (take an extra 30% off) | Jeggings | Necklace | Rainboots | 

Dress (mines from Target and on sale in store - sold out online) | Sunglasses | Handbag

Jacket (take an extra 30% off) | Shirt | Jeans | Necklacesimilar on sale | Rainboots | Cross-body


Off The Shoulder in Chambray

Monday, April 18, 2016

Dress - Target (sold out) Similar style without lace detail here | Shoes - Toms | Handbag - Prada similar style here for much less  | Sunglasses - Ray Bans

Has chambray ever gone out of style? What is currently trending, is off the shoulder anything. If you have a romper, dress, top, or bikini top, then you are definitely in style this season. This style is friendly for many different body types as it is lose fitting and doesn't reveal cleavage. It's a win win for every woman. I threw this number on real quick for the Farmer's Market to pick up some produce and local grown flowers. I love when I find a sundress the can make a lovely pair with my Toms. Im a sucker for a girly effortless comfortable look. Unfortunately this dress is sold out on Target.com but you may be able to get your hands on it in store on sale. If not, this dress is like it's fraternal twin sister without the lace detail. 

P.s. I would typically reach for a small but there were none in my size so I settled for a medium which provides extra length. I ended up getting two more off the shoulder dresses from Target. When I tried on the small I thought the fit was a bit snug. I recommend going up a size.

Whats your favorite items for an effortless girly look?


Banana Protein Bread

Friday, April 15, 2016

Ever get bananas that go bad and end up tossing them?! I either freeze them for a smoothie when they get to the stage seen above, or I will dump the following ingredients into my mixer and bake. Every time I bake with the intention of being healthy, I challenge myself to incorporate protein but the goal of obtaining a moist texture. 

What you'll need:
1 cup of flour (you can also use coconut flour)
1/2 cup protein powder
3 eggs or egg whites 
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 ripe bananas
1 cup coconut milk ( or almond, or skim milk)
1 handful of almonds
*Optional - 2 tbsp sugar or 1 tbsp stevia

Mixer- Kitchen Aid Breast Cancer Edition | Protein Powder - Quest Nutrition (also recommend Optimum Nutrition

If you don't get chopped almonds and have a blender, food processor, or mixer you can grind up regular almonds. 

Set oven to 335°F
Next add all contents into a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. 

Add mixed batter into a non stick bread pan. This is a silicone bread pan. Glass will work just fine just be sure to spray the dish first with coconut oil spray or pam. 

Bake for 50 minutes or until you can pull a knife clean. ( Excuse my cut marks where I checked to see if the bread was done.) This was right at the 50 minute mark and it was the most moist protein packed baked good I have ever made. 

This pan made 8 servings that my husband who swore he disliked banana bread has ate 75% of the loaf. 

Macro breakdown per 1 serving: 
Calories - 146
Carbs - 20 grams
Fat - 4 grams
Protein - 8 grams
Sodium - 74 grams
Sugar - 4 grams

Comment below if you have any favorite healthy protein baked goods!


Scallops & Stripes

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Top - Banana Republic Currently on sale! | Skirt - Old Navy but not in stock. Similar Styles by highest to lowest in price Marc JacobsKate SpadeVince (80% off), and most affordable here | Handbag - Prada but I have found two dupe Tory Burch, and here | Heels - Steve Madden  or Target | Sunglasses - Ray Bans

Sharing a side of my office style today under the influence of spring. As I settled into post grad life, I have realized I lacked professional attire. Luckily my office is business casual and most days everyone wears jeans. They also complain when they hear heels clicking around the tile (thinking my boss is approaching). However, the male dominated office jean trend doesn't stop me from wearing skirts and dresses as long as they are an appropriate length.

When I first researched office attire I read an unwritten rule that if a woman didn't wear a silk blouse to an interview, she wouldn't get the role. I find this to be a personal preference, but just to be safe when I saw this silk scalloped blouse, on sale in my favorite color I had to get it. The skirt is last season but I've shared similar styles at all different price points. They'd all go great with the blouse.

I'd love to hear what your favorite spring trends for the office are!


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