Off the Shoulder Bikini // Tassel Earrings

Hollister Bikini Top, similar HERE and HERE // Victoria’s Secret Bikini Bottoms, similar HERE // H&M Earrings, similar HERE, HERE, and HERE // Similar Sunglasses HERE

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of the off the shoulder trend so imagine my excitement when I started seeing the style make it’s way to bikini tops!  I knew I had to have this olive off the shoulder bikini top for my recent trip to the Cayman Islands but didn’t want to take the risk of not getting it in time by ordering online.  I was by far the oldest person in the store, minus the moms shopping with their teenage daughters, but that didn’t stop me!

If you’re wondering if this left me with some funny tan lines, it didn’t.  I had a few days of a tan going before I wore it so I’m sure that helped.  I’ve had friends voice fear getting odd tan lines from high neck and caged tops but I’ve never had a problem with those either.  HERE and HERE are a couple other similar off the shoulder bikini tops in other colors.

I like to mix and match my bikini tops and bottoms.  Mine are a few years old from Victoria’s Secret and I don’t see them online anymore.  HERE is the same style with a few colors options.

I don’t always wear big earrings with my bikinis but, when I do, I think it’s super fun.  I found these shell tassel earrings at H&M a few months ago but they are sold out online right now.  I would be willing to bet that you could still find them in stores.  But, just in case, HERE, HERE, and HERE are some other cute tassel options for you.

It was my first time to Grand Cayman and it was as beautiful as I had imagined.  As you can see, the water is clear and aqua and the sand is white and soft.

We stayed at the Westin which has recently been renovated.  We loved it there!  It was beautiful resort with excellent service.  I’ll plan on giving a recap of our visit soon to share what we did and our experience.

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Positive Vibes Muscle Tee // Pom Pom Bracelet

Fifth Sun Muscle Tee // Lululemon Shorts // BaubleBar Bracelet // RayBan Sunglasses

I am by no means a regular yogi.  I like the idea of it but have really never been able to get into it as part of my regular routine.  When I do practice, I prefer instruction vs. a free flow style class.

On our trip to the Cayman Islands last week, we stayed at the Westin and they offered free yoga classes on the beach twice a day.  My husband was interested in checking out the 8:00 am class so I thought I’d join him and give it a try.

I liked it so much that I went the next two mornings after that.  For me to set an alarm and wake up early to exercise, especially on vacation, you have to believe it was worth going to!  We had a new instructor each day but each were demonstrative and taught in a way that worked for people of all levels of experience.  Practicing on the beach is clearly beautiful but it also added a balance challenge that I personally enjoyed.

For several days leading up to our trip I had been doing some intense TRX and BOSU workouts so I was pretty sore to begin with but I really felt the beach yoga had an element of strength building that I haven’t experienced before.  I have been making an effort to put more time into stretching this certainly helped with that.

Normally I would wear leggings to yoga but the only pair I had with me were worn on the plane and I planned on wearing home.  I packed these Lululemon shorts and a similar pair for any workouts on the trip.  Although the shorts are made for running (and no I don’t run either!), they were good for yoga because they are comfortable to move in and have built in “underwear”.  I still wear other underwear with them but the built in pair ensure that all of my “lady parts” are covered for some of those awkward poses!

I’m really into muscle tees and wear them frequently to Pilates.  I have a few from Target that are so thin and soft, including this “Positive Vibes” muscle tee.

I can’t stop buying pom pom everything!  They add an element of playful whimsy to your look.  This pom pom bracelet is a keeper and will definitely be on repeat for quite some time.

I still love my Pilates practice more than anything I do, but it was good to mix it up.  If I had access to beach yoga where I live, I’m pretty sure I would be adding that to my routine!

One thing that I had been thinking about doing before our trip is waking up an hour earlier than I normally do during the week to be even more productive.  I am a person that NEEDS sleep and operates best on 9 hours. I figure that if it becomes a problem that I could try going to bed an hour earlier if needed.  I did it for the first time today and I feel pretty great!  Sending positive vibes that I can stick with this new routine.

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Chunky Knit Scarf // Velvet Slip On Sneakers

Larry Levine Coat // Free People Scarf, similar HERE // Steve Madden Sneakers // Shop Inspire Boutique Sunglasses

I am leaving for the Cayman Islands Saturday morning.  I’m packed for the most part and getting my nails done tomorrow.  I’m trying something new that I’ll have to fill you in on after.  No one wants to see this scary white body in a dress, shorts, and never mind a bikini so I went to get a spray tan today.  So, no pics of me while I “develop” for at least 8 hours!

It’s crazy to think it will be 60 degrees here this weekend! It is February right?  While it’s going to be mild here next week it was chilly this week and we are likely to see some cold temps the next few months.  So while I may have the beach and warm weather on my mind, the reality is we need to be prepared to bundle up a little while longer.

I have been lusting after a chunky knit blanket.  I’m probably going to bite the bullet on that soon but in the meantime I scored this chunky knit scarf at Nordstrom Rack for $12!  What??  HERE is a similar one and boy are you going to want one.  So cozy!  I had a lady approach me in Target today (pre spray tan!) asking if I knit it myself.  I wish!  I do not have knitting skills or I would have made chunky knit scarves and blankets in multiples by now!  Apparently she tried to make one and it didn’t turn out so I think she was hoping for some tips.  Sadly I was of no help.

I also broke in my new gray velvet slip on sneakers while running errands earlier today.  So cute and comfortable!  These will be a staple in my wardrobe now and through the spring.  They also come in black and blush.  If I didn’t already have a blush pair of sneakers you better believe those would be the ones on my tootsies!

Is anyone else going on a trip next week?  Where to?

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Love Sweatshirt // Lip Earring Studs

Grayson Threads Sweatshirt // Alo Leggings // KYI KYI Beanie // Kate Spade Earrings, similar HERE // Stella & Dot Choker

I’ll keep this one short and sweet on this Valentine’s Day!  My funny valentine is out of town on business so I’m keeping it comfy casual today.

This love sweatshirt is only available in stores so hopefully you can find it in one near you.  It’s on clearance and super soft.

I’ve posted about the Alo Goddess leggings before HERE and HERE.  They are a staple in my rotation.  They come in several color combos.

My sweetheart ordered me some wild leggings for Valentine’s Day that just arrived today.  He knows I love a good pair of crazy leggings!  He was hoping they would have been here before they left.  I convinced him to let me open them today since it IS V Day and I gave him his gift this weekend 😉

These Kate Spade lip stud earrings are no longer available but HERE is a very similar pair.  They super fun when you want to add a little edge to your look.

I hope you are doing something fun with your love or for yourself if you are solo this year.  Inhale love.  Exhale Hate.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Slouchy Cardigan // Floral Choker Blouse // Velvet Joggers

Belle Vere Blouse, similar HERE and HERE // Free People Cardigan // Who What Wear Joggers // BCBGeneration Shoes, similar HERE // Kate Spade Clutch, similar HERE // BaubleBar Earrings, similar HERE and HERE

I’m loving my new velvet joggers so I decided to show you another look that I wore for a night out this weekend.  I have some others in mind so I’ll keep you posted as I get them in the rotation!

I was planning on a look with a blouse tucked or half tucked.  I was thinking I would wear something I already had but I stumbled across this floral choker blouse at Marshall’s the other day and thought it would be just perfect!  HERE and HERE are similar styles but choker tops are everywhere right so you shouldn’t have a problem finding something that suits your style whether it’s printed or solid.  Also, any blouse would work with a choker necklace or a fun statement necklace.

Because I’m basically obsessed with this slouchy cardigan that I also have in oatmeal, I layered it over top for a little extra warmth.  The restaurant we went to was nice and toasty so it was nice to have the option to peel it off there and show off more of the blouse.

My BaubleBar blush tassel earrings complimented the blouse nicely.  They are available in a variety of colors and also in a line for Target HERE and HERE at a better price point.

Heels were a must to dress up the joggers for a night out!  Mine are sold out but HERE is a similar style.

Anyone watching the Celebrity Apprentice finale tonight?  Matt or Boy George?  Toughie!  Matt’s got the organization and creativity but Boy George has an edge in fundraising.  Will be interesting to see how it all pans out.

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Oversized Sweater // Lace Slip Skirt // Ankle Boots

Express Sweater // Who What Wear Skirt // Catherine Malandrino Boots // Sugarfix by BaubleBar Earrings // Express Choker

Meet my new favorite lace slip skirt!  I’ve been embracing the midi length style and love this particular one that incorporates the lingerie look trend.  This one will definitely be making the trip to Rome with me this spring! Looking forward to other ways to style it.  Get this one while you can.  It’s on clearance!

Oh and a little side note: I’m really liking the Who What Wear collection at Target.  I’ve picked up a few things for myself, including this skirt,  but I can’t help thinking how much of it would be super cute to rotate into a business casual work wardrobe.

You’ve seen me wear my oversized sweater HERE and HERE.  I normally wear an XS at Express but I sized up to a M for a roomier look.  It’s super cozy with long sleeves with thumb holes and a removable snood (the infinity scarf looking part!).  This one is also on sale and available in other colors.

Ankle boots and chunky heels are on trend in footwear right now.  While this is a huge chunk, it’s bulkier than I usually wear.  I love the drawstring bow detailing on these as well.  I think these will look great over leggings or skinny jeans as well.

This was a fun date night look last night.  Even though it’s pretty chilly here I thought I could pull off a little bare leg with the ankle boots, longer length skirt and a cozy sweater.  Luckily I have a pretty great hubby that drops me off at the door too!

Tonight is the last night of Birmingham (MI) Restaurant Week for anyone local!  I highly recommend checking it out.  I’ve been a few places (Streetside, Hyde Park, and Bistro Joe’s) and haven’t been disappointed.  Great deals and yummy dishes!

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Velvet Joggers // Statement Earrings

Mossimo Joggers // Express Tee, similar HERE // Jessica Simpson Heels // Kate Spade Handbag, similar HERE // BaubleBar Earrings // Stella & Dot Cuff

Joggers are my go to travel pants.  Not only are they super comfy but I love the fact that they can easily be dressed up with a pair of heels and accessories.  I’m still obsessing over all things velvet so when I spotted these velvet joggers while shopping, I began a mad hunt to find them in my size.  They are available in all sizes online but I lucked out and found them in my size in the clearance section for $12 at another store!

I chose this tee because it skims the top of the pants to show off the cinched waist.  HERE is a similar tee but if yours doesn’t skim you could always do a bit of a half tuck in front.

Other options for this look could include a blouse half tucked or layering a long cardi over your tee.  Of course you can go more casual with a pair of booties or sneakers which you can expect to see me in on repeat!

Accessories really amp up this look.  An oversized watch with some arm candy was my first thought but opted for my black lace cuff for an edgy yet feminine look.

GIRLS!!!  If you are in need of some “of the moment” jewelry you need to visit your local Target or target.com.  BaubleBar has a line there called Sugarfix that is so super cute and affordable.  I’m loving all of their tassel and fringe earrings.  They have a decent selection of chokers and adorable statement earrings like these cuties with tulle!  Really excited about this collaboration.

I need to start thinking about what I’m bringing on our mid winter break trip to the Cayman Islands next week.  The velvet joggers are a given.  Even though I have somewhat embraced my tan-less skin it is getting awfully pastey.  Looking forward to some sun and sand!

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Super Bowl Appetizer / Mini Corn Dog Muffins with Honey Mustard Aioli

I’m going to a Super Bowl party tonight and was asked to bring a drink or appetizer.  I typically flip on the Today Show during the week when I wake up to start my day.  This past week they featured various Super Bowl party recipe ideas.  One that caught my eye was for mini corn dog muffins with honey mustard aioli.
I had just discovered and made a gluten free cornbread from Trader Joe’s that my family really liked so I thought that I could grab another box and make a modified version of this idea.  I decided I would use chicken sausage links instead of hot dogs too.
A few days later I searched the Today Show’s website looking for their recipe so that I could make the aioli.  I wasn’t able to locate it but I did find this aioli recipe while searching Pinterest that I used instead.
I know they sound a little odd but they are pretty tasty.  I accidentally overfilled my mini muffin cups with my first batch so they didn’t turn out as pretty as I’d hoped. They expanded while baking and attached to one another.  With the next batch I made sure to only fill the cups half way and they turned out perfectly.
Mini Corn Dogs with Honey Mustard Aioli
Prep Time: 20 min     Total Time: 30 min     Yield: 48 pieces
Ingredients
For the aioli:
  • ½ cup mayo
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons honey dijon mustard (or 1 tablespoon honey + 2 tablespoons dijon)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper

For the muffins:

  • Trader Joe’s Cornbread Mix (I used the gluten free version)
  • Coconut Oil
  • 1 Egg
  • Almond Milk
  • Chicken Sausage Links (I used Trader Joe’s Maple Chicken Sausages) cut in quarters
  • Coconut Oil Spray
Instructions
Preheat oven to 375 degress
For the aioli:
  1. In a small bowl, mix together ingredients until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the muffins:

  1. Follow the instructions on the box mixing all ingredients with a mixer for 2-3 minutes.  For the oil I melted coconut oil and used almond milk for the milk.
  2. Spray mini muffin tins with coconut oil spray.
  3. Fill each cup with 1/2 a table spoon of cornbread mixture.  Don’t overfill as the mixture rises while baking.
  4. Place a quartered chicken sausage link in the center of each cup pushing to the bottom
  5. Bake for 15 minutes

If you’re looking for a quick and easy app this is it!  My taste tester husband approved!

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Pom Pom Beanies

 

Free People Cardigan // Fifth Sun Tee // TopShop Choker

As much as I’m craving some sand and sun, I think I may go through some withdrawals when it’s too warm for my pom pom beanie obsession!  Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow yesterday on Groundhog’s Day so that’s at least 6 more weeks of winter weather just begging for these cutie yet functional accessories.

Here are my top 6 picks to get you through those cool/cold days of winter.  Many of these are on major SALE right now!  Bonus!

  1. Blush Chunky Knit Pom Beanie

2. BRRR Pom Beanie

3. Black Fur Pom Beanie

4. Colorblock Pom Beanie

5. Veiled Beanie

winter accessories

6. Chunky Knit Beanie

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Blanket Scarf Tutorial

I’ve had a few requests for a tutorial on how to tie a blanket scarf.  The good news is that it is SO easy!  I have 3 go-to ways that I wear mine.  I’ll start with the most common.

Method #1

Step 1: Blanket Scarfs are square in shape.  Start by taking one corner and folding it over to meet the diagonal corner.  You should have a triangle shape.

Step 2: Position the scarf so that one corner is pointing toward the ground and the other two are in each of your hands.  Pull the corners in your hands behind your neck.  Cross the right end over the left and pull the left up through the center to tie.  I usually keep pulling until the corner in front is about waist level.

Step 3: Drop the ends in front of your shoulders.  You can stop here for one look but I typically take those ends and tie them once underneath the triangle.  Fluff and position the scarf for your desired look.

Method #2

Step 1: Start with the triangle.

Step 2: Take the center corner and fold it over 3-4 inches and continue rolling over toward the flat edge.

Step 3: Put the rolled scarf behind your neck and pull so that the left end is about waist level.  Take the right end and wrap it counter clockwise around your neck bringing the end back in front of your shoulder.  Adjust so the ends are even or close to even.

Method 3:

Step 1: Fold into a triangle.

Step 2: Flip the triangle over your head and behind your back with the center corner pointing toward the ground.  Take the other two corners and pull them over your shoulders and let them drape.  You could tie them in front as well.  This method is great in place of a light jacket or sweater on a cool day or night.  It can also give you the cape look if you choose to make it part of your ensemble.  Add a belt over the top at your waist for yet another look.

J Crew Shirt // Paige Jeans, similar HERE // Express Socks // Forever 21 Beanie, similar HERE // Blanket Scarf, similar HERE // Michael Kors Belt

These are just some of the ways a blanket scarf can be worn that I’ve tried.  I’ve also been known to use it as an actual blanket when traveling, at the movies, or in Pilates class (well I did yesterday for the warm up……it was so cold in there!).  I’d love to hear about other ways you wear your blanket scarf.  Please comment below!

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