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5 FUN WAYS TO DRESS UP A STRAW BAG FOR SUMMER

5 FUN WAYS TO DRESS UP A STRAW BAG FOR SUMMER

We’ve all got our favorite summertime accessory, and for me it’s hands down a great straw bag!  Straw clutches, structured totes, or floppy beach bags… I love them all!  This classic straw tote has been a favorite of mine for years, and if you follow my outfit posts on Instagram or the blog chances are you’ve seen it already!  I think straw bags of any style are a perfect way to add texture and a light and airy look to any outfit.

We have spent an incredible week vacationing on the beaches in Maine and this dependable straw tote came along with me.  It’s lightweight, packs well, and holds up to sun, sand, and water.  Straw bags look great just as they are, but they’re also fun to dress up and add a bit of pizazz ya know?  So I thought I would share with you some of my favorite ways to dress up a straw bag for summer.

Small scarves or hair ties are such an easy way to add pattern and color to really pump up your outfit.  Some come with ties already attached but I prefer to add my own.  This is my favorite set of bag scarves.   I use them all the time from this bag to my Prada and Louis Vuitton bags as well.  The Combo Set A comes with polka dots, stripes, leopard, and a nice floral print, and there are lots of other combos to choose from too!  You can also wrap the handles, single or double, with it for another cute look.

You can’t go wrong with adding a classic fun flower to your straw bag for summer.  I usually pick these up at craft stores near the jewelry making section.  They have a pin and a clip so you can attach it however is easiest.  You can also clip these flowers to flip flops if the plastic toe divider is thin enough.

Let’s not forget the classic versatile bag charm, it looks great on any bag including straw!  For under $10 you can get an entirely different look!  This is another fun bag charm I like to rotate with my Prada and Louis collection as well.

A broach on a straw bag?  Why yes!  This is probably my favorite because I love mixing fancy with rustic.  If your tote is thick like mine obviously you can’t pin it through.  The trick is to pin the needle deep and pointing down, the pin will remain open but it will be secure.  While doing a quick search for affordable broaches I found this honey bee broach that’s so perfect for summer.

Tassels are just plain fun, I really love the tropical colors this one adds!  Just tie one on and you’re ready for a summertime party!  I can’t speak for all straw bags but this one I have holds up great in the water, it doesn’t disintegrate, mold, or lose it’s shape at all.

I absolutely loved wearing this vibrant dress and it was quick drying too, making it great to play in the ocean in.  Surprisingly the water wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be.  I’ll be sharing our Maine vacation adventures with you this week and I can’t wait!  We had an incredible time!  These photos were all taken at Sand Beach in Acadia National Park.  You have no idea the extreme lengths we had to go to in order to have the beach all to ourselves… but that’s a story for my next blog post.

FUN MIX & MATCH WORKOUT WEAR

FUN MIX & MATCH WORKOUT WEAR

Lululemon Mix and Match workout outfits

I’ve been on a big fitness kick lately so I thought I’d share some of my favorite mix and match workout wear pieces with you!  Unless you were one of the lucky ones, I think most of us gained a little while being stuck at home during COVID.  My daily bread baking phase, as delicious as it was, was definitely not kind to my waistline.  I don’t know about you but I can’t just snap my fingers and force diet and exercise motivation.  If I force it, it doesn’t stick very long.  But alas I’ve found my motivation, and do you know what gave it to me?  Sushi!  I know… doesn’t that sound crazy?  Let me explain.

Brian and I are big sushi lovers and since moving to Colorado we’re always looking for amazing new restaurants to try.  One day we found a sushi restaurant that had great reviews, yes the food was delicious, but across the street was a Pilates studio.  The next time we ate there as I was walking up to the door I turned my head and there it was again, the Pilates studio.  During dinner it all hit me, I have not felt good about my body since leaving Pilates.  I took regular Pilates reformer classes in Texas and I didn’t realize how happy it made me.  I’m pretty injury prone and Pilates made me feel strong, lean, and healthy.. plus it’s such a great way to zone out and de-stress.

I’m happy to say I’m back in reformer classes and I’ve never felt better!  It’s definitely an investment in my time, but it’s a worthy one.  I drive an hour each way to class meaning each time I take a Pilates class it’s a 3 hour time investment, but my body and my health are worth it.  There are always excuses or reasons not to do something, but my new motto is NO EXCUSES!  Ok getting back on topic here, it was a few weeks after taking classes that I realized my workout clothes were pretty pitiful and it was time for some upgrades.  Can I just say having cute and flattering workout clothes has only made me more excited to attend classes.  It’s funny how that works.  So below I’m sharing with you some of my favorite pieces that are easy to mix and match that are also very comfortable.

 

Over 40 workout outfits

I’ve got to say I’m not a big fan of racerback style sports bras, I have a few but honestly they have always hurt my neck and upper back.  So for the most part I’ve learned to embrace my straps hanging out.  It’s especially cute when it adds a pop of color I think.  If you’re looking for a flattering workout top that isn’t fitted around your stomach this one is great!  I’m wearing my regular size and it’s loose while still being flattering.  It looks really cute knotted too.  I love how these leggings are quick drying.  I spilled water on them and  was dry about a minute later.

Leggings | Top | Sports Bra | Earrings

Lululemon Mix and Match workout outfits

When it came to workout leggings I used to have a black only rule, but this year is all about changes so I’m branching out and having more fun.  I love the pretty floral pattern here but even more I love the pockets on the sides!  They’re hardly noticeable but it’s a great spot to stick your keys or phone while exercising.

Leggings | Top | Earrings

Zella workout outfits

Leggings | Top | Sports bra

Give me a good solid black outfit anyway!  I love the sheer stripes on this top, it’s fun and flirty without being too revealing.  I chose a black sports bra but I think a contrasting pop of color would be another fun look, this top comes in several other colors too.  Another win for the leggings, not only are they buttery soft but they have those clever pockets that are so handy.

Mix and Match workout outfits

Leggings | Top | Sports Bra

Snakeskin has been so popular lately but I haven’t really jumped on the trend.  No, I’m not afraid of snakes, I just haven’t found a piece that really jumped out to me until now.  These leggings just make working out more fun!  I also love a good basic workout tank and this 2 pack was such a great price, it looks cute relaxed or knotted.

Amazon Mix and Match workout outfits

Leggings | Top

This top has a built in sports bra so you can skip it for low or medium impact workouts.  It is such a bargain and super flattering too.  It’s racerback but it doesn’t put pressure on my neck and upper back like the sports bras do.  Comes in several other colors too.

Lululemon Mix and Match workout outfits

Leggings | Top

Another workout top that has a built in bra, and it’s perfect for low impact workouts such as yoga, pilates, walking, and cycling.  It comes in other colors too.  Happy workouts my friends!  I think workouts are so much more when you have a cute outfit on.  Wouldn’t you agree?

SPRING DRESSES UNDER $100

SPRING DRESSES UNDER $100

Spring dresses under $100

When it comes to clothing choices I’m definitely a dress girl, honestly it’s hard for me not to buy every dress I see.  While I’m a huge fan I also don’t like to spend a fortune either, so today I’m focusing on gorgeous spring dresses all under $100.  Temps are starting to warm up in Texas but then again we still get some cool days thrown in here and there, so I love the fact that this fresh spring dress has long sleeves.

Spring dresses under $100

I especially love this peach dress I’m wearing which is just $39.99 and so flattering!  Ashley loved it so much she begged me to buy her the same dress.  It comes in black too, you really can’t go wrong with any color.  Then again I’m also in love with this dress from ruffle wrap in teal, and this dress as well.  But hello we’re moving and the more I buy the more I just have to pack and drag up to Colorado.  Y’all don’t even get me starting on packing.  I’ve packed 6 boxes and I’m already completely over it!

One thing I do like about this dress is the concealed hook at the top so I’m not busting out cleavage and embarrassing my kids.  I wish more dresses had hooks like this, but when a dress it too low cut one of my tricks is a lace tube top that goes over your bra, every dress loving lady needs a few colors of these.  They work really well with tops too, I wore my black one in our Christmas card photos.

Spring dresses under $100

So did everyone enjoy carrot week last week?  Haha… what can I say spring makes me think of carrots and floral dresses.  I’ll have you know my carrot flower arrangement lasted a good 10 days.  I’m definitely making another one for Easter.

Here are more great spring dresses to choose from, all under $100.  Have a fabulous weekend!

MY BIRTHDAY OUTFIT

MY BIRTHDAY OUTFIT

It’s official, I am now 41!  You can’t let aging get you down because not everyone gets the privilege.  As long as I can continue to be who I am, have fun, act silly, and have fun with my clothes I’m just fine.  I had so much fun putting this outfit together, it’s fun, festive, and best of all pink!  I’ll talk more about that after the photos.

My birthday blog post was a bit of a downer I know, but honestly writing out my feelings about my and my daughter’s birthday really did make me feel better.  It felt cleansing, and next year we plan on doing more good deeds.  We brought cupcakes to our local fire station and made their day.  Then we ended up eating at Nobu in Dallas and it was amazing!

So, my birthday present?  Can you guess what it is?  It’s in all the photos…

Pink Camisole Top |  Skirt – similar one | Necklace | Shoes – lower priced option HERE | Earrings | Leopard Clutch – similar one

So did you guess my present?  You probably thought the clutch, shoes, or maybe the jewelry.  It’s the shoes!  When it comes to a great pair of black pumps my wardrobe has been lacking.  All I wanted were these perfect Prada pumps.  Prada is one of the few designers that doesn’t kill my feet.  I love the pointed toe and also how the soles of the shoes are black and not nude.  Seriously it’s love!!

The Dolce & Gabbana leopard clutch is also a new purchase.  The D&G leopard print is perfection in my book, I have the matching tote and I’ve always wanted more pieces.  I found this clutch, which is sold out by accident, for a fraction of the original price on Fashionphile and it’s in incredible condition!

I love this pink camisole top too, it’s the most gorgeous shade of pink!  I’ve been on a mission to collect more cami tops because they work so well with my wardrobe, I’m a huge fan of the ones from J. Crew & Banana Republic.  It looks great with jeans and especially cute tucked into this skirt.  I really love Eliza J skirts, I have several.  A lot of people think they run small but they just seem that way because they are meant to be worn high up on the waist.  Above I linked some similar skirts, but usually around the holidays you can find Eliza J black skirts at Nordstrom or Dillards.  I’m not really a fan of her tops but her skirts work really well in a variety of outfits.

I’ve got to say taking photos with these balloons was like taking photos with a 3 year old… haha… they were crazy!

Any Waitress fans out there?  I am, and for Haley’s birthday, at her request, I ended up making one of the pies from the recipe book.  I’m going to post it on Saturday… you’ll crack up when you see the name.  Enjoy the rest of the week!

EUROPE SUMMER OUTFITS

EUROPE SUMMER OUTFITS

Location: Rapallo, Italy…

I need to take a short travel break and talk about something else, LOL.  I always try to keep variety on the blog, but suddenly I feel like it’s only travel.  But then again all I’m doing is traveling and I love sharing it, so what can I do?  I have had clothes on my mind a lot the past few days.  First let’s discuss the obvious.  The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, yeah I’m pretty much dying on the inside, I’m trying to power through it though.  I’ve tried to look for great sale items, but honestly I can’t… I’m not in the right frame of mind, plus I won’t be home until after the sale. Have you gotten anything good?

I still want to catch up on some other travel posts, I have Bruges and Dublin that we’ve already been to that I need to sort out.  To break up the travel pattern I thought I’d do an outfit round up.  The black dress above is really old, there is one left in green on Amazon, but I did find a black dress with similarities here.  When you’re going to be traveling for long periods of time it’s all about the basics, that’s all you can do.

Packing the basics has really paid off on this trip, but I did pack some snazzier (I hope that’s a real word) for Paris, and then there were times in London & Bruges that it totally slipped my mind to get a photo.  On one evening I wore my favorite camisole top tucked into this pencil skirt with a statement necklace and it was really cute.  Having an honest moment though, wearing the same articles of clothing literally over and over is kind of getting to me.  When I was in Ireland I went to H&M and bought a sweater, a t-shirt, and pair of earrings for around 40 pounds and it really helped my clothing boredom.

Location:  Milan…

Dress | Bracelet | Sunglasses

When it comes to Europe in the summer, especially Italy where it’s so hot, a light weight stretchy dress is essential!  It’s so breezy and cool, doesn’t wrinkly hardly at all, and it washes like a dream.  I can wash it in the sink, roll it in a towel, and hang it to dry and it’s good to go in 3-4 hours.  I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve worn this dress.

The big square sunglasses I bought on the first day in Milan, I can’t get enough of them.  I can be tired and dirty, with frizzy hair looking like a sweaty sausage, then I put on these sunglasses and I feel like a glamorous fashionista!

Location:  Lake Como, Italy…

Camisole | Denim Skirt | Sandals | Earrings | Cross Body Purse – (sold out, similar one)

I love this camisole top with just about everything!  This denim skirt I’ve had for years in my closet and I’ve worn it maybe once over the years.  For whatever reason I had the urge to pack it and I’ve worn the heck out of it, and I can’t believe Nordstrom still has it for sale!  It’s lightweight and washes up well.

Another travel essential for me is always a cross body bag.  I specifically like ones that have credit card slots and detachable straps so they can be carried like a clutch.  To save space I’m also using this clutch as my regular wallet inside of my larger black purse.

Location:  Kensington Palace, London…

Location:  Notting Hill, London…

White Tee | Belt | Earrings | Jeans | Black Flats

My simple go to casual look, nothing but essential items: skinny jeans, a white tee, and black flats.  I always feel like a French girl when I wear these black flats, getting in and out of cabs and trains has been hard on them though.  They’ll need some TLC when I return home, I’m going to try to get another year out of them.

Another winning star, my black Givenchy bag, I normally baby all my bags but I feel like I’ve beaten the Hell out of this one and it still looks new.  Because of neck and shoulder issues I’m usually into hand-held purses but the shoulder strap has been such a lifesaver!

Pink Blazer (actual one)Similar One Here | Black Tank | Bracelet 1 | Bracelet 2 | Earrings 

I’m really bummed out that this pink blazer is out of stock except for a few sizes.  I have a feeling it will be restocked, and I know Banana Republic sells matching pants for it, so I’m holding out hope they will.  I did find another cute pink blazer, it’s a more of a hot pink, still really cute.

The pink blazer I’m wearing though is the Classic Fit Wool Blazer and I found it was narrow in the arms & shoulders so I went up a size.  I love BR blazers, they come is such great colors and cuts.  I love this red version, and this pretty lilac one.  I also have the long and lean black blazer and I love the cut so much, it’s more flattering and slimming than the pink, and it’s cut a bit looser so I bought my regular size.  You can never go wrong with purchasing a good blazer, they go with everything.

Location: Stonehenge, England…

Location:  Bath, England…

Dress  | Sunglasses | Flip flops

This poor black dress is working hard, I’ve worn it so many days.  I’ve dressed it up with heels and a clutch, I’ve worn it with a denim jacket, and I’ve washed it in the sink countless times.  It’s been a total champ.  Unrelated, I’ve given up on having my feet look nice.  I have tired, swollen, flip flop feet lately.

Location:  Temple Bar, Dublin…

Denim Jacket | Scarf (similar)

Same jeans, same tank, and denim jacket but ta-da… I added a scarf.  Can you tell I’ve been drinking Guinness and look 4 months pregnant?  Probably not, thanks to my Rebecca Minkoff scarf, it’s sold out but this one I found is very similar.  It stays in my purse for when I get a sudden beer belly or if I get dirty or cold.

Black Sweater | Jeans (similar) | Pink Earrings | Polka Dot Sunglasses

I’m sure you’ve been hearing about this Europe heat wave, the entire planet seems to be sizzling, so it was so refreshing when one day I was so cold in Ireland that I had to stop and buy a sweater.  I had to buy some authentic Ireland fashions at H&M – ha!  But that store has pretty awesome stuff, like these pink earrings below, they are so lightweight and come in a ton of colors.

My computer is flipping out with this whole time zone thing, everything is being so weird!  Even now when I’m trying to link things it’s listing the prices in pounds and euros, so hopefully things make sense when you click on them!  My next travel post will be on Bruges, it’s seriously dreamy and it’s going to be a 2 part, the first being the FOOD!  Currently we’re exploring some smaller towns outside London and this weekend we’ll be in Paris.  Other than the heat I’m loving every minute here, except I miss my kiddos.  Have a great weekend!

MY FAVORITE CAMISOLE TOP

MY FAVORITE CAMISOLE TOP

Cheers, it’s Friday!  It’s looking like I won’t be able to post any outfit or fashion stuff for a few weeks so I wanted to hurry up and share this awesome camisole top with you!  I’m always on the lookout for the perfect cami and I think I’ve finally found it!  I wear camisole tops constantly, they look great with practically anything.  I wear them alone, layered, casual, and dressed up.   In the summer my favorite date night look is just a simple camisole with jeans or a skirt and pretty jewelry.  When the weather is cooler, my go to look is a cami, blazer or tweed jacket, and a statement necklace.  It’s also great for workwear, so many options!

Camisole top | Jeans | Necklace | Earrings | Bag | Shoes (similar)

I’ve gone through a few other camisole tops lately, I even posted one on Instagram but never mentioned those on the blog because for whatever reason they never felt right.  Either they were too stiff, cut wrong, or dry clean only, it was always something!  Since it’s just over a week until we leave for Europe I’m on the hunt for the perfect items that will work with me while we’re over there for 6 weeks.  My other dry clean tops just won’t work.  Can you imagine trying to find dry cleaners in Europe?  Not happening.

This top fits my criteria in every way.  First of all, it’s machine wash so it’s definitely making its way into my suitcase, and it will be a great piece for all the multiple climates I’m in.  Hello – can we say stressed out, by the way, trying to figure out clothing options?  From Italy to Scotland and everywhere in between, it’s been so hard!  My plan is just to take lots of basic pieces so I can hopefully build a lot of outfits and not get bored.

The texture of this top is so silky and beautiful, and it’s just the right length to wear tucked or untucked.  The straps are adjustable, it fits true to size, and it comes in other colors and patterns.  I’ve also bought this polka dot top and you’ll definitely be seeing me wearing it in the future!  The pink is backordered for a few weeks, but I think it’s definitely worth the wait along with any other colors on backorder.

I have a home post in the works, and I’m excited to show you my summer home acents.  See ya next week – otherwise known as “Laura will be a complete nervous wreck basket case week because nothing is ready and she hasn’t even bought luggage yet”.