Friday, July 31, 2015

Easy Girls' Night Snacks

One of my favorite parts about being homeowner is having the ability to entertain whenever we please, especially outdoors in the summertime. My husband renovated our deck when we moved in so I relish the warm months here and take every opportunity to enjoy meals and coffee wine out there, especially with my girlfriends...

Because let's face it, there's just some things men can't truly appreciate...candles and flowers are theoretically romantic but only your girlfriends will see the real thought put into that. But even more so, us girls have a thing for snacking...chips, queso, humus, salsa, guac, pick your poison...whatever it is, I find that most men would rather skip the small bites and go straight to the meat and potatoes (literally). 

Me? I am all about the dips (bout the dips, no entree), especially when they can be made in under a minute and still make a nice presentation...enter Hormel Snackers.

4 dips to choose from, ready in seconds and perfect to pair with everything from celery sticks to toasted bread or crackers. 

Life is good when something basic becomes fancy with no effort..nobody even has to know the dips came from a container..if you want to play the homemade card, we won't tell if you won't ;)

And things only get more adorable when you choose vino based on the clever can you pass up "once upon a vine?" Can't you just hear your friends now? "I can't even with that wine"...

And if this is a blogger soiree, there will undoubtedly be some Instagram-able moments so your guests will thank you for providing them with the perfect summer setting ;)

What are your favorite girls night snacks?

"I am currently a member of the Hormel Foods Extended Blogger Program and this post is part of my involvement in the Group. While Hormel Foods provides me material and necessary resources to complete various activities, all statements and sentiment in this post are my own."

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Rocked it & Swapped it

I'm so glad Kaitlyn has finally jumped on the crop top train, this opens a whole world of new swapping options. Yes, I have that many ;) I found this loose fitting black beauty at Nordstrom in early 2014. Since I have so many high-waist pants and skirts, it was the perfect addition to my collection.

I love the back, it has exposed gold buttons that go all the way up. Plus, the high-low hem really gives perfect coverage for those who don't want to bare too much midriff. Who knew a crop top that was bought as a trend piece for last year would still be in high rotation in my current wardrobe! Love when items end up working year after year. 

When I styled the top last year, I wore it with print high-waist silk pant, a wool floppy hat, fringe bag, and a long key necklace. This year, Kaitlyn styled it with lace trim navy shorts, a black bag, neutral flats, and a pendant triangle necklace (her full outfit post details coming next week!)

Here is how we both wore the crop top: 

Have you jumped on the crop top train yet? How would you style this beauty?

Add a basic black crop top to your life:

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Blog of the Month

As Chicago Bloggers, we are very lucky to be surrounded by so much inspiration from fellow bloggers across the city and the Midwest. At the heart of our work, we are all storytellers and it is a pleasure to wake up each morning with a little piece of so many people's lives...never have we had such VIP access to details of the newest coffee hang out or behind the scenes looks at a high-profile event. 

With that said, we do spend most days writing about ourselves whether it's sharing a recent outfit we loved swapping or a favorite new smoothie recipe, so we hope you enjoy our blogger profiles because it's important to support each other and learn from each others skills and experiences.

Our July blogger of the month is Shai from Drunk on Shoes...Chicago bloggers for the win! Shai is a regular shoe-addicted gal living in Chicago and appreciating all things beautiful...

 "I started this blog to have a creative outlet in my daily life.  I wanted to share my memories as well as give you all a window to the things that I feel make my life sparkle.  I attribute all my joy to my family, my hubs, my pup, and my friends.  Since I started the blog, I’ve been learning a lot about myself and what makes me truly happy."

We have been longtime fans of Shai's trendsetting style...see what we mean?

Here are a few of our other favorite looks from her...

How do you support fellow bloggers and other creative women? 

This is so so something nice for someone today!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Playing up the Flare

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Some days, I don't feel like getting all dolled up. I knew I was going to be taking photos this night, but I had no idea what to wear. Then it hit me, my favorite flare jeans of course. They may be called Mother Denim, but these are not mom jeans folks! Seriously though, I have owned these for a few years now and it's so easy to look put together even when you're not feeling so put together.
I used the flare in my jeans to inspire the rest of the outfit. By pairing it with a peplum top, it was flare on flare in all the right places.

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I found this peplum at Zara for under $15 on the sales rack! So I did what any rational women would do; buy it in two colors of course. ;) When it came to the styling I decided to let my lips & hair be the stars and keep everything else pretty neutral. A bold lip really is the best accessory. Add a deep part and retro waves to your hair and you've got a bit of "zhush" to add to your basic look.

All my gold jewelry is delicate and layered, lots of layers though (Obviously! More is more you know.).  My shoes and bag are also in the neutral color scheme but make this jeans and peplum outfit more, well me.

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In the end, it ended up being the perfect outfit for a GNO. Classic but still my own style, and great for lot of eating and a few drinks too!

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Top: Zara (similar) (similar)  // Jeans: Mother Denim via Hautelook // Bag: Rachel Zoe (similar) (similar)  // Shoes: JustFab // Sunglasses: Ray Ban // Bracelets & Ring: Rocksbox // Watch: Fossil // Bar Earrings: Nordstrom // Necklace: Street Fair in Chicago 

In this crazy fashion world we live in, are jeans and a top still your go-to look?

What do you think of this pairing?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Beach Vibes

For me, summer is all about color…Living in the Midwest, I feel like we spend too many of our months in neutrals and dark colors, sometimes to even match our mood (Thanks, winter!) So I gravitate towards pops of bright colors wherever I can during the warmer months. 

I have mentioned my obsession with the Rage in a previous post and this dress is further evidence of this love affair. The palm print, the mix of blue and pink (my wedding colors), the crochet detail and the bold blue outline along the edge takes a very feminine dress and gives it an athletic edge which I love. 

To complete the look... colored sunnies, gladiator sandals and my favorite quilted bag. I was actually on my way to drinks and a movie with Lisa but felt more like I was going to a celebration by the water...just gotta give off those beach vibes, though ;)

Dress: The Rage | Sandals: Old Navy (love these too!) | Purse: Rebecca Minkoff
 Sunnies: Zero UV | Bracelet: RocksBox (Use code sistersmariexoxo for first box free | buy the bracelet here)

What do you think of this look? What are your favorite places to shop online for summer?

Friday, July 24, 2015

Crop that Top

The return of crop tops is....scary until you actually try it. I've been avoiding the trend for a while now because it just seemed too old school Britney to me (wait, is that ever a bad thing?) but after giving in, I realized that contrary to what many of us think, crop tops can actually be a very flattering choice. They draw attention to the thinnest part of pretty much every woman’s body, right at the middle of your ribs, so I think whether you're long and lean, or cute & curvy, there’s a way to make them current and stylish for everyone.

Note: After the T Swift concert last weekend, my husband said, "I've never seen so many midriffs in my life," so I know if he's taking note of a fashion trend, it must be a style that's making a true statement...

Apprehension in hand, we were still excited to pair up with a local boutique to style this cute striped crop top trimmed with lace…New to the trend, I was ready to take on the challenge and as you guys know, I never say no to stripes ;) When I saw the shirt, I thought immediately, this is too small…now it’s two weeks later and I have styled with a maxi skirt along with my favorite white denim and was very surprised how comfortable I felt.  

I don’t regularly walk around baring my stomach (unless we’re sipping cocktails by the lake, totally acceptable) so it feels a little out of my box at first but by pairing the top with high waisted bottoms, I was still able to wear the trend without feeling unsettled. I actually thought, this would be a perfect date night outfit and I can't wait to wear it most things, real growth comes from challenging yourself (this fashion talk is deep, my friends). 

Top: 522 Envy | Jeans: Old Navy | Shoes: Just Fab | Bag: ShopLately (similar)
Sunnies: Old Navy | Necklace & Earrings: Forever 21 | Bracelets: Swap with Mom

Have you jumped on the crop top trend? How do you prefer to style them?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Rocked it & Swapped it

I am obsessed with my Milly for Kohls floral dress! So far I have only worn it twice, but each time I wear it, I can't help but fall in love a bit more. It's so versatile and was a no brainer when it came to adding this beauty to my year-round wardrobe. 

This dress is the perfect outfit for literally anything! It's great for layering plus it's a great length for a weekend party, brunch, luncheon, or a night out on the town. It's even the perfect dress for a day celebrating your anniversary in the city (Happy Anniversary again Kaitlyn & Mike!)

Here is how we both styled my Milly dress:

Do you own any items from this collection?

The collection is not sold out yet, here are a few items still selling (at super reduced rates!):