Trends With Benefits

Trends With Benefits – Matching Print Sets

August 28, 2014

Trends With Benefits - Matching Print Sets Trends With Benefits - Matching Print Sets Trends With Benefits - Matching Print Sets

In the haze of mix and match prints there doesn’t seem to be hope for matching and coordinating prints these days. Is it too much to ask for an occassional coordinate print set?  Don’t get me wrong, I love a great contrast with prints such as stripes and florals. But it all can be too much at times. Matching prints is a great take on the traditional twin set without looking like your grandmother straight out of the 80′s. It became a huge fashion faux pas in the past but this trend is currently on the rise. The look mimics a dress, a romper or even a jumpsuit. A full body outfit of one pattern or texture is a bold yet powerful move. It’s the perfect date night, happy hour or even business casual look.

This trend dominated the Spring/Summer 2014 Ready-To-Wear looks in the Mara Hoffmann, J.Crew and Michael Kors shows. It was also famously worn by Miranda Kerr when she showcased the Escada Hyacinth printed cardigan and pencil skirt. I mean, if Miranda Kerr can pull it off then we can too, right? You don’t have to pay high end designer prices like Miranda because affordable matching coordinates are a click away. Nordstrom, TOPSHOP and ASOS are just a few of the places you can find a great variety of matching prints. Are you daring enough to pull of this trend?

trends with benefits - matching print sets

from left to right

River Island Cream Boucle Stripe Color Block Jacket and Mini Skirt :: NastyGal Bud Stud Crop Top and Bud Stud Skirt :: J.Crew Heart Dot Shorts and Heart Dot Sleeveless Blouse :: Rebecca Taylor Enchanted Floral Crop Top and Pants :: SEA Embroidered Lace Top and Mini Skirt :: ASOS Floral Print and Embellishment Jacket and Shorts

images via The Fashion Spot

The Makeup Lady

The Makeup Lady – August Must Haves

August 27, 2014

The Makeup Lady nov 2013 ver1

For August there are a few products that have never been featured. It’s all about experimenting, which I’m happy to do in order to inspire you to use something different from time to time. I wish I could say they were summer related but alas they are a complete mismatch of different things that I am currently enjoying.

The Makeup Lady - August Must Haves

  • Clarisonic Pedi Sonic Foot Transformation – My mom talked about this set after seeing it on QVC. She’s always one that is into feet, pedicures and different lotions/potions for smoothing out the feet. The beauty of this set is that if you’re new to Clarisonic you get the brush and the pedi products to try. AND you can swap out the pedi brushes for a facial brush so you have the complete head to toe set.
  • Maybelline Color Whisper in Rose for Attraction – A few months back I posted about lip crayons, which I’m still enjoying. But I’m always looking for the next new thing I can throw in my purse. Thanks to Target Cartwheel I had a discount on these products one week and decided to “splurge”. Great hint of color without overdoing it, for those easy going natural days.
  • Jo Malone Blackberry and Bay Cologne – The Beard has been on a hunt for a cologne for years. When we first started dating he talked about how he would like a cologne. Three and a half years later and he finally purchased the Burberry Classic. In the process however I fell in love with the Blackberry and Bay scent from Jo Malone. It’s more a unisex scent so nothing too floral and sweet. I smell like a country kitchen after baking blackberry pies all day…and that’s just fine with me.
  • Maybelline Color Show Polish in Pink Embrace and Lust For Lilac – I may be ready for fall and longing for my dark polishes but there is something about the girly pastels that I can’t get enough of. This has been my mani/pedi combo for the entire month.
  • Lancôme High Resolution Eye Cream – I got this as a sample and have been absolutely obsessed. I keep telling myself I need to really focus more on anti-aging products being more consistent with my skincare routine. A baby can’t be an excuse because this lady doesn’t want premature aging when it can definitely be prevented. This eye cream is like the fountain of youth in a cream. The bags and dark circles caused by my sleepless nights are less noticeable thanks to this eye cream.
  • Medela Tender Care- okay, so you’re probably wondering why this item is on the list because, well…it’s not beauty related and more of a mother-baby product. Give me chance to prove my point. I use it for its obvious purpose but also for my cuticles, and dry patches on my elbows. Lanolin oil is a great hydrating oil for just about anything you can think of, and not just the “tender” body part kind.
How She'd Wear It

How She’d Wear It with Style and Cheek – Denim Dresses

August 26, 2014

HSWI August 2014

If denim dresses have always reminded you of collecting eggs or milking cows down on the farm don’t worry, you’re not alone. However, that is such a limited view of such a versatile piece. First you have to clear your mind of your preconceptions about denim and really think of it as an all around wearable fabric that can be used either as a blank canvas or as a statement piece. Our first outfit is pretty much a blank canvas letting the accessories and other pieces do the talking, where as our second outfit uses black and gold pieces to accentuate the polka dot dress. Even though denim dresses are best known as the “dress for summer”, these two outfits will easily take you through September and into fall.

How She’d Wear It with Style and Cheek – Denim Dresses

1. MADEWELL Ex-Boyfriend Shirt In Cherry Plaid

2. Gap Cable Knit Tights in Heather Gray

3. Dolce Vita ‘Yuri’ Leather Bootie

4. Gap 1969 Western Denim Shirtdress la jolla

5. House Of Harlow 1960 ID Necklace

6. House Of Harlow 1960 Band Ring

7. House Of Harlow 1960 Horizontal Sahara Sara Sand Ring

8. MICHAEL Michael Kors ‘Large Hamilton – Traveler’ Tote

It’s easy to compare this look to something you’d have seen at Lollapalooza in 1994, and yeah rustic denim and plaid combos are always going to call back to grunge concerts from the 90s. But we’re going for an elevated approach to denim here, maybe even a little unusual. Denim shirt-dresses are adorable and fun, but to add color tie a red plaid shirt around your waist. Knit tights and rough brown booties bring this outfit from the mud to the city. Chunky gold jewelry and a structured leather bag add that extra hint of ladylike class to balance the look.

How She’d Wear It with Style and Cheek – Denim Dresses

1. COTELAC Hooded Cape

2. H&M 2-Pack 40 Denier Tights

3. J.Crew Patent Wing-Tip Oxfords

4. ModCloth Engaging Entrance Dress

5. J.Crew Gold Braid Necklace

6. Linea Pelle Classic Leather Belt

7. Jules Smith Zoe Bracelet – Yellow Gold

8. Tai Small Pyramid Bracelet

9. Zara Croc Leather Bucket Bag

This is a fun outfit! The sweet polka dot denim dress is a versatile piece on its own, you could wear it to work, out on a date, or just throw it on to run errands. It embodies all the best parts of owning denim dresses; at 90% of public events for most us, this dress would be appropriate. But instead of showing you guys the normal, ultra-girly way to style this piece, I’ve paired it with glossy masculine leather accessories. Sheer black tights, some gold accented jewelry, and the cape tie this look together as a great mix of retro and modern feminine styling.

- Julia of Style and Cheek

 

Life With The Lady

Life With The Lady

August 25, 2014

 Life With The Lady

I can’t claim to be  baby raising expert, but the past two months have given me the best insight into raising a human. Let’s face it….there’s no manual, no guidelines and no cheat sheet into raising your baby. You receive all this support and attention while the babe is still in the womb and once he/she enters the world it’s all on you! No amount of books or classes can truly prepare you for what life is like after the birth. This wouldn’t be Life With The Lady if I wasn’t giving honest and real insight into my life experiences. So get ready for what to really expect

  • Once your baby is born and if she/he has no problems, they are literally handed over to you and your job begins. There’s no grace period, no chance to gather your thoughts. Parenthood begins. No one tells you how to breastfeed/bottlefeed unless you ask for it. Swaddling is assumed to be a natural talent that we all have and if you never spent countless hours diaper changing your cabbage patch kids as a child, then good luck with a diaper.
  • There. Will. Be. Pain. Regardless of how your birth plan plays out, there will be pain. Be prepared for it. Books and classes can tell you it will be painful but I’m here to tell you that’s nothing compared to the actual pain. Contractions make you feel as if your butt is going to drop out of your body. Just saying.
  • Your baby will likely cry. A LOT. And it will be hard. Can you imagine not being able to talk and you’re hungry, tired and wet and there’s no real way to communicate it? It would suck. And sometimes the sound of your baby’s crying will drive you crazy. It doesn’t make you a bad parent. There were moments when The Beard would get home from work and I would pass the babe over to him and make him take her. I needed a few moments of silence to myself to decompress and gather my thoughts. And that’s okay.
  • On the topic of crying…you will cry. A LOT. A few days after returning home from the hospital I felt great, in good spirits and slightly tired. One day it just hit me and I started crying for no reason. It then became a thing. I would cry when she would cry. I would cry when she would eat. I would cry when The Beard left for work. I cried because I had to take a shower. You’ll cry and cry and it’s okay. Just cry it out and let it go.
  • Showers. Take one everyday. No one tells you how important it is to shower. Those 5 precious minutes are the time for you to feel like a real human again. Yeah you’ll still leave the house with no makeup and dried spit on your neck, but you need that shower to relax and feel whole.
  • You’ll likely debate the best way to feed your child and no one can tell you had hard of a decision that will be. Just choose, they’ll say.  Just breastfeed, it’s the best. Formula all the way because it’s easy for both the mom and dad. It ain’t that easy. My nipples hurt, I was tired and it would have been so easy to use formula so The Beard could help. Sometimes I wanted to give in and who knows, maybe one day I will. But it’s not an easy choice. The nipple thing…I should have listened to my mom. I’ll repeat her advice…If you choose to breast feed, rough up your nipples. Your nips will thank you later.
  • Neck pain will happen. You’re so in love with your baby that you’re looking down at him/her all day long. Then comes a day when your neck is stiff and you’re crying (again) over the pain.
  • Projectile vomit is a real thing. One minute baby is taking a bottle and the next they are tossing milk everywhere. Down your shirt, onto your boobs, all over the cat, onto the nice white blanket, into their own eye and up their nose. Don’t even get me started on projectile poop because it goes to the same places oddly enough.
  • Your baby will not be the same as your friends baby. I said this before but it’s one of the most honest things I can say. Books give advice on how to deal with babies as a whole. But not every baby is the same. Keep that pocket of info in the back of your mind for that moment when you’re crying and don’t understand why your baby is crying and someone elses baby isn’t.
  • Trust your instincts. If something seems off, call the doctor. Who cares if you’re in there 3 times in the first 3 weeks (because we were). It’s better to be safe than sorry. If your baby seems hungry, try feeding them. Remember how I said there is no manual? Because there definitely isn’t a chart on what each cry will mean. You have to figure that one out.
  • You will lose a lot of hair. I don’t mean a few more strands than normal coming out in the shower. But rather chunks of hair coming out. It’s a miracle I have any hair left on my head!
  • Lastly, accept help. Don’t think that you should be up every feeding. Let your partner help. That extra 30 minutes of sleep goes a long way.

The first 4-8 weeks were the pits. Then one day your little lump will start to smile, coo and follow you with every movement. They are becoming a real being with a super cool personality. It just takes time but it will happen. The crying will happen less and you’ll be laughing more and more.

And in the end, no one knows what the eff they’re doing. Especially me. You make it work because you’re the parent.

 

image via Whitney Hayes

Life

Month Two

August 21, 2014

Month Two

Ava -

How is it that we are already celebrating your two months of life? It’s been 8 full weeks since we welcomed you into this world and you have yet to slow down. This month it’s all about exploring the world around you. You realized you have a tongue and it’s out of your mouth at all times. You have also learned that your daddy and I make funny faces and talk in a baby voice, which you smile at constantly. Your smile is contagious baby girl. Whenever we have a bad day/moment, all we have to do is look at your smile and all of our problems fade away. Hippo is still your bestie but this month Lamby is taking the lead. You see, Lamby plays music and sounds…such as a whale and a heartbeat. That heartbeat sound puts you right to sleep every single night. Thank goodness for Lamby.

In the past month you have been to a Red’s Game, Luminocity, a few dinners, a trip to Indianapolis to meet your Great-Grandma Boyle, your first slumber party with Gigi and Poppa, and even a rickshaw ride through Over-The-Rhine. Not many adults can say that have done that much in a month! We always said that you should experience the world with us and you’re enjoying every second of it. Why would we leave you at home when we can take you with us and enjoy the fun?!

Your momma returned back to work during your second month and it was quite the adjustment. We went to being attached at the hip for 6 weeks to being apart for 9+ hours a day. Slowly but surely we are realizing our new normal and momma makes sure we have our girl time once I’m home. Your daddy has stepped up into the Mr. Mom role a few days a week and by the looks of the pictures you’re enjoying every second of his attention. You melt his heart with every little face you make (and you make the best faces).

I’m watching you as I type this and you’re looking in the mirror at your reflection and having the best time. Don’t ever lose that happiness and fun spirit. We can’t wait to see where you end up by next month and how much you will have changed. Tell time to slow down because I’m not ready for you to be any older just yet.

Love you always,
xox

Momma and Daddy

 

The Makeup Lady

The Makeup Lady – Anti Frizz Hair Products

August 20, 2014

The Makeup Lady nov 2013 ver1

There is a lot I love about summer. Warm weather, spending more time outdoors and dinners with friends on the patio are just a few of my favorite things. But frizzy, big hair is not on the list. The high temps tend to bring high humidity. You don’t have to be a math genius to know that High Humidity + Hair = Frizz!  There are so many creams, serums, conditioners and sprays these days that it’s hard to know what really works and what’s worth the hype. For years I invested in anti-frizz products only to turn my cabinet into a partially used hair product graveyard. I was frustrated with spending the money and never seeing the results of what “should have” worked. Now that I’m married to a hairstylist I have the perk of having an at home hair encyclopedia at my fingertips. Finally success with anti-frizz products! We (with the help of my husband) rounded up the top 5 hair products that we know and love to fight frizz.

Bumble and Bumble Defrizz

The Makeup Lady – Anti Frizz Hair Products

The miracle anti-frizz product. A few drops goes a long way and honestly it’s all you  need. Apply to your hair while damp to give a sleek, smooth finish to your hair. Or apply a small amount to dry hair to tame flyaways. Best for those with thicker or coarser hair since it is a bit heavier. Fine haired ladies, like myself, use sparingly.

Oribe Crème for Style

The Makeup Lady – Anti Frizz Hair Products

Lightweight cream styling product that is great for everyone. Not only does this product provide an all day hold, it also conditions and hydrates your hair while fighting frizz. Oh and it’s a heat protectant so it’s like a 3-in-1 styling product. Can’t beat that!

Oribe Imperméable Anti-Humidity Spray

The Makeup Lady – Anti Frizz Hair Products

For those ladies that love a last minute hair product before stepping out of the house, this is the product for you. Style your hair and spray this product on to provide an anti-humidity barrier for your hair. Miami tested and approved.

Sebastian Trilliant Spray

The Makeup Lady – Anti Frizz Hair Products

This is a heat protectant and shine spray but can also calm down flyaways and frizz. For the ladies that like to flat iron their hair to a sleek, straight look, this product is for you.

It’s A 10 Leave-in-Conditioner

The Makeup Lady – Anti Frizz Hair Products

It’s A 10 is a drugstore lovers dream. Meant to help repair dry, damaged hair but also protects your hair against moisture. It repairs your hair while adding shine, controlling frizz, detangling and stop hair breakage. Apply everyday after you get out of the shower and comb through.

How She'd Wear It

How She’d Wear It with Style and Cheek – Boyfriend Jeans

August 19, 2014

HSWI August 2014

Today we’re discussing boyfriend jeans, a trend that has blown up and is starting to overshadow my personal favorite, the skinnies. I recognize the appeal of opting for the comfy cute jean rather than skin-tight but in all seriousness it’s probably best to have a variety of jeans in your closet.

The easiest way to create an outfit with your cuffed boyfriend jeans is to add a white button down blouse, pointy toed pumps, and a clutch. Ta da! Pie. The same combination can we worn with a white tee. It’s really that easy. But as we approach fall and cooler weather, you will want to check out the two outfits I’ve put together below.

The most important thing about shopping for boyfriend jeans is finding a pair that doesn’t make your ass look terrible. This is completely understandable, boyfriend jeans are slouchy and as a woman with muscular thighs and a big butt I’ve found that many boyfriend jeans make me look like I literally stole my boyfriends jeans, and not in a good way. Frumpzilla. However, designers are now making a variety of styles with varying slouchiness, including slim versions. For someone with muscular thighs I’d probably go with a slim version that is looser in the calves and ankles but still flatters the bum. And remember, you really do not know what will look good until you try it on. So go to the mall and try on all the jeans!

How She’d Wear It with Style and Cheek – Boyfriend Jeans

1. J.Crew Silk Cascade Blouse

2. MADEWELL Tiger’s Eye Cuff

3. MADEWELL Tortoise Resin Cuff

4. Tory Burch ‘Eloise’ Ballet Flat

5. BaubleBar Andean Opal Amulet

6. Citizens Of Humanity Emerson Slim Boyfriend Jeans

7. J.Crew Marled Rib-Stitch Open Cardigan

8. B-Low The Belt Baby Colette Belt

9. Tory Burch Robinson Woven Small Satchel

A pretty blouse, boyfriend jeans, and ballet flats are the key components of this outfit. I chose to use an oxblood blouse, the color for fall, but the simplicity of this combination gives you the freedom to experiment with color combinations. If there is one must-have item for Fall, regardless of decade or trends, it’s the cozy cardigan. Just seeing this cardigan made me excited for chilly weather where bundling up is required. Leather accessories, like a belt and structured bag dress up this casual outfit. The idea here is to be equal parts comfortable/warm and classy lady out for a stroll in the park.

How She’d Wear It with Style and Cheek – Boyfriend Jeans

1. Zara Long Coat

2. J.Crew Elsie Suede Pumps

3. BaubleBar South Beach Resin Drops

4. Warby Parker Piper Sunglasses

5. Rag & Bone The Dre Jeans

6. J.Crew Cotton Cropped Sweater

7. kate spade New York Madison Ave. Villa Lago Dipped Medium Bella Pouch

8. Thomas Mason® For J.Crew Tuxedo Shirt

This outfit combines three trends for Fall 2014 with boyfriend jeans, a cropped sweater, and camel colored coat. It’s important to have layered outfits during fall because who knows what the weather will be like when you leave in the morning and it’s nice that you can wear the button down alone or with the sweater and still have a complete outfit. Keep the jewelry simple with some eye-catching statement earrings, and add color with a clutch and pumps in a fall hue. For those who feel that boyfriend jeans make their legs look stumpy, pumps are perfect because they elongate the leg and show the shape of your body under the jeans rather than relying on the jeans to create a shape.

- Julia of Style and Cheek

 

Life With The Lady

Life With The Lady

August 18, 2014

Life With The Lady

How does the typical couple spend their first wedding anniversary? A date night perhaps with great food, drinks and a night out on the town. Maybe even going away for the weekend. How did we spend our anniversary? Dinner the night before and sleeping for 7 hours straight as my parents watched the babe. Then we spent our actual anniversary at home on the couch and eating our top layer of the wedding cake.

We decided that for our anniversary we should spend the night doing what we wanted and possibly have someone watch the babe. As much as we didn’t want to part with her, we needed time together. Too many relationships fail once people start having children because they become too consumed on their children and not enough time on each other. We are in this for the long haul and even though it’s our first year, we know that work needs to be made every day of the year. So a date night was set and there was no turning back. My parents joyously agreed to having Ava for her very first slumber party and we, as first parents, worried about being apart. Okay, so maybe it was me more so than The Beard but we both had nerves. It’s not that I don’t trust my parents (they did raise me afterall) but it was our first time not having her at night since she was born. That is a huge adjustment.

Dinner reservations were made for Boca, our favorite restaurant in the city and we drooled over the menu online before even arriving. We are foodies and food junkies so we prepared to eat to our hearts desire. Two full hours of delicious food and we only talked about our baby for only an hour of that time. I had a glass of Prosecco, my first drink in almost 10 months and I have to say I don’t miss it. I may continue on this “no drinking” lifestyle because it now seems normal. Plus the worry I had over whether or not I could continue to breastfeed the next day was enough to put the drinking on hold. Special occassions only.

When we came home after dinner, at 10:30pm the house was quiet, clean and almost felt like our life pre-baby. Then I noticed all the toys, blankies and bottles and instantly felt regret and sadness. Thanks to The Beard my mind was at ease knowing that she was safe and happy with her grandparents. And that I would soon enjoy 7 full hours of uninterupted sleep. Something that I haven’t had in almost a year. It felt amazing the wake up this morning refreshed and really awake. But man did I miss those late night feedings. I sound like a crazy woman, but it’s true. The moments I get to bond with our baby are the 2:30am and 5:30am feeding sessions when it’s just me and her.

You better believe that once we were awake and showered we were on the road to my parents. Nothing felt better than smelling and holding my baby after 12 hours away. We spent the day being lazy and being a family. And we finally were able to eat our wedding cake after a full year of not knowing what the flavor was or even what the cake looked like. Crazy how you can’t remember too many details of one of the most important moments of your life. The cake was .

It’s hard to believe it’s been a full year! Where did the time go? Likely spent on being pregnant and readying our lives for a baby. To be quite honest, it feels as if we have been married for 10 years instead of 1. I guess that’s the blessing that is our marriage and relationship. It never feels forced, out of control or dull. Here is to another year of happiness and life with my husband.

 

image via The Grey Concept

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

August 15, 2014

This week my Friday Favorites revolve around everything baby. What baby wants, baby gets. Between Nordstrom and Baby Gap, I will have a hard time saying no. Sure this babe has PLENTY already stocked up, just waiting for another growth spurt to allow her to wear her fine baby goods. But a few more pieces can’t hurt. The Beard would likely say no to any and all of these things. That is until our little babe grabs ahold of his finger and he melts into a giant emotional puddle. This little girl already has her daddy wrapped around her little finger. Since she can’t vocalize the clothing she wants she has her momma to do it for her. I’m sure I will be singing a different tune in a few years when she decides that she is in control of her style. Until then I will have a little fun thanks to all the amazing baby clothes.

Friday Favorites

Peek Kennedy Western Chambray Shirt :: Freshly Picked Metallic Leather Mocassins :: Colorblock Dot Dress :: Zebi Baby Organic Cotton Leggings :: PLH Bows and Laces Floral Headband :: Denim Jacket :: Shirred Floral Top :: Vans Authentic Crib Shoe :: Suede Brogue Shoes :: Pull-on Legging Jeans :: Mini Boden Dungaree Corduroy Dress

Recipes

Peruvian Meat and Potatoes

August 14, 2014

Peruvian Meat and Potatoes

This was my first recipe back after weeks of pre-planned recipe posts. Weeks before the babe arrived I worked hard on getting as many posts prepped, planned and scheduled. That way I could focus more on being a mom and less on blog prepping. I typically plan ahead and do things a week in advance, but this time around I had 2 full months planned. As July wrapped up I realized I had posts to do and so new recipes and meals were born.

Like many of the other recipes I post, I found this on SkinnyTaste and followed it pretty much by the book. There were a few things I changed up (such as how I cooked my potatoes) and the amount of spices I added. It’s a twist on the Peruvian “Lomo Saltado” which I don’t think includes the potatoes.  Per The Beard this dish had a great combination of textures and flavors. Someone remind me to cut back on his Cooking Channel obsession.

For the potatoes you’ll need:

  • 2 large russet potatoes sliced into fry like strips
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • cooking spray
  • salt and pepper to taste

Start with your oven at 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lightly spray the foil lined sheet and then drop your “fries” and season. Pop them into the oven for 35 minutes and turn occassionaly so all sides get nice and crispy.

For the main dish you’ll need:

  • 1/2 lb beef sirloin strips
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion sliced into strips
  • 2 large yellow peppers sliced into strips
  • 1 jalapeno – remove the seeds and membrane depending on your desired level of heat
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 2 medium tomatoes wedged
  • 1-1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped

Start by heating your sirloin strips in a wok or large pan. After about 2 minutes add your peppers, onion, jalapeno and garlic and cook down for a few more minutes. Lastly add in the tomato wedges, soy sauce and vinegar and cook on low for 15 minutes. This will help to create a sauce and thicken everything up. You don’t want to add the tomatoes too soon or they will get too mushy and make tomato soup instead.

When you’re ready to plate add some potatoes at the bottom and top with your beef mixture.

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