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Nautical

Independence Day

Stripe keyhole hi-lo tank GAP
Stripe keyhole hi-lo tank
GAP

It seems like only yesterday everyone (myself included) was longing for winter to retreat while eagerly anticipating spring. I cannot believe that we are halfway through the year and are approaching July 4th already.

When we were little, my brother and I couldn’t wait until the 4th of July. You see the approach of July 4th meant we would get new threads to wear (is this term even used anymore) plus, if we were good we would get to go the annual parade (a big hoopla in our little town).

“Good” was a subjective term in our household because our mother would constantly threaten us until it was time to leave with (and you have to read the following with an irritating nasal-like voice): “if you don’t do this”, “if you don’t do that”, “if you don’t behave…” or “if you don’t stop…” and on and on it went. It was too much pressure for a little kid who was a mite overly excited to wear red, white & blue then dream of going to a parade, cookout, park and fireworks…geez one would think she could cut us a little break.

LC Lauren Conrad Cuffed Denim Shorts Kohl's
LC Lauren Conrad Cuffed Denim Shorts
Kohl’s
Star print chambray boyfriend shirt Gap
Star print chambray boyfriend shirt
Gap
Harriet Plunge Striped Jersey Maxi Dress boohoo.com
Harriet Plunge Striped Jersey Maxi Dress
boohoo.com

When the fire trucks, scattered throughout the parade, would pass by they always tossed candy to the children and one or two inebriated adults. Looking back I have to wonder “what were they thinking” because we would literally end up in a brouhaha that would put the WWW wrestlers to shame, it was a fight to the death over candy.

Watching the parade then enjoying a cookout at my aunt’s house was fun but what we really looked forward to was the carnival just down the street from her home. This was where we would play those games (we could never win) for the “big” prizes on display but we always fell short. Cotton candy, rides, hot dogs, snow cones, fire crackers, carnival music, creepy clowns, all the sounds and smells of the midway, it was good times.

Flat Slingback Sandal Victorias Secret
Flat Slingback Sandal
Victorias Secret
Urban Expressions Marina Clutch from DSW
Urban Expressions Marina Clutch
DSW
Tasseled Straw Sun Hat FOREVER21
Tasseled Straw Sun Hat
FOREVER21
Kelly & Katie Sequin Stripe Clutch DSW
Kelly & Katie Sequin Stripe Clutch
DSW
Tiki Room Braided Sandals FOREVER21
Tiki Room Braided Sandals
FOREVER21

The finale of the day of course was the fireworks. To this day I don’t know why each year I worked myself up into a tizzy about this event. From the time they started shooting them off until it ended I would jump, scream and run because I did not want to end up a casualty of a stray spark. Quiet as it’s kept they still cause me some apprehension but when my kids were little I told myself “I had to be strong for children” but in reality they kept me in check – pathetic I know.

Jennifer Lopez Bootcut Jeans Kohls
Jennifer Lopez Bootcut Jeans
Kohl’s

As I was recalling some of these fond memories I thought why not put together a couple of different outfits for July 4th. I’m not sure yet what I’m going to wear on Friday but this one thing you can be sure of is that it will be something that will allow me to have some semblance of cool even if I don’t feel it.

Navy and white are such crisp, clean, breezy, fun looks with red or pops of bright green, yellow or even pink or orange you’re only limited by your imagination. So if you’ve been wondering what to wear on our upcoming Independence Day I’ve picked out a few interchangeable pieces (pictured throughout the post) to get your creative juices flowing. There are 2 tops, 1 maxi dress, 1 pair of jeans, 1 pair of denim shorts, 2 pairs of sandals, 2 bags, 1 hat and images of holiday inspired nails. Descriptions of each picture are below:

Stripe keyhole hi-lo tank – The tank is a navy & white striped jersey with a scooped neckline, longer flared hem in back, straps criss-cross in back, low keyhole detailing in back and seam down center back. I would wear this tank with the denim shorts, jeans or even a skirt. For cooler evenings you could throw on a denim or motto jacket. This top reminds me of a few that I currently have that are very cool and comfortable in the heat and humidity.

  • LC Lauren Conrad Cuffed Denim Shorts – Dark stretchy denim (YAY) with cuffed hems, 5 pockets and complementing belt would work with the striped tank, chambray shirt, straw hat, sandals.

Star Print Chambray Boyfriend Shirt – I love this shirt with the white star print detailing. In addition to wearing it with the shorts and jeans it would also work layered over the maxi dress or with the tank top. If I wore it with the dress I would leave it unbuttoned, roll up the sleeves, and tie it.

Red, White & Blue Bows coloresdecarol via Pinterest
Red, White & Blue Bows
coloresdecarol via Pinterest
Bold Stripes & Stars pinkandleopard.tumblr.com via Pinterest
Bold Stripes & Stars
pinkandleopard.tumblr.com
via Pinterest

Harriet Plunge Striped Jersey Maxi Dress – Of course I had to pick a maxi dress (love ’em)! This one is navy with white stripes and it does have a plunging neckline (depending on how low it plunges I might consider a cami or bandeau underneath but that’s just me). This dress from boohoo.com will look nice with flat or heeled sandals and I could so see myself wearing the hat with it. In the evening I would glam it up a bit with dangling earrings, lovely wrap and a metallic clutch just to punch it up a bit.

Flat Slingback Sandal – I have always liked slingbacks I think they’re sexy. These from Victoria’s Secret are white and embellished with sparkling stones. Who needs glass slippers when you’re rockin’ these babies? I’d wear them with any of the pieces featured here.

Urban Expressions Marina Clutch – This little navy and natural woven striped straw clutch from DSW is in a word stylish! With its wooden handle and spacious interior all I can say is um um um.

Tasseled Straw Sun Hat – Head out for some sun with this open-woven straw sun hat. A slender braided hat band with playful tassels and metallic accents finish this warm-weather staple.

Kelly and Katie Sequin Stripe Cutch – I have this identical straw & navy sequin handbag in a tote version and it screams summer chic. The clutch appears to be a smaller version of the tote. It has a chain link strap with a turnlock closure.

Tiki Room Braided Sandals – These tan thong sandals feature a woven pattern and braided trim. Complete with a back zipper. Like the other sandals in today’s post these are interchangeable.

Jennifer Lopez Bootcut Jeans – I must be honest here and say that I wouldn’t be caught dead in denim jeans in the summer. While I love the look of white denim I couldn’t tolerate the heat so alas, no white jeans or any kind for matter for me during summer. For those of you who can enjoy wearing them your options are endless as to what tops you could pair with them and again they’d go with the sandals or even a nice pair of sneakers.

Since I didn’t choose any red accents for today’s post I thought I’d show some nail art incorporating red, white & blue. The image with the bows has navy polish from the nail bed up to just below the tips. The tips themselves are red, white & blue stripes with a white bow painted centered on top of the stripes.

The second set of nails features bold red and white stripes and the tips are navy blue background with white stars. Very festive.

“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”  ~Elmer Davis

 

 

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It’s A Match!

Finally Color IQ

Image of 3 foundations from my personal Color IQ
3 Foundation forumlas from my Color IQ

As I alluded to on Saturday, I finally went to Sephora for my Color IQ consultation and what a positive experience! Joan, the consultant was outstanding!! At the outset, once I told her I wanted a Color IQ consult she saw my white cane and without missing a beat asked me if I would like to take her arm which is appropriate when offering assistance to someone with a vision impairment.

I can’t tell you just how bad I’ve been itching to have this consultation because for me using technology to determine the correct shade of foundation was a no-brainer. So Joan and I go back to the Color IQ station while she explains how the process works. She holds the little device against my chin, forehead and cheek, waits a minute for it process the data it acquired then voilà I find out I’m a 3Y10.

3Y10 by itself is rather meaningless but when the number was inputted in Sephora’s foundation library I received 14 different types of foundation within this shade. I was a little disappointed to find that mineral foundation was not among the types in my results but I needn’t fret for long.

Image of the Buxom Foundation box, bronzing powder & Sephora bag

Joan to the Rescue

I knew prior to the consultation that I wasn’t interested in making a purchase so when Joan suggested I try a couple of different BB and CC creams I thought “eh, just go for it.” I told Joan that I have a BB cream at home but I wasn’t crazy about the consistency and I felt it was a little too difficult to work with. Not being deterred she tested three different brands on the back of my hands so that I could get a feel for the application process.

By the way before I forget while Joan was sampling these formulas on me she was explaining the benefits, ingredients and the differences between the creams. Once I decided that the Buxom Show Some Skin Weightless Foundation was the ticket she asked if I would like her to apply it to my face to give it a test run – “sure” I said.

Buxom Show Some Skin Weightless Foundation
Buxom Show Some Skin Weightless Foundation

Once applied Joan handed me a magnifying mirror to check the results and I liked what I saw. She then applied SEPHORA COLLECTION MicroSmooth Baked Sculpting Contour Trio (bronzing powder) to contour/highlight my cheeks and the outcome was fabulous. My sons later verified that while it didn’t appear like I had on makeup my skin looked smooth and flawless. I was just happy that I didn’t feel like I was sweltering with it on because I told Joan unless I have to attend a special event I do not wear foundation in the summer. I’m thinking I’m going to make an exception in this case.

While I originally wanted to do a video tutorial using my new foundation (yup I bought it and the bronzing powder) it just wasn’t doable with my grandson running around today so I’ll have to save it for another time. I am glad to be able to share my experience with you and am hopeful this information will be helpful.

SEPHORA COLLECTION MicroSmooth Baked Sculpting Contour Trio
SEPHORA COLLECTION MicroSmooth Baked Sculpting Contour Trio

One thing I didn’t know about Color IQ is that once you receive your perfect shade and it’s plugged into the foundation library, you can opt to go a shade lighter or a shade darker. Maybe you aren’t crazy about the formulation choices in the shade selected, if you go lighter or darker you might find one more suited to your tastes.

At the checkout counter, Joan said that Sephora does one on one makeup consultations for 45 minutes at no cost where they will apply your makeup (teaching you the techniques). This consultation allows them to spend their time solely focused on you and while the service is free they ask that you make a $50 purchase which is very reasonable for the time spent. Honestly, based on my experience I think it would be well worth $50. Joan wildly exceeded my expectations and though I will still order from Sephora online, if I am in the neighborhood I will be visiting Joan’s store again.

“The world always looks brighter from behind a smile.” ~Author Unknown

 

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Embedded Jewels

It’s the Simple Things

KeysRCool Silver Handbag Key Finder
KeysRCool Silver Handbag Key Finder

Glitz, glam, glittering, sparkling, shimmering and shining are some of my favorite words. Why?? Because there’s just something about accents with bling that appeals to the child in me and I just love it when on an ordinary jaunt I happen upon something extraordinary that makes me go “why didn’t I think of that?”

On a recent trek to the home improvement store I stopped to get some extra house keys made and my friend Lori handed me the most adorable blank key I’ve ever seen. Of course I couldn’t behave like an adult and say “that’s nice I think I’ll take one of those.” No, I went absolutely gaga over it shrieking and squealing like a teenage girl at a Justin Bieber concert.

Now I realize that this is only a key and it probably shouldn’t have generated such excitement but I couldn’t contain myself. For one thing the little card the key was attached to identified it as a “Diva” key and everyone knows you haven’t lived until you have your very own “Diva” key. Number two and three the key itself has a princess crown with 14 — yes — 14 crystal rhinestones embedded in it (7 on each side). Oh, and before I forget it’s bright pink!! Needless to say this key had my name written all over it (not that I think I’m a princess but I have been perfecting the wave and now I feel legit).

"Diva" Princess Key Home Depot
“Diva” Princess Key
Home Depot
Keys2Please KW1-BUTTERFLY RED
Keys2Please
KW1-BUTTERFLY RED
KeysRCool Confetti Diva House Keys
KeysRCool Confetti Diva House Keys

While it’s no secret that I have a tendency to gravitate to sparkly things the great thing about this key is its dual purpose in being accessible. In the past I’ve used different colors,  colored rubber rings, and even lighted keys to help identify each one but since the rhinestones are tactile on this key it provides an added element to differentiate it from others.

So I came home, new key in hand, and was able to quickly identify it from the other keys on my ring. How refreshing to skip the annoying process of going through my key chain to find the door key.

Since I can sometimes take the little things for granted I showed my key to a couple of friends who, to my surprise, went just as gaga over it as I did. They were like “awe, that’s so cute, I want one,” followed by “where did you get it?”

Keys2Please 3D Chihuahua KW1
Keys2Please 3D Chihuahua KW1
KeysRCool Pretty in Purple Garments Key Finder
KeysRCool Pretty in Purple Garments Key Finder
Keys2Please Frog Sparkle Key WR5
Keys2Please Frog Sparkle Key WR5

I bought my key from Home Depot and after doing some digging around on the internet I found a couple of sites that sell my key in addition to all sorts of 3D keys. KeysRCool has a wide selection of the “Diva” keys along with many alternative 3D keys, Key Finders, Key Rings and Purse Holders.

Avon Purse Holder
Avon Purse Holder
Avon Purse Holder
Avon Purse Holder

In today’s post I am sharing a picture of my house key and a purse holder that I got from Avon about two years ago. To give you an idea of what KeysRCool and Keys 2 Please carry in their inventory there are a few pictures from both sites and descriptions of each item is below:

KeysRCool Confetti Diva House Keys – Is a white key with flecks of colored glitter and different colors/sizes of rhinestones embedded.

KeysRCool Pretty in Purple Garments Key Finder – The key finders features a hook that slides over the side of your purse, pocket, tote, or bag with your keys attached for easy retrieval. The picture displays a darling purple dress with a surplice neckline and one crystal rhinestone at the waist.

KeysRCool Silver Handbag Key Finder – The silver handbag finder is a lacy decorative miniature handbag with handle and five teal colored rhinestone accents.

For your information KeysRCool describes the make of their keys as follows:

  • There is a brass key under the design.
  • The powder-coating prevents the design from wearing off.
  • They are great for keeping your keys organized by design!
  • These keys are becoming very popular and collectible!
  • These are really cool and unusual key blank

Keys2Please 3D Chihuahua KW1 – Keys2Please currently has 38 sculpted dog’s heads keys. They are 3D versions of 30 different dog breeds. I couldn’t find what the dogs were made of but they appear pewter-like.

Keys2Please Frog Sparkle Key WR5 – I can’t tell from the picture if the frog image on the key is tactile but there are a few pink rhinestones embedded.

Keys2Please KW1-BUTTERFLY RED – The top of this key is shaped like butterfly wings with what appears to be a crystal rhinestone in the center of the wings – very pretty in shades of red, pink and black.

The products offered on both of these sites offer a very simple, elegant and fun solution for people who are blind or have vision loss.

Have a great rest of the weekend!

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” ~Confucius

 

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Fun in the Sun

My Grandbaby - Orion
My Grandbaby – Orion

Over the past week I have found myself in several debates over the virtues of online shopping. While I can appreciate being up close and personal with potential purchases before I became addicted to this shopping method I could not fathom buying anything via the internet for two reasons: 1) trust issues with submitting my payment information into cyber space 2) there’s just something about being able to experience merchandise in person.

My reasoning for not shopping online quickly changed once I was no longer able to drive myself to DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse). Like a baby learning to walk for the first time, my foray into the virtual world of shopping was difficult but this was only due to my sheer stubbornness. Once I got past my initial fears I was hooked.

It doesn’t get much better than turning on the computer, perusing my favorite retailers for those “must-have” items (especially if free shipping is involved, this is all the incentive I need), then hearing the FedEx or UPS truck pulling up to the building. I get chills just thinking of a shiny new delivery – it’s almost like Christmas.

Oh sure, there are those few times I’ve had to return items that didn’t fit or they weren’t quite what I expected but these times are far and few between. Yesterday was one of those days where I had to do a couple of returns but it was all good because it was a gorgeous, sunny day, I got to ride in my youngest son’s new car along with my baby grandson, we dined at Chik-fil-A (one of my favorite fast food eateries) and we stopped by Sephora for my Color IQ (will talk about this on Monday).

I seem to remember years ago, depending on the retailer, just how difficult it was to return merchandise. Thankfully in today’s retail climate it is a process that is almost too easy but I’m not complaining.

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5-DSC00266

Staying true to my word earlier in the spring, when I began adding a few more pieces to my summer wardrobe, I stuck with mainly corals and turquoise. Of course since black, white and grey are my ultimate go-to colors (I have a lots) I do like to incorporate colors that will bring attention to my outfits and this year, coral and turquoise are my favorites.

1-DSC00246 - Copy

In today’s pictures (aside from my grandbaby, I couldn’t resist posting a photo I took of him) I am wearing white denim Bermuda shorts, coral top, white sneakers and white ball cap. Outfit descriptions are below:

Sleeveless Button-Front Top
I love the mixed-media design of this Rock & Republic Racerback Henley, with a lightweight 3-button placket crepe front and jersey back combined for one-of-a-kind look. The cayenne color looks so nice against the white shorts, shoes and hat.  I bought this top from Kohl’s.
• Raw-edge trim
• 2-pocket
• Trendy drop-tail hem
• Shirred racerback

Bermuda Shorts
With a pear shaped bottom I have always struggled to find denim that fits until I was introduced to Style & Co. I couldn’t resist these curvy-fit, mid-rise denim Bermudas that fit pretty well. The five-pocket style shorts feature a roll-tab cuff, front button closure with zipper fly and belt loops. Bright white in color, these shorts can go with sneakers, sandals or even wedges for a different vibe. I got these from Macy’s.

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Sneakers
I’m calling these shoes sneakers only because one of my friends used to always laugh at my use of the term “tennis shoes” old habits die-hard. At any rate when I was little I had a pair of sneakers that looked just like these canvas plimsolls that I got from Forever 21. At $12.80 a pair you can’t beat the price and they come in five different colors I’m thinking I may also get a grey pair.

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Baseball Cap
Ball caps were really not my thing but since I’m striving for a sporty look throughout this summer I decided to give them a go. I found this White Nike, Legacy Dri-Fit adjustable cap at Macy’s.

My accessories were kinda, sorta, simple with a pair of silver drop earrings accented with a coral stone, silver looking lightweight cutout cuff from Forever 21 and a ring finishes off the ensemble.

“A shoe is not only a design, but it’s a part of your body language, the way you walk. The way you’re going to move is quite dictated by your shoes.” ~Christian Louboutin