May 19, 2017

Faking an endless summer wardrobe

How do you fake an endless summer wardrobe you ask? By renting it of course! If you missed my initial blog post announcing my love for Le Tote you can see it here. Basically, Le Tote is a clothing rental service that offers a variety of monthly subscription boxes, called “totes”. You fill out a brief style profile for the Le Tote stylists to work with when putting your tote together.  To ensure a tote of items you really love, you can also curate a wish list of specific pieces from their online catalog. Le Tote has a vast catalog of items to choose from, both clothing items and accessories like jewelry and handbags.

I will probably be getting a new tote each week, which means for $49 a month I will be wearing about $200 in clothing and accessories each week. The best part? I don’t have to worry about washing or storing these items after I wear them. I just place them in the prepaid return envelope, mail them, and wait for my new tote to arrive!

My summer wardrobe picks from Le Tote

Below is a list of items I will be renting this summer from Le Tote:

summer wardrobe

Calvin Klein Bermuda Short (Retail $60)

summer wardrobe

Max Studio Halter Dress (Retail $128)

summer wardrobe

BCBGeneration Boho Dress (Retail $128)

summer wardrobe

Sanctuary Camo Short (Retail $79)

summer le tote

1 State Confetti Halter Top (Retail $79)

summer wardrobe

Jessica Simpson Striped Tank (Retail $30)

summer wardrobe

Ava Ruffle One Shoulder Top (Retail $58)

summer wardrobe

Eliza J Off Shoulder Dress (Retail $138)

SUMMER WARDROBE

Johanne Beck Cascade Dress (Retail $140)

summer wardrobe

Tart Sleeveless Printed Romper (Retail $128)

summer wardrobe

BCBGeneration Belted Knit Dress (Retail $98)

This list does not include the jewelry and handbags in my virtual Le Tote closet. But these Octavia & Co. earrings, Kate Spade bangle, and House of Harlow necklace are my most anticipated summer rentals.

Get $25 off your first tote!

Want to build a virtual closet and fake an endless summer wardrobe with Le Tote? It’s free to join and browse their catalog, just click here! If you sign up for one of Le Tote’s monthly subscriptions be sure to use this link to get a $25 credit off your first tote!

xoxo,

Missy

May 12, 2017

Easy wedding hairstyles you can do yourself!

easy wedding hairstyles

Depending on the bride, hair and makeup can be even more important than finding the perfect dress. To make sure they look their best on their special day, most brides book experienced and oftentimes, very expensive hair and makeup artists.  I was lucky enough to have my cousin Kendy, a truly talented hair stylist, do my hair for my wedding day. Because we were on a strict budget for the wedding, had my cousin not been available, I most likely would have ended up doing my hair myself.  To help other brides on a budget who are not fortunate enough to be related to a professional hair stylist, I have compiled a list of gorgeous and easy wedding hairstyles, along with easy step-by-step tutorials that make doing your own bridal “do” a piece of cake!

Easy wedding hairstyles

Most of these hairstyles can be worn anytime, not just at a wedding or special event. The trick to transforming a regular hairstyle into “wedding hair” is the accessories. Be it a rhinestone headband, birdcage veil, or a floral halo, accessories are the key to making a pretty hairstyle special event worthy. Below are a few of my favorite bridal hair looks, followed by a couple of super easy hairstyle tutorials from hair guru and beauty blogger, Kate Bryan.

easy wedding hairstyles

I love the casual elegance of this low messy bun with a loose crown braid. Like I mentioned above, this could easily be an everyday hairstyle, but add some bling or a sprinkling of baby’s breath, et voila, gorgeous bridal hair.

easy wedding hairstyles

Half up hairstyles are a great option for girls who aren’t used to wearing their hair up, but still want a style that is fancier than their everyday hair down style.

easy wedding hairstyles

This last look is perfect for the Bohemian bride. It’s romantic and free-spirited style would fit in perfectly with an outdoor or garden-themed wedding. Flowers and/or ribbons are a must for making this casual style appropriate for a special event.

Tutorials for easy wedding hairstyles

I’ve showcased Kate’s hairstyle tutorials on this blog before, but only because they are seriously so easy to follow, and this is from a girl who is all thumbs when it comes to hair.

Kate has tutorials for almost every kind of hairstyle you’d need for a pretty wedding do. The bow style below is one of my favorites, and would be perfect with a dress that had a low cut back.

So if you don’t have the money to hire a professional stylist for your hair on your wedding day DON’T FRET! Simply pick an easy style from the options above (or another pretty style from Pinterest) and hit up Kate’s Youtube channel for a detailed video tutorial that virtually walks you through recreating the wedding hairstyle of your dreams.

If you are in the market for some affordable but glamorous hair accessories check out these beauties below!

easy wedding hairstyles

Flower rhinestone bridal hair comb, $5.99

easy wedding hairstyles

David Tutera Birdcage veil, $13.84

easy wedding hairstyle

Peach rose crown halo, $8.99 (Tip: add in real flowers between the fake ones for a gorgeous floral halo at half the cost!)

xoxo,

Missy

April 26, 2017

Pretty spring makeup- a bright lip is it!

bright lip

Bright lipstick is my Holy Grail beauty product. When I’m in a hurry and I don’t have much time to do my makeup, I put on a bright lip color. Add some tinted CC cream and a swipe of mascara and BAM, I’m done! Ha-ha, just kidding… Like I would ever leave the house without concealer. My neighbors would think I inhaled bath salts and zombie-fide myself. But I digress… If you want to look polished, but don’t have time to painstakingly follow the twenty-something steps in your average Jaclyn Hill makeup tutorial, just throw on a bright lip. Of course, if you do have the time then, by all means, hit up Youtube and watch y’all some Jaclyn, she’s insanely gorgeous and her tutorials are the bomb.

So many women are afraid they cannot pull off a bright lipstick. They think it will draw too much attention to any flaws in their complexion or facial features. But while a bright lip certainly draws attention, it mostly does so to your mouth alone, which means it can actually help detract from a multitude of other sins. Keeping the rest of your makeup fairly simple means you can wear it during the day, even running errands or the office. Just add some winged eyeliner and you’re ready for a hot date, fundraising gala, red carpet event…

My bright lip picks

Below are the lipstick and lip glosses I use when creating a fab bright lip. All of them can be found at your local drugstore for under $10:

bright lip

I actually have this $5.99 Whipped Lip and Cheek Souffle from NYX in both Pink Lace (above) and Pink Cloud, a pretty pale pink color. I use the Pink Cloud as a blush – it’s  a perfect dupe of the $40 YSL Baby Doll Kiss & Blush in Frivole Rose. That’s a $34 savings- insert virtual mic drop here.

bright lipThis gorgeous hot pink from L.A. Girl is called Bliss and reminds me a lot of the $17 MAC lipstick Fusion Pink, only it’s a much cheaper $3.99.

This glamorous red from the Rimmel Provocalips line has the greatest name, “Kiss Me You Fool”. Ah, if I had a nickel…It looks like the lip color Sienna Miller is wearing in the collage above. Bonus- it’s long wearing and only $6.99.

bright lip

I think this bright pink lip stain from J. Cat is pretty close to the bombshell shade Emma Stone is wearing here. Only I doubt she is wearing a $5.00 lipstick. Welllll, she could be…she seems like the kind of girl who wouldn’t poo-poo drugstore items. Unless of course she swallowed one. (Yeah, I went there…)

bright lip

This beautiful fuschia-red from Fiona Stiles is normally $16, but right now it’s on sale at Ulta for only $8.00. Most of the other lipsticks shown here are matte, but this Hydrashine lip color is creamier and glossier, while still delivering a brightly pigmented look.


I’d be remiss if I did not include the iconic Fire & Ice lip color from Revlon for $8.49. This orange-based red that first made its appearance in 1952 looks like it might make your teeth appear more yellow, but it doesn’t seem to do that to my less than snow-white teeth, and it is flattering on a variety of skin tones.

bright lip

And last but certainly not least, is this $7.99 Electric Pink from Maybelline New York’s Color Sensational line. Despite its name, it’s one of the most wearable brights in my makeup bag. Because it is a matte shade, the color is a muted bright making it appropriate for everyday wear. And, take it from a consummate lip licker (uh, my own, jeez), it lasts much longer than most long-wearing lipsticks out there.

So the next time you’re out of time, or the next time you need a pop of color to brighten up your makeup look, try one of these super affordable bright lipsticks above!

xoxo,

Missy

 

 

April 20, 2017

When GMA calls your house…the effect of viral social media

viral social mediaSo in case you haven’t seen the video about the Starbucks barista who rants against the new Unicorn frappuccino, it’s posted below.  My connection to it? My stepson Braden is the barista, lol. Apparently, the video went viral and was picked up by USA Today off of Twitter and the social media ball just rolled from there. About an hour after the USA Today story hit the internet, people from as far as Ireland started calling Braden asking for radio interviews. A producer from Good Morning America called the home phone to ask him for a statement and his video was aired on GMA the next day, with Michael Strahan saying he was going to watch it again because he’d never seen anything so funny.  Let me tell you, the effects of viral social media are insane people.

My husband is panicking because, like any 19-year-old, my stepson sometimes speaks before thinking. Hence the rant on social media against a product his own employer makes…cough. But hopefully, the increased publicity and increased sales (everyone we know is already planning on hitting Starbucks later to order ten of these…) will be enough to save his job. Starbucks corporate met with him and insisted Braden pull the video from all social media to stop any negative publicity, but it was already out there, already viral, there was no stopping this train… While Braden complained about how hard and messy the drink was to make in his “rant’, he did not bring up the sugar content, which is what most of the backlash against the drink is about.

Being a blogger means I deal with social media all the time, but this viral video is one more example of how powerful social media can be. Should you film some crazy rant about the price of Urban Decay eye palettes while dressed like a pineapple and hope it goes viral? No. But if you are getting frustrated with your results on social media remember that being famous for laughing hysterically like Chewbacca can work for some people, but it’s probably not the kind of attention that will help promote your blog in a positive light. Instead, think about producing videos with DIY instructions or tutorials for things related to your blog. This is what has made people like  Michelle Phan and Bethany Mota attain celebrity status. Still plagued with questions on how to use social media to promote your blog? Check out this article by the Social Media Examiner.

The effects of viral social media

While Braden is a good looking and very personable kid with an amazing heart, we don’t want him to become “William Hung famous” (famous for being a little ridiculous). Advice on how to counsel him about properly managing this sudden attention would be greatly appreciated below!  For any inquiries related to this video, please contact press@starbucks.com.

xoxo,

Missy

April 17, 2017

Pretty nude sandals to kick off Spring!

I have at least 3 pairs of nude sandals in the warmer months. Flat ones, a wedge heel, and a strappy pair. Why? I can wear one of those 3 pairs with every outfit in my closet all spring and summer long. Of course, when I find a great deal on a trendy pair in the current color of the year I nab them. But the nude sandals will be included in my warmer weather wardrobe (say that ten times fast…just for fun) for as many seasons as they’ll last. Bonus: Nude sandals not only go with everything, they also make your legs look miles longer!

Pretty Nude Sandals

The following nude sandals are my favorite picks to kick off spring in style (and they are all under $50!):

nude sandals

Details (starting clockwise, middle pair last):  Charlotte Russe nude wedge $39, Buckle DayTrip Selena sandal $33, ZooShoe Breckelle sandal $28, Pretty Little Things Olivia sandal $33, Lulus Nahele suede sandal $36, Elegant Footwear Hazel Platform sandal $37, and the NewLook Cutout Peep Toe sandal $35.

Update: It has come to my attention since publishing this article (about ten minutes ago) that a lot of the sandals featured above are already sold out. As a fashion and lifestyle blogger, I don’t want to publish posts where half of the items I feature are no longer available, so I looked for a few more options which I listed below.
nude sandals

These Pom Pom Tie-Up Espadrilles from Nastygal for $40.  I also love these gold-trimmed rope lace-ups from Charlotte Russe for $20.

nude sandals

 

These Two-Piece Wedge Espadrilles from Charlotte Russe for $33 look high but easy to walk in.

nude sandals

And my most favoritist (not a word, well, it is now) nude sandal to date? These gorgeous clear-strap Dory sandals on Zulily. Your legs will look especially long with the invisible upper straps, and the colorful beads in the heel make these sandals quite the statement piece!

xoxo,

Missy

April 4, 2017

Easter Basket Ideas for Teens

easter basket

I love filling Easter baskets! My stepkids are all in their teens but that doesn’t mean I am any less excited to watch them run downstairs and start plowing through their Easter baskets, just like they did when they were little. Filling Easter baskets with fun and unique items has become a little more challenging as they get older, however. I’ve always tried to include more non-candy items than candy,  mostly because our kids just aren’t big candy eaters (weirdos!) – I mean, we still have Halloween candy from the previous Fall in our pantry. Maybe it’s just gross candy…because if I haven’t finished it….

So while coming up with cute, fun and useful Easter basket filler on a budget has always been a challenge, searching and finding products that are not only cool and useful but also affordable is my totally my jam! Below are my Easter basket filler ideas for both teen boys and girls. To keep the total basket cost for each kid around $25-30, I normally include just one larger non-candy item, like a t-shirt, with a couple of smaller non-candy items, like a card game and earrings. Lay it all on a healthy layer of Easter grass and add a box of Peeps and pastel Twizzlers (their favorite!) and wait for the Easter morning oohs and ahhs!

Easter basket filler for teen boys

easter basket

Items clockwise from top right: Uno Emoji Card Game, Scrabble Initial Keychain, Aeropostale Men’s Flip Flops, Like a Boss Junk Food Tee, Henna Hand Tattoo Kit, PB Teen Sports Phone Chargers, Popmap Men’s Black Sunglasses.

Easter basket filler for teen girls

easter basket

 

Items clockwise from top right: Yellow Sport Sandals, Pineapple iPhone Case, Striped Pineapple Beach Towel, Burt’s Bees Flavor Crystals Lip Balm, Island Escape Body Polish, Bright Yellow Pineapple Candle.

Happy Easter- He Has Risen!

xoxo,

Missy

March 31, 2017

Engagement Roast Chicken recipe & video

roast chicken

I love making roast chicken during the colder months of the year. The buttery, garlicky, comforting smell that wafts from the oven is just heavenly.  My favorite recipe for roast chicken is really the most simple. And the taste? Well, there is a reason it is called “Engagement Chicken“…

Click below to watch Ina Gartner make the famous Engagement Chicken. This recipe is included in my favorite cookbook of hers, Ina Garten At Home. She always makes everything so simple and easy, and this insanely delicious chicken recipe is no exception!

It doesn’t get any easier than that! Even if you are already married it is worth making as it’s the most delicious chicken you will ever serve!

xoxo,

Missy

 

March 26, 2017

Outfit inspiration using 2017 Spring Pantone Colors!

Did you know the 2017 Spring fashion color report from Pantone is based on the colors used on the runway in New York Fashion week?

Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, explains the connection between the chosen colors  and the feelings they evoke, “Reminiscent of the hues that surround us in nature, our Spring 2017 Fashion Color Report evokes a spectrum of emotion and feeling…designers applied color in playful, yet thoughtful and precise combinations to fully capture the promises, hope and transformation that we yearn for each Spring.”

I compiled some bright & pretty outfit inspiration using three colors from the 2017 Pantone Spring fashion palette. All items shown below are under $50- for details on each item (brand, price, where to buy) click the link under each color set.

Outfit inspiration: Pink Yarrow 

outfit inspiration

 

I love pink in any shade, so I adore Pink Yarrow! Even if you add this color into your accessories and keep the rest of the outfit neutral- this punchy pink has great color payoff and can liven up even the most basic look.  For outfit details and prices click here.

Outfit inspiration: Primrose yellow

outfit inspiration

Nothing says Sping more than yellow! It’s such a happy color, if you ever have the” blues” throw something yellow on and watch your mood become instantly sunnier! For outfit details and prices click here.

Outfit inspiration: Greenery

outfit inspiration

This color was in the overall Pantone color palette for 2017 and is a very popular color for weddings this year. It is such a versatile color- blending beautifully into a preppy, romantic or bohemian theme. For outfit details and prices click here.

It is snowing right now in Colorado, but that only makes me want to incorporate these bright and cheerful Spring colors into my wardrobe even more! Instead of dressing for the job I want, I like to dress for the season I wish it was (in layers of course!). The resulting positive mojo puts a spring in my step and brightens my mood- no matter what the weather is outside!

xoxo,

Missy

March 23, 2017

Hate the way you look? Watch this popular beauty blogger’s video!

popular beauty

I came across the video below on the YouTube channel of Stephanie Lange, a popular beauty blogger. I started watching her videos because she has terrible skin and hooded eyes and does some of the most amazing makeup tutorials to address these issues. I don’t have any alerts or notifications set for her channel, but the minute I saw the title of this particular video I had to watch it.

Stephanie wears a bit more makeup than I personally prefer, but I still think she is just gorgeous. This video showed me how beautiful (and wise!) she is on the inside as well. If you have ever woke up thinking you hate the way you look or ended up thinking that way after comparing yourself to others (people you know, social media influencers,  celebrities, etc…) then this video is for you!

Isn’t she great? And don’t you feel better after watching this? Yes and yes, right?! Be sure to share this post with any girlfriends or female family members you feel need a boost. #truebeauty #girlpower #momboss #sherules

xoxo,

Missy

March 20, 2017

Easy breakfast meal prep for the week

meal prepWhen I went from being a single girl to a stepmom of three my morning routine changed quite a bit. I used to roll out of bed, grab a yogurt and log into my computer to start working. I can still do that when it’s just me and my husband, but when we have the kids, mornings can be rushed, stressful and a bit totally chaotic. I have incorporated several clever life hacks into my morning routine that have significantly reduced the stress and chaos. My favorite life hack is spending time on the weekends doing meal prep for the week. Prepping our breakfasts for the week has totally helped to streamline our mornings and create a more efficient and relaxed atmosphere.

Easy breakfast meal prep ideas

Preparing the following breakfast items on the weekend will save you loads of time on your weekday mornings. If you prep all your meals to save time during the week but spend half your weekend doing it, it’s not really very time-saving.  To avoid this sneaky meal prepping time suck, I made sure each recipe is not only delicious but super easy to prepare. Serving homemade breakfast items versus packaged, store-bought items saves you a ton of money and reduces any unnecessary chemicals and preservatives in your family’s diet.

Breakfast burritos

meal prep

These delicious breakfast burritos from The Country Cook are very similar to the ones I make. I replace the shredded hashbrowns with hash brown patties because they take only 10min to toast. I cut each pattie into chunks and put bout 1/2 a patty in each burrito. Making your own breakfast burritos ensures your picky eaters get what they want in their burrito (no cheese, a squirt of ketchup, etc..).

Pancake-sausage “McGriddle” sandwiches

meal prep

This recipe from mantitlement actually includes the recipe for making homemade sausage and pancakes. While it is healthier than store-bought sausage and pancakes, I don’t have the time to make everything from scratch, so I buy Jimmy Dean’s maple sausage and make the patties, then sandwich them between two frozen premade pancakes. They freeze well and take only 18-22 minutes in a 375-degree oven if you put them in the fridge to thaw the night before. Frozen cooking time is closer to 30 minutes. But if you pop them in the oven when you first wake up they’ll be hot & ready by the time everyone gets downstairs to breakfast.

Bacon & egg “McMuffin” sandwiches

meal prep

Egg McMuffins are the healthiest breakfast sandwich on the McDonalds menu, and they can be made even healthier at home!  This recipe from The Suburban Soapbox includes a brilliant cooking hack for the eggs and was created specifically as a freezer meal. She doesn’t include this tip, but be sure to toast the muffins briefly before assembling and freezing the sandwiches for a fresher, “just cooked” texture and taste.

Cheesy sausage breakfast sliders

meal prep

Sliders for breakfast? Yes please! The recipe for these delicious cheese, egg and sausage sliders from The Slow Roasted Italian isn’t specifically a for a meal prep “freezer meal”, but I made them in a foil pan, froze them, thawed them, and baked them according to the directions in this recipe and they tasted like they were made that morning!

Meal prep supplies

I get my gallons bags and aluminum foil at the Dollar Tree. The best prices on foil pans and lids are available on Amazon. If you get an Amazon Prime membership you get free 2-day shipping on ALL of your orders for twelve months. Amazone Prime is $99 a year, but it comes with a ton of other benefits in addition to free shipping, like free movies, books, magazines, and much, much more.  I encourage you to check it out and see how it can save you money!

I am curious to see if these easy and delicious meal prep ideas save you as much time and money as they do for me. If you make any of these yummy breakfast meal prep ideas be sure to share your experience in the comments below!

xoxo,

Missy

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