Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Off the Shoulder Say What?!


Shirt - Charming Charlie / Shorts and Earrings (similar) - J. Crew Factory / Bag (similar) - Gap / Sandals (similar) - Sole Society 









Off the shoulder is one of the last trends I thought I'd ever try. I like to try a good trend now and then, but this one felt a little costume-y and way wrong for my body type so I stayed far, far away. Also, you know, I haven't worn a strapless bra since my wedding when one literally fused to my body. I had to peel it off, and it left marks that only recently disappeared. If you can't tell, it was a little traumatizing.

After a few months, like most trends do, the whole off the shoulder thing started to grow on me. The right off the shoulder top can be fun and flirty as opposed to looking like something my mom wore in Mexico in the '70s. Oh and this isn't a hypothetical, she did have some off the shoulder items that she wore in Mexico that eventually made their way into my costume box back in the day.

Anyway, after I decided I was okay with off the shoulder tops I actually started trying them on. It turns out I was right, this is not really the trend for me. An extra ruffle plus no defined waist over my chest is not really ideal. Almost every top or dress I tried on made me look about 60 pounds heavier. I had given up, but then Charming Charlie came to the rescue!

I work out in a little suburb where the only shopping options are a bunch of overpriced boutiques and one Charming Charlie. Because of the limited options I find myself wandering through Charming Charlie a lot, but this is surprisingly the first thing I've ever actually purchased. Unlike most off the shoulder items, this has a little strip of elastic around the waist, which makes all of the difference. Instead of tons of fabric that flows out from my widest point (ahem, the boobs), this one follows the curves of my body. That combined with the sheer fabric actually makes this one work on me. Win win win. Styled with white shorts and a red bag, it's perfect for the Fourth of July!


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Monday, June 27, 2016

Fourth of July Party Ideas

Oh hey, are you planning on throwing a little party for the Fourth of July? I sure hope so, it's the perfect day for a little backyard barbecue. Or, you know, if you're feeling a little crazy, have a party on the 3rd instead - you won't be competing with other parties, and everyone has the 4th off of work so they can stay out past their bedtimes ;)

If you are planning on throwing a Fourth of July party, here are a few ideas to make your party extra special:

American Flag Photobooth (additional photos here)



Blue - 1 part UV Blue, 2 parts Lemonade, 1 part Sprite, splash of Sour Mix

Red - 1 part pineapple-infused Malibu, 2 parts orange juice, 1 part Sprite, enough grenadine to turn it red


Are you still looking for something to wear on the Fourth? Here are a few of my top pics: 



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Friday, June 24, 2016

Friday Finds

one / two / three / four / five



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Thursday, June 23, 2016

A Little More Red, White, and Blue


Dress (similar) - Old Navy / Bag (similar splurge / save) - Gap / Necklace (similar) - J. Crew Factory / Sandals (similar) - Sole Society







Dun dun dun, I appear to have shared an outfit where none of the pieces are available anymore! Sorry guys, looks like some things sold out last week. Buuuuut I still had to share this Fourth of July look! Adding a little red bag and a red nail to one of my favorite blue & white outfits makes it instantly patriotic and ready for any barbecues or firework plans you may have for the Fourth. I linked up a couple of red bag options below in case you're looking to pick one up. 

I actually wore this a over the weekend to go to my cousin's graduation party, and holy cow was it hot. I was really glad to have this light and breezy dress to wear. I'm sure I've said this before but I don't know how you southern ladies do it. It was about 90 degrees out and super humid, so my siblings and I resorted to being super anti-social and hiding in the corner at a table under an umbrella because we were dripping with sweat. Plus, you know, I basically fear the sun, so the little bit of shade was nice :) Later we found a giant mat for pole vaulters that my cousin has for some reason (it sounds like mostly so he and his friends can jump off of roofs!) and laid on it under the trees and enjoyed a little breeze. 

A little birdy told me that it has been HOT out west so this dress is definitely making its way into my suitcase for our trip to Vegas & Tahoe tomorrow. I feel like this trip snuck up on me, I still have so much to do! I scheduled a couple of posts for next week, but I'll have to catch you all on the flipside. 


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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Deck!



You guys, our roof deck is done and furnished and ready to party! Building the deck was my first experience with construction crews, and while it was a little stressful making decisions and pushing for them to finish (it took over double the estimated amount of time) it actually wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. Now that it's finally done I am so excited to have such an awesome outdoor space. We've had parties on back-to-back weekends, as well as lots of hang out sessions up there by myself or with Jeff and a bottle of wine.

I was a little stressed picking out furniture - I mentioned it here but we don't have anywhere to store furniture indoors over the winter, so whatever we bought has to stay outside through Chicago's brutal winters. For our downstairs deck we picked this fairly expensive dining table and chairs set that supposedly can withstand the elements, but for upstairs we decided to go the opposite route and get cheaper furniture since the direct sun and exposure to the elements were likely to mess up whatever we bought. That doesn't mean I couldn't find something cute though!

Sectional - Wayfair / Flower Pillows (similar) - Target

We were debating between a sectional or a couple of smaller pieces, but I'm glad we went with the sectional. It's big enough to lay down on and great for a party, and the stripes are so cute. They have faded a bit already, so be warned if you're considering this set. We decided we didn't need a dining set up here since we have one downstairs, and the chairs from the downstairs deck are perfect to bring up here for extra seating for having a big group over. 

We also didn't need a dining set because we had them add a bar! The bar was definitely an extra but I'm so glad we decided to add it in. Having the bar is perfect for hanging out or for using as a buffet, plus it gives us a bit of extra storage. It has a granite top, which supposedly can withstand whatever Chicago can throw at it. It weirdly is always dusty though - where is all of the dust coming from?!


 Bar stools - Target (We went for folding bar stools so these are also easier to store) / (Yes, our last name is Barry, and no, we didn't steal that sign!)


The other add-ons I'm so glad we went with besides the bar are the full-shade pergola and the ceiling fan. Since I'm, you know, afraid of the sun, being able to be on the roof and not worried about burning is huge for me. We initially were just going to get slats, but our contractor took one look at me and suggested a fully-roofed section instead. Having the roof and fan have also been really nice because for some reason every time we have people over it's super sunny and 90+ degrees out, so they have wanted to hide from the sun and catch a little breeze too.

In case you're wondering about specifics, the decking is Trex, which is faux wood that doesn't need any upkeep. All of the wood on the paneling and roof is pressure-treated pine. If you're interested in learning more about the deck company we used or our experience just shoot me an email - I'm happy to share! 




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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Fourth of July Stripes


Tee - J.Crew Factory / Shorts (almost identical, non-distressed version) - Gap / Bag - Sole Society / Sandals (similar) - Michael Kors / Necklace (similar here, here) - BaubleBar / Watch - Wristology








So we don't even have Fourth of July plans this year, yet I've been all about planning out red, white and blue looks lately (ahem, like everything I share here for the next two weeks ;). We're heading to Tahoe with Jeff's family next week and are coming back late on the third, and then I'm heading to California again for work on the fifth, so I'm figuring the Fourth will mostly be filled with naps and laundry. If your Fourth of July plans are a bit more involved than mine (and a lot casual!) then you probably need this tee shirt. Not only is it so cute, but like I said on Snapchat (find me @kristinadoes), the fabric is a lot thicker and higher quality than J.Crew Factory's shirts usually are. Definitely makes it a winner in my book! 


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Monday, June 20, 2016

This Weekend...


This Weekend I...

...Had lots of family parties! On Saturday I went out to the burbs to go to my cousin's high school graduation / my grandma's 91st birthday party, and on Sunday we hosted a little Father's Day barbecue up on the roof. I made this asparagus tomato salad again, and once again it was a winner ;)
...Took Jeff's stepdad and family out for a pre-Father's Day dinner at River Valley. All of their produce comes from their family farm, and I don't even really like mushrooms but theirs are ohmygee amazing.
...Returned some things to the outlet mall and somehow managed not to buy anything - winning!
...Binged a bunch of Love on Netflix and am loving it, and tried to catch up on VEEP but am still several episodes behind - C-Gate was freaking amazing! If you are not watching VEEP it's Parks and Rec meets West Wing, what else do you need?!
...Had to hold myself back from buying this adorable lace-up striped cover-up - I really don't need another cover-up but I really want this one.

I hope you had a good one!



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