Tuesday, May 31, 2016

I'm Back!

Oh hey guys, I'm back!

I had a (mostly) great time in North Carolina and Tennessee, first hanging with Jeff's family for his sister's graduation from Elon University and then heading to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville to volunteer for Destination Imagination's Global Finals which ended up being such a good experience. I say the trip was "mostly great" because the first night I had a crazy allergic reaction to the hotel that made me really uncomfortable and then super self conscious because it left behind some fun lingering marks all over my neck and arms. Yum. I think it's finally time for me to get one of those allergy scratch tests and see what's up.

I shared a bit on Snapchat while I was gone (follow me @kristinadoes), so you may have seen me first at Elon (such a beautiful campus!) and on some pretty rooftops in Charlotte, and then hanging with the 12,000 kids from around the world that were competing at Globals (and maybe bragging on some of my kids a little). DI is a creative problem solving competition for kids from kindergarten through college, and Global Finals is the huge final competition of the year. They really come from all over the world - all of the United States plus 22 different countries represented this year. It was so fun to see all of the kiddos and all of their creativity. Unfortunately all of the kids managed to get me sick (!) so I spent most of yesterday on the couch (except for an accidental $300 Target run - whoops). I thought I didn't have anything to share here with you guys this week since I wasn't creating new content while I was gone, but then I turned on my camera to find not one, but two sets of photos I managed to take before I left! Thanks previous me for managing to plan ahead! So there will be some fresh new content up this week, as well as my May budget post coming tomorrow.

I hope you had a great long weekend, let me know what you've been up to!

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

A Grown Up Work Bag

Sweater (similar) - LOFT / Denim - Old Navy / Bag - Rebecca Minkoff / Flats - Ivanka Trump / Necklace - Stella & Dot / Bracelet - Michael Kors

You guys, I finally caved and bought a new work bag! I've had the MAB tote on my wishlist for years at this point but didn't want to invest such a huge chunk of my clothing budget into a bag. Then I realized that I had a lot of gift card money on Amazon thanks to presents from my brother who lives in Asia and rewards from using Dealspotr, so I could get my dream bag for free! I had been toting my laptop to and from work in a separate laptop bag and keeping my essentials in my favorite pink crossbody, so I was glad to be able to drop down to one bag for my commute. FYI, I carry around a 13 inch MacBook Air and it fits just fine in here. I don't know if it would quite squeeze into the version of this bag without the size zips because I have been unzipping them to take the laptop in and out. I'm loving the color so far, it feels perfect for spring & summer, and I think it will work well into the fall too. The only thing I'm worried about is color transfer from dark denim - any tips to avoid that?

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Previously on KDTI - white denim:


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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Weirdest of Coincidences

Have I ever told you about the weirdest coincidence of my life?

I spent the summer before my senior year of college living at school instead of coming home. I went to the University of Illinois, which is a huge school, but during the summer so few people stayed that you kind of got to know everyone. My roommate and I made fast friends with a random guy we met out at the bars, who ended up having two seats left on the private plane he was taking to his island in the Bahamas at the end of the summer. Ummm, yes, we obviously accepted.

The island - I think it was a mile long and a quarter mile wide

So the deal was, it wasn't a totally private island, they had sold a good chunk of it to a cruise line. Every other day or so, the cruise ship would drop off thousands of passengers for the afternoon, then pick them back up and leave the island deserted again. If you've ever been on a cruise through the Bahamas and been dropped off at a random little island for a day trip, yep, it was probably there.

"Flying" the tiny plane

So anyway, we flew down to the Bahamas for a week on a mostly deserted island, and spent our time swimming and snorkling, racing around the island in golf carts, accidentally catching a little shark while out fishing and deciding to eat it, getting incredibly sunburnt, lighting giant bonfires, trying to find places to go to the bathroom when the cruise ship bathrooms were locked, you know, the usual. Every time the cruise ship came through though, we would head down to their area to sneak some food and drinks (because we mistakenly left the college-age boys in charge of shopping) and play on their water toys.

The last day though, after a few drinks, we parked our golf cart and stumbled onto the beach as the cruise ship guests were packing up to leave, and I noticed a girl staring at me. And she looked just a little familiar. I would have written it off to the cocktails, except she shouted my name. Yep, it was my cousin. And my aunt, and uncle, and cousins and step-cousins. A big chunk of my family had taken a last minute cruise, and somehow wound up on the same tiny island in the middle of the ocean as me! It was seriously the weirdest thing that had ever happened to me - we only had time to blurt out what we were doing there and take a few shell-shocked pictures and then they had to get back on the boat.  If they had taken their cruise a different week, or had gone back to the boat early, or had grabbed chairs on another section of the beach, I never would have run into them. Instead I would have just grabbed my milk jug of adult Kool-Aid (College Kristina really knew how to keep things classy) and gone merrily on my way.

So tell me, what's the weirdest coincidence you've ever experienced?

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Black & White

Shirt - LOFT / Denim - Old Navy / Necklace - Madewell / Bag and Heels (similar) - Sole Society

I was searching my closet for a pastel top to wear with my white denim for a date with Jeff, and then I thought, why does it have to be pastel? Just because it's spring doesn't mean I can't work a little black into my wardrobe. All black with my white denim felt perfectly fresh, and gave me the hint of edge I like to have when I go out. Of course, I also need a hint of whimsy, hence the "Hello" tote ;)

Oh and P.S., this top is back in stock! I bought three different colors last fall and they have been my go-to for nights out and also whenever I have to dress up for work - the cut is so flattering and they somehow manage to look dressed up and casual at the same time. It's currently available in black and a couple of summery colors. Get it now - all of the colors sold out super fast last fall!

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Previously on KDTI - Drapy Tee:


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Monday, May 23, 2016

Eyelet for Work

I snagged this gorgeous eyelet dress at J.Crew a couple of weeks ago (except I opted for bright orange!) and while I wore it to a graduation over the weekend, I can imagine it working really well for the office too. The oversized sleeves are fun, but the sheath cut is all business. Is your office an ice box in summer too? Just toss on a denim jacket or navy blazer depending on your dress code and you'll be good to go.

Would you wear eyelet to the office?

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Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday Finds

Happy Friday! How cute are these sandals?! I found a pair of nude flats last weekend but I'd still love a pair of sandals or wedges to wear with all of my summer dresses. Unfortunately this pair only goes up to size 10 so I'm still on the hunt. I'm leaving today for a 10 day trip through North Carolina and Tennessee and am hoping this white and pink tote arrives before we have to leave! If you have any recommendations for Charlotte I'd love to hear them.

Speaking of my trip, I'll be gone through Memorial Day, but never fear, I pre-scheduled a few posts along the way! See you guys in JUNE (whaaaaat?)!

one / two / three / four / five

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Polka Dots and More Dots

Dress - J. Crew Factory / Bag (similar) - Ann Taylor / Flats - Ivanka Trump / Necklace (similar) - BaubleBar / Bracelet - Michael Kors

You guys, I found a pair of nude flats!! I actually found three pairs of nude shoes I wanted at Nordstrom Rack, but this pair had a bow on them so they won. I made a rule with myself that I wasn't going to do anything to support the Trump empire, including buying stuff by Ivanka Trump, but I fell in love with these before I realized who made them. Dammit Drumpf, you win again. Of course, they were super on sale, so maybe I'm the one who won.

I actually was a little unsure of this dress/necklace pairing at first - I put them together while wandering my hotel room after realizing I packed one million things for my business trip to Atlanta but that none of them matched. But then the woman who brought my room service told me she loved the two together without being prompted, so I had to go for it.

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Previously on KDTI - pink necklace:


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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Watermelon Mint Spritzer

Does a spritzer have to have sparkling wine in it? Oh shoot I've already failed. Last summer I was all about cocktails with watermelon juice in them, so refreshing. This weekend my grocery store went nuts with watermelon so I decided to grab a bottle of juice. We also had a ton of mint (from making this pasta - so freaking good!) Watermelon mint cocktails? Coming right up! 

Have you ever grown mint? It's basically a weed so it grows all over the place and refuses to die, no matter how many days in a row you forget to water it. I had a plant back in my first apartment in Chicago that was huge. Over the winter I was lazy and basically just let the plant die and stay in the same pot outside over the winter, through a couple of blizzards. In the spring not only was the plant growing again, but it had also managed to hop into a couple of other pots! For a girl with a black thumb I really like growing it because it makes me look like I have some skills hahaha.

I don't know about you, but if I'm going to be garnishing my cocktail I always choose lemon over lime. Bartenders usually give me a look, like I'm making a crazy request instead of just asking they put a slice of lemon instead of lime in my vodka tonic. It just tastes a lot more fresh and bright to me. 

So anyway, the recipe! Add ice, 2 ounces of watermelon juice, and 1.5 ounces of vodka to a cocktail shaker, then shake it on up! Pour into a rocks glass, add a little bit of ice, and then fill the rest of the glass up with sprite. Top with a squeeze of lemon and a couple of mint leaves. 

Bottoms up!

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Not Blue!

Dress (similar) - Gap / Jacket (similar) - J. Crew Factory / Booties (similar) and Bag - Sole Society / Earrings and Necklace (similar) - BaubleBar / Watch - Wristology

Look guys! It's not blue and pink, it's (gasp) gray and pink! Okay, unless you count the jean jacket, in which case it's still blue and pink :) I know I've been on a bit of a kick lately (exhibits one, two, three, and four) so I thought I'd show you something slightly different. I wore this last weekend (err was that already two weekends ago?) for Jeff's birthday/mother's day. The weather keeps toying with my emotions, so the sweatshirt material of this dress really came in handy. Luckily this Friday I'm heading to Elon, NC for my sister-in-law's graduation, then to Charlotte for a little weekend with Jeff, and then to the University of Tennessee for a week of volunteering with Destination Imagination, so there's a lot of warmer weather in my future! Actually, more like hot weather - it's supposed to hit 90 in Knoxville. As much as I complain about the weather in Chicago, I don't know how you southern gals do it. It was in the upper 80's in Atlanta last week and I was dying. If it could be 75 and sunny all the time that would be great - can someone hook that up for me?

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Previously on KDTI - Denim Jacket:


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