Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Little Black Dress

Dress - Kate Spade / Heels (similar here, here, and here) - Ann Taylor / Bag - Tory Burch / Earrings (similar) - LOFT / Lip - Maybelline

Chances are, if you're in your 20s or early 30s, you're heading to a couple weddings this summer. Jeff and I are finally out of the thick of weddings for our friends, but we still have a couple of friends tying the knot this year. While it's always fun to buy a new dress, it can get super expensive, especially if you're invited to a lot of weddings or need outfits for rehearsal dinners and showers and bachelorette parties too! 

For the past couple of years, I've been using Rent the Runway for weddings and big work parties and I freaking love it. This isn't sponsored at all by the way. It's great because you don't end up buying dress after dress, but still have something new to wear. Plus the rental fees are so much less than the cost of purchasing a new dress, but allow me to wear brands that I normally wouldn't be able to afford. 

Now let me just tell you - renting for the first time is nerve racking!! I mean, the dress gets delivered a day or two before your event and you have no idea how it's going to fit! I have a couple pieces of advice to help.

Advice for Using Rent the Runway

The first is to make sure you always have a back up dress in your closet. When I first started renting I probably only actually wore a third of the dresses I rented because of bad fits. They will give you store credit if you return the dress fast enough so you can always send it back, and if you have enough time they'll send you a replacement dress. But really for ease of mind, I always make sure I have something in my closet I want to wear, just in case. 

The second tip is to know your body. If you think something won't work on you, it likely won't. Those dresses I got that didn't fit? Yeah, I basically always had a clue they wouldn't work ahead of time. Just because there are lots of positive reviews, if something is built for a small chest it just won't work if you have a large one. 

And then finally, I say look at the reviews with photos, but do a sort for reviews that have a similar body type or size. That way, you can see what the dress looks like on bodies that are similar to yours! I've become a little crazy about looking at the photos, and actually haven't had a problem with a dress not fitting in the past year. 

The Little Black Dress

Little black dresses can be pretty basic, but are the perfect canvas for dressing up with different accessories. I freaking love this one - the sleeves are so fun, and I love the pearl button on the back! Plus, the a-line shape is super comfortable but still flattering, and great for dancing. And really, the biggest selling point was the ability to wear a regular bra! You guys know I'll wear a strapless bra when necessary, but if I can find a special occasion dress that doesn't necessitate one I'm a very happy camper.

Dress - Kate Spade / Heels (similar herehere, and here) - Ann Taylor / Bag - Tory Burch / Earrings (similar) - LOFT / Lip - Maybelline

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Monday, July 30, 2018

This Weekend...

This weekend I...

...spent the weekend up in the woods with a bunch of our friends. We stayed in a funny little group of cabins on a river near Newaygo, Michigan that was filled with every outdoor toy you can think of - it was like adult summer camp! Horse shoes and kayaking and bags, even archery and b.b. guns (which yes, I shot for the first time) and of course a big fire pit with a gorgeous view high above the river with no other houses in sight, just miles of trees. We mostly just hung out at the house, except on Saturday afternoon when we decided to go tubing down the Muskegon River, which was basically a huge party on the water. The river was packed with people enjoying their Saturdays and was amazing people watching. Overall an amazing weekend, my abs hurt from laughing so hard!

Here's hoping you had a good one!!

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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Friday Finds (a little early!)

Oh hey there! No, you aren't confused about what day it is. I'm sharing my Friday Finds a day early because we're headed off on a long weekend with our friends tomorrow morning bright and early, so I decided to give myself tomorrow off from posting - what a nice boss I am! We're driving out to Michigan to stay in a cabin on a river for the weekend with a huge group of friends, for lots of floating on the river and water sports and hopefully no getting into fights about feta cheese (which yes, happened last year ;) - it's always one of my favorite weekends of the year!

I thought you might be over the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale at this point, so I thought I'd share some finds from other stores - enjoy!

one / two / three / four / five

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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

A Rustic Baby Animals Themed Baby Shower

It's the year of showers for me - I threw a baby shower for my sister-in-law Claire last month! (I say the "year of showers" because I threw a baby sprinkle for my sister this spring, and am co-hosting a bridal shower for my bff Tracy next weekend!)

Claire and my brother live in South Korea and were in the US visiting for a few weeks, so her sister and I decided to squeeze a baby shower into their schedule. It wasn't originally supposed to be at my house, but you guys know I love to throw a good party, so I threw my place in as an option after our first location fell through. Of course it was about 96 degrees that day (I swear, every time we try to have people over the weather is terrible - for my sister's sprinkle there was an ice storm!) so we couldn't go up on the roof, but we made do hiding inside in the ac.

As far as a theme, I decided I wanted to go with baby animals, but throw in a little bit of rustic chic too - animals and the outdoors go together, right?! I was surprised I couldn't find anything that was even close to what I was thinking on Pinterest, so I just went in my own direction with these cute baby animal prints all over my living space (they're supposed to be nursery prints, but they work right?) and lots of greenery from Trader Joe's. Claire kept asking where I got all of the prints and frames from - I actually already owned all of the frames from the gallery wall in our last apartment! Sometimes my pack-ratting really pays off ;) I also used these burlap runners, some candles, and a whole lot of mason jars.

Just like last time, I designed the invitations myself, so once again no source here! Claire's sister ordered them as postcards from Zazzle, which saved us some money on postage!

This "Oh Baby" sign was a DIY. I found the words on Etsy, bought a hula hoop and spray painted it gold (with leftover gold paint from our wedding!), and attached some greenery with floral wire (also from our wedding ;). I tried hanging the words from the hoop with fishing wire but could not get them to stay, despite my fishing training as a youth and YouTubing fishing knot instructions. So, I folded and attached them to the wall with picture hanging Command strips instead.

As far as food goes, I didn't have enough space for everyone to really sit down and have a meal, so we decided to throw the shower in mid-afternoon and go really heavy on the snacks. Claire's sister brought a ton of cheese and crackers and her mom bought these gorgeous cookies from Custom Confections in Evanston. Aren't they adorable?! Definitely keeping them in mind for future parties!! My mom also brought some chocolate dipped M&M pretzels - another Claire favorite. I added in donuts for the donut wall that we now own from the baby sprinkle and therefore have to use for every party we ever throw, plus my favorite party crackers and this watermelon blackberry salad I make whenever I need to bring a side dish. Claire's sister also made a punch (I have no idea what the recipe was but know it involved cranberry juice, orange juice, and ginger ale) and we put out a few bottles of champagne too in case people wanted to booze it up. Hint: people always want to booze it up ;)

Here's a full list of sources: 

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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Navy Polka Dots

Romper (similar here and here) - LOFT / Sandals (similar here and here) - Sole Society / Bag - Clare V / Earrings - BaubleBar

Have I shared this romper before? Yes. Is it completely sold out? Yes. 

(But before you get mad, check out this super super similar polka dot dress!)

So much of this blogging thing is showing you what's new and now and never ever sharing something that's (gasp) old!) But really, KDTI is about sharing my real outfits in real life, and this is a real outfit I keep repeating! 

While I've worn this for date night and while traveling, on this particular occasion I was headed to a Cubs game with the fam! Sometimes I go for tees and baseball hats for baseball, and apparently sometimes I go for pinup girl ;) I love that the Cubbies wear red, white, and blue since it basically matches my summer wardrobe. I've been rocking red finger and toenails for a solid month now, and I'm not mad about it. 

This Cubs game in question was really fun - we call it "family day" and Jeff's dad gets a skybox for my family and Jeff's family. My three-year-old niece Mae came and amused everyone by repeatedly handing everything she was holding to the person sitting next to her so she could clap along with the crowd and doing toddler yoga in the middle of the floor, and my brand-new nephew Clark (they claim he wasn't named for the Cubs buuuuuttt...) was wide-eyed and ended up getting passed around the room for baby cuddles. Oh and of course the best part (you know, besides actually seeing the Cubs get a W!) is the dessert cart - my order is always ice cream with cookie dough, oreos and fudge! Woof, I may have just given myself a secondary stomach ache haha. 

Anyway, back to the clothes! Wrap dresses like this one have been huge this summer, and can be really flattering but also tricky for a larger chest - if you aren't careful, you can end up showing a lot more skin than you planned on! Luckily there's a really easy fix. Most wrap dresses have a snap or a hook and eye that would never ever work for me, so I really carefully snip them off and resew them on in a place that works on me. It's a five minute fix that makes a world of difference!

Romper (similar here and here) - LOFT / Sandals (similar here and here) - Sole Society / Bag - Clare V / Earrings - BaubleBar

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Monday, July 23, 2018

This Weekend...

This weekend I...

...had the LAZIEST weekend ever!! Jeff and I did a lot of cleaning/organizing and I did a bunch of prep for the baby shower I'm co-hosting in two weeks, but besides that we barely left the house! We watched a bunch of our favorite crappy movies, did some grilling, and really, not a ton more.
...oh I guess we did leave the house, we drove out to the suburbs for dinner at my aunt's house since my cousin Amy was in town. They grilled a turkey, which was amazing, and we squeezed in a lot of family time. Since we were headed to the burbs anyway I made Jeff go on a returning stuff spree with me, and he actually bought a few things for himself - that never happens! I managed to only snag this tee shirt dress for myself, which I basically had to get because it's so flattering (and only $10)! Usually this type of dress doesn't work on me, so when I found one I liked I ended up buying it in gray and black - figuring they'll be good for now and in early fall layered with cardigans and scarves.

Here's hoping you had a good one!

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Friday, July 20, 2018

Friday Finds: NSale Under 50 Edition

Happy Friday!! I can't believe we're back to the weekend again - things have been picking up at work and this week flew by. I'm excited to unwind a little and get a little family time in!

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale opens to the public today, which means if you aren't a cardholder you can actually shop now and not be tortured by me repeatedly sharing things!! In case you missed it, here's my initial picks and my try-on session/reviews.

Today I decided to just share items that are still in stock and under $50 - score!

one / two / three / four / five

And because I couldn't actually keep it to five items, here are some more sale items under $50!

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