A Summer Look Back

While enjoying some time down the shore, I thought it would be fun to look back at some of my favorite summer looks. The one thing I've found about blogging, is that while I'm always creating new content and posting new outfits, a lot of the old ones are left back in the archives, never to be seen again. So to remedy that, I'm showcasing some of my old outfits from summers past, and links to recreate similar looks for yourself. 
Hope you enjoy my throwback summer lineup : )
Target Maxi (sold out) // but cute option here
Denim Jacket: Old Navy // Striped tank: Old Navy (similar) // White Shorts: Old Navy 
Coral Necklace: cute option // Wedge heels: Target (similar) // Red Clutch: Express (nice option)
Floral dress: Loft (similar print) // Belt: Old Navy (similar) // Heels: Nine West (similar) 
Bracelet: Tory Burch
Ombre tank: Old Navy (similar) // White shorts: Old Navy // 
Madras skirt: American Eagle (shorts) // Navy Tank: Abercrombie (similar) 
Tory Burch Flip Flops
Crochet top: Old Navy (similar) // Jeans: Express // Michael Kors Bag (nice option)
Pink jeans: Target // (nice option)
Maxi dress: Old Navy // similar
Maxi dress: Target // Similar
Ombre tank (similar) layered over black maxi dress
Tribal print shorts: American Eagle (similar)
lace dress: boutique in Hoboken // Nice option
Bubble necklace: J.Crew (affordable option)
T-shirt: Old Navy (similar) // Shorts: TJ Maxx (similar)
Maxi dress: NY & Co (similar) // Necklace: Express 
White dress: Express (pretty option) // Navy Cardigan: Target (nice option)
Red tank: Old Navy // Bubble necklace: J.Crew
Denim jacket: Old Navy
This post just made me realize that I actually need to get better with my clothing rotation. Half of these outfits I didn't even get a chance to wear this year. Tsk, tsk.

Alrighty, I'm going to go work on my tan....
Hope you all have a lovely day!

xo Steph


A Little Fall Preview

I just couldn't help myself but I've been having major fall cravings lately. Just the other day the air had that cool and crisp smell in the air that reminds me of the smell of the first day of school You know what I'm talking about right?! I can't wait until the weather drops and I can wear THIS OUTFIT. How amazing are those boots, and plum bag and nails....
But this is the last fall preview you'll see from me for a while, I still have a beach vacation coming up soon (more on that later) but I just wanted to indulge you all for a minute ; )

Fall craving.

Treat yourself to some fall goodies before they sell out!

  Dog Sweater // another cute sweater option // 7 For All Mankind jeans // Tory Burch leather boots // Tory Burch plum satchel handbag // J.Crew metallic scarf (on sale!) //  Ray Ban Wayfarer sunglasses //  Essie Plum Nail Polish

I've already snagged a jacket on sale and may or may not have bought this candle for the first chilly day we have.
So has anyone started to shop for fall items yet?

xo Steph


Little Faux Black Dress

Yes, this is a faux black dress -- meaning its really a shirt and skirt combo made to look like one dress, and pulled together with a tan belt. Simple, chic, and made from separates. Because I don't think I could rationalize having another black dress in my closet.
This black maxi skirt is definitely getting good use this summer : )
Outfit Details:
Black t-shirt: Old Navy // Maxi Skirt: Target (similar) // Belt: Old Navy (cute option) 
 Wedges: Payless (nice option) // Spike bracelet: Asos (similar) // Alex and Ani Bangles and Bracelets 
Michael Kors bracelet
 Spike bracelet: Asos (similar) // Midi Rings: (similar) // Nail Polish: Dreamer by Revlon
 Alex and Ani Bangles and Bracelets  // Michael Kors bracelet

This is also a great outfit to transition into fall. Its still summery with the sandals and gold bangles and jewelry, but because its black you can also work in some fall pieces or some fun nail polish from Essie's  fall 2013 collection.

As I mentioned before, I'll be doing a shore house with my family, leaving this weekend and will be gone all week. But don't worry -- I'll have a few scheduled posts to keep you entertained while I'm gone. And if you want to keep up with my happenings DTS (down the shore) follow me on Facebook as I post pictures and updates until I get back : )
Hope you all have a great weekend! 

xo Steph


Down the Jersey Shore

I'm not sure if I mentioned this before, but I'll be going down the shore for a week with my parents, D, and my brother and his girlfriend down to LBI (Long Beach Island for all you non-New Jerseans) and we'll be leaving this saturday. I'm so excited to get away one last time and get that one last great tan in before fall rolls around, to eat some good seafood, drink some cold ones, and more importantly, spend time with the people who matter most to me -- family : )
I feel like I just got back from our little Chicago vacation, so I'm feeling truly blessed that I can get away one last time. 
And don't worry, even though I'll be sans computer for a week (so amazing) I'll have a few scheduled posts next week if you really need a Pretty Little Things fix : )
Down the shore.

So what do you need to pack when doing a shore house? 
Here are my beach essentials:

1. Black strapless maxi dress. This is a must for a couple of reasons. First off, black is classic and versatile so it will pretty much work in any situation, dressed up or dressed down. Doing a nice dinner with the family, or hitting up the no shower happy hour (yes, they do exist -- it simply means hitting up happy hour right from the beach). I also love this dress because it acn serve as a beach cover up, as well as a day or night time dress. So win, win, WIN! Other than the classic black strapless maxi, I also like pretty maxis in different colors in prints like this one or this one

2. Bathing suit. You can bring ones you've had for years, or stock up on some new ones at all the end of summer sales going on right now. But my advice is, if you can, bring one bathing suit for every day that you are at the beach. Why? Because if you don't have a washer/dryer available you'll want a fresh bathing suit to put on every day. There's seriously nothing worse than putting on a wet, soggy bathing suit from the day before. yuck. 
Also been wanting this pineapple one or this one

3. A Hat. For a few reasons, shielding the sun, and looking stylish. Also for keeping cool. Other than this gorgeous black classic hat, I usually go for this hat and this sporty one too. Both are great for the beach and hitting up the boardwalk. 

4. Jean shorts and cute tanks // (t-shirt version here). They are no muss, and no fuss. Even one or two pair of shorts will do -- and bring a handful of cute tops to mix and match. 
I love these fun and playful tanks and tees seen here, here and here. get in my suitcase! 

5. Flip flops. Duh! Especially rubber ones you don;t mind getting wet. I've regretted so many times bringing leather sandals to the beach only, and then having them ruined by the salt water. Bring your rubber flip flops!!

6. Nail Polish. This is a great time to relax and paint your nails with the girls in your downtown. Forget the TV, this is the time to catch up on girl talk, paint your nails, and indulge in all the girl stuff we don't get a chance to do when the boys are around. Bring your favorite beach colors to swap and share. Essie's summer 2013 collection is fab, and I also love this coral/melon color (will look awesome with a tan) and this sunny yellow color.
And if you've already got your mind on fall, you can get a head start and play around with Essie's Fall 2013 collection seen here

And you don't really need to bring throw pillows or decor, but this one is just too lovely. 

Also, if you want to keep up with my Jersey Shore vacation (minus the situation and snookie) follow me on facebook for updates and photos! : )

So what are you're beach essentials?

xo Steph


Healthy Eating: Black Bean & Kale Quesadillas

In attempts to be a healthier person and um, *cough* loose some weight, I'm really trying to make smarter choices when it comes to food. However, I hate feeling deprived and living off of salads and raw veggies just isn't going to cut it. So my solution, 1. is to "lighten up" foods I already like by making healthier substitutions and 2. sneaking in healthy foods into other foods whenever possible. I do this with my green smoothies in the morning (aka hide the spinach, kale and chia seeds amidst the fruit) so I don't even know I'm eating it, and I'm doing the same thing here with this black bean and kale quesadilla. This recipe I invented was born out of having only these ingredients to work with, and I must say, I've made this about a handful of times now and it definitely satisfies my Mexican cravings.
 What you'll need:
Whole wheat soft tortillas
Can of organic black beans (you can use regular too)
kale (I used locally grown -- always eat local whenever possible!)
shredded cheese (your choice, I happen to have a mexican blend leftover from tacos)
cooking spray

You can also swap the kale for other leafy greens you may have on hand. I've actually made this with spinach and arugula and they are both equally tasty!
 {always eat local}
So what I do is lighting spray a small frying pan with cooking spray. I used Pam Organic Olive Oil, but feel free to use whatever you have on hand. I then add my filling on one side of the tortilla, starting with cheese, then the black beans, the kale, and then a little more cheese on top just to make sure it melts on both sides and holds together better. 
Or maybe it's just an excuse to add more cheese!
Either way, you can monitor your cheese intake and use it more sparingly.
 Fold it over and press down with a spatula and hear it start to sizzle. I usually hold it down with the spatula for a minute or two and then flip it to the other side. You know it's done when you can see the cheese melting on the sides, and the tortilla on the outside will look like this.
 Plate your quesadilla, cut it into four pieces so it looks like you're eating more, and it will take you longer to eat. 
Longer to eat = slowing down = fuller faster = less likely to overeat. 
 I serve mine with a side of fresh pico de gallo, but regular salsa would work, or guacamole would be delicious too! If you're trying to keep it light, stay away from the sour cream!
And enjoy knowing you're not only eating black beans and kale -- but you're also eating a yummy quesadilla too!!

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!
What tips and tricks do you have to eat healthier?

xo Steph

Also linking up with Because Shanna Said So


J.Crew End of Summer Sales

Why should you take advantage of J.Crew's end of summer sales? Well a few reasons....1. there are actually soooo many items that can be used for fall. Even though they are not their "new arrivals" there are so many beautiful pieces of clothing that have been out in stores for a while now, are now on sale, and are PERFECT to add to your fall shopping list.
And 2. which is something I learned from my mom -- this is the time to stock up on summer stuff while the prices are low. Yeah, you might not get much wear (if any) this season, but when next summer rolls around, you have fabulous new items ready to wear, and you got them at a fraction of the cost. I'm talking cute bathing suits, cover-ups, sandals, you name it! I'm thinking of snagging up one last bathing suit and maybe the pineapple cover-up below for the shore house vacation with my family. 
It's on sale so it's ok......right mom?
So check out my favorite picks below. All items are on sale, so get them while they have your size, because you know how fast J.Crew sales are scooped up!
This peplum top -- it's perfect for end of summer with a cute skirt or jeans and strappy heels, and it will also be perfect for fall or even winter with some boots and dressed up for a night out. Plus it's stripes, and stripes never go out of style. This is a completely classic piece.
This pretty scarf that can be worn now (I'm a huge fan of scarves in the summer), and when the weather gets chilly. I love these brights colors and aztec print too! This one is fabulous too. Can't decide which one I like more....
It's time to stock up on cute graphic tees that can we worn year round. This could be a great, versatile addition to any fall wardrobe -- and done on the cheap too! I've got my eye on this one as well, but it looks like they have limited sizes. Also perfect to wear now with shorts, and later with cardigans and leather jackets.
An embroidered tippi sweater, because well, tippi sweaters are the best. And this lovely embroidered one is perfect for a brisk fall day. And if I didn't know any better, I would think this was a new arrival.
this gorgeous floral dress. Maybe it's not the most practical, but I could totally see wearing this for an early fall wedding. And I'm the kind of person that when I find a dress I like, and it's on sale, I'll buy it even though I don't have a specific event to wear it to. And then when I do -- BOOM! I'm prepared.
How is this boucle jacket on sale right now?? Can we say perfect for fall? And they have them in all sizes right now too -- score! Let me just slip this into my shopping bag right now....
And this sweater screams autumn to me in the warm orange tones. Love this!
This one and this one also have the same autumn-y feel to them. 
And you all know how I like to be festive at all times!
The sale price on this may still be kinda pricey for most (me included) but how adorable is this sweater?
It would be even cuter if it was a doxie. Then I would be 100% SOLD!
Just as my mom taught me, now is the time to stock up on bathing suits, sandals etc. and have them ready for next summer. This adorable bathing suit  will be perfect for my end of summer beach vacation and ready to go for next summer. Also loving this adorable seahorse print. Fun fact: did you know the seahorse is the only known living species on earth in which the male is the one that carries and delivers babies? Yeah, seahorses rock!
And while we're stocking up on beach stuff for the end of summer or for next year, hello pineapple caftan! I want this cover-up with me at my shore house in LBI like now!

So yup, this is why end of season sales are awesome. You don't have to be decked out in "New Arrivals" to feel like you're rocking the freshest and newest gear. If you look around the sale items, you can totally leave with some really awesome stuff!

Anyone else love stocking up on summer stuff for next season?

xo Steph

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