Floral Friday: A Flower Arrangement

sunflowers

The sunflower is mine, in a way. - Vincent van Gogh

The farmers’ market is on Thursday, so that is when the tiny downtown comes alive with people and vendors. All summer, I have looked longingly at the bunches of sunflowers that have spilled out of vendors’ tents, but I never bought any. I wish I was the type of girl who bought fresh flowers every week, but there are so many other temptations, such as shoes or cookies or books, that flowers somehow get forgotten.  However, I have always loved sunflowers, so one week I splurged on the lovely bunch pictured above.  I proudly walked down the sidewalk clutching my handful of flowery sunshine, and life felt good.

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 Motel Tiara Dress Sunflower

Floral Fridays is a monthly photography project with different themes each month. This series is about fun and taking time out to smell the flowers. To play along, please email Trishie (trishie@underlockandkeyblog.com) for next month’s theme.

July Favorites and Brunette Ambition Giveaway

It’s time for some July Favorites! This month I’m talking about unbirthdays, Secret Santa, and my favorite books and beauty.

Books

Beauty

Fashion

Brunette Ambition

Lea Michele is one of the hardest working performers in show business. Whether she’s starring as Rachel Berry on Glee, rocking a glamorous look on the red carpet, recording her solo album, or acting as the spokesperson for L’Oreal, Lea is the ultimate multi-tasker. She knows better than anyone that it is difficult to be your best self and keep things in perspective when your to-do list is overflowing and you are faced with challenges, so she’s developed a foolproof system for remaining healthy and centered.

Lea Michele’s Brunette Ambition is a fun, behind the scenes look at what life is like for the TV star. Not only does Lea Michele talk about her early years on Broadway and her breakthrough role on Glee but she, also, discusses how she stays sane while managing her busy schedule.  While she talks about her personal style and favorite red carpet moments, my favorite chapters were the ones about beauty, food, and fitness.  While I haven’t had time to try the recipes yet, I think the Shaved Radicchio, Parmesan, and Truffle Whole Wheat Pizza with a Sunny-Side-Up Egg looks delicious as does the Egg White Frittata. She, also, includes a breakdown of her beauty routine as well as a look at her fitness routine.

Even if you are not a fan of Glee, Brunette Ambition is worth perusing. There is so much information that I’ve filled my copy with sticky notes so I will have an easier time finding things again.

Giveaway!

Blogging For Books sent me an extra copy, so I am passing it along to one of you!

(This giveaway is international.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This book was provided by Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review.

Inspired By Amélie

Amélie is a whimsical French film about a charming young woman who decides to help the people around her. Matchmaker, gnome thief, returner of lost objects, Amélie takes on each role with ardour as she seeks to make her world a better place. Of course, her wardrobe is delightful and is full of elegant slips, cozy cardigans, and midi skirts that keep her stylish throughout her adventures.

Inspired By Amélie

Links a la Mode and the Local Flavor Swap

I do love it when life gets busy. The only downside is that I have less time to blog. I’m a bit behind on returning comments, but will try to catch up this weekend.

I’m so happy to be included in this week’s IFB roundup, and I hope you enjoy the links to the other fabulous blogs. Also, I’m participating in the Chaotic Goddess Swaps Local Flavor Swap. I had so much fun with the Books ‘n’ Bloggers Swap, so I can’t wait to meet my new swap partner. Sign ups end Monday, July 28th, so you still have time to join!

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Getting Ahead by Jennine Jacob

This week we’re getting ahead of the trends by, you guessed it, indulging in hair accessories. Head scarves, headwear, heck, even jewelry. Maybe you’re taking the lax look to a whole new level, and try to wear sweatpants to work? Oh yeah, there’s that too! So, don’t fall behind, read this week’s fantastic roundup!

Links à la Mode: July 24th

Brought to You by: East Dane Coupons Creative Recreation, Carvela, Genetic LA, Campomaggi bags, Acacia, Baggu, Wolford, Solace London, C Wonder, Wu bags & Golden Goose Sneakers

Want to be featured in Links à la Mode?

1. Read the clarified rules and submit your links on this page: Links à la Mode.
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Magic Leggings for Morning Walks

magic slimming capri leggings

I’m not a morning person. I think mornings are a cruel creation of nature, and if I could sleep till 10 a.m. every day, I would. The dog thinks differently.  He likes to walk in the morning while the bunnies are still out and the neighborhood is quiet. So, while the dog is prancing around the park as pleased as can be, I am bleary eyed and stumbling around like a PINK-clad zombie. Recently, I was sent the Marika Magic Slimming Capri Legging, and it has changed my morning game. No, I am still not a morning person; however, I now look like one.  Baggy sweats scream, “I just rolled out of bed; please don’t look at me!” But, nice leggings suggest that I am awake enough to have my act together and that maybe I am just warming up before hitting the nearest overpriced gym.

The leggings are very comfortable. When I got my package, I thought the leggings looked rather small, and I was afraid I should have ordered up a size, but when I tried them on, they fit just right. The leggings have a higher waist, which hits right below my belly button, and is nice for a bit of tummy control. If Capris aren’t your thing, Marika offers quite the selection of bras, tops, and bottoms. You can even save 30% on your next purchase with code MM30, which is good until August 31, 2014.

magic leggings

Lipton Publicity sent me these leggings to review, but all opinions stated are my own.

Summer Reading Challenge: The Wonder (Queen of Hearts Saga #2)

The Wonder (Queen of Hearts Saga #2) by Colleen Oakes

Dinah, the former Princess of Wonderland Palace, has been chased into the wilds of Wonderland after the brutal murder of her brother and the ruin of her impending crown. Now, as her half-sister Vittiore sits on the throne beside her Father, the brutal King of Hearts, Dinah finds herself alone in the forbidding Twisted Wood with only Morte, a homicidal beast, for company.

Hunted by the King and his army of Cards, Dinah struggles to evade those who long for her head, including Cheshire, the King’s clever advisor, who is slowly tightening his grasp around her. Spurred on by her rising terror, the former Princess finds herself at the center of a web of conspiracy reaching far beyond the Palace and deep into the mysterious Yurkei mountain tribes. Even with the balance of an entire Kingdom at stake, Dinah knows something that her allies and enemies do not: that the most dangerous conflict of all has already begun as she battles the enticing rage that beckons her ever closer as love slips further from her grasp.

If you haven’t read the first book in Colleen Oakes’ Queen Of Hearts Saga, take a minute to read my review. The Wonder picks up right after The Crown as Dinah continues to flee from her father, the King of Hearts, but, even away from the palace, she isn’t safe. Unaccustomed to fending for herself, Dinah struggles to survive in the Twisted Wood while avoiding the king’s forces. Eventually, she is tracked down by a Spade, one of the king’s henchmen, but instead of killing her, Sir Gorrann offers to help her. However, he leads her to Wonderland’s fiercest enemies, the Yurkei. Held prisoner, Dinah fears for her life, but it is in the enemy’s land that Dinah learns the truth about herself and the path she must take.

I really like this series. The second book is just as enjoyable as the first, maybe even more so. As Dinah struggles to understand who she is and her place in Wonderland, it’s easy to see how an unloved teenager could become the evil Queen of Hearts. As Dinah fights to control her rage and make the right choice, she can’t escape the comments that she is mad nor can she forget the awful things that have happened to those she loves. I can’t wait for the next book!

You can find out more about Colleen Oakes by visiting her website and following her on Twitter and Facebook.

booksparks summer reading challenge

This book was sent to me for review and is part of BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge.

Links à la Mode: The IFB Weekly Roundup

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That Summer Look by: Jennine Jacob

Whether your summer is your thing, or if it’s really that time you need a vacation. Heck, we all need a vacation! Anyway, these summer months usually mean taking it easy. With our style, and with our schedules. But just in case you need a little bit of inspiration to keep the summer blues away, this week we have some wonderful links for you!

Links a la Mode: July 17th

SPONSOR: East Dane VMT, Kurt Geiger, Vacance, Campomaggi bags, Bucketfeet, Baggu, RVCA Men, Solace London, Bussetto, Noble Denim & Owen & Fred

Want to be featured in Links à la Mode?

1. Read the clarified rules and submit your links on this page: Links à la Mode.
2. If your link was selected and you need this week’s code, visit this page: Links à la Mode Code.

My Style Uniform: Five Key Pieces

I find the idea of a minimalist wardrobe appealing, but in practice, I need more than just a handful of pieces.  It’s so boring to wear the same thing over and over again.  However, last month, Xandra from Fashionably Light posted My Style, in 5 Key Items, which is about the five items that define her style.  Then, Kristian from Never Fully Dressed (Without A Style) recently posted Q+A: 5 Things in Every Girl’s Closet and asked other bloggers what five pieces every woman should own.  So, I started thinking about my style and the pieces I keep repeating…

1.  Jeans

I’m moving away from skinny jeans and am embracing the bootcut.  I like jeans with a darker rinse and a little bling, such as the Miss Me pair in the video.

2.  Cream Tops

I usually avoid anything white or cream because I am so pale, but cream is slowly invading my wardrobe.  Off white tops and jackets get dressed up with colorful scarves and cardigans.  Some of my favorite tops are from American Eagle and Denim & Supply.

3.  Cardigans

Layers are key since it’s impossible to count on the weather or air conditioning.  J. Crew makes great cardigans in a variety of styles.

4.  Scarves

Scarves are nice because they instantly make an outfit look put together, and you don’t have to splurge to get something cute.  The blue scarf is from Brokedown and came in my March 2014 PopSugar Must Have Box.

5.  Flats

Ballet flats, sandals, sneakers, I wear a lot of flat shoes.  This summer, I can’t stop talking about my red Keds; I wear them almost everyday.

The wonderful thing about personal style is that it evolves, and the five pieces that define my style today may be completely different from what I wear next year.  I think that is what makes fashion so exciting.  Fashion allows you to reinvent yourself one piece at a time.

My Style Uniform

What five pieces define your current style?

DIY: How to Make A Fringe Scarf Out of a T-shirt

It’s summertime and the t-shirts are piling up. Why not turn one into a fringe scarf? This project is a Pinterest favorite and is super easy to make.  It only requires a t-shirt, scissors, and a little time.

To get started, lay the tee flat on a table. Cut the tee straight across from one armpit to the other. The bottom half is what you will use to turn into a scarf.

Working from the raw edge of the t-shirt, cut half inch strips.

To make fringe, gently tug each strip so that the fabric rolls in on itself. The tightness of the fringe will depend on the fabric. Then, randomly knot some of the fringe.

How to Make A Fringe Scarf Out of a T-shirt

Voilà! Easiest scarf ever.

How to Make A Fringe Scarf Out of a T-shirt

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A Brief History of Jelly Shoes

A Brief History of Jelly Shoes

ASOS HEY! Heeled Jelly Shoes

Thanks to World War II, there was a leather shortage in Europe. Legend has it that a French shoemaker created the first pair of jelly shoes in 1946. Monsieur Jean Dauphant‘s plastic shoes, nicknamed Méduse (meaning jellyfish), featured an instantly recognizable fisherman’s weave and started a trend for plastic shoes that other designers would experiment with in the 1950′s and 1960′s. Interestingly, Grendene, a Brazilian shoe company, also, claims to have introduced jelly shoes to the world.  Melissa, a celebrity and fashionista favorite, is a part of Grendene and continues to design trendsetting, plastic shoes.  Jelly shoes really took off in the 1980′s, and chances are that if you grew up in the 80′s you owned at least one pair.

A Brief History of Jelly Shoes

Melissa Grey Crystal Studded Transparent Jellies

Today, you can find jelly shoes in many different styles from the classic sandal to ballet flats, boots, and loafers, but if you are looking for a classic pair with ties to Monsieur Jean Dauphant’s original, visit Sun Jellies.

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