To the Maxi, Part II {Kerry's Monthly DIY Challenge}



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Remember this? Yeah, I wanted to forget it too, because it was not good.

But I'm back to share some positive results this go round! Yip yip! We followed the directions to a T and now my sister and niece are sporting some adorbs maxi skirts! {I'm putting mine on hold for a bit since I didn't love the fit of mine on the first go-round; I'll keep you posted on what I decide!}




If at first you don't succeed, try try again!


A Fabulous Coral Dress!



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The fabulous and super-pretty Lilly of Pancakes & Beet Juice is wearing a fierce coral dress to a wedding later this month, and we are lucky enough to play around with styling it!  

Voila:

Gorgeous, no?!  This is one of my favorite colors EVA, and so on-trend with the lovely peplum and ultra-feminine neckline. 

Lilly has these fabulous Urban Outfitters pumps {also seen here}.  I think they sold out of the beautiful minty green ones she actually has, so here is an idea {the left is, I believe, the style, and the right is the color}:
I'm going to use the picture of the wedge in my set, just to show the color combo! 
Anthro earrings / Anthro scarf / wristlet / bracelet
Lilly already owns a really pretty cuff bracelet with a big aqua stone {worn to the Wisteria/Rue event}.  I would definitely add that in to the look!  {Or, the aqua bracelet that I included and am currently coveting from J Crew Factory!} The scarf is to be wrapped around her shoulders when she gets chilly.  I think keeping the stunning neckline open and visible is super-important! 

This second look is my take on classic glam.  The earrings I reeeaaallly wanted to put with it are no longer available.  {Insert frowny face here.} 
They are the most excellent bee earrings owned by our very own Kerry {seen here, here, and here}.  But, sometimes what we want is not to bee.  {Get it?  OMGoodness, I need SLEEP!} 

This outfit can either be worn with the cardi, or, if Lilly is feeling adventurous and ever-so-slightly Joan Collins-esque, with the leopard-print scarf... as a turban. 
{To be read "O Comma Jackie"}
scarf /clutchearrings / $ Pumps / $$ Pumps / $$$ Pumps / hose /  J Crew dot sweater
Yes, I'm sure you're very surprised.  I do enjoy a good turban.  I wore one to an engagement party the other week and it really upped the ante.  You just have to bring your A-game when you're wearing a turban.  You really gotta be on.  Otherwise, you're that dud in the turban, if you know what I mean.  There's a certain 'je ne sais quoi' that is expected.  And, I think Lilly might just be the girl to pull it off without a hitch!

Also, although  I suggested a few pairs of neutral pumps, I really think the minties from above would be an awesome substitute.  How hot would that be, coral, black, white and mint?  Ooh, la, la!

I thought some of those seam-up-the-back pantyhose would be cute with it, but, I warn you, DON'T google "seam up the back hose."  Eeeewww.  Anyway, whenever I wear them, I always feel like I'm on "Mad Men."

How weird is this?  When I thought I couldn't find the same leopard-print scarf I have from Target {perfect size for a turban}, I was on Nordstrom and saw this girl, who totally is the embodiment of what I was going for with the "O, Jackie" look!
Now, let's see what the lovely Kerry came up with for Lilly!  {I got a sneak peak and her looks are absolutely flawless, as always!}
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So that's a tough act to follow! Don't you love Maigen's genius ensembles? Girl's got talent. 
{And just to note: Yes, our looks are somewhat similar, but I promise we didn't collaborate one bit!}

Just as Maigen, I'm in love with Lilly's timeless yet totally on-trend dress, and I agree that the neckline detailing is too lovely to be covered by a necklace, so you won't see any in my outfit sets. This dress is reminiscent of Victoria Beckham's designs, and I know from seeing her in that ever-famous-and-fabulous ISSA dress on her blog {yes, the one Catherine Middleton wore to announce her engagement to Prince William}, that she is going to look stunning in it!

For this first look, I channeled some Charlotte York {since Lilly mentioned her admiration for Maigen's Charlotte look in this post}, and gave her a Polka Preppy ensemble. I love how the bow belt and clutch add extra touches of femininity, and you can't go wrong with classic pearls. Of course this look wouldn't be Polka Preppy without those awesome Kate Spade polka dot heels.
POLKA PREPPY  Earrings // Belt // Clutch // Pumps


Next is a look that will utilize Lilly's neutral pumps that I spotted in her ISSA dress post {that I referenced above}, and add touches of art-deco and sparkle. Just as Maigen, I love how complimentary the minty hues are to the gorgeous coral tone of Lilly's dress.

NEUTRAL NOUVEAU  Earrings // Bracelet // Bracelet // Bag // Pumps


The third look is capitalizing on one of fall's most popular colors: green. Drawing from my youth art years in which I learned that red and green are complimentary colors, I knew that these gorgeous emerald tones would look lovely paired with Lilly's vibrant coral dress. I'm dying over those beautiful {and affordable!} earrings; they definitely make an impression reminiscent of the emerald city. And because I love animals, I had to add in this gorgeous feathered clutch and the adorable Tory Burch fox cuff. I covet it.
EMERALD CITY  Earrings // Fox Cuff // Bangles // Clutch // Pumps

I hope I was able to give you some styling inspiration for your fabulous dress, Lilly! Enjoy the wedding!

DG & LD {M's Monthly Love}



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{Check out our new "Monthly Love" graphic, by Kerry!  How fabulous is that?!}

All August, I've been really digging neon.  Or DG {day-glo}.  Fluorescent.  I have always liked all of these words. 

Probably because they bring to mind the punk-tastic styles of yesteryear, when as a child of the 80s, I donned an armload of neon jelly bracelets and was very, very avant garde.

I'm excited to see these colors back in style.  I'm thinking about how to transition them into fall, and it seems like the juxtaposition of neon and neutrals like tan or black is probably my plan... But that is for another post. 

Here are several of my neon inspirations for today {several from Pinterest via Ank's Neon Board.  Check it out, it's pretty cool}:

Tibi Resort 2013 / nail polish / door / watch / scarf
clutches / typewriter / acrylic neon business cards / fall flats look / belt
table setting / rainbow spot print / Nikes
arrows / wall / chair
orange room / ampersand  / macrame
neon wedding / silverware
Here is an outfit I wore lately with neon.  I wanted to go super-preppy/classic with my accessories, since the pants are so surprising. 

earrings: J Crew Factory / snakeskin glasses: Via Spiga  /  blouse: Target / pants: GAP / necklace: Premier Jewelry / bag: Kate Spade / loafers: GAP
I was wishing for a cobalt-blue necklace to wear, and would have, possibly, carried my blue clutch, too, depending on how matchy-matchy I was feeling!
J Crew Factory Crystal Triangles Necklace
The iconic J Crew Bubble Necklace
Tori Spelling "Armor" Necklace
My other monthly love has nothing to do with fashion or design {aside from being a trendsetter pour les enfants}.  It is my new niece, Lily Drew {LD}. 
I mean, you've GOT to be kidding me!  Is that not the cutest thing you've ever seen!?  *Sigh.*  I can't wait until January, when I get to finally meet this little bundle in her home state of Hawaii!

Have you ever been to Hawaii?  Any tips on things I absolutely MUST do/see?  Please share in the comments!

An Amazing Houseboat!



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When this image was the cover image for Apartment Therapy's newest house tour, I couldn't believe it was a BOAT!  THe amount of sophistication!  I'm in love with the shower; it's so connected to the outdoors!




Read AT's Post for more images!


Ritzy Business {Kerry's Monthly Love}



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I mentioned previously that Dalles and I made a stop in New Orleans on our way back from Destin. It was a nice way to break-up the drive, but what made the stop even better was that sweet husband of mine booked us two nights at the Ritz-Carlton in New Orleans. The Ritz is a pretty special place for us, and you'll see that it's pretty clear that we LOVE IT love it, and not just monthly love it... but I still wanted to share about our latest Ritz adventure for my August edition of Monthly Love!
{A little Ritz-Carlton-Kerry-&-Dalles History Lesson diddy for you: We spent the first part of our honeymoon at the one in San Francisco, celebrated the 4th of July in 2009 at the one in Laguna Niguel, we frequent the one in Dallas for overnight birthday and anniversary stays and spa treatments {awesome spa treatments; highly recommend!}, and last summer we spent the 4th of July at the Ritz-Carlton in Palm Beach.} 

Sadly, the forecast in New Orleans was RAIN, RAIN, RAIN while we were there; we drove into the city in the rain and left it in the rain. Yep, it rained the whole time, y'all - without exaggeration. Thankfully we had the Ritz to keep us dry and happy!

The Ritz-Calton New Orleans is probably the most beautiful Ritz we've been to so far. It's decorated just as I'd imagine a classy New Orleans establishment to be decorated; comfortably luxurious with lots of southern charm. No detail was left untouched, and they are multiple lounge areas that leave you feeling like you're in a luxe New Orleans mansion.
3rd Floor Lobby seating area
Aside from the gorgeous French Quarter decor, I was instantly struck with the most glorious scent upon entering the hotel. It was musky and delightful, and the best part is that you can purchase the scent for your own home in candle form from their gift shop. The bad part is that I forgot to do that before we left. I might be calling them sometime soon and requesting that they ship me one.

The outdoor courtyard was gorgeous, but sadly we were unable to take advantage of it due to the buckets of rain that fell on New Orleans while we were there. The courtyard really did remind me of The Blue Bayou at Disneyland. Well done, Disney, on capturing the magic of New Orleans.

One of the highlights of the RCNO is The Davenport Lounge, which features nightly weekend performances with Jeremy Davenport and his ensemble band. I'm not a huge jazz fan, but we so loved listening to these talented fellows, and soaking up the ambiance of the lounge on Friday and Saturday night. 

We met a woman who worked at another hotel in the area, and she said that she sends all of her customers over to the Ritz to see Mr. Davenport, so it's definitely a hot {and completely free} ticket. It's a must see, whether you like jazz or not. It was also really fun {and sometimes totally awkward} watching couples dance along to the music!

While enjoying the musical wonders of Jeremy and the boys, we dined on some beignets. I'm sad to say that the beignets were a bit of a disappointment to me, but Dalles loved them. They tasted too much like a really dense funnel cake. I prefer the Disneyland ones, which are light and fluffy... and shaped like Mickey Mouse.

Because of all the rain, we decided to get a couples massage on Saturday afternoon. After reading that Travel + Leisure ranked the RCNO Spa as #1 in North America, we knew it would be worth it. 
There is a gorgeous fountain outside the spa, which instantly calms you and sets the stage for a completely serene experience.
photo by Dalles

The ladies lounge was nice and cozy, and they served the best orange spa water I've ever tasted. It was this magically sweet orange nectar from the gods. I cozied up on that back right couch, drank my weight in orange nectar goodness, and read the latest People magazine while waiting for my appointment time. Ahhh, relaxation!

Our couples massage room was decorated like this, so these pictures that are up on the site aren't just for show. I've had a few massages in my time, and this easily ranked as one of the best. Dalles and I definitely recommend it, especially if you find yourself in the midst of a New Orleans rain party.

This time around D sprung for something that we've never treated ourselves to at the Ritz before: Club Level. Basically, it's a special little hotel within the hotel that allows you the luxury of five complimentary food and beverage presentations a day, use of a spacious and cozy lounge area {seen below}, a dedicated concierge just for Club Level guests, and added security of your room being in a private wing of the hotel only accessible to those with Club Level priveleges.
Dalles and I ate most of our meals from that center couch, right in front of the fire.
It was so convenient to have food and beverages at our fingertips practically all day, especially with the pouring rain making it very uninviting to go outside. The spreads were thoughtful and indicative of New Orleans cuisine {beignets, gumbo, pickled okra}, and they were really tasty! We were never disappointed in the offerings.

Our room was very spacious and had the best and biggest bathtub I've ever seen in my life, so you better believe we took advantage of that guy! And you know what Dalles and I may just very embarrassingly love most about the Ritz? That they're stocked with Bvlgari products {the Palm Beach RC doesn't carry them, which was a major dissapointment}. I swear that is one of the aspects that we most look forward to when staying there {which is crazy because it's not like we can't just go buy some ourselves}. And true to form, those cozy robes and comfy slippers were perfect for cuddling up in the rain.
My only complaint about the hotel was that moving vertically throughout it involved getting on and off and through a maze of elevators; this was complicated even more so due to staying on the Club Level, but I guess that's a small price to pay with all of the amenities that come along with it.

We did venture away from the hotel into actual New Orleans a few times, once to eat at Deanie's, which was recommended to us by our bellhop for the yummiest gumbo and potatoes! It was so good. So good. Thankfully, it was right across the street from the back of the Ritz, so we didn't have far to go. We also took a walk over to The Shops at Canal Place, which features a lovely Anthropologie, an enormously huge Saks, and a nicely-stocked J.Crew. We also took a very quick walk down Bourbon Street, which smelled so awful I thought I was going to lose it.

That wraps up our time in New Orleans! I can't say that I feel a huge pull to ever go back, but I know that I might be thinking differently if it hadn't rained the entire trip. Thank goodness for the Ritz-Carlton and all of its amenities; without it, New Orleans would have been a major let-down.

Do you have a go-to hotel? Anything major that we missed in New Orleans that we should definitely go back and experience?


all photos professional looking photos are via

Style That Item: Isabel's Bridesmaid Dress



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Isabel is wearing this little cutie of a dress in a wedding, and asked for some styling advice.  The colors of the wedding are pink, grey & white. 

{An aside: for some reason, I am really in the mood for animal prints & preppy looks.  I am sure you will notice it all throughout my post!} 
First things first.  Iz, make sure you get a slip.  Yes, mostly grannies {and me} wear them.  Yes, they are another layer.  But, look at these photos!  It's a little see-through.  The $15 will seem like nothing compared to the embarrassment of exposing your lady bits or bum at a wedding.  Target has some really good, inexpensive, non-lacy ones that I like and that will be pretty comfy.  Here's one example that I don't think is the kind I like, but seems similar.  The good ones are in the store and feel like thin, slick jersey.

Second, I would really like to see a belt with this dress for the wedding {particularly in my first bridesmaid look and the bridesmaid look with the dip-dyed cardi.  The other cardigan looks don't need a belt, since they self-belt}.  I couldn't find any I liked nearly as much as the sparkly, grey ones Kerry suggested.  I would definitely pick one of those pretties up {I added my favorite to my pic below, so that you can visualize it better}!

 J Crew Marigold earrings
Refined silk-cashmere wrap in snow or this a-maz-ing J Crew animal print scarf
Kerry's find: grey sparkly belt
Isabel's own pretty shoes {seen here}
Squared starburst bracelet
Remember these?

Yep, Isabel liked them on a recent shopping trip.  I think the pinky flower {or even the pink earrings, in the center of the earring card} and/or the enamel ring would look great with the dress for the wedding!  {And, maybe they're on sale now!}

I found some fun options for Isabel, in case she feels like wearing a cardigan to the reception.  Some of these are real wish-list material, since their prices might be a tad more than Iz would want to spend for one occasion!


Anthro Drop earrings
Clare Vivier clutch
$ ruched cardi /Nina grey pumps
$$ dip-dyed cashmere cardi / Vera Wang pumps
$$$ Cashmere/Mink Cardi / Brian Atwood pumps
After the wedding, Iz might want to still get some use out of her dress.  And, why not?  It has what it takes to wear in the summer and into the fall.  Most of the options below have layers that can be added and removed, based on what Texas' temperamental weather decides to do...

This first look is probably my fave.  It's preppy and still a bit funky.
Anthro enamel petal posts
bracelet
jacket
Clare Vivier clutch

sidewalk skimmers
Refined silk-cashmere scarf in purple

herringbone tights
I love the next look because it reminds me of Charlotte from 'Sex & the City.'
earrings
Merino v-neck cardi
Banana Republic classic trench & stretch skinny belt
Printed calf hair clutch
sidewalk skimmers
Ever since I saw these boots on Pinterest, I've been obsessing... Li'l bit. 

They are from torispelling.com's ediTORIal.  I thought they {or, similar boots} would be cute with Isabel's dress.  A wedge heel would be good for a little extra height.  Plus, Kerry's riding boot/chevron sweater/fedora look was SO AWESOME, no?  It was my very fave, and I have to admit, it totally inspired me to want to put tall boots with the dress {although, I promise, I had that chevron clutch picked out long ago!  K is a style genius, I'm just always so proud of myself when I like anything even similar to something she likes}
pinstripe scarfAnthro embellished peaks clutch
Isabel's chambray shirt to wear tied at the waist, also seen here
fringe chain earrings 
belt
patterned tights
wedge boots
enameled giraffe bangle
...Later that same day...

I stumbled across this belt on Anthropologie.com.  Which is downright perfect, if you ask me!  So, I could recommend this for the looks I stole Kerry's belt for, since I like it, too!  {Although, I still adore K's find!}

How would you wear Isabel's dress?
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