Friday, May 30, 2014

Summer Bucket List 2014!

This summer is kind of an odd one for us. We have both resigned from our teaching (subbing for me) jobs and are moving on to new things this summer. However, we have the month of June off before we begin working in July. Sadly, because of this change in income, we will have delayed checks for our summer work. This means, no June getaways, or July getaways, or August getaways. We also have some very dear friends moving across the country. They will be sorely missed. Because of all of this I'm kind of bummed about our summer. 

Sure a lot of great things are happening; new jobs with both higher pay and lower stress, a month at home to relax after a hard school year..., our cat has been spayed, we've decided not to move apartments... all of these things are very, very good. 

But I'm still feeling a little underwhelmed with the lack of fun plans and trips right now. So I am making this bucket list this summer in the hopes that it helps me focus on doing exciting and new things... even when we are staying close to home.

So here you have it, the ultimate bucket list for making the most of our summer at home! 

No really guys, I am going to be optimistic on this one... !


1) Try Russian Food (part of a 2014 goal)
2) Travel (even if that just means in Kansas City)
3) Do lots of Yoga, Dancing etc. 
4) Organize Photos on My Computer (it's a mess...)
5) Watch Roman Holiday
6) Get some hot curlers
7) Get some plants for inside & on balcony
8) Try Tortas Jaliscos 
9) Organize Pinterest boards into sub groups
10) Try Caribbean food
11) Open & Put Items in my Etsy store
12) Read! Participate in summer reading program?
13) Paint tiny canvasses (Also a 2014 goal)
14) Major organization and cleaning of bedroom & closet (already started! whoop!)
15) Get furniture onto our balcony, make it a place we want to spend time!
16) Go to the Basil Leaf Cafe
17) Find a red lip color that I like
18) Go to the original Arthur Bryant's in KC
19) Try Alchemy Coffee
20) Shampoo carpets (practically a party animal you guys..)
21) Watch the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
22) Go to Juice Stop
23) Go bowling
24) Go to free/cheap Buzz concerts
25) Eat at Terrebonne
26) Watch Space Jam with Kyle
27) Get sno cones at Tad's Tropical Sno
28) Try Limestone Pizza
29) Enjoy my birthday
30) Try out our complex's pool
31) Go thrifting (a lot) 
32) Try a new board game
33) Make two new pies 
34) Do something unexpected
35) Plan trip for the fall
36) Make lots of Pimm's Cups! (already making good headway on this... ;) ) 
37) Use that darn sewing machine! (Finally!?) 
38) Go to one bigger flea market in Kansas (KC, Lawrence, Troy...) 
39) Work on Travel Scrapbook
40) Go to the drive in
41) Make & drink Sangria
42) Host a super-fab bachelorette party for my sister
43) Make & Eat S'mores! (as much as possible!)
44) Go to a Sporting KC game, or at least buy tickets for a fall game
45) Go to Westport Food Truck Festival
46) Finish Veronica Mars series & movie
47) Upcycle some of my thrifted finds that I have good intentions for.. :) 
48) write at least 15 blog posts!
49) Have people over (more than 3 people), at least twice
50) Have fun.


See lists from 2012 & 2013, here & here!

The reviews and other goal posts can be found here.

What do you all have planned for the summer?!

What do you hope to accomplish?

I hope that whether you are spending the whole few months backpacking across Europe or enjoying your hometown you are able to make the most of it! 

Happy Summer! 

Alexandra 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Snapshots of Fitz & the Tantrums at Power & Light // May 2014


For locals or those of you who have read this blog for long enough, KC has a really great music scene. Specifically alternative music shows through the Buzz. We have been to many of their shows in the past Mumford & Sons (twice), Beach Ball 2013 (Phoenix, Alt-J.. ) etc... but haven't really ventured out to many of their smaller shows. We finally did, and I am so glad. I will be on the lookout for more FREE- $10 concerts in the future! They are typically pretty big names and really great shows from what I hear. 

A few weeks ago we spontaneously took a trip to Power & Light for our first $5 show, Fitz and the Tantrums.

We had never actually been into Power & Light, but it is a pretty neat outdoor area surrounded by bars, a bowling alley, restaurants etc. The enclosed area is perfect for concerts and events. 

Since it was sort of a last minute decision we missed part of the opening band (The Night Terrors of 1927), but still got to hear some as we found our spots on an upper level railing. It was pretty hard to tell what their style was, but I am finding the more I investigate opening bands after concerts, the more I like them. So I am excited to investigate them too and update you. I can tell you that they love performing.. even on no sleep! They had such energy and you could tell they were so happy to be playing this show.


Not too much later Fitz and the Tantrums came on. KC and I only know a little of their music, but we were so into this concert! They had some really great stage presence and were so much fun to watch! My favorite was watching Noelle Scaggs, the female vocalist and tambourine player dance and sing. She had SO much energy! Hearing more of the music and watching them dance definitely made me want to download new songs to add to my library!



Later that night the keyboardist posted one of my instagram pictures from the show. So cool. :) 


What is your favorite Fitz & the Tantrums song?

Have you seen them live? 

What concert are you excited for this summer?

Thank you for Reading! 

Alexandra

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

(More) DIY Grad Gift Ideas!


Hi everyone! It's graduation season again! My previous DIY Grad Gift post (here) has been really popular on Pinterest and so I thought I would put together another one with a recent gift that I made for my sweet cousin, Whitney! :)

She is gradating from high school, got to speak at her ceremony, and is going on to an awesome private college. I'm so proud of her! And goodness how cute is she with her boyfriend?!?!

For her gift, I wanted to combine two gifts from my previous post; to give her both dorm and backpack type essentials. So here we go!

First I found this great Cynthia Rowley laundry bag at TJMaxx. I chose a laundry bag because they are so much easier and more comfortable to carry than a laundry basket. Plus they are cute!  Then I picked the items to go inside of it. And lastly, I labeled them by number and wrote a corresponding note to explain my picks. 

The items inside:


Thank you notes, via TJMaxx
EOS (eco friendly!) lip balm, via Target
Stamps - for mailing friends at other schools and family.
Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Candy, via Target
Mini First Aid Kit, via Target (travel toiletry area)
Anastasia on DVD, Target or Walmart - for bonding with other girls on her floor.
Non-School Notebook / Journal (Eco friendly!), via TJMaxx - for tracking goals, making lists, writing quotes... all of the fun things.
Cute Post its, in various sizes, via TJMaxx
Personalized note

You can obviously tailor these items to your graduates needs, interests and based on your budget. I tried to pick things I knew I used a lot, or helped me accomplish things like keeping track of non-school goals and bonding with other girls living in my building.

Other Great Ideas:

Gift cards to local restaurants or coffee shops
A body pillow
Picture frames with photos
Slippers
Flip flops- for the shower
Anything to make a dorm room homey! (rugs, throw pillows, throw blankets, lamps...)

Of course you should ALWAYS include a gift receipt (if you know the person really well, at least let them know that the items are easily exchangeable or returnable!). You never know when someone has had their eye on the perfect laundry bag or already has Anastasia. :) 

Again, to look at the first post click here

What are some of your favorite graduation gifts to receive or give?

Thank You for Reading!

Alexandra 

Monday, May 19, 2014

First Annual Kansas Food Truck Festival! // Hometown Happenings

When I first saw the flyer for the Kansas Food Truck Festival (KSFTF) I instantly reached for my phone to photograph the flyer (yes that is how I remember things)... it was not in my pocket, but luckily I saw it again before we missed the event all-together. #rare

I mean, food trucks, food carts, food stands... often have the very best, most legitimate, creative & cost friendly food around. We always notice this especially when we travel! So I knew we had to check this out!

The event was held by Just Food, a local food bank, in order to raise money and food goods for the spring and summer. (Seriously, food banks struggle so much in the summer! Consider donating to yours!) I thought that the combo of food trucks & giving back was WAY too good to pass up... so we posted on Facebook and asked if anyone wanted to come with us. Our lovely friends Lauren & Michael said yes, and the four of us set off to brave the crowds and conquer the food trucks.

We arrived at the event around 6 PM and there were crazy lines to get in as well as to all of the food trucks. Once we all found each other we purchased drink tickets and got our 'yes we're over 21' wristbands, before deciding on a line to wait in. We chose the Mexican option first, Indios Carbonsitos. We began waiting in the long and windy line and it started to sprinkle. Oh, Kansas. You and your spring weather... It kept up for about ten minutes before it started to rain a little harder. We were not giving up our spots, and honestly not afraid of a little rain. Ten minutes later the rain was mostly past, and it was actually a pleasant temperature outside!

About 40 minutes after we had started in the line we made it up to the truck to order. I ordered the chicken option (forgive me, it's so hard to remember what everything was called!), so did Kyle and Michael (along with churros (of course!) and Lauren opted for the shrimp. We learned that the food wait would be another 30 minutes, so Lauren and I headed over to order some cocktails from the elusive yet amazing Artillery Bar.

The stand was just a bar and a tent, but it looked so cool. The bar was made out of some very interesting wood, just really gorgeous. The bartenders were amazingly cool yet very approachable, she had the most beautiful dress! They were offering 3 different drinks at $7 each; The Forager's Punch, Ragtime Whiskey & Tudor's Something.. ? I opted for the Forager's punch (citrus-y with cava & vodka, topped with beautiful little flowers), Lauren got the Tudor's mystery drink (ginger-y with peppercorn and all sorts of other interesting ingredients) and we ordered the Ragtime Whiskey for Michael (small batch homemade rootbeer with some really nice whiskey). All of the drinks were beautiful and so tasty. It turned out that Michael was not the biggest rootbeer fan so KC ended up with about half of the Ragtime Whiskey which is right up his alley. I looked up the Artillery Bar when I got home and couldn't find anything aside from the fact that their FB event for the KSFTF said that it was their 'spring preview' hoping to get more info on this soon! I'm not a huge night life person, but I would definitely go to this bar just to see what kind of inventive cocktails were being served up! How gorgeous is this drink?!?

Once we made it back to the food truck line, we decided to wait for the food while KC & Michael headed over to the BBQ truck. Lauren & I made it to a table with all of our food & drinks without dropping anything and the guys followed closely behind with the BBQ. 

We started eating and decided that everything was delicious. 


Lauren tried the shrimp option... which looked amazing. Seriously... if I get the chance I am ordering this next time! :)

You just can't go wrong with KC BBQ or legitimate churros!

Michael had never had one.... crazy.

I think we all had the desire to try something from every truck... but with the lines & our full bellies it just wasn't in the cards. Sorry Kabobs & other trucks... we'll catch you next time!

There were so many people. kids, babies, dogs, live music, amazing food and drink. Overall the event was a blast. I think that the organizers were so overwhelmed with the amount of people that showed up and gave to make this event a success. In the future I am sure that they will expand the event area and host a lot more food trucks! So excited to make this annual thing if possible! Added Later: They did! See my post about The Second Annual KSFTF! :) 

Micheal brought up the fact that there is another one in Westport in July.... so we just might have to make that happen too! :)

It also makes me want to buy this for my birthday!

Have you ever been to a food truck festival?

What is the best food truck you've ever eaten at?

Thank you for reading! 111,000 + views! I'm amazed and SO grateful!

XOXO,

Alexandra

Friday, May 16, 2014

Miami Romance Packing List // What I Would Pack



Here is a dreamy packing list for 5 days & 4 nights in Miami, just you and your love. :) 

Miami style is all about being easy and breezy, with a touch of color and exotic flair. South Beach especially is very trendy and full of some AMAZING street style. So I knew I immediately wanted to use some flowy garments, global influenced accessories, touches of bright colors and a little bit of animal print!

With all of this in mind, I did my best to come up with some fantastic Miami looks with that were easy and breezy but also very on trend, but never losing her signature classic style! So below you will find 5 daytime, 4 beach, and 4 "night out" looks!

Miami Day 1

Daytime Outfit

Dress // Jacket // Aviators // Fedora // Heels // Purse // Bracelet

The Look:

When I found this gorgeous maxi dress I couldn't not use it! Maxi dresses look gorgeous on nearly everyone, this one is so breezy and the colors are perfect for Miami. It's fun and bright, perfect for a day in such a vibrant city! For cover from the sun, or just a more laid back look add a classic -yet very on-trend- jean jacket and a punchy fedora. Hats are always chic for summer, but especially important somewhere so sunny. No one wants a sunburnt face on the first day of a romantic vacation! To accessorize this look I added these GORGEOUS heels so light for summer, but so detailed! These can definitely be swapped for the sandals featured in any of the other looks for comfort! But these were too beautiful not to show! Classic aviators are always perfect, but keep it simple with such a colorful ensemble. This beautiful white fossil bag is the perfect size for  walking around the city while carrying just the essentials, plus the white is so trendy for summer. Lastly, and my favorite piece is this eye-catching exotic bracelet from 31 bits (a company that sells jewelry made by women in Uganda). It finishes off the look with ease, but also a touch of that exotic / global style that is everywhere right now!

At the Beach


The Look:

This season one pieces are right on trend. I love this for multiple reasons... the main one being: look what kind of gorgeous things designers are coming up with! Among the other reasons are that they make it so much easier to go from beach to water to restaurant! Just add shorts and you are ready to go. Plus for practical reasons they are so much better for those of us who actually want to move on the beach or be in the water. Another hot trend is the bustier top. This is not only sexy it's very practical as well. All in all I think this suit is perfect for South Beach! This tote bag is gorgeous! I always favor the straw ones, but the added touch of sequins is so glam! Again, the aviators you can't go wrong with and I thought that this statement making floppy hat was the perfect final touch for this beach look!

A Night Out

Dress // Earrings (sold out!) Similar // Heels // Blazer

The Look:

So maybe you want to take you honey out dancing or to a fancy dinner... Why not pick out a gorgeous dress and some sexy heels. Well I've planned several of these combos.. but I think that this is still one of my favorites because there are a few really unexpected elements to the outfit. For instance when you wear this blazer over the LWD you have no idea that it's backless. His jaw will drop! So gorgeous! In addition these colorful heels are so unexpected. I love that they are more of a magenta pink because it gives them a bit of sophistication... while still being so wild and fun. Add these fun little tortoise shell tear drop earrings... and you are ready for a sultry night on the dance floor!

Miami Day 2 

Daytime Outfit


The Look:

Few things say summer better than white denim. These fossil pants are cropped to that perfect trendy length that is oh, so flattering on everyone. Add a breezy white button up blouse and you've yet again got an easy base for your Miami ensemble. I added this fantastic statement necklace from 31 bits that adds a pop of color and texture to give the outfit that exotic feel. I can't get over how gorgeous it is! I pulled the pop of melon from the necklace and thought that a little melon  bag would be the perfect compliment. This is the same bag as day 1's daytime look above but in another color. And when I saw this gorgeous two-toned fedora with a coral accent band... I knew it had to be the finishing touch of the accessories for this look! Put on those aviators again and these gorgeous Steve Madden sandals (love the thick chain! So on trend!) and you are ready for a day on the town! 

At the Beach


The Look:

I love this simple black bikini. It is alluring and makes you look longer to figure out why it's different. I just love the cutout that is created by the wrap on the top! Keep that fabulous two-toned fedora and those fantastic chain accented sandals. Grab a preppy striped beach tote and the perfect pair of denim shorts and you are ready for a low key afternoon on the beach!

Night Out


The Look:

This little slip dress seems like your basic, perfect LBD and then you catch the detail on the strap. So unexpected and fun. Perfect for your laid back locale. I love the gold jewelry in the image as well! I picked this funky little bohemian clutch, so exotic! Lastly, these gorgeous electric blue pumps will draw the eye down to those gorgeous stems! The blue color is just the right bright for a night out in lively Miami. I also love that there is a teeny bit of a similar blue in the clutch... but not so much that it is too matchy-matchy.

Miami Day 3

Daytime Outfit



The Look:

I immediately knew that I would want to make an outfit with a shirt dress for day. I opted for chambray here because it's nice and light, but not white like some of the other outfits, however it does come in white and black as well. To dress it down a little I like this woven fossil belt which coordinates well with those gorgeous sandals! To give it that trendy and tropical flair I picked yet another (of course!) great statement necklace from 31 bits. This one has such fun colors! From there I picked a coordinating teal fossil clutch and the fedora with the lime band. Top it all off with some glamorous retro tortoise sunglasses and you are ready for a day on the town!

At the Beach


The Look:

I absolutely love this crocheted looking cover up wrap from Victoria's Secret to wear over a swimsuit. The color is so fun and the fit is ultra flattering. You could really pair anything with this... but I love these fun colorful sandals. They are so effortless but make you look like you tried really hard. The lime fedora pairs nicely with the sandals and then I added a fun beach bag with some global flair from the tassels. Add the aviators and you look like another celebrity on South Beach!

A Night Out


The Look:

As soon as I saw this fun printed dress with it's tropical-esque print I knew it had to be included on this trip! Bold and larger floral and botanical prints are so on trend right now, and the style of this dress sophisticated but still breezy because of the knotted front. While it could be great for day, I ultimately decided that it was so gorgeous it needed to be worn at night! I paired it with these uniquely shaped gold hoops, so unexpected and the gorgeous teal clutch from the daytime outfit. Lastly, there are these exotic snake skin Manolos. Swoon. If this doesn't say Miami heat, I'm not sure what does!

Miami Day 4

Daytime Outfit


The Look:

Lime is such a great color for an exotic getaway. Again I went with a breezy yet classic button up. These sleeves are really great with the cuff.... so perfect for steamy weather. Pairing it with the white jeans is just perfect. For the shoes I had to do these modern lime heels, but for comfort any of the sandals from the previous collages would work just as well! Adding some long layered exotic necklaces from 31 bits adds a playful bohemian air to the look, as does the gorgeous vintage-y global inspired clutch! Add the aviators and you've got Miami street chic mastered. This is the perfect outfit for indulging in some fantastic Cuban food and then having tropical drinks at a beach-side bar!

At the Beach


The Look:

Sometimes a classic look is the best way to go on the beach. I adore this seafolly vintage style one piece. So flattering, so vintage and so sexy! Adding a large brimmed hat and retro tortoise style sunglasses is a no-brainer to accessorize this beach glam look. Lastly, this embroidered Kate Spade beach tote is beautiful. It's reminiscent of simpler times but oh, so now! The citrus embroidery is so fun!

A Night Out


The Look:

When in doubt a black dress never fails. The one I featured earlier is ultra fun and modern. I love this one because it's got sort of a vintage glam look to it. The fabric is lovely and the cut all around evokes an image of romantic Latin dance. Take advantage of the hemline to show off these gorgeous beaded heels. Add this silver and black clutch to tie it all together and add a bit of global feel we love so much. 

Miami Day 5

Daytime Outfit


The Look:

You might be thinking... 'this gorgeous dress looks so familiar!' - why yes it is the same one as the daytime look on day 1 only in a solid color. I think they look different enough you could definitely pull it off twice. All of the colors are amazing, but I lean toward this emerald one because it reminds me of a lush tropical landscape... much like the one you've been thoroughly enjoying for the past 4 days. The pleats give it a flow-goddess-y quality that is so lovely! I've paired it with effortless layered bracelets from The Shine Project & Fossil. Bring back that gorgeous sequined beach tote, a wide brimmed hat and your aviators to spend your last day in style. (and out of the sun!) No one likes a sunburn for the plane ride home either! Lastly I added these gorgeous semi-gladiator style heels with this fabulous scalloped pattern that reminds me of a mermaid. A very, very chic mermaid! For comfort the ever-popular chain adorned sandals would also look perfect! Enjoy your last day in Miami in style!

Am I the only one with some serious Miami wanderlust right now?

I hope this gives all of you some ideas for summer! ... or perhaps a Miami trip in style?

Have you ever been to Miami? Or on a tropical vacation?

What do you like to wear when it's reaching sweltering temperatures outside?

XO,

Alexandra

*all images of clothing etc. credited to the site that sells them. All collages made by me*

Sunday, May 11, 2014

April Showers Bring May Flowers // Ladyface Inspired

Happy May Everyone!

I guess I forgot to say that in the last few posts. I hope that everyone is having a lovely spring so far!

As I have mentioned Kansas has flown straight to summer... it's been in the high 80's- low 90's pretty consistently. Sigh. 

This is an outfit that I put together for a spring birthday party. We were going to wish KC's little second cousin a happy 1st (and Golden!) birthday and I wanted something sweet and simple. 

As soon as I put it on I instantly felt like lovely Becca over at Ladyface blog! This is sort of her signature look.. and it is so great on her! I think I kinda pulled it off here...? 

The best part is that both the top and the skirt are from Goodwill & in great condition! 

Blouse: Ann Taylor via Goodwill, $4!
Skirt: H&M via Goodwill, $5!
Flats: Payless, $15 - BOGO Price

Outfit Total: $24!

I hit the jackpot one day in February at our local Goodwill and ended up with 4 Skirts, 2 Dresses, 2 Cardigans and 3 Blouses that I love and fit well. I have very few skirts and dresses in my wardrobe these days, so it was awesome to find so many pieces for spring and summer at such a low price! The skirt from my last fashion post, here is also from this haul as well as this dress! :)

Have you found any amazing deals this spring? I would love to hear about them! 

XO,

Alexandra

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Sunshine Award!

Several months ago sweet Liesl at Pretty.Random.Things nominated me for The Sunshine Award! :) Thanks Liesl! You are one of the most positive bloggers that I follow, so it's super awesome to be nominated by you! If you haven't read her blog go check it out! I love to read her Thankful Thursday posts, it keeps me feeling happy and focused on the good things going on in my week as well. Plus she lives in Taiwan and is from South Africa so I can always count on her to give me some travel inspiration! :)


Here's how it goes:

1. Display the award on your blog
2. Say "thank you" to the wonderful person that nominated you
3. Post 10 interesting things about yourself

4. Nominate some of your favorite blogs
5. Link to the nominated blogs and let them know you've nominated them.

10 Interesting things about myself:

1. I got so lucky and met the love of my life early on. We've been together for 7 years and married for 2! (I'm only 23!)
2. Whales are my favorite animal, ever. They are gentle and humongous and really amazing creatures. If I see a whale (picture, mural, etc.) anywhere, I take it as a good sign. Whale watching last summer in Boston, was a dream come true!
3. My youngest sister and I are 17 years apart. Everyone thinks she is my daughter when we go places. ;) 
4. I've been dog sledding! (terrifying and exciting... all at once) 
5. I have seen Celtic Woman live 5 times! The most recent time I saw them in my hometown with my mom and grandma (in addition to KC of course!), which was really special!
6. My itunes wishlist exceeds $1000 .... and it hasn't been updated in at least 4 months!
7. The only bone I've broken is an 'accessory bone' in my foot. Only 5% of the population has this bone. It still hurts from time to time.
8. I spent (most of) my college years living in a house with 49 other women. Some of my favorite memories (and dearest friends!) were made there!
9. I really enjoy reading folk tales, fairy tales, myths and legends. I've been known to check out about 20 children's books on these topics, and then at least 20 other items.
10. I love the idea of mermaids. I don't believe in them... but I find the idea fascinating.

There you have it! Not sure how interesting these things were... but now you know them!

Here are my deserving nominees for the Sunshine Award:

1) Nina over at The Grand Adventures of Me
2) Katherine at Katherine Nicole

3) Hilde At Flat 3/6
4) Natalie at Good Girl Style
5) Marlen at Messages on a Napkin
6) Fallon at Fal Finds Happiness
7) Sarah at Plucky in Love

Thank you again for the nomination Liesl and thank you for reading everyone! :) 

Alexandra

Monday, May 5, 2014

Happy Birthday Jess // 2014

This is Jess.

Or I guess I should say, this was Jess, about 18-19 years ago.

Today my first baby sis is turning 21!

She is thoughtful & quiet.

An animal lover & roller coaster fan.

She's money savvy & a stress cleaner.

She always enjoys a trip to Target.

Growing up together I've determined that we either have exactly the same or completely opposite opinions and tastes when it comes to most things. 

Happy Birthday Sister! 

I love you! :) 

Alexandra