Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Nautical Style in Navy and White

Summer is in full force now, with the Fourth of July coming up this weekend. Nothing says summer to me as much as a nautical inspired look. A crisp navy and white color palette is always in style for the summer. Paired with a nice pair of sandals (metallic would look great!) and a straw or fabric bag, you're set for a summer afternoon.

Real Fashion Ideas for Real Women - Navy Tunic and White Skinny Jeans

Tunic - Talbots (old)
Jeans - Ann Taylor Modern Skinny Jeans - this season
Shoes - Vionic - this season
Bag - Kate Spade
Necklace - Tiffany
Bracelets - Alex and Ani, Tiffany
Earrings - Kate Spade

This tunic is one of my favorites - I wish I had bought the hot pink one too! It's linen, so it wrinkles, but it's pretty lightweight and cool even on warm days. You could easily wear a tunic like this with white shorts (or even a great madras pair) for a more casual look. And the navy and white are totally spot on for Fourth of July style at any party, picnic or BBQ.

Real Fashion Ideas for Real Women - Navy and white, nautical inspired outfit

How do you rock the nautical look?

catch you soon -
This post is linked up at The Pleated Poppy and at Get Your Pretty On. Check them out for even more outfit ideas and inspiration.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Menu Plan Monday - 2015 Week 27

Weekly Meal Plan Ideas - real food for real people

Welcome to another week of meal planning ideas and inspiration. This is the weekly post where I share my real food ideas for real families. We all have to eat, we may as well make it as simple and delicious as possible, right?

This is vacation week for all of us, so this plan is VERY loose. I am not doing my weekly grocery trip, and relying mostly on what I have in the house. Part of the benefit to planning each week, is to be able to take some time to build a meal idea around something you already have on hand. That saves you money too!

Here's what we have on our plan for this week:

Monday - Camping Meals for kiddos
Tuesday - BLTs , Caesar Salad
Wednesday - Mini Meatloaves, Broccoli,
Thursday - Marinaded, Grilled Chicken, Baked Potatoes, 
Friday - Pizza Night - make your own
Saturday - 4th of July Picnic - Happy Independence Day!
Sunday - Leftovers | YOYO (You're On Your Own)

What's for dinner at your house this week?

Real food for real people  - weekly meal plan ideas

catch you soon -
This post is linked up to I'm An Organizing Junkie, for Menu Plan Monday. Be sure to check it out for even more meal planning ideas and inspiration.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Chips and Dip - A Healthier Version

Creamy Garlic and Herb Dip - made with Stonyfield Greek Yogurt and perfect tiwht Late July Chips

I have a rule . . .I cannot sit next to the onion dip and potato chips at any picnic, party or BBQ. They are a real weakness of mine. Anyone else? But there is something so summery about enjoying a bowl or basket of yummy chips and a creamy cool dip along side your favorite summer sipper.

Thanks to my partnership with Stonyfield,  I received a bag of Late July chips and a coupon for my favorite Stonyfield yogurt to help me create a summer snacking idea to share with my blog readers. I am not a fancy cook, like with my fashion choices, I tend to stick to classics. So I immediately decided that a chip and dip dish would be perfect.

Serve Garlic and Herb Dip made with Stonyfield Greek Yogurt at your next picnic or BBQ

Stonyfield Greek Yogurt is a great choice for a tangy, creamy dip. You can add just about anything to it, and dip away with your favorite chips and/or vegetables. I added some classic herbs like dill and chives, along with a little lemon juice and garlic, for a simple dip.

Ingredients for Garlic and Herb Dip made with Stonyfield Greek Yogurt

Garlic and Herb Dip

What You Need
3/4 cups of your favorite Greek Yogurt
1 clove of garlic - minced
1/4 teaspoon of dill (fresh or dried)
2 Tablespoons of chopped chives
1 Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice (you could sub 1-2 drops of lemon essential oil)
Salt and Pepper to taste

What You Do
Mix everything together in a bowl and serve with your favorite chips.

Garlic and Herb Dip Ingredients mixed together

These Sea Salt Tortilla Chips from Late July are terrific! They have a great crunch with just the right amount of salt. They are made with organic and non-GMO ingredients and are a great choice for snacking with family and friends.

LAte July Sea Salt Tortilla Chips - a great snack

What's your favorite healthy summer snack?

Dipping LAte July Sea Salt Tortilla Chips into yummy Greek Yogurt, Garlic and Herb Dip made with Stonyfield Greek Yogurt

catch you soon -
Disclosure - As part of the Stonyfield Yo-Getter program, I am compensated for quarterly posts and I also received coupons and free product to facilitate this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Finding the Perfect Casual Pants for Summer

Welcome back to another weekly fashion post. Each week I share at least one outfit I'm wearing right now along with tips, tricks and inspiration to help you make the most out of the clothes you already have.

This week I'm talking about alternatives to jeans and yoga pants for everyday wear. It's summer and denim is hot. I'm not much of a shorts fan, I can't seem to find the right length, in a comfortable pair of shorts, so the search is on-going.  Yoga pants? They seem so "fall and winter" (and spring too).

Cropped pants are a good alternative. I'm using "cropped" here very generally - I'm short! But there again, you have to be careful to keep it super casual for everyday wear. I have several pairs in bright colors, but they are more for lunches, dinners and shopping trips, not running around with the kids or working from home.

Solution time: in my amazing box of clothes from my Aventura Ambassadorship, I pulled out a pair of Keeva Capri pants.  I loved the way they felt even before I put them on. Not like regular pants, but a microfiber or something. Guess what? They are made from recycled polyester with a bit of spandex thrown in. RECYCLED PANTS??!

Keeva Capri Pants from Aventura are made from recycled polyester with a bit of spandex making them perfect for everyday wear

Shoes - Vionic (LOVE these)
Bracelets - Alex and Ani and Tiffany
Earrings - Kate Spade

These are super comfy. They have a drawstring at the leg that you can adjust to change up your look. . .did you see pictures of tied up pants with wedge heels on Pinterest like I did?? These would work.  Wanna know a secret? They make a skort too!! I'm in love with the sporty material and relaxed fit. I can wear these around the house when I'm working, and not have to change to run out for an errand or coffee date with a friend. Because seriously, getting dressed once a day is hard enough right? Who wants to have to do it multiple times?

Here's another outfit I had put together with these capris when it was still a bit cooler out:

Keeva Capri Pants from Aventura paired with an Ann Taylor striped T and denim jacket from Aventura

Pants - Keeva Capris from Aventura
T-Shirt - Ann Taylor (last fall)
Bag - Kate Spade
Shoes - Vionic
Necklace - Tiffany

There are a lot of choices out there these days with active lifestyle brands like Athleta and Aventura gaining in popularity, as well as brands like North Face and Patagonia upping their style game. In fact, as I strolled through Dick's Sporting Goods the other day, an adorable Colombia dress caught my eye. It was in the "golf" section, and I never would have even had the presence of mind to look for it if it hadn't been right there. So pay attention - comfortable, casual, STYLISH clothes are out there.

What are you wearing this week?

catch you soon -
This post is linked up at The Pleated Poppy and at Get Your Pretty On. Check them out for additional ideas and inspiration to create great outfits of your own.

FashionFriday 2015

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tomato and Basil Crostini

Make some crostini with your tomatoes and basil! It's a delcious and easy snack or appetizer.

Summer is a great time of year for fabulous food. Between all the fresh produce, and grilling your favorite meats, a family can eat pretty well all summer long. For our family, I find we eat a little lighter in the summer. There's more "picking" and less full meals.

Yesterday, I sat looking at my first batch of tomatoes from my backyard garden and the bunch of basil I picked, and thought, what can I make for lunch? I picked up a fresh baguette and some ricotta at Trader Joe's and made these delicious crostini.

Use your summer tomatoes and basil to make some crostini, a delcious and easy snack or appetizer.

What You Need
  • Baguette
  • Olive Oil (I used Bella D'Oliva - it's delicious!)
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes
  • Ricotta Cheese
  • Basil

What You Do
  • Slice up the baguette into thin rounds.
  • Brush each one with a little olive oil - front and back and spread them on a baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over them.
  • Toast the rounds in the oven - 350 degrees for about 15 minutes - you can turn them half-way through.
  • Let the rounds cool.
  • Slice a garlic clove in half, and rub  it on the top of each toasted round.
  • Add a slice (or diced) of tomato to each round.
  • Spoon a little ricotta cheese on each.
  • Drizzle a little of your best/favorite olive oil on the top.
  • Sprinkle a chiffonade of basil on the top.
Now you have a great snack, light lunch or tasty appetizer. It's perfect to bring to a party or picnic as well, you can assemble on-site.

Got tomatoes and Basil? Make some crostini, a delcious and easy snack or appetizer.

What's your favorite way to use tomatoes and basil in the summertime?

catch you soon -