Summer Survival: End of Summer BBQ

Welcome to the final week of our Summer Survival Series! I hope that some of you who have "met" me through this series will continue to stop by here after the series ends! As for today, with Labor Day weekend coming right up, we're getting you set for that one last Summer BBQ this weekend.

We had several BBQs to attend earlier this month so I paid extra attention to the details to prepare for this post. First and foremost, the keyword for California BBQ style is Casual. And not "blogger casual" with ripped jeans and high heels. I mean flip flops and swim cover ups. Here are the actual outfits I wore to the last two events I attended:

Top: Nordstrom Rack | Shorts: Nordstrom Rack | Sandals: Target | Necklace: Kendra Scott | Bag: c/o Danielle Nicole (Similar) | Watch: c/o Fossil | Bracelet: Sage K & Co

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Top: Target (Similar) | Necklace: Kendra Scott | Jean Shorts: Target (Similar) | Sandals: Nordstrom | Watch: c/o Fossil | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks | Sunglasses: Firmoo

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While I didn't wear this last outfit to a BBQ, this type of dress (or a maxi dress) is also a popular choice for women here. Most of the time these events involve a pool and dresses are easy to throw on over a swimsuit.

Dress: Express (In-Store Only, Solid or Floral Versions of same dress available online) | Short Necklace: Kendra Scott | Long Necklace: Express | Sandals: Nordstrom | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks + Express | Bag: Danielle Nicole (Similar) | Ring: Express (Similar)

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Last-Minute Trader Joe's Appetizer Options:

In the past I've shared some of my favorite items from Trader Joe's (e.g. Food and Wine and Sweets) and in keeping with today's theme I thought I would share a few of my Potluck Party favorites. Sometimes we get a last-minute invite, other times I just don't feel making something from scratch, so a quick Trader Joe's run ends up being the solution.


Mac & Cheese Bites:
When I bring these to a party I usually put a sign by them stating that they are Mac & Cheese bites. When I do that, they disappear quickly. They are so delicious and popular with kids and adults (I personally like to eat mine with Frank's Buffalo Sauce or Cholula). If I don't label them, people are a little slower to pick them up since it's hard to tell what they are by looking at them.

Mushroom Turnovers:
These have a slightly more sophisticated look and taste than Mac & Cheese bites, but they're also a favorite of mine. And for what it's worth, my husband hate mushrooms but still eats these because the mushrooms are finely minced, so they don't have that slimy cooked mushroom texture.

Parmesan Pastry Pups:
A lot of times I'll make the standard Pigs in a Blanket appetizer using L'il Smokies and Crescent Roll dough but again, if I'm short on time these are a convenient, slightly upgraded version of the same appetizer using puff pastry and Parmesan.

No Oven, No Time Appetizer:
There are times when it's just too hot to turn on an oven or I'm so behind on life that I'm picking up food and drinks en route to a party! (I know I'm not alone in this!)

Rosemary Italian Crackers:
They just look a little more fancy than regular crackers, so that makes it more acceptable that it's last minute, right?

Unexpected Cheddar:
I've tried a least a dozen different options of cheese at Trader Joe's that would be good for a party, so if you're starting at the cheese section there, just ask an employee for some recommendations. But I do think this one pairs well with the Rosemary Crackers.

For Labor Day weekend inspiration for your outfit and more, make sure to visit each of the ladies in this series today. You can follow through our coast-to-coast blog hop by heading north to Pennsylvania for JoLynne's take on this week's theme, or simply use the links below to meet each blogger.

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Thanks for stopping by and I'll see you back tomorrow for some "behind the blog" catching up for the month!

Linking up with:
ErikaAndreaNarci |JoLynne |  Lindsey | Alison


Fall Favorites: Fashion and More

I'm admittedly sad and a little bit in denial about summer coming to an end, so I thought it would join Erika's, "Let's Talk" series today in discussing our Fall Favorites. Maybe highlighting a few of the things I do like about Fall will make me less sad about Summer? It can't hurt...

1. Fall Fashion
In a warm climate like mine, Fall Fashion starts with just a shift in color palette rather than a wardrobe overhaul. I start reaching for my burgundy and olive pieces more than my bright pinks, corals, etc. I also slowly shift away from sandals and over to wedge pumps and booties. And jackets (my favorite wardrobe piece) start making appearances again for cooler mornings and evenings.

Fall Details: Olive Jacket, Peep Toe Booties

Jacket: Nordstrom | Cami: Express | Jeans: ExpressNecklace: J Crew (Gift, Similar) | Shoes: Amazon | Bag: Express (Similar)

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Fall Details: Burgundy Top
Top: Express | Jeans: Express | Shoes: Sole Society (Similar) | Necklace: Express (Similar) | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks | Ring: Nordstrom | Bag: Amazon 

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Fall Details: Burgundy Bag + Peep Toe Booties
Tee: Express (Similar) | Short Layered Necklace: Express (Similar) | Long Necklace: Express | Jeans: Express | Shoes: Steve Madden | Bag: Express (Similar) | Ring: Kendra Scott

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Fall Details: Olive Cami, Jacket, Burgundy Nails
Jacket: Express | Cami: Express | Necklace: Express (Similar) | Jeans: Express | Booties: Macy's (Similar) | Ring: Kendra Scott (Similar) | 

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Front View:

Other Fall Favorites:
I had to think about this for awhile, but I do have a few other things I enjoy that are exclusive to this time of year:

1. Pumpkin Spice Creamer
I don't go as crazy for Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes as some people do, but this stuff is another story. It's already in stock in my local Target and I didn't even try to resist it.

2. Fall Baking:
I share some of my baking experiences on Snapchat and Instagram Stories, but I haven't done as much in the summer because who needs the extra heat from an oven? I get motivated to bake more when the weather cools down, and I do especially love to bake some of these things in the fall:

Pumpkin Bread: I like this recipe from Allrecipes, although I usually add mini chocolate chips to mine!
Image Credit: Allrecipes | Recipe Link: Allrecipes

Apple Butter Cupcakes: I haven't made these in awhile because they're a little labor intensive, but they are a delicious, unique fall treat!

3. Halloween
My family and I just had our first discussion last weekend about, "what are we going to be for Halloween this year?" It's not unusual for us to buy our costumes in August! You know what I think might be trending this year (besides Presidential costumes...)? Snapchat Filter Costumes. Check out this girl's makeup for the Rainbow Vomit look! I also love seeing kids in funny costumes like these:
Image via: Huffington Post

4. Football:
I won't pretend to be a mega football fan, but I do enjoy watching it and it's one of just a handful of things on TV that my whole crew will watch, so that's a nice bonus. As San Diegans we follow the Chargers, but it's hard to be motivated to support them since they've been pursuing a move out of San Diego. So as former Seattle residents we keep our primary loyalty to the Seahawks.
Image via Gamblers Palace

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Well, okay then. Fall has some good points! I'll still be enjoying every last minute of summer (and posting a little more about that tomorrow), but I have to admit that after putting this together Fall doesn't sound as bad as I thought! Also, the sweet ladies over at The Blended Blog asked me to share a bit about my Fall Favorites over there so if you want to learn a little more about me head on over there next to check it out!

Linking up with:
ErikaAndreaNarci |JoLynne |  Lindsey | Alison


Outfits on the Daily + Flashback Friday 8/26/16

I'm still wearing summer clothes full-time (although I have noticed the slightest drop in temperatures), but I realize most people (including myself) aren't really shopping for a lot of new summer pieces and are planning ahead for fall instead. So today I'm trying something new for my Outfit Recap to see if I can make it more useful for those planning ahead. I'm sharing each outfit I wore this week, plus a past outfit (hence the Flashback Friday title) where I styled the key piece of the outfit for fall weather.

Outfit Recap:


Denim Shirt for Summer
Top: Express | Shorts: J Crew Factory | Necklace: Stella & Dot | Bag: Amazon | Bracelet: Forever 21 (Similar) | Watch: c/o Fossil | Ring: Express (Similar)

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Denim Shirt for Fall (ish...I'd swap the sandals for leopard booties or cognac peep toe booties)
Top: Express | Jeans: ExpressNecklace: Stella & Dot (Gift) | Bag: c/o Danielle Nicole (Similar) | Bracelets: Express | Watch: Fossil | Sandals: Nordstrom

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Black Tank Dress for Summer
Top: Express | Dress: Express (Similar) | Necklace: Kendra ScottBag: Danielle Nicole | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks | Sandals: Sam Edelman | Ring: Nordstrom

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Black Tank Dress for Fall:

Top: Express | Dress: Express (Similar) | Jacket: Express (Current) |Necklace: Bloomingdales (Gift, Similar) |  Bag: Tory Burch (Similar) | Boots: Target (Similar) | Ring: Kendra Scott (Similar)

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Front View:
Individual versions of front view outfits (summer version only) available: here


Striped Cami for Summer:
Top: Express (Similar) | Shorts: Old Navy (Similar) | Sandals: Target | Necklace: Kendra Scott | Bag: Amazon | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks | Ring: Nordstrom

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Striped Cami for Fall:
Top: Express (Similar) | Jacket: Express (Similar) | Short Necklace: c/o Kendra Scott | Long Necklace: Stella & Dot | Jeans: Express (Similar) | Sandals: Target (Similar) | Bag: Amazon (Similar)

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Grey Tee for Summer:
Tee: Nordstrom | Necklace: Stella & Dot (Gift, Budget Dupe) | Shorts: J Crew Factory | Sandals: Target | Bag: Amazon (Similar) | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks (Gift with Purchase) | Ring: Nordstrom

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Grey Tee for Fall:
Jacket: Express (Current) | Tee: Old Navy (Similar) | Jeans: Express | Shoes: Sole Society (Similar) | Necklace: Express (Similar) | Bag: Amazon (Similar) | Watch: Fossil | Bracelet: LOFT (Similar)

Shop the Look:

Front View:
Individual versions of front view outfits (summer version only) available: here

I hope today's format was helpful! A retail shopping goes, most exact items from last year are no longer available but I did my best to find similar options at a similar price to what I originally paid. 

Twice as many outfits to post means I didn't have time left to share any additional favorites, but one of my favorite shirts is still 40% off as I shared on Wednesday. The Free Shipping Promo ended but the deals on Jeans and Portofino shirts is still on so get the full scoop on styling options and fit notes here. And finally, there are just a few days left in the Macbook + Kate Spade Giveaway so don't forget to enter here! Have a great weekend!

Linking up with:
ErikaAndreaNarci |JoLynne |  Lindsey | Alison


Free Shipping + 40% Off Portofino Shirts and Jeans

Alright, I know I said in Tuesday's post that I wouldn't be posting again until Friday, but then an email came in from Express saying they have Free Shipping on ALL orders today, plus 40% off Portofino Shirts and Jeans! That's a post-worthy sale so I'm making it a quick one today to share some references and favorites. It's so nice when you can buy just the 1-2 items you want and not have to try to meet a certain amount to use a Coupon Code or spend $8 for shipping!

I've built a good collection of these shirts over the years so I don't buy them as often as I used to, but they did come out with a new Berry color that I picked up for fall. I'm also wearing it with one of my staple pairs of jeans that are also 40% off.
Top: Express | Jeans: Express | Shoes: Sole Society (Similar) | Necklace: Express (Similar) | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks | Ring: Nordstrom | Bag: Amazon | Front view for this outfit: Here

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Here's a quick look at some of my other favorite solid colors, with all current options available here.
(Jeans in these outfits are also Express, black here, white here. Zip pocket jeans sold out.)

More Info + Outfits with Portofino Shirts:

For more outfit ideas with Portofino Shirts or to decide which color would work best with your style, check out some of these past posts:

Outfit Ideas for by Color for Portofino Shirts

Outfit Ideas for Black, White and Striped Portofino Shirts

Round-up of some my favorite outfits with Portofino Shirts

Portofino Shirts paired with every outfit piece from Skirts to Jeans to Shorts to Leggings

More Info on Jeans:

For a breakdown of the different types of jeans at Express (e.g. Performance Stretch vs. Jean Leggings vs. Supersoft) check out my review and explanation in This Post.

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Like I said, just short and sweet today but free shipping + 40% off is a deal worth posting!

Linking up with: