Classic Cocktail Series Day 14: Cosmopolitan

2 weeks. 2 weeks of a different cocktail every day – well except for the day when I. JUST. COULD. NOT. and I poured a glass of wine. And the day I did bourbon on the rocks. But that was at least good bourbon. ANYWAY…

The Cosmopolitan- I think I’ve had one in my life at a bar once because I was like, “I want something fancy!” Not sure what made me classify it as fancy. I mean, I guess it is fancier than being able to pour wine in a glass.

I was surprised by how much I liked this drink. I don’t love a lot of citrus in a drink. But these proportions and good vodka make my mouth happy.

Cosmopolitan
  • 3 oz vodka
  • 1 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • 1 1/2 oz cranberry juice
  • 3/4 oz lime juice
  • Lime or orange wedge for garnish.

Add liquid ingredients to shaker, top with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into glass. Garnish with lime or orange wedge.

Classic Cocktail Series Day 13: Irish Mule

I love all the mules. It’s the ginger beer.

And I have copper mugs. If you’re trying to get the cost per use down on your copper mugs, make ALL the mules. At least that’s my strategy.

The Irish Mule is made with Irish Whiskey (Jameson). And mint. Mint makes it extra tasty and gives it that fun green color you equate with St. Patrick’s Day. And who doesn’t love St. Patrick’s Day? I’m Chi-rish, so you know I’m down.

If you’re generally not a mule fan because of the lime, decrease the amount of lime juice or omit it altogether- of course you don’t have a mule then, but I won’t tell.

Irish Mule
  • 3 oz Irish Whiskey (I used Jameson)
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 10 mint leaves
  • 3 oz ginger beer
  • Lime wheel and mint sprig for garnish
  • Ice

Muddle mint leaves. Add whiskey and lime juice to mug. Stir. Add ice. Top with ginger beer. Add sprig of mint and lime wheel for garnish.

I actually like how this tastes about 15 min later when the mint has had a chance to permeate the drink. Mmmmmm… minty.

If you try this, let me know what you think. And if you have a favorite mule that’s a variation of the traditional Moscow Mule, let me know – I’d love to try it!

Classic Cocktail Series Day 11: Bourbon on the Rocks

Listen, today was HARD for me. The kind of hard day that comes from within, which is to say my outer circumstances didn’t contribute to how I’m feeling (much… I mean we do have a puppy and 3 kids running around here, each with their own needs and ideas). 11 days of staying socially distant and staying home – I think it’s safe to say I’m an extrovert. I would not survive prison. And when the time comes, do NOT sign me up to live on Mars.

That said, I needed something easy. Therefore, today’s “cocktail” is bourbon. On the rocks. Well, just 1 rock actually – I’ll show you in a second.

Bourbon is my fav. I’m not quite sure how this happened. Maybe it’s when I had an Old Fashioned for the first time and wondered what the bourbon would taste like on its own. Maybe it’s when I was too lazy to make my Kentucky Mule and decided to go no further than the bourbon over ice. Maybe it’s when I was out of all the other ingredients and just wanted a DRINK. It’s hard to say.

Today’s bourbon is Four Roses. Some friends gave it to my husband for Christmas. They know what’s up. It’s good to have friends that know what’s up. I’ve made Manhattans and Old Fashioneds with it. Yum.

When you’re having liquor straight up/on the rocks, you’ll want to go with a higher quality that what you’d use to mix in with other ingredients. Just like you wouldn’t use stew beef as that steak you’re going to grill and eat on its own. And you wouldn’t listen to every song by Nickelback – one song on a playlist is already pushing it, but you might just get away with it. Same with liquor – quality matters. Splurge a little if you’re planning to slowly sip and enjoy.

So, my Secret Santa this past holiday season got me some bourbon (Koval) and these ice molds that make one large sphere of ice for my glass. This keeps your drink cold, but not watered down. I like that.

The best part about this whole situation is it takes me about 30 seconds to make my drink. Provided that I’ve already made the ice. I suppose it does take some planning ahead. But you can do this, people. YOU. CAN. DO. THIS.

Bourbon on the Rocks
  • Bourbon of your choice (I’m drinking Four Roses. I also recommend Koval and Basil Hayden’s, if you need a recommendation. This is all personal preference and totally up to you.)
  • Ice, cubes or sphere, or Whiskey Stones
  • A nice glass will add to the enjoyment. I promise.
  • Place ice in bottom of glass. Pour bourbon over ice.
  • Smell. Sip. Close your eyes, think happy thoughts.

You may be taking care if others at this time. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself. One easy way to do that is to notice what you have. Sometimes it’s as easy as removing all the extras and recognizing what’s left.

Classic Cocktail Series Day 12: Whiskey Sour

If it wasn’t for this series, I certainly wouldn’t know how many days I’ve been home from work. The days are blurring together. Saturday looks a lot like Tuesday. But I can look forward to a different cocktail every day. And that is GOOD.

Today’s cocktail is the Whiskey Sour. My memory of this drink is of my 10 year high school reunion. It was open bar. I’m not a big drinker, so I had no idea what to order (and to go with beer or wine would be silly because we all know open bar = a world of possibilities and no one needs to experience FOMO over that). One of my besties from HS said she chooses one drink and sticks with it the whole night and in situations like there she chooses Whiskey Sours. And so it was. Good times.

You’ll need simple syrup for this. The good news is you can make simple syrup. It’s, well, simple.

Whiskey Sour
  • 4 oz blended whiskey
  • 1 oz lemon juice (fresh would be ideal)
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • Orange slice and maraschino cherry for garnish

Shake liquid ingredients with ice. Strain into chilled glass. Garnish with orange slice and cherry.

A little bit sweet, a little bit sour. A lot good. Kinda like life, right?

Next time you don’t know what to order, give this a go. If you love it, let me know. If you hate it, feel free to blame my HS bestie.

Classic Cocktail Series Day 9: Tom Collins

It was SUNNY today. And I wanted something that tasted like sunshine for today’s cocktail.

Since lemon juice flavors a Tom Collins, it seemed appropriate. It’s like grown up lemonade… less sugar, more tart, and trust me, the sunshine is not far behind.

Once again, use what you have at home as far as ingredients. I once had a friend that made Vodka Collins and Whiskey Collins – taste preferences (and they were tasty). I’m sure those will show up in future posts. You’ll see I garnished mine with an orange and a lime. It’s what’s here. And it’s colorful. I’m all about the sunshine today – literal and figurative.

Tom Collins
  • 2 oz gin
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 3 oz chilled club soda
  • Lemon Slice (I used orange and lime)
  • Maraschino cherry (I omitted this)

Pour the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup into an ice filled glass. Top with soda and stir gently (don’t want to lose all that fizz). Add garnishes.

Here’s to future sunny days, friends. Cheers!

Six Week Summer Remix

Every year around this time I think to myself, “Man, I have a lot of summer clothes and now that summer is half over, I need to make sure I’m wearing them ALL.” Because clothes that don’t get worn have to go to the donate pile at the end of the season. I know Marie Kondo wouldn’t approve of doing it that way, but I think she’d be mostly pleased that I’m passing on things that clearly didn’t spark enough joy to be worn. 

Enter the #sixweeksummerremix. This is to ensure I’m wearing all of my summer wardrobe that I L-O-V-E without spending a single cent. 

  1. NO MORE SHOPPING UNTIL THE LABOR DAY SALES HIT. That’s right. No shopping. No new tank tops or swing dresses or sandals or t-shirts or swimsuits or cover-ups or thin sweaters or maxi skirts or… oh my, I love clothes. But in all seriousness, I know I don’t NEED anything. I can certainly go the next six weeks without a new item of clothing. Who am I kidding? I could probably do 4 summers of no shopping on what I own and never repeat an outfit. Therefore, no more shopping. 
  2. I will remix my wardrobe to create outfit combos I haven’t worn before. This is for sure a personal goal (and wouldn’t necessarily need to be your goal) because I can certainly repeat outfits from last year, but for an extra 3 minutes a day, I can come up with something new. I find it’s always worth the time and creative brain power to remix my wardrobe because my creativity + my clothes = cute outfit + personal satisfaction. That’s a math equation I can get behind! 
  3. I post my outfits on Instagram and in my Facebook group specifically for remix challenges. It’s great for me to do these two steps because A. Instagram gives me a visual diary of what I wore. It’s fabulous. If I need a little inspiration from my own closet, I can scroll through my feed to see what I have and what I’ve already done. And I can, of course, find other people doing the same thing and get inspiration from them. B. The Facebook group is awesome because you can post your outfit or a specific piece of clothing and ask for style suggestions from the group, and there’s no pressure to have a perfect, pretty picture to post. 
  4. This may be the most important part of the success of a closet remix: PLAN YOUR OUTFIT THE NIGHT BEFORE YOU WILL WEAR IT. Sorry for yelling, but I find that women that skip this step experience 78% more frustration and 82% more anxiety than women who do plan what they will wear the night before. Ok, those numbers are totally made up, but I promise you will feel less stress over getting dressed in the morning if you PLAN AHEAD.

Now, before you go thinking this is all work and no play, there are many benefits to remixing your closet. If you choose to join in the remix fun (please come play with us!!), you can expect these benefits when you join the challenge:

  1. Maybe the most obvious is the monetary benefit – You won’t be spending money on clothes. Therefore, the money you would have spent can be spent on other things (hello, summer fun and back to school purchases!) or saved for those Labor Day sales and the purchase of your fall wardrobe completers (there are definitely some cognac colored booties in my future). I think Dave Ramsey would approve. There have been times in the past when I just needed some room in the budget. This is a great way to not feel bad about not spending. You can always say, “I’m using what I have right now,” and feel good about it because it’s a challenge that you CHOSE instead of feeling like it’s a restriction imposed upon you.
  2. Your brain will be creatively challenged. Exercising your creativity is good for your mind, and if you’re like me, you need a creative outlet anyway. Creating a different outfit every day serves to meet that creative need, and let’s face it, you have to get dressed anyway. 
  3. Joining the F-R-E-E Facebook group will give you access to a community of women just like you, doing the same thing, who will encourage you in your remixing journey. They’ll tell you they love what you’re wearing and, if you ask them for help styling an item, they will give their ideas, which is fabulous because it takes the guesswork out of styling the piece and you’ll probably get 3-5 different ideas for the one item! 
  4. Probably the best benefit of doing this six week remix is you’ll know what’s in your closet, you’ll have a better sense of your style and what you really love, and you’ll be more inclined to purchase and wear items you LOVE rather than things you think will work. You’ll also identify what no longer works for you and can send it on to the thrift store guilt free!

You may have noticed that there are now only 5 weeks until Labor Day. That’s because I started this blog post early this week and I’m finishing it now. But that just means you if you join you have only 5 weeks to remix! 

Here are my looks from this past week…

gap ikat dress, dsw lace up sandals, stella and dot bracelets, armparty, stella, dot, ootd, blogger, fashion, style, fashion blogger
gap ikat dress, dsw lace up sandals, stella and dot bracelets

gap asymmetrical dress and cropped tee, old navy sandals, stella and dot armparty, maxi dress, edgy, fashion, blogger, style, fashion blogger, bracelets, howlite, gladiator sandal
gap asymmetrical dress and cropped tee, old navy sandals, stella and dot armparty

old navy tank swing dress, stella and dot totem tassel necklace, armparty and sunnies, target wedge sandals, targetstyle,  fashion blogger, style blogger, fashionista, closet remix, restyle
old navy tank swing dress, stella and dot totem tassel necklace, armparty and sunnies, target wedge sandals

joe fresh swing dress, steve madden studded sandals, stella and dot jewelry, necklace, bracelet, coffee, starbucks, thrift, thrifted, thrift find
joe fresh swing dress, steve madden studded sandals, stella and dot jewelry
target swing tank and wide leg pants, st. john's bay wedge sandals, stella and dot jewelry and tote, fashion blogger, style blogger, targetstyle, jcpenney, preppy, boho, quill, armparty
target swing tank and wide leg pants, st. john’s bay wedge sandals, stella and dot jewelry and tote

Ok, who’s in?! Tell me in the comments if you’ll be doing the challenge. Please join the Facebook group (invite friends to join, too!) and use the tag #sixweeksummerremix on Instagram to make the most of it! 

I’m posting my outfit each day in both the Facebook group and on Instagram with an explanation of what I’m wearing, and two other styling options for my outfit using my style mantra “dress it up, dress it down, wear it straightforward.” Follow me to watch me maximize my wardrobe and get some style inspiration for your own!

ShopPinkBlush Boutique Review and Giveaway 

I know, I know. There are ZILLIONS of trendy boutiques online. But when I find a good one, I can’t help but share it with you!  ShopPinkBlush.com entered my life and oh, happy day! It’s a Women’s Online Boutique with on-trend styles. Maybe more importantly, the clothing is modeled by women with REAL BODIES. Let’s face it, it’s much easier to imagine wearing something modeled by a woman with legit thighs. They also have plus sizes, maternity and nursing, a baby goodies section, and accessories. Pretty awesome, if you ask me. Their service is great and their selection is WIDE – lace up flats, cute dresses for women, adorable tunics – and it’s all ridiculously affordable! And P.S. If you’re loving lace or fringe accents on your clothing these days, you need to check them out – like right now. 

I’m a sucker for anything cozy, drapey, and striped, so I got a striped open front cardigan. It’s a lightweight knit, has a little bit of stretch to it, and it’s perfect for spring. I love how it can be dressed up or down fairly effortlessly. And the colors are perfect for this season. (hello pink and grey!) 

I dressed up my jeans and tee with the cardigan and added some style personality with my accessories. The perfect any day look. pink blush boutique striped cardigan casual trendy stella dot fashion blogger  

 pink blush trendy casual  pattern mix spring fashion blogger 
Dressed down with a graphic tee and my absolute favorite jogger pants. (Casual weekend? Yes, please!) In order to keep this from looking like I left the house in my pjs, I paired it with heeled booties, and a big tote bag that says, “I know what I’m doing.” pink blush botique casual weekend trendy striped cardigan plus size fashion blogger 

  pink blush boutique weekend casual trendy plus size 

Want to win something for yourself from ShopPinkBlush? Like this blog post and tell me how you’d style this cardigan or what you’d love to have from Pink Blush Boutique in the comments below for your chance to win a $50 shop credit from PinkBlush! A winner will be drawn on Friday, March 18th. 

UPDATE: Congratulations to Tina H. On winning the $50 shop credit! Can’t wait to hear what you get!

Jewelry Storage and Display (and a giveaway!)

I have a ton of jewelry. It comes with the territory of being a Stella & Dot Stylist. And, let me tell you, it’s a cryin’ shame that all those stunning statement necklaces and sparkly bracelets should sit in a jewelry box or drawer or be hanging out of sight. So you know what I do? I display those beauties right on my dresser. It’s like instant home decor, and I can easily change them out seasonally. 


I personally like neck forms instead of something to hang necklaces from. Creates a lovely display and it’s really easy to get your necklace off the display. And really easy to put it back on when you’re done. Anyone else have a habit of setting things on their dresser for “a better time” to put them away? Just me? I know… Marie Kondo would not be proud. 
  
Bracelet bars are also awesome. As you can see, I have a few bracelets. Having them out where I can see them to create the perfect armparty is ideal for me.

 stella and dot jewelry bracelet golden greys jewelry tray i dream in jewelry 
My favorite inexpensive place to get the jewelry display items is JewelrySupply.com. But there’s nothing like something that makes your display personal – like my “I dream in jewelry” tray from Golden Greys. Adorable AND the perfect sentiment, don’t you think?! 

Wanna win one? Megan from Golden Greys has agreed to give one away! Head to my Instagram (that link takes you to the place to enter) and follow the instructions in the caption to enter! Giveaway winner will be announced Friday, March 4! Good luck!  

golden greys jewelry tray giveaway stella and dot 

Style Secrets when Between Sizes

It’s January – the time when many of us find ourselves in one of two camps: the “holiday weight gain that has our clothes fitting a little tighter” camp, or the “weight loss resolution that will make our clothes fit a little too loosely” camp.

Properly fitting clothing doesn’t just look better, it makes you feel better. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than squeezing into your jeans, and nothing more annoying that pulling them up 20 times every hour.

Whatever camp you’re in, I have a go to uniform for you:

Tunic and leggings or skirts/dresses.

Below are some of my favorite stylings of these practical problem-solvers that are probably hanging out in your closet (read: don’t go buy new clothes just yet).

The tunic and leggings option is comfy and on trend. My requirements for this option are that the tunic come well past my butt. All important parts covered. Coverage to mid thigh is preferred. Maybe that’s not your criteria, but I find it to be less stressful if I sit down or bend over. And after having 3 children, I’m sure nobody wants to see any of that either.

Banana Republic sweater tunic (thrifted by a friend); Gap down vest (thrifted by myself); Old Navy denim jacket (also thrifted); Ralph Lauren button down (thrifted from the Men’s section); Target leopard print scarf (old); H&M leggings; Ralph Lauren boot socks and Sorel boots via Marshalls (old); Stella & Dot pearl spike cuff, renegade bracelet and Waverly petite crossbody (all current)
 

Old Navy cowl neck tunic (recent clearance find); Gap ponte zipper leggings (current sale find – also pictured above); Adam Lippes for Target flats (this past fall); Stella & Dot jewelry – Freya necklace, Arrow bangle, Sawyer stone bracelet, Renegade bracelet, Ally bracelet, Deco cocktail ring (all current)
And if you just thought, “It’s winter and I’m not freezing my butt off in a dress!” Shirt dresses are great to wear with leggings.

Gap cropped sweater (old); Merona chambray shirt dress (this past fall); Gap ponte zipper leggings (I have two pairs, people – don’t judge); Aldo booties again; Stella & Dot jewels and Waverly petite crossbody – Arrison stretch bracelet, Ally wrap bracelet, Alice bracelet, Sawyer stone bracelet, pavé chevron bangle, Maylee ring and engraveable ring (all current)
 

Gap flannel gingham shirt dress (last winter); blanket scarf found on eBay; H&M leggings; Sam Edelman suede booties (thrift find); Stella & Dot Waverly petite crossbody, artisan cuff, Sawyer stone bracelet and deco cocktail ring (all current)
Hot tip: Fleece lined leggings are a thing. I recommend wearing them under a pair of lightweight leggings because they usually don’t look like cotton leggings. You can even find them at Walgreens!

I’ll admit dresses and skirts are a little trickier if you live in a colder climate, like me. If there’s a day where it will be in the 40s, I’m totally willing to go with a dress and thick tights or even sweater tights. It’s like my desperation for comfort, cuteness and wearing clothing for warmer temps all converge.

Gap plaid dress (found it last fall for like $7) and leather booties (also last year, but a little more than $7); burgundy tights from Target; Stella & Dot Waverly petite crossbody, deco cocktail ring, renegade bracelet, Christina link bracelet (retired) and Amelie bracelet (retired)
I know firsthand that being between sizes, especially if you’ve worked hard to lose weight to look and feel better, is totally frustrating and makes getting dressed an unenjoyable experience. Embracing leggings and skirts/dresses as your default during this time should make the interim more bearable and keep you feeling beautiful.