But First, Coffee!

I love cooking, but first: COFFEE. Now, there are wonderful machines that will rival the best coffee at Starbucks, and I love Starbucks don’t get me wrong. However, there are ways to “TWEAK” your favorite drink. At home. Now, being cuban I am familiar with this little Espresso machine. You can get it at World Market ~ they have the best selections and I don’t think the most ESSSPENSIVE is more than maybe thirty dollars. It unscrews at the top, which is where you put the espresso (and you pack it for best results). The bottom part houses the water. You screw it back together, and you out it on the stove for about 3 minutes or less. Then voila!!! Espresso Shot coming right up. I grew up seeing my family use Bustelo, it is a strong coffee, but Oh so good!! It will wake ya’ up to be sure. Other brands I have used are Illy and Lavazza ~ these two are italian and tend to be a little bit more. Then, the best part. pour it in a “to go” cup or tumbler (Starbucks has one of the best ones in the market. They are sturdy and are double lined, so they won’t sweat. I buy the “Venti” sized ones at their stores, or target. They also have a included straw, and many different designs. Lastly, once you pour your espresso in your cup, combine it with a protein drink, I prefer Vanilla, but Chocolate will be delicious too. I love the “Rebbl” brand, and I get them at Whole Foods. If you have a Prime account, you can get a significant discount when they have an additional discount. Enjoy my luvs!

Animal Print Is In….

We are in mid-August, and THE print this season is animal print. I was always skeptical of it growing up ~ I thought that “using it as a neutral” was just not appropriate. But, it really is a neutral. If you pair it with any color, it will just go like the colors taupe, or black. So, now that I have a new-foundlove for it, I have found that JCREW does it beautifully.

They are having a massive sale, with an extra 30% off sale and regular priced items. What I love most about this is you can still wear the top at the office if you pair it with slacks or a pencil skirt. NOW, the jeans are high-rise, and the pockets are re-designed. So, they sit perfectly on your hips, and the inside pockets themselves do not “bunch up” when you first put them on. So, there is very little need to straighten them up.

Now, the shoes are from TJMAX and there are not a lot of sizes available online, but at the store there are a lot more size options and they true to size.

Here are all my links:

TOP:https://www.jcrew.com/p/womens_category/shirts_tops/blouse/rufflefront-top-in-satin-crepe/AC365?color_name=vivid-fuchsia

JEANS: https://www.jcrew.com/p/womens_category/denim_jeans/skinny/9-highrise-toothpick-jean-in-classic-rinse/H1879?color_name=classic-rinse

BELT: https://www.jcrew.com/p/womens_category/belts/calf-hair-belt-in-leopard/L3620?color_name=rich-mahogany

SHOES: https://tjmaxx.tjx.com/store/jump/product/Haircalf-Mules/1000469138?colorId=NS1003566&pos=1:16&Ntt=ANIMAL%20PRINT%20SHOES

Little Black Dress!

Ok, we live in Texas. The pieces we wear in the Summer can very well be worn in the winter, with a twist. I love this dress because I can do just that.

If I add a crisp white button down, tights, booties and a black leather moto jacket. I will post this as soon as it gets a bit cooler. You’d understand, it is 100 degs outside.I bought these shoes from Steve Madden last year. I love ruffles and these shoes are super girly. I especially love the wrap-around strings, like a ballet slipper. I don’t think they are available anymore, but certainly you can find something similar in the website.

If you add a hat to this look, it will look even cuter especially if you go on vacation somewhere. The material is think enough to be a nice dress even for the office, but thin enough to wear to a dinner at a tropical place.

Here are the links to this look:

Dress: https://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=144834072&pcid=999#pdp-page-content

Similar shoes (love these better): https://www.stevemadden.com/products/reputation-taupe-suede

Glasses: https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/ray-ban-58mm-aviator-sunglasses/5225286?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort&breadcrumb=Home%2FAll%20Results&color=black%2F%20black%20solid

Work Slacks? Coming Right Up…

Ok, I throughout my working life, I have bought different kinds of slacks from different brands. So far, the best fitting slacks I have had are from Banana Republic. They tend to fit me well, and hug my figure perfectly. I always come back to them. This top is not from there, but since animal print is in, I recommend also all the different styles they have at Banana Republic. My recommendations and links are below. Also, the shoes are Sam Edelmans from Nordstrom Rack. Now, hear me out: I danced ballet many years when I was younger. There are heals I cannot and will not wear, as they just hurt too much. So, comfort is key. And this height is as far as I can possibly be. I love block heals with a wrap around strap. Here are the links: PANTS (ON SALE BTW): https://www.jcrew.com/p/womens_category/jewelry/earrings/tortoise-orbit-earrings/L2359?sale=true&color_name=tortoise

TOP: I do not have a link to the one in this picture, but this one would be so darn cute. Also, pair it with a black leather jacket in the winter, and voila!! sooooochic…https://www.jcrew.com/p/womens_category/jewelry/earrings/tortoise-orbit-earrings/L2359?sale=true&color_name=tortoise

SHOES: OK. These are not at the Rack anymore, and the options there are limited for this kind of shoe. But, Nordstrom has something similar here:https://www.jcrew.com/p/womens_category/jewelry/earrings/tortoise-orbit-earrings/L2359?sale=true&color_name=tortoise

Gingham. Again? Yes!

I know. Another Gingham top. But, hear me out I can explain: If JCREW releases a top from the previous year, then me too? LOL. N.E.Way!!! These tops are so worth it. Super light for the summer and you can pair them with anything. As you saw in a previous blog post, I have this blue one and the pink one, and I absolutely love them.

Find this TOP HERE: https://www.jcrew.com/p/womens_category/jewelry/earrings/tortoise-orbit-earrings/L2359?sale=true&color_name=tortoise

I bought this skirt last year too ~ but it is not available. However, I found this skirt in pink linen, and cuter than the one I wear above. Find it here:

SKIRT HERE: https://www.jcrew.com/p/womens_category/jewelry/earrings/tortoise-orbit-earrings/L2359?sale=true&color_name=tortoise

Now, the earrings. I cannot tell you how many compliments I have received over these earrings. You can get wear them year round, and are so different ~ best of all, you would think they are heavy, but they are not. I promise! Find them here:

EARRINGS: https://www.jcrew.com/p/womens_category/jewelry/earrings/tortoise-orbit-earrings/L2359?sale=true&color_name=tortoise

….OOTD ~ Gingham? Pink?

One BIG thing about me is that I love pink, and I love a gingham print. Last year, JCREW released this pink one, andI bought it and a blue one ~ this year, they released them again. My sister is obsessed with it, and she is waiting I get bored of it and pass it onto her…BIG REG flag going up Sisi, I love this top – it feels so light and fresh. Anywhoooo, I learned to pair it with this matching belt and clutch. Here are all the pertinent DETS with an extra 30% off….

TOP HEREhttps://www.jcrew.com/p/shops/40offselectstyles/shirts/classicfit-boy-shirt-in-crinkle-gingham/C6086?color_name=classic-nav

BELT HERE:https://www.jcrew.com/p/womens_category/belts/calf-hair-belt-in-leopard/L3620?color_name=rich-mahogany

JEANS: I cannot find the ones I am wearing here, but these are super cute: https://www.jcrew.com/p/womens_category/denim_jeans/straight/vintage-straight-eco-jean-in-sparkling-sea/AB277?color_name=sparkling-sea-wash

EARRIGNS: I know, I know ~ I am obsessed, but you know the drill about tortoise shell and my heart. Find them here: https://www.jcrew.com/p/womens_category/jewelry/earrings/tortoise-orbit-earrings/L2359?sale=true&color_name=tortoise

BRACELETTE: I have been approached about this charmed accessory so many times, and I do have to say that I wear it every day. It is so cute and different. It is made by a spanish designer and I have not seen anybody wear. It is very well made of sterling silver dipped in gold. “Uno De 50” is the brand, and it is carried in a lovely little store in Cedar Park: “Honey and Hay” the staff there is super sweet and helpful, and they have a great assortment of other jewelry made by this brand and many others. Check them out! https://honeyandhay.com

Pool Makeup…

So, I am always very weird about what products I use when out in the sun. I mean, I don’t want to look like I just got out of bed, yet I don’t want to look like i am on my way to a gala. SOOO!! I prioritized based on what is important to me. After I cleanse my skin and prep for this look below I did this: Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer with SPF here: https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/laura-mercier-tinted-moisturizer-spf-20/2789472?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort&breadcrumb=Home%2FAll%20Results&color=3w2%20sand It is a gorgeous consistency that is not too thick, and it does have a bit of a highlight in it. It is meant to not make you look flat. Then, I contoured just a little bit with Lancome Bronzer in shade Solaire 02. It is one of my favorite bronzers because it applies smoothly, they have a great range of shades, and it doesn’t make look orange. I applied it with a bronzer brush – here: https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/lancome-star-bronzer-natural-glow-long-lasting-bronzing-powder/3178226?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort&breadcrumb=Home%2FAll%20Results&color=golden%20%28shimmer%29 Then, I applied a bit of a powder highlight to my cheeks in two shades. I have olive skin, but I didn’t want to look heavily highlighted. You can find TheBalm at Kohls or online here: https://thebalm.com/collections/all-products/products/man-681619700583 and other shade here : https://thebalm.com/products/bonnie-lou-manizer-highlighter-shadow-shimmer

Yellow? Really?

Yes, I think it depends on how you wear it. It has not been in my color palette, but it sometimes makes me want to wear it. Especially if if pair with jeans. and if it has an additional 40% off on regularly priced items – even better from JCREW nation. Here is the T-Shirt: https://www.jcrew.com/p/womens_category/shirts_tops/graphictees/away-from-my-desk-crewneck-tshirt-in-vintage-cotton/L8107?color_name=warm-sun EARRINGS: I don’t like earrings that fade, or whose rhinestones start to fall off, OR they start to smell like metal. JCREW earrings do not do any of this, and they are always relevant. These are here: https://www.jcrew.com/p/shops/40offselectstyles/jewelry/colorful-floral-hoop-earrings/G3346?color_name=warm-pink JEANS: these are cropped and have a wide leg. These are stretchy and fit awesome. they do not have a belt loop, but they do have the cutest side pocket. You may want to size up a bit. I am a 10, but I should have gotten a 12. https://www.jcrew.com/p/womens_category/brandswelove/denim/point-sur-wideleg-crop-eco-jean-with-front-tab-pocket-in-riverbed-blue-wash/L4736?color_name=riverbed-blue-wash

4th of July….

Ok. I have never been a hat person. But why does a hat do so much for a look? it will complete it. It is almost like adding the shoes to a look. It complements it so much.

So, I went to Target and got this hat:

https://www.target.com/p/women-s-packable-boater-hat-a-new-day-153-beige/-/A-52847346

TORTOISE SHELL: I have vivid memories when it comes to this beautiful material. My mother loved it. She had hair accessories made out of it, and I always thought it was timeless and so flattering. Find the earrings here: https://www.jcrew.com/p/womens_category/jewelry/earrings/tortoise-orbit-earrings/L2359?sale=true&color_name=tortoise

Of course, JCREW always delivers. For this 4th, I picked this striped top. It is true to size. I am wearing a Large. Find it here: https://www.jcrew.com/p/shops/40offselectstyles/tops/striped-boatneck-tshirt/H7198?color_name=ivory-navy

Ok. I love a long cotton skirt to be sure and I love this one. It does have a ruffle on the front that circles to the back, and it is longer in the back. Find it here: https://www.jcrew.com/p/womens_category/skirts/aline/belted-pullon-midi-skirt-in-cotton-poplin/L3137

Ann Taylor Loft….

Ok. I usually don’t like yellow ~ but I first saw this top during early spring this year, and I loved it. Then, I found it again in the sales rack and SCOOOOOORE. Now, I love a bow. A bow in a blouse, a bow on the head, a bow in a purse, and of course, as part of any slacks. The pants are no longer available online, but you can click the ones below ~ those are also super cute and I love the shade of blue. The earrings:… I love tassels as much as I love bows, and these are from the JCREW.

Links below:

Top:https://www.loft.com/loft-plus-shirttail-blouse/493733?skuId=26701479&defaultColor=3616&catid=cat3750037

Bottoms: https://www.loft.com/trousers-in-julie-fit/494408?skuId=26868189&defaultColor=1056&catid=catl000014

Earrings: https://factory.jcrew.com/p/womens-clothing/jewelry/earrings/layered-thread-tassel-earrings/K7687?sale=true&color_name=dark-harbor

For my beautiful blogging photog, here are my settings: 35mm glass, ISO 200, f 4.0, SS 1/500.