I’m A Sucker For Black Florals

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If you don’t already know, I can’t stop buying black floral dresses. You’ve probably spotted me in this dress, this one, or this one at some point or another and there are easily five more hanging in my closet! I like feminine touches, but am not into super girly things so I like the juxtaposition between the moody colors and flirty print.

I wore this Undeniable Boutique dress on our trip to Seaside and will be breaking it out any more times this summer! Unfortunately, it’s not available online anymore, but I’ve linked 6 amazing options below. Side note: one of my favorite things about Undeniable Boutique is that they only stock a few sizes of each piece they get in, so you’re less likely to see someone wearing the same outfit as you while you’re strolling down the street! On the flipside, it also means that items sell out quickly, so you have to act fast!

  1. Ruffle Fit & Flare Dress | Undeniable Boutique
  2. Pink Floral Dress | Undeniable Boutique
  3. Floral Romper | Pink Lilly Boutique 
  4. Chambers Embroidered Dress | Fabrik
  5. Hawaiian Oasis Maxi | Vestique
  6. Taylor Romper | Whistle & Wild

Rompin’ Into A Food Coma

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I’m a sucker for comfy clothes that make you look pulled together and this Sara Boo romper definitely meets that criteria. This was my first time ordering with Sara Boo, and the quality of the fabric and the special details make this romper stand out to me. While these shorts are a little longer than I typically wear (I’m a daisy duke girl) they get bonus points because they have pockets! I also really appreciated that the shorts were lined with a black fabric to help combat the sheerness that comes with white bottoms. The best part? I’ve teamed up with Sara Boo to offer you 20% off their entire site! Use code COLLIE20 at checkout! 

I wore this for a pizza and movie date night with the manfriend and was very pleased that the forgiving silhouette allowed me to indulge in pizza, popcorn, and gelato. Yes, I’m aware that I am an animal. I’m pretty embarrassed to admit this, but I fell asleep during the movie! If that doesn’t prove how comfy this romper is, than I don’t know what will. Full disclosure, Gerald tricked me into seeing a documentary that I thought was a drama based on a real story so that’s partially why I fell asleep, but we could probably chalk it up to a bit of a food coma!

Shop My Look: 

Romper | Sara Boo

This romper is courtesy of Sara Boo. 

Palm Print Party Dress

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Are you sick of seeing palm print on my feed yet? Good, cause I’m not done wearing it this summer.

Fun story: I wore this SammyDress dress out for a dinner date with my sista twin and her husband (where the boys literally ignored us all night long and talked golf) at Cafe Milano. This is not the type of dress you wear to Cafe Milano. You wear a turtleneck dress to Cafe Milano. My friend is a gorgeous platinum blonde, and I honestly think that people thought we were Playboy Bunnies trying to meet rich politicians. It was really funny, but also super awkward. The story escalates. After our extremely overpriced dinner (I’ll stick to Red Hen and Centrolina for my Italian restaurants, thanks) we went to Old Glory, because that’s what you do when you are in Georgetown.

After a few drinks, a rather intoxicated woman came up to me and literally stuck in hand in my keyhole and proceeded to ask where my dress was from—that’s not even the part that weirded me out. She then stated that she needed to know where my dress was from because she was on the hunt for “sexy critter dresses.” Of course, we had to know what a “sexy critter dress” was. She went on to explain that the man she thinks, hopes, is her boyfriend was taking her to Hamptons and she needed a “critter” dress a la Lilly Pulitzer to wear up there, but she couldn’t find any “sexy” ones. At this point, my friend and I nearly doubled over from laughter, but we had to encourage the conversation because it was so entertaining. After some discourse, we all arrived at the conclusion that YES, the women of the Hamptons do need a place where they can purchase sexy critter dresses, and encouraged our new friend to launch her own business creating these. By the way, a “critter”, we learned is a lobster or a fish. So keep an eye out, all you Hamptons ladies!

While we’re all waiting for this new line of critter dresses to come out, you can shop my palm print frock below.

Dress | Sammy Dress

Shoes | Target (similar)

 

 

Kimonos + Crop Tops

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I love kimonos for a multitude of reasons. I struggle with layering in the summer and they’re an awesome pice to toss on over tanks, crops, or dresses when you want to feel more covered up or are working in a chilly office. Kimonos also make great beach coverups and can instantly dress up a more basic outfit. If I was comfortable enough to wear bodycon dresses, I would totally style this over a plain black or nude one! I can also see myself wearing this over a bodysuit and highwaisted shorts or jeans for a concert. I’m going to a wedding this weekend and the ceremony is at the Holy Rosary Church, so I’m even considering wearing it as a wrap inside the church!

Since this kimono is on the longer side, I paired it with chunky heeled sandals to help my legs look longer for an impromptu happy hour with a coworker. (If you haven’t been to Chaplins for their highballs, you must go. I love the Vegabond!) I love pairing kimonos with crop tops because it helps make them a little more modest, and if you eat a lot at happy hour you can pull it around you to help cover up more!

This particular kimono is “one size fits all” and I typically wear a small, so it was a bit big, but that just meant more room for twirling around in it!

Shop My Look: 

Kimono | Sammy Dress

Crop Top | Urban Outfitters

Shorts | Urban Outfitters

Sandals | Forever 21

You’re Invited To A Night Of Cardio, Cocktails, and Charity 

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Join me tomorrow for a 305 Cardio Dance Class + rooftop happy hour!

I’ve been trying to step up my cardio game lately, and because running on a treadmill makes me never want to set foot in a gym again, I’ve been trying out cardio dance classes like Zumba and they are SO MUCH FUN. Not to mention they’re great calorie burners and you get to workout to awesome music. (I mean where else can I request Despacito without everyone groaning?)

After hearing about 305 – a Miami-originated, cardio dance cardio class- from friends, I knew I wanted to try it but hadn’t had the opportunity until now—and I want you to come sweat it out with me!

Tomorrow, brand new apartment building AVA NoMa and 305 are teaming up to host a dance class and rooftop happy hour at the new property and anyone is welcome! Tickets are only $20 and that covers both the workout class and open bar after. Personally, I think that’s a major steal. It costs $10 for me to bring a friend to the gym or $30 for most boutique fitness classes, and we all know none of those classes offer an open bar afterwards. Best part? Proceeds benefit DC non-profit Joy of Motion. So we’ve got cardio, cocktails, and charity all in one spot and you should totally be there.

Get your tickets here! http://bit.ly/2tJ74Ei

The Two Piece Set Strikes Again

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As you already know, I love two piece sets. (You can see my favorites here, here, and here!) You’ve heard me say before that I love how they offer the option to mix and match the tops and bottoms to create different looks, but I’m letting you in on the reason I really love them — they are insanely flattering when they hit you in the right spot. 

I’m a huge fan of skater skirts because I like how they skim over my lower stomach, hiding whatever I indulged in that day, but I also love that they accentuate the most narrow part of your waist. It looks like I legit have abs in these photos (disclaimer, I don’t. See previous post for proof.) and it’s all thanks to this set’s strategic cut. The sliver of skin from the crop top helps draw the eye up, and the defined waist band of the skirt helps further create the illusion of a smaller waist. Double points to this set because the off-the-shoulder neckline continues to draw the eye even further up!  

I wore this look out to a friend’s birthday party on U Street (my debit card and dignity are still at Tropicalia from that night in case you’re wondering…), but I can definitely see myself wearing it again to a country concert or Jazz In The Garden one night. Oh and the best part? it’s only $12. 

Shop My Look: 

Crop Top Set | Sammy Dress

Shoes | Forever 21

Bag | Rebecca Minkoff

Zaful 3rd Anniversary

If you haven’t noticed by now, I shop and work with a lot of overseas online retailers. Zaful is the first overseas company I collaborated with and they are celebrating their 3rd anniversary! In honor of the occasion, I’m rounding up some of my past favorite looks from the retailer andddd letting you in on how to win a $100 gift card! You can enter the contest to win the gift card here.

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They are also offering up some great coupons and codes that you can find here! 

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Before you go cray filling up your online cart, make sure to check out my tops shopping with overseas online retailers here.  Shop my favorite Zaful looks below!

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Embroidered Rose Dress | the perfect date night look and super on-trend right now

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Palm Off The Shoulder Top | I loved wearing this on vacation in Seaside and can’t wait to break it out again for brunch or happy hour!

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Off The Shoulder Floral Top | I’m obsessed with this top. The choker part is not attached so you can remove it or wear it tied as a scarf instead of a choker!

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Blue Velvet Cold Shoulder Top | while this look is not in season, I can’t wait to break it out again this winter. It’s the softest top and I love how it looks paired with a fur vest!

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Red Lace Dress | this is the ultimate wedding guest dress. I’m going to a wedding in a few weeks and while I have a new dress on the way, I’m definitely going to wear this if the new dress doesn’t work out

 

Blue Suede Shoes

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I suppose it’s time to break out the white jeans for the season! If anyone has tips on how to keep them clean throughout the day, holla at me because it seems like I always get a weird makeup smear or grass stains on them whenever they leave my closet. 

After looking at these photos from my shoot with photographer Bruce Allen, I realized I like all of these pieces separately, but this look isn’t really my style. I feel like it’s leaning on the preppier side and I need to change something up to bring some edge into it. Next time, I think I’ll pair this Undeniable Boutique top with cutoffs and lace up sandals and tuck the front in to make it a bit more boho-y. I’m planning on pairing these HushPuppies* mules with the white denim again, but swapping out my top for a chambray tank, that I styled here. 

*(Yes, you heard that right, these awesome slides are HushPuppies and possibly the most comfortable shoes in my wardrobe, even though they are heels. The first time I wore them to work I kept making my coworkers feel them because the insoles seriously feel like little cushions of air!)

Anyways, I’m letting you in on how I didn’t love how this outfit turned out because I think it’s important to acknowledge that even though I have a fashion blog, I don’t get it right every time. My blog and Instagram are just my highlight reel, so you don’t always see the WTF moments! Sometimes I show up to work and take a look in the bathroom mirror and literally cringe at what I pulled together that morning, and that’s okay. Everyone has their on and their off days! If we never had an off day, we’d never learn what we liked 😉 

Thanks to Bruce Allen for capturing these photos! You can, and you should, check out the behind-the-scenes of our shoot here! Bruce sheds some interesting light on photographing bloggers and capturing the perfect shot, and you can make fun of how awkward I look. Enjoy! 

Shop My Look:

Top | Undeniable Boutique

Jeans | TopShop

Clutch | South Moon Under (similar)

Mules | HushPuppies

Gettin’ Back On That Workout Grind

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Growing up, I danced A LOT. Between high school dance team, studio classes, performances, and a competitive team, I never had to worry if I was getting enough exercise and took my small frame and toned muscles for granted. Then, I got to college and realized that I needed to actually start working out or else I’d gain that dreaded freshman 15. I fluctuated between becoming a cardio queen to limiting myself to 300 calories a day (not pretty), and then gaining nearly 15 pounds from partying my senior year. Ever since then, I’ve had a weird relationship with food and my body and I’m finally at the point where I’m trying to accept it as is and live a truly healthy balanced lifestyle.

To be honest, taking photos in a swimsuit was a pretty terrifying thing for me to do, as I’m not 100% comfortable with my body, but I’m trying to keep it real on this blog — plus I owed pictures for a collaboration with Rose Gal. I’m working on my relationship with my body, and it’s not easy, but it’s getting better.

I’m the first to admit how hard it is work out and eat healthy with a full time desk job. I can’t force myself to get up early and hit the gym, but then there’s the struggle of getting yourself there when you’re tired from the work day. I know it’s a matter of sheer willpower to get the kind of body you want, but I guess I’m just not that disciplined! I have however come across a few tips/tools that are helping me get back into the healthy lifestyle I want to live, and I figured what better post to share them on than one that shows pictures of me in a swimsuit. Also, if you ever want to do a workout class together, I go to VIDA and I LOVE their group classes so hit me up! 

  • Lifting is not the enemy: as a woman, lifting weights can seem intimidating, but I promise they will not make you bulk up like men do. I used to be obsessed with running, but now I would much rather take a 60 minute barbell class any day over running two miles. Look up the Kayla Itsines workouts if you want to follow a routine that involves lifting, or pick up a Julien Michaels DVD to learn some movements in the comfort of your apartment before hitting the gym

 

  • Find a class you actually enjoy, and make it part of your weekly schedule: for me, I do everything in my power to make it to Gregg’s RX class on Friday nights because I absolutely adore his music selection and he totally kicks your butt. I also recently starting doing Zumba classes and am loving that I burn a ton of calories doing cardio that doesn’t involve running

 

  • Track meals on My Fitness Pal: I will admit that this app was what fueled my massive weight loss and 300 calorie intake in college, but when used correctly, it’s a great app to track your daily nutrition and it opens up your eyes to how high-calorie certain foods might be. Those yummy Panera cookies? 400 calories, yikes! I used to eat one nearly every day on my lunch break when I worked at Nordstrom until I found out how many calories they were!

 

  • Get your steps in: my mom got me a FitBit for Christmas, and I love the challenge of trying to hit 10,000 steps a day. It’s also very insightful to see how many calories you burn throughout the day, and you can do challenges with your friends to see who gets the most steps per day!

 

  • Get off the Metro a few stops early: I live in Shaw and work primarily in Bethesda, but instead of hopping on the Metro at Mount Vernon Square and transferring at Chinatown, I walk 1.2 miles each way to the Dupont Circle station. It forces me to walk an additional 2.4 miles a day, and then I don’t feel as guilty about skipping a workout if I don’t make it to the gym

 

  • Don’t diet, but make healthy choices: I hate diets. Every time I try to cut carbs out, I last about a day and a half and then freak out and carbo overload the next day. As a vegetarian, I do tend to eat fairly healthy, but I also drink and have a total sweettooth. Don’t deprive yourself of certain foods (unless you’re allergic or have other health issues), but know that if you’re going to go out for pizza, you need to eat a salad for lunch the same day to help balance it out. Skip the bagel Friday at the office and pack yourself a fruit and yogurt parfait, your coworkers will judge you, but you’ll be happy with the choice!

 

  • Invest in well-fitting workout gear: this seems like a no-brainer, but nothing kills my workout vibe faster than catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror and thinking that I look fat thanks to an ill-fitting top. Work out in things that make you feel cute and comfortable and I promise you’ll feel more confident at the gym
Shop My Look:

Natitude Style

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I truly thought I was only into Nats games for the beer and a potential 50% off Papa Johns pizza the next day (you get half price pizza if they score 7 runs!), but after Bryce Harper’s punch heard round the world (internet) last weekend, it turns out I’m actually a legit fan. For some reason I’m really invested in what went down and what that means for his playtime this season — the manfriend caught me on ESPN researching it and I think he nearly fell over from the shock. 

Since we started dating a little over two years ago, Gerald’s taught me a lot about baseball and it turns out it’s way more fun to watch the game when you can actually tell what’s going on! We went to the Saturday game this past weekend and I was pretty proud of myself for not complaining when it started raining, and I think it earned me some major brownie points with him 😉 

In all seriousness, baseball games are a lot of fun and I love being around the fan energy. While I don’t have any official Nats gear, I always try to wear red, white, or blue and pull out my trusty Papa John’s cap. I kid you not – this is the hat I used to wear as part of my uniform for the five years I worked at PJs on weekends and during college breaks to earn my spending money. Yes, I made pizza. Yes, I can do the thing where you toss the dough up in the air. And yes, I still eat Papa John’s pizza today. 

Few things pair better with baseball games and brews than cut offs, so I typically reach for jean shorts to pair with comfortable shoes (team Taylor Gang) and some sort of summery top. Since this past weekend’s game was a little cooler than usual, I opted for one of my new long sleeve tops from SammyDress and gave it a half tuck to help define my waist. 

Shop My Look:

Top | SammyDress

Shorts | Levi’s

Shoes | Converse