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Clothing

Hot Pink Weather

pink-dress-tortoiseshell-sunglasses-2 pink-dress-tortoiseshell-sunglasses-4pink-dress-tortoiseshell-sunglasses-1pink-dress-tortoiseshell-sunglasses-3pink-dress-tortoiseshell-sunglasses-9pink-dress-tortoiseshell-sunglasses-11pink-dress-tortoiseshell-sunglasses-7 pink-dress-tortoiseshell-sunglasses-8Dress: Vince Camuto // Bag: Target // Shoes: J.Crew // Necklace: House of Harlow // Sunglasses: Karen Walker // Bracelet: Julie Vos // Watch: Michael Kors (sold out, similar here) // Lipstick: Sephora Cream Lip Stain in Watermelon Slice

I’ve lived in Texas and I’ve lived in Virginia, but it turns out that I had never experienced real humidity until I moved to Iowa. I’m told that this summer (along with the past winter) has actually been pretty temperate, but I’m still having a hard time adjusting to the mugginess of late.

As I’m getting dressed for work in the mornings and can already feel the air outside heating up for the day, I almost always reach for a dress. A breezy shift silhouette? Even better. I scored this neon pink lovely on a recent Nordstrom Rack shopping spree with my mom and sister in San Antonio, and I’m so glad I decided to buy it. The colors are even brighter and better in person, and I love the way my favorite tortoiseshell accessories pick up the detail on the clasp of this hot pink bag.

The one comfort of super hot weather? Wearing colors vibrant enough to match.

Clothing

Red, White & Denim

fourth-of-july-sweater-jean-shorts-white-tee-1fourth-of-july-sweater-jean-shorts-white-tee-6fourth-of-july-sweater-jean-shorts-white-tee-5fourth-of-july-sweater-jean-shorts-white-tee-3fourth-of-july-sweater-jean-shorts-white-tee-7fourth-of-july-sweater-jean-shorts-white-tee-2fourth-of-july-sweater-jean-shorts-white-tee-8fourth-of-july-sweater-jean-shorts-white-tee-4Sweater: Gap // Shirt: J.Crew // Shorts: Forever 21 // Shoes: Converse // Bag: Target (dollar section!) // Sunglasses: Forever 21 (old) // Bracelets: Julie Vos, Kate Spade // Watch: Michael Kors

It’s almost the Fourth of July, and proverbially speaking, that means the corn growing behind me in these pictures here should be about knee high. It feels like the summer is flying by (sweet corn season looms deliciously in the coming months) and I can’t believe it’s already time for the most patriotic of holidays.

I always like to dress the part, but this year I decided to trade in my sartorial stars and stripes for a more subtle take on red, white and blue. Classic Converse sneakers keep me ready for impromptu cornhole matches, while a cozy marled sweater offers protection from cool nighttime breezes—especially important when staying up to watch fireworks shows.

Cheers to a weekend full of barbecued food, good Wisconsin beer and national pride!

 

Food

Candied Key Lime Pie

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This weekend, I had the most amazingly fun time hanging out with my family in Texas. My mom always goes out of her way to have delicious food around for us when we visit, and this time was no exception. After a recent trip to Palm Beach, she fell in love with the classic key lime pie at Mar-a-Lago. At home, she recreated it with a few signature twists—delicious cream cheese topping and beautiful candied lime wheels. I love how cool and fresh this pie is, and I’m sure I’ll be craving it as soon as I head by to Iowa. Luckily, she gave me the recipe.

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Candied Key Lime Pie
Recipe adapted from Oprah.com.

For the crust:
• 3/4 pound graham crackers
• 4 Tbsp. granulated sugar
• 2 sticks melted butter
• 1/4 tsp. sea salt

For the filling:
• 4 egg yolks
• 1 can (14 ounces) condensed milk
• 2/3 cup fresh Key lime juice
• 1 lime , grated zest

For the topping:
• 1 pint sour cream
• 1/4 c. sugar
• 1/4 tsp. vanilla

Directions:
1. To make the graham cracker crust, pre-heat the oven to 325°.

2. Break up the graham crackers and blend in a food processor until you have small crumbs. Add the melted butter, sugar and salt and pulse until combined.

3. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan, forming an even layer on the bottom and sides. Bake crust for 10 minutes, remove from oven and allow to cool.

4. While the crust is cooling, start making the filling by whipping the egg yolks and lime zest at high speed until fluffy, about 5 or 6 minutes.

5. Gradually add the condensed milk and continue to whip until thick, about 3 or 4 minutes longer. Lower the mixer speed and slowly add the lime juice until incorporated.

6. Pour the filling mixture into the crust and bake for 15 minutes, or until the filling has just set.

7. To make the topping, mix the sour cream, sugar and vanilla and carefully spread on top of the pie. Bake another six minutes then cool overnight (if you can stand to wait that long).

8. Top with a slice of candied lime (blanch thin slices of key lime in simple syrup, remove from syrup, dust with sugar and let dry)!

**Bonus step: Use your leftover egg whites to whip up some meringues, and top those with some more delicious candied lime slices.

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Style

Farmer’s Market Fresh

pink-floral-1pink-floral-8pink-floral-9pink-floral-5pink-floral-3pink-floral-2pink-floral-10pink-floral-7Top: Lush // Shorts: Lush // Shoes: Forever 21 // Bag: Kate Spade (sold out, but available here) // Bracelets: Kate Spade & J.Crew // Necklace: Julie Vos // Sunglasses: Prada

Farmer’s market season is in full swing here in Iowa, so we are starting to spend most of our Saturday mornings buying fresh produce, delicious food and, of course, beautiful flowers. Since the weather has been warming up, I opted for this breezy scalloped camisole and floral shorts combo on a recent jaunt to the Cedar Rapids Farmer’s Market.

Usually I like to carry a big bag to easily stow all my purchases, but I recently scored this pretty little rose gold clutch during the Kate Spade surprise sale and it was begging to be worn with these super-comfy pink shorts and matching pastel sandals. Here’s to many more warm, sunny Saturdays and lots of ice cold pink lemonade!

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DIY

DIY Friendship Bracelet Hand Charm

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I love a good arm party, and goodness knows I have a sizable collection of golden rings, so anything that combines the two is more than okay in my book. I’ve been eyeing this BaubleBar hand chain and this hand lariat from Nordstrom for awhile, so I decided to try my hand at combining the hand chain silhouette with a colorful friendship bracelet for a sparkly, summery statement piece.

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For this project, you’ll need the following:
• embroidery thread
• a small length of delicate chain
• a small length of curb chain
rhinestone cup chain
• jump rings
• lobster claw clasp
• plain gold ring
• square pronged connector
• needle-nose pliers
• sewing needle

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1. Start by making your friendship bracelet. I decided on a chevron pattern using five different colors, which determined the width of the bracelet. Here’s a good tutorial if you didn’t go to camp and are therefore not familiar with the art of friendship bracelet-making. Don’t forget to leave extra string on the ends so we can finish them neatly.

2. Now that we have the base bracelet made, all we have to do is add on to it. I started by cutting a length of curb chain that was exactly as long as the friendship bracelet. Then, I simply tacked it onto one side of the bracelet using a whip stitch. You can see these stitches in the photos (using turquoise thread).

3. Next we will add our rhinestone chain to the top of the bracelet. For this step, I simply tacked on the chain using little stitches across the chain in between the rhinestones. The nice thing about sewing onto a friendship bracelet is that the pattern hides stitches pretty well, so you don’t have to be too careful. If you look really hard, you can see these red stitches in the photos.

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4. Once we have our bracelet assembled, it’s time to finish the ends. Make sure both sides are tied off nicely and trim any excess thread. Then, dab a little bit of super glue into your square connector, place the knotted end into the finding and hold for about 30 seconds until the glue has somewhat set. To finish, simply use your pliers to fold the prongs down, tightly secure the knots.

5. After the glue has dried completely, use a jump ring to add the clasp of your choosing to one side of the bracelet and a jump ring or extender to the other.

6. Now it’s time to connect the pieces. First, measure the length between your wrist and where the ring will sit on your finger and cut a chain to this length. For reference, mine was about four inches.

7. Add a small jump ring to either side of the chain, and attach one end to the curb chain on the bracelet and the other end to the ring.

8. Style alone for a simple statement, or layer up with a stack of colorful bangles!

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