Staying Cool & Cute in Summer Humidity

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Top: Made | Shorts: Thrifted DIY | Sandals: Marshalls | Purse: Thrifted 
Earrings: Five Below | Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters
Here in Texas we are in full swing of the 100 degree days....though with the humidity here it often feels ten degrees hotter than it really is. Thankfully I am not all to affected by heat as some people, sure I will feel hot and sweat, but I will never feel unbearable (thankfully). Nevertheless, with the sweltering heat that us Texans struggle with I have learned over the years what works and what doesn't work to wear outside and be the most comfortable and cool!
With that here is a list of my tips and tricks for staying cool and cute in the summer:

  1. Less Layers - I am one of those people who always wears and tank top under most shirts and a slip or shorts (or both) under many dresses and skirts. However, in the summer this isn't possible. I have started grabbing pieces from my closet that don't require me to wear a tanktop underneath or a slip under a skirt. The less layers laying against your body makes you so much cooler!
  2. Pay Attention To Your Fabrics - As a slight "textile nerd" (thanks to that textile class I took in college) I have always paid attention to my fabrics in the summer. Many synthetic fabrics that our clothes can be made of are not breathable and make us quite hot. Thus, choosing more natural fibers is your best bet. I often reach for cotton pieces or cotton blends because they are very breathable in the heat. I especially LOVE wearing Rayon (which is actually synthetic) in the summer because it absorbs more liquid than cotton and tends to stay cool in humid weather. I actually wore a cotton skirt and rayon top when we were in Alabama (in this post here) and was outside for 3 straight hours and felt perfectly comfortable.  
  3. Loose Fit - Loose fabrics and styles of clothes are so much cooler than fitted pieces! I have a ton of dresses that I love to wear in the summer but many of them have fitted bodices and often can be quite hot. However, when I wear loose dresses or tops, like the top above in this post (which is also cotton) I am always very comfortable and cool. 
  4. Sleeveless - I am not one to wear spaghetti strap tops, but I don't mind straps that are two inches or more and often make many of my summer dresses without sleeves. Sleeves are restrictive in the heat, thus removing them not only makes your feel more comfortable and mobile, but also lets your arms breath. 
  5. Light Colors - Don't wear black or dark colors! I like to wear neutral colors in the summer sometimes, but I have found that when I wear darker colors they absorb more heat and thus make me feel hot. I often times wear white shirts and blouses frequently in the summer because white reflects more light and keeps me cool. After all, summer in the perfect time to wear your bright and light colors so why not take advantage of it. 
  6. It's Okay To Wear Shorts - I am the person who would avoid shorts at most costs because I don't always think they fit my style very well, unlike skirts that encompass who I am. However, when I know that the day will be hot and I will be outside for a good amount of time I give in and pull out my shorts (that I always DIY from thrifted jeans). Now mind you, I don't pull out "short shorts"..... the length won't affect your coolness much so no need sacrificing modestly for comfort. 
  7. Hair Up - I hate wearing my hair I really hate it (I don't like how it looks). At home I wear my hair up only because I am always in "comfy clothes" but when I go out I always like to wear my hair down or half up. However, with my hair now growing out it can be quite hot wearing it down in the summer time. Thus, I sometimes give in and put my hair up in a pony tail, braids, or my new favorite bubble braid. Having your hair off your neck truly makes all the difference. 
  8. Open Toed Shoes - You know in the summer when you have to sleep with your feet peaking out of your comforter so that you can be cooler to sleep? The same idea/theory goes into play when going out in the heat, letting your feet breath in sandals or open toes shoes keeps you cool. When we cover our feet it warms our body (like putting on socks in the winter), thus keeping them open to the air is our bodies air conditioning in the summer (kind of).
Do you utilize any of these cool strategies in the summer?
What summer dressing strategies work to keep you cool?


Why I Love To Thrift

Friday, July 27, 2018

Skirt: c/o ThredUp | Top: Thrifted | Shoes: Thrifted | Bag: Thrifted (Vintage) 
Earrings: Five Below | Sunglasses: c/o Sunglasswarehouse  

If I were to do the math I would say that at this point 95% of my closet is thrifted.......and its a good sized closet (like 1/3 of my room). Thrifting has always been something that I loved to do and I think it started when I was in middle school. When I was younger I was really into fashion, I liked following the trends, seeing what was in the stores, sketching outfits on any paper I could find, and trying to copy the trends for myself. However, I never could swing buying the latest trends so I started thrifting. I loved that I could buy a whole outfit for $20 at the thrift store when $20 would barely get me a dress at the store....$20 used to seem like $50 to my younger self and my love for thrifting has carried over into the present and influenced my style today. 
Everyone who knows me knows that I either make my own clothes or thrift them! 75% of the conversations I have with people are about what I am wearing and them asking me where I got it or if I made it. It's always seemed crazy to me that people don't consider thrifting to get good deals and find unique pieces and I think sometimes people don't thrift because they don't think the clothes would look good on them (yes, people have already worn them but that's half the fun of it). Part of the art in thrifting is knowing what you like, understanding your style, and using your imagination. 
When you thrift you don't have models showing you how to style a trend, you have to use your imagination to come up with how to style a piece and that is why I love it! The pieces I find at the thrift store don't become a pieces from a brand but become a piece that is 100% ME, they become part of my brand and style and not the name they carry on their tag....I make them my own. 
When it comes to thrifting there are sooooo many options today! A lot of the time you can easily narrow your thrifting options by your style preferences. For myself personally, I LOVE Goodwill, Family Thrift Center, and other small thrift stores because I know they will always have unique pieces and often times find vintage pieces or brands. However, when I want pieces that are a well known brand or a brand with amazing quality that I could never afford to buy at full price, I always love checking out Thred Up!
I love perusing Thred Up because I don't have to sort through racks of clothes but can easily narrow my search by brand, style, size, color, you name it and it makes thrifting so much easiar on me (plus you can do it in your pajamas...WIN)! Thred Up was lovely enough to reach out and let me choose some pieces from their vast collection and this fun and summery leaf skirt was one of the pieces that I chose. I have been wanting a leaf print skirt and knew this one would be perfect as soon as I saw it and I loved styling it with all of my other latest thrift finds including this lovely eyelet top, strappy eyelet cork kitten heels, and vintage straw bag. 
I've never been one to live by the "status quo" or how the world "says" I should be, dress, act, or shop which is probably why I LOVE thrifting all the more! Plus, it's also fun to tell someone "Oh, I got it at the thrift store!" and them to just look at you shocked:) 

Are you a fan or thrifting?
Have you ever shopped at ThredUp?


Movie Night: My Favorite Sports Films

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Fun fact about me I love sports movies! Okay, so I don't love them more than "chick flicks" and period dramas, but I still love watching them and have seen so many in the course of my life:) I think my love for sports movies started when I was young and we would always watch movies as a family, most often than not the movies we would watch would have something to do with sports. However, that's not all that much of a surprise considering my dad is a coach, and my brother and sister were and still are involved in sports, so I basically grew up in a sports family as a "coaches kid" (which honestly was awesome). 
With all of that I have quite the list of my favorite sports movies! I love the storyline of sports movies because they generally make you feel something, often intensely whether it is overcoming the odds, healing after an injury, staying positive, being the pride of town, or inspiring a community to come together they teach us lessons, make us cry, and give us a reason to love sports (at least that has been my experience):

  • The Rookie - This movie was one of the first sports movies I remember watching and still to this day remains one of my favorites and definitely one of my favorite movies in general (plus Dennis Quaid always reminds me of my dad). Fun Fact: Parts of this movie were actually filmed in both of my parents home towns (which are 15 minutes apart) so I have literally been to the places scenes from this movie happened...sooo cool! Okay, but seriously I LOVE the story line of this movie in following your dreams, never letting others tell you that you cannot do something, inspiring others, and all around bringing people together for the love of baseball. 
  • My All American - Ugh.....LOVE this movie! This movie will make you cry like a baby but it is soooooo good! There are so many reasons to love this movie, it is set in the 60's, it is a true story, the actors are amazing, and the story is inspiring! 
  • We Are Marshall - This movie starts out with a dreadful tragedy when the entire football team is killed in a plane crash....thus the movie focuses on the School, athlete's, and town's ability to rebuild the football program along with the new coach (played by Matthew Mconehe)
  • Remember the Titans - This is a classic! I have probably seen this movie close to five times and it's still so good! The movie starts out with the two high schools integrating their students and the players of both football teams have to deal with the changes as well as learn to accept each other and play as a team. This movie deals with prejudice, race, learning to accept and love others, and form bonds of not only teammates but brothers. 
  • League of Our Own - I love this movie because it is not your typical sports movie. This story focuses on an all women professional baseball team that was started during WWII as all the men leave for war. Tom Hanks plays their coach and it is quite entertaining to watch him try and rally a group of women to win games while inspiring everyone at home. 
  • Angels In The Outfield - Definitely the perfect family night sports movie! When a boy in foster care prays for a chance to have a family if the California Angels win the pennant, angels are assigned to make that possible.
  • Field of Dreams - The classic quote "If you build, he they will come" originated in this movie as a farmer hears voices talking in the cornfield one night. Even though everyone thinks he is crazy he builds a baseball field in his backyard, after which the ghosts of some of the greatest baseball players start emerging from the cornfield and start to play ball.
  • Rudy - Love this movie because it reminds me that our dreams are never to big and that they can always come true! Rudy doesn't want the life of everyone else, stuck in his town, working in the steal mill. He eventually gets into his dream college and works harder than any football player to reach his dreams as everyone around him takes notice and is inspired. 
  • Facing The Giants - This movie is an inspiring story of faith and overcoming giants both on and off the football field. Every scene leaves you inspired as a sports enthusiast and as a Christian as you watch the characters in the movie question God and rededicate their Faith. 
  • Blind Side - A truly great football movie, inspired by a true story, about the power of love and family to help you recognize your potential and passion for something bigger than yourself. 
  • Miracle - If you are a hockey fan than this movie is for you! Okay, so you don't actually have to like hockey to LOVE this movie as it is inspired by a true story of the 1980's men's hockey team. As America is at odds with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, the men's hockey team is set to face the Soviet men's hockey team for the Olympic Gold. What they accomplish is nothing short of a miracle and inspires patriotism throughout America. 
Do you like sports movies?
Have you ever seen any of these?


Up In The Lighthouse

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Top: Thrifted (vintage) | Skirt: Thrifted (vintage) | Shoes: Modcloth (Saltwater sandals) 
Sunglasses: Five Below | Bag: Thrifted | Belt: Vintage 

I have this thing about visiting historic places, museums, and unique sights/stops when traveling! It probably started when I was younger and we would stop at places on our trips that we had been learning about in our history classes at home:) However, that tradition has carried over into my adult life and I love all the places I have visited over the years so full of history, stories, and double as perfect picture spots (obviously).
When we were in Alabama recently we took a trip to Pensacola to visit the Naval aviation museum (such a cool place) and on the way out I asked if we could stop at this old lighthouse which is also a museum. I really wanted to take pictures there, but you couldn't go in unless you paid to go up in the lighthouse so my brother decided to go in with me to take pictures and climb the 177 stairs to the top of the lighthouse. The view was AMAZING and climbing the many steps and seeing the view gave me all kinds of "prince edward island" and "Road to Avonlea" vibes:)
Funny thing....I wasn't allowed to take my bag in with me (safety reasons or something of that sort) so I had my sister hand it to me over the fence so that I could have it as a prop for some of the pictures (sometimes you break the rules to get the
As for this outfit, I found this skirt at Goodwill a few weeks ago and it reminded me sooooo much of this look that Julia wore on Gal Meets Glam and I just HAD to get it because I knew that I could style it in a way inspired by her:) I think it's so funny that a lot of my favorite pieces this spring/summer have been orange/salmon (I am still working on sharing all of them) because I honestly don't like the color orange at all, but apparently when it comes to clothes I am drawn to it for some reason and love wearing it (like this post from last summer) :)

- Madison

Skincare On A Budget

Monday, July 16, 2018

If you know me, you know I LOVE skincare! However, if you know me you also know I don't like paying full price for things or spending loads of money on something just because of it's name. I like to find more affordable options for everything from fashion to skincare (usually)!
With that, I thought I would put together a curated list of my favorite products that I use on a weekly basis that won't break the bank:) I am all about following the Korean 10 step skincare method, but I am also not about to spend a fortune on products. Thus, I have created a good routine of products that follow the 10 step Korean skincare method while still being affordable and full of healthy ingredients for your skin (these products are my staples). The even better part is that most all of these products can be found at your local Target. A few of the products like Mario Badescu are only found at Ulta, Anthropologie or Urban Outfitters, but overall if you don't have access to Target or Ulta you can find most all of them on Amazon for affordable prices.

Affordable 10 Step Korean Skincare:
  1. Oil Cleanser (aka. your makeup remover) - This step not only removes all of your makeup, but oil cleansers actually cause your skin to produce LESS oil. To use apply to your dry face, massaging it into the skin to melt away makeup (or impurities if you are makeup free), then splash water onto your face to emulsify, rubbing it in more...then rinse off or remove with a makeup remover cloth/washcloth (my preferred method). I LOVE the Trader Joe's oil cleanser, but the Burt's Bee's is basically the same formula for a good price. 
  2. Water Based Cleanser (Gel/Foaming Face Wash) - This is what gives us the "double cleanse"! This step removes any access residue or impurities. I have been using this Cerave cleanser off and on for years after it was recommended by a dermatologist. 
  3. Toner - Toners help to add moisture back to your skin as well as reset our skins pH levels. This step can be done by either applying it to your face with your hands, spritzing, or using a cotton pad. I love using the Mario Badescu Aloe/Rose spray! It's not as over the top as some toners as it aids more with moisture and refresh, but it feel amazing on skin and is super affordable. 
  4. Essence - This is known as the heart of the Korean Skincare routine and this Essence from elf is very affordable, makes your skin feel amazing, has a light scent, and gives your skin a healthy glow. Essence is basically a toner/serum hybrid made for hydration, skin repair, and cell turnover. 
  5. Serum - This step is all about targeting specific problems (acne, wrinkles, dry skin, dullness, etc.) with concentrated ingredients! Simply tap them into your skin. I love to use the "Restore" Serum by Valjean Labs because it's a cheap dupe of the Glossier Purity serum (which I do love). 
  6. Eye Cream - Eye cream is not something I ever used to consider in my routine but I am so glad it is part of my skincare now. While there are probably cheaper options out there than the eye cream from Bliss, I personally love this one because I LOVE the philosophy and mission behind Bliss and I know it will last me awhile. 
  7. Moisturizer (or sunscreen at am) - Hydration is the KEY to getting healthy, dewy, and glowing skin so moisturizers are a definite must! I started using the "ex-glow-sion" moisturizer from Bliss and am already on my second container (that's how much I love it)! It smells so light, a bit like Lavender and makes you skin feel super moisturized and calm once I put it on. I typically use this at night before I go to bed and use a sunscreen (MISSHA's Sun Milk) in the mornings. 
  8. Exfoliator - Exfoliating isn't a "have to" (especially if you have more sensitive skin) but it is a key component of polished/clean skin. It is recommended to exfoliate twice a week. I absolutely love the St. Ive's apricot scrub! I have been using it for years and love how affordable it is and how great my skin feels when I use it (some stores even have their own brand of it like Target, and sell it for even cheaper than name brand). 
  9. Mask - Okay, so clay mask's aren't actually a step in Korean Skincare but I make them an active part of my routine at least once a week. I love to use clay masks to absorb and draw out impurities and oils.....definitely my first step when I am having a bad breakout. Ever since I discovered the Freeman "Detoxifying" clay mask it has been my favorite because it is gentle and you can actually see it working....not to mention it is a great price. 
  10. Sheet Mask - Sheet Masks are probably the backbone of Korean Skincare....that's kind of the whole reason I got started on this new skincare routine to begin with. The amazing part about them is that they provide your skin with maximum treatment properties and moisture that your skin absorbs one or twice a week. When it comes to sheet masks you really can't go wrong, but Leaders masks and Tonyholy masks are some of my favorites (Tip: check your local Ross or Marshalls for sheet masks because they always have packs of them). 
  11. EXTRA: Vitamin C Serum - This is kind of an extra step, but has definitely helped brighten my skin. You can use Vitamin C serum as your serum step, along with another serum, or use after a mask once a week. 
Have you used any of these products?
What is your go to skincare products on a budget?


Beyond The Beach

Friday, July 13, 2018

Swimsuit: Target | Skirt: Thrifted | Shoes: Modcloth (Saltwater Sandals) | 
Sunglasses: c/o Sunglass Warehouse | Bag: Thrifted (Vintage) | Hat: Forever21

I've always loved the beach! Whether it is the feeling of sand between my toes, the sound of waves crashing along the shorelines, collecting seashells, people watching, cooling down in the salty water, or simply camped out in a chair reading a book, it's always been one of my favorite parts about summer! With my love for the beach comes my love for "beach style" which often means simple looks inspired by summer, heat, and the ocean.
I have always loved planning my beach looks around the location, but even more often planning them around my swimsuit. With the beach being a huge part of my summers every year I have loved the challenge of creating outfits that incorporate my swimsuit as part of the entire look. Some might simply say that it is just a cover up look, but I always like the idea that I could take what I wear beyond the beach (like this post last summer)
A week ago we took a family trip to Gulf Shores/Orange Beach Alabama. Before we left I was at Target with my sister as we were both shopping for one more swimsuit to take on our trip. I searched for a good while trying to find a one piece (because all I have is two piece suits) that fit my style and modesty standards. After a good ten minutes I found this adorable green and white striped vintage inspired suit (that just so happened to be the LAST one in the store).
I have usually always preferred two piece swimsuits over one piece but this year I have really been liking one piece styles. I loved everything about this suit, especially the color and twist/ruching details in the front and knew it would be a fun & cute suit for the beach (plus it matches the beach) and would also look adorable with a linen skirt I happened to have.
It's amazing how all you have to do to utilize a swimsuit as a top is add a classy skirt (like this linen side button skirt), add a few accessories and you have a fun and simple beachy look! I added my Saltwater sandals, a fun vintage straw bag I thrifted and my go to boater hat.
I love how the look turned out! To be honest it kind of reminds me of Anne of Green Gables, or something fitting for the coasts of Prince Edward Island:) 

- Madison