Shoptiques- under $50

I discovered Shoptiques a year ago and it quickly became one of my favorite online boutiques. It’s a collection of boutiques from all over the world, and you can shop the cutest items all in one place. I’m rounding up my latest picks under $50 below! WARNING: if you do not covet faux fur on the regular like me, this post isn’t for you.

Snakeskin Varsity Skirt– $42. This snakeskin skirt by Runway Paris is right on trend and a perfect day to night piece. Obsessed.

Creme Vest– $49. I’m a sucker for beige, creme color in the winter and this cozy vest by Entro is a great addition to your cold weather wardrobe.

Faux Fur Oversize-Jacket- $49. Faux fur jackets are everything right now and this one by Blue comes in white and a pinkish color and such a great price!

Leopard Pocket Tee– $24. I’m a huge fan of z supply and this tee is no exception, especially since it’s leopard. It’s made from a burnout jersey fabric and would look great paired with denim.

Life of the Party Lace Dress– $15. You saw that right…this dress is on sale for $15. LBD by Do & Be with lace sleeves and an open back. Great option for a holiday party or winter wedding.

Faux Fur Jacket– $49.99. i know this color and style jacket won’t be for everyone but I LOVE it. The brand is Lush.

Ivory Faux-Fur Vest– $35. Another great vest option, this version by easel runs large and has a long silhouette.

-LC

Christmas Eve Menu

Happy Holidays everyone! Christmas Eve is probably my favorite day of the year because I get to play host. Now, let’s be honest, it doesn’t happen often, but when it does I want to make sure I get it right! For my family, it’s an intimate affair, most of our family is still up in Maine and doesn’t travel for the holidays so it’s usually just my husband, son, and mom. We don’t do a traditional meal but several appetizers (quick) and always a fun cocktail. I’m sharing my favorite Christmas Eve recipes some of which I have found on pinterest over the years below!

Baked Brie with Raspberry

1 Egg

1 tbsp. Raspberry Seedless Jam

1 Box Crackers, I prefer Breton.

1 8 oz. Brie Cheese

1 Puff Pastry, I use Pepperidge Farm

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Thaw puff pastry at room temp. for 20 min. Unwrap pastry and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll pastry to roughly 11 by 11 inches. Remove skin from brie. Place in the center of the puff pastry. Add raspberry jam to the top of the brie. Bring corners of the brie to the center of the brie. Gather sides and twist. I’ve seen some really fancy looking designs but I’m not that fancy. Add egg and water to a small bowl and beat with fork. Brush pastry with egg wash. Bake for 35 minutes or until pastry is nicely browned. Remove from oven and let sit 10 minutes before serving.

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts (courtesy of Dishes & Dust Bunnies)

1 can whole water chestnuts, drained and rinsed

1 package of center cut bacon

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup ketchup

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine ketchup, brown sugar, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce in a mixing bowl. Make sure everything is combined well. Cut package of bacon in half so each strip is only half as long. Wrap each water chestnut with bacon and secure with a tooth pick and drop into the mixing bowl with sauce mix. Once finished wrapping the bacon and water chestnuts fold the sauce over them in mixing bowl. Place onto a foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle any remaining sauce over the water chestnuts. Cook for 35 minutes.

Cranberry Meatballs (courtesy of letsdishrecipes.com)

1 28 oz. package of frozen meatballs

1 14 oz. can whole berry cranberry sauce

1 12 oz. bottle of chili sauce

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

Place meatballs in a large microwave safe baking dish. Add 1/4 cup of water to the dish and cover with a paper towel. Microwave for 10 minutes. In a large saucepan combine the cranberry sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a simmer. Remove the meatballs from the microwave and add to the sauce, stirring to coat. Simmer for another 10 minutes.

Cheesy Spinach & Artichoke Dip

14 oz. can artichoke hearts, drained, finely chopped.

1 package of frozen spinach, thawed, drained

3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

3/4 cup mayo

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients until well blended. Spoon into baking dish. Bake 20 minutes or until heated through. Serve with veggies or Tostitos Scoops (my preference).

Pomegranate Martinis (courtesy of midwestliving.com)

1 cup ice cubes

1/3 cup pomegranate juice

1/3 cup vodka (I use Titos)

2 tbsp. orange liqueur

2 tsp. lime juice

Lime slices and or pomegranate seeds

In a cocktail shaker, combine ice cubes, juice, vodka, orange liqueur, and lime juice. Shake well to mix. Wet rim of glasses and dip rim in sugar. Strain into martini glasses. Garnish with lime and pomegranate seeds.

Cranberry Christmas Cake (courtesy of barefeetinthekitchen.com)

3 eggs (don’t skip this step)

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup butter softened

1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

12 oz. fresh cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar until slightly thickened and light in color, about 5-7 minutes. Add the butter and vanilla; mix two more minutes. Stir in flour. Add cranberries and stir to mix throughout. Spread in a buttered 9×13 pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes. let cool completely before cutting into slices.

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I do.

-LC

FabFitFun Summer Box

I feel like it has been so long since I wrote about my last FabFitFun box. I am a huge fan of these subscription boxes because who doesn’t love getting packages in the mail? The summer box didn’t disappoint (valued at $321.99-$367.99, depending on selection) and I’m breaking down what is in my box below.

Yumi Kim Makeup Train Case ($58) How did FabFitFun know I was in desperate need of a new makeup case? I have always loved the brand Yumi Kim for it’s vibrant prints and the purple floral print I received is just darling. It’s large enough to store your favorite beauty products and has two separate compartments with zipper closures.

Tarte Tarteist PRO glow highlight & contour palette ($45) This palette has six pigmented powers and cream shades, perfect to create that summer glow. You can also use the shades to fill in brows or as shimmery eyeshadows. Now all I need is a tutorial for how to use it as it didn’t come with instructions and I’m slightly challenged in the makeup department.

Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel ($45) One of the reasons I love FabFitFun so much is all of the different beauty products I get to try out. I haven’t been disappointed so far! This rinse-off cream has papaya, milk protein, and vitamin E which claim to leave your skin soft and radiant.

Vasanti Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvinator ($29) A girl can never have too many exfoliators to try. This formula has powerful papaya enzymes with aloe vera, coconut, and panthenol and can be used 3-5 times per week.

Jaboneria Marianella Hawaiian Black Lava Body Caviar ($48) Need I say more? This body treatment is made with natural ingredients including Hawaiian black lava sea salt, charcoal, coconut oil, green tea extract, coffee, and brown sugar. It smells absolutely devine and I can’t wait to pamper myself with this one!

Foreo Luna ($89) This small device is powered by Bluetooth technology and skin sensors to create a personalized profile, which is sent straight to their app. It reveals your skin age (I’m not sure I want to know), moisture, and provides a customized cleansing routine, 8,000 pulsations a minute for deep cleansing. It’s recommended to use for one minute every morning and evening.

COOLA Face Sport SPF 50 White Tea Moisturizer ($32) In my 30s I’ve definitely learned to be smarter about using sunscreen, especially for my face. This sunscreen doubles as a moisturizer. It is water resistant for 80 minutes and is made with 70% organic ingredients. Apply 15 minutes before sun exposure.

Pier 1 Imports Marble Ring Dish ($14.99) I have this beside my bathroom sink to put my rings on and with the marble design and gold trim it provides a bit of “glam”.

Every FabFitFun box raises awareness about a particular charity and this one is brought to you by the Wildlife Conservation Society. Plastic straws have a lot of impact on our ocean animals. If one mistakes a plastic straw for a meal it has a 50% chance of survival. Scary statistic, by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean (by weight) than fish. You can pledge to use less plastic at giveasip.us. They will send you a free, reuseable stainless steel straw to help!

 

Swanky Steer Traveling Boutique: The Story

 

Contributed by Erica Rector and Kristen Gault

If you have known them for an hour, a day, months, or many years, you know that these girls have a BIG love for clothes, shoes, jewelry, purses, and home decor.   Best friends for over 20 years, Erica and Kristen met each other in high school, stayed in touch through college, and then Kristen and Jeremy introduced Erica to her husband, Jeremy.  Both couples were married within a few years and have become like family. The boys are roping partners, traveling to team roping events on weekends, all across the southeast. The girls usually stay home with their children, shop, eat dinner, and enjoy lots of laughs. In July of 2017, Kristen was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent chemotherapy, a bilateral mastectomy, radiation, and is currently still on oral chemo to prevent reoccurrence.

Through this life changing event, both women saw God’s amazing grace and realized even more that each day is truly a gift.  When Kristen was so sick during chemo, Erica would come by with a shopping bag of clothes that she’d found, completely outfitting her friend, purse and all. She knew just what would make her friend squeal with excitement, while feeling so yucky.

 And that is love.

Erica can bring tons of sunshine to the gloomiest days and she’s been by Kristen’s side through every single step on this rocky road, bringing donuts to the nurses, and holding Kristen’s hand during the scariest times of her life.  That is what best friends do for each other.

Having the same likes and interests, too, makes it so easy to begin a fun adventure.

They say that a good friend knows all of your stories, but a best friend helps you write them.  And that describes their friendship perfectly. For many years, they have dreamed of starting a boutique, and that dream has come true in God’s perfect timing.

The Swanky Steer, offers southern grace with southwest grit.

The ladies have begun with local pop-ups and will travel with their cowboys soon. Eventually they may even be hauling a horse trailer behind them, to showcase the products.  This endeavor already, has been so much fun, and they’ve truly seen God’s handiwork the whole time.

The past year has been rocky during Kristen’s illness, but the seed that God has given them to plant and grow this business, brings such joy to them both. From meeting with a branding company and different vendors, to ordering products online, they both are “giddy”, especially when they each want to keep one of everything.

They can’t wait to help you find the perfect gift or outfit, share their story of God’s goodness, all while spreading joy in this life they are living.
Follow @swankysteer on IG and Facebook to purchase the cutest clothes, jewelry, and accessories!

Swim Trend: High-Waisted Bikini

 

Article originally written for The Clutch
One of the hottest trends this swimsuit season is the high-waisted bikini. I’ve had my eye on all of the cute Tularosa options for quite some time now. I was pretty skeptical to try this trend at first but I actually love it! It’s a flattering, fresh choice and slightly retro. There are so many cute patterns and coverage options out there right now and I’ve rounded out a few of my top picks below. Oh, and I will let you in on my one rule associated with trying on swimsuits. I never, ever, try on in-store with that awful florescent lighting, and opt to shop online instead!
Tularosa Nina Bikini Top • $80 • REVOLVE   Tularosa Thessy Bottom • $86 • REVOLVE (Pictured above) I saw this suit and knew I had to have it. I love the bright pink tassel details and sweet lilac and white stripes. This suit fit true to size for me although I had read that the Tularosa tops can run small. The coverage in the back is moderate. I’m seriously obsessed! Oh, and how cute is this beach bag from @southern_girl_chic?

This floral, off the shoulder number is so feminine. I love the knots on the shoulders.  It has removable cups in the top.and moderate coverage bottoms.
 
This nude embroidered option would look fabulous with a tan. The top has removable cups and I love the mesh detail on the bottoms.
If you have seen any of my previous posts you know that I am a big fan of gingham! This Express suit is a great (and reasonably priced) option.
Go ahead, start rocking this adorable swim trend now!

Crazy about Kimonos

Article originally written for The Clutch.
The kimono is one piece that every fashion girl has in her closet. There are so many different types, ways to style, and fabrics available that the kimono can instantly take your outfit to the next level. I tend to gravitate to the shorter styles as I am only 5’4, but love the longer options on taller gals.  I have a few different versions in my closet; one that I wear to the beach as a cover up and also a floral velvet option for winter. I’m currently on the hunt for the perfect summer kimono, a piece that can be worn with jeans, over a cute summer dress, or at the beach to channel my inner boho babe. Check my top kimono picks below and how I would style them.
Mystree Mix Printed Kimono • $56 • shoptiques.com This mixed print kimono top can be worn from day to night. I’m a jeans girl so I would pair this with a cute pair of denim skinnies and some wedge sandals.
 
Multi Pattern Kimono • $58 • South Moon Under This beauty is so colorful. It would be cute with a pair of denim shorts or even over a LBD.
 
Umgee USA Tribal Kimono • $36.99 • shoptiques.com How fun are the poms on this kimono? The peach print is so pretty and you can’t beat the price on this one!
  
Anthropologie Addie Cropped Kimono • $118 • Anthropologie My mom just picked up this shorter version and I’m totally going to raid her closet when she isn’t looking. It comes in two different colors, blue and black. The blue is my pick and love it paired with white denim.
WOVEN HEART Embroidered Kimono • $46 • Nordstrom I love this longer sheer option with embroidered flowers. I would pair this one with a pink cami and cropped jeans.
Riah Fashion Woven Flower Kimono-Vest-Cardigan • $45 • shoptiques.com This versatile kimono comes in Aqua, Black, Brown, Gray, Mint, and Pink! I love it over an all white look.
 
So what are you waiting for? Get shopping and rock the kimono trend now!

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Looking for the perfect Mother’s Day gift? I got you covered! My top six are sure to please mom on her special day.

Clockwise from top left:

Calming Lavender Essentials Set $54 Lavender is known for it’s calming and stress relieving properties. This set includes body oil, vegan soap, and bath salts.

Natural Beauty Suite $78 I saw this gift box idea in the latest Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Beautifully packaged, it includes a candle, facial toner, lip polish, dark chocolate, signature cotton bag, floral bundle, and signature box to use later. Check out the other gift ideas on the Simone Leblanc site, they are all divine!

Voluspa Maison Jardin Votive Set $44 You can’t go wrong with a Voluspa candle set, my favorite candle, hands down! This one features the brand’s signature collection.

Supernova Electric Aromatherapy Diffuser $69.99 If your mom isn’t already obsessed with diffusing essential oils now is the time to get her started! This one by Serene House is beautifully made and would look great in any room of the house.

Ring of Love – Mother $50 I love Uncommon Goods for unique gift ideas. This sterling silver and laboradite necklace is made in the US by an archaeologist turned fine artist.

Tia Infuser Water Bottle $28 This Anthropologie beauty comes in two different floral color options and is perfect for the mom always on the go!

 

Top 10 Dress picks under $100

Happy weekend ya’ll! There are so many adorable dresses out right now incorporating springs hottest trends that I wanted to share my top picks of the week. From florals to stripes, maxi length to short, these 10 styles below are sure to please. The best part? They are all under $100!

 

Spring Trend Alert: Ruffles

 

 

 

Article originally written for The Clutch.

From sleeves to hemlines I’m loving the ruffle trend this spring. Some may say ruffles aren’t for everyone but there are so many variations of this trend that it’s sure to please. I paired my Aqua wrap top from Bloomingdales (pictured) with a pair of skinny jeans and heels. This top brings a lot of “drama” with the sleeves and bow so I thought it best to keep it simple with the rest of my outfit. Unfortunately, the one I am wearing in the picture is no longer available but I’m sharing my top ruffle sleeve picks from www.ShopStyle.com below.

 

What’s your sign?

Zodiac necklaces are everywhere lately and they are just TOO cute. There are so many options at varying price ranges and style! They would make a great gift idea or just a treat for yourself. Nordstrom, Kris Nations, and Vanessa Mooney have great choices. I’ve noticed them on Etsy as well. My favorite is the constellation, like this Tai Cancer pendant below (top row, middle). It is currently available at South Moon Under.