Taking Draper James to France on July 4th

Retro Inspired Independence Day Shoot

It’s truly incredible how much our young country has been through after 241 years in existence. Much has impacted our current trajectory, and while most of it is our own doing, we would not be who we are without the support and loyalty of our allies. Through all of our growing pains the people and country of France have been there for us, from acknowledging our sovereignty and becoming a military ally in our fight for British independence, to gifting us our beautiful Lady Liberty over 100 years later. We would not be who were are if it were not for France.  I wanted to do a little something different than most blogger’s annual July 4th inspired outfit post, so I hope you enjoy this little French-inspired look on America’s birthday!

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Annual Birthday Wish List

My 28th birthday is less than a month from now. This birthday seems like a long time coming because last year I was in the middle of packing up to leave Germany and move to Nashville, so it almost seemed like I didn’t have one. On the flip side, (and this is the weird thing about being over 25), time goes by so fast, so in some ways I feel like my 2015 birthday was last month. This will only make sense to some of you — Enjoy being young and having time feel like it’s crawling by!

I have two reasons for blogging things like Birthday and Christmas wish lists every year… 1.) I’ll be curious 10 years from now to look back and see the sorts of things I wanted in 2016, and 2.) Sometimes I discover some interesting stuff and want to share with my readers that it exists! I frequently search ‘gift guides’ or ‘wish lists’ on Pinterest because I’m curious as to what people are asking for and giving these days and I doubt I’m the only Internet user that does that!

28th Birthday Wishlist

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Styling a Statement Blazer with Shabby Apple

A few months ago Shabby Apple asked if they could send me a piece from their Summer collection to review. Of course I was thrilled and chose the Jackson Jacket. The Jackson Jacket is a little more bold, pattern-wise, than I usually go for, but I wanted the little challenge of styling it in a completely different way than was portrayed on the model. This jacket instantly evokes visions of 1960s housewives in bouffant hair and an apron (which I love!), but versatility is the life of any well-trimmed wardrobe, and I wanted to see where this jacket would fit in my own style.

Below is the Jackson jacket on the Shabby Apple model:

Jackson Jacket Shabby Apple

You get what I mean about the retro housewife vibe, right? Very Betty Draper!

My vision for styling the Jackson jacket was 1.) Modern & 2.) Casual. This is what I came up with:

Shabby Apple Jackson Jacket

When styling a statement piece with a distinct vibe make sure the color palette lends to the style you want to create. I wanted to move away from 1960s, towards 2015 so I chose crisp white and deep blue, which compliment the jacket’s pattern.

Shabby Apple Jackson Jacket

Since this jacket has a lot going on (like the polka dots and the shoulder bow) I couldn’t introduce any new patterns into the mix. Let the polka dot madness shine!

Shabby Apple Jackson Jacket

When choosing accessories I stuck with one accent metal (rose gold) and implemented that from the simple and modern cross body, all the way down to the hardware on my wedge shoes.

Shabby Apple Jackson Jacket

I opted for two, very simple, classic pieces of jewelry by Loren Hope (c/o Rocksbox), who is also known for her clean, modern take on traditionalism. An arm cuff and a pair of studs in the same clear crystal stone added a little sparkle. I chose not to wear a necklace as the shoulder bow on the Jackson jacket is neck ornamentation enough. Anything more would be overwhelming to the outfit. Depending on the specifics of the statement jacket you are styling you may choose to wear a necklace, but opt out of a bracelet, because your jacket is sporting gorgeous ruffles around the wrist. See what I mean? It’s all about working with the jacket to show off it’s best assets.

Shabby Apple Jackson Jacket

There were definitely many elements about this jacket I loved, including the high quality fabric and stunning tailored cut. I also liked the comfortable arm length, which hit just above the elbow, making it acceptable for Spring or Summer wear despite the humid Nashville weather I’ve been experiencing!

I’m normally not a fan of mirror selfies in my outfit blog posts but I had no one around to help me with these so here you go! At least you get the idea of the whole look styled in person.

Shabby Apple Jackson jacket


Shop the Jackson jacket (on sale now!) and get an additional 20% off with code AUGUST.

So what did you think? Were these helpful tips for styling a statement jacket or blazer? Let me know your favorite ways to wear statement pieces and check out more of my favorite Shabby Apple pieces on Pinterest!

Follow Rachel @ MyDIY.life’s board Shabby Apple | Shades of Blue on Pinterest.

Jackson jacket c/o Shabby Apple. All opinions are my own.

5 Favorites: Lazy Summer Day Edition

I hope y’all aren’t getting tired of the ‘5 Favorites’ posts because I love writing them! There are legitimately so many things I discover and want to share with you that these posts might just starting popping up at least once a week! If you really dislike these type of posts let me know with a comment. And if you love them I’d like to know that too 😉

Today’s 5 Favorites I’ve discovered are perfect for lazy Summer days. I’ll explain after the images why I like each of these items and include links where you can grab your own!

5 Favorites For a Perfect Summer Day

ONE // The perfect Summer day wouldn’t be complete (for me anyway) without a glowing tan. Once I arrived in Nashville it became clear there was no way I was stepping foot into a tanning bed. I used to go tanning 2-3 times a week in Germany just to get warm, but in Tennessee you can start sweating doing literally nothing. I immediately started looking for fake bake solutions and landed on Jergen’s Instant Sun Light Bronze Tanning Mousse. I’ve used Jergen’s self tanner products on and off for about 7 years (as well as countless other brands of sunless self tanners), but this one blew my mind. It takes a LOT to impress me with a self tanner. The first time I used the product I was in a hurry and tried applying it without a tanning mitt (huge mistake — my hands turned blood orange!), but the second time I made sure to do the following and my tan turned out even more gorgeous than the real thing!

  1. Exfoliate well and pay attention to elbows, knees and ankles.
  2. Apply a thin coat of a light moisturizer (such as this one) to elbows, knees and ankles after toweling off.
  3. Use a tanning mitt to apply! I prefer this one. Make sure your skin is completely dry before applying the self tanner.
  4. After applying the self tanner let it dry on your skin 8-10 minutes. This is a great excuse to stand nude in front of the strongest fan in your house. Just a thought.

Follow those tips and let me know if you love this product as much as I do!

TWO // OPI ‘My Very First Knockwurst’ (shown left) and ‘Tickle My Francey’ (shown right) nail polishes. These are the Summer nudes you’ve been looking for! Click here to see examples of ‘My Very First Knockwurst’ on real nails. Click here to see examples of ‘Tickle My Francey’ on real nails. Search the nail polish names on Amazon, Beauty.com, or Ulta to purchase.

THREE // If Jesus were a Southerner this is what he would eat on cheat days. Southern Butter Pecan Gelato by Talenti is like every pecan pie and buttered biscuit your great grandmother ever made went to heaven and came back as this gelato. I’ve enjoyed Talenti gelato for about 3 years, but I had no idea they had so many flavors besides “Tahitian Vanilla Bean” and “German Chocolate Cake,” available at the Commissary on the military base in Germany!

FOUR // Now that you have your toes drying and ice cream in hand let’s look at a good book to read outside on your hammock or by the pool… I highly recommend Knockoff: A Novel by Lucy Sykes. It’s The Devil Wears Prada meets the September Issue. Need I say more?

FIVE // I couldn’t not include a fashion item on my Fave 5 list for Summer! Enter the classic wedge: Perfect for every female 15 – 55 and complimenting every Summer ensemble since their invention (I’m assuming by Cleopatra – they just seem so her – but officially recorded as being made popular by Ferragamo in the 1930s). Two weeks ago at TJMaxx I found the Safiah wedge sandal by Tommy Hilfiger. They’re amazingly comfortable and seem to run true to size. This Summer shoe staple comes in three colors for about $55 and are available for purchase here.

What are you Summer must-haves? Do they vary year to year or do you prefer tried and true favorites for relaxing on a lazy Summer day?

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