Tuesday, June 30, 2015

My DIY - July Fourth Nail Art

I'm not sure if nail art is still on trend, but I still like it! And, I like to dabble in it. But I'm not very good. They say practice makes perfect, but I don't have a whole of time on my hands....pun intended! So I drew some inspiration from Pinterest and decided to give a couple of cute nail art styles a try. 

Here is what I used:

For the first round, I used OPI Red, Essie Blanc, Essie Butler Please, and Revlon Night and Degas. I painted the majority of my nails red, using my ring and thumb as my accent nails. Those, as you can see, I painted with Blanc. I used the Revlon Night and Degas to create the stripes and totally went free hand. If you want a more professional look, tape off the stripes and paint. Just like you would a wall. I dotted the white accent nails with Butler Please and OPI Red. And that's it. Super simple and kind of cute, no?

For the second round, the only color I didn't use was the Revlon polish. But, I added Nicole by OPI  Rainbow in the S-Kylie. (I think this might have been from the Kardashian Collection.) I randomly polished nails in the red, white and blue polish, and went back over them with the glitter. I love how it gave them a little firecracker look! Or sparklers. I love those things!

 And last year, I did this cute design. A little here and a little there. A fun pattern that was totally whimsical!

My fun Fourth of July nail art! http://akstylemyway.blogspot.com/

With the fourth fastly approaching, would you give these nail art designs a try? If you have already, please share! I love to get inspiration from others!

Here's to the old Red, White, and Blue!

Monday, June 29, 2015

A Little White Dress

 Dress: Tulip (borrowed); Sandals: Kate Spade (gift); Clutch: My Mom's (similar);
Bracelets: J.Crew (1/2 similar); Earcuff: Baublebar (similar); Shades: Prada (similar)
I am so excited to be hosting a styling event with Tulip next month!! Their pieces for summer are so on trend! You can find something for work and play which I think is something that all of us want in our closet. I'm really into play right now, but I do love a good work piece. And when I say work, it doesn't have to be for the office. A work horse piece, like this little white dress from Tulip, is a great closet addition!

The LWD is a great alternative during the summer. You can dress it up for a night out or throw on flats for an afternoon of play. However, it transitions easily to fall. Just add ankle boots and a moto jacket. So many ways to style! I think this is a great night out look. Add playful heels and loads of fun jewels and you are out the door!



It's Monday and a short week! I can't believe the Fourth is right around the corner. I have some fun things for the holiday coming your way so stick around! It's going to be a celebration!!

Love the dress? Shop it here or head into the store on the Plaza! You won't walk out empty handed! More fun looks to come!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Cocktail Confessions - White Chocolate Vanilla Cocktail

The other day my mom and I were thinking about desserts. I love desserts, a sweet tooth that I wish weren't so sweet, and I'm always thinking ahead to the end of the meal. And chocolate! I can't get enough chocolate and in any form. I love milk chocolate. Chocolate milk. Coco Krispies instead of dinner. Iced mochas. And then I started thinking about a liquid dessert. Hot chocolate. Milkshakes. Frosty's. Instead of eating a dessert at the end of the meal, why not drink it?  

A white chocolate vanilla cocktail is what I consider dessert in a glass. Here's what you need!

White Chocolate Liquor such as Godiva, Vanilla Vodka, and a block of chocolate

Fill a small tumbler with one jigger of white chocolate liquor and vanilla vodka. 



And before serving, use a small rasp and shave a little chocolate over the cocktail. So pretty! 

Your dessert in a glass!

Seriously, this drink is so good. It could honestly replace an actual dessert. And my mom and I agree, you have to be super careful with this one! It could definitely sneak up on you!


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

My DIY - Aluminum Rolling Cart

  So my elegant chair is still sitting in my parents foyer, but we have all the materials needed to begin re-upholstering it. It's just taking the plunge. I think my mom and I are nervous as hell to get started. Maybe we will be calling the professionals....

In the meantime, I'm excited to introduce you all to my newest estate find. My vintage 1950s aluminum rolling cart! Ain't she a beaut!?! There is a little rust here and there, but I'm going to get that all taken care of with a little light scrubbing. And, it needs a lot of cleaning. But I see so much potential!

Here's what I'm thinking. I'm going to paint the cart red! That's right, glossy red! And instead of leaving the legs and arm silver, I'm going to paint them glossy black. I need to replace the casters, it's in need of new ones, and I'm going to remove the plug-in. I love that it came with one! Nothing like keeping the appetizers warm during your dinner party! 


As Joel and I analyzed the cart, we've decided that it would be best to try and remove the legs and paint them first. I can't remove the handle, or the legs from the top shelf, but I can always cover the shelf while painting. Then I will move on to the shelves. I think it's going to look so sleek and chic when I'm done. 

Here are some of the materials I think I'm going to need. Fine steel wool to try and remove some of the rust and flaking paint. Clorox wipes to simply clean the whole thing. And of course paint! I'm going the spray paint route this time. I think it will cover better. If I went with a paint brush, I'm thinking you will see all the brush marks that it will leave behind. 

Lastly, I want to try and add a back to the cart. What do you think of a mirrored back? This way, you can display really pretty pieces that will reflect off the back of the cart. Now, it's time to figure out how to make that happen. I'm going to rely on my dad for that one!

I can't wait to get started on this one! Join me on the journey! I am loving this vintage recycling/upcycling! I think I need to find another estate sale and soon!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Navy, Yellow, and Polka Dots

Sweater: Loft (similar); Top: J.Crew (fun option); Jeans: Target; Sandals: Camper (cute option);
Bracelets: J.Crew/Gift/David Yurman (gift); Ring: Silpada (cute option); Shades: Karen Walker via Gilt
I headed to a long overdue dentist appointment last week so it was only appropriate to wear white, right? I had been waiting to wear my new white jeans, and because any doctors office is always freezing, I thought jeans were the way to go. (Also, I had all intentions of heading to the grocery store afterward, but that errand never happened.) The top is sleeveless so it was perfect for non air conditioned places. And I always bring a cardigan or jacket because I simply freeze! 

Remember my white jeans Wednesday Wants post and the Gap jeans I had decided to purchase? Well I did and got them for $12!!! They arrived and didn't really fit the way I wanted them to, but for $12, I was willing to over look the ill-fit. I wore them once and couldn't wait to get home and get them off! It was horrible! The waist gap was huge, they had stretched out through the hips to the point I was constantly pulling them up, and they never stretched out in the legs. I was miserable. While in Target a week later, I decided to just give theirs a try. It was love at first fitting! They have everything I was looking for in a white jean, and after one wearing, they were still in perfect shape!


The Top: Before and After



It's Monday again! I don't know how that keeps happening! Last week flew by and the weekend went even faster. I'm excited for the week ahead! Lots on the horizon and can't wait to share.

Happy Monday, Fashionista's!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Friday Beauty - High Heels and a New Lip Color

 Dress: Target (similar); Belt: Ann Taylor (similar); Booties: Ann Taylor (similar); 
Handbag: Kooba (similar); Necklace: The Zoe Collective; 
Bracelets: Jessica Simpson/Fossel/(similar)Gift;
Shades: Prada (gift/similar); Lip Color: Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain in Lovesick

I know that in my Friday Beauty posts I normally bring you some kind of product I'm currently using or interested in trying. But today, I'm talking about what makes me feel beauty and that is wearing high heels! I've worn heels for years and I kind of took them for granted. They were just another pair of shoes I wore to work, out to dinner, for a girls night, or shopping. Now, I wear them on special occasions or days I know I'm not going to the zoo, the farmstead, or anywhere that McKinley and I might go. And I miss wearing them. I feel like I'm neglecting my heel collection!

Over the past week, I've had the opportunity to wear heels twice and I've loved it. And in today's look, I felt especially beautiful. Maybe it was the awesome day I had with my son, the cute sundress, or the fact that I wore heels. It was a combination that just worked. I know it will sound completely superficial, but when I put on a pair of heels, I just feel different. More confident. More womanly. More beautiful.



Dress: Target (similar); Belt: Ann Taylor (similar); Booties: Ann Taylor (similar); 
Handbag: Kooba (similar); Necklace: The Zoe Collective; 
Bracelets: Jessica Simpson/Fossel/(similar)Gift;
Shades: Prada (gift/similar); Lip Color: Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain in Lovesick

A cute dress doesn't hurt either. And I can't talk about Friday Beauty without talking about my new Revlon lip color. I love it! I purchased the Colorburst Matte Balm in Striking a while back and really like it. So much that I decided to try another. Recently, I purchased the Colorbust Balm Stain in Lovesick. I love how it feels when you first apply. It goes on smooth and doesn't leave a sticky residue. And it actually stains the lip. I don't need to reapply often. It leave my lips a slight pinky hue and still feels as smooth as when I applied. Definitely worth the purchase!

What makes you feel beautiful? Is it a new pair of shoes? A fun lip color? Or something super easy like rolling the windows down and just letting your hair blow in the breeze? That's a good one too! That carefree summer feeling makes just about anyone feel beautiful, no?

Happy Friday, Beauties!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Cocktail Confessions: Watermelon Splash

 Summer is full swing here in the Midwest and humidity has totally set in. (If you have naturally curly hair like myself, you are already in a frizz rage!) So when it's this hot out, and your tired of drinking gallons of water, it's time to give your taste buds something on the refreshing side!

Yesterday I made a Watermelon Splash! So good!! I could drink this all summer, and as I confessed last week, I'm not a big liquor girl. Here's what you're going to need!

Rum, Watermelon Vodka, Grenadine, Club Soda, Lime, and Mint

Since my glasses were the thinnest glass I've ever seen, and my mom worried they would break, I muddled the lime and mint in a mason jar. If you aren't using fragile glass, by all means muddle the ingredients in the ones you're using.

Gorgeous, no?

Now that you have the mint and lime muddled, start pouring the liquor. Pour one jigger of rum and one jigger of watermelon vodka into the glass.


 Add a splash of grenadine for color.

Pour about 3/4 of the glass full of Club Soda. And make sure you use plenty of ice! Repeat in the second glass.

Add a few sprigs of mint for garnish. It's so pretty! I love the slight pink color. Just like a watermelon!

After a couple of sips of this taste little cocktail, my mom and I decided to make a couple of tweaks for the next one. And there will be a next one. I'm pretty sure this is a beach worthy cocktail! Instead of one jigger of watermelon vodka, we need to add one and a half. Instead of the club soda, we will use either seltzer water or a sparkling water. And to make it extra pretty, we are going to freeze cubed watermelon and use that instead of ice. This way it won't get watered down and you can eat the infused fruit once the drink is gone! 

What do you think of the Watermelon Splash? Something you might make this weekend? It's supposed to be a hot one and this little cocktail is incredibly effervescent. Perfect for summer!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wednesday Wants - The Gladiator Sandal

I am in search of the perfect Gladiator sandal and apparently, I'm pretty picky when it comes to the right style! It needs to be brown. I don't think I want the kind that laces all the way up my leg, unless I try it on and love it. I'm thinking I want it more ankle length but with laces up the foot to the ankle. But I also love the look of a simple leather criss-cross style with a little detail. Sounds kind of specific, huh?

Turns out, there are five that fit my requirements, but not sure they are in stores. I kind of need them now. I have a dress I'm dying to style them with, so I need to be able purchase and bring home. It's no secret that I'm in love with the BOHO look that's currently on trend, and I just picked up a darling white lace dress from Tulip that I think needs this style sandal to achieve the look I'm going for. Let's hope I can find them soon!

Here are my five picks! I'm loving the pink in the center and the Rachel Zoe nude flat. Check them out!

I also love these and these for a heeled option! So many shoes so little time! 

Happy Wednesday!!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

My DIY - The Elegant Chair Journey Continues

As of last week, I had sanded the whole chair in hopes of removing any protectant coat that existed and to get the sheen off the whole chair. I also wanted to try and remove a little of the paint but not take it down to the bare wood. After everything was sanded, I ran tack cloth over the whole chair to remove any dust particles and other remnants from the dusting. Now it's time to start removing all staples and tacks from the chair. This took two days!!

I didn't have the appropriate tools for the job so I used a screwdriver and a pair of pliers. They worked, but I could have really used the correct tools. On a beautiful afternoon, I took the chair outside to our back patio and started prying staples loose with the screwdriver and pulling them out with the pliers as McKinley played in the garden. I pulled screws out for about an hour and a half, making sure to keep the fabric free of rips. You need to keep all pieces of the chair as you remove them. They will be your template when re-upholstering later. I even took pictures during every step so I could reference them as well. Eventually, McKinley grew weary of my work. I decided to call it quits for the day. In that time, I had removed the entire bottom of the chairs upholstery and all the staples and tacks. I felt good about the progress.


This is the bottom of the chair. 

These are the original springs. Each one is wrapped in muslin and in perfect condition. (Even McKinley wanted to get in on the action!)

I then took the chair over to my parents house a couple of days later to continue the process. Turns out, my mom had all the right tools for me to use, but because the staples were so small, it didn't really work all that well. I really needed a smaller head screwdriver, but I continued to plug along. On that day, I pulled all the staples and tacks from the remainder of the chair, but I had the entire interior of the seat of staples to pull. I sweet talked my dad into assisting me and he spent the rest of the evening finishing the dirty work! My finger pads were raw and my hands were cramping. It's really hard work. And, I worked up a lather of sweat both days. It doesn't appear like hard work, but let me tell you, it is! 

So now I have a bare chair that's in need of color! Time to start painting. The chair has now made it's way back to my house and has taken up shop in my garage. After the first coat of paint, I was in love! And I got wise. No more crawling around on the garage floor trying to get all the angles of the chair. I decided to put it on a table. A wise move let me tell ya! After the second coat of paint, I realized it was definitely going to need a third. But, I decided not to apply the third coat to the entire chair. Just the arms and legs since they would be the ones visible post re-upholstery. And it's gorgeous! Glossy, jet black, and totally renewed! I am in love!

Now it's time to start the upholstery and I'm terrified! My mom is the expert here, so I'm going to lean on her for guidance! We have the fabric, this amazing floral print that's unbelievably stunning (in my personal opinion), and we have plenty to play around with. It was pretty cut up when we took it to the cutting counter so we decided to just buy what they had. It was 50% off that day, and I had an additional coupon, so we got a great deal! We just need to lay out the fabric and decide where we want to place it on the chair and cut for optimal floral placement. This could take a while!

I will keep you posted on how things are going and take pics along the way of the upholstery. Not sure how this will go, but so excited to get started. My husband had no idea that I was going to tackle the actual upholstery work myself. He figured I would have it sent off. And I might, if this thing gets too big for us. But, I'm hoping that I can finish what I've started. And I hope it looks as professional as possible. Fingers crossed!

In the meantime, I'm now the proud owner of a vintage aluminum rolling cart. It's bright yellow and in awesome shape. I'm thinking bar cart! Can't wait to get started on that too and share it all with you.

Are you guys working on anything this summer? If so, let's chat. I love hearing about your DIY projects!!