3 Ways to Wear: Graphic Tee

I love a good graphic tee. I think they are really fun, and when you use a little imagination, they are super versatile.My favorite graphic tees are from J. Crew. They are always so cute! Now, I am not a “wear a graphic tee all the time” kind of girl. but I do like to break them out every so often.

 

So today I’ve got 3 ways to wear a graphic tee that go way beyond a basic jeans + tee look.

 

graphictee_ blazer

Tee / Blazer / Pants / Shoes

I love a graphic tee under a blazer. This look is perfect for the office but also transitions well for after work drinks.

 

graphictee_ blouse

Tee / Blouse / Skirt / Shoes

Layering a graphic tee over a blouse is an unexpected way to dress it up a little. Add a mini skirt and loafers and you are ready to go.

 

graphictee_ skirt

Tee / Skirt / Necklace / Shoes

Why not pair a graphic tee with a dressy skirt for a fun twist? This look is perfect for a night out on the town!

 

How do you feel about graphic tees? Love them? Hate them? Not sure?

Lilly At The Beach

Lilly Pulitzer

 

Remember that time I went to the beach? Yeah, me too. Sadly, this is the last of my vacation looks. Perhaps I need to go back on vacation so I can have some more!

 

Lilly Pulitzer dress

 

If you go to the beach and don’t wear Lilly Pulitzer, did you even go to the beach? The answer is of course yes you did. But Lilly at the beach is just a little bit better.

 

This is the Lilly Pulitzer Essie dress, and it is my favorite Lilly dress! It is a t-shirt dress, so it is really comfortable, but also looks really cute so it is a win-win. I got it last year during the After Party sale. Technically… sort of. I did purchase it during the after party sale, but I didn’t realize this print wasn’t on sale (a different print, same cut was on sale). I didn’t realize it until after I had placed my order. I kept it anyway because I loved it so much!

 

Summer Lilly Dress

 

Let’s take a moment to discuss the After Party Sale – it will be coming up later this month. The August sale is my favorite because it is still warm enough to wear everything you purchased for a while. With the January sale, you have to wait to wear most of your purchases until it gets warm. Of course, they don’t announce the sale until a couple of days before, but it usually happens around the 20th or so of August. So get ready! If you like Lilly, you won’t want to miss this. I’ll probably be mentioning it on social media, but I won’t be doing a post about it. So I thought I would go ahead and share my tips for shopping the sale.

 

lilly dress

 

1. Be Prepared

When the sale starts, you will be put in a virtual waiting line. Only so many people can shop the sale at one time. A friend of mine shopped the sale for the first time in January (I coached her through the whole thing), and she was a little freaked out about the insanity. Go ahead and make an account if you don’t have one. Load your payment option, so you can check out quickly. I have already warned my husband the sale is coming up, and we may just have to eat beans for a while :)

 

2. Shop early and often

Things will sell out FAST, like sometimes minutes fast. Just because you put it in your cart doesn’t mean it is yours. If it sells out before you make a purchase, it will be gone. Get the things you really want, check out, and then get back in line. Also, shop often because they add new stuff throughout the sale.

 

3. Don’t get mad

The site will go down. Things will get insane. People will become irate on social media. If you know these things beforehand, it makes it a little easier to handle. But it is a little fun reading the insanity on Twitter. It is like crazy Black Friday, but luckily it is online so no one will die in a stampede. The first 8 hours or so are the most intense. Just be patient, wait in the line, and you will get through. In January, I waited in the virtual line for I think like 2 hours. I just left it up while I worked. But DO NOT HIT REFRESH. It will send you to the back of the line. I repeat – DO NOT HIT REFRESH.

 

4. When in doubt, buy it 

If you aren’t sure, but you think you might want it, BUY IT. Lilly goes on sale 2 times a year – January and August After Parties. And that is it. Plus whatever it is probably won’t be there in 20 minutes while you think about it, so just pull the trigger.

 

Lilly Pulitzer for Summer

Dress: Lilly Pulitzer (same dress different print); Shoes: Target; Bag: Zara (on crazy sale!)

 

My last tip is – pay attention to what is on sale. Just because 1 dress in 1 print is on sale, doesn’t mean all of the prints are on sale. The good news is that if you buy something not on sale, you can return it. (After party sales are final sale).

 

I have one suggestion for things to buy during the sale. Of course, you don’t know what will be on sale until the actual sale, but they generally have at least a few of the Elsa tops on sale. I love them. I have bought 3 during the sales and they are the best! I highly recommend them.

 

So that’s all! Are you planning on shopping the sale? Or have you ever shopped the sale before?

How To: Paint Your Front Door

howtopaintyourfrontdoor

 

Another Hodum Fixer Upper project has been marked off the list! A while back, I talked about how I wanted to paint our front door a bright, fun color. It was black and boring, and I felt like it made the front of our house that much darker (we have a lot of trees anyway). And we finally did it! If you watched my Instagram stories (@nikkihodum) a few weeks ago, you might have seen part of this 2 weekend long project.

 

We painted the inside and the outside of the door. The outside I instantly loved, but the inside did take some getting used to. I like white walls for everything, so painting the inside of the door was a little scary. But I also wanted to brighten up the room and make it a little more fun!

 

This was my inspiration for painting the inside:

2415a7d8b0fadddfeb73e213c50e1c0b

The picture is linked to this website, but I don’t see the image anywhere…

 

Here is the before of the outside:

front door outside before

Side note – it is really hard to take pictures with the glass door.

 

And here is the before of the inside:

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

 

Our front door was in terrible shape on the outside – the surface was bubbled and rough. So we ended up having to strip the whole thing. This is what we did on weekend one.

 

painting your front door

 

We tried used a paint stripper, but it did nothing.

 

stripped front door

 

So we ended up having to use an angle grinder with a wire brush wheel to get all of the paint off.

 

front door paint

 

The paint I used was called Blue Macaroon from Sherwin Williams from Lowe’s in a satin finish. I have a rug in my entry hall that is navy and teal, and I wanted something that would be a few shades lighter than the teal in the rug. It is bright enough that it makes an impact from the outside, but light enough that I am not totally overwhelmed on the inside. It also ties nicely into our living room.

 

Weekend Two was all about the painting. I used this tutorial from Sherwin Williams that shows you what to paint first. I don’t know if it really makes a difference, but I followed it because I didn’t want to have to do it again! I did 2 coats on the outside, but needed 3 coats on the inside. For some reason the white paint kept showing through.

 

So here is the after of the outside:

Painted front door after

 

And here is the after of the inside:

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

 

During this project Charlie said something about the fact that if we lived in this house for a while, this probably wouldn’t be the last time we painted the front door. In the middle of painting he said, “Hey, what about navy?” I wanted to kill him. But for now I am really pleased and excited about the door! He really likes it too.

 

It really was a super easy and inexpensive project. The paint was about $30 for a gallon (and we only used about a quarter of it). The most expensive thing was that we had to replace the hardware. The lovely people before us apparently are the ones who painted the front door black (we found olive green underneath), and they just painted all over the hardware. I think we spent about $100 on the new hardware (which I don’t love, but we were limited in what we could get without Charlie having to drill new holes and it just wasn’t worth it to me). So if you don’t have to strip the door and don’t have to buy new hardware, you could do this for under $50 and most likely in one weekend.

 

Do you have a colorful front door? Or are you thinking about trying it?

Mixing High and Low Fashion

mixinghightandlow5

As Blair Waldorf once said, “Fashion is the most powerful form of art there is. It’s movement, design, and architecture shows the world who we are and who we’d like to be.” And I couldn’t agree more. Personal style is an art form.  Sure, anyone can put on head to toe Chanel and look amazing. But the art really comes in when you start exploring your own personal style, and mixing the higher and lower end fashion pieces.

 

It is my personal belief that really good, unique styling happens when you can effortlessly (or seemingly effortlessly) marry the high end with the lower end. If you can mix Zara, J. Crew and Tory Burch, you are really showing your personal style.

 

mixinghightandlow3

 

With this outfit, I am wearing a super old Loft blouse, a Who What Wear x Target skirt, a Kate Spade bag and Vince sandals, which is definitely a mixture of price points. There are some tips I do like to keep in mind when mixing high and low.

 

Keep quality in mind with the lower end pieces

You don’t want your outfit to look cheap because your dress from Target is pilling all over the place. Quality is key, especially for the less expensive pieces. My favorite places for less expensive pieces are Target and Zara. I find the quality for both are always really good.

 

mixinghightandlow4

 

Nice shoes and a nice handbag will take you places

If you are splurging, splurge on the shoes and the handbags (read more here). If you have a nice handbag and shoes, the rest of your outfit is instantly going to be elevated. So that Target dress is going to look nicer with the Kate Spade shoes than it will the Zara shoes.

 

Pick a focal piece

When you are consciously mixing high and low (as opposed to just grabbing something & going), try picking one piece to be your higher end piece, then work around it. Maybe you want to wear a blazer that you splurged on. Have that be your focal point, then pair it with a t-shirt you bought at Target and a skirt you bought at Zara. Start with your main piece you want to highlight and then work around it.

 

Don’t go label crazy

Luckily, it isn’t in style (right now) to have brand labels EVERYWHERE. Even if it were, don’t have logos all over the place. It is one thing to have a Louis Vuitton bag, or a Tory Burch pair of shoes, but keep the obvious labels to one piece.

 

mixinghightandlow6

 

Experiment and Have fun

Try new things. Don’t over think it. Fashion and personal style should be FUN. The most important thing is being confident in your choice!

 

So tell me, how do you like to mix high and low?

July Fitness Recap

Jcrew New Balance Workout

Pants: J. Crew x New Balance; Shoes: New Balance; Tank: Under Armour

 

Another month has passed, and my fitness hasn’t progressed much. I talked about my knee problems in June (and in May). I am finally making some very small improvements, but it will be a while before I can get back to running and BBG.

 

For now, I am doing what I can, which isn’t a lot. I am doing light arms & abs workouts about 3 days a week and trying to walk a little. I am only walking about 0.25 mi right now just because I don’t want a set back, but I am happy to do that without pain. I hope to walk a little more this month!

 

So today I am sharing my easy arm workout. I have been doing 3 sets of 12 with 5lb weights (I use 5lb for BBG and it was all I had). I just bought 8 lb weights, so those will probably kill me. Maybe by the time my knee is in good shape, I will have great arms!

 

easyarmworkout

 

These are all exercises that use no knees at all which is what I have to do right now. I can’t wait add things like lunges and squats back in the mix!

 

I googled to make sure you could find these easily if you weren’t sure. The only thing I can’t find is the waitress pulls, which is something we used to to in my sculpt yoga class. You hold your arms out straight, fists up, at about a 45 degree angle. Then pull your arms in, elbows bent and pulled in tight to your side. Then straighten them out again and repeat.

 

How are your fitness goals going?