Striped Tank Dress

summer tank dress

 

In case you are wondering – No, I am never going to stop talking about vacation. I’ve got one more after this one! This was another look from our recent trip to the beach. I love a good tank dress. They are light, effortless and don’t make you sweat too much.

 

striped summer tank dress

 

This was especially perfect for the beach, but now that it is insanely hot, it would be great for just about anywhere. I got this one at the Loft outlet, but I really love this Everlane version. It comes in two colors. I don’t have it, but I can almost guarantee it is amazing because everything from Everlane is amazing. You could definitely throw a super lightweight cardigan over this to make it office appropriate (or layer a blouse underneath would be super cute too!).

 

blue and white tank dress

 

I added a tank underneath to layer but you wouldn’t have to. Why did I do it? Two reasons – I like to layer tanks. It gives it a little bit of a different feel. The second? I wouldn’t have to wear a strapless bra since the dress is a racerback. I despise strapless bras with all of my being.

 

When the temps drop a little bit (you know in 5 months … ), it would be super cute with a denim jacket and some loafers or mules. Just, you know, planning ahead. I am not to the point where I am wishing for fall yet, but last week it was in the high 90s all week with heat indexes of 104 – 106. It was rough.

 

striped tank dress

Dress: Loft Outlet (similar); Bag: Zara; Shoes: Target; Hat: Target (similar); Necklace: Target (similar)

 

On another note – I started something new only on Facebook last Friday, and I would love for you to join in. Every Friday I am having a “coffee talk” – I’ll post a question, I’ll give you my answer & then you can give me yours! I really want to have more conversations, so I think Facebook is a good place to do that. Last week it was about what drink you would order if we were actually having coffee face to face. Hopefully you will stop by, like the page and join in the conversation!

 

Hope you have a great day!

Favorite Summer Recipes

One of my favorite parts about summer is the food! I love going to the farmer’s market and getting fresh, locally grown produce. I am like a crazy person at the market. I buy bags full of food. At some point, Charlie has to tell me that we have enough food for the neighborhood and I have to stop. There are certain recipes that I only make during the summer (like my peach cobbler). So I make sure we have our summer favorites as often as possible while we can.

 

These are a few of my favorite summer recipes. Some of these are on the grill, and I leave that to Charlie to take care of.

 

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These Tuna Zucchini cakes are a favorite in our house. Technically you can just use canned tuna, but I generally get Charlie to grill a piece of fresh tuna to use for them. It makes them taste even better! I have also used leftover grilled salmon to make these, and that is good too.

 

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We eat this zucchini, squash and tomato gratin all the time in the summer. We probably eat it every other week. It is so easy and so delicious!

 

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This salmon and veggie recipe is super simple and also super good. Part of what makes it so good is there is so little clean up!

 

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If you like scallops, this pan seared scallop recipe is an absolute must try. I think it is probably my favorite recipe, and I am pretty sure it is Charlie’s too. We don’t just have this in the summer, but scallops are kind of expensive, so we don’t have this often. There is a fish truck that is at our farmer’s market, and I really like to get fresh fish from them, instead of from the store.

 

Easy-Grilled-Vegetables

 

I love grilled veggies. I could eat my weight in them. This recipe is really good, however I want to make a note here about it. The first time we made this, for some reason Charlie did the grocery shopping. And he thought he was supposed to get balsamic dressing instead of balsamic vinegar. And it was so good. I didn’t realize he had used the dressing, so when my parents made it, I couldn’t figure out why she kept saying it was just so strong. And then I talked to Charlie about what he did. Balsamic vinegar is really strong, so if you want something a little milder, go for the dressing.

 

What are some of your favorite summer recipes?

 

Don’t forget to enter the $100 Nordstrom gift card giveaway!

Tuesday Shoesday Week #160

It has been a little while since I have done a Tuesday Shoesday post! The Nordstrom sale is the perfect time to stock up on fall shoes and boots. There are so many great pairs that are on super sale.

 

I know it is like 9 million degrees, and it seems impossible to think about anything other than sandals. But, trust me when I say when the temps drop and you are rocking your new fall boots, you will thank me.

 

So these are some of my very favorites from the sale. This is the last of my Nordstrom sale posts, but you can check on the Facebook page and Twitter for more favorites.

 

tsweek160

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

 

I really love the pearl mules. They are like the summer version of my Zara pearl sandals (here). Maybe I need to add them to my closet.

 

And if you need a good pair of riding boots and you have the money, I strongly suggest you snag the Tory Burch riding boots. They are way marked down (I know they are still expensive) but they will last for years and years. When Charlie and I first started dating 10 years ago, I bought a pair of Coach riding boots – they most beautiful boots ever. My mom thought I was completely insane for spending that much on boots. Ever since, she has wished that she bought them and wants to steal them. I finally bought her a pair of Frye boots to insure mine would be safe. My boots are still in amazing condition, and I wear them all fall and winter. The moral of the story is buy good boots. It is worth the money.

 

Have you entered the Nordstrom giveaway? Visit this post and enter to win $100 e-gift card to shop the sale!

Thank You + Giveaway

tie shirt and pink skirt

 

This is really insane, but I started this blog SEVEN years ago. That seems crazy. It was right after Charlie and I got married. I was working at a job that had a lot of stress, and I just wanted a place that I could have fun & talk about fashion and other things. Who knew I’d still be doing it 7 years later.

 

The blogging world has changed so much from when I started. First of all, when I started not everyone had a blog. People were still like, “What the hell is a blog?!” And people didn’t start blogging to make money. They did it because there was some void in their life that wasn’t being filled. I recently have read a few posts on social media about people complaining because they started blogging 2 months ago and weren’t making any money. When I started, there weren’t professional bloggers. Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere was really the only one I knew of that was making a career out of it. She was one of my early blogging role models. She still really amazes me.

 

tie shirt and pink skirt 3

 

Anyway, as a thank you, I am doing a little giveaway. I have met so many amazing people through blogging, and I have had some really fun experiences. I have made some really amazing friendships that go way beyond the blog world, and I am so thankful for those. You can’t know how much your support and friendships mean to me. Every comment, email, Instagram like, Tweet… it means so much to me. So this is my way of saying thank you – whether you are a brand new reader, or have been here a while, thank you.

 

With that being said, there are a bunch of ways you can enter. But I wanted to tell you why you might want to do these things, besides just winning the giveaway. I generally don’t post the same things on my different social media channels, besides my blog posts, so you may want to follow along on all platforms!

 

Newsletter: If you haven’t heard, I started a new 1x month newsletter called The Monthly Edit. If you like reading the blog, I think you will like the newsletter. It is exclusive content only for subscribers (unless there is a sneak peek going on) – must haves, fashion, home, food, and I always have a freebie. I am really excited about the newsletter, and I think the August newsletter is going to be fantastic, if I do say so myself. When you sign up, you will also get 1x week recap of the week’s blog posts. You can sign up at the bottom of this post.

 

Instagram: Instagram is my favorite form of social media. I like pretty pictures and I am not ashamed to admit that. But I post more than just pictures from my blog. I like sharing more than that. My Instagram stories is a lot of cooking and my dogs. Sometimes I share what I am wearing that day, or weekend activities. But it is mostly food & dogs.

 

Facebook: I have no problem admitting that Facebook is where I struggle a little bit. I am not a Facebook-er in my personal life, so I do have a little bit of trouble with it. However, I am working on it! Besides sharing my posts, I share sale picks, interesting articles, etc. I am about to start some new things on Facebook, and I am excited! I want to use Facebook for more discussion, and I can’t wait to hear from you.

 

Twitter: This is me unfiltered. It is my random thoughts, complaints, etc. I read something one time along the lines of every other social media platform everything is perfect, but on Twitter the world is ending. It is kind of true. Other social media is kind of the highlight reel. Twitter is a little more … real. I also share favorite items from around the web, sales, articles I have liked, blog posts I have enjoyed. It is kind of a free for all on twitter.

 

You may notice that Snapchat isn’t on here. I don’t do Snapchat. I am just now trying to figure out Instagram stories!

 

As you probably know, the Nordstrom Sale started last week! So it was a good time for a Nordstrom giveaway for $100 e-gift card. You may be over the sale by now. I admit, it has been overkill this year. To be honest, I didn’t plan to do it because of the sale. I had already planned it, and then I realized it coincided with the sale. This isn’t sponsored by Nordstrom in any way. This is from me, to you. If I could give you all a gift, I would. But I can’t, so this is the best I can do for now!

 

And to give you some ideas about how you could spend the gift card, here are some of my top picks from the sale:

 

 

And now I want to hear from you – what are your favorite things about the blog? Are there things you want to see more of? I would love to hear from you. You can leave a comment here, send me an email, message me on social media.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway is for US residents only and will end on Sunday. Good luck!

Book Review: The Woman in Cabin 10

the woman in cabin 10

 

 

The Woman in Cabin 10 is one of the three books I read while we were on our vacation. (Read about the first one here). It was fitting, since it takes place at sea. It is another “If you like Gone Girl,” or “If you like Girl on a Train” book. This was definitely a winner. I couldn’t put it down.

 

The book starts with the main character Lo’s apartment being burglarized while she is at home. She then becomes extremely paranoid and jumpy. She stops sleeping and is afraid to be in her own apartment. She works for a travel magazine, and soon after the burlgary leaves for a press trip on an exclusive, luxury cruise ship with a very limited amount of cabins sailing the North Sea. Her first night aboard the ship, she meets a mysterious guest staying in the cabin next to hers, who then never appears at dinner. But in the middle of the night, Lo wakes to a large splash and sees blood on the door of the cabin next door. But when she alerts the crew, no blood is found and the cabin next to hers is empty. And no one knows about the mysterious guest Lo met. So it is up to Lo to solve the mystery and help the woman she knows existed.

 

When I was in the middle of reading this book, I was telling my husband that unreliable narrators make the best narrators in psychological thrillers. My two best examples are Gone Girl and Girl on a Train. And I think one thing that makes The Woman in Cabin 10 so good is because the narrator, Lo, is a somewhat unreliable narrator.

 

If you like psychological thrillers, this is definitely one to read! I highly recommend it!

Kitchen Must Haves

If you follow me on Instagram (@nikkihodum), you might notice I do a lot of cooking, especially in my stories. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Sunday afternoons are devoted to cooking (read more about my Meal Prepping here). I am not big on eating out a lot, and I like to make healthy meals at home. We are just not the “pick up fast food for dinner” kind of people, although Friday night is pizza night at our house.

 

Needless to say, I have a LOT of kitchen utensils, gadgets, accessories, etc. And of course I have several things I would love to buy as well. So today is a mixture of my kitchen must haves plus a few things I would really like to have in my kitchen. A lot of the stuff I have is Martha Stewart from Macy’s (from when we got married), and I really love her kitchen products!

 

kitchenessentials

 

Pot / Cutting Boards / Mixing Bowls / Olive Oil and Vinegar Set / Pasta Pot / Mixer / Muffin Pan

 

When we got married, I registered for two of the Martha Stewart enamel cast iron pots. I have a round one and a very large oval one. And they are both fantastic! They have held up really well, and the large oval one is really great for making big pots of soup.

 

I have a lot of cutting boards. I am super funny about food, especially raw meat. I don’t like to touch it, and I am super weird about obsessively cleaning after I have done anything with meat. I don’t actually use each cutting board for its purpose (like meat for the meat one), I just grab whatever is clean and available. But I do love that these are thin and easy to clean (I have an older set but it is super similar).

 

I can never have enough mixing bowls! I have these Martha Stewart ones (but mine are older and pastel colors), and I love them. There are several sizes, they all stack into each other, plus you can put them in the microwave and dish washer.

 

I use Olive Oil & Vinegar a lot. I use olive oil in some way during most of my cooking, and I always dress our salads with olive oil & red wine vinegar. So mine is always sitting out. We have a set of holders and I love that they look nice sitting out on the counters! Mine are clear, but these are super cute!

 

If you cook a lot of pasta like I do, this pot is a game changer. My mom got one, and then she got me one because she loved it so much. The top has holes in it so when you drain the water, you don’t have to worry about a colander or anything!

 

The KitchenAid mixer is one of my wishlist items. I have a mixer, but it isn’t pretty like these. I never registered for one because it was WAY too expensive. I would love to have one sitting out on my counter, but I don’t really have the counter space, anyway. But apparently you can get a pasta roller and cutter attachment for it! How cool is that?

 

Silicon muffin pans are also on my wish list. I have some of the mini ones, but I also want the regular size ones. I make little omelet bites for my breakfast every week, and if I don’t put them in little muffin liners, they get stuck. With the silicon ones, they come right out with very little mess.

 

So those are some of my kitchen essentials + 2 wishlist items. What are some of your essentials?

Embroidered White Dress

white embroidered dress 2

 

I am finally posting the first of my vacation outfits. I got this dress at J. Crew factory  (this was the dress that started the great shopping spree of Memorial Day). I love it for summer. The embroidery is so bright and cheerful. It give just enough color to take this LWD up a notch.

 

summer white dress

 

More importantly, IT HAS POCKETS. And you know, that is the most important thing. It was funny, the other day, I told someone I work with that I liked her dress. Her immediate response was, “Thanks, it has pockets.” It was so funny, because that it is always what I always say when I have a dress on with pockets. It makes a dress 100x better!

 

summer straw bag

 

I saw this really funny thing on Twitter the other day – I have no idea who said it and I don’t even remember exactly what it was, but basically someone (a woman, natch), said I’ll be buried in my favorite dress & someone will comment that it is cute, and from beyond the grave they will hear, “Iiiittttt hhhhaaaaasssss pppoooooccccckkkkkkeeeetttttssss” (like you know, a ghost voice). I thought it was hilarious, and sadly true.

 

little white dress

Dress: J. Crew Factory; Shoes: Target; Bag: Zara

 

So the moral of the story is cute dress + pockets = purchase ASAP. What can I say, I am super good at math  :)

 

Have a great day!

The Best Peach Cobbler

peach cobbler

 

Summer means peaches, and peaches mean PEACH COBBLER. It is our very favorite summer dessert. I make it way too often, and I do not feel bad about it. You know, you can only get peaches at the farmer’s market for so long!

 

I actually posted this recipe a long time ago when I first started blogging. But I thought it was time for me to share it again. It was my grandmother’s recipe. I have absolutely no idea where it came from. However, I changed it by doubling the cobbler part. Charlie likes it to be more “bready.”

 

It is super easy, super delicious and only has 6 ingredients!

 

Peach Cobbler Recipe Card

 

Click here to get the PDF recipe card.

Of course, this is best warm with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

 

Also, do you like the recipe card? You can get more by signing up for the Monthly Edit. I do a freebie each month, like recipe cards. Just sign up for emails at the bottom to get the August Edit!

 

Hope you enjoy!

3 Ways to Wear: Denim Skirt

I don’t know about you but I am not a cut off jean shorts kind of girl. Of course, I am not an any kind of shorts kind of girl (except work out shorts), but I am just not a fan of the cut offs. Maybe it is because I am 30. Maybe it is because I hate my legs, I don’t know.

 

But if you aren’t one of those girls (or even if you are & you want a change of pace), you can still get a similar look without the cut offs. Enter the denim skirt. Now, that is a piece I can get behind. You can style it a million different ways and look a little bit more polished.

 

Here are 3 great ways to wear a denim skirt:

 

denimskirt_ brunch

Skirt / Top / Shoes / Necklace

Headed to brunch with your girlfriends? This is a really cute look that is also super easy! Denim skirts pretty much work with everything, so throw on a dressier top and heels, and you are ready to go!

 

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Skirt / Tee / Shoes / Hat

A denim skirt also works for running errands on the weekend. When paired with a tee and sneakers, it creates a perfect casual look so you can knock out your to do list.

 

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Skirt / Blazer / Tee / Shoes

Obviously, this would be more for a casual Friday or if you are lucky enough to work in a casual work environment. A blazer work great with a denim skirt, and makes it a little more office appropriate.

 

Even better? A denim skirt works in any season. It looks great with tights and boots in the winter.

 

So how do you wear denim skirts?

June Fitness Recap + Why I Work Out

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I wish I could say that June was much better on the fitness front than May, but it wasn’t. I talked about my knee issues in May – my kneecap isn’t tracking correctly, and it is causing me a lot of discomfort. I’ve been doing exercising the physical therapist gave me but I was still having problems. So I ended up getting a different brace, but it still isn’t right.

 

Oddly enough, I had zero pain while we were on vacation. The only thing I can figure is that there weren’t any stairs on vacation, and stairs really bother me. Other than that, I don’t know.

 

If things aren’t better soon, I am going to get back with the physical therapist and see what else needs to be done. Not being able to work out is making me crazy. So since I can’t talk about my month’s fitness (since there wasn’t any), today I am talking about why I work out, and it has nothing to do with the scale.

 

When I was in high school, all I really cared about was being thin. I didn’t care about being strong or healthy. I just wanted to be thin. As I have gotten older, it has stopped being about being thin. I don’t even weight myself. The only time I see my weight is when I go to the doctor. It doesn’t really matter to me what the scale says. As long as my clothes fit, I am OK.

 

Health

Health is the main reason I work out. And I don’t just mean physical health. Exercise is so essential to my mental health. I have dealt with depression and anxiety since my freshman year of college, and even before then. I (very very slowly) stopped taking my medications about a year and a half ago (it took me a year and a half to get off of them, and did so with my doctor’s approval and assistance so please do not try it yourself). The more that I exercise, the better I feel mentally. You know, endorphins make you happy, and happy people just don’t kill their husbands (name that movie!). But seriously, it is especially important for my anxiety.

 

Stress

When I get stressed, the best way for me to de-stress is working out, especially running. The more I run, the more I am able to de-stress. I have tried to convince Charlie that his stress would be a little more manageable if he would work out (regularly), but I have yet to convince him.

 

Clearing My Head

This may sound weird, but I have my best ideas when I am exercising. I think it is because I can just focus on whatever it is without any other distractions. I am able to think so much more clearly when I am on a run, or even doing my BBG workouts.

 

Sleep 

I sleep so much better when I am working out. Maybe it is because I am so exhausted from the workouts, but I sleep so well!

 

So there are 4 reasons working out is so important to me that have nothing to do with the scale. Hopefully, my knee will get better soon so I can get back to it!

 

Why do you work out?