STRAWBERRY STRIPES

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I think almost all of us get stuck in a rut of repeating the same weekend activities, whether that be going out to dinner, seeing a movie, or staying at home and binge-watching Netflix shows. While I enjoy these activities on occasion, my favorite weekends are ones where I try something new or go somewhere I’ve never been before.

I have been buying fresh food regularly at the weekly farmers market for a month or so and I’m honestly bummed when I have to buy produce at the supermarket now. Since my diet is very heavy in fruits and veggies, I want to have the best possible produce so I can look forward to my home-cooked meals. So when Luke suggested visiting a pick-your-own berry patch over the weekend, I was all for it. We chose to visit Mountain Meadows Farm because we had been buying their strawberries at the farmer’s market so we knew they were delicious. Upon arrival, we were greeted by a few dogs (making for the best first impression ever), briefed with a couple of rules, and sent out with our baskets in hand. The patch was neat and well-manicured which I imagine is not an easy task when the public has access, so I was very impressed. As for the strawberries, they have to be the best I’ve ever had – juicy and sweet, not tart, like store-bought ones tend to be. Not only did we have a unique adventure, but we also were able to support a local family farm at the same time. If it weren’t such a drive, we would go every weekend! What’s your favorite “outside the box” recreational activity that you’ve ever done?

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May 2016

I was wearing;

H&M Divided Red & White Striped Skater Dress; Similar Here

White Converse All-Stars: Exact Here

“Strawberry Stripes” Photographed by Luke Bowes

2017-04-03T00:30:04+00:00 May 26th, 2016|Fashion, Travel|0 Comments

ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK

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Last week, Luke brought up the topic of targeting a more specific audience, particularly featuring “affordable fashion” as a way to catch peoples’ interest. This has always been something that I have done naturally with Epicurean Emily (I show what I actually wear and I can’t afford high-end items at this point in my life), but I had never really thought of advertising it as such. I think all girls (even the ones who say they don’t care) feel the societal pressure to look a certain way and have the best of everything – perfect hair, quality make-up, beautiful clothes, and designer shoes and handbags. While I love all of these things, I am a pretty frugal person. I learned how to shop from my mom (the coupon queen) who dragged my brother and I through the aisles of Marshall’s before it was cool. I know that my style might not be for everyone, but something that I’ve always been (without necessarily trying to be) is different, and I want that for this lil blog of mine, too. I want my style to inspire my readers to think outside the box, and I want to show them that cheap can still be chic (#Moschino). In the Instagram world everyone always has the latest Louboutins and the coolest Chanel boy-bags, but that’s not a reality for me (or many of their followers). I absolutely believe in buying quality pieces that will take you through many seasons, but honestly so far none of my closet staples have cost me over $150, and that’s ok. One day when I can actually afford a Céline bag, I don’t even know if I’ll be able to drop $3,000 on a purse – there’s a reason they’re called “investment” pieces!

My trusty DKNY satchels, all purchased from TJ Maxx, have been through a lot with me and are still going strong (and I just added a new BLUSH one to the collection!). TJ Maxx and Marshall’s are my go-to stores when I’m looking for a new bag, although I never find one that I like when I go in with the intent of buying a new purse- you have to enter these stores with a “treasure hunt” mentality. I’ll sing the praises of Target’s shoes till the end of my days. They always have what I’m looking for at a price tag for much cheaper than they look. I also adore their shoes because they’re always sturdy, well made, and true to size. As far as clothes, I stick to mainly Forever 21. When there’s an H&M and Zara in my neighborhood, I’ll frequent those as well. There are several amazing fast fashion websites (such as Boohoo, MissGuided, River Island, and Asos) but to be honest, buying clothes online stresses me out. I don’t like the hassle of having to return and/or exchange if I don’t like the fit. I think a common misconception with many of these fast fashion chains is that the quality of the clothes is compromised to drive the price down. While they’re not handmade designer pieces, I never see any major wear and tear on the clothes that I’ve purchased from these stores. I had way more mysterious holes in my middle and high school American Eagle and Abercrombie items (I know I should be ashamed, but we all had that phase).

Along with links to everything I’m wearing below (as usual), I’ve also linked other previous outfit posts in which an item is featured. I would like to start doing some posts focusing on a specific item showing different ways it could be styled. If you all have any other ideas or requests, please comment below. While this blog is a creative outlet in itself for me, I still value your opinions and want to inspire you to find your own unique style!

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May 2016

I was wearing;

Forever 21 Colorblocked Houndstooth Shift Dress; Exact Here

Target Mossimo Orange Pumps; Exact Here

DKNY Kelly Green Bowler Bag; Similar Here and Here (Styled Here and Here as well)

Quay Australia Quay x Shay “Vesper” Sunglasses; Exact Here (Styled HereHereHereHere, and Here as well)

“Orange Is The New Black” Photographed by Luke Bowes

2017-04-03T00:30:04+00:00 May 19th, 2016|Fashion|2 Comments

SILVER & STRIPES

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Usually by the end of April, I’ve been wearing sandals non-stop for a solid month. I’m always really bitter come September when I have to start slapping on socks and real shoes again. But lately, I’ve become accustomed to wearing sneakers with many of my outfits (and not just my yoga pants). When I was in high school, the only tennis shoes that were “cool” enough to wear with anything other than gym shorts were Converse All-Stars (Mine were black because I thought I was more hardcore than I actually was… and the fact that I just used the word “hardcore” reiterates that statement). Just recently, more of the classic sneakers (Converse All-Stars, Adidas Superstars, and New Balance 501’s to name a few) are coming back in style in a big way. Not only are they becoming your go-to errand-running shoe, they’re also providing a casual edge to basically any outfit and bringing some practicality back into the fashion scene. This is a trend that everyone – from editors to bloggers to models to the everyday girl can get on board with and for the past couple of fashion week seasons, I would say that there were more sneakers than stilettos on the feet of the attendees. The Nike Thea Premiums were game-changing sneakers for me – I really like how these are all one solid color. One of my qualms with regular trainers is that they’re too busy and usually look tacky worn with anything but gym attire, but these babies are practical AND pretty. I’m still holding out for the suede finish ones like the much-coveted (and sold-out everywhere) “Desert Camo”, although I’m fairly infatuated with my silver ones at the moment. With summer right around the corner, I think this outfit would be great for a day at the theme park. This striped blouse is sheer and airy but will still shield most of your skin from the sun, the high-waisted cutoffs are a classic warm-weather staple, and your feet will never tire in these shoes (they don’t call them “Air-Max” for no reason!).

Emily
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May 2016

I was wearing;

Forever 21 Navy Striped Blouse; Similar HereHere, and Here

Levi’s 501 Denim Cutoff Shorts; Similar Here (I found mine in a thrift store! It takes some patience, but there are definitely plenty of old,”vintage” high-waisted Levi’s to be found. You can can also make your own from a pair of thrifted jeans. DIY video Here)

Nike Air Max Thea Metallic Trainers; Exact Here (On Sale!), and Here

Quay Australia Quay x Shay “Vesper” Sunglasses; Exact Here

“Silver & Stripes” Photographed by Luke Bowes

2017-04-03T00:30:04+00:00 May 12th, 2016|Fashion|0 Comments

DERBY DRESS UP

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I was lucky enough to attend the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby last year (2015) for the first time. I took riding lessons in middle school and had always had a fascination/obsession with horses, so spending a day at the races was something that had been on my bucket list for quite some time. So when my best friend invited me last year, I couldn’t say no – a girls’ weekend, horses, and an occasion to dress over-the-top are a few of my favorite things, after all. Much to my surprise, Derby Weekend can actually be fairly affordable. I had no idea that they had any sort of general admission option, but the infield of the track is practically its own world, complete with betting booths, bartenders, and lots of carnival-type food options. We brought our own snacks for the day, both to save some money and to keep our options as healthy as possible. There is plenty of room in the grass to set up a little picnic area for your crew, just BYOB (bring your own blanket). You can easily fit all the items you’ll need throughout the day in a large tote and each take turns carrying it. You will have to do a significant amount of walking between the nightmare of a parking situation and the various events taking place throughout Churchill Downs. A close spot will probably be around a one to one and a half mile walk but there are plenty of cyclists and uh… professional golf cart drivers that will give you a lift to and from the racetrack. And, trust me, if you don’t wear wedges and don’t pack flats, you will pay ANY price to not have to walk to your car after the races (blisters for days!). If you are wearing stiletto heels and have infield tickets, buy some heel protectors that can be attached to the point of your stiletto to prevent them from getting scuffed and scratched or, more importantly, sinking into the grass.

So now that we’ve covered all the Derby survival tips, we can discuss a more important topic, i.e. what you’re going to wear. I was really on a budget last year, so I had to work with things that were already in my closet. This H&M dress seemed perfect for the occasion and the length and material made it comfortable to trot around in all day. I bought the floral fascinator at Dillard’s for about $20 but they even have some nice reasonable ones on Amazon this year. I’m all about the headpieces, and the next time I have the chance to attend the Derby, I plan to go big or go home. Unless you’re a member of the royal family, when will you have another opportunity to wear a fascinator? There’s no shortage of crazy looks and/or hats and headpieces at Churchill Downs on Derby day, but I wouldn’t have it any other way – it’s people-watching prime-time! I would say 90% of women wear a combination of bright, spring-time colors and floral, so if you’re having trouble deciding on your outfit, you can never go wrong with that combination. Think Easter dress meets cocktail dress. I really love getting to wear fascinators because it completely elevates the outfit and gives you a chance to play with color. With a floral dress, singling out a random color in the fabric and finding a hat or fascinator to match works well (which is what I’ve done here). If you have a solid dress, instead of going monochromatic, try a hat of a complimentary color (directly across from each other on the color wheel) or a color adjacent to the hue of the dress. For example, an adjacent color combo would be a bright orange fascinator with the beautiful solid yellow Zara dress linked below. A complimentary color for the same dress would be a royal purple. My biggest advice when dressing for the Derby is to have fun with it and wear something that makes you feel confident. Everyone goes all out and that is part of the fun. Make the most of your opportunity to play dress up!

A few of my favorite memories from Derby day include watching celebs walk down the red carpet (we saw Nick Lachey and Sarah Hyland!), betting for the first time (even if you don’t get a dime back, it’s still fun), and getting to people watch in a place where everyone is dressed to the nines (it honestly feels like going back in time). Have you ever been to the Kentucky Derby? If so, what’s your favorite memory? Feel free to leave any questions you may have about Derby day and/or Derby attire and I will try my best to answer them!

Emily
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May 2016

I was wearing;

H&M Floral Dress; Similar Here

My Derby Dress picks for this year Here and Here

Target Mossimo Nude Heels; Similar Here

Heel Protectors Here

Nude Wedges Here

DKNY Nude Bowler Bag; Similar Here

Floral Fascinator; Similar Here

“Derby Dress Up” Photographed by Luke Bowes

2017-04-03T00:30:04+00:00 May 4th, 2016|Fashion, Travel|0 Comments