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My Current Shoe Love

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you had a great weekend. I know many of you, including us here at May Meets June, took a little extra time off last week for the 4th of July holiday. We are into the middle of summer and here in the south, it is very steamy. I can’t walk outside without my sunglasses fogging up and it only takes minutes before beads of sweat begin to form on my body. I was warned and all I can say is thank goodness for air conditioning!!

My current wardrobe on these sultry days is usually a sundress and sandals. Comfy sandals. However, I also want my sandals to be stylish and transition from daytime to dinner out. When I first arrived in Charleston, I came across a great little shoe store called Charleston Shoe Company. There were so many styles and colors and although I tried on a few pairs, I wasn’t yet ready to make a purchase. After hearing more about the shoes I went back, and I’m now the proud owner of two pairs of sandals, and I have a feeling there may be more in my future.  

I had them on all day while traveling with no sore, tired feet plus I’ve walked all over downtown Charleston in them, even on the cobblestones! Oh, and you can machine wash many of the styles too. I also love that they come in wedges as well as a chunky heel. A little extra height on my 5’2″ frame is always a good thing. 

Neely Woodson Powell is the founder of The Charleston Shoe Company. I loved reading about her journey and want to share her success story with y’all. 

Charleston Shoe Company founder Neely Powell spent her childhood summers in a colonial town in central Mexico. In the summer of 1996, while at the College of Charleston, she met a cobbler whose simple sandals were a wardrobe staple among the villagers and visitors alike. It was Kismet.

With suitcases stuffed with the made-by-hand shoes, Neely and her mother boarded a plane home, plotting to sell sandals alongside her mother’s own burgeoning import business at furniture markets. The shoes were embraced by young and old, and before they knew it a wholesale business was created. In 2009 when dreams of her own brand began swirling in her head, she enrolled in an accessories design program at the Savannah College of Art & Design with her young daughter, Gigi, in tow. Neely drew upon her shoe and accessory design coursework and, in collaboration with a fourth generation cobbler in Mexico, launched her own line of hand-sewn footwear then called Savannah Shoe Co.

An entrepreneurial spirit runs deep in Neely’s family – her father developed a five star resort in the Florida Keys and her mother started the wholesale interior furnishings mecca, Worlds Away. An idyllic childhood on Little Palm Island, where swimming and snorkeling were the order of the day, gave her an appreciation for the relaxed ease of island living. Coupled with the fact that she had highly creative and artistic parents, it’s no surprise that her design influence errs towards laid back sophistication meets comfortably chic.

In 2010, Neely opened Savannah Shoe Co in Savannah and then a small storefront called Charleston Shoe Co. on a quiet and historic section of King Street in downtown Charleston, South Carolina. This proved a pivotal moment for the brand as the community and tourists alike embraced the collection and the charismatic proprietor. With locations in Charleston, Savannah, & Del Mar, they still could not meet the demand for the “cobblestones to cocktails” shoe and the wholesale line launched in January 2011. The Charleston Shoe Co. line is now currently sold in over 150 boutiques nationally.

From Boca Grande to Nantucket & Del Mar to Carmel, women can’t get enough of the comfortable, versatile and stylish shoes. When she is not in the stores in Charleston & Savannah you’ll frequently find Neely traversing the East Coast selling her shoes to adoring fans of the Charleston Shoe Co line, with Gigi still in tow!

Her stores are popping up all over the country but if one is not near you, no worries. You can buy all her shoes online and if you sign up for emails, you’ll receive 10% off your first pair. 

Have a great week! ~May

Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.’ – Marilyn Monroe

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March Weather Essentials

Happy March!! Spring is just around the corner and it is time to replace our parkas, snow boots, and mittens with a few pieces that will work well with this season’s more mild temperatures, as well as the rain showers that often arrive with spring.

Here are a few items we like.

Hunter Boots from Nordstrom

 

Hunter boots have gotten quite popular over the years, and for good reason. They are so darn practical!! These boots are great for those rainy mornings splashing through puddles as you make the commute from the train to the office, as well as running the dogs out. They keep your feet nice and dry and come in some great styles and colors. They have all different heights for whichever size you prefer.  You can also purchase fleece liners for colder days. We both love ours!

London Fog Trench from Nordstrom

Since we are on the subject of spring showers, we feel every girl should have the classic trench coat. There are so many colors and styles out there right now, but here is an oldie but goody, the classic London Fog trench coat. This particular coat comes in regular as well as petite sizes and it has a removable liner, which makes this coat a great option for the somewhat volatile temperatures that occur this time of year, as well as later in the fall. This particular style has a hood which always comes in handy on particularly windy and rainy days.

We also liked this Via Spiga trench coat with a pleated bottom. You can purchase this coat in red, blue, sand, and black, it comes in petites, plus right now it’s on sale.

Of course our spring shower ensemble wouldn’t be complete without a great umbrella. How many times have you run to your local drug store to pick up an inexpensive umbrella, only to have it blow inside out the first time you use it? Do you remember the bubble umbrella? It enjoyed popularity back in the 70’s, and May remembers having the child’s version with little yellow ducks on it. And if you are a fan of the Crown and Queen Elizabeth II, it seems that this style is a favorite of hers as well.

They are great for keeping your head and shoulders protected from the rain, plus they don’t blow inside out. One downside is it isn’t portable enough to just throw in your bag, yet what good is your umbrella if it doesn’t provide protection when the wind picks up? The price tag is a little higher, but you’ll keep this one for a long time.  And if its good enough for the Queen, then it definitely is a must have.

What are some of your rainy day essentials?

Have a great weekend. ~May and June

Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.- Roger Miller

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It’s Spring at Target!

Happy Friday! We hope you are all looking forward to the long holiday weekend and perhaps you will be motivated to go out and bring a little spring  into your home? We recently took a field trip to Target, and loved seeing so many shelves displaying beautiful spring accents for the home. This is the time of year when we are all craving the rebirth that comes with spring whether it’s brightening up our beds with lighter fabrics, swapping out our flannel throw pillows for cotton, or bringing shades of spring green and yellow into our homes with vases of tulips or daffodils. What we love about Target is they have wonderful seasonal accessories for the home at great prices, so you won’t break the bank bringing a few fresh lovelies into your living space (and we just saw they are having a President’s Day home sale).

We know that when we see forsythia wreaths, spring is just around the corner. This bright yellow flower screams spring and displaying this happy wreath is welcoming on any front door.

We love the bedding at Target. The colors and styles are always in line with current trends, and they hold up well even after going through the wash. We both have those sets of sheets and they are smooth, soft and don’t wrinkle much.  If you like to change your bedding with the seasons, Target will most likely have what you are looking for.

We both like to swap out our throw pillows in the fall and spring. We found these cute pillows in spring colors and also loved the brass lamp (which May purchased for her desk) and white ceramic and brass succulent vase.

This is a great time of year to lighten up things in the house.  The weather is not quite cooperating quite yet with enjoying the outdoors (although the rumor is Chicago is going to have temperatures in the 60s this upcoming weekend) but we all feel the need for a fairly inexpensive refresh.

Have a good weekend. –May and June

Let spring breathe new life into your home.

The links in this post may contain affiliate links and we will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link.

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Styling Different Outfits With the Same Pieces

One of the many fun things we like to do is shop together.  However, that often means that we go home with the exact same items in our respective shopping bags.  And while we are close, we by no means want to look like twins.  What we have found, though, is that we each take those pieces and style them a little differently.  May’s style tends to be more classic.  June’s style tends to be a bit boho and because she works in a professional environment, she likes pieces that can go from work to casual.

We had a recent shopping trip which included two of our favorite stores, Anthropologie and Target.  We went home with some identical pieces, then pulled things out of our own closets to put our own styling stamp on them.  And for a little added twist, June knows that for the next few months she is going to be in the tundra that is Chicago, while May enjoys the spring-like temperatures of Charleston.  So, these outfit choices also show how you can transition the same piece from winter to spring.

Long-Sleeve Twist Front Top

When we were at Anthropologie we found this long sleeve twist front top that is super flattering.  It comes in multiple colors but we both chose the basic white.

May styled hers with a pair of red pants she had purchased last year from Loft and it looks like they still sell them.  She then added a black and white lightweight scarf and a pair of Ugg driving moccasins.

June styled hers with with a little pink cashmere poncho, grey jeans and some comfortable neutral sneakers.

Short Sleeve Sweatshirt

Also at Anthropologie we both found a short sleeve sweatshirt in in the sale room.  On the hanger it doesn’t look like much, but the fit is super cute with a slight a-line.

May styled hers with white jeans and sandals.

June styled hers with a long sleeve white tshirt underneath, blue jeans and black booties.

Knit T-Shirt Dress

We found a great discovery at Target of all places.  We came across this adorable knit t-shirt dress.  Because sizes at Target can run a little small on less expensive items, we both decided to try it on to check the size.  The fitting room was like a meat locker, so when we both came out of our adjoining fitting rooms to show the other, we were both still wearing our jeans  under the dress and burst out laughing. Great minds…

May has styled her dress with a neutral necklace and black ballet flats.

June has styled hers with a black t-shirt underneath so it can be worn now, leggings, black booties and a colorful long necklace.

Striped Short Sleeved T-Shirt

Finally, our last look is a short sleeved black and white striped t-shirt.

May styled hers with army green tailored pants, brown moccasins and a long multi-metal arrow style necklace.

June styled hers with a black open cardigan, jeans and sneakers.

It is a fun expression of style to take a piece and put your own spin on it.  Hope these give you some ideas on how to style some outfits for yourself.  Have a good weekend.  –May and June

Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak. — Rachel Zoe

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How Many Steps Can You Walk in One Day? – Charleston Edition

This past weekend, June flew down to Charleston, South Carolina to reunite with May for a few days of much needed R&R. It was to be a weekend filled with the sites and sounds of the city, great food, shopping, girl time and of course we had to walk the beautiful beach on Kiawah Island. May had the weekend planned and we were all set, with the exception of the one thing we could not control, Mother Nature.

Our day started off beautiful with sunny skies and warm temperatures, and with a very wet weekend on the horizon, we decided to explore as much of the city as possible. We pretty much fit a three day weekend into a day and a half, walking about 12 miles in that time. Charleston is a very walkable city and we covered a lot of territory which included shopping on King Street (including a trip to one of our favorite stores, Anthropologie) a walk through the open market, a carriage ride, drinks and duck nachos on the rooftop of the Pavilion Bar, and a beautiful sunset stroll along the water. We were even able to sit and enjoy the sunset on the large swings along the pier, which are always occupied. It was truly a perfect day.

A carriage ride on Rainbow Row

The Pavilion Bar

A Beautiful Sunset on the bay

We knew our outdoor time was limited when we awoke to cloudy skies on Saturday, but we decided to make the most of it and headed down to the Kiawah Island beach right after an early breakfast. The wind was calm and even with clouds looming, there was something so peaceful about walking barefoot along the waters edge. Now, without the sun to warm the sand, our feet were a little cold, especially as we dipped our toes into the surf. Brrrr. We toughed it out though and even collected a few shells for June to take home with her, a gift of nature from the sweet South. We had walked quite a way when we heard thunder rumbling in the distance, our dry weather about to end. We hustled back to the car with the black clouds chasing us and literally made it back just as the big old fat raindrops started to fall, thunder crashing down over our heads.

June on the Beach

The rest of our weekend was wet, wet, wet. In fact it was pretty much a deluge. We didn’t let that stop us though. We did get a small break in the rain on Saturday afternoon and decided to go back to the city to check out a little vintage jewelry shop that June read about, called Candy Shop Vintage. It’s a cute little boutique that sells vintage and vintage inspired jewelry. The store is known for their vintage inspired rice beads that pay homage to Charleston. They sell beautiful necklaces, bracelets, and rings in different colors, and yes, we bought ourselves a little treat. Before going back to the car, we took a stroll down a neighborhood street, enjoying the charm of the historic homes. Even though both of us are planners, there is something so fun about being spontaneous. We just happened upon a beautiful old home, the  Aiken-Rhett house, that gave tours, and we were one of the last visitors in before the house closed for the day.

The house was so interesting because rather than restoring it, the historical society is simply conserving it.  That means that while rundown, there are original touches such as remnants of the old wallpaper still on the walls and select pieces of furniture. Parts of the house tour gave us chills. Living in the North, the dark period of slavery is not a part of our history. However, as part of the tour, we walked through the outbuildings which included the slave quarters.  It connected us to the part of our country’s history that many would prefer to forget.

Now, we realized as our weekend came to a close that we probably could have taken many more photos to show y’all, but we were having so much fun simply enjoying the moment and each other’s company-  focusing too much on taking pictures would have taken something away from our experience. I guess you will just have to plan a trip to this great city, and see it all for yourself. And don’t forget to pack comfortable shoes.

Have a great weekend. ~May and June

Never. Stop. Exploring.

 

 

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Our Favorite Target Stocking Stuffers

Does Santa fill stockings at your house?  At our homes, stockings are always a fun little treat after opening presents under the Christmas tree.  And since all good things come in small packages, you never know what fun surprise you may find.

Recently, we took a trip to Target to search for great stocking stuffers. When you are the Christmas shopper in the family,  you know that by the time you get to the stocking stuffers, you are exhausted and just want to to be done with the whole Christmas shopping experience, instead of being creative.  So, hopefully some of these items we picked out will be helpful to you too.

img_4881Let’s face it, every stocking needs a little candy. We also found  a cute winter hat, flannel pajama pants, a festive Star Wars t-shirt, a small book and a classic movie. These are all fun little items perfect for a child.

img_4884If you are shopping for a girl or woman, cosmetics like nail polish or tinted lip balm are always a good option.  How about a sparkly wristlet, necklace or a new phone case?  Hand sanitizer of course is a practical choice, especially during our current cold and flu season.  We also loved these cute little printed socks (in fact both May and June bought those pink sheep socks for themselves).

img_4880The dollar section at Target has a great selection of stocking stuffers that won’t break your budget.

img_4887img_4889Small toys for kids such as Hot Wheel cars or Star Wars figures fill out a stocking nicely.

img_4888And for those of you who remember playing Oregon trail on your school’s lone computer with terrible graphics such as little “v’s” for bullets, you can now buy a card game version of Oregon Trail for the whole family to play.

We hope you are finished, or nearing the end of your Christmas list.  Have a good weekend. –May and June

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there. -Clement Clarke Moore

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Our Yogi Gift Guide

Our Yogi Gift Guide

One of the benefits of the beautiful practice of yoga, is you don’t need extensive equipment to participate.  A  yoga mat, comfortable clothes, and you’re set. You don’t even need shoes!  So, with that being said, what do you do if you have a yogi on your Christmas shopping list?  Well, as yogis ourselves, we’ve discovered a few items along the way that has enriched our practice, and we’d like to share them with you too.

Yoga Mat Bag

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If your yogi has her own mat, it is nice to have a bag to carry the mat to class.  There are many yoga mat bags out there, some of which are fairly basic.  However, if your yogi doesn’t want to be burdened with a mat bag and a purse, or walks or bikes to yoga class, then we have the bag for you.  Aurorae Yoga makes a sling yoga backpack that is fantastic.  Aurorae Yoga kindly provided us with one bag to try out and after we received it, May realized that she owns the same bag and uses it quite frequently.  June had never tried out the bag and was amazed at its usefulness. There is a spot for your yoga mat, your water bottle, a blanket or towel, personal items such as your phone, keys and even a hole to thread your earbuds.  June is now in love with this bag and plans to use it frequently (assuming she can remember to take her yoga mat to class even when she has to step right over it).  May received her backpack as a gift from her husband several years ago, and loves it. She’s biked and walked to her classes with it, plus it carries everything she needs.  It’s the perfect gift for your favorite yoga instructor!

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Yoga Mat

Every yogi loves a new yoga mat and there are many different styles out there.  Because a yogi develops an almost personal relationship with her mat, as it represents peace for at least an hour,  it’s important to select one that is her favorite color or has a pretty design.  Both May and June regularly use Gaiam mats.  They are reasonably priced,  have enough grip, and are light to carry.  Plus, many of them are quite beautiful.

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Yoga Socks

Gaiam also carries great yoga socks which are perfect for colder days. You can wear them at the beginning of your practice until your feet are warmed up, or wear them for your entire class. They have no-slip bottoms, increasing balance and stability and come in several fun colors.

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Yoga Mat Towel

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If your yogi practices a hot style of yoga, then a yoga mat towel may be the perfect gift.  During hot yoga, the yoga mat often gets slippery because your yogi is working up a sweat.  A yoga mat towel can help grip the yoga mat.  Even if your yogi does not practice hot yoga, sometimes summertime yoga gets pretty sweaty, and they may appreciate a mat towel.  Aurorae Yoga also sent us their yoga mat towel to try out.  The towel is soft and longer than the average yoga mat.  June thought this would be a great gift for a yogi who travels a lot.  If  your yogi has ever had to practice yoga in a hotel room with gosh-knows-what on the carpet, it is important to have a clean space to practice.  Hotel room towels are too short and schlepping a yoga mat on a plane is rather inconvenient, this towel would easily fit in a suitcase and is a long enough to keep your face or feet off of the carpet.

Flip Flops

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If you’re looking for cute and comfy footwear to get you to and from your yoga class, we suggest you try a pair of Aurorae Yoga flip flops. Made from recycled yoga mats, these flip flops come in a variety of colors and will fit easily into your yoga bag. Oh, and we discovered they are great for pedicures too!

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Yoga Leggings

We yogis can’t seem to have enough leggings and there are so many styles, patterns, and colors to chose from!  Zella Activewear from Nordstrom has a wonderful assortment of leggings and yoga pants for every body. They fit well, are comfortable, and if you’re a bit vertically challenged, the Zella midi works as a full length yoga pant. They tend to go on sale pretty regularly too.

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June is wearing the Zella “Live In”  midi legging in Green Balsam

 Yoga Poncho

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Another great gift for that special yogi in your life is the Breathe and Believe Poncho, by Lucy. It comes in grey and navy and is the perfect cover up for relaxation at the end of class and heading out on a fall day. This item is great for yoga, or running a few errands.

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Sacred Space

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If you know a yogi with a home practice, perhaps the perfect gift is a little statue, great for a desk, coffee table, or sacred space. We loved this Lucky Elephant from Viva Terra. Viva Terra has beautiful home inspired decor from around the world, and is eco-friendly. We noticed some early bird sales starting as well, so check them out. Both May and June have a Himalayan Rock Salt Lamp in their home, and love it. Probably the most well-known benefit – and why the majority of people use them – is due to their incredible power to remove dust, pollen, cigarette smoke, and other contaminants from the air. This is only one of the many benefits of these lamps.  Plus, they look beautiful on a desk or end table. Amazon has a nice variety of these unique little lights.

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Of course a gift that is always welcomed, is a gift certificate to a favorite yoga studio or maybe a private class or two with an instructor. You can check a studio near you for details.

We hope we made finding that perfect gift for the yogi in your life a little easier. Have a wonderful weekend.

~Namaste. May and June

Peace. Love. Yoga.

P.S.  Aurorae Yoga kindly provided us with some of the products included in our yogi gift guide, however, all of our opinions are our own.

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Early Holiday Gift Guide

Our Early Holiday Gift Guide

Wow, not to scare everyone but Christmas is a little over 6 weeks away!  That means that our lives will soon be even busier than they are now.  We thought it would be fun to put together a Holiday Gift Guide, for you early shoppers or even for you to refer to when you are out shopping at the eleventh hour.  The items on this list are goodies that we have received as gifts and love, or that we have given as gifts and are loved by the recipient, or they may appear on our own Christmas list this year.

Smeg Retro Electric Tea Kettle

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June got this electric teakettle in a pretty pastel green last year for Christmas. Don’t worry girls, the teakettle was on her Christmas list, so her husband was not in trouble for buying her an appliance as a gift.  The teakettle is really cute sitting on the kitchen counter, heats water quickly and at a good temperature for making tea or other hot drinks.  Plus, it turns itself off when the water is hot, so no annoying whistle that you have to quickly address before it hurts your ears and the ears of your dog.  May is coveting the teakettle and it is now appearing on her Christmas list this year.  So, think about it for yourself or a favorite tea lover.

Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss Set

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Bobbi Brown always has some great gift sets including this lip gloss set.  The colors are very wearable all year-round.  The lip gloss is not overly sticky or heavy and is pretty long-wearing.  June often buys herself this as a “Christmas” present.  This would be perfect for a best girlfriend who likes lip color options.

Bombas Socks

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We both love Bombas socks. We discovered them on GMA’s Deals and Steals and can’t say enough about them.  They are great with your athletic shoes for your morning walk or workout, plus they come in invisibles which we love to wear with a ballet flat or our favorite pair of shoes. The socks not only don’t show, but they won’t slip off your heel either. This is a great stocking stuffer for men, women, and kids.

Southern Firefly Candles

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This is a wonderful family owned company who set out to create a candle line that captures the elegant charm of the south. Their products are made from natural soy wax with double cotton wicks, and contain no dyes or additives. Their packaging is made from recyclable materials and their glass containers can be repurposed once the candle burns down. There are so many fragrances to choose from, and if you’re not sure you’re going to like a particular fragrance, they will send you a sample. June also discovered these on GMA Deals and Steals.  Her favorite fragrances are the Orange Clove, a nice warm scent perfect for fall and winter, and the Grapefruit Mangosteen, a lighter citrus scent.  She has reordered both, and has given them as gifts.  June is excited to try some of the other scents including some of the seasonal options, and has Holiday Cheer ready for burning after Thanksgiving.  May is definitely going to put these on her gift giving list this year, and may just buy one for herself.

North Face Fleece Pullover

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Now, we haven’t forgotten about the guys in your life. Does anyone find them exceptionally hard to buy for?  Both May and June purchased North Face fleece pullovers for their husbands a few years ago. It’s the perfect gift for cold winter nights inside, or as an extra layer on frosty days outside, or if your guy is hotblooded, he can wear it outside on really cold evenings.  May always knows winter isn’t far off, when her husband is wearing his on chilly weekend mornings. June bought one for her husband because he likes lighter outerwear, but then he left it in the gift box for over a year and a half.  He is weird about trying new clothing and likes to wear the same items, even replacing old items with identical new items.  However, now that he has tried it he wears it all the time.  It’s a good thing June likes it on him, because it will probably be one of the only coats she sees on him for the foreseeable future.  They come in an assortment of colors, plus Nordstrom gift wraps and ships for free.

Jo Malone Fragrance

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Jo Malone has a lovely little fragrance gift set perfect for that special friend, mother, or daughter. The set includes two fragrances and a hand wash. May has been wearing Jo Malone fragrances for years, and often gives this little sampler as a gift during the holidays. Don’t wait too long to purchase though, they can go quickly and once this sample sells out, it’s gone until next year.  Thanks to May, June also wears Jo Malone fragrances.  Because they are a bit of a splurge, she often puts a scent on her Christmas list.  This year she is considering the new scent Basil & Neroli.

Pipcorn

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Pipcorn was founded by a brother and sister team, Jeff and Jen Martin. Their popcorn is all natural, gluten free, non GMO, vegan, and made from whole grain. They are made in small batches, and hand seasoned in your choice of rosemary, kettle, truffle, and sea salt. You can purchase a gift pack for that special popcorn lover on your gift list. They are all delicious, but the truffle is amazing!

Kendra Scott

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Of course we couldn’t finish our Christmas gift list without a piece of jewelry. Lately, we’ve been loving the great pieces by Kendra Scott. This is a great success story about a woman who started her jewelry line with only $500 dollars, three months after her first son was born. Kendra custom designs natural stones into unique necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings. Prices vary and you can often find discounts online. The company is based out of Austin, Texas but Chicago does have a store in the Bloomingdales building, on Michigan Avenue. Both May and June have some lovely pieces that we enjoy wearing.

We hope our gift guide was helpful if you’re looking for that special gift this holiday season.

Have a great weekend. ~May and June

One of the nice things about Christmas is that you can make people forget the past with a present.” ~ Author Unknown

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Cardigan and Hoodie Season

If you don’t like the weather when you live in Chicago, wait five minutes and it’s bound to change.  This is especially true in the fall.  You may leave the house and need a sweater and coat, and by the time you leave the office, it feels like tank top weather.  The solution to this is layers, and cardigans especially fit the bill.  June is a huge cardigan fan and rarely wears any sweater other than a cardigan.  And if it has pockets, thumbholes or a hood, then it usually comes home with her (especially if it is the color gray but that is a whole other issue to discuss).

We looked at some of our favorite shopping sites and found some trends this year.  Oversized slouchy cardigans are a big trend.  We thought this one was cute

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The boyfriend sweater is always a classic and can be worn casually or to the office.

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Cardigans with a pattern seem to be a big trend this fall and are a nice change from solid cardigans and can be fun if you want to play with pattern.

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Pretty pastel colors are a nice change from grey and black.

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And when you take yoga you always need an extra layer for savasana so check out stores that carry athelesiure wear

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Now,  this is not a cardigan but looks like a comfy sweater that can be worn with leggings because of its length and it has thumbholes and a hood (and it comes in grey for June).

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In addition to cardigans, May also enjoys a long pullover that can be worn over leggings, or skinny jeans. She recently found this BP Ribbed Mock Neck Pullover at Nordstrom. She bought it in grey pebble heather, but there are several colors to choose from.

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It looks like fall weather is definitely in our future, so check out some of these finds, or share a favorite sweater that you love this time of year.

Have a great weekend!

~May and June

“Who needs a boyfriend when you can have a big cozy sweater?”

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Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice?

Tis the season of all things pumpkin.  There is a proliferation of pumpkin products in the store.  When and how did this happen?  I blame Starbucks and the Pumpkin Spice Latte.

I remember the good old days when pumpkins simply meant carving a jack o’lantern a few days before Halloween.  You had to dig the cold slimy guts out of the pumpkin and toss it on the newspaper set under the pumpkin carving station on the kitchen table.  If your mom was particularly ambitious, she rinsed the “guts” off the pumpkin seeds, soaked the seeds in salt water, and roasted them in the oven.   At Thanksgiving you ate pumpkin pie.  And other than the pumpkin making an appearance as Cinderella’s carriage or as the head of the Headless Horseman in the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, a pumpkin was neither seen nor heard from further.

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I walked through Trader Joe’s a week ago and counted (and took pictures) of more than 35 pumpkin flavored products.  You cannot enter the store without being assaulted by pumpkin products. To get all Forrest Gump on you, here is a brief list of the pumpkin products I encountered and I am sure I missed one or five or fifty:

  1.  Organic canned pumpkin – for baking and cooking all the pumpkin recipes you find on Pinterest
  2. Pumpkin Bread and Muffin Mix – the radio spot for this suggests adding chocolate chips which sounds rather delicious
  3. Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread and Muffin Mix – so those that cannot eat gluten do not miss out on all the pumpkin funimg_4649
  4. Pumpkin Cream Cheese – to spread on a plain bagel so you get the pumpkin taste you may otherwise miss
  5. Pumpkin Spice Almond Beverage – for those that avoid dairyimg_4638
  6. Pumpkin Body Butter – cause you want your skin along with your breath to smell all pumpkin-y
  7. Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps – covers a major Thanksgiving food group too
  8. Pumpkin Tortilla Chips – I almost bought these and realized they added cinnamon and nutmeg which to me, ruins a good tortilla chip
  9. Pumpkin Pita Crisps – in case you don’t like the pumpkin tortilla chipsimg_4637
  10. Pumpkin Spiced Pumpkin Seeds – because the flavor of a simple pumpkin seed couldn’t be left unadulterated and needed to be jazzed up with more pumpkin flavoringimg_4640
  11. Pumpkin Spice Caramel Corn – inexplicable
  12. Pumpkin Spice Chai – in case you prefer chai over coffeeimg_4642
  13. Pumpkin Spice Rooibos – a no-calorie pumpkin option
  14. Pumpkin Bread Pudding – I have no idea what this is, since I don’t think I’ve ever eaten bread pudding
  15. Mini Pumpkin Pies – when you are not hungry enough for a whole pie
  16. Pumpkin Cheesecake – this may be a good Thanksgiving dessert if you don’t like pie
  17. Pumpkin Macarons – it seems that the French would feel that pumpkin is a little pedestrian to be added to a macaronimg_4643
  18. Pumpkin Ice Cream – how many people eat ice cream in the Fall?  It’s cold out.
  19. Pumpkin Panettone – I only see Panettone at Christmas time but I guess they have figured out a way to extend the season by adding pumpkinimg_4644
  20. Pumpkin Seed Brittle – my dad made peanut brittle and I think he would consider pumpkin seed brittle sacrilegious
  21. Pumpkin Spice Coffee – I like this but Tom will not let me make flavored coffee.  He acts like I am trying to kill him.img_4645
  22. Pecan Pumpkin Instant Oatmeal – does it make your oatmeal orange?
  23. Pumpkin O’s Cereal – like Cheerios but with pumpkin
  24. Pumpkin Toaster Pastries – pop-tarts
  25. Pumpkin Joe-Joe’s – the knock-off oreo with pumpkinimg_4647
  26. Pumpkin Shaped Sugar Cookies – these are cute
  27. Chocolate Mousse Pumpkins – not sure if these actually contain pumpkin or they are just shaped like pumpkins
  28. Pumpkin Spice Cake – this is probably yummy cake with cloves and cinnamon (I think)
  29. Pumpkin Flavored Dog Treats – we don’t want our four legged friends left out, and in fact our pet store also has a pumpkin spice latte for dogs.  Gatsby has not yet imbibed.img_4648
  30. Pumpkin Pancake and Waffle Mix – sneak a little pumpkin in under the maple syrup
  31. Pumpkin Butter – so you don’t have to make your own
  32. Pumpkin Soup – orange soup that I hope doesn’t taste like pumpkins smell
  33. Pumpkin Soup Crackers – to pair with the pumpkin soup?img_4650
  34. Pumpkin Greek Non-Fat Yogurt – combo of the Greek yogurt trend and pumpkin trend
  35. Country Pumpkin Spice Granola Cereal – you can use it as a mix-in for pumpkin greek yogurt
  36. Pumpkin Cereal Bars – if you are tired of the strawberry flavored ones
  37. Pumpkin Biscotti – these are my favorites and I stock up because once they are sold, out that is it until next year
  38. Pumpkin Shaped Pasta – there is a fall harvest pasta sauce that has butternut squash in it that you can pair with this pasta

I wonder how the pumpkin growers are keeping up with this demand?  This ubiquitous plethora of pumpkin products led me to do a little research. Interestingly, pumpkins are native to North America and are in the winter squash family.  This means that in the past, pumpkins were grown to help sustain a family through the winter.  Over 1.5 billion tons of pumpkin are grown in the United States each year and surprisingly 95% of the crop intended for processing is grown in Illinois, with the majority near Morton, Illinois.  And the Nestle/Libby Plant there processes 85% of all of the canned pumpkin in the world.  I am intrigued now to go visit Morton, Illinois and see all of the pumpkins growing in the field.

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You may love or hate the pumpkin products, but I do not think they are going anywhere.  So if you cannot beat them, you may as well join them.  Enjoy the Fall and find yourself a great pumpkin treat, or make your own. – June

There are three things that I’ve learned never discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin.

– Linus, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

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Boutique Shopping

Do you ever get tired of wearing the same style all the time? We all have our favorite stores for clothing and accessories which for us include Nordstrom, Anthropologie, and Ann Taylor Loft. Sometimes though, it is fun to step out of the box a bit, and try something new. May and June discovered a little gem of a store and the best part- it is right in our neighborhood!

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A La Mode is an elegant little boutique in the heart of downtown Arlington Heights, IL. It has been there for years, but we didn’t really take a close look at it until this summer. Our pilates studio is just down the street, and since we are already right there, we always enjoy looking at all the pretty clothes and accessories after our workout. In the past, boutiques in general always seemed to be more prevalent in the city, but now they are finding their way into most suburbs, which makes us very happy. In addition to having beautiful accessories and jewelry, you can also find good quality footwear and beautifully made clothing.

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We have both made several purchases over the summer, and received a lot of compliments. Prices are reasonable too.  If you absolutely fall in love with an item, make sure you buy it, because a lot of times when an item sells out, it is gone forever. Nothing sits for a long period of time and whenever we visit, there is always something new to see (and try on).

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Boutiques are great stores for purchasing gifts as well. We have both found some lovely scarves, bags, and jewelry and the store gift wraps everything so beautifully.

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If you don’t have a boutique in your area, you can check out Francesca’s. Even though it is a chain, every store is different and unique. They have many locations and you can shop online too. A La Mode recently opened a sister store two doors down called Charisma. It is also lovely, with a slightly different style.

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So, if you are looking for something for yourself, or want to find a gift for a special girl, check out some of the boutiques in your area and if you live near Arlington Heights, we invite you to check out A La Mode.

Have a wonderful weekend. ~ May and June

“I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and… I believe in miracles.” – Audrey Hepburn

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A Weekend of Creativity and Vintage Finds

Good morning and happy Friday! We have officially entered the dog days of summer and it has sure been steamy here in the Midwest. It is hard to believe that school begins again in just a few weeks, with fall just around the corner. Two weeks ago, May and June enjoyed a girls weekend away while attending the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, at the University of Iowa. This was the second time we attended the festival together, and we were looking forward to going back for another creative experience.  We attended a seminar on Jumpstarting Your Creativity, which turned out to be a lot of fun.  The weather was very hot and sticky, but that didn’t stop us from leaving for our trip a little early to check out a few of the many vintage shops in and around Iowa City.

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Our journey took us to Sisters Garden, a quirky resale shop located in the rural town of Kalona, Iowa. We actually spent quite a bit of time roaming the two farm homes and large yard filled with retro  goodies. We found some wonderful items that could dress up any backyard or garden, including architectural pieces, as well as unique accessories for the home. May discovered a great vintage mirror, but alas it was too large for her car. If you plan to do some serious shopping, make sure you bring a large vehicle to transport your lovelies back home.  June fell in love with those aqua chairs in the above picture, but again we had a space consideration.

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In addition to the vintage pieces, the store also sells their signature brand of natural soy candles that come in many heavenly scents. May personally loved the honeysuckle.

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Years ago, June saw a planter in a magazine that looked like someone’s head, and the plants grew out of the top like hair.  She has been on the lookout for one ever since.

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And look what she found!!!!  June had trouble picking which one of these lovely ladies to bring home.  These were not vintage, but a lot of vintage stores have some great and unusual gift items as well.

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She is sporting a lovely little mum headpiece right now while she lives on the patio, but expect her accoutrements and location to change with the seasons.  Maybe a bunch of twinkle lights for the long dark days of winter?

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June also made a new friend with this bear rug.  He was ferocious looking, and we both laughed about how Sawyer and Gatsby would react if he came home.  We decided for the sake of our dogs’ hearts, it would be best to leave him at the store.

There were also a few fun shops right on campus that we had to re- visit this year.  While we did not necessarily find a treasure to take home, we did have fun poking around.  We also stopped into a great secondhand  bookstore called The Haunted Bookshop.  The bookstore is more interesting compared to some traditional bookstores since you never know what you are going to find.  The two cats living there can assist with your purchase too!  We also visited a store in Iowa City called Om, which we loved. Yoga books, crystals, and jewelry made with precious stones.  We both came home sporting gorgeous moonstone rings to remind us of our trip.

While we jump started our creativity in our writing workshop, we also enjoyed some creative inspiration from our vintage shopping.  It is so enjoyable to discover interesting things, imagine the history behind them, and just have some fun with a friend.

Have a good weekend. –May and June

Vintage means pre-loved.

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Some Things We Are Loving In July

Something we both love to do is pass along recommendations of things we love.  This may be a great product, food, item of clothing, or just a seasonal present moment that we are enjoying. So, we thought it might be fun to share some things we are loving in July.

What June Is Loving Right Now

Both May and I love Tarte makeup.  It claims that it is made with high performance naturals and is cruelty-free.  But honestly, it is just plain pretty.  They have some gorgeous colors and their products feel good and don’t irritate my eyes.  Tarte just came out with a limited edition palette Swamp Queen eye and cheek palette.  I found mine at Ulta, but I am not finding it online right now.  I also picked up the lip paint as well, it’s not sticky and adds beautiful color to my lips.  I am not sure who the YouTube star, Grav3yardgirl, is that came up with this collection, but check it out.

Tarte Palette

Tarte lip gloss

I am also loving big statement rings right now.  They are a fun accessory to add some bling to any outfit, and you can find them pretty inexpensively.

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Sometimes I get bored with my workout routine and my yoga practice.  However, lately I am really feeling my yoga.  Through some good in person classes, I am noticing my practice changing and growing.  I have also been taking an online class called Yoga For Creativity with Mary Beth Larue that I really enjoy at home.  I am not very dedicated to practicing on my own, so this has been a great resource. Plus, Mary Beth Larue is a wonderful teacher.  Maybe someday I can attend an in-person class.

What May Is Loving Right Now

We are at the height of the summer season and I am all about being outside as often as possible. I love to sit on my patio to read and write, and found these great reading shades by A.J. Morgan. Good Morning America often does a segment on Thursday mornings called Deals n’ Steals where you can purchase some really great items at a huge discount. The deal only runs for the day, but don’t worry, if you aren’t able to tune in, you can simply go to gma.yahoo.com and check them all out. These glasses come in many styles for men, women, and children, they are a great price, and for those of you who are a little visually impaired, they offer readers too.

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This is also the time of year that I crave tomatoes fresh off the vine. As much as I love them, I generally don’t eat tomatoes other than my own because I personally feel that store bought tomatoes have absolutely no taste. Along with tomatoes, I also plant basil and cilantro which I love to add to salads and light summer sauces. Even if you don’t have space for a traditional garden, tomatoes grow great in pots as well.

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Years ago, a friend of mine gave me a book of daily meditations called The Language of Letting Go, by Melody Beattie.

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It’s a book that I always have at my desk, even though I don’t always read it. Lately, however, I find myself reading it almost every day. I have to say, the last few years life has been pretty uneventful not only for me, but my family as well. We were comfortable in the rhythm of our lives without a lot of change or drama. After my dad passed away in January, it seems our lives have quickly started down a new road, not only for our family as a whole, but individually as well. For me, a lot of change at one time can be a little overwhelming and I can sometimes get caught up in the minutiae of life, instead of sitting back and enjoying the ride. This is a wonderful little book that reminds me to focus on what is important.

What May And June Are Both Loving Right Now

We are both loving the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.  For people not indoctrinated into the world of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, it is an annual event in July with all new fall merchandise.  This is not the leftovers at the end of the season, but the items  you are going to want in a few months. We admit that it is hard to think about fall clothes when it is 100 degrees outside, but the prices are too great to pass up. The sale opened to Nordstrom credit and debit cards last week and opens to everyone today.  We are fortunate because we live close to several Nordstrom stores, but if you do not live near one they offer free shipping all of the time, including returns. So take a chance on something you love.  Things to consider buying are jeans, purses and boots.  We also found some great items that we both bought because we loved them, and they are so functional. We will just have to make sure we consult when we are going to be together, so we don’t look like twins.

Baby blardigan

This is the Barefoot Dreams Circle Cardigan.  We both have another version of this cardigan and we can tell you it is the coziest thing ever.  While it’s sold as loungewear, we are sure that it can be worn out on the town.

Kut from the Kloth Jacket

June bought this faux leather jacket and when May saw it, she decided she needed it too.  In the early fall it can be worn as an outdoor jacket, but it is light enough to be worn as a blazer as well.  Plus, it makes us feel like we look tough.  And it looks much richer than the price suggests.

Zella Crop

These Zella crop leggings are a steal at $24.90 (normally $48.00).  We know the website says they run small but we found they run true to your regular legging size.

Zella Live In These are the Zella live in legging.  Neither of us had tried the Zella leggings before this sale and we are both now fans.  They are super soft and on the sale are a great price (the full length ones are $37.90, normally $58.00).  They are thick enough that you do not have to worry about them being see through and showing things off that you would rather remain private when you bend over in wide legged forward fold.  And, you would think this striped pattern would not be flattering, but it flatters every figure!  Somehow it makes your legs look skinny!  And if you are short like us these still work because they are super tight at the ankle, so you can just bunch them a bit.

On these hot days, one of our favorite drinks is the Mango Black Tea Lemonade from Starbucks.  If you do not like your drink super sweet, we recommend getting half of the mango flavoring.  So on the grande size request 2 pumps of the mango.  It also cuts back on the calories.

Mango Black Tea

We are loving that it is still sunny when we get out of our evening yoga class.  We know that this won’t last, so we are enjoying the long summer days while we have them.

Finally, we are loving girl’s road trip weekends.  We are going out of town this weekend to a creativity and writing workshop with the University of Iowa Summer Writer’s Festival.  Since we are leaving this morning and the workshop does not start until Saturday morning, we are going to goof off for the day. We think some great vintage shopping, yummy food, a little yoga,  and a glass of prosecco may be in our future for the day.

We love the things we love, for what they are. Robert Frost

Have a great weekend. –May and June

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We Love Target! (Part 2)

TGIF!! The weekend is nearly here, and May and June are back for Part 2 of our We Love Target post. Today, it’s all about the home. We found some great summer accessories for both your home and garden. For May, Target is on her list of stores where she shops for great finds when decorating homes for clients, as well as her own house. June has discovered some great finds as well. You can get some fun seasonal decorations for the home, and don’t forget to check out their $1.00-$3.00 aisle for cute seasonal items. Here are a few things we love.

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The Target home department is definitely ready for summer. We loved this color palette and the wonderful textures for the season. Most of Target’s decorative pillows are between $14.99-$24.99.  For that price, you can pick up one or two and easily switch out the look on your couch for the summer.

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  We found these interesting chairs and they were on sale too!  June wished she had the space to bring one home.

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     We also loved this neutral color palette with aqua touches. The wicker baskets are great for storage.

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There was a wonderful assortment of outdoor pillows for $15.99.  These would look great on your patio or back porch.  They are made with outdoor fabric and are resistant to the weather.

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Target has a wonderful section for your patio and garden. Aren’t these gardening boots adorable? These were $18.99. May is thinking about going back for them.  They will keep her feet nice and dry when she is out playing in the mud and planting her vegetable garden this summer.

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There was a nice assortment of watering cans and planters, but these metal ones really caught our eye.  It would make the chore of keeping our container gardens hydrated a little more fun.

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We were both drawn to these adorable gnomes for the garden. These cuties were $12.99 and were the last two left!! We couldn’t resist!! They came home with us and add a wonderful touch to our outdoor spaces.  The myth is that if a gnome has something in his hands, he can’t get into mischief.  I guess because the red hatted one has no hands, we will be safe from gnome misadventures?

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Target is always having wonderful sales, so don’t forget to check out a store near you this weekend if you are looking to spruce up your home for summer.  ~May and June

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We Love Target! (Part 1)

May and June are both regular shoppers of Target. It’s one of those great one stop shopping stores where you can get great buys on just about everything, including groceries. We recently took a little afternoon field trip to Target, and wanted to share with you some great fashion finds, at great prices.

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Today we are all about fun fashion accessories. We are on the brink of summer and as we roamed the aisles, we both got lost in a sea of light summery scarves, cute and colorful tasseled totes, great hats to block the sun, and more! We loved putting together some great looks with just a plain white t-shirt and a few accessories. We also loved the great prices. We don’t know about you, but both May and June find that most of their wardrobe investment leans toward the heavier fabrics associated with winter clothing. In summer, our clothes tend to have brighter colors and lighter fabrics which don’t quite wear as well, and are washed more often. Keeping costs down for a lot of basics makes good sense, whether you’re on a budget, or not. What we love about Target is that there are so many great styles! Here are some items we loved.

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Straw hats

Whether you’re sitting poolside, walking the beach, or working in the garden, a cute little straw hat is a must to keep the sun out of your eyes. These hats were 12.99-19.99.

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T-shirt and Necklace

A plain white t-shirt (sometimes several) is a fashion staple during the summer months. You can pair it with a fun necklace or colorful scarf. These white t-shirts were $9.00, the necklaces were $16.99, and the scarves $14.99.

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T-Shirt paired with scarf and straw bag

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Of course a cute bag is a must for every occasion in the summer whether you’re going to a great summer concert, or the beach. Target has loads of great bags, and as you can see, it’s all about the tassels this summer. The summer clutches and totes were priced from $14.99-$34.99. Now we’ve come to one of our favorites……sandals!!

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Cork Wedges

IMG_3862Snake Skin Flat (Faux of course!)

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Black Fringed Sandal

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Strappy Leather Slide

Needless to say, we spent a lot of time in the shoe department. We were thrilled to see so many cute styles for every occasion. The prices were great too. Most of the sandals ran from $16.99-$34.99.

Now, our outfit isn’t complete without a great pair of shades. We’re talking the sunglass variety of course! There was practically a whole wall devoted to sunglasses of all kinds and the prices ran from $14.99-$19.99 which is a great price, especially if you tend to leave yours places.

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Doesn’t June look like a movie star?

So there you have it! Our fun Target fashion accessories.  We can’t wait to share our Target home and garden accessories with all of you next week! Have a wonderful weekend. ~May and June

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Sweet T’s Bakery and Cake Studio

Who doesn’t love a great bakery? May and June discovered a little gem of a bakery located in the quaint downtown area of Arlington Heights, IL. A family owned business, owner Tammy Montesinos and her husband Abel, both bakers, decided to fulfill a longtime dream of running their own bakery, and took the plunge nearly two years ago.  The bakery has been very successful, which isn’t easy these days with major supermarkets housing their own full service bakeries.

May’s first experience with Sweet T’s was rather accidental. She just happened to walk by the charming storefront window. It must have been fate because at that time, she needed a cake for her son’s engagement party. The cake was delicious not to mention beautiful, and got two thumbs up from all the guests. The bakery can bake a made to order cake, perfect for any occasion.

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Beautiful cakes

Recently, May and June stopped in for a little afternoon treat, sharing a variety of yummy bakery cookies. In addition to selling fine baked goods and cakes to order, the store also offers cake decorating classes for adults as well as kids parties.  Who knows, we may need to try a cake decorating class someday?

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So many choices……

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There is also plenty of room inside if you want to enjoy your fresh pastry with a hot cup of coffee. The interior decor is so sweet with pink painted walls and white tables and chairs.  It is a bit like having your sweet treats in a little cottage.

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Lot’s of items wrapped and ready to go

If you live in the area, we hope you check out Sweet T’s Bakery and Cake Studio. We know after your first visit, it will be a place you go back to for all your sweet treats. If you don’t live in the area, check out your local bakery. As you all know by now, May and June are big supporters of family owned businesses. Have a sweet weekend.

~May and June

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Exploring Whole Foods Market

Today, May and June thought it would be fun to take a little field trip to our local Whole Foods Market.

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 We don’t know what it is about this store, but we love to roam the aisles, exploring all the different departments. It really is a shopping experience, rather than just a grocery shopping chore.  In addition to the fresh foods and produce (you have the option of organic or conventional), Whole Foods also has a lovely floral department, as well as a health and beauty section where you can purchase and often sample clean, chemical free products.

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Fresh produce

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Seasonal flowers

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Natural soaps that smell amazing! (We smelled all of them!)

 We may only go to pick up one or two items, yet find it hard to leave in less than thirty minutes. It is quite the shopping event! Admittedly, both May and June shop at Whole Foods for those few items that usually aren’t available at our regular grocery store. Whole Foods higher prices can create a hefty grocery bill and let’s be honest, we’d rather put the extra cash toward a great pair of sandals for the coming summer!

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With that said, it was nearing lunch time while we were at the market and since we were both starving, we decided to check out the in-store dining. There were lots of options including a salad bar, pizza station, sushi, sandwiches, and wraps. Whole Foods also has a bar, for those of you who want to stop in for an “adult beverage.” We both settled on their magnificent salad bar which had so many delicious choices, our recyclable containers almost runneth over!

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Yummy salad bar

The in-store dining was a great idea for the store, especially at this particular Whole Foods because of the surrounding businesses, there always seems to be a very large lunch crowd.

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Adult beverage center

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Salad Bar

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Cheese assortment

Whole Foods also supports many charitable organizations around the globe, to help fight hunger, and the store gives you up to a ten cent rebate per bag, for bringing your own reusable bags. Alas, after lunch it was time for us to go. We purchased our few items, and headed out the door. Until we meet again….

Have a great weekend. ~May and June

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An Event with Jo Malone London

A few months ago, we attended an event at Nordstrom celebrating the new Jo Malone London scent, Mimosa and Cardamom.  Here is a little hint, if you shop at Nordstrom, get to know some of the salespeople and get added to their personal lists.  We were invited to this event because June had spent a Nordstrom gift card on some Jo Malone London cologne for herself, and the sales person added her information to her data base.  Nordstrom has wonderful perks for their customers, but you have to know how to take advantage of them, and this is one way (the other is to apply and use a Nordstrom credit card or debit card).

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If you are not familiar with Jo Malone London, it is a luxury brand specializing in cologne and other scented products. Jo Malone is a UK based fragrance designer, who’s journey with fragrance began as a florist by day, and a facialist by night. As a child, she loved to produce her own scents using flowers from her family garden, and grated soap. Her business began when the nutmeg and ginger bath oils she gave her  clients as gifts, led to more order requests. She eventually caught the eye of Estee Lauder, and the rest is fragrance history.  Many of the colognes are simple scents with the intent that they can be worn layered, to create your own individual fragrance.  Because of the high quality ingredients, these scents are not tainted with that alcohol or chemical smell that many colognes and perfumes can give off.  We have found that if you are somewhat sensitive to scents, these are easily wearable.

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The event began at the Jo Malone London counter in the Nordstrom at Oakbrook Center.  We started with a little ritual of washing our hands with their Vitamin E Body Treatment Scrub and a hand soap in a scent of our choice.  Once rinsed, we massaged our hands with a little Vitamin E Nourishing Hand Treatment.  Our hands have never felt so soft and smooth!!  The Body Treatment Scrub and Nourishing Hand Treatment is on our list of luxuries to treat ourselves sometime in the future. (They also make great gifts!)

We were then led to a private room at Nordstrom where we were served mimosas and a buffet of cheese and crackers, cookies and other sweet treats.  IMG_2894A representative from Jo Malone London gave a lovely presentation about their new scent explaining that it was to give you the feeling of traveling to the Middle East, Provence, and the Carribean.  As part of the presentation, we got to smell the individual elements that make up the scent including the tonka bean, the mimosa flower, and top notes of cardamom.  It is a lovely warm, spicy and sweet scent that has easily become a winter favorite of both May and June.

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They ended the event by distributing our favors which included a lovely Morrocan style tile as a memento of the “voyage” we just experienced. Naturally, both May and June had to treat themselves each to a bottle of the new scent.

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We both enjoy changing our fragrance with the seasons and look forward to something a little lighter as we move into the spring/summer months. Jo Malone also has a great sample kit, which is wonderful if you don’t want to commit to a large bottle. They are great for travel too. Unknown-3

Do you have a favorite scent?  Have a good weekend. –May and June

 

 

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Pink Reflex 2

Life is Too Long to Wear Bad Yoga Pants

Unless you have been living at an ashram in India the last few years, I am sure that you have figured out that wearing yoga pants is a trend that seems to be here to stay.  There is a whole segment of the fashion industry called “atheleisure” which is basically just a fancy way of saying you wear fashionable gym clothes out in public whether your idea of a workout is a 60 minute cardio class, or walking to the end of the driveway to pick up the newspaper.  But whether you wear yoga pants to wear to yoga class, or lounging around the house or as a part of an outfit, it is imperative that you wear yoga pants that fit you well.  No matter what your size you can find yoga pants that are flattering and do not show all your business to the world.

There are many stores that sell yoga pants.  A high price does not necessarily indicate good quality (as devotees of one well-known high-priced yoga manufacturer have discovered when unfortunately their downward dog, was showing a bit more “dog” then they had planned), I find that spending a bit more on yoga pants generally results in a more substantial fabric.  For example, I have a pair of leggings that were inexpensive and while you could possibly wear them as yoga pants because they are stretchy, no one needs to see all of that so I wear them under tunics and dresses.

I love Lucy for yoga pants, but I am also curious to try out Zella brand which is sold at Nordstrom, and a more bargain brand called Reflex sold on Amazon.  I am not being compensated for any of the following but they are just things I have found that I love.  I am sticking to long pants right now since it is January.  In the warm weather, I do switch over to cropped pants but a run from the car to a warm studio risks frostbitten ankles at the moment.

If you are not familiar with Lucy, it is a specialty store that only carries athletic wear.  Many of their styles can be worn outside of the house as your outfit. I regularly wear coats, jackets and wraps from them as every day wear.  The thing I love about Lucy is that their clothes fit real women (unlike the store mentioned earlier that shall not be named, who cater only to the size 00s of the world). Their size chart shows that the pants range in size from an XS which is a 0 to an XL which is up to a size 18.  The Lucy basic pants come in lengths too, so for us shrimpies they have short lengths, and for those of you that were blessed with long legs and height, they have tall lengths (as well as average lengths).  I have heard that you can shorten yoga pants, but really who has time for that?  I am fortunate because I have a brick and mortar store close to my house where I can try things on, but they do offer free shipping if you want to order online.  Finally, you may think after checking out the pants below that they are really expensive, but Lucy runs some great sales and they have a rewards program.  A couple times a year, Lucy will run specials on just their pants, in November or December they usually celebrate Lucy’s birthday with a percentage off the entire store/website, and as they rotate through the seasons they put the prior season’s stock on sale and if you hold on long enough, the sale usually goes on sale.  I also will tell you that my pants last and last.  No pilling.  I just wash in cold and hang to dry.

So here are some of my favorite pants from Lucy:

 

Vital Pant

Vital Pant

These are a nice basic boot cut yoga pant.  If you ever watched Stacy London and Clinton Kelly on TLC’s What Not To Wear, they emphasized that if you have hips your pants should be a straight line with a little flare at the bottom to even out your hips.  These will do that.  The weight of the pants is good.  They provide some support but don’t squeeze you so that you cannot breathe (which you need to be able to do).

Lotus Pant

Lotus Pant

The Lotus Pant is a really straight legged pant.  I have a pair which I do not wear for yoga or to work out (it is just my personal preference), but I do wear them as pants under tunics or dresses.  However, my mom just discovered these and she loves to wear them for yoga.  She bought one pair and wanted to wear them to yoga class every time (which is 3-4 times a week) and also just as pants, so she went back for a second pair.

Studio Hatha Legging

 

Black Hatha Legging

I recently decided to give yoga leggings a try and have found that I really, really like them.  I feel like my muscles are more compressed in the pant which feels good during long yoga classes or a high intensity class.  And as any one who knows me knows, I can be a bit of a klutz (in the last year and a half I have sprained an ankle which required 12 weeks of physical therapy and then 6 months later broke my toe, both happened while I was just walking, and tripped).  So while the boot cut pant is flattering, I tend to trip on the bottom of the pant.  I also found that with the extra material my tree pose would slide down my leg unless I pulled my pant leg up.  To avoid looking like an upside down ice cream cone, I pair my leggings with a blousy yoga top or a looser, longer tshirt.  These leggings do come in lengths for some of the colors.  However, I found the rise in the short length a bit uncomfortable, so I just wear the regular length and the bottoms are a little bunchy around my ankle.

Patterned Pants

Patterned Yoga Pant

Another Pattern

A trend lately are patterned yoga pants.  I was hesitant to try these on me because I do not like to accentuate my lower half.  I have a pair similar to the top pair and I get complimented every time I wear them (I think I may have to get the top pair so I don’t wear the same patterned ones every time).  These are the same Studio Hatha Leggings as above but just in a pattern.  I recommend that you try them on to see how you like the pattern.  You may be surprised how flattering they look.  And I can guarantee you will feel like you look very hip.

Zella Brand

I personally have not tried these Zella brand pants but they look super cute and they have great reviews online.  And if you do not have a Nordstrom by you (or it is a super huge mall and sometimes the thought of going there exhausts you), Nordstrom offers free delivery and free returns.  Also, I noticed that this brand has plus size so if you need a little more room in your pants while you work hard to stay healthy, you can still be super cute.

Zella Live-In Legging

Black Pattern ZellaPink Pattern Zella

These are the Zella Live-In Legging.  I think I may have to try these on the next time I am at Nordstrom just for a little variety.  The reviews do say that the material is thick so there are no revelations going on, but some complain that they are long (although I expect that on me).

Live-In Spectrum Leggings

Sexy Black Leggings

I think these are kind of sexy black yoga pant leggings.  I don’t know if I would try them but they do put an interesting spin on the plain black pant.

Reflex Brand

So I cannot get the images of these pants to be bigger than microscopic, but check on the link to check these out.  A woman in my yoga class had the Burgundy Snowflake Space Dye the other day and they were adorable.  And they are only $25 on Amazon but they didn’t look it.  Because they were new for her, time will tell how well they wear but if you want to try the patterned trend or you are just looking for some inexpensive yoga pants these may be ones to try.

Whether you are planning to take a 3 hour yoga class like I did this past weekend (my body is still talking to me today), hitting a strength class, walking the dog, going to the grocery store or just sitting on the couch binge-watching TV, remember you can look cute and feel good.  No one feels good when they are self-conscious about lumpy bumpy pants.  So treat yourself to some stunning and fun yoga pants.  –June

 

 

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Lucky Junk

We both independently love vintage finds because you know each and every object has a story.  We also love when someone has the courage and ability to to create a business largely based on the encouragement of others. Janet McCarthy is that someone.

We were very excited when almost two years ago a store opened nearby that sells all things vintage, called Lucky Junk.  Lucky Junk is an occasional store, meaning that it is only open two weekends a month, while the owner devotes much of the other days to searching for finds.

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We stopped in recently on one of the open dates to see what was new and also take some pictures and speak to Janet, the owner.

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We were very interested in the story of how the store came to be.  Apparently, Janet started with a single yard sale at her home selling vintage finds she had collected, because she always loved vintage and shabby chic.  The first yard sale was so successful that it became a bi-annual event that she hosted, along with having a full-time job.  As Janet said, “The sale exploded” and people kept asking for more.  So she took the plunge and opened a bricks and mortar store and left her full-time job.

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In the last two years, Lucky Junk has grown.  In addition to vintage finds, Janet also carries original artisan goods all with a vintage feel.  Both May and June have purchased several treasures, both for their homes and for personal wear (like jewelry and scarves).  In addition, the store hosts chalk paint classes and other art classes.

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More inspiring then our finds, is the way that Janet took a leap of faith and turned her hobby into her new profession.  This is a good lesson for all of us to listen to others, as well as our own hearts, about our own talents and gifts. –May and June

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Lucky Junk is open the second and fourth weekends of the month and is located at 405 S. Arlington Heights Road, Arlington Heights, Illinois.

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