Strawberry Basil Lemonade

So this past weekend was the kick off to strawberry season in Wisconsin, and my mom and I decided to jump on the bandwagon and enjoy the gorgeous day to go strawberry picking! There are quite a few farms in the Milwaukee area where you can pick from. Anyone from Wisconsin looking for a good place to pick? Just look on this website for locations and details!

With all of these strawberries, I had no idea what to do with them all other than head to Pinterest for some ideas! My mom made some strawberry pie and I made Strawberry Rhubarb Sangria, which I learned how to make last year and have made several times since I posted about it before (view the post & recipe link).

I froze a ton of them for smoothies, brought some into work, and still felt like they weren’t disappearing! So I made strawberry basil lemonade which I found on Pinterest with this recipe. SO AMAZING!

Tips & Hints:

  • Instead of just throwing the basil leaves and strawberries into the lemonade mixture, I threw the basil and strawberries into my blender to create a puree
  • The finished product was a bit sour for me, so I added more water to it!
  • The taste of strawberry and basil combined is unimaginable, and so much better than I expected. In fact, I plan on making strawberry basil cupcakes tomorrow! (Stay tuned for that post!)
  • Make sure you mix well and serve over ice!
  • Stays good for several days too!
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I Need Your Help!

So time for a quick break in my Pinterest and fashion posts, to ask for a little help from my followers, yes I’m talking to you! One of my family friends (that I have known my entire life) was recently engaged to her boyfriend who proudly serves our country in the Coast Guard.

Myranda and Sam have entered a contest to win a $20,000 dream wedding sponsored by Potowotami Casino in Milwaukee, and they made the top 5 finalists! What I need from you, is your help voting!

Please take a minute to vote for Myranda and Sam from Grafton, WI! You can vote once per day, and vote every day until July 9th! Please vote and share with your friends, family and social networks! You can also check out their love story on the link when you vote!

Vote now for Myranda and Sam!!

The contest and their story also made it onto the Morning blend in Milwaukee! Take a look at the video below!

I truly appreciate every vote, and I know they do as well! Thank you for following my blog and stay tuned for new posts every week! =)

XOXO, Steph

Stylish Loafers, Wedges, and Crop Tops Thanks to Goodwill

Yes, I am not ashamed to admit that I shop at Goodwill. So what if the items were owned or worn before. They make washing machines for a reason. Plus it’s no different than going to Plato’s closet (which I’m sure plenty of you do!).

A couple of weeks ago I rode my bike to the bank to deposit a check, and found myself wandering over to Goodwill “just to look.” Of course I come out with some amazing deals, enough that I could barely fit it all into my drawstring backpack I had with me for biking!

Goodwill Finds:

  • White button up collared crop top (longer in the back and cropped in the front with a tie) – $5
  • Paper Crane brand white and coral crop top (originally sold at TJ Maxx, still had the tags on it too!) –$4
  • Xhiliration grey crop top with cut out back (originally sold at Target) –$4
  • Nine West BRAND NEW jade colored loafers – $4
  • Liz & Co. BRAND NEW blue velvet loafers (originally sold at JC Penney)-$5
  • Mossimo brand brown and black strapped wedges (still with the tags on it, originally sold at Target last summer)-$4 on sale

My favorite item in this purchase was definitely the Mossimo wedges. In one of my previous fashion posts, I wore them so you can see them a bit easier and what they look like on me. My roommate had these shoes last year and I loved them enough that I kept borrowing them. It just so happens that they were half off with the tags still on them, brand new at Goodwill! I was so excited to find them because I didn’t have to borrow them anymore!

Plus it’s definitely a bargain since they look identical to the Chloe brand wedges which sell for $550, and these were sold at Target for $29, and I still got the best bargain! I even found a blog that compares the designer shoe to this pair, such a great find!

Vintage Coat Rack- distressed with shoe polish

Just like my previous post about vintage frames, I have been doing some shopping around for other vintage items that I can paint and distress to look vintage. I am moving within the next few months to start a new part of my life after graduation and I want to have some items to decorate my place with (where ever that is..).

I found this coat rack at Hobby Lobby in the clearance section for $7! I wasn’t a fan of the color they had distressed on it, so I decided to take it into my own hands and paint it! Normally, I have been trying to find items at thrift stores and garage sales where it’s cheaper, but I couldn’t pass up this deal. (I went into hobby lobby just for paint originally, oops!)

Tips & Hints:

The details on how to distress the item originally came from a google search, and I forgot to pin it, so I had to go back out and find it to pin it for you all! Here’s the original post on Pinterest.

  • I started the project by unscrewing the knobs because I didn’t want to get paint on them. only one of them wouldn’t come off, so I just put painters tape on it.
  • Once the knobs are removed, begin painting your first layer of paint
    • I painted acrylic paint on instead of spray paint
  • Once you have two layers of paint dry on the wood, then take shoe polish and start marking it up wherever
    • I covered almost the entire board with it, and then went back and added another layer of paint on top, but did it a bit more sloppy to get the vintage look
  • After it’s dry, add two layers of Mod Podge, screw the hooks back in and you are done!

Vintage Picture Frames

My newest decorating idea stemmed from various Pinterest posts, internet searches and the trending “vintage/distressed” look all over the place. I realized that I haven’t done anything with my photos from my semester abroad in Europe, except post them on Facebook, and I wanted to change that. I decided to find old vintage frames from all over the place that could either be painted or touched up.

I have gone to several rummage sales, thrift stores, Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul, antique malls, etc. to find tons of frames for super cheap! I even found one from Hobby Lobby that originally was $40, and had chipped paint, that I thought I could just fix myself.

Once I am done touching up the frames, I am going to print a lot of my Europe photos in black and white and create a collage on the wall with the various frames. None of the frames match each other and I like it that way!

Once I distress the frames and complete them, I will create a post about it! But for now, here are some of the frames that I bought! Most of the frames ranged anywhere from 50 cents up to $5.00.

Black Studded Blouse & Red Skinny Jeans

Well, tomorrow is the first official day of summer and it doesn’t exactly feel like it with the Wisconsin weather we have had the last week (rain and cooler). With the cooler weather, the longer layers are more acceptable especially since I need to dress up nicer for my internship. I like to add color to my outfits even in the office!

Outfit Details:

  • Karen Kane black studded blouse from Nordstrom Rack$30
  • YMI USA red skinny jeans bought from Plato’s Closet$8
  • Zigi Soho brand black loafers from Nordstrom Rack –$30

Recently, we got Wisconsin’s first Nordstrom Rack EVER added to a new strip mall in the Milwaukee area and I was so excited to shop there!

Monogram Button Up & Dress Shorts

Looking for a classy, chic look? Why not try a solid colored button up & dress shorts.

During our sorority recruitment last fall, we decided to all get matching button ups with our personal monograms added. I loved the idea since monograms are so stylish right now and it can be worn for several occasions.

You can get your clothing monogrammed at many places online and in person. Many local graphic design and embroidery stores are able to do this for you. Since we had over 40 shirts to do, it only cost a few dollars each. Talk to your local stores for a quote.

Outfit Details:

  • Ralph Lauren Long Sleeved Button up- $35 (from RL Outlet store)
  • Forever21 Shorts –$15 (purchased a couple of years ago)
  • Chunky Necklace- $8 (purchased at a vintage market in Italy)
  • Apt. 9 Heels from Kohl’s – (I purchased them several years ago on clearance, but don’t remember the price)

High Waisted Skater Skirt & Crop Top

I’ve been looking everywhere for a skater skirt that looked good on me and wasn’t too pricey. I don’t wear skirts too much anymore, so I would rather buy a skirt for a cheaper deal. The high waisted skater skirt is very trendy this summer and looks best with a crop top or tighter shirt, (although there are a few other shirts that could work if you played around with your closet like I did). I bought the skirt without knowing if I owned anything that went well with it, so it was a pretty big spur of the moment purchase.

I don’t get to dress like this super often either because I am interning most of the week and it’s a little dressy for the bars in the town which I live in this summer. Luckily, when I go home on the weekends I go out downtown in Milwaukee with my friend Erin and I was pretty excited to wear this outfit for a night out =)

Outfit Details:

  • Discovery Coral crop top- on clearance for $5
  • Kohl’s, SO brand skater skirt- $8
  • Target, Mossimo brand tan and black wedges- (Last season, but found them on sale at Goodwill with the tags still attached) $5
  • Bracelets purchased in Italy

Bright Pants, Striped Flats, & Simple Sweater

I always like to mix things up for my daily outfits that I wear to my internship. I know I learned a lot in my business classes about keeping bright colors to a minimum especially pants, but I believe once you have established yourself in the company, it’s good to let your personality shine a bit more through your outfits. Plus, my office is in a small conference room as we remodel our building, and not many people really see me anyways.

Today I decided to “brush off some dust” on some of my older clothes which have been neglected in recent years. You know, those items you never wear but still believe you’ll find a time to wear it so you hold onto it? Well, I’m glad I did because I found a great combination that I threw together in 5 minutes (literally 5 minutes… I was running a bit late).

Outfit Details:

  • Willi Smith Salmon Colored Pants purchased from TJ Maxx (Bought a couple of years ago, and I think they were around $25)
  • Gray Blouse purchased from a boutique called Gossip in my home town (Bought a few years ago for $15)
  • Merona brand navy blue sweater given to me by a friend (Merona is one of Target’s clothing lines)
  • Dexter brand striped ballet flats from DSW Shoes (Bought these way back in high school and never wore them much)
  • Gold compass necklace given as a gift from my friend (she purchased it on Etsy)

Spring & Summer are the BEST times to whip out those BRIGHT, BOLD colored pants. If you don’t own any, go buy some now! You don’t have to spend a fortune. I highly recommend TJ Maxx, Kohl’s, or even your local Goodwill. Some great deals out there!

Vintage Map Anniversary Gift

So it recently was my parent’s 25th wedding anniversary this past month, and I wanted to make them something special since I cannot really afford a big gift right now. I wanted it to be simple, yet classy enough that they would want to actually hang it somewhere. After some pinning and searching, I found this adorable idea. My project ended up being a tad bit different in a frame rather than a canvas, but I still loved how it turned out!

My parent’s love story….

My parents met in Vail Colorado, their story is much like a fairy tail movie. My mom was vacationing with some friends and decided to venture out on her own one day to ski (since her friends had a little too much fun the night before). As she was getting on the lift, a guy approached her and asked if he could join her on the lift up (my dad), and she said sure. They ended up skiing together the rest of the day, and he eventually took her on a date. My mom which was living in Chicago at the time, began dating my dad long distance since he lived in Michigan. As the years went by, their love grew stronger and they eventually got married. And 25 years have passed since, which led me to creating this present!

Tips & Hints:

  • For the map
    • I searched the internet for a large sized map of Colorado which had Vail clearly labeled on it & I printed it on presentation paper for a more professional look
    • You can make the map as big or as small as you would like, all up to you! (This was as big as the map would print due to resolution)
    • I hand wrote the letters and hand cut them out of card stock, but you can do it anyway you want
    • I cut a small heart that was big enough to fit around the city, and glued it all onto the paper and set it into the frame!
  • For the frame-
    • I stock up on vintage or old frames from Goodwill, any sales, thrift stores, garage sales, etc. for projects like these
    • I used a wooden white frame that I got from Goodwill and I sanded the edges to take off some of the paint
    • I took black shoe polish and started streaking it all over the edges to make it look vintage
    • Make sure to let it dry thoroughly and add a top coat of mod podge!