Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Fashion Fix {Summer Sundresses}

It has been SO hot here recently, to the point that I feel like wearing nothing but workout clothes or a swimsuit.  However, it does feel nice to get dressed in "normal" clothes every now and then and my go-to for hot summer days is a sundress because it just feels so much cooler than wearing shorts. I thought I'd share some of my favorites with you all today!  Most are very affordable, all are very comfortable, and a lot of them come in different patterns and colors, too! 


1. Blue Tie-Dye ($28) - This one started my dress obsession this summer.  I learned about a new line called Scoop and they have the CUTEST things.  It is Walmart.com's boutique line and I've ordered several of their tops and dresses.  This dress thought was by far my favorite.  It was so comfortable and I felt like I was wearing pajamas all day. Every time I have worn it I've had people stop me and ask where it was from.  It is sold out in some of the smaller sizes, but still available in Large, XL. Plus it comes in solids (Black, Pink and Yellow) and is fully stocked! 


2. Tropical Print ($28) - Same dress as the blue tie-dye!  Also sold out in smaller sizes, but if you wear a large or bigger this one is SO cute for summer or vacation. 

3. V-Neck Drop Waist ($15) - This solid dress is super flattering with it's drop waist and comes in several different colors.  I love the peach and lavender best! 

4. Pink Floral ($20) - This one was another Target find and for $20 I couldn't pass it up.  It's easy, breezy, and oh so comfortable.  I love that it ties at the shoulders so I can adjust the fit to be just right. It's a juniors brand, so I sized up to a Medium for length, but if you are on the shorter size I would say go with your regular size. 


5. Magnolia Breeze ($85) - I shared this dress on Instagram a few weeks ago, but just loved the concept. The company is a small Georgia owned brand and she designed this dress after realizing the lack of wicking fabric dresses for women.  Men have nice dry-fit golf shirts they can wear in the hot and humid summer months, but what about us?  This dress is made of moisture wicking fabric, has a great amount of stretch, and even has pockets!  I feel like it can be dressed up or down and would be great for any type of outdoor event you may have this summer.  I think this dress runs a bit small, so I would size up. I'm wearing a Medium.  Be sure to use code MagnoliaMamas for 20% off. 


6. Hot Pink ($28) - Sometimes you just have to put on a pretty pink dress!  This one is lined and has adjustable straps.  I loved the tiered design and feel like it was super flattering on.  


7. Blue Gingham ($16) - I'm a sucker for gingham and when I saw the flutter sleeves I was totally sold on this one.  It's been out of stock so I'm still waiting for mine to come in, but I'm OBSESSED with this one. 

8. Solid Flutter Sleeve ($15) - This flutter sleeve dress is made with a super soft cotton and comes in several different solid colors.  I keep checking my local stores, but I think I'm going to have to break down and just order this one online.  

9. Green Floral ($20) - This is the same as #4, just in a different color!  It also comes in several solids, include black, which for the $20 price tag I'm considering snagging for a swim cover up. 

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Monday, June 14, 2021

Beach Vacation 'What to Wear' Inspiration

 The countdown begins now for beach vacay 2021. We both have beach trips scheduled for the upcoming weeks and we. can't. wait! 

Living in a warm weather climate, we tend to have everything we need for a beach vacation, but it's always fun to grab a little something new to wear, or have a new umbrella to wrestle. 

We've already chatted about what books we're packing in our beach bags, and what cover-ups we've scouted out, but today we are sharing a little look at some other fun items we pack for the beach. 

We had waaaay too much fun with this.  

Our ability to get to the carpool line on time might be weak, but our Internet shopping game and fruity cocktails are strong. 

So pour yourself a frosty frozen one, and enjoy a little of our "Beach Vacation Inspiration"...


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Which beach look is your favorite? 


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Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Cocktail Confessions: French 75

A few months ago the Mr. had a French 75 out somewhere and just knew I would like.  I love champagne or Prosecco and I love that it sounded kind of fancy, so we started making them at home.  Now it's one of our go-to summer drinks and the perfectly refreshing cocktail.  


French 75 

Ingredients: 

1 ounce gin 

1/2 ounce lemon juice 

1/2 ounce simple syrup 

3 ounces Champagne or Prosecco 

Optional Garnish: lemon twist


Directions: 

1. Combine gin, lemon juice and simple syrup in a shaker with ice and shake until well chilled. 

2. Pour into champagne flute (or we use martini glasses). 

3. Top with champagne and garnish with lemon twist. 

4. Enjoy! 

It's so simple to make and ready in just minutes!  What's your favorite summer cocktail?  

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Monday, June 7, 2021

Easy S'Mores Dip Recipe


Now here's a recipe I can't believe I've never shared before - the S'mores Dip Recipe! I've made it a million times. After I shared a peek of this one I made on Stories over the weekend, friends kept messaging for the recipe. I woke up to at least 20 messages asking for it. I was going to just forward a past post, and realized I didn't have one. 

What?! 

Well that gets rectified today! 

The S'mores Dip is SO easy to make. It can also be altered in a ton of ways. I always use grahams to dip with, but you can also get creative with fruit, pretzels, etc. 

It's a total crowd pleaser, and if you have any left over it's easy to reheat and serve again next day. 



S’MORES DIP RECIPE 

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 bag of marshmallows (large or small)
  • 1 box of graham crackers (I usually grab the regular and a box of the chocolate)
  • Optional: Reese’s, Snickers, other chocolate candies


**Note: I use 8x8 foil pans for this. I’ve used glass dishes and iron skillets which work just as good, but are tough to clean between the marshmallow and melted hardened chocolate. The foil pans are easy to reheat and a quick throw away when done. 


INSTRUCTIONS 


1: Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. 

2: Line pan with a layer of your chocolate. 

3: Top chocolate with marshmallows. 

4: Bake in oven for approximately 5-8 mins or until chocolate is melted. 

5: Turn on broiler for 1 minute to toast the marshmallow. 


Serve and enjoy! 






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Thursday, June 3, 2021

End of Season Soccer Party

 


A few weeks ago we hosted an end of season soccer party. Although when it comes to full year sports the season doesn't really ever end. But we knew some players wouldn't be returning for the following year. or attending the Summer league. So when we saw a break in our schedule and sun on the forecast we threw together a last minute pool party to celebrate the season. 

This was the most fun soccer season we have ever had. We switched teams this year, and with Covid running rampant, it restricted a lot of mingling amongst the parents and players. As parents, Mr. Magnolia and I were initially worried our son would be feel like he was on the outside since most of the players had been together for years. However, this was the sweetest group of ten year old boys and they instantly welcomed all the newcomers. They've all become close friends, and pulled out a GREAT season. 


When we purchased this house, this was totally what I was picturing in my mind - hosting the kids parties here and having the space to let everyone spread out and have fun. And fun this group had! 


I was able to pull a soccer theme party together relatively easily. I have a ton of Coton Colors Happy Everything Pieces with a variety of the soccer attachments. With a quick switch of my attachments an instant theme was made. 

Happy Everything! has attachments for a lot of sports (football, baseball, softball, cheer, basketball, etc.) so this is easily a party you can recreate for another type of team!



The rest of the decor I can thank the good people of Amazon. With a quick click of a button, and that fabulous two day shipping, I able to snag a ton of great soccer themed party and pool items with little effort.



And because I like to be a little extra sometimes I asked Mr. Magnolia on a Home Depot trip to grab me a strip of astro turf. He had no idea what I planned on using it for, but has learned to just agree with me when it comes to party planning. 



I just knew the turf would make for a fun table runner. This is just a single one foot strip they were able to cut in store and roll up for us. 



And because it was a pool party, I grabbed all the players and siblings some fun, inexpensive aviator glasses to wear and take home.   


For food I kept it relatively simple. Mr. Magnolia fired up the grill and made hotdogs and hamburgers. I asked the team to bring sides and I had snacks and drinks on hand for the kids. 


I always keep this little tiered tower stocked with snacks for the kids in our basement, so it just required an easy restock. 

And since this is essentially our bar, serving the adults was super easy too! 


The kids and adults had so much fun together, we already are planning to do this again soon! 






Now to get prepped for the Summer season. I have a feeling you'll find me floating in the pool post game more than the kids because Summer in the South is no joke. 



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Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Book Club: May 2021

 

It's Book Club Day!!! And the first weekday all of us are on Summer Break. Hallelujah! AMEN! Pass the wine, pass the sunscreen, pass the beach reads! We are sooooo excited for a few months downtime. 

And May gave us lots of time to think about all the good books we'll be reading poolside this summer. We released our annual Best Books of Summer List for 2021, and this year it's a good one! All our favorite authors didn't let the pandemic slow them down. 


We also found our latest reading obsession - Once Upon a Book Club boxes. Listen if you want to join a book club, this is the one! Fun books + fabulous surprises = the coolest book club ever. Read about it all HERE and snag a discount code to join us or gift it to a book loving friend in your life. We already can't wait to see which one lands on our doorstep next! 

Now if we haven't given you enough reading inspiration so far for your Summer, our May book reviews will surely give you something to throw in your beach bags. We promise! 




WHAT WE READ...

CARRIE BETH

The month of May is always such a busy one so I didn't get to read or listen to as many books as I usually do last month, but I loved the ones I did finish!  

To put me in the summer mood I started with Mary Kay Andrews' newest title, THE NEWCOMER. I loved that this was a mix of what we have come to know and love about Mary Kay Andrews, but with a little bit of a twist.  It was murder mystery meets love story meets typical small Florida tourist town complete with all the grumpy regulars who's lives are about to get shaken up a bit.  Loveable Letty arrives in town with her young niece, looking for some answers and a place to escape after finding her sister's murdered body in her expensive New York apartment.  Letty and her niece win the hearts of just about everyone at the hotel and some of the grouchy regulars even come to Letty's rescue when she needs it most of all. I loved the mystery aspect of this story and all the small beach town happenings that go along with it.  


I'm a little late to the Christina Lauren UNHONEYMOONERS party, but better late than never! This one has been on my wishlist for quite a while. I've never read a Christina Lauren book I didn't enjoy so I knew this one would be no different.   It's a story of a maid of honor and best man who end up taking the bride and groom's honeymoon after an unfortunate bit of food poisoning at their wedding. The two on the trip thought they've always hated each other, until they realized that they don't. This cute story had me laughing out loud at some parts and cheering for the characters at others.  

JEN
You would never know that May was a jam packed month because I read six (SIX?!) books again. Granted some of these are Audibles, but I do remember having my hand on physical pages more than I have in recent months. And all of my reads this month were sooooo good! They put me just in the right mood for all things Summer! So pass me a frozen cocktail, and let's chat reviews...


Mary Kay Andrews is queen of the beach read, and she is one of those authors for me that never disappoints. I know I can pick up one of her novels and instantly enjoy it from the first page. I knew THE NEWCOMER would be great - and it was! Murder + humor + quaint coastal town + a mystery that grips you from page one = a recipe for a beachside treat. From the second you realize Letty is on the run with her young niece after finding her sister Tanya dead on her New York apartment floor, you are hooked. The twist and turns along the way mixed with the lovable cast of characters made this one hard to put down! 


We aren't sure how she does it, but Kristy Woodson Harvey's novels just keep getting better and better. UNDER THE SOUTHERN SKY is a stand alone novel based on childhood friends finding joy in each other again after heartbreaking losses. Parker loses the love of his life to cancer and Amelia loses her job, home, and husband all in one fell swoop. But a discovery by Amelia about Parker and his wife ties them all back together again. 

The story weaves itself together perfectly, and you realize just how beautiful a storyteller Kristy is.  With a cast of characters you just can't help but love, and a dreamy coastal setting filled with old southern home tidbits, you are smitten from page one. And that ending!! We swooned over the perfection of it and if at all possible it made us love Amelia even more. Definitely add this one to your beach bags this ASAP!


Keeping my beach theme going, I read ANCHORED HEARTS by Priscilla Oliveras next. This was such a fun novel about second chance romances. High school sweethearts went their separate ways following graduation, but after a tragic accident they are forced to come face to face again. With a little help from some meddling Cuban mothers. :) Set in the tropical paradise that is Key West, and filled with spicy family drama, Oliveras delivers a steamy romance with a touch of warmth and funny quips. I couldn't stop turning the pages to read more about Ale and Anamaria. The only thing that threw me while reading were the Spanish phrases. Oliveras does a good job explaining what they mean in the text as you are reading. Those four years of French in high school - not helpful at all. Lé sigh. 


I switched gears for my next read and grabbed this one from our Summer Reading List to listen to. This was so different than anything else I’ve read by Laura Dave. THE LAST THING HE TOLD ME was a captivating suspense story that held my attention with its twists and slow release of secrets. A woman finally finds the love of her life and lives with he and his 16 year old daughter in a floating house in Northern California. She thinks everything is perfect until one day he disappears and leaves a strange note. Mysterious money, hidden secrets, past relationships...it was one of those books I just couldn’t help but wonder how it would all play out in the end. The end is a little surprising, and while I wanted a different outcome, I totally understand why the author had to end it that way for the whole story to make sense.


DIAL A FOR AUNTIES was the murder-romance I didn't know I needed in my life. I LOVED this book! Good girl, rule following Meddelin Chen accidentally kills her blind date. What is she to do? Call the police? Nope. She brings him home and calls her mom and aunties. From here you get a laugh out loud series of events, a cast of characters you can't help but love, an over the top island wedding, and a run in with "the one that got away" for one amazing page turning story. 

The story is refreshingly new, but gives you hints of over the top richness and family drama a la Crazy Rich Asian style. The story is being made into a movie for Netflix and I already can't wait to see the book brought to life!


A SUMMER TO REMEMBER gave me all the feels. I'm so glad I ended my month of reading on this book! It's a heartwarming novel about grief, loss, and finding love in the most unexpected of places. Still grieving the loss of her mom, Frankie continues to run her mother's beloved memorabilia shop in Hollywood as a way to keep that one last connection to her. But then some old photographs and letters surface from some of her mother's old possessions, and soon Frankie is headed across country to a different land of stars and fame in search of answers about her mother's past. And maybe to finally find out who her father is. 

I loved how this novel gave you a peek into old hollywood, but still gave you that summer time love vibe in a small coastal town. I loved how the story unfolded, and felt for the characters as their secrets unraveled and came to light. 

It's a romance novel, but so much more! Pack this one in your beach bags this summer for sure!

WHAT'S UP NEXT...


CARRIE BETH

Sticking with the summer read titles I'm getting ready to start Kristy Woodson Harvey's latest, UNDER THE SOUTHERN SKY. After reading Jen's review above, I can't wait to dive into this one! 


JEN

I love me a good Christina Lauren book, so I can't wait to read their latest - THE SOULMATE EQUATION! It sounds so fun and full of that romantic comedy we love about their novels. 


WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN READING LATELY? ANYTHING FUN WE NEED TO ADD TO OUR LIST FOR THE MONTH? SHARE WITH US ALL THE GOOD READS!


BOOK CLUB 2021

January | February | March | April |



Follow along with us on Goodreads!


HAPPY READING! 


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Friday, May 28, 2021

Friday Favorites {5.28.2021}



Happy Friday friends! This Friday is extra special because it's the LAST Friday of the school year. That might be my top favorite of all! 

In a school year, we weren't sure what was going to happen (or even if it would), my school district pulled out all the stops and since August 1st we've been going strong. That means ten full months of school and I am more than ready for a break. 

And to stop packing lunches. 

And to say goodbye to that annoying morning alarm. 

But no more whining...because it was a GREAT year. The kids had so much fun at their new school, and already have a ton of friends they can't wait to kick off Summer with. 




Speaking of ways to kick off Summer...how about with a yummy drink or two? I've been introduced to two canned drinks lately that taste like Summer in a can. One alcoholic and one healthy energy drink. Both need to be added to your next grocery list! 

A few weekends ago we hosted some friends for a pool get together.  One of my girlfriends said she left a special treat for me in the fridge. It was this drink...



Oh my! This is dangerous dangerous lemonade. All the flavors are so good! It is also locally made. Field trip anyone?



Second, drink is this V8 Energy drink. I've been trying to find a healthier caffeine/energy drink option and spotted this flavor in Target. I gave it a try and instantly added it to my Amazon Subscribe & Save order. A lot of people saw me drinking it and asked if it was thick like typical V8 drinks. The answer? No. It's like and bubbly and tastes like a spritzer with out the alcohol. Think non-alcoholic Truly. 

You're welcome. 





While we all love Summer, it also means lots of downtime to fill in between sports and swimming. My kids love to do puzzles, and we've found a few Summer inspired ones my daughter is into lately. 



Buffalo Games also has the best puzzles, and tons of fun options and sizes to do. My son has asked for their Star Wars puzzles to work on. 


I think I am going to order a few more to entertain along the way over the next few months. I asked the kids to pick out their favorite ones and it was funny to see some of the ones they liked (spoiler alert: lots of entertaining animals.)







My kids also like to play a lot of games during the Summer, and this card game lately has been their favorite. 



Card games are always so easy to throw in a bag and bring anywhere with us. Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza has been fun for both the kids and the adults, and one that has gotten a ton of laughs out of all of us. 


Seriously, it has provided hours of entertainment!





Summer time means swimming and swimming means swimsuit season. Some people dread this part of the Summer, but I LOVE it! A swimsuit, cut-off shorts, and a pair of flip flops is my favorite outfit to wear. 

On our trip to Carillon Beach, I realized I need to add a few new swimsuits to my wardrobe. I've since stocked up on cover-ups, but some of my go-to swimsuits are starting to show some wear/age. So this week I ordered a few new ones. I am anxiously awaiting their arrival because the boat is ready to go and the pool is on the daily schedule now until October.

Here are some of the one pieces that made it to my cart, and some I am still thinking about. All are under $100 (most under $40!)








 

My son also needed some new suits and I ordered a few for him as well. He seems so small to me still at ten, but lately he has been growing like a weed. He's tall and lanky, and even though it is the style, I just can't wrap my mind around super short swim trunks. So ordering I did...


I snagged all of these from Belk. They have a great selection of swim attire for boys and also have lots of coordinating rash guards since we spend a lot of time outside and on the water. 




I also picked up a cute little outdoor table for the girls - it matches my pool/patio decor even down to the coordinating umbrella so I couldn't resist! 



Then I threw in my cart some new pool towels and goggles. Because around here we can always use more!

Love when you can do one stop shopping for all the things. Belk has a great outdoor section this year if you need anything - even camping gear! 



That wraps up my favorites for this week. Now to SUMMER!!!


What are some of your favorites lately?



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