pleats and pearls

my picks: best of summer swim sale

The Look For LessKaylee DeLacyComment

Hello friends!

Happy Saturday!  As July is nearing its end, I'm sure you're savoring every last day of summer you can get.  Those last few days of fun in the sun are fleeting, so you need to make it count.  July also happens to be one of two big "markdown months" of the year – when retailers are trying to clear out inventory before the new season begins.  In more basic terms, everything spring/summer is super cheap right now.  So whether you want a new suit to round out your summer or you want to stock up for next year, now is the time to shop!  But don't worry – you don't need to spend countless hours scouring the internet for the best deals, because I already have.  I searched high and low, near and far, for the best deals on the most must-have styles.  The good news?  Everything you see here is under $100.  The better news?  11 styles are under $50!

1. Lands' End AquaSport Bikini Top and Bottom, $43  2. Lulu's Bustier Bikini Set, $35  3. Target Midkini Set, $43  4. Lands' End Tugless Tank Suit, $45  5. Victoria's Secret Fringe Bandeau Set, $33  6. Victoria's Secret Flounce Halter Set, $32  7. Victoria's Secret Plunge Bandeau Set, $33  8. Lands' End Halter One-Piece, $40  9. Unique Vintage Polka Dot Top and Bottom, $20  10. Target Tankini Set, $40

1. Triangl Poppy-Flamingo Fling Bikini Set, $89  2. Ann Taylor Swim Dress, $90  3. Victoria's Secret Knockout Bandeau Set, $54  4. River Island Balconet Top and High Waist Bottom, $57  5. Triangl Lily-Blueberry Burst Bandeau Set, $89  6. J.Crew Halter Bikini Set, $84  7. Modcloth Retro Halter and High Waist Bottom, $45  8. Lands' End Bandeau Tankini and Bottom, $75  9. J.Crew Halter High Waist Set, $70  10. Lands' End Ruffle Tankini and Bottom, $68

Got inspired?  Well, don't just sit there.  Get out there and shop the summer swim sale while we still have another month of guaranteed hot days left!

Until next time–

cool for the summer

Fashion FixKaylee DeLacyComment

Hi there!

So if you also happen to live in the Midwest as I do, you're likely experiences the hottest temperatures of the summer.  We've actually had a relatively mild summer until the past week or so.  We've had a lot of rain, and a lot of the 70°s, which I always enjoy.  This past week went back to normal and it's been humid and just plain hot.  When it's this hot out, you really just feel sweaty and gross.  Personally, my hair turns into a frizzy mess and my make-up — which is actually pretty light — all of the sudden feels super heavy.

To stay cooler while still looking street-ready, I'd recommend lightening the makeup (I mean, it is summer and all) and trying out a new up-do to get your hair out of your face.  For my Saturday style, I ditched the foundation and only wore mascara and lip color (which I've literally never done before out in public, because I'm usually insecure without foundation), and tossed my hair into some milkmaid braids.  I've been wanting to do "Heidi braids" ever since I had my pixie cut, so it's been a long wait until my hair was finally long enough to pull it off.  I have to say – I'm pretty obsessed.  It's easy, no-fuss, and perfect for the hottest days of the year.  I wore my hair like this for work last week and got so many compliments!  I paired my natural look back to a fun sleeveless top and girlfriend jeans for a look that's totally summer-cool.

It was a little bright outside...

It was a little bright outside...

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J. Crew Shell | Gap Girlfriend Jeans | Gold Sandals (similar) | Target Straw Tote | LOFT Sunglasses | Francesca's Drop Earrings | J. Crew Bar Ring

Until next time–

just beachy

Fashion FixKaylee DeLacyComment

Hi there!

Happy Friday!  When I was getting ready for Mexico, Ali was giving me all sorts of tips and advice for what to pack and what to wear.  On the nights that we had reservations for dinner, there was a dress code.  Girls pretty much had to wear dresses and shoes other than flip flops.  This definitely wouldn't be hard for me to do, since I own a lot of dresses, but I still wanted to look around for the perfect beachy, tropical dress.  Enter: LOFT.  LOFT's spring/summer assortment this year is on point, so I knew I could probably find something good there.  Little did I know that I'd find the perfect tropical dress.

LOFT's tropical midi dress is about as bold as it gets in terms of color and pattern, but the silhouette remains very classic and flattering – which is in the same vein as my summer style.  I know what you may be thinking – short sleeves?  In Mexico?  You'd die! Well, luckily this little number is made out of linen, so it was super airy and breathable – perfect for those summer nights on the beach and dancing the night away at the disco (which I did, for four hours).  Luckily you can snag this dress on sale now!  Online they still have a full size run, but I'd recommend going to your nearest LOFT store to get the best price.  I got mine for less than $30 in stores, so I'm sure you can get a better deal too!  

LOFT Tropical Midi Dress | Fossil Colorblock Wristlet | Francesca's Wedge Sandals (similar) | J. Crew Factory Earrings | Sequin Bangle

Until next time–

summer getaway: mexico part two

TravelKaylee DeLacyComment

Hello, hello!

So there was definitely too much to say about my trip to Mexico and far too many pictures to jam into one post – so here's part two!  If you missed part one, catch up here!

Day Three

So unfortunately, this is where the trip get less fun.  I woke up the morning of day three feeling like total crap.  I had one of the worst sore throats of my life and I was dizzy and nauseous.  Not a great way to wake up when you're on your one vacation of the entire year.  So, day three completely sucked to say the least.  I didn't have any drinks, and ate a minimal amount. It hurt to even drink water, let alone an alcoholic slushy drink.  It hurt to talk, I felt weak standing up, and I was dizzy in the pool.  Pretty much I spent ten minutes in the pool, then fell asleep under an umbrella until everyone was done with the pool.  We then went to the beach, where I also fell asleep on a beach chair.  I managed to take one selfie of the group on the selfie stick Ali brought before calling it a day.  

We went over to the shopping center to get WiFi that afternoon.  I got some tea, which helped my throat a little, but I overall still felt awful.  We got ready and had dinner at the buffet that night.  Everyone else went to the show and the disco, but I called it a night after dinner and went to bed.  The joys of being sick on vacation. 

squad.

squad.

Day Four

Day four was our last full day at the resort.  I still wasn't feeling great, but I made an effort to make the most of our last day.  I woke up early and walked over to the shopping center to get more tea for my throat.  When I got back, we spent the morning doing the usual: breakfast, pool, drinks, lunch, beach. We had talked about going off the resort to do an excursion that day, but none of us brought tennis shoes, and it was too late of notice for many of the day trips anyway.  So, we decided to go parasailing as our big activity.  None of us had gone parasailing before and they offered it right on the resort.  We had to take a jet-ski out to the boat, since the boat didn't come back to land.  I had never been on a jet-ski before, but everyone assured me it would be fun. Spoiler alert:  it was not fun.  For some reason, the guy thought he could shove Ali, Kait, and I all on the back of the jet-ski he was driving.  I was on the very back, hardly sitting on the seat, and holding on for dear life.  The waves were high and I seriously thought we might flip.  The ride back to shore was even worse, because it was running out of gas.  We kept stopping and it kept filling with water.  So terrifying, and I definitely don't recommend that part.

For parasailing, I think we were all shocked and at quick and easy the process was.  They strapped us in, hooked us onto the bar, extended the rope, and we were off!  It was so incredibly cool and scary at the same time.  They said we would go up about 200 feet.  I'm afraid of heights and large bodies of water, but I was surprisingly doing okay until my hooks starting creaking.  Then I lost it and freaked out, naturally.  When they reeled us back in, I'm not sure if they weren't paying attention, or didn't realize the weight of three people vs. the typical two, but we were coming down way too fast, heading straight for the water.  We actually dipped into the water, about thigh-down (all while screaming bloody murder, thinking we were actually going to die), before they popped us back up again and brought us back to the boat.  Kast and Miyad went after us, so we had to wait on the boat.  Turns out, I get sea sick!  What a fun surprise.  I hadn't been on a boat before, so I had no idea.  So I didn't really get to watch them go to see what it looked like from the boat.  Everyone had a good time though, and I would totally do it again (minus the jet-ski).

That night we had our last reservation at the Mexican restaurant.  It was decent, but I have to say – I have had better and more authentic Mexican food in America.  Kast and I were talking about it afterward and he completely agreed.  They didn't have a lot of options that didn't have beef or pork in them and they put bacon on nearly everything – which I found completely bizarre, because bacon is not typically in Mexican food.  I don't know if it was because it was a resort that many Americans go to, and there is that bacon-American stereotype, but 75% of their options had bacon on them.  Kast, Miyad, and myself do not eat any pork, so it was hard to find something we could actually eat.  After dinner, we went to the show to kill time before going to the disco.  Ali and I danced for a good two hours before we were exhausted and called it a night.  

The walk from our room to the shopping center was gorgeous!  All on pathways with trees and actual wildlife.  There were these monkey-raccoon things called Coatis, that kind of freaked me out.  We also saw giant lizards that were over a foot long!

The walk from our room to the shopping center was gorgeous!  All on pathways with trees and actual wildlife.  There were these monkey-raccoon things called Coatis, that kind of freaked me out.  We also saw giant lizards that were over a foot long!

Last pool day!

Last pool day!

Lining the pools, they had these bed things that were covered on top for shade and hung from ropes, so they'd swing.  The entire trip we lusted after them, but you had to get there ridiculously early to reserve them.  As we left the pool on our final day, one was open, so we all ran and jumped on it – just so we could say we were on one!

Lining the pools, they had these bed things that were covered on top for shade and hung from ropes, so they'd swing.  The entire trip we lusted after them, but you had to get there ridiculously early to reserve them.  As we left the pool on our final day, one was open, so we all ran and jumped on it – just so we could say we were on one!

Kast and Miyad parasailing.

Kast and Miyad parasailing.

Ali, Kait, and I parasailing.

Ali, Kait, and I parasailing.

Girls on the last night.

Girls on the last night.

Final squad picture.

Final squad picture.

Day Five

On our last day, we only had a few hours at the resort before the bus picked us up, so we didn't get pool or beach time.  We had just enough time for breakfast and checking out and then we were off!  Our flight was in the afternoon, so we had time at the airport to kill for awhile.  After our flight landed in Chicago, we had to pick up one car from the hotel, then drive to the other car, an hour away.  Traffic was terrible, so we didn't get back into Madison until after 10 pm.  I worked the next day.  Needless to say, I was exhausted. 

Flamingos by the lobby.

Flamingos by the lobby.

The final golf kart ride!

The final golf kart ride!

Kast's travel attire on point.

Kast's travel attire on point.

Even though I got sick, overall it was still a great trip.  Are you going anywhere tropical for vacation?  Check out my tips on how to pack like a pro here.

Until next time–

summer getaway: mexico part one

TravelKaylee DeLacyComment

Hi there!

It's hard to believe that I was in Mexico just a week ago, because it honestly feels like it's been forever.  A group of friends and I spent five days in Riviera Maya as a summer getaway.  I'd never been to Mexico before and I hadn't been on a tropical vacation in about eight years, so everything felt brand new.  The vacation mostly consisted of laying out, drinking slushy drinks, and eating a lot at the all-you-can-eat buffets.  

Well, let's get to it!

Day One

Our flight was really early and we were running on very little sleep – so it was a long day.  Once we landed, we had to take a van to our resort, Iberostar Paraiso del Mar, about thirty minutes away.  Iberostar resorts are very spread out.  It's like an entire little city in one resort.  They literally have everything – including shops, restaurants, a fitness center, a conference center, a dance club, and a pharmacy.  

Once we checked in and got our rooms, we put on our swimming suits, grabbed some late lunch at the buffet and went straight to the pool.  Just about everyday we did the pool, then the beach, then the pool again, before getting ready for the night.  The first night we did not have a reservation dinner –  at the resort they have nicer restaurants that are by reservation only, and you're only allowed to make two reservations during your stay.  We ate at the buffet before exploring some more of the resort.  There was only one place you could get WiFi and it was a bit of a hike from our room.  We managed to make it out there once a day to check in with family, check emails, snapchat everyone we know, etc.  You know, the essentials.

On the plane

On the plane

First golf kart ride

First golf kart ride

Celebrating the 4th of July in Mexico

Celebrating the 4th of July in Mexico

No makeup selfie on the beach!

No makeup selfie on the beach!

The first of many "squad" photos.  Ali had a selfie stick and we took a squad photo everyday.

The first of many "squad" photos.  Ali had a selfie stick and we took a squad photo everyday.

First night out for dinner - all in red, white, and blue!

First night out for dinner - all in red, white, and blue!

4th of July outfits!

4th of July outfits!

My Lilly for Target jumpsuit

My Lilly for Target jumpsuit

Day Two

Our second day was our first full day at the resort and happened to be my favorite day.  After we ate breakfast, we headed to the pool for water aerobics, which was super fun.  We laid around, drinking too many Bahama Mamas and Miami Vices for most of the afternoon.  So, I already mentioned that the resort was spread out – and the pool was no different.  There were a few pools, all adjacent, that spread nearly the length of the resort.  We made it down to the far end where they have a "quiet pool", which ended up being our favorite spot.  The entrance to the pool was slanted, so you could lay out half in the water, half out.  They also had a cool waterfall, but it kind of hurt to swim under it since the water pressure was so harsh.  After the pool, we tried to do the beach – but shortly after we got there, a storm rolled in.  It was actually pretty cool to see, but it cut our day short.

That night we had our first reservation dinner at the Italian restaurant.  For an Italian restaurant in Mexico, it was pretty damn delicious.  We got three courses each.  I chose the vegetable minestrone soup, three cheese ravioli, and tiramisu as my dessert.  Everyone loved their food and our server was the coolest guy.  After dinner, we went to the show that night.  Every night there was a show around 9:30 that they would put on.  The best night was this night, as it was a "rock show", where they sang various songs from the 70s and 80s.  They even did a Beatles segment, so you know I was totally fan-girling it.  

Afterward, we headed to the Galaxy Disco (their dance club), which was 18+.  Ali and I had the best time dancing all night, to both Mexican dance music, and some American music (Uptown Funk, anyone?). We danced for about four hours, and it wasn't until the end of the night, when we realized that we were able to request songs, that Ali requested Trap Queen and got the rest of the group out on the dance floor with us.  Before the guys came out on the floor to dance with us, it was just two girls dancing by ourselves – so most guys assumed we were both single (they were half right), and would come up and try to dance with us.  I'm more of a "dance with my friends" kind of girl, and not really a "grind on a stranger" girl, so I tried to keep to myself.  Some of these guys just wouldn't leave, and they would always use the same pick up line – "Do you speak English?"  How romantic.

View from our room

View from our room

Kait, Ali, and I under the waterfall

Kait, Ali, and I under the waterfall

Where we went to get our WiFi

Where we went to get our WiFi

Afternoon snack at the little ice cream place!

Afternoon snack at the little ice cream place!

The Squad with our Lighthouse Travel koozies.

The Squad with our Lighthouse Travel koozies.

Storm rolling in.

Storm rolling in.

Getting ready for our night out

Getting ready for our night out

This guy!

This guy!

Italian Dinner night!

Italian Dinner night!

Check back on Wednesday for the second half of the trip!

Until next time–