Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Minty Maxi

It has been another weekend well spent having fun in sun with my friend Rupal.  The two of us spent all day Sunday shopping, lunching and enjoying the great outdoors, well the outdoors of the city at least.  As many of you know Kelly and I love to style our friends whenever we get the chance.  You better believe that I took advantage of my time with Rup.  She borrowed my mint green linen maxi dress that admittedly fits like a toga, but thats why I love it!  We paired it with her happy yellow sandals also seen here and a bright yellow bangle.  I love the simplicity of this outfit from her hair to minimal accessories.  I think the colors speak for themselves and emanate Summer in an easy breezy way.  While Rup thought the dress had an awkward fit, I told her to embrace its loose and comfy feel.  By the time lunch came around she was enjoying the comfortability factor and the pretty color against her lovely skin tone.  The only downfall to this look is the wrinkle aspect of a linen dress, oh well.

Kelly and I are happy to share with you that we are now part of the Lucky Magazine community.  In fact we are entering this blog post into a contest inspired by the colors and flavors of Dasani Water Drops.  We wanted to show off some of our favorite colors of Summer and how they represent the flavors of Dasani Water Drops.  This outfit best reflects the kiwi and pineapple coconut flavors with the dress as the kiwi component and the yellow sandals and bracelet as hints of pineapple. I hope you become inspired to wear more bright colors for the remainder of the Summer.  If you like this Summertime look please kindly VOTE for us by clicking to the right of the first photo where it says "vote". Thank you lovely readers!
Jen & Kelly

Maxi dress - Hartford
Necklace - Stella & Dot
Bangle - JCrew
Sandals - Fabrizio Chini


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Kelly's Beach Trip via Instagram

1) I left the kids with my sister and spent the night out relaxing and bar hopping. 2) My youngest daughter Dev fell asleep after a long day on the beach. 3) Me with my 3 daughters 4) My sister Erinn and I  5) Summer Shandy - my now favorite beer! 6) My friend Jenny and I. 7) My boyfriend and bro -in-law 8) My 3 girls looking out onto the beach (last day) 9) My 2 youngest daughters are sad that we were packed up and heading back home :(

 I wanted to share some pics from my week long vacation in Sea Isle, NJ. My guy and I rented a house a couple blocks from the beach and of course my 3 daughters were with us. We had other members of our family and friends stop in and out all week and some even stayed a couple nights. We couldn't have asked for better weather with gorgeous sunny skies during the day and beautiful stars at night.  The ocean was clear and so refreshing. We ate like kings and drank like frat boys :) The laughs we had were unforgettable.
 One of my favorite nights was a night we spent in. We played a game called "Headbanz" By the end of the game our abs and cheeks were throbbing with pain from laughing much too hard.  Being with the people I love and making memories that will last a lifetime is what I think a vacation should be all about, and of course relaxation is also a key element.  Overall this vacation gave me all of the above.



Thursday, July 25, 2013

Inside my Beach Bag

Time to Snoop in my bag! I have always been so interested in knowing what's in other people's bags. I get immediately immersed into any magazine spread that lets me see inside a celeb's purse - Love that!  I am not just talking beach bags but everyday purses, tiny evening purses, luggage etc......  I find it to be very helpful to see what other girls are carrying as their personal essentials. Maybe I am forgetting something vital or I can collect ideas of how to condense with fewer products in my bag.  Anyway here is a look see inside what I have been packing this Summer for the beach or a day in the Sun.  I just got this 2-tone tote bag and I am in love.  Please don't judge over the fact that I am still not finished reading"Catching Fire." Also you may think it's strange that I carry a mini perfume, but the coconut scent reminds me of a tropical island and allows me to pretend I'm on one when I'm really on the brown water beaches at the Jersey shore haha. I would love to hear about what you are carrying in your beach bag.  Am I forgetting anything? Don't be shy, let me know.

1. Echo straw hat 2. DKNY towel 3. Water bottle 4. CK Swim skirt  5. Madewell sunglass case & Sheriff & Cherry sunglasses 6. Kate Spade Iphone case 7. Catching Fire 8. Earth Science Mint/Rosemary deodorant 9. Pacifica Indian coconut nectar 10. YES to Cucumbers facial towelettes 11. Coppertone Water Babies sunblock stick 12. Ipod shuffle 13. Coola plumeria sunscreen 14.Plum 15. Magazines 16. Evian Facial spray 17.Verloop beach bag tote.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sunblock for Sensitive Skin

By now we all should know about the importance of Sunblock even on an ordinary day.   When it comes to a day at the beach or an all day outdoor event we have to step up our game to ensure that our skin is protected against the sun's harmful rays.  I have always found it to be quite difficult to find a great sunblock that does not irritate my skin AND actually stays on for more than an hour.   Now, I probably have more sensitive skin than the average beach going gal, but I can stand by my sunblock recommendations as great choices for anyone, even those with the toughest of skins.  For those of you who are just looking for a great all natural alternative, organics, paraben free, or oil free product look no further!  If you prefer not to fry like a pig and also avoid skin irritation, then one of these options is surely to work for you.  If you have stubborn freckles or moles that you constantly worry about then I have a tiny (pun intended) suggestion to help calm your nerves.  The following products are my savior sunblocks that I have tried and loved over the years.  Hopefully you find these suggestions helpful as it has taken me years to figure out what works best for my sensitive skin.

Coola sunblock is a moisturizing body sunscreen. I actually found this stuff for the first time in the Bahamas in a beach store.  This particular bottle is Plumeria scented which I love but it may not be for all.  No worries it also comes in scent free any many other scents.  This sunscreen is extremely gentle, hypoallergenic, water resistant, paraben free and best of all certified ORGANIC.  As if that wasn't enough special powers and goodness packed into one little bottle, it is also infused with antioxidants!  So lather up ladies because this stuff is luxuriously moisturizing and protective.  Check out their website  to see all of their other wonderful sunscreens, moisturizers and lip products.

Okay so we all know Neutrogena products.  You will already know if you like them or not.  I Love their facial sunscreens!  Reason being that they offer "no breakout" options.  This one is called Neutrogena Clear Face.  I have always and will always break out from applying just an ordinary sunscreen to my face.  This miracle cream does not cause me any break-outs and is oil free and waterproof.  When you apply it to your face it is not greasy at all, it feels clean and light.  Treat your face with some respect and pile on this oil-free sunblock!

As I mentioned in the beginning, I have a secret weapon I use on freckles and moles that I am most concerned about.  This  Coppertone Water Babies tiny sunscreen stick is it!  It is gentle enough for a baby but is perfect for fast re-application to troublesome or worrisome areas.  It is also easy to use as a lip sunscreen, which I always do.  I often keep it in my purse to apply to my nose, lips and moles.  Overall I love its convenience.

This one is for those of you who may not have super sensitive skin but want to apply something gentle and very defensive against the sun.  This is a new product by Neutrogena called Beach Defense.  I have tried this sunscreen and have not had any body break-outs or irritation, it's a Miracle! This is perfect for a long beach day, hence the name "beach defense" It is long lasting and has a built in barrier against sun and water.  This product is probably wonderful for most skin types.  This also comes in a spray.

Stay safe in the Sun!


Monday, July 22, 2013

Beachy Casual

This week the fashionably festive girls are declaring it "Beach Week." Of course the clouds have rolled in to start the week but in a few days we will be back to sunny skies without that stifling horrible humidity.  This week our posts will be all beach related so stay tuned for our thoughts on everything from Sunblock to our ultimate beach playlist.  To kick off this Monday we posted some pictures of a day at the beach.  This is no ordinary beach, it is a tiny beach set in the city but it has sand and water so we were able to enjoy the view while soaking up some sun. I was hanging out with my friend Rupal who you have also seen here and here.  She was rocking an Orange beach dress with some amazing turquoise earrings.  Turquoise and Orange happen to be one of my favorite color combos of the Summer.  She said this dress was super comfortable and also airy.  It was definitely a beachy casual look for a beachy casual day. 

Beach Dress - Anthropologie 
Earrings - Anthropologie
Sunglasses - Ray Ban
Sandals - Fabrizio Chini
Floppy Hat - Echo - find similar
Turquoise bracelet - Stella & Dot
Multi-colored bracelet - Iwona
Stack ring - David Yurman

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Budget, Bold and Ballin Buys

Wet N Wild - Coraline
 MAC - Vegas Volt
 Bobbi Brown - Calypso 

Summer is the perfect season for a beautiful Coral lip.  There are so many shades of coral out there that you are bound to find one that suits your skin tone.  Coral is also a fun alternative to red, being not quite as bold but not as boring as a pale pink lip. It also looks Marvelous with a tan!   Kelly has been on a Coral lip kick for quite awhile and she swears by  these brands.  She literally owns all 3 all of the above colors claiming that they are very similar but also great quality.  Her one recommendation is to add a gloss on top of or a balm underneath the Wet N Wild lip color.  While its long-lasting power makes it great it can be a bit drying.

Every girl needs a great black party or cocktail dress in her life.  What could be more fun, elegant and feminine than a Lace cocktail dress? These dresses will always be wearable year round since they are black, classic and have slight vintage feel.  I love all 3 dresses above but I have to say, if I could spend the Ballin amount guilt free on that Marchesa dress, I would! Might I add that a Coral lip would look Fab with any of these dress options.

A great combination with the above black lace dresses would be a pair of basic black & gold ankle strap heels.  A black ankle strap is definitely a wardrobe staple these days. All 3 pairs have their own pop of gold detailing without being too flashy.  While the Givenchy pair is gorgeous I would step right into any of these beauties. 

Which 3 options would you put together?

Friday, July 12, 2013

3 Month Blog Anniversary!


   Hi Lovely Readers,
We are so happy to announce that Fashionably Festive is celebrating its 3 month Anniversay today! While this blog has technically been up for  3 months and 16 days it has been exactly 3 months since Kelly and I (JEN) have been blogging together.  Kelly came on board with me April 14th and it has been blog love ever since.  We have had such a great time blogging for the past 90 days and we are Super excited to continue this journey.  Kelly and I thought it would be fun but also overdue and more than appropriate to finally post a picture of the 2 of us clowns together.  As you may know, we blog from different states and we seldom see each other as much as we would like.  If you didn't know this simple fact, well that's probably because we haven't done a great enough job telling you (our readers) who we are. Today is the day we intend to clear that all up for you and put ourselves out in the open, stripped naked in the wind haha. Well okay maybe we won't put it all out there but at least the relevant stuff, the good stuff.

Most importantly today we wanted to say "Thank You" to our readers.  It means more than words could express to have your support and interest.  Also thank you to our friends who have been very supportive of this idea from the start and have been super encouraging every step of the way.  We are still newbies at this whole process, but it wouldn't be half as fun to pursue without all of you.  We hope you continue to follow along with us as we endure our love affair for fashion, beauty, food, entertaining and life as we know it.  
With much appreciation,
Jen & Kel
photos by: Jennifer Matthews

The two of us gals have been friends since high school.  I would say the one thing that brought us together besides mutual friends, was our uncanny ability to make each other laugh endlessly.  While Kelly was busy being a basketball star, I was busy jumping up and down and screaming with the rest of my cheerleading team.  After High school we spent one amazing summer filled with non stop banter and laughter at the Jersey Shore with our besties.  Just in case you are wondering, NO we are not guidettes!  After college our lives turned out to be  so unpredictable, taking us to many unforeseen places.  As a result a few years had past without us seeing each other.  You know when you have a great friend when after so much time has past and you finally reunite, it's as if no time has past at all.  Starting this blog together has really brought us even closer.  While I am a city girl as Kelly likes to say, and she is a self proclaimed "townie" we both still have much in common.  We share all of our similar passions with you on our blog - Fashionably Festive 

Blog Factoids:
*Kelly and Jen collaborate ideas and alternate writing blog content.
*Jen takes most of the photos for this blog.
* Kelly is the guru behind most recipes and festive drinks.
*We most often style friends and family members for our outfit blog posts.
*You will rarely see us in an outfit post since we love to style others, but keep following along and you may catch any rare appearances.

Click here to read more about us individually.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Into the Blue

I feel that most days of Summer require a comfortable, relaxed, airy yet cute ensemble.  To me this outfit would almost always be a soft cotton dress.  I Love maxi dresses in the Summer because they are easy breezy and only require accessories to be added. Also they are long enough to cover my casper pale legs at the moment and hey, any stubble that may be hiding out.  There is not much thought or effort needed once the dress is on.  A great bag , shoes and jewelry is all you need and you are off to start your day.  We got a little crazy and went for silver jewels instead of the so now gold rush. The necklace is super cool with its reversible two-toned stone.  Kim borrowed this dress of mine before I got it hemmed to my length.  Though we are sisters she towers my 5"3 frame with her 5"7 tallness.  Am I jealous of her height? Yes on most days, but I have my tailor on speed dial so all is good in my world of shortness.  All you petite ladies out there know what I am talking about, especially with maxi dresses. Anyway next time you may see this dress I will be the one sporting it with its new hemline.

Maxi Dress - Sol Angeles
Necklace - Stella & Dot
Hoops - Stella & Dot
Sandals - Rag & Bone
Bag - Prada - find similar
Sunnies - Anthropologie also seen here

Friday, July 5, 2013

Snaps from the 4th in NYC

Ever since I discovered the amazing fireworks display over the Hudson river in NYC, I can't seem to miss it.  Loads of people flea the city to travel to the Hamptons or wherever their hearts desire for the 4th of July weekend.  We choose to stay behind and I have to admit it's kind of nice to be left in a dead quiet city to soak up the sun and relaxation.  If you have never experienced the fireworks in NYC here are a few snaps of last night's show.  The Barges in the Hudson were set up between 24th and 50th streets, allowing for a ginormous view. There were 4 synchronized displays over the span of  28 blocks. We watched from a friend's terrace in Hoboken, NJ this year.  There is nothing like watching from the other side with the city as the backdrop to this spectacular show.  If you have never feasted your eyes upon the 4th of July fireworks in NYC, now you know it's so incredible and well worth the trip.  The biggest plus of all is that the worst of the traffic will be leaving the city while you travel in, be sure to secure a spot a few hours in advance or find a rooftop :) The New Jersey side will be much less crowded if that is your preferred scene.
Hope you all had a safe and festive 4th of July!