Merry Christmas Caradise

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In a not-so-subtle-hint, my family got me a Claw for Christmas. Never heard of a Claw? It’s a flexible tripod that holds your cell phone and has a remote bluetooth shutter, so no need for amazon-like arms to get your whole self into your selfie. The gift got my husband and kids off the hook for taking Caradise photos and put the ball in my court. It’s honestly very easy to use, compact enough to fit into my purse, but will obviously take some practice to get the timing right, as I have a lot of pictures that look like this:

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Awesome, right? The struggle is real my friends.

Anyway, here’s the dress I was trying to model. And yes, it’s basically the same one I posted a few weeks back. I’d ordered the same dress in two colors to see which I preferred, after urging from my mom who claims that “Red is a neutral, too, Cara.” What do you think? Are you Team Red or Team Black?  Guess you’ll just have to wait to see me around town to figure out which one I kept…I am sure the suspense is killing you.

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Shop dress here and almost identical (on sale version!) here and here .

p.s. How ’bout that tree?!?

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In the interest of full disclosure, http://www.Caradisefound.com is part of a few affiliate programs, which means, that when you click on a shoppable link and then buy an item from that website, I receive a (v. v. small) commission on any sales. All clothing and ideas are still my own!

 

 

Spring Break Dreamin’

Happy Spring Break everyone! With winter finally arriving in St. Louis, albeit a few weeks late, I’m so excited to hit the beach this week. Here are a few of the things that are in my (virtual) suitcase.

  • That Frances Valentine basket bag comes in a few colors and is a fun alternative to the Cult Gaia one everyone is carrying.
  • Those white Frame jeans are on sale, I have them in blue and love their soft, stretchy fit (but recommend sizing down).
  • The black bathing suit is a dupe for the more expensive Marysia one, but this option is less than $100 and still a timeless classic!

 

Final Spring Break

Bow Slide // Yellow Dress // Espadrilles // Sunscreen

Sunnies // Basket Bag

White Jeans // Top // Earrings // Swimsuit // Cold Shoulder Dress

See you next week!

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In the interest of full disclosure, http://www.Caradisefound.com is part of a few affiliate programs, which means, that when you click on a shoppable link and then buy an item from that website, I receive a (v. v. small) commission on any sales. All clothing and ideas are still my own!

Style Mafia Mecca

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Top here and here and similar (cheaper!) version here // Bag // Bangles here and here

Last December we were in Miami and I made my annual pilgrimage to the Wynwood Walls (remember these?!?). As if the walls weren’t enough to get Caradise all hot and bothered, I also learned that a favorite brand, Style Mafia was headquartered in this trendy Miami-area locale.  So, leaving my kids under the care of my husband, I ventured a little off the beaten path to check out their facility. The showroom was full of samples, a huge assortment of Style Mafia current and past creations. I love their funky, unique fashions and especially the totally reasonable price points.  One of my favorite buys from that day was this take on the conventional white shirt. It’s slightly cropped, has puffy sleeves and wraps at the waist. I love it with high rise denim and statement accessories. Here are a few of the ways I’ve styled it.

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What to wear under that pantsuit

This era of political strife in our country has not come without some fashion repercussions. For example, I’m not sure I’ll ever wear a pantsuit again without thinking that I’m making some sort of political statement, and well, how could you miss the “pussyhats” that littered the Woman’s March in January? Of all the clothes that I’ve seen to promote women’s rights and show disdain for the current administration’s state of affairs, none have resonated as much as Lingua Franca’s cashmere sweaters embroidered with politically charged sayings like “we are all immigrants” or “i will not be silent.” Take a look at these:

The line was not originally created with politics in mind. Instead, it was started last year somewhat as a fluke, by Rachelle Hruska McPherson, who, bored and chilly in her Montauk digs, decided to hand embroider “booyah” in her cashmere sweater. After posting pictures of her creation on Instagram, calls came in from friends and strangers alike, asking McPherson for one of their own. In general, the sweaters all have rap lyrics embroidered on them, like “can’t fake the funk” or “till the break of dawn” or,  for you ICE-T fans, “original gangster.”  Leonardo DiCaprio, Christy Turlington and Mark Wahlberg all got in on the fun, also apparently loving the juxtaposition of that imperfect embroidery on high-end cashmere sweaters.

There was such demand and hype, that now you can buy the sweaters at Saks in New York or the Waverly Inn if you find yourself in Montauk … OR, for us Midwesterners, snag yours on Net- A- Porter. Below are a few of my faves (… to get an anti-establishment one, as shown above, you’ll have to contact McPherson herself at info@linguafranca.nyc).

Old School     //       It’s All Good Baby Baby     //      Forever Ever?

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In the interest of full disclosure, http://www.Caradisefound.com is part of a few affiliate programs, which means, that when you click on a shoppable link and then buy an item from that website, I receive a (v. v. small) commission on any sales. All clothing and ideas are still my own!

Spring Cleaning … My face!

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Fizzy Martinis from The Preston were served between spa sessions.

Smells are notorious for reminding me of different times in my life. Like … the smell of a fireplace reminds me of ski trips to New York as a kid; Angel perfume of my first job out of college because that’s what my officemate wore; Aquanet hairspray of dance recitals growing up. Same goes for Shampure,  Aveda’s everyday shampoo that my sophomore- year college roommate used religiously. Can’t use that stuff without thinking of her.  She actually turned me on to a bunch of Aveda products, which I used mainly because I loved their smell.

But turns out those smells that initially got me hooked on Aveda everything are more than just for ooh’s and ahh’s, as I learned last Tuesday night at the Aveda Salon & Spa in the Chase Hotel’s “Masks and Martinis,” an evening held for local bloggers. Along with fizzy martinis, hand massages and incredibly relaxing mini facials, we got to sit down with Aveda experts and talk shop.

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Bloggers watch the Tulasara dry brush demo.

Aveda’s products are derived from plant oils (which I knew) but the great smells those produce also give their products therapeutic properties, similar to those found in essential oils (which I didn’t know). So, for example, that Aveda Hand Relief cream that I have and love, which is made of lavandin and eucalyptus?  The spa recommended using it right before bed– after rubbing the lotion over your hands and chest, take a few big breaths with your hands cupped over your nose and mouth, to increase the stimulation of your olfactory glands and get the full relaxation power out of the lavender scented cream.

The other cool take away from the evening? Something called a Tulasara Radiant Facial Dry Brush.  Here’s a closer look:

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The Aveda Tulasara Radiant Facial Dry Brush 

Made and sold by Aveda, think of this little brush as a cross between a toothbrush and a Clarisonic. Softer bristles than a Clarisonic, but manually powered like your toothbrush (or at least mine), the Aveda spa recommends gently rubbing the brush over your face for a quick minute as part of your daily routine, then applying some moisturizing oil, the specific type depending on your skin tone and skin needs. The brush gently sloughs off the dead skin and stimulates new cell growth. Apparently, this is a daily ritual in India, and the basis for Aveda’s adoption of the brush into their line up. In India, people also use larger brushes to perform the routine over their entire body.  Kinda like a dry loofa, before you hop in the shower.  I tried it on the back of my hands and loved how it left them smooth and soft – ready to absorb oil or moisturizer, but not overly abrasive like some of the exfoliators I’ve used.

I am by no means a wholistic medicine gal. But I can totally appreciate the healing and beauty benefits of aromatherapy and massage. I walked away feeling refreshed and revitalized, my skin glowing from my facial. Pretty sure there’s also some healing properties in spending an evening drinking martinis with girlfriends …. but maybe that’s just me.

St. Louis readers: get in on the fun and book your salon service at the Aveda Salon and Spa at the Chase today. Use code RADIANT to receive 15% off your spa service —  the only stipulation, that you must book your appointment in March and schedule it for April. Call to make your appointment today! 314-633-3081. 

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St. Louis Bloggers smile post-facial!

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spring dresses, all under $100!

St. Louis! Not sure if you’re aware, but you have me to thank for this unseasonably warm winter. Yep, true. Because in early December, I was at Target in the toy aisle and decided to replace all of our old, cracked sleds with cool, new, shiny ones. I was going to be the best mom when I surprised each of my kids with a new sled the day of that first snow storm (for the record, I am usually that mom who shows up to Target at 11 a.m. on the day of a St. Louis snow, and the shelves are bare, so humor me here). Well, flash forward 90 days and we have had a record setting no-snow winter with unseasonably warm temps. Meanwhile, the sleds are collecting dust in my garage and incidentally, the entire lot of them are now 75% off at Target.  You’re welcome.

And now that it’s March AND everything is in bloom AND I haven’t worn my puffer coat in weeks, it must be Spring. In the spirit of the season, here are some dresses to wear-now. And all are under $100 … because the rest of my money is tied up in sled equity.

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4  //  5  //  6

7 //  8  //  9

And  this one that’s already en route to my house. Stay tuned!

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What I’m reading

Not sure if you noticed (consider me honored if you did) but I haven’t been around much for the last few weeks. The reason: I’d found a slew of good books, and my January/February nights -the hours I’d typically devote to blogging- were spent tearing thru books. If I don’t read another book in 2017 (which is a very distinct possibility), I’ll still feel accomplished.

Here’s what was on my nightstand:

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Before the Fall – A thriller about a private plane crash that leaves two unlikely survivors– a little boy and an artist, who hitched a ride on the plane at the last minute. The book delves into the passengers on board, their complicated and somewhat scandalous lives and what ultimately caused the small plane to crash on it’s fated last trip from Martha’s Vineyard to NYC.  I read this book in 3 days and then passed it on to my husband who proceeded to do the same.

At the Water’s Edge – Not sure if I’ve ever confessed my love for historical fiction on this blog, but it is real.  This novel, yes, historical fiction, is by the author (Sara Gruen) of the bestseller Water for Elephants, and tells the story of two lovers and a friend who travel to Scotland during the Second World War in search of the Loch Ness Monster. As odd a plot as that sounds, this is more a story of finding love in unusual places.  Gruen creates memorable characters and her prose makes it seem like you’re watching a movie, not reading a book.

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair – when a friend recommended this to me, she said “make sure you have someone to take your kids” meaning, it will take ALL of your time once you get started and you won’t be able to put it down.  It wasn’t far from the truth. I think I read all 600+ pages in less than a week. It’s a murder mystery written by Frenchman Joel Dicker – that turned into an International Bestseller. The story follows the love affair of a famous author, Harry Quebert,  and a 15 year old girl. AND her subsequent murder. That’s the easy part, then it takes 500+ pages to figure out whodoneit.

The Orphan Train – I know this one is old, but was new to me. Another historical fiction read, that follows the life of one orphan train rider in the late 1920’s on her trip from New York to Minnesota in search of an adoptive family. The families, the struggles, and the hardships she had to overcome are retold as the now 90-year old woman cleans out her attic with the help of an unlikely companion. It’s a story of fortitude, friendship, and forgiveness. Being a mom, this one really hit home.

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LBD me ASAP

Last week we were going to a work event for my husband when I realized I had no dressy clothes that weren’t suited for a wedding (too formal) or a bar (too ris-kay). What I needed was a good ‘ole LBD, that was the perfect mix of dressy, professional, sophisticated with a dash of fun. Enter this flare hem midi- number.  My favorite length, covers my arms and can be worn with a million different shoes and accessories. I paired with that floral embroidered clutch (that can also be worn as a cross body and is now on SALE), a statement ring (that is under $30) and shoes that I’m pretty sure I wore to my high school prom.  All shopping links are below.

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Dress // Purse and here (both on sale!) // Ring // Shoes are too old to even find anything similar …sorry

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10 things I’m loving now

1. The watercolor paintings of Kate Schelter art
2. Anything oushak, just bought a vintage runner for my kitchen and I’m in love.
3. Perricone MD No Mascara Mascara, I have zero lashes and this stuff makes even mine look thicker and longer.
4. Mercedes Salazar EarringsOne of each, please.
5. These shoes from J. Crew have me thinking Spring.
6. Burl Wood anything, but especially this dresser and cute decorative boxes.
7. Margarita Missoni’s line for pottery barn kids
8. Amaro Nonino. had this Italian herbal liquor while we were in Park City and it was so yummy… think of it as a winter St. Germaine.
9. Josef Frank wallpaper – The colors! The patterns! Swoon!
10. All the tulle seen on Spring runways, especially those frocks above by Victor and Rolf.

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A Little Fringe’ll Do Ya

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Seems like all I’ve been wearing lately are tops with jeans. I realize that must be boring for you all, so I’m spicing it up (relatively speaking) with this fringe detail tweed sweater. I paired it with a genuine pleather shirt, light colored to showcase the sweater detail, but pretty sure this would work with leather leggings or jeans for a casual night out too.

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