This adult wrist looks like it just left summer camp

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I spent the summer slathering sunscreen on my kids at the public pool, but my wrists would have you thinking otherwise. Laden with bracelets, most of the homemade variety, it looks like I spent July roasting marshmallows and singing songs around a fire at summer camp. I’ve ditched the gold, and in the carefree spirit of summer, even shed my watch, in favor of jewelry (maybe a generous word choice) that is uncomplicated and unfussy.

To be honest, my “stack” started long before summer. Back in January, I went to celebrate a friends birthday in Mexico and to mark the occasion, we all got some souvenirs on the beach. You know, less permanent than a tattoo, but longer lasting than the suntan we’d come home with. Kind of like these:

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This friendship bracelet was later joined by an evil eye courtesy of a superstitious friend and a slew of beaded, fringed kids bracelets from a local children’s designer. As summer wore on, my stack grew. We went to visit my parents, where I took a page out of my REAL camp memory book and made these telephone wire bracelets with my kids.  Yup, added some to my wrist and theirs too.

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I’m anything but alone in this kitschy, colorful jewelry phenomena. Enviable stacks – all of which feel more crafty than Cartier – have been littering my social media feed for months. Unfortunately, those I love most come with price tags reminiscent of camp tuition rather than craft fees… especially since you can’t wear just one- with these baubles it’s definitely a case of more is more. Take a look at these goodies from Carolina Bucci...

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hear ye! hear ye!

Every year St. Louis hosts one of the world’s most renowned Shakespeare Festivals. Running for two weeks in June, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis performs the same play (this year Romeo & Juliet) every night under the stars in Forest Park. It is free and open to the public. I, unfortunately, am not cerebral enough for Shakespeare.  I attend the festival to take photographs with the their streamer filled trees, which are works of art in themselves (below).

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Shop my dress here and same one different color scheme here.

(This dress has festival written all over it. The lightweight material is perfect for hot days and the maxi length means you can sit on a blanket without flashing your neighbor. It comes in two colors and I recommend sizing down.)

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This Suit costs less than your Summer read

Yesterday at the pool I had the following exchange with my friend:

Me: “Your bathing suit is so cute. Where’d you get that?”

Her: “Cupshe.”

Me: Excuse me?

Her: Cupshe.

Me: What?

Her: Cupshe. Cupshe.

Me: I’m sorry, but you’re going to need to spell that.

Her: C-U-P-S-H-E. Like a cup, then she.

Just rolls right off your tongue, doesn’t it? But in hearing this exchange two more girls joined in, saying that they had just bought or had friends that bought swimsuits there. Apparently it’s the new spot to buy low cost, trend right swimwear. Caradise readers, having never even heard of such brand or website, I fully admit to blogger failure. I am sorry.

…. But it’s not too late. There is still summer left!

SO without further adieu, my friends suit (here) was only $25 (!!) and ships free.  I haven’t actually worn a Cupshe yet, I felt my friends suit and the material wasn’t flimsy or cheap. Some of the styles are definitely more suited to Las Vegas pool party than mom of three, but sort thru and there’s something for everyone.  Here are a few of my favorites, not a single one more than thirty bucks.

Black Scalloped   //    Colorblock    //   Rainbow     //    One Shoulder

    Floral     //   Scalloped 2 Piece    //     Yellow    //    Pink Skirted (!)

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Vero Meal Kits Make this Family Happy

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The meal delivery market is hotter and more competitive than ever. Gluten-free? Vegan? Organic?  There’s a box for that. While differentiation is key, it is not a difficult task for the newest player in the home delivery meal kit space: St. Louis- based Vero Meal Kits. Not only does the company draw from the award-winning recipe arsenal of chef Katie Collier (those in St. Louis know her as the name behind Katie’s Pizza and Pasta, a favorite local stand by), but it also has a home-spun approach to meal delivery that is both refreshing and comforting.

For one, the meals can be ordered on an as-needed basis. No commitments, contracts or minimum weekly deliveries. So for a gal like myself who gets a little anxiety knowing she has to prepare a meal (or three) that arrived on her doorstep, this eliminates a lot of the stress. However, if subscriptions are your thing, they do that too … with amazing flexibility. Choose your day of delivery, number of meals, quantity per meal and any add on items that strike your fancy. It is very flexible.

Also, it’s largely pizza and pasta, no pork roasts or shrimp scampi.  Maybe that seems less adventurous to some, but for a mom with three little kids to feed, it’s also very safe. And sometimes safe is good. That said, you’re not making penne marinara, you’ll receive pasta or pizza with a gourmet twist (like this week’s choice, Tuscan Gemelli & Caprese Salad).

Vero also adds little touches that I haven’t seen in other meal subscription boxes: the Vero branded chef’s hats are a nice touch, as are the coloring pages (perfect to keep the kids busy while I try to prepare dinner) and our family favorite,  the Conversation Starters at the bottom of each recipe. “If you could learn the answer to one question about your future what would it be and why?” elicited an unusually deep dinner table discussion for my family of five.

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A happy mail day when our Vero box arrived and some of its contents, above.

And as is de rigueur with these things, we made a meal that was new-to-us and fun to prepare, Fiori Arrabbiata with a Mista Salad. It arrived fresh, with concise cooking instructions and most importantly, replete with Katie’s fresh homemade noodles. It was delish!

Find out more and order a Vero meal kit here … Buy one for yourself or give as a gift (wouldn’t this make a great housewarming, birthday or new baby present?).

Bon appetite!

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Making our Vero Meal Kit was a true family affair!

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A Blog Preemie

This is the kind of clothing round up I was hoping to curate in August – that time of year when the air is thick and the humidity is torrid. Well, lucky us! Because in St. Louis, August arrived a little premature and the mere thought of a jacket or jeans is making me light headed. For your safety, stick to lose, lightweight clothing- even better if it doesn’t have sleeves or a zipper … less places for sweat to accumulate, know what I mean?

(Numbers 7 ,  9  and 12 below are on sale plus and extra 25% off …)

1    //     2     //   3

4    //    5   //    6

7      //    8    //      9

10  //  11  //  12

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Memorial Day Reject

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I think Caradise missed the memo that come Memorial Day, one is supposed to start wearing white. And I guess there’s some wisdom behind that old mantra because this peplum dark-hued top left me with some serious elbow sweat when worn during the afternoon heat. Soooo maybe this top is better saved for acres sun … or, better yet, since it will only set you back $10, you can use the money you have leftover to buy a more hearty deodorant. Shop my top here.

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Shop the Entire Look:

 

Top    //   Jeans    //   Shoes //  Earrings

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Three Day Weekend Wardrobe

Three Day Weekend

Head Wrap // Sunnies //  Tank //  Earrings

Bikini  //  Tote  //  Printed Dress

Necklace  //  Jeans  // Slides

If Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer, then this packing list is a must for kicking the season off right! Whether you are headed out of town or just lounging around the house, there’s a little something here for everyone.

Some things to note:

  • Those are my favorite Frame jeans and they are on sale.
  • I love those Michael Kors Collection look-alike gold slides – plus at $30 they are a steal!
  • That gold charm necklace is from a new favorite brand, Cleopatra’s Bling, check out all their stuff here.
  • Loving head wraps for the pool this summer, and that one (top left) would look perfect with that ditzy printed red bikini (bottom left).

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Attn: St. Louis Mama’s!

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Lose your kids, definitely ditch your husband, grab your girl gang and join TruFusion (Clayton’s newest gym) and Kidzxplor (the ClassPass of kid’s activities) for a day-long retreat in celebration of Mother’s Day.  The retreat, apropriately entitled, Mod Mama’s Retreat is next Friday, May 11th, from 9-3 pm at TruFusion (7447 Forsyth).

Here’s the run down: Start the day by choosing from one of two fitness classes: Cross Fusion Bootcamp or Tru Signature Series Yoga. After class, mingle with friends and wellness experts before heading next door to the St. Louis Artist’s Guild for a catered lunch from Revel Kitchen.

After lunch you’ll have a chance to chose from three, 30- minute break out sessions including:

  • Your personal stylist
  • Juicing 101
  • Aging gracefully (…. you know where to find me!)
  • Getting your mojo back
  • Going green
  • Eating for your body type
  • Floral arranging
  • Setting goals and taking names

Then finally … end the day with another TruFusion signature class or head to the Wine & Cheese Place for a wine tasting. Can’t make it the whole day? Just drop in for the morning or join us for lunch and stay for the wellness classes!

Buy your tickets here . They cost $75 and include all classes, food and drinks for the day.  Caradise readers, use code MODMAMA for $10 off your ticket! Hope to see you there!

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(photo courtesy of Kidzxplor)

The Groundhog Day of Blogs

I know what you’re thinking and I apologize. This feels like the Groundhog Day of blogs. Yes, just last week you saw me in a very similar printed set. Yes, it too was from H&M. Yes, it also was a wide leg pant topped with a matching blouse. Yes, they were both silky.  I promise I will try to do better and add some variety to my wardrobe. But in the mean time, let’s cut to the chase: below are some stoppable links … and yes, I saw my shadow.

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Blouse //  Pants  //  Shoes  //  Bag (similar)

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p.s. If you live in St. Louis and haven’t been to Forest Park recently, you must get there this week. The flowers are perfectly in bloom and will put you in a better mood than eating a bag of Swedish Fish while reading an US Weekly with Meghan Markle on the cover. #justsayinScan

 

 

Brand Crush : Innika Choo

This swoon-worthy summer dress obsession is courtesy of Innika Choo, an Australian-born, stylist-turned-designer who launched her collection in 2016. Choo’s designs, which use renewable and biodegradable plant based fibers, reflect the care-free island lifestyle one might find on Bali, the island where Choo currently resides. Known for her adult take on sometimes childlike details – like smocking, gingham and in her most recent collection: short dresses paired with bloomers –  there is nothing immature about these playful pieces. I love them not only for their lady-like quality but also their beat-the-heat practicality.  Check them out for yourself:

 

1   //  2  //  3

4   //  5   //  6  (for kids!)

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