Thursday, April 30, 2015

Lilly Pulitzer Shorts Review

lilly pulitzer callahan buttercup shorts review

Is it warm enough to wear shorts where you live? In Maryland, we're finally reaching temperatures that merit wearing shorts on a fairly regular basis. Natalia and Alexia love to wear shorts throughout the summer. Of course, they're partial to Lilly Pulitzer shorts.

The Callahan Short and the Buttercup Short from Lilly Pulitzer offer a relatively inexpensive entry into a variety of prints. Instead of spending almost $200 for a dress in the same print, you can get shorts at a fraction of the price. Now that both of my daughters are wearing women's sizes, it's a good thing to be able to pick up a variety of items for them without breaking the bank.

Natalia loves the Jellies Be Jammin print and wears these shorts often. Paired with a simple tee and cardigan in a contrasting color, the shorts transition well between spring and summer. The 5" inseam is a moderate length that is school-appropriate, no matter what the dress code dictates. The shorts run true to size and Natalia wears a 00. Even after washing the shorts multiple times, the fabric is as vibrant and soft as it was brand new. Appropriate for all ages, Buttercup shorts compliment every style, shape, and size.

lilly pulitzer callahan shorts jellies be jammin

Every season, one print grabs the girls' attention more than any other. For spring, Alexia fell head over heels for the Prep Green Pink Colony print in the Buttercup shorts. Versatile enough to wear with everything from a chambray shirt to a white button down oxford or a t-shirt, the scalloped hem shorts bring a bit of elegance to everyday shorts. Alexia also wears a size 00 and finds these to be true to size.

lilly pulitzer buttercup short pink colony flamingo

What are your favorite shorts for spring and summer?


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Beef Enchilada Casserole

beef enchilada casserole bake easy recipe

It's rare that I prepare the same dish twice in two weeks, but by request, I made a delicious beef enchilada casserole again tonight. With only a handful of ingredients, the dish is easy to prepare. Since 4 of us were eating, I made a casserole for four people, but the recipe is easily modified for larger groups.

Beef Enchilada Casserole
- tomatillos, roasted (1 pound)
- onion, chopped (I used about half of an onion)
- green chiles (I used 1 small can)
- cilantro
- lime juice (a tablespoon or so)
- ground beef (I used a pound)
- corn tortillas
- shredded Mexican cheese

1. Cut tomatillos in half after peeling and roast under the broiler for 5-7 minutes.
2. Blend tomatillos with some onion, some green chiles, cilantro, and lime juice in a blender until smooth.
3. Brown ground beef. Drain. Then, add a bit of the tomatillo salsa, more onion, and more green chilies.
4. Lightly grease a casserole dish.
5. Layer corn tortillas in the dish and coat with more tomatillo salsa. I tore the tortillas in half so that the edges fit perfectly in the square casserole dish.

beef enchilada casserole recipe

6. Add the beef mixture and alternate layers with cheese, the beef mixture, and more tortillas.
7. Top with cheese and remaining salsa.

beef enchilada casserole recipe

8. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Put a Bow On It

Bows add a feminine touch to any item and become a focal point in many beautiful dresses, tops, and  shoes. Embellished bows are fabulous and fun. Every preppy, no matter what age or sex, owns a bow of some variety, whether it is a hair bow for a child, bow tie for a man, or bow-adorned article of clothing for a woman.

These are a few of my favorite bows...

Add flair to your next soiree with the Nautical Stripe Bow Back Dress. Featuring a low back highlighted with a bow, the dress is perfect for almost every occasion. Here's the best part about this dress; it's only $45!

nautical stripe bow back dress

Flirty gold sandals embellished with a bow match everything in your summer wardrobe. I love these Michael Michael Kors Kayden Sandals.

michael kors kayden sandals gold bow sandal
Of course, my favorite bow embellished shoes are from Salvatore Ferragamo. Aren't these divine?

salvatore ferragamo vara 1 patent bow pump


Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Five A.T. (After Target)

Happy Friday! Here's the latest dose of the Friday Five, 5 things that are on my radar or on my mind this week.

1. #LillyforTarget: It's almost a week A.T., After Target and the #LillyforTarget sale last weekend, things are getting back to normal although I still check my Target store almost daily for returns. So far, I have not found any traces of Lilly anywhere in the store except for hammock stands or umbrella stands. If you're in the market for those, I know where you can buy a bunch. A quick look at eBay, Facebook, or Instagram reveals thousands of items for sale, but finding pictures of Target for Lilly worn by a real person is much more difficult. The maxi dress sat at the top of my wish list, so I wore it almost immediately after buying it. The fabric is comparable to Marlisa dresses that I have from other seasons; it may be a little bit more substantial that Lilly Pulitzer. The bodice is lined and the fit is figure flattering. Perfection.

lilly pulitzer lilly for target maxi dress nosie posey blogger style

2. Spring? Although I appreciate the beauty of spring and the change of seasons, I admit that I am quite jealous of my southern neighbors whose shorts are on full rotation in the wardrobe. A freeze watch overnight threatens beautiful spring flowers, but luckily these tulips stand up to cold temperatures with strength. Reluctantly, I turned on the heat for what I hope will be the last time this year.

spring tulips

3. Rocksbox: Every month I eagerly await my new Rocksbox. This month's box was a special treat because my stylist Amanda included two statement necklaces. She wrote a note to me, "I made sure to send you two statement necklaces from your wish list since you love them so much!" She knows me well! I love everything that she sent. Get your first month for free with the code marylandpinkandgreenxoxo.

rocksbox jewelry subscription

4. Spring Friends and Family Sales: As if I didn't have enough shopping temptations the past week, so many stores are having friends and family sales now.

At Saks Fifth Avenue, get 30% off with the code FRNFAM including some newly released Lilly Pulitzer.

lilly pulitzer valli shift macfarlane shift on sale

Nordstrom matches competitors' pricing online, too, which is always a bonus. 

tory burch miller sandal on sale ray ban aviator on sale

5. Enchilada Bake: I love to experiment with new dishes in the kitchen. An enchilada bake that I made earlier this week smelled and tasted amazing. The girls and John asked me to make this again soon. It's so easy that I may honor their request sooner than they think. The simple dish takes less than an hour to prepare. The ground beef blends perfectly with the tomatillo and onion sauce.

enchilada bake
Before and after baking at 350 degrees for 30 minutes
Wishing you a wonderful day and a perfect start to the weekend.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Look for Less: Ruffle Tube Top

When you want something that's dressier than a basic tee, what do you choose? Banish those tan lines and choose a ruffle tube top. Perfect for any occasion, from a Memorial Day barbecue to a picnic in the park, a ruffle top is a must have staple in every summer wardrobe. Pair it with everything from shorts to maxi skirts in cool and effortless style.

The feminine ruffle at the top is flattering and ladylike, adding an element of elegance to the simplest outfit. The strapless top keeps you cool on the warmest days without sacrificing style.

I don't know about you, but for wardrobe staples, I look for quality pieces at excellent prices. Today I have two similar tops in two very different price points.

lilly pulitzer wiley ruffle tube top

$44 Ruffle Tube Top (also in navy)

belk crown and ivy ruffle tube top
$25 Ruffle Tube Top (also in navy)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

White Eyelet and Denim

Now that my daughters are officially wearing women's clothing all of the time, it's sometimes a challenge to find affordable picks for every day wear. It seems like just yesterday when I wrote this post about my "twincesses." Almost overnight, they've jumped from the children's department and are now wearing women's clothing. Depending on the designer, the price difference between children's and women's styles is quite a dramatic jump.

Both of my girls enjoy shopping and give their opinions about their preferences. Luckily, I like their style since they mirror my taste in clothing. Of course, I suppose that I have created a little bit of a problem for my clothing budget, but it's alright with me. When we found something beyond basic at a great price like the dress featured today, we say yes to the little white dress.

Eyelet and denim is one of my favorite combinations because it is feminine and fun. It's a timeless look for all ages that never goes out of style. Natalia is polished and pretty in this outfit that is comfortable and presentable for a variety of occasions. Whether it's school, parties, or weekend events, the eyelet dress paired with the denim jacket is a perfect choice. Generally, my girls take time to plan their outfits in order to avoid the temptation to wear black yoga pants and a sweatshirt to school every day.

Eyelet Dress  //  Denim Jacket, old (similar, on sale)  //  Boots 
Here are some other adorable eyelet dresses that add a feminine touch to your wardrobe. Depending on how you accessorize and wear the dress, it can be worn for a casual wedding or graduation.
Top Left (50% off)  //  Top Right (30% off)
Bottom Left (30% off)  //  Lilly Pulitzer (50% off!)

Monday, April 20, 2015

2015 Lilly Pulitzer for 30% Off Retail

After throngs of people cleared the shelves at Target stores for the Lilly Pulitzer for Target collaboration and inflated prices on eBay for the items number in the thousands.

So what is a Lilly-loving person supposed to do?

Buy the latest Lilly Pulitzer collection at 30% off retail price and get free shipping. Here are some of my favorites.

The Palm Maxi Dress in Big Flirt is stunning. I'm a huge fan of maxi dresses because they're perfect for hot summer days without being too short or too revealing.

lilly pulitzer palm maxi dress big flirt on sale

The Beth Dress in the Two Tone Exploded Lace features a beautiful scalloped edge.

lilly pulitzer beth lace dress 2015 on sale
There are also some fabulous items for Minnies included in this sale.
little lilly classic shift double trouble engineered lilly pulitzer on sale

See all of the girls' items here, but hurry, sizes are selling out quickly!

Use the code FRNFAM for 30% off and free shipping.

Happy shopping!

Pink Sunday: My #LillyforTarget Shopping Experience

Pink Sunday: My #LillyforTarget Shopping Experience

Black Friday is for amateurs. Lilly Warehouse sales are tame. After my whirlwind experience of the past 24 hours and the Lilly for Target collaboration launch online and in store, I realize three things. I really love my Lilly, the thrill of the chase is pretty exciting, even if it is a rough ride, and there are some lovely Lilly lovers out there.

I set my alarm for midnight and woke up on cue. I felt like a child on Christmas Eve, the excitement was palpable. At first, it seemed that the collection had not been released online. Then, I learned that there were backdoor links to find the items. Using two computers, multiple browsers, and my phone, I attempted to shop from midnight until well after 1 a.m. without any success. As soon as I added an item to my cart, it disappeared or my cart froze during the checkout process.

lilly pulitzer for target website crash

I amused myself by reading the tweets for #LillyforTarget and messaging with friends who were also awake and trying to shop. After a steady intake of Diet Coke and pure energy flowing through my brain, sleep was out of the question. Meanwhile, at 4:30 a.m., despite my so-called savvy internet skills, multiple devices, and diligence, I still had not been able to check out or buy anything at all from the collection.

lilly pulitzer for target website crash

Luckily, I planned to go to my local Target. Natalia and Alexia eagerly awaited their morning wake up call a la Mommy, and we arrived at the store at 6:30 a.m. I was the first person in line! We set up camp and braved the chilly, windy morning. Armed with some iced tea and a croissant, I looked forward to the next segment of this adventure. So many lovely ladies stood in line with us and I enjoyed chatting with them about our love of Lilly. Some of my friends also arrived to join the party in line.

lilly pulitzer for target launch in store line preppy blogger

By the time the security guard and a Target employee came to speak to us, the colorful throng of Lilly lovers had grown to over 100 people. Just before the 8 a.m. store opening, the employee gave the following instructions, "Ladies. I want you to remember. This is Target. Lilly Pulitzer for Target. Not Wal-Mart. Please walk in an orderly manner."

The next ten minutes are a bit of a blur. We entered the store through a single door and the games officially began. Natalia and Alexia picked out their clothing while I made a beeline for the only thing on my wish list, the strapless maxi dress in Nosie Posey. Next, we headed to the home department where we met up with Pam for an exchange of Lilly. She picked up a pair of the pineapple sandals for me and I had a lace tank top for her. I even found a dress for my neighbor and a toddler cover up for blogger Erin's little girl.

The home department was packed to the gills with people and some boxes still sat unopened on large, flat carts. The Lilly lovers opened those boxes immediately and helped themselves to plates, tea cups, wine charms and more. The girls and I also successfully picked up our wish list items here, too. To be honest, although the group of mostly women behaved respectfully, the volume of crowd surrounding small displays was a bit overwhelming and the feeling today was one that I have never felt on the busiest time at a Warehouse Sale.

Incredulously, I noted that it was only 8:10 a.m. on my phone. In only 10 minutes, we had shopped and paid for our items.

Meanwhile, empty displays in every department were the only reminder that anything had ever happened at this Target store.

Here is the accessory and jewelry department...

lilly for target empty rack 10 minutes

And the clothing department...

lilly for target empty rack 10 minutes

At home, I enthusiastically opened my new treasures with time to spare before heading to church. I'm thrilled to report that the quality of the shift dresses and maxi dress that I bought equals that of Lilly Pulitzer from corporate stores. Details like textured fabric, lace trim, and a pineapple zipper pulls beautifully embellish these dresses. Only the Lilly lace hem and bra strap loop are absent from the design. The substantial fabric of the strapless maxi dress seems thicker than some Marlisa maxi dresses that I already have from last year. Overall, I'm pleased with the quality and wonderful price point of the collection. I also love the retro-style prints that remind me of so many older prints.

lilly for target blogger haul store opening shift dress
My #LillyforTarget Dress Haul
Natalia's favorite picks!
After a long night without any shopping success, the morning at my local Target store offered a sweet reward while meeting some fabulous Lilly lovers.

What did you buy from the Lilly for Target collection?

P.S. Be sure to enter to win a rain jacket in my giveaway.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Adventure at the #LillyForTarget Launch Party

You're in for a treat this afternoon, because my sweet friend Courtney is here on Maryland Pink and Green as a guest blogger. She spills the juice about her adventure last night at the #LillyForTarget launch party!

Lilly Pulitzer Target Launch Party Invitation Review

On Wednesday We Buy Pink
My Adventure at the #LillyForTarget Launch Party

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been counting down the days until #LillyForTarget launches – searching Insta for new product photos and any tidbits to be had about the launch, scouring the Look Book and making your wish list, and pondering why in the world Mr. Big is in the Lilly Target commercial.

So I shouted “Amen! Yes Please!” when I was invited to Wednesday night’s #LillyForTarget launch party in Bryant Park in NYC. The party was held at the Bryant Park Grill and was everything you would expect a LP party to be – swanky, glamorous (celebs like Kate Bosworth, Emmy Rossum, Camille Alves, former LP model Bella Thorne attended) and most of all, FUN (pass the bubbly please!).

We were greeted with warm Southern hospitality and offered a glass of champagne upon entering the party. DJ Kiss provided the entertainment (against a bright fuschia backdrop of course) and the space was divided into two main areas – the shopping area and the lounge/bar area. Of course we beelined immediately for the shopping area!

There was a palpable upbeat, fun energy while party goers shopped – the clothes were lined up in rows and the home goods were displayed beautifully in the center of the room on white shelf units. The majority of people swarmed the clothing area – you definitely had to be persistent and navigate close quarters to score shift dresses (flying off the racks while I was there!).

I had one priority – to get shift dresses for myself and my Minnie. There were so many gorgeous items displayed throughout the room but I kept laser focus as I searched for the shift dresses. I was incredibly impressed with the quality of all the clothing – the fabric, craftsmanship, fit and attention to detail are very true to Lilly. I honestly don’t know that I would be able to tell the difference fit/feel wise if I blindly tried on a LP dress vs a LP Target dress.

lilly for target launch party in new york

Fabric: Excellent quality. Shift dresses include the traditional Lilly liner. They don’t include the lace ribbon (not sure the actual term) that is often included on the inside of Lilly shifts to finish the look (and cover the seams). The quality of the dresses does seem a tad better than the caftans. Also, the toddler shorts are a bit thin (but so are the traditionally Lilly toddler shorts so that didn’t surprise me.

Fit: Excellent. Everything we tried on at home after the party fit like a glove and was very flattering and very true to the Lilly silhouette.

Size: Toddler sizing is typical measurements (18 mo, 2T, 3T, 4T, 5T). Women’s sizing is mixed – some shifts were listed numerically, (8, 10, 12, etc and some were listed with Target sizing [L (10/12), XL (14/16), etc]. Some people speculated that the collection would fit more like a typical Target line but I disagree – to me, it fit very much like Lilly (perhaps not as small as some Lilly items have been recently).

Attention to Detail: Blew me away – lots of little unexpected surprises. Very true to the Lilly Pulitzer brand. Gold thread on drawstrings, pompom rickrack on shorts, contrasting zipper detailing on the shift dresses, pineapple zipper handles. I included a few close-up photos of the details. Even the shopping bags (be still my heart!) and tags on the clothes (a bold fuchsia box outlined in gold) were very classy.

The Target team did a fantastic job keeping the shopping area well stocked and the checkout line moving (using portable credit card devices). Some folks from the Lilly corporate team attended and you could just sense a genuine, excited vibe from both the Lilly and Target teams. What an awesome, well done collaboration.

lilly pulitzer lilly for target haul launch party nyc

As you make your final wish list for Sunday, here are some tips and tidbits I overheard at the party for scoring what you want:

Get Your Starbucks Ready!: Target confirmed the collection will go online between 12-2am CST (not sure if it will be all at once or in intervals). This is an awesome chance to score tier 1 items from your wish list (and larger home goods that you will weigh you down running, er walking, in store.

Divide and Conquer: Although many Target stores say they don’t expect early morning lines, I find that hard to believe and recommend getting in line early (stores open at 8am Sunday). Might as well bring your Ipad and search the collection online while you stake out your spot in front of the store at 5am J Also, bribe bring a friend to divide and conquer (one of you take home goods, the other clothing to increase your odds of scoring items).

Know What’s Online: Make sure you check the lookbook (it states whether item is sold online when you click on each item – plus size, some accessories and toddler items (some shorts) are online only). Also, Target has confirmed that all stores (Super Targets, City Targets) will carry the collection.

Target Account: Make sure you have an account set up with your address and payment information saved – seconds matter when the hunt, er, shop is on.

Use Multiple Browsers (Chrome, Safari, FireFox): I learned this the hard way with previous LP sales. You don’t know when things will crash or whether one platform will be more efficient.

Return Policy: The Lilly collaboration has a special return policy of only 14 days (as opposed to Target's normal 90-day return policy) so make sure you don’t miss that deadline. Also, if your Target runs out, keep an eye out for the 2 weeks following in case people return items.

Good luck on Sunday, fellow Lilly lovers! And remember, “Anything is possible with a little pink!”

lilly for target launch party in new york game plan guide

Sunday Game Plan: Lilly Pulitzer for Target

Here's your game plan for this Sunday's launch of the Lilly Pulitzer for Target collaboration. Today's post will give you the best tips that you'll need to score everything on your wish list.

Ever since the announcement of this collaboration was made, there has been quite a buzz about it. And if you've ever shopped at a Lilly Pulitzer Warehouse Sale or an online sale, you know that things can get a little crazy.

My personal wish list is long, although I did manage to narrow it down from the over 200 items in the collection. I plan to shop both online and in-store in order to maximize my results. I especially love the Nosie Posey print and am breaking my rule of not having multiple items in the same print.

lilly for target collaboration tote bag blogger maryland pink and green lilly pulitzer beckett dress

Tote (only $15!) //  Dress  (navy, on sale) //  Belt  //  Shoes

Here are my Lilly Pulitzer for Target shopping tips for you!

1. Make a wish list. Before you shop, make your list using the official and complete Look Book.

2. Shop by department: Unlike other collaborations that were staged in one area of the store, the Lilly items are part of each department. Look for shifts and bathing suits in clothing and pillows, poufs, and more in patio. Shop with friends and divide and conquer each department individually.

3. Prioritize: I predict that shift dresses will fly off the racks in stores and online. Decide on a few items that are most important to you and find those first. If your Target store is large, this especially important.

4. Shop early, shop often: At my local Target store, the manager told me that they're not expecting anyone to camp out overnight, but I recommend arriving in advance of the official store opening. Find out what time your local Target opens on Sunday here.

5. Online shopping: The same mantra about shopping early and often applies here, too! Prepare in advance by setting up your online account at Target, making sure that your address is updated. Some of my favorite items are only available online, so I am going to look for those online. Target has not announced an official time when things will go live online, I predict that they will release things in a staggered manner so that it helps control the traffic volume and you don't see a message that looks like this. My advice to you is to check out as soon as you have something that you want in your cart. Don't delay, or you might lose things in your cart.

Last night I almost gave myself whiplash because I turned my head so quickly to watch this commercial for the millionth time. It's absolutely brilliant!

What is at the top of your Lilly for Target wishlist?  

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

April Showers Raincoat + Giveaway

April showers don't bother me one bit, especially when I'm prepared to face the elements in a wind and waterproof rain jacket. Functional and beautiful, the mesh lined jacket is a perfect choice for spring weather. The hood is large and keeps me dry while the 2-way zipper offers flexibility. I chose the New Englander Rain jacket from Charles River Apparel in pink because pink is practically a neutral color in my wardrobe.

I'm wearing a size small in this jacket and find that it fits true to size with room for layers under it.

charles river apparel rain jacket preppy pink

charles river apparel rain jacket preppy pink

charles river apparel rain jacket preppy pink

charles river apparel rain jacket preppy

As an added bonus, my friends at Charles River Apparel will send a New Englander Rain Jacket in the color chosen by the lucky winner of a giveaway that I am hosting. To enter to win, click the widget and follow the directions.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Virginia Wine Visit: 868 Estate Vineyards

The weather this weekend was delightful and Natalia and Alexia attended a church leadership retreat, so John and I took advantage of the beautiful day to visit 868 Estate Vineyards in Purcellville, Virginia. After a warm reception and friendly greeting in the large, open tasting room, we decided to stay for a wine tasting.

The tasting area is comfortable and large. I hung my purse a hook under the counter and John hung his coat, too. Nancy, one of the owners, told us to make ourselves at home during our visit. The tasting room staff is knowledgeable and well trained. Explanations about each wine entertained and informed us, without being too in depth or boring.

868 estate vineyard review virginia wine

We opted for the truffle wine tasting, exploring 7 different wines paired with 4 chocolate truffles. First, we tried the white chocolate truffle with Sauv Blanc and then Chardonnay. Next on the list was Altezza, named for the high elevation of the estate, with a strawberry balsamic truffle.  The maple walnut truffle with Monarch topped my list of favorites. We finished our chocolate and wine flight with a dark chocolate truffle rolled in cocoa and a taste of Merlot. The flavors blended so well together.

868 estate vineyards truffle tasting review

The grounds of the estate are stunning. I'm eager to return later in the season to see the tulips and other flowers that have been planted in the garden. John and I played a game of cornhole, which I lost terribly, before taking a stroll out to see the vineyards.

There is a pavilion and a large amount of space that can accommodate groups or special events. Several limos and buses arrived while we were there, but it never seemed overcrowded and the attention that we received was stellar.

Although the sun was shining, a chill in the air blew in the breeze. Originally I planned to wear a cute maxi dress, but mother nature foiled my plans. Instead I opted to wear a Murfee scarf with a spring coat to keep warm.

After we spent some time outside, we ventured back into the tasting room to enjoy a bottle of our favorite pick from the tasting. On site picks for food include everything from pizza to steak, offering many options for an afternoon picnic or meal.

Later this spring, we plan to return to 868 Estate Vineyards with some friends!



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