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 Madewell dress (also love this black floral version);  H&M jacketJohnston & Murphy sneakers (c/o);  Chanel handbag (look for less here, here and here);  Initial necklaceRay-Ban sunglasses

Happy Tuesday, friends!  I’ve talked about it before in these parts, but if there’s one thing that drives me nuts this time of year, it’s that the fashion industry as a whole seemingly forgets about one key little accessory: a BRA.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I think those little strapless, backless, or spaghetti-strap dresses that flood the racks of just about every clothing store for summer are super cute and great for gals that don’t mind a strapless bra or (gasp!) even sticky boob covers all day, but at 32 years old, I’ve realized that they’re just not for me.

And I’m 100% A-OK, cool with that.  So today I’m rounding up a bunch of bra-friendly little floral dresses in case you, like me, feel like your best self in an actual bra.  I mean, am I alone on this?  Can we all agree that it’s not that crazy to design some clothes that can be thrown right on top of some damn UNDERGARMENTS?!  And I’m keeping them all under $100 (with some under $25!) because I’m not trying to break the bank on a mini dress.  (Although I’ve already gotten a TON of wears out of the dress above.)

So take a scroll below, find a favorite (or two), and then pair them with wedges, sandals, or sneakers for a day-to-night, goes-anywhere look.  Hope everyone has a great week ahead!

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xoxo

Photos thanks to Katie Stuart

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 Time and Tru linen shortsstriped boatneck topTime and Tru wedgesLevi’s jacketEliza May Rose tote

Earlier this week I shared our backyard transformation and the outdoor furniture that we’re loving from Walmart, and today I’m heading into another section of the store that’s definitely worth shopping for summer: the clothing and accessories.  Y’all, if you haven’t taken a shopping stroll over to Walmart lately, it’s time to change that.

I grew up shopping at Walmart.  It was literally minutes from my house, and if you wanna know my childhood claim to fame, it’s definitely walking in a Walmart kids’ swimwear fashion show at my local Louisiana store.  That’s right, yours truly (along with the competitive dance team I was on at the time) could be found strutting my stuff down the main aisle in a zig-zag striped black one-piece swimsuit.  Perhaps that’s where I first caught this whole blogging bug?  Maybe not, but it’s a good memory anyway.

Fast forward a few years, and I’m now rediscovering my love for the Walmart clothing department.  There are new brands to love at the same amazing prices I remember.  Time and Tru is definitely a favorite of mine, and the shorts, striped tee, and wedges above as well as the t-shirt dress below are all from the brand.  These linen shorts seriously could not be better – I love the relaxed fit, the pockets, and of course, the under $10 price tag.  I’m definitely thinking I need one of the striped pairs as well.

And when it comes to accessories, you can’t go wrong with ALL of the straw things from Eliza May Rose.  How cute is the striped beach tote above?  You can find similar bags out there, but I’ve never seen them at this price point.  (And the quality is amazing.)  Here are a few other straw bags I’m loving right now.

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The best part?  Walmart.com also offers free 2-day shipping on most orders over $35 with no membership fees.  See something you like today?  Get it by the weekend, easy as that.  Happy shopping, friends!

xoxo

 Time and Tru dressLevi’s jacketTime and Tru wedges;  Bag via Walmart (similar online here and here)

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Brought to you by Walmart.

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 Better Homes & Gardens 4-Piece Sofa SetBetter Homes & Gardens 3-Piece Rocking Set2Xist jogger and sweatshirt (c/o);  similar lantern here and hereBlue plastic wine glasses

Remember this post wayyyyy back in April of 2018 where I shared a bunch of before and after photos of our home remodel?  Well around that time we had just finished a pretty big overhaul of the backyard, and I intended to share it sometime last summer, just as soon as I found new patio furniture.  Fast forward to now, and we’ve JUST created an outdoor space that we love in the backyard.

Although we don’t have many “before” photos of the backyard, if you scroll below, you can get a little feel for what we were working with.  It was overgrown (to say the least), had concrete poured in some strange “figure 8” pattern, and had dirt instead of grass.  It definitely wasn’t a place that we wanted to hang out or relax, but now, we are loving this space thanks to a few key changes.

Podocarpus Trees – Definitely one of the best things that we did in the backyard was lining all of the block walls with Podocarpus Trees.  We had them planted pretty close together, and after a couple of seasons, they had grown SO well.  They’re regularly trimmed as a living wall, and it provides so much privacy, noise protection, additional shade, and overall peace in the space.

Jacuzzi – This, by far, is one of our favorite features of our entire home remodel.  We use the jacuzzi ALL of the time, and we designed it pretty big so that it doubles as a small pool in the summertime.  (It even fits a full-sized float or two.)  We went with a natural stone exterior, a soothing waterfall feature, and two functioning coolers on the sides that are so handy for outdoor parties.  When we aren’t in the jacuzzi, we most likely have the waterfall feature on with the French doors in the kitchen open so that we can hear the sound of water throughout the house.

Fruit Trees – In addition to the Podocarpus Trees, we also planted avocado, Valencia orange, and Meyer lemon trees.  They don’t produce a ton of fruit yet, but it’s always nice when we can just grab an orange or lemon or avocado from the backyard.

Actual Grass – Here’s a shocker – planting grass was a significant change to the dirt patches we had before.  To the left side of the jacuzzi, there’s a strip of grass where the dogs can run and chase birds to their hearts’ desire.  And yes, we unfortunately have burn patches in the grass ALL the time because, well, dogs.

Built-In BBQ – The built-in BBQ and bar area has been so nice to have for grilling out or even just for putting out food and drinks during parties.  We made the bar pretty big, so there’s a ton of counter space for entertaining.  Originally I wanted to put barstools around it, but for now it’s kind of become a standing room bar.  We’ll see, the jury is still out on that one.

New Patio Furniture – Last but certainly not least, our new patio furniture is what helped tie the entire space together.  I don’t know if you guys have looked into outdoor furniture lately, but it can be crazy expensive, so I was so excited to find these two sets that I love at Walmart.  On any given weekend you can find me lounging on this couch or hanging in one of the rocking chairs – every piece is SO comfortable, and the quality really can’t be beat.  (Clearly, it’s pup-approved too.)

xoxo

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 Old Navy striped teeWest Elm bedding;  pillows via HomeGoods;  Wall lighting sconces

Happy Wednesday, friends!  And yes, when typing that, I 100% felt like I should be saying “happy Tuesday” – is there anything better than a short week where losing track of the days always turns into a happy surprise?  Always good in my book.

Today I’m super excited to share a little spring and summer refresh in our master bedroom that was easy-peasy and pretty affordable to do.  If you remember back to this post last summer, our bedroom was a muted mix of greys, neutral tones, and blush pinks – with the same (not so wanted) pop of turquoise from the nightstands.

**A little back story on those – to be honest, I’ve never liked our nightstands, and the color was always an unhappy accident.  They were supposed to be MUCH more muted, almost a greyish blue.  They arrived when I was out of town, sat hidden in their boxes surrounded by construction materials for weeks, and were ours for the keeping by the time they were opened and in the house.  You live and you learn.  They’re next up on the chopping block, but I just haven’t found any that are tall enough that I LOVE yet.  The search continues…

Anywho, I was really loving the blush and grey (and turquoise I suppose) color palette, but our striped grey coverlet had really seen better days.  It was made of flannel, which we loved for the winter, but after a couple of years it was just looking tired and pretty pilled.  I searched around on West Elm and was pretty sure I’d end up with this pretty striped grey one or the grey version of what I eventually chose.

As a bedding rule of thumb around here, I do NOT do duvets anymore.  They’re too hot in the summertime, and to be honest, they’re just a giant pain in the ass every time you wash the duvet cover.  I was over that mess years ago.  We’ve also ditched the top sheet.  I buy these fitted sheets from Target that are great and have replaced the top sheet with this super lightweight coverlet that gets washed EVERY time the bottom sheet gets washed.  (I swear by this coverlet by the way – so breathable, affordable, and has held up wash after wash beautifully.)  Then I top it with something pretty – I always love the coverlet and quilt selection at West Elm (went there for the Palm Springs bedroom too), and they have great bedding sales all the time.

But this time, rather than sticking with the grey and blush palette, I decided to make a big little change and go with this yellow dotted coverlet, and I have to say, I love how much it brightens the room.  I picked up a couple of pillows from HomeGoods, grabbed minimal yellow touches like this little vase, and moved all of the blush accents into the guest bedroom.  Eric and I are loving how this room feels so fresh and new, and as you can tell, the pups are loving it too.  (Scroll down for a few more pics.)

Hope you guys have a great rest of your week ahead!

xoxo

 White base beddingWest Elm Coverlet Restoration Hardware Teen pendant light Bench via HomeGoods (similar here);  similar yellow velvet pillowRound ivory pillow;  Basket and throws via HomeGoods;  West Elm yellow vase Similar grey velvet pillows; Wall sconces Mr. & Mrs. pillow (gift from a friend, found on Etsy) Vogue bookHomebody bookYves Saint Laurent bookYellow book;  flowers via HomeGoods (similar here);  One Kings Lane side table (sold out);  Wall sconces

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 Free People pants;  cabi top (old);  Gap denim jacketUrban Outfitters handbagRay-Ban sunglassesJulie Vos bracelets Free People pantsOld Navy teeGap jacketWarby Parker sunglassessimilar Zac Zac Posen handbag Free People pantssimilar blouseRay-Ban sunglassesJulie Vos bangles Lilly Pulitzer pants and linen shirtSam Edelman handbagsimilar hatQuay sunglassesJulie Vos bangles

Spring has finally arrived in SoCal, and I am one happy camper.  Can we even believe that it’s almost May already?  This weekend we spent some time in the sun and even made it to our first baseball game of the season.  The year is flying by, but I gotta say I’m pretty excited that summer is right around the corner.

While spring is normally my cue to pull out ALL of the dresses, this year I’m also having a real obsession with wide leg pants.  To be fair, I’ve always had a thing for wide leg pants (still loving this polka-dot pair from last year), but this year I just keep finding more and more pairs to love.  Worn with a knotted tee, easy blouse or linen shirt and heels or wedges underneath, they’re such a flattering and fun wardrobe staple.

Whether you go for tame stripes or something super bold like these, there’s no better way to shake things up for spring.  Hope everyone has a great week ahead!

xoxo

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 Good American shorts (also available here);  Lilly Pulitzer button-down (c/o);  Marc Fisher espadrilles (c/o – take 25% off with code MFsquad25);  Ferragamo handbagsimilar hatWarby Parker sunglasses

If you’ve followed along for a few summers now, then you’ve probably noticed that jean shorts are my main jam when it comes to the warmer months.  Last year I wore the hell out of this AGOLDE pair (still available this year here), and currently, I’m all about this high rise pair from Good American.  Normally, I’m not into high rise shorts.  I LOVE high rise jeans exclusively, but for some reason, I like to wear my shorts a bit lower.  It’s probably because most companies don’t make them long enough for the tall girls, so a high rise equals a constant wedgie.  TMI, but it’s the truth.

A couple of weeks ago I came across this pair at Nordstrom and figured I’d give them a whirl.  I went up one size from my normal skinny jean size for a bit of a looser fit, and I love them.  The denim is super soft, the rise hits at just the right spot on my waist, and the legs are a bit roomier than most – all pluses in my book.  They’re admittedly a bit of a splurge, but I know I’ll be wearing these a ton all summer long with swimsuits, tees, or button-downs like this season after season favorite from Lilly Pulitzer.  (See it styled here, here, and here.)

And while we’re talking about favorites, how cute are these striped espadrilles from Marc Fisher?  If you’re feeling these then you’re in luck because early access to the Marc Fisher Friends & Family sale starts today.  Take 25% off with code MFSquad25.  Here’s hoping everyone has a great week ahead!

xoxo

Photos thanks to Katie Stuart

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 Lilly Pulitzer coverup (c/o);  Beek by Two Birds sandals (c/o);  Warby Parker sunglassessimilar hat;  Mark & Graham straw tote Turf outdoor rugSling chairssimilar pillowssimilar garden stool

If you read this post from a couple of weeks ago, then you know I’ve added a new job title around here lately.  Officially, I’m going with Airbnb Hostess Extraordinaire, but basically, we’re renting out two different cottage spaces on Little Balboa Island in Newport Beach.  (Read this post for a little back story.) . The front, lower unit has been up and moving for a few weeks now, but as of this week, the upstairs unit is finally ready to rent.

This one took a little more work to get it ready for visitors, but now I have to say I love it.  It’s cute and comfortable and has a similar open and airy feel to the downstairs unit with two bedrooms, each with a queen sized bed.  My favorite feature of this one though?  Climb the spiral staircase in the kitchen to the large, private rooftop deck that I’m admittedly obsessed with.  Those sling chairs (above) are seriously comfortable and just begging for some summertime rooftop hangs.  I told Eric not to be surprised if he saw a familiar name (mine) on the rental calendar this summer because I genuinely just want to hang out here.

You can check out both of the units here and follow along with @thebalboacottage on Instagram for more local snaps and attractions.  If you’re looking for someplace sunny to spend a little time this spring or summer, we’d love to have you!

xoxo

 Turf outdoor rugSling chairssimilar garden stoolglass top table (under $100);  turquoise outdoor dining chairs TableChairs Barstools Distressed white bedWhite beddingsimilar side table

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 Joie shorts (on sale with code EVENT19);  cabi striped tee (c/o);  Dolce Vita espadrillessimilar hatWarby Parker sunglassesChanel handbag (look for less here)

Happy Hump Day, my friends!  This last week or so has really been signaling that summer is indeed upon us, so I did the predictable thing and decided to try out a new workout this morning.  Ha!  Last minute or not, there’s no time like the present to get back on that workout train, am I right?  I take the pups on a three-mile walk everyday, but lately I’ve been feeling like I wanted to start adding something else to the mix.

I’ve been a Pilates reformer gal for a while (chatted about a favorite studio here), but friends have been telling me I need to try out a class with a “Megaformer”.  And so I did.  This morning was my first class, and while I really liked it, I’m gonna wait and chat more about it once I’ve taken a few classes.  But after one class and a three-mile walk with the pups today, let’s just say I’ve REALLY earned my Sol Grill happy hour tonight.  (The happy hour was pre-planned with a friend, so obviously, I can’t NOT go and try out the cauliflower crust pizza I’ve been dying to try, right?)

And since summer is officially creeping right up on us, today I’m sharing these white shorts that I’ll be wearing all summer long.  I love that they’re high rise, roomy through the legs, and have the cutest contrast stitching, and right now, during Shopbop’s big sale, you can snag them up to 25% off.  If you follow other blogging gals, I’m sure you’ve seen ALL the coverage of the Shopbop sale, but just in case you need a bit more shopping inspo, I’m rounding up some of my favorite picks below.  Happy shopping, friends!

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xoxo

Photos thanks to Katie Stuart

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 Amoressa swimsuit (also here) (c/o);  Lilly Pulitzer coverup (c/o) – also love this printWhite Elephant Designs straw bagHeadbandBeek by Two Birds sandals (c/o);  similar round towelssimilar hatsunglasses

It may be only April, but we’ve already had our first couple of swimsuit weather days around here, and I’m 100% on board.  I’ve got my sights firmly set on ALL of the spring, summer, and resort style pieces, and the number one item on my list every year?  Gimme all of the cute swimsuit coverups.  During the spring and summer months I tend to live in coverups, and during our Palm Springs weekends in particular, I’ll usually ditch the swimsuit and throw one on over slip to go from the pool to dinner or drinks.

So today I’m rounding up twenty-five favorites – from dresses to rompers, caftans and sarong styles – in a range of prices.  Click through below to find your new favorite.  Now excuse me while I go throw a few in a bag for the desert weekend ahead.  Happy almost Friday, everyone!

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xoxo

Photos thanks to Katie Stuart

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