Stepping out of the comfort zone

Feeling pretty adventurous these days and completely stepped out of my comfort zone with this bold printed maxi dress. I’ve been on the hunt for the maxi dress of the Summer, looking for a bold statement that could both pass for a casual Sunday picnic piece, while also able to dress up for more formal events. While the colour red is probably the furthest from the subtle monochrome that I wear on a daily basis, it’s my favourite colour for dressing up and feeling fancy!

eShakti handkerchief dress with rocksbox statement necklace
outfit details:
handkerchief maxi dress: c/o eShakti (exact)
statement necklace: Perry Street via Rocksbox
earrings: Kendra Scott via Rocksbox
wedges: c/o Shoe Dazzle (similar)
apple detailed clutch: thrifted via Goodwill

eshakti review, scarf print maxi dress

I selected this scarf print maxi dress for this eShakti review because of the fun print, modest cut, and flowy material. If you’re unfamiliar with eShakti, they offer full customization on garment design (changing the neckline, designing sleeves, hem length, etc) and measurements, which means I was able to select the perfect length to avoid the “floating ankles” situation I’ve had in the past with other maxi dresses that weren’t “maxi enough”. I was super ecstatic that they were able to translate the perfect length of a dress from my height alone. I went with a standard US size 4 dress and requested a longer length to help accommodate my 5’9″ stature.

The biggest point that I want to hit in this eShakti review is the turnaround time for orders. Considering the custom measurements, turnaround time was quick! Within a week, the dress showed up in my mailbox! I can think of so many times where orders from other stores were placed online and I’d have to wait over 2 weeks for standard-sized pieces.

On this particular night that I wore the dress, I used every piece in my Rocksbox package (you can get your first box free with promo code “kaatriiinaxoxo”), which included this gorgeous Perry Street statement necklace and Kendra Scott druzzy earrings.

Spring, is that you?

It’s been unusually warm here in Seattle for the last few days. We’ve hit over 31 degrees Celsius (85F+) in the last three days, which has caused me to trade in my go-to leather jacket for something lighter. I’ve been layering with lots of light knits, learning to re-wear and repurpose many Summer pieces and extending their rotation time in the closet by pulling them into Spring, hoping to stay cool during the day and prepared to layer up as the sun sets.

thredUP spring outfit ideas
outfit details:
backless floral dress: c/o COME SHOP WITH LOVE (exact)
knitted cardigan: Theory c/o thredUP
chained wedges: Shoe Dazzle (old)
midi & stacking rings: Forever 21 (similar)

As I’ve been thrifting more lately, it was only natural to get excited about partnering with thredUP, the equivalent of an online trendy thrift shop. ThredUP carries over 25,000 brands and updates their inventory daily. I originally had my heart set on a lightweight Michael Kors varsity jacket, which was scooped up by someone else within 48h of adding it to my cart! Talk about being in high demand! I guess I really shouldn’t be so surprised since the jacket was on sale for $30.

Theory knitted cardigan from thredUP
spring outfit ideas: backless floral dress

In hindsight, this was meant to be because a day later, this gorgeous knitted Theory cardigan became available for under $40! Even in the in-person secondhand or thrift shops I frequent, it’s rare to find Theory pieces for less than $50, so I was stoked to find this cardigan for such a great price. What a treat!

The biggest pieces of advice I can give about shopping on thredUP are to keep an open mind when browsing and to check inventory often. It took me a solid 5 days of looking through thredUP’s categories, nailing down a type of piece I wanted to buy, and then working through all of the potential brands to pick from. It may seem overwhelming at first, but having a plan will make the shopping experience so much easier. Plus, it’ll help to bring focus to the shopping so that you don’t miss out on sweet deals like I did with the original jacket I placed in my cart and was too slow to purchase.

Excited for more date nights and bringing out the Summer wardrobe early to soaking up the sunshine and warmth for the next few days before the rain clouds reappear this weekend!

Mother’s Day ideas with Whole Foods & Sur la Table

With Mother’s Day coming up, Whole Foods and Sur la Table invited a group of local Seattle bloggers for an afternoon of fun in the kitchen for breakfast ideas and DIY floral arrangements for the big day! I was super stoked to see the classroom kitchen at Sur la Table and even more excited that I get to share the food recipe with you!

On the agenda was learning how to make a Bloody Mary Benedict with Hollandaise with Chef Hayden, some drinks with a kick, and learning how to arrange flowers like a pro. We started off with the food– aka the good stuff!

Here’s Lindsay being the cutest Hollandaise sauce whipper we’ve ever seen. She’s such a sweetheart and was such a brave soul to get up in front of the room to be the first kitchen volunteer of the afternoon.

whole foods mother's day ideas
Chef Hayden walked us through step-by-step how to make the beautiful dish above. He even offered fab tips and tricks for making the perfect poached egg (no vinegar and “water tornadoes” involved! Just use a shallow skillet with boiling water and it magically works itself out!) to make this cocktail inspired, breakfast favourite.

If I lived closer to my mom, she’d totally get a kick out of this delicious treat on Mother’s Day. Continue to the full blog post for the full recipe and some tips for making your own floral arrangement!

floral arrangement diy

Rocksbox review (and a free month of jewelry)

I’ve seen a lot of people rave about Rocksbox in the last couple years, but never tried it for myself until recently. If you’re not familiar with Rocksbox, they’re a subscription service for jewelry. For $19 a month, you can request as many boxes as you’d like a month in exchange for returning your current box. This pretty much makes it an unlimited resource for fresh jewelry!

Although I’ve only had my Rocksbox subscription for the last month, I wanted to share my experiences with the services and the pieces so far. To preface this review, I received a complimentary 3 month subscription of the service to try out, but all of the experiences you’re about to read are my honest, personal opinion.

rocksbox review with one month of free jewelry with rocksbox coupon kaatriiinaxoxo

For context: I started my subscription towards the end of March. My goal was to figure out how many boxes I would logistically be able to receive if I only kept each box for a day (or two, tops!) to maximize my subscription. To even further maximize the satisfaction rate of each box, I made sure to “star” at least 10 pieces in my wish list to reduce the amount of guessing that a Rocksbox stylist would have to do to discern my jewelry tastes.

My first box showed up a week and a half after signing up for an account and is pictured above. The level of personalization and care that goes into each box is really impressive, considering they have to scale this personalization for every subscription holder! Every box comes with 3 pieces: earrings, necklace, and ring or bracelet. I received a ring and necklace, both from my wish list, and the earrings pictured above. Of all of the pieces, the earrings were my favourite. The pieces ranged from $30-$50, which was a bit pricier than I wanted to go for the minimalist style and quality of the jewelry, so I sent my box back within the week.

I sent the box back using the prepaid shipping label and reusing the envelope that the box was originally shipped in (genius concept, btw). The turnaround time between dropping my first box off and receiving the second box was 5 business days. Really impressive, given the amount of personalization that goes into the selection of the pieces in each box and the shipping time.

Here’s what I received in my second box (minus the sunglasses and the jacket, and a bangle that’s not pictured):

rocksbox coupon kaatriiinaxoxo

The Perry Street statement necklace was on my wish list, paired with highly sought after Kendra Scott earrings, and a brass bangle that I really did not care for. Each of the “rocks” in my second box were retailing for at least $50 a piece, which is a bit more than I would personally pay for a single piece of costume jewelry. Thankfully, at the $19/m, I could give off the illusion of owning a lavish jewelry collection without breaking the bank.

The turnaround time between dropping off my second box and receiving the third box was 7 days. A couple days difference between the previous swap, but again, quite fast.

Because I personally don’t wear much jewelry on a daily basis anymore, I don’t think I would continue a regular Rocksbox subscription on my own for the full duration of the remainder of the year. However, seeing as how this Summer and Fall are filled with weddings to go to, I can definitely see myself picking back up the service for the couple months of overlap between all the weddings so that I have fresh bling to dress up the wedding attire.

Next week will mark my first full month since receiving my first Rocksbox. In that month, I will have received 3 boxes, totaling 9 pieces of jewelry, with a total MSRP of about $450 to wear and style within my personal wardrobe. Although 50% of the pieces I received were not ones I would have picked for myself, it was fun to see the explanations behind the selections made by my Rocksbox stylists.

If you’re still on the fence about committing to a subscription, here’s a Rocksbox coupon to try your first box free! Simply enter the code “kaatriiinaxoxo” at checkout for 1 month of free jewelry from Rocksbox.

Disclaimer: Huge thank you to Rocksbox for partnering on this post by providing a 3 month subscription for me to try. I wasn’t asked to make this review post, but I wanted to share my honest opinions about the service while also sharing my findings for figuring out the maximum number of boxes that could be received in a single month.

Pretty in punk

With the weather warming up and the sun coming out to play, the thick layers of hoodies and sweaters are getting swapped for lighter tops, dresses, and cutout booties. While trying to still be smart and rework the existing wardrobe, I’m making a huge effort to resist the temptation of buying any new outwear this season. You’ll probably see this leather jacket a lot, plus the good ‘ol Michael Kors asymmetrical waterproof coat (worn last on the blog in this Iceland recap post), and the Ann Taylor utility jacket (styled in last week’s post here).

pretty in punk: minimalist date night outfit ideas
outfit details:
backless white dress: c/o COME SHOP WITH LOVE (exact)
moto jacket: Michael Kors (similar)
booties: Seychelles (similar)
BZR sunglasses: Moorea Seal (exact)
vintage Coach bag: thrifted via Goodwill (exact)
teardrop earrings: DIY by yours truly

the demure muse: date night outfit ideas ft backless dress

What I’m currently trying to rework are the dresses in my closet. After parting with a handful of pieces that no longer fit my current style or felt age appropriate (like this one, or this one), I’m starting to invest in more classic silhouettes in solid colours, avoiding prints in hopes of being able to wear them longer.

The newest dress is from COME SHOP WITH LOVE, a Seattle-based company that is all about empowering women and giving back to the community. A portion of every sale is donated to a rotation of causes for organizations or charities that align with the company’s mantra.

I’m excited to partner with this local company on this specific post because I feel like the outfit inspired by this dress helped me to embody the COME SHOP WITH LOVE woman. Not only is this dress easy to wear with the flattering silhouette, but the white palette was perfect to match with my existing monochromatic jacket and accessories. Having this dress on made me feel bold, strong, and independent to hold my own in it. Bonus: it is perfect for twirling!

the demure muse: date night outfit ideas ft backless white dress

After taking this dress out for a spin once, I’m excited to come up with more date night outfit ideas with this piece!

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