3 Ds of Patriotic Party Planning

Pulse recently collaborated with For, Like Ever! Event Styling, an event styling company located in St. Louis, Missouri, to learn how to throw the most swoon-worthy patriotic soiree. Make sure to check out all the talented collaborators’ websites who helped make this shoot happen!

Hey there! Ashley & Ashleigh here from For Like, Ever Event Styling! to give you some inside tips on how to add some spark to your patriotic party this Independence Day!

With summer off to an unofficial start, we can’t help but want to host a ton of fun parties, BBQs,and get-togethers of every kind! Anything to keep us outside, enjoying the beautiful weather and soaking up that sun! We have to say though, of all the awesome summer celebrations there are,Fourth of July tops the list. There’s something about the tradition and patriotism that fills the summer air as Independence Day approaches and it just can’t be beat.

It can be overwhelming to think through how to throw the perfect party for the Fourth especially once you hop on Pinterest and are inundated with inspiration. Our advice is to keep things simple, but always add beautiful details. The details we think are most important for a summer party happen to be 3 Ds: decor, dessert, and drinks. Here are our top decor, dessert and drink picks for a fabulously fun Fourth that’s picture perfect!

First: Choose your vibe, then add props. What kind of theme or feeling are you going for? What props or decor pieces will achieve that? For a backyard BBQ, we like using props that are useful so you’ll see that trend throughout our picks for this party.

Decor

Picnic Chic

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If you’re having a backyard BBQ, you can’t go wrong with a picnic style vibe. It’s that traditional feel like takes you back to being a kid with a picnic basket and it just feels American! Glam it up a bit with some glitter or sparkles and set the scene for some great photos.

Sparklers

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Sparklers, sparklers, sparklers – they’re fun no matter how old you are! Grab some sparklers, put them in a jar and make them a simple decor piece. If you’re setting the table for your party, add them to each place setting as a decor piece that doubles as a party favor, or make them the table centerpiece. No matter when you place them, make sure you light them by the end of the night and take pictures!

Signage

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We love adding cute signs to our party scenes! They make great decor pieces, but also great photo props.

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That blue sign is actually a tray from the dollar spot at Target. Yep. We added America the Beautiful on the back side with a paint pen. Now it’s a sign, a photo prop, AND a tray. 🙂

Dessert

Festive cakes

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We’ve yet to see a sparkler cake we didn’t totally swoon over. Incorporating fireworks, confetti, and your color scheme into your cakes to adds so much to your party decor, but they double as a menu item!

Mini pies

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How stinkin’ cute are these mini pies?! They’re baked in the lids of mason jars and it is officially our new favorite dessert idea! Your guests will think they’re adorable for one, but also they’re great because you can set them out anywhere so they’re a great addition to a summer party.

Cookies

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Over the past few years, specialty cookies have really increased in popularity and we dig it. Not to mention they double as decor + party favors! We LOVE these designs by Jeanette at Nettie Betty’s Bakery! Arrows and feathers were perfect for our scene. They even had some sparkle on them. More photo props!

Drinks

Nothing beats a delicious and refreshing summer drink! These are our cocktail picks for a patriotic party.

Salted Watermelon Tequila

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Because watermelon is definitely a summer must. This recipe requires the most work, but you can substitute items made from scratch for pre-made ingredients.

Recipe makes 2 quarts:

4 1/2 cups watermelon juice (you can make this with watermelon and a strainer or buy watermelon juice)

2 3/4 cups 100% agave silver tequila (to taste)

1/4 cup lime juice

1/4 cup orange juice

1/8 cup honey + 1/8 cup warm water (mixed together)

Salt the rim

Garnish with watermelon

Serve over ice

Vodka Mint Lemonade

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Lemonade is such a classic summer beverage – one that most everyone loves! It’s easy to make especially for a crowd so we took that and kicked it up a notch for this cocktail. Just adding mint and vodka for a nice summertime feeling cocktail.

Recipe makes 1 gallon or 4 quarts:

16 cups lemonade

3 cups vodka (to tast)

Muddled mint leaves

Garnish with limes and mint

Serve over ice

Summer Brew

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A definite crowd pleaser! It combines your typical beer drinkers with your guests that want something a bit fruitier and it’s nice and refreshing.

Recipe makes close to 1 gallon or 4 quarts:

4 (12 oz) beers (doesn’t matter what kind – it shouldn’t affect the taste much)

4 (12 oz) cans of lemonade concentrate

24 oz of Vodka (fill empty concentrate can twice – to taste)

lemon wheels for garnish

Ice is optional

 

We loved working with Pulse to put this shoot together! Huge thanks to all of the wonderfully talented people we collaborated with!

Hair + Makeup: Caity Margaret Beauty

Desserts: Nettie Betty’s Bakery

Photography: Rachel Closson

Photography: Dylan Murphy

Cheers to a fabulous summer, a happy Fourth of July, and an incredible celebration!

xo!

Ashley & Ashleigh

For Like, Ever! Event Styling

Self Tanners: Worth the splurge? + a giveaway!

I hadn’t tried a self tanner for years, so I was interested to see new developments in products. The self tanner I remember from the past was thick, stinky, and left you orange and streaky! That is not the case anymore. Over the past 2 weeks I tested out 2 different self tanners. Was it worth the splurge? Plus, make sure to check out our giveaway so you can enter to win one of these products!

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SPLURGE: St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse

$18 for travel size (what I used) or $42 for 8oz

BEFORE                                                 AFTER

You can definitely notice a slightly bronzed look on the right photo. I loved the mousse texture of this self tanner. It was so easy to apply using the applicator mitt (see photo below). It was light and totally streak-free. The color lasted about 2 days. It took 8 hours for the color to develop (the photos were taken 1 day apart). You can buy this on St. Tropez’s website or at Ulta, which is where I found it. It is a little more exclusive and harder to find.

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SAVE: L’Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Tinted Self-Tanning Lotion

$8.09 for 5oz

BEFORE                                                AFTER

It was raining the day I took the before pic, so I had to take it inside!! A shadow was on me in the after pic, so it wasn’t that dark but definitely darker than the before. I was really impressed with this self tanner. It went on totally streak-free and it smelled good! I definitely noticed a bronzed glow after I applied it and the results were almost immediate every time. I used it daily for 5 days to achieve my desired tan. Then, I stopped using it to see how long it lasted. It lasted 3 days before I noticed it starting to fade. It also has a shimmer to it, which is perfect for a summer glow. I preferred the smell of this one to the St. Tropez mousse. I purchased this at Target, and it can be found at most general drugstores and grocery stores.

RESULTS: NOT worth the splurge!! Even though I loved the St. Tropez, I was just as equally impressed with the L’Oreal product. I loved the smell and how it built up over time and lasted longer. The quality of self tanners really seems to have improved over the years, so the less expensive options are catching up to the luxury!

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If self tanners aren’t really your thing, I stumbled across a great lustro shimmer oil from BeautyCounter. It gives you a healthy glow without the bronzing effect. The photos I took of my before and after don’t do it justice, so I found this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofuuV-tqu3 that shows a great before and after. It smells great and was really easy to apply. You can even use it on your hair!!

Why I really love it is because Beautycounter is a fantastic company with an even better mission. They use only the best, safest ingredients with hopes to get safer products into the hands of everyone. They’ve banned over 1,500 ingredients that other beauty companies use.

GIVEAWAY TIME!!

Good news!! Beautycounter representative Susan Mendelsohn has been kind enough to donate a bottle of Beautycounter Lustro Shimmer Oil ($58 value!) for us to giveaway to one lucky reader!

HOW TO ENTER: SHARE this blog post on Facebook with the hashtag #Pulsebeats and tag us @Pulse Fashion

GUIDELINES: 

  • 1 entry per account
  • 1 winner will be chosen on 6/10 and announced via Facebook.
  • No purchase necessary, item cannot be returned or redeemed for cash

5 Fashion Tips for Busy Moms

This week we teamed up with Emily Soto from With Style & Grace blog to hear her tips for busy moms. As a mom of 2, she knows how to stay fashionable in a small amount of time!! Read her post below:

As you know, I’m a mom of two girls. Julianna is six and Olivia will be four this month. I have three part-time jobs (yes, three) on top of motherhood so I’m a busy mom and always on the go. I have made a list of a few tips to help other busy moms stay functional and fashionable:

1. Plan ahead. On Sunday afternoons, I check the forecast to plan out looks for the whole week. I literally even plan out the accessories, shoes, and bag that I will use. I take pictures of this outfits to reference on my phone during the week and I also usually post them on my Instagram feed as well. I absolutely do not have time to think about what I’m going to wear at 6:30 am on a Monday morning.

2. Choose a statement piece. I always pick one item that is the center of attention in my outfit. For the first outfit below, it’s the top then I kept everything else very basic and neutral. Sometimes my bag or necklace is the statement piece and everything else is simple.

3. Wear dresses. Dresses are absolutely the easiest way to look put together and fast! Throw on a simple black maxi dress (like I have styled below), a bright purse, and comfy sandals. Outfit complete. You could literally be dressed in two minutes. I love, love, love dresses!

4. Get rid of uncomfortable clothes. This seems obviously but clothes that you don’t feel good in, get rid of them! This will make getting dressed more simple because you won’t be tempted to try on something in the morning that doesn’t work for you. I have been guilty of having a pile of clothes that I dislike in my closet thinking they might work later. Let ’em go!

5. Be you. Who cares if you might be overdressed or too casual?! Wear what you love. Your confidence always shines from within anyways.

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The 3 W’s of Wearing White Jeggings

We partnered up with fashion blogger Vanessa from Budding Fashionista to get her tips on how to wear white jeggings! Check out her 3 W’s for wearing white jeggings below. 

I admit, I’ve never owned a pair of jeggings. I came close to getting a pair when I did a review on Gap jeans last year, but I never bit the bullet.

Cut to this year and I’m now a jeggings owner! Pulse asked me to style their white jeggings in different ways and I couldn’t pass on the opportunity. I’m all about wearing things multiple times to get more bang for the buck. They can be styled countless ways, but I decided to put together three looks that showcase how they can be worn in different facets of life.

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Weekend: I think these pants lend themselves for natural weekend wear. They’re perfect for lunch with friends or a casual date night! I paired them with this coral off-the-shoulder top and accessorized with a turquoise necklace in my closet. It’s one of my favorite color combinations for spring/summer. I wore neutral lace-up heels and added a little animal print clutch for a little edge!

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Work: Jeggings for work?! What?! I wanted to prove it’s possible. Obviously, most bosses would frown upon tight pants without complete back coverage, so I wanted to make sure my cheeks were kept in check! I paired the jeggings with an on-trend long, sleeveless vest and black pumps.

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Wind down: Jeggings are probably best for a casual, laid back look. So, for a day when you get to just chill or even if you have to run around with your munchkins, these are ideal! I threw on a denim button-down and slipped in some neutral loafers for a day with my kids. I really wanted to pair my straw fedora with this look, but I left it at home!

Now, keep this in mind when going for a white hot look:

Wear flesh-colored underwear! If your skin is brown, wear brown undergarments. If your skin is tan, wear tan. Some people may think, white pants=white underwear. Nope! I’ve yet to meet a truly “white” person, so white underwear will only create a clear and distracting distinction between your skin and the undergarment. Your best bet is to go with flesh-toned…even if you wear a thong. The outline of a white thong will still show front/back.

Also, cover the backside! Long gone are my days of a ripple- and dimple-free backside and legs. So I want to make sure ALL of that THAT is spared from public view. I would not be wearing white jeggings with anything tucked in or cropped! I follow the same rule of thumb even for black leggings.

If you want to try the jeggings, click here. They’re reasonably priced at $28! They are snug, but definitely stretch out over time so I would be hesitant to size up. I’m 5’8″ 145 pounds and got a medium!

As always, thanks for reading!

Fabulous Fashion & Vintage Jewels

We had a great time this week collaborating with CS Gems! They are an online vintage jewelry boutique who search high and low for handpicked beautiful vintage and vintage inspired repurposed jewelry at awesome prices. Their goal is “to make vintage modern again” by mixing vintage pieces with today’s latest trends. I fell in love with their unique pieces right away. Check out their website here!

Their jewelry paired perfectly with our layered fall looks. We agree that plaid, blanket scarves, ponchos, and stripes are the must haves for the season!

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We LOVE this designer inspired poncho! Get the look here.

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Mixing patterns is what it’s all about! I love the colors in this look. Get it here.

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This cardi has long sleeves but we loved pushing them up and adding stripes underneath! Shop this look here.

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Cozy chic!! You won’t believe how soft this tunic sweat shirt is. Plus, it looks so fab with a fun clutch. Click to shop!

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First Red Cup of the season!! This look is great for everyday. Shop now!

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We can’t keep this poncho in stock! It will keep you warm and the fringe is on point!

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Wrapping a blanket scarf around you as a shrug is an {easy} and unique way to wear it!! Can you see the stripe tee underneath? It’s all about layers!! Get this look here.

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Camel is the must have color! I love it because it goes with everything. I love how well it pairs with CS Gems’ gold jewels! Get this cowl neck here.

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I think this look might be my fave!! This over sized poncho will keep you super warm!! It looks great with a white tee underneath. Make it yours!