Three Heel Clicks

Have a Picnic

Picnic Red in Spring

Fashion, Houston, Lifestyle, StyleCrystal JacksonComment
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This dress is one of my absolute favorites for this season. I loved it so much I bought it in blue. I've grown to really love shopping on Amazon. From shoes, to dresses, to accessories I've been working with them for over a year now. I love that I can easily search and there are hundreds of sellers on there for just one item. The mobile version is really easy to use too.

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I've almost purchased monthly since getting Amazon Prime. I do have a few tips for using them. Always buy with Prime sellers. You'll get your shipment in 2 days. Third party sellers especially from out of the country have had trouble finding my address or shipping in a reasonable time. I recommend not using them and just sticking to Prime items. You can click on filter when you do a search and check the Prime box to only look at Prime items. 

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Another tip I have when purchasing is to look at if the reviews says something runs small, average or large. It will help you in your purchasing. I've order things that were a size Small or X-Small and they've turned out more like a Medium. So if in doubt, you can always order two sizes and then return the one you don't like for free. They give you 30 days on Prime items to ship back.

Here are a few of my Amazon finds

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Okay now onto the outfit for today. This dress comes in three colors and is less than $25. It's very breathable and made of linen. I've worn it to a BBQ, picnics and even to run errands or go for a walk. It's easy to iron and you can throw it in the dryer. The shoes I paired (see above - also an Amazon find) worked great with the outfit and mixing patterns is okay! I added my favorite Kate Spade purse and a swipe of red lipstick. 

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Picnic at the Beach

Fashion, Style, Houston, TravelCrystal JacksonComment
Swimsuit: Target (see other options below) // Scarf: Old Navy // Shorts: Marshall's Find // Sunnies: Elie Tahari

Can you believe it’s already March? I can’t. Time flies when you are having fun. I took some time to make a trip out to Galveston Island for an afternoon at the beach recently. My home is about an hour and half away so I had a free afternoon and thought, why not? I haven’t been to Galveston in years really and wanted to spend some time relaxing out on the sand. We are pretty lucky here in Houston to be so close to the coast while still having all of the advantages of a big city. Sometimes, it’s nice to leave the hustle and bustle, hop in the car and get away for just a few hours.

Picnics are one of the most relaxing activities I can think of doing. There’s something about bringing your food along for a day at the beach or at a park that removes stress! That’s exactly what I did. I packed up a little cheese (which I really shouldn’t eat because it causes issues with my skin) and an assortment of fruit. Picnics do not have to be a big hassle. You can easily throw a few bottles of water, or a thermos of coffee into a basket with crackers, fruit and cheese. I’ve had this picnic basket for years and use it time and time again. It’s easy if you have a system in place completed with paper plates, napkins and silverware. I keep all of it in the same basket so all I have to do when I’m ready to go is add food. I also carry this little cutting board in there for slicing things freshly.

Another trick I have for the beach (or really anywhere outdoors) is to bring a plastic table cloth or shower curtain with you as a liner underneath whatever blanket you bring. That way, your top layer stays dry and doesn’t get stained. I usually buy them on clearance or even at the dollar store. It’s such an easy fix to keep things dry and protected.


Red Swimsuits Under $50


I wore this one piece I picked up at Target at the end of last season over a pair of lace rose colored shorts (seen last in this Daily Dose of Style look). When the sun was out shining I was pretty comfortable, but wrapped up in a lightweight scarf when it started to hide behind the clouds. I also brought my favorite neutral sweater that I’ve been wearing over and over (see here). Simple leather slides made it easy to slip my shoes on and off. Finally, I brought along an over-sized tote to carry my beach towels and books for reading down to the shore. It was the perfect way to spend the afternoon reading, journaling and napping.

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Gingham Shirt Dress

Fashion, Holiday, Style, LifestyleCrystal JacksonComment
Dress: Old Navy (white on here) // Pumps: Jessica Simpson Collection

Sometimes I swear I was born in the wrong time. I imagine what it was like to be a part of 1920s Paris or 1940s in New York so often. I love vintage styles, music and movies so much! I can't tell you how often my radio is turned to 40s era music. Those influences really carry over into how I dress. This outfit being a prime example. The simple shirt dress is a classic shape and style that never really becomes dated. I picked this one up a few weeks ago and have worn it with everything from gladiator style sandals to these white pumps.

Adding hats to my closet has really been a shift for me over the past two years. I've talked a lot about them over the past few months in blog posts, but I like the feminine element of a bow or scarf like this one here. I also really like that it plays well against my adorable white purse and the pumps I chose for this outfit.

Sans hat, it makes a great outfit for the office. Add the hat, and it's perfect for a weekend afternoon, church or brunch. But I really think the hat does a great job giving the outfit a sort of vintage feel. Some of the other hats I'm really loving include this one, this one and this one!

As Memorial Day weekend approaches, I can't help but get a little excited about the long weekend. I am going to be spending the weekend with some of my favorite people in the world, my family. My father was active duty in the army for 24 years and I'm so proud of the sacrifices he made to fight for our country. His bravery is an inspiration every day to me and I'm so thankful for the experiences the military brought to me as a child.

Although a great BBQ or cookout holds a dear place in my hear, Memorial Day is really about the people who fought for our freedom. Without soldiers dedicating their lives to give us the freedom we are so lucky to have, America truly would be a different place. Hope you all have a safe and fun weekend!

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How to: Pack a Perfect Picnic

Healthy, DIY, How To, Style, LifestyleCrystal JacksonComment

This is one of the most delightful Sunday afternoons I've had in a really long time. It's been so rainy lately, that I've been working my walking schedule around getting poured on. Yesterday morning I decided to get up at sunrise to get a couple of miles in before my Sunday got away from from me. As the sun rose, I immediately knew that it was going to be the perfect day for a picnic - not too hot, humid or cold and rainy. I headed to my usual morning routine and planned an afternoon at the park.

Get Started

First, I thought about how was I going to tote enough goodies to last all afternoon? Well, of course, using a picnic basket. You may have seen this here for my Halloween costume as Little Red Riding Hood - but it was not intentionally purchased for Halloween. I sourced a few similar options here on a previous inspiration board.

I love the Spring and Fall since the weather is actually endurable then, and picked it up at a vintage shop a while back. This was it's true first picnic use. I recommend going with a basket capable of carrying enough weight for all of the essentials like blankets, food, beverages and a few books. The other item I thought would be helpful was a tote - see a few options in this post. I carried my sheet and threw my keys, wallet and cell in there. Also, it would be good to bag up trash and throw in until you make it to a garbage can.

Plan a menu

I knew I would want a few snacks, so I opted to bring some healthy choices. Although I know eat mostly vegan (read about how to go vegan here), I do splurge on goat cheese and occasionally fresh salmon every now and again. Nothing is better than a good spread on a sweet afternoon in the sun. I also opted for delicious organic blood orange sparkling soda and some water to stay hydrated. I've been walking a lot lately, and I wanted to make sure I replenished my body with healthy fluids.

When you are planning a picnic it's a good idea to go with items that travel easily. I also recommend bringing along appropriate cutlery and dishes. I opted for mason jars, red straws, wooden cutting boards, and a couple of small plates. It was simple, but tasty! For the snack portion, I added gluten-free rosemary crackers, cherry tomatoes and the biggest green grapes I've seen in a long time. I kept my snacking light, but made sure the palette was satisfying for the appetite.

Entertainment

Now, what to do with the entire afternoon? As much as I love scouring Instagram and Pinterest... I decided I needed to feed my soul a little more nourishment. I brought along one of the most inspiring books I've ever read and my notebook to jot thoughts down. 

Enjoying the people go by was also entertainment in itself. So many Sundays here in Texas are devoted to BBQ and Football. It was really nice to get out and just feel the soft wind run through my hair. It's also a great place to take a nap (more about that in a minute). If you do decide to bring along your cell phone, enjoy some shade so you can view your screen properly. 

Take some time to use this as a place of reflection. Our lives get so busy with kids, work, extra curricular activities, working out and entertaining. Whether you take a friend, loved one or go by yourself - use the time outdoors to really soak up being in the moment. After all, you put forth enough effort to get everything together and tote it across a field or park - enjoy! If it's comfy enough, just dose off for a brief minute or two.

Atmosphere

Anyone who has ever tried to go to a restaurant with me will find out quickly that I love a pleasant atmosphere. Maybe it's because of my degree in Interior Design (funny how I sell software now though...), but I sure do love aesthetics. Creating a pleasant atmosphere is more than just a color scheme. You have to think about texture, color, comfort, and even scent. It's about creating an entire experience. Location is key, I went at about 3pm in the afternoon, that way I could find a shady spot to rest under.

I brought along a large gray sheet for the base of the picnic. Then, I layered a soft piece of red flannel on top. Since the sheet was the same color as dirt, I figured it would protect my clothing and nicer blankets and pillows. That's another tip - bring some cushions! If it isn't comfy, you won't want to stay very long. I bundled two small throw pillows together with a piece of ribbon to keep them together and make it easy to tote up the hill. I also packed a heavier soft chenille blanket I've had for years from The Pottery Barn. I love the texture and color of that throw so much! It's seen a lot of wear over the years and still looks like it just came off the shelf.

Finally, you gotta have some flowers. Babies breath are so inexpensive, but really add a something special. I put them in a mug I found from the dollar store and they added a little extra touch to the experience. You are almost creating an outdoor little room for your afternoon. To stow away everything, simply roll your blankets and sheets to fit them tightly into your basket or tote.

Wardrobe

Last, but not least - let's talk about what to wear. I decided to go with a relaxed look for my picnic. I wanted to wear a blouse that was roomy, but still polished looking. Thanks to A Pair & A Spare's tutorial here, I was able to quickly whip up a top this morning. Seriously, the whole project took less than 30 minutes to make. Now that's my kind of DIY! The original shirt I cut it from was from Target in the men's section. A floppy felt hat kept the sun out of my face and leggings made it comfy to lounge around.

I've really been into scarves lately and it was time to bust out a red handkerchief. You can buy these for a dollar or two and wear in your hair as a bow, as a neckerchief or tie one on your tote. They are classic and come in an array of colors at most craft stores. I recently bought a pink one (so watch for upcoming posts incorporating one). For footwear, I opted for simple ballet flats since I knew I would be barefoot most of the afternoon. Whatever you choose to wear, make sure it covers enough for you to sit indian-style and the blankets add layers for warmth if you start to get cooler.