Tuesday, July 29, 2014

My "The Great Gatsby" Sweet Sixteen!

Hey y'all! As you may know, on Wednesday, July 16 I celebrated my sweet sixteenth birthday. Where has time gone? I had an amazing day with my friends and family and enjoyed many a lovely birthday wish.

Three days later, I got together with some of my closest friends and celebrated Gatsby-style. If you know me, you know I looooooooove anything The Great Gatsby and/or 1920's-era. I've known since March I wanted to have my party this way. However, when I set out for inspiration, I found nothing on a Gatsby party for a sixteen-year-old. Combine my love for the Roaring Twenties, my mom's dance-mom-craftiness, and my sister's baking skills and we had one killer party plan. Check it out and prepare for a long post.


Etsy is a beautiful place when it comes to parties. I knew I wanted to address and mail my invitations for a more personal feel. When I found these download-able invitations on Etsy, I immediately got them, sent in my information, got my file, and headed straight for Kinkos. Everyone loved them and kept them as a neat keepsake.


All black (and gold) everything was the go-to for the whole party. We found balloons, paper lanterns, plastic wear, the whole nine yards all featuring our color scheme.

Being the book-lover I am, I had to incorporate my favorite quotes from Gatsby throughout the decor. I printed them out in 1920s font (downloadable here) onto gold paper from Michael's and put them in inexpensive frames.

With a few gold candies, beads, and candles, we were all set.


By far the most important element of the party on my part. My dress came from an online Amazon boutique and I absolutely love it. It was so Daisy Buchanan and perfect for the party.

My jewels were a bit of a challenge. It was pretty difficult finding jewelry that would match the distinct color of the dress, and we also faced the possibility of having the same pieces as someone else. So what do we do? We DIY of course! We took two different headpieces from Charming Charlie (1, 2), taking one apart and hot glueing it onto the other. Replacing the black elastic with a shimmering muted gold ribbon looked more polished and blended with my blonde hair. The whole project made for a really unique style and we did the same on matching earrings to complete the look.

Easy silver heels and a champagne-colored clutch pulled my whole outfit together and put me back in the 1920s. I curled my hair with my curling wand and pouf-ed it up to make it look a little shorter to fit the style of the flapper era. For makeup I used my Stila Waterproof Shadow in Kitten as a base and the darkest shade in my Naked palette (Creep) as a crease/outer-V color. Black winged gel eyeliner, simple falsies, and my favorite mascara completed the eyes. Full coverage foundation in the palest shade, concealer, a little highlight and a little blush was all it took for my face. My go-to red lipstick was perfect for an era where it was essential for any look to have a red lip.

Shew *wipes forehead*


You wouldn't think this would be a hard aspect of the party, but it sure was. We flip-flopped back and forth between having legitimate apps or pizza or junk food, but we eventually decided on the basics. A few bowls of munchies like Chex Mix and chips, a Chick-Fil-A platter (the highlight of the party), and black-and-gold candies were perfect. As opposed to a cake to slice and share, we got a bunch of cupcakes from Sam's Club and decorated them ourselves with gold sprinkles and other things. Along with that we had a small, six-inch cake from Caramanda's for my candles, It was brushed gold with my monogram in black on top. Perfect!

A major aspect of anything 1920s is the champagne. But this is a sweet sixteen, so we stuck to sparkling white grape juice in time-appropriate plastic coupes. Stacked in a pyramid just as they are in Gatsby's mansion, everyone enjoyed and kept coming back for more.

And so the party began...

All my friends showed up in their best flapper dresses and nice suits. So much glitter, so much fringe, but isn't that what the 1920's was about?

Picking an Instagram filter, so very twenties

My dad's pretty cool

Aaaaand sometimes you get a virtual birthday serenade from the acoUstiKats

All in all I had such an amazing time at my party. Being there with all my closest friends was so great  and we had a blast pretending that, for one night, we were just maybe the rich socialites you'd find at one of Gatsby's parties. Thank you so much to everyone who came out and who made my night spectacular!

-xoxo clb

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Maxed Out

Hey guys! I know I've been MIA lately, but with family events, birthdays (what? Stay tuned), and many more, I've rarely had time. But I am here, and sharing my OOTD with you.

Dress: Old Navy // Belt: Forever 21 (similar)

I wore this while I was in Florida and loved it, so I wanted to share it with you. I got this dress at Old Navy after being told for months that, despite my protest, I would rock a maxi dress. So I caved and now I absolutely love it. The fun sunburst pattern reminds me so much of summer with soft but fun colors. Pairing it with a neon yellow belt gave me a pop of color and some shape. Of course, my shoes weren't even a question and I instinctively went with my platinum Jacks.

For my hair I did a big boho side braid. My hair is already super thick and pulling out pieces and making it a little chunkier complemented the artsy and lighthearted print of the dress.

That's all for today guys! Stay tuned for many posts to come in our last few weeks of summer.

-xoxo clb

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Lilly Pulitzer 2014-15 Agendas!

Hey guys! So while I was away in Orlando, I got a call from my dad that a package from King of Prussia, PA came for me, and I was immediately ecstatic. Why? My 2014-15 Lilly Pulitzer Agenda had arrived! I preordered a while back (like, the first day they were out) and after some shipping issues and classic blonde-Courtney mishaps, it finally got here.

Ooh, ahh

I got the Large Agenda in Lilly Lovers, a print designed by Lilly fans themselves! The bright pink floral pattern is so cute but not super neon and reminds me of peonies, one of my favorite flowers.

So let's get to the inside, shall we? The stickers this year are so cute, with many more event-specific stickers along with the super cute little printed designs.

The classic aspects of the Lilly agenda are still there with horoscopes, "Party Planner's Notes", important dates, and more.

They redesigned the layout of the months for this year and I love it. With printed borders and a cleaner layout, I seriously cannot wait for August to roll around.

Oh and PS: My favorite month in this year's agenda is definitely November '14. Love it!

Have any of you gotten your Lilly agendas for the next year? Let me know what print you got and what your favorite month is!

-xoxo clb

Monday, July 14, 2014

Orlando Wrap Up

I promise I'm alive guys.

Orlando was such a fun experience, and I wish I had had more time to give you guys more frequent updates. Alas, I was in fact there for dance, and that had to be my focus. But I am finally back to my old Kentucky home and ready to give y'all the scoop on my ten days in Orlando.

The annual first-night welcome party was a blast with some of my closest friends. Our studio traditionally wears Lilly and we stay up late meeting other dancers and letting loose before the competition begins.

Minus the actual competition, a big reason we were there was to support our title holders. The Dance Masters of America organization has many chapters nationwide, and we had two people from our studio holding chapter titles. They come to DMA to compete for national titles against other kids from across America. One of my best friends, Presley, was up for Teen Miss Dance of America and came in fourth, an amazing achievement that we're all so proud of her for.

The following night was the Miss/Mister competition where one of my favorite master class teachers, Kurtis Sprung, won Mr. Dance of America!

Amid all the parties and title competitions, we were there to compete. Here's some backstage shots from the competition!

In the end, my studio had 23 numbers get into the semifinals, four of which I was in. What?!?! Even better, DESOD won the Grand National Championship with one of the dances our older girls compete. I'm so proud to be a part of this big family of dancers. We all love and support each other and big competitions like these show us all just how close we are. Here's to many more!

-xoxo clb

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Tell Me I'm Your National Anthem: Fourth of July

Happy (belated) Fourth of July everyone! Ever since I was little, the fourth has been one of my favorite holidays. Unconventional, I know, but I just love the fireworks, family gatherings, and American pride of it all. Plus, who doesn’t love a good red, white, and blue combo? Today I’ll be showing you my outfit for the fourth. Here we go! (Sidenote: These were all taken on location at our hotel. Is it even real?!)

Charming Charlie Dress // Jack Rogers Sandals
Brighton Purse

When I saw this dress at Charming Charlie (conveniently in the Fourth of July color-coded section), I knew I’d have to get it for my celebration of the fourth in Orlando. My Jacks were perfect for walking around outside to see fireworks. This purse is so cute with nautical details and can easily go from casual to dressy.

It's been so great to spend my first three days in Orlando with my sister best friend Meredith. We both participated in the optional ballet intensive and roomed together. She moved for the rest of the week, but she's only two floors and a few rooms away, which means I can see her from my balcony. Nothing changed. And BTW we love our Jacks.

Our fourth festivities consisted of driving to Celebration, FL for their well-known fireworks display. We ate dinner, walked around, shopped, ate more, and spent some time with our moms and good friend Abby.

There was a Hello Kitty?

The fireworks display was amazing, with all kinds of shapes, colors, and effects.

All in all we had such a great time. It was a great break from our ballet madness and a free night before the insanity of true nationals began. Stay tuned for posts all about my week here in Orlando!

-xoxo clb