Grabbing Lapels bio picture
  • Hello and welcome to Grabbing Lapels! We are Brittany and Bianca, the girls behind Grabbing Lapels. What is Grabbing Lapels? Well it all started with this quote:

    I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick ass.
    -Maya Angelou

    Hope you enjoy Britt's weddings advice, Bianca's fictional character 'Woo Girl' and all of our reviews of stuff we love and places we go. Enjoy!

Style of the Week - Grabbinglapels.com

For this week’s style of the week I decided to re-purpose a dress, like a I did last week for my Style of the Week wedding dress post. With that said, this orange top that you see in the pictures is actually a dress that I tucked into my high waisted jeans!  I bought this No Comment dress (yes, dress) about a month ago for dirt cheap at TJ Maxx. The fabric is super soft and I am IN LOVE with the unique neckline!

Style of the Week- Hidden Dress & Fall Colors- Grabbinglapels.com

I then added my new H&M black suede biker jacket, that I got in Sweden, and my black leather Madden Girl riding boots.

Style of the Week- Hidden Dress & Fall Colors- Grabbinglapels.com

To top the outfit off I added my new black hat that I also purchased from H&M in Sweden and my Louis Vuitton purse I bought used on Tradesy.

Style of the Week- Hidden Dress & Fall Colors- Grabbinglapels.com

I am obsessed with this hat and I am always trying to find creative ways to incorporate it with any weekend outfit! This outfit is perfect for coffee with a friend, outdoor fall shopping or even a casual lunch or dinner date. Just think, with this dress underneath the jeans could also make for a great day to night transitional outfit. Time to think outside the box next time you look at your wardrobe!

Style of the Week- Hidden Dress & Fall Colors- Grabbinglapels.com

Shop this look:

Cheers,

Britt

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Importance of Voting - Grabbinglapels.com

Today is the day everyone! It’s Election Day, time to cast your ballot and hope it makes a difference. I always feel pretty good come election day, it’s a feeling we take for granted. We get to vote on the things we feel strongly about, and the people we think will deliver on their promises. Since the presidential election only comes around only 4 years, I thought I would put a halt on normal blogging business and talk about why it’s important to vote. Because here is the thing, we don’t all feel like it counts. Especially if you don’t live in a swing state. If you live in a historically blue state or red state and you vote for the opposite party, sometimes it can feel like your vote doesn’t matter anyway. Your state will vote the majority red or blue and chances are your vote won’t make a difference. I’ve been in those shoes for a long time, but it never discouraged me from voting. Why? Because as much as people love to bitch and moan about how the new president is going to ruin our lives and make the world hell, that drastic change never comes. That’s right, chances are the next president is not going to affect your day to day life, but what will affect you is your state representatives.Something that a lot of people forget is that the President doesn’t get to make nationwide changes without sending it through congress first. Voting for your state representatives and members of congress is where you should do your research.

The issue with election season is the false information voters receive. I know it’s rare to separate fact from fiction in elections, but I would advise to you the following:

Meme’s are not facts

I know with Facebook and Twitter it’s hard to not pay attention to the meme’s that people post. You have all seen them. I know I see some people post multiple of them a day. The only problem is…meme’s are not facts. No one is fact checking the photos of Clinton or Trump with a hyperbolic statement followed with a punch line. No one is approving these, they are simply made by anyone who has access to a computer. That’s probably been one of the most frustrating things about the election, the use of meme’s to make a point. We forget that when it comes to elections, fact checking is key. So if you saw some meme about either candidate, fact check it. Don’t take it at face value.

Rally Speeches are not facts

Again. When candidates are at rally’s making speeches in front of thousands of people over and over, they tend to appeal to the audience by bending the truth. They are seeking applause and maybe sometimes even laughter. But while they can speak on themselves, do not take what they say about one another as fact. This is a political race, and while I despise when candidates talk about their opponent, it’s a fact of life. It’s important to not cast your vote based on what your candidate said about the other.

Ad Campaigns are not facts

Seriously, this is the last thing I’ll say about where we to get your information. So the attack ads, you know what I am talking about. The one’s where a candidate says they approve this message and a slender scary voice comes talking about how the other candidate kicked a puppy and then sold their own grandmother to pay for drugs. Its ridiculous guys and again it’s all propaganda. It should not influence your vote.

 

To be an informed voter now and days mean going above all the items listed below and even some news sources. Your opinions on the candidate should be based on statements from their sites, statements from verified news sources and from other people in political power whom you trust that back up your candidate. So when you are searching for news articles to debunk something you have heard about your candidate, don’t go got political blogs or right and left wing focused agenda sites. These are biased and are carving up news stories that fit to your opinion, not the facts.

Facebook has done a great job with tagreting users and giving them insight into their local elections. On Facebook you can actually create your own election plan, so you know what to do when you get to the polls to vote. If you are not sure which candidate you align yourself with, you can take the Presidential Quiz at isidewith.com to see which candidate shares your values. If you are not sure who you are voting on besides the president, go to Google and search “view my ballot”.  Google will give you a results page with a box to fill in your address. You can see a preview of what your ballot will look like so you know what is on it before you get to the voting booth.

But now let’s say you are a voter who has done their research, made up their mind and ready to cast their vote. Here is why you are awesome!

  1. The 19th Amendment was passed in 1920. Which means women have only been allowed to vote for less than 100 years. Being a woman who votes is something that is still outlawed in some countries. As a woman, you are setting a great example for the next generation by just exercising your right to vote.
  2. The African American and Latino vote is needed to win any election. If you fall under the category of an African American voter or Latino voter, your vote could make or break the election. No candidate can win without a strong voter turn out from each.
  3. Millennials make up 1/3 of the voter count. So we really are the future!

A lot of companies offer time off for voting, so please take advantage of that! Good luck today and remember, no matter what happens, the world is not going to end tomorrow. This is America, we just keep on keepin’ on.

greatquickmeme

By Bianca

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Sweden Trip Review- Stockholm- Grabbinglapels.com

Flying through SAS, going to Sweden, was very relaxing. The food was actually really delicious as well! Since I already had a cold I doped myself up with zquil and Sudafed and was knocked out for 7.5 hours straight.

Since my sorority sister gave me a heads up prior to the trip, my mom and I knew to pre-buy the Arlandia train, which goes straight from the airport to downtown Stockholm. The train was only about 20 mins and was super easy. Kind of felt like a modern Harry Potter on the train haha! Once we got into Stockholm, we took a cab to our hotel…it was within walking distance but my  mom wouldn’t have been able to handle pulling her luggage for half a mile.

Sweden Trip Review- Stockholm- Grabbinglapels.com

We then checked into the adorable hotel Lilla Radmannen! Each room is decorated differently with wallpaper and themes.While it had a small bathroom, this is pretty much expected in Europe. Shortly after checking in, we dropped our bags and decided to take a walk down Radmansgatan, to take in the city for a few hours. We stepped into delicious smelling bakeries, funky clothing stores and then sat down for dinner at a Greek place for a quick bite to eat.

Sweden Trip Review- Stockholm- Grabbinglapels.com

I wasn’t lying…the shopping here was very unique and some shops were rather weird…

We then decided to make it an early night because I was sick and wanted to get a full day out of trip the following day. Well, we slept in so didn’t get a full day but still was able to enjoy a lovely lunch at Rolfs Kok and then took the on and off Red bus tours throughout Sweden/Stockholm. We also did some shopping at stores that we have never seen before. That evening we went to dinner at Urban Deli and this was by far my favorite restaurant!

Sweden Trip Review- Stockholm- Grabbinglapels.com

The following day we took the on and off bus tours again, but stopped at Mister French for a glass of wine before switching over to the on and off boat tours and enjoying our day at the Vasa Museum. I wish it was summer, becuase there would have been more to see on the water, but it was still a beautiful view and with the sun out, it made the cool weather bareable!

Sweden Trip Review- Stockholm- Grabbinglapels.com

The Vasa Museum was awesome! Honestly it felt like something out of Pirates of the Caribbean. It was super cool seeing a 300+year ship inside a building and hearing how the scientists could actually predict how the crew died, injuries they had previously and what they probably looked like and wore. I highly recommend doing this!

Sweden Trip Review- Stockholm- Grabbinglapels.com

After the museum we jumped back on the on and off buses and went to the Ice Bar. It’s an experience like no other where you have to wear a thermal poncho and enter sub freezing temperatures. Literally the bar is made of ice and so are your drinks. Another place totally worth going!

Since I did pre-research for the trip I knew I wanted to go the Grill. The hilarious part of this was that it was literally kiddy corner to our hotel but didn’t realize it because the outdoor seating area looked cheap, but don’t let that fool you! The place is awesome inside with each room themed differently. We sat in the circus themed room while the adjoining room was decorated like a library. And that is not even the best part! The food was also delicious!

Since we basically walked around everywhere it was important to be prepared for brisk weather but then the warmth of the sun so we layered our clothing. Here are some of my outfits while touring Stockhom.

Unfortunately there is only so much you can pack into a few days to see in Sweden so that was our last meal in Stockholm before we had to take a cab into Stigtuna the following day to get ready for the wedding. Stay tuned for part two of my trip to Sweden!

THINGS TO TAKE AWAY FROM STOCKHOLM:

  • Weird and unique clothing stores
  • 7/11’s are REALLY nice. They have freshly baked goods, candy bars, hot and cold fresh food. Pretty crazy, I know!
  • I did not see ONE woman in stiletto high heels, that would be because the roads are not the greatest and most are cobblestone. Highly recommend wearing wedges or thick heels if you do want a little height
  • Very clean city. They actually clean the roads each night and have people who vacuum the streets daily. Yes, real job!
  • Drivers are crazy! Taxis and people driving through the city play chicken with pedestrians and don’t really care if there is a walkway so be careful!
  • Even though it is Europe, EVERYONE speaks English. Even if the menu isn’t translated in English the servers will do a verbal menu for you which is super impressive!
  • If you are out late, try MAX, food isn’t the best but the concept for this fast food restaurant, is pretty creative. You pay for food with a touch screen module, then they scream out numbers on a screen, like bingo, when your food is ready.

Cheers,

Britt

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Even though I am a White Sox fan, I think it is only right to give a little honor to the Chicago Cubs for winning the World Series last night. After 108 years it is FINALLY their year. Congrats to the oldest fans who have been waiting their entire life for a Chicago Cubs World Series Game. I am sure you are still sleeping in from celebrating last night and tearing up the town, but here are some amazing drinks that are inspired by the team at hand, the Chicago Cubs. Congrats and drink on you Cubs fans!

Cubbies Cooler

Even though The Homespun Hydrangea knows nothing about baseball, she does know plenty about a good drink like this beautifully inspired Cubbies Cooler!

The Chicago Dog Bloody Mary

Chicago Cubs fans are all about day drinking in the stadium!  Goose Island’s “Not-So-Craft” brews, and now The Chicago Dog Bloody Mary, are available exclusively in the bleachers. Here is the recipe:

Bill Murray Cocktail

The underground bar, which is below Bleecker Kitchen & Co. at: 643 Broadway in Greenwich Village, is offering a new cocktails, including the “Delirium,” AKA “the Bill Murray cocktail.” Who doesn’t love Bill Murray?

Holt’s Cubs Colored Cocktail

Holt’s, located at 43 S. Prospect Ave., Park Ridge, donates a portion of the proceeds from the drink to Cubs Charities. Drinking for a cause!

Suicide Squeeze

Yes, it is made with Big League chewing gum AND made in Chicago! Double bonus!

Cheers,

Britt

 

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Barcelona Travel - Grabbinglapels.com

Hey Guys! Happy Hump Day!

I am starting to piece together my trip so I can give a full recap on my adventures. It’s a little hard because I did so much. Every day we did up to 5 things, so it’s hard to figure out what I should talk about and what I should skip.

My first stop was in Barcelona. We stayed for three nights and got to see much of the city. I loved how friendly the streets are and beautiful the city is. The roads even have large walkways for you to walk or bike. We got to do a lot of sightseeing, a little shopping and lots of eating of course. While it’s hard to include everything we did, below are some main things I would recommend to anyone venturing to Barcelona!

Basílica de la Sagrada Família.

This is a must see if you are in Barcelona, even if you are not Catholic, or even religious. They started building this church in 1882 and still have another decade to go to finish it. When we came up to the church, it really took my breath away. It has a presence with it, you can’t stop looking at it. The stone on the main entrance is so carved, it would take days to examine every single part of it. I tried to stare at it as much as I could, examine every single piece of artwork. Each statue and piece of art carries a story and represents a story in the Bible. It’s really amazing to see in person because I’ve seen it so many times on travel shows.

 

Barcelona Travel - Grabbinglapels.com

This is the front entrance of the church. It’s a massive building, so I could not load a picture of every single section.

Below are some close up shots of the carvings in the front entrance.

 

Barcelona Travel - Grabbinglapels.com

The inside is massive. The walls are lines with paintings and stained glass window, but the ceiling is immaculate.

Barcelona Travel - Grabbinglapels.com

Tablao Flamenco Cordobes Barcelona

One of the excursions on the trip was dinner and a Flamenco show. I was not sure what to expect and I was not even sure I wanted to do it. I imagined a dull event space and crappy food and dancing on a far stage. I was so wrong! This place puts on such an amazing show, you should really go if you are in Barcelona. The venue is small and cozy, so you feel like you are part of the show. The food is buffett style and it was one of my favorite meals in Barcelona!

Barcelona Travel - Grabbinglapels.com

The Flamenco dancers moved with such passion and had great audience participation. Below you can see I filled my plate with local foods like paella, mussels, local fish and ceviche.

Barcelona Travel - Grabbinglapels.comPark Guell

You cannot escape the work of Antoni Gaudi while you are in Barcelona. His touch is almost everywhere. One place to see some of his genius is at the Park Guell. It’s a massive landscape of plants and trails, with a main sitting area with mosaic tile seats to overlook the city. The upper level is all sand, so rain water can filter through it. Below are massive columns, holding up the massive structure.

Barcelona Travel - Grabbinglapels.com

Barcelona Travel - Grabbinglapels.com Barcelona Travel - Grabbinglapels.comLa Pedrera

Another one of Gaudi’s work we got to see in person was the La Predrera. It’s a building designed by Gaudi. Currently people still live in the building as it is used for apartments. The building is on a main street, but the center is hollow, so imagine living in an apartment that goes in a complete circle! We got to tour the inside of it, including an apartment used to show how people lived when it was first built. We also went to the top of the building to see the city views and the massive mosaic tile sculptures placed on top.

Barcelona Travel - Grabbinglapels.com

Tapas

Literally one of the first things we did when we got to Barcelona was eat Tapa’s. And we didn’t stop! You can’t stop because almost every place is a tapa’s place. Bit of advice for you if you are dining in Barcelona.

1.Keep your personal stuff on your lap. We had a woman sitting next to us at a Tapa’s place have her purse stolen. Thieves are everywhere and they look for tourists.

2.Expect to be there a while. In Barcelona, there is not rushing through a meal. The service is slow, the cook the food fresh and nothing is taken to-go.

3.If you are in a rush, order whats under the glass. A lot of tapa’s places have menus as well as items under the glass on the counter. If you are in a hurry, get the stuff under the glass so you can eat it now. They cook everything fresh so if it’s not under the glass, they have to cook it. Pair that with very slow service and you might be there all day.

4.Lastly, check your bill. We had a waiter add extra items to our bill. A lot of times it’s an accident, but they also know we don’t use the euro so they could be trying to confuse us. Check your bill and your items.

Barcelona Travel - Grabbinglapels.com

Montserrat Mountain

One the trip we got to see a lot of Catholic churches, which was always a bucket list of mine to see the great Catholic Churches in Europe. One of them was on Montserrat Mountain. The church is on a mountain 5,000 feet up. The church holds the Virgin Madonna statue, which the church was built around. The sculpture was made around the 12th century. Montserrat is in an area in Spain called Catalonia, which has it’s own flag.

Going into the church, it’s amazing how massive it is and how much mountain side it overlooks. The church itself is built into a mountain. When we got there, we stood in a long line to see the Black Madonna. You pass through amazing artwork and sculptures only to get to the best statue of all. Everyone gets a few minutes to stay with the statue, which is behind glass. She does have one hand out that holds a small globe that you are able to touch.

After we saw the Madonna, we toured the area around the church and stayed for a few songs from the Boys Choir. During the choir singing you could see people visiting the Madonna. She is located at the center of the church, you can see her through a small window from your seat.

Barcelona Travel - Grabbinglapels.com

Above is the Black Madonna herself! Also you can see inside the church, some of the statues outside the church and the view from way up!

Barcelona Travel - Grabbinglapels.com

Below is a view from the top of Montserrat Mountain.

Barcelona Travel - Grabbinglapels.com

Looking back at all these places, the images really don’t do it justice. Everything was so crystal clear and beautiful and the vastness of the Montserrat was breath taking.

But, you will just have to go to Barcelona and see for yourselves! Sty tuned for more from my trip, next up… the French Riviera!

By Bianca

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Grabbinglapels.com

As you know we both LOVE Halloween and enjoy dressing up. Every year is different but regardless the year, we always want to stand outside the box and come up with a kick ass costume! Here is what we created this year!

Britt’s Costume:

If you don’t know who I am, SHAME ON YOU! I am Negan, from Walking Dead, and I am holding my dirty girl, Lucile. I will be honest, this year I just wasn’t feeling the festiveness for Halloween. Even though this is my holiday, I think being sick, being behind on getting decorations up and not pre-planning my costume 8 months in advance, like I usually do, threw me off my A-Game this year.

Regardless, my muse came through last night at 8p.m. when I was watching Walking Dead…I mean come on he is the nastiest, most sadistic villain to ever live! And even though all girls are obsessed with Harley Quinn, from Suicide Squad this year, Negan is the true owner of the bat! This Halloween I am rocking a beard and a dude facile and I am owning it; BOOM!

Britt

Bianca’s Costume:

 So I my wardrobe this halloween weekend was actually a very nice dress. I was in a wedding in Savannah over the weekend so I did not dress up. We did have a work Halloween party earlier in the week and I was able to dress like TV show character as well. We had a theme in our department to do American Horror Story. We prepared by having multiple characters from each season. Me and a co-worker were the killer nurses from the Roanoke season. Which were actually inspired by real people! See the true story here. So my costume was not as elaborate, if I was hitting the streets of Savannah Saturday night I might have dressed in a full out costume. Halloween is a HUGE deal in Savannah afterall.

Grabbinglapels Halloween Costumes

mgid-ao-image-mtv

Grabbinglapels Halloween CostumesHappy Halloween everyone!

Britt & Bianca

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Chicken and Potatoes with Spider Green beans - Perfect for Halloween of anytime! Grabbinglapels.com

On my travels I ate a lot fo really unique dishes. I tried to gain as much knowledge as I could and apply it to meals I made at home. My most favorite meal on my trip was in the city of Rapallo at the Grand Hotel Bristol Resort. The resturant featured only a few items on the menu and we ordered whatever the waiter suggested. We got a beautiful ligurian style fish served over potatoes and topped with a lemon oil sauce and olives. I wanted to replicate it but with a more midwestern style, with white meat and potatoes. My boyfriend would not be eating a fish dish, so I had to add chicken. I also HAD to add truffle oil. I bought three different kinds of truffle oil while it Italy so I was so excited to start using them. With truffle oil, the best thing to do is not cook it a lot, cooking it can make it lose flavor. So for the potatoes, I add it very last.

I also wanted to make it a bit Halloween-y so with the green beans I decided to lay them on top like a spider. But you can arrange them however you like.
Ingredients:

½ cup Italian bread crumbs

1 cup flour

1 tbs garlic salt

1 tbs dried basil

1 tbs oregano

1 egg

3 large golden potatoes

3 pieces of thin sliced chicken breast, cut in half

½ pound fresh green beans, sliced in half

1 handful fresh baby spinach

2 tbs butter

3 cups chicken broth

½ cup heavy cream

1 large shallot, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 tbs black truffle oil

Salt, Pepper Olive oil

Directions:

Pre heat oven to 375. Place potatoes in a small pot with water. Turn heat to high and boil for about 10 minutes. Potatoes should be parboiled, so you can pierce them with a fork but not too easily.

Meanwhile cut each thin sliced chicken beats in half to it makes 6 tender sizes. In a bowl, mix bread crumbs with flour, garlic salt, oregano and basil. Stir well. Break egg into a separate dish and mix well with a spoon. Dip each piece of chicken into the egg and then into the flour mixture. Place each chicken piece onto a large greased metal baking pan.

Cook for about 10 minutes on each side, so 20 minutes total or until cooked through.

In a large sauce pan heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add in shallot and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove cooked potatoes from water and run under cold water to cool them Place the potatoes on cutting board, dump water and put small pot back on stove. Fill with chicken broth, spinach and then add in the cooked shallots and garlic from other sauce pan. Heat to medium high and add in the sliced green beans and 1 tbs truffle oil. Simmer for about 10 minutes.

 

Meanwhile, slice cooled potatoes into ¼ inch wide circles. In the same large pan you cooked the shallot and green beans, heat 2 tbs butter over medium-low heat. Pat sliced potatoes with loose bread crumbs. It does not have to coat them, just pat them well on each side. Add each potato to the frying pan and cook on each side for about 10 minutes on each side. When the potatoes are down, drizzle remaining truffle oil over potatoes and turn off heat.

Once potatoes are done, remove green beans from chicken broth mixture with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add heavy cream to broth and stir well. Turn off heat and stir until sauce begins to thicken. Season with salt and pepper.

Place 4-5 potato rounds on plate and then place 2-3 pieces of chicken on top. Place sliced green beans over chicken. Pour sauce over plate and serve immediately.

Chicken and Potatoes with Spider Green beans - Perfect for Halloween of anytime! Grabbinglapels.com

 

By Bianca

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This past 4 weeks I have had 4 weddings! Yes, I am extremely overwhelmed and didn’t have much time to plan my outfits, nor could afford new dresses for each wedding soooo, instead I improvised with two of the weddings using only ONE dress. Here is how I made one dress look different for two separate occasions.

Dress #1

Style of the Week- Two Dresses in One- Grabbinglapels.com

For my friend Evan’s Wedding in Sweden I decided to keep my attire sophisticated, yet warm, since it was like 40 degrees there. Therefore I opted for a long, off the shoulder, black dress that I actually purchased on Amazon. I love PattyBoytik’s clothing! The fabric is great quality and super soft! I have a few items I have purchased from them over the past year and love each piece!

Style of the Week- Two Dresses in One- Grabbinglapels.com

To add to the outfit I paired my Kardashian Kollection leopard stilettos, for a little sex appeal, and accessorized with some faux diamond drop earrings, I purchased from Forever21 a long, long time ago.

Style of the Week- Two Dresses in One- Grabbinglapels.com

Again, since it was rather chilly, in Sweden, I added my brand new H&M black suede biker jacket (which I  purchased in Stockholm) and topped off the outfit with my Grandma’s black suede clutch, to match. The outfit was perfect for the location and style of the wedding!

Shop the Look:

Dress #2:
Now here is where my creative improvising came in, with dress number two!

Style of the Week- Two Dresses in One- Grabbinglapels.com

Now what’s awesome about this  PattyBoytik’s off the shoulder black dress, is I was able to wear it to another wedding three weeks later in Wisconsin! So that people didn’t recognize the dress, I wore my pink tutu skirt over the dress.

It gives off a more romantic, kind of Audrey Hepburn look, rather than the original sleek and sexy look I went for, for the wedding in Sweden. Again, bought this skirt on Amazon and this outfit was a hit and the best part is no one knew I was wearing a skirt over a dress!

Cheers,

Britt

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The month of world travel has come to an end, and Britt and I are so excited to share our details with you! For the last two weeks I have been traveling areas along the mediterranean sea. I flew to Barcelona and traveled through Spain, to France and ended my trip in Rome, Italy. The trip was a tour by Go Ahead Tours. The tour company plans your flights, your hotels, your daily excursions and some of your meals. You of course get free time everyday, and all of the excusrions are optional. If you want to do a grand tour and want all the planning taken care of, I highly recommend them. Our tour guide really made the trip and we got to do and see so many things each day.

I promise to give more specifics of each city I visited as I go through the hundreds of pictures I took. For now, here is a sneak peak of just a view unforgettable views and sites I got to see.

Me by the Sea at Vernazzo, a city along the Cinque Terra in Italy.

vernazzo-italy- Grabbinglapels.com

A view of Tuscany from the hills of San Gimignano

Tuscany- Grabbinglapels.com

Me at the Monistrol de Montserrat in the area of Catalonia, Spain

montserrat-spain- Grabbinglapels.com

A view of Principality of Monaco

monaco-night- Grabbinglapels.com

 Monaco was surreal for me. I always dreamed of going there and the views from anywhere you stood were exceptional. Everything was so beautiful, even the view from our hotel was picturesque.

The Statue of David in Florence, Italy

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Balcony view from Villa and Jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild in Monaco

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Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain

basilica-la-sagrada-barcelona- Grabbinglapels.com

St. Peter’s Basilica – Vatican City
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I will go into more detail when I do my review of Rome, but St. Peter’s is just amazing. Each inch of that church has some amazing piece of artwork. While I got to see the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museum, the inside of this church was just as stunning.

Much more to come on all these pictures and places. Stay tuned for what I did in each city and what you should see and what you should avoid in each amazing location.

By Bianca

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Style of the Week - Grabbinglapels.com

If you haven’t noticed, this month is highly weighted on posts about both Bianca and my trip over seas! For this week’s Style of the Week post, I am showcasing two of my outfits I wore while being a tourist in Sweden. While preparing for Sweden, I did some research on what is fashionable there, but also kept the chilly weather, cobblestone streets and flexibility of my outfits in mind. Being able to layer pieces, be comfortable and be able to travel light by reusing certain pieces throughout my trip was the most important to me.

With that said, here are two of the outfits I wore while my mom and I explored downtown Stockholm.

Outfit #1

Style of the Week- Sweden Style Part 1- Grabbinglapels.com

For the first day in Sweden I wore my new plaid pullover shirt/dress that I recently purchased on Amazon. I then added my black cotton leggings. This shirt would also pair nice with jeans and tall boots FYI!

Style of the Week- Sweden Style Part 1- Grabbinglapels.com

Since the mornings were pretty chilly I wore my new Aeropostle jacket. Believe it or not it was hard to find a warm olive coat, with a hood! I found it at the Pleasant Prarie Outlet Mall.

Style of the Week- Sweden Style Part 1- Grabbinglapels.com

To finalize the outfit I wore my new boots, which were also from Amazon and super comfortable, as well as my Louis Vuitton purse. This outfit was perfect for a casual day on the town doing touristy things!

Outfit #2

Style of the Week- Sweden Style Part 1- Grabbinglapels.com

The second day I decided to add a little color by starting the outfit off with my new Ann Taylor mustard sweater. I added a pair of jeans and accessorized with my Target plaid blanket scarf and gold and beige Coach crossbody bag.

Style of the Week- Sweden Style Part 1- Grabbinglapels.com

I added my Steve Madden riding boots and re-wore my Aeropostle jacket again.

Style of the Week- Sweden Style Part 1- Grabbinglapels.com

While I started off the morning with a knitted headband, I ended the evening with a new black hat from H&M, after doing some shopping:)

Style of the Week- Sweden Style Part 1- Grabbinglapels.com

This outfit was perfect for a day to night transition in Sweden! I enjoyed a lovely meal with my mom at Urban Deli.

Cheers,

Britt

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As you may know, my mom and I recently went to Sweden for a friend’s wedding! We decided to make the trip a mini vacation and stay in Stockholm for 3 nights. While we were there we enjoyed some amazing restaurants and bars! Here are some of our top places and highly recommended!

Urban Deli

Sweden Trip- Best Restaurants and Bars in Stockholm- Grabbinglapels.com

This was our favorite restaurant! From the sound of it, I thought it Americanized chain restaurant, but I was wrong! While they have two locations, they are both in Sweden. The restaurant is attached to a hotel and is decorated very industrial. They pride themselves on organic and local food. They even have a market inside where you can by some of the same meats, and organic foods that they use in their delicious dishes! My mom and I opted to get a meat platter for 2 that you can share. It was melt in your mouth delicious! Their fries were also the best I have ever had! They were all super crispy and had an after taste of funnel cake batter!

Grill

Sweden Trip- Best Restaurants and Bars in Stockholm- Grabbinglapels.com

When I was doing my research and pre-planning for the trip, this was the #1 place I had on my list for places to eat. The menu sounded amazing and the themed rooms sounded funky! Little did we know that this restaurant was literally right around the corner from our hotel lilla rådmannen. Don’t be fooled, by the cheap looking outside, the restaurant is super cool inside and the food is DELICIOUS!

Sweden Trip- Best Restaurants and Bars in Stockholm- Grabbinglapels.com

I had the GRILLED DUCK BREAST with morels, pumpkin puree and Madeira gravy and my mom had the LAMB ASADO: Garlic- and herb spiced lamb grilled over an open charcoal fire which was served with garlic fried haricotverts and rouille and potato gratin.  Both were amazing dishes and I would highly recommend this place, especially for a big group!

Ice Bar

Sweden Trip- Best Restaurants and Bars in Stockholm- Grabbinglapels.com

I can honestly admit, I have NEVER been to a bar made of ice! Nor, had drinks made with ice cups! This place is fun and very unique! It is located inside Nordic C Hotel.

Sweden Trip- Best Restaurants and Bars in Stockholm- Grabbinglapels.com

You first have to  pay a entrance fee, which includes one alcoholic drink per person. Then you don this thermal poncho and gloves because the bar is 7 degrees Celsius all year. Once you don your protective winter gear you can enter the bar.

Sweden Trip- Best Restaurants and Bars in Stockholm- Grabbinglapels.com

The bar is set up with ice sculptures you can take pictures and believe it or not the bar has to be completely redone each summer! I had Moose Calf and my mom had the Hooded Crow. Both were amazing! Definitely a one in a lifetime experience!

Rolfs Kok

Sweden Trip- Best Restaurants and Bars in Stockholm- Grabbinglapels.com

The first full day my mom and I had in Stockholm we stopped here for lunch. Since it was a week day, it was full of business people! It was a great lunch place we just happened to stumble across and I am glad we did that! Even without reservations we got the best seat in the house by sitting at the window.

Mister French

While we only stopped by for a couple glasses of wine, before the on and off boat tour, this was another great find!

Sweden Trip- Best Restaurants and Bars in Stockholm- Grabbinglapels.com

Even though it was quite brisk on the water it had the cutest outdoor seating area that we just couldn’t pass up! The inside of the restaurant also seem very sophisticated and nice place for young adults to hang out!

Sweden Trip- Best Restaurants and Bars in Stockholm- Grabbinglapels.com

Queens Head

Sweden Trip- Best Restaurants and Bars in Stockholm- Grabbinglapels.com

We only stopped in there for a beer but they had a HUGE selection of beers on tap as well as in bottles! Great choice for a quick beer or to socialize with friends. They also have a entire menu where you can either eat at the bar or in the small dining room.

Albert & Jack’s

Sweden Trip- Best Restaurants and Bars in Stockholm- Grabbinglapels.com

Only stopped in for a quick sweet bakery item! We got a warm chocolate croissant and coffee. It is off the water and is quite quaint. So many cute bakeries to choose from but this one was super convenient for us!

I will be honest, none of the restaurants or bars that I went to, were bad, what so ever! I had a lovely experience with the food I chose and the food I ate. The only thing that was interesting was that the servers do not expect tips so multi-tasking and urgency is not really an interest. Service isn’t bad it is just slow. With that said, Swedes like to enjoy dinner and therefore can be dragged out longer than traditional American dinner. Each place my mom and I went to it was 3 hours. Again, due to the knowledge that dinner is more of an intimate meeting time as well as the non-urgency of dining. Keep this in mind when planning ahead and if you are in a time crunch!

Other than that, the service and food was amazing and these places come highly recommended from my mom and I!

Cheers,

Britt

 

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Perfect Stuffed Chicken Breast recipe - Grabbinglapels.com

I cook a lot of chicken you guys. It’s the only meat I really make at home for dinner. My boyfriend jokes he’s going to turn into a chicken one day. But when you make it that much, you learn ways to make it new again. And something like a stuffed chicken recipe may sound like a tired old recipe your mom made, but there are so many ways to make it new again.

Besides from how you prepare it, what you stuff in it can be whatever you want. While vie tried things like sage, turkey bacon and tomatoes; I found that the mixture in this recipe it the best. The mixture is flavorful and juicy and for the most part stays out in the chicken without sliding out.

It’s very easy and does not take much time, but it does use some pretty delicious ingredients you might have to go out and get just for this recipe.

Ingredients

2-3 tablespoons soft brie cheese

2 tablespoons fresh mozzarella cheese

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 small tomato, chopped

2 tsp dried basil

2 tsp dried oregano

1 clove garlic, chopped

2 large chicken breasts

Salt, Pepper and Olive Oil

Perfect Stuffed Chicken Breast recipe - Grabbinglapels.com

Directions

Mix cheeses, fresh basil and tomatoes in a small bowl.

Heat 2-3 tablespoons olive oil in medium sauce pan over medium low heat. Add chopped garlic and cook, 5-6 minutes until soft. Once garlic is cooked, remove from pan and return to heat.

Cut each chicken breast, butterfly style so you can easily stuff inside with cheese mixture and fold skin over.

Stuff each chicken with about 2 tablespoons of cheese mixture. Sprinkle the outside with dried basil and dried oregano as well as some salt and pepper. Fold over chicken and pierce open sides of chicken with toothpicks. Seams should be on the sides of the chicken so you can set it flat in the sauce pan.

Place each chicken in heated pan and cook on each side for 5-10 minutes. Chicken should turn a golden brown color on each side.

Once chicken is cooked, remove from pan and enjoy!

By Bianca

 

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Style of the Week - Tourist Style- Grabbinglapels.com

 

If I had to describe the bulk of my wardrobe, it would be monochromatic. And if I wanted to be more specific it would be, black and white. While I gravitate to black clothes, I also have a fondness for white clothes.

So I am on my European Vacation still and I’ve spent the last three days in Barcelona. A place where everyone is stylish and everyone is good looking. I really wanted to be chic but also comfortable, because I was doing a lot of walking. It is important to not always look like a tourist when you are abroad, they already know by your American accent anyway.

Style of the Week - Tourist Style- Grabbinglapels.com

One of my day trips in Barcelona to see the works of Gaudi and enjoy Tapa’s, I wore this outfit. Simple pixie pants, a Valette long tank, a lightweight cardigan, Coach loafers and a slim black and gold backpack purse.

I wanted to feel comfortable in the 60 degree weather but also not stand out too much. I paired the look with a simple bun and leather choker. The look works great for walking about town as it was comfortable without looking lazy. It’s easy to make your own style similar to this, just start with a simple slim pant and comfortable but stylish shoes. No walking shoes for me…simply not my style.

By Bianca

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B Vs. B -Last 5 Things We Recently Bought on Amazon

Like most millenials we want things fast and simple. It’s no wonder Britt and Bianca love to use Amazon Prime for that very reason. Its simple one-click buying for essentials, gifts and splurges. We both purchase pretty frequently and items range from household goods to fashion must-haves. Check out the last 5 things we bought on Amazon.

Bianca’s Last 5 Things

Last 5 things we bought on Amazon - Grabbinglapels.com

1.Cocoly 7 Piece Travel Organizer. So this really helped me for my trip. It’s smal collapsable compartments to pack your things in so your suitcase stays organized. I am the worst when it comes to keeping my suitcase neat. Day one I’ve already made a mess. This helps keeps my things organized.

2.Coofit backpack – I really did not want to cart around a purse while on my travels, so I bought this adorable backpack purse. It is small enough to fit my purse items but can even fit my notebooks and chromebook.

3.Cupshe Bathing Suit – I really wanted a one-piece bathing suit for summer and got one just as the prices began to drop!

4.Botanicals Notebook Collection – I wanted to make sure and document everything I do on my travels. I got this set of notebooks for a friend as an engagement gift and fell in love with them. I got the same set for myelf, at a discounted rate on Amazon!

5.Stealing Coin Cat Piggy Bank – This was a gift for a co-worker who loves cats. It’s really cute and comes with other animals as well. Its piggy bank, and when you place a quarter on top of the box, a cat pops its little head out and grabs the quarter with its paw and meows. Its kind of a big hit at work now!

 

Britt’s Last 5 Things

B Vs. B -Last 5 Things We Recently Bought on Amazon

1. AX Paris Women’s Deep V Front Floral Midi Dress 

I actually find some amazing pieces on Amazon. Since I have Amazon Prime, I love the fact that I can purchase items and then return it if it doesn’t fit or is not to my liking. I wore this dress to a recent wedding and it was a huge hit!

2. Soda Women’s Grimm-H Boot   

While preparing for Sweden I was told not to wear thin heels because a lot of the roads, sidewalks are cobblestone. So of course I found an alternative with these fashionable boots! They go well with almost anything!

3. Simran SMF-200 Deluxe 200 Watts Step Down Voltage Converter for International Travel

Obviously needed this for my Sweden trip!

4. Keurig Gloria Jeans Mudslide K-Cup

Great way to save money by making my own coffee in the morning and treat myself to a deliciuos cup of joe!

5. MAXAH® 1 USB Charging Port (1A) Surge Protector All in One Universal Worldwide Travel Wall Charger Plug Adapter Adaptor

Another important piece I needed for my Sweden trip!

Cheers,

Bianca & Britt

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Preparing for a trip also means you need to prepare for what you plan on eating and drinking! With that said, I did some research into what Swedish alcohol and cocktails typically are made of. Here is what I found:

Brännvin is probably best translated as light Swedish vodka. It is normally about 30 and 38% (ABV). It is translated as meaning burn-wine (bränn = burn, vin = wine). It is referred to as burning since the distillation is rather tasteless wine with it being made of potatoes and cereal grains. Here is a cocktail made with Brännvin:

Akvavit is a common alcohol at special occasions such special dinners or even holidays. It is similar to a shot like schnapps . Here is a cocktail made with Akvavit: 

Swedish Punsch is made from sugar cane spirits from both the East and West Indies. KRONAN Swedish Punsch is a rich, full-bodied rum with an after taste of toffee, smoke, molasses and leather…yes leather! It is mostly served straight but can be served as a cocktail with other spirits such as this one:

It’s important to know what you are putting in your mouth, let alone your liver  so, while you are in Sweden you will hopefully have some insight to what you are drinking!

Credits:
http://www.swedishfood.com/brannvin
http://kronanpunsch.com/swedish-punsch.html
hg2.com 

 

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Hanger FINAL

Style of the Week - Workday Wardrobe

Do you know how easy it is to create a polished work day look? All you need is a long-sleeved oxford shirt and a slim fitting cardigan. Simply roll your sleeves and expose those cuffs for a clean look ready for work.

While I work in a casual work environment, I sometimes feel more productive when I have a more polished and professional look. Afterall, your wardrobe can set the tone for your attitude and nothing makes me want to be more professional than dressing professional.

For today’s outfit I wore an Ann Taylor Loft oxford shirt with a white floral detail on it. The gray cardigan is a simple and lightweight by Abound. The khaki’s are Old Navy and the purse is London Fog. As long as I have my cup of coffee to go and my sunglasses, I am ready to head off to work.!

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By Bianca

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As you may know, from previous posts, I have never been to Europe. With a close friend’s wedding being there this year, my mom and I decided it would be a one in a lifetime experience to not only travel there for the wedding but also make a fun girls trip together!

Step 1 Word of Mouth

Preparing for Sweden was stressful, I’ll be honest. I think partially because I am so busy this fall with work, weddings and of course the day in and day out of life in general BUT my mom is a worry wart! I was lucky to have a sorority sister who just visited Sweden a couple months ago so we met for dinner one night and she gave me a heads up and the ins and out of what we can expect and what we need to prepare for.

Step 2 Use your resources

Even though I got the ins and out from my sorority sister, Steph, I still did my research on museums, tourist attractions, popular restaurants and of course hotels. After doing research and narrowing down which tourist attractions we were interested in I chose the hotel that would work best for us. That would be Lilla Radmannen for the first 3 nights because we planned on being in the city of Stockholm for most of our trip.

Step 3 Check Research

Check the Weather

I checked the weather leading up to the trip. Months before, weeks before and then of course a few days before so I knew what to expect and what to pack.

European Outlets

Great to know what plugs you needed such as a Converter and Surge Protector. Buy Correct plugs on Amazon so you are able to use your electronics and don’t overload the fixtures in the hotel.

Phone Plan

I got the ATT Silver Passport plan which was $60 for 30 days of unlimited texting and then a set data and calling plan. This means I could at least navigate through the country and not feel like I am lost as well as keep in touch with my boyfriend and my dad.

Airport Travel

It is great to know that you can take the train into Stockholm right after getting in to the airport. It is super cheap and is super fast. Only 20 mins to take the Arlanda Express from airport to Stockholm

English Speaking

Did my research and learned from my friend that 99% of people in Sweden can speak English so this makes it much easier and less stressful when traveling. You can feel reassured you can ask for directions or even to use the bathroom!

Step 4 Make Packing list

Since the weather is 50’s-60’s I planned on layering my clothes. I also tried my best to pack light so that I wouldn’t have to struggle with my bag. With that said, I still had an extra 40 lbs after packing so I added a few extra items, just in case. Worst case scenario we can buy it in Sweden if we need it.

Also, learned that most of the streets and sidewalks are made of cobblestone so best to not wear spiked heels!

Step 5 Make Copies/Prepare/Keep Safe

Since we were going out of the country you have to be smart! Making copies of your passport is a great idea! Heaven for bid you loose it or it gets stolen you have a B plan to get back into the United States.

Stay tuned for what my trip has to offer in the next week:)

Cheers,

Britt

 

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I know what I am supposed to do. I am supposed to give you a long list of things we should all know by the time we are 30. Some 30 things YOU HAVE TO KNOW before you turn 30. We’ve seen it a hundred times. Lists like that are often vague, don’t apply to every walk of life and sometimes include things we should know how to do before we even turn 18. Things like, change a light bulb or do your own taxes.

So instead of telling you all the things you have to know by the time you are 30, I am just going to tell you that you don’t have to know it all. There is no brick wall at 30 that stops you if you don’t know how to ask for a raise at work. None of these lists will ever make you a better you, unless all the tasks on the lists were created just for your life.

I guess that was one thing that bothered me about the thought of turning 30. Does it mean I have to stop shopping in the juniors section at Nordstrom’s? Does it mean me and my friends can’t get black out drunk on a girls weekend? Does it mean I have to stop cursing so much and learn to use my words?  I’ve only been 30 for a few hours now and I really have no idea how to do it.

Of course I know people who are 30, and they seem to be doing it just fine. Perhaps they read one of those lists I was referring to and got it all squared away before turning 29. Maybe they were ahead of the game, and can be in their 30’s successfully. My sister is the perfect example of someone who has never used her age as a measuring stick for anything. She’s nine years older than me and still feels on the inside as though she is 21. I am not sure if I feel (or have ever felt) like I am 21 on the inside. Most of the time I feel more like I’m 18.

So here I am 30, and completely unqualified to be 30. Ok, so I have the basic qualifications down, been walking the earth for 29 years. But I really don’t think that’s enough to take on the task of being a 30 year old. Does a 30 year old have to be in their dream job? Does a 30 year old have to be married, with kids and halfway to retirement? I am not, so therefore I am still not qualified to be 30.

Also, all the girls in my girl squad don’t turn 30 until next year. That’s some bullshit if you ask me. And I am certainly not the most adult of all of them…I mean I am probably tied for 1st place for “most likely to not have their shit together” within that group. Which if I were to focus on that, I’d be stressing out today that I will never get my shit together and always be the one behind.

But I imagined that when I turned 30 I would have some revelation, some sort of awakening that would not only help me realize my potential at 30, but would subdue the pressure I have put on myself as I grow older. None of that has happened, but something else good happened. While I found myself not living up the hype of being an adult, I did find that things weren’t all that bad. At 30, I own my own home, I am in a committed relationship and I have friendships that have lasted decades. Maybe I don’t always know what to say or wear in every situation, perhaps I should be reading those lists. But as I am now, I am 30 and I feel the same as if I was 29.

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Bianca’s Upcoming Travels to Spain, France & Italy

Grabbinglapels travels - Europe

Clockwise from top left Monaco, Barcelona, Florence, Rome, Vatican City, Nice

Like Britt, Bianca is taking a mom and daughter trip to Europe. Bianca and her mom are taking a 14 day trip across Spain, Southern France and Italy. The trip was done via Go Ahead Tours, so airfare, accomindations, some meals and museum expenses are all included in the price of the trip. We also have a personal tour guide and motor coach to move us from place to place. It all begins in Barcelona!

Can’t wait to have tapas in Spain and visit the famous La Sagrada Familia. They started building the church in 1882 and still have not completed it. We will see so much of Antoni Gaudi’s work, including the House of Bones. From Barcelona we will travel through Spain to the French Riviera! One place I have always dreamed of going to is Monaco, and we get two nights in Montpellier so we will be spending one of those in Monaco. Can’t wait to visit the Monte Carlo Casino! After Nice, France, we will move towards Italy. On the agenda are many excursions including a perfume factory, a food tour and lots of museums. In Florence we will visit the Basilica of Santa Croce, burial place of Michelangelo, Machiavellia and Galileo. In Rome, during our last days on the trip, my mom and I have lots to do. I am the most excited about going to the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City and visiting the Galleria Borghese. The Borghese has been on my bucket list for a long time as it has some of the most amazing and ancient sculptures in the world. It’s also right next to our hotel! I am so beyond excited to start my trip, but I know I will never want it to end!

Britt’s Upcoming Travel to Sweden

Brittany will be going to Sweden, next week, for her friend’s wedding. It will also be a once in a life time mom and daughter trip, since it is both their first time to Europe. As you  know, tons of planning goes into a trip overseas so, we are ready for an overseas vacation.  We will be staying both in Stockholm for a few days and then in Sigtuna, for the actual wedding. We plan on site seeing, touring the historic towns/museums and of course eating and drinking a lot. Brittany is also very excited to do some high fashion shopping at couture European designer’s boutiques! Weather will actually be warmer than normal being 50-60 degrees so, hopefully she can pack light. Brittany is going to be layering her clothes throughout the day and ready to blog each and every moment of her trip ! Stay tuned for details of her trip and tips for traveling to Sweden!

Cheers,

Britt & Bianca

 

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Style of the Week - Grabbinglapels.com

As you all know I am OBSESSED with saving money. Well this past weekend I hit the jackpot and snagged this sexy TMG New York gray body con dress for $8.99! Together with my Levity suede and leather peep toe heels the outfit cost me under $25. Now, of course I went over that $25 outfit by adding my Louis Vuitton bag from Tradesy, but aside from the purse, it is an amazingly priced outfit!

Style of the Week- $25 Outfit- Grabbinglapels.com

Not only is the dress super comfortable, but it is the perfect color! It goes well with my beige tan and black leather Levity heels and of course the kodiak brown and camel leather of the Louis Vuitton. The slits up the side are not too scandalous either because they come to the normal height of an above the knee dress.

Style of the Week- $25 Outfit- Grabbinglapels.com

 I also added my Forever 21 black beaded necklace to spice up the outfit a bit!

I got away with wearing this outfit to work, but I may also wear it to a more casual wedding. It would also be fun for a cocktail hour in the city, last minute dinner date with your man or a wine night with your girlfriends.

Style of the Week- $25 Outfit- Grabbinglapels.com

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Cheers,

Britt

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