S'mores Succulent Cake - Bloomly

S'mores Succulent Cake - Bloomly

S'mores Succulent Cake - Bloomly

If you've seen my salted caramel chocolate cake, you'd know that I love being able to customize my cakes, so I've combined many recipes and adapted them to my taste. The inspiration/base recipe for the cake is adapted from www.browneyedbaker.com's for a naked s'mores layer cake to create this cake. Like the Momofuku milk bar cakes, this recipe has a cake soak and an intricate mix of textures in the layering, with a rich chocolate fudge sauce, marshmallow frosting, and graham cracker crumbles.

However, since I didn't want to have to buy the acetate strips for making a clean naked layer cake and I wanted an excuse to decorate a cake, I turned the naked layer cake into a s'mores layer cake decorated with chocolate frosting and royal icing succulents. To simplify the original s'mores layer cake recipe, I substituted the cake recipe for a simpler one from food.com. The whipped chocolate buttercream that the cake is covered in is from Chef in Training.


Fudge sauce:

2 ounces of finely chopped dark chocolate
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup light corn syrup
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup heavy cream

Chocolate cake: 

Devil's food cake cake mix (any brand will do)
4 oz box of instant chocolate pudding
1 cup sour cream
½ cup water
½ cup of vegetable oil
4 eggs

Graham cracker crumbs:

1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup milk powder (dry milk)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup heavy cream

Toasted marshmallow frosting:

16 large marshmallows
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1⅔ cups marshmallow fluff

Cake soak:

¼ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whipped chocolate buttercream:

1 cup butter, softened
4 ½ cups of confectioner's sugar
5 tbs cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 tbs heavy cream
¼ tsp salt


Make the fudge sauce.

  1. Combine the chocolate, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
  2. In a saucepan, combine the corn syrup, sugar, and heavy cream. Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring. 
  3. Once the liquid mixture has come to a boil, pour it into the bowl of dry ingredients (with the chocolate, cocoa powder, and salt), and allow it to sit for a minute, or enough for the chocolate to melt.
  4. Whisk the mixture until it is smooth and thick. This will probably take about 5 minutes. 

Make the chocolate cake.

  1. Preheat the oven to the given temperature based on the boxed cake mix. Mine was 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease your sheet pan. (the one that I used was 17x12, not actually meant for cake, but I used it anyways and it worked out fine)
  3. Add the all the ingredients: the cake mix: pudding mix, sour cream, water, vegetable oil, and eggs, into a bowl.
  4. Using a stand mixer or a handheld electric mixer with a wire whip attachment, blend on low speed for about a minute.
  5. Stop and scrape down the edges of the bowl.
  6. On medium speed, mix for about 2-3 more minutes.
  7. Pour batter into pan and spread out smoothly.
  8. Bake until you can place a toothpick through the cake and have it come out clean. Mine only took about 12 minutes, since my pan was so thin.
  9. Allow cakes to cool for about 15-20 minutes
  10. Run a knife around the cake and remove from pan by flipping over.
  11. Cut two 7-inch cake rounds from the rectangular sheet of cake. and then use the remaining scraps of cake to cut out 2 half cake rounds to make a full one, leaving you with 3 layers.

Make the graham cracker crumbs.

  1. Stir together all the dry ingredients -- the graham cracker crumbs, milk powder, sugar, and salt -- in a medium bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the butter and heavy cream until it becomes thick, then pour over the dry ingredients in the medium bowl.
  3. Using a fork, mix around the wet and dry ingredients until it forms graham cracker clusters. 

Make the marshmallow frosting.

  1. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray it with non-stick cooking spray. Place the marshmallows out on the pan.
  2. Put the pan of marshmallows onto the lowest rack of the oven, and broil them until golden brown on top. Once the oven was heated, it only took my marshmallows about 2 minutes per side to brown for me, so keep an eye on them.
  3. Beat the butter and powdered sugar on low speed until well blended. Add the vanilla extract and then increase the speed to medium-high, mix until smooth.
  4. Add the marshmallow fluff and toasted marshmallows, mixing on low speed until smooth and well blended. 

Make the cake soak.

  1. Whisk together the vanilla extract and milk in a small bowl. 

Assemble the cake.

  1. Layer 1, the bottom: Place one of the full cake rounds onto a cake board.
  2. Using a pastry brush, brush the cake soak onto the cake round.
  3. Spread ¼ of the marshmallow frosting onto the cake.
  4. Spread half of the fudge sauce on top of the marshmallow frosting.
  5. Sprinkle ½ of the graham cracker crumble (probably less than ½, just until covered) onto the cake. 
  6. Add another layer of marshmallow frosting, ¼ of the total mixture.
  7. Layer 2, the middle: Place the cake round made of 2 halves to make the second layer of cake on top.
  8. Repeat steps 2-6.
  9. Layer 3: the top: Place the nicest looking cake round on top and put on the rest of the cake soak. 

Make the whipped chocolate buttercream.

  1. In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients: the butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, cream or milk, and salt, with an electric mixer or stand mixer with a wire whip attachment. Beat for roughly 5-7 minutes or until it becomes light and fluffy.
  2. Feel free to add more powdered sugar or more cream/milk, depending on the thickness that you desire of your buttercream. Add more powdered sugar for a thicker buttercream and add more cream/milk for a thinner buttercream.
  3. You may also add more cocoa powder, if you favor a richer and more bitter chocolate taste.
  4. Frost the entire cake with the whipped chocolate buttercream.
You can decorate your cake however you want, but I love decorating cakes, so I got fancy and went for some royal icing succulents. They can also be made with buttercream, but I prefer using royal icing. In addition, I crushed up more graham crackers to make for the sand, which perfectly ties in with the succulent theme and with the s'mores theme. Here are instructions for piping succulents, but I didn't really stick to any tutorial and just kind of improvised. 

If you make this cake, let me know, but otherwise you can just enjoy the pictures and dream about eating your own s'mores cake. 

If you haven't been on Twitter, you've been missing out on the latest viral sensation: a summer bucket list found in the dressing room of Urban Outfitters, presumably by a teen. While everyone is calling out the tasks for having a strange variety — from "hooking up with Jacob (again)" to "petting a giraffe" to "buying 7 bikinis," because 6 just won't do — I'm looking at the bucket list in a very different way.

While it's made a laugh for some people, I believe that there's more to this list than pure entertainment. There's a takeaway that we should note.

For all of those that haven't seen the bucket list yet or just needed a refresher, here's the viral tweet and the list in alternating pen colors (Like seriously, this must have been pretty annoying and time consuming).

Everyone is wondering who the author of famous bucket list is and how old she is, calling it out for being a little bit odd and totally reminiscent of teenage years, but you know what?

I applaud whoever made this.

Why is that?

This is a person that knows what she wants. There are some things on that list of things that she has always dreamed of doing. She wants to pet a giraffe and she plans to make that happen this summer and I think that's pretty cool. While all of the things that she wants to do might not be what I would want, they're still things that she wants to experience and now she's getting them done.

This girl owns her ambitious goals. We can laugh all we want, but don't we all have those crazy ambitious dreams that we would never admit out loud? In one summer, she plans to "get crossfaded 17 times", have a "giant water balloon fight", and "stargaze". Honestly, the first one is ambitious enough, like really, 17 times? But you know what? She owns the fact that she wants to get crossfaded exactly 17 times.

While we're sitting around laughing over this girl's summer bucket list, joke's on us, because she's out there trying to make her summer memorable and to turn her goals into reality. No matter how outrageous they might be, she's taking her summer into her own hands and experiencing more in life.

You go summer bucket list girl.

So what's the takeaway?

While you might not have the same goals as this mystery person, the viral summer bucket list reminds us that it's never too late to make things happen. We can always talk about all the things that we want to do, maybe decorate your room or camp in a backyard, (maybe not buying 7 bikinis because that's probably not what I need most in life), but all the talk is worthless unless you actually go out and turn your goals into reality.

I'm not saying that you should follow her goals to go to "randyland", wherever that is, or "get a boob hickey", (if you want to do those, then by all means, go for it) but you can pave your own goals. We need to take some of that ambition to live more and do more with our lives. While you don't need to make a summer bucket list, you can still go out and go after some dreams that maybe you've been thinking about, as stupid or as crazy as they might sound.

Make a list, if that's what you like doing, of everything that you want to accomplish. Short term, long term goals, whatever, no matter how strange they might seem. If lists aren't for you, then that's great too, maybe just think about everything that you want to experience. Then, all you have to do, is go out and make things happen. Own what you want, even if it's ambitious, and make it reality. 

The summer bucket list may be a laugh in the moment, but let's not pretend that we don't also crave to go out and experience a few things that we have always wanted to check off our bucket lists. Summer's not over yet and there's still time to make your goals happen. 
Remember that post about why change is good? Well, let's hope you agree, because I'm changing things up. Say goodbye to Sunny Rebecca and hello to Bloomly!

While Sunny Rebecca has been fun, it's time to move on to new things. I started Sunny Rebecca not knowing exactly where I was going. I knew that I wanted to blog, but I never knew what direction I wanted to go in. I read countless advice blogs telling me about how important it was to find a focus, but I could never really find one. Over the years, Sunny Rebecca has been constantly changing. Throughout my years of blogging, I've changed and I have learned new things along the way. While it started out as a place to talk about fashion and style, that's not really what it is anymore and I don't think that I want it to be like that anymore either.

This new change is more me and is centered around the content style that I've been heading towards throughout the year. If you've been a loyal Sunny Rebecca reader, you would know that I've been posting much more content about personal growth and self-love, and that's what I want Bloomly to be about.

The name, Bloomly, matches the direction that I've been heading in and I want to continue heading in. Bloomly will be about growth in life and reaching your best self - through traveling in order to enrich your life with unforgettable experiences, through using style as a means of expression rather than merely aesthetic, and through the everyday things that are constantly influencing our lives. Bloomly offers content that will help you grow, bloom, and flourish in everything that you do.

Back to that post about the benefits of change, yes, that was totally meant to foreshadow this, but the points stand. Changing is exciting and it's also a chance to make progress, to improve. With this new change, although scary, I'm hoping that Bloomly, too, can grow, bloom, and flourish.

With the rebranding, I want to make my blog mean something, I want it to mean more. Sunny Rebecca didn't have a purpose, but Bloomly does. Sunny Rebecca was about me, but Bloomly is about us. When I started blogging, I was copying other bloggers and their styles, but now I'm getting my own style and my own direction. Bloomly is about my growth and how I'm striving to be my best self, but it's also about helping you do the same, together.
As a 24/7 "can't see without them" glasses wearer, every year, getting a new pair of glasses with a new prescription was something that I hated. I hated having to look at myself and look different and I hated when people noticed that I had changed them. Despite the compliments that they gave me, having this change put on display for everyone made me feel insecure. It's not just glasses, it's other forms of change. I still haven't updated to the new iOS that everyone else updated months ago, because I don't want to see a new format on my phone. It's comfortable to keep what's familiar.

5 Reasons Why Change is Good - bloomly

Whether it's something as small as a new pair of glasses, an iOS update, or a giant life change, change isn't always my favorite thing. But at the same time, I know that change can be for the better.

Change is like stepping into the pool. When you first get in, it feels completely freezing, you don't want to put your whole body in just yet. But eventually, you realize that it's not so bad and ease yourself into it. 

The point is, soon enough, although you might hate it at first, change isn't unbearable. The discomfort that comes along with change is only temporary. That said, the pool comparison doesn't necessarily explain the benefits of change, but that's because the benefits extend much further than with a mere pool, there's so much more than that. And I'm explaining why.

one. you could realize that you love the change. 

Back to the glasses story, I hated getting new glasses. I purposely looked for glasses that were similar to the ones that I already had because I hated change. But guess what? A year later, I felt the exact same feeling of comfort with those glasses that I initially hated, unwilling to let go of them. In fact, when I look back at pictures of myself in my previous glasses, the ones that I had loved so much, and I cringe. They looked terrible on me. They fit my face horribly. I realized that the change was for the better. These new glasses had a much better fit for me. I loved the change. The thing about change is that you might not like it at first, but you could love this change. In fact, it could turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to you, but you wouldn't ever know until you made the leap.

two. change can mean becoming better. 

Okay, I'm still referencing the glasses, but that's because they're the perfect parallel to what I'm trying to say. Change is about doing things that will improve you and/or your life. The new glasses, although initially daunting, improved my confidence with my appearance. These changes can be something that you love, but they can also improve your life. Whether it's affecting your well-being, career path, goals, whatever, change can be like steps, taking steps forward. If you never changed, you would just be standing in the same place, never moving ahead. Let change drive your life forward, constantly letting these changes lead to little improvements every day.

three. it teaches you to adapt.

With the world constantly changing, we need to adapt to our surroundings. Whether it's getting to understand a new technology in order to get ahead in the future or whether it means hopping onto a new style of fashion in order to find a different kind of confidence, you are often forced to adapt. Some things are small, but they give you practice in adapting to new things. When change happens, you don't always have control over it. In this case, you are forced to adapt. But when you choose to change, the adaptation is voluntary, you can control how much you need to adapt and at what pace. In this case, you can practice adapting. When you are forced to adapt, you must put that practice to the test.

four. it gives you a chance to start over.

The great thing about change is that it can be anything from a tiny difference to a total life change. Sometimes, we want that life change, we need it. Ever messed up? I have. Guess what? With change, you can start over, completely change your life and love it. Ever been disappointed with your life? Change it. Change can transform feelings of dismay into whatever you want within a blink of an eye. Who cares things aren't going well? All you have to do is change.

five. change can be exciting. 

There's nothing more boring than falling into routine. Yeah, I love the efficiency of routines, but they become a total bore, nothing more than everything on repeat. Change can be exciting. It's like the anticipation of excitement for your birthday party or a vacation. Putting something new into your life can be something to shake up your life, give you a bit of excitement and entertainment. After all, life is meant to be exciting, so why not add some change to shake things up a bit?

What will you change next?

We all want to be unique, I know I do. I want to be the person that people remember, the person that stands out. However, sometimes we end up trying so hard to stand out that we end up losing ourselves in the process. There are a million quotes out there telling us how important it is to accept our differences and be unique. And that's great, it is, but with everyone putting pressure on us to be unique, suddenly it's becoming a goal rather than a compliment to who we are. I've recently found myself looking at myself, seeing that I'm pretty average, and being so incredibly disappointed about that, trying to look for anything, literally anything, that would make me more unique, even if I don't have a strong interest into it. As much as I want to be unique, the best way for me to stand out is by indulging more in my own personality rather than deliberately going after things for the sake of that goal.

I remember talking about marketing campaigns in class one day. Looking at the Share a Coke campaign and the Dove Real Beauty campaign, there are two different stories being told. The Share a Coke campaign makes us feel unique, special. Having your name written in the signature Coke logo font is personal, making the product seem like it's meant for you and only you. On the other hand, the Dove Real Beauty campaign highlights an inclusive effect. Seeing all kinds of races and body types is exciting to us because everyone can find themselves and see that they're included. While they may not see their actual selves in the picture, no matter who is looking at the picture, they can find someone that they share traits with, that is similar to them, making them feel like they can fit in, since they're included. Looking at these campaigns, I remember my teacher saying, "The thing about millennials is that they love to be included and to feel like a part of something, but at the same time, they love to feel unique." And that rung true to me.

I love feeling being able to be a part of something. I'm a part of the blogging community. I fit in with other bloggers as we tweet about how much we love Target and good selfie lighting. It's great to be surrounded by like-minded people that you can relate to. But at the same time, no one wants to be average, to fit in so well that there's nothing about you that makes you memorable or better than all the other people exactly like you. We strive to be unique, to stand out. 

However, sometimes, the things that we do in order to prove that we're different, that we're more than average, can cause you to lose sight of who you are. Parts of my personality fit in and that's great. And parts of my personality don't and that's completely okay. But when you're trying to purposefully stand out from the crowd, sometimes you can push too hard and find yourself becoming someone that's not exactly you. 

Maybe you decide to try something new or go after a goal, but sometimes you need to step back and make sure that those things will make you happy. I want to stand out as a creative and I want to appear to be unique. But if I change my voice and the topics that I write about, there's a slippery slope at hand. Eventually by following a voice that isn't mine, I could lose my own voice, my true sense of uniqueness in the process. While it's great to strive to be unique, I think that I'm realizing that being unique should not be a goal. If your goal is to be unique, then your other goals are dramatically shifted. All of a sudden, it's not about getting that internship so that you can learn more about your passions, it's about getting that internship so that your resume will stand out. By focusing on the goal of being unique, you're not putting your own interests and passions first, you're putting the perception that others have of you first.

Being unique is relative. Focusing on being unique means that you're focusing on how others perceive you. This causes you to have direction towards what others will find "unique" rather than what you truly want to be. Yes, it's great to be unique, but there are other ways to achieve that than putting that as your sole goal. If you only see the ways that you can make other people perceive your uniqueness, you can lose yourself. So how can you become unique without losing yourself? Focus on yourself, your own passions and interests, what drives you. The thing is, everyone's personality is naturally unique. By focusing on your own personal ambitions that make you happiest, the unique traits of your personality will naturally come out, which will consequently show others how much you stand out. If you want to be unique, don't make that the goal. Make the goals based on what you love, what inspires you, and what you care about. Make your goals based on authenticity. Trust that your own personality is more than enough to make you unique and bring those parts of you out. You already have the tools, you are already unique, it's only about expressing what makes you already unique so others can see it too. 
I'm all for a good pasta dish. A few months ago, I first tried out making baked ziti and it turned out fantastic. The great thing about it is such an easy thing to make, I didn't even follow a recipe, I was able to estimate everything on the first try and everything still turned out perfectly. The great thing about baked ziti is that you can make a huge batch of it and save it for another day, allowing for lots of quick meals that you can just pop into the microwave, which is great for lazy people. You can always cut the recipe in half in order to make the serving size more manageable. Although baked ziti might take some extra time on the first day, but saving it allows for cutting down a lot of future cook time. Plus, it's so tasty. Quick, easy, tasty. If that doesn't entice you then I don't know what will.

Baked Ziti Recipe

Serves 10-12
Prep time: 20-30 minutes
Cook time: 25-35 minutes


3/4 lb ziti pasta (can substitute with rigatoni or penne)
Olive oil
1 cup chopped sausage
1 cup diced bell pepper
4 cups of pasta sauce
15 oz ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups Mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp chopped basil


1)    Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
2)    Cook ziti pasta, following the directions on the package, then drain. 
3)    Put a saucepan on medium heat. Grease with olive oil. 
4)    Fry chopped sausage and diced bell pepper for about 10 minutes. 
5)    Put cooked sausage and bell pepper into a bowl.
6)    Generously grease bottom of casserole dish(es) with olive oil.
7)    Pour about 1/2 of the pasta sauce into the casserole dish.
8)    Pour the cooked pasta into the dish.
9)    Put the chopped sausage and diced bell pepper into the dish. 
10)  Beat the ricotta until fluffy. Put into dish.
11)  Pour the rest of the sauce on top.
12)  Mix the pasta in the dish until the sauce, cheese, sausage, and bell pepper is evenly mixed. 
13)  Sprinkle the mozzarella and Parmesan on top of the pasta, covering the entire dish. 
14)  Sprinkle on the chopped basil. 
15)  Bake for 25-35 minutes, until the cheese is melted and slightly golden. 
16)  Remove from oven and let cool for about 5-10 minutes before indulging. Enjoy!

If you make this baked ziti, let me know how it turns out! Hope that you enjoy.
Fourth of July weekend has arrived! It's time for barbecues and picnics and enjoying the summer weather. While the most popular activity to celebrate may be watching fireworks, there is so much more that you can be doing to enjoy the weekend, here are a few of the things that you can do instead (or as a supplement).

one. // go for an outdoor movie

The Fourth of July weekend is all about getting outside and enjoying the warm weather. Check out online and see if there are any local outdoor movie sessions that you can visit and I think that there will be plenty considering the weekend festivities. Get a picnic blanket and some popcorn, because it's movie time!

two. // color wars

Ever gone on a color run? How about you enjoy the color minus the running? All you need to do is buy some color powder and invite some friends over to have fun. One of my friends likes to have a yearly color wars party and it's always fantastic. Get outside and throw some color around. Bonus tip: wear white so that you can see all the colors accessorizing your look. Plus, this activity is totally instagrammable. If that doesn't convince you to have a color wars party, I don't know what will. 

three. // make popsicles

Nothing says summer like an icy treat, popsicles! There are so many different kinds of popsicles that you can make, here's a list of popsicle recipes that you can make. If you're watching your calories, try freezing some fruit in water for a fruit popsicle. Healthy, delicious, and perfect for a hot summer day. Make them with friends, share them with friends, and eat popsicles all weekend.

four. // go sailing

Going sailing can be so incredibly relaxing. Wind in your hair, water glistening, getting out on the water can be so nice, plus you don't even have to get your hair wet. Like a lot of these other activities, sailing can be totally instagrammable. 

five. // pool party

If popsicles aren't enough for you to cool off, how about a pool party? Bring out those totally instagrammable pool floaties (flamingoes, unicorns, donuts, whatever floats your boat) and hit the pool with some friends. It's a great time to show off your new bathing suit, get a tan, and cool off in the summer heat. Also can we talk about how many cute instagrams you'll get with your friends at the pool? Just the thought of that alone gets me excited to hit the pool. 

six. // tie dye with patriotic colors

Get creative and patriotic. Grab some dye and white t-shirts or anything white that you want to tie dye: a pillow, a dress, a bandana, whatever. Tie dying is easy and lots of fun, especially if you invite some friends to join you. Here are some instructions for tie dying success. Since it's Fourth of July, patriotic colors (red, white, and blue) are only fitting for your tie dying endeavors. Happy tie dying!

What will you be doing on Fourth of July weekend?

Lately, I've been seeing something a rise of off-shoulder looks everywhere and I love it. Last year, it was definitely trending, but now it's back again and stronger than ever. Then, I was only pining after off shoulder looks, but now that it's a bit more popular, there are more choices out there and also lower prices, which is great for if you're not so sure if you're ready to jump in on the trend. Because of that, I thought that it would put the style spotlight on it, on all things off shoulder, including some of my off shoulder styles, the history behind this look, and where you can get some off shoulder looks to join in on the fun. 

Style Spotlight: Off the Shoulder

A brief history of the off shoulder style

The off shoulder style, also called a bardot style, was most famously introduced by Brigitte Bardot in the 1960s. However, the idea, like it is now, was not new then either. Even then, it was a revived trend. Since the mid-1800s, off shoulder looks have phased in and out of style. Charles Frederick Worth was an example of a designer in the mid-1800s who designed many dresses with the off shoulder style. Even Napoleon's Empress was wearing Worth's off shoulder dresses. It wasn't until Brigitte Bardot, as aforementioned, brought the style back in the 1960s, creating what is more familiar to us, the bardot style, which is more like the off the shoulder trends we see today. 

Style Spotlight: Off the Shoulder

Off shoulder tops are perfect for a dressy casual look. Whether it's a summer party or a sunny photoshoot, a off-shoulder top takes a basic look into a dressy one. I prefer cropped off shoulder tops, but that's just my preference. I loved the pictured one above, it's simple and cute, so it's great for an everyday casual. The trim accessorizes an otherwise simple white top and it's slightly cropped. In addition, this one from Forever 21 is only $16. Now that off shoulder tops are so trendy, you can get all kinds of styles at lower prices. 

How to style a off-shoulder top:

[option one: jeans] 
keep it casual and cute with some jeans, I like high-waisted ones with a light-wash, I think that lighter washes are perfect for the summer. If it fits your style, a simple off shoulder top, like a solid one, would look great with ripped jeans.

[option two: fitted shorts]
Since off shoulder tops generally have a bit more volume on top, fitted shorts make for a fantastic compliment to the shirt. 

Style Spotlight: Off the Shoulder

Ahh, the classic off shoulder shift dress. The off shoulder shift dress is everywhere, but can also come into all kinds of cute patterns. It can be belted, if shift dresses aren't your thing. This dress is perfect for a dressy day look.

Accessorizing tips for an off shoulder looks

[option one: choker]
Any strapless dress presents itself with prime real-estate for necklaces. Since the off shoulder look is the main attraction, pick a simplistic choker in order to compliment the style rather than overpower it. 

[option two: bandana or short scarf]
If your off shoulder top is fitted or a bit more simple, dress it up a bit mroe with a tied bandana or a short scarf. I highly recommend a bandana if the off shoulder top does not have much volume on top, basically if there aren't any ruffles, a bandana is perfect. 

Style Spotlight: Off the Shoulder

The most comfortable off shoulder look? The winged look. If strapless clothing isn't for you, which I totally understand, as it can get a little uncomfortable, you can still pull off the off shoulder look by wearing styles with a tank top look and then with additional off shoulder sleeves. There are a variety of different sleeved off shoulder looks, this dress pictured above from Francesca's (no longer in stock) has thicker sleeves, but there are also off shoulder styles more like the previous shift dress, with thinner spaghetti straps. 

More Off the Shoulder Styles I Love

It's summer and that means that it's time to kick back, relax, and enjoy a movie marathon. Netflix has a plethora of movies, but I mainly use Netflix for binge-watching TV shows. In case you're looking for a movie marathon instead of a day of binge-watching, I've compiled some of my favorite movies on Netflix that you can love them as well during your relaxing summer days. I tried to pick some more light-hearted movies rather than intense ones, because that's what summer is about, relaxing, having some laughs, and just enjoying your time off. Turn on the TV, it's time for a summer movie marathon. 

One // Moana

Just arrived to Netflix is the latest Disney princess movie. I originally saw this movie in the theater and absolutely loved it. The songs were so catchy and the ending was incredibly sweet. I think that it has a fantastic message of how important it is to be yourself, which is something that everyone should know, no matter the age. If you've been living under a rock and you don't know what Moana is about, it's about a girl named Moana living on a Polynesian island. Her grandmother always told her the story of a demi-god named Maui that stole the heart of the island, causing a curse that dooms the island, causing the crops to die. Because of that, Moana goes on an adventure, determined to restore the heart of the island and save her home island. It's incredibly sweet and cute, filled with lots of laughable moments and also adorable animal sidekicks. 

Two // 13 Going on 30

13 Going on 30 just might be one of my favorite movies, not just one of my favorite movies on Netflix. In her teenage life, the main character, Jenna, had been vying to become one of the popular kids, doing anything to try and fit it with them, while neglecting her best friend Matt, since he wasn't "cool" enough. On her thirteenth birthday, she wishes to be 30 after seeing a magazine article about being "thirty, flirty, and thriving". 13 Going on 30 follows Jenna's discoveries of adulthood as a 13-year old who isn't quite versed on things that she had never experienced, offering comedic moments, trying to latch onto a whole new world.

Three // Finding Dory

Let's be real, Finding Nemo was good, but dare I say, Finding Dory might be even better. Maybe because I can't ever remember a time when I hadn't seen Finding Nemo, but I loved Finding Dory. It was cute, funny, and heart-warming. I'll be honest, I cried. I'm pretty sure that everyone knows what Finding Dory is about, but if you don't Finding Dory is about the fish named Dory from the original Finding Nemo movie who has short-term memory loss. Because of that, she has forgotten her parents. One day, she stumbles upon a memory of them and is determined to find them again. The story follows Dory, Nemo, Marlin, and some new friends on a journey of finding her parents. 

Four // 10 Things I Hate About You

A teenage movie, 10 Things I Hate About You follows the life of sisters, Bianca and Kat. Bianca is excited to go out and party and is eager to date a popular guy, but her father says that she cannot go on a date until her older sister Kat does. Bianca gets help from Cameron, a new guy that is interested in her, in order to match up Kat with rebellious Patrick Verona. This movie is a classic teen movie, pretty predictable, but nevertheless enjoyable.

Five // Zootopia

Another fun and light-hearted cartoon movie, Zootopia is full of laughs, but it also has a fantastic underlying message about discrimination. In a land of animals, there is a city center, called Zootopia. Zootopia promises that it's a place where anyone can be anything, regardless of who they are. Judy Hopps has always wanted to be a police officer and finally gets to become one when she goes to Zootopia. However, she quickly realizes that the prey are not treated as equals in comparison to the predators, being stuck watching parking meters, she strives to prove her worth by uncovering a mystery regarding missing animals. Zootopia seems like a fun, light-hearted film, but it also covers how the animals can be discriminated based off of predator and prey and how the discrimination can work both ways, paralleling the world that we know today. Plus, all the characters are super cute.

What are some of your favorite movies on Netflix?

Hi friends! It's been a while since I've posted, but I'm back. Recently, I've been feeling a lack of inspiration for blogging, but I'm back and I'm going to try and stay active. Since it's been a while, the weather has been changing and now it's officially summer. And with summer, comes some fun new styles. I've been noticing an off the shoulder trend, not only this summer, but also the previous one and I'm finally ready to get on board. Although I was hesitant at first, I'm with the trend now that I've had enough of pining after them on Pinterest. 

I had been a little hesitant about off-the-shoulder styles in the past, thinking that it was just a trend, but after seeing the styles from last year carry over to this summer, I know that it's not just a trend. I finally took the leap with this dress from Forever 21, which has simple blue and white stripes and is lined with pom poms. I love this dress, especially because it's relatively inexpensive, so I could step into the off-shoulder style without breaking the bank. At first, the elastic made me a little uncomfortable, the biggest inconvenience with off shoulder styles is that it does restrict your arm movements. This dress does do so, but the elastic at the top is also pretty stretchy, which makes it a bit more comfortable. I think that it all really came down to getting used to the feeling. 

With the dress, I wore my black sandals. These ones have little tassels at the back of them and a slight heel. I got them from DSW, but they are no longer in stock there. However, the same ones are in stock at Macy's. I really like these shoes because they make me feel confident. They're dressy, so they can be worn with a more formal outfit, but they can also be worn on an every day basis to dress up a simple outfit. While they have a small heel, they are still comfortable for every day wear, but maybe not for walking-intensive days. 
I accessorized the look with my watch from Daniel Wellington. It's rose gold with a leather band. Like with this dress, this watch was also a step into something new. In the past, I never wore watches with the exception of a Swatch watch for a brief period of time a very long time ago. I had been considering trying out a watch and I ended up taking the leap and purchased this Daniel Wellington watch, as I liked how simplistic it was, especially compared to some more flashy fashion watches. I find that it goes with basically any outfit, and although I use it more to accessorize, I still find myself checking the time on it every now and then. 

Shop the Look

Dress: Forever 21 // Watch: Daniel Wellington // Shoes: DSW