Quarter-past the whiskers.

My mother came to visit a few weekends ago to help with early wedding stuff — deciding on colors, attending a bridal show, other really rad mother-daughter stuff. While she was here, we realized I’d be 25 by the next time I saw her. (My birthday is later this month.) So obviously, she gave me a cat watch.

I can’t imagine a better birthday present. What time is it? Quarter-past the whiskers.

South St Louis City - Zebra circle midi skirt with leopard booties and a cat watch near Hartford Coffe Co (1)

South St Louis City - Zebra circle midi skirt with leopard booties and a cat watch near Hartford Coffe Co (5)

South St Louis City - Zebra circle midi skirt with leopard booties and a cat watch near Hartford Coffe Co (4)

South St Louis City - Zebra circle midi skirt with leopard booties and a cat watch near Hartford Coffe Co (6)

South St Louis City - Zebra circle midi skirt with leopard booties and a cat watch near Hartford Coffe Co (2)

South St Louis City - Zebra circle midi skirt with leopard booties and a cat watch near Hartford Coffe Co (7)

South St Louis City - Zebra circle midi skirt with leopard booties and a cat watch near Hartford Coffe Co (3)

Currently wearing… Top, Target [SIMILAR] | Skirt, Express [Seen HERE & HERE & HERE / SIMILAR] | Watch, Charming Charlie [HERE] | Tights, c/o Kushyfoot [HERE] | Shoes, c/o Naturalizer [Seen HERE / HERE on sale!]

Can I get a meow?

Lance snapped these pictures on the walk back to our car after visiting Hartford Coffee Company in South City. A snowstorm started while I om-nomed my jalapeno-infused BLT, which made me a million times happier I went for a hot coffee instead of the smoothie I had contemplated. At least I had tights on. Aren’t tights a godsend during the winter? Kushyfoot recently sent me a few products to review, and I must say, these tights are beyond comfortable. In case you skimmed the name of the brand, these tights have a literally cushy sole; add that to the no-role top, and it’s sort of the perfect pair. When worn with my already comfortable Naturalizer booties, the brisk breeze was the only thing reminding me that I was walking on a frozen and unforgiving sidewalk.

Stay warm!

Wedding Wednesday: Let’s Talk Engagement Gifts

In case you’re new to this site, let me give you the summarized version of my engagement party: I threw Lance a surprise birthday party, and it was actually all his idea; in reality, I threw my own surprise engagement party at a very bewildering and spectacular celebration that — in reference to an inside joke, of sorts — was full of hilarious socks. It makes more sense when you read the whole story.

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Because of the hilarious sock theme, there were sock and sock-themed gifts at the celebration. They were perfect. (They are perfect, I should say. I was pretty much out of socks at the time of this party, so these make up most my sock wardrobe now.) But reading wedding-related content online brought up a few points about run-of-the-mill, normal-person-themed engagement parties, and the gifts that may or may not go with them. My friends are currently getting engaged faster than I can write ‘Congratulations to you both,’ on Facebook, so I think it’s time to discuss engagement parties and the presents that go with them.

So… Are engagement gifts required? No. Hell no. Absolutely not. Gifts create this weird etiquette balance — and the ideal place to be, in my opinion, is the person who would never arrive without a gift but yet never expects one in return. That’s politeness perfection, don’t you think? Confusing and hypocritical, but in a good way.

Alas, I have degrees and awards and certificates, but none certify me as a manners pro. I should work on that. Till then, let’s turn to the experts. What’s the deal with engagement gifts, experts?

In the past, engagement gifts were not obligatory or expected, but it has become the custom in many parts of the country to bring a gift to an engagement party. Close friends and family usually do give the couple an engagement gift, either when the engagement is announced or at the engagement party. An engagement gift is really a good-hearted gesture of affection, and it need not be expensive or elaborate.  Something simple such as a cookbook, picture frame, or a good bottle of wine – intended to help the couple establish a collection – makes a great engagement gift. — EmilyPost.com

If some guests arrive [to an engagement party] bearing gifts, just be sure the couple unwraps them after the party or away from the crowd so people who came empty-handed won’t feel uncomfortable. — TheKnot.com

Even though gifts are not customary at an engagement party, some guests will inevitably arrive bearing them. This is a natural impulse: It is part of the celebratory nature of weddings and parties. — MarthaStewartWeddings.com

In closing: engagement gifts are a nice thing to give but you don’t have to give them. And regardless of what I have seen online, I think registering for an engagement party is bananas. Don’t do that. Did you register for Christmas? (Please say no…) You’ll have your big celebrations later; keep this lighthearted and fun.

So… How does one find a good engagement gift? Assuming you’re not invited to a themed affair, such as my surprise sock celebration, I repeat the aforementioned thought: lighthearted and fun. Actually, socks are a great lighthearted gift, but I digress. I rounded up a few ideal engagement gifts for the bride-to-be in your life. Or, ya know, gifts for yourself from yourself. You’re a modern working career gal, you can buy whatever the hell you want. And I want nail polish with a cheeky bridal name like Mimosas for Mr. & Mrs., so there.

She said yes!

Earrings | Engraved Wine Stopper | ‘I Do’ ‘Me Too’ Forks | Nail Polish | Tuxedo Clutch | Ring Dish | Mr. & Mrs. & More Mrs. Luggage Tags | ‘I Do’ Necklace | Wedding Planner | Bridal Beauty Kit | Cooking For Two Cookbook

Now simply isn’t the time to give a blender. No one needs an engagement blender. Now is the time for cheeky wedding-themed accessories and the like. Or Champagne. (Or socks.)


Love weddings? Me too. Follow along with Wedding Wednesday at OhJuliaAnn.com!

The Booties You Need for Spring

The hint of warmer days outside is only half-appreciated. As much as I would enjoy not wearing earmuffs to check my mail, the end of winter means the end of boot weather. Kind of.

Enter the always-helpful bootie.

SPRING BOOTIES (1)

My trusty brown booties have been a season-less staple in my wardrobe since Brown Shoe Company gave me the gift card I used to buy them. But, alas, they have reached the end of their journey. After catching the heel while being forced to run — long, unhappy story regarding a questionable parking lot gate — the shoes are no longer stable and must be… sob… retired. And by that I mean thrown away, because they are a no-joke hazard.

Thank the fashion gods, there are replacements available.

Spring Booties

Fall in footwear love… 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

Spring Booties

Shop away… 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

Spring Booties

Because shoes are the shit… 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

Studded, zippered, perforated, buckled, fringed… Now, how do I pick a favorite?

Wedding Wednesday | Seven Bridal Gowns Under $700

Much like people, budgets come in all shapes and sizes — and my wedding budget is, in the grand scheme of weddings, small. But as we have discussed time and time again on this blog, budgets don’t limit style, they simply increase creativity! Step one is always to shop the sales, and David’s Bridal is having one you need to know about.

Now through March 3, David’s Bridal is taking $50 to $200 off tons of its bridal gowns — annnnddd, those who buy a dress in a store receive a free veil. F-R-E-E. Online shopping is convenient, but it can’t compete with a freebie. Add that veil to the aforementioned discount and it’s… it’s… double deal madness. Despite the opinions expressed on some very popular TV shows, fashion-forward bridal dresses can be affordable. Now that’s a word you don’t hear too often in reference to weddings.

The sale includes a variety of price points — including a few long options for less than $100! — but I’d say the under $700 is kind of the sweet spot. It’s a doable splurge without breaking the bank, and the finished pieces are worth well more than the cost. See some of my top picks from David’s Bridal below.

seven bridal gowns under 700 dollars

For the romantic… Has any gown ever looked so luxurious for less than $400? This dress is equal parts class, sass, and romance, and it would flatter so many body types.

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Strapless Satin A Line Gown with Ruched Bodice | Original price $499.00 | On sale for $349.99

For the princess… It’s a ball gown covered in beaded, flower-themed appliques. ‘Nuff said.

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Strapless Tulle Ball Gown with Beaded Appliques | Original price $849.00 | On sale for $699.99

For the girlie-girl… Sparkling details? Shows off your rockin’ curves? Topped with a bow? Check, check, check.

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Satin Mermaid Gown with Bow Detail | Original price $549.00 | On sale for $499.99

For the free spirit… For those who plan to dance under the stars, this dress is ideal for a rustic, outdoor wedding.

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Chiffon A Line Gown with Beaded Waist | Original price $599.00 | On sale for $449.99

For the retro gal… Flirty and fun, this dotted dress is perfect for the 1950s-loving gal. Don’t forget adorable shoes!

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Tea Length Dotted Organza Wedding Gown | Original price $399.00 | On sale for $299.99

For the accessory queen… This dress is simple and lovely and dying for some fun accessories. A perfectly-shaped, but understated, canvas means you can rock even the most sparkling of accessories (like this beautiful belt.)

WG3633_IVORY_CORE_WEB_1089_H_FRONT
Strapless Ball Gown with Lace Corset Bodice | Original price $749.00 | On sale for $699.00

For the beach goddess… C’mon, it even looks like waves.

WG3647_SWHITE_CORE_WEB_1787_H_FRONT
Strapless A-Line Chiffon Gown with Ruffle Skirt | Original price $749.00 | On sale for $599.99

Anyone else want them all?


For all things wedding, keep up with Wedding Wednesday at OhJuliaAnn.com!

Drinks, Delivered [Plus, The Raspberry Mai Tai]

I was invited by Drizly and the Midwest Influencer Network to try this service and review it for you. Spoiler alert: It’s awesome.


What defines a great weekend varies person to person. A friend of mine spends her free time hiking, while others like parties or shopping or shows. For me, a great weekend involves some serious relaxation — in loungewear, because bras and real pants have no place in my sanctuary.

Oh, and it involves delicious cocktails. Like this one.

RASPBERRY MAI TAI (2)

Let me paint the picture for you: I was exhausted and stressed. A long work week mixed with big life changes like planning a wedding and moving creates for one pathetically lazy Julia. Lance told me he was heading to a show, I knew it was bitterly cold outside, and I was already wearing stretch pants, so… no, I’ll stay home, thanks.

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Looking for comfy loungewear? Tank c/o Shirt Kong [LAST SEEN] | Leggings c/o Victoria’s Secret and Influenster [LAST SEEN/HERE] | Hairband c/o Twistband [SIMILAR]

I mean, look at those cozy layers. How could I possible leave? I was craving some serious girl time: manicure, Netflix, and a super-tropical cocktail, reminiscent of our last vacation.

Problem: We haven’t been very good about grocery shopping lately, so we didn’t have the ingredients. I had a bottle of coconut rum I was hoping to finish off, but literally nothing to mix it with… and coconut rum isn’t something I imagine anyone likes by itself. So, I grabbed my phone, downloaded the Drizly app [available for iPhones and Androids, also can be used online], and ordered a few tasty adult-style treats. Then, I plopped myself down in front of the TV and binged-watch Buffy, because its sweet 90’s outfits and catchphrases, combined with the glory that is Spike, creates a great way to unwind.

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For those who are lost, Drizly is an alcohol delivery service available to those of legal drinking age in ten major metropolitan markets. It has been available in other cities for some time and recently launched in St. Louis. For those of us in the Gateway City, Drizly delivers products from Randall’s Wines and Spirits; you pay the same as you would in stores for the products, and delivery costs merely $5 plus a tip for the driver. Delivery typically takes 20 to 40 minutes, and covers much of the area, including: Ballwin, Boulevard Heights, Brentwood, the Central West End, Clayton, Creve Coeur, Downtown St. Louis, Frontenac, Kirkwood, Ladue, Manchester, Maplewood, Olivette, Princeton Heights, Richmond Heights, Rock Hill, The Hill, Tower Grove, Town and Country, University City, and Webster Groves. Products can even be given as gifts.

My Drizly order arrived a wee bit more than an hour later — along with an apology for the Mardi Gras-induced delay — packaged in a large box. It takes me that long to get a pizza delivered many Fridays, so waiting around for alcohol was total cake. It’s alcohol they are bringing to my house.  Just remember to bring your ID and credit card with you to the door, and the box is yours.

Well, the box is now Yogurt’s, actually, but what was in the box is mine. Booze and a cat toy… is there a greater combination for solo girl’s night?

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Here’s what I loved most about Drizly: It’s not just wine, spirits, and beer — mixers are available, too. And as a cocktail lover, mixers make all the difference. It is literally digital access to a liquor store.  To create my perfect tropical cocktail, I ordered a bottle of Absolut Raspberri, Fee Brothers Orange Bitters, and Del Monte Pineapple Juice.

10 oz. pineapple juice1.5 oz. coconut

For two servings of the Raspberry Mai Tai (or, in my case, one jumbo last-all-night serving), pour 10 oz. pineapple juice into a cocktail shaker, along with 1.5 oz. coconut rum and 1.5 oz. raspberry vodka.

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Add a dash of orange bitters. Shake and serve over ice in two normal sized glasses or one gigantic glass.

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I wanted to stay glued to the couch, so a jumbo glass was my best bet. No refills required!

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That’s the face of pure pajamas-and-cocktails bliss.

But a night spent solo isn’t the only time delivered alcohol is unbelievably practical. Try it when a party runs longer than expected, on days you’re stuck at home waiting for the cable man, instances when you find out you’re having guests over right after work, those times you’d like to send flowers to someone who is too allergic for flowers, and occasions where you’re otherwise unable or unwilling to get in your car.

And for those of you in the St. Louis area, use code FreeSTL for one free delivery!

Cheers!


Thank you to Drizly and the Midwest Influencer Network for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own. This service really was that rad. Drink responsibly!