Fourth of July Mini Lookbook

Well now, isn’t this just a busy week? I figured I’d do a small lookbook to kind of introduce myself to that sort of thing- I’m still kind of finding out new things and trying to create a  steady stream of content on the post schedule I worked out (Monday and Thursday, for the curious). What better time to introduce a new avenue, than the Fourth of July? A time that practically begs for bright colors?

As it should definitely be evident by now, I’m very… budget. I like to find cute styles for very little. Partly due to financial constraints and partly due to my own frugality. My holiday fashions are no different, I aimed to get my outfits for no more than $10 or $15 and maintain that red, red and blue theme that is so recognized for this particular holiday. One or two times, I’ve gone over my self-imposed budget due to my need for footwear. But that’s a strike I’m willing to take.

The 2 days leading up to the fourth, I really tried to dress to the occasion. I had fun trying to make it as business-casual as I could, since the outfits started out as not-work-appropriate, and more suited to a day wandering around town. I want to say I did fairly well, since I didn’t get reprimanded. 

The first ensemble I sported was a simple red tee and a jean skirt, with some stylish turquoise accessories, that cost me 8 dollars total. This entire outfit was maybe 40 dollars, altogether, including the boots. I was informed by a coworker that the shirt came across as more orange-y, but I guess that’s okay, because it still got my point across. This entire outfit came from clothes mentor, here in Columbus. I may or may not have a somewhat unhealthy fixation with this place.

 

My second style choice was a more subdued look. I went with a pair of trusty blue jeans and a red-brown blouse, paired with a white undershirt. I kept with my turquoise jewelry, of course. When I got to work I was relieved when I saw that other people had the same idea and dressed more casually for our early taste of the weekend. Sadly, I couldn’t pair this with my signature converse, since tennis shoes and sneakers are generally frowned upon in a business casual environment. I feel like a nice pair of boots can dress up (almost) any outfit, so there’s that!

 

The day finally came! The fourth of July, a day known for gratuitous loud noises and delicious food. We were all primed to have guests over, but sadly… no one could make it. More food for us, I suppose. You can check the post where I shared the Very American Frappe I was trying to formulate for a little more on that! I selected a bright and decidedly not work-appropriate style for the (not so) big day!

Really want to preface this reveal with how excited I was about this outfit- we didn’t get to go to any events, which honestly bummed me out, but it was hard to be upset with this stunningly bright red (tube?) top. I was so in love with it, and definitely need to give props to Platos Closet for having just what I needed. You might recognize the crochet vest from my hippy ensemble, I thought it added a little something, to the also pre-posted light blue, lace embellished shorts.

Post-Fourth of July…

 

With that last bright outfit, my style went back to it’s regular subdued work attire. I do want to share this last outfit of the fourth of July week because I was just so hype.

The peplum style is one that speaks to my heart- since I learned what it was years ago, I fell in love. It’s so classy, charming and simple. Absolutely timeless. This last style didn’t quite get the picture it deserved, but I’ll keep trying and hopefully get one that I can share. Until then, however, this picture shows the simplicity of the style.

The week of the Fourth of July was a lot of fun for me to play with colors, and if it’s not obvious- that was a bit out of my comfort zone. Reds and whites are especially not a fixture in my wardrobe. But this week showed me one thing: maybe they should be. 

What did you sport for the Fourth? Feel free to comment or tag your Fourth of July ensembles, I’d love to see them!

 

Fourth of July Coffee Chaos!

 Hey guys, welcome to a very special and timely Fourth of July post! Over the past week or so, I’ve been posting to Instagram a few different tries at a Fourth of July Frappe. Not going to lie, it didn’t come out as intended. I had loads of fun trying to figure out how to get my layers right, and balancing the coffee flavor in with a recipe I found. The initial recipe didn’t include coffee, but I was determined. I took it a step further and made espresso with my handy dandy espresso machine. 

I want to let you guys in on my initial idea. I found the recipe here, and as you can see it doesn’t require coffee. My plan was similar to this recipe, but to add coffee and food coloring. I wanted, initially Raspberry flavored red whipped cream and blue and white coffee. I ended up scrapping the red flavored topping in favor of sprinkles and using red and blue in the mixture.

This first attempt didn’t have coffee and so was perfectly white aside from the funfetti. I sort of liked it, but couldn’t commit because, in my head, can I really call it coffee if it doesn’t have coffee in it? I had tried to get the red and blue in the whipped cream, but wasn’t sure how to go about it. It was a mess. A delicious mess. My fourth of July preparations could definitely have started a little better.

This second attempt went a little better, I added about 6 ounces of coffee to it which was enough to throw off the color. Dang. So I decided to get the blue and red from the beverage itself and rely on the cream for white. I split the mixture and dyed it separately, I poured the blue on the bottom. I really wanted the red to touch the whipped cream, but of course, it couldn’t cooperate. The red went beneath the blue and made this neat tie-die effect. 

This third one, was when I recruited outside help and brought my Fiance` in to see if we could work some magic. Spoiler: We couldn’t. I think the issue here started when I blended the ice too finely and messed up the texture. We may have spent a while trying to get the blue and red to different densities with cream and sugar. We poured the blue on the bottom, as it was meant to be the heaviest (and sweetest!). We started pouring in the red at an angle, and it made a cool side-by-side effect. It was supposed to be on top but, I believed it was salvageable. I feel like the downfall here was that we waited entirely too long, and spent too long trying to add sugar and cream, while the ice was already so fine. 

 

This fourth one was the attempt of my Fiance` on his own. He did much differently than I did, and went with just a latte sort of drink. I didn’t monitor him as he made this, because I wasn’t fully aware of what he was doing. He did tell me that he stuck the blue in the freezer alone for a while, just to make sure it stayed where it belonged. Here’s the photo of his valiant attempt, along with an all-american dinner (or part of it!) and a 4th of July Instagram Staple.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to get this frappe to do what I wanted it to for over 2 weeks, and had these previous pictures as my results. Kind of disappointed in my own inability to get ice to bend to my will, but not too upset. It was a learning experience and I look forward to learning and creating my own drinks. 

As mentioned, here’s the recipe for the first two attempts!

Fourth of July Frappe Recipe

6 to 8 oz of milk

1 tbsp of vanilla non-dairy creamer

1 or 2 tablespoons of vanilla syrup

3 tbsp of funfetti cake mix (dry)

1.5 cups of ice

6 to 8 oz of coffee (espresso if you’re feeling brave)

 

Throw all of the ingredients above in the blender, I haven’t found that the order matters. After a few seconds of blending (barista’s choice!) pour it into your cup. If you want to dye your drink more than one color, separate the mixture into different cups and dye it, then combine it at the end.

Add whipped cream to the top, if desired and any other aesthetic touches. Then you’re good to go!

The Domestic Rebel’s recipe calls for a handful of ice, I recommend 1.5 cups if you want more of a Venti size drink. I’ll be trying to revisit this drink next year with fresh eyes and experience.

Keep an eye out for future m̶i̶s̶h̶a̶p̶s̶  experiments. I hope to explore making home coffees a bit more and gain valuable experience for my future reviews.