Dresses for Summer Weddings – Under $60

Welp, there goes the long weekend. Hope you made the most of it cause we’re not getting another day off work until September. It’s gonna be a lonnng two months. But it now being July, it seems that wedding season is in full swing. Luckily for my wallet, we only have two to attend this year, one the end of this month! But something tells me next year will be full of ’em, I’ve already got three lined up and we’ve still got six months left for people to get engaged! But the problem with so many weddings is no one wants to be seen in pictures wearing the same dress twice. Especially the guys. #worst

But seriously, it’s an issue. So what’s a girl to do? Be wedding web savvy! There are always beautiful dresses to be found that won’t necessarily break the bank, it’s just a matter of finding them. So today I’m sharing some of my favorite dresses for summer weddings, and they’re all under $60. Since we’re almost into mid July I thought it best to stick with sleeveless silhouettes. So if you’re on the hunt for some pretty dresses to look classy at the ceremony but then let loose at the reception, look no further. These dresses are classy enough to go from church to open bar!

Dresses for Summer Weddings - Under $60

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Where do you find your dresses for summer weddings? Do you think it’s a big deal if you’re seen wearing the same dress to two in the same season or am I making it a bigger issue than it is? Let me know so I can save some doll hairs! But then again, buying new dresses is always fun regardless! Plus a lot of these would be perfect for the ladies’ bachelorette party too!

L

4th of July Sales!

4th of July Sales

Happy 4th of July everyone! I love this holiday because it involves warm weather, being outside with friends, day drinking (which means going to bed early, holla), good food and fireworks! Last year Max and I spent the day with friends and then I drunkenly ordered a pizza to my apartment so we had to make a quick exit once I realized my mistake. But was it REALLY a mistake? Then after putting ourselves in a Lou’s pizza coma we forced our asses off the couch and walked over near the zoo to watch the fireworks.

I’m hoping that today goes something like that. I think the plan is to day drink at Zella because, bottomless mimosas! One of my best friends is in town from Kansas City too so we’ll definitely be spending a good chunk of the weekend with him since we only see him on holiday weekends. Ugh, growing up sucks. Mainly because of the hangovers (which I imagine I’ll have tomorrow), but also the whole friends moving away thing. Not cool.

Anyway, there are a bunch of great 4th of july sales happening for the holiday weekend, if you’re not too drunk, check ’em out!

Jcrew // extra 40% off sale items instore and online with code SHOPMORE

Jcrew Factory // extra 40% off clearance with code SALE40, plus FREE SHIPPING and 40-60% off everything!

Gap // 25% off online with code TREAT

LOFT // 60% off select new styles + an extra 60% off sale styles

Anthropologie // extra 20% off sale items online with code BUZZ20 (lot of great stuff!)

Express // 50% off women’s shorts, tanks and tees + an additional 50% off clearance + $20 off $60, $40 off $120 or $80 off $240 with code 9238

Bauble Bar // $10 off $30+ with code JULYRS

ASOS // 20% off full price items with code PARTYINTHEUSA + huge sale section up to 50% off

Nordstrom Rack // extra 25% off clearance items

Old Navy // Hate these but, up to 50% off the entire store

Happy shopping to you and happy birthday America, old age looks good on ya!

L

Green Street Smoked Meats – a BBQ review

Green Street Smoked Meats | champagneandchambray.com

Friends. I have news. Big news. I’ve finally found the only real rival to Smoque when it comes to BBQ spots in Chicago. And its name is Green Street Smoked Meats over in the West Loop. Last Friday for Max’s birthday, he decided to trade the typical sort of fancy sit down situation for some meat. A lot of meat. He’s a growing boy after all, ripe age of 27 and everything. So away we went. We ordered up an UberX (which are 25% cheaper now, hallelujah, only $8.50 from Lakeview to the West Loop!) and we were on our way. Note, that this place is on Green St. right off Randolph (112 N Green St), but it’s tucked away in an alley, you’ll see it because there’s an awesome mural depicting the name.

Green Street Smoked Meats | champagneandchambray.com

Once we arrived, Max immediately noticed the Donut Vault truck out front and took it upon himself to buy one and eat it before we even got in line. (I approved of this not only because it was his birthday, but because life is short, who knows what could happen between bites, eat your dessert first.) But, unfortunately, yes, there will be a line. It will likely be out the door. And then once inside, it will wrap all the way around the interior. So be prepared to wait awhile (I think we waited for about an hour and 20 minutes?), but DO NOT under any circumstances, let it scare you away from coming. It’s SO worth it. We passed the time by playing Dice with Friends on our phones and whispering profanities at eachother when the other one got a Yahtzee or a bad roll, because that’s the kind of people we are. Judge freely.

Donut Vault | champagneandchambray.com

 

Green Street Smoked Meats | champagneandchambray.com

The wait also isn’t as bad because there’s a full bar right in the middle of the restaurant with signature cocktails, from what I understand a superb whiskey offering, and 16 beers on tap, a lot of which are local crafts. They also have old fashion beer sinks with Lone Star waiting for you on ice. I was drinking Lone Star when the Blackhawks won the cup last year, so whenever I see it, it makes me giddy. We did a birthday shot of  whiskey whose name is escaping me, but that the bartender claimed was one of his favorites. I’ll preface this with, I do not take whiskey shots. They make me gag and drool and borderline cry for like five full minutes after and basically just make me miserable. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy whiskey, just not in shot form. But this one honestly was not bad at all, sorry for sucking and not remembering the name, womp womp.

Greet Street Smoked Meats | champagneandchambray.com

 

Greet Street Smoked Meats | champagneandchambray.com

Greet Street Smoked Meats | champagneandchambray.com

Once we finally made it up to the counter, we ordered up the goods. Max opted for pork ribs, brisket and a Frito pie. Said Frito pie is literally a bag of Frito’s (um, gross, no thank you) covered in a brisket chili, jalapenos, beans, and cheese (but yes please to this). I ordered a pulled pork sandwich because, uh, bread, duh. This came with coleslaw on top so we ordered a side of potato salad and the spicy pickles as, what I’m going to refer to as, our “meat add-ons”. All of that came out to around $50, so not too bad for two people.

From there, you are able to find a spot at a communal picnic table either inside or outside. It was gorgeous out so of course there were no free spots outside under all the twinkle lights, but we managed to snag a table next to the huge open barn doors right inside. The decor in here is pretty minimal, with a kind of rustic, old warehouse feel. And string lights galore! I was really digging it because, I mean, who doesn’t love lights like that? This place is honestly an Instgrammers dream. I was in heaven. I don’t think I talked to Max for good 30 second increments the whole time we stood in line because I was busy taking pictures! I’m a terrible girlfiend, this has been noted.

Greet Street Smoked Meats | champagneandchambray.com

But ok, the food. My pulled pork sandwich was so on point. The coleslaw on top was exactly how I like it, crunchy and NOT creamy. Made with vinegar instead of mayo, it was the perfect consistency for me and I gobbled it up. The pork itself was cooked almost to perfection, and when I added on one of the sauces, took it to another level. They did only have three sauces to choose from, which was a bit weak if you ask me. Having had Tennessee BBQ a few times, I’m used to more options than this, even around Chicago you tend to find a couple more recipes to try. But the meat made up for it. Max’s brisket was beyond. I’m ending the sentence because it was really just beyond everything. Soooooo incredibly tender and the rub, ohemgee. I swear I tasted some coffee in it, but Max wasn’t sure. So if you’ve had it before, let me know if you agree. The frito pie was only okay according to M, but the ribs were “fall off the bone” tender. The pickles seemed me like Ross Geller, yeah, you added to the group as a whole, but I wouldn’t miss you if you were gone. But the potato salad, just get the potato salad. Joey would get the potato salad. (If you don’t watch Friends, I’m sorry. But also, what?)

Greet Street Smoked Meats | champagneandchambray.com

Greet Street Smoked Meats | champagneandchambray.com

Greet Street Smoked Meats | champagneandchambray.com

Greet Street Smoked Meats | champagneandchambray.com

All in all, it was a perfect birthday experience. The ambiance was good, but the food was even better. When I return I will 1000% be getting the brisket for myself. Perhaps a 1/2 lb to take home with me? Whoops, who said that? I would have obviously preferred a few more sauce options and a shorter wait, but what can you expect when the food is killer and it’s a Friday night in the West Loop?

Have you eaten at Green Street Smoked Meats yet? What’d you think? We will clearly be making this place a regular on our list of regulars (which weirdly just keeps growing) just maybe on a Tuesday or Wednesday when one of the guys slicing our meat told us it tends to be a bit less crowded. Oh, well lookie there, today happens to be Wednesday…and isn’t BBQ like as American as you can get? Good thing it’s America’s birthday on Friday!

L

4TH OF JULY FASHION, FAST

DRESSING FOR THE FOURTH | CHAMPAGNEANDCHAMBRAY.COM

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

You guys, it’s July! We’re over halfway through the year, already, really snuck up on us. Well, me at least. But that means that the 4th of July is right around the corner, Friday if we’re getting technical, which I guess we are! My plans are lookin’ pretty relaxed, a kind of a play-it-by-ear situation happening.

But what I do know is that I will be wearing red, white and blue all weekend long! I’m one of those people that like to really go all out fashion-wise on holidays, sorry I’m not sorry. Now I know what you’re thinking, ugh but the fourth is in three days, I’m not paying for that expedited shipping! Welp, me either people. I try to avoid paying for shipping at all costs. I think I’ve only ever paid for expedited shipping once. And it was because I tried on my bridesmaid dress two days before the wedding I was supposed to be wearing it in and realized it did. not. fit. #mylifesajoke So I did what any sane (but actually have a panic attack) person would do, overnighted a new dress. I said a silent prayer to the JCrew and UPS gods for not screwing up that shipment! Moral of the story here is, don’t order a dress a size down in hopes you will lose the weight.

Ok so back to the point. You need some super cute ‘murica apparel for the weekend, and all of these puppies are available IN STORE. Yep, you can go pick em up this week. Unless it’s sold out, then it’s out of my hands and I take no responsibility! I apologize if you don’t have a JCrew Factory nearby, but those shorts are cute so you should probably just order them online anyway!  And bonus points, if the USA wins today against Belgium, you can keep wearing your outfits while cheering on America in the quarterfinals! I’m talking about the World Cup if that wasn’t clear. I believe!

Oh ps, I realize that it’s the first of the month so this should technically be a post about my goals. But, I’ve come to find that these are pointless since I’m a complete failure at almost all of them, so I think I’ll just keep them to myself from now on and come up with a new segment for the first of the month, stayed tuned in 31 days.

L