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Summer Vibes with Metisu

Tomorrow, I leave for the trip of a lifetime! Kristian, myself, and my dad are flying out to Banff National Park in Canada and I simply can’t wait.

Before I leave, I wanted to share this beautiful sundress from Metisu with you all. I am loving red this summer, so I was excited to receive this lightweight, flowy red dress. I paired it with sandals and a sunhat, because I really didn’t think it needed much more! Dresses like this one are great for looking effortless and pretty.

If you added heels, this dress would be perfect for a summer wedding. I love things that can be dressed up and dressed down. Much more bang for your buck!

I shot this dress with my lovely friend Elisabeth Eden, who you should definitely check out… She is kind of a photo genius.

Check out my red sundress below:

Dress: Metisu | Photos: Elisabeth Eden

Happy trails to you,
Maria Helen

So you want to order a suit from Zaful?

I’ve been asked many times if I’ve ever ordered a swimsuit from Zaful… & because I love my followers, I took the risk and ordered one.

If you haven’t checked out Zaful yet, here’s the bottom line: they have really cute swimsuits and they’re really cheap. So cheap that you wonder if you’re going to get a picture of a swimsuit in the mail instead of an actual swimsuit.

I ordered a one-piece swimsuit from this site for around $14. I knew it was coming from China and I didn’t want to wait forever, so I paid for the express shipping. It arrived in just under a week, which I was impressed by!

I ordered a suit for the fourth of July, and I found this Taylor-Swift-4th-of-July-2016-Knockoff. Taylor’s suit was just under $200, so I was interested to try this cheap alternative. Here’s the website photos of the suit I ordered:

After reading the size chart, I decided to go with a size medium. When you order from these Chinese websites, 90% of the time you will need to size up! I would typically be a small in suits from American websites, but the medium was the perfect size for me from Zaful.

When I received the swimsuit, I was pleased to see that it was fully lined! Um, hell yes! The material was thick and didn’t feel like it would be see-through once it got wet. Next was the moment of truth: the try-on session.

Not bad! It fit, it’s comfy, and it’s as good as it gets for $14! Fourth of July- here I come.

Would I order from Zaful again? Absolutely! Here’s what you should take away from this blog post if you order from Zaful:

  • For trendy suits (or ones that you’ll only wear a few times like mine), it’s worth it to save your money and buy a suit of lesser quality!
  • SIZE UP!
  • I would recommend the express shipping so that you’re not waiting weeks for your suit!

Zaful definitely offers a huge selection of trendy suits for a very affordable prize! If you do it right, you can hit the jack pot with cute suits this summer without breaking the bank.

Happy trails to you,
Maria Helen

Easy Breezy

Once again, I partnered with GG Boutique to show you all yet another adorable summer look! This look is centered on the lightest, easiest summer dress out there. It’s a linen material, so it’s super casual and comfy. I paired this dress with a hat and pair of sandals, and that’s really all that’s necessary! With a patterned dress like this, it’s best to wear minimal accessories and let the dress do the talking!

See my GG Boutique sundress below: SummerDresses-2SummerDresses-4SummerDresses-6SummerDresses-8SummerDresses-10SummerDresses-12

Dress: GG Boutique | Hat: Target

Happy trails to you,
Maria Helen

Operation Pink Front Door

Okay so- I always call this is a “fashion and lifestyle” blog but let’s be real, it’s mostly fashion. Today, however, I am sharing part of my lifestyle: my pink door lifestyle.

Currently, I am living with my parents to save money during my senior year of college. I have always hated our maroon front door and thought it was a huge eyesore, while the rest of our lawn and landscaping looks beautiful! So, I asked my dad if I could do a little home renovation for him. It was time to freshen things up.

When I said the words “paint the front door pink” he really didn’t have the “hell no” look on his face like I thought he would. I showed him my inspiration photos, and he told me to go for it! This goes to prove one of my previous points: my dad isn’t a regular dad, he’s a cool dad.

Alright, so let’s get into it. Here’s what our door looked like before:

I blanked and forgot to get a “before” photo before my dad took the fixtures off, but you get the point. Maroon with shiny brass fixtures… The late 90’s were calling and they wanted our door back.

So, I went to Lowe’s and bought a brand new can of Sherwin Williams exterior paint. The total cost of the paint, roller, and paint brush was only $32, which is quite inexpensive given what a change it would make to our curb appeal! I didn’t use primer, as the employee didn’t think I’d need it. However, it took five coats to completely cover up the dark maroon with the light, airy pink so in hindsight, I probably would’ve used a primer. Lastly, we got a new door handle with a matte silvery finish to compliment the new paint color.

…and here’s the finished product:

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Here’s a side-by-side of the before and after:

I LOVE IT! Any questions about my process? Just let me know! The color I used is “Rachel Pink” from Sherwin Williams, which I would highly recommend. I gotta say- I’m excited to tell people that my house is the “house with the pink door” when I give them directions!

Well, that’s all for today folks!

Happy trails to you,
Maria Helen

TJ Maxx Takeover Recap

Did you miss my TJ Maxx Instagram story takeover? Well, no worries! I’m here to recap my Maxx 50 challenge.

Basically, TJ Maxx gave me a $50 gift card and I had to pick a theme to shop for. Because I have a party happening at my lake soon, I chose a “lake weekend” theme! With the gift card, I had to find as many cute and useful items as possible for under $50. Which sounds hard, but TJ Maxx’s killer deals make it doable!

For $49.40 at TJ Maxx I was able to purchase the following: img_0073.jpg

  • A flowy gingham tank top for the boat ($9.99)
  • A gray side-tie top for lounging ($12.99
  • A “weekend survival kit” makeup bag for my lake essentials ($5.99)
  • Vitamin C Serum to freshen and hydrate my skin ($6.99)
  • A beach stainless steel water bottle to keep my drinks ice cold ($9.99)

After my Instagram story takeover, I was even able to snap a few shots in one of my new items! Meet one of my new besties, aka this gingham tank:

I had SO much fun doing the TJ Maxx 50 challenge and I appreciate this opportunity so much! Yay for killer deals and shopping days!

Happy trails to you,
Maria Helen

Off-the-Shoulder Sunshine

This dress from GG Boutique could very well be one of my absolute favorite summer dresses! I’ve been really into yellow lately and this dress is all of my yellow sundress dreams come true. GG Boutique is a lovely little shop in Fort Collins, Colorado. I go there a few times every year to visit family, and this is one of those shops that I simply have to stop at when I’m in town! They have such cute items, including my lovely sundress. Check it out here:

Dress: GG Boutique | Shoes: GoJane

Happy trails to you,
Maria Helen

Portland Travel Guide

Out of all the places I’ve been, Portland is definitely my favorite. It is such a charming city! It’s filled with blooming flowers, charming buildings, and is surrounded by the most beautiful scenery and nature. I’ve traveled there a few times, and I have narrowed down my top 5 experiences to do in and around Portland, Oregon!

#1: Forest Park + Rose Garden
Forest Park is such an interesting park. One moment you’re walking through the bustling city, but then all of a sudden you’re in a serene, beautiful forest feeling as though the city is miles away. It is just so lovely. Within the park, I would highly recommend visiting the rose gardens. Is it even a trip to the City of Roses without it?

#2: Ecola State Park
If you take a trip to the Oregon coast (which you basically have to), go to Ecola State Park.    It’s a very short drive from Cannon Beach, but in my opinion, it is much better. While Cannon Beach is iconic and beautiful, it is always packed with people. When we visited Ecola State Park, however, it was quiet and we were nearly alone while taking in the gorgeous scenery. Seriously, this was the most beautiful view I’ve ever seen of the ocean. Check out our photos from Ecola State Park to see for yourself…

#3: Salt & Straw
DON’T LISTEN TO THE LOCALS WHEN THEY SAY IT’S NOT WORTH THE LINE. THEY’RE WRONG. Sure, it’s touristy- but for good reason! Salt & Straw is an iconic ice cream shop that has locations in Portland, LA, and San Fransisco. The employees at Salt & Straw do a really great job at making a trip to the ice cream shop into an experience. You can try as many flavors as you’d like, and they’re all so very unique! This is an indication of how much I like their ice cream: I’ve been to Portland twice but I’ve eaten Salt & Straw ice cream six times… You do the math. IMG_1096.JPG

#4: Salmonberry River Trail
Coolest. Hike. Ever. The Salmonberry River Trail hike is on an abandoned railroad track that was washed out by a flood in 2007. Nowadays, the tracks are broken and trains are unable to drive on them, but hikers hike along the tracks into the Oregon forest. The hike is ridden with broken tracks, amazing bridges, beautiful forest, and some interesting wildlife. During the day we went there, we hiked along the track while it drizzled rain and it was basically all of my PNW dreams come true.

Salmonberry River Trail is a little difficult to find, which is actually kind of nice because we only saw one other couple while walking this trail! There is NO cellphone service on the trail, so GPS will not help you get there. I suggest buying this book which will give you very precise directions to the trail from Portland.

#5: Hawthorne Neighborhood
The Hawthorne Neighborhood is only a short distance from downtown Portland, and you can get there quickly by just walking over the Hawthorne Bridge. Once you’re there, I can name a few fun things to do! First of all, the neighborhoods are beautiful. Ladds Addition is a gorgeous neighborhood with old, charming homes that I could walk through for hours. Also, there are tons of fun vintage shops, farmers markets, and crazy little stores that you should peak your head into! At one of the markets, I picked up cucumber soda which was odd but very refreshing. For the foodies, the Hawthorne Neighbhorhood is where the famous Portland food trucks are located! Most people say that the food trucks are a must when visiting Portland, and I’d have to agree. However, I ate at a restaurant last time I was in the Hawthorne Neighborhood and it was AMAZING. I would highly suggest Blackbird Pizza because- DANG, they had some good eats.

That’s all for today, folks! If you have any questions about Portland travel, please feel free to reach out! Also, if you go on a trip to the city- I’d love to see your photos and hear about your experience. The City of Roses is one magical place!

Happy trails to you,
Maria Helen