Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Creating Your Perfect Game Day Outfit

As you may have noticed in some of my Instagrams and paintings, I am a huge sports fan. In fact, my major at The University of Texas at Austin is actually Sport Management. So as you can imagine, I LOVE October.  With the MLB Postseason, professional football, AND college football in full swing, there is so much to do and having the right thing to wear makes it even more fun. After four years of burnt orange game days (a beautiful color, yet so hard to find at times) I've definitely had my fair share of practice figuring out my go-to game day ensemble. 

royalty starts at a young age

My mom and I have been watching all of the Kansas City Royals games this MLB Postseason because one of her best friends' husband was drafted by the Royals when she was in college, so this Postseason, I'm a Royals fan (sorry, Astros! I still love you I swear!) When I spotted this Kansas City Royals baseball cap online during one of the MLB Postseason games, I couldn’t resist adding it to my MLB game day ensemble. Attention ladies, this is a style staple every baseball fan (girl or guy) needs: a baseball cap from Fanatics. If you don't have one, head over to their website and do a little midweek retail therapy. I highly recommend it! You can typically find me rocking my Fanatic's Houston Astros Hat on my way to class or honestly any day of the week.

Shop the Fanatics website and buy your favorite team's baseball hat here!

My Game Day Ensemble: 

Kansas City Royals Game Day Outfit

The Hat: So as I was saying, one of my latest and greatest finds is the new trend of baseball hats mixed into fall style. As I said before, I wear my hats all the time, so I guess I'm a trend setter now. I love the sea of cobalt blue in the crowd at all of the Royals playoff games, so I chose this  Kansas City Royals '47 Brand Franchise Fitted Hat – Blue for my take on a Royals game day look. Sidenote: I also L O V E D the vintage looking cap, too. Something to consider when you're choosing your hat is if planning on wearing your hair up, be sure to look into an adjustable cap rather than a fitted one. That way you can style your perfect pony or braid (my go-to hairstyle) to work with it!

 Here's a look at two different fits to show you the difference: 


You can get your hat for your favorite team here: http://www.fanatics.com/MLB_Hats

The Outfit + Accessories: Most would probably go for a jeans, flowy top, and riding boots combo in fall, but here in Austin, Texas, blue jean weather doesn't really come until Thanksgiving (if even!) While I do love a good pair of jeans, I'm a dress and boots gal at heart, so I picked this MANGO Skater Dress for my game day look. I chose this dress because of its versatility; it can be dressed up with a pair of white Kendra Scott "Danielle" earrings, a beaded Blue Mix Chan Luu leather wrap bracelet, and TOMS Chestnut Suede Desert Wedge Booties or more casually with a denim jacket - there's that Texas girl style peeking through.  (Spoiler alert: this dress is also backless, so you can ditch the jacket if you're wanting a flirty look. #flawless) Rumor has it that it's a little colder up in KC than it is in ATX, so I added a textured chevron scarf from Echo for warmth on those crisp October nights.  Last but definitely not least is the bag; you have to put the money you bring for hotdogs somewhere! I'm a big fan of the Tory Burch Marion Shrunken Shoulder Bag, and I especially love that rich caramel colored leather.  It's beautiful and the perfect size for going out - whether you're headed to the big game or to a watching party with your friends. Add all of these together and don't forget to add your perfect new fall-inspired closet staple to complete your royal game day ensemble, the baseball cap. Go Royals!

[don't forget to shop the look on Polyvore || links below:]

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

How To Paint a Cooler: Q&A Tips & Tricks

Hey y'all!

With the Texas/OU Red River Showdown this weekend, I thought it would be a good idea to answer some of the questions people ask me when they are buying a cooler or trying to paint one themselves.  I learned most of these on "The Cooler Connection" Facebook group, and they were game changers for my coolers. 

 Something most people don't know about Texas is that although we are a southern state, we are not typically grouped into the whole "The South" thing. Our style reflects this not only in what we wear or how we do game days, but also in the way we paint coolers here at the University of Texas. I know I'm not speaking for everyone, but for the most part it's true. Don't get me wrong - I absolutely ADORE the coolers I see from girls that go to schools in the SEC, but we just seem to do things a little differently in the Lone Star State. While their coolers typically have designs like Vineyard Vines logos and Lilly Pulitzer patterns, ours focus more on the Texas flag, our longhorn logo, our fight song, Friday Night Lights references, the tower, more Bevo, and lots of burnt orange. I think this is probably because Texas/OU weekend is really the only time we paint coolers here at UT. Nevertheless,  I am always amazed by the coolers done by girls on The Cooler Connection. It's a great place to see ideas for more detailed coolers! In case this is your first time stumbling across my blog, here are some examples of coolers I have done for Texas/OU weekend: 

What kind of cooler should I buy?
There isn't one specific cooler that is better than the others in my opinion, but for TX/OU weekend I definitely recommend buying a cooler that has rollers. You don't want to be lugging it around if you're going to take it with you! Coolers are all different shapes and sizes, and sometimes the one you want will be sold out in stores. It happens. If that does happen, don't fret! Your date will never even know. Last year the most common cooler people bought was the Igloo Ice Cube 60 qt Roller, available online here, but it changes every year. 

The most important tip to remember is coolers with flatter surfaces and less texture require less prep time.  Also, when you're painting, be sure to think about handles and wheels. They may be handy when you use it, but they can definitely get in the way when you paint. 

How do I get the paint to stay on?
Sand it. Wash it (just with a wet paper towel to clena it up). Prime it. Paint it. Seal it. Seal it again. 

If you have enough time, sanding your cooler really does make a big impact in getting the paint to stay and not chip. I recommend using heavy grit first to get the finish off and fine grit to smoothen out the surface. You don't want scratches all over the surface. It's not cute! I know from experience. If you're a real go-getter, go for the power sander, available at Home Depot. That's a tip from The Cooler Connection - they know their stuff, y'all! 

As far as primer goes, I use white primer from Krylon. It's awesome! It really helps increase the adhesion of the paint. They even have tips and some answers to questions about primer on their website

TIP: If you use painters tape it will sometimes still peel primer off. To prevent this, heat the tape with a blowdryer before peeling off of cooler! OR use Frog Tape for delicate surfaces. It gives you super clean lines!

An important note about priming - when you prime, be sure to cover your wheels and handles or any edges you do not want to be primed. I usually tape them off and cover the areas in trash bags. It's random, but it works!

What kind of paint do you use? 
I always use acrylic paint. You can find it at any Michael's or Hobby Lobby or any craft store like that. Right now I have a lot of Craft Smart and Americana because they have shades of orange that are very similar to our burnt orange.

TIP: If you're looking for a burnt orange color, I love "Persimmon" from Americana. 

Do you use paint pens?
Yes! But not for everything. Paint pens are great, but only using paint pens can slow you down. I love using them for detail and for lettering. My favorite brand of paint pens has to be Sharpie, but only the oil based ones. They have so many different colors, and their metallic paint pens come out beautifully. When you're using these, be sure not to press too hard on your cooler because you may scratch off your base layer of paint. Yikes!

What do I use to seal my coolers?
The Cooler Connection girls swear by MinWax, and after trying it out myself, I am a huge supporter, too. In the past I did layers of ModPodge with every coat of paint and then Krylon spray sealer to finish it off, but adding MinWax to my sealing process was key. It really does a tremendous job!

Something to note -  I prefer matte sealers because the glossy ones can be too sticky in my opinion, and in this Texas heat sticky is probably not what you need! If you still want that glossy finish, I have also used Triple Thick as sealer after ModPodge, too, and it is great for a glossy look. 

As a final note, don't forget to allow time for your cooler to dry and set for around 24 hours after you seal it. That'll help the sealer protect all of your hard work! 

I hope this was helpful! Good luck on your coolers girls! I'm sure your dates will love them.