Chic Shops: Leopard Print Ballet Flats

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I’ve been shopping around for several things to update my wardrobe. I’ve been in a bit of a drought the last couple years, so now that I’m buying again, I’m stocking up on staples while still trying to incorporate a few new, trendier items to keep my wardrobe fresh.

One of the trends that I’m drooling over right now is the trend of leopard print. I love it all: skirts, pumps, belts, scarves – you name it, I want it. But, I’m trying to make a couple strategic purchases rather than filling a closet full of cat-themed clothes and accessories. And let’s face it, there are certainly enough options out there to fill more than a closet (even if you’re Cher).

Here are some of my favorite leopard print flats (most I’ve tried on, too!):

Target actually has a cute option. I’d link to them but the Missoni launch today crashed target.com, so you’ll just have to check later, or visit your local store. I actually thought they were pretty and comfy. Plus, they were suuuper affordable.

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Aldo – Warnack – $70 – I tried these on and found the sides to be a bit stiff. I really like the overall style – the ballet shape and the tiny bow. I’m looking for a pair I can wear all day long, so this one didn’t make the cut for me.

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Banana Republic – Anna rouched ballet flat – $89 – Online reviews claim these shoes are more comfortable than Tory Burch Revas. I don’t have any Revas, nor did I buy these shoes, so I can’t vouch for those reviews. The reviews also claimed that these flats are extremely narrow. Now, I didn’t buy the shoes, but I did try them on. The reason I didn’t get them? They are narrow! I’ve seen BR do 30% off sales on shoes several times over the last couple weeks, so look for the sale!

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Banana has another flat option – the Denise bow ballet flat – $68.50 (down from $98) – I tried these on briefly. They were pretty comfy, but I didn’t like the bow as much or that weird line going around the top opening of the shoe. These could prove to be a good option.

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Ivanka Trump – Magnolis – $130 (available on zappos.com and nordstrom.com) – I went to Nordstrom a couple weeks ago eagerly expecting to fall in love with these shoes. Based on extensive internet research, these seemed like the best investment with great online reviews. Unfortunately, Nordstrom didn’t have these in stock for me to try on. I may order them from Zappos in 2 sizes and see which fits and if I like the fit in person. But, in the meantime, I’m hoping to stumble upon these shoes somewhere like Belk or Macys where I may be able to use a coupon. I love a discount.

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And in the event you are a Tory Burch fan, they have leopard print flats, too! They did theirs in shiny material (I’m seeing this shiny look in a lot of leopard print options for some reason, but it’s not my fave) – Eddie Ballerina Flats – $178.

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Prefer designer? Then check out these uber fancy Leopard-Printed Suede Ballerina Flats by Manolo Blahnik – $645. I didn’t really research these since they’re well outside of my budget, but MB has a reputation of great shoes, so these are most likely awesome.

Reader question: Have you found some cute leopard ballet flats? Where are they and who makes them?

Note: photos in this post belong to respective web sites linked

End of Summer Chilled Cucumber Tomato Soup

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Well folks, we have about one week of summer officially left in the year. Are you ready for it to be over? I guess I am, but I’m still celebrating the last week of summer with some favorites – flirty skirts & flip flops and of course eats.

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Not sure what to do with the last of your tomatoes? Why not try this End of Summer Chilled Cucumber-Tomato Soup?

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I used Green Zebra and Sweet 100 tomatoes from my garden, along with this cucumber that we got from I forgot where – my mom? A co-worker? Who knows. But I had it.

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Since it was a traditional cucumber, I peeled it…

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…and seeded it.

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And these Green Zebras are really fun to work with – check out the bizarre green color! If you don’t have these, don’t worry, other tomatoes will work. See recipe notes for tips.

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Anywho, this has to be one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever made. You basically just put all the ingredients (save for the cherry tomatoes) into a blender, blend…

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…chill…stir in some extra flavors and…

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Voila! Lunch is served…with maybe a nice, hearty piece of buttered whole grain toast. Gotta have my carbs.

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End of Summer Chilled Cucumber Tomato Soup

This chilled soup is similar to a gazpacho but with a shorter ingredient list. It uses what I like to think of as the most common summer vegetable garden ingredients: cucumber, tomato, and basil. And is it supposed to be eaten cold? Why yes. You know those days where it’s so hot outside, you almost don’t want to eat? This would be perfect for such a day…or really any warm weather day where you just want something cold on your tongue – like a day you want a smoothie, but aren’t feeling something sweet.

Don’t have Green Zebra tomatoes? Sub roma – the smaller ones are similar in size.

*Vegetarian, Vegan*

Serves 1

Prep time: Does rinsing and chopping count? No, since I put prepped ingredients in the list? Ok, then I’d like to say 0, but let’s go with 5 minutes to be safe.
Cook time: Hmm…is this a trick question? Also 0. There is no cooking involved in this recipe. But there is 1 hour of chilling and some mixing involved, so let’s say 1 hour (for chilling) and 10 minutes (for blending and stirring).

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and de-seeded and cut into chunks
  • 3 green zebra tomatoes, quartered
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 small sprig fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar (or go a little heavier for a more tangy flavor)
  • small handful cherry tomatoes (about 6), halved
  • drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Place cucumber, tomatoes, basil, parsley, salt and pepper into a blender. Blend until smooth, about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Pour soup into a container and cover. Place in refrigerator and chill for at least one hour. Note: You can probably eat it sooner – temperature is up to your personal taste.
  3. Stir in vinegar and salt and pepper, if needed.
  4. Pour soup into a bowl, add cherry tomato halves, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, serve and enjoy.

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Don’t forget the extra virgin olive oil drizzle!

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Now, go enjoy this somewhere warm. Stop and smell the roses. Admire the sunlight. Enjoy the fresh air.

Reader question: Which summer fruit or vegetable will you miss most?

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