So before we start, I would like to apologize for the eye sore that is my arm. Apparently I don’t know how to properly apply sunscreen, and as a result, I have been blessed with a farmers tan on my arms. Please, don’t laugh too hard. Well, OK, go ahead; it is pretty funny!
Now that summer vacation has started, my fabulous friend Dawn from FashionShouldBeFun.com met me for lunch and some strolling on Santana Row. We found a fabulous wall, which was recently repainted, and snapped some photos before embarking on eating and shopping. Isn’t this new wall cool! I love the artwork. This door used to be black, so now that it is full of color, it really looks amazing; although less Mediterranean then it did before.
After we snapped some pictures, we enjoyed lunch at the sort-of new EMC Seafood Bar which is located near the fountain at Santana Row. It is SO GOOD! We loved the sushi, and I have to tell you, the clam chowder was fab-u-lous! Love!
We popped into LOFT and saw so many cute summer outfits; I need to go back when I have more time and try some things on. We also checked out all the cute suits at Everything But Water. They have a whole wall of blue suits! It is truly swimsuit heaven. There were also several fabulous summer essentials at Arizia and Baldwin; I need to go back to those shops too! So many cute summer items!!
This sundress was perfect for a day on the Row, can you believe it is under $25! It is really comfortable; and perfect for temperatures over 80. To make the dress look even better, I just need to even out my horrendous tan lines. Yikes!!
Shop my summer sundress outfit:
Do you have any tips for evening out bad tan lines?
Denim has to be my favorite all-time fabric. I love how it feels, how strong it is, and how it can fuse together a casual vibe and put-together look. In addition to denim, I love chambray since it’s still stronger then other fabrics. When I spotted this summer dress, I instantly feel in love with the thick chambray fabric, dark denim wash, tie sleeves, and versatile collar.
One of the cool things about this dress is that both shoulders can be worn up to look modest; or you can also wear one shoulder down, or both shoulders down. It sits best with one shoulder down. This feature gives the dress a day-into-evening vibe which is great for summer!
I’m super excited about these mules too! They are currently on major sale, which makes the price under $100!! Mules are so chic and on trend right now, I love how this pair incorporates all of the current shoe trends while being so comfortable! If you’re looking for the perfect pair of mules, these come in five colors and can be found online here.
Shop my denim dress for summer outfit:
Do you seek out denim pieces too? What is your favorite, go-to fabric?
Over this past weekend, my two daughters and I attended a formal tea. It was so much fun being able to teach them some tea etiquette, and to be able to introduce them to a formal event. They were very excited, and had a ton of fun! Of course before the event, they had a few questions. One of the big questions my girls had was, what do you wear to a tea in California?
Well, in different pockets of the United States, tea attire varies. Here in the beautiful state of California, we take a casual approach to our tea attire, and forego the fabulous hat. I know, <sigh>. So, here are the attire tips I gave to my daughters.
The important things to remember when it comes to formal tea attire in the golden state, is to watch your hemline. Hemlines should be knee or t-length. Dresses are always appropriate, but a modest skirt and blouse will suffice. If a one-piece jumpsuit is worn, it should not be tight or revealing; think modestly when it comes to tea. Rompers and pants are a huge faux-pas. Always keep your cleavage covered; again, think modest. This is a formal tea!
Shoes should balance out your outfit. Look for heels or flats which compliment your look. Boots, flip-flops, and espadrille’s should be avoided.
You won’t need a large handbag at a formal tea. Look for a small or medium shoulder bag, or a small satchel. When it comes to your handbag for a formal tea event, less is more.
It’s pretty easy to dress for a formal tea in California. All you need is a modest dress, heels to match, a small or medium bag; and you’re set! I wish we wore hats like they do in the south, but alas, we are a casual bunch here on the west coast; so our heads are bare. Again, <sigh>. I wish we wore hats, but they are only allowed for outdoor tea events, not indoor. The tea we attended was held at an inside banquet venue.
Well, now that you have your outfit picked out, here are a few tea etiquette rules to know before heading into your first formal tea event! These are the rules to learn first, over time, you can learn more. But for now, these etiquette tips will make you look like a tea pro.
Tea etiquette 101:
If hosting, tea food should be presented on a three-tiered cake stand. Each type of food should have it’s own plate. Scones and bread should be on the top tier since it can be covered with a lid if they need to remain warm. The sandwiches go on the middle plate, with sweet treats on the bottom plate.
The order you eat the food is important. You always start with the sandwiches followed by the scones or bread. The sweets are always last.
Always eat your scones in bite size pieces; just like bread at the dinner table. You never butter and jam the whole thing and take a bite. Only tear off a piece you can eat; butter and jam as you go.
Never dunk your scone or biscuit in the tea. That’s a no-no!
Unlike a formal lunch or dinner, you do not leave your napkin on the chair when you leave the table to indicate your return. At a formal tea, you leave your napkin on the table to the left of your plate.
If you enjoyed the tea and would like to be invited back, be sure to place your napkin to the left of the plate, with a crease showing, when you leave the table for good. This will indicate to your host that you had a fabulous time, and would love to return!
When drinking your tea, always leave the saucer on the table, only lift the cup. I’m not sure why people see the need to lift the saucer, it is a big no-no.
Never stir your tea in a circular motion if you add cream or sugar. You must stir from top to bottom and back up; in a half-moon motion. Never do this more then three times! Always place your spoon on the saucer, do not leave it in your cup.
Lastly, don’t raise your pinkie. That’s so very last century. You’ll look like a tool. Please keep it down, thank you!
Of course this is only a list of the most common rules for a tea. If you follow these, no-one will raise an eyebrow if you miss a less important etiquette rule.
If you have more tea etiquette rules you think should be on this list, feel free to leave them in the comment section below! Even though formal teas are not as common as formal lunch or dinner events, it is important to know the basic etiquette just in case you find yourself at one! Knowing tea etiquette can help at work functions, social events, and the like.
My daughters had so much fun attending their first formal event; that wasn’t a wedding. They loved the tea event, even if they preferred drinking water and not tea. haha They are definitely looking forward to attending another one next year!