How to Style the Perfect Spring Trench Coat

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Article By Guest Blogger Aly from Branded By Grace
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Hey Lovelies. I’m sharing this perfect little spring trench coat today and some of the best ways to style one. For those of you who don’t know, I live in NE Ohio, just south of Cleveland. Which means that while it is technically spring, it doesn’t really feel like spring yet. However, I’m sick of wearing heavy winter clothing–it’s getting old. This jacket is great for spring but will still keep you warm.

I found this jacket at Express. It is full price now, however just last week it was 40% off. So keep an eye out for that sale to pop back up. It comes in a few colors including a yellow and light pink (black if you want to keep it classic). The colors are perfect for spring, and I fell in love with this dusty blue hue (I love it with the white denim). In addition to the colors, it is a lighter material so you don’t feel weighed down. I also love the style because it offers a casual + classy look. I prefer to keep things simple so a trench coat like this is easygoing but also really pulls an outfit together.

White denim! I should not be trusted with white–even though I love the brightness of these pants. (I just like cheeseburgers + mayonnaise too much.) But pants like these are perfect because they are a great seasonal look that offers enough coverage to keep you warm. And they will last you all through the summer. Just throw on a tank and a pair of sandals for summer days and a jean jacket for the nights.branded2

Trench coats look great with jeans or dress pants. I like them paired with pants that are tighter around the ankles because the slimmer bottoms are a nice contrast with the flow and flair of the jacket. If your pants are too wide or baggy, it will all run together which will take away from your shape and make you look sloppy. Your pants don’t have to be tight by any means–especially if you are uncomfortable with that feel. Just make sure they are your size and fit properly.

If you are looking for a dressier look, pair it with a skirt or dress that is more fitted. A pencil skirt is a great option or my bodycon dress from my previous post would be perfect. If your bottoms are longer and loser I would suggest instead wearing a cropped jacket to break it up. But since trench coats tend to be longer, don’t style it with anything that will look too baggy.

I love simple + easygoing, so I just paired this with your typical tee. Knotting it on the bottom adds a cute little detail (you don’t have to buy them pre-knotted, lol!). I generally tend to like looser tops overall, but with this jacket you really can’t go wrong with the top you choose. Just stay away from anything that looks too casual (like a flannel, hoodie or workout clothes). But other than that, your options are pretty open.

Also! I’m bumping up my Pinterest game so don’t forget to give me a follow @ Aly Matousek/Branded by Grace.



Fool-Proof Outfit Formula for Spring Date Night

By Selfiemark Guest Blogger Hannah Kelley from Coffee and Catwalk
Follow Hannah in SelfieMark see her web profile here:


*This post is in collaboration withthe SelfieMark App. As always, all opinions are my own.

Spring is almost here, Mamas! Time to send the little ones out to play in the sunshine after a long winter cooped-up indoors. Time for us to give Netflix a break and store the take-out menus in the drawer. Translation: it’s date night season! I have a fool-proof outfit formula for a night out with your guy. In the Spring, I love dressing up a pair of jeans with a pretty, frilly top and high heel sandals for a stylish evening.


Spring weather can be tricky. It’s warmer during the day, but nights can still get pretty chilly. To combat the uncertainty of the season, I usually opt for jeans for date nights. First, I LOVE jeans! They are sexy, comfortable, and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. I’m partial to premium denim. Yes, it is expensive, but a good pair of jeans will last for years. Premium denim is often softer than less expensive denim (unless you go for 100% cotton, which is just too stiff for my taste). The best thing about premium jeans is the bounce-back quality. Premium jeans do not lose their shape, even with multiple wears. That point alone makes them worth the cost to me. My favorite brands are listed in the shopping list below.WOW

I love to dress up my jeans with a pretty top. It can be lacy, silky, see-through, whatever. I tend toward henley-style tops with beautiful patterns, as seen in these pics. The other great part about these tops? Any bra will work! I always choose comfort, so not having to wear a strapless bra makes for a happy Hannah! Skinny jeans look great with loose, flowy tops. They add some structure to your appearance. If you want to shake things up a bit, try a distressed pair of boyfriend jeans with a silk blouse. I’m loving the looks of this pair.

Last, I always choose a pair of high-heeled sandals to finish my date night look. I am petite, so I need all the height help I can get! Like I said before, I want to be comfortable, so I choose shoes that add some height, but that are also easy to walk in. Nine times out of ten, I will opt for flats or low heels. However, I like to add a little sexiness to my date night look, so heels it is.



Loft Mosaic Spit Neck Blouse (Wearing Size Small for reference)
AG Jeans The Legging Raw Hem Ankle Skinny Jeans (Wearing Size 27, fit tts. I am wearing 12 years blue dust, but these are close)
Vince Camuto Evel Leather Sandals (So comfy and fits. I am wearing size 6)
Loft Puffer Jacket (Mine is a few years old and came from Costco, but I love the color of this Loft one!)
Roberto Coin Tiny Treasures Initial Necklace (Less expensive option here
Rebecca Minkoff Julian Backpack

What’s your date night style? Tell me now in SelfieMark and follow me!


Grilled Peach Crisp Recipe

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By Michele from SunshineandFlipFlops (Guest blogger for SelfieMark).
Follow Me in SelfieMark! My profile in SelfieMark web:

Ahh, Summer is finally here. Time to dust off your grill and get to cooking. Wait a minute, don’t most men love to cook on the grill? They sure do but it’s time for them to relax and enjoy Father’s Day with a special grilled dessert. -And yes ladies, it can be done with only a few ingredients. Quick and simple!

With Father’s Day only weeks away, ladies it’s time for us to “mind” the grill and make our favorite men in our lives something sweet and I have the perfect recipe, my Grilled Peach Crisp. They’re so delicious! When is comes to grilling, dads like to cook it all. From juicy steaks, seafood, chicken, and burgers. I know my husband likes to believe he is the king of grilling, but not for this recipe it’s time to leave the sweetness to us, ladies.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty sure men who enjoy cooking would be all in for this Summertime dessert but this time, it’s all about treating the special dads out there a day without grilling.

One of my all-time favorite Summer fruits to eat on a sunny day is a peach. Not just an ordinary fuzzy peach but a yellow juicy peach. It’s a must have and is an ultimate pleasure to enjoy during Summer.

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My Grilled Peach Crisp recipe brings just enough sunshine, smiles, and contentment to all. This is one of those southern desserts that has the right amount of sweetness and tenderness that you can serve all Summer long.

-And since you will only need a few ingredients, it will be enjoyed in no time. Preparing my Grilled Peach Crisp takes 20 minutes and 10 minutes on the grill.  Giving you more time to spend with your husband, dad or that special man in your life on Father’s Day.

For this recipe you will need:

  • 4 Yellow Peaches (Cut in halves and pitted)
  • 4 Tablespoons of Butter
  • 1/4 Cup (Packed) of Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Cup of Granola
  • Vanilla Ice Cream

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Begin by preheating your grill to medium-high heat. Combine the butter, light brown sugar, all-purpose flour, and granola in a bowl.  Mix well. Next, take your peaches then cut in half. Be advised that you will need a pairing knife to remove the pit from the peaches.

Once they have been cut in halves, place two peaches cut side up on aluminum foil. I used Reynolds Wrap Non-Stick Foil with this recipe but you can use any brand that is non-stick.

Next, spoon in your granola filling into the center of each peach half. Place both peaches together in the middle of the foil. Take the ends of the foil and fold them towards the middle then take the middle and do the same. Leaving room to steam your peaches.

Place your foil packets on the grill for 10 minutes. Turning occasionally in-between. Remove from the grill and let the peaches rest in the foil for a few minutes.

Use caution when opening. Serve warm with a side of vanilla ice cream.

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Father’s Day only comes once a year. It’s time to spoil those Dad’s that are hard working and are dedicated to making sure their families are happy. Making a simple and yummy dessert is a great way to show our appreciation.   My Grilled Peach Crisp is so delicious with vanilla ice cream although whipped cream can be used as a substitution. It’s the perfect treat to serve after a nice dinner or to have after a hard long week of work. Spoil yourself and your family with this heavenly sweet tasting dessert.

The time has come, tell me what is your favorite dessert inspiration to make for Father’s Day.

I would love to hear about your creations.

7 Hottest Restaurants in Boston Right Now

by Chelsea M. from Chowdownusa (Guest blogger for SelfieMark)
Check my profile in SelfieMark

Boston wasn’t always a culinary destination, but these days it’s a completely different story! From Top Chefs to James Beard Award winners, Boston is now a foodie force to be reckoned with. Check out the below restaurants for a taste of the best restaurants in the Hub.

Boston Chops

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Meatlovers, rejoice! Boston Chops is not only an amazing steakhouse, but their service is stellar and even their sides are as scrumptious as can be. Don’t miss: The filet mignon, bone marrow, brussels sprouts, and creme brulee!



For Italian faire, Scampo is your go-to restaurant. It’s situated in the historic Liberty Hotel which actually used to be prison, but is now fully refurbished and filled with fab venues. Scampo is one of those restaurants that is so phenomenal, you can order a simple pasta dish and be completely blown away! Plus, it has an extensive gluten free menu which is hard to come by when it comes to pasta! Must try: The lamb, spaghetti, and strawberries & cream dessert.

B&G Oysters

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Looking for fresh, local, delicious seafood? The South End’s B&G Oysters is your spot! From it’s selection of Cotuit, Wellfleet, and Moonstone oysters, to pork belly mussels and halibut crudo, you really can’t go wrong with the crisp menu here! Do order: Pork Belly Mussels, moonstone oysters, and sea salt mousse.

Season’s 52

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Season’s 52 is awesome because it switches up the menu seasonally, for 52 weeks of the year! Their waitstaff is friendly as could be, and their sommeliers are very knowledgeable when it comes to pairing wines with each course. Don’t miss: The flatbreads (can come gluten free), surf & turf, and dessert shot glasses!


Flour’s own Joanne Chang recently won the James Beard award for Best Pastry Chef in the U.S. Need I say more? From muffins, to cakes and tarts, her sweets will make your mornings a little brighter, even Mondays! Their ingredients are all organic and local, and their sandwiches can even turn into salads if you ask nicely. Must try: Roast chicken & jicama salad with avocado.

Bostonia Public House


Nestled in the heart of Downtown Crossing, Bostonia Public House has a fun retro vibe and impeccable menu. I had possibly the best lobster roll of my life here, no joke! Do try: Sunday bloody Mary bar with all the fixings!



Boston has a thing for tapas. Small plates are all the rage, and Coppa does them extremely well. Each ingredient is super fresh, and the presentation of their plates is like candy for the eyes. Their pizzas aren’t too shabby, either! Must try: squid ink pasta, arugula pizza.

There’s a restaurant for everyone in Boston, from fancy schmancy venues to local gems. You’ll never be disappointed if you know where to look, and these 7 spots are a great start to the foodie scene!

Follow me on SelfieMark under Chowdownusa and receive my food and fashion tips!



S’more Pudding Parfait


By Michele from SunshineandFlipFlops (Guest blogger for SelfieMark).
Follow Me in SelfieMark! My profile in SelfieMark web:

Take my advice, you’re gonna want to grab a spoon after looking at this delicious dessert.

With Memorial Day approaching, I was thinking about one of my favorite desserts that the kids go crazy over. If you guessed S’mores? You’re absolutely right. I’m pretty sure many of you have already tried a campfire S’more before. Toasted Marshmallows , Graham Crackers and of course chocolate in a gooey handheld treat. Do I dare to say more?

For my family, it’s a must for us to start the Summer season with S’mores. This time around, I decided to surprise them with a twist of our favorite dessert and make them an S’more Pudding Parfait with fresh fruit. It’s so so good!

Parfaits are my downfall. There are tons of ways to make them and the best part is no one ever complains because they love them just the same.

My S’more Pudding Parfait are the perfect dessert to serve at your Memorial Day cookout. They’re so delicious and super simple to make on the day of your gathering.

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With only a few ingredients needed, this recipe can be made in no time. In fact, it takes less than 15 minutes to make. It’s pretty much effortless. Since I wanted to put a twist on my favorite S’more Pudding Parfaits, I decided to place some fresh fruit on top like blueberries and strawberries.  Sounds yummy already doesn’t it?

For this recipe you will need:

  • 1 Package of Chocolate Pudding (Instant or Stove Top)
  • Graham Crackers
  • Marshmallows
  • Whipped Cream or (Cool Whip)
  • Strawberries or Blueberries

One of the best ways to crumble graham crackers is to place them inside a zipped sandwich bag. When using a wooden dough roller, you’ll find how easy it is to crumble your crackers to layer your dessert. If you don’t have a roller on hand, your blender will work just as great.

Next, spoon your crumble pieces of graham crackers into your glass. You want to make sure that you have created a base for your parfait.

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If you’re using instant chocolate pudding, begin to spoon your pudding into your glass and cover the graham crackers right away. If you need to prepare your chocolate pudding, please follow the instructions on the packaging first. I did find it easier to use a small spoon to help create an equal layer of chocolate pudding on my graham crackers.

Before placing your marshmallows into the glass first cut them into four pieces. For this recipe, I used square marshmallows so they were pretty easy to cut in fours.

Once you have placed a dollop of whipped cream on top, feel free to add your favorite fruits and since this special treat would be great to serve during the Summer, add a few blueberries or strawberries. It’s the perfect dessert to end a very happy weekend.

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So tell me, what is your favorite dessert to make for Memorial Day weekend?

Would love to hear your ideas on SelfieMark.

Dressing For Spring: A Look to Effortlessly Take you from Day to Night.


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By Cindy Batchelor from MyStyleSpot (Guest blogger for SelfieMark).
Follow me in SelfieMark under MyStyleSpot. SelfieMark profile:

Ahh the warm weather, the smell of flowers and freshly cut grass in the air, I love Spring! Being a true fashionista, the best part of Spring for me though, is tossing the sweaters and jeans to the side and breaking out some fun, flirty, playful spring fashion that shows just a bit more skin.

Now is the time to start shopping for and wearing bright colors and pretty prints. Spring is the perfect time of year for really pulling out the vibrant looks, and showing your personality through your clothing.

Lately, I’ve been on the lookout for just that, but for a look that will also easily take me from day to night. I live away from the City and when I go into town for the weekend, I really need a look that is casual enough for day, but still totally looks chic and sophisticated for a night out! 

I recently found this lovely Bright orange mottled print cami and beige faux suede zip pockets mini skirt from Apricot perfect for my weekend look!

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The outfit is super comfy while still staying true to my style aesthetic. I love that it’s totally appropriate for some shopping in hot weather during the day (thanks to the laid back vibe of the suede mini). But when you add the right accessories (heels and a cute designer shoulder bag), you’ve got the perfect look for an evening party too!

When shopping for looks you can take from day to night this spring, Don’t be afraid of color. It will pop and easily take that casual daytime look from day to night.

Also look for pieces that are feminine and still a bit flirty but not over the top sexy (in which case it won’t work so well for day). I love dresses and tops with open backs because you can wear a jacket over for day and then reveal that sexy fun detailing for night, and all you had to do was lose the jacket!

Switching looks from day to night can be easy once you keep these things in mind, and of course don’t forget the right accessories! I love wedges for spring because they are totally daytime appropriate but still make a fantastic heel for night. Chain Shoulder bags are also great because they look great with both casual and a more sophisticated evening look as well!


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Happy Styling!

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Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Cordon Bleu Recipe

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By Michele from SunshineandFlipFlops (Guest blogger for SelfieMark).
My profile in SelfieMark web:

When it comes to making dinner for my family, I’m up in arms almost every night. It’s almost like I’ve run out of ideas on what to cook. I have some picky eaters so preparing dinner can be stressful at times. There have been many times that I would be making two different meals just appease everyone. Not only did this make it impossible for me to sit down and enjoy my meal but it made more work during clean up. So just the other day when I was thinking about ordering takeout after an exhausting day, I noticed a package of boneless chicken  in my refrigerator. -And, I’m one of those types of moms that don’t like to see good food going to waste so I knew it had to cook.

As my children were running around and acting silly, I decided to see what other ingredients did I have on hand for the boneless chicken and behold, there was swiss cheese, ham slices from the deli, bacon, and panko breadcrumbs just waving at me. After grabbing what I had, I thought to myself,  how about making Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Cordon Bleu for dinner?  When I told the kids that takeout was not on the menu tonight, it was a moment of silence in my kitchen. I’m still giggling til this day from their face expressions. But needless to say, Chicken Cordon Bleu has always been a family favorite so everyone was happy in the end when I told them that I will wrap it in bacon.

I mean it’s bacon-wrapped, so how can you not love this dish? We love bacon in this household so just mentioning it, got everyone excited for a taste.

First, I opened my package of boneless chicken and began to tenderize the meat. Taking my handy tenderizing tool, I gave them a few good pounds.When preparing Chicken Cordon Bleu, it really does make a difference when tenderizing your meat. It also gives the chicken a flatter appearance which in the end, is easier to roll.

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Next, I grabbed a large bowl and began to add my ingredients.  For this recipe, you will need one egg, buttermilk, and panko crumbs to bread your chicken.

Begin by adding one egg to your bowl then stir in a half of cup of buttermilk. Blend and mix well together.

In an another large bowl add one cup of panko breadcrumbs.

Take one piece of your chicken breast and dip it into your egg-buttermilk mixture. Take that piece of chicken and place it inside your bowl of breadcrumbs.

The key tip to breading is too make sure that your chicken is fully covered.

Now is a good time to preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Place your breaded chicken on your cutting board or flat surface. Take two pieces of sliced ham on each breaded chicken breast then add  two slices of swiss cheese on top of the ham. Because of the large size of the chicken breast, I used 2 slices of each although if your chicken is on the small size then one slice of each would be ideal. -And of course, you could always use shredded swiss cheese instead of slices.

Now on to the fun stuff. Let’s roll! Being that my chicken breast is of large size,  I started from one side then worked towards the middle. Continuing to roll until your sliced ham and Swiss cheese is covered. It’s perfectly fine to see your cheese and ham peeking out.

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For my Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Cordon Bleu, I used two slices of thick maplewood bacon. Yum! Starting from one end, I began to wrap the bacon both slices around the breaded chicken breast. Also, if you feel that your chicken needs some assurance in staying together you can always use a few toothpicks to keep these guys staying together.

Once you have that completed then it’s time to place each Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Cordon Bleu in your oven . I found using non-stick bakeware was perfect for this dish. Although you could also use glass bakeware that is oven safe.

Bake for 40 minutes.

My Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Cordon Bleu is not only quick to prepare but baking it was just as easy. It truly makes a wonderful meal that the whole family can enjoy together.  My family absolutely loves it. The chicken is so tender and flavorful from the maplewood bacon, swiss cheese, and sliced ham.

Do you know what my favorite is? It’s the crust. Using panko breadcrumbs gives this dish just the right amount of crisp.

What’s great about Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Cordon Bleu is the flavor blends in so well with side salads and pan- fried potatoes. You truly can not go wrong with this meal.

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So tell me, have you ever tried Chicken Cordon Bleu Wrapped in Bacon?

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Get The Look: The Volumized Pony Hair Tutorial

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By Cindy Batchelor of (Guest blogger for SelfieMark).

On a recent trip to my hair stylist, I was informed that my obsessive winter flat ironing had broken off a ton of hair in the back. I have this horrible little curly-wave back there that has completely driven me crazy, as was now evident with broken off pieces of hair that didn’t even reach the bottom of my head.

Fortunately, I’ve looked to Aveda, one of my favorite hair styling brands, to find some new solutions to hair styling that won’t wreak havoc on my hair! I tried out this Volumized ponytail last week and totally fell in love! It’s super easy to do, looks unique, and won’t do damage to your hair either!

How to Get the Look:

  1. The great thing about pony tails is you can go with day old hair if you want too. Nice! Just add some dry shampoo to the scalp to loosen up the oil, massage in nicely, and it will leave hair looking and feeling fresh. *This is also great for creating some awesome texture that will look extra great with this style!
  2. Use a thickening spray all over the mid-length of hair and down to the ends until hair is a bit damp. This also creates some amazing texture. *I love Aveda’s Thickening Tonic for this step.
  3. Begin taking 1 inch sections of hair and then twirl gently from root to ends to help set the texture.
  4. Once all of your hair is twirled into sections, take one piece at a time and then blow dry. Place dried sections over the face to create volume at the roots while continuing to dry remaining sections. *Tip: Use a root boosting product when blow drying to save yourself some time with this step and skip the twirling all together.
  5. Flip the dried twirls back using your fingers and apply a small amount of pomade or styling cream and gently unravel the twirls and massage to add more texture at the crown. *I love Aveda’s Light Elements Defining Whip for this step.
  6. As you pull hair into a low ponytail, be careful to maintain volume at the top by not pulling too tightly. Wrap a small section of hair around the band and secure with a pin underneath.
  7. Mist with a light hairspray to hold your look.

Voila! You’re all done and looking fabulous, I might add!

Please don’t forget to follow my beauty and fashion tips on SelfieMark @Cindy_Batchelor MyStyleSpot.

Happy Styling!

*Volumized Pony, as seen at Latinista, is brought to you by #Aveda,

Spring Trends 2016 Nude Skirts.


By April Golightly (Guest blogger for SelfieMark).

Midi skirts are the medium length between knee length skirts and maxi skirt. When I first saw girls wearing these mid length skirts, I dismissed them as tall girl skirts. Petite women usually cannot pull off skirts that hit at such an unflattering length. Since I am always tripping over maxi skirts, I was only left with knee length and shorter skirts. This effective left me wearing skirt out to dinners with my husband sans kids. As a stylish mom that likes being able to wear skirts and be able to run after my daughter without accidently flashing bystanders, midi skirts are perfect for me. I found this amazing flowy midi skirt that is both comfortable and flattering. If you follow April Golightly, you know that I can’t stop wearing this midi skirt.

Leopard Look

This first look is an amazing combination of leopard and the nude blush midi skirt worn with the extremely on trend, lace up pointy flats. This is the perfect look for a brunch with your girlfriends! Get more details on this look here:

Follow me in SelfieMark @April_Golightly