Utah Fashion Week — Swimsuit Edition

When I think of Utah, I don't think "swimwear design." I figure most of those designers live in coastal areas, not mountain ranges. I was proven wrong at Utah Fashion Week when I attended the runway show of nine swimwear designers. I found some trends to look for in your own Summer looks!

 

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feminine details

Ruffles add a ladylike detail to the simplest of swimsuits. They add volume in places that are lacking, so if you want to balance out your body to create an hourglass figure, wear ruffles on the smaller part to even out the larger part.

Horizontal ruching is my favorite secret for my post-mommy body. All those little little gathers hide a multitude of flaws. It's difficult to discern what is the fabric and what is a little extra chub.

Vertical ruching adds volume, particularly around the bust.

Peplums are a beautiful retro-inspired look that can add volume or hide flaws. Be careful on the placement. They're best for those without hips who want to balance out wider shoulders.

These sweet ruffles add just the right amount of femininity to add interest to the bottom with a more detailed top.

Peek-a-boo

To show a little sex appeal without showing everything, consider sheer panels. They leave something to the imagination.

Cutouts show a little more, but still maintain modesty. You can choose to show a little or a lot of skin, depending on your mood.

If cutouts aren't your thing, try a deep, open neck kept together with laced ties. The same can be done on the sides or conceal a cutout with latticework.

Mixed Prints

By far, the most popular trend is mixed prints, particularly flowers and stripes. This combo isn't new, but some took it to a new level by adding ruffles, scallops, or using stripes of varying widths.

A couple suits broke the floral trend with geometric prints and polka dots.

Crochet

Crochet, whether it's a main focus or a small detail, brings a vintage vibe to modern styles.

Vintage-Inspired

For an old-school Americana suit, look for a lower leg opening, higher waistbands, and a pointed cut to the cups. Red, white, and navy make these suits even more patriotic.

Bold Color

Don't be afraid of color! Take it back to '60s citron or '80s neon.

bright white

If you want an expensive look, go with white. It makes any swimsuit more formal.

What's your favorite Summer swimsuit trend? Which of these suits would you pick for your next vacation?

DO Touch the Fish! — SeaQuest Interactive Aquarium

Thanks so much to SeaQuest Interactive Aquarium for a the family pass! I'm sharing this post in gratitude for the amazing experience.

I'm have a confession to make — I didn't see the ocean until I was 23. True story! I grew up in a land-locked state and we didn't travel unless it was to visit family, none of whom lived by an ocean. When my then-boyfriend (now-husband) took me to the beach, I was in awe of the tide pools. I'd never seen starfish and sea stars in person before, but I was still too big of a wimp to touch anything.

I still live in a land-locked state, but now I have much easier access to not just sea life, but creatures from all over the world. SeaQuest Interactive Aquarium is my family's new favorite destination to be indoors while still experiencing nature.
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Believe it or not, SeaQuest is in a mall. Layton Hills Mall, to be exact. I thought it would be small, considering the location, but it's over 20,000 square feet. They even have a Fiiz at the front counter! The first room you enter introduces the atmosphere with a large canoe, perfect for photo ops.

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Each room highlights a different region with not just fish, but reptiles, birds, and other fauna native to that area. Some of them have separate rooms where you can interact with an individual species. The iguana room is dominated by a large, orange guy named Chester.

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My favorite part of the aquarium is this rule: If you can reach it, you can touch it. Just use two fingers and be gentle. It kept my son busy the entire time, reaching in the water to pet everything from tortoises to trout.

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There are, of course, some things too dangerous or delicate to touch. Those are kept behind tall glass so there's no chance of them, or you, getting hurt. This lionfish is as beautiful as it is deadly!

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I love that they tried to include animals that children would recognize from cartoons. My son loved to find Dory, Nemo, and Pascal.

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I never knew an octopus could be cute, but this baby one is adorable! We even got to see him eat shrimp for lunch.

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You can purchase food for a lot of the animals you can touch. I was super excited for this in the parakeet and lorikeet rooms. The parakeets are beyond friendly and will land all over you. They really enjoyed the fringe on my shoes!

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Another fun element SeaQuest has included are mermaids! They're next to the stingray tank and are available for photo ops. They even give out colorful, glittered shells.

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The stingray tank was a favorite of my son. They're so friendly and swim right up to the top, hoping for food. The tank is so large, you can schedule times to snorkel with them!

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I love that the employees are so knowledgeable. You can find them walking around with individual animals that you can pet and sometimes hold! They'll answer any questions you have about them. Erin, the owner of SeaQuest, showed us just how friendly the animals were.

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I got in on the interaction with this albino python!

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My absolute FAVORITE interactive part of the aquarium is the Fish Spa. For an additional fee, these little toothless nibblers suck the dead skin right off your feet! I am insanely ticklish, so I was nervous about the experience, but it wasn't bad at all! The best description I can think of is it feels like Pop Rocks!

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Thanks to Erin and everyone at SeaQuest Interactive Aquarium for an amazing experience. We've already been back and will use our family pass well!

Women Need Women

I received products from Coca-Cola's 5by20 program; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

I'm incredibly passionate about empowering women to accomplish whatever they set their minds to. Unfortunately, there are women throughout the world who, no matter how big their dreams, are limited by their circumstances. Whether they lack resources, skills, or opportunities, they are unable to provide for themselves or their families. This is where Coca-Cola's 5by20 initiative comes in.

Coca-Cola saw the need for female entrepreneurs in developing nations to receive the tools and training they need to lift themselves out of poverty. With the 5by20 initiative, women are turning Coca-Cola packaging into decor and accessories sold at the 5by20 shop.

The PCF Narrow Ring-Pull Bracelet was created in the Philippines from locally sourced recycled aluminum ring-pulls and elasticized thread. It hard of the metal coordinates well with the delicate of the Coletivo Piraquet Handbag. Created in Brazil, its inspired by the scales of the ancient Pirarucu fish found in the rivers and lakes of the Amazon. Recycled PET "scales" are hand-sewn onto mesh for this delicate purse.

This Classic Flower was made by an entrepreneurial woman in Mexico.

The cop(m)adam Bottle Cap Purse from Turkey makes a statement.

This may be my favorite item I received. It's an Acacia Creations Soda Can Giraffe from Kenya. It's made with recycled aluminum cans and bound with recycled telephone wire.

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The materials used to make these items would typically be considered garbage. Thankfully, there are women in developing nations that are creative enough to see its potential. Just as they see more in the materials, Coca-Cola saw the potential in women throughout the world to grow their businesses, families, and communities. Watch the "Chain of Inspiration" here.

The program has the goal to empower 5 million women entrepreneurs by 2020. Thus, the 5by20 Initiative. Why women? Well, we're more likely to reinvest our income to our children and families through food, education and healthcare. When women rise, our communities rise.

So ladies, let's support each other, not just in business, but in day-to-day life. We'll reap the benefits and so will society.