Thursday, October 20, 2016

Layered Sweater

Details: Backroom at the Limited Sweater / Banana Republic Skirt via Avalon / Old Navy Boots / Target Necklace

Hello all! I hope fall is treating you well so far. For me it's been a flurry of activity. From trips to Cleveland to a trip to Nashville last weekend for a friend's bachelorette party, it feels like I've barely been home. I'm excited to finish decorating my apartment for Halloween and finish reading my appropriately creepy book for the season: In Cold Blood.

I'm also looking forward to rocking sweaters, scarves and boots as soon as we are done with the 80-degree weather. I'm almost there with this sweater, which instantly adds interesting layers to any outfit. I especially love it with this skirt. It seems to continue the lines of the sweater perfectly. I found this sweater at Backroom at the Limited for only $30.

How has your fall been so far? What have been some of your great fall finds? What are you reading or watching that's creeping you out?

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Off the Shoulder Top

Goodnight Macaroon Top / Topshop Jeans / Jack Rogers Sandals / Baublebar Earrings 

One of my favorite summer trends this year is the off the shoulder top. It's flirty yet sophisticated and keeps hot fabric off your shoulders, giving you a little break from the heat and a sunkissed look. I found this one at the online boutique Goodnight Macaroon. This store has so many cute and unique items. I especially love the tie sleeves of this blouse. I wore this outfit for the Feast in Little Italy in Cleveland last weekend.

There are a few things that you need to know when shopping Goodnight Macaroon. The items are usually shipped from China so it takes a while for them to arrive. This top took about a month to arrive. Also, if you want to return something, it will likely cost more than the item itself so make sure to read the measurement information, which is listed for each item, very carefully and compare to your own measurements. That being said, they often have flash sales during the week so you may never have to pay full price if you time your purchase right. This top is only $34.50 for the next day or so.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

I have two announcements: 1. How is it already August? (OK, that's a question.) 2. You officially have four more days to shop the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Given that information, I thought it might be helpful to post some of the items I purchased, which are still available.

1. Billabong Dress: First up is this adorable Billabong dress. I thought it would be perfect for a trip to Nashville I have in the fall. The back has very cute criss-cross straps that I love!

2. Halogen Flats: Let's all have a quiet moment. (pause) I finally bought lace-up flats! I am just as excited as you are for this development in my life. I originally bought these in a very pretty maroon, but when I tried them on, they looked really dramatic so I returned them. I love them in blush because they go with everything and I can wear them in the fall or spring.

Details: BP Blanket Scarf / Lush Blouse / Topshop Jeans / Halogen Flats 

3. BP Blanket Scarf: When I saw this scarf, it just instantly put me in the fall mood, which instantly put me int he buying mood. So I bought it. Case closed. But seriously, it looks good layered over everything from t-shirts to dresses, and in this color combo it can act as a neutral.

4. Lush Blouse: I have a similar Lush blouse in cream, and I wear it all the time. There is something very timeless and classic about this blouse. I could get one in every color. I've been gravitating more toward olive lately as it usually looks good with my complexion and hair. It also feels like one of the it-colors for fall.

5. Topshop Jeans: These are not actually on sale, but I wanted to share them with you anyways. I did get them at a slight discount as I had a $10 gift card for signing up to be a Nordstrom Rewards Member.

My saga to find distressed jeans was a long one. I ordered many in the $50 to $60 range, and none of them had quite the right look or fit. So I went in store one day, as is always better when trying on jeans, and found this Topshop pair and had to stop everything I was doing in the name of love. They have the perfect amount of rip to them, not too over the top, and they stop just above the ankle, which I love. That makes wearing them with these lace-up flats even easier. When you've found the one, in terms of jeans, you don't let it pass you by.

So I got almost everything on my fall wish list. I am still missing a good cargo jacket. The one that I ordered from the Nordstrom sale was too big so I had to return it and the style wasn't quite what I wanted. What did you get at the NSale?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Beach Reading List

I am about to leave for the beach, but not without sharing the books I'm taking. This list may look like a "Beach Reads from Summer's Past," but that's what happens when you're in grad school. Now that I'm done with my MBA program, I have so much more time to read. I'll start the list with the newest book first.

 The Swans of Fifth Avenue, Melanie Benjamin

This book was recommended to me, and I have to say that I am intrigued to find out more about the life of Truman Capote and the New York socialites he surrounded himself with. The back story is that he referred to these women as his swans. They shared all of their secrets with him and he became a part of their world until he betrayed their trust. It seems utterly glamorous and tragic all at the same time.

The Marriage Plot, Jeffrey Eugenides

I am currently reading this one and so far I really like it. It chronicles the life of three college students in the early 80s who are all about to graduate. Each one has a different perspective on love and life, and it's interesting to see each of them sort out their own philosophies as they come of age.

The Martian, Andy Weir

As you may or may not have guessed, this is the novel that the movie the Martian, starring Matt Damon, was based on. I thought the movie was really well done and entertaining and, therefore, I thought the book must be awesome considering most books turned into movies are better than the movie. Also, I just want to hear more of Mark Watney's biting humor and, as a nerd, I want to read more about the science behind living on Mars. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

White Shirt Dress

Details: Banana Republic Dress (Similar) / Tommy Hilfiger Shoes / Gap Cardigan / Banyan Tree Necklace

There is something so clean and crisp about a white shirt dress. When you put it on you instantly feel put together. Now that its staying light out longer, I tend to stay up later trying to grasp every drop of daylight. That usually means I wake up later, which means my routine needs to be incredibly simple in the morning. This dress screams of summer simplicity, while still looking sophisticated. It's also incredibly easy to accessorize. All it needs is a pop of color or two and works with any cardigan. I wore this to my cousin's baby shower this weekend, and I can see this becoming a summer work staple.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Annapolis Trip

Details: H&M Dress / Baublebar Earrings / Coach Purse / Jack Rogers Sandals 

At the end of June, the boyfriend and I went to Annapolis, one of our favorite cities. We go almost every year. The downtown area of the city is so charming with its classic blue, yellow, red and white houses with gorgeous porch gardens and wreaths adorning almost every door. The restaurants and bars are an eclectic mix of Irish pubs, seafood restaurants and newer concepts such as a sushi joint and taco place. Here is last year's guide to Annapolis including specific shopping and restaurant suggestions.

This year we split our time between Annapolis, Arlington, D.C. and Baltimore to see friends and family. We saw a great exhibit at the American History Museum on the flag from the War of 1812 that inspired the "Star Spangled Banner." It was awesome! I highly recommend it. I tried a great restaurant in Arlington called Fig and Olive. And I got to watch the Cavs win a championship with my sister. All in all it was a great trip.

One of my favorite outfits from the weekend was this H&M dress. I think the blue and white pattern is perfect for summer and will look even better once I have a tan. The wide ruffle at the top is a great flirty detail.

While in Baltimore, I found my hat soulmate, spirit animal and partner in crime if I ever go to the Kentucky Derby....

Flag at the Naval Academy

Downtown Annapolis Harbor

Me doing a handstand in front of the Washington Monument

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

My Strategy for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

It seems impossible to think about fall when the weather is this gorgeous, but the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is starting this week. And that means Nordstrom will be releasing it's fall merchandise at discounted prices. For card holders, the sale starts this Thursday, July 14. For everyone else, the sale starts July 22. Apparently, a lot of items sell out before the sale even opens to the general public so it may be in your best interest to get the card. Southern Curls and Pearls put together a guide to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, which I found really helpful. One of her tips is to have a strategy before shopping. A.k.a know what your looking for. In the interest of shopping solidarity, I'm sharing my shopping strategy below. What do you hope to find when you shop the sale?

Source: Southern Curls & Pearls

The Modern Sweater

It feels like sweaters have become ultra-cool over night. I looked in my closet one day and all of the crew neck sweaters I owned suddenly seemed outdated. Sweaters have such interesting details now whether they're a little longer in the back, asymmetrical or off-the-shoulder. Although my classic sweaters will always have a place in my closet, I feel like I need a few that are a little more updated. Last Christmas, I was lucky enough to get my hands on some cute tunics on sale from Nordstrom, so I figured I might try my luck during this sale.

Source: Brighton The Day 

Cargo Jackets 

The cargo jacket has had a really good run, and I don't feel like it's luck is going to change anytime soon. When the days are warm, but the nights are chilly most people are going to go rummaging through their closet to find the same cargo jacket they've been wearing every fall. I personally never found the perfect one at the right price point, so I'm sadly a little late to this party. If you find yourself in the same shoes, that's OK because I've already started to see the trend evolve into vests, anoraks, and parkas with fur-lined hoods. I'm a little more interested in the latter, but if I found the classic cargo jacket during this sale, I might have to jump on the opportunity.

Source: The Sweetest Thing

Lace Up Flats

My biggest regret of last fall is not buying Topshop's red lace-up flats. I even blogged about them, but at the last minute I got cold feet. I was worried the price wouldn't be worth the wear, but I'm kicking myself now that I didn't buy them. I'm really hoping they come back to Nordstrom this year, but if they don't I am prepared to investigate other brands and colors. And if that doesn't work out, I am probably going to stare longingly at these lace-up sandals, which could be a great transition shoe from summer to fall.

Source: Sequins & Things 

Distressed Denim

I'm so bad about buying jeans. I have like two pairs that I wear all the time. And of course those pairs are getting worn out. So it's a goal of mine to stop neglecting that area of my wardrobe. I've recently started looking into the denim selection at Nordstrom, and it's actually pretty great. They have all of the well-known brands, but also some more affordable brands too. I just bought a pair of white jeans for summer by a brand called Articles of Society. They have a decent fitting jean at around a $50 to $60 price tag. I'm also looking to add something more updated to my closet this time around. The distressed jean trend, although a little silly at first, has really started appealing to me lately. If paired with the right top, it can be the perfect mix of put-together and laid back cool.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

H&M Romper

Details: H&M Romper (Similar) / Jack Rogers Sandals
I don't know about you, but for me, the summer is filled with constant activity. In one day, I may need an outfit that's just as appropriate for running errands as it is for meeting up with friends. And no matter what, it must be comfortable in the sweltering heat. Enter the romper. I found this one and a cobalt blue one just like it at H&M at the beginning of summer. I bought two because I knew they would be my go-tos. This romper proved it's worth when I went to visit my friend in Arlington. It was great for brunch at Fig and Olive and stood strong as we walked through store after store in the D.C. heat. 

Another great purchase was this over the shoulder bag. I found it while shopping with my sister at Fells Point in Baltimore. She bought the same one in turquoise. It's great when I don't want to carry a heavy bag and only need a few things. It was a life saver during our trip to the American History Museum in D.C., which went from a two-hour trip to a four-hour saga. I never realized how big it is.  What are some of your summer go-tos?

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Fourth of July Outfit Ideas

The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays. Summer weather is usually at its peak, meaning a lot of time spent outdoors, and its the perfect little break from work.

For a work potluck, I plan to wear this great scarf that I found in Annapolis last year at one of my favorite accessory stores, Lou Lou. I wanted to pair it with something different this year, but something that still had American roots. This denim dress could not be a better fit. I still haven't decided how to tie my scarf so I've shown both options below. Which do you like better? 

Details: Lou Lou Scarf / Thrifted Gap Dress and Belt / Tommy Hilfiger Shoes

For the weekend, I plan to wear something a little more low key. I have been gravitating to the off the shoulder trend lately and this shirt from H&M combines that and my love of stripes. The pops of turquoise, pink and white are just strong enough hints to the patriotic red, white and blue.

Details: H&M Top, J.Crew Shorts, Baublebar Earrings, Jack Rogers Sandals

Monday, June 27, 2016

Weekend Round Up

How was your weekend? Mine was fairly uneventful, but I did get a chance to sit outside and finish reading When Breath Becomes Air. It's the memoir of Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. In his book, he discusses what makes life worth living as a patient and a doctor who knows his time on earth has been cut short. It's interesting because he asks the question from both a scientific and a philosophical perspective. What I found most inspiring was his and his wife Lucy's decision to have a baby despite his terminal illness. In the end they decided,  "Life isn’t about avoiding suffering, it’s also about creating meaning." Great words to live by. I found myself in tears by the end of the book. Watch an interview with Lucy here.

I just discovered the blog Well Plated. It's a food blog complete with mouthwatering images, a healthy spin on most recipes, and a cheerful Midwesterner, Erin, at its helm. I tried my first recipe, Crock Pot Corn Chowder, as I was cleaning my apartment yesterday, and it was super easy. It didn't require a laundry list of ingredients, which for that reason alone I give it two thumbs up. I haven't tried it yet, but it looks scrumptious and it should last me well into the week, which means I have more time to sit outside on my porch reading instead of in the hot kitchen.

Oh and I tried bright-pink, barbie-style lipstick this weekend. It's Maybelline's Pink N Chic Matte Lip Color. I was inspired by a similar shade on Southern Curls and Pearls and just had to try it. It still feels a little like I'm in costume when I'm wearing it, but paired with the right bright accessories for summer like these turquoise tassel earrings, I think it can have its time and place.