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.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Turquoise Tassel Earrings

 H&M Blouse / J.Crew Skirt via Avalon Exchange / Baublebar Earrings / Calvin Klein Shoes via Marshalls

Tassel earrings are one of my favorite trends this summer. I got mine from Baublebar and I love the bright turquoise. The pop of color pairs well with everything in my summer wardrobe. And because they are so long, they're actually visible when I wear them with my hair down. They're great for jazzing up a work outfit, but they'll be even better at the beach this summer.





Wednesday, June 8, 2016

White Pants and Cargo Vest

Details: Target vest (similar) and shirt / Articles of Society jeans / Francesca's Necklace / Jack Rogers Sandals

When it comes to me and white pants, I get very nervous. In my hurry to get everything done as quickly as possible, I can be somewhat accident prone. More than once, I have rested my coffee mug on top of my car as I put all of my stuff in the backseat and somehow knocked it off either while reaching for it or by closing the door too hard. Coffee then splatters everywhere, including on whatever stain-showing outfit I am wearing at the moment. That being said, If there was an equivalent to plastic couch covers for pants, I would consider wearing them. Without said plastic pants covers, I tried to take my time while wearing these new jeans and I had almost no stains. Almost meaning I did get a small spot of ink on them, but that's what a Clorox Bleach Pen is for.

Aside from my anxiety that I will somehow soil these jeans, I'm really happy with the way they fit. They are not too tight and have a little bit of a stretch to them. I can definitely see myself dressing them up a little more with heels and a nice top, but this is a nice casual alternative.



Thursday, June 2, 2016

Light Blue and Coral

Details: NY&C Company Cardigan / H&M Dress /Vintage Earrings / Tommy Hilfiger Shoes

During the warmer months, I gravitate toward happy and bright color combos. This outfit is no exception with this light, almost muted blue dress playing the perfect contrast to the rich coral of this cardigan. I'm always looking for new ways to mix my wardrobe, and I just happened upon this combination as I was getting dressed this morning. I will certainly be repeating this look. I also love the cut of this dress from H&M. It feels very demure and sophisticated — a great look for work.