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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

How to Style Lace: Date Night Outfit Idea

Velvet Bow Clutch (on major sale)// Bow Flats

I think this is definitely one of my very favorite tops! It's made from gorgeous, ladylike lace and has a classic neckline, but the slight crop of the hem and the fluted sleeves bring it into 2017! I wore this out to dinner one night as it was unseasonably warm, so there was no need for a sweater or boots! 

I was headed to one of my favorite Italian restaurants in Pittsburgh, il Pizzaiolo (check out my Pittsburgh Restaurant Guide, here). The restaurant is casual, but you can also get slightly dressy, too (especially if it's a weekend night). I always have a tough time deciding what to wear out to dinner those types of situations (aka dressy casual). 

One of the most frequently asked questions I get from readers is what to wear on the first few dates with someone. Well, this is exactly the type of outfit I would suggest and exactly the type of outfit I wear when I want to be 'dressy casual'. It's slightly classic but also youthful, too. There are no wild colors going on, no crazy trends, either. It's just kind of put-together and basic, but not boring. If you're going on the first few dates, I suggest heels, but that's just my personal opinion. I feel a little dressier and more confident in heels, but if you're not comfortable in them, definitely opt for flats...heeled booties are nice 'in between' option, too!

Bottom line? My no-fail equation for a 'casual dressy outfit': an interesting top (in a neutral color) + dark wash skinny jeans/pants + small handbag + classic, neutral, comfortable shoes. And my biggest tip? Wear whatever you feel most comfortable in... whether that be your most flattering pair of jeans, or your favorite earrings, etc. That's always what is most important! 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Athleisure You Can Actually Work Out In + Amazing Workout Playlist

Top (comes in 5 colors)// Leggings (runs big, size down)
Last week we had two unusually warm days (for January). One afternoon, it was 67 degrees, so my sister and I headed to a track nearby to enjoy the warmth! 

I'm not a runner. In high school, I ran a ton (I ran track my freshman year) and then with cheerleading we ran a ton at every practice and often, I would run 5 miles several times a week just on my own. But really, I hate running and quit during college. 

I've written about this a little in the past, but my freshman year of college, I lived in a somewhat unusual dorm situation. It was definitely one of the most fun years ever as I lived with 12 girls and 12 guys. We all became super close and spent most of our time together. Being someone that likes to workout, I would go to the gym with the guys. 

It was then that I learned to edit my workout to what I enjoy and they also taught me the ropes on all the machines and circuits, and even just basic 'gym etiquette'. Instead of running, I like to walk, use the elliptical and do activities (like right now I'm taking tennis lessons) that are enjoyable. 

Walking is definitely the easiest way to get steps in, and I find it relaxing, too. It's also great to do with a friend. You can spend time with them and catch up while getting some exercise... I'm definitely a multi-tasking fan! That's just what Callie and I did last week. We walked a few miles and chatted away. 

The elliptical is my favorite, though. I have terrible knees from cheerleading and this is the easiest/most enjoyable way to get in my cardio without killing my knees. If you're looking for a high-intensity playlist to get you motivated, I made one with about 75 songs. In my opinion, it's a really good playlist and keeps me going. Or, if I am feeling less than motivated, I put this on pre-workout and it gets me in the mood to workout.

I think my favorite type of workout, though, is building muscles and stretching. Whether it's machine circuits at the gym or just floor exercises at home (you can read exactly what I do at home, here), I always feel like I see the most results from this! I think my love for stretching comes from being a gymnast/cheerleader. I hate feeling stiff and even if I don't have time for any type of workout, I make it a priority to stretch morning and night.

One of the things I just started keeping better track of is my steps. I talked a bit about this in Friday's blog post, here. While I'm working out, I tend to keep my phone in a pocket or bag or even just leave it at home or in the car. So Fossil's Q Motion activity tracker has been great because it syncs with my phone and lets me know my steps. It's also subtle and cute. But my favorite part? It tracks my sleep! It lets me know how many hours of light and deep sleep I am getting and it's awesome. If I feel like I didn't sleep well, I am usually right on and can see my hours of 'light sleep' were higher than usual.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Video: 2016 Highlights

I'm not super into video or watching YouTube videos, but it's one of my goals to post more on YouTube! My sister, Callie, went to school for video production so she is going to be a great help with this. 

In fact, I pulled together some video I shot throughout 2016 and Callie cut it all together into this fun little 3-minute video! Check it out, and let me know if there are certain topics you'd like me to cover in video form in the future! 

I'm currently in works of making an updated hair tutorial video as I know this is majorly requested, so hang tight and keep checking back! If you have a YouTube account, you can also subscribe to the Summer Wind channel so you'll know when a new video is uploaded!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Saturday Shopping

Hooray for long weekends! Does anyone have anything fun planned? I am skiing right now and then have a tennis lesson so, it will be a very active weekend for me! 

Sweater (just $42 and has the cutest ruffle in the back, also comes in black!)// Pants (under $75)

Lots of things around the internet, but since it is a holiday weekend, there are sales galore. The one I think is most worth your attention is the Club Monaco sale. You get an extra 40% off sale (no code needed). So many amazing pieces including lots of cashmere sweaters and the prices are really low. You can see more sale info at the bottom of this post!

Some things that have caught my eye this week are that J.Crew has new arrivals. Finally. You can definitely tell we are still in that 'in between' period with most retailers. You know, what I meant... that period where everything for winter is deeply discounted but the new arrivals are slow to come in. However, there are some fun things at J.Crew. I'm especially loving this navy top with white vertical stripes (it's under $50). 

There are also some fun new arrivals at J.McLaughlin. I'm not one to go for off-the-shoulder tops, but this one is just darling!!

What I've been most focused on this week is picking out a new pair of sneakers. I am sooooo indecisive when it comes to choosing sneakers and I have no idea why. I'd love to hear what you think about the options I've narrowed it down to in the widget above. Do you have a specific pair that you love and would suggest? Thanks for your help, everyone! 

Ann Taylor// 40% off select full-price new arrivals, code: WOW40
Anthropologie// Extra 40% off (new items added), code: TAGTIME
ASOS// $30 off $150 code: DROP30, $50 off of $200 code: DROP50, $75 off of $250 code: DROP75
Banana Republic// Up to 40% off full-priced items, extra 50% off sale items, no code needed
Club Monaco// Extra 40% off sale, no code needed (prices are SO low, this is a really good sale) This adorable sleep set is just $35!
Bloomingdales// save up to 75% on already reduced items
Kate Spade// new items just added to sale
J.Crew// up to 70% off final sale styles, code: SHOPNOW
J.McLaughlin// 50% off fall and holiday styles
LOFT// 40% off select new arrivals, extra 40-60% off sale styles, no code needed
Madewell// up to 50% off select bags and shoes, no code needed
Mark and Graham// Major mark downs!! 
Nordstrom// Tons of new items added to sale (think Tory Burch, Kate Spade, etc.)
Ralph Lauren// Extra 40% off sale, code: SNOW
Shopbop// 100s of new items just added to sale
Talbots// $20 off every $100 you spend, Extra 50% off markdowns 
Tory Burch// new items added to sale
Tuckernuck// Extra 20% off sale, code: EXTRAEXTRA (Barbour x Wedgwood is ON SALE!)