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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Most Comfortable Dressy Outfit

comfortable wear to work outfit idea

moon and lola monogrammed necklace

ferragamo aileen bag

moon and lola gold monogrammed necklace size medium

alice and olivia drape front top

The comfort level of this outfit rivals pajamas. Seriously. It's such a put-together look that you could wear it to work or even for date night.

Since I've gotten these pants, I wear them about once a week. They're a comfortable wardrobe staple (and an inexpensive one at that!) that almost look like jogger pants, but they're made of a dressier material. They're lightweight, so they are probably not the best if you live in a freezing climate during the winter, but they're great for spring, summer, and fall! My only gripe is that flats don't really look great with them-- you kind of have to wear a heel. However, the upside is that I machine washed them and they came out perfectly! I am wearing a size small. They run true to size. 

The blouse is something that caught my eye in-store. I just love the lightweight silk material and the way it drapes so elegantly. I scored it on sale (can't seem to find the blush version online, it is probably sold out!) a few weeks ago. It was such a great price, I couldn't turn it down, not to mention it's such a classic piece. I actually ended up finding an almost identical top for under $100, if you are looking for something similar! I think tops like these are the best because you can wear them for both work and play! Not to mention, it is a year-round kind of top, so you can really get a lot of wear out of it 24/7! 

Monday, October 24, 2016

10 Simple Ways to Manage Stress

Stress seems to be a common feeling that we can all (unfortunately) relate to. I don't like to talk about it too much, especially here on Summer Wind, because complaining doesn't really help anything, does it? And too, I feel somewhat guilty complaining about being stressed, when I know there are so many worse issues to have in life. 

I will say, though, in talking with many friends (in all different friend groups) in the past few weeks, stress has been a common denominator and is what brought on today's post. To be honest, I'm not sure if it has to do with our age/time period in life-- you know trying to balance a career, a social life, relationships (dating, wedding planning, etc.), maintaining your health and fitness routine, keeping up with hobbies, getting enough sleep-- the list goes on. 

But the bottom line is that when it comes to stress, it needs to be managed (even if it is 'good stress'). I think it is different for everyone but I have a few tips that really help me to manage my stress. I thought I would share my tips in hopes you may share yours in the comments below (so that we can all learn from each other)! 

Use Your Stress to Propel You Forward
This is my #1 biggest tip. Do you ever get so overwhelmed that you feel like you are on the verge of tears? That's energy-- a lot of energy. I like to take the anxious, upsetting energy that I sometimes feel and use it to propel me forward. I get moving, I make a plan, I cross things off. In fact, sometimes (definitely not always), I feel like when I am stressed, I actually get things done more efficiently and faster. 

Write It Down
Is something really bothering you? Sometimes something bothers me so much, I get a one track mind (it's sometimes something important, but more so, it's often something stupid and out of my control). But my one track mind prohibits me from focusing on other things. So to get it out, I write it all out. Everything I am thinking, feeling, etc. I purge out onto paper and it works every single time

Make a List
This kind of goes with writing it down, but list making is so soothing to me. Then again, I am majorly Type A, but I find when I have too much going on and too much on my mind, that making a detailed list helps a ton. I'll even put small tasks that usually don't need to be on a list... like painting my nails or mailing a letter or putting my clothes in the dryer. 

So you have a ton going on? This is a dumb example, but...Your presentation for work that is due tomorrow should be #1 on your list- not skipping lunch and getting streamers for your friend's birthday dinner that night. It's times when you have a lot going on to let the little things fall to the wayside. Your friend isn't going to love you less if you show up to her birthday dinner sans streamers, but your boss is going to be annoyed if your presentation isn't finished.

Sleep On It
I apply this rule to everything in my life. Do you have something that is bothering you at night? Go to bed. Do you have a big paper due in a few days? Work on it a little, then go to bed and re-read it in the morning. Oftentimes, I will write a blog post at night, go to bed and then work on it the next day. Seeing something after being well-rested is refreshing and enables you to refocus. I even do this with shopping. If a purchase is more than $100, I wait a few days to think about it. If I am still thinking about it in a few days, that's how I know I really want it.

Put Down the Coffee
Seriously, that is saying something coming from me considering I am coffee's biggest fan. But caffeine can actually intensify anxiety/stress. So stick to water if you are feeling majorly stressed! 

Hopefully, you have a good friend or family member whom you can just 'vent' to. Sometimes just talking it out with someone can help you to organize your thoughts. It's also helpful if whoever you are talking to has any advice or can help you in any way! 

Take a Break
Whether it's 10 minutes or 2 hours, take a break from whatever it is that is stressing you out. Read a book, get some exercise, call a friend... just do something to move your mind away from the stress at hand! I was anti-yoga for a long while until the last year or so. It really does 'work' and calm me down. I look at it more as a stress reducer rather than an exercising regimen! 

Stay Away from Social Media/Your Phone
This is a tough one, especially for those who have a career in social media. Not only can social media be a time suck, but it often leads to comparison. Sometimes it's a great resource to inspire you and keep up with your family and friends, but other times, seeing seemingly perfect lives can give you a sense of failure when you are majorly stressed out! Also, turning your phone on 'Do Not Disturb' mode can help keep you from distractions and those 47 texts in your group text with your girlfriends can be read and answered at a later time. 

This is more like a band-aid fix, but I think it does help in a lot of situations. Sometimes you don't feel your best if you're not fresh and put together. I used to always get dressed up on test days during high school and college because that is what I felt best in. Sometimes if you feel good in other departments of life, that can help you improve your mood/life overall! So when you are feeling like all you want to do is forgo makeup, wear sweats, and throw in some dry shampoo, think twice! 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Saturday Shopping: Under $100

First of all, I wanted to say a big thank you to all of the kind comments on yesterday's post! My mom and I loved reading them. Those are my favorite types of posts to write because it gives you all more of a look into my life rather than just an outfit post. It's a little less surface level and more of who I am. One of my goals in the coming weeks and into the new year is to include more and more posts like that, so if you have any requests, feel free to leave a comment on this post or e-mail me with your request! 

We had so much fun celebrating last night at a concert! I'm also hosting a little party for her at my place on Sunday (complete with Prantl's burnt almond torte!), because who doesn't love celebrating all weekend long?! 

For today's Saturday shopping, I decided I would include things I have found and loved that are $100 or less. There are a lot of great things out like this $100 cashmere crewneck sweater (and it comes in sooo many colors!). I also have my eye on these suede booties that have just been reduced 33% making them under $100. Plus, there's a new shade of green in Patagonia's better sweater pullover. If anyone rocks black ski pants, this would be a great pop of color! Also, if you didn't know, I have a widget on the right sidebar of the site with my under $100 picks. I updated it pretty often, so it's worth a browse!

In case you missed this week's posts:

Friday, October 21, 2016

An Outfit Post with Mom

What My Mom is Wearing:
Leggings// Booties// Louis Vuitton Favorite MM

What I am Wearing:
Bow Flats (old Manolos, similar, similar)// LV Speedy 30
Today is an extra fun day because it is my mom's birthday! I thought it would be fun to do a post with her to celebrate. I already shared all about my dad for Father's Day, here, so it's Mom's turn! It's a long one today, so I hope you'll stick around to the end!

To say that my mom is my best friend is an understatement. Not only is she my best friend, but I'm pretty sure she is a saint, too. This post was tough for me to write because words aren't enough to illustrate how much I appreciate her. She is my biggest cheerleader and supporter and for that alone, I cannot thank her enough. She's also the best mother to both my sister and me, a loving wife and an amazing friend to those who are lucky enough to know her.

Just a few months ago, we were talking about how children go into 'that phase of life' where they are embarrassed of their parents. I can proudly say (and my mom said it, not me!) that I was never like that. I was always so happy to have her around. I would request her to be the parent chaperone on field trips, have her drive my friends and me to the movies, friends houses, etc., and always volunteered her to do things. Although she didn't always love that (haha!). One time, I volunteered her to make crepes for my entire French class and I told her at 8pm the night before (sorry about that)... but she still did it with a smile on her face! But I did all of that because I am so proud of her.

Besides being a truly beautiful, selfless person on the inside she's gorgeous on the outside, too! Whenever we are out together, people always say we are more like sisters. I hope I inherited her genes in the aging department, that's for sure!

One of my absolute favorite memories with my mom when we were growing up was that she would buy my sister and I matching Christmas dresses. She would even get us our own purses (one year we had plaid scottie dog-shaped bags and one year, glittery Christmas trees!). We would get all dressed up one Friday and go downtown to Macy's (it's no longer there!). We'd take a photo with santa and then she would take us to this little shop where an 'elf' would shop with us to help us pick out surprises for our parents! Then, we would meet up with my dad after work and look at the holiday windows/decor around downtown and cap the night off with a fun dinner.

Another favorite memory is getting ready for dance recitals with my mom. It was before I wore makeup, so my mom would do my hair and makeup. I remember being mesmerized by the products (and being terrified of mascara). She would always make me feel so beautiful and glamorous! 

My mom is a phenomenal Italian cook (her homemade pasta sauce is my favorite). She loves pop music and even knows the new songs before Callie and I do. My mom also loves to dance (and often, she is the life of the party)! She loves anything that sparkles (ahem, jewelry), she loves our dog, Mac, she appreciates art-- painting, pottery, you name it! My mom is active and enjoys golfing, skiing, ice skating, and lounging by the pool. She's very into puzzles and games (the old fashion kind and things like sudoko....this, I did not inherit from her!) and is also a voracious reader. 

We share a love for makeup (seriously this woman is a junkie!), classic style, good champagne, high heels, pearls, Frank Sinatra, Instagram and Snapchat (she loves Snapchat!!). We also share the same guilty pleasure: Taco Bell. She taught me the importance of being  gracious and kind. She pushes me to work hard and has taught me to be the best version of myself. I know I wouldn't be who I was today without her.

Another thing we have in common (and really all the Carver women in the family) is that we love Talbots. I grew up wearing Talbots Kids and then eventually worked there in high school! My Grammy and aunt and mom have always worn Talbots and they passed that on to my sister and I. Talbots was amazing and let us come into the store and pick out outfits together.

I chose my mom's outfit and she chose mine. It's fun to style my mom because we have very different coloring (I look like my dad, my sister like my mom). The colors that I typically stray from are what look great on my mom. So it was fun to pick out this colorful gingham shirt-- something I may not have chosen for myself but looks perfect on her! I chose these pretty leggings/riding pants for her, too, because she has such a great figure and I am always telling her to show it off! They're a really thick material, so I knew she would feel comfortable wearing them. And the sweater? I am going to have to borrow it from her because it' stunning with the shawl collar-- not to mention sooooo soft.

My mom chose this gorgeous cashmere sweater for me to wear. First and foremost, she knows that I love anything neutral and this is a great light camel color that pairs nicely with both black, brown, and navy blue. I don't usually choose skirts for myself, but my mom had me try on this olive wool skirt and it paired so nicely with the sweater! For sizing references, I am wearing a small sweater and a size 2 in the skirt!

A big thanks to my mom for being such a good sport and letting me feature her and to Talbots for our mother-daughter outfits!