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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Gingham Romper in the Bahamas

Sandals (also available here and here)// Sunglasses// Gold Cuff 
I can't believe it's been several weeks since I left the Bahamas. Thankfully, as of this past weekend, I think Pittsburgh has started to swing into full-on spring mode! It's been 70 and sunny and it's made me sooooo happy. Good thing I didn't put away some of the items I brought to the Bahamas. I'll be wearing them before I know it! 

Gingham is definitely one of my favorite patterns, but specifically, navy and white gingham. It's fresh but classic and so easy to wear during the warmer months. It's almost a neutral if you ask me! 

When I saw this gingham coverup online, I knew it was perfect for traveling. The fabric is crinkled so when packing, it didn't wrinkle and there was no need for an iron or steamer before wearing it. I also love this kind of fabric for coverups because there are so many times that I just stuff it in my bag and forget about it. So it is always nice to have a piece that can travel easily. 

It runs really big. I definitely suggest sizing down by at least one size. I am wearing a size xs and it is still quite roomy, but I kind of like a roomier cover up anyway! You can scroll through the above widget to see more gingham pieces I am loving for spring/summer. It seems as though this is definitely very 'in' right now because there are an abundance of options at most retailers! However, I definitely find this to be a classic 'print' and one you will get wear out of for years to come!

More Bahamas Posts Here:

Monday, March 27, 2017

60 Things That I Love

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a lovely weekend. Mine was full and fun. Lots of eating out, hanging out with friends, playing tennis and enjoying the beautiful weather! I'm excited for a fresh, new week. This one is supremely busy for me, but sometimes, those end up being the best kind, right?

I thought I'd start off this week with something a bit different... a bit of a frivolous, but fun post. Many of you have been reading here for a while, but there are also a fair share of newer readers here, too! I am sharing some random 'things' that I love. They're all pretty light and trivial, but I think that they give way to my personality and might be a good way for you all to get to know me a little better! I'd love for you to share some 'things' that you love (leave them in the comments!), too.
  1. Little Tokyo Sushi
  2. The 1960s
  3. Ice cream (specifically, Bruster's)
  4. Fall 
  5. Tennis
  6. Champagne (Veuve or Moet, preferably) 
  7. Extra strong, hot, black coffee 
  8. Monograms
  9. Traveling- near or far
  10. Pajama sets (love these and these)
  11. Freshly laundered, crisp, white bedding (find mine here)
  12. Skiing
  13. Wineries
  14. Nantucket red
  15. Eloise 
  16. Blasting music while driving with the windows down and sunroof open
  17. Throwback sitcoms: The Wonder Years, Bewitched, and Growing Pains 
  18. An all-white outfit
  19. Room Service
  20. Donald Robertson
  21. Black and white photographs 
  22. Blue and white stripes
  23. Le Labo Santal 33 perfume
  24. Embroidered linen napkins
  25. Harry Potter
  26. Giant Eagle sheet cake (white cake, white icing) 
  27. Frank Sinatra
  28. Music of any kind
  29. Sapphires
  30. Christmas Movies/music
  31. Hydrangeas or white roses 
  32. Jack Rogers Sandals
  33. An all-black outfit 
  34. Steeler Sunday
  35. Gel manicure with OPI in Big Apple Red
  36. Going to bed with the windows open
  37. Silver, China, Crystal
  38. Handwritten notes
  39. Dining outdoors
  40. Taco Bell (no, really)
  41. Lazy Weekend mornings 
  42. Father of the Bride 
  43. Ferragamo shoes (varas and varinas, my review here)
  44. Sleep- lots of it
  45. A well-placed bow
  46. This face cream
  47. Lounging in a robe (#robelife, current favorite robe)
  48. Pittsburgh
  49. Nancy Meyers
  50. Fancy lipstick/gloss (here is my current favorite)
  51. Bomb pops
  52. Federal-Colonial style homes
  53. Town and Country Magazine
  54. Dancing at weddings/parties
  55. It's a 10 Leave-in-Conditioner and Dessange Oleo Oil
  56. Men's watches
  57. Sweatshirt + shorts weather (currently wearing this sweatshirt non-stop)
  58. Cashmere (specifically, this)
  59. Candlelight
  60. Lox Bagels

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Saturday Shopping

Just popping it to share some of my finds from this past week. I feel like there were SO many good things, so here it goes! Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend! We have had the most beautiful weather here. It's been partly sunny right around 72. Pure perfection if you ask me!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Little White Dress Under $100

With all of the Bahamas posts this week, I am dreaming of going somewhere warm again. It's been really chilly here this week, but looking ahead, it looks like Pittsburgh might be done with the worst (knock on wood). These photos were taken right outside of Atlantis's Royal Towers. It's the classic image you think of when thinking of Atlantis. Everything is so grand, I definitely wanted to capture that (see my full Atlantis post, here)!

If white was considered a 'color', it'd be one of my favorites, that's for sure. I wear so much white and it looks good on everyone. I especially love wearing all white during the summer months. It's so crisp and clean. And white dresses? They're my absolute favorite. I actually don't buy too many, because, at my age, I can't really wear them to a lot of the functions I am invited to such as weddings and bridal showers. So I don't like to spend too much on them and I also make sure they're super casual so I can wear them more for every day, rather than for occasions! 

This one totally fit the bill, that's for sure. It's simple and classic but definitely has a 'young' twist with the dropped waist and slight flounce hem. But it also keeps things classic with an a-line silhouette and subtle v-neck. The waffle texture of the fabric elevates it and makes it look and feel pricier than it actually is (under $100!). 

I decided to toss on this silk scarf to add some interest and color. It was tied on my raffia tote, but right before the photos, I thought it was the perfect thing to add around my neck! As for sizing, I am wearing a size small, but I really think it runs big, so size down if you can! 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Lately 2/23/2017

Sneak peek of tomorrow's post!

Thursday, already?! This week FLEW by. I feel like I have a lot going on this weekend, yet I have no set plans. Some friends in town, some friends having some get-togethers, but I've decided not to commit to anything so I can just go with the flow. Sometimes that is the best kind of weekend, right?!

This week, my goal was to do a little spring cleaning. I started with my coat closet and then my hanging clothes in my closet. Next up are my shoes/accessories/handbags and folded clothes. I hope to have everything in perfect order in the next few weeks... spring cleaning at its best! 

I also decided to go through all of my workout clothes/athleisure pieces and do a major purge and then stock up on some new things. I do tennis twice a week and workout about 3-5 days a week on top of that, so I really need some new things. If anyone is a fan of Nike Tempo shorts (can't shake my college uniform, ha!), I found a great price on those on 6pm.com. A website I don't think I've ever used before, but some of the pairs were just $17.99! They also had a great selection of tennis skirts at really inexpensive prices (we're talking like TJ Maxx/Marshall prices!!). 

Eating: On Monday, two of my best girlfriends got together for dinner and drinks at a new restaurant, Union Standard in the Union Trust building downtown. It's a restaurant by Derek Stevens and to me, the menu seems American, but creative and somewhat 'farm to table' style in ingredients. There are also a bunch of oysters and appetizers available besides the entrees. 

I had SUPER high hopes for this restaurant. It's really close to me and very walkable, plus the atmosphere is pretty cool. However, it was good, but I think for what you get, it is overpriced. I also think that the service wasn't 'high-end' enough/attentive for the prices. Everything we ordered was good, but I felt like a lot of other restaurants do the same type of thing only better and less pricey. It's nice to have some variety, but I don't think I'll go back anytime too soon. I will, however, note that it would be a great spot for happy hour for cocktails and oysters. I LOVE that they had Wolffer Estate Rose on their wine list (which is one of my favorites and near impossible to find in Pittsburgh) and they also had a really unique and diversified cocktail list. Oysters and cocktails, what more could you want?! 

Reading: Have you all heard of This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen? Apparently, it's a YA book and it's been around for a while, but I've recently heard multiple people rave about it. I just ordered it, so we'll see! I'm assuming it will be a super quick and easy read which is really all I was looking for right now! 

Smelling: Have you heard of this perfume that apparently smells very similar to Le Labo's Santal 33? I'm really intrigued. I got this perfume for Christmas (I'm obsessed), so whenever I run out, I'm going to get Santal 33, but would really love to smell the less pricey version before I buy! 

Watching: You all must watch Big Little Lies on HBO. It stars Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Shailene Woodley and it is so addicting. It is based off a novel, but I haven't read it... but now want to! It's a mystery-type story line but with a lot of character's story lines that will (or at least I assume) add up in the end! Definitely worth a watch but it's one of those shows you really have to focus and pay attention to! 

Listening: Continuing with the topic of Big Little Lies, the soundtrack is SO good. Seriously, whoever put it together deserves a promotion because they killed it. I absolutely love River by Leon Bridges. It is by far one of my favorite songs of all time so I really love that that is included! And Casmir Pulaski Day by Sufjan Stevens is on it, too... does that remind anyone of The OC?! 

Pittsburgh-ing: On Tuesday morning I headed over to the North Shore T station to check out a really cool installation that Sunkist created just for Pittsburgh! If you are in the city, it’s definitely worth checking out. As you are entering or exiting the T (Pittsburgh’s metro/subway, if you are not familiar), you are greeted with a panoramic, larger-than-life video of a citrus grove in California. It really appeals to all the senses as you can actually hear the birds chirping and smell the oranges. I love the tagline, too: The T doesn’t go to California, so we’re bringing it to you. Such a cool thing to have in Pittsburgh! It’s going on now through Saturday from 6am-8pm. Thanks to Sunkist for sponsoring this!

Wanting: I wore my first one piece while in the Bahamas. I've always been weird about one-pieces since one of my favorite parts of my body is my stomach and I've always thought 'why hide that'? But since there is a resurgence in the trend, there are SO many options and I've started to really like them! I stumbled across this one. It's rather plain, but there is something so chic about its simplicity. I think it would look so cute when worth with these shorts for a nautical/patriotic look. Both pieces are under $100, too!
Wanting II: This sweater is SO cute. It's too pricey for what it is, in my opinion, but I'm still absolutely loving it. It'd look so chic and put-together with just slim black pants and a black pump. On a much more affordable note, this little camisole is under $40 and comes in a bunch of colors. It's cute and is a great basic to have on hand. I like to wear these kinds of tops on their own with white jeans in the summer, but right now they work beautifully under waterfall/shawl-style sweaters! See more of my favorites in the widget above.

Loving: So 'loving' is a bit of a strong word for this, I guess. Juicy Couture is back... yes, you heard that right. I still have old Juicy zip ups from my freshman year of high school. Part of me loves it because #nostalgia, and then another part of me is like 'no'. What are your thoughts of the comeback?!

Loving II: If this isn't the cutest take on a classic white, long-sleeve tee, I don't know what is. Totally need this.

Recommending: I just love getting these FabFitFun boxes (use code SYDC for $10 off your first box). They have so many products and brands that I would have never known about. I always find at least one new product that I absolutely love. This time around, I am obsessed with the Milly bathing suit pouch that says 'Beach Please' on it! I lost my bathing suit bag and have been looking for a new one, so this was such great timing! I'm also obsessed with the Deborah Lippmann shade that they sent called Shape of My Heart- it seems similar to Essie's Fiji but is a little pinker, which I prefer!

Look for Less: I've shared a few looks for less in regards to the Gucci Princetown loafers. I have the Gucci ones (they come in brown, too, and now I want those....), but this suede version is almost an exact dupe for under $60. I wear mine all the time- they're beyond comfortable and so easy to just slip on and go!

Trying: I really want to try this Dior lip balm 'stuff'. One of my friends was telling me about this earlier this week and apparently, it's amazing. During the week, I like to wear a very natural lip color and really prefer lip balm to anything else. So I'm really down to try this!

Quoting: 'Always be the better person.' 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Navy Embroidered Coverup

Sandals (also available here and here)// Sunglasses// Gold Cuff 

We snapped these photos while at the One and Only Ocean Club during our stay in the Bahamas! I wore this embroidered coverup over top of one of my newest favorite navy and white bathing suits (also here) and I love how perfectly the two matched! 

This is one of my favorite pieces that I brought (also comes in a short sleeve style, too). It's so high quality- the embroidered detail is absolutely gorgeous and the navy is just the perfect shade. It's also a coverup that you can most definitely wear out in public as a dress. So, for example, at the club we go to during the summer months, you have to be clothed to eat in certain areas on the property (not just a coverup), and this works perfectly to throw on over top of a bathing suit for that type of situation. 

It also worked well to wear over my suit so we could tour around the property before we headed to the pool area. I think 'skimpier' coverups are really cute (like ones that just tie around the waist), but I always have a dress or more conservative coverup with me just in case it's necessary! 

The material is thin and lightweight, but there's no confusing that with the high quality that it is. I've gotten a lot of questions as to whether or not you can wear this as a dress. I'd say you definitely can, but would also be sure to wear nude underpinnings just to be safe! I think I'll wear it with wedge espadrilles and a cute little clutch (it's under $40!) this summer!

As for the tote, you've seen this a bunch before, but that is simply because I can't get enough of it. It was such a great thing to pack because it took minimal space in my suitcase but ended up holding SO much stuff. It was great, too, because it's neutral (also comes in two other neutral colors) so it literally worked with every single thing I packed! It was a little plain, so I added this silk scarf to tie it into my outfit! 

Last, but certainly not least, these are my newest Jack Rogers. I LOVE that they are bone colored with bone stitching. I have the bone color with the white stitching and I wear them a lot, but the bone on bone seems so much chicer to me! They're especially great for the time being while you aren't really 'supposed' to wear white shoes. I almost exclusively wear Jack Rogers during the warm months. I find them to be so comfortable, durable, and cute. I've been wearing them for ages and they have never failed me. I probably have about 20 pairs and have gone through another 10 pair! They're not only a wardrobe staple for me, but a classic for everyone! 

More Bahamas Posts Here:

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Stunning White Backless Maxi Dress

Stunning White Backless Maxi Dress

mara hoffman backless maxi dress

white maxi dress on the beach

women's white backless maxi dress

white maxi dress on the beach

white backless maxi dress

spledid suede wedge espadrille sandals

backless maxi dress

karine sultan gold cuff bracelet
Backless Maxi Dress (also available here //here// here)// Wedge Espadrille Sandals (under $100)
This might be one of my most favorite dresses I have ever posted in the lifetime of Summer Wind (which is 8 years...). It's stunning in every way. From the high-quality fabric to the details like the buttons down the front to the backless design, it's just perfect.

I wore this while in the Bahamas and while it was insanely windy on the beach, it was actually so much fun to be in this dress because of the flowy skirt! I definitely think this is the perfect vacation dress. It's white, comfortable and dressy (but not over the top). 

It's conservative from the front, which you all know is what I tend to go for when it comes to clothing. However, it definitely shows a little #sideboob (did I really just type that), so beware of that if you are someone who is also more on the conservative side. But I figured, hey, it's vacation, who cares! The backless nature is also very 'open', but I think that's what makes it so stunning. Plus, you all know how much I love backless-anything (case-in-point, see here and here)! 

I also had a few people on snapchat say they were going to look into this dress as a rehearsal dinner/bridal shower dress and I think that's a really great idea. It would be the absolute perfect thing for the beach/a tropical locale! As far as sizing, it runs true to size (I'm wearing a small)- the skirt is long, but I didn't have it hemmed. With these wedges (under $100), it was just right (I'm 5'6"). 

Also, the buttons down the front of the skirt are fully functioning so you can unbutton a few from the bottom to show a little leg if you so choose!

More of my favorite white dresses:

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Etiquette Books You Need

Outfit One:
Outfit Two:
We're about to head into wedding season and it's as good a time as ever for you to brush up on your etiquette. It seems like somewhat of an antiquated topic in 2017, but growing up with a mother who always corrected me whenever I was doing something 'not by the book', a grammy who hosts even the most casual of lunches with her table set beautifully, and a dad that always helps us with our coats and more, I've grown to really appreciate manners and etiquette. 

I think the mention of etiquette can sometimes turn people off, too. It sounds stuffy and borderline pretentious. But it's really not. Good manners make you likable and make people more comfortable in your presence. And, in business, I think knowing appropriate etiquette can give you a leg-up. So, today I've partnered with J.McLaughlin to share my favorite etiquette books.

J.McLaughlin's latest catalog was shot in Charleston, SC. I visited Charleston for the first time last year (here) and it won my heart. It's a stunningly gorgeous locale with an abundance of southern charm. I went to school in Virginia and spend time in Georgia every summer, so I'm no stranger to southern ways.

And, can we talk about J.McLaughlin's spring collection? For me, J.McLaughlin always does it perfectly, but the abundance of navy and white in this collection makes my heart sing! And in true J.McLaughlin style, everything is so well made and very high quality. See some of my favorites in the widget above!

Another thing that I love about the south is that everyone I come across is polite and mannerly. For my book recommendations, I am recommending ones that I personally have and have actually read. While all of the advice is similar, there are some really great tips in each book.

I should admit, I wasn't always super into etiquette, though. In middle school, my parents sent me to cotillion. At that time, I hated it. I remember trying to think of anything to get out of it. But now, in hindsight, I am so glad that I went because I always know what fork to use, know how to set a proper table, know how to appropriately dance at weddings, and my thank you notes are prompt and personal. 

But since it is 2017, the water gets a little murky when it comes to what is appropriate. I mean with social media, emails, etc. things change and what used to be appropriate often no longer applies. For example, I think if you are on a date, you should never use your phone at the table unless there is an emergency. 

Funny story about this. I was on a date and my parents and sister knew that I was on the date. My sister had texted me several times and when I hadn't responded in an hour or two, she called. I didn't answer because my phone was in my handbag, so she got worried (because I always have my phone on me). Then she told my parents and my parents started calling me!! Dinner took a few hours because we had drinks, starters, our meal, dessert, etc. As we were leaving the restaurant, I reached into my bag to check the time and I had a million texts and missed calls. Embarrassed, but I quickly sent a response back saying I was alive and all was well. But that just goes to show that at this day in age, people expect you to get back to them immediately! 

To be honest, I'm pretty lax in everyday life when it comes to manners (and I think that can be said about most everyone nowadays), but when you notice yourself becoming too relaxed, that can bleed over into situations where proper, good manners are absolutely necessary. Like business, for example. It actually amazes me to see peers act in certain ways in business situations to the point where I get second-hand embarrassment. I've always said this, but I truly think that colleges need to require a general education course based all around etiquette in the workplace/adult life. You spend most of your time at work and around colleagues, that it only makes sense to learn how to navigate that space appropriately.

So here are a few of the easiest etiquette tips that I mostly follow:
  • Always send a thank you note. It's never too late to thank someone and even for the smallest gesture. However, try and get a note in the mail the next day if possible! 
  • Never show up empty-handed. Bring a dish, a hostess gift, bottle of wine, etc. But always bring something
  • Try not to be late. Stuff happens and in turn, being late happens. But, arriving early or on time is a great way to show people that you value their time. 
  • Try not to use inappropriate language. I definitely don't have a sailor's mouth, but I'll catch myself saying something that I probably shouldn't every once in a while. I think everyone should always be working on this!
  • Always tip well (if good service is given). 
  • Use the proper utensil. This is so easy but so many people forget! 
  • Billboard mentality. I've written about this in the past, but this is for the internet/social media as a whole. Only post what you would feel comfortable sharing on a billboard. 
  • Hold doors open. This was something that JMU was known for- we all held the doors open for everyone. It's such a welcoming and friendly gesture. 
  • Say please, thank you, excuse me, etc. We're taught this at a young age but it's important! 
  • Put your napkin on your lap as soon as you are seated. This is such a habit for me now, I do it immediately. 
  • Always RSVP. The sooner the better. 
  • Always return something that you borrowed. A book, etc. Also, always repay someone immediately if you owe them money (Venmo makes this SO easy and instantaneous). 
  • Be discreet. I mean this as if your friend or someone you are out with/having dinner with/whatever it may be, if they do something inappropriate etiquette-wise, never call them out on it or make them uncomfortable. Also, for example, if your friend gets too drunk, discreetly help him/her to remove themselves from the situation and get home safely. Never call attention!
My favorite Etiquette Books: