Tuesday, March 31, 2020

What's In My Bag

What's In My Bag

What's In My Bag

What's In My Bag

So this is an old school blogging topic that used to be everywhere. I loved seeing what was in people's bags so I figured what better a time to share what's in mine... it gave me an opportunity to clean things out, too!

Day-to-day I carry my Goyard St. Louis GM tote. The bag is large with the ability to carry my computer, camera, and other daily necessities. Usually, at nights and on weekends, I use small crossbody bags like my Louis Vuitton Favorite MM with just a lip color, wallet, phone, hair tie/clip, and gum/mints. 

The Goyard St. Louis GM tote is usually what I carry for travel, too, or I slide it inside of the Yacht Tote if I need to bring more items on a flight.

So today I'm just sharing the random little things I carry inside... since I'm at home, my computer and camera and all of my bigger everyday necessities are out being used at home!



I'm very into bags within bags so everything can stay organized and be easily found since Goyard is just one big open bag. I use this great Monogrammed Clear Pouch and then another random clear pouch I got in a beauty gift probably over 5 years ago. 

I prefer clear pouches so I can see everything. I especially love the look of the Monogrammed Clear Pouch! I also have a Packable Lilly Bag, Sunglasses, and a Hairbrush. Those usually float around the inside of the bag on their own. The packable bag is for groceries if I forget a bag or if I am traveling and need a little extra storage or whatnot. It's not huge, but it's great to have in a pinch. 

barrington gifts katie pouch review


Claw Clips// Coiled Hair ties
I carry around way too many lip colors. But I have space and they don't really add much weight, so I figure why not! I also always have hair ties/clips and a Crest white strip if I think I need a touch-up! 


XL Claw Clip// Face Mist// Lighted Double Mirror
This is the random pouch that carries lesser-used items. I got these tiny little pillboxes which make it so easy to carry pills of any kind in small quantities. I used to carry an entire bottle of Advil but it just wasn't necessary, so these hold just a few pills! This Lighted Double Mirror is great for whenever I do my makeup on the go. One side is magnified and it lights up. You can also stand it up on a surface so you can go hands-free. My mom put it in my stocking for Christmas one year and it was such a good little gift. 

The hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes are quite timely given the state the world is in right now. However, I've always carried them with me in my bag as well as scattered them in my car, etc. I would not label myself a germaphobe but even pre-coronavirus, I've always been sure to take care of wiping things down whenever I'm out and about and sanitizing my hands when there isn't a sink. The hand sanitizer is a spray bottle from Trader Joes. I like the spray better than the squeeze bottle, but that's just a personal preference. 

One thing that didn't make the photos is a portable phone battery. Mine was charing and I'm always sure to have one on hand before stepping out of the house! This one is awesome because all of the cords/plugs are attached! 


And I always have sugar/candy on me! Just a bit, but I love candy and cannot be stopped! The blow pop minis are my absolute favorite! I'll also usually have a  bag of jerky or something like that, too, but we are out right now!

Monday, March 30, 2020

Bathroom Organization


Bathroom Organization

Bathroom Organization

Bathroom Organization

I so enjoy organization. It's weird, I know, but it feels so good to know everything has a place and is in order. I figured I would share with you all little bits from our master bathroom. 

This is a space I don't love because we have done absolutely nothing in there yet. It's all basically builder-grade and just boring. The size is nice as is the amount of storage, though. I am currently trying to decide if we want to paint or wallpaper the bathroom. I really want to wallpaper it but I am concerned about how well the wallpaper will hold up since we use the shower daily. So we'll see! 

While you all have some extra time at home to organize, I thought I would share my two bathroom drawers filled with beauty and skincare and how I organize them! 

I also wanted to share the little decor pieces that I use on my bathroom counter. They are not meant for the bathroom, but I think that's what adds a little charm to a bathroom. Whether you use a mint julep cup to hold your toothbrush or a silver platter to hold your perfumes, you can't really go wrong! 

I usually find these little trinkets at Homegoods or antique shops/consignment shops, etc. but you can also find some great things on Etsy

Bathroom Organization

Bathroom Organization

Bathroom Organization

As for products, I sort them by size and frequency of use. The items I use every day are in the front and then lesser-used products (like face masks) are in the back. There are so many drawer organizers that The Container store offers.  I use them to contain smaller items so they don't shift around too much when pulling the drawer out. Besides The Container Store, Amazon is another great resource. This is a modular 10-piece set for under $20! 

I also lined the drawers with pretty striped paper that I re-used from a Tuckernuck package. They have the most beautiful pale blue striped paper that they package their items with and this is a great way to make use out of it! I get so happy seeing the stripes at the bottom of my drawers! 

The steps I follow to organize a drawer or cabinet are:

- Take everything out and clean the drawers. 

- Wipe down bottles and tubs to make sure there are no residues on anything. 

- Organize everything in categories and then toss anything that you don't want. 

- Place items in organizers and then place inside drawers or cabinets. 

- Replenish containers that have things like cotton swabs, face wipes, etc. 

- Fill in around the organizers as needed. 

That's it! If the thought or organizing is overwhelming, I totally get it. Start small. Literally, do one drawer per day. In a week or two, all of the drawers and cabinets in your home will be organized! 

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Saturday Shopping: Lots of Sales




Well, we made it to another weekend, so that's promising, right? Even when we weren't social distancing, one of my favorite parts of the weekend is being able to sleep in a bit and enjoy a slow morning filled with lots of coffee and lounging. So I am thankful to still be able to do just that! 

I'm actually not quite sure what we will be up to today and tomorrow. We don't have any projects to work on at home like we did last weekend so I think we will be going on lots of walks (in between rain). 

We have been getting takeout from local restaurants on Friday and Saturday nights and last night we had Cucina Bella (one of our favorite Italian spots) and tonight we are thinking we will get Condado (tacos and margs!).

Nordstrom is having their spring sale which has things up to 40% off. I'm not usually huge on the sales that they have like this because it's usually very picked over but holy moly this sale has SO much goodness. The widget at the top of this post has some of my favorites. Think Barbour, La Ligne, Nike, etc. all 40% off. 

Nantucket Basket Dinner Plate// Chargers (super affordable) 

I've had way too much time to browse my favorite sites and they are fortunately/unfortunately having big sales. The one that really piqued my interest was Herend on sale. For those of you that don't know, Herend is a fine china brand and oh my goodness do I love it. It seriously never ever goes on sale so this is huge. It's 25% off and this site seems to have a large collection of it all included! Besides Chinese Bouquet, I love the fish scale pattern. I also really want this ring dish but even on sale, it's still quite expensive.

Sephora is having an up to 50% off sale on a small group of items. They are also offering free shipping on all orders with code FREESHIP. There are just a few items I love from their sale, including the t3 hot tools. I swear by their hairdryer and also love their curling iron!

Sweatshirt ($24)// Athletic Shorts (25% off with code GOODVIBES)
After seeing my sweatshirt that I have been raving about (that was $24), my fiancé just ordered one for himself in hopes the fabric is similar to mine! The men's version is just around $30! 

I hope you are all staying safe and healthy wherever you may be!!

Friday, March 27, 2020

The Best Dry Shampoo



Thank you to  Waterl<ss for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own.



  



If there was ever a product made for me, this is it. I shared with you all a while back about how I have gone to washing my hair only once per week and how it has made my hair so much healthier.

Today I am partnering with the brand,  Waterl<ss  to share with you all some new products I have been using and loving.  Waterl<ss is a line of hair care products that you can use on your non-hair wash days.

The background of the product is really cool. In January 2018, South Africa announced it was 3 months away from running out of water for the city. Since people were all trying to conserve water, they understandably had to stretch their time between washing their hair.  Waterl<ss ended up launching their testing phase in Cape Town during that time and it helped people to have clean, conditioned hair without using a drop of water! Pretty cool.

After its success in South Africa, it became available here in the US. The brand has a wide range of products for all different hair types. The products range from cleansing, conditioning, fragrance, and styling. I’ve honestly never really loved dry shampoo because it always left a residue in my hair. Because of that, I’ve been skeptical and have always left it out of my routine. However, this dry shampoo doesn’t leave any residue AT ALL. Seriously. I let my sister try it, who has brown hair, and she was amazed at how it leaves no ‘white’ on her hair. And did I mention it actually cleans your hair?

So, in the mornings after my workout, I can just spray the Dry Shampoo No Residue in my hair and all of a sudden, my day 3+ hair looks so much fresher. It’s crazy the difference it makes.

I had definitely not heard of or tried dry conditioner before Waterl<ss  Dry Conditioner that helps with frizz and helps to combat dry ends. I have super thick hair and I love any product that adds moisture and cuts down on frizz... this does just that. If you’re looking to do a sleek pony, this is exactly the product you need!
I’ve also been using their Fragrance Mist which is 1.3oz so it is the perfect size to throw in your bag. It tames static and frizz and smells SO good. Whenever I’m on day 5 or 6, the great shampoo scent is no longer there so this helps to give my hair the best smell. The scent is fresh and doesn't smell 'fake' or overpowering in any way.
The Heat Shield protects hair from temperatures up to 450 degrees. I curl my hair often and this is nice to spritz on right before I use my curling iron.


Thursday, March 26, 2020

Lately


First of all, thank you to every single one of you who left the kindest, most thoughtful and heartfelt messages, comments, e-mails, etc. from yesterday's blog post about having to postpone our wedding. I was extremely nervous to post what I did and you all uplifted me and gave me hope. Thank you. Truly, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have always known that the Summer Wind community is filled with the most wonderful women (and some men!!) but I was truly floored with everyone's understanding and giving me space and time to feel what I am feeling. Your respect means everything.

I'm hoping I can truck on with all of the normalcy as possible here. I truly want this to be a place of light and happiness if at all possible and so there will be no dwelling! I am picking myself up by the bootstraps and we are going to carry on here. I am hopeful that this will end soon.

Last week was very rough for us so this week has been much lighter and I am so thankful for that. I enjoyed a phone call with my grammie, had a happy hour on Zoom with my girlfriends, and then have a Facetime happy hour scheduled for Friday with my cousins, parents, aunt/uncle, and sister/future brother in law! If you haven't done Zoom or a FaceTime session yet, I definitely encourage it. It truly takes your mind off of everything for a while.

I've also been making it a priority to decorate and find new pieces for our house which has been a nice distraction and has made our home feel cozier and more peaceful. I will say, our house has never been cleaner, ha! I've been setting the table even for the most casual of dinners because it makes it feel more special! Here's one of the settings from last week!

Wearing: The top that I have and love is currently 20% off and it comes in a dress version which I just think is darling. You can see more of my favorites, here.

Eating: One of my favorite things we have cooked this week so far has been burger bowls. Well, actually, my fiancé was trying to recreate Steak 'n Shakes Frisco melt, but instead, I turned mine into a bowl with a bed of shredded lettuce, pickles, etc. It was so good and so easy. We didn't really follow a specific recipe but rather followed a bunch fo different ones and pulled things we liked from each. He even made the 'Frisco' sauce which turned out pretty darn well! 

Sale-ing: Lilly Pulitzer is having a SALE! Yes, you read that right. 30% off select styles with code LILLYFAM. This is such a rare occurrence and honestly, I could use some Lilly in my life because the prints and colors bring me joy. 

Watching:
 You guys. I shared this before, but I cannot get enough of 'Before the 90 Days' on TLC. I am watching passed seasons on-demand and OMG it is reality TV gold. If you need something that is more mindless, this is just wild!! 

Listening: I've been listening to a lot of Van Morrison because it's easy listening, but mostly upbeat. I did a post about things I like to listen to when working from home that might be of interest to you! 

Loving: I just got this sweatshirt and to say I love it is an understatement. It is such high quality, the fabric is so soft, and I love the shape of it. I got a size small so I would say it runs true to size. I think it looks and feels like something you would find at Lululemon, just without that higher price tag. Right now it's 40% off, then you get an extra 20% off, making it come out to be $28ish. 


Wanting:
So many sales, it's all so tempting!

Pittsburgh-ing: Last weekend we got takeout from Iron Born in Millvale and Little Tokyo in Mt. Lebanon. We are brainstorming our next local takeout spots to support during this tough time. We are trying to stay healthy by cooking at home but letting ourselves indulge during the weekend and also help to support all of the amazing local restaurants we have in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh-ing II: Towards the end of this video, you get a glimpse into the renderings of what the Pittsburgh airport will look like in a few years. The renovations are supposed to start this year and open within 3 years. It desperately needs a facelift, so I'm excited about this! I never thought I'd say this, but I can't wait to be back in an airport again! 

Smelling: I've shared this scent before, but it's really perfect for this season. It's so fresh and light and really fills an entire room. We have been having candles burning non-stop. I find the glow from them, especially at night, is comforting. 

Quoting: 'Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it.' - Helen Keller // See more of my favorites, here. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Wedding Wednesday: We Had To Postpone Our Wedding Due To COVID-19


Disclaimer: If me being truthful in sharing my sadness about us having to postpone our wedding is going to trigger you negatively in any way, please stop here and move on to something that will bring you joy. I say that in all sincerity and with empathy in my heart as I recognize there are far worse issues and bigger problems in this world. My sadness is justified and if you think otherwise and are considering sending me a comment or DM that is hurtful or hateful, this is not the place for you at this time. My emotions are fragile at the very best and we all need to work to be a little kinder to each other (always, but especially during this time).

Just because I am sad, it does not diminish or make light of anyone else's suffering from anything- whether great or small. I'm fully aware this is not just happening to me and I am not looking for your sympathy, but rather wanted to share with you all as I have been chronicling our wedding planning. This has unfortunately affected so many couples across the globe and I so badly wish that wasn't the case. Thinking of all of the heartbreak in the world right now is too much to even comprehend at times. This is a time in which we ALL have to make so many sacrifices. These sacrifices come in all different shapes and sizes. Bride or not, we are all in this together and we will all get through it together. End disclaimer... 

2020 marks my 11th year of blogging. Eleven. I started when I was 19 and in 3 weeks, I will be turning 30. I have grown and changed in so many ways but one of the things that has always been constant here on Summer Wind is that it has been a place of positivity. It has been a place for me to spread joy, happiness, and lightness. I have always preached about how important it is to look at the glass half full and to always find the silver lining in even the worst of situations. Not only do I preach this, but this is truly how I live. 

To be quite honest, this post is hard for me to write because it has taken all of me to stay my usual, positive self. Last week was a week of sheer craziness for me, my fiancé, and our families as we made the difficult decision to postpone our wedding. I battled anxiety that I didn't even know I was capable of having. I felt sadness, I felt hopeless, I felt unlike myself.

Now that we have a plan in place, though, I feel more hopeful. I feel more in control and although my anxiety has not subsided, it has become more manageable. 

We got engaged in December 2018 and have been meticulously planning our wedding over the past 15+ months as you all have watched via my Wedding Wednesday posts. We were counting down the weeks and I truly couldn't wait. 

Our invitations had been sent, RSVP's had started rolling in, dress fittings, makeup trials, etc. had been done. We were ready to go. We were so ready to stand up on the altar in front of our nearest and dearest and commit to a lifetime together. 

But we made the call to postpone. No one forced us into it but we made the call to protect our guests. We made the call so that we wouldn't be a part of the spread. We made the call so that my 94-year-old grammie could watch me walk down the aisle. We made the call so that the dark cloud of covid-19 was not hanging over what is to hopefully be one of the happiest days of our lives.

Another reason we made the call is that there was still a lot we needed to do in terms of last-minute preparations for our wedding that required us to be able to meet with people in person. Even if it came to us being able to go through with our planned wedding date, the last-minute details would likely not have been able to take place. 

Planning a wedding is exciting, time-consuming and stressful. And although the stress was present, the joy always beat out the stress. That stress I was feeling before? I can't believe that I ever even considered it stress. 

Now, let's get to the bright side because there is one... there is always a bright side. We were able to postpone to a later date.

The flexibility, guidance, and compassion from our vendors was the most incredible thing. Their kindness and support had me in happy tears so many times. I wasn't planning on doing this until after our wedding, but I want to personally shout out each vendor. If you are in the planning stages of a wedding, please consider using these vendors. They have been incredible in this situation and many event industry businesses are small businesses and need business to stay up and running. 

The Duquesne Club// Our venue has been working tirelessly to move everything over to our new date. They have taken things in their own hands and been so kind and compassionate. 

St. Bernard Catholic Church// Our church had the priests themselves manning the phones, working tirelessly to make sure that every single one of their weddings could be taken care of and rescheduled. Our deacon was constantly texting me, keeping me in the loop and most importantly, praying for us.

Mosaic Linens// Susie was on it right away! She guided us and gave us advice and was entirely flexible and moved everything over for us. 

Dixie Design// Our stationery company has been incredible. They knew exactly how to proceed and I will share this info with all of you below so that if you are unfortunately in a similar situation to us, that you can use their guidance. We have a plan in place! 

Eventioneers// This is our rental company and the owner Lisa was so swift in updating our contract and getting everything moved over to our new date. She handled it with compassion and kindness. 

Mt. Lebanon Floral// Our florist reached out to us in the first place to make sure we were OK and said they were there for us whenever we needed them. Their flexibility was wonderful and gave us a great sigh of relief. 

Bachelor Boy Band// Our band was quick to let us know they were available for our new date. They made everything so easy and stress-free. 

Matt Mantyla and Derek Quinn// Our photographers swapped out the date with no issues. 

Tortorice Transportation// I gave them a call and they immediately made everything work for our new date, no questions asked. 

Hair By Courtney Benedetti// Courtney was so great in guiding me throughout all of this and was available for our new date.

Makeup by Tamie Konzier// Tamie was so quick to respond and went as far as to say she would move around a trip she has if need be... I mean talk about flexible. 

Judith Brown Calligraphy// Judith was so sweet and so kind when we told her there would be a great delay in when we would need the calligraphy done.

Cucina Bella// Carmen, the owner, went to my high school and he is so great. We LOVE Cucina Bella. For those of you who don't know, it's a local restaurant that specializes in Italian food. It's absolutely delicious. Carmen so easily swapped out our rehearsal dinner for the new date and we will be sure to be getting take out from Cucina Bella during our quarantine time to continuously support this great restaurant. 

Nemacolin Woodlands// We had our mini-moon scheduled there and they price matched our reservation (I didn't even have to ask) and moved it without hesitation.

Palmer Shonk// Palmer is our bagpiper (surprise!) and he was so great in being able to switch the date.

Bridal Beginnings// This is where I got my dress and they were so wonderful for being able to continuously store my dress and update my fitting schedule. 

Honeymoon// We also canceled our honeymoon. We were going to spend a few nights in London, then make our way to Southampton. We were going on a 14-night Baltic sea Celebrity cruise going to places like St. Petersburg, Russia, Copenhagen, Denmark, Berlin Germany, Stockholm, Sweden, etc. etc. Then we were going to end our trip with a few nights in Paris. We were going to be gone for 3 weeks and it was going to be the trip of a lifetime. The positive? Celebrity and all of the travel plans we had made were refunded in full. We are so thankful. Since timing will be completely different for a honeymoon we have to go back to the drawing board. We are not making plans any time soon because we need to see what the ability to travel will be in the future.

I also want to highlight something for those of you who might not be able to empathize with brides or think that their stress/sadness is trivial. Couples are heartbroken because they have to postpone something they have been planning and dreaming about for months, and in many bride's cases, their entire life. Rearranging a large number of moving parts (as you can see from all of the vendors I have listed above) is a tough task. Not to mention the reality of having to communicate with all of your guests, too. I'm so thankful to all of the vendors that were so helpful and compassionate. I know for many couples that not all of their vendors/venues/etc. are able to coordinate on the same date. There are huge problems, financial losses, and kinks that can occur if that is the case... which is why I say there is really no blanket advice for this because there are just so many moving parts to any wedding and no one can make these decisions for you. 

What we personally did to postpone was to first reach out to our church and venue as those were the two most important items in our mind. The biggest fear of mine was not being able to get a mutual date between the church and venue as we had issues with that when we started planning over a year out. We are very lucky that we got a date where they were both available. Then, we contacted the rest of the vendors with our fingers crossed that they would be available. We were amazed that they all were available. I am going to think of it as a wedding gift from my late grandma, pappy, and grandpa.

This is a tip for brides currently in the early stages of planning: make a vendor contact/info list where you have all of the information about every single vendor involved in your wedding and keep it updated. The ability to contact all of our vendors in an orderly fashion was truly due to the organized documents I had created. 

The next step was to inform our guests. We did so via text/calls as soon as everything was set with the church/venue/vendors. My parents, future mother in law, fiancé and I were all on our phones disseminating the information. We were especially swift in notifying the few guests with flights/more complicated travel plans. 

We then updated our wedding website to reflect the new information and are currently working with Dixie Design to send out a formal 'updates' card as well as new RSVP cards so people get something formal in the mail and we are able to recollect RSVP's in an orderly fashion. We have a big concern right now that many guests will not be able to attend our new date as people (understandably) make life plans so far ahead. We had given all of our guests over a year's notice so that they all were able to make arrangements to come to our wedding. We just have to keep our fingers crossed and if anything, we know that at the very least, our immediate families will be with us and at the end of the day, that's all that really matters.

Dixie Design, our stationer has been absolutely brilliant in guiding us on the wording and all of that. They are even going to updated our old invitation with the new date so we would have it for framing, photos, etc.

Dixie Design went one step further and if you are a bride that has also been affected, they are currently offering digital files for you to use to text or email to your family and friends to notify them of the postponement and/or the new date. They are also offering to work with couples to create a 'details' card (like they are doing for me) at a reduced cost to couples facing similar situations (even if you are not currently a client). Dixie Design has been a dream to work with for all of our paper needs for our wedding and I could not urge you more to support their small business in any way you can. They do the best work! Even if you are not a bride, they have beautiful personalized stationery, gift, tags, and so much more.

I also went through all of the wedding items we had purchased thus far and made a list of all of the items we had purchased with our date on it. Now I know I need to reorder these items so that they reflect our new date. Thankfully, it wasn't much. I am the most relieved that we hadn't had my fiancé's wedding band engraved yet!

One other thing that we didn't' have to deal with was our marriage license as we weren't planning on getting that until today, actually (which we obviously aren't getting now). So, I'm not entirely sure what you do about that, but I wanted to mention that because it's an extremely important part of everything. I would assume this type of thing varies by state.

If you're currently going through the sadness and heartbreak right now from a postponed or canceled wedding, please know that I empathize with you. One thing that has become even clearer throughout this entire situation is that my fiancé and I are so lucky to have each other and if we can get through this mess, we can get through anything. We are also so lucky to have the support and love from our family and friends. It has helped us get through this with full hearts.

Moving forward, I am resuming with regular Wedding Wednesday content. I am running out of ideas now that we have a longer period of time until our wedding so if you have any ideas, let me know!

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Quick Sale Roundup

Shop the Pieces:

Just popping in tonight with a quick post to share some great sale pieces that I have found from browsing around! I just got this sweatshirt and I love it! I know it will get a lot of wear for the next few weeks. This is also my favorite long sleeve tee. I got a size medium and it's nice and thick and stretchy!

Things To Do Instead of Watching the News

Things To Do Instead of Watching the News

These days, if I watch too much of the news, my anxiety flares up. So I have been trying to do tasks to keep me busy when I need a break from working to keep me off of my phone and TV.


The sense of accomplishment is an added bonus. Here is what is on my list of things to tackle and what I have accomplished thus far! 

What I've Done:
- Organized my bathroom drawers/skincare products
- Polish the silverware
- Clean out cabinets under sinks
- Wash every component of bedding/linens
- Clean stove
- Clean microwave
- Tackle some house projects. We hung 2 TVs. 
- Wipe down baseboards and windowsills


- Clean/vacuum car 

What I Want to Do:
- Scrub makeup brushes
- Go through closets and get rid of things
- Clean out garage
- Clean out computer files/make more space on the hard drive
- Back up files
- Clean out photo albums on phone
- Make sure phone is backed up
- Clean out/organize the refrigerator
- Create a list of shows/movies to watch
- Wash throw blankets
- Windex all interior windows and mirrors 
- Wash exterior windows (that you can reach) 
- Clean Oven
- Wash your vacuum's filter 
- Go through files and organize/get rid of things
- Delete old TV recordings to make space for new 
- Get rid of old skincare, makeup, nail polish, etc.

Most of my list is centered around cleaning/organizing because that's what I personally like to do.- and it's spring cleaning time, after all! Here are a few that are non-cleaning related:

- Play board games, card games, etc. 
- Do an at-home workout
- Stretch. If you do a little each day, in just a week or two, you'll become so much more flexible! 
- Pick up a hobby. I have always wanted to try needlepointing and I feel like now is the time I should start! 
- Start a new series or movie 
- Learn a new recipe 
- Practice an instrument. Admittedly I haven't' picked up my violin in quite a while so this is on my to-do list. 
- Read a good book. One of my favorite books of all time is The Nightingale. It is a must-read if you have not read it yet. 
- Start a list of things you want to do/accomplish when we are able to resume normal life again. They can be really silly/simple. For example, I have 'schedule a bath for Henry' as one of mine. It will help to keep all of those things floating around in your head in one place.

And if you are looking for some cozy at-home pieces, these Joggers and Slippers are two of my MVP's for working from home. You can see a review of the joggers, here. My fiancé and I both have these slippers and they are the coziest. For the price, they are such high quality and I love that they have a functional sole. 

Monday, March 23, 2020

Home Decor Updates



So I shared most of this on Instagram but thought I would share it here, too, to have it all in one place and also share with you my decorating process. I actually wasn't planning on tackling this stuff for months to come because we had such a busy spring schedule. But you know, social distancing, has put a wrench in our business and we all of the sudden have all of the time to tackle some home to-do's! 


So I have been waiting almost a full year to find the perfect piece for under our living room TV. It had to be a certain length, and I really wanted something of very high quality, which I usually find in antiques. I held off until I found *the one* which is this vintage Henredon campaign chest. It's in pristine condition and I think it just looks so perfect in the space. 

Because we got the perfect piece, we were finally able to hang our Samsung Frame TV. I LOVE this TV. It's not only great quality with a great picture but this TV actually holds an image on the screen when it is 'off' so it looks like a painting/photo/etc. The way it is mounted is special/different than most TV's as the TV itself is super slim and then it mounts flush against the wall like a real framed piece of art would. You can get different bezels around the TV. I got the white so it would blend in with our walls more, but you can get black, or wood, or whatever. 

So now I can style the space. I have been waiting for this! Before I style something, I always mock it up. I use PowerPoint which is a very archaic way to do it, but you can use Canva or Photoshop to create something like I did. PowerPoint is just quicker and I can use it for 'less professional' needs. I's great for those who don't have the Adobe suite. If you are creating something important, definitely try Canva or Photoshop because you have way more control.

Step 1. I look on Google images to find pieces that are either exact or very similar to my own pieces. In the case above, I couldn't find exact but you can see in the two mockups below that I was able to find the exact pieces. When selecting the image, I try to get a straight-on image.

Step 2. Copy the image from Google images and paste them into PowerPoint. You can use the 'remove background tool' to isolate just the piece you want. You can also crop, etc.

Step 3. Once the background is removed, you can play around with different decor items until you get it to where you want it.

Step 4. You can save it as a JPEG, PNG, or PDF. I prefer a PNG or JPEG so I can keep these on my phone so I can reference it when I'm out and about shopping (or in today's world, online browsing). 

Mocking things up has saved me from mistakes and wasted money and gives me a clear vision so I know what to shop for. You can even make multiple of the same mockups and change them ever-so-slightly so you can compare and then choose what you like.

You have to remember that none of this is to-scale, though, so make sure to measure in person and pay attention to all of the measurements of things you see online. You can, however, make a mockup to-scale by sizing things correctly and all of that, but it gets quite a bit more complicated when you do that. I have done this before ordering very expensive items to make sure I can really envision the scale of something if I am unable to see it in person in a store. That's a tutorial for another day, ha! 


So because we finally got the new piece for under our living room TV, I was able to move this old dresser down to our finished basement. I don't love this piece. It is from West Elm and is called the Malone Dresser. It doesn't seem to be available any longer in the wood but is available in white. It served me very well in my apartment, but I'm ready for something new. However, the basement is always at the end of my to-do list just because we don't spend much time down there. The basement is now a culmination of basically all of the furniture I had in my apartment. It's really nice and cozy down there, but we just prefer to be up in our living room. When we entertain, we don't really go down there, either. It's kind of a shame! But right now I have been doing some at-home workouts down there and my fiancé set up a 'putting green' for the time being while we are social distancing. 

So I mocked up this TVwall to figure out how I would decorate. I wanted to make this wall a little 'busier' as sometimes I feel like busyness and layers make a space feel cozier. There is not a ton of decor down there right now and that's what it needs to have that homey feel. 
 
This is the new piece I found from the same antique store/consignment shop. The shop is called Serendipity Lane for anyone in Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, the owner has closed since then, which is such a shame because she had the best taste and curation. This is a Drexel sideboard and I fell in love with the wood, the beautiful brass hardware, and the curves. It really is a special piece. 

I would say my decorating taste is pretty traditional- that's what this sideboard is. However, I feel like it's a little 'too' traditional so my goal is to style it up so that it has a modern touch. I thought the blue and white lamps were still very much in line with my love for blue and white/chinoiserie but the swirl pattern and gourd shape feel a bit more modern. I also feel like a framed scarf with a punch of color will do well here. I'm thinking of doing it in a lucite frame or something like that for that 'updated' touch I am craving. 

I am not good at decorating by any means so I am always open to suggestions and ideas! These are all just mockups so nothing is set in stone, but now I at least have an idea of the types of things to look for as I browse housewares. The mockups don't always work- sometimes it ends up looking too bare or too busy and I ended up playing around in person to make it look 'right'. 

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Saturday Shopping



I hope you are all hanging in there! I totally missed Saturday shopping so we're doing Sunday shopping, ha!

We have been focusing on cooking delicious meals, getting take out to support our local businesses and just spending time with each other. Not to mention, I've been doing a ton of online shopping/browsing with all of the sales going on. Namely Nordstrom and Tuckernuck. Scroll through to see some of my favorites. 

Friday, March 20, 2020

What Music I Listen To While Working

What Music I Listen To While Working

In December, I wrote a holiday-themed post about what I listen to while I work. I get so many DM's about what I am listening to whenever I post a story on Instagram and there is music playing in the background. 

Music is a huge part of my life. It has so much power and I feel that it enriches my life in so many ways. I love all music and I seriously think I could go on a music-based game show and potentially win with all of my knowledge, ha!

With the times we are in now I think music is more important than ever. I think it can be a respite from the worrying and fear and can be a way to uplift our souls. 

Today's post is all about the music that I listen to while I'm working (during the 'regular'/non-holiday season). I cannot work in silence so I either have to have the TV on or music playing, but typically it's the latter, and especially now, I've had to limit my time with the TV for my own sanity.

Honestly, there is likely some music playing during 60% of my waking hours. I love cooking dinner to music, cleaning, working out, driving, etc. If you're looking for the types of things I listen to while doing things like that, you can find a great blog post of my top favorite Spotify playlists that I have created myself! 

I do a mix of my own Spotify playlists, Spotify radio, Pandora Radio, and the actual radio. 

Wynton Marsalis Radio (Pandora)- A jazzy favorite on Pandora. I would just die to see him live. 

London Philharmonic (Pandora)- This is popular symphony music that the general public is likely to know by the tune. 

Dave Brubeck (Pandora)- One of my favorite jazz artists. 

Ahmad Jamal (Pandora)- Another jazz favorite and a Pittsburgher himself! His Pittsburgh Album from 1989 is one of my favorites. 

Kenny G (Pandora)- Some think of it as elevator music, but I love it. It's really easy to listen to and what I prefer to listen to if I really need to concentrate on something. I love the sound of a saxophone in general, which is a weird fact about me, I guess. 

Miles Davis (Pandora)- Another jazz favorite. Is it clear I love jazz?!

Nancy Meyer's Kitchen (Spotify)- This user-generated playlist has almost 300 songs on it and I definitely don't love them all, so I skip a lot but this is a fun playlist. It has songs with words, so this is not for when you need to be concentrating a lot. Nancy Meyers is basically my idol and I think this playlist really encapsulates her work. 

Harry Potter Soundtracks (Spotify)- This is a playlist with almost 200 scores from all of the Harry Potter movies. I love the HP soundtracks and I love that this playlist has them all in one place. It's also fun to listen to because I think there is a clear distinction in each composer's work. You get to know the composer better and learn the differences between their music. 

Classical Playlist (Spotify)- This is my personal classical playlist that I created myself that contains many better-known pieces although it really ranges when it comes to composers. I have everything from more contemporary composers like Philip Glass and Steve Reich to historical composers like Vivaldi and Mozart. I used to dislike minimal composers, but I took a class in college focused on them and found a new appreciation for their music. My favorite piece of note within the playlist is the Appalachian Spring Suite by Aaron Copland which is over 25 minutes long (this is his Pulitzer winning piece). It's an incredible piece and you'll likely recognize the 7th movement as that is one of the most recognizable melodies, in my opinion. I am particularly fond as the piece was inspired by Western Pennsylvania (a different time period, obviously), which is where I call home. 

Father of the Bride Soundtrack (Spotify)- One of my favorite movies of all time and this soundtrack lives up to the movie. It has phenomenal scores but also some great classics by Steve Tyrell.  

This is Van Morrison (Spotify)- So much love for Van Morrison and this playlist has all his top hits. This is not a playlist to listen to when you need to concentrate because there are obviously words and a lot of the songs make you want to get up and dance. 

John Mayer Any Given Thursday Album Live (Spotify)- This is my all-time favorite John Mayer album and has my all-time favorite version of Covered Rain (one of my all-time favorite songs ever) on it. Again, not something to listen to when you need to concentrate, but it's easy to listen to. 

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Tuckernuck Sale!

Yesterday I shared my favorites from the big Nordstrom Sale and today I am sharing my favorites from Tuckernuck's sale! Everything is 20% off with code TNUCK20 and select items are 40% off with code TNUCKSPECIAL40.


Quality and Sizing: I love this beautiful printed midi dress. It's made from a fabric that resists wrinkles and is so flowy. It runs a little big, so if anything, I would suggest sizing down. I am 5'6" and it hits me a little above the ankles. The sandals are just beautiful and the perfect neutral. The heel is on the taller side but also extremely comfortable! These will be my go-to dressier sandals this summer. 

Left: Jeans

Quality and Sizing: I am so in love with this top. Who knew a white blouse could make such a statement?! It's beautifully made and so interesting with the ricrac trim. It runs big so size down. 


Quality and Sizing: This top is an oversized swing-style top. It runs big so if you are between the two offered sizes, I would suggest going smaller. The fabric is so soft and it's nice and thick so it's somewhere between a tee and a lightweight sweatshirt. It's great for lounging. I particularly love pairing it with my navy Dudle Stephens Joggers. I also can't wait to wear it with white shorts or white jeans this summer. 

Quality and Sizing: This is a pricey cashmere sweater but the quality cannot be beaten. The cashmere is buttery soft and so thick. I love the classic crewneck and the laidback dropped shoulders. It's a great wardrobe staple for weekend wear but I also think it looks perfectly polished when paired with black skinny pants and pumps. This runs big so size down. 


Tweed Top// Coated Denim (also here)// Boots (also here)

Quality and Sizing: This is seriously one of my favorite tops. It runs big so size down. I LOVE the texture and right now you cannot beat the price. It's great for a dressier pant outfit and the lighter color option would look so great with white jeans. This is one of those 'special' tops that instantly upgrades an outfit.

Quality and Sizing: This comes in a bunch of colorways and is easily one of my favorite tops that I own. I also have it in black. This fabric is more appropriate for fall/winter but they have done the style in a bunch of different fabrics. I absolutely love this top in the blue and white stripes for spring/summer. This top is meant to fit swingy so I would say it's pretty true to size, but if anything, size down. 

Quality and Sizing: This black midi dress is so beautiful and elegant. It's a quilted jersey fabric with a lot of stretch. It's only form-fitting at the arms and bust, otherwise, it is flowy and so comfortable. This could easily be worn for a cocktail attire event. This runs true to size. 

Quality and Sizing: These are high-quality leather sandals that are a fraction of the price of Hermes sandals but look SO similar. I have both Hermes sandals and these and these are just beautiful. They are comfortable and easy to walk in and pretty much go with everything. 
 

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