Thursday, January 31, 2013

Lilly Pulitzer Spring 2013 Picks

I am obsessed with Lilly's Spring 2013 collection. I got to preview it in November and died over the printed Malibu blazer. I love the mod look that they have created (mod/retro is my absolute favorite style). 

I think the Iona is my favorite piece. I usually go for the dresses but I love the cut of this top and the print makes it wearable in early spring and fall. The buttons down the back are an added touch! 

I love the Darcy. These stripes are very mod... It definitely looks like something Samatha Stevens would have worn on Bewitched. Plus, the bow in the back is precious! 

The Lacina has gorgeous back detailing. Definitely has that late 60's early 70's vibe. 

I'm dying to get my hands on this whole dress/jacket combo. Pair the jacket with black/navy/denim/etc. in the early spring and then add the dress when the warmer temps arrive. This is very ladylike, Jackie O-ish, Chanel-esque. 

The Pearl is fabulous...I really love the two tone version. Very mod, very early 70's. I love that the back is cut into a very modest racerback.

The Sandrine is my second favorite of the spring collection. I love the very modest neckline in the front and then the unexpected cut in the back. It's fun and flirty. 

What are you loving from the spring collection? Have you placed an order yet...or even better yet, seen it in person?! Have a fabulous day! 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

LV Lovin'

This post may be a little premature considering my 23rd birthday (yikes!) is still months away...April 14th if anyone wants to start shopping now ;). But really, you can never plan too far in advance, right?! 

Well, this birthday, I have decided it is finally time to take the Louis Vuitton plunge. I have several nice, quality handbags and truthfully, I don't really need a new handbag. However, this is something I have always wanted.. and that is what birthdays are for... getting things you want rather than need... or at least that's my thought on the concept! 

I know many readers already have Louis Vuittons so I am anxious to hear you weigh in, considering that this is a large gift (for me, at least). 
So here is the situation: I have been using my Kate Spade New Bond Street Florence bag (read post here) which is fabulous. It is a high quality bag and it has that classic "adult working girl" look that I was seeking. I love the color because it matches black, brown, navy grey, etc. The above photo makes it  look a little darker than it is. One issue that I have with it is that it is a tad small. When all is said and done, I can't fit my agenda or a notebook which bothers me. Besides the KS handbag, I have several Longchamps (different colors and sizes) and about a million and half smaller handbags such as clutches and evening-type bags. I also have a vintage Gucci handbag that my grandmother purchased in Italy (see post here) which I love love love but don't use too often because it is showing signs of wear. Plus about a billion totes.. I admit, I have a tote hoarding problem 

The one thing I noticed about my handbag inventory is when I was traveling to Chicago, I didn't have a handbag that would fit my iPad, 13" computer, and other travel necessities. I have LL Bean totes, but I wanted something a little fancier and the medium was too small and large, too large.

Louis Vuitton

So here are my options...
Let me preface this by saying that I have always and originally wanted to the classic monogrammed brown Speedy 30. Buttt... of course, now I am rethinking with so many options.

Please give me your knowledge...

  • Neverfull MM vs. GM...they are on the left of the collage. (which do you prefer and why)
  • Do you have one of these "base shapers" for your Neverfull... why or why not? 
  • Damier vs. Monogram (I think I prefer monogram, but if you think otherwise, please share why!)
  • Speedy sizes (I'm thinking 30)
  • Neverfull vs. Speedy (is the speedy the more classic option and the Neverfull more practical?)
  • LV makes the Speedy Bandouliere (bottom left) which is basically just the speedy 30 with a strap... however there is a leather strip on either side that differs it from the classic which is steering me away from this option. Do I need a strap? Do they make one for the classic speedy... I'm thinking I definitely need a strap because I use the strap on my Kate Spade handbag all the time. I can't find pricing on a strap though... does anyone know the price because if they are going to charge something like $400 just for a leather strap, then I find that absurd!!! 
  • Should I skip the Louis Vuitton dream and go for something else... is there a nicer quality, more classic bag (for around the same price $750-$1,200) out there that I am discounting because I have tunnel vision with LV???

Lastly, I imagine that once I get this handbag it will be my go-to, everyday handbag so I want to make sure I am making a good decision! Boy, who knew handbag shopping could be so strenuous! Please, please, please weigh in!!! Have a fabulous day!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

York Design Company

One of the best things about blogging is not only connecting and discovering fabulous people, but also fabulous brands. Enter York Designs. I am head over heels in love with this company. It combines customization, needlepoint and bright colors into wearable art. Truly something special

Head over to the website to check out all of the fabulous designs that are available. There is a design for anyone and everyone. I especially love the little elephant one (click here). 

Laura, of York Designs, was kind enough to create a custom cuff for me. I am over-the-moon about the end product! One of my favorite color combos is navy + pink and the touch of gold in the monogram adds a bit of flair! This is definitely one of those pieces that people will ask you about. 

The detail is perfect. I really enjoy the stamped "York Designs" on the inside of the cuff. 

I personally plan to pair the cuff with pearls. 

How fabulous is the card (with handwritten note) that came along with the cuff. Too cute for words. The card has all of my favorite things illustrated beautifully! 

This is to give you an idea of the width of the cuff. It's a little thicker than most bracelets so it can be worn on its' own, but also can be paired with other bangles and baubles! I think it matches just perfectly with my DY ring!

With Valentine's day just around the corner (ahem, boys, that's Thursday February 14th) this would make the absolute perfect pressie! You could also get your whole sorority in on it and get yours customized with your letters. 

Check out the York Designs Facebook page to see more fabulous designs. It's hard to pick a favorite.  A big thank you goes out to Laura from YD for fabulous customer service and a quality product. Have you shopped York Designs before? What is your favorite design?  Have a fabulous day! 

**sidenote: this was supposed to post at the usual 6:00am scheduled time, however, Blogger reverts my scheduled posts back into drafts sometimes... WHY oh why does it do this? Does anyone else have this issue?! Help!!!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Press Pause

I just found this gem of a picture on my computer... it was our first class cancellation my freshman year at JMU! This photo is my big and g-big outside of our sorority house! Ohhh the memories!

Please excuse today's lack of posting... we got a ton of snow here in Pittsburgh so I headed to the mountains for the weekend to hit the slopes. Did you get hit with a lot of snow where you are as well?!  Regular posting will resume tomorrow! Happy Monday! 

Friday, January 25, 2013

My Kinda Town, Chicago is

I mentioned last week that I was in Chicago for work. It was my first time and I absolutely fell in love with the city. Despite the cold temperatures, the gorgeous architecture, cleanliness, abundance of delicious food and fabulous shopping won me over. While I was working most of the time, I did manage to take in the city. Below are some of the highlights of the trip. Sorry about the poor photo quality. I only had my iPhone with me!

I posted this on Instagram (@SummerWind41490) but have to tell you that RPM Italian (Giuliana and Bill Rancic's restaurant) was incredible. It was Italian food with an updated twist. Everything I tasted was delicious, plus the atmosphere was chic and  metropolitan. 

I loved the tall buildings. I am a true city girl at heart. It kind of helped that our view was of Michigan Avenue. We had a clear shot of the gorgeous Burberry store.. a fabulous site to wake up to in the morning. 

Thursday night, I had some free time so I high-tailed it to the Magnificent Mile (which was so conveniently located right outside of our hotel door) and shopped, shopped, shopped. I spied these gorgeous pink/green silk loafers at Brooks Brothers. I'm thinking they would look fabulous with white pants come summer. 

I loved how the trees lining Michigan Avenue were all lit up... it made shopping all the more magical ;). 

No Chicago trip is complete without a stop at Ralph Lauren. I immediately called my mom and told her that I think that the store is what Heaven looks like. It was immaculate. 

Isn't it perfect? I was all set to move in. 

We also noshed at Cantina Laredo. Mexican and Chic. Yes, there is such a thing! It was delicious! Another restaurant where we had fabulous Italian fare was Riccardo's. Seriously, Chicago, A+ on your food and shopping. 

Also not pictured.. the Zara. It was HUGE. I could have spent days in just that store! What are your favorite things about Chicago? I've been doing a ton of research because I plan to return for a weekend in the summer and visit all of the things I didn't get a chance to see... like the bean... Well, I saw it from taxis, at least! Have a fabulous day! 


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Summer Soles

Recently, I've been getting into shoes. I've expressed my lack of love for shoes in the past (read here), but I am starting to warm up to the idea of changing things up every once in a while. 

One thing I've been hunting for is a good summer ballet flat. Honestly, if I could, I would live in my monogrammed Bonnano's. But I do realize that now in the "real world", sometimes, sandals are inappropriate (and sometimes you need to hide the fact that you're in need of a pedicure). Here are some summer shoe options that I have been eyeing. My requirements are that they are neutral so they match most of my Lilly and that they are not too heavy so I don't get too hot when wearing! 
Nude Soles

Do you have a favorite pair of flats for summer? Let me know! Have a fabulous day! 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Guilty Pleasures

So let's be real... as bloggers, we don't share every tidbit about ourselves. For starters, a lot of it is for safety/privacy reasons and sometimes we don't share because we are embarrassed... but maybe I'm just speaking for myself. Well... I figured I would share some of the things that I have dubbed as "my guilty pleasures" know.. the things that I am embarrassed to admit!

Guilty Pleasures

  • Vanderpump Rules... The Bravo spin-off from the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I've only watched the first episode and I can already tell that I am obsessed. It's trashy TV at it's finest but oh so addicting. Things to look for when watching the show... the girls are all so thin.. watch this for some serious thinspiration (maybe a little too much). Stassi's blonde hair. Seriously, her blonde shade is the most perfect color. Jax is a babe... totally not "my type" but a total hunk, nonetheless. You also have to realize that they are all crazy. Seriously. 
  • Coke Slurpees. It's averaging about 20 degrees or less around here and I am drinking something that is frozen but I really can't get enough. It's a perfect pick me up/fun mid-day treat. 
  • McDonald's bacon, egg, and cheese bagel. It's $3 and unhealthy... what more could you want in a breakfast?! HA! 
  • Whenever I get home from work I put on some sort of get-up that resembles the above outfit. Seriously,  $10 old navy fleece pants are a little slice of heaven. Nine times out of ten, this outfit doesn't even match... It's an even more bizarre look when I am too lazy to remove my jewelry from the day. Then I am in sweats and a triple strand of pearls and some Yurman. Who knows, maybe I will start a trend... Let's hope not. 
What are some of your guilty pleasures...wait... maybe you shouldn't tell me; I might be tempted to add them to my list! Have a fabulous day!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Lilly Pulitzer x Lifeguard Press

Before I get in to today's post, I just want to say a big thank you to the e-mails, comments, Facebook messages, etc. to yesterday's post. The feedback was a reminder of why I blog... It's great to know that I am not the only one that feels a certain way sometimes!!

Now onto today's order of business and that is Lilly Pulitzer's new Lifeguard Press products! Katie, from Lifeguard Press, was generous enough to send me a Lilly Pulitzer iPad case in Chin Chin for my new iPad. 

Pink elephants +green floral/paisley design... what's not to love? 

The #1 reason that I love this iPad case is because it doesn't cover the front of the iPad at all. The iPad just snaps right in.. and securely too! This feature makes for a very slim case. The case doesn't add any bulk which is one of my necessities for any iPad case. 

The case has a flexible cover which allows the iPad to sit up/be propped up. The cover is also magnetic so it can put your iPad to sleep/wake it up upon open or close. 

Overall, I just love the print and the slim design. I would recommend it as a great iPad case to anyone! Do any of you have a Lilly iPad case? What is your new favorite Lilly print for Lifeguard Press? They are adding tons of new products this week and there are some great new items. I am loving the flash drive key chain and the portable battery.... I need it!

As a side note, I had been on the fence about getting an iPad for months. My parents have had one for a while now and I have always just used theirs, but I can honestly say that I am SO glad I got my own. For anyone one the fence, like I was, my advice is to go for it... you won't regret it! I thought it was just a big iPhone... which honestly, it really is.. but watching shows and playing on Pinterest, reading blogs are SO easy and convenient (and the battery lasts for all of it)!
 Have a fabulous day! 

Monday, January 21, 2013

I'm Feeling 22

Warning, this is going to be a novel of a post.. but I am totally interested in having you all weigh in!!!

 The other day, I was talking to my mom about how sometimes, I feel that I am treated much older than I really am. I don't remember how this conversation came about, but I think the concept is of importance to discuss here on Summer Wind. 

me at 2 years old
During the conversation with my mom, she said, that as a child, I started talking earlier than most and talking a lot...if you know me IRL, then that shouldn't surprise you. I was having full on conversations when other children my age were not. She said that this would often cause others around me to treat me as if I were older than I really was. She said that one time, we were flying as a family and I was chattering away, and the flight attendants weren't treating my parents very nicely because they thought that my parents had lied about my age, when in reality, it only seemed that I was older. 

Let's play guess my age... You are correct if you guessed 18! 
I have almost always looked older than my age too. My appearance coupled with my often conservative style, I think, throws people off. I have a good story to illustrate this... which is quite embarrassing for me. I was home on Christmas break during my freshman year of college (I was 18 at the time). I had just gone to the gym, and wanted to stop at the grocery store on my way home because Giant Eagle (Pittsburgh grocery story chain), has a fabulous sparkling pink lemonade and I wanted to pick up a few bottles so I could take them back to school with me. Well, as I was standing in the checkout line, the clerk started chatting with me. She told me how she loves the pink lemonade and that she makes fun cocktails and was giving me the recipe. Meanwhile, I was only 18, but didn't mention this because it would have made the interaction awkward. So I let her talk on and on about the pink lemonade cocktail recipe and after all was said, the last thing she said was "the recipe is fabulous but don't let your kids get to it". I about fainted. YOUR KIDS?! This woman thought that I was old enough to have kids. Now, I realize that it is medically possible that at 18, I could have had a child... However, I was so taken aback and frustrated! 

Looking older than my numerical age hasn't always been horrible, but I have noticed it from time to time. At 22, I am an educated, working, adult. However, that doesn't mean that I have had as much learning/life experiences as a 26, 28, or 30 year old. I think that sometimes, people forget that I am only 22. I don't really make it easier on myself considering I like a lot of things that the average 30+ year old likes. I know my wines and champagnes, I know hot to tip properly in most situations, I love Frank Sinatra, jazz music (Benoit, Sandborn, Brubeck, you name it), I never forget to send a thank you note, I'm overly responsible, my closet is filled with clothing from Talbots, I fully believe in the power of early bedtimes... I even use anti-aging wrinkle cream on my eyes every night before bed. 

The one and only time I let my friends dress me to look like my 20 year old self to go to a party at JMU. No pearls and a tight know, the ones you get at Forever21. Yikes! Needless to say, I was out of my element. 
The funny thing is that I like a lot of childish things.. or rather, more 22 year-old appropriate things, too. I love Taylor Swift. I love glitter nail polishes.  Eloise at the Plaza is my idol. I really enjoy eating uncrustables (those cute frozen PB&J sandwiches). I enjoy watching Pretty Little Liars and Full House reruns. I still don't fully comprehend bills, interest, and credit...really, all that finance-y adult stuff (I leave that to my dad). I still love decorating my Lilly Pulitzer planner with colorful markers and stickers. My friends and I still frequent bars that serve all of their drinks in plastic cups. 

In short, I thirst for the finer things in life, I have a hunger for knowledge and am constantly trying to better myself... but I am only 22. I would hate to think I'm missing out on being 22!! Does anyone else ever feel this way?! What are some 22-year-old things that I should experience before it is too late? I am anxious to see people weigh-in on this matter in the comments.. what do you think? Have a fabulous day! 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Quote to live by

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
I wrote a post about what I do to "unwind" last week and thought that this quote was an eloquent summation of my post. Tumblr is a great source for these types of quotes!
Have a fabulous day!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Pack it Up

Summer Wind's 4th birthday is coming up in May, so needless to say, sometimes I feel like I've covered every topic under the sun. However, I think it's fun to re-blog past ideas. I've already done several packing posts in the past....See: weekend road trip, summer road trip, spring break trip, 10 day vacation, and traveling light. Well, here is my "I'm flying to a city I've never been to before (Chicago) for a week and it is for work" edition. Phew, that was a mouth-full. 

Per usual, I laid everything out in piles on my bed. Each pile is an outfit. For this trip, it is Monday-Friday so I packed 8 outfits. Since this is for work, I packed a lot of black so the outfits could be interchangeable if necessary. Also, I didn't know what to expect so I brought everything from casual to more dressy. Again, a lot of it can be mixed and matched to tone up or tone down the "dressy factor".  Another packing-factor is that I have never been to Chicago and I know it can be frigid, so I brought outfits that can be layered in case I end up an ice cube on my first night there!

This is a close-up of an "outfit pile". It consists of a black cable-knit cardigan, cotton Lauren Ralph Lauren shirt, brown belt, and orange headband. I packed several pair of black skinny pants (denim, velvet, cord, etc.) and one pair of denim to go with many different outfits. I thought the tee/cardigan combo was great because they are fabrics that don't wrinkle easily.

Next, I separated all of the "outfit add-ons" and extras that could be thrown on top. 

I laid out my shoes (boots were being worn so they were laid out with my outfit). All shoes were neutral and the Ferragamo varinas were my "pop of color". I hate heels (love the look, hate the pain) but there are a few dinners/events at night that might require heels... better to be safe than sorry, right?! 

I laid out all of my jewelry that I was going to put pack. I always carry my jewelry on the plane. Always. Even if it is a road trip to a hotel, I still keep my jewelry with me... you never know! I would absolutely cry if I lost my pretty jewels! I've even been to hotels that don't have safes and have had to carry my jewelry everywhere. Needless to say, that is a pain! 

I lay out the jewelry that I am going to wear on the plane/car ride. 

Packing a carryon is always a logistical nightmare because you don't want to over-pack because of weight on your shoulder, but, you have to pack anything that you would be upset about losing. I also pack things like extra handbags. For example, for this trip, I took a Kate Spade handbag as my dressier/night handbag but packed it in my carryon. I would not be pleased if my luggage was lost and Kate was inside. I always make sure to have an eye mask. I can't sleep without one and they are perfect for napping on the flight... although this flight is barely 2 hours, so there will be no napping. Another carryon must? A pashmina of some sort. It can be a scarf or blanket or even small pillow. This is also where my computer/ipad/chargers/etc. are stored.

Lastly, but most definitely not least, check your list. I make an extensive, detailed list based on days and outfits. For something less formal and less important (like a beach vacation), I am a little more relaxed and usually just write things like "5 sundresses", "4 bathing suits", etc. But, for this trip, I was specific and wrote things like "J. Crew skirt, Ralph Lauren oxford, turtleneck, black Ferragamo flats, black tights" for Monday, Tuesday, etc. I did that for each day. It ensures you have enough outfits and an entire outfit. I not only took pictures and made a list for blog post purposes, but it also helps if the airlines were to lose your bags. You have all of the evidence of what you packed... can you tell I get super nervous about airlines losing my bags?! Has it ever happened to you? Was it a nightmare?!

How do you pack? Do you have any work related packing tips? Any "for fun" related packing tips? Have a fabulous day!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

iPhone Accessories

This, my friends, is an absolute lifesaver. 

Now, I know that this gadget is "old news" considering J. Crew came out with some external iPhone batteries over the holidays. However, I read a lot of reviews on battery chargers and came out with this one from Restoration Hardware. While, a bit pricier than J. Crew's, and a lot less cute, this delivers and with no issues at all. 

It's small and sleek but has some weight to it. The weight isn't a downside, it actually feels like a quality product. The short little cable is how you recharge it. This has saved me on several occasions. This is especially good for those who travel or are on their iPhone's a lot with nowhere to power-up. 

This is another necessity, in my opinion. I ordered the pink cable from Amazon. The cord is extra long so I can actually use my phone while it is charging. The monogram plug is something that I got for Christmas and I think it is just the cutest! 

Remember my post about Gemvelopes from a year or so ago? Well, it comes into play because it is not only great for storing jewelry, but it is fabulous for cord storage purpose. It has a built in pocket that I put my ear buds in and then the other two cords fit in perfect on top. Plus, the bright pink and green really pops in my purse! I usually carry these cables daily... I only really take my iPad charger if I am going on a trip. 

What accessories for your iPhone/iPad do you love? Have a fabulous day! 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Black + Brown OOTD

I used to think that pairing black + brown was a "no no". Really, what I have learned, is that with fashion, there are no "no no's". Really, you can do whatever you want. And if someone doesn't like what you are wearing, well, it's not really your problem! I think that's actually one of the best things about creating your style. In life there are all sorts of rules, but with your personal style, the options are really endless. Well, I thought I would highlight how I recently paired black and brown for a cute Sunday brunch look!

The button down is black with brown equestrian accents so it can go either way which is actually why I purchased the shirt. It was a very mild day so I didn't even need a full jacket. I just threw on the liner from my Barbour jacket. This is the kids liner... It is plenty big enough and it was a lot less $$$. 

The K. Slademade clutch helped to tie in the belt and shoes and the navy accents went with the denim. I like this look because it's not too matchy-matchy, but I think it flows well. For my hair... well, it wasn't cooperating so I just twisted it up into a top knot (not to be confused with the infamous sock bun).

Do you pair black and brown? Have a fabulous day! 

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