Thursday, December 31, 2015

Lately: NYE 2015

Can you believe it is the last day of 2015? I definitely think that this was the fastest year of my life thus far. I feel like it was just NYE 2014! Does anyone else feel like that? This year has been an absolute whirlwind for me. I feel like I was constantly busy and on the move-- and for many good reasons! I truly had such a good year and am so thankful. I really hope that 2016 is just as good as 2015-- it's going to be a hard one to beat, but here's to hoping! 

Also, thank you all who have stopped by Summer Wind in 2015. You're all so supportive, positive, and truly brighten my day. I hope to continue creating posts that you enjoy in 2016! I wish you and all of your family and friends a very happy new year. I hope this year brings everyone blessings and great joys!

'Lately' is something I started in the latter half of 2015, but I fully plan on continuing this series in 2016. I have received some really great feedback, so if you have any suggestions, leave them in the comments! I especially love when readers e-mail me with category suggestions! So here is the last 'Lately' of 2015!

Wearing: I do most of my shopping online. I don't really enjoy shopping at malls, but like to browse when I am traveling or am in need of something ASAP. The problem with only shopping online is that I often miss out on items that don't photograph well on retailer's websites. Or, I miss out on items where you can't feel the quality, etc. I actually went into Nordstrom the other day and came across this dress. Online, I would have never picked it out, but on the rack, the cut and the quality were so nice and what drew me to the dress! Then I saw the amazing back and was sold! And for the price (under $150), you really can't beat that for a cocktail dress. I definitely found a gem and am so excited to wear it tonight! I've also been more careful about buying cocktail dresses in that I've been buying ones that I will be able to re-wear. This one will work for weddings, showers, engagement parties, etc. and it is definitely seasonless! For those in high school that are on a budget and have a dance coming up, or in college and have a date party, I also think this is a great suggestion. This is definitely something I would have worn in high school and college, too! 

Watching: The Fuller House trailer. I'm not kidding you when I say I teared up watching Netflix's Fuller House trailer. I LOVE Full house. I watched it religiously growing up and still watch the re-runs to this day. I'm pretty sure I've seen every single episode about 10 times each. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy's embarrassing, but I get SO excited when I hear this. I cannot wait for this series coming to Netflix on February 26th. Candace Cameron Bure was interviewed and said the show is based on DJ being a recent widow and having her sister and best friend move in with her... basically like the original full house! I have high hopes! 

Also, I don't really listen to much country music, but the song in the Fuller House trailer is called 'The House That Built Me' by Miranda Lambert. It's a little too twangy for my taste, but the words had me in tears. The message is a little like Taylor Swift's 'Never Grow Up'. 

Drinking: Veuve Clicquot Brut... Because NYE.

Traveling: As you're reading this, I am in Maryland with some of my best friends in my sorority to ring in the New Year! I haven't seen these girls in quite a while and I am so excited. We have such a blast when we get together and they are such good friends! I just shared this great playlist, which is a favorite for traveling, so be sure to check it out! 

Listening: Obsessed with this Lay It All On Me Remix! Perfect to get you ready to celebrate! I added it to my December playlist
Eating: We're almost to 2016, so with that, I guess I'm back to eating 'normal' food. No more cookies, hot chocolate, etc. Sad for my tastebuds, but very good for my waistline.. which is why I've been trying to be active as much as possible! Aren't those leggings, so cute?! 

Reading: This article on what's coming and leaving Netflix in January. Is it just me or are there a lot of good things leaving and nothing good coming?! Cue sad-face emoji. 

Pittsburgh-ing: I just went to Monterey Pub in the Northside in the Mexican War Street area of Pittsburgh and it was SO good. It's a very casual Irish Pub style bar and restaurant nestled right into the charming Mexican War Street area. To give those non-Pittsburghers an idea of the area, it's blocks of row houses similar to Georgetown mixed in with some Brooklyn brownstone type houses! The food was excellent and atmosphere casual but cute. 

Wanting: Normally, right now in Pittsburgh, it is COLD. We're talking 25 degrees is the norm. With temps in the 60's in December and the 10 day forecast in the 40's this is unusually mild. I have so many heavy sweaters, thick socks, snow boots, etc. that are begging to be worn, but there's no sign of snow whatsoever! Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, I like these mild temps. However, I would like to ski at some point, so hopefully we will get a few snow days! With that said, the mild temps have me eyeing pieces for slightly warmer weather!

Sale-ing: There are still a bunch of sales going on right now, so be sure to check out this post, but also, Tuckernuck just put up an amazing sale. Think Barbour and lots of other amazing winter staples. 

Loving: This. Pouch. At under $100, it's a very fun clutch, indeed! I feel like this is me in clutch form! Would make such a nice gift for a champagne-loving gal! 

Quote-ing: This is a new category, but I just love quotes. I am always pinning quotes that I love, so I thought I'd share one I like each week. This one is very fitting seeing as it is New Year's Eve!

"May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to makes some art - write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself". - Neil Gaiman

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Throwback Playlist

I love that Summer Wind readers are so into music. I absolutely love that you all ask for song suggestions and send me suggestions, too! I am so lucky to get the sweetest e-mails and comments on how much you enjoy my playlists, so thank you!

I'm super into music and always looking for new tunes to add to my playlists. In the music world, for me, everything is fair game. From Bach to Beyonce, from Paul Simon to the Chainsmokers, I love it all. 

One of my favorite playlists that I have made is my 'Throwback' playlist. This brings back fond memories of growing up and what my parents liked to listen to. I definitely got the musical gene from my dad as he is really into music... a lot of the songs on the list are because of him!

This playlist also brings me back to college. My junior and senior year, we used to play all of these songs. From getting ready for a sorority date party to going to a fraternity band party, Paul Simon, Talking Heads, Rolling Stones, etc.-- they'd all be on full blast! You would have thought we were all going to school back in the 80's rather than 2012!  I specifically remember the weekend before Thanksgiving, we were at one of our favorite fraternities and it was a small party, we were all in one room, and Take Me Home Country Roads by John Denver came on. We all started singing-- it was epic.

I also thought it very appropriate to share now, because almost all of the songs on the playlist are so upbeat! They're great for a party but I also love turning this playlist all the way up when driving. I'm headed to Annapolis for New Year's Eve and I know this playlist will definitely get some major usage. I even listen to it while working-- and it makes me want to get up and start dancing right then and there! Do you have a great throwback playlist? Have a fabulous day! 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Willard InterContinental Hotel Washington D.C.

To say we had a blast last weekend in DC would be an understatement. The weather was gorgeous, it wasn't too crowded and our stay at the Willard InterContinental Hotel (right across the street from the White House) was beyond perfect. 

I'll highlight our stay at the hotel in this post and in a secondary post, I will highlight what we did while in DC!

Fair Isle Sweater// Pants// Grey Pumps (sold out, similar)// Speedy 30 

After shopping and lunching in Georgetown on Friday, we checked into our hotel. It's located right across from the White House and within walking distance of pretty much anything and everything you could want to see! 

Check-in was quick and painless and when you walk into the hotel, we were greeted with a gorgeous, historical lobby all decked out for Christmas. I was so excited to have been upgraded to the most luxurious and beautiful presidential suite ever. It was such a fun treat and I love that each suite is named after a well known historical figure! I shared a video tour on snapchat (SummerWind41490) but for those who missed it, here are some shots of the room! 

We settled into our room (which was quite an easy task) and explored the various rooms (this place was 1425 square feet!). We even had a full dining room! We were greeted with treats and wine and decided the occasion called for a bottle of bubbly! It was so nice to relax in the beautifully appointed living room. The entire suite-- and really the entire hotel-- was decorated exactly to my taste. Everything was luxurious and classically done. 

I loved that the room had luxe little touches. For example, they had all of my favorite magazines, large bottles of Agraria shampoo/conditioner/etc., all the toiletries you could think of, an illy espresso maker in the butler pantry and several fully stocked bar areas throughout. 

I loved the wallpaper in our foyer, the blue and white china touches, and the incredible granite and marble throughout. 

Callie, Me, Dad, Mom
What I'm Wearing: 

After relaxing and enjoying a glass of wine or two, we got ready for dinner at Old Ebbitt Grill. We always make a point to go to OEG for dinner because it's so delicious and has a beautiful atmosphere! We were just steps away from the restaurant, so we strolled to dinner and took in all of the gorgeous Christmas decor. 

It was so nice that Callie is 21 now, so we were both able to go out after dinner and meet up with friends! She'll actually be 22 next week- I can't believe it!

Pajamas Here (on major sale)

One morning, we had planned to go to Cafe Du Parc, the cutest French cafe in the Willard, but since we had such a large suite, we opted to get room service. It was so lovely to sip our coffee and enjoy a delicious meal in our pajamas. I had the lox platter that was so good...I basically always order some variation of this at any restaurant I go to for brunch. It's my favorite dish! The rest of the family had dishes like eggs Benedict, corned beef and hash, oatmeal, etc. and said theirs were wonderful, too! 

When I am staying at a hotel, even if I am not dining in my room, I always order coffee to my room. It makes getting ready in the morning so much better and definitely a fun little touch! I also always judge places by their coffee because that is a big deal to me! Willard passed with flying colors-- they definitely know how to brew a cup!

My parents! 

Each night we got dressed for dinner and went down into the lobby area to take in the gorgeous Christmas decor. The tree was spectacular and everyone at the hotel always seemed to be snapping photos of it! It was so nice to be able to spend so much time together as a family- we don't do it enough! Aren't my mom and dad the cutest? I definitely got my love for fashion from my dad. He is so dapper and stylish and always rocks a bow tie.

All in all, the trip was a success and my mom, dad and Callie seemed to thoroughly enjoy their Christmas present from me! I really liked giving an experiential gift rather than an actual gift. I think the memories are worth much more than any object would be! Do you enjoy visiting DC? What are your favorite DC spots? Have a fabulous day! 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Shades of Grey: Cashmere Cableknit and Tweed Skirt

Kendra Scott tassel pendant necklace

Club Monaco Ottalina Tweed Skirt

Mansur Gavriel Tote// Tweed Skirt (on major sale) 
Chanel Flats (similar)// Black Aviators

It has been unseasonably warm here in Pittsburgh as I'm sure it has been in most of the rest of the north east and even south. I'll admit I was a little disappointed on Christmas because I got some new sweaters and definitely couldn't wear them! We also all went to church in our sleeveless dresses and didn't even need our coats! I will say, though, I love not having to wear tights. I loathe tights, and not having to wear them is the best. 

This is an outfit I've been wearing constantly. I got this skirt a few weeks ago while in New York and it has proved to be a closet staple. The heavy weight and luxe texture are perfect for this time of year. It is currently on sale for an extra 40% off the sale price, making it a major steal! I love that it pairs so perfectly with my grey cashmere cable sweater. I even was able to ditch the sweater for the photos. A basic white silk tank is a staple in any closet! This is a great work look, but I also wear it on the weekend by switching out flats for my tried and true grey pumps! 

How have you been dressing for the warmer than usual weather? Have a fabulous day! 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Guide to Post-Christmas Sales

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas! I'm always so sad today that it's over-- but I still rock out to Christmas music to New Years and there is still New Year's Eve to look forward to! We had such a great Christmas with all of our friends and family.

There are some majorly good sales going on right now, so if you got a gift card you are itching to spend, it's definitely worth browsing! There are so many great pairs of shoes on sale-- and most are deeply discounted. I've rounded up a few of my favorites above! There are a few pairs of ballet flats left that are on major sale and literally look identical to my Chanel cap toe flats!

If you are still looking for a new year's dress, I'd order today to make sure you get it in time! Above are some of my favorites and almost all are on sale-- a few under $100, too!

 I've been really looking at bags a lot lately. I have a specific style bag in a specific grey stuck in my head and I haven't yet found what I'm looking for, so I keep browsing! Scroll through above to see some bags and other miscellaneous sale items that I came across and loved. Especially the first one-- the quilting, the color and the bow? So perfect!

Since everything is usually majorly discounted, I always stock up on things to refill my 'gift bin'. It's pretty depleted at this point, so finding things like these pretty Kate Spade earrings for just $25 and these tartan cocktail napkins are great to have on hand for those occasions that just pop up!

Here is the rest of the sale info for you to shop!

Deal: Half Yearly Sale, major discounts

Mark and Graham
Deal: Up to 50% off sale items, many new items added

Deal: Red hanger sale up to 60% off

Banana Republic
Deal: Extra 50% off sale 
Code: Discount automatically applied in cart 

L.L. Bean
Deal: up to 50% off, many new markdowns added 

Deal: 100's of items just added to the sale section

Ann Taylor
Deal: 60% off 
Code: WINTER60

Deal: 40-60% off

Kate Spade
Deal: extra 25% off all sale items

Saks Off 5th
Deal: Up to 70% off 

Tory Burch
Deal: Extra 30% off sale
Code: Merry

Club Monaco 
Deal: Extra 40% off sale and clearance

J. Crew
Deal: extra 40% off sale 

Deal: Extra 30% off sale

Ralph Lauren
Deal: Additional 40% off sale 
Code: none needed

Brooks Brothers
Deal: Semi annual sale, major discounts 

Deal: extra 25% off sale

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Lately 12/24: Christmas Eve Style

I just had to include this-- because who can say it better than Eloise?! SO excited that it is Christmas Eve! I hope everyone has something fun planned today or tonight and is able to spend time with their loved ones. Today's 'lately' post is all things Christmas Eve! 

Reading: Luke 2:8-14
"For behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

Eating:  Tonight we have a buffet style meal, starting with a gorgeous spread of appetizers and hors d'oeuvres-- one of my favorites being deviled eggs and then it is on to a major meal of pretty much anything and everything you can think of! My favorite is the hot Italian sausage! 

Pittsburgh-ing: Every year the neighborhood lines up luminaries down the street. It's so gorgeous and such a great tradition that brings everyone together!

Watching: Before mass, Callie and I watch so many Christmas movies. Callie's favorite is Polar Express and mine is Home Alone. 

Listening: Tonight is the night that all my friends and family gather around the piano and sing Viva La Vida by Coldplay.

Loving: Tomorrow there will be a full moon on Christmas. The first full moon on Christmas since 1977 and the last full moon of the year! The next Christmas full moon won't be for about another 20 years! Crazy!

Drinking: Champagne all night. We close off the night with flip cup-- almost everyone at the party gets involved. It's hilarious and tons of fun.

Wearing: Pajamas until it is time for mass. Then I will be wearing this dress or this dress- it will be a game time decision!

Wanting: I want everyone to have the most joyous and blessed Christmas possible. I hope everyone is safe and happy and remembers the reason for this incredibly joyous season. From my family to yours, Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Easy Nutella Hot Chocolate Recipe

Easy Nutella Hot Chocolate Recipe

I'm typically not a 'drink your calories' gal... however, a cup of hot chocolate every once in a while is definitely something I enjoy! There's especially something magical about hot chocolate when skiing. I always have a cup when I'm taking a break or apres ski! The other day I was craving a cup and decided to whip up Nutella hot chocolate! 

I could eat Nutella by the spoon, I love it so much so this was right up my alley and so easy to make! You really only need two ingredients-- and what a good excuse to keep a jar of Nutella around, right? 

What you'll need:
  • Milk
  • Nutella 
In a warm sauce pan, mix 1 cup milk and 1 large/heaping tablespoon of Nutella. Stir until the Nutella and milk are completely blended. I kind of went off of this and then added bits of Nutella as I tasted it. If you want it extra chocolatey, add in a packet of Swiss Miss for a bolder flavor! 

I topped mine off with Cool Whip, which is kind of weird, but I absolutely love Cool Whip! I think marshmallows with hazelnut shavings and chocolate drizzled over top would be delicious and would also make for a very aesthetically pleasing presentation. The flavor was so rich and decadent, I definitely recommend it. Do you have any hot chocolate recipes that you love?! I would love to try them out! Have a fabulous day! 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Buffalo Plaid and Hunter Boots

Buffalo check and mansur gavriel tote

buffalo check styled

Buffalo Plaid paired with hunter tour boots and mansur gavriel tote

blonde hair inspo

buffalo check styled

I think a lot of people think that plaid is only reserved around the holiday; but I am one of those people who wears it year round. From lightweight summer plaids, to heavy flannel winter plaids, the more the better in my opinion! 

However, I do think there are certain tartans that really scream Christmas and should be put away until next year. Buffalo plaid is one of my favorites because it's simple and really works from September through March (depending on your climate)! I'm not a huge fan of red in general, but there is something so cozy and pretty about a good buffalo check, isn't there? 

The dress I am wearing is from Gap, however, it sadly looks like it is sold out, but I've found a ton of other buffalo plaid pieces for you to browse. It's great to flag them now, as they will likely go on sale starting December 26th! 

I also want to note that the rain boots I am wearing are an absolute necessity in the fall/winter/spring. I can't believe I only just got them this fall. I wear them constantly. I think the reason I never had them before is because sometimes I find boots to be a pain to slip on and off, but these are a breeze to get in and out of! It's been pretty warm here, so there has been no need for a liner, yet, but I know that it will be necessary once the snow comes! I really like the plain liner, but they also have a cute cable knit liner, too! I think the liner would make a great stocking stuffer--order now for delivery by Christmas!! As for sizing, since they don't come in half sizes, I usually wear an 8 or 8.5, but I sized up to a 9 and they fit perfectly. Have a fabulous day!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas Morning Traditions

On Christmas Eve, my family and I go to mass and then we have a huge party at our house with family and friends. In the past on Summer Wind,  I've written about our Christmas Eve. We've been having this party since I was born! So much food, cocktails, family and friends, singing, dancing, and even later in the night, we play flip cup!! The weirdest thing, but also the coolest, is that we all gather around our piano and sing Christmas carols, BUT at one point, we sing Viva La Vida by Coldplay. Every. Single. Year. No one can remember why we do this, but we have been doing it for at least 6 or 7 years! We always take video of this and looking back on videos, they are hilarious! It is truly one of the best nights of the year-- I actually love it even more than Christmas! 

However, Christmas morning is so much fun! Now that my sister, Callie, and I are both grown, we really like to sleep in! Once we go downstairs, we all make cappuccinos, put on Christmas music, put on the Christmas Story Marathon (on silent) and then we sit around the tree enjoying our coffee. First, we each open our stockings one by one. Even Mac has his own stocking. Opening stockings is my favorite part. I love all of the cute things my parents come up with to fill up our stockings! 

I love telling this story, but when Mac had his first Christmas with us, we had him open his stocking, and he picked up one of his new toys in his mouth, and then rushed to our back door and started barking to go outside. When we let him out, he went to the corner of the backyard and started vigorously digging a hole in the ground!! We were all watching out of the window cracking up, not having a clue what he was doing. He ended up burying his toy! We think he was overwhelmed with the amount of gifts we gave him and felt he needed to hide one away for later, haha! I will always remember that because we were all laughing hysterically. 

After stockings, we open our presents, clean up and lounge around for a little bit. Then my sister and I head upstairs to get dressed/ready for the day and my parents make an incredible brunch complete with mimosas. Later in the afternoon, one set of aunt/uncle come over as well as my grammie and we open more gifts. Then we all hightail it to another set of aunt/uncle for a prime rib dinner with more family-- and go to bed in a food coma! 

If you still haven't gotten into the Christmas spirit, definitely check out my Christmas playlist on Spotify! It has all the classics, and some pop favorites, too! Also, something fun: If you are a Spotify user, they have an awesome top 100 songs of 2015. If you are planning a New Year's Eve party, this would make for a really great playlist! 

If you are still stuck on gift ideas, check out all of my gift guides below or scroll through the above widget to see some of my favorite picks:
Cheers to CHRISTMAS WEEK everyone!!!!! Have a fabulous day! 

© Summer Wind Blog 2017 / site design by kiki and co. / disclosure