Friday, December 30, 2016

The Best of 2016:Blog Posts + Products

According to Google Analytics, these were the top posts on Summer Wind of 2016! I excluded the sale posts and the Lately posts as those were some of the top posts, too, but the sale posts don't really apply any longer and the Lately posts are always the most popular, so you can always search 'lately' and they will all be populated for you to check out! 

As I reflect back on 2016, I wanted to take a moment to thank each and every one of you for checking in with me from time to time here in my own little corner of the internet. Your support and kind words throughout the year mean so much to me. It makes me so happy to know I have so many kind and gracious readers. 

I was especially touched by the eloquence of everyone when posting the survey at the beginning of 2016. Unfortunately, the internet can be a really mean, harsh place. One positive note from that fact is that through blogging, I've learned to have really tough skin. I'd be lying if I said I'm not affected by the harshness of it from time to time, though.

As I posted the survey in early 2016, I was really worried as I left a lot of the questions with the ability to answer open-endedly. It really touched me that thousands responded and you were ALL polite, thorough, and kind. Even those who had issues with Summer Wind communicated their thoughts in a polite and constructive manner. With all the craziness and hatred in the world, it's nice to know that there are so many people out there with big hearts and also so many that know how to eloquently and respectfully state their frustrations or displeasures. 

Summer Wind is a labor of love and a true passion of mine and I absolutely love sharing my fashion finds, travels, and everyday delights with all of you. I look forward to everything 2017 has in store for me personally and here on Summer Wind. Best wishes to all of you for your best year yet and thank you all again for your kindness, graciousness, and support. 

Most Loved Products by Summer Wind Readers (that are still in stock):

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Best of 2016: Lately 12/27/2016

Today's lately will be interspersed with some best of 2016 goodness to keep with this week's theme! Tomorrow I'll be sharing the top products of 2016 as featured here as well as the top posts on Summer Wind! 

Wearing: Tomorrow I'm recapping some of the most popular items of 2016, so stay tuned! However, this week has been a whole lot of pajamas. My mom, sister, and I wore these pink striped pajamas on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning! I love love love them. They remind me of Eloise! It's been so nice to be able to relax and get things done around the house. I always feel good when I have a jump-start on a new week, let alone a new year! 

Pittsburgh-ing: Best restaurant of 2016 is a tie between Tako and Little Tokyo. Two of my absolute favorite restaurants in all the world. You can see my entire list and reviews, here

Listening: I've shared this playlist several times, but here are the best songs of 2016 according to me! 

Wanting: I always find this to be such an awkward time of year. I'm already over sweaters, and it's time to ditch dressing for the holidays but it's still way too cold (and it will be for months... ahhh) to embrace spring items. Woof. This is when I typically find myself getting into a dressing rut, but I am determined not to let it happen this year! 

Watching: My favorite shows of 2016 have been The OC (I just watched all the seasons for the first time in early 2016), Stranger Things (duh), The Night Of, Westworld, The Crown, Wayward Pines. And two honorable mentions? Growing Pains and Wonder Years are always my go-to shows. I can watch these episodes over and over and never tire of them. 

Reading: I didn't do as much reading as I would have liked this year. I started the year off strong, but then it kind of fell off of my to-do list. It's one of my favorite things to do, so I'm trying to prioritize time for that. I'd love to hear some of your recommendations! I think my favorite this year was Once We Were Brothers

Sale-ing: There are so many sales going on right now, it's a little overwhelming! You can read Tuesday's post of my favorite sale items, here. I'm also loving the J.McLaughlin sale. The prices are amazing!

Smelling: Favorite scents of 2016? Santal 33, Carven L'eau de toilette, Celerie Kemble candles (you can find them at Homegoods), Voluspa Moso Bamboo candle

Drinking: Best drinks of 2016? Gerolsteiner mineral water, Trader Joe's sparkling water, Estancia Cabernet, Wolffer Estate Summer in a Bottle, Veuve Clicquot yellow label, Schweppes Lemon Lime sparkling water, Botanist Gin, Harney and Sons Paris Tee, Clover Brewed Coffee. 

Quoting: You can read all of my favorite quotes, here

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Best of 2016: Drugstore Products

I've shared my favorite lip colors and favorite makeup products and today I am sharing my favorite drugstore products. Truth be told, when it comes to beauty, I'm not much of a drugstore shopper, but I have found some tried and true favorites that are worth noting. I'd love to hear your suggestions, too!

These products are all something I use weekly, if not daily. All of the products I've been using for at least 90 days, but most of them, I've been using for years! 

best products from the drugstore with reviews
Shop the Products:

Curel Ultra Lotion// I've been using this for forever. It's super thick and creamy but not oily and dries on skin quickly. I use it after every shower all over! 

Botanics Toner// Callie introduced this to me recently. I usually use Mario Badescu's Glycolic Toner, but I think this one actually does a better job! I swipe it over my entire face right after I wash my face.

Nyx Concealer// I bought this as a recommendation from Callie. I ran out of my favorite Nars concealer and didn't have time to get to a Sephora, so I ran into Target and picked up a few shades of this. I think it's directly comparable to my Nars concealers. The only issue I have with buying drugstore makeup is that you can't try the shades, so it's really a shot in the dark when buying a shade. They're so cheap, though, I bought 5 shades! 

Vaseline Lip Balm// I love this. I keep a tub in my bathroom and at my bedside. During the day, it's nice to wear because it gives a very subtle shine!

Neutrogena Makeup Wipes// I've been using these since high school. They never let me down and always remove all of my makeup. 

Blistex Medicated Lip Balm// My favorite lip balm, I have about 10 scattered all over the place from my car to kitchen drawer to various handbags. I use it nightly, too.

Neutrogena Foaming Cleanser// I keep this cleanser in my shower and use it when I need to remove my makeup. I use this to remove the makeup, but then follow up with other go-to cleansers (you can read all about my skincare routine, here). 

Batiste Dry Shampoo// I'm truly not a fan of dry shampoo. I have such thick hair, that when my hair gets oily, that means I definitely need to wash it because it probably has been at least 3 days since its last wash. However, I keep this one on hand when I am in a pinch. Like when I'm going to do something athletic where my hair needs to be washed but there's no point because I'll just wash it afterward. This gives it the pick-me-up I need for a short period of time. 

Degree Motion Sense// This is the only deodorant I've found to work and work really well. It's a solid/powder and it truly lasts all day long. 

Dessange Hair Oil// Holy-grail of hair products right here. If you use hair oil, this is the best! I put it on damp hair before I blow-dry/straighten but also after it is dry, too! It tames frizz and makes my hair look shiny and healthy!

Conair Ceramic Iron// I've been using this iron since I learned how to curl my hair circa 2005. It's never failed me. I have it in all different sizes, but the sizes I use the most are the 1 1/4" and 1 1/2". 

It's a 10 Leave-In// I've written about this in the past. It's amazing and I use it daily. I use it on damp hair, post-shower. It' smells so good and makes my hair so easy to brush. 

Garnier Micellar Water// So many brands make this and it shocks me how some of them are so pricey. There's no reason you need to buy the 'luxury' version of this product since it is so basic. This Garnier version works wonders. I use it to remove excess makeup that my Neutrogena wipes may have missed and it is also great to put on a q-tip and clean around my eyelashes (I have lash extensions!).

Dove Shampoo and Conditioner// Hairdressers everywhere are cringing that I am saying Dove Shampoo is the best. But it really is. I have always used Dove. I get it at Costco in the giant pump bottles. I love the fresh smell and it just gets the job done. 

Neutrogena Rainbath// Such a great body wash. It's unisex so it's great for guys and girls. It has a light, fresh scent and doesn't leave any residue behind. My mom used to use this on us when we were younger (like baby-young) and every time I smell it, it reminds me of my youth. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Best of After Christmas Sales

If you're not all shopped-out, then this post is for you! If you are, I feel ya. Anyway, these sales are really too good not to mention: ummm Barbour jacket on sale? And MAJOR sale on Ferragamos (over $300 off)? Yeah, I told you it was good! I scanned my favorite retailers to find things that are great deals but also quality pieces. Scroll through the widget above to check them out! My NYE dress is on sale, too, now under $100! Happy Shopping!

The Best of 2016: Makeup

Yesterday I shared my favorite lip colors of 2016, and today I'm talking makeup! Everything from concealers to bronzers, highlighters to mascaras and everything in between. I mentioned yesterday that I'll be sharing my favorite drugstore products in a later post... so keep an eye out for that!

Overall, I tend to have very sensitive skin, so I pay attention to the brands and ingredients of everything I use. Certain brands, like Tarte and Bare Minerals are the best for me because they are made for sensitive skin (non-comedogenic). I would love to hear your favorite products in the comments-- I'm always looking to try new things!

Concealer and Foundation
the best foundations and concealers

Tarte Creaseless Concealer// This has been a favorite for more than 3 years. It is in my daily arsenal of products. I love the Tarte brand because it is 'good' for your skin. It's very pigmented and thick. The small tube lasts forever because you don't have to use much at all. I use it to cover any blemishes because it covers up pretty much anything and everything. I'm considering switching to the It Cosmetics brand because it's comparable in formula, but has an added anti-aging component! 

Nars Creamy Concealer// This is another product that I've been using for a long time! I have a comparable product in the upcoming drugstore best of 2016, but I have this in custard and vanilla and both are amazing. The formula is smooth and not too thick, but not too thin either! I use the shade vanilla in the winter when I am paler and also use it to highlight. 

Naked Skin Concealer// This is one of my most recent beauty purchases. I had heard such good things about the Naked Skin line, so I wanted to try this! The formula has a much lower viscosity than the two concealers I reviewed above. It's easy to use on large areas and blends really nicely. A little goes a long way with this product! 

Stroke of Light// This is a highlighter, but it is really similar to coverup, you can really use it as both if you're on the paler side. The formula is similar to that of the Naked Skin concealer and it is very easy to blend! It's my favorite liquid highlighter (that doesn't have shimmer) that I have come across!

YSL Touche Eclat Neutralizer// I had this for a while and didn't use it because it's literally green. I watched a few YouTube videos on how to apply, but it's intimidating. However, it really does work now that I have given it a fair chance. The green neutralizes any red on your face, so it's great for blemishes/zits/etc. It's really easy to apply and the green really does blend with your concealer and your skin! 

Bare Pro and Brush// This is the BEST powder ever. It's great on its own, but I personally love it to set concealer/foundation. I don't wear foundation during the week unless I have something important, but I wear this powder day-in-and-out because it's comfortable and light but still covers up enough! I'm not normally into brushes, but this brush really is amazing, I definitely recommend getting the brush, too. 

Tarte Pressed Powder// This is one of my absolute favorite products. Callie taught me about the makeup technique called 'baking' last year. So after watching a few YouTube videos, I wandered into Sephora looking for a great powder. This one has no shimmer, is super matte, is pressed so there is very little mess and is super fine so it won't sink into your pores or wrinkles... it just blends beautifully and gives you a cohesive finish. 

Chanel Foundation// This is hands-down the best ever. I think it will make the list every year because it's just that good. It's pricey, but well worth every cent. It's not cakey, it's nice and light, but still totally full coverage. I don't use this daily, but only when wanting to look #flawless.

the best highlighters and bronzers

Laura Gellar Gilded Honey// Definitely one of the best products ever. This is one of those can't-live-without products that you never even knew you needed! It's a shimmery highlighter with a nice warm glow. A little goes a long way (so this should last forever). I like to use it in the corners of my eyes, on my cheek bones, on my brow bone and on my nose. It just gives you a really nice warm glow without being too noticeable or shimmery/sparkly. 

Chanel Blush// I have had this forever and love it. It's not very pigmented so you can't really mess this up. It's also very matte, which works for me really well since I'm a little more on the oilier side. 

Mac Blush// I have so many of these shades, but the key is to get them in either the matte or sheer tone. They blend really well and the sheer tone shades are especially easy to apply. It says that they're not very pigmented, but I think that they are. A little goes a long way and gives a nice glow. 

Bare Minerals Pressed Bronzer// I just started using this one and I think it's one of my favorite bronzers yet. Like most of the products I've shared, a little goes a long way. It's very pigmented and the hue is deep, so you really need to be careful when applying. However, this is a true bronze color that makes you look like you just stepped off the plane from the Bahamas. My second favorite is Benefit's Hoola (this one is more foolproof and not as deep). 

Bare Minerals Powder Duo// This is my backup translucent powder to my favorite Tarte version. I keep this in my makeup bag at all times, too, because I really like it, especially the shimmery side. I use the shimmery side the same way I use the gilded honey as described above and I use the matte version as I do the Tarte powder. The one pro that this has against the Tarte powder is that it is much less messy.

Hourglass Ambient Light Palette// LOVE this product. I got this a year or so ago and it lasts forever. This is another one of those things you didn't know you needed until you had it. It's really expensive, but worth it, in my opinion. The powders are fine, with no sparkle but have a subtle shimmer. The three colors were created to work well in certain lighting situations. I personally use the middle shade the most (as a highlighter) but love layering the other colors over bronzer and blush, too. 

Bare Minerals Palette// I've used this palette all year long and thing it's amazing. If you only had to have one item off of the powder list, this would be it. It has your bronzer, highlighter and blush all in one palette. The shades are universally flattering and are easy to apply and blend. I also just love Bare Minerals in general because the products are 'good' for your face! 

the best eye makeup

Lash Domination Liner// I don't wear eyeliner often, but when I do, I go for this liquid liner. It's bold, easy to apply, and can be removed with a swipe of a makeup wipe. 

Watt's Up Highlighter// Another highlighter... yes, I love them. This is a creamy version that packs a shimmer. I find it best to use during the winter months when your skin can be really dry and powder only makes it worse. 

De-Slick Spray// This spray is applied when you're done doing your makeup. You spray it all over your face and it sets your makeup as well as keeps your shine under control. I have been using this for years and truly think it does a great job! 

Stretchex Mascara// I've been wearing lash extensions for the entirety of 2016, so I don't have too many great recommendations in the way of mascara. However, I really love Stretchex for my bottom lashes. The brush is tiny and can get to every bottom lash and has a nice, deep black shade. Callie actually loves this mascara, too, and she doesn't have extensions!

Anastasia Brow Pen// I am pretty sure I have tried every Anastasia product under the sun. They're all great, but I really love this brow pen the most. It's really easy to apply and is foolproof. Second runner up is this Bobbi Brown gel.

Monday, December 26, 2016

The Best of 2016: Lip Colors

Each year I do the best of 2016 makeup products (you can see last year's, here). I'm also constantly getting questions about what products I use. I don't post too often about beauty, but I am going to try and make more of an effort to do so in 2017 because I know many are interested! 

Truth be told, I'm not super into beauty products or makeup. My sister, Callie, is really into makeup and she watches a ton of YouTube videos on the best ways to apply the products. It definitely benefits me because she keeps me in the loop!

However, I get sent a ton of beauty products to test out. It's a ton of fun and I'm always willing to try anything and everything! Not to mention, it's fun to share things I truly love and believe in (because there are a whole lot of dud makeup products out there to weed through!!). I feel like my routine during the week is pretty low-maintenance, but I kick it up a few notches when doing some blog photos or when going out on the weekends! 

This year, I am going to group everything into categories. I'm also not going to include any drugstore makeup within the posts. I'll have a 'best of drugstore' post up this week that features all of those products, so stay tuned! Today is all about my favorite lip colors! I have drawers full of lip colors. Sometimes, I feel like I've tried them all. But there are definitely my favorites. Whether it's because of the color or the formula, here are my tried and true favorites of 2016! 
the best lip colors for everyone
Shop the lip colors here:

Buxom Lip Cream// You can also find it here.  This brand of lip gloss is some of my favorite. It's somewhat minty so it has a plumping quality to it and it's so creamy and easy to apply. The colors are rich and pigmented. I personally love the shades berry blast and cherry flip. I wear these daily, but they are not long-wear so you have to reapply often. 

Chanel Rouge Coco// My favorite lipstick. My go-to everyday shade is 430 Marie. It's a creamy, pink. I actually think it's the exact shade of my lips so it just enhances it enough for daywear. It's a 'regular' lipstick, but I find that it wears longer than other basic lipsticks! 

Aveda nourish-mint lip color// This is a true lipstick with the best mint flavor just like the gloss. I have it in several colors but my favorites are 950 carnelian red (which is a bright, very pigmented red) and 733 cherrybud (which is a step down from carnelian red). It lasts forever and feels really good on my lips. 

YSL Rouge Pur Couture// This is one of my favorite lip colors (09 Rose Stiletto). It's very similar to the Chanel color I have, but I find that this goes on smoother. I'm also a sucker for the beautiful gold packaging.

Urban Decay Lipgloss// Failbait is my favorite shade (and it's currently on major sale for just $11). It's one of those glosses I have a few of (all in the same color) and keep in my car, handbag, desk drawer, etc. It's easy to swipe on without a mirror, creamy and hydrating but the color is pigmented. It's not as glossy as a typical lip gloss, which I like! 

Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo// This is one that I have a love-hate relationship with. The color (214 Message) is INCREDIBLE. Seriously, it's the best true red there ever was. It's super creamy and hydrating and almost feels like you're applying chapstick. And while that feels great, it also makes it really hard to apply. So I only put this on when I have time to 'take my time' on my lips. It's just such a good color, which is why it's making the list! 

Aveda nourish-mint// My mom got my sister and I this gloss as our first lip color ever when we were younger! I specifically remember us being in Atlanta and going into the Aveda store and her letting us get a very neutral shade. Since then, I've always been a fan of Aveda products. My favorite shade now that I am an 'adult'  is 953 chuparosa. I find it to be pigmented enough for both day and night, it's super shiny and minty! 

Aveda nourish-mint liner// This is THE BEST liner! It's within the nourish-mint line and pairs well with most of my really bright red lip colors. When I want to get super dolled up, I will line my lips and fill it in with the pencil and then go over it with lip color. 

Mac Lip Pencil// I use this with the Mac Twig lip color. It's a very neutral color great for everyday wear. I find that when I use this pencil, it makes Mac's Twig lip color stay on much longer! 

Mac Lipstick// The shade Twig is one of the most popular Mac colors. I'm not a fan of the nude lip, but this is borderline nude with a touch of earthy pink! It's easy to apply, long-wearing, and decently inexpensive!

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine// My friend, Kim, introduced me to this color. It's one of those colors you could apply in the dark with no mirror and it would still look great. It's neutral with a slight shimmer to it! It looks great on its own or overtop of another color. 

Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstacy// This is one of my newest favorites. My friend Aly actually picked it out for me and she was right on! I wear shade 200. It's a very pigmented deep red. It stays on forever and it's pretty easy to apply considering it's a long-wear, matte color. 

Chantecaille Lip Definer// If you can't tell from this list, I really like very neutral lip liners. I never use liners to line my lips, but rather, I outline my lips and then color them in! This is a great shade when I don't want to wear anything on my lips. It stays put and looks very natural! 

Tarte Lipsurgence// The shade (exquisite) is really hard to come by. I ended up having to order it via Amazon. But it's so creamy and the absolute perfect neutral shade. I love it so much!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas

From my family to yours, wishing you a very merry Christmas.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring 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 Saviour, 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." (Luke 2:10-14).


Friday, December 23, 2016

Winter Outfit Inspiration

Today I'm wrapping up the week by sharing some outfits that haven't made it to formal blog posts yet (but some have been shared on Instagram), so it is going to be a little all over the place! There won't be any outfit posts next week since I'll be sharing all of my 'best of 2016 posts' (if there is a category you're specifically looking to see, leave a comment!). So here are some fun ones! I'll be sharing more outfits on Instagram (@SummerWind41490) as I wear them (with a lot of what I'm wearing on sale), so be sure to follow along if you aren't already! 

how to style a burberry scarf
Sweater// Velvet Pants// Boots (old, similar)

Double-faced cashmere wrap sweater (so luxurious, but inexpensive)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Lately 12/22/2016

Planners and Calendars for 2017:
Can you believe we are just about a week away from 2017?! As I look back throughout 2016, it feels like everything went by in a flash, but then again, last year around this time feels so far away?! Crazy how that happens, isn't it? Especially as I get older, I notice that the time seems to pass much quicker. It's a reminder to really try and soak up 'the now'. 

When it comes to planners, I am old school to the bone (unless I am forced to use Outlook). I like everything written down, color coded, highlighted, etc. If there's a mistake or a reschedule, I use white-out. Maybe I'm the last person left using white-out in 2016, but that's fine by me! 

In 2017, I'll be using my Lilly Pulitzer planner for on-the-go scheduling, but my favorite tried and true method is using a desk calendar. This year, I'll be using this beautiful one (but still has plenty of writing space!). I've rounded up some of my favorite 2017 planners and calendars in the widget above, so be sure to check that out if you are still looking for something great! I personally love to be able to glance at the month as a whole and it particularly helps when planning blog content to see it laid out like that (I'm a visual person!). I'll have to do an entire post dedicated to the way I schedule and plan because I feel like I have a really good system!

Loving: If you've been reading Summer Wind for even a minute, then you'll know how much I absolutely swear by the White and Warren cashmere travel wraps. I have several colors, and while I totally understand that they are pricey, to me, they're worth every penny! However, I found a great alternative (under $120) for those who are looking for a less pricey option! I can't speak on the quality because I have not ordered this, but the size is comparable (which is hard to find!!)... this cashmere travel wrap is just 6" shorter than the White and Warren version and has the exact width measurements. It's under $120 and the price will go back up on 12/26. You can order today by midnight (express shipping) to receive by Christmas if you need a last minute present!

Loving II: These might be the best leggings I've ever come across. They are moisture-wicking on the outside (and look and feel like a typical athletic legging) but they are lined with super soft fleece on the inside. They aren't bulky but they are SO comfortable and warm. I bought them to ski in, but let's be honest, I'll probably wear them much more often than that.... do yourself a favor and get them because I cannot sing their praises more!

Wearing: Callie snapped this photo while we were shopping yesterday. I love when I order pieces from a brand and the colors match identically. It makes it really easy to throw together a monochromatic outfit and that is exactly what I did with this sweater and these cords. They are currently on major sale and seriously the pants are something I swear by (great for work and play)! 

Last-Minute Gifting: I get a FabFitFun box sent to me 4x/year and it's a lot of fun. It's like a Birchbox on steroids. It's $50/box or $179.99/year. This past box, I found a new favorite mascara, got a gorgeous Gorjana necklace, a 2017 leather planner, and tons of full size/high quality beauty products. My favorite thing I've ever gotten in my box, is a Trina Turk canvas pool tote (soo cute). I think this would make such a cute gift and is especially perfect if you need something in a pinch (yes, I'm talking to you, las minute shoppers!). You can use code: SYDC for $10 off your box! 

Recommending: I just got these New Year's eve crowns. It's free shipping if you have Prime. I always love to bring them as a hostess gift and they're so fun to wear around! 

Watching: I'm fresh out of shows, so I'm looking to all of you for your recommendations. I've already seen Westworld, Stranger Things, The Night Of, Gilmore Girls Revival and I recommend them all! 

Wanting: If you are looking for last minute New Year's Eve outfit ideas, you can scroll through the widget above to see my favorites! Also, I tried on this top and leggings and it made such a cute outfit and was amazingly flattering. I think I'll probably order both pieces for yoga/tennis!

Sale-ing: There are about to be sooo many sales, but a lot of them are already happening. Namely, Club Monaco! I got this sweater (comes in a bunch of colors but online it looks like black and camel are left!)

Reading: Just as a heads up about what you can expect on Summer Wind next week: Every year, I round up 'the best of'... usually, it's makeup, but this year I'm going to do several categories, so be sure to head here next week, there won't be a lack of content!

Reading II: This Forbes article about 'best by' dates is a really good read. I try really hard to go grocery shopping often so I am not buying too much and then letting it go to waste, but sometimes, it is inevitable. Not only is it a waste of money when food goes bad and needs to be tossed, but it's wasteful because there are so many others who are starving. 

Listening: I added 20+ new songs to November/December's joint playlist to close out 2016! Last week I shared my top tracks of 2016 playlist and if you are looking for a really great playlist, that's going to be my #1 recommendation! 

Pittsburgh-ing: I've updated my Pittsburgh restaurant guide, so be sure to check that out if you are looking for new restaurants to try. There have been a lot of new ones opening up and I've been trying them as fast as I can!
Quoting: See more of my favorites, here. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Black and White Cozy Winter Sweater

Red Bubble Earrings (come in many colors)// Sunglasses

Can you believe we are just days away from Christmas? This wis the last week for holiday outfits, and it makes me kind of sad! I just love dressing up and being festive!! How fun is this sweater? I saw it in person from afar which is originally what lead me to go into the store! It reminds me of a classic vintage ski sweater, don't you think? Once I felt it, I was sold. It's super soft but super stretchy, making it beyond comfortable! 

I dressed it up with touches of red like the earrings and shoes for a holiday feel, but I more so plan to wear the sweater during January/February as an apres-ski sweater. I typically wear black leggings under my ski pants, so this will be easy to throw on while in the lodge! It's the perfect cozy-casual look but still put-together! Right now it is on major sale, so scoop it up while you can!

What are you up to the rest of this week?! Did you get to take some vacation days and are using this time to sleep in or spend time with family? Or are you traveling somewhere fun?! Our family is already in town, so today we are headed out to lunch together and to do some last minute shopping (although I've long finished my shopping!). I'm definitely relishing this time to wear alllll the holiday plaid, bright red and sparkly things before the year comes to the end!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Hay-Adams Hotel, Washington, D.C. Trip Recap

room photos of the hay-adams hotel in washington d.c.

room photos of the hay-adams hotel in washington d.c.

the hay-adams hotel washington d.c.

the hay-adams hotel room photo

review of my stay at the hay-adams hotel in washington d.c.

hay-adams hotel review washington d.c.

If you've been following along on Instagram and Snapchat, then you'll know that my parents, sister, and I, along with our family friends, headed to Washington D.C. for the weekend! We do this each year around Christmastime and it is so much fun! We started doing this trip when I was in college because it was located so close to James Madison, but then I decided to keep the tradition alive and give the weekend to my family as their Christmas present from me. Spending time with family is better than any other type of gift, in my opinion! The District is usually not very crowded, temperatures are typically mild, and there is so much to do because of the it really is a wonderful time to visit.

lobby of Hay-Adams Hotel

We've stayed at many D.C. hotels in the past, and each year we like to try somewhere new! This year, it was The Hay-Adams hotel which is located literally across the street from the White House on 16th Street. You can't really get any better when it comes to location! The tagline is too perfect: 'where nothing is overlooked but the White House'... and it was so true as our room looked directly out to the White House. We actually caught Marine One taking off to take the Obamas to their flight to Hawaii... it was very cool to watch!

  The hotel was absolutely beautiful, especially because it was decked out for Christmas! The lobby was intimate with a few lovely sitting areas and a gorgeous tree! It has a boutique feel as there are just 145 rooms which is nice because you feel very special being there. The staff was always helpful and attentive and went above and beyond. I also loved that you can really feel the history in the building. It was built in 1928 and it was fun to just wander around and take in the details such as the intricate crown mouldings and ceilings! 

Our room was spacious and the toile fabric around the room made me want to move in (not to mention the most comfortable beds). It was decorated exactly to my style and taste... I actually took notes on my phone so I can remember the details and try and copy some of the interior touches in my own home!

bathroom at hay-adams hotel
Another favorite? The marble bathroom (and of course, the toile shower curtain!). Again, I was taking notes because the gold and glass shelving and gold hardware had me swooning! I also loved that they had Etro products and all of the toiletries were done in the Etro paisley. We felt very pampered!

the lox bagel at the Lafayette restaurant at the Hay-Adams hotel

The Lafayette dining room at the Hay-Adams hotel
The Hay-Adams hotel is also home to The Lafayette, which is the main dining room. It's very light and bright and classically decorated with beautiful banquettes and stunning chandeliers. We had an elegant Sunday brunch there! I always judge everywhere I go by the coffee and The Lafayette passed with flying colors... soo good (and so was the food).

They also have a cozy bar in the lower level appropriately named, Off the Record. We went there several times during our stay- the martinis were amazing. My favorite part was that the coasters were illustrated by political cartoonists and can be collected with every visit. I was so excited to have snagged a few as they're a fun memento and a piece of history. 

hay-adams christmas tree
Dad, Callie, Mom and Me in front of the Hay-Adams Christmas tree.

During our trip, we had dinner reservations at two of our very favorite D.C. restaurants: Old Ebbitt Grill and Cafe Milano. Old Ebbitt was a quick walk from The Hay-Adams hotel and is a classic D.C. establishment. We go here every time we are in D.C. because it is so delicious. They're known for their oysters and every time I go, I get the oysters rockefeller to start. I love this dish and order it when restaurants have it available, but Old Ebbitt's are some of the best I've ever had! I also love the old school feel and decor of the Old Ebbitt Grill. Its wood paneled walls and dim lighting make it feel like I've gone back in time. 

Cafe Milano is located in Georgetown right off of Wisconsin Ave. This is another place that has really neat decor (designer scarves framed on the walls) and has an old school vibe! The pastas are incredible and they are named after Italian designers (like Gucci and Prada!). I love their beef carpaccio, too! They have an extensive wine list and I love that the waitstaff are always dressed up. 

All-in-all this trip was a special time spent with my family and our friends. From our lovely stay at The Hay-Adams to all of the amazing food we ate to the beautiful sights we saw, I'm so glad to have been able to make fun memories with my family that I will cherish forever.

Cereal milk ice cream at Milk Bar at City Center DC
Cereal milk ice cream at Milk Bar at City Center.
half smoke and cheese fries at Ben's Chili Bowl on U Street in D.C.
The half-smoke and the cheese fries at Ben's Chili Bowl (on U Street).
Clyde's in Georgetown D.C.
An interior shot of a Georgetown favorite, Clyde's!
the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.
At the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.
clyde's georgetown
Mom and Me at Clyde's. 
the washington monument
The Washington Monument.

Mom, Dad, and Callie walking around the National Mall.
chinatown DC
The entrance to Chinatown!

The Shortlist:
Where We Stayed: The Hay-Adams

Where We Ate and Drank: Clyde's, Old Ebbitt Grill, Ben's Chili Bowl, Milk Bar, Cafe Milano, The Lafayette, Off the Record Bar, Woodward Table 

What We Did: Shopped in Georgetown, walked around the National Mall, Smithsonian Museums, Checked out City Center and Chinatown

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