Monday, February 29, 2016

Chunky Scarf + Stripes + Monogrammed Tote

navy blue and white stripes with chunky scarf and monogrammed tote

barrington gifts spring monogrammed tote

Chunky Scarf ($25)// Striped Shirt  (25% off with code SHOPNOW)

Happy Leap Day! I hope everyone is making the most of their extra day in February-- even if it is a Monday! Funny to think we only get the extra day every 4 years. Last leap day, I was still in college! 

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! It started out chilly, but then on Sunday, we had an absolutely gorgeously sunny and warm day! Needless to say, I took Mac for an extra long walk and we went for ice cream, too! Now that we are headed into March and spring is well on its way (!!!) ditching your winter coat is totally allowed! Instead, I like to take my winter staples and layer for a less bulky look! 

This chunky scarf has been on repeat for me lately. The chunky look of it is gorgeous-- I receive so many compliments every time I wear it. Not to mention, it is currently on sale for $25-- a steal! It also comes in cream and a rusty orange shade, too! Since the scarf has a wintery feel, I decided to pair it with a more spring-appropriate look to balance it out! It was about 55 degrees when we took these photos so the scarf was just the right amount of warmth I needed. 

The monogram tote is about as cute as can be. Barrington Gifts is the absolute best, and their new spring collection is amazing. I love the tan color and the navy blue and blue stripes and monogram-- so perfect to pair with all of my spring and summer outfits. This will definitely become my go-to pool bag come June! 

We had been walking a lot downtown and decided to stop off at Il Tetto, a rooftop bar to enjoy a drink or two.This casual and comfortable look was perfect for the occasion! I've featured these Jack Purcell sneakers on Summer Wind for years now and they continue to be a wardrobe staple for me. They're comfortable, classic, and pair perfectly with most anything! They're also inexpensive in terms of sneakers

Friday, February 26, 2016

How to Have a Great Morning

luxe oatmeal breakfast in bed
St. Ives teamed up with NY-hot spot OatMeals to create the St. Ives Radiance Boost Bowl inspired by the natural moisturizers and ingredients found in its skincare products.

Let me be the first to tell you that I am so not a morning person. I love sleeping in, but unfortunately, life doesn't really allow that on the weekdays (and even often on the weekends!). Instead of hating my early mornings, I try to make the morning as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. There are a few things that I like to do to make sure I have a great morning:

Make a List.
For me, a lot of times, having a great, productive morning starts the night before. Have you ever laid in bed at night and thought about a dozen things for the next day? It makes it hard to sleep, doesn't it? I like to write down everything I am thinking of in list form, so it is out of my brain and on paper. That way, the next day I can review the list and make sure I take care of what needs to be done! Sometimes I write down some stupid/unnecessary things, and I give myself a good laugh the next morning! 

Set two alarms.
I always do this. I set one 15-20 minutes earlier than my 'must get up' time. That way, if I feel up to it, I get up at the first alarm and have extra time to get ready and relax. I'd say I probably get up with my first alarm 3 out of 5 days of the week! 

Play a Morning Boost playlist. 
Spotify has one, but it's fun to create your own. Do you have those songs that just make you want to get up and dance? Add those to your list and turn on the tunes when you get up. I always do and this makes such a difference!

Open the Blinds. 
Let the natural light flood in. And if you are up before the sun, turn on the lights to get your mind realizing that it is time to be fully awake! I'm a huge proponent of this because I truly think it makes you a happier, more energized person. 

Drink hot water with lemon.
I try to do this almost daily. I've read so many benefits about doing this in various articles, but even if it's all a hoax, you're still getting hydrated first thing in the morning. Plus, the dose of citrus is such an invigorating scent and taste in the morning-- especially during the winter months!

plum pretty sugar robe and St.Ives body lotion
I'm typically a night shower-er, but when I need an extra boost or when I know I have something super important that day or night, I'll shower in the mornings. It makes you feel so much better and really wakes you up! I started using St. Ives body scrub this winter because it scrubs away dry dead skin and makes my skin feel radiant and fresh. I always make sure to moisturize afterward and have been following up with St. Ives oatmeal and shea butter body lotion. I love that it is super affordable, too (under $5!!).

I just recently started doing this (since I started yoga) and it seriously improves my morning 10-fold. I spend about 10 minutes stretching, and if I have time, I'll do a few sets of push ups and sit ups. It wakes me up and makes my body feel so much better throughout the entire day. I definitely recommend trying this out, it's life changing (not even being dramatic!!).

St.Ives body lotion and scrub from their new oatmeal line

Eat breakfast. 
I never used to be a breakfast person, but after I graduated from college and started working, breakfast became an integral part of my morning. Oatmeal is one of my favorites and really gives me a good energy boost. Plus you can eat it at a table, but I also take it in my car-to-go when I'm in a rush. I love that is filling, contains many nutrients and vitamins such as potassium and calcium, and is really good for your skin.  This is why St. Ives added oatmeal to their body scrub and lotion. The benefits of oatmeal help to moisturize and hydrate super dry skin. Not to mention, the products contain 100% natural exfoliants and moisturizers, which is a big plus for my super sensitive skin.

Make Your Bed.
It's a super simple task but immediately makes me feel like I accomplished something for the day. Not to mention it makes my bedroom immediately feel more put together and, in turn, makes getting ready for the day much less hectic. 

Pick Out Your Outfit the Night Before. 
I've been doing this since middle school. Even in college, I did this. Usually, I'll even try the outfit on the night before to make sure everything works nicely together. If anything needs to be ironed/steamed, I also do that the night before. I also lay out items such as undergarments/socks/jewelry /handbag etc. to save time! That way, I can get dressed effortlessly in the morning!

white roses in mint julep cup and diptyque candle

Burn Your Favorite Candle. 
I love candles in general, but always make sure to burn a candle on mornings when I feel stressed. Scents can totally change your mood, so I usually reach for fresh scents with citrus-y notes to wake me up! 

Coffee, coffee, coffee. 
I am a coffee fanatic. I love everything about it. I typically brew my own dark roast coffee at home and drink it black. I absolutely love the pre-set functionality that my machine has because I wake up to the scent of fresh brewed coffee, which literally gets me out of bed in the morning.

Hold Off on Social Media. 
I typically sift through e-mails when I first wake up to make sure there is nothing crazy going on, but I hold off on all forms of social media until I'm fully ready for the day. I really like that I do this because it makes me able to focus on my day ahead and doesn't cloud my mind with unnecessary information.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of St. Ives. The opinions and text are all mine.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Lately 2/25/16

Loving: Framebridge. It's an absolutely brilliant company that takes any digital image or any physical piece of artwork and custom frames it for you! It's so easy to do. I bought my first 'adult' piece of artwork this summer. Donald Robertson has been my favorite current day artist and to own one of his pieces is a dream come true for me. Framebridge sent me the packaging already addressed and ready to go and all I had to do was to slip in the artwork and a few days later, my piece came back to me beautifully framed and ready to be showed off! It was amazing. I cannot recommend this company more highly. They're especially great for composing gallery walls. I'm definitely going to be a frequent customer!

Wearing: Please excuse my awkward/poor selfie photo, but this is all I snapped on my way out the door to yoga. I started doing yoga back in December and haven't looked back. I only do it once a week, but I'd like to increase that to twice a week. It's so refreshing and a great strength and flexibility workout. Since I've been practicing, these yoga pants have become my absolute favorite things in the entire world. They're truly worth every penny and have the most amazing high waisted band that sucks you in and is particularly good for yoga! I also just got this Patagonia pullover for skiing, but wear it over my yoga tops, too! I just love the way it is fitted but still cozy. I got the black specifically so it would go with both my ski and yoga gear and not show dirt as much (because skiing is not always the most 'clean' sport)! 

Reading: This article about Facebook's new reactions button that has replaced the 'like' button. This article is better than others because it really goes behind the Facebook development team's process, which I love. Basically, when your job revolves around social media, this is a big deal, so sharing for those who are also in social media, but this is really interesting for those in UI/UX, too! 

Watching: This Jimmy Fallon Fuller House x Donald Trump spoof is the best/funniest! Absolutely epic and makes me so so so so so excited for TOMORROW!!!!! 

Wanting: All the spring things. All of the colors and the textures and everything-- I LOVE! We've had a few warm days and I keep saying this, but I just cannot wait for warm weather 24/7. 

Loving: Ventev sent me some phone accessories and I could not love them more. I have a lot of external batteries for my iPhone 6 because my phone's internal battery is totally shot. However, this Ventev battery is hands down THE BEST. It's so thin (it easily fits in my smallest clutches) and the cord is attached right to the battery. I can't tell you how many times in the past, I've had my external battery but no cord, so this is super convenient! The battery also charges my phone twice over. This was absolutely essential when I was flying from Pittsburgh to LA (6+ hours of travel). I definitely recommend this phone battery if you are looking for high quality and longevity! They also have the glass screen protectors. I keep one on my screen at ALL times. It's the best screen protector because the glass protector breaks instead of your actual phone screen. 

Pittsburgh-ing: Last week the New York Times New York Times covered a story about Pittsburgh which makes me soooooooo excited. There is a massive Macy's right on 5th Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh that just closed. It was actually really cool to go in during the week before they closed because literally everything was on sale. You could buy anything and everything they ever used in their window displays and all of the fixtures-- even the mannequins! I should have taken a photo while walking through because it was a sight to see!

When I was growing up, every Christmas, my sister and I would get dressed up and we would go downtown to Macy's with my parents, Grandma, aunts, and cousins to look at the window displays and then to go shop in their kid's store and visit/take photos with Santa. It's truly a wonderful memory I will have forever. My mom even tells stories of when Kaufmann's and Horns and all of the other department stores were located downtown. She fondly tells me how my grandma (her mom) would let her and my aunts skip school sometimes and go downtown to shop and go to lunch. Ohhh the good old days!

Well, department stores are not cutting it downtown any longer and Pittsburgh has had a major renaissance. People (mostly millennials/young professionals) are moving downtown and it's starting to thrive. I am beyond excited to hear that they are doing some incredible things with the old Macy's building. I am super interested to see what retail they bring downtown. I think a concept store similar to something like Club Monaco's Flatiron store in Manhattan that has Strand Books and Toby's Estate Coffee would be such a huge hit (Do you hear me, Club Monaco!?!?!?).

Eating: I'm still on my low carb kick! One of the things I absolutely love to eat for lunch is any type of 'salad' wrapped in lettuce. Chicken salad, tuna salad, egg salad, you name it! It's also super quick and easy to make and very portable/easy to pack. I also really limit my fruit intake because it's high in sugar and carbs, but saw a gorgeous mix at Fresh Market and just couldn't resist. Everything in moderation, right?! I did look up which fruits are the lowest in carbs and some of the fruits included were watermelon, berries, and cantaloupe. I can't wait for watermelon to be in season because that's one of my absolute favorites!

Belieb-ing: Totally just made this one up and this kind of goes in the listening category, but OMG this super quick clip of Justin Beiber is SO good. This needs to be a released song, stat.

Drinking: This past weekend was SO gorgeous outside. On Saturday, it was sunny and about 65 degrees. A lot of places downtown didn't have their outdoor seating out, but Diamond Market in Market Square did, so we popped in for a drink. I had the Blood Orange Jalapeno Margarita and it was amazing! I love jalapeno margaritas so this one intrigued me! I think I will definitely try to recreate this for summertime!

Listening: I've always loved Ed Sheeran, but just rediscovered his song, Make It Rain. It's so bluesy, which I love. It kind of reminds me of James Bay... and speaking of that, have you seen James Bay and Ed Sheeran play together? I came across it just recently and LOVE it. I'm obsessed with both James and Ed, and this is just so so good.

Quoting: I absolutely love this one.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Wanted Wednesday: Transitional Spring Items

Bathing Suit (bottoms)// Blue and White Coverup// Colorful Dress
Black Suede Pumps// Navy Suede Tote// Blue Linen Shorts 

I have been saying this for a few weeks now, but I am getting so antsy for spring. We've had a few teases of warm days here and there that have me beyond excited to ditch my coat for Jacks and a dress!

I've been eyeing a bunch of things but haven't made any actual purchases yet. I'm keeping a running list of what I'd like to add (ahem, all the swimsuits), but probably won't start adding until we hit March. I think some of these items will be great for my trips to Hilton Head and Charleston next month!

Above are some things I have had my eye on and a lot are great transitional pieces, especially this $55 lace peplum! I want to wear it under a blazer now and pair it with cute printed pants come spring! There are so many peplums that I have been loving lately. I thought it was a 'trend', but it seems as though this style is lasting many seasons!

My favorite item on this list has to be these brown booties, though. They're pricey which is why I haven't immediately scooped them up, but I am thinking about them in a big way. I think they are stunningly gorgeous and would be a staple in my shoe wardrobe for years to come. Is there anything you have been loving lately?! 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Pittsburgh Eats: Smallman Galley, Strip District

Smallman Galley Strip District Pittsburgh

smallman galley Pittsburgh pennsylvania

smallman galley strip district menus

smallman galley pittsburgh bar list
As seen on Snapchat (SummerWind41490) 

raising hell drink at smallman galley in pittsburgh

I love checking out new restaurants in Pittsburgh. I'm a big believer in taking full advantage of the city you live in. If you haven't noticed, I'm a very proud Pittsburgher. I feel like Pittsburgh is my child and it is my duty to brag and show off what my love has to offer ;) 

If you are not in the know, Pittsburgh is BOOMING (did you catch that Antonio Brown/DJ Khaled reference, haha!). And it's not just (biased) me who thinks that. Here are some major outlets that have recently featured Pittsburgh:
As a side note, Pittsburgh is also very popular in the tech industry which the inner nerd in me absolutely loves. Apple, Uber, Google, and Oculus/Facebook all have offices here, which is pretty darn cool if you ask me. 

andrew zimmern's quote about pittsburgh

Anyway, back to the real reason for this post: The other night I went to Smallman Galley with some friends. Smallman Galley is located right next door to Pamela's in the Strip District. It recently opened this winter and I had been itching to try it! 

It's a unique concept in that it is a restaurant/chef incubator. There are 4 'spots' for chefs available in the space. The chefs go through the 18-month program to see if they can make it in the restaurant industry while they learn valuable tech/business skills that are necessary to open their own restaurants. The 4 restaurants currently at Smallman Galley are Carota Cafe, Aubergine Bistro, Josephine's Toast, and Provision. 

If you've ever been to Eataly or Chelsea Market in Manhattan, It's kind of a similar experience in that you go up to the counter and order directly from the restaurant... but all of the food is on the higher end spectrum. There's a separate seating area with a full bar and the bar menu has craft cocktails created by each of the chefs plus a full bar and wine list. They also have an espresso/coffee bar, too and it is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

The atmosphere is very industrial with exposed brick walls, reclaimed wood tables, a gorgeous copper bar, and high ceilings. I would describe it to anyone as a 'hipster/trendy Eataly/Chelsea Market type food hall'. We went at around 7 pm on Wednesday night and it was absolutely packed which is great, but unusual for Pittsburgh. 

The bar was excellent, I had the Raising Hell cocktail by Chef Stephen Eldridge and it was delicious. It had a fresh jalapeno margarita flavor but with a smokey kick. I then chose my meal from Carota Cafe which was the Pot Au Feu (a hearty French beef stew). My meal was absolutely wonderful and full of flavor. 

My only reservations are that my portion was a little small for the price. I ate the entire stew, but the meat portion was (in my opinion) too small and afterward, I wasn't completely 'full'. Since it was crowded, it was also kind of annoying to have to sit at the bar to order a drink, pay separately for the drink, then go up and wait in line for the food, then wade through the crowds of people to go back up and pick up my food and carry it back to my seat. Not too much of an annoyance, but just enough that it makes me want to mention it. It is a 'food hall' concept after all, so this is the novelty of the experience, after all! 

I think it is a great spot for groups of friends but also, would be cute for a date night-- just maybe not your first few dates with someone because of the way the dining experience is set up. Great for just meeting for a drink at the bar, too, or even a coffee in the morning! 

All in all, I loved Smallman Galley and will most definitely be back for more! It's a really innovative concept and something really cool for Pittsburgh! I definitely recommend checking it out. Also, be sure to check out my Pittsburgh Restaurant Guide, here

What I wore:

Monday, February 22, 2016

Wardrobe Staples That You Can Wear Year Round

Blush Shoulder Bag (exact color just added back in stock!)// Tom Ford Sunglasses

This post is all about neutral, classic wardrobe staples that you can wear year round. I've said this time and time again here on Summer Wind, but a crisp, classic white button down shirt is an absolute essential for everyone. Literally, young, old, man, woman, it's a closet necessity for all! 

I've written about this shirt in detail in past posts and you can read more detail about the different fits and sizing, here. One of my favorite outfits is denim paired with a crisp white shirt and either heels or ballet flats. This time around, I chose to wear heels because I was headed downtown to the William Penn Hotel for lunch in their Terrace Room (full post with details to come!). I needed to be a little more 'dressed' than ballet flats and these nude pumps did just the trick! 

It was unseasonably warm, so I opted to carry along my favorite cashmere wrap. I take this wrap everywhere as if I was a child and it was my blanket. It's so perfect in almost every situation and matches pretty much everything in my winter wardrobe! I posted about this sale before, but select colors are on sale here for about $100 off, which is a great deal in my book! 

Was it warm where you were this weekend? I just loved the weather and it got me so excited for spring. Last night, when I was walking to my car after dinner, it even smelled like spring. It sounds weird, but I stood there for a minute just taking in that amazing spring scent and the warm breeze. It was short lived because it is supposed to snow later this week, but only a few more weeks until we are snow free entirely!!!! 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Saturday Shopping

So excited for this Saturday Shopping post because new arrivals are starting to trickle in at all of my favorite retailers! There are so many cute things and I am dying to add some to my spring closet! Hope you all have a fun weekend planned! Mine is busy, but I don't have any major plans, which is nice! 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Blue Hues + Leather Skirt

black leather skirt style

black leather skirt paired with cobalt blue cashmere and ferragamo bag

j.crew cerulean blue cashmere cable sweater

blue sweater and black skirt with grey pumps and ferragamo bag
Cashmere Cable Sweater// Leather Skirt (on sale under $100)

This is one of  my favorite outfits as of lately! I picked up this black leather skirt on a whim because it was such a good sale (under $90!). I have a similar skirt (this one), but the one in the photos above is a littler shorter/more fitted in the waist, which I love! I wear it a lot on the weekends for date night/going out with friends, although it paired so nicely with this gorgeous cashmere cable sweater for daytime. 

If you don't have a leather skirt (more options here) in your closet, I definitely suggest it. It's become a closet staple for me. From work to play, my black leather skirts get so much wear. In the past two months, I usually wear tights with my skirts, but on this particular day, it was really mild, so there was no need for tights (I loathe tights). 

I don't have a lot of this blue shade in my closet, but I really love it. I've been eyeing this pretty blue double breasted blazer for a while, and might have to make it mine, too. I think this color works so nicely in the winter, but also works wonderfully in the spring/summer months as well! It's a very refreshing pop of color during this time of year when just about everything is gray! 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Lately 2/18/16

veuve clicquot yellow label
I've been living in this oversized chunky sweater this winter. It's one of my most-worn pieces in my closet and it is now on major sale! 

First of all, is it just me or is February absolutely flying by?! There is not even 2 full weeks left. Where does the time go?! I am so excited for March because I have a few fun trips up my sleeve and also, that's when we start getting warmer weather (woo!!!).

This week has been quite busy. I had such a fun/packed long weekend hanging out with friends and family! Really my entire month of January and February have been busier than ever before. I think the thing that tripped me up the most is that usually, January and February are pretty low-key/quiet for me in terms of work/travel/social schedule, but this time, there was no pause, that's for sure! My calendar is making it seem like I won't have a 'calm' period of 2016! But that's just the way I like it.

Watching: Did you have a chance to checkout my LA recap video?! I'll be sharing more in blog posts next week!

Pittsburgh-ing: Pittsburgh was just named 'the new cool' by Forbes Magazine!

Drinking: Last night I went to a new restaurant concept in the Strip District. I'll do an entire post on the restaurant coming soon, but this is what I ordered to drink and it was SO good. I love a spicy margarita and this was just like that but also had a great smoky flavor, too! You can still check out my snap story that features some of the experience (but hurry, it will expire tonight!). My snapchat is SummerWind41490.

Wanting: This is a super random list this week. I'm all over the place in wanting sweaters and then super summery things like the eyelet dress you see above!

Loving: I was sent these gorgeous Accessory Concierge earrings and on the back, they had Chrysmela Catch earring backs. These earring backs are amazing and genius! I had not heard of them before, but they look like regular earring backs, but you have to slip your fingernail underneath the backs to remove them! I am now wearing them with my diamond studs because I am notorious for losing earrings. Once in high school, I thought I had lost one of my diamond studs and my mom ended up picking it up in the vacuum cleaner so I am really glad to have these new backs!

Loving II: Misty Copeland recreates Degas. This is seriously incredible and might be one of my favorite things I have ever seen. Degas has always been one of my favorite artists and Misty is an incredible dancer-- those two things coupled together: WOW. The creative team that worked on this killed it! Make sure to watch the video, too!

Eating: I had mentioned I am on a low carb kick. For the entire month of January I was super strict and barely ate any carbs the entire month. In February, I've been reintroducing small amounts of carbs here and there. One thing I went without was sushi and just had it for the first tim in a while this past weekend. My favorite sushi in the world is Little Tokyo in Pittsburgh and it was heavenly!!!

Reading: With New York Fashion Week coming to a close, this article that I read last week from the New York Times is a must-read for anyone interested in the fashion industry.

Listening: You guys. The Lumineers released their first single in a long time and I have been playing it nonstop! It's incredible (especially around 1:28)- the piano is amazing. It sounds best when turned up really loudly on great surround sound speakers. I went to their concert (can't believe that was 3 years ago!!) when they came to Pittsburgh and it was one of the best concerts I have ever been to. I am so excited for them to drop their new album on April 8th! As always, you can check out February's playlist here. I might start on March's sooner rather than later because February is getting a little full/stale.

Quoting: Find more of my favorites on my Pinterest board!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Elegant Dresses for Prom, Weddings, and Formals

Prom, Wedding, and Formal dress ideas!

With prom, wedding, and formal season right around the corner, I am rounding up my favorite cocktail attire and gowns for any of these ocassions! I have received quite a few e-mails from readers asking what my favorites are! Most dresses that I am sharing today are classics that can be worn for more than one ocassion. I included a few others that are a little fun/ more trendy for those that are looking to mix it up, too! 

My biggest suggestion with looking your best for a formal ocassion is having your dress/gown tailored exactly to your body. A well-fitted dress makes a world of a difference and can really breathe life into a dress you may have otherwise discounted while shopping! 

I also suggest keeping things simple. Stick to classic silhouettes, avoid crazy colors (like neon), avoid glitter/sparkles/rhinestones, and avoid crazy patterns/prints that take away from your natural beauty! I know crop tops, cutouts, etc. are very 'in' right now, but when you look back 10 years from now, you don't want to think 'what on earth was I wearing?!' Trying to keep things simple and classic will have you looking back on photos from your special ocassion and not cringing!

My favorite special ocassion shoes/accessories:
Do you have a special ocassion coming up? What are you wearing? 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Winter White

I'm constantly in dark colors during the winter months, but every once in a while, I love to pull out a  lighter, neutral ensemble. It's like a breath of fresh air-- especially around this time when I am so over the cold! Luckily, we only (hopefully) have a few more weeks of this left! 

I love a good pair of white jeans (more options here) any time of the year. I've said it time and time again, that these white jeans are my absolute favorite. Currently, I'm in the market for a more casual boyfriend/distressed pair, and I'd also love a slightly cropped pair that are tighter at the ankles-- anyone have any recommendations?! White jeans are super hard to buy, so whenever I find a pair, I always stick to the same pair!

The sweater I am wearing (also comes in gray!) is one I had my eye on as soon as it came online! The color is so soft and girly. I just love it paired with white. I also have paired it with black and love it just as much! I got it because it reminded me of a ballerina and something that I didn't have in my closet! Plus, it paired so nicely with my adele cashmere scarf!

My suede booties are old Ralph Lauren, but there are a ton of similar options on sale here! Now is the time to shop for suede booties because so many pairs are on sale!

Do you like to wear white in the winter? What do you pair with it?! 

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