Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Blue and White Striped Top and the Perfect White Jeans

Blow Your Mind Bustier Top

kayu straw tista clutch

tuckernuck blow your mind bustier top

stripe bustier top white jeans and manolo blahnik cork wedges

bauble bar ribbon letter monogram necklace

While I was in Hilton Head and Charleston, I wore this outfit twice because I love it so much! These photos were taken on the porch of Zero George one morning before we headed out to explore for the day. 

I think the top highlights itself in the photos because it's so pretty! It reminds me of a men's shirt, but reworked for a woman! I just love the classic preppy fabric and the fun, summertime cut! As for sizing, I am wearing a small, but there is a fitted insert in the bust to hold the top in place, which is tight. If you have a larger chest, I would 100% size up one size, maybe even two sizes depending on your chest size! If you are not a strapless fan, this shirt has a very similar 'vibe' but has a sleeveless design! The photo directly above is the outfit in action from the oyster roast at the Sonesta Resort on Hilton Head Island

The jeans are what I really want to highlight in this post. I've been wearing this pair from Lilly Pulitzer for 4 years now. While I love them, they've become a little loose in the ankles and no amount of washing and drying has been able to get them back to their original shape. 

I have been on the hunt for about a year for the perfect skinny jean. I find J.Crew's white denim fabric to be slightly translucent, which is a major deal breaker for me. I've also found other pairs to fit oddly. Even my go-to True Religion Halle jeans in white were no good! I had heard people swear by AG jeans so I tried those and I still found them to be slightly see-through! 

I finally found this pair and they are seriously perfect. They are well made with a thick denim material that is not at all see-through. It drives me nuts when you can visibly see the pockets through the material and you can't see the pockets at all with these jeans! They have a great fit and are nicely tapered at the ankle. They also have a good amount of stretch (but not too much stretch where it makes you feel like you are wearing a legging). I cannot recommend these jeans enough. They run very true to size, I am wearing my usual size 27. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

LA Travel Diary Day 3

In the past few weeks, I have shared day 1 of my trip to LA and Day 2! Today I am combining part of Day 2 and Day 3!

Ava and I got up early and headed to Alfred's Coffee and then we hit the road in our cute VW convertible bug to pick up Mia, Ava's sister at Champan University! It was so much fun to be able to walk around the campus. The weather was perfect and the university is so gorgeous! Going to school in Virginia, I didn't see too many palm trees on JMU's campus ;), so it was really cool to see a school so different than mine! I also loved Old Town Orange, which is just a few blocks from campus. It looks like the town is straight out of the 1950's.. so quaint and charming. 

We then headed back to LA to grab lunch. One of the coolest things about driving down to Orange County and back was driving on the highway and seeing huge snow capped mountains off in the distance, but also seeing the palm trees basking in the sun. So incredibly beautiful and definitely not something you see on the east coast! 

We went to lunch at Urth Caffe in Beverly Hills. It's the cutest little cafe that has everything from green juices and smoothies to espresso and pastries! They had so many delicious options on the menu, it was hard to decide! I got the caesar salad and it was fantastic! I loved all of the outdoor seating available. I was loving being able to sit outside at the beginning of February! 

After lunch, we drove around a lot. Having the convertible was the best thing ever. It was so fun to just drive around with the wind in our hair and explore the area. We stopped at Rodeo Drive, of course, and did a little window shopping! 

After exploring, we headed back to Ava's to get ready for the night! We started off at Spago in Beverly Hills which is a Wolfgang Puck restaurant. As we were sitting John Legend and Chrissy Teigen walked right passed us, it was pretty neat. The atmosphere was gorgeous and the drinks/small bites were phenomenal! If you are ever in LA, I definitely recommend Spago! 

We then headed to Katsuya for sushi. Katsuya is sushi restaurant right on Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood. We met up with our friend Jane who also went to our high school! We all had delicious drinks and sushi. The best part? They had crispy rice-- one of my absolute favorite dishes to order at sushi restaurants. It's tempura rice with spicy tuna on top and everywhere I go, I always order it-- it's THE BEST! This was a fun restaurant-- very hip and trendy! 

Right outside of the restaurant was the Walk of Stars. I don't know what I was expecting, but it was a little underwhelming... but I was very excited to have found Frank Sinatra's star! We ended the night at Davey Wayne's, a really cool 70's style bar. The entire bar concept was well done... it almost felt like you were at Disney World or on a movie set. To enter the bar, you walk through a refrigerator door. Once inside, there are different rooms like you would have in a house. The main area is the 'living room' and it looks like you walked on the set of That 70's Show! There was an outdoor patio and then a bar area with the wall covered in 70's paraphernalia. 

All in all, it was such a fun day. Stay tuned for the last day, Day 4! 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Charleston Eats: Cannon Green

Review of Cannon Green in Charleston South Carolina
The most delicious biscuits ever. 

Cannon Green Restaurant Charleston South Carolina
 Enjoying the Sunday Struggle cocktail on the back courtyard! 

Cannon Green Beet Salad
Clockwise: Crabcake, Ravioli, Beet Salad

The first meal we had in Charleston was at Cannon Green and it really set the tone and made me realize that Charleston is such a foodie town! You enter the restaurant through a giant green door on Spring Street and are greeted by a gorgeous table full of gorgeous fresh floral arrangements. The space is open, light, and airy! We were seated towards the back by the bar which had doors to the private outdoor courtyard. 

We started off with some cocktails. I ordered the Sunday Struggle per our waitress's recommendation and it was delicious! Then, they brought out biscuits and butter. Let me preface this by saying I don't really like biscuits. But these might have been the best biscuits ever and completely changed my mind. The butter was so creamy and the biscuits so soft and flavorful. We then ordered a few dishes and all shared. The crabcake was phenomenal with large chunks of crab, the beet salad was probably my favorite because it was so well done and the plate was just beautiful. Then, we had ravioli. It was one large ravioli and there was an egg inside-- something totally different than anything I have had before and it was excellent. 

The food was excellent, service amazing, and the atmosphere perfect. If you are ever in Charleston, Cannon Green should be atop your list of places to dine. Brunch is only on Sundays, but they are also open for dinner Tuesday-Saturday.

The Fifth Label Radio Edit Dress

Navy dress and straw clutch

The Fifth Label Radio Edit Dress

The Fifth Label Radio Edit Dress
Dress (under $100!)// Sandals (under $100)

The atmosphere of Cannon Green is upscale casual, so I wore this super lightweight, breezy sundress. It seems as though people in Charleston dress on Sundays (which I just love!), so it was definitely appropriate! This dress is under $100 and runs true to size. 

I paired the dress with minimal accessories and this gorgeous straw clutch from Kayu. Kayu is a somewhat new-to-me brand, but I packed this clutch in my bag and used it almost every single day. It goes with everything and is so perfect for summer outfits. 

I've been getting a lot of questions about the neutral heeled sandals I am wearing. In my opinion, they run very small. Usually in a sandal of this style, I wear a size 8, and sometimes even a 7.5. I am an 8 in most shoes. However, I had to size up all the way to a 9 in these. I actually ordered these 3 times until I got the sizing right. Many have asked if they are comfortable. While I wouldn't suggest walking around all day in them, the chunky heel makes them much more comfortable than any other sandal with a similar design. I also love that they kind of blend right in with my legs which elongates my legs and makes me able to wear them with almost anything I wear! In short, at under $100, they're well worth it! 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Saturday Shopping

Happy Easter weekend to all those who celebrate! Tomorrow, we go to church in the morning and then all of my family comes over to my parent's house and have a big Easter dinner. We've had a few chilly days here (especially yesterday, brrrrr!!), but they are calling for the low/mid 70's and sun for Easter Sunday. If that is the case, I plan on wearing this dress, because why not?!

Since it's a holiday weekend, many retailers are having sales! J.Crew is currently offering 25% off your entire purchase using code SHOP MORE. They don't have a ton right now that I am loving, however, they do have one of my favorite sweaters out for spring in a cotton fiber! You last saw me in the sweater in this post-- mine was cashmere, but this is a great and affordable option! 

One of my favorites, Talbots, is offering 30% off dresses, skirts, shoes, and accessories and that includes new arrivals! I just got this gorgeous red, white, and blue dress (which I plan to wear on the 4th of July!), this straw bag, and this adorable checked pompom scarf! I just love their new arrivals, so much of the color palette goes with my summer wardrobe! The sale ends tonight, so shop while you can! 

Ann Taylor is offering 40% off of almost everything. I'm not a huge AT shopper, but every once in a while, I find a gem and at a really good price, too! 

Leather Skirt ($34!!!)

Mock Neck Tank// Leather Skirt (also seen in image above with blue sweater)

Club Monaco is offering an extra 30% off sale and clearance items. The prices are amazing. I just ordered a second pair of these skinny corduroy pants. They are my absolute favorite and fit like a dream. They run true to size (I wear a 4). This classic tweed skirt (styled here) is by far one of my favorites. I get so much wear out of it! This leather skirt is my favorite leather skirt that I own and it comes out to be about $62-- I usually pair it with this mock neck tank when going out at night. Another leather skirt that I have, although not my absolute favorite, comes out to be just around $34! It's a steal and if you are on a budget, this is a great option! This dress I wore all fall is on sale and it is one of my favorites-- the a-line fit and ruffled skirt are my favorite parts! I wore it with a navy blazer for work and moved it into fall just by throwing a sweater overtop! And finally, this super feminine blush collared sweater is on sale-- you last saw it here! 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Zero George Street Hotel Charleston, South Carolina

Last week, I had the opportunity to stay at Zero George Street, a historical boutique hotel located in the Ansonborough neighborhood of Charleston, South Carolina. This was my first visit to Zero George as well as Charleston, and boy did I feel at home ! It was so much fun to be staying with blogger friends Grace and Danielle! To say I am in love with Charleston as a whole is an understatement! I'll be sharing a lot more of my trip to come, but today I'm sharing details on where we stayed! 

Zero George is compromised of 5 buildings and offers 18 guest rooms. The name hails from the address of the building, which is 0 George Street. Each room is slightly different and boasts gorgeous, sophisticated-casual decor. Many of the architectural elements were kept in tact from the 1800's when the structures were built. To say that this hotel was charming would be an understatement. From the well-manicured grounds to the southern hospitality, no detail was overlooked. The decor was tasteful and refined and really made our stay so relaxing. 

Waking up each morning was a joy as the light poured in from the many windows in our bedrooms. The beds were huge and so comfortable. Each morning, we would sleep in a little later than we would at home, and then check our e-mails (complimentary WiFi!) and enjoy some espresso from the in-room Nespresso machine (all hotels should have this!!!!). I also appreciated that there were hidden refrigerators in each room that were always stocked with complimentary water and Izze sparkling juices. 

Then we would mosey on down to the bar area and picturesque patio where there was a complimentary European-style continental breakfast set up. They had everything from yogurt and fresh fruit to quiches, prosciutto and lox! Not to mention, they have a coffee bar area set up with a Miele coffee machine. This area was fully stocked with complimentary coffee, tea, water, and refreshments and was available to guests 24/7. A hotel that understands my need for around-the-clock caffeine is something I truly appreciate! 

Since the hotel has just a few rooms per house, it actually felt like we were being hosted by dear friends. The staff was so attentive and welcoming. They always had great suggestions for places to go, things to do, and restaurants to check out! 

Once we were finished with breakfast, we would head back up to our room and get ready for the day! I loved how spacious our bathrooms were, too. All three of us would get together and get ready and 3 girls in one space can get cramped, but thankfully, we had plenty of space! The bathrooms were also stocked with Malin and Goetz products, which I love! I had never tried their shampoo or conditioner and I loved both-- so much so that I ordered the peppermint shampoo as soon as I got home! The best part was the shower had a huge Grohe rainshower-- talk about a real treat! 

The grounds were immaculate. Everything was so well kept, from the manicured hedges, to the spacious courtyard and the blooming dogwood trees; it was breathtaking! We spent a lot of time in the courtyard area and had fun enjoying champagne and a game of corn-hole with Matthias Kaupermann one evening. The bikes were too cute and were always available for guests to use at their leisure!

Each night from 5-6pm in the bar area, they had complimentary happy hour complete with wine and cheeseboards. This was such a lovely touch and became something we looked forward to each evening. The best part is that they always had bubbly on hand-- they must have known I was coming ;)! The cheese boards were delicious and the bartender was great at explaining what each cheese was! 

One night, we were lucky enough to be able to dine at Zero Cafe and Bar, rated one of the Top 5 Foodie Hotels by Conde Nast Traveler! We had a lovely little table out on the patio and were seated just as the sun was setting and the candles were being lit. Zero Cafe and Bar is home to Chef Vinson Petrillo who was on Top Chef and Chopped. 

One of the neatest things about Zero George is that when you walk in to the reception area, you are actually in the hotel's kitchen! It's pretty small and amazes me that Chef Vinson is able to prepare such lavish and increible meals with himself and his sous chef! 

Once we were seated, we were greeted with signature cocktails and started to look over the menu. There were several dining options including a five course or nine course tasting menu. Grace, Daneille, and I decided we would each order something from each course and pass our dishes around so we were able to taste everything. I loved traveling with these ladies because they also love trying amazing food and are always willing to share! 

I think that the beef tartar, diver scallops, and the ponzu glazed wood grilled heritage pork chop were my favorite dishes, but truly, every single dish was incredible. It was easily one of the best meals I have ever had. Everything we were served was so full of flavor and I loved that Chef Vinson made seemingly ordinary menu items like avocado toast into something extraordinary. For example, he served his 'avocado toast' with caviar! Yum! 

We ended our night with a champagne toast and a chocolatey dessert before we retired for the night. Each night we would head off to bed with the cutest of turn-down services. They had adorable water jugs, chocolate treats, and slippers laid out. It was such a nice touch! 

To say my experience at Zero George was wonderful would be an understatement. I could not recommend this hotel more. From the luxe accommodations to the world-class food, and the southern hospitality, Zero George has it all. If you are visiting Charleston this is the place to stay! I hope to be back very soon! A big thank you to Zero George for hosting us! 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Lately 3/24/16

Wearing: Many of you have been asking where the opened toed booties are from in this post (photo above). I got them last year (first styled here) and you can still find them available here here and here. I really love them. I was hesitant to buy them in the first place because they are a trendy piece, but the low cost and the amount of times I have worn them have made me very pleased! I get a ton of compliments when wearing them, too, and they are super comfortable. 

Watching: I tweeted a link out to this short film a while ago but wanted to include it here since it just showed at the Banff Film Festival. It is hands down one of the best things I've ever watched and well worth your 8 minutes. Just a warning, though, you will cry. We're talking ugly cry, especially if you are a dog lover!

Wanting: I haven't seen too much that has caught my eye this week, although this little black dress is definitely a showstopper and is now gracing the top of my wishlist and this lace white dress that is under $150 is also on my wishlist!

Listening: March's playlist is lagging, however, I just went to the Vance Joy concert last night (video still live on Snapchat: SummerWind41490) and it was SO good. I found a Vance Joy song I hadn't loved before called Red Eye and am now obsessed! You definitely need to listen! I also loved that he covered Paul Simon's You Can Call Me Al! If you're a Vance Joy fan and have a chance to go to his concert, you must!

Sale-ing: Neiman Marcus's Clearance section is killer. The prices are so low, so shop now!

Loving: This blush pink clutch. Kate Spade had a clutch several seasons ago that was almost identical... but at under $30, I think it's about time I made it mine!

Loving Part II: These images of magnified sand-- I mean how cool is that?!

Reading: Have you seen these Snapchat billboards in your city, yet? SO clever on Snapchat's part!

Pittsburgh-ing: I went to two new restaurants, Tako and Bakersfield recently. Both served similar higher end style tacos/guac/etc. I loved both, but Tako is now by far one of my favorite restaurants in the entire city. I'll be doing a full restaurant review post soon!

Quoting: 'Guard your time fiercely. Be generous with it, but be intentional about it.'

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