Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Father's Day 2016

preppy vineyard vines outfit inspiration

guys preppy outfit inspiration

grosgrain belt, gingham shirt, nantucket red pants

preppy vineyard vines guys outfit

Father's Day Gift Ideas  vineyard vines bow tie

fathers day 2016 gift ideas

vineyard vines 2016 summer outfit

vineyard vines 2016 summer outfit

What I'm Wearing:

What Dad is Wearing: 
Red Pants// Belt (on sale!)// Sunglasses 

I started Summer Wind on a whim the summer after my freshman year of college. That was seven years ago. I was 19 and had no idea as to what I was doing. I had some time on my hands during the summer break and loved reading blogs. So, Summer Wind was born (named after my favorite Frank Sinatra song!). 

In the early days of Summer Wind, blogging was significantly different than it is now. 'Professional' photos were virtually nonexistent and no one really even bothered to style their photos. They were mostly shot on cell phones... namely my Blackberry. Ohhh those were the days. As the blogging industry progressed, so did my blog. I started learning more and started to apply it to Summer Wind. One of the things that changed in the blogging world was that photos taken with a DSLR became a 'necessity'. As a college student, I didn't have a DSLR camera, nor the budget for one. 

Enter my dad. My mom had given him a Nikon for his birthday and my dad generously let me 'borrow' it whenever I wanted. Fast forward to now, I'm pretty familiar with a camera. But you know who is even better? My dad!!

I think many who aren't too familiar with blogging would be surprised about just how much goes on behind the scenes. All of the people involved: designers, photographers, interns, parents, family, friends, lawyers, accountants, other bloggers, etc. The work and effort that goes into just one post may look simple or effortless, but in reality, the amount of time and effort may surprise many.

I know a lot of bloggers hire photographers, have their boyfriends or husbands take their photos, etc. But I'm not sure how many can say that their Dad is their photographer. My dad, the saint of a man that he is, has been taking my blog photos for me for the entirety of Summer Wind. Sure, I have others who step in from time to time, but for the most part, my dad is always by my side-- literally and figuratively. He's the biggest cheerleader and supporter. He is always willing to help me in any way. He even started reading photography blogs and watching YouTube videos because he wanted to help me take better photos. Summer Wind would be nonexistent if it wasn't for my dad! For that (and so much more), I cannot thank him enough. 

Another thing about my dad? He is the best-dressed guy I know. I may be biased, but he is known to always be dressed to the nines. His style is classic, traditional, and preppy. I definitely got my taste and style from him (Mom, too, though!!!). Whenever I get something in the mail, I show him, and when I get his stamp of approval, I know it's a keeper.  

If you've been reading Summer Wind for a while, then you'll know that family is the most important thing to me in my life. I feel so lucky to be able to get to hang out with my dad all the time. I give him recognition in person, but with Father's Day coming up (June 19th), I thought it was about time he came out from behind the camera and I share him on my blog (thanks for the photos, Mom!)! I'm also sharing some 'vintage' photos below! 

I feel so proud to say that my dad is a classic gentleman. He treats everyone with respect. He always stands when we enter or leave a room. He always pulls the car around for us, he gives us his coat, he carries our skis for us, he helps us with our coats, he walks with an umbrella over us... I could keep going... He truly loves my mom, sister, and I unconditionally.

Besides being a perfect gentleman, my dad is an incredible cook with the biggest sweet tooth. He taught my sister and I how to ski, waterski, golf, kick a football (he played football in college!), etc. He's charismatic and well spoken. He has great taste in music. He wears a kilt every Christmas Eve. He's an amazing dancer, he's philanthropic, a perfect parallel-parker, a hard worker, a wonderful paddle tennis player and basketball player, loves scuba diving. The list goes on. Basically, my dad rocks and I am so lucky to have him! 

He and I look alike, and my mom and sister look alike! My favorite memories with my dad are many, but I'll share some fun ones. I loved doing Indian Princesses with him where we would go to campouts and meetings together. My dad always chaperoned on our Friday night ski trips in middle school and high school... it was so much fun! He also coached my middle school basketball team and still loved me even though I was probably the worst basketball player ever. We both love Beto's pizza and we always go there late at night, just before it closes when we are hungry. He's also pretty darn cool. He and my mom came to visit me at JMU for my 21st birthday and I took them to a fraternity band party one night. He hung out with everyone and fit right in!

For the most part, I try to keep my family/friends/etc. off of Summer Wind to respect their privacy. But, for this post, my dad so graciously offered to be a part of it! Vineyard Vines , one of our favorite brands, let him choose a few pieces to style himself. This was totally his pick, with no help from me! He even chose the dress I am wearing! With Father's Day coming up, I thought it'd be fun to share what my dad chose, in hopes it may help you pick something out for your dad! 

My favorite thing to give? A shep shirt. If your dad is always dressed in a suit during the week, a shep shirt is such a welcome gift so he can have a great pullover for nights and weekends! It's a classic that any guy would love! I have a few and they are my go-to during the spring/summer! You also cannot go wrong with a belt. There are even a few on sale-- and a print to fit everyone's personality. 

A big thanks to my dad for having fun with this post and for Vineyard Vines for letting us choose some pieces to style! I am forever glad that I started this blog seven years ago to recap many precious moments in my life. I am so happy we were able to get some great photos together; especially since he is usually behind the lens. I know I'll look back on this post and these photos fondly. Love you, Dad!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day 2016

memorial day and fourth of july outfit inspiration

Gingham Heels// Pear Studs ($8, perfect for wearing at beach/pool)// Whale Hat

memorial day and 4th of july outfit ideas

I hope everyone is enjoying their Memorial Day weekend. If you are getting this extra day off, I hope you are spending it enjoying and if you are traveling, I wish you safe travels! 

Today I rounded up some of my favorite red, white, and blue items. I always love to dress in our nation's colors on holidays to show support for our country.

I think sometimes it is easy to forget why we get this extra day off. There are so many other distracting things going on: the unofficial kick-off to summer, school is out, the pools are opening, the 'white rule' is being lifted, lots of great sales are happening, an extra day off from work; the list goes on. 

The reason that this is a long weekend and today is a national holiday is to remember those who have died serving our country. We are so lucky to be able to safely gather with family and friends on this long weekend and every day of the year thanks to the brave men and women who gave their lives while serving the country. 

I hope you'll join in remembering them at some point during your day. At 3pm there is a national moment for remembrance; if you are able to join, I encourage you to do so. 

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Saturday Shopping: Memorial Day 2016 Sales Roundup

Lilly Pulitzer// Amazing gifts with purchase! I am in love with this gold wicker clutch!

Neiman Marcus// Up to 40% off! This Canada Goose vest is one of the best buys! 

Last Call Neiman Marcus// and extra 40-60% off everything!

One Kings Lane// Furniture blowout sale. Major discounts!

Saks// Designer Sale up to 40% off. SO many pairs of Ferragamo shoes are on sale. They make my favorite shoes in the whole world. I usually size up a half size in designer shoes, however, these run true to size and I wear my usual size 8. They are also offering $90 off on several colors of my favorite thing in the entire world: Cashmere travel wrap.

Shopbop// New markdowns. I don't have this faux leather jacket, but I know it's really popular (and comes in a bunch of colors)... and at $66 I might just make the purchase! I had been dying for the cashmere travel wrap in navy and what luck I have, it's on sale for around $90 off! Sold!

Saint Bernard Sports// Cashmere travel wraps are available here, too, on sale!

Nordstrom// Major half yearly sale. I like to go for the 'big ticket' items during this sale. This beautiful YSL bag is almost $1000 off and these classic Jimmy Choo pumps are on major sale (as are these timeless Manolos!)! Jack Rogers are under $90 and the sale colors are neutral, which doesn't happen very often, and same with Hunter Boots. This pair is under $90! This navy blue dress is only $20. I think it would work perfectly as a swimsuit coverup, but also great for a night out with a chunky necklace and wedges!

Club Monaco// Take an extra 30% off of sale and clearance with code WARMER.

J. Crew// 30% off your entire purchase using code WEEKEND. Obsessed with this red, white, and blue striped tee. Just ordered for myself! Above are two tops I have already worn: the bow shoulder top and plaid off-the-shoulder top. Love them both (both true to size!).

Calypso// An extra 50% off sale styles.

Ralph Lauren// Take an extra 30% off using code MEM30 (through 5/31) and Designer sale, up to 40% off!  I especially love these tortoise flats and this navy and white striped tee!

LL Bean// 10% off using code SUMMER. Now is a good time to order a fresh canvas tote for the summer! They almost never go on sale.

Talbots// Extra 40% off one marked down item, extra 50% off 2 or more marked down items. I have this shirt and it is a wardrobe staple. The sale price makes it a steal.

Ann Taylor// 50% Off Full-Price Purchase, Extra 40% Off Sale Styles with code SUMMER50. This leaf printed dress is my favorite thing on their site right now.

Anthropologie// Additional 30% off all sale items. I have these bowls and they are the greatest. Perfect for ice cream and cereal.... at just around $9, they're an absolute steal (so mad I paid $24 for mine!!!). I bought a few sets to give as gifts! 

Mark and Graham// Extra 25% off sale using code EXTRA25

Banana Republic// Extra 40% your purchase off using code BRTAKE40 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Wine Country: Bouchon Bakery, Yountville, CA

Bouchon Bakery, Yountville, CA

Bouchon Bakery in Napa California

Rebecca Minkoff handbags at Bouchon in Yountville

rebecca minkoff bag and david yurman cable bracelet and cartier tank watch

Bouchon Bakery in Napa Valley California

Cartier Tank Watch and Rebecca Minkoff handbag with David Yurman Cable Cuff

You saw my Chandon recap on Wednesday, so today I am recapping, not a winery, but something just as amazing: Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery. You've probably heard of Thomas Keller. He's also known for French Laundry (in Yountville, which we sadly did not make it to! Next time!!!) and also Per Se in New York. Bouchon and Bouchon Bakery are both his creations, too, but are located in several cities around the country! I had actually meant to go to Bouchon Bakery while in LA, but we never made it so I was really glad to be able to go while in Napa! 

I don't eat baked goods often because I know they are not 'healthy'. Plus, in Pittsburgh, the best baked goods are from La Gourmandine, and you have to wake up at the crack of dawn on the weekends to get your hands on anything. So I also don't have too much access to incredible baked goods (both a blessing and a curse). When I travel I always indulge and try anything and everything. I made sure Bouchon Bakery was on our 'must-visit' list. 

We had woken up at 3am that morning to go hot air ballooning. After an hour and a half drive to the meeting spot, we had received a text message saying that it was canceled due to wind. We were majorly bummed. But it being only 4:30 am, we had nothing to do but just to hang out (literally nothing was open). However, lucky for us, bakeries open up early! So once Bouchon Bakery was open, we headed over. 

If you are in Napa, you must visit even if just for the branding. The entire place in done in green and yellow pastels which makes for the most charming branding. It almost reminds me of Maison Kayser in New York but I loved Bouchon even more! 

The actual bakery itself is tiny (no indoor seating) but plenty of cute umbrella tables outside! You can get your order to-go or take it and sit outside. I saw a lot of people ordering to-go packages, but we were happy to sit outside and enjoy the morning. I got a black coffee, ham, egg, and cheese croissant, and a salted caramel macaron (my favorite flavor that I order at every macaron place). 

The macaron was huge in comparison to say, Laduree or Gaby et Jules. It was delicious in its own way. The filling was brown and delicious, but definitely different from any other macaron I've had. Gaby et Jules still has the best salted caramel macaron in my book! The croissant, oh my goodness, it was amazing. I mean buttery, flaky, melt in your mouth goodness. I felt like I was in Paris. I could eat one of those sandwiches every day for the rest of my life. Amazing. 

I wore this comfortable blush midi dress. The dress is made from a stretchy jersey material, so it was really easy to be in all day. I wore the heels for the morning, but when we headed off to vineyards, I switched into flats!

The Rebecca Minkoff crossbody bag was key during this trip. The bag is slim and the blush color goes with everything. When I would carry a larger bag, I would just toss the little bag into the larger bag so I didn't have to deal with switching out my stuff. I love Rebecca Minkoff, and the selection at Nordstrom for spring/summer has been great-- I had been looking for a small blush bag and the color and price were just right! You can shop more of my favorite Rebecca Minkoff picks above! Thank you to Nordstrom for Sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own. 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Longines welcomes Ambassador of Elegance Kate Winslet to Saint-Imier

Longines welcomes Ambassador of Elegance Kate Winslet to Saint-Imier

Longines welcomes Ambassador of Elegance Kate Winslet to Saint-Imier

Longines welcomes Ambassador of Elegance Kate Winslet to Saint-Imier
I'm writing this post in honor of my sister who is headed off to Switzerland today! I am so envious and really wish I could go with her (she is going with her boyfriend and his family!). I am so excited for her, Switzerland is on my 'to-go' list and I can't wait to hear all about her trip.

As I was looking into what there is to do in Switzerland, I found out that last week, Kate Winslet (one of my all-time favorite actresses), was in Switzerland at Longines' head office and museum. I am obsessed with Kate-- Titanic and The Holiday are two of my all-time favorite movies. Not to mention, I think she is stunningly gorgeous and talented.

The Longines Museum is located in Saint-Imier and is free and open to the public for tours. I told Callie that if she makes it to the museum, she has to take a bunch of photos for me to share on Summer Wind!

I've always loved gorgeous watches. I wear a watch every single day. I think it is due to the fact that my grandfather was in the jewelry business and taught me about fine jewelry and timepieces from a young age. A Longines watch is most definitely atop my wish list as it is a fine Swiss timepiece and they are all so stunningly beautiful! Even though most everyone now carries a cell phone with them, which tells the time, watches still prove to be a constant for both men and women. A watch is one of those things/accessories that is just timeless. I love that it is something that can be handed down from generation to generation-- it becomes so meaningful .

Kate Winslet has been Longines’ Ambassador of Elegance since 2010. During her visit, she got to select a watch from the museum for re-issue to benefit the Golden Hat Foundation. The Foundation was co-founded by Winslet to focus on changing the public's perception of people on the autism spectrum. This foundation is something that aligns with Longines charitable background and mission.
I can't wait to see which piece was selected. I think supporting positive and worthy causes is very important and The Golden Hat is most definitely a wonderful foundation. I love to support brands who go out of their way to be philanthropic and give back to the world. A big thank you to Longines for supporting a great organization. All opinions are my own.

Lately 5/26/16

Drinking: I just got a few bottles of Luc Belaire Rose and Brut from the South of France. I had never heard of the label before and was so excited when they arrived. Both are delicious. The rose looks a lot darker in color than most, but is still light, crisp and refreshing! And the brut is perfectly dry, just like I like it! I definitely recommend it! 

Reading: Did you hear that SCOOP is closing? It was one of my favorite places to shop while on vacation/in NYC! This article from the NYT is a great read. RIP Scoop. 

Wearing: Here's a sneak peek of my outfit that will be in tomorrow's post! It's one of my favorites and the dress is super affordable!

Watching: The trailer for Beauty and the Beast. It looks amazing and stars Emma Watson! It doesn't come out until March 2017 (sigh), but this little teaser will get you so excited! 

Eating: While in Napa, we went to chef Michael Chiarello's restaurant, Bottega, in Yountville. The restaurant is charming and has indoor and outdoor seating. We sat inside since it was quite chilly and enjoyed just about every plate under the sun! We all ordered a bunch of things to start off with and then ordered all different main entrees. Everything was delicious! Above you'll see my bolognese which was good-- but the short rib meatballs were the showstopper of the meal! Also, the parmesan garlic butter they brought out was incredible--I'd even just go back for that! 

Sale-ing: So many sales, so little time! I'll have the full recap up on Saturday, but for right now, I am shopping the Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale (things like classic Jimmy Choos and Tory Burch sandals are on great discount!). I'm also loving the Ralph Lauren sale! It's an extra 30% off with code MEM30! I especially love these tortoise flats and this navy and white striped tee!

Wanting: Not too much this week. Between traveling and settling back into 'real life', I haven't had much time. However, I plan on fully taking advantage of the holiday sales this weekend (like this sale)!

Loving: Scrub Daddy Sponge (available here and here). This was on Shark Tank years ago. This is the best sponge ever. It's brilliant and works so well (I bought my own sponge/this is not sponsored!). It's a really 'rough' feeling sponge that's shaped in a cute smiley face shape. The sponge feels like it would scratch anything you use it on because it is so rough, but it doesn't scratch anything and scrubs off everything. The best part is that it becomes super soft and flexible when warm and then really firm and 'scratchy' when cold. Not to mention, it holds up so well, you don't need to buy them in bulk. I feel very weird recommending a sponge (#adultlife) but this is the best-- everyone needs one.

Loving II: I saw this app called OnCamera floating around on Facebook and was intrigued to click. It's an app that records the person's face if you are ever in danger... this video explains it a lot better. While I'm not sure if opening an app would be the first thing I would think to open if I was being followed/chased, I think it's a cool concept.  I felt compelled to share because I was actually in somewhat of a sticky situation while I was in San Francisco. I had landed and had some time to kill before I headed to Napa so I stopped at In-N-Out. To get to the actual restaurant, I had to park in a parking garage and walk to the outside of the garage. On my way back I had just paid the parking garage fee and was about to take the elevator up. An unkempt looking man approached me and started getting really close and mumbling things to me that I couldn't fully understand. It made me feel really uncomfortable and uneasy. I was totally alone and no one was around. I jumped into the elevator thinking he'd leave me alone, but he got in with me. At the last second, I jumped out because I felt like he was way too close to me. Sure enough, he jumped out, too. Thankfully, a man came out from the stairs door right next to the elevator and could see I was really uncomfortable. He didn't ask if I was ok, but I could tell he know something was going on. He stood there staring the guy down until I could run up the steps and I peered behind me and saw the 'scary' man walk quickly out of the garage. I then proceeded to call my dad and talked to him until I was safely locked in my car. While nothing at all happened (thankfully), I felt really afraid, so it's great to see that there are people out there creating apps like this (although it's sad we even need these at all!!).

Listening: I gave up on my May playlist and started on June! I am loving it so far! A great start to kick off summer!

Quoting: 'Dress like you are going somewhere better, later.'

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wine Country: Domaine Chandon, Yountville, CA

Bow Shoulder Tank// Lace Skirt (also available in navy)

I just got back from spending a few days in Napa and San Francisco. Some friends and I headed to Napa to celebrate Krista's birthday! It was such a fun-filled girls weekend! This was my first time to Napa, and I'm already itching to go back. Absolutely everything was so beautiful and picturesque. 

We went to many wineries, however, we started off at Chandon! I will use Napa as a blanketed term for where we were, but Chandon is specifically located in Yountville which is the most charming town! We actually stayed in Vacaville and toured all over the area from St. Helena to Rutherford, etc. If you have been reading Summer Wind for a while, then you'll know that Chandon makes my favorite affordable sparkling wine. I'm a huge fan of the brand and was so excited to visit. Our tour guide was amazing. She walked us throughout the grounds and taught us all about the sparkling wine making process. I've always thought that wine making was an art (and it is!) but I also didn't realize how extremely scientific and precise the process is, too. It's amazing how much time and effort goes into just one bottle of sparkling wine! 

In the photos above you can see the large containers where the wine is stored-- I don't remember the exact figure that they said during the tour, but to drink one of those containers, it would take 150+ years! The girls from New York joked that the containers were larger than their apartments! We got to taste all of the sparkling wines as well as their wines (I didn't know they made wines!). My favorites are the brut, blanc de noirs, and the rose. Luckily, these are always available at my local state store, so I always have them stocked up! However, my top favorite is the Etoile, which is not as readily available. It was dry with lots of fine bubbles-- just how I like it! 

Funnily enough, our first tasting could have been our last, too. By the time we were done at this tasting, we had already drank our fair share of sparkling wine and giggled all the way out and onto our next winery! It was so lovely to be able to sit out on the patio area and enjoy the warm sun and beautiful atmosphere. We also snacked on meats, cheeses, olives, etc. This was my favorite wine tour experience of the entire trip. They really treated us well and took the time to teach and explain the entire process in detail. They went above and beyond by sitting with us at the tasting (which lasted longer than any of the other tastings we did) and going through each wine and how it is made.

The weather was just about perfect, so I wore this striped bow shoulder top (under $80). I had seen it online and ordered it right away. I am pretty sure it is my favorite top in my closet now! The grosrgain bow on the shoulder is the cutest. I wore it tucked into this gorgeous lace skirt, but it also looks great with white jeans (as seen here), too! I received so many compliments on the white skirt. Lace is really having its moment right now and this lace skirt is a showstopper (check out this Boomerang of it in twirling action!)! Can't wait to continue to share more of my Napa experience in upcoming posts! 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

LA Travel Diary Day 4

In the past few months, I have shared day 1 of my trip to LA and Day 2 and Day 3! I am just now getting to share Day 4 (and day 5, which is the day I left, too!).

We drove from LA to Santa Monica in the morning to have brunch and spend the day! While we waited for our table, we went to The Hive, a cute little coffee shop right on Broadway. 

Ava and Me! 

Then, we headed to brunch at the Blue Daisy. It was an adorable cafe with delicious food and the cutest outdoor seating area! 

Me and Sammy
My outfit: Top// Skirt (on sale under $70)
Bag// Chanel Flats (similar)

We had brunch at the Blue Daisy Cafe which was a cute little spot right on a corner close to the beach with outdoor seating! Fellow blogger, Sammy, met us for brunch and it was so great to finally meet her. She has the cutest blog and was sweet as can be! 

After brunch, we did a lot of walking all over Santa Monica. The pier area is very touristy, but definitely worth checking out. Seeing the ocean and the mountains is just stunning. We popped in and out of all the shops and stopped for some Pink Berry to close out a fun afternoon! 

For dinner (I did a lot of eating on this trip, can you tell?!), we went to Lemonade per my request. I had seen so many people post about it and so many photos on instagram, I definitely wanted to check it out. Seriously, every single city needs one of these. I loved everything I got. It's set up like a healthy Chipotle or Subway. It's casual and you pay at the register but you get to choose everything on your plate. They have higher end things like seared tuna, crab stuffed avocado, etc. Everything was fantastic... and the Lemonade was great, too!

After dinner, we drove over to The Grove, which is the cutest shopping area. Everything is so picturesque and gorgeous and they have so many great shops! We shopped around and took in all the sights. 

After The Grove, we headed to LACMA, which is famous for the Urban Light installment by Chris Burden. There are about 200 lights and they are from all around LA and are as old as the 1920's and 1930's. It was really cool to see all lit up at night and so fun to weave in and out of the lights. After that, we headed back to Ava's to go to bed. I would always get so tired so early on in the night because of the time difference! 

The next morning, we woke up early and headed to The Montage Rooftop in Beverly Hills for brunch. The location is absolutely gorgeous as well as the hotel. The brunch area is set out on a terrace by the pool with an incredible view of LA. I loved every minute of it! The food was excellent as well! 

After brunch, we headed to Malibu to walk on the beach. I had yet to dip my toes in the Pacific Ocean, so that was first thing on our agenda! The water was chilly, but the beach beautiful. We stopped at Malibu Farms for drinks. It was the prettiest restaurant and bar that had gorgeous ocean views and cozy seating. I definitely recommend checking Malibu Farms out if you are ever in the area! 

I was catching a red eye back to Pittsburgh that night, so we grabbed one last In-N-Out meal and took it back to Ava's brother's house in Playa del Rey to watch the Superbowl. Just around halftime, we went out onto the beach and watched an incredible sunset. The most perfect way to end one of the most fun trips!

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