Monday, October 31, 2016

Preppy Suede Skirt

First of all, Happy Halloween! I hope everyone had a fun weekend, I loved seeing all of the creative costumes on Instagram! I went to a Halloween party on Saturday and dressed up with two other friends... we went the lazy route and were 'biker chicks'! Tonight, I have nothing big planned, but will probably head over to my parents to hand out candy with them!

You last saw this suede mini skirt in this post. That outfit was a little on the trendier side for my typically classic style. So today, I'm sharing how I styled this great suede mini (that's under $100) in a classic way with a touch of preppy style!

I actually love this skirt a lot. When I first received it, I wasn't sure I'd get a ton of wear out of it, but it's really a great neutral and has become a closet staple for me. I wear it with everything from t-shirts to sweaters. I paired it with another closet staple: an oxford cloth button down. I have these in every color and have been wearing them since middle school. Whether you are a guy or a girl, age 10 or 70, this shirt is a timeless classic and you can't go wrong! Not to mention, it's so comfortable, too.

I think as it gets colder (we had warm weather this weekend!), I will throw a cashmere cable knit over top! And as the final touch, I wore another favorite (and classic), my Vara flats. It made the look polished and preppy!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Saturday Shopping

We've hit the last weekend of October. CUE THE CHRISTMAS MUSIC. Ok, I'm kidding... kind of. I 'accidentally' listened to a Christmas song this week. Whoops. Anyway, I hope everyone has some fun Halloween weekend plans (even if that just means watching Hocus Pocus!).

I've just updated the widgets in the sidebar to the right, so be sure to check those out. The under $100 category has some really great items and I've started to include some things that would make great gifts/ stocking stuffers. 

Last week's Saturday shopping featured items I am loving under $100 and this week contains a lot of items under $100 (like these Les BonBons look-alikes!), too, but I've also included some other things that have really caught my eye (like this lace shell, this metallic skirt).

I also wanted to let you know that the faux suede leggings that I was wearing in this post, are now available online. They fit true to size (I am in a size small) and are great quality because they are so thick and stretchy! I also love that they have a wide waistband that really sucks you in! 

Also, if anyone is looking for a 2017 calendar, I just ordered mine. I like a desk calendar so I can see my month all at one time. I used a wonderful SugarPaper calendar from Target last year, but it seems as though they aren't making it again this year. However, this one is almost identical (and it's on Amazon Prime, so free shipping for the win), so I'm a happy camper and already penciling in plans for 2017; crazy! Thought I would share in case anyone else is like me and likes to see their months laid out all at once! 

In case you missed it, this week I shared:

Friday, October 28, 2016

How to Style Winter Boots

Stylish winter boots by Kamik from Zappos

Stylish winter boots by Kamik from Zappos with australian cattle dog

Stylish winter boots by Kamik from Zappos

Stylish winter boots by Kamik from Zappos

australian cattle dog

kamik sienna boots
Today I'm partnering with Zappos to share how I style my Kamik winter boots with a special cameo from Mac ;) !

I was born and raised in Pittsburgh. For those of you who have never been or are unfamiliar with the city, it's in southwestern Pennsylvania. Just about 7 out of the 12 months of the year, it is cold, cold, cold. Not to mention, we get a lot of rain and a ton of snow. Of course, it differs from year to year and season to season like any other city, but that's kind of the norm around here.

Me and Callie 1996
It's fun to look back at photos growing up. My mom always tells the story about me being born on April 14th and how when my parents brought me home from the hospital, it was snowing. I also vividly remember the year my sister, Callie, was born (1994). We had just been hit with a huge storm days before she was born! The year before that we had one of the biggest snowstorms in Pittsburgh's history (22" of snow in one day!)... in mid-March! I love the photos of snow piles that are twice the size of me! 

You kind of learn to love the rain and snow... or at the very least embrace it. But you also learn to live with it. I'm all about fashion and sometimes wear impractical things, but being in a climate that changes on a dime, I've also learned to embrace functional fashion, too. 

While living in Pittsburgh and also being an avid skier, my winter boot collection is large. I actually love the snow. I get sick of it towards winter's end, but those first few months, bring it on! I keep a pair of winter boots at my parent's house, a pair in the trunk of my car, a pair in my ski bag, and a pair by my door. Yeah, I'm also one of those people who always has an umbrella in my bag, even when it's sunny. #AlwaysPrepared

I was sent these Kamik Sienna boots from Zappos to try out and it's safe to say I love them. Kamik was a brand I was unfamiliar with until recently, but I love that the brand is over 100 years old and is still family owned. Not to mention, it's great that the brand is available on Zappos because you get fast, free shipping and they also have 365-day returns! 

Besides the stylish exterior with the plaid and leather details, the specs are what I really look for in a winter boot. The entire boot is waterproof, the tread on the bottom is designed specifically for walking in snow/slippery conditions and the boot contains Thinsulate (which is a necessity when it comes to walking in the freezing snow). I also prefer a higher shaft (Kamik's Sienna boot is 9") on most boots because post-skiing, I need the extra coverage to traipse through the slopes/snowy parking lots. I also love the look of a higher shaft because they can easily be worn with leggings or skinny jeans like you see in the photos above. 

My sister, Callie, and I took these photos on a walk through the woods with Mac. For a 14-year-old, he is pretty spry! He was pulling us every which way and having the time of his life! It was freezing outside. I wore one of my heaviest sweaters thinking that it would keep me warm enough, but nope! The Kamik Sienna boots were perfect for walking through the mud and leaves. They kept my feet warm and dry and the dirt off of my pants (which was good because we were going to lunch afterward!). 

When it comes to styling winter boots, I typically try to keep it simple. Winter boots are casual, so my biggest tip is to not try and overly dress them up. In the photos above, I chose a neutral oversized chunky sweater, plaid scarf, and dark wash skinny jeans. It's a clean, put-together look, but still casual and makes sense for being outdoors! What do you wear when dressing for the outdoors? 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A Perfect Fall/Thanksgiving Cocktail Recipe

If you read last week's lately post, I shared a cocktail recipe I had come across and mentioned that I wanted to try it out. Well, I did try it, and ended up not liking it (it had gin it in, which is typically what I drink, but it was not a good mix!). However, I was not going to give up! I quickly took to Pinterest and after reading about 50 cocktail recipes, I finally came up with something that I thought tasted really good! 

I am just learning this myself, but I think the hardest part of entertaining is when you have a smaller group of people over. I always find myself trying to please everyone, whereas, if I have a larger group over, it's just less stressful all around. In this case, I was having everyone over for dinner (just take out pizzas) and drinks before we had a triple date to Kennywood's Fright Night. 

I'm going to go on a quick tangent away from cocktails to tell my Pittsburgh readers to avoid Kennywood at all costs. I grew up going there and it holds so many great memories for me, so it really pains me to say that. I had gone a few years ago with friends and it was so crowded that all we rode the entire day was the merry go round. This time, we were going for the novelty of Halloween, but we were there for a few hours and did two things... 90% of our time was spent waiting in line. We all made the best of it because we always have fun when we are all together, but it was still frustrating! 

Anyway, back to the cocktail! This is what you will need (this is just my adaptation of a bunch of Pinterest recipes-- nothing formal and you can adapt to your tastes and preferences!). 

Bourbon (I like Bulliet and Maker's Mark)
Lemon Juice
Apple Cider (Trader Joe's Honeycrisp is good!)
Ginger Beer (Fever Tree is my favorite, TJ's is a close second)
1 Apple 
Cinnamon Sticks 
Rosemary Sprigs

Pour 1 shot of bourbon, a half shot of lemon juice, and 5 oz. of cider over ice in a cocktail shaker. Drop in a cinnamon stick for flavor. Shake until cold. Add rosemary sprig and an apple slice as garnish and pour into glass over ice. Top off with ginger beer. 

It has a really great, tart flavor and is not too sweet. I'm not a huge bourbon fan and don't drink it too often, bu even I enjoyed this. I think it would be great for a large party because you could turn it into a sangria and let the rosemary, cinnamon and apples soak in the mixture for a while and then add in the ginger beer right before your guests arrive! Do you have a favorite fall cocktail? I'd love to know! 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Most Comfortable Dressy Outfit

comfortable wear to work outfit idea

moon and lola monogrammed necklace

ferragamo aileen bag

moon and lola gold monogrammed necklace size medium

alice and olivia drape front top

The comfort level of this outfit rivals pajamas. Seriously. It's such a put-together look that you could wear it to work or even for date night.

Since I've gotten these pants, I wear them about once a week. They're a comfortable wardrobe staple (and an inexpensive one at that!) that almost look like jogger pants, but they're made of a dressier material. They're lightweight, so they are probably not the best if you live in a freezing climate during the winter, but they're great for spring, summer, and fall! My only gripe is that flats don't really look great with them-- you kind of have to wear a heel. However, the upside is that I machine washed them and they came out perfectly! I am wearing a size small. They run true to size. 

The blouse is something that caught my eye in-store. I just love the lightweight silk material and the way it drapes so elegantly. I scored it on sale (can't seem to find the blush version online, it is probably sold out!) a few weeks ago. It was such a great price, I couldn't turn it down, not to mention it's such a classic piece. I actually ended up finding an almost identical top for under $100, if you are looking for something similar! I think tops like these are the best because you can wear them for both work and play! Not to mention, it is a year-round kind of top, so you can really get a lot of wear out of it 24/7! 

Monday, October 24, 2016

10 Simple Ways to Manage Stress

Stress seems to be a common feeling that we can all (unfortunately) relate to. I don't like to talk about it too much, especially here on Summer Wind, because complaining doesn't really help anything, does it? And too, I feel somewhat guilty complaining about being stressed, when I know there are so many worse issues to have in life. 

I will say, though, in talking with many friends (in all different friend groups) in the past few weeks, stress has been a common denominator and is what brought on today's post. To be honest, I'm not sure if it has to do with our age/time period in life-- you know trying to balance a career, a social life, relationships (dating, wedding planning, etc.), maintaining your health and fitness routine, keeping up with hobbies, getting enough sleep-- the list goes on. 

But the bottom line is that when it comes to stress, it needs to be managed (even if it is 'good stress'). I think it is different for everyone but I have a few tips that really help me to manage my stress. I thought I would share my tips in hopes you may share yours in the comments below (so that we can all learn from each other)! 

Use Your Stress to Propel You Forward
This is my #1 biggest tip. Do you ever get so overwhelmed that you feel like you are on the verge of tears? That's energy-- a lot of energy. I like to take the anxious, upsetting energy that I sometimes feel and use it to propel me forward. I get moving, I make a plan, I cross things off. In fact, sometimes (definitely not always), I feel like when I am stressed, I actually get things done more efficiently and faster. 

Write It Down
Is something really bothering you? Sometimes something bothers me so much, I get a one track mind (it's sometimes something important, but more so, it's often something stupid and out of my control). But my one track mind prohibits me from focusing on other things. So to get it out, I write it all out. Everything I am thinking, feeling, etc. I purge out onto paper and it works every single time

Make a List
This kind of goes with writing it down, but list making is so soothing to me. Then again, I am majorly Type A, but I find when I have too much going on and too much on my mind, that making a detailed list helps a ton. I'll even put small tasks that usually don't need to be on a list... like painting my nails or mailing a letter or putting my clothes in the dryer. 

So you have a ton going on? This is a dumb example, but...Your presentation for work that is due tomorrow should be #1 on your list- not skipping lunch and getting streamers for your friend's birthday dinner that night. It's times when you have a lot going on to let the little things fall to the wayside. Your friend isn't going to love you less if you show up to her birthday dinner sans streamers, but your boss is going to be annoyed if your presentation isn't finished.

Sleep On It
I apply this rule to everything in my life. Do you have something that is bothering you at night? Go to bed. Do you have a big paper due in a few days? Work on it a little, then go to bed and re-read it in the morning. Oftentimes, I will write a blog post at night, go to bed and then work on it the next day. Seeing something after being well-rested is refreshing and enables you to refocus. I even do this with shopping. If a purchase is more than $100, I wait a few days to think about it. If I am still thinking about it in a few days, that's how I know I really want it.

Put Down the Coffee
Seriously, that is saying something coming from me considering I am coffee's biggest fan. But caffeine can actually intensify anxiety/stress. So stick to water if you are feeling majorly stressed! 

Hopefully, you have a good friend or family member whom you can just 'vent' to. Sometimes just talking it out with someone can help you to organize your thoughts. It's also helpful if whoever you are talking to has any advice or can help you in any way! 

Take a Break
Whether it's 10 minutes or 2 hours, take a break from whatever it is that is stressing you out. Read a book, get some exercise, call a friend... just do something to move your mind away from the stress at hand! I was anti-yoga for a long while until the last year or so. It really does 'work' and calm me down. I look at it more as a stress reducer rather than an exercising regimen! 

Stay Away from Social Media/Your Phone
This is a tough one, especially for those who have a career in social media. Not only can social media be a time suck, but it often leads to comparison. Sometimes it's a great resource to inspire you and keep up with your family and friends, but other times, seeing seemingly perfect lives can give you a sense of failure when you are majorly stressed out! Also, turning your phone on 'Do Not Disturb' mode can help keep you from distractions and those 47 texts in your group text with your girlfriends can be read and answered at a later time. 

This is more like a band-aid fix, but I think it does help in a lot of situations. Sometimes you don't feel your best if you're not fresh and put together. I used to always get dressed up on test days during high school and college because that is what I felt best in. Sometimes if you feel good in other departments of life, that can help you improve your mood/life overall! So when you are feeling like all you want to do is forgo makeup, wear sweats, and throw in some dry shampoo, think twice! 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Saturday Shopping: Under $100

First of all, I wanted to say a big thank you to all of the kind comments on yesterday's post! My mom and I loved reading them. Those are my favorite types of posts to write because it gives you all more of a look into my life rather than just an outfit post. It's a little less surface level and more of who I am. One of my goals in the coming weeks and into the new year is to include more and more posts like that, so if you have any requests, feel free to leave a comment on this post or e-mail me with your request! 

We had so much fun celebrating last night at a concert! I'm also hosting a little party for her at my place on Sunday (complete with Prantl's burnt almond torte!), because who doesn't love celebrating all weekend long?! 

For today's Saturday shopping, I decided I would include things I have found and loved that are $100 or less. There are a lot of great things out like this $100 cashmere crewneck sweater (and it comes in sooo many colors!). I also have my eye on these suede booties that have just been reduced 33% making them under $100. Plus, there's a new shade of green in Patagonia's better sweater pullover. If anyone rocks black ski pants, this would be a great pop of color! Also, if you didn't know, I have a widget on the right sidebar of the site with my under $100 picks. I updated it pretty often, so it's worth a browse!

In case you missed this week's posts:

Friday, October 21, 2016

An Outfit Post with Mom

What My Mom is Wearing:
Leggings// Booties// Louis Vuitton Favorite MM

What I am Wearing:
Bow Flats (old Manolos, similar, similar)// LV Speedy 30
Today is an extra fun day because it is my mom's birthday! I thought it would be fun to do a post with her to celebrate. I already shared all about my dad for Father's Day, here, so it's Mom's turn! It's a long one today, so I hope you'll stick around to the end!

To say that my mom is my best friend is an understatement. Not only is she my best friend, but I'm pretty sure she is a saint, too. This post was tough for me to write because words aren't enough to illustrate how much I appreciate her. She is my biggest cheerleader and supporter and for that alone, I cannot thank her enough. She's also the best mother to both my sister and me, a loving wife and an amazing friend to those who are lucky enough to know her.

Just a few months ago, we were talking about how children go into 'that phase of life' where they are embarrassed of their parents. I can proudly say (and my mom said it, not me!) that I was never like that. I was always so happy to have her around. I would request her to be the parent chaperone on field trips, have her drive my friends and me to the movies, friends houses, etc., and always volunteered her to do things. Although she didn't always love that (haha!). One time, I volunteered her to make crepes for my entire French class and I told her at 8pm the night before (sorry about that)... but she still did it with a smile on her face! But I did all of that because I am so proud of her.

Besides being a truly beautiful, selfless person on the inside she's gorgeous on the outside, too! Whenever we are out together, people always say we are more like sisters. I hope I inherited her genes in the aging department, that's for sure!

One of my absolute favorite memories with my mom when we were growing up was that she would buy my sister and I matching Christmas dresses. She would even get us our own purses (one year we had plaid scottie dog-shaped bags and one year, glittery Christmas trees!). We would get all dressed up one Friday and go downtown to Macy's (it's no longer there!). We'd take a photo with santa and then she would take us to this little shop where an 'elf' would shop with us to help us pick out surprises for our parents! Then, we would meet up with my dad after work and look at the holiday windows/decor around downtown and cap the night off with a fun dinner.

Another favorite memory is getting ready for dance recitals with my mom. It was before I wore makeup, so my mom would do my hair and makeup. I remember being mesmerized by the products (and being terrified of mascara). She would always make me feel so beautiful and glamorous! 

My mom is a phenomenal Italian cook (her homemade pasta sauce is my favorite). She loves pop music and even knows the new songs before Callie and I do. My mom also loves to dance (and often, she is the life of the party)! She loves anything that sparkles (ahem, jewelry), she loves our dog, Mac, she appreciates art-- painting, pottery, you name it! My mom is active and enjoys golfing, skiing, ice skating, and lounging by the pool. She's very into puzzles and games (the old fashion kind and things like sudoko....this, I did not inherit from her!) and is also a voracious reader. 

We share a love for makeup (seriously this woman is a junkie!), classic style, good champagne, high heels, pearls, Frank Sinatra, Instagram and Snapchat (she loves Snapchat!!). We also share the same guilty pleasure: Taco Bell. She taught me the importance of being  gracious and kind. She pushes me to work hard and has taught me to be the best version of myself. I know I wouldn't be who I was today without her.

Another thing we have in common (and really all the Carver women in the family) is that we love Talbots. I grew up wearing Talbots Kids and then eventually worked there in high school! My Grammy and aunt and mom have always worn Talbots and they passed that on to my sister and I. Talbots was amazing and let us come into the store and pick out outfits together.

I chose my mom's outfit and she chose mine. It's fun to style my mom because we have very different coloring (I look like my dad, my sister like my mom). The colors that I typically stray from are what look great on my mom. So it was fun to pick out this colorful gingham shirt-- something I may not have chosen for myself but looks perfect on her! I chose these pretty leggings/riding pants for her, too, because she has such a great figure and I am always telling her to show it off! They're a really thick material, so I knew she would feel comfortable wearing them. And the sweater? I am going to have to borrow it from her because it' stunning with the shawl collar-- not to mention sooooo soft.

My mom chose this gorgeous cashmere sweater for me to wear. First and foremost, she knows that I love anything neutral and this is a great light camel color that pairs nicely with both black, brown, and navy blue. I don't usually choose skirts for myself, but my mom had me try on this olive wool skirt and it paired so nicely with the sweater! For sizing references, I am wearing a small sweater and a size 2 in the skirt!

A big thanks to my mom for being such a good sport and letting me feature her and to Talbots for our mother-daughter outfits!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Lately 10/20/2016

Quilted Vest on sale for $70, use code STARTSHOPPING (non sale colors here)
Skinny Jeans// Bow Flats (they're old Manolos, similar)// Sunglasses 
Maybe it's just me, but I find it actually crazy that there's only one full week left in October. WHERE DOES THE TIME GO?! You know what that means? Time to get excited for all things Thanksgiving and Christmas (yeah, I went there).

One of my favorite parts of November (that is a somewhat new tradition) is brainstorming our Thanksgiving table. I've taken charge the past two years and I'm going for it again. I really like to go all out and make something beautiful out of it. So my brainstorming has begun! You can follow along with me on Pinterest, if you'd like!

Wearing: I've mentioned this before, but two of my cousins go to the University of Pittsburgh. First of all, to me, it's so weird that they are in college because I remember them being babies! But it's so much fun to meet them for lunch in Oakland! This time, both my sister and I went and it's always so much fun walking around the campus. It really is a gorgeous school and especially right now with all of the leaves changing! The photo at the top of this post is what I wore to lunch (we went to one of my faves, Hello Bistro!). The jeans, oxford cloth shirt and vest are all closet staples for me. I've had similar, if not these exact pieces in my closet since I was in high school. They never go in or out of style and are always comfortable and put together! 

Drinking: I stumbled upon this recipe for a fall cocktail with apple cider using Hendrick's gin. I can't wait to try it out this weekend. I am a huge fan of fall cocktails and typically, you find these types of cocktails made with bourbon or whiskey. While I enjoy bourbon, I'm a gin drinker, so this seems right up my alley! I'll report back!

Eating: This is not really a recipe, but last night I made a SUPER easy and delicious dinner. All you need is Trader Joe's Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage, Autumn Harvest Pasta Sauce, Garlic Basil Linguine (you could sub out the pasta for Spaghetti squash for a low carb meal!). The autumn harvest pasta sauce is SO good and paired with the sausage, it made the perfect fall dish. My tip is to add a fresh chopped basil and roasted garlic to the sauce for a more homemade flavor! Easy to make and it made enough to please a crowd!

Loving: J.Crew just dropped some new arrivals, and while nothing really caught my eye, their new line of activewear sure did.

Loving II: Blogger friend, Mackenzie, just added earrings to her shop, Design Darling, that look SO much like my Les Bon Bons! You should all check them out. They are as cute as can be and only $78 (which is a lot less than the les bon bons!). Mackenzie said on her Snapchat that a lot are sold out, but to go to the page anyway and click the green 'notify me' (it's up on the left side) button so you will get notified once they are restocked! I think they'd make a fun holiday gift for someone who has everything!

Pittsburgh-ing: I went to The Skin Center the other day for my first microdermabrasion and chemical peel experience. I have never really had anything like that done before but my acne has been out of control and something needed to be done! The entire experience was actually fun and totally painless. I'm hoping after a few visits, I'm able to get it under control! I'll do a full post once I start seeing results!

Wanting: I have put myself on a shopping ban until I start holiday shopping (which, let's be honest, isn't that long), but these are the pieces that I have been loving. It's taking everything in me to resist this gorgeous blush feather top and this black watch plaid ruffled top.

Listening: I haven't really had too much time to find new music this week. I've been busier than usual, so it has unfortunately been put on the back burner. While I'm working, though, I really like Pandora's Wynton Marsalis station. But one song I can't stop listening to is 'Burden' by Foy Vance (one of my favorite artists). You can also find my October Playlist, here.

Quoting: I tweeted this a few weeks ago and I just love it. Always make time for the people who matter most. //Find more of my favorites, here

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Coach's Comeback

coach bucket bag

One of the best and most exciting gifts I ever received was a Coach bag. I remember it like it was yesterday. My aunt and uncle sent it to me for Christmas and I was SO surprised. It was my first 'designer' handbag. It was as classic as could be. All black leather, with no profound logos, and big enough to fit all my glitter lip glosses at the time (haha). I still have that bag to this day. It's in great shape and a classic that never really goes in or out of style. 

Then, there was a period of time, I was in high school and college where I would not have been seen with Coach anything. I think it was Coach's dark years where they plastered the repetitive 'C' all over everything. But in the past few years, I think Coach has made a strong comeback.

I first started to take notice when they came out with their archival collection in 2012. I got the classic brown leather bucket bag (pictured above, similar here) and still use it often to this day. High-quality leather is something that Coach was known for and I love that they have brought it back. The classic leather handbags give me flashbacks to the 1980's Preppy Handbook-type style and it warms my heart (not to sound too dramatic). 
In fact, in the past several years, I have been a big fan of their shoes. They are so well made, the quality is impeccable and the comfort is the best. Not to mention, the price isn't too steep and they often go on sale. You can scroll through the widget above to see some of my current favorites. I am really eyeing this pair of black leather booties: simple and classic with the perfect heel height.
Other than the shoes, I am loving that they have brought back the Dinky bag. It's a design from the1970's but you'd never know. It's truly a timeless piece. It's pieces like this that I don't mind spending a little more than usual because they don't really go in or out of style. I also love the way they've adapted it in some of the colors/textures (this one looks like a work of art!)... it would definitely work with someone's style who is looking for something trendier than usual.

And last but not least, we can't forget about the men! I actually love Coach's things for men... even for myself! The selection is usually in very neutral shades of black and brown and are rid of any logos, which is always what I gravitate towards in terms of leather goods. I've actually been eyeing this men's backpack for myself for a while now. I find it truly stunning and a great classic that you would have for a lifetime... speaking of classics, this leather duffle is what dreams are made of, right? I'd love to hear what you are thinking of Coach's comeback! Are you a fan?

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