Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Prepping Your Home Before The Holidays

How to clean your home for the holidays
A few weeks ago, I was talking about polishing my kitchen cabinets. In part, it was meant to be a joke, but I really do polish my cabinets. That brought on a flood of DM's of people saying that they didn't even know polishing your cabinets was a thing. But it also brought on a lot of questions of people asking me to share my cleaning tips.

I also wanted to ask how many of you have a cleaning crew? A lot of my friends have maids that come once a week or twice a month. I've really considered it, but (crazily) I actually enjoy cleaning. I love the feeling of accomplishment and seeing everything sparkle after you're all done. I also find it to be a stress reliever. Which is truly why I decided not to hire someone. I think I will end up doing so, though, once I live in a larger space. Just polishing the cabinets in my tiny kitchen takes a solid hour to do!

I thought this post would be very timely around this time of year since so many of you will be hosting small gatherings to large parties and even hosting guests overnight! Since I live in an apartment, I think things are more simplified, but these are all things I suggest doing before your decorations go up. It makes cleaning a lot harder/laborious once all of the holiday decor is up! So I'm sharing some cleaning tips but also the cleaning products that I use. I wasted a lot of money trying a ton of different products in the past and I finally feel like all of the products I use really work. 

Polish Your Wood Cabinets
I guess we should start with this one because I seriously got SO many questions. I polish my cabinets with this cabinet cream and use these microfiber cloths. I do this at least once a month, but more when I am cooking a lot. Your cabinets get built up with grease from cooking, so polishing them cleans them and helps to protect the wood. 

Clean Your Floors
This means taking the time to roll up all of your rugs and vacuum, Swiffer, scrub any of your floor surfaces. If you don't want to do your entire home, try just the kitchen. You'd be shocked how much dirt is on your floors just from using your kitchen to cook. For hard surfaces, I use this Swiffer, and then for carpet, I use this vacuum and this carpet cleaner

Dust Everything
I feel like this comes without saying- but also, make sure any items in cabinets or things on a bar cart have been properly cleaned. These are places that can often be forgotten and attract a lot of dust. I love these microfiber cloths. They really do trap dust best. 

Clean Your Linens
Having extra sets of sheets on hand if you have overnight guests is key. I also really like to go through my linen closet and see if there are any washcloths, towels, etc. that need to be replaced. I find that kitchen towels and linen napkins need to be replaced the most. Food stains and just general discoloration can look really gross when hanging on a hook or on a table. Sometimes even a heavy dose of bleach can't save them, so I like to get a few new ones around the holidays (these also make great hostess gifts!). For laundry- I find that these pods work the best (I'm also obsessed with the scent). I also find that using plain old Dawn dish detergent on stains really help (sometimes even better than Shout). And lastly, I use this bleach so there's no chance of splashing. 

Polish Your Silver
I don't know many of my friends my age that have an extensive silver collection, which I think is more the norm. However, I just love the look of antique silver. Call me old fashion, I know. I also have silver utensils that I use 24/7. So having silver polish on hand is necessary. I do this about once every 4-5 weeks. I really think this silver polish is the best. My mom has always used it and now I do, too. This is also a good time to clean your jewelry if you have any pretty silver pieces! 

Scrub Surfaces
In general, I keep my kitchen pretty clean. But if there is a week that I cook a ton, I know that scrubbing is absolutely necessary. I have a glass stove (which I loathe) and after every use, I clean it, but sometimes it needs to be scrubbed really well. This product, Bar Keepers Friend, is basically one of the best cleaning products you can have in your arsenal (as a side note, a lot of people prefer Bon Ami because it's made with less chemicals and better for kids and pets, but I truly don't think it works as well). I sprinkle it on my large stainless sink and take this scrubber and then rinse. I use this cooktop cleaner daily (it's the only thing that works, I swear), but will then use the bar keepers friend powder on the glass top and let it sit with warm water. I then take that same sponge and scrub. You can use the Bar Keepers Friend powder pretty much anywhere. I find that it works best on non-porous surfaces such as your bathtub, sinks, etc. 

Wipe Down Your Baseboards/Moulding
In talking with my friends, this is another thing that a lot of them said that they never do! I wipe mine down with a Magic Eraser. It's somewhat annoying and a bit time consuming, but it truly makes a difference. 

Make Room In Your Coat Closet
This is hypocritical of me to suggest because there is no making room in my overly stuffed coat closet. But, whenever I have guests over, I lay their coats on my bed. My parents do this when they have larger parties and nowhere to store a ton of coats. They would always give Callie and I the task of coordinating the coats. But, if you are able to make room in a coat closet, that is the best option! 

Lay Out Hand Towels for Guests
One of my absolute biggest pet peeves is using someone's bathroom where there is no guest towel to wipe your hands with. I feel like this happens SO often. I always have clean guest towels present at all times in my bathroom! I have these monogrammed hand towels which are beautiful and can be washed/reused. I also always have disposable hand towels, too, and change them out seasonally. Caspari makes my favorites (like these and these). You can sometimes find them at Homegoods, too! I like to keep them on a silver tray in my bathroom, but they make all sorts of holders that you can tuck away and only bring out when you have guests, like this acrylic tray!

Clean Your Disposal
Have you ever wondered where an unpleasant smell was coming from in your home? It is more than likely your disposal! I can especially tell in my apartment if I walk in after being out for a few days. Day-to-day, I'll slice up a lemon or lime and that will take care of things, but they make a cleaner which is SO good for getting rid of gross smells. I use this about every two weeks if I am cooking a lot/having guests over. Otherwise, I'll do it about once a month. 

Put Out a New Sponge
My mom taught me this one. Whenever you have guests over for a party, you always set out a new sponge. Honestly, I have no idea why, but I still do it to this day. I don't mean when you have just a few girlfriends over for a glass of wine, but more so when you have a large gathering. I've written about this sponge time and time again here on Summer Wind. It's the best. I give it to all my friends and family! 

Clean Mirrors and Glass Surfaces
I think these can be easily forgotten, but this is one of those things that only takes a few minutes and if really does make a difference. Obviously, the bathroom mirror needs to be cleaned much more than a hallway mirror! I use these wipes. It makes everything so quick and easy to clean (you can also use them to clean granite, marble, etc). 

Clean Out Your Refrigerator
You likely have a few jars of old condiments that you can get rid of to clear up space for things people bring. I also suggest taking everything out and wiping down your fridge!

Obviously, you don't need to do these things all in one day. I suggest spreading them out over a week or two before you plan to have guests over. And as a safety tip, I always keep a window open and fan on because some of these products are made of not-so-great chemicals. I also use rubber gloves to keep my hands safe from chemicals-- and my manicure fresh, ha! Do you have any really great cleaning tips? I would love to know!
Products Mentioned In This Post:

Monday, October 30, 2017

A Wardrobe Staple

ralph lauren knit cotton oxford shirt

classic wardrobe staples

ralph lauren knit oxford shirt

gh bass weejuns penny loafers
Knit Oxford Shirt (under $100)// Jeans

Today I'm sharing a shirt that I just recently picked up. It looks pretty boring, right? Just your average white button-down oxford shirt? BUT, it's not... it's the BEST of both worlds because this white shirt looks like a crisp button-down but is actually made of soft cotton (like a t-shirt). 

I love the breathability of the fabric and the way it looks very polished but at the same time, you truly feel like you are wearing a very casual t-shirt. It comes in several colors and also a striped option. I actually don't think I would have ever ordered it from just seeing it online because I dont't really think photos do it justice. But I was shopping in person (which is a rarity these days for me) and as soon as I felt the fabric, I knew I had to try it on! I think it is such a good piece for layering because it's less stiff and the fabric is a bit thinner (but not cheap-feeling at all, though). 

As for sizing, I think it runs a bit snugger than the classic oxford cloth button down- specifically in the upper arms. I would suggest going one size up from your typical size. 

I personally love a plain white shirt with jeans and cognac accessories like these amazingly gorgeous loafers and this suede bag (it's unfortunately sold out!). 

Besides the classic shirt, these loafers are about as classic as you can get. I got them in the rich cognac shade, but they come in twelve other colors. They are impeccably made and such high quality- especially for the price. Not to mention they are beyond comfortable. They are a shoe that will last you forever.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Saturday Shopping 10/28/2017

So happy it is the weekend! The end of the week was pretty quiet for me and I was able to get a lot done- I even cleaned my apartment! Today I am going to be doing some work and lounging and then headed to a Halloween party tonight! You can see what I'm being, here.

I wanted to share some things I'm loving and then also share some of the best sales of the weekend!  I also included an outfit in today's post. It's something super casual but it's what I often wear while running errands on the weekend! Scroll through the widget above to see my favorites. The widgets to the right (in the sidebar) have also been updated!). 
Ralph Lauren is having a sale where you can take 30% off your purchase of $125 or more with code STYLE17... the sale is a bit deceiving, though. You need to select only the items marked '30% off'- there are a lot of exclusions. But pieces like this gorgeous cable knit sweater are included!

J.Crew is offering up to 70% off (no code needed). They have a huge sale selection right now and I definitely think you'll find a piece or two to come home with you! This closet-staple v-neck sweater is just $38. 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Perfume Review: My Favorite Scents

chanel chance jo malone le labo santal 33

Shop the Scents:
Happy weekend, everyone! Today I'm talking all about my favorite scents. I am one of those people who typically pick one scent for an entire year as my 'main' scent. By 'main' scent I mean the one that I pretty much wear daily. However, I also have several other scents that I've picked up and wear often, but just not daily. Some scents are seasonal, some I just love more than others!

Scents are a very personal thing but I've had a lot of requests from you guys for me to share my favorites, so I'm going to try my best to describe the scents. 
Le Labo Santal 33// I think this smells just like Diptyque's figuier candle. It's a deep, earthy scent with fruity notes. Becuase of this, it is definitely unisex. This is a crazily popular scent and if someone is wearing it, you'll definitely be able to tell. I wear this a lot- I just had to get a new bottle. It's really expensive, which is kind of unfortunate, but one spritz goes a long way and it lasts all day.
Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt// I can't decide if I like this scent better or the one mentioned right below. This, like the name refers, is definitely 'woodsy'. I think it could also be unisex. It has a light scent when you are wearing it but the scent overall has depth to it....if that makes sense. 
Jo Malone English Oak and Redcurrant// This one is a bit 'fresher' than the scent above, but it still is a deeper, warmer fragrance. It has a very slight sweetness to it. 

Chanel Chance Eau Fraiche// This is my wear-everyday scent. It's light, fresh, feminine and a classic you can wear year round. One spray goes a long way- this stuff is strong. I also love that this scent will last you an entire day while wearing it. 

Arquiste for J.Crew No. 31// This has been discontinued, but if you can ever find it, grab a bottle. I LOVE it. This is kind of a manly scent- it's definitely for fall/winter, but it feels warm and cozy. 
Carven L'eau de Toilette// I only have a few sprays left in this bottle. This smells completely different than the Chanel Chance, but it has the same 'vibe' in that it's very light and fresh and feminine. 
Cartier Baiser Vole// This is one of my lesser favorite scents. I got it as a gift, and while I think the bottle is stunning, this has kind of a very 'sophisticated' scent. I don't want to say 'grandma' because that makes it sound negative. It really is a lovely scent, but I think there is a time and a place for it. 

Caudalie The Des Vignes// One of my all-time favorite scents. This is more like a 'body spray' in that it comes out very fragrant but wears off pretty quickly. However, it is inexpensive, so I don't feel guilty spritzing myself multiple times throughout the day. This is slightly sweet- and I typically don't like sweet, but I think it's done in a very tasteful, subtle way. It is also a fragrance that I would describe as 'warm'... I think it can be worn year round, but it definitely has a sexier/muskier feel to it. 

Estee Lauder Modern Muse//  This one is a bit sweet, so I don't tend to favor it. I think it is great for spring, or someone a bit younger- it has a youthful vibe to it! One spray goes a long way!

Aerin Mediterranean Honeysuckle// This is fresh and light and just deliciously summertime. This is one of those scents that when I wear it, people stop and ask what I'm wearing. It seems as though it is most definitely a crowd pleaser. Plus, I love how long it lasts while I'm wearing it.

For the guys// Terre D'Hermes, Prada L'HommeGucci Guilty, Viktor and Rolf Spicebomb, Jo Malone Oud and Bergamot.

A lot of these perfumes that I mentioned are ones I have been wearing for years (like the Chanel Chance and The Des Vignes) and a few are new like the Jo Malone scents. You can find all of them at Nordstrom, which as always, offers free shipping and returns! So if you try a scent and don't like it, you don't have to worry about suffering through it- you can always return! Thank you to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own. 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Lately 10/26/2017

abercrombie mohair sweater under $100

articles of society sarah skinny jeans

ferragamo aileen bag

dior izon sunglasses and ferragamo aileen bag
Gray Mohair Sweater (under $70)// Black Jeans (under $100)
Sunglasses// Black Patent Pumps (old Jimmy Choo, similar)
Shop the Look:

This week was- dare I say- relaxing. I got a ton of work done and nothing crazy happened. It was very low key and I have no complaints!

I plan on keeping it low key on Friday night by going out to dinner to one of my favorite BYOB Thai restaurants and then binging Stranger Things. Then, I have a Halloween party to attend Saturday so that should be fun. I hope to relax Sunday/get a little work done and then enjoy Sunday Night Football!

This is the first week I've also gotten SUPER excited about traveling to Paris! Don't get me wrong, I've been really excited since we booked our flight, but we confirmed a lot of details earlier this week and everything is in place. We also decided to head to London for a day via the Eurostar so if you have any suggestions let me know! We only have one day, so we don't have anything set in stone, but are just planning on wandering and taking everything in!

In regards to traveling abroad- you guys have been beyond helpful when I have asked for your thoughts and opinions. I'm asking again- with regard to shoes. I'm bringing my Stan Smiths, my Chanel Flats, my Gucci mules, an old inexpensive pair of ballet flats if it rains a ton, and a pair of heels for fancier dinners (so far). But did you have a pair of shoes that you wore while traveling that was REALLY comfortable but still cute? I'd loveeeeee to bring my Adidas Ultra Boost sneakers but they're just way too 'athletic' looking and won't look right with anything I would wear. But truly, I'm convinced they are the most comfortable shoe on the planet.

Wearing: I shared these lounge pants/pajama pants on Instastories the other night and I was not kidding when I said they are the most comfortable thing I've ever worn. I wish they came in other colors, I would have purchased more! The material is ribbed, buttery soft, and also stretchy. They're just SO good.

Eating: I've really been eating an apple a day. If you have a Trader Joe's near you, go immediately and look for their Honeycrisp apples. They are SO insanely good. 

Drinking: I've talked about this before but haven't in a while. Truly, Schweppe's sparkling water is the best EVER! I love that it now comes in bottles so I can take it with me everywhere. 

Reading: I talked about ordering The Thousandth Floor and I'm a little over halfway through. I read a few pages each night before I fall asleep. It's really good- it's very 'teen' oriented and has a Gossip Girl vibe, but I'm never bored and tear through the pages quickly. I just ordered the second book, Dazzling Heights

Sale-ing: Tons of really great items added to Club Monaco's sale category. There are even a bunch of fall/winter items. 

Stranger Things Season Two comes out TOMORROW! Who else is SO excited?!

Listening: October's playlist is a bit lame, so I apologize for that. I just haven't been really loving much! There's 9 songs, though, if you want to take a listen! 

Loving: Have you guys seen the new EOS Crystal lip balm? I love EOS balms and I'm so curious about this clear balm. It's wax free and vegan. 
Wanting: It was unanimous when I surveyed everyone with regard to gift guides that you'd all love to see my holiday wish list. So that's coming up as one of the first few gift guides of the season... I'm waiting until November to post gift guides, though, so sit tight! Yesterday I shared some items I'm currently loving and I also updated all the sidebar widgets! You can scroll through above to also see some of my favorites. I'm also wanting this gorgeous ivory coat for Paris and the holiday season. There is something so chic about an ivory coat!
Pittsburgh-ing: I just recently had Honeygrow for the first time (got it to-go!). It's a new fast-casual restaurant in East Liberty. You order on a screen and pay via the screen, too. Kind of a neat concept. The price range is right around Chipotle. It offers stir-fry style dishes and the portions are HUGE. It's also delicious. They also offer fruit bowls with honey. We got one to split and it was amazing. I'd even just go back fo the fruit bowls! 

Smelling: I shared this in yesterday's post but I am OBSESSED with this candle. It's just so warm and cozy. It's not sweet or overly strong- it's just right. 

Traveling: Next stop- PARIS!

Quoting: 'Real queens fix each other's crowns.'// See more of my favorites, here.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

What I'm Loving For Late Fall

I love doing posts like this and sharing what I've been loving lately. They're items that I may not have purchased yet but are high on my wish list or they're pieces I have recently picked up and am loving! 

I'm not going to lie. I was a little disappointed with fall selections this year. I feel like this fall was a hodgepodge of trends for some of my favorite retailers. It seemed like there was an excess of off-the-shoulder items or items with holes in them (why?!?!?) or way too many ruffles. I am really picky with my clothes- if you haven't noticed. I try to stray away from trends. Some trends, I'll try, or I'll find a more subtle version of a trend. And every once in a while, I'll go completely out of my comfort zone. However, for the most part, my style is classic. So when retailers are just full of trends, it's really hard for me to find anything great. Did anyone else feel this way this fall?

BUT, I feel like there is finally a lot more selection and more classics coming out just in the last week or two. Think traditional tartans, velvet smoking slippers, cashmere knit sweaters, and more. I think it has to do with the holidays... there's always more to choose from! Which has me excited and more inspired to share a post like this (I haven't done one in a while!). 

Sunglasses// I bought this becausse I wanted a pair of classic black sunglasses. These definitely fit the bill. They're a little more than I typically spend on sunglasses (I usually stick to Ray-Ban), but since the French (and a classic shape/style), I decided I would splurge! Can't wait to wear them in Paris (hopefully it won't be too too rainy!). 

Cashmere Slippers// Can you believe these slippers are under $50?! I think these would make the best gift for the holidays for someone who may have everything. These are great because they won't take up much space in a suitcase!

Velvet Bow Flats// I remember seeing these a long time ago during the Fashion Week presentation and I have been thinking of them ever since. They're very pricey- even for Tory Burch, so I've held off, but I just might have to pull the trigger. The pumps are also fabulous!

Baume De Rose// This French line is a new favorite of mine. Their baume de rose is one of their most popular products. It's incredible. It's also pretty expensive. But for the holidays. they released a smaller pot which I think is a really great buy!

Swan Loafers// Aren't these SO cute?! They're decently dressy but offer the ultimate comfort. Now that's a party shoe I can get behind! 

Hand Cream// This is one of my go-to hand creams during the winter months. This particular bottle is also for a good cause. $4 from each bottle purchased goes to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Last year's was an incredibly calming lavender and this year it is their very popular rosemary mint scent. I LOVE putting this on my hands. It smells so good but is also super hydrating and dries quickly. It's not sticky or oily at all. 

Lip Treatment// I have noticed that I'm biting my lips- I think it's an anxious tick and I really need to stop! I really want to try this lip treatment to see if it helps! 

Faux Fur Stole// I bought this to wear in Paris. I'll be wearing a lot of black so I thought this would add some texture and interests to my outfits. Plus keep me warm!

Power Glow Peel// This is one of my skincare favorites, lately. It's incredible at exfoliating without over drying. I love the individually wrapped pads, too. They are perfect for travel. They're a splurge, but I really think they're worth it. They handle my acne and are anti-aging... hard to find a product that does both! 

Plaid Pajama Pants// These are under $20 and SO soft. I'm considering getting these for alllll of my friends for Christmas! I always think pajamas are such a great and 'safe' gift when you don't know what to buy for someone. I mean, you can never have too many pajamas, am I right?! If you're like me, then in the winter, as soon as you get home, you change into something comfortable and cozy! These totally fit the bill. 

Voluspa Candle// I just got a sample of this candle from Nordstrom and immediately bought the full size. I'm a huge fan of the Voluspa brand in general, but this scent is AMAZING. It somewhat reminds me of the Nest Holiday Candle, but even better (and it's cheaper!!). Couldn't recommend this candle more. My favorite Nest candle is this scent. I haven't been able to find anything similar (or cheaper). 

Lip Treatment// I have noticed that I'm biting my lips- I think it's an anxious tick and I really need to stop! I really want to try this lip treatment to see if it helps! 

Embroidered Clutch// I love this velvet clutch. The rich velvet and the contrasted gold embroidery really make it something special! I also love that it is spacious and the gold bow on top is just icing on the cake! 

Monogrammed Penguin Cocktail Shaker// I have too many cocktail shakers as it is, but HOW CUTE! It looks like a vintage penguin shaker and even better, this one can be monogrammed!

SHE Coffee Table Book// This is the newest coffee table book from Kate Spade. I was just sent it this week and it is BEAUTIFUL! It's under $50 so it would make a great Christmas gift for the Kate Spade lover! Inside of the book, there are 50 women that are profiled and are muses of the Kate Spade brand. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Travel Guide: The Ivey's, Charlotte, North Carolina

the iveys hotel charlotte north carolina review
My parents and I went to Charlotte, North Carolina to visit my younger sister, Callie for the weekend (it was also my mom's birthday!). If you don't know, Callie moved to Charlotte for a job back in February. I miss her so much, so it's always nice when we are all back together. Everyone here in Pittsburgh misses her! Just last week, I had dinner with my cousins, Aunt, and Uncle and it was sad Callie wasn't there. She is so loved and while I'm glad she is thriving in Charlotte, I miss her a lot. 

We arrived on Friday in the late afternoon and headed to check into our hotel, The Ivey's, which is located in Uptown Charlotte. The Ivey's is a somewhat new luxury boutique hotel. The building was originally built in the early 1900's and was a department store but has since been renovated into residences and The Ivey's Hotel. 

The location is ideal. You are basically in the center of it all. We were surrounded by great restaurants, plenty of coffee shops, the library, and more. We were also only several blocks away from Callie's apartment, which was so nice, too! 

{There was a clock theme all throughout the hotel and this one in the lobby dates all the way back to the 1700's!}

the iveys hotel charlotte
We checked in on the lobby level. I loved checking in because the lobby area felt like a beautiful living room! We went upstairs to the second floor which is where all of the 40+ rooms are located. You can see in the photo above, the hallways are even beautifully decorated. I loved all the vintage framed advertisements that lined the hallways. I'd stop to read each one! 

The room was so spacious and luxe. You can tell they really thought of everything a guest could need while traveling. I really appreciate when hotels have iPod docks with speakers, USB ports for charging devices, and bottles of water. It's things like that that you don't necessarily 'need' while traveling but it really makes for a much more pleasant experience. 

The beds were beyond comfortable and I loved the Italian linens they used because they were so soft. The mini bar was fully stocked with all sorts of goodies from Dean and Deluca that were way too hard to resist. Also hard to resist? The Nespresso. To say we got good use out of it would be an understatement. 

The bathroom was beautifully done in white and gray marble. There was a beautiful marble shower and a large bathtub, too. I love that the tub had an area where it would hold your wine glass for you. Talk about ultimate relaxation. 

Another really cool feature? The TV. I feel like I've never really noticed a TV in a hotel room. I don't often spend time watching TV while traveling, but I've never seen a TV like this in a hotel room, ever. It was HUGE and was 4K with Bose speakers. When you walk into your room, the TV is on and there is a slideshow of beautiful images set to spa-like music. It's such a nice way to be welcomed back to your room! 

No doubt you can see the hotel is eclectically beautiful. But what really sets this hotel apart are two things: the details and the service. As we wandered throughout the hotel during the weekend, we kept noticing little details we hadn't before. All of the furniture was custom made for the hotel and things like the art were carefully curated. Even the rocks glasses in our room were something special. What I think I am most impressed by when it comes to the hotels' decor is that the quirkiness was never tacky but always stunningly beautiful and spot on. The decor gave me so much inspiration and made me want to move in or redecorate at home!

As for the service, it was impeccable. All of the staff was beyond friendly and went out of their way to accommodate your every need. Whenever we passed someone in the hallway, we were warmly greeted and asked if they could get us anything.

The turndown service was also wonderful and included a box of Amelie's macarons each night. Amelie's is a local French bakery in Charlotte- I love that they utilized local vendors when possible. 

Another amenity we enjoyed was the Library. It is a large, beautiful room that is warm and inviting. It's only steps away from the rooms and caters to your needs. This is where we had breakfast each morning. The Ivey's takes continental breakfast to the next level, that's for sure. Each morning, we were spoiled with croissants, bagels, lox, pastries, yogurt, parfaits, eggs, fresh fruit, and so much more. They had a large Nespresso where you could whip up cappuccinos. There was also always had a refrigerator stocked with water, juice, sparkling waters, hummus snacks, and more that was replenished throughout the day. We also enjoyed wine and cheese in the library around cocktail hour. 

Lastly, there is such a cool lounge called Sophia's that is located downstairs from the rooms and the Library. Sophia's has a lovely selection of craft cocktails, small bites, and lots of beer and wine choices. It is known for being home to Top Chef alum, Jamie Lynch. We went to Sophia's on Friday night after enjoying wine and cheese in the Libary. Callie had been wanting to go to Sophia's since it had opened and was glad we would all be going there together. The decor is somewhat similar to The Ivey's Hotel in that it is very detail oriented, luxurious and eclectic. All of the seating was very plush and comfortable and made it really hard to leave! 

My favorite cocktails on the list were The Last Word (gin-based with a lime that was on fire!) and the Come on Sp'in (which had jalapeno, yum), and The Oasis (which is rum-based and isn't normally something I go for, but it was fantastic). My favorite dishes were the Maine lobster sliders, smoked shrimp, and filet mignon toast. Sophia's was fabulous. I definitely recommend it. It'd be great for a celebration or a date night. 

All in all, our stay at The Ivey's was amazing. We're so glad we found such a lovely place to stay while visiting Callie- I'm sure we will be back and I can't wait until then! 

Right now, Callie is headed to Paris- just two weeks before I go! I can't wait to hear all of the details about her trip! I'll be back early next week with a full post on what I wore and what else we did while in Charlotte.

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