Wednesday, February 28, 2018

February Favorites 2018

Can you believe it's the last day of February? Can I get a hallelujah?! Seriously, though... SPRING IS COMING!!!! I feel like I was just posting my January favorites. This month absolutely flew by!! I have had a lot of favorites this month... I actually had to trim it down because it was getting too long!

This month, I traveled to Cleveland for the first time ever and cruised on the Celebrity Equinox! I feel like it probably flew by because I was gone for a lot of it. Overall, the month was great, but towards the end, it really started to pick up in terms of a social calendar and work. I know spring is going to be nuts for me schedule-wise, but I'm excited about all it has to bring! 

HM// H and M has always been a favorite of mine but lately, I have been ordering like crazy! The pieces are really inexpensive but I feel like they have a lot of really classic pieces lately.

This shirt// Case-in-point from my above statement, this shirt is SO good. You guys, it's oversized, but also crisp and put-together. It looks great with leggings and jeans. I'm obsessed and have now literally ordered every single color it comes in! 

Tortoise Phone Case// So I guess I can't speak to its quality yet becuase I haven't received it, but I broke my phone case and I just ordered this one. I think it is SO cute and I can't wait for it to arrive. 

Caress Foam// I LOVE this foam. I am a big fan of the foam body washes in general. I typically use Dove's but I just got sent the Caress foam and absolutely love the way it smells. It's pretty much the same consistency as Dove, but this smell is just so fresh and fragrant! 

Trader Joe's Cinnamon Rolls// Seriously, don't buy these if you want to be eating healthy. I bought them on a whim becuase they looked good and oh my goodness... they were SO good. They are not the ones that you have to bake, but they are in the baked goods section. The icing is divine and I literally ate two in one sitting. 

J.McLaughlin's Men's Swim// I am realllly picky when it comes to men's bathing suits. Which I guess is a weird sentence considering I'm not the one wearing it! I think J.McLaughlin is killing it with men's bathing suits. They're classic and come in the most perfect bright colors. I'm obsessed. 

Jack Roger's Collector Edition Sandals// I got these before my Caribbean trip and I just LOVE them. The mixture of gold and silver is so chic and they match absolutely everything.

Nantucket Tote// You guys, I just got this tote in the mail and it is so nice. I have so many Barrington totes and I truly love all of them, but this is my first time with the Nantucket tote and I think it just might be the best of the best!

Laura Geller Foundation (powder)// This is so great. I have been using this since December and I love the light coverage that it provides. It truly makes my skin 'glowy' and you only have to apply the tiniest bit. It's never cakey, it just looks very natural, plus it's sooooo easy to apply.

Sneaky Pete// I just started this show and I love it (it's on Amazon). It's about a con-man and all of the twisted lies he creates. It's such an interesting storyline.

Lint/Fur Remover// Henry sheds like crazy! I have been researching all of the 'fur remover' tools out there and this one on Amazon got pretty good reviews. I have been using it for a few weeks now and it truly works. I use it every morning when I wake up because Henry sheds so much on my bed! I There's also really no need for a traditional lint roller! 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Shopbop Sale Picks

As you all know, ShopBop's annual tiered sale is here! You can take 15-25% off your order depending on your total spend! 

This is one of those times where I think it's best to stock up on pieces for the upcoming spring/summer season that you'll otherwise pay full-price for because you want to wear the pieces soon. Or, this is the time to stock up wardrobe staples like cashmere and neutral flats

Scroll through the widget at the top of the post to see my picks from the sale. It is SO hard to shop this sale becuase there are about a million (ok maybe I am exaggerating) items on Shopbop. But I chose classic, quality pieces like this navy and white striped sweater, these white sneakers for spring, timeless blue and white pajamas, and my go-to travel wrap

Mom and Me in the Caribbean

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I'm so excited to share these outfits today! Thanks to Talbots for letting us choose some pieces from their spring line to wear on our trip! My mom and I wore these outfits on the first day of the trip... they were great to wear from the airport to the ship. We were put-together but still very comfortable for a morning of travel.

I cannot tell you enough about how much I love every single piece I am wearing. The scalloped tee takes your basic tee and kicks it up a notch. The neckline is so flattering and ladylike. I was so excited about these white jeans becuase their regular wash denim is one of my all-time favorite jeans. These did not disappoint. They have a super high waist, they are very opaque, they're super stretchy and very comfortable. I'd say they run a bit big. I am wearing a size 2 for reference. 

And can we talk about the hat? I seriously felt sooooo chic in this packable hat. I wouldn't really consider myself a hat person, but this had 'packable' in the name so I figured why not! It rolled up into my suitcase with no issue at all. When I pulled it out it looked as good as new. Not to mention, the wide brim is so elegant. 

And I'm so excited for my mom's outfit becuase I love the pops of yellow. While my mom and I have similar taste, it's not always the same. I wouldn't have thought to pair the striped tank with the polka dotted jacket but it just looks so cute! The shoes remind me a bit of Tory Burch but for less and the yellow is so bright and cheery! 

The entire trip, everyone was asking if we were friends or sisters. I think they were confused about us being sisters becuase we don't really look alike (I look like my dad, my sister like my mom) and people would be shocked when we said we were mother-daughter! 

If you haven't taken a mother-daughter trip as a post-grad, I highly encourage you to do it! Having one-on-one time with my mom was the highlight of my week. It was so much fun to be together and try new experiences together. It's something I will remember forever.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Shoes: Look for Less

Shoes: Look for Less
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It's no secret, I love a good pair of designer shoes. However, the prices can be outrageous, I know! I get asked a lot for similar shoe options so today I'm sharing 3 really good looks-for-less (hint: and they're way, way less).

All three pairs on the left, I own, and while I love them, I think the 3 pairs on the right are pretty darn similar, don't you? They're all classics, neutral, and comfortable... no high heels here! And they are also (all three pairs) some of the most worn pairs of shoes in my closet!

If you're looking to get the real deal, though, and don't want to spend a huge chunk of change, I would definitely suggest checking The Real Real and eBay. You can find all three pairs: the Ferragamo vara, Hermes oran, and Chanel ballerines and they're usually deeply discounted. I've purchased designer items from both websites before and I always have success!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Lately 2/22/18

Dress// Bag// Lip color (in babe)// Earrings (on sale)
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So today's date is 2/22/18... which made me think, how weird it will be in 2022 when it's written out like 2/22/22... that's a lot of 2's, ha!

This week has been as great as a post-vacation week can get. I took the day on Monday to totally 'reset'. I grocery shopped, cleaned, did laundry, unpacked, and got organized. I also edited all my photos from my trip. I was very productive! The rest of the week I played catch up on e-mails, DM's and worked on organizing my trip content for all of you.

I also previewed the Paris video my sister made for me. I sent her all of my footage and she edited it all into a cute video. I love making videos from my trips. It's such a great way to preserve memories. I'll be sharing that sometime next week. I took a bunch of videos this trip, too so my sister will be making another video for me! Can't wait to share!

Wearing: I wore this dress on my trip last week and I just love it! It is one of those really good versatile dresses that you could wear to work, to a baby or bridal shower, and even on a Caribbean vacation.

Eating: I got this raspberry wasabi mustard at Fresh Market the other day and have been using it non stop! I guess the flavor sounds kind of odd, but it's sweet and spicy and all around a solid dipping sauce. I also marinated chicken breasts with it and then baked them and they were SO good.

Drinking: I told you guys about the passion fruit flavor of La Croix and I'm not kidding you, I'm going through like 1-2 per day. The obsession is real. Go get yourself some!

Reading: I talked about Jojo Moye's newest book a few Lately's ago, but I had only been about 100 pages in. I finished it and it is really good! A nice, easy read... perfect for winding down before bed or a light read on the beach!

Reading II: I decided to order this book to learn more about dogs in general. I am so fascinated by them and this book is highly acclaimed! I can't wait to read it. 

 This week, I saw 'American Made'... it was really good! In other news, I am totally out of shows to watch. I feel like I've watched everything. I'm thinking of starting Mad Men again... but any suggestions? I'm very much a binger. I don't watch a lot of TV, but when I do, I binge. 

Listening: Guys, I started a February playlist and then totally dropped the ball. I'll have to reset in March. I just haven't been loving much of anything lately! 

Loving: You guys know me and my obsession with skincare products. Well, my friend Sara introduced me to a new-to-me line called Ever. I ordered the blemish and spot corrector because I have a few reddish acne scars that I have been working to get rid of. It has Vitamin C in it which has been my latest skincare favorite. Vitamin C is a great way to get clearer skin over time. I've been using the product for about a month and I LOVE it! It really works. I put it on as a spot treatment at night and over this past month, I have noticed the discolorations have very clearly diminished. If you're looking for a product to get rid of sunspots, discoloration, etc., this is it. I love that it's very gentle, too!
Loving II: I just designed this bag on Barrington's website and I can't wait for it to arrive! I wanted a 'Summer Wind' bag (aka a bag with Summer Wind colors) and this one just screams spring, doesn't it?! Can't wait to use it for travel. It is the absolute perfect size with allllll of the pockets! 

Did you guys have any idea that Restoration Hardware has a 'teen' site, much like Pottery Barn? A lot of the pieces really are geared towards true teens, but pieces like this are something I'd absolutely love to have in my home!

Wanting II: There are so many good pieces. I am trying to hold off on buying anything for spring until I majorly purge my own closet, though! But how AMAZING are these shoes... OMG. 

Pittsburgh-ing: There is a new French restaurant in Lawrenceville, Poulet Bleu that I am just dying to try out! Has anyone checked it out yet? I made a reservation for April becuase that was literally the soonest I could even get a res! 

Quoting: Just believe in yourself. // See more of my favorites, here. 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Blush Sundress in Key West

Sundress (under $130)// Wicker Bag (under $80 
Sandals (many colors, on sale under $30)// Sunglasses// Earrings 
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I'm going to be going through the Celebrity cruise itinerary on Friday becuase I know you have all been asking for details, but I really wanted to get this outfit up ASAP because this dress was sold out just a few days ago and now it has been restocked in all sizes. 

It's SUCH a gorgeous dress. The blush color is so beautiful and the floral pattern is subtle and ladylike. It's  conservative and girly, just the way I like it! It runs true to size, I'm wearing a small! 

I wore this in our first port, Key West. I had been there years ago on spring break (LOL with this post). So seeing it with non-college eyes gave me a new appreciation for the pastel houses and the gorgeous clear water. 

My mom and I walked from the port to the famous buoy that marks the southernmost point of the (contiguous) United States... which is 90 miles from Cuba. The walk was decently long... about 3 miles down and back so I was glad to have worn these flat sandals. I wore them a lot during the entire trip becuase they were so easy to slip on and matched pretty much everything. 

Overall, I was glad to have seen the buoy. We hadn't had a chance to see it when I was on spring break in college (too busy on Duval Street, ha!). However, it was crazy busy with people and a HUGE line if you wanted to get a photo in front of it. So, my mom and I just checked it off our list and we headed to have a cocktail at Fogarty's... which I wanted to see becuase it was one of our favorites to visit while I was on spring break in college! We also saw a rooster, which Key West is known for, so we checked that off our list, too!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

I'm Back!

I'm popping in today with a bit of a light post to highlight this dress! I wore it while on the cruise and it's currently on sale for under $70. It's such a steal and really reminds me of Dolce and Gabbana! It runs true to size, if anything a touch small. 

Today's post is lighter on content because I spent all yesterday unpacking and cleaning and getting my offline life organized so I am ready to tackle this shorter week. I also was able to edit ALL of the photos that I took on my trip, which was quite time consuming. But, that means I'll be ready to share everything sooner rather than later. I can't wait to tell you all about my trip. It was so. much. fun. We also took so many great photos. I'm still figuring out how to organize 

But today will be spent at the computer playing catch if you e-mailed me, expect to hear back! However, it is 75 degrees and I'm going to take Henry on a very long walk to take advantage of the warm temps. I can't believe it's this warm here in Pittsburgh in February! 

Monday, February 19, 2018

In Loving Memory of Mac

My most recent photos taken with Mac in early August.
'The easiest way to not feel this grief is to never have a dog. And what an empty life that would be.'
It was the fall of 2004- almost 14 years ago. It's so cliche, but I remember as if it were just yesterday. I was 14, perched at my usual spot, our family computer in the kitchen, chatting with friends on AIM (that's AOL instant messenger for those way too young to remember) talking about who was going with who to our first homecoming dance. My mom was cooking dinner as my dad and Callie walked through the door... with a dog.
As a family, we had never had a dog before Mac. Being 14 and just starting high school, I was 'too cool' to care about an 'animal'. But, sweet 10-year-old Callie was dying for a dog, so they came home with Mac, the cutest Australian Cattle Dog from the Washington Humane Society.

At first, I thought it was so crazy we had a 'wild animal' in our house. It took me a few days or a few weeks to warm up to the idea of living with an animal, but once I warmed up, I really warmed up.
Mac stole the hearts of everyone. He was SO full of life. I've shared this story on Summer Wind before, but for me, writing is therapeutic... and I really want to go down memory lane right now, so bear with me.

It was Mac's first Christmas at our house. We absolutely spoiled him with toys. He got so overwhelmed, he ran to our back door and looked like he was just dying to go outside. We let him outside, his toys in his mouth, and he raced towards the yard. All of the sudden, as we're all dressed in our Christmas pajamas looking out the window, we see him digging a hole by our swingset... something he'd never done before. He actually started burying his toys!

It was SO funny- We all laughed hysterically.. tears ran down our faces. The memory of it brings back so much warmth and really conveys how much fun Mac was. I will never forget that moment.

Mac brought so much joy and love into our lives. I hate for this post to be so full of cliches, but it is truly amazing to be able to love someone so much. I loved Mac as though he were my brother. And he was just that, my brother.

I went through high school with him. He comforted me when I had a broken heart. He watched me learn how to drive, he was there to support me in my excitement as I made cheerleading captain, he saw me off to prom. He kissed me goodbye as I left for James Madison University. He came to visit me in college and even came to my college graduation. Mac was sitting at my feet as I started Summer Wind. I was lucky enough to live with him for several more years as he saw me through various jobs, hardships, and wonderful moments.
"The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog...He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and the sores that come encounter with the roughness of the world. When all other friends desert, he remains." -George G Vest
Mac came on vacations with us. He celebrated all the holidays with us. He accompanied me to Starbucks. He loved our Bruster's dates. He lived for steak and watermelon. I truly believe he understood me when I would speak to him (which was often). He was so smart and so full of personality. As I moved out on my own, I missed him so much. I would go home just to check in with Mac... or go for a walk or a Bruster's date.

Mac was always there. 

He was such an integral part of my life for the past 14 years. This tribute to Mac, nor anything I ever say will ever be able to convey how much he has touched my life.

For those of you who don't have any pets, the personification may sound crazy. But, Mac was a true gentleman. He didn't bark much, he never snapped, he was always so well behaved, so polite, and so gentle with everyone.
Mac was getting old- he had been showing his age bit by bit over the last few years. But recently, he started to have seizures. I was in my parent's kitchen this summer and my parents were outside parking the car and I had just put food into Mac's bowl for dinner. All of the sudden, Mac fell over by his bowl. It was truly one of the scariest things. I started screaming for my parents because I had no idea what was happening. Eventually, he was back to 'normal'. But in the weeks following, as I visited him, I knew things were not going well. But he persisted and chugged along. The vet said he was not in any pain and could continue to live life.

Until recently. He didn't get up at all the entire day- couldn't get up. He didn't want his food. Nothing. He was still loving and 'with it', but I started to try to prepare myself (spoiler: nothing can prepare you). Not knowing what to expect, I would sit up at night and think about Mac and worry. Not that worrying was doing any good- but it hurt so much not to be able to cure him of his old age.

I've been very lucky in life to not know much loss... and those that I have lost, have died from old age and a life well-lived. I know now that they're all up in Heaven welcoming Mac with open arms and will keep him safe until we can meet again.

We aren't sure exactly, but we believe Mac was about 16. He lived such a long, full, wonderful life.

You know the saying, 'You don't know what you have until it's gone.'? It doesn't apply here. I never took Mac for granted. I always felt so lucky to have Mac in my life. I always knew he was something special. I will always remember him with the fondest, warmest memories and will love him always.

When my grandpa passed away 7 years ago, I came across this poem and knew to look for it again as the words comfort me. I'm sharing it in hopes one of you may read it and be able to connect with it, too.
"Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes, we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am but waiting for you.
For an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.

All is well."

I also wanted to send out a big thank you to all of you. So many of you sent me the sweetest e-mails, DM's, comments, texts, etc. Your thoughts, prayers, and kind words mean so much as I am feeling filled with loss. I am so grateful to have such wonderful friends, family, and each and every one of you who provide me so much comfort and support.

Hug your pups a little tighter tonight. I know I have been with Henry. They really are extraordinary, aren't they?

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