Thursday, October 31, 2019


Happy Halloween, everyone! I hope you are all having a great week. This has been an insanely busy week for work but also great because there haven't been any hiccups. This is actually my favorite time of year for Summer Wind. I have so much fun content up my sleeve and I'm just bursting at the seams to share all of it with you! I am also excited to launch the first Service Sunday this weekend!

This past weekend my fiancé and I went to a Halloween party and it was a lot of fun. We dressed up as tennis players. It was a very easy and comfortable costume! We are looking forward to passing out candy tonight. We have a lot of kids in the neighborhood so we are thinking it will be a busy night. I hope we have enough candy (we bought a ton). This is our first year doing it and we are so excited! Henry is going to be a pumpkin and likely hate every minute I make him stay in his costume, ha!

This weekend we are headed to visit our friends who just moved from Philadelphia to DC. I am so excited to see them and enjoy time in one of my favorite cities! We were just there one year ago for her bachelorette party!

Wearing: The weather in the earlier half of this week was AMAZING. Perfectly sunny and cool but not cold. Perfect. Henry got a lot of walks in and my fiancé snapped this on one of them! I love this Flannel Dress. It is the softest thing EVER and a great classic at an affordable price.

Eating: I love hummus. Love. My favorite store-bought is by the brand Hannah and you can buy it at Costco. They have this hummus trio that is incredible. But, last time I went to Costco, they didn't have it! So I tried two new hummus flavors from Sabra (found at Target). I tried both Carmelized onion and olive tapenade and both were SO incredible. Like beyond delicious. I'm addicted. 

Reading: My next-up book is Kristin Hannah's The Great Alone. Have you read it yet?

Watching: Have you guys watched anything good lately? I have been hearing a lot about the series Succession and I tried to get into it but couldn't. I might give it another chance, we'll see! 

Listening: Have you heard Coldplay's new song, Orphans? In true Coldplay fashion, it's SO GOOD.
Loving: Can't wait to share these photos because this dress is AMAZING. Size down at least one size. So in love with this pearl detailing!

Loving II: You guys know this leopard coat that I am in love with, but it is back this season and this time with a tall collar

Wanting: I haven't found much this week! We are in that brief awkward period with Halloween just about to pass us and companies haven't released all of their best holiday items yet. It will happen very soon, though, and I can't wait! 

Traveling: We are off to DC this weekend to visit one of my best friend's from high school and her husband! She just got married in February and they recently moved to DC so we are excited to visit! 

Quoting: 'Kindness is loaning someone your strength instead of reminding them of their weaknesses.' // See more of my favorites, here. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Wedding Wednesday: Our Save the Dates

dixie design save the dates
dixie design save the dates
The sweet Mrs. box gifted from the lovely Palm Beach Lately gals

dixie design save the dates

You saw last in this post that we are using Dixie Design for our wedding invitations. We also used them for our save the dates. I actually wasn't planning on sending out save the dates.

You might remember from this post that we are having a smaller wedding.  Our finalized guest list ended up at 110. With very few exceptions, we know those invited very well (which was our point in keeping things small). Because we know them very well, we have made everyone aware of our date since we got engaged! I just felt like save the dates were another thing to add to a seemingly endless to-do list and weren't really 'necessary'... kind of like engagement photos- just not necessary. But here we are, we did both engagement photos and now we have sent out save the dates, ha!

I will say that in hindsight, I am pleased we did both engagement photos and save the dates. The process in creating them was quick and seamless and wasn't as involved as I thought it was going to be. Dixie Design took control of all of it and all we had to do was stuff, stamp, and drop in the mail which took all of 15 minutes. So if you are hesitant like me, it's way less effort than you think and it's nice to have incredible resources like Dixie Design that handle it all for you!

My fiancé was the main force behind the save the dates- he really loved the idea! Here's the backstory of the watercolor on the front...

A year or two ago, my friend Aly shared an Instagram page with me called Plainly Worded. The artist's name is Jane and she does custom artwork. My friend Aly hired Jane to paint 3 meaningful things. I loved this idea so I had Jane do a painting of Mac (our family dog that passed away in February 2018) and my parent's house. I gifted my parents both but also kept the print versions for myself (she gives you the original and a beautiful print). 

Fast forward to this spring and as I was putting the framed prints up in our house, I realized the space I was hanging them needed a third to complete the wall space So I had Jane paint the view from Pittsburgh's Mt. Washington. This is the view of the Pittsburgh skyline from where we got engaged in December 2018. 

Now all three are hanging on the side of our refrigerator cabinet and look so perfect there. I love that all 3 are so meaningful and were custom painted by Jane. She is so talented. So when we (kind of last-minute) decided to send out save the dates, I didn't really know what I wanted. I wasn't really into a photo save the date and I was trying to think of something meaningful, and here comes my brilliant friend Aly reminding me of the painting of where we got engaged! Brilliant! 

So that's how we ended up using Jane's beautiful painting of Pittsburgh's Mt. Washington. It's not only meaningful because we got engaged on Mt. Washington but since we are also getting married in Pittsburgh, it's just very fitting. Otherwise, we kept things very simple and classic. The invitation and everything else will be more formal so this was a nice way to keep things simple and meaningful. I removed the date and website password for privacy reasons.

I loved what Dixie Design did, though. I just sent them the artwork with no 'idea' of how to make it work and they took care of the rest. There were literally no changes that needed to be made when they presented me with the first design- it was that good. When we received the actual save the dates in the mail, I was speechless. They are even better in person than I could have imagined. My fiancé loved them, too, and so much so that he suggested we frame it (which I love)!

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Look For Less: Blackwatch Plaid Coat and More!

I love black watch plaid, that's certainly no secret. I remember seeing Meghan Markle in the most beautiful black watch plaid coat last year and wanting to recreate the look. Her's was Burberry and while stunning, it was $3000. I think a coat is totally worth splurging on, but at $3000, that was much more than I could stomach!

Enter in this Black Watch Plaid Coat that's under $250. I wasn't really even looking for one when I stumbled upon it. I knew exactly what I would wear it with, too: A simple turtleneck, jeans, and heels for an elevated classic look. This coat runs big, I would suggest sizing down. I like the oversized, draped look of the coat, but there is plenty of room for layering in either your true size or even a size down. The sleeves are also a bit long, so I suggest taking them to a tailor if you feel the same- that's what I plan to do (I have average length arms). 

This is such an easy and classic look. It's something that would be perfect for a casual Thanksgiving. The outfit is simple but the plaid adds some interest and the heels dress it up a bit! Not to mention this is a coat that you can wear from the moment it gets cold all the way through February/March. Blackwatch is a total neutral so don't think just around the holidays!

In the same vein, I thought I would also share some looks for less that I have come across lately. I know a lot of you like it when I do that! 
Shop more black watch plaid:

Monday, October 28, 2019

Before and After: Guest Bedroom Reveal

Guest Bedroom Reveal

Guest Bedroom Reveal

We have two guest bedrooms in our home. I decided to turn one into my office so we really only have one now. Truly, that's all we really need. Before moving into this house, I lived in a one-bedroom apartment and there was never any room to properly host guests. 

I was SO excited to tackle this guest bedroom before the holiday season kicks off and when Serena and Lily reached out to see if I wanted to pick out a few things to spruce up the guest bedroom, I knew this was the motivation I needed to get things in order! 

I loved the way this space turned out. You can see the 'before' photos below...they are not pretty. For months this room had basically had random things from my old apartment bedroom and extra stuff I didn't know what to do with. I would not have had guests in such a sad little space, ha! 

So, I ended up dressing the bed in Serena and Lily linens... a brand that is known for high-quality and beautiful linens, furniture, and decor. If you are like me and need to spruce up your guest bedroom, right now Serena and Lily is having a 'sleep well' event where you can take up to 30% off bedding and beds. They have soooo many gorgeous bedding options

I'm a big fan of mostly white bedrooms. I think they give off a nice hotel vibe and also feel so serene. I chose the Beach Club Sheet SetWestwood Quilt and Euro Shams as the base for the bed. I love using a quilt as well as a duvet. That way you can be comfortable no matter the time of year. For the duvet, I love the beautiful blue in the Beach Club duvet cover. To add a little more color, I topped it off with this beautiful and incredibly soft pillow cover (and this is the insert). 

Depending on the room size, if you can, I suggest having a least a queen-size bed in a guest bedroom. That way, two can sleep comfortably! You could also do two twins or obviously whatever your space allows but It's really important to me that my guests are comfortable! The sheets and quilt are SO soft and I feel proud to host guests in such a comfortable space! 

I had one of these End Tables from my apartment. I had gotten it years ago, so I was worried that I wouldn't be able to find another. After a few minutes on Google, I found that they still make this inexpensive table! It's the perfect thing for small spaces. There was no way we would have been able to fit two full bedside tables in this room so these are perfect to hold a lamp without looking 'heavy'. I pulled these blue and white lamps from other areas of our house. They are a beautiful set and really pull together nicely with the other blue and white pieces. They were an old Homegoods find. 

I saw this  Staffordshire Chinoiserie Art back in June when I was in Nantucket. It was at Skinny Dip and I didn't buy it because I didn't want to have to travel with it. After tagging the artist on Instagram, she was so sweet and offered to send a print. I LOVE it. Willa Heart is so talented and the prints are affordable so they are a good resource if you are looking for art! I had it framed in a pretty gold bamboo frame and it fits perfectly above this dresser that I have had since I was a child. 

I found the small frame on the dresser and the big mirror above the bed from Hobby Lobby. I had never been to one before and I actually had gone in after someone recommended I go there to check out their Christmas decor (which was extensive), but they also have a lot of housewares. I love wicker/rattan and thought the round shape looked perfect above the bed! 

As for towels, I got two sets of the banded border bath collection. These towels are high-quality and so soft. I want to steal the for myself, ha! They also have the softest bath mat which I hang over the edge of the tub (just like in a hotel). 

One of my favorite little touches that I learned from my mom and aunt are to keep a few toiletries from hotels over the course of your travels and display them in a pretty basket. I don't often use hotel toiletries for myself because I bring my own, so I'll usually snag some for this basket but also, it's nice to take them and donate them, too. I think this is such a nice touch and in that basket is truly anything a guest could possibly need: bars of soap, shampoo, conditioner, razor, toothbrush, dry shampoo, hair spray, a sewing kit, lotion, etc. 

And lastly, on either side of the bed, I have a charging cord all set up and ready to go to charge a phone. I think a cord can often be something forgotten during travels so it's nice to not even have guests worry about that! You can get multi-packs of chargers on Amazon so I have them all over the house, in the car, etc. These also make a nice stocking stuffer.

A few more things I'd like to do to this room is to add a floor mirror (love this one) so guests are able to check their outfits! I'd also love to get our powder room in order. The guest bathroom is all finished, which is great, but the powder room is going to get a lot of guest traffic in the next two months. I got this mirror and we need to hang it, but we are also still trying to decide on wallpaper! I think we might just hang it for now until we choose the wallpaper. 

I'd also love to get a new guest bed. I bought this inexpensive bed somewhat hastily a few years ago and I don't mind it, but I don't really love it. It's totally fine for now, but one day I'd like to upgrade to something like this.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Saturday Shopping

Happy happy weekend, friends! I hope you are all enjoying the last full weekend of October! This weekend we are getting a lot done around the house, I'm doing some work, we are hosting friends, attending a Halloween party, and more. It was supposed to be a plan-free relaxed weekend but looks like we will be 'going, going, going'!!!

Now through October 28th, Serena and Lily is offering up to 30% off bedding and beds with their Sleep Well event! Serena and Lily gifted me some of their bedding to transform our guest bedroom! I will be sharing all of the information on Monday, but I wanted to let you know so you could also take advantage of the sale over the weekend! This bedding is SO beautiful and high-quality and at a discount, it's quite affordable! Scroll through above to see the bedding we have for our guest bedroom! 

Friday, October 25, 2019

24 Hours In Pittsburgh

24 Hours In Pittsburgh
So many people request travel guides to Pittsburgh and I honestly can't believe I have never done one! I was born and raised in Pittsburgh and except for 4 years at James Madison University in Virginia, I have always called the 412 home. I know this city like the back of my hand!

I figured I would do a 24-hour guide every once in a while. There is SO much to do so I want to give you guys little doses of Pittsburgh so whether you are coming for one day or one week, you'll have great ideas and information from a local. With that said, the food in Pittsburgh is phenomenal and I'm highlighting only a few restaurants in this post, so browse this if you want to read more about restaurants in Pittsburgh that I love. There are also a lot of different neighborhoods that deserve exploring so for now, I'm going to focus on downtown/strip/Lawrenceville but in the future, I'll highlight other areas, too.

Also, I'm assuming this is a Saturday, so keep that in mind, too!

Where to Stay:
24 Hours In Pittsburgh

24 Hours In Pittsburgh

Hotel Monaco or the Omni William Penn. There are a lot of other hotel options downtown, too, but these two are my favorites! They are both right next door to each other and centrally located in downtown Pittsburgh. From here, you'll be able to get anywhere by walking or taking a quick and inexpensive Uber ride. Not to mention, downtown is also easy to get to and from the airport (on the weekends you won't have to worry about rush hour traffic).

Hotel Monaco is trendier and more modern and has a smaller, boutique hotel feel. There is a restaurant, The Commoner located downstairs as well as a rooftop bar (weather permitting) called The Biergarten.

Omni William Penn is more of a Pittsburgh historical icon and has a bigger hotel vibe to it. If nothing else, you must stop into their lobby to see how beautiful it is! There is an elegant restaurant, The Terrace Room in the lobby as well as a lobby bar. You can also have afternoon tea or head to The Speakeasy in the basement for prohibition-era cocktails. There is also a Starbucks conveniently located inside of the lobby!

24 Hours In Pittsburgh

I would head to the Strip District. It is within walking distance from the two hotels that I recommended and is one of my favorite areas in all of Pittsburgh. This area is the best on weekend mornings. There are two major streets in the Strip District that you'll want to walk along: Smallman Street and Penn Avenue. There, you'll find open-air markets, food carts, ethnic food stores, adorable coffee shops, cute boutiques and more. 

Coffee: I would first stop at La Prima Espresso which is, in my opinion, the best coffee in Pittsburgh. Their original location is in The Strip District and you will feel as though you have been transported to a small town in Italy. Snag a bag of their coffee to take home with you, you won't be disappointed! 

Once you have your coffee, you'll be ready to stroll along and wander in and out of stores. The Strip District is very much an experience in and of itself. Knowing that you are visiting and won't be doing any cooking or grocery shopping, I'll share a few favorites that aren't food-based are Grandpa Joe's Candy which is a nostalgic candy store that has any candy imaginable. My favorite part, though, is the $5 candy box. There is a wall of loose candy and for $5 you can fill the box to the brim with whatever you want. I do this every single time I'm in the strip! My second favorite is Roxanne's Dried Flowers. It is the most beautiful shop filled to the brim with incredible dried flowers, arrangements, and small gifts. Another great stop is Pennsylvania Libations. This liquor boutique offers free tastings and is stocked to the brim with different liquors that have been created right here in Pennsylvania... many in Pittsburgh! And lastly, if you are as in love with antiques as I am, Mahla is one of the best in the city and chock full of incredible pieces. 

Breakfast: All that walking and I'm sure you have worked up an appetite! I have two suggestions for breakfast/brunch. The first is Smallman Galley which is one of my favorites. It's a chef incubator where there are 4 different 'restaurants' under one roof. Kind of like a cafeteria but much cuter. There's a bar and a coffee bar, too, so they have everything. It's casual and you order at the counter. The food is SO good. Home is our favorite! 

My second recommendation would be a diner-style restaurant called Pamela's. There is often a line/somewhat long wait for breakfast on weekend mornings, so you might want to go early and put your name in. Pamela's is a staple for Pittsburghers and is known for its crepe-like pancakes. They are out of this world and if you go, that is what you should get! I also love their lyonnaise potatoes and sometimes I will get the tex-mex omelet. 

If it's getting close to lunch or the afternoon and you're looking for a spot to stop and enjoy some wine or a cocktail, check out Kingfly Spirits, a distillery, or Pittsburgh Winery


Lunch: So now you've worked up an appetite for lunch. There are two Strip District options I would recommend. Dianoia's for some incredible Italian fare in a very bright, pretty setting, or get into Pittsburgh's roots for a no-frills lunch at the original Primanti Brothers.

Dianoia's is one of my favorite restaurants in the entire city so if you don't go there for lunch, I'd suggest it for dinner (make a res and get the gnocchi in the bread Their food is phenomenal and you just can't go wrong there. For lunch their meatballs are incredible, they have great Aperol spritzes, and oh my goodness their sweet Lebanon bologna sandwich is heavenly.

Primanti's is famous and definitely a 'touristy' spot. It's about as casual as you can get (they don't even serve the sandwiches on plates) but this is 'the Pittsburgh sandwich' that's famous for having fries and coleslaw on the sandwich. It's an acquired taste and I LOVE it. I'd honestly only recommend going to the Primanti's in the strip. There are tons of other locations but if you're going to do it, go to the original and if you go, order a sandwich, don't get anything else- it's the sandwich you are going for, otherwise, it's not worth going. If you had gone to Pamela's for breakfast, I would skip Primanti's and vice versa just because that's a lot of greasy food for one day, ha!
24 Hours In Pittsburgh
Now that you have a full belly, let's move on to activities! If it is a museum you desire, we have tons. My favorites are the Carnegie Museums. There are 3 and they are in different areas of the city. You will have to pick one and spend the afternoon there! My personal favorite is The Carnegie Museum of Art and Natural History (you'll need to uber or drive from Strip District/downtown). I could spend the entire weekend at this museum. They have incredible works of art as well as a lot of interactive things, too. This is great for children and adults of all ages. It's located in the Oakland area which is where The University of Pittsburgh is, so afterward, I suggest walking around the beautiful urban campus. If time permits (it might not, the museum will suck up your afternoon), you'll definitely want to go inside of Pitt's Cathedral of Learning. It truly looks like you stepped into Hogwarts and is just all around architecturally beautiful. They have Nationality Rooms throughout the cathedral and they are so cool to see. They are basically classrooms that are designed with different nationalities in mind.

If you are looking for a snack, head to either Dave and Andy's for a scoop of homemade ice cream and a freshly made cone (cash only) or have a true Oakland experience at The Original Hot Dog (the dirty O as Pittsburghers call it). It's a hole in the wall but wow are their hot dogs and fries incredible! 

Ok, let's head back downtown to your hotel. You're likely tired and ready for a rest after walking a lot of steps! After you relax, get dolled up and head for rooftop cocktails at Over Eden in Lawrenceville, which is a rooftop bar in the Tryp hotel. The sweeping views of the city and delicious craft cocktails will have you appreciating the city's skyline. 

Have time for one more cocktail? Head to Grapperia which is a tiny, cozy Italian cocktail bar that specializes in grappa and amaro. Not your thing or bar too full? Head to Round Corner Cantina for delicious margaritas! If it is nice outside, you must sit on their patio (which you have to walk through the restaurant to get to). 
24 Hours In Pittsburgh
Dinner: Ok this is the dinner you have been waiting for- literally because you have to make a reservation at least several weeks in advance. This is one of my all-time favorite restaurants in Pittsburgh... drumroll, please... Poulet Bleu! It's located in Lawrenceville and is about as traditional French food as you can get- the best French food in Pittsburgh, in my opinion. This will be a long dinner so plan to relax and enjoy. Pro tip: order the soufflé before you order your dinner so you'll have it come out perfectly in time for dessert (believe me, you are going to want to order the soufflé). Besides the food being excellent, they have a great selection of cocktails, wines, champagnes, etc. and the interior design is drool-worthy. I liken it to being in a Nancy Meyer's movie. Everything about this restaurant is perfect. It is pricey, so just be aware! 

Afterward, are you looking for a nightcap? The Speakeasy in the William Penn is cozy and close to your bed, as is The Commoner's bar!

Thursday, October 24, 2019


This week has flown by, can you believe we only have one week left in October? This week was filled with lots of meetings and off-computer to-dos. Not a lot of housekeeping/back end stuff got done this week which I'll have to make up for next week. But, I was still able to get a ton done. Right now, it's a lot of prepping upcoming holiday content! I hope you are all as excited as I am!

One of the things I worked on a lot this week is prepping the guest room. I have a big post about this coming Monday where I share the before, during, and final product of our guest bedroom and I'm so excited!

This weekend is one of our only 'free' weekends that we have left for the rest of the year (isn't that crazy?!). I wanted it to be totally plan-free, but it's looking like I'm going to have to do quite a bit of work and housework this weekend. Not to mention, we are having some friends over on Saturday and then going to my cousin's birthday party on Sunday evening. All good things!

Wearing: This sweater is something I purchased 5 or 6 years ago and it is one of my favorite sweaters ever. I have another in pretty charcoal. I was so bummed in the past years that this hasn’t been brought back and you know what?! This fall, they FINALLY brought it back! It’s a slightly different style but the fabric is the same. It’s very textured and so cozy and warm.

Reading: Everything coming to Netflix in November!

Reading II: Tiffany has launched an advent calendar for $112,000. There are only 4 available and there are 24 gifts- one behind each door leading up to Christmas. I've been really good this year, but even I don't think I've been this good, ha!

Sale-ing: Talbots Friends and Family sale (30% off) started yesterday and goes through 10/27! I'm absolutely in love with this black and white checked cape. It's so elegant. Also, one of my favorite cashmere sweaters is included in the sale- the neckline is so chic and classic. I wear a size small in the sweater, it runs true to size. 

 The trailer for The Crown season 3 is now out and I am SO excited!!! It's going to be interesting with a new cast. I'm excited to see Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret- she is one of my favorite actresses- so talented!!

Loving: This article about Orange Theory is so funny- I can SO relate to #2 and #7, ha! 

 This plaid headband is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! The perfect holiday accessory. 


Traveling: Next up we are headed to DC, but first, we have a full weekend spent in Pittsburgh and I can't wait! 

Quoting: 'Dress like you're going somewhere better later.' // See more of my favorites, here. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Wedding Wednesday: Winter White Casual Outfit

Wedding Wednesday: Winter White Casual Outfit

Wedding Wednesday: Winter White Casual Outfit

Wedding Wednesday: Winter White Casual Outfit

Wedding Wednesday: Winter White Casual Outfit
Lace Blouse (under $100, very similar top also under $100)// Cream Jeans
Nude Pumps// Faux Fur Jacket

Last week I shared winter white dresses and I've been receiving many requests lately to share casual winter white outfits for brides who may be having their bachelorette parties in the fall or winter and are looking for a casual outfit to wear to events other than going out to bars. 

I think all-white is so chic in the winter but also really tough to pull off. This is a nice blend of feminine, casual, classic but still fashionable. I think the key is finding pieces that are a creamy white rather than a bright white that is typically reserved for summertime. These Jeans were such a good find because in person, they are a lot creamier than typical 'white jeans'. 

I love this Lace Blouse so much and can't believe it is under $100. It comes with the nude camisole to wear underneath and the lace is beautiful. It would also pair beautifully with a skirt. 

My biggest suggestion when wearing all white? Keep a Tide pen on hand in case of accidents! No, seriously, ha!

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Huge Shopbop Sale!

Shopbop is having a sale and it's not their usual tiered percentage-off with a code type sale. There are 45 pages of stuff on a deep discount. As of writing this, there seems to be a lot in stock size-wise, which is great! 

There are a few pieces of a swimsuit favorite, Marysia, a gorgeous pair of classic black pumps from LK Bennet (under $200), these cashmere slippers are $45 off and would make a really nice holiday gift, these Roller Rabbit pajamas (one of my faves) are currently 50% off making them under $50! There's a big selection of Tory Burch on sale including the popular Miller sandals in a neutral gold colorway ($60 off). There is a Gray Malin phone case for iPhone 8 and iPhone X for seriously just $12 (a great stocking stuffer for those who have those phones)! 

6 Months In The New House

Can you believe it's been 6 months since I have moved into my new house? I certainly can't! Time has absolutely flown by. I thought it would be nice to reflect on these past 6 months as there have been a lot of changes!

The Buying Process
 I don't think I've discussed this much on here, but I looked for a long while before I made the move. I wasn't in a rush, so it was nice to be able to take my time. I had read so many articles about how stressful finding and buying a home can be and that just wasn't my experience. It was honestly WAY easier than I thought it was going to be. It was a lot of paperwork, phone calls, and documents, but otherwise, it was pretty easy and straightforward. I say that because some of those articles almost scared me away- so I hope if you read articles like that, you don't get scared away! It's manageable!

The Transition
The transition, in my mind, was bigger than it ended up actually feeling. I went from 800 square feet to 2000++ square feet, city to suburbs, living alone to living with my fiancé, etc. I was nervous about living in a new area, not having a routine in place, not knowing the best routes to walk Henry, not knowing how to live with someone else, etc. These nerves all seem silly now, but at the time, I truly thought the adjustment was going to be huge. 

I'm happy to report that it really wasn't as big as it seemed in my head. I thought I would miss my cozy apartment, being in the city, and enjoying a space that was all my own. And honestly, right now I feel like I'm thriving and happier than ever before. 

Lots of Space
Having more space is incredible. I have so much room to spread out. Tons of storage space for everything from kitchen supplies to clothing. Because we are only two people, a lot of the space doesn't even get much use. Having a garage is so nice to store random things and seasonal items. The only challenge I have found from a larger space is cleaning it! I actually just had a cleaning service come to give me an estimate and hiring a cleaning service will really help to save time! 

Life Is Different
I do miss the city, but it's not like I don't go into it at least once a week. The city is just a much more lively place than the suburbs (obviously), so there just isn't that 'energy' out in the burbs. I do think that the suburbs are so much more convenient. There was nowhere downtown to grocery shop, so just having a grocery store and Target 5 minutes away is so nice. I also find that the city has so many more people my age, whereas, in our area, people are (at least) my age or older. We honestly might be the youngest in our entire neighborhood. I knew these things before I moved so it wasn't really a surprise and it's not necessarily a negative, just a different lifestyle.
Henry is absolutely living his best life. He LOVES it here. He's never been bad but his behavior is SO good and he gets so much exercise. I love that many people in our neighborhood have dogs and Henry and our neighbor's dog like to go on walks together! I think one of the best things about going from living in a building to a home is the immediate access to the outdoors. If it's really cold in the mornings, I don't even have to walk outside with Henry, I can just let him out our back door. It's truly a luxury not having to go up and down hallways and elevators. 

We have a routine down perfectly now. I am definitely one of those people that thrives on routine and I truly feel that we have a great one that works for us. Even Henry has the routine down. It's so nice and I feel like it's even more efficient than when I lived in the city. 

Speaking of our neighborhood, I jokingly call it two things: Pleasantville and Jumanji. I call it Pleasantville because our neighborhood is somewhat idyllic. I grew up in a neighborhood where we all knew each other and had block parties and holiday parties. It was always safe and a low-traffic street. My parents still live on the street and several of the OG neighbors are still there and it's just so comforting to me! I was looking for that comfort and I truly found that here. The neighbors are helpful and friendly. We have even become friends with our next-door neighbors who might actually be the nicest people on the planet. I seriously thank my lucky stars for this every day! This neighborhood is the kind of place where kids play freely outside all over the neighborhood. We had a block-party type event this summer which was adorable and there is a private Facebook group where we can all share things with each other. Not to mention there is a coffee shop, restaurant, and gym opening up one block from us that we are so excited about. 

On the other hand, I call it Jumanji because there were SO many bugs this summer. So many mosquitos and bees and just everything you definitely don't see in the city. Right now, it's stink bugs. I can't stand them! I likely notice this more than the average person because I HATE bugs. I know there are a lot of good and necessary bugs, but they all just creep me out so much. Just recently, I saw a bug called a 'wheel bug' that I shared on my instastories and after a quick Google search, I found out it has one of the most painful bites out of any insect. No. Thanks. I hate bugs and all of that so this is definitely a downside for me! One day, there were a few small frogs on my doorstep and that freaked me out. In the grand scheme of things, though, it's not a huge deal. I am sooooo thankful I have my fiancé to take care of the creepy crawlers for me! 

Living Together
For years, I lived in my apartment alone so this transition was going to be a big one for me. It was honestly so easy right from the start and we quickly fell into shared responsibilities. I think the 'weirdest' part for me, in the very beginning, was seeing men's clothing in the closets and seeing things I don't eat in the refrigerator. It took me weeks to get used to having milk in the refrigerator, haha! Just like it took me a while to get used to saying fiancé, it also took me a while to get used to saying 'we' and 'our'! It had been 'me' and 'my' for so long! I think the best part, though, is being able to be together so much and that we are in this together. I love knowing this life is a team effort that we are building it together. 

I was totally naive in thinking we'd have this house entirely 'finished' and decorated within 6 months. Not only is furnishing and having things done expensive, but it's really tough to find pieces that I absolutely love (and pieces my fiancé loves, too). I'm a lot pickier than I thought. Not to mention, I've been having the hardest time choosing the wallpaper for our powder room (champagne problems, I'm fully aware)! When making big decisions or considering big expenses, I just want to make sure I'm making good choices! I will say, though, the house is truly starting to feel like a home... I was worried for the first 2-3 months because it felt so daunting. Slowly, but surely, things have progressed and I'm just so pleased with everything so far. We still have a long way to go, but I'm not rushing this. 

Overall, I am so thankful and happy for this life! It's crazy to think that almost a year ago I was about to purchase this home. Life this year compared to last is just so different (in the best way). I can't wait to see how things progress over more time. I'm most excited for the rest of this year because of the holidays! I can't wait to put up a tree and get this home all cozy and in the holiday spirit! 

Monday, October 21, 2019

Color Crush: Camel

Color Crush: Camel

You all probably know by now that I love the color camel. It's such an easy color to wear as it's a year-round neutral. I think a monochromatic camel outfit is so chic and elegant. 

Today's post is not only inspired by my love for the color but there is one camel piece in particular that sparked this post: Dudley Stephen's Brighton boatneck! The team graciously sent me it and not only do I love the style but the color is just gorgeous. I have been wearing it non-stop as it has been so chilly here in Pittsburgh. If you are unfamiliar with Dudley Stephens, the brand is women-founded and owned and the pieces are made from fleece that is sustainably spun from recycled yarn. Not only that but the pieces are locally made in Brooklyn, NY. Talk about a really great company to support!
I decided to feature the fleece today, too, because as we get closer to the holidays, a fleece from Dudley Stephens is SUCH a good gift for any woman in your life. They are so soft, cozy, and very high quality. Not to mention there are so many different styles and colors to choose from that you're sure to find something for any woman on your gifting list. 

I own two Dudley Stephens fleeces: the Cobble Hill and the Brighton Boatneck. As far as sizing goes, I have a size small in the cobble hill and sized up to a medium in the Brighton Boatneck. I would say they run true to size but if you have a larger chest or are broad in the shoulders (like me!) I would suggest sizing up. The cobble hill style is a tunic length with a true turtleneck. The Brighton Boatneck has a mock neck that's wide (aka boatneck) and has a more 'normal' shirt length! While I love both, I get more wear out of the boatneck! The neck is just so flattering and elegant (I mean I never thought I would use the word elegant to describe a fleece top but it really is) and you all know I love a good boatneck!

The next style I want to try is the Highland High Low which I think would be perfect for cold winter mornings going to and from Orange Theory! I love the neon colors, which usually isn't me, but for this particular garment, I think it's so fun! This also has a boatneck and very subtle mock neck but is lower in the back so it's great for covering the bum when you are wearing leggings! Maybe Santa will have one in his bag this year for me ;)


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