Friday, July 31, 2020

How To Make The Perfect Charcuterie Board



Sweater Tank// Jeans// Wood Board (use code SYDNEY20 for 20% off)
Sandals // Curtains// Scalloped Picture Frame// Coffee Table
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Kicking off the weekend with some talk about one of my favorite topics: charcuterie boards!! I live for a good platter filled with all kinds of snacks. Luckily, my fiancé agrees so we will often make a big board and just munch on that for dinner!

I whipped up this big one because I had just gotten this beautiful, nautical wooden tray from Wren Home which is a new-to-me brand. They have gorgeous wooden pieces and most of their items can be monogrammed. They offered me a discount code to share with all of you: SYDNEY20 for 20% off. The quality is SO nice, I could not recommend it more, especially as a beautiful gift!

I also thought I would share with you all what I put on my board. I change it up every single time but the thing that helps me to make sure it's varied and beautiful is that I start with 'large' items and work my way to the smaller items. So basically I'm left filling in spaces with things like nuts and berries!

Fruit:
- Red Grapes
- Green Grapes
- Blueberries

I usually start with big bunches of grapes and then end up filling in at the end with blueberries!

Nuts:
- Almonds (Costco)

We buy mini bags of nuts that are assorted from Costco. They keep well in the individual bags, are easy to tote around for snacking, and are perfect when you just need a handful or two for a charcuterie board! 

Cheese:
- Aged Irish White Cheddar (Aldi) 
- Mini Mozzarella Balls (Giant Eagle)
- Brie Wheel (President Brand)

Usually, the triple cream brie from Trader Joe's is my #1 brie pick but we didn't have that on hand! Sometimes, when I don't have a ton on hand to make a big platter, I like to bake a brie wheel and top with fig jam. SO good. 

Meat:
- Bite-sized dry salami (Aldi)
- Prosciutto (Whole Foods)

Dips:
- Jalapeno artichoke dip (Trader Joe's)
- Hannah Hummus (Costco)

The Hannah Hummus is something we get in a big tub at Costco. It is the BEST store-bought hummus I have ever had. It is so flavorful, smooth, and creamy! 

Crackers/Bread:
- Sliced sourdough baguette (Whole Foods)
- Fig and Olive Crackers (Trader Joe's)
- Triscuits 

Veggies:
- Carrot sticks
- Sliced Cucumbers
- Oh, Snap! Pickles

The Oh, Snap! Pickles are something I am never ever without. They are individual bags of pickles (which sounds really weird, I know) but the thing is that they aren't in a ton of liquid so they are INCREDIBLY crisp. They are my favorite pickles ever. I can't get enough. You can get them at Target but you can also sometimes find them in a pack of 6 at Aldi. 

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Lately


Sandals (on sale!)
This week has been busy, busy, busy with lots of work to be done! I've just been behind my computer for the most part. It's not necessarily fun but it always feels so good to get so much done and everything organized.

The fall will certainly look different this year, but right around now I start itching for organization and get a good wave of motivation and energy and this year has been no different.

One of the things I have been focusing on in the past few weeks is making sure I have been drinking enough water. I just got a large RTIC tumbler and it has helped SO much in my water intake. I'd say generally, in 2020, I've been really good about drinking plenty of water, but every once in awhile I like to focus on it and make sure I'm still doing well with it! It's something really small but it can make a difference!

I'd also like to report that my two plants are still going strong. I am NOT a gardener nor do I really have much interest in that kind of thing. However, I have a basil plant and a mini limelight hydrangea plant and both are thriving and I feel so proud of myself, hah!! It's the little things, right?

Wearing: I've only been able to muster throwing on lightweight linen dresses because it has been SO hot. Pittsburgh gets hot but it's so rare we get so many 90+++ degree days.

Drinking: I had my first Aperol Spritz of the summer and I forgot how delicious they are. They are so light and refreshing!! 

Reading: This pink rooftop bar looks like what dreams are made of! 

Sale: So I found the super popular Spanx faux leather leggings on sale. They are the same price that they will be in the Nordstrom sale so if you've been wanting them, you can snag them early at the same price. I have these leggings and I know so many people wear them more as 'pants' but I personally find them to be more sporty so I really only wear them as athleisure/super casual. 
Sale II: Tuckernuck is offering an extra 25% off sale with code FLASH25! This blue chintz top is one that I have and love! It comes out to be $58 with the code. 

Watching:
 I just started to rewatch The OC. I watched the series for the first time about 5ish years ago and LOVED it. I'm hooked again. It's such a good show!! 

Listening: How does everyone like Taylor Swift's new album, Folklore? My favorites are The 1, August, and Peace! It's definitely a different album for her but I love it just the same! 
Loving: I caught Henry sleeping like a human again this week and it absolutely cracks me up! He's like me in that he loves allll of the pillows and blankets. 

Wanting: I added a widget to the right sideboard that rounds up some of my favorite items from the Nordstrom Sale. I'll share my feelings about it next week but basically, it is a lot of the same from last year. There are, however, a few new gems, but mostly, we have seen a lot of this stuff before! I am no surprised in the least. I figured it would shake out to be like this just due to the retail chains being disrupted and delayed and just the general state of the world right now.  

Pittsburgh: This Alice in Wonderland cocktail experience sounds SO cool! 

Smelling: I'm starting to put together a post about all of my favorite fall candles. I know it's still a little too soon, but I just can't help it!! 

Quoting: 'The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life' - William Morris // See more of my favorites, here. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Special Bridal Pieces on Sale

I have said this each year around this time, but if you are looking for a white dress, now is the time because they start going on sale each year around now. This year is no exception, and in fact, with so many sales going on, there are SO many gorgeous white dresses on major sale.

So, whether you are a bride-to-be and looking for something for a shower, bachelorette, rehearsal dinner, or even for a mini wedding, there are tons of options, or, if you're just like me, and love to rock a little white dress! This white dress is one I came across on my searching and I LOVE it so much. It's so unique and special (seriously, The Outnet is pure gold). 

I also have no problem buying something I absolutely LOVE for a special occasion farther ahead on the calendar. Especially, if the item is on major sale, I do not hesitate. I am truly obsessed with my rehearsal dinner dress. In fact, I almost love it as much as I do my wedding dress. I bought it within months of being engaged because I had my eye on it, hunted it down and scored it for a song. By the time I get to wear it, it will be years old, but I'm so glad I got it when I did (and at a sale price!!).

I also wanted to round up special bridal accessories since I have been coming across so many that are also deeply on sale! 

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Bezel Set Diamond Necklace Options

Bezel Set Diamond Necklace and Kendra Scott Lisa Necklace

I wrote this post about my bezel set diamond solitaire necklace 2 years ago so I thought I'd do a little updating since it continues to be one of the most frequently asked questions that I get from you all! To read the full story about the necklace, check out the original post.


So today I thought I would source some more necklaces that look very similar (if not identical) to mine. This is a classic jewelry design so you can find it at most local jewelers/have it made and can even find it online at a lot of different retailers.

This is one of those pieces that you don't have to spend a ton (relatively speaking) to get the look but there are tons of options at different price ranges. 

'Bezel' is the word that refers to the setting of the diamond. That will give you that gold halo setting you see around the diamond so if you are searching online for a necklace like mine, that's the #1 keyword you want to use!

Monday, July 27, 2020

Weekend Sunsets + Colorful Dresses


lilly pulitzer MERCEDE SCALLOP STRETCH DRESS Urchin Pink Vitamin Sea

lilly pulitzer MERCEDE SCALLOP STRETCH DRESS Urchin Pink Vitamin Sea

lilly pulitzer MERCEDE SCALLOP STRETCH DRESS

lilly pulitzer MERCEDE SCALLOP STRETCH DRESS

lilly pulitzer MERCEDE SCALLOP STRETCH DRESS
Lip Balm (in deep) 
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This is completely unrelated to today's blog post, but I wanted to start off to let you all know that the Lake Pajamas sale is going live today at 10am EST. You all know how much I love their pajamas and my fingers are crossed I can snag a sale pair- this is my idea of Christmas in July! If you have any questions about sizing or about the brand, see my review post here that covers all of that!

Lake Pajamas Favorites:

Now onto today's post... 

I truly cannot believe we are almost to August. I'm really excited about fall as that is my favorite season. It will certainly look very different this year, but even so, I can still enjoy pumpkin-flavored things, a fall-scented candle, cozy cashmere sweaters, and more! 

I don't want to rush to fall, though because I will miss this warm weather. I don't typically like the heat and much prefer cooler temps, but right now, being able to spend time outside is a true luxury. Once we hit October here in Pittsburgh, our time spent outdoors will be limited because it will just be too chilly not to mention, it gets darker earlier!

Anyway, Lilly Pulitzer always calls this time of year 'Endless Summer' and that's my mindset at the moment. I want to drink up every last drop of this season so 'endless summer' could not ring truer right now! 

They just launched new arrivals and I have several favorites. Wearing Lilly truly just makes me happy. I love the bright colors, bold prints, and fun designs. 

I just got this dress and had to wear it ASAP because the print is one of my very favorites for this year. I love the more pastel-toned colors. Plus, the scallops are just too cute! 

Lilly Favorites:

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Saturday Shopping




Happy weekend, friends! Today I'm getting some work done around the house and doing a little computer work. Tonight we are headed over to my parent's house for dinner. Otherwise, not too much to report over here for this weekend! Wanted to share some things from this week that I came across and loved! 

Friday, July 24, 2020

The Best Shampoo + Conditioner + Shower Products


The Best Shampoo and Conditioner and Shower Products
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I swear I have tried a million and one shampoo and conditioners. I'm SUPER picky when it comes to these so I definitely have my favorites. I'm also picky when it comes to other products I use in the shower so I thought I would share some of them with you all today! 

The Best Shampoo and Conditioner and Shower Products
This is my current shampoo + conditioner duo. I've been using the Wella Fusionplex line for years now and absolutely love it. It's perfect for thick or color-treated hair as it is super moisturizing. It has a very light, pleasant scent. 

However, I just recently started using this Fekkai shampoo (also here) a few months ago and I LOVE it. It smells strong and since I only wash my hair once a week, I like something strong so the scent lingers all week. This definitely does the trick. It's grapefruit-ish so it's not a heavy scent. So many people have complimented the scent of my hair with this stuff! Also, I feel like it cleans my hair so well without drying it out. It's meant for blondes but I haven't seen it make my hair any brighter or blonder! I highly recommend this duo- it's so good. 
The Best Shampoo and Conditioner and Shower Products
Face Wash (use code SYDNEY for 15% off) // Face Treatment 
I've been using this Face Wash since it launched a while ago and I love it. I even got my fiancé hooked on it. It's a very lightweight foam and is meant for acne-prone skin. I have used a ton of different acne face cleansers and this is by far my favorite as I feel like it prevents acne from even forming in the first place. My fiancé has super sensitive skin and can't use a lot of acne products on his skin because it gets irritated and this is still gentle enough for him. 

This Face Treatment is a bit newer to me. It's not really meant to be used in the shower, but there is no reason you can't! It is called a 1-minute facial and you can use it daily. I would say I use it about 3-4x per week. It brightens and evens skin tone, reduces pores, softens skin, and hydrates skin. I can confirm all of this. It's slightly exfoliating but super fine so it's not irritating. Then the exfoliating texture kind of melts away and it turns into a hydrating serum. Then you just rinse it off. I love love love this product. I feel like it's one of those things where you can notice the difference after just one use. 
The Best Shampoo and Conditioner and Shower Products
I'm not super loyal to body washes because I am always trying something new. But I always seem to come back to this Shower Foam. It's lightweight, moisturizing, inexpensive, and smells light and fresh. 

For the Body Wash, this is one of my splurges. It smells SO good. I love a manly scent and this definitely has that. It smells like cedar and has a very slight lavender to it, too. It's spa-like in scent and just adds a little luxury to showering. 

The Best Shampoo and Conditioner and Shower Products
This is the hair mask I have sworn by for years. It is super thick and really makes my hair so hydrated and shiny. I especially like to use this one or two washes after I get my hair highlighted. It's my favorite hair mask I've ever used. 

You can even use it with damp hair while sitting in the sun for a 'heat' treatment, too, during the summer months! 

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Lately


This week was very much the same as last and the week before that. I went to Trader Joe's this week and it was sadly a miss! I have shared my love for the splash of seltzer blood orange water here before and that's the #1 reason why I go to Trader Joe's. I haven't gone too often since March! I went to stock up on the seltzer and they had only one package. Last time I was there that was the case as well. I've even been asking the staff to check in the back and they never have any more! I guess everyone else is loving the drink as much as I am!

Other than that, not too much to report. I have been doing a lot of browsing online to try and find some knickknacks so I can start styling our new coffee table!

Wearing: This weekend, we played golf for my dad's birthday and I used it as an excuse to rock my new skort! It is such a good athleisure piece and I've been wearing it on repeat.

Eating: A recipe for peaches and cream prosecco cake. YUM!

Reading: My beloved Taco Bell is removing items from their menu!! Thank goodness it is not the Cheesy Gordita Crunch or Crunchwrap supreme!!
Sale: My go-to vitamin C serum is 25% off with code OBAGI 25. 

Sale II: LOVE these bow earrings. Regularly $275 and now they are just $69.

Sale III: Lots of sales today! Right now, Staub Dutch ovens are an extra 25% off with code EXTRA. We have the white one and we use it all of the time! 

Watching:
 We watched Uncle Buck the other night and it's such a classic 80's movie. It was a great movie to watch at night because it was pleasant and feel good! 
Loving: I just recently got this monogram sticker/decal for my water thermos! I think it's fun/different because you can choose two different colors! Also, speaking of monogrammed stickers, I am always asked about the one in the little apple on my computer and these are the perfect fit! 

Wanting: Basically, everything is on sale right now and it is taking everything in me to just browse!!! 

Traveling: I am counting down the days until we go to our lake house. I cannot wait to just completely relax- read books, swim in the lake, go on the boat, etc. 

Quoting: 'There is no excess of goodness. You cannot go too far in the right direction.' - C.S. Lewis// See more of my favorites, here. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Wedding Wednesday: Guest Book

Wedding Wednesday: Guest Book


I haven't done a wedding Wednesday in quite some time so today I'm popping in with a random one! I was inspired as I found the CUTEST Etsy shop for guest books. I think it would be the best engagement present ever because the chronicling can start right when you get engaged. 

I wanted to share this shop because it's such a gem and it's always nice to find a small business to support. One thing I actually have not done is to get a guest book. I had one that I was planning on ordering and I still might do that, but now I'm leaning towards this custom one!! The other one I was planning on doing is a completely different route, so I'm torn. I guess luckily I have a lot of time to decide haha! 

Wedding Wednesday: Guest Book
The reason I find this one not only so beautiful on the outside, but I love that they are created like scrapbooks/keepsakes on the inside. There are spots for engagement photos, spots for wedding invitations, rehearsal dinner invitations, and spots for guests to sign. So it basically becomes a scrapbook, keepsake, and a guest book all in one. It would also look so beautiful sitting out/on display. The whole thing is set up so you can chronicle your relationship and engagement and up to your wedding and through the honeymoon! I feel like this could also be a fun at-home analog project. I even think adding a swatch or two from your dress, any wine labels,  and a pressed flower, etc. could be so nice to have. 

Unlike a simple guest book, I feel like this tells more of the entire engagement-to-wedding story and will be SO fun to look back on years after the wedding. Also, how neat are these pens?! It looks like handles of vintage silverware. LOVE! 

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Blue Summer Sundress


Blue Summer Sundress

Blue Summer Sundress

 Blue Summer Sundress

Blue Summer Sundress

Blue Summer Sundress

Blue Summer Sundress
Dress// Sandals// Basket Bag (on sale)
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It has been so hot here. Every few days we get some respite but overall, it has been sweltering and all I can muster is to throw on a flowy, breezy dress. This past weekend was just that: sweltering! So I was glad to have this dress on hand to throw on. 

As soon as I put it on and grabbed a basket bag, I immediately thought that I looked like the modern-day Dorothy from Wizard of Oz! All I need are the sparkly red shoes and Toto! 

I loved capturing these photos because, besides the heat, we have been having some beautiful sunsets and the lighting from the sunsets are always stunning. It always reminds me that it's the little things!! 

Here's to hoping there are lots of gorgeous sunsets ahead! I can't believe we have less than two weeks of July left! This summer is flying by and I am so grateful for being able to enjoy this wonderful season outdoors.  

Monday, July 20, 2020

Lettuce Ware Love


Lettuce Ware

Lettuce Ware
I'm not sure where my interest in 'lettuce ware' came from but I know my grammie has always loved it and I am thinking it came from that! 

Years ago, Williams-Sonoma did a collaboration with Bordallo Pinheiro, which is known for its cabbage plates/bowls/etc. I was just recently out of college, still living at my parents and had absolutely no use/need for these plates at that time, but I bought a set of the individual bowls and the salad plates. I have loved them so much ever since- they just make me happy! Then, Tory Burch came out with her Dodie Thayer collection and my love for the cabbage/lettuce look grew even deeper. 

I love the way green pairs with blue, too, so they surprisingly work with a lot of what I already have and use often. I love the bit of whimsy and texture it can add to a tablescape, too. Eventually, I'd like to collect a full set of all of the cabbage pieces to mix and match like you see in the tablescape I put together above!

Besides cabbage/lettuce, I also really love the Geranium pattern by Bordallo Pinheiro. I love the white dinner plates!
 

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