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Updated: 2018-01-22T21:47:48.900-05:00

 



Finding balance

2018-01-18T19:30:25.926-05:00

I’ve been thinking about writing about the topic of finding balance for a long time. And since I guess you could call this my resolution for the year, I thought this might be a good time to bring it up. I’ve had this increasingly nagging feeling over the last year or so that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. A feeling like not everything on my list of things had been accomplished. It felt like there was something missing that I wasn’t getting to, causing me to feel frustrated and anxious at times. And that feeling only grew over the holidays as obligations for work and even my social life began to pile up. It wasn’t until the last present was put away and the last champagne flute was cleaned that I started to feel a sense of calm and equilibrium come over me. I have suspected this for a long time and it’s clear to me now, more so than ever, looking over the past year, which was wonderful in so many regards, that I didn’t really carve out enough time for myself. My schedule became so full, so fast that I never really took the time to examine it and ask myself if this was truly the way I wanted to be spending my time. I just went with it. And now, as a full-fledged adult living on my own for officially six and a half years, it seems that I’ve finally come to the realization that I am the person who sets my priorities and decides how I spend my time. If I want it to be different, I have to change it, which is where the idea of finding balance comes in.As a former figure skater, the concept is not lost on me that even though everything can feel like it is moving really fast, if you have balance, you can achieve great things. Beautiful things. Given the fact that my life will probably stay really busy and hectic, the best thing I can do to make sure I am doing everything that I WANT to do, is to make priorities and allocate an amount of time that seems appropriate for that particular priority, whether it is spending more time with friends or reading a good book. For me, one of things I have really missed is blogging. And I made several failed attempts at blogging over the last few months. Everything else kept getting in the way. I finally realized if I wanted this to happen, I needed to schedule it. This idea didn’t click until I heard Elizabeth Gilbert, on an episode of her podcast Magic Lessons, tell a busy woman trying to write a novel that she needed to make time for her writing, even if that meant giving up something else. Thinking about all of the other priorities in my life, such as family, work and friends, blogging doesn’t really compete, but I decided it does fall somewhere on my list of priorities because it is something I enjoy. And as you know, the whole not spending time on me thing was a problem last year. So I’ve set aside time on Saturday mornings to work on my blog. I decided that little bit of time on Saturday mornings is just the right amount of time to commit to this given how it ranks in comparison to all of the other priorities in my life. I am sure there will be times when other priorities take precedence or when I spend more time on my blog than I thought I would. There may not always be balance. Psychotherapist F. Diane Barth, L.C.S.W., said in her blog post 5 ways to find balance in your life for Psychology Today, “…balance is about navigating transition - rather than trying to 'nail' a spot and (desperately...er...um) gracefully hoping to stay in it.” So I humbly recognize this is not something I will always get right. To quote my yoga teacher and something I am sure I begrudgingly learned many times during my years at the ice rink: when you fall, you learn. Finding balance takes work and practice, but I definitely think it’s something worth working on and focusing on for the next year. What do you think? Do you struggle with finding balance, too? Is there something you’ve done that has helped you find balance in your life? [...]



A few of my favorite things

2018-01-10T22:52:07.916-05:00

I'd like to start the year by sharing a few of my favorite things from 2017. This is not only a way to share what I feel are great products and finds, but also a way to reflect on a year of smarter purchases. As I look through old blog posts, I seem to start every year with the goal to save more money. And that goal has morphed to not only include saving more money each paycheck, but saving more in the long run by purchasing clothing and products that I know will give me long-lasting value. As I look back at 2017, I am proud of myself for making fewer, smarter purchases. Here are the ones that I thought were worth sharing:Everlane Modern Loafer $168I bought these loafers for our trip to Rome. I wanted a shoe that could handle all of the walking while disguising my tourist status. I followed the old adage "do as the Romans do" and bough Italian leather loafers. I knew these shoes would be a wardrobe staple long after I left Rome. They have a cool, modern vibe yet a timeless quality. I thought the wine color would be a really interesting choice and something that could go with most outfits. Though I was sad to find out that not even these shoes could handle the amount of walking we did in Rome, they are still really comfortable for everyday wear. Level 99 Jeans, $89.50Finding a good pair of jeans is liking finding a really good hair dresser or dentist. You never look back. I haven't tried every brand of jean under the sun, but I've tried enough to know what I am looking for. These have a really flattering fit that doesn't seem to stretch out and a nice color that doesn't seem to fade. They are definitely on the tighter side and are more like a thinner jegging than a thick denim. The high waist makes them an unlikely candidate for wear on Thanksgiving, but I like the silhouette they create when I am not worried about fitting into my pants.Zella Leggings, $52It turns out that when you invest a little money in a nice pair of leggings they are actually quite flattering as pants. Who knew? I am still testing out the best way to wear these. It's normally with a longer top or tunic. Either way the material is thicker like a pair of athletic pants. I am guessing these could be worn to the gym. I usually wear them around the house or when I am traveling and want to be comfortable. They aren't quite Spanx, but they definitely feel more supportive than regular leggings. As I get older, I am finding that I need that support in the right places.STOREE Sweater via Nordstrom, $26.98This sweater was another purchase for Rome and although it is on the trendier side, its simplicity makes it yet another timeless option. This photo feels like a scene from a movie: charming young American having the time of her life in Rome. It's definitely the shirt that makes it. This picture will always make me glad that I bought this shirt for our trip. (Side note: I have been really impressed with Nordstrom's selection of quality clothing at mid-level prices lately. It seems like they've gone beyond stocking these options in just their junior's section and have filled this need for the 30ish crowd with brands like Halogen, Leith and ASTR the Label to name a few.)Nadri Ring, $55I am not a huge jewelry person. I have the staples: a chunky necklace, a boyfriend watch, a pearl necklace, etc. But I rarely gravitate toward jewelry purchases. This ring really caught my eye because of its simplicity and interesting criss-cross design. I wear this pretty much every day and it goes with basically everything. I sort of have a thing for rose gold, so you'll see me rocking that color on the regular. I love how delicate and dainty it is. A nice departure from some of the clunkier jewelry that has been popular lately.Sperry Saltwater Duck Boots, $99.95I bought these later in the year so it's hard to count them in my list of favorite purchases from 2017, but I have to share these because I have worn these every day since they arrived in the mail. They have been so great in this snowy, cold weather. Because of the rubber soles I don't worry[...]



On Gratitude

2017-11-22T10:25:04.400-05:00

Details: $7 Thrifted Limited Dress (Similar), Nordstrom Hinge Ankle Boots, Loft Necklace (Similar), Target Tights (Similar)On Thanksgiving, I'll be wearing this $7 striped dress from Goodwill. Cute, right? I found it while hunting for our Halloween costumes, and I knew it would be the perfect little special occasion dress and elevate-the-every-day work dress. We took these pictures at Squire's Castle, one of my favorite parks in Cleveland. It's this dress that inspired what I wanted to write about it when it came to my feelings on gratitude this year.I realize this is just a dress, but it and other things I've thrifted or repurposed over the years holds a lot of meaning for me. It represents a resourcefulness that I've discovered in myself to take what life has given me and make the most of it. I can't afford my dream wardrobe. Well, truthfully I probably can, but if I spent my money on that I would have nothing left in my savings account. And, my dream wardrobe has far too many dresses, fussy heels, and sequins for my actual day-to-day life. That’s why it’s called a “dream wardrobe.” Something to aspire to that inspires my actual wardrobe and occasionally leads me to ask for gold sequin pants for Christmas that I'll only wear once a year. We all have one or two items like that in our wardrobe, right?Just like any idealized version of reality, dreams of achieving perfection can sometimes cause us to be envious of others who we believe have achieved this sort of state of nirvana, and worst of all, it can cause us to stop being grateful for what we DO have. But the reality of the situation is that what we do have is so much better than a dream. A dream can be something that inspires you to take a leap of faith and elevate the every day, which is amazingly helpful when you need motivation. But sometimes I think we can forget that a dream is only a dream. As inspirational as it can be, it can also be fake, shallow, and two dimensional. And truthfully, reality is so much more satisfying. Because of it's twists and turns, reality challenges you to take what DO have and make it interesting, different, fun, quirky, and uniquely you.That is why I love writing a style blog so much. It doesn’t have to be about buying certain brands so that I can fit into a particular mold and get more followers. It’s taking the clothes I do have and styling them in a different way. It’s walking into a thrift store not knowing what I’ll walk out with. It’s taking something old and making it new again. It’s realizing that what you have already is exactly what you needed in the first place.I've been listening to Elizabeth Gilbert's Magic Lessons podcast lately, and I would highly recommend it if you are a creative soul or if you just need a nice, encouraging person to listen to. In an episode where she interviews comedian John Hodgman, he talks about how he feels when embarking on new creative endeavors. Instead of feeling fear or anxiety to try something he's never done before, he described feeling grateful for the opportunity to be creative. I loved hearing that sentiment because it is something I relate to, and I don't think that philosophy has to stop there. I would like to extend the idea of being grateful for the chance to be creative to my everyday life. Instead of getting frustrated that something isn't going the way I planned, I would like to tackle the unplanned with a little creativity and be grateful for the chance to do so.After a year that was challenging in different ways — from the political to the personal — I am grateful that with a little creativity and vision, you can make the most out of what you have, and sometimes, it can be better than what you dreamed. I think this can easily be true of wardrobes. And with a little bit of effort, I think you can make it true in your life as well. [...]



Fall Ankle Boots

2017-10-17T22:29:42.464-04:00

Like any true romantic, fall makes me reach for dark, floral patterns and feminine details. To balance out that vibe, I occasionally drift toward something a little more rugged like these Hinge ankle boots from Nordstrom. The side slit had me at hello and is a great update to a classic boot. They look great with jeans or bare ankles. Since the weather has only just started to feel like fall, I took advantage of the opportunity to wear these boots with bare legs. And when I can top off a look with my floppy hat, I am pretty much in own personal fall heaven. I wore this outfit (sans hat) to my sorority's alumnae association founder's day celebration. It was equal parts comfy and cool-girl dressy for a relaxed yet special occasion fall brunch. Details: Hinge Angle Boots via Nordstrom (Currently 33%Off)Last Year's Billabong Dress via Nordstrom (Similar)Last Year's Hat via Pavement (Similar)Charming Charlie Necklace (Similar)Kate Spade Purse (Similar)Old Rayban Wayfarers (Similar)[...]



Cold Shoulder Top

2017-04-24T22:17:17.704-04:00

Details: A&F Top / Gap Jeans / Calvin Klein Shoes via TJ Maxx / Loft Necklace

We certainly haven't gotten to the point of the year weather-wise where removing layers or even sections of clothing seems like a sensible idea, even still I can't help but be into the cold shoulder look right now. It's provocative without being too sexy. They are just shoulders after all. And if you pair a top like this with a sensible winter coat, my theory is you should be fine, even without shoulder covers. I'm excited to wear this as a casual alternative to my usual dressy Valentine's Day attire. I found this sweater at Abercrombie and Fitch of all places. It's marked down from $44 to $26 right now. I especially love how this is a more casual take on the cold shoulder look. It's a bit slouchy and the material could not be more soft, so you can pair it with everything from a skirt to jeans.


(image)



Black and White Print Dress

2017-01-17T20:48:27.157-05:00

Details: Banana Republic Factory Dress / Gap Shirt / Halogen Flats / Target Necklace

I hope 2017 is going well for you so far. I accomplished my first "first" of the year. I went indoor rock climbing over the weekend. It was an amazing experience. I was filled with adrenaline and pride in myself for overcoming my fears. I have to admit I was really scared. I have a bad fear of heights. I could barely get up the wall at first. Putting your safety in someone else's hands when you're really scared is hard to do. The nice thing is that you get to be the person holding the rope too. Once you figure out how it all works it's a lot less scary. Over time I gained confidence and was trying some of the more challenging walls.

Luckily, getting dressed in the morning in not as stressful as rock climbing — especially when you can wear a dress to work. Dresses are the best go tos for the office because they can often times be more comfortable than pants and are much more stylish. This dress in particular is a great staple because the black and white pattern goes with any color and any season. For the colder days ahead, I wanted to try wearing my ballet flats with tights. This dress was the perfect opportunity to test out this look because of its simplicity. I love how the contrast of black and pink turned out.







Anthropologie Plaid Cape

2017-01-10T22:19:35.955-05:00

Details: Anthropologie Plaid Cape / Gap Shirt and Pants / Nine West Boots / Loft Necklace / Studebaker Metals Cuff

Happy New Year! I hope you all had wonderful holidays! I took a much needed hiatus from work, blogging, laundry and almost all other adult responsibilities the last few weeks to spend some unadulterated time with my family and friends. It was glorious!

I feel renewed and refreshed and ready to tackle 2017 with one resolution in mind: to keep it simple. So many times last year I felt overwhelmed and overworked all because I couldn't properly set priorities or I couldn't admit what was truly important and essential. I don't really have a plan yet for how to make sure I do better this year, but at least I know what I want to fix.

One of the areas where I will continue to try to make things more simple is my closet. Last year, I set the goal of trying to make fewer, larger purchases that would be game changers for my wardrobe. I for the most part followed that philosophy successfully. I will continue to refine that model of buying this year.

This Anthropologie cape, one of my Christmas gifts, is a perfect example of the type of piece that can really make an impact on your wardrobe. The pattern is classic and goes with everything yet the shape and cut make it modern and interesting. I will definitely be looking for more pieces like this in the new year and sharing them with you here. What do you hope to accomplish in 2017?







New Year's Eve Rose Gold Sequin Dress

2016-12-06T21:22:52.243-05:00

Details: Bee Darlin Dress via Nordstrom (Similar) / F21 Earrings (Old) / Nine West Shoes via Marshalls

We have a wedding to go to on New Year's Eve this year. I was so excited to get the chance to wear a sequin-encrusted dress for the festivities that I started shopping back in September. I snatched up this Bee Darlin Dress, which I think was originally geared toward the homecoming crowd, for $100 a few months ago. It has since sold out, but Nordstrom still has many similar styles up for grabs and at price points below $100. I think the best time to look for holiday party dresses is right before homecoming when all of the sequiny things start popping up.

I am still not sure how I want to accessorize this dress. I know I need nude tights to bear the cold, and I plan to borrow my sister's winter white pea coat. As far shoes and a purse I was thinking either dark maroon or silver. What do you think?







Fall Hat and Olive Tunic

2016-11-30T08:00:12.386-05:00

 Details: Jane Dress (Similar) / Pavement Hat / Old Navy Boots / H&M Necklace 

Hello all! I hope you had a wonderful and very filling Thanksgiving. Mine was especially relaxing this year so I'm thankful for that. And the food was ah-mah-zing. I think my favorite dish this year was my sister's cheesy potatoes. I had to keep going back for more. I actually wore this dress for Thanksgiving, but styled it here for work with this asymmetrical cardigan to stay warm while in the office. I also didn't wear the hat to work, but wore it for Thanksgiving so posed with it here.

I got the dress on a website called Jane.com. They feature daily deals from various boutiques and the prices are really good. This particular dress isn't available anymore, but they have many more cute dresses. They carry a variety of on-trend clothes, accessories, home decor and products for babies and kids. I am definitely going to shop from them again, especially when I am looking for a specific trend, but don't want to spend too much. What sites do you shop on? Did you score any great Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals?







Red Skinny Ankle Pants

2016-11-10T07:44:56.954-05:00

 Details: Loft Sweater / Gap Pants / Nine West Shoes via TJ Maxx / Michael Kors Watch

Although I feel incredibly disenchanted and shocked by the election results, I want to stay positive. There is a lot of work that needs to be done to make our government and the people in this country come together. One of my favorite bloggers, A Cup of Jo, puts it perfectly in her latest post. As many people have said before her, if you want to see change in the world, now is the time to donate to your favorite cause or to volunteer or just be good to each other.

With all of the excitement surrounding pant suits and Hilary Clinton this election (#pantsuitnation), I am actually not a fan of the pant suit. I would rather wear skinny pants and a blazer. Recently I found the perfect pair of skinny ankle pants for work. They seem to hug in all the right places, and they are actually comfortable. They hit at that perfect ankle length, which looks great with high heels, but they are also skinny enough to be tucked into boots and worn with tunics. And the cranberry/maroon color is the perfect complement to my fall wardrobe.







Cargo Jacket

2016-11-02T06:58:24.751-04:00

Details: Gap Cargo Jacket and Jeans / Tommy Hilfiger Shirt via Marshals / Halogen Boots / Target NecklaceI never feel like fall is long enough. I have been trying to soak up the rituals, one of which has been going to the farmer's market on Fridays. Cooking up fall dishes is another way I try to hold on to the season a little longer. I made these pumpkin cookies over the weekend and this butternut squash, smoked mozzarella and kale pizza last night for dinner. Both recipes turned out great! What are your fall rituals? It's not a ritual, but the cargo jacket has become a fall staple over the last few years. I was on a mission this fall to find the perfect cargo jacket. After trying a few options, I finally found the one. It's a nice weight, not too thin, and it's the right style and color. It's exactly what I was looking for and a good price. I waited until Gap was having one of their sales and it ended up being only $45, which was the same price as a similar jacket at Target that was a much thinner material. I just love it with this gingham shirt. It also pairs nicely with a super girly dress. Where did you get your cargo jacket? [...]



Deer Makeup and Antlers

2016-10-27T08:09:07.307-04:00

Besides a Halloween party at work, where I plan to dress up as either Eleven from Stranger Things or Pippi Longstocking, we don't have any major to-dos this year. Even still, after having so much fun doing the makeup for my Day of the Dead Skull look last year, I wanted to challenge myself with another makeup look. Maybe it's because my unruly locks lend themselves to dressing up as a wild animal, but for whatever reason I started looking at deer makeup tutorials. After a few Google searches, I was hooked on the idea of dressing up as a deer to hand out candy this year. I followed Lauren Conrad's tutorial for making the deer antlers, but instead of using faux fur for the ears, I used felt to save a little time and money. And after being inspired by a Google search for DIY deer antlers, I decided to add some fake flowers that I had on hand as well.For the makeup, I didn't follow one specific tutorial, I just looked at a bunch of examples in Google images and pulled a little inspiration from each. Here are the steps I followed:1. I started with my typical makeup that I wear to work everyday: foundation, brown eye shadow, black eyeliner and mascara.2. Next I used the same black eyeliner to extend the lines that were already there and traced a thicker line around my eyes.3. Then I rubbed a little white eyeshadow under my eyes, on my forehead and on my chin.4. Next I started applying bronzer around the edges of my face and across my cheeks.5. With white crayons from an old Halloween makeup kit, I drew small white circles on my cheeks and forehead.  7. Using a black crayon from the same Halloween makeup kit, I drew a nose and one straight line connecting the nose to my lips. I then filled in just my upper lip.  8. To complete the look, I donned my antlers and put on this tan sweater. You could wear this with anything brown to pull off the look. It's that easy! What are you dressing up as for Halloween this year? [...]



Fall Hat and Blanket Scarf

2016-10-25T07:13:59.391-04:00

Details: Pavement Hat / The Backroom at the Limited Sweater / Gap Jeans / Halogen Boots / Nordstrom ScarfI found this hat at Pavement, a boutique in Lawrenceville with a wealth of local and independent designers. Everything in that store could be worn at Coachella. It's that cute. I knew this hat would be the centerpiece of many of my fall looks. I wore it in Nashville and one of the locals told me I came well prepared. I love the 70s vibe it adds to any outfit as well as how it signals that fall is here in all of its hat and scarf glory.In sad life news, we lost my grandpa a few weeks ago. The last few weeks have been especially tough for me and my family. As is always said during times like these, I've been trying to focus on all of the good memories. One such memory of my grandpa was how he always used to wear cowboy hats. In fact, after looking through pictures of him, I found out that he was quite the trend setter himself, always wearing the latest styles. His style definitely evolved with the times. Perhaps that is where I get my love of fashion. I get a kick out of the fact that he probably would have loved this hat. If you're looking down Grandpa, I hope you are enjoying this outfit post! [...]



Layered Sweater

2016-10-20T07:59:13.138-04:00

Details: Backroom at the Limited Sweater / Banana Republic Skirt via Avalon / Old Navy Boots / Target Necklace

Hello all! I hope fall is treating you well so far. For me it's been a flurry of activity. From trips to Cleveland to a trip to Nashville last weekend for a friend's bachelorette party, it feels like I've barely been home. I'm excited to finish decorating my apartment for Halloween and finish reading my appropriately creepy book for the season: In Cold Blood.

I'm also looking forward to rocking sweaters, scarves and boots as soon as we are done with the 80-degree weather. I'm almost there with this sweater, which instantly adds interesting layers to any outfit. I especially love it with this skirt. It seems to continue the lines of the sweater perfectly. I found this sweater at Backroom at the Limited for only $30.

How has your fall been so far? What have been some of your great fall finds? What are you reading or watching that's creeping you out?







Off the Shoulder Top

2016-08-18T06:57:47.031-04:00

Goodnight Macaroon Top / Topshop Jeans / Jack Rogers Sandals / Baublebar Earrings  One of my favorite summer trends this year is the off the shoulder top. It's flirty yet sophisticated and keeps hot fabric off your shoulders, giving you a little break from the heat and a sunkissed look. I found this one at the online boutique Goodnight Macaroon. This store has so many cute and unique items. I especially love the tie sleeves of this blouse. I wore this outfit for the Feast in Little Italy in Cleveland last weekend. There are a few things that you need to know when shopping Goodnight Macaroon. The items are usually shipped from China so it takes a while for them to arrive. This top took about a month to arrive. Also, if you want to return something, it will likely cost more than the item itself so make sure to read the measurement information, which is listed for each item, very carefully and compare to your own measurements. That being said, they often have flash sales during the week so you may never have to pay full price if you time your purchase right. This top is only $34.50 for the next day or so.[...]



Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

2016-08-04T07:37:31.282-04:00

Details: Billabong Dress / Halogen Flats I have two announcements: 1. How is it already August? (OK, that's a question.) 2. You officially have four more days to shop the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Given that information, I thought it might be helpful to post some of the items I purchased, which are still available.1. Billabong Dress: First up is this adorable Billabong dress. I thought it would be perfect for a trip to Nashville I have in the fall. The back has very cute criss-cross straps that I love!2. Halogen Flats: Let's all have a quiet moment. (pause) I finally bought lace-up flats! I am just as excited as you are for this development in my life. I originally bought these in a very pretty maroon, but when I tried them on, they looked really dramatic so I returned them. I love them in blush because they go with everything and I can wear them in the fall or spring. Details: BP Blanket Scarf / Lush Blouse / Topshop Jeans / Halogen Flats 3. BP Blanket Scarf: When I saw this scarf, it just instantly put me in the fall mood, which instantly put me int he buying mood. So I bought it. Case closed. But seriously, it looks good layered over everything from t-shirts to dresses, and in this color combo it can act as a neutral. 4. Lush Blouse: I have a similar Lush blouse in cream, and I wear it all the time. There is something very timeless and classic about this blouse. I could get one in every color. I've been gravitating more toward olive lately as it usually looks good with my complexion and hair. It also feels like one of the it-colors for fall. 5. Topshop Jeans: These are not actually on sale, but I wanted to share them with you anyways. I did get them at a slight discount as I had a $10 gift card for signing up to be a Nordstrom Rewards Member.My saga to find distressed jeans was a long one. I ordered many in the $50 to $60 range, and none of them had quite the right look or fit. So I went in store one day, as is always better when trying on jeans, and found this Topshop pair and had to stop everything I was doing in the name of love. They have the perfect amount of rip to them, not too over the top, and they stop just above the ankle, which I love. That makes wearing them with these lace-up flats even easier. When you've found the one, in terms of jeans, you don't let it pass you by.So I got almost everything on my fall wish list. I am still missing a good cargo jacket. The one that I ordered from the Nordstrom sale was too big so I had to return it and the style wasn't quite what I wanted. What did you get at the NSale? [...]



Beach Reading List

2016-07-20T06:52:09.726-04:00

I am about to leave for the beach, but not without sharing the books I'm taking. This list may look like a "Beach Reads from Summer's Past," but that's what happens when you're in grad school. Now that I'm done with my MBA program, I have so much more time to read. I'll start the list with the newest book first.

 The Swans of Fifth Avenue, Melanie Benjamin

This book was recommended to me, and I have to say that I am intrigued to find out more about the life of Truman Capote and the New York socialites he surrounded himself with. The back story is that he referred to these women as his swans. They shared all of their secrets with him and he became a part of their world until he betrayed their trust. It seems utterly glamorous and tragic all at the same time.

The Marriage Plot, Jeffrey Eugenides

I am currently reading this one and so far I really like it. It chronicles the life of three college students in the early 80s who are all about to graduate. Each one has a different perspective on love and life, and it's interesting to see each of them sort out their own philosophies as they come of age.

The Martian, Andy Weir

As you may or may not have guessed, this is the novel that the movie the Martian, starring Matt Damon, was based on. I thought the movie was really well done and entertaining and, therefore, I thought the book must be awesome considering most books turned into movies are better than the movie. Also, I just want to hear more of Mark Watney's biting humor and, as a nerd, I want to read more about the science behind living on Mars. 



White Shirt Dress

2016-07-18T09:49:11.984-04:00

Details: Banana Republic Dress (Similar) / Tommy Hilfiger Shoes / Gap Cardigan / Banyan Tree Necklace

There is something so clean and crisp about a white shirt dress. When you put it on you instantly feel put together. Now that its staying light out longer, I tend to stay up later trying to grasp every drop of daylight. That usually means I wake up later, which means my routine needs to be incredibly simple in the morning. This dress screams of summer simplicity, while still looking sophisticated. It's also incredibly easy to accessorize. All it needs is a pop of color or two and works with any cardigan. I wore this to my cousin's baby shower this weekend, and I can see this becoming a summer work staple.






Annapolis Trip

2016-07-14T06:57:03.909-04:00

Details: H&M Dress / Baublebar Earrings / Coach Purse / Jack Rogers Sandals  At the end of June, the boyfriend and I went to Annapolis, one of our favorite cities. We go almost every year. The downtown area of the city is so charming with its classic blue, yellow, red and white houses with gorgeous porch gardens and wreaths adorning almost every door. The restaurants and bars are an eclectic mix of Irish pubs, seafood restaurants and newer concepts such as a sushi joint and taco place. Here is last year's guide to Annapolis including specific shopping and restaurant suggestions.This year we split our time between Annapolis, Arlington, D.C. and Baltimore to see friends and family. We saw a great exhibit at the American History Museum on the flag from the War of 1812 that inspired the "Star Spangled Banner." It was awesome! I highly recommend it. I tried a great restaurant in Arlington called Fig and Olive. And I got to watch the Cavs win a championship with my sister. All in all it was a great trip.One of my favorite outfits from the weekend was this H&M dress. I think the blue and white pattern is perfect for summer and will look even better once I have a tan. The wide ruffle at the top is a great flirty detail.While in Baltimore, I found my hat soulmate, spirit animal and partner in crime if I ever go to the Kentucky Derby....Flag at the Naval AcademyDowntown Annapolis HarborMe doing a handstand in front of the Washington Monument[...]



My Strategy for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

2016-07-12T07:35:47.352-04:00

It seems impossible to think about fall when the weather is this gorgeous, but the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is starting this week. And that means Nordstrom will be releasing it's fall merchandise at discounted prices. For card holders, the sale starts this Thursday, July 14. For everyone else, the sale starts July 22. Apparently, a lot of items sell out before the sale even opens to the general public so it may be in your best interest to get the card. Southern Curls and Pearls put together a guide to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, which I found really helpful. One of her tips is to have a strategy before shopping. A.k.a know what your looking for. In the interest of shopping solidarity, I'm sharing my shopping strategy below. What do you hope to find when you shop the sale?Source: Southern Curls & PearlsThe Modern SweaterIt feels like sweaters have become ultra-cool over night. I looked in my closet one day and all of the crew neck sweaters I owned suddenly seemed outdated. Sweaters have such interesting details now whether they're a little longer in the back, asymmetrical or off-the-shoulder. Although my classic sweaters will always have a place in my closet, I feel like I need a few that are a little more updated. Last Christmas, I was lucky enough to get my hands on some cute tunics on sale from Nordstrom, so I figured I might try my luck during this sale. Source: Brighton The Day  Cargo Jackets The cargo jacket has had a really good run, and I don't feel like it's luck is going to change anytime soon. When the days are warm, but the nights are chilly most people are going to go rummaging through their closet to find the same cargo jacket they've been wearing every fall. I personally never found the perfect one at the right price point, so I'm sadly a little late to this party. If you find yourself in the same shoes, that's OK because I've already started to see the trend evolve into vests, anoraks, and parkas with fur-lined hoods. I'm a little more interested in the latter, but if I found the classic cargo jacket during this sale, I might have to jump on the opportunity. Source: The Sweetest Thing Lace Up FlatsMy biggest regret of last fall is not buying Topshop's red lace-up flats. I even blogged about them, but at the last minute I got cold feet. I was worried the price wouldn't be worth the wear, but I'm kicking myself now that I didn't buy them. I'm really hoping they come back to Nordstrom this year, but if they don't I am prepared to investigate other brands and colors. And if that doesn't work out, I am probably going to stare longingly at these lace-up sandals, which could be a great transition shoe from summer to fall.Source: Sequins & Things  Distressed DenimI'm so bad about buying jeans. I have like two pairs that I wear all the time. And of course those pairs are getting worn out. So it's a goal of mine to stop neglecting that area of my wardrobe. I've recently started looking into the denim selection at Nordstrom, and it's actually pretty great. They have all of the well-known brands, but also some more affordable brands too. I just bought a pair of white jeans for summer by a brand called Articles of Society. They have a decent fitting jean at around a $50 to $60 price tag. I'm also looking to add something more updated to my closet this time around. The distressed jean trend, although a little silly at first, has really started appealing to me lately. If paired with the right top, it can be the perfect mix of put-together and laid back cool. [...]



H&M Romper

2016-07-07T06:35:18.741-04:00

Details: H&M Romper (Similar) / Jack Rogers Sandals
I don't know about you, but for me, the summer is filled with constant activity. In one day, I may need an outfit that's just as appropriate for running errands as it is for meeting up with friends. And no matter what, it must be comfortable in the sweltering heat. Enter the romper. I found this one and a cobalt blue one just like it at H&M at the beginning of summer. I bought two because I knew they would be my go-tos. This romper proved it's worth when I went to visit my friend in Arlington. It was great for brunch at Fig and Olive and stood strong as we walked through store after store in the D.C. heat. 

Another great purchase was this over the shoulder bag. I found it while shopping with my sister at Fells Point in Baltimore. She bought the same one in turquoise. It's great when I don't want to carry a heavy bag and only need a few things. It was a life saver during our trip to the American History Museum in D.C., which went from a two-hour trip to a four-hour saga. I never realized how big it is.  What are some of your summer go-tos?







Fourth of July Outfit Ideas

2016-06-29T06:59:39.190-04:00

The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays. Summer weather is usually at its peak, meaning a lot of time spent outdoors, and its the perfect little break from work. For a work potluck, I plan to wear this great scarf that I found in Annapolis last year at one of my favorite accessory stores, Lou Lou. I wanted to pair it with something different this year, but something that still had American roots. This denim dress could not be a better fit. I still haven't decided how to tie my scarf so I've shown both options below. Which do you like better?  Details: Lou Lou Scarf / Thrifted Gap Dress and Belt / Tommy Hilfiger Shoes For the weekend, I plan to wear something a little more low key. I have been gravitating to the off the shoulder trend lately and this shirt from H&M combines that and my love of stripes. The pops of turquoise, pink and white are just strong enough hints to the patriotic red, white and blue.Details: H&M Top, J.Crew Shorts, Baublebar Earrings, Jack Rogers Sandals [...]



Weekend Round Up

2016-06-27T08:00:13.768-04:00

How was your weekend? Mine was fairly uneventful, but I did get a chance to sit outside and finish reading When Breath Becomes Air. It's the memoir of Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. In his book, he discusses what makes life worth living as a patient and a doctor who knows his time on earth has been cut short. It's interesting because he asks the question from both a scientific and a philosophical perspective. What I found most inspiring was his and his wife Lucy's decision to have a baby despite his terminal illness. In the end they decided,  "Life isn’t about avoiding suffering, it’s also about creating meaning." Great words to live by. I found myself in tears by the end of the book. Watch an interview with Lucy here. I just discovered the blog Well Plated. It's a food blog complete with mouthwatering images, a healthy spin on most recipes, and a cheerful Midwesterner, Erin, at its helm. I tried my first recipe, Crock Pot Corn Chowder, as I was cleaning my apartment yesterday, and it was super easy. It didn't require a laundry list of ingredients, which for that reason alone I give it two thumbs up. I haven't tried it yet, but it looks scrumptious and it should last me well into the week, which means I have more time to sit outside on my porch reading instead of in the hot kitchen. Oh and I tried bright-pink, barbie-style lipstick this weekend. It's Maybelline's Pink N Chic Matte Lip Color. I was inspired by a similar shade on Southern Curls and Pearls and just had to try it. It still feels a little like I'm in costume when I'm wearing it, but paired with the right bright accessories for summer like these turquoise tassel earrings, I think it can have its time and place. [...]



Turquoise Tassel Earrings

2016-06-16T07:59:19.462-04:00

 H&M Blouse / J.Crew Skirt via Avalon Exchange / Baublebar Earrings / Calvin Klein Shoes via Marshalls

Tassel earrings are one of my favorite trends this summer. I got mine from Baublebar and I love the bright turquoise. The pop of color pairs well with everything in my summer wardrobe. And because they are so long, they're actually visible when I wear them with my hair down. They're great for jazzing up a work outfit, but they'll be even better at the beach this summer.








White Pants and Cargo Vest

2016-06-08T07:58:46.655-04:00

Details: Target vest (similar) and shirt / Articles of Society jeans / Francesca's Necklace / Jack Rogers Sandals

When it comes to me and white pants, I get very nervous. In my hurry to get everything done as quickly as possible, I can be somewhat accident prone. More than once, I have rested my coffee mug on top of my car as I put all of my stuff in the backseat and somehow knocked it off either while reaching for it or by closing the door too hard. Coffee then splatters everywhere, including on whatever stain-showing outfit I am wearing at the moment. That being said, If there was an equivalent to plastic couch covers for pants, I would consider wearing them. Without said plastic pants covers, I tried to take my time while wearing these new jeans and I had almost no stains. Almost meaning I did get a small spot of ink on them, but that's what a Clorox Bleach Pen is for.

Aside from my anxiety that I will somehow soil these jeans, I'm really happy with the way they fit. They are not too tight and have a little bit of a stretch to them. I can definitely see myself dressing them up a little more with heels and a nice top, but this is a nice casual alternative.