I look forward to this holiday weekend every year, partially because it offers a little relief from a particularly busy time at work. B and I took advantage of the day off yesterday and took a walk around our neighborhood. The roads seemed more sleepy than normal, so I assumed that everyone was relaxing at home or preparing for their backyard barbeques and parties. We have a backyard party of our own that we are attending today – I can’t wait for burgers, sprinklers, and later – sparklers! Happy 4th of July!
Our last stop in Fes was to a ceramic and tile manufacturer. There were so many beautiful colors and ceramic styles… I wanted to be able to take it all home with me, but I settled on two cobalt blue cups (that look purple before heating up in the kiln!) to use for coffee and tea. In Fes they don’t use oil or gas, but crushed olive pits as fuel for fire in the kilns.
After our last stop we all hopped in the car for a long ride through the middle atlas mountains. There were beautiful views of rolling hills and valleys and snow-capped mountains. We stopped in Ifrane – known for its European-style chalets – for coffee (My sister, Natalie, and I ordered our favorite “noos noos” espresso with milk) and later stopped in one of many Amazigh cities we drove through for barbeque. Our final destination before reaching Merzouga was Fossils Erfoud, a factory that excavates fossils and incorporates them into tables and home decor.
I had the pleasure and good fortune of stumbling upon Sally’s Middle Name while exploring my little H Street neighborhood a couple weekends ago. I happened to be alone for the day, and decided to treat myself to a little brunch. The space is so inviting – with it’s cozy dining tables, chalkboard wall menu, and mix-matched china – as if you were dining at your favorite family member’s home. Sally’s is farm-to-table, with ingredients on both their dinner and brunch menus coming from local farms and markets. With all the delicious offerings, I didn’t know where to start, so Sam Adkins, Executive Chef at Sally’s, suggested the pork belly hash and the fresh berries (cherries from Pennsylvania and blueberries from Virginia) with smoked sugar. What a treat! I’m not one to go a day without coffee, so I ordered a cup to go along with my brunch and received an entire carafe of french-pressed Vigilante coffee.
After brunch, Business Manager Aphra Adkins walked me upstairs to Akae, a carefully curated retail shop. The space is filled with light and warmth, and showcases vintage furniture, hand-crafted jewelry, home decor, children’s clothing, and women’s apparel. Aphra and her business partner, Seda Nak, are independent women who pride themselves on a shop that promotes local artisans and their crafts. Their space is also ideal for private events with it’s open floor plan, exposed brick walls, and large windows. Aphra and Seda are as inviting (if not more!) as their space, so make sure you check it out and say hello the next time you’re in the neighborhood!
I have always been a Chapstick girl (and more specifically, a Palmer’s Cocoa Butter girl), but a couple years ago I got the urge to explore the adult world of lipstick. Since then, I have been searching for “the best lip color”, picking up different shades and brands when I stop in drug stores and trying hand-me-downs from my mom that she feels don’t suit her. My favorites range from a slightly pinker neutral to a deep red – a shade for every occasion or mood. Now that it’s summer I’m wearing less makeup and sticking to tinted moisturizer and light lids, so a pop of color on my lips adds a lot!
Lancome is one of my favorite lip color brands. This one is Love It! (Cream) Color Design Sensational Effects Lipcolor and is my go-to shade for an everyday neutral look.
Revlon is another one of my favorite brands. The Super Lustrous lipstick in Fuchsia Shock is the color I grab when I want a bright and fun look. It doesn’t last all day, but I’m okay with that since it isn’t sticky or uncomfortable. It’s soft and moisturizing – a nice balance between my basic Chapstick and a heavy chalky lipstick.
This is my happy summer lip color: Beach Coral by Clinique. It pairs well with a casual t-shirt and jeans or a fun print dress (which I will be living in this summer). The possibilities are endless with this color!
I’ve tried the bright red lip like T Swift’s signature pout, but unfortunately it just doesn’t work for me. My take on the red lip is a deep berry tint, like Revlon’s Berry Rich. I wear this darker shade when I’m getting dolled up or feeling fancy, which could be any day, really. I just did that and no one can stop me: I declared that any day can be a fancy day.
My best friend Chelsea is marrying the love of her life this September and has found the perfect gown to get married in, but unfortunately it was not the first dress she purchased. Her first dress is a beautiful gown created by the designer at Elegance by Roya in Alexandria, Virginia, and is up for sale on oncewed.com.
This dress has breath taking beading on the straps, is a mermaid/trumpet cut and made of off-white satin material, and has a beautiful and unique bow on the back. Better yet, it has never been worn and comes with a beautiful beaded belt.
The medina in Fes was a bustling place. Between the carts, mules, and rushing people, it was a wonder we didn’t get run over! We took sanctuary along the corridors of the medina in mosques, workshops, and souks, and the tannery – shoes, jackets, and purses galore! There was a scenic view on the top floor of the tannery, but we needed a sprig of mint to mask the smell of a mixture of cow urine, quicklime, water, and salt which is used to break down the tough leather. The medina is rich with so much history and beautiful craftsmanship – it was hard to pack it all into one day!
I’m heading to California this weekend for the wedding of two of my dear friends, Ava and Brian. Ava is from Santa Cruz, a lovely, laid back, shoreline city, and the venue location for their May 31st wedding. They are getting married and celebrating at Highlands Park, nestled in the mountains just north of Santa Cruz. Knowing that it will be an outdoor wedding that continues into the evening hours in a place that feels the winds over Monterey Bay (I can feel them already…), I wanted to find a dress that could transition from day to night and that would be comfortable dancing in, because let’s be real, we all know I will be getting my groove on.
I found the perfect dress shopping online at Zara – it’s an above-the-knee cream-based dress with a marsala and yellow floral print. It’s SO cute and perfect for a spring event. Oh, and it has pockets. You can never go wrong with a dress that has pockets (just trust me on this one). Dresses with pockets are everything. Since the dress has more going on than my typical monochromatic dress, I’ve decided to go minimal on jewelry. I’m still debating between my favorite Stella & Dot ear jackets and classic pearl stud. Decisions, decisions… Don’t worry, I’ll let you know what happens, and I can’t wait to share photos from the wedding!
I’m so excited to finally share some gorgeous images from our Masquerade Wedding Styled Shoot from December 2014, now featured on Style Me Pretty! Our amazing team of vendors created a magical, whimsical setting at a private home on the water in Annapolis, MD., and Melissa Dorn of Lissa Ryan Photography captured the (cold) wintery day beautifully, both digitally and on film.
Jenna Shellhammer of Pop the Cork Designs organized a flawless day of vendor collaboration, from a beautiful invitation suite to hand cut leather masks, beaded gowns, and intricate bouquets. Not to mention the talented stylists who transformed B and me into blissfully happy love birds on our “wedding day.”
I don’t know about you, but my spring went by entirely WAY too fast. Who told May that it was okay for 90 degree weather already?! It happens every year, but it never ceases to shock me when all of the blossoms are gone, trees are green, and it’s hot outside half way through the month. I also never seem to remember how busy this time of year can be (currently making a mental note for 2016) – summer is a whirlwind, but gearing up for the summer is just as crazy… which is why it’s important to take a moment and relax. B is constantly telling me that I need to slow down and “smell the roses” and I’m finally learning to take time (even if it’s just a few minutes) formyself.
Happy Friday, friends! I’m sharing a few photos of our journey from Rabat to Fes – with a stop at the Volubilis ruins in between – on this similarly warm and sunny day in D.C. I hope everyone has spectacular weekend plans! Mine involve brunching, working out, and more brunching with mom.