I feel like spring grabbed a hold of me with its gnarly (and not the ‘awesome’ kind) claws and didn’t let go. Somehow I’ve broken free and I’m finally settling back into my normal routine. On a more relaxed weekend before the 16 consecutive days of rain that we had in Virginia, B and I did one of our favorite things and walked from our Del Ray apartment to Old Town Alexandria for dinner. We have our favorite places for happy hour in the area, but we are always looking to try new places. Virtue Feed and Grain has been on the list for a little wile, so we finally gave it a try and were not disappointed. It was even mild enough to eat outside, so we got a double-dose of fresh air.
On days when there’s not a whole lot on the agenda, I like to throw my hair up in a messy bun and put on a comfy tee, leggings, and Keds. To “upscale” the look a little I throw on a blazer or jacket, like this neutral one from Zara, and a bright lip color. Tees and blazers are my go-to for almost every occasion – both work and play – which works because I can go from activity to activity without having to change. If there is anything I hate more than peanut butter, it’s having to put on more than one set of clothes per day. I know, I blaspheme. Please forgive me, just this once.
This February, Claire Duran of Claire Duran Weddings & Events invited me to collaborate on a traditional and elegant bridal inspiration shoot. I was super excited to work with her and Elizabeth Fogarty for the first time on a frigid day in February. Despite the biting cold, the three of us had a lot of fun capturing the gorgeous details of a beaded vintage Gossamer dress, whimsical bouquet by Petals by the Shore, and the elegant braided twist that Melissa artfully created with my hair. Tiffany gave me a neutral pout and delicately lined eyes to complete the look. Liz captured everything beautifully against the majestic marble columns of the Jefferson Memorial – even the magical sun flare at golden hour – and photos were featured on Cottage Hill Magazine in April.
After the wedding in San Jose, we had a couple of days to explore the surrounding landscape. If you ever find yourself in San Jose, there are some great tours to take advantage of. We decided to make the most of our free day and opted for the “combination tour,” consisting of Doka Estate coffee, Poas Volcano, and La Paz Waterfall Gardens. It was a full day of sight-seeing and walking, but it was totally worth it.
We started the tour at Doka, where we had a traditional Costa Rican breakfast (and coffee, of course) and walked through the roasting process. Almost a century old, this estate still produces some of the best coffee in Costa Rica. After the tour, we made a couple stops along the way to Poas, one being a rest stop selling fresh cheese and coffee and where we met the sweetest mountain dog.
It was an incredibly misty morning, so we only got a few glimpses of the volcano as the wind blew the clouded cover. The national park was gorgeous, though, and we took an hour-long walk through the forest and saw some amazing plants and flowers. The beautiful scenery continued on our drive to the La Paz Waterfall Gardens, where we encountered orchids, butterflies, tropical birds, wild cats, and a series of majestic waterfalls – the perfect end to our day.
Last summer I participated in a fun styled shoot at the historic Oatlands property in Virginia with some very talented vendors, and our work was featured on Magnolia Rouge in March! It was a fairly hot day, but Lissa Ryan Photography beautifully captured all of the intricate details of the vintage crown, veil, and gorgeous gown from Gossamer.
At the end of March, B and I and a couple friends embarked on an amazing trip to Costa Rica. Our reason for the trip was our friends’ wedding in San Jose, but we decided to make a little vacation out of it. We stayed at the Coutyard Mariott San Jose Escazu, walked to Bulali for breakfast, explored downtown San Jose, and drank a lot of coffee.
I met Melissa Dorn of Lissa Ryan Photography two Decembers ago on a styled shoot in Annapolis, MD that ended up being featured on Style Me Pretty. It was a magical day that completely opened up my eyes to the world of styled shoots. I immediately fell in love with the energy, dedication, and passion that is involved with bringing a styled shoot to life, much like an actual event. There is a freedom with styled shoots, though, that typically doesn’t exist for “real” weddings. An uninhibited kind of creativity that comes hand in hand with limitless possibilities.
Ever since that day I have gotten more involved with styled shoots, collaborating with amazing and talented vendors (or “friendors”, I have recently heard them called) ranging from photographers, florists, designers, and planners throughout the greater Washington, DC area, and making friends along the way.
Melissa and I have worked together on other styled shoots since our first one together two years ago (one to be published at the end of March on Magnolia Rouge – stay tuned!), but I was eager to work on something more personal with her. I love Melissa’s work with film photography, so we settled on a date in late February to do a little shoot in Rock Creek Park. It was the end of a rainy weekend, so the overcast sky and surging creek lent themselves to a moody winter atmosphere. I hope you like them as much as I do!
The leap from my last style post to this one is kind of crazy. Not too long ago we had snow on the ground and one-digit temperatures and now it’s literally 80 degrees outside and I’m not one ounce sorry about it. If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed that I cleaned out my closet to a capsule wardrobe in a valiant (I think) attempt to downsize and simplify my life. Having a wide selection of clothing choices can be satisfying and fun, but lately I’ve been feeling the endless options weighing me down instead of liberating my creativity. My new capsule system has also forced me – in the best way possible – to be creative in a different way: mixing and matching my limited selections to create a new outfit each day. Without getting too much into it (yet), I’m really enjoying my capsule wardrobe thus far, and I’m excited to switch out to my spring selections!
Among the best spring 2016 fashion trends – stripes, ballet flats, floral patterns, moto jackets, monochromatic white (all things I can get behind) – is fringe. Previously associated with western movies and 70’s boho-chic, fringe has made a comeback in almost every shape and form. Shoes, vests, bags, jewelry, you name it: they are going to have fringe this season. Last weekend I paired some fringe details with what I like to call “double denim,” more fondly known as a Canadian tuxedo, which is also trendy again (go figure). I kind of love the cyclical nature of fashion. If you hang onto those key pieces long enough, they are sure to come back in style.
I think spring is just around the corner (I better not have just jinxed it!), but winter had to rear its ugly head one last time a couple weeks ago. It was a beautiful snow, though, and B and I went out for a snow walk to Bon Vivant Cafe + Farm Market – one of our favorite local spots – for lunch. They have super fresh ingredients from local farms that go into delicious salads and sandwiches. I love their tuna salad, and Bryan swears by their Terragon Chicken Salad sandwich. So, so good.
Late in the winter season my mom stumbled upon a great sale at Restoration Hardware. She snagged some super plush towels, a faux fur hot water bottle sleeve, and this fuzzy hat. Because she’s the best mom ever, she decided I needed one of my own and I absolutely fell in love with it. It has flaps that can cover your ears from the cold or can be tied up neatly on top. It’s been a total life saver these last couple of blustery days. It’s so warm I would challenge winter to another Snowzilla, but I think I’ll concede this time. Winter, you win, but don’t get too comfortable – pastels, fringe, and florals are movin’ in!
I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day! Bryan and I went back and forth on ideas, but we settled on a relaxing day at home (think: soccer on the tv, lounging in pajamas, Sugar Shack donuts, and a hot cup of coffee…) and went out for a low-key dinner at Kogiya, one of our favorite Korean BBQ restaurants.
Valentine’s Day in DC was absolutely freezing, so I wanted to wear the coziest thing in my closet to venture out of the house. I went to Target the previous day to get some things and spotted this faux sherpa vest among the racks of new stripe-y dresses and boho tops – it’s oh-so-soft, reversible, AND it was on sale.
It worked perfectly over a long sleeve blouse (and under a coat), but I’m even more excited to wear it as a transition piece into spring over a light leather jacket. Emphasis on light. And here we go: let the weeks-in-advance spring outfit planning begin.
Love is in the air and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! B and I decided that we won’t be doing a gift exchange this year, and instead will just focus on each other with a date night, TBD. He’s away for a month-long training, but will be back for the long weekend and I’m pee-in-my pants excited. Okay, okay, I know it has only been a week, but what can I say? I love my man.
If you’re also not on the gift exchange train, I say hop onto the treat yo self express. I hosted a Stella & Dot trunk show last weekend with some of my favorite gals, and I am completely in love with the spring line. Blues, blushes, geometric patterns, and moroccan flair all have a shining moment in the new line, and there is truly something for everyone. What’s there not to love?