Hanging on to Summer

I’m writing this as I look out the window to see the turning leaves of fall… how can summer be over already? I left for Portugal and Spain two weeks ago (where it’s 90-degrees and sunny), and came back to 65-degree temperatures and rain! Summer always goes by too fast, so I’ll be hanging on to summer nights and the fleeting sun by soaking up as much time outside as possible, as long as possible, with my favorite things and favorite people until we start to spend chilly evenings inside with cozy blankets and warmer drinks!







Pictured: American Heirloom Virginia cutting board // Peony tea towel and rustic cheese knives from Hydrangea of Clifton // Fulla & Fayda tote and wallet

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Portraits with Maggie

Maggie is the founder of a financial coaching company and needed some fresh portraits for her business, so a couple weekends ago we would have been seen crisscrossing through Del Ray finding micro jungles and gardens for backdrops. It was a hot July day, so we started our adventure with coffee and tea from Swings and then I proceeded to put Maggie in flowers for the rest of the morning. And I’m so grateful that she did… take a look at her beautiful portraits for yourself!





















Striped Maxi Love Affair

I think I’m in love… with a dress. It just happened spontaneously one day walking through my *first* love, T.J. Maxx: we were moving with purpose toward the register with a couple of household and Luna items, and the long white and navy striped dress caught my eye and we just had to be together.



Ok, so it’s not that serious, but I am definitely living in this dress for the rest of the summer. It’s the perfect length to wear with sandals on the weekend, and it’s definitely on my list for things to pack for Spain! Did I mention I’m going to Spain with my bestie at the end of August?! I’m so excited!!

This dress also fits into the “I can wear this without a bra” category of pieces that I’m slowly collecting. Especially with this July heat, it’s so nice to be able to throw on something comfortable and breezy, without feeling exposed.

I’ve been going for a “barely there” look on my face this summer too – my staples have been a mix of Murad and Rodan + Fields skin products (I’ve also been applying R + F Lash Boost at night, which I swear has already lengthened and thickened my lashes in just two months!), Glossier’s Boy Brow to define my brows, and various shades of Bare Minerals Gen Nude lip color.

My summer motto is “less is more,” and the moral of this story is I love the way this dress looks, but I love the way it makes me feel even more.

 

Photos taken by Bryan Wallace

 

Bloomology Co.

My dear friend Michelle is in the middle of redesigning her website for Bloomology Co., and was in need of some refreshed brand photos so I naturally signed right up! I have been wanting to dig deeper into my photography skills and try out some portrait ideas, so our joint effort was the perfect thing to get our creative juices flowing. We spent an afternoon at the Botanic Garden in DC, which was the absolute perfect location for some natural mid-morning portraits. See for yourself, and be sure to check back to Michelle’s website to see the new look!





















Perfectly Framed

Ok, so I know it’s been forever since my last post about Warby Parker’s awesome shop in Shaw, but I’m finally now going to make a decision on which frames to order, and I need YOUR help to do it! First, if you haven’t done the Warby Parker Home Try-On program, I highly recommend it. It’s really a win-win situation, because there’s no risk, catch, etc. to choose five frames to be delivered to your front door to try on at your leisure. Easy peasy.

I immediately knew which frames I wanted to try, but you can also take a fun quiz for some suggestions. As soon as you finalize your picks, a nice email pops up in your inbox with a reminder of the frames to expect in the mail. Only a couple days later, a well-packaged box arrives at your door with a “good things await you” message, which is more than true!



I was so excited to try on all the frames since I picked a mix of styles and shapes. I decided pretty quickly that a couple designs were not for me, but the rest fit and looked great, which is making it hard to pick which ones I should get! At first, I was completely in love with the mixed color frames of the Welty design, but I’m now gravitating toward the purpley tortoise pattern of the Chelsea frames, which are gorgeous and a tad bit more feminine. What to choose, what to choose… Check out my most recent post on Insta to help me pick which frames to order!


The Durand

The Welty

The Chelsea

Once you’re done trying everything on, you pop the frames right back into he packaging and put the box in the mail… simple as that! And after you’ve made a decision on which to buy (my current struggle), you can order your frames online to be mailed to you. And did I mention free returns and exchanges?! WP has definitely made this whole ordering glasses thing easy.

 

Senegal Part III: Saint-Louis

After a couple of days in Latmingue, Natalie and I traveled to Saint-Louis, an old colonial city, the heart of which is located on a narrow island in the Senegal River. Saint-Louis was established in 1659 by French traders and is characterized by the distinct French and Portuguese architecture throughout the city. Today, Saint-Louis relies heavily on tourism and is full of shops, cafes, and street vendors, so there was no shortage of delicious pastries, beautiful textiles, and fresh fish. On our first day, we took a horse-drawn cart tour around the island and learned about the hard-working fishermen and families residing in the area, and saw the large wooden boats that take months to carve for their many fishing voyages.

We had a lovely Christmas staying at La Residence, which was a nice break before hitting the road again. On our way to Dakar, we stopped at Lake Retba – the Pink Lake – which is “pink” because of bacteria that is attracted by the lake’s high salt content. The salt is extracted by locals from the bottom of the lake using their hands, then placed into baskets to be transported to the shore where it is used mainly to preserve fish. It was an overcast day, so the lake was not as distinctly pink as usual, but we managed to get a light pink hue against the bright blue boats in the salty water.

 
















Lace Details


There are some fashion trends that are super fun and are probably really comfortable – like crop tops and the daring comeback of the 90’s mini dress, for example – that I don’t event attempt to try because the older woman in me is yelling “you can’t get away with wearing those skimpy clothes at your age!”. I made an exception, however, to try a bralette – a light and delicate lace alternative to my standard underwire bra.

I hope it’s ok if I get a little personal and honest… I’ve always hated wearing bras, but was too self-contious to not wear one. Bralettes seem a little youthful – reminiscent of my first sports bra as an adolescent – but carry the more adult lacey details of an adult brazier (I was fascinated when I found out that was the “long word” for bra!). I was too curious about trying one, so on my next trip to T.J. Maxx I picked up a simple white Nicole Miller bralette.


As soon as I put it on I loved everything about it, mostly how light-weight it was while still providing support. I also love the lace that can peek through a flowy top, or just sit discreetly under an unassuming tee.


Wearing: Nicole Miller bralette (I found mine at T.J. Maxx, but there are so many cute ones at A.E.!), D.Jeans (similar), Green Envelope top (similar), Franco Sarto sandals, Stella & Dot necklace and wrap bracelet // Photos taken by Bryan Wallace

Black, White, and Chambray

Ever notice that when you’re not feeling 100 you don’t deviate as much from the norm? I usually put on my most comfortable clothes and eat comfort food that doesn’t take a lot of effort. That’s how I’m feeling now about this in-between time, where winter’s cold grip is slowly letting go and the sunshine of spring is just creeping in.



I’ve been gravitating toward neutrals and my go-to layers, like my trusty chambray, black jeans, comfortable scarves, and boots that will get me anywhere.


I’m also in the in-between with my professional life – switching from one career to another – which is amplifying my antsiness. I’ve heard that experiencing change is what pushes us to be better and do better, but I just can’t wait to get back into a healthy routine.


In the meantime, I’ll be working on my patience and finding comfort in the things I love most.

Wearing: D.JeansRubbish chambray, Madewell scarf, Fulla&Fayda wallet, and GAP chelsea booties (on sale!) // Photos taken by Bryan Wallace

Comfy in Nike Sneaks

I think we are all ready for spring right about now, but in the meantime I’m happy to stay comfy and cozy – my two favorite words this time of year – both indoors and out.



Ever since I switched jobs and we added Luna to our family last fall, my exercise routine [oh heck, my whole life routine!] has completely flipped upside down. I used to be an avid Bar Method goer, taking class 3-4 days per week before work in Tysons, but with shifted work hours and a pup at home I’m lucky to visit the studio once a week. Now, between classes, my exercise mainly consists of long walks with Luna.

I really can’t complain about my new “routine”: I get a little workout in while enjoying the outdoors and spending time with my favorite pooch. I actually look forward to our morning walks because I can just live in the present for a solid 30 minutes, disconnected from my phone, which I leave at home.




Because the amount of time I spend walking has increased, I was desperately in need of a footwear upgrade and found the perfect neutral Nike sneaks at DSW. Now my feet can be as comfy as the rest of me [I’m LOVING this GAP sweater], and be a little fashionable too!

Wearing: Vince Camuto leggings, GAP sweater (on sale in “cream”!), and Nike Sneaks // Photos taken by Bryan Wallace

 

Senegal Part II: Latmingue

After a couple days in Thies, Natalie and I left for a 2-day trip to Koalack to visit her host family in the village of Latmingue. After a long drive, we were greeted with warm hospitality, attaya [the most amazing mint tea], and a cieb dinner. I’m pretty sure I’ve never eaten as much and as often as we did in Latmingue, but it’s difficult to refuse all of the delicious tea, yogurt drinks, fresh melon, and homemade sauces! Between meals, Natalie and I explored the villages in the area, the local mosque, and walked to the river. Sharing their home, food, and customs, in just two short days Natalie’s family showed me the beauty of their simple yet rich life in Latmingue, which will forever stay with me.

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