This hot and sweaty summer has called for the lightest of layers and I’ve been living in this black peplum top I snagged from Old Navy’s huge sale a couple months ago. I don’t normally wear strappy tanks unless I’m working out, but I’m patting myself on the back now for the good sense I had when I got this loose and light top, along with a couple of dresses from Target. My favorite is a simple royal blue dress with a pom pom trim that I’ve been wearing equally as much as my black tank. Everyone knows how much I love my black, white, and navy staples, but bright blue has taken over my neutral palette lately. It’s such a happy color that adds a nice pop against the black that I love oh so much. It also pairs extremely well with cognac, which just happens to be one of my favorite leather colors for boots and handbags.
You’ll be seeing me sporting cognac frequently this fall, including on my go-to tote and matching wallet from Fulla&Fayda’s new collection. My tote is the perfect size to transport all of the necessities with room to spare for a slim laptop, file folders, and a quickly made sandwich, which is a must for my busy schedule. It has an interior pocket for my cell phone and knick-knacks, and a zipper on top to keep everything in place. The matching wallet is perfect for a night out or a quick run to the grocery store, with an interior zip pocket and magnet closure on the flap. The bright blue Haibibi Collection fabric reminds me of a vibrant summer, but the cognac will transition it nicely into fall when I’m on those lovely walks around town (with less sweat involved). I can hear the leaves crunching beneath my feet already…
Happy third week of June! I seriously don’t know where summer came from, but it started with a bang and is here to stay for a while. (I don’t know about you, but I’m noticing a trend here with the start of new seasons). I know I know, summer doesn’t technically start until June 20, but 80-degree days and thick humidity is summer in my book.
We’ve had a few rainy days sprinkled in with our more well-loved sunny days, so I’ve been grabbing my trusty parka on the way out the door a lot lately. Out the door to where, you ask? Well, honestly no where super exciting, but you can imagine me running off to catch a flight to Paris or Iceland. I’m so happy I bought this thing a couple years ago from Zara – it’s relatively light so I can even wear it in warmer weather over a colorful blouse or stripey dress. Stripes on stripes seemed appropriate for a rainy day. Call me cliché.
You gotta love spring. It’s sunny and warm one minute and then it’s windy and cold the next. The tonic I prescribe for spring’s moodiness is a layered look that can adapt to quick weather changes. After watching the Liverpool game one Sunday morning at the Queen Vic (one of our favorite places to watch!), Bryan and I took a walk around my old H Street neighborhood.
I have (surprisingly) been sticking to the limited items of my capsule wardrobe, so mixing, matching, and layering in new ways is key. I have also been layering my simple gold Stella & Dot jewelry to ‘chic’ things up a bit since I’ve been trending toward casual looks lately. I layered my Target tee with a tried and true GAP chambray. I have to tell you, I picked up three of these tees from Target and they are the most comfortable tees I’ve ever worn. They were (and still are!) on sale, and you know I never pass up a good sale.
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.