Almost Summer

For those of you who are out of school already: I'm jealous! We don't get out until late June, and I'm so excited. My summer is going to be really busy this year - probably the busiest it's ever been - but I'm still really looking forward to it.

I'll be studying in a state-wide academic program for the Humanities down in southern Virginia, which means I'll be able to stay on a college campus for most of July. I'm so thrilled; the classes I'll be taking are things that really interest me and I'm very excited to do a trial-run of living in a dorm before I head off to college for real next year. I won't lie, a major part of the appeal is getting to decorate! I haven't done anything major to my room at home since fourth grade (I guess I had good taste back then because I haven't seen the need to do much; my room's pretty classic). Shopping for decor has become a new and exciting creative outlet for me - can't wait to put it all together!

When I get back I'll be headed up to Block Island for about a week. Summer traditions die hard. It's not as long as I'd like, but I'm excited nonetheless -- my plan is to spend as much time as possible on the beach and shooting for the blog (my two favorite vacation activities).

After that, it's off to a college preparatory camp for another week. This one is probably my least favorite of the activities I've got lined up, but I know it will be worth it in the end. A week of writing essays, putting together a resume, researching and pulling everything together for college isn't exciting but it is practical and something I need to get done. Hopefully having everything finished before senior year will help take away some of the stress, and free up my time to spend with friends and family during my last year at home!

The month of August is where I'll get most of my downtime. Fall sports begin then, which I'm looking forward to, and I plan to be a little lazy at the pool and with friends to get some R&R before school starts again in September (and, of course, working on the blog).

All-in-all, my summer's pretty packed. It's a little overwhelming, but a lot more exciting! I can't wait for it to begin in just a few short weeks.

What are your summer plans?


Critter Prints for Summer

Critter prints - perhaps one of the most controversial classic prep items. You either love them, or you hate them. Personally, I'm definitely in the "love them!" group. I think critter prints are just adorable, and they come in so many different styles of clothing for all seasons. There's some debate over whether to include motifs like embroidered pineapples, for example, as a "critter" print (technically they aren't animals), but for the sake of today's post, I'm going to classify everything in the critter print style together.

I have several things that I love in this style -- one of my favorites being a J.Crew pink corduroy skirt with embroidered geese that I scored second-hand. They're definitely making a comeback, though, so there are all kinds of options on the market. I've gathered a few of my favorites; shop them below!


When Life Gives You Lemons...

If I could bring back one fashion staple, it would be the sweater set! How cute is this one? I love the lemon print and the tiny details. The inverted color scheme from the shell to the cardigan is darling, and I realized when wearing it that the lemons in the shell are linear, while the lemons on the cardigan are arranged in a diamond pattern. It's the little details that make this so charming! It's been the perfect remedy for gloomy rainy days (you can see that it was raining the day that I shot this - my hunter boots have become an outfit staple lately).  

My hope is that more brands take the cue and start bringing out more sweater sets. So far, J.Crew has been the leader of the sweater set movement (can I call it that?), but they tend to sell out quickly so if you're late to the party you'll have to try and find your favorite set second hand. I'm really kicking myself for missing out on the bow sweater set J.Crew brought out last winter!

On a side note, I'm also loving this jean skirt. The pockets are very unique and I love the length and fit of it. I'm honestly having to force myself to wear my other skirts; this one just goes with everything!

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Half-Yearly Sale Picks Under $100

The Nordstrom half-yearly sale is upon us! From now until June 4th, tons of Nordstrom's most popular brands will be up to 40% off. There are so many different things to choose from if you want to pick up something new for spring and summer, and it's a great chance to stock up on beauty items or replace things that are worn out. 

I rounded up my top picks for this year's sale below.  The best part? Everything's under $100!

As you can tell, I'm in a bit of a blue mood - I think I'm inspired by CeCe's collection for this year. Krista from Covering the Bases wore one of their hydrangea shift dress (sold out now, sadly!) a few weeks ago, and it immediately caught my eye. When I saw many of their items on sale, I had a look through their collection and I was immediately hooked. How cute are this hydrangea skirt and this tie-neck gingham dress?

I'm also very excited that these earrings by BaubleBar are finally on sale. I've been looking for a pair of statement drop earrings; I love the tassel ones that everyone seems to have but I can't bring myself to drop $98 on a pair of Lisi Lerch earrings and I can't find anything similar (if you have any suggestions, please let me know!). In the meantime, I definitely think I'll pick up the Baublebar pair!

Do you plan to pick up anything from the sale?


Bookshelf Wishlist

On a recent visit to Barnes and Noble, I stumbled across the art and fashion section and was immediately reminded of how much I love physical books. I don't read as much as I should (outside of required reading for class, that is), and when I do it's usually an ebook on my Kindle. However, there's something so inspiring and wonderful about having a real book in your hands, especially when it's a book with a gorgeous design.  After my visit, I went on a mad Amazon spree, adding all of the books I had seen in B&N to my wishlist and discovering more. I now have a Pinterest board of all the books I hope to one day own, check it out below!

Please let me know if you have any book suggestions!


Rainy Day Footwear

It's been pretty rainy the last few weeks here in northern VA.  Needless to say, I've gotten a lot of use out of my Hunter and Bean boots. Rainy days can definitely be gloomy, but having fun footwear can brighten up an outfit and the day. Is it just me, or does anyone else actually look forward to rain because it's an opportunity to wear their rain boots?

Today, I thought I'd share some of my favorite rain-proof shoes. Of course, there are the classic hunter boots (isn't the pink color just darling?), and LL. Bean's line of bean boots that are all very neutral and perfect for any outfit (bonus - these can easily double as snow boots in the winter). I recently discovered Joules rain boots, and I'm totally in love. They have tons of adorable designs, from stripes to critter prints! The best part is that they're all under $100, which is definitely a steal especially when a pair of Hunters cost $150.

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What are your go-to rain boots?


Junior Prom

Sorry I've been a bit MIA lately! I just finished IB/AP exam season, and I had to take a break in order to study and try not to overload myself with stress. A wonderful end to exam season (for now! I still have finals in June -- ugh) was our Junior Prom, which was last Saturday night. It had rained for three days prior here in Northern VA, and the forecast was not looking promising on Friday night. However, when we woke up Saturday morning the weather had begun to clear, and it was cloudy but thankfully dry when we headed out for the night.

I spent the day leading up to prom with my friend Mary, and we had lots of laughs and maybe a few sing-alongs while getting ready. The dance itself was so much fun, and I loved seeing people all dressed up! Everyone looked absolutely gorgeous. My dress is from Macy's, and I wore Steve Madden heels (you can't see them in the pictures, but they're adorable black sandals with a tie at the ankle). My mother was kind enough to loan me her single-strand pearl necklace, and they were a perfect compliment to my own pearl earrings.

If you've had your prom already, I'd love to hear how it went!


Palace Tulips


If you've been following along you would have seen my visit to Kensington Gardens - but here is a look at Buckingham Palace, which stands right outside the park! It's stunning, and I loved all the greenery surrounding it. There were gorgeous tulips in full bloom right across from the palace entrance, which made for a picturesque view.

We paid a visit to the royal mews, which was fascinating. You're able to see all the royal carriages - both old and new - and the horses that are bred to carry them. All in all, really interesting, and something a little different if you're looking for an excursion.

I'm in LOVE with this bow top from Gap. It comes in tall sizes, too - which of course is always a major plus for me. I paired it with some white jeans (I think it's okay to start wearing them now, right?), my tortoise and rose gold watch and emerald Kendra Scott bracelet. My shoes were from J.Crew factory last summer; they're super comfortable but I think I'll need to be replacing them as I wore them out on this trip.

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Fashion Lessons I Learned in Europe

As I walked through the streets of London and Amsterdam this spring break, I loved looking at what people were wearing. Especially in fashion centers like Chelsea, London, and the Canal Belt in Amsterdam, I saw so many people with an amazing sense of style. Here are four lessons I learned from them.

1. Come prepared

Europe is notorious for unpredictable weather, but everyone seemed to be constantly prepared for anything. When the clouds parted, people pulled sunglasses out of their bags; when it began raining everyone was ready with umbrellas and a trench that doubled as a raincoat.

2. Practicality is key

Versatility seemed to be something that was important to both Londonites and Amsterdamers. I saw many people who opted for items that worked in all different conditions, like layering pieces, and had many different functions.

3. Quality over quantity

Especially in Amsterdam, people seemed to dress in high-quality pieces that fit perfectly. The "quality over quantity" mentality even carried over to a lot of the local stores I visited. Boutiques usually had curated collections with less, but better-quality items.

4. Keep it simple

I didn't see people on the street wearing as many patterns as I see in Washington DC, for example, or just in the US in general. Everyone was undeniably chic, but kept the number of different colors, cuts, and fabrics to a minimum.

What lessons do you learn from your city?


Afternoon at Windsor

Our visit to Windsor castle was one of my favorite excursions during our time in England. It's just a short train ride from London, and it's definitely worth taking time to see. The castle itself is breathtaking, and you're able to walk through rooms which are still used frequently by the royal family and learn about their history. The Queen herself was even in residence when we visited ! (although of course we didn't see her in person).

The town of Windsor itself, which is situated right around the castle, is charming. After our visit we took some time to have tea at a small tea shop within walking distance of the castle gate, and walked through some of the boutiques and side streets surrounding it. It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day - one of the best of our trip!

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Find the gorgeous pearl necklace here.


Five Essentials in a London Girl's Wardrobe

Maybe it's just me, but whenever I travel - especially overseas - I adore looking at people and what they're wearing. Fashion is such a unique thing to every person, but I definitely noticed patterns in what Londonites were wearing that were different from those in the US. After four days of observation, here's what I discovered were key pieces in every British woman's wardrobe:

1. The Perfect Crossbody

There were definitely a lot of tote bags in London but crossbody bags seemed to be much more universal. I saw endless varieties of different brands, sizes, and colors - most worn underneath an unbuttoned trench (see above). I also stumbled upon the Cambridge Satchel Company when I went shopping in Covent Gardens, and I'm in love with their brand philosophy and history. My favorite is their Cloud Bag - the scalloped flap is gorgeous.

2. The Double-Breasted Trench Coat

Trenches, especially Burberry trenches, were everywhere. I can see why - they're the perfect balance of fashion and function. They're lightweight enough to be comfortable in warm weather, but block the wind on chilly days, and they're often waterproof (which is essential when you live in a city known for its rain). On top of that, they look amazing. My favorites have tortoiseshell buttons and a belted waist.

3. Raybans

I was surprised to find that Rayban sunglasses are so popular across the pond. I saw lots of people sporting many of the same styles that are popular in the states (read: the clubmasters, originals, and aviators). Most of our days in the city were very sunny, but even on partly cloudy days, everyone in the city was always prepared for the sun with glasses.

4. The Skinny Jean

When I think about it, I don't remember seeing anyone wearing boot cut jeans. The women who were wearing jeans (which were a lot, especially on the weekends) opted instead for a classic skinny leg, which was often cuffed especially when paired with flats or chelsea boots.

5. The Chelsea Boot

I was honestly surprised that in all of my days in London, I didn't see one pair of Hunter rain boots. Now, this is probably due to the fact that it (miraculously?) didn't rain, but still - I expected to see at least someone with them on. They are the quintessential English footwear, are they not? However, what I did see were chelsea boots - and they were everywhere. They're definitely popular back in the states, but nowhere near the level that they seem to be in London. Like with the trench coat,  they check all the boxes for form and function, and I've even seen a few that are entirely waterproof.

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White Garden

top (original from J.Crew, similar style here) // sweater //  jeans // tote // watch // shoes 

This spring, my family and I decided to vacation in Europe. Friday morning we arrived in London, and one of the first places we visited during our first full day in the city was Kensington Gardens. The name is a little deceiving - "gardens" makes the area sound small, when in reality it's a large expanse of green complete with shady trees, paths and even two ponds. The White Garden is a memorial to Princess Diana and one of my favorite places in Kensington. It's a smaller space that's separated from the main green by a line of hedges, and inside there are beautiful flowers and fountains. This would be an amazing spot for a picnic or day out!

More posts about our London adventure coming soon, and Monday we leave for Amsterdam!

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Mother's Day Gift Guide

With mother's day in just a little over a month, it's time to think about how you want to show your mother your appreciation for her and everything she does. Treating her to a gift (whether small or big!) is a lovely way to make her day and give her something that will remind her of how amazing she is every time she uses it.

J.Crew Signet Bag - This bag has it all. It's functional, classic and perfect for everything from a business meeting or an evening out to a day at home. It also comes in a grand total of seven different color combinations with the option for monogramming, which means you can personalize it to fit to your mother's wardrobe.

Monogrammed Pajamas - I think it's a general rule that most mothers appreciate quality pajamas. Treating your mom to something ultra-soft, ultra-chic, and perfectly tailored can make the perfect present. Go the extra mile and get it monogrammed!

Simple Bracelet - This is a great option because it can be personalized to almost any mother. Jewelry in general is a very popular gift for mothers, but bracelets are my favorite to give as they're a classic piece that can be customized to suit your individual budget and your mom's personal style. I've included a few different options below from all different price points. Charm bracelets are also a great choice.

Silk Scarf - This is the perfect accessory for anyone. It's classic, clean, and comes in many different prints and colors. Your mother can wear it around her neck (very Parisian) or tied around the strap of her bag.

Moccasins - My mother has a pair of these moccasins from LL Bean and absolutely adores them. They're ultra soft, warm, and functional without sacrificing style.

Sugar Lip Balm - A luxury beauty item makes a great gift; lip balms (I like the one from Fresh) can be a better choice than lipsticks as they can be used every day no matter the occasion.

Perfume - This can be a tricky one, but if you know your mother and her tastes well a perfume is a perfect present that often comes pre-packaged in a box perfect for wrapping. Jo Malone has lots of different scents and is my personal favorite.

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What are your plans for mother's day?