Dresslily Wish List

I have a bit of a floral obsession. My closet is full of floral patterns, but I’m always drawn to the print no matter what the season is. One of my favorite things about the pattern is how easy it is to transition from summer to fall with a few key accessories, so I’ve linked a few items from Dresslily that I’m eyeing to take me from August through October! Psst, all items are under $50!

Deep V Floral Dress: this is 100% in my shopping cart. I’m envisioning it with my cognac cutout booties already

Embroidered Heels: Full disclosure, I’ve already ordered these but they haven’t arrived yet! I love that they’re a fun take on the standard neutral heel, and can’t wait to pair this with floaty dresses through the summer and jeans in the fall

Backlesss Maxi: you all know I love a good floral maxi, and I’m drawn to this one because of its dark color scheme, as well as how you can tie it different ways! This dress could easily be worn from now through mid-October

One Shoulder Embroidered Bodysuit: I couldn’t not put a bodysuit in here. I can envision this with ankle strap heels in the summer and black over the knee boots all through fall!

Off The Shoulder Floral Blouse: I love a good off the shoulder top, and think this nude color is a great share to easily transition between the seasons. I’m picturing it with jean shorts in the summer as shown on the model and with black jeans in the fall!

Printed Kimono: I actually have this in a longer version in white! I like the short black version because it can easily be paired with shorts, jeans, and dresses alike, and the darker pattern helps it go from one season to another seamlessly

Button Up Maxi Dress: okay, one more floral maxi for good measure. I’ve been gravitating towards red a lot more lately, so I might just like this for its pattern more than its multiple season wearabilitiy, but I’m going to make the case that the long sleeves make it more fall-friendly!

 

A Little Prep In My Step

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Raise your hand if you had a preppy phase. In middle and early high school, I wanted nothing more than to look like I was out of a Hollister or Abercombie catalogue. I had pages from the magazine and even shopping bags of beach babes and shirtless men plastered all over my bedroom! (Sorry, mom.) Layered, popped polos paired with jean skirts – and UGGS of course – was what all the cool kids were wearing. When I was finally old enough to work at the retailers, I didn't even wear their clothes anymore! I ended up working at Hollister in college (retail by day, Papa John's by night – pure glamour) but I rarely wore the clothes outside of the store.

I dabbled in the preppy world a bit after college, but those dresses and tops now hang unworn in my closet – I know, I know, I need to take my own advice and do a wardrobe cleanse! I've since gravitated towards a more boho style, but in the summer I am drawn to some peppier pieces. (By the way, don't get me wrong, I don't dislike preppy outfits and think some girls look adorable in them, it's just not my thing anymore!) Seersucker screams J Crew to me, but I loved that the keyhole on this Zaful dress made it a little different than your typical striped summer dress. This dress also has POCKETS! I forgot to take pictures that show them off, but they're there and fantastic.

This is probably TMI, but I wore this dress to the movies and the keyhole made getting popcorn out of my top so much easier. Highly recommend a cutout dress for popcorn eating. I know, I disgust myself too.

Shop My Look

Dress | Zaful

Shoes | Vestique (similar) 

Bag | Rebecca Minkoff 

Join Me For the Undeniable Boutique One Year Anniversary Party!

Puppies, poptails, and cute clothes? That’s my kind of party. 

I’m so excited to be partnering with Undeniable Boutique to celebrate their one year anniversary at their Mosaic Location and am sharing this post because I wanted to extend an invitation to all of my fellow fashion-forward gals in the DC area! Undeniable Boutique is one of my favorite, woman-owned businesses and I’m so excited to be part of this milestone with them. 

I’d love to have you join me for the party on Sunday, August 27 from 1 – 4 pm at their Mosaic Location. There will be poptails (prosecco popsicles, anyone?), plenty of new arrivals, spray tans by my girl Tiffany at On The Glow Nova, and Alicia (UB’s fab owner) has graciously decided to donate a portion of sales from the event to Pet Rescue Alliance. (Alicia and I initially bonded over our love for rescue dogs!) 

If you can attend, please RSVP here: http://bit.ly/UBParty.

Read on for more details about about the store and the special guests at the event! 

SPRAY TANS & POPTAILS Email

I’ve written about Undeniable Boutique in previous posts (here, here, and here), and it’s one of my favorite retailers for a multitude of reasons. First of all, the pieces they carry aren’t easily found in the District, and they stock limited quantities so everything is unique and there’s a slim chance you’ll run into someone wearing the same thing as you. Second, it’s a local, woman-owned, small business, so it automatically gets brownie points. Last but not least, the staff is incredible. They are so friendly and accommodating and you walk out of there feeling like you just went shopping with your best friend. Alicia, the boutique owner, and I instantly connected over of love of dogs and doing everything we can to help find adoptable dogs their forever homes, and we eventually discovered that my company designed her first retail space in Fairfax Corner! Small world, it’s freaky.

I’ve only ever had one spray tan. It was from Tiffany at On The Glow NOVA and I don’t think I’ll ever get another fake tan from anyone but her. My spray looked SO real (the pictures in this post were shot two days after I got my spray) and Tiffany is the definition of a southern belle. She’s extremely hospitable, efficient, and makes you feel super comfortable even though you’re standing in a pop-up tent basically naked while she creates a perfect glow!

If you don’t already know, I’m a huge animal advocate and volunteer at my local animal shelter on the weekends as a dog walker. Alicia and I are both major supporters of “adopt, don’t shop” and a portion of sales from the event will be donated to the Pet Rescue Alliance, an organization where she ended up getting one of her pups! The alliance helps match rescue dogs from Texas with fosters and forever homes on the east coast and has been completely swamped this summer so we’re hoping this event will help bring some awareness to their mission! P.S. THERE WILL BE DOGS FROM THE ALLIANCE AT THE EVENT! You will probably find me with a poptail in one hand and my other hand petting a dog the entire time.

 

Palm Print For Bottomless Brunch

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You ain’t seen the end of palm print pieces from me yet! The print is such a fun, fresh take on florals that I can’t stop gravitating towards pieces with it. While I was browsing Zaful, it instantly jumped out at me and I knew it would be perfect for brunching. I pretty much consider brunching a sport, so I always opt for flowy dresses to allot for the essentials — bottomless mimosas and homefries.

I saved this dress for a girl’s day at the Capitol Riverfront with one of my best friends and it was the perfect look for brunching then frolicking along the waterfront and petting strangers’ dogs. (We’re both completely obsessed with dogs…but we always make sure to ask the owners first before we play with them!)

I’m wearing a small in this dress and it runs a little big. I had to shorten the straps and secure them with safety pins, but I plan on actually sewing the straps because I think this piece will be on repeat in the summer months! I usually wear studs, so I’m trying to work on my earring game and feel like this earrings are a good way to ease into it because they’re subtle but still statement-making.

Shop My Look

Dress | Zaful 

Earrings | Zaful

Shoes | Hushpuppies

Puppy | Wolf Trap Animal Rescue

Styling For the Summer Heat

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I think my spirit animal might be a 15 year old boy. I sweat so much in the summer, I’ve resorted to wearing two different types of extra strength deodorant to try and help my perspiration! I have an insanely hyperactive nose (just another clue that I was a dog in my former life) so I probably don’t really smell, but no one likes getting sweaty on the way to work and then having to sit in a freezing cold office all day long.

I’ve shared my tips for dressing for a sweaty commute in this previous post, but I’ve picked up some new tips along the way (my commute to the Metro has also increased to a mile since I wrote that last post!) and I’m sharing some advice from some of my favorite fashionistas on how they beat the heat!

  • Cotton is key: this lightweight top from StyleWe is insanely breathable thanks to its cotton eyelet fabric, even though it is a long sleeve piece. I’ve also shared how breathable my other top from the brand is in this post.
  • Getting your hair off your neck is a life-changer: I’ve recently started wearing my hair in a bun to keep it off my neck, and I swear it makes your body temperature at least five degrees cooler.
  • Carry a bottle of ice water with you: I know this isn’t a style tip, but I notice a huge difference when I stay hydrated on my walk, and the ice water helps bring down your body temperature

Shop My Look:

Top | StyleWe

Pants | TopShop

Mules | Hush Puppies

Now some of my favorite stay-cool tips from my fashion-forward friends!

Go for looser cuts and styles. Avoid skin-tight clothing and clothing that will constrain your body as you move around on a hot day. In general, looser is cooler in hot weather. Stick to shapes that fall away from the body. The less fabric touching your skin, the cooler you’ll feel.” – Marisa Gonzalez of DC Style Factory for Alexandria Storybook

“It’s cooling down a bit (for now) but aside from that, offices are always chilly. I always keep a cardigan or a scarf at my desk.” – Caroline Downing of The CaroLove

“Instead of selecting a structured piece to finish your look, opt for a rayon or silk jacket that drapes. And, be sure your base layer is dressy enough to stand on its own so if you do remove that jacket outside, your look is still finished.” – Rosana Vollmerhausen of DC Style Factory 

 

A Breezy Zaful Dress For An Evening At Kyirisan

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Tuesday night, my friend Roxanne and I got to experience a five course wine pairing meal at Kyrisian (with the manfriend and Husband of Glam in tow, of course) and it was so amazing I had to dedicate a post to it. If you’re unfamiliar with the restaurant, it’s an Asian-French fusion spot tucked in The Shay. The service is fantastic, the decor is fabulous, and the dishes are a truly innovative take on fusion food

The four of us unexpectedly ended up at Kyirisan last winter for dinner after a movie and we loved the restaurant so much we hadn’t stopped talking about a return trip since that night. Somehow I ended up on the Kyirisan email list and the second I received a note about a five course meal with wine pairing from Early Mountain Vineyards for $85, I instantly forwarded it to Rox—we may have been the first people to make reservations because we jumped at the chance to attend so quickly. (Disclaimer, a five course meal with five glasses of wine for that price is a HUGE steal for DC dining prices. Most pre-fixe meals in DC start around $80 without drinks.) 

We all went to the restaurant straight from work and Rox and I were matching without even telling the other what we were wearing so we had to snap a twinning photo. My midi dress is from Zaful and it’s a perfect breezy piece that takes me from my sweltering commute to a freezing cold office to after work drinks. The best part? It’s only $12 and comes in four different colors! You can shop it here.   

At the dinner, we were greeted with a glass of rosé and passed hors d’oeuvres while the guests settled in. One of the biggest highlights of the experience for me was that the chef was generous enough to make my dishes vegetarian, which is pretty unlikely when it comes to large tasting groups! Once we were seated, Winemaker Ben Jordan of Early Mountain Vineyards talked us through what we were about to experience, and then we ate all the things. The dishes ranged from a take on sushi with watermelon and hot mustard to a spicy gnocchi tofu topped with popcorn (my favorite!) to a homemade blondie truffle as a goodbye treat. We actually ended up getting to sample six glasses of wine and Gerald and I liked two of the bottles so much we were able to order them from the restaurant with a discount! 

The dinner was one of my favorite events of the month, and the restaurant is planning on hosting more, so keep an eye out! 

Shop My Look:

Dress | Zaful 

Shoes | Hush Puppies 

Bag | Forever21

 

Note: this post was not sponsored, I just really had an awesome time! 

DC Drink Local Guide

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Photography by Dave Mentzer

You guys already know that I’m a huge advocate of shopping small and local, but I haven’t talked about drinking local very much. Over the past few years, the DC drink scene has exploded bringing with it breweries, distilleries, and more. I love the authentic experience you get from drinking at the same place where the beverage was made, and have a feeling I’m not alone, so I’ve rounded up my favorite local spots for sampling the District’s best spirits and brews.

DC Brau: Dave and I went to DC Brau for a few drinks and we drank a few too many, but still had a blast. The brewery is located in a warehouse district, but inside, it’s filled with graffiti from notable DC artists, two bars, and the staff is extremely knowledgeable and welcoming. We had a great time touring the space and they even let us in on a secret IPA/Pilsner mix that one of the bartenders created and isn’t available in stores! Definitely worth the trek to NE, DC

Republic Restoratives: the first reason I love this place is because it’s woman-owned – which is super badass – but the reasons don’t stop there. The distillery space is adorable, the cocktails are dangerously delicious, and the bartenders and marketing team are insanely accommodating. I can’t wait to make another trip out to Ivy City with the manfriend to show him how amazing the distillery is!

Cotton & Reed: located right next to Union Market, this is DC’s first rum distillery. Fun fact — the owners met each other while working at NASA and left their corporate jobs to open the distillery as a passion project. With amazing decor and unique cocktails, this is a must-see spot the next time you’re shopping at Union Market

Right Proper Brewing: I love this brewery — not only because it’s just a few blocks from my place, but I’ve always had an amazing experience there. I didn’t even realize how many milestones I’ve celebrated at this brewery – first dates, taking my brother out in DC for the first time, ringing in NYE 2017… – until I was writing this blog post. The brewery has amazing food, and brews to suit any palette from IPAS to wheat beers to funky stouts

Bluejacket Brewery: tater tots, fried cheese curds, and craft beer…need I say more? Bluejacket Brewery was one of the first spots I went out to when I moved in DC and I still love it just as much as I did in 2014. The ever-evolving beer list is fantastic, the space vibrant and lively, and the food is amaze. My old roommate and I once went there and ordered $20 of just potato-based products…

Jo A. Magnus & Co.: this distillery is new to me and I want to tell everyone I meet about it. I had the pleasure of meeting one of the Distillers and Marketing Manager at an event my company hosted a week ago and I was blown away by the quality of the spirits. Originally a bourbon distillery, Jo A. Magnus also makes gin and vodka and it’s the best gin I’ve ever had. So smooth I drank it with just an ice cube! Bonus points, it’s located above Atlas Brew Works, so you can hit both in the same visit! (It’s also around the corner from Republic Restoratives!)

ANXO Cidery: tucked in a super cool space in Truxton Circle is one of DC’s first ciderys and pintos bar, ANXO. (I have no clue how to pronounce it.) I went here for a dinner while a college friend from out of town was visiting, and while I’m not a huge fan of small plates, I loved the experience we had here. You can get a cider flight to sample all of their offerings, and the staff was very eager to explain the cider process to us! I might not go back for dinner, but would definitely go back for happy hour and drinks!

Ballerina Vibes

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As someone who grew up doing ballet, I’m instantly drawn to anything that is reminiscent of the art. Ballerinas seriously do not get enough credit for their style, strength, discipline, and grace. From the blush and black palette that fills their dance wardrobe, to their long, lean lines from hours of practice and strength training—ballerinas are pretty much everything I aspire to be. (Not kidding, I texted my friend this morning saying that my workout goals were to look like one of the cast members from Dancing With The Stars.)

I felt like a total ballerina wannabe in this beautiful blush slip dress and topknot combo a few weekends ago for PR extraordinaire Isoke’s launch party in Georgetown. To be honest, I just didn’t have time to do my hair after work and make the event in time, so that’s why I tossed my hair up in a bun. I probably wouldn’t style my hair like this with this dress again because it’s almost too ballerina-inspired, but it worked for the night.

I just want to take a second to rave about this dress. It’s from woman-owned boutique Whistle & Wild and while I love all of the shop’s pieces, I’ve never been so impressed with one as I am with this dress. The quality is insane. It’s made of the softest satin material, fully lined, AND has pockets.

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It’s technically a slip dress, but I felt like it overwhelmed my frame a little bit so I belted it to define my waist. I can definitely see myself wearing it not belted with my hair down and chunky heels in the future!

Thanks for snapping my pics, Dani

Shop My Look

Dress | Whistle & Wild

Shoes | LuLu*s

Belt | Forever 21

 

 

Summer Essentials & $25 to Smile Brilliant!

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Despite how much I complain about the humidity and sweating while walking to work, I’m a summer girl at heart. Few things make me feel more like myself than a sun kissed glow and cutoff shorts! I’m linking my summer essentials below and offering you a $25 coupon so you can snag one of my favorite items for yourself! 

Garnier BB Cream:  I tan extremely easily and it takes a lot of unprotected sun exposure for me to burn, but since skin cancer runs in my family I need to be careful. I like wearing Garnier BB cream with SPF 25 under my face makeup every day to help protect my skin from the sun while I’m walking to and from work or strolling around town. I wear medium/deep in the spring and summer and light/medium once my tan starts to fade. 

Smile Brilliant: I started whitening my teeth last winter with Smile Brilliant and have loved my results! (You can see my full review and before/after pictures here.) While I’ve already gone through the main whitening process, I still use Smile Brilliant a few times a week because I am a serial red wine and coffee drinker and don’t want the stains to come back! You can get $25 off your own at-home whitening kit here and view the benefits of whitening with custom trays here

Denim Shorts: finding a pair of denim shorts that don’t scream mom length but yet don’t show your butt cheeks is really hard. After searching high and low last summer, I discovered these Levi’s 501 shorts and now own them in two colors! I should have snagged a white pair earlier this season but definitely plan on getting another pair in a different wash 

Lightweight Tees: I used to hate graphic tees, but now I love how versatile they are and how breathable the cotton is during the summer! I snagged this tee up from Whistle & Wild and ordered a size up so I could knot it or blouse it with highwaisted pants

Don’t forget to claim your $25 coupon to Smile Brilliant and I hope this summer is shaping up to be your best yet!

City Guide To Seaside, Florida

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Man, it is has taken me a long time to write this post—but my guide to Seaside, Florida is finally here! Seaside is a magical little town in the Florida panhandle on the Gulf side, which is why the water looked so blue in the photos I’ve been sharing! Gerald’s aunt owns a condo in the neighboring Watercolor community (that’s how we found out about the town) and she graciously lets us stay there when we visit. 

Seaside is a master-planned community, which is why all of the homes are adorable pastel colors and why the area is so walkable. So walkable in fact, that we didn’t rent a car our first year. We ended up renting one this year because Gerald wanted to play golf and the taxi rates racked up pretty quickly the year before, but it’s definitely not necessary. The area is pretty small and there aren’t very many blog posts floating around out there, so I figured I’d put out my thoughts on the best places to eat, things to do, and of course—where to shop. (P.S. you can shop my look at the bottom of this post!)

EAT  

The Taco Bar: it’s become a bit of a tradition for us to go to this colorful taco stand on our first night of the trip. Aside from a great selection of tacos, burritos, and salads, the outdoor spot is perfect for people watching while sipping a Corona

Great Southern Cafe: as a vegetarian, I’m not a huge fan of southern food because it isn’t too friendly for us herbivores, but Great Southern gets the mix between veggie-friendly and comfort food just right 

Bud And Alley’s Pizza Bar: with a huge outdoor seating area, views of the gulf, and great pizza, this is probably my favorite restaurant in town. Definitely don’t forget to order an appetizer of avocado toast — It’s probably the best I’ve ever had 

Seaside Slipstreams: Seaside is full of quirky amenities and the slipstreams are certainly one of them. Lined up in front of the town center, the slipstreams are kind of like mini, permanent food trucks. You can find everything from BBQ to grilled cheese to smoothie stations at the slipstreams—perfect for a quick lunch or casual dinner  

DRINK 

Amavida Coffee: I feel like I’m cheating by putting this in my guide because it’s the only coffee shop in Seaside, but whatever. They have a great cold brew and a cute patio where you can enjoy your caffeine! 

Bud and Alley’s – okay by now you’re probably wondering if Bud and Alley own Seaside, and TBH I have no idea who they are, so they might. This roofdeck bar is where we always head when we get into town and grab a drink while we wait for our room to be ready. We also end up here at least three other times to watch the sun set because it’s the best view in Seaside. The drinks are pricer than at most of the other restaurants, but it’s worth it for that view!

Beach Club Grill & Rita Bar: located at the WaterColor Inn, the beach bar overlooks the resort’s pool and the beach and it’s pretty much picture perfect. They have a daily happy hour so we liked to head up there after spending the day on the beach or the pool for a drink before we got ready for dinner 

Great Southern Cafe: I included this in both food and drink because it has a really good happy hour on the bar patio. The atmosphere here is super lovely and I love people-watching everyone strolling around the town center!  

DO 

Explore neighboring beaches: the first year we came we never ventured out of WaterColor or Seaside, and I was determined to change that this year. Nestled along Highway 30 A, Seaside neighbors tons of beautiful beaches including standout Rosemary and Alys Beach. It’s definitely worth it to make a trip out to the towns to see their unique architecture and explore the restaurants, but I wouldn’t recommend biking there like we did unless you’re in way better shape than I am and have a legit bicycle—not the “pedal backwards to stop” bikes we were on

Go for a bike ride: contrary to that last point, go for a short bike ride through Seaside or to the nearby Publix. If you have a bike basket or backpack you can stock up on groceries or drinks and it’s way cheaper at the grocery store than at the tiny market in town 

Walk around the pastel houses: take a meandering stroll throughout the colorful neighborhoods and take in the sights of all of the adorable homes! Every single house in Seaside is a different design and has its own name and color scheme. The neighborhoods are practically begging to be Instagrammed

Catch the sunset at Bud and Alley’s: every night, the waterfront bar has a contest where diners and bargoers guess what time the sun will set and when the sun finally sets, the team rings a massive bell and the winner gets a free drink. It sounds silly, but everyone gets really into it and you really can’t beat the views from the bar! 

SHOP

DejaVu Boutique: nestled in the town center is a haven for all girls who crave an effortless, beachy boho style. The boutique is totally southern, but sources finds you won’t see in your standard DC retailers. I picked up this off-the-shoulder dress last year and the green maxi you guys loved from Gerald’s UVA reunion there! 

Sundog Books: there are fews things I love more than reading a book poolside, so Gerald and I always head here to stock up on beach reads. They have a fantastic selection of books and upstairs is a record store! It’s worth it to go inside just to grab a magazine so you can check out the decor 

Persipcacity: envision an outdoor farmer’s market — now imagine that instead of produce, all of the stands are selling accessories and clothes. This outdoor market is not only adorable, but stocked with great finds if you want to bring back a souvenir for friends or pick up a pompom beach bag

The Seaside Style: this is probably pretty lame to admit as someone who calls themselves a fashion blogger, but I love souvenir t-shirts and Gerald and I have started picking them up from the places we go to together. I usually opt for an oversized, long sleeve tee and love wearing them around the apartment because they bring back so many great memories. It definitely doesn’t hurt that the Seaside store has fantastic branding and very tasteful color palettes for their products—this is definitely nothing like a boardwalk beach store 

Shop My Look: