Thursday, March 22, 2018

White and Blue in Charleston

Blouse (similar) - Impeccable Pig / Shorts - J. Crew Factory / Bag - Clare V / Earrings - BaubleBar / Sandals (similar here and here) - Sole Society

Here's hoping you aren't sick of Charleston pictures yet, because I have this last set of photos for you!! As I've said a couple of times, I fell in love with the boutique chain Impeccable Pig while I was down in Charleston, and I actually snagged this blouse from there the day before! The sales girl actually went and pulled it from the back (it was so new it hadn't been steamed yet!) because she thought it would work on me, and man was she right! It's the perfect easy-breezy vacation top because it's a nice, light fabric that works in the heat or when it's cooler, and works with shorts here, but would also be great over a swimsuit or dressed up for dinner.

I was waiting to post this look because I still haven't been able to find this top online - not sure if it's still too new, or if it just won't be on their website. But, I did find a few similar tops that I've linked below:

I really can't wait to go back to Charleston, I don't know if I've expressed that from all of the blog posts and Instagram posts hahaha. It just is such a cute little town, and I love that there are pretty vignettes down every alleyway and hidden path. It just seems like there's so much to explore that you would never see everything!

This particular path reminded me a lot of Positano, Italy. Obviously we aren't on a crazy hill here or climbing up and down fourteen flights of stairs. For me, the resemblance is because we wandered down this little path that we could have walked right past without a second glance, but there are actually business and home entrances on every side. It's also fun to imagine what life was like in this particular spot three hundred or even four hundred years ago! We just don't have that sort of history here in Chicago. Or, like, sun in February. Why do I live in Chicago again?!

Blouse (similar, or similar as a romper) - Impeccable Pig / Shorts - J. Crew Factory / Bag - Clare V / Earrings - BaubleBar / Sandals (similar here and here) - Sole Society

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Pretty Little Spring Dresses under $50, $100, and $150

Do you have any fun spring events you're going to have to dress up for in the near future? Between Easter, wedding showers, baby showers, and weddings, there are a few special occasions I'm going to have to dress up for this spring! I've worn all of my fancy dresses a bunch of times, so I'm definitely on the lookout for a new dress or two to add to the closet.

As much as I love to splurge, for special occasion dresses, sometimes it's best to shop on a budget. After all, you won't wear them as often as a great pair of jeans or the perfect blazer, so the cost per wear is pretty high. So here are some options, under $50, under $100, and under $150. So you can look good and not feel bad about it!!

one / two / three / four / five

one / two / three / four / five

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

White Jeans Season

Sweater - Halogen / Jeans - Gap / Coat - J. Crew / Bag (similar here and here)- Target / Flats (similar here and here) - Banana Republic / Necklace - Stella & Dot

Cheers to the first day of spring!!! It may be, oh, 35 degrees in these parts, but we're still celebrating.

I've pulled out the white jeans a few times already this year, but the first day of spring, for me, means it's now officially white jeans season!! I love how fresh they make all of my spring outfits look - they just give a little something more than your average blue jeans!

I've tried a lot of white jeans, and these ones are definitely my favorites. They aren't see through, they're the right length (I actually just get them in Long, not Tall - the talls are actually too long for me!), and you can't see the pockets - check, check, and check. Plus, they go on sale about once a week so you can always get a deal.

I obviously am still loving this super cute sweater - the bow detail is so fun!! It has been super popular so now it's available in seven different colors. I've been wearing it at least once a week for the past couple months - don't judge! Sometimes I pair it with my bow mules when I want to be really extra. Which, let's be real, is always ;)

Sweater - Halogen / Jeans - Gap / Coat (similar) - J. Crew / Bag (similar here and here)- Target / Flats (similar here and here) - Banana Republic / Necklace - Stella & Dot

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Monday, March 19, 2018

This Weekend...

This weekend I...

...watched a whole lot of basketball - anyone else? We went out to the corner bar for a bit on Friday to watch the games, but Jeff is a Virginia fan (in case you aren't into basketball, they basically had the worst loss in the history of March Madness) so I ended up leaving him to watch the game and I spent my Friday night reading haha. I ended up finishing The Idiot - it was a really interestingly-written novel featuring a deep look inside the mind of a very different college freshman at Harvard in the '90s. Definitely not an easy read and a lot more intellectual, but I really enjoyed it.
...celebrated my cheat day on the old diet with brunch at Corridor, and then spent the rest of the day talking with people about how good brunch at Corridor is. I got the breakfast pizza. Breakfast pizza is the best invention of the 21st century.
...we also had pizza for dinner at Lou Malnati's, my fav deep dish in the city. Now that's a cheat day for you right there ;) I feel like I'm always hearing Chicagoans say that they don't like deep dish or it's not their favorite, but that is NOT my opinion. Sure, we go for regular pizza 10x more often than deep dish, but that's just because if I ate that much deep dish I'd probably literally die.
...went to our friend Eddie's house for Saint Patrick's Day, and all ended up hanging out on his stoop out in the sun for a good hour or two. Despite the fact that it was 42 degrees out and we didn't have our coats. The sun was beating down hard, which meant that, as true Chicagoans, we basically had to be outside. Let me tell you, I actually was hot! We wound up at Cork Lounge afterwards for some Irish music and definitely not Irish domestic beers ;)
...scrolled through the new arrivals at Nordstrom to work on a post for later this week, and had to order this dress (it's the prettiest lavender/mauve color and less than $50!) and this floaty white blouse that's only $30!

I hope you had a good one!!

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Friday, March 16, 2018

Friday Finds

Happy Friday!! I'm so happy this day has finally rolled around, especially because I thought all day YESTERDAY was Friday. Isn't that the worst?!

We don't have a ton of plans for the weekend besides attending our friend Eddie's annual St. Patrick's Day party, where he kicks us all out of his house by two pm so he can go see a traditional Irish band play. Don't worry, we're invited to see the band too ;) I'm just always so amused by a party that ends by two!

Below are my finds for the week, including my favorite white shorts that are back in stock! These are the only white shorts I've worn for probably four years now. Mine are starting to look a little dingy, so I'm thinking it may be time for a new pair. I also find this super cute Clare V dupe in case you've had an eye on my bag but are looking for something more budget friendly. Just a note - this is the bigger size, so don't expect it to be little like mine!

one / two / three / four / five

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Rediscovering An Old Favorite

Sweater (similar here and here) - Banana Republic / Tank - Kohl's (these are my favorite camis, I've worn them for years!!) / Jeans - Old Navy / Coat - J. Crew / Shoes and Necklace (super similar) - BP / Bag (similar here and here, I also love this option for spring!) - Sole Society / Watch - Wristology

So often I find myself reaching only for newer pieces in my closet, especially when I know I'll be sharing an outfit here. Of course all of the newer clothes in my closet are for warm weather and I am so sick of the four sweaters I've been rotating through since January, so I went rooting around in my drawers and found this cute little poncho sweater! I seriously forgot what a great piece it is for the winter - on warmer days you can wear it over a tank like I'm doing here, or you can wear it over long sleeves or even a button down

I'm actually really glad to have found this little sweater in the back of my closet, because I almost just bought a super similar style. So thank you to past me for so carefully folding up this sweater and saving it for later, so I could save my clothing budget for more shoes. Always more shoes :) 

Sweater (similar here and here) - Banana Republic / Tank - Kohl's (these are my favorite camis, I've worn them for years!!) / Jeans - Old Navy / Coat - J. Crew / Shoes and Necklace (super similar) - BP / Bag (similar here and here, I also love this option for spring!) - Sole Society / Watch - Wristology

Linking up with How I Spring.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

A Weekend Guide to Charleston

Well, in case you couldn't tell, we freaking loved Charleston. We went a few weeks ago for a long weekend for my birthday, and it was one of the better decisions I've made. We were there for four full days, and filled them with lots of wandering and, of course, eating and drinking and eating and drinking ;)

A Long Weekend in Charleston

Where we stayed: 

The Belmond Charleston Place
Honestly, by the time we booked a lot of hotels and basically every B&B were sold out! So I really only considered a handful of hotels in the historic downtown area. I'm so glad we went with the Belmond, even though it was a little more than we really wanted to spend. The property itself is gorgeous and our room was huge with the marble bathroom of my dreams. We paid an extra ten dollars a night for a balcony, which could have been silly but the weather ended up being beautiful so we opened up the doors whenever we were in the room. Oh, and the best part? The rooftop pool and bar!! The weather was unseasonably warm, so it was so nice to be able to sneak in a little pool time and have a fun drink in the sun.

Where we ate: 

My cousin lives in Charleston and her husband is a chef at one of the restaurants downtown, so we mostly stuck with all of their restaurant recommendations. I mean, can you get any better than a chef picking out his favorite restaurants?! Really, we only had one non-amazing meal the whole trip and it was not actually in Charleston. Some of our favorites?

The Ordinary
Amazing and really inventive seafood dishes. Our favorites were the triggerfish and the ceviche - so freaking good!! The Ordinary is the kind of place where you could have a casual meal or go all out. Just definitely make a reservation - it was packed on Saturday by six.

Zero George Restaurant
We went for my fancy birthday dinner, and it definitely lived up to my dreams. We started with a drink at the bar, which is definitely something you should do too. Partially because they're great cocktails, but really just because the bartender was so passionate about mixology - it was so fun to chat with him! The dinner itself was a tasting menu that was amazing but not overly pretentious. Oh, and they somehow actually made me like lamb, normally the one meat I refuse to eat. Definitely make a reservation here too, their dining room is tiny!

We went here for a fun southern brunch, and Husk delivered! Really, I'm still dreaming about the brisket breakfast tartine I ate, and I basically had to drag Jeff away from the fried biscuit starter we ordered. You can choose dining room, bar, or porch when you make your reservation. I picked dining room because I figured the weather would be bad (hint: it wasn't) so I was definitely jealous of everyone sitting outside - it looked beautiful!

The new restaurant by the Xiao Bao Biscuit team, this was definitely the most inventive food we tried - it was described as Asian-Latin-Southern fusion small plates. Jeff and I have a hard time with small plates restaurants because we both order too much and we forget about vegetables, but this is actually the restaurant where my cousin's husband works, so we had him pick some dishes for us and help us balance things out. All of the veggie dishes actually ended up being our favorites (what?!), along with the agua chile and crudo - so good!!

We only got to have snacks and drinks here, but everything was. So. Freaking. Good. I could have eaten a hundred of their grilled oysters. And that's not just the drinks I had talking ;)

Where we drank: 

I mean, cocktails were pretty high on our to-do list for Charleston. On my birthday we basically just bar hopped with my cousin from brunch through dinner, because it was my birthday of course! Here were some of our favorite places:

The Belmont
This is not, repeat, NOT in the Belmond hotel haha. I thought people kept telling us to have drinks at our hotel, but no, no they were not ;) The Belmont is a dark, intimate little bar on Upper King with an impressively long cocktail list. Definitely a fun date spot!

Living Room in The Dewberry 
This is a fun retro spot, with classic and funkier cocktails. Plus we had a fun time chatting with the bartenders about how they were all Fraternity great-great-grand nephews of the guys from Southern Charm.

The Watch in The Restoration
This place had a fun cocktail list as well as beer and wine, but really? We came for the views! The bar is on the rooftop of The Restoration, and you can see the Arthur Ravenel Bridge on one side and the Ashley River on the other.

The Palace
A super divey, local place on Upper King that my cousin recommended for a fun night out - little did we know it's owned by Shep from Southern Charmed! Unfortunately according to Instagram, the boys all went there the night after us - which is fine, because then we ran into one of them at brunch ;)

Revelry Brewery 
This place has such a cool rooftop space and a beer list after my own heart. Chicago breweries are all in a competition to see whose beer can be hoppiest, but all of these were light and flavorful without being over the top, and they actually had an IPA I liked - maybe the first ever!

What we did: 

Took a photo tour
I really wanted to sign up for a walking tour in Charleston to learn a little history and so we could get our bearings. I was waffling over which company to go with, when I stumbled upon Say Charleston! Photo Tours. It is such a freaking good idea. You go on a walking tour through the South of Broad neighborhood, learning about history, just like any other tour. But as you go, Liz, the guide, stops to take photos of you! Every time we take a trip I get home and realize we forgot to take any pictures (ahem: except for Paris) so it was nice to know we'd have at least one good photo from Charleston. Jeff said had there been any more photos than there were he would have gotten annoyed, but I thought it was just the right balance of photos to tour. Plus, on top of the photos, the guide Liz was so fun and knowledgable!

Wandered through the South of Broad neighborhood
We ended up taking a few more walks in this area after our tour, and I swear, there was so much to explore I could seriously go every day! The houses in this area are all historic and beautiful, and there are hidden little alleyways everywhere. Plus a row of rainbow colored houses, appropriately named Rainbow Row.

Shopped on King Street
I usually don't subject Jeff to shopping on vacation, but in this case I had to make a few exceptions. All of the boutiques on King Street are so cute - my favorites were Candlefish and The Impeccable Pig. If you're looking to shop, I would say stick to King Street from Broad up to around Wentworth - further north than that it turns into all chains and then into a super college-y/tourist-y area. We also walked through the Charleston City Market, but really, if you're short on time, I would skip this. The local baskets were cool, but a lot of it felt pretty generic.

Visited a plantation
We ended up spending our final hours before hopping on a plane home at Magnolia Plantation. We loved the nature tour and saw an incredible number of alligators, including tiny little babies(!!!), and one alligator was RIGHT next to the open cart we were in - I pulled my feet all the way in haha ;) If you're going in February though, you may want to choose a plantation with more formal gardens. Magnolia is supposed to have a stunning free-form garden, but since nothing was blooming yet it really was just like walking through the woods.

Are you planning a trip to Charleston? Any questions? Just let me know!

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