Travel

Summer Nights

DSC_0593It’s been a little while since my last post, as we’ve been traveling most of spring, but I’m so excited to begin sharing our adventures with y’all! If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know I’m most excited to post about our California trip, but this evening I wanted to show you a look I wore while on a quick weekend getaway to Myrtle Beach. Now, the “dirty myrtle” isn’t the most luxurious destination, but we go every year for the Monday After the Master’s charity golf tournament, put on by Hootie and the Blowfish, and we always have a great time! Plus, it’s an easy 45 minute drive from home and who can say no to a little calabash shrimp buffet every once in a while?! (JOKING) Seriously though, it’s a weekend we look forward to every year and this year we were also able to spend it with my parents to celebrate my mom’s birthday! This evening’s look was what I wore to the M.A.M. concert that takes place after the tournament- talk about a good time!!
DSC_0602DSC_0588One of my absolute most favorite trends this summer is off the shoulder! The style is so feminine and flirty, and I love showing off my shoulders and collarbone. It’s something I can wear to be sexy without feeling overexposed. When I saw this top from one of my go-to brands, Show Me Your Mumu, I knew I had to have it! Not only does the white go with everything, but it really makes your tan skin glow after a long day on the beach. I paired the top with a pair of distressed boyfriend jeans to be sure to keep things casual and comfortable.
DSC_0620DSC_0606I accessorized with these fabulously boho layering necklaces from II Brunettes that have quite possibly been one of the best purchases I’ve ever made! I wear them together, separate, mixed with other necklaces- the options are seriously endless. I just love how the green pendant brings just a touch of color to this mainly neutral ensemble. I did stick with nude for my bag and shoes because I think it kept the outfit cohesive and classy. When in doubt- stick with neutrals!!  DSC_0590This is the perfect outfit for a summer night out to a concert, dinner date or drinks with friends. It’s super classy and put together, while still remaining casual and effortless, which is basically how I strive to look at all times {but realistically don’t}. If you wanted to dress this down even further for daytime, you could wear a pair of denim cutoffs with gladiator sandals and throw on a straw panama hat. (see below for this exact version on me!)

Top: Show Me Your Mumu | Pants: Joe’s Jeans from StyleDwell | Shoes: Dolce Vita from StyleXchange | Bag: GiGi New York from Trés Carmen Boutique | Necklaces: II Brunettes (1 available here)

unnamed-22How I dressed it down for daytime in Miami!!

NYC Recap Part 2

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I’m so excited to share with y’all the next two parts of our NYC adventure!! The next few days were full of more touristy stops, finally some NYFW shows and of course, lots of yummy food!! I’m going to pick up the morning where we left off- another day devoted fully to being a major tourist. This was the day that we did the most walking aka the most freezing!!

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We still had our double decker red bus passes, so we took advantage of that and rode around the city all day. Our first stop was the 9/11 Memorial to see the new Freedom Tower. Even having zero connection to the 9/11 tragedies, seeing where the awful attack happened is a pretty moving experience. Just reading the names of the people who lost their lives on that day- someone’s mother, child, brother, father- so many people were effected by it and being there just really makes you realize how blessed you are.

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NYC Tip: Hunter boots are a terrible idea unless you have ridiculously good boot warmers and socks. I was legit googling “frost bite” by the end of the day!!

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Dinner this night was quite the experience!! Todd was quite proud of himself for snagging a reservation at one of the hottest sushi bars in NYC, Sushi Nakazawa. However, this isn’t traditional sushi rolls. The famous Chef Nakazawa has specially crafted a tasting menu based on the style of Edomae sushi, which is basically just raw fish and vinegar rice. Read: no cream cheese or spicy mayo to get past the raw fish aspect. The only item available on the menu is the Chef’s 20 piece tasting menu, oh and the 7 course sake pairing!IMG_9830 IMG_9833

It’s definitely not something for the faint of heart {or stomach} because many of the pieces have quite the interesting flavors and textures- I have to admit there were a few I struggled to get down (see above pics to guess what). This wasn’t our best meal in NYC by any means and I can’t say I would go back, but Sushi Nakazawa was a once in a lifetime experience and a unique evening spent with my love!

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The next day, we had no trouble with full on LOVING every bit of our meal at The Spotted Pig in West Village!! This was by far one of my favorite restaurants we went to on this trip and will definitely be returning every time I’m in the city! Warning: it’s a small little building that doesn’t take reservations, so plan to come early! We came right when they opened and had no problem getting a table, but by the time we left the line was around the corner.

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We started with the house made pickles and deviled eggs- aka a southern girl’s heaven!! And they certainly lived up to my southern taste buds as well. For the meal, we did our traditional order 2 entrees and split them both, because is there really any other way to do it when attempting to eat your way through one of the biggest cities in the world? The Spotted Pig is known for it’s burger served with roquefort and shoe string fries, so that was a given, and yes it was everything we expected and more. THEN, then there was THE SPECIAL!! Holy Cow I don’t think I’ve ever had such a delicious dish in my whole life. Yeah, you read that right, this was quite possibly the best dish I’ve ever eaten! What was it you might ask- cow’s tongue. Yep, cow’s tongue is the best food I’ve ever put on this tongue! Seriously though, the flavor was unreal!! Luckily, they served the meat on top of a crusty piece of bread that I could soak up all the juices with after I was finished. I really cannot even tell you how imperative it is that you go to The Spotted Pig if you’re in NYC!

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That night was spent walking through Macy’s (stressful) and then back to our hotel to get ready for the night. Our dinner that night was at Lavo, so that we could head over to the night club and see Afrojack afterwards. Dinner was surprisingly delicious for a restaurant/nightclub combo and the atmosphere was lively to say the least! Unfortunately, I couldn’t hang at the club because I had a 6 am wakeup the next morning, so I left the hubby there and went back to snuggle up and prepare for my first day of shows!!

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In comes my first day of NYFW shows!! On the schedule for today: Mongol and Nicole Miller!!

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Being my first NYFW show ever, Mongol could’ve sent the ugliest clothes down the runway and I still would have been in heaven!! But instead, it was a beautiful show with lots of jewel tones. I especially drooled over all of the beautiful colors in the dyed furs!! After 10 days in New York, this Charleston girl’s dying for a dyed fur (totally didn’t do that on purpose either).

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Although all the important stuff goes on around the runway, the media tent at NYFW is pretty killer too!! Hellooo E! Fashion Police set!! Unfortunately, I was never there at the same time as filming, but it was pretty cool to see the set up!

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Ran into Louise Roe and one of my favorite bloggers, Amber Fillerup of Barefoot Blonde. Ignore my borderline possessed face in this picture!! But, nobody does braids like this girl right here!! Plus, she’s got the sweets to go along with her style- she was actually an angel!!

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After the show that morning, I caught up with my {majorly hungover} hubby for a beautiful brunch at Sarabeth’s by Central Park. The food wasn’t anything really special, but it’s a New York staple and we just couldn’t miss it! Plus, it’s location right by Central Park is perfect for getting a little peek. Or, if it’s the time of year when you can actually walk around the city without freezing, you could take a nice post-brunch stroll. Needless to say, we didn’t go that route and instead went back to the hotel for a nice little between shows nap!

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My next show I attended was Nicole Miller, thanks to Belk!! I was ecstatic to be there and she didn’t let me down!! The show was beautiful and showed that my favorite cool weather color, hunter green, isn’t going anywhere for next season! I always love her designs and it was one of the few at NYFW, where I would actually wear everything she sent down the runway!

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Each night, we went to grab drinks at a cute bar before dinner. Tonight, was easily my favorite bar in NYC- Boom Boom Room. Located on the top of The Standard Hotel in The Meatpacking area, Boom Boom Room had wrap around views of the city and the classiest atmosphere and people watching. I mean, when you’re rubbing shoulders with Kelly Osbourne and Catt Sadler, you know you’re in the right place! Plus, their drinks were YUMMY!!

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Dinner that night was at a traditional New York steakhouse- Keen’s, and tradition sure didn’t disappoint!! Two young guys from London sat next to us and were there for the 2nd night in a row eating a portion of lamb chops each and splitting the porterhouse steak. Needless to say, I think my hubby was a little jealous that he wasn’t there with them instead of his filet eating wife! The steaks were perfectly cooked and seasoned, and we truly had no complaints about our meal. A true New York steak experience!!

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HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY FROM NYC!!! Our morning was spent sleeping in, drinking espresso and yes, eating drug store Valentine’s candy. Basically, it was perfect!!

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After a morning of total laziness, we headed out for a delicious brunch at 44 & X. This was the perfect cute little place to top off a wonderful morning with each other! You can’t tell from the picture, but it was snowing the most beautiful snow that day and you could watch it right out the big restaurant windows- ah just absolutely perfect! Bonus: their bloodies were the most horseradishy bloodies I’ve ever tasted!! (Insert worshiping hands emoji)

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Fortunately, I only had a presentation that day, so I was able to spend most of it relaxing with my Valentine!! But, the presentation I did have, Joseph Singh, was absolutely flawless and I was so glad that I went! I’m majorly coveting the grey and white long dresses!! Plus, I got to chat with some other fabulous Carolina fashion peeps at the event!!

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Thanks so much for reading my second part of our trip to NYC and my experience at my first NYFW!! I can’t wait to share with y’all the 3rd and look out for my only official “outfit post” from the trip tomorrow morning!! Happy Sunday Funday!!

NYC Recap: Tourist Time

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My recent trip to New York City for NYFW was an absolute dream!! I had never been to the city (I know, I know totally un-American of me) and this was my first MBFW, so I was literally in heaven!! I’m so so excited to share with y’all the 10 days that I spent eating, exploring and eating my way through the city. This is just the first of many posts with a look into the first few days of our trip. We arrived on a Monday and Fashion Week didn’t start until Thursday, so we had lots of time to do allll of the tacky tourist attractions and boy did we! Clearly, from the picture above you can see that I won’t be doing any posts on how to pack lightly anytime soon. Hey, in my defense we were there for 10 days and had to pack lots of heavy items for the freezing temps!

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We stayed at The Archer Hotel on West 38th between 5th and 6th (if I had a dollar for every time I had to say that on the trip). I won’t complain too much, but it definitely wasn’t our favorite of hotels and my hubby has officially cut me off from picking in the future! While the hotel is brand new and super clean, the rooms were SO tiny (even for NYC) and the staff wasn’t exactly the friendliest or most accommodating. The location was a great central spot, but I fell in love with the meatpacking district so will probably stay more in that vicinity next time. I will say, The Archer Hotel has the best salted caramels that have ever graced the face of this earth- so that pretty much made up for everything else!

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Our first night, we had dinner at what was probably my favorite restaurant of the whole trip- ABC Kitchen. I knew I would love it after seeing pictures online and finding out that it was part restaurant, part home decor store, but the food also exceeded my expectations! Like many NYC restaurants, it didn’t look like much from the outside, but the inside was absolutely beautiful!! After a day of traveling (okay, maybe just a direct 2 hour flight from CHS>JFK, but still) I needed a cocktail, and the vodka thyme lemonade was absolutely perfect! I’m not a froo froo drinks kinda gal- aka give me vodka soda- but NYC has so many fabulous specialty cocktails that I just couldn’t resist. For dinner, we started with the tuna sashimi and house made sausage (weird combo, I know) and those were delish. But, the real highlight was the entree! We like to try a little of everything, so we shared the ricotta ravioli and the black bass. Now, I’m normally not a pasta or a fish fan, I mean I eat it but it never really wows me. Both of these dishes were unreal!! Everything they serve is made with fresh, organic ingredients and it shows! The flavor on the black bass was just out of this world- rich but kept the dish light at the same time. Clearly, I couldn’t even resist the ravioli long enough to take a picture! Seriously though, this was one of the best, if not the best restaurant we went to in New York. Look at the menu, I would literally eat everything on it!!

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After dinner, Todd wanted to take me to see Times Square at night. Enter my “Welcome to New York, It’s been waiting for you. Welcome to New York, Welcome to New York” moment! Seeing Times Square at night for the first time is something that will stick with me forever. Now, I will say that area turned out to be my least favorite part of the city, but seeing it is a big check off my bucket list and it was a pretty magical night!

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You may have seen my post on Instagram- Is it really your first morning in NYC if you don’t start it with a bagel?! I think not!! My hubby had done his research and knew that Russ & Daughter’s was the spot to go for an authentic New York bagel. However, upon walking in the shop I was a little overwhelmed with all of the fish! Luckily, I worked past that initial anxiety and even ordered a bagel with lox!! Which, I’m not a huge smoked salmon fan, but they were so nice and helped me pick a milder flavored option. This bagel was out of control y’all!! My mouth is watering just writing about it!! We ordered an everything bagel with salmon, scallion cream cheese, tomato and onion- mmm mmm perfect! We split it because this was just an appetizer to the meal we were walking a couple of blocks to next (I told you we ate our way through the city!). But, if you want a full sit down dining experience they do have an actual cafe rather than the store that just provides counter service. I prefer the counter service shop because of it’s convenience to our next stop, Katz’s Deli!

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Having been around for over 100 years, Katz’s Deli is a bit of a New York tradition and definitely one they need to keep! We had originally planned to go to The Carnegie Deli, but after seeing Anthony Bourdain go to Katz’s, we quickly made a change of plans! You can either order at the counter or do table service and we chose table service to get away from the cold weather for a bit. I knew I was going to like this place as soon as they brought us out a plate of house made pickles- who knew New Yorkers liked their pickles so much?! Since we had just scarfed down the bagel, we shared their classic pastrami sandwich on rye and a side of potato latkes. As you can see above, they really just don’t give you enough meat on your sandwich! I could barely fit my mouth around the whole thing, but it was delicious!! Definitely somewhere that you must stop when in NYC and I love the convenience of hitting both Russ & Daughter’s and Katz’s in the same meal!

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After that very hearty brunch, we needed to walk some food off so headed back to the Times Square area. I would not recommend this during the daytime, as there are people haggling you to buy stuff on every corner! Just keep walking and don’t make eye contact! But, we wanted to get tickets for one of the double decker buses- i’m telling you we were in serious tourist mode- and this was the best area for that. We wound up getting a 3 day pass with the Gray Line buses (the red ones). These were great for getting from place to place for a few days when wanting to site see, but I definitely wouldn’t rely on them for transportation your entire trip. Also, don’t count on the guides being very informative either! But, we enjoyed riding around and seeing everything in one easy swoop and having the flexibility to get off at any stop!

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See  ^ major tourist mode! Yes, those are Ugg boots in public and no, I do not even care. It was 20 degrees and my feet were warrrrm!! This puffy Patagonia jacket from Half Moon Outfitters was also pretty essential on casual days that we spent a lot of time outdoors. And not gonna lie, I’ve kinda grown to love it.

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What’s the number one tourist attraction you’ve got to see in NYC?! Top of the Empire State Building, of course!! This was another check off the ole bucket list and we so enjoyed getting to do this together!! The views are totally worth the wait in line and even the freezing wind at the top. Can you tell I’m cold in that last pic?! This was another one of those moments where you’re just in awe of where you are and how pretty freaking awesome life is! IMG_9727 IMG_9728

After freezing our booties off at the top of the Empire State Building, coffee was a must! Just so happened, there’s this awesome little food cart called Wafels & Dinges in NYC that serves BELGIAN WAFFLES with toppings AND COFFEE!!! Um, hello heaven! All I have to say is I’m glad there isn’t one of these in Charleston because I would be in trouble. I got mine nutella and strawberry topped and yes, it was just as amazing as it looks. DROOL!!

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What does one do to top off a touristy day in New York City?! Why see a Broadway musical, of course!! Considering I’m a huge theater geek, I was going to be happy with anything on Broadway, so I let the hubs pick what we were seeing. He saw the word Vegas and that Tony Danza was in it and was sold on Honeymoon in Vegas. I had never seen the movie before, so didn’t know what to expect, but the show was hilarious and the cast very talented! Since it’s a newer show, I don’t think it was nearly as big of a production as say Chicago or Phantom, but definitely something to see with your man to keep both of you entertained! Plus, they serve wine in tumblers- right up my alley!!

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Since the Lincoln Center was close by and I wanted to scope things out before the shows started, we had reservations to the Lincoln Ristorante that night. A traditional Italian menu with a New York twist, the food was perfect for lovers of charcuterie and red wine- aka my favorite meal! The ambiance was fairly quiet and laid back, with glass walls perfect for watching the people leaving the opera that night. The highlight of the meal was absolutely the buratta which was made with pomegranate and pistachios and I will forever be trying to recreate at home! After a long day of site seeing, sipping a glass of red wine and munching on some prosciutto was the perfect way to spend the rest of the evening! I couldn’t leave out a little bathroom mirror pic of what I wore that night (this is when we know I’ve had one too many glasses of wine). But, seriously I love this outfit, especially the Ted Baker coat that I scored for under $200 on sale!!

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When my hubby is on vacay, he doesn’t want the night to end so we headed up to our hotel’s rooftop bar- also another highlight of NYC, all the rooftop bars. I must say, while our hotel lacks in some areas, the view from the bar is not one of them! This pic isn’t great but we had the most perfect view of the Empire State Building! Talk about a way to end your second night in New York City! Like I said, this is just the first of many posts about our trip. I cannot wait to share with y’all all of the NYFW shows I attended, more yummy restaurants and of course, what I wore!! Stay tuned!!

Ciao!

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This is {sadly} my last outfit blog post from Europe. I’ve enjoyed sharing pieces of our honeymoon with y’all, but I’m also excited to move onto posts about all of the fun summer clothes that I have in my closet here in Charleston! I absolutely love this post though not only because it takes us to Venice, one of the most charming, beautiful cities i’ve ever been to, but because it’s also my first collaboration! Okay, okay so it’s not an official colab, but this adorable little pooch was sitting so good in this alleyway the whole time we were shooting. If you look closely, you can see him in the background of several of the pictures. Eventually, I had to get closer and snap a picture of him (and of course get some lovin). As you can see, he is quite the model. This dress is one of my favorite throw on and go options. In fact, I wore it to last minute dinner plans two nights ago. Yes, I am an outfit repeater and proud of it!! I do like to switch up shoes and accessories though; check my Instagram to see if you can spy how I styled it this time. This look is perfect casual, but cute attire that you can wear for almost any occasion.  In Italy, I kept it very simple with hardly any accessories (my DSLR was enough of a necklace for me this trip). These shoes were something I purchased from Target literally four or more years ago! I had never even worn them, but held onto them knowing the right time would come and it finally did this Spring. Gladiator sandals are huge this year in every color, shape and style! These are a pretty practical and easy pair to wear with almost any outfit. This outfit will take you from sightseeing in Europe to a casual dinner with friends in Charleston!

Dress- Willy Jay’s  (similar 1)  (similar 2)  / Shoes- Target  (similar here) / Sunglasses- Blue Poppy  (similar here)

Vino

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Today’s post brings us to Florence, Italy in the Chianti wine region of Tuscany. Looking through these pictures is giving me MAJOR withdrawals (from the atmosphere and the wine). The scenery is absolutely beautiful throughout this area, with the rolling hills full of vineyards and olive trees! When I saw this baby doll dress, the first thing I thought was ITALY!! It just screamed “wine tasting in Tuscany” to me, and I was right that it fit perfectly with my surroundings. Not only is it a precious little dress, but it’s also breezy and comfortable. Totally suitable for vineyard visiting anywhere! You could easily put on a cute pair of wedges and some fun bangles to dress this up for dinner. However, for a day of wine tasting I chose to wear my brand new gladiator sandals. I LOVE this look!! My husband, Todd, on the other hand cannot stand it. I had been dying for the Stuart Weitzman version of these for months, but could never justify the $400 splurge to him. Instead, I did what I do with a lot of trendy items, and found a pair from MIA for $80. Despite Todd’s skepticism, every time I wear them, I get a ton of compliments! Which I love, especially in front of him! I was able to wear these shoes all day walking around vineyards and downtown Florence and was perfectly comfortable the entire time. Since the weather was a bit chilly in the morning, I did wear a simple knit sweater over my dress. I bought this sweater specifically for this trip and it has been a blessing on the trip and since I’ve gotten home. It goes with practically everything and is the perfect sweater to have on hand in case you get cold. Great, inexpensive, keep in your car kind of item. I wish writing this post could somehow magically take me back to Italy, but at least I’ve been able to reminisce a bit and share some tips with you. If you’ve never been, you must put it to the top of your list. It is a truly magical place!

Dress- Express (similar here) / Sweater- Target / Shoes- MIA / Sunglasses- Ray Ban

 

One of the Locals

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If you follow me on Instagram, then you know what I’ve been up to for the past month- having a beautiful wedding with my best friend {now husband} and then embarking on a three week long honeymoon of our dreams to Europe! We have had an exciting and amazing past few weeks. Now, I’m thrilled to be able to share all of it with y’all! The first part of our trip, we spent traveling through northern Italy, which is where all of my outfit posts were shot. We went to Venice, Milan and Florence and loved each and every city for different reasons. Collectively though, our favorite was Milan, which is where my first post will take you. The people were wonderful, food DELICIOUS, fashion breathtaking and the big city feel incomparable. I could seriously see myself living there. To walk around town and do the tourist thing, I wanted my outfit to be a combination of comfortable, yet cool. I wanted to blend in with the locals (which, with my Italian roots isn’t too hard). Europeans have this amazing effortlessly chic look to their style. I made it my mission to embody that and soak in every bit of it while I was there. Neutrals are an easy way to do effortless. This sheer taupe blouse is a great staple to have in your closet. It can go with practically anything, in practically any weather. It is comfortable, yet classy. These cropped skinny jeans are officially my new favorites! Not only are they stretchy material, but they look great with heels, wedges, flats and flip flops. The color is a lighter wash, so I like to pair them with softer colors like ivory, nudes, and pastels. My favorite color of the year, blush pink, goes perfectly with them. Everyone remember how I say to always roll your skinny jeans when you’re wearing flats? Well, with how perfectly the hem of these fall on the leg that is not necessary. These blocked heel sandals I wore are a MUST HAVE- seriously, do yourself a favor and go out and get them NOW!!! I am obsessed with these! They are comfortable and casual enough to wear walking around a big city all day and easy enough to dress up to wear them out at night. They are the perfect shoe to take on a trip to Europe because they are so multi-functional. I love them so much, that I want to order two more pair to have on backup for when these get worn out (which the way i’ve been wearing them, they will). This bag is my go-to neutral purse. A gold chain strap takes any outfit to the next level of chic! No, it’s not Chanel {I wish} but it is still a beautiful quilted white leather purse by Kate Spade that will perfectly complete almost any outfit. Now, I must tell you the one accessory that I was missing was my hair being styled! The European outlets zapped my curling wand on the first day! So, until I could get a replacement it was au-natural for me. This actually works in Europe though, the more natural the better! Do you have any tips on what to wear when in Europe? I would love to get your input! {we are already planning our next trip}

**I am now not only including links to where I purchased items, but links to the exact item OR if no longer sold to something similar. Click on links below to find today’s items & don’t forget, SHOP LOCAL when possible**

Blouse- Express / Jeans- Express / Shoes- Aldo / Bag- Kate Spade from Gwynn’s  (similar here) / Sunglasses- Ray Ban