I meant to post this like two weeks ago but a certain fluffy demon has taken up all of my attention. She's decided that it is now officially warm enough to swim in the creek and dig for groundhogs, and she will go swimming or digging whenever she damn well pleases. That means whenever she is outside, I have to acheive super-human levels of attentiveness or she will dart off and return 45 minutes later completely soaked or covered in mud. She also insists on being outside at all time.
Now that I've taken her on three walks today, she is sleeping at my feet and I can finally write this.
The temperature swings in the mountains are crazy. I'm not just talking about it being 70 degrees one day and 30 degrees the next (even though it does that too), I'm talking about it being 30 degrees at 9 a.m. and 70 degrees by 1 p.m. of the same day. It's hard to convince yourself that shorts are the right outfit choice when you are waiting for your window to defrost. It's even harder to believe it's already spring.
To cure my spring-denial, I've compiled a list of 10 things you need to get in the swing of spring! (Sunshine not included).
01. SunnyLife Picnic Basket for 2 ($75 at ShopBop)
There are a few things I love about this basket. (one) The classic braided banana leaf exterior. A lot of picnic baskets are now made from soft-cooler material, which may be functional, but it's definitely not the same. (two) The adjustable leather shoulder strap. Most of the classic-style picnic baskets only have a handle that makes a fully-loaded basket way too difficult to carry. Not only is the leather strap stylish, you can load that basket up with all the food you desire and still be able to carry it! (& three) It has a special compartment just for your wine. Okay, technically they call it a "beverage compartment" but I know a wine holder when I see one. Don't try to fool me SunnyLife.
Spring dresses are calling, and nothing says spring more than lace and florals. I am BEYOND in love with this light blue floral lace Self Portrait dress with subtle nude lining. The lattice trim adds structure to the boddice while box pleats add loads of volume to the skirt. I am confident I would wear this dress ALL THE TIME. ....but a $480 dress that I don't 100% have a need for isn't quite in my budget right now. Luckily, the Caspian Shift Dress by Lovers + Friends brings you gorgeous blue lace at a much lower price ($180). I love the pattern of the lace, the racerback with exposed zipper, and scallop trim! The last lace dress sells for $120 and features lace that looks like delicately falling petals. Even though this is a midi dress, the lining stops around mid-thigh to really highlight the gorgeous soft-pink lace.
I am obsessed with my S'well Bottles and I'm not going to apologize for it. I carry at least one of my me S'wells with me at all times. If you aren't automatically convinced by how cute they are, here are the technical highlights: it will keep drinks cold, like really cold, for up to 24 hours, hot drinks stay hot for up to 12, and the bottles have ZERO condensation, so you can throw it in your purse and it won't sweat all over your Simplified Planner or Day Designer! And if that wasn't enough, they are non-toxic, non-leaching, and BPA free. The 9 oz & 17 oz fit in a standard sized cup-holder, but the 25 oz holds an entire bottle of wine (so you can forgive the cup holder thing). Lastly, S’well has teamed up with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to help provide clean drinking water to children around the world. My three current favorite S'well colors are sparkled Pink Champagne from the Glitter Collection, the semi-matte Pastel from the Color Block Collection, and glossy Violet Crush from the Shimmer Collection (currently 15% off!).
It's finally warm enough to let your toes breath! Free them from your snow boots and layers of wool socks... and maybe get a pedicure real quick. I know I need one, but hey, want to know another thing this small town doesn't have? #smalltowncharm? Ugh, anyway... sandals are the most wonderful shoes and these two are spring staples. The Matt Bernson sandals have are simplistic perfection and have padded footbeds to keep you feet comforted + double straps to keep them secure. They are also made from leather dyed a color they call "Bourbon Rebel." They've taken the crown for best color names. Sorry J.Crew, but really you lost that title a long time ago. If color is your calling, these bright fuchsia Loeffler Randall sandals are for you. The strappy upper is made from napa leather and includes a toe strap, so they will easily slip on but not off. The signature leather sole has a non-slip finish and a lightly padded insole for comfort! & did I mention that they are BRIGHT pink?
Lexington is super bike-able. Not only is it super tiny, but the speed limit never really goes above 25 mph. We also are only a short drive away from the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is great for long rides with a beautiful view. But this isn't about those long rides, this is about getting to a backyard barbecue, afternoon sips and snacks with the girls, or the local brewery. These leather bike accessories are perfect for carrying a bottle of wine, a 6-pack of beer, or a growler wherever you need to go. each accessory fastens to the top tube of the back and the wine and growler carriers have secure leather straps that hold the front and back of a standard wine bottle or a standard 64 oz growler in place. The 6-pach carrier also attatches to the top tube of your bike and is so stylish that you may want to use it even when you aren't on your bike. I personally can't wait to use the growler carrier to bike to Devil's Backbone on Wednesdays for half-price growler refills!
I am going to go ahead and acknowlege that it is ridiculous that Apple can't make a phone that doesn't shatter, but at least there are some ridiculously cute iPhone cases out there. Sonix phone cases are one of the few that offer protection and style without the bulkiness. You obviously won't get the same protection as an otterbox or lifeproof case, but do you really need that much protection in your daily life? Or maybe your life is much more wild and crazy than mine and you really do need the star protection. If you aren't climbing mountains of throwing your phone at walls on the reg, these cases are for you. All of the cases are transparent, so you can still admire your beautiful rose gold iPhone while protecting it from cracked screens and annoying chips. The metallic accents on the cacti, the flamingos' metallic feathers, and the metallic gold palm trees will add some extra spring sparkle to your phone and your day!
You can finally say goodbye to giant puffy jackets zipped up to your chin and say hello to open cardigans. You can wear cute tops again without them being hidden under five extra layers for warmth! That is the main beauty of cardigans. They keep you warm without obscuring your adorable top. The ASOS Swing Cardigan is made from lightweight fabric with a soft finish. It's sized to be true-to-fit, but has longer sides that are perfect for wrapping around yourself when a cool spring breeze come along. My absolute favorite thing about it is the embroidered elbow patches: one elbow is embroidered with a hamburger and the other with fries! It's hilarious and I love it. The ASOS Boxy Cardigan is also made from a lightweight fabric, but it has an open waterfall front and an oversized fit meant to fall generously over the body. Lastly, the Ted Baker cardigan is beautiful,mlike all Ted Baker is, and is made from smooth woven fabric. It also is the slimmest cut of the three cardigans with a wrap front.
So I'm currently on a self-imposed cookbook purchasing ban until I actually go through all the bookmarks in my current cookbooks, but these three are patiently waiting in the "Saved for Later" section of my Amazon Shopping Cart. My next purchase will be Bowl + Sppon from The Sprouted Kitchen. The book is filled with recipes like Golden Quinoa and Butternut Breakfast Bowl, Spring Noodles with Artichokes, Pecorino, and Charred Lemons, & Turkey Meatballs in Tomato Sauce - all of which are fancy enough to serve guests but also simple enough to eat with a spoon on the couch. That's my kind of cooking. The Love & Lemons Cookbook is next on my list because it answers the time-old question of "what the F do I do with a gazillion <insert vegetable here> in my CSA box? For me it was always beets or garlic scapes. Thank god for hipster appreciation for scapes and posting about it on Pinterest. This book also features pantry stocking tips and gluten-free/vegan modifications for the recipes. Finally, Chrissy Teagan is amazing and I love her and she needs to take over hosting Top Chef ASAP. Padma is the worst. & I don't know about you, but I am dying to try some John Legend-ary fried chicken with spicy honey butter, all-day breakfasts like cheesey cheeseless eggs, and her mom's Thai classics. YUM.
09. The Pineapple Co. Large Pineapple Cup ($99 at W&P Designs)
Pineapples are everything and this cup is as good as gold. Besides being adorably tropical, apparently the pineapple is a symbol of hospitality and warm welcome. So why not welcome others to your home (or welcome yourself home from a long day at work) with this two-piece brass pineapple tumbler and filled with a well-crafted cocktail. The large glass holds 16 oz and comes with a matching straw that can be used with the top on. For a more affordable option, check out the 12 oz tumbler for only $35! You can also buy a set of three matching straws for $15.
10. Mustache Bubble Umbrella ($38.99 at Hunter Boots)
I love a good pair of rain boots, but why should you limit yourself to just one good rain accessory? This transparent bubble umbrella has a colorful trim inspired by the Hunter "mustache" on the Orignal Tall boot. The rubber curved handle matches the mustache and is extra grippy for those lovely out-of-the-blue extra windy downpours. The bubble umbrella is also my favorite style because the wire is pointed down, and not out, so you don't have to worry about poking random passerbys in the eye whole walking on busy sidewalks! Hooray!
Happy spring + don't forget to...