Bundled Up

I spend most of winter trying to stay warm without looking like a marshmallow. With the winters we've had the past few years, this has been a serious challenge. During the polar vortex, it was so cold that I wore sweatpants over my work pants just to wak to my car. It wasn't a good look. Since then I've made onsite parking a must for all rentals. 

After returning to Virginia after vacation, I've had to say goodbye to the beautiful 70 degree weather  we had in December and welcome back the frozen tundra that is January.

Normally, I would just drive everywhere and suffer through the cold. But now I live in Lexington. It's such a walkable city and dogs are welcomed in most stores and some restaurants. Dixie is also pretty demanding about walks, so I have to be outdoors much more than usual. Ugh. It's a good thing she's so cute. 

Here are my 10 head-to-toe must haves for a warm&stylish winter. 

0 1 | H A T

C A S H M E R E  B E A N I E by M A D E W E L L  

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I've never met anybody who doesn't love cashmere. They made a whole Seinfeld episode about it. Even my puppy will pull my cashmere scarf out of the basic and snuggle up on it. Cashmere for me is the ultimate winter luxury, and if you're going to be outside is freezing temperatures, it's a luxury you deserve. Treat yo self. 

 

0 2 | S W E A T E R

W A R M L I G H T  P U L L O V E R by M A D E W E L L  

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My theory is that J. Crew had to die so that Madewell could rise from the ashes. Madewell really started to hit its stride when J. Crew started falling apart and thinking that people actually wanted to wear a $600 sequin pencil skirt. Anyway, this is a great piece for winter. It's longer in the back so it will cover your booty if you're wearing leggings. It's also light enough to be worn with shorts in the spring. For winter, try layering it with a striped turtleneck for extra warmth. 

 

0 3 | G L O V E S

O R E A  G L O V E S by M A C K A G E

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I love this style of gloves. Mittens are better than gloves because you'll be warmer when your naked fingers can huddle together. But gloves are better for opening Chapstick or getting things out of your purse. This may not always be the most fashionable style, but it's function gets an upgrade with stylish leather and sheep shearling.

 

0 4 | B A G

R E G A N  S A T C H E L by R E B E C C A  M I N K O F F

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A big bag is a necessity for winter. Tohis bag is big enough to fit your gloves, scarf, hat, and other winter accessories on top of all your normal purse things. It has four (I repeat, FOUR) interior pockets so you can easily find your smaller items. It also zips closed so you can keep snow from getting your things wet.  

 

0 5 | P A N T S

S K I  L I N E  P O L A R T E C by A T H L E T A

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I personally hate running, especially outside, and especially during the winter. But I still wear leggings all winter long. Last year I got a pair of fleece lined leggings from Athleta and wore them every week to play paddle tennis outside in freezing temperatures. These are Athleta's new winter pants and they are great. They are super breathable but also keep you very very warm. So if you don't play paddle (or most likely, you've never even heard of paddle), no worries. They are also perfect for walking around town (preferably with a puppy), going for a run, or as a base layer for skiing. 

 

0 6 | C O A T

S L I M F I T by C A N A D A  G O O S E

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This is one of the warmest coats you will ever buy. and yes, maybe puffer coast are one of the main reasons I tend to look like a marshmallow in the winter, but this coat is different. Really. It's mid-thigh length covers your booty to ensure maximum warmth, the pockets a lined with soft fleece, the hood is lined with lush coyote fur, and it is rated for temperatures down to -13 degrees F. All hat comes in a slim-fit style. 

 

0 7 | S H O E S

T O F I N O  H E R R I N G B O N EC by S O R E L

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An updated twist on the classic Tofino boots from Portland, OR, based SOREL. These boots were designed for light snow, but you can wear them anytime. They are waterproof AND have a microfleece lining to keep your feet cozy. The faux fur lining is removable for easy cleaning. 

 

0 8 | P A J A M A S 

D O N U T  P A J A M A  S E T by A S O S

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I love a good pair a pajamas. When I'm wearing cute pajamas, it makes me feel like I have an excuse for not getting dressed and curling up on the couch. This adorable pajama set is made of soft touch jersey fabric and consists of a loose top and stretchy pants. Plus, the donut print is too adorable to pass up. All you need now is some real donuts & coffee, and you have the perfect winter Sunday morning. 

 

0 9 | R O B E

W A F F L E  D R E S S I N G  G O W N by N E W  L O O K

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There is nothing worse than stepping out of a hot shower and into a cold room in the dead of winter; or getting out of your warm bed to let your early-rising puppy out and losing all body heat while she potties. Luckily, this robe is solves both those problems. It's faux fur fabric is super fluffy and its belted waist keeps the robe secure and the heat in. It even has a hood with ears so you can channel your inner polar bear.

 

1 0 |  S L I P P E R S

F L U F F  C L O G by U G G  

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I know Uggs can be a major no, but one of the things they do riht is slippers. Your feet will be forever thankful for these slippers. The slippers have a classic slip-on silhouette and come in three colors. The best part is that they are made out of either real lamb or sheep fur. Seriously, every time you put the on will be like a spa vacation for your feet!

 happy winter and stay warm darlings,

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Beach Day - Five Ways

I can now officially announce that Iam leaving Baltimore in August and moving to Lexington, VA. Until then, I'll be at the beach in South Carolina enjoying the sun and relaxing before the big move.

I always thought people who quit their jobs without having another lined up were absolutely crazy, but once this idea was presented to me, I realized just how much I needed a break. Now I don't dread waking up every morning, I don't spend five days a week trying to stay warm with a blanket in a mostly windowless room, and I don't stare at the clock count the minutes until 4:45 every afternoon.  I feel like my sanity has finally returned.

I've been at the beach for about a week and a half now, and am loving having such a flexible schedule. Besides Dixie (who has gotten SO tall!) waking me up at 7:15, the only consistency  in our day-to-day schedule is spending a couple hours on the beach. 

Check out my must haves for my five favorite ways to do a beach day!

 .one. 

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 must haves:  shoes with backs that can't slip off, a backpack for easy toting, a comfortable bathing suit with solid support, a cover up that can get dirty in case of a fall or if your chain falls off, a koozie to keep your drink cold as you cruise around, and, of course, an adorable beach cruiser. shop my picks here:

 

 .two. 

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must haves: a comfortable towel with plenty of room to lay out, sunscreen for you face, lips, and body, a bikini with minimal visible tan lines, comfortable slip on sandals, a waterproof and rinse-able beach bag, and an easy, breezy cover-up. shop my picks here:

 

.three. 

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must haves: a visor to protect your face (because hats can get too hot), a giant tote to carry all your important things, a waterproof case for your phone so you can use it while lounging in the water, a bathing suit with extra coverage for when the water washes off your sunscreen, a light an dairy maxi that you can slip on over your suit, and a giant inflatable on which you can float away. shop my picks here:


 .four. 

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must haves: a reliable cooler with a seat cushion and place for your rod, A water bottle that will keep your drink cold all day, sandals that are waterproof for wading and solid enough to step on a sting rays tail if you catch one by accident, a hat to keep the sun out of your eyes and your hair out of your face, a sporty bathing suit that you can move around in, a lightweight cover-up that protects you from the sun. shop my picks here:

 .five. 

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must haves: a comfortble chair with a built in cooler, a bathing suit without knots that won't pull or dig into you all day long, sandals with suppoart that you can slip on after a long day, an airy cover-up that you can rinse to easily remove any sunscreen and sand, a stadium cup that speaks the truth, and a striped umbrella for when you need a break from the sun. shop my picks here:


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Graduation Style

Graduation season is in full swing. I can't believe it's been three years since my own graduation. 

There are a couple of things that I wish people told me. Like, do NOT drink too much the night before  graduation.  If you do, any time somebody sees a picture from your graduation, they will be told "she was VERY hungover that day"  or "that's when she still had her wine weight" (true story: one of these is about my mom's college graduation and one is about my graduation day). 

Tip number two: be prepared to be warm. I went to College in Memphis, TN, and it was so hot outside the days leading up to graduation that Childish Gambino performed in his underwear. It also rained right before the ceremony began, so the humidity was through the roof. But even when ceromonies are inside, it's going to be warm. When Hopkins crammed everyone in the gym for the boyfriend's graduation, it was a bit unpleasant- and I wasn't even the one in the gown. 

Lastly, you should definitely keep your phone with you during the ceremony, on silent of course. You'll want to take pictures with your friends before the ceremony and you will for sure need it to meet up with your family afterwards. My college designated a classroom where we could leave our purses,  but I opted to lock most of my things in my car, and carry my phone, car keys, and some lip balm with me.  

With these tips in mind, I've styled five looks that are great for any graduation! I focused on outfits that would be comfortable under the gown, look great for pictures (with the gown closed, open, or off), and let you keep any essentials with you! The best part though - everything is from ShopBop, so you can use your Amazon Prime membership to have everything shipped via FREE two-day shipping!!

 

LOOK ONE - BLUE & GOLD

STYLESTALKER Bianco Romper ($149) -- 01. House of Harlow White Sand Five Station Necklace ($75) - 02. Elizabeth and James De Maria Cuff Bracelet ($225) - 03. Stuart Weitzman Gladiator Sandals ($398) - 04. Diane von Furstenberg 440 Metallic Cork Micro Mini ($168)

STYLESTALKER Bianco Romper ($149) -- 01. House of Harlow White Sand Five Station Necklace ($75) - 02. Elizabeth and James De Maria Cuff Bracelet ($225) - 03. Stuart Weitzman Gladiator Sandals ($398) - 04. Diane von Furstenberg 440 Metallic Cork Micro Mini ($168)

I love the color and asymmetry of this delicate romper. Rompers are great if you want something that looks similar to a dress in pictures, but you don't want to worry about it moving around too much under the gown.  The elegant ruffles on the right side of the piece adds a flourish that you don't see in typical rompers. It is made from lightweight crepe fabric, which will help you stay cool and ready for pictures. 

01. This House of Harlow necklace is a favorite of mine; it also comes in black, and I've worn that one to a few functions. I love the subtle texture of the white panels. This necklace makes a statement without drawing attention away from the overall look.   02. The skinny bars are a delicate touch to the outfit, but its the large gold plate that packs the biggest punch. Instead of making a statement, this bracelet works to balance out the non-ruffle side of the look.   03.This cork purse is big enough to fit your phone and a few other small essentials but small enough to wear under your gown. While this bag may seem natural and neutral at first glance, the metal hardware on  the closure draws the eye, as do the metallic flecks adorning the cork.    04. If the ceremony is on grass, the gladiator sandals are the way to go. You don't have to worry about slipping around if the ground is uneven or the grass is wet (like you would in wedges), and you won't sink into the ground (like you would in heels). 

 

 LOOK TWO - PINK & GREEN

alice + olivia Nina Cutout Box Pleat Dress ($385) -- 01. Garrett Leight Dillion Mirrored Sunglasses ($375) - 02. Ringly Daydream Tech Ring ($195) - 03. Rebecca Minkoff Quilted Mini Affair Bag ($195) - 04. Vince Faye Open Toe Booties ($425)

alice + olivia Nina Cutout Box Pleat Dress ($385) -- 01. Garrett Leight Dillion Mirrored Sunglasses ($375) - 02. Ringly Daydream Tech Ring ($195) - 03. Rebecca Minkoff Quilted Mini Affair Bag ($195) - 04. Vince Faye Open Toe Booties ($425)

Dresses are the more traditional under-gown graduation style. While this dress has a traditional silhouette, the small front cut out and large box pleats keep it flirty and fun. The back zipper is complimented by two mesh panels, which will help your skin breathe during humid ceremonies. It also features a polyester-spandex lining for extra comfort. 

01. The cat eye frames add an understated pop to the look. The pastel pink mirrored lenses may not be the best for the bright afternoon sun, but they are the perfect shades for a mid-morning ceremony.   02. I've become a big fan of Ringly tech rings since the  "no electronics on the desk" rule was instituted at work. This ring will discreetly alert you to notifications on your phone. With four different vibrations, you can tell which notifications you should check, and which ones you can keep your phone politely stowed away.   03. When it comes to bags, Rebecca Minkoff is the queen. The simple quilts adds a gentle femininity to the look, while the chain with interwoven leather adds a bit of shine. While this bag may not fit perfectly under your gown, it can fit if you wear the strap long. It can also be worn doubled for a shorter look.   04. These peep toe booties are an understated way to round out the look. I love the simple nude leather contrasted with the aged-pewter heel, which is wide enough that you won't sink into the ground while walking to get your diploma.

 

LOOK THREE - NUDE & BLACK

AIR by alice + olivia Twist Back Crop Top ($176) - Cynthia Rowley Bonded Pique Scallop Skirt ($225) -- 01. Jacquie Aiche Crystal Lariat Necklace ($320) - 02. Wonderland Stateline leather Sunglasses ($285) - 03. See by Chloe Vicki Cross Body Bag ($365) - 04. Vince Agatha Open Toe Booties ($450)

AIR by alice + olivia Twist Back Crop Top ($176) - Cynthia Rowley Bonded Pique Scallop Skirt ($225) -- 01. Jacquie Aiche Crystal Lariat Necklace ($320) - 02. Wonderland Stateline leather Sunglasses ($285) - 03. See by Chloe Vicki Cross Body Bag ($365) - 04. Vince Agatha Open Toe Booties ($450)

This look is all about balancing minimalism with surprises. This tan top is understated and modest in the front, but features an exposed zipper, large triangle cut out, and twist accents on the back. The pure color and midi length make this skirt seem minimalistic, however, the fused material gives it a strong structure. The scalloped hem also gives the skirt a bit of a pop!

01.  This necklaces is really two necklaces in one. The top is a delicate lariat silhouette featuring a bezel-set cubic zirconium. The second necklaces is the faceted black tourmaline pendent that drops from the chocker making a subtle statement. The adjustable lengths makes this necklace suitable for multiple necklines.    02. These glasses are a modern take on the classic aviator shape. The frames of these aviators feature luxe leather, which is further elevated by striking bronze hardware.   03. I am in love with the oversized tassel drawstring on this teeny bucket bag, which does make it hard to wear under your gown; but I would never want to hid this bag anyway. This bag is well suited to the person who has more than her phone, but sticks to a few essentials. There are no pockets, so its important to stick to the essentials with this bag or else you will constantly be digging through it.   04. These colorblocked booties are perfection to me. The simple colors add complexity without too much busyness, and the cutouts are perfectly placed (toes, instep, heel). These booties feature velcro closure to keep your feet snug and secure as well as a chunky, covered heel. 

 

LOOK FOUR - LAVENDER & CORAL

Elizabeth and James Corrin Crop Top ($255) - For Love & Lemons Guava Skirt ($158) -- 01. Tory Burch Cat Eye Sunglasses ($175) - 02. Adia Kibur Floral Crystal Drop Earrings ($30) - 03. Building Block Phone Sling ($105) - 04. Splendid Edgewood Thong Demi Wedges ($68)

Elizabeth and James Corrin Crop Top ($255) - For Love & Lemons Guava Skirt ($158) -- 01. Tory Burch Cat Eye Sunglasses ($175) - 02. Adia Kibur Floral Crystal Drop Earrings ($30) - 03. Building Block Phone Sling ($105) - 04. Splendid Edgewood Thong Demi Wedges ($68)

I have a love for crop tops, but I know that there is a very delicate line. It's the line between wearing a crop top at your wedding (Vanderpump Rules) and channeling your inner Taylor Swift. The thin lattice stripe running down the center of this top may make it seem like it should fall on the racier side, but the structured bodice, delicate color, and high neckline prevent it from being to risqué. For Love & Lemons can also fall short of the T Swift classy standards, but this skirt passes the standards with flying colors. The tropical orange skirt features an easy jersey lining adorned with a delicate lace overlay and asymmetrical hem. 

01. The cat eye frames keeps with the theme of unique shapes, which runs throughout this look. The simple wire arms add a bit of cool shine to the look, and the blush gold frames and shades make sure the statement is a subtle one.    02. If you're planning to wear your hair up or pulled back for graduation, I'd leave these earrings out. However, I think that they would be perfect peeking out of long hair. More like a surprise than a statement. The clusters of colorful crystals help carry the colors of the outfit throughout the entire look.   03. This is the smallest bag I've featured. The open top means you can easily access your phone as needed, but there isn't much room for anything else. The back of the sling features a card slot in case you want to keep ID, a credit card, or a card fob with you during the ceremony, The crossbody strap allows you to easily store your phone and card under the gown, while the natural grain leather won't make the outfit too busy after the gown comes off.    04. You have to be careful with how much height you add to this outfit (or any outfit that pairs short with short). The faux patent leather adds some shine, but doesn't detract or draw attention from the rest of the outfit. The natural cork wedge subtly adds the little lift this outfits needs. 

 

LOOK FIVE - SUNNY YELLOW

J.O.A. Tropics Halter Top ($58) - Keepsake Draw the Line Shorts ($150) -- 01, Matthew Williamson Mirrored Aviator Sunglasses ($300) - 02. Alexis Bittar Liquid Hinge Bracelet ($195) - 03. Rebecca Minkoff Mini MAC Cross Body Bag - 04. Matt Bernson Mercer d'Orsay Flats ($219)

J.O.A. Tropics Halter Top ($58) - Keepsake Draw the Line Shorts ($150) -- 01, Matthew Williamson Mirrored Aviator Sunglasses ($300) - 02. Alexis Bittar Liquid Hinge Bracelet ($195) - 03. Rebecca Minkoff Mini MAC Cross Body Bag - 04. Matt Bernson Mercer d'Orsay Flats ($219)

Shorts are hella comfortable. I would wear them everyday if I took the time to lay out my clothes the night before. Instead I have on work dress in seven colors that I rotate through on days where I have no idea what to wear and waited until the last possible minute to get out of bed.  I would totally wake up early for these high waisted Keepsake shorts. The well structured yellow top might poke out of your gown a bit, but I think it could be cute - especially if yellow is one of your school's colors. I love the contract of the high neckline and the plunging back with tieable bow.

01. I can't find anything happier than these sunny yellow aviators. The mirrored lenses add a dramatic update the the classic aviator style, which is complimented by the wire frames with neon temple tips.    02. This liquid bracelet looks like it could have been drizzled directly over your arm. My favorite part is that the bracelet is hinged, so you don't have to worry about it being too loose. The curved bands of the sculptural cuff act as an interesting contrast to the rest of the look.   03. This is the bag for whoever carries the most. It has an easy access front pocket for what you need most, as well as a zippered top which opens to a lined interior with one additional pocket. The chain strap is connected at the top by a lester panel for comfort.    04. Of all the shoes in this post, these are my favorite. I love the casual silhouette of the d'Orsay flat. While these flats may not typically be considered suitable to graduation, the pointed toe and embossed leather give them a more elegant feel. If you are going to buy any shoes for graduation, these are the ones I think you'd get the most use out of. 

 

Annddddd BONUS ITEMS: 

I wore a white dress for my high school graduation, so college was my first time doing the cap and gown thing. I learned at Baccalaureate that you need to use hair clips or bobby pins to keep your cap on during/after graduation. And sure, you could use the boring ones that match the color of your hair... but there are such colorful and glitter pins out there! You can always reuse these in your post-grad life, and they are a lot harder to lose than the boring ones.

Clockwise from top left: ban.do Flash Bobby Pin Set in Silver Glitter/Mint ($10) - Mrs. President & Co. The Lucky Charmed Barrette ($65) - ban.do Flash Bobby Pin Set in Gold Glitter/Neon Pink ($10) - ban.do Love Bobby Pin ($12)

Clockwise from top left: ban.do Flash Bobby Pin Set in Silver Glitter/Mint ($10) - Mrs. President & Co. The Lucky Charmed Barrette ($65) - ban.do Flash Bobby Pin Set in Gold Glitter/Neon Pink ($10) - ban.do Love Bobby Pin ($12)

Last, but certainly not least... I wish I thought of this three years ago. Why fold your program up into a fan when you can just bring your own!? 

Lilly x Target

Lets talk about the Lilly x Target backlash. 

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If you have a problem with Lilly collaborating with Target because of the "prestige" factor, and even more horrifying, if you are vocal about it, you aren't a real prep. You are a snob. To quote True Prep, "it is not for lack of funds that preppies hew strongly to the concept of thrift, though it can be... We prefer modest discretion to the outward manifestations of wealth that are the signs of the new hoards. We are also cheap." And if you still feel the same way, for heavens sake, at least have the common sense not to talk about it.

I am extremely happy this is happening. Target and Lilly are basically the best things in the shopping world (besides amazon prime). My plan is to stay up extremely late to shop online and wake up extremely early to do some damage at the store. ...because staying up late and waking up early always works out so well for me.  

But this is Lilly. So it has to work out. I am focusing on three tips to help me reach Lilly glory:

Tip 01. Create a Target.com account and save your credit card information before April 19th. The Lilly collaboration will be released online between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. ET. So set up your account, set an alarm, and get your coffee ready.

Tip 02. Pick the store you're going to, get there early WITH A LOT OF COFFEE, and look at the collection online to get an idea of what you want before you get there. You don't want to get home only to find out you missed something amazing. 

Tip 03. Try things on right away and return them immediately if you don't like it. The return policy is going to be significantly shorter than Target's normal policy. Don't delay. That's how you'll end up with a closet full of shoes that never fit (um, totally talking about a friend.. so not me)

Here are my favorite things that I will be looking to snag during the wee hours of the night and morning of April 19th:

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Happy hunting darlings! May all your affordably preppy dreams come true. 

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