Isn’t gingham the happiest print you ever did see? This must be why once the sun comes out & brings about warmer days, I gravitate towards pieces like this sweet gingham dress. This iconic print also reminds me of one of my favorite things to do this time of year…PICNICS! My girlfriends & I recently took a trip to Charleston & had the loveliest picnic one afternoon. What do you know, I wore a gingham top on the picnic too! Seriously, nothing says, “sunny days” more than a bit of cheerful gingham.
I forget how attracted I am to blue until the weather warms up—then I’m utterly obsessed! Give me all the blue & white things! That’s why when I was browsing through Prim + Pop’s website & I found this dress, I knew it belonged in my closet. Not only is it blue & white, but it has the sweetest feminine shape. I love the square neckline combined with the back cutout & of course, the bow details. You wouldn’t believe how soft it is too!
Self Portrait is a designer I’m totally crushing on at the moment. His designs are simple, yet so intricate at the same time. These are some of the most universally flattering pieces on the market because of how classic the silhouettes are. They are both feminine & edgy by mixing feminine lace, colors, & ruffles with mesh, structured lines, & showing a little bit of skin. His pieces are so iconic & sought after, that many affordable brands are creating their own Self Portrait inspired pieces. I’ll share with you what to look for & how to get the designer look for less.
To get this feminine & edgy look at an affordable price, all you have to do is look for the details. Keep an eye out for interesting crochet or lace patterns. Many times these details are in interesting lines or geometric shapes. Self Portrait is not afraid of color, but does some its best work in the most classic neutrals. Even this white dress I recently wore has very strong Self Portrait vibes. Finding these pieces in navy or black are a great, timeless staple to have in your wardrobe.
Customize Your Outfit
It’s your clothes, wear them how you want! This dress actually comes with a cute red collar attached at the neck. But when I was putting this look together, I loved how it looked when I just tucked the collar in! You can’t even tell! It’s almost like having two dresses. Also, I wrapped my cream silk scarf around my waist like a belt to put my own spin on this Self Portrait inspired look. Don’t let fashion or pieces of clothing confine you. You do you, girl!
Over the past five years, my love for makeup has grown & grown. I love reading reviews on how good a product’s formula is, if it’s long lasting, or if it has any skincare benefits, to find the best of the best products out there. My collection ranges from more high end beauty products to some of the most affordable & amazing products on the market. I’m so excited to share with you my very favorite, tried & true, best affordable makeup products.
It’s so important to start with a solid base when applying makeup. So many of my very favorite makeup base products come right from the drugstore. To start, I like to use the Almay Anti-Aging Smart Shade tinted moisturizer. Not only does this product have anti-aging properties, but it also has SPF 20 & does not break me out. It’s so easy to use. I just apply it with my hands like a moisturizer. Then I go with my ride or die concealer by Maybelline. Lastly, the Maybelline Fit Me matte pressed powder is key for a cake-free, flawless looking face.
Make It Multipurpose
The secret to a fresh, cohesive face is to let your already affordable products, be multipurpose products. My favorite look at the moment, uses 3 face products as eye products. I apply my Physician’s Formula Bronzer to bronze my face, as well as the crease color for my easy eye look. Then I use my Milani Luminoso Blush on the apples of my cheeks & then as a wash of color on my eyelids. To finish the eye look & brighten my face, I use an old favorite highlighter, Colourpop’s Wisp, on the high points of my cheek bones as well as in the inner corner of my eyes.
Don’t Forget The Lips!
It’s so much fun to play around with inexpensive lip products. This is a great way to test out new shades that may be a little bit out of your comfort zone. Drugstore & affordable lipsticks are great for building your collection & figuring out what shades really suit you. One way to make your more affordable lipsticks look more luxury is to layer them in order to create more depth to your look. My favorite affordable combination right now is to first apply a layer of the Maybelline matte shade called “Lust For Blush”, then to swipe on a coat of the L’Oreal lipstick in the shade “Peach Fuzz”, which has more of a sheen to it. I love playing with a mixture of warm & cool tones to create my own unique shade.
Before visiting Charleston, I thought it would be a beautiful city based on the photos I had seen from other Charleston based bloggers. Let me just say, it’s even more beautiful than I had imagined it to be. It’s so clear that the owners of each home take pride in the care & look of their property & gardens. Just visiting this city has inspired me to step up my game, put in the work, & take pride in my home. In this post I want to share with you all the spaces that gave me major home & garden inspiration in Charleston which I plan on bringing to my home.
Each home in this charming city had its own unique color palette. The houses were painted most commonly in dreamy pastels with doors & shutters painted in colors to perfectly compliment it. There were interesting windows, impressive porches or piazzas – what native Charleston people like to call them, & gardens instead of yards. Each home told a story & had a personality of its own.
This got me thinking. What story does my home tell? Does it give a good & lasting impression? Is it warm & inviting? This year, I want to write a story for my home by putting in work to then let the house do the talking. The colors, the textures, the right amount of whimsy & structure, the sweet city of Charleston has totally inspired me to incorporate these lovely traits into my home right here in RVA.
I could talk about the gardens in Charleston for days! What a dream! You can tell how much thought & care goes into each home’s personal garden. First of all, the window boxes were to die for. They were bursting with the most stunning blooms, in colors that complimented the vibe of the house. I also fell in love with the way they used vines to line steps, grow in a pattern to decorate the side of a house, or to add the perfect amount of texture to a home, making it feel alive. Another garden detail I loved was their use of pots. We saw this when we were on our honeymoon in Italy (see here: 1/2/3), but the way they group pots together & use them to fill & decorate every space is just beautiful. I already know this will be an obsession of mine this season!
Being the dreamer that I am, I’ve recently dreamed some big dreams for our home garden (thanks to Monty Don!). I would love to have an arch of climbing roses to dress our front door & flowers in bloom during each season around the property. Another goal I have for our garden is to create a cozy space for us to sit outside & enjoy the nice weather. How lovely would it be to have a couch outside for Ben & I to cuddle up on or to entertain guest with? I also have a dream to build a back porch (or piazza) under a pergola someday.
One final garden dream I have is to have a garden full of blooms, kind of like a small scale farm. I would not only fill my home with the blooms, but give them to friends & put together flower arrangements either for a side gig or just for fun. Flowers just make me so happy.
Last week, I went on a much needed girl’s trip to Charleston, SC. While I’m still putting together a post on our full itinerary, I thought I’d share one of the best pieces of our trip with you. On our last day, we decided to spend the afternoon at Hampton Park. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, & the park was filled with beautiful big trees & blooming flowers at every turn. Oh, & there were palm trees! I didn’t realize how tropical Charleston is! Anyways, it was the best afternoon, & an ideal way to close out our amazing girl’s trip.
Before we arrived at the Hampton Park, we picked up some lunch from The Park Café. This cute little restaurant has great food, amazing service, & is very aesthetically pleasing. I highly recommend visiting this little gem if you’re ever in Charleston. Instead of eating there, we decided to take our food to the park for a nice afternoon picnic. We were all craving a bit of sunshine, so we laid out our blankets in the open green grass & soaked up the sun. I ordered some tasty avocado toast with some roasted sweet potato bites & a fresh squeezed lemonade. We ate, chatted, & laughed until we were ready to get up an explore more of this beautiful park.
Instead of walking around the park, we decided to rent bikes! They were super easy & inexpensive & the perfect way to explore the park, feel the cool breeze, & get a bit of exercise. We rode about the park for an entire hour checking out all the plants, people watching, & remembering how much fun it is to ride a bike.
This summer I want more days like this. Even though I won’t be back in Charleston, I vow to get out & do more things like this in my own city. Picnics are just the best. If you’re in Richmond & want to have a picnic, call me up! Let’s soak up the sun, eat yummy food, & enjoy the beautiful outdoors.
Spring is right around the corner, so close on some days I can even feel it. It’s time to change over my wardrobe for warmer days. This means lighter layers, flowing fabrics, woven bags, & a romantic & fresh vibe. I can’t wait to be able to spend more time outside, smell the ever growing blooms & wear some of my favorite items in my wardrobe for the spring season. Today, I want to talk you through my spring wardrobe essentials. These items are the base of my spring wardrobe & are must-have items for any feminine wardrobe.
A crisp white top is my absolute favorite favorite item to buy. The best part is that it’s a completely guilt-free purchase because of how often I wear these pieces. They are the perfect compliment to every midi skirt, jean, or trouser I will wear all season. When I find affordable white tops online, I look to see if it has an interesting texture or shape. I love ones with a high neck, a bow detail, or dramatic sleeves. The best places to find these lovely & affordable pieces, in my experience, are H&M & Forever 21.
For shoes, nothing says spring more than a pair of pastel espadrilles. So many more companies are coming out with amazing affordable choices this year which I am so thrilled about. Last year, I purchased a classic pair of white espadrilles & wore them constantly throughout the spring & summer. This year I’ve purchased a blush pair as well as a light blue pair. I find these shoes so flattering & extremely comfortable to wear. Old Navy has also come out with some really love flat espadrilles that I’m considering trying out for days I’m on my feet more. These shoes are essential to my spring wardrobe & I love them to pieces.
I’m going to be doing an entire post on this subject coming up soon, so I won’t go into too much detail here. However, woven & wicker bags are a key accessory in my spring wardrobe. They just scream sunshine, outdoors, & endless time in the garden.
This classic & timeless accessory is the perfect way to add a bit of feminine flair to your spring wardrobe. A simple scarf is quite a versatile piece to have in your collection. It can be worn around your neck, in your hair, or tied around your handbag like I’ve worn it in this post. Try finding ones in colors you know you wear a lot in your wardrobe you can easily pair it with several outfits.
What better way to accessorize in the spring than with florals?! Statement earring in the most beautiful floral shapes are popping up everywhere. They are my very favorite earrings to wear during this season & are always a great conversation starter. I love how many affordable options there are too! No reason not to own a pair of flower earrings (or ten).
A Fresh Nude Lip + Spring Fragrance
My all time favorite nude lipstick is hands down the YSL lipstick in the shade 70 Le Nu. This formula has a lovely satin finish that wears beautifully. It’s the perfect pinky nude color for spring. The last thing that really gets my in the mood fo spring when getting ready everyday is wearing a fresh spring fragrance. Read about all of my affordable favorites here.