Blanketed 2k15 + a giveaway

You may remember my blanketed post from last year when I mentioned the weather being mild. Looks like a repeat this year. I can count on 2 fingers the amount of times I wish I was wearing more clothes, rather than less, so far this fall. I don’t need to tell you the merits of having a blanket scarf on you at all times though- blanket in the office, shawl on the bus, shove it in your bag when you don’t need it. I love the color combo on the one I was wearing on the gorgeous day that Nicole took these pictures- so fall, right?

Unfortunately, I can’t totally make this outfit shoppable, because the dress is from TJ Maxx (super steal at $15!!) and the boots and purse are from a couple years ago, so I linked you up with some great alternatives.

Also, if you love this scarf and want to make it your own, head on over to my instagram for a chance to win!

IMG_9999  IMG_9990 IMG_9988 IMG_9987 IMG_9984IMG_9993Shop green shirt dresses:

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Shop printed totes:

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Shop two-toned boots:

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City gypsy

You know those outfits that you just FEEL good in? This is one of those outfits for me. Let’s talk about this dress. I wish you could ALL get this dress.

I’ve talked about Chowderfest before. Like, a lot. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. My mom, her best friend, my Tiffany, and I head up to Long Beach Island to shop and eat the weekend away. This year was a little… different. My Auntie Steph couldn’t make it, much to all of our disappointments, so we started the trip already feeling a little off, but determined to make the best of our weekend.

And then the nor-easter happened. It wasn’t even Hurricane Joaquin, it was a nor-easter. After my mom, bless her heart, drove the three of us 5-ish hours through some nasty rain and scary winds, we get to the hotel to find that the entire fest was canceled. No end-of-season flee market, no all you can eat chowder. But we were, once again, determined. After doing a little happy dance that there wouldn’t be lines at our favorite end of the summer sale at Island Gypsy, barely making last call at the hotel bar (and having our drinks paid for), we made plans to shop the following morning then head out to Philly the next day to see Auntie Steph.

After a great, long breakfast with one of my favorite bloody Marys on the planet, we headed down to Bay Village- the “Downtown” of Beach Haven, if you will. Despite the floods, and the fact that most of the island was closed, our Island Gypsy was open and I immediately went HAM. Tiffany had to reign me in at one point because I had an armful of 50% off sweaters within about 30 seconds. Island Gypsy is kind of like Free People but more approachable. It’s a light, airy, color-coordinated space. Normally, their Chowderfest sales incite a sort of mayhem among the customers snagging up deals, so it was kind of nice to shop without the crowds. However, I do recognize the loss of revenue for the island, so I didn’t feel at all bad spending money at a local business… not that I would have anyway. I love Chowderfest shopping. Anyway, along with $50 worth of fudge from Country Kettle across the street, I ended up leaving LBI with a sweater, great camisoles, and some of the prettiest bras I’ve ever seen. Most importantly, I left with this dress that I almost didn’t get because it was a little out of season- Tiff talked me into it. #noragrets.

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photos c/o Nicole

Blue peasant dresses here, here, & here//Lou & Grey Spacedye Cardigan//similar belt here, here, & here//similar style pendants here, here, & here//grey totes here, here, & here//Steve Madden PALLAS booties

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White after Labor Day

Rules are meant to be broken, right? And the whole “no White After Labor Day” rule has been broken so many times that it barely even qualifies as a rule anymore. It’s all about transitioning, ladies. For real, for real, your favorite summer dress can stay out as long as you can keep adding accessories to keep it seasonal.

IMG_9892Confession: When I left my house the morning these pictures were taken, it was 60 degrees. By lunch, it was near 80, rendering the jacket and scarf unnecessary. But I did it for YOU loyal, readers, I kept up the transitional look I promised because I value our friendship. 😉

IMG_9891 Also, you might notice that the pieces in this post are mostly unavailable. I tried to find comparable pieces, but such is life- one can’t always be wearing something brand new, you know?The jacket, for example, is my patch jacket from 8th grade. The purse, vintage, is older than I am and I took it from my mom’s closet (with many, many thanks because it’s fabulous).

IMG_9878 IMG_9876IMG_9888photos c/o Nicole

AJ Morgan So B Round Sunglasses//Loft scarf from last year (similar here, here, + here)//Similar denim jacket here, here, + here//Vintage Perry Ellis purse (similar here, here, + here)//Old Navy Dress (sold out) white lace dresses under $100 here, here, + here//Steve Madden Pallas booties

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Pearls + studs

I tend to fall into patterns with my clothes, and my formula for work this summer has been belted shift dress, low heels, and a rotation of totes, if I’m not using my trusty backpack. This little navy number has been a favorite all summer because of the feminine details- the fluttery sleeves, peek-a-boo keyhole back, and little buttons near the hem. And the shoes. Oh. My. Gosh. These. Shoes. I adore how Rockstuds look, but Valentino isn’t exactly knocking at my door to give me a free pair and let’s be honest, that’s the only way I could get my little post-grad paws on them. $900+ shoes are just not in my budget right now. Thankfully, I found these amazingly comfy little dupes. Seriously- they’re the most comfortable heels I’ve ever owned! Do you have a uniform for work? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

IMG_9823 IMG_9817 IMG_9811 IMG_9801 IMG_9798 IMG_9795photos c/o Nicole

ASOS Round Sunglasses//White Clover Czech Stone Champagne Earrings//similar pearls//similar belt//similar bracelet//Navy Ruffle Sleeve Metal Buttons Dress//Nude With Rivet Slingbacks//Sold out Deux Lux bag– love this, this, + this grey bag (all currently under $50!)

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

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Wedding guest etiquette

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At last count, from what I can remember, I have been to seven weddings since I graduated from college. Within the next year, I will be able to add four more. Three of which I’m in the wedding party. So I’ve learned a little something about attending weddings, and I’d like to share with you what I think makes a good wedding guest.

First of all: Dress the part. I was mortified when I went to a wedding back in college where people wore jeans and ts to the ceremony then changed for the reception. Apparently, in some parts of the country, that’s normal. But I don’t wear jeans to church EVER much less when a couple is having one of the most important days of their lives together. And for goodness sake- DO NOT WEAR WHITE. Unless, for some reason, the bride wants you to, in which case do what she says. I cannot stress this enough. Not for the engagement party, not to the bridal shower, not the bachelorette party. DO NOT DO IT. No cheating with cream or ivory or eggwhite or any of those whites incognito either. And now is probably not the time for your gold mini dress or backless red gown. It is her day. Let her be the center of attention.

PicMonkey CollageLucca Couture Drop-Waist Shift Dress//Kate Spade New York Structured Silk Mini Dress//Lilly Pulitzer Women’s Bellina Maxi Wrap Dress//Betsey Johnson Women’s Cap Sleeve Fitted Dress//BCBGMAXAZRIA High Neck Mini Dress//

Additionally with the dress code, feel out the type of even it is and dress accordingly. My cousin got married in the country and had a bbq reception in a beautiful barn. I wore cowgirl boots. The beach wedding I’m in this summer- monogrammed Jack Rogers sandals.

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My cousin’s country wedding- photo c/o Morgan Abernathy

As for gifts- I used to be very anti-registry, but now that I have friends who are younger and starting their lives together, I like to get them what they need. However, if you’re attending more than one event for the wedding, my idea is to get them something they need for one event- like the bridal shower. Then get them a fun surprise for the wedding! You also don’t need to break the bank if you’re young and broke like me. You can always go in on something bigger with another guest! This can be a great idea for buying sets of something from the registry as well.

PicMonkey CollageDot & Bo Bottoms Up Champagne Glasses – Set of 2//Snow River End Grain Butcher Block Cutting Board//Williams-Sonoma Two In The Kitchen Cookbook//Faceplant Mr. & Mrs. Pillowcases//kate spade new york Gardner Street Double Invitation Frame//

Let’s talk tech. I personally am not a huge fan of wedding hashtags, but if the bride is using one, be considerate and use it along with her so she can track the pictures taken by her family and friends. On the flip side, if the bride asks for phones to be put away during the ceremony and or reception do it. I’ll be attending a wedding with where cell phones are totally prohibited because of who some of the guests are, but regardless the reason the couple needs their guidelines respected. Phones should be off during the ceremony. No beeps or buzzes, please. And if you are taking pictures with your phone, make sure to let the photographer do their job and stay out of their way. They’re paid to get great pictures and you could be messing them up by weaseling your own camera/ phone into the shot.

This should go without saying but get to the wedding on time.

And speaking of timing, RSVP to the wedding ASAP. Someone is paying a lot of money per person, and it isn’t fair to keep them waiting on you.

While it is natural to have a drink (or several) at a wedding to celebrate, do not become so intoxicated that you make a scene. Someone at a wedding I went to passed out in the bathroom and had to be helped out of the venue by staff (after degrading the staff for being… staff.) It was deplorable. I have also witnessed sobbing bridesmaids in fire escapes. Not a pretty picture.

Generally don’t make any comments about anything except how lovely, beautiful, moving, fun etc. everything is. The bride doesn’t want her feeling hurt if she hears about your cousin’s 4 story chocolate fountain when she has a tiny fondue station, or about how you’ve seen her escort cards done a million times on Pinterest already. They worked hard to put the day together and don’t want to feel judged on any details.

Wait for the bride and groom to come to you to say hi, they are super busy and have to say hi to the rest of the guests too so when they do come over, don’t monopolize their time. If you are close friends they will most likely spend time with you on the dance floor, but this is their day and they are busy bees.

If something goes wrong (seating arrangements are slightly messed up or the bar is out of vodka) tell someone besides the bride and groom. Find the maid of honor, wedding planner, parent, or catering director to tell. As mentioned above they are already busy and things should be stress free.

If you’re in the wedding party, do whatever silly/stupid poses they want you to do for pictures. It’s their day and they’ll be returning the favor for you very soon.That being said, if you weren’t asked to be in the wedding party, accept that gracefully and just be glad you can enjoy the wedding work-free. Jealous doesn’t look good on anyone. Ditto with catching the bouquet. That bouquet was MINE at my big’s wedding- until some crazy girl jumped in front of me and literally swiped it. I pouted momentarily, but in the end it matters not because, once again, THE DAY IS FOR THE COUPLE.

Make sure to thank the couple and or their parents for the lovely event. And don’t forget to tip the bar tenders!

I’d love to know your wedding guest rules + tips!

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Black + white // rose + maple

I really think this is my favorite dress. When I first saw it in the window of H&M last year, I actually spoke to it. “I’m coming back for you,” I said. And I did. While I usually pair it with a Barbie pink blazer and some major bling, I decided to soften up my black and white with another signature color- rose gold… mostly so I could show off my amazing new Sidney watch from Jord.

IMG_9319Remember when I fell in love with my recycled skateboard glasses from Royal Threads that I got at Warped Tour last year? Well, as soon as I found out about Jord, I felt the same way. Not only does it look awesome with my wood sunnies, but it’s so light on my wrist compared to my beloved silicon MK watch. And of course I love the subtle sparkles around the face of the watch. Jord as a company is helping to create a sustainable lifestyle combining natural elements with modern design for people who are going places. Helllooooo they totally belong on my wrist, and on the wrists of girls on the go like me who are also concerned with honoring the natural.. The word Jord is actually Swedish for earth/ soil/ land.

While I picked the Sydney to match my sunnies, I also really loved the CORA SERIES in Zebrawood & Turquoise, as well as the 746 SERIES Black & Maple. They have a style for everyone, so check out the entire collection for yourself!

IMG_9322 IMG_9314 IMG_9309 IMG_9305photos c/o Nicole

An even cooler painted shift dress//black + white graphic shift in a much better price range//Metallic Strap Sandals//similar crossbody//Sydney watch c/o Jord//similar bow belt//Cone Stud Stretch Bracelet//Necklace is sold out- other delicate rose gold necklaces here, here + here//Sunglasses//

Thank you Jord so much for sending me this awesome watch in exchange for my review! As always, all opinions are my own!

And check out how Christine of maple & mint styled her black and white! We decided to do a little East Coast/ West Coast thing so be on the lookout for more of her!

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Lunchtime play date

I am SUH ESSITED that spring time has arrived(ish) and I can abolish the tights and bust out the little dresses. Admittedly, it was much colder on this day that I had anticipated and with the wind I was just about a walking Popsicle. But at least I got to finally meet up with my Nicole and play around in Lafayette Square Park across from the White House. And can I talk about how this is officially my favorite outfit right now? I think of that jacket as my own personal tour jacket- I got it made when I was 14. Paired with the comfiest little dress (for under $15!!) and shoes + my backpack… easy peasy lemon squeezy!

IMG_8949IMG_8964 IMG_8958IMG_8969 IMG_8966   IMG_8971Similar Dark Shrunken Denim Jacket//Leather Pocket Dress//Perforated Slip-On Sneakers//Deux Lux Karma Backpack (I think the grey is sold out- I can’t find it anywhere)//Colorful Rhinestone Flowers Alloy Bib//Similar bow bracelet//Cone Stud Stretch Bracelet//

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

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Perfect weekend

I’m not sure how I managed this- but I had the perfect weekend this past weekend.

Let me elaborate. Somehow, I fit boyfriend time, workout time, family time, friend time, a concert, church, brunch, and the zoo into one weekend. I honestly can’t believe it. I also put together a shoe shelf that I purchased for less than $10. I’m pretty impressed with myself, to be honest.

Friday, Austin and I rented Tusk. I slept through most of it, as I normally do, but it was weird and I wish I’d seen more of it because I like weird. I would suggest checking it out. After sleeping in, we went on a “run.” I say “run” because Austin and Artooie did a much better job than I did. I doubt many people know this about me, but I have arthritis from when I had Lyme’s in middle school. My joints will never fully un-swell and I was in so much physical pain it felt like my joints were on fire. But I still tried and soaked up some sun and it was totally worth it because I felt great afterwards.

Saturday night, I had a date with my Daddy at Le Perla. It was so nice to be able to catch up, just my pops and I. Especially since I’ve moved out, those nights are rare. Then I met up with my (newly officially married) best friends for an intimate Oh Honey show at the Rock and Roll Hotel. Little did I know, one of my favorite musicians of all time was their opener. It was an amazing night of music and friends and a lot of laughing.

Sunday, I woke up to beautiful sunshine for church and brunch with my friend Matthew. (Thanks again for the pics!) I was at the Cathedral for his confirmation, and I got to be there for his official welcoming into St. John’s. We headed to Southern Hospitality for (too much) brunch… then to the zoo! I freakin’ love the zoo! Fueled by bacon Bloody Marys, mimosas, and smoked salmon Benedict, I got to frolic near the lions and even ride the carousel because sometimes I’m twelve. Plus I just love that it’s warm enough to run around in a sun dress.

And what goes better with a little sun dress like the ones I wore all weekend than a springy statement set? I want to thank Alexandra at The Pretty Pink Rooster for sending me the pretty pink peachy necklace and earrings featured below. She’s a fellow alum of the Theta Eta chapter of Phi Sigma Sigma, and I love the story behind her boutique- where everything is under $50! She and her father were going to start the business together, and after he passed away suddenly, she had to put their dreams on hold. But now- well, I think she’s doing her father proud! As someone who also lost someone very close to me at a young age, I find her story inspiring. And after having such a great date with my own dad this weekend, I’m feeling very lucky that I have him by my side and behind me through all of my challenges and triumphs. Check out this gem of a jewelry boutique and if you like something, swipe it fast! It might be gone if you wait too long- it truly is a boutique!

And tell me about your weekend! I hope it was as good as mine!

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nWuiJdG3O4pwLVX1aZVQWpeYqcSaLuPQMDsYB6OG3K9vYwGPA1E6-WiG64UDHM3lUfAXeA=w1211-h465 9VoSbRDYtG-x_vKhOo9JD3CucmVRAA52_GQLY7EZ90wFvt6FOnK6LWL5cgDwcHsRFHtzSQ=w1211-h465 BSsfHLqCrrl_fFEFD3PhukhHoX8HZVSQqA2BNy2urPdzbn8AYZ9qqfc3dqU4IMCERa4DsQ=w1211-h465 FuVUAWaWZhcwHP1C58lnltIrMBnblBS18TPEAONZx1q0LnYr0KyXNCIKV3XyZdvVA6Jl7A=w1211-h465 3235

Pineapple express

A couple of weeks ago, I made another run to Uptown Cheapskate and I fell in love with this pineapple print dress immediately. It didn’t look like they would have any that would fit my top-heavy frame, but lo and behold, I was a small! Done deal. I wore it to dinner with my parents that night at Rasika. If you like Indian food, you have to try it- especially the crunchy spinach (and champagne cocktail!).132259042Retro Pineapple Crush Dress (I think this is the same one)//Madden Girl shoes//Clutch (old Loft- similar here)//Silver bangles (long-time collection- shop bangles here)//Michael Michael Kors Round White & Rose Gold Tone Watch//Baublebar earrings

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Uptown Cheapskate: @UCRockville

There is something totally refreshing about cleaning out your closet. There is something even better about being paid to do so. Thanks to my beautiful friend Dana, I discovered a gem in Uptown Cheapskate.  A few times a year, I do a major haul of things I don’t wear or purchased on impulse that I no longer find that I need. I take in huge bags to my local UC (the Rockville store is most convenient to my DMV readers)  and in a half hour or less, I have a quote. The best part is, if you accept store credit rather than cash on the spot, you get 25% more! The things they don’t take, I donate elsewhere to someone who needs it, everyone wins!

On my last visit, I made over $30 in store credit. I ended up with a dress, a pair of shorts, and new sunnies. I always take the store credit because it NEVER expires. How cool is that? That means that I can wait and spend my credit a month or more later, with an entirely new inventory to pick from! They are very picky about what they take, making for a great selection no matter when I’m there.

From their website: To earn the most out of your things, make sure your items are freshly laundered, in great condition, and in current fashion. Be sure there are no rips or stains, and check for fading or missing buttons. We buy items based on condition, style, inventory levels, and what sells well in our store. Just bring your things in a bin or bag, and we’ll have an offer ready quickly.

They also have an incredibly friendly and helpful staff. They’re very interactive on their Facebook and will even put 24 hour holds on items that they post. Dana and I have both done that a couple times. If you’re looking for some reduce- reuse- recycle, guilt-free shopping, I would highly suggest you check them out. In the meantime, peep the two adorable outfits I put together with my purchases (in the gallery above). I live in lace dresses. And the shorts, while out of my usual comfort zone, were so great for day drinking on a Sunday in the country.

x0x0 Caroline