Thursday, August 28, 2014

Celebrating (the end of) Summer


My gorgeous cousins Katie and Grace!

Katie's wearing //swimsuit: Ralph Lauren (similar here) // sunglasses: Gucci // headband: Pink Pewter
Grace's wearing //swimsuit: Victoria's Secret // sunglasses: Banana Republic // headband: Pink Pewter

Katie's wearing //swimsuit: similar here // sunglasses: Gucci // sandals: Jack Rogers // headband: Pink Pewter

Katie's wearing // swimsuit top: similar here // swimsuit bottom: Aerie // coverup: Allen Allen (similar here and here) // sunglasses: Gucci // headband: Pink Pewter

Katie's wearing //coverup: Gottex (similar here) // sunglasses: Tory Burch // bangles: Alex & Ani

I am so lucky to have grown up with two sisters. As we get older and all try to navigate our twenties, I have realized that they will be the ones who will always be there for me. Even the best of friends sometimes come and go, but family will always be there. I am also so lucky that my family extends beyond my parents and sisters, and to have cousins on both sides of my family that are just like siblings. A few weekends ago, my mom and I took a trip up to northern Ohio to visit my Aunt Jan and cousins, Katie and Grace. Even though my sisters couldn't make it, we took advantage of the fact that the boys were away at a golf resort and spent the weekend eating (shocking), drinking wine (minus Grace), and shopping. Perfection.

Katie has always been a source of style inspiration for me. She is fiercely fearless in her personal style. She wears what she likes and she likes what she wears, and I have learned a lot from her about having the self confidence to just rock it - whatever "it" is. Grace is the baby of the family and I have loved watching her style evolve from the Limited Too days to the effortless BCBG romper she wore over the weekend. She has a fun, youthful edge to her style and never forgets her best accessory - her smile!

My newest obsessions from Katie's wardrobe are her amazing headbands. She discovered Pink Pewter at her salon in Sylvania, and they are gorgeous! So well made and they come in such a variety of styles and colors. We had so much fun pairing them with all of Katie and Grace's great swimwear. All of the looks would be perfect for a weekend getaway, a trendy beach resort, or a backyard pool party.

While I hope to provide a little inspiration through my wardrobe choices on S&S, it is sometimes a little daunting to be the one in front of the lens! So I took a step behind the camera (but thank you to Jenny Benz for editing the photos!) and am so ecstatic to begin featuring some of the people who influence by personal style.

Thank you, Jan, for a great weekend! And thank you, Katie and Grace, for all of the laughs, memories, and inspiration over the years. Love you all!

 seven styles 
Seven other great headbands to try // Aldo (I bought this one a few weeks ago and LOVE it!), Urban Outfitters, Tobi, Forever 21 (such a steal!), Free People, Cara, Anthropologie

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

7 Styles for Fall

7 Styles for Fall
I am beyond excited to be moving to Charleston this weekend, but I am so sad to be missing fall in the Midwest (I'm sure when I'm laying by the pool in October it won't seem like that big of a deal...but...whatevs). I love chunky sweaters and boots, football season (okay, okay I like to tailgate), pumpkin spice lattes, dark-toned manicures, and pretty orange and yellow trees. While I'm certain my summer wardrobe will follow me into the later months more-so than it did in Indiana, I'm still busy preparing my fall wish-list. My top 7 coveted styles are:

1. Leather moto jacket: Ever since I ordered this inexpensive jacket from TOBI this spring, I have been on the hunt for a quality moto jacket for fall. This T by Alexander Wang number is to die for, and definitely serves as a source of inspiration. But it's just a tad (correction: way) out of my budget. I am absolutely in love with this style from Michael Kors and have already stopped in our MK store to try it on. Here's hoping it will make a special delivery as an early birthday present (hint, hint, mom, cough, cough).
2. Wool fedora: I have been living in my straw fedora again this summer, and would love a fall alternative to baseball caps on sloppy hair days. Barney's has some gorgeous styles, and this Rag & Bone caught my eye.
3. Leather strap watch: I wear my trusty Michele watch almost every day and would love a light brown leather strap like this one. But I also came across this MK style and love the fact that it's a double-wrap. Both are great updates on classic styles.
4. Rustic pendant necklaces: Okay, so maybe I just made up the whole "rustic pendant" genre, but I have been so in to arrowhead, agate, and chiseled stone pendants. They are great for layering with all of the delicate styles that are everywhere right now. Kei Jewelry has some gorgeous, affordable pieces. The gray agate horn necklaces pictured above have such pretty detail. I also love the buddha, crystal quartz arrowhead, and fluorite point.
5. Textured satchel: I love an easy cross-body satchel to throw on over chunky sweaters and jackets. And I don't know anyone who isn't in love with one of this years "it" bags...the 3.1 Phillip Lim satchel. I adore the bright jewel-tone styles, but when I saw this embossed leather beauty, it was love at first sight.
6. Suede booties: Suede booties have been a staple in my closet the past few falls, but I am currently coveting the Joie Dalton bootie. It comes in a few different colors and textures, and would look great with jeans or with tights and dresses.
7. Cat-eye sunglasses: Nothing makes me feel more stylish than when I wear a chic fall jacket, simple booties with jeans, and a great pair of sunglasses. Tom Ford's cat-eye styles are AHH-mazing. Seriously amazing. I love the Gina because the frame is not overly drastic. My sister can rock a mean cat-eye (like this Nikita) but I need something with a hint of a square shape. 

So there you have it, fellow fashionistas. My top coveted styles for the upcoming season. Here's to a quickly-approaching September, and my best wishes to you for a wonderful, beautiful, sunny, crisp fall.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Holy Chic

The pups wanted in on the photo shoot! Ruby Louise and Milly Rose.

Of the last 21 or so years, this is only my third August NOT spent preparing for back-to-school. I graduated with my MBA in May, and finally start my big girl job in early September. I move to South Carolina in about a week, where I will be doing an 8-12 month rotation for work, then back to Indianapolis (for good) next spring! And while I'm busy getting my wardrobe ready for corporate attire, I couldn't help getting in the back-to-school spirit with this cute graphic tee, casual leggings, and sneakers. It took all my willpower not to do a little throw-back post with my old Kate Spade mini backpack (they're coming back, I promise!). I have also been relishing in this slightly cooler weather (because Lord knows the humidity of South Carolina will attack me and my hair as soon as I step off the plane) so I layered on a soft lightweight button-down. My secret for these? I buy a small from the Gap men's section. I have a ton - they are soft and roomy and long.

I am so sad to leave Indy friends and family behind for a while, but so excited for this new chapter in my life. Stay tuned for some posts from the South!

Seven great plaid button-downs/flannels for fall (for gals or guys): Gap, Old Navy, Forever 21, Target, H&M, True Religion, Lucky Brand

Wearing // tee: Old Navy (on sale today for TEN dolla! holla!) // tank: H&M (similar here) // leggings: White House Black Market // sneakers: H&M (similar here) // button-down: Gap men's (similar here) // jewelry: Michele, David Yurman, wrap bracelet from trip to Greece // sunglasses: Ray Ban

Photo Credit: my lovely sister, Hannah Foster

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Weekend in Milwaukee

Hanging in the Third Ward.
 
The rooftop at Cafe Benelux.

Bloody Marys taste better in Milwaukee.

Jillian and Derek's wedding at the Milwaukee Historical Society. Jon Ryan looks pretty handsome!

 9/10 of the YABs with the beautiful bride - just missing Monica!

 The happy couple.

After graduating from IU (the first time) in 2010, I moved to Milwaukee, WI to work in the buying office for a chain of department stores. And while I was definitely feeling the FOMO at first for not moving to Chicago with the rest of the IU graduating class, I have to tell you, I ended up having the TIME of my LIFE. Not only was I enjoying sufficient personal space in the apartment that I shared with ONE other girl (a foreign concept, having lived in a 105-girl sorority for the previous 3 years), but I relished in the fact that I had a steady (yet measly) income and could afford a beautiful apartment on the river and, if I was lucky, a mani/pedi a few times a month.

On top of all that, I met my YABs. The story of the "YABs" started on our second-annual girl's trip. We headed to Florida, and after a long day of laying by the pool, all 10 of us went out for a nice dinner. During our meal a man came up to us and asked "who's getting married?!" to which we ALL enthusiastically replied "NO ONE!" His surprised response was "well then, what are you celebrating?" - without even thinking someone yelled "being young and beautiful!" And that was that. These girls are my best friends, my soul mates, my crying shoulder and my belly-ache laugh - they are my YABs and any time I get to see them is a big deal. It happens to be an even bigger deal when the reason for the reunion really is because someone is finally getting married. 

I had a wonderful time celebrating Jillian and Derek this weekend - I was lucky enough to see their love grow from the beginning, and because of that, the wedding meant so much to me. I have never witnessed a more touching, beautiful, sweet ceremony (at one point, my boyfriend had to nudge me to stop sniffling because I was crying so much). I had a blast hanging out with my best friends all weekend as well: visiting all of our favorite restaurants and bopping around the city that will always be my home. While I know that leaving Milwaukee to pursue my MBA was the best choice for me in the long run, I never leave the city without a tinge of sadness that I don't get to see my girls every day anymore. Never have I ever had a group of 10 women who get along so well -- women who support each other and love each other and are genuinely happy for either other's good fortune. My mom always affectionately reminds me how lucky I am to have met these girls and how rare it is to find such an easy, low-drama group of 10. 

If you have been following my blog, you will know that there have been a ton of changes for me over the past year-and-a-half and that a few of those changes were a liiiiiitle rough. There were times when I would call my mom crying, telling her I never should have left Milwaukee and the life that I loved there. And then my mom, being the wise woman that she is, would remind me that all of the YABs are moving on as well and that all I can do is be grateful for the time that we had together. She is right (as she frequently is). I am happy for my beautiful friends and for the lives that they are going on to lead. I am excited to celebrate more weddings, birthdays, reunions, and (eventually) baby showers. I am happy because I know that no matter where we all are in our lives, we will always be ecstatic to reunite, drink a summer shandy, and belt out some Celine Dion. And I know that will never change.

Now, if you have never been to Milwaukee, I HIGHLY recommend it. It is such a fun, easy-going city. Plus, there are so many great lake towns and resorts nearby that you could take a few extra days and make a long weekend out of it. It's a perfect Midwestern mini-vacay. My 7 favorite things to do in Milwaukee? It's hard to choose, but here they are:

1.Visit the Third Ward: This cute area of the city boasts tons of shops and restaurants. Pictures 2 and 3 above are from one of my favorite restaurants, Cafe Benelux. Check out the rooftop, enjoy a Bloody Mary here or at the Wicked Hop, and bop over to the Milwaukee Public Market.
2.Check out Lakefront Brewery: Milwaukee is home to many breweries, both large and small, and Lakefront is one of my faves. The tour is short and sweet, and funny.
3. Elsa's on the Park: the trendiest burger joint you ever did see. Order the "just broccoli" and a dirty martini.
4. Drive the Lakefront: Beautiful views of Lake Michigan, the Calatrava, gorgeous homes, and Bradford Beach
5. Head up during Summerfest, Bastille Days, or one of the other amazing festivals.
6. Stay at the Iron Horse hotel: a boutique hotel with an amazing bar and (dog-friendly) patio. I personally have never stayed as a guest, but love the rustic decor and the food is amazing.
7.  Finally, attend a Brewer's Game: The BF will kill me for including this (we're Reds fans), but I will always have a tiny (teeny tiny) soft spot for the Brewers. Where else do you tailgate before a baseball game?! 

Wearing // picture 1 -- dress: Gap // bag: Old Navy // shoes: Sam Edelman // jewelry: Michele, Alex & Ani // sunglasses: Ray Ban
picture 4 -- dress: Rebecca Taylor // shoes: French Connection // bracelet: J.Crew
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