Fashion and Beauty

The Mexican Wardrobe

March 31, 2015
wilsons lap

My euphoric Mexi-coma from last week has come and gone and it’s back to real life. Real life is good, but vacation life is good too. Just sayin’. 

Below are some cell phone pictures from our incredible trip that include links to my resort wear picks. None of the clothes were really #plasticforkbudget, but what the hell. You only go to Messy Toe with your husband when you are 27 once. 

I need a piña colada now…

anna at plunge pool

hat / bikini / sunglasses

wilson selfie

 favorite swim bottoms

wilson and me black dress2

dress in print / earrings / sandals (can’t see them but they are worth clicking the link)

wilsons lap
white jumper

romper / shoes last season but similar here

bathing suit and pants

bikini top / bikini bottom / similar sunglasses / pants are last season but similar ones here / flip flops

 Also a mega shout-out to my #1 on his 9th 21st birthday. Wilson I love you and hope you have a wonderful day!

How to Speak Southern

Vacate Your Life, Remember Why It’s Worth It

March 26, 2015
water tree

Wilson and I returned from Mexico earlier this week and what a fun time we had. As soon as we claimed our luggage in the Cancun airport and emerged into the warm, muggy Mexican sunshine, I knew our impulse purchase was a good decision. Our friendly driver poured us glasses of sweet Champagne and babbled in Spanglish to us as we drove to the hotel. I looked over at Wilson, who almost immediately drained his flute, grinning ear-to-ear as always.

We checked into the sprawling, open-air hotel and upon hearing the soothing roll of the Gulf of Mexico, we both began to breathe a little easier, a little deeper. Once we arranged our things in our suite – Wilson loves to unpack – we strolled to the pool, where we lounged and drank for the remainder of the day. That evening we dined al fresco on the water, noshing on fresh fish, sipping on a spicy red wine, laughing and clapping to the beautiful music of a mariachi band.

It was freaking amazing.

plunge pool

breakfast 2

The fact of the matter is, in today’s overstimulated, over-communicated world, it’s really important to unplug. Some days at work I only scratch one or two items off my long list of to-dos because of how distracted I get from all the beeping and buzzing and pinging that goes on with the forty million devices I have that let people contact me. I can only imagine how someone feels that is legitimately important. It’s super frustrating, but damn if this Mexican slice of heaven didn’t heal my electronic device wounds. It’s absolutely pathetic that it takes going out of the country to be able to really relax, but at least we did it. We pressed pause on our busy lives for a moment and made time for ourselves and each other, and it made all the difference.

morning espresso

pelican

Thinking back on the trip, the parts I am most struck by were the blinding rays of sunlight breaking through the sturdy palm trees, the sparkling cerulean waters of the Gulf, and the look in Wilson’s eyes after the second day – he was happy and peaceful, and it made my heart so very full. So sappy, I know. I was also struck by the steady flow of drinks we drank, — and the variety, we drank everything — but that’s another story for another day.

On our last day Wilson convinced me to do something other than lie on the beach and off we went on a snorkeling excursion to a barrier reef not even half a mile offshore. Once the boat came to a halt we snapped the snorkeling goggles to our faces and plunged into the inviting water. It’s easy to forget there is an entirely different world beneath all of that blue.

Brightly colored fish flitted past us as we ogled at the wildly beautiful forest of the ocean. I was stunned at how close the coral reef was to us – we were extra careful not to tread water vertically but instead float on our backs with our flippers up when we needed a break so as not to disturb the intricately constructed coral. Never before have I seen brain coral so large or orange. It was massive, the round coils curved perfectly together in a pattern so complex only nature could conjure it. Fan coral waved at us as we floated by, perfectly royal in its striking purple hue, and I gasped as a sea turtle elegantly paddled across the ocean floor, graceful and strong against the current.

A few times Wilson and I held hands as we kicked our flippers through the water, a bit out of character of us as we both get the icks from too much PDA. But it was terrifically romantic and sweet – one of those moments, the ones you never forget, the ones you pull out on a rainy (or argumentative) day to remember the good times.

water tree

beach high res

Like I said, this trip was freaking amazing.

So what is this verbose diatribe about, you might ask after reading a 681-word count blog post? I want to testify against the glorification of being busy, and testify for taking a moment to yourself. So often I catch myself proving to others – and to myself – that I am soooo busy and therefore that’s why I’m soooo fabulous and important and awesome and smart. I often validate myself based on my degree of busyness, telling myself that I am really worth something if my schedule is unbelievably full and ridiculous. Screw that.

This vacation taught me that I can validate myself with how I treat others, including how I treat myself. I’ve always had good self-esteem, but I think I am now broaching the subject of how to truly love myself, and thereby more fully loving the ones around me. It’s great fun learning how to do new things.

So in long, take some time for yourself. Whether it’s for four days in Mexico with your loving husband in tow or it’s going to a 55-minute yoga class or hell even chugging drinking a glass of wine that you love, be kind to that person inside of yourself. You just may be surprised at how good it feels.

Home Living

Women Love Blankets — Berkshire Blanket

March 19, 2015

Ok so I have a confession.

I’m an adult that sleeps with a blankie.

Yes, I am a complete and utter child. I’m like Lionel from Charlie Brown, dragging a soft blue blanket behind me wherever I go. I take this blanket with me everywhere – even when I studied abroad in Italy in college, this blanket came with me. I’ve had the same blanket since I graduated high school (great grad gift) and it still looks brand new.

If you are in the market for a wonderful – but a tad bizarre I’ll admit – gift, a $30 Berkshire Blanket is just what you need. Slap a monogram on there for another $10 or so and you’ve got yourself a real show stopper. I gave my mom one of these blankets two years ago for Christmas and now she also is an adult that sleeps with a blankie. Like mother like daughter. We have a strong affection for wine in common as well.

 

Pinzon Velvet Plush Blanket, Full/Queen, Grey


amazon prime baby

 

I’m en route to Messy Toe right now and I have to admit that this blog post is partially informational for my glorious readers and part ode to my blanket because I didn’t bring the blankie with me to Mexico. Blankets in airports are my germaphobic nightmare/undoing.

Blankie, I miss you. I’m pouring one out for you tonight.

In other #SST news, don’t forget to enter to win the Towne & Reese giveaway by clicking here to get a chance to win these very cute earrings. I am planning on wearing my very own pair tonight. Also, because I’m en route to Mexico, I will be basking in the Central American sun with SPF 100 for the next four days and if you want to contact me, send a telegram or perhaps one of those birds with the notes attached to their leg. I will be completely unplugged after posting this blog.

Adios amigos!

Fashion and Beauty

Towne & Reese Giveaway!

March 13, 2015
earrings and everything

Happy Friday everyone! T-minus eight hours until I am able to properly celebrate this fine rainy day with a glass or three of red wine. The nectar for any true celebration.

But before I drift off into Malbec dream land, first thing’s first: SST is doing a giveaway! Woot. 

A few weeks ago a rep from Towne & Reese reached out to see if I’d be interested in looking at some samples from their new spring line. Never one to turn anything free down but always hesitant to give my stamp of approval on something that I haven’t found or am a fan of myself, I made sure to give the, sure I’d love to but there are no guarantees disclaimer… But there was no need to give said disclaimer. No need indeed, because Towne & Reese is my new favorite jewelry line.

everything 2

For those of you not familiar, Towne & Reese is a line of affordable, chic jewelry and accessories that offers a wide variety of pieces to choose from. It was a happy day for sure when I received my box of T&R goodies, and I dug through the variety of pieces with the delight and surprise of my nieces on Christmas morning. I was so excited to see that not only is the jewelry really pretty in person, it’s also great quality too. The best part? The prices! Holy crap this stuff is cheap. It’s amazing.

Quite frankly, there is nothing worse for your wardrobe than cheap, poor quality costume jewelry — it actually makes me quite upset. But Towne & Reese is a complete 180 departure from the annoying cheap jewelry of today, with high-end quality without the high-end prices. Do I sound like a car salesman?

everything

two necklaces

 I actually wore the white ball necklace yesterday. Someone told me it looked like golf balls on tees. 

blue and pink necklace / white ball necklace

stud earrings

 How cute are these earrings? I’m wearing them currently. $20.

tassle necklace up close

Tassels for your neck. $40.

earrings and everything

 I wore these earrings last weekend and loved them. Allegedly the statement earring is back. $25.

rings w others

 Great stackable rings for $35. My sister has the tiniest creepiest little hands, and these adjustable rings will be perfect for her itty-bitty phalanges. Little hands on adults are hilarious. 

jewelry box

 The perfect jewelry case for your travels. $20.

top of jewelry box

collar necklace

 I love this collar necklace too. $55.

Suffice it to say that I am officially a Towne & Reese groupie, and you should be too. Enter the giveaway below to get a chance to win a free pair of the gold earrings from above! TGIF and for this giveaway. #blessed #thankful #prayerhandsemoji

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**These items were given by Towne & Reese, but all thoughts/comments/sass/writing is mine own, of course.

Home Living

Help a Fella Out — Gift for $32

March 4, 2015

It’s been a little bit since I’ve helped my fellas out on SST, so today I will change that. If there are any men still reading SST besides Wilson and my dad, I’m not sure why you are reading, but I am certainly glad you are here. And in the event that you’d like to shower that certain someone with a gift for $32, you’re in luck. I have just the thing for you.

Linen cocktail napkins are one of my favorite things, and these pineapple ones are no exception. One of my favorite Charleston haunts Open Door Shop carries them and they would make the perfect surcee. Maybe I will turn this into a surcee series… 

 

shop hemstitch cocktail napkin | open door shop | Open Door Shop

 

 

napkin

Wanna know the best part? Open Door Shop is having a 20% off sale today online with the promo code SPRINGSALE. Holla. These napkins would be the perfect hostess gift, birthday present, or Happy Humpday gift. Go getcha some!

In other news, it is a glorious 70 degrees already in Savannah as I’m writing this and I have a major tingling of Spring Fever, which really means I am dying to pour myself a mimosa in a bikini. Don’t give me that look Wilson, you know you want to too. 

Who’s with me!?

Fashion and Beauty

How to Dress Like Spring When It’s Still Cold

February 27, 2015

I think we can all agree that winter is bad and we are sick of it and it sucks and we hate it and it’s awful and we wish it would go away. Winter is like that obnoxious third cousin that always tries to hug you when all you want him/her to do is just get the f off of you. Shoo. 

One easy way to beat the winter blues is simply dress like it’s spring, but with cold weather clothing. Straight brill. And dressing for spring can be easy on the wallet, too — I’ve pulled together a springy outfit below and all of these pieces are $70 or less.

 

Spring Style for Cold Weather

 

hat / lipstick/ scarf / jeans / sweater / necklace / sunglasses / ringwedges

 

As previously determined here on SST, white pants are no longer just for the spring and summer months — they are a year-round staple. Wilson, you’re welcome. Pairing these white jeans with the peep toe booties and a neutral sweater is a fresh take on dressing warmly yet with spring on the brain. And nothing says I’m loud, proud, and over winter like a bold red lip. Right? 

 

TGIF peeps, I’ll be toasting you tonight. Or in an hour. 
Fashion and Beauty

Resort Wear Double Duty

February 24, 2015
IMG_2356

Hola! Cómo estás? I’m working on my Spanish. It’s a slow process. 

Today instead of me telling you all of my brilliant ideas — ha – I need your help. I am mentally packing for my Mexican getaway (hell I may never come back if this weather keeps up) and I want to re-wear some of my honeymoon attire. My trousseau, if you will. These were some of my favorite outfits from my honeymoon, and I need your opinion if you think they are still in style or perhaps maybe need to be shelved for future vacations. This is also my effort to not break the bank by buying a new resort wardrobe that I won’t be able to wear to work. Although I wish I could. 

IMG_2183

 This pink dress is one of my favorites and I love it. Something no name from a boutique. What do you think? Wilson is so handsome. 

IMG_2339

 I love this cover up. J.Crew on sale. Still good to wear?

IMG_2136

We stayed at the Gansevoort in Turks and Caicos and I cannot speak highly enough about it. It truly was one of the best weeks of my whole life, and I think I will always say that no matter what kind of trips I take in my future. Every day began with a delicious spread of breakfast foods, and then Wilson and I took our iced coffees to-go and finished them on the beach. We’d then start the mimosas, which was followed by grilled pizza for lunch (they have a woodfire grill on the beach for such necessities) and then drinking ourselves into a nap. Every night for dinner we tried a new restaurant on the island. It was a dream.

Cover Up

Another cover up option for Messy Toe.

Jumpsuit

A jumpsuit option. Not sure this will make the cut. What do you think? I’m not checking a bag, so packing strategery is key.

Trina Turk Dress

This was a Trina Turk dress I bought and have worn several times since. Another one I need your opinion on. Is it a bit out-of-season? 

And who is my lovely friend, you might ask? Wilson and I made vacation friends and went to dinner with them on the last night. Obviously you can see why we were such good friends. Anyone who likes Veuve is automatically in. 

Please leave me comments with what you think of these outfits and suggestions for others. This is an extremely important matter and planning my outfits for this trip is pretty much what I’m holding onto right now to get out of my severe seasonal affected disorder. As my sister told me yesterday, we’ve all got SAD this year. 

IMG_2266

Beach

 T&C was positively idyllic. I can’t wait for Messy Toe.

How to Speak Southern

Those Early Mornings

February 19, 2015
164H

For the fifth time in two weeks the volume on my phone was turned so low that I didn’t hear my alarm and slept past my 5:25AM wake up call to go to my barre class. I awoke to a grayishly lit sky, and knew immediately I had once again slept through my alarm as the sky is pitch-black at 5:25AM.

“This f&*(**(&)(&&**((( piece of shit is so (&*&*(^*(&^!!!!” And so on. 

Expletives continued to explode from my mouth as I lunged for my cell phone and threw it on the ground in a sleepy rage. I laid back down in bed, so upset with myself that not only had I missed my barre class ($15 each), but I missed my opportunity to exercise, and heaven forbid if I don’t exercise almost every day. I continued to curse at myself and finally sat up on the side of the bed. I couldn’t help myself when the tears started to fall. It wasn’t even 6:20AM.

I am a person who is dictated by rules. I have rules for when I go to bed to get enough sleep, rules for how I arrange things on a bookshelf to be stylish, rules for when I have to get to work to be a good employee, rules for how my hair must look to be pretty, rules for how much I am supposed to exercise to be healthy, rules for how many breaths to take to relieve my anxiety, rules for the jokes I make on this blog so as to make people laugh but not offend anyone. It’s fucking exhausting.

I wrote a blog post last year about how I wanted to stop making so many lists. As I write this I’m looking at the list of things I need to do at work tomorrow morning in addition to the list of things I want to accomplish over the weekend. I also have another mental list of errands to run on Saturday. We see how well that resolution worked out.

I am telling you this sob story for two reasons: 1) because I don’t ever want to seem like my life is perfect or that I know anything about anything and 2) it feels nice to get it out.

I also want to say that I am going to change, but I am an inherently type-A person to the bone, so I’m not sure I can completely change. But I am determined to tweak. At least a little.

I put more pressure on myself to be perfect than anyone else does. I am not influenced by super perfect models that have unimaginable bodies. I don’t see other businesswomen busting ass and feel pressured to measure up. Sure I’d like to be like all of these people, but this pressure is different because it comes from within. This pressure is self-inflicted in some sort of sick masochistic way. Ah yes — I am a perfectionist. And it’s fucking exhausting. And just saying it’s exhausting makes me feel better. So I’ll say it again.

IT’S FUCKING EXHAUSTING!

I’m feeling better already.

An aside: I normally don’t say the f word on SST because my parents read and my mother in law reads and my aunt reads and my mom’s friends read and my mom does not want me saying the f word on the internet, but it does provide a certain amount of impact and power that other words do not carry, so for this one post Mom please forgive me. I probably won’t do it again.

But here’s the thing that happened once I started to embarrassingly cry on the side of my bed at 6:15 in the morning — my dear Wilson got up, put his arm around me, and told me that everything was ok. His breath wreaked of sleep and his face was a bit greasy, but the warmth of his embrace was enough to warm a thousand hearts. He gently rubbed my shoulders and told me it was ok and not to worry. Wilson is one of the kindest, most empathetic people alive, and you’re lucky if you have him as a friend. I’m even luckier to have him as my husband.

And you know what, it was ok. The world did not stop spinning because I did not get up at 5:25AM like some idiotic exercise-crazed freak. War and famine did not break out because I wasn’t at work at my goal 7:55AM start time. Lives were not lost because I was a bit hurried that morning as I got ready. Everything was fine, everything was good, everything was ok.

So here’s my life tweak — everything is ok. Not everything is going to be ok or everything will be ok, everything is ok right in this moment, right this second. If your heart is still beating and your eyes are still seeing and your fingers are still touching, everything is ok.

These are deeply personal thoughts I’m bearing right now, but for some reason when I drain my emotions out on this blog it makes me feel lighter and therefore more sarcastic and funny moving forward. So here’s hoping I’ll be better tomorrow.

But for now, everything is ok and I’m getting some wine. Cya.

Fashion and Beauty

Mexico Resort Style: Swimwear

February 18, 2015

Bathing suit shopping is a well-known cause for anxiety and frustration among women, present company included. In fact, it freaking sucks actually. I’m not normally one to be overly critical of my body, but when I shop for bikinis, the voices in my head are straight up evil.

Shouldn’t have eaten those cookies last night, they say.

Your metabolism isn’t what it used to be, they say.

Maybe you should cut back on your red wine, they say.

And that’s where I draw the line. Cut back on my red wine intake? What, are you trying to kill me, me?

Anywho, I find it much safer and easier on my self esteem if I order a bunch of bikinis and try them on at home. Not only can I control my own lighting — and that is to say I can turn the lights in the room off – but a bottle glass of wine is just steps away. When in doubt, wine makes it better.

Here are some of the bathing suits I’m considering for my romantic Mexican getaway.

 

Mexico Trip Beach Picks

 

blue wrap bikini / green bikini / coral halter bikini / black and white wrap bikini / white cover up /
neon bottoms / neon top / crochet bikini / underwire bikini top

 

These bathing suits range in price (one is super expensive, oops) but what is so interesting about bathing suits now is the wide variety of types available. Gone are the times where the options for bathing suits came in three sizes, three colors and three different styles. Now, you can choose from just about any bathing suit contraption imaginable (see that blue bikini above) to make all of your bathing suit nightmares dreams come true.

A thought on buying bathing suits: My swimwear strategy is to find a good pair of bottoms in a neutral color like white or black, and then just switch out the tops. Finding swim bottoms that actually cover my bottom is a bit of a feat, so once I find a good pair, I stick with them. If you have more difficulty finding a good top, find one that you love and then just switch out the bottoms for multiple looks. Dressing for your body shape is key, especially when you are in a bathing suit. The true definition of letting it all hang out.

By the way, all the J.Crew bikinis above are 20% off today with the promo code SHOPPINGTIME.

T-minus one month and one day until Wilson and I are on a plane to get some much needed sunshine and daiquiris.

Home Living

Investment Piece of the Month

February 13, 2015

My sweet aunt and uncle gave Wilson and me a gift certificate to Bed Bath & Beyond for Christmas this past year. I have to admit something about Bed Bath and Beyond — that store overwhelms me almost to the point of being frightening. It is so massive and has so many useful things in it, and coupled with my extraordinary ability to rationalize just about any purchase, I could easily spend a mortgage payment in there.

Truly, I think it’s the Beyond part that is so scary. What is BEYOND? You mean to tell me there is MORE than the 100,000 items you carry in this store? Absolutely insanity I tell you. 

But here’s the best part about BB&B — its online store. I can easily peruse to find what I need without spending $200 on strange potholders and a lemon zester. Phew. 

Anywho, with my handy gift card I purchased a new set of knives, and my culinary life has never been the same since. February’s Investment Piece of the Month = a few good knives, but these knives in particular are bomb. Thank you Marilyn and Norman!

 ZWILLING J A HENCKELS Zwilling J.A. Henckles Four Star 3-Piece Essential Knife Set

 

via

These knives are so good. Last night I made zucchini noodles (zoodles!?) for Wilson and me with the big knife. A bit time consuming certainly, but my zoodles were freakin’ on point because of the ultra-sharp, ultra-precise blade of the Henckles knife. Henckels I love you. 

This set of Henckels knives is $100, and worth every penny. Buy them. Do it.