Spring is (kind of) Springing!

Bench 1Bench with Sweater 2Myth #1 about Charleston: It is a tropical paradise.

Okay, maybe that’s not an actual myth. But to an Upstate NY girl who has only lived in the Northeast her entire life, I pretty much figured I’d be living in Key West-type weather all year when I moved to Charleston two years ago. Needless to say I was wrong, but have still LOVED the chance to live in a warmer climate while being able to enjoy the seasons.

Despite the damp, dreary day yesterday, I had a great time shooting in downtown Charleston by the waterfront. What was more exciting was meeting with Julie Hammond for the first time, a very talented and aspiring local photographer who agreed to collaborate on the blog!

It had been several months since I’d last blogged; mainly because I didn’t like the idea of asking friends to take my pictures. The truth (and I know I’m preaching to the choir), is that having a legitimate blog is a lot more work than I anticipated. I didn’t quite realize the amount of time that goes into taking decent pictures, writing, and creating a worthwhile product. One aspect that seemed particularly difficult to me was developing a strategy for photo shoots, as I felt self-conscious and annoying asking friends to be behind the camera. I decided I’d feel more comfortable collaborating with a photographer and having the chance to help each other grow and develop our platforms. One evening while out to dinner, a good friend of mine mentioned that her co-worker was a photographer, and recommended we connect. And voilà- Julie and I were introduced!

Pink Flowers 1

I’ve recently been inspired by Carly Heitlinger’s blog, Carly the Prepster. I identify with Carly’s style because it is classy yet simple. Out of all of the bloggers I follow, Carly’s style is probably the closest to what I’d realistically emulate on a day-to-day basis. She loves navy, stripes, and basic pieces with a fun twist, similar to the outfit I wore for this shoot. Somewhat surprisingly, I’ve gotten a lot of use out of the basic red-and-white striped t-shirt this spring. I originally purchased it at the Skinny Dip Charleston (featured in a previous post!) to wear to Gasparilla, an annual pirate festival in Tampa, FL. I initially bought the shirt because I thought it looked kind of pirate-y, but had no idea how much I’d enjoy wearing it on a regular basis! Furthermore, I am LOVING this white scalloped tote from Draper James. Its scalloped edges and bright blue interior are such fun details, and I love its size and overall quality. Finally, for anyone wondering- I’ve been wearing this navy blue sweater from Lilly Pulitzer RELIGIOUSLY for the past two years. It might be the most versatile piece I own- I’ve worn it out to nice dinners, I’ve worn it to bed, and probably to everything in between. It continues to be a timeless item and worth every penny I paid for it.

Pictured Above:
Top: Buru
Sweater: Lilly Pulitzer (old)
Jeans: Flying Monkey
Tote: Draper James

Photography: Julie Hammond

 

Pretending to be a Sommelier

kjp&wine2kjp&wineI am no Sommelier- but I do love a glass of wine! For Christmas, my wonderful friend Emily sent me a copy of The World Atlas of Wine. We had both recently read Stephanie Danler’s stunning debut novel, Sweetbitter, and were enthralled. The novel transported us into a world of fine dining & wining and gave us an inexplicable urge to learn more about our favorite adult beverage.

This outfit is one of my winter favorites, and I especially loved wearing it this weekend to sing at my church. Although it is starting to get warmer in Charleston, I plan to squeeze as much use out of my winter wardrobe as I can!

Pictured above:
Dress: Kiel James Patrick
Necklace: Kiel James Patrick
Shoes: Express
Wineglass: Anthropologie

kjp&wine3

The Skinny Dip, Charleston

 

What do you get when you combine a King Street clothing boutique with a coffee & wine bar that sells a heavenly concoction called frosé (a rosé slushie topped with champagne)?

Answer: Every girl’s dream!

I can’t believe it took me this long to discover the Skinny Dip Charleston, but I’m so glad I did. It’s an adorable store that hosts an incredible array of up-and-coming designers; with a common theme of high-quality, preppy, American-made pieces. Some of the featured brands I already know & love (Kiel James Patrick jewelry and Sail to Sable dresses), but I was thrilled to discover new brands such as Dudley Stephens (think sophisticated turtleneck sweaters and jackets made entirely of fleece) and Ellsworth and Ivey (a line of tailored capes and classic, crewneck sweaters sporting the names of iconic destinations such as Nantucket, Aspen, and Charleston). After doing a bit of research, I discovered that Taylor Ivey, the founder and designer of Ellsworth & Ivey, is the co-founder of Skinny Dip Charleston too!

*While I wasn’t quite ready for the camera in the second picture, you can get a better glimpse of my Ellsworth & Ivey sweater! I love where I live so much, I just had to purchase this CHS sweater to let everyone know 🙂

Pictured Above:
Sweater: Ellsworth & Ivey
Necklace: Kiel James Patrick

The Skinny Dip Charleston allows you to shop until you drop…upstairs, surrounded by bright furniture and cheerful decor (all for sale) while sipping on coffee or frosé from the bar! How have more boutiques not come up with this simple, yet ingenious idea?! Their beautiful, open floor plan allows for an inviting co-work space, yet a cozy and comfortable atmosphere to relax with a drink.

 

Pictured above:
Co-work space overlooking King Street & delicious glasses of frosé, topped with champagnge!

 

For Auld Lang Syne- Happy New Year!

NYE peacoat

NYE Dress

Happy happy New Year! Usually I’m a little sad around this time of year. Christmas is over, winter has set in, and it’s back to the hum-drum of regular life. However this year, I’ve chosen instead to reflect on how blessed I’ve been throughout 2017 and to be thankful. I am thankful to have shared the past week with my parents and brothers as we celebrated Christmas together in my hometown of Pittsford, NY. I am thankful for the great relationships in my life, and the chances I’ve had over the past year to strengthen old friendships while developing new ones. Finally, I am thankful for health, happiness, and a lot of love.

I spent New Years at Folly Beach, South Carolina in a charming little beach house with friends. On New Years Eve we walked to Center Street to observe the annual Flip Flop Drop and fireworks show, a special New Years Eve tradition on Folly Beach akin to the ball drop in New York City- with a flip flop instead!

On New Years Day, we bundled up and hit the beach to watch the 5th Annual Bill Murray Look-Alike Polar Bear Plunge. Hundreds of crazy people ran into the 52° water dressed as sharks, mermaids, Disney characters, you name it. While the plunge is no doubt a fun tradition to kick off the new year, I was perfectly content to stay dry on the beach drinking hot sangria.

The weekend’s festivities were topped off by a relaxing evening on the couch, where we listened to “Auld Lang Syne.” To be honest, I didn’t know the words to the classic New Years song meant “For Old Times Sake” until yesterday. I found it fitting though- taking “a cup of kindness” for old times sake, while cheers-ing to the new year and times ahead.

May you experience peace, blessings and joy throughout this new year! Cheers!

Pictured Above:
New Years Eve ensemble: Peacoat (old)- Via Spiga; Dress- Lilly Pulitzer; Gold Purse (old)- Lilly Pulitzer (for a similar clutch, click here); Shoes- Lilly Pulitzer
PJs photo: Sweater- Ralph Lauren, featured in previous post; Pajamas- J. Crew; Slippers- Victoria’s Secret

Fill Your Cup With Cheer!

I returned to Charleston late last night after a week spent at home in upstate New York…and let me tell you, it’s nice to be back in double digit temperatures!

I couldn’t resist a visit to Gala Desserts this morning, my hands-down favorite bakery/coffee shop/breakfast & lunch spot in Charleston. I’ve been a loyal patron of Gala for the past year and a half, and absolutely love its unique charm, delectable desserts, and warm, friendly atmosphere- you won’t find me at any other bakery! The best part about Gala is its proximity to my home. I love my little neighborhood, and am so grateful to have a happy place to stop by several times a week, whether for coffee, a sweet treat, or simply a visit with the owner. When I dropped by this morning, I had forgotten about the festive sign I’d decorated for the front of the restaurant, so it was a fun surprise to see it outside the shop! Naturally, I had no choice but to head inside and “fill my cup with cheer.” A great start to the day!

Pictured above:
Sweater: J. Crew Factory (old)
Jeans: Flying Monkey (purchased at Impeccable Pig)
Boots: Hunter
Location: Gala Desserts, West Ashley

Best Time of the Year

This time of year just feels so magical. It’s amazing how something as simple decorating a little tree with lights feels so cozy, homey, and beautiful. This was the first year I’ve gone to get a tree on my own. Of course I chose a time when the weather was truly frightful, and it took some wrestling to get the tree inside…but it was so worth it! The most special part is that the tree is from a little farm in upstate New York, which is where I grew up. It’s like having a little piece of home right in my Charleston living room!

I loved the festive feel of this outfit almost as much as the great sales I hit at the outlets-both the button down & sweater were 50% off. However, my favorite part of the look are the loafers, which are incredibly comfortable and didn’t even need breaking in!

Cheers & Merry Christmas!

Pictured above:
Shirt: Brooks Brothers Factory Store
Sweater: Ralph Lauren Factory Store
Skirt: Express
Shoes: Naturalizer

Photo Credit: Joni Harris