Hair Bows or Hats?

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So I totally tricked you because we don't know what we are having either. Sorry, that was mean.

Boy or Girl? That's usually the second question I get after "When are you due?"

My husband and I went back and forth probably a hundred times about finding out the sex of the baby. Before I got pregnant I always had the mindset that I would want to keep it a surprise. When pregnancy became a reality I was dying to know what my baby was going to be. I am a total planner and wanted every detail of the nursery to be perfect and all the sweetest little clothes hanging in the closet. Fast forward to when people found out we were pregnant, my husband and I were wavering on whether or not we wanted to find out.

I think there are pros and cons to both and no matter if you find out now or when it comes out it's still the BEST surprise ever. If you ask people of the older generation they all say don't find out, it's so worth the wait. Whereas all of my friends that have had babies think I am crazy, I would say 90% of them found out and I don’t know how I am going to wait till the end. But then someone said something that changed my mind. They said after all the pushing when that little baby comes out and you hear its a boy or girl there is honestly no feeling like it. After I heard that I knew that moment was going to be worth the wait.

So as of now, we have decided to keep the baby's gender a surprise. Really give me something to work for in the delivery room if you know what I mean. So until May it's going to be lots of creams and greys.

Hatch Spring

Let's be honest, maternity clothes can be really scary. I have had a few really unpleasant experiences trying to find clothes that make me feel like myself while accommodating the growing bump. With that being said Hatch has some really great maternity clothes, the best part is the clothes are designed so you can wear them post baby as well. Spending a fortune on maternity clothes that you are never going to wear again is no fun so this collection is perfect. They just released their new spring line so here are a few of my favorite pieces from the collection. Happy Shopping.

Getting My Groove Back & The Shopbop Sale

Shopbop sale: So, I know I’m a little late to the party, but I promise I have a good excuse. Lately, I have had ZERO motivation to shop. Personally, I blame it on the leggings. I have made two ill-fated trips to the maternity store, one of which almost ended in an anxiety attack. That horrible clip-on belly thing they put in the dressing room really, really freaks me out.

The other day, I found myself looking for things for post-baby, but that didn’t help either. Not being able to wear the stuff you want to order is a real bummer, and maternity clothes don’t exactly make me feel all jazzy inside. With that being said, I finally pulled the trigger and ordered some maternity clothes. There is something to be said for trying them on in your own home, away from the strap-on bellies and ginormous nursing bras that could probably cover Connecticut in a rainstorm.

Some were good, and some were bad -- really bad -- but it's amazing what a good pair of jeans can do for a girl's mental state. I feel like I got my GROOVE BACK. I felt like a real person again when I slipped them on. Are you laughing at me yet? I’m laughing at myself, but I don't even care. So, without further ado, here are my maternity and non-maternity picks from the Shopbop sale.

Non-Maternity Picks:

Maternity Picks:

The First SIX Months

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Since I passed the 24 week mark – SIX MONTHS (insert hands on face, open mouth emoji) – I felt like a pregnancy post was appropriate and long overdue. Here are a few things I have learned during the first six months.

Advice, SO MUCH advice, wanted and unwanted: I mean the lady at the whole foods check out counter couldn’t even help herself the other day. People are so sweet when they find out you're pregnant; they want to share everything about their experience. A lot of the advice makes you feel better about all the new things you're feeling and is helpful, but I am not going to lie – some of it is unnecessary. Like if one more person tells me to eat more, I am going to lose my mind. But in all reality, our understanding of pregnancy has changed a lot over the years. I love my grandmother to death, but the last time you had a kid was 55 years ago, so you telling me I shouldn’t work out when pregnant is probably going to be ignored. I have realized people are going to share no matter what, so take everything with a grain of salt and move on.

HOLY Baby Registry: So, apparently, all the baby websites say this was something I was supposed to start at around 12 weeks; clearly, I didn’t. At 12 weeks, we still hadn’t told anyone. I was so superstitious, and the thought of picking things out would have made me nervous. Well, fast forward to 11 weeks later and I have started to take a stab at the registry. Taking the SAT's were easier; they make it seem like you need a million things and each thing on the list has 100 different models or brands to choose from. The other day, I found myself lost in the black hole of bottles for FOURTY FIVE minuets. To say it was overwheling would be an understatement.

Can's and Can NOT'S: The list is long, and every day, I feel like I add something to it. I honestly had no idea; before I got pregnant, I thought alcohol and sushi were the only things on the list... woah, was I wrong. I think everything in moderation is a good motto, and one I am following. When I told my mom about the “list” of things I couldn’t eat, she was shocked; her response went something like this, "It's amazing you turned out okay because I ate all that stuff." It gets you thinking about all the things our moms and grandmothers did while they were pregnant. If you slip up and have a bite of a turkey sandwich or the yoke in your egg is runny its not the end of the world. You know your body and what's right for you.

EVERY Pregnancy is Different: No two pregnancies are the same; remember that. I have been able to avoid things that have bothered other people; this doesn’t mean there isn’t stuff that is driving me crazy. Pregnancy is never a walk in the park, no matter what Kourtney Kardashian tries to make you believe (annoying); things are raw, emotional, and not gonna lie a little gross. Remember your pregnancy is your pregnancy; you have to live your life.

Leggings are your best friend and also your worst enemy: I am no stranger to leggings, totally one of those girls who wears workout clothes even when she's not working out, but this whole pregnancy thing has taken that to a whole new level. The high-waisted jeans went out the door around week 13 (man, I miss them). I was at dinner with my husband when I felt so lightheaded I thought I was going to pass out; it turned out my pants were just too tight. Low point.  I can still wear some of my low-waisted pants but not for long periods of time. I haven’t made the maternity jeans leap quite yet. With that being said, it's pretty much all about the leggings, workout, day and going out. I am running out of outfits to combine with leggings. Finding variety is tough right now, and it's throwing off my style game big time.

 

 

Beauty: May Lindstrom

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So right before the holidays, I was lucky enough to be treated to the most amazing organic facial at Organics Farm to Skin in Westport.  The facial was done using May Lindstrom's ultra-luxurious, all-organic products. If you haven’t heard of May Lindstrom (and before this facial, I hadn’t either), here are a few things you should know.  May started the line when she was pregnant with her second child and had a hard time finding skincare that she felt was healthy for her and baby.  Her mission was to create a skincare line that was free of everything, and I mean everything bad, it's even gluten-free and vegan.

People say, "Don’t judge a book by its cover," but I totally judge skincare by its packaging. This brand might just have my favorite packaging. Everything comes in glass bottles or pots, and the gold writing against the black background makes it seem like it should be in some super chic Parisian spa. Now that I am pregnant, I have to be extra cautious about what I put on my skin but also don’t want to sacrifice results that my skincare should provide.

Now, we go onto the facial―ah, I’m relaxed just thinking about it. Everything was individualized to exactly what my skin needed at that moment, which I loved. I can honestly say it was so relaxing that I fell asleep. The warming hand mitts and the lip mask were nice little touches that went a long way. I highly recommend trying any of the treatments at Organics Farm to Skin if you are a mama-to-be or just really into keeping your skincare green. They are so knowledgeable about all the products that every time I go there. I feel like I walk away with a skin education. They sent me home with a few weeks' worth of products, and I have been using them ever since. Here are my favorites from the May Lindstrom line:

The Blue Cacoon: This is probably my favorite product from this line. The deep blue beauty balm immediately turns into oil when it comes into contact with skin and is just as luxurious as the container it comes in. I know the price tag isn’t cheap, but a little goes a long way, and I can’t stress that enough. This product alone is getting me through the freezing winter we have and the havoc it wreaks on my skin from running outside when it's 5 degrees. The smell and even the color have an instant calming effect. I always find my husband sneaking for some of it for his own.

The Problem Solver: Since I can’t use Drunken Elephant Baby Facial while I am pregnant (sigh), this mask has taken its place. It's a powder that, when mixed with water, activates the ingredients that causes it to bubble. I think it smells like tequila, but that could also be my pregnant self, longing for a margarita. The mask is intended to detoxify and repair blemishes while stimulating microcirculation. It feels really warm on the skin at first, which I love, because it makes me feel like its working. Disclaimer: it does sting a little, but hang in there; it gets better.

The Honey Mud: This can be used as an everyday cleanser or a mask, depending on what you need.

The Youth Dew: This is May’s version of serum; it has an oil-like consistency. They claim that it's packed with antioxidants to plump, protect, and hydrate the skin. I felt like it gave me a really nice glow and kept me hydrated.

Jasmine Beauty Mist: I am a huge fan of face mists. I use them before I moisturize, when I finish my makeup, and even throughout the day, just to give my skin a little pick-me-up. This particular one has the most amazing scent, which makes me want to use it even more. Think a garden in Europe in the summer.

Full disclosure, I am still unsure about organic skin care products. Do I know they are better for me and for baby? Yes, absolutely. But I don’t find that they make a huge difference changing what I want to change. I think they keep things healthy, hydrated, and free of blemishes. But I am not sold yet that they are fixing those fine lines and lightening up those sunspots. I think everything in moderation is good and, like I said before, I don’t force myself to be all organic (it's a lot of pressure). Adding a few products in here and there is good for me. This line is a great place to start. All products are available at Organachs Farm to Skin or through their website. The links are below.

Baby Makes Three

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So, big news over here, we’re EXPECTING. I know its already January, almost February, and the Christmas card was so last month, but with the exception of our parents and siblings whom we told in person, the Christmas card was the way we broke the news to our nearest and dearest.

My husband and I wanted a fun (nonsocial media way) to tell everyone our exciting news. I love snail mail, although I will be the first to admit I collect all these fabulous cards with every intention of sending them to people and it never happens. We both had the same feelings when telling people in person, and thought a card, while lighthearted and fun (can't you tell from my husband's expression?), would take away the awkwardness of telling people.

We have spent the last month since everyone received their cards soaking up well wishes and realizing this is happening – a little scary. So now I wanted to share with all of you guys and put up our photos from the Christmas card shoot that we did.

We are now 22 weeks along, and things are moving so much more quickly than they did when we first found out. We are so excited to meet our babes in a few months, and I am looking forward to bringing you guys along for the ride. First-time mom here, so I am going to need lots of advice.  I can honestly say I don’t know how to swaddle a baby or even change a diaper. Um... send help.

 

ALL Organic Holiday Glam

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Let me preface this by saying that I am terrified to get my makeup done. I have had really bad luck in the past, most recently at my wedding trial. Most times, it ends up with me in tears, looking like I belong in the circus and not walking down the aisle.  So to say I am a little gun-shy about getting my makeup done would be an understatement.  My everyday look consists of boy brow, mascara, and chapstick. Quick and easy is my motto.  I am someone who hates the feeling of makeup on my face, so foundation, no matter how light, is still a no-go for my everyday use.

Enter the lovely Khira.

Khira and I were introduced by a mutual friend, and we discussed doing a holiday makeup look. Her sweet demeanor and beautiful Instagram photos helped me to put my fear of getting my makeup done aside. We ended up meeting at Organachs Farm to Skin in Westport.  To say I was in for a skin education was an understatement.

We had chatted before about what sort of “look” I would want for a holiday party. Whenever this girl sees make up ads or these fabulous looks on Instagram, I always gravitate towards smokey eyes, which my inept self couldn’t even attempt to do; I would look like a raccoon.

To start, she prepped my skin using Voya Cleanser for sensitive skin, Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator, Voya eye cream, and Kjaer Weis The Beautiful OiI. For the makeup, she used all organic makeup from brands including RMS, Ecobrow, and Kjaer Weis. Everything she used is included in the gallery below.

When she turned me around to look at the final product, I fell in love with the look. My skin looked dewy and fresh, and the makeup made me look like I had a Snapchat filter on, which in my book is just about the highest compliment you can give someone. I ended up wearing the makeup all day, which I know the people at Whole Foods, CVS, and the dry cleaner really appreciated.

If you are looking for a makeup artist in the area, Khira is your girl. Make sure to snap her up before she gets super famous and books up. Working with her was such a pleasure; I felt like I was in such good hands and that she was actually listening to what I wanted and was willing to change anything I didn’t like.


The place and the products: Organachs Farm To Skin. If you live in the Fairfield County area, you must visit. I am a person who considers myself healthy for the most part. Except for the occasional bag of Doritos or handful of Sour Patch Kids, I eat organic food, I drink green juices, and I do my best to avoid things like gluten and dairy. When it comes to skincare I could stand to up my game a little. I honestly had no idea there were stores that carried strictly organic beauty products. For people who have autoimmune diseases or allergies or are just trying to live a fully green life, this place is for you. The owner is so knowledgeable and passionate about organic skin care, and she knows everything about every product she carries in her store, which is so important. Their mission statement is ”We are passionate about natural beauty and have done the work for you – we found and tested the brands that deliver results with clean, pure, toxin-free ingredients,” and they most definitely are.   

I am never going to be the person who reads the labels to check everything I put on my skin, and there are things I am not sure I can’t ever give up, like my Old Spice deodorant (which I learned is not good for me yesterday, and I am so sad about it). However, I am eager to start adding some organic things to my routine and see how they work out. I will keep you guys posted.

All the products we used to create my smokey look are below. Make sure to follow @khirakaram and @organachsfarmtoskin on Instagram for great make up and skin care tips.

Babes In Menswear

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With the holidays coming up, we are all in search of those festive looks for all the fabulous holiday parties. Holiday dressing can be a fine line and honestly a little exhausting. You want a little sparkle without looking like the tinsel on your 1990s Christmas tree and lots of texture—think velvet—but you don’t want to spend a fortune on something that isn’t wearable after New Year's.

Enter my sister (the photo above) at a State dinner in Japan. Wow! I mean, can we all just take a minute to soak it in? I had to when I first saw the photo. It's such an unexpected look for the girl who has never seen a dress she didn’t like. But, look at her—she absolutely killed it. This look instantly makes her something of a mini style icon among all the suits in Washington. Now, the Daily Mail has been following her every outfit change, something I am sure she is not crazy about. Regardless, I am jumping on the bandwagon because this look deserves every bit of attention it gets.

Let's talk about the rest of the look. The loose waves with the berry lip were such a nice juxtaposition from the tuxedo and added a bit of an effortless vibe to her incredibly chic look. Now, while there were no photos of Hopes footwear, I can almost guess that she paired this look with an incredibly high black pump, which is exactly what I would put with it.

I've rounded up some great and affordable menswear choices for all your holiday parties. Velvet bowties add the perfect holiday touch, while I love the big silk bows; if you're going for Hope’s look above, the “floppy bow tie” is right up your alley. Classic black is my favorite for this look, but if you want something more daring, the jacket would be the place to mix it up. When you break down the pieces, they are all things that you can wear separately going forward. This makes it easier to stomach than spending $600 on a sparkly black tie dress that you might only get to wear once. Are you all daring enough to pull off the Babes in Menswear look this holiday season?

 

First Day of Fall

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I can’t believe it's already the first day of fall; even though it might not feel like it (hello 80% humidity), Fall is in full swing. I even saw Halloween candy in CVS the other day - the mini Milky Ways were calling my name. Here are a few of the things I plan on crossing off the list this fall.

Apple Picking: What is more fall than apple picking? We have gone the past few years to Outhouse Orchards and I always have such a fun time. My husband on the other hand is not a huge fan; maybe when we have kids he will be more into it, but I am still going to drag him along. We finish off the afternoon with a nice drive and dinner at one of our favorite places: The Inn at Pound Ridge.

Stratton Mountain Beer Fest (Columbus Day Weekend): Leaf peeping, craft beers, and fires all rolled into one weekend. Those three things make this girl a very happy camper. A nice fall weekend away in VT with our friends will be a perfect fall activity. Hopefully all the leaves will be in full color, it will be just cold enough for flannel shirts and maybe even some paintball.

Football: We will all head down to Knoxville to watch University of Tennessee take on South Carolina. It doesn’t get much better than and SEC football game with 110,000 screaming fans all in the same place. They take tailgating to a whole new level. Its a sea of orange and white, and while TN might not come out on top its worth every bit of the experience.

Greenwich Food and Wine Festival: A really fun fall day filled with too much good food, music, and cocktails. This year, Train is the headliner, but there are a ton of other acts - the list is on their website (FYI they only let people over 21 in.). If you can’t make the food and wine festival the next weekend, they are having The Last Taste of Summer - Craft Beer Festival in the same place the weekend after town party. It’s the first year of the event but the website promises “raft beer festival that features brews and pours from over 30 of Connecticut’s finest craft breweries, live music, a variety of delicious food,” count me in.

 

Santorini

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This round up has taken me forever and is probably one of the most difficult posts I have ever had to write. Santorini had been on my bucket list forever. You can’t scroll through Instagram these days or glance at a travel website without seeing the beautiful white-washed buildings of Santorini. With that being said, nothing I saw in the photos prepared me for what I saw in person and no matter what I write here about how gorgeous it was I will never be able to do it justice.

We started our vacation in Santorini, and clearly, it set the bar high. When I was planning the trip a did a bunch of research on where to stay, in the end, it came down to two places: Oia and Imerovigli. We ended up picking Imerovigli and were happy with our choice. Imerovigli sits on the highest point of the caldera, and it has the views to prove it. There are some really good restaurants, a handful of shops and a 30-minute walk to Fira. With that being said, its more geared towards couples and is the quietest of the towns. If you are looking for more of a nightlife and shopping, Oia might be a better option.

We stayed at On the Rocks Hotel, and I only have good things to say. Everything was perfect. I also highly recommend Altana Hotel, which is also in Imerovigli. If you don’t stay there, at least go for a drink; the bar was so tiny and charming, one of my favorites from the trip.

Things you must see and do:

The Hike from Fira to Oia: This was probably my most favorite thing we did the entire time. The hike takes about three hours and goes from the main city in Santorini to Oia or vise versa. Two pieces of advice: First, start early. We left at around 9:30 and arrived in Oia by 12:00, just in time for lunch. There is no shade along the trail, so it can get really hot if you wait too late in the day. Second, do not wear flip flops. For the most parts, the trail is an uneven and very rocky terrain. Sneakers are a must. We took a cab back to our hotel at the end but you can also take a bus for a more budget friendly option.

Amoudi Bay: Amoudi Bay sits 220 steps below Oia and is a must-do spot for a swim and some fresh fish. There are four restaurants that sit right on the bay. We ate at Katina’s, but I think they are all pretty comparable. You pick your lunch out of a tank, and they grill it up for you. The food was amazing, and if we had had more time, I would have gone back again. Make sure you go for a swim and a cliff jump before or after lunch. When you get downstairs, take a right and follow the path; around the corner, there is a rock with a tiny church you can swim out to.

Eat a Greek Salad: I must have had one with every single meal, and each one was better than the last.

Sunset: Santorini sunsets are pretty famous, and let me tell you, they live up to the hype. Everyone says that Oia is the best place to catch the sunset on Santorini, but it can be super crowded, so plan ahead and be prepared; we were not. People go out hours in advance to scope out a spot on the walls to watch the sunset, and by the time it is about to set, it can be so crowded you can’t even turn around. There are restaurants that have rooftop decks, where I wish we had gone. Call ahead and get a reservation. To be honest, though, the sunset is spectacular from anywhere on the caldera, so don’t kill yourself fighting the crowd just to see it in Oia.

Black, White, and Red Beaches: We made a stop at each one. They were all so different but so beautiful. Red beach was a small hike and was crowded, but it was worth the stop just to see it. Black beach has much more of an atmosphere. There are restaurants and shops that line the street along the beach. If you spend a certain amount at one of the restaurants, they will let you use their lounge chairs for the day.

Stop And Take It All In: The view is one of the most breathtaking I have ever experienced. It’s so easy to get caught up in your vacation and trying to cross everything off the list. Santorini is a place where I could have sat on our balcony and just admired the beauty of it all forever.

Fishy Pedicure: Yup, you read right. It's exactly how it sounds. Do it.


Restaurants We Loved: The Athenian House (Imerovigli), La Maison (Imerovigli), Lotza (Oia), Argo (Fira), Katina’s (Amoudi Bay)

 

Skincare: Five New Favorites

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Glossier Milk Jelly Cleanser: I purchased this for the first time recently because I wanted a change from the same Cetifil I had been using since I was 15, and I LOVE IT. The consistency is like jelly, just like the moniker says. I put it on my eyes, and it melts away my waterproof mascara. It's gentle on my sensitive skin, and it smells like the Tinkerbell makeup I had when I was a kid. Sold.

Peter Thomas Roth Cloud Cream: I love this moisturizer. The feel when it goes on is unlike any other cream I have ever used. It leaves my face feeling super-hydrated and fresh.

Glossier Super Bounce Concealer: Previously, I was using the Lamer concealer stick. It would be great when I first applied it, but by the end of the day, it would be stuck in all of the little lines under my eyes—NOT a good look. I thought I would give the Glossier concealer a go, and I am not sad I did. It goes on so smoothly and stays like that all day. The price tag is pretty amazing as well.

Rose Water Spray: My bestie gave this to me, and I am addicted now. I have one in my bag and one in my bathroom. I use it after I wash my face before putting on my serum. I also use it throughout the day as a little pick-me-up.

Watermelon Glow Mask: My beauty guru Lacy introduced me to this mask. AHHHHHHHH, it's absolutely amazing. After my skincare routine at night, I put a thick layer over everything, let it dry, and sleep in it. You wake up the next morning with skin that's softer than a baby's (don't be alarmed if the mask peels, that's normal). Oh, and it smells like a Jolly Rancher.

Sunglasses: Crazier The Better

If you read the blog on the reg, it's no surprise that I love sunglasses. Typically, the crazier they are, the better. Don’t get me wrong; I love my classic aviators, but usually, my style is pretty tame, and adding a pair of fun shades can totally change up your look.

Sunglasses can be an expensive habit; I would know, especially when they end up at the bottom of my bag, getting crushed or, even worse, lost, which has happened more often than I'd like to admit. So it's always nice to find a pair that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

I am loving cat eyes lately and have been scoping out the perfect pair to buy. I also love every pair of Krewe sunglasses; they are so unique but, at the same time, have such a classic vibe.

Below are some sunnies I love. I found this website, EZcontacts, that has designer sunglasses at discounted prices. Think Celine, Tom Ford, Fendi, etc.

 

And Just Like That.....It's Fall

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Just like that, it's fall… those of you who live in the NYC area know what I am talking about. We woke up to temps in the mid-50s this morning.

A few weeks ago, someone described August as the Sunday of summer, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized how true it was. August flew by. It was my birthday (31 and not happy about it), we took an amazing vacation through Europe (more to come on that), and work has been CRAZY. The kind of crazy where we leave station at 6:30 a.m. and don’t get back for 12 hours when our shift is over, the kind of crazy where I am forced to eat my food in the ambulance between calls, the kind of crazy that the adrenaline junkie in me loves. Unfortunately this month, the blog has taken a backseat to the lights and sirens.

Living in the Northeast, summer is my favorite season, a much-needed reprieve from the harsh winters we can have here. I wait nine months for those three little months of late light, BBQs, the smell of fresh cut grass, and not having to wear 10 layers when I walk out the door. Unfortunately, those three months are over just like that, and we are headed toward fall. While I am not quite ready for boots, I am embracing the 70-degree temps.

My real beef with summer ending isn’t its colorful counterpart, fall, but what comes after it: WINTER. It can be relentless and unforgiving around here.

I am going to regret thinking this and putting it into words, but I am a little excited about fall. I can always sense a change; the light is different, the breeze picks up, and fall has such a distinct smell. While I am going to miss weekends spent by the pool and eating outside, I am looking forward to crisp mornings and warm afternoons, the color of the leaves, and cozy sweaters.

Here are a few things I have my eye on for fall.

In Flight Essentials

We leave TONIGHT… can you sense the excitement? Anyway, below are some things that are staples in my airplane bag.

Ostrich Pillow Light: I just ordered this, so I haven’t tried it yet. I love that it covers your eyes and ears and has noise canceling filling. Hopefully, it does exactly what I want, and I will wake up in Europe refreshed and ready to go. Wishful thinking, right?

Face Masks: Yes, yes, yes. I fully intend on doing these mid-flight. I am sure my husband is going to pretend like he doesn’t know me, which makes it even funnier. Airplane rides can be tough on my already dry skin, so a face mask gives it some extra moisture and provides some in-flight entertainment.

Tooth Brush and Tooth Paste: I CAN NOT go to sleep without brushing my teeth, EVER. I always bring a toothbrush and tooth paste to make sure my pearly whites are fresh and clean.

Books: Reading material is a must. I used to be the person that didn’t get on the plane without buying every trashy magazine in Hudson News. Now, I am sticking to books for the trip I packed; "All the Light We Can Not See," by Anthony Doerr and "The Ambassadors Daughter," by Pam Jenoff.

Pashmina and Socks: I am always freezing on airplanes. For long haul flights, you will always find a pashmina in my bag that I can wrap myself up in and a pair of socks to keep my feet warm. The pashmina I will use for the rest of the trip and the night as a wrap. White and Warren's travel wrap is my favorite one.

iPad: I gave up the trashy magazines, but that doesn’t mean I can’t watch the reality TV shows. I will load up my iPad with "Housewives," "Shahs of Sunset," "Below Deck" and "Alaskan Bush People." Yup, you read that right, "Alaskan Bush People," it's enthralling.

His & Hers: Packing Lists

We are headed to Europe in two days, and I couldn’t be more excited: Santorini, Venice, and the South of France, to be exact, and I have these visions of Grace Kelly in "To Catch a Thief," dancing in my head. We picked three places neither of us have been, so I am looking forward to exploring and taking everything in. As many tips and recommendations as you all have on any of these places is welcomed!

Besides our honeymoon, I think this is one of the hardest trips I have had to think about packing for; I know, I know, first-world problems. We are going to three very different places. Typically, we are beach people, so my suitcase is full of bathing suits, cover-ups, and something to throw on at night for dinner; however, packing for this trip has been a tad more challenging. I figure I need beach clothes, exploring clothes, and dinner outfits. I have also sworn to myself I will not wait until the night before to pack (my typical M.O.); we will see if I can keep my promise.

Above are some things that will be making their way into my suitcase. Below are the links to the exact products!

 

Now, onto my husbands packing…
He pretty much does it all on his own while asking my opinion on certain things along the way, which is great but also provides for a lot of “Um, what is that?" moments once we reach our destination. For our honeymoon, he brought four shirts for 14 days—I mean seriously? He is the kind of person that can almost always carry on; let’s just say I am the opposite and half his suitcase coming home is usually stuffed with my overflow.

Things I know he will pack are linen shirts, comfy shorts, bathing suits, loafers, and a blazer. Things I will sneak in when he is not looking are white jeans, extra shirts (learned my lesson on our honeymoon), and a sweater in case it's chilly.

Above are a few things that are sure to be in his bag, the links are below.


Crashing Computers and Nantucket Snapshots

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So happy to be back after some major technical difficulties last week. I sat down to write some posts last Monday morning only to find out my computer screen was black, and it continuously beeped at me. Despite my best efforts (which included rebooting it and willing it on) I couldn’t fix it. It was a situation straight out of the scene in Sex And The City where she wraps her Mac in a pashmina and rushes it to the store, only to find out she had lost everything. Well, it wasn’t quite that dramatic, and there wasn’t a pashmina involved, but you get the picture. The genius bar at the Mac store is on my top 5 least favorite places. If you’ve been there, you know what I’m talking about—it always takes five times longer than they tell you, and they never have good news. Nevertheless, my computer is out of the “technology hospital” and back in action, still as slow as it was before, but it turns on again, so I’ve got that going for me.

............Onto a recap from our Nantucket visit a few weeks ago.

I went right from Vermont to Nantucket to meet my family for some serious QT. My aunt and uncle live in Nantucket year round, and it's the perfect place for all of us to meet and spend time together. Nantucket might be one of the most photogenic places I have ever been to. Around every corner is a house more perfect than the last, white picket fences, rose bushes, and cobble stone streets. Need I say more?

We stayed at the Nantucket Hotel, and I only have good things to say. The location couldn’t be more perfect if you're someone who likes to be within walking distance to town. It was bright and clean. One of my favorite things to do in the morning is to get a coffee at The Hub and walk around town. It is one of the prettiest towns in the North East. The water temperature and the presence of seals kept me on the beach instead of the water. It was so nice to relax and spend time together.

Closet Full Of Clothes And Nothing to Wear

Raise your hand if you have ever had one of those days where you shamefully put EVERYTHING in your closet on, and NOTHING looks good. I am raising both hands because it happens to me more than I would like to admit. It usually looks a little something like this... me standing in my bra and underwear trying on the 100th outfit, clothes all over the floor, and my husband yelling that we should have left five minutes ago, and we are late. I know you are probably laughing at me right now, but I know it's happened to you. It is such a mood killer when this happens. All you want to do is put on your sweatpants, watch TV, and sulk about how you have nothing to wear. Oh man, it bums me out just thinking about it.

To navigate this crisis - yup I’m calling it that (and I work on an ambulance) - and avoid a total meltdown its good to have a backup outfit that you know always works. My go-to look is a great pair or jeans (in the summer usually white), and a chambray shirt with some super high heels. The chambray shirt above is a men's J. Crew that I stole from my husband's closet, perfect for tying a knot.  Simple yet effective. I know I like it and I feel good in it so it's a safe bet when I’m having an “I have nothing to wear day” I can count on it. Do you guys have a go-to look?

 

The Guys: Fashion Faux Pas and Closet Staples

So, I thought it would be fun to do a post for the guys; I haven’t done one since swimsuits, and that was a while ago. We all have men in our lives, whether it's our dads, brothers, friends, husbands, or uncles, and we have all, at one time or another, could not help but shake our heads at their outfits. If you haven’t, either you don’t care or your men are impeccably well dressed... kudos to you. My dad has had more than most people's fair share of fashion faux pas moments and, despite my best efforts, my husband has had a few too, although he has come a long way.
All girls have their things about what their guys wear that they hate, and all secretly wish they would disappear (which can be arranged). Below are my five cringe worthy guys' fashion faux pas.

Socks with Sandals: Please, NEVER ever wear socks with sandals. There is nothing good about this look; never has been, never will be.

Slip-On Shoes: The only slip-on shoes you should be wearing are loafers, Period, end of story.

Over Use of College Memorabilia: My dad is a giant offender of this. Everyone reading this right now who knows him is laughing out loud. He ends up looking like the UVA bookstore threw up all over him. Monochromatic looks are chic but not when it's orange and blue. We get it school spirit is “cool,” but one piece of college clothing is enough. If you played a sport there, you have a little more leeway, but too much just makes you look like you're longing for the glory days of 10-day-old keg beer and endless theme parties.

Pleated Pants: Go to your closet right now and thrown them out. They add 10 pounds and don’t do you any favors. Flat front pants ALL the way.

Blazer with a Polo Shirt: This is my biggest pet peeve, it makes me cringe when I see it. It looks like you walked into a restaurant under dressed and they gave you a loaner blazer. Hello Tommy Boy. Please only wear a button-down with a blazer.

Below are some items I think every guy should have in his closet and why. The links below will take you to the exact products!

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Navy Blazer: Every guy should own a navy blazer (as long as you don’t wear it with a polo shirt). The one above is from Suit Supply; the linen is a nice change up for the warmer months. There is nothing like jeans, blazer, and a button down shirt - such a classic look.

Chambray Shirt: They go with everything, even jeans. This one is from Suit Supply, but J. Crew and Ralph Lauren also make great ones. The more you wear it, the cooler they look.

Loafers: A great pair of loafers should be considered an investment piece and something every guy should have in his closet. These Guccis are timeless and never go out of style. The $700 price tag might seem like a lot but if you take care of them and have them re-soled, they can last for 15 years.

Monogrammed Cufflinks: My husband gave monogrammed cufflinks to his groomsmen and I thought it was such a great idea. Men always need cufflinks (with a suit or a tux, always wear cufflinks, looks so polished), the monogram just makes them a little more personal.

Velvet Slippers: Again another classic shoe, you can wear it with jeans or with your tuxedo. NO socks with these, I can’t stress that enough!

Tuxedo: I am big on guys owning a tuxedo. I know that might seem a little ridiculous but gone are the days when they cost a fortune. Now that places like J. Crew and Suit Supply are making tuxedoes, you can get them for under $1,000. If you rent one five times for $200, it cost just as much to buy one without all the hassle that actually fits you.

Jeans: A well-fitting pair of jeans are a must have. Yes, boys jeans cost $200, yes they are worth it, and NO, they can not be acid washed. J Brands are a favorite in my household.

Sunglasses: Sunglasses finish out your look. A nice, classic pair of Ray-Bans or Persols go a long way.

Watches: Guys and their watches... they love them just about as much as girls love diamonds. A nice watch is an investment piece and is something you will have forever and maybe pass down to the next generation.

Summer in Vermont

Finally putting up my photos from my quick stops in Nantucket and Vermont. First up, VT. We were there for my college roommate's bachelorette party. For those of you who follow the blog, you know that my husband and I rent a ski house in Manchester in the winter, which is where we went for the bachelorette party. It was so nice to get back to one of my favorite spots. Honestly, I think VT is even prettier in the summer than the winter. We stayed in the most charming house just steps from Spiral Press Bakery and the center of town. It was such a nice low key girls weekend. We spent our days out enjoying the perfect summer weather and our nights on the front porch with some delicious meals in between.

Five things not to miss around the Manchester area during the summer:

Tubing on the Battenkill River: I have done this a few times, and it never disappoints. One, two and four hour floats and the tubes have bottoms so your not wet the whole time unless you want to be.

H.N. Williams (Dorset): They have an amazing outdoor farmers market on Sundays. Mare sure to get a Tall Cat iced coffee with maple syrup (my favorite).

Dinner outside at the Taconic Hotel: The perfect patio, complete with little white lights and a fire pit. They also gave each one of us a black-and-white-checkered blanket to keep us warm.

Lunch at JJ Hapgood (Peru): No trip to VT is complete without a trip to Happgood's. This was the first time that I have been there in the summer, and they have the sweetest granite patio complete with lawn games.

Dorset Hollow Loop: Right outside of town and one of my favorite runs in the world. It's packed gravel so it's soft on your knees and it's a 6-mile loop with little to no cars and the prettiest houses.

 

White Ruffles

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I have been living in this shirt all summer. I was unsure about it when I ordered it because I tend to stay away from tops with sleeves like this one. I was a swimmer all through high school, and I generally didn't like to accentuate my shoulders with things like ruffles. No one wants to look like they're wearing a Star Trek uniform. There was something about this top (probably the high neck, surprise, surprise) that I liked, and I thought it just might work. With a $40 price tag, it was worth a shot.

When I got it, I have to admit that the ruffles took some getting used to. I also have to tell you that there were two layers on the sleeves, the bottom layer being much more voluminous, so I played tailor, which I have been doing a lot lately (hello, raw hem jeans). I cut off the bottom ruffle, and it completely changed the shirt for me. I have been wearing it non-stop. It also comes in a pretty french blue color. It's gauzy and lightweight, perfect for warm summer weather.

I paired it with my trusty Steve Madden block heels,  skinny jeans (which I also played tailor on when I cut the bottom), and a fun patchwork clutch.