Monday, July 11, 2016

An Off-The-Shoulder Dress in Venice

Zara Dress (also love this one $25! and this one) | Proenza Schouler PS1 Bag | Prada Sunglasses | Cole Haan Sandals (old, similar here)

After the Amalfi Coast, we took the train to Parma for a night before spending our last few Italian days in Venice. We didn’t have cell phone service OR wifi on the island of Capri, so for the first 36 hours after Jesse proposed, I couldn’t tell anyone that we were engaged! It was sweet to keep it between us and savor the excitement at first, but I could not wait to get to the main land to call our families and friends to share the news. We spent nearly our whole time in Parma on this lovely endeavor (one of our favorite nights of the trip, definitely), and then it was time to head to another romantic Italian city: Venice.

What to say about Venice that hasn’t already been said before? The best part is walking out of the lovely train station right onto the Grand Canal for the grandest of first impressions. Hopefully you haven’t brought too much luggage because there are many steps over the many bridges, but even that can’t bring you down from the magical feelings that Venice evokes. We stayed right in the middle of things in San Polo, and loved how easy it was to walk everywhere. 

Between this sassy off-the-shoulder version, this maxi linen version, and another one that I just picked up in Paris, I cannot get enough of little black dresses on this trip. We were so lucky with weather in Rome and on the Amalfi Coast, but Venice was definitely heating up! This breezy dress with the off-the-shoulder detail was perfect for the heat and humidity. I’ve become a big fan of the off-the-shoulder top or dress this summer (also seen here), so I’ve rounded up some of my favorites at the end of the post. The Zara version I'm wearing here is sold out now, but this one is very similar (for only $25!) in both black and red. I'm also in major love with this light blue one from Nicholas.

Venice is not a huge city, but the miles (or kilometers!) of alleys and canals make it delightful to stroll around in. As long as you aren’t in a hurry to get anywhere or worried about being lost, it’s nice to experience the uncertainty and wander as much as possible.

One thing that we did in Venice more than other city so far was shop. Jesse found a beautiful pair of leather loafers, and I bought some leather gloves for a steal (although I’m not sure I’ll have many opportunities to wear them in Texas!). The paper goods are also incredibly beautiful and we may or may not have picked up a few gifts for some loves back at home. Every once in a while we would stop for some fried fish, seafood risotto, gelato or sorbet. Walking, shopping, and snacking… the best combination in my book!

Zara Dress (also love this one $25! and this one) See even more options below! | Proenza Schouler PS1 Bag | Prada Sunglasses | Cole Haan Sandals (old, similar here)

I hope your week is off to a great start! xoxo

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Black Denim in Bruges

IRO Paris Black Denim (on sale in white here) | Equipment Sleeveless Top (on sale! plus more sale options and colors at the end of this post) | Black Open Front Cardigan | Eugenia Kim Brigitte Hat | Cole Haan Sandals (old, similar here) | Proenza Schouler PS1 Bag | Prada Sunglasses

I am jumping out of chronological order to share about our two days in Bruges last week! We had the best time in Belgium. When we started planning our trip, we knew we wanted to spend a month in Paris, and our apartment rental there was the first thing we booked. Once we had that settled, we started dreaming about different day trips and over night trips we could take from Paris and realized how convenient it would be to get to Belgium. There is a great high speed train that takes you from Paris to Brussels, and then it’s a short hop from Brussels to Bruges. I had been looking forward to this short trip for months! Bruges is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe, so arriving at our hotel felt like traveling back in time.

My love for chocolate is pretty well documented, so I was in heaven as soon as we walked into the first of many chocolatier shops. Our favorites were Dumon and Leonidas, although we did have a lot of fun choosing between the unique combinations at The Chocolate Line (chocolate & fried onions, crazy!). Leonidas had amazing fruit flavored chocolates, my favorites being raspberry, banana, and coconut. Dumon had the most smooth and rich chocolate of the bunch, so we stocked up on chocolate bars to keep us fueled for the rest of the trip. We also had plenty of delicious waffles, (my favorite: vanilla ice cream and perfectly ripened strawberries on top) and cones of piping hot french fries. It was pure gluttony and pure bliss.

Bruges is the perfect size for a one to two day trip. It’s great for exploring and wandering through the streets, the food is delicious - so many great restaurants and snacks to pick up along your walks - and a few fun things to do as well, including visiting a brewery or climbing to the top of the bell tower in the market square. We didn’t have the best luck with the weather (it rained on and off the whole time we were there), but that didn’t dampen our love of Bruges one bit!

Similar to what we experienced in Bruges, the weather in Paris has been much cooler and rainier than we expected, and I didn’t bring many cool weather clothes on this trip. So, after seeing all of the chic Parisians wearing black jeans everywhere, I decided I wanted a pair for myself. I tried on a few and loved this pair from IRO Paris (the coolest Parisian brand, in my opinion) and I’ve worn them non stop since. The distressing and frayed, slightly cropped cut make them a perfect partner to my more feminine tops and accessories. I love wearing them with both strappy sandals and sneakers, and I may even snatch up the white pair while they are on sale!

This blue and white striped top has been on constant rotation this summer (and you’ll see it in another blog post soon!). It’s a cotton top from Equipment, and while I originally found it on The Real Real, it's still on The Outnet for 55% off. I love that it is sleeveless, so I can easily wear it under a blazer or in this case, under a sweater, without the extra bulk in the arms. The Real Real is one of my best sources for Equipment tops, but it’s best to buy the ones in Excellent or Pristine condition. I’ve linked to even more styles and color options at the end of this post, since you can never have too many button up tops (or at least that’s what I tell myself).

I have so many more posts to share from the rest of our time in Italy and our adventures in France so far, so I will be back soon. If you want to see more of our day-to-day, you can also find me on Instagram. Thank you so much for reading!!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Pink and White in Positano

The Amalfi Coast is such a dreamlike place to visit, and Positano is the most beautiful spot along the coast. This was our first stop after Rome, and between the view, the beach, the weather, and the people, it was such a lovely few days (although it couldn't top what was to come ;)).

The drive from Sorrento to Positano is an incredible experience. The road is built into the side of the mountain, and is full of narrow twists and turns. While it can be anxiety-inducing, the view more than makes up for the nerves, and the adrenaline rush gets you even more excited to arrive.

Positano is nicknamed "The Vertical City" since all of the houses, shops, and hotels are built into the steep cliff of the mountain. While it does make for a unique and beautiful city, it can be somewhat challenging to get around. We made the mistake of staying in a bed and breakfast that was above the main part of the city, and while the views were incredible, it wasn't as easy to get around as we had hoped. There were 1500 steps getting from our hotel to the city center, so we mostly relied on the local bus to take us to and from Positano. The busses are easy to find, but are small and only run once per hour, so it can be frustrating if you don't make it on a bus, or if you are crammed in with lots of other people. If we go back to Positano again, I would definitely choose to stay in one of the hotels or apartments in the center. There are so many beautiful options!

As soon as we arrived and unpacked, we were determined to find a beach. Our host recommended the Fornillo Beach, which is a 10 minute walk from the main beach in Positano center. We loved the day that we spent here! We rented sunbeds and ordered drinks and read until the sun went down. The other days were spent exploring and eating our way through the city. The Amalfi Coast is famous for lemons, and our favorite treat was the lemon granita, especially at the stands where it was made fresh with bits of the candied rind left in. For just a couple euro, we had this refreshing treat multiple times a day. My next mission is to learn how to make this at home, and this recipe looks like it might do the trick.

Between the bright blue ocean, the many colored homes and the beautiful flowers blooming everywhere, Positano is a color-lover's paradise. I knew I wanted to wear something bright and summer-y to match the scenery. I found these white pants at Zara right before we left, and knew that I would find a million ways to wear them this summer. This Elizabeth & James top, which you may recognize from an older blog post, is still in stock at The Real Real in a small ($45) and a large ($65). You may notice that I had it altered a bit. I found that I wasn't wearing the top very often due to the fly-away back, so I had the back sewn together by my tailor. Now, it's one of my go-to tops, especially on this trip!

Because both of these items are older, I've included links at the bottom of this post to some of my favorite pink tops for summer, and the best white pants, skirts, and shorts to go along with them. There is a wide range of price points and many of them are on sale! I'm sure you will get a lot of use out of them this summer and in summers to come.