a pop of pink for spring

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One of my absolute favorite things to do when the weather is nice is spend a morning at the farmer’s market. This past Saturday, went to the one in Winter Park which was a total delight. There are dogs everywhere, lemonade and kombucha stands, tons of fresh flowers and produce, and the weather was absolutely perfect.

For the market, I wore a pair of navy tie-front shorts from J.Crew with a white tank top from Everlane, denim jacket, and little wrap sandals. To add a little color element to this almost entirely navy look, I added a pink Madewell scarf around my neck. Little neck scarves are one of my favorite go-to accessories these days because they’re such a versatile piece to add a bit of interest to your wardrobe.

Tie it around your neck like this or around the handle of your basket bag or tote. You can wear it in your hair as a headband, wrapped around your ponytail, or even on your wrist as a bracelet. My favorite place to buy scarves is either vintage or Madewell, but a trick I use sometimes is to buy wraparound headbands like this one and simply wear it around my neck.

pretty things no. 38

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Happy Saturday! I’m heading to the farmer’s market in Winter Park this morning to smell the flowers and find some local ingredients for a dessert I’m baking soon. I’m in the full swing of celebrating the spring season and before we know it, we’ll be transitioning into summer. This 38th edition of Pretty Things is all about dusty rose, a color I’m loving for spring that also works well for your summer wardrobe.

This Evi Grintela dress is like my spring fantasies come to life. From the floral toile print to the color and the exaggerated sleeves, this is a piece that makes me want to jet off to Provence with a camera and a tote bag full of flowers. I also love that Net-a-Porter styles the dress with these Rosantica earrings and Ulla Johnson basket bag. Flawless.

Usually, we’re all about sandals for spring and summer, but I love a good block heel ankle boot when the mood calls for it. This pair from Paul Andrew come in the most gorgeous shade of dusty rose with wood detail on the heel.

I’ve been so into wide leg pants lately because there’s something so freeing about not wearing skinny jeans, plus they’re super flattering. This pair of pink cords from Ganni are the perfect thing for spring. I love the idea of pairing it with a floral blouse and nude slides or a white t-shirt and denim jacket.

I just can’t get over round bags! They add such a great pop of visual interest to any outfit just because of the shape alone. This particular bag from Simon Miller is great because it genuinely works for every season.

One thing I love adding to my summer beauty routine is a body oil. The consistency makes more sense in the heat than a cream, plus you can often find ones with shimmer like this one from African Botanics, a clean beauty brand. Their marula body oil is shimmering gold, perfect for that bronzed beach look.

One accessory every girl needs for spring/summer is a great hat like this straw fedora from Rag & Bone that’s the perfect addition to your everyday t-shirt and denim shorts or a beachy maxi dress.

getting outside to enjoy the weather this spring

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There is something so perfect about spring in the South. The drab (albeit mild) days of southern winter are gone, but the sweltering days of summer have yet to arrive, so we’re left with sunny days in the low to mid 70s which are perfect for all sorts of outdoor activities. I’ve always loved being outdoors, but recently read a book about forest bathing which made me realize just how beneficial it actually is to our mental, physical, and spiritual health.

This year, I’ve been coming up with monthly bucket lists and for spring and summer, they are definitely tending to include a lot more outdoor activities! Here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy the outdoors:

reading by the pool //
For the past six weeks or so, I’ve made a vow that I’ll spend at least one afternoon a week by the pool. It’s usually been on Sundays and sometimes Fridays as a treat when I finish work early. No matter the day, it feels so good to stretch out in the sun with the newest issue of Garden & Gun or whatever book I’m reading at the time.

outdoor yoga practice //
This is one of my favorite things in the whole wide world. Since the climate here is often so warm, my yoga studio does hot yoga classes just by opening the doors to the studio which is a wonderful change from the typical synthetic heat in hot yoga classes. I’ve also been to classes by the beach in the morning which is magical and just recently did practice poolside. No matter where you live, I highly suggest finding a good spot in the park, the beach, or your backyard for a vinyasa flow.

walks around the neighborhood //
I tend to do this more often when the weather is relatively cool, but taking walks around the neighborhood is one of the easiest ways to get outside any time of year. Sometimes I’ll go in the evening, sometimes in the early morning, and sometimes on my lunch break for a little refresher.

bike rides //
I come from a family that’s pretty big on cycling, so this is something I’ve been doing since I was a very little kid. In fact, when I was a toddler, my dad used to take me on rides around the neighborhood on the back of his bike to get me to fall asleep and it worked like a charm every time. I love bike rides especially in the South because it’s many times too hot for a walk, but a bike ride works because the wind makes it cooler.

walking on the beach //
This is something I don’t do as often as I’d like even though the beach is only about 15 minutes away from my house, which is crazy when you think about it. But this summer, I’m vowing to spend more time walking on the beach in the evenings or mornings instead of only going to swim or read. There’s something about walking on a beach that’s just super refreshing for the mind.

planting in the garden //
My dream in life is to have an enormous garden filled with herbs, fruits, vegetables, and flowers. I feel like I could truly spend full days just tending to one and using all of the harvests for cooking and making beauty products. For now, I have an herb garden with a couple plants. Even if you have a small outdoor space, you can still get the benefits of gardening by planting a couple herbs, flowers, and produce like kale or tomatoes that you tend to daily.

what i'm packing for my trip to europe

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I’m about two weeks out from my trip to Europe and am so excited. We’re spending my birthday in London, then hopping over to the Netherlands (as my family heritage is very, very Dutch. In fact, my ancestors were some of the first Dutch settlers of New York, making us Knickerbockers!). I'm a big planner and get pretty extra in the planning process so I’ve been sketching out my outfit ideas for weeks already and have finally gotten it down to what I think will be my final packing list.

I’ve left a few things off this list like my pajamas and workout clothes, but those things have little relevance to my daily outfits so I decided to keep this list more streamlined. I’m only taking a carry-on, which would have once been daunting to me but after living in NYC, I’ve become adept at packing light. The trick is to plan your outfits ahead of time, pack smart (I use the Kon-Mari folding method), and choose pieces you’ll be able to mix and match.

A little background on what I’m expecting in terms of weather and activities that I kept in mind when choosing what to pack. The weather should be in the high 60s during the day, getting a little chillier at night. We’re not expecting much rain, but you never know in these areas, so I kept that possibility in mind. In London, most of our activities will be exploring the city and having picnics in the park, then going to the Harry Potter Studio Tour which, of course, requires a certain look.

As for the Netherlands, things are a little less structured but I’ve considered outfits that work for cycling as well as a look for a day spent outdoors, when we go out of the city and into the forest near the border of Holland and Germany. I needed something sporty for that day, but also pulled together and cozy.

packing for ten days in Europe

10) Statement Raffia Earrings - I’m definitely a statement earring girl, so I’ll be bringing my raffia pair as well as a vintage white shell pair, pearl studs, and my classic diamond studs.

11) Blue & White Printed Scarf - To give basic outfits a girly, spring vibe, I’m packing two scarves (one is a short, pink neck scarf) including a blue + white printed one to wear with sweaters and jeans.

12) White Converse - These are my favorite travel shoes because they endure everything. I don’t want to pack my big wellies for this trip, so I’m taking the white Converse because they do well in the rain or shine.

13) Beige Suede Slides - I adore my beige slides! They’re the perfect balance of casual and dressy, depending on how you style them.

14) Small Basket Bag - Since it is spring after all, I can’t travel without my favorite basket bag.

15) Barrington Tote - My Barrington tote is the perfect travel bag. I’ll carry it on the plane and use it on days when I need to carry more with me, such as my camera or snacks.

16) Instax Mini 8 - I actually bought this camera just for this trip (and I’ll use it in the future, too) because I want to be able to have cute little polaroids to put in my journal.

17) Fujifilm x-t20 - I’m also, of course, taking my mirrorless Fujifilm x-t20 camera and 35 mm lens to use for taking photos around the city.

18) Trench Coat - You can’t very well go to London or Amsterdam, in my opinion, without a trench coat. I’m actually taking two (which I plan on sharing and swapping out), one that’s lighter and one a little bulkier just in case.

19) Rain Jacket - So that poor weather can’t ruin the day, I’m packing my hooded rain jacket.

20) Wide Brim Hat - As another way of re-styling a simple outfit, I’m taking my wide brim brown hat.

1) Gingham Day Dress - I’m taking a fun, periwinkle gingham dress to (hopefully) wear on our day in Notting Hill and Kensington Palace Gardens because I think the color will be so fun surrounded by all of the pastel buildings and flowers.

2) White Cashmere Sweater - I love this versatile sweater because cashmere works in so many different climates. I’ll be pairing this with my jeans and various accessories.

3) Black Square Neck Blouse - This square neck blouse is so flattering and looks especially good with gold jewelry and statement earrings. It will definitely be a piece that I rewear as much as possible.

4) White Tee - The perfect layering piece, right? I plan on wearing it quite a bit under my cardigan and trench coats, styled with scarves and different necklaces.

5) Black Silk Camisole - Another good layering piece, I love wearing black camisoles for any occasion, dressed up or down. I will probably wear with with my cardigan and Lululemon leggings for our outdoorsy day.

6) Long Beige Cardigan - One of my favorite outer layers is a thin, beige cardigan that I wear all the time at home to the point that it’s almost like a comfort blanket.

7) Blue High-Waisted Jeans - One of two pairs of jeans I’m taking with me, my blue high-waisted pair from Madewell are so comfortable and flattering.

8) Black High-Waisted Jeans - Black skinny jeans have been my go-to for years. I’ll mix and match them with everything else I bring as they are a perfect base for any outfit.

9) Gold Pendant Necklace - To dress my outfits up, I’m bringing a couple of different gold necklaces.

a tea + my thoughts // no. 4

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Happy Monday! We’re back with the fourth edition of tea + thoughts, the series I started back in January at the start of the new year. Next month will be a little different when it comes to scheduling, so there won’t be another tea + thoughts until June.

The tea I’m sharing this month is Trader Joe’s Moroccan Mint Tea. I try to drink a lot of green tea because it’s so full of antioxidants and good for balancing your hormones. This one is laced with spearmint, which makes it even more delicious than straight green tea. I love adding a little bit of honey to make it even more indulgent tasting. My one qualm is that this product does come in individually plastic wrapped bags which is a lot of waste, but I know at least I have sent TJ’s an email about it and I’m sure I’m not the only one!

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Pt. 2 //
Have you started watching?? I am so hooked on this show. I love dark humor and love that this show is dark and kitschy in a way I’ve never really seen before. Plus, it’s full of badass female empowerment. And magic. It really is the perfect show. I will say it’s better, in my opinion, to watch during the fall but that’s not stopping me. I just finished the new episodes over the weekend and can’t wait for season two!

Trader Joe’s Umami Seasoning //
You know the TJ’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning? This new Umami Seasoning has the potential to unseat it as the greatest cult item TJ’s has to offer. It’s a blend of porcini mushroom, white button mushroom, kosher salt, mustard seed, red & black pepper, and thyme. It’s a delicious, savory flavor that you can put on everything from avocado toast and salads to proteins and roasted vegetables. Take it from me, a person who does not typically eat mushrooms because of the texture, this is delicious.

Hu Kitchen Almond Butter + Puffed Quinoa Chocolate //
I heard about this chocolate from one of Romee Strijd’s videos and she so highly recommended it, I knew I had to try it. Of course, once I did try it, I started seeing it everywhere in the zeitgeist. I ended up finding it at Whole Foods (it was hidden in a different section than the other chocolate, FYI) and oh my lord, it’s so good! First of all, this chocolate is free of: dairy, emulsifiers, GMOs, soy lecithin, gluten, refined sugar, cane sugar, and sugar alcohols, as well as being fair trade, vegan, organic, and paleo. Plus, it tastes amazing and is not at all lacking on flavor or sweetness. You have to try it!

Planting Mint in the Herb Garden //
I was recently reading the latest issue of Garden + Gun by the pool and stumbled upon an advertorial for Mint Julep Month sponsored by Maker’s Mark. It had all sorts of recipes for different variations of juleps, but what stuck out to me was that they offered a tear out sheet that you soak in water, plant in a pot, and it grows a mint plant! I was so excited because I’ve been wanting to add mint to my herb garden and it literally just fell into my hands. I planted it last week and am now waiting a couple more weeks until it’s ready to go!