pretty things no. 40

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Happy Saturday! We haven’t had a new edition of Pretty Things in awhile because of last month’s travel, but I’m happy to be back to sharing all the loveliest things I’m finding on the internet lately.

I’ve fallen deeply, deeply in love with the brand Amaio Swim and have found myself daydreaming about a number of their pieces, particularly the Jolie, off-the-shoulder top. Not only is it a gorgeous piece for the beach or pool, but you can also pair it with a high-waisted skirt for a brunch look.

These Sudini Rovigo slingbacks are such a classic piece with a little twist: a sweet bow on the back of the ankle. These would be great with a beautiful, summer dress or with white, rough hem jeans and a feminine blouse.

This chic basket bag is the perfect summer accessory staple to pair with everything from a sun dress to a black-on-black look for dinner. This bag is sun dried and made with a smoking technique, so it actually has a slightly smoky smell which I love.

This lightweight wrap dress is such a lovely option for summer occasions from weddings to Sunday brunch. Pair it with delicate strappy heels, a pair of cute sandals, or white sneakers for a sporty vibe.

I saw this photo of Jackie Kennedy recently, which inspired me to look up some sculptural, metal jewelry because she just looked so chic. I found this pair from Argentine designer Fernanda Sibilia, which I think would be great to pair with an otherwise netural, linen outfit.

One of my favorite things to do anytime of year, but especially in the summer, is put on a nice smelling face mask and relax for a mini spa day. One of my favorites that I return to time and time again is the Caudalie Instant Detox Mask. It’s great for cleansing pores and giving you that glowing, summer skin.

book report: may 2019

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I’m back with my fifth book report of the year and going strong! I traveled quite a bit this month and didn’t get as much reading done as usual, but the three books I did read were all so, so good. I’m doing well on my progress for the year and am so happy that I’ve been lucking out with such good material.

Progress: 25/70

Shortest Way Home by Pete Buttigieg
I could honestly write such a long review of this book and have been asked by many of you on Instagram to do so, but I’ll try to keep it concise. Quick thing up front: If you don’t already know, Pete Buttigieg is the mayor fo South Bend, Indiana and is running for president in 2020. Going into the book, I was already a casual fan of Pete’s but this book sealed the deal and I will be voting for Pete in the primary. First of all, it was beautifully written almost as if it were a novel. Second of all, Pete really pleaded his case for why he really is the most well rounded candidate for president, one who is appealing to both “sides”, and I’m all for it.

He is a 37 year old Harvard alum, Rhodes scholar, married to a public school teacher (who is a man, by the way, not that it should matter but I consider it a plus), and speaks 7 languages. He is well educated and worldly, yet was raised in and is the leader of a town that is quintessentially Midwestern and representative of so many other towns in the States. Not only these things, but he is also a veteran who served in Afghanistan, a former McKinsey grocery pricing analyst, and has hands-on experience using creative solutions to solve problems in South Bend that need to be solved nationwide. Definitely, definitely read this book and then go out and vote for Pete.

The Southern Side of Paradise by Kristy Woodson Harvey
Y’all know I love the Peachtree Bluff series and I was so excited for the third book to come out on my birthday this month, but equally sad because it’s the final one in the trio. If you liked the first two books, you’ll love this one which focuses on the youngest daughter, Emerson. I’m really sad to say goodbye to these characters and the town of Peachtree Bluff!

How The Light Gets In by Louise Penny
This is the ninth book in the Chief Inspector Gamache series. Yes, the ninth. This is by far the longest series I’ve ever read (with Harry Potter coming in second) and I still currently have four more to go (probably five because a new one comes out every year and will likely be out before I finish the others). I have to say, this was definitely one of my favorites, if not my number one favorite in the series. It was compelling from start to finish, with several different plots that were all equally as interesting. It was very representative of all the things I love about this series: the cozy setting, the well plotted mysteries, and the philosophical overtones.

five outfit ideas for concerts this summer

Well, I was so excited because tonight, my friend and I were supposed to be going to see Ariana Grande in Orlando. BUT, the show got postponed (until November!!) at the very last minute. I was planning on sharing outfit ideas for concerts to align with this. Even though it’s kind of irrelevant to my night now, I know you all probably have concert plans this summer, so there’s no shame in sharing still.

I’ve also rounded up a couple of cute clear stadium bags. I’ve noticed these are hard to find. It seems like the cute ones are a million dollars and the decently priced ones are kind of ugly. Luckily, I actually found my go-to bag, a clear one with a red and green strap, at Walmart of all places.

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This is a great look for someone who may have a more classic style. Pair a neutral, lacy camisole with a matching long cardigan for a monochromatic look on top. For bottoms, try a pair of straight leg jeans and to make the look a bit more sporty (a concert is the perfect excuse), add a pair of Adidas pool slides.

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For certain shows, I like to pull references from edgy, rock’n’roll fashion with a little infusion of French girl style. Try a pair of chic, cut off black skinny jeans with a loose fitting black blouse, revealing a black lace bralette. Finish it off with a pair of edgy boots.

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If you want to try something a little different than standard concert fare, pair a white maxi dress with an oversized green army jacket. For a sporty vibe, add white Stan Smiths and finish it off with a pair of cool sunglasses if you’ll be outside.

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For a super easy and comfortable look that works for every type of concert imaginable, pair a loose little printed dress with white high-top Converse. Style with lots of gold rings and a pair of short hoop earrings.

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For an outdoor show, especially a festival, you might have a bohemian vibe in mind. Try a white boho blouse with classic denim cut offs. For a bit of country flair, try a pair of chic ankle cowboy boots and a colorful bandana in your hair, tied on the handle of your bag, or around your neck.

the best summer books for your beach bag

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It may not technically be summer yet, but the weather (at least in the South) is hot - already low 90s - the sun is out, and the vibe around us is beginning to slow down just a bit. All of this has me very excited for the summer season and getting ready with a summer bucket list that includes tubing at the springs, having Casamigos margaritas and tortilla chips outside on the porch, and lots of summer reading.

If you ask me, summer and fall are the best seasons for reading but the content tends to differ wildly. Summer books should have an element of adventure or travel, be dramatic enough to stay engaging but lighthearted enough to carry you through the longest, hottest days of the season. Here are five books that fit the bill:

The Southern Side of Paradise by Kristy Woodson Harvey
I’m a big fan of the Peachtree Bluff series and have been looking forward to this, the third book, for so long now! The story picks up with Ansley Murphy and her three daughters, this book particularly focusing on the youngest daughter Emerson, a Hollywood actress at home with her family in Georgia. Definitely read the first two books before picking this one up, as they are both so charming and will make you want to pack up and move to a little beach town in the South.

Rules for Visiting by Jessica Francis Kane
May Attaway, a gardener who keeps to herself, decides to reconnect with four old friends. She visits them each separately, considering herself the female Odysseus. This book has a lot of details that make it sound like a great summer novel: afternoon ice-cream, surprise postcards, and friendship.

The Last Book Party by Karen Dukess
Set in the summer of 1987, an aspiring writer named Eve attends a gathering in Cape Cod at the home of a New Yorker writer and his poet wife. She’s dazzled by the guests and invited to a famous book party where she learns that the literary world is not what it seems. This sounds like it has a Gatsby vibe, which I like the sound of.

Honestly, We Meant Well by Grant Ginder
A woman, and Classics professor, whose family is falling apart decides to book a month long trip for them on a Greek island to try to reconnect. This book is described as a witty family drama and I think the setting and travel themes are perfect for a summer read.

Costalegre by Courtney Maum
I loved Courtney Maum’s last book Touch and am so excited for this one. American heiress and art collector Leonora Calaway, living in Hitler’s Europe in 1937, begins helping artists escape Europe to the Costalegre resort in Mexico. The story is told from the perspective of Leonora’s 15-year-old daughter who accompanies her mother and becomes entangled with an older man and Dadaist sculptor.

hello from amsterdam

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Amsterdam was absolutely amazing. My family was Dutch and we really relate to the culture even living in the States, so going into this trip, I had high expectations but also a little bit of fear that it wouldn’t live up to how I had hyped it up in my head. But truly, I felt so immediately at home in the Netherlands even from the moment we boarded our KLM flight in London and then landed at the airport. As soon as we landed, we were in the middle of beautiful green fields peppered with canals.

Ever since getting home, I’ve really missed Amsterdam. London was tremendous and I can’t wait to go back there, but I really, really miss Amsterdam. Here’s a little overview of the trip:

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The Airport //
Schiphol is one of my favorite airports because it’s so clean and modern and just has a good vibe to it compared to other airports. To make things even better, our “taxi” was a gorgeous Tesla which was a super fund ride to the hotel. AND the driver was playing the new Marina album, so I think it may have been the best airport transfer of all time.

The Hotel //
Our hotel in London was so wonderful, but I have to say the Amsterdam hotel lived up to it as well! We had a huge room with a view of the canal and Leidseplein Square and these fun, gold clogs on the wall. We have wooden clogs at home because we’re obsessed, so this was a happy thing.

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Day 01 //
Our first full day in Amsterdam started at the Anne Frank House. It was really fascinating to actually walk through the annex where the Frank family lived in hiding. I think the most moving part was being face-to-face with a portion of the wall that was used to measure Anne and her sister as they grew. That little, normal detail was just haunting.

After Anne Frank, we hopped across the street and into the boat for our canal tour and prosecco with Flagship Amsterdam. I have a full overview of that from the other day. That night was also the night I finally gave in and bought my Adidas pool slides because no other shoe would fit my swollen feet. 😅

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Day 01 Food //
After the boat, we headed back along the canals toward the hotel to find somewhere to eat. Throughout our entire time in the city, we kept passing this little corner market with all sorts of vegetables on display outside. This corner was seriously one of my favorite places in all of Amsterdam.

We stumbled upon the restaurant Venus & Adonis and I’m so happy we did because this little place had the most beautifully designed dining room and bar. It was all midcentury modern with beautiful warm tones. We had some really good salads, frites, and our favorite Dutch ginger ale.

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Day 02 //
Our second day was primarily made up of our own DIY food tour of Amsterdam. But first, we stopped at Bloemenmarkt for a few minutes. I hate to say it (because I love flowers), but this wasn’t my favorite spot. It just felt very crowded and touristy, so we stopped in at a cute cheese shop then moved on. Up next, we got the most delicious stroopwafel and fritjes cones I’ve ever had!

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Shopping //
We did most of our shopping on this day in addition to most of our eating. We picked up a few Delft pieces for our family collection, stopped at the Adidas store, and spent some time trying makeup in & Other Stories. I love any time I can get into an & Other Stories shop because they always have the cutest pieces and now I know their makeup is really good too. I might order some and do a review sometime!

Sightseeing //
Later, we walked to the Rijksmuseum, Museumplein and through Vondelpark a little bit. I wish I had personally gotten more time to spend in the park because it really was a beautiful spot. Museumplein is also really cool because there’s so many different types of architecture to see.

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More Sights + Food //
This is kind of out of order but before we went to the Museumplein/Vondelpark area, we walked to Winkel 43 to try the famous apple cake. On the way there, we probably stopped 100 times to take photos of all the beautiful things we passed on Herengracht.

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Day 03 //
Our last full day in Amsterdam began with a walk through Museumplein and De Pijp all the way to Coffee + Coconuts. I’d been dying to have brunch here because it’s such a beautiful space in a converted historic theater which is right up my alley. I will say, it wasn’t the best brunch experience I’ve had and I’d probably only go back with a group. I’m used to trying new brunch spots in New York on my own and it’s never weird, but it was just kind of weird here! I sat facing the wall in the back, so I basically didn’t even get to see the restaurant and they didn’t have the menu item that I planned on ordering, which is fine but the menu is rather meat heavy, so I ended up only having a coconut and croissant, but those two things were great.

Afterwards, I met up with my mom and dad and we walked over to Foodhallen. We spontaneously had vanilla ice-cream cones with disco dip and then didn’t end up actually eating at Foodhallen because it was very crowded. We went to Dutch Weed Burger Joint instead and had frites there. This wasn’t my favorite area of town, so we headed back after that.

Okay, so that’s my full thoughts on what we did in Amsterdam. The trip totally exceeded my expectations and next time, I know what’s overhyped and what I want to spend more time doing, plus the areas I absolutely love!