Festive in Floral

I'll admit it - I'm not a big fan of Valentine's Day.  I'm not entirely sure why...I just never really gave it much thought or cared much about it.  I also usually don't dress in pink or red or anything super girly.  However, this adorable dress I found on Shopbop has me a little more excited for the holiday as I think it would be the perfect Valentine's date dress.  The ruffles and neck tie bow are totally feminine and I could definitely use this bright floral print to chase away the winter blues.  I also love that the length is short enough to pair with over-the-knee boots.  I even went full hearts and love with these cute rings from H&M (only $5.99).  So what are your Valentine's Day plans?  Night out on the town?  Romantic night in?  Quality time with your favorite gals?  I'll be looking for an excuse to wear this dress again...even if it's while sitting on the couch eating pizza.

Shop the Look!

Dress - re:named Floral Neck Tie Dress - Shopbop  / Boots (similar) - Miss KG Vegas Heeled Over the Knee Boots - ASOS / Bag - H&M - currently not online, but also love this one / Heart and Love Rings - H&M 

Friday Favorites

1.      Favorite new podcast!  My friend Emily Levenson has partnered with Betsy Brokett to launch a new podcast about finding what nourishes you – mind, body and soul – and I couldn’t be more excited to start listening!  If your goals for 2017 include getting healthier or embracing the bigger picture of wellness, their podcast, Nourish + Flourish, is for you.  So far, topics include the power of daily routines, movement versus exercise, an introduction to tarot and books that have changed their lives.

All the links you need:
The podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nourish-+-flourish/id1194201691
The website: nourishandflourish.us
Twitter: @nandfpodcast
Facebook: facebook.com/nourishandflourishpodcast

2.  Favorite new books to add to my reading list!  I've said it a million times, but I am such a nerd when it comes to books and reading.  I love diving into a good book, though I must admit I wish I had more time to devote to the hobby.  I'll also take a physical paperback book any day over a digital version.  Feeling those pages and breathing in the smell (yes books have a smell lol) is half the enjoyment.  I recently stumbled onto a post on The Everygirl titled "Inspirational Books That Will Actually Change Your Life."  Count me in.  I haven't read any on the list, but I'll certainly be adding a few to my Amazon cart this weekend.

chasing slow by erin loechner is first on my list

chasing slow by erin loechner is first on my list

3.  Favorite thing related to Dogs this week!  Yes, I am dog-obsessed.  You guys already know that.  The lovely people at Puppy Spot recently sent me this flowchart that's aimed at matching you with the perfect dog breed.  It's easy to fall in love with any number of puppies, but it's incredibly important that you educate yourself about the various breeds and are prepared for a lifelong commitment.  I can't stress this enough.  This fun flowchart is a great way to get an idea of what breeds might match your lifestyle.  Cheers to finding your perfect furry companion!

4. Favorite Beyonce news of the Week!  Beyonce announced she's pregnant with twins...and the world went crazy.  She can do no wrong in my mind, but I was quite confused by the announcement photo.

 

5. Favorite home beauty treatment of the week!  I don't know about you, but the cold winter temps do a serious number on my lips.  They are so dry and cracked everyday.  I've tried all the lip balms and nothing seems to really work, so I headed to Pinterest to look for some home remedies.  Now, I'll be honest, I plan on trying this one this weekend, so I can't say with absolute certainty that it works.  However, I like that it's natural and simple, so I'm willing to give it a try!  

 

6. Favorite meme of the week (ok, maybe of all time)!  I think this is hilarious regardless of who you voted for...though I'm sure not all would agree.  But I'm sorry, I literally cannot stop laughing...the caption is priceless.

How to Stay Motivated...in February

It happens every year.  The ball drops in Time Square and suddenly everyone is all “New Year, New Me.”  As a blogger who follows a lot of other bloggers on social media, it smacked me particularly hard in the face this year.  Instagram photos of shiny new planners with #girlboss and #dreambig hashtags.  Everyone chattering on about their fresh content and big ideas for the coming year.  And don’t get me wrong – usually I am one of those people.  I love shiny new planners with all their blank pages full of possibility.  I love goal setting and taking on new and exciting projects.  But this year....gag.  I was Just. Not. Feeling. It.  I didn’t particularly want to be Debbie Downer, but that’s where I found myself.  My motivation level was on empty.  So what’s a girl to do when she’s got zero mojo, but can’t just hide under the covers until spring?  I gave this some serious thought and decided to share what I came up with in the hopes it might help my fellow #girlbosses who just aren’t feeling quite so motivated these days.

1.  Break down tasks into blocks of time.  Here's what I mean by this: I often become overwhelmed by things that shouldn't be overwhelming.  For example, I will walk past a basket of laundry for days dreading the idea of having to fold it and put it away.  Now in reality, how long will it really take me to complete this task?  15 / 20 minutes?  Basically, way less time than I've spent dreading and ignoring it.  So, I've started to assign times to my tasks.  For instance, I will tell myself that for at least 30 minutes I will work on doing laundry and putting clothes away.  That is all I will do during that time - no distractions.  Once that 30 minutes is reached, one of two things typically happens.  1. I will feel relieved / proud that I accomplished something other than just watching TV or flipping through social media.  2.  I will usually feel more energized and want to keep working on the project even after the 30 minutes.  I compare it to exercising.  The worst part about exercising is getting started.  Once you get going, you always feel better and never regret working out.  I recommend breaking your tasks down into 30, 45, or 60 minute increments.  Setting a time limit lets your brain know that there is a stopping point and makes the task seem a lot less overwhelming.

2.  Get organized.  This one kind of goes without saying.  Of course, you are going to feel overwhelmed and unmotivated if you are surrounded by chaos.  Buy that shiny new planner and start setting some goals.  Some people do great with electronic organizers, but I am more of an old school pen and paper kind of girl.  I like to be able to write things down and feel the satisfaction of physically checking them off my list.  Find what works for you and get started.  The start of the new year is a great time to get your house organized.  I'm currently working on getting my home-office organized and prettied up.  I don't know about you, but I absolutely cannot work with clutter and mess all around me.  The new year is also a great time to dive into your closet and purge all those items that you know you didn't wear last year.  And don't fool yourself, if you didn't wear them in the last 12 months, you are not going to wear them in 2017.

3.  Think Spring.  Maybe you're a winter person.  But even winter people are a little "over it" as February trudges along.  Something I've found helpful is to incorporate some "Spring" into the more dreary months of the year.  What do I mean by this?  Well, we can't force the sun to make an appearance, but we can do small things to change our scenery and change our attitude.  Trade in that dark nail polish for a bright pink.  Add fresh flowers to a room you spend a lot of time in.  Swap out the pine scented candle for something floral or beachy.  Heck, start researching that beach vacation.  Subtle changes to your environment can have a big impact on how you feel.

4.  Do Something Good for the Soul.  Yes, you have a massive to-do list that seems to grow by the hour.  Walking away and ignoring that list might seem like the last thing you should do.  However, often times it's the smartest thing you can do.  I learned this lesson the hard way, but once learned I've lived by it.  During college and the years that followed, I used to push myself to get things done.  I'd sacrifice sleep, stay up all hours of the night and usually have some sort of tear-filled meltdown at 3 AM.  I've learned that you need to listen to your body and pause when your body is telling you it's time.  If you're sitting at your desk, but have done nothing but scroll through Facebook mindlessly for the last hour, it's time to walk away.  It can be scary to take that pause or to table your work for the next day, but it's so important.  What you do during that break is totally up to you, but should be something that brings you peace and happiness.  For me, 99% of the time it's taking my dog for a walk or to the park.  The combination of fresh air, getting my legs moving and seeing his wagging tail is all I need to feel reinvigorated.  I promise you, you'll be more productive when you return to your work.

5. Stop engaging in things that make you miserable.  Sounds simple enough right?  Surprisingly, this might be the most difficult thing in this post for people to actually commit to.  How many times are you scrolling through Facebook or Instagram and you feel like your eyes may permanently roll back into your head from reading certain people’s posts?  Don’t deny it…I know I am not alone here.  However, for some insane reason we keep following these people.  We let these opinions and values that we don’t agree with trickle into our mind and into our lives every.single.day.  It’s ludicrous.  I’m going to let you in on a little secret – it’s OK to unfollow these people.  It’s ok to not know what some rando from high school ate for lunch today.  Just Stop.  We live in this world where we fear we have to know what every single person is doing at every minute of the day or we might – god forbid – miss out on something.  Here’s what I’ve learned after my month of “unfollowing” people – you most certainly will not miss out on anything and the peace that you gain back is beyond refreshing.

Of course, this idea of not engaging in things that make you miserable extends well beyond social media into real life.  How many of you have a “friend” that is constantly negative and complaining?  I had a “friend” awhile back that I swear to you felt happier if I told her something in my life wasn’t going well.  In this case, misery LOVED company.  Who needs friends like that?  Remember when you were growing up and your parents wanted to know who your friends were, who you were hanging out with?  There’s a reason people.  Who you surround yourself with has a lot to do with who you become and how you view life.  Have a job that makes you miserable?  I’m not going to tell you to quit because I had people do that to me years ago and it’s infuriating.  Sorry, I can’t just quit my job – I have debt and bills and finding a decent job takes time.  However, I will tell you to start applying to new jobs.  Take some classes.  Create your own side business.  There are a million things you can do to shift the focus from the seeming misery of your current situation to those things that are going to set you up for future success.

6. Go easy on yourself.  Wait, we are talking about getting motivated and now you are telling me to go easy on myself?!  Shouldn’t I be pushing myself?  Well, yes and no.  Our world has become saturated with the idea that busy is better.  “Hustle” is a mantra that we toss around like confetti.  I shared awhile back how at one point in my life I was going to school for my Masters, working a full-time job, a part-time job and doing events on the side.  And for the most part, I was happy…because I like busy – I thrive on busy.  The problem is, especially for self-proclaimed perfectionists (like myself), being busy can become an obsession.  We start to compare ourselves to the other “busy” people in our lives and end up falling short regardless of how much we accomplish in a day.  It may seem odd to throw in a Ron Swanson quote at this juncture, but in an episode of Parks and Rec, he said “Never half-ass two things.  Whole-ass one thing.”  Sure it’s a funny quote, but it’s a pretty important idea.  The more tasks you layer onto your plate, the less you can give to each one.  So what I’m saying is, be kind to yourself.  Maybe you didn’t cross all 50 things off your to-do list, but you’re human.  Slow down, take a break, and I promise you the motivation to pursue those things that you are truly passionate about will come. 

If you still need more motivation, last time I checked Spring is only 48 days, 16 hours, 14 minutes and 54 seconds away.  We can do this.

Weekend Getaway - Nemacolin Woodlands Resort

What better way to beat the winter blues then a weekend getaway with a few fabulous girlfriends?  This past weekend, myself and three of my blogger faves, Ashley from Afternoon Espresso, Zoé from Zoé with Love Blog and Brianne from Just a Girl Boss headed to the picturesque Nemacolin Woodlands Resort.  If you’ve never been, Nemacolin is truly a one-of-a-kind resort, with a wide variety of luxurious accommodations, an amazing spa, golf-course, shops and an extensive selection of delectable dining options.

chateau lafayette nemacolin woodlands resort

chateau lafayette nemacolin woodlands resort

There are a number of amazing options when it comes to accommodations at Nemacolin.  The Chateau Lafayette is a luxurious hotel inspired by the Ritz Paris in France.  It’s quite the sight when you make your way up the winding drive and see the Chateau for the first time.  There’s also The Lodge, various townhomes and vacation homes and even Nemacolin Wooflands Pet Resort & Spa.  I love the idea of being able to bring my fur baby on vacation with me!  We stayed at Falling Rock, Nemacolin’s boutique hotel modeled after the architectural style of Frank Lloyd Wright.  Relaxation is king at Falling Rock with each guest having access to a 24-hour butler service.  Don’t like the pillows on the bed?  There is a pillow menu so you can choose just the right one for a good night’s sleep. There’s also a bath menu – milk bath anyone?  Being an absolute sweet tooth and cookie monster, my favorite butler provided service was the milk and cookie turndown.  Yes, a butler comes to your room, turns down your bed, gives you comfy new slippers and brings you a chocolate chip cookie and cold glass of milk.  Pure heaven.

a room in falling rock

a room in falling rock

bathroom in falling rock

bathroom in falling rock

Once we were settled into our rooms, we headed to the Woodlands Spa.  The spa boasts 40 treatment rooms as well as a full-service salon.  From relaxing massages to rejuvenating facials, full-body wraps and nail treatments, there is truly something that will appeal to everyone.  I opted for the Mystic Facial which was 80-minutes of pure joy for my face!  Ashley and Bri opted for the massages and confirmed they were equally heavenly.  After our services were complete, we headed to one of the spa's relaxation rooms to further unwind.  The room reminded me of a gorgeous ski lodge - complete with chaises, furry blankets and fluffy pillows for maximum relaxation.

the woodlands spa

the woodlands spa

As you can expect, the dining options are also top-notch at Nemacolin.  The Chateau boasts the Lautrec, one of only 27 restaurants in the world that is both a Five-Diamond Restaurant (AAA) and a Forbe's Five-Star Restaurant.  Inside Falling Rock is the Aqueous Restaurant where we enjoyed both dinner on Friday night and breakfast Saturday morning.  The Aqueous is an upscale steakhouse with a Frank Lloyd Wright inspired interior.  Of course, I had to try the steak and was not at all disappointed!  

aqueous restaurant inside falling rock

aqueous restaurant inside falling rock

my sweet tooth couldn't resist chocolate chip pancakes at breakfast

my sweet tooth couldn't resist chocolate chip pancakes at breakfast

Though we didn't stay at the Chateau, we walked through and did some exploring on Saturday.  The outside is so striking, but the interior is equally impressive.  There's a grand reception lobby, Cigar Bar and the most charming Tea Room.

grand reception lobby at the chateau lafayette

grand reception lobby at the chateau lafayette

the sunlight in the tea room is just perfection

the sunlight in the tea room is just perfection

charming place settings for afternoon tea

charming place settings for afternoon tea

The trip was exactly what I needed - time to unwind and connect with some ladies that truly inspire me in so many wonderful ways.  You don't always need an exotic week-long vacation.  Sometimes, a weekend getaway and a change of scenery is truly all you need to recharge and refocus.  Thank you so much to Nemacolin for the unbelievable hospitality!  We can't wait to come back!

myself, bri, ashley, & zoe

myself, bri, ashley, & zoe

60 Degrees in January

Phew – guys, I am back!  I didn’t intend to take such an extended hiatus from the blog, but I feel like I needed a bit of a break after the holidays.  And let’s be honest, no one is really doing much shopping this time of year.  I’m happy to be back though and excited to see where this year will take me and Yes, Wear That!  I’ve been having some serious back and forth in my brain lately about the direction I want this blog to go.  I’m still not sure I’ve landed on anything concrete.  I do know I am a bit tired of the same old, same old.  Posting outfits, waiting for likes and comments, comparing my work to everyone else’s…it’s become exhausting.  And I want to be HAPPY this year.  Not stressed over silly things, but actually happy.  So, I’ve got a bit of thinking and soul searching to do.  In the meantime, I’m going to post things that I enjoy and that I think you’ll enjoy as well.  I’m starting with this adorable cardigan from Lulu’s that I swear to you I wore for three days in a row…and I’m not ashamed at all.  It’s difficult to know how to dress this time of year, especially here in Pittsburgh where it was 60 degrees on Saturday (not typical for January here).  Cardigans are a great way to layer up and ensure you’re comfortable no matter the weather.  These pics were taken at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort this past weekend.  A few of my girlfriends and I escaped to the resort for some relaxation and I’ll be sharing all the details later this week! 

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Shop the Look!

Cardigan - Annual Ritual Black and White Striped Cardigan Sweater - Lulu's - $72 / Jeans - (similar) - Zero Gravity Medium Wash High - Rise Skinny Jeans - Banana Republic - $98 / Cami - (similar) - Crepe Vee Cami - Banana Republic - Sale $29.70 / Booties - Treasure & Bond 'Winsor' Block Heel Bootie - Nordstrom - $99.95

Day of Giving

Day of Giving

Today, I am sharing a few words and images surrounding our day of RAKS.  We joked that the more appropriate term would be PAKS (Planned Acts of Kindness) because we did plan quite a few things, but I wanted to make sure I hit a few of my favorite charities.  I share this not for a pat on the back because honestly we did nothing out of the ordinary.  I share it mainly because I want to show everyone that kindness is a choice – and most of the time it’s an easy choice.

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No Place Like Home for the Holidays

No Place Like Home for the Holidays

Today, I’m doing something a little different and taking you inside my home to check out some of this year’s holiday decorations.  I don’t consider myself an interior design expert by any means, but I think it’s fun to see how other people decorate for the holidays and to draw inspiration from their ideas.  We just moved into our new home in May, so it’s certainly still a work in progress.  Since moving out of my parents’ home, I’ve always lived in apartments, so I was super excited to have a home to decorate this year.  

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Holiday Party Style & 3 More Festive Looks

Holiday Party Style & 3 More Festive Looks

Today, I'm so excited to be joining three of my favorite Pittsburgh bloggers, Ashley from Afternoon Espresso, Lauren from Wellsley and King and Zoe from Zoe with Love to share looks for every holiday occasion.  Ashley is wearing the cutest outfit for visiting the Christmas tree farm, Lauren is showing us how to add some sparkle while still being work appropriate and Zoe is snuggling up in some of the cutest pjs for Christmas morning.  I'm wearing this adorable lace and tulle dress that's perfect for New Year's Eve or for any celebration that requires a little glam.

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Deck the Halls

Deck the Halls

To get into the festive spirit, I am sharing some of my favorite holiday decor items.  It's our first Christmas in a new house, so it's pretty exciting and to the dismay of my significant other, I want to buy everything.  He keeps telling me we need money for things like a snow blower (lame), while I would rather invest in things like marble Christmas tree figurines and pom-pom garlands.

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Snow Day!

Snow Day!

I ordered this cardigan and hat from Nordstrom last week and I am so glad I did because both items were perfect for the weather.  I'm absolutely obsessed with this cardigan.  It comes in three colors and it's a very chunky, thick knit which is great if you are like me and are always cold.  I'm also in love with this floppy wool hat that comes in five different colors.  It's perfect for those "I washed my hair three days ago" type of days.

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My Favorite Fall Cardigan

My Favorite Fall Cardigan

This casual, neutral outfit has quickly become one of my “go-to” staples for fall.  I bought this cardigan during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and I am contemplating getting it another color.  I always see fashion bloggers post things like “wearing this shirt on repeat” and I think to myself…you post three different outfits a day, there is no way you wear anything on repeat lol.  However, in this case, I really have worn this cardigan every single chance I’ve had.

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