Love Lately: Summer Edition

The thing I love about summer most (other than my birthday) is that things just move a little slower. Everything is approached with an easy breezy laid back approach. I guess I could say the same thing for me and blogging lately….I must be in summer mode! Anyway, I wanted to share some of my current favorite summer things that help me enjoy this blissful and worry free season.
1. Detox Spa Water. This is my favorite go-to drink for the summer, and I drink it alllll dayyyyy loooong. It's simply water infused with lemons, cucumbers and fresh mint leaves…..but the result is so incredibly refreshing and hydrating, you can't help but guzzling it down by the gallon all day. To make it even easier (for those who hate drinking water) make a huge pitcher for the whole day and leave it on your kitchen counter or somewhere else you pass by frequently. Make sure you keep filling up every time you pass by. For me, using straws always makes me drink more too. So find a fun adult sippy cup and get to hydrating and feeling like you're at the day spa :)
2. Summer brights. I am obsessed with this bright coral/turquoise scarf I picked up on clearance at Old Navy. It looks so cute with my black maxi dress here, or even a crisp white tank or tee, jean shorts and flip flops. I also love when my mani inadvertently matches my outfit. It's the little things people.
3. Nail Polish Rotation. Being newly engaged, I have been loving getting fresh manicures even more. People are always asking to see your ring, so you can't have your nails and cuticles looking like a hot mess. Plus it's fun for me to see which colors look best with my ring (hmmm, pretty much all the colors) but these are my current favorites in rotation. All of which look pretty with a tan. 
Deborah Lippman Break 4 Love // Essie Fiji // Essie Go Ginza // Deborah Lippman Tip Toe Through the Tulips
 4. New Planners and Organizers. I have always been a nerd when it comes to getting new school supplies, and especially getting my new planner every year. I am a planner at heart. D usually tells me I plan to much (ex. already getting excited about fall) and that I need to live more in the moment. He may be right, but old habits die hard. I am very particular about planners (it has to have the perfect layout and function just-so for me) so often times I can't find what I want. I finally splurged on the  Day Designer, which does just that, designs your day. It was created for creative entrepreneurs in mind. I mean look at the black and white stripes? So me! In particular, there is a full page each day for you to map out your day and maximize your productivity. I got the August edition since I'm a school counselor and always function on the academic calendar and I am OBSESSED. Once I start using it I will definitely be doing a full tutorial. Also, got a pretty yet functional pink rubber case for my iPad mini. The OCD person in me even organized all my apps on different pages including personal, blogging, school counselor, and wedding planning. I feel so organized and alive my friends!
 5. Summer Gear. I can't wait to use this adorable crocheted top from F21 for my next beach trip. Paired with little denim shorts and it's just too cute. Along with the outfit includes my bronzer and bronzing shimmer from Victoria's Secret, Frederic Fekkai's summer hair, and Eternity Summer perfume (last years edition). Still haven't gotten around to smelling this years bottle. 
 6. Summer scents. I love doing one big summer scent haul at Bath & Body works to get my apartment smelling like my own personal beach paradise. My newest favorite is this Peach Cilantro Twist scented candle. Not only does this smell fresh and amazing (cilantro fan here!) but the pretty packaging, font and colors will always win me over. 
 7. Summer flip flops. I usually treat myself to a new pair of flip flops every summer, not so much because I want to, but because last years are so beaten up and worn out I have to. My pick this year were these gold Tory Burch studded one and I adore them because they pretty much go with anything. They are neutral yet have some shimmer to keep them interesting. 
8. Mojitos! Did you know last week there was National Mojito Day? Yeah, me neither until I was at happy hour in the city and drank 3 of these bad boys. I'm also a weirdo who doesn't like rum, so I always ask to have my mojitos made with vodka. Don't judge, it's just my thing. I also got a watermelon flavored one…..and I'm pretty sure this is my official summer drink :)

Well that's all I've got for now. I can't believe my birthday is only 2 weeks away and I haven't planned anything yet….I'm totally off my game this year! Maybe we'll just be playing things low key since we're currently trying to save our money for some bigger expenses coming up!
So what are the summery things you're loving lately?

xo Steph


Our July 4th in Photos

How was everyone's July 4th weekend? Wonderful I hope! Surprisingly enough, D and I did in fact make it down the shore to his mom's beach house. Somehow there wasn't much traffic on the roads....I guess we were the only crazies who thought driving to the jersey shore on July 4th during a hurricane was a good idea. But we made it, only to have our first day there spent in doors, hitting up the local diner, drinking wine and playing many, many games of Trivial Pursuit to pass the time!
rocking my stars and stripes -- love you America! xo
We finally got some quality beach time -- pretty much all that next Saturday. The beach was mobbed with people everywhere since July 4th was spent in doors watching Hurricane Arthur put a damper on things.
One of my FAVORITE things to do in LBI is stopping at Pinky's. Their seafood is a staple for me and D every year. Their fresh snow crab legs are ahhhh-mazing and one of those little things we look forward to every summer. They are a little on the pricey side, so they are certainly a treat. And of course the place looks like a little hole in the wall joint, but those places always have the best food. Ammiright?

there is simply nothing better than fresh snow crab legs, fresh jersey corn and an ice cold Corona with lime -- all enjoyed while sitting on your shore house deck. #heaven

fireworks were the next night (again with stupid Hurricane Arthur) but it was so cool because we didn't even have to go into town to see them. We got the best seats in the house (aka the shore house deck). It doesn't get any more perfect than that!
On the way home we stopped at one of those road side farmer's market stands to get some fresh fruits and veggies. There is seriously nothing better than Jersey corn or Jersey tomatoes.
D as he carefully inspects each ear of corn. Me on the other hand was just throwing them in the basket!
Gotta support our local farmers -- always eat local when you can! 

I hope everyone had an awesome weekend -- here's to many more weekends at the beach! 
xo Steph


What No One Ever Tells You About Getting Engaged

It's been almost 2 weeks since the proposal and the shock, I think, it's finally starting to wear off (in a good way might I add) so now we're realizing….we're getting married!! We're getting married? So what are we supposed to do now? So far we've been content just calling each other "fiancĂ©" and that has been enough to amuse us so far. As avid Seinfeld aficionados, we are constantly quoting this very funny video clip where clearly, Elaine is not impressed. Don't worry guys, we're not THAT bad.
So we've got engaged. Now what? Everyone and their mother has asked me, "do you guys have a date yet?" No, we do not have a date yet, I've barely been able to think straight let alone book a date. We're engaged, let us savor this moment for a moment! That, I was not prepared for. But what I did do was indulge myself by buying my first wedding magazine (I'm allowed to read this now?!) crack open a bottle of wine and started flipping through. I hopped online and found this great article which made me chuckle and I totally wanted to elaborate on.

10 Things No One Ever Tells You About Getting Engaged

1. You'll have a big zit on your face the day he proposes. Or you'll be in a piss poor moody mood. See previous post for the details. My bad!

2. You won't be able to stop staring at your hand. Or taking pictures of it. Or changing your nail polish color to see what goes best with your new ring. Which by the way, the above color is Essie's "Got Engaged" so I just had to. Found here. Some cons to this include staring at your ring while you're driving, which means I need to get my act together and stop distracting myself from traffic signals.

3. You'll have to tell your proposal story a million times. And I have. And now I have it in a blog post to share with you all :)

4. People will ask you "have you set a date?" before you even had a chance to think about it. I mentioned this before but, YES. This will happen. But no reason to get annoyed, people are just genuinely happy for you and eager to set the date. I've learned to graciously tell people, not yet, we're just enjoying being engaged right now.

5. There might be a few sours….. as in people who aren't happy for you, or who did not give you well wishes. Hey, it happens. And it's happened to me. But I'm committed to focusing on the people who ARE happy for us rather than those who aren't. At the end of the day it's about us and our happiness, so that's all that matter. Haters gonna hate!

6. But your best friends will be there for you! Yes, they will :) And that will show true friendship shining through.

7. Married friends will all of a sudden become wedding planners and offer (sometimes unsolicited) advice. Yup. "I wouldn't wear a dress like that" "You shouldn't get married there" "You should…." You get the picture. Take everyone's advice to heart, and at the end of the day, your wedding day should reflect two people, you and your other half.

8. You'll watch wedding movies and wedding shows differently. GUILTY. Since getting engaged I've watched Father of the Bride (old classic with Steve Martin and Diane Keaton) and may or may not have indulged in a marathon of "Say Yes to the Dress." Oh the shame. I was never the girl who had her wedding planned since childhood so I certainly never watched those stupid bridal reality shows. And now all of a sudden I'm like, "that's a really pretty dress, I wonder if I could pull that off?" What has become of me??

9. You'll have a hard time not jumping into wedding planning mode and just enjoying "engagement time." Partly true. I have to admit reading wedding magazine instead of my Us Weekly or Instyle magazine has become my new guilty pleasure. It's also been really fun bonding over this with my mom as we fold down pages of "I like this dress" or "oh this is a good idea." At the same time I don't want to rush and want to savor the moment. Plus, D might need a little break from wedding talk overload. According to this article they mention, "be sensitive to him. He more than likely just spent a lot of money and time planning out the proposal. So give him a little time to relax if he needs it. A few things you can get started on right away: planning out the guest list (at least your family and friends) and documenting your proposal story."  Great idea. D, you're off the hook for a while :)

10. Your relationship will feel different, even if you have been together/lived together for years. YES! I always knew that when D proposed I would be excited and happy, but I really didn't think I would feel "different." I mean, we've been together for almost 5 years and lived together for going on 4. We've pretty much established ourselves as a solid couples. Our families know each other and hang out. It feels like we're already married. So it really did surprise me that it felt different. I had a physical symbol of our commitment to each other, as well as a promise to spend our lives together. And now I no longer have a boyfriend, I have a fiancĂ©! (still have to get used to that one).

And there you have it! What no one ever tells you about getting engaged. For you ladies out there who have already gone through this period, or are already married - I would love to hear your words, stories and advice on navigating this exciting time!

xo Steph


Stars & Stripes

You know I love any excuse to dress festive and July 4th is right around the corner. This look is perfect for a casual backyard BBQ, day at the beach or boardwalk, or laying out at the park. This year D's mom invited us down to her shore house in LBI (Long Beach Island) and we were pumped because it would be the perfect getaway for us since all the engagement hoopla. Did I just say hoopla? Anyway, going down the shore for a few days sounded perfect complete with lounging out on the deck, and eating fresh crab legs and drinking ice cold coronas with the ocean breezes wafting through the air…..until we forgot we had a dog and, what are we going to do with her??

stars and stripes

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With our recent engagement-moon to AC, we dropped Tiki off at my parents house for what I like to call, "Tiki's vacationing at her country estate." While she loves it there, she is a sensitive dog who is very attached to us. We couldn't possibly ship her out again. And putting her in a kennel is out of the question for this pampered pooch. She wouldn't last a day there! So sadly unless we come up with some magical solution, we will be bumming around town for the 4th. Luckily, there is always something to do, so we might lay out at the park, hit up some food truck and try to catch the fireworks over the Hudson River. I guess plan B isn't too shabby.
So what are you all planning to do for the 4th?

xo Steph
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