It's almost August, which means it's almost the fall, which means summer is almost over. I hate to look at it like that, but with how fast June and July have flown by, it'll be September before I can blink. I'm starting to miss summer already.

Before kicking off August, I thought I'd start by giving a fond farewell to the travel and fun-filled July that I'm leaving behind.


Day to Night

You know what makes the best weekend summer day? No agenda. Well, and wine, of course...but that was a given, yeah?

On a recent Saturday in Chicago, I woke up, threw on sandals and black scalloped shorts from Gap, and let the Windy City take me wherever it willed me to go. That ended up including a long brunch, the farmer's market, a walk along the lake, and outdoor patio drinks (insert wine here), all before 5pm. To finish the day perfectly my hubby and I had a date night, in which I swapped my sandals for heels and enjoyed a quiet evening with, yup you guessed it, no agenda. And wine.

All this has lead me right to where we stand now: An outfit post involving fabulous Gap pieces fit for day to night transitions, and the sudden recognition that I need to swap all that said wine for sunshine. Don't think I didn't notice those nude heels blending into my legs. Anyone have a great fake tanner they can recommend? I blame the Polar Vortex, which is apparently still a very real thing in Chicago and is making me seriously reconsider my chosen living location.

Photos via Christina Slaton
:: Shop The Post + Additional Gap Day-To-Night Transition Pieces ::


Bridal Brunch

On the day before my wedding, my bridesmaids, mom, step-mom and mother-in-law gathered at The Stray Dog for a bridal lunch to kick off the weekend festivities. We said "Cheers" over cocktails while chatting about all that was to come, and everyone received gifts from my mom to thank them for their help throughout the process. (More on those gifts later!) It was laid back and relaxed -- there was no agenda, no decorations and no frills. Just great company and lots of excitement in the air.
My co-MOHs and I
I swear I didn't pick my dress to match the wrapping paper!
All my favorite ladies
My lovely mom and I
The bride got goodies, too!
The gorgeous harbor of New Buffalo
To wear, I chose a black and white polka dot dress from Antropologie. It was a birthday girl from Doug's mom (She also picked out this dress. Great taste, right?!) that I got a day prior. As soon as I opened it I knew it would be perfect for the luncheon; it's comfortable while still being elegant, and I adore the back! Paired with pearls and a delicate diamond bracelet, both which hold deep family meaning, I was certainly a blushing bride-to-be feeling calm, collected, and ready to start the wedding weekend in style.


NORDSTROM SALE :: ITC Picks for Less

I know, I know...I had you at "Sale". Here's the thing: Nordstrom is having an anniversary sale, and it's a big one. A really, really big one. As in, the below picks have the pleasure of being accompanied by the likes of Kate Spade, Rebecca Minkoff, Betsey Johnson, Tory Burch and Michael Kors, all at prices that you'll gasp over. It's that kind of sale.

I've scoured the site for stylish finds that are budget friendly, and I've divided them into cost buckets. There are items to help you round out your summer, or get a head start on fall. Ready to get shopping?

** Note :: If you find something that you like, buy it soon! The sale ends August 4, but even from when I first grabbed the below round up a few days ago, some items are no longer available.

:: Shop ITC Picks Under $50 ::

:: Shop ITC Picks Under $100 ::

:: Shop ITC Picks Under $150 ::


The T-Shirt And Jean Alternative

I've always been a t-shirt and jeans kinda gal, but in July when humidity is running high, jeans are typically a no-go. I think we can all agree that sweat among the unknown crevices is uncomfortable for everyone and should be avoided at all costs.

Now, one would presume that in this case, a simple swap of full-length jeans for jean shorts would be the next best option, but I wholeheartedly disagree. You see, they don't lend themselves to many places. Take work, for example. My work environment is super laid back and pretty much anything goes in terms of dress, but jean shorts are too casual for even there. They're not like other shorts where you can simply throw on heels and look like the office's best dressed with your sassy self. No,  jean shorts are different, and we all know it.

Which is why my favorite t-shirt and jean alternative as of late has been swapping out the jeans altogether. For what, you ask? A skirt. Any option will work. Sequins? Do it. Pleated midi? Right on. The girlier the better, because really, how cool does it look when you pair laid back with an unexpected splash of glam?
All photos via Christina Slaton

:: Shop Summer T-Shirts, Skirts + Boots :: 
{So sorry - Items pictured in outfit post are no longer available online!}


Summer State of Mind

It's summertime and the livin' is easy. So is the shopping, with all these mid-summer finds that are sure to liven up your closet. Here's to starting the week with a little treat for yourself. You deserve it!
:: Shop The Post :: 


Lessons From A (Very) Recent Newlywed

With my wedding over a month behind me, I still feel like I'm walking on cloud 9. I've been checking off more to-do's (those thanks you notes take much longer than expected!) and tying up loose ends, which is making me feel nostalgic for the year of planning that's now in the past.

On the bright side, I have so much goodness in the works to share! That's why, every Thursday, I will be posting bits and pieces of my wedding experience with you. Everything from the scoop on my dress, a deep dive on the vineyard, and many DIY project details will be on here, so be sure to keep checking in!

To start? Advice while it's fresh. I'm a contributor to the Wedding Party blog, and in the past few weeks I've written two articles all about Lessons Learned From A (Very) Recent Newlywed. Part I is all about the planning process, and Part II is all about the actual wedding day. After all, there's no better person to give advice than someone who just went through it! Be sure to swing by for the scoop on how to take in every moment and keep your sanity while you're at it. (Psst - James Bond would be proud - An escape plan is involved!)
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