A couple weeks ago was the school vacation week in New Hampshire, so I took some time to run away to Florida and see my lovely parents. They are a bit outside of Tampa, living the retired life! Now I am sitting in my living room watching the blizzard through the windows definitely missing the sunshine and warmth! Besides spending some time in Tampa and at my parents’s house, we also spent some time in Tarpon Springs and Clearwater.
One of my favorite things to do at my parents’s house is just walk around or go for runs to enjoy the nice weather. The birds are so pretty down there, and so are all the flowers and plants. My parents have a couple palm trees and beautiful hibiscus flowers in their yard. Their backyard is actually the golf course, and it makes for some fun people watching from the lanai.
Tarpon Springs is a coastal city on the Gulf of Mexico northeast of Tampa. It is an important location for harvesting natural sponges and the historic sponge dock area has fun shopping and Greek restaurants. Tarpons Springs has the highest percentage of Greek Americans of any city in the US.
It was so nice to be near the water and all the sponge boats. My past few visits to the water had been pretty cold compared to this one 🙂 Walking around Tarpon Springs, there are lots of decorated bikes. My favorite was the one above decorated in sponges. They started appearing in the spring of 2015, and they are truly art. Warren Gregory is the artist behind the bikes. He was inspired by many years living in Amsterdam. From Tarpon Springs, we headed south to Clearwater for some beach.
Watching the snow fly and blow around outside, its hard to believe I was ever in warm Florida. I have gone down every February since my parents moved down there, and it really is such a nice winter getaway. Hopefully anyone else affected by this winter weather is staying safe and warm and maybe, just maybe, my pics will help get you through!
I received my Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale shipment this past week! Woo!! In the past, I like many Lilly lovers have taken advantage of the sale to purchase expensive items like dresses for less money. The truth is though, I looked at my closet, and I already have more Lilly dresses than I can wear. The TRUTH is that I don’t really wear dresses that often. What I really wear more are tees and shorts or tees and skirts. I realized the real void in my wardrobe was not that I needed more dresses despite the great deals, I needed more tees for every day wear. Finding these holes in my wardrobe is sort of a new mission of mine after moving and seeing exactly what I own. These are the three tops I got from the sale, love all the nautical/marine prints 🙂
Lilly Pulitzer only has two sales a year- the one in January and this one in August. It can be really easy to over do it on these sales just because you feel like this is your only chance to get the items you have been checking out all year.
There’s a psychology to these sales. First, not all items are even in the sale. You finally get in via the online queue after an hour to find that the item you wanted isn’t even in the sale. Well that’s ok, maybe you just find something similar. Because of the great deal, you decide to get a few things. Because its only twice a year, you get a few more things. Now instead of getting one thing that you really wanted, you are getting six things that you kinda want and actually end up spending more money than that one thing cost at full price. You check out quickly because you know that nothing is safe until you check out! Once the flurry of activity is over and your final sale items have been purchased, you start to go over the items you bought. Maybe that feeling of satisfaction starts to wane as you start to worry about sizes, or realize that you already own a really similar pair of shorts to the ones you bought, or you realize you have a bill due on Friday that you could have used that money for.
I am not saying that we shouldn’t enjoy sales, and I really do love the Lilly APS. I got three great tshirts this year for just around $100 and I am really happy with my purchases. This year I really planned and thought about what I needed though as opposed to what I wanted….or worse what I thought I SHOULD want. We work hard for our money, and we owe it to ourselves to make smart purchases and avoid buyer’s remorse 🙂
This is a timely post considering the fact that there will be many Labor Day sales this weekend! We are heading up to Freeport ME for the weekend, what are you up to!?
Good afternoon! I just went back to work yesterday after a lovely summer off. As part of my move to NH, I am also teaching biology and chemistry at a new school up here. We are in the midst of orientation which has been really fun. The other new teachers I have met are awesome and I am really liking my new school district! Last week, I was invited up to my friends’s house on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire for a few days which was a perfect getaway before going back to work!
We had zero plans, which was awesome because we really got to relax. We had a couple floats that we took out to hang out in the water, and we took out my friends’s boat. There was wake boarding, swimming, and stops to get some delicious food.
The view from the house is beautiful. I love the views of the mountains in the Belknap Range and the wooded areas around the lake.
We had great weather to be out on the lake. The water is really warm right now, and it was perfect because we were warm when the boat stopped but once you picked up again the breeze was so refreshing.
So here is the Naswa Beach Bar & Grill. Honestly, I am not a huge fan of the food here, but the atmosphere is fun so its a great place to dock for a drink and an app to hang out. It feels a little more Floridian/Caribbean I guess with the be achy outdoor seating. The colorful painted buildings are so pretty too.
The Town Docks in Meredith NH is actually our favorite place for food on the lake. The sky looks a little scary here huh? There is a lot of space on the docks for everyone to come on in, but be aware, the line for seating at the restaurant can be long. They have seafood, grilled stuff, salads, drinks, and bonus….they have really good ice cream! Chocolate frappe and lobster roll with fries? Check and check.
As I get ready for the next school year, I always try to remember that we still have nice weather for a while- summer isn’t over just yet thankfully. Speaking of the end of summer, how’d everyone do with the Lilly After Party Sale?? I couldn’t shop until the afternoon and I snagged a few tops in some nice prints! I got this one, two, and three. Usually I go for dresses during the sale, but I found that what I actually needed were some casual tshirts, and I just loved the three prints. Who else got some good deals!?
Today was one of my favorite instagram days, I won’t lie. I love seeing everyone’s Lilly, all the age groups, new prints and old prints, bright colors and beautiful embroidery. Being an earth tones redhead, I will say sometimes the neon can be tough. I am very a la carte with the newer Lilly and gravitate more towards items with navy or a more neutral color and pops of the brighter colors. I love some of the older stuff- critter skirts, patchwork skirts, and the old school shifts.
Today I wore a favorite- navy blue skirt with pink embroidered crabs. I wore it with a pink gingham 3/4 sleeve shirt from LLBean. I wore the same skirt with a pink sweater for my bridal shower this past March.
Its a white label…but folks, not all white label Lilly is vintage, just remember that. My skirt is probably from the late 90s, early 2000s…I got it from an Etsy consignment shop, and just a little history and I guess a PSA…..Lilly Pulitzer retired and shut down shop in 1984. I personally feel like anything before then is real vintage. The brand was revitalized I think in 1993, and thats when we got the white label with Lilly Pulitzer in navy. You will see a lot of consignment websites, Ebay, whatever playing up the white label, and I just feel like its good be informed about just how vintage that white label is. Here is a great article about the labels.
Honestly I am trying to save some dollars this summer so the next Lilly I will buy will probably be during the After Party Sale in August. Until then, here are some of my favorite Lilly’s from the past few years. Looking back, I have actually sold some of this stuff on Ebay in order to buy new stuff- keeps the husband happy haha. Happy first day of summer and happy national wear your Lilly day!!!
I apologize for my blogging hiatus, but its been a crazy couple weeks since my Aiken SC trip. I got married this past weekend!!! We headed up to the Indian Head Resort in Lincoln, NH on Friday, and did our rehearsal there. Then we had our rehearsal dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Truant’s Taverne. Now, some people think you have to choose- you are either a Truant’s fan, or a Woodstock Inn Station & Brewery fan. Woodstock is on the other side of the street, they brew their own beer, so delicious. I love both. I couldn’t decide if you made me. One benefit of Truant’s is that it’s closer to the ice cream place I guess. The people that own Truant’s also own White Mountain Bagel Co. which is where we got breakfast for Saturday morning at the hair salon. Their tomato basil bagel is so good. Ok I promise my wedding weekend wasn’t all about food…but we also got lunch on Friday at another place I love, Half Baked Fully Brewed….ok back to the wedding.
Indian Head Resort has many conventional hotel rooms, the ones with a view of the Shadow Lake, the Pemi River, and the mountains are the best. The resort also has two adorable houses for rent, so some of my bridesmaids were in one, and the groomsmen were in the other. Our rehearsal dinner was all about fun comfort foods- chicken fingers, mac n cheese, steak tips, and garlic whipped potatoes. There was also salad though, no worries, haha #eatclean. The varsity room upstairs at Truant’s has shuffleboard, arcades, pool tables, and a jukebox. It was such a fun night. We headed back to the hotel, grabbed drinks at the Thunderbird Lounge, and did some hot tubbing! Indian Head has an indoor heated pool/hot tub AND a heated outdoor pool/hot tub. The outdoor hot tub is huge, I want one.
Saturday, the mothers, bridesmaids, and myself headed off to the Daydreams Hair & Nail Studio for hair and makeup. The ladies at the salon were so sweet, they genuinely cared about what we wanted and we loved them! They made everyone’s hair and makeup dreams come true. Their makeup is a mineral based line, so it was great for my skin, and they had the wispie fake lashes which I love so much more than the blunt cut lashes.
We got back to Indian Head, put on our dresses, and then it was time for champagne and photos! Jon and I did a first look so we saw each other and did some pictures before the ceremony. It was so good for both of our nerves/emotions to do the first look. The ceremony was inside, and it was perfect. There were tears, laughs, and it feels like it was over so fast. We did some photos outside even though it was freezing, and then it was reception time. The food was amazing, our DJ was fabulous, and it was just awesome having so many friends and family members all together in one room!
My dress came from David’s Bridal, and my bridesmaids’s dresses were all navy/gold dresses from Lilly Pulitzer! My sister wore the navy beaded ‘Largo”, my friend Kayla wore the navy ‘Bentley’, and my three girlfriends from the barn actually did Rent the Runway for the navy ‘Valli’. My sister got her dress from the After Party sale, and the Bentley dress was really affordable on Amazon. The groomsmen were in gray tuxedos, navy ties, brown shoes, super classy looking bunch of guys.
After the wedding, we all hit up the hot tub one more time before heading to bed. Sunday many guests met up with for the breakfast buffet which includes lots of bacon and an omelette station….soooo good. Again, sorry for my food obsession.
Because I am in grad classes, we are not doing a honeymoon right away, but we do have some fun trips planned for the summer 🙂 I can’t wait to get the professional photos to relive the amazing weekend all over again. Both Jon and my families vacationed at Indian Head Resort growing up, often because camping trips got rained out at Fransted Campground, so it was extra special to be there, and with the mountains that we have hiked looking down over us….it was just a great weekend full of love and happiness. Hope you all had a lovely weekend!! Here’s one last pic of the beautiful sunset over the Franconia Notch.
Aiken SC….its sorta a horsewoman’s paradise. The town was/is referred to as the “winter colony”, a place where the wealthy northerners like the Vanderbilts would come play- especially during that gilded age. Summers in Newport RI, winters in Aiken SC, what could be better? The trifecta of activities was polo in the morning, golf in the afternoon, and foxhunting at night….leisure activities only please.
This past weekend I headed down to Aiken with some friends from the barn I ride at for the 50th running of the spring Aiken Steeplechase (they have one in the fall too)! We got in Friday night for tempura asparagus & key lime martinis (the best) at Tako Sushi and then headed over to the The Willcox for dinner. The Willcox is a hotel with an amazing restaurant. The architecture of the building, decor, as well as the beautiful pool area makes you feel like you have been transported to a time when women carried parisols, and really dressed for dinner. You can almost hear the clip clop of hooves pulling well appointed carriages and their well appointed passengers for dinner. We ate in the lounge area with a piano player. We had wine, chicken liver pate & port wine gelee with toasted bread (which is amazing), the mystic melville cheese with cranberry preserves and crusty bread, sauteed brussel sprouts, and the pasta of the day which was a delicious pasta primavera with shaved parmesan. I can’t say enough good things about the food. Here are some pics from The Willcox!
The entrance of the beautiful Willcox
The gorgeous lounge where we ate dinner
I love a good oldfashioned staircase
Gorgeous equine/farm themed collection in the hallway
Call me maybe?
Leave your polo mallet at the door please.
From there we went out to Harry’s Local Oyster Bar, called ‘Locals’ by the locals. This place is a really fun sorta dive bar, really laid back, super fun staff. We stayed out way too late, but needed to get our Locals fix because Locals was closed Saturday for the Steeplechase and Sunday!
Saturday, we were off to the Steeplechase. We had such a fun day. We got tickets to be in the guarantor tent which included great parking, an awesome buffet lunch, a live band, a spot right at the second fence to watch, and an open bar! If you have never been to a steeplechase, it is a race ran on grass usually, and there are jumps! The buffet lunch included some southern comfort food like fried chicken and a cheesy hashbrown casserole, a great salad, fresh fruit and cheese, quiche, and grilled asparagus. It rained intermittently throughout the day so we were very thankful to have the tent to run under!
Stewards out on the track
The lovely brunch buffet
Guarantor Tent was the way to go!
Centerpieces at all the tables
Beautiful photos up for auction
It was such a fun event despite the rain. Everyone was dressed smartly, I have never seen so much seersucker and Lilly in my life. Lots of brightly colored pants and fun bowties for the gentlemen, Lilly prints, bows, and hats for the ladies. We went to Malia’s for dinner that evening and then met other friends out at the Aiken Brewing Company for a drink before heading back to the farm. Malia’s was delicious, but I will say that Willcox was my favorite 🙂
Tune in for part 2 of my Aiken trip about the farm that my friend stayed at this winter AND our awesome polo lesson!
This past Saturday, my mother and future mother-in-law hosted my bridal shower at the Rolland Spaulding Estate, now a part of the Governors Inn Hotel. There were 27 ladies in attendance, and we had the best afternoon. The estate and inn were built back in 1920. Brothers Huntley and Rolland Spaulding lived in the two buildings and both of them were governors of NH! The Spaulding children actually grew up in Townsend MA, went to Lawrence Academy in Groton and then Philips Exeter Academy in NH when they moved up to NH. Their father, Jonas, and their uncle Waldo started Spaulding Brothers in Townsend, a leatherboard manufacturing mill. They expanded into millwork in Rochester NH making fiberboard and thats where the estate and inn are!
We had a fabulous luncheon, bridal shower bingo, so many amazing gifts, and then read through some wedding advice. Some of the gifts included a Kitchen Aid Mixer (so excited) and a Ninja blender (also so excited). Jon and I are so blessed to have such generous family and friends. For the occasion I wore a cerise cashmere & merino crew neck sweater for $36 (I think its down to $34 now!) and an older Lilly Pulitzer crab embroidered skirt that I got from Ebay for $36 with navy tights and riding boots. The Lilly skirt is white label….but its not “The Lilly”, so its probably from the early 2000s, not exactly vintage, but its one of my favorites 🙂
Jon and I actually went to a wedding at the Governors Inn Hotel this past summer, and I fell in love with the place. Now I have a whole new set of memories at the property which makes it so special.
I hope that you all had a great weekend! It was so nice today in the 50s here in MA, what do we think? Is it officially spring or do we think winter will have one big storm left??
So since I started this blog in the fall, I haven’t really gotten to post anything about one my favorite ladies, Lilly Pulitzer. She was smart, stylish, loved color, and became synonymous with her amazing brand and the resort lifestyle. You can say she started with money, being a student at Miss Porter’s in Connecticut with Jackie O….and then went straight to more money marrying Herbert Pulitzer, but no matter what you wanna say, she built an incredible company.
She passed away in 2013 and honestly, as time passes, I like less and less of the patterns. I think part of the problem for me is there’s a LOT of neon now, and very mod patterns. My red hair, as much as I love it, makes me stand out, so I have always kept my wardrobe a little muted, lots of navy and earth tones. Most of the prints I have liked from Lilly had a sort of New England feel to them. Also, I hate the hashtag “buy me lilly”. It sounds so spoiled and greedy, not at all the way I picture the ideal Lilly girl.
I got onto the website around 8:30 AM yesterday and there were over 40k users in front of me…by the time I got on, a lot of stuff was already sold out!! I did get one thing 🙂 A white shift that I am thinking would be lovely for the rehearsal & rehearsal dinner the night before my wedding. I think it retailed for $278, and it was $74 for the after party sale. It’s called the Delia shift. I had been hunting for a LWD (little white dress) and I think this fits the bill.
Some of my favorite prints from the past include:
Clockwise from the top: You Gotta Regatta, Lobstah Roll, Get Nauti, Seafood Salad, & Watch Out.
You can see a theme right? Lighthouses, seafood, sailboats…..You gotta regatta and get nauti are total holy grail prints, anything in these prints is usually really marked up on Ebay. I still look from time to time. Always got my eye out for a deal 😉
I hope these patterns have given you all a little excuse for some summer day dreamin!!!
Ok, so Holiday vacation is over, and I am sitting in the terrible queue for the Lilly Pulitzer after party sale….ugh, I don’t even know if I really want anything, don’t ask me why I feel compelled to participate in this craziness.
Anyway, I try to shy away from the word “resolutions” because I feel like if I don’t accomplish them that means that my resolve wasn’t strong enough? I like to call them goals.
Finish my MS in Biological Sciences. This is my last semester. I have 2 courses to take and will be at school three days a week after work. I can do this…I can do this….
Less time on my phone. I feel like everyone says this one. At night I am going to put my phone on the charger upstairs so I won’t be tempted to cruise instagram or play on my phone.
Be kinder to my fiance. I have a short fuse sort of temper. It flares up very intense and dies down really quickly. I need to communicate better BEFORE I lose my temper.
Finish the 48 New Hampshire 4000 footers! This will be a great goal to reach, I am so excited to finish the list! Certainly won’t be the end of hiking though. I hope to be hiking well into my retirement years.
Eat more healthy!! More vegetables, less cheese. This one is totally doable. Another super common goal though huh? I struggle in the winter though because I want warm food. I no longer want to eat the cold salads or the cold green smoothies. It means more preparation to have the green vegetables to cook and resisting putting warm melty cheese on everything.
I have some fun things coming up this year….trips to Florida, Aiken SC, Burlington VT, hopefully the Belmont Stakes, many weekends in NH, and a very exciting trip to Nantucket this summer. I am also getting married this year, wooo!!! So that will be exciting too 🙂
What are some of your goals for 2016? Who has something fun planned to work/look forward to? I hope everyone had a great New Year’s! I went to a friend’s house for a super hero costume karaoke party, it was so fun!
Here’s little Mizpah on New Year’s Eve, my little snow pup!
I hiked on Black Friday…..but I did purchase a few things over the weekend 🙂 I got something from Lilly Pulitzer for my mom and got some free gifts for purchasing over the weekend…might just give her the free gifts too though because it’s all nice and wrapped up right now in tissue paper. I don’t want to disrupt by messing with the free gifts. Not going to put what I got her on here just in case she looks, but lets just say, my Floridian mama has fabulous taste in Lilly- she likes Elsa tops and the tshirt dresses!
I did some other online shopping for family and did grab a couple little items for myself….
This lovely bracelet from Kiel James Patrick- Anchor Bracelet. KJP was 25% off this past weekend, love it. This bracelet will go with a lot of my clothing as it has the lighter leather AND darker leather. Can’t wait to see it.
This beautiful scarf from Equestrianista- Tartan Plaid Infinity Scarf. Equestrianista also did a sale this past weekend and I have been eyeing this scarf! I love the mixed plaid patterns and the color scheme will hopefully compliment my red hair!
These flats from Talbots- Georgina Suede Embroidered Flats. I love these because smoking slippers are so expensive at some places but these were 40% off!! I got the car/indigo flats that have a super cute scene with the woodie/tree on top driving on a white path. Only snag here, even though its in the name of the flats, I was looking at all the different ones and it kinda didn’t register that they were suede. Some of their other Georgina flats are in wool….which is more what I would want. Suede is not so great for Massachusetts. These might go back, we shall see. Sorry the image isn’t great- got it from the website!
There were some great sales this past weekend. Lilly girls are all really waiting for their big sale in January, but the gifts can be fun. Honestly it can be hard with all these deals to corral the spending, but we are saving for our wedding and a house in the very near future. It was interesting that these sales really started last week like before Thursday and some have continued through tonight! The emails from some companies were pretty much daily. Did anyone else feel like it was a little much this year? I don’t know.
Anyways, I hope you all got some deals this past weekend through yesterday…or today…speaking of today…..today was Giving Tuesday! My cousin was recently diagnosed with DCIS (type of breast cancer), and has undergone a lumpectomy and has been traveling from where she lives out in Wyoming to Sloane Kettering Memorial in NY for treatment. Her sister set up a Go Fund Me for her to help with expenses and so that will be my donation for Giving Tuesday. Their mom, one of my mom’s first cousins, died from breast cancer when she was just 44, so her daughters are not messing around with treatment, thank god. She is doing well but has a long road ahead!
Anyone find anything good over the long weekend in the midst of these sales? Hear about any good Giving Tuesday stories? Share in comments!