The husband and I had a date night last Saturday night. We are members of the Pennsylvania Ballet and their season opener was Sleeping Beauty. After the ballet, we went for dinner and drinks at Butcher and Singer.
I attended a high school where traditionally the females to wear full length gowns for Homecoming and Prom. I (as well as my little sister) experienced copious stress in the months before these social events when it came to finding a dress long enough. (Fact: I still have all of the dresses.)
A few years ago, I was searching for a dress for a friend’s summer wedding. I happened to see a full length Parker gown in a Cusp and decided to try it on. While the dress was a bit too formal for a vineyard wedding, I took note that it was long enough. Weeks later and after the wedding, you can bet that I tracked that dress down and bought it.
But that is not the dress I wore to the ballet. I found another Parker dress that was long enough, given I wear a low heel. Then I purchased that same style in two other colorways: black and white print and a black / gold. Ladies, if you top 5′-11″, your closet needs this dress. Thank me later.
I finished a year-plus-long project at work earlier this summer. It was a huge win for me to wrap it up with a bow. So much so, that when it came time to present it to the in-house leadership, I took the opportunity to bring it in the wardrobe department.
I work in an industry dominated by men and sadly the women who work in it tend not to have very much fun with style. Not only was it crucial for me to know my project inside and out so much so that I could speak to any facet of it without notes, but I needed to find an outfit in which I would be absolutely confident; both feeling myself and on the conservative side. After ordering several dresses and asking my then-fiance (now-husband) his opinions, I landed on a gorgeous coral tweed frock.
One of my teammates complemented me on the heels I picked; it was actually the pair I wore for my engagement photos (ensemble last seen here). Another one of my teammates complimented my on my hair. I would be lying if I said that I had not driven from my flat in Philadelphia to company headquarters in Baltimore while wearing my hot rollers. Cut to other drivers giving me the side eye while I gassed up my car in Delaware looking like a mad housewife.
And the presentation? Killed it. #whoruntheworld #girls
Before Raul dropped us off in Logroño, we made a pit stop in Laguardia. Named for “the guardian”, Laguardia is sited at the top of a hill and has a wall protecting the town. As someone who studied historic preservation and architectural history and urban design, I loved exploring.
Raul imparted so much knowledge, not only about wine, but also Spain, history, geography, and other pop culture nuggets. Did you know that Logroño is not only the only city in Spain that has a masculine name (in that it ends in an “o”), but it is also the Las Vegas of Spain when it comes to bachelor parties? Fact.
I cannot emphasize enough how much we enjoyed our tour from Wine Tourism Spain (not #spon). I loved that the husband was able to pay for the tour and it included two days of food, lodging, travel, wine tours, admissions, and train tickets from Logroño to Barcelona after the tour concluded. We were in a Peugeot van for much of the trip and I appreciated that our tour guide was very intuitive in telling whether we were tired and napping or wanted to talk about wherever we happened to be traveling through. I would also like to point out that I felt very safe in general, and as a passenger in the car. Raul was able to upgrade our suite in Logroño at Hotel NH Logroño Herencia Rioja and as honeymooners. we were also very generously gifted a bottle of very fine wine.
The next day we departed Logroño to Barcelona on train. I would suggest arriving for this one a mere thirty minutes before the train departs; being the anxious traveler that I am, I insisted in getting to the station as solid hour and a half early. I loved that the station had a restaurant serving wine and beer, as well as offering WiFi. It was well worth standing in line at the customer service desk to ask about the boarding process and where exactly our (assigned) seats would be on the train.
We spent our last full day in Spain at the hotel pool, where I drank my body mass in sangria and finished The Hopefuls. Lazing around the pool, this may have been my favorite day of the honeymoon and I think my husband secretly agreed. (He is as obsessed with reading as I am, and I know he also finished a book.) We topped off our day of leisure with some next level seafood paella.
Let my last words be this: if you are departing Barcelona and are leaving for the airport during rush hour, leave an hour earlier than you think is necessary and save yourself the anxiety. Only because we were flying in the Delta One cabin were we able to bypass the lines in coach check in and baggage drop and again in security. If you have a six hour layover in JFK as we did, do as we did and go to the Delta Sky Club – always worth it.
And the husband de-boarded the plane in Philadelphia with a cold. Cough syrup for two, por favor!
During our engagement, the husband and I made a deal. If I made all of the less than major decisions about the wedding – the decisions that in-the-moment weigh no less heavily as those such as location and wedding party, but are actually quite minimal – he would plan the honeymoon. We took it as far as leaving it as a surprise for me, as in I found out where we were going when we got to Philadelphia International Airport, at the Delta check-in counter when the agent gave me my boarding pass.
We were going to Spain and flying into Madrid! The husband bought us Delta One tickets for the round trip. If one’s budget allows it, I absolutely recommend flying in this cabin. With fully reclining beds, pillows and down blankets, noise cancelling earphones, a multi-course meal complete with sommelier picks and a seasonal cocktail, this cabin is luxe life in the sky.
Unfortunately even with a reclining bed and down blanket, when we arrived at the end of the six-plus hour flight, the head cold I had been fighting for the week prior finally won. Lucky for us, our hotel in Madrid allowed us to check in even though it was only 8 am. Cut to me taking a shower, popping two Tylenol PM, and sleeping for eighteen hours.
Despite the small room square footage, I would recommend staying at Hotel Wellington. Everything was very walkable. The Prado Museum was a mere fifteen minutes on foot. There were copious restaurants and shopping within a five block radius. We had a room with a balcony overlooking the courtyard; we slept with the double doors open every night. My favorite part was my visit to the spa; after several months of wedding planning, an hour long massage was exactly what I needed.
After three days of fighting the cold in Madrid and taking out a bottle of cough syrup (Yo busco por una [hold up a screengrab on my phone of cough syrup and Vicks Vapor Rub] por favor)”, my husband and I embarked on a wine tour. If you take nothing else from this post, remember this: Wine Tourism Spain, private tour. Our tour guide, Raul, picked us up at Hotel Wellington precisely at 9 am as we were checking out of the hotel. We stopped in Segovia for croissant and cafe and viewing the infamous aqueducts.
Over the course of the next 48 hours, we visited five wineries:
Bodegas Astor, where we also were treated to a phenomenal lunch and some insane grappa
Bodegas Tritium, where we bonded with one of the only English-speaking members of the family who owns it, over some charcuterie that was truly next level
Bodegas Marqués de Riscal, where we not only took a very comprehensive tour of the winery, but also enjoyed the infamous Frank Gehry architecture
All of the wineries were truly wonderful, as was the company that organized the tour! We learned so much about Spanish wine, thanks to Raul. Did you know that in order to qualify as Rioja or Crianza (pronounced cree-ahn-tha), the winery has to go through a certification process by a governing board? And if the benchmarks are not met, while the wine may be sold as table wine, it cannot be labeled as Rioja or Crianza? Yes, the Spanish take their wines seriously.
The first night of the tour we stayed at Hotel Abba Burgos. Our room opened out onto a terrace, although as it was shared we thought it best not to keep the doors open overnight. On the way to dinner, we stopped by the cathedral – just gorgeous. Raul brought us to a lovely restaurant for tapas. After dinner we wandered down the street for some more wine. Even though there was a festival that night, we decided that a 9:15 am morning called for an early night, a cough syrup and Vicks combo, and some BBC News.
Can you tell that I am stoked on the Long Tall Sally x Karl Lagerfeld Pariscollaboration? If writing about the part one and part two releases was not an indication, consider this the formal notice. Along with my wedding, the collaboration has been a highlight of 2017.
This tweed set was the first thing that I put in my online shopping cart. I love the lady-who-lunches vibe it exudes, while being completely appropriate for the office. This was the outfit that prompted my husband to comment that I looked ready to take on the world. The tweed fabric is sturdy, yet soft, I love the fringe and the pearl trim on the pockets.
I used to look for old Milly (with the old script label) to get a Chanel-like look. I would constantly run into the issue that the styles were not necessarily cut for a taller woman, and eventually Michelle Smith abandoned the ladylike aesthetic for something more modern and streamlined. While I know designers must evolve and I could find older styles on eBay, this transition was incredible disappointing to me.
Long Tall Sally x Karl Lagerfeld Paris has settled my woes. This collaboration, and specifically this outfit, references Chanel while cuts fitting for a six-foot-and-over frame. As we were walking around town this afternoon, I commented to my husband that I wanted this set in powder blue, deep purple, and a gold-laced ivory. Long Tall Sally and Karl Lagerfeld Paris: ball is in your court.
I was obsessed with nearly all of the pieces in the Kenneth Jay Lane for Tory Burch the minute that I saw the collection. This collaboration has not gotten the attention it deserves. I expected a Lilly Pulitzer x Target-level stampede when the collection became available, but perhaps the price point was just too high to warrant that type of attention. Regardless, it is getting all of my attention. The cuff and the gray pearl crystal cluster earrings and the green leaf earrings and maybe the pink ones too? I NEED.
The husband and I spent most of our time in Spain wandering through wine country and taking out mass amounts of Rioja. While it was a wonderful time, I am not sure I would call it relaxing.
We spent the last day of the Barcelona portion of our trip at the hotel pool area. I am a little ashamed to say that this was one of my favorite days of the honeymoon. It was a nearly-eight hour marathon of poolside relaxation and I do not take it back!
The cover up is from the Calypso Soleil collection. (I wrote about the release here.) While I packed manyaCalypsoitem for the honeymoon, this was the only one that I did not lose my mind about when the husband put it in the dirty clothes travel bag. (“Please get the rest of my caftans out of there!”) I love this cover up because, as promised in the Soleil marketing, easy to pack and easy on the wallet!
Yes, it is old hat that Jack Rogers and Draper James collaborated on a set of three whipstitch sandals and duck boots. Did you know that they just released a set of two velvet smoking slippers? And at an economical price and limited quantities, you better act fast!
After day one of our wine tour, the husband and I found ourselves in Burgos. It was a wonderful town to stay the night. We enjoyed tapas and wine after visiting the cathedral. There was a festival later that night, but we decided that a 9 am wake up time would require an early bedtime.
When packing for my honeymoon, I purposefully kept my jewelry understated. I left my engagement ring and wedding band in our safe at home, as well as my more recognizable brand items. The pearl set I wore for my wedding, a rose gold cuff, and my Mignon Faget pieces traveled with me. (Pro-tip: never wear earrings on the plane, because when you inevitably try to fall asleep, the posts will stab the area behind your ears. I have a friend who lost her favorite earrings this way when under the influence of an Ambien, removed them and barely recalled that, let alone where she stowed them. Keep all jewelry in a pouch, in the zipper compartment in your purse, and keep your purse underneath the seat in front of you; never in the above compartment!)
I love the design and style of the bow cuff and the tulip ring, as they make a statement without making an explicit proclamation of how much money was spent – perfect for traveling and not making yourself a target.
My husband (still getting used to calling him that) surprised me with a honeymoon in Spain. I did not find out where we were going until we arrived at the airport and the check in agent handed us our boarding passes.
Even though it was changing seasons, the weather in Barcelona was comparable to the Gulf Coast, albeit dryer. The highs were in the 80s and the lows were in 50s, but it only dipped during the night. Although I did not know where we were going, my then-fiance was very helpful in guiding me in what to pack.
I will say the people of Spain also get autumn-happy when the leaves show the slightest hint of changing color. I was sporting brights and pastels the entire honeymoon, while locals were in full-length denim and in some cases, jackets. Layering was definitely in full force.
On this day my husband (!) wore pants and a thermal long sleeve shirt, and I actually felt bad for him for not dressing more appropriate to the weather. When the sun is out and it is so warm that one breaks into a ladylike glow and must topknot her hair, I think we can agree that embracing the resort365 life is necessary.
Over a decade ago in 2006, and again in 2010, I found myself envious of those who were short enough to fit into Karl Lagerfeld’s collaboration collections with H&M and Macy’s. When the Long Tall Sally and Karl Lagerfeld Paris collaboration was released nearly a month ago, I nearly lost my mind. After I collected myself, I purchased this tweed dress and the matching jacket. (My husband commented that I looked ready to take over the world when he saw me in the ensemble. He gets it! But more on that outfit at another time.)
We returned from our honeymoon last Thursday. Upon unpacking my suitcase, which was full of summer items, I started to crave some new fall things. Long Tall Sally was amongst the first sites I checked for New Arrivals and I am so glad that I did, because there had been a few items added to the Karl Lagerfeld Paris collection. I visited the online store again today to buy a few of the items I couldn’t get my mind off of, when I saw that even more styles were released!
Today they went on a 20% off promotion. Act fast, because the reduction is only until this Thursday.
Krewe is a New Orleans-based sunglasses company. It was founded in 2013. Pairs have a lifetime warranty. I am especially stoked that they just released a special edition, Stella, and I am dying for it. Stella is a custom acetate made in collaboration with Mazzucchelli 1849.
At this point, I just need to pick which Stella to add to my collection. Weigh in now with opinions. I have narrowed my candidates to the following: