The temps are getting warmer here in Denver and nothing looks as fresh and cool as a blue and white striped top. I think I’ve purchased about five of these so far this spring and summer (currently trying to distract myself from adding more to my closet) and I wear them all the time. They look so effortless and chic with a pair of boyfriend jeans and flat slides or espadrille wedges. I carry my market tote from Bainbridge Island and I feel as if I’m about to go browsing through a little French marketplace. Easy, casual, slightly coastal.
Are you a bit more boho? Pair strapless #2 above with a flowy white peasant skirt and strappy sandals. Vintage obsessed? Pair #3 or #8 with boyfriend or ankle jeans. Preppy? Pair #4 with crisp white jeans or an eyelet midi skirt. Any of the above would look lovely with the leather-trimmed straw and pom bag I’ve been drooling over for months.
This little French-inspired café in shades of green and white was the perfect spot to enjoy ice-cold rosé and a small plates style dinner our first night in Seattle. There was a relaxed vibe; people strolled in after work and took their time, enjoying a variety of plates as the sun set outside. I fell in love with the cane back chairs and the Moroccan tile floor. I wore a blouse, jeans, and low heels for walking.
I love small plate style dining because you can try a bit of everything. Since you’re in the Pacific Northwest with access to some of the best, freshest oysters in the world, you can’t miss out on the oyster selection at Bar Melusine. The Hama oysters were my favorite. We also loved the frites, the crab cakes, and the scallops. You can’t go wrong with this little gem of a restaurant.
Just writing this post makes my heart flutter. Bainbridge Island is one of the most beautiful, serene, comfortable places I’ve ever been. This lush green island off the coast of Seattle has me under its magic spell with its quaint town and picturesque inlets and coves. The ferry ride from Seattle only takes about 35 minutes and it was an easy process to drive our rental car onto and off the ferry. I suggest bringing a car to the island because there are wineries and hiking areas to explore, but if you only have a little time, you can ride the ferry and walk or rent a bike to get around the main village area easily.
This shop has a fresh, coastal feel to its Instagram-able interior; walking in feels like stepping into a breeze of cool sea air. While most of the shop focuses on home goods; table linens, throw blankets, pillows, there’s truly a little something for everyone. And you can trust that everything is perfectly curated. This shop is a beautiful, perfectly-merchandised place to shop for quality, well-made things. I discovered Formulary 55’s bath fizzes to give friends as gifts, along with a selection of charming stationery and paper goods. I fell in love with a “Tuileries” candle from Brooklyn Candle Studio and a beautiful market tote from Patriæ textiles. I became forever addicted to Pinkleton’s caramel corn. And I brought home some cozy throw blankets from Faribault Woollen Mills. If you’re not in the area, don’t fret because Salt House ships for a $10 flat fee. I’ve already placed a telephone order for more of the linen napkins you see above!
Picnic on the Island
We decided to have a little picnic lunch on Bainbridge Island. We grabbed delicious sandwiches from Hitchcock Deli (rumor has it their sit-down restaurant is amazing as well) and John grabbed a bottle of rosé and two wine glasses from the local grocery store. We already had fruit and flowers from Pike Place Market to add to our spread. After driving around a bit, we found an empty grassy spot in Hidden Cove Park overlooking the water that was perfect for a romantic little picnic. Honestly, it was the favorite part of my trip. We often have such little time to connect in our everyday lives and it was so nice to lay back on the soft grass (honestly, Washington has a grass that seems more moss than grass and it is pure perfection) chat, and watch the boats pass by in the bay. Before you leave, grab a coffee and sweet treat at Pegasus Coffee for the ferry ride back to Seattle and watch the boats in the marina behind the coffee shop. When we were there, someone was giving a little boy a violin lesson and the music floated out across the water like flower petals.
The owners of Hattie Rose source much of their merchandise from France every year. Beautiful French bed linens and tiny little French creamer crocks like the ones I took home (they currently hold our tea spoons) couple well with airy Australian dresses and curated fragrances. I was lucky that we happened to visit on Girls’ Weekend (I know, poor John) which granted us 20% off and an adorable little gift bag with our creamer crock purchase. The French wooden spoon came in the gift bag and has since become a favorite of mine… If they sell these at the shop, I’ll be back to pick up more!
This quaint and cozy little shop has an impressive clothing and accessories collection; from the street the shop appears small, but inside it’s spacious and well stocked. If you love linen as much as I do, you need to wander around this blue and white striped sanctuary! It’s effortlessly but perfectly curated; somehow you look around and find yourself wanting everything. I discovered two new brands: Erica Tanov and CP Shades, both of which had beautiful linen pieces in the shop. I left with an airy beige linen Erica Tanov dress and two loose shirts I’ve been pairing with my favorite boyfriend jeans. If I were to channel the laid back Bainbridge Island coastal feel Petit and Olson so perfectly embodies, I’d choose a charming straw hat, breezy linen top, boyfriend jeans, a market tote, and fabric slides. Casual perfection.
Touristy though it may be, the iconic Pike Place Market is not to be missed during your Seattle, Washington travel. If you’re visiting on the weekend, I suggest grabbing a coffee at the first Starbucks shop on Pike and 1st and showing up bright for prime photo shots and first pick of the day’s flowers and foods. I was so impressed by the wide selection of fruit, seafood, and beautiful flowers at this market. At $10 or $15 a bouquet, I am incredibly envious of those of you who live in and around Seattle – I would be filling our house with fresh flowers every weekend! I even bought a mixed bouquet and some fragrant lilacs to carry around with me and gifted them to an elderly woman later in the day. It was worth it to have them in photos, smell their perfume all day, and enjoy them at our picnic. If you’ll be staying in the area for a while, most hotels will have flower vases you can borrow.
Our favorite produce stand was Sosio’s Produce; the champagne mangoes and muskat grapes were delicious and we bought some to snack on during our trip. I spotted their Morel mushrooms right away – I think my Midwestern heart skipped a beat! We found the people working there to be so friendly and knowledgeable. You can ask them anything about flavors or preparation and they’ll be happy to help you. Is your mouth watering reading about the mangoes and grapes? They told me they ship anywhere – you can take a peek at their website here. I think a shipped box of Morels would make for a perfect Father’s Day gift.
We followed our noses across the street to the Polish bakery Piroshky Piroshky for breakfast. These buttery, flaky pastries are filled with your choice of anything from savory like ham or spinach to sweet like cream cheese or rhubarb. This spot becomes busy (with a line out the door and down the street) and after trying their fare, I find the long line completely justified! Their pastries were so delicious, we went here twice during our trip. Show up to Piroshky Piroshky early after a walk through the market and enjoy your breakfast while looking out over Elliott Bay on the other side of the Pike Place Market. Then make one last pass through the market after more of the shops and stands are open.
Wondering what to wear? Go for comfy-casual. Seattle reminded me of Denver with its relaxed, casual style of dress. I have never (and I mean never) found a pair of boyfriend jeans that flatter me until I discovered this pair. They’re slim fitting, so they look less bulky and masculine than others I’ve tried. They run true to size, but you can order one size up and belt them if you want a looser look. The cobblestone and brick streets surrounding the marketplace area call for comfortable shoes, so my leather sneakers were a perfect fit. I wore these exploring La Push Beach, hiking in Hoh Rainforest, and running around the city and they never once made my feet sore or uncomfortable! We are working on a Europe trip and I will definitely be packing these for walking.
I remember the first “nice” suitcase I bought myself. I was studying at FIT in New York for the summer and Bloomingdale’s was having a luggage sale. I decided it was time to upgrade from my leopard print T.J. Maxx bag when I saw a large, black fabric Samsonite I liked and I excitedly rolled it up to the counter. But after a few trips with my new bag, I realized how annoying and dysfunctional it actually was. The woman at the United check-in desk peered over the counter and said, “That bag is overweight; you’ll have to take something out.” I opened up my suitcase, which was nearly empty, and removed my small toiletry kit. I could see by the look of shock on her face she expected the suitcase to be stuffed full. But even without my toiletry bag, it was still overweight. A sweater and pair of boots later, my carry-on now held more than my suitcase and the suitcase was still overweight. Years later, I “gifted” this problem suitcase to my husband and even he, with his minimalist packing tendencies, complains about how heavy it is. And that’s just one of the many awful suitcases I’ve splurged on and regretted later. I’ve quickly learned that more expensive does not equal more durable or more functional when it comes to luggage.
This year, one of our resolutions is to travel more. We don’t yet have children and we have a laundry list of destinations we’d like to see. So for our anniversary, I gifted my husband (and myself, technically… aren’t those the best gifts?!) a set of Away suitcases. I have had several luggage companies reach out to me, but after so many misses in the past I wanted to do my research and choose my own bag, free of posting guidelines and sponsored content in case I was disappointed. So this review is completely unbiased. I read stellar reviews on these bags, I’ve tried them out, and I loved them so much I had to share them with you.
Like most people, I was initially drawn to the Away carry-on because of the handy charging feature; a little pop-out charging battery that allows you to charge two devices while on the go. I’m always on my phone capturing photos and memories when we’re traveling and the ability to charge up during a layover or while waiting for a hotel room has proven to be a useful feature. The lightweight design is easy to roll around an airport and the snug, tucked-in compartments on either side allow me to open the bag and access my laptop without all the contents flying out. As you can see in the photos above, this carryon holds a lot. You can pack an extra change of clothes and shoes, essential toiletries, and in-flight entertainment with room to spare.
I chose this beautiful denim blue color because it’s my husband’s favorite color and because it complements both black and brown when paired with other tote bags or duffels. For our checked bags, I went with the medium size in the hopes it would satisfy any European luggage size requirements and European rental cars. Since traveling with these bags to Aspen and to Seattle I’ve been pleasantly surprised with this lightweight bag’s packing capacity; it keeps clothes and toiletries securely organized in both sides of the bag while somehow offering space for anything we might pick up along the way. And like the carry-on, the design of the medium-sized luggage allows me to unzip my bag without the contents spilling everywhere. We are currently booking more adventures for this year and we can’t wait to take these along.
Tips & Tricks
Another great option to add onto these bags is Away’s monogram-able Tile luggage tag; a tiny location-enabled device hidden in the luggage tag that is active for one year and allows you to locate luggage from your phone anywhere in the world. No matter what the airline says, you’ll know exactly where your bags are located.
Take a peek at Away’s new aluminum collection. These durable bags are less expensive than many other brands on the market and their sleek design is gorgeous. I’m particularly fond of the aluminum carry-on for protecting my camera and laptop.
After exploring the romantic, misty-gray La Push Beach, we headed to Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park for a short hike. This region of Washington receives 12-14 feet of rainfall each year and the results of that nearly constant precipitation are evident; lush ferns, trees hung with moss, and vines delicately sweeping from tree to tree. The Hall of Mosses Trail is a walkable 0.8 mile loop trail within Hoh Rainforest that offers breathtaking views of moss-covered trees with a comfortable 100-foot elevation change. A quick note when speaking of hiking… These leather sneakers have quickly stolen my heart; they are the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn and put up with quite the beatings during this trip!
The trail took us about an hour to complete and that includes all the time we spent taking photos and practicing with our new landscape lens we purchased just before the trip. If you’re a photographer you will love this location and the incredible shots it offers right from the trail; it’s perfect for practicing and we saw photographers of every skill level throughout the trail. The lighting shining through the trees and moss can challenge even the most prepared photographer, so teach yourself the basics of ISO and shutter speed before you go. Knowing how to lighten certain areas of an image after shooting can help as well.
Hoh Rainforest is not one to be missed. Even the drive to the parking lot deep inside the rainforest amazed me and gave me an idea of the sheer vastness of this beautiful forest. We packed fresh fruit to eat back at the car after our hike as an afternoon snack and I would suggest doing this because we didn’t notice many cafes or restaurants in the area around the Hoh Rainforest. The snack was all we needed and we drove back to Seattle and had a late room service dinner at the hotel.
A few years ago, one of our family friends met Meghan Markle on vacation and told me to take a peek at her website, The Tig. I admired Meghan for the way she empowered and uplifted women in her posts and the way she spoke about fashion and lifestyle in an easy, relatable way. Fast forward and she’s fallen in love with Prince Harry; set to become the first American to marry into the royal family since Wallis Simpson in 1937.
Since we Americans are without a royal family, it seems especially fun to witness and celebrate a wedding like this one. I bought a few things to celebrate with my girlfriends, including this life-size cardboard cut-out that has startled my dogs and myself more than a few times when walking into the room where its stored. If you’re looking for party supplies, check out Joessa and Two Funny Girls TX – I found the cutest pieces in their shops!
I had read about La Push beach on the Quileute Indian Reservation in the Twilight books and had always been curious if it was as beautiful as the scenes the book and movies depicted. Little did we know, this gray sand beach would be one of our favorite places we experienced on our Washington trip.
After driving through a lush green forest, we pulled up and looked down on La Push through the gray mist. Something about it felt so moody and romantic; the mist hanging in the air, the brilliant green seaweed coating the rocks, and the piles of bleached driftwood lining the outer edge of the beach. It was a photographer’s dream and I instantly fell in love with this magical place.
I’ve been to lots of sunny, bright beaches but there’s something really special about a moody, misty one like La Push. The Quileute tribe is a fascinating one; if you go to La Push, be sure to do a little reading about their culture and their unique language beforehand. We had lunch at the River’s Edge overlooking an inlet off La Push; we were craving burgers and fries and this place hit the spot. And… If you are a Twilight fan, snap a photo of the “No Vampires” sign as you enter the town.
A little note about this jacket because you’ll see it often in my upcoming Washington posts. My parents got this for me one summer when we were fishing in Scotland and I was freezing cold. I think I was only eight years old and the jacket hit me at my knees with the sleeves cuffed up to the jacket’s elbows. This is a great lesson in buying quality items that last forever. Each time I wear this jacket, I think of memories with my family… And now new memories with my husband. And aren’t those most-cherished items the best?
With one mother’s birthday this month and Mother’s Day arriving in just a couple of weeks, I wanted to put together something special for the leading ladies in our lives. I had an idea of a basket with beautiful flowers and charming ribbon, so I just went to work searching for the perfect pieces and I got started on these pretty little baskets. They turned out just how I had hoped and they were so easy to put together, I wanted to share with you in case you needed a little Mother’s Day inspo. These baskets will make any gift look more beautiful and impressive; just fill it with a few of your mama’s favorite things.
I found the smaller, darker basket at Hobby Lobby; it was the largest of a set of three and I’m 90% sure it’s from this set I found online. (I also like the shape and color of this basket style at Hobby Lobby.) And if you’re concerned about shipping time, this is a beautiful basket available on Amazon Prime. For my mother-in-law’s gift, I had to find a basket with handles that allowed for the taller box, so I chose this one on Amazon. It arrived and was so beautiful – well made and the perfect size for stashing throws, guest towels, or pillows. I’m contemplating reordering one for myself!
If your basket is larger, you may want to stuff the bottom before scattering your paper grass on top. I stuffed the larger basket with packing paper at the bottom because I wanted the gifts inside to peek out the top. Then just add the paper grass, pulling the strands apart as you go for a fuller, more fluffy look. Before you add the last of the paper grass, tuck in your gifts and then place the remainder of the grass around them.
Step Two: Attach Garland and Ribbon
Since Spring makes us think of sweet baby animals, sunshine, and flowers popping up everywhere, the flower garland is an integral part of this gift basket. I wasn’t able to find the exact version I used on Hobby Lobby’s website, but I was able to find a similar version available on Amazon Prime. I cut my garland in half and used one half on each basket.
My hot glue gun is my best friend when it comes to projects like this. I placed a little ball of hot glue and held the end of the garland down until the glue dried. Then I used a safety pin to secure the garland into the basket. If your section of garland is long enough, you’ll be able to weave it into a hole in the basket and place a bit of hot glue to secure.
You’ll want wired ribbon specifically because it looks really beautiful in bow form and can be shaped however you want. I loved this ribbon because the ivory satin trim balances out the rustic feel of the burlap. Tie a bow around the handle and maybe a bow or two on the gifts inside… And your beautiful basket is ready to be gifted!
Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 13th and we have just over two weeks to find that perfect something to thank our mothers for all they do for us! I’ve compiled a collection of products that any mama will love. I own and use all of these items and can speak to their beautiful quality and cozy comfort so if you have any questions, please send them my way. What are you picking up for your mother and mother-in-law this month?
The sweetest handmade ceramic mug that will keep her coffee or tea warm and make her smile every time she sees it. This ‘parchment check’ color goes perfectly in our living space with its delicate cream palette and hints of French blue and soft green.
These scarves are my favorite for everyday wear; they’re priced at a friendly $58 and they can be washed. I love wearing these wrapped around my neck or shoulders, but they’re also the perfect size for a beach pareo.
I gave this set to my mother and mother-in-law last year for Mother’s Day and both of them commented on the beautiful packaging and the delicate floral scent. We have this scent in all our bathrooms as well; ‘Casuarina’ is such a soft floral it won’t clash with personal fragrances and men don’t mind using it.
These shearling slippers feel ultra-luxe on feet and the giant satin bow is so cute. I wear slippers almost nonstop in our home because we don’t allow shoes in the house, but my feet get so cold sometimes! Currently 40% off, these slippers make the perfect gift to keep your mama’s feet toasty all year long.
This is one of my favorite totes for both travel and pool days. The soft cream and beige beetle print fabric is effortlessly chic, trimmed with butter-soft tan leather. It’s the perfect size to stash my essentials, laptop, and a scarf… Or my sunscreens, flip flops, and a beach pareo.
8. India Hicks Metallic Gold Leather Tassel Keychain
This gold leather tassel keychain feels high quality and heavy; perfect for toting around your keys or for adding as an accent to a handbag or tote. Might I suggest adding it to the front of the Mayfair tote?!
These chic little linen slippers have a raised footbed that gives them a chic look; I don’t feel quite so “sleepwear” when I wear these around the house. In fact, they look quite cute with a simple white tee and a pair of ankle jeans. What better way to remind your mama she is, in fact, the queen bee?!
10/11/12. My Favorite Pajamas
These pajamas are all from the same brand because it is my absolute favorite. They feel so soft and cozy; honestly, slipping them on after a long soak in the bath feels like heaven. And they wash up beautifully too. If you like your sleepwear to fit more closely to your body, order one size down. But I prefer really loose, slightly oversized pajamas so I ordered my usual size. The blue and pink striped pajamas are in the really soft, almost silky-cotton material I love so much. (Plus size version here.) But I also included the soft cotton floral pajamas I added to my closet this month; they are more cotton and less jersey than the other sets if that makes sense!