Girls Night Out in Annapolis with the Loews Annapolis Hotel

Last week I was invited to a night at the Loews Annapolis to have a holiday night out. It was Midnight Madness in downtown Annapolis and the perfect excuse to have a fun, festive, casual night out. I’ve been to many events at the Loew’s and it’s definitely a favorite venue of mine – from the Junior League of Annapolis Galas to the Zooma Expo, they always put on a fantastic event. The staff is always super friendly and the rooms are beautiful with local-inspired decor. If you ever need a place to stay in ‘Naptown, I highly recommend.

I’ve been to many events at the Loew’s and it’s definitely a favorite venue of mine – from the Junior League of Annapolis Galas to the Zooma Expo, they always put on a fantastic event. The staff is always super friendly and the rooms are beautiful with local-inspired decor. If you ever need a place to stay in ‘Naptown, I highly recommend.

The evening/afternoon started with Glam Sessions – I got my hair curled (of which I am now obsessed with but haven’t quite figured out how to replicate it). They also had makeup (mainly eyes with some false lashes!) and nails that you could get done as well. I did my own makeup though my nails look like garbage but I replied late so was only able to score a hair appointment.

GNO with Loews Annapolis

I left shortly after my hair was done to get changed into my cozy, festive casual outfit for the evening – ready to hit the town. (As much as a 30 something working mom can and wants to hit the town…)

holiday casual outfit

{Pants | Sweater (old, similar) | Plaid Shirt | Necklace | Shoes (old, similar)}

Prior to heading out to Midnight Madness, we started with cocktails and appetizers at Baroak – Teddy Folkman’s restaurant in Annapolis – which is DELICIOUS. We had mussels, flatbread pizza and some charcuterie on the appetizer side…

Baroak annapolis cocktails

…and some (delicious) specialty cocktails – a white sangria with cranberries and a white rum punch (that I did not try but heard delicious things about!). They have an exceptional menu (mussels and frites anyone?!) and the beer menu isn’t terrible either. If you have not been, I highly recommend.

After cocktail hour, I headed downtown with Liz to check out a couple of the shops, snowflake alley and meet up with some other Naptown pals of hers. We ended up at Dry 85 and had a couple of drinks before Ubering back to the hotel because holy crap was it FRIGID to walk the four or five blocks back (even though we walked down there).

The night ended back in the Presidential suite at the Loew’s with gift wrapping. I got the couple of gifts that I picked up wrapped, I’m a good wrapper generally, but this lady was AMAZING. I’ve got enough to wrap at home, so it was nice having a couple to get wrapped fo’ freesies.

I was back in my room at a halfway decent hour and crashed watching HGTV. It was a really fun night for sure. Thanks to Loews Annapolis for hosting and for putting on such a fantastic evening.

FTC disclosure: I was provided an overnight stay, however, I was not compensated for my honest review. All opinions here are my own. 

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What I Wore: Holiday Party Girly

I am the WORST wanna-be style bloggers ever. I had the CUTEST outfit for my holiday party a couple of weeks ago and alas, I did NOT get a picture of it. Not one. So Much FAIL.

 

[Skirt | Top | Necklace | Shoes (old, similar) ]

These shoes y’all. I have had these shoes for FOREVER, they’re Steve Maddens and I love them. They desperately need new inserts but I wear them two, maybe three times per year because they’re my holiday shoes. I usually trip and near break my ankle at least once each time I wear them (true story), and this year was NO different. But every time I wear them I feel fun, flirty and festive – which is how any girl should feel around the holidays.

My outfit was inspired by this pin – I DESPERATELY wanted to try a tulle skirt. For no other reason than I wanted to try something different and I really don’t get that many opportunities to dress up throughout the year so, I wanted to get a little girlier than I normally do.

Another “fun” fact: if you’re going to shop at Charlotte Russe (which is where, after scavenging many retail establishments in the greater Annapolis area, I finally found a tulle skirt), be prepared to size up at least 1 to 2 sizes from where you normally are. Don’t take it personally. Their size 8 is more like a size 4. Vanity sizing is disgusting my friends.

All of this and of course I forgot to snap a picture. I’ll get better at this whole blogging thing again I promise – its a new years resolution.

What’s your favorite festive party wear?

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What I Wore: Festive Copper

How has it been nearly a month since my last blog post? I have half a dozen drafts sitting in my backlog but no time/energy to wrap them up and schedule them. Maybe I’m over thinking this blogging thing but some of my favorite bloggers have such beautiful photos and images whereas I’m in selfie-city. Somedays I feel like such an amateur. Either way, setting the bar low for myself. Blog one time per week. Two would be fantastic, three would be a dream. Let’s see if I can get my act together!

jcrew tippi

[sweater | pants | shoes (similar) | Necklace (similar, similar) | Button down (similar) ]

I know JCrew has gotten some crap lately regarding their quality and that , but I got a beautiful Tippi sweater on a black Friday sale and I’ve gotta say, I’m in love and want at least ten more in different colors.

In other news, this weekend we’re going to be in full cooking baking, gift wrapping, holiday movie watching mode. Shopping is ALMOST done and I am READY for Christmas morning with my two favorite people. Cue “matching” pjs, mimosas, a festive brunch and all of the Christmas movies with Little man. It’s going to be a fun day 🙂

Tell me about your favorite parts of the holiday season! Any great finds that you’ve found through the Holiday Shopping season?

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[REVIEW] November Stitch Fix

Two months ago I was ready to quit Stitch Fix. After an array of terrible fixes, I was tired of being bummed out and disappointed. So, I emailed them, they responded, credited me my $20 fix fee, and gave me a new stylist. I figured, I’d give it ONE more shot.

novemberstitch-fix-review

This stylist…was better. Everything I’ve read is to be as specific as possible with your stylist and if you like a stylist to hang onto them for all your might. I haven’t found a stylist I love yet, BUT if I had this one again, I wouldn’t be upset.

Drew Filigree Collar Necklace, $28

At first look, this is a pretty statement piece, but when you feel it, it just felt a little cheap, and for $28 I was kind of m’eh on it. I couldn’t really get it untangled, so i knew from the start, that it wasn’t a good piece for me.

Verdict: Returned

Liverpool Anita Skinny Pant, $78

liverpool skinny pant

I got these pants in red last year and I lurrrrrrve them. So I was really excited when I asked if they had them back (they did) and they were in my box. Navy is a solid color and since these are so versatile for office or weekend, these were definitely a keeper.

Verdict: Keep

Koda Split Neck Blouse

koda split neck blouse

Super cute. But didn’t quite fit right. I don’t think the petite tops really fit me well – they tend to be too tight in the hips. I was kind of bummed the fit was a touch on the small side but while the top was cute, the polka dots were a bit big for my liking. Color me picky.

Verdict: Return 

Claussen Ruffle Hem Top

claussen ruffle hem top

Not quite seasonally appropriate – super cute and flowy, had I gotten this in like…July I probably would have kept it but alas, not so right for November.

Verdict: Return

Salma French Terry Blazer

salma french terry blazer

Man, this blazer was ALMOST a win. It was a bit out of my budget AND the sleeves were too long and when I tried to exchange the size, other sizes were sold out. Had it fit just a touch better, I would have possibly convinced myself to keep it. Maybe. Probably not. That being said, the fact that you can now exchange sizes with your fix is a totally awesome upgrade.

Verdict: Returned

Overall, this fix was definitely a step in the right direction. A bit closer AND they listened to my request for my favorite pants. I still switched it to quarterly. I needed a little bit of a break – i think my bank account needed a little bit of a break too.

Have you tried Stitch Fix? If not, it’s worth a try at least once – not that you can ever get just one. Seriously. If you do sign up, I’d love for you to use my link!

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OOTD: Gingham and Camel

When you’re stuck in a blogging rut my friends, find an OOTD post that you’ve been meaning to post for 3 weeks but haven’t taken the time to write up. Voila! Insta-blog! AMIRITE?

Anyhooo, One of my favorite fall looks is gingham and/or plaid. Put it together with navy and camel – two neutral staples in my closet and you’ve got a winning combo! Usually, Friday’s are casual days, but earlier this month a business meeting up near Philly had me dressed up during a normally, dress down day.

{shirt – J.Crew Factory | Pants – J.Crew Factory | Shoes – J.Crew (consigned), Similar | Cardigan – JCrew Factory, Old; Similar | Necklace – Loft Factory, old; Similar}

And y’all…those shoes. What I call my power shoes because leopard heels? Rawr. Those are JCrew heels that I found on consignment for $20. There is nothing I love more than a fantastic deal – which is why I’ve been loving Poshmark and Amazon lately for shopping. And those pants? Six months ago were too tight. Now? They’re too loose. #winning.

What’s your favorite look that leaves you feeling confident? 

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Friday Five: Back again

I’m in a post-inbound whirl. I had a Friday Five last week…but I never added a picture, then I fell asleep on the train and never posted it so….whoops. But, here are a few sweet reads to take you into the weekend!

girls

 

  1. If you’re not in this group on Facebook, I highly recommend it. The admin, has a blog and this post is everything you need to buy on Amazon. yep. I said it. Amazon. I’ve got this top and this vest and these shoes in my cart right now just waiting for me to hit purchase (they’re also on the wishlist for the holidays..hint hint hint).
  2. The title of this post alone is everything. But seriously, why do brands think they can pay creatives next to nothing or pay us in product for our time? NOT. OKAY.
  3. I don’t run with the jogging stroller anymore, because Little Man hates it, so to all you running mamas with your strollers? You rock and inspire me everytime i see you hitting the trails.
  4. Previous offices have had no dress code, I loved this article because my general way of thinking is dress for the job you want not the job you have so even when i was at an office with no dress code, I always took my cues from my bosses when it came to wardrobe.  (h/t from Work Edit).
  5. This outfit on Jean is EVERYTHING. You can just order every piece and box it up and ship to me. Is there a JCrew Factory Santa for that?

on the blog

My #inbound packing list – a post-mortem if you will.

One year later… still missing my nana.

Next week:
November Stitch Fix review and Thanksgiving outfit inspiration

 

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Thankful Thursday: One Year Later

It’s been one year.

One year later and I can still remember exactly what I was doing when I got that call – I had just pulled in to grab lunch before an afternoon of meetings. Knowing a trip to Vermont was imminent, I was trying to get client work in order before then, so I was planning a short lunch before a 1:30 internal meeting and a 3pm client call with one of my more…difficult clients.

As soon as I heard the words “She’s gone,” I skipped lunch. I drove back to my office crying as I called Hubs and collapsed in the arms of coworkers who knew this was imminent. The next few days were a blur. A long evening drive with hubs and Little Man. So many phone calls. So many hugs and more tears than I ever knew was possible.

How does it feel like just yesterday when I was laying on the couch in the house where you raised my dad, my aunts and uncle and so many of your grandchildren, chatting with you, learning more about your life, sipping on late night Miller Light and watching bad television? It wasn’t yesterday though, it was nearly a decade ago. Nearly ten years from when I’d hear country music waking me up as you and Papa would read the paper. Ten years from spending summer afternoons following you around the garden asking you all of the questions about your plants, helping you pick green beans, or water your beloved roses.

In that decade, we all watched the worst disease slowly take over your memory. The first time I really noticed it was a November trip to Vermont at my dad’s – you kept asking the same question over and over and over again. No one would say the A word, but we all knew. That was 2011 when Adam was at Basic training in Oklahoma.

Cousins will say that you knew us all along, even after you couldn’t remember our names, but that being in the presence of your family made you smile until your dying day.

Our last conversation – though one-sided – is burned in my mind, we face timed thanks to K. I told you I loved you. That Ethan was getting so big and that I was so glad you met him. I was so afraid though, afraid to say how scared I was of a life without you in it. You were my rock through so much of my adolescence when I often felt alone and abandoned. You were the rock for many of us during those tough years – we all had them, and you stood by us all.

I’m so thankful that I had an incredible Nana. I’m so thankful that I have 32 years of amazing memories. That you met Little Man, that you were at Adam and I’s wedding, that you were able to celebrate my graduation from college even if you weren’t there – the first of your eleven grandchildren to graduate from college and I’m pretty sure we celebated over Malibu & diet and miller light – our favorite drinks at the time. How was 2006 so long ago?!

I’m so thankful that I told you I loved you. That even when you didn’t remember me back in June of last year, that I saw you, told you I loved you and hugged you. How was I to know that would be the last time? Traveling was just so expensive, and work was so demanding. I wish I had made one last trip even though seeing you like that broke me every time.

I’m thankful that your passing brought all of us together – it was the first time in years I had seen my cousins, the ones who shaped my childhood from all those weekends at camp, and during the summers I spent visiting you. Even though the years have taken us all down different paths, we all had you in common and on that chilly November night at your wake, we all hugged and remembered. Our grief bringing us all back together.

This holiday season, friends, be thankful for your families. Though we’re spending the holidays here at home, I am so thankful that last year we were able to spend thanksgiving with family, that little man was able to play with second cousins, and that I was able to spend time remembering our favorite Nana stories. I was/am so lucky that I have those to cherish.

I can’t believe it’s been a full year…

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In My #Inbound16 Suitcase

I tend to be an over packer. Like serious over-packer. I was gone for five days and I think I packed nine tops, four bottoms and four pairs of shoes. So, taking a lesson from some of the inspiration I used to pack  for this particular trip (this post, this one and this post mainly), I’m sharing my best packing tips and what I loved in my #inbound16 suitcase.

 

inbound suitcase

Tops:
Blazer (Gap – old, similar) | sweater | tunicbutton down | ruffle hem sweatshirt (LOFT, similar) | striped tee | Striped Peplum top (similar..ish) | pintuck popover |

Pants: 
Black Ponte Pants | Jeans |

Shoes:
booties (Old Navy, similar) | Flats | leopard flats (Madewell via Poshmark – similar)

Not pictured: this fantastic sweater which I wore home on Saturday with these leggings (which are back this year and on sale for 40% off!!) and these riding boots.

Lessons for dressing for a conference – from conference room to the cocktail hour 

Plan, plan, plan. Seriously. I had an idea what I wanted to wear but really, I suppose I didn’t need to bring ALL of my favorite fall wear. I did some pinning, but if I stuck to my outfits and did a little more suitcase capsule planning, I might have been better off and been less likely to over pack.

Dress comfortably. This goes without saying, but heels are out. I didn’t end up wearing my booties so I could have left those. I did pack my riding boots – but I wore them on my way home from CT not at the conference as I suspected. We didn’t go back to our hotel rooms between conference/keynotes/dinners/going out – a luxury I had during my first Inbound experience so dressing business casual was a good thing.

Check the weather. I forgot my jacket, y’all. I lived in Boston for five years, just because it’s in the 60’s and I don’t need a jacket in Maryland, doesn’t mean I should leave my jacket behind. I totally did this as I rushed out the door on Tuesday morning. WHOOPS. You see, my suitcase didn’t have room for my blazer, so I just wore that. Except, it was like 10 – 15 degrees colder in Boston than in Maryland. Dress for the weather where you’re going homies. Don’t forget a jacket when going to New England in November. Rookie mistake.

I loved inbound – that’s a separate post for another day but between the fantastic people watching and the incredible speakers and breakout sessions, if you’re in marketing, this is one conference you don’t want to miss.

What are your favorite packing hacks?

 

 

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Friday Five: Rawr edition

Happy Friday readers! Friday five is back – also known as my weekly wrap up/favorite reads from the past week. The past couple of weeks have been a bit cray. This weekend is shaping up to be a nice one – perfect weather, my mom is in town to hang with Little Man and I and we’ve got a bunch of Halloween/Fall-ish type things going on. Why Rawr edition? Well, little man is a dinosaur for halloween this year – and we’ve been working on our rawring so it seemed appropriate.

friday five

  1. Answering the question every non-parent and husband asks every day. Why moms always talk about coffee and wine. Yes. All of this.
  2. While I do think some of Ivanka Trump’s pieces are beautiful, you won’t see them posted here. More about how her father’s campaign is damaging her brand.
  3. Leggings as pants? Yay or nay? (i’m in the yay category myself if they’re worn properly!)
  4. Yes to all of these ways to make your commute more productive – also, this post made me want a Roomba.
  5. Have you ever shopped on amazon? Apparently you should start, they’re about to take over Macy’s as the biggest clothing retailer. I’ve recently added a bunch of fun stuff to my Amazon wish list after seeing pieces in a fun Facebook Group I’m in. Worth perusing! (plus prime shipping ftw!)

On the blog

 

 

Normally I have some sales to shop but I’m on a shopping hiatus for the next few weeks. That being said, I did open up a poshmark page so you can check out what I’m trying to get rid of from my closet here!

What’s going on in your world this weekend?

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OOTD: Stripes and Peplum Love

If there’s one thing you can probably gather from my outfits, it’s that I have a strong love of neutrals (ah-hem black, white, navy) and stripes.

So when I picked up this black and white ruffle hem top it was love at first wear.

ruffle hem top

[Peplum Top (similar)| Pants (similar) | Shoes | necklace (similar)]

ruffle hem OOTD

It’s just one of those classic looks – stripes, peplum. And let’s all be on the same page here, there is NOTHING that doesn’t go with black pants. Nothing. Black ponte pants? My go to. I think I need another pair of these because I wear them so frequently. I don’t know if this falls under a signature style but if I had one? Stripes and black pants might just be it.

What is your signature style? Do you have go to pieces in YOUR closet?

 

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