Wednesday, July 1, 2015

How to Choose a Rent the Runway Dress

Why spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a dress that you're only going to wear once? Rent the Runway is the perfect solution! You can rent designer dresses for a fraction of the price of retail. Recently, I rented two dresses from the members' only website for DAR events.

Whether you're renting or buying a dress, you want a dress that is flattering and fits well. Shopping online makes things a little bit tricky, but I have some tips to help you choose the best dress when you use Rent the Runway.

How to Choose a Rent the Runway Dress
1. Search Features: Use search features to sort dresses by occasion, length, and body type. You can also select your favorite designers.

2. Customer Photos: Very few of us actually look like the tall, thin models that show designer gowns on websites and in magazines. If you're unfamiliar with a designer, you may be unsure about sizing or fit. Every time I order from Rent the Runway, I always review the customer photos and read the reviews. Sort results to display reviews from "Women Like Me" to see what the dress looks like on women who share your height, weight, and measurements.

3. Stylist Notes: Stylist notes mention body types that a particular dress flatters along with special sizing information, so I always consider those in my decision making process, too.

4. Choose a Backup Dress: Rent the Runway is practically foolproof. Choose two sizes of the same dress for free. You can also order a backup dress as a second choice for a dramatically reduced price.

My Experience
After careful consideration and research on the RTR website, I selected two dresses and second sizes. A day before the scheduled arrival of my dresses, a Rent the Runway stylist contacted me about an issue with my order. The Rebecca Taylor Periwinkle Pleats Gown that I selected had arrived late or damaged to RTR and was unavailable to ship. The stylist sent another comparable dress in the order so that my dresses arrived on time. At first, I worried about the stylist's pick because my short stature and curves are not always easy to fit and flatter.

Little did I know that her pick would be my favorite dress of the bunch! The Sea Waves Gown by  Badgley Mischka is comfortable and elegant. I loved everything about this dress, especially the slit on the side.

rent the runway badgley mischka gown review

I also chose the Fuchsia Cross gown from Sachin & Babi. Lately, I like quite a few things from this dynamic duo, including the maxi dress from Anthropologie that I reviewed earlier this summer. I'm glad that I ordered two sizes in this dress, ensuring a perfect fit.

Rent the Runway offers dresses to an incredibly wide range of sizes including petite, extra long lengths, and plus size. There is something for everyone for every occasion. If you're not already a member of this invitation-only site, here's a link to get you started.

All of the formal events at the Daughters of the American Revolution Continental Congress were a huge success! I served on the banquet committee this year and helped to plan and decorate the event to celebrate the 125 years of the society.

Friday, June 26, 2015

5 Sales You Need to Shop Today

I love this time of year because there is still a lot of juice to squeeze out of summer, but there are amazing sales everywhere. Anything that I purchase now can be worn for months to come.

It's no secret that I adore Kate Spade, so a sale this good makes me smile. Take an extra 25% off already reduced sale prices with the code "SETSALE"

kate spade sale wicker crab clutch keds talia coat on sale

Lately, Kayce Hughes' tunic dresses rotate heavily in my wardrobe. The classic lines of the gorgeous dresses are timeless. I especially like this red gingham tunic dress, an incredibly versatile little number that can be worn through the fall. All spring items for girls and women are 50% off original price.

kayce hughes tunic dress

Nordstrom just marked down so many wonderful items including several pages of Tory Burch, Kate Spade, and more! Ever since I saw this Tory Burch tunic, I knew that I wanted to buy it. Now is the perfect time to pick this up at 40% off retail price.

tory burch tunic on sale

anthropologie tag sale

The Sail Away Pullover is a perfect piece for breezy summer evenings. Anthropologie has many of my favorites from this season now on sale. Be sure to check recent purchases you may have made at Anthropologie, because their price adjustment policy is very generous and I've gotten lucky with several price adjustments.

sail away pullover anthropologie on sale

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Watermelon Basiltini Pedicure

I'm thrilled to announce that I am a social media beauty ambassador for Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa and Salons. As part of the #GalSquad, every month I will visit the Red Door Spa to experience a unique treatment or service. I'll share all of the juicy details about these spa visits to keep you up to date on the latest and greatest innovations and beauty and spa treatments.

For the month of June, I enjoyed a Watermelon Basiltini Pedicure. After taking tens of thousands of steps on vacation in Spain, my feet needed to be pampered and this pedicure fit the bill perfectly.

My fabulous nail technician BJ welcomed me with a glass of cucumber water and provided me with a warm neck pillow as I settled into the pedicure chair. She applied a Watermelon-Basil Vodkatini Body Scrub infused with organic vodka from my toes to my knees. It smelled good enough to eat...or drink!

My toes looked amazingly healthy, but I felt so relaxed. After the scrub, BJ gently massaged vanilla buttercream scented shea butter and cocoa butter cream on my feet and legs. I even rubbed some extra cream onto my hands. I touched my legs after this part of the hour-long service and they felt like silk. I loved this cream so much that I bought some to bring home with me.

After a paraffin treatment, my toes sparkled with pretty Essie polish. I deviated from my normal selection of a shade of pink and chose a shade that looks like a perfect blend of sea green and turquoise called Where's My Chauffeur? 

essie wheres my chauffeur watermelon basiltini red door spa pedicure

While my toes dried a bit, I sat in the relaxation room for a while. Honestly, I felt so pampered and relaxed after this treatment, that I could have stayed in the room for QUITE a while. I enjoyed my treatment so much and look forward to next month at the Red Door Spa.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Adventure in Spain: Lilly Pulitzer Brewster Dress

I just returned from a fantastic adventure in Spain! We visited Barcelona, Madrid, and a few other cities during our trip. Although I enjoyed the entire visit, the places that delighted me the most were El Escorial and Segovia. An easy trip from Madrid, we toured both locations in one day on a special tour. El Escorial is a royal palace, monastery, church, and museum all in one.

I wore a comfortable t-shirt dress from Lilly Pulitzer for the tour. This dress in navy sold out quickly online and in stores, but I found it still available here. I'm wearing a size medium dress, which fits well. The small was a little bit too much of a body conscious fit for my taste, so I preferred to move to the next size.

lilly pulitzer sold out brewster dress in blue review blogger

After our guided tour, I tried a local specialty, a lemon slush drink. It tasted delicious and refreshed my thirst! While I drank my slush, a group of school children crowded around the vendor and enjoyed a treat for themselves.

lilly pulitzer sold out brewster dress in blue review blogger

The medieval town of Segovia reminds me of something out of a fairy tale. With narrow cobblestone streets and buildings that date more than a 1,000 years old, it's a glimpse of the past. Our tour guide said that Disney took inspiration from this castle to design castles in many of their stories.

preppy blogger segovia spain travel

Both the interior and exterior of the castle interest visitors to this world heritage site.

preppy blogger segovia spain travel

Dress  //  Shoes  //  Bag  //  Sunglasses

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Reina: A Modern Latin Bistro

The girls and I enjoy new restaurants. Recently, we enjoyed lunch at Reina, a modern Latin bistro, located in the historic district of Frederick, MD. If you're familiar with the area, you recognize this spot as the former Acacia restaurant. Looks are deceiving and the restaurant is quite large, extending the entire length of the historic building. We sat in a window seat facing Market Street that allowed us to watch the people on the street.

Murals and art dot the walls of the restaurant.

reina restaurant frederick maryland review

Upon first glance, the menu offers a modern twist on some Latin American favorites. The restaurant sources most items locally and focuses on fresh, organic food. We decided on a tomatillo-pineapple salsa to start. It tasted sweet and full of flavor. Natalia practically scraped the last bit from the bowl. Salsa arrived with yucca chips, tortilla chips, and plantain chips.

reina restaurant frederick maryland review menu

Instead of dinner rolls or bread, we ate "cancha" before the rest of our food arrived. Cancha is a Peruvian snack that is highly addictive and incredibly delicious. The crunchy texture of the corn snack combines perfectly with the spices.

reina restaurant frederick maryland review cancha peruviana

Our server told us that the restaurant prepares the guacamole when it is ordered. Although they didn't prepare the guacamole table side like other restaurants, it tasted fresh. I love it that the skin of the avocado serves as the bowl!

reina restaurant frederick maryland review guacamole

Corn tortillas are made by hand for many of the dishes. My chicken tacos come with a corn salsa that is so fresh, I could tell that it was just cut off the cob. A spoonful of sweet jicama slaw takes the bite out of any spiciness in the dish.

reina restaurant frederick maryland review chicken tacos

On our next visit, we plan to eat in the patio located in the back of the restaurant.

reina restaurant frederick maryland review patio

Monday, June 15, 2015

Red, White, and Blue Dress

Dressing for patriotic holidays like Memorial Day and Labor Day often presents a challenge. Looking perfectly patriotic in red, white, and blue requires a careful balance of style and elegance that will not have you looking like you have wrapped yourself in a flag.

Elaborate details, including a ladder lace detail at the hem, masterfully combine classic with modern in this stunning dress. The Sonora dress is comfortable and easy to wear. Even on the hottest day, the dress is breezy and cool.

I'm 5'4" and normally wear a size 6. The small is generous in size and fits well. The tie straps at the shoulder are adjustable. The dress hits above my ankles, which is a flattering length. I paired it with a pair of mules, some bangles, and a watch.

Beware! You'll receive many compliments when you wear this comfortable dress.

anthropologie sonora dress review blogger maryland pink and green

anthropologie sonora dress review blogger

anthropologie sonora dress review blogger

anthropologie sonora dress review blogger

Dress  //  Shoes  //  Elephant Bangle  //  Watch 

Friday, June 12, 2015

5 Perfect Summer Clutches Under $50

Summer bags tend to be one of two extremes. When I'm headed to the beach or pool, I carry a large tote bag to hold everything that I need. But for an evening out or for a special event, a clutch perfectly complements any outfit, offering just enough room for keys, lipstick, and cell phone.

Here are five perfect summer clutches. Best of all, these clutches cost less than $50.

For summer, I love my cork Jack Rogers sandals and wear them as a neutral color with almost everything in my wardrobe. A cork clutch offers incredible versatility and style. 

j crew cork clutch on sale best summer clutches

A long leather zipper pull lends a handsome touch to a sturdy canvas pouch printed with a signature wave motif that was meticulously designed in M. Carter's Greenpoint, Brooklyn studio. Perfect for the beach or pool, store your goodies in style.

M Carter sturdy canvas wave pouch best summer clutches

The Match Box clutch offers a whimsical option to top off any outfit. This bag looks much more expensive than the $33 price tag.

match box clutch best summer clutches

Add elegance at a summer wedding or formal occasion with this stone and jewel encrusted clutch.

aldo trawick clutch perfect summer clutch
In the blink of an eye, football season will be here. Support your favorite college team on game day with this game day clutch. Available for a variety of schools, the clutch looks fantastic with cowboy boots and your favorite game day dress.

clemson game day clutch to match cowboy boots

perfect summer clutches under 50 cork clutch stone clutch game day clutch

Cork Clutch, $34  // Canvas Wave Pouch, $30  //  Match Box Clutch, $33  //  

Which clutch is your favorite?


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