Thursday, April 16, 2015

Adventure at the #LillyForTarget Launch Party

You're in for a treat this afternoon, because my sweet friend Courtney is here on Maryland Pink and Green as a guest blogger. She spills the juice about her adventure last night at the #LillyForTarget launch party!

Lilly Pulitzer Target Launch Party Invitation Review

On Wednesday We Buy Pink
My Adventure at the #LillyForTarget Launch Party

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been counting down the days until #LillyForTarget launches – searching Insta for new product photos and any tidbits to be had about the launch, scouring the Look Book and making your wish list, and pondering why in the world Mr. Big is in the Lilly Target commercial.

So I shouted “Amen! Yes Please!” when I was invited to Wednesday night’s #LillyForTarget launch party in Bryant Park in NYC. The party was held at the Bryant Park Grill and was everything you would expect a LP party to be – swanky, glamorous (celebs like Kate Bosworth, Emmy Rossum, Camille Alves, former LP model Bella Thorne attended) and most of all, FUN (pass the bubbly please!).

We were greeted with warm Southern hospitality and offered a glass of champagne upon entering the party. DJ Kiss provided the entertainment (against a bright fuschia backdrop of course) and the space was divided into two main areas – the shopping area and the lounge/bar area. Of course we beelined immediately for the shopping area!

There was a palpable upbeat, fun energy while party goers shopped – the clothes were lined up in rows and the home goods were displayed beautifully in the center of the room on white shelf units. The majority of people swarmed the clothing area – you definitely had to be persistent and navigate close quarters to score shift dresses (flying off the racks while I was there!).

I had one priority – to get shift dresses for myself and my Minnie. There were so many gorgeous items displayed throughout the room but I kept laser focus as I searched for the shift dresses. I was incredibly impressed with the quality of all the clothing – the fabric, craftsmanship, fit and attention to detail are very true to Lilly. I honestly don’t know that I would be able to tell the difference fit/feel wise if I blindly tried on a LP dress vs a LP Target dress.

lilly for target launch party in new york

Observations:
Fabric: Excellent quality. Shift dresses include the traditional Lilly liner. They don’t include the lace ribbon (not sure the actual term) that is often included on the inside of Lilly shifts to finish the look (and cover the seams). The quality of the dresses does seem a tad better than the caftans. Also, the toddler shorts are a bit thin (but so are the traditionally Lilly toddler shorts so that didn’t surprise me.

Fit: Excellent. Everything we tried on at home after the party fit like a glove and was very flattering and very true to the Lilly silhouette.

Size: Toddler sizing is typical measurements (18 mo, 2T, 3T, 4T, 5T). Women’s sizing is mixed – some shifts were listed numerically, (8, 10, 12, etc and some were listed with Target sizing [L (10/12), XL (14/16), etc]. Some people speculated that the collection would fit more like a typical Target line but I disagree – to me, it fit very much like Lilly (perhaps not as small as some Lilly items have been recently).

Attention to Detail: Blew me away – lots of little unexpected surprises. Very true to the Lilly Pulitzer brand. Gold thread on drawstrings, pompom rickrack on shorts, contrasting zipper detailing on the shift dresses, pineapple zipper handles. I included a few close-up photos of the details. Even the shopping bags (be still my heart!) and tags on the clothes (a bold fuchsia box outlined in gold) were very classy.


The Target team did a fantastic job keeping the shopping area well stocked and the checkout line moving (using portable credit card devices). Some folks from the Lilly corporate team attended and you could just sense a genuine, excited vibe from both the Lilly and Target teams. What an awesome, well done collaboration.

lilly pulitzer lilly for target haul launch party nyc

As you make your final wish list for Sunday, here are some tips and tidbits I overheard at the party for scoring what you want:

Get Your Starbucks Ready!: Target confirmed the collection will go online between 12-2am CST (not sure if it will be all at once or in intervals). This is an awesome chance to score tier 1 items from your wish list (and larger home goods that you will weigh you down running, er walking, in store.

Divide and Conquer: Although many Target stores say they don’t expect early morning lines, I find that hard to believe and recommend getting in line early (stores open at 8am Sunday). Might as well bring your Ipad and search the collection online while you stake out your spot in front of the store at 5am J Also, bribe bring a friend to divide and conquer (one of you take home goods, the other clothing to increase your odds of scoring items).

Know What’s Online: Make sure you check the lookbook (it states whether item is sold online when you click on each item – plus size, some accessories and toddler items (some shorts) are online only). Also, Target has confirmed that all stores (Super Targets, City Targets) will carry the collection.

Target Account: Make sure you have an account set up with your address and payment information saved – seconds matter when the hunt, er, shop is on.

Use Multiple Browsers (Chrome, Safari, FireFox): I learned this the hard way with previous LP sales. You don’t know when things will crash or whether one platform will be more efficient.

Return Policy: The Lilly collaboration has a special return policy of only 14 days (as opposed to Target's normal 90-day return policy) so make sure you don’t miss that deadline. Also, if your Target runs out, keep an eye out for the 2 weeks following in case people return items.

Good luck on Sunday, fellow Lilly lovers! And remember, “Anything is possible with a little pink!”

lilly for target launch party in new york game plan guide

Sunday Game Plan: Lilly Pulitzer for Target

Here's your game plan for this Sunday's launch of the Lilly Pulitzer for Target collaboration. Today's post will give you the best tips that you'll need to score everything on your wish list.

Ever since the announcement of this collaboration was made, there has been quite a buzz about it. And if you've ever shopped at a Lilly Pulitzer Warehouse Sale or an online sale, you know that things can get a little crazy.

My personal wish list is long, although I did manage to narrow it down from the over 200 items in the collection. I plan to shop both online and in-store in order to maximize my results. I especially love the Nosie Posey print and am breaking my rule of not having multiple items in the same print.

lilly for target collaboration tote bag blogger maryland pink and green lilly pulitzer beckett dress

Tote (only $15!) //  Dress  (navy, on sale) //  Belt  //  Shoes

Here are my Lilly Pulitzer for Target shopping tips for you!

1. Make a wish list. Before you shop, make your list using the official and complete Look Book.

2. Shop by department: Unlike other collaborations that were staged in one area of the store, the Lilly items are part of each department. Look for shifts and bathing suits in clothing and pillows, poufs, and more in patio. Shop with friends and divide and conquer each department individually.

3. Prioritize: I predict that shift dresses will fly off the racks in stores and online. Decide on a few items that are most important to you and find those first. If your Target store is large, this especially important.

4. Shop early, shop often: At my local Target store, the manager told me that they're not expecting anyone to camp out overnight, but I recommend arriving in advance of the official store opening. Find out what time your local Target opens on Sunday here.

5. Online shopping: The same mantra about shopping early and often applies here, too! Prepare in advance by setting up your online account at Target, making sure that your address is updated. Some of my favorite items are only available online, so I am going to look for those online. Target has not announced an official time when things will go live online, I predict that they will release things in a staggered manner so that it helps control the traffic volume and you don't see a message that looks like this. My advice to you is to check out as soon as you have something that you want in your cart. Don't delay, or you might lose things in your cart.



Last night I almost gave myself whiplash because I turned my head so quickly to watch this commercial for the millionth time. It's absolutely brilliant!



What is at the top of your Lilly for Target wishlist?  

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

April Showers Raincoat + Giveaway


April showers don't bother me one bit, especially when I'm prepared to face the elements in a wind and waterproof rain jacket. Functional and beautiful, the mesh lined jacket is a perfect choice for spring weather. The hood is large and keeps me dry while the 2-way zipper offers flexibility. I chose the New Englander Rain jacket from Charles River Apparel in pink because pink is practically a neutral color in my wardrobe.

I'm wearing a size small in this jacket and find that it fits true to size with room for layers under it.

 
charles river apparel rain jacket preppy pink

charles river apparel rain jacket preppy pink

charles river apparel rain jacket preppy pink

charles river apparel rain jacket preppy


As an added bonus, my friends at Charles River Apparel will send a New Englander Rain Jacket in the color chosen by the lucky winner of a giveaway that I am hosting. To enter to win, click the widget and follow the directions.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Virginia Wine Visit: 868 Estate Vineyards

The weather this weekend was delightful and Natalia and Alexia attended a church leadership retreat, so John and I took advantage of the beautiful day to visit 868 Estate Vineyards in Purcellville, Virginia. After a warm reception and friendly greeting in the large, open tasting room, we decided to stay for a wine tasting.


The tasting area is comfortable and large. I hung my purse a hook under the counter and John hung his coat, too. Nancy, one of the owners, told us to make ourselves at home during our visit. The tasting room staff is knowledgeable and well trained. Explanations about each wine entertained and informed us, without being too in depth or boring.

868 estate vineyard review virginia wine

We opted for the truffle wine tasting, exploring 7 different wines paired with 4 chocolate truffles. First, we tried the white chocolate truffle with Sauv Blanc and then Chardonnay. Next on the list was Altezza, named for the high elevation of the estate, with a strawberry balsamic truffle.  The maple walnut truffle with Monarch topped my list of favorites. We finished our chocolate and wine flight with a dark chocolate truffle rolled in cocoa and a taste of Merlot. The flavors blended so well together.

868 estate vineyards truffle tasting review

The grounds of the estate are stunning. I'm eager to return later in the season to see the tulips and other flowers that have been planted in the garden. John and I played a game of cornhole, which I lost terribly, before taking a stroll out to see the vineyards.


There is a pavilion and a large amount of space that can accommodate groups or special events. Several limos and buses arrived while we were there, but it never seemed overcrowded and the attention that we received was stellar.

Although the sun was shining, a chill in the air blew in the breeze. Originally I planned to wear a cute maxi dress, but mother nature foiled my plans. Instead I opted to wear a Murfee scarf with a spring coat to keep warm.


After we spent some time outside, we ventured back into the tasting room to enjoy a bottle of our favorite pick from the tasting. On site picks for food include everything from pizza to steak, offering many options for an afternoon picnic or meal.


Later this spring, we plan to return to 868 Estate Vineyards with some friends!

xoxo



Sunday, April 12, 2015

Elsa First Impression Review + Art Nouveau Hotel

The Elsa top from Lilly Pulitzer is an excellent transition piece for spring that can be worn all year. Recently, I wore the Elsa Top in Poolside Blue First Impression for a day of touring in Mexico City. The weather was absolutely perfect during my visit, with temperatures in the 60s in the morning to almost 80 degrees in the afternoon and not a drop of humidity in the air.

This season, the Elsa top is running true to size. I'm wearing a size small and it fits perfectly. I paired the Elsa top with a pair of white cropped jeans. These cropped jeans are a perfect length for my 5'4" frame and have a slight cuff at the hem. I'm wearing a size 4 and they fit true to size or perhaps a little bit large, and have a lot of stretch. After a day of touring, I was wrinkle-free, comfortable, and cool. I completed the ensemble with a pair of McKim sandals. I walked comfortably around the city for countless blocks without any problem.

lilly pulitzer elsa top poolside blue first impression

 
The Tory Burch bag that I carried on my trip is the ideal travel bag. It fits nicely over my shoulder but also includes an optional adjustable shoulder strap. The inside pockets keep my cell phone and other important items organized and easy to find. Usually I prefer tote bags, but the zip top of this bag makes it a perfect choice for travel in a big city.
 

lilly pulitzer elsa top poolside blue first impression tory burch thea mexico
 
For this visit, I knew that I wanted to stay in a hotel within walking distance of many historic sites and museums. Although I like luxurious accommodations, I stay away from "cookie cutter" type hotels that look the same in every city and try to find unique boutique hotels. The Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico is a delightful boutique hotel located steps away from the main square where the Zocalo, Palacio Nacional, Cathedral Metropolitana, and Templo Mayor are located.
 
Every morning, I admired the Tiffany style stained glass ceiling in the hotel lobby. I also rode in one of the oldest elevators in Mexico. Birds sang happily in the lobby. It is truly magical.
 
gran hotel ciudad de mexico stained glass
 
chandelier gran hotel ciudad de mexico
 
 
Every morning, I enjoyed a delicious breakfast at the hotel with fresh fruit, sweet breads, fresh juice, and an entree. I opted for the chilaquiles, tortillas with chicken, cheese, and cream, while Natalia and Alexia alternated their choices to try some new dishes. Since there are only 60 rooms at the hotel, the outstanding service is personalized. The doorman, concierge, and restaurant staff all knew us well. As an added bonus, I discovered that the newest James Bond movie was being filmed...right outside my window! Unfortunately, I didn't seen Daniel Craig, but I kept my eyes open for a glimpse of the actor.
 
preppy blogger travel mexico lilly pulitzer

 
 
Enjoy your day!
 
xoxo






Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday Five: Sunshine + Sparkle

Happy Friday!

1. Blue and bling: This week has been incredibly dreary and rainy. I've needed to wear a jacket every day, especially in the mornings when the air is quite crisp. On Monday, I switched over my closet from winter to spring clothing even though I'm still piling on the layers. When I wore blue chambray with a black dot Calinda Printed Scarf and Barbour jacket, I received so many compliments. The necklace is a bit of added bling and was part of my Rocksbox set this month. Remember that you can get your first month free at Rocksbox with BETHANYBFF66.

barbour international coat garnet hill calinda printed scarf

2. Sunshine: After a rainy week, I'm ready to soak up some sunshine. At school, we're planning a door decorating contest to celebrate spring and the theme is "sunshine." I'm plotting some ideas with my student aides because the door decorating contests can get pretty competitive. Here's what my door looks like right now.


3. Lilly Pulitzer: The newest releases from Lilly Pulitzer are fantastic and the sneak previews that I have seen for summer are even better. Right now I'm loving the "Big Flirt" print, especially the Maisy Strappy Slip Dress.


4. Target: I always seem to end up at Target at least once a week, but lately I've found myself thinking about the Lilly Pulitzer for Target collection as the release date approaches. This week I found so many delightful nautical accessories, trays, and pillows that would look fantastic on my porch. Luckily I have two porches at my house, so there is plenty of space for these goodies and the Lilly Pulitzer items.

nautical pink and navy target octopus pillow lobster pillow coral

5. Fitness: Things always seem to operate in a cycle. When my daughters were babies, everyone always told me to take a nap when they were napping. It was quite difficult to manage, but resting (even for 10 minutes!) while the girls were sleeping helped me keep my sanity. Now that my daughters are almost in high school, their needs are different, but still require a lot of my time and attention. Lately, I've become the official driver of the girls, shuttling them between all of their activities. Sometimes it's impossible for me to go home or to do any of my own work, but I decided to use these little chunks of time for myself. I've been walking or exercising while they are doing their activities. I've noticed that I'm getting stronger and that the activities don't tire me as much as they did in the past. It feels good to do this for myself while being a good mom (and a good example!) for my daughters.

Hope that you're having a fantastic week!

 
xoxo

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Make a Statement for Under $20

Transform an ordinary t-shirt or dress with a statement necklace. Today only, get these gorgeous necklaces for only $15. Some are marked down from an original price of $64! With options from a modern mixed media necklace to classics like multistrand pearls, you'll have a necklace for every occasion.

j crew factory jewelry sale 15 necklace pearl crystal


During spring in Maryland, we still experience temperatures that are quite cold. I'm eager to wear all of my spring and summer wardrobe, but don't want to freeze. A nautical statement necklace makes an excellent transition piece no matter how you style it.



Have a wonderful day!


xoxo


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