Friday, May 29, 2015

5 Fun Facts About Seersucker

Now that summer is almost officially here, it's time to push your sweaters to the back of the closet and bring out one of my favorite fabrics, seersucker!

5 summer seersucker picks lilly pulitzer j crew boden preppy
Bikini Top  //  Bikini Bottom  //  Skirt  //  Bag  //  Espadrilles  //  Dress

Everyone instantly recognizes seersucker, but these entertaining and interesting facts about seersucker give you some talking points at the next crab feast.

1. Word Origin: According to Merriam-Webster, seersucker has an interesting word origin.

Origin of SEERSUCKER

Hindi śīr-śakkar, sīr-sakkar & Urdu shīrshakar, literally, milk and sugar, from Persian shīr-o-shakar
First Known Use: 1722

2. Seersucker in Song: The Rolling Stones reference seersucker in their song Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man.

3. Seersucker in Print: Seersucker is mentioned in the book If I Ran the Zoo by Dr. Seuss in the sentence, "And then, just to show them, I'll sail to Ka-Troo, And Bring Back an It-Kutch, a Preep, and a Proo, A Nerkle, a Nerd, and a Seersucker too!" Of course, you and I know that seersucker has always been here.

4. Congressional Seersucker: After a brief hiatus, seersucker boldly returned to Capitol Hill in 2014 after a proclamation from Rep. Bill Cassidy. Senators and representatives donned their coolest seersucker stripes for this special occasion. Seersucker is a logical choice in the swamp-like conditions during the summer in Washington.

5. Easy Seersucker: If you're looking for a fabric that is practically maintenance free, select clothing made with seersucker. During the weaving process, seersucker bunches the fabric together, improving air circulation and eliminating the need for ironing.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Lilly Pulitzer Marlowe Dress Review

lilly pulitzer marlowe dress review red right return

During the spring, summer, and fall, I choose to wear a dress almost every day and am not a fan of shorts. Getting dressed in the morning is a breeze and I always feel put together, even with a casual dress.

If you like knit dresses, you're going to love the Marlowe Boatneck T-Shirt Dress! The t-shirt style dress features a substantial weight that maintains the shape of the dress, even on a busy day. I predict that this popular nautical sailboat print will sell out in stores quickly, so act fast if you want to buy this dress. The vibrant "pink," white, and blue print is perfect for summer holidays like Memorial Day, the 4th of July, and Labor Day. I wore this dress during Memorial Day weekend and received so many compliments about my patriotic look.

Although I wear a 6 in most other items, I sized up to a medium in the Marlowe dress because I don't like to wear anything that is even remotely tight around the hips. The sleeves are comfortable, too. I stand at 5'4" inches tall and the hem of the dress hits above my knee. Compared to other Lilly Pulitzer dresses, the Marlowe is a moderate length that is age appropriate for me for work or play.

lilly pulitzer marlowe dress review red right return

lilly pulitzer marlowe dress review red right return

Dress  //  Sunglasses  //  Bag  //  Shoes (old, but similar ones here)

I wore this dress for a day of touring in Colonial Williamsburg. As part of a wellness challenge for work, John determined that we walked around 10 miles on this particular day. The Marlowe dress held up to the challenge well. I ended the day without a wrinkle, looking just like I did in the morning.

colonial williamsburg governor palace lilly pulitzer blogger

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

$20 Seersucker Dress + Williamsburg

For Memorial Day weekend, we went to Williamsburg, Virginia, one of my favorite places to visit. Since we always buy annual passes, it's easy to visit for a long weekend. We dined at Christiana Campbell's, one of George Washington's favorite taverns. The menu boasts regional seafood specialties as well as delicious fried chicken. Cole slaw, spoon bread, and sweet potato biscuits accompany all of the selections. During the experiential dining experience, "Christiana Campbell" visits the table as well as musicians and other entertainers.

We spent some time relaxing in the garden and on the porch before our reservation. I wore a Striped Strapless Seersucker Dress that I picked up for less than $20. It's a perfect fit and transitions nicely from day to dinner. Natalia and Alexia are wearing Lilly Pulitzer.

seersucker dress old navy maryland blogger lilly pulitzer williamsburg

Williamsburg is beautiful during any season, but the spring and early summer are particularly stunning. Flowers bloom in period gardens, adding color and life to an already picturesque scene.

maryland blogger williamsburg travel wythe house

williamsburg foxgloves in bloom maryland blogger travel

williamsburg poppies maryland blogger

We enjoyed RevQuest, where we immersed ourselves into the world of colonial spies in a hands-on interactive adventure. As we obtained information and found clues, we learned about the Revolutionary War in an exciting way. At the end of the adventure, Agent 109 gave us a handsome reward. 

I'm already looking forward our next visit to this historical gem. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Memorial Day Remembrance

Yesterday, we honored and remembered those who made the ultimate sacrifice while in service to our country. Every year, my DAR chapter holds a memorial service, honoring soldiers through scripture, praise, and respect. We gathered at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, where national anthem author Francis Scott Key is buried.


This year, record high attendance levels marked the touching ceremony and wreath laying. Before the names of the soldiers were read, an honor guard presented the colors and a fife and drum corps provided music.

memorial day mt olivet maryland



My girls enjoyed spending some time with my parents and happily smiled for the camera with my father before the ceremony. Although many associate Memorial Day weekend with the beginning of summer, cookouts, and other activities, I like to spend time remembering the true meaning of the day.


May we always remember the heritage of these brave men and women so that we can pass it to future generations.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Memorial Day Sale Preview

It's a holiday weekend, so you know what that means, don't you? Wonderful sale opportunities tempt with every click. Nordstrom is having a fantastic sale offering 40% or more off of regular prices. Here are some of my favorite picks.

kate spade scallop tote iphone case nordstrom sale pineapple dress
 

You also want to visit the Kendra Scott sale with prices up to 70% off retail!

kendra scott memorial day sale

At J. Crew Factory, everything is 50% off the original price! This scalloped cami dress is one of my favorite things right now.

j crew factory scalloped cami dress on sale

Lilly Pulitzer is also offering some fabulous gifts with purchase right now.

Lately I've been loving everything at Talbots. The length of the skirts and dresses is school and work appropriate and the silhouettes are super flattering. Get an extra 40% off one item and an extra 50% off two or more already reduced prices.

talbots memorial day promo sale

Enjoy your weekend and happy shopping!

Art Gallery Field Trip

Yesterday I led a group of students to the National Gallery of Art on an exciting and different kind of field trip. For late May, the weather surprised me as I braved the 55 degree rainy day. Armed with umbrellas, Hunter rain boots, and my new trench coat, the students and I boarded the school bus early in the morning to begin our adventure in Washington, DC.

For many of the students, this is their 3rd or 4th year with me and several already know the museum fairly well. Last year, a docent guided us through the museum, explaining works of art by Picasso and Velazquez in Spanish. As a new twist, I decided to create a scavenger hunt for students. Using a museum map and their knowledge of Spanish art and history, students located different paintings and sculptures in various galleries. After finding an item on the checklist, students quite literally "became works of art" by posing as the painting or sculpture for a picture or selfie as proof that they had visited the gallery.

national gallery of art scavenger hunt


Students enjoyed the challenge and surprised me with their creative submissions. Several students created a video to outline their discoveries while others used social media to tweet what they experienced. My daughter Natalia joined the fun, too!


One of my students' fathers works at the museum as a designer and planner for the exhibits. As a special treat, we accompanied him to his unique office space. To get to the office, we took a route through areas that are closed to the general public. What we saw represented a myriad of creativity and inspiration. Simply amazing! This painted staircase caught my eye as we ventured upstairs to the offices.


Although it rained steadily throughout the day, I stayed dry in the swing trench coat.

j crew swing trench coat review navy blogger maryland

The A-line swing style coat is unique, with an off center zipper. The sturdy and substantial fabric is waterproof, as proven with yesterday's downpour. I'm a size 6 and am wearing a size small, although I honestly could have probably sized down to an XS. I feel that this jacket runs a bit on the large side.

j crew swing trench coat review navy blogger maryland

We returned to school in time for students to board their buses for home. Students continued to share their experiences about the day on social media sites throughout the afternoon. It makes my heart sing to know that everyone enjoyed the cultural excursion.

Today it's back to books for one last day as we prepare for the last few weeks of school.

Wishing you all the best for an enjoyable holiday weekend.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Barn Sale Success

Once a month, I mark my calendar for a Barn Sale. The name deceives, because multiple buildings, barns, and outdoor areas delight shoppers. I easily spent about 2 hours at the sale this past weekend and didn't even begin to scratch the surface of everything that was for sale.

Chartreuse and Co. offers home décor, furniture, and more that fits nicely into any Restoration Hardware type decorating scheme at a much lower price point. Many of the pieces are antique, while others are old, but not quite antique, refinished with a distressed look.

I picked up some interesting pieces for the patio and love the way that items are uniquely displayed.


Of all of the buildings, the main building sticks in my mind as the most interesting. I love the blend of old and new from the multiple vendors who display their wares here. I wish that I had a space for these lovely chairs.


Blue crabs and a blue bar cart. Guests will feel like they're beside the bay at your next outdoor soiree with this fun ensemble.


In addition to the goodies for the patio, I purchased a delightful little piece that fits perfectly in our casual dining room area. Although Chartreuse offers shipping, I convinced myself that the china cabinet would fit in my Honda Odyssey. Luckily, two men helped me load the gorgeous piece into the van, putting down the seats in the second and third rows. My super strong girls and I hoisted the cabinet into the house, taking several breaks along the way.


If you live in the area, it's worth a weekend trip to Chartreuse and Co. After you shop, consider enjoying lunch at Alexander's, located just down the road from Chartreuse. The southern style cuisine is beyond amazing and the chef is a personal friend. Just tell him that I sent you. Be sure to ask if the watermelon lemonade is on the menu; you'll be glad that you did!

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