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.


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!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Lilly-like Prints

Recently I stumbled upon the most delightful prints in a very unexpected place. The prints are almost identical in style and color to a few of my favorite Lilly Pulitzer prints.

The printed Pixie Chino Shorts remind me of a seaside vacation. Also available in plus sizes, the shorts are a perfect choice for everyone.

old navy pixie shorts lookalike lilly pulitzer print

Memorial Day is right around the corner! I love to wear red, white, and blue. Fireworks prints especially thrill me. The best part about this print is that you can buy matching items for everyone in the entire family! I love this fireworks print linen blend sundress.

old navy firework print dress lilly pulitzer lookalike

Here's a shirt for your little minnie in the same print.

The minnies' maxi dress is also adorable!

All of these items are on super sale right now, too! Use the code DOUBLE for extra savings.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Quiz: Which Lilly Pulitzer Print Are You?

Every Lilly Pulitzer print tells a unique story. A fun print takes you to another place or evokes images of animals, tropical locales, or something else just as exciting. Even as I sit at work in Maryland on a cold winter day, a colorful print transports me to somewhere sunny.

Whether it's an Elsa top or a shift dress, as soon as I buy something in a new print, I immediately examine it to find the hidden Lilly signature. My girls and I play a game to see who can find the Lilly signature first. It's the grown up version of the hidden pictures that I enjoyed in every issue of Highlights as a child.

Take this fun quiz to see which Lilly Pulitzer print you are!

quiz what lilly pulitzer print are you fun quiz preppy

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Vineyard Vines: 40% Off Sale

It's Saturday and that means that I have a little bit more time to peruse online shopping deals. With the girls' busy schedule, I find myself shopping online more than ever. Many stores offer free shipping and free returns, so shopping is stress free.

Today, Vineyard Vines is having a fantastic Friends and Family sale, offering 25% off all items. Take an additional 40% off sale items for substantial savings.

With the additional discount, the Neon Patchwork Shep shirt is almost 50% off the original price.

vineyard vines neon patchwork shep shirt on sale 50 percent off

Check out the entire selection of sale items and enter the code FRIENDS2015 at checkout for this fantastic savings.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Best of Summer

I don't know about you, but I'm counting the days until the unofficial beginning of summer. With all of the buds and blossoms, spring is beautiful, but summer is absolutely delightful. I love lazy days by the pool, time spent with my favorite people, and fabulous music.

Summer is low key and fun. I don't need a lot to ensure a perfect summer day, but I do need some protection from the sun. I always look for clothing that has UPF protection and use sunscreen diligently. My nephew David recently enjoyed a weekend adventure at the Inn at Biltmore in the Boys' Rashguard by Snapper Rock from Garnet Hill.

David was so excited about his new rash guard and chose to wear it over two others. He said it was "cool" and soft, and he liked the stripes on the one sleeve. From a mom's perspective, the rash guard was a hit for several reasons: 1) the navy and white were easy to match with trunks that David already had, 2) the sleeves were a good length - they provided enough protection from the sun and cool evening air but weren't so long that they got in the way of an active little boy, 3) the stitching was heavy duty and appears to be very durable. David wore a size 4, which was true to size for a boy who's turning 4 in a month.

My skin is very sensitive to the sun. Although I don't burn quickly, I tend to acquire more "freckles" that look more like age spots these days. I remedy the situation by wearing Naked Skin Beauty Balm every day. If I'm going to be in the sun for an extended period of time or if I'm at the pool or the beach, I opt for Image Daily Matte Moisturizer Oil Free. Even on the hottest day, my skin glows and does not get shiny or oily. The matte finish offers protection and coverage. The sunscreen works well on my skin as well as my daughters' sensitive teenage skin.

With protection from the sun's rays, the only other thing that I need for a perfect summer day is a fun playlist on my phone. At the top of my list are lots of 80s summer hits as well as some more recent songs. Stay tuned for an upcoming post with my favorite summer songs.

lilly pulitzer multi summer mix tape

What songs top your summer playlist?


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

How to Find Lilly Pulitzer for Less Than Retail

lilly pulitzer blogger maryland pink and green find lilly pulitzer for less
Dress and Sweater via eBay

You already know that I adore Lilly Pulitzer clothing. You also probably know that I work as a Spanish teacher at a high school and solely raise my twin daughters without outside support. So the next logical question that you must wonder is how I find fabulous clothing for the girls and for myself on such a small budget.

The answer is simple. Although I love my Lilly, I rarely pay retail price for anything.

Luckily, many opportunities for sales exist.

1. Shop Online: Online, you can find prices up to 60% off at 6pm or Amazon. Before Mother's Day, I even shared a code for 20% off the newest collection of Lilly Pulitzer. When I purchase Lilly throughout the year, I always scope out the selection online.

2. Lilly Pulitzer Corporate Stores: Two corporate stores close to me also have in store sales continuously. Obviously, the selection depends on demand and popularity, but I always find treasures on the sale rack at my local stores.

But the biggest opportunities to save on brand new Lilly come 3 times a year.

3. Warehouse Sale: The Lilly Pulitzer Warehouse Sale is an epic adventure in which every Lilly lover aspires to participate. This year's sale begins on June 4, but people join the line well in advance of the official start time. Aside from samples and very special promotions, I find prices to be about 50% off retail price on recent merchandise. If you're within a comfortable driving distance to King of Prussia, PA, I highly recommend the Warehouse Sale.

4. Online Sales at Lilly Pulitzer 2 Times a Year: During the After Party Sale and the Endless Summer Sale I stocked up on items for the next season at prices up to 70% off the original retail price. Connect with Lilly Pulitzer on Facebook and Instagram for special flash sales and exclusive deals.

5. eBay: The auctions on eBay always amaze me. I have found some incredible items on eBay at excellent prices including a lot of white label Lilly and Jubilee items. Some items go for pennies, while other coveted prints command prices that escalate above retail. I'm certainly not going to pay above retail price for anything, but I support the free economy and the idea of supply and demand.

6. Poshmark: Recently, I joined Poshmark and after buying and selling items there; I can say that I love the format and style of the site. Join now using the link above and the code BLTDF and get a $5 credit towards your first purchase.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Look for Less: Flamingo Scarf for $15

A scarf brings countless styling opportunities to any outfit in almost every season. Even in the summer, a scarf is a nice addition and pop of color to a dress on a cool evening.

I adore Lilly Pulitzer's collection of scarves and have too many to count in my wardrobe.

A scarf is an excellent one size fits all option for a gift. Make gift giving even sweeter with an amazing price point. The Gimme Some Leg flamingo print is one of my favorites, so when I saw this flamingo print scarf for only $15, I knew that I needed to pick up a few of them.

gimme some leg flamingo print scarf
Available in several colors and prints, this scarf helps you to create the look for less!

Have a great day!

Monday, May 11, 2015

EU Open House

On Saturday, took a shortcut to Europe with the European Union Embassies' Open House held in Washington, DC. For the past few years, we have participated in this exciting event filled with fun, food, and culture. Lines at the embassies this year stretched around the block; we waited for quite a bit for some embassies and more people crowded the event than in previous years. Our first stop of the day was Spain. Since John and I travel to Spain in a month, we wanted to taste a Spanish tortilla to whet our appetites for delicious food. On a funny note, I noticed that the background music playing at one point was a Mexican group called OV7. Yes, the music was in the Spanish language, but it was Mexican, not Spanish.  It's a minor detail that no one except me with my knowledge of 90's Mexican pop music would know!

embassy of spain eu open house

Next, we visited the Embassy of Poland. Although I've never visited Poland, this quick introduction to the country piqued my interest. The Embassy of the Republic of Poland is the longest-serving embassy building in Washington, DC. Interactive activities like a puzzle, dough making, and searching for hidden amber in the sand delighted Natalia and Alexia. I loved the pierogi and herring salad that the Executive Chef prepared. So delicious.

embassy of poland eu open house

Billboards and backdrops encouraged guests to take pictures. "Look, Mom! It's one of those backdrops from an awards show!"

eu open house shortcut to europe
Flamingo Shorts  //  Blue Floral Shorts
Lithuania is located just a short walk from Poland. Along the way, we picked up a lot of great swag from each embassy including chocolate, candy, promotional items, and seeds.

tory burch drawstring t shirt dress eu open house washington dc
More treats awaited us at the Embassy of Lithuania. I especially loved the craft artisans working on their art.

embassy of lithuania eu open house washington dc

We started our European tour at 10 a.m. and took a quick break for lunch, but it was already 2 p.m. when we decided to join the very long line to see Belgium. Luckily, the girls protected their skin from the sun with these chic hats they picked up from Poland. We waited almost an hour to visit the Embassy of Belgium, but the wait was worth it.

eu open house shortcut to europe line at belgium

During our visit, we enjoyed some Belgium beer and chocolates while we learned about history and culture.

eu open house shortcut to europe belgium

Admission is free at the EU Open House, but be sure to bring your id to show at the embassy. You'll also have to pass through a metal detector or some kind of security check at each embassy. Learn more about this annual event at

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Lilly Pulitzer for 20% Off

Celebrate Mother's Day a little bit early with 20% off the newest Lilly Pulitzer merchandise! As you probably know, these items just recently arrived in stores and are not on sale anywhere. But I have the best shopping scoop for you. Just enter the code 20MOMSDAY at checkout!

lilly pulitzer delia shift dress pop pink tusk in sun 20 off sale

lilly pulitzer brewster solid dress on sale

lilly pulitzer christine dress sunglow yellow on sale 20 percent off

Over 30 new pieces are included in this very special 20% off promotion. See everything that is included here, but shop sooner rather than later. Sizes are selling out quickly. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Friday Five: Busy Week In Review + Weekend Preview

As the end of the school year quickly approaches, activities such as concerts, dances, and other special events dot my calendar. The excitement that buzzes in a school during this time of year is palpable, and everyone looks forward to something.

lilly pulitzer atwood dress sea and be seen review blogger
Sunglasses  //  Dress 

Tonight I plan to serve as a chaperone at the high school prom. I have what I consider to be the best job at the prom...ticket taker. I see students as they arrive at the venue, looking fabulous and thrilled to be there. Their elegant attire gives the students an air of sophistication and everyone is on their best behavior. Students always remark how much they enjoy seeing their teachers outside of the normal school day. A few girls in my AP Spanish class asked what I planned to wear and eagerly showed pictures of their dresses to me.

Yesterday my students took the AP test. I prepared goodie bags and breakfast treat for them to enjoy before the test, but hardly anyone ate. They waited nervously for the official test time before going to the room where the test was administered. But later, as the students walked down the hall during a break between sections on the test, they gave me enthusiastic thumbs up signs and were all smiles. After the test, students stopped by my classroom to pick up their backpacks and reported that the test was "easy." I'm thrilled!

ap spanish survival kit test day goodie bag

Tory Burch has some fantastic new markdowns and sale items right now! As you know, Reva Ballet Flats rarely go on sale, so these gorgeous shoes are a fabulous deal at more than 25% off the retail price.

tory burch reva ballet flat on sale

Earlier this week, I learned that Reese Witherspoon debuted her adorable clothing line, Draper James. The collection looks delightful and many pieces are selling out quickly.

Warm temperatures and oodles of rain made the flowers and bushes bloom around my house. I eagerly await the full vision of the azaleas that are just starting to show their color. To be honest, I don't have much of a green thumb, so I appreciate any comments or suggestions that you have for me, especially for my hydrangeas. Last year, we only had a few blooms and hope for more this season. I fed the flowers with Miracle Gro earlier this week and hope that I see good results from it.



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