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Nautical Inspiration

“There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea. But the best ships are friendships, and may they always be.” And best friends who buy you awesome sweaters with ships on them are even more amazing! My best friend, Hailey (check out her blog here!), found this awesome sweater from Old Navy for me. She is always on the lookout for clothes in my size when she is shopping, and I fully appreciate the caliber of her friendship in that regard and many others.

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I layered my sweater over a white poplin button up, and paired it with a khaki pencil skirt. It was pouring rain the day we took pictures, and I didn’t want to ruin my shoes! But I would usually wear a pair of brown leather flats with this outfit. Also, since my sweater made a statement, I didn’t want to overload on accessories. So, I wanted to keep it simple, yet classy, and wore my favorite pair of pearl earrings (Anchors Aweigh by Kiel James Patrick) and pearl bracelet (Anchor Atlantic by Kiel James Patrick).

Although not on purpose, a lot of my outfits have some nautical element. For whatever reason, I just feel that navys, whites, and golds are classy, sophisticated, can be dressed up or down, and (like pearls) are appropriate for any occasion–and usually this is what nautical clothes and accessories provide!

Most of my fall and winter clothes are navy or grey, and while I love these colors, I am so ready for it to warm up to start breaking out bright colors for spring and summer. Lilly Pullitzer season can’t get here soon enough!

Sweater: Old Navy| Shirt: Express | Skirt: Express | Shoes: Frye | Earrings: Kiel James Patrick | Bracelet: Kiel James Patrick

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Weekend Trip: Raleigh, NC

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Mike and I love to take weekend trips. Right now with both of us in school, it’s really hard to take big trips. But, we decided that we are going to try and take weekend trips as often as we can to satisfy our desire for wanderlust. This past weekend we traveled to Raleigh, NC to visit my sister to shop for her wedding dress and to check out the city.

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Right now, Mike and I are scheduled to graduate at the same time, which means we will both go on the job market at the same time. We have to find a place that has both a university for me and a good legal market for Mike. We know that we want to stay in the southeast (but are willing to try other places!), and have always been interested in Raleigh. You see, the area of Raleigh is known as the “Research Triangle” which consists of Duke University, University of North Carolina, and North Carolina State University–pretty much the holy grail for me! So, we jumped on a good opportunity to visit Raleigh to see if its the place for us.

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Our main purpose for traveling? FOOD and DRINKS! We love finding the best local spots where we are visiting, and, oh boy, Raleigh did NOT disappoint! We grabbed oysters and dinner with my sister the night that we got in town, and then bar hopped and explored on Saturday. There are so many breweries and bars in Raleigh, and each one is unique! I must say my absolute favorite quality about Raleigh is that there are SO many local businesses, and they all support each other. Although common corporate businesses were there, their presence was not apparent and in your face.

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On Saturday I set out on a search for macarons. My sister mentioned lucette grace, so we decided to check it out, but before then we went to brunch at Clouds Brewing. The food was so amazing, but I thought it was really neat that they had a wall of local beers that was self-serve! Afterwards we barhopped into downtown, but not before we grabbed coffee and macarons at lucette grace. Although I am completely spoiled by the always delicious macarons from Laduree in NYC and nothing could ever compete with them, these were very tasty and great! But, my favorite menu item was the coffee! Like, WOW! The coffee was amazing! My sister says that they have amazing pastries there, so next time I will have to check those out.

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It was a bit chilly in Raleigh at the time we went, so I was so happy that I had my classic navy peacoat by Calvin Klein to keep me warm. But what I loved most was my sweater from Kiel James Patrick. I loved showing it off (and semi-twinning with Mike all day) everywhere I went. I have been wanting one, and I am so happy that I finally bought one. It’s absolute perfection in a sweater. It’s not too heavy or bulky, but it is incredibly cozy and keeps you so warm! I highly recommend buying one!

Our experience in Raleigh was certainly a strong and lasting one. Raleigh has such a laid-back, local feel, and also offers all of the resources and shopping of a big city without the heavy traffic!! Before leaving, we said to each other that this is the place for us and that we are going to work hard to make sure that we end up in Raleigh!

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Peacoat: Calvin Klein | Sweater: Kiel James Patrick | Pants: Southern Tide

 

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Power Outfit

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On my second day of teaching, I wanted to make a statement. Like I said in a previous blog, Mike always says to wear your best/power outfit on the second day. I wanted to present myself as a professional, make an impression, and emit confidence.

So, I went with this amazing shirt from J. Crew (unfortunately I don’t think it is available anymore), and layered a navy blazer over it. I have a lot of navys and blues in my closet, but I think that those colors can be paired with most anything while achieving a classy look. I also paired it with a khaki pencil skirt (you don’t always have to match your blazer/jacket with your bottoms!). But, because I still wanted to keep it semi-casual, I rolled my sleeves up over my blazer to tone it down a bit. Also, because the shirt itself was my statement piece, I decided not to overload my outfit with a necklace–instead I just wore a pair of simple pearl stud earrings.

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3 Day Weekends and Donuts

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Donuts are the key to my heart, and I am so happy that a local donut shop has opened here in Tallahassee. I am ALL for local businesses, especially those with donuts! We have a 3-day weekend with MLK this week, so it’s always fun for me to head over to the donut shop and get some work done.

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Sweater: Banana Republic | Shirt: Express | Glasses: Warby Parker | Pants: J. Crew Factory
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Dress to Celebrate Success

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Today was my first day teaching a university course! In my doctoral program (and I’m sure this is the same for most), second year students are allowed to teach courses (given that they have taken all of the pre-reqs and such). I am beyond excited and nervous to start gaining experience in the classroom. It’s just another step and milestone closer to accomplishing my goal of getting my Ph.D. and starting my professional career. So, what better was to celebrate than by dressing up for the occasion?

Shop my outfit here.
Tote: Kate Spade | Cashmere Sweater: Macy’s | Shirt: Express | Skirt: Express | Shoes: J. Crew Factory | Pearl Necklace: Lauren Ralph Lauren | Pearl Earrings: Lauren Ralph Lauren | Bangle: Kate Spade

Everyone knows the saying, “dress for success” or “dress to impress”, but I think we should also dress to celebrate success! Achieving professional goals and milestones is such a rewarding feeling, and we should allow ourselves to be proud of our progress and accomplishments, no matter how big or small. Celebrating surface milestones–the goals that others can see–makes all of hard work and perseverance that others don’t see worthwhile. And just to make the day even better, Mike had a bouquet of lilies, champagne, and dinner waiting for me when I got home to celebrate this small marker in my career.

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When deciding on the outfit that I was going to wear my first day of teaching, there were a few factors that influenced my decision. My outfit needed to:

  • Be classy
  • Give me confidence
  • Be comfortable
  • Appropriate for the setting
  • Give a great first impression

So, I went with a classic look by layering a poplin button-up shirt underneath a crew neck sweater and pairing it with a high-waist pencil skirt. In my opinion, no outfit is complete without pearls–they’re the “pearl”fect touch of class!–and they really did help to bring my outfit together.

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I also feel that your outfit should have some sort of “pop”–an item that stands out. Kate Spade is by far my favorite designer because she always has a great selection of colors and designs for all of her products, while maintaining a classic-modern-chic style. This tote was the perfect “pop” for my outfit!

Most importantly, I had to save my best outfit for the second day of class. Mike always tells me that growing up he would save his best outfit for the second day of school. This makes a lot of sense! So, stay tuned for my day two outfit!

What is your go-to outfit for celebrating success or your first day at work? What is your “closet staple” that always completes an outfit? I’d really like to know your thoughts and opinions!

Cheers!

Kelly

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Southern Tide Giveaway Trip to the Army Navy Game

At the beginning of the football season this year, Mike and I went to the highly anticipated Florida State vs Alabama game to cheer on the Noles and tailgate. While we were there, Southern Tide had a sponsored tailgate to promote their Tailgate Tour. We entered their contest (through Cotton’s Instagram account) for a chance to win tickets to the Army Navy game in Philadelphia. Normally, you just don’t win these types of things, but a month or so later, it turns out that we (well Cotton) won! We were SO excited (even though Cotton wasn’t so thrilled he wasn’t able to come along on the trip he had won for us!) and couldn’t wait to plan our trip!

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Shop Our Gameday Outifts Here
My Outfit: Sweater: Southern Tide | Shirt: Southern Tide | Pants: Southern Tide | Beanie: The North Face | Coat: Steve Madden | Boots: Frye | Hand Mitt: Southern Tide
Mike’s Outfit: Jacket: The North Face | Pants: Southern Tide | Beanie: American Eagle Outfitters | Boots: UGG

The day of the game, we took over Southern Tide’s Instagram (which was pretty cool!). Southern Tide outfitted us for the game, gave us tickets to the game (not to mention Club Level access), gift cards, and paid expenses. Although it was at a busy time during the semester for us, for a graduate and law student, this was a much needed trip!

Sweater: Southern Tide | Shirt: Southern Tide | Hat: Southern Tide | Vest: J. Crew Factory | Pearls: Lauren Ralph Lauren | Boots: Frye

We were SO excited to visit Philadelphia and check out all of the sites and history, like the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. Also, Mike has never seen snow before (he’s from Florida), and boy did he get a great first experience of snow because it seemed like a blizzard hit during the game! Which by the way, this Southern boy had only packed boat shoes from Kiel James Patrick for the trip so we had to swing by the mall to pick him up a pair of UGG boots to keep him warm!

The bar and food scene in Philly is incredible. There is a huge debate over which establishment has the best cheesesteak, and although we didn’t go to Pat’s or Geno’s, we did try out Jim’s on South Street, and man was that the best cheesesteak I have ever had in my life!

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We also stumbled upon this amazing candy store, only to find out it is the oldest confectionary in America. So, if you’re ever in Philadephia, be sure to check out Shane confectionary. The staff there is amazing, not to mention, the chocolate is to die for. They will even make custom chocolate boxes for you!

Although it snowed during our trip, I think it definitely added to the experience and made everything so dreamy! Not to mention we were able to take some pretty wonderful pics! I think my favorite place we stumbled upon was Elfreth’s Alley which is America’s oldest residential street! I’m so glad we took pictures there, but it was even dreamier after the snow!

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Vineyard Vines Whale of a Sale

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Christmas is my favorite time of the year, but I must say that after Christmas is a close second because of all of the after-Christmas sales! My absolute FAVORITE sale and store is Vineyard Vines’ Whale of a Sale–Use the Code: WHALE17

Right now it’s 30% off all sale items, but if you wait it out, it goes up to 50%! However, the scary part about waiting is that the items you want may be sold out or not in your size, so you have to be the best judge of when to pull the trigger!

Nevertheless, it’s still an amazing sale! Every year we always try to snag a Santa Whale shirt (it has kind of become a tradition). I’m (fortunately) small enough to fit into boys and girls XL, and this is great because the kids’ sizes are nearly half the price of the adults!

Girls Jolly Plaid Shep Shirt • Vineyard Vines • $44.99
Boys Long Sleeve Santa Whale Pocket T-Shirt • Vineyard Vines • $19.99
Boys Long-Sleeve Lights Logo Box Pocket T-Shirt • Vineyard Vines • $19.99
Boys Long-Sleeve Gingerbread Whale Pocket T-Shirt • Vineyard Vines • $19.99
Men’s Vineyard Vines Mr. Claus Whale Graphic Pocket T-Shirt • Vineyard Vines • $32.16

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