HOME: KITCHEN REFRESH GIVEAWAY

One of my favorite aspects about blogging is being able to connect with and partner with other creatives.  This week I’m co-hosting a giveaway with some of my favorite ladies! 

This time of year always makes me crave some sprucing up of my home decor. So what better time to give some lucky followers a few new items to freshen up their kitchen! The winner of the giveaway will receive a cutting board and two towels from Homegirls Boutique, a blue plant art print from Hammer Kate Art, and a recipe journal from J.Sperling Paperie! Head to my Instagram for the rules on how to enter.

Homegirls Boutique: Based in Jacksonville, IL, Homegirls Boutique specializes in home accessories, women’s fashions, and good smelling things!

J. Sperling Paperie: The goal of J. Sperling Paperie is to collect moments and create heirlooms. Whether it’s collecting family favorite recipes, navigating the ups and downs of motherhood, or sharing the pages of a correspondence journal, J. Sperling Paperie has something for everyone that treasures timeless paper goods.

Kate Hammer Art: Kate Hammer Studio offers the most beautiful watercolor botanical and acrylic landscapes. Kate specializes in gorgeous paintings of fruit (lemon and peaches), herbs, landscapes, wildflowers, and plants. She also accepts custom orders.

Enjoy the giveaway and good luck! 

All photos courtesy of Kate Hammer Art Studio.

Sláinte,

Shannon

COASTAL OHIO: ERIE AND ANCHOR DOCKS IN HARBOR TOWN

Almost one year ago, I sat at my computer and drafted up an email, mustering up the courage to hit send.  I had been following an Ohio based brand for quite a while and was pitching them an idea to collaborate with me.  It was my first time ever reaching out to a brand and I was so nervous.  

Within a couple of hours, the owner of the brand replied to my email and was just as excited as I was about the opportunity to work together.  After an hour long phone call we set up a day to get together for lunch and thus began my journey working with Erie and Anchor

Fast forward eleven months, and I’ve had the joy of watching my favorite Ohio brand open their first brick and mortar store. I remember sitting with Micah at our first lunch and talking about this dream of hers to someday open her own retail store. When she told me she was going to do it in the place that inspired Erie and Anchor, I knew without a doubt I wanted to be there for the opening.

This past weekend, Rob, Lilly and I hopped in the car for the hour long trip to Vermilion, Ohio for the soft opening of the Erie and Anchor flagship store. We had never been to Vermilion, but let me tell you, it is a coastal gem. It’s described as the “crowning jewel of the south shore of Lake Erie” and it’s 100% accurate.

This enchanting seaside community has all the charm of a New England coastal town. It’s full of quaint shops and restaurants, beautiful old “Lake Captain” homes, spectacular beaches, and an adorable lighthouse and maritime museum. It’s the perfect setting for an Erie and Anchor store and I’m already planning many more trips back to enjoy all the delights this coastal community has to offer.

The Erie and Anchor store is situated on the corner of Main Street and Liberty Avenue, right in the heart of “Harbor Town” (what the locals call the downtown).  It’s the perfect location! 

The inside of the store is absolutely gorgeous.  Everything from the window displays, to the hardwood floors, and shiplap wall are just stunning.  No detail was overlooked and it has such a cozy, easy going, lake vibe atmosphere.  

One of my favorite parts of the store includes the back wall which boasts five rowing oars and two floating shelves with nautical rope. So simple, yet perfectly preppy and right on brand. I also love the large wooden sign behind the checkout desk that is a beautiful replica of the logo. It’s one of the first things you see upon walking into the store and it’s just stunning.

Micah will be selling not only Erie and Anchor merchandise, but also merchandise from Coastal Cleveland, Shabby Shore, and a few other Ohio based companies. It’s truly a store that embraces coastal Ohio and the community that loves the lake.

I had no idea what this brand would come to mean to me and how much working with Micah would change my blogging life. I’m so grateful for her support, encouragement and friendship. I don’t know where A Dash of Solt would be without her. I’m so thrilled that I have been able to watch her grow her brand, not only across Ohio, but across the country.

The Erie and Anchor store will be open on Saturdays and Sundays from 12-6:00 p.m. until the grand opening weekend on March 21 and March 22.  If you aren’t local to Ohio, you can always shop their merchandise online.  And as always, a percentage of each purchase made is donated to the research and cleaning up of Lake Erie! 

Congratulations on a beautiful dream coming true, Micah!! Thanks for letting me be a part of it. 

Sláinte,

Shannon 

FASHION: THE INSPIRATION

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by fashion.  Growing up, I was always playing “dress up” (usually in time period clothing, aka Little House on the Prairie) or accessorizing my Barbies and American Girl Dolls.  I have always loved the feel of clothing and been so interested in the way different styles look on the body.  I also have always loved mixing and matching different styles and prints. 

In my grade school and high school years I dressed wearing the current trends or whatever my friends were wearing. In college I began experimenting with my own style. I became heavily influenced by fashions of the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s. I was obsessed with the Kennedys, Lilly Pulitzer, Audrey Hepburn, and Grace Kelly. Think miniskirts, shift dresses, bold prints, cigarette pants, and statement earrings. I even went through a phase where I was completely influenced by the “flower power” fashions of the late 60’s and early 70’s.

A favorite of Jackie Kennedy (from Pinterest).
Audrey Hepburn (photo from Pinterest).
Love these classic stripes. Ali McGraw (photo from Pinterest)

While in fashion school and my time living in New York City, my style became much more artsy.  I was once again influenced by trends, street style and the art world.  I actually really enjoyed this stage of my fashion experimenting.  But I eventually grew out of it and my tastes have evolved yet again. 

I do think it’s safe to say I’ve found my forever style. For the past nine years, my style can be defined as classic, all American, effortless, and preppy. I’m very much a mix of northern and southern prep. I like the easy, business, Ralph Lauren/J.Crew look of the New Englander, but I also enjoy the bright, patterned Lilly Pulitzer/Vineyard Vines look of the preppy southerner. And I still love a good trend, I choose to wear them subtly – maybe through color or an accessory.

Lilly Pulitzer (from Pinterest)

I continue to be influenced by classic fashion icons like Audrey, Jackie and Lilly, but I’m also equally influenced by fashion bloggers.  Some of my favorite fashionistas to follow include Mackenzie Horan of Design Darling, Sarah Patrick of Classy Girls Wear Pearls, and Julia Dzafic of Lemon Stripes.  All of these women have a style that is timeless, chic, and classic.  The styles they wear will still look fabulous five, ten, and even fifty years from now.

Sarah Patrick (photo from Classy Girls Wears Pearls)
Mackenzie Horan from Design Darling (photo from Mackenzie’s Instagram)
Julia Dzafic from Lemon Stripes (photo from Julia Dzafic’s Instagram)

At the end of the day, being comfortable and confident in your own skin and owning your style is the most fashionable way to be. Fashion is supposed to be fun, so enjoy the experimentation and find a style that works for you. And if your style changes ten times like mine has, just own it and love it. And maybe enjoy a few laughs.

Sláinte,

Shannon 

HOME: PLAYROOM UPDATE

Time for a playroom update! We are moving along with styling and organizing this space. If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen we purchased some shelves and organizational bins for Lilly’s books and toys! We might add another set of these items to the other side of the window, but we are waiting a little while longer to see if that’s needed.

We gave Lilly a kid kitchen set for Christmas and she was also gifted a set of table and chairs. So far she is loving both items and we are having so much fun playing tea, making toast, and learning our food groups.

My next step in bringing this room altogether is to begin shopping for some artwork! As of now, I don’t have a “theme” for this room.  I just really want this space to be a collection of items that we love and that are inspiring. 

I’m taking my time looking for artwork that stops me in my tracks. One piece I did purchase months ago is a beautiful watercolor from Bittersweet Farms, a nonprofit I used to work for that serves adults with autism. Bittersweet Farms has an art therapy program and one of the artists painted this piece. I instantly fell in love with it and I finally had the time to hang it up.

I’m also eyeing this oversized alphabet print from Etsy. I just love how bright and colorful it is. I just look at it and feel inspired. I’m going to think about it a little while longer and if I still love it in a few days, it may be our next purchase!

Other than that, I’m still organizing, rearranging and making more room in this space so Lilly can learn, grow and imagine! 

I’ve linked all the items we’ve purchased so far below! 

Slâinte,

Shannon 

SHOP OUR PLAYROOM

KID KRAFT KITCHEN SET | WHITE SHELVES | DELTA TABLE & CHAIRS | PEHR STORAGE BINS (Similar)

FASHION: CITY COAT REVIEW

Living in Ohio, you never know what winter will bring.  Some years we experience mild temperatures and very little snow.  Other years we have subzero temperatures and one snow storm after another.  Because our great state is so temperamental, one must have winter attire for every scenario.  

One style of coat that has been lacking in my wardrobe is a nice wool coat. I’ve been eyeing the J.Crew Factory City Coat for several seasons, and this year I decided to ask for it for Christmas.

I’ve been wearing it pretty much nonstop for the last couple of weeks and overall I’ve been thrilled with this coat.  Below you can find my review of the coat, broken down by style, fit and warmth.

STYLE

A classic cut and a pretty feminine color (love this lovely lilac so much) makes this coat stand out. The clean, straight lines and standing collar make it polished and chic. This coat gives me some serious 1960’s vibes and I feel like I’m channeling my inner Audrey Hepburn. Plus, it comes with some nice size pockets and any coat with large pockets is a win in my book.

FIT

The one qualm I have about this coat is that it is slightly oversized and because of that, it can look a little boxy. It’s supposed to be a mid-rise fit, but I’m only 5’2” and it’s longer than I would like. And because of my petite frame, the sleeves and shoulders a bit too big.

WARMTH 

I styled this coat in 18 degree weather so I can definitely attest to its warmth. Comprised of a wool/polyester blend, this coat is warm and heavy, so it doesn’t require layers upon layers. It has a pretty silk lining that adds an extra layer of style and warmth. I wore a tissue thin turtleneck and an open front cardigan underneath and I was perfectly cozy.

Overall, I do adore this coat and definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a versatile winter coat.  I think one of my favorite aspects of this coat is how easily I can dress it up or down.  I chose a casual look for this post, but it looks equally stylish with skinny black pants and booties.  

I’ve linked the details of my outfit below, so feel free to get shopping! 

Sláinte,

Shannon 

SHOP THE LOOK:

J.Crew Factory City Coat | Hunter Boots | Longchamp Bag | S.Lynch Knitwear Hat | J.Crew Denim

Working Mom, Stay at Home Mom

One of the aspects of my life I haven’t really talked about on this platform is my role as both a career woman and a mom.  

I read and hear about the challenges and joys for working moms and stay at home moms, but I never really hear much about us part-timers.  I consider myself both a working mom and a stay at home mom. For those that don’t know, I work part-time (three full days a week) in public relations.  I do all the PR, marketing and social media for my city (suuuch a fun gig!).

I’m soooo fortunate to be able to work part-time in an amazing job that is two minutes from my house. And I’m equally fortunate to be able to stay at home with my sweet baby girl two days a week.

Although this setup works great for us in this stage of our life, being a part-time working mom and part-time stay at home mom definitely presents its own challenges though.  

One of the biggest challenges is feeling like you aren’t giving enough of yourself to either your job or your family. When I’m at work I feel like a chicken with my head cut off, running all around trying to play catch up and stay ahead. I have that same feeling on my days at home, trying to juggle quality time with L but also trying to get some basic household chores done. I often feel anxious that I’m not doing enough on my days at work and vice versa on my days at home.

Some weeks I work over my regularly scheduled hours, which means less time for my family and that is always really hard on me. (Thankfully I have a stud of a hubby who picks up the slack and takes care of L, the dog and the household.) And then other weeks (like this one), my family demands more attention and I have to give less at work.

Another big challenge of being a part-time working mom and part-time stay at home mom is finding time for myself. It’s really important for me to be fully committed to my job and to be fully present at home.  That leaves very little time for me and that wears on me over time.  And I’m definitely someone who loves my me time and my hobbies.  

But this arrangement definitely has its plusses. For one, I get to spend two days at home every week, just me and L, which is amazing. And, on the flip side I get to do work I love, in a city I love, with some pretty stellar human adults. I get my dose of motherhood and my dose of adult interaction every other day and for me, that’s perfect.

We spend a lot less on childcare since I’m home twice a week.  Childcare is ridiculously expensive and I feel for you families who spend a fortune on it when there is no other option. 

I have more time to blog and produce creative content with this arrangement. When I was working full time I only had time on the weekends to write blog posts and take pictures. Now I can work on some of my blogging during L’s naps and on the weekends.

I also get to spend more time with my family on my days at home with L.  In the summer that means going to the zoo or swimming at my parents with my siblings and nephews.  In the winter that means shopping with my mom or going to the aquarium with my nephews.  I’m definitely one who needs my family close and to see them often so I’m grateful we are in a position where I can do this. 

This is definitely a topic I love to talk about, so please reach out if you have questions, comments, etc.  Whether you work full time, part-time, or stay at home, all of us are doing the best we can with the resources we have and all of us mamas are in this together.  

Sláinte,

Shannon 

MY BLOGGING JOURNEY

Happy 2020 friends! I took a short hiatus from my blog to be present over the holidays, but I’m back and ready for the excitement of a new year.

Instead of doing a resolutions post or even a goals post, I want to write about why I blog. In a market that’s insanely saturated with fashion bloggers, mommy bloggers, interior design bloggers, etc. it can feel daunting and intimidating. So I need to write this post for me, to remind myself why I started this journey.

In 2012 I was working in retail management and needed a creative outlet for my love of fashion.  I launched my first fashion blog and had a blast styling outfits.  It was probably my most creative era of dressing and I seriously had so much fun.

In 2013 I landed a job doing social media and marketing for a local nonprofit.  My blog was pushed to the wayside because I wanted nothing to do with social media by the time the workday ended.

Fast forward to summer 2017 and I had that itch again. I needed a creative outlet to share all my passion and love for fashion and home decor. I relaunched my blog and started gaining some traction. And then in early 2018 I became pregnant with our sweet Lillypad and I was soooo sick. I could barely look at my phone, let alone get on Instagram or blog. So I took a whole year off.

I started blogging once every week or two in 2019 and shared everything from fashion to home decor to Motherhood.  And it felt good.  I started creating partnerships with brands and meeting so many amazing people who I can say are truly my friends and a great support system.  

As great as 2019 was for my blogging and Instagram, it was also a year full of comparisons and feeling not good enough. It’s extremely frustrating to watch new bloggers launch their blog or Instagram and overnight, have thousands of followers. Don’t get me wrong, I’m SO happy for these individuals who are putting themselves out there and doing what they love. BUT, it definitely makes me question what’s wrong with my content? Why isn’t my IG following growing? I’m doing all the same things as that blogger and they have tons of more followers. All of these thoughts are constantly circulating in my head and many times I’ve wanted to quit.

BUT I haven’t. And that’s important. My focus has shifted so much over my blogging journey and although I’ve definitely struggled with the numbers game and finding my identity as a blogger (Am I fashion blogger? Home decor blogger? Mommy blogger?), I’ve realized it’s the journey that matters. It doesn’t matter how many followers I have or how many clicks or comments I have, what matters is doing what I love and connecting with other humans. Who cares if I don’t have 50K or even 5K following me (do I really want that many followers anyway? Especially with showing Lilly sometimes?). I think what I have learned is that I have found my tribe. I have an amazing support system and some incredible people who follow me and support me in this endeavor and those are the people I want following me.

This blog is a space where I can share all the things I love and am passionate about.  It’s a space where I can let my creativity run wild. A space for me to have fun with fashion, share decorating projects, and connect with other mamas.  It’s a space for me to show others the beauty of coastal Ohio.  And it’s a space for me to support other women, creatives, and bloggers who have truly become friends.  

So this year, my goal for my blog is to create and cultivate a community of fellow likeminded humans who are passionate about fashion, motherhood, home decor, small businesses, and coastal Ohio (or any place coastal really). I hope my content, whether it is fashion advice, a home project, a motherhood update, a trip to a Lake Erie island, or sharing a new brand, will either inspire you, connect with you, or resonate with you in some way.

I really believe blogging and Instagram were created to provide a sense of community in this crazy digital world and that’s exactly how I am going to use these platforms in 2020. 

So cheers to a blessed year full of creativity, community, inspiration, and showing up.  Thanks for following along on this solty journey of mine. It’s going to be a magical ride.

Sláinte,

Shannon

HOLIDAY HOMEMAKING WITH WAYFAIR

It’s that time of year where magic seems to be in the air! Christmas is such a special time for gathering with family and friends and what better way to celebrate the season than with some festive and cozy decor! 

When Wayfair reached out to partner with me for their Holiday Homemaking Series, I was more than happy to share how I transform our home for the holidays.

I’m not the traditional red and green Christmas decorator. I never have been and I don’t know if I ever will. I tend to vibe better with shades of blue (shocker), silver, gold, and as of late, forest green.

My inspiration for our Christmas decor definitely comes from our current decor. Because our color scheme is already 90% blue and white, my holiday decorating typically takes on a coastal vibe. I love to decorate using shades of blue, gold and silver.

Every year I add a little more decor items to my collection. This year I was yearning for simple, so I’ve added no fuss mini wreaths, faux snow coated trees, and fresh greenery. The touches I added this year actually ended up taking on a colonial vibe and I’m totally loving the colonial, coastal mix.

Christmas is all about adding subtle touches to your space to make it feel warm and inviting. Adding in a soft throw blanket or some fun pillows (loving this ski inspired one right now) can instantly soften a room and make it feel welcoming.

One of the things I love about Wayfair is the variety they offer! Sometimes it’s hard to find Christmas pieces that vibe with my style, but Wayfair has an entire section dedicated to Coastal Christmas. I’m loving this Aegean Key Jute Tree Skirt and these white poinsettia flowers for my tree. Adding white sparkly flowers and stringing nautical rope as garland on our tree definitely gives it that coastal vibe that I so love.

In addition to its variety, Wayfair also offers tips for decorating, such as what size Christmas tree skirt you need, how many ornaments to use on your tree, and how much garland you need for the size of your tree!  They have some really helpful resources if you ever need some inspiration! 

Below I’ve rounded up some of my Wayfair Christmas favorites for this year.  Definitely be sure to check out my picks and let me know what you find for yourself! 

Sláinte, 

Shannon

Special thank you to Wayfair for partnering with me on this post.  All opinions are my own.  

SHOP SMALL FOR THE HOLIDAYS – PART II

I was going to wait until next week to post part II of shopping small for the holidays, but I didn’t want to wait! Plus, with it being Black Friday, I figured everyone is already shopping and there are some great deals out there!

This second round of women owned, small businesses are all based in my home state of OHIO! All of these brands are so special and I’ve had the opportunity to get to know some of these ladies – and they are awesome! 

ERIE AND ANCHOR 

Where to begin with Erie and Anchor. One of my absolute favorite brands and products that I wear every.single.day. Erie and Anchor sells the COMFIEST apparel! The sweatshirts are my absolute favorite and I can’t recommend them enough. They also offer the best in tees, baseball hats, pullovers, mugs, keychains, etc. etc.

This is a top notch brand with an even better business model.  For every purchase made, 5% of earnings are donated back to Lake Erie to help support water quality and research.  The family based company is passionate about ensuring the lake will still be a place of enjoyment and relaxation for decades to come.  I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know the owner over the past year, and to me, that makes supporting this brand even more special.  

Click here to shop all things Erie and Anchor!  AND: Use code NORTHCOAST for free shipping on any order! 

Instagram: @Erieandanchor

MICHELLE BRUNNER ART 

If you love impressionism and Ohio, then you have to check out Michelle Brunner Art. Michelle Brunner was my first Instagram turn real life friend! Michelle’s art speaks to my soul in a way that I can’t even describe. Her paintings bring me so much joy and they transport me to a place of peace and contentment.

With a style that is somewhat abstract and somewhat impressionistic, Michelle’s focus on color and texture is just outstanding. A true reflection of Ohio Midwest living, Michelle’s paintings bring to life long summer days on the lake or relaxing car rides through Ohio’s’ farm country. Michelle Brunner Art is a perfect gift for the person in your life who loves modern art or coastal and farmhouse décor.

Click here to shop Michelle Brunner Art!

Instagram: @michellebrunnerart

SHORE SOCIETY

Shore Society, another favorite coastal Ohio apparel brand, prides itself on creating pieces that are reflective of the lakefront lifestyle that encompasses the Great Lakes and the Midwest. Founded in 2012 by Rachael Koenig, Shore Society products are inspired by the nautical aesthetic of Cleveland’s coast.

If you have ever seen the “Lake Erie Love” print floating around on merchandise, you will be happy to know that this is a signature of Shore Society. In the seven years since its founding, Shore Society has expanded to include sweatshirts (for Lake Erie and Lake Michigan fans), tee shirts, hats, totes, mugs, candles, pennants, art prints, and so much more. It’s a lifestyle brand that offers something unique for all coastal lovers. They also launch incredibly fun, seasonal apparel products that are hugely popular.

I’m a huge fan of Shore Society products and am happy to support such a great Ohio brand where I know the products are high quality and stylish.

Click here to shop all things Shore Society!

Instragm: @shoresociety

I hope you come to love these three women, owned small businesses as much as I do! Happy Shopping!

Slainte,

Shannon

SHOP SMALL FOR THE HOLIDAYS – PART 1

I can’t believe Christmas is one month away!! This year’s holiday season totally snuck up on me (I think I was too busy planning L’s birthday party!).  Before life gets too festive though, I want to share a two part series for shopping small for the holidays.  This two part series isn’t going to be your normal gift guide.  I’m not focusing on actual products, but focusing more on my favorite brands.  

Personally, I love shopping small for the holidays – the gifts are more meaningful knowing someone poured their heart and soul into creating something they love.   This week I’m sharing some of my favorite women owned, small businesses and next week I will share my favorite Ohio based brands! 

S. Lynch Knitwear

If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen me sporting the coziest accessories from S.Lynch Knitwear. I HIGHLY recommend purchasing a cozy knit piece for someone on your gift list. S. Lynch Knitwear products are hands down my favorite winter accessories! The craftsmanship is beautiful, the products are WARM, and they fit perfectly. Plus, there are several styles that are “Mommy and Me” so you and your little can twin!

Click here to shop hats, scarves, mittens, and more!

Kate Hammer Art 

If art and watercolors is your thing, then Kate Hammer Studio is your shop. Kate Hammer Studio offers the most beautiful watercolor botanicals and acrylic landscapes. Kate specializes in gorgeous paintings of fruit (lemon and peaches), herbs, landscapes, wildflowers, and my new favorite – blue and white plants! She also accepts custom orders. I personally own three of her art prints and they are all hanging in my kitchen.

Click here to shop Kate Hammer Studio!

Sewcialite

I discovered Sewcialite on Instagram on my maternity leave and have been obsessed since. Inspired by the coasts of Maine and New Hampshire, Sewcialite offers modern, handmade accessories that are created out of rope. Yes, rope! Sewcialite can take ordinary clothesline rope and turn it into functional art. From rope clutches and satchels, to planters and wall baskets, Sewcialite has one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone! I am fortunate enough to own one of her beautifully woven rope bowls and the craftsmanship is top notch.

Click here to shop unique conversation pieces!

Anchors Aweigh Supply Co.

Hands down my favorite hand towels. EVER. Anchors Aweigh Supply Co. is a Turkish-American business that sells luxurious seaside inspired essentials. This woman owned and run business sells high quality, handmade towels (beach, bath, kitchen, etc.), baby bibs, bathrobes, and more! Not only do I LOVE the look and quality of the products, but I also love that all of their products are 100% Turkish cotton, free from harmful chemicals, and all of the items are handmade by Turkish women using safe and ethical working conditions. AMAZING! The owner has real relationships with the women who make the towels and I absolutely love that.

Click here to shop luxurious, ethically made towels.  

THOM KELLY

If I was still working in the fashion industry, working at THOM KELLY would be my dream job! Using only sustainable materials and created right here in the United States, THOM KELLY creates classic, comfortable, and stylish clothes that are no fuss and easy. Each piece is designed to be effortless and built to wear for any occasion (running errands, wearing over a swimsuit, or heading out for date night). Button-up shirts are available for women and men and they recently launched some amazingly cozy and flattering sweatshirts for women (you better believe one is on my Christmas list!). Plus, they are members of 1% for the Planet, which means that each time you make a purchase, you will be making a positive impact on our planet. WIN.

Both photos courtesy of THOM KELLY

Click here to shop American made, sustainable, classic clothing!

I hope this list provides you with some options for shopping small.  I’m a huge advocate of shopping small and I love supporting women run brands. 

Come back next week for a guide for shopping small in Ohio!

Slainte,
Shannon