STYLE: STYLING HEADBANDS WITH S.LYNCH KNITWEAR

One of my absolute favorite brands, S.Lynch Knitwear, is launching limited edition headbands this coming Friday (6/19) at 7:00 p.m. and I could not be more excited!  Samantha, the creative behind S.Lynch Knitwear, makes the most beautiful knitwear and her hand sewn headbands are equally gorgeous.  Sam is so insanely talented – knitter, sewer, designer, photographer – the girl is multi-talented and has skills. 

I’m so thrilled to be styling her brand, spanking new, coastal inspired headbands.  You better believe I’ll be wearing these on repeat because they are so cute and so comfy.  Below I’m sharing three ways that you can style these beauties. 

With Your Hair Down

Lately (especially with my hair highlights continuing to fade) I’ve been wearing headbands almost on the daily. Wearing a headband with your hair down is so classic and preppy (think Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl). They are just so easy to style. I love styling them slightly forward on my head and under my hair to create a bit of a 1960’s puff in the back.

With a Braid

Since I haven’t had a haircut in four months now, my hair is long enough to wear in a braid! I love doing a messy side braid and adding a headband for a little extra glamour. I paired this look with a t-shirt dress, but it’s equally cute with a one shoulder swimsuit, strapless dress, or sleeveless top and shorts.

With a Ponytail

This is the perfect summer look. A low or high pony, or even high bun, paired with one of these wide headbands is so easy and chic for a hot summer day down by the water. I styled mine with a bit of a puff at the top for a more retro look.

Set your alarms for Friday (6/19) at 7:00 p.m. when S.Lynch Knitwear will be releasing summer headbands in this fun print, along with a few others. There are limited quantities of each print so be sure to purchase yours ASAP! And be sure to follow Sam on Instagram: @slynchknitwear for knitwear and headbands and @_samanthalynch for the most gorgeous New England inspired photos.

Slainte,

Shannon 

STYLE: THE EVERYDAY SHIFT DRESS

A pool day.  A walk down by the river.  A day spent at the beach.  It doesn’t matter where I’m enjoying summer, what matters is that I’m keeping my skin safe and protected from the sun.  

One of the easiest ways to keep your skin safe is by seeking out clothing that has UPF protection built in. Cabana Life offers stylish clothing with UPF 50+, blocking 98% of UVA and UVB rays. All of the fabrics selected for Cabana Life products are rigorously tested using standards established by the American Association of Textile Chemist and Colorists. This is definitely a mission and brand I can get behind and feel good about supporting.

Not only are the fabrics safe, but they are also of the highest quality. The fabrics are made for getting wet, so they are quick drying, lightweight, cool, and breathable. And, besides the fact that the fabrics are extra luxurious, the styles and prints are also so classic, preppy, and bright.

From everyday to vacay, the sleeveless shift dresses will be the best new addition to your wardrobe. I love throwing the lush terry, striped sleeveless tunic on over my bathing suit. It’s comfortable, easy, and the perfect amount of coverage. I can easily swing by and run into the grocery store to grab some wine on my way to the pool and not feel uncomfortable wearing my swimwear in public.

I also love the sleeveless shift dress, which features UPF 50+ protection, is lightweight, AND has pockets. This dress is so versatile! It can easily be styled for an everyday look, or even dressed up for work. Plus, it’s perfect for vacation and you can totally transition from wearing it at the pool to dinner and drinks, followed by a walk near the water.

In addition to staying safe in the sun with Cabana Life, be sure to apply sunscreen every two hours, seek out shade and find a stylish wide brimmed hat to lounge around the pool in.

I am so excited to partner with Cabana Life to give you 20% off your entire order with code SHANNONSOLT20. Click here to start shopping!

Slainte,

Shannon

The items in this blog post were gifted by Cabana Life but all opinions are my own. 

STYLE: THE 9-5 EDIT, SUMMER CASUAL

With Ohio slowly re-opening again, many people are heading back to work.  That means the summer work wardrobe is in full swing.  My summer work attire is very casual (partly because of my work environment and partly because it’s summer).  I’m either wearing a dress or linen pants/white denim with a blouse.  I can easily make these casual looks for work by how I style them.  Below I’m breaking down my formula for dressing summer casual with white denim and a blouse.  

The Basics: White Denim + Blouse

Start with the basics, aka classic white denim or easy linen pants. Make sure your pants are clean, tailored, and pressed (and avoid denim with holes, even if that is trendy). I make sure my pants hit just above my ankle for slim pants and about an inch above that for my linen pants. Avoid mini-skirts, capri pants, and shorts.

If I’m wearing this pants and blouse combo, I make sure my blouse is dressy – this can be a structured fit or loose depending on the style of pants. Avoid tank tops, halter tops, and anything that shows cleavage. If you choose sleeveless, style with a cardigan sweater, just in case. For this style shoot I chose a fresh take on the button up. With the square neckline, bold buttons, and oversize cap sleeve, this J.Crew Factory blouse is perfect for summer.

Accessories

I’m a firm believer in accessorizing. I think accessorizing an outfit with jewelry and a handbag instantly adds style to any ensemble. Dressing it up with bold floral earrings, bracelets, a chic straw tote, and Jack Roger sandals makes this look casual, yet work appropriate. Sometimes I will swap out the bold statement earrings for a long necklace and hoops.

Shoes

Most work environments don’t allow flip flops or sandals. Luckily, mine allows dressy open toed shoes, so my Jack Rogers are usually perfect. If your work environment does not allow open toed shoes, opt for ballet flats or a comfortable wedge. I like these flats from J.Crew Factory and espadrille wedges from Sam Edelman.

At the end of the day, make sure your look is tailored, fits well, and comfortable for you.

Happy summer!


Slainte,
Shannon

HOME: BEST FLOWERS FOR SUMMER SHADE

I’ll preface this blog post by fully admitting I am not a gardener, florist, or one who even knows much about landscaping, flowers, and tending to your yard.  What I do know is what flowers thrive in our yard, and that is wisdom I can share!

Our backyard has two beautiful, gigantic oak and locust trees.  These trees frame the back of our house and are so tall and old that they provide a natural canopy of shade over our deck and backyard.  Although we appreciate these beauties, especially on hot days, I have struggled with finding flowers that will keep blooming all summer long. 

I have done a little bit of research, but really the variety of flowers I’m going to share are those that I have found through trial and error.  This June marks the fourth year in our house and every year I have at least one flower pot that doesn’t make it because the flowers I bought need sun and the poor pretties just weren’t happy.  

But I’m happy to share that I have found three varieties of flowers that love an area that is mostly shaded with some bouts of afternoon sun.  

Begonias

I’m actually listening to Scarlet Begonias by the Grateful Dead as I write this and it’s making me so happy. Two years ago I read that begonias like partial sun and shade so I tried planting them and they thrived in my garden boxes. I actually love begonias but they are really hard to find in Ohio. I was lucky to find some bright coral ones the past two years, but this year the begonias at the nursery didn’t look so great, so I sadly had to pass.

Begonias love morning sun and afternoon shade. They don’t do well with cold temperatures and can quickly die with a frost, but they do love hot climates. I highly recommend planting some of these tropical, bright florals if you have shaded summer beds because they sure do look pretty. (Side note: These are not pet friendly so I don’t recommend it if you have a pet that eats your foliage. I planted these in my window boxes in the past so Gryff couldn’t get them).

Petunias

Petunias are definitely a popular variety of flower here in Northwest Ohio. They are easy to care for, don’t need a ton of watering, and although it’s recommended they get full sun, my petunias always do really well. These are not typically what people recommend for shaded yards, but I’ve always had success with them. I always exclusively plant petunias in my front garden because it does get more sun, but they do surprisingly well in my backyard too. I think because we do get pockets of sun throughout the day, it’s enough to keep them happy.

Wave Pansies

These are a new addition to our flower boxes this year, so the verdict is still out. BUT I did do some research and pansies thrive in cooler climates and partial sun. Even on 90 degree days, the deck stays pretty cool because of the natural shade. We will see how they do come July and August when it gets hot in Ohio, but right now, these heart shaped beauties are loving life in their window box outside our kitchen. I bought purple and yellow ones and planted some hot pink petunias with them and to see these bright, happy colors through my kitchen window brings me so much joy. Also a fun fact, pansies are edible! You can use pansies as a garnish on salads or desserts.

I will say that almost every year I try to plant sunpatiens because I think they are so pretty and they always flourish in my mom’s yard.  But they sadly do not like my yard and the lack of sun.  Through my research I did find that black eyed susans, lily-of-the-valley, violets, and primroses love shaded areas, so if your yard lacks sun like mine, these varieties might be good to try. 

I do want to point out too that I think it’s important you try to grow plants and flowers that are native to your area.  Native plants are good for wildlife such as birds and butterflies.  They are lower maintenance, require less watering, and don’t need fertilizers and pesticides. They also filter storm water which is really important for keeping our waterways (like Lake Erie!) clean and free from pollutants and algae.  When we landscape next summer, I’m going to make sure that the plants we choose are native to Ohio – I’m already looking at blue vervain, columbine, and goldenrod.

Anyways, I hope my experience with planting flowers in partial sun/shade gives you some more variety to choose from if you have a shady yard like we do.

Happy planting!

Slainte,

Shannon

STYLE: ALLISON COLE JEWELRY

You guys know how much I love supporting women owned, small businesses.  I’ve been following a New England based brand for awhile and I’m completely in love with their product.

Inspired by the rocky coastline of the Eastern Seaboard, Allison Cole Jewelry creates classic jewelry that instantly transports you to long summers spent at the shore.  Founded by New Englander Nicole Recomendes, Allison Cole Jewelry is a collection that embraces the nautical lifestyle.  Handmade in New England by Nicole herself, the collection features bracelets and necklaces made of rope, leather, and ribbon.  

Not only do I love the nautical and classic look of the products, but I also love that each piece is completely original, boasting a name inspired by cities and places in New England.  You can customize the pieces to fit your style, choosing between different metals, materials, and colors.  And you can even personalize and monogram some of the styles! I love stacking the different styles of bracelets together to create a completely unique look that is classic and original.  

I’m thrilled to be partnering with Allison Cole Jewelry to offer my followers a special discount code to be applied at checkout.  Use code SHANNON and receive 15% off your order! 

Happy shopping! 

Slainte,

Shannon

HOME: A COZY LITTLE PRINTS GIVEAWAY

When I started blogging for fun (almost!) three years ago, I never imagined that blogging would result in friendships from around the country.  Literally.  I have formed so many wonderful relationships and even met a few other creatives in person.  I have often thought about quitting my blog, and even Instagram for that matter, but time and again the friendships I’ve formed with so many people and their never sending support keeps me going.  

One of those people who I connected with instantly and who has been one of my biggest cheerleaders is my friend Sarah from Cozy Little Joys.  Sarah and I have bonded over everything from classic style, to motherhood and raising our two toddlers, to blue and white obsessions, a love for stripes, gin and tonics,and so much more.  She inspires me daily with her positive attitude, real-life honesty, and as of most recently, her courage to share a new passion during these difficult times.  

I’m so excited to share Sarah’s newest venture – the Cozy Little Prints Studio!  Cozy Little Prints started as a creative outlet for Sarah to help ease stress and anxiety during a very challenging time.  Cozy Little Prints is a collection of original watercolor paintings, ranging from fresh blooms, to architecture, botanicals, ginger jars, classic style, and coastal art.  You can purchase digital downloads of Sarah’s artwork on Etsy, as well as working with Sarah on commissioned pieces. 

In honor of the launch of Sarah’s new venture, Sarah, our friend Caitlin from Lemonade Press Blog, and myself are giving away three watercolor prints from Sarah’s blue and white lemon collection! Head to our Instagram’s to enter to win! 

Slainte,

Shannon 

STYLE – FAVORITE SLEEPWEAR FOR SUMMER

I have always loved sleepwear.  Even as a little girl, I remember having favorite nightgowns and pajama sets.  Even when it was uncool to wear a camise, slip, or nightgown, I always did – even in college.  I think Kate Schelter says it best in her book, Classic Style.  She says, “Your style is what you are unaware of; it’s what you do naturally, your outward DNA. It’s your pajamas as much as it’s your wedding gown. Your style is your character.”  And caring about my pajamas says that even while I’m sleeping, I want to be comfortable and feel my best.  And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. 

I’ve been asked before where I shop for my sleepwear.  My summer sleepwear does differ slightly from my winter sleepwear.  In the winter, I prefer short sets (shorts and a long sleeve) or a long sleeve t-shirt nightgown.  In the summer though, I prefer sleeveless short sets or sleeveless nightgowns.  I have so many go-to places, so I’ve rounded up some of my favorite brands and styles in the hopes you will find your favorite pajamas.  

And remember, it’s totally okay if you love sleeping in your significant other’s old t-shirt.  You wear what is comfortable and cozy for you! 

SUMMER SLEEPWEAR 

Lake Pajamas – The softest pajamas imaginable.  Literally.  These sleep sets are some of my favorites. They are the perfect weight for hot, summer nights and they are so soft you don’t even know you are wearing them.  Plus, they come in sooo many different stripe patterns, and you guys know I can’t turn down a good stripe.  They are pricey, but I promise they are worth the investment.  Check out my favorite styles below. 

Victoria’s Secret – A longtime favorite for many, many years.  I’ve been wearing nightgowns and sleep sets from Victoria’s Secret since highschool.  These are classic, timeless, and you always know you are going to get good quality.  Below are some of my favorite styles. 

J.Crew Factory – Another tried and true brand, J.Crew offers the softest pajama sets.  I love these for summer and the long sleeve versions for winter.  They are the perfect fit and I often wear them throughout the entire morning.  I can wear these styles outside and not feel uncomfortable if my neighbors see me – definitely important when you have a pup and toddler on the go! 

Hopefully this list helps you in your shopping for summer sleepwear! Stay comfy and cool.

Slainte

Shannon

HOME: HOUSE RENOVATIONS SUMMER 2020

The joy of home ownership.  We definitely love owning a home.  A home allows us to create a space that is all our own.  But it’s also a money sucking time commitment.  Built in 1976, we bought our house in 2016.  The owners prior to us kept the house updated and modern, which has resulted in minor cosmetic changes on our end.  

For the past year we’ve been dealing with some issues with our chimney.  Long story short, our chimney base has disconnected from our house and water has been seeping into our family room.  This has caused water damage in our family room ceiling, as well as our guest room ceiling. 

We’ve had engineers, masons, contractors, insurance agents – you name it – out to our home to look at the problem and the damage it has caused.  We have finally hired a contractor who will be building up our foundation to connect it back to the chimney and hopefully fix this problem for good.  But because this chimney problem has caused so much interior and exterior damage, we have decided this summer is the summer of value adding projects.

New Roof

We were told when we bought the house that the roof would need to be replaced in five-ish years.  We decided that since we are already working on chimney and foundation repairs, we might as well replace the roof while we are at it.  We are going with dark gray shingles to better suit another project – painting the exterior!

Painting the Exterior Siding 

Our exterior siding is currently blue with black shutters and a white garage.  We’ve always wanted to paint the entire exterior navy and then replace the black shutters with white ones.  I’m currently researching paint colors and Hale Navy seems to be a favorite among many.

Painting the Family Room and Guest Room

Because of the interior water damage, we have to replace some of the drywall and ceiling and will need to repaint both of the family room and upstairs guest room.  Our family room is currently a grayish blue and the guest room is beige.  Because the family room has no windows and only sliding doors to the deck, I’m switching the paint color to bright white to try and brighten it up.  Our guest room isn’t really a guest room right now – it’s more of a hodgepodge of random items.  But eventually, Lilly will probably move in there so my plan is to paint it white for now and then later we can add some color above the chair rail. 

Landscaping

We have a large deck right off the back of the house and one of the previous owners planted some very lush gardens.  Unfortunately, the gardens are extremely hard to maintain and four years in this house has still not resulted in getting them cleaned up.  This year though we are committing ourselves to clearing out the gardens – literally everything and just mulching them.  Next year we will plant native, low maintenance plants to spruce things up. 

These are the main projects, but we are also hoping to replace our front door and purchase a comfy reading chair for our living room.  Plus, we want to finish the playroom by purchasing some fun artwork.  

Phew.  I feel tired just typing all of this out.  Although these aren’t glamorous projects, they will increase the value of the home and we won’t have to deal with any more water issues! Stay tuned for updates along the way!

Slainte,

Shannon

STYLE: THE 9-5 EDIT, PATTERN DRESSES

If you look at my dress collection, it’s full of prints and patterns. As much as I love my stripes, I also LOVE preppy, bold prints. I used to shy away from wearing bold prints to work – I didn’t want to look too flashy or stand out, I thought I needed to dress conservative and professional, etc. But as I’ve grown more comfortable and confident with my style, I realize that it’s okay to dress bright.

With several years of working in the professional world under my belt, I’ve learned that wearing clothes that make me feel confident and put together are the keys to my success. It shouldn’t matter what we wear to work, but in all honesty (and from experience) what you wear to work does matter. I’m much more productive and confident when I’m wearing an outfit that is perfectly styled and comfortable. Whether that is a bright dress, tailored pants, or a pretty blouse, the key is making sure YOU feel good.

One of my favorite work appropriate brands is Jude Connally. I love the ease and effortlessness of their dresses. They are stretchy enough to ensure a great fit, no matter what your body type. The fabric is wrinkle-free, soft, easy care, and the cuts are so flattering – they are perfect for work, date night, church, running around the house – you name it! Plus the patterns are just so darn happy and fun and they don’t fade over time.

Wearing a patterned dress to work doesn’t mean you aren’t professional, and you can easily style it to make it professional. Below are a few tips for dressing boldly and wearing a patterned dress in your work environment.

Keep your accessories minimal. 

Because your dress is already full of life, you don’t need a ton of flashy jewels. Keep it simple. When I wear bright dresses I opt for two simple and classic bracelets and usually pearls or low maintenance earrings. Simple is better. Also, make sure your handbag is a solid color – you don’t want clashing prints.

Opt for neutral colored shoes.

Whether you choose pumps, flats, or wedges, keep your shoes neutral.  It will keep things classy and minimize noise.  If I’m wearing a bright pattern, I tend to opt for nude wedges, classic ballet flats, or my Jack Roger sandals. 

Add a blazer or cardigan.

If you work in a more conservative, professional environment, add a solid color classic blazer or open front cardigan for a chic update to your look.  I love to wear my sweater blazer from J.Crew over my dresses (see how I styled mine here and here). 

Fit is important.

Make sure the dress you choose is flattering. In other words, dress for your body type. You want to choose a dress that won’t result in awkward tugging or pulling. You 100% want to feel comfortable in the fit. I love dresses that are A-line or form fitting. Because I’m so petite, these classic styles work better for my body type and don’t swallow me up.

The single most important part of dressing bold is making sure you look and feel put together. There is power in confidence and confidence is the key to your success, whatever that may look like.

I’m including a few other styles of Jude Connally dresses that I love below.

Megan Dress in Sail Geo | Ella Dress in Cheetah Classic | Kristen Dress in Sail Geo | Laney Dress in Tonal Stripe | Holly Dress in Chain Link 

Slainte,

Shannon

Thank you to Jude Connally for sponsoring this post.  The item was gifted but all opinions are my own.

STYLE: CURATING A SUMMER WARDROBE COLLECTION

Summer.  My favorite season.  Full of long, slow days spent at the pool, fresh vegetables from the Farmer’s Market, refreshing white wine, easy-breezy dresses, and a general sense of warmth and happiness.  I love summer.  But I also love my summer wardrobe.  

I’ve spent the last couple of years curating a summer wardrobe that is timeless and classic.  I rarely need to buy summer clothes because the items I choose are good quality and never go out of style.  (Don’t get me wrong though, I still shop for summer clothes every year because I love shopping). 

My motto for summer dressing is easy and effortless. The goal is to look and feel great while being able to run and play. The last thing I want while strolling through the local Farmer’s Market or chasing Lilly at a park are clothes that are clingy, uncomfortable, and hot. I always opt for pieces that are basic and classic, because really, who wants to be fussing with their clothing when it’s 90 degrees out?!

Flowy dresses, denim shorts, boyfriend tees, sleeveless button ups, and boat shoes (or Jack Roger sandals) are just a few of my favorite things to wear in the summer. I’m a huge sucker for J.Crew Factory when shopping for these basics, but I also enjoy shopping for summer pieces at Banana Republic, Loft, Target, and local boutiques. My summer wardrobe is definitely casual, but if we are going on date night or I’m getting dressed for work, I throw in some fun accessories or espadrille wedges to dressen up the look.

Below are basic pieces that are must haves in my summer wardrobe. 

Denim Shorts: I love my high-waisted denim shorts.  I have them in blue and white denim and they are just the perfect short every day summer living. 

Sleeveless Button Up: A perfectly flowy sleeveless button up is chic and stylish while keeping you cool. It can instantly dressen up any look.

Boyfriend Tees:  I probably have way too many of these, but honestly a boyfriend tee in a solid color or in stripes is so versatile, easy, and perfect paired with denim shorts, chinos, or linen pants.

T-shirt Dress: My favorite go-to outfit for summer.  Easy, classic, and the perfect ensemble for hanging around the house, drinks on the patio, or even adding a chunky necklace to make it work appropriate. 

Linen Pants: Everyone should own linen pants. I love to wear these to work during the summer and pair them with a striped tee or sleeveless button up. I have them in pink, navy, and khaki!

Jack Roger’s Sandals: My favorite sandals.  They are the perfect amount of dressy and casual and look great with everything from dresses to shorts to linen pants. 

Boat Shoes: Any All-American lady needs a pair of boat shoes.  They are comfy, easy to slip on, and look so cute with denim shorts and a striped tee. 

I also love chino shorts, a good maxi dress, a rattan bag, sunnies, and my Kiel James Patrick nautical bracelets.  For more classic styles, check out two of my favorite bloggers and their summer picks: Sarah (Cozy Little Joy) and Stephanie’s (Linens & Littles)

Slainte,

Shannon