Exactly ten years ago this month I packed up my belongings and moved to NYC. I was pursuing a career in the fashion industry and an internship in fashion public relations became available. I don’t remember thinking too hard about this decision – I was 24 and knew I needed to make a big leap to further my career. Little did I know how much living in the Big Apple would change me – for good and bad. I became more confident in who I was and what I wanted, but I also developed anxiety that I have to work hard every day to keep at bay.
My time living in NYC was fleeting, but I always, always look back fondly on the beginning of that adventure. I was happiest when I first arrived in that big city and the autumn will always remind me of Central Park and the charm that is NYC. So today, on September 11, I’m sending extra love to this city and all of those impacted by the unforgettable events of 19 years ago.
And now, this week’s Solty Friday’s:
> S.Lynch Knitwear JUST released the cutest Halloween Bundles for kiddos! By purchasing a bundle, you receive a knit hat and a 100% wool beaded necklace. These are seriously SO fun! The collection is inspired by Salem, MA and Hocus Pocus, so you know it’s delightfully ghoulish.
> Cinnamon Candied Pecans: I shared that I made these in my stories yesterday. They are SO easy to make. All you need is ¼ cup of water, 3 cups of pecans, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of butter. Throw everything in a skillet over medium-low heat and cook/stir until they start to brown. Allow to cool. The original recipe can be found on my Bon Appetit Board on Pinterest and this one does include sugar!
> We chose a paint color for our exterior!! We chose Naval by Sherwin Williams. We love the color and so far every house I’ve seen painted in this shade gives me heart eyes. Plus Sherwin Williams is Ohio based so it’s important we support Ohio brands.
> Looking for beautiful printables? Check out Fernandina Paper Co.! You can sign-up for a membership and have access to a digital library full of notecards, stationary, etc. These printables can easily be customized and printed in minutes from the comfort of your home! Definitely a fun membership to invest in!
> I’m always thinking about and missing Scotland, and this Instagram account by this Scottish mama is bringing me so much joy every day. I can’t get enough of this family’s Scottish adventures.
Last week on Instagram Stories I did a poll asking if you guys would rather see me style a beach sweater or striped terry top sweater. It was incredibly close, 55% to 45% in favor of the beach sweater. I personally was feeling the striped sweater this past weekend, so I decided to style both. Full disclosure: there is little to no difference between how I styled these because I realized once we arrived at the beach it would be very hard for me to change! Nonetheless, I think the subtle differences create two different enough looks; and besides, “Simplicity is the key to perfection” (read that in a book and very much liked it!).
Every classic lady needs at least one beach sweater. I enjoy this grayish-blueish sweater from Old Navy, but I also just bought this pretty sky blue one from J.Crew. I’ve actually been pairing this beach sweater over my t-shirt dresses lately, but for our beach day, I chose white cutoff denim shorts with a basic white tee underneath. This time of year the mornings are chilly so you definitely need a sweater, but I also suggest dressing in layers, hence the white tee underneath.
To finish this look, I grabbed my favorite sunhat, my classic Rayban’s, and my favorite slide sandals. Simple, classic, and timeless!
This sweater would also be cute paired with white denim jeans and a baseball cap as the days continue to get cooler.
Striped French Terry Top Sweater
A striped sweater and white denim shorts are always a perfect pairing for the beach. To switch this look up slightly, I swapped my Rayban’s for my oversized Tortoise shell sunglasses, and removed the white tee and sunhat. I also did a front tuck, which I almost always do because I think it makes wearing a sweater with shorts look less frumpy. Again, easy, simple, and classic.
I know these outfits were very similar, but hopefully one or both will provide you with some inspiration. And if ever in doubt, simplicity is the key to perfection.
A lot has been going on this week! For starters, it’s my birthday week – Yippee! We’ve also been busy getting quotes to paint the exterior of our house, we’ve had a few trees cut down that were no longer alive, and I’m working on giving our master bedroom some TLC. Never a dull moment!
> The Emily Ley Simplified Planners for 2021 launched this week! These are my favorite planners. I’ve had the daily for the last couple of years, but this year I switched to the weekly – I just don’t use the daily as much since I only work part time.
> We are currently obsessed with the show The Morning Show on Apple TV. Phenomenal acting and storyline. We just finished up The Pacific on HBO and that was also excellent. Highly recommend both!
> We are celebrating birthday week with a morning trip to the Bay this weekend – can’t wait for my water fix. You can read about this favorite beach of ours here.
> Rob gifted me these pajamas for my birthday and I loooove them. So comfy and cozy.
And there you have my favorite things for this week. Enjoy this last unofficial weekend of summer!
I must preface this blog post with a recap of this photoshoot and a little behind the scenes. Taking photos with a toddler in tow is always exciting and unpredictable, but this photoshoot in particular was exceptionally challenging. When we arrived down by The Docks, Rob and I both realized we forgot our wallets at home (for those not local, The Docks are a row of high end restaurants situated snugly along the Maumee River with gorgeous views of the Toledo skyline across the way). Eeeek. Not a huge deal as we were not planning to eat or shop, but a big deal if we happened to get pulled over!
Fast forward a bit and as I gave Rob the go ahead to start snapping away, three geese came out of nowhere, charging towards me! While I had geese chasing me for food, Rob realized that our camera battery was dead. Clearly we were not off to the best start! To add to the frustration, L fell and skinned her knee and we realized after 30 minutes of being out in the sun, we forgot to put sunscreen on L. Oy! Nonetheless, we continued on with the photo shoot and L had a great time running along the boardwalk. And looking back we can have a good chuckle about how imperfect this blogging world truly is.
Now onto the fun stuff! It’s that time of year where some people hold on to summer, some rush towards fall, and some try and blend the two seasons as best they can. I’m definitely feeling those summer blues and I’m more apt to hold on to summer as long as possible, but the cooler mornings and evenings means that fall is inevitably on its way. I’m finding myself reaching for my beach sweaters and button ups as an extra layer in the morning and then going back to full on summer come the afternoon. Sometimes the transition in between seasons is the most challenging to dress for, so below I’m sharing some ways that you can keep blend two seasons together.
For this outfit, I styled a three quarter length button up tunic in summer stripes (fall style with a summer print), navy chino shorts in navy (summer shorts in a fall-ish color), swapped out my sandals for tassel loafers, and kept my summer straw tote and rattan headband – it is summer after all.
For Those Team Summer
> Do keep styling your straw tote and tortoise shell sunglasses.
> Add a rattan headband or straw hat – rattan and straw are both must have styles of summer and are perfectly acceptable to style through Labor Day.
> Keep wearing stripes! Stripes, especially blue and white ones, are the epitome of summer style. Never stop wearing blue and white stripes.
> As long as it’s warm out, keep styling those shorts. I love to wear my shorts with a tee and layer with a beach sweater or cardigan.
For Those Team Fall
> Swap out sleeveless shirts for button up shirts. You can roll the sleeves as the day continues to warm up.
> My summer style is very casual and mom chic (I have to chase a toddler after all!). To transition it slightly, I swap out my denim jean shorts for my chinos in dark navy.
> Pair ballet flats or loafers with shorts and a three quarter length shirt.
> Vice versa, you can style denim pants with sleeveless tops.
You can choose your color palette and accessories depending on your preference for summer or fall. Really though, the most important style tip to remember when you have two seasons colliding is to dress in layers.
I’ve been wanting to start a new series for awhile and I think today is the day. I’m always shopping, exploring, and in general playing around online. A lot of times I don’t share these musings on my Instagram, so I thought it would be fun to share some of the items, stories, images, ideas, thoughts etc. that are inspiring me at the end of each week. Call it a Friday Favorites or Weekend Reading or even Weekly Wonderings. Whatever, you want to call it, this series will be a fun glimpse into the Solt universe! Enjoy this favorite things list below!
> My friend Sam from S. Lynch Knitwear is releasing her fall collection of headbands tonight at 7:00 p.m. and the styles are so.good. Don’t miss this drop as styles are limited!
This month’s brand spotlight is all about an Ohio based brand (my favorite!). Handmade right here in Columbus, Ohio, Kylie and Bryn is a jewelry/accessory company with the brightest and prettiest African vinyl and wooden bead bracelets. The moment I laid eyes on these colorful, vibrant bracelets, I knew I needed a few to add to my accessory collection.
Amber is the creative artist behind Columbus based Kylie and Bryn. She is a lovely human being and has been so easy to work with. All of her bracelets are handmade and the craftsmanship and quality is just beautiful. She offers bracelets in the brightest of colors – from neon pink, to royal blue, turquoise, and kelly green to yellow, blush pink, and even rainbow! And, she offers school spirit inspired bracelets and customizable word bracelets. You can purchase the bracelets individually or as a medley stack. There are so many options to choose from!
I’ve been wearing a medley of these for a few weeks now and they are so comfortable. I love to mix and match the different colors together. They also pair very well with other bracelets in my accessory collection. If you are looking for stylish and chic bracelets to brighten up your look, these ones from Kylie and Bryn are a no brainer.
Below I’ve shared a few more ways I’ve styled them over the past few weeks. From days by the water, to pool days with L, and wearing Lilly Pulitzer, these bracelets are so easy to wear and they literally go with everything.
With the official start of fall less than a month away, (eeeek!!) many people are starting to think about transitioning their wardrobe to fall. Fall is actually my second favorite season, so I will embrace it in due time, but I prefer to love summer until the last possible moment. I won’t officially break out my fall wardrobe until October, but I will start to add in subtle touches like ballet flats, leopard print accessories, and maybe a denim jacket.
I’m thrilled that S.Lynch Knitwear designed a collection of autumn inspired headbands. This is the perfect way for me to subtly acknowledge the end of summer and the return of fall. The fall collection of headbands from S.Lynch Knitwear is so good. Think purples, dark gingham, leopard, and fall florals. These headbands are the perfect way to blend my summer wardrobe and autumn inspired colors.
Below are two ways I’ve styled two of the new patterns from the fall collection. Be sure to shop the new collection from S.Lynch Knitwear on Instagram when it drops this Friday, August 28 at 7:00 p.m. est.
I paired the leopard print headband, which is a perfect neutral for fall/winter with a striped t-shirt dress, white canvas sneakers, and a classic denim jacket. The perfect amount of summer and fall mixed together. Don’t be afraid to treat leopard as a neutral and mix it with other patterns!
I knew the minute I saw this print I needed it. I love gingham all year round and the deep purple makes it an easy transition into fall. I paired this headband with classic denim white shorts and a three-quarter length chambray shirt.
Are you team dress for fall or team wait until it’s official?
“And what book are you reading?” Anyone who knows my Bobo (grandma) will know that this was always the first question she would ask you upon arrival to her house. Reading was very important to her, and although I may have laughed at the question as a young tween, I so appreciate her passion for reading as an adult. Every year for our birthdays she would give us a book, usually a classic, that was related to our passions and I’m grateful I have such a robust library because of her.
My parents and Rob’s family also love reading and it’s important to us that we share this gift with Lilly. From a very young age we started reading to Lilly. We used to read to her when she was just a wee infant, doing tummy time on her caterpillar. And I’m so happy that Lilly finds so much joy in reading. Some days we just sit in her playroom and read every book on her shelves and that makes my mama heart so full.
I truly believe you are never too young to start reading and appreciate the power of a good story. There are a few books that have been favorites for us recently and I’m so excited to be sharing them with you all. All of these books have a purpose, as well as a magical story. I hope at least one of these stories will resonate with one of you mamas (or dads) and your little one. And if you need more options, be sure to check out two of my friend’s blogs – Sarah at Cozy Little Joys and Stephanie at Linen and Littles. Both of these ladies have babies around Lilly’s age and there is nothing better than a bond forged by motherhood and books.
ABC’s What Can She Be
This is a relatively new book for us but we LOVE it. This book has everything a toddler loves. It teaches the alphabet in a bright and colorful way with eye-catching illustrations. It encourages a little girl that she can be anything she wants to be – whether it’s a mechanic, zoologist, neurologist, or interior designer – there are so many options and possibilities. But I think my favorite part about this book is the fact that all girls are represented. This book celebrates color, shape, size, and ability. It’s truly a wonderful book about diversity and encouraging girls to follow their dreams.
A timeless edition to any toddler book collection, Baby Feminists is probably our favorite book. Lilly LOVES this book. She loves it so much that we bought Baby Feminists II. This book offers such an inspiring message that anyone can grow up to make the world a better place for everyone. This is an interactive book that not only teaches you about famous women who have made a difference, but also shows them as a baby – which toddlers love. And to be honest, this series has taught me about important women who have shaped history, some of which I’m embarrassed to admit I knew very little about! This book is definitely a must have for anyone who wants to teach their children about inspirational individuals.
Since babies don’t begin communicating with words until around 18 months or later, it was important for me to teach Lilly sign language. My mom bought this book for us and it’s been amazing! I swear Lilly learned how to communicate “more,” “all done,” and “eat” from this book. Toddlers and babies love interactive books and this one has pull tabs that illustrates each important sign. We have read this book so many times that all the pull tabs have been ripped out (eeek!). It’s one of our most well worn and most well loved books.
Such a classic children’s book. And really is there a more beautiful book to teach about the power of friendship and sharing? We love this book, but it’s been a relatively recent love. The past couple of months Lilly has really shown interest in the glitter pictures and the story. And now we read it every night before bed. This international best seller is a must for toddlers to start learning about how to be a friend and how to share.
My sister (who is Lilly’s godmother) gifted her this book for her Baptism and it’s so special. The beautifully written and illustrated story shares such an important message. It teaches that all children can make a difference and make a positive impact on others. Not only does this book celebrate your child’s gift – whether it’s the gift of song, dance, or sports – but it also encourages and celebrates empathy, kindness, gratitude, and encouragement. It’s a lovely read and one that all families should consider adding to their collection.
And last not but not least, is a bonus book that is specific to our beloved state of Ohio! Goodnight Ohio celebreates the many wonderful sights and attractions that make up Ohio. From the Ohio State Buckeyes, to the Toledo Museum of Art, Lake Erie, Cedar Point, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, this is a classic toddler book that any native Ohioan should have in their library.
I hope these suggestions spark your interest, whatever they may be! Don’t forget the power that reading and sharing stories with your children has on developing their language skills, helping their mind grow, and their ability to listen. And as they get older, don’t forget to ask them, “And what book are you reading?”
A few weeks ago we took a day trip to East Harbor State Park. I’ve written about this park that rests along the shores of Lake Erie before and thought a separate post about the actual public beach may prove helpful (as I’ve received several questions).
The 1500 foot beach is teeny tiny as beaches go. Although the beach is quaint, the views are incredible. We arrived at the park around 10:30 a.m. on a Friday and first spent our time exploring the coastal trails. We may have ventured off the sandy path, but I’m so glad we did, because the views along the rocky shore are magnificent.
We headed over to the public beach around 11:00 a.m. and already the beach was packed. It appeared as though no one was social distancing and no one was wearing masks, so trying to find a spot was a negative for us. Rob suggested we walk along the sandy trail above the beach and boy am I glad we did!!
Just past the public beach are pockets of smaller, “private” beaches. A family was leaving as we were walking along the sandy trail and offered to give us their spot. These small pockets can comfortably fit 6-8 people, which means they are perfect for a couple. There are probably about five or six of these “private” beaches past the public beach.
Because we are in the midst of a pandemic, below are some tips if you want to visit this public beach before summer ends.
Plan your arrival time for earlier in the morning. If you want a private beach or even a claim on the public beach, I would arrive by 9:30-10:00 a.m.
Pack your own beach chair and towels. The beach and state park are too small to offer beach chair rentals.
Pack your own snacks and beverages. I’ve heard that there are concessions, but I’ve never seen them open.
Bring a book, magazine, music, etc. to enjoy while watching the waves crash against the shore.
If you have kids, bring some beach toys. Note that flotation devices are not permitted in the lake.
Don’t forget your sunscreen and an extra change of clothes or beach coverup!
And maybe throw in some tennis shoes if you want to explore the walking trails after sunbathing.
I think that covers it! Just as an FYI, the beach does have newly renovated bathrooms and a changing area that are cleaned regularly.
As many people start looking forward to fall and all that comes with the crisp season (sweaters, denim jeans, plaid, pumpkins, scarves, etc.) I’m holding onto summer even more. I’m not ready to give up on these long, hot days full of sunshine, swimming, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and jaunts to the lake. If you follow me on Instagram you will know that I’m wearing a summer dress every day (M-F) until I can’t anymore. I just love my summer wardrobe and want to be able to enjoy all my summer pieces.
We visit the Lake Erie beaches often enough that I’ve discovered what to wear and what not to wear. Below are some tips for a no fuss, stylish day at the beach.
Always pack a straw hat or baseball hat. It’s extra windy near the water, so a hat is a must (otherwise your hair will be a mess in your face like mine in some of these photos).
Choose no fuss clothing – I like to wear denim shorts and a tee (love this Salty tee from Ohio based Shore Society) or a dress that won’t billow in the wind. You can easily wear your bathing suit under both options – this provides for a stylish coverup and a quick transition into the water.
Keep your jewelry minimal. I wore my everyday pearl earrings and just a handful of my nautical bracelets from Allison Cole Jewelry and KJP.
Choose sandals or flip flops – you’ll take your shoes off as soon as you hit the sand so don’t wear anything too cumbersome like tennis shoes, flats or heels.
Bring a straw or canvas tote to carry your towel, book, sunglasses, sunscreen, etc.
And most importantly, don’t forget your sunscreen!! We were guilty of this and I ended up looking like a lobster by the end of the day – definitely don’t recommend!
None of these tips are rocket science, but I have learned that when planning a day at the beach, you want to keep it simple and easy. You are there to relax and enjoy the views. The last thing you want to worry about is how you look.