COASTAL OHIO: LOCAL’S GUIDE TO THE BEACH AT EAST HARBOR STATE PARK

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.

Enjoy these last few weeks of summer!!

Slainte,

Shannon

STYLE: TIPS FOR A STYLISH BEACH DAY

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.

Enjoy these last couple of weeks of summer!

Slainte,

Shannon

BRAND SPOTLIGHT: MADDIE AND CONNOR CO.

I’m exceptionally excited to share this latest brand spotlight with you all! A few months ago I connected with a fellow mama, Sara Feeney, on Instagram. We quickly bonded over motherhood, classic children’s clothing, the coastal life, the list goes on. Early on, Sara mentioned a dream of hers to create her own brand of children’s clothing that was preppy and classic. Over the last couple of months, I’ve had the pleasure of watching Sara bring her dream to life. And so, without further ado, I introduce you all to Maddie & Connor Co.!

Maddie & Connor Co. offers timeless and classic clothing that captures the joy and essence of childhood. All of the styles are designed by Sara herself and her attention to detail is top notch. Think stripes, seersucker, embroidery, eyelit, and scallops. The designs are so timeless that they can be passed down from sibling to sibling, and generation to generation.

One of my favorite designs in the new collection is the Lighthouse Beach Dress. You guys know I’m a sucker for blue and white stripes so I knew right away this style would end up in Lilly’s wardrobe. The ricrac along the ruffle and hem make this dress so incredibly sweet. And the fabric is really lightweight – perfect for hot, summer days down by the water.

When I’m shopping for clothes for Lilly, I look for quality, style, and price. And Maddie and Connor Co. hit all three of these criteria. The quality is beautiful (the Lighthouse Beach Dress washes so well!!), the style is timeless and classic, and the price is completely affordable. If you are looking for a great children’s clothing brand, I highly recommend shopping Maddie and Connor Co.!

Slainte,

Shannon 

STYLE: CLASSIC POLO DRESS

The classic polo.  The polo shirt is an American staple that has been made popular by brands such as Ralph Lauren, Kiel James Patrick, Vineyard Vines, Lacoste, and Abercrombie and Fitch. 

Even before attending Miami University, the college often referred to as the “Ivy League of the Midwest” or “J.Crew U,” polo shirts were a part of my wardrobe. Although I wore less and less of them during my “fashion years,” they have re-emerged in my wardrobe in my “classic style” years.

Over the years I have found there is no wrong way to wear a polo. You can wear it all buttoned with the collar down, half buttoned with the collar down, half buttoned with the collar popped, or not buttoned with the collar down or popped. Honestly, the styles are endless. Pair a polo shirt with chino shorts, denim shorts, skinny denim pants, skinny black pants, a denim skirt, boyfriend chinos – the options are endless.

Perhaps my new favorite way to wear a polo is in dress form. The polo dress has quickly become one of my favorite styles of dresses to wear in the summer. It’s seriously SO EASY. You throw it on in the morning and you are instantly put together for the day. I love wearing these to work (when we actually go to work) because they are professional, yet casual. The polo dresses from Kiel James Patrick are my favorite for their fit and quality. These particular polo dresses are soft, lightweight, and have the perfect amount of stretch. I have it in navy and white and I plan on adding a new color to my collection each season.

If I’m opting for a dressier look with the polo dress, I opt for classic pearls, a straw tote, a chic headband, and my Jack Roger sandals. I throw a cardigan over my shoulders for the iconic preppy look (and to use if the evenings get too cool). If I’m looking for a more casual, everyday look, I opt for minimal jewels, classic sneakers, and a baseball hat. However you choose to style a polo dress, you will always come out looking classic,stylish, and put together.

You can shop this entire look by clicking on the links below!

Slainte,

Shannon 

SHOP THE LOOK

KJP Jamestown Sailor Polo Dress | Jack Rogers | KJP Sailor’s Luck Bracelet | KJP Navy Wavy Bracelet | KJP Tahiti Sail Bracelet | KJP Pearls | Draper James Straw Tote 

BRAND SPOTLIGHT: JAYE’S STUDIO

I love sharing my favorite brands, artists, and creatives with you, so I’ve decided to start a new series that spotlights all of these amazing companies and individuals!  And to kick-off this new series, I’m shining a spotlight on Jaye’s Studio, a New England based company with a passion for details.  

Founded in 1976, Jaye’s Studio is a somewhat newer brand to me, but I have quickly fallen in love with their products.  Their perfectly curated collection of classic, bright, and preppy products are totally my style.  They offer beautiful, high quality pieces for the home, as well as a pajama collection that has quickly become my new go-to for pajama sets.  I love this brand and their mission and I am sharing some of my favorite products below! 

Sea Life Sateen Capri Pajama Set 

You guys know how much I love my summer pajamas and this adorable sea life pajama set is the perfect addition to my collection.  I’m literally obsessed with the vibrant blue and white octopus print.  I love all the classic details, from the cap sleeves to the ruffle capri.  And, the capris have pockets, which are always such a win in my book.  The cotton sateen fabric is so cool, lightweight, soft and easy to move in – perfect for summer mornings, sipping coffee or chasing a toddler (or both!). 

Regency Anchor Tissue Box

It’s all in the details.  I spend a lot of time searching for home decor details that bring us joy and that make our house feel like a home.  I’ve actually been searching for a tissue box cover for years and this blue and gold one is literally perfect.  The colors match our decor splendidly and the anchor detail adds just the right amount of nautical flair that I love. 

Wish List

Below are some items that are on my wish list. 

Don’t Fret Blue Sateen Robe: This looks so cozy and perfect for easy, summer mornings or late summer evenings on the deck.  Plus, it’s blue and white so it instantly caught my eye. 

Elephants at Play Sateen Ruffled Summer PJ Set: This short set looks perfect for summer and it has the same cute ruffle hem that my capri set has – plus the pink and green elephant print is so timeless and preppy. 

Interlocking Key Square Cachepot: This cachepot is so cute.  I love the blue and white pattern.  This would be perfect for plants, flowers, kitchen utensils – you name it! It’s so versatile and would be a perfect addition to any home. 

Chang Mai Color Block Tray in Gold: A gorgeous bamboo tray, this would be perfect for displaying trinkets, holding amenities in a guest bathroom or hosting a cocktail hour.  It’s classic, timeless, and versatile.  

Ginger Jar Blue Napkin Ring: These are literally so cute! I guarantee these will be the talk of all of your dinner parties! 

Definitely do yourself a favor and check out this amazing family owned brand.  Use code SHANNON15 for 15% off your first order!

Slainte,

Shannon

STYLE: SUMMER CARDIGAN, THREE WAYS

Even in the thick of summer heat, I keep a lightweight open front cardigan or sweater nearby.  I love wearing dresses in the summer, but sometimes I get a wee bit chilly in the house and a long cardigan (with pockets!) to throw over my summer ensemble works perfectly.  

This particular cardigan from Nordstrom is the prettiest shade of grey and pairs well with 90% of my wardrobe.  It’s lightweight, has pockets, and is long enough to cover my bum (a must post baby).  I love layering this cardigan with a button up and skinny pants in the winter.  Below, I’m teaming up with my fellow mama, Stephanie from Linens and Littles, to style this sweater three different ways for summer! 

OVER A SHORT DRESS

Whether it’s a t-shirt dress, strapless dress, spaghetti strap dress, or even romper, this grey cardigan is perfect for layering. The length hits perfectly just below the dress (because I’m petite, my dresses always hit me two inches or more above the knee, otherwise I get swallowed by the dress). I paired the cardigan over a flirty, floral, skinny strap dress with a high bun – the perfect ensemble for a super hot, summer day.

OVER A MAXI DRESS

I love a great fitting maxi dress.  You can dress them up or down depending on your mood and they are just so comfy.  If you are looking for instant elegance, a maxi dress should be your go-to.  A long cardigan works great over a maxi dress.  If you are short like me, a long cardigan over a maxi dress will elongate your frame, making you appear taller, and that’s a win for me!

OVER DENIM SHORTS

Because I’m always on the go and always chasing a very quick toddler, I tend to wear denim shorts (jean and white) with a t-shirt or v-neck cami top. I need to be able to move quickly, which means I cannot be fussing over my outfit. Adding this long grey cardigan to any of my “mom uniform” looks is a perfect, quick addition.

Hopefully you have some new ideas on how to style a long cardigan in the summer! I’ve rounded up a few current favorites below. For more ideas, head to Stephanie’s blog, Linens and Littles!

Cardigan 1

Cardigan 2

Cardigan 3

Slainte,
Shannon

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

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