3 PREPPY WAYS TO STYLE A SWEATER BLAZER – PART II

Part II – WEEKEND STYLE 
Last week I shared how to style this J.Crew sweater blazer for the holidays and today I’m sharing how to style it for the weekend, aka a more casual look. 
One of the things I love about this sweater is it’s versatility.  I do wear this to work A LOT.  It’s the perfect neutral and helps to instantly make my look more professional.  BUT, it also works perfectly if you are going for a casual look.  
My weekend look usually includes a t-shirt and jeans with a sweatshirt.  By swapping out my sweatshirt with this blazer sweater, my look is still casual, but a teensy bit more out together.  And comfy as heck! 
Adding a pair of booties also gives this look an extra splash of style.  But you can easily swap out the booties for tennis shoes, boat shoes, Wellies, or snow boots.
I’ve linked the details of my outfit below! You’ll definitely want to check out where my tee and knit hat are from (hint hint: two of favorite women owned small businesses)! 
Have the best week friends! 
Sláinte,
Shannon 
SHOP THE LOOK

DAY TRIPPIN’ TO THE BAY

One of my absolute favorite things about Ohio is it’s proximity to Lake Erie.  People never think of Ohio as a coastal state.  But in fact, the entire northern border of the state rests on the lake.   There are 100 miles of Lake Erie shore between Toledo and Cleveland.  I never appreciated my proximity to this body of water until the last few years.  I’m so fortunate that we live 25 minutes from the bay and about an hour from Marblehead Point.  

This past weekend we took L to Maumee Bay State Park, which sits right on the bay of the lake (hence the name).  Maumee Bay State Park includes two sandy public beaches, a two mile boardwalk, nature center, and a golf course, along with many other activities.  

We took L back in April, but she was too young to enjoy the water.  I was thrilled to see how much she loved it this time around (just like her mama!).  We wouldn’t let her get in because Lake Erie isn’t the cleanest of lakes (every summer we get an awful algae bloom – I will share a post on that another day).  
It was so refreshing and rejuvenating to walk along the lake and listen to the quiet waves crashing on the beach.  I have no idea where my love for the water comes from, but I sure do love it. 
This trip was even more special being able to share it with L.  She was completely entranced by the water and I wanted so badly to let her play in it.  I think one of the greatest joys of being a parent is watching your children experience something new with such immense joy.  I savor these special moments.

I love talking about coastal Ohio and am happy to share more of you guys are interested! You can also check out Ohio Explored or Ohio Find It Here.  Both are great resources for all things Ohio! 
Sláinte,
Shannon 

OUTFIT DETAILS:

S.LYNCH KNIT HAT | J.CREW FACTORY VEST | J.CREW FACTORY STRIPED SHIRT | J.CREW FACTORY DENIM JEANS | HUNTER BOOTS

WEARING WHITE AFTER LABOR DAY

The infamous debate: can you or can you not wear white after Labor Day?

The answer is: you totally can! This long practiced fashion rule is no longer relevant to today’s society. In all honesty, you should wear what you like whenever you want!

But if you are like most people and still struggle to wear those white denim pieces or dresses after Labor Day, I’m providing some tips on how you can seamlessly transition your white pieces into fall.

1. Add a Cardigan. The easiest way to transition your white dress or white denim post Labor Day is to add a cardigan. This instantly adds a cozy autumn feel. Style it over your shoulders for instant prep or wear it unbuttoned when it’s chilly.

2. Swap out Sandals for Flats. Trade in your summer sandals for ballet flats, Keds, boat shoes, or loafers. It’s amazing how quickly shoes transition a look into a different season.

3. Add a Long Sleeve Blouse. Wearing a 3/4 length or long sleeve shirt with your white denim allows you to easily transition into fall. If you really want to go all out, opt for a top in jewel tone colors or keep it classic with an Oxford button down.

4. Throw on a Navy Blazer. Blazers are so in right now and they are the perfect item to transition your summer styles into fall. Wear one with a dress or white jeans and you can seamlessly transition your look. Plus, white and navy are the perfect pairing.

Hopefully I’ve convinced you that it is okay and actually quite easy to wear white after Labor Day. Use these four tips and you can easily combine your favorite summer and fall pieces!

I’ve linked my outfit details below. Happy shopping!

Sláinte,

Shannon

SHOP THE LOOK

KJP DRESS (sold out. Included link to other dresses) | ANCHOR BRACELET | PEARL BRACELET | BLUE AND WHITE BRACELET | PEARL EARRINGS | LONGCHAMP

COASTAL OHIO GIVEAWAY

By now you guys should know how much I love all things nautical, particularly coastal Ohio. Through my love for our Great Lakes, I have fallen in love with some awesome, awesome brands.

One of my first “Instagram” (and now real life) friends is a local artist who paints the most gorgeous scenes of coastal Ohio and farmland Ohio. Michelle Brunner of Michelle Brunner Art is a local artist who shares my love for all things blue and white and coastal. Her artwork is colorful, impressionistic, and thought provoking. I am in awe of her talent, ability to find the beauty in our state, and her kind, warm soul. I am so honored to have a few of her original paintings hanging in our home.

Another favorite brand that I’ve come to absolutely adore is Erie and Anchor. A lifestyle brand designed for anyone who loves to live and play on Lake Erie, Erie and Anchor offers cozy sweatshirts, lightweight tees, canvas totes, baby gear, baseball hats, and wine tumblers. Launching just over a year ago, Erie and Anchor is committed to supporting the Great Lakes. 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’m so proud to support their top notch product and beautiful mission.

I’m so thrilled to be partnering with these two Ohio based influencers for a fun Labor Day giveaway!! Head to my Instagram for all the details!

Giveaway ends at 9/2 at 11:59pm EST. Winner will be announced via Instagram on 9/3.

Please Note: US residents only. This giveaway is in no way sponsored, administered or endorsed by Instagram. By entering you are confirming you are at least 18 years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram’s terms of use. Void where prohibited by law.

Good luck!!

Shannon

TRIP TO LAKE ERIE ISLANDS

Rob and I took our first trip away since having L. It was really hard for us to leave her, but it was really nice to get away just the two of us (we had forgotten what life was like with no schedule 😂). We didn’t want to go too far away so Lake Erie was the perfect choice.

Lake Erie is anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half away, depending on which part of the lake you want to visit. Once there, you can stroll along the quaint streets of Marblehead, island hop to Catawba Island, Kelly’s Island, Johnson’s Island, Put in Bay, or South Bass Island, enjoy the many local wineries, or simply relax at some of the many state parks and beaches. We did a little bit of everything and I’m sharing some of the highlights below!

LAKE ERIE

Marblehead State Park

The first stop on our trip was to Marblehead State Park. Marblehead is home to one of the oldest lighthouses on the Great Lakes. In use since 1822, the lighthouse is one of my favorite landmarks on Lake Erie.

The Lighthouse property offers breathtaking views of Kelley’s Island, South Bass Island and Cedar Point. The last time we visited we climbed the 77 stairs to the top of the lighthouse and I highly suggest doing it at least once for some incredible waterfront views.

In addition to the Lighthouse, visitors can enjoy the Keeper’s House Museum and the Lifesaving Station. The Keeper’s House includes a history of the Lighthouse and Marblehead area.

The Lifesaving Station offers an exhibit about boating safety, history of the U.S. Lifesaving Service and its formation into the U.S. Coast Guard in 1915, and information about shipping on the Great Lakes.

East Harbor State Park

If you are looking for a smaller, tucked away beach, East Harbor State Park is a hidden gem. Visitors can enjoy boating, camping, fishing, and swimming.

The 1500 foot sand beach offers swimming and magnificent views of the lake. Pack a picnic lunch, bring a book, and plan on camping out on this beach for a nice relaxing day.

ACCOMMODATIONS

South Beach Resort

Tucked away on a quiet part of the lake, The South Beach Resort offers gorgeous waterfront views. With a private beach and marina, it was the perfect place for us to relax and enjoy some time away.

The resort includes a four story inn and 18 cottages spread over eight acres along Sandusky Bay. It also includes three swimming pools, kayak and jet ski rentals, sand volleyball, tennis courts, and other recreation amenities that are family friendly.

The boardwalk around the marina offers quaint gazebos where guests can sit and enjoy the calming sounds of the lake. Rob and I sat in one of these gazebos for several hours and watched the sunset. It was incredible! This is exactly what we needed for a quiet weekend away.

FOOD

Mon Ami Winery

Our first stop for lunch was Mon Ami Winery. Mon Ami Winery is probably the most popular attraction on Lake Erie. Located on Catawba Island, the sprawling historic winery is the second oldest winery in Ohio and one of the largest on Lake Erie.

Located along the southeast shore of the peninsula, the winery boasts a charming setting for delicious food and homegrown wine.

Rob and I were able to snag a table on the outdoor patio where we enjoyed a delightful meal featuring local perch and walleye, a glass of Mon Ami Pinot Grigio, and a wheat beer from a local brewery. I had never eaten at the restaurant and I was pleasantly surprised by the magical atmosphere and top notch cuisine.

After our lunch, we wondered along the grounds to the gift shop, which includes a wine tasting room and finished our lunch with a flight of dry reds from the winery.

Mon Ami is definitely a must if you are looking for local fish and Ohio wine!

Red Fern Inn and Rocky Point Winery

The last time we visited Marblehead we stumbled upon the Rocky Point Winery and fell in love. Located in downtown Marblehead in the old historic schoolhouse, the Rocky Point Winery and Red Fern Inn offers a perfect setting for a weekend away.

The winery offers more than a dozen delicious wines available for tasting (our favorite is the Pinot Noir). Enjoy a glass on their back patio with live music from local musicians and a fresh breeze blowing off the lake.

Twin Oast Brewing

This was probably the hidden gem of our trip. Twin Oast Brewing was recommended to us by a few people and it did not disappoint! Located on Catawba Island, the 60-acre farm estate offers incredible views of rolling hills, terraced fruit trees, and natural caves.

Pair the incredible views with one of their amazingly delicious craft beers, and you won’t ever want to leave. They also offer a small menu of seasonal food, with many of the items grown on the farm. It was hands down our favorite meal and favorite atmosphere. It’s the perfect place for families too . They have a sprawling lawn with corn hole, yard games, and a stage for live music.

And to top it off, they have a small road side stand where they sell their delicious homegrown produce. We bought some peaches for the ride home and they were the best peaches I’ve ever tasted! It’s seriously an amazing experience and we are already planning our next trip back!

SHOPPING

We actually didn’t do a whole lot of shopping, but we did stop in the Pink Perch, Ferguson Art and Glass Gallery, and the Marblehead Mercantile.

The Pink Perch is everything preppy, nautical and girly. I could have bought everything in the shop, but I was good and shied away from purchasing anything I didn’t need. The Marblehead Mercantile is a fun collection of antiques and all things nautical. Definitely a must if you enjoy unique finds. Our favorite though was the Ferguson Art Gallery. Beautiful glass pieces and original artwork of Lake Erie, the gallery surprised us with all the cool finds and we definitely plan on going back.

I know this was a long post, but this is only a glimpse into the different aspects of Lake Erie living. I feel so fortunate to live so close to one of the Great Lakes. I’ve made so many friends and brands with ties to the lake and I hope I can play a part in helping to save our lakes!

Sláinte,

Shannon

NAUTICAL IN NAVY

Nothing gets me more than a cute navy blue, nautical outfit.  My mom surprised me with this adorable sweater from my favorite Rhode Island boutique for Christmas.  It’s 100% cashmere and the one of the coziest pieces I own.  Everything about the sweater is totally my style – from the navy and white color scheme, to the block “SAIL” letters, to the perfect anchor. 

I don’t own many cashmere pieces, but it’s seriously the most magical fabric.  You can wear it in the winter and be all cozy and snug or you can wear it in the summer on a cool night.  I loved styling it with a classic white sleeveless button down, jeans, and my Hunter Boots for this post.  I’m already planning a fun outfit idea for spring/summer where I pair it with white shorts and my Jack Rogers. 

You guys all know I’m a huge fan of the East Coast brand Kiel James Patrick.  I’ve been following the brand and Kiel’s wife, fashion blogger Sarah Vickers, for years (serious life goals right there).  When Rob and I first started dating he bought me my first anchor rope bracelet.  Fast forward seven years and he’s still buying me new pieces for every birthday and Christmas (he’s the best!). 

This year he gifted me this adorable pearl bracelet that uses nautical flags to spell out your monogram.  LOVE. IT.  And what’s particularly lovely is my nautical monogram actually bears some resemblance to the Scottish flag.  All my favorite things in one! 

This was the perfect outfit for a coastal jaunt along the river.  You can never go wrong with navy and white and a pop of prep.

Slainte,

Shannon

SHOP THE LOOK:

SAIL CASHMERE SWEATER | HUNTER BOOTS | J.CREW JEANS | WHITE BUTTON DOWN (SIMILAR) | KJP PEARL BRACELET | KJP LEATHER ROPE BRACELET | KJP PEARL EARRINGS

COPING WITH THE END OF MATERNITY LEAVE

Happy New Year!

I hope you all enjoyed a joyous holiday season filled with family, friends, lots of laughter, good food, and too much wine.

Many people create goals or resolutions at the start of each year.  I’ve never really been one to get into making new year resolutions so unlike most bloggers, I don’t have any resolutions to share.  However, I do have dreams and aspirations for this little blog of mine [I’m still here too] and one of those ideas is to inspire others in any way that I can.  Whether it be through fashion, home décor, or sharing my experience as a new mama, I hope to connect with a community of like-minded creatives and spread a little more positivity throughout the world.  

One of my favorite topics to talk about as of late is how life has changed (for the better!) as a new mama.  One topic that has been on my heart for the last couple of weeks is maternity leave.  For those of you unfamiliar, I have been working for the past five years at a local non-profit that provides services to individuals with autism.  I oversee the marketing, which in non-profit language translates into all the traditional marketing, social media, graphic design, and public relations.  I love the work I do and the mission of the organization.

That being said, I also love being a mama!  I’m due to return to work next week and I’m completely devastated about having to leave my baby girl. In all honesty I’ve really been struggling with having to leave L (if anyone even asks me about my leave I tend to burst into tears).  Although I’ve been fortunate enough to have 12 full weeks off, I feel very strongly that the maternity leave in our country is completely unrealistic.  Leaving a newborn after just three months is far too early.   A baby changes SO fast and it’s so unfair that a mother (and father) must return to work so quickly and miss out on so many developmental changes.  I fully advocate for at least one year of maternity leave for all mothers in order to be able to care for and bond with their baby.

Unfortunately, we don’t have the option for me to be a stay at home mom at this stage in our life.  The past few weeks, and this week in particular, I’m having to really find ways to be at peace with going back to work.  I’m sure other new mamas have similar feelings about returning to work after spending so many precious moments with their babies, so I’ve compiled a few ways in which I’m coping in the hopes that other new mamas will find ways to feel a little more at peace about having to return to work.

Support System – Having a strong support system has been a game changer for me.  I am one that has always worn my feelings on my sleeve and it helps me so much to be able to talk about and voice my insecurities, worries, and fears.  I’m so blessed to have such an understanding, patient, and loving husband.  He is my rock and if it weren’t for him, I’d be a complete hot mess. [I rocked a Dad bod before being a dad, now I’m a real hunk]  It also helps that our families live in the same city as us and have been tremendously helpful these past few months.  A few family members will even be helping us out and watching L, and that makes a huge difference in putting my mind at ease!

Yoga – I’ve been practicing yoga for almost three years now.  I started yoga as a way to harness my anxiety and it has become a way of life.  The mind, body, and spiritual balance is just incredible and I’m grateful for each time I step onto my mat.  I was able to continue my practice into the third trimester of my pregnancy.  However, it did become increasingly difficult towards the end of pregnancy and it’s taken nine weeks postpartum to finally get back on the mat.  I’m making a point to do at least a twenty-minute practice each morning to help center myself and ease my anxiety of returning to work.   So far it’s helping and enabling me to think a little more clearly and positively. 

Something New – Now this may sound superficial, but one of the ways that is helping me to get back to work is knowing that I have a new outfit and new handbag for the first day.  I know this sounds so silly, but having something to look forward to on a day that I know is going to be insanely difficult actually helps spur some excitement.  I also printed out a bunch of pictures of L that I’m bringing to the office to hang up all around my desk.  It’s the little things that count here people.

Being Present Now – The last way in which I’m trying not to let my anxieties and worry get the best of me is by being present now.  With all the social media and distractions nowadays it’s increasingly difficult for people to be present in their own lives. I’m making a point to get off my phone and completely focus on her when she’s awake and ready to play or cuddle.  (She’s of course napping as I write this).  I’m committed to enjoying every.single.moment with my sweet L.   By being completely present, I can put my mind at ease that I’ve done everything humanely possible to make the best of this next week and enjoy all the baby cuddles, smiles, and giggles. 

I would love to hear suggestions from all you mamas (and dads!) about how you have transitioned back into work after being on maternity leave.  Hopefully some of the ways in which I am coping will inspire some of you and make the transition just a little bit easier.

As always, thanks for stopping by A Dash of Solt!

Slainte,

Shannon [and Rob too!]

p.s. These pictures were taken at Maumee Bay State Park – a local gem of Northwest Ohio with access to Erie Beach (one of my favorite places to take pictures and get my water fix!)

SHOP THE LOOK

J.CREW FACTORY JEANS | J.CREW FACTORY VEST | PINK PINEAPPLE SHOP POM POM HAT | TARGET STRIPED TURTLENECK | GAP GRAY SWEATER | HUNTER BOOTS | SCOTTISH SCARF (SCOTLAND)