Stripes & High Waisted Denim

Have you ever had one of those days where you cannot figure out what to wear? Whenever I'm in that situation, I have a couple of staple pieces that I always reach for. Denim and a striped shirt is one of my go-to looks, and it's always stylish, no matter the season. I'll throw on a breton shirt with skinnies in spring, a breezy button down with cutoffs in summer, and I love a good pair of flairs with a silky striped blouse for winter. The vintage feel of high-waisted denim is back for fall, and I decided to pair this style with a simple, sleeveless top (striped, of course!) and neutral accessories. To be honest, I wasn't initially sure what to think of the high-rise/straight-leg combination, but now I'm kind of loving it, especially when worn with a wedge or heel to help further lengthen the look. The high waist is so comfortable, hugs your figure in all the right places, and the slim, straight leg creates an elongated silhouette. It's safe to say this pair will definitely be getting some wear all throughout fall! 

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A Guide to Southside Village

I was recently invited to explore Southside Village with Visit Sarasota as a part of their Shoptember event. If you've ever been to Florida's gulf coast, you'll know it's famous for it's beautiful beaches, vibrant arts culture, and fabulous weather. Aside from the beach, some of the best local spots can be found in the historic parts of the towns where chic boutiques and alfresco dining create the perfect place to shop, dine, and enjoy the day. Southside Village is one of the most charming shopping and dining districts, and it's got a lot to offer for both visitors and locals alike. I've created a guide with some of my favorite places for shopping, relaxing, and dining.

A great day usually begins with a great cup of coffee, am I right? If you're in town, I highly suggest forgoing your typical Starbucks and swinging by Perq Coffee Bar for a delicious coffee or tea prepared with precision and the utmost attention to detail. The laid-back, urban feel of the decor invites you to make yourself comfortable and relax with a good book or meet a friend for coffee and conversation.

Southside Village has some of the most adorable and elegant boutiques, and Blu Home is definitely a must visit if you appreciate stylish home decor and lovely accessories. Their design services provide a creative perspective on custom styling and thoughtful space creation. I love updating my space every season with a few new pieces, and Blu Home's showroom of beautifully curated, sophisticated items was the perfect place to gather ideas and inspiration.

For lunch, I swung by Morton's Gourmet Market for the freshest selection of delightfully prepared sandwiches, quiches, pizza, soups, and of course the incredible desserts in their bakery. A family owned Sarasota favorite for over 50 years, this specialty market is definitely not to be missed. Whether you're looking for something to take with you on a beach picnic, the perfect cake or catering for a celebration, a wide selection of wines, gourmet groceries, or artisanal cuisine when you don't feel like cooking, there's something delicious for everyone.

Marmalade Salon & Boutique is perfect for anyone who loves whimsical, beach-chic decor, and stylish fashion finds. This adorable boutique is brimming over with playful, trendy clothing and baubles. I loved their selection of bohemian inspired dresses, and wanted to bring home one of everything! The salon evokes the sun-soaked, surf culture vibe of laid-back island living, and the sound of happy chatter carries over from clients enjoying a fresh cut and styling session.

If you're in the mood for casual yet sophisticated dining with creatively crafted seasonal foods, look no further than Libby's Cafe and Bar. The contemporary atmosphere invites guests to gather for light bites on the outdoor patio, enjoy a celebratory dinner, host a company meeting in their private dining room, or meet up with friends after work. Each dish on the menu is created with the freshest ingredients, and their selection is sure to satisfy even the most discerning palate. (I highly recommend the Four Cheese & Pear Tortellioni, so delicious!) Their attention to detail and artful combinations will keep you coming back for more.

Thanks to Visit Sarasota for partnering on this post.

Photography | Styling | Design: Lauren


Lessons From the Storm

Storms are a part of life, and while they are certainly not comfortable, and at times can be very stressful or even catastrophic, they do also bring with them a set of lessons. Here's a few of the things that I was reminded of through Hurricane Irma. 

1. People are good, no matter what the media may try to tell you. 
The abundant amount of kind acts, good deeds, and people caring for one another in this situation has been so wonderful to witness and experience. Expect the best of others and you will find it. 

2. When you're faced with the possibility of losing everything, you realize what's really important. 
Stuff is stuff and when you're forced to grab only the "most important" items, it is surprising to see what you really need. It's not the "things" that matter in life, but rather people, experiences, and memories. My goal is to invest more in other people, in experiences, and to enjoy the moments that turn into memories. 

3. The power of prayer is real. 
I think I can speak for many when I say that the comfort found in knowing that people are praying on your behalf is incredibly powerful. We need others who will stand in the gap and pray when we're stressed, tired, and awaiting the dangerous or unknown. Prayer changes things--if even simply our attitude toward the circumstance. I'm incredibly grateful for the many friends and family members that were in constant prayer for all of us in the path of the storm. Over the last few days, we watched as storms inexplicably weakened, tracks changed, and people were kept alive and safe, despite being in highly dangerous circumstances. Moral of the story: God answers prayer and will continue to do so. 

4. We need to rely on one another in good times and in tough times. 
Regardless of what political party we align with, sports teams we cheer for, or part of the world in which we live, it's important to come together and support each other. When things are great, let's celebrate together. When things are rough, let's support one another. Life was meant to be done together, in community, and while there are definite differences among us, let's remember that we're all given the gift of living and it's our responsibility to care for each other. You and I need one another. 

5. Even after the darkest of nights, the sun will shine once again.
Things in life can get scary from time to time--really scary--and sometimes the night will grow increasingly dark. At times the winds will howl and swirl and the rains will beat upon the walls, the strongest of trees will snap and things may seem grim, but this moment is not the point at which we should give up or give in. Remember: the darkest of nights always gives way to the gentlest of dawn. This is such a powerful truth for all of life. We'll all go through things that seem like the deepest, darkest point of night, and in that moment, may we all be reminded that there will soon come a time when the clouds will part, the winds will cease, and the sunshine will fill the sky yet again. Hang in there. 

While Irma may have come and gone, she has left a path of destruction behind her. I am grateful to have come through the storm with very minimal damage to the beautiful place I call home, but there were many who are not able to say the same. Please consider volunteering your time, or donating to an organization that will provide support and assistance to those who are in desperate need of our help to recover from this storm. Below is a great list of some organizations that are on the ground providing relief. 

Florals For Fall

Happy Labor Day! Long weekends are the best, right? This holiday marks the official transition into the autumn season, and while many of my friends up north are starting to don sweaters, I like to add a few fall-inspired pieces into my wardrobe that are still wearable in the warm weather. This custom dress from Eshakti would be perfect for a fall wedding, dressed down with ankle booties, and later styled with over the knee boots as it gets cooler. I love the movement of georgette fabric and how the black satin button detail at the neckline turned out. This blush daisy print is so feminine and happens to be totally on trend for the season. If you've ever thought about creating a custom piece, I highly recommend working with the team at Eshakti to design something beautiful for the new season or a special event. 
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