Sep 14, 2016

What Bag can I carry into Football Stadiums?

It's our favorite time of year here at the Bartlett house!  We are HUGE football fans and could not be more excited for it to be here. . . finally!! We're also hockey, basketball and baseballs fans too!  But nothing gets us as excited as football season!!  

Over the past several years, with all the heightened security and rule changing, it's tough for girls like us to find a bag that is not only the required size, but is a little more fashion forward and wardrobe friendly that those awful clear tote bags.  Don't get me wrong, those clear bags are great if you have a mountain of items you want to carry in to a game.  But if you're wanting to carry just the essentials, a ziploc bag just won't do!

So, I thought I would do the heavy lifting for you and do a wrap up of bags that meet the size requirement for football stadiums across the US.  I found some at a few different price points, depending on your style and what you want out of your bag.  So check them out and maybe add one or two to your closet! ;) 

For reference, the dimensions for bags (other than clear ones) that are allowed into stadiums are to be no larger than 4.5H x 6.5L.  In case you want to jot them down for future shopping.




Sep 5, 2016

Best of Labor Day Sales Picks

photo via pinterest

I hope everyone has had a great Labor Day Weekend thus far.  Ours has been filled with family, football and grilling out.  Today, while Chip heads out to watch the Nats play, I'm here working on a few things for the blog and a new exciting project I doing.  But first things first. . .I'm going to do a little shopping and take advantage of some great sales happening today.  Below are the ones I have already shopped and some I plan to this afternoon. I thought I would share the wealth so to speak, in the event you plan on being a couch potato like me but still want to be somewhat productive. :) 


1. Nordstrom (up to 40% off)
These are by far my favorite, most comfortable sandal and they are on sale!

2. Love Always Couture (20% off site wide with code LABORDAY20)
I purchased this monogram necklace with my new initials in the 4XL w/a 16" chain

3. Ann Taylor (60% off all sale styles)

4. LOFT (60% off all sale styles)

5. Sole Society (60% off selected styles)

6. Draper James (30% select styles with code LABORDAY)

7. Madewell (30% regular priced items and extra 30% off sale items with code DOUBLEUP)

8. ASOS (15% off everything with code LASTHURRAH)

9. Baublebar (Up to 75% off + 20% off all sale items)

10. J.Crew (up to 30% off - spend more save more with code SHOPMORE)
Picked up this skirt perfect for fall! 

Jul 1, 2016

What I'm packing for Vacation

Good Morning, Lovelies!  As I type this, I am sitting on the porch in Florida working on a few things waiting for everyone else to get up.  If you know me, you know that I am a morning person through and through.  I just love to get up and get the day started.  While everyone is still sleeping I thought I would (finally) do a blog post.  And one that is relative to the holiday weekend! 

Wednesday night, as I was sitting on the floor of my bedroom trying to figure out what to pack for our quick getaway this weekend.  I thought it would be fun to do a 'packing post, or sort of a 'how to pack efficiently' and still look fabulous! haha! The end result is, hopefully, a little helpful read on what's worked for me and how I go about planning for short trips.  Just because you are limited to a small suitcase, doesn't mean you should be limited to style and looking great!

On trips shorter than 5 days, I typically pack a carry on.  It's sort of a challenge for me as well as practical seeing as I really don't need to pack that much. Especially when at the beach.  So there I was staring into my closet hoping my suitcase would just pack itself.  And my typical solution is to wear the same dang outfits I take on EVERY vacation.  Hence one of the reasons you rarely see me post outfit pics on insta anymore (that and I am working virtually for a bit, so don't have to get 'dressed up' most days)  There is nothing wrong with wearing outfits twice, or 10 times for that matter (repeat offender here) I mean, isn't that why you buy the clothes anyway?  To wear them a lot!?  But sometimes it is nice to wear something different or style pieces differently.  

Here are a few tips I have learned over the years.  Hopefully some you will find these additions to your packing plan or helpful on your next trip!


*Pack ahead of time - This is probably the most obvious, but most people tend to wait until the very last minute and end up packing the whole house for a short trip. 

*Be Practical - Think about your trip before hand and get an idea of what you might be doing or not doing and start from there.  If you plan to be pool/beach bound most of the trip, you won't need several outfits for each day. 

*Maximize your wardrobeThis is my most loved travel tip! I absolutely LOVE when I buy a garment and I can wear it more than one way or to more than one type of occasion.  If you are limited on space, try packing things that are similar in color or that all go together. That way you can mix and match depending on each day while on vacation.  Now, I am not saying you should wear all black or all red the whole time,  but opt for tops that can go with shorts and skirts, or shoes that work with jeans and maxi dresses.  It's a lifesaver to have a dress or shoes that can be worn day into night or casual to dressy with just the addition of a jacket, cardigan or even a necklace. 

*Roll method - I am a huge proponent of rolling your clothes to pack in your suitcase.  What I mean is, you fold the garment sleeve to sleeve, or waistband to waistband, and then roll the garment from top to bottom.  (looks like a swisscake roll) You can pack so much more if you do that.  Now, one downside might be wrinkles, but most places you are going typically have an iron or steamer. So if those extra two dresses you want to bring are 'necessary' to pack, you'll deal with the wrinkles and fix it when you arrive.  In other words, pick your battles. 

We all get caught up in thinking we might go here and there and need outfits for a possible this or maybe that.  And if your vacations are usually unplanned and the roll with the flow type of trip, those can seem nerve racking.  I have been there and over the years have figured out a solution.  Pack one 'nice' outfit or a more versatile dress (maxi's are my favorite option) and then dress it up or down with either jewelry or shoes.  I typically bring one pair of shoes that are dressy causal. A pair that might be a bit flashy for day, but works, and can go into the evening seamlessly.  Wedges and gold sandals are perfect options. (see below) 


Below are a few of the items that are my typical 'go-to' beach/summer picks.  Some of these are my tried and true outfits I can wear to anything while we are at the beach.  And the great part is, they are all pretty budget friendly! Woo for that!









I like to bring my more colorful and brighter pieces to the beach where I feel I can get away with it a little bit easier.  I also prefer bandeau tops for swim since I am trying to be tan line free for my wedding. 


These wedges, although they look tall, are SUPER comfortable and go with everything.  They are great worn with jean shorts and a tank or with a long maxi dress.


These Pineapple sandals are a great everyday shoe with a little fun thrown into the mix. Perfect for a more dressed up summer beach night too. 


I love a good romper and especially one that is cropped.  This works for a casual day of shopping through town, and can also be worn with a cardigan for dinner.


This is the quintessential article of clothing that is a must have for any beach trip.  The maxi dress.  I love the color of this one and it has pockets! You can pair this with flat sandals post beach lounging or put on wedges for a night of drinks and dinner.  

This tunic is a great piece to take to the beach with you.  It's perfect with shorts, white jeans or to throw on over your swimsuit at the beach.  I love pieces like this that can be worn many ways and more than once. 


**************************************************************************************



I hope you enjoyed my mini packing post.  I hope everyone has a fabulous Holiday Weekend and I'll see y'all next week! 



I'll be active on Instagram and Snapchat over the weekend, so follow me their for more vacation fun! xo 

May 10, 2016

Let's Paint

Well, not really.  But let's chat paint colors, shall we?  I have always said that I can put an outfit together in the blink of an eye, but when it comes to putting a room together, I am useless.  I typically leave that to my sister, who is an interior designer, or my mother, who might as well be.  They can put patterns and textures together and it looks great!  So I typically lean on them to make sure what I want to put together actually makes sense.  

Cue calling my sister in the middle of Home Depot last week to ask her if the paint color we had just purchased for the living room walls would go with the couch and new chairs we picked out.  Too late to turn back at that point, but I had a moment of panic that the paint would look dingy or make the couch look off next to each other.  She quickly put together an idea board with our new chairs, our couch and the paint color and instantly I felt better!

I love crisp, clean and bright rooms.  I don't mind adding a bit of wood or metal to rooms with accents, but I typically gravitate towards light walls, furniture and then add color and patterns with accessories.  Chip is more of a traditionalist when it comes to furniture.  He likes things to match and leans towards dark pieces.  So when we initially started looking for furniture, it was a bit of a challenge.  But I must say that we have both come closer to the middle and have found ways to mesh both of our styles together and agree and like the pieces we have picked out.  But I'll get to that in a later post.  

Today, we are all about paint colors.  My original thought was to paint all the walls white.  I just wanted a classic white, that way we could have the ability to use color with our furnishings and accessories.  Weeeeelllll, when I started looking on pinterest for a 'white' I was overwhelmed with all the options!  Some whites give off a yellow undertone, some green and others blue.  Some are great for trim and cabinets. Some for large rooms, others for small.  It was just a tad over the top, so I jotted down a few that I liked and called my sister.  I knew she had her list of 'go-to' white's she uses, so I wanted to get her opinion on the ones I had picked.  A couple of them were on her list, so that reassured us we had some great options.  I went to get the samples and Chip and I mulled over several until we came up with 4 colors we wanted to test on the walls.  

After we closed on the house, we headed over to the house to take a load of stuff, and test the paint.  Now, for reference, the living and dining room walls were a manila folder-ish yellow. So it was really hard to actually see what the colors really looked like.  It was a little easier in the bedrooms, where the color wasn't as washed out.  I chose the below colors to test on the walls.  I decided that for the common areas, I wanted something with a hint of color and not so stark white.  There is a lot of light that comes into those rooms during the day, so having stark white walls, sort of frightened me.  I wanted a light grey, but most of the ones I looked at were too dark. 


Chantilly Lace
I really like the pictures I found with this color.  But when I put it on the walls, it just didn't jump out at me.  I am not sure if it was the yellow walls, or what.  I am going to use this color when we redo our kitchen cabinets.  I think it will be a great color for those. 

Decorator's White
From what I have seen, this is typically a color used for trim, doors and cabinets, but I found that it was a great color for our bedroom and office.  It was a 'clean slate' to allow us to add color and patterns without having major color undertones to worry about.

Misty Gray
I actually wasn't sure I would like this color, but wanted to try it because it looked like a slight step up from white.  We wanted something with a hint of color and this worked out perfectly.  It has a hint of gray in it, which works great with the furniture we already have.  

Sea Salt
This originally was the color we liked for the living room walls.  The swatch we got was lighter than this and the actual paint in the test can looked lighter as well.  When we got it on the walls, it was more of a beige/brown than we wanted, so we took this off the table.


We tested the four colors and decided on Misty Gray for the living and dining areas.  This color was a 'whim' choice while in line at Home Depot to get paint samples.  I wanted to get something other than a traditional white, and thought this would be nice.  And it ended up being the one we picked!  We ended up going with Decorator's White for the bedroom, bathroom and office.  It's a bright white, but the rooms aren't as bright as downstairs, so I think this will lend to opening up the spaces and making them seem bigger. 

Below are pictures (not the greatest quality) of the walls in our dining area and master bedroom.  You can see the original wall colors and then the paint swatches on the walls.  It's hard to see what the actual color will look like since those walls are just yucky! But I'll have a post on our finished product soon to show you how great they turned out. 



Dining Room Wall
Colors L to R - Sea Salt, Decorators White, Chantilly Lace and Misty Gray



Bedroom Wall
Colors L to R - Misty Gray, Chantilly Lace, Decorators White and Sea Salt


And now to the after pictures.  Below are the updated walls in the house.  Much better than the manila folder yellow!!

Dining Room
(Ignore the light fixtures, those will be replaced)

Living Room


Office

Bedroom


Once the light fixtures are gone, you will get a better sense of what the walls looks like.  They cast a terrible shadow on them!

It's amazing what a little paint can do, no? 

Apr 25, 2016

Welcome . . .


image via pinterest


As of this morning, Chip and I are officially homeowners! We closed on our house this morning and will be moving in this weekend - just as soon as we have a few updates made to the place and fresh paint on the walls!  

Last week I shared the exciting news that Chip and I were getting married, and we have less than six months to plan everything.  And to add to the craziness, we decided it was a great time to buy a house too!

Not really. . . but things just fell into place and we felt we just couldn't pass up this little charmer.  A little background for y'all.  I moved to DC back in September and moved into Chip's studio apartment (yes, I had to significantly downsize my closet situation) with the idea that we would stay here until things were a bit more settled (he was transitioning out of a role at work and I was transitioning to a new office). We gave ourselves till the end of the year and then would start to look for a place.  Well, over that time Chip had a few potential job offers that would have taken us out of the area, so we decided to hold off moving until we knew if those were viable options or not.  

After a few months of going back and forth, and living in 600 square feet together (what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, folks!) we decided that the DC area was going to be our home and we would plant roots here for the foreseeable future and go from there.  We both really liked this area and felt that both of us had great jobs and stability, so why not stay here and see how life turns out?  

Over Easter weekend, we went to an open house for a townhome in Arlington, Va.  For those who don't have a frame of reference to where this is to DC - it's about a 10 minute drive from downtown DC to the area we were looking.  So, we went in, looked around and just fell in love with the place.  It's at the end of a quiet road on a hill- super quiet.  That was what grabbed us from the start.  We spoke with the realtor and she advised us to look at a few other places.  We toured a few other homes, but kept going back to the townhome on the hill.  It needed a few updates (from my perspective), but for the most part, was move-in ready.  We saw a few other homes in the neighborhood that had been updated and although that was really enticing and ideal, you just couldn't beat the location and charm of this house.  

So, we made an offer on Easter night and it was accepted Monday afternoon!  I have never bought a house before, so I had no idea what we were getting in to and ALL the paperwork that goes into getting ready to close on a house.  From the stories I have heard from others, ours went pretty smoothly, so I can't complain.  

We are now at the house testing paint colors for the walls in the living room and bedrooms.  Who knew there were so many 'Whites?' Goodness! And for most of the week, we plan on doing a little bit of updating each day and moving things over when we can.  The movers come Saturday to move all the big stuff and we will officially be out of apartment living and in the new home! (Champagne will be involved here)  

I cannot wait to decorate our new home.  I have so many ideas for things that I need to rein it in a bit.  I can't wait to fill our new home with pieces that represent both Chip and me.  Stay tuned for fun updates, before and after pics, and design ideas.  

If you want to look, I have started a Pinterest page of lots of inspiration and ideas for our new home.  Some of them you just may see in the new house! 

Apr 21, 2016

Bells are Ringing

It's too early for Christmas, so this can only mean one other thing . . . 

Wedding Bells!!

If you follow me on Facebook or Insta you saw that Chip and I got engaged back in February! I had no clue and was totally surprised!! He picked out the ring himself and kept me totally in the dark! Which for a planner and someone who doesn't like to be surprised or caught off guard, was totally shocked and stunned.  I could not be happier and feel like I am the luckiest girl in the world! 

After taking some time to enjoy our engagement, we starting talking about what kind of wedding we wanted to have.  Large hometown wedding or something a little more intimate and somewhere that we both had a connection to.  We knew we wanted to get married this year, so that was a determining factor as well.  We would have to move quickly if we wanted to get the place we wanted and vendors, etc.  

So, after talking it over and thinking things through, we have decided to do a destination wedding in Florida.  It was a place we have vacationed and visited numerous times and just felt like the perfect place for us to become husband and wife.  The area we were looking at having the ceremony is a place that books up at least a year in advance, so we went back and forth with a handful of venues trying to get a ceremony venue and a reception venue to line up on the same day.  September and October were our first choices, but there were also everyone elses so that ended up not working out.  We were left with late summer or late fall. Late fall is definitely cooler, but our whole idea of getting married at the beach was for us and our guests to be able to enjoy it. And in fall the water is definitely on the cooler side and you aren't really able to get in or spend much time at the beach.  So we weighed the options for late summer.  We had been warned about it being miserably hot,  and were told to steer clear, but we totally ignored those warnings and have set a date for late summer! Less than six months to plan a wedding isn't crazy, is it? 

Once we had the date set, I huge weight was lifted.  We were able to book just about every vendor that I had wanted and the venue I was hoping for.  Both our ceremony and reception are going to be outdoors.  It will be gorgeous, as long as we don't have a hurricane come our way!  I can't tell you how many nights I have laid awake worrying about that.  But at the end of the day, it is out of our hands, and it will all work out, one way or another.  As long as I get to marry Chip, I will be fine! 

Over the next few months, you will see posts relating to our wedding.  Some will be updates, some ideas and others will be fun things I am learning along the way.  

As if planning a wedding in five months isn't crazy enough, we have other exciting news to share very soon . . . So stay tuned! 



image via Pinterest

Apr 19, 2016

Lately . . .

HAPPY NEW YEAR! . . . Only four months late!  I swear, I get on a roll with blogging and think, FINALLY I can devote time to this baby, and BOOM life happens.  And in this case, A LOT of life has happened since the new year started.  And what better time to jump back in the swing of things than when you have a few big life changes and work is going ninety to nothing? Ha, when it rains, it pours, right? 

Stay tuned for all sorts of great news and adventures going on over here! xo
image via pinterest