Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Exploring the Streets of Ravello

straw tote (sold out in my color), similar & less expensive here // handmade sandals, similar HERE 

I wore this blue and white dress one day to explore Ravello - one of the things I loved I about Ravello is that the entire city is walkable. Around  every corner there's a new beautiful site to see, whether it's a garden, view of the coastline or just a pretty door. This outfit was both cute and comfy for walking around town and taking in the sights. Stay tuned for tomorrow's post because I'm sharing our Ravello Travel Guide, including another vlog!

Thank you to everyone who commented or emailed me yesterday with Charleston venues and/or wedding planners! You have NO IDEA how helpful that was!! I haven't even planned anything yet and I'm already feeling overwhelmed and stressed. If you have tips about dealing with stress I'll take those too, haha! ;)



Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Summer Closet Staples

white camisole (a staple in my closet!) // blue striped skirt, also love THIS ONE // panama hat
Chanel handbag, similar HERE and HERE // Stuart Weitzman sandals in "bambina nappa"

This is another look I wore in Italy on the Amalfi Coast. The great thing about this outfit is it's made up completely of closet staples for summer! I ordered five different brands of white camisoles from Nordstrom to test them out and this one was the clear winner - it's just the right thickness, not see-through at all, is a pretty, pure white color and it's also super comfortable. And for less than $20, I got it in black too! I also recently purchased these Stuart Weitzman ankle strap sandals - another closet staple from Nordstrom. They have a lower heel than most of my other sandals, which makes them easier to walk in! The color, "bambina nappa" is the PERFECT neutral to wear with any outfit, casual or dressy. And finally, I also consider this blue striped skirt to be a summer closet staple, because every girl needs a cute little miniskirt in her wardrobe this summer! I love the button and peplum detailing on this one. As you can tell, Nordstrom is definitely my go-to whenever I want to find high-quality items that make up my closet essentials! 

Okay, now I have to ask a favor of you guys! Chris and I are just now starting to research some wedding venues - I would love, love, love to have the wedding in Charleston. If you have any recommendations for wedding venues in Charleston or in the surrounding area I would love to know!!! Shoot me an email or leave me a note in the comments. :) 



*Thanks to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post

Monday, May 22, 2017

To Infinity and Beyond

Showpo cover-up maxi, I also love THIS ONE & THIS ONE
handmade sandals, similar HERE // David Yurman bracelet
vintage YSL earrings // MAC lipstick in "pink nouveau"

While we were in Ravello we had the chance to visit the Belmond Hotel Caruso, one of the most beautiful hotels I've ever seen (in my entire life!!). There's a beautiful infinity pool out back that overlooks the mountains and coastline. I wore this maxi as a cover-up over my bathing suit... I love the blue and white pattern on it. There are several different ways to tie it, so you can easily switch up the look of the dress. I twisted the straps a little bit to achieve the look you see above!

On another note, this past weekend was one of the best I've had! One of my best friends from college got married on Bald Head Island. It was a gorgeous southern wedding (the dance floor was monogrammed!) and it was like a big college reunion because I got to see a lot of my friends that now live in different parts of the country.

How was everyone else's weekend?!



Friday, May 19, 2017

Polka Dot Dress in Ravello

polka dot wrap dress // Stuart Weitzman heels
Chanel handbag, similar HERE // Fendi sunglasses
David Yurman bracelet // Ciao Bella hat, also HERE

Happy Friday, everyone!! This polka dot wrap dress was one of my favorite dresses from my trip to Italy. I love how flirty & feminine it is! I paired it with a lot of neutral accessories since I thought it fit the surroundings of Ravello. This was the street right outside of our hotel - although it doesn't look like it, cars can drive down it (although only one at a time!). If only Winston Salem had beautiful cobblestone streets like this one!!!

I hope everyone has a great weekend! Like I told y'all yesterday, I'm at Bald Head Island celebrating the wedding of one of my closest college friends. It's going to be a big girls reunion and I absolutely can't wait!



Thursday, May 18, 2017

Striped Jumpsuit in Ravello

Faithfull the Brand jumpsuit, also comes in a dress, top and shorts version
Fendi sunglasses // Brixton straw hat, similar HERE // Carrson sandals (mine are last year)
Chanel mini flap bag, similar but way less HERE
 cuff bracelet // MAC lipstick in "impassioned"

After Positano, the next stop on our trip was Ravello. We drove along the coast and then basically up and up and up the side of a mountain to get there. Ravello is a small town nestled on a hilltop high above Amalfi. If you thought the views from Positano were beautiful, just wait until you see the entire coastline from above in Ravello! I'll be sharing more about where we stayed and what we did in Ravello later, but for now I want to share this jumpsuit I wore on our first day. It's unlike anything I've ever owned before! I love everything about it, from the tie-waist to the bold stripes that scream "Italy." The same company also makes it in a dresstop and shorts version if you're not comfortable wearing a jumpsuit.

On a different note, I'm headed to one of my favorite places, Bald Head Island, tonight for the weekend to celebrate my college BFF's wedding! All of our friends from college booked a house together so I can't wait to catch up with them and relive old times. Bald Head Island (BHI) is a really neat island, too - no cars are allowed so you have to drive golf carts everywhere. I'm sure I'll be putting up some snapchats this weekend! :)


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Travel Guide: Positano, Italy

For the next couple of weeks I'll be sharing Travel Guides to some of the cities we went to in Italy. It was by FAR the best trip I've ever been on, with amazing food, views and experiences. I did tonnnnns of research for this trip, probably more than I've ever done for a trip before. I wanted to feel prepared and make the most out of our time there, so I researched restaurants, activities and even how to order coffee (tip: ask for the Americano!). 

Our travel itinerary looked like this: We landed in Rome and traveled straight to Positano, and from there we went to Ravello and Capri, and then finally back to Rome for a few nights. Since Positano was the first place we stayed, and also our longest leg of the trip (we stayed four nights and five days in Positano) I thought I would begin there!

A little bit of backstory on Positano: John Steinbeck once said, "Positano bite deep. It is a dream place that isn't quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone." And I have to agree - from the moment you first catch sight of the views from the Amalfi Coast, you'll have to pinch yourself to make sure it's real. Photos and even videos simply can't do it justice. It's the prettiest, most captivating place I've ever been. We decided to go in the month of May because the temperatures are mild, the flowers are blooming and it's not quite peak season, so you don't have to worry about crowds.

There are two ways to get to Positano: by land or by water. We flew into the Rome airport on a direct flight from Charlotte, N.C. Once we landed in Rome, we took a taxi to the Rome train station, about 30 minutes away. Our plan was to take the fast train to Salerno (2 hours) and then from Salerno, take the ferry to Positano. This is the fastest route, but be sure to check the ferry times! We ended up missing the ferry from Salerno to Positano, so we took a taxi instead. Although this was a longer route, the views were unreal! Also - be prepared for a really long day of travel. We arrived in Rome at 9:30 a.m. and didn't get to our place in Positano until 4:30 p.m.

The view from our vacation rental

A vacation rental: We rented this vacation rental and absolutely loved it (watch my YouTube video for a full tour!). It's located right next to the famous Le Sirenuse hotel, so it offers the exact same view and more space for a much better rate. There were two bedrooms and three bathrooms, plenty of closet space for all of our clothes, and a kitchen with microwave, stovetop and refrigerator. It also has a private pathway to the beach that's around a 5-minute walk. We could not recommend it more!

The view from Hotel Poseidon. Get my dress here!

HOTELS: There are dozens of hotels in Positano, all completely different and unique, but all beautiful. When choosing a hotel, the most important thing to keep in mind is location. Positano is built on the side of a mountain, and some hotels are located at the top of the hill (which means a LOT of stairs/walking) and some are located at the bottom. I would recommend staying mid-mountain or at the bottom of the mountain since these locations are closest to the main beach, Spiaggia Grande, as well as all the restaurants and shops. Although some of the hotels can be pricey, almost all of them include breakfast each morning. I recommend staying at Hotel Poseidon Positano - we had the chance to visit and it's absolutely breathtaking, from the interior decor and patio to the views of Positano. Everyone also agreed that the best meal we had in Positano was at Hotel Poseidon's restaurant. If you want to splurge, Le Sirenuse is the most famous hotel in Positano (several movies have been filmed there) and also boasts an amazing location. Le Sirenuse is a family-run, luxury boutique hotel located in the heart of Positano. It has a Michelin star restaurant and a pool surrounded by lemon trees overlooking the ocean.

The view from Caffe Positano. Full outfit post here!

  • Caffe Positano: This little cafe is the perfect spot for lunch because of the AMAZING view! Seriously, go here for the view alone. They have amazing fresh buffalo mozzarella and good coffee, too.
  • Casa e Bottega: One of the healthiest restaurants in Positano, Casa e Bottega offers both breakfast and lunch. We went here for breakfast one day and ordered smoothies that tasted SO fresh and delicious. They have a lot of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dishes available. 
  • Collina Bakery: We went here several times for breakfast and lunch because of the good prices! They offer a selection of pastries and donuts (and coffee) in the morning, as well as pizza and calzones during lunch. A pastry was aroun€1 and a calzone was 3.
  • Da Adolfo Restaurant: This restaurant is pretty much a full day affair! You have to catch a boat to the beach club to eat here, so you'll probably want to stay for half a day and lounge on the beach too.

  • Franco's Bar: Definitely check out Franco's Bar, located in Le Sirenuse, for champagne and cocktails!
  • Hotel Poseidon Positano: Hotel Poseidon has a great poolside bar. Order a bottle of rosé and snag a table next to the railing for a great view.

  • Hotel Poseidon Positano: Our favorite dinner that we had in Positano! I ordered the buffalo mozzarella stuffed ravioli and it was the best dish I had in Positano. My mom and Brit ordered lemon risotto with shrimp and they loved it, too. For dessert we all had the Lemon Delight - pure Heaven on Earth!
  • Ristorante Le Tre Sorelle: We went to this restaurant on our first night in Positano and had a great experience. It's located right on the beach so we got to watch the sunset and we could see the ocean from our table. We ordered a margherita pizza and an order of gnocchi with fresh tomato sauce and basil, and everyone had a little of each. Both dishes were amazing. Also, it is customary for the waiter to bring out Limoncello after your meal - a delicious Italian liquor made with lemon rinds. You have to try it at least once while you're there! 
  • Ristorante Max: We didn't get a chance to try Restaurant Max's but we heard really good things about it from some people we met in Positano! It has really fresh, authentic food and isn't touristy.
Spiaggia Grande in Positano. Full outfit post here!

Driving Hotel Poseidon's beetle by the coast. Full outfit post here!

  • Take a boat to Da Adolfo Restaurant - Grab the free boat with the red fish from the port at 11 a.m. Be sure to make reservations for the beach club ahead of time (if you're staying at a hotel, the concierge can do this for you). Da Adolfo is about 15 minutes outside the city by boat. You can rent a lounge chair and lay in the sun for a few hours before sitting down for lunch at the restaurant. Be prepared to stay for a few hours and catch the boat back around 4 p.m.
  • Hike the Sentiero Degli Dei (the Path of the Gods), a trail that links Agerola to Nocelle. The name, the Path of the Gods, is an indication of how spectacular the scenery is throughout the hike.
  • Spend a day at the smaller beach, Spiaggia del Fornillo. It's less busy than the main beach, Spiaggia Grande, and just as pretty. It's also lined with places to eat and drink so you can grab lunch between tanning sessions.
  • Buy local shoes. Positano is known for their sandals and a lot of places will custom make them for you - you pick out the design and the material and they will fit the sandal to your foot.
  • Shop! There are a ton of local boutiques and art stores that are really fun to peruse. 
  • Visit Fiordo di Furore, an incredibly quiet and beautiful beach along the Amalfi coastline. Google it to see how beautiful it is!
  • Take a boat out for the day. You can hire a private driver right on the beach (just be sure to get there early in the morning around 9 a.m.) and they will take you out on the boat. Stop by Vini e Panini for a sandwich and bottle of wine to bring with you before boarding the boat.
See my full blog post on this outfit here.

Check out my YouTube video on my Positano Travel Diary, below, and be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel to be notified when the rest of my Italy vlogs go up :) 

If you've been to Positano before and have any recommendations, let us all know in the comments!