Monday, June 27, 2016


Top || Skirt (old, similar) || Sunnies

Hey, y'all — I'm glad you're here!
How are things? I feel like we need to catch up. 
This week I'm headed back home for an extended Fourth of July weekend and have a full itinerary of brunching and boating in the books. If you don't already, be sure to follow along on Instagram and Twitter where I check in with y'all everyday!

Do you ever have those days where you just want to be comfortable, but your motivation to get dressed is at an all-time low? Do you ever have those days everyday? (Girl, I feel you.)
Don't get me wrong, I love playing dress up. But sometimes things get hectic and exhausting and then it's 6am on Monday morning and you have nothing to wear. #life

I hate to brag, but I think I'm pretty good at the "looking put together for Saturday brunch even when I'm feeling disheveled after one too many cocktails on Friday night" style. One of many talents I picked up in college (insert laughing emoji.) I love this look because it totally qualifies for the aforementioned situation, but is also great for Sunday morning farmer's markets or weekend afternoon errands, don't you think?

I have an exciting announcement coming in the next few weeks. Stay tuned!


Tuesday, June 21, 2016


Hi, friends. Thanks for stopping by!
The first day of summer has officially come and gone — can you believe it?
It's been hotter than you-know-what the last few weeks in D.C. and it's kind of the worst.
I'm talking full on #swampcity. And it's only mid-June. Ugh. I really shouldn't complain, 
I would've traded all of winter for one day of this weather in January. 
Funny how that works, right?

How adorable is this tie-front dress? I picked it up a few months back from Shopbop 
and have been anxiously awaiting the warm weather to wear it. At first, I hesitated to pull the trigger on this purchase and was devastated when it sold out after a few days. (I'm pretty sure this is what they mean by buyers remorse.) After a few weeks of incessantly stalking the website, I finally snatched it up during a long-awaited restock. Unfortunately, it appears to be sold out again, but keep an eye out — I anticipate another restock!

Even though this tie-front dress is temporarily out of stock, I've linked my favorite striped J.O.A. pieces in the widget below. Scroll through to shop!


Monday, June 13, 2016


Hi, friends. I'm glad you're here!
If you've been around awhile, you'll know that I love to travel. 
I try to travel once a month at a minimum, but I'm usually able to get in two trips per month.
Sometimes when I'm really lucky (read: overbooked), I'll even travel as frequently as twice a week.
As a seasoned traveler, I'll admit, even that can be a bit much for me. 
So by now, I've got my airport game plan on lock and travel carry-on only. 

If you told me a year ago that I'd ever fly carry-on only, much less regularly, I wouldn't have believed it for a second. How would I pack two weeks worth of clothes for a four day trip?!
Oh man, how times have changed. Since then I've definitely come a long way! 

I'm usually pretty modest, but I will brag a little here — I'm an excellent packer. 
Between a carry-on and personal item, I can pack for two weeks. 
Today I'm sharing how I typically pack my personal item for trips ranging a week or less in duration. 

Let me start out by discussing what I pack in my personal item and why. 
Everything of value goes in my personal item. This is for several reasons:
  • Damage: The risk of damage is lower for items packed in my personal item over things packed in my carry-on luggage. Have you tried to get a heavy piece of luggage up in those overhead bins? It can be tricky, especially if you're a weakling like me haha. Between flight attendants trying to close overpacked bins, in-flight turbulence other passengers rummaging around, items get smashed around up there. I minimize the risk of damage to my fragile and valuable items by keeping them secured in my personal item underneath the seat.
  • Control: While this generally doesn't happen often on short-haul domestic trips, airline passengers have been increasingly reporting thefts from items stowed in overhead bins. It happens, people! Like most passengers, I try to secure overhead space in the bin directly above my seat. But if you've been on a packed flight lately, you'll know that space is highly-coveted. Often times, the only space for your luggage to be stowed is in a bin away from your seat. By packing my valuables in my personal item stowed at my seat, I never have to worry about what the person rummaging around in the overhead bin is doing. 
  • Access: This is probably the most obvious reason. Ease of access to certain items is key. I typically want to be able to quickly and easily access certain items like my MacBook Pro and DSLR in-flight. Retrieving my laptop that's packed in my carry-on luggage which is stowed in the overhead bin can quickly turn into a mess. Did I mention that I'm a weakling?

Now that I've covered the basics, let's get into how I pack a personal item.
I'll generally use my Louis Vuitton Neverfull GM because it's huge and durable. 
In the past, I've used everything from a large Longchamp Le Pliage, to Northface backpack
to a Vera Bradley Weekender. The options are endless, and yes, you can fudge the size limits a touch. (Although, I wouldn't recommend doing that so much with actual carry-on luggage.)

I start by packing my larger and bulkier items first, in the bottom of my bag. This means that my Vera Bradley toiletry bag and make-up containers go in first. Next, I'll pack my laptop and monogrammed agenda "standing up" vertically alongside one of the walls of my bag. Then, inside a waterproof Vera Bradley cosmetic case,, I'll pack my headphones, phone charger, laptop charger, DSLR charger and a jewelry pouch. I pack my electronic accessories in a waterpoof bag in an effort to keep them safe from any potential spills in my tote. Finally, I'll stow my wallet and keys in a secure spot. So, there you have it! On shorter trips, I try not to overstuff my personal item. 

Occasionally, I travel with delicate shoes, like my Cole Haan pumps. If so, I stow them in a dustbag and place them at the top of my personal item. I do this because the leather is easily susceptible to scuffs and damage, so I don't want to crush them in my carry-on luggage. And sometimes, I'll pack a snack and an empty water bottle to take with me. (Although, I'll often just purchase these items at the airport to help lighten my load.)

Thanks for sticking with me through this heavy post! 
What tricks do you use to pack a personal item?


Wednesday, June 8, 2016


Hi, friends. How are things?
I know I say this way too often, but I feel like time is flying by this year.
Is it really already June? I'm definitely not mad about it — rooftop patio season is in full swing!
Because there's just something about a crisp glass of rosé on an open-air rooftop that's just...better. 
On that note, let's get into this month's installment of the "lately" series!

WEARING: One trend I've given into: athleisure. I never really though I'd be into mixing athletic and casual clothing, but it's happening. I think my newfound fondness of the trend has stemmed part out of necessity, part comfort and another part laziness, haha. I've been traveling non-stop lately, and I can't even imagine catching a flight in anything other than my Lululemon Run Inspires (they're seriously the best!). My go-to recently? Pairing my Lulu leggings with this chambray and a basic t-shirt.

WATCHING: The Bachelorette! The Bachelor franchise has been one of my guilty pleasures for the longest time. I remember religiously watching it every week with my mom in high school and making an entire Monday night out of it with my roommates in college. This year, I'm apart of a Bachelor Bracket League with a group of friends! It's something I've been hypothetically talking about for years, and so I'm glad my long-running "joke" has finally become a reality! 

CONSUMING: Well, it's officially iced latte season. I love a good matcha latte, but hey, sometimes only a Bloody Mary will do!

COVETING: Between me and you, I've needed a new pair of white Converse sneakers for months... mine may or may not be a permanent shade of grey (ugh). I've also really been into delicate & feminine Eliza J dresses lately — namely this super adorable two-piece set! I picked up this jacquard floral fit & flare dress for Easter a few months ago and it's seriously stunning. If I could have it my way, my closet would be chock full of as many Nordstrom & J.Crew dresses that I could fit!


Monday, June 6, 2016


   Sweater || Sunnies
         Sneakers || Denim         
  Shawl (Aritzia, sold out)

Hi, friends. I'm glad you're here!
Before we get into things, I want to touch base.
The last few weeks have been crazy for me — between work and travel, I've been stretched a little thin. I haven't had the time (or energy) to commit to posting as regularly as I'd like. 
#BloggingBlues are real!

Thankfully, I'm starting to transition back into a "normal" routine and I'm welcoming the stability with open arms. More "life updates" to come in another post later this week!

A few weeks ago I popped up to NYC to visit a friend for a quick weekend.
Whenever I'm packing for travel, I try to stick to an all-neutral wardrobe. If you've been around for a while, you've probably noticed that I tend to reach for neutrals for everyday wear anyways, but even more while traveling.  Neutrals are appropriate no matter the occasion — and the versatile color pallet helps me to utilize pieces efficiently, so that I can pair any two items I pack together.

I've raved about this pair of white denim many times here on Keynotes (like here, here and here!). I've said it once (or maybe a handful of times) but I'll say it again. I love these pants! And for someone who really doesn't like pants in general, this is a bold statement. 
A flattering pair of fully-opaque white denim at this price point? I'll take two.

And I know I'm very, very (like, very) late to the game here, but while in NYC, I stumbled into Aritzia. How is it possible that I'm just discovering this gem of a retailer?! Think of Urban Outfitters meets Zara...but a touch more upscale. After taking two steps in the store, I was instantly in neutral, basic, flowy silhouette heaven. This grey sweater I'm wearing is from Aritzia. Do yourself a favor and pop over to their website — you won't regret it (but your wallet might, haha!)


Thursday, May 19, 2016


Hey, friends — I have some exciting news to share today...
You can now shop my Instagram feed!

I've added a tab at the top of this page (titled "Shop My Instagram") that you can 
click on to see my latest Instagram posts and shop them directly!

I'm sure many of you are familiar with LikeToKnow.It, a popular platform used
 in collaboration with Instagram to allow readers to shop style blogger's posts. 
I've never been a huge fan of LikeToKnow.It because it requires too many steps. 
First, the reader must sign up for an account with LikeToKnow.It. 
Second, the user must manually enter the hyperlink provided 
in the blogger's Instagram post into their browser. 

Next, the user may (or may not) be prompted to log into their account on the 
LikeToKnow.It website before accessing the blogger's "closet" (the travesty!
Alternatively, readers can "like" a blogger's Instagram post and then wait to receive 
an email with outfit details.

These steps are time consuming. As a millennial, I want my information quickly with the fewest barriers to consumption as possible. And personally, I hate having to manually enter a hyperlink into my phone's browser (#lazy). Between my work life, blog life and personal life, I receive more than enough emails — I really don't need any more! #RantOver

So, with that said, I'm happy to introduce an alternative for you that I feel good about.
Starting today, you can shop my Instagram posts via this tab on my blog 
by visiting the direct link in my Instagram bio.

It's just that simple!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


Sweater || Sunnies
Sneakers || Denim

Hi, friends. I'm glad you're here!
Can you believe that summer is just around the corner?
This is kind of a strange time for me — it's the first year that I don't have a summer break (cue the tears). I guess that's what happens when you graduate college... While it's a little disappointing, I've been pretty good about making travel and "me time" a priority during this first year of my career. 
Balance is so key.

On that note, let's jump into this month's installment of the "lately" series! 

WEARING: Neutrals. But really, when am I not? I rarely gravitate toward color, other than the occasional light blue hints in the summer. I've always had a difficult time committing to color, so it's no surprise that most of my closet is a sea of white, grey and black. There are some really fun prints I've seen this season that I'm dying to try (namely the green banana leaf print!) so I may step out of my comfort zone a bit.

WATCHING: This is kind of random, but I've been into watching YouTubers lately! My favorites right now are Sarah Belle and Caitlin Bea. New suggestions are welcome!

READING: I recently stumbled upon this article about four men with four different levels of income speaking frankly about the lifestyles they can afford — it's a great piece on perspective. 

TESTING: Clay-based face masks. I'm a habitual user of the ultra-inexpensive Queen Helene Mint Julep face mask and have been using it with satisfaction for years. So when Valencia offered to send me their Detoxifying Clay Mask, I was all for it — I love a good cleansing mask! While I'm a fan of their other products (especially the hydrating mask & eye cream!), unfortunately, this one missed the mark for me. About 30 seconds after I applied the product to my face, I felt a strong burning sensation... so, I promptly removed the mask and was left tending to my raw, red face for the next hour or so until my skin calmed down. While I can't recommend this particular product in good faith, I will say that I do like the fact that Valencia products are made in the U.S. with natural ingredients. If you've ever tried Valencia's Detoxifying Clay Mask, I'd be interested in hearing more about your experience!

CONSUMING: Well, if you couldn't tell, brunch. I popped up to NYC last weekend to visit a friend and basically ate my way through the city. How on earth have I never had French cuisine?! If you've never had a croque-madame I highly recommend that you try one ASAP — I'm seriously too obsessed!

What are y'all loving lately?
Post in partnership with Valencia. 
All opinions are always my own. 
Learn more about the brand on Facebook & Instagram
Thank you for supporting the brands that make Keynotes from Kay possible.