Dahlias and Lilly

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The dahlias on Enders Island in Mystic, Connecticut never cease to amaze me. For the second year in a row, I have visited the gardens and been absolutely blown away by the countless petals, blooms, colors and variety. From the dahlias to the hydrangeas to the potted plants to the fruit trees to the rose garden, everything on the island is flourishing and colorful; such a beautiful place to spend an afternoon!

I love the way my Lilly shift popped against the vibrant dahlias, it really is the perfect summer dress! The back even has the cutest tie on it… it reminds me of the brand’s older styles! As always, I wore my favorite pair of summer sandals. If you ever find yourself in Connecticut, a trip Enders Island is a must. It’s the perfect place to picnic, spend time in prayer or just take in the immense beauty of the world we live in.

The Secret to Clear Skin

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Junior year of high school, I had awful acne. My forehead was red, bumpy and irritated. Going from a point of having more pimples than clear skin on my forehead to having it completely clear involved the quickest, easiest fix possible! As it turned out, I was allergic to an ingredient in Nestle chocolate chips that is also found in other chocolate and diary products, but not all of them. I still have no idea what the ingredient is, but I have established a list of “safe” and “unsafe” chocolates that I can and cannot have. While I was struggling with my acne, I could’ve sworn that it was genetic and that I would need hardcore medicinal ointment and a miracle to clear my skin. I wish I could go back and tell myself to eat organic chocolate instead and all my (skin) problems would vanish!

If you’re struggling with acne, I would first recommend that you follow a clean diet for a week or two to see if your face clears up. Strictly eat fruits, vegetables and healthy meats such as chicken prepared with no oil or butter. Then, start gradually reintroducing “normal” food to see what exactly makes you break out, wether it be oil, dairy, sweets or something else. It may be a preservative found in certain brands of foods but not others. I, for example, am fine with eating almond butter but the moment I eat peanut butter, breakouts start popping up all over my face.

Keeping your skin clean is also imperative to keeping it clear of blemishes. Although cutting out my allergen cleared most of my acne, I was still getting the occasional pimple. I attributed it to not removing all of my makeup and my mom recommended I try using a toner every night. The white cotton pads used to apply the toner don’t lie and will show you just how much grime and old foundation stays on your skin every night even after washing!

Now, after getting my nightly skin care routine down, my face is clear. I start by wiping the makeup off my face with a makeup removing towelette before using an acne fighting facial cleanser.  I then pat my face dry with a clean towel before applying some toner with a cotton pad and finish with some of what has to be the world’s best moisturizer.

Acne is an struggle that everyone faces and is often difficult to understand. Back in high school when the skin on my forehead was bumpy, irritated and broken out, even my dermatologist didn’t know that often times, acne is caused by a food allergy. Instead of suggesting that I find the root of my problem, she prescribed me a topical treatment that left me with painful chemical burns on the skin covering my acne. While a prescription treatment might serve as a short term solution (or just make everything worse), it will do no good in the long term if your acne is caused by an artificial ingredient you are ingesting. You are what you eat and if you choose to eat something unnaturally toxic or with multiple additives, your skin will reflect it; it’s trying to tell you something! The first step in clearing up your skin is listening to your body. The second is taking care of your skin by keeping it clean, moisturized and refreshed.

Down by the Docks

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While vacationing in Florida a year and a half ago, I found this shell printed vintage Lilly Pulitzer skirt in a consignment shop and instantly fell in love. It makes for the perfect summer outfit, especially when casually paired with a basic white t-shirt and sandals! Not only is it comfortable, but it makes you look extra put together and cool in the summer humidity.

Skirt (vintage- similar) // T-Shirt // Sandals

Sunny In Seersucker

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I am totally obsessed with this dress. It fits like a glove and is a flattering cut and color. The ruffled one sleeve style is adorable and the pink seersucker just makes it all the more stylish. It pairs perfectly with my go-to summer sandals! Everyone needs that perfect summer dress for day-to-day activities, polo matches, weddings and other events; this one is perfect! Fortunately, there is still plenty of Summer heading our way and there are a few of these dresses left on clearance, now with an extra 50% off… Get it while you still can!! It even comes in solid red, black, guava, blush, navy, cobalt, purple and emerald, but if you’re obsessed with the pink seersucker, it also comes in an adorable off the shoulder style!

Summer Essentials For Your Car

As the season of Summer rolls on, I have found myself reaching for the same essentials every day before climbing into my car and heading out for the day.  No matter my destination, my car is always stocked with these necessities. Summer brings my spontaneity to a whole new level and I tend to live by the motto “you never know where you’re going until you go there.” Here are the things that I never leave the house without in the hot summer months.

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  • Sunscreen!!!  Before I apply my makeup, I make sure I am wearing at least SPF 40 on my skin but my protection doesn’t stop there. I always have a bottle of spray on sunscreen in my car to wear if I decide to go into the sun. It’s good to make sure you have it at all times. “I forgot it” is a lame excuse, especially once you’ve been burned and proceed to waddle around your living room because your skin is crimson and burnt to a crisp!
  • Sunglasses!!! All day, every day, 365/365, I wear my sunglasses. Especially in the summer, I make sure I have them in my car and my bag, incase someone else happens to be driving.
  • Water!!! Before I leave my house, I always fill one of my Lilly Pulitzer tumbler cups half full of ice before pouring in my water. It’s very important to stay hydrated in the summer and is easy to drink while you’re driving.
  • A Beach Blanket!!! Whenever I go to the beach, I almost always forget a towel which is why the emergency blanket in the back of my car is such a lifesaver!
  • A Floppy Hat: These are perfect for summer. They’re adorable and add the perfect touch to any outfit. They are also perfect for shading your face from the sun and are light enough to keep you cool.
  • An Extra Swimsuit/Towel!!! You never know if you’ll end up at a beach, pond or a friends pool. Better to have it than to only be able to dip your feet in! Plus, you’ll never know when you’re going to drive by a fun looking sprinkler… kidding!
  • A Change of Clothes!!! I always keep a loose sun-dress or comfortable shorts and a top in my car, especially on days I’m going to the barn and know I’ll feel sweaty and gross after. It’s better to drive around with extra clothes and never use them than to wish you had something fresh to change into and not have it!
  • A Sweatshirt/Sweater!!! Summer nights can get pretty chilly, always be prepared!
  • Flip Flops/Sandals!!! Let’s face it: sometimes your feet just want to breathe. Keeping a couple of extra pairs of shoes in the car is always a good idea. I always have a pair of white Keds and flip-flops somewhere in the back of my car so I’m never forced to have inadequate or uncomfortable footwear.
  • Phone Charger!!! Because phones die and nobody wants to be stranded with a dead phone.
  • Camera!!! Especially since I started blogging, I have implemented an “always bring camera” rule. You never know where you’re going to go or what you’re going to see! All too many time’s I’ve said “I wish I had my camera” yet never once have I complained about having it.
  • Snacks!!! I like to bring fruit daily but also keep gum and KIND Bars stashed in my car for when I’m hungry and miserable.
  • Makeup Wipes!!!Keeping old, sweaty makeup on your face feels gross and can lead to breakouts. Throwing some makeup removing towelettes in your console is a fool-proof choice.
  • Wet Wipes!!! As a proud germophobe, I always have these in my car or bag. They allow you to scrub your hands clean in a way that hand sanitizer just can’t match.

Well, now you can probably understand why I say I live out of my car… because I really could! What are your summer essentials?