Five Things I’ll Miss About Summer + My Favorite Shoes For Fall

Artemis Design Co. Kilim Loafers, Bernardo Leather Jacket and What I'll Miss About Summer // Pearl Girl

Leather Jacket // Snagged during the N Sale, and I can’t wait to break it out more and more during the fall.
Artemis Design Co. Kilim Loafers c/o // More on these below, but I’m obsessed!
Black Skater Skirt // This one is old, but it’s such a popular style that it’s easy to find elsewhere. Here, here and here.
White U-Neck Tee // My absolutely favorite white tee. I have three!

Though there’s technically a few weeks left of summer, but like most people, I’m in full fall mode once Labor Day weekend passes. I had the best few days — I went up to my roommate’s family’s home in Mystic, Connecticut, which is one my favorite places in the world. We go a few times every summer, usually over Memorial Day and Labor Day, and it’s such a lovely way to ring in/say goodbye to the summer. The weather was less than desirable (really rainy on Sunday, and the temperatures barely broke 70) but we still has such a great time.

Artemis Design Co. Kilim Loafers, Bernardo Leather Jacket and What I'll Miss About Summer // Pearl Girl

Artemis Design Co. Kilim Loafers, Bernardo Leather Jacket and What I'll Miss About Summer // Pearl Girl

So in honor of the end of summer, I thought I’d share five things I’ll miss the most about the most fun, festive season the year.

1. Weekends away.
I love to travel, and summer weekend getaways are some of the most fun getaways of the summer. One of the highlights this year was my first trip to Nantucket, an island I absolutely fell in love with. I also visited Long Beach Island on the Jersey Shore, which was lovely (despite a very windy 20 minutes on the beach on a rainy day!) and went to Mystic twice. Though I love a nice coastal vacation, I also was able to do a more sight-seeing heavy trip to Montreal and Quebec City in August, two places I’ve wanted to visit for years and both completely lived up to the hype. And though it wasn’t a weekend away, I so cherished being able to go home for a week during the Fourth of July.

Of course, this was only the start: My biggest trips of the year are happening later this year, and I can’t wait!

2. Dining (and drinking) al fresco.
I love eating outside come summertime, something I was thankfully able to take full advantage of this both in and out of NYC. It’s not going to be the same having to cram indoors (although necessary, of course, because cold.) Also, lobsters rolls. I’ve eaten a lot of lobster rolls this summer, and that has been lovely, obviously.

Artemis Design Co. Kilim Loafers, Bernardo Leather Jacket and What I'll Miss About Summer // Pearl Girl

Artemis Design Co. Kilim Loafers, Bernardo Leather Jacket and What I'll Miss About Summer // Pearl Girl

3. Sandals and sundresses.
As much as I love sweaters, riding boots and coats, there is nothing I love more than summer style. You can wear pretty much anything, there’s lots of color, and no tights are necessary when you want to wear a skirt. I’ll be so sad to pack away my summer dresses for the season. Throwing one on with a pair of sandals (a la this outfit) is the laziest way to look cute.

4. Barbecues.
On the same note of eating outside, all my coastal vacations this year reminded me how much I love grilling with friends — the food and the experience. Grilled veggies are my favorite (as are hot dogs and burgers!) and it’s so nice to sit outside with friends and family and chat over good food. (And a Fisher’s Island Lemonade, the best drink to have in New England.) It’s a simple pleasure but one that you can’t really have in the winter months, so you have to soak it up while you can!

5. Summer visitors.
I’ve had a few friends + both of my parents visit this summer, which is always so great as it A. makes me do more fun activities in the city, B. allows for some good eats, C. I get to spend time with the people I love! Though a few visitors are coming in the fall too, this summer was an especially great when it came to having people in town.

Artemis Design Co. Kilim Loafers, Bernardo Leather Jacket and What I'll Miss About Summer // Pearl Girl

Artemis Design Co. Kilim Loafers, Bernardo Leather Jacket and What I'll Miss About Summer // Pearl Girl

Though I’m going to miss summer, I’m LIT for fall. One of the (many) reasons? These shoes. The folks over at Artemis Design Co. were kind enough to send me a pair of their signature Kilim Loafers, and I see why people are so obsessed. I love love love loafers from September to May, and these are such a colorful twist on a classic style. They’re made out of Turkish carpets, and no two pairs are alike. They’re such a special, unique shoe — and super comfortable, too! I’ll definitely be packing these in my bag for my trip to Europe this fall.

Artemis Design Co. Kilim Loafers, Bernardo Leather Jacket and What I'll Miss About Summer // Pearl Girl

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Book Club No. 3

Best New Chick Lit Books, Reading Recommendations for Millennial Women // Pearl Girl

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It’s been quite a few months since my last round of reading recommendations, which I blame on a reading rut around March, and then wanting to have ample books to include in my list. I think now’s the time though, as I have done a bit of reading lately and want to share what I liked and didn’t like, as those are equally important, so you don’t waste your time on them. To help in this, I rated each book 1/5 at the end of the description. And links to purchase each books are on the title!

And of course, I’m always looking for recommendations if you have them, so please share in the comments!

Rich and Pretty // Can’t say I loved this one, as I never finished it. (My library loan ran out before I was able to, and I didn’t bother to re-borrow.) It’s about two lifelong friends, Sarah (Rich) and Lauren (Pretty) who are going through some changes in their lives, a la marriage and career changes. My problem with this was there was just NO PLOT. Sure, things happen, but they weren’t really working towards anything major and I kept waiting for the major plot device to drop. 1/5

The Hating Game // Another one I just didn’t love. It’s about two assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing house that recently went through a merger. (One is the assistant to the CEO of one of the old publishing houses, the other to the other.) They hate each other, but of course, there’s some serious sexual tension between the two. Honestly, this one just bored me. I wasn’t that invested in either of the characters, and their “romance” was almost comical in its cliche-ness. I also wasn’t sure where it was set, which made it hard to be connected to the book as well. I got about 25% of the way through and ended up putting it down. 1/5

Secrets in Summer // After my trip to Nantucket in June, I wanted to read a Nantucket-set novel. Luckily, I got this one at work, so I immediately picked it up and started reading on my return. I really loved it. Such a fun, quick summer read, but there was depth to the characters. It’s about a woman named Darcy, who leaves her life in Boston after her divorce to become a librarian on Nantucket in her grandmother’s old house. Her life gets thrown for a loop when her ex-husband moves in behind her for the summer. My only complaint about this one was that all the characters had unusual names. It’s fine, but you will just never meet this many people with unusual names in Nantucket, Massachusetts, haha! Other than that, great read, especially if you’ve been to Nantucket. 5/5

The Island House // Yep, another Nantucket-set book. This one is about a woman named Courtney, who has been summering on the island since college in her roommate’s family’s house. She’s been in love with his brother since forever, so she goes back for one last summer to confess her love. There’s all sorts of other issues happening in the family, and with Courtney’s roommate, Robin. Honestly, the family seems lovely. I didn’t like this quite as much as Secrets in Summer, but it was still a nice beach read. 4/5

The Identicals // Another Nantucket novel, but this one is half set in Martha’s Vineyard. It’s about a set of sisters who were split up Parent Trap-style after their parents’ divorce, one on Nantucket and one on the Vineyard. Now, they’re both nearly 40, and after their father’s death, they switch places once again, with romance and other exciting developments, as well mending their relationship after it was incredibly fractured 14 years prior. Loved this one, the characters were real, relatable and not perfect, but you still wanted to root for them. 5/5

Romancing the Throne // Something you may not know about me is that I have a deep love for the British royal family. And this book is pretty much royal family fanfiction. It’s about two sisters (a la Pippa and Kate) who go to a posh English boarding school with Prince Edward, the heir to the throne. The Pippa character, Charlotte, dates Edward first, but then things go awry when he develops a friendship with Libby, the Kate character, too. It really explores that sisterly relationship and is just a fun, quick read. I finished this in a day. 5/5

The Rules Do Not Apply // After reading the New Yorker article Thanksgiving in Mongolia I knew I wanted to read Ariel Levy’s memoir, about her life, loves, relationships and loss. It’s definitely heart-wrenching, but beautifully written and a powerful story. 5/5

My Not So Perfect Life // I’ve been a Sophie Kinsella fan since her Shopaholic days, so I’ll pretty much read anything she writes. Her first book in a few years, My Not So Perfect Life, follows a country girl named Katie who is trying to make it big in the world of branding in London. She has a seemingly-perfect boss named Demeter, who doesn’t seem to know she exists. And her dad wants her to come home to the country. I can’t give away too much more, but this book really captured that feeling of being a little underwater in the early years of your career. It’s also just a fun, unexpected story. It also takes place in London so bonus points for that. 5/5

Sweetbitter // I thought I would love this one. I worked as a hostess for three summers and two winters, and I love the atmosphere of working in a restaurant. I’ve heard so many people say this book captures that perfectly. But honestly, I just was not feeling this one. I felt like we never really got to know the main character, and she was honestly just SO unlikeable that I found it hard to root for her (and root for what?) This is another book that I felt didn’t have much of a plot. Stephanie Danler, the author, can definitely write. And I know others were into it — but the story was just so meh for me on this one. I did finish it though. 2/5

I Had a Nice Time And Other Lies…: How to Find Love & Sh*t Like That // This one was more just for fun, as I love the Betches’s website and think they’re hilarious. Their book was similarly laugh-out-loud funny. And while I’m not sure how much I learned about dating, it’s a really relatable read for anyone living the single life in a big city in their 20s. Which like, hello, me. 3.5/5

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Blue Striped Midi Dress in Quebec City + Tips for Planning the Perfect Day Trip

SheIn Striped Criss Cross Back Swing Dress, Tips for Planning A Day Trip // Pearl Girl

Midi Dress // Under $25!
Sandals // I’ve worn them in so many posts because I really do love them so much. Favorite purchase of the summer by far.
Sunglasses // On sale for $12! I’ve been looking for a pair like these all summer.

You can just call this Quebec City week here on Pearl Girl because I’ll be sharing two posts from my day in this charming little city two weeks ago. My roommate Taylor and I flew to Montreal for four days and I had always wanted to visit Quebec as well, so when I found out it was just a three hour bus ride, I thought why not make a day trip out of it? I’m so glad we did — it’s a small, walkable city oozing with charm. (Seriously, oozing.)

SheIn Striped Criss Cross Back Swing Dress, Tips for Planning A Day Trip // Pearl Girl

SheIn Striped Criss Cross Back Swing Dress, Tips for Planning A Day Trip // Pearl Girl

SheIn Striped Criss Cross Back Swing Dress, Tips for Planning A Day Trip // Pearl Girl

There will be more to share on that later, but I wanted to change things up a bit in this post and talk about day trips. It’s one of my favorite things to do while traveling — fit in another destination during my time in one city. I’m all about picking up as many new cities as you can, and oftentimes day trips are the easiest way to do that.

However, it’s definitely a balancing act, so day trips can be exhausting (there’s no mid-afternoon breaks to be had at your AirBnB.) So I’m sharing a few tips that I’ve picked up along my own travels that have come in handy when planning a day trip. (Quebec City was probably my most pain-free one yet!)

1. Your destination can be a distance, but not too far.

To me, the ideal day trip is an hour away from wherever you’re staying. You have a nice train or bus ride, you arrive at a reasonable early time without having to get up insanely early. But that’s not always the case for the destinations you want to visit. So I will go a little further — like I said, Quebec City is three hours away by bus. That’s my cut off. Anything longer than three, and you’re spending over six hours in transport on a single day. (Honestly, anything over four isn’t ideal, but up to six I can deal with.)

That’s just me though! Maybe you can’t deal with two three-hour trips. That’s fine. That’s normal! I’m a little insane, I get that. I wouldn’t go much longer than a three hour drive away from where you’re staying, though. Eight hours in a car in one day is a lot, and at that point, you might as well just get a hotel in your new destination.

2. Pack what you need, and nothing more.

It’s easy to really pack a tote to the brim when you’ll be away all day long. But try to pare down your stuff, because you — shocker, I know — actually have to carry it with you. A lighter bag will make you a happier person in the end. (Or at the very least, a bag that’s comfortable to lug around all day.)

SheIn Striped Criss Cross Back Swing Dress, Tips for Planning A Day Trip // Pearl Girl 

SheIn Striped Criss Cross Back Swing Dress, Tips for Planning A Day Trip // Pearl Girl
SheIn Striped Criss Cross Back Swing Dress, Tips for Planning A Day Trip // Pearl Girl

3. Don’t spend too long there.

My biggest issue in booking day trips is that I feel like I need to get in at 9 a.m. and stay until 9 p.m. to make up for the fact that I’m not actually spending the night in this place. But getting up early to catch that 7 a.m. bus is horrendous, as is that moment in the afternoon where you hit a wall and just want to go to bed (but it’s three hours away!) Recognize that if you’re just spending a day somewhere, you won’t see everything, and that’s okay. Six to eight hours should be enough.

4. Take breaks.

You may not be able to go back to your hotel room, but you can park it at a restaurant for an hour when your feet get tired. Or at a park. Or on a bench. The options are endless. Just make sure to take ample breaks, as traveling is tiring and sometimes a long lunch is necessary. (And can even be a fun, relaxing way to take in a city’s culture!)

5. Look everything up.

You don’t need to plan every minute of your stay in a city, but you only have a day, and you don’t want to waste it. Look up what the main attractions are in the city you’re visiting, and what you want to see before you leave. (And buy tickets for anything that needs advance tickets!) Like I said before, your time is limited, so it’s okay if you can’t get to everything, don’t stress. (This is somewhat of a note to self, as I tend to stress about this!) Just pick the highlights and remind yourself that you can always come back.

6. Book your transportation tickets beforehand, if possible.

I hate feeling stressed at the train station, so I like to book my tickets in advance, know where I’m going, and have said tickets in hand once I arrive. (I had a truly horrible experience in Paris when my confirmation code wasn’t pulling up my tickets, it was a true nightmare.)

7. Or if you can, rent a car.

I understand in international destinations this can pose a lot more problems (why do Europeans seem to only drive manual?!) but if you’re in the U.S., renting a car is SUCH a great option. You have a home base to stash your stuff, you can set your own schedule, and you don’t have to walk everywhere when you’re feeling tired.

SheIn Striped Criss Cross Back Swing Dress, Tips for Planning A Day Trip // Pearl Girl

SheIn Striped Criss Cross Back Swing Dress, Tips for Planning A Day Trip // Pearl Girl

And there you have it! Let me know in the comments if you have any other questions. I’ve taken quite a few day trips in my day, with plenty more to come, so I have lots of thoughts and experiences to share.

PS: I’m obsessed with this dress, which has a super affordable price tag and comes in the prettiest blue and white stripe. It was the most popular item in this post, and y’all, it really lives up to the hype. I’m sad I’m just getting it at the end of this summer, but excited to wear it while it’s still warm and then break it out again in 2018!

 

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Life + Links

Shopping and Reading Picks, Taylor Swift New Single

It’s been quite a few weeks since my last Life + Links post, which I guess is a testament to how busy life has been. The big highlight was two weeks ago, when my roommate and I went to Montreal for a long weekend (with a day trip to Quebec City!) It was a great weekend. Both cities feel like a slice of Europe on our side of the pond, which I obviously appreciated. There’s a travel recap post to come, hopefully next week!

As I mentioned, my mom was in town this past weekend, which was great. This week I had some anger over the delayed episode of Bachelor in Paradise (for PRE-SEASON FOOTBALL!) on Monday, drinks + lift chat with a group of awesome women on Tuesday, and finally getting back to the gym on Wednesday. (I’m also going on Saturday, and it’s been way too long since I’ve gone to the gym twice in one week. Where has my motivation gone?!)

Hope you have a lovely weekend. I have three birthday celebrations for three good friends, so it’ll be a busy one!

What I’m Reading

I’m obsessed with BuzzFeed’s Tasty, so I loved this article about their rise and creative process.

I love the Cup of Jo series about parenting in other countries, and Croatia one is a great read.

Also, Joanna’s Brooklyn apartment is so cozy + the perfect family home.

Julia’s trip to Nantucket has me wanting to plan another trip!

I always love hearing about Danielle’s story, and she wrote it so eloquently for the Everygirl.

I love Lauren’s neighborhood guides to London — Hampstead is so charming!

Monica shared a money-saving travel hack.

Lots of new books on my to-do read list, courtesy of Katie’s post.

Totally agree with all of Erica’s travel must-haves.

Love love love Dana’s post about the importance of saying no.

Also listening to Taylor Swift’s new single! Thoughts? I don’t know what I think!

What I’m Shopping

I’m still not shopping! But if I were, I’d buy:

This will be the first thing I buy in September. If it’s restocked in my size.

A puffer vest in Liberty print!

I love this top, it’s so chic and fun for end of summer.

What I’m Writing

A perfect pink shirtdress.

My Paris photo diary.

An eyelet skirt.

My 25th birthday.

 

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Pink Shirtdress in Sutton Place

Pink Shirtdress, Everlane Bridge Sandals, Straw Bag and Stain Remover Methods // Pearl Girl
Pink Shirtdress (Old, but I love this one and this one, and this is a great budget-friendly option.) //
Sandals (I swear I haven’t taken them off all summer!) //
Straw Bag (Holds a lot more than you’d think.) //
Sunglasses (Old, these are super similar + from the same retailer.) //
Earrings //

First off, apologies for the radio silence around here last week. I don’t think I’ve ever gone a week without posting before — with the exception of when I was in Barcelona last year on vacation. But sometimes real life gets in the way, and the blog has to take a back seat. I don’t aspire to have weeks like that often, but ah well, this isn’t my day job, so I won’t beat myself up about it.

My mom was in town this past weekend, which was such a great break from real life. We saw two shows. The first was Cats, which I had never seen before. It’s definitely funky, and there’s no real plot, but the music is great and the costumes and production value are really amazing. While it’s definitely not my favorite I see how it’s become such a hit. Sunday afternoon, my mom had a relatively early flight, so we saw a matinee of A Doll’s House, Part 2. It’s a sequel to a play that was first published in 1879 (obviously, written by a new author.) Though the actors wear period costumes, it’s all modern dialogue, and is actually really funny — but also intense. Highly recommend both shows if you’re in the city/visiting anytime soon.

I found out something pretty interesting a couple months ago at work (and yes, I took these photos two months ago — I really had quite a back log there for a while!) while doing research for a story: The apartment Greta Garbo lived in after retiring from acting is just a few blocks from my apartment. If you don’t know the name, she was a huge movie star in the 20s and 30s, but she retired in 1948 and really kept out of the public eye. She did, however, live in NYC — and apparently, pretty close to me! I told my roommate (who takes my photos!) and we thought it would be a fun place to shoot.

It’s all the way over on the water, and honestly seems like a total dream building to live in. (I mean, who would expect less?) It’s a gorgeous doorman building, but one that’s a little older and has more character than a new development. And it’s on the water. Really, that’s my dream living situation in NYC. (Right now, I live the walkup life!)

This is definitely one of my favorite things about New York: There’s cool places with incredible stories everywhere — even in spots you don’t expect!

Fun story about this dress, and one that I imagine a lot of you can relate to. Getting real with you: I’ve had some horrible sweat stains develop on some of my favorite dresses. It’s so, so frustrating, as it happened with three pieces I spent a bit more money on, including this one. I know I’m not alone: It happens, it’s gross, it sucks. But OMG, I have found the cure. I’m going to sound like Billy Mays over here: OxyClean is magic. Really, it is. I just soaked the ruined (or so I thought) parts of these dresses for 15-20 minutes and it totally got rid of the stains. DRESS SALVAGED. It worked on all three. I was so thrilled!

It not only got out the sweat stains, but a much worse one, too. I hung up the wet dress to dry on a (bright pink) velvet hanger. I noticed a few days later that the bright pink had rubbed off on the dress. Figuring this stain was just too intense, I was about to give up but figure I’d try Oxy again. And yep, IT WORKED. Those stains were much worse so I let them sit for a few hours, but I’m a total convert. This stuff is amazing. My secret is to use a scoop of the Oxy with equal parts water. You really want the product to be able to attack the stains.

And with that knowledge imparted, I wish you a happy Monday. x

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