Friday, May 18, 2018

Weekly Window Shopping

The first half of the May Gal Meets Glam Collection launched this week, and, as expected,  the dresses are all so beautiful. The Jane dress is my favorite. The cut and style would be flattering on almost every body type, and the v-neck makes it flirty without showing too much. This soft purple color is my favorite, but it also comes in bright pink, navy, and black. The black version would be a great date night dress.

A shirt dress never goes out of style, and Tuckernuck has this style in several colors, but the floral is my favorite. The drop waist makes this dress a bit more versatile. It can be dressed down with a pair of white converse or other sneakers, or dressed up with a heeled sandal or bootie. I love how the sleeves are rolled here, the cuffs make the dress look so put together while still being simple.

One piece swimsuits are getting a lot of attention this year, and I love the simplicity of this one. This is a timeless swimsuit. The navy color is perfect for summer, it would look great paired with a white cover up. The scallop detail elevates the suit though. It's the perfect small feminine touch without getting too busy or distracting.

I saw these espadrilles at my local Nordstrom, and they are just so darling. Espadrille flats are such a fun alternative to ballet flats or loafers during the summer, and this cherry embroidery is too cute. I love fruit prints for the summer, and these definitely fit the bill. They would be so cute with a simple chambray sundress.

In addition to handbags, Kate Spade really knows how to do skirts and dresses well. I love how dainty and flirty this skirt is. The pale blue color is great for spring and summer, and the ruffle hem and up the side are the sweetest touch. This skirt would go great with a simple white or navy top, and some fun girly jewelry or a printed bag.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

2017 Typic Cinsault-Syrah Pays D'OC

This week's wine is another Trader Joe's bargain find. It's a Cinsault-Syrah rose blend. It's 80% Cinsault and 20% Syrah. I first came across a Cinsault rose a few months ago, and I've been hooked ever sense. Cinsault is popularly grown in France, Algeria, and South Africa. It's known for its heat tolerance and drought resistance. In France, it's mostly grown in the Rhone Valley, where the climate is hot and windy. It can be a tricky grape to grow well, because it's so weather resistant, Cinsault is known to produce a high yield, but when it does so it's not of the best quality. When it grows without limit, it produces a lot of grapes with minimal flavor in each grape. To grow quality Cinsault grapes, the grapes must be limited and maintained to only grow about a third of the volume that it naturally would. This concentrates the level of flavor in each grape and results in a higher quality wine. When it's not limited, Cinsault is generally used as a filler or table wine. It's generally blended, rather than sold as a single-grape wine, with Syrah and Grenache being popular grapes to blend it with. It's also well known for being cross-bred with Pinot Noir to create the Pinotage grape. In South Africa Cinsault is commonly known as Hermitage, so the name Pinotage comes from blending the names Pinot Noir and Hermitage, just as the two grapes were bred together to create the Pinotage grape.

While I had this varietal as a rose, it's also very common as a regular red wine. In areas outside of France it's generally produced as a red wine, and even within France it's a mix of whether it's produced as red of rose. As a red, it's generally fruit forward and medium bodied, with some musky and meaty notes on the back end. The character of a Cinsault wine can be deeply affected by the tools used to produce it, it easily takes on notes from the variety of oak barrel that it's made in.

This wine smelled very light and delicate to me. I got notes of citrus, strawberry, a light floral note, and just a hint slatey minerality. The taste of the wine matched the scent. When I sipped it I got strong notes of grapefruit and strawberry on the front end, along with a delicate light floral note and a hint of nectarine. On the back end I got notes of light minerality that balanced out the fruity and floralness well. It tasted just as light and delicate as it smelled.

I drank this wine while I snacked on some chicken potstickers, and I don't think it was the best pairing. The wine was so delicate that it got overwhelmed by the soy sauce and the other salty flavors in the potstickers. It would go better with a flaky light fish, like halibut, or with a light summer salad, maybe arugula with strawberries, goat cheese, and a poppyseed dressing.

Monday, May 14, 2018

A Spring Shirtdress

Last week I had a week off in between finishing finals and my graduation, and I spent part of that week in Asheville, NC with my friend McKenzie. Asheville is a beautiful mountain town in Western North Carolina, and it's grown a lot in the past 5 years. We spent the first two days of our trip hiking and checking out local breweries. I obviously prefer wine to beer, but when I'm visiting a city with good local craft breweries, I enjoy checking them out and ordering flights of local beers. Asheville has a ton of local breweries, the city is basically the craft beer capital of the East Coast, and it seems like new breweries are always opening up. We went to about five or six different ones, and my favorite was One World Brewing, if you're ever in Asheville I highly recommend you check them out.

On the third day of our trip we did some shopping in Biltmore Village. The Biltmore Estate, a gorgeous mansion built by the Vanderbilts, is in Asheville and the Biltmore Village was historically a village for the estate workers back when the Biltmore was a private residence. Now, the Village is a cute neighborhood of Asheville with great shopping, cute cafes, and a couple of wine bars and restaurants. Since we were having a girlie shopping day, I decided to wear my new midi shirtdress from the Gal Meets Glam Collection. I love this dress collection by Julia Engel, it's so feminine and beautiful, and high quality. I'm excited for her to release new May dresses in the next few days.

This shirtdress immediately caught my eye when the collection was first released. A shirtdress is a timeless style that's flattering on almost everyone. I was also very excited to buy my first midi dress. Being on the shorter side, I've always shied away from maxi dresses, because I always end up looking weighed down by all the fabric, but a midi dress is the perfect length for when I'm not in the mood for a short dress. I love where the hem of this dress ended up hitting me, not too high that I look like a stuffy librarian with a dowdy knee-length skirt, but not so long that it looks like it's trying to be a maxi dress but failed. The length is the perfect Goldilocks length, just right. The details in this dress also make it very special. The dress came with a thin belt in the same color as the dress, perfect for adding waist definition without adding a flashy accessory. Also the collar is a lovely rounded shape, which adds an extra layer of femininity. I got so many compliments from strangers on this dress while we were out and about shopping. You can feel when you wear it and see it in person that it's a very special dress.

I decided to use my accessories to build off the femininity of the dress. My purse and earrings are very girlie, fun, and perfect for spring. I usually carry around a larger purse, but this pink bag made me feel so pretty and dainty. I had to switch from a full size wallet to a card wallet, but the bag fit that with my sunglasses, phone, phone charger, and keys with no problem. I love the details on this bag. The perforations create a delightful and fun pattern, without getting too busy, and the gold buckles dress it up a little bit. I bought this bag at the most recent Kate Spade Surprise Sale*, so keep your eyes out for it in the next one. I also linked a Kate Spade bag bellow in a similar shade of pink.

I got my earrings in my most recent Rocksbox, and as soon as I saw them I knew they'd be perfect with this dress. The dress is somewhat simple, so I was able to wear long, dramatic earrings without it being too much going on. I love how the stacks of flowers are just so perfect for spring. These earrings made me feel absolutely fabulous while I was wearing them, and put an extra pep in my step. This was the perfect outfit for strolling around the Biltmore Village.

~ Dress ~ Purse (similar) ~ Sunglasses ~ Sandals ~ Earrings (similar) ~ Watch ~

* There is currently a Kate Spade Surprise Sale on, and my bag is available.