Off to Paris

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how cute are my parents! 

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Today is the day, we are headed off to Paris! I have been looking forward to this trip the whole summer.  For the next week I will be on a family vacation in Paris and London. We are all so excited! Over the years it has gotten harder and harder to find time for my whole family to be free at the same time for a vacation, but luckily this time it worked out. Talk about the perfect way to spend the final days of the summer! 

My mom is the mastermind behind the whole trip and has been the master organizer and planner. We have to many things on our to-do list but we are also just excited to wander the streets and take it all in. We are going to head out of the city to Versailles and to Normandy, neither of which I have been to before. My pick was Versailles while my brother's top pick was Normandy. We also will going to see lots of the main attractions in Paris: the Louvre, the Foundation LV, the Picasso Museum, Notre Dame, Saint Chapel, The Orangeries Museum, Sacre Coeur and more. And then of course we are making time to simply wander, hop into cute brasseries and cafes, explore the Luxembourg Gardens and the Tuileries. 

All of these pictures are from our last trip to Paris in 2012. I was studying abroad in Florence, Italy at the time and when my parents came over to visit I met them in Paris. It was my first time in Paris, and I fell in love with the city right away. While I love Italy, I think Paris is my ultimate favorite.

Be sure to follow along on instagram @simplyelegantblog as I will be posting countless pictures. Otherwise I have not planned any blog posts for the next week so I can fully enjoy our trip. But be sure to check back after as I will share our favorite spots and pictures from the trip. 

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Beauty Favorite: Habit Nail Polish

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Clockwise from top center:    Ingenue (tan),     Soft Focus (light blue),    Blue Velvet,     Deep Sea,     Moss,     Santa Sangre (dark red),      Tabou,     Kitten (bright pink.)

One of my favorite beauty luxuries is a good manicure and pedicure, somehow my nails always look so much better after I go to a salon compared to when I do my nails at home. However, more often than not I paint my own nails. I actually enjoy it almost as much as a fancy spa manicure, nice to be at cozy home and paint my nails while watching tv. Over the past two years, I have been slowly trying to edit my beauty products to find more healthy and safe varieties. There are so many hidden chemicals in mass produced drug store products that it is a great choice to switch to more natural and healthy alternatives.  And more often than not, they aren't alternatives but improvements! 

One of my latest skincare finds is Habit Nail Polish. Aja Frierson founded the company in 2013 in an effort to find a healthy formula that would support nail growth instead of weakening nails as classic nail polishes often do. The natural elements do not stop in the nail polish formula and even extend to the packaging as well, how great are the bamboo caps. We all know that well branded packaging is the key to my heart! I usual opt for a classic red, such as Santa Sangre or Tabou, but the vast range of colors has me considering Sunset Boulevard and Belle De Jour. 

College Dorm Room: Prints & Posters

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Clockwise from top right:        Butterflies,     Black & White Outfit,     Modern Painting,       Palm Leaves,      Pineapples,      Peonies. 

Decorating your college dorm room is exciting and daunting, a simple white box of which you can do what you please. The other day I talked about the perfect bedding for your dorm room, so what is next? Posters. While you could simply find movie and tv show posters, I prefer to go more for more unique pieces. Over the years I have found that the best sources for unique prints and posters are Urban Outfitters and Society 6. Urban Outfitters is not exactly my style clothing wise, but they have a great home section. Society 6 is a wonderful source, similar to Etsy, in that is is a platform that includes a wide range of artists. One of my favorite elements of Society 6 is the ability to buy prints in various sizes, great if you are filling a small or large space. 

If you prefer bright and some what girlie pieces, there are countless options, but there are also beautiful photographs that feature nature, or fun quotes. I have pulled together some of my favorites! If you are not in college, not a problem, these prints are also great for any space in your apartment or home. I have some framed in my bedroom at home. Society 6 even offers versions that come pre-framed! Do you have a favorite spot for affordable artwork and prints? 

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Clockwise from top left:    Be You,      Gin & Tonic,       Life is Not Perfect,        Don't Let Yesterday, Good Vibes Only. 

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Clockwise from top left:       Cactus,     Ocean Waves,      Pine Trees. 

Favorite Stripes

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One of my go-to closet staples are stripes! I may or may not have a problem. I have a nice little (or maybe not to little) collection of striped t-shirts and long sleeves. They are simply so classic, comfortable and easy to wear. A long sleeve striped tee with white jeans and sandals, nothing is better or simpler to throw on.

Due to my small obsession with stripes, I am always on the lookout for the latest and greatest. For years, Saint James Stripes have been my top pick, but now I have a new favorite: J.Crew's new Deck Striped Long Sleeve T-Shirt. It is perfection. The updated and improved version of a Saint James, it is made of a similar type of heavy knit cotton however this J.Crew version is lighter and has a bit more stretch. The boxy cut is both modern and comfortable.  I bought the top in classic white and navy stripes, but I have already worn it so many time in the last week, I have the grey and navy version on the top of my wish list. If you are in the market for a striped tee, or just want to add to your collection, this tee is a closet staple. 

Wearing my new J.Crew Deck Striped T-shirt, via instagram @simplyelegantblog

Wearing my new J.Crew Deck Striped T-shirt, via instagram @simplyelegantblog

Life Lately - August in Maine

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Can you all believe that there is only one more week of August?! As per usual, this summer if flying by and I am trying to enjoy every moment of the summer up on the coast of Maine. August is the best month up in Maine, so beautiful and warm, perfect for days on the beach or out on the water. 

Here are some Simply Elegant instagrams, @simplyelegantblog,  that give a little peek into my summer days in Maine. From days at the beach, trips out on the motor boat, day trips down to Boston, and what is on my desk one day. A little bit of everything. 

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MY GO-TO SUMMER SANDAL - CLASSIC JACK ROGERS. 

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MY LATEST SUMMER READING, THE RUMOR BY ELIN HILDERBRAND. 

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SUMMER AFTERNOONS ON THE MOTORBOAT IN MAINE. 

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A QUICK TRIP DOWN TO BOSTON, LOVE THIS GARDEN IN THE SOUTH END. 

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CAN WE TALK ABOUT THIS DOOR?! A BEAUTIFUL BROWNSTONE IN THE SOUTH END OF BOSTON. 

Favorite Finds - Bedding for College

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1. Roberta Roller Rabbit Amanda Quilt (still have this from Freshman year of high school)    2. Parachute Home Vince Set in White (bought this last year for the first time, such great quality)     3. Serena and Lily Candy Stripe Pillow      4. Roberta Roller Rabbit Jemina Duvet Cover      5. Serena and Lily Skylake Toile Sham      6. Pine Cone Hill Trio Duvet Cover (love the simplicity)     7. Roberta Roller Rabbit Ming Pillowcase (on sale!)       8. Serena and Lily Monterey Medallion Duvet Cover   9. Roberta Roller Rabbit Marmaris Duvet Cover      10. Roberta Roller Rabbit Larissa Pillowcases (on sale!)      

Finding the perfect bedding for your college dorm room can be harder than you would initially expect. You want to find bed linens that will make your dorm room unique and fun. To do this, I have always opted for bright, patterned and preppy bedding. One of my favorite elements about college dorm rooms is that each year you are given a new blank canvas, a bare white room that you are able to transform into your home away from home.

After going to boarding school and now entering my senior year of college, I have lived in some variation of a dorm room for eight years...eek such a long time! This is where my mom would tell you that every year I find a way to get new bedding...while that is a total exaggeration, I have had a few different bedding sets over the years. I have pulled together some of my favorite pieces from my go to bedding brands, Roberta Roller Rabbit, Serena & Lily, Pine Cone Hill and Parachute Home. One of my favorite things to do is mix and match a few patterns. In high school my bedding was mainly comprised of the Amanda Print from Roberta Roller Rabbit, and then last year (take a peek of my dorm room last year here)  I switched over to more simple white bedding from Parachute Home with then pops of blue through pillows and blankets. There are countless different variations and you simply need to find what is best for you!        I would love to know, what is your favorite bedding for college?