Happy Weekend!

Ah, Friday!  Brett and I are heading out to try a new to us local vineyard tonight with some friends of ours, and other than that, have a pretty low-key weekend planned. I started taking classes at Pure Barre this week, and managed, by some small miracle, to survive four days of classes in a row, so I'm looking forward to crying softly taking a day off! Man, is that class hard. There's a lot of change that's about coming around here, and for now, I'm just focusing on enjoying every moment! Happy weekend, and I hope yours is wonderful! 

In the mood to do a little shopping over the weekend? Shopbop's sale is all sorts of amazing, Madewell is offering an additional 20% off their sale section, and if you're planning a trip to the beach (or hey, the pool!) J.Crew is doing an online-only 30% off sale on their swimwear

What I Wore: Dressed Up LBD

ways to dress up a lbd
   ways to dress up a lbd
ways to dress up a lbd
 dress: piperlime | pom-pom: ban.do | heels: nine west | belt: from my mom

It's amazing how a couple of great accessories can really elevate a look, right? I wore this basic black dress out for dinner with our families and Brett to celebrate his graduation, and transformed it from basic to really fun with a pair of leopard pumps, my little ban.do pom pom, and a great sequined belt I "borrowed" from my mom a few years ago. 

What are your go-to accessories for pumping up your look? 

Anchors Aweigh

With Memorial Day behind us, summer is officially kicked off, in my book, which means nautical attire  is very season-appropriate! I've noticed an abundance of items this spring bearing anchor motifs, and I'm really feeling them for this summer, even if you don't live by any body of water! For more anchor goodies, check out my anchor pinterest board here

What I Wore: Monticello

pants: gap | blazer: aritzia (gifted) | earrings: michael kors, a gift from my sweet sister | shoes: sperry | bag: coach | sunglasses: ray-ban | necklace: west avenue jewelry

While my parents and sister were in town for Brett's graduation, I took them out to see Monticello, since my sister had never been! I've been to Thomas Jefferson's home probably four or five times in the last two and a half years, but I never get tired of visiting and listening to the tour, because I feel like I learn something new every time! If you're ever in the area, I'd highly recommend visiting. 

Brett's Graduation

Last weekend, Brett graduated from law school! We had a great week full of celebrating with friends and family, and we were so thankful that so much of our family was able to join us for the ceremony!  Even Bogey got in on the celebrations and wore the grad cap I made him (okay, for two seconds, but it's a cute picture, right?). I'm so proud of Brett, and all the work he's done over the last three years!

Great Patio Furniture and Other Summer Entertaining Essentials

Memorial Day is on Monday (I'm sure I don't have to remind anyone that it's Friday and you're about to get a long weekend, but whatever!) and you know what that means: the unofficial start of summer is officially here. To maximize your outdoor entertaining opportunities, get stocked up on some essentials this weekend, so you can enjoy them all summer long! I'm loving the idea of a comfy outdoor couch (perfect for reading a book on) with some extra seating like these awesome cobalt and black chairs and striped poufs for the kids to lounge around on. 

No one wants skin cancer, so a big umbrella to provide some shade is essential; at night, these gold lanterns would be perfect to pull out, and if you live in a buggy area, toss some citronella candles in there! For some entertainment, I'm loving these bag toss boards from CB2, which are a total upgrade from the average plywood set, and they fold up easily so you can take the party with you. 

Entertaining outdoors doesn't have to result in cocktails served in solo cups- these margarita glasses are acrylic, and no one will be the wiser until they try to clink glasses during a toast! Crate and Barrel and CB2 both have great selections of acrylic "glassware" right now. These rope napkin rings from Design Darling add the perfect nautical touch, and the Turkish towel would make a cozy blanket once the sun goes down. I know the average outdoor table often has a glass top, but I'm crazy about this concrete version: just think, you'll never have an OCD moment about sweating cup rings on the glass top again!

What I Wore: Wine Tasting

what to wear wine tasting
what to wear wine tasting
what to wear wine tasting
what to wear wine tasting
dress: joie (similar) | jacket: gap (similar) | shoes: cole haan air nadine | necklace: "virginia" from dogeared from brett (a "congratulations on getting me to graduation" gift of sorts. love him.)

Since both my family and Brett's were in town for Brett's graduation, we decided to take advantage of the opportunity to share little bits of our beloved Charlottesville in a jam-packed "Best of Charlottesville" type weekend! On Saturday, we took both sets of parents and Brett's aunt to a few of our favorite vineyards, in spite of the drizzling weather. It was such a fun day of spending time with the people we love, and I'm so glad we got to share a few of our favorite wines from around here with our family! (These photos were taken at Pollak Vineyards and Veritas, both of which I'd highly recommend if you're ever in the area!

Daddy Read a Book

I'm interrupting today's regularly scheduled fashion programming to share about a new cause that I think is really unique and important. Daddy Read a Book was recently founded by a friend of mine, Chris Cottrell, and aims to help families facing a long-term separation, like when a military parent is deployed overseas, away from his or her family, for long periods of time. Having my parents read to me was such an integral part of my childhood, and I think that it is something that every child deserves to experience, especially when their family is sacrificing so much for a parent to protect our country. I asked Chris to share a little bit about Daddy Read a Book, and what Best of BKLYN readers can do to help this awesome charity!

Hey Chris! Tell us a little about yourself, what you do, and what Daddy Read a Book is all about.

Hi Brookelyn! First, thanks for taking time to talk with me and your readers about Daddy Read a Book. It is great to be on Best of BKLYN; I’ve been really excited for the past few weeks about being here.

Last year I founded Daddy Read a Book, a nonprofit organization based in Arizona. The purpose of Daddy Read a Book is to connect families who are facing separation. It was founded on a simple belief: parents reading to their kids forms an amazing connection in families and it is critical in a child’s mental development. We help make it easier for parents to read to their children in tough situations.

What's the main focus/goal of Daddy Read a Book?

Our focus is on families facing long periods of separation and our goal is to connecting them through reading. Here’s how we do it:

We meet with parents who will be away from their families and film them reading their children’s favorite storybooks in beautiful HD video with professional sound and lighting. Then we give a copy of that video to their children so it can be watched while the parent is gone.

One of the groups we can help the most is families with a parent in the military. Whether it’s through deployment or training, these parents are often gone for months at a time. We are also able to help parents or kids in the hospital for long-term treatments, or families with a parent in prison. Anywhere that a loving parent is separated for a time from their children, we can help.

What inspired you to start Daddy Read a Book?

This was something my dad did for me as a child. He was away from our family for almost a year when I was very young. To help make that time easier, he took my favorite children’s books and filmed himself reading them to me. I watched that video all the time when he was gone and was really able to feel like he was there. I could see his face on the screen and hear his voice and see him smile. It helped us stay connected through the tough time and have a strong relationship when he came home.

What is your dream for Daddy Read a Book?

There are two dreams for Daddy Read a Book and they fit together really well. First, I want daughters and sons to feel connected to and loved by their parents wherever they are. Second, I want to foster a love of reading and learning in children. If we can do both of those things well, then I think we will make a real difference.

My vision for the future of Daddy Read a Book is to be able to support parents reading to their children everywhere, not just in absences. We want to become an advocate for reading to children and help make that easy for parents.

How can Best of BKLYN readers support Daddy Read a Book? Are you looking for volunteers, funding, etc.?

Right now the best way to support Daddy Read a Book is to give. Just $100 gives a family a full video package. Your readers can give online and it takes less than three minutes. Of the public donations we receive, 100% goes to connecting families.

The other way to support us is tell people you know. We have a lot of resources available and would love to help. Posts on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest are great!

So, if I know someone in the military with kids, how can they get involved with Daddy Read a Book?

First, I would love to hear from you. If you know any families facing separation or a tough circumstance, let us know! All we need is their contact information and we will take it from there.

Right now, we’re only able to work with families or parents who are in Arizona. We have some big plans to expand, so please still tell us about the family. We’ll help in any way we can.

And, since this is a fashion blog: what three things do you think every guy needs in his closet?

Somehow I expected this question! You can’t go wrong with clean socks, clean underwear and clean t-shirts. But you may need to wear something more, so here’s what I would say:

1. A great oxford shirt
2. Dark blue broken-in jeans
3. Good, classic shoes

* * *

Chris Cottrell is the founder and CEO of Daddy Read a Book and a consultant at Yodle, Inc. He and his wife Arielle live in Tempe, AZ. Connect with him at his blog or over Twitter, LinkedIn and email!

Congratulations, Brett!!

My amazing husband Brett graduates from the University of Virginia's law school this weekend, and I could not be prouder of him. He's worked so hard the last few years, and I'm so excited to see where this next chapter takes us! Our families are coming into town this weekend, so I'm headed out to spend some time with them! Have a great weekend.

What I Wore: Navy and Red

shirt: gap | skirt: gap | shoes: coach | bag: vintage gucci (from my mom!) | trench: vintage jil sander |
watch: michael kors | bangle: j.crew | necklace: west avenue jewelry

So, last week, I entered a giveaway over at I Heart Heels  for these gorgeous Coach Gemma shoes  and I WON! Thanks Julie and Coach! I was so excited when Julie emailed me, and when the shoes arrived yesterday, I knew I had to wear them to dinner with my in-laws last night. Brett's parents are in town visiting now before he graduates on Sunday, and my family will be joining in later this week. I'm super excited! 

Best of Bogey

golden retriever puppy

golden retriever puppy

golden retriever puppy

golden retriever puppy

golden retriever puppy

golden retriever puppy

golden retriever puppy

Couldn't resist sharing a few more photos of Bogey this week! He's growing SO fast, so we've been doing our best to document his every move, as evidenced by the photo of Brett snapping a photo of Bogey. Mr. Bogey even has his own Instagram. You know you talk about your dog all the time when your friends text you to wish you a happy Mother's Day...when you have no human children. I've become That Person. Oops, but sorry, I'm not sorry. And in case you're wondering who the girl is giving Boges a belly rub...it's a random stranger, who was his best friend for about five minutes. 

Get the Look: Great Gatsby Champagne Coupes

great gatsby champagne glassesgreat gatsby champagne glasses
After seeing The Great Gatsby last weekend, I'm feeling the urge to buy something sparkly for my hair and update my (already overflowing) barware collection. Champagne coupes appeared so many times in the movie, the glasses should have had a line in the credits. While I've always been a fan of the more modern champagne flute, the movie made me rethink my stemware choices, and do a little virtual shopping for some of the retro classic champagne coupes. 

What I Wore: Tie Dye Skort

skort: zara | top: american eagle | shoes: report | necklace: spike the punch

Wore my Zara skort from last summer for the first time yesterday, and I have a feeling it will be a staple again this summer! Kept things simple with my favorite chambray shirt and my go-to black wedges. Have a great weekend! 

Carey Mulligan's Gatsby Vogue Cover

carey mulligan great gatsby vogue cover
carey mulligan great gatsby vogue cover
carey mulligan great gatsby vogue cover
carey mulligan great gatsby vogue cover
carey mulligan great gatsby vogue cover

carey mulligan great gatsby vogue cover

The Great Gatsby movie comes out tomorrow, and I haven't been this excited about a new movie in a very long time. If Carey Mulligan's Vogue cover story is any indication, the costumes in the film are going to be all kinds of amazing. Are you planning on seeing The Great Gatsby this weekend? 

April Glossybox Review

Glossybox sent me their April box to review, and I'm so excited to share what was inside with you! If you've never heard of Glossybox, it's a beauty sample box service, which means you pay $21 a month to receive a box filled with four to five deluxe sized samples. For more info, you can check out their site here, and keep reading for my reviews of the products in this month's box. 

glossybox review

Wash With Joe | Coffeemint Invigorating Body Wash
This body wash contains an invigorating blend of coffee and mint that helps revitalize and balance the body and the mind while keeping skin superbly clean
My thoughts: LOVED this. Seriously, I adored the scent, and it woke me right up. My only drawback on this was that it was really hard to get the product out of the bottle (it doesn't squeeze well) but I'm hoping that's just a flaw with the sample sizes, not the full size product. 

Honest Lip Balms are made from organic jojoba and oils from olives, sunflowers and coconuts. Tahititian Tamanu oil, rich with Omega 6 & 9, helps restore vitality and boost moisture. Perfect for maintaining happy, healthy lips.
My thoughts: This balm was super hydrating, more so than your average drugstore ChapStick, and I love that all of the ingredients are organic, especially in a lip balm, since it's so close to my mouth!

A soft, baked powder formula that effortlessly provides a glow-from-within effect and looks beautiful on all skin tones.
My thoughts: This blush is SUPER pigmented, which is great, but definitely watch how much you put on your brush, lest you wind up looking like a toddler applied your makeup. Not that I made that mistake the first time, or anything.  (I totally did.) Anyways, I loved the subtle shimmer in this one, since it gave me a bit of a glow without being all sparkles. 

A weightless texturizing mist that instantly gives natural, “just-back-from-the-beach” waves. Simply spray on damp or dry hair from roots to ends and shape with fingers for loose, tousled style.
My thoughts: This salt spray brought out my natural waves and definitely gave me beach hair, sans sand and sunburn. A win-win in my book! 

Eau Parfumée au thé Blanc is a generous and elegant expression of personal indulgence. Relaxing and calming, Eau Parfumée au thé Blanc reflects the precious nature of white tea, offering an intimate and luxurious expression of sensory pleasure.
My thoughts: I haven't had a chance to take a bath since recieving the box, but I might just have to make some time this weekend to give it a go. I spoke with a friend who is not a fan of baths who has tried this, and she said it made her re-think her stance on baths, which is saying something, if you ask me! The scent of the tea bag is heavenly, so I'm sure it would make a bath a wonderful one! 

This rich, emollient formula protects, conditions and hydrates while it nourishes, rejuvenates and detoxifies skin, restoring a healthy suppleness to your skin. Paraben-free.
My thoughts: I was so excited to see another Le Métiere de Beauté product in this month's box, and the Replenishing Daily Solution didn't disappoint. It made my skin feel like silk, and I love the subtle fragrance, too! As an added bonus, there was a coupon for $75 off a full size version of the cream, which is an amazing deal for a very pricey product, exclusive to Glossybox subscribers! 

Disclosure: this box was provided to me by Glossybox for review purposes, but all opinions are my own!

Met Ball 2013 Red Carpet

met ball 2013 red carpet
met ball 2013 red carpet
met ball 2013 red carpet
met ball 2013 red carpet
met ball 2013 red carpet
met ball 2013 red carpet
met ball 2013 red carpet
Last night in NYC, fashionable celebs gathered together to fete the opening of the Met's punk exhibit at the Costume Institute of the museum. Since the theme was punk, the carpet was filled with dark makeup, black dresses, and studs galore, but some starlets ignored the theme and just went for all-out glam. This is one carpet that never disappoints, and I had a hard time narrowing down my favorites for this post! Who was on your best dressed list?