Summer Must-Haves: The Complete Guide

Hello Lovelies!

Summer is here and life is so good! Travel is more popular and it seems everyone is finding their personal getaway this season! Personally, I have managed to find too many excuses to online shop; from home furnishings to travel gear, to every yellow sandal ever made, this is the summer of new adventures and a little indulgence too!

To celebrate all the fun, I have compiled lists of my favorite new and classic pieces for whatever you are up to this summer!

1. The Adventurer

Finally going on that trip you put off or just driving around to visit family? Style your luggage with this curated selection!

2. The Lemon Enthusiast

Some may say this is a cheesy theme inspired by Capri, but right now I am a sucker for anything yellow! Pro tip: for anything Girlfriend Collective use my code ADELIA25 – it is still active till the end of the month!

3. The Clean Beauty

Love natural skincare and makeup? These picks are for you!

And those are my summer faves!! Shop everything here and stay tuned on She Laughs for more summer content including travel planning, cheap summer dates, and more!

Xx,

A

Jetsetter Gift Guide 

courtesy of Margaret Holmes Cady

The plane (see what I did there) best gifts for your friends or family members with wandering feet and travel on the brain. A list so good, it will make you add ‘seeing the world’ to your 2020 resolutions! 

 

Passport Pretty

 

This travel wallet from Aspinal of London is perfect for the organized jetsetter. It perfectly holds your passport, phone, documents and has a little zip pouch for change or foreign currency. For an extra special touch get it embossed with initials. I own the classic Black Croc and Red Suede (Louboutin colors) but also love the Burgundy and Navy Suede and the Scarlet Saffiano. 

 

Le Case

 

Away luggage exploded onto the scene last year and I’m happy to report they keep upping their game. This year for the holidays they launched the limited edition Luminous Collection, with jewel-like finishes that add a bit of glamor to their mega-practical suitcases. I’m eyeing up the Bigger Carry-On which is sized to fit in the overhead bin of most major airlines. I love the Mirror finish, a glossy, deep silver which feels both modern and timeless. They offer two versions- one with a built in battery that can charge your phone up to 4x and another version sans-battery when lightness is the name of the game. 

 

These boots were made for walkin’

 

Traveling means getting your steps in and so you need footwear that’s up to the task and still brings serious style points. Enter the Hilty Bootie by Sam Edelman, which has a modest block heel, chic pointed toe and butter soft black leather finish. If you’re a fan of a more bohemian or casual look, the hazelnut or caramel suede versions would be rustic-chic. Come rain or shine, snow or sleet, this boot will go the distance. 

 

Airplane Cocktail Kit

 

Business or pleasure? If you’re traveling on your own dime, then might as well make it a celebration! With the Carry On Cocktail Kit you can have a grown up beverage on the go. TSA approved, the kits come in several varieties, personal favorites include the Champagne Cocktail and the Moscow Mule. Just add the hard stuff. This would make a great stocking stuffer or white elephant gift. Bragging rights for most stolen gift-check! 

 

Cozy Chic Set 

 

Traveling can be stressful enough, with bad weather, delays, long security lines etc. Trying to find a balance between comfort and style in transport is a thing of the past with this dynamic duo. Spanx cult favorite faux-leather leggings for your pins and the coziest Alpaca sweater known to man from Everlane for under $100. Add a trench or pea coat depending on the weather and you’re golden. Always travel chic, never travel schlep. 

 

Top Up Beauty Kit 

 

Combat early starts and red-eye flights with a perfectly portable beauty kit. When you’re traveling you want products that aren’t too fussy. They also have to be worth every square inch of your limited toiletry space in your bag. Look no further than Bobbi Brown! I’m head over heels for the Glow On The Go or Clutch Classics, TSA friendly sizes of their best selling products. Ready, set, glow! 

 

Spontaneous Travel 

 

If you’ve ever wanted to surprise someone (or yourself!) with a trip but struggled with the logistics, wait no more! This year use Whym for a surprise booking getaway anywhere in the United States. First you pick the type of travel and answer a survey: how many explorers, dates, budget and preferences. One week before departure Whym sends a weather forecast and packing list, 24 hours before you are told where and when you leave and, on the day, you find out your destination. Once you arrive there are more surprises built into the itinerary, as well as blocks of free time. I’m dying to give this one a go, friends have raved about the Whym team and the excellent service. If you’re giving a Whym trip as a gift there are two routes, buy a gift card starting from S50 or get in touch with the team! 

 

What To Do When Life Throws You A Curve Ball

Hello Lovelies!

Today’s post is a bit more personal, but here we go! I was inspired by many random messages over the past few months, asking me about how I am handling some major changes this year (breakup, graduation, career shifts…) and here are my top recommendation of what to do when life throws you a curve ball! Maybe he broke up with you, maybe you didn’t get into that program, maybe you are no longer passionate about your major – whatever it is, here are some ways to not only take care, but also find yourself again!

TRAVEL

I am not kidding. A few years ago I was faced with a difficult issue in my personal life. The trip had already been planned, but when I sat waiting for my flight to CDG I considered going back home for this issue (the nature of it isn’t important). Fortunately some really awesome people encouraged me to go as planned even though I was scared to leave the country, and I am so glad I did. That trip gave me the self-reflection I desperately needed in my life. It made me realize a lot about what I wanted to do an ultimately what I wanted out of life. If you are ever faced with a difficult decision or a major change in life, travel and travel alone. Literally eat, pray, love.

Cut Out Toxicity

It is scary and difficult in the moment, but whether you are cutting out a person or a habit, think out it as emotional pruning. Look at what factors in your life hurt you rather than help you and get rid of them. It’s that simple.

Do Not Be Afraid To Make A Big Change

Right now I am considering a big move in life and I am scared as sh*t. But being scared or anxious is not going to help me think wisely in this situation, so as I make this decision I intend to put aside my fears and go for the dream that is so big it scares me.

Stay Close To The Relationships That Last Forever

Family and lifelong friends – you know when you see them that they last forever, and this is why they should command your focus and attention. I have had times when I had to choose between those whom I would consider my family and people who are no longer in my life and those times are probably what I regret most in life.

Look To The Future

The key part to this one is to not look back. you are just not going that way. I know it can be difficult especially as someone living with anxiety to not live in the past but take all that time you are wasting on the past and use it towards the future. Just dream and plan for better.

Live For Yourself

Literally do what you want to do. If you would rather stay in then go out, do it. If you feel called to knit or paint or whatever, do it, because for some important reason your body/mind/subconscious spirit is calling you to use your time to feed your soul in whatever way feels right for YOU.

xx,

A

The 6 Most Instagramable Places In Virginia

Hello Lovelies!!

I just got back from my short road trip to visit family – btw most people actually do not know that I grew up in Virginia – and as a blogger one of my favorite parts of the trip was the picturesque nature of all the places we visited! So here I decided to compile some of my favorite places (especially the places that made it on the gram)!!

The Omni Homestead Resort

Around every corner here is another adorable spot!! If you are looking for a vacation where you do not need to go far for your daily activities, this resort is perfect!!

The Mountains Of Hot Springs

These blue ridge mountains are so gorgeous!! The scenic spots around the national parks are the most picturesque places in this state, and there are some gorgeous waterfalls too!

Virginia Beach Oceanfront

Any time I visit home I have to take a beach day! The waves are wonderful and the best part of this location is how close it is to everything else in the area!

Norfolk Waterside

Whether you are going out or taking a boat trip, Waterside is such a beautiful spot! There is the Spirit of Norfolk and also the Grain is close by, perfect for day or evening, and the best part is all the photo-op potential!

Norfolk Historic District

One day I needed some new backgrounds for outfit photos and suddenly I found these gorgeous houses in the Historic District – very old Virginia!

Norfolk Arts/Neon District

There are definitely many more amazing spots, but this list includes my favorites (so all the locations that made it on the feed!)

xx,

A

Easy Summer Recipes

Hello Lovelies!

As I have mentioned, I have been spending a lot of time vacationing with my family this week, and for our family, any time spent together is not complete without FOOD. I am serious, we have a lot of food lovers in the family and a few amateur chefs as well! So today I thought I would quickly share a few of the fun recipes I have learned so far during this trip!

Vegetable Canapé

This one is probably the easiest recipe on this list (and it’s pictured above!) and all you need is cucumber, goat cheese, and strawberries! Once the cucumbers and strawberries are made into bite-sized slices, attach them together with a small amount of cheese and now you have an easy snack to serve guests!

Strawberry Crepes

There are many different crepe recipes out there, so for now I am going into how my family makes the homemade strawberry syrup for the crepes! First, you boil a pot of 1 part water and 1 part sugar. Once this simple syrup is at a low boil, add in some strawberry slices, then wait for the strawberries to get soft and the syrup to turn a deep shade of pink before pouring the contents onto a fresh crepe! Add some powdered sugar on top for extra sweetness!

Chicken Tacos

This one is probably my favorite for a quick, healthy dinner! It also makes me feel fancy to say I made dinner from scratch but here we go! I start with corn tortillas, small pieces of grilled chicken, seasoned however (I like to change it up!), and queso ( white quesadilla cheese perfect for melting). I heat these ingredients together on an open panini press – this is easier to clean – and then once the cheese melts and I have moved the taco over to a plate, I add a little lime juice, maybe some salsa, sliced avocado, or any other cold ingredients for added taste!

This list is pretty short but that’s what I got! Hope you all enjoy these easy recipes, and let me know if you try them!

xx,

A

How To Make The Most Out Of A Solo Road Trip

Hello Lovelies!!

I am currently sitting in the living room of my family’s mountain house, the same spot where I would sit and read (or usually just fool around) throughout my childhood. This week I will be spending some quality time with my family, and since they live so far away, I decided to make a fun, solo road trip out of the occasion! So if you are traveling alone this summer, especially by car, here is my guide to making the most out of your trip!

Plan Ahead!

First, make a checklist – and not just for what you’re packing! Once you know what you are bringing and such, be sure to also plan for food, snacks along the way, and most importantly, be sure to check your car, make sure everything is up to date and ready for the trip including gas, tires, oil, etc.

Budget!! Figure out your trip expenses: how much you intend to spend on food, shopping, incidentals, and of course budget plenty extra just in case!

The Playlist

Making a 6 hour long road trip playlist of the perfect songs is quite the task, but your entertainment on the road can be more than that! Before the trip, search for some new audiobooks and podcasts you can listen to for long stretches! I prefer listening to longer pieces because I am much less distracted by the need to skip songs!

For my trip I found some nice playlists and podcasts on Spotify! Also, I would setup my phone so I can voice-search new albums I might want to listen to!

Scenic Stops

Any long road trip is bound to have cool places to stop along the way! Research your route and see if there is a nice lookout you can visit on your way! Also plan to gas up, find a Starbucks, and stretch your legs on your way!

And lastly, Drive Safe!

xx,

A

 

Chicago Travel Guide

Hello Lovelies!!

I am back from my travels to Chicago this winter!! (Don’t worry! I will still be posting as if I am there!) I had a wonderful time chez @MirandaOates (thanks babe for letting me steal your bed and all your skincare!) and below I have created a mini travel guide for first time visitors with some of the best attractions, eateries, and other important information!

Travel

Fortunately I was able to take my time driving to Chicago and parking my car was a non-issue as my friend lives in the suburbs. I do not recommend driving through the wind farms with a small car as that can get scary.

As far as travel within the city, if you are looking to save money, take the train system. Otherwise, definitely make a budget for Uber and other transportation.

Lodging

There are plenty of beautiful places to stay in the city but I certainly preferred saving this portion of my budget by staying in the suburbs.

Tourist Attractions

SkyDeck at Willis Tower

 

This was actually our last stop during the trip! We were hoping to catch golden hour and obviously the wait was much longer than we anticipated. As much as I love the view, and the lights of the city were absolutely gorgeous, the lines and the time it took both before and after we got there were ridiculous even for a random Thursday in January. Thank you, next.

Riverwalk

 

Some of my favorite views as we walked across the city in the cold!

The Bean

 

The bean exceeded my expectations! Sure the mirrored surface is a little dirty, but the images we captured in the short time we were there were amazing!!

Food

3 Arts Club Cafe at Restoration Hardware

 

Oh. My. God. From now on, anytime I am in the Chicago area, I cannot pass up the opportunity to visit this restaurant!! Both the breakfast and the lunch menus looked incredible! I ordered the truffle grilled cheese with truffle fries which was to die for!! And after our lunch we got to check out the gorgeous rooms on display throughout the store!

The Hampton Social

 

Another must-see spot! I got a light lunch here with tomato soup and a side of fries, but my favorite part of the visit was the frosé!! So good!

Overall, this is definitely one of my favorite places to visit in the US! The trip was overall very relaxed and easy and I loved seeing so many amazing things for the first time!

Outfit Details

*In order by date

Outfit 1 (Restoration Hardware): Forever 21 top, American Eagle jeans, Kohls shoes, i.am.gia pixie coat

Outfit 2 (Hampton Social and Riverwalk): T Tahari coat, Lou and Grey dress, shoes from Kohls

Outfit 3 (The Bean and SkyDeck): Anthropologie top, J.Crew jacket, Eileen Fisher jeans, Steve Madden heels, necklaces from The Sis Kiss

xx,

A

The Only Dress You Need for Your Next Getaway

Hello Lovelies!!

Last week, I flew down to visit my family in Virginia and per usual, I struggled to fit all my outfits in one suitcase! Luckily, I only needed to pack one dress perfect for both casual walks around town as well as family dinner.

To find the one dress versatile for daytime and evening, comfortable for an extended trip, and modest for family events, I visited Virginia Dare Dress Company and found EXACTLY what I needed!

I LOVE the Emma dress! It is so well made with fabric perfect for warm or cold weather. This solid green dress is perfect to dress up with heels and jewelry, though it can also be dressed down with flats and a blanket scarf!

I am wearing an XL petite and am loving the comfortable fit! All of their dresses are currently available in sizes XS to XL, petit to tall, and I am happy to say that they are expanding their size range to include more plus-size women with 2XL dresses!

Did I mention it has pockets?!?! Thank you Virginia Dare Dress Company for exceeding my expectations!

If you would like to see more about my experience with the brand (like their amazing product packaging) visit the Instagram link below and check out my PR story highlight!

xx,

A

 

Spring Break 2018: Beauty Essentials!

Hello Lovelies!!

Whenever I have a trip coming up, I always like to plan my packing ahead of time, and lately my goal has been to pack as lightly as possible (quite the challenge for a beauty blogger!). Here are a few space-saving tips and my own makeup/skincare/haircare/toiletry packing list!

Sized to Travel

It can be expensive to buy both full sized products AND over-priced travel sized versions. To avoid the extra cost, here are some of my life hacks!

  1. if you are testing out a product, or know that you will take a while to use it up, buy the travel size! I usually do this for powders, bronzers, and blushes as I use these products sparingly (the powders and blushes featured were purchased a year ago!).
  2. Samples!! There are a number of ways I will get sample sizes, usually this is from subscription boxes or redeeming rewards. I mostly do this for the skincare featured like Tatcha or Clinique. I also collect samples of other makeup like blush/highlighter sticks to save for travel! Pro tip: save old sample-sized bottles and refill them before a trip! I also refill travel-sized bottles of my shampoo and conditioner!
  3. I love to pack single use products in my carry-on for in-flight skincare or haircare!

Gallery: The Packing List

The final photo shows all my products packed and ready to be stored in various bags depending on how long I will be traveling!

Thank you for reading!! Please visit the drop-down menu to the right and subscribe to see more content each week!

xx,

A