8/3/15

Cool tones



Aritzia dress (not online, but I've linked to some other options below) // Madewell scarf // J.Crew bag // Alex & Ani bracelet // Ray Ban sunglasses // Sam Edelman sandals 
Ok, when I first saw this denim dress in Aritzia I thought "cute, but for someone else," so I put it back and kept shopping. But, a few minutes later I decided it couldn't hurt to try it on, and fortunately I was pleasantly surprised. I turned out to be such a great summer dress and the indigo color suits me well as it's something different from the usual navy, but also not too bight. It happened to pair well with this scarf I picked up at Madewell in Boston (on major sale!!) and topped it all off with my go-to  beach bag (which is currently 20% off!). 

Anyways, I'm kicking off my last week on the Vineyard ;(, but I'll be sure to make the most of it. I hope you are following along on instagram to see my daily snaps from the island! I have so many pictures to show you guys and I can't wait to organize it all into some recap posts! If you're curious about Martha's Vineyard, check out my island guide to see all of my favorite spots. 

Enjoy your week and happy August!!

P.S. You might not have noticed but my site's official url is now www.stripesandpeonies.com, so change your bookmark! My old url will redirect here, so nothing should be different!

7/29/15

Ten easy summer dresses









We all get to that point during summer where we just don't care about our outfits anymore. Maybe you're busy or maybe it's hot and humid outside and today is just not your day. Trust me, I've been there. Enter the slip on dress that only requires sandals to finish the outfit off. A majority of my summer looks are easy dresses that I constantly wear with the same pair of sandals. For me, a light dress is the easiest thing to wear in the summer because it's just one piece and isn't difficult. You all know the feeling when you just can't get the shorts-top combo right and it's just frustrating. To solve everyone's summer dressing woes, I've rounded up ten of the best summer dresses you can throw on and wear anywhere. And even better, these "summer" dresses don't have to go away right when September starts. Early fall (at least for me) is still pretty warm so I pair my summer dresses with cardigans and booties to change it up. 

7/27/15

Black, white, and striped







As you may have noticed from my instagram, I have been in Boston for the last couple of days. I have been to Boston a few times before, but I've never really spent time in the city. Most of what I've seen of Boston is through a car window when we are on the way to the Vineyard. This time, I took advantage of my free time and explored a bit of Boston. I headed over to Beacon Hill after seeing countless photos of this charming neighborhood everywhere and it didn't disappoint. Although I didn't see every little street, the ones I did see were too cute. I was getting jealous of the residents with it's gorgeous brownstones and cute door knockers 

Now on to the outfit. I picked up this chic Rag & Bone piece in New York a few weeks ago on major sale and just could not pass it up. Black and white is not a color combo I typically wear, so it was nice to switch things up a bit. I paired it with my Repetto flats I found in Paris last summer, which held up quite nicely amidst the hilly and un-flat terrain of Beacon Hill. I can't wait to head back to Boston next year, but keep checking the blog this week as I've arrived in Martha's Vineyard (read my travel guide here) and I'll be creating some island content here! 

Keep up with my travels on Instagram & Twitter


7/24/15

Martha's Vineyard | Island Guide

map image via, pin image via


If you're a longtime reader of the blog, you probably know that Martha's Vineyard is pretty much my favorite place in the world. I've been going since I was a baby and every summer I get excited around this time because it's time for the annual trip. I finally get there Sunday, but to kick off some MV blog material, I've got the whole guide to the island. To see some of my older posts on the island look hereherehere, and here. It's a bit of a trek to get from Texas to Cape Cod. I fly, drive, and take a ferry...it's sometimes an all day affair, but it always worth it. If you know me, you know that I can talk for hours upon hours about the Vineyard....seriously, don't get me started. I wanted to pour all of my knowledge of the island into one huge island guide on the blog for everyone who is new or a returning visitor to Martha's Vineyard. I've been working on this for weeks and I've compiled a list of all of my favorite places. They are in no particular order, but I've only included places I love. I hope you find this guide useful and it leaves you wanting to book a trip to Martha's Vineyard. If you want more recommendations, tips, or any general questions about Martha's Vineyard, please feel free to email me. I would love to hear from you!

P.S. I will keep updating this guide if I come across any new spots!




If someone asks me where to eat in Oak Bluffs, I’ll send them to Slice of Life first. After eating here hundreds of times, I still can’t forget their delicious truffle fries. Slice of Life is a breakfast, lunch, and dinner restaurant and I could eat all three meals here.


Atria is a cute, upscale restaurant in downtown Edgartown. Although I’ve never been, I’ve passed by it so many times and I always see tons of people here!


If you’re going to go to ArtCliff, be prepared to wait in line. It’s a cute diner on the way into downtown Vineyard Haven and a lovely breakfast spot before heading to the beach. 


The Net Result is one of my favorite spots on the island. Their sushi is amazing and they also have a great seafood menu. It’s a lovely spot to sit outside (if you can snag a table) on your way to the beach or into Vineyard Haven. 


Your not so typical destination for the best lobster rolls. Grace Church is in Vineyard Haven and sells their lobster rolls every Friday at 4:30. Be sure to get there early because lines do develop!


As I’m currently doing a healthy eating diet, my mind can’t help but wander to the delicious fried mac-and-cheese balls at the bite. This tiny shack serves up some of the best fried foods and is steps away from the beach. When sunset watching in Menemsha (must do), I always have a spread of lobsters with fried foods from the bite to accompany me. 


Although I don’t frequent this place as much as I used to when I was little, it’s still a great place to grab a sandwich or some fries. It’s delicious and also connected to an ice cream shop (Mad Martha’s) so it’s the ultimate place. 


The general stores on this island are truly underrated. They are all a little different and I love this one because they have yummy pizza which you come in individual slices. 


You may have seen pictures or read about this place because a couple of years ago Obama stopped by. Nancy’s is situated on the waterfront of Oak Bluffs harbor and has a plethora of outdoor seating. 


Another fabulous pizza place. You can either order pizza to go or by the slice or sit down in the restaurant. Giordano’s is a solid Italian joint on the island and a great place to go with kids. 


For brunch with the girls, head to the Atlantic. It’s right on the water and right in the middle of all of the shopping in Edgartown and also a delicious seafood spot. If you can, get a table on the patio or outside on a pretty day for a lovely view!


Similar to The Bite in Menemsha, Quarterdeck is a small fried foods shack in Edgartown near the Chappaquiddick ferry. I love their french fries and chicken tenders and the service is always super fast!


Flatbread Company is a little outside of the main centers, situated near the airport. They have delicious pizzas that are easy to pick up and bring home for a casual dinner in. 


This isn’t exactly a restaurant, but it’s a trusted meat supplier for my dad and a great place to find high quality meats, plus they also have some gourmet foods to help you finish off your meal. 


A little down the street from Shiretown meats is Edgartown meat & fish, which is my favorite upscale food market. They have fruit, cheese, wine/champagne, meat, fish, starbucks (!!), and an assortment of foods. 


Morning Glory is one of the many reasons I love Martha’s Vineyard. Morning Glory’s produce is all grown locally and everything is extremely fresh. They sell mainly fruits and vegetables, but also have a lovely flower selection outside. 


If you have a dinner party and you need some cheeses, this is the place to go. The employees here are always willing to help you out and find the best cheeses and they also have a small but yummy selection of desserts. 


Golden Retrievers galore. I swear there are always about 10 of them walking around in the farmer’s market. The Tisbury’s farmers market is one of my favorite places because first of all, there is a lovely selection of food and goods, two because it’s the site of my favorite playground that I used to play on, and three because it’s across the street from MacPhail’s corner café. The farmer’s market is open on Saturdays and Wednesdays from 9-12, so please stop by if you can!


As you can see, I’m quite knowledgable about pizza on the island. Edgartown Pizza is another one of my favorites on the way into downtown Edgartown. 


Katama General store is the perfect place to stop if you’re headed to South Beach and in need of some beach snacks. It’s a small place, but don’t pass it up on your way there!


MacPhail’s is a super cute and tiny coffee shop and café in the middle of everything in Edgartown. It’s a great spot to chill out whilst in the middle of shopping.


Behind the bookstore is my favorite coffee shop on the island. It’s a relatively new place that is literally behind the Edgartown bookstore. It’s usually pretty crowded but also quiet in the outdoor seating area. This is a must stop for first timers.


Espresso love is another one of my favorite coffee shops on the vineyard and I’ve been here probably too many times to pick up another iced latte. 


Mocha Motts coffee.

Although you might miss the OB location because it’s a bit hidden and you have to go down some stairs, it’s a gem. Mocha Motts is where you’ll find me indulging in another iced coffee and maybe one of their delicious pastries as well. 


This place is right around the corner from West Tisbury’s farmers market so once you’ve bought everything, you can head over to 7a to get your morning fix of coffee or tea. 


Mad Martha’s is one of my perfect ice cream spots. It’s right next to Skinny’s Fat so it’s the perfect dessert for dinner (or maybe lunch). 



Don’t be discouraged by the long line that sometimes goes past the door most nights in Oak Bluffs. Ben & Bill’s has phenomenal ice cream and it’s my favorite place on the island. They have sorbet, typical ice cream flavors, and even some like lobster ice cream which has the most peculiar taste. In addition to ice cream, a whole side of Ben & Bill’s is a chocolate and candy store, so it’s the perfect place for dessert. 


C.B. Stark has been an annual stop for me for years now. I started a silver charm bracelet here years ago and have added a new charm ever since. Besides base bracelets and charms, they also have lovely necklaces and earrings. Although most of the jewelry is fairly simple in design, the pieces are influenced by the island with designs of starfish, lighthouses, and outlines of the island. 


This is a small tourist-y store in the middle of Oak Bluffs where I usually stop in to look around or grab a t-shirt. If you are on OB, it’s a fun place to walk around in!


When your sunglasses break and you’re in a pinch, you can easily find designer-looking sunglasses for $20 and up (but they also have designer sunglasses if you want those). 


The Black Dog is a brand I’ve been wearing since I was a baby in black dog hats and swimsuits and I’m still wearing it 17 years later. While I no longer sport the tie-dye black dog t-shirts, there is still so much to find in that store! There is both men, women, and children’s clothing, home goods, pet accessories, beach towels, and the beloved tote bags. 


This is my favorite boutique because it carries a lot of my favorite brands like Two Bees Cashmere, Dolce Vita, J Brand, and Joie. It’s a bit pricey but it’s a go-to for cute clothes on the Vineyard!

Edgartown beauty 
This quirky store has clothes, home goods, decor, paper goods, accessories, books, kids toy’s, baby gifts, and pretty much everything imaginable. I definitely recommend stopping in if you’re in Vineyard Haven. 


It’s one of the main bookstores on the island and a great place to look around on a rainy day to find your next beach read. 


Even though it’s moved locations many times over the years, Bunch of Grapes has remained my favorite bookstore. A great bonus is that it’s across the street from a frozen yogurt shop too!


While there’s no official Lilly Pulitzer on the island, In the Pink is just about that. They carry Lilly Pulitzer, Sail to Sable, and a few other small brands. 


If you want to load up on Martha’s Vineyard t-shirts, this should be your destination. There are thousands of choices and I always stop by here every year to get new t-shirts and sweatshirts. A little fun fact about Soft as a Grape....they are the unofficial retailer of the Secret Service so that they can “blend in” when protecting the president during his stays on the island (as told to me from the owner). 


While I don’t dress in head-to-toe Vineyard Vines like some people...I do enjoy stopping in these stores to see the new collection and pick up a few items. I really only buy my Vineyard Vines pieces in the Vineyard because well, the company was named after the island. 


Midnight Farm is a home goods store and a great place to go if you’re looking to furnish your new beach home. If not, it’s still a fun place to look around and to find little things to bring some of Martha’s Vineyard back to your home. 


One thing I always do every year is buy five or so bottles of olive oil and balsamic vinegar at Le Roux to bring home. They have interesting flavors like blood orange, white peach, and basil. Besides that, Le Roux also has a collection of gourmet foods too add to your kitchen. 


 Chilmark Pottery is a little of the main roads, but it’s a fun stop. Inside this huge barn lie hundreds of pieces of handmade pottery in all shapes in sizes. Plus, the artist works right in the back of the store so sometimes you can watch him make pottery right in front of you.




Most people who visit MV rent houses, which is what my family has been doing for years. I've listed some of my most used vacation rental websites along with some properties I've stayed at before and liked. Just a warning, the properties I've listed are all for a big family or multiple families. 
A scene from the ferry.

BROWN(Vineyard Haven), NAKAJ (Edgartown), and CONDB (Oak Bluffs)




I've never actually stayed here, but I've walked by it and it's a lovely place and I've heard great things!


Beaches

Oak Bluffs Harbor
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been knocked over by the waves at South Beach (I would guess around twenty). South Beach is the beach where you want to get in the water and swim out and enjoy the waves. It’s been a favorite of mine since I was a kid and was actually allowed to go out in the water. I will warn you because South Beach can get really crowded, so go early if it’s a weekend or a particularly pretty day. Also, finding a parking space can be difficult. 


Long Point beach is simply the best. 
It’s on a huge wildlife refuge, so it’s set far off the main road. The small road getting there is very long and its not quite wide enough to accommodate two lanes. It’s a dirt road, so get ready for some bumps, but in about 10 or 15 minutes you’re there. After parking, you have to bring all of your stuff and walk about 10 or so more minutes on a dirt/sand trail to the actual beach. I know this seems like a crazy journey just for a beach. The unique factor about Long Point that is that it has both a freshwater pond and a beach. The pond is completely fish free and there is virtually nothing on the sand, but there is a huge drop-off in the middle, so you have to be careful to not go out too far. The pond is a popular place for families with small children and others wanting some quiet. The beach is less popular than south beach, but still a favorite of mine. There are fees for cars/adults unless you’re a member, but nothing too steep. 


State beach is one of my favorites on the island. The water is relatively clear and there is a pretty large sandbar so you can relax in the water. The downside is that parking is difficult and the sand is quite rocky. If you love heights and jumping off bridges...this is the beach for you. Second or “Jaws” bridge is a popular spot for kids (and sometimes adults) to jump off of. It’s pretty high up, but not too crazy. I am not a fan of heights and even I’ve jumped off it a few times. Everyone’s been ignoring the “no jumping or diving” sign for years now.


The trail leading up to Gay Head.

                                                      









Gay Head (Up island)
Gay Head is a little hard to get to, but a beautiful and tranquil place on the island. Gay Head has these beautiful clay cliffs that are lovely to photograph. After your time at the beach, you can go look at the newly-moved Gay Head lighthouse with a beautiful view. Also, if you decide to take a walk on the beach and you get down far enough...don’t be surprised if you run into a nude beach. 













Menemsha is not a beach I typically go to during the day, but one to watch the sunset. To get the whole experience, order some lobsters to pick up when you get there and bring some beach chairs and blankets and settle in to watch the sunset. It’s a gorgeous spot, so bring your camera!

Chappaquiddick, or Chappy, is a small island that is separated from Martha’s Vineyard by only a small narrow body of water. I rarely go out there because it’s a trek, but it’s a fun day trip and the beaches there are much quieter. You can get there via a tiny ferry in Edgartown that takes a few minutes, but you’re going to need to drive around. Also, don’t be surprised if you have bad cell service there.

Menemsha beach 
Activities 


Bike Rentals 


Sailing 

I did these all the time when I was little, so if you have siblings or kids that are into nature, this is a great program!




Flying Horses is the oldest carousel in the US and is a must for anyone on Martha's Vineyard. I still do it every year and you see adults on it too, it's not a just for kids thing. It's best to go at night after dinner or before grabbing ice cream at Ben & Bills!


Yes, Martha's Vineyard has an alpaca farm and it is the greatest thing. 










All photos/graphics are created by me, unless otherwise stated.

7/20/15

Manhattan summer


The view from the top deck at the new Whitney

After trying Maman during my last trip to NYC, I had to come back and try their iced coffee. 

The Views from the Whitney are amazing guys, trust me (oh and the art too). 



Finally tried out Devición in Brooklyn to escape the heat and get another fixed of iced coffee. Verdict: I'm coming back as soon as possible. 


Since I wasn't able to attend the Smart Girls Conference this year, I met up with Sloane for coffee at Maison Kayser and took an obligatory shoe picture after. 


The only good picture from this day as it proceeded to rain ten minutes later. Wearing my favorite AG jeans that proceeded to get soaked as I got stuck in the rain all day. 

missing this view right about now...


Oh how I'll never tire of Manhattan. I'll always see something new each time, but at the same time I love returning to my favorite spots. I spent the last week and a half in New York, but it felt like much longer than that. I spent most of my time in Morningside Heights/The Upper West side at Barnard, which was a new neighborhood to me which I loved exploring. The rest of my time was spent bouncing around from Columbus Circle to West Village to Soho. I've looked through all of my photos and picked some of my favorites to show you guys and to give you a glimpse into my time in New York. Enjoy!

7/17/15

Happy Weekend + Links

via


- I'm home from New York and I have so many pictures to show you, so check back on the blog soon to see some recaps! In the meantime, you can check out some shots from my trip on my instagram

- Yesterday I finally got around to watching the documentary, Dior and I, on iTunes. The film centers around Raf Simmon's first collection for Dior (that he had to make in 8 weeks I might add). I found it extremely fascinating because you got to see the real work that goes behind a couture show and inside Dior's atelier. It's a great watch!

- I went to Artizia in New York a few times and they are currently having a great  sale. You can now score 30-60% off in stores and online so start shopping!

- Loved reading about my #dwc girl's trip to the Hamptons on Citrus & Style.

- This Elle editor who lived like Kim Kardashian for a month (literally) wrote a series of articles on it and it is golden. Pure gold. Start with part one here.

-If you're like me and constantly paranoid about your phone battery but also not wanting to buy a bulky mophie case, look no further than Boostcase. It's a two-part case so you can have a slim case on when it's not charging and easily snap on the extra battery when you need it. I currently have the gold case on my phone and it's one of my musts for traveling!

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