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Lemon Dress

c/o Chicwish lemon dress, Design Darling earrings, old clutch (similar), Louise et Cie pumps, Nars Schiap lipstick, c/o Ben Amun ring, Ray Ban aviators

Today is a day that, 10 years ago, I thought I would dread. Today I’m turning 30. Today,  I’m more than excited for the next decade. In the next decade I hope to start a family, buy my first home, grow my blog and career, and generally kick some ass (If all goes to plan!).

Looking back on my 20s, I feel so proud of where I’ve come. I graduated from college (which feels like a lifetime ago) and have worked at 3 incredible companies, growing my career from a sales assistant at Condé Nast to Sales Director at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition to running my own business to being the Marketing Director at Nourish Snacks today. I moved three times from LA to NYC (I survived 4 tiny apartments on the Upper East Side) to CT. I broke up with a boyfriend that I didn’t like very much at all, dated some horrifying human beings in New York and then met and married the love of my life. I watched my family fall apart when my parents divorced and then watched it build back into something new and different. Then I became a big sister again! I started Lemon Stripes (Fun fact: It was first named Lemons & Loafers) and grew it into a blog that I’m so proud of. I also have gotten a better handle on my anxiety and sleeping issues and have learned to care a whole lot less about what other people think.

Everyone says that your 30s are so much better than your 20s because you’re more comfortable in your own skin and more confident as a person. Those are two things that in the last few months I’ve started to feel and I look forward to seeing how those feelings continue to grow.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share a few important lessons that I learned in my 20s. In other news, how perfect is this dress?

Lemon Pattern Dress

Compromise

When you get married, you’re forced to learn about compromise. Otherwise the relationship is pretty much destined to go up in flames. My husband and I are both great communicators but compromise was tough for us for a long time We’re both stubborn, type-A leaders but when we realized that having our own way all the time harmed our relationship, we wizened up and now have a pretty good balance of give and take. This took almost 5 years for us to figure out!

Lemon Navy Dress

Let it go

I still have trouble with this but I’m learning to stop sweating the small stuff. In the long run, it’s not worth it.

Lemons

Eat the effing cookie

Taking care of your body is hugely important but once in a while it’s ok to indulge. One cookie will NOT make you fat I promise. Sometimes you have to live a little.

But don’t have that last drink

When I’m out drinking with friends there is always a tipping point where I am pretty tipsy but just want to stay for one more drink. I’ve learned in the last few years that it’s usually not worth it when I’m hungover the next day at work. I’ve realized that if I’m not ready to go home, it’s ok to get a club soda or a glass of water with lemon and stay a little longer. You can still have fun without drinking more than you need to.

Lemons and Stripes

Appreciating alone time

In college and my early 20s, I always surrounded myself with friends. I’d go out on nights when I was exhausted just to be around people! Today, I appreciate alone time and definitely don’t feel like a “loser” when I spend nights on my own. Quite the opposite in fact.

Success takes work

Whether it’s a job, a blog, a friendship, a relationship, or a home, if you want success in any area of life, you have to hustle. Success isn’t about luck or charm, it’s about working your ass off… With a little bit of luck and charm thrown in of course.

Shop this look:

Striped Shirt Dress

ASOS shirt dress

ASOS shirt dress, Madewell sandals + Panama hat, Coach bag (similar), Ray Ban aviators

I have a deep-seated issue with looking like a tourist. It gives me serious agida to be wearing a big camera, sneakers, shorts, and a cross-body bag when I’m walking around a new city, especially in Europe. I try really hard to balance comfort, practicality, and a good look when I’m dressing for a day of tourism. I think I struck the perfect balance in this look pairing a breathable shirt dress with comfortable sandals and a hat to protect from the sun.

On one of our adventure days in Sicily, we took a gondola up to the beautiful Game of Thrones looking town of Erice. It was a cool medieval looking place with little shops and cafes with a view of the ocean from high above. Look at the photo below of the coolest effing castle overlooking the sea. Just like King’s Landing, am I right? We couldn’t stop singing the GoT theme song! #dorks

Three tips for dressing as a tourist:

1. Protect… (Your face) If you’re someplace sunny, always wear a hat to protect your skin and shield your eyes. Lather on the sunscreen before you leave the house. Just because you’re not at the beach, it doesn’t mean the sun can’t get to you! (Your fellow travelers) This might sound gross, but I always bring a travel sized deodorant in my bag too. If you end up heading to dinner without a chance to go back to your hotel, you might want to freshen up after a day of walking around and potentially sweating. (Your feet) This is obvious but wear shoes you can comfortably walk around in all day! I loved these “siteseer” sandals because they stay put and look cute while doing it.

2. Travel Light: If you’re going to be out all day, wear a cross body bag holding only the essentials so your shoulders don’t get sore (yes the mini deodorant fits!). I bring cash, credit cards, ID, chapstick, tissues, hand sanitizer and my phone for photos.

3. Style: You can be comfortable and practical without wearing sneakers, cargo shorts, and a fanny pack. Pick a dress, or loose shorts and a tee that are made of breathable cotton but also look great in the photos that you’re bound to have for a lifetime.

Striped shirt dress

Erice Sicily

Italian Tourist

Shirt Dress

Shop my look:

This month’s wellness tip:

Have 5 free minutes? Complete 10 sun salutations. This always makes me fell 100% better physically and emotionally in very little time!

View all wellness posts >>

Campari Cocktails

Negroni 2 ways

Cocktail shaker / Jigger

Whenever I go to Italy, I come home with a renewed love for Negroni’s, a colorful drink with an acquired taste. But once that taste is acquired, it’s hard to ignore. I love drinking this Italian cocktail all year round. Whenever I see it on a menu, I can’t help but order one! One being the operative word as too many of these syrupy drinks cause a pretty intense hangover. Last week in Milan, I sipped on a delicious Negroni at the famed Aperol bar with views of the Duomo.

Americano Cocktail

Bracelet stack

I wanted to bring that feeling home so decided to make two versions of the classic Italian drink for cocktail hour last Sunday night. I’ve also included a recipe for an “Americano”, which uses club soda instead of gin for a lighter version of the drink.

Classic Negroni Recipe

How to make a Negroni

Ingredients:

– 1 part dry gin

– 1 part Campari Bitter

– 1 part Martini Rosso vermouth

– Garnish with an orange twist

Directions: Shake ingredients, pour over ice and garnish with an orange peel

Americano Recipe

Campari Cocktail

Hand sculpture

Ingredients:

– 1 part Campari Bitter

– 1 part Martini Rosso vermouth

– 2 parts club soda

– Garnish with a lemon twist

Directions: Shake ingredients, pour over ice and garnish with a lemon slice

Negroni Recipe

What’s your opinion on negronis? Love them or hate them?

Narragansett

Striped Dress

c/o J.McLaughlin dress, scarf, and bag, Jack Rogers sandals, Karen Walker sunnies, c/o Asha ring

For my entire life, we’ve spent the 4th of July weekend in Rhode Island visiting my extended family. This year was no different. After eating maybe slightly too much pasta in Italy last week, I knew that I needed an extra flattering dress for a family dinner on Friday night near my aunt’s house in Narragansett. This stretchy J.McLaughlin shift is maybe one of the most slimming frocks I own. It reminds me of their striped shirt that I have in the same material (worn here).

I picked it up at the newly renovated and expanded J.McLaughlin store in Greenwich.. If you’re in the area, definitely check it out, they have a ton of great summer pieces right now that will never go out of style. Plus the new space is gorgeous and worth a visit in and of itself.

The dress proved (stretch) worthy through yet another Italian meal complete with my first of many 30th birthday cakes (eek!).

Great news if you want a dress of your own: Use code LEMONSTRIPES at jmclaughlin.com to save 15% on all products in their online store. Or head to the new Greenwich location (55 East Putnam Ave) and say “Lemon Stripes” at checkout to receive 15% off in-store purchases. Happy shopping!

Striped Shift Dress

Easton's Beach

J.McLaughlin Dress

Narragansett Beach

Preppy Striped Dress

Summer Colors

Quotable:

“Cambiare tutto perché niente cambi. (If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.)”

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

Sicily in Photos

La Dolce Vita

While we were in Sicily, my dad and I spent a lot of time talking about La Dolce Vita, the Italian way of life that’s more laid back, indulgent, and generally beautiful. Although we’re Italian by blood (Fun fact: My maiden name is Argenti), we are certainly not living la dolce vita every day of the year. We save it for vacations and holidays.

Although we wanted to visit the ruins of Agrigento and Selinunte (Pictured below) and take the funicolare up to the mountaintop town of Erice, we also wanted to make sure that we took time for us, with a full day and a few more mornings at our pool, and multiple afternoons at the beach. As a family, we created the perfect trip with a mix of site seeing, relaxing, and living la dolce vita. There is so much I could say but I divided it up below into some of the highlights.

Selinute

Getting There

Our trip started out rough when our connecting flight from Rome to Palermo was overbooked and we ended up on the waitlist. After a 6 hour flight with a total of 0 hours of sleep, we already felt pretty horrible so that was just the icing on the cake. After some serious praying and a miracle, we made it on the flight and landed in beautiful Sicily where my family was waiting for us with a van pointed towards the beach.

We had an hour drive to a beach club/restaurant on the Western Coast of the island.

Sicily Beach

When we finally arrived after what seemed like a week of travel and even more time without sleep, I almost cried of happiness. The ocean surrounding the restaurant was turquoise blue, with a sea breeze. Heaven, pretty much. Before we even noticed the beautiful fresh buffet of Sicilian antipasti, we saw a familiar face sitting at a table in the corner, a surprising and comforting feeling when you’re on the other side of the world!

Sciacca

As I mentioned last week, fate, synchronicity, or whatever you want to call it brought us to the island at the same time as a friend of ours who we hadn’t seen in over 10 years. Eleanor, an amazing force of nature, left New Hampshire years ago to start a new life, a “dolce vita”, in Italy. She lives by the sea, travels all over the country, meeting people, seeing the sites, learning the history, and most importantly, drinking the wine. She chronicles her adventures on her blog, Uncorked in Italy. If you’re traveling to Italy anytime soon, check out her site first for insider tips on where to eat, drink, and stay.

The Villa

Sicilian Villa

We rented a villa on the Western side of the island, a conscious choice to avoid touristy areas and crowds of people. Western Sicily is a bit off the beaten path, and we only ran into a handful of Americans while we were there. We found the villa through The Thinking Traveller, an awesome service that will not only rent you a house but has a concierge service that provided us with everything from a chef to a pre-stocked fridge with our requests, to arranging bike rentals, to sending us boxes of our favorite Sicilian wine.

Pool

The house we stayed in was beautiful, very Italian, and quite. There was a gorgeous pool which was the highlight of my little brother Jackson’s trip (as he told us many times), and enough space where we all felt like we could have a little privacy. House goals, you guys. House. Goals.

The Beaches

Life Goals

The beaches in Sicily were beautiful but there were two in particular that we fell in love with. The first was Lido Scala dei Turchi which I wrote about in detail here. If you ever travel to Sicily, this is a must. It was one of the highlights of our trip!

Blue Umbrella
The second beach where we spent more time was La Pineta, a beach near our villa with an open air restaurant and beach club. It was over 90 degrees most days so eating spaghetti a la vongole, prosciutto e melone, and lemon granitas in the breezy restaurant followed by an afternoon of swimming and reading was something we ended up doing more than once!

The Food

Italian Breakfast

As you can imagine there was quite a lot of fish. I joked that we didn’t even need to take our Omega-3 (fish oil) supplements because we were eating so much of it! From marinated white anchovies to grilled branzino to swordfish pasta, I’d estimate that we ate 4-5 fish dishes per day and that isn’t even close to an exaggeration given that we had antipasti (appetizers), primi (pasta course), and secondi (fish/meat course) at every lunch and dinner. All I could think about as we flew home was green juice… No joke.

Gelato at the beach
The bad news for me is that because I can’t eat dairy, I had to skip out on the gelato. The good news is that Sicilians sell lemon granitas (like a slushie but 100x better) at every coffee shop, gelateria, and restaurant. Score!

We also drank a lot of amazing wine… Perhaps too much but it was vacation! Read more about my all time favorite sustainable Sicilian wine here.

Striped Cover Up