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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Fertility funnies: the weird stuff you cry about

Fertility treatments mean hormone-boosting meds. This boost also means my emotions are all over the place. I cry over some appropriately-sentimental stuff, but then I also cry over things that are absolutely not sentimental... at least not when I think about my life before treatments. And that's when the sobbing turns into laughter... anyway, here are some of my favorites:

The 'Be Our Guest' opening sequence to a 'Dancing with the Stars' episode (yeah I don't get it either... still...)

Prince's Diamonds and Pearls music video...

Coca-Cola's "Share a Coke" campaign ad with the Quinceañera dance practice between Dad and daughter.

The etiquette school scene from "A League of Their Own"

"Big" movie sleepover scene on the trampoline

Girls Preparatory School, or "GPS," the sister school of my brother's boarding school, The McCallie School, posted this amazing video ("Don't let the world tell your girl who she is.") which really resonated with me and my all-girls boarding school experience at Chatham Hall:

So... anyone else have any funny-weird... or genuinely sweet things that you cried over during your fertility treatments or during your pregnancy?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Lilly Pulitzer retail store opens at Short Pump Town Center

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Even though the skies in RVA were dreary this afternoon, the Florida sunshine was beaming out of the bright and cheerful interiors of the new Lilly Pulitzer retail store at Short Pump Town Center! This Lilly Pulitzer retail store is only the second Lilly Pulitzer retail store to open in Virginia (while there are pre-existing Signature/Specialty/Department Stores). The following photos I took during the soft opening today and you can see how wonderful the space is for the Short Pump shopper.

Spacious and welcoming, there are incredible details on every surface. It's a wonderful location in the mall, between Nordstrom and Crate & Barrel so you have tons of convenient parking on that section of the mall property. You'll also have to check out the dressing rooms - they are absolutely incredible - each is uniquely decorated with a thoughtful design that often ties into regional or even local traditions/landmarks/themes.

Store Manager Kendall Andes and her team are looking forward to helping you #MakeItSunny and Live Life in Lilly! Check out some of my favorite finds (including my spring acquisition the Cove sleeveless fit and flare dress in Poolside Blue Love Birds) below:

11800 W Broad Street, Space 1318
Richmond, VA 23233
(804) 396-6139

Monday through Saturday 10:00am to 9:00pm
Sunday 11:00am to 6:00pm

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

J.Crew shopping event benefitting VCU Massey Cancer Center

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Three of my local RVA blogging girlfriends are hosting a wonderful event at the Short Pump Town Center J.Crew store on Thursday, May 19! Support the VCU Massey Cancer Center and get styling suggestions from Joanna Avant, Christina Dick of Tiramisu for Breakfast, and Jordan Nolan of Petite Modern. I wanted to be sure to let you all know in case you hadn't heard - the event runs from 6:00 - 8:00PM - and if you spend over $150 you get 20% off! Please join to shop for a worthy cause.

I've shared some of my favorite items from the May 2016 J.Crew Style Guide below. Since I'm busty, I often mix things up in store and wear both men's and women's blouses. The men's madras plaid shirts this season are awesome. They're lightweight, slim-cut, and made from genuine Indian madras (Chennai) fabric. Speaking of plaid... I love the women's madras shorts and some of the plaid shoes that J.Crew is offering this season, so I included them below! The Guernsey shawl collar cardigan is yes, again, for men but it has this wonderful pattern and comfy drape... plus it's the same color as my eyes! I feel like it will be perfect for my frequent trips to the cool mountains (in the evenings) and beach trips (early AM and late night hangout sessions).

Gingham was BIG on the runways for Spring/Summer 2016, so you'll notice I included a few items in that pattern - the pleated mini skirt which has knife pleats and is made of linen, some basic button-up shirts that look great dressed up (Carolina Herrera-style) or dressed down (with beat up shorts à la Joey Potter on Dawson's Creek), and the Tippi sweater which I already have in probably five solid colors but the punchy blue/emerald gingham shade is adorable.

One of the things I've learned over the years is that cashmere retains color much better than cotton... so I hope to stock up on some of the cashmere t-shirt sweaters in vibrant red, brilliant peony, vintage kelly and navy blue... Another pattern on trend (is it really on-trend if I wear it every summer though?) are stripes, which in a chic comfortably-cut sailor-style bateau blouse is always a welcome addition to a well-rounded closet. Summerweight cardigans are great when you have a cold office or a date night that runs late - and the punchy, cheerful colors from J.Crew really provide interesting contrast to any outfit. Another way to provide fun contrast? Timeless tortoiseshell patterns. Whether in a clamp/cuff bracelet or a pair of sunglasses, you'll always look chic.

I hope you all can attend this event at the Short Pump Town Center J.Crew this Thursday - benefiting VCU Massey Cancer Center!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Malibu Tans RVA - an amazing spray tan experience!

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a "sponsored post." The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." All photos property of WorthyStyle or Malibu Tans RVA, excluding embedded social media posts. Some links included in this post are affiliate links.

I recently had my first spray tan experience at Malibu Tans RVA after years of wondering about how it all works... let me tell you... I wish I hadn't waited so long! I'm so pleased and impressed by how beautiful my color turned out - it was natural-looking and lasted for 10 days (thanks to Alison's guidelines!).

Meet Alison, RVA's #1 spray tanner for over 5 years!

Alison has over 8 years of experience with airbrush tanning/spray tanning - and over 12 years within the industry! She has seen it all and has amazing suggestions for pre-tan care and after care when you leave her beautiful business in the West End. One of the first things we discussed was how dark I wanted to go. I told her since I was so fair I didn't want to look ridiculous, but it would be amazing if I was darker than usual. I think she found the perfect shade for me, which she writes down in each clients file so she can remember it for future visits - isn't that helpful? Just like when you get your hair colored with the same hairstylist and they write down your formula. It's so convenient and that extra detail always leaves me with such a positive impression... they care about us looking good!

Since Alison knew I had Celiac disease, she also chose a gluten free tanning spray for me, which was really thoughtful since this spray would be applied to my face and full body. All of the tans at Malibu Tans RVA are paraben-free and organic. Again... amazing attention to detail. I chose to wear a throwaway thong and go topless for this tan... as few tan lines as possible, right? Since it was RVA Fashion Week, I knew I'd be out and about attending events and I didn't want any obvious lines anywhere. I was totally comfortable in the Malibu Tans RVA space and the process. While Alison sprayed each coat, she would ask me to show a specific limb or turn a certain way so the color was as evenly applied as possible. I was really impressed how quickly I was in and out for my first visit - barely 30 minutes! Did I mention I booked online? Great for all of you ladies on the go.

Here I am at RVA Fashion Week during the Finale Fashion Show about 6 hours after my tan was applied... I made sure to not get wet or sweaty and you can't even see anything different about me - except, I'm not wearing any face makeup - that's just from my still-developing tan!

#BloggersGetTan Malibu Tans RVA and WorthyStyle

Pre-tan care is SO important! It can make or break your tan and helps you with having real staying power. I exfoliated my face and body two days before tanning - I used the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel on my face and the Farmhouse Fresh Coconut Beach scrub on my body. Two days so then any potential reaction or moisturizing factors would be gone by the time the tan was sprayed on. Before arriving at Malibu Tans RVA, I put an oversized beach towel - bath sheet sized on my leather car seats so I wouldn't stain my car! I waxed/shaved the day before my tan, too.

After-tan care is also incredibly important. I wore out of Malibu Tans a loose-fitting, navy blue sundress that has a shelf bra. Super easy and prevented any tan solution removal. I went home recalling Alison's skincare tips and realized many items I owned had mineral oil or other not-recommended items... including many "organic" or eco-friendly lines... so I went to the store and grabbed these two products to use after I rinsed (24 hours later): Aveeno body wash and lotion - both in this great summer scent of coconut. I really think using those two products really saved my tan so it lasted ten full days!

Here's my post-tan selfie - note the loose-fitting dress and towel on car seat!

Additional after-care tips? I didn't shower for 24 hours to let the color fully develop. I kept myself from sweating or getting wet in the rain. I didn't workout during that first 24 hours. I took short, cool showers, and didn't shave until a few days in. I didn't go swimming in a pool and didn't get in hot tubs, either. I think all of these items really helped extend my tan to 10 days. It really was amazing to watch it develop color! That said, if you are REALLY on-the-go, she does have an express option (She sprays it on just like regular tanning solution but you wash it off after only 1-3 hours)!

Here is my skin tone after the RVA Fashion Week event, about 8+ hours after Alison sprayed me.

Here is my skin tone right before I rinsed off in the shower, after 24 hours of developing.

Here's how my skin turned out after I took my rinse-off shower - several shades darker than usual, but not too dark to look dramatically artificial - and super flattering!

Location: Malibu Tans RVA is located at Skipwith and Parham (3210 Skipwith Road Richmond, Virginia 23294)

Two for One special: Alison is currently running a promotion for buy two tans get one free.

You should definitely go visit Alison at Malibu Tans RVA and tell her WorthyStyle sent you!

Monday, May 9, 2016

A new favorite from Tyler Florence: Tolan's Mom's Potato Salad

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This recipe is taken from an amazing cookbook that we've had for a number of years - Tyler's Ultimate (you may have seen the TV show at one point). You can get your own copy here. It's a beautiful book that covers all varieties of American cooking and each chapter is broken down by Appetizers, Surf, Turf, Birds, Noodles, Garden, and Desserts. The Velvet Potato Puree recipe is ABSURDLY GOOD. Anyway, this Tyler Florence potato salad recipe was new to me but I came across it at a perfect time as I've been craving a good classic potato salad. Would you believe many deli brands from popular grocery stores have gluten in them? Another disappointing fact I've learned in the past few years and super disappointing because it tells you they are putting "filler" in the already carb-y potato salad! Yuck. This recipe has no gluten and it is one of the most flavorful and savory versions I've tried...even my parents reserved a pint for them to enjoy after we left their home this weekend!

Tolan's Mom's Potato Salad

Serves 4 to 6

2 pounds small Yukon Gold potatoes (I used baby Yukons which were the perfect size)
2 large eggs (I might add more egg next time, even just 1 additional one)
Kosher salt

½ bunch of sliced scallions, white and green parts
2 Tablespoons drained capers
1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup Dijon mustard
¼ cup finely chopped dill pickles with ¼ cup juice
1 small red onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Juice of ½ lemon
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling

Put the potatoes and eggs into a big saucepan of cold, salted water. (Cooking the potatoes with the skin on keeps their natural flavor so they taste amazing.) Bring to a simmer. After 12 minutes remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and let cool. Continue cooking the potatoes until a paring knife poked into them goes in without resistance, about 3 minutes longer. Drain the potatoes in a colander and let them cool.

Reserve some scallion greens and capers for garnish.

Meanwhile, stir together the mayonnaise, mustard, pickles with juice, onion, remaining scallions and capers, parsley, and lemon juice in a bowl large enough to hold the potatoes. Peel the cooled eggs and grate them into the bowl. (I just chopped them, NBD)

Stick a fork into the potatoes, one at a time, lift them out of the colander, and peel with a paring knife. (I kept their skins on, as that is the traditional Southern way to prepare potato salad... you keep the skin on for good nutrients!) Break up the potatoes into rough chunks by hand right into the bowl and toss to coat with the dressing. (What I did was lift them out of the colander, smash them with the flat of my hand onto the cutting board, and then break them up by hand above/into the bowl) Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Garnish with the reserved scallions and capers. Drizzle with a little olive oil before serving. (You might even want to add a little extra parsley for more color!)