Off-the-Shoulder Summer

I can’t get enough of the off-the-shoulder look this summer. Playful and flirty with an infusion of island vibes, this style oozes effortless chic. I’ve been especially in love with off-the-shoulder dresses after being in a dress rut for quite some time. Most dresses were feeling boring or unflattering for my body until spring and summer inventories rolled out with all the versions of off the shoulder looks. What was even better was finding this super unique piece from ASOS at a reasonable price.

I haven’t quite figured out how to wear this trend to work, however, summer brunches are definitely made for colorful, flirty dresses and sunglasses, so I took it for a spin this weekend. I can see this dress becoming a staple in my closet for quite some time. It’s structured, yet comfortable, and all around well made. Usually dresses without stretch are too tight around my hips, chest, or both, but this one fit just right and was very forgiving of food babies (yes, plural).

Check below for this look and my current favorite picks for easily brushing your shoulders off.

Color Pop

Last post I was all about why I love museums and this one is just a more colorful extension of that. I remember when I lived in New York and the David Zwirner gallery had a Yayoi Kusama exhibit in 2015…I wanted to go, but the waits were half a workday (#aintnoemployedpersongottimeforthat)! Fast forward to now in my new D.C. life and the exhibit comes to the Hirshhorn. I HAD TO GO.

“How did this artist predict Instagramable art decades before it was a thing?”, I wondered as I was being joyfully mesmerized. The one downside was that the multiple rooms had time limits under a minute, which significantly decreased the opportunity to really take in the art. But I get it, they had to keep lines moving. Wish this exhibit stayed through the summer (it closed two weeks ago) and hoping I get to see more Yoyoi Kusama in my backyard, wherever that may be!

Zara jacket | H&M shirt | Zara leggings | Nine West boots | Rebecca Minkoff bag

Me vs. the Big Blue Cock

What does this girl love more than art? Cheeky art.

This 15 foot chicken, appropriately named “Hahn/Cock” is towering at the National Musuem of Art’s East Building. I spent hours in the East Building alone, traversing rooms of modern art and eventually ending up on the roof on an overcast Spring day. I definitely need to plan my few trips back to explore everything the museum has to offer. It’s always crazy and awesome to me that D.C. has such easy and FREE access to cultural institutions, which I fear, are underutilized by locals.

Other than the art, another reason I love museums is because I feel like they’re one of the few places I’m comfortable going to alone (I wasn’t alone this time though). Art is one of the few personal, yet paradoxically universal things…how does that even work? I don’t have any answers, but I have all the love for it.

Zara Studded Jacket (similar here) | Calvin Kleinn Knee Over the Knee Boots | H&M Sweater Tunic (similar here and here) | Uniqlo Jeans | Rebecca Minkoff Bag

Real Madrid

I couldn’t go to Spain without seeing where the name of my favorite futbol (soccer for you Americans) team came from. I wore a tried and true outfit clean with muted metallics to visit my future home Madrid’s royal palace.

This was another of those “no photo zones” that I was not amused by in Madrid. The palace has 3,418 rooms (whoa!), but we only saw about 30. It is absolutely beautiful and the rooms were to die for…like, I need that interior designer on speed dial for when I win a multi-million dollar lottery. There was gold, patterns, and art everywhere — I was about ready to move in! It’s crazy that nobody lives there now (it’s only used for state ceremonies).

Afterwards we wandered over to the Temple of Debod before calling it a day. Donated by Egypt, this temple was pulled apart in Egypt, transported, and reassembled in Madrid. Pretty generous of Egypt if you ask me.

Zara Tunic Top | Lulu’s Pants (similar here and here) | Keds Sneakers

Taste Treaty Travels

One thing you have to know about me if you know nothing else: I love to travel! Exploring new places can be refreshing, inspiring, and eye-opening (always remembering safety first, of course). I recently took an amazing trip to Barcelona and Madrid with my main ladies, my mom and my grandma, which was definitely too short. My first day in Madrid I went for a breezy, colorful, yet comfortable look suited for hours on hours of walking.

I’m definitely not a Type A personality, but traveling brings out my research and organizational side, mainly because there’s such a short period of time to learn so much! With my two main ladies in tow, we walked the city on foot hitting the Museo Nacional Del Prado, Real Jardin Botanico, and Buen Retiro Park (major props to my 70+ year old grandmother for keeping up!). The Museo Nacional Del Prado is Spain’s expansive national art museum with an impressive collection of 12th to 20th century European art. I found myself nerding out at and in awe of the magnitude of beautiful pieces. Unfortunately, there were no pictures allowed in the museum (not cool), but I guess that gets people to come back time and time again, which I’ll probably do at some point in the future.

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Real Jardin Botanico was a short walk from the museum.  We mainly stayed in the outdoor sections, although there are five different greenhouses. Not gonna lie, my lack of plant knowledge made all the different plant names a little overwhelming, so after an hour or so we made our way to Buen Retiro Park in search of the Crystal Palace. Let me tell you, it felt like a trek! There was a hill and stretches of park involve, but it was worth it! We couldn’t go inside the Crystal Palace, but it’s made of all glass, so that didn’t matter. The palace is absolutely beautiful, especially surrounded by nature. After taking some time to adore the Crystal Palace and a much deserved break, we roamed more of the park, discovering a rose garden, Avenida de Mexico, Paseo de la Argentina, and many sculptures.

Don’t miss these spots if you find yourself in Madrid!

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Acler Dress | Indigo Rd. Sandals | Rope Belt (similar here) | Forever21 Bag (similar here and here)