Southern Chic Style

- Spring Has Sprung: Florals -

While the weather is not our typical warm Texas Spring, signs of spring are in stores all around us from floral prints to bright colors! This weekend, I had the pleasure of attending Memorial Hermann’s annual “Circle of Life” gala benefiting their Heart & Vascular Institute in a beautiful floral print Badgley Mischka gown. The theme was “Red & Wild” and many wore red to the event. Knowing there would be a sea of red, this floral print with touches of red was perfect for standing out while incorporating the theme.

The light blue base to the pretty print is just enough to make the gown from TOOTSIES so incredibly perfect for this time of year. Accessorizing with neutrals in the nude Valentino bow clutch and Rockstud sandal allowed the mesmerizing print to take center stage! I just so happened to snag some Alexis Bittar bangles a couple of months ago at TOOTSIES on major sale that complimented the coloring to a T! The gown’s halter style, flowy fabric, and open back make the Badgley Mischka design perfect for the formal wedding on your calendar this summer , an upcoming gala, or even a lovely Easter dress.

With hopes this cooler weather indicates a mild summer, the colors and prints we love for spring and summer are here and ready to find a place in your closet! Whether it’s a gown for a special occasion or even a cotton tank, there’s so many ways to incorporate the prints into your current wardrobe. The stunning Badgley Mischka print is just a sample of the pretty pieces TOOTSIES has for spring and summer as well as nature’s additions we’re seeing bloom around us.

                    _________________________________________

THE LOOK:

Gown: Badgley Mischka from TOOTSIES

Clutch: Valentino Bow Clutch (similar Jessica Simpson clutch here)

Bangles: Alexis Bittar from TOOTSIES

Heel: Valentino Rockstud Sandal (Similar Valentino style here)

Earrings: Crystal Teardrop Earrings (similar here)





- Thoughts on this beautiful day -

Phew, this has been a crazy week and it’s not even over yet! The weather has been amazing, but the full time job on top of extracurriculars have made this a non-stop week. The sunshine seems to have brought everything to life!

You can join us tonight at Proof in Houston benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society… continuing the week’s activities. You may have been checking for posts this week and realized there’s only been the invite for tonight, so I wanted to touch base and say hi :) If you want to see what I’ve been up to and don’t already keep up with me on Instagram, follow @bethanymarieb on Instagram for daily fun (and a few pics of my sweet doggy, too). 

Coming very soon, I have a ton of designer interviews to catch up on sharing with you all and a number of outfits to post as well. Thank you for your patience, and look for the exciting interviews soon! Stay chic!

Muah!

Bethany

- Thoughts on this beautiful day -

Phew, this has been a crazy week and it’s not even over yet! The weather has been amazing, but the full time job on top of extracurriculars have made this a non-stop week. The sunshine seems to have brought everything to life!

You can join us tonight at Proof in Houston benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society… continuing the week’s activities. You may have been checking for posts this week and realized there’s only been the invite for tonight, so I wanted to touch base and say hi :) If you want to see what I’ve been up to and don’t already keep up with me on Instagram, follow @bethanymarieb on Instagram for daily fun (and a few pics of my sweet doggy, too).

Coming very soon, I have a ton of designer interviews to catch up on sharing with you all and a number of outfits to post as well. Thank you for your patience, and look for the exciting interviews soon! Stay chic!

Muah!

Bethany

HOUSTON:

Take in some amazing fashion & enjoy delicious drinks while supporting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society at Proof this Thursday! You won’t want to miss this stylish event while giving back. See you there!

HOUSTON:

Take in some amazing fashion & enjoy delicious drinks while supporting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society at Proof this Thursday! You won’t want to miss this stylish event while giving back. See you there!

- 30 and Fabulous -

This year I turned 30. I remember when I was in elementary school thinking 18 was so grown up. My best friend and I at 5 years old would pretend to be 18 year old seniors in high school as if that were the oldest our 5 year old brains could ever imagine attaining. Well, 18 came and went then the next big milestone - 30. It’s when my husband and I told everyone we’d wait until to start the discussion of having children (no, this is not an announcement, family)… 30 is when you step out of being a 20 something… 30 is when people say others take you more seriously in your career… somehow you become more “mature” to others. Well, it’s here and it’s not so bad. I still feel 25, but I’ve learned to care less about the judgments of others and to always do what makes me/my family happy. Life’s too short. And, we had an amazing trip in February to say farewell to my 20s!

Combining some of my most favorite things about travel in the US, Newport Beach, CA was a perfect location for getting away and enjoying a carefree weekend! Amazing views of the ocean, close proximity to incredible shopping, delicious restaurants at your finger tips, and California sunshine and weather + wonderful friends = perfect birthday trip. I’ll share some of the other details of the trip in future posts, like our beach hike the morning of my birthday and a Newport Harbor boat cruise the next day, but for now I HAD to share the details of my birthday dinner and the outfit!

I felt so honored to have a group of about 10 of my closest friends join us in Newport Beach to celebrate. We arrived on Friday to the Resort at Pelican Hill Villas which can be described as nothing less than luxury. The view you see above is from our back porch, and I just couldn’t get enough of waking up to the Pacific Ocean. Being so close to Los Angeles, dinner for the night of my birthday followed a limo ride into LA to dine at SUR. So, for a 30th birthday at Lisa Vanderpump’s SUR in West Hollywood, I had to have a fab outfit! Months of searching for the “perfect” dress brought me to the white Herve Leger dress pictured above. It was fun and young and felt wonderful on, as Herve Leger’s bandage technology is known to do. The A-line silhouette gave a girly flare. It was exactly what I wanted. To accessorize the white dress, pink shoes were perfection and the pink Lanvin grosgrain pumps I wore from TheOutnet.com were a steal! I snatched the last pair in my size, so it must have been meant to be :) Kendra Scott jewels complimented the outfit in irridescent shades, greys, and pink (bracelet). Now for the bag… it had to be Chanel for a fab 30th in Los Angeles! The ensemble was meant for the incredible sunset God gave us for a backdrop from the villa prior to heading out for dinner. Can you believe those colors?!?

On to dinner - SUR was as chic as I imagined, and for other reality show junkies, Peter, Tom, Jax, and Guillermo were all there :) If you know Vanderpump Rules, Stassi’s crispy chicken recommendation was spot on! I ordered it for dinner (I’m ordering chicken 99% of the time at a restaurant anyway) and man was it good! The drinks were delicious, the company lovely, and the food was wonderful. If you follow my instagram (@bethanymarieb), you got a peek at the picture of Peter and I from that night. He was nice enough to let his hair down for a quick pic in between running the packed restaurant and bar. Birthday cheesecake came out following dinner with a bright sparkler candle and a friend captured the moment in the picture above. So fun!

Back in the limo for a ride back to the resort for my favorite cake that my sweet husband surprised me with. Shipped from New York City! If you haven’t had Momofuku Milk Bar’s “birthday cake” then you are missing out! It’s to-die-for and reminds me of a gourmet version of the funfetti cake I love. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect 30th birthday surrounded by some of my dearest friends and incredible husband. And, we still had an additional full day to enjoy the west coast following my actual birthday day. Those details to come soon!

It was truly so incredible to celebrate with friends willing to fly out to Cali with us to kick-off 30. A weekend I’ll never forget and always hold dear in my perfect birthday look!

             _____________________________________

THE LOOK:

Dress: Herve Leger Sleeveless Scallop Bandage Dress

Pump: Lanvin Grosgrain Pump (from TheOutnet.com) - similar here

Jewelry: Kendra Scott necklace, ring, and bracelet

Purse: Chanel

Lips: Jouer Lipstick in Whitney

             _____________________________________

SHOP THE LOOK:

- Vintage Lace Wedding Shower -

Helping host a wedding shower for a friend with a vintage lace theme was right up my alley! So girly and pretty with the opportunity to incorporate pearls… And what Southern girl doesn’t love pearls. Immediately I knew we had to have hydrangeas, mason jars, pearls, and white and pink. A bride wants to feel beautiful, so her shower should be, too!

Luckily, I was hosting with a group of ladies that didn’t mind letting me do flowers and decor while they tackled food and other details. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t enjoy cooking so much, but I’ll decorate all day long! Together we were a shower planning power team ;)

For the mantle, light pink fabric under lace was the base for mason jars with hydrangeas, stock, and snapdragons. Pearls (a collection my mom & I accumulated from many Mardi Gras parades over the years) draped every surface including the mantle. Decorating with hydrangeas gives such a beautiful look to arrangements, and my vision for the flowers executed exactly how I planned! One of the co-hosts made the “Bride-to-Be” cutouts on a pearl string along with the pearl lined “R”. The stunning flowers I found at a Houston flower shop made the arrangements that much more beautiful!

The mason jar glasses surrounded by lace idea were a Pinterest find by one of the crafty ladies and turned out amazing! And, all of the pink and pearl food items were delicious and pretty. Check out the “rings” made from powdered donuts with a diamond cutout glued to a toothpick and stuck in the donut.

For guests we had a mimosa bar, a mashed potato bar, and a plethora of great finger foods. When guests arrived, they could sign around a photo of the couple placed next to a tray turned chalkboard (chalkboard spray paint on a tray) counting down the days to the wedding.

We were beyond pleased with the finished product, so I had to share the beauty with you all :) I’ll be pinning some of the photos (@bethanymarieb on Pinterest) if you want to share for future showers you might host. Pinterest has really opened up the options for party creativity! The bride is getting married this Saturday and we couldn’t be happier for the couple!

- Hot & Cold: What to Wear? -

This Spring is about to officially begin and the weather can’t seem to make up its mind! I mean, there was a snow storm just last week in the Northwest… One day it’s warm and sunny here in Texas - fitting of a wonderfully relaxing poolside day, then the next we’re bundled up in tights and boots again! Oh, and don’t forget the days that start out freezing and by noon all of the layers have to be shed. 

Layers are the go-to for such unpredictable weather. The Rachel Zoe baseball jacket in this outfit is fun and sporty for weekends but can be added to a business casual look for a work week accessory. Paired with a denim pencil skirt, you get denim that is office appropriate for a day that doesn’t call for a suit. The Row made this amazing skirt that I fell in love with the second I tried it on at TOOTSIES! The skirt will work even with sandals this summer and a tank. For this layered look, the cotton Equipment striped button down top, J. Crew pearl necklace (a gift from my sister-in-law for Christmas), YSL Tribute pumps, and Miu Miu tan tote with Dior Cat Eye Sunnies create a comfortable look that allows for a jacket for a cool day or without for the warm temps. 

The weather may be frustrating, but the changing temperatures definitely bring out more creativity in outfit options. It just feels as though we’re in limbo - can’t put away the winter clothes completely, but tanks and shorts aren’t appropriate either! Embracing the changes and layering between the seasons (winter pieces and spring/summer new buys) allows the new pieces in our wardrobe to go such a long way! Hope you enjoy it as much as I do! :)

SHOP THE LOOK (and similar pieces):

- Dressing Up a Printed Tee -

Sometimes a girl just wants to wear a t-shirt and jeans! That’s how I felt when putting together this look. A Saturday event with All the Wire jewelry and Courtney Kerr from “Courtney Loves Dallas” after a morning run and lounging around the house called for an easy ensemble. I’d just been to Atrium Ready to Wear's sale and found the printed Prabal Gurung tee for a steal! So, like most girls with a new piece of clothing, I wanted to wear it. Add distressed jeans, a comfortable pump, and cropped jacket with a clutch and you have a stylish, easy look. 

You can replicate the style with your own printed tee, a skinny jean, and a blazer, leather jacket, or cropped jacket… You’re likely to have pieces in your closet to pull together an easy outfit. Perfect for a beautiful, breezy spring day! 

Shop a few printed tees to add to your closet:

Photo taken at Pomp & Circumstance Boutique

THE LOOK:

Top: Prabal Gurung

Jacket: H&M

Jeans: AG Adriano Goldschmied

Pumps: Miu Miu

Clutch: Yigal Azrouel

- Spring Trends: Floral and Orange -
While both orange and florals were trends last spring, too, I can’t get enough of the floral and orange pieces available this season! And, the two look amazing when put together like the model from the runway above. 

Use the trends to create an outfit or accessorize a basic look. Add an orange bag and floral blazer to a little black dress or with a white skirt with a coordinating tank in a hue from the blazer. If you bought a great orange or floral piece last spring, you’ll be excited to get to incorporate the trend for another season.

Floral is such a versatile print giving you the ability to pair it with every color present in the print you purchase. Everyone needs a floral blazer, bag, dress, or top to really make the spring shades pop. And, of course orange creates a bold statement when added to a print or with a neutral palette. Using garments you already own to create an outfit and adding a new orange and/or floral piece steps up your look from office attire to grabbing dinner with friends. Check out the orange and floral pieces below to find what will make your Spring & Summer wardrobe sing! 

Shop the Pieces (and more floral and orange):

- Spring Trends: Floral and Orange -

While both orange and florals were trends last spring, too, I can’t get enough of the floral and orange pieces available this season! And, the two look amazing when put together like the model from the runway above. 

Use the trends to create an outfit or accessorize a basic look. Add an orange bag and floral blazer to a little black dress or with a white skirt with a coordinating tank in a hue from the blazer. If you bought a great orange or floral piece last spring, you’ll be excited to get to incorporate the trend for another season.

Floral is such a versatile print giving you the ability to pair it with every color present in the print you purchase. Everyone needs a floral blazer, bag, dress, or top to really make the spring shades pop. And, of course orange creates a bold statement when added to a print or with a neutral palette. Using garments you already own to create an outfit and adding a new orange and/or floral piece steps up your look from office attire to grabbing dinner with friends. Check out the orange and floral pieces below to find what will make your Spring & Summer wardrobe sing!

Shop the Pieces (and more floral and orange):

- Atrium Ready to Wear Sale: Up to 70% Off -

Looking for a steal on designer duds? Hurry to Atrium Ready to Wear for deals like those pictured above! Leather pants at over half off, a Vera Wang top under $180, Thakoon dress under $120… If you’re interested in buying quality designer pieces at unbelievable prices, this sale is where you need to be this weekend. The pieces pictured are only a taste of the deals you can find and some of my favorites. Narciso Rodriguez, Yigal Azrouel, Sally LaPointe, Jason Wu, Vera Wang, Reem Acra, and more luxury labels all for you to peruse at the beautiful boutique.

Atrium Ready to Wear
2040 West Gray St.
Houston, TX
(In River Oaks Shopping Center near America’s)

Meet Courtney Kerr from “Courtney Loves Dallas” with her BFF and All The Wire jewelry creator, Tori Gonzales, tomorrow in Houston at Pomp & Circumstance! RSVP today for your spot at the trunk show.

Meet Courtney Kerr from “Courtney Loves Dallas” with her BFF and All The Wire jewelry creator, Tori Gonzales, tomorrow in Houston at Pomp & Circumstance! RSVP today for your spot at the trunk show.

- Adios Espana -

We’ve made it all the way to the last day of our Spanish Adventure! It was truly a wonderful trip that has been a joy to share. 

Waking up in Seville, we took the high speed train from to Madrid for the last bit of sightseeing before we left Spain. We visited Madrid’s Plaza de Espana with it’s statue of Don Quixote and serene water feature. The weather was warm, so a Splendid top with Alice + Olivia gold linen Cady Cuff shorts and a Fotini scarf fit the day well. Gold accessories including a Kendra Scott ring, David Yurman bracelet, Gorjana circle necklace, and Marc by Marc Jacobs bangle complimented the metallic shorts, and the durable Louis Vuitton Speedy carried everything I needed for the train ride and the rest of the day. 

Next we visited the world famous Prado Museum which features masterpieces by Velazquez, El Greco, Goya, and more - it houses the largest collection of European art in the world! No photos allowed here, but we picked up a book of 100 masterpieces of the Prado Museum. It was interesting to see where each artist began and how their art progressed overtime. The place was so big it would take forever to see every piece, but we saw the best the museum had to offer. 

After a little down time, we had a lovely outdoor dinner with others we traveled with & our super awesome guide (pictured with my husband and I bottom right) at a local restaurant/cafe. A Trina Turk colorful dress was lively and comfortable for the evening outside. The weather was perfect and some Spanish musicians (bottom left photo) entertained us as we enjoyed Castillian soup (a bread & garlic soup), mixed paella, and delicious chicken with potatoes. Somehow the Spanish have mastered potatoes. Every single way they prepared them have been the best! Ate way too many… 

Spain was a spectacular two week trip full of delicious food, wine and sangria, and beauty all over. It was a pleasure sharing each city’s unique features and experiences while chronicling the outfits each day. I hope you enjoyed the posts as well :)

               _______________________________________

Shop the Look (and similar pieces like the gold earrings and ring):

- The Oscars Red Carpet: Best Dressed - 

We all swooned over the gorgeous gowns on the red carpet at Hollywood’s biggest night - the Oscars! But, the dress that I couldn’t stop thinking about barely even made the red carpet coverage on either channel I watched it on. Kate Hudson looked stunning in a silvery white slinky Versace number with a back reminiscent of Old Hollywood Glamour. Soft, wavy hair and a plunging neckline and Kate Husdon topped the list of “Best Dressed” in a heartbeat! And, did you see her Vanity Fair afterparty dress? Kate killed it with both dresses. 

Second on my list was my favorite until Kate Hudson appeared. Who doesn’t love a classic, beautiful Valentino dress? And, put a glowing pregnant Olivia Wilde in a chic straight Valentino gown with a pop of white in the back and you have styling perfection. Kudos to her stylist. Olivia’s earrings were amazing, too!

Of course, Lupita Nyong’o made the best dressed list again (the girl looks amazing every time she steps on the red carpet). Dubbed “Nairobi blue” by the actress, the Prada gown was designed for Lupita and inspired by champagne bubbles. (Notice the plunging neckline… a common theme at the Oscars this year). The red carpet was full of an array of colors, but the pastel blue really stood out and put us in the mood for spring. An unexpected Lady Gaga shocked everyone in a pretty pink pastel Versace number looking very elegant with a silk scarf around her neck and down the back. Art deco patterns were seen on a number of celebs and created a beautiful silhouette on the singer. Glamorous and classy looks wonderful on you, Lady Gaga!

Another color we kept seeing on the red carpet was nude hues. Both Cate Blanchett and Jenna Dewan-Tatum were eye-catching in their nude gowns. In lieu of the skin tone shade, both ladies wore modest gowns with short sleeves and special embellishments. Cate’s Armani Prive gown was adorned with gold sequins and swarovski crystals along with her Chopard jewels to finish the look. Jenna Dewan-Tatum sparkled in a beautiful Reem Acra gown escorted by her hottie hubby. Cate and Jenna looked ethereal and lovely with soft hair and minimal accessories.

Typically, you don’t see a lot of black gowns on the red carpet from A-listers… they just don’t typically get you “Best Dressed” but Charlize Theron shattered that rule in another plunging neckline, Dior Haute Couture fit and flare gown with a partially sheer skirt. Wow! The 31 carat Harry Winston jewels were all she needed with that jaw dropper of a dress.Sandra Bullock also stepped out in a darker hue (navy) Alexander McQueen gown. The draping was in just the right places with a sweetheart neckline that was so simple yet stunning. With a little Old Hollywood in her side-swept waves, Sandra Bullock had to be in the top 10 “Best Dressed.”

There were plenty of metallics like previous awards shows this season and Jennifer Garner tops the list of celebs in her fringy Oscar de la Renta silver metallic gown. She kept the accessories simple and in the same color family for a Gatsby feel. 

Rounding out the red carpet top 10 is Jennifer Lawrence in a red peplum Dior Couture strapless gown. Sporting another back draped necklace, the funny girl looked sophisticated and elegant. The Neil Lane diamonds added just enough sparkle for the cut up to trip once again and not even have a hair out of place… or a misplaced diamond. Who knows if the trip was staged this year. Either way, the actress can definitely laugh it off.

The red carpet isn’t complete without acknowledging some of the gorgeous couples of the evening. Olivia Wilde smiled from ear to ear with husband Jason Sudeikis in Prada. Award winner (and Texas boy) Matthew McConaughey wore a white jacket as part of his Dolce & Gabbanna suit/tux. Camilla Alves was effortlessly beautiful in pale pink. Another dynamic duo that dressed to perfection were Dax Shepard in John Varvatos and wife Kristen Bell in Roberto Cavalli. And last but certainly not least - Brangelina. Brad Pitt in Tom Ford and Angelina Jolie in a metallic Ellie Saab Haute Couture gown kept their spot as a Hollywood power couple showing everyone how to make a red carpet impact. Major chic moment. 

I can’t help but mention the beautiful Liza Minnelli and Bette Middler making everyone wish for their beauty secrets. Liza in cobalt blue and Bette in nude and red reminded Oscars viewers that you’re only as old as you feel (or look and both looked amazing!). And, award winner Jared Leto (also a Louisiana boy) must have gotten the white coat memo with his Saint Laurent look topped off with a red bowtie.  

So, here they are again in photo order (top to bottom, left to right) Oscars Red Carpet Top 10:

  • Kate Hudson in Versace
  • Olivia Wilde in Valentino
  • Lady Gaga in Versace
  • Lupita Nyong’o in Prada
  • Cate Blanchett in Armani Prive
  • Jenna Dewan-Tatum in Reem Acra
  • Sandra Bullock in Alexander McQueen
  • Charlize Theron in Dior Haute Couture
  • Jennifer Garner in Oscar de la Renta
  • Jennifer Lawrence in Dior Couture

Did you check out the afterparty looks for the Vanity Fair party? That’s a whole additional grouping of “Best Dressed”. It was an incredible night of fashion which did not dissapoint. All colors of the rainbow, soft pretty curls, and exciting dress details made the Oscars 2014 one to remember!

- Million Dollar Smile Without the Price Tag -

Before the invention of white strips, the only teeth whitening options out there were the expensive dentist treatments. Along came white strips (which I’m sure most of us have tried at some point) and we thought they would be the answer to the costly treatments. While white strips certainly have their place, they just haven’t been as great as an at-home tray and gel whitening treatment. I can certainly speak from experience. I’ve tried everything from the strips to the dentists’ at home option of gel and trays. My teeth have never been whiter and brighter than when I use a whitening gel. 

When I was approached by a company called NovaWhite to try out their at home whitening system, the answer was quickly yes! (Plus read to the end for a special offer for Southern Chic Style readers!) Once you’ve had the brightness a gel dentist whitening treatment can bring, white strips just don’t give the same quick results. I had to check out this affordable at home option. We can dress in our best clothes and still not feel as beautiful as when our teeth are bright and beautiful! NovaWhite has been selling teeth whitening for over 5 years and is ranked as one of AOL’s top 10 at home teeth whitening companies. NovaWhite’s teeth whitening formula is dental grade quality and used in professional dentist offices around the world.

It didn’t hurt that NovaWhite is an an official sponsor of Operation Amerithon, supporting veteran communities across the nation through the Travis Manion Foundation AND the official teeth whitening sponsor of the NBA 2013-2014 Houston Rockets Power Dancers, as well as, Dress for Success Worldwide, in an effort to empower disadvantaged women through ongoing product and monetary donations. A whitening company supporting these causes? I had to try.

NovaWhite was extremely easy to use and surprisingly utilized a similar whitening gel to the ones I’ve used before! The difference was the trays. Whether you realize it or not, most of the cost to a patient doing whitening trays through their dentist is the tray itself. NovaWhite cut out that problem while still using Dental Lab technicians for the Supernova kit custom trays and by providing a tray you fit to your teeth at home (Boil-and-Bite trays) for Go Kits. Think of the mouth pieces used in softball or other sports. Growing up playing sports I’d definitely done that before. Same process for the Boil-and-Bite.

I used the Go Kit for my first time using NovaWhite. A quick pot of boiling water, put the mouth piece in to soften, and fit the piece to my teeth. From there, the whitening gel is placed in the trays just like the dentists’ whitening systems. Keep the the trays in for 45 minutes to an hour. It’s so simple and you don’t have to sleep in the trays! I also have sensitive teeth which are usually extra sensitive from whitening, but there was little to no sensitivity due to the gel used during the NovaWhite treatment.

The NovaWhite options range from a whitening pen to use in between treatments at $21 to their Go Kit at $54 to the Supernova Whitening Kit at $164 (at least HALF of what you’ll pay at the dentist and you still get a custom tray). BUT, just for being a Southern Chic Style reader, the NovaWhite team wants to give you 15% off! Just go to novawhite.com, choose your treatment, and use coupon code ‘southernchicstyle’ when checking out. All 3 NovaWhite options are pictured above.

Our best accessory is a smile, so put on a smile and feel confident with white, bright teeth!

*I attempted a before and after picture for you to see of my own, but the lighting was different and I didn’t want to misrepresent the change. The difference, however is definitely noticeable. Teeth above are not my own.

- Sangria, Sights, & Spanish History in Seville -

Almost to the end of our Spanish adventure, we had another day in Seville. The day started with a visit to the Plaza de Espana in the Parque de Maria Luisa. It was built in 1928 for the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition held in Seville. The place is magnificent and covered in beautiful Spanish tiles. There’s sections dedicated to almost every city in Spain each decorated a little differently (second photo above). And, as you can see in the third photo above, the plaza includes beautiful tiled bridges as well.

Another fairly warm day, a grey Free People Macromizing Bodycon dress with unique shoulder cutouts was comfortable and easy with sandles, a pendant necklace from Anthropologie, Kendra Scott earrings, and the Marc Jacobs bag that went with all of the outfits packed for the trip. I’m a major fan of cotton dresses for travel when a lot of outfits are needed. 1 - they’re one item for the day, 2 - a cotton dress doesn’t weigh much or typically wrinkle easily, and 3 - you can dress it down for daytime and up for night. That particular dress I ordered from Shopbop one size bigger as a tight dress wasn’t quite the travel look needed. 

Following the beautiful plaza, we visited the Archives de las Indias exhibit which is located in the ancient Merchant’s Exchange of Seville (basically a market). The exhibit included more books than we could count with pieces on display like maps from back when Columbus sailed to America and letters written while Cortez was out exploring and so many more great pieces of history. No photos were allowed, but the letters, maps, and books were a great Seville treasure. After the archives, we stepped over to the Moorish Alcazar (right around the corner). Another location of multiple influences visible over time like so many Spanish cathedrals and palaces, the building included giant doors, elaborately decorated ceilings, and intricate tile details. One of my favorite photos from the trip of my husband and I was in the Alcazar (first photo above).

Seville is so full of places to see! And, our day was packed full of as much as we could fit in. We toured the Cathedral of Seville following the Alcazar… An enormous place that the guide said is always being restored in one section or another. The incredibly tall ceilings are the perfect place for the elaborate organs made of cedar from Lebanon, the tomb of Christopher Columbus, and ornate details. As with the other cathedrals visited, we saw the remnants of Arab influences in the exterior arches.

We then had lunch at a great little tapas restaurant called Bar Carmela (all of the tapas restaurants seem to be called ‘Bar something’) and had some of the best tapas! A simple mozzarella and cherry tomato tapa was fresh & delicious as was the goat cheese with a tomato chutney and veggies dish. These were heaven! And, delicious with some local wine.

For dinner, we got to visit a family run bull breeding farm on the outskirts of Seville where we learned more about how fighting bulls are raised. A special treat - we saw a Matador in training working with another trainee in the family’s ring. We were able to step pretty close to the fence where the bulls are kept, but when one started to break away from the group, the guide/owner’s son decided we were done being near the fence the bulls could get through if they really wanted. Fine by me :) The family also had two gorgeous Spanish horses we we couldn’t keep our eyes off of. Dinner was at the family’s home with traditional Spanish dishes and sangria. Lovely evening and we learned a lot about the way the bulls are chosen & live. A lot more humane than most are led to believe.

We loved Seville and were very sad to have to leave. One of our favorite cities in Spain, for sure!

*Sunglasses - Dior ‘Mohotani’ Cat Eye

**Photos property of Southern Chic Style

Cara Delevigne ruled the runway at London Fashion Week but was also the designer behind a new handbag collection debuted with Mulberry at LFW! 

The model said of her Mulberry designs which blends practicality with easy elegance, “I love to be elegant. But it’s about not trying too hard, it has to be effortless.”

In store August 2014, get more details on the bag at mulberry.com.

(Photo: Mulberry)

Cara Delevigne ruled the runway at London Fashion Week but was also the designer behind a new handbag collection debuted with Mulberry at LFW!

The model said of her Mulberry designs which blends practicality with easy elegance, “I love to be elegant. But it’s about not trying too hard, it has to be effortless.”

In store August 2014, get more details on the bag at mulberry.com.

(Photo: Mulberry)