Gray Malin | Barcelona Collection

Gray Malin Barcelona Prints

Gray Malin‘s photos seem to be popping up absolutely everywhere over the past few months, mostly as a result of the blog world obsessing over them. And that’s not to say that I don’t truly love what he’s doing with all of his previous collections — but when Malin debuted the Barcelona collection a few weeks ago, I couldn’t help but become obsessed.

For any of you whose ears I haven’t already talked off about it, I’ll recap: I had the wonderful opportunity to study abroad in Barcelona my junior year of college, and suffice it to say I fell head-over-heals for the city (it was actually also where I first started trying out the whole blogging thing — let’s not cringe too much at this template). I had never been to Europe before that trip, and I visited as many other European cities as I could afford while I was there, but I always felt so completely at home when I got back from each weekend visit and got to settle back into my charming Barcelona apartment.

I’m sure you know people who just won’t shut up about their abroad experiences, and I’m sorry if I’m one of them. But I am one of them. So actually… I’m not that sorry.

I fell in love with this sometimes charming, sometimes riotous, always exhilarating city, and I would definitely save up to have the chance to frame one of Gray Malin’s Barcelona prints on my wall.

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Summer Vacation! | Nova Scotia Packing List

If there were ever a time when the thought of vacation sounded absolutely necessary to me, This. Would. Be. It. This summer has been a pretty great one so far for work and for personal life, but it’s also been exceptionally busy. So after working 12 straight days culminating this Friday (the whole working over the weekend thing, let’s not talk about it), I’ll be departing for a whole WEEK of downtime in one of my favorite places. I had the opportunity to go to Nova Scotia with my family last year too, and if Nova Scotia brings up ???? for you as far as the where and the what and the why, I can pretty much sum it up in a few simple words. Water. Sun. Fresh Air. Quiet. Lobster. Beer. 

That’s pretty much all you need to know — so now to get onto the whole packing thing.

I’ve actually gotten pretty good at being a light packer after years of commuting back and forth from DC to Richmond to visit the boyfriend (more on how that’s all unfolding later) — so I’ll be focusing my packing efforts on basics. Nova Scotia this time of year tends to be a gorgeous, slightly crisp temperature — one that I didn’t quite plan for last year — so I’ll definitely be grabbing an extra zip-up hoodie, plush sweater, or chambray button-down for layering when the sun goes down.

(And also for after the guilt-trip induced daily 5 p.m. leap off the dock into the freezing-cold water. Yep, happy hour equals grab a cocktail and get your bootie into the water in Nova Scotia). Oh, and for those inevitable inlet dips, I’ll need a classic scallop-edge bikini, too.

As far as everyday gear goes, I’ll be married to a pair of distressed boyfriend jeans, a comfy pair of metallic slides, the Panama hat I’ve been telling myself to buy for years, and a signature pair of reflective Ray-Bans. Oh, and this adorable tote for window shopping and market-going in town. In case I want to explore a bit, there’ll be some comfy-chic kicks, and (if I can talk myself into the purchase) a retro Polaroid camera for capturing images the old fashioned way.

You’re probably thinking, does one ever dress up in Nova Scotia?

Truthfully… not so much. But perhaps for that one night when we hit the town and inevitably become a little too friendly with the locals, I’ll reach for a swingy LWD, a delicate Gorjana necklace, and a spunky nail polish hue that’s likely to be the only makeup I wear the entire week.

{Shop the Post!}

Oh, I almost forgot to mention the best (insert sarcastic tone) part of the trip: We’re driving! Turns out Nova Scotia’s not all that easy to get to, and since I’m attending for the whole week this year I get the privilege of contributing to driving shifts.

So if anyone has any playlists or non-annoying car games to throw my way, PLEASE DO.

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Recipe | Crazy Feta and Zucchini Pizza with Whole Wheat Crust

Crazy Feta Pizza with Zucchini and Cherry Tomatoes 1

This recipe was one of those cleaning-out-the-fridge ones… it wasn’t planned to be a blog post, I didn’t make time to shoot the photos in natural light (sorry about these photos!), I didn’t even have tomato sauce. But it was just so tasty that I couldn’t resist sharing!

Crazy Feta and Zucchini Pizza with Whole Wheat Crust (via Cookie + Kate)

1 cup water, heated to 110 degrees (very warm, almost too hot for comfort)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons) rapid-rise or instant yeast
2 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour (or regular whole wheat flour)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon sea salt

1 fresh zucchini, quartered and cut into thin slices
1 cup cherry tomatoes quartered
3/4 cup Crazy Feta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
fresh pepper
balsamic reduction for drizzling

Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit with a rack in the upper third of the oven.

Whisk water, sugar, oil and yeast in a liquid measuring cup or small bowl. Allow yeast to proof for 5 minutes. It should puff up some by then.

Pulse flour, Parmesan, and salt in food processor until combined (I was able to use my stand mixer with the dough hook for this). While running the food processor, slowly pour in the water mixture and process until a shaggy ball forms, about 1 minute.

Dump the dough onto a floured work surface and quickly knead dough a few times until it comes together. Halve the dough. On a floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll dough into two 11-inch rounds. Transfer dough to a baking pan or preheated pizza stone.

Brush the outer inch of the dough with a light coating of olive oil. Spread Crazy Feta on dough, then top with zucchini and tomatoes. Sprinkle with oregano, fresh cracked pepper, and grated Parm. Bake on the top rack until the crust and cheese are lightly golden, rotating halfway, about 15 minutes.

Crazy Feta Pizza with Zucchini and Cherry Tomatoes 3Crazy Feta Pizza with Zucchini and Cherry Tomatoes 2

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Outfit | Sunshine Maxi Dress

The Mint Julep Boutique Maxi Dress 2_3

Another day, another easy, breezy maxi dress! I honestly can’t decide which I like best — what do you think? I’m thinking this one will be my wear-to-work pick, and yesterday’s summery pink number will be the date night go-to.  Seriously though, I’ll just be over here buying (and hemming) every single one of The Mint Julep Boutique’s lovely floor-length maxis. Can you blame me?

The Mint Julep Boutique Maxi Dress 2_4The Mint Julep Boutique Maxi Dress 2_1The Mint Julep Boutique Maxi Dress 2_2The Mint Julep Boutique Maxi Dress 2_5

{The Mint Julep Boutique Sweet and Simple Maxi Dress c/o | MIA Heeled Sandals (Similar) | J.Crew Factory Clutch | Ray-Ban Foldable Sunglasses c/o DITTOThreeJane NY Map Necklace | J.Crew Factory Bracelet (Similar)}

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Outfit | Graphic Maxi Dress

The Mint Julep Boutique Maxi Dress 1_4

This dress is probably one of the girliest ensembles I’ve worn in a very long time — but I’ll be the first to say I’m totally obsessed with it! I know a lot of people say petite gals shouldn’t wear maxi dresses, but I’ve always been very much in the pro-maxi category. And I mean this print!

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Outfit | Retro

eShakti Yellow Dress 4

It’s here, it’s finally here! You might have seen my post… and my other post… featuring the two dresses I was considering for a wedding I attended a month or so ago.

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20 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks Under $150

Everyone’s been a’buzzin’ about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and even though I’m terrible at thinking in advance about the upcoming seasons, the ridiculous prices convinced me it was finally time to bite…

Oh, and P.S. — you can actually shop the image above too! I finally figured out how to activate shoppable images, so when you hover over each item you’ll have the chance to click straight through to your favorites!

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Coffee Table | Bedside Table: July Reading List

Coffee Table Bedside Table_July
It’s been a few months since my last Coffee Table | Bedside Table feature, but I’ve finally been carving out a little more reading time lately and I couldn’t resist sharing a few reads at the top of my list!

I’d love to know what you’re reading though. I’ve seen some great recommendations from Ashlyn and Mandy so far, but I’m always looking for new ones. Give me your best!

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Summer Sale Favorites Under $100 (Most More Like $30!)

Summer Sale Finds 5
I know a lot of you are already starting to look toward fall, but as the procrastinating bargain shopper that I am, this time of year is actually one of my absolute favorites to scoop up a few favorite summer items…

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Staying Refreshed in the DC Summer Heat

Starbucks Bottled Iced Coffee 5

I already talked earlier this week about how much I dread the part of DC summer when you feel like you’re absolutely going to melt and there’s really just nothing you can do to try to stay composed during it. And I also think I shared with you my quest to ditch facial makeup altogether as step one toward trying to combat that melted makeup look.

But the bottom line I’ve realized over the past few years spent in DC is this: Sometimes you just have to embrace it.

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