All Black Everything | Hilton Head Island

by Lauren


Happy Monday everyone! Can you believe it is almost July!? To say that I'm excited is an understatement. Not only is the weather usually oh-so-glorious, this month also includes the best holiday ever: the 4th of July.  Any day dedicated to BBQ, fireworks, and American pride is a no brainer in my book. It also just so happens to be my birthday! This party-filled time of year always brings with it fun gatherings that are the perfect excuse to break out a fresh new summer look. If you feel like the red, white, and blue are a little played out, why not dress in black?

Today on S&S, I am sharing one of my most loved staples for summertime festivities: the maxi skirt. Not only are they ah-mazingly comfortable, but maxis always seem to look a little more polished than a pair of cutoffs. On my recent beach trip, I wore my maxi skirts for shopping excursions, dinners, and also to the beach in the evening. To create this simple look, I only needed three items.  On top, I am wearing my go-to Brandy Melville crop top, which I paired with a basic black maxi skirt. To spice it up a bit, I added a few delicate silver chains by CAbi (my favorite by invitation line of clothes and accessories). The best part about this simple, all black look is the versatility it provides. This easy ensemble can transition seamlessly from a beachside lunch, to a night of cocktails and apps with the girls. Recreate this look for your 4th of July weekend plans by pairing your favorite maxi skirt with a crop top in a matching hue. Then, throw a fun statement necklace into the mix and you'll be ready for a great night! What are your favorite items to wear for July 4th? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo

Lauren 

IMG_3989.jpg





Introducing Blue Apron Meals

by Lauren


 It isn't very often that a service is simply so awesome, that I want to share it with the world. However, this most definitely applies to food delivery service, Blue Apron Meals. After receiving an amazing offer from my friends at #Foodiechats to try Blue Apron out for free, I was able to learn firsthand what makes this company so special. I quickly went online and filled out all of my dietary preferences, and voilà: Blue Apron created a unique menu based on my likes and dislikes!  They also succeeded in making my tummy rumble with emails detailing the contents of my upcoming box (fresh gnocchi with lemon brown butter....umm, yes please!) Read on for my Blue Apron Meals experience. 

The great thing about Blue Apron is that you can prepare a fresh, gourmet meal without a trip to the grocery store. This is not only very convenient, but is a huge time saver. When I opened my box, I couldn't believe how much they had packed into it! Blue Apron prides themselves on their ability to deliver top-notch, locally grown ingredients, and it shows! All the ingredients were packaged perfectly to ensure freshness, and were portioned out specifically for each recipe.  To make things super simple, they provide recipe cards to explain what to do with all those amazing ingredients. Not only did the recipes look delicious, they were explained with step-by-step instructions that didn't even scare a cooking amateur like me. My only dilemma: what to cook first? 

I decided on the Crispy Chopped Salad with Creamy Buttermilk Dressing. 

After chopping up all the veggies (lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, lemon, chives) and boiling the green beans, I was able to make my very own creamy buttermilk ranch dressing! I created the dressing using buttermilk, chives, lemon, olive oil,  garlic paste and mayo. 

Finally, the finished product, which just so happened to be extremely tasty. :) 

For my next Blue Apron Meal, I made the Fresh Gnocchi and Baby Zucchini with Crispy Squash Blossoms & Lemon Brown Butter. You better believe I felt like quite the gourmand as I attempted to cook a squash blossom (I admit, I had zero clue what that was). Turns out, squash blossoms are pretty delicious, and also easy to prepare if you have Blue Apron guiding you. Here's what the process looked like. 

Yum...what's not to love about warm and cheesy gnocchi!?

Yum...what's not to love about warm and cheesy gnocchi!?

As you can see, Blue Apron made sure to remember every last detail, even including a tiny container of butter! The gnocchi turned out wonderfully, and I have a new found appreciation for squash blossoms.

If all of this has made you hungry, don't worry, we won't leave you hanging. Blue Apron was kind enough to provide S&S readers with a special discount to receive 20$ off your first order. Simply visit the following link, fill out your dietary preferences and address, and enjoy all the goodness that is Blue Apron Meals!  www.blueapron.com/sugarandspice 

Please let us know if you decide to claim your discount! We want to hear about your experience, as well as the tasty recipes you get to try!

We hope you love Blue Apron as much as we do! 

xoxo 

Lauren

 


What's Good for the Soul

by Lauren


Happy Friday everyone :) 

Today on S&S I want to take a break from fashion and food to talk about something I've been thinking about a lot lately.  A couple days ago you may have seen me post a quote on our Instagram. I don't post quotes or sayings often, so when I do, there's usually a reason behind it. 

As you may know, I graduated from college about a month ago. After graduation, I left the hustle and bustle of Chicago to return to my slow paced life back home in Virginia. While the southern, small town life isn't always the most thrilling, it has been a joy spending the past few weeks with those I love most. When I'm here and away from all the distractions that city life brings, I quickly shift into the calmer, more easy-going version of myself. Life just feels lighter. Evenings spent cooking with my mom, lunches with old friends, and time spent enjoying the beautiful mountain scenery are just a few of the things that I cherish whenever I do make my way home.

 You see, what I'm realizing is that once in a while it's important for me to get back to my roots and spend time with those who love me the most. It's in the quiet moments, when I give in to the natural rhythms of life, that my eyes are opened to all of life's many blessings.

"Whatever is good for the soul...do that."

Doing what is good for my soul often times means stepping away from the chaos of life, to better appreciate the simple things, and to fall in love with them all over again. For me, this often includes curling up with a good book, trying out new recipes, or reminiscing with high school friends. It is in the stillness that I am reminded of who I am and where I'm going, even if I haven't quite made it there yet. It's when I step back that I realize how thankful I am for this life of mine: the good, the bad, and the beautiful. It is in these moments that I am reminded of the people who stand by my side, the ones who always remind me of these things, when I seem to forget. 

So, I encourage all you lovely readers to stop. Stop for a moment, breathe, and just soak it all up. Be fully present. Because sometimes we just gotta do what's good for our souls. Whatever that may be. 

xoxo 

Lauren 



Black and White on a Bike

by Lauren


There's just something about an all black and white ensemble. While the black and white trend has been a mainstay the past couple years, it has always been a favorite of mine. Dressy or casual, a black and white pairing is perfectly timeless.

While I admit that the following look is definitely not ideal for biking....I just had to do it. This retro road bike was practically begging me to don my cat eye sunnies and high-waisted shorts! However,  my favorite part of the look is undoubtedly these Tabitha Simmons heels. When I first laid eyes on these black and white beauties, it was love at first sight!  To complete the look, I decided to pair them with the American Apparel Tap Short and a simple tank with an open back.

Biking in heels? I definitely don't recommend it. In fact, it's safe to say that I had quite the audience as I struggled to keep the wheels in motion!  While I won't be wearing these heels for biking again anytime soon, I can't wait to pair them with a dress or some white jeans for a night out. What are some of your favorite ways to wear black and white? Let me know in the comments! 

xoxo 

Lauren 

IMG_3948.jpg