Bloom Baby Bloom!

The trees and tulips shouldn’t be the only things in bloom right now…your style should be too! We have just entered into the 4th month of what seems to be a year of colorful patterns. Up here in New England, the (mostly) warm weather and flowery landscape has us with a head start on the age old proverb, “April showers bring May flowers.” With weather like this, who wants to wait until May to see flowers? Especially since most of them are out right now. So set your style in full-bloom with some phenomenal floral fashions. Some of my favorite flowery finds are featured below. I am not the biggest fan of the TOMS trend, but how cute would #5 be with a pair of jeans and a pink t-shirt? As a bonus, for every pair of shoes you purchase, TOMS will give one pair to a child in need. Since classy girls love giving back, get a pair and give a pair with TOMS! On another note, everyone in Connecticut knows umbrellas are a necessity for the month of April, so brighten up the sunless sky with #12! And remember, you can always find similar looks for less or you can even get creative and craft your own pieces. Hit up the fabric store this month, #9 would be a really fun project for any rainy day!

1. J.Crew, Flower patch bracelet in fresh mango, $68
2. Marni, Floral Printed Shorts in spring green, $509
3. Kate Spade, Japanese floral harmony, $328
4. Oasis, Floral Belted Dress, $90
5. TOMS, Corbel Women’s Vegan Classic, $54
6. Forever 21, Dainty Floral Floppy Hat, $8
7. Calypso St. Barth, Bounty Scarf, $250
8. Debenhams, Carved Flower Earrings in turquoise, $40
9. Marc Jacobs, Floral embroidered tulle skirt, $3,575
10. Christian Louboutin, Mini Loubi Lula Clutch, $895
11. Zara, Digital Flower Bikini Top & Bottom, $40
12. Mango, Flower print umbrella, $37

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Make a Statement

A statement is defined as the expression of an idea or opinion through something other than words. So it makes perfect sense to express yourself with a statement necklace! Show off your style by what you wear around your neck. These necklaces will add a lot of personality to your profile while still keeping your look simple and chic. Every jewelry line out right now has statement pieces so you don’t have to look hard to find ones you love. Watch Gossip Girl to get some statement necklace inspiration… not an episode goes by without the classy and fabulous Upper Eastsiders donning them dazzlingly.

1. J.Crew, Statement-stripe necklace, $78
2. Tasha Pave, Flower Statement Necklace, $158
3. Tory Burch, Resin Chain Necklace in lagoon, $195
4. Betsey Johnson, Nautical Theme Frontal Necklace, $150
5. Modcloth, Statement of the Art Necklace, $49.99
6. Michael Kors, Multi-Chain Twist Necklace in gold, $262
7. Gala, Green and Blue Mosaic Statement Necklace, $110
8. Gold and Citrus, Mollusk Necklace, $285
9. Kate Spade, Baublebox Bib Necklace in flo pink, $298
10. Stella & Dot, Alexandria Necklace, $98

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Dominican Republic: Altos de Chavón

Altos de Chavón is a recreated Medieval-like village, where tourists can enjoy elaborate stone buildings and admire the sunset over the Rio Chavón. While roaming around this mountaintop village, you feel like you are in a time warp or have been teleported to somewhere in Europe. From the Christmas decorations to the large fountains and flower pots, the charm and chicness of it all left me in absolute awe.

Los Altos has a vast Roman-style amphitheater that seats 5,000 guests. You will notice architectural similarities to amphitheaters in Italy. The theatre hosts various concerts throughout the year and past performers include Frank Sinatra, Julio Iglesias, The Pet Shop Boys, and Duran Duran.

The view of the Rio Chavón, cliffside Pete Dye No. 4 golf course, and surrounding jungle is quite breathtaking. There is no doubt that this is a Kodak moment (so don’t forget your camera)! When you need a break from snapping photos, there are plenty of benches to have a seat with a drink in hand and simply absorb the surrounding environment.

There is a beautiful church situated in the center of the village. Tourists are told Michael Jackson married Lisa Marie here. Apparently this is a rumor, but it is certain the two honeymooned in Casa de Campo and spent time at Los Altos. The chapel and its surrounding fantasyland remains a popular wedding destination.

There are various entertainers that wander about the village. They are dressed in colorfully detailed costumes as they dance, breathe fire, and pose for pictures. Small shops and vendors surround the sidewalks while artisans craft their products for all to see. You can find anything from authentic pottery to handmade dolls.

As if cobblestone walkways and limestone walls isn’t enough, Los Altos is home to a design school (an affiliate of Parsons School of Design in NYC) and a Museum of Archeology. There is so much history and knowledge, which only adds to the overall dazzling demeanor.

Some tourists find Los Altos quite pricey due to the entry fee, restaurants, and souvenirs. In my opinion, it is worth every penny. Altos de Chavón offers an exclusive experience unlike anywhere else. So if you are traveling to the Dominican Republic and looking for an upscale day trip or classy restaurants to wine and dine, make the effort to explore Altos de Chavón!

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Tory Burch Takeover for Spring and Summer Shoes

Here is my spring and summer shoe hypothesis: if you want your style to survive the next couple seasons in Connecticut or anywhere just as classy, then add a pair of these tasteful yet tenacious Tory Burch shoes to your repertoire. These brilliantly bright shades of yellow, pink, and blue look absolutely ahhh-mazing with white jeans. The ballet flats and sky-high wedges will look perfect with anything from jeans to dresses. Perhaps the greatest thing is that you can dress them up or keep them casual to accommodate every occasion. I just purchased No. 1 and No. 9 at Nordstrom and No. 5 at the Tory Burch boutique in Westchester this week (all pictured below). I am so excited to wear them on my upcoming trip to Jamaica and then all spring and summer long! Popular sizes will probably sell out quickly, which is common with Tory Burch favorites, so don’t wait too long to make your purchase!

1. Criss Cross Sandal in gold, $195
2. Tumbled Patent Reva Ballet Flat in tory yellow, $235
3. Reagan Platform High Wedge in bleach, $295
4. ‘Ace’ Wedge Sandal in sienna, $295
5. Tumbled Leather Miller Sandal in love pink, $195
6. Solid Emmy Sandal in bright turquoise, $195
7. Angeline High Wedge in bleach/natural, $325
8. Raffia Straw Reva Ballet Flat in natural/tory navy, $235
9. Thin Flip Flop in black, $50
10. Reva Mini Leopard Printed Ballerina, $235

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Getting Crowned is Classy… and the Ultimate Total Sorority Move too!

The blue-eyed beauty (pictured above) is none other than Lauren Hagerty, Miss Albany 2012. She not only reps her home state of New York but also the University of Connecticut. Aside from being a typical college Sophomore and an Allied Health major, Lauren is a fun and fashionable trendsetter of her classy style! Lauren is more than just a beautiful face. She is a sister of Delta Zeta and the chapter’s Merchandising Chair, an outstanding student, an advocate for ill children, and of course…a pageant queen!

Lauren has a passion for pageants. She competed in her first pageant when she was 13 years old. Lauren looks back and reflects on her very first pageant, “It was the Miss Teen New York Scholarship and Recognition pageant. I had no idea what I was doing and my dress was hideous!” Interestingly enough, Lauren never wanted to be the typical “pageant girl”. So why does she do it?

“It was something that I really enjoyed doing for myself. And truthfully, throughout middle school and high school, I never really talked about it. Once I came to college and people started realizing I participated in pageants, everyone was so shocked and interested! Doing Pageants is just a normal part of my life! Now, I have learned to embrace it because competing has made a huge impact on my life. It has shaped me into the woman I am today, which I love sharing with people.”

Lauren’s favorite pageant moment happens during every pageant. She says, “It’s that moment right before they call my name to do my walk. It’s the only time when EVERYONE’S eyes are on me. I get to show off the greatest thing I have… myself! I used to be so nervous when they called my name, but now I embrace it. My heart starts beating and all I can think about is that little voice in my head saying, ‘you got this girl, go get ’em!'”

Lauren looks up to others, just as others look up to her. Lauren’s role model is Alyssa Campanella, Miss California USA 2011/Miss USA 2011. Lauren is inspired by her beauty and down-to-earth personality. Lauren told me:

“Before the national pageant, Alyssa was torn on the decision to wear the crowd-pleasing neutral white or cream dress or her favorite green dress, nicknamed ‘the green monster,’ which multiple stylists advised her to put back. It was a huge gamble, but Alyssa wore the dress she felt most confident in and won! Confidence is sexy, not what you’re wearing!”

Lauren has an endless amount of fans and supporters from her sorority, friends, and family. Her family is her biggest support system as they take her to all the dress fittings, travel across the state of New York to watch her compete, and make an overall pretty big investment in her pageant priorities. When it comes to Lauren’s friends, they always have her back. She says, “My friends have been fantastic… especially my sisters of Delta Zeta. They were there for me when I interviewed in New York City for States and at prelims with HUGE signs! I couldn’t help but cry on stage!”*


Lauren has a jammed packed schedule, always trying to keep a balance. Lauren values her academic and social life as well as various philanthropies. Throughout her rein as Miss Albany, many of her fundraisers have benefitted HuskyTHON, the 18 hour dance marathon at UCONN for the Connecticut Children’s Hospital. Lauren danced for the Delta Zeta team at HuskyTHON this past weekend. She raised hundreds of dollars, which helped the DZ team take the title of Top Fundraiser with $21,310.39 (that’s all For The Kids)! Back in New York, Lauren makes local appearances to promote positive self image, which she finds “SO important for young women today!”

Wondering if Lauren is participating in any pageants in the near future?

“I’m thinking about competing in a ‘Perfect’ pageant this summer, but I want to take time off and really get myself into a good state of mind mentally and physically to compete in States once I turn 21. Who am I kidding though? I will most likely be competing in Miss Hudson Valley again this year!”

Well, myself and our sisters totally support Lauren’s decisions. We cannot wait to see her get crowned again! I know I am no pageant pro… so if you need some girl-to-girl advice on pageant participation, Lauren has some for YOU:

“I say the second you get the opportunity, TAKE IT. It is an experience of a lifetime, even if you don’t win a crown or a title! The friends I’ve made and the opportunities that have been opened for me are unexplainable. The confidence you gain is worth more than 1000 ‘likes’ on a Facebook picture; it’s you, in the flesh, on stage, looking awesome, and showing your amazing self to hundreds of people. Who wouldn’t want that!?”

Lauren’s style inspiration comes from a “SICK obsession” with Blair Eadie of Atlantic-Pacific. Recently, Blair has inspired almost all of Lauren’s outfits! Lauren thinks her style is “classically chic, but totally wearable,” which is exactly how she likes to dress. Well, great choice Lauren… one of my personal favorites as well! Lauren loves high heels, bows, and glitter just as much as I do (so she obviously has an impeccable grace)! If you like what you see… check out Lauren’s blog, Big Dreams, Little Pockets to get some everyday beauty and fashion tips and see more of her sophisticated style. Have I mentioned she is THE BEST fake eyelash applicator? She saved me from a fake eyelash faux pas last Halloween. If she can help me, I am sure she can help you too!

Want to get to know Lauren a bit better? Here are some of her favorite things and her reasons why:

Favorite color: Purple. “My coach makes fun of me though because 99% of my pageant attire is cobalt blue. She calls me ‘the blue girl.’ What can I say? I feel confident in it!”

Favorite evening wear designer: Jovani. “From the couture closet to the cute short dresses, there is something gorgeous for everyone.”

Favorite shoe designer: “My coach is famous for her ability to find the most gorgeous shoes for the cheapest prices, so as embarrassing as it is, I don’t own any designer shoes! My favorite shoes are my cheetah wedges I got from Charlotte Russe last summer. I wear them way more than I should.”

Favorite store: Forever 21. With her hometown hosting the second biggest store in the world, it’s a no brainer! “I could spend hours in there and everything I find is so unique. I also can’t help but love how inexpensive it is.”

Favorite nail polish color: OPI Strawberry Margarita. “I can spot it from a mile away. It reminds me of summertime!”

Favorite travel destination: Lake George. “My family has been going to Lake George since I was a baby and I absolutely love it. It’s the only place where everyone’s cell phones are off because there is no service so we get to have nice family time. I also love to water-ski, wakeboard, and cliff jump, which is perfect on the lake because it’s so big!”

Favorite restaurant: Panera. “The strawberry poppy seed salad is to die for. I mark the days on my calendar waiting for it to come out every summer.”

Favorite Song Right Now: Turn Me On by David Guetta. “Every time I hear it I freak out and start dancing… I’m so weird.” Well then I must be weird too because I LOVE that song! SO fun to dance to, especially on New Year’s Eve. I think our sisters Kaci and KC would agree!

Favorite Total Sorority Move: Missing a party because you had to go win a pageant. TSM.

Lauren and I have a lot in common from our classic style and song choice to our lifelong sisterhood. Delta Zeta is what brought Lauren and I together as friends, as sisters. As DZ means a lot to me, it means just as much to Lauren. She says, “Delta Zeta is my life. I never thought it was possible to know so many strong-willed, intelligent, beautiful women, let alone be able to call them my sisters. The bond we share is stronger than any friendship, and the experiences we’ve shared will be memories I will never forget. Joining a sorority was the best decision of my college career but joining Delta Zeta was the best decision of my life.” Lauren Hagerty is an All-American girl: a steadfast student, pageant queen, fashionista, and Delta Zeta sister all-in-one. Lauren, you have already accomplished so much, but there is a multitude more to come. You may not know where life will take you, but I know that wherever you go, you will go with elegance. xx

*Help support Lauren by “Liking” her page on Facebook!

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Superbowl Sunday

Go New England Patriots!!

We all know who the classier team in today’s big game is…the New England Patriots! Boston fans are always classy, never trashy (unlike the fans of every New York sports team). Every weekend this season football fans flocked to the bars but none as obnoxious as Giants fans. Sorry I’m not sorry, but I cannot wait to see the “G-Men” lose tonight.

Tonight, the Patriots, led by the stunningly handsome Tom Brady, are going to need to score A LOT. The key for the Pats today is going to be pressuring Manning so he doesn’t have the time to throw. If they don’t, they are going to find themselves in trouble. If they are successful with this, there is no doubt the Patriots will take down Eli and the rest of the Giants. And let’s be serious, Tom is so much hotter than Eli.

       

Asking my Daddy his thoughts on the game he responded, “New England has the edge on overall offense, points per game, yards gained, at quarterback, rushing yards per game, defensive yards per run, all with a ten game winning streak and revenge factor. The Pats also have the edge in head coaching, Giants have the edge in defensive front four and running backs. Let’s go Patriots!”

We will be watching the game at my sister’s house, bringing over three pounds of chicken wings and eating an absurd amount of carbs and fat until it is no longer possible (good thing I made it to the gym this morning). I wish both teams the best of luck, but I have faith that the Patriots will bring it home to New England for the fourth time.

Xoxo,
Lindsay

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Oh My Pinkberry!

The frozen yogurt craze has been around for quite some time, but it is still spreading from coast to coast and town to town. Frozen yogurt, or “fro-yo” as many of us like to call it, is a more refreshing (and healthier) option than ice cream and other high-fat indulgences. I always feel much better about myself having frozen yogurt than other desserts. I have tried many fro-yo brands including 16 Handles, Red Mango, Swizzles, and Top This, but Pinkberry is my all-time favorite!

     

Pinkberry’s frozen yogurt flavors include Original, Pomegranate, Chocolate, Mango, Coconut and Green Tea. Additional seasonal flavors include Blood Orange, Peanut Butter, and Peppermint. Although Pinkberry isn’t one of those do-it-yourself places, you still get to pick from a variety of toppings that include assorted fresh fruits and sweet treats. My favorite combination is Chocolate and Pomegranate with fresh strawberries on the Chocolate side and chocolate chips on the Pomegranate side. My mom’s favorite is Green Tea mixed with Pomegranate.

     

You can eat your treat in the shop, head outside to sit benches, or go for a walk. If you need to bring your fro-yo home… it is never a problem at Pinkberry! You can get your treats to-go and a small bag of ice is conveniently included to avoid melting on the ride home.

     

There are currently three Pinkberry locations in Connecticut: Fairfield, Greenwich and South Windsor (with a Hartford location swirling soon)! Some people say it’s the higher prices that keep Pinkberry classy, but I would say it is a perfect combination of lovely taste, all natural and always fresh products, and quality service. So next time you are craving something sweet, find a Pinkberry and go!* It will be your new classy obsession.

*Ask for a punch card because for each cup you purchase… you get a stamp! Once you get 10 stamps, you will receive a free small frozen yogurt of your choice! Also, remember to check-in via Foursquare to get points towards future events.

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