4.30.2015

so i did some browsing...


...and these are the pretty things I found. 

(Oh, and they are all on sale.)


4.29.2015

what i wore: abstract cutout dress


We had such an amazing time on our trip to the British Virgin Islands. We stayed at Scrub Island Resort & Marina and got back around midnight. Exhausted from the fun doesn't even cut it, so today is definitely a multiple cups of coffee kind of day. Today I'm off to the Southern C Summit, which, lucky for me, is in Charleston—so no more travels today, thank goodness!

I loved wearing this dress so much on our trip and many of you on instagram seemed to, too. So I wanted to share the details! 

dress: I bought mine in xs from here, but it's $38 less here in other sizes!
shoes: similar here, here, here

p.s. Can't wait to share TONS of details and more pictures from our trip with you soon!


4.23.2015

on island time


See y'all next week! I'm taking some much needed time away with Brandon to celebrate our 2nd anniversary.
Follow me along on instagram and on snapchat: meg.stokes to see our adventures in the BVIs! 

4.22.2015

just because I like it...




hello! I am busy packing for our two year anniversary vacation to the British Virgin Islands! While wrapping up a few last things on the computer before unplugging (for the most part, anyway) for six days, my eyes immediately went to this crochet hat! It's so cute and priced at only $24. If the fedora style is not your style, this floppy hat is so cute, too. Speaking of good prices, I scooped up this coverup thanks to my girl Natalie's recommendation. It's a new favorite and you will definitely be seeing it on my trip!

4.21.2015

morning skincare routine


I've really tried hard to pare down my morning skincare and I think I've gotten it down to a routine I really love—and my skin loves, which is the most important thing. You can see previous morning skincare routines here and here. The products I use have definitely changed (and the number of products has decreased) but it's not because I suddenly stopped liking the old things I was using—I checked out my old posts to be sure! I just sample a lot of products and is there a such thing as beauty product-ADD? If so, I have it. 

glo-therapeutics conditioning milk cleanser: This is the most gentle cleanser I've ever used, but it doesn't cleanse especially well. What I mean is, it does not remove makeup well, so I would not use it at night. That said, it's so moisturizing and it's perfect for mornings because I don't really have anything to cleanse off my face—I just need a refresher. (I've read so many articles saying you really don't have to wash your face in the mornings for this reason, but I just can't do that.) The smell is so refreshing and it leaves my skin feeling hydrated and plump—exactly what I need and want in the mornings. I always massage my face to promote circulation while using this.

skinmedica glypro antixodiant serum: Ok, I know this costs a pretty penny, but it lasts a long time and it's the best serum I've ever used, hands down. Since using this, I swear my skin is more balanced and brightened. It's packed with glycolic acid and antioxidants like aloe, so it exfoliates the skin and rejuvenates it at the same time.  I'm kind of crying on the inside because my bottle is nearing empty-status.

colleen rothschild complete eye cream: This is the newest product to my skincare arsenal and I've been very impressed with it so far. It's supposed to target fine lines, dark circles, and it's supposed to hydrate and plump the skin/add elasticity. I'd have to say it has helped all of those things for me, even in just about a month of using it. It's super hydrating, so it's a nice base for under-eye concealer, as well as a nice treat for the eyes at night.

murad invisiblur perfecting shield: Part of paring down the number of products I use in the mornings means I needed to find multi-tasking products. Enter this little wonder from Murad, which provides an anti-aging treatment, primer, and SPF 30 sun protection in every pump. This takes the place of a moisturizer, spf, and primer for me.

What do YOU use in your morning skincare routine? Do you use the same products at night as you do in the morning? I will be sharing my update night routine soon!

4.20.2015

weekend

we had a full house this weekend and had so much fun with our dear friends while celebrating Richard & Katie's wedding weekend. every single detail was stunning and there were plenty of good times to be had. here are a few snippets from the weekend.













pssst.... my dress is over $100 off at Saks right now (it's already on sale, plus take 30% off with code FRNFAM)

4.17.2015

what i wore: mixson + margaritas


A couple weeks ago, I was amongst some beautiful and talented company at Mixson enjoying margaritas & yummy food. That alone is kind of hard to beat since margaritas and quesadillas are pretty much my favorite of life, but what sweetened the whole deal was the gorgeous tabletop + barware we were using from Open Door Shop. Leslie & Marion (the owners of Open Door) are the sweetest, stylish ladies and do they ever have good taste. I swear everything they carry is so pretty... I wish I could get married all over again and pick out my registry items there! 

By the way, I mentioned this on instagram, but the dress I'm wearing in these photos is from Piperlime and since they are closing, literally EVERYTHING is on sale. This dress is 30% off, making it under $70, so catch it while you can! I'm sure the website is going to clear out pretty quickly with all the discounts happening. By the way, I'm wearing a small, but have a little bit of extra room in the waist. You can see me standing up in it here and here.  Here are some other discounted things I'm loving from Piperlime:

clothing //

shoes + accessories //

4.16.2015

My Picks & What I Bought: Sephora 15% Off VIB Sale

Sephora's VIB sale starts today! If you're a VIB, you can save 15% off your total purchase until 4/21 with code VIBLOVE. If you aren't a VIB, you can still enjoy 10% off starting tomorrow, but go ahead and become a Beauty Insider in order to do so! I shared some recommendations with you last year in this vlog post, but here are some things I would totally recommend purchasing this year (Not promising there isn't any overlap from last year!).



one: I am a huge, huge fan of these blushes and this limited edition palette includes a gorgeous blush and the perfect nude eyeshadows. It's literally all you would need to take on a trip for cheeks & eyeshadow!

two: Formula X is my absolute favorite nail polish I've ever tried. This system includes a nail cleanser, base coat, any color polish of your choosing, and a top coat. I swear my nails look like gel when I do them with this. Plus, it's a great deal... you're essentially getting the nail polish for free when you buy it in this set.

three: By far my favorite foundation ever. It looks natural and lasts all day. Even though I may love other foundations, too, this one has been the best for me for years. I am shade 21 in winter and 31 in summer.

four: This is an amazing bronzer/highlight palette. It rivals the Charlotte Tilbury one I love. Again, this is something you can pop in your travel bag and be good to go. I just got it last week and haven't reached for any other bronzer/highlight since.

five: If you're looking for a great do-everything cleanser, this is it. I don't use it day to day, but always take it for traveling. It's awesome at removing makeup and cleansing the skin. I especially love to use it with my Clarisonic (It's a great time to scoop up one of those, too, if you don't have one!)

six: My favorite moisturizer and although the price stings a litle for a daily moisturizer, nothing else compares for me.

seven: If you don't have this, YOU NEED IT. When I wear just this (with no additional foundation on top), the key to beautiful coverage is to apply two thin coats, preferably with the smoothing face brush. I shared pictures and talked more about this product here.

eight: I swear this is the best lip gloss ever. Any shade. It just works.

nine: This is the best curling wand. I swear my hair looks healthier once it's curled because the technology in this wand supposedly mends and defends your hair. Plus the style lasts all day.  

ten: Y'all have probably seen me blog about this a million times, but the amazonian clay is supposed to balance the skin and I really feel that it does. This sets my foundation so well, keeps oil at bay, but never ever feels drying at all. Plus, it's invisible on the skin.



So what did I buy during this sale? I was able to shop this sale starting on the 12th since I am VIB Rouge (don't know if I should be proud of that or embarrassed). I had three gift cards just burning a hole in my pocket, so I kind of went wild. I thought I would share what I bought just to give you other ideas of pretty things to scoop up during the sale. 


4.15.2015

what i wore: fun, flirty dress


OUTFIT DETAILS //
dress (it's neoprene and amazingly comfortable! i'm wearing an XS), clutch, sandals (just found at J. Crew Factory, but not available online ...these are so similar!), earrings (similar), sunglasses are prada—these are similar, but I'm lusting over these!

4.14.2015

My Favorite Things To Do in Charleston, Part 1: Upscale Restaurants

One of the top questions I get emailed goes a little something like this, "I'm coming to Charleston next month and was wondering if you have any recommendations of places to eat and things to do?" So to any of you who have asked me this before, thank you for inspiring this post! I don't know why I haven't done it sooner.

I knew good & well before starting this post that I couldn't nail down all of my Charleston favorites in just one post. There's too much goodness in this city. So I've decided to break it down into multiple parts: upscale restaurants, casual restaurants, shopping, and finally, various things to do (this one might include some nightlife for those of you planning bachelorette parties!).

The restaurant scene has exploded in Charleston, which works well for me since eating is one of my favorite things to do. Every time we try a new restaurant, two more new ones open. It's hard to keep up sometimes! So even though I've hardly tried them all, these are my favorites in the fine dining category. You'll probably recognize a lot of these from my instagram and previous posts.

Upscale Restaurants

Indaco

rustic Italian cuisine

Indaco
First of all, the restaurant itself is beautiful and although this photo is too, I just don't think it does this gorgeous, warm space justice. The rustic vibes start on the outside with these giant wooden doors and continues inside with butcher block tables and lime-washed brick walls. I've nibbled on quite a bit from the menu and I'm always impressed with the unique combinations and the taste of absolutely everything. My favorite dish is the Black Pepper Tagliatelle, which has pork tesa, carbonara, egg yolk, chives, and pecorino romano cheese. Of course, I've never met one of their wood fired pizzas that I haven't liked. The dessert is worth mentioning, as well. The salted caramel gelato is deserving of the praise hands emoji.

The atmosphere? Lively, in the heart of upper-King's new expansion of bars and restaurants. Suited well for an intimate date or a large group.

FIG

seasonally-inspired cuisine with a commitment to using local and sustainable foods

FIG
Like most fine dining restaurants in Charleston, this menu changes seasonally, but at FIG (Food Is Good), it's mainly because the ingredients are harvested locally. There are not a ton of offerings on the menu, but you better believe each and every item is going to be good (the chef is Mike Lata, for goodness sakes). What impresses me so much about this restaurant is the knowledge the servers have! I could spend forever just listening to them describe how each entree is prepared (mind-blowing). This creates a wonderful experience because you feel well taken care of at this restaurant—almost like you've been invited in for dinner by the FIG family, if that makes sense. 

The atmosphere? Intimate and special, in a much less-lively part of town. The lighting is soft and the whole space feels elegant, yet cozy.

Edmund's Oast

an upscale brewpub with thoughtful cuisine

CNN
So here's the deal. If you can pick your jaw up off the floor when you go in and see the decor for yourself, make sure to eat the pickled shrimp. From someone who doesn't even love pickled shrimp, I cannot seem to get this one off my mind. Their charcuterie boards are on point and the bar selection is amazing. They also brew their own beer—the PB&J beer is pretty amazing.

The atmosphere? I think this place has a good mix of big groups and romantic dates—so it's suited for anyone and everyone. It's a little removed from other restaurants, but they have a big parking lot, making it super convenient. There's also an outdoor patio area that is perfect for happy hour. For me personally? This isn't a place I would go with just Brandon on a date. In my opinion, this is somewhere you should go with your a group of friends to grab cocktails and multiple small plates. 

O-Ku

asian cuisine with a southern approach


O-Ku has the best sushi I've ever tasted. I've said this since the restaurant opened in 2010 and have yet to find a restaurant that rivals it. I think you'll be surprised at the interesting sushi combinations they have, much different than the tempura battered, cream cheese rolls you'll find elsewhere. The fish is so fresh and tasty, something I don't think I've ever said about another sushi restaurant. There are tons of other options if you aren't a sushi lover, too. Brandon and I always share the rock shrimp to start, which is very similar to Bone Fish's Bang Bang Shrimp. The cocktails are amazing too—some of the best in Charleston, in my opinion.

The atmosphere? Trendy, up-beat, and normally always hosting a table or two for a bachelorette party or birthday celebration. It kind of turns into a club after hours, so the later it gets...the more it becomes a party atmosphere. Brandon and I normally go around 7 to avoid this because we are old and boring. ;)

The Ordinary

a southern seafood hall and oyster bar

NY Post
This is not somewhere to go if you're looking for a fried shrimp basket. The menu includes a fancier take on coastal southern comforts, like peekytoe crab toast, oyster sliders, a vast oyster bar selection, and tons more. You can expect the same concentration on local sustainability that you can find at FIG since it's owned by the same team. The Ordinary is worth visiting just for the decor alone, but the food being awesome is just a little icing on the cake. Let me be real here, though. The portions are small. Don't go if you're absolutely starving unless you're prepared to order lots of different things (which will add up quick). But if you're wanting to try local seafood prepared in ways you've never thought of and aren't wishing for an overflowing portion, this is your place. It's a flavor explosion in the best of ways. The exception to the small portion claim I just made would by the daily prix fixe menu, which provides a soup, entree, and dessert for $35 (I want to go back for the lobster rolls on Tuesdays!).

The atmosphere? Full of energy and stylish. The 22ft tall ceilings and large windows give this place a grand feel (it used to be a bank in the 20s!).

Halls Chophouse

"The Charleston Steakhouse"


Hall's is a little treasure to Charleston. When you walk in the door, you're genuinely greeted like an old friend and once inside, you're pampered like family. I don't say that lightly. As the name mentions, this steakhouse is owned by the Hall family, who is normally making rounds throughout the restaurant and eager to make sure everyone is enjoying themselves. The steak cuts are robust and the rest of the menu is amazing, as well. My two favorite things are the chop salad (I dream about it.) and the lobster mac & cheese. This is such a versatile place, too. It's quite the happening place for after-dinner drinks and my absolute favorite brunch in Charleston, as well. Their Sunday Gospel Brunch is a real treat. The crab cake eggs benedict is mouth watering, plus they have gospel singers filling the restaurant with their soulful sounds. This place makes me happy.

Other upscale favorites (all downtown): Basil (thai, borderline casual atmosphere), Blossom (american cuisine with local ingredients and amazing seafood), 82 Queen (refined southern food with a beautiful outdoor courtyard!), and Cannon Green, which I'm sharing two photos of below because it's too pretty for words.

Borrowed & Blue and Charleston Eater
I'll be back soon with "My Favorite Things to do in Charleston, Parts 2, 3, 4, etc....!"

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