A Visit to Amish Country

This past weekend my mom and I visited Amish Country in Lancaster, Pa. I’ve always been fascinated by different cultures, particularly the Amish because it’s so amazing that they can keep their lifestyle as it is, when they are surrounded by so much technology and modern culture. For a time, I even considered majoring in a field that would let me study different cultures and people, Anthropology, after I took a class at Mount Holyoke College during my senior year of high school, but I opted for Broadcast Journalism and Political Science instead.

My mom had planned to visit Amish Country back in the day when she was pregnant with me, but her doctor suggested she skip the trip, so you could say this trip has been 27 years in the making.

Here’s my list of go to places and must dos

Where to stay: DoubleTree Resort Lancaster
There aren’t a ton of hotels in the region, so if you’re looking to stay at a place that isn’t a Bed and Breakfast, you’re options are limited, but the DoubleTree suited us just fine!

Buggy Ride
If you go to Amish country you absolutely have to take an Amish horse and buggy ride. As we drove into Lancaster, we ended up on some middle of the nowhere roads, even our maps app lost us, but the neat thing was we got to see so many people riding in their buggies. This was the number one activity my mom and I had on our list of must dos.

There’s a number of buggy riding companies, but there’s only one that is worth visiting, and that’s Abe’s Buggy Rides. This is the real deal! You’ll be taken on your ride with a real Amish person, unlike the other tours in town that are not run by the Amish and are extremely touristy and unauthentic. If you want an authentic experience, going through real Amish neighborhoods, you have to go to Abe’s.

We opted for the hour long ride ($45 a person). The best part of the tour was that it was just for us. At Abe’s you get a private tour, no sitting with strangers! On our ride we got to see an Amish school house, and school was getting out when we drove by, which was cute. We also got to stop at a bakeshop were we picked up a lot of yummy goodies.

Our driver, Sam, even allowed me to drive the buggy twice, which who can say they’ve actually driven a real horse and buggy!? It was so much fun.

Driving a horse and buggy in Lancaster, PA

Treats
If you’re interested in doing something focusing on food, there’s a few spots you should take a pit stop at nearby.

The first is Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery in Lititz, PA. It’s not too far away, around a 20-30 minute drive from Lancaster. The bakery is the first commercial pretzel bakery in the country. Here you can take a cute 20 minute tour for $3.50 a person. You’ll get to see how pretzels were made back in the day, hear some tales about the Sturgis family, and even get to roll out a “pretzel.” I put pretzel in quotes because I don’t believe it’s real pretzel dough and you don’t actually get to cook/eat it, but it’s a fun activity especially on a rainy day.

Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery

Wilbur Chocolate
This factory chocolate store is only a couple blocks away from the pretzel bakery, and it smells heavenly. In the back of the store they have a couple tins of Wilbur Buds, a small chocolate they are known for, that you can sample. Pretty tasty! They also have a little section with windows where you can see some of the workers making chocolate.

Shopping
If you’re looking for some shopping (not necessarily Amish ran businesses), you should check out Kitchen Kettle Village. They have a lot of fun shops here where you can buy everything from candles, soaps, fudge, decorations, and so on. The best shop here is The Jam and Relish Kitchen. So many tasty treats await you, plus tons of samples! In the back there’s also a canning kitchen where we were able to see a bunch of Amish women canning pickles that day.

Bird in Hand Farmer’s Market is another must visit shopping spot. You’ll find tons of sweet treats, meats, canned items, and more here. There’s also a number of craft shops to puruse as well.

Overall, Amish Country was a lot of fun. I’d recommend 1-2 days there depending on what you want to hit up. It’s amazing to see how different the Amish culture is, and you can’t go wrong with their cooking and baking!

 

 

Continue Reading

Men’s Summer Wardrobe – Stitch Fix Review

Photo Courtesy of Stitch Fix

Disclosure: This post contains Stitch Fix Affiliate links, and I may receive compensation.

What’s Stitch Fix: An amazing fashion company that provides you with your own personal stylist who picks out pieces based on your style profile, requests, budget and your figure!

A couple of weeks ago my boyfriend received his second Fix from Stitch Fix, focusing on pieces for Summer. The Fix consisted of one pair of pants, three tops, and one pair of shorts. Let’s take a closer look and see what Brian had to say about the items his stylist chose.

#1 – Mavi Edward Slim Leg Pant
First up was a classic khaki colored slim legged pant from Edward. I highly recommend this type of cut for men who are tall and skinny. The slim leg is more attractive and flattering for long legs. Brian’s go to pants are cargos, so this was a bit of a style upgrade. While cargos are functional and I don’t really mind them, all the pockets have a tendency to bulk up a guy, which is why switching it up with a slim pant is always an easy way to dress up an outfit effortlessly.

Brian’s thoughts: I am afraid of white pants. When I saw the style card and saw a pair of white pants I thought to myself “well, this isn’t going to work out well”. Luckily, they turned out to be a very pleasant shade of grey (which Katie calls khaki – clearly unfamiliar with the intricacies of men’s pants). They fit well and, since they’re not actually white I’m not as worried about staining them. They’ll be a good addition to my pants lineup when the weather cools down.

We paired these Mavi pants with a Polo from this Fix below, for a cool casual Summer look. Check out item 2 for a fit pick.

Mavi Edward Slim Leg Pant – Stitch Fix for Men

#2 –  Tailor Vintage Brett One Pocket Polo
You can’t go wrong with a good polo. Polos are a great staple for every guy’s wardrobe and can make you look more put together than just a t-shirt, plus it’s as easy to style and pair with other items. The light blue color of this polo is oh so dreamy and great for guys with blue eyes. Don’t mind the wrinkles in the photo, a little steaming of those bad boys and this shirt is ready to wear.

Brian’s thoughts: This polo was on the larger side for me, but with a washing or two I felt confident it would shrink down a bit. I wear polos a lot during the summer so this seemed like a smart addition to my closet.

Tailor Vintage Brett One Pocket Polo – Stitch Fix for Men

#3 – Hawker Rye Long Sleeve Button Down Shirt
I was a little surprised to see a long sleeved button down for a Summer Fix, considering how hot it is here in the New York/New Jersey area, but hey it’s always good to get a transition piece for seasons, and I’m sure this one will be a great new addition as the Summer comes to a close and Fall starts creeping in. This blue long sleeve is a nice bright color and looks great with khaki pants. We also paired this shirt with the Mavi pants to give a more dressy look. While the button down isn’t advertised as being a slim cut, it seems to be cut in a slim style, which is great for guys like Brian who are thin and long in the chest.

Brian’s thoughts: My knee-jerk reaction was that this shirt was not what I wanted with this fix. I was hoping for some summer clothes, and this shirt is more of a fall/winter/spring/anytime but summer shirt. That said, it’s a nice shirt. My last teal-like shirt expired a few years ago so I’ll hang this up and pull it out in a few months when the weather cools off since it fit well.

Hawker Rye Long Sleeve Button Down Shirt – Stitch Fix for Men
Hawker Rye Long Sleeve Button Down Shirt with Mavi Edward Slim Leg Pant

#4 – Howe Fade Away Button Down Shirt
For the guy who isn’t into shirts with prints or designs that are too bold, this Howe shirt is great since it uses faded coloring. This piece screams beach to me, which is perfect for a Summer vacation (which I have yet to take). The top also gives me a bit of a “hipster” vibe. It’s not so extreme that it’ll turn off regular guys who aren’t into dressing all fashionable or hip, which is great because it can work for a variety of men. You’ll see a fit pick in the next item review below.

Brian’s thoughts:  This shirt has been sitting in my closet for a few weeks, I’m still not sure what I think of it. “Bowling shirt” keeps coming to mind whenever I see it. I’ve seen people out and about wearing shirts like this in clearly non-bowling settings, but I don’t think I’m quite there yet. Maybe I’ll get there some day, or I’ll join a bowling league.

Hawker Rye Long Sleeve Button Down Shirt – Stitch Fix for Men

#5 – 7 Diamonds Weekender Chino Short
As mentioned above, Brian’s a cargo pants kind of guy, and that goes for his shorts as well. I was excited to see his stylist provided something a bit more dressy and classic. The nicest part about these Chino Shorts is that they can be easily dressed up and make the wearer look more stylish just by how the short is cut and fitted. You could wear these out to dinner while off on your beach vacation and still look nice.

Brian’s thoughts:  Who likes short-shorts? On men… well erm… not me.  These shorts are shorter than I usually wear but they weren’t uncomfortably short, striking a few inches above the knee instead of the usual knee-length short I wear.  I know shorter shorts exist, but these were a nice stepping stone to more fitted shorts than the cargo-variety I usually wear. They don’t provide the cargo assortment of pockets so I’ve noticed my keys can irritate my thighs if I don’t put them in just right; on the flip side I feel more fashionable than usual when I wear them. It feels like a good trade off during the hot summer days.

Hawker Rye Long Sleeve Button Down Shirt – Stitch Fix for Men
Hawker Rye Long Sleeve Button Down Shirt with 7 Diamonds Weekender Chino Short

Final Impressions: I felt the Fix was a pretty good success. I loved seeing Brian try some new pieces out of his comfort zone and see a bit more style come into his closet. Here’s hoping he joins me in requesting a Fall Fix so we can keep the fashion rolling.

Brian’s overall impressions: 3 / 5 items were suitable for summer which was exactly what I was looking for. The other 2 items were nice (I kept them), but will have to sit in my closet for a few weeks until it cools down. I was disappointed I didn’t get more summer clothes, a non-blue shirt or another pair of shorts would have been nice substitutes. Maybe if I request a summer fix a bit earlier in the season (like late spring) I’ll get a fuller selection of summer clothes.

Haven’t tried Stitch Fix yet? Want to get a personal stylist for yourself or the special person in your life? Sign up with my Stitch Fix code!

Continue Reading

Sliding into Summer with Style – Stitch Fix Review

Photo courtesy of Stitch Fix

 

Disclosure: This post contains Stitch Fix Affiliate links, and I may receive compensation.

We’re finally in the midst of Summer and I don’t know about you, but it’s that time of year where I want to wear clothing that’s super comfortable, lightweight and effortless so that I can stay cool in the hot Summer sun. For my Summer fix I specifically requested Summer essentials, calling out the need for some lightweight pieces such as sleeveless dresses and short/sleeveless tops. A majority of my commute involves walking in the heat to capture a train into the city, so it’s important to me to have options that won’t leave me feeling hot and sticky.

This Fix I had a different stylist than usual, Jan. Jan is filling in for Kim who is usually my stylist since she’s on vacation. I was intrigued to see if a new stylist would be able to pinpoint my style and suggest some good pieces. In the end, I was pleasantly surprised! If you want to be pleasantly surprised by what Stitch Fix has to offer, don’t hesitate, sign up now! You’ll be hooked!

#1 – Q&A Kayleigh Faux Wrap Dress
The first dress I received in my fix was a faux polka dot wrap dress. This dress has a lot going on with it from frilliness to ruffles for days. I still haven’t made up my mind how much I like this piece, but it certainly has a flowy construction which is what I was looking for in a dress. If you’re a girly girl and love polka dots and ruffles, this is your dress! One thing I’d change is to add some extra length to the dress. While the dress is lined to help provide some modesty, the lining and dress are pretty short so I have to be careful when bending down. I think if you’re a bit shorter than me, this dress wouldn’t be a problem lengthwise. For comparison sake, I’m 5 foot 6. This would be a cute dress for brunching in.

Q&A Kayleigh Faux Wrap Dress
Q&A Kayleigh Faux Wrap Dress from Stitch Fix

#2 – Palacio Scoop Neck Tank
A staple in my wardrobe is the tank top. I love tank tops because they’re uber comfortable, can be layered with other tops and jackets, and can be casual or dressy. This Pixley Scoop Neck Tank is so fun, colorful, and perfect for Summer. The fabric of the two different sections is slightly different, giving you a subtle texture difference. The pink part can be a bit see through, but I don’t mind it as it’s not too obvious. You can style this tank so many different ways. It would look great with a dark pair of jeans and heels, worn under a cardigan, or just by itself with a pair of shorts. You can’t go wrong with this fun color combo and pattern. Scroll down to item number 3 to see this tank pair with my next item.

Pixley Palacio Scoop Neck Tank

 

#3 Liverpool Taylor Denim Short
In my last Spring fix I had requested a dark pair of shorts, but the pair I received didn’t hit the mark and got returned. While I didn’t request a pair for this Fix, Jan, who was filling in for my stylist Kim, decided to throw in a pair for me to try after reading my last review. On first appearances, I really liked the bright blue color and felt the cut of the shorts looked more modern and less like “mom jeans/shorts” which is what I called the last pair I received. The cuff on the shorts create the perfect length for rocking these at work, going out on the town, or just lounging around. I’m a booty short fan, but I realize that’s not always the best option for the office. I paired these shorts with the Pixley tank for a bright and fun Summer look.

Liverpool Taylor Denim Short
Pixley Palacio Scoop Neck Tank and Liverpool Taylor Denim Short from Stitch Fix

#4 Skies Are Blue Monisa Embroidered Blouse
Next up was a short sleeved top from Skies are Blue. I had seen this top on Pinterest and thought it was cute and would be a good top for when the weather is a little cooler or for when the office is a little too chilly for a sleeveless top. The fabric of this top is so comfortable and actually cool to the touch, always a plus for Summer clothing. If you enjoy a mix of colors and patterns this top is perfect. Style it with neutral colored pants for a casual office look, or pair with white jeans/capris for a day out on the town.

Skies Are Blue Monisa Embroidered Blouse
Skies Are Blue Monisa Embroidered Blouse from Stitch Fix

#5 – Collective Concepts Julie Shirt Dress
I’ve been eyeing shirt dresses for a while on Pinterest. This shirt dress from Collective Concepts is decked out in a beautiful floral pattern that gives off the perfect Summer vibe. The dress includes a tie waist, which is one of my favorite things because it helps accentuates your natural waist and can look fabulous on any type of body. I’m also a fan of the lining for the bottom half of the dress so you don’t have to worry about anything showing through. But perhaps the best feature of this dress is the pockets! If I had a say in the fashion world, I’d demand all dresses to have pockets. Dresses with pockets are absolute perfection. This past week I was talking to one of my friends about the need for dresses to have pockets, and I couldn’t agree more. As a woman I don’t always want to have to carry a purse or bag with me, so when I can throw on a dress with pockets I instantly get excited because I don’t have to worry about where to put my phone or my work badge. You’ll stay cool and chic in this cotton dress, and it’s bound to become one of my go to pieces this season.

Collective Concepts Julie Shirt Dress
Collective Concepts Julie Shirt Dress from Stitch Fix

Final Thoughts – It can be fun to see what different stylists suggest for you. I was a little nervous when I read my stylist note to see my regular stylist was away, but Jan did a wonderful job and I’d be lucky to have her on hand for Kim anytime 🙂 Thanks Jan and Kim! I’d say this fix was a 4 out of 5, since I’m still a little on the fence about the faux wrap dress, but I think I’ll be able to make it work for me, maybe by adding a jacket or tights. Until next time, happy Fixing!

Don’t forget to follow my Pinterest Boards for more Stitch Fix fun!

Haven’t tried Stitch Fix yet? Sign up with my Stitch Fix code!

Continue Reading

Socks with style – Stitch Fix

Stitch Fix Socks

We all know I absolutely love Stitch Fix, and I have even greater love for the company when I received a surprise package last week from them. Inside were two pairs of men’s socks and a code for a free styling for my man of choosing (-$20). How amazing is that?

The socks arrived at a perfect time too since I’m prepping my next Men’s Stitch Fix Review. Stay tuned for that post in the coming week! Do you have a guy who needs to up his summer style? Stitch Fix has some great pieces to keep your man cool in the summer both in temperature and in style 🙂

As a Stitch Fix Affiliate I’m kind jealous that these socks are for men because they actually have the Stitch Fix logo right on them. I hope one day I’ll be lucky enough to see some Stitch Fix branded goodies for the ladies.

Stitch Fix socks for men

A lot of us probably wouldn’t have originally considered having a styling company give us basic and essential pieces like socks to add to our wardrobe, but I have to say I’m impressed with what I’ve seen other guys receive, and some of them have received non-branded socks in their Fixes and seem to like them a lot. Something to consider if you’re wanting to move away from the basic white socks.

I haven’t decided which lucky guys will get one of the 2 pairs I received, but I can’t wait to gift one of them a free styling fee so they can give the service a try and see what I’ve fallen in love with.

I’m honored to be a member of the Stitch Fix community and I wouldn’t have some of the amazing outfits and pieces that I do today without them. Thank you!

Stay tuned tomorrow for my latest Summer Stitch Fix Review (for the ladies!)

Continue Reading

Skimming the news is the way to go

It’s been a while since I’ve last posted due to a very busy work schedule, but I wanted to stop by and share something that I’ve discovered that I think all of you might like and could use.

While this year is only half way through, there’s been so much going on in the news that it’s hard to keep up with what’s true, what’s not, and what’s worth knowing. A few months ago I was introduced to a newsletter started by two women that has changed the way I get my news. While I majored in Broadcast Journalism in college, I ended up with a job in technology instead. I’m still interested in the news and keeping up to date on the latest happenings but it’s not always easy.

If you’re like me and you want to stay informed, learn something new, and sound like you’re well versed in a variety of topics, you need to check out theSkimm.

What’s theSkimm?
A free and fun daily newsletter that comes directly to your inbox (week days only).

Why should I subscribe to theSkimm?
It’s an entertaining fresh way of getting your news. For those of us always on the go, it’s an effortless way to stay connected to what’s going on around the world. Plus, it’s created by two women, and I’m always one for supporting women led/owned businesses.

Sounds great, how do I sign up?
You can sign up via my referral link here.

theSkimm is completely free, so signing up via my link helps me become an official skimm’bassador, meaning I can eventually help provide feedback, content, and test products/series the company is working on.

Continue Reading