March Favorites + Looking Ahead

Can y'all believe that March is already over?! Goodness, seems just like yesterday we were recapping February. Before we know it, summer will be on our doorstep!

This time of year is always crazy for me, as I'm balancing a full-time job, full-time blog and wrapping up the final details for a charity gala I help plan. This year is even busier than past, as my blog has really ramped up, and gala prep has been twice as heavy of a work load since Tennessee is the featured state. I'll talk more about TOTS (as it's widely abbreviated) later on in this post.

To cut down on the small talk, let's get right into recapping March shall we? It was a busy month, so let's get right to it!

Personal: March was a super long month, but not as busy event wise as others. This was the first month in awhile that my week nights were pretty slow, while my weekends were jam packed.

This month I finally took advantage of a gift certificate for a facial at Hela Spa in Georgetown. I haven't pampered myself in years y'all. I can't even remember the last time I got a facial, and this girl has sadly never had a spa massage. So it was a serious treat. It was also necessary. I've been so stressed and overwhelmed recently that having an hour long break away from social media, my computer and phone, was entirely rejuvenating. I can't remember the last time I relaxed that much. Hashtag, Type A problems. lol I highly recommend checking out Hela Spa if you're in the area. Jennifer was my facialist and she was fabulous!!

I also took my first Soul Cycle class. I've done several different cycling classes, but had yet to take a Soul Cycle class. My friend Laura convinced me to do the Easter sunrise class with her, and y'all... I'm hooked. I enjoyed my second class last night!

I also made it down to the Tidal Basin to see the famous spring cherry blossoms. Catch up on my outfit post from the visit, here.

Between all that, mixed in were happy hours, a few receptions and lots of apartment prep. I've slowly been doing things here and there, but it has been challenging with the piles of boxes in every corner for Taste of the South. If you follow me on Snapchat, which you should at Kroyster815, then you've seen lots of behind the scenes!! Once TOTS is over, my focus will be fully on decorating my place.

Taste of the South: We're in the final home stretch y'all! Taste of the South is on Saturday, April 16th. If you're just now joining the party, you can get caught up on all things TOTS, here.

We're currently preparing all of our food and swag items to be featured on the Tennessee table, finalizing info with our marvelous donors and getting decor ready. This year's theme is a Southern Wonderland, a play on Alice in Wonderland. We've got tea cups, Madhatter decor and lots of greenery. It's going to be gorgeous! I'll do a full recap post the week following the event.

Blogging: March was a big month for Primp and Proper!! It got a marvelous face lift from Aubrey Kinch and brand new site features. I also created a new content calendar and schedule for posts. I opened up Snapchat to the public and started Instagramming more. So needless to say, it was a big month for me as a blogger!

Favorite Posts: honestly there were SO many posts I loved this month. It's so, so hard to choose the best, so I've included most of them. lol this also will serve as the "in case you missed it" portion of today's post:

Dating... Introducing a new series to Primp and Proper

Also, here are some of my favorite items from March for you to shop...

Now let's take a look at what's coming up for the month of April...

Personal: The majority of April will be focused on prep for Taste of the South, if we're being honest. But once the gala is over, I have a few fun events lined up the following weekends. Like a friend's housewarming, some more soul cycle classes, a few happy hours and spring blogging events, and a possible boat cruise down the Potomac. April will be a fun month indeed!

Blogging: I have a lot of fun posts in the works for this upcoming month. I've been preparing a few posts for my new "dating" series. Can't wait for y'all to read! Now that the weather is warmer and the daylight lasts longer, I've been meeting my friend and fellow blogger, Nicole, to take photos on the weekends. So I hope to bring y'all even more outfit content this month. We'll also be chatting later in the month about derby season and sharing a great gift guide for Mother's Day. Finally, I hope to bring even more home updates + keep up with more frequent social media posts.

All this + more exciting things in the works for the month of April!!


Gallery Wall Inspiration

Gallery Wall

featuring a 

It has been a hot minute since I've done a "home" related post. Lucky for y'all, I'm making up for it by bringing you two brand new home decor posts this week!! Friday will feature a home update and collab with Mintwood Home (go ahead and check them out), but today is all about inspiration for my gallery wall!

I have a corner in my apartment that is small and awkward. It's not big enough to really put a shelving unit or desk, but it's big enough for its blandness to stick out. I've currently got an old chair sitting there, but am wanting to spruce up the corner and add a fun gallery wall. It'll be a nice little hidden gem once finished!

I am envisioning lots of pieces. A mix between prints, photographs and random wall decor. I'm still trying to figure out whether or not I'd like to paint the wall in an accent color first though. Thoughts? It's such a small space, but I think it could really add some character to the rather bland corner. I also may eventually find a different chair to replace the small black and white one I currently have. It doesn't really go with my color scheme, but works for now.

I'm really wanting to find unique pieces with meaning. I don't want items that just take up space. I found this super cute Etsy shop that sells a lot of colorful prints. I loved the one of the lion, because I'm a Leo. The one of the sunglasses, because I'm always wearing them. And the cheetah print loafers are both something I own, and love wearing. I also want to mix in some local pieces featuring DC, and find some fun prints/pieces from Tennessee.

My gallery wall is my next project to tackle. I've already begun collecting items for the wall, but need y'alls suggestions on other places to find unique pieces. Also let me know your thoughts on painting the wall, as well as any tips you have for keeping a gallery wall cohesive! Thanks friends :)


Cherry Blossoms

Dress: Eliza J via Nordstrom | Heels: Target | Bag: Urban Expressions (℅) | Bracelet: Fornash (℅)

One of my favorite things about living in Washington, D.C. is the gorgeous scenery. No matter the time of year, our nation's capital boasts an extremely idilic, and beautiful scene. However, spring is arguably the most pretty. Why? Because of the gorgeous cherry blossoms of course! 

My friend, blogger and photographer Nicole and I decided to head down prior to peak bloom, so that we could hopefully snag a few "people-less" photos. Boy did we hit the jackpot! We Ubered down to the basin last Wednesday, and arrived shortly after sunrise. The lighting was gorgeous, muted and perfect for capturing these photos. While the trees aren't as lush in these photos as they were the following day, I'm still extremely excited with how they turned out.

I wanted to choose the perfect outfit for this shoot… a dress that I've had my eye on for months. I've been saving up to get it, because this girl rarely pays full price for anything. But when I saw this Eliza J stunner on the Nordstrom website, I knew I had to have it. It's perfect for spring-ing into summer. The lace detail is impeccable, and the quality is well worth the money. I also love how on-trend the bell sleeves are, and the lace for spring. 

I rounded out the look with this lilac bag from Urban Expressions. If you haven't checked them out, definitely do. They have a wide variety of bags, clutches and totes, all 100% vegan. That doesn't take away from the quality either. You'd never know it wasn't leather, and I loved how this pastel bag added a pop of color to the outfit! Urban Expressions' bags are extremely affordable too, with this one in particular being less than $60!!

Keep scrolling for some more gorgeous photos from our shoot. Have a happy Monday, and hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend! Xo


Friday Link Love, Vol. 19

Happy Good Friday loves!! We made it another week, wahhoo! It was a pretty slow week for me, both with work and events. It was a really nice change of pace and helped me ease into spring.

This weekend I am super excited to enjoy a three-day weekend! I hope many of y'all are getting some extra time off too :) I am enjoying this morning by finally pampering myself. It has been a long time coming, and much needed. I've headed over to Hela Spa for a rejuvenating facial. Let me tell you, my skin needed it after this winter.

Tomorrow I'm going to be shooting a few new looks for the blog with Nicole, and possibly joining some friends for a few drinks downtown. And Sunday, Easter Sunday!! I'm going to head over to the Lincoln Memorial again for their Easter Sunrise Service! It's one of my favorite things to do in DC. Nothing like praising the Lord at 6:00 a.m. with a few thousand friends, as we all watch the sunrise over the monuments. It's truly breathtaking! After the service, my friend Laura convinced me to take a Soul Cycle class with her. Not sure why or how I got roped into that one, ha! And I'll be rounding out the busy weekend with a brunch and some blog work.

It'll be a fun, yet crazy few days. What's on tap for y'all this weekend? Before you go, here's a brand new link love for you! Have a great weekend loves!! Xo

Links I'm Loving

In Case You Missed It
  • Washington, D.C. Guide: Spring // visiting DC this spring? My guide has you covered on what to do, where to stay, where to eat and how best to see the cherry blossoms! 
  • Transitioning Into Spring // another take on my favorite color combo, olive and blush
  • Spring Shoes // the warm weather seems to be here to stay! Checkout a huge roundup of spring sandals, heels + more, at every price level too!
  • Spring Navy and Lace // the perfect dress for work, a spring brunch or shower
  • Spring Trends // talking about my favorite, and least favorite, trends this spring 

Coming up next week on the blog

We're starting next week off with a brand new Over the Weekend post, featuring a gorgeous outfit shoot done down by the Tidal Basin and under the cherry blossoms! You can see a sneak peek over on Instagram!! Can't wait to share the magic that Nicole captured!!

We'll also be talking about some of my recent clothing and home purchases, all combined with an Instagram roundup on Tuesday! And we'll be rounding out the month of March with another edition of "faves + looking ahead!" I'll also be throwing in a life update for the month of March.

Finally on Friday I'm excited to partner with Mintwood Home to share another home update post + some of my favorite pieces from their shop!! I can't wait to style the goodies they gave me this weekend, and share how my apartment decor is coming alone. Y'all are going to love Mintwood!

It's all coming up next week on the blog!


Spring Navy and Lace

Dress: LOFT | Block Heels: Target | Necklace: Kendra Scott Rayne | Clutch: GiGi New York

When I first saw this dress, I knew it instantly had to be mine. It was lace, check. It was navy, check. And it was from LOFT, check! This shift dress screamed spring to me, and after last year's frenzy with the LOFT eyelet skirt, I knew this was another home run. This dress would be perfect for work, Easter Sunday, to a spring brunch or baby shower. Heck, the opportunities to wear this number are endless. Definitely snag this gem for your spring wardrobe, stat!

Also, let's discuss these block heels for a sec.

I have been dreaming of owning this pair for a LONG time, but could never quite bite the bullet and pay that much money for a pair of shoes. So I found these Steve Madden ones I almost bought, but still didn't like the price tag. So last week I was scouring the Target buy one, get one 50% off sale for a second pair, when I stumbled upon these identical heels. Skeptical at first, I decided to try them anyways and could take them back if they looked and felt cheap. To my surprise, that was not the case at all! They're comfortable, good quality and look identical to the Steve Madden ones mentioned above. Best part is, they're LESS THAN $30!!! They also come in three colors. Stock up now y'all!!


Washington, D.C. Guide: Spring

I may be a little biased, but there's nothing like spring in Washington, D.C. Our nation's capital literally transforms into the most gorgeous and picturesque landscape this time of year. You'll see any and every spring plant, tree or flower blooming. Everything from the famous cherry blossoms along the tidal basin, to the tulips and daffodils that line the flowerbeds throughout the city.

DC is already a huge hot spot for tourists, but the number of visitors drastically increases this time of year. People will travel miles just to get a glimpse of the cherry blossoms or a photo of the capitol building with the blooming trees in the background. 

Many of y'all have reached out to me over the past few weeks, saying you'll be visiting DC this spring and have inquired about what there is to do, where to eat and where to hangout. So, I thought… why not put all my ideas and suggestions into one BIG blog post?! Hopefully this will help you plan your spring visit to DC, or if you already live here like me, provide new ideas and places to checkout. 

Where To Stay 

This time of year hotels are booked solid, at least within DC anyways. If you can find a room, you might have to pay a hefty price tag. This is peak cherry blossom time, tourist season and gala season. So many hotels have been sold out for months. But not to fret! You have several options. Aside from staying with friends or family, you can also look into Airbnb or areas just outside the District.

A few miles outside DC is an area called Crystal City, Virginia. It's a quick Uber or metro ride into the city, and hosts a massive area of hotels. This area is usually drastically cheaper to stay in, and you also avoid the high DC hotel taxes. You can easily compare flight and hotel options via Travelocity. Also checkout areas like H Street, Navy Yard and Arlington, Virginia. Those locations are a little off the beaten path, so they may offer cheaper rates. 

What To Do

One of the best things about DC is that the majority of things to do are free. Seeing the monuments, visiting the museums, walking around the various neighborhoods of the city. The opportunities to save money when it comes to activities are endless. Just make sure you pack your patience, as spring is the most popular time of the year for tourists. There will be lines, there will be masses of people, and it can be hard to get that "people free shot of the cherry blossoms." 

Here are some of my favorite things to do:

Tour the tidal basin area. You can easily hit up the Lincoln Memorial, Reflecting Pool, World War II Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Martin Luther King Memorial, Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial and Tidal Basin all within one fell swoop. These major hot spots are within walking distance of each other. I recommend going in the late afternoon, early evening. As many tourists seem to be tired from the day and head back to hotels prior to dinner. You can also get great shots of these monuments and areas during the "golden hour" lighting.

What to pay for: the Newseum is 100% worth the cover charge. I could have spent hours inside this place. Anything and everything you ever wanted to know about news, media and publications, can all be found in this amazing museum. Cover is around $20 per adult.

Walk around Georgetown. If you're looking for the old colonial charm of DC, this is the area to find it. Cobblestone pathways, colorful and massive row homes, and massive lamp lights illuminate the area at dusk. I suggest going during a week day, as this area tends to pack up on the weekends. Georgetown also boasts the best shopping in the District. You'll find everything from Kate Spade, to LOFT and H&M.

Mount Vernon. It is well worth the trek out there. You can either rent bikes and combine a scenic bike ride with your visit, rent a car or split an Uber with friends. It is not metro accessible, but not too far of a drive outside the city. Mount Vernon has some of the most spectacular views of the Potomac River, and a gorgeous landscape for spending time outdoors.

Tour the Capitol Hill area. You can visit the Capitol Building, Library of Congress and walk along the National Mall all in the same afternoon. The Capitol and Library of Congress offer daily tours. You can easily request a tour through your Member of Congress's office. Do know that tickets may be sold out at this point, but the Library of Congress does offer self-guided tours.

National's Baseball Game. If you're into sports, definitely hit up a Nats game. Starting in early April, you can catch the Nats at least once a week here in DC. My recommendation is to hit up the Bullpen before and after the game. There's usually a LIVE band, beer and food trucks, as well as cornhole. A great pre and post game spot!

Renwick Gallery. This new exhibit is across the street from the White House and has been a local's hot spot for months now. There are massive lines to get in, and I've heard it's well worth the wait and visit. I still have yet to check it out, but it's something many locals are jumping at the chance to visit and a spot that most tourists have yet to discover.

Head out to the wineries. If you've already mastered the museums and monuments, and also have access to a car, DC is a central location to hundreds of Virginia wineries. All within an hour or two drive, some of my favorites are Bluemont Vineyard, Stone Tower Winery and Sunset Hills Vineyard.

Easter Sunrise Service at the Lincoln Memorial. One of my top 5 things you need to do in DC overall is attend the Easter Sunrise Service at the Lincoln Memorial. Held on Easter Sunday, arrive early and long before sunrise to ensure a seat on the Lincoln Memorial steps. My tip, avoid sitting in the folding chairs. The stage will block your view of the sunrise. Instead, get about mid way up the steps and sit right in the middle. I assure you, the best view you could ask for. Makes for the perfect Instagram photo op too. The service is non-denominational and you can find more information, here

Now, let's talk about those famous cherry blossoms shall we?

People will travel hundreds of miles to see these popular blooms. They only peek about three - four days out of the year, so expect massive crowds of selfie stick carrying tourists. No matter the time of day, there will be crowds. But some times are less packed than others. Checkout a few of these articles on tips for timing + snagging the epic "people-less picture."
The consensus? The best time of day is sunrise or sunset. I recommend during the week, at sunrise. Apparently today and tomorrow are supposed to be perfect weather days for seeing the cherry blossoms. We're supposed to get a rain on Thursday that could ruin some of the blooms. So head on over today or tomorrow if you can!

Where To Eat

If you're like me, food is at the top of your "what to do" list when traveling. I am a major, major foodie. I love discovering new places, becoming a regular at some of my favorite establishments and open to trying any new cuisine at least once. If you're only in town for a few days, I highly suggest avoiding the major touristy hot spots. They're cool and have a great atmosphere, but during prime tourist season, they're packed. So here are my suggestions...

Downtown/Chinatown: For some good pizza, burgers and salads, I love Matchbox. If you're looking for a great sushi happy hour, drink specials and one of the largest menus in the city, hit up The Hamilton. Also, Pi Pizzeria is apparently one of President Obama's favorite spots. I've never eaten there but it's definitely worth the mention. Finally, Jaleo is a local's favorite and offers plenty of small plate options.

U Street Area: my absolute favorite place to eat is Policy. They offer small plates, but don't let that fool you. The plates are anything but small. My favorites are their brussels sprouts and scallops. So, so delicious. Best part is, after dinner you can head upstairs to their rooftop bar and lounge. Other mentionables are El Centro, Ted's Bulletin for homemade poptarts and Le Diplomate for fine French cuisine.

Favorite Italian is either Lavagna in Barracks Row or Floriana near DuPont. I highly suggest getting the Brussels Sprouts at Floriana, as well as the filet mignon ravioli. If you're in the Navy Yard area, definitely try out Osteria Morini. It's another one of my faves!

Favorite Mexican is either Mission for a low-key, casual lunch or happy hour on the patio. Or Lauriol Plaza for a more upscale dinner location. Their steak fajitas are to die for. Definitely get those.

Favorite BBQ is Hill Country. It's Texas style, but it's the best brisket and mac n' cheese I've ever had. They also have a really fun karaoke night on Wednesdays downstairs.

On the Water: the best spot for great views of the Potomac is down on the Georgetown waterfront. It's the perfect place for relaxing by the water and enjoying some great seafood. For the best view and spot, checkout Sequoia. They have a pretty good happy hour, and if the weather is warm their patio boasts a Caribbean flare with palm trees, island music and delicious frozen cocktails. Some other mentionable places on the waterfront are Farmers, Fishers Bakers for brunch and Orange Anchor for $1 oysters and a killer happy hour!

Worth the wait: most certainly is Roses Luxury. Voted the best restaurant in the country by Southern Living, GQ and Washingtonian, Roses Luxury is definitely a must visit if you have the time. My recommendation is to go during the week. They open at 5:00 p.m. and do not take reservations (unless you're a party of 6 to 8, then you can make reservations online). So I recommend getting there around 4:00 p.m. to hold your place in line. They seat the majority of the restaurant at once, and anyone past that gets a time to come back. Usually not too bad of a wait during the week. All-in-all, if you're a foodie and appreciate flavors then this place is for you. If you're looking for larger servings and don't have patience, skip it.

Where To Go Out

If you're looking for more than just a cultural and food-tastic experience, you're probably interested in the night life scene as well. Let's be honest, you can't travel to a new city without experiencing a high-priced cocktail with a view! Am I right?!

Here are the areas to hit up:

U Street: the perfect area for the mid-twenty and thirty somethings. Bars are nicer, cleaner and a great selection for any type of scene you want. You'll find everything from your local dive bar, to your high priced dance club. It's all there. My picks? El Centro's rooftop, a fun nightclub is Policy (great restaurant too), and Hawthorne. Marvin and The Brixton are fun as well.

POV Lounge at the W Hotel: offers the BEST view of the city at night. You can see the White House, Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial all from the comfort of a rooftop corner. Note: the drinks are extremely pricey, and you have to have table reservations to sit down, but the view alone is worth the $18 cocktail. 

H Street: a more up and coming area than the others mentioned. H Street is where the locals go to chill and hangout. If the weather is nice and you want a fun atmosphere, Red Rocks is the place to go. Great pizza too! Also, checkout the outdoor patio and rooftop at H Street Biergarten Haus. One of my favorite bars in the city! Other must mentions are H Street Country Club (you can play indoor mini golf) and Smith Commons.

DuPont: definitely your nightclub bar scene area. Public Bar's rooftop is fun, Madhatter can be fun if you're looking for a crazy dance night out, or for a more low key bar with great happy hour specials, hit up Front Page.

Did I forget anything? Feel free to email me here, or comment below. Happy to help or answer any questions you may have about your visit to Washington, D.C.

Finally, since it's technically supposed to be a shop post day, here are a few of my favorite pieces for spring travel to DC!


Friday Link Love: Spring Shoes

For this week's "link love" post, I decided to do things a little differently. Warmer temps seem to be here to stay, so that means it's high time we put away the riding boots, OTKs and booties. It's now time to breakout the flats, block heels and sandals! So to help you freshen up your shoe wardrobe, I put together a little link love sharing some of my favorite shoes for spring and at all price levels!! Happy shopping and have a great weekend loves! Xo


Less than $99

Under $50

Tell me which ones are your favorite in the comments below!


Spring Trends

Lace Up Flats: Express
Crossbody: GiGi New York (c/o) | Wrap Blouse: H&M (in stores only) | Jeans: Levis
Necklace: Lydell NYC (c/o) | Sunnies: Karen Walker | Watch: Daniel Wellington (c/o)

When it comes to seasonal trends, there are usually some I really dig and some that I will not touch with a ten foot pole. Then there are also some trends that I'm just nervous to try. The last thing I want is for y'all to see me walking around in something and be like, "that is so not her." So, I tend to only grasp onto trends that I can incorporate into my current personal style.

For example, let's chat two trends this spring. 

One, is cut off fringe denim. I'm sorry, but I just would never wear those. Some gals can pull them off so well! Major jealousy, but as for me, that's just not what I wear or a style that fits into my daily wardrobe. On the other hand, lace up flats are all the rage this spring. I've been hesitant to give them a try, simply because they appear to be a lot of work. I always wondered, "do they stay tied all the time?" But, nonetheless a lace up flat ties (no pun intended) perfectly into what I wear on the reg. Y'all know I love my denim skinnies, so I thought why not give this trend a try with a normal casual look I'd wear. 

Once I got past my hesitation, I can fully say I'm on board with the lace up flat trend. They're comfortable and take any casual outfit up one notch. I still was worried about purchasing a true lace up flat, so I found these Express flats that I think are a great compromise. They zip up the back, and once you get them tied the first time, you really don't need to untie them each time. I'll admit, after a few hours on they did become loose, so you may have to tie them tighter, BUT the great thing about these is they're just like a normal shoe tie. Tie only once. None of this constant wrapping around your ankle deal as you see with the majority of lace up flats. So I like to call these Express beauties a sort of "faux lace up flat." 

What do y'all think? Do you like to step out of your comfort zone and give popular trends a try? Which ones are you loving this spring?