July 2014 | Ariel and Alder
Hello Friends! Happy Almost-August!

If you have ever owned a pair of Jack Rogers sandals than you know its not love at first wear.

I mistakenly brought my practically new Jacks to New York with me. What a mistake. They tore apart my feet and made it impossible to wear anything other than fuzzy socks after my trip. But on the bright side, after returning home from the big apple (and once my shoe inflicted wounds had healed) suddenly they were comfortable enough to wear!

What is this strange magic? I did some research and found that I was not the only one with Jack Rogers  pain. Jack Rogers almost always have to be broken in before they become wearable.

After a few trials here are the 5 things i do to "break in" my Jacks.

1. Size up-

I went up a half size and I am oh-so glad that I did! Jacks tend to run small and narrow so use your best judgement when picking out your size. If you want to try before you buy check out your local Nordstroms!

2. Scuff up the bottoms-

Jacks come slippery and smooth on the bottom. The first thing I do when a pair arrives is take them outside and scuff them up against the brick. I learned my lesson the hard way after slipping on some carpeted stairs while wearing a brand new pair. Ouch.

3. Use band aids to prevent blistering-

During your first wear in your new sandals, rubbing is inevitable. Carry some band aids in your wallet so that you are prepared for when this happens.

4. Wait it out-

Never judge a shoe by the first week of wearing them. Be patient and in time the band will stretch out and your Jacks will be your go to sandal in the summer!

5. Don't stress-

Jacks are made to look "worn in" and "dirty"over time. Don't worry if your jacks don't look like the day you bought them. The more broken in they get, and the more they form to the shape of your foot the more comfortable they are for you.

How do you break in a brand new pair of shoes?


New York, you have my heart. 

And so does this Helene Berman dress. The bow in the front? Sold. It was the perfect thing to wear for the first day of the Smart Girls Conference in the city. Add earrings and some matching sandals, and I'm ready for a full day ahead. 

**Speaking of sandals I'm so glad I brought these in my suitcase. All of the walking in the city did a serious number on my feet. Ouch!**

Sandals: Tory Burch / Bag and Tassel: Cinco Powell (℅) / Earrings: (old) similar here / Dress: Helene Berman (℅) 

My Cinco Powell Tote was my my side for my entire trip! I loved how it fit just enough for the day without becoming a black hole filled with extra things I didn't need. Plus, the green detailing on my bag with the blue bow on the dress made for a fun little pop of color! 

For more about my trip to NYC check out my re-cap of Day 1 in the city. Soon to be followed by days 2, 3 and 4. 

Special thanks to HZ photography for these amazing Manhattan snaps!

Whats your power uniform for a long day ahead?


Last week I made the trek over to the other side of the country for this years Smart Girl Conference. It was such a great experience and I was able to connect with other ambitious girls and really get to experience Manhattan as an adult for the first time.

I will talk outfits and other parts of my trip later on but here is a quick recap of my first day in the city! If you were in New York for the conference and talked about your trip on your blog, drop a link in the comments below! I would love to read about it : )

Day 1:

The first thing I had to do upon arrival in the city was check in to my hotel, I stayed at The New York Athletic Club on central park and man-oh-man I couldn't have stayed at a better spot. My family is a member of the club network and I seriously couldn't believe how great my stay was at the New York location! What a great experience. 

I had some great roommates that made my experience in the city all that much better, and we got superbly lucky when the club upgraded us to a Central Park suite! We had the most gorgeous view, and I so loved waking up to the sight of the city in the morning. 

First Stop, C Wonder Store! This was the first of many (aka. WAY too many) trips to this store during my stay in the city. Both of the locations are just adorable and its hard to keep your money in your wallet for very long. 

I met up with Hannah (of HZ Photography) in Central Park to meet up before the conference started. She is SO SO talented at what she does and we had so much fun walking around and doing some last minute comfort shoe shopping! If your looking for a photographer in the Michigan area, check her out! You will definitely see some of her photos popping up on this blog. 

The city did a number on my poor feet during my time there, FYI bring your comfiest shoes. I found 8$ Prada flats while thrifting and thought i was hot stuff walking around in the city with them on. The joke was on me because they tore up my heels. #ouch

Later in the afternoon I ran all the way up 5th avenue to Bryant Park and met up with the ladies of the brand Cinco Powell for a meeting. Oh my goodness after meeting with them I've only fallen in love with the brand more! Keep a lookout for a post about Cinco Powell later this month.

PS. The bottled iced tea from 'WichCraft was some of the best I've ever had. Was it because it was so hot out and I was thirsty? Or was it actually delicious? For whatever reason, it was perfect.

Want to know what the rest of my day looked like? Then see below. 

-Shop on 5th by myself (The best! Was so nervous about being in the city and walking alone but really enjoyed myself. I was able to check out what I wanted and observe all the great outfits walking past me as I went)
-Meeting #2.
-Hang with the roommates.
-Grab dinner.
-Conference preparation.
-Pass out from exhaustion.

Stay tuned for more of my trip!

Where is your favorite place to wander in New York City? 

I absolutely love "whats in my purse" posts! What is it about seeing what people carry with them that's so interesting? Never the less this post has been requested so here goes.

What's in my purse this summer?

What I'm currently carrying:

My Tory Burch Crossbody hasn't left my side since early winter. Though it may be small in space, there isn't an outfit in my closet that it doesn't pair well with.

What's inside:

1. My Business cards: My moo.com business cards are amazing! If your even thinking about getting some made, go to Moo instead of Vistaprint. The price is about the same when it comes down to the bottom line and the quality of Moo is 1000x better!

2. Oodles of receipts: Mostly from buying coffee and spontaneous shopping trips to be quite honest. I can't wait till the day when all receipts are electronic! My purse gets filled up with these way too easily.

3. Pearl Earrings: I always carry a spare pair with me. I usually grab a $3.00 multi-pack from forever 21 or H&M and throw it in my purse to use as backup. Its the worst feeling ever to leave the house only to realize I've forgotten to put on any jewelry.

4. Iphone (with case): I have worn this Ted Baker iPhone case to absolute shreds. Its adorable and I love it, but its definitely time for a new one.

5. Starbucks Gold Card: This never leaves my side. Never. I feel like its a badge of honor for Starbucks junkies nationwide.

6. Tide To-Go Pen: If I spend time picking out an outfit in the morning, there is nothing worse than staining it mid-way through my day. A huge thank you to whoever invented Tide pens!

7. Solid Perfume: I used to carry little perfume bottle samples from the beauty counter in my purse. Until one day the lid wasn't secure and it spilled fragrance all over my bag. To this day that purse smells like Juicy Couture Perfume (a middle school favorite of mine). Now I buy these little solid ones from Pacifica and I love them! Its the perfect way to update your scent through the day while not worrying about permanenttly scenting your purse.

*Bonus Tip* Take solid perfume with you when you travel! Its one less thing that you have to put in your liquid/gel bag in the security line.

8. Ipod Shuffle: Often times by the time I get to the gym, its the end of my day and my iphone is dead. I carry this little guy to ensure that I at least have some backup music when I finally get to my workout.

9. Kate Spade long wallet: I have trouble squeezing this long wallet into such a little purse. But its my long standing favorite and I refuse to give it up. Someday when I find a little wallet thats equally as adorable perhaps ill switch it out.

What are you carrying in your purse this summer?

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