How to Style an Orange Dress + Tips for Team Communication

I had the huge honor of speaking to the top leaders within Stella & Dot from all over the US and Canada last week at our annual conference, Hoopla. Speaking at Hoopla was a secret goal of mine! When I was selected as a panelist to share my top tips for effective team communication, I was over the moon! After mulling over the tips I would share, my next thought was, “what shall I wear?!” This little orange dress was absolute perfection for the occasion.

Little Orange Dress - Styled by Charlotte

Does anyone else feel a few inches taller in a great dress?! I’m never too nervous when it comes to public speaking due to my experience in the Miss Virginia pageant. Since I presented to top 1% of Stylists in the company, I wanted to make sure I felt ultra confident in my ensemble that day.

The Orange Dress

I recently discovered Coco Blush Boutique online and absolutely adore the styles. The Delia One-Shoulder Dress stood out. The swingy style is chic, yet comfortable enough to wear for several hours sitting in a conference space. A bold color is absolutely perfect for projecting a self-assured presence.

How I communicate with my team - Styled by Charlotte

Iliana, the owner of Coco Blush Boutique, provided incredible sizing guidance. I got to know Iliana over the phone and am thrilled to support a shop owned by a bold woman. The orange dress arrived in the most adorable pink tissue, complete with a bow and thank you tag. Details are so delightful. I am also impressed with the quality of the garment, especially at such an accessible price point.

The Shoes

Orange Statement Wedges - Styled by Charlotte

The orange dress coordinated perfectly with my Jessica Simpson statement wedges. These shoes took the outfit to the next level and were also perfect to wear onstage during the panel! We sat in director-style chairs, so they were on full display. Win! 🙂

The shoes have been sitting in the back of my closet since I wore them on arrival day at Miss Virginia in 2013. I only wore them that one time – with one of the first Stella & Dot necklaces I ever owned! Foreshadowing? I have been hanging onto them ever since, thinking they’ll be perfect for an outfit someday. That day arrived!
Miss Greater Richmond 2013 - Styled by Charlotte
Throwback!

 

The Accessories

I completed the look with my Stella & Dot Delilah Pendant, a bold necklace that kept up with the statement wedges. Something more delicate would simply be lost in the midst of the bright color and eye-catching shoes. A long necklace also elongated the look and complimented my newfound height. I finished the look with a gold Stella & Dot arm party, vintage Stella & Dot cuff, and Hammered Wire Hoops. I love how the look came together and I’ll definitely wear this orange dress again – probably to a UVA football game!

 

Iliana has generously offered a 10% off discount to anyone who would like to shop her boutique. I have my eye on the Justine Cold Shoulder Dress and the Kassandra Dress. Visit Coco Blush Boutique here and use the promo code CHARLOTTE10 upon checkout! YAY!

Little Orange Dress - Styled by CharlotteLittle Orange Dress - Styled by Charlotte

 

The Tips

I’m spilling the good stuff and share the top 3 tips on how I effectively communicate with my team that I shared on the panel for my fellow Stella & Dot sisters. Non-Stella Stylists, feel free to tune out here. 🙂 There are 2 levels: general communication and personal connection. You can be authentic, yet strategic in both areas. I use three categories: Facebook, Group Communication, and Personal Connection.

1st tip: How to use Facebook effectively

3 Quick tips for posts:

  1. You’re going to get the most engagement if you post a photo or a video.
  2. Keep it short and ask a question or post an action item to encourage engagement with the post.
  3. Limit team Facebook posts to only 1-2 per day.

Overall, be strategic. I always ask myself if the post is adding value.

I use a weekly schedule for my content.

Here’s a sample week at-a-glance:

  • Motivation Monday
  • Team Tuesday
  • Wild Card Wednesday
  • Thankful Thursday
  • Follow-Up Friday

How I communicate with my team - Styled by Charlotte

2nd tip: Get off Facebook and get personal!

Genuinely get into their lives. Be intentional about reaching out while remaining authentic. Here’s my strategy:

  • I use Smore to kick off each month with a team email newsletter and send a mid-month update. This includes kudos, team recognition, upcoming events and incentives, and a personal note.
  • I have an open team Zoom meeting each month.
  • I schedule group Zoom calls for Stylists who are working towards a similar goal.
  • I reach out personally to my team to catch up and connect.
  • I also call each new stylist after they join to welcome them aboard and let them know I’m here to help.

How I communicate with my team - Styled by Charlotte

3rd tip: Come from a place of service and create a team culture that’s focused on fun, friendship, and connection.

I view myself as a resource for my team and a partner in helping them achieve their goals. Beyond that, my top priority is to be a friend above all. I really want my team to know that my friendship is not contingent on their sales or trunk show pipeline.

I build community and forge connections within my team. I introduce stylists to one another and help them find common ground. Keep it FUN! Regardless of their business goals, stylists stay engaged with Stella & Dot because of the relationships.

Travel like a #BOSSBABE: How to Earn a Free Flight for Your Next Business Trip or Conference

A mark of a true #bossbabe is when she finds ways to work smart. Keep earnings in your pocket by earning a free flight for your business-related travel or conference through use of a travel rewards credit card.

This post contains affiliate links.

The Rewards Card I Use

I opened the Chase Ink Business Preferred card at the recommendation of my financial advisor from Worth Advisors. Brad and I have been learning a lot about how to wisely utilize credit card programs for added perks, like free flights or hotel stays for personal or business. Our advisor explained to us that retailers already build credit card fees into their pricing, so it’s more beneficial to use a card and reap the rewards than to use cash. Why not get benefits for the purchases that you were going to make anyways, right?

The bonus offer on this card is a bonus 80,000 points when you spend $5000 in the first 3 months. You’ll get 1 point per dollar spent and 3 points for travel expenses. I personally don’t spend $1700/month in business expenses, so when I opened the card I used it for all my expenses to get to $5k as quickly as possible. The extra 80k points is gold and it’s really where you earn your free flight!!!

Using the card also helps me keep track of expenses

Combined business & personal expenses made my accounting a little more complicated in those initial months. It was manageable for that short window of time. Now, I use the card for business only and tracking expenses is easy peasy. I simply use my card statement for records. For the months in which expenses were combined, I printed out the statements and highlighted the charges that were business-related to keep track.

My first free flight & planning toward future travel

Points can been redeemed on travel, cash, or other reward purchases. Redeeming on travel provides the best value. I opened my card in January and I’ve earned 91k points so far: 80k in bonus points and 11k points on purchases. My roundtrip ticket to Vegas cost $418 and I redeemed just under 33,500 points to get a free flight. You are able to redeem on any airline by searching Chase Rewards database. There are plenty of options. I’m excited I even got a direct flight!

 

 

I still have 57,700 points on my account, so I’m already stockpiling towards my flights for trips next year. If you decide to get the card through my link and earn the 80k bonus points, I’ll also get 25k bonus points for referring you. Thank you in advance for using my affiliate link–I genuinely appreciate it!

Of course, you can also recommend the card to your #bossbabe friends and earn the additional referral points once you’re a cardholder, too. You are able to earn up to 100k bonus points through referrals. The points never expire.

For Stella & Dot Stylists

When you apply for the card, it will ask for your Business ID number and name. For your business ID # you can use your personal Social Security number and for the business name, I put “Stella & Dot Ind. Stylist.” I ran this by my financial planner and he gave me the green light.

Keep profits in your pocket like a #bossbabe

Most importantly, be sure to be smart about your spending and pay off your balance each statement period so you never pay interest. Another way to save on travel is by packing in a carry on bag to avoid checked bag fees. I know it can be tough, especially for us fashion bloggers and Stella & Dot Stylists, but it gets easier with practice and outfit planning. Another great place to cut costs is by sharing hotel rooms at conferences and splitting rides to and from the airport with other conference attendees. I also save in small ways, like bringing my own refillable water bottle and snacks.

 

Travel Like A BossBabe - Earn a Free Flight
I’m glad this card was recommended to me because it simplifies my expense tracking and is an easy way to make my business more profitable. Please let me know if you have any questions – I’m happy to help!
xo
Charlotte

My Why

Hello Gorgeous - Styled by Charlotte

Have you noticed a new look and feel to my Instagram feed, more frequent posts here, and wondered what’s up with this little blog of mine? I’m excited to share my why and motivation for creating this online extension of myself. It all starts with my why.

If we haven’t “e-met” yet, I’m Charlotte and I’m an Associate Director with Stella & Dot. I live in Lawrenceville, NJ where I also teach Pure Barre classes. I’ve been a Stella & Dot stylist for almost four years. I absolutely love this company – the jewelry is amazing, our opportunity is fantastic, and the culture within our Stylist sisterhood is incredible. Seriously – you’ve never met a group of more encouraging and supportive women.

You may want to read: What is Pure Barre?

My Why

My Stella & Dot Story - Styled by Charlotte

My why is to empower women – whether that’s through making them feel amazing in perfectly styled ensemble, providing access to style perks as a hobby stylist, or helping them achieve their personal goals through a side hustle. I also love helping women discover their strength through Pure Barre. This is really what fills my cup. My goal is to inspire women to achieve their own success and happiness.

My Stella & Dot Story

When I first got started with S&D, I didn’t know that was my why! I initially joined because I loved the jewelry so much. I graduated with a Master’s degree in Higher Education, which I didn’t love, and felt super confused about what my next step was upon graduation. Shortly after, I competed in the Miss Virginia pageant and I didn’t win. Questioning my next move kept my mind occupied on a constant basis.

You May Want to Read: Finding My Purpose by Losing Miss Virginia

My Stella & Dot Story - Styled by Charlotte

Part of me couldn’t believe I wasn’t going to pursue the field I had just spent a year of my life and tens of thousands of dollars pursuing a degree in. The other part of me knew I could not authentically move forward in a career I knew I wasn’t passionate about. I seriously felt lost. Has anyone else been there? While it is undoubtedly confusing and draining in the moment, I’ve found that whenever I have an experience like this, everything works out so much better than my initial vision in the end.

Fortunately, I lived with my parents at the time, so I had a bit of wiggle room in terms of financial pressure. My biggest expense was my student loan payment and I had a part time job. I figured why not give Stella & Dot a shot? If I could get a bunch of free jewelry that would be awesome–it certainly didn’t fit in my budget otherwise–and if I could pay my student loan payment with my earnings, that would be pretty cool. My why initially was for the free and discounted jewelry and some extra cash.

Flash Forward…

Shine Bright - Styled by Charlotte

I got married and moved from Virginia to New Jersey, pursuing this side hustle all the while and enjoying it every step of the way. I looked into opening another business, which ended up falling through. In retrospect, it was a blessing in disguise.

My Stella & Dot biz grew and I fell in love with the company even more. You could definitely say I drank the Kool Aid! I honestly believe in our mission “to give every woman the means to style her own life.” After my other business venture fell through, I once again wondered what the heck I was doing with my life?! After taking a step back, I realized I had been doing it all along! I stumbled into a career, and I haven’t looked back.

Stella & Dot Stylist - Styled by Charlotte

Since then, I’ve styled hundreds of women and helped my team of 80+ women launch their side gigs and grow them into whatever they want–big, small, or somewhere in between. I’ve traveled all over the country for trainings and celebrations, been a featured speaker on our national leader call, earned three all-expenses paid vacations, and enjoyed thousands of dollars worth of free accessories. I love what I do and feel lucky to create a life for myself and my family.

Interested in becoming a Stylist? Check out this page to learn more.

Where does this blog fit in?

Vulnerable moment alert!! I know I just painted a picture-perfect scene…BUT…despite the many successes I’ve seen in my Stella & Dot business over the past several months, something has been out of alignment. I’m incredibly passionate about Stella & Dot and the movement we’re leading as a company, I felt that personally something was “off.” Honestly, it’s been hard to put my finger on, and I spent a significant amount of time trying to figure it out by honing on on my why. I questioned if it was time to hang up my statement necklaces and move on to something else. I wondered if I made the right choice to pursue this dream whole-heartedly. Those little voices of self-doubt in my head tormented me!

Any entrepreneur can tell you that growing a business is an emotional roller coaster ride. The highs and lows are big and it can be extremely challenging not to tie your self-worth to your venture. You go from feeling on top of the world one day to feeling like a complete failure the next.

At each low point, though tears have been shed and the vision I have for the future seemed completely unachievable at times, I resolved that I just couldn’t step away from something I’m so passionate about. It just ain’t time to throw in the towel yet! (Especially with Stella & Dot 2.0 right around the corner… Big things on deck!)

My Vision

My Why - Styled by Charlotte

I dream of impacting thousands of women, helping them launch side gigs that enrich or even completely change their lives. This past year, I have been honestly BUMMED at points because I feel I haven’t even scratched the surface on reaching these women. I see so much goodness in the encouragement and community we create at Stella & Dot. I believe there’s a wider audience out there that NEEDS this confidence-building inspiration. That’s where the blog comes in.

I’m thrilled and completely rejuvenated at the thought of reaching more women through this platform. This is not a blog all about Stella & Dot–although you will certainly hear about S&D frequently. I want to build confidence, provide encouragement, and help you find your path, whether you’re a Stylist on my team or someone else’s, you have own side hustle or blog, or you’re rocking a 9-5 career.

My Why Behind Stella & Dot Inspired the Blog

Stella & Dot Stylist - Styled by Charlotte

I’m experimenting with various subjects over the next few months: lifestyle, motivation, fashion and style, fitness, and more. I’ve been totally inspired and already learned a TON from my membership in Style Collective, which is a community of fashion and lifestyle bloggers that provides amazing resources and support. There is so much to learn about blogging and I’m excited to have a new creative outlet.

Learn more about Style Collective / Join (affiliate link)

As posts roll out, I would love your feedback so I can tailor future posts to what interests you and enriches your life most. I’d love to hear what you’d like to read about in the comments on this post, too. 🙂

I’m virtually toasting you, my OG readers and followers! THANK YOU for joining me on this adventure. I’m excited to see where we go together.

xo,
Charlotte

Stella & Dot Stylist - Styled by Charlotte

Prepare to see cameos of this cutie on Instagram. This is my cat, Cleo — she aspires to be a Vlogger and loves opening boxes from Stella & Dot. Follow me on Instagram @styledbycharlotte

Four Great Reads for Personal Growth

I’m an avid reader and always have a few books on my “currently reading” list. Typically, I have at least one fiction and one personal growth book in progress. Personal development has become a lifestyle for me. I think it’s essential to be constantly refilling my cup with inspiration and new ideas in order to become the best version of myself. While I love taking long chunks of time to read, especially on vacation or while traveling, I also carve out about 30 minutes a day to read. Of course there are loads of great articles online, fabulous podcasts, and inspiring quotes galore on social media, but there’s nothing like a good, old-fashioned book.

Here are a four personal growth books that I’ve enjoyed recently and have found myself recommending often:

Daring Greatly
Brené Brown

I’m actually still in progress with reading this one. I picked it up after BrenĂ© Brown was announced as our keynote speaker for Stella & Dot Hoopla, our annual conference. Brown shares her research findings on vulnerability – a topic that makes pretty much everyone super uncomfortable, most notably the author herself. I’ve had a lot of “AHA” moments so far, but the connection between vulnerability and living a wholehearted life is the kicker. Brown identifies that those who experience the most joy and connection in life are those who are willing to take on the risk that occurs when they let others in and expose their true selves – which invites potential pain! This is tough, right!? Vulnerability is scary, but Brown has me convinced that finding the courage to be vulnerable is essential to living a full life.

Jesus Feminist
Sarah Bessey

While this isn’t a typical personal development book, I found Jesus Feminist to be incredibly thought-provoking. This book helped me personally find more clarity in how my beliefs about who I am as a Christian (saved by Jesus) and who I am as a woman (equally worthy as men and not socially bound by specific roles) align. Bessey is not afraid to be super critical of the church and call out a few areas we’re just not getting it right as an organization. She breaks down some really interesting scripture that’s often used to justify marginalizing women in the church, putting it in historical context and explaining how the words are manipulated beyond their intention. Bessey argues that Jesus actually was the original Feminist. Mind = blown. I think this is a great read for Christian women and men alike, but also worthwhile to anyone who is willing to have an open mind and look at things from a new point of view.

Find Your Extraordinary
Jessica DiLullo Herrin

I wouldn’t be a good Stella & Dot Stylist if I left this one off the list! 😉 In all reality, I loved reading this book SO much and I really do recommend it all the time. Jessica Herrin is the CEO & Founder of Stella & Dot and she is a genius. Her business knowledge and leadership skills are incredible. The audience for this book is truly not limited to Stella & Dot or even business owners. Herrin focuses on the qualities she has determined are part of the entrepreneurial spirit and shares how to apply them to your life in all areas in order to “achieve success on your own terms.” While this book is one big dose of inspiration and a motivational kick in the ass, the best takeaway I got was a tactical application around time management. Herrin actually refers to it as “time mastery” because we can’t actually manage time – it’s going to pass no matter what and none of us have a monopoly on busy. I became much more aware of how I was allotting my time after reading this, and thus became more productive. Now that’s a win! It was also inspiration for my post, Is Being Busy Holding You Back?

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
Daniel H. Pink

As a coach, Drive is totally fascinating. While this is an excellent book for any leader or aspiring leader to read, simply gaining insight into the origins of your own motivation is valuable. Pink reveals that our culture is mistakenly caught up with extrinsic motivation and dives into history to shed light on the roots of that trend. He explains that true motivation comes from within and argues that what people really want is more autonomy over their own lives. There are a few really great examples of businesses and organizations that are thriving by giving their employees more control – even one from my hometown of Charlottesville, VA, which was a fun surprise! This book impacted how I strive to lead, which is by empowering others to achieve their own success and viewing myself as someone who is there to help them along that journey.

If you plan to pick any of these up, I’d love to know which one caught your attention. Have you read any of these already? What did you think?

Please let me know in the comments and share any personal development books you would recommend, too! Thanks for reading! 🙂

XO
Charlotte

Style Inspiration: Novelty Prints

Is there anything more fun than a bold, whimsical novelty print? Animals, fruits, food…you name it, and I probably like it! I just love striking up a conversation with someone who asks, “Are those CATS on your scarf?!” True story – I have a Lilly Pulitzer scarf from several seasons ago that is a cat print disguised as houndstooth. Life is too short for boring clothes!
Summer invites a whole new level of punchy prints enhanced by bright color palettes. We’ll likely see florals, citrus, and pineapple prints each year, but there are a few unique motifs that are dominating this season.
Flamingos
Flamingos

2017 is most certainly the year of the flamingo! From apparel, to lipstick colors, to home decor items, and party decorations, the iconic pink bird reigns supreme. My recent wish list post got a lot of love on the (sadly sold out) Jack Rogers sandals, so I know y’all are already loving flamingos as much as I do! I love pink so you know I’m going to adore all those cute pink flamingo prints! The Lilly romper in the collage above is SO adorable – it’s hard to tell from this photo, but there are flamingos on each arm – you can see their heads up by the model’s shoulders. Fun fact: I recently learned that a flock of flamingos is called a FLAMBOYANCE.

 

More flamingo inspiration:

Watermelons

This section is dedicated to Diane Arons, who rocked watermelon style last summer. #trendsetter
Watermelon
Watermelons for the win this season! Who else is just itching to bite into a slice of juicy, ripe watermelon while sitting outside under the hot summer sun?? I am dreaming of it and it’s right around the corner! My mom is an amazing seamstress and often made dresses for me when I was little. There’s one I will never forget from when I was about four years old; it was the cutest watermelon dress! The bib of the dress was like a big watermelon slice. It was one of my favorite outfits. I guess my personal style hasn’t evolved THAT much! 🙂

More watermelon inspiration:

You may be wondering: HOW do I incorporate novelty prints into my wardrobe? My number one tip is to OWN IT. Use these fun patterns to display your confidence. If you’re wearing a printed dress or top, keep your necklace simple, like the Kari Necklace. Bold earrings like the Gita Tassel Earrings would be GORGEOUS and really make the pattern pop. For a novelty accessory like a watermelon clutch or flamingo shoes, go for the bold. Don’t be afraid to wear something like this with a graphic print! Think a pink gingham top with a pink watermelon clutch, or striped shorts with flamingo flats. White denim and gold metallics make bright-colored patterns look extra chic.
Will you wear flamingo or watermelon prints this summer? Or BOTH? Let me know in the comments, and any questions you have on how to style them! Thanks for reading!
xo,
Charlotte

How to Pack in a Carry-On Bag

This year has been so abundant with travel that my friends and family have started to say, “so, where are you jetting off to next?” each time they see me. Most of my trips have been for business with a generous dash of fun. I’ve had the pleasure of traveling to Tucson, AZ; St. Petersburg, FL; Costa Rica; San Diego, CA; and Exuma, Bahamas within the past 5 months by air. In July, I’ll be heading to Las Vegas for Stella & Dot Hoopla.

Stylists – Leave me a note in the comments if I’ll see you at Hoopla! Check out my tips, what to pack, and how to max out your experience. Non-Stylists – If you want to become a Stylist and join me there, let me know and I can hook you up!

After lugging a checked bag along on a few earlier trips, I decided I had had enough of overpacking and maneuvering a big suitcase. I mean, I could barely lift the thing simply due to the awkwardness of its size. My trips were typically only a few nights and it looked like I’d be gone for weeks. Has anyone else been there?!

I envied the people zipping through the airport, all their possessions in tow, without a worry their bags would be lost or the delay of waiting at the luggage carousel. I wanted to be one of those zippy airport travel pros. It was time to learn the art of packing in only a carry on suitcase.

Now I must say, my saving grace has been my Stella & Dot Getaway bag. This is the most amazing travel bag ever, and I promise I’m not just being biased because I rep the line! 🙂 It’s super roomy and works great for weekend trips in the car, too. For airline travel, I love that it fits under the seat in front of me, so it can be classified as my “personal item.” SCORE. Then I use a small rolling suitcase that I stow in the overhead bin. The Getaway also expands and can be stowed overhead as an option. It gives me peace of mind to know that if I can’t repack in a compact manner on my trip home for some reason, I can always expand the Getaway and check my rolling luggage as a last resort.

Would you believe that I fit all of the following into those two bags for multi-night trips: toiletry essentials, contact solution, laptop, ipad, charging cords, tons of Stella & Dot jewelry, makeup, my full-sized hair dryer, two hairbrushes, a mini steamer, multiple pairs of shoes, undergarments, socks, pajamas, a sweater/light jacket, swimsuits/coverups, an extra pair of sunglasses, a water bottle, a clutch, a tote bag, and more than enough outfits for each day? In fact, I’ve returned from every trip with clean clothing items that I didn’t even need to wear.

How is this possible?! Take a peek at my suitcase from my last trip. I actually snapped this photo on my way home:

Here are my packing hacks…

  • I roll my clothes. Rolling my clothes has been a game changer! I fold everything to about the same width, then roll as tightly as possible and start to fill up one end of the suitcase. It keeps the clothes so compact. I’ve always heard of this and didn’t really believe it made a difference. Newsflash: it does! I continue to stack and layer the rolled clothes and leave gaps for my toiletry and makeup pouches to nestle right in. 
  • I pack a travel steamer. It is worth making room for! After the clothes are rolled, there are no harsh creases, but everything is wrinkled and this baby really is a life saver. I use it several times a week at home, too. It’s such a low cost investment and it’s so convenient! In the photo above, the steamer is underneath the “Be Your Beautiful” pouch, which contains all my makeup.
  • I pack travel-sized toiletries/makeup and keep it low-maintenance. This is a no-brainer. Swap out bulky full-sized products for compact versions (and save the containers for refilling later on). You’ll also be good-to-go when it comes to those pesky TSA rules. I also opt to keep my routine low maintenance while away. I can leave fancy serums and exfoliators at home and just stick with the basics for a few days: cleanser and moisturizer. I use sample size makeup from my Birchbox. Depending on where I’m going, I may skip shampoo/conditioner if my destination has it, or use refillable bottles to bring my own. All my toiletries are in the blue Beauty Bag (similar here), except my hair smoothing serum.
  • I think through outfit and shoe options in advance. I really invest some time in this part of the process. I bring lots of things I can mix and match and limit the number of pairs of shoes I bring. My travel day outfit is a great way to transport bulkier items and shoes, like sneakers. I usually pack a few extra outfit options, but sacrifice bringing my cute summer wedges to conserve space. It’s all a give and take! 🙂 Take a peek at how I helped my mom pack here.
You’re so cute, wedges. But you’re not making the cut. I need to pack my hair dryer.
  • Yes, I pack my hair dryer. The full-sized thing. My hair is long and super thick, so hotel dryers (and even my friends’ dyers if I’m visiting), simply don’t cut it. It’s worth it to me to pack my own. This is where the Getaway bag is super helpful – I typically use that space to pack this guy.
    (Update: I just discovered that this brand has a few travel sized options… POTENTIAL GAME CHANGER.  They seem too inexpensive though! I’m skeptical.. They’re here, here, and here. What do you think?)
  • I pack as much jewelry as I want. As long as it fits in my travel jewelry box, it makes the cut. It’s a compact travel case and a great way to mix up my ensemble on my trip with minimal space utilized. This goes in my Getaway tote, too.
  • I use every bit of space. After I roll all my clothes, I stuff socks, underwear, swimsuits, and other odds-and-ends in the nooks and crannies. In my Getaway tote, I load up my laptop, iPad, a refillable water bottle, a light sweater and scarf for when I inevitably get cold on the plane. Ear buds and charging cords are neatly stored in a pouf. I pack a thin foldable tote in the outside suitcase pocket for a beach or shopping bag during the trip. I use the City Slim clutch, which I have in several colors, as a dual wallet and clutch – it has card slots that are perfect for my ID and credit cards.

I’m still on the hunt for the perfect luggage…my carry on does not have the spinner wheels, which I think are practically essential! 😉 I’ve been eyeing these fancy ones from Away that also has charging capabilities. Does anyone have a good review?

That pretty much covers it! It’s amazing how much can fit with a little strategic thinking and creative use of space. Did these tips help you muster the courage to go carry-on only on your next flight? Is there anything you’d like me to elaborate on? I’d love to know what you think – please leave a note in the comments!

Bon voyage!

xo, Charlotte

Lilly Pulitzer + Totem Tassel Necklace 4 Ways

Who do I know who loves Lilly Pulitzer?! One of my top picks for our Stella & Dot summer sale that ends TODAY is this gorgeous Totem Tassel Necklace. I absolutely love this easy breezy style and it pairs perfectly with all your patterned resort chic favorites. This piece is an absolute steal at under $50 and it’s versatile. The pendant itself has removable elements and the chain can be worn short or long. Mix it up for many options!

This post isn’t sponsored by LP – I’m just a Lilly-loving Stella & Dot Stylist sharing two of my favorite brands and how well they pair together! 🙂 

I love wearing this necklace with all white, coordinating it with a turquoise ensemble, or layering it over hot pink for a bold color pop. Here it is styled with Lilly Pulitzer four different ways to inspire your summer outfits:

1. Life’s a Beach

Totem Tassel 4

Shorts | Tank | Tote | Pineapple Tumbler | Flip Flops

2. Cocktail Party Chic

totem tassel 3

Dress | Wedges | Highball Glasses | Clutch

3. Dinner Date by The Sea

Totem tassel 2

Jeans | Top | Pouch | Earrings | Sandals

4. Lipstick & Ladies Lunch Out

Totem Tassel 1

 

Dress | Shoes | Sunnies | Lipstick | Pillow | Tote – Similar here and here

Which look is your fave? Let me know in the comments!

With so many ways to style it, you’ll want to hurry and snap up the Totem Tassel Necklace before the sale ends at midnight! You can get the coordinating bracelet for a steal, too.

And if you spend $75, you can add on this adorable “Good Vibes” pouch for only $9.99. This is PERFECT for your sunscreen, SPF lip balm, phone, and keys inside of your beach tote!

A few more sale styles my Lilly-loving gals will adore:

Alila Lace Cuff | Breezeblock Enamel Bangle | Brio Tassel Necklace | Fete Bracelet | Hazel Statement Necklace | Strength Bracelet

Happy Shopping! 🙂

How to Pack for a Resort Vacation


My parents are headed off to Jamaica this weekend for a trip to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. I’m so excited for them as it’s a much-needed vacation AND their first trip to an all-inclusive resort. Since Brad and I raved about our trip to Sandals in Jamaica for our honeymoon, they decided to go check it out! They are staying at a different resort location and I’m sure it will be equally amazing. My mom asked me to help her pack while I was visiting last weekend and give her some insight on what she really needed to bring and what she could leave behind. I’ve also been fortunate to earn all-inclusive trips to Jamaica and Costa Rica courtesy of Stella & Dot (an amazing perk of being a Stylist), so I’ve improved my packing strategy along the way.  Before I share my tips, let’s take a moment to appreciate how adorable my parents are…

Then:

Now:

The best!

OKAY. Back to packing tips. 🙂

1. Pre-packing. Before I pack for any trip, I like to take a mental walk through each day and think through what I plan to do. Of course, on vacation, it’s mostly relaxing, enjoying a great meal, and generally living on island time. This is the opportunity to highlight any excursions or activities, any meals that require a dressier outfit, and travel days. For example, my parents are doing a catamaran cruise one day and packed specific shoes for on the boat. My mom also thought through which bathing suit and coverup combo would be ideal – considering comfort, function, a coverup with sun protection, etc. That way, she won’t wear that outfit to the beach earlier in the trip.

After making a loose outline of the days’ events, start pulling out outfit possibilities. Mom pulled out her handy rolling rack and we were able to hang up outfit options to sift through.

2. Function + style. Consider both elements when selecting outfits. We started by thinking through what to wear for the day of travel. When traveling to a resort, I like to take into account both comfort on the plane and upon arrival in a tropical climate (read: HOT and HUMID). We selected an adorable pair of linen beach pants – they feel like PJ pants while sitting on the plane yet are breezy enough for hot weather – an embellished tank, espadrille flats, and a few fun accessories.


Bonus tip: This tote will be used on the plane and on the beach throughout the trip. It’s saavy to think through what can do “double duty” while traveling – the hat is another item that coordinates with several outfits. Mom will also have a lightweight, white cardigan to wear if the plane is chilly and at any point throughout the rest of the vacation. Wearing the sweater, hat, and using the tote on the plane saves suitcase space!

A few big trends right now are multi colors, pom poms, fringe, and tassels. I think Mom nailed it and brought it all back to her personal style with a classic monogram. It’s the perfect combination of preppy with a beachy boho twist. 

Funny story: Before I went on my trip to Costa Rica, I stopped into DSW for a fun pair of vacation sandals. I tried on this pair and this pair and debated briefly before selecting the second option, shown in the photo above. About a month later, my mom sent me two pictures of sandals asking which I liked better…

They were the EXACT two pairs. lol! We have super similar taste, but this took it to a whole new level. 🙂
Naturally, I told her to get the pair I had ended up with myself!

3. Limit daytime outfits. While at the resort, chances are the majority of the daytime hours will be spent in swimwear and a coverup. It’s not necessary to bring tons of casual wear for the days. Pack one pair of white or denim shorts and two or three tops (tank tops or tee shirts that take up minimal space) that can mix and match.

Mom isn’t actually bringing this paddle fan or flask, but how fun are they?! It’s safe to say we had fun styling these photos together.


4. Pack plenty of swimsuit and coverup options. Since you will be spending the majority of your time in your swimwear at the resort, feel free to pack plenty. I like to bring a different coverup option, like a caftan or casual sundress, for each day, and a bathing suit for each day with a few mix and match options. This is what we planned for Mom’s vacation wardrobe. It might seem a little excessive, but since this is what you are going to spend most of your time wearing, it’s worth it to have plenty of options–and the option to change into a dry suit if need be! I also like to put a little thought into coordinating “swim outfits” by matching the coverup and swimsuit.

Don’t forget all the essentials for fun in the sun! A hat, plenty of sunscreen, aloe, flip flops, a beach book, and sunglasses. Mom loves collecting sea glass and is hoping to make an excursion to a sea glass beach that is the result of an old bottling company’s dumping grounds.

5. Resort chic outfits for dinner. At the resorts I’ve been to, most of the dining options are fairly casual, with the exception of one of the dining options that is dressier. Check your resort for any dress code details. I personally think it’s fun to get a few new wardrobe items for a vacation, especially for that fancier evening. My mom got a very cute high-low romper–I mean, how on-trend is she!? I didn’t take a picture of it (it’s not the type of style that will photograph very well laying flat), but here are two other options we packed for dinners. Notice she passed on heels or wedges and stuck with flats. With so many cute sandals available now, why bother with being uncomfortable OR using up the space in your suitcase?? You’re on vacation, after all!


I love the lattice pattern on the shorts and this classic color combination. This outfit is breezy and comfortable while still looking polished and chic – especially when blinged up with bejeweled flats and Stella & Dot accessories!

Doesn’t this nautical striped dress just scream “vacation”? SUCH a cute style and I love pairing the graphic stripe with the punchy, colorful sandals and a bright bracelet stack. The hat and/or sunnies are ideal for a dinner as the sun is setting over the sea.

6. Don’t forget the foundations! I always double or triple check to make sure I’ve packed the basics: undergarments needed for the specific outfits packed, a pair of socks or two for chilly toes at night, and pajamas. I also like to throw in a pair of workout shorts and a tank in case I want to do a beachside yoga class, a brisk walk, or for just lounging around.

Ultimately, you’re better off making your life easy and packing light. It’s totally possible to take less clothing and still be ultra stylish with a pit of planning ahead. Of course, you can pack as many accessories as you can cram into your travel jewelry box! 🙂 That’s a great way to switch up your look with a small amount of space.

Where are you headed for your next vacation? I hope these packing tips help you streamline your outfit options!

5 Items Currently on my Wish List

We’ve all been there, right? That moment when your wish list exceeds your budget. Okay, let’s be real – I’m pretty much there all the time. I LOVE shopping, but often these days, window shopping AKA browsing online has to cut it. Thanks to the creepy intelligence of the internet, these images are showing up on my social media feeds on repeat…

Soludos Classic Stripe Sandal

How cute are these?! I love anything with a classic stripe. These have me dreaming of strolls along a cobblestone road in a coastal town. These would be so cute styled with a smart pair of shorts and a silk top for a preppy look. With a breezy floral or embroidered dress they would take on a more boho vibe. I think they’re perfect for mixing with other patterns and bright colors for lots of visual interest!

Blue and White Caftan

Who has ordered from SheIn.com? I haven’t yet, but there are quite a few things that have caught my eye. I’m honestly a bit skeptical–the prices seem too good to be true! I have noticed that several bloggers wear their items though, so I think that’s a good sign.

I love this printed caftan. Blue and white is my favorite combination, and the pom pom detail is just adorable. This breezy, retro-chic vibe would be perfectly preppy with my monogrammed Jack Rogers and Stella & Dot Iris Tassel Earrings.

Jack Rogers Flamingo Sandal

“Another pair of shoes?” you’re thinking, right? So I like accessories and footwear, sue me! 😉 These whimsical flamingo sandals are just too cute for words. I love the color combo of white, pink, and gold for summer – they would coordinate so well with much of my existing wardrobe! Alas, this style was such a hit that it’s already sold out. I’m keeping my eye out for them to come back in stock…

In the meantime, JR is offering 20% off an order of $100+ with promo code SUN20 or 25% off an order of $150+ with promo code SUN25 through midnight tonight! Perfect to scoop up some pineapples perhaps? This post is not sponsored, I’m just a gal who truly loves her Jacks! 🙂

Embroidered Versatile Top

I’ve always loved beautiful detailed embroidery, and it’s wonderful to see it popping up everywhere as a major trend this season. Now, if you’re a Stella sister, I’ll bet you saw the word “versatile” and your heart started beating a little faster. We love wearing our accessories many different ways, and this top is in that same camp–you can wear it off-the-shoulder or on.

This is super convenient because OTS is one of the cutest, yet most annoying trends. You look oh-so stylish hanging out at a backyard BBQ or casually sipping wine with your girlfriends, but the second you lift your arm to wave at your bestie who just arrived…it’s all over. Raise your hand if ya feel me! (Or don’t, depending on your attire!) This top is perfect for whatever the night brings you…may it be an impromptu dance party, you will have no worries.

Lilly Pulitzer Shorts

I’ve loved Lilly for as long as I can remember! The punchy prints are just so much fun and these shorts fit the bill. I love that they’re loose and lightweight for the hot months ahead, yet still seriously chic. The pink and blue print is right up my alley. I would dress these up with a silky tank, wedge sandals, and gold jewels for a night out or a simple cotton tank and Sparkle Studs for a casual afternoon of working from home.


So there you have it! Five of my fave items that have caught my eye online. Can you see yourself donning any of these styles this season?

xo,
Charlotte

April Showers Style Inspiration

This drizzly day has me seeking out style inspiration with rainboots! I love the fun colors for spring! I only have a black pair so I think a colorful pair may need to mosey on into my wardrobe!

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