Transforming a Summer Dress to Fall

Hello darling! Do you hear an alarm going off in your head or home? Yes, I am repeating not only one item but two items! I wanted to show you guys how you can transform a summer dress into a fall one by adding a few items. No really! All you need is a cardigan or poncho of some sort, tights, maybe a belt, and some booties. There you go! Your summer dress is now able to be paraded off as a fall dress.

This summery striped dress is the same one I wore in the 90° weather in this post. It has quickly become one of my favorite dresses because there are so many different things you can do with a simple black and white stripe item. A stripe dress has become a necessity in styling… almost as close to a necessity as a little black dress. You can throw on different color shirts over it, mix and match patterns with polkadots, or even throw on a simple blouse.

I then threw on the same poncho I was wearing in this fall post. If you’re not a fan of the olive green, the poncho also comes in black, maroon, and beige. If it was a little chillier than it was this day you can pile on a long sleeve shirt and tie a knot at your waist. It is a layer that makes you look as if you’re wearing a skirt instead of a dress.

Since the dress isn’t form fitting, I decided to belt the poncho and dress at my waist. As a result of belting in the dress and poncho at my waist, it automatically made this outfit more put together. I then threw on a pair of sheer tights and a pair of suede J.Crew booties. Botta-Bing-botta-bang. There are so many ways where you can transform a summer dress into a fall dress with the right accessories. If you’re super careful, sometimes you can even transform it into a winter dress. That is another day though!

 

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What are some of your favorite ways of transforming a summer dress into fall? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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Saratoga Race Track

Hello darlings! This past weekend, I went to the Saratoga Race Track with some of my college friends. It was my first time ever going to a horse race and I thought it was such a thrilling experience.

We arrived to the track around 11 and made a big circle out of lawn chairs, coolers, and my lovely Siena blanket (I can’t go anywhere without that thing). After we set up shop, we decided to walk around and check out where everything is. In a weird way, it almost looks like it was set up like a classier warp tour. There are all these random concession stands everywhere and people scattered about.

While we were walking around, we got to see some jockeys walk by with their horses. I was shocked how close you could get to them. At other sporting events, you would be triple the length away from them and have to spend oodles of money in order to get that close.

 

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I decided to go all out and get a hat for the track. Some women wore these crazy elaborate hats that could be spotted from a mile away. Clearly, they loved going to the track. I was actually really surprised that not many women wore hats. I’m still glad I spent a solid $12 at Target on my hat.

As for the dress, I decided to get this navy, lace dress. Abercrombie and Fitch is actually having a sale on the dress. It’s $24, in stores, and it is such an easy dress to just throw on and do whatever in it. I would love wearing this dress to brunch or even to date night with some red heels. I’m in love with the lace detailing and the cut out on the back. I was actually wishing I was going to get a tan on my back from the weird cutout. Unfortunately, the day we went was a little cloudy. Maybe next time.

The earrings are from J.Crew and I fall head over heels for them every time I wear them. I think they add just the perfect about of color to this otherwise neutral outfit.

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Micky, Courtney, Sam, and I decided to all get matching camp chairs at Walmart. We want to iron patches all over them.

At the end of the day, I won $4 and lost about $10. The whole time I was there I was thinking about the betting as if I was at a concert. You would normally pay $60+ for a good concert. I only made dollar bets, but if I wanted to get risky I could have tried betting $10-$15. There were 11 races and I bet on 8 of them. I loved picking which horse was going to win. Trust me, it’s exciting when your horse actually wins.

As for my first time betting on something, I say it was a marvelous time. Have you ever went to a horse race? What is your opinion on horse races?

As always,

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Barn Weddings & Farmer’s Markets

Hello darlings! Some of you may know that I have family in a small town in New York. This past weekend, I decided to take the two hour drive and see my cousins. I haven’t seen some of my cousins since I was in high school! It was an incredible time filled with catching up and laughs.

Saturday morning, my cousin, Emily, and I got up early and decided to check out a barn wedding and a farmer’s market. She made me this delicious smoothie bowl and we were on our way. Honestly, she should sell these things they’re so good!

So for those of you who saw last year’s post, you know that my cioci (aunt) runs barn weddings. Emily and I were able to sneak into the barn and see all of the gorgeous decorations for a wedding later on in the day. I loved how warm the whole environment felt. The simple flowers and the little banners that were added to little nooks and crannies really tied the whole place together. Also, the flower girls were running around in these adorable, cream dresses. There wasn’t a hair out of place.

After we checked out the wedding decorations, we hurried our butts to the market. Everything at the market was amazing. Some of my family members were selling flowers and blueberries at their own stand. The flowers they create are some of the most beautiful creations I have every seen. Since my cousin started this flower business, I’ve become more aware of the different types of flowers. I’ve come to love wildflowers even more than I already had before. The pictures below are of their stand.

The following pictures are of other stands in the farmer’s market.

Later that evening, my cousins and I headed out to see a drive in movie. We watched Pets and the new Ghostbusters movie. I thought Pets was adorable. Every child should watch it before they try to convince their parents to get a pet. Ghostbusters was funny… well, for the part I was awake. I admit, I’ve been going to bed pretty early lately so staying up till 1 a.m. hasn’t been in my clock schedule.

There was one more thing I did Saturday, but I’ll leave you hanging until my next post…

The next morning, we slept in a little bit. When we finally woke up, we went fishing in one of the ponds my family owns. I ended up catching two bass.

That was my lovely weekend away. Sometimes it is just so refreshing seeing family you haven’t seen in a very long time. It was almost weird seeing my cousin’s who I haven’t seen since high school. It’s been so long and we’ve all grown up so much in those three years. Time may pass and we may change, but family is always family.

As always,

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Sunday Snapshot: Hiking Thatcher

Hello, darlings! Hope you’ve been having a wonderful week! This past weekend was super warm out so it obviously needed to be spent outside.

Here is a wonderful picture of me reading by the fire.

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Rob and I ventured out to see the wonderful view from Thatcher state park. If you’re scared of heights I don’t recommend this location. It is very high up and there aren’t gates up in some areas. I personally loved it because I love exploring new territory. There are two different falls that you can walk to. There are also a couple of caves you can crawl inside of and feel like Indiana Jones.

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Afterwards, we wandered to Albany and tried some of Emack and Bolio’s ice cream. It was as wonderful as the last time I went. If you never heard of Emack and Bolio it is this adorable little ice cream shop that has a wide variety of ice cream cones ranging from smores cones to M&M cones. They also offer every candy you can think of and even some toys from the 90s. It’s like escaping to another world.

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I hope your weekend was filled with smiles and laughter like mine!

As always,

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Chowderfest 2016

Hello darlings! This past weekend, I went to Chowderfest in Saratoga with my brother, his girlfriend, Robert, and his friend from home. For those who don’t know what Chowderfest is, it’s an annual chowder competition. Restaurants in Saratoga compete to win the title of best chowder. This year, there were 80 competitors. The way it works is you run around Saratoga, pay a dollar for the chowder, then a large man has to roll you to your car because you’re so full. Okay, so maybe not the last one, but you get the point. My belly ended up being filled up with tons and tons of chowder… I’m not complaining. Although they were all good, I had some favorites…

We went to Durthers first. It was a clear winner in my book. There was everything imaginable inside the chowder. Pulled pork, clams, corn, croutons, cheese, and probably a few more things I’m forgetting to name. We loved it so much we actually went back and bought another before we left.


After Druthers, we hopped on the next line to get The Stadium Cafe’s chowder. Their chowder was made with smoked apple cheddar, chicken, and prosciutto. I really liked this one as well. They gave you little oyster crackers to go with it.

We then crossed the street to get chipotle crumbled chowder at Boca Bistro. There was a good amount of oysters in the chowder, which was different from all the other chowders. Next to Boca Bistro, was a little juice bar offering free juice samples. They were interesting to say the least… I’m more of a smoothie/water girl myself.

We then turned the corner and went to get a ruben chowder at Bailey’s Cafe. The line moved pretty slow compared to the other three. The line was moving so slow that there was even a window in the tent that was offering beer. This was probably my least favorite chowder. The ratio of ruben to chowder was a little off in my cup. I got a giant chunk of ruben that I gladly gave to my brother.

Across the street was Park Side Eatery that was serving a tequila chowder with cactus in it. Definitely the most creative chowder at Chowderfest. I couldn’t taste the tequila in the chowder, but I did get a little cactus in my bowl. There was also big chucks of chicken in it, which was fantastic addition to the chowder. However, there wasn’t much flavor so I’d rate this second to last but ranks first in portion and creativity.

My friends brought me a Seven Horse chowder that was really creamy. I would love to tell you what was in it, but I really have no idea. All I know was that it was delicious.

We then went up the street more and got a cup from Hatties. They had corn bread chowder which consisted of a soupy chowder with a little nugget of corn bread. This one had a lot of flavor. I would rate Hattie’s chowder as a little above average… I think third on my list.

 

So, I’m not a huge fan on buffalo sauce. I’m just a wimp with spices, I guess. I feel like my roommate, Courtney, is trying to bring me to the dark side. Aside from that, we waited in line at Dangos for almost an hour to get their chicken wing chowder. It was seasoned with buffalo sauce, but I LOVED it. Four days later and I’m still thinking about it.


Overall, Chowderfest was a lovely time. My rankings based on chowder we tried:

  1. Druthers
  2. Dangos
  3. Hatties
  4. The Stadium Cafe
  5. Seven Horse
  6. Park Side Eatery
  7. Bailey’s Cafe

I’m already excited for next year to see what new kinds they’ll all make. It was very cold so if you decide to ever go to Chowderfest at Saratoga you might want to read my article on HerCampus on how to stay warm.

The funny part was that only one of the chowders we had won (Druthers). Here are the contestants that won:

People’s Choice: Gaffneys Restaurant, Southwest Shrimp & Grilled Corn Chowder with a Crab Popper Wonton
People’s Choice under 1,000 bowls: Dock Browns Lakeside Tavern, Shrimp Corn Chowder
Most Chowder Served: Druthers, Southwest Chowder
Best On Broadway: Thirsty Owl Outlet and Wine Garden
Best Off Broadway: West Side Stadium, Seafood Chowder with Clams, Crab, Corn, Potato topped with Fried Cornbread Stick
Best Non Downtown: Dock Browns Lakeside Tavern, Shrimp Corn Chowder
Best Newcomer: Carson’s Woodside Tavern, Cheesy Chicken Quesadilla Soup
Best Dessert Chowder: TC Paris, Mini Tirami-sea Cupcake

Next year I’ll just have to try Gaffneys!

I hope this post didn’t make you too hungry! Do you like Chowder? Let me know in the comments if this made your mouth water a little bit!

As always,

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Sunday Snapshot: Exploring Albany

Hello darlings! I had wonderful week. Courtney and I are slowly figuring out how to cook things together. I’ll most more about that when we have perfected a few things. I know it’s quite the college accomplishment to be able to cook for one’s self. My Friday class was also cancelled so I can say I had a pretty good week.

My walk back to my house during the week. I love the Siena flags.

Thursday my friend, Courtney, turned 21 (not my roommate another Courtney). We went to Bombers Burrito Bar to celebrate.

  

Saturday, a bunch of my friends and I went to the Siena vs Marist basketball game. Siena won 77 to 66. Siena was up 20 points for most of the game. Monday Siena plays the #1 team… wish us luck!

This morning, I went to Iron Gate Cafe with Robert and Steven. It’s my favorite brunch place. I always get the same thing: Turkey B.L.A.T. with home fries. If you’re ever in Albany definitely go to Iron Gate Cafe.

Afterwords, we showed Steven a little bit of Albany. Some of the buildings are just so beautiful! Also, ice skating is only $3!

 


  

Now I’m just working on my application to Siena Teacher Preparation Program and some other homework. I have a speech on Tuesday for my rhetoric and oral communications class. Wish me luck on that!

I hope you had a wonderful week! Let me know about your week. Did you eat anything good? See anything interesting? Talk to someone cool? I’m very curious.

As always,

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Sunday Snapshot: Upstate New York

Hello darlings! This week I was very busy packing, traveling to upstate New York, and petting a donkey. Quite an adventure. Here are some pictures of my last week in the states until December 20th.

Since my family lives in upstate New York, my mom and I decided to adventure upstate to go see them. My cousin showed us his beautiful flower garden. He actually sells them to weddings. If you want to check out the Facebook page for more information click here. We ended up cutting a ton of flowers and bringing them home. Here are some pictures:

  

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My family recently renovated this old barn to hold barn weddings. They did such a wonderful job. If you want to see more pictures click here. 

After seeing the wedding barn, we went to see a donkey, cows, and kittens.

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Later in the week, Rob came up to Connecticut and we went fishing in Black Pond. We didn’t catch anything but at least the view was nice.

See if you can spot the frog!

As you know from this post, I went to Castle Craig earlier this summer when it was cloudy. This time the sky was clear so we were able to see much more! The pictures really don’t do it justice.

  

I have three more days in the states! I’m actually about to go camping today so wait for those awkward pictures… And maybe some of Pisa as well!

Since I’ll be in Italy for the next four months my post might not be religiously Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. I will try to post as often as possible and make sure I have wonderful pictures for you. My schedule will try to be at least once a week. I actually don’t know if my host family has wifi! Some Italian families don’t believe in wifi in the house because they think it rots the brain. We’ll see on Thursday!

Join the discussion: What will you be doing the last few days of summer?

As always,

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Don’t forget to follow me on social media so you get a sneak peek of where I’ll be in Europe!