Retail Therapy: {Lou & Grey}

I’ve got to confess, there’ve been a few things I’ve been missing while pregnant – big time. Not gonna lie, the list starts with includes enjoying a really nice bottle of wine, sashimi, seeing my feet, but also shopping. Simply looking without touching lost its luster a long time ago and so I’ve generally held off on any retail therapy because really – what’s the point?? Even if something were to fit in the moment, that doesn’t mean it’ll fit in a week! But I recently decided that some quality girl time was in order, so I called on my gal Jeanne to take a trip to Lou & Grey with me. As soon as we crossed the threshold, I thought I’d died and stepped into retail therapy heaven!

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While I’d heard of Lou & Grey due to their partnership with Loft, I was pleasantly surprised to learn one of only three dedicated Lou & Grey boutiques recently opened on Santana Row in San Jose. While a bit of a jaunt from San Francisco, it was well worth the drive. We walked into what I can only describe as a “spa like” shopping atmosphere. This store is seriously gorgeous!

The space is designed beautifully in soothing grays and soft whites with fabulous copper accent lighting, curated art collections and a great selection of local artisanal items ranging from bath products, to chic home accessories, to jewelry. It was quite the little treasure trove in there.

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And then there are the clothes of course! I’d describe the Lou & Grey collection as plused up basics. Think cool slouchy tees, structured boxy sweatshirts, menswear inspired button downs and on trend jeans. I was really impressed with the exceptional attention to modern cuts, cool silhouettes and fun details like drop shoulders, interesting stitching or killer pockets. Sure, I was still a bit limited in what pieces would work with my current shape, but that didn’t stop me from filling my dressing room! Jeanne and I both had a tough time narrowing down our choices, but you may have spied my final selection in the recap of my baby shower earlier this week! I’ve never met a jumpsuit I didn’t love, especially one that I could fit into at nearly 9-months pregnant!!

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shop my look: white button down, black jeans, sunnies {for $15!}, hat {similar}

I’m already so excited about the Lou & Grey goodies I picked. Be sure to check on Instagram later today for a sneak peek at some of my finds. And I’m counting down the days until I can go back and get this shirt dress. Well, let’s be honest, and probably half of the store too! Did I mention that Lou & Grey is also crazy affordable? Like prices so low you look twice to make sure you’re getting that number right. I’ve already started compiling my list of faves below. Good thing I’ve cleaned out a lot of room in my closet!

 

In the mood for more Retail Therapy?? CLICK HERE

original photography for apartment 34 by ashley batz 

This post is in partnership with Lou & Grey. All thoughts and opinions are 100% our own. Thank you for supporting collaborations that we’re excited about and that keep Apartment 34’s doors open!

We’ve Got A Crush On…

There are things that we crush on and then there are things that we CRUSH on. To meet the criteria of a hard core crush an image {or idea!} has to really stop us in our tracks. Similar to the way our real life crush, Matthew McConaug-hottie, would stop us in our tracks if we say…perhaps strolled right past him on the street.

First, there would be the “moment of denial” – is this really happening? no, this is too good to be true. Followed immediately by the “moment of holy shit” – this is real life. people can’t just make this type of thing up! Then there’s the “moment of this is ah-mazing!” and now we can die happy after witnessing his golden locks and tanned skin just feet away. That thought process did in fact happen when we laid eyes on these capital-letter-CRUSH-worthy images! Just in a slightly less starstruck, but still equally obsessive way. This month…

We’ve got a crush on salmon-pink eyeshadow and sherbet pink shearling…

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On charcuterie plates turned into charcuterie bowls complete with mini potatoes…

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On black and white gallery walls mounted on a slightly higher horizon line…

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On healthy desserts served with gold spoons {obvi!} like this Raw Oat Blueberry Pie…

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On pink sequined pencil skirts paired with chambray shirts…

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On wire statement stools around the table…

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And on the next stop on our Wanderlust List: this stunning canyon in the Sierra Nevadas!

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Which one of our crushes makes your heart flutter as much as it does ours? Obviously, it has to be that pink eye makeup from J Moon, right?! Or is it that blueberry pie? Seriously, get in mah belly! Maybe it’s those stunning Seven Tea Cup waterfalls because you never knew they existed before today and now they’re like, one of the coolest natural wonders you’ve ever seen?? Does anyone else know how to get to Johnsondale, CA?!

Whichever crush your heart chooses as it’s fave, just know, McConaug-hottie is off the table! He’s taken.

By us, obbvvvvviously. Happy March! PS: For our previous Crush Worthy moments CLICK HERE. And for our Top 10 Spring Must-Haves CLICK HERE!!

image 1 via J Moon // 2 via Canelle et Vanille // 3 via Nomad // 4 via Food Bandits // 5 via Stockholm Streetstyle // 6 via House Doctor // 7 via

Love Series {1}: Dating + Irrational Deal Breakers

We aren’t going to lie, we’re a little sad that our Wedding Week is coming to a close. From dreaming up fantasy fashion editorials to making our floral wishes a reality, we’ve had a blast diving into all things bridal! But to end all of this wedding talk, we thought it’d be nice to shake things up a bit and launch a brand new column: on love, sex, dating, marriage and relationships!

That’s right, we want to start talking about the “untalked about” {not a word, we know!} in an honest and exciting way. Thankfully, the talented Megan McCarty {you may have spotted her piece in the new Rue Magazine!}  is on a quest to discuss everything gushy, mushy, terrifying and hillariously real about this thing called “love”, and she’s willing to help us dive into topics never before talked about on Apartment 34. We hope you’ll find something that you’ve been dying to talk about with your bestie or recognize the silver lining in your current situation that’ll make you laugh, whether you’re newly single, happily married or proudly “bed surfing.” So let’s chat dating and those annoying, totally irrational, deal breakers! Megan, take it away…

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Dating these days is rough. Think Tinder, think noncommittals {wait, maybe that’s me}, think your ex’s Instagram account just waiting for you to stalk it. So let’s laugh our way through this rough landscape that is dating and that “L” word I sometimes stutter over – and the often blurry line between the two – in this new, exciting series, shall we?

Though yes, I’m writing a love column, I’m admittedly no expert on the topic. For as much as I do know about dating, there’s just as much I don’t – hence why I’m writing this alone, in my yoga pants, unwashed hair piled atop my head, obsessively wondering if the new guy I’m dating {or are we? we haven’t discussed it yet!} has lost interest. Here’s what I do know: reveal empathy early; be straightforward about your wants and needs; and show kindness to yourself, as sometimes there’s a lag time between what your head knows and heart feels. Here’s what I don’t know: nearly everything else.

There’s one thing I’m newly adamant about though, and that’s when to listen to those magical, mystical feelings in my belly that tell me whether or not a relationship is right for me. Deal breakers. How petty, I tell myself, in regards to most of them. So he doesn’t know how to pick out a bottle of wine for dinner; who cares? But with each passing year and each passing date, I realize deal breakers stem from missing a more substantial quality I crave in a partner. Take the case of picking a wine. It shows confidence and ability to roll-with-the-tipsy-punches when the Sancerre is a little too acidic for our tastes. My deal breakers aren’t because I’m in any sort of Darwinian rush to weed out the duds who won’t father my future children {although, that’s a perfectly rational reason}, but because I’m a grown woman, dammit!

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Let’s rewind a few months, when I found myself in the company of a genuinely nice guy. He checked all the Mom-approved boxes: kind, educated, employed, easily amused by my jokes. We’d occasionally go out to dinner or see an art exhibit, but it never went much further than that. There were no sleepovers, no meeting of friends, no talks about the future – because those aforementioned magical, mystical feelings were telling me something was off. And suddenly, one otherwise forgettable weeknight that we decided to go dancing, I uncovered every irrational deal breaker so I could to tell myself: no more.

The way he futzed with the heat settings in my car. Irrational deal breaker #1. The way he continued to do so after I asked him to stop. Irrational deal breaker #2. The way he used childish words in the place of swear words. The way he couldn’t make up his mind about where to park. The way he carelessly elbowed people on the dance floor. These were all the straws that broke the dating camel’s back.

Ultimately it wasn’t about his grabby hands blasting my heat too high. {Though really, don’t do that.} My absurdly strong reactions to every little thing he did was simply my subconscious poking at me, saying this relationship wasn’t right and that I needed to be the grown up I keep telling myself I am and end it. Breakups, at least in my heart-on-sleeve experience, aren’t graceful or gratifying, but they are easier when you listen to your instincts early on, before feelings and Thanksgiving dinners and weekends away together just complicate things further.

Irrational deal breakers are just the beginning in this love series. There’s how to keep your chin up through a bad breakup, for instance. Or the ins and outs of dating in a world where we can check up on our ex’s – pick a social site, any social site – at any vulnerable moment.

And, like Salt-N-Pepa said, let’s talk about sex, ba-by! So follow along. We have a lot to talk about. xo – Megan

We’d love for this series to be a conversation. Spill. What things drive you NUTS about your current fling. We’re also dying to know what girl talk you want to dive into with this series…

original photography + art for apartment 34 by athena pelton // quote by bianca sotelo