Swim Season is IN!

It’s a well-known fact that San Francisco “summers” are rather different than most other places. As Mark Twain too aptly described, “the coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco!” Karl {that’s the fog’s name!} has certainly been taking his job seriously lately, leaving us to suffer through gray days, chilly air and tons of wind. Blech.

Thankfully, bright, sunshiny 80+ degree weather is only a quick hop across the Golden Gate away! So last weekend the husband and I made our escape to wine country. I got to enjoy what could be the only pooltime I’ll get all summer so I was determined to soak up every second.

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We headed to the far northern corner of Napa to the quaint {almost} country town of Calistoga. It was like passing through a vortex into paradise! The air was super warm, the nights long and slow and the wine generously poured. I was in heaven! It’s amazing what a 48-hour escape can do for one’s sanity. We certainly did our best to make the most of it.

I also decided to give a new swimwear look a try. I’ve long been a bikini devotee, but retro-inspired suits have been catching my eye for awhile! Something about being covered up suddenly seems more alluring than flashing all that skin. I was so excited to find a 40′s-inspired halter one-piece at Old Navy – for under $30! I loved the molded cups {they’re small-chest friendly} and the cute cut-out in the back. It was anything but your basic black suit!

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And while there’s nothing I love more than soaking up some serious rays {and taking a quick dip to cool off!}, I’ve finally realized that pooltime doesn’t equate to sunbathing! These days, I make sure my favorite summer pool tote is packed to the brim with my rather long list of essentials; a floppy sun hat to keep the sun off my face, jumbo-sized sunnies, a gauzy coverup for poolside bar runs and plenty o’ sunscreen of course! I’m officially declaring pale is IN {and if I repeat it enough it will someday be true!}.

Sadly, I’m not sure where or when my next opportunity to rock a good pool {or beach!} look will come. Every once in awhile Karl does decide to go on vacation himself so I’m keeping this inspiration board at the ready!

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POOL-ESSENTIALS

I’m curious, where do you go to make your summer escape??

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Get Your Shop On:

> Sun Bum Sunscreen 
> Necklace
> Old Navy Swimsuit
> Mirrored Sunglasses
> Gladiator Sandal {on sale!!}
> Beach Coverup
> Turkish Towel 
> Old Navy Floppy Straw Hat
> Tote Bag
> “Girlboss” Book 

Photos from our trip to Calistoga by the husband and me! For more of our favorite weekend escapes, CLICK HERE!


This post was sponsored by Old Navy. Check out Old Navy‘s latest fashion lineup in store or online at oldnavy.com. Thanks for supporting posts that keep Apartment 34′s doors open!

Introducing: The Kind of Woman

We talk about a lot of different topics at Apartment 34. Even though I started this site to chronicle a home renovation (that never even happened!), in eight years its turned into so much more. Fashion, food, travel, decor, life in San Francisco – really anything’s on the table.

But I’m the first to admit that over the last eight years the heart of blogging has changed. A lot of blogging has become a little vanilla. It’s easy to simply focus on all the pretty. Everything is wonderful, fabulous, gorgeous! We love everything!!

While I feel confident we always speak from our hearts at Apartment 34, we don’t always share everything that’s in there. There are some strong opinions, some serious sass and in some cases, doubts, fears and struggles that I”m the first to admit haven’t graced the site in quite some time. I’d been struggling with this for a while so I was delighted to learn that blogger extraordinaire and my dear friend Jeanne of Shop Sweet Things had been having similar thoughts! While blogs have remained a great resource for shopping, design inspiration and fashion ideas we both felt we were craving something…more. I recently read an article on IFB that said if you’re not taking a risk then you’re not being truly authentic with your blog. So today we’re introducing you to our risk – we’re calling it The Kind of Woman.

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what I’m wearing: Podolls Overlay blouse // 7 for all Mankind jeans // Coléoptère rings & necklace

This will be a monthly column where Jeanne and I partner to tackle tougher subjects surrounding modern womanhood; relationships, careers, family, finance, health…any and everything that a modern woman faces in her daily life will be on the table. Each month, we’ll both share our experiences and as well as a photo shoot with talents that we feel really align with our vision for this series.

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For example, for our inaugural shoot we partnered with two lovely designers and savvy business women whose work we greatly admire: The Podolls & Coléoptère. Not only are both of their designs stunning, both lines’ concepts and craftsmanship are impeccable. We consider both Lauren and Vanessa the Kind of Woman!

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So who is The Kind of Woman? In our minds she’s all of the following:

> Confident with her choices
> Not afraid to push the boundaries
> Cultured and open-minded
> Willing to accept her weaknesses and use them to make her a better person
> Understated with elegance
> Embraces her femininity and her strength
> Doesn’t let others define her
> Able {and willing!} to have an honest conversation

We see this series as a chance to cultivate and nurture these qualities both in ourselves but possibly in you too. We’re hopeful these thoughts will resonate with like-minded women who, like us, are juggling so many things but who seek a bit deeper meaning even in the middle of a day’s frivolities and strive to maintain a mindful approach to life.

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I’m thrilled Jeanne asked me to join her in this series because she’s someone I’ve admired since the day we met. Her calm and methodical approach to her life (along with her impeccable taste!) made us fast friends. I also see her as someone I can learn so much from. I appreciate her pushing me to address some of the thoughts I’ve been struggling with head on. I hope this series might inspire you to do the same.

For now, be sure to check out why Jeanne decided to take us on this new adventure – and be awwed by her stunning portrait HERE. I love it when someone proves to be just as beautiful on the inside as they are outwardly.

I’m curious – what do you see as modern womanhood? What challenges do you regularly face? Are there nagging worries that bother you? Struggles that seem insurmountable?  We want to make this a conversation that you enjoy, find meaningful and truly helpful!

For now, be sure to follow our Instagram accounts @shopsweetthings and @apartment_34 and #thekindofwoman for next month’s sneak peeks!

We’re excited to go on this journey together.

photography by Ashley Batz

Laid Back Summer Style

So today, I have a confession to make. I have a big, nasty, raging bad habit. But the first step to self-improvement is admitting you have a problem, right? So here’ goes: One of my longest running issues is that I never, ever slow down. It’s always go go go, one more event, on top of one more project, on top of one more to-do with no end in sight! I was able to get away with that modus operandi through my 20′s no problem, but it’s really starting to catch up with me these days.

I’ve realized two critical things. Your body does age. You do get tired. Things hurt that never used to {you know… those things you made fun of your parents for complaining about} and really, I’m not that old.  But most importantly, I’ve realized it’s also not a great way for my soul to live. A life without a pause button means you leave a lot of people in your dust. That approach makes it challenging to extend the time and attention meaningful relationships deserve. So as we head into summer, I’ve come up with a personal challenge that I thought I’d share with you: to take advantage of the naturally more mellow season and dedicate time to really chilling out. And what better way than with a comfy dress & some good tunes?!

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what I’m wearing: Old Navy Maxi Dress // Bang & Oulfsen Headphones // Tokyo Bay Watch similar // Sweet & Spark vintage bracelets // Dolce Vita Sandals // Make Up Forever Lip Gloss in Frozen Pink

Isn’t it amazing how the perfect song can completely change your mood? And while I love good tunes {I was even a hardcore festival-goer back in the day}, I too often forget to turn them on! So to help break up my usual agenda of go-go-go, for the next couple of months I’m setting aside Sunday afternoons for dedicated relaxation. With a super comfy maxi dress {seriously, I think I found my official weekend uniform no matter what I’m up to!}, maybe a pile full of magazines {or even a book!} and most importantly open-ended time, I’m hoping I can break my always-in-a-rush cycle.

To help me – and you! – get into a good health grove, we put together a slowdown for summer soundtrack. Have you found your signature summer song yet? Hopefully, one of these might help you relax and unwind so by the time Fall rolls around we’ll all be cool as cucumbers together!

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> Latch | Disclosure featuring Sam Smith

> No No No | Pumpkin blood

> Bonfire Heat | James Blunt

> Sonnentanz | Klangkarussel

> Not Giving In | Rudimental

> Love like You’ve Never Been Hurt | Orion Hedvig

> Chocolate | The1975

> Riptide | Vance Joy

> Mountain Sound | Of Monster and Men

> Summertime Sadness | Lana Del Ray

> Nirvana | Sam Smith

> Float | Pacific Air

Listen to our Slow Down for Summer Soundtrack {and follow us} on Spotify!

 

original photography for apartment 34 by aubrie pick 

This post was sponsored by Old Navy. Check out Old Navy’s latest fashion lineup in store or online at oldnavy.com. Thanks for supporting posts that keep Apartment 34′s doors open!