Shopping Guide, Spring/Summer, travel diaries

4 Days In Paris & 5 Things You Need

Bonjour mes amours!

Reporting to you live after a month of waiting to go away to Paris, four days actually in Paris, and then ten more days wishing I was back in Paris. One of the blessings of being in a relationship with two incomes and no children is the ability to be a petit willy-nilly from time to time—including jumping on a plane and running around Paris for four days with your friends. I say this with only the utmost thankfulness and disbelief that I get to type that sentence. 

Since I’ve arrived back stateside, I’ve spent no less than 1,700 hours staring longingly at all of the photos we snapped during our getaway. Some of my faves are the shots of two of my closets girls—Jenna and Kate—and myself; I love how we all have different styles we gravitate towards, but how well they work together.

Meet Jenna, a poised and ultra-femme social media and photography dynamo. She laughs at all my jokes and could easily be best friends with Taylor Swift. Her style is ladylike, effortless, and incredibly chic.

Meet Kate, my Aussie angel who never met a designer brand she didn’t like. She rocks her Valentino heels like no one else, but also looks fabulous in an oversized jersey from Rag & Bone. Basically, she’s glam, and she’s my style icon.

And you know me, Haley. I think I fall somewhere in the middle of road between these two, which seems fitting because I identify best with street style.

Drawing inspiration from the three of us, I thought I’d round up five things that I suggest you add to your “To Shop For” list for the summer months, all while taking you through some of the amazing pictures from our trip. Two birds, one stone! Between the three of us, I’m sure you’ll find a piece or two that speaks to you.

Un: Fresh Sunnies

For sunny days, and ignoring people.

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L to R – Jenna: Le Specs, Haley: Quay, Kate: Maison Margiela

Deux: A Flirty Dress or Jumpsuit

For beating the heat and making ’em sweat.

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L to R – Jenna: Reformation, Haley: FaithfultheBrand, Kate: Rachel Comey

Trois: A Bag That Goes Everywhere

Can’t stop, won’t stop, and won’t be weighed down.

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L to R – Jenna: Chloe, Haley: Gucci, Kate: Saint Laurent

 

Quatre: Frilly Tops

For feeling—and looking—lighter than a cloud.

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L to R – Jenna: Sezane, Haley: L’Academie, Kate: Veronica Beard

 

Cinq: The Perfect Jacket

Sealing the deal, just in case a chill sets in. 

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L to R – Jenna: Alice & Olivia, Haley: IRO , Kate: Zara

 

It only takes five little pieces (and maybe four days in Paris) to jumpstart your summer style. Happy shopping, mes chéris.

xx — hh

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Real Talk, Spring/Summer, travel diaries

June – According to my iPhone

I hate to admit it, but Labor Day is an unwelcome earmark of time in my life. As much as I protest and persistently point out the sun’s warmth and my ability to wear shorts well into September, it’s hard to deny that the last long weekend of the summer does, in fact, mean that summer is over. The last two summers in the city have left me wanting a little more. Hectic and weird work schedules meant that a getaway looked like one or two train rides to Far Rockaway or, if we were lucky, a long weekend in Connecticut. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love doing both of those things, but 12 collective hours in the sun does not make for a summer glow.

Thankfully, this year was a little different! Earlier in the spring, I mentioned that I had multiple trips lined up and darling, I did not lie. Pardon my absence over here, but with all this travel, I accidentally took summer sabbatical.  Below is the month of June, according to my iPhone

Here’s what I learned in June:
– Weekend 1: The Hamptons is a beautiful place. It will make you feel poor while simultaneously making you feel like a rockstar. Andy Cohen really is the King of East Hampton and the Surf Lodge is too big for its britches. Uber Helicopter is a thing. And the Clam Bar has amazing ‘Lobby’ Rolls. When we went to the Hamptons, Ryan and I represented American amongst 12 Australians. I’m keen to do it again.

-Weekend 2: I feel just as passionate about Nashville as I do New York City. Barista Parlor is the most pretentious coffee shop I’ve ever visited and gives any Brooklyn roaster a run for its money. Although drastically different since I left, you can still improvise a photo shoot on a flatbed truck, which means that maybe Nashville really hasn’t changed much at all.

-Weekend 3: Weddings in Connecticut are beautiful. Also, good friends are the ones you can see once or twice a year and always pick up right where you left off.

-Weekend 4: Having visitors every 6 weeks or so really helps Ryan and I see all the lovely touristy things New York has to offer. In one day alone we brunched at Junior’s, traversed the Brooklyn Bridge, paid our respects to 9/11, explored Central Park and Grand Central Station, ate fresh guacamole, made a new friend or two, and watched the Braves beat the Mets at Citi Field. In New York, you really can do it all—as long as your friends are in town for 72 hours, that is.

-Weekend 5: Going to swanky NYC nightclubs will make you realize that there are entire subcultures in this city of which you know zero things. Also, nothing makes you feel older than hearing the words: “The reservation is for 11:15pm. See you tonight!” If your initial reaction to those words was a giant GULP, then you are old too.

June-baby, you were ages ago and boy do I miss you. We’ll always have Memorial Day weekend…oh, and all these pictures.

xx – Haley

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Cold Weather, Memphis, Real Talk, travel diaries

Choose901 – An Honest New Yorker Tale

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After a week long NYC adventure in March, my husband, Ryan, and I along with three of our best friends hatched an idea to bring some new fun back to Ryan’s hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. Thanks to our team’s business and finance savvy and dare I say, grit, we opened for business just a few months later. As of July 2015, I am part owner of Memphis Escape Rooms.  Our Memphis counterparts bear the brunt of managing our 15 part time employees and daily ongoings, while Ryan and I oversee social media, marketing and branding initiatives.

Like any good marketer, I’ve been researching my customers.  I pour over our social posts to see who clicked, who hovered, who replied or retweeted. It’s my job to let our brand speak in a way that connects with real, human people. But now this thing is happening that I didn’t expect. I’m becoming quite endeared to the people of Memphis.

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Ryan has always fed me bits of Memphis sociology like the fact that Marc Gasol went to Lausanne or  Mike Conley’s story of hard work to rise to the top. He’s referenced parts of the city that are changing and updating. I should also note that it was on a corner of main street on one of our first “real” dates that my then not-even-boyfriend looked at me with eyes so full of love for me that it actually scared me. So, okay, I guess this Memphis-love has been simmering for a bit.

But now I’m all in. And here’s why.

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We moved to New York City two years ago with bright shiny dreams and the naive confidence that’s required to pack yourself up and force your way into a city that likes to “test” new occupants. Daily, I’m amazed that I’m a part of this city. Our time here has been good. Trying, but good. I’ve learned more about myself in two years than many people figure out in a decade. I can tell you about luxury brands, the newest trends, the hottest gossip, and how to get to FiDi via the C/E line- all in 10 minutes. In New York, you learn to be concise and to deliver quickly. Trying to gain access into the traditionally well-funded, well-connected fashion world has taught me to choose my words, inflection, and facial movements carefully. Once, when corresponding with someone at VOGUE magazine, I was told to not use so many exclamation points in my emails. I used two exclamation points in a 7 sentence email. #oops.  By now, I’m used to proving myself when I walk into a room. I’m used to a pair of eyes scanning my outfit top to bottom to see if I’m wearing designer shoes or carrying the newest Celine. Sometimes I am, sometimes I’m not.

Upon returning from our most recent trip to Memphis, I was just one day back in the grind when I found myself longing for the city that calls itself that very thing. While there, a meeting took place with a very prestigious  Memphis-based brand. This is a company that certainly can operate with NYC intensity, but doesn’t. After a 90 minute (!) (Sorry VOGUE!) meeting with a team that rubs shoulders with the nation’s finest, I was dumbfounded by how genuinely we were treated. No full-body scans, no condescending tone – just open creativity and a willingness to listen to a tiny little business who happens to be the new kid in town.

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It’s beginning to hit me that life doesn’t have to feel so stressful to be great. On the nights that I’m losing hair or my husband isn’t eating because our to do list only shows bright red deadlines, we certainly turn our heads down south where the business is good, the pace is markedly slower, and the tea is so so SO much sweeter.

I CHOOSE901 part-time right now for family, for success and for that big sigh that says, “I’m HOME”. If you’re thinking about switching gears, maybe you should CHOOSE901 too. It took the initial success of our little business to realize that no matter what Manhattan’s elite may infer, my husband and my friends, as well as myself, are smart. Memphians have good ideas. I see why the hilarious, yet strangely philosophical Tony Allen loves to remind us all that Memphians have grit and they positively are all heart.

Cheers y’all

Haley

All photos by the ultra-skilled Julia Hembree.

If you’d like to learn more about job opportunities in Memphis and happen to live in NYC – you’re in luck! Come chill out with sweet southerners this week in the city – I’ll be there for sure! Find out more information here

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Casual, Daytime Look, Real Talk, Spring/Summer, travel diaries

There’s More to Explore

As the dog days of summer truly start to become their most dogged – long hot days that drift into nights, last minute trips into Zara because you’ve worn all of your sundresses at least thrice, and the fear fact that fall and winter (!) are just around the corner, I’m beginning to reflect on the places I’ve seen since Memorial Day.

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Many plane rides drew me southward while numerous other free weekends led my husband, Ryan, and I to new sights in the city. There was a weekend a failed attempt to visit the Bronz Zoo on a dime turned into a full on exploration of the Bronx and a new venture into Ecuadorean food. Another weekend we lounged on an old blanket at Rockaway Beach and watched the surf set catch wave after wave. There was also a hot Saturday in July when we attended the DETAILS magazine pool party at the McCarren Hotel and then afterwards I dragged Ryan ALLL the way to the upper east side to take in China: Through the Looking Glass at the Met.

We’ve had picnics at dusk in Central Park and an evening where we ran through a torrential downpour on the way to catch Jurassic Park at the Battery Park movie theatre. The streets were so empty I thought maybe we were living out the plot from I Am Legend and two of us were Will Smith and the dog.

My husband always laughs at me come May because my alter-ego, “Summer Haley,” comes to life. Summer Haley does more, sleeps less, and takes in absolutely everything possible. Summer Haley is my best me, for sure. When my photographer friend, Julia, suggested we shoot up in Harlem, I was so game. Welcome to the best wall mural you’ve ever seen, in all its Sesame Street, primary-colored, happy-drawing glory.

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My best piece of advice for loving where you live? Experience it. Every part of it. Get outside, because there’s more to explore.

Lots of love,

Summer Haley

Key Pieces // Tank – Vince | Hat & Pants – Joe Fresh | Shoes – Sam Edelman | Clutch – Anthropologie

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