blonde lady wearing sweater closing blue door in front of a house
Row Row Row Your Boat ~ Cara Brown Style

When Cara Brown gets inspiration for something new, you know it is going to be good! Cara has such a way with developing one-of-a-kind items…and her new sweaters are no exception. They are just another example of her creative genius!

blonde lady wearing sweater closing blue door in front of a house

Cara’s latest creation is a collection of cashmere sweaters that feature vintage silk scarves reimagined in the most beautiful way. The scarves are carefully designed to mesh with the sweater to create a unique piece of clothing.

blonde lady with white jeans and sweater standing in front of palm tree on front porch
Please excuse the insane amount of pollen that has suddenly fallen from the trees!

Look carefully at the bottom right of my sweater and you can see the words, “Row your boat” hand-embroidered. I love the combination of whimsy and sophistication! And the sleeves on this sweater are fabulous! They hit perfectly and have such pretty understated details. And, let’s talk about the back detail…

lady in white jeas and gray sweater holding green plant in white container

Hand embroidery is also on the back of my sweater for an added thoughtful detail. “Life is but a dream” completes the feel that Cara is expressing in this collection.

white jeans and back of sweater that reads life is but a dream

The cashmere sweater is so warm and cozy for fall, winter, and early spring- and it will be perfect for summer nights at the beach. I can’t wait to wear as often as I can and mix it up from casual to dressier.

blonde lady in nautical sweater standing in front of greenery

Trusting Cara with the details is part of the fun! You never know from design to design where you will find her small touches. I especially love how Cara adds part of the silk scarves to the elbows of the sweater- and each sweater is done in a completely different way. As another offering, Cara has the option to customize your embroidered message. If you prefer having something in particular, just let her know!

blonde lady in white jeans and sweater with red boat steering wheel

If you love really special, one-of-a-kind items to wear and enjoy, you will fall in love with these sweaters! You may also remember how much I enjoy wearing Cara’s necklaces- go here – Cara Brown Designs Necklaces – to see her creative side expressed through jewelry.

blonde lady at blue front door

Look at this gorgeous one! I love the great-looking scarf that Cara used- there is nothing as luxe as silk and cashmere together! There are so many beautiful choices – and the possibilities and combinations of style, fit and colors feel endless.

ivory cashmere sweater with silk scarf front

Even on days when life may not feel like an absolute dream, Cara turns that boat around for you when you slip her luxury sweater over your head! Instant mindset shift! It reminds you to keep rowing!

You can contact Cara through Instagram or her website Cara Brown Designs.

gray sweater detail on sleeve and back

Cheers xo,

Lydia

the southern c summit sea island the cloister beach club
The Southern Coterie ~ The Southern C Summit
the southern-c-summit
FEBRUARY 5 – 7, 2020
CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS!

Have you ever been invited to something and you think to yourself, “…wow, how did I get so lucky?”? That is exactly how I feel about being invited to be a part of The Southern Coterie and their phenomenal event, The Southern C Summit. I was fortunate enough to become part of the “C-Team” in 2013, and I am honored to say that I continue to be part of the team in 2020. My first Summit was in 2013 in Athens, GA. It was a day full of learning and sharing, connecting with others, gawking over swag bag goodies, eating excellent food, and feeling the endless potential and possibilities that surrounded you. It was eye-opening.

the southern c summit sea island the cloister beach club

Fast forward to the most recent Summit at Sea Island, GA and I am still enamored with the speakers we heard, the connections we made, the friends we met, and the opportunities that have been presented. I am often asked to explain what The Southern C is, and so I thought I would do just that. I would love for you to know more about this group that has been so valuable to me.

the southern c summit candy bar

The Southern C stands for The Southern Coterie. A coterie is described as a small group of people with shared interests or tastes. Two of the strongest shared interests at The Southern C are entrepreneurship and creativity. You will find a host of creative business owners engaged in learning from each other and from the wealth of knowledge provided by a community of experts in different industries. It feels like swimming in a sea of knowledge with life rafts and cocktails by your side as you make your way in your business. While you do the hard work of creating a business, The Southern C provides guidance and direction- and celebrates achievements and goals with you. And, the connections that are created are as valuable as the knowledge that is gained.

the southern c summit the party wagon sea island

Connections are the foundation of The Southern C’s motto…you will see and hear these three words repeatedly. Connect, collaborate, create. The motto is catchy, but it really has substance to it that you learn to appreciate right away. It is representative of the organization itself. Just like The Southern C, the motto is carefully considered, organized, genuine, and encouraging.

sea island chapel the southern c summit party wagon

I have seen TSC grow and develop over the past years in an impressive way. Their growth is indicative of what our own growth can be and how they truly have a direction in mind for their business as well as yours. At the Summit, you are immersed in learning from the minute the first event begins. From financial aspects of business to hands-on workshops for photography skills and everything in between, you are inspired to grow and develop.

the southern c summit party wagon photography class

Who started The Southern C? The Southern C is the brainchild of Whitney Long and Cheri Leavy. These two ladies are a perfect complement to each other and create a great team with their combined strengths. Whitney’s experience in media and creative styling coupled with Cheri’s ability to write, connect and inspire set the foundation for growth in all directions.

the southern c summit whitney long cheri leavy

I know that we are in great hands when we attend TSC and that Cheri and Whitney pride themselves on offering quality presenters and mentors. I am amazed at the people I have met at TSC. I have followed Darcy Miller’s career for at least 15 years and have admired her work from the pages of magazines. I could not have been more excited to hear her speak and to get to chat with her at the Summit. She is one of many dynamic speakers that we learned from during the event.

the southern c summit darcy miller the party wagon

Where is The Southern C Summit held? The Summit has been held at The Cloister in Sea Island, GA, Charleston, SC, Athens, GA, Watercolor, FL, Nashville, TN, and Jekyll Island, GA. These photos were taken at beautiful Sea Island. A coastal getaway in the month of February is another perk of attending TSC! 🙂

the southern c cummit sea island cloister
the southern c summit sea island cloister inlaid chest

The atmosphere that is created by Whitney, Cheri, and their team is festive, professional, inviting, friendly, and beautiful. The details give the event a touch of personalization that resonates with each attendee. Vendors offer so many “perks”- from coffee to jewelry- and you end up with a bag full of party favors! The celebratory feel to the Summit is inspiring and motivating, to say the least.

the southern c summit wake up coffee

During a mix and mingle break, we were all greeted with Cokes in bottles with each person’s name. That was such a nice surprise! That was one of many thoughtful gestures that was included.

the southern c summit personalized coke bottles

Being surrounded by others that are eager to connect, teach, learn, and grow makes this business event unlike others. I made innumerable connections with some of the most wonderful people/businesses. I wish I could list them all, but here are some that will give you an idea of how worthwhile TSC has been to me.

Hannah Betzel painted live at The Party Wagon Re-Launch Party

Maizie Clarke and I collaborated on a Nantucket Sunset Cruise Charcuterie Party and on a Best Buds Spring Supper Club for my daughter.

Mae Wearable Art and I collaborated on an Instagram giveaway.

Draper James sent clothing to enjoy and blog about.

Hoffman Media featured my photos in 3 of their print magazines. See the photos for Christmas Wreaths with Parker Kennedy Living here.

Oconee Printing, Bulldawg Illustrated, and I collaborated on Tailgate Party Ideas (which also led to a collab with BodyArmor Sports Drink!).

I also collaborated and connected with Helmsie Baby, Southern Baked Pie Company, and Willow Park Boutique to name a few!

I hope that gives you a small glimpse into the possibilities that you encounter when you arrive at The Southern C Summit. It is a warm and welcoming group! The connections have been so beneficial and the friendships mean so much to me! I will leave you with these gorgeous images that I took while I was at Sea Island. What a wonderful 3 days! I would LOVE to see you there! Please let me know if you are going, and let’s connect! You can purchase tickets to The Southern C Summit here!

the southern c summit straw tote bag with navy blue bows
the southern c summit grapefruit cocktails
the southern c summit cloister sea island flowers
the southern c summit cloister sea island daffodils

Cheers xo,

Lydia

rebecca-love-photography-nantucket-guide-brant-point-lighthouse-brick-house
Family Photos with Rebecca Love Photography

Family photos might be one of my all-time favorite gifts to receive. Ever since my children were born, I have appreciated the talents of professional photographers more than ever. Rebecca Love is one of the most talented, easy-going, authentic, and kindest people I have met~ and she happens to be an incredible photographer! Rebecca Love Photography is one of my absolute favorite suggestions when asked for my Nantucket Travel Guide– I highly recommend capturing the memories of your trip through Rebecca’s lens! Here are some of our family photos that she took for us this summer on Nantucket. We also used the photos for our Christmas cards this year! (Also, Rebecca and I did a photoshoot with the clothing that Draper James sent me- she was incredible!! Click to also see the Draper James clothing shoot)

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Photography is one of my favorite forms of art- and there is nothing more special to me than capturing a moment in time- or, in this case, a phase of life as a family. Photographs are like songs- they evoke more than just one sense. They bring with them a feeling and a set of emotions that identify that place in time.

rebecca love photography guide to nantucket family photos brant point lighthouse dogs

Even though you see a family of four with their 2 dogs, I see the full summer that represented the first time we took our pups to Nantucket~ which also meant the first time we had ever driven to Nantucket as a family (we have always flown until the pups came along). Driving from Georgia to Massachusetts and putting everyone on the ferry was a first for us and definitely helped make memories! 🙂

Rebecca Love Photography Nantucket Guide daughter on beach with dog

My daughter is 15 in these photos, and I am so happy to have the photos to remember this age. We often let the teen years slip by without professional family photos because teens aren’t the most enthusiastic participants sometimes. Photos with friends? Absolutely. Photos with parents? Not quite as exciting. 🙂 Knowing the phases of teenage life, it makes me even happier to know we have these beautiful photos (and it makes me want to schedule them each year!).

rebecca-love-photography-guide-to-nantucket-the-party-wagon-family-photos-lydia-menzies

We chose to take family photos at Brant Point Lighthouse because this is actually where Ron proposed. We were also celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary this summer, and it just seemed like the right place to be! 20+ years ago, Brant Point was a much quieter place. I used to walk down to the lighthouse all of the time when I lived there (it was about a 5 minute walk) and I had always loved the peacefulness of it. It is busy with fishermen and tourists these days, but it was still fun to have the photos taken where he proposed!

rebecca love photography guide to nantucket family photos teens brant point

My son is 13 in these photos and I love capturing his age. He has always begged for a dog to bring to the beach. Getting to watch him have fun with our two pups was a treat for me and just another fun part of this summer trip.

Rebecca love photography guide to nantucket brant point lighthouse family photos

I laugh as I see the photo above because it was so windy and my daughter was a little worried about the wind and her dress. I see the concern in her body language and totally get it! Photography speaks without words.

Rebecca Love Photography Nantucket Lydia Menzies beach

Beach dunes, kids, and puppies remind me of the days I would see families on the beaches and look forward to having my own one day. I’m so grateful to have my family and grateful to Rebecca for documenting memories of this summer for us.

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Rebecca Love Photography/ Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon
rebecca love photography nantucket travel guide brant point family photos
Rebecca Love Photography/ Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

Another of our favorite parts of this trip was seeing our pup, Blue, relax and enjoy the calm of the beach. He was having hip problems and was a little nervous about everything because of his discomfort. Just getting him ready to travel took a lot of effort- the kids and I spent a month with a dog trainer learning how to help him feel less afraid of noises and even the wind! He ended up loving the wind on the beach and is actually in his “relax” command pose in this photo below. 🙂 It made us so happy to see him overcome his worried ways and enjoy himself!

Rebecca Love Photography family photos children and dogs on beach
Rebecca Love Photography/ Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

Tuck wasn’t worried about much except chasing birds and bunnies. He would get excited every time he could sense we were heading to the beach for the day. One of his best days on Nantucket was going for a walk and finding a slice of pizza that had been thrown in a bush. Not exactly what we were expecting but something we will always look back on and laugh about! Needless to say, it was an excellent summer for Tuck and Blue. Rebecca captured them perfectly in the photos- and that is not always easy with 2 one-year-old pups!

rebecca love photography lydia menzies the party wagon nantucket travel guide brant point
Rebecca Love Photography/Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

Honestly, it was an excellent summer for us all! As I look back with so much appreciation for this trip, I also have so much appreciation for Rebecca and her photos! I can’t brag on her enough- for her natural way of capturing photos and her approach to bringing out the best in her subjects. Rebecca made our family photos stress-free and so much fun. I am thrilled that we made a friend in the process- I look forward to seeing Rebecca again and again!

Rebecca Love Photography Guide to Nantucket Draper James denim dress
Photo by Rebecca Love for The Party Wagon and Draper James

It was so wonderful to work with Rebecca- from the minute she sent her information and tips on having a successful shoot, I knew she was so thoughtful and professional. When you plan your trip to Nantucket, be sure to book a session with Rebecca- she is one of a kind and will deliver the most beautiful images. Rebecca Love is as authentic as you will find- and her images reflect her relaxed nature and show just how special she is!

charcuterie board with cheese meat and fruit on boat with wine and flowers
Nantucket Charter Boat Harbor Cruise with Shearwater Excursions

There is something special about being on a boat in the water, but add some of your family and friends, and it turns into an extra-special time together! I was so happy to have the chance to sail the Nantucket Harbor on the cutest boat called the Minke. Minke is owned by the Perkins Family of Shearwater Excursions. This easy-going boat party turned out to be such a collaborative effort, and I can’t wait to show you what was created for the fun cruise around the harbor!

The first thing I noticed about the Minke was its red and white stripe top- she is a beautiful boat that is perfect for a small group or a big celebration! I was thrilled to work with Rachael of Shearwater Excursions to arrange a beautiful night on the water in Nantucket Harbor. Our family friends, Lance, David and Thomas, joined us on the sunset cruise. Our cruise was scheduled for an hour and a half, and it started at 6:00 p.m. Knowing that we would all be hungry, Lance and I set out to find appetizers that would be perfect to serve on a boat. We decided on a charcuterie board so that it would cater to a variety of tastes with different cheeses, meats, fruits, veggies, breads, and crackers.

charcuterie board with cheese meat and fruit on boat with wine and flowers

The boat is named Minke after the owners’ favorite whale that they see on their trips with their company, Shearwater Excursions.

orange life preserver with minke printed on it in black

Because Nantucket history centers on whaling and because of the name of the boat, I really wanted to make the charcuterie appetizer in the shape of a whale.

charcuterie board with food in shape of a whale outlined with blueberries

To make the whale shape, I first outlined a whale shape on a piece of paper and cut out the shape. Next, I placed the paper shape on a wooden cutting board (or you can use a platter of your choice). I put cream cheese in a Ziploc bag and let it soften a little bit. When the cream cheese is soft enough to squeeze from the bag, snip a small hole in a bottom corner of the bag. Squeeze the cream cheese from the bag as you would frosting from a frosting bag. Outline the whale shape around the paper and then remove the paper from the board before adding the food to the whale shape. Next, Lance and I used blueberries to define the shape of the whale by placing them in the cream cheese. We ended up with two rows of blueberries around the entire whale shape. The next step was to fill in the whale shape with crackers, cheese, sliced meat, fruits, and vegetables. Lance is really great at making charcuterie boards, and he says the trick is to group like items together. Make it visually appealing by stacking the items in interesting ways. Lance worked his magic on placing everything just so. We added fresh herbs to different places around the board- and we used 2 small bowls to mimic the eye and the spout.

Cheese board charcuterie with nantucket basket full of pink blue green and purple hydrangeas with red and white striped fork

I placed a customized wooden fork in the center of the tray for easy pick up and had several others on hand, when needed. The forks were made by When I Was Your Age on Etsy and were purchased in town at the shop named ACK 4170 (those letters and numbers represent the airport call letters and longitude/latitude of Nantucket.) The cups, straws, and plates were also from the same talented ladies- the plates were boat shaped trays and they all had the pattern with red and white stripes. And, the flowers were straight from the yard! David so kindly cut and arranged the hydrangeas. The different colors of the blooms are so gorgeous- I love them mixed in the same arrangement.

pink blue purple limelight hydrangeas in nantucket basket ice bucket
Nantucket Basket Ice Bucket from Maizie Clarke Designs

I can’t tell you how much I love the Nantucket Basket ice bucket that Maizie Clarke sent me while I was on Nantucket. It is so beautifully hand painted and mimics the weave of a basket so perfectly. The ice bucket is made of porcelain with a woven handle. The top is also a perfect match to a Nantucket Basket. It is so well done by Maizie! We debated on using it for ice or fruit, but, as you can see, we used it as a vase to hold the beautiful hydrangeas. I will link you to the ice bucket here so that you can have one, too (also-the last time I looked, it was on sale!)!! Before we climbed aboard the Minke, I snapped a few photos of the flowers and bucket on the Straight Wharf dock…

white cake with daisies on vintage pink porcelain cake stand with hydrangeas in nantucket basket and with bar towel

And, that fantastic bar towel is also by Maizie Clarke! Maizie hand-draws each piece of art and then creates beautiful items for your home. I really love being able to use these towels in our kitchen, and I am so grateful to Maizie for such a thoughtful gift. I will enjoy these for years to come!

Cake with fondant daisies on pink cake stand with nantucket basket dish towel and ice bucket with hydrangeas
Nantucket Basket Dishtowel/ Bar Towel by Maizie Clarke

And, I am really loving the cake stand that Lance picked up at the Hospital Thrift Shop (all proceeds go to the Nantucket Cottage Hospital) on Nantucket. I learned the hard way that if you see something that you like, you better grab it quickly! I am glad that Lance snagged this beautiful pink, blue, white, and gold piece as his souvenir from his trip. I may have to ask to borrow it sometime! 🙂

underside of a Vintage cake stand in bright pink and white with designs in blue and gold

The gorgeous cake is from 45 Surfside Bakery and Cafe on Nantucket…they were so kind to create a cake with daisies to mimic another island favorite. Daisies grow wild around the island- I have always loved them lining the bike paths- and so we had a beautifully decorated white cake with fondant daisies and more blueberries!

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After Captain John invited us all onto the boat, he set sail around the Nantucket Harbor and gave us a narrated tour of the different landmarks and boats. It was so fun to hear his stories and interesting facts- he was a great host and captain!

Captain John on the Minke boat in Nantucket Harbor

To go with our cheese/ charcuterie board, we brought along some Prosecco, juices, and waters. We were treated to these fabulous MINKE acrylic wine tumblers from The Preppy Stitch!

Bottle of Prosecco with three acrylic wine tumblers customized with Minke and Nantucket Island

The Preppy Stitch is owned by Gabrielle Rogers- she and I met at The Southern C Summit in Sea Island this past February. It was so surprising to find that we had a Nantucket connection! I was thrilled to get to see Gabrielle while we were both on the island- and so excited to know that Gabi could whip up these customized glasses for us just for our harbor cruise! I love how they turned out with the shape of the island and the name of the boat! We gifted a set to the Minke, so be sure to look for them if you charter a cruise on this adorable boat!

Bottle of Prosecco with acrylic wine glass in front of man with Nantucket Reds

Lance and David enjoying a little wine and charcuterie while Captain John guides us around the Harbor…

two men on a boat one pouring wine into a glass

The views from the boat are so beautiful – it is fun to be up-close to the yachts and sailboats that are docked and moored in the Nantucket Harbor. It is also so relaxing and calming to just enjoy the breeze along with friends, family, and food!

red and white nantucket sailboat without sails

We chose the Sunset Cruise for our adventure around the harbor, but Shearwater Excursions has many options to suit different interests.

Nantucket sunset cruise aboard the Minke boat with red and white striped top
sunset in nantucket harbor with sailboat in photo
man on boat with sunglasses and navy blue shirt smiling and holding stemless wineglass
red cooler with shearwater excursions logo in the corner and the name of the boat Minke written in black ink
Photo by Lance Jackson of Parker Kennedy Living
Family with husband wife daughter son on Nantucket harbor cruise aboard Minke boat
Necklace by Cara Brown Designs
American flag on front of boat with sunset behind it

When you book with Shearwater, you can choose from a variety of options to help you see and experience Nantucket from the water.

Nantucket Harbor Cruise Options

  1. For the younger crew…I would suggest the ice cream cruise or the children’s fishing cruise. For the ice cream cruise, Shearwater provides the ice cream and offers a narrated tour of the Nantucket Harbor. My daughter has already said that is the one she wants to do next year. 🙂 . Such a perfect way to let the kids enjoy a fun boating trip! The cruise lasts 1 1/2 hours.
  2. If you are interested in seeing whales, Shearwater Excursions offers a Whale Watching trip- it is a 6-hour-excursion with the most breathtaking sightings (the whale sightings are guaranteed)!
  3. A Seal Excursion is another fabulous option- it is also an eco-tour and so you learn so much about the ecos of Nantucket. You see many, many seals on this tour.
  4. A Sunset Cruise is probably my absolute favorite- sunsets are always special- and they are made more special by being on the water with Shearwater’s Minke.
  5. The Cocktail Cruise is quite popular- many celebrations are hosted on this cruise with Shearwater. What a fun way to toast a bride-to-be, a birthday honoree, an anniversary, a new job, or other exciting milestone. All passengers must be 21 or older on this cruise.
  6. Shearwater also offers a clamming trip- learn something new or go dig for dinner! This sounds like an adventurous trip- I would love to give it a try!
  7. For you history buffs, take the Whaling History Excursion and learn about Nantucket’s robust whaling days. I am always fascinated by the courage of these captains and sailors who struck out to find whales in so much unchartered territory.
  8. You can also explore up the Harbor with Shearwater Excursions- they offer an eco-tour and they teach about the ecosystems around the island and how best to protect and preserve them.
  9. Private Charters are a really fun option for a Nantucket Harbor Cruise- these adventures are wonderful for family reunions, college reunions, wedding parties, birthday parties, anniversary parties, corporate parties, and more. You can work with Rachael to plan what you would like to host for your private charter. This one has an endless amount of options!

Shearwater has been recognized by Yankee Magazine and the New York Times for the services they provide their customers. I can tell you from experience, they are a wonderful family company with a heart for maintaining a healthy home for sealife while helping visitors to the island enjoy and appreciate the beautiful place we find so appealing and charming.

a black bottle of prosecco with a monogrammed wine glass on a sunset cruise aboard the Minke

Cheers to the Perkins Family for offering so many wonderful ways to enjoy Nantucket- and for treating us to such a wonderful night on the Minke! I love making memories that are special and unique with each trip! Thank you!

You can read more about our Nantucket adventures here, here, here, and here. Enjoy!

Cheers and XO,

Lydia

Strolling Nantucket in Draper James

Giving you guys a tour around Nantucket is one of my favorite things to do, and so I combined two more of my favorites and set out around town in Draper James clothes with Rebecca Love Photography. I am happy to have you here with me on Main Street! You can also see more of our photos with Rebecca Love here.

Photo by Rebecca Love Photography

Two questions I am asked many times is, “What should I pack to wear when I visit Nantucket?” and “Which shops do you recommend the most?” First of all, I recommend packing a few Draper James pieces in your suitcase. The dresses are my favorites because they are perfect for looking nice and feeling comfortable. For me, they are a perfect mix of stylish, polished, and comfortable. I suggest taking a look at all of the different styles and patterns that they offer and finding what you feel like suits your tastes. Here are the ones I chose for my trip…

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

The navy gingham love circle dress was one of my first choices when I was getting ready to head to Nantucket for summer. I especially like how easy it is to layer a sweater over it for the cooler mornings and evenings that are typical to a Nantucket summer. Navy and white always seem like the right feel for anywhere, but especially a coastal town.

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

The circle dress has a great fit to it and is casual enough to wear around town and dressy enough to go to brunch. I wore it several times and I love how you can add different necklaces, earrings, handbags to the the dress for a different look each time. Here -walking down Main Street- I kept it simple (but I can never resist picking up a bouquet of flowers that are grown on Nantucket). As a side note, when I was in college, I would stop by Flowers on Chestnut and bring home a bundle of their flowers for my house. Back then, the flower shop was simply called “Flowers” and it was on Federal Street. I can’t resist the flower finds on Nantucket- and there are flower trucks that park on Main Street on select days so that you can get your flower fix. I always love the variety of what you can find. And so, I always grab a bouquet when I can! As another interesting side note, so many people smile at you or say hello when you are carrying flowers. I swear by it and the flower trucks and shops are always on my suggestions of shops to visit! 🙂

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

Speaking of flowers…there is no shortage of gorgeous flowers growing on Nantucket in the summer. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw all of the beautiful gardens and hydrangea hedges that I shared. The flowers are part of the charm of the island- they are always so picturesque. Knowing how much I love the hydrangeas spilling over everywhere, Rebecca suggested that we stop and shoot some pics at this pretty little spot in town.

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

As I mentioned, Draper James navy blue circle dress definitely transitions easily from shopping for Nantucket treasures to stopping for lunch or brunch. And, a Peter Beaton hat is always on my list of wants when I am on Nantucket- just visiting the hat studio is fun! You can try on the different shapes and sizes and make a list of your favorites on your phone- it took me a while to decide which one to choose. Having photos and notes (and an opinionated daughter) was helpful when I was choosing which one I liked best. I will share more in another post about Peter Beaton Hat Studio.

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

I decided to go big because, well, I am a little on the fair side and can use all of the help I can get to block the sun. 🙂

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

And, because Rebecca Love is so good at learning about her clients and what they like, we ended up on the cutest street that my daughter loves. One of my very favorite things to do on Nantucket is to wander around and to walk the different lanes. This stone street is a special little gem and I was really excited that Rebecca and I ended up on it!

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

This dress has a versatile vibe so that we can dress it up with cute shoes or keep it casual with slides- which helps a lot because Nantucket is no joke when it comes to needing shoes that can get you around on the cobblestones. That is another reason that this Draper James dress was one of my go-to dresses for the summer- it looks great dressed up or down! As a side note, it is now on sale! I would scoop it up – it is such a great staple!

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

Another of my go-to dresses has been this one…it is so perfect for cooler days and nights by the beach- and for spring and fall temperature changes. This shirtdress is such a good one! It is comfortable and can be cinched with the belt or worn more loosely. I love the stripes!

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

Knowing that the little lanes of Nantucket are, literally, right up my alley Rebecca practically read my mind when we walked over to this street on our little tour around town…

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

I walk by it each day on my way to and from Main Street and always think of how perfect it would be for photographs. Especially, because it also has an American flag right in the middle of it all! And, speaking of perfect, did you notice that this cute and comfy dress also has pockets? That is always a plus!! Thank you, Draper James, for getting it!

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

Doesn’t that flag look so pretty right in the middle of this lovely little lane? Nantucket is one of the most patriotic places around which makes me love it even more.

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

And more hydrangeas made another not-so-surprising appearance in our stroll around town. Always stop to smell the flowers and photograph them while you’re at it!

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

The 2 different shades of blue stripes make for a great mix of colors- and it is neutral enough to add any color you like to complement. Pink, green, orange would all look great with this shirtdress if you wanted to add those colors in with accessories. I kept it neutral, but I feel like there are endless ways to wear this dress! Also, it is ON SALE!

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

The third dress that I took with me to Nantucket is by far the most versatile. It is a great outfit to have in your closet because I can’t even count how many different ways you can change it up or the number of places it is perfectly suited. It is casual but dressy- comfy but totally pulled together!

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

Draper James kindly sent this dress to me as a gift, and I feel like it is a perfect representation of the type of clothing that they make…stylish, comfortable, flattering to all body types, classic, but always on-trend. And…how cute is this customized beach ball by Jennifer at A Party Made Perfect? Jennifer personalized this beach ball just for us, and I love how pretty her calligraphy is (Jennifer has tons of creative party ideas in addition to her fabulous beach balls!)!

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

This is one of those dresses that speaks for itself, but wow- I could see me over-wearing this dress really easily! Ha! It is just so easy and comfortable- and forgiving of any flaws we sometimes think we have. It works for different ages and different body types equally well. I will link it for you so that you can check it out, too! Here is the Chambray Maxi Dress.

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

As you can tell, we ended our walk around town by doing what always seems to happen on Nantucket…heading to the beach! We went to Brant Point lighthouse to end our little tour and take the last few photos. Having the maxi dress on at the beach was perfect for the cool breeze- and the dress stood up to the wind! 🙂 The wrap dress wraps well and stays put. I can’t wait to wear this denim maxi into the fall. It would easily pair with a cropped sweater or jacket to take you into the cooler months of the year. It also would be great for SEC tailgating, casual fall get-togethers, and even the holidays. I have loved it, and I appreciate it so much!

Rebecca Love Photography for Draper James and The Party Wagon

Of course, behind the scenes, Ron was helping us along the way to keep up with our things as we walked from place to place. It turns out that he is good at helping put ribbons on hats and he didn’t even know it. 🙂 And Rebecca managed to snap this photo just as the Endeavor sailboat came sailing by us…she’s good y’all. You can see more of of our time with Rebecca Love at this link to our family photo session.

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

I hope that this post has given you some ideas for what works well when planning your trip to Nantucket. The best part about the Draper James outfits to me is that they continue to be a perfect choice even when you’re not at the beach or on vacation. The styling adapts to any setting so that you always look and feel well-dressed and comfortable at the same time. Draper James has also expanded their lines to make more sizing options available – they really do listen to their client base and help us all look our best wherever we go!

I will continue this virtual tour of Nantucket and share more shopping with you as we go. If you would like to find Draper James on Nantucket, they have a select group of items at Skinny Dip Nantucket. Of course, wherever you are, you can shop online. The summer sale is going on and so it is a great time to grab some of your favorites at a discount! I would love to know what you wear from Draper James! Feel free to share your finds with me, too! Happy Shopping!

xo,

Lydia

Cara Brown Jewelry Designs

Who is Cara Brown? A creative force that you should definitely add to your follow list…a warm, kind Texan who now makes her home in New Jersey…a Vandy Grad whom I had the pleasure of getting to know while I was on Nantucket…the list goes on and I haven’t even begun describing her latest endeavor~! Keep reading to discover the creative treasure that is Cara Brown…

Cara Brown designs the most unique jewelry that expresses her love for historical or vintage objects being given new life. And, I love that about Cara- the stories behind her show-stopping pieces are just as important to her as the new designs that she creates with them as they take center stage in her incredible necklaces. Each necklace is made with the intent of being for every day wear- but don’t expect something subdued or discreet. 🙂 These necklaces are big, bold, and (literally) brassy! They stand out in any crowd and definitely make a statement!

Cara is the original jewelry designer to use horse brass as as a focal piece for necklaces. The large, brass centerpieces in this line of Cara’s jewelry were all once decorations used for horses in England. Horses were prized possessions and their owners would decorate the horses for festivals and parades. The brasses often depicted the lifestyle of the owner- the more decorated or elaborate, the more successful the owner. Cara sources the horse brass for her jewelry from a source in London that verifies the history of each piece. Cara then includes a handwritten synopsis of the brass’s history on each necklace.

And, let’s talk about those beads! How beautiful are the beads that Cara chooses and hand knots for each necklace? She offers such a variety of colors, shapes, sizes, and textures in her beads- each necklace is a stunning example of old and new mixed together to create a fresh look with historical staying power. I, personally, find myself drawn to objects that have meaning or a story behind them- but usually to add to my home. With Cara’s necklaces, I can also incorporate the same idea into what I wear each day.

In addition to the horse brass line of necklaces, Cara also finds unique vintage objects and creates necklaces with those, too. Because she scours vintage markets to find just the right pieces, Cara simply and aptly names this line of her jewelry “Found Objects”. These are so interesting to see because each one is something that was once used in another way and has now been repurposed and made new!

Seeing the necklaces in her “Found Objects” collection is always fun to me- take a look at some of the designs in her latest show at Space – a boutique on Nantucket. The beauty of it is that this collection is always changing based on what Cara finds!

I especially liked the necklace on the far left with the interesting buckle and the beads that Cara chose. And then, there is the 2nd one from the left that also caught my eye- it looks like a barrette that was beaded and given a new life as a necklace. How pretty and creative are all of these?

In the grouping above, I am so drawn to the necklace on the far right. I love how it would go with so many outfits from casual to dressy. What a cool piece to wear and such a conversation starter. I love the other two necklaces, too! There is nothing ordinary about any of Cara’s designs with her finds or with her beading. Cara’s jewelry was even featured in Harper’s Bazaar~ she is quite a style setter!

And so, where do you find Cara Brown Designs? I caught up with Cara at Space Boutique on Nantucket. Space is owned by Elise Gura, and Elise invited Cara to be a part of her curated boutique…soon after, Cara’s necklaces were being sold at Barney’s New York and at Saks Fifth Avenue stores. I have to give props to Elise (show below, left) for her keen eye on discovering Cara’s jewelry! Space continues to carry Cara Brown Designs and you can contact Space at 508-228-8880.

Cara will also come to your town and host a trunkshow with her jewelry at your home. That idea sounds like a fun way to see an array of styles and designs and enjoy shopping with your friends. Cara’s handmade jewelry is also available on her website, of course! Carabrowndesigns.com has many of her latest one-of-a-kind necklaces and be sure to contact her for info if you have questions or would like to host a trunkshow.

I wore my Cara Brown necklace all over Nantucket and would literally get stopped by people on the street, in restaurants, and in shops asking to know more about it. It is a stunning piece of jewelry that looks great by itself or layered with other shorter necklaces. It is my favorite new accessory, and I am thrilled to have a one-of-a-kind necklace from the original horse brass jewelry designer! Thank you for creating such unique pieces for us to wear, Cara! You have a talented eye for design!