INVESTMENT PIECES

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I’ve always liked having fewer, better things. I remember in college using three months of saved babysitting money to buy one blouse from my favorite store in Georgetown (I still have it by the way!). While all my friends were buying weekly from Urban Outfitters on M Street, I was pining away for a new pair of shoes (WAY out of my budget) from a little boutique tucked away on Wisconsin Avenue. The women that worked there definitly thought I was crazy - visiting often and buying never.

I fall in love with things. I dream about them, I style them in my head, and then I set a goal. It sounds silly but thats how I do it. One of my biggest investment pieces is my Cartier Love Bracelet. It was in my early 20’s when I first learned about it. I went with a friend to the Vogue offices to drop off samples of her jewelry and the receptionist was wearing one. I whispered to my friend about it and she told me what it was. I remember going home and telling my then boyfriend (now husband) Frank about it and we both nearly fell over when we looked up the price. PS it was less than half the price it is now. This is why they’re called investment pieces hehe….

Fast forward 10 years later. Luke was born and after holding out and saving every birthday, anniversary, and Christmas, we bought it. I haven’t taken it off since (its been 4 years) and I truly love it just as much as I did when I was 20. So there it is. I have a few other splurge pieces (a black Chanel WOC that I bought for myself after my first bonus at Ralph Lauren) but the Cartier bracelet is my most special.

I’ve talked about splurge pieces before on the blog. Obviously you’re not going to wait 10 years every time you want to invest in a new handbag BUT I always recommend waiting at least a few weeks once you’ve seen something. Pinterest is also a great tool for finding inspiration and helping you “dream” about how your new piece will look. I’ve had my heart set on this bag for a long time. For a while I was looking for it secondhand but I don’t think I’ll be able to find the exact combination i’m looking for. What’s on your list? I would love to hear from you guys in the comments:)

XX

S


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SHOP THE POST



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Posted on April 19, 2019 and filed under Outfits.

A CAPE FIT FOR A SUPERHERO

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OUTFIT DETAILS

CAPE c/o Marta Scarampi (arriving soon in this color) // BLAZER c/o Marta Scarampi // TEE Theory // DENIM Zara // PUMPS Steve Madden // SUNGLASSES Illesteva

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THE CAPE

This cape was one of those pieces I didn’t know I was missing until I discovered it last month. Now I can’t live without it! Straight from Italy, this up and coming designer is going to change women from casual to chic one cape at a time. I first fell in love with this raincoat complete with a custom hood and nestled within a tailored pocket inside the front lapel. Also its wrinkle free! Genius!

Other reasons to love Marta Scarampi? Marta and her sister Lucia are two super chic girl bosses born and raised in Turino, Italy. Visit them here and say hi! PS if you’re looking for the color in today’s post its on its way this Spring! Click here to be added to the waitlist!

XX
S


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“EVERY SUPERWOMAN NEEDS A CAPE.”


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Posted on April 17, 2019 and filed under Outfits.

A CASUAL SPRING LOOK ON A BUDGET

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GET THE LOOK


Call me crazy, and I’ve talked about this here before, but I love wearing black in the Spring and Summer! To me it feels more fresh paired with whites and ivory and I love the transitional combo. I’ve been on the hunt for a new black sandal to replace a pair that I’ve had for almost 10 years and just finally threw away. I love the buckle detail on these and how easy they are to slip on while I’m running out the door to work or school drop-off (usually with my hands full). They also come in a beige canvas striped style if you’re looking for a lighter neutral!

I wore these distressed black jeans on Saturday night paired with this open cardigan. I took a chance on the cardigan because its something i’ve really needed but I wasn’t sure what the quality was going to be like at a $10 price point. True story: I came downstairs and Frank said, “Wow, is that a new sweater?!” (insert laughing emoji). The BEST steal I’ve ever found!

I found my entire look at Walmart and each piece is under $100. I love that I can find everything I need for myself or for my clients with the Walmart premium brands and their selections from Lord & Taylor.

XX

S


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— I would like to thank Walmart for sponsoring this post —

All thoughts and opinions are my own

MY SHOPBOP SALE PICKS

Spring street style in New York Stephanie Trotta in a Zimmermann top with Mango jeans and a straw bag The Girl Guide


I splurged this top because I love the brand and I’ve never seen them offer a blouse for under $500. Also even though its part of their spring collection, I know I’ll be able to wear it for Fall too.

I’ve been talking A TON about these sneakers but thats only because they’re SO comfortable. I'm not kidding I wear them almost everyday at least once. They’re so easy to get on and off and I just washed them this weekend and they turned out great. I wore them all over Belgium last summer:)

I purchased this dress at the beginning of last summer it was one of my go-to’s. Again, great for a trip because it packs so easily and its one of those pieces that you can dress up or wayyyy down. Love it worn open over a bathing suit or bikini!

I purchased these shorts and this pair of sandals during the last shopbop sale but they seem to be almost sold out. I wanted to share though because sometimes they restock. The sandals also come in three other colors, here.

USE CODE EVENT19 for 20% off under $500 and 25% off over $500

XX

S



Posted on April 10, 2019 .

THE PERFECT SPRING DRESS

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I found it! A neutral dress for Spring that you can wear both casually and dressed up. Leave it to Walmart to create the perfect high/low look that I love (and live by)! With the launch of their We Dress America campaign, Walmart fashion is turning things up a notch and there is something for every style and size. Also, their collection of premium brands offer options for every occasion from Easter Sunday to your next vacation.

The sleeve on this dress is so pretty and perfect for the transitional temperatures. Also its super maternity and breast feeding friendly with its looser silhouette and button up neckline. I’ve been looking for a transitional shoe for Spring and this espadrille will take you all the way through Summer. This style is under $100 and also comes in black. I’ve also had my eye on these espadrille sandals.

Speaking of warmer temps, this past weekend was gorgeous! I can’t wait to have friends and family over for barbecues and with Harrison’s second birthday fast approaching, we’re thinking we’ll have someting low key on the back patio. Right now we only have a table but I’m loving this outdoor sectional from Better Homes & Gardens paired with this simple grey striped pillow. Its the perfect time to elevate your home and wardrobe with neutrals from Walmart.

XX

S


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GET THE LOOK



— I would like to thank Walmart for sponsoring this post —

All thoughts and opinions are my own

Posted on April 8, 2019 and filed under Outfits.

SPRING BLAZER + EARTH TONES

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e a r t h t o n e s



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“I’ve always loved neutrals. I partly attribute it to spending so much time in Belgium when I was younger where the aesthetic is tonal and clean. But that's not the whole story. My favorite brand is Phoebe Philo’s Chloé. I’ve always fallen love with a light soothing palette…it just speaks to me. I also find it very easy to get dressed that way. Everything just works.”

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“Whether a blazer is $40 or $400, it always feels richer to me in a blush or a terracotta. Its just not the same for Navy.”

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n e u t r a l s



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Posted on April 3, 2019 .

SPRING FLOWERS

Stephanie Trotta // The GirlGuide // How to style florals for  Spring
Stephanie Trotta // The GirlGuide // How to style florals for  Spring

GET THE LOOK



Yay April 1st! I can’t believe it. This past Saturday was 73 degrees for a few hours and I soaked every single minute of it up! Somehow it went back to 32 this morning (maybe a little April fools joke) but just the thought that it was the first day of April kept me warm:)

I’ve always loved floral dresses for Spring and Summer. When I saw this one I immediately grabbed it. It has the prettiest pink and orange flowers on a green background and still manages to feel neutral. I’ve actually worn it twice already - once a brunch with a local organization and once as a skirt with a sweater. I’ve been thinking about Easter and really love the 70’s vibe of this dress. Again its bright, but feels very classic and timeless. On another note: I have to share this set with you! I was shopping for a client former upcoming trip and found this. It looks amazing with a pair of white jeans and will easily pack for any climate!

XX

S

Stephanie Trotta // The GirlGuide // How to style florals for  Spring
Stephanie Trotta // The GirlGuide // How to style florals for  Spring

shop spring florals



Stephanie Trotta // The GirlGuide // How to style florals for  Spring
Posted on April 1, 2019 .

10 WAYS I PRACTICE SELF-CARE WITHOUT BREAKING THE BANK

Hair Inspiration // How to style hair with a barrette for Spring and Summer // The Girl Guide // Stephanie Trotta

‘You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first”


1.

get a 15 minute chair massage


2.

buy grocery store flowers and arrange them


3.

face mask and a bath before bed


4.

try a new coffee shop with a friend


5.

diffuse essential oils and meditate or close your eyes for 15 minutes. If you’re at work, take a break to apply an essential oil roller ball to the palms of your hands and take a few deeps breaths


There is no doubt that self-care is essential to living a happier life. I love treating myself once in a while to a facial, fancy dinner, or a new splurge item from my wishlist, but thats not realistic on a weekly basis. Its important to find things that don’t cost a fortune so that you can feel good about doing them, often!


6.

listen to a podcast with a cup of tea


7.

take a few extra minutes to make something you really enjoy for breakfast + sit down to eat it without feeling guilty! It will taste better that way:)


8.

FaceTime with your bestie


9.

clean out your DVR - you might find something you want to watch! Now GO! Watch it!


10.

write. I’ve said it a million times…”I don’t have time to make lists”. I’m always going, going, going, and once kids are in the mix this constant sense of urgency can be exhausting and you feel like you’re losing your mind. When I take the time to write down what I need to do for the day/week I feel so much better. My mind is clear.


Posted on March 28, 2019 and filed under Wellness.

LUST LIST - THE SPRING BLUES

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STYLED


Took a little unintentional hiatus from Lust List posts but they’re back! I’m actually not the biggest fan of blues. I’ve mentioned it before but navy just doesn’t do it for me * GASP * You might be wondering how I worked at Ralph Lauren for so long (hehe). BUT I do love this shade of light blue and fell in love with this sweater in the city this weekend. I also picked up this floral dress which I’m shooting tomorrow…so excited!

Today I wanted to introduce you to a new brand that you may not be familiar with. I’ve been shopping it in Europe for a while and only recently has it become more available in the states through a few sites. It is extremely well priced for the quality and design! Meet Mes Demoiselles…


MES DEMOISELLES

 

Pssst! Let me let you on on a little secret. Click here for this dress and then click here for the same dress. Notice anything different? The price! Whenever I’m shopping European brands I always check Matches first. They offer a better price and have free shipping and returns. Also, taxes are minimal if at all. You’re welcome!


t h e b l u e e d i t

Posted on March 25, 2019 and filed under Lust List.

SPRING STYLE VIDEO


I am SO excited to share this Spring style video with you! I remember watching similar ones that sites like Net-A-Porter would create 7+ years ago and thinking to myself, “I want to do this”. It all seemed so far away…a pipe dream! But here we are with the first of hopefully many! WHOOP WHOOP! Not going to lie, the first time I watched this all complete I got a little choked up when the girl first starts singing in the song…such a dork! I would LOVE to hear your comments and thoughts and especially what types of styling you would like to see more of. Thank you so much for being here and for following along.

XX

S


the accessories


THE BUTTONDOWN


THE EASY PANT


THE KNIT


THE BLOUSE


THE TEE


THE STRIPED SHIRT


wear it with

ivory trench // zara


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video filming + editing // julia dags

A CASUAL CHIC BLAZER FOR SPRING

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Happy first day of Spring! I know nothing changed overnight but mentally, the idea that it is no longer winter, feels huge for my mental health! So excited for warm weather, light weight jackets, and flats!

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the blazer

under 50


under 150


under 500


under 1000


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Posted on March 20, 2019 .

A Weekend in the Berkshires

Hi! I hope everyone had a lovely weekend! I spent most of it working on last years’s accounting for the The Girl Guide (not my favorite hehe) and so happy I’m almost done! The weather was actually beautiful in Connecticut, brisk but the sun was shining, and it made me so excited for what’s to come:)

I’ve spoken about my love for The Berkshires before. So much so that I created a Travel tab and included this location so that you too could experience one of my original “happy places”. As a family we’ve been going up to this area of Massachusetts since I was a little girl. First it was for short ski trips but eventually in my 20’s my parents bought a home in South Egremont that became a weekend escape for nearly a decade. About two years ago they decided they wanted to move closer to us in Connecticut and sold the house. I’ve really missed going up there. Last summer we went up for a John Williams concert at Tanglewood and stayed in a hotel. It wasn’t the same. I think for me the biggest thing is having a kitchen, especially with the kids but also because I love to entertain, pour a glass of wine, and hang. Last month we were chatting with our friends about going up for the weekend and I suggested looking for a house to rent. Collectively our two families have 5 boys under 5 so we knew we wanted space and something that we could “live” in (not too precious). Then I found this place. It was PERFECT! Not only is it beautiful and full of charm, it is also in the ideal location - 15 minutes in each direction to both Great Barrington and West Stockbridge - two towns that we always visit when we go up.

The minute we walked into Jacob’s Tanglewood it felt like home and our kids felt it too! The amenities were great and we found we had everything we needed. Fun fact (and one of the many reasons why I love social media): I posted a picture on instgram while we were up there of the house and one of my husband’s friends from college wrote him saying that the property had been in their family for nearly a century! His dad was born in the house we were staying in. Such a small world!

Looking for a weekend escape or a week in the country this summer? Send me a note with any questions!

XX

S


JACOB’S TANGLEWOOD

STOCKBRIDGE, MA


KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

Guidos Marketplace - We always do all of our food shopping at this local and independent grocer. They have all the brands you’ll ever want or need plus an amazing fish and meat counter.

Rubiners - If you’re hosting guests, staying as a guest, or just want to sit back and enjoy some delicious cheese and dark chocolate, we love stopping by Rubiners for all their artisinal offerings. Also don’t miss their little sister coffee shop in the side alley called Rubi’s.

Baba Louie’s - Getting in late on the first night? Our favorite pizza place offers delicious takeout which can be the saving grace you’re looking for after your journey.


A BERKSHIRE RETREAT


Lunch at No Six Depot

WEST STOCKBRIDGE, MA

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TREND - POLKA DOTS

Style a Ganni polka dot ruffle dress // Chanel WOC black bag // Celine Catherine Sunglasses // Dress styled with leather jacket // Stephanie Trotta // The Girl Guide
Style a Ganni polka dot ruffle dress // Chanel WOC black bag // Celine Catherine Sunglasses // Dress styled with leather jacket // Stephanie Trotta // The Girl Guide

get the look



Style a Ganni polka dot ruffle dress // Chanel WOC black bag // Celine Catherine Sunglasses // Dress styled with leather jacket // Stephanie Trotta // The Girl Guide
Stephanie Trotta wearing a messy chignon wearing a Ganni dress, black leather jacket, and a Chanel WOC bag

SHOP FOR DOTS


HOW WE FILL OUR CLOSETS


These days there are so many ways for you to fill your closet. Whether you’re dropping off at a consignment shop, browsing the internet, or walking into a luxury boutique, the opportunities to shop are endless. So what are the best ways? In today’s post I’m breaking down all of the options and my thoughts on each.


THE RENTAL

Last Fall I signed up for the Rent the Runway Unlimited package. We had just returned from Europe and I knew I was going to be on a budget for the next few months (especially with the holidays around the corner). That being said we had a number of social engagements coming up in addition to my blog and social media posts and I wasn’t sure how I was going to swing a refresh. Then a friend suggested RTR and after a month I fell in love. As with anything there are pluses and minuses: I loved the idea that I could try something out and wear it with no strings attached. Even better was the fast that I could purchase the item at a discount if I loved it (I actually purchased the See By Chloe handbag seen pictured). Negatives - the only way to make this worthwhile for me was via the unlimited package which wasn’t inexpensive. I ended up stopping because I felt pressured to wear, send back, and pick again, “get my money’s worth” so to speak. However I would absolutely use the service again and I think its a great way to refresh your look for a period without breaking the bank!

BA&SH SKIRT RENTED VIA RENT THE RUNWAY

BA&SH SKIRT RENTED VIA RENT THE RUNWAY

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THE INVESTMENT

Before The Girl Guide I shopped a little differently. The majority of my closet was made up of investment pieces especially when it came to accessories. I get asked a lot about the two bags I shoot with most often: My Chloe mini Marcie in light blush and my Chanel Wallet on Chain in black. I purchased the Chanel over 10 years ago and the Chloe was a Christmas gift from my parents a little over three years ago. I’ve never regretted either of them and even though they may not be the newest styles out there, I still wear them because I LOVE them. I guess thats really the theme of today’s post, no matter how you choose to create your wardrobe, love what you buy. For big purchases I always suggest a minimum of the 3 month rule - if you still love it, go for it! I waited for a year before I purchased these sandals and 7 years before I purchased the Cartier Love bracelet.

AN INVESTMENT SANDAL BY HERMES

AN INVESTMENT SANDAL BY HERMES

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THE QUICKIE

There has been a lot of talk about '“Fast Fashion” in the last year. The term, which refers to inexpensive clothing rapidly created by large retailers in response to current trends, has had a negative connotation. Critics suggest that it is creating a shopping environment that promotes excess and that although one saves money on an individual piece, in the long run you are actually spending more. I agree with part of that statement - if you fill your closet with only Zara, H&M, ASOS, etc. and purchase every season you will end up with far too much and no place to house it or eventually sell it. After much thought on the subject and discussion with clients I look at it differently now. Fortunately for us (unfortunately for many luxury retailers) many of these large retailers have become insanely good at creating the look “for less”. The sweater below purchased at Zara (which I have worn countless times, is machine washable, and still in great shape) is almost identical to a style I fell in love with for $1,750. Had it not been for the $49 sweater I would never have been able to create this look that I love! So there you have it - if you LOVE it, buy it! Just be aware that multiple inexpensive items can also add up to a larger price tag!

SWEATER PURCHASED AT ZARA FOR UNDER $50

SWEATER PURCHASED AT ZARA FOR UNDER $50

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THE GENTLY USED

I actually really love this one. I can’t say I’ve purchased a ton of “second-hand” but I can almost guarantee that my next luxury handbag purchase will be from The Real Real or Fashionphile. I’m currently looking for an ivory with gold hardware Celine Box Bag and while I’m not willing to pay the 5k price tag, I would splurge on the same style gently worn for less than half the price. I’ve helped multiple clients purchase luxury for less this way and the result has always been positive. Note: make sure you are purchasing from a reputable company willing to stand behind authenticity and refund you if there is an issue.

VALENTINO BOOTS PURCHASED AT THE REAL REAL STORE IN SOHO

VALENTINO BOOTS PURCHASED AT THE REAL REAL STORE IN SOHO

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Posted on March 13, 2019 and filed under Outfits.

THE GUIDE - MARCH

How to tie a chic Hermes scarf bow in your hair // silk scarf hair inspiration // The Girl Guide // Stephanie Trotta

THE GUIDE


PIN THIS

GUYS! I have been getting so much inspiration from Pinterest these days. Whether its before a shoot, while I’m shopping, or just getting dressed i’ve found it so helpful during this in between season. Also SPRING is coming and I want every look in my spring board. Check it out!


WEAR THIS

One of my go-to pieces to wear while transitioning to Spring are open knit cardigans like this one. Its all about the layers at this time of year on the East Coast (I wore a long cashmere cardigan under a suede trench today) and it can be tough especially at work to know how to deal when the temperature swings. This one is similar to the style I have and it is certainly an investment - but I guarantee you will get your moneys worth!


DRY THIS

Ok - I never really understood all the hype around hair styling tools until now. I mean all hair dryers pretty much do the same thing right? I was completely content with my $39.99 CVS one until I tried THIS! A client mentioned it to me and let me try it out and I have to say it was been a game changer. Not only is it super powerful and dries my hair faster (which these days I’ll take all the extra minutes) but it has a super long cord and has been leaving my hair feeling softer and looking shinier. Trust me ladies, this is an electronic you’ll want as a Mother’s Day present! I am as shocked as you are:)


DESIGN THIS

I’ve been working on the boys bedroom for the last few months and frankly been looking EVERYWHERE for inspiration! I don’t want to mess it up/see something else I like a couple months after I finish. I always try to fall in love with pieces for our house. Sidenote: the hardest thing has been finding matching twin beds for under $500 each. I loved this little piece of inspiration from the One Kings Lane blog. We have many of the items pictured in slightly different forms and it was helpful to see it all pulled together!


LEARN THIS

One of my favorite blog/websites just launched a group of courses for bloggers/influencers - really for anyone interested in content creation and they look amazing! When I started out I really struggled teaching myself how to use a program like Photoshop. Let me tell you, it is NOT self explanatory. I would have killed for a course like this one.


EAT THIS

YUMM!! These snacks are sure to impress not only your kids but your friends too! I’m always looking for something more interesting than an apple with almond butter and I really try to control my dark chocolate cravings especially during the winter months. The banana sushi and no-bake blondies are my favorite!


TRENDING


Posted on March 11, 2019 .

MY FAVORITE NEUTRAL COFFEE TABLE BOOKS

Favorite coffee table books - the girl guide


CLEAN AND NEUTRAL

victoria hagan



BELGIAN STYLE

axel vervoordt



INTERIOR GENIUS

steven gambrel



TIMELESS STYLE

lee radziwill


Favorite neutral coffee table books - the girl guide
Posted on March 8, 2019 and filed under At Home.

DRESSING FOR SPRING WHEN IT STILL FEELS LIKE WINTER

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NEUTRAL COAT



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TOPS



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LIGHT DENIM



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STATEMENT EARRING



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LUST LIST - INTO THE WILD

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Its been a little while since my last Lust List and I wanted to think transitional neutrals heading into Spring. I really love this color palette because it works well with every skin tone, hair color, and its almost season-less.

  • These boots! I’ve been on the hunt for a pair to replace my Stuart Weitzman (or give those a break) and absolutely love these

  • This fringe skirt is so pretty. Love it paired with a tucked in white tee and a denim jacket.

  • This dress - sold out last year when I wore it in this post and its back in stock!

XX

S

Posted on March 4, 2019 and filed under Lust List.

NOT YOUR AVERAGE WORK PANT

Stephanie Trotta of The Girl Guide wearing a paper bag pant street style for work wear with a neutral blazer and scarf
Stephanie Trotta of The Girl Guide wearing a paper bag pant street style for work wear with a neutral blazer and scarf

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blazer old Theory, similar here // tee Theory, similar here // pants (size up) H&M //

pumps old, similar here // watch MICHELE

Stephanie Trotta of The Girl Guide wearing a paper bag pant street style for work wear with a neutral blazer and scarf and wearing Celine sunglasses
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THESE PANTS WILL WORK FOR YOU



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thank you to Michele for gifting me the watch in today’s post

Posted on February 28, 2019 and filed under Outfits.

TROTTA HOUSE - PAINT COLORS

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PAINT! Long before we purchased this house I was on the hunt for the perfect palette. I knew what I wanted - a clean and fresh feeling home painted in white, with a gray door. I googled, I pinned, I DM’d bloggers and designers…so much thought and research went into finding the one! Then when we found our home I knew my plan was perfect. With just shy of 2,000 sq ft, white was the only way to make our new space appear bigger. After a few samples I decided on Simply White for the walls and Chantilly Lace in a gloss for the trim. What attracted me to the trim color was that it was slightly creamy and had just the slightest contrast to the walls.

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Not all grays are created equal. SO SO many gray colors. It can be very overwhelming and the pressure to not make a mistake is real! I knew I wanted a high gloss look for both our front door and for our family room bookcases.

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PAINT COLORS


TRIM & FIREPLACE - CHANTILLY LACE

ALL WALLS - SIMPLY WHITE

FRONT DOOR - GALVESTON GRAY

BOOKCASES - OZARK SHADOWS


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neutrals at home