Hi everyone! Welcome to my new blog, Pretty in Plaid. I’m really excited to share with you all and meet everyone! A little bit about me: I just moved to the DC Metro area from Baltimore, MD. I work for the Federal Government and work rotating shifts, so I work 3 or 4 12-hour shifts a week, either night or day depending on what week it is. I usually have 4 or 6 day “weekends” so I wanted to do something productive on my off days, and what’s better than writing, taking photos, traveling, and talking about fashion!
I won’t lie to you, it’s taken me about two months before I felt “ready” to launch the blog. I’m kind of a perfectionist and I finally had to sit back and just do it, even though I don’t think it’s “perfect” yet. Do any of you struggle with that? There’s still so much for me to learn and I’m actually excited for the process and I can’t wait to see how this blog evolves 🙂
Back at the end of March, I took a trip to France and Switzerland with some of my favorite people, and we visited Provence in the south of France. We had decided on our itinerary really late in the game, so I didn’t have much time to do research before we left, since I was so busy working and packing. Little did I know that there are these amazing lavender fields in Provence during certain times of the year! Of course they weren’t there in late March when we went, so now I want to go back ASAP to see them – it’s on my top 5 bucket list!
Recently, I was at a bridal shower and one of my cousins told me that there are sunflower fields in Maryland with flowers that bloom for about two to three weeks every summer. I did some googling and found that they were blooming literally that week at McKee Beshers Wildlife Management Area in Poolesville. So since I missed those lavender fields, I figured the sunflowers could be the next best thing! I worked a night shift and then was determined to go on my break.
Dress: Alpha and Omega / Bag: Ted Baker (got it in the Anniversary sale!) / Sunnies: Ray Ban (classic but I’m obsessed) / Cuff Bracelet: Kendra Scott (I got this last year) – a couple I also like: here and here / Necklace: Kendra Scott (I wear this opal ALL the time and got it 2 years ago) – Similar – Similar / Lips: Kiehl’s in Pop of Peony (STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND GET THIS!)
So, I ventured out to the sunflower field on a Monday morning around 10:00am, figuring it wouldn’t be too crowded. First, there is a map (with no road names) of all of the 8 locations of sunflower fields. I drove by the first one on the main road and decided to try to find another location. It took me about 15 more minutes to locate another one, but I finally did, and luckily it wasn’t too crowded!
I decided to wear this cute seersucker ruffle dress that I got during a random sale at Bloomingdales as I am a sucker for ruffles (I’ll stop). No seriously, I LOVE them and I’m so glad they are back in style. I was that child who would never take off her pink ruffle dresses. I’m also in love with this Ted Baker bag that I got during the Nordstrom anniversary sale (sorry for taking so long to post this, guys!) The new Rebecca Minkoff crossbody that was in the sale was my favorite, but I wanted something that would fit my planner and other things inside – I tend to carry a lot around with me. This bag is the perfect size for that.
My Ray Bans are the original style – I have them in 4 different colors (these are the grey ones). I always have a hard time finding sunglasses that fit well with my face because it’s rounder. It took me a long time before I thought I could pull off aviators but now I’m never going back 🙂 You’ll probably see these in multiple posts from now until the end of time. My jewelry is Kendra Scott and is a couple of years old. I’m a huge Kendra Scott fan and it’s my go-to anytime I need a new piece of jewelry. They last a long time and I completely recommend any of those pieces I linked above. My birthstone is an opal, so I splurged and got this opal necklace. I wear it all the time so it was worth it. I still get at least 2 or 3 compliments on it per week (In fact, I got one today!)
The last thing fashion-wise I want to talk about before I get to this crazy sunflower field story is this KIEHL’S BUTTERSTICK. I feel like this is one of the best things I’ve ever bought. I’ve always used Kiehl’s lip balms ever since I did a test about 5 years ago in the winter on the best lip balm that would prevent chapped lips. This was by far the best one I tried (although the consistency is less thick than most lip balms so it can get hard to get used to). I went to pick up my regular lip balm at Nordstrom and they had these amazing Buttersticks. It’s a tinted chapstick that is basically just like applying lipstick, but not drying! They have it in 5 colors and I’m pretty sure I have 2 lipstick colors that are EXACTLY the same. I’m wearing the Pop of Peony color, which is the brightest one. It’s long-lasting and it has SPF 25. I have literally been wearing it all summer at the beach. Also, they just started selling it at Sephora this week, so seriously run and get this NOW.
So back to the sunflower field – I just wanted to share a couple of behind the scenes “secrets” behind the photo shoot above. I love how some of the photos came out (although I realized I really need a tan) but here’s what I had to go through to get them:
- I went on a Monday morning and it had rained the entire Saturday beforehand which basically decimated the sunflowers, so they didn’t look as nice as they had previously. There was also a huge pile of MUD by the entrance to the field that I didn’t see until it was too late. The reason there are no full body photos is because the mud ruined my favorite pair of sandals and half of my legs are covered in mud. I’ll work on that for next time 🙂
- It was beautiful when I got out to the field, but it literally felt like 100 degrees out there after about 5 minutes and I was dying to go back to my car and sit in the air conditioning (but I was determined to get photos!)
- The sunflowers were all so close together you had to wade through them and let me tell you, they are NOT “soft”. They scraped up all of my legs. I also left something in the spot where I was taking the photos and had to go back and find it. Not fun.
- There were bees EVERYWHERE.
- After about 30 minutes of being there, huge groups of people started showing up. I get that people want to take photos because I was taking them too, HOWEVER, there were groups of people walking around the field taking a photo with every.single.sunflower. I kid you not. They “needed” photos with the ones I was standing near, so they basically got in all of my shots. Pretty sure I’m side-eyeing them in the fourth photo on this page. Once that happened, I basically left since I thought it was a sign.
So anyway, it was an interesting experience. Just shows you that being a blogger isn’t as easy as it looks! I’m still excited about this because I got that first hard shoot out of the way. However, if anything, it made me want to see the Provence lavender fields more! If anyone heads out there next summer, don’t wear your favorite pair of shoes, bring bug spray, and just be prepared. Oh, and maybe don’t go right after it rains 🙂
I’ll try not to ramble for so long on future posts. I’m off to get a tan – see you next time!