it’s hot out there!

This weekend marks the official start of summer, but you could have fooled me…. It’s been in the 90’s, humid, and just plain uncomfortable the last few weeks down here in Charleston.   Getting dressed to walk Wellie has become a point of contention for me.  I just want to stay cool, but then I look at myself in the mirror and it’s a scary scary affair.  My uniform tends to be lululemon tops, running shorts, and old Havianas.   All that is fine, but if i want to leave my street and venture into areas where people might actually see me i’d prefer to be wearing something a little more stylish.  I’ve put together a few outfits that if seen I wouldn’t be pretending my sunglasses are an invisibility cloak, a la Harry Potter.  note: yes, I do like to think that when i’m wearing sunglasses people can’t see me.  If i’ve ever ignored you, I wholeheartedly apologize!

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1.  These Knockaround glasses are pure GOLD.  They fit just like Ray-Bans, and at just $14 you can’t beat them.  Plus, if you take them out on the boat and lose them.. no biggie!   I’ve got a whole drawer full of them in different colors for different moods.

2.  Since moving to the South I have discovered the power of croakies.  Let me tell you- these things are the greatest, and have proved useful in more ways that I can even start to describe.  These gingham ones are precious.

3.  This loose fitting J Crew top would be ideal for a long walk in the heat, and how cute are the pom poms?!

4.  Continuing on with the floaty theme, Calypso St. Barth’s linen shorts are just the ticket for avoiding dreaded swass..  (if you don’t know what that is, urban dictionary it)

5.  I’ve had a long standing love affair with Sam Edelman’s Gigi sandals.  i’ve burned through several pairs and keep going back for more, but i’m liking that these ones have a little more structure and padding in the sole.  Perfect for keeping you secure when the pup lunges for that squirrel!

6.  You know how you can go to a car website and build your own model or play around with Stubbs and Wooton’s bespoke shoe section, or Nike….?  Well, now you can do that with Ray-Bans!  This might be my new favorite procrastination tool.  Custom designed sunglasses that you can even have monogrammed.  SOLD.

7.  I love a good nautical stripe.  In fact, half my closet is filled with variations on blue and white stripes.  This easy, breezy t-shirt dress is chic, comfortable, and most importantly will keep you cool while you’re bopping in and out of stores on a hot day.

8.  I first discovered Miansai in this cool little surf shop down in Soho.  This bracelet is kind of a neat grown up variation on those braided rope bracelets we all had as kids.  The ones you never take off ’til your parents force you because it’s turned into a stinky, brown disaster zone.   Was that just a New England thing??

9.  Zara makes the cheap best sandals around.  Hey, Zara… can you open up a Charleston store?  Please and thank you.

10.  At the beach a hat is a must as I find myself running after Wellie a lot.  Sunglasses just fly off my head and croakies make them flap up and down and hit me in the face.  GO RED SOX!

11.  L’ Space makes the best bathing suits for if you’re doing activities that don’t involve sitting around sipping on cocktails.   Seriously- great solid fabric and everything always stays in place.  I buy all of mine at Las Olas on King Street in Charleston.  (ps. they have crazy good sales at the end of the season!)

12.  If you know me you know i’m obsessed with Roberta Roller Rabbit.  Literally, my whole bedroom looks like the store threw up in it.  Why not dress myself in it too!?  This is the perfect sarong for covering up.  I like to fold mine in half length-wise and wrap around twice and tie the ends in a knot at my side.   It is also cute if you throw on a tank or loose button down shirt.

13.  oh, we know I can’t go shopping without buying the little man something.  Crewlala’s seersucker collar and matching leash would look so good on him in the summer months.   Look, there’s even a little embroidered palmetto.

 

Cheers!   Jenna & wellie

piazza living

My one Charleston must-have when purchasing my home down here was a  piazza.  After all, the main reason I chose to move to Charleston in the first place was because of the architecture, history and porch-life culture.   When I first laid eyes on my place I saw the huge piazza and thought BINGO!   Done deal right then and there.   I wasn’t able to move in until renovations inside the apartment were complete, however that didn’t stop me from furnishing the piazza immediately.  I chose my color palate of dusty blue and coral and then went with white washed Ballard Designs Ceylon collection furniture.    Crisp and clean with a beachy vibe…  A total departure from my modern NYC apartment with a  killer view of a brick wall… Yes, I was moving on up in the world!

Skip forward one year… My furniture and rug have held up well against the elements, however my pillows that were once a pretty coral color have faded into an unrecognizable, very un-cute brown-red-yellow color… Thanks, Etsy for that one…  I’m in the process of planning a cocktail party in a couple weeks when friends from NYC come visit (YAY!) but I simply have to redecorate before then so, I’ve been scouring the internet and flipping through catalogues for guaranteed outdoor friendly pillows… And maybe I got sidetracked by a few other things on the way.  Ooopsie.

 

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1.  I just adore old Edison bulb style string lights… stringing these up on the ceiling would perfectly light a warm summer evening up on the piazza

2. This Grandin Road pillow looks like the classic Imperial Trellis print and would be a great bold, geometric print to toughen up my beach vibe.

3.  Serena and Lily.. Oh, how I love you.  If i had buckets of money I would probably just go purchase everything on their site.  I love that this pillow looks classic with a modern edge on floral.   Also this one is called Tortuga which totally reminds me of Pirates of the Caribbean.  *nerd alert*

4.  Surprisingly it gets a bit chilly and breezy once the sun goes down.  A soft Turkish T blanket would be the perfect lightweight cover up.  And bonus, you can bring it to the beach the next day as a beach towel/sarong/pillow

5. Pottery Barn can usually be counted on for simple prints in chic colors.  Loving this medallion print pillow.

6.  Ok, still scrolling through the Pottery Barn site… this is the perfect secondary pillow, and I’m really digging the trim.  Reminds me of beach grasses

7. Here’s where I really start straying from the purpose of this shopping exploration…  Wellie needs an outdoor bed too!  I swear, he does.   I see him lying on the wooden flooring and think “gosh that must be uncomfortable”  Also, i can’t resist a good lobster print.  I am from Massachusetts after all!

8.  Oh. My. God.   French Bistro chairs AND navy chevron.  Pardon me while I pick myself up off the ground.  I just passed out from happiness.   Seriously.  A couple of these around  little table, a baguette, cheese and a bottle of vino and i’m basically in paris!!

9.  Grandin Road is also doing a version of the french bistro chair.  While i’m not as in love with this one (it lacks chevron!) it is on sale… so yeah… that makes up for it.

 

xoxo, Jenna & Wellie

Magnolia Plantation

One of the great benefits of living in Charleston is the ability to drive 20 minutes and get away from it all.  A mini-vacation if-you-will.    Right now the urge to get away from it all and escape is nagging at my every thought.   Focusing on work has been made impossible by my endless Expedia searches for a quick, cheap getaway.   Turns out that summer is NOT the best time to plan a solo vacation with a dog. Prices are skyrocketing daily and the cost of bringing a pup along just puts the nail in the vacation dreams coffin.   Enter Magnolia Plantation.   Just a 20 minute jaunt from downtown Charleston, but with good tunes turned up, windows down, breeze blowing through your hair (and Wellie’s ears)  it really feels like less.   Once there you’re transported into a whole other world.   A world in which you’re transported back in time when instead of watching mindless tv or scrolling through your iPhone every 5 seconds to amuse oneself you went out into the garden and dug around in the dirt and really became one with nature.   In fact while there, I only took my phone out to snap some pics… not once did i check Facebook, instagram, Zite, my email, Linkedin, or any of the other ridiculous things I waste countless hours on.

Growing up I used to help my grandmother in England tend to her garden, which was in my mind the most splendid place in the world.  When we weren’t digging around in her garden and picking fresh berries we were making our way though the National Trust gardens on family day trips or traipsing through the bracken (English word for ferns) in the woods with the Dalmatian.  Magnolia Plantation is the closest i’ve come in this country to feeling that same sense of peace, tranquility and utter awe at nature’s complex beauty.   Strolling though the gardens you come across ponds filled with Alligators, sweeping vistas over looking a quiet little river with bursts of flowers in every possible color framed with Spanish Moss gently swinging from their tree limbs.   There’s a pond with the loveliest bridge– a scene straight from Monet’s garden in Giverney– but instead of his signature lily pads there are blue herons wading through grasses.   There are swamp lands with yet more Alligators sunning themselves on perches and trees growing up out of the water.  I’m not kidding, this place is magical.  While there, I kept thinking- I wish everyone I knew got to see how pretty this is because they’re missing out on a truly spectacular display of nature.   I keep thinking of the Will Ferrel as Robert Goulet quote:  “That’s why I come up here… Nature!”

Anyway, enough rambling… if you’re in the Charleston area GO.  I urge you.  GO!   you can check out their website to see what plants are in bloom each month.  Magnolia Plantation

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xoxo, 

Jenna & 

Wellietagline

station 31

We talk about Sullivans Island a lot on here, and there’s a reason for that.  This is a beach that really has everything from marshland, dunes, wide open spaces, tide pools, and as I recently discovered- secluded areas of pretty white sand protected by large rock jetties, and an absolute killer view of IOP.  If you drive out of town towards IOP until you pretty much can’t go any further without actually crossing the bridge you get to this neat little neighborhood that is quiet and undisturbed by tourists and people walking off their Poe’s burgers and painkillers.  The sand was totally untouched, although perhaps only because it was cold enough for me to be wearing bean boots and a cashmere scarf, but still… It felt like our own private beach and had a completely different feel from any other section of Sullivan’s I’d been to before.  Unless your dog is a mountain goat like I’m convinced Wellie is, it’s a great spot to let the pups run to their hearts content.   I quickly discovered that a large rock pile was no match for my little boy who, I swear, must be descended from the Rocky Mountain Billies.   If I wasn’t so frantic scrambling after him I would be impressed by his dexterity…

 

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Cheers!

Jenna &

Wellietagline

east battery beach

At the end of the battery next to the perfectly situated Carolina Yacht Club is a small strip of beach perfect for letting the pups loose.  Now, there are a couple obstacles you need to hurdle, quite literally, to get to this beach but it’s worth it.   Firstly, you need to check the tide chart as there is a large pipe at the end that is exposed when it is very low tide, but if you hit the beach around mid to high tide it’s a safe romping haven.  Secondly, you need to be able to crawl through a rail and jump down about 5 feet.. no biggie!  Wellie even took the leap himself last time, much to my horror.   Once down there though, you’re on your own private beach in downtown Charleston with a stunning view of the yacht club, the mansions on East Battery and the Cooper River out towards Fort Sumter.   It’s an easy spot to find yourself day dreaming and losing yourself in the beauty and tranquility of your surroundings while the pup runs wild playing with sticks and shells and pouncing on waves.

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Cheers!

Jenna &

Wellietagline

 

birthday boy

I imagine every parent feels this sense of pride and a hint of sadness when their child turns one.   This huge milestone is marked with gifts, treats and joy at how much they’ve grown and learned in their first year on this earth.  But it also means the days of being that cute little puppy are over.  His features have slowly and very recently gone from chubby puppy to dog, and that little nugget that used to fit in the palm of my hand is now an athletic ball of muscle and energy.   This first year has been one of love and more snuggles than you can imagine.  Moving to a new home, and new city were made easier by this little guy who got me out and about exploring this wonderful city, and who inspired this blog.   There’s absolutely no comparison to being greeted every day with cries of joy and vigorous tail wags when you come home from work, or even taking the trash out for 2 minutes.   My little bundle of love is officially a dog, but to me he’ll always be my little baby puppy.

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we’re back!

That’s right – Huxton & Rycroft is back in action.   A new job and icy cold temperatures this winter kept us indoors more than we’d like, but we’re back to doing what we love- exploring Charleston and sharing with you, dear readers.   And, boy does it feel good to be writing again!   I’ve got to admit- 2014 has been pretty unsatisfying thus far.  Weather that frankly reminds me more of my New England roots than the Lowcountry, a dud job, and various other disappointments has made the SAD (seasonal affective disorder) kick in big-time.  Palm trees rustling in the breeze outside my window have been the only reminder of where I am and how lucky I am to be in the south, especially when the news reminds me daily of how much snow is blanketing NYC this year.  Yikes, sorry guys!

With temperatures rising into the 80’s the past few days, and some new-found time on my hands, I’m tossing the blanket off my lap, turning off Scandal on Netflix, grabbing my camera and Wellie, and getting out of this winter-time-funk, pronto!  Blossoms are bursting out of the ground filling Charleston with brilliant pinks, yellows, and that amazing neon green color of new leaves waking up for the year.  It’s prime time to get out and enjoy the fresh air before it gets too steamy!

Over the weekend Natalie and I traveled to the Melton Peter Demetre Park over on James Island.   Just a quick drive over the connector, and next to the James Island Yacht Club is the prettiest little park you can imagine.    With sweeping views of the Peninsula, the Ravenel Bridge, Mt. Pleasant and beyond to Sullivans Island the park is truly stunning.  Within the park there are two beaches, one of which is perfectly protected and safe to let the pups run to their hearts content.   The moment Wellie was let off his lead he sprinted like a mad man up and down the shore in search of sticks.  When he was splashing in the water with a massive smile on his face, I couldn’t help but feel the same exhilaration and glee.  All my worries and cares from the last couple months melted away instantly and hope and happiness were restored.   I urge you to go visit this lovely little park… You can thank me later!   Melton Peter Demetre Park

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xoxo, Jenna &

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i want to go to there – ashford castle

While watching the premiere of Downton Abbey the other night, I was struck with the desire to travel somewhere in Great Britain that has the elegance and decadence of Downton.  Honestly though, even with all the soap opera drama they’ve got going on both upstairs and downstairs, I’d love to taste that lifestyle even if only for a week.   I see myself relaxing by a fire while I sip tea (Darjeeling with a touch of milk, please), finally delving into the stack of unread books I have accumulated over the years but haven’t had time to read, and take long afternoon strolls through the woods and gallop on a horse through fields.

My whole family lives in England, so, I have seen most of the English countryside, but I have yet to venture up to Ireland.  Ashford Castle fits my bill to a T.  Built in 1228 right on Ireland’s second largest lake in Mayo, this castle has every activity you could possibly hope for while trying to recreate the Downton life.  Falconry, check. Horseback riding, check. Archery, check.  And at night you can take off those wellies and Barbour coats and slip into some evening wear and sip on cocktails and dine in one of their elegant dining rooms.   And in the morning you can head down to the spa for a massage.   I’ve made up my mind, this is my next vacation…

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It almost doesn’t even look real it’s so perfect.

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Yes, I could happily live here.  I would set up a croquet course on that front lawn and have my friends over for Pimms Cups and tea sandwiches… Wellie would be romping around wagging his tail with delight. Yep, this would work well for me!

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Oh, hey there Carson!

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Come on… really?!

Lost in my dreams, but, Cheers!

Jenna & Wellie

new years eve eve

As 2013 winds down to its final days I’m consumed with thoughts about not the actual parties that I am attending, but what I will be wearing.  This year has been pretty darn big for me; I left New York, purchased my second home, became a puppy mom, got a fabulous new job (last week), and met many new friends.  Raising a champagne flute to bid adieu to 2013 is definitely in order, and I plan on bringing my A-game when it comes to dressing for the occasion.  I’m one of those people who always tends to be overdressed for everything on purpose.  I’d so much rather look a little silly for being overly fancy than looking silly for being a slob.   Plus, there’s nothing better than throwing on some fun music and getting all dolled up for a fun night out.  Below are a couple outfits I’d love to wear tomorrow night to ring in the new year!

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1. Sparkly and colorful Miu Miu necklace.

2. I love Chloe and Reese dresses.  I have a red dress from them and I feel like a princess every time I wear it.   Plus, you can work with them to customize colors.

3. Kate Spade gumdrops add a punch of color and sparkle to every outfit.

4. Dior eyeshadow palettes are perfectly pretty and blend so easily.

5. J Crew satin and glitter shoes 

6. Noir Jewelry earrings add a little bling to a simple dress.

7. CK Bradley is back in business!  After taking a few years off my favorite dress designer is back, and back with a vengeance.  Loving the yellow color of this silk dupioni dress.

8. Kendra Scott bracelet

9. Stella McCartney’s roller ball fragrance will slip into my clutch, or pocket perfectly for touch-ups throughout the night.

10.  Nautical striped Christian Louboutins…. so fresh and pretty.

Happy New Year from Huxton & Rycroft!!

Cheers!

Jenna &

Wellietagline

all wrapped up

It’s Christmas eve and presents are being wrapped and readied to go under the tree.  Each year I try to do something a little different with my wrapping, and this year is no different.  Last year year I wrapped gifts in Christmasy paper and then appliqued paper snowflakes on top of it to add a little festive dimension.   This year I wanted to stick to a neutral palette with gold, silver, and red as accents.

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I wrapped the gifts in recycled brown paper bags and used boldly striped ribbon and paint pens to make them look more festive, then topped each gift with a trio of jingle bells.

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This graphic chevron paper came from the local art store, and I used vintage gold cording that came from a little shop in New York’s fashion district to tie it up.  I then sewed on the jingle bells to continue the theme I started on the other gifts.   Keeping to a theme is a great way for everyone in your family to know who gave the gift.

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Keeping Wellie distracted from nibbling at the presents is key!

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Straight lines with criss-crossed ribbons and jingle bells adds a little dimension to this fun paper, also found at the art store.

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Merry Christmas from mine to yours!!!

Cheers!

Jenna &

Wellietagline