st augustine

Belated July 4th


Hats off to America! And where better to celebrate its birthday than the nation’s oldest city? Spoiler alert, though– if you want to watch the fireworks in St. Augustine from the Villano Bridge, they don’t actually start until it’s dark! Either way, we had a wonderful time together waiting for the fireworks, with undoubtedly the best spots on the bridge (3 hours early will do it for you). We even got a little appetizer to the display when a ratchet family decided it would be prudent and wise to burn firecrackers beside us. The picture looks more magical than it was. Afterwards we came back and celebrated the Georgia way with some good ol’ peach shortcake. As a brief aside- if your peach does not have fuzz on it, it is not a real peach. Full stop. You are eating a second-rate, castoff plum mutation (steps off soapbox).

How did you celebrate your Fourth?


Outfit Details:
Hat: Vintage
Dress: French Connection
Belt: Gap
Shoes: Bally
Purse: Kate Spade


Summer of Discovery

IMG_4404After about a year hiatus, I’ve come back! Some of the pictures that I will be sharing are old, but I think these in particular capture how I feel about this summer. Three weeks ago, I graduated from law school. With that accomplished, I feel like the world is mine again. Even with everyday bar prep, I cannot summon the anxiety or stress to feel worried. The sun is radiant right now in South Bend, and I feel like everyday is a new opportunity to explore what’s out there. For instance, the Lightner Museum.

Charles Lighter acquired the front half of the Alcazar Hotel (described with other St. Augustine history here) as a showroom for his personal collection in the 1940s. Reading between the lines, it looks like Lightener was rich during the Depression and bought up the old money possessions of hapless Northerners before carpetbagging down to St. Augustine and buying the closed Alcazar. He also managed to amass a beautiful group of Tiffany glass windows (Louis Tiffany actually started his company with the help of Flagler in order to outfit the windows of the Ponce de Leon, now Flagler University). Even though fashion blogs usually fixate around showing clothes, I couldn’t help but choose darkness of the light seeping through the panes over a clear shot of the fabric of my jeans. There’s a “light at the end of the tunnel,” and sometimes it’s just breathtaking. DSC_0804DSC_0778DSC_0753

Outfit: Hat: Ralph Lauren | Scarf in hair (questionable decision in hindsight): Liberty London | Tunic: Elizabeth and James | Jacket: Rag & Bone | Purse: Rebecca Minkoff (laptop case)DSC_0780

The Collection


Here are a few bits of the actual collection that I thought were worth note: DSC_0795DSC_0808This is the most extensive toaster collectionIMG_4413IMG_4408

Eccentric Glamour Link-Up: Carousel of Color

Hopelessly delayed, I bring you this month’s Eccentric Glamour link-up. In the back of my closet I found this cashmere light pink V-neck, and really went beserk pairing it up. In St. Augustine, there is a carousel at the intersection before you turn towards old town or take the bridge to Villano Beach. The carousel runs almost all day every day and is only a dollar per ride. I think it’s kind of a fixture of the city, and was happy I could pay homage to it with this rather carnival-esque outfit. DSC_0613




DSC_0612Outfit Details: Hat: Vintage (England largesse) | Sunglasses: posh find! | Top: Kohls | Kimono Wrap: Rachel Zoe | Vest: Express Design Studio | Pants: Creatures of the Wind | Shoes: Chloe | Bag: Loeffler Randall | Bracelets: Moroccan Souk find 😉

Due to the state of my wifi (and the relatively small feedback anyway), please share a link to your link up in the comments below- and I’ll try to get an in-linkz in the next day or so.

The Original Town

Beyond the Fountain of Youth, St. Augustine is a quirky little town that I didn’t feel I was able to adequately expound upon in the last post. While I was there, I read a short biography on Henry Flagler, specifically as it pertained to his St. Augustine hotels. For those of you who’ve heard his name (or maybe haven’t) rather in connection with the prominent liberal arts college in the middle of Old Town or further South, if you’ve visited The Breakers (included on the 1,000 Places to See Before You Die), his story bears repeating, if for no other reason than to understand the development of the Eastern coast of Florida into the vacation spot it is today.

An American self-starter, Flagler was primarily in the grain industry when John D. Rockefeller approached him, asking for a loan on an oil refinery. That investment put Flagler on the ground floor of the partnership that would become Standard Oil. As the company grew, Flagler maintained his seat on the board, but eventually his interests were drawn elsewhere. After a series of trips to the Jacksonville/ St. Augustine area, Flagler hatched a plan to create an “American Riviera.” St. Augustine, with its compendium of historical draws, recreation (to be found on nearby Anastasia Island), and local flavor fit the bill. His plan was hatched, which included building a state-of-the-art luxury hotel in the middle of St. Augustine, which would be connected to New York by way of the Florida East Coast Railway (the amalgamation of a number of local railways Flagler bought to connect to the larger railway systems up North). Thus, the train would drop off pleasure-seekers in his backyard, as long as he could provide accommodation.


Old entrance to the Ponce de Leon Hotel, today Flagler College

This accommodation began with the Ponce de Leon Hotel, an American palace that played host to the likes of  Mark Twain, Babe Ruth, and four presidents. It also inaugurated the tradition of Red Brick (thank you Carrere & Hastings) that is commonly associated with the Spanish Renaissance style of architecture seen throughout Florida today (did anyone say Grand Floridian?). Flagler went on to build the Alcazar Hotel (directly opposite) and acquire the Casa Monica Hotel to round out his St. Augustine holdings. But neither the Depression, nor the course of history was particularly kind to the burgeoning Riviera. Though it enjoyed about 15 years in the lap of luxury, the same elements that drew people to Florida projected them south. St. Augustine, the first stop into Florida, has cold winters by Floridian standards, and Vacation-goers looking to escape the chill, continued onwards to Palm Beach and Miami, leaving St. Augustine in their stead. Luckily, the astute businessman that Flagler was, he expanded with the times, and built hotels down the coast, making him one of the patriarchs of Miami.

Still, his monolithic vision was left in the wake, mausoleums to the pleasure-seekers of yesteryear before the belt-buckling thrift of the depression set in. the Ponce de Leon was converted into Flagler College. The Alcazar (once home to the largest indoor pool in the world) converted into the Cafe Alcazar and hosts the Lightner Collection in its front section. Ironically, the Casa Monica, notoriously working in the red in its day, continues on as the only hotel on the block (but don’t get me started on B and B’s).


Tiffany glass detailing. The Tiffany Glass Company was actually founded in order to provide glass for the Ponce de Leon.

Casa Monica



Detailing on a mirror inside the Casa Monica. It is decorated in the Moorish style.

The Alcazar (today Lightner Museum)



Here is the Cafe Alcazar nestled in the deep end floor of what was once the largest indoor pool in America.

Old Town (After all,  it is the oldest Spanish colony in America.)



View from the Fort.


Huguenot graves, although the sign says that Huguenot meant “not Catholic” rather than the French Huguenots that might come to mind.


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National Geographic has named this street in St. Augustine, the “prettiest street in America.” What do you think?


Mission Nombre de Dios was the first Spanish Mission in North America. This year it turns 450 years old!

I’ve left out so much great stuff focusing on the more decadent expansions of industrialism. Not pictures are wonderful bits like the Lions Bridge, St. Augustine Fort, Villa Zordaya, and the iconic Anastasia Island lighthouse. I guess I’ll just have to go back…

Spanish Influence

Isn’t it funny how some of the most accidental discoveries can end up being your favorite things? That’s the way I feel about this cape, and this lovely old town. As for the forner, my friend Elizabeth and I both enjoy a thrift store joke about as much as a thrift store gem. This being the case, she texted me a picture of the “ridiculous cape” she saw while out one day. My only response besides replacing my gaping jaw, was “It’s perfect.” And the economical birthday present was “in the bag.” Subsequently, this (maybe Aztec-inspired) article has become one of my favorite accessories. Paired with what I would consider, “conquistador” boots, I was ready to traipse through (and match the peacocks in) America’s first Spanish colony, St. Augustine.

I really love this city. It’s definitely had its ups and downs (something I will discuss more tomorrow), but it has retained a local flair and eccentric warmth, so that I can’t help but want to be a part of. It’s large enough to be interesting, but small enough to be walkable, and I spent this morning going to a few of the more historic sites for pictures. Hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I enjoyed making them!








Outfit Details: Cape: Thrifted | Shirt: H&M (old) | Skirt: Gap | Tights: Primark | Shoes: MICHAEL Michael Kors | Necklace: Estate Sale Find

Photos by: Madeline Arnall

Shared to Visible Monday

Off Duty: St. Augustine

‘Tis the season for fashion bloggers to escape to some beachy wonderland. I keep seeing delicate beachside rompers and embroidered cotton maxis flowing in the wind alongside the sashes of floppy hats. But let’s be real here– when I am at the beach, I am decidedly off duty (not to mention Northern Florida is hardly the sunny paradise for half nakedness). Enter some cozy lounge chic. Here’s my rendition of dressing up without actually going to the effort when you’re seaside (also be warned, this anchor only signals the beginning of what is going to be a very nautical spring).


DSC_0030Outfit Details: Scarf: Talbots | Sweatshirt: J.W. Anderson | Jeans: Acne | Shoes: Keds | Nails: OPI- Can’t Find My Czechbook (cutest name, right?)