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summer's little black dress.

Last week I found my way to one of my favorite cities in Virginia, Richmond.  
The drive can be under 2 hours depending on traffic and is a perfect little getaway from everything DC.  
One of my favorite aspects of the city is how you can walk almost anywhere. 
dressurban outfitters (last worn here) | hatsole society (UNDER $30!) | sandalsjoie
sunglassesray ban | pursecoach

After going to a local farmer's market in the morning we headed to a newer brewery, The Veil.

It was a little warmer out so we decided to sit inside versus their outdoor seating to chat and reminisce about our college days.

From The Veil, we walked to another brewery a few blocks away.
Along the way, I bullied a friend into taking these photos for me.
On a hot summer day, there is nothing better than an easy summer dress.  
This dress, last worn here, was one I scored on sale last year from Urban Outfitters. 
I love the faux wrap style so I never have to worry about it actually coming undone and it accentuating my waist.  
It is the perfect little black dress for hot summer days and I wish I had it in multiple colors.
After the second brewery and a little summer storm, we went to a Mexican restaurant, En Su Boca, for more drinks and dinner.  
dress: urban outfitters (last worn here) | hat: sole society (UNDER $30!) | sandals: joie
sunglasses: ray ban | purse: coach

One thing I love about this place is that you can add fruit and champagne to any drink for $2.  SOLD!
I hadn't been to Richmond since December so I love reconnecting with my favorite little town.  
I'll be heading back to my favorite little city once a month for the next few months so I will be sure to share my adventures with you all.

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short story.

A short a sweet post today.
This outfit was from one of the days in Chiang Mai that didn't have any set plans.  
Another girl and myself girl decided to just explore the city on our own.
shorts:  j.crew (last worn here) | topabercrombie(last worn here) | bagkate spade | sandalsjoie

We discovered a day market that a lot of locals shop at and I ended up with this orange ice drink.  
We only managed to wander the streets for a few hours due to the extreme heat and humidity.
We ended up back in our hotel infinity pool by early afternoon where we worked on our tans and planned for our stop in Phuket.
shorts:  j.crew (last worn here) | top: abercrombie(last worn here) | bag: kate spade | sandals: joie

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Elephant Nature Park.

Everyone keeps asking me "What was your favorite part of Thailand?"  That is such a tough question to answer because the entire experience was amazing.  However, I have consistently mentioned The Elephant Nature Park as the highlight.

Anyone who knows me, knows I love elephants. A. Lot.
Prior to leaving for Thailand, we had only made 1 concrete plan for our entire 2-week trip and that was to visit this park.
The original elephant conservatory in the country, Elephant Nature Park.  
ENP was the first of its kind in the country founded in the late 90's and it is completely funded by donations and people visiting the park.
No, you do not ride elephants here.  They actually rescue elephants from work camps, trekking, the circus, wildlife injuries, etc.  Essentially a retirement home for elephants due to most of them being too old to work anymore and being too much of a financial burden on their original owners.

Once here, the elephants are able to roam the 250 acres at their will.  Every animal has their own mahout which is essentially their own personal caregiver they are constantly being fed and aren't being too mischievous with guests.

My video recap of Chiang Mai including this post and my Elephant Nature Park experience.

It was really such a special experience to spend time with these amazing creatures and was a dream come true.

I HIGHLY suggest this place - they not only rescue elephants but also cats and dogs.   If you decided to visit another elephant community while in Thailand make sure that they do not ride them because, despite their size, that is not what these animals are for.

Book early! We booked our day trip about 3 to 4 months before we arrived and there were only a few slots for our large group left within our time window in Chiang Mai.  

The have day trips (what we did), overnight and extended stays depending on what type of experience you want to have. 
Our day trip which included, transportation to and from our hotel (about an hour away), lunch, water, and the entire day feeding, bathing, and petting elephants.  
We paid 2,500 baht which is equivalent to around $75 (half paid at booking and half paid upon arrival so make sure to bring enough for the experience and the gift shop!)

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the maxi dress.

I may have mentioned this before, bit I am not the biggest fan of maxi dresses.  
I am on the borderline height of petite and "normal" and I often feel that the prints and cuts of most maxis are unflattering on me.  
Along with that, most maxis feature an elastic waistband sewn into the dress. 
Like I said, not a fan.
dressNasty Gal | sunniesrayban | sandalsjoie

When I spotted this dress online but the online, it caught my attention and made me contemplate taking a risk on, obviously. 
I didn't purchase many items of clothing but when I saw this dress, which was a part of the Nasty Gal clearance sale, I knew that it would be perfect for Thailand, though it does have more of a Spanish flair.
The off the shoulder fit well and the length was surprisingly perfect for me in just flat sandals.
On this particular night, it was extra windy so I was very happy that I chose something longer versus a shorter cotton dress.  
This got me thinking as to why I should expand upon my maxi dress collection, and why maxi dresses are perfect for traveling.
Why maxi dresses are perfect for traveling:
1. Unpredictable weather.  You plan trips far in advance but you never know what weather will be like when you finally arrive at your destination.  A maxi dress offers enough coverage from the elements in case it rains or gets cold but is also able to be cool enough in hotter climates.
2. Cultural respect.  When traveling, you should always respect the culture of the country you're visiting.  Maxi dresses are great options for shorter summer dresses depending on dress etiquette of the country but you are still able to be cute and trendy.
3.  Ease to dress up or down.  This particular maxi is a perfect example of what I would be able to wear to a nicer dinner out on vacation or just to roam around the street markets.  It can give you more outfit options when you have limited suitcase space.
dress: Nasty Gal | sunnies: rayban | sandals: joie

Side note: This is my natural hair

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bold blue.

You may default and want to grab a normal dress option for an upcoming wedding but I am sharing with you how to get out of your comfort zone and style a bold jumpsuit for a wedding this summer.

I love celebrating my friends love but being in my 4th year and wedding number <insert number here> I found myself in a style rut when trying to find the *perfect* outfit.

My first wedding of 2017 put me in a special situation to change things up a bit.
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Hiking the Monk's trail in Chiang Mai.

Everyone keeps asking me what my favorite part of my trip is and it is really hard for me to say.  
Like I mentioned, Bangkok, wasn't my favorite but after leaving the city it only got more and more amazing.

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Sorry for the silence again! 
Every electronic I’ve touched in the last month has basically gone to kaput.
After a long process of getting things back up and running, I am finally able to share my amazing trip to Thailand with you all!
dress: ann taylor (last worn here) | shoes: coach (on sale!)
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the shirtdress.

Long time no see!
I didn't mean to be MIA this last month, but time has really gotten away from me.
Between prepping for my trip to Thailand, exploring a new country for two whole weeks, and returning with MAJOR jet lag, it has been a little difficult getting back into the swing of things.
However, I'm finally back to a normal routine and excited to share not only my adventures, but some new outfits on the blog.
Although, after maxing out my computer's memory and not being able to figure out the GoPro Desktop software, it's taken more time than usual to put together some new posts (I feel like I need to hire a personal admin to organize all the photos and videos from this past month!).
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Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick & Liners

 My affinity for lip color has grown over the years.
It is so easy to throw on any outfit, casual or not, and add a pop of lip color to really complete your whole look.
In the winter, I normally stick with darker red tones but with Spring and Summer coming, I am so excited to expand my lip game.

I was beyond excited when Maybelline reached out for me to try out their some of their great lipsticks and liners from their Color Sensational line.

Obviously, I jumped at the chance and found the closest stump to take pictures of them all.

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eyelet & gingham.

First things first, how good is the Victoria BeckhamX Target collection?!
If you follow me on Instagram (@avizastyle) then you've seen my posts from the last couple of days showing a few pieces that I recently snagged - three (3) to be exact (herehere, and the pants above).

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Fashion for Paws 2017

This past weekend was hectic yet jam packed with a string of fun filled events. 
On Friday, I celebrated my friend JJ’s birthday at a local sports bar in Arlington.
It was the perfect mix of a low key, high energy environment with good friends and conversations. The festivities went later than expected, but it was fun to let loose and unwind.
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4 Must Have Beauty Products for Your Carry-On

With my trip to Thailand exactly two weeks away, I am busy planning and packing to make sure that I'm adequately ready to embark on this new adventure.

Ever since I've stepped up my skin game, I chatted a little bit about that here, I'm really focused on maintaining healthy skin over the course of my long, grueling 14 hour flights.

Without carrying too much in my purse/carry-on, I came up with four (4) products that will help ensure my skin stays healthy, hydrated, and happy.

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white eyelet.

This past weekend I ventured to Frederick, Maryland to visit a coworker.
I've been to Frederick a handful of times but have never really have gotten to enjoy the little town during the day.
My coworker happens to live downtown which makes it easy to just head out the door and explore.
After chatting over some cheese and wine we headed downtown.
top: c/o stylewe | jeanslevi's (under $100!) | jacketgap (last seen here)
booties: tibi | belt: UO | braletaerie | bagcuyana

It was quite chilly since Spring is still a little reluctant to show-up.
I threw on my ultra high-waisted Levi jeans.
Some coworkers made a funny joke last when I wore these out to a Happy Hour, that I look like Peggy Hill.
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a straight saturday.

When I feel that I need a recharge I tend to head back home to rural North West Virginia.
It's not too long of a drive from Northern drive and it is a completely different world.

Large yards. Space between houses. 3 stop lights. Smiling strangers. A slower pace. The river.
Dogs. A lot of dogs.

These things all help me relax from the hustle and bustle of my city/suburban life outside of DC when I really need to escape.

This past weekend, I was able to take a less than 24 hour getaway to really unplug and unwind. 
I enjoyed the beautiful weather outside on a patio where I couldn't see inside my neighbors house.
I played with all the dogs I hadn't seen in awhile, and I sipped wine and enjoyed some grilled dinner.
teej.crew | glasseswarby parker
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2016 Washingtonian Style Setter Party.

This is a very overdue outfit.
Last October my roommate had an extra invitation to the 2016 Washingtonian Style Setters Party.
Needless to say, I was excited to be attending this exclusive gathering.
However, there was one small problem - I had to come up with an amazing outfit with only three days to spare! For those of you who have been in these types of situations it can be quite difficult finding a last-minute outfit.

Although, it’s situations like this that make me love Rent the Runway.
I’ve talked about them extensively (look here) and honestly swear by their services and pieces.
Anyways, I jetted over to the Rent the Runway site and scoped all the dresses that were available the day of the event.
Since it was last minute, there wasn’t an extensive selection in terms of edgier pieces.  After all, this was a style setters event so I couldn’t disappoint.
As I was scrolling through my options, I kept coming back to this particular dress.
It’s a classic black and white color combo, but it had some great details that made it stand out to me.
The kimono style of the dress not only stuck out to me, but it provided the edgy yet stylish look I was seeking.
Not sure if you can tell, but the belt has a great fringe detailing that moved while I walked, and these are the types of details that can really make a classic outfit stand out and make a statement.

The plunging neckline may be my favorite attribute of this dress.
Though it was certainly not the most stylish outfit I saw that evening, I was very pleased with my last-minute outfit, and it certainly garnered quite a few compliments!

Overall, the night was fun and filled with a plethora of fashionable people, as well as a variety of great bites and beverages from local restaurants around the district.

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Clarins 2017

You’ve probably heard of this world-renowned French brand that focuses on plant basis to form their beauty and makeup products. “Real beauty - made in France”.
I went to preview their collection back in 2013 at Bloomingdale's at Tysons Corner Mall.
At the time, I had heard of Clarins, but never used any of their products (you can read my post about it here).
Years later, I have added a few products into my beauty rotation and was thrilled when I received an invitation to preview their new 2017 products.

I was even more excited when I realized this preview would occur at the new MGM Casino, located at the National Harbor right outside of DC, because it was home to an exclusive ClarinsSpa.
Whenever Clarins  debuts new products, they are unveiling new formulas that are distinct yet complementary to their current products.
The main example in this launch is the Body Fit.
Clarins used a new plant, Baccharis, to help reduce and minimize the appearance of cellulite.
This is a product that takes time to show results, but I have been using it consistently for the past 2 weeks and can already start to feel a difference. In terms of texture, the non-greasy feel is amazing and the smell is delightful.
We had a quick presentation to go through the new products and then we set out to explore the spa and receive mini treatments.
It was amazing. The staff knows what they’re doing and the products were obviously top of the line.  A later post on the spa to follow, but here are some of the products I had the opportunity to try.
These will be heading with me overseas when I am travelling. 
This is the perfect travel size, and I love the slight variances in shades that really match your skin.  And who doesn’t love smaller pores?
I have found myself using this product more and more. 
The powder and blotting paper compact combo is a game changer. 
Light and easy to carry – there’s no reason to not have one, especially as the weather will only get warmer and more humid as we enter into Spring. 
Stay matte with ease
These two products are, hands down, my favorite.  
I have been stepping up my beauty game recently and these two products have been an easy and much needed addition to my regime.  
The bi-phase serum is first to go on. It is designed to help your skin retain moisture no matter the situation.  It’s also light yet very moisturizing.  
If you seal it with the Hydra Essential Silky Cream, it is basically a lethal weapon to kill dry skin.  
Again, it is very hydrating (a theme with this season’s products), but also light enough that you don’t realize you are using a moisturizer that is designed to provide extra hydration.  
Oh, did I mention it is SPF 15?  Yep it has it all.
This is the perfect smoky eye palette with an easy to use guide on how to apply it - perfect for any ladies out there who are lost in terms of makeup application.
I hinted at this product at little bit above, but it’s another stellar item that has me very excited. 
A lot of people consider Clarins as their “go-to” brand for cellulite fight products, but this lotion is incredible.  
To fight the dreaded ‘C’ word (I know it is a long battle), this product takes consistent and extended use, but is worth the discipline and, more importantly, the results. 
One of my favorite attributes about the lotion is the non-sticky feeling after application, which I thoroughly enjoy, as well as the great smell. 
Overall, I think most of us know how hard it is to find the right lotion and this one certainly doesn’t disappoint.
This is such a simple but effective face contouring palette.
The diagram on how to use the palette corectly is beyond helpful and the fact that Clarins has included an actual brush with this kit is a game changer.
The brush is soft but firm to make your contour as soft or harsh as you desire.
This is an innovative and great priced product.  
The company went full throwback by honoring everyone's favorite elementary/middle styled pen.
  This functions the same way the one we remember – press the color you want (eyes - blue, brown, black | lips - brown/nude), use, then throw the pen in your bag and go. 
Beyond easy and perfect for those mornings when you’re in a rush or travelling and want to downsize on some products.  Plus it has four different colors!  
The added bonus here is that it is only $30.  It’s such a great deal!

What are your favorite Clarins products?
Have you tried any of these?

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