The Steele Maiden: Easy Summer Cocktail Recipe - Sparkling Lemon Drop

I know I keep saying it lately, but simple is really the name of the game for me amidst a busy, often stressful summer.   And this cocktail is about as simple as they come. It all started with this Spindrift sparkling water, which is flavored with real squeezed fruit. They’re SO refreshing (not sponsored.. I’m just really a fan! Plus, their packaging is pretty which always gets me) that aside form sipping them on their own I figured, why not add a little kick?


The Steele Maiden: Easy Summer Cocktail Recipe - Sparkling Lemon Drop

To be honest, this one wasn’t a super exact recipe – just kind of to taste. I used a really tiny pinch of sugar to sweeten it up and offset the tartness of all the lemon but you could totally omit that or use more, up to you! Otherwise, a good quality vodka (Tito’s is always a hit), fresh lemon juice and this subtly flavored sparkling water – shake, shake, shake – and you’re good to go. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy.

The Steele Maiden: Easy Summer Cocktail Recipe - Sparkling Lemon Drop

P.S. Spindrift sent me these sparkling waters to try, but if you’re on the hunt for them too I’ve seen them at Whole Foods or my local specialty grocery store. 


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The Steele Maiden: Summer Tips for Healthy Hair with Dove Intensive Repair

Between the humidity in the city air, the UV rays from extra time in the sun, and the harsh chlorine in the gym’s pool – it feels like my hair gets damaged at every turn this time of year. Which is why I was game to switch up my routine with Dove Intensive Repair Shampoo and Intensive Repair Conditioner. Dove is one of the brands I truly trust (see this post for when I switched to their Advanced Care Deodorant – a product I still highly recommend and use daily) so when they boasted that it could provide 5x smoother hair and prevent 90% of damage before it even occurs, I couldn’t wait to see the results for myself. Here – all of the summer tips for healthy hair that I’m swearing by this season.

The Steele Maiden: Summer Tips for Healthy Hair with Dove Intensive Repair

Wash Less, Condition More: Aside from switching out my old products to the Dove Intensive Repair – I’ve been trying to adjust to a routine that doesn’t unnecessarily strip my hair of moisture (right now that means washing about 3-4 times per week). Oppositely, in the Winter I typically only use conditioner 1-2 times per week, but now I’ve been using the Intensive Repair Conditioner each time I wash to be sure that they’re working together to actively make my strands more resilient to damage. Plus, I love that they don’t leave residue behind that would weigh my hair down. Meaning it still looks light and smooth on the days between washing.

The Steele Maiden: Summer Tips for Healthy Hair with Dove Intensive Repair

Go Natural: Heat styling is pretty much asking for damage, so I try to take advantage of the warm summer weather by letting my hair air dry as much as possible and not straightening or curling it very often.

Be Gentle: I have fine hair, but lots of it – which means it’s prone to knotting. Getting a wide tooth comb and quality hairbrush keep me from adding to breakage. Plus, I recently switched to these hair ties for the gym that don’t put creases into my hair.

Cover-Up: Whether it’s a hat at the beach to protect UV damage and drying out your scalp or a swim cap at the pool – put a layer of protection between your hair and whatever is out to get it.

The Steele Maiden: Summer Tips for Healthy Hair with Dove Intensive Repair

Even though I’m taking the time to be extra careful with my hair this summer, I love knowing that the Dove Intensive Repair Shampoo and Conditioner duo is doing a majority of the work for me – using innovative technology to create a foundation of strong hair that’s able to combat damage before it even happens. Which means I can get back to lying on a beach somewhere, breeze blowing in my (healthy) hair.


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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The Steele Maiden: Weekly Round-Up

Why is it that I always seem to be the very busiest at work in the summer and time flies by the fastest? Exactly in the season when I want to savor it the most? One of life’s biggest conundrums. I’ve been making the most of my slivers of free time lately by hanging out in the city and escaping into the sun as much as possible. Here – a few things on my mind as we reach the halfway point on summer. Happy weekend friends!

  1. A couple of the photos above are from last weekend’s drive out to Rockaway Beach. I wore this cute cut-out one piece swimsuit that was a big hit with you all on Instagram (and comes in a few other colors too).
  2. I’ve been really refining the products I use on my skin and hair each day and Origins new GinZing line (with ginseng and caffeine) has made the cut. Their eye cream is truly magic at de-puffing my tired lids in the morning and erasing dark circles and the tinted moisturizer with SPF 40 is all I’ve been wearing on my skin lately (see the image above where my face is otherwise make-up free).
  3. I’ve got really big plans for the second half of the year and picked up this book (which I’ve heard people rave over lately) as a little mental pep-talk.
  4. I’m constantly in search of the best iced chai tea latte in the city. Maison Kayser  serves up a pretty solid option – plus has the cute tiled floors pictured above.
  5. When Lucinda Chambers was fired from her Fashion Director role at British Vogue after 25 years – she wrote a tell-all, tell-off of the magazine and industry at large. My favorite excerpt: “There are very few fashion magazines that make you feel empowered. Most leave you totally anxiety-ridden, for not having the right kind of dinner party, setting the table in the right kind of way or meeting the right kind of people. Truth be told, I haven’t read Vogue in years. Maybe I was too close to it after working there for so long, but I never felt I led a Vogue-y kind of life. The clothes are just irrelevant for most people – so ridiculously expensive. What magazines want today is the latest, the exclusive. It’s a shame that magazines have lost the authority they once had. They’ve stopped being useful. In fashion we are always trying to make people buy something they don’t need. We don’t needany more bags, shirts or shoes. So we cajole, bully or encourage people into continue buying. I know glossy magazines are meant to be aspirational, but why not be both useful and aspirational? That’s the kind of fashion magazine I’d like to see.”  Same Lucinda, same.


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I usually do these weekly round-ups on Fridays, but Adam and I spent the weekend at home in Pennsylvania with family and didn’t take a single photo for this blog. Kind of refreshing.. but also leaves me starting the week a bit behind! I’ll have more for you the rest of this week – including everything I’m packing for 4th of July at the lake! – but for now, here are a few things on my mind. And don’t forget to scroll to the bottom to enter my shared giveaway, you could win a $1,000 Nordstrom giveaway!

  1. Speaking of my hometown in PA, the sandals shown above are from a local company there called Dansko. They are best known for making clogs that doctors and nurses often wear (designed to keep people comfortably on their feet for long hours), but their regular line is filled with cute sandals this summer. And I’m not kidding when I say wearing this platform pair is like walking on an actual cloud.
  2. My sister and I are thinking about planning a little girl’s trip for late summer. Any suggestions for where we should head? I’ve still never been to Newport, Rhode Island or could head back to somewhere I’ve been only briefly like Nashville, Tennessee!
  3. I’ve been obsessed with straw basket bags all spring/summer and I’m not alone. This Glitter Guide post shows how some of my favorite bloggers are wearing them.. and you may spot a familiar face!
  4. I’d usually always choose a skirt or dress over a pair of shorts but this pair is so fun I could be convinced otherwise. With a blazer I think they could even work for the office, but with heels and a silk tank they just scream date night.
  5. I’ve been using the Babbel app on my lunch breaks to re-learn French (I took 5 years of it between high school and college but have forgotten so much since not using it). The app almost feels like you’re playing a game and it’s a fun way to work your mind.. which otherwise aimlessly scrolling through Instagram on my lunch breaks just doesn’t do.

Have a great week friends! And now.. for the giveaway:

2017 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

I’ve teamed up with an amazing group of bloggers
to give YOU a chance to win:
a $1,000 Nordstrom Gift Card, just in time for the Anniversary Sale!

Simply enter below by completing the rafflecopter.
You’ll receive one entry per completion.
This giveaway is open internationally and runs until 7/3.
Winner will be announced here. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The Steele Maiden: Blonde Bayalage French Braid

Helloooo Summer Fridays! From Memorial Day through Labor Day my office is closed on Fridays (in exchange for working longer days Monday through Thursday). And while it definitely makes the first half of the week feel like it moves at a breakneck speed, having 3 day weekends for a few months each year is wildly worth it.

This weekend we’re celebrating Adam’s birthday with lot’s of fun plans all around town. From a special hotel stay-cation to the ballet at Lincoln Center to burgers and a concert in Brooklyn, we’re going to be covering a LOT of ground. Be sure you’re following along on Instagram (especially IG stories where I share things in real time). And here – a few other things on my mind as we head into the weekend:

  1. This list of 10 Trips You Should Take in Your Twenties makes me feel like a lucky little lady. I’ve done all but #9!
  2. This is the next book on my summer reading list.
  3. They say your style remains forever influenced by the decade in which you grew up – for me the Nineties. While there are a lot of trends from the 90s that I’m happy to forget, it’s true that I’ve always loved the simplicity of the Carolyn Bessette Kennedy types of that era. This dress I picked up for the weekend reminds me of that time in fashion.
  4. As pictured above, I got a fresh cut and went blonder for the summer. I’m thrilled to be rid of my grown out roots and love the natural highlights. If you’re in NYC and in need of a cut (Sarah Rappolt) or color (David Benjamin) head to Wonderland Beauty Parlor in Meatpacking and tell them I sent you.
  5. I never post recipes here (aside from delicious cocktails that is), but I recently made these Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with balsamic onions and goat cheese and they’re honestly too good not to share.

P.S. Sign up for my newsletter for more Friday fun. And have a great weekend friends!


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The Steele Maiden © 2012

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle. Based in NYC.