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A SUMMER SWEATER AND DENIM MINISKIRT

The Steele Maiden: Summer Sweater and Denim Miniskirt

Okay, okay… so technically these pictures were taken beside the East River and not the ‘Sea’ but it leads into the Atlantic Ocean so let’s count it? Also – you guys, two blog posts in two consecutive days! I told you I was going to be back! Ha.

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Now back to this ‘summer sweater‘ which is basically my new favorite thing. How cute for the 4th of July fireworks at the beach? Or just any chilly evening or cool morning this season. I’m also that person that practically shivers when I even hear A/C being turned on.. so it’s good for a freezing office too. This denim miniskirt meanwhile goes with absolutely everything (evidenced by the fact that if you’ve seen me IRL in the past couple of months I’ve likely been wearing it). Plus my favorite flat leather sandals and straw bag (from this post) that I’m still getting tons of wear out of. That’s the thing about getting just a few quality items at the beginning of the season – they don’t fall to shreds by Labor Day.

Loft ‘Sea’ Sweater | Urban Outfitters Denim Miniskirt | Talbots Straw Bag and Leather Sandals c/o

The Steele Maiden: Summer Sweater and Denim Miniskirt The Steele Maiden: Summer Sweater and Denim Miniskirt The Steele Maiden: Summer Sweater and Denim Miniskirt

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BEFORE AND AFTER: APARTMENT ENTRYWAY MAKEOVER

The Steele Maiden: Before and After - Apartment Entryway Makeover

Welcome to the apartment entryway! There’s been quite a bit of radio silence on the blog between this spring and early summer but this entryway project felt like it really got the creative juices flowing again and I’m so excited to get back to sharing regular content with you all. Starting with this little space. It’s the first in the apartment to be “done” and even though it’s not a large area, I do think the changes made a big impact. Keep scrolling to see the ‘before’ and full ‘after’!

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The Steele Maiden: Before and After - Apartment Entryway MakeoverThe Steele Maiden: Before and After - Apartment Entryway Makeover

The entryway leads into the living area and so I wanted it to feel a part of that space (and the things I have planned for it), while still feeling like it served distinctly as an entry space. This meant I wanted a last minute place to check my lipstick and somewhere we could hang our keys and jackets on the way in and out.

The first thing to go was the ‘rental white’ paint color. I can’t stand it and so my Mom (an absolute master painter) generously lent her skills to repainting the living room and entryway in Benjamin Moore’s ‘Shoreline’. The facing wall I painted this deep navy teal (I had literally been dreaming of painting a wall this color for years) and love how it turned out as a nice rich accent.

The Steele Maiden: Before and After - Apartment Entryway Makeover

The mirror in the entry is actually a window from the barn at my grandparent’s old house (where my Dad grew up). My parent’s salvaged a few of them before my grandparents moved and my Mom had mercury glass mirror put behind it. I love that it feels like a little piece of my Pennsylvania home here in New York. Above it hangs a sign saying ‘Entreé‘ which means entrance in French and was a sweet housewarming gift from a dear friend.

Another thing we replaced were the light fixture (reference the ‘before again… eek) and the door pull on the coat closet. Small changes that make a really big difference. I added matching knobs to the wall as makeshift hooks beneath the mirror.

The Steele Maiden: Before and After - Apartment Entryway MakeoverThe Steele Maiden: Before and After - Apartment Entryway Makeover

The bar cart is filled with lots of personal touches that I love – the photo hanging above it is from a perfect night spent wandering the canals in Amsterdam while the Buffalo Bill image framed below is actually a playing card from a deck picked up on our trip to Wyoming. It’s the Ace of Hearts which we decided was a good omen – to leave the house with luck and enter with love. The illustration framed in the lower part of the bar cart is a map of the Cotswolds from the cutest country Inn we stayed at there last Fall. And the bar cart itself is a $15 flea market find from when we lived in Los Angeles (it’s a vintage typewriter cart).

The Steele Maiden: Before and After - Apartment Entryway Makeover     The Steele Maiden: Before and After - Apartment Entryway Makeover

I wanted the downstairs living area space of the apartment to feel like New York in the Fall (crisp, rich colors and textures yet an overall warm and inviting feeling) and I think that the entryway is a good start to that. More to come!

The Steele Maiden: Before and After - Apartment Entryway Makeover

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BLACK MINIDRESS AND STRAW TOTE

The Steele Maiden: Summer Style - Black Minidress and Straw Tote

We’ve only had a couple of really warm days so far (you’re welcome to arrive any day now Summer…), but in those few instances I’ve already determined my staples of the season.

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The formula is as follows: easy knit, button down dress (that can be worn on or off the shoulder, and dressed up or down), simple leather sandals that are walk-everywhere comfy and a fun straw tote (I love the neutral stripe and round handle on this one). Wear and repeat. Also – these photos remind me of Charleston instead of New York and it makes me desperately want to go back. And not just for the guaranteed summer weather (see my full travel guide to the city here). I think it’s time I plan a Summer getaway, since I already know what I’ll be packing.

Urban Outfitters Knit Minidress | Talbots Leather Sandals and Straw Tote c/o | Statement Earrings – similar

The Steele Maiden: Summer Style - Black Minidress and Straw Tote The Steele Maiden: Summer Style - Black Minidress and Straw Tote The Steele Maiden: Summer Style - Black Minidress and Straw Tote The Steele Maiden: Summer Style - Black Minidress and Straw Tote The Steele Maiden: Summer Style - Black Minidress and Straw Tote

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SPRING STYLE WITH TALBOTS

The Steele Maiden: Spring Style with Talbots

Is there anything better than a warm, sunny day after a week of straight rain? Or for that matter after months of cold? For my money – no. Although these green gingham heels may be a close second.

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In New York we seemed to have skipped straight from an endless winter to full out Summer with not a whole lot of Spring in between. And my wardrobe feels ill prepared. That’s why these fun slides and a cheery scarf (that I’ve already worn tied around a handbag strap, around my neck and around a loose ponytail) are easy updates to an otherwise simple Spring (or Summer?) wardrobe. This navy t-shirt and white eyelet skirt can be worn a million different ways which is precisely why I love them. I had another white eyelet skirt that I’d worn constantly for the past couple of years and when I pulled it down from storage this year, I knew it had seen better days and donated it to a local charity shop. This fit and flare version (which also comes in navy) is my new update and I think we’ll get along just fine.

Side note: The Flatiron Building is one of my favorite spots in New York but I’ve never shot pictures here because I always thought it was too hard to capture (the height of the building makes it hard plus it’s an impossibly busy intersection – you can see what I mean in the 3rd shot down). We got lucky with an early Sunday morning lull there, backing up fairly far away from the building itself and, as always, Adam being willing to basically be on the ground to get the shot. All in all I love how they turned out – especially the last picture.

Madewell Scarf | Straw Bag – Similar | Navy T-Shirt c/o Amazon Fashion | Talbots Eyelet Fit and Flare Skirt and Gingham Knot Slides c/o  | ZeroUV Sunglasses c/o

The Steele Maiden: Spring Style with Talbots The Steele Maiden: Spring Style with Talbots The Steele Maiden: Spring Style with Talbots The Steele Maiden: Spring Style with Talbots

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THE STEELE MAIDEN BOOK CLUB: CHAPTER TWO

The Steele Maiden Book Club: What I'm Reading

Earlier this year I kicked The Steele Maiden  (see the first installment here) and I’m finally back with another round.

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Ann Fowler:

After binging the Amazon series ‘Z: The Beginning of Everything’ starring Christina Ricci about the early days of Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald (which I loved) I knew I had to read the novel that it was based on. I, not surprisingly, loved the book even more than the series. If you’re a fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald, the 1920’s or just historical fiction in general I think you’d like this – but the themes of love within a complicated relationship and a woman finding her place in the world are universal here and so beautifully written that I can’t imagine anyone not finding something to relate to in this book. I can see myself re-reading this one.

You’ll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein:

This one falls into the category of books like Lena Dunham’s ‘Not that Kind of Girl’ or Amy Schumer’s ‘Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo’ – easy, amusing reads that aren’t exactly going to make you smarter but are definitely going to make you laugh a few times along the way. I honestly can’t decide if I’d recommend this or not because I think there are stronger books in the female comedian turned writer category (I’ve always loved Tina Fey’s ‘Bossypants’) – but if you’ve already read all of the top titles you’d likely enjoy this one too.

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Next month, I’m diving into Cruel, Beautiful World by Caroline Lewitt (about a young girl in the 60s who run away with her teacher), Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk (about a young woman in advertising in New York in the 30/40s that flashes forward to her life as an older woman in the 80s – I’ve already started this one and really love it so far), and The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride (set at a Drama School in 1990’s London).

All of those are new fiction though which means next go around I want to mix things up – maybe a good thriller or a historical biography? If you have suggestions send ’em my way!

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Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle. Based in NYC.