The Steele Maiden: Day Trip to Montauk

Believe it or not (and I’m firmly in the camp of denial), there are only a few weekends of true, pre-Labor Day summer left. How that happened is always a mind boggling question – but if you are anything like me, you intend to soak them up. One of my favorite weekends of the Summer was the one that Adam and I spent road-tripping out to Montauk (at the very end of the Hamptons). Since I never got around to sharing some of our favorite spots from that trip I figured I would do it now – while you still have time to get out there!



There are a few ways to get all the way out to the ‘End of the World’ as Montauk is lovingly nicknamed by us New Yorkers – but we chose to drive. It’s our preferred mode of transport (Adam loves to drive in a way that few people I’ve ever met do) and I love the convenience of being able to pack 2 books and 3 pairs of shoes and not worrying about the weight of schlepping them. Win, win. If you don’t have the luxury of a car and don’t want to rent one, there’s the Hampton Jitney bus or the train. Weekend tickets tend to book up so buy ahead and if you’re driving I suggest leaving bright and early. We did so and avoided almost all traffic, making it from Manhattan to Montauk in about 2.5 hours.


When we plan a day trip we like to make a pretty good plan of attack (there is less of a luxury of ‘wandering’ the way we do on longer trips) so we went straight to the very end of Montauk first and then worked our way inland throughout the day so that by the end, we were already pointed out of town. First up was Montauk Lighthouse in Montauk Point State Park which was a complete gem of a spot. We didn’t bother going up to the lighthouse itself because we were there for the views and the rocky coastline. We ended up having the beach nearly to ourselves and wandered along the rocks in the morning sun. Well worth the $8 parking lot fee.

Later in the day we made a pit stop at Gurney’s Montauk (as I described in this post). It’s a little more of a “scene” than our style (for example: the parking lot was full of fancy, shiny cars and when the young valet kid brought around Adam’s loud af Subaru with no front bumper, grinding the gears because he clearly had no idea how to drive a race car – we both just burst into laughter. Like how did they even let us into this place?! We tipped him nicely for trying his best and left the place in our usual cloud of smoke.) – but if you’re looking for a glam place with a beachside bar to relax and hang with friends this is it. You can rent a cabana to yourselves to gain access to their beachfront without actually staying at the resort.


The Lobster Roll back on the main road into town is a true, East Coast family-run seafood joint serving up no frills fare and the lobster rolls did not disappoint. Worth the line outside for sure. For dinner/drinks/music the ultimate Montauk scene lives at the Surf Lodge. Regrettably the place was completely booked and we couldn’t get in even to the bar without having had a dinner reservation. Learn from our mistake and book ahead. Our back-up was to head over the Montauk Brewing Company, because it has all of their homegrown beers on tap, obviously, but also because it had a backyard style hang-out area that offered some shade.

Any other favorites in Montauk? I’d love to get back out there in the remaining weeks of Summer or early Fall!

The Steele Maiden: Day Trip to Montauk The Steele Maiden: Day Trip to MontaukThe Steele Maiden: Day Trip to Montauk The Steele Maiden: Day Trip to Montauk The Steele Maiden: Day Trip to Montauk


The Steele Maiden: Historic Sheridan Inn - Guide to Sheridan, Wyoming

When I thought about how I wanted to share our trip to Wyoming with you all – I knew that the Sheridan Inn would need it’s own post. Our home base for our time in Sheridan, this was one of the very first places I was set on when we first started researching for our trip. I’ve become really picky about our hotel choices over the years (painstakingly so Adam would tell you) because to me, it’s kind of the cornerstone of any travel. It sets the tone for the trip and offers comfort after long days of exploring. And my biggest requirement – that it reflects the destination and really feels like you’re immersed in a place.

The Steele Maiden: Historic Sheridan Inn - Guide to Sheridan, Wyoming

The Historic Sheridan Inn checked all of those boxes. Conveniently located right at the end of downtown, each night the Inn welcomed us back inside with a roaring fire, cloud like bed and dreamy clawfoot tub. Aside from all of that, the place was steeped in history – not just for the town of Sheridan but the Wild West and world over. It was home base for Buffalo Bill who would practice his rodeo shows on the grand front porch. Annie Oakley, Teddy Roosevelt and even Queen Elizabeth on her visit to town all stayed there.

The Steele Maiden: Historic Sheridan Inn - Guide to Sheridan, WyomingThe Steele Maiden: Historic Sheridan Inn - Guide to Sheridan, Wyoming

Each room is completely unique and named after one of it’s infamous guests. We had the pleasure of staying in the Buffalo Bill suite which felt as grand as the man himself (I think I lost count of how many soaks I had in that huge tub). Local shop Little Willow Traders, which we later visited downtown, did all of the interior decorating and every detail felt so thoughtfully put in place – from the handmade chairs in the lobby to the Pendleton blankets on the end of each bed to the checkerboard tables on the 3rd floor suite where guests can relax and play games. And yes, Adam beat me. And yes, I still think he cheated.

The Steele Maiden: Historic Sheridan Inn - Guide to Sheridan, Wyoming  The Steele Maiden: Historic Sheridan Inn - Guide to Sheridan, WyomingThe Steele Maiden: Historic Sheridan Inn - Guide to Sheridan, Wyoming

Aside from all of that, the staff was the absolute sweetest, they have a full ballroom where they had live music and dancing on Friday night and a connected restaurant called Open Range that served up a seriously hearty dinner complete with local craft beer pairings. In short, if we hadn’t had such a jam-packed itinerary we may very well have never left the Inn.

The Steele Maiden: Historic Sheridan Inn - Guide to Sheridan, WyomingThe Steele Maiden: Historic Sheridan Inn - Guide to Sheridan, Wyoming

I’m going to be sharing our entire itinerary coming up next (style posts so far from Sheridan here and here), but let this serve as a sneak peek of the epic cowboy adventure I’m about to take you all on. Until then.. I’ll be here.. dreaming of how to get myself one of those tubs.

The Steele Maiden: Historic Sheridan Inn - Guide to Sheridan, Wyoming

**A special thank you to Wyoming, Sheridan and the Sheridan Inn for hosting us. As always all opinions are completely my own.


The Steele Maiden: Where to Stay in Los Angeles - Carlyle Inn Beverly Hills

2017 – you were quite a year. To be honest, this year was one of the most trying for me personally – and when I think about the tragedies and upheaval our country faced I don’t think I was alone in this. I felt chronically stressed at my full time job, had a few health struggles (from a night in the ER after a deadly-feeling stomach bug to ongoing knee pain that took its toll on my running routine – something I love dearly) and turned 30 which threw quite a few of my life choices into question. In general it was a year that I felt a little bit stuck. Like I wasn’t quite where I wanted to be and the progress I’d planned wasn’t quite as fast as I’d hoped.

Although when I look back on my year in photos none of that shows. Instagram/blogs are funny that way, aren’t they? And despite the above, I feel grateful for this year. Not just because I think that struggling a bit makes me stronger in the end and spurs me to work even harder for what I really want in life – but also because I had a million happy memories too – from little things like Sunday breakfasts with Adam at our favorite neighborhood cafe to incredible travel that took us to new places and back to old favorite places – and feel thankful for the opportunities that the year brought. Below, I’m sharing my favorite moments.

And a heartfelt thank you to all of you for coming along for the ride. Whether you just found my blog or have been following for years – one of the things that has always brought me joy (even when the rest of my life may have felt out of balance) has been this blog and sharing my adventures with all of you. I’m really looking forward to some of the things I have in the queue for 2018 so I hope you all stick around. xx, Jess

Photo above from our trip back to LA in April and our stay at the swoon-worthy Carlyle Inn Beverly Hills. // Full post here.

The Steele Maiden: Spring Occasion Wear with Amazon Fashion - Nicole Miller Floral Lace Dress

Wandering the West Village on an early Saturday morning in March, in one of the prettiest dresses I’ve ever worn and an armful of hydrangeas felt a little bit like a movie scene. // Full post here.

The Steele Maiden: Weekend Style - overalls and stripes

This simple striped overall look was one of my most liked on Instagram. It seems easy, casual looks are your favorites so I’m going to try to show more of that in the coming year. // Full post here.

The Steele Maiden: Talbots Floral Print Shift Dress in Palm Springs

We visited Palm Springs for the first time in April (for the wedding of a dear friend) and fell in love with the colorful desert oasis. Adam and I joked that we’re going to start spending winters switching between Miami and Palm Springs – not a bad retirement plan, right? // Full post here and travel guide to Palm Springs here.

The Steele Maiden: High Waist Bikini and Straw Panama Hat

We spent a few days back in LA and had the most relaxing afternoon on Manhattan Beach (our favorite spot when we used to live in LA). These bathing suit pictures were outside my comfort zone, but when I look at them now I’m so glad we took them because it makes me remember how happy we were that day. // Full post here.

The Steele Maiden: Floral eyelet midi dress and navy wide brim straw hat

We headed back to Charleston (it was our 2nd time there) to celebrate my 30th birthday and had the absolute best time – sealing the deal as one of our favorite cities in the US to visit. I got eaten alive by mosquitos on this particular night but felt like a Southern Belle in that dress wandering the pretty back alleys with Adam. // Full post here and travel guide to Charleston here.

The Steele Maiden: Summer Styling Tip - Graphic Tee and Eyelet Skirt

The basket bag was was one of my favorite trends of 2017 and this look was one of my most popular. Sometimes re-thinking old closet favorites (knotting a graphic tee and wrapping a handkerchief around a bag handle) makes things feel completely new again. // Full post here.

The Steele Maiden: How to Plan the Perfect Staycation in the City this Summer with Omni Berkshire Hotel

On a hot summer weekend in June, Adam and I headed uptown and had a staycation at the Omni Berkshire Hotel. We had a balcony overlooking skyscrapers and they set up a private outdoor movie screening for us, then we got dressed up and raced a few blocks over to catch the ballet at Lincoln Center. This city never stops feeling magical to me. // Full post here.

The Steele Maiden: Anthropologie Gingham Crop Top and Wide Leg Chinos

These photos remind me of everything that’s perfect about summer in the city. I loved this outfit but I also remember having a really great day for no particular reason. No agenda, that humidity getting to my hair, and the fact that we got soft serve cones from the ice cream truck right after we finished shooting. // Full post here.

The Steele Maiden: Sebago Shoes at the Lake

We spent plenty of days at the lake house this summer, and this corner of the dock continues to be one of my happiest places in the world. // Full post here.

The Steele Maiden: His and Hers Casual Fall Style with Old Navy

I convinced Adam to come out from behind the camera a few times this year and these were my favorites – because they feel most like us. On a casual day, driving back from the lake house, when we pulled over the car just because the street looked good. // Full post here.

NYFW Style: Seventies Inspired Style for Fall

Another NYFW on the books – this 70s disco inspired look was my favorite. And as always, Adam will do whatever it takes to get that shoe shot for me. // Full post here.

The Steele Maiden - 3 Must Have Coats for Fall Travel

On a last minute whim, we booked an AirBnB for a September weekend in Rhode Island and explored Newport and the town of Bristol. It ended up being one of my favorite weekends of the whole year. // Full post here  and travel guide to Newport here.

The Steele Maiden: London Night Out Style - Leopard Ruffle Dress, Fisherman's Cap and Patent Booties

This was a big one. 10 years after studying abroad in London I finally made it back and this time had the joy of showing Adam around. We lucked out with the best weather and had such an incredible time. // Full post here and travel guide to London here.

The Steele Maiden: Cotswolds, England - English Countryside Inspired Style for Fall

While we were in London we drove out to the countryside to visit the string of tiny villages known as the Cotswolds. We stayed at the dreamiest cottage inn and I felt like I was living out a Jane Austen novel. Still working on my full travel guide to this area coming in the new year! // Full post here.

The Steele Maiden: Emerald Green Jumpsuit - Holiday Party Style

We also made it to Scotland for the first time and spent a couple of nights in Edinburgh. The whole city felt like a medieval dream – another travel guide I’ve got planned for you soon! // Full post here.

The Steele Maiden: Fall Special Occasion - Velvet Floral Dress

I teamed up with my hair wizard Sarah Rappolt to shoot 3 holiday hairstyles and loved this simple, romantic updo the most. I’m hoping to bring you more of my easy approach to hair and beauty in 2018. // Full post here.

The Steele Maiden: His and Hers Special Occasion Holiday Style - Red Wrap dress and navy blue suit

Adam and I headed back to the Omni for a special holiday shoot. Midway through dancing on their rooftop and popping champagne in a private room we looked at each other laughing and said..  ‘not a bad day’s work, huh?’. None of this would be half as fun if I didn’t have him to do it with. // Full post here.



The Steele Maiden: Travel Tips for Couples

We’ve all seen it (or been the ones ourselves) – the couple fighting at baggage claim or pulled off to the side of the road looking angrily at a map. What is it about travel that can bring out the worst in a couple? Adam and I don’t claim to never ever fight while traveling, but after 6+ years and countless trips together I like to think we’ve hit our stride. And since I often share the perfectly posed ‘after’ photos of our vacations.. I thought I’d share a more personal look at how we travel together in the hopes that it may save you from being the one in that baggage claim fight next time. Below, our best advice:


Okay, okay, so your 12 hour flight to Hawaii probably isn’t going to be as fun as laying on the beach with a daiquiri in hand.. but if you go into it dreading the actual ‘travel’ part of the trip I promise you’re going to be way more likely to be in a bad mood and probably end up picking a fight. Or just being a lame travel partner. Plus, in the case of our 2 cross country road trips, getting there really was the fun. So just embrace it and choose to start your vacation the minute you walk out your front door.

We’ve still got bottle rockets in our trunk from that detour to South of the Border and cry laughing thinking of the time we nearly missed our connection in Prague and got a lecture from the flight attendant about being late. Your favorite memories may just end up being in the ‘getting there’.

The Steele Maiden: Travel Tips for Couples


Despite your best laid plans.. I promise you, things are going to go wrong. You’re going to actually miss a flight connection, get a flat tire, arrive to the hotel only to end up hating the property, The photo on the beach at the beginning of this post? Our camera fell off the tripod minutes later and the lens broke. On our last trip to Los Angeles I spent a night in the Emergency Room hooked up to an IV (after catching a terrible stomach bug) with Adam curled up in a tiny chair beside me. Our king sized bed and hotel room only a few miles away.

It’s all in how you deal with it. And for Adam and I that means as a team. Even if frustrations are high, we try not to take it out on each other (easier said than done if either of us is ‘hangry’) and come up with the best/quickest/cheapest/whatever solution. Then get back to the fun stuff. Do you really want to spend your entire vacation sulking over the fact that your baggage was delayed for a day?

The Steele Maiden: Travel Tips for Couples


I’ve heard this more than once with couples I know – they go on vacation and all of a sudden one partner thinks that the other would want to go white water rafting or zip lining or shopping at luxury boutiques  all day. And, because the other is not at all the type of person who would ever want to actually do this, they begrudgingly go along with it and it ends in a fight (or in my sister’s case, tears on her honeymoon – what my brother in law was thinking with that hike when all she had packed was flip-flops – and hates hiking – I’ll never know…).

For example – Adam loves cars, so it would silly for me to get frustrated when we’re in a foreign country and he’s stopping every 10 feet to take photos of rare cars he’s never seen before. Likewise, I love laying on the beach but it’s not really Adam’s thing. So he’ll let me get extra time on the beach by being the one that leaves to go pick up lunch or run back to the hotel for a change of clothes. Sure, we’re traveling, but we are who we are – and you have to just respect that.

The Steele Maiden: Travel Tips for Couples


Travel can be stressful and often feels like ‘high stakes’ – you spent $xxx on this vacation so you have to pack every moment full of sight-seeing and Instagram-worthy adventures. But we’ve found that as a couple, travel works best when it’s a balance of relaxing time spent really connecting and time spent exploring. So we’ll leave ourselves a morning or two to wake up slowly and hang out in the hotel room, or skip a night of checking out local bars for a bubble bath and movies in a king-sized bed (since we don’t have a bathtub or a big bed at home) instead. Then the next day hit the ground running.

The Steele Maiden: Travel Tips for Couples


Honestly I think one of reasons that Adam and I have such a great time traveling together is because we never forget how grateful we are to do it. There were years in our early twenties when we were way too broke to travel (although even then we managed to pack picnic lunches and take day trips) so now that we have the opportunity to see the world together we feel lucky to do so. I hope I’m never standing next to this person that I love in the midst of a beautiful far-flung city bickering about some silly thing. What a waste of a gift.

And lastly, just for fun – a few travel selfies:

1st row (L): In Amsterdam, after a few cheap beers (R): En route to Montreal, sleepy

2nd row (L): In Miami, slightly sunburnt (R): In Charleston, swatting away mosquitos

3rd row (L): In Copenhagen, jet lagged (R): In Maine, battling the wind

The Steele Maiden: Travel Tips for Couples


Miami, Florida: Fringe Accessories with Sole Society

I’m back in New York as of yesterday after a whirlwind trip to Miami and am literally bursting to share photos, outfits and must see spots from our travels. It was Adam and I’s first time visiting Miami and the city turned out to be sensory overload in the best possible way. Around every corner was some new explosion of color and flavor of local life. Naturally, I did my best to dress for the occasion.