Serena & Lily Favorites and Sale Picks

I absolutely LOVE Serena & Lily. You can go all out with a very serene and beachy vibe or you can sprinkle items into almost any other style with ease. Their products are gorgeous, functional and HIGH quality. I feel like it can be a bit over budget sometimes and there are many other places where you can get that look and feel without the price tag. I mean, why spend $198 on a sheepskin rug when you can go to IKEA and get the same thing for $30? Am I right?? That being said, there are a number of things that are either hard to replicate, don’t have the same quality, or I just plain prefer from Serena & Lily.

For the next few days, you can shop Serena & Lily for 20% off the whole site during their Spring Design Event! Sale ends Monday 3/25. Use code: INSPO

I’ve rounded up my sale picks for you! Some of these items I own, I love, and would buy 100 times over. Some of these items are things on my wish list (but I have a massive amount of decluttering to do before I will allow myself to purchase!!). I tried to keep this list to some of their lower cost items. Everything pictured above ranges from $46 – $398 with the discount!

  • Baskets: These La Jolla Baskets are probably my favorite baskets of all time. I love organizers of all kinds and my house is FULL of baskets. The La Jolla baskets are a beautiful decorative element alone but they are SUPER functional. For me, they are laundry baskets and a place to corral our clothing donations. I’ve seen look-alike options at places like HomeGoods and they are just not the same.
  • Stools: I’ve wanted this Teak Step Stool for years and I might finally pull the trigger during the sale. When you have small children and it’s necessary to keep a step stool out at all times, this looks way better than the plastic ones. My kiddo no longer needs a stool but we do have plenty of visitors so I’m sure I can find a way to justify the purchase. The Dip-Dyed Stools are used Every :: Single :: DAY in our house. I mentioned them in a favorites video on YouTube several years ago and I love them even more now. I will say, the 3 legs makes them less sturdy than others (read: please don’t stand on them). However, they are comfortable to sit on to do my hair, my makeup, my daughter’s hair, etc. I usually sit on the tall one and rest my feet on the short one because I’m one of those people who is incapable of resting my feet on the floor. Using these stools has been life changing.
  • Pillows: I don’t actually own any Serena & Lily pillows but they are completely my style. I love them! There are plenty of styles, textures, colors, sizes, shapes, etc to choose from that you could easily find ones to go with just about any home decor style. ( Navy Monogram | White)
  • Lanterns: The Whitewashed Hurricanes pictured above would be beautiful on a back deck or patio and even inside on a table or a little floor vignette. I’m so happy to see so many lantern options in all my favorite home decor stores lately! I’m digging these lanterns pictured above too.
  • Kid’s Furniture: I’ve always loved how the adult sized Riviera chairs and barstools look. They give a very Parisian café vibe. I also love how they have come out with a mini version for the kiddos! We just updated our playroom furniture but I might have purchased the Riviera Play Chairs and Riviera Play Table if I had seen them first. Très Chic!
  • Art: Serena & Lily has an incredible selection of original artwork and prints. The piece pictured here is gorgeous “January Buds” – very ME. It’s featured as nursery decor and there are a bunch of sweet images for a sweet babe’s room but I could place this floral print in just about any room. I’m obsessed.
  • Chairs: There are at least 8 different chairs I would love to have from Serena & Lily. They know how to do chairs well. Director’s chairs have been around in design for a long time. They’re classic and so are stripes. Enter the striped Director’s Chair. Use it indoors or out. You just can’t go wrong.
  • Beach Towels: Serena & Lily textiles are just plain good. I could link you to the beach towel here and just leave it at that. Just plain good. But I’ll just add that I love having a big stack of matching beach towels and these are soft, absorbent, big, and -buzz word of the day- QUALITY. They are also perfect to double as a blanket if you dig that whole sitting at the beach (or just outside) on a cool evening.

I would also love to throw a new dining set, some amazing lighting (in love with this sconce), and a new rug for the living room into my online shopping cart and I might have to try out their linen pajama sets!

Do you have anything from Serena & Lily that you love? Are you shopping the sale? Leave a comment below!

Travel Essentials: CarryOn

I’m counting down the days {less than 2!} until I’m on the sandy beaches of Puerto Rico!! I will spend the majority of that time stressing over what clothes to pack and running last minutes errands. But one thing I won’t need to worry about it what to put in my carryon bag because I’ve got that down to a science! That helps a lot because the hubs and I have a ton of travel planned in 2014 and I can rest a little easier knowing that my essentials are taken care of.

Travel Essentails Carryon - City Southern Blog

When I fly, I have a bit of a routine. I guess it started when I was flying back and forth between school and home.

  • Outfit: I wear comfortable clothes {nothing that ties in the back, nothing that is too tight or is uncomfortable when sitting down}. I wear long sleeves or layers if I’m going someplace warm.
  • Getting Through Security: I wear slip-on shoes to make this process a little easier. I do not wear a belt and I try not to wear a heavy coat. I keep the jewelry to a minimum and usually don’t put most of it on until after I get through security. Make sure you empty your pockets!
  • To Check, or Not to Check: If I check luggage with my clothes inside, I make sure to have an extra shirt and an extra pair of underwear in my carryon! You never know when your luggage will get lost so it’s better to be prepared. That being said, I never check my bag unless I have to.
  • Organized Baggage: I use a rolling suitcase and my carryon bag sits on top. {My Tumi is great because it’s soft-sided and can easily be squished in the overhead compartment if necessary.} I try to pack my purse in the suitcase and just put my wallet in the carryon. My phone {with electronic boarding pass!} and ID goes in an outside carryon pocket for easy access.

Now let’s get specific!

The bag you use is just as important as the items you put inside. The most important things I look for in a carryon bag are interior organizers and pockets, and a pocket in the back that allows the bag to slide over the handle of a rolling suitcase. The bag I am obsessed with for these exact reasons is the Lo and Sons OG bag. UHB.SESS.DUH.

LoOG I mean, do you see all the interior goodness going on? You can fit a ton of things inside – things neatly tucked away in compartments. I first learned about it when Julie did a review on her blog, Table for Two. Check it out here. She picked the slightly smaller version, the “OMG” bag.

OG Inside

Get it HERE

I try not to take a computer with me when I travel simply because it adds a lot of weight, but I do take my iPad with me. I mostly use this on the plane to read magazines rather than carry a million paper copies. The Kindle app is good for the same purpose. iPad definitely goes in a protective case inside the carryon bag.

Carryon Essentails at CitySouthernBlog - iPad

{Porter Magazine | iPad Sleeve}

I have a little cosmetic pouch that holds all my small but important things so they don’t get lost in the bottom of my bag. Most of the time, this bag goes in whatever purse I’m carrying and of course, it goes in my carryon when I travel. A sampling of items included: A snack, pain meds and Benadryl, travel size lint roller, a few dollars and coins, minty gum, nail file, hair accessories and a sleep mask. The sleep mask comes in handy for longer flights or International flights! I also have a jewelry pouch inside this particular cosmetic bag. I keep a few extra pairs of staple stud earrings in there and when I take off any jewelry it goes here to keep from losing or damaging it!

Don’t forget a stash of makeup basics! When you get off the plane you can make a quick stop in the ladies’ room without having to dig to the bottom of your suitcase. This is important when you are headed somewhere straight from the airport or you just need to freshen up your makeup a bit. {Makeup that you may or may not have smeared all over your face while snoozing away on the plane!}

Carryon Essentails at City Southern Blog

{Cosmetic Bag | Pill Box | Jewelry Pouch | Snack Bar | Sleep Mask | Hair Ties | Lip Balm | Eyeliner}

Another cosmetic bag is filled with phone chargers, headphones, and any other electronic accessories I need. I must admit, my big headphones take up a lot of space, but the “ear buds” that sit inside your ear hurt me and I just can’t wear them! I do love the look of these Beats by Dr. Dre ones. They match my favorite FRENDS headphones!

Carryon Essentails - Electronics at CitySouthernBlog

{Case | USB Charger | FRENDS Headphones | Ear Bud Headphones}

I am a LIST fanatic, and I prefer paper + pen. I also make sure I have a black Sharpie marker with me. Ya know, for all those autographs people ask me for? {just kidding!!} Seriously though, I’m amazed at how often I need to use it!

Carryon Essentails at City Southern Blog

{Notebooks | Sharpie}

I’m always cold when I’m indoors anyway, but on a plane I’m freezing! As I mentioned, I wear slip on shoes through security and that doesn’t include socks, so I keep a pair of cozy socks in my carryon bag. If my feet are cold, my whole body is cold so socks take care of that problem! An open front cardigan helps with the chill as well, and goes with just about any outfit. You could also use a pashmina!

Carryon Essentails at City Southern Blog

{Cardigan | Socks}

I should also mention that wherever possible, I have these items stored separately from things I use everyday so that I don’t have to spend a lot of time hunting down things to pack. And although this isn’t everything in my bag, it’s a pretty close representation and genuinely includes the items I use and love, similar items, or items that are on my wishlist. There are also things like sunglasses and an umbrella that are generally included even though they aren’t listed above. There isn’t really a one-size-fits-all formula for a carryon bag, but I hope that seeing my list gives you some inspiration!

Got anything to add? Comment below!

Catherine Calligraphy