VISITING SIMON PEARCE IN VERMONT

Our final stop in Vermont a couple weeks ago was the Simon Pearce flagship store and restaurant in Quechee. My parents had visited years and years ago and my mom convinced me we absolutely had to visit. I love Simon Pearce glassware (like this bowl and these candlesticks we received as wedding presents) and was excited to see where the magic happens!

smythe white duchess blazer and stubbs & wootton black velvet mules

simon pearce restaurant quechee vt on design darling

simon pearce flagship quechee vt on design darling

First we had lunch overlooking the waterfall and covered bridge and then we made our way downstairs for a glassblowing demonstration. I had never seen glass blown in person before and I was truly mesmerized watching an employee create a wine glass before our eyes. I could have stayed and watched all day and was even more eager to make a purchase upstairs after seeing all the attention to detail that goes into every piece. We came home with two of these hurricanes which are now a happy reminder of a wonderful weekend getaway!

smythe white duchess blazer and mark and graham bamboo elisabetta slouch handbag

stubbs & wootton insecure women mule in black velvet

quechee vt on design darling

I changed out of my less-than-clean sneakers from our morning adventure and into my favorite white blazer, a navy silk blouse, and my new black velvet mules from Stubbs & Wootton. I love the look of navy and black together and this pair is just so comfy! You can use code MACKENZIE to take 10% off any Stubbs & Wootton order. I’m tempted to order a bespoke pair for Will!

smythe white duchess blazer

mark and graham bamboo elisabetta slouch handbag and stubbs & wootton black velvet mules

Smythe blazer (similar for less)  //  Polo Ralph Lauren silk blouse  //  Frame jeans

Celine sunglasses (similar for less)  //  Mark & Graham bamboo slouch bag  //  Stubbs & Wootton velvet mules c/o

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AN AFTERNOON IN STOWE, VERMONT

After our drive to Vermont and our morning in Woodstock, we drove 90 minutes north to Stowe in search of more changing leaves. Sadly the foliage was still pretty green during our visit but Stowe was beautiful nonetheless! We stopped at the Ben and Jerry’s factory in Waterbury then made our way to the Von Trapp Family Lodge. There was a big Oktoberfest celebration happening in the Bierhall, a chill in the air, and cows grazing on the lawn of the hotel so even though it still looked like summer, it definitely felt like fall!

blackwatch plaid scarf green sweater and j.crew macalister wedge boots

von trapp family lodge stowe vt

j.crew macalister wedge boots

I wore this green mockneck sweater from & Other Stories, a new-to-me site that I saw my friend Stephanie recommend on her Instagram stories. It looks like the green is now sold out (this one is similar) but the same sweater is available in gray and tan here and for $49, I feel like you can’t go wrong. A couple of the sweaters I ordered (including this and this which I wanted to love!) were a little itchy so I returned those, but this one is super soft as is this scarf that I now want in every color. I’d say & Other Stories is definitely worth a shot if you’re looking for cute pieces on a budget!

blackwatch plaid scarf on design darling

von trapp family lodge stowe vt on design darling

l.l. bean boat and tote open top size XL

A few other fall basics… a blackwatch scarf I’ve had forever (found a similar one here) and the J.Crew MacAlister wedge boots that I’ve had my eye on for years. I had a pair of Madewell desert boots that I wore into the ground a few years ago and I’m so happy to have this even comfier pair to carry me through fall and winter. And I rarely travel without my XL boat and tote bag from L.L. Bean — it’s just so easy for carrying my camera, lenses, laptop, etc. But I am on the hunt for a camera bag/backpack if you have one you’d recommend!

l.l. bean boat and tote size XL on design darling

design darling stowe vermont

j.crew macalister wedge boots and l.l. bean boat and tote size XL

& Other Stories sweater (more colors here, similar here)  //  Frame jeans

Celine sunglasses (similar for less)  //  Lands End blackwatch scarf (old, similar here)

L.L. Bean boat and tote (size XL)  //  J.Crew MacAlister wedge boots

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OUR FIRST DAY IN VERMONT

Will and I had a really fun weekend exploring Vermont this past weekend and definitely want to make this an annual trip going forward! Next year we’ll try to go a little later in the season to catch more foliage (it seems like mid-October would be ideal) but this was one of our only free weekends this fall so we went for it anyways. There weren’t many changing leaves yet but it was definitely chilly (low 40s in the morning but up to 65 degrees mid-day) and got us in the mood for all things fall. Here’s what we did on day one!

j.crew downtown field jacket and j.crew leather riding boots with white jeans

the equinox manchester vt on design darling

It was a three-and-a-half hour drive from Greenwich to Manchester, Vermont, and we had a hot mess of a morning involving getting Rory to the groomer and dropping off a massive chair to be reupholstered because it was “on the way” (sorry, Will). When we finally got to Vermont we stopped for a late lunch at Marsh Tavern inside the Equinox hotel. It was pretty overcast outside so we had a leisurely lunch inside complete with an insane cheese plate and a glass of rosé (which I insist on drinking year-round because I’m basic and the worst). A couple of our friends said it was a must-stop along our route and a ton of you recommended it as well and it wound up being the perfect way to break up the drive between home and our hotel in Woodstock. The Equinox was absolutely stunning and surrounded by the most beautiful flowers. I can only imagine how incredible it is once the leaves start to change!

j.crew downtown field jacket and polo ralph lauren lennox vachetta wide belt

design darling vermont the equinox hotel manchester vt

After lunch we drove ten minutes to nearby Dorset, a quaint little town with a town green and pretty fall decorations at every door. The clouds magically parted when we pulled up and all of a sudden it looked like a picture-perfect blue sky day so this was a favorite quick stop on our trip. We stopped for coffee from the Dorset Union Store and I snapped a photo of all the pumpkins across the street at the Dorset Inn. So festive!

fall outfit with white jeans and j.crew leather riding boots

the equinox hotel manchester vt in september

With coffee in hand, we drove the remaining hour and a half to the Woodstock Inn and checked in to our room. The hotel was even more beautiful than it looks in pictures with huge lawns in the front and back and a roaring fire in the lobby. The leaves were just barely starting to change and again I can only imagine how magical it must be once there’s full-blown foliage (or a fresh blanket of snow!).

fall outfit with white jeans and polo ralph lauren lennox vachetta wide belt

dorset union store in vermont

We drove a half hour to Hanover, New Hampshire, for dinner at Pine, a spot that several of you had recommended and that totally lived up to the hype. There were so many places we wanted to try from all your recommendations it was hard to narrow it down, so we’ll have to check out more of them on our next visit. Stay tuned for more from days two and three!

j.crew leather riding boots with white jeans on design darling

dorset inn vermont

J.Crew field jacket (similar for less)  //  Polo Ralph Lauren cable-knit cashmere sweater

Celine sunglasses (similar for less)  //  Polo Ralph Lauren leather belt (similar for less)  //  Tory Burch satchel

J Brand jeans  //  J.Crew riding boots

P.S. Shopbop is offering 20-25% off sitewide right now! Shop all my picks here.

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VERMONT RECOMMENDATIONS?

Will and I are heading to Vermont this weekend and I’ve been researching non-stop. I haven’t been to Vermont since a family ski trip there probably fifteen years ago and my Texan husband has never been so we’re both looking forward to exploring and hopefully spotting some early fall foliage (fingers crossed!). We’re staying at the Woodstock Inn and know we want to eat at the Simon Pearce restaurant (where you can also watch them blow glass in person — I definitely want to pick up a souvenir or two for our house!). Besides that I’ve bookmarked a bunch of picturesque little towns, covered bridges, and restaurants but I’d LOVE your two cents if you have any must-see favorites in the Green Mountain state. As of now we’re planning on taking a scenic route through Manchester on our way north and road tripping to Waitsfield and Warren at some point before our drive home but again I’m all ears!

It’s going to be around 60-65 degrees during our visit and I’m so excited to embrace sweater weather in full force. I recently added this twist-front style to my closet and it’s so cute with high-waisted jeans… I wish I’d had a dark wash pair like these to style it with for these photos so those may be my next purchase. I’m also tempted to try it backwards with the crewneck in the front and the v-neck and twist in the back but I wore it the “right” way so you could see this pretty little disc necklace from the Moon & Meadow collection at Bloomingdale’s (so many pretty and timeless pieces — I love this and this). And I’ve been living in these Tretorn sneakers — they’re true to size and seriously feel like walking on a cloud.

sage the label hold you close twist-front sweater and tretorn women's nylite plus lace up sneakers in white and green

sage the label hold you close twist-front sweater

sage the label hold you close twist-front sweater and moon & meadow 14k yellow gold disc pendant necklace

sage the label hold you close twist-front sweater and tretorn nylite plus sneakers in green and white

sage the label hold you close twist-front sweater and moon & meadow 14k yellow gold disc pendant necklace on design darling

sage the label hold you close twist-front sweater with moon & meadow 14k yellow gold disc pendant necklace

design darling tretorn sneakers

Sage the Label twist-front sweater (also love this, this, and this)  //  Moon & Meadow necklace

Ray-Ban clubmasters  //  J.Crew jeans (similar)  //  Tretorn sneakers

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*This post is sponsored by Bloomingdale’s. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Design Darling!

65 GIFT IDEAS FOR HER

I’m excited to kick off my 2019 gift guides with a long list of ideas for the ladies in your life! I’m keeping things simple this year and sharing all my best gift ideas in fewer, longer posts that you can bookmark and refer back to once the cyber week sales start next week. I hope this is helpful! I scoured all my go-to retailers and racked my brain for the items that I love most and think would make fabulous gifts for any number of recipients. I incorporated a wide variety of price points, but definitely keep in mind that the vast majority of these items can also be purchased with a promo code over the coming weeks. Whether you’re shopping for your mom, your grandmother, your mother-in-law, your sister, your best friend, or putting together a little list for yourself, I hope you find something you love!

P.S. I’ll be sharing a similar round-up of gifts for the men in your life as well as a list of experiential gift ideas. Stay tuned!

Halogen crewneck cashmere sweater, $98

Hands down the best affordable cashmere sweaters — and who doesn’t love a cashmere sweater? Also recommend this similar style if you’re looking for more colors!

J.Crew pajama set, $98

I love these pajamas so much I gave them to my bridesmaids to wear the morning of our wedding! J.Crew Factory makes a great lookalike pair for only $52.

Slip silk eye mask, $50

I sleep with an eye mask every night and this one is my all-time favorite. It’s the kind of thing you wouldn’t think to buy for yourself but would be thrilled to receive!

Etsy monogrammed notepad, $25

A no-brainer for the monogram lover in your life.

Pottery Barn faux sheepskin throw, $119

My mom first gave me this blanket probably ten years ago and it instantly became a family obsession. Now each of us owns at least one! It doesn’t get comfier or cozier than this.

J.Crew velvet smoking slippers, $188

I never tire of a classic smoking slipper and this playful bright pink velvet pair would be extra fun to unwrap.

Diptyque Baies candle, $65

I dare you to find someone who doesn’t love this scent! And pretty packaging to boot.


Tuckernuck waffle cosmetic bag, $22

Practical and personalized at an unbeatable price.

Etsy monogrammed Euro sham, $116

These oversized monograms would liven up any bedroom. My mom would love a set of Euro shams!

Williams-Sonoma Home ginger jar champagne bucket, $127

A perfect present for a bride-to-be.

Polo Ralph Lauren cable-knit cashmere sweater, $398

My all-time favorite cashmere sweater and a very splurge-worthy gift for someone special.

Do You Mind If I Cancel? by Gary Janetti, $16

I think just about every woman I know follows Gary Janetti on Instagram and his new book made me laugh so hard I had tears streaming down my face.

Mark & Graham personalized doormat, $89

A great gift for the girl who has everything.

J.Crew embellished button-down, $89

An everyday essential gets a festive upgrade.

Mark & Graham monogrammed jewelry case, $69

Every girl can use a travel jewelry case and the shadow monogram on these is the perfect personal touch!

Slim Aarons framed print, $275

The first piece of art Will gave me and one that’s brightened up many rooms since!

Jane Austen: The Complete Works, $69 for boxed set of seven

These books are a work of art inside and out. Browse more of these beautiful covers here!

 

Williams-Sonoma ginger jar ornaments, $75 for six

A chic addition to any Christmas tree. These sell out every year!

Mark & Graham monogrammed beanie, $39

Buy matching ones for you and your bestie!

J.Crew cocoon coat, $365

My go-to winter coat. I had a navy version for years but last year I bought this pretty tan color which you can see in this post. J.Crew Factory sells their own version for almost $200 less!

August Morgan overserved cocktail napkins, $40

The best thing on our bar cart and one of my go-to hostess gifts.

Amazon hair straightening brush, $45

One of my best Amazon purchases (see more of them here) and a practical gift for anyone who hates doing her own hair. You can see it in action here!

J.Crew over-the-knee boots, $325

A stylish staple in brown suede. Wait for a promo code to score them at a steep discount!

Ralph Lauren monogrammed oxford shirt, $115

These knit oxford shirts are my all-time favorite button-downs, but did you know you can add a monogram for an extra special touch? I’m obsessed!

Nantucket Print Shop framed print, $225

A shameless plug for the print shop I run with my brother Camden and the ultimate gift for anyone who loves Nantucket as much as we do! See this in our previous guest bedroom here!

Mark & Graham monogrammed gloves, $89

If it isn’t moving, monogram it.

Wisteria ginger jars, $549 for three

An over-the-top gift for anyone who shares my love of blue and white. You can see them in action in our previous house here!

Lululemon Align pants, $88

The best workout leggings ever made, period. I’m 5’1″ and like the 23″ version, but you can browse all the lengths and colors here.

Stubbs & Wootton bespoke slippers, $650

An investment pair of shoes you can customize to your recipient’s liking. My bespoke Nantucket lighthouse pair is my favorite! You can use code DESIGN DARLING for 20% off any full-price order.

Tata Harper resurfacing mask, $65

This all-natural mask delivers an instant glow that’s worth every penny.

Serena & Lily throw pillow, $138

These oversized throw pillows are my new favorite addition to our family room.

You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero, $16

The ultimate read for anyone in need of a little pick-me-up. I’ve gifted copies to several friends and family members!

Beth Ladd custom monogrammed clutch, $140

How gorgeous are these custom beaded clutches? They’d make a thoughtful gift for your bff or a bride-to-be!

Amazon beach cruiser, $175

How fun would it be to see this bicycle under the Christmas tree? Will gave me a hot pink bike for our first Valentine’s Day together and it remains one of my favorite gifts to this day.

APL sneakers, $165

I was convinced to buy these after so many of my friends and readers raved about them. They’re super comfortable and come in the best colors — I went with this pair!

The Home Edit by Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, $14

I love following these ladies on Instagram and their book is a must-have for anyone with a goal to get organized in the new year.

Talbots suede bow mules, $139

I wore the plaid version of these to an event in the city last week and now I have my heart set on the black suede pair as well. I think they look much pricier than they are!

Etsy applique monogram hand towel, $32

I’ve had these bookmarked for once we complete our powder room renovation next year, but they’d make a darling gift for a new homeowner too!

 

 

Hydro Flask water bottle, $44

This water bottle has been a lifesaver for feeding Teddy in the middle of the night and it’d make a great gift for any fitness fanatics on your list. It holds 32 ounces, keeps water cold for up to 24 hours (!), and has a straw cap that prevents spills and can be opened one-handed.

Beautycounter Counter+ set, $89

Who doesn’t love the gift of self-care? This set has a $130 value and includes two of my current favorite skincare products, the overnight resurfacing peel and the charcoal mask.


Cuyana zip wallet, $125

I’m thinking it’s time to upgrade my mom’s wallet and I’ve had and loved this pebbled leather wallet for several years now.

Gray Malin: Italy, $26

Everyone loves a beautiful coffee table book and this one is definitely worthy of display.

Dudley Stephens turtleneck, $158

If you’re not familiar with Dudley Stephens, you’re majorly missing out. I wear their Park Slope style with everything from jeans to workout leggings and it’s the most flattering turtleneck I’ve ever owned. The high neck is flattering for all ages and their super soft fleece has repurposed more than 1 million plastic water bottles! Lots more colors here.

Nordstrom imitation pearl studs, $39

No classic wardrobe is complete without a pair of pearl studs. This real pair would make a lovely gift if you’re looking to splurge!

 

 

Cuyana leather travel case set, $120

I haven’t taken a trip without these since I got them years ago. Love the subtle gold monogram!

Steamline Luggage carry-on suitcase, $850

A dreamy gift for anyone with a big trip on the horizon. Will gave me the navy version years ago and it’s been everywhere with us!

LL Bean boots, $159

I wouldn’t survive winter in New England without them. I have the 8″ pair with Thinsulate insulation but I’m eyeing the shearling-lined pair for extra warmth.

Pottery Barn picture frame, $29

When in doubt, I often fall back on gifting framed photos. Most people rarely take the time to print their own photos nowadays which makes it a new frame all the more special!

Serena & Lily side cart, $448

We use this cart as a side table in our family room (you can see it in our last place here), but it’s a versatile piece that anyone on a decorating kick will be happy to find a home for. It’s a bit of a splurge but stay tuned for a big Serena & Lily sale next week!

Mark & Graham striped pouch, $85

A pretty pop of color great for girlfriends or cousins. I have the navy but I also love the hot pink!

Amazon ice roller, $11

A cheap thrill that every woman should have in her freezer. I love mine for mornings when I can tell I was grinding my teeth the night before, but they’re also great for depuffing and hangover relief.

J.Crew moccasin slippers, $59

I’ve been practically living in these since I gave birth. The shearling lining is insanely cozy, plus they have a rubber sole so I can let Rory out in them. I just realized J.Crew Factory sells a nearly identical pair for $39!

Nordstrom diamond studs, $575

For anyone who’s been extra nice this year, it doesn’t get more timeless than a pair of diamond studs.

Saint James striped sailor shirt, $79

The best striped shirts available in a variety of different colors (I own all four, oops!). A forever classic that my Grandy and I both swear by.

The Daily Edited shadow text phone case, $60

I get so many questions about my iPhone case and it’s the shadow text option from The Daily Edited. Such a good gift for girlfriends!

Mark & Graham marble cheese board, $39

A personalized gift for anyone who loves to entertain.

Tretorn sneakers, $75

I love my Tretorn sneakers and both my mom and my mother-in-law have commented that they wore the exact same pair at my age. Wouldn’t it be fun to surprise them with a pair?

Amazon fabric shaver, $8

Every household needs at least one. This $8 purchase is key to keeping your sweaters (and everything from workout pants to throw blankets) looking brand new — see my before and after here. Perfect as a stocking stuffer or yankee swap gift!

LL Bean boat and tote, $29 + $8 monogram

You can never have too many canvas bags. We use the medium size for a diaper bag, the large for a beach bag, and the extra-large for weekend trips.

 

Tod’s driving loafers, $495

A pair of Tod’s loafers has been on my wishlist forever, and this pale blue color is calling my name.

Ralph Lauren custom cashmere crewneck, $298

A gift that will have everyone asking, “where’d you get that?” The customization options are endless.

Williams-Sonoma Home coral frame, $70

We have the mirror version of this frame above the dresser in our bedroom and it’s the perfect accent for anyone who loves the beach.

Mark & Graham monogrammed robe, $89

I’m taking it as a sign that this has my married initials on it… 🙂

Pamela Munson pearl clutch, $325

I have a wicker bag obsession and Pamela Munson makes some of my favorites. How darling is this pearl clutch?

Hunter rain boots, $150

A gift she’ll wear for decades. I own this pair but I’m intrigued by the packable version!

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