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Covid-19 Quarantine Life

A Reminder: This Summer is Better Than Last Summer

Do you need a reminder that this summer is better than last summer? As I love to joke, being an eternal optimist is a good trait for your fashion stylist (but not your lawyer). I’m in the right business! Yes, it is frustrating that some aspects of our lives seem to be closing down just as they were opening up. But things are still better than they were a year ago. I hope hearing how this summer is better than last summer for me, will help you realize the same for yours.

Enjoy the last month of summer!

lani signature real life style


This purse says it all! (DM my friend Anu of Indiblossom to get your own.) Yes, Delta has arrived. However, last summer any sort of vaccine seemed like a pipe dream. As of this week, the FDA is beginning to approve vaccine booster shots that will help protect us from the Delta variant. (I’m not a scientist, so don’t quote me on that, ok?)

Shopping in NYC

Fashion never sleeps, and neither do Kyle and I! I took this picture during a six hour marathon shopping trip in NYC in July. This is one of three NYC shopping marathons I’ve completed so far this year. One more to go this month, then I’m taking a break for a while! Last summer I couldn’t have predicted when I would be seeing clients again in person. Not only are we back to pre-pandemic booking levels, we are actually more booked. Why? Because after taking a break from the marathon that was my life for awhile, I’m more realistic about our schedule. In the long run, maintaining our physical and mental health serves both us and the client!

Dining Out

We can eat out again! Which means I can eat vegan, gluten free pizza with arugula and pineapple without having to make it myself! Yes, I know that I’m probably the only person who would want to eat that. Just in case I’m not, this picture was taken at Pete’s Apizza in NW DC.

I know everyone is making their own risk calculations. A periodic outdoor meal has been a joy for my family and a return to some normalcy. We ate out while vacationing in Maine last August, but not in DC for well over a year. In DC, it is nice now to be able to take the kids out as a treat or a friend out for a special meal. The above picture was taken at Heritage India in NW DC. My growing boy ate an entire order of butter chicken and then asked if that was all there was.

Technological Breakthroughs

Am I the only person who had not thought of turning my iPad into a makeup mirror on the Acela before now? I just can’t get my makeup on before a 7am train. I just realized that the front camera of my iPad (with the keyboard stand to keep it steady) is the perfect makeup mirror! Kidding aside, my technology game is awesome right now, and not just because I have a new computer! Last summer Kyle and I were still figuring out how to effectively communicate virtually, both between ourselves and with our clients. We now run our business and execute key client services completely virtually, including with a virtual closet platform.

Construction Junction

And, it is a good thing our office is virtual right now, because this is the current state of the physical Real Life Style office! Yes, those floors are new. Actually, the new baseboards have been put in since this picture was taken. Paint will go on tomorrow. What color will we be painting the office? A different shade of lavender, of course! The current one is terrible for Zoom. Seriously though…last summer I was upset that my renovation dreams were on hold. And working in my bedroom or closet because the boys were still in the house every day. This summer they are at camp and my renovation dreams are coming true! Yay!!!!


Yes, we did go on vacation last August. But only because we had booked a house a year in advance, in the state with the U.S.’s lowest COVID rate. In the end, we were glad we went. However, the grandparents were sorely missed from last summer’s Maine COVIDcation. This summer we were able to make up for the missed time with an extra long Oregon adventure. And as it turns out, moving our family vacation up a few months from our usual end-of-August slot, helped us get ahead of Delta.

Local Adventures

We are also having mini adventures here and there that we would not have last summer, pre-vaccine. And Max is having a big adventure this summer, spending 3 weeks at overnight camp! The picture above was taken in front of Annapolis Ice Cream Company, in picturesque downtown Annapolis, MD. If you go, get the apple pie ice cream, my favorite flavor. They smoosh a whole homemade apple pie into vanilla ice cream! Trips like this are more manageable to me with just one kid. No fighting in the back seat. We also ate lunch outside at Cantler’s Riverside Inn.

Date Night

This is a photo taken at Iron Gate for our 11th Anniversary dinner. Last summer we watched our 10th anniversary pass us by, including a cancelled trip to Turks & Caicos. This summer Mr. Real Life Style surprised me with reservations at the same restaurant we went to the evening he proposed to me in Lafayette Square Park. Yes, that Lafayette Square Park! This dinner was our first date night in a year and a half!

Gluten-Free Living

In case you missed the news, this is my first summer officially gluten and dairy free. Yay!!! Just kidding. It sucks because I’m now the annoying person at dinner parties and restaurants. Luckily, there aren’t as many of those occasions as there used to be. If you are going to go on a super anti-social diet, this is the time.

See the goodies above? Three words for you. Gluten-free Rugelach. Walking into the By the Way bakery in NYC is a dream come true. It is even Kosher! I bought out the store at the beginning of the month and intend to do so again!

We Will Survive

One day at a time. For those of us fortunate enough to be vaccinated and financially secure, let’s continue to protect our young children who can not yet be vaccinated. And let ourselves have bad days when we need to. No, we don’t know what is going to happen next, but we can’t control it either. I find helping others always lifts my spirits. How are you doing? Let me know in the comments!

Real Life Style is a style consulting firm that teaches busy women to wear their power so they can live their lives fully and confidently. Lani Inlander and Kyle Dunphy are based in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and serve clients across the country. We offer personal styling services, an on-demand e-course, corporate services, and training to become a personal stylist.

Once in a while, you can find Lani Inlander and Real Life Style on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Mostly, they are happily busy serving their fabulous clients, not hanging out online!

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