Friday, September 28, 2012

into the weekend

A busy weekend ahead - wish there was more relaxation involved, but that will have to wait!

by invitation only

Last night I attended an event with Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, one of the 5 cofounders of Gilt Groupe. She spoke about working with her best friend, about starting a company right before the recession of 2008, and about her reaction to the many people who told her that the business would not take off.

She seemed so down to earth, and I would have loved to have a chance to talk one on one with her for longer - I'm sure I could learn a lot from her! One of my favorite things that she said was regarding women in business:  "We have to support each other." So true.

I am so excited to delve into the book she wrote with Alexis Maybank, her best friend and cofounder.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

bridesmaids dresses you'll wear again

a) How many times has a bride said to her bridesmaids, "And you can wear it again!"? 

b) And how many of those dresses have seen the light of day after the reception is over?

Answers: a) too many b) very few

Jim Hjelm Occasions, JLM Couture, Noir by Lazaro, Lazaro, Jim Hjelm, bridesmaids, bridesmaids dresses you'll wear again, re-wear bridesmaids dresses

Two of the JLM Couture brands, Noir by Lazaro and Jim Hjelm Occasions, have dresses available that you might actually take out of your closet again. I love the colorblocking, lace detail, and less traditional styles. They stay away from taffeta, lime green, chocolate brown, ribbon sashes, and other typical bridesmaidsy characteristics.

If you don't care so much about what your girls do with their dress after the event, or if you're paying for the dresses (and aren't expecting them to shell out hundreds of dollars for a one-time-wear gown), by all means choose a pastel, bubble hem, or spaghetti straps.

But if you 100% want your girls to be able to wear their dresses again, pick a short or long black, gray, navy, or other neutral in a cotton, cotton-silk, chiffon, or other light fabric. (J Crew has some versatile options on the more simple side.) Taffeta and heavy polyester do not lend themselves well to versatility - even from the aisle to another event.

And if JLM Couture is out of your budget, find budget-conscious options at David's Bridal or your local boutique shops.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

women who inspire me: kendi (kendieveryday)

Kendi not only has a pretty cool name, but she's a style blogger from Texas with an incredible, affordable fashion sense.

images from Kendi's blog

A few reasons I'm inspired by this brunette beauty:
  • She left the world of online marketing to start her shop, bloom, which features affordable pieces for "the everyday woman". Being an online marketer myself, I can't imagine taking the leap to move into a potentially unstable environment. But clearly this entrepreneuress has made it work!
  • She blogs things like, "And then I talked to bloggers and showed them my jazz hands. They were impressed." Her humor is a little sarcastic and a lot funny.
  • The outfits she posts include items from stores like J.Crew, Gap, Kohl's, and other budget-friendly spots that can be found around the country. In a world full of bloggers who turn to Lanvin, Givenchy, and other brands that are impossible to afford on a less-than-six-figure salary, Kendi helps fashionable young women look good without breaking the bank.
If you don't know her blog, you definitely need to check her out.

Friday, September 21, 2012

weekend recipe: apple crisp

Hello, Fall, my favorite season. 

Apple picking is one of my ultimate Fall activities, so you can expect quite a few apple recipes on the blog in the next couple of months. This weekend: make your own apple crisp!

apple crisp, homemade apple crisp

2 cups oats (I use rolled oats)
1 cup brown sugar (I use light brown sugar)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1.5 sticks butter, softened
4 apples, cored and peeled
vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 13x9 dish - I use a glass dish. Slice the apples into thick slices (I usually get about 16 slices per apple) after removing the peels and core.

In a mixing bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and butter. Using your hands (it's the best way!), mix everything together until there are no loose oats/brown sugar - everything should be clumped together with butter (it should be a very very lumpy mixture).

Place your apple slices in the bottom of the glass dish, covering with the oat mixture. Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes, or until the oats are golden brown.

Serve with a generous serving of vanilla ice cream, and enjoy!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

stop & stare interiors

Occasionally I come across images of interiors that make me stop and stare. These spaces, highlighted on The Lennoxx, are incredible.

This dining room- that chandelier is amazing, and I really need to get some mirrored furniture for my home.

The Lennoxx, dining room, mirrored furniture

 In the same house, the drapes, incredible tassel detail, and that view.

The Lennoxx, turquoise and white drapes, tassel drapes

The bright light, white furniture, nailhead trim, and details (that chandelier and the framed bird prints) make this room fun, bright, and welcoming.

The Lennoxx, nailhead furniture, dining room, bird print, yellow and white

Can I please move into this living room?

The Lennoxx, turquoise living room, greek rug, nailhead furniture

Images from The Lennoxx

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

soup from scratch: pumpkin & squash soup

Fall is finally making its way to New England, so I made my first-ever soup to celebrate, and I won't lie - it was great. 

I consulted quite a few different recipes and then decided to make up my own based on what I had in the house (aside from the pumpkin and squash, which I had to buy - I don't typically have those just laying around in the kitchen). Let me know if you decide to try my recipe. Enjoy!

pumpkin-squash soup, pumpkin soup

1 small sugar pumpkin
1 small butternut squash
3 carrots
1 apple
4 cloves fresh garlic
4 stalks celery
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
dash of all spice
1/2 cup brown sugar

Serves 8

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut the pumpkin and squash into small chunks (about 1-2"), scooping out all of the insides. (You can keep the skin on for the chunks or cut it off- I kept it on because it's easier to take off later.) Peel carrots and chop into small chunks. 

Place pumpkin, squash, and carrot chunks on a cookie sheet. Roast at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until you can easily stick a fork in them.

Note: I had to put the carrot chunks on another cookie sheet, so they aren't pictured here.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a soup pan with garlic gloves and chopped celery until celery is translucent. Skin, core, and chop an apple into small chunks. Add apple chunks to the soup pan. Add 5 cups water and simmer.

Skin the pumpkin and squash chunks when they are ready, and add to soup pan. Add carrots. Add black pepper, salt, nutmeg, and a dash of all spice, as well as brown sugar. (Add less black pepper if you don't want it to be spicy. My soup came out with a little kick to it.) Simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Using a hand blender, puree the mixture. Continue to simmer. Add more salt, pepper, or nutmeg to taste.

Top with 1 tablespoon cream and serve.

Monday, September 17, 2012

rainy day essentials

A rainy day is no excuse for an unhappy day. Pops of colors and unexpected prints can make for a much brighter day, even if the sun isn't contributing.

trench coat, rain coat, women's rain coat, pink rain coat

dog umbrella, cloud umbrella, riding boot rain boots, Hunter rain boots, wellies

In the spring I purchased a basic trench that has contrasting zippers, along with some gray gloss Hunter wellies, and I actually get excited to wear them when it rains. (And that's a good thing, because New England never has a shortage of weather changes.)

Pictured above:
Basic trench from Club Monaco
Leopard print trench coat from Neiman Marcus
Theory contrast-trim trench at Saks Fifth Ave
Paul Smith Black Label trench in bright pink

Cloud-cover umbrella from Uncommon Good
Golden Retriever umbrella from San Francisco Walking Co.
Hunter Wellies Original Tall rain boot in gloss red and gray from Nordstrom
Hunter Wellies Cece Logo Riding Boots at Bloomingdale's

24 hours in NYC: Team Neon fights diabetes

Team Neon

I spent a quick 24 hours in NYC this weekend with my mom and older sister to visit my younger sister and take part in the Step Out: Walk for Diabetes.

My younger sister has Type 1, which means she is dependent on insulin and her insulin pump to regulate her blood sugar. (As opposed to Type 2, which is usually diagnosed in adults and can be regulated oftentimes with diet, exercise, and prescription medications.)

Some quick stats:
  • About 1 in every 400 children and adolescents has diabetes
  • 8.3% of the US population has diabetes
  • Diabetes can cause complications like blindness, heart disease, stroke, hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Read more here

Saturday, September 15, 2012

happy weekend!

NYC weekend
image via

Can you guess where I'm going? Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

a confession and a 2-legged armchair

I have a confession:  I am really, really impatient. This can be good, but more often it is not. For example, if I'm driving behind you in a 35mph zone and you are driving 20mph, I am probably fuming in my vehicle and making less-than-desired comments about your driving. You might even hear a little beep-beep.

A secondary example - When I moved into our house (T was already living there), I brought with me an armchair that I thought might be useful. It was a hand-me-down, and I thought I'd put it in my office and have an extra place to sit. Well, that chair was not the most comfortable, it lacked an ottoman, and it just became a place for me to throw my clothes that needed to be hung up.

When I decided I wanted it OUT, I wanted it out then. Unfortunately, it had taken T a lot of time to get it in the room, including door removal, because of its awkwardly large base. So after 5 minutes or so of trying to take the door off myself or getting the chair out (because T was busy with Monday Night Football), I gave up - and the next day came back with a vengeance, and also a saw.

And now the chair is sitting like this in our basement until the next trash day (because with the back legs gone, I could actually move it through doorways), unless someone really wants an armchair with only 2 legs. As much as I love being green and recycling things, my impatience did not allow for this chair to make it on to someone else's house.

On the bright side, at least I was able to stop myself when I thought about buying this dress on ideeli (one of my favorite flash sale sites) for an upcoming black tie wedding. As much as I am obsessed with it, I decided it looks much too bridal. And I'm not about trying to upstage any bride. (You're welcome, friends.)

sue wong, bridal, champagne dress, beaded dress
image via

Monday, September 10, 2012

on my dining room table

I've started spending more money on home furnishings than on myself (or wanting to but not yet being able to afford to - damn you, West Elm settee). Our dining room table makes me happy when it is fully set, because I really love the pieces we have for it. I'm careful to only buy items that go with our style and reflect us. We also have the same favorite color - blue - and I've been obsessed with gold lately.

1- Anthropologie peacock printed plates from a few years ago, which T gave me as a Christmas gift
2- West Elm gold and bronze table runner, last winter
3- blue Artland champagne glasses, purchased from One Kings Lane
It almost looks like they're too light of a blue to go with everything, but from other angles (and when the other glasses are out), I promise it looks nice.
4- placemats and napkins from Bed Bath & Beyond
5- West Elm "Cheers" plate, purchased last year (around the holidays I also use "Peace" and "Merry" plates)
6- Anthropologie peacock printed plates from a few years ago

Friday, September 7, 2012

weekend notes

image via here and here

We have no concrete plans, and that excites me - the idea of lounging and doing nothing for a day is just so great. But this weekend I'm hoping to accomplish a few things:

  • Actually do the necessary reading for school
  • Take apart the bed we currently have in our master bedroom, and replace it with a headboard and simple bedframe
  • Clean, clean, and clean some more - my closet (taking out my Fall clothes already) and the rest of the house could use it!

Happy weekend!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

remembering 2 blonde beauties

image via

This afternoon I got a text message from my aunt telling me that my grandmother's best friend passed away early this morning. It had me feeling a bit more emotional than I expected, which I'm guessing is because I still miss my grandmother more than most people know.

I was very lucky to have my grandparents as my primary babysitters growing up. My sisters and I, their only grandchildren, became pretty close to them. Nana and Daiee (as in "daddy" without the Ds in the middle), as we called them, were the ultimate grandparents. I'll always remember childhood Sunday dinners, when Nana would put ridiculous amounts of food on the table and Daiee would eat equally ridiculous amounts.

Nana and Wuzzy, as we knew her (a shortening of her really long, Polish last name), were hairstylists together in the years after the war (WWII, that is) in the beauty shop my Nana owned. Both stayed blonde well into their 80s and stayed close, living just down the street from each other and checking in on each other often once their husbands had passed.

It's a funny thing, getting older:  How people who were so central to your life suddenly disappear. So here's your friendly reminder to reach out to those around you and make sure they know how you feel about them. There's no harm in putting a smile on someone's face.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

arm safari

I've always been a big fan of anything animal-print-related, so I'm excited this Fall that there are so many animal-inspired arm goodies available! There are tons of choices, but here are some of my picks for the season.

arm safari, safari bracelets, animal bracelets
Where to find them:
1- urban outfitters hawk cuff
2- j.crew peacock bangle
3- baublebar cheetah cuff
4- j.crew cheetah bangle
6- baublebar zebra bangle
8- j.crew elephant bracelet

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

back to school

The long weekend flew by! I spent some quality time on the Cape with some of my favorite people from my 4 years of college. What a fun weekend :)

Here are a couple of images from our time on the beach, thanks to my trusty iPhone. We had a couple of perfect beach days and couldn't have asked for better weather.

T and I topped off the weekend by running some errands yesterday and doing a little shopping for "back to school" clothes. I was really excited to find a fabulous pair of jeans and a (conservatively) beaded navy sweater at Banana Republic for a steal of $45 total. Bargain hunting at its best!

And now, for me at least, it's back to reality/school. Working full time and going to school part time definitely takes up a lot of my waking hours, which means I'll probably be posting less, but I promise I won't neglect this little project. And if I do, please yell at me via Twitter.
image via

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...