Monday, December 31, 2012

3 goals for 2013

Here are my 2013 goals. Rather than call them resolutions, I like to call them goals. It's not that I am resolving to do something; instead, I'm striving for something.

I've found that I'm a minor pack rat. I hold onto things just because I think someday I might need them. That ribbon? That wire bowl? The skirt I bought when I was 3 sizes smaller that I will most likely never fit in again unless I have some of my hip bone removed? This year I want to clean out. Clean out everything that is messy, that takes up space, that isn't adding value. I'm also adopting Mackenzie's "only buy what you love" as part of my decluttering for the future.

I want everyone around me to know how much I care about them. When was the last time you got a surprise note in the mail from a friend far away? It's the little things in life that mean a lot. And even though this year will include some pretty major events, like the weddings of my older sister and best friend, I want to make sure I don't forget the little things too.

And I want to do everything with intention. If I do it, I want to do it like I mean it. No half-hearted acts here, friends.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

new year, new planner

{here we go, 2013!}

One of my favorite things about the new year is starting a new planner (nerd alert). I've been getting the same version for about 5 years now, and even with my iPhone and Google Drive and all of the technology available, I still love writing everything down.

Check out these cute planners from Design Darling, Plum Paper Designs via Etsy, and LaLovelyInk via Etsy.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

a 2012 recap

2012 had its ups and downs, but I can definitely say I'm coming out of this year a stronger individual. In 2012 I made it through 3 more semesters of my MBA (and kept up my GPA- rough, with some of the classes I had). I started this blog (!). T and I finally got rid of the awful pink walls in the master bedroom, which was probably the longest painting project ever. My older sister, who got engaged at the very end of 2011, started planning her wedding. I visited Paris and London with T. My best friend got engaged. My college roommates/friends and I kept up our semi-annual family reunion. T and I hosted our first Thanksgiving. My high school bests and I continued our annual Christmas dinner + family photos. I spent quality time with family and friends and tried to do my part to make the world a better place.

I am excited to see what 2013 brings! Goals for the new year coming soon!

Friday, December 28, 2012

sequin-free New Year's Eve

If you're looking for a glittery New Year's Eve dress, there are so many options available. But if you did the sequin dress thing last year and want to go a different route this year? 

Pair a taffeta mermaid skirt (perfect re-use if you already have one from your closet of bridesmaid dresses!) with an unexpected white tee and statement necklace. Of course, slip on some glitter pumps for a hint of sparkle underneath.

White out! A body-hugging white dress with sleeves (1, 2), gold baubles (bracelet, earrings), and gold pumps will definitely be a crowd stand-out.

We are doing a fairly laid-back New Year's Eve this year, but if we were going somewhere snazzy, this is what I would choose for the night: a mesh-and-mirrors shift dress. How fun!
dress via

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas recap

It was a fun-filled and busy Christmas for us this year, but worth every minute to watch 1 year old Des smile at all of the ladies in church and to spend time with my sisters together, something we don't get to do enough now that the youngest lives in NYC. There was also the annual Christmas dinner last weekend with my high school girlfriends, 5 of us who have been the best of friends even though we are now spread between the East and West coasts. I'm hoping Mary blogs some of our classy photos from the annual photo shoot we do - necessary to have yearly photos, since she is a professional photographer and all.

I didn't take nearly enough photos on Christmas, but here are 2 that make me happy.

1. The day started at our house with a very happy puppy and his new chew toys...

2. And one of my favorite gifts that I gave this year, a custom tote from Vistaprint for grocery shopping in NYC, full of other goodies, for the Chanel-loving Amanda.

The next few weeks will be full of fun things while I have some time off from school. And then it's back to the rat race!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

food drive & pet food drive

It's been an incredibly busy few weeks, but some very good things have happened. A coworker and I coordinated a company-wide food drive to benefit two big charities in the area- the Greater Boston Food Bank and the Northeast Animal Shelter. We ended up collecting about 7,000 lbs of food, plus 2,000 lbs of pet food and other items.

This is what one team's collection area looked like.

We had some help (let's be honest, we work in marketing and are not that strong) getting everything to the loading dock for the food bank to pick up. Here's some of the pile, waiting for pickup.

And the next day we had a group of coworkers help us move everything to the loading dock to take to the animal shelter. We weren't expecting as much as we got, so we were responsible for hauling it there, 30 minutes from the office.

Luckily, a coworker's friend owns New England Country Rentals (rental items for weddings and events) and graciously sent one of their box trucks and 2 men to help us out. In half an hour we had everything packed up in the truck and on its way. Once we got to the animal shelter, this was the scene as volunteers ran out to help us unload in the rain, ecstatic about the "Christmas miracle".

We spent some time with the animals, learning about how the shelter works and seeing the facility. It is by far the cleanest, most well-organized facility I've seen. The dogs are taken out for a walk about every two hours on an average day by the many volunteers who work there. 

This little girl is a lab mix but 100% thinks she's a lap dog and just wanted to be scratched, which I happily took on while her friends bounced around her.

This 3 month old named Haas has the biggest paws I have ever seen on a little guy. He and I spent some quality time together inside his little area, and he was so sweet (aside from wanting to eat my leather boots).

And little Andy here, a 1 year old Schnauzer mix, had his picture taken quite a few times by yours truly. I then sent these photos to T and asked if he could be Sprout's little brother, but we ultimately decided that we won't be getting a second dog anytime soon. That said, Andy had quite a few families checking him out that day. Hopefully all of these guys, and the others at the shelter, will make their way to their forever homes soon.

At the end of the day, I came home to my little Sprout and we snuggled up on the couch together. 

I'm thankful for the generosity of my coworkers and the ability to help families and pets in need during the holiday season. Animals have a special place in my heart, and I'm so glad that we were able to help NEAS, which is one of the largest no-kill animal shelters in New England. Definitely check them out if you are thinking about adopting, or even if you can foster a dog for a weekend to help them get to know the animal better!

Friday, December 14, 2012

making a statement with dsw

1 - Michael Antonio Love Me Glitter Pump $39.95 // 2 - Ted Baker Neillia Pump $119.95 // 3 - Lulu Townsend Barbara Pump $59.95 // 4 - Audrey Brooke Multi Color Pump $49.95 // 5 - Bandolino Garcy Pump $64.95

DSW has some gorgeous styles available now, many of them perfect for making a statement at your company holiday party, around the office (I love the unexpected heel on #5), or out for a night on the town (#4 screams "girls' night!"). For a more casual workday, I'd pair #2 with rolled jeans, a white tee, and a blazer.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

splurge vs. save: bubble statement necklace

Can you tell which one costs $150 and which one costs $20? Honestly, I wouldn't be able to.

bubble necklace, j.crew necklace, baublebar necklace, statement necklace

The necklace on the left is J.Crew's Bubble Necklace for a hefty $150, and the version on the right is the Potpourri Bib Necklace from BaubleBar, normally $38 but on sale for $20 as one of their "buried baubles". 

The only difference? J.Crew's necklace is "18k gold electroplated brass", while BaubleBar's is listed as "plated base metal". But if you want the statement necklace for the style and don't care what it's made out of? Go for the save.

Monday, December 10, 2012

weekend recap + gift wrapping

This weekend, like many others, was busy but somehow relaxing at the same time. 

We went to get our Christmas tree, which Sprout was very excited about. He also got to meet a 3 month old Lab puppy at the tree place, which was a bonus of the already awesome car ride between Dad and one of his uncles.

My mom and I volunteered to wrap gifts for the JDRF station at a nearby mall. It was a lot of fun, despite all of the questions around the mall itself. (No, I don't know how to get your niece's name on the TV screen in the food court, and no, I cannot tell you which banks have ATMs in the mall.)

Now I'm looking forward to wrapping all of the gifts I've been stacking in my office over the past couple of months. I bought a ridiculously large roll of brown paper - somehow, I convinced myself that 4' x 200' was the correct size. So far, the gifts are coming out exactly how I wanted them to look:  simple, but with pretty details.

This is by far my favorite time of the year. Merry, merry everywhere!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

wishing for a bar cart

For the longest time, I have been on the hunt for an affordable but fabulous bar cart. I first saw this bar cart from Society Social and fell in love with the idea of having such a gorgeous piece in my home.

Along the way, I've discovered other great carts, like this one from Wayfair (but at $1,476 it is out of my price range).

And I've seen images, like this one, on other blogs and on Pinterest, which make me want to immediately throw a cocktail party.

I've heard of people getting amazing vintage carts from Craigslist, even if they have had to redo them somewhat, but somehow I have only managed to find a) bar carts that look like they are from the Stone Age and b) kitchen carts with marble tops that people are referring to as bar carts. And so, the hunt continues.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Target/Neiman Marcus + my wish list

After all of the Christmas shopping I did this past week (online shopping... so easy and so dangerous!), I'm telling myself there is no budget left for the Target/Neiman Marcus collaboration launched yesterday. But if there was, these would be first in my shopping cart.

Neiman Marcus Target collaboration, Altuzarra, Marc Jacobs, Brian Atwood, leather gloves, Eddie Borgo, shaker set, cocktail set

Marc Jacobs rose gold pouch ($69.99)
Eddie Borgo accent box ($49.99)
Brian Atwood leather gloves ($49.99)
Altuzarra Double Old Fashioned Glasses - Set of 4 ($49.99)
Altuzarra Shaker ($49.99)
Altuzarra Tray ($79.99) love this set!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

bachelorettes at bachelor parties

Recently, boudoir photo shoots have become popular for brides-to-be who want to surprise their soon-to-be hubby with something racy. (Or they want to remember how awesome they feel now in the many years to come, depending on who you ask.) And honestly, it's a bit TMI to see coworkers and friends pinning poses they'd like to remember for their own photo shoot.

And whether or not you would have your own boudoir photo shoot, would you take it a step further?

boudoir photo shoot
image via

If you're a reality TV junkie like me, you already know that Mario Lopez's bride, Courtney Mazza, showed up at his bachelor party in Las Vegas, dancing on stage in a dominatrix outfit with the Pussycat Dolls as a special surprise for Mario. He said he loved it, but I'm wondering how many girls would do the same (and how many guys would love it vs. wish their lady had saved it for when they were alone). Especially since it's not only your fiance, but his friends, brothers, cousins, and men who you will see multiple times in the coming years...

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