Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's raining, it's pouring...

Yes, I am totally and utterly aware that it is the first day of December. Yes, I know that the holidays are mere weeks away. Don't get me wrong, I am unreasonably excited for Christmas.

I am beyond thrilled to see the Nutcracker with my one of my nearest and dearest; I am excited to go tree shopping; I am ecstatic about Starbucks heavenly peppermint hot chocolate & the parades & mailing cards & all of those things... but when Lilly sends me an e-mail like this one... I just begin to imagine myself on the deck of a cruise ship... tanning, reading & sipping a mojito. If I could also borrow this young woman's bone structure, my mental imagery would be about as close to Heaven as it gets.

Seriously, though... anyone up for a trip to Mexico?

Yes, I know I wouldn't look like this, but a girl can dream, can't she?
This might be a better choice for me.
...and I'll take one of these, please.

I promise next time I'll attempt to be more seasonally appropriate...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


It's totally likely that I should have named this blog "shoes I really want to wear on my tootsies," or maybe even "shoes I'd really just like to see when I open my closet," but alas... I did not.

Instead, I tricked you into thinking I live this super exciting life and that's only like half true. At any rate, these are my latest obsession, and they serve as evidence (as if there was any doubt) that I am actually just a younger, smaller version of my mother.

Available at TopShop. $100. Run. Do it!

Friday, November 19, 2010


I am beside myself with glee. Why, you ask? Well, because in only a few short hours, I will be seeing this darling little lady light up the big screen in all of her Hermione glory.

...and since we're on the subject of Emma Watson, am I the only one who is absolutely OBSESSED with the styling choices she's been making?

HELP. Too gorgeous for words. Clearly, I have a bigger-than-tiny girlcrush on Miss Watson, so since we're freely admitting this, I'm just going to keep on trucking down this lane and compliment her some more. For instance, how is she so mannerly & delightful? The girl is like a qua-billionaire, and yet she chose to continue on with her education because she is "addicted to learning." She is polite and seemingly well-grounded, and I'd just like to box her up and make her my own.

That is all!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Trinkets, Baubles, Christmas

Soooo... I love Christmas. I really love holidays in general, but Christmas is the big show as far as I'm concerned. I love just about everything about it. Someday soon, I'll make you a whole list. For now, I'll just admit to stopping at Starbucks only to hold one of those blessed little red cups in my hand and also to purchasing Mariah Carey's Merry Christmas II You on iTunes this morning.

This is my blog, so no judging, please & thank you.

Also, because I can't drop by without sharing some pretty with you:

$100, on sale at Madewell-- and there's a free shipping offer to boot!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Go the Distance... Like Hercules.

(I'm really actually heinous about recording my sources, so if you know where I found this... let me know! I don't like being a blogger thief!)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

C'est Magnifique! Frenchtown, New Jersey

Last weekend, I had a chance to sneak away with the parental units for a day trip to Frenchtown, New Jersey. Let me go ahead and get it out in the open: if you're a Jersey-hater, you probably don't belong here. If you're merely a Jersey-skeptic, sit back, relax, and watch as one of the most charming and quintessentially folksy places comes to life right before your eyes.

This is a view from the bridge that connects New Jersey to Pennsylvania.
We pulled into our parking space and I practically leapt from the car-- SO anxious to start taking photos of all of the beauty around me. There was a really nifty bridge that we could see from the cafe where we had lunch and I took a few photos of the stunning landscapes as we walked across the river. It was also pretty neat to walk directly over the NJ/PA border... and yes, I know I'm a huge nerd.

The quaint downtown area was home to cafes, antique stores, boutiques, and (what was one of my most favorite visits of the trip) an old fashioned candy store. The candy store housed many old favorites of both my mother and I... we meant to pick up some licorice on the way around for my grandmother, but totally forgot!

We ate a lovely lunch at The Bridge Cafe-- Mama & I both enjoyed delicious roast turkey wraps with a cranberry chutney, and Daddy, quite predictably, had the "Bridge Burger." Though they had these amaaazzzzzingg looking pumpkin scones, I was way too full to even consider having any. The carrot cake looked amazing, too... return visit perhaps?

This antique store actually stood upright. What happened?
We wrapped up our visit by touring the nearby "Two Boots" and "Lovin' Oven." Visiting the shop, which is owned and operated by Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert (I am a ridiculously large fan of the book) really brought home to me the type of woman Gilbert depicts herself as in the book-- casual, comfortable, and with a tremendous appetite for the good, simple things in life.

...and isn't that how any real Jersey girl would describe themselves?

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Lilly Pulitzer is creating a home accents line. I think I need to begin monitoring my blood pressure.

In other news, I hope my manpiece never had any desire to contribute to the interior decor of our future abode. It's over, bud.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Blogger Fail.

Wow. Big time fail on the blogging front.

Aren't they presh?!

The good news is... I'm back! And I've brought some pretty shoes with me.

The bad news is... I'm not quite sure they're seasonally appropriate. I mean, I should be more concerned with boots and (dare I say it) a new pair of Uggs, not dainty little ballet flats, right? Orrrr...maybe I could get away with it by internally negotiating that tights are "so in" right now?

The truth is, Fall has definitely arrived-- I've enjoyed lattes of the pumpkin spice variety, candy corn, and leaves changing color. It's also getting chilly outside and my tried-and-true North Face (that each year I swear will never see the light of day again) has returned as my ever-faithful daily companion. I'm trying to soak in every minute of it because I always feel as though the season flies by so quickly. Before you know it, it will be WINTER and I'll really be dependent on clothing that shields & warms rather than anything even remotely resembling current fashion. I need to break out the scarves & the sweaters, and more than likely, have them dry-cleaned. I swear I'm putting that little man's children through college. I also have to get busy on finding a Halloween costume-- no more leaving it until the last minute and having to choose between sexy school teacher, sexy nun, and sexy sexy person. I actually have several Halloween parties to go to, so maybe I'll switch things up a little bit. I'll definitely keep you posted!

While I've got your attention, I have a confession to make. I've been spending essentially every spare minute of my day drooling over the wedding of adorable life/style blogger, Bailey. PLEASE-- for all that is good and holy, take some time to enjoy her posts. It is absolutely a dream wedding weekend if I've ever seen one and so personally & intimately theirs. Now I want to get married! Like... tomorrow.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Freaky Friday!

I occasionally get the sense that in the time it took me to blink one single, solitary blink, a whole slew of days flew by. This is what the last week has felt like to me. For one thing, I went on an adventure to the Midwest! It was, without a doubt, one of the most fun weekends I've had all summer. I was certainly in good company, but I think one of the main reasons the trip was so enjoyable was that the people of Indiana and Illinois exhibited a kindness and an air of contentment that simply doesn't exist on a grand scale on the East Coast. It's too bad because it made even tiny exchanges at the corner store seem like a celebration of living.

Of course, I'm also in wonderful spirits because one of my most favorite seasons is swinging into action-- autumn, naturally! I love the crispness in the air... the pumpkin spice lattes... the sweaters! AH! It's all too much... and the fashion. Heaven help us, the fashion.

Speaking of clothing, there seems to be no dearth of occasions for dressing up in the next few months-- everything from a wedding to a christening to an incredible anniversary celebration of one of the non-profits I work with. With that being said, it seems almost unnatural to consider attending all of these events without even ONE new dress. ;)

How do you feel about this one?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Read A Little Read For Me

Voracious is nearly an understatement when describing my reading tendencies, truly. Given the opportunity, I would happily sit in bed for days on end to catch up on the ever-growing pile of books near my bed. In fact, it was one of the reasons I was most looking forward to college graduation-- the ability to use my time to read books of my own selection. I know, I know-- this makes me a nerd. I know it and I own it.

At any rate, I feel compelled to mention two books I've read lately that were really delightful. The first, "The House on First Street" is a story about a woman, her home, her husband, and the effects of Hurricane Katrina. The latter, "The Summer We Read Gatsby," is equally divine and the perfect way to wrap up a summer filled with time at the beach, some sunshine, and the world's most wonderful man by my side.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Jackie Kennedy: The Picture of Elegance & Sophistication

There is simply no one above "Jackie O" on my list of style icons and inspiration. I think, in part, it's because she reminds me of my Mama, and, more obviously, because her choices were always so timeless and yet so time-and-place appropriate. You may have gathered that classic simplicity is the name of my game-- I favor a Jackie, Audrey (whom I also adore, as previously mentioned here), or Grace over a Kate or Sienna any day of the week, but there is something especially sanguine about these photos of Jackie. Taken by friend and photographer Mark Shaw, they speak to an admirable quality she possessed that goes far beyond a strong sense of fashion. Warm and captivating and altogether human... the type of ideal our celebrity-obsessed society can aspire to. Le sigh.

Special thanks to the ladies over at The Love List for bringing these gorgeous photos to my attention!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sole Decisions

I have to admit it... I made my first fall shoe purchase this week! I had promised myself I would wait a little longer, but I just couldn't do it.

So, I caved for these beauties. Inspired by the clog-centric fashion of the Chanel Spring/Summer 2010 show, the Jeffrey Campbell Charli-C is an updated version of the shoe measuring 5 1/4" (I know, yikes!) and reportedly the comfiest insides since the Ugg. (Sadly, they are not the only Jeffrey Campbell shoes I currently have on the brain.) I just couldn't imagine an autumn of skinny jeans and chunky sweaters without them!

My shoe-list isn't embarrassingly long. I've improved slightly on the "Will you actually wear these? Oh yeah, with what?" conversation we all must have. The problem is... there are just so many beautiful choices this season! I'm especially digging these flats from Elaine Turner... and at less than $100, they may be what's next off my list!

(...being frivolous isn't always wise, but it sure is fun!)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

25 Before 25: The List.

1. Take a trip on the flying trapeze. (Classes available at NYC Trapeze School.)
2. Complete the Walt Disney World Princess Half-Marathon. (Registered! Run takes place 2/27/11.)
3. Get my Equity card! (This one is going to take some serious work.)
4. Publish an article on The Huffington Post and/or Lonny Magazine. (I realize these are quite different publications, but both would mean a lot to me.)
5. Travel to the bottom of the Grand Canyon by mule. (Booked! March 2011!)
6. Volunteer abroad. (Preferably through the She's the First 360 series-- and to Haiti... Summer 2011?)
7. Produce the Miss Not-So-Shore Pageant and raise $2,500 for the Children's Miracle Network. (In talks... March 2011.)
8. Purchase a Louis Vuitton bag for myself. (Certainly not a totally selfless goal, but I'm over it.)
9. Learn to play the cello. (Or at least take some lessons.)
10. Learn to speak French. (This has seriously been a goal for the last ten years.)
11. Sponsor a girl at the Shanti Bhavan Children's Project. (This will hopefully happen after my fundraiser in October '10.)
12. Learn to sail. (There is also, not surprisingly, a school for this in NYC.)
13. Go hang gliding! (This was a compromise made with my mini-me as I am not quite comfortable enough to put sky-diving on the list.)
14. Read (or re-read, as the case may be) all of Jane Austen's novels.
15. Design and create an evening gown for myself. (This, as a pageant girl, has always been a personal goal of mine.)
16. Save $1,000. (My savings account is always floating somewhere around $10... like, why bother??)
17. Pay off credit cards. (Womp, womp. I'm working on it.)
18. Place in the Top 5 at this year's Miss New Jersey pageant. (Can... she... DO IT?)
19. Consume beignets with my "ride-or-die" (her term, not mine) in New Orleans.
20. Ride in a hot air balloon.
21. Gain acceptance to a master's program. (Like.. a real one.)
22. Complete the 5-Boro Bike Race.
23. Take a Cake Decorating Class.
24. Produce a show for the inaugural season of the Musical Theater Academy.
25. Last, and kind-of nerdily least, finally archive my digital photo collection. It needs to happen.

Oh, hey life! Bring. It. On.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

It's Almost Time...

Time for what, you ask? Well, time for my most favorite season of all-- autumn! In just two short weeks, I will be able to stroll into my local Starbucks and order a Pumpkin Spice Latte. The smell of field hockey season will be in the air, and I'll have to break out my new carmel colored boots and sweaters. The excitement is palpable! This also means that the "September" issues are all available, or will be shortly, and before you know it, you'll be shopping for corduroys... It's all too much! In anticipation of the changing season, I've gone to the liberty of choosing a few select fun new items to take you from the steamy August weather to the slightly brisk air of September... hooray!

My current job requires a lot of computer time-- blogging, tweeting, what have you-- and so it's become more important for me to be able to travel in tech-friendly style. This Marc Jacobs commuter is perfect and also works well as an alterna-briefcase.
This adorable bag has the perfect yellow punch of summer, but the academic theme and feel will carry you right into the classroom. Oh, Kate Spade, I love you. (Not to mention your taste in literature!)

It isn't fall without a cozy sweater to keep you warm and comfy. I really like this one, available from Anthropologie, for being chic and stylish and not the slightest bit slouchy.
Finally, perhaps the sleekest option to wellies I've ever seen-- classic and elegant, and the gold buttons are simply a magnificent touch. These bad boys are also available in blue.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Girl Crush: Olivia Palermo

Holy mackerel. Is there anyone who dresses so well-- her style is so meticulously put together, so sophisticated, and yet still fresh and up-to-date?

I think it might be love. (Many thanks to Paloma of the incredible La Dolce Vita for the photos from her blog.)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"25 before 25"

This past weekend was the first August 7th since my grandmother passed away last year. It was always a pretty neat date on the calendar for me because it was her birthday and my "half-birthday." Of course this led to a little meditation on the subject and a realization that I'm only a year and a half away from my 25th birthday. I realize it sounds ridiculous for something as random as that to impact me too much, but it did. It made me think about how quickly time flies, and how it can really get away from you if you're not proactive. With that being said, I've decided to create a list of 25 things I'd like to do before I turn 25... some exciting, some mundane, but all special and significant to me. The list isn't quite complete yet, but it's getting there... when I've officially finalized it, I will be sure to share!

In the mean time, I leave you with this season's inspiration for wallet anorexia:

(Do you think my mom would forgive me for engaging in some shady business dealings in order to afford these beauties?)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wow, Miss Diaz.

Wow, Miss Diaz. I have to say... I run really hot and cold with Cameron. Magenta dress with turquoise accessories? Yes, please. Knight and Day with Tom Cruise? Think again.

This spread in Harper's Bazaar belongs in the former category. Can we say STUNNING?!

The image reminds me so much of the Vogue I remember reading as a little girl. You see, at age 12, I (in all my infinite wisdom) felt that I had "outgrown" Seventeen magazine and preferred instead to read Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. Of course I was less interested in actually reading the magazine, and moreso in drooling over the glamorous clothes. This shot-- this fashion-- hearkens to that time, when magazines were hundreds of pages long and filled to the brim with advertisements from the most relevant and sophisticated designers. Sigh. Job well done, Harper's. Looking good, CD.

Friday, July 30, 2010

If your shoe collection numbers in the triple digits and you truly believe that flats are for quitters, then do I have a website for you.

I have fallen head over heels in love with Your Next Shoes. As if I needed any help eliminating my measly paycheck every other week, I now have a virtual assistant to help make the job a little easier. It primarily serves as a blog, but also includes recommendations, a style guide, and coupon codes. Not to mention, what seems like an enless collection of photos to sift through and drool over. It's like a haven from the real world for shoe lovers everywhere... and what more could a girl ask for?!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

How to Be Devilishly Good Looking

Color me a big, fat dork, but I have been a huge Disney fan since birth. I am also a huge fan of MAC make-up. Can you guess where this is going?

If you hadn't put it all together, this fall, Disney and MAC have partnered to create the "Venomous Villians" collection, inspired by none other than the most infamous Disney criminals around. I have to admit, based on the photos, it looks like their typical fare with Disney stickers placed on the front. Will this stop me from making such a ridiculous purchase? Of course not! I will, however, be interested to see this in person once it appears on shelves on September 30.

To check it out from the LA Times, click here.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Swoonworthy Wednesdays

Sometimes when Wednesday rolls around, you just don't have the energy to think of something exciting to say. Today is one of those days. Instead, I've decided to share with you some things that have captured my heart and my eye as of late:

1.) Chloe Fall 2010 RTW

I know that this entire line is more than slightly out of my price range, but that won't stop me from shopping... or drooling. (For more, check out A Glamorous Little Side Project-- one of my favie fave fashion blogs.)

2.) The Shanti Bhavan Children's Project

I am a huge advocate for the global education movement, and the Shanti Bhavan Children's Project is among the most successful and innovative programs around. Not only do they provide a home and an education to children from India's lowest caste, they do so from age 4 all the way through to college graduation. Incredible.

3.) "Eat, Pray, Love" Elephant Teapot from Cost Plus World Market

I'm still a little unsure about the total homogenization of a book that is so deeply introspective and spiritual. At any rate, if I'm going to buy in at all, it's going to happen for this adorable little teapot. (Erin, from the amazing Elements of Style blog, has a much more in-depth post to this effect.)

4.) This GORGEOUS Wedding Cake

A friend from high school was recently married and I have not stopped swooning over this beautiful PINK cake. Love, love, love.

5.) New Lululemon "Push Ur Limits" Tank

I know it's nothing short of ridiculous to spend so much money on clothes you'll only wear to the gym, but I love the way every piece I own from Lululemon seems to fit as if it were designed with me in mind with no awkward or uncomfortable adjustments necessary, no matter how sweaty the bikram class may get. This new tank is not only adorable, but super well-suited to those of us who may need a little more support on top.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Lucky Magazine: August 2010

Isn't she beautiful? Well, yes, the girl-- but I'm talking about that bag!
I love Lucky Magazine. I've been pouring over her every word for nearly a decade now--I think it's getting serious. The interesting thing is... my personal style isn't always represented in Lucky. Some issues it seems as if every single piece of clothing, every lip color, every shoe, was chosen specifically with me in mind. Other times, I can't even imagine taking a second look at a single solitary item. Regardless, I love it and I look forward to its appearance in my mailbox each month.

Now...So, I mentioned (see: the cake) that my manfriend and I attended an engagement party last weekend. While we were sitting and chatting, a friend of the bride-to-be walked over to say her farewells... I was stopped mid-sentence by the incredible bag she was carrying. It was a small, ivory, almost-messenger back with these adorable and oh-so-preppy tassels. To. Die. For. Upon closer inspection, it looked as if it were pretty clearly a knock-off of a more expensive bag. I'm not what you'd call a label snob, but I do want things that are well-made. This had rings attaching the straps to the base of the bag that didn't close entirely, and hardware that looked as if it had been spray-painted. Up close, it was slightly disappointing, by I decided then and there to figure out who made the original and if I could ever, in my wildest dreams, afford it.

Lo and behold, I am flipping through Lucky Magazine and BAM! There it is. Designed by Coach (according to the photo). By this I gather that it is expensive, but not "keep dreaming, you-sorry-Chanel-wannabe" expensive. I am overjoyed.

That was four days ago. Here I am, a week after the original sighting, and I've spent nearly 48 hours trying to locate a retailer online who carries this unbelievable bag. Would you believe I can't find it anywhere? Not even the Coach website! I've googled, I've shopstyled, I even went directly to the Lucky website. Nadda.

I'm slightly heartsick. (In the way you can only be over a handbag, not a legitimately heartbreaking occurrence, of course.) Do you think I could place one of those "missed opportunity" ads on craigslist?

3 Best Books of 2010

Since we're still in that awkward "getting to know each other" phase, I should tell you that I am a voracious reader. While I do have a soft spot for a good bit of chick lit, I'll try just about anything once. That being said, the list below is a little bit surprising (no romance? no Manhattan-ites in shoes as expensive as some cars?), but really representative of the state of mind I've found myself in more often than not this year...

Half the Sky is just plain incredible. If you can finish this book without feeling compelled to race out your front door and start making a difference, you might want to head straight to the hospital. Your heart is no longer functioning. Seriously, though, as a young woman who has grown up with so many opportunities at her fingertips, it was incredibly eye-opening to realize what a privilege it is simply to be educated and independent.

The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything was another inspiring read. As a graduate of a Jesuit college, I'm often drawn to studies of Ignatius and his particular variety of spirituality. It's so easy to get swept up in the hectic pattern of trying to juggle work and family and boyfriend and friends and the innumerable other commitments we face... I barely have time to get my jammies on at the end of the day before I face plant into bed. It's this lifestyle that lead me to fall head-over-heels in love with the Ignatian outlook-- a contemplative in action. If you find God in every dimension of your life, it makes feeling connected so much easier and, frankly, more real. Not to mention, there are some really cute annecdotes about his years in the priesthood and before.

Finally, The Happiness Project... I stumbled upon this book earlier in the year and I'm so grateful that I did. Fumbling through those first six months after graduation was about as awkward and uncomfortable as it sounds... what am I doing with my life?! Where am I going? Why aren't I a phenomenally successful and well-adjusted actress/business owner/writer/professional already?! It was easy to be critical in my own self-delusion. The Happiness Project helped me to recognize the tiny little victories and to see how easy it can be to enrich your daily life with just the slightest shift in perspective. When you begin to appreciate something as simple as a clean closet, the inconveniences you run up against seem so much less... insurmountable.

It's interesting-- there's a sort of theme here that ties each of these books together: finding perspective. Whether it be via our place in the world, our relationship with God, or our relationship with ourself, it's something you might need a little help with while you figuring out what you want from life and how you're going to go about getting there. If this sounds like something you can relate to, you should probably check these books out... and, heck, even if not!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

"I put some new shoes on and suddenly everything's right."

In this case, it's these lovely little darlings...

These babies are GORGEOUS... and what a sale! Run, don't walk, to buy yourself a pair!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Closeted Affections

As a recent college graduate and lover of all things Big Apple, I'll admit that I'm not unfamiliar with cozy (read: tiny) apartments. That being said... I can live with the miniscule kitchen and the barely there bathroom. My real envy for suburban life sets in when you open the closet door. How can a girl with so many accessories manage in a space that can barely fit a winter coat? Perhaps this is why I feel all warm and fuzzy when my favorite home magazines or TV shows feature beautiful closets... here are just a few of my favorites:

This is a lovely space that appeared in Country Home magazine. I love how "real" it feels... an actual closet as opposed to a set designed for the shoot (though I know so many of them are...).

This stunning closet appeared in Sunset Magazine. I don't know about you, but it's enough to make me want to move West.

From House and Home Magazine, a closet I can aspire to...

Last, but certainly not least, the beautiful closet of Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City 2... hey, a girl can dream!

P.S. These photos were saved in a file on my desktop entitled "Beautiful Closets." If they previously appeared in your blog, let me know and I will happily credit you!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Baking Beauty

I love to bake. I wouldn't say I'm a terribly good baker, but I really do enjoy trying out new recipes. Over the weekend, we went to an engagement party for one of the man's law school friends. I decided to try out Paula Deen's "Simply Delicious Strawberry Cake" recipe and it was, naturally, simply delicious.

The recipe for the cake calls for the following:
1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix
1 (3-ounce) box strawberry-flavored instant gelatin
1 (15-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water

I used a package of Dole frozen strawberries instead of a variety with syrup in the cake mix, and I substituted fresh strawberries on top. After a hunt that led me through at least five of the Upper West Side's various grocery stores, I gave up on making the icing from scratch (strawberry extract is nearly impossible to find!) and settled on some generic strawberry icing. Nonetheless, it was delicious! If you're looking for something summery to bring to a party, I would highly recommend it.

(You can find the full recipe, including cake and icing, on Paula Deen's website here.)