Friday, March 23, 2012

Weekend Plans - Working on the Outdoors

This weekend, Esposito and I will be working on our front and back yards.  Esposito is OBSESSED with the lawn, and I offer my help so that he is obliged to help me whenever I want to take on an interior project ;).  We will be reseeding the bulk of the lawn, as well as weeding and generally tidying up our planter beds - and I'm probably going to try to sneak in a few more plantings to beef up our front bed as well as some hardscaping to make things generally prettier.  The weather should be great and it will be nice to spend some time outdoors.  I'll be back with some pictures and a run through of what we did, but for now, enjoy some pretty outdoor spaces!








Have a happy weekend!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Loving Lately - Pastels

I've already expressed my love of mint here, but in general, I'm loving all pastels lately.  So fresh, fun and girly, these light shades are perfect for Spring and the warmer temperatures ahead.

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17 // 18 // 19 // 20

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Life Lately

I took an unintended hiatus from blogging.  It's so difficult keeping up with new and fresh material to blog about and I felt like I was being a bit fake in trying to come up with interesting things to write about.  It seems weird to feel that way so early in my blogging journey so I decided just to disconnect for a bit.  Do you guys ever feel that way?

Since it's been more than a week since I posted, I figured I'd start off by sharing just a few snippets of what life has been like this past week.

The Saturday before last, I met my family in NYC for a birthday dinner for my mom and two sisters (their birthdays are all within the same week).  We had a great time and ate some great food (Churrascofongo from El Conde Steakhouse - our favorite Dominican restaurant in Washington Heights) and Junior's cheesecake fresh from Brooklyn -- THE BEST!  Side note - my car left me all but stranded in NYC that night - (flat tire, flat spare, and then dead battery -- thankfully my dad was there!!) so it's been a rush to find a new car (I'd previously planned on gifting myself a new car for my birthday in May, so it seemed weird to spend money to fix my current car knowing that I'd be trading it in pretty soon).  Except, I can't make up my mind about what I want and have no time for car shopping so off to the mechanic I will go this evening to get it fixed in hopes I can drive it for a few more months.

The weather has been absolutely amazing lately, and I've been enjoying long walks with the dogs and just generally hanging out outdoors (clearly, they are enjoying it too).  After fall, spring is definitely my favorite season.

Esposito has a week off next week so we are figuring out all the house projects he is going to get done.  He has grand plans to work on the front lawn (see measurements above), and I have grand plans of him working on some molding projects and miscellaneous pending fixes around the house.  Let's see what actually gets done.

During Esposito's week off, we will be having some contractors come through the house for estimates which will set in gear a revamp of various rooms in the house (once we have the chimney inspected and cleaned, we will figure out final placement of the TV in the living room and then decide on new couches, also we are swapping a "storage" room for a guest bedroom and creating a den in another bedroom with the current living room furniture, for example).  I look forward to blogging about those projects in the near future.

Hope you've been enjoying the month so far!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday's Fancies - Spring Break Season

I never took a traditional spring break trip during my college years.  I didn't mind though - the (stereotypical) spring break crowd/atmosphere was never really my thing.  In fact, in 2008, a group of girlfriends and I decided to vacation in Cancun and specifically chose Memorial Day Weekend to avoid the Spring Break crowd -- little did we know, Cancun is basically Spring Break all year round!

Nonetheless, I have quite fond memories of that trip to Cancun - it was my first "girls vacation" and we had a blast.  We've even made it a tradition - taking a "girls vacation" every other year.  One of the things I liked best about Cancun in particular is that there is so much to do; by no means were we confined to the resort the whole time we were there -- we ventured out into town, did day trips, went to local nightclubs, etc.  We did so much that we each had three wardrobe changes per day - one outfit for the morning at the beach, one outfit in the afternoon for walking around town or doing some sightseeing, and one outfit in the evening for dinner and dancing.  Thankfully, we each brought big enough wardrobes to sustain all those outfit changes for the whole time we were there!

So, when I saw that the theme for this week's Friday's Fancies was Spring Break Season, I knew I wanted to create a capsule wardrobe for a similar, Spring Break style vacation.
Friday's Fancies Spring Break
  1. I'm a swimsuit hoarder, typically packing at least one swimsuit per day I plan to be on vacation.  I include different styles and colors of swimsuits so that I can switch it up depending on how I feel (and think I look) on any particular day.  Along with each swimsuit, I typically pack one coverup; in terms of coverups I like to keep to those that look like regular clothes when on (so I don't have to worry about getting changed if I'm going straight from the water to lunch for example) and in neutral colors so that I can wear them with different swimsuits.
  2. A pair of shorts (or two) and a basic tank are always a must have - you never know when the whim will strike to do some sort of outdoorsy activity, like horseback riding or hiking.
  3. A girl should never travel without her accessories.  Different earring options are the absolute minimum, and usually all I wear on beach vacations (because I do go in the water).  Sunnies are of course a necessity (I like to pack several pairs).
  4. Dresses and rompers are a key staple in my vacation wardrobe - easy to throw on and an instant outfit.  A couple of maxi dresses work great for breezy evening dinners, while sundresses can be thrown on for afternoon or evening activities and rompers work great for parties.
  5. I have a very strict policy when it comes to packing shoes - because I tend to pack only a carry on, I limit myself to one pair of heels.  Neutral wedges are perfect because they literally go with everything and can be dressed up or down.  Of course, flip flops make the cut for actual beach wear, and metallic sandals in gold and silver will work with different outfit options outside beach time.  A straw tote for the beach and a straw clutch for off-beach time, and a big floppy hat are equally adaptable to whatever you are doing or dressing for while on vacation.
Head on over to Long Distance Loving to see the other Friday's Fancies posts.  What would you take with you on Spring Break?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Introducing Phoenix & Co. Jewelry

Remember that Friday's Fancies a few weeks ago when we did a blog swap, and I swapped posts with Brianne from BrianneLee?  Well, Brianne recently opened her own online jewelry shop - Phoenix & Co. Jewelry.  The goal of her shop is to "offer quality and trendy jewelry at wallet friendly prices," and if you've seen some of the treasures in her own jewelry collection, you will be as excited as I am to see what the store includes!  Here are some of my early favorites:

Anne Talon Cuff

Devon Thorny Cuff

Emily Golden Pyramid Stud

Jessie Fishbone Necklace

Brianne's hosting a giveaway in honor of the store's opening - head on over to participate!

Loving Lately - Mint

I don't know if it's the weather or the fact that spring is just around the corner, but lately I'm loving pastel shades, especially mint.  It comes across so fresh, whether in your home or on you, and seems surprisingly adaptable in different shades, products and when matched with different pieces.  I've been coveting a pair of mint skinnies, but I never really thought of using it in the home until I came across a few images, included below, of serene bedrooms and living spaces using the color.  Love, love, love!

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16 // 17 // 18 // 19 // 20
Here's how I'd wear mint - casual, night out, or for work:
Loving Lately - Mint

Are you loving mint?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Friday's Fancies - Tangerine Tango

I've already expressed my love for Pantone's color of 2012, Tangerine Tango here.  So how fitting is it that the color is the inspiration for this week's Friday's Fancies?

I'll share a funny story - back in my high school days I was obsessed with bright colors.  My closet was a veritable rainbow, with options and shoes in every color.  From lime green DKNY kicks to orange Adidas shell-toes to even mustard yellow Lugz (remember when those were fashionable?), I had it all.  People even called my Skittles (or maybe not, but I always thought they should). 

Anywhoo, my taste has definitely toned down a bit since then but I still try to add a little brightness and life to my outfits when I can.  And tangerine is the perfect color to do so as it is bright but not too offensive.

Friday's Fancies Tangerine Tango

1. A great way to introduce brighter colors into your wardrobe is to pair it with a neutral, and this dress works great because it does so automatically! 

2. I love the look of a floaty dress with strong shoes, and these cage booties are just the ticket.  The color is awesome, and they are on sale to boot!

3. You could pair this outfit with a neutral or bold clutch.  This one, like the dress, is a little of both (although I'm sure you could find a more budget-friendly option for real life).

4. With this bold of a color, understated accessories work best.  A simple "wonder woman" cuff and a bold, but plain snake lariat are perfect complements.

5. I do my own nails, so I never have a problem updating my mani-pedi for whatever look I'm wearing.  How great would one of Essie's orange shades look in those shoes?

Head on over to Long Distance Loving to see the other Tangerine Tango looks!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

No Spend February Recap & Spring Wishlist

At the beginning of February I challenged myself to not buy anything for the month.  We (hopefully) will be making some BIG purchases over the next few months (a new sofa, a new car...) so it seemed a bit frivolous to me to be spending money on things I don't really need (plus February is a short month so I figured it would be easier).  Now that the month is done, I can proudly say that I (mostly) stuck to my goal.  For the whole month I only purchased three sweaters, spending a total of $25. 

Not too shabby.  Of course, I now feel deprived and it will be twice as difficult trying to spend less money in the month of March!  Not to mention there are a few wardrobe staples I have noticed are getting shabby and need to be replaced for the spring, along as some spring trends I want to add to my wardrobe.   I have about a hundred dollars in store rewards (from DSW, Macy's and Gap) so I hope to be able to put those to good use to beef up my closet without using up too much extra cash.  Here's a look at what I'm hoping to acquire over the coming month.

Spring Wishlist

1. Basic black pumps - I go through these like water because I literally wear them every day for work.  A new pair is a must every few months, and it is nearing that time.  I love the Nine West Rocha (I have them in nude patent leather as well) because they are comfortable and the perfect height to be work appropriate but still leg-lengthening!

2. Neon is all the rage, and I'd really love to buy a couple of pieces to add to my wardrobe for spring.  I think blouses are the best option because I can easily tone them down with a neutral bottom and cardigan or jacket, and these captoe flats are adorable with just the right amount of color punch. 

3. Printed pants are also everywhere.  I'm not a fan of the floral prints seen all over (they look a bit '90s to me), and even the leopard print took some warming up to but now I think they may be fun!  Ideally I'd find a fun Ikat or geometric print that's within budget, and I think I may even like those more than the leopard version!

4. I'm carrying a basic black leather handbag right now, but I'd like a little something brighter for spring.  This tote is perfect for work or weekends (and I always need a roomy bag because I literally carry my life around at all times).

5.  I tend to be very allergic to jewelry so I don't often purchase costume or faux pieces.  I've been coveting a pair of oversize studs for a while now, and really like these Kate Spade earrings, especially the scale and color options.  Hopefully they are hypoallergenic.

6. Mint is a color I'm loving for Spring - a pretty pair of pastel skinnies would be great in my wardrobe.

7. Nude flats are so versatile in the spring/summer months - with skirts or pants, for work or play, they look polished and trendy at once.  I had a Nine West pair that I loved, but my dog ate them so they need to be replaced!

Do you have a Spring Wishlist?