Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Weekly Wants

Holiday party attire

coat // necklace // clutch // polish // lipstick // skirt // heels

It's the second week of November and I'm already freaking out about what to wear for holiday parties and NYE. I'm typically a procrastinator, but with vacation, work, and travel I don't have the time to search for things like I used to. I love a good party skirt and know I would have it for a long time. Also these shoes just scream festive and I think I have to have them. Top it all off with some pretty baubles, a punchy lip, and I'm good to go!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Holiday Kickoff

Bourbon Punch

Thrilled to be starting holiday posts early this year, but I think since the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is being installed today that I am fully within my right to do so. With a slew of holiday events to attend and host coming up, I love having a game plan in mind. Now I don't know how many people can relate, but I happen to love punch and always have. When I was a kid after our Christmas pageant, there was always a reception with some sort of gingerale punch that I thought was to die for. As I've gotten older my beverage choices have changed, but my love for a pretty punch bowl served with a festive libation has not. I came across this bourbon punch recently and knew it would be a crowd pleaser. Not too sweet thanks to the citrus, but with enough of a kick to get everyone in the holiday spirit.

Bourbon Punch

1/3 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
15 fresh mint springs, divided
4 cups strained fresh pink grapefruit juice
2 ½ cups bourbon
12 dashes of aromatic bitters
1 cup club soda
grapefruit and lime to garnish


Add water and sugar to a small saucepan and stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil. Add 5 mint sprigs. Remove saucepan from heat; cool syrup completely. Strain syrup into a punch bowl. Add juice, bourbon, and bitters; mix in soda and remaining sprigs of mint. Add ice to bowl. Garnish with thin slices of grapefruit and lime. 

Recipe from Caroline Z. Hurley for Domino 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

11 Questions

In honor of Throwback Thursday, I thought I would answer blogger chain mail (remember those things that flooded your email as a kid?). Here goes nothing!

1. If you could raid any celebrity's closet, who would it be and why?
Reese Witherspoon no doubt about it. I love her classic style. 

2. If you were a shoe, what would you look like?
I'd like to think I would be something like this. Elegant, timeless, and not too uncomfortable.

3. What is your biggest pet peeve?
Rude people.

4. Favorite song of all-time?
"Old Blue Chair" by Kenny Chesney. I don't know why, but I have always loved that song.

5. Are you a dog person or a cat person? And why?
Dog person for sure, I detest cats. I think dogs actually love people while cats merely put up with them. Oh and I'm allergic to them.

6. You're queen for a day. How do you spend your royal 24 hours?
I would spend the first half of the day at a plush spa in Charleston with my friends. Then I'd spend the afternoon having lunch al fresco, shopping on King Street, followed by happy hour at a rooftop bar. The night would conclude with an oyster roast at Bowen's Island and bonfire on Folly Beach. 

7. What's the most delicious thing you've ever eaten?
Shrimp and grits at 82 Queen... life changing.

8. What scares you the most?
Zombies. Easy. I have a very irrational fear of them because I'm not convinced they couldn't exist in some sort of capacity (maybe not how they are on tv but something strange and medically incorrect). I know it's dumb, but nonetheless terrifying. 

9. Which celebrity do you wish would drift off into obscurity?
Miley Cyrus. I'm over her and her tongue!

10. You're 16 years old again. What advice would you give your younger self?
To treat yourself better, and try to be comfortable in your own skin. It's ok to be a late bloomer so stop comparing yourself to everyone else. Oh and you and "the love of your life" (at 16) aren't meant to be, so maybe branch out some more in terms of dating.

11. What's your Starbucks order?
It changes all the time. If I'm too hot then I get an iced coffee, if it's cold a cappucino.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

28 is Pretty Great

Hello readers! I am so so sorry for my lack of posts this week. Things have been so crazy at work and home that I have barely had time to check my email. Today is my 28th birthday, and I was blessed with some fantastic weather here in DC for it. So between a birthday lunch, work, after work meeting, and a late-night birthday dinner I am absolutely swamped. Tomorrow I will have some new content for you, but for now I just have to do a tiny bit of bragging on my lovely boyfriend Danny for picking out this gorgeous necklace. I'm obsessed with it!

Friday, November 1, 2013

weekly wants

Birthday Wishlist

cookbook // coffee table book // sweater // scarf // makeup palette // 
studs // thank you notes // pumps // brush set // lounge pants // loafers //
 wallet // pillow // candle

Happy Friday! This week felt so long, I'm THRILLED it's almost the weekend. Next week is my 28th birthday and until today I literally had not thought about gifts. I am impossible to shop for so my family is always asking me what I want. Not everything on there is practical or realistic, but a girl can dream, right? Enjoy the weekend! xx

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cheese Plate 101

I don't claim to know much. I'm still trying to figure out my strengths at 27 (I get to say that for one more week). But if there is one thing I do know, it's cheese. I have always loved cheese. Not string cheese, kraft singles, and shredded stuff in a bag. I'm talking delicious, artisinal cheese. Growing up my family even referred to our house staple cheese (Port Salut) as "Ali Cheese," and now my boyfriend even calls it that.

One invaluable skill every gal should know is how to curate the perfect cheese plate. It's great for easy entertaining, the perfect accompaniment to a wine night in, and is hands down the best no cook meal out there. Here is my formula for the quintessential cheese platter to please any palate:

soft cheese + hard cheese + aged cheese + blue =  cheese plate perfection

{personal favorites: triple cream brie, manchego, sharp white cheddar, cashel blue }

Now, once you have the cheeses down you can get creative with accoutrements. I like to throw in some charcuterie (prosciutto, spicy sopresata, or coppa), something sweet like a jam or decadent truffled honey, a crunchy element like marcona almonds, and something briney like olives (non pitted). Pair this with some good crusty bread and thin crisp crackers and you're on your way to elegant eats. 

image via honestly yum

Monday, October 28, 2013

Glass half full

Happy Monday! I'm trying to start this week (and hopefully every week) on a positive note. So much of our attitudes/perspective comes from our thoughts so lets keep said thoughts good, light-hearted, and positive. I hope everyone has a great week!


Friday, October 25, 2013

Weekly Wants

Weekly Wants

cowhide // coasters // pillow // antler // french press // book ends

Happy Friday! I'm signing off for the weekend, but had to share some glitzy goodness for the home with you. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Button Up Baby

Winter Wonderland

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

It's officially getting cold in DC and usually I drag my feet on getting myself ready for colder temperatures, but I am actually looking forward to revamping my cold weather attire. I have Fur Fever badly (faux is perfectly lovely too)! I am ordering this fur scarf and Ted Baker ear muffs ASAP to start the process. I was practical last year and bought a down knee-length coat (it's not a puffy nightmare I swear) which is so great, but I would kill for this fuchsia wool coat... it would be absolutely dreamy with black pants and leopard pumps. I have been on the hunt for the perfect faux vest since last year, and I am pretty sure I have to have this one. Add a pair of lady-like gloves to top it all off and I'm buttoned up in style!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Weekend Looks

Weekend Looks

sweater // jeans // studs // snood // lip tint // bag // booties
blouse // coated jeans // pumps // lipstick // necklace // studs // clutch

I have a hard time coming up with outfits on the fly. Usually, I will just end up wearing the same outfit or similar style when pressed for time. So in the spirit of looking more put together, I put together two easy, polished looks for day to night. Each piece, to me, is so versatile and that makes them even more appealing.

What are your go-to's for easy outfit coordination?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Lazy Day to Cozy Night

Lazy Day to Cozy Night

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 

With all the travel and hectic schedules I've had lately, I'm really relishing the days that turn into nights where I have nothing I have to do. Since lounging at home is becoming more of a preference, I've been thinking there's no reason not to be stylish and comfortable for those lazy days in. I can picture curling up with a cup of tea, that gorgeous throw, and diving into a new book or watching an entire series on Netflix. Just because I live in an apartment doesn't mean I have to forgo that comforting fireplace crackle and scent. I can just light a WoodWick fireside candle and I'm exactly where I want to be. How do you like to spend your lazy days in?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Currently Obsessed With

Layering Mascara

I don't fuss too much with makeup on a day to day basis. I pretty much swipe mascara on, conceal any imperfections that are very visible and get out the door. I have to admit though I do have a major jealous streak when it comes to women with full lashes. I have nice long lashes, but like my hair, they have zero volume. I've tried every kind of mascara out there promising better results than all the others, but they all have fallen flat.

So a few weeks ago while I was bored in my hotel room I started looking on Pinterest for different celebrity beauty secrets. I stumbled upon Carrie Underwood's mascara routine, and was pleasantly surprised. Of course for stage events she wears falsies, but for everyday Carrie stated that she layered three different mascaras to achieve the same look. Well I only had two with me, but the three coat layer technique did the trick! My lashes were full, long, and more dramatic than ever before without the dreaded tarantula look. 

I have been layering my mascara for a few weeks now, and I am hooked. I use CoverGirl Clump Crusher, Maybelline Falsies, followed by another coat of Clump Crusher to achieve my look. My advice would be to put on a defining, lengthening mascara first then a volumizer, followed by a third coat of defining to get rid of any clumping. Hope you like your results as much as I do!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Weekend Wants

Happy Friday! Usually I do a Weekly Wants post, but this week really all I want is the weekend to be here. I don't have any set plans other for a dinner reservation tonight and I couldn't be happier about that. The beau has been in San Fran all week so I intend to steal as much time as I can before he leaves on another work trip Sunday afternoon. My non-agenda agenda is a nice date night out, brunch, hopefully some apple picking and/or vineyard hopping, and a nice Sunday morning in bed. Any fun plans this weekend?

All images via Pinterest

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pins I'm Loving

I've been falling in love with Pinterest all over again recently. There are just endless pretty pictures, DIYs, recipes, and general inspiration to be had. So today I wanted to share what I'm loving on Pinterest lately. I'd love more "Pin Pals" so check out my boards here, and send me your links so I can follow your boards too!

Beauty Loves

Recipe Love

House Love

All images are sourced from Pinterest. None are my own.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Light 'em Up


Jo Malone // Jonathan Adler // Voluspa // Archipelago // WoodWick // Rewined // Fresh // Tocca

Nothing, absolutely nothing, instantly lifts my spirits like a freshly lit candle. Not only does it fill the room with scent, but there is something homey and comforting about that little flickering light that puts me in a great mood. They are so many great fragrances out there, and in every imaginable price point, that there is no excuse not to fill your home with them. Candles instantly add the mood setting factor for a night in, offer great supplemental lighting for when you entertain, and fill your home with luscious scent (which for me is always a happy memory trigger). 

I love getting new candles, and tend to give them as gifts too. The ones I have pictured above are my favorite every day, seasonal, and floral scents. Do you have any favorites? I'm always on the hunt for new ones.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

You Need: Blouses

SIlk Blouse

Silk Blouse available here

If you're anything like me, you sometimes struggle with what to wear. I know that at 27 I probably shouldn't wear a sweatshirt and jeans for casual day to day, and I'm also aware that sometimes you need try a little harder than a cardigan and a cami. Even though I'm more fashion conscious these days, I still like to keep my comfort level high without being frumpy. Unlike many things in life, there is actually a cure-all to fill the comfortable, yet casual but can be dressed up needs of the modern lady. May I present to you the silk blouse. The one pictured is a gorgeous Equipment nude blouse that I could pair with a million things.

I say silk because it's a classic fabric that works well for pretty much everyone, but any type of flowy materialed blouse counts too (if it is synthetic just make sure it doesn't look cheap and you're good to go!). A soft, but structured shirt will take you from day to night, jeans to a skirt, and everywhere in between. These shirts look good by themselves, or accessorized with you favorite baubles. The possibilities with a good blouse are endless.

If silk or the style you like is out of your budget, try these awesome alternatives I stumbled upon at Express (I haven't been in there in years but these shirts fit like a dream, came in a dozen colors, and are wallet friendly at $50 a pop).  

Monday, September 30, 2013

Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

I was creating a post for today when I came across this print and I just had to share this instead of what I was actually working on. This little print made me so happy because (cue the broken record) I love love love fall so much. I was complaining yesterday that it hasn't been quite cold enough for me to put on my boots yet, but then I was reminded of all the other great aspects of the season and I slowed my metaphorical roll just tad. 

I've been having blogger's block if you will lately, and I think I am starting to find more inspiration so that's a huge plus. In the mean time I'm doing a lot of ideating, pinning on Pinterest, reading other blogs and trying to get my blogging mojo back. You should see some new stuff this week, and by next week I hope to be fully back into the swing of things. Thanks for baring with me!

In the meantime, let's keep in touch! Connect with me through Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Scatter Brain

I have to apologize. I have been a total scatter brain this week with being sick and work picking up like crazy. I do, in all sense of the analogy, feel like a chicken with my head cut off at the moment. This has left me a tad uninspired the past few days. So rather than give you something sub par, I thought I would just share my overwhelming feeling of perpetual craziness that will be the month of October and move on.

I hope everyone has a great weekend, and I look forward to finding some inspiration and relaxation this weekend too!

Image by Inslee

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sweater Weather

Fisherman's Sweaters

1 // 2 // 3

It's almost sweater weather here in lovely DC, and being home sick with a nasty cold has led to daydream about big cozy sweaters. I'm a sucker for chunky cable knits and fisherman's sweaters. I know big knits can had heft and bulk, but an over-sized sweater or buying one in the men's section has worked pretty well for me. Typically I don't like these types of sweaters to be fitted, so I like buying a size up for a comfortable look. 

I got a little teaser of fall over the weekend when I got to wear my boots for the first time, and now I can't wait until I can pair said boots with a big comfy sweater. Now that it is officially fall it's time to bring on the crockpot meals, scarves, and big sweaters and welcome my favorite season in style. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Fall Shopping

Fall Bag Lust List

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 

My apologies as I've been MIA recently. I got pretty sick Thursday and unfortunately I got a lot worse yesterday. With that said, what would cheer a girl up more than a new, lush handbag? The answer is not a heck of a whole lot. I scope out and obsess over a bah for a while before I make a purchase. I've never really been impulsive when it came to bags and since I don't have my sights set on one just yet, I thought this was the perfect time to start looking into one. 

Does anyone have recs for a great all around bag? I'd love to know what you're carrying this fall.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Hostess with the Mostess

Hostess with the Mostess

bar cart  //  stemless flutes  //  candle  //  bowl  //  tray  //  shaker  //  decanter

I've unfortunately never been a big entertainer personally, but I absolutely adore the idea of entertaining. As a former event/wedding planner I got to put together a lot of great events and over the top parties, but when it comes to having people over for a get together... well it just never really came to pass.

I'm on a mission to become a hostess and a home entertainer even if it kills me. I'm looking forward to football parties, holiday gatherings, and the occasional game night to start cutting my hostess teeth. It seems like all my coworkers have a go to spread for entertaining, and frankly I'm jealous. So cheers to hopefully becoming  the hostess with the mostess!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Falling for It

It officially feels like fall here in DC and that makes me one happy camper. As cliche as it is, it truly is my favorite time of year and with it comes so many things I love. This fall I am really looking forward to: 

Rich burgundy lips + nails and winged eyeliner

And of course, pumpkin spice anything

Friday, September 13, 2013

The British are Coming

Weekly Wants: Joules Clothing

Jacket // Sweatshirt // Vest // Boots // Sweater // Dress

Happy Friday! I've teamed up with Joules Clothing to bring you this week's Weekly Wants. As the premier the purveyor of "brilliantly British style," Joules focuses on traditional country pieces with modern updating and punches of color. With fall upon us, it's the perfect time to stock up on everything you need to keep warm and look great while doing so. 

I'm all about timeless pieces and these six items would be worn to death, and would stay in style for years to come. I'm dreaming of a crisp fall day where I can throw on that cable knit sweater and vest, slip into the cutest welly boots I have ever seen, and enjoy the outdoors (preferably with a latte in hand).

I don't wear dresses too often, but I would make exceptions for this red stunner. It's the perfect day to night or holiday party dress, but to be perfectly honest it looks like something Kate Middleton would wear and that seals the deal for me right there. This nautical stripe sweatshirt and quilted jacket would be the perfect casual pair for Sunday errands, trips to the vineyards, and dining alfresco. 

The Brits have a knack for classic clothing, and Joules is now bringing the best of the British outdoors to you. Shop online, or try on your favorite items at your local Von Maur or Neiman Marcus stores. 

This post was sponsored by Joules. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

DIY Daydreaming

DIY Daydreaming


I'm getting the crafty/artistic itch that I get a few times a year, and I 100% blame Pinterest. Like many women, I've always been pretty crafty and try a few projects every year. Lately though, I haven't done anything artsy and I'm starting to have withdrawal. Now I live in an apartment so there are many projects I would love to tackle but just don't have the space or resources to do so. I compiled a few projects from my Pinterest boards of projects that were doable no matter the size of your living space or access to materials. 

1. Kate Spade-esque Gold Confetti Plates: I LOVE LOVE LOVE this pattern from Kate Spade. It's my all time favorite for serving wear, vases, you name it I love it. All you need are some cheap-o plates, vases, glasses, anything really, painter's tape, and gold paint (gold sharpie and spray paint will work too). I'm going to make some mugs, vases, champagne flutes, and maybe a serving tray with this method.

2. Mason Jar To Go Cup: Yea yea yea we're all mason jar'ed out, but they really are so flipping versatile in the kitchen. I bought a case from Target for $10 and I use them for food storage, leftover storage, for my morning smoothie, and yes as cups at times. I have so many now that I would love to get some more uses out of them and I am in desperate need of to go cups (they always seem to go missing). 

3. Framed Gilded Agate Slices: Woo-Hoo I actually have all the elements I need for this project ready to go. I bought some gorgeous slices on Amazon, shadowbox frames from Ikea, and now I just have to paint the edges and assemble them.

4. Gold Studded Tray: Unless you've been living under a rock the world of home decor is currently obsessed with trays. I can't say I blame them either because trays instantly make spaces feel pulled together and more organized (what's not to love?). Acrylic trays can be purchased inexpensively at The Container Store and the gold pyramid studs are super inexpensive at your local craft store. For less than $10 you can bring new life and chic organization to your favorite surface.

All images and projects found on Pinterest, and linked to their respective owners

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Loving Leather

Loving Leather

I'm in love with all the leather I'm seeing in stores lately. I'm even digging all the faux! Really faux leather has come such a long way and is an inexpensive way to get that chic, edgy look. I'm pretty conservative in my clothing picks, but I would love to incorporate some of these items into my wardrobe. I know I have to have a leather mini and jacket, but I'm toying with the idea of some pant/legging looking pieces to wear with flowy blouses for a night out. 

Even if an all leather piece is not your style or budget, their are some great clothing pieces out there with  leather piping and accenting that really add that something special. Are you liking the leather trend?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Weekly Wants: Makeup

Weekly Wants: Makeup


I'm a creature of habit and I don't change up beauty products too often, but lately I'm itching to try some new ones. Even though I'm no longer in school , I always feel like I need a clean start around"back to school time." I think this is the perfect excuse to revamp my makeup bag contents. Anything you are lusting over at the makeup counters?

Have a great weekend everyone! See you on Monday!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Nail Love

Nail Love

* denotes personal favorite

It's no secret that I love love love fall. It is without a doubt my favorite season, and time of year (except for Christmas). One of my favorite parts about fall are all the dark, sultry nail polish colors that pop up everywhere. I'm partial to Essie colors as you can see, but I have seen some gorgeous colors from OPI and Butter that I'd like to try out. Even though it's classified under holiday, I love glitter polish for fall too especially the two pictured above because the glitter is very small and fine so you get really subtle sparkle or layer it for a really festive look. 

I have my color staples like Wicked, but I am dying to try that great navy and the emerald looking one too. New colors are great to mix it up, but you can never go wrong with a classic red nail it will always be in style. What are some of your faves? I'm dying to try some new ones!

Colors pictured: 
Top Row- Ballet Slippers, Topless and Barefoot, Chinchilly, Smokin' Hot
Middle Row- Devil's Advocate, Bahama Mama, Wicked, After School Boy Blazer
Bottom Row- Laquered Up, Silver Bullions, Stylenomics, Beyond Cozy

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Weekend Recap

Summer is officially over, and I can't think of a better way to have ended it than with a trip to Cape Cod for my friend's wedding. The day after a long weekend is always tough so rather than try to come up with something witty, I thought I would share a few pictures from our weekend.

Rehearsal dinner shot (pardon the blurriness)

The new Mr. & Mrs. Freedman (but seriously have you ever seen a more gorgeous bride/dress?)

These handsome devils were our dates (the bow tie... I die)

My pretty bestie and her beau

Sweaty, hair in ruins, bright a*s dress, but such a great time!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Social Dieting

You've all heard of happy accidents, and boy did I come across one the other day. I have been completely unmotivated in getting into shape, but at the same time find myself more and more unhappy with my body. Cue the violins. I know that if I want to see change I have to make change. So I was really happy when I came across DietBet. DietBet is a a 4 week social dieting game where you have 4 weeks to lose 4% of your starting body weight. Each player adds the designated buy in to the pot, and whoever reaches their goal gets to split the pot. Sounds fun right?

I did a bunch of research after I initially browsed the site. What's to keep people from cheating and what not? Well they have people that check the starting and finishing pictures, algorithms that detect unusual activity, and randomly audit players for additional proof. Basically if you hit your goal of 4% you win back your buy in and then some. Did I mention there is also a free app? You can do everything you need from your phone which for me is another reason I can't say no.

I signed up for Blogilates Sweatember DietBet for $25 and the pot has grown to close to $7,000! There are also fun giveaways that they are doing besides the money for some added fun. I start September 3rd and am really looking forward to jumpstarting a healthy lifestyle. If you are interested in joining click here

Images from DietBet

Monday, August 26, 2013

End of Summer Wedding

End of Summer Wedding

I said I would never do it again, but I did... I'm using Rent the Runway again after a pretty horrible go at it back in October (the day before I needed the dress they called to let me know they no longer had it). They did their best to help last minute, but it was really thanks to my mom's handy Macgyver'ing that we were able to make a dress two sizes too big work. Needless to say, I swore off the service.

Fast forward ten months later and I'm in desperate need of a dress for a Labor Day weekend wedding. The thought of dress shopping right now is vomit-inducing and clicking through countless pages online to find something wasn't appealing either. So I did what I said I would never do and I am trusting/hoping/begging the universe that it goes well. I have a backup that I plan to wear to a September wedding and that is really the only reason I am trusting RTR again. 

I found this fun little number two weeks ago, and as soon as I realized the flowers at the top were just a necklace they styled with it, I was sold. I'm pairing it with a rented necklace for some fun contrast and nude Zara sandals. I have a lighter colored pashmina that I'll keep with me and top it all off with some simple studs. I'm surprisingly relaxed about this all coming together so keep your fingers crossed and send out those good vibes my way that we don't have another repeat of last year!

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