Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Anti-Pauly D Blowout

Am I serious with that title? Unfortunately, yes.

I'll jump right in - while I am possibly the WORST person in the world about getting my hair cut regularly due to my extremely unreasonable attachment to the length of my hair (which I am endlessly trying to grow out). Yes, I have a disgusting amount of split ends, but is it enough to get me to a salon? Not in the last 6 months, it’s not…

Anyway, can we all just agree that the best (and for me, only) part of getting your hair cut that is enjoyable is how amazing your hair looks when it is blown dry by your stylist? I’ve never been quite able to achieve the body and subtle bounce my hair has when I leave the salon, and you’d better believe that I milk that shit until baby powder/dry shampoo just don’t do the trick anymore.

I know blow dry bars aren’t exactly the newest thing in the world, but until now in Boston, we have been limited to just scheduling a blowout at a full-service salon – and to be honest, I just don’t have the balls (or the cash) to do that. Enter blowout bars; I’ve been reading about Blo and other dry bars like it for some time, but Boston didn’t have anything like it (sadly behind on the trends, womp womp)…until now.

via  http://www.shopsarahmac.com

The one and only Blo has opened in the South End! And being out of touch like I am, I didn’t know until I saw the Bloomspot deal pop into my inbox this morning. While I WOULD, in theory, pay the full price of $35 for a blowout for a wedding or big, formal party, I just scooped one up for $19.

Best Tuesday ever? I really can’t wait to try it out. Boston girls, have any of you been yet?  Or for those of you that are lucky enough to have dry bars already – are they worth it?

PS - I am still undecided if this violates my spending freeze since it's an "intagible" object and therefore not clothes/accessories. But I admitted it on the blog, so that's got to count for something...right?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Hell, I Still Love You, New York

Not what you were expecting for a title after Friday's post, huh?

Slight correction: after this weekend, I can firmly say that I still love you....BROOKLYN. I mean, wow. How wrong could I have been? I spent less than 24 hours in Brooklyn and I fell completely in love to the point that I seriously contemplated moving there. I mean, really:

Who can resist a Vespa and a (real) gas lamp? No one, unless you're soul-less.

Oh, and let's not forget about the out-of-this-world view from my friend's roof. Gorgeous even in disgusting humid weather.

Ominous, but gorgeous. I could stare at New York bridges all day.

Also, I spent a weekend in NYC and did not shop. At all. CRAZY talk, but it had to be done...and I didn't even miss it! The only thing I'm really regretting is how terrible the weather was, and that I didn't get to stop at Laduree for macarons - le sigh.

What did you (east coasters) do this weekend in the crappy weather?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Let's hear it for...

via My Modern Met

Happy (almost) weekend! In a few hours, I am off to the Big Apple for my first visit in at least 4 years? I can't believe it's been that long (talk about getting OLD).

But I must say, in my past experiences I have come close to hating New York - it overwhelms me in a way I can't quite describe. Admittedly, I have only ever spent time within a 10 block-ish radius of Grand Central, and I know there is so much more the  city has to offer, so this weekend is going to be my best effort to give it a chance.

We will be in Brooklyn tonight, staying with friends and seeing even more old friends, and I am extremely hopeful that being a little distanced from Manhattan in a neighborhood with it's own, unique vibe (and most importantly, accompanied by those who know it well) will be a turning point.

And here's what I'm donning for the journey and a (hopefully) casual night out in BKLYN tonight:


J.Crew white jeans / Sperry Top-Sider boat shoes / Sperry Top-Sider boat shoes / Rebecca Minkoff leather handbag / David Yurman sterling silver jewelry / Michael Kors watch / David Yurman sterling silver ring / David Yurman sterling silver jewelry / Ginette_NY gold jewelry / Essie nail polish / Deborah Lippmann Happy Bday

We're moving on to the Upper East Side for the remainder of the weekend to celebrate the boy's brother-in-law's 30th birthday (hence the Happy Birthday nails!) but as usual, I am ever indecisive about my outfits and packed half of my closet. Photographic evidence will have to do it justice next week!

But anyways - I am a straight up NYC newbie (/hater) that desperately wants to change, so PLEASE send over suggestions! Everything from restaurants, coffee and ice cream (Laduree IS on the list, don't worry) to boutiques, museums or just random streetcorners is acceptable. I told you, I'm like a lost puppy.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Quinoa with Corn, Scallions & Mint.

I am a firm believer in cooking for the season – partially because I have such a hard time making decisions about what I want to eat, but also because, as with almost everything in my life, I want my meal to fit in with the atmosphere and my mood. In the summer, this means “refreshing” is quintessential.

This recipe caught my eye a long while back when I was gathering literally TONS of recipes in the midst of my quinoa obsession. Hopefully you have all at least tried quinoa – it is really the perfect base to a dish; it’s completely versatile and bland alone, but packed full of protein. 

You can add almost anything you want with it and it becomes an insta-delicious and healthy dish. This one, in particular, screamed summer to me as corn is a staple in my summer diet, and the addition of mint is always inevitably cool and refreshing. 

I also love the flavor that the scallions add to this – I regularly add onions to my quinoa dishes, but the scallions are a stronger, welcome pop of flavor.

What might be best about this dish (or worst, if you want to eat it right away….) is that it tastes best served cold – something that’s always a plus in my book, living in an apartment with no central AC in the height of summer. 

A quick tip on this recipe: it makes a LOT of quinoa. Like, fills the entire bowl (pictured above) to the brim. And unfortunately, fresh mint doesn’t keep extremely well, so this is best eaten in 3-4 days after making it…which if you’re cooking for one (the boy is NOT a quinoa fan) is pretty difficult to do, even if you eat it for lunch & dinner. I keep forgetting this when I make it (dumb dumb) but I would definitely halve this recipe unless you’re serving it to guests!

Quinoa with Corn, Scallions and Mint (adapted from Epicurious.com)

4 ears corn, shucked (I used frozen because I’m crazy lazy)
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh lemon zest (1-2 lemons – I am not a huge lemon person so less is more)
Juice from one lemon (about 1 tbsp)
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups quinoa (about 10 oz)
4 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint


Put corn in a 5- to 6-quart wide pot, then add water to cover and bring to a boil, covered. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Transfer corn with tongs to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, cut kernels off cobs with a large heavy knife.

Meanwhile, whisk together lemon zest and juice, butter, honey, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until combined (don’t do this too far in advance or the butter will start to solidify on you!).

Cook quinoa according to package instructions, or until the water is almost soaked up. Cover and let steam until you’re ready for it, and remember to fluff with a fork periodically.

Add quinoa to dressing and toss until dressing is absorbed, then stir in corn, scallions, mint, and salt and pepper to taste.

Are you a quinoa fan? If you have any favorite recipes, please pass them along!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I fully realize this is a cop out post, and I'm going to (half) apologize.

I want this blog to be SO much more than it actually is. I have a list longer than my computer monitor of posts I am planning to do; moodboards, recipes, cocktails, playlists - you name it; that is multiplying at 100 times the rate I am posting.

There aren't nearly enough hours in the day for me to work a full (+ hours) time job, do it well enough to earn the promotion I just got (shameless plea for sympathy?), and keep my relationship, body and mind healthy while also being able to do justice to the things I want to share with you.

This is NOT a quitting post. It’s more a disclaimer on my recent lack of focus here, and an explanation I feel I need to get out – if for no other reason than to just rid it from my sub-conscious. I am also hoping that this will help me take a step back to re-evaluate my priorities, especially in relation to my happiness and sense of fulfillment, because right now, my life currently looks like:

-          Get 8 hours of sleep vs. get up and blog before work
-          Take on more responsibility at work vs. blog at work in my (nonexistent) spare time
-          Go to the gym vs. go home and blog
-          Cook a healthy dinner vs. eat frozen food and blog
-          Spend time with the boy vs. put up a laptop between us and blog
-          Go to bed at a reasonable hour vs. stay up and blog

Wish I was joking. And I realize it isn’t that simple, but these other things are all important to me, and are essential pieces of my happiness, just as much as having this blog as a creative outlet makes me feel happy and accomplished. I just need to find a balance – so mark today as the day I begin that endeavor.

And in the meantime, mark this as happiness lesson #1: There’s nothing a bomb-ass 90s mix can’t fix. There’s just something about the nostalgia, the mood and the memories that gets me every time.

Any other tips on finding a happy balance? I am clearly a girl in need.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Regal Grounds

One of my all-time (if not absolute) favorite places in the world is the Crane Estate on Castle Hill in Ipswich, Mass. I fell completely head over heels in love with it the first time I visited, approximately 9 years ago (holy SHIT, I am OLD).

It is realty the perfect mix of gorgeous gardens, ocean views, woodsy hiking trails and of course, timeless manor class. I can easily spend hours there exploring the grounds, taking photos, picnicking and soaking up the sunshine.

Incidentally, one of my all-time favorite weddings was held here – but that’s just a fun sidenote.  I mean, how perfect is the veggie green & clean white palette for the classic mansion and rolling grass hill backdrop? Don’t even get me started on her dress. 

But anyways, the boy and I have been trying to visit this haven for almost two years now, and something always gets in the way (one time, it was closed for a wedding – serves me right!), but we were able to sneak in a visit this summer before the wedding season craze set in.

I was so excited to finally be able to share this place that is so special to me with him. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect, and while we were in a little bit of a time crunch (really, when are we not?) it was so relaxing and peaceful to be able to take a break away from the buzz of the city. 

My outfit was admittedly very inspired by Atlantic-Pacific, but it has become one of my go-tos, especially for dinner and drinks out on hot summer nights in Boston. There’s something about the flowy silk that feels effortless and cool, no matter how hot it gets (and I need the coverage in the AC-blasting restaurants we tend of frequent).

Blouse: Zara (sold out, but on sale here) | Pants: J.Crew | Sunnies: Karen Walker | Sandals: Jack Rogers | Bag: Rebecca Minkoff

Monday, July 23, 2012

Serena & Lily on One Kings Lane

I had a much more somber and frankly pretty emo post in the works for this morning, but something MUCH more timely and exciting has liften my spirits on this gloomy Monday. Upon returning from my weekly Monday morning meeting, I found a Serena & Lily sale at One Kings Lane in my inbox.

It's no secret that I'm on a spending freeze at the moment, since I complain about it in basically every post,  so I can't be completely devastated that most of these items are sold out. At the very least, this sale gives me hope that there are more to come from OKL in the future and I can scoop up some of my favorites for the new apartment.

But in the meantime, check out these goodies.

This shower curtain would be perfect in our new sandstone bathroom. Womp womp.

I have loved the Catalina collection for a while now, and this duvet really would have been the perfect jumping point for my new male-friendly nautical styled apartment. 

I mean, RIGHT?!

Don't even get me started on this nautical chevron perfection.

And then there's this adorable handwoven rug that would have been perfect in my already Serena & Lily-ed out room. 

Yeah, I'm 25 and I have this green & pink bedding - get over it. Unfortunately this gorgeous set is likely going to be retired to the guest room come September since this is pretty much the complete opposite of gender-neutral bedding.

Are you a Serena & Lily fan? What kind of bedding do you usually go for?



Friday, July 20, 2012

Cohabitation Creation

I just realized (okay, I am actually counting down) that in just a month and 10 days, I will be in the process of hauling ALL of my crap (and loved items, of course) into a big empty apartment...and the boy will be doing the same. Luckily, he probably has less than 50% of what I'm going to be hauling around, but like I mentioned before, his current setup has no defined style whatsoever, and my current place was shared with a roommate and I invested very little into styling my place (aside from my bedroom) once I knew that the boy and I were "in it for the long haul," as they say.

All of this comes down to two things: 1. this move-in is a huge (and my first) opportunity to really decorate a space to my taste, and this freedom is the biggest motivation behind my spending freeze, BUT, 2. I have NO idea how to style for men's tastes - I can't pick out his outfits without making him look at best, bisexual, let alone create entire living space that doesn't scream "single 20-something  fashionista."

I want the space to have a defined style, but I am seriously struggling to curb my tastes and instincts to be less uber femme. I am fairly preppy by nature (I have had multiple people tell me in the last few months that I am the preppiest person they know...seems like a gross overexaggeration to me, but whatever), and I think prep often has a girly feel. So that said, I am thinking the best way to tone down the Lilly/Kate Spade/Trina Turk color splash extravaganza, I might try to steer in a more nautical direction; pun 100% intended.

Regardless, I can dream, right? I have been a complete click monster on every One Kings Lane and Joss & Main email I get. I'm literally making some marketers day by shooting up their click through rates on every. single. promo. Here are a few things at the top of my wish list for the new place:

I love a good nailhead trim headboard - and definitely makes the cut for masculinity, no?

Okay, so maybe a little girly, but less than the light pink option. I've been dying to add a pouf to my living room setup, eventually as a footstool for a fun patterned accent chair (preferably wingback, thank you very much!)

I know this is a pricey option, but I am DYING for this Society Social bar cart in our massive living space (and to style it up-but more on that later). 

But on that note - I am a total toroise whore and am dying for these Design Darling tumblers.

I do need to decide on a coffee table before I can make this investment, but a laquer tray is CRUCIAL. I'm obsessed with iomoi's patterns, but definitely can't afford them. I guess it will be more worth it when our initials are finalized (yeah yeah, getting too surrious over here) but I dream of this:

Brown popped with orange is stylish, but manly enough for a living space, no? My couch is a cocoa brown suede, so I'm thinking this pallette might be the way to go, in spite of my intense draw to nauticalia (damn myself for not going with a lighter couch!).

Speaking of initials, I am in love with these S&P shakers but I fully realize that this is an impractical purchase pre-nuptials (and pre engagement...I mean, who am I kidding?!)

On a more practical note, I am definitely planning an investment in a pair of these Design Darling topiaries to spruce up my black lacquer entry table in the new place. They're not too femme coupled with a tray for keys, a few candles and a gold mirror hanging above, right?

What are you rules for boy-friendly decorating? I'm clearly in need of some help!

Thursday, July 19, 2012


I have literally been dreaming of this day for at least a month now - so much so that it has become a nightmare amidst my spending freeze: J.Crew's Fall '12 line. It's here. And it's armed and dangerous.

It's no secret that I am obsessed with J.Crew (here, here, here...and it goes on) - and I have been simultaneously yearning for and terrified of this batch of new arrivals. I knew it would bring a HUGE amount of  temptation to splurge; autumn is my absolute favorite season, and no one ever does it better than J.Crew, so I anxiously awaited the impending doom. Seriously, I was ready to lock myself in a closet and mail my credit card to my mom to keep me from spending.

Now that it's here - as much as it pains me to say this - I'm okay. Which roughly translates to: "entirely underwhelmed." I always look to J.Crew to create those items that scream FALL to me and conjure memories of apple picking, cider, cool nights, and turning leaves (cheesy, I know, but I'm am idealist) - and I am finding almost none of that with the new arrivals. Disappointment for me, victory for my bank account. I guess you need to lose to win.

Let's go through the good and the bad, shall we?

LOVES (most of these I do LIKE but there's something not quite right....):

Mint, sequin, amaze. I would honestly wear this in any season - and for that, $138 doesn't seem SOO unreasonable.

Perfectly on-trend, a great "replacement" for those Zara pumps I can't find anywhere, pretty much all-season  appropriate. If only I could justify $250 on shoes.

Per usual, they are completely on-point with their jewelry...BUT, I don't see myself braving a sunny, bright yellow in the fall.

I need this field coat. Like, NEED - it's so autumn-y and delish. Oh wait, this is actually Barbour - 1/2 point, for taste, I guess. 

Navy and white with a hint of red stripe shift dress in silk? Easy win over me, but it would take the right accessories to make this a fall pick. Points for being a transitional piece.

Even though this dress is a neonish mint, it SCREAMS Betty Draper to me, and therefore I love it, regardless. Even at $300...

I tried on harem pants just like these at Zara back in May and haven't stopped thinking about them since. Super impractical, but I still love.

Herringbone is always fall-approved.


Just kidding - jewelry fail. Why? Kate Spade made their gumdrop studs almost a year ago - and they are about 100% cuter and look much more expensive...even though they're cheaper. Anyone who pays $45 for these is out of their mind.

I always look forward to fall pencil skits and the color palette they go with, but these are so...underwhelming. Too bright and/or boring.

If there's one item that says "fall" best, it's cords. Tucked into riding boots, with a cute pair of flats, you name it. J.Crew's cords are always perfection with the right mix of forest greens, rusty oranges, muted blues - the pallette of these Matchsticks makes my heart cry.

These are all adorable and the colors are on-point. Next time, use these in non-cashmere sweaters so I can afford them? Thanks.

This blouse has become one of my all-time favorites - they are so easy to wear, but totally polished. Literally none of these Blythe colors read like fall to me, and therefore, worth zero of my money.

Don't get me wrong, I love this blouse. But when the Equipment version is only $8 more, there's no way I'm spending $250 on this. Sorry, JJ.

LOVE this tee - remind me why this wasn't released last month? Or at the beginning of summer, for that matter?

What did you think of J.Crew's newest?

PS: The Fall Collection lookbook hit the nail on the head for me - the pallette is rich and warming, there are nods to winter, and it's prep thrown together with nods of current trends and high fashion. I really can't decide why  they couldn't do that for us commonfolk.Rude.

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