Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wednesday Wants: Gold, Glass & Dots

wednesday wishlist 10.31

I don't know if it's the holiday (and I'm not dressed up), my early Christmas cheer, or being locked up in my apartment for three days while the power at work has been out, but on this spooky, gray and cloudy Hallow's Eve, I'm craving glam. 

These gold, glass, polka-dotty luxe fancies are just the beginning of my growing birthday/Christmas list (I'm one of those (un)fortunate December babies). And yes, I've already started my list.

What are you craving lately?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tuesday Tuneday: L.L. Loves & Some Pre-Holiday Cheer

Even though Halloween isn't until tomorrow, I think it's about time for me to officially admit (warn you) on the blog that I am a Christmas freak (for lack of a better word).

Yes, I'm that girl that starts listening to Christmas music before Thanksgiving (okay, before Halloween...damn you Zooey Deschanel). I have to hold back my squeals of delight when the holiday displays start going up in storefronts (damn you, Pottery Barn), and it takes a serious amount of internal strength to not wear my favorite holiday tartans before November (November's acceptable, right?).

I'm not sure if this being holed up inside a la the winter snow days of my school years is what put me over the edge, but it's official: I'm in holiday mode.

Don't worry, I refrained from making you a Christmas playlist (it was tough). These are some of the songs that get me in the mood for snowy trees, hot cocoa and hours spent by the fireplace - preferably after a snowball fight or a winter walk bundled up in these L.L. Bean goodies:

(left to right, top to bottom): Scarf | Shirt | Fair Isle Sweater | Slippers (currently wearing; best slippers ever) |  Shirt | Fisherman's Sweater | Shirt | Scarf | Tote | Sheets | Boots | PJs | Booties

(go to playlist on Spotify)

Can you tell I'm all about tartan right now? Thought so.

Are you an early Christmas cheer-er? What gets you excited for the holidays?

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Cozy Monday.

In the midst of Hurricane Sandy, we're hunkered down in Boston. The boy and I were both advised to work remotely today, so we're hibernating in the apartment with a House Hunters marathon, candles burning, and obviously still in PJs.

But if I had it my way, we'd be holed up in our room at Twin Farms in Vermont, keeping warm with hot tea and a roaring fire - preferably reading instead of working. Excuse me while I spend the rest of today daydreaming of fireplaces...

Pure bliss.

To all of you on the East Coast, what are you doing to stay safe through the hurricane?
For all of you who are escaping the weather, what are your favorite stormy day traditions?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday's Fancies: 100 Celebration

The timing of this week's Friday's Fancies (yet again) couldn't be more apt. I have big party fashion on the mind as the boy and I are planning a NYE trip for this year with a few friends, and this week's theme is in celebration of 100 weeks of Friday's Fancies - CONGRATULATIONS, Alison!

We're considering a few cities for this NYE excursion (Nashville, Dallas, Austin and New Orleans), but it looks like Dallas might be the winner. And you'd better believe I'm already scouting out my outfit, which I plan to be something very similar to this:

Dress: Badgley Mischka c/o RTR | Earrings: Alexis Bittar | Spike Bracelet: Stella & Dot | Ring: J.Crew | Nails: Deborah Lippmann Boom Boom Pow | Cuff:  J.Crew | Lipstick: NARS Lipstick in Scarlet Empress | Heels: Kate Spade | Clutch: Serpui Marie

For any of you Dallas (or Texas) bloggers out there - would you recommend your city for NYE celebrations? Where would you celebrate? I'm definitely in need of some tourist recommendations...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Surprise Cupcakes: Happy 100th Birthday, Oreo!

I came across these birthday cake Oreos at my local Stop & Shop and I knew I exactly what I wanted to do with them. 

Unfortauntely, the boy nipped my plans in the bud the first time around because we’d been “eating like crap for way too long.” While entirely true, I would prove his decision to be wrong – a month later.

I told myself it’d be fine; I’d find the birthday cake Oreos at another grocery store. But weeks went by and trip after trip to Shaw’s, Market Basket, Star Market, Hannaford, proved to be birthday Oreo-less. I was getting frustrated. Angry, even – that my perfect baked treat would never see the light of day.

We finally went back to that Stop & Shop (which I might add is 4 blocks from our apartment, but I avoid going at all costs), and I found my precious treasure. I topped off the shopping basket with a classic store-bought funfetti mix & frosting and almost ran home to make them.

Before I could even begin mixing the batter, I died a little at the adorable “Happy Birthday” message to Oreo on each cookie – I am an idiot for not noticing these special flavors were a celebration of sorts, but absolutely cute nonetheless. 

The end result was honestly better than I imagined (so good that I forgot to take a photo of the end result...). I had had Oreo surprise cupcakes in the past from a colleague, but my coworkers all said these were even better. 

It will be forever a mystery if that was the special Oreo or the fact that S&S was sold out of the standard Pillsbury Funfetti and I was forced to go with runner-up Betty Crocker.  

Oh, and after all that, the boy almost died over the cupcakes and haorded 2/3 of the entire batch for himself. So for the record, I'm always right.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tuesday Tuneday: Currently Spinning

Most people that know me well would tell you that I have a lot of obsessions. Many of them are fleeting (snake print, neon peach, gold skulls) and some are lifelong (nail polish, stripes, Orbit Sweet Mint gum) – and music is no exception.

I go through crazy phases with certain bands, albums, or even a singular track that I will listen to in repeat for 5 days straight (most recently, Rihanna – Diamonds, but one of my worst attacks of all time was with Jose Gonzalez’s cover of Heartbeats; basically single-rotation for all of winter 2006).

I (unfortunately for my wallet) have the same problem with shopping, whether it be clothing, housewares, beauty products, etc, I’ll get reaaaally into nauticalia for a few weeks and all of a sudden decide that I actually want my living room to be Hollywood Glamour instead (sound schizophrenic? It’s possible…).

Here’s a peek at what I can’t get out of my mind lately:

Monday, October 22, 2012

Take a Hike

So – more Vermont eye candy ensued once we left our brilliantly-decorated room

I would not classify myself an “outdoorsy” girl; I couldn’t tell you the last time I went hiking, and my idea of “getting outside” consists of picking apples at a “human-proof” farm and walking city sidewalks around Castle Island (it’s not the city because it’s on the water!). 

It’s not that I hate nature, but getting out of Boston into rural mountains and spending the day climbing rocks and trampling through mud is not my top priority.

I was a little wary of what our hike through Twin Farms’ trails would be like; I was convinced he 50+ crowd staying there would lap me on the mountain. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday's Fancies: Halloween Prep

I will be the first to admit that in the past, I have spent embarrassing amounts of money on Halloween costumes. In college, it was a few of those "sexy" packaged costumes (you can't pass judgment on college activities, right?), and in my post-grad years I have been known to go a bit too far tracking down the EXACT dress Taylor Swift wore (topped off with a much-too-expensive, itchy, blonde curly wig).

Now that I’m (pretending to be) a real person, I would much rather spend all of that money on some fun Halloween d├ęcor (I’ve been lusting after this guy for a while) to feel festive for the season, rather than on an outfit I’ll wear for one night.

All of my problems were solved once this season of New Girl started; Jess has not only been sporting J.Crew a TON, but she’s very conveniently been styled in items I already have (great taste, Jess/Zooey!).

via What Would Zooey Deschanel Wear
via What Would Zooey Deschanel Wear
So – voila! Easy-peasey Halloween costume – just top it off with some faux glasses and bangs (real or clip-in? Still undecided…), and I’m set to go.

New Girl Halloween

Now as long as I can manage to not spill beer on my J.Crew cashmere I’ll be golden.

Are you dressing up for Halloween? Do share your costume ideas!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

J. Crew New Arrivals: Pre-Winter Picks

I admittedly spent my only free time today clipping images of my favorites of J.Crew's new batch of fall releases.

I am such a sucker for a complex texture and a saturated hue - which is basically kryptonite with this collection. I also am clearly in a coat phase. These are my (very trimmed down) must-haves:

Sweater / Top / Top / Top / Coat / Coat / Coat / Coat / Jeans / J.Crew j crew / J.Crew slim fit pants / J.Crew slim jeans / Flat / Necklace

What are your favorites in the new batch?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Autumnal, Vermont-y Luxury

I am admittedly still recovering from a weekend of complete and utter gluttony - too much (amazing) food, too many drinks, too much of everything, really, except sleep.

After writing that out, it probably sounds like I spent a weekend clubbing in Vegas, but let me tell you, a laid-back luxury, quiet inn in Vermont can also do this to a girl (who knew?).

Our weekend at Twin Farms was all kinds of over the top. From the three course breakfast complete with french press coffee and chocolate, banana and coconut souffle pancakes (yes, they're amazing as they sound), the inn was indulgent. Now's my time to give a special shout-out to the boy's uncle, without whom none of this would even have been in the realm of reality for our lives.

Let's start with our room, shall we?

I mean, seriously? An entirely toile room? Amaze.
 Birthday boy poking around the coffee table books.

(yes, there's more after the jump...)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Perfect Pump?

Just different enough to be classic and interesting.

Scoop 'em up at 20% off during Shopbop's Friends & Family (code: WEAREFAMILY)

The Friends & Family Bug: Shopbop & Saks

I am drowning in work (and a headcold) this week - sorry for the radio silence yesterday!

While I work on getting some gorgeous Vermont photos edited, how about a good sale to hold you over?

My credit card is officially crying in a corner; I received emails from Shopbop and Saks annoucning 20% off Friends & Family sales this morning. What's with all the sales recently - it's not even a holiday (but I'm not complaining).

I've got my eye on these lovelies (clearly in a coats & handbags phase):

Are you pumped about the F&F sales? What are you currently coveting?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday's Fancies: Leaf Love

I could not be more excited about this week's Friday's Fancies - which is probably clear by how overboard I went with the...erm...board.

The boy and I are headed up to Woodstock, VT this afternoon to an all-inclusive, remote, and cozy little getaway at Twin Farms. I'm of course anticipating the custom-to-taste meals with wine pairings and a nightly fire in our room, but if we're being honest, I planned this weekend completely around leaf-peeping.

Some of the foliage reports have said that they're past-peak or gone up in Vermont; I've been trying not to get ahead of myself but I'm always one to assume the worst. Either way, the high temp won't surpass 50 this weekend and I was excited to break out some old and new fall favorites.

leaf peepin

Club Monaco aran sweater / Jack Wills Sweater  / J.Crew tailored shirt / Club Monaco leather jacket / Jack Wills Utility Coat / Target Pleated Maxi / J.Crew cords / Dorothy Perkins leather boots / Via Spiga black booties / Topshop Contrast Riding Boot / Club Monaco leather handbag / Rabbit Head Necklace / ASOS slim belt / French Connection Power Wheel Tartan Scarf

Those wine-hued cords and Club Monaco aran sweater were two big pre-winter additions (did you know you can get 20% off Club Monaco with a studend ID - online?!), and made the packing cut. I also pulled out my favorite tartan scarf, quilted coat and riding boots (okay, two pairs - I'm indecisive) to get me through the cool (possibly freezing) nights.
What are your go-to autumn outdoors outfits? I hope you're soaking up some fall beauty this weekend!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Atlantic-Pacific For BaubleBar

It's like Christmas morning, my friends.

Just when I thought I had kicked my BaubleBar habit, they team up with the one and only Blair Eadie of Atlantic-Pacific.

I have long loved Blair's preppy but fashion-forward sensibilities and have been known to emulate her style on the blog and truthfully, on a daily basis.

I couldn't be more excited about this collab, and honestly, can you ever really have too much costume jewelry? Here are a few of my faves from the collection:

atlantic pacitic for baublebar

Pretty soon, the navy strand and fruitbowl bib are going to need to come live in my jewelry box. If I didn't already have the Rose Gem Strand in clear (and wear it every other day), I wouldn't be able to resist; the length and shape are super versatile and it's one of my go-to's when I want to punch up a plainer outfit without thinking too hard.

Are you an Atlantic-Pacific lover? Which pieces would you pick from the collection?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tuesday Tuneday: Wedding Essentials

On this gloomy Tuesday Tuneday, let's talk weddings.

I have very serious wedding outfit anxiety. As in, I had a wedding this past weekend and I ordered 3 dresses from Rent the Runway and tried on 5 others of my own before I could decide what to wear. There's something so final about a wedding (even when it's not your I crazy?) and I feel this crazy pressure for everything to be perfect.

wedding wear

So, maybe this board is cheating a little bit because this is exactly what I wore to a fall wedding in Salem, MA this weekend (after a very tumultuous decision process and all 3 dresses returned to RTR, regrettably). It really was the perfect ensemble for a fall wedding - the longer sleeves kept me warm during the ceremony outside but the lace was light enough to be breathable for dancing.

But to make up for it, how about some photos from the actual wedding?

Posing with the foliage.

And more posing  with the trolley.

As usual, the weekend made me pretty emotional and got my mind turning on wedding music - something that has always been extremely important to me. Over the years, I've come up with a few songs in my head that I know I just won't live if they're not played at my own (eventual) nuptials:

Fleetwood Mac – Landslide - Live Album Version (the bride danced to this song with her father at this wedding – there wasn’t a female dry eye in the house)
The Beatles Recovered Band – In My Life (my dream father-daughter dance song)
Van Morrison – Into The Mystic (one of my all-time favorites and a personal first dance contender)
Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe (absolute dance party essential for any wedding in the next few years – this past wedding had props to go with!)
Katy Perry – Firework (the boy’s favorite song – totally calling him out. Katy is always a crowd pleaser)
Jimmy Buffett – Margaritaville (the boy’s family and friends are all huge parrotheads, so this is a must)
Johnny Cash – Ring Of Fire (anything Johhny & June is wedding apropos in my book)
Barry White – Can't Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe (sort of silly, sort of entirely true – and who can forget Freddy Prinze and this track?)
Hall & Oates – You Make My Dreams (the scene from 500 Days of Summer with J. Gordon Leavitt sealed the deal on this one – and nothing’s better than Hall & Oates)
Taylor Swift – Mine (the boy and I are both huge Tswift fans (I’m really throwing him under the bus this week, huh?) and the words to this one are just perfect)
Taylor Swift – Love Story (I’m 99% positive I want this to be my entrance song – to the point that I’ve planned which moment the bride and groom will enter after the wedding party. Judge me)
Whitney Houston – I Wanna Dance With Somebody (classic dancefloor jam)
Mariah Carey – Always Be My Baby (this will undoubtedly be the David Cook cover from American Idol – again, the boy’s fav. It should be clear who has the better taste in music at this point
J )
Bruce Springsteen – Dancing In The Dark (it’s not a party without the boss)
Simon & Garfunkel – Cecilia (this song has always made me extremely happy, and Paul Simon is one of my mom’s all-time faves)
Ray LaMontagne – You Are The Best Thing (pretty sure I have yet to post a playlist that doesn’t have a Ray song on it – which accurately describes how I feel about his music, I’d say)
Iron And Wine – Flightless Bird, American Mouth (if you can separate this from the Twilight scene, it’s still super romantic)
Bright Eyes – First Day Of My Life (another first dance song – this one has always made me tear up)
Ben Folds – The Luckiest (so much truth in this pretty little ditty)
Dave Matthews – So Damn Lucky (more luck – there were a lot of coincidences and fateful events that brought the boy and I together, so this is very appropriate)

Get the whole playlist on Spotify here.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Pumpkin Banana Bread, Skinny-Style

Now that fall has really arrived (and, okay, I finally unpacked my mixer), I've been on a complete pumpkin binge, along with the rest of the blogosphere/world.

I made these Pumpkin Donut Muffins from my girl Martha last week, and while they were borderline orgasmic and the coworkers I pawned them all off on were huge fans, they were not a pretty sight to see in-progress. I’ll just say that 75% of my countertops were covered in melted butter, cinnamon, sugar and flour by the end of it, and leave it at that.

So of course, to balance out the gluttonous donut muffins, I baked a dessert bread. But it’s fine, because it’s got “skinny” in the name, right? Right.

This bread is not any old pumpkin bread. The mix of the classic banana bread taste with the pumpkin was unexpectedly delicious, and still had a very strong, cozy, nutty, autumn-y taste to it, thanks to the added spices.

This recipe was super easy to make, and the end result was a dense, moist, almost fudgdy – but  altogether heavenly – bread that you don’t have to feel (too) bad for indulging in.

SkinnyTaste has quickly been my go-to for straightforward recipes for health(ier) dinner menus and desserts, and especially lightened-up gameday snacks. If you don’t already lean on this fantastic recipe resource, I HIGHLY recommend!

What are your favorite recipes to cook/bake in the fall?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Friday's Fancies: Monochromatic Forest

I am a lifelong green lover. Chartreuse, kelly, pine, emerald, mint, olive - you name it, I love it. I'm actually wearing three different shades of green as I type this (kelly green striped tee, DY peridot ring, green amber ring)...

So of course, the first thing that came to mind when I started to think about this week's "marvelous monochrome" Friday's Fancies was green. But not just any green - deep, saturated, fall-y green. And nothing says autumn better than woodsy tones - hunter, forest, pine - whatever you choose to call them, they're my go-to's when the weather gets chilly.


I may not be chic enough to pull off this monochromatic look, but that won't stop me from pine-ing (okay, pun intended) after these gorgeous green beauties.

monochromatic forest

Green sweater / Equipment silk blouse / McQ by Alexander McQueen pleated skirt / J.Crew tall pants / Kate Spade high heels / Penelope Chilvers green boots, $425 / Hunter boots, $115 / J.Crew kitten heels / Yves Saint Laurent / Zip bag / Tory Burch / Essie nail polish / Signature Studs Calf Hair Cuff

Saturated green velvet, haircalf, lizard and silk? Doesn't get much better than that, my friends.

Are you a green lover or a green hater? Would you rock a monochromatic forest green ensemble?

Head on over to {long distance loving} for more monochrome love.

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