Friday, July 31, 2015

Heatwave


A few tips to beat the heat.


I'll take my coffee frozen, dipped in chocolate and coconut. Please. (Starbucks should get on this.)

Have a great weekend. Stay cool!
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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Brows On Fleek?


What's the secret behind Cara Delevingne's eyebrows? According to Daily Mail, apparently she doesn't let anyone touch them. She's smart...



I'm a victim of a bad eyebrow wax, so this tube of Revitabrow just arrived via Amazon Prime. I'll try anything! I've been trying to grow them thicker and was just starting to make progress.

I'm even more mad that I just bought a package to European Wax Center because I won't be setting foot in there for quite some time while I recover. Every time I'm there they try to upsell me and I say no... I finally caved... and then this happened.  I had to stop myself from furrowing my brow typing this... don't want this to cause wrinkles too.Thanks for listing to my rant.


Now I'm truly getting my money's worth out of this product (I use the soft brown color). The dual-sided brush is a must for application and blending. I didn't consistently fill in my brows until recent months when I bought it after seeing great reviews. It takes some time to nail down the precise application so skip it when I'm in a rush. In that case, I'll use this MAC angle brush and eye eyeshadow (Bobbi Brown in Blonde).

If you don't fill your brows, here is a great tutorial from Maskcara. She's on of my favorite beauty bloggers. It's pretty crazy what a difference it can make in your look. Also, here are some before and after of celebs with bolder brows.


I'm going for a brow look a la Karen Smith Amanda Seyfried. 


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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Nautical Chic

Nautical Chic by Amber Jane Butchart

I recently spotted Nautical Chic on the shelves at Juliska in Stamford and it's on my growing wishlist of coffee table books.


I started to compile some timeless nautical looks and this simple style caught my eye first.


I immediately thought of this Olivia Palermo outfit - one of my favorites. Now, to find that perfect cableknit sweater to wear season to season. And a navy peacoat. Can you tell I'm anxious for fall clothing?!


Bette Davis, 1935 (colorized). I'm pretty sure that every fashion blogger has posed exactly like this in their round shades over the summer.


My Pinterest perusing led me to this. Transform simple nude heels with this DIY knotted rope heels from Vogue Australia. This pair of Steve Madden heels is perfect for the project. Would be cute for a nautical themed engagement shoot with a navy dress.


 We can't forget the classic blue and white striped tee. Duchess Kate loves her stripes and says hi.


Yours truly! I've been into nautical fashion since the 80s.
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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

2015-2016 Day Planners

myAgenda $24+
Lilly Pulitzer Agenda $28

Growing up I loved back to school shopping... both clothing and supplies. I still get giddy when it's time for a new planner. Most people think I'm crazy for still having a written planner, but there are other organizational enthusiasts out there that are with me. So for you all, I have compiled some of the most popular and stylish planners I see around blog world. 

I've been using the Erin Condren Life Planner for the past two years. I'm a fan of the weekly view and the durable cover. The folder in the back is great for me to stick bills or other to-dos in.


I have also seen cute, wallet friendly agenda options at Target. They are sold only in stores, not online.



Another roundup... including some Kate Spade options.

Did I miss your favorite planner?
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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

San Francisco


Catching up on some recent trips! I travel for work every so often and one of my more frequent destinations is San Francisco. When I don't have meetings or dinners scheduled I'm on my own to explore. I don't have much free time or close friends that live there so I try to make the most of it without venturing far from my hotel.

STAY AND SHOP
I stayed at the Park Central (formerly Westin) on my last visit, which is an SPG property. Appropriately named, it was within walking distance Union Square and the Ferry Building. In addition to all the department stores and high end brands around Union Square, there is also a string of discount stores along Market Street including Neiman Marcus Last Call and Saks Off 5th. If shopping is your thing, you won't be disappointed.

I've also stayed at The Fairmont, which is a beautiful historic hotel. It's also haunted (no joke, I had a bizarre experience with a voice on the elevator). Besides that, it was lovely.

WORKING OUT
When I travel I try really hard to get workouts in . It happens more frequently when I'm on the West Coast because I wake up at 6AM in a panic thinking it's 9AM and I've overslept. In advance I'll check to see if my hotel offers a gym or if there are any studios I can drop into it. Yoga is usually easier to pack for and welcoming to newcomers. I'll bring a mat towel and don't need to pack sneakers. The last time I decided to finally give Soul Cycle a try since it was near my hotel. I'm a big fan of spin and can see why this studio has a cult following. Since I lugged my spin shoes in my suitcase I was committed to going.

FOOD
Before my flight home, I stopped by the ferry building for breakfast. It reminds me of Chelsea Market in Manhattan with several specialty and gourmet food vendors. There is always a long line at Blue Bottle Coffee so I hop right in. I had a baked egg sandwich with sautéed mushrooms, Gruyere, and herbs from Cowgirl Creamery Sidekick Cafe that was unreal. I was actually trying to go for something somewhat healthy... oopsies (I wasn't on the 21 Day Fix during this trip). Finally, I couldn't come home empty handed for Ted so brought home some Macarons from Miette. They aren't colorful because they don't use any artificial ingredients. One of these days I would like to visit their full shop in Hayes Valley.

One of my favorite restaurants that I have been a few times with clients is Wayfare Tavern. It's great for both lunch and dinner and I love the old world decor.

Any San Francisco favorites I should keep in mind the next time I go?
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Monday, July 20, 2015

Sunday in Essex, Connecticut

Dress: Susana Monaco Bag: Kate Spade Necklace: Max & Chloe

On Sunday my mom came to visit me and we drove up to Essex. I had last visited back in December on a cold, rainy day. It was just the opposite this time around, sunny and extremely hot. I loved seeing the town in a different season. The hydrangeas are at their peak in July.



We ate lunch at Abbey's Place, a cute casual restaurant overlooking the water. I had an arugula, red onion, feta and seared shrimp salad.


My mom spotted Bliss... we agreed that was a great boat name. 




Nautical antiques. 



Even the garage is cute.



Perfect Sunday!
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Friday, July 17, 2015

#NSale



Happy Friday, friends! Today marks the first day the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is open to the public. If you're an avid blog reader, then you've already been bombarded with #Nsale posts... sorry! If you're a Nordstrom Cardmember with early access this is old news since you already snagged the good deals.

I've highlighted a few items from the sale that I already own and love.

Asics GEL Kayano 21 $119.90 $159.95
I'm overdue for a new pair of running shoes. I have an earlier model of these shoes and love the support. I was fitted for Asics a long time ago (high school track, haha) and have been a fan since. I've been waiting for a color combo that I like to come along.

Rag & Bone Margot Bootie $349.90 $525.00
Well, these are already sold out in my size online. Wah! I have the Harrow style in black leather and they get the most wear of any of my boots. I'll be bringing them to the cobbler soon to fix up for the fall. 

Tory Burch boots are always one of the most popular pieces from the sale and go fast. If you don't get a pair this time around, hold out for Tory Burch's Labor Day sale. I've had mine with the same pebbled texture for a few years and took them to the cobbler for a refresh last year. Worth the price tag!


Sonix Clear Evil Eye Case iPhone 6 / iPhone 6 Plus $22.90 $35.00 Case 
I love my Pineapple Sonix Case but will have to retire it at the end of the summer. I have the 6 Plus and this case doesn't add any bulk. Paired with a screen protector you're set. 


We can't forget about the guys. Ted wore his Better Sweater nonstop last year. I think he needs a new color to rotate in.

Anyone shop the sale already? Share your finds with me!
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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

My 21 Day Fix


Back in April, after traveling for a few weeks and being out of my workout routine I needed to whip myself back into shape for the upcoming summer months. A couple of my colleagues had success with the 21 Day Fix so I decided to give it a try. I really liked it and am on my second round again. My friends and family have asked me about it so I thought I would share my experience here.



The program is a series of daily 30 minute DVD workouts and a meal plan with containers to measure out daily proportions of food groups (ex.  red container = protein, green = veggies, purple = fruit, etc.). I lost about 7 pounds and several inches after 3 weeks. Overall my clothes fit better and I saw a significant difference in my skin from ditching all the processed foods and upping my water intake.

Initially I was really confused with the meal planning and containers. While I was waiting for my package to arrive in the mail I did some research on Pinterest and downloaded an Excel template to start planning. After my research and reading the manual it all made sense. I ditched my spreadsheet in a few days and just needed to make sure I had a thorough grocery list. It's all about planning in advance!


Rather than ordering Shakeology, which is highly encouraged by the program and in the DVDs as a meal replacement, I bought Vega One All-In-One Nutritional Shake. You can find the single serve portions to give it a try before buying a tub and the cost per serving is less. This page compares the products. I'm not an expert, but I would say they are very comparable. I  have this for breakfast or post workout.... even when I'm not on the Fix.

Here are some of my typical meals and how they are color coded.
Breakfast
2 eggs and whole grain toast (1 red, 1 yellow)
Vega All-In-One Nutritional Shake with almond milk, 1/2 banana (1 red, 1 yellow, 1 purple)
Greek yogurt with fruit (1 red, 1 purple)
Lunch
Cottage cheese with fruit, whole grain crackers (1 red, 1 purple, 1 yellow)
Cottage cheese with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, whole grain crackers (1 red, 1 green, 1 yellow)
Grilled chicken or sliced turkey, baby spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, balsamic vinegar (1 red, 2 green)
Grilled chicken, baby spinach, strawberries, crumbled goat cheese, balsamic vinegar (1 red, 1 green, 1 purple)
Snacks
Raw mixed nuts and Craisins (1 blue, 1 orange)
Small apple (1 purple)
Dinner
Sauteed chicken, peppers, onions w/ Mrs. Dash Fiesta seasoning, topped with a little Greek yogurt (2 red, 1 or 2 greens)
Grilled chicken, roasted veggies w/ Mrs. Dash Chicken seasoning (2 red, 1 or 2 greens)
Salmon, roasted veggies with Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herbs seasoning (2 red, 1 or 2 greens)
2 eggs, turkey bacon, mixed greens, asparagus (2 red, 2 greens)

...LOTS AND LOTS OF WATER!



Mrs. Dash is my salt-free saving grace.


This dish was adapted from this Self recipe to be 21 Day Fix approved.

So, what's hard about this program?

Alcohol: The 21 Day Fix allows for you to substitute a carb for a glass of wine but I cut out alcohol completely. This is the hardest part of the fix given my weekends generally revolve around food and booze.
Traveling: I traveled for 2/3 weekends the first time I did the fix and didn't have the chance to do the workouts at some points. I planned in advance and doubled up on workouts earlier in the week or supplemented with a class at my gym.
Restaurants: I am able to tweak meals to fit into the plan. I primarily order salads with a protein, no cheese and balsamic vinegar. (I need to go back to Ward 8 in Boston - everyone else's meals looked so darn good compared to my stripped down salad!)
Avocado, Nuts, Cheese: These are all grouped in the same category so you are limited.
Chips: I LOVE chips and Chex Mix. Ditching these snacks was hard at first since there is an endless supply in my office.
Temptation: You will be tempted to cheat "just one time" multiple times. By everyone. Good luck!
DVDs: They do get monotonous.

This time around, I've been doing more research on Fix-approved meals to add some variety. I'm all about switching up my workout routine... if you are too then I would give this a try.

Anyone else out there try the 21 Day Fix?

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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Twine and Twig


I first saw Twine and Twig designs from Southern based bloggers last year and since have started to see the North Carolina brand pick up in the Northeast. I was excited to see this bracelet stack at Slate, a new boutique in Edgartown, over the Fourth of July. Someone get me a necklace, pleaseeee! See all of their designs here




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Fourth of July

Dress: Forever 21. Sweater: J. Crew. Necklace: Max & Chloe. Shoes: Adrianna Papell. Clutch: Louis Vuitton. Watch: Chanel. 

Ted and I spent out first weekend on Martha's Vineyard together 8 years ago for the Fourth of July. It's always one of my favorite times to visit the island despite how crowded it is for the holiday.

I'm finally working on a travel guide for the Vineyard and along with it started to put together a bucket list of things I wanted to do on the island. I was able to cross dining at State Road in West Tisbury, pictured above, off the list. It's one of the highly rated farm-to-table restaurants on the island and now I know why. The starters were my favorite - don't skip the mussels and crab tater tots.

Romper: Sea Gypsies. Shoes: Jack Rogers. Sunglasses: Ray Ban.

This is one of my favorite little spots in downtown Edgartown on North Summer Street. After getting a coffee at Espresso Love I love to roam around. (Rompers don't usually work for me since I have a short torso but I found this coverup when we visited West Palm Beach that worked. Happy to finally wear it.)


My guide will include a stop at Bad Martha Brewery. It's a great spot to check out during the afternoon after the beach. Live music, beer, charcuterie, cheese.... what else do I need to say.


Snap from North Water Street. Probably one of the reasons I love Edgartown so much at this time of year is because the hydrangeas are blooming. I can't get enough!

Sweater: Forever 21. Shorts: Forever 21. 

More stripes. This open knit sweater is perfect for cool summer days.


Ted's brother drove us out to East Beach on Chappy. No one is around so I can be silly and practice my handstands... not something I would do at a crowded beach. 

Dress: Lilly for Target. 

We had a prime view of the fireworks at the Wave Pool Bar on Dock Street at the Kelley House.

I hope you are all enjoying the summer months!
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