Coral / Chambray

Finally... a taste of spring! Central PA is boasting 50 degree high temps for the day.  Sounds like we should break out our ice cream makers, heat up the grill, and whip up some margaritas! Well, maybe that's a bit too far.  How about a springy outfit post instead? This is what I wore to the aforementioned surprise party a few weeks back...

A casual chambray shirt from J Crew, bright coral pencil skirt from Madewell, patent leather pumps, and a big chunky glass bead necklace.  Complete with bright lips and sleek, straight hair.

G^2 is back!

Just turned on the TV, and guess what's on???

Yep, Gilmore Girls is on! Our beloved G^2 is back on at 5pm on ABCFamily for at least the rest of the week, according to their online schedule.  And it's the pilot episode, so there's a strong possibility that they are playing the series from the beginning starting today.  So does this mean that we get to resume our obsession? Let's hope so!

Also, Friends is on Nickelodeon every night from 11 to 1. Another good obsession.

Minneapolis Weekend Retrospective

So lucky to have a chance to visit Ryan in Minneapolis this weekend!  We had lots of great food, including breakfast at my favorite, Loring Kitchen, we went cross-country skiing, had date night and saw The Artist, hung out with friends, made blondies, and went for some long walks downtown to apartment shop! Can't wait to finally get settled here in a few months, it's such a great city with some wonderful company :). And this whole long-distance thing sure is hard!


Friday Musings 1.27.12

Time for a Friday Gratitude List.  What is making your Friday celebration-worthy?

1. Free yoga! Lila Yoga in State College offered a free class last night in the middle of an outdoor apparel store.  Perfectly lovely! It was exactly what I needed to center myself.

2. Empty nutella jars to fill with hot oats for an awesome morning.
3. My best friend, who needs help picking out her bridesmaid dresses! An email from her is all it takes to instigate fun and smiling :)

4. Old pictures from my grandma's house! How amazing is this? I so wish I could ice skate on my driveway growing up...

And a little Friday bonus...

Have a great weekend everyone!


Study Jams

Lately, my days have been full of scientific article searching and reading, data entry and analysis, and class preparations.  To get through the monotony of the tasks and keep statistics exciting, I've been relying on great tunes to carry me through.  Some of my favorites...

The 8tracks playlist "Late Night Essaying."  It's full of mellow yet interesting tunes, featuring The Kooks, The Cure, Foals, and a few upbeat covers.

"Southern Nostalgia" is another 8tracks win.  You'll hear Ellie Goulding, Kings of Leon, and Washed Out.  It's a nice mix of folk and rougher rock to get you through a late night study session.

Feist's new album Metals is slightly more pop than her earlier tunes, but is serene and addictive.  I can listen to this on loop without even realizing it's my fourth time through the album...

Lastly, one jam that I've been obsessing over this week.  Macklemore & Ryan Lewis covering "Fake Empire" from The National.  It's great! And interesting! Give it a try, let me know how it goes.

Hopefully this will make your Wednesday a bit more pleasant.  Happy listening :)


Spring Style by Target

Would you rock any of these looks featured by Target for their new spring line? I'm a palazzo pants fan myself, but probably not in this pattern.  Although that skirt looks super fun.


How to Throw a Surprise Birthday Party

Last weekend, S's romantic interest was visiting from Chicago for a casual, calm, regular weekend.  Or so he thought...

Even though his birthday was in October, he was never given the great celebratory bash that a golden birthday deserves! Obviously this needed to be remedied.  Now, this surprise party was quite the challenge as he was staying in the apartment at which the party was to be held.  With a little planning and a lot of help from fellow party-goers, it went off without a hitch! Here's how...

Step 1: Clean like a mad woman before the visitor arrives earlier in the week.  I made sure the apartment was party-ready before he got into town.

Step 2: Buy what you need beforehand.  I did some shopping runs to purchase materials prior to his arrival.  I went to Good Will- the best place for glassware! I was able to find about 12 champagne flutes for less than $8.  They are a bit mismatched, but all in good shape.  I loved that they weren't all exactly perfect- it gave the drinks a bit of character, and helped guests remember which was theirs! I also purchased a dozen mason jars.  Perfect for drinks at the party, easy to reuse for jams this summer.

Step 3: Prep what you can beforehand.  I was able to pull of a batch of ricotta (recipe to come!), fresh hummus to be put out with crudite, and some homemade bread before the big night.

Step 4: Find a good friend to get the surprisee out of the house for as long as possible! I was lucky to have an accomplice get the birthday boy out of the apartment for about 2 hours.  As soon as he was out of the door it was showtime! Bourbon punch was thrown together, crostini were toasted, glasses were washed, cheeses displayed, and apple-onion tart (again, recipe to come) was assembled.  The party playlist started, and I got dressed and ready to party.  I set the table with appetizers, cute napkins, and a bunch of tealight candles in small jam jars of different shapes and sizes.  They were just the right glow, but weren't overbearing.

Step 5: Make yourself a drink!

Step 6: Greet your friends, and enlist them in helping out any way you need.

Step 7: Welcome the birthday boy in the surprising method of your choice.  We chose to have him walk into the living room, where everyone was assembled against the back wall.  Jumping and shouting surprise was really, really rewarding :)

Step 8: Enjoy the party! Dancing is highly recommended.

Step 9: Make grilled cheese with tomato jam and prosciutto... which conveniently pairs quite nicely with bourbon punch.

Step 10: Caffeinate, preferably using your favorite espresso mugs.  Continue dancing.

Repeat steps 8-10 as needed.  Eventually pass out from happiness and exhaustion :)


Thursday Inspiration

   Lately, I've been turning to Pinterest for motivation in many arenas.  Cooking, design, fashion... but my most recent obsession are quote boards! I love perusing the boards, being inspired as I start the new day.

   This morning, I thought I would leave you with a few of my current favorites so that you too can start your day off with some brightness and inspiration.  

Enjoy your Thursday!

Mediterranean Wish List

So we are pretty excited for our Mediterranean cruise in a few months (!!!), and my version of preparation is, well, outfit planning. I'm thinking sundresses, sandals, wedges, and great hats. Some preliminary options from ASOS and Anthropologie:


DYI Natural Facial Remedies

On our to-do list: try these natural, inexpensive recipes for face masks.
by Daphne Oz

Moisturizing Kiwi Face Mask
- 2 peeled & pureed kiwi
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- Juice of 1 orange (or lemon)
- Dash of Olive Oil
Combine ingredients and massage the scrub into your skin. Leave it on until it's dry. Then just rinse with warm water. If you puree kiwi with the skin on, the extra antioxidants and flavanoids in the skin will give the exfoliation power an extra boost.

Egg White Skin Firming Mask 
- Whisk 2 egg whites until frothy
- Add lemon juice
Apply the mask. After it dries, about 15 minutes, rinse off.

Soothing Banana Mask
- Banana
- Greek yogurt
- Honey
Mask banana and mix ingredients together. Apply to face and rinse after 15 minutes. This mask helps to reduce redness and skin irritation.


Lovely Monday: Love in Pictures

Some images of love from The Sartorialist's project for Tiffany's, True Love in Pictures. I love how natural these pictures feel - it's almost like a call to look at your life differently and appreciate the little gestures of love all around.


Friday musings 1.12.12

Some weeks, you just need a good Friday cocktail. This very well might be one of those.

Something that always makes me feel better about life is making a small, 5-item gratitude list. It can be whatever you want it to be, as long as it's honest.

This week, I am grateful for:
- Freezing chocolate chip cookie dough over Christmas, so I had ready to go fresh-baked cookies when I came home tonight
- Strong examples of love in my life
- Pinterest, so that when in doubt I can look at pretty pictures
- My mattress
- My physical and mental health and ability status

Have a lovely weekend.


What To Wear: Chic & Simple Workwear

So, I'm in that mid-winter lull. I look at my closet, and I see blah everywhere. My creativity went out the window with the sun, apparently.

Here's some super-chic looks I came across that make me want to run my butt into an office building asap (must wait till September...) and show off.

Tone-on-tone: This neutral color blocking looks so chic and intentional, especially with the hint of snakeskin print on the pumps. Clean-cut classic styles that will remain staples across seasons and years. This look would also work great in tones of blues, reds, and cream/white. 
Have a basic shift dress? What about a turtleneck or waist belt? I love this look because it's so easy to throw together, but it's such a great way to reconfigure your basics and have a go-to chic look for dark midwinter mornings. The key here is combining color. Again, this is a use of a neutral palate with coordinating colors and a little pop of red on the belt.
My favorite! A black pencil skirt, a white cami, and an ASOS two-toned blazer that makes my heart flutter. And check out those black tip pumps (not unlike my fav Christmas present) and patent black clutch. Easy way to take this look for happy hour.  Or swap out the skirt for skinny jeans and you're off to dinner. 


Dreaming of Warmth

To me, the point of winter is the following: 1. to ski, 2. to wear cozy sweaters, 3. to drink copious amounts of tea huddled under blankets, and 4. for Christmas! I love the chill of winter as we approach time with family and friends to celebrate the holidays.  Snow is okay- it makes the scene more "christmasy."  Cold weather? Fine! We have mulled cider (maybe with some rum...).  But now that Christmas and the new year celebration have come and gone, and since I have gotten in my skiing quota for the season, I'm ready to move on.  Even the thick sweaters are getting old.  

The cure for the winter-probably-isn't-even-half-over-but-I-am-dying-for-it-to-be-seventy-degrees blues, what better than to start doing some warm weather shopping? My first love- this hat.  Hats are super in right now, and will continue to be at least through this summer season.  This Anthropolgie hat is just floppy enough not to look stuffy, and the sweet bow adds a touch of charm.

I have been all over the spring polka dot trend.  How cute is this dress? It could range from casual Sunday brunch to a night out with the right accessories.  Looking at it makes me want to put on sunglasses, the perfect hat (see above), lots of bright bangles, and go to a French seaside market. 

What warm weather shopping is complete without a bathing suit? This adorable one-piece has a low dip neckline to give the covered up look a touch of spice.  The fun imperfect pattern is really different from anything I've seen before! It would be such a fun piece to wear on... oh, I don't know... a Mediterranean cruise?