Color Crush: Navy and Maroon


It's funny how you unexpectedly find yourself being drawn to colors without even realizing it. I have been loving navy lately, but it wasn't until I was out shopping with my friend Megan that she pointed out that the majority of what I was drawn to was either navy, maroon or a combination of both.

Fall/winter usually means "all black everything," so these colors are a nice change and a way to add a bit more color into my wardrobe. That and I think it may be a bit subliminal as I am almost certain they were my uniform colors at some point in the 12+ years I spent in a uniform for school. Whatever it is, I love it.

images via Pinterest, Target, Style.Com

The Shawl Coat


I think it's safe to say that the glorious Indian summer that was experienced last week has now passed, and the days of warm weather are now well behind us. Temps in the fifties might as well be winter to me (I am always cold), but since it's not exactly coat weather yet, I will be breaking out my favorite faux fur vests while I work on picking up a jacket to tide me over until it really gets cold.

But that's not to say that I'm not currently thinking about winter outerwear. Actually, I started thinking about coats about three weeks ago, around the time I started Scandal. Coincidence? I think not. I mean, from the very first season, Olivia's coat wardrobe has been on point, and just continues to get better and better. That Burberry Prorsum trench from the season premiere?  The Donna Karan coat she almost got blown away in? Everything.

One of my favorites: this Salvatore Ferragamo number from season two

If I had the space and the budget for an immense coat wardrobe, trust me, I would. A lot can be said about a great coat and the way I look at it, a coat is your outfit in the cold months so it's worth getting something fabulous. If I had to choose just one new coat to get for the winter, it would definitely be a shawl coat. It's a style that I have always loved for it's instant chicness and it's resemblance to a blanket/bathrobe. Again, I love to be as cozy as possible, and a shawl coat just fits the bill.

Banana RepublicZaraTahariLauren Ralph Lauren

Edited to add: Target also has one at a more than reasonable price and in a few colors!



Mid-September left me feeling a bit void and incredibly uninspired. I started to worry I was becoming depressed as so many things that I loved doing just felt like a chore to me. Interestingly enough, I faced the same feelings last year around this time, so maybe it's a seasonal thing? Who knows. I just know that I felt myself changing and becoming completely uninterested in things (and people...) that I normally would be and it really just freaked me out. I've learned that any time I start to feel that way, it's time for me to chill and reevaluate. Unwinding is not something I do well, but I needed to take a step back. No Excel for a week? Marathons on Netflix? Much needed.

The change of pace was just the beginning of a much needed refresher. It gave me time to think about finally letting go of things that I've outgrown (like my shop) and the inspiration and push necessary to go after what I really want in life. No dream is too big or too impossible. I really just want to focus on being about my passions and to go after them full throttle. No holding back.

(I'm also thinking of starting another blog. A food blog. Maybe.) 

Needless to say, I'm feeling better now. (Still a little ways to go, but definitely going in the right direction.) Taking that break coupled with some spontaneous plans (like seeing Kaskade at Barclays Center last weekend) have me feeling back in the groove. Currently, I'm in Maine "taking care" of my sister who just had her tonsils removed. I'm here as the resident expert on the subject after having mine removed three years ago, but my mom's here too so you can guess who is doing all most of the work. Actually, I think I'm going to make myself scarce and check out the mall in a few. Because if there is one thing I will never tire of, it's the welcoming hug and comfort of the mall.

finally got to see Kaskade at Barclays Center. One of the many sick light displays. so. good.  
beautiful foliage in ME. (NY was still very green when I left)
ice cream (and sorbet for the patient) from a local shop in Maine, Catbird Creamery, to go with...
the first apple pie of the season. my sister made it and froze it for us to make while we are here. how thoughtful. and yes, I am totally guilty of eating the edges off of the pie, especially when it's first out of the oven. there is always one pie that makes a completely edgeless appearance each fall thanks to moi. can't stop, won't stop. 

Brownie and Ice Cream Pops


The last few days have really been about two things and two things only: Scandal and these brownie pops I'm sharing with you at some point in this post. I say at some point because first, we talk about Scandal.

I finally got around to signing up for Netflix this past weekend, and I immediately set to watching Scandal, which then took over my week. I am not much of a TV person, and I spend most of my TV time flipping back and forth between the Food Network/Cooking Channel, Veria Living, and of course my beloved Bravo. But Scandal gripped me from the start and left me with so many questions, thoughts and emotions: Where can I get a shawl coat like Olivia? Why has no one mentioned that Fitz looks like a hot/less slimy version of Anthony Weiner with Don Draper's voice? When will the tears stop after watching "Seven Fifty-two"? LOL at Mellie's voice sounding like Batman when she's angry. How much of this show represents reality? Why didn't I start this show sooner?!?!

Needless to say, I am obsessed. (Thankfully, Alyssa is too, so I am not alone.)

I like to accompany my nighttime TV viewing with a snack, and for my Scandal sessions the last few nights it's been half one of these brownie and ice cream pops. (Told you I'd get to it eventually.) I had a few leftover from a batch I made last week, so they have been my go-to snack. They were inspired by these brownie with peanut butter swirl vanilla ice cream lollipops me and my friend Megan had at lunch earlier this summer, and I finally got around to recreating them. They really couldn't be easier, and best of all, they are customizable. I really loved the original ones we had, but I couldn't resist making a Nutella brownie with vanilla ice cream combo. Any type of brownie works, any type of ice cream works. The combinations are truly endless.

However, as much as I love them, I will be skipping them tonight for the season three premiere with a much more appropriate snack: some popcorn and red wine.

Brownie and Ice Cream Pops
servings vary



You know those weeks that aren't necessarily busy, yet they are frustrating and slow (or frustratingly slow) and just exhausting? Yeah, this was one of those weeks. I definitely can't wait to relax and regroup. A few hopeful do-ings for the weekend:

Gallivanting: Around town. I love this time of year for exploring around the city before it's time to hibernate/stay inside for the winter. There's always something going on and the weather is just perfect.

Getting: Some sleep. I need to take my own advice and get back to going to bed before midnight. (Isn't it crazy how going to bed late just one night can through off one's sleep schedule?) 

Shopping: I "need" a pair of ankle booties and a new lip color for fall. Time to switch it up!

Watching: I am FINALLY going to sign up for Netflix, but the question I have is this: Orange is the New Black or Scandal first?

Also watching: Pitch Perfect. That is if I'm not caught up with a marathon of one of the above shows. I'm mostly watching it for Rebel Wilson, (her new show, Super Fun Night, looks hilarious) and because the movie seems to be a quotable classic a la Mean Girls. I love that. 

Till next week! Have a great weekend everyone! 

Catherine Malandrino for DesigNation at Kohl's


I don't think Kohl's gets enough credit for their designer collections because they are good, and their latest one is no different: Catherine Malandrino for DesigNation.

If it's one thing I think we've all agreed on in the past, it's that Paris is always a good idea, and when it comes to fashion, the same holds true. Known for her chic, feminine designs, and for "blending the energy of Manhattan with the elegance of Paris," Catherine Malandrino combines all of these elements to create a completely wearable and affordable collection for Kohls.

There are a lot of really great pieces in this collection, but I think the ultimate pièce de résistance (sorry, I just could not resist!) would have to be the mesh back Eiffel tower dress. Typically, I don't buy items unless I know when and wear I will wear it, but even if it means making an occasion to wear it, I absolutely love and want that dress. 

All images via Kohl's. Shop the collection now here, and in stores September 27th. 

Hello Fall


Happy Fall everyone! Now that fall is finally here (and I've started restocking my closet with some necessary basics), I am ready to shop, and get into all of the fun of my favorite season. Hell, I may even go to Starbucks and order myself a pumpkin spice latte! (JK, I don't consume pumpkin anything until at least the end of October...)

Impatient me has already taken a few items out of storage (like this blazer), and put a few things away (namely shorts and sandals), but I can't wait to make the "official" closet change over. Here are a few reasons why this my favorite season to shop/dress for:

1. It means being able to wear the staple piece in my uniform, blazers, (comfortably) again.
2. Leather and faux-fur.
3. Chunky sweaters and boots.
4. All black, all the time. 
5. My favorite dark, vampy polishes like Essie Wicked.

When it comes down to it, fall really is my comfort zone of dressing. Dark colors and clothing that resembles my favorite blankets? Yes, please. 

Adventures in Macaron Making, Part III: Fin


Welcome to the third and final installment of Adventures in Macaron Making, where yours truly finally perfects the art of making the French macaron, while remaining graceful and composed. You can read part one of the series here and part two here.

I did it! After two previously unsuccessful attempts, I finally made macarons this past weekend. 

After my last attempt at macarons back in March, Alyssa over at The Glossy Life so kindly sent me an email with a tutorial from Pastry Pal that she had successfully used to make macarons. (This, my friends, is what I love blogging: the community.) Even though she sent me the email months ago, I pored over the tutorial packet on occasion, just to make sure that when I did give them a try again, I had the steps down in my head. Despite my prep, when I set out to make them, I was actually nervous! I really just wanted to finally get them right.

But it would all pay off because in a few hours, I had my macarons. Compared to the other recipes I've tried, this one was not just the most direct, but the least complicated. No folding the batter 49 times or aging off egg whites for 36+ hours. There were a few differences in this recipe like the way the flour and egg whites are incorporated and letting the macarons sit out to form a shell, but I think these steps, especially the latter, were what made these macarons a success. 

If you have ever thought of making macarons or thought they were too hard, you NEED to download the tutorial from Pastry Pal. It really couldn't be easier. I'm already planning to make more macs in a few weeks. Naturally, I am thinking something with Nutella...

kinda broke this one. oops.

A Bit of Flare


The fit and flare shape is one I go back and forth on quite often. Sometimes I find the fit super flattering, yet other times I find myself dealing with an unintentional high-low hem where the skirt is too short in the back and long in the front thanks to my bum. Talk about disproportionate.

not disproportionate. the fabulous Sophia Loren. 

But I've finally figured out how to make the fit and flare style work for me: just the slightest hint of a flare, not an overly exaggerated one, makes for a very flattering silhouette. I am finding myself gravitating towards skirts and dresses more going into fall, and since I recently shrunk my jeans from regular to capri length, this little "discovery" couldn't come at a better time.

Saving Money on Travel


In my "What Not to Say to the Unemployed PostGrad" post, I mentioned an application I did recently that required a lengthy audition process, including two presentations, one of which I had to create my own. Since I was in the midst of making travel plans of my own and with friends, I did a piece on travel and saving money, naturally. I'm sharing these five tried-and true tips today because who doesn't want to travel more and save money in the process and because as they say, "travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer."

Plan Ahead. As with any big purchase, when it comes to travel, it's especially important to plan ahead. Planning ahead not just gives you ample time to consider your budget and your destination, but it also ensures that you get the best deal on hotel and airfare. In addition, early planning gives you enough time to research your destination, which you may find you much prefer to visit in the off-season when it is less crowded and considerably cheaper in price.

Utilize Social Media. There's no denying how popular social media is nowadays with "likes" and hashtags everywhere from television to the doctors office. Social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter are great ways to stay up-to-date on flash sales from airlines, cruise lines, and more. JetBlue is notorious on both Facebook and Twitter for their "cheep deals" with one-way fares sometimes as low as $49.

Cash in on Credit and Debit Reward Points. It often feels like the plastic in our wallets hurts us more than it helps, but when it comes to booking a trip, it can definitely help. Most debit and credit card companies offer free reward programs that can earn you points on the most basic, everyday purchases. Accumulate enough points and they can be redeemed for airfare, hotel, and more, saving you money by lowering your out-of-pocket expenses even more.
Skip the Hotel. Where to stay at your destination can surely make or break the travel experience. So
why not consider skipping the hotel and renting a room, apartment, even a home from a site like instead? The overall savings can be used for other fun activities, and the experience of living like a local for a few days will surely make for some unforgettable travel memories. (This is my plan for Paris!)

Consider a Cruise. It's no secret that I absolutely LOVE cruising, and if you need examples, you can look here, here, and hereI may be a bit biased in my opinion, but I truly believe that a cruise is a great way to see a number of locations without having to pay more for additional hotel or airfare. With almost all of the amenities covered in the cost, and so much to do onboard and in port, taking a cruise truly does offer the most value for your money. (Again, not a biased opinion!) 

I've shared mine, now tell me some of yours? What are some tricks you've used to save money on a trip?

The 25 before 25 List...


Well, I got through as much of my 25 before 25 list as the time (less than a year) would allow, but even though I didn't get through the entire list, I'm not sweating it. The whole purpose of the list was for me to get out of my comfort zone, and I can say it definitely did that. At times I forgot about the list because instead of it being about things to-do, it began to serve more as a guideline, a mindset even: just get out there and do it.

And I did. Never in a million years did I think I would find myself taking on ballet, because I thought I was "past my prime," or taking Italian because "my brain suffered enough in college and it's so much harder than Spanish," or all the other things on and off the list that I got done. I've learned to be a bit more spontaneous (still working on not being stuck to my schedule so much) and I love just going out and doing things, often without thinking twice about it, and I truly believe that this undertaking has definitely helped me ease into 25 just nicely.

completed: • perfect making macarons • go one month without shopping for clothes • do a typically group thing alone • begin the conversational Italian class • hold plank for a full minute •complete the Whole 30 • purchase personalized stationery • spend one full day doing only touristy things • wear something that is out of my comfort zone • attend a cooking class • take a group dance or fitness class • read 5 books from the BBC classics list • learn more about photography and buy a dslr • eat at 5 new places in NYC •                     

My only regret is that I had not thought of doing this last year, because I really had so much fun making the list (I really just love making lists) and crossing things off after completion. If you've ever thought of making one of these lists, whether it be for a birthday or over time, I highly recommend it. It really was a great experience, and I'm already thinking of making another list. I did have a 30 before 30 list started, but I'm thinking maybe I will give a 101 things in 1001 days a go. Can I even think of 101 things to do, let alone count 1001 days from now? Probably to the former, absolutely not to the latter. I've started the list here.

original image source

Goat Cheese Croquettes


When I went to Rhode Island last month, I had no idea of the reputation Providence had as being a destination for food. I was really expecting seafood, seafood, and more seafood, so I was quickly excited about what else PVD had to offer. As I did in Maine, Google and Yelp searches were my friend in picking dinner spots, and again, they did not disappoint.

Dinner on the last night in RI was at a little out-of-the-way place called CAV, where we had an amazing evening of drinks and dinner.  The whole meal from start to finish was excellent, but if I had to pick a favorite, it would definitely have to be the appetizer I had: goat cheese croquettes with a balsamic reduction. There are times when a meal had out must be recreated, and this was surely one of them. How hard could it be?

More like how easy could it be? There are some foods that definitely get better when fried, and while goat cheese didn't immediately come to mind for me, after having it, it makes sense. Crispy on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside, these croquettes are really too good. I could see them being great as an hor d'oeuvres for a dinner party, in a salad, or as a side to a steak. But of course, you can't go wrong having them as an appetizer, on their own or with a balsamic reduction. Feel free to go all Jackson Pollack on your plate; the more balsamic, the better.

I did make these Paleo/gluten-free, but if you want a non-paleo version fear not! I have a recipe for you right here

Goat Cheese Croquettes
printable recipe here

4 ounces goat cheese
2 tablespoons tapioca starch
4 tablespoons almond flour plus dried herb, salt and pepper, to season
1 egg, beaten
Oil for frying

Begin by cutting the goat cheese into desired size and rolling into balls.

Dredge the goat cheese very well in the tapioca flour and set aside.

Coat the dredged goat cheese in the egg and then roll in the almond flour until fully coated. (Any visible goat cheese should be recoated, or else it will leak out into the oil when fried.)

Over medium-high heat, allow the oil to get to frying temperature. Gently drop each croquette into the oil and fry until golden brown. Remove the croquettes from the oil and drain on paper towel. Cool slightly and serve immediately.

Back to Basics


I can be very lazy about shopping for some things (shoes not being one of them), but if there is one category of clothing that I just don't like shopping for, it's basics. They may be the simplest, most essential items of my wardrobe, carried by almost every department store, yet I absolutely dread shopping for them.

There are a number of reasons why I hate shopping for basics, the first being that since they are items that I wear often, finding the perfect fit is essential. This usually means trying on numerous garments, in numerous stores, for numerous hours. Then there is the fact that I can wear and love a particular item for a number of years, only to have to replace it and find out the cut has been ruined "improved," by the brand. The latter reason never fails me.

But there really is no getting around it. Too often when I'm getting dressed, I find myself reaching/wanting to wear that one item that I should have but don't. So before I even think about shopping for fall, I need to make a well edited list (check it twice, sorry, couldn't resist) and get to shopping for my essentials. Because whether it's a simple black dress to take me from day to night, or a casual chambray top for a day of fun, no matter what the season or the reason, they are the items that get me through it all. 

What are some items you consider your basics? Also, if anyone wants to do the buying/returning of these items for me, feel free. I kid, I kid. 

At the Open


Banana Republic Outlet tshirt dress (this one in black!), Old Navy espadrilles, Longchamp bag
Monogram necklace by Marinette Jewelry via Etsy

After the fun I had at last year's US Open, I was really hoping that I would be able to attend this year. Well, I got my wish, not once, but twice (Thanks again, Dad!)!! Two full days of tennis in the greatest city in the world? Yes, please. (In case you couldn't tell, I am falling in love with NY all over again, but more on that in a later post.) 

Over the two days spent at the Open, I got to see more of the grounds, some of the players in practice, and experience a match in the rain/delay where Rafael Nadal took his shirt off and changed at least three times... From Victoria Azarenka to Serena and Venus Williams in singles and doubles matches, it was a great few days of live tennis, and another memorable year for sure. 

Even if your not a tennis fan, I think a day, even just a match, at the Open is worth trying just once. The grounds alone are worth visiting with so much to do, live music, and of course food. (There's a gorgeous Moët & Chandon terrace and a wine/tapas style bar that I'm already planning to try next year...) It's so easy to get caught up in the atmosphere and cheer on whoever is playing, even if you may not know them well or even get the game. It is truly spectacular and like they say "nothing beats being here." 

Don't Let a Slip Become a Slide.


While every birthday is one worth celebrating, there are certainly milestone years that are extra special. Thirteen is the first year as a teenager. Eighteen means your a legal adult that can vote. Twenty-one means being able to buy alcohol...legally, and so on and so forth. It goes on and on (until, you know...), with each year holding a different meaning and significance to everyone. 

Turning twenty-four was a very strange year for me that could only be describe as a limbo year; everything just felt so uncertain. From graduating college to job hunting, to being in a weird place with different friendships, and figuring out my own self and what I wanted from life, I felt like I was going through that awkward stage of puberty all over again (which let's be real, it wasn't fun the first time around). I definitely asked my mother to house me in her womb again, to which I got maaaajor side eye. While I felt happy with the growth and progress I was making in various aspects of my life, it was often plagued by feelings of sadness and anger that I was not further along in life, and all of the emotions that come with a quarter-life crisis

But the last year has been a great lesson, and an even bigger turning point for me. I learned the importance of not letting my circumstances define me, and I finally began to come in to my own, realizing what it is I want out of life, who I want in my life, and feeling safe and secure within my own skin. Most importantly, I finally stopped letting insignificant things take so much control over me. Insignificant things such as my weight. Yes, in the past my weight has been an issue when it involved my health, but that's just it, in the past. I used to be absolutely terrified of gaining the weight back, but when I realized recently that I had gained a few pounds this past summer, (I never said my summer diet was the best...) I shrugged it off and went about my merry way. Not because I'm reverting back to old my ways (defffffinitely not), but because I know I won't "let a slip become a slide," and that a few pounds in the grand scheme of things is temporary and mean nothing. They may indicate all of the delicious food I've consumed this summer, but they don't define me or how I feel about myself.

Twenty-five feels like my official entry into adulthood, and already I feel differently, even if my birthday is still days away. Whatever it may bring, I am ready to go in to this next chapter of my life, happy and finally free of the stigma that has plagued me for so long. No matter what the scale or a clothing tag may say, they no longer define me.

 I do.

*original image via. 

One of Those Perfect NYC Weekends...


I am still laughing and reminiscing (and recuperating cause I'm old) from the whirlwind that was this past weekend. The best part of the long weekend was getting to see a few of my friends from elementary/middle school including my friend Andrea, who was in town from Seattle for a few days. 

Andrea and another classmate from out of town planned a reunion since it's been a long while since we've all seen each other. But after seeing the "attending" list on Facebook, I was dead set on not going. Not knowing the backstory, it may seem a bit childish. But if you've ever had a tough time in school and been bullied (and to a physical extent,) there are just some people that you just never want to see again, under no circumstance. (Unless there is a million dollars involved...)

I was really sad to miss out, but I didn't want to miss out on seeing Andrea, so we made other plans for the day. We met up earlier in the afternoon (along with two of her friends who were super sweet!) had lunch and observed the beauty of Grand Central station (we even saw a couple get engaged!), shared macarons at Laduree, and enjoyed window shopping down a very quiet Madison Avenue.  I was really enjoying the afternoon and as fate would have it, there was a cancellation by said attendee.  I never told Andrea why I wasn't attending, but once she told me the news, the cat was out of the bag. I couldn't be happier that I could now attend the reunion, with no worries. It was so great catching up with everyone, bowling at Lucky Strike, having dinner at Sea, walking The Highline (my absolute favorite place!), and just enjoying the city on a beautiful summer night. From all the food, to the laughs, to the perfect twist of fate, I really could not ask for a better weekend to end the summer with.