July Favorites


Monthly favorites videos are, well, some of my favorite videos to watch on YouTube. With today being the last of the month, I thought I'd share some of my favorites with you!

Gel eyeliner is my favorite type of eyeliner (especially for winged eyeliner looks), but as much as I like many of the higher-end brands, they dry out too quickly for what they cost. This liner from NYX does not disappoint. It compares to others that go for much more, and at $8 a pop, it can't be beat. 

Never do I find myself shopping in the BP department at Nordstrom, but a recent quest for travel leggings brought me there, and to my new favorite tank in mint. I have been living in it and may or may not be eyeing the white, black, and green for my closet. 

I have a small arsenal of perfume that I love and that don't make me sick. So when I find a scent that I love and that doesn't make me sick, I go for it. I owe my mom for tipping me off to this scent! I absolutely suck at describing scents, but it's not strong or floral, so, yeah. 

While this may have been a bit of an impulse buy while waiting to check out at Target, I really did need a lip balm that day. I like how moisturizing these lip balms are and the fact that the scent isn't too overwhelming. 
Smash is one of those shows that I wanted to get in to (especially since they filmed around my school quite a bit), but scheduling conflicts of other shows prevented that. After seeing it available on Prime Instant Video, I watched the first episode followed by the entire season. In 2.5 days. I will be starting season two soon, and singing and dancing along to the soundtrack (History Is Made At Night is probably my favorite) in the meantime. 

Even though I have had Bossypants on my to-read list for a long while now, I just got to reading it last week. I LOVED it/I totally see myself reading it again in the near future. Laugh out loud funny and frank, Bossypants is now one of my favorite books ever. 

What were some of your favorites of the month? 



I first met Jaime a few years ago at a mutual friends birthday party. A student at FIT, we quickly bonded over fashion and a love of the Real Housewives of New Jersey (namely Teresa's infamous table flip). After running into each other quite randomly at my graduation last year, Jaime mentioned that he was in the process of designing a collection with his childhood friend Brenda, called Marc/Ella

It's been a long time in the making, but Marc/Ella is finally here! Hearing about MENY (Marc/Ella NY) was one thing, but seeing the collection come to life is something completely different. Read: I'm kind of obsessed. I had the chance to catch to catch up with Brenda and Jaime, the designers behind the collection, to learn more about them and MENY

First off, I absolutely love the collection! What were some of the influences for the S/S collection?
Jaime & I both have very similar styles.  We are huge fans of anything vintage so with this collection, we really wanted to bring it back to a simpler time. We decided to take silhouettes from different decades and unify them in our collection. When we see this collection, it's Molly Ringwald meets Chanel; the collection is classic but still very modern. 
How does being in NYC influence or inspire your designs, if at all?  
I mean, how can one not be inspired by NYC? Everywhere you turn, a wall of graffiti turns into a timeless piece of city art. Our designs represent not so much the city we're in, but the people in it. Although it's women's clothing, we have a lot of silhouettes and materials found in menswear. New York is a melting pot, and there's something for everyone in this Big City, and that's what I want to do with MENY. 
My favorite look from the collection.
Tell me about the MENY woman. Who is she?
The MENY woman is one who demands attention when walking in a room. A Woman who inspires, and just by being themselves, create a buzz. Her strength is immense and her independence gives her power. She goes from working 9-5 to socializing 5-9 and always looks fabulous doing so. She embodies what most young women in NYC inspire to be. She's a little bit of you & a little bit of me. 
Now what about Brenda and Jaime? How much of your personal style is reflected in Marc/Ella? 
Like I said before, we both have very classic styles and it is all over MENY. I would say that Marc/Ella is definitely an even balance between masculine and feminine styles and in whole the clothes really reflect who we are. 
What is the best part of designing for you?
Playing around with the different styles and silhouettes before choosing the ones that make it to the collection. We design maybe 40+ different looks and cut them down to a final 10. Our collection is small, but we still like to see what our minds come up with. Jaime is a genius and it's really incredible how similar our design aesthetic is.  
If you had to pick one piece from the collection that you thought every woman should own, what would it be?
I don't know if I could choose just one. They're all so great and versatile in their own way. I guess it's a tie between the Jane Parka & the Madeline Maxi. They are two totally different pieces but who doesn't need a parka with NYC weather? And as for the Madeline Maxi, I just feel like that piece can elongate the shortest pair of legs, and really make a woman feel fabulous.

A HUGE congratulations to Brenda and Jaime for a job well done on their first collection!! The Marc/Ella shop is live now for shopping here, so be sure to check it out!

Hola!/Monday Mantra


And I'm back. Blogging (most social media for that matter,) has had to take a bit of a backseat in the last few weeks. Sucks, but hey, sometimes it's the reality of life. I'm just glad to be getting back into the swing of things (and catching up as well)!

Summer has been good to me so far: Catching up with friends and family, keeping busy, listening to "Atmosphere," "Blurred Lines," and "Get Lucky," on repeat, and new dance classes. There was a small incident involving slicing my finger open on a seltzer bottle, but the now 1-inch scar is healing, so I'm over it. (This is why I need a Sodastream!) I just can't believe that August is in a few days and that summer is quickly coming to an end. Truly, where does the time go?!

I love the above quote so much because I am a dreamer through and through, and if it's one thing I love about summer, it's that it feels like it's endless, and like anything is possible. I've definitely realized how important some of my dreams are in the last few weeks, and why it is essential for me to act on them now. No matter how difficult it may seem, and while it may change daily, I never want to quit my day dream. 

Shrimp Ceviche


When it's too hot too cook and I'm sick of eating ice cream, (which is never, let's be real here...) one of my go-to summer dishes is ceviche. 

Initially, ceviche freaked me out since the shrimp (or fish) is cooked not over a stove, but in citrus juices in the fridge. My mind changed after making it for myself and I quickly came to love how easy and versatile it was! Since I was in the mood for a "sweet and heat" combo, (as if last week's heatwave didn't make things hot enough!) some chopped mangoes and jalapeños* made for the perfect pairing. Served with corn tortillas, tortilla chips, in lettuce cups, or over a salad, ceviche is the perfect snack, appetizer, light lunch or dinner. 

*If you so brilliantly touch your eyes or nose after cutting the jalapeño like I did, a cotton swab doused in milk and applied to said area stops the burn and relieves the pain. That miserable, miserable pain. 


1 pound of fresh medium sized shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup of lemon or lime juice

1-2 mangoes, chopped into bite-size pieces
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (seeds optional!)
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt and pepper

Optional: Cilantro

OPTION 1: Place the cleaned shrimp into a pot of slightly salted boiling water. Let cook until just pink, drain, and run under cool water. When the shrimp is cool enough to handle, cut the shrimp into bite-sized pieces, and place into a glass or non-plastic/reactive dish. Pour the lemon or lime juice over the shrimp, making sure every piece is covered. Place in the fridge for half an hour to an hour. 

OPTION 2: Cut the cleaned shrimp into bite sized pieces. Place into a glass or non-plastic/reactive dish and cover with the lemon or lime juice. Cover and place in the fridge for a few hours, until the shrimp turns pink, signaling that it is cooked. Stir every few hours to ensure that all of the shrimp is being "cooked."

Drain the citrus liquid from the shrimp and set aside. In a bowl, add the mango and jalapeño pepper to the shrimp, along with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle a bit of olive oil, and toss to combine. Serve immediately, or let sit in the fridge for half an hour to let the flavors meld.

I've been on a bit of an endive kick lately...



Oh, hey Friday! How I welcome you with open arms. \o/ My excitement for this weekend comes mostly from the possibility that this excessive heat wave and the 100+ days will be coming to an end. This heat plus the goings on of the last week have left me with a migraine, so I look forward to the relief that only weekend rest and relaxation can bring. Plus, summer weekends are just the best. Whatever your plans this weekend may be, I hope you enjoy it! 

Summer Workout Wear


Working out in the summer can be one hot, uncomfortable experience. While I wake up earlier to get my daily workout in before it gets too hot, nothing keeps me dry (and sane!) like switching up what I wear. (AKA an excuse to buy more workout clothes...)

The same way my regular clothes change from season to season, so do my workout clothes. Cotton tops are replaced with polyester ones (they dry faster!) and leggings are swapped for shorts, sometimes capris. Being sweaty after a workout is expected, especially if its tough. But staying sweaty until I take off said clothes? Blech, not necessary. For me, these few changes make all the difference, especially with a great source of cool air and a cold bottle of water on hand.

What are some of your "stay dry" essentials for summer workouts?



After months and months of searching for the perfect one, I have finally come to the conclusion that jumpsuits are just not for me. As much as I love them, they just never fit me right and I always end up looking like a grown child in need of a diaper change. Not a good look. 

I may try one on while out shopping hoping it's "the one", but I've more or less given up on a jumpsuit for now. (Although, I have been considering having one custom-made...) But at least I tried! While I may not be able to wear one, I will still admire others who pull off the jumpsuit so effortlessly. 

Have you given jumpsuits a try? What's a look or style you've tried that just didn't work out?

The Maine Attraction


The Maine Attraction. Aren't I so witty? Jokes aside, the main thing on my agenda in Maine really was food. Yes, I mentioned it previously, (here and here to be exact) but I don't think I was clear on how serious I was about that. 

Like many others, I am a firm believer that if you want to learn about an area, the best way to do it is through the food. What did I learn about eating in Portland? That people are not just serious about their food, (my kind of people!) but that they are serious and committed to making sure that everything ingredient is as locally sourced as possible. From vegetables, dairy, maple syrup, and of course seafood, there was not one thing I ate that I wasn't able to trace back to its original home. 

It's safe to say that I sampled every delicious morsel possible that Portland and the surrounding areas had to offer. The fact that any of my clothes fit by the end of the trip was a true miracle, but given a few more days, that may have not been the case...

Left to right: Lobster at DiMillos, gelato from Gorgeous Gelato, Coastal Maine "Maine Maple" popcorn, onion tart and gnocchi from Ribollita, poutine from Duckfat, whoopie pie from The Cookie Jar, the best gelato ever from The Gelato Fiasco.



Truth be told, I wish I were still back in Maine! Last week, my parents and I drove up to visit my sister who lives outside of Portland for a few days. Going to Maine is one of my earliest trip memories, and to this day remains one of my favorite places to visit.

One thing that was nice was that we really got to explore the area more, visiting towns such as Freeport (home to L.L. Bean), Brunswick, Cape Elizabeth, and Southern Portland. I expected this trip to include many lighthouses (it did), but we did so much more than that. All in all, it was a great trip that left me with a plethora of photos, a full belly (more on that later...), and even more "remember when?" family moments. Oh, and I also got to cross of something on my summer to-do list: strawberry picking!

 The L.L. Bean Flagship store in Freeport, Brunswick, sailboat near Bug Light, the Portland Breakwater Light "Bug Light", Strawberry picking at Maxwell Farms, the Portland Head Light.