Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday I'm in Love

Mail's here! Mail's here! What does the inside read you ask? Thinking of you like wine at 5 o'clock....which is often!

I love cards!

Possibly the only good thing about friends living far away is getting 'just because' mail! It's such a surprise and always brightens my day so totally loved finding this gem in my mailbox this week.

Here are a few other things I loved from the past 7 days:

Finding out a friend is coming into town for the weekend and thus creating a reason for a mini reunion back on campus. Yes please!

Getting taken out for a fancy shmancy dinner with a client. We went to a steak and seafood place and though usually steak is not top of my list when ordering, it was ah-mazing. Melt in your mouth heaven! Yum!

Trying oysters for the first time (see above: fancy shmancy). I love trying new things and have a fairly serious try-everything-at-least-once policy so I'm glad I did.

Learning about proper wine drinking techniques and fun facts like you know when you swirl the wine to look like you know what you're doing? There is a purpose! It lets the wine breathe more and have more flavor but even cooler, when the wine drips down the side, those drips are called legs and they indicate the amount of alcohol in the wine. So ya, I'm a wine-o now.

Things I did not love:

Wearing heels for 14 hours in a single day and actually feeling my toes stretch themselves out when I finally got home and freed them from their pointed prison.

Driving to 3 different gas stations to try and get the best deal and every single place having gas for $3.95.

Gas prices reaching $3.95. (This needed its own line.)

Getting a paper cut not from a measly sheet of 8.5 x 11 but by a sturdy edge of a folder. Right on the side of my finger. It's amazing how something so small can pack so much ouch!

But aside from all that, it is now Friday and the Friday of a 3-day weekend and those just do not come along often enough so they must be celebrated! I'll be meeting up with some college roommates, going home for a visit that will also include some grandparent love, hanging with my sister and helping her with a DIY project and of course, some shopping. I also put in my request for some homemade caramel corn, a major favorite of mine and as I understand, chocolate chip cookies too. It may signify the last weekend of summer but at least I am going out on a high note. Happy Labor Day weekend everyone!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Parking It

Shorts: NY&C, Tank: Old Navy, Shoes: Target

Over the weekend I decided to take my lazy bum to the park and enjoy the nice weather instead of staying cooped up inside all Sunday afternoon. I have been a fan of my nearby park since my dad and I first ate an impromptu lunch under one of the shelter houses while discussing my new job and putting an offer in for my apartment. All these crazy 'big girl' topics I couldn't hardly believe were happening to me seemed a littler more managable in such a pretty setting and one I knew would be close by in the near future.

Now I've become a frequent visitor to that same park, sometimes on walks with friends, sometimes alone, sometimes with a book, but it's always really lovely and always full of activity. I even saw some butterflies this trip which was a real treat. Had I know how hectic this week was going to be, I would have savored my time at the park on Sunday a bit more but hey, it's almost Friday so cheers to that!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hello from my iPhone

Skirt: Gap, Shirt: Thrifted, Scarf: Garage Sales, Bracelets: My own creations

Almost half way through this lovely day that marks half way through the week. So half way to the long weekend! Huzzah! Here are just a few quick shots of my love affair with pencil skirts. And wearing buns on top of my head. The saga continues...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Better Late Than Never!

Top: F21 Shorts: H&M Purse: Thrifted
It seemed fitting that I post this outfit today since I am already way late and this get-up is from a few weeks ago and I just never got around to putting it up...until now!

It's my first dabble in the crop top fad and I gotta say, I was into it. A little out of my comfort zone but fun and unexpected. I think I will be testing out some more looks like this moving into the end of the summer, especially with the light sweater options that are all over this season.

Speaking of summer, I just snagged a box of fudgsicles on sale for one whole dollar at the grocery store so I am going to go enjoy one of those puppies and attempt to unwind from today.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Manicure Monday

Claire's Sparkles, Light Blue from F21, NYC West Villiage Navy
I was supposed to have had a shellac manicure this weekend and I was all excited because I have never had one but have heard only great things. And when I was at the beach earlier this summer, a girl I was with had it done on both her fingers and toes and by the end of the week, they were still perfect despite me having painted mine about 3 times. SO. Needless to say, I had high expectations. That is until the salon decided to cancel my appointment for no apparent reason and I could not get a hold of them to figure out why or reschedule. I don't think I would be giving them my business but I have one of those half off online coupons I have already purchased so I must use it and at this place. I am hoping if/when I actually get an appointment that the experience is better than this one has been. Fingers crossed.

But alas, I needed to do my nails yesterday and this is what I came up with. It's a bit of an ocean vibe in my opinion, especially with the sea green sparkles but I think it turned out pretty well. Maybe I was thinking about my trip the Outerbanks and the pristine shellac manicure I saw there. Either way, cheers to the start of another week!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Saturday Doughnuts

There is a bakery that's open 24 hours only 10 minutes from my apartment and last night was my first visit. How can this be you ask? Great question. I can't believe it either. I have been missing out on this gem for over a year! To make up for my lack of visits, I not only bought and ate a fabulous glazed doughnut with pretty pink frosting, but I also picked up a muffin, a cookie and a blueberry doughnut (my favorite) after my friends told me to think about getting something for breakfast. Well let's just say, done and done. I am also set for snacks too. So here's to Buskin bakery for gaining a new customer and to that customer gaining a few pounds because a sign like that has no business being placed near baked goods.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday I'm in Love

This is me at work all week. Alllllllll week. I did not love it.

What I did love this week:

Officially finishing the first half of the Friends series. I say "Officially" because I was mostly just making sure I had seen them all. And now I have.

Downloaded a new app for the phone, food network on the road. I have high hopes for this baby. I have a goal to hit as many of the diners drive ins and dives places as I can so here we go!

New fruity delicious smelling soap in the bathroom at work. Seriously have spotted women sniffing their hands, myself included. It makes for great office bonding time.

Scoping out some new mustard pants at Target that would be great as a part of my fall wardrobe.

Finally watching The Blues Brothers. Classic 80's comedy coupled with music that makes me want to track down the nearest blues bar and buy a pair of ray bans.

Things I could have done without:
Looking at screens all day, every day. Computer to my phone to the tv at the gym to my computer again and then my phone again. Can't wait to unplug tonight. And give my eyes a rest!

Breaking one of my dinner plates. Didn't fully get the salt grinder back on the shelf and them bam! Right on the edge, broke the plate into 4 pieces. Really, it's surprising it has taken this long to break one.

Still waiting to read 50 Shades of Grey. A coworker has them but she keeps forgetting to bring them in for me and it's getting awkward to try and subtly remind her every day.

Needing a major ice cream fix and UDF being out of my favorite flavor, coconut almond chocolate chip. Nightmare.

My youngest brother moving in to college this week. Whoa. I am super excited for him but he is making me feel old. And jealous. And nostalgic for my college days (sigh). So tonight I am going out with some fellow alumni and we will pretend that we too are back on campus.  

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pepper Party

Colored peppers are a staple in my diet and this week they were on sale 2 for $1...unheard of! Naturally, I stocked up and bought more than I probably should have. I'm a sucker for a deal, what can I say? Enter: Mexican Stuffed Peppers. I really have only had these a couple times in my life but they seemed easy enough and I could use things I already had on hand, my kind of dish! I didn't follow much of a recipe but these Mexican stuffed peppers turned out great so I thought I would share! Plus they were really filling with lots of protein, something I am always trying to get more of in my life.

1/2 a pound of lean ground beef
1 pack mexican/taco seasoning and water
1 can black-eyed peas
1 can diced tomatoes and chilis (I used Rotel)
1/2 of a diced red onion
1 can of black beans
1/2 cup of cheese (optional)
Plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream (optional)
Little olive oil or butter for peppers

Brown meat in skillet and drain grease. Add seasoning with suggested water based on the packet you are using. Add cans of beans, tomatoes and chopped onions to skillet. Bring to boil then let simmer, uncovered, for 3 or 4 minutes. Cut peppers and clean out the seeds. Use a little butter or olive oil on the outside and inside of the peppers to help them cook. My method was putting butter on a paper towel and rubbing down the peppers. Place in baking dish. 
When skillet mix has mostly thickened, scoop into peppers. (I had more mix than peppers so I saved the rest for tacos/wraps/whatever you want). Pop in the oven at 350 for about 20-25 minutes. Cover with foil for the last 5-10 minutes for a total of 30 minutes. Pull out and add cheese. Back in the oven for a minute or two, just to melt the cheese. Peppers should now be soft. Let cool for a few minutes, scoop one onto a plate, top with Greek yogurt (seriously, just like sour cream), and dig in! 

Like I said, I grabbed whatever I had in the cupboard that felt Mexican. I could have added corn or rice or even some extra peppers chopped up if I had them. Or used chicken instead of beef. You can't mess these up, I promise, so have fun experimenting! 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Let's Bowl!

Shirt: F21, Skirt: H&M, Shoes: Macy's

Ever have those days where you're shopping and you don't really know what you are looking for, you more so just wanted to get out of the house and the mall seemed like the most logical place to go? No? Just me? Well anyways, I had one of those days not too long ago and I stumbled into H&M (natch) and low and behold, this terrific skirt called to me. And folks, I had to have it! And wouldn't you know it? Sale rack. Can you say right place, right time?

The bright color gives this polished look a fun pop of unexpected. And pairing it with what I am calling my bowling shirt balanced the tighter fit on the bottom. The workplace can get a little ho-hum in terms of a color palette so I think this skirt will be just the ticket moving into the winter months to brighten up the day to day. I can't wait to wear this baby with tights too! Gosh, give me a couple days of cooler temps and I am already moving into the next season. Still have some summer left so I will not wish it away. Here's to soaking up the rest of the current season!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hair Cut

Shirt: Thrifted, Jeans: TJ Maxx, Shoes: Payless
Here is the new 'do. It's a smidge shorter than before with some much needed shape. I am still working on getting the styling part down so it doesn't come off as too much of a mom bob curling in all the time but so far so good! And I can still throw it up in a bun on top of my head. Perfection!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Manicure Monday

Base: Sally Hansen Strawberry Creme, Hearts: NYC Lincoln Park Lavender
Here I am having a little tea last night after a nice day relaxing and enjoying being able to have the windows open with a nice breeze coming in to the apartment. I am still working on the series of Friends and I made some headway over the weekend but I was also able to go on a nice walk with a girlfriend. We managed to find a swing set and pretended it was acceptable to be 23 and swinging in the park. And we loved it. It was a pretty perfect Saturday afternoon which went into a fun night as well when we went to a bar we had never been to before---a honky tonk bar. That's apparently haunted. With line dancing. And people in cowboy hats and boots. And a mechanical bull!! But the bull was broken which has now given us a reason to return because we are totally riding that thing! 

And now it is Monday once again. Meetings and emails and phone calls, here we go! Forget about the cotton-eyed joe dance along, ready, break! (Easier said than done). 

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Button down: Thrifted, Jeans: TJ Maxx, Shoes: Gap

Up and at em' this lovely Saturday morning. I decided on a whim to get my haircut today so I am very excited for a change. I have been growing my hair out for about two years now because it takes FOREVER to grow and I have had my hair pretty short for years and years. I have really enjoyed the change of having long hair and the styles I can do that we're never in consideration before (I'm talking to you side braids and buns on top of my head and gasp! No bobby pins). So today I am taking a much needed trip to the salon for a new look and a new shape. I have a cut picked out that has a feeling of maturity and looks a little bit preppy in the picture so I decided to wear this button down to give the full effect. Hoping to still limit my bobby pin usage so here goes nothing!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday I'm in Love

Top: Urban Outfitters Jeans: H&M
Things I loved from the week:
Borrowing "Friends" and re-watching some of my favorite episodes and surprisingly, a couple I hadn't seen. 
Having my cousin ask me to read at his honored! And my first ever part in a wedding. This is what growing up feels like. 
Putting my kitchen to good use and making not one but TWO home-cooked meals (plus leftovers/tomorrow's lunches).
Getting to sleep with my window open when the temperature dropped into the 70' August. Yay!
Finding a fun pair of colorful sunglasses for five bucks, what what!

Not so much love for:
Spilling a bag of rice all over my kitchen floor. Did I mention I never bought a dust pan? Had to put my engineering skills to good use via an empty cereal box. Shameful, I know. 
Slooooowwwww work week. 
My gym shoes shrinking. Or some other reason for them not fitting right this week. 
Practically burning all my taste buds off taking a drink of my hot chocolate too soon. 
Accidentally buying a monopod instead a tripod. Essentially I bought a stick. What could anyone possibly do with this? My mind is still boggled. And now I have to go back to the store and explain my mistake. Can't wait.

I'll be playing sand volleyball tonight with some friends, trying to channel Misty May and Kerri Walsh to be sure. Key word here is trying. Maybe I will be able to actually jump higher than the net tonight. Maybe. Regardless, it should be a lot of fun and a great way to de-stress from the week. Wish me luck! 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dish Duty

Doing the dishes is one of the worst chores there is, aside from laundry...Nothing is worse than laundry. BUT! To try and make the idea of doing the dishes a little more appealing, I decided to re-purpose a cake plate. 
 I found this glass one at Home Goods and it now houses all things sink related: dish soap, a sponge, even the lovely scrapper for tough pots and pans. It gets these items up off the sink ledge, keeping them dry while making the sink a little prettier. It's a super simple and easy way to keep the sink a little more tidy plus add a little something extra to a sometimes neglected room.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hey Shorty!

Shorts: Old Navy, Blazer: Borrowed and thrifted, Belt: F21,
Pendent: Thrifted, Tank: H&M Shoes: Target

There is something clean and crisp about wearing an outfit that's almost all white. Aside from the light colors helping to stay cool on muggy afternoons, it is a perfect base to layer light pieces, like a sharp floral cotton blazer, that can transition this outfit from day to night. It also just so happens to be the perfect outfit to indulge in a raspberry cannoli, just so long as you don't drop any on your pristine pants. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Back in Black

Dress: Gap Shoes: Payless

Sometimes you find a dress that just works on multiple levels: work approriate because it has sleeves, breezy enough to wear for a summer weekend, polished enough for a night out, and grandmother approved for a family wedding. I mean I am usually happy if I find an outfit suited for one occasion let alone 4 so this dress has moved up the ranks in my closet. Add some punchy braclets and a pair of heels and I am out the door for drinks with friends. Put my hair in an up-do and wedding ensemble. And it came in black?? What more can a girl ask for!