Thursday, April 28, 2011

inspired by: april 28, 2011

This installment was Inspired By the adorable Sydney of The Daybook. That girl has amazing style. To be honest, I have more than one Sydney inspiration photo in my "Outfits to Try" folder. This particular one is pretty simple, but that's why I liked it so much!

Here's Sydney rockin' it:

And here's my very basic copy:

[Shirt - American Eagle (similar)/Jeans - Gap/Shoes - Unlisted]





I wasn't consulting Sydney's look when I was getting dressed this particular morning, I was just going from memory. I wish I had opened the picture, because it's the little details in Sydney's look I really like - the purse, the cuffed jeans, the shades. Of course it's been nothing but cloudy here so the shades would have been silly...but I wish I'd cuffed my jeans and grabbed a prop, haha.

But I'm pretty sure she and I are wearing the exact same shirt! ;)

The denim-on-denim thing is something I was completely against and now I am slowly getting into it. That happens to me with a lot of trends. Rompers? Heck no! Maxi dresses? I'm too short! But now i suddenly find myself looking at them when I shop. Next up? Trying them on. Then I'll probably have a closet full of both.

Reading fashion blogs will do that to a girl.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

what i'm reading: april 27, 2011

Alice Hoffman

My mother is a big Alice Hoffman fan, but I have to admit I haven't read very many of her books. Of course, I love Practical Magic, who doesn't?

This book was really good. I could barely put it down. It tells the story of a small Massachusetts (shout out to my home state yo!) through it's founding and the generations of inhabitants that follow. Just a collection of wonderfully told stories and local fables centered around this town. It definitely made me want to sit down and write out some short stories. I think the short story may turn out to be my genre of choice, if I can ever sit down and write something!

I have so many posts lined up, as I keep saying, but I honestly have been so pressed for time! I've been working overtime for work this week so that cuts into my afternoons a bit. Back to normal real soon though!

What are you reading?

Monday, April 25, 2011

portland, maine: part 2

This is the outfit post portion of the Portland trip. I have so many pictures to catch up on! I should be able to get back into my posting groove this week. I also hope to have another Things My Boyfriend Does up later this week as well. Remember those?

[Sweatshirt: J.Crew/Necklace - Target/Jeans - Forever 21/Shoes - Aldo/Bracelets - Tiffany, J.Crew, gifts from mom]


This is what I wore during the day to walk around and hang out. I like the casual outfit with the sparkly accessories. My favorite thing is to mix casual pieces with more glamorous ones. Why save your good stuff for special occasions? Every day is a special occasion! I got these jeans at Forever 21 for $9.50. Nine dollars and fifty cents! And they're my favorite jeans right now. They're super comfortable and the perfect length. Can't beat that!




Can you tell how cold and windy it was? The wind was freezing! We'd been walking around for awhile by the time we took these, which is why my face is so pink. It was a very raw and blustery day. That's been the norm for weather lately. It makes it hard to do anything outside, even though I'm craving outdoor time!

[Blazer - The Limited (similar), from mom/Jewelry - Fossil watch (similar),  Express bangles, H&M rings/Clutch - Target/T-Shirt - Old Navy]
Picnik collage

I didn't get many pictures of what I changed into for dinner because it was dark out. But I really loved this look. I think I'll probably repeat this or versions of it a lot from now on. It's a good go-to night out look. Holy moly, I just checked looked at that blazer and they are expensive. I checked with mom, who gave it to me since it didn't fit her right anymore, and she says she thinks they were on sale and she had a coupon. Because I couldn't imagine her spending that much on a blazer. Well. I guess I could. ;)

We had a great weekend and we're already coming up with new adventures to take this summer!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

portland, maine: part 1

This past weekend Boyfriend and I escaped back up to Portland, ME for a night away. Since we don't live together anymore it's nice to be able to get away from it all and stay in a hotel, even if it's just for one night. I highly recommend Jetsetter for finding a luxe place for less!

It's now become our ritual that if we're going to Maine, we're going to Flo's, regardless of how out of the way it is. Boyfriend just recently introduced me to this gem and it is amazing. That's Boyfriend waiting in line for our hotdogs! I stayed in the nice warm car until the line made it inside. ;) Yes, there is a line. It's just the tiniest hot dog shack. Boyfriend's head hits the ceiling inside! If you happen to make it - get the House Special. Delicious!

We stayed at the Portland Harbor Hotel, which was perfectly located. We were right in the heart of Old Port and a mere steps away from Gritty's, which is where we hung out most of our last stay in Portland. We were also right next door to the restaurant we wanted to eat at. Paciarino was booked solid last time we went up to Portland, so we made sure to make reservations ahead of time.

We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around Portland. We stopped for a beer, where I was too short for the table, and got some popcorn from the Coastal Maine Popcorn Co. and just wandered around taking pictures.

We stopped in at Bull Moose, a cool record store they have in New Hampshire and Maine. Very similar to Newbury Comics around Boston. Only somehow way better. We each bought a few CDs. Boyfriend replaced some old favorites, and I bought 21 by Adele and a copy of Tapestry by Carole King, which I was forbidden from listening to in the car by Captain Grouchy Pants. I happen to like Carole King.

After that we headed back to the hotel to get cleaned up for dinner. Dinner was so, so good. I recommend you try out this place if you're ever in Portland and like homemade pasta and delicious Italian food. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
We had originally planned on going out for drinks after dinner, but since we're a couple of old farts we collapsed right into bed! We were beat. The hotel ended up being super loud all night. Boyfriend slept through it, but I kept waking up to people talking and laughing and music. I think there may have been a party or something going on, and the walls were not soundproof in the least. It's an old building, so I suppose that is to be expected. But hey! The bed was comfy! 

The next day was supposed to be rainy, but it ended up being beautiful! Perfect weather for browsing the outlets in Kittery on the way home, which is exactly what I made Boyfriend do. :)

What are your favorite places for a weekend getaway? Any cool places in New England we should check out? We're trying to plan a New England day trips vacation for this summer!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

by the barn



[Dress - Forever 21/Boots - Oh Deer!/Belt - TJMaxx]

Okay, so that's not really a barn. It's a shed in my backyard. But this outfit just felt so country to me. I felt like I should be walking through a field somewhere in the Midwest. I don't typically gravitate towards country-type looks, but on this particular morning that's just how things worked out. I'm okay with that.



Sorry for the unintentional hiatus I took from blogging. Things just got busy all of a sudden and I didn't even have a spare minute. Boyfriend and I escaped to Portland, Maine for Saturday and Sunday (pictures to follow!) and though I had yesterday off from work, the day was spent running errands and hanging out with a friend I haven't seen in awhile. It was a much needed respite from any kind of responsibility.

Picnik collage

Funny story about my charm bracelet, seen above. My grandparents on my Dad's side vacation in Mexico every year, and have for as long as I can remember. They would always bring me back little trinkets and outfits and things, this bracelet and the charms included. That's why my charm bracelet has a Mexican theme. For the longest time when I was little, I thought my family was Mexican. 


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

fool proof food: steak and cheese

This is another new section I am giving a try on the old blog. On occasion, I like to cook. Typically I enjoy things that are simple and not super unhealthy. Very occasionally I'll feel really inspired and knock out a really stellar, complex dish. By "very occasionally" I mean that happened once. But it was amazing. I thought I would share some of those recipes here in case anyone wants to add some simple, yummy meals into their usual repertoire.

Today we have Steak and Cheese. Some of you may way to call it Cheesesteak. You would all be wrong. But feel free to debate that amongst yourselves, since I am firmly in the Steak and Cheese Club.

Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Garlic powder
Shaved steak
One medium onion
American cheese (or really, any old cheese you want)

Step 1: Chop up your onion. I like mine in little strips. Feel free to chop yours however you want. Or even omit it all together! I wouldn't do that though, because the onion makes it extra delicious.

Step 2: Add some olive oil to a large fry pan. About 1-2 tablespoons should do it. Toss a pat of butter in there too. Because olive oil and butter taste delicious together. Turn the heat on to medium.

Step 3: Wait until the pan gets nice and hot and your oil and butter starts to bubble slightly. Toss in those onions.

Step 4: Cook the onions over medium to medium low heat until they get nice and brown. This may take awhile and requires constant vigilance. I am easily distracted and often burn onions, but you really have to cook them slowly and carefully. Remove them from the pan and set aside. I used a slotted spatula so some of the oil would drip off.

Step 5: Put another small pat of butter into your pan.

Step 6: Dump in your nice clean mushrooms. Don't forget to make sure they're nice and dry like I did. That's why mine look so soupy. But they did get nice and tender, which is what we are aiming for.

Step 7: So cook those 'shrooms until they are nicely browned and tender. Remove from pan, using the slotted spatula again and put them in with the onions.

Step 8: Add a little bit more butter to the pan (okay, so this isn't one of my super healthy recipes. Still better than the sub shop!). Toss in your shaved beef and begin to pull it apart using two forks.

Step 9: Cook through, over medium heat. Season it up with salt and pepper and a little garlic powder. Drain off a bit of the grease.

Step 10: Add your cheese. We only had the processed Kraft stuff, but deli American cheese makes this so much better. Let it melt and mix it all up in there. Add more if you're feeling sassy. Or like cheese as much as I do.

Step 11: Mix in your onions and mushrooms. I know that last picture looks completely disgusting, but trust me people. I'm drooling thinking about this sandwich.

Step 12: Place the mix in a roll. Eat. Sigh with delight.

Monday, April 11, 2011

inspired by: april 11, 2011

Screen shot 2010-08-22 at 8.15.52 PM

This is my first post in a new regular feature I am going to try out on here. I have a folder on my computer where I keep all the screen shots of outfit inspiration that I save. When I don't know what to wear, I open this folder and click through it for ideas. Sometimes they are from lookbooks, sometimes they are from other bloggers, and sometimes they are from Weardrobe or Chictopia.

This particular outfit was from the Madewell website ages ago. I came across this last weekend when I was trying to think of something to wear to run some errands and hang out with a friend. I was actually wearing different shoes, but my errands brought me to Macy's where they were having a shoe sale and I saw these bad boys. They went perfectly with the outfit so I put them right on my feet. They are super comfortable for such a high platform. I think I'll be wearing them a lot this spring, so be prepared to see more of them!

 [Jacket - Forever 21/Scarf - Old Navy/Top - Forever 21/Jeans - Forever 21/Shoes - Unlisted]

I think this is a great way to use what you have in your closet to create looks you love without breaking the bank. Is my outfit an exact replica of the Madewell one? No. But I think it's pretty close and I felt super snazzy in it, which is really all that matters.

So what do you think? Is this feature a keeper? Do you guys do this too? I'd love to hear your feedback!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

what i'm reading: april 7, 2011

Stieg Larsson

I waited and waited for this book to come out in paperback, since I have read the previous two books in the trilogy and have them in paperback and wanted the complete, matching set. But finally the guy at Barnes and Noble told me there were no plans on the horizon at all for this to be released in paperback, and I couldn't wait another second, so I bit the bullet.

I found this one to be a bit slower paced and drier than the first two, but it was still interesting and it ook me awhile to finish it, which is always nice for a speed reader like me. However I took this with me to jury duty when I went last month, and I wish I had brought something that was more of a page turner. So if you plan on reading for almost six hours straight, this may not be the book you want to go with.

I highly recommend the first two (obviously) and this book definitely rounds out the trilogy nicely. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

fly away home



This is actually the outfit I wore today. That so rarely happens! I may have skipped over another outfit in order to post this on the day I wore it, but pretend I didn't tell you that.

The fact that I had to put on tights today was deeply depressing. I can't wait until the weather is warm enough that I can bare my legs again.



My brother is gone until Monday, so it looks like a lot of time spent with my tripod until he gets back. I don't mind tripod pictures - I actually feel more comfortable taking pictures of myself by myself - but I usually get too lazy to lug the tripod anywhere outside where people may see it, hence the indoor pictures today.

Speaking of my brother going away...My mom was packing his suitcase for him (yes, he's 23 years old and my mother still packs his suitcase) and planning his outfits, since he needs to look nice for some of the things he's doing on his trip. I made the mistake of asking her what he planned on putting on his feet, since he only owns two mangy pairs of shoes (I know, horrifying. Between my mother and I we have practically enough shoes to rival Imelda Marcos). Long story short, the three of us - Mom, Brother and me - ended up going shopping for shoes for him. He claimed he couldn't go alone because mom would just criticize his shoe choices, and I went along to witness the debacle this was sure to be.

A half hour later my brother had three new pairs of shoes. All of which were picked out by my mother and I. So maybe he was right about not being allowed to dress himself.

[Cardigan - BP, Nordstrom Rack/Shirt - Madewell (similar)/Skirt - H&M/Shoes - Forever 21/Belt - H&M]


Speaking of shoes...I love the ones I was wearing today. I was too late to jump on the Jeffrey Campbell Splendid bandwagon, so these are the Forever 21 version. Only problem? They run slightly big and they feel like they are going to decapitate my toes. It's super depressing. I have my eye on a similar pair that I might buy, since I don't think these Forever 21 ones come in a smaller size. I can't find them online anymore either and I haven't seen them in my store again.

Picnik collage

I am so in love with this belt. I got it for my birthday last month, forgot about it, then got really excited when I saw it peeking out from the nest of belts I have. I plan on wearing it a lot more now that I remembered it. I have a soft spot for sparrows (or whatever these birds are. Swallows?). One of my tattoos (the first one I ever got) looks very similar to these guys. Also noticing that it appears I wore it upside down. Whoopsie poops.


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