Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Favorite Thing: Sorel Boots


What: Sorel Tivoli High Boots

Why I Love Them: They are by far the best snow boots I have ever owned. They are incredibly warm, waterproof, and comfortable. Most snow boots are so clunky and difficult to walk in, but these feel just like wearing sneakers. They're also completely adorable and pretty darn stylish for snow boots (they're plaid, after all)!

I wore them snowshoeing a couple of weeks ago, but that's sadly the most action they've seen all winter. We've had a very mild winter (probably because I bought the damn boots) but these would have been amazing during last winter. We're supposed to get a dusting tomorrow and I might have to break these out!

Where You Can Get Them: Right here! Sorel has a number of other adorable options as well, and keep an eye out for them on sample sale sites like or Rue La La. I got mine on Rue La La back in the fall for a steal!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cozy & Casual: Navy & Brown





Just a very casual and comfy outfit for a chilly day. Sometimes you just want to put on worn out sweatpants and an over-sized hoodie and hibernate, even though you may have to go to work and at least pretend to be a viable member of society. On occasions like that the big cozy sweater and comfy jeans step in to save the day. Add a hat to cover the hair you didn't feel like washing and you're good to go.

I feel like I've been crazy busy lately, and I suppose I have. It's been all good, fun stuff, but I feel like I need a week of hibernation just to collect myself again.

In other news, I went on my first "blogger date" over the weekend with Casey of Girl in the Poodle Shoes, and it was so much fun! I'll be doing a separate post on that later in the week, so stay tuned!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Shabby Apple Giveaway Winner!

Annndd we have a winner! The Through the Looking Glass Necklace from Shabby Apple goes to Emily of so anthro!

Congrats lady! Look for an email from me for information on claiming your prize!

Thanks to everyone who entered! I'm hoping to set up more giveaways in the future, so keep your eyes open!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Valentine's Trip 2012: Part II

Okay, so when I last left off I was packing up the car and getting ready to go in search of the coffee shop. Boyfriend was happily going to the top of the mountain, sliding down, and going back up again. And again. Yawn.

I had my resort map and I had my eye on a coffee shop called Java Joe's. I walked this way. I walked that way. I went up some stairs. I went down some stairs. This godforsaken coffee shop was no where to be found. I wandered around muttering under my breath about how much I hated this place, and how all the people there sucked, and why couldn't they just go to the beach like normal people?

I went into one of the hotels and asked the kid at the desk. "Oh sure!" he said, "Just go up these stairs and it's right on that side of the hotel." Well okay! Now we're getting somewhere! I went up the stairs, and all that was up there was a door outside, a conference room, and the elevator. So I rode the elevator up and down a few times in frustration. Then I went out the back door of the hotel, wandered around a corner, and behold! Java Joe's. Why didn't he say GO OUTSIDE?! Idiot.

Anyway, it was a hippy dippy little coffee shop where I had an EXCELLENT bagel and latte, so all was not lost. Plus once I had some food and coffee in me I was feeling much more cheerful. I hung out there for awhile then met Boyfriend for drinks and lunch. After that he was heading back up the mountain (so he could slide down again) and I went in search of the snowshoeing.

I drove down a long dirt road to a deserted looking building and actually got out of my car and went inside. Who am I? I was apparently bored enough that I wanted to go snowshoeing rather than sit in the car and read. So I rent my snowshoes, the guy gives me a map, says all the trails are marked, and I head out.


[this is what snowshoeing looks like]

I picked a trail that was supposed to take two hours to complete, knowing that's how much time I had to kill before Boyfriend was done going up the mountain and sliding back down again. I tramped into the woods, in my cute snowshoeing outfit with my camera in tow.

"This is great! Look at me, getting in a workout and some fresh mountain air!" Then 30 minutes went by.

"Oh my God, I'm so lonely and bored. It's just me and the squirrels out here. I guess I should take some pictures of myself to remember this by."

[here's a story, of a lovely lady, who went snowshoeing all by hersellffff]

Then 45 more minutes went by. I'm DEEP in the woods now. Things are getting treacherous. The path is leading me through streams and I really didn't want to get my fancy snow boots wet.

[danger lurks at every turn!]

Then I started wondering where the hell I was. I'd been hiking through the woods for awhile. I was sweaty. I was starting to panic. This is when I realized the path I was on didn't quite loop all the way back to the snowshoe lodge like I'd thought. It seemed to end at an intersection with a cross country skiing path. I just figured I'd trudge up that a little ways and be back. 

So when I popped out onto a ski path with a sign that said LODGE: THIS WAY, I followed it. And followed it. And followed it. There were no more signs directing me to the lodge. The only signs were ones with pictures of a DeLorean or a moose. I think the DeLorean was supposed to be a snowmobile. The moose is what really freaked me out. THERE COULD BE A MOOSE IN THE WOODS WITH ME. TO EAT ME. Obviously. Then I had a short fantasy of me meeting a moose and being a moose whisperer and having it follow me home to the delight-slash-awe of my friends and family.

[I was too distraught to take a picture of the moose sign. Here is a bridge thing.]

At this point I was beginning to panic. I was at a fork in the road where I had three possible path choices and nothing to tell me which way to go. I was texting my friends in a panic. The battery on my cell phone was dying. Boyfriend unhelpfully suggested I just backtrack. Yeah, backtrack two hours through the woods? No thanks. Someone send a search helicopter! Or search DeLorean, I don't know what you mountain people use for rescues out here.

Then, luckily for me, someone came skiing out of the forest. The first person I'd seen the whole time. I begged him to tell me how to get to the lodge (it wasn't far, hooray!) and he looked at me like I was a crazy person. I don't know why. He was the one cross country skiing in man leggings. I was just clutching a cell phone in a bejeweled case, wearing designer sunglasses, and snowshoeing down a ski trail. What's the big deal?

Anyway, I made it back safely and Boyfriend and I hit the road to head home. The highlight of the drive home was stopping at  what Boyfriend calls a "Colonel Sanchez",  which is a drive thru where one can get BOTH KFC and Taco Bell, just in case you felt like being extra disgusting (which we did, obv).

I'm thinking next year we can go to a cozy bed and breakfast. Where I can sit. And read.

Tomorrow morning: Winner of the Shabby Apply giveaway!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Valentine's Trip 2012: Part I

I wasn't expecting much for Valentine's Day this year. We don't usually do anything spectacular for it and we never celebrate on the actual day of. It's not that big a deal to me, as long as we say "Happy Valentine's Day" I'm a happy camper.

I especially wasn't expecting anything this year since Boyfriend had booked a snowboarding trip for Valentine's Day. I don't snowboard. This trip did not include me. He apparently had to pick a date at the time of purchase so he picked Valentine's Day figuring he'd definitely remember to change that. Well, the snow never came this year and prices for the trip went up, so he was stuck with last Tuesday. To top it all off, the friend that was supposed to go with him bailed at the last minute. So there was poor Boyfriend, going all the way to some back corner of Maine all by his lonesome.

 [so lonesome!]

When he called me Tuesday morning to say happy Valentine's Day I figured he was already on the road to Sugarloaf. Not so! He wanted to take me to lunch! What a treat! So lunch time rolled around at I met him at the pub down the street from my work for burgers and roses (the boy bought me roses!). He said he was leaving after lunch to head up to Maine. By his lonesome.

"Well," I pondered, "If only you could wait until I got out of work, I'd just go with you and take tomorrow off."

"But what would you do?"

"I'd read a book! ALL DAY. Oh my God, what a treat!"

So after some hemming and hawing and pondering, I decided to scoot out of work a little early and take the next day off. I am a rebel.  And also a good girlfriend. I went home after work, threw everything even remotely winter appropriate into my bag and we were off!

I seriously love road trips with this boy. I have no idea why, but the thought of being in the car for hours on end with him makes me giddy. Probably because I have him trapped and I can talk and talk and he has to pretend to listen.

Anyway, that's when he mentioned check out was at 11am the next day, so I couldn't read in the room all day like I had envisioned.

"It's okay, they'll have a lodge!" Well that sounded nice. I envisioned the lodge from when Boy Meets World went skiing. Cozy! We finally get to Sugarloaf, and can't find our room. I can't tell you how long we wandered. It took two different buildings to check in, and then roaming a third building before we finally figured it out. Already I was displeased. But then we found it, and Teen Mom was on, and I was in my jammies, and life was good.

[i don't want anything to do with this]
The next morning Boyfriend got all bundled up and hurried up the mountain while my game plan was to find the coffee shop, meet Boyfriend for lunch, then maybe think about snowshoeing. Well. That didn't turn out to be as easy and lovely as I'd hoped.

Monday, February 20, 2012

if it ain't broke: stripes & boots






I've worn variations of this outfit multiple times throughout the summer, fall, and now winter. Like they say, if something ain't broke, don't try to fix it. Maybe it's the New Englander in me (okay, it's most definitely the New Englander in me) but a good striped top is hard to beat. Pair it with some caramel colored shoes and a chunky necklace, and to me this is a perfect casual look. I'd wear a variation of this every day if I could.

I'm going to apologize ahead of time in case the posting gets sporadic over here the next few weeks. Things at work have suddenly changed drastically, so I'll most likely be stressed and frazzled and may not have much time for blogging. 

In the meantime, don't forget to enter my first giveaway!!

Shirt: Uniqlo (similar)
Necklace: Aldo
Jeans: Old Navy
Boots: Zara (similar)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Five Things

After reading this feature on Emily's blog, Cupcakes & Cashmere, I decided to give it a go too! I think this will be a nice way to stop and appreciate all the small things that happen in a week. So without further ado, I give you my first installment of Five Things! Boyfriend and I took an impromptu (well, for me) trip to Maine the other day. Stay tuned for a full post on that, but until then...


Saw this driving on 95 on the way to Maine - Zombie Outbreak Response Team!




My beautiful Valentine's Day roses!


I went snowshoeing.


I got lost snowshoeing.

What are five things you've enjoyed this week? Also, don't forget to enter the Shabby Apple giveaway!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Giveaway: Shabby Apple!

Hi gang! Sorry for the radio silence this week, it's been pretty crazy around here! I promise to post all about what I've been up to lately, just as soon as I finally slow down!

Today I have my very first giveaway for all of you!

The folks at Shabby Apple were gracious enough to provide this "Through the Looking Glass" necklace for one of you to win! It actually opens up like a locket and you can fit very small trinkets inside. I'm thinking some glitter. ;)

To enter, you must:
1. Be a follower of Sparkle is a Color
2. Like Shabby Apple on Facebook
3. Leave a comment saying you have done the above

Bonus entries!
1. Follow Shabby Apple on Twitter
2. Follow the Shabby Apple blog
(please leave an additional comment for each bonus entry)

Sorry, this giveaway is open to U.S. readers only!

Entries will be accepted until February 22nd, 9pm EST!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Boston Blogger Meet Up

Last Wednesday night was the Boston Blogger meet up at Sonsie on Newbury Street. It was my first blogger meet up and I wasn't sure what to expect. It was also my first time taking the T into town alone, so I was kind of freaking out on multiple fronts here.

I decided to drive down to Wellington and take the Orange line to the Green line, upon the advice of Boyfriend. Driving to Wellington during rush hour was stressful enough on it's own - after that I had the train to contend with. I made it into the parking garage at Wellington, bought my Charlie ticket and got on the platform for the train. I felt like such an adult. I rode the train to Haymarket and made the switch to the Green line and got off at Hynes. I used my phone and Google maps to get me to the restaurant. EASY. I was so impressed with myself. I headed into the room where the blogger meet up was feeling like a million bucks. I got a name tag and a list of all the other bloggers that would be attending and that's when it hit me.

I am crap at networking or socializing with people I don't know. I kind of stood there, alone, trying to look engrossed in this list of bloggers. I was contemplating getting a drink for some liquid courage. Then someone made it easy and said hi to me (Hi Clair!)! My first blogger interaction! From there I tried to make my way around the room, butting into conversations and saying hello to people. It was easy, because everyone was so freakin' nice.

I was worried I would feel like I was intruding on some secret club, but it wasn't like that at all. I had so much fun chatting with everyone and met some awesome people. I can't wait to hang out with them again! If you're from the Boston area, you can find out more about blogger meet ups here. If you're not from the Boston area, I encourage you to look up other bloggers in your area and see if they ever have meet ups. It was a blast.

[photo taken from The Glitterati - that's me second from left]

So after all that fun and excitement, I had to get home. "This will be simple!" I thought. "I'll just get on the train and follow my path backwards!" 

Well. It turns out I have no idea what INBOUND and OUTBOUND mean, since I get them wrong every time. So I stood on the wrong train platform for awhile. Luckily I figured it out and headed over to the right platform. I waited forever for the train, and then the one that showed up said Government Center was its last stop. I needed to go to Haymarket, the one right after that. But everyone else was getting on this train, so I did too. I figured worse comes to worse I'll walk from Gov't Center to Haymarket and pay the damn fare again. Luckily, when I got off at Gov't Center, the next train that came along was going past Haymarket, so I was all set. 

 [I was making pasta with sausage & kale, hence the prior text. I feel like you need to explain half sentences involving the word "sausage"]

By now I am exhausted, high off of the excitement of the night, and ready to go to bed. I get to Wellington and I'm greeted by this looooong and cold tunnel back to the garage.

[it's a never ending tunnel of doom]

So I finally make it to the garage lobby and planned on paying at the little machine with my credit card. Only a guy had the machine open and was doing something to it. So I went to the guy in the booth and asked if I could pay with a card. He said no. The guy fiddling with the machine told me I could pay with my card downstairs. After some back and forth, it turned out the fee was only $4, which I had in cash. So I paid the guy in the booth and went on my merry way. I heard Booth Guy shouting, but figured he was just talking to Machine Guy and thought nothing of it. Then, suddenly he was out of the booth yelling "SEESTAH!" so I turned around (apparently I answer to SEESTAH!). 

He handed me back my ticket to get out of the garage, which I had left on the counter like a dummy. "Oh I need this to get out, huh?! Hehehehe!" The guy looked at me like I was a moron. He was not incorrect. Finally, FINALLY I made it home. It was a long and tiring day, but I had so much fun! Also, now I'm totally a pro at getting to Newbury Street on the T. Booyah.

Thanks to Alison & Katy for hosting!!

Check out the Facebook Album for more pics!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Carry On! A Lesson in Packing

I'm leaving today for a long weekend in Charlotte, NC to visit one of my bestest friends, Helen! I'm so excited to spend the weekend relaxing and having fun with some amazing ladies. This is a short trip, but whenever I fly I almost always refuse to check a bag. I know some of my friends have balked at this, saying they could never pack for any trip in a small carry-on bag. Well, I am here to tell you it is possible, and it will make air travel SO much quicker and easier if done correctly.


1: Pick your bag. Check with your airline to see what their guidelines are regarding carry on bag sizes. Anything labeled as a carry on should be fine, but some may be larger than others. The one pictured here is a duffle (because my carry on bag isn't nearly as adorable), but I prefer a rolling bag with an extendable handle. They're much easier to navigate the airport with. This Lipault bag is one I seriously want to invest in. It folds up flat and comes with it's own storage case!

2: Plan ahead. Brainstorm outfits you'll need or want to wear on your trip (check the weather for your destination first!). Lay everything out and start mixing and matching outfits. I find it easier to bring items that can be worn in many different ways, that way you always feel like you have options without taking your whole wardrobe with you. That blue sweater that only goes with one other item you're packing? Leave it at home. Get creative here! Really stretch your brain when it comes to your vacation outfits. Try pattern mixing and color blocking. You're on vacation, have some fun!

3: Edit. Really try to limit yourself to one outfit per activity on your trip. Make sure you have a couple layering pieces in case the weather turns on you, but other than that, be strict! Shoes are my weak point. I will gladly sacrifice an extra pair of pants or two if that means I can fit another pair of my beloved shoes. Decide which items you absolutely have to bring and leave behind things you can survive without.


4: Pack it up. Shoes and other heavy items on the bottom. Tuck small items like socks or belts inside your shoes to conserve space. I feel every nook and cranny around my shoes with stuff - jewelry, underwear, bathing suit - if it can be scrunched into a little ball and shoved in there, I do it. Next, I roll all my clothes and place them on top of my shoes and accessories. Rolling things really does take up less space, and I think it keeps things from getting too badly wrinkled as well. I tuck my non-liquid makeup bag on top and then shove in any other accessories I need into the pockets, if they fit. The pockets on the outside of the bag I reserve for things I'll need to get quickly - my one quart clear plastic baggie, for example. Which brings me to...


5: The 3-1-1 Rule. The 3-1-1 Rule is the TSA's guidelines for carrying liquids on a plane. This really isn't as hard as you may think. This is where a lot of people give up and decide to check their bags. But guess what? You seriously don't need full bottles of shampoo and conditioner for a week away. Buy a kit of small plastic bottles and decant your favorite products into them. You can also get most of your favorites in travel sizes - is a great resource for every product you could ever need - in carry on friendly sizes! You can use a regular old Ziploc baggie to store your stuff, or you can get a more durable one. I just bought this one. Don't panic if you can't fit everything - get your essentials in the baggie. You're probably not going to the middle of the jungle, there will be drugstores, you will be able to buy more shampoo if it comes down to it.


6: The personal bag. In addition to your suitcase, most airlines also allow one personal bag per passenger. It just has to fit under the seat in front of you. I put my purse, my Kindle, my phone, books, magazines, travel documents and what have you in this bag. I got this great one from LLBean and it's got plenty of compartments for keeping everything organized. It also has a strap on the back to secure it to the handle of your wheeled luggage when you're maneuvering around. Handy! I don't like to completely fill this bag. It's great back up in case you accumulate stuff on your trip or just need some extra space.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

painted skirt






This is one my favorite outfits to date. I just love the colors in this skirt. Layered up with tights, a sweater, and a leather jacket - it's the perfect mix of girly and tough. I keep trying to curl my hair while it's at this shorter length, but it's not always working for me. I'm trying to grow it out a bit, but my hair is so thin it gets straggly really quickly (even though I get trims diligently!). Ah well, woe is me I guess! I had curly/wavy hair most of my life, now it's gone mostly straight on me and I don't want that either! Can someone just plop Blake Lively's hair on my head?

Jacket: New York & Company (similar)
Sweater: H&M
Skirt: J.Crew (similar)
Boots: Zara

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Review: Hana Air Hairdryer

Screen Shot 2012-02-05 at 5.22.29 PM

Today I have something a bit different than usual. The lovely folks at asked if I would like to review a blow dryer for them on the blog, and of course I agreed! I'm a hair tool and product junkie, so I'm always up for tying something new.

That being said, this blow dryer had a lot to live up to, because I am pretty much in love with my current dryer. They sent me the HANAair Professional Hair Dryer to test and review.

Picnik collage

It comes with a concentrator nozzle, but not a diffuser which I was a little bummed about. I don't use the diffuser often, but it's nice to have if I'm in the mood for a curly hair day. The HANAair isn't super heavy, but I wouldn't call it lightweight, either. It had two heat settings and two speed settings, as well as a cool shot button. The hottest heat setting wasn't nearly as hot as it was on my old hair dryer, but I suppose that's better for my hair anyway.

The HANAair is also louder than my other dryer, but after a few days of use I stopped noticing the noise. It's definitely not the noisiest dryer I've ever used, but it's not the quietest either. But this baby has power. It honestly dried my hair in nearly half the time of my old hair dryer, and left it shiny and bouncy, too. It makes getting ready in the morning so much faster since I don't spend nearly as much time on my hair.

Another random thing I love about this dryer is the cord. It's round and very flexible, unlike the typical unwieldy cords that are on most dryers. It makes storing it super easy, since the cord will just squish right up to fit easily in a drawer or cabinet.

Verdict: It's a Keeper

I love this hair dryer now. I don't think I could live without it. is also a great hair supply store. They have tons of options for flat irons and curling irons as well. Definitely check the site out if you're in the market for a new, high-end styling tool. They seriously make all the difference and are worth the money you'll spend on them!

*NOTE: The hair dryer was provided to me by but all comments and opinions are entirely my own and were not influenced by the company in any way.

Monday, February 6, 2012

olive & brown






Man, all the dead trees and leaves is so depressing. We're in the home stretch now, kids! I don't care what that groundhog says, spring is just around the corner! I have so much to look forward to this spring I can't even stand it. Later this week I'm heading down to Charlotte to visit Helen! Then at the end of March Boyfriend and I are heading to Disney, and then when we get back we're going to start looking for apartments! It's going to be an exciting (and expensive!) spring, that's for sure.

This dress is one that's had a lot of mileage (see remixes below!). For a Forever 21 find that's not too shabby. The color and pattern are just vague enough to basically be a neutral, so there's really not much in my closet that wouldn't mix with this dress. Don't you love pieces like that? That's my shopping goal for this year, to buy more pieces that have a lot of mix and match value.

What are your wardrobe workhorses?

Cardigan: H&M
Dress: Forever 21
Boots: Jeffrey Campbell
Belt: American Eagle

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Healthy Sundays: The 70/30 Rule

A couple months ago I was reading a magazine - I can't remember which one, Glamour maybe? - and there was an article about weight loss. It was one of those "These women lost half their weight and you can, too!" type of stories. I was skimming it over, since I don't really care for those type of stories ("I ate nothing but kale and lemon water for four months, it was so easy!") but one women's advice caught my eye.

She said her secret to success was living by the 70/30 rule. 70% of the time she ate well and worked out and overall led a healthy life. The other 30% of the time she indulged a bit - a cupcake here, a day on the couch there. She said it helped keep her balanced and she never felt deprived.

Aside from following the Weight Watchers plan, I've been trying to keep this rule in mind for special occasions. There are times when it would be really difficult for me to be as healthy and conscious as I'd like to be - like last weekend. I would have been a big party pooper and totally depressed if I stayed perfectly within my Weight Watchers boundaries last weekend while I was away. Instead, I said to hell with it and did the best I could. I haven't weighed in this week so I don't know the damage...but I'm not going to stress about it.

It's important to keep a good balance in your life and I think the 70/30 Rule is a good trick to help keep yourself in check.

What do you guys think? Have any tips or tricks for keeping things healthy and balanced in your life?


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