Thursday, February 28, 2013

Transitioning to Spring

Now that spring is officially less than 3 weeks away (hip-hip-hooray!), it's time to start thinking about how to transition our wardrobes. There's always that funny stretch of time when it's not really winter and it's not really spring and choosing an appropriate outfit feels challenging. Try as you might, you will not find magical pieces meant for that stretch of time because alas, they don't exist. Instead! It's about taking what you have and mixing & matching in different ways. One look I'm eager to try is pairing a chunky sweater with one of my maxi-dresses (oh how I've missed them!). Having a hard time picturing that ensemb? Here is some inspiration for the look ~

Whatdoya think? Would you try this?
until next time,

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Email from Mom

yep. nothing out of the ordinary :)

until next time,



Patrick was out of town this past weekend so I had a chance to truly unplug, decompress and catch my breath. Alone time is rare these days living in a jam-packed city and a jam-packed apartment and a jam-packed life. I leave work and I just want to zone out and listen to music and have a leisurely commute home. More often than not? I'm dodging tourists on the sidewalk then I'm squished between the subway pole and a sweaty/smelly person while my heavy purse dents my arm and I nearly suffocate inside my puffer coat. It's a cute look, lemme tell ya. And then I'm either going to the gym and changing in a small/confined locker room filled with one too many nekkid women or I'm going to the grocery store and trying to navigate my way down the narrow aisles that only allow for a one-way flow of traffic... a maddening obstacle for us New Yorkers who always seem to be in a big ol' rush. Once I'm finished with the gym and errands, I walk into a 450sq. foot apartment in which I cohabitate with a giant.

One of the things I've had to work on (and am still working on) in this stage #637 of our relationship ;) is how I act when I walk through the front door. Most nights, Patrick is home before I am...and since I haven't had a moment to myself and since I know I still have plenty more work to get done that night, I walk in with a chip on my shoulder. If I walk into a mess or dirty dishes, I heavy sigh. If he asks me how work was, the gym was, if I saw the funny video of some dog, I sharply retort since I'm still trying to take off my shoes and coat. Why is this? Am I a terrible person? I'm being completely honest over here, but maybe I'm the only one who finds themselves ever behaving like this and you're chalking me up to be some evil witch. Trust me, I wish I could be the person that throws open the door and exclaims with my arms in the air, "Hi, honey!! How ARE you? Tell me everything!" While I realize that might be a stretch, I am trying to improve.

I read something recently that said, "Forget the troubles of your day before you greet someone." (And I was all, write that down.) I think it can happen in various scenarios, too. Like, have you ever met up with a friend and the first thing out of their mouth is one long rant? They stand there complaining, "Ugh you will not BELIEVE my day!" and 30 minutes later they finally say hello? And maybe ask how YOU are? It's a little off-putting.

In an effort to recognize ways in which I can self-improve, I am going to try and remember that sentiment above whenever I'm greeting someone...whether it's on the phone, in person, and particularly, when I walk through that front door. Even if it requires me to walk around the block once more or stand on my stoop and take a deep breath, I gotta dismiss those silly troubles of my day before I say hello :)

until next time,


Monday, February 25, 2013

Inspiration for Your Week

My mother, who is somehow still able to parent & teach from a distance, emailed this article from MORE Magazine to my siblings & I yesterday. I want to hang it on my inspiration board and store it away in a mental box of advice & wisdom. It's by Patti Davis (the daughter of Ronald Reagan and Nancy Davis Reagan). Perhaps you'll like it, too.

"I'm living in a house that will soon not be mine. When I leased this Victorian two years ago, I imagined someday buying it. But after getting to know the place intimately, I decided it would not be a good marriage. The floor plan is choppy, not meant for socializing. The kitchen is far from the dining room and each of the two "parlors" can accommodate one person and a cat as long as neither is overweight.

As soon as my lease was up, the landlords informed they were going to sell. I couldn't afford to move right then, so I made a deal. They could revamp the house while I was still in it; I'd stay and even put up with showings when it went on the market.

The other day I was weeding the garden, and one of the handymen asked me why I bothered. I told him, "I don't want it choked with weeds."

I won't be living here anymore, so who cares how I leave the place? But what remains after we settle elsewhere reveals much about us. It shows how caring we are or how careless. Those who leave weeds and rubble in their wake probably do the same in relationships. Long ago, in another house I moved into, I unlocked the door to find mouse droppings in the kitchen, a bathroom that had apparently not been cleaned for months and windows so dirty, I could barely see out. I was casually acquainted with the couple who had preceded me and from then on, whenever I ran into them, all I could think of was the dirt they had left for me to clean up.

As Rickie Lee Jones sang, "You never know when you are making a memory."

Maybe that's why I prune the bushes and plant lobelia in a garden that soon won't be mine. Lobelia can sprout unexpectedly. After a season or two, it just appears, like a gift. What we plant takes root, produces seeds, and blooms not just for us but also for whoever comes after us.

I sit in this garden at end of day, after the handymen have gone and quiet descends. I listen to birds perched high in trees that someone else planted. I spent months transforming this garden, thinking I'd stay forever. I put in lavender, daylilies and jasmine. It's May and all are blooming.

A few friends have told me I made a bad deal with my landlords. And in a way they're right. But I'm learning a precious lesson in these inconvenient months. I'm learning how, at age 60, to become the person I want to leave behind on this earth."

until next time,


My Favorite Red Carpet Looks

Here are a few of my favorite Red Carpet looks from the Academy Awards last night!

Jessica Chastain.
Does she have the most gorgeous skin, or what?

Amanda Seyfried. 
Can't go wrong with Alexander McQueen + that eye makeup.

I love the bedazzled bodice on Kerry Washington.

This neckline on Louise Roe is stunning.
Also, those eyebrows!

Naomi Watts in perhaps my favorite dress of the night.

When's the last time you saw Jen Aniston in a full-skirted dress?
The color and material are gorgeous. It would have been even better had she done something with her hair even though we know that's a no-no in her book.

Stacy Kiebler is a total bombshell. My favorite back-of-a-dress look!

Charlize Theron exudes confidence. 
I love the white. And I love the short hair.

75 years old, ladies and gentleman. Jane Fonda is doing something right.

images via

Anne Hathaway's dress was atrocious not my favorite look of the night.
However,  I really liked the dress she wore when she performed. Anyone else catch that?

Five other best moments according to the little lady?
1. Jennifer Hudson's voice. Amaze.
2. Daniel Day-Lewis' heartfelt speech.
3. Jennifer Lawrence tripping up the stairs on her way to accept her award for Best Actress.
(See?! Movie stars trip, too!)
5. Argo for the win. Such a great movie.

What were your favorite looks & moments?

until next time,


Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday Link Love

Happy Friday, you guyyys. Fun weekend plans? I will mostly be working on design projects, tackling errands/to-dos, making important lists, and cleaning/organizing the apartment after last weekend's Mickey misfortune. We started yesterday with a late-night cleaning spree in the kitchen. Yup, we're taking back our home one spray of Lysol at a time. I'm also looking forward to bootcamp, continuing Gone Girl (so good!), church, catching up with a girlfriend, & the Oscars!
p to the s :: some link love for your day ~

8 new punctuation marks we desperately need.

listen to this Pitch Perfect mix. 100% guaranteed to brighten your day.

do you wear glasses? this brand looks cute.

there's a new Meatball Shop in Chelsea!

this made me laugh.

the definition of style per Rachel Zoe.

the trailer for MZ Wallace's portrait project.

i would have killed Patrick.

pretty gift wrap.

these tights would make for a fun transition into spring.

i wish i had an iPad just so i could use this.

Cathy, Jenny, Sally, & Rosy are such dolls.

an Oscar ballot & bingo game. (havin' a party? make this. then be sure & invite me.)

windows of New York illustration project.

loving this bag collection.

and finally, keep this in mind.

until next time,


Dream Big

I wear a thin gold bracelet that says this quote and it always makes me think. It's not as simple as the notion of, "love what you do." You first have to identify what you love. And then you have to think about what you find beautiful about what you love. Finally, you have to ask yourself if you're actually adding to what you its doing and making more of it.
My ultimate goal in this little life is that I make this world better by having lived.  While I don't plan on being the first female president or curing cancer or preventing world hunger, I do want to have some sort of impact. I should mention here that I tend to dream on the bigger side. Almost to a fault. Yep, my parents raised a Jessica.
For so long, our goals are standard and often expected... make it through elementary school, then the awk-y middle school years, push through high school, then graduate college and/or get a job. But what about after that? It's all up to us. We are adults, anyway. (shudder) Someone once said, "Don't let your dreams always be dreams." ...which is inspiring but also quite scary, yes? If you're like me, you might carry around a mental list of things you hope to accomplish someday - so, someone reminding you that someday has the chance of never being today unless you get-on-that-shiz ASAP is a tad discomforting... especially when you allow yourself to acknowledge how quickly the months and years pass by. It's outrageous, really. I got my 10-year high school reunion save-the-date in the mail recently and stood in my kitchen staring at it, certain that the school had made a giant mistake.  I had one of those bizarre moments comparable to fogetting how to spell a word like, 'who' where I questioned whether or not the same amount of time passes between the ages 10 to 20 and 17 to 27. And it took an embarrasingly long time to figure out the answer to that oh-so-difficult question. So like, what gives? It's as if time only speeds up as we age and the calendar only becomes more packed of things to remember and juggle. Granted, I have a wizard for a mother; she accomplishes more productive/good/selfless/fun things in a day than most do in a month so perhaps as a result, my bar is set at impossible. Even so, I find myself tripping over (ha! even happens when I'm just figuratively speaking) those bigger dreams of mine just because I don't know where to even begin nor where to find the time. So what do I do? Well, I have an idea...
Instead of carrying around these mental dreams, I'm going to first write them down. Sounds easy, but it's actually pretty terrifying and makes me uncomfortable. But if I've learned anything, it's the uncomfortable setting that typically promotes change and pushes you to be a better version of yourself. Plus, I need to see these things-I-wanna-do on paper since I have a feeling the list might be long and I will need to do some prioritizing. The next thing to do is to separate your dreams by category -- for example: fitness, personal, finances, career, something you want to do for others, geographical location, etc. Thirdly? I'm going to put them in chronological order of when I would like (key word being like, since we all know things can happen differently than how we plan) to accomplish them. Some will be easier than others. For example, if you really want to write an autobiography, perhaps you can push that to the end of your list for when you know how your life turns out :)  Within each list, break down the bigger dreams into smaller & more obtainable goals, paying the most attention to the ones you would like to accomplish first. For example, if you're wanting a certain job, but you realize you're going to need a few more years of school, start by identifying the application timelines/guidelines and examining your financial situation. Think about reaching your weekly needs instead of the daunting desire of going from your current state to your end goal. Focus on the month-to-month and the goals you want to accomplish in the next two years, but also look back at your list to see where you want to be in 5 and 10 years. (Yes, this is my plan to make a plan.)
Perhaps this rant has been a waste of your time and you stopped reading when I used the term shiz above. Perhaps you've already accomplished big things in your career and personal life and you're at a place of contentment. Or perhaps you're struggling to translate your bigger dreams into a plan of attack and something here resonated with you. (Or maybe this was just a pep talk between me & myself.) Regardless, I'd like to think that when I'm standing in my kitchen one day (oh, how I hope it's a bigger kitchen!) staring at my 20-year high school reunion save-the-date, I will have a similar reaction of wondering how the heck it's been another decade. But here's hopin' I will also be able to look back to now and be like yes! I got something done in those 10 years I decided to.
until next time,

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Etsy Find - Inspire Lovely

Now that I've sold a few things on Etsy, I find myself having way too much fun with the packaging. I'm a firm believer that it's all in the presentation. Taking a little extra time to make something pretty...whether it's a birthday gift or even your just goes a long way. Besides. It gives me a reason to buy stickers, y'all!

I recently discovered this fabulous Etsy store appropriately called, Inspire Lovely. And I think I need everything!

Do these sorts of things inspire you? Do you start imagining what you could use them for? What could go inside? Or is that just me? :)

shop here.

until next time,


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Peaks & Pits

If it's okay with you, I'd like to discuss some peaks & pits of the past few days.

Let's start with the good, shall we?
I thoroughly enjoy being that obnoxious promoter of love on Valentine's Day.

Some guy showed up to my office and performed a magic trick :)

I received some incredible Sabon products - this scrub is amazing!
I got to catch up with my good friend/old roommate! We went to Stanton Social - hadn't been there in years, but boy is it good. Pssst...if you go, make sure you order the french onion soup dumplings and the pierogies. Also, the Brooklyn Lemonade is divine.
We had so much fun celebrating her birthday! Come back soon, miss Hollis...already miss you :(

Another girlfriend & I took the hour-long bus ride (so easy!) from Manhattan to the magical land of Woodbury Common outlets. With my color-coded map in tow, we made a run for it :) So many many crazy deals...such a great friend/shopping kinda heaven!
Yes, we scored the back seat on the return trip :)
a DVF find...60% off!

I got home and Patrick & I met my dad at his favorite Thai restaurant for dinner. We celebrated his 63rd birthday; the two of them discussed their favorite athletes of all time and I gave him some artwork (not much has changed since I was a kid) and these two books (1 & 2). I loved seeing him and our dinner together made for a fun little night :) 
As you can see from my Nike Fuelband, however, it was a long and busy day. And it felt extra long due to the fact that I didn't sleep at all the night before. Why? Well, let's move on to Chapter numero dos, "the pits"...
Ladies & gentlemen, we have a mouse problem. Scratch that...a mice problem. I have never been so on edge, so tired, so disgusted, and so terrified in all my life. I am not good with rodents (exhibit A, B, C & D), but this was something out of a friggin' nightmare. Thankfully, Patrick was here as he's a little bit braver than I... although, not by much. And after this weekend, we've both been traumatized. At one point on Saturday (during the day...nocturnal-schmurnal!), Patrick was watching one pop its head out of the stovetop while I looked over and saw one run across my hangers in my closet. [Insert deafening shrieks and a sprint to the highest surface. Gag!] They ran all around the tiny rooms, standing atop the hockey-puck-esque traps we put out as if to laugh at our lame attempt to catch them. This little lady was not a happy camper. Poor Patrick missed going to a basketball game in NJ that night because he stayed with me to deal with the exterminator we hired (thanks for nothing, landlord). His name was Robert and he was a total Godsend. I asked him 47 questions starting with, "Are you afraid of mice? No? GOOD!" He set out glue traps (awful, but apparently the most effective), sealed up possible entry points, sprinkled poison, and wished us good luck. No lie...3 minutes after Robert left? We caught one. For the next two nights, we slept with the lights and TV on gasping at any strange noise. Keep in mind...with thin walls, multiple neighbors, multiple ultrasonic mouse repellers I purchased out of pure desperation, and an old building...there are a lot of strange noises. Hence the exhaustion. As of this morning, we've caught three. That's right. Three blind icky mice.


We are seriously considering adopting a kitten. (Slash finding a new apartment...)

Here's hoping we are done with this calamity. And fingers crossed any other critters get the memo that our home isn't very fun. I just wanna walk to the bathroom without wearing ginormous rubber boots, carrying a broom, and making Patrick come with. Is that too much to ask?
Anyways, I hope your weekend had just as many peaks and not as many pits :)

p.s. I hope you like my new blog header!

until next time,

Friday, February 15, 2013

A Week of Love - Friday!

Did you have a good week? A happy Valentine's Day? I hope so! I truly enjoyed seeing everyone sporting the love temporary tattoos I designed. As corny as it sounds, it was nice to think that my "love" was brightening others' days.
And what's not to love about a Friday?! :) Fun plans for the long weekend? I am so excited for mine I can hardly stand it. Tonight, Patrick & I are going on a double-date for a friend's birthday. But not just any first roommate in NYC! She moved down south 5 years ago and is a busy little mother hen. Today is her actual birthday and she & her husband are celebrating with a trip to the city. It's been far too long since we gabbed over a cocktail in Manhattan. I can't wait :) Two other very exciting activities this weekend? A bus trip to Woodbury Commons for a full-day outlet shopping adventure with a girlfriend! (helloooo, crazy President's Day weekend deals) Little does she know my mother raised a professional shopper. I may or may not be showing up with a color-coded map and a plan of attack ;) And! Patrick & I are going out to dinner with my dad for his 63rd birthday. P's first time going to a Thai restaurant! I will also be working on some very exciting design projects and enjoying Monday off from work. Such a treat.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend, too! are some links for your Friday ::
pretty mouse pads.


true love.

thinking a lot about your career? ask yourself the right question.

this would make a cute gift.

what a great idea for a birthday or bridal shower.

this door.

bangs vs. no bangs.

i'm starting this book. have you read it?

it's about that time. tax-time. this blog has great free downloads to organize all your paperwork.

and lastly, remember this.

until next time,


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love Is

& for p:

love is.

love is teasing a little too much.

love is getting up in the middle of the night to record how insanely loud the other one's snore is just so you can show them the next day and both laugh uncontrollably.

love is admitting that you were just being stubborn and you're sorry.

love is coming home with a Peppermint Patty in your pocket or hiding sunflower seeds in the cupboard.

love is giggling together over YouTube bloopers when it's way past your bedtime but you just don't care.

love is checking in during the day for no real reason.

love is being the most silly and embarrassing version of yourself.

love is finding the other's comfort food when they're sick even if that means going to fetch it in the rain.

love is leaving little notes hidden in the oddest places before you go on a trip.

love is being in a heated argument and you're trying to prove you're right, but you're biting your cheeks to try not to laugh at their "are we done here?" smile.

love is making the task of washing the dishes together, fun.

love is doing your own thing and going out with your friends, but being excited to meet up at the end of the night.

love is sleeping with your phone next to your face just to be sure you hear their call before they board an early flight.

love is immediately sharing any news and getting really excited when it's good.

love is that second - and less obligatory - hug.

love is trusting that despite the unknowns and what-ifs and question marks, love is and will be.

love is...

...dancing awkwardly together.
until next time,


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Week of Love - Today

today was a bright, bright, sunshine-y day.
we take our holidays seriously.
new favorite nail color! "Daytripper" by deborah lippman.
a fun gal-entine's date with a girlfriend on the rooftop of the Kimberly Hotel.
not a bad view, eh?
and then I came home and made this cookie!!!

(pause for reaction)

 it's the ugliest cookie I've ever seen.

today's lesson? not all love is pretty.

until next time,


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Week of Love - Recent Moments

Life is all about the little moments that bring you joy in the day-to-day.

I get really excited about the goodie bag at the dentist. 
new orange toothbrush! score!
I'm tempted to just let this picture speak for itself, but I would like to point out a few things:
1. When Patrick finds a new favorite song, he has to listen to it 17 times before calling it a night. 
2. His hand looks like a rake.
3. No, we don't typically store the umbrella there. He uses it to stretch his shoulder.
4. He doesn't really fit in the chair, does he?
5. My friend totally called him out on Instagram by asking about the "hat situation." (I died!)
Apparrrently, his headphones hurt his head so he has to wear the hat, but he also has to roll it up enough to hear properly. Hence the oh-so-ghetto-fab look.
moments of inspiration and dreaming up future projects.
mixing patterns! checks & stripes.
red ink.
chevron rings c/o Aiden Modern Vintage! (so sweet!!)
& "I'm In-dia Mood for Love" by O.P.I.
This was my official weather report from my stoop Friday night.
We cook our potatoes in a cute little floral bag my sister made me. 
7 minutes in the microwave is all it takes!
Sloshing through the snowy sidewalks (say that 5 times fast) with friends.
hot chocolate with extra marshmallows!
Do I dare share the most unflattering picture of me ever taken?
Why not. I can't look at it without laughing! 
This is how we celebrated Chinese New Year :)
Nothing like a late-night Fresh Direct order to brighten your Monday.
My Godson gave me a gift card for Christmas and we finally put it to use!
His mama (my first roommate in NYC) must've remembered how we hopped up in down in pure excitement when we heard the FD delivery man ring the doorbell :) 
We ordered a fun selection - everything from eggs to chicken to bananas to brussels sprouts to tilapia to blueberries to pancake mix. Yum.

P.S. Can't wait to see that same mama in just a few days!!!

I hope your Tuesday is filled with moments that makes you smile :)

until next time,


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