Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Recent Smiles

a few recent smiles ~

packaging up Mother's Day cards (buy yours here!) // darling flowers keeping me company

The people at RAYGUN made. my. day. (Check out their store here.)
Needless to say, my I'm Not A Player I Just Blog A Lot shirt is my new favorite article of clothing.

errands with this one
(...what happens when I spend too long picking out shampoo.)
Big Guy wine.
"Using My Maiden Name" by Essie.
& a Crumbs cupcake sampler for my weekend hosts!

(These days? I drool over full-size furniture. That couch is just as comfy as it looks, by the way.) A weekend with this chickie at last! We went to an impromptu wine tasting in the morning (because you don't pass up free wine tasting no matter what time it is!) - they asked for my ID and a fellow customer laughed and told me I looked 12. Heh. I keep waiting for the whole looking-really-young thing to be a good thing.

My friend & her husband live outside of DC. We toured the local farmers market & shops at Historic Occoquan which is such a cute little area. How giant are those carrots? I had some of the gluten free banana bread, too. Yum.

And thennn we hit up the outlets at Potomac Mills where a surprise visitor came to say hello!

Unexpected Mom hugs? Sigh...the very best! It makes me sad, really, that run-ins at the mall can't happen more often...very much looking forward to our trip to Virginia in a little over a month!

First of all, please meet their rockstar dog, Bourbon.

We played a card game called Set Back. It was my first time playing and guess who won? Ahem! I'm not competitive or anything... By the way, grilling out on a deck? Sitting in warm sunshine? Telling stories and belly-laughing? Heavenly!

P.S. Another recent smile slash happy-sob-fest?
A big congratulatory / best wishes shout-out to this incredible couple who got engaged on Saturday night!

...and a little story about how they met, pulled from my FB status:

A few years ago, I was single on NYE and my girlfriend encouraged me to go out on the town. She insisted on being my "wing woman." Determined to conquer my shyness, I figured "Ok *fine* - I'll talk to a boy." We were at a bar in Brooklyn and I looked far across the room and said, "Him! He's cute! And tall!" I went up to him, asked him a few questions and about 40 seconds in, cut him off. I remember laughing to myself and thinking, "Oh my gosh he's perfect for her!" I told him he HAD to meet my girlfriend and I let the two of them talk for the rest of the night while I happily took over the wing woman role :) Last night that guy from the bar, my dear friend Steve, asked one of my best friends in the world, Adrienne, to be his wife :D Here's to an AMAZING couple!!!!!

They seriously are the cutest, and I've never seen her so truly happy. Also, I've never seen Steve not smiling in her presence. I'm over-the-moon giddy about witnessing this exciting time for them. Thanks for the cupid wings, you two!

P.P.S. With traffic delays, I spent nearly 13 hours on a bus this weekend. So yes, I watched the entire third season of Downton Abbey. I'm going to keep my big mouth shut for those of you who haven't watched it (go right now and do so), but....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
In related news, my mother thinks we should dress up as the cast for Thanksgiving. Yes. Patrick, this is your warning if you want to make other plans.

P.P.P.S. Is tomorrow really May? No really, is it? But how?!

until next time,


Friday, April 26, 2013

Have a Relaxing Weekend

Hiiiii. How are you? What are you up to this weekend? I'm only working a few hours this Friday before heading out of town. I'm off to visit a girlfriend, her husband & their adorable chocolate lab! I can't wait to see them :) I have a stack of new magazines & the third season of Downtown Abbey to keep me company on my journey, too. There's something about getting away from the hustle & bustle of Manhattan that is so refreshing. Don't get me wrong...I love this city of mine that I've called home for nearly six years, but goodness she wears me out sometimes. Before I officially sign off for the weekend, here are some links for your day ~

I'm printing this and hanging it where I can read it often.

a pretty little treasure pot.

I could see myself wearing these all summer.

painting inside your home? 10 tips for a perfect paint job.

for parents & grandparents --> an app that lets you read bedtime stories together from afar.

Yum! Derby bars.

3 stores I know of are having Friends & Family sales: Tory Burch // Loeffler Randall // Saks

how awesome is this makeover?

when I'm having a bad day, I just look at my "cuties" board on Pinterest :)

this is like my adult equivalent of an alphabet activity book I need to keep in my bag. Don't mind me, you others wedged against me on the E train, I'm going to draw some letters.

the 10 worst foods to feed your children.

I want to check out these books!

A DIY project I don't think I can pass up.

Are you going to be spending a lot of time at the beach this summer? How great would this blanket be to bring along?

a good & needed reminder.

Have a relaxing weekend!

until next time,


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Outfit Inspiration

My favorite spring outfits consist of 3 components ::
[chambray + metallic + color]
The best part? You really can't go wrong with any variation of the combination.

1 // 2 // 3 //4 // 5

Pssst! #3 is from my new favorite brand, Joe Fresh.
They only have stores in NY, but they also sell the brand online at JC Penny now!

until next time,


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Bits & Pieces

I wanted to share some bits & pieces of my little life lately.
with miss Adrienne!

...taken after we chatted for hours & hours tucked away in the back of this restaurant
I love our dates so very much. I inevitably laugh so hard I cry!
P.S. We might have shared a waffle topped with ice cream ;)

 P & I trying to stay warm at Yankee stadium when it was cold 
& my first iced coffee of the season when it was warm.
Oh, and those same obnoxiously neon pants again. I just can't stop wearing them. It's a problem.

...more pics from the game! It went into 12 innings and we didn't get home until after 1 in the morning, but we did get to go underneath the stadium afterwards to see P's old teammate which obviously made everything worth it. They're a troublesome duo, those two :)

Oh, and Patrick also made me take a pic with Zack Hample and the two home run balls he caught that night. I had no idea who he was, but Patrick told me about an ESPN special they did of him. Any sports fans out there? Let me know if you've heard of him. He's all over the internet!

things that make me smile ::
1. My friend texted me this photo of the drawing I did of his mom's dog.
It's now hanging in her beach house. (makes me so happy!)
2. Miss Meaghan joined Instagram! This was a throwback to welcome her on board.
3. Patrick's mom is seriously the cutest.

^^^ this makes me smile, too. 

things that inspire me :: 
1. the color of taxi cabs. "Taxi Cab Yellow" should really replace "Goldenrod"
in the Crayola box if anyone at the crayon factory wants my opinion.
2. Some guy on the street told me my glitter shoes were blinding (well, I'm sorry!), but I love them.
3.  My old roommate's dresser is a doodad dream come true. I could spend hours playing with it all.

Love --> dinner dates with this tall man especially when the menu has a "from the heart" section (!) We went to Philip Marie and I ordered the Prince Edward Island mussels. My family & I went there 11 years ago. Have you seen Anne of Green Gables? (perhaps my all-time favorite!) PEI is its magical setting.

Hate --> While most people are experiencing the pleasant chirps & songs of bitty birds in springtime, New Yorkers wake up to big pigeons cooing & pecking their AC window units. (-.-)

In other news?

I saw Jodie Foster this weekend. She smiled the knowing smile of you know who I am. (Not to be confused with Witherspoon's supercilious behavior during her recent rendezvous with the police.) I also saw Simon Huck. Does he count as a celeb? Or is that only if you watch the Kardashians? (I'm guilty as charged.) I wanted to ask him if he & Jonathan are going to ever make up, but he looked a little busy.

Finding an apartment in NYC sans broker is like entering yourself into a rigged scavenger hunt with a million people. Blindfolded. Wish us luck?

I've been ordering Arnold Palmers everywhere I go. That's neither here nor there, but I wanted to share that tidbit.

My oldest brother is going to have a son in the matter of weeks. (eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!)

Patrick & I have both been working most nights these days. ...which is a funny sight since we both work out of our teeny tiny space. But! We're taking tonight "off" and having a little date. We've been saving a bottle of wine our friends sent us all the way from Napa for a special occasion and we've decided, it's time.

I hope you all have a terrific Tuesday!

until next time,


Monday, April 22, 2013

For Sale! Mother's Day Cards

With Mother's Day less than 3 weeks away, I wanted to create a batch of cards to share! There are so many wonderful card versions out there - but so many of them? ...feature a message written by somebody else. I decided to mix things up a bit and let you be in charge of the note by providing space to write 10 things you love about the motherly figure in your life. You can be sentimental or funny or a little bit of both. Trust me, she'll love it.

The flat 5"x7" cards are printed on smooth thick card stock, featuring a mixture of font & my calligraphy with a purple ombre background.

It comes with an envelope (with a sticker to write the recipient's address!) & a signed sticker on the back of each card.

Mom, if you're reading this...don't scroll down, okay? :)

(Pssst, anyone else reading? You can see how I filled mine out!)


There's plenty of space on the back, too, to include a personal message!

Want to purchase one to send?
Click here!

(P.S. Yes! I also have multi-purpose stationery packs for sale.)

until next time,


Friday, April 19, 2013

Enjoy Your Weekend!

H e l l o ! 

As you might notice, today's Friday post is coming a little later than normal. We didn't get home from a baseball game until 1:30 this morning so needless to say, I didn't feel like blogging.

If you're like me, you've spent today in a daze while watching/reading the news and thinking, is this really happening? What a night. What a week. Can we give a standing ovation to our law enforcement? ...so much gratitude. I will continue to think about & pray for those directly affected by tragic events both in Boston & Texas these past few days.

Fun plans this weekend? I'm looking forward to helping my old roommate figure out what to pack for her upcoming trip to New Zealand while we gab over coffee Sunday morning. Let's be honest...I'll probably play dress-up in all her fun clothes & accessories, too. In boarding school, I'd march upstairs with my towel still on my head, a disheveled mess in serious need of fashion help. And she always saved the day. It was the same when we lived together here in the city, but now? I live with a silly boy who doesn't notice the difference between one earring choice from the next. Hmph. Other than that, I'll be starting new projects for clients & designing some new biz cards - woohoo!

Alright, I think I need sleep. Running on empty over here as I'm half awake on the couch. I did pick up my Mother's Day cards from the print shop tonight which was exciting. By the way, they're "interactive." You'll see :) 

:: a few links for your weekend :: 

how the National Anthem should always be sung.

one of my favorite cocktails.

you are more beautiful than you think. (so powerful)

i want to travel to here.

two things that define you.

why our hand cream should have SPF.

50 beautiful sketchbook drawings.

do I need this?

i love this challenge.

this dog!

the perfect combination of lipstick + chapstick.

what hearing loss sounds like.

i leave you with a thought from Mr. Rogers.

Enjoy your weekend!

until next time,


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thursday Thought

With terrible tragedies splashed all over the news, it can be easy to fall into some deep dark hole of negativity, cynicism & anger. May it instead push us to reflect on what's important. Life is fleeting. Let's find enjoyment in the long, tiring Thursdays. Let's cherish the freezing cold winter days. Let's make sure we are appreciating life instead of just trying to get through it. Let's make time to truly focus on our individual beliefs & value systems. Let's reevaluate what we're spending the majority of our time doing -- and let's dismiss anything not worth our time. Let's try and wake up each day and choose to be smiley and kind even if we have to force that habit to form. Let's figure out what real happiness means to us, chase it down, and live immersed in it every. single. day.
May you genuinely enjoy
 your long, tiring Thursday.

until next time,


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Ultimate Gift Guide for Spring

If you're like me, you might be looking ahead at all the upcoming birthdays, graduations, weddings, baby showers, Mother's Day, Father's Day and thinking, What on earth should I get for all these occasions? Panic button, where are you?!

Leave it to Katie Anderson & Meg Biram to save the day.

Check out the ultimate gift guide for all those occasions
in their To & From spring issue here!
pssst! I will be selling a small batch of Mother's Day cards sometime soon if you need one to go with a gift :) Stay tuned!
until next time,


Monday, April 15, 2013

Praying for Boston

Freedom Tower, 4/15/13

I am horrified & saddened by the tragedy in Boston today.
 ...sending love & prayers to all who have been affected --

"...I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, 'Well, I've had it with humanity.'

But I was wrong. I don't know what's going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.

But here's what I DO know. If it's one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we're lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they're pointed towards darkness. 

But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We'd have eaten ourselves alive long ago.

 So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, 'The good outnumber you, and we always will.'" - Patton Oswalt, actor & comedian

until next time,


An Illustration of My Weekend

I spent the majority of my weekend collecting old projects, starting new projects, and planning out some goals of mine. I was recently given the genius advice of, "Make time for meetings with yourself." It sounds sorta crazy, but it makes complete sense when you feel like you're juggling an assortment of projects and you're the person to whom you're reporting. You have to hold yourself accountable - otherwise, you'll never get anything done. It helps to set aside real time for things like responding to emails and organizing computer image files and planning out the months ahead. If you don't block out an hour to do the annoying maintenance tasks, you will inevitably avoid them for too long.

This mindset can help in other areas of your life, too. Make time for the silly little tasks you know you have to get done. Or! Squeeze them between other things throughout your day. I had an extra 20 minutes before I needed to head out the door on Saturday and instead of scanning through my social media sites on my phone (what a time suck, yes?), I pushed open my closet doors and grabbed everything I never wear and put it in a shopping bag. I know there's more in there that I need to get rid of, but I can only process purging little by little. Then I cleaned my makeup brushes with this special shampoo and I quickly Windex'ed the bathroom mirror and faucets. 20 minutes later? 3 not-very-fun tasks completed. Boom.

Patrick was out of town Saturday night and I stayed up suuuper late (too embarrassed to admit how late) and had one of those nights that reminded me of the main character in P.S. I Love You when she discovers she wants to design shoes and she can't sleep until she gets it all out of her system and her entire bedroom is covered in sketch-filled papers. (Anyone know what I'm talkin' about?)

I woke up yesterday and started working again and was so inspired by my surroundings that I wanted to snap a pic. Instead! I decided to illustrate it...which is what you see above. It wasn't planned, it wasn't necessarily productive, but it sure was fun! And that's okay, too :)

until next time,


Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday Links

Happy Friday! Any exciting weekend plans? I'm kicking things off with a date with myself at the MoMA tonight. Did you know that the museum offers free admission every Friday between 4PM & 8PM? I'm excited to wander aimlessly with my sketchpad and look at all the inspiring thingz. Then? I'm heading to another date...with Patrick :) (We're seeing this movie!) I have a feeling it's going to be a good one. I'm already thankful for time I'll have with a girlfriend tomorrow afternoon as that'll break up the rest of the weekend I'll spend working on a number of projects. You gotta mix some fun into the grind!

                           Friday links                            

You don't need to know how to read French to see that these save-the-dates are the smartest idea you've ever seen.

This will give you an idea just how far away Mars is. Hard to believe!

Want to wear a long dress to a wedding, but don't want to look like you're heading to prom? Try something like this.

I love these dog carriers almost as much as I love the name of the company.

Two new songs for you: 1 & 2 (you can download them on iTunes.)

This site offers a nifty way to source bridesmaid dresses.

Let's all remember the difference between peek, peak, & pique.

Cool bags on Etsy.

words to live by.

This anchor paperweight would be such a cool housewarming gift.

Apparently, water isn't enough to wash off all the chemicals they spray on our fruits & vegetables. I want to try this from The Honest Company. (Yes, the company Jessica Alba founded!)

Ooo! I like this Jonathan Adler for J.C. Penny lamp. (hooray! we can finally afford his products.)

I leave you with this.

P.S. I received some sweet messages about my news yesterday (thank you very, very much) & I wanted to clarify that I will still blog in my new online home. Because that's what this has become, really. A tiny little home where I can share & connect & vent & reflect & (try to) inspire. I expect that as my focuses shift and life evolves, so will my online presence. If there are things you want me to try & keep the same (certain kinds of posts you like, for example) or if there are things you want me to add to the mix, please leave a comment below or email me at littleladyinthebigapple@gmail.com -- I'd truly love to hear.

Have a terrific weekend, you guys!

until next time,


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Little Bit of Lately

recent pics!
Living across the street from a bodega that sells flowers is basically like living near nature, right?
Contrary to popular belief, bodega flowers are mighty cheap compared to other things in NYC...kind of like how we have crazy cheap nail salons. Oh, NYC...you might pay an absurd (absurd I tell you!) amount in rent, but you can have pretty flowers & nails for a good price :)
Another thing I find pretty? This month's cover of Real Simple. (it's my favorite mag!)
Do you live in NYC, Boston, Portland, London, Cape Cod, Hartford, Miami, Worcester, or Chicago? If so, you gotta check out PaintNite! There's an instructor that teaches you how to paint a certain scene (Bob Ross anyone?), you listen to music, you try not to mistake your water-cup-for-dipping for your beer-cup-for-drinking and you chitchat with friends. By the way, aren't Mimi & Cat the cutest?
P.S. My dad always used to tease me when I was little and say that I was always holding something in my left hand while I used my right hand to color. As you can see in the bottom left pic, nothing has changed.
Patrick wants us to move into that gold dome, just so you know.
He also loves it when I take pictures of him on the treadmill... ;)
I loved:
my early morning in the village with miss Katie!
a fun date with this adorable couple in Hells Kitchen.
(we went here! worth the wait.)
and meeting this 12-wk-old husky that I almost stole for Patrick.
a story & giggle-filled girls' night at Nobu 57.
and my first Haute Box! Have you heard of it? I'm sure you've heard of Birch Box for makeup (I actually don't subscribe to it, but I've gifted it to 3 women who seem to love it!)...well Haute Box (from Haute Papier) is the same idea, but it's stationery & paper goods. So basically? It's the best thing to ever happen.

two other things of note ::
Patrick & I tied in second place in our NCAA pool and it was rather exciting. (Thanks, all, for wishing us luck!) I should note that I'm totally undeserving considering I was watching the season 2 finale of Downton Abbey during the Championship Game :I Nevertheless, it was such a nice little surprise. Our plan is to open our first join account & put the money towards moving expenses. Adulthood is so exciting, right? ;)

Little Lady in the Big Apple will be "going extinct" in the next 6-8 weeks. I'm telling you now because I have to start processing losing that title/identity. It's bizarrely hard for me. Don't worry, though! I have a lot going on behind the scenes and will be launching a whole new little online world which will include archived posts of the last 5 years. Please stay tuned! I hope you will come follow along in my next chapter...I have a feeling it's going to be fun :)

until next time,


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Spring Outfit

Temps are going to reach nearly 80 degrees today & tomorrow in NYC (at this point, it's almost impossible to believe! I am thrilled!) and I am dreaming up a flirty, whimsical, flowy, colorful, edgy, spring-y look.

...ya know, something like this!

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

until next time,


Monday, April 8, 2013

I'm Not Spring Cleaning This Year

You guys, I'm not spring cleaning this year. 
With hopes of moving in two months, there just really isn't a point to scrub down the window sills and refridgerator drawers. Instead? I'm going to try and get rid of as much stuff as possible.
The last time I moved was in 2009. To be honest, the thought of doing it again makes my palms start to sweat with anxiety. I have so many other things going on right now and I honestly don't even think it's humanly possible to pack up such a small apartment while two people are still trying to coexist. Like, where the hell will we stack the boxes? On the fire escape?!
It is already an obstacle course just to walk from the bedroom to the toilet room. 8 times out of 10, my giant-of-a-boyfriend runs into something and knocks it over. He's been sick and has been pulling out different meds from the medicine cabinet which interrupts the Jenga-esque stacking strategy inside. So now? You open the cabinet and things literally shoot out at you. Come to think of it, the same thing happens with our makeshift cupboard in the kitchen that holds everything from wrapping paper to my yoga mat to extra light bulbs to dish towels to an endless supply of lint rollers I've collected in my Christmas stocking over the years. And without fail, the shower caddy that hangs from the shower head (that has to hold everything since our tub is too small to have any other surface areas) crashes forward at least once mid-shower and I'm always dodging my razor that comes flying down. Oh, and yesterday? I hung my dry cleaning on one of the over-the-door hooks after almost tripping while trying to carry it up the steps and apparently? It was too heavy. "Um. What was THAT?" Oh just the hook device snapping in half and everything falling down. It's like a war zone, people. A freaking war zone.
Not to mention, I painted a big ol' painting this weekend (will share photos later this week) at an event and it's like, "Well. We have no wall space for that." I'm thinking of shipping it to my mother if I can figure out how to even do that.
The only thing I can think of that will help this situation and decrease my stress in this pre-move time? Purging. Starting this weekend (or whenever I have a spare moment), I'm going to go drawer by drawer, hook by hook, cabinet by cabinet, and sell/donate/throw out everything I don't need.
With William Morris in mind who said, "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.", I want to strip my collection of things down to the basics. As hard as it can be sometimes to get rid of items you convince yourself you might need (when your inner voice is like, "You never knowww when you would need all 17 old & tattered Vera Bradley bags!"), it feels so good to downsize. It makes you appreciate the nice things you do have, you know?
Ladies, did you know the shelf-life of all your makeup? (I didn't!) Maybe I'll start with that. Is anyone else out there itching to purge? I'd love to hear!
until next time,

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Remembering Lilly Pulitzer

{a little tribute I did today. I have Lilly pajamas in that pattern!}

You might have heard that fashion designer, Lilly Pulitzer, passed away today at the age of 81. 

excerpts from this CNN article:

Her schoolmate Jacqueline Kennedy, while first lady, was photographed wearing one of Pulitzer's dresses -- and made her a star. The dress "was made from kitchen curtain material -- and people went crazy," Pulitzer said in her book, "Essentially Lilly: A Guide to Colorful Entertaining," excerpted on her company's website. "They took off like zingo. Everybody loved them, and I went into the dress business."

She opened an orange juice stand in Palm Beach, and designed colorful cotton shirts for herself to work in comfortably. Soon, customers wanted to buy her shirts as well as the juice.

Pulitzer had three children in quick succession. After the third was born, she had a nervous breakdown and ended up in a mental hospital that catered to upscale clientele in New York. A doctor there told her that she needed to find a job.
“The doctor there said, ‘You’re not happy because you’re not doing anything,’ and I said, ‘I don’t know how to do anything.’ I’d always had everything done for me, always had my nanny and my mummy making up my mind. The doctor said, ‘You’ve got to go out and find something to do,’” Pulitzer told The New Yorker in 2000. 
Pulitzer gave the same prescription to her friends. If one of them needed something to do, Pulitzer would open a store in her town. “I don’t know how to explain what it was like to run my business, the joy of every day,” she told Vanity Fair magazine in a story in 2003. “I got a kick every time I went into the shipping department. ... I loved seeing (the dresses) going out the door. I loved them selling in the shop. I liked them on the body. Everything. There’s no explaining the fun I had.”

“I designed collections around whatever struck my fancy ... fruits, vegetables, politics, or peacocks! I entered in with no business sense. It was a total change of life for me, but it made people happy,” Pulitzer.

“Style isn’t just about what you wear, it’s about how you live,” Pulitzer said in 2004.

“We focus on the best, fun and happy things, and people want that. Being happy never goes out of style,” she said.

Here's to a trailblazer to who left behind a very colorful mark. 

until next time,


Friday, April 5, 2013

Weekend Links

Happy Friday, friends! I know it was a short week for me, but goodness! ...it dashed by quickly. What are your weekend plans? I'm looking forward to breakfast with a girlfriend in town from Virginia Beach and Paint Nite with two other girlfriends. We'll get to paint a picture while we're catching up over a drink (or two) at a bar. My kind of night out! ;) I need to work on a few projects and I'm also excited to watch a little basketball. I somehow went from last place (out of 89) in our bracket to a current standing in 5th...keep your fingers crossed for me! Patrick has a terrible cold :/ so here's hoping he feels better. I might enforce the remedy of Downton Abbey if he's not careful ;)
:: some weekend links ::
creativity is ---

the Easter Bunny gave me this face cream and it is a tub of love, I swear.

i want to be there. pretty please?!

Mom, this video is for you. (you need one!)

this post made me want to watch some of my favorite chick flicks.
how sweet is the Chicago Tribune's tribute to Roger Ebert?

getting hitched? check out this new wedding registry site.

a guide on contouring & highlighting with makeup. (who knew it would make such a difference?!)

this would be the perfect addition to a bottle of wine to take as a gift to an engagement party.
how fun is this inspiration board? do you have one? i'm secretly hoping for a wall in a new apartment to fill :)
the perfect wedge for spring.
I AM SO EXCITED for this!
and finally, a reminder.
until next time,

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Look for Less!

Some items are worth splurging on and well, some are not. Particularly if you're eyeing something trendy or just-for-fun (as opposed to a classic staple), it's always smart to make sure you can't get the exact same look for a whole lot less. Here are some jewelry examples --




I don't know about you, but often times I actually like the cheaper version better.
What are your thoughts?

until next time,


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Bits of My Long Weekend

Hi! How are you guys? I hope everyone had a nice Easter weekend. As hard as it is returning to reality, it's so nice to see the sun doing its thang and at least trying to warm things up. I don't know about you, but I'm very excited about a new month and a new season!

Today, I want to share a few pictures & moments from my past few days. As I mentioned last week, I spent my first night of vacation brightening things up a bit...


It's a shade of blonde that looks totally different depending on the light & how I wear it...and as weird as it sounds, I feel like myself again. Patrick seems to love it so that's a bonus, too.
Speaking of... I got to send him off to his new office on Thursday morning. (big man, little coffee!) What you can't see is me all sad in the doorway. You'd think a long weekend would be nothin' after the distance we've been through. I suppose I'm getting used to having him around ;)
 "Hard to Get" by Essie - a pretty pink pastel!
Just doing a little decorating research on the train. We're hoping to find a new apartment this summer with more space...alas, it will still be considered "small." Maybe one day I'll buy a magazine for decorating large rooms.... (I wouldn't know what to do!)
I use a horn tumbler for my makeup brushes (and pens), too!
{Pssst, you can get them here for half the price.} 
Sigh...there's just nothing like home.
My mom has beautiful orchids in their roof room. 
Friday was a mixture of really, really good & really, really bad. I had an incredibly exciting & inspiring 2 hour consultation that morning...let's just say there are lot of big changes on the horizon that I will be working on. I hope you continue to follow along! The bad? I became terribly sick...I honestly can't remember feeling worse. Not sure if it was the effects of exhaustion finally hitting me or what, but it was not very fun. Thankfully, I was in good hands...my mother and stepdad (a doctor) are quite the caretaking duo. I took some medicine that prevented me from getting sick again and made me conk out for the majority of the afternoon. Then? I took a very long bath and was amazingly all better. Baths are really a cure-all, aren't they?

Thankfully, I felt completely back to normal by Saturday morning as we ventured to West Virginia to my sister's farm! My brother-in-law was supposed to take their four boys out hiking all day and when we arrived, the youngest one was still there as he had to come back for him... In typical male fashion, he forgot him! Ha! We got a kick out of that :)

My sis & I need a reality TV show to compare our different lives. Inside her canning kitchen? A tub of baby chicks.
Look at how fuzzy they are!
itty bitty baby!
Look at that wittle beak!
I also chased this fellow around the yard like a crazy person trying to make it cuckaw back to me.
We also visited the baby bunnies! I named this one, Easter Bunny. Thought that was fitting ;)
city sister & country sister.
She might be 14 years older, but I am a giant next to her.
The main reason for the day? A baby shower for my sister-in-law!
The ladies minus my niece, Lauren. We missed her!
If you remember the cards I made, Lauren did a bunch of behind the scenes planning and came up with the storybook theme. It was perfect! 
Baby Oliver is due in May...we can't wait! He will be my 9th nephew!
My brother-in-law made these blueberry scones from scratch.
They're unbelievable! craving one now...
Does it get any cuter??!
our little baby mama :)
It was such a fun day of games & gifts & wishes.
My mom & I came back home and basically did this for many hours --
When I was sick, she & my stepdad insisted on the remedy of Downton Abbey. I had obviously heard of it, but just never felt interested in starting a whole new series. How silly I was! I am obsessed...and I want to live in its magical world. I am embarrassed to admit that I am already halfway through season 2...oops!
Sunday morning, I was greeted by this fabulous bedazzled basket :) We went to church and listened to an incredible sermon and then met up with one of my brothers and his family for lunch to celebrate Easter and his birthday!
four handsome nephews :)
You probably don't know that I played piano for 8 years...it's been forever, though, and I feel like I've forgotten so much. I played Canon in D in my last recital and can still remember the physical feeling of playing it. I would love to take lessons agan one day if I ever have space for a piano!
Yesterday required an early rise. I made the decision to take off work despite getting back to the city by 9:30 in the morning. And it was such a good call. Patrick & I went to the grocery store together midday before he had to go to work (so nice to do it when it wasn't jam packed!), I unpacked, I deep cleaned, I dealed with our cable provider,  I painted my nails, I cleaned out my purse, I sent personal emails, I watched more Downton Abbey (ha!), I picked up fresh tulips, and I MADE DINNER. That never happens as Patrick is the one who typically does all the cooking.
My girlfriend, Hollis, sent me this recipe and it's so easy. (If I can do it, anyone can!) First, I put on some Frank Sinatra because why not. Then I cooked the chicken with a little olive oil. Then I added organic vegetable broth (so tasty & healthy) to about halfway up the chicken, sprinkled some basil, and added fresh cherry tomatoes. I let that simmer and put it with angel hair pasta. Ta-da!
From P's Instagram...he took it when he walked in the door.
By the way, how hot is my apron? Ha!

It was definitely a fun long weekend. It's incredible, really, how a few days away from the normal grind can help you gain a fresh perspective and press the reset button, if you will.
Here's to a happy April, everyone!

until next time,

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