Going to the Chapel…

My bestie from college/roomie in NYC is getting MARRIED this weekend!  I can’t believe it’s finally here!  It’s been nine months since they got engaged and a lot of preparation and hard work has gone into those nine months.  So I’m really looking forward to seeing everything take form!  The bride and groom are two of my favorite people in the whole world and I cannot wait for them to tie the knot!  I couldn’t have picked a better guy for my bff and no one makes her happier than he does.

The wedding is taking place in Cape Cod, Massachusetts (not too far from my home) under a tent on the water!  It’s going to be so beautiful and I can’t wait to share the pictures with you all!  Being a bridesmaid, it is going to be jam-packed with fun activities Friday through Sunday!  With all of the festivities for the weekend, I have had plenty of outfits to figure out and here they are (minus what I am wearing in the wedding):

Bridal Luncheon

Rehearsal Dinner

Recognize this little number?  Yes, I am wearing this dress/shoes/earring combo again.  But you know what, if Kate Middleton can do it, so can I!

Sunday Brunch

Bridal Luncheon: dress (sold out but similar here), jacket (I have an old J.Crew version), earrings, sandals, bracelet (sold out but obsessed with this one), clutch

Rehearsal Dinner: dress (old DVF but similar here), shoes, earrings (old J.Crew), clutch (I have the knock-off version), pashmina (bought from street vendor in NYC), FASHION TAPE (everyone go out and buy this – it works miracles on loose-fitting tops)

Sunday Brunch: dress, jacket (I have a muuuch cheaper version from Italy!), earrings, bracelets, boots (bride is from Dallas), bag

On the wedding day, all of the bridesmaids are wearing long slate greyish blue Amsale dresses in differing styles.  They’re super comfortable and flattering, so I can’t complain!  We are being surprised with our accessories which is thrilling (and thoughtful).  I would put up the dress at least, but I figured I would save one outfit for a little surprise.

On Tuesday night, I had my final goodbye with the bride-to-be as she moved her final stuff out of our apartment.  And I have to admit, it was NOT EASY.  Not only did I cry myself to sleep for the first time in about 10 years, I closed her door in the apartment so that I couldn’t look at the empty room.  Pathetic?  Maybe, but we have been together for a good majority of the past seven years!  Living together in the city, we worked out together every morning, commuted to work and watched the Bachelor (or some other quality show) every night!  And I can’t believe that’s come to a screeching halt!  It feels like a breakup!  Come on people, I know some of you can relate…  with that said, I am so excited for her next chapter and I am confident that I WILL get over it (and she is only 60 blocks away…).  Hey, growing up is hard to do!

Hope you enjoyed a peek into my weekend attire (Can you see why my bags weigh more than I do?).  I am giddy with anticipation and can’t believe it starts TOMORROW!  I will make sure to take plenty of pictures to share with you all!  What are your plans for the weekend!?

XOXO

Under the Weather

While the weather outside has been absolutely gorgeous, I have been completely under the weather.  One combo I could live without.  All I wanted to do this past weekend was to go for a run outside, picnic in the park in front of my apartment, go to dinner with my gal pals…. but nooooo,  instead I was trapped inside, gasping for breath.  After pretty much losing my mind on Sunday from lack of activity, I tried to buckle down and go to work yesterday morning simply for the purpose of getting out of the apartment.  When I got there, my body sang a different tune and so I went to the doctor after about an hour and found out… dun, dun, dunnn… that I have bronchitis.  AGAIN.  For the second time this year.  Not only was I frustrated because I felt awful and it was about the 5th time I have been sick this year, but also because my best friend is getting married this upcoming weekend and all I can think about is standing up on the altar trying to fight tears while blowing my nose and coughing.  YUCK.  Not the look I am going for… or the point of this post.  The real reason I am writing this is because I want to share with you a few things I learned from Dr. Sue yesterday, who prescribed me several things outside of an inhaler and antibiotic…

#1: Being in a stressful work environment can weaken your immune system her first question was, “What industry do you work in?”

#2: Being unhappy in your job can make you physically sick: unhappiness = chemical imbalance = weakened immune system.

#3: Take a multivitamin – while I have pretty much been opposed to taking a multivitamin because I was under the impression that “I get enough nutrients from the foods I eat”… apparently I am dead wrong.  Especially as women, we need the added vitamins for our health now and in the future.  Go get yourself a multi-vit, ladies!  I bought this Rainbow Light version, as it’s apparently easier to digest.

#4: Take Fish Oil – another one I have struggled with as I attempted about a year ago and then gave up after tasting fish for hours after taking it.  AWFUL!  But… BUT! After asking a kind lady in Whole Foods how to avoid this nuisance, she informed me by storing the fish oil pills in the freezer, people have found they do not run into this issue.  Tried it last night and it actually works – PROBLEM SOLVED!  Fish oil is good for your immune system, hair, nails, skin and more.  Try it!

#5: Eat a colorful diet with lots of fruits, veggies and legumes – I like to consider myself “healthy” but I definitely have gained a liking for burgers and beer on a regular basis lately (whether it’s the truth or not, I blame the bf)… and apparently it’s not helping the bod (in more ways than one I’m sure).  So today I went to Whole Foods and loaded up on veggies, hummus, soup, nuts, dried fruit, etc.  I am devoting myself to being healthIER!  It may sound obvious, but I think we can all add more “color” into our diets no matter how healthy we may think we are.

#6: Practice Yoga – you always hear that yoga is good for just about everything… and it turns out, it is!  Not only is it good for toning your bod, it’s great for relieving stress, strengthening your immune system, getting a better sleep, improving posture and the list goes on.  So I am looking into finding a studio near my apartment.  Do you have a yoga studio in NYC that you like?  I’d love some recommendations!

Self Magazine

(Oh J. Ann… you make everything look good.)

Basically, the moral of the story is – take care of yourself and find a job you love!  Life is too short!  Even though you may think you’re doing the right things, you never appreciate good health until you don’t have it!  And while I may not have anything serious (thank goodness), it put things into perspective and made me want to make a conscious effort to look out for myself and slow down.  I am someone who is always on the move and living in NYC doesn’t help me in that regard.  But moving forward, I am vowing to take better care of myself and you should too!  I also signed up for an interior design course at the end of October in an effort to explore my passions on the job front and find what makes me happy!  What are your health tricks?  How do you relieve  stress?   Do you love your job?  Would you ever take the risk of leaving your job to do something you enjoy or feel passionate about?  I’d love to hear!

XOXO

Hello Lovaaah!

The chill in the air has me daydreaming about my fall fashion wants and how I will manage to fit at least one of them into my budget this season (Sex and the City has had way too much of an influence on my life).  Anyhowww, with all of this talk of “oxblood”, leather pants, white as the new black and so on and so forth, it’s got me thinking and lusting for quite a few items.  Here are the things on my fall wish list…

#1: Black leather biker jacket

#2: Slippers (the fancy kind)

or……

#3: Kenneth Jay Lane earrings

#4: White chunky sweater

#5: Colorful gems

#6: Peplum

#7: Oxblood

#8: Poncho/cape

#9: Emerald green

#10: Ankle boots

#11: (P)leather pantalonessss

Ok, I’m going to stop.  I could keep going but I am starting to feel gluttonous.  Being the bargain shopper that I am (most of the time), I will likely wait for something to go on sale before making the purchase, but it’s still fun to think about!  I also seem to run into issues with fit and quality when I buy online, so I tend to go store to store, which elongates the process even more.  Do you shop online or in store?  What will your big purchase be this season?

Fall fashion is always so much fun and as much as I love wearing flip-flops and sundresses, it’s always nice to be able to layer and add more depth to an outfit in the chillier months.  I usually have a tall boot on my list for fall, but I had a late purchase last year (on sale obvi) so I am good to go this year!  But for anyone thinking about buying boots, I really think Frye offers the largest selection of high quality and timeless options.   My dad claims he had custom-made Frye’s “back in the day” that he wore for 20 years!  Although he tends to exaggerate… regardless, check out the website to see all of the styles here!

Happy Friday and have a lovely weekend!!!!!!

XOXO

Product Junkie

Man do I love my products!  While I try to branch out by buying different eyeshadow colors, lipsticks, etc., I tend to stick with the same makeup routine day after day, but I think it’s worth sharing!  So here are my beauty go-tos:

Sense a theme here?

1. NARS Corfu cream shadow, NARS Red Square lip pencil

2. Essie nail polish in Clam Bake

3. NARS eye liner in Kyoto, NARS bronzer in Laguna (this is a MUST BUY – works on almost everyone), NARS blush in Orgasm, Great Lash Mascara in Blackest Black (oldie but a goodie), NARS eyeshadow primer, NARS Earth Angel eyeshadow

I have green eyes and medium skin, but the NARS Laguna bronzer and Orgasm blush seem to be universally flattering (when experimenting on my friends).  The Kyoto eye liner is a great alternative to basic black or brown.  Kyoto is a green color with hints of gold and looks great on all eyes but especially green, hazel and brown.  NARS Earth Angel eyeshadow duo is by far my fave of the eyeshadow duos.  The earthy tones bring out the color of your eyes and can be worn for day or night.  To make sure the shadow lasts all day and night I use the NARS eyeshadow primer beforehand, which helps to avoid creasing and enhances the color of the shadow.  When it comes to mascara, I don’t care what people say – I am sticking to Great Lash!  I really don’t think any other mascara compares and I have been using it since highschool and it hasn’t done me wrong!  Save the $20 and go to CVS.  For night, I usually dab NARS Corfu, a gold shimmery cream shadow, on my inner eyes for a little bling and if I’m feeling really adventurous, I skip the Corfu and do a red lip with the NARS Red Square pencil.

While the above stays relatively stable, my lotions and potions tend to vary, and I love to exchange knowledge with fellow junkies.  So tell me, what is your day and nighttime routine in the lotions and potions department!?  Here are my top picks:

In order:  Fash wash, toner, eye cream, vitamin C serum, anti-aging serum, tinted moisturizer, anti-aging moisturizer, night lotion

I am always surprised by the number of people who don’t use lotion.  I might be an extreme case,  but I have been using lotion ever since I was little.  Every morning, I lather up head to toe and if I don’t my skin feels tight and uncomfortable.  Maybe I’m crazy, but I have dry skin and a serious fear of getting wrinkles (SPF4 for most of my life hasn’t paid off…should’ve listened to my mom).  SO because of these factors, I have a love for trying new products and figuring out which ones work best.  Don’t get me wrong, I do not use all of the above on a daily basis, but when I do, I swear I look ten years younger…

JUSTTT kidding.  But they really do help!  My daily routine is typically wake up, workout, shower/wash face, then apply toner with cotton pads (new addition), Ole-Henriksen serum and Origins tinted lotion (or regular lotion if I don’t want any coverup).  Because my skin is dry, the Origins woman suggested this “treatment lotion” toner, which not only brings your PH balance back to normal, but also retains moisture which makes your regular serum and moisturizers work better.  I had never used toner until about a week ago, but I really have noticed a difference in my skin and the glow it gives you, which is always appreciated as the tan starts to fade (at a rapid pace).  The Ole-Henriksen serum is a collagen boosting product, which means it noticeably fills fine lines and wrinkles and also helps your lotion and makeup absorb and stay put.  As an alternative, the Skinceuticals vitamin C and CE Ferulic serums do unbelievable things to your skin in terms of tightening, brightening and filling lines, but I have been milking a trial size for a while now because they are a bit expensive (hence the reason it’s not in my daily routine).  However, if you’re willing to dish out the dough, I think Skinceuticals is definitely worth every penny!  Next on the list, the Origins VitaZing lotion with Mangosteen.  Ohhh, the love I have for this little white tube of perfection.  I have tried other tinted moisturizers, like the famous Laura Mercier version, but for some reason could not find a match with my skin (maybe it’s the freckles).  Finally, when I tried a sample of this Origins version, I nearly cried tears of joy.   The lotion is very light but hydrating and appears off-white with little brown microbeads in your palm, but then somehow blends in and finds the perfect tone to match your skin.   I don’t know how they do it.  I don’t ask any questions.  But I am telling you, you need to go out and buy this product!  Now I sound like a used car salesman… but seriously, trust me on this one!  It makes skin look even and polished without looking cakey or streaked.  It also makes your bronzer and makeup look better.

Allure

Moving onnnn, when I don’t want any “tint” I use the Origins Perfect World lotion, which literally feels like a cold mud facial and has SPF 25 to boot.  The texture is so soothing it brings a smile to my face and the scent (as with most Origins products) is out of this world (pun intended).  When it comes to eye cream, I always tend to forget to put it on, but when I do, I love the Kiehl’s avocado based cream, for it’s refreshing, dewy formula, which is delicate enough for your sensitive eye area but still packs a punch (to get rid of oncoming wrinkles).  Last but certainly not least, NIGHT-A-MINS!  The smell, is again – delectable, and the product moisturizes and recovers like no other.   You definitely shouldn’t use this if you have oily skin, but for combination or dry skin it’s a must have!

Now that I have bored you with every detail of my daily skin regimens (can you tell this topic excites me?), tell me what you do on a daily basis?  What are your top makeup and lotion finds?  Where do you shop for your makeup and skin care?

XOXO

PS – While we’re on the subject, I am in the market for a new perfume – any suggestions?

Spiked cupcakes anyone?

On Saturday one of my best friends celebrated her 27th birthday by having a good old-fashioned apartment house party!  One particular friend is known for her famous “margarita cupcakes” (and initiating the limbo) and the concept is truly as amazing as it sounds.  When I say margarita cupcakes, I mean the cupcakes taste like margaritas and are followed by a graceful shot of tequila.  So you can imagine how the limbo turns out later…

Anyway, here is the recipe and a picture so you can get the idea… I am telling you, it’s GENIUS!

RECIPE

(serves 30 mini cupcakes)

Shots:

1 bottle of tequila

30 shot glasses

5 limes sliced into sixths

Cupcakes:

1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)

2/3 cups sugar

3 eggs (room temperature)

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

Zest of two limes

Beat the butter until pale, then add the sugar. Add one egg at a time, blend until all incorporated. Then add in flour baking powder and salt, followed by the margarita mix. Then add the zest. Fill lined mini cupcake pan with batter 2/3 full.  Bake at 350 for 18 minutes. Makes 30 mini cupcakes. 

Frosting:

1/2 cup butter (room temperature)

1/2 cup shortening

4-5 cups powdered sugar

2 T. Tequila (Use margarita mix to substitute the Tequila and lime juice if you prefer or want an alcohol free version )

1T. fresh lime juice

Beat butter and shortening until smooth, then add powdered sugar along with tequila and lime juice or margarita mix. Once you’ve frosted the cupcakes sprinkle on with coarse salt.  (props)

[SHORTCUT VERSION:  Make a boxed version of cupcakes and substitute margarita mix for water & squeeze a lime into vanilla frosting.]

Either way, they’re delish!

Speaking of tequila…if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my old age (kidding, kidding) it’s that once the thrill of being able to legally drink surpasses, you really go back to your high school roots and appreciate the luxury of a shindig in the comfort of your own home.  On one of my favorite blogs A Cup of Jo, I read about a hilarious party theme that legitimately had me laughing out loud at my desk.  The writer, Joanna Goddard, and her husband host an annual “Staring Contest Party” at their apartment.  While it sounds a little off kilter, I think after viewing the photos below, you will agree it is a ridiculous and hilarious idea (that you may need to try for yourself).

See?!? HILARIOUS!  I’m laughing again!  Great, now it’s only Tuesday and I’m thinking about the weekend….sigh.

What’s your favorite party theme?  What out of the ordinary rendezvous have you attended or heard of?

XOXO

All dressed up with a place to go!

And it continues!  Tonight we have an engagement party at a hotel in the Flatiron district.  Having lived in a bathingsuit and tunic all summer, I am thrilled to have an excuse to dress up!

Here is what I’m wearing…

A City Engagement

Not really knowing what to expect in terms of the dress code, I went with a safe bet – the LBD.  This LBD has a bit of a twist, with a long cape-like back, it adds a fun edge to the classic.  Paired with the brilliantly neon MR DANNIJO necklace and some red lips (a la Jenna Lyons),  nothing screams party like this little number.  The Sigerson Morrison shoes are cute and comfortable and balance out the potato sack of a dress (the best kind).

Bonus: the coziest dressed up outfit to date!

What are your plans this weekend?  How far ahead do you plan your outfits for a party/event/night out?  I usually START thinking about it about a week before, but really plan what I’ll wear two nights before (my bf thinks I’m crazy).

Cheers to Friday!

XOXO

Rue baby!

Tonight my friend and I are going to the Rue Turns Two party in midtown!  For all of you unfamiliar with Rue – get familiar!  Rue is an online home decor and fashion magazine similar to Lonny (another fave of mine) which is published monthly and features gorgeous home ideas and fashion spreads.  This month Rue features “my girl” (as in, I love her but she doesn’t know it) Blair Eadie from Atlantic-Pacific, one of my daily go-tos in the blogging world.  Rue highlights Blair’s impeccable style by playing around with two of her looks and featuring ways to incorporate them into your wardrobe and home.

The monthly publication is a sight for sore eyes and I am so excited to celebrate it’s 2nd birthday and meet other bloggers with similar interests.  Check out my instagram (southofmainst) tonight for photo updates from the event!

XOXO

PS – I had the pleasure of meeting Blair of Atlantic-Pacific on the street in the West Village one afternoon and she is just as nice as she looks!  If you’re not already following her, I would highly recommend doing so!  She is super talented and you will fall in love with her.