Merry Merry

Today is the beginning of a nine day break for this gal!  I am SO excited I can barely stand it!  I don’t think I have had this much time off since college.  And as a big first in my life… my family and I are going to be AWAY for the holidays!  It is bittersweet not to be in New England for Christmas, but mostly sweet.  It’s always fun to have a change of scenery!  We will be going to Laguna Beach, California on Christmas Eve through New Years day!  (I wonder if LC is home for the holidays…) I plan to do a lot of relaxing, tennis, hiking, running, swimming (too cold?), eating ice-cream, drinking wine… and sleeping.  AHHHHHHHHHHHH heaven!  One thing I have struggled with is packing for said trip.  What on earth do you wear for a 60+ degree California Christmas?  Talk about confusing!  While I brought my [cotton] sweaters, mainly because it’s Christmas and you’re supposed to wear sweaters, I have a feeling they will not be leaving the suitcase.  Here are some outfits I managed to put together for my SoCal Christmas…

Cali 1

Cali 5

Cali 4

Cali 3

Cali 2

So all you Californians… am I really off-base here?  I guess only time will tell!  Packing is such a feat for me sometimes (all the time).  I always pack too much and there’s always something I wish I had brought but didn’t.  My bestie/former roomie was honestly a professional packer.  Without her I am useless. How is it that guys can pack the morning of and still have everything they need?  The only thing that’s worse than packing is unpacking.  Does anyone agree with me here?  I am one of those people who needs to do it right when I get home or else it stresses me out.

What are your plans for the holidays?  Do you typically go on a trip or stay home?  Everyone is so cheery today, you can tell how ready people are for Christmas!  The positive vibes are getting things off to a great start!  Happiness is contagious!

Enjoy your time off everyone!


(one: Illesteva sunglasses, Tshirt, Jack Rogers, bangles, bag, bracelet, earrings, Lemlem scarf, jeans; two: shirt, pants, shoes, bag, bracelet, necklace,  earrings, jacket; three: sweater, Jack Rogers, bracelet, bangles, earrings, bag, shorts (old J.Crew); four: shirt, scarf, necklace, earrings, bracelet, bangles, bag, shoes, pants; five: shirt, bangles, bag, earrings, shoes, pants, Ray Ban sunglasses, jacket)

Easy Ensalada

Hello my friends!  We are SO SO close to Christmas!  I’ve been listening to the holiday station on Pandora to get me in the mood, and it’s finally starting to feel like it’s around the corner!  Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes it’s hard to have that warm and fuzzy holiday feeling when you’re at work doing your normal day-to-day and nothings changed besides maybe white lights on the trees outside of your office.  Don’t get me wrong I LOVE this time of year, but it’s just something I have noticed post-college (and one month-long holiday breaks…ahh those were the days).

Anyway, in an effort to keep the holiday feeling alive, the bf and I rented Home Alone the other night and I promised to make us dinner (something that is honestly pretty rare).  So, because cooking is not my expertise and when it comes to creativity in the kitchen, I have the imagination of a rock (that doesn’t make any sense but just go with it), I made the first thing that came to mind….a salad.  (How exciting!?)  While I usually don’t think of salad for dinner, the holiday parties have been reeking havoc on the body and we were both feeling something healthy.  As I walked the aisles of Whole Foods aimlessly I finally had an AHA moment when I saw the goat cheese.  Looking at goat cheese doesn’t typically ignite AHA moments for me, but it happened and here is what I came up with…

Arugula salad

with goat cheese, candied pecans, grilled chicken, tomatoes and roasted asparagus



8 oz chicken breasts

1 bottle Teriyaki sauce (I used Soy Vay: Teriyaki Sauce Veri Veri Teriyaki)

1 bag/box of Arugula

1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese (or you can crumble it yourself)

1 cup cherry tomato medley

1 bunch asparagus

1/2 cup pecans

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup water

Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

Salt & Pepper


Marinate chicken with teriyaki sauce for 10 minutes (while cooking candied pecans and asparagus).  Place chicken in medium saucepan and saute on medium heat until cooked through.
Candied Pecans:
Combine water, sugar and pecans in a saucepan and boil for 5 minutes or until sugar and water thicken to coat pecans.  Remove from oven and cool until sugar-coating has hardened.
Roasted Asparagus:
Wash asparagus and snap bottoms off at natural breaking point (about 1/3 piece).  Align asparagus on cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in oven.  Roast at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.
Combine arugula, chicken, tomatoes, goat cheese, candied pecans, roasted asparagus and toss with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Delish!

I must say this took all of 30 minutes and it was really good!  It even kept my very tall hungry boyfriend satisfied!  We followed dinner with cookies and milk, a holiday candle lit and white lights twinkling on my little topiary trees… by the time we finished Home Alone I was feeling very festive (and proud of myself for making dinner – a true Christmas miracle!).

Get your salad on and whip up one of these babies before Holiday festivities take over whatever self-control you have left!


A Day in the Life: Katie



Age: 27
Current City:  NYC
Job:  Retail/Fashion – C.Wonder
Cocktail of choice: Margarita on the rocks with salt
Fave food: “I love bacon… but for a real meal I’ll go with a burger!”
Favorite NYC restaurant: Palma in the West Village
Favorite season: Summer
Favorite vacation: Barcelona
Favorite color: Pink
Obsession: “My black lab Lucy.”
Favorite board game:  Catch phrase & Apples to Apples!


6:50am – “Alarm goes off.  Hit snooze 4 times.  Doze in and out of sleep thinking about my day and what I’m going to wear.”

7:15am – Get out of bed, showered and dressed “I always make my bed or my day is off-balance!” – same here sister!; in Katie’s makeup bag: Redken shampoo, Moroccan Oil Conditioner, Laura Mercier one-step cleanser, primer and tinted moisturizer, NARS Laguna bronzer, Laura Mercier Shimmer Bloc, Lancome mascara, Stila eye liner, L’oreal Sublime Bronze, Sugar lip balm, Dior lip gloss, Chanel Chance Perfume

7:40am – Leave apartment and walk to work in the Flatiron “I always take a different route than the day before to change things up, never know what you may see in NYC!

7:50am – Stop at Starbucks on 5th Ave. for a Grande Vanilla Latte or Venti Caramel Iced Coffee

8:00am – Arrive to the office and go through e-mails, sign into Gchat, go over the calendar for the day, check out Womens Wear Daily headlines

8:00am – 11:00am – Meetings, review business, best sellers/worst sellers, trends etc.; Constantly getting previews of apparel and accessories for upcoming seasons (“best part of my job!”)

11:00am – Daily visit to Ruelala and OneKingsLane followed by Gilt Group at noon

12:00pm – Lunch; Favorite spots in Flatiron: Eately, Mangia, Chop’t, Schnipper’s, Melt Shop, Rickshaw dumplings

1:00pm-7:00pm – “My afternoon is filled with meetings, e-mails, and more meetings.  There is usually an afternoon snack which consists of  some form of chocolate & a diet coke.”

7:00pm-8:00pm – “Try to wrap up for the day, walk home, make phone calls, listen to music depending on the day.  Currently loving Rihanna and anything Christmas!”

8:30pm-10:00pm – “Dinner which usually involves something quick, easy and sad to say boring: Lean Cuisine, cereal or salad . Then I catch up on my DVR’d shows (RHOBH, Revenge, 666 Park, Nashville, Bachelor, E news, Keeping up with the Kardashians….).”

10:00pm – Bedtime; “Get into bed, browse through Facbeook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, US Weekly until I fall asleep!”

Thanks Katie!  Katie is a former finance gal herself who was brave enough to make the switch to her real passion – fashion!  Working in the fashion industry sounds like so much fun and I am inspired by your courage!  It’s hard to figure out what it is exactly that you want to do once you enter into the real world and even harder to realize you are not stuck in one profession once you start.  For those of you unfamiliar with C.Wonder, it is a newer brand started by Chris Burch (Tory Burch’s ex-husband) and has a similar feel to the Tory Burch brand, at a better price point.  The first store they came out with is on Spring Street in SoHo and is a really fun place to check out if you’re visiting the city!  They have amazing and fun things for the home and your wardrobe!

Hope everyone’s weeks are off to the right start!  My thoughts and prayers are with the families of Newtown, CT.  Let’s be thankful for all of our families and friends who we love and not lose sight of the bigger picture.


South of Main’s Holiday Gift Guide

I know this may be a little late in the game for all you overachievers out there but here is a Holiday gift guide from yours truly…

The man in your life

Untitled #16

L.L. Bean Slippers, Patagonia Vest, iPod amplifier, JamBox, Jack Black products, Beer & food calendar, Man candles, iPhone portable charger, J.Crew sweater

The woman in your life

For her

Dana Rebecca necklace, Illesteva sunglasses, La Mer lotion, iPod shuffle (with engraved message), LOVE paperweight, fur vest, earrings, Club Monaco clutch

Yo mamma

For mom

Monogrammed J.Crew PJs, Candle, Philosophy skin care, shopping list, coffee table book, Nora Fleming tray

Yo daddy

For Dad

Monogrammed golf balls, Leather coasters, beer-making kit, beef jerky of the month, Patagonia jacket, Monogrammed grill kit

Your bestie

For BFFs

InStyle subscription, Hair ties, BFF hats, earrings, monogrammed necklace, Gone Girl book, nautical makeup bag

Your I want to trump everyone else Yankee Swap gift

Untitled #21

Snood, Soul-Cycle gift card, survival kit, Brooklyn Slate board, Damn Good Advice book

Your in-laws

For in-laws

NY Food Basket, Cutting board, Monogrammed Bocce set, Engraved silver frames, Personalized sign

And there you have it folks!  Many of these gems you can buy online, which is music to the ears if you ask me!  I’ve about had it with crowds and long lines these days!  A few things to note here… the JamBox is probably the best gift you could give to anyone with an iPhone (aka everyone); I recently purchased Illesteva sunglasses and am absolutely obsessed, mostly because they make me look way cooler than I actually am; magazine subscriptions are a surprisingly cheap and thoughtful gift…that keeps on giving every month; I love the personalized city signs for anyone who wants to buy me a Christmas present.  Andddd…well, that’s it.

Hope everyone has a wonderful and productive weekend, for those of us finishing up last-minute holiday shopping!  Next year I promise to post my shopping guide earlier in the season – New Years resolution #1!

Keep it real.


A Day in the Life: Kate



Age: 26
Current City:  SoHo, NYC
Job:  Public Relations
Fave food: Cheese
Fun fact: Can chug a drink faster than most all
Cocktail of choice (for a night out on the town): Vodka soda.
Beer of choice (for a casual hang-out with friends): Blue Moon
Wine of choice (with dinner): Sauvignon Blanc
Shot of choice: Tequila
Drink of choice (for that rare occasion I’ve decided I’ve been “over-served”–love that we blame the bartender, not ourselves): Water on the rocks with a twist.
Most successful pick-up line: “Want to watch Elf?” (dates back to college)
Favorite season: Spring
Favorite color: Red
Favorite board game:  Clue
(Wearing: Urban Outfitters shirt, J.Crew pants, Target ballet flats, bracelets from Kate Spade and a street vendor, Iridesse earrings)


7:08am – Alarm goes off.  Depending on the night before, hit snooze anywhere from one to seven times.

8:00am – Get out of bed; Splash freezing water on my face; Brush teeth; Shower; Blow dry, straighten or curl hair (“the Sultra has changed my life”); Turn on radio “92.3 fm to hear the latest pop hits and mentally pregame for my day”; “Stare at my closet for 30 seconds.  Feeling uninspired, I pick up a top I wore just six days ago. I pull it out of the dry cleaning bag and throw it on.”; Apply makeup (Dior Black Out mascara, NARS Laguna bronzer, Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in black, “Carmex for the puckers”).

8:55am – Slip on a pair of boots or ballet flats (“loving Target patent leather right now and they’re only $14.99”); Grab a scarf (“my favorite accessory”) and purse, wake up roommates, and run out the door “usually without my Metrocard”; Drop off bag of laundry/dry cleaning; Run into the bodega below apartment to grab a coffee and a yellow apple;  Walk to the subway enjoying some “fresh air”.

9:00am – Snag a seat on the E train and put on headphones (“current playlist includes some Ellie Goulding,  Of Monsters and Men, TSwift, The Emersons, Rihanna”); “The 17-minute subway ride consists of constant awkward eye contact with everyone within 10 feet and some random thoughts: Did I turn off my hair straightener? Don’t forget to respond to that email. Look at that cute guy across the way. Is he straight? I wonder if he’s single? Is he looking at me? Oh wait, no. He’s looking at the subway map behind me.”

9:17am – Get off subway and make way onto the escalator; “Casually step to the right side of the escalator, lean back and cruise up. Yes, I do not walk up the escalator, I stand to the right and watch all the passersby panting and judging.”

9:20am – Walk to work and call Mom or Dad.

9:30am – Get to work; “Walk into office, take one look at my dead plant and think, don’t forget to water today. Undoubtedly, I forget. Read the day’s top headlines. Check horoscope.  Apply some Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve to keep the hands nice and soft in the wintertime. Sign onto Gchat. Emails. Meeting. Emails. Facebook. Meeting. Gchat. Emails. Meeting.”

12:30pm – Lunch “Love to Eat Fresh at Subway. Veggie Delite (the meat scares me) on 6-inch whole wheat. Sun Chips. Huge diet fountain soda (dreading Mayor Bloomberg’s ban on large sodas). And all for just $7.08. Love a good bargain.”

12:45pm – “Eat Fresh back at desk.”

1:00-4:00pm – “Facebook. Gchat. Emails. Meeting. Gchat. Emails. Meeting. Mobile Upload from the weekend. Emails. Gchat. Emails. Meeting. Yell at Facebook newsfeed for not refreshing often enough.”

4:00pm – Look out the window to check out the line at Dunkin Donuts “Perfect, looks like the after-school crowd has cleared out.”; Head outside for some “fresh air” and large coffee with skim.

5:00pm – Cram to finish up work for the day, “Wish Facebook and Gchat were banned in my office.  How will I get everything done before happy hour?”

7:00pm – Happy hour, “Favorite spot near my office is Bar Vetro ($4 for a mini carafe of wine, doesn’t get better in NYC).”

8:15pm – Out to dinner with friends or order delivery “since I can’t remember the last time I went grocery shopping”; “Fridge currently has a stick of butter, 17 Bud Lights, 4 Keystones and a jar of salsa and unfortunately, I can’t make a meal out of that.”; If takeout, “Call 12 Chairs, my favorite neighborhood restaurant. Why don’t I have their number saved already?” order arugula or Greek salad.

8:30 – 11:00pm – “Unwind for the day with my roommates, enjoying televisions finest: The Voice, Bachelor/Bachelorette, Real Housewives (all of them), Real World/Road Rules Challenge (yes, those are still on) and Revenge, just to name a few.”

11:00pm – Brush teeth; Clarisonic; Bedtime

Thanks Kate!  I LOVE your honesty!  And the dead plant in your photo made me laugh out loud.  Not all of us have time to cook (myself included) so it’s nice to get a raw perspective on life in NYC.  For a lot of us, work takes over most of our lives, so with the little free time we have, we do not want to spend it at the grocery store.  Finding your go-to takeout spot can be very important!  And the more Day in the Life posts I put up, the more I realize how popular reality TV is!  I think it’s remained a constant with everyone featured!  I also must point out and re-emphasize how great NARS Laguna bronzer is!  Another repeating pattern amongst the ladies of South of Main!  Gals after my own heart!

It’s Monday!  And it’s one of my besties birthdays, happy birthday Lib!  Love you!  We’re going here tonight to celebrate – can’t wait!


Dream Apartment

Seven weeks later and my interior design course is complete!  Like all fun things, it went by too quickly and I am so sad it’s over!  As I told you, over the course of the past two months, we have been working on a project to design our own one bedroom.  We were given a floor plan, which we had to stick to, but could play around with the walls and design everything else ourselves.  There was “no budget” so we could include anything and everything we wanted (Fireplace in the bedroom? Walk-in closet?  Yes, please!).  Each week everyone would show their floor plan and explain what they had worked on, then the professor and students would all critique each others work, which was very helpful.  My floor plan went through SEVERAL stages (which I mistakenly didn’t document), going from two couches, a coffee table, ottoman and a chair in the living room, to two couches, two coffee tables and two chairs.  I had my bedroom against one side of the room, then was asked, “Why don’t you want the bed facing the beautiful windows to take in the view?”.  Well that’s a good question…all things you think would be intuitive, but weren’t.  It was so interesting to see everyone’s take on the same floor plan and not one apartment was the same.  In fact, they were all very different.  Here are a few pictures from the process…

proj 6

the original plan

proj 5

stage one

proj 4

beginning the final steps of my project


little did I know 8 hours later I would still be here…

proj 3

finally done!

proj 2

final product

While it may not look like a lot of work, I spent HOURS, looking through magazines, going through fabric swatches, picking out paint colors, and the list goes on.  Designing an apartment is no small task!  I can’t imagine what an entire house would entail.  For my one bedroom I chose to make it a TriBeCa loft which included a large living room with a built-in bookcase wall and fireplace which was open to the kitchen.  The kitchen included Viking appliances and a white carerra marble island, with white subway tile and brass fixtures.  The flooring was wide board wood and the round natural wood dining table had two natural wicker chairs with fun navy and white geometric cushions and a built-in banquette in the same pattern.  The bedroom had a large closet along one wall, with a built-in bookcase/shelving and corner fireplace on the other, a king bed and a door through to the vanity/laundry room and then through to the master bath.  The master bath had a double sink, a marble steam shower (why not?), herringbone tile floors and the walls had white subway tile and tan-colored paint.  The apartment also included a powder room for guests and a built-in desk between the kitchen and living room.  My color scheme throughout the house was brass, neutrals (white and tan), navy blue and an orangey red.   I incorporated fun patterns and classic neutrals to keep it interesting without being too over-the-top.  Overall, it had a very beachy/boho vibe, which I love.

It was really interesting to see not only how different everyone’s floor plans were, but also how they presented their projects and designed their rooms.  Each person’s apartment was almost predictable based on their personality and style, it was pretty funny to observe.  The lawyer, who is a quirky-dorky-Anthropologie type, designed her apartment with just that style – it looked as if it was straight out of an Anthropologie storefront with mustard yellow, polka dots and funky light fixtures.  Then, the model-esque fashion chick who has a very simple-boho-earthy style, designed her apartment with large leather sofas, massive dark wood tables, and a large picture of horses hanging as the focal point of the living room.  I loved both designs even though they were extremely different from my style!  It was so interesting to see everyone’s ideas and it made me realize how your personality and fashion sense is just an extension of your taste in design.

A few things I learned from this course that I think are worth sharing are:

#1: Think about practicality and the purpose of a room before designing it.  Don’t put a glass ottoman in a living room as extra seating.  No one is going to sit on it.

#2: Keep rooms as open and inviting as possible; don’t put up a wall for the sake of putting up a wall.

#3: Sofas/chairs and coffee tables should be 18″ apart.  Just enough to sit down and reach your glass of wine.

#4: People by nature like symmetry.

#5: Color schemes are typically made up of 3 or more colors and must be repeated at least 3 times in a room/apartment.

#6: When developing your color scheme stay within the same hue or it will not work well together.

#7: Blue is a very difficult color to work with because it has so many variations and hues.

#8: Pinks are the most flattering color to have on a bathroom wall.

#9: Stay away from bright colors in the bedroom, it will not facilitate a good sleep.

#10: A door should always open to a wall.

#11: Every room should have a focal line; having pictures hung at different heights is not aesthetically pleasing, there has to be a focal line along the wall which is repeated at least twice (whether it be with lighting or pictures).

It’s fascinating to dive into the details that go into designing a space and all of the regulations behind how large a bathroom has to be, how many inches apart furniture needs to be to sit comfortably, etc.   The amount of time that goes into the research on colors, furniture, fabrics and what have you, is much longer than I anticipated, but I had an absolute blast doing it!  If you have any questions about your own living space, feel free to contact me!  I am happy to share my tidbits of knowledge that I accumulated over the past several weeks!  I may even have to sign up for another one…

Happy Thursday!  This week has flown by!


A Day in the Life: Lisa



Age: 51
Current City:  Hingham, MA
Job:  Owner, Ports & Company in Cohasset, MA (10 years running!)
Ideal date: “High heels, dress, great lipstick, head to Boston.  Love Bristol Lounge at the Four Seasons.”
Beauty Secret: Be happy.
Products: Bobbi Brown, whatever soap I see first in the shower and “shampoo constantly changes” – This might be a beauty secret ladies because Lisa’s got GREAT volume!
Favorite Restaurants:  “I am not a cook.  I wish I was (so does my husband) and I love to eat, I just don’t have the patience.  I get home late and am tired at the end of the day, so Bia, Feng Shui, Tosca, Bridgeman’s and Almanove are all my friends.  Maybe a cooking class someday?”
Things that are important to me:  Honesty, family, doing your best, being true to yourself and working.
Fave food: Pizza
Drink of choice: Sauvignon blanc
Songs of the moment: Pink – Song Try and Rihanna – Diamonds
Happy place: A beach
Fun fact: “If I was not in retail, I would love to work in the restaurant business.  I think waitressing is the best training to work with people.” – I agree!


6:15am – Wake up, look at clock and think about working out, then try to fall back asleep (Lisa’s day off)

6:50am – “Can’t fall back to sleep, yet so tired.  Why is it the mornings you can sleep in, you can’t?  Brain is on…coffee is on…”

9:30am – Up for the day;  Drink a cup of coffee with milk and Truvia, “love my Keurig coffee maker”; read texts “Where are my glasses?”; watch morning news

9:40am – Check out the weather and decide what’s on tap for the day “Maybe Nantasket beach for a long walk.”

10:35am – Get a mani/pedi at local salon “Maintenance day!”, usually navy OPI and catch up on magazines “Goldie Hawn is 67? No way!”

1:00pm – Sneakers on and off to the beach “need the walk to destress from the work situation”

3:00pm – Eat a banana; shower (Paul-Mitchell Awapuhi sulfite-free shampoo)

3:15pm – Unpack from weekend in the Cape “love to pack, do not like unpacking” – I feel you Lisa!

3:50pm – Off to Ports to get package for a customer drop-off

5:20pm – Back from Ports and head to the Fruit Center “love that place” for some groceries; fill up gas tank at Mobil next door

5:45pm – Back to the house “I love Christmas decorations.  The house is all decorated.  Richard [my husband] has been in NJ for business and he is coming home this weekend.  He may say the garland on the bed post is a little much.”

6:00pm – TV on, “I’m starving”; eat salad for dinner (Chicken, romaine, arugula, cucumber, goat cheese, avocado, olive oil and balsamic vinegar); “Standing eating and watching news (I never sit) when I eat alone.”

6:30pm – “Should I get the flu shot?  Well, never got that facial, got to shop, never really cleaned, never got to the bank.  Where does the day go?”

6:40pm – Call mother-in-law, Alice “She is a wonderful mother-in-law”

7:00pm – Watch E! Entertainment or Extra Extra!

8:00pm – Watch The Voice “I would be happy with Melanie or Terry!”

9:00pm – Bed!  “New York tomorrow to buy for the store!  What to wear?  BLACK!”  (Lisa’s fave NYC restaurant: Trump Tower Jean-Georges “Sit at the bar, great bar snacks!  Good celeb sighting too!”)

Thanks Lisa!  You are such an inspiration!  Always happy and looking FAB (can you believe how amazing she looks?)!  Ports is one of my favorite stores to go shopping when I am home.  They have such unique clothing and accessories that you don’t see anywhere else.  There’s usually a little glitz and color throughout the store, but you’re always able to find your classic black or neutral pieces.  Ports carries clothing, accessories and shoes from a variety of designers including 3 Dot, Chan Luu, Nicole Miller and Tracy Reese.   Customers of all ages come to shop at Ports and as you can tell from the beautiful window displays, the inventory is always changing!

As much hard work as it is, I think it would be SO much fun to own a boutique one day.  If it were me, I would have home decor, clothing and accessories.  What would you want?  To read more about Ports check out their website and Facebook page, as well as some pictures below…

Hope you’re all enjoying the week!