Just Jackie

In memory of Lily Pulitzer, I thought I would post about one of the women who helped put her on the map, Jackie Kennedy.  I have always loved Jackie (first name basis) ever since I was a little girl.  I am sure my mom’s adoration had something to do with it, but I specifically remember buying the book Just Jackie when I was around 13 years old, and I don’t think I got a quarter of the way through it, before deciding it was probably a bit too mature for me.  But what I did continue to flip through, were the photos of Jackie, donning her Lily Pulitzer duds and looking effortlessly chic in any occasion.  While I think my style tends to be a bit all over the place at times, I have always thought of Jackie Kennedy as a fashion icon of mine.  Here are some of my favorite photos perfectly capturing her classic, easy, New England style that I will forever attempt to portray…

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The white t-shirt has never looked so good.Jackie-Kennedy-Fashion-Icon

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One of my all time fave pics…makes me want velvet pants and a henley.

Jackie-Onassis191

Have a great week!

XOXO

(photo 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)

Pinning=Winning

Hello my friends!  So a friend gave me a brilliant idea the other day, which I somehow hadn’t really thought to do before…

You know those mornings (days, nights…) where you stare at your closet full of clothes and have nothing to wear?  Story of my LIFE!  Sure, I save things from 8th grade, but I also know I have some cute new(ish) stuff in there that I don’t ever wear.  Next time this happens to you… turn to PINTEREST.  I have always used Pinterest for the pretty pictures and simply pinning things I like or maybe hope to buy…or just as a day dreaming mechanism when thinking about my future home, the summertime, traveling, etc.  But my friend told me she always looks at it when she is trying to think of something to wear, by searching for something she currently owns in her closet.  So say you have a striped long sleeve shirt – search striped shirt in Pinterest and BAM! Endless ideas on how to style it.  It’s like your own personal stylist right at your fingertips.  You may all be reading this thinking I am a moron for not already doing this… but hey!  I’m posting it anyways!

Check out these cute outfit ideas that are totally doable with some closet staples…

T-shirt + blazer + statement necklace = Cute idea!

Todays outfit. Chilly weather. jcrew sweater, Ralph Lauren gingham, spring anorak. #outfitoftheday #work #jcrew #anorak #ralphlauren #style

casual layers

white blazer and T, leathers

Necklace stacking | white jeans | brown sandals | simple gray T

this look. everyday

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nautical stripe sweater + chambray  shirt = classic street chic

:: winter whites ::

ripped jeans

Shopping in your own closet is not only satisfying but economical!  It can also help you realize the things you’re missing from your wardrobe and help you avoid making unnecessary purchases.

XOXO
Meg

BK Does it Again

It’s Sunday morning with NOTHING on the agenda.  So what’s a gal to do?  Go to Brooklyn of course!  Walking across the Brooklyn bridge might be one of my favorite things to do in the city.  Now once you get over that bridge figuring out what to do and where to go can be trying…unlessssss you are lucky enough to have a boyfriend who has lived across the pond river.  On this particular little excursion we ventured to Brooklyn Heights.  Has anyone been?  Because I.FELL.IN.LOVE.  I’m telling you, it’s a little slice of heaven hidden in the large foreign borough!  The tree-lined streets with colonial style town homes made me feel like I was in Beacon Hill rather than two miles from the concrete jungle.  And the stylin’ boutiques and hip restaurants could give the West Village a run for it’s money!  Look out Manhattan!  Check out some of the sites (pardon the iPhone photos…man, I need a camera)…

First we strolled across the bridge…

And we’ve arrived!  Here was the view from Brooklyn Heights looking at lower Manhattan…

How adorable is this tiny little house?!  I would like to move in now please.

Next we cruised along “the promenade” (that’s Brooklyn jargon guys, write it down).

Then we got a bloody mary (for old times sake) at this local watering hole (FYI: there is a bocce court INSIDE the bar) which were sitting on these friendly coasters.  We subsequently made note that people seem to be nicer in Brooklyn…

coaster

Then we continued on our way and I think I commented on every street/apartment we passed (I’m sure it wasn’t annoying at all)…

The WINDOWS!  The TOPIARIES!

What did I tell you people?  Now walk over that beautiful bridge and take a right and you’re there!  It’s not that far.  And to make you even more convinced… the 2/3/4/5 trains all go directly to the heart of the ‘hood!

XOXO
Meg

Baby It’s Cold Outside

Just a little cold weather inspiration here for you on this frigid Friday!

Cold Outside

I thought I was a tough Massachusetts girl who could handle this type of weather, but apparently not!  When it’s this chilly out, the only way to make the best of it is to mix up a nice hotty toddy, throw on a cute sweaterwarm boots, cashmere socks (no I don’t own these…yet) and cuddle up by a fire.  And pretend you’re in the French Alps and it’s après ski.  Which makes me think… fondue.  So make fondue too!  That’s what I’ll be doing this weekend,  pretending I’m in the French Alps and eating fondue.

Have a wonderful weekend everybody and STAY WARM!  Can it just snow already?

XOXO
Meg

(PS – corduroys, jacket, mittens, cashmere wrap, hat)

A Day in the Life: Mary Kate

Mary Kate

MKD

Current City: Manhasset, New York
Job: Pediatric Nurse, “Currently not working while waiting for baby Miller to arrive, hopefully I will go back in the fall but we will see!”
Fave Food: Pizza “Especially pregnant, apparently I have been eating too much of it because when I went to pay over the phone at Pottery Barn for the babies glider I said “I’d like to pay with my pizza!” I meant Visa…MORTIFYING!  I was always more of a salt over sugar girl but this pregnancy I am definitely more of a sugar girl.  I NEED to have something sweet after I eat, I hope that craving stops after the baby arrives I always loved that I didn’t like dessert now I can’t live without it!”
Favorite TV Show: Homeland, Dateline and 48 Hour Mystery, Bachelor/Bachelorette, Housewives and Modern Family
Drink of Choice: “When I am pregnant I like Seltzer with a splash of cranberry or a non alcoholic beer if I am out so I feel like I am drinking- I also just love the taste of beer!  Not pregnant I enjoy Diet Coke with a lemon! Mojito or Red wine!! CANNOT wait for a few Mojitos this summer – watch out!!!!!”
Ideal Date: Dinner and a movie, “Ryan’s (MK’s hubby) not a huge movie goer so we like to get take out and rent a movie on TV too!”
Favorite NYC Spots: “Columbus Circle where we got married, especially around Christmas I love the shops they set up – this year we went for our anniversary (12/17) and we got hot chocolate and shopped around it was perfect!  There are hundreds of favs though – the entire city is cool!  I lived there for 5 years out of college, sometimes I miss it, but I am definitely more a suburbs gal!  I mostly just miss my girlfriends being so close.  We go to visit quite a bit and that’s perfect for me!”
Favorite Department Store: Bloomies!
Favorite Scent: Kiehl’s Musk – the spray and the oil!
Favorite breakfast food: eggs or a bagel with cream cheese “bagels give me massive heartburn pregnant though…along with EVERYTHING else!”
Current Nail Polish: Topless and Barefoot “I do not recommend…makes my nails look dirty like the ink on my jeans has rubbed off on them or something!”

 

A DAY IN MARY KATE’S LIFE

8:00am – Wake up…

8:00am-8:25am – “Get out of bed, sometimes it takes a while with this big ol’ belly!”; Products: “I am a product freak!! I love creams, I take after my Mom!  Guinot is my favorite brand.  I love the face wash it’s smells good and makes your skin so smooth- I follow it with Guinot toner and then Guinot bioxygene moisturizer – simply fantastic!”  CeraVe moisturizer for my body (“they make an am/pm cream for the face too”), Vaseline aloe fresh moisturizing body gel,  Neutrogena oil-free eye makeup remover, Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner, NARS tinted moisturizer, Pantene Pro-V “for shampoo and conditioner but I change it up every time”, Dove body wash “right now but again I change my body wash up every time I go to the store too – much more fun that way new bottles and new scents they all seem to do the same for my hair and skin”, Venus razors

8:30am-9:30am – Go downstairs, “Ryan will usually make me breakfast unless I make cereal, I am going to miss that when he deploys :( We discuss what task is on the agenda for the day.  We are currently dealing with heat issues.  We are getting a whole new system Feb 7th they have to tear up the ceiling in the basement that we just redid!”

9:30am-10:30am – “I used to go to SoulCycle every Tuesday/Thursday at this time but at 36 weeks I had to stop – SoulCycle ROCKS but the ab work out part was getting too difficult with my bump – I’m proud I made it so far…so I try to walk or do something physical during this time – Wednesday/Friday I go to my trainer at this point I just go to get my blood flowing and see if I can squat this baby out!  I tried to keep in shape this pregnancy – they say it’s good for the baby, it makes labor easier and it helps you take the weight off quicker after you give birth- we shall see!”

11:00am-12:00pm – “Shower after my workout or run errands for whatever it is we are doing for the day.  Lately it has just been organizing the house (who knew how long this would take?), getting our paperwork squared away, washing the baby clothes, setting up baby things and trying to get our life squared away before Ryan leaves and we have our sweet baby!  We have furniture delivered almost everyday, it’s so fun and exciting.  Since we just moved and unpacked (mostly) we move things around ALL the time still – it’s like a game figuring out where everything should go!”

12:30pm – Lunch “It’s so nice to have Ryan home to share this time before he deploys we have really been able to enjoy each others company before the baby arrives!”

1:00pm-6:30pm – Finish up work for the day and run errands, “My Mom and I are always out buying something for the house while Ryan is home doing the handyman work! Sometimes I sneak in a nap – not as often as I should be at this point – there is just so much I can be doing!  Being pregnant is funny it’s the kind of tired that you physically CANNOT keep your eyes open even if you try, at least not me!”

7:00pm – “Plan on what to do for dinner!  I feel bad I haven’t cooked in the new house yet.  I’m getting used to Ryan cooking for me…going to be a hard habit to break!”

8:00pm –  Watch TV with Ryan; check bills and e-mails and do the dishes or laundry

9:30pm/10:00pm – Bed; “I take my prenatal vitamins, I bring up two bottles of water for my bedside – I am so thirsty at night! I use my Guinot products or Neutrogena towelettes (if it’s a lazy night) and brush my teeth!  I usually do not fall asleep until 11 or 12 baby Miller just sits on my bladder so I am up almost every hour at night, not as easy to sleep anymore – turning from side to side is a project! ”

Thanks Mary Kate!  Again, so many new products I haven’t heard of!   It is such an exciting time and so amazing to hear about all of the prep that goes into having a baby.  MK is one of an incredible family of 5 kids with more extended family than I can keep track of!  Baby Miller will be loved by so many and we can’t wait to see if it’s a boy or a girl!  In fact, MK has agreed to do another day in the life post-baby!  It will be so fun to compare schedules pre and post baby!

XOXO
Meg

 

Birthday Weekend!

This weekend I am turning 27!  (EEK!) My birthday typically falls on MLK weekend but I don’t think I have ever actually taken advantage of the long weekend until NOW!  I’m heading to Jupiter, Florida for the weekend with my bf and a few of our friends and I couldn’t.be.more.excited!  It is my first time to the West Palm Beach scene which is very exciting!  Here is what we have on the agenda…

Guanabanas anyone?

Square Grouper (not sure about the black cat…)

Square Grouper

Lots of Beach time…

Whooping the bf’s *** in Tennis

Aaaaaaaaaaaannnddd here’s what I packed (if you care enough to continue…)

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Florida - 2

Florida - 3

In case you haven’t gotten enough of this yet… I will be reading

While we’re at it (just to touch on all senses here) I plan to eat a lot of chicken salad sandwiches and fish tacos and drink Arnold Palmers and frozen margaritas with salt.  In terms of my music selection I am thinking along the lines of this & that…oh and one more.

And there you have it folks!

Have a wonderful long weekend!

Bday

XOXO
Meg

PS – Used my Clarisonic this morning which my generous amazing girlfriends gave me for my birthday last night (a la pic above) and I am OBSESSED!  Thanks ladies!!!

(top pics 1, 2, 3, 4)

A Day in the Life: Molly

Molly

Mols
Current City: Manhattan, Upper West Side
Job: Associate, Corporate Services Real Estate Group at Goldman Sachs
Fave Food: “I pretty much like all types of food except for Pork Chops (strange I know). My ultimate favorite is probably mexican food (2 beef burritos, rice & refried beans with a small side of queso and lots of chips and guacamole. Frozen margarita with salt.”
Favorite TV Show: “The Bachelor. My favorite season was probably “On the Wings of Love” with Jake because he kept keeping things interesting by picking Vienna. It is the worst but best TV out there! OH and HOMELAND OBVI.”
Drink of Choice: “Iced Coffee with Skim and 3 Splenda’s. Any flavored Seltzer. Recently I’ve been having a glass of milk with dinner and its been a nice little change.”
Ideal Date: “Going to Francisco’s on 68th and Columbus to grab pizza, in sweatpants of course, and then going to see a movie.  We just saw Lincoln, Argo and Silver Linings Playbook and loved all of them!”
Favorite NYC Spots: St. Patrick’s Cathedral (“where we got engaged!”); “And pretty much everywhere in NYC except for Penn Station, Herald Square and Times Square.” – COULDN’T AGREE MORE MOL!
Favorite Subway: 2 Train
Favorite Department Store: Saks
Favorite Scent: Bobbi’s Party by Bobbi Brown
Favorite Breakfast Food: Blueberry Pancakes with Sausage Links
Current Nail Polish: OPI Lincoln Park After Dark

A Day in Molly’s Life:

5:15am-5:35am – Wake Up; “I put my cell phone alarm on loud and it has to be across the room from me to make sure I actually get out of bed to turn it off. Get my gym clothes on. Brush my teeth quick and have some multivitamins – Vitafusion Multivites Gummy Vitamins and allergy pills because I get sinus infections at the drop of a hat.”

5:40am-6:30am – “Go down to the gym in my building and start to wake up by turning the speed up on the treadmill.”

6:30am-7:00am – “Shower and get dressed as quickly as I can. I have to lay out my clothes the night before so it speeds up the process a little bit. I usually wear a suit or a dress everyday. Not many ways to make a suit look “cute” and could never quite figure out how the J. Crew models made it look so fashionable in the catalogues.”

Products: “I love any and all product and I usually have a lot of things in my rotation but my most recent obsession is my Clarisonic that I got for Christmas – I have never had such clear and smooth skin. I usually do it once or twice a day depending on if I have charged it the night before but its my favorite and I would recommend it to everyone!  In the shower I use Biolage shampoo and conditioner but I like to buy small bottles because I like switching up the brand.  In my opinion the best body wash is Aveeno body wash in “calming lavender”.  Neutrogena naturals fresh cleaning and make up remover (in the morning) and Trish McEvoy face wash (at night).  Also swear by Ole Henriksen “Ultimate Eye Lift Eye Gel Roll on“, Ole Henriksen, “Truth Serum” and Origins “A Perfect World“. I switch up my body cream daily, but some of my favorites are: Laura Mercier in “Fresh Fig“, Clarins “Moisture Rich Body Lotion“.

7:05am –  “Head out the door to grab the 1 Train to the 2 Train and then either the PATH to Exchange Place or the Ferry from World Financial Center to Paula’s Hook. I’ve been taking the ferry lately because its been such a nice way to start the day on a boat. Usually grab an iced coffee at a place along the way and maybe a veggie drink if I really need to wake up.”

8:00am – “Sit down at my desk – we don’t have assigned seats at work so I try to switch it up and pick a new seat every day.”

8:00am-8:25am – “I eat breakfast at my desk – usually a yogurt from home and I check emails.”

8:30am-9:30am – Internal Meeting

9:30am-10:30am – Check emails

11:00am-12:00pm – “Jump back on the ferry to Manhattan for a meeting at one of our properties to discuss marketing and PR opportunities.”

12:30pm – “Head back to Jersey City and pick a new seat again…”

12:45pm-1:00pm – “Go down to the cafeteria and grab a salad and go back up and eat at my desk.”

1:00pm-6:30/7:00pm – “Respond to emails and usually have a couple smaller internal meetings or conference calls.”

7:00pm – “Head home and pick up something for dinner along the way.”

8:00pm – “Get home eat, watch NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams”

9:30pm/10:00pm – HIT THE HAY; “Before bed I usually put on Ole Henriksen “Truth Serum” I also like Lancome “Genefique” serum and before bed and in the winter months twice a week I will put on Origins “Drink Up Intensive“, L’Occitane hand cream “Mango flower“, Carmax lip balm, and Ole Henriksen “Ultimate Eye Lift“.  In Sephora I typically gravitate to any product that says “lift, tighten or smooth”.” – AMEN SISTER!

Thanks Mol!  Now I realize why we are such good friends… product obsessed and Mexican food lovers.  Even after living with you for so many years, I still find this interesting!  I love your tendency to mix things up.  After all, change leads to happiness!  (Has anyone seen the Happy Movie? So good!)  Even things as little as mixing up moisturizer is something worth trying!  Do it peops!  Also, I must say, for all of you thinking What?! She’s up at 5:30am everyday to workout? Mol is one of the most disciplined people I have ever known and is definitely a great example for the rest of us!  As Ben Franklin puts it, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a [wo]man healthy, wealthy and wise.”  I need to start repeating that one in the morning as I hit snooze

How was everyone’s weekends?!  This is my last week as a 26 year old and I can’t really believe it!

XOXO

PS – Mol is my bestie from the famous Wedding of the Year

A Day in the Life: Kelly

Kelly

Kelly
Age: 26
Current City:  Upper East Side, NYC
Job:  High School Literature and Writing teacher for students diagnosed with dyslexia, ADHD, and Aspergers
Fave food: “So many.  Kale, Brie, and everything bagels, to name a few.”
Favorite Book: “Right now, Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera and J.D. Salinger’s Nine Stories are at the top of my list – I can’t resist a twisted love story!”
Drink of Choice: “Black coffee in the morning and the afternoon, a sassy Cabernet or Malbec in the evening.”
Beauty Secret: “I’ve recently become obsessed with Elixirs and Hydrolats – I bring them to work – a quick spray in the afternoon makes all the difference.  Caudalie Elixir is my favorite.  Also, I’ve been mixing face serums with my face cream – I find that the combination absorbs into my skin more effectively.”
Ideal date: “Love dates.  But, I’m a 75-year old woman at heart, so I have to admit that my favorite date is at home, with a bottle of win, a Rom-com (if it’s my turn to pick) and food made by my favorite in-house chef, my 75 year-old companion.” – let me clarify he is not actually 75!
Favorite NYC Spots: “Although I’ve worked in the city for 5 years, I still feel new to all the kitschy-cool spots NYC has to offer – however, I’m forever in love with Grounded, The Blind Tiger, Westville, Extra Virgin, Candle 79, Caravan of Dreams, Doma, Taim, Union Square Farmer’s Market, The Strand and Pippin(“for browsing”)”

A DAY IN KELLY’S LIFE

6:35am – Wake up, jump in shower; Products: Caudalie Exfoliating Face Scrub, Caudalie foaming cleanser, Dr. Hauschka’s cream cleanser (“to bring some moisture back to the face”), L’Occtaine’s Verbena Shower Gel, “I recently treated myself to Kiehl’s Argan Conditioner—it helps to tame my unruly mane.”

6:45am – Jump out of shower, use SkinCeuticals conditioning toner, Onurth’s Neroli or Rose Hydrolat, Avene light moisturizing cream with a few drops of Onurth’s face serum (or Caudalie face serum), and Avene eye cream; For make-up, Laura Mercier’s mineral powder, NARS’ Blush in Orgasm or Maui, and Maybelline Great Lash Mascara.

6:50am – Dress; “I have yet to perfect the professional teacher look, though I’ve improved over the years (my students confronted me about my white New Balance sneaks, boot-cut jeans, and tiny teal backpack (that donned my initials, obviously) during my first year—such outfits aren’t cut out for the big city, apparently). I try to match jeans and cords of all colors with boots—some days call for a button down, others an oversized t or sweater, and others a blazer (I try to save the blazers for all-business Mondays or serious test-taking days).” – I love this!  Talk about teacher chic.

7:00am – “Attempt to make a quick breakfast—most days it’s toast with avocado. If I’m feeling brave, I’ll try to whip up a smoothie—if I’m running late, it’s a croissant at Petite Abeille, though I’m trying to cut those out in 2013…not going to happen.”

7:10am – “Out the door to try and catch a 7:20ish train!”

7:30am/7:40 – “Arrive at school. Make any last minute changes to lesson plans and necessary photocopies that I didn’t make the day before.”

8:00am – “My first and second period class arrives and prepares for an exciting day of high school!”

8:15am – “Start teaching my 9th graders! We’re reading The Hobbit, so early morning is spent in middle earth!”

9:45am – “Classes change: My first class of 11th and 12th graders arrive, so excited, as usual.”

11:15am-1:25pm – Lunch/prep periods; “I usually use this time to meet with students about papers/outstanding assignments/to prepare for the rest of the week. Since all of my classes are reading different novels, I never feel like I’m caught up. Most days I bring lunch to avoid going out, but I usually take a couple of minutes to grab a coffee across the street— my new favorite spots include Haven and The Commons in Chelsea.”

1:30pm – “My final class—11th and 12th graders—arrive, also very excited. We’re currently reading Kafka’s The Metamorphosis so everyone has been buggin’.”

3:00pm – Dismissed!

3:00pm-5:00pm – “I tutor two different students right after school for one-hour sessions—usually for the SATs or homework help.”

5:00pm-6:30pm – Prepare for the next day, grade papers and tests, catch up on e-mails, update student folders

6:30ish – Teacher dismissed!

7:00pm-9:30pm – Eat, drink, and watch an HBO/Showtime series show; “Dinner is simple—usually a salad, some cooked vegetable, always some cheese, and, if I’m in an over-achieving mood, a pasta/rice dish. Wine is always present. I’m a big fan of Breaking Bad (AMC!), Workaholics, Girls (Jan 13th!), and Homeland—the Wire instigated the series obsession—I blame Omar Little.”

9:30pm-11:30pm: “Shower, read, and work on lesson plans/grading. My routine at night is nearly identical to the morning, with the exception (very recently) of the Clarisonic, which Santa brought this year. Every few nights I also try to use Dr. Dennis Gross’s Daily face peels—though, these are pricey, so I don’t always have them in stock. I’m liberal with the eye cream at night.” – You’re a smart woman, Kel.

12:00am: Lights out.

Thanks Kelly!  You are hilarious.  I am so inspired by you and I love the honesty!  11th and 12th graders?  You must have the patience of a Saint!   And just another amazing teacher shaping the future!  In other news, my eyes are opened to so many new products!  I thought I was the product junkie!  I love seeing how varied everyone’s days are.  Keep rockin’ those white New Balances girlfriend!

How is everyone’s weeks going?

XOXO

Livin’ Laguna Vida

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Happy New Year ladies & gents!  Boy do I have a lot to tell you all from my week long Cali hiatus.   Hmm… how do I begin?

Twas’ the night before Christmas…when I found myself sitting on the floor of the Lincoln, Nebraska airport eating pizza by myself.  Yes, I know you’re all jealous and wish that’s how your Christmas eve was spent, but let me tell you, not everyone can be so lucky.  Long story short, my 8:30am direct flight to LAX ended up being a 24 hour journey from hell, most of which was spent in a tiny one gate airport in Lincoln, Nebraska, after our plane made an emergency landing due to smoke in the cockpit.  Thank goodness we were all safe, but I must say, I don’t see myself flying on United anytime soon.  Myself and 219 others all trapped in a tiny airport with zero explanation as to what was going on or if/when we would ever get out of Lincoln, Nebraska in time for Christmas, didn’t leave the most lasting impression.  One positive I did get out of it was how amazing the group as a whole was.  I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been entertaining a 5 year old in an airport for 9 hours or how frustrating it must have been to those who missed connections.  But in general, everyone remained calm and tried to laugh at the situation as best they could.  One of the most memorable experiences of the day was when a local Nebraska native departed one of the two planes flying into the airport that day and saw all 220 of us sitting at the gate and out of the goodness of her heart, had about 40 pizzas sent for all of us.  I mean talk about a stand up citizen!  I guarantee she made headline news in Lincoln on Christmas day.  And I also guarantee she is going straight to heaven.  While I am not looking for a pity party, spending Christmas eve by yourself sitting on the floor in an airport surrounded by strangers eating (much appreciated) donated cardboard pizza was one of the most surreal experiences I have had to date.  And I managed to only have one breakdown… (thank you to those who had to deal with me during that breakdown).

Anyhow… once I finally woke up in Laguna on Christmas morning, I instantly forced myself to erase all memory of the prior 24 hours and here are some of the highlights from my week…

The Montage Hotel

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This is actually what I envision heaven to be like… we spent a few days at the Spa Montage and I kid you not arrived at 8am and left at 8pm.  If anyone plans to go to Laguna, this is a MUST see.  It is one of the most beautiful hotels I have ever been in.  Not only are the views spectacular, but the staff and service are unmatched.   If you want to be treated like a king and feel the best you can possibly ever feel…this is your jam.  On our last day, New Years Eve, I started the day with a total body conditioning class, ran a couple of miles, swam 30 laps, ordered a smoothie at the pool, ventured to the hot tub, went back to my chair and read, got back in the pool, ordered lunch, drank a beer, went for a walk on the beach, biked for 20 minutes, hung out in the sauna and steam room for a while, got a facial, read a magazine by the fire, went to 5pm sunset yoga, showered, had a glass of wine at the lobby bar and then went to dinner with my family.  I mean, I honestly can’t think of a better day, can you?

Balboa Island

We stumbled upon this little gem haphazardly and boy were we pleasantly surprised!  I have never heard one word, “Balboa”, used more times in one day, and my dad even ended the day wearing a Balboa t-shirt, just to prove his love.  We were heading on a Griswold-esque road trip to see Newport Beach and decided to take the car ferry to make the trip all the more exciting.  As we crossed the bridge into the town where the ferry departed, Balboa Island, it was as if we had crossed the Sagamore bridge into Cape Cod with palm trees.  The quaint little streets and amazing but unpretentious houses had so much character, it was if they were pulled right out of a story book.  While we still hesitantly managed to get on the ferry across to Newport, it didn’t take us long until we turned right back around and came back to Balboa Island.  While the tiny town could use a few more restaurants and bars, it is definitely worth a pit stop if you’re in the area.  Sidenote: the “famous frozen banana” is not all it’s cracked up to be…and I have intentionally excluded the photos from that experience.

YogaWorks Laguna

As I have mentioned before, I am a total yogi convert and when I heard they had my beloved YogaWorks in Laguna I HAD to try it!  It was the exact same feel as the NYC locations and it made me feel instantly right at home and relaxed.

The Deck Bar

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Coolest bar in Laguna!  Hands down!  This chic little surf bar is literally right on the beach and we stumbled upon it when we were walking the beach one sunny afternoon… go figure.  The decor is more South Beach than rustic, but has that laid back SoCal surfer vibe that you can’t help but love.  The drinks are made with fresh fruit and absolutely delicious.  There are fire heat lamps and cute white lights strung throughout the outdoor space, with surfboard tables and fun music.  I felt like I was in Hawaii for a hot minute!

Sapphire Grill

We spent New Years eve dinner here and the food was absolutely delish!  There was an amazing outdoor seating area with a big firepit and heat lamps that kept us warm on the chilly night.  The food was not Mexican for a change, but more of an upscale American menu.  It was definitely the best meal we had in Laguna and the atmosphere was perfect for a nicer dinner out with the fam!  I would highly recommend this place if you’re in Laguna and want something different!

Zinc Cafe

Zinc Cafe is how I picture a SoCal cafe.  Healthy, al-fresco dining, with beautiful people and a relaxed atmosphere.  I made several coffee pit stops at this place and am dying to go back for lunch next time I’m in the ‘hood.

Shopping

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My mom and I spent a full day checking out the stores in Laguna while the guys golfed.  We walked up and down the main strip and although there were plenty of touristy stores, what stuck out to me most were the home stores.  While I didn’t take pictures of all of my faves, Seaside Interiors was definitely a highlight.  It was totally my aesthetic and I wanted to just pick up and live inside of the store.  The owner explained to me that the shop was started by her and her daughter who have an interior design business and have expanded to do custom furniture as well.  Sounds like a dream to me!  Definitely worth checking out if you’re into that sort of thing.  In terms of clothing stores, I was particularly impressed with Isla, they had the cutest stuff at really good prices.  I managed to pickup a few great finds – a pair of black shorts with “leather” detail and an olive green sheer button down with black “leather” shoulders and collar – obsessed!

And there you have it!  A very Cali Christmas.  No sightings of LC, Stephen or Lo, but I will hope for the best next time around…

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HAPPY 2013!  It’s going to be a GREAT year!

XOXO

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!

XOXO

(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)