Happy Holidays!

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Happy Holidays from South of Main Street!

Hope you have a wonderful day with your families and a Happy New Year!  I am headed to Sun Valley tomorrow for 10 days (!) of skiing and fun in the sun!  So I will be back in 2014 with new outfit ideas, home decor, beauty tips and lifestyle posts!  In the meantime, thanks to my loyal followers for sticking with me through my inconsistent posting and random thoughts – you guys are the best!

Love you all!  Cheers to an amazing 2014!

XO

Party People

This weekend Bry and I had our first big housewarming party. Given we are in the holiday season, we kept it festive and went with a fondue and Christmas sweater theme.  It was a major hit and hilarious to see people’s get ups as they walked into our apartment.  Bry has always had a vision of having a fondue party (His family has a unique affinity to fondue… which I don’t hate.) and it was great to see it in action.  Three fondue pots, 2 buckets of hotty toddies and a keg later… well I would say it was a success.  Here are some highlights from the night (apologies for the terrible photos)!

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We served chips, guacamole and salsa, red and green M&Ms, homemade chocolate chip cookies and of course, fondue with baguette pieces, apples and pepperoni for dipping.  For drinks we made a bucket of hot toddy which was cider and whiskey (something Bry is becoming infamous for…) and a keg of PBR (keepin’ is classy).  Everyone was so generous and brought bottle upon bottle of wine, which we didn’t really get around to drinking… probably for the better.  One friend even brought homemade egg nog, which I don’t think I have ever had and wow, is it good!  I must say, much better than that bottled nonsense!

As the soiree concluded and people started dispersing, the rest of us (only the strong survive!) headed to a local karaoke bar which ended the evening on quite an entertaining note.  I have videos to prove it (sorry guys)…

We couldn’t have asked for a better night or group of people to break bread, eat fondue, drink cider, celebrate a BFFs birthday, admire our Christmas tree, get chatty and embrace our new home with!  Hope everyone is having a merry holiday season and I would highly recommend the fondue party idea!  There’s nothing like cheese and good friends!

XO

Meg

Art Envy: John Meyer

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  And an even better leftover Turkey sandy day(s)…

My family and I went down to the Cape to visit my aunt, uncle and two cousins and the newest member of the clan, baby Demi.

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Are you in love yet?  Obsessed with her!

My cousins, Kerry and Justin, had a very unique upbringing as they were born in Johannesburg, South Africa and resided in Kenya, until they were five and seven years old, when their family relocated back to New England.  One of the many perks (apart from their Kenyan accents) that their family brought back from Africa, was their art collection from John Meyer, one of South Africa’s most renowned artists.  John is a personal friend of my aunt and uncle from living in Kenya and they have even come to the Big Apple to see his exhibits.  One of the most memorable pieces from my childhood is the amazing, almost life-size family portrait that he painted for them below, at their home in Kenya.  You know when certain, typically random, things will bring you right back to childhood? This portrait transports me to the living room in their old house in Massachusetts and to this day has a somewhat regal aura about it.

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Just look at the detail!  And those sweet little shoes…

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And two more beauties…

meyer 2 meyer 3Aren’t they amazing?  My iPhone certainly doesn’t do these paintings justice, but you can imagine what they’re like in real life!

Bry and I certainly won’t be buying any John Meyer‘s soon but it does get the wheels turning on the future of our blank walls…

Heading back to the big city soon!  Wish Thanksgiving would never end!

XO

Meg

PS – Happy Birthday MOM!!!!!  Love you.

What if…

…you had to pick one store to shop from for the rest of your life (note: budget is not an issue)?  I think about this often and go back and forth between J.Crew and Calypso.  When I think about my imaginary Calypso-only wardrobe I accompany that thought with the assumption that I will also be living a life of leisure in St. Barths or somewhere tropical and fabulous.  Very realistic, I know.  Where would you choose?

Lucky for us, the stores of our choice are going to be having some serious sales for Memorial Day this weekend so get your wallets out ladies!  I just so happens that Christmas has come early at Calypso… look at these finds at 50% off sale price

RACERBACK DRESS

Silk Dress $75

$100

Cashmere sweater $100

Tilda Embellished Cotton Tunic

Cotton tunic $40

Jumpsuit $50

Jumpsuit $50

Darissa Sequin Blazer

Sequin Blazer $75

Novak Jungle Tote

Tote $100

Brietta Silk Belted Tunic

Belted tunic $75

Suede Studded Sandal

Suede sandals $150

Happy shopping!

XOXO

Resolution Revolution

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Is it me or do you feel like New Years couldn’t have come soon enough this year?  After Hurricane Sandy hit, I felt like the holidays rolled in before I could say “turkey” (worst joke ever) and the next thing I knew I was falling down a slippery slope of holiday “cheer” and healthy eating was replaced with hibernation.  New Years is a great holiday in my mind because it gives everyone a clean slate, a fresh and positive outlook on the year ahead and the motivation you need to start the year off right.  With a New Year, you are able to get back into your usual groove after the holiday festivities take any self-control and balance away from you.  Personally, I don’t think you necessarily have to make any strict “resolutions”(i.e. don’t watch TV or eat mac n’ cheese ever again) because I think the likelihood of sticking to them are slim.  Like diets, I just don’t believe in them.  A perfect example is the gym right after New Years…then fast forward three weeks later when everyone’s forgotten what a resolution is and you have your pick of the litter on treadmills once again.  I could barely squeeze into my yoga class the other night because of the influx of resolution-ites, and I will tell you there was nothing zen about that experience!

However, I do think it is a great time to reevaluate things and look at the big picture.  How can I be a better friend? Sister? Girlfriend? Daughter? Co-worker? Blogger?!  And think about what you are grateful for and what you want to change.  I always strive to self-improve, but it’s not easy!  So overall, I would like work towards doing so in 2013.

Next up, I would like to develop good/healthy habits and get rid of bad/unhealthy habits.  I like routine but sometimes forcing myself to break away from the day-to-day ends up leading to something enlightening!  I mean, this is a terrible example, but even something as simple as switching from eating cereal for breakfast to eating oatmeal for breakfast can be liberating!  Heck, I made the switch a couple of months ago and I feel great! (PS – there are several studies about cereal leading to weight gain and is not as nutritious as you may think…lots of hidden ingredients…dundundunn)  I once heard that if you want to break a habit, don’t do it (or do it differently) three times in a row and you will be over it.  For example, if you have dessert every night after dinner and you want to break the habit, hold off for three nights and the craving will go away.  That’s not to say you won’t ever want dessert again, but it will help with the need to have something sweet every night.  Coming from someone who eats ice-cream way more than the average human, I have tried this tactic and it works!  Now I only have ice-cream if I am really in the mood (once a week…or so…my roomie may say otherwise).  Give it a whirl!

Another thing I am aiming for in 2013 is better balance.  Balancing work, friends, family, boyfriend, exercise, eating healthy and all the in between is so tough!  I beat myself up when I feel like I am lacking in one area and over compensating in another, but in reality, it’s inevitable!  Nobody is perfect!  But being more aware and making a better effort to keep everything in check is at least a step in the right direction.

My last (but not least) goal is to step outside of my comfort zone: try a new workout class, challenge myself more, do something different in my free time outside of my usual routine (Maybe READ instead of watch TV at night – what a novel idea!), invest in the stock market instead of earning 0.000000000001% in my savings account, meet new people, volunteer – the possibilities are endless!  My first (semi-weak) attempt at this was signing up for a triathlon!  The bf and I are taking the plunge on June 30th and I am so nervous/excited/anxious for it!  (I have used too many puns in this post) I’ve run several races but never a triathlon.  The thought of swimming in the icy cold June ocean for 1/2 a mile and then jumping on a bike for 10 miles and then running a 5k with rubbery legs, gives me the chills, but I can’t wait for the feeling once I cross that finish line!

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So I’m curious, what are your goals/resolutions/dreams for the new year?!  Do you typically make specific resolutions or follow my vague path/attempt at bettering yourself (and hopefully others in the process)?

HAPPY 2013 everyone!

XOXO

(photos via Pinterest)

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…

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Cali 4

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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)