Fresh Start

peonies

I am finally coming out of hibernation (curse you winter 2014!) and have some new and exciting news to share! As I have mentioned before, I have always dreamed about going into interior design and/or getting into a creative field, but have never acted on it for a number of reasons.  While it always sounded fun, I feared the paycheck (or lack there of) and risky nature of changing careers. After much internal debate, self-assessment, and discussions (sorry friends and family), I finally decided to go for it!  A few classes and a couple of interviews later and I am starting to work part-time at one of my favorite design firms.  I am beyond grateful and excited and ready(!) for this next phase, as terrifying as it is.  Thank you all for your patience over the last few months and I plan to kick back into gear here at South of Main and also share all of the new things I am learning at the new gig!

While we’re on the topic of fresh starts… my spring/summer wardrobe needs a serious revamp.  I can’t remember the last time I bought a new bathingsuit (2010?) and I think I have outgrown the jean mini skirt…  check out these steals I found to ring in the season of sun!

A Marysia imposter… from Nasty Gal

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Chambray and neon (best combo evah?) J.Crew beach cover up – it’s on sale ladies!

jcrewWhat’s a summer without Havaianas?

havaiianasA pretty DVF dress for the many weddings ahead (note: this is an old DVF dress I have been eying since forever and found on ebay – my new favorite site!)…

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Anddd a cute new tee

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What are your latest warm weather finds?  I’d love to know!  This year I went for a lot of solids that I can mix and match with different accessories.  I am trying to embrace a more minimalistic lifestyle (something I am not good at…) and my first step was tackling the closet!

Have a fabulous day!

XO

Meg

PS – If you’re thinking about changing careers, here are a few helpful articles (and feel free to email me!)…design spongeLearnVest, The Every Girl, Huffington Post… and a food blogger with an inspiring story on making a passion into a profession.  I know I have read so many other good ones, but am totally blanking!  All I have to say is – do what you love!  Life is too short :)

(photo via Pinterest)

Design Project: UES Apartment

Hi friends!  As you know, I have always loved interior design and often fantasize about what it would be like to actually do it as a career.  Recently, I got an amazing opportunity to design a one bedroom apartment on the Upper East Side as a little side project.  The requirements are: low budget (it’s a “guest” apartment), modern, with neutrals and clean colors.  I started off by checking out the apartment and putting together a presentation with room ideas.  Take a peek below at my initial thoughts…

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My “client” liked what I had put together but asked that we make it a little more modern and had a few Ikea pieces in mind that she wanted me to incorporate.  So here is phase two of the look book (that lovely free standing TV has an Ikea custom cabinet that couldn’t be copied into the presentation).

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Most of the pieces above were found on Ikea, Target, One Kings Lane (one of my all time favorites), and West Elm.  You can totally decorate an apartment and make it look nice without breaking the bank!

As you can tell, we are still early on in the design process but have established the basics, which I can’t wait to share with you.  It has been so fun to try to incorporate my own taste but also challenge myself to work with a different style than my own.  If you’re interested, check out my “Project” Pinterest board to see more inspiration for the apartment!

XO

Meg

PS – Unfortunately, the boys didn’t take a liking to my track-what-you-eat project, so we will have to revisit that post at a later date (Maybe after I bribe them with food.).

Apartment Progress

apt update 1

We did it!  We’re officially unpacked and finally able to enjoy our new little abode.  One thing I have learned to love about our apartment is the amount of space and storage we have.  Especially after our larger than life Costco trip (both jaws dropped at check out), I was a bit concerned about whether we were going to have enough space to fit the lifetime supply of toilet paper, but luckily there was a miniature linen closet that I had never noticed before, which fit those extras in perfectly!  It’s the little things in life!  So now that everything is put away, we have been able to sit down, breathe and bask in the joys of cohabitation!  And also drive myself crazy looking at our bare walls.  Like most everyone has told me, “you have to live in a place” to figure out what you need.  Which is definitely true, but also a challenge for someone like me who wants everything to be done and perfect immediately.  That’s where Bry comes in.  Luckily I have him to tell me to “relax” (quite often) and that we will figure it all out.  But in the meantime, bare walls and all, here are some before and after shots for your viewing “pleasure” (use your imagination here people)…

Living Room

before…

living rm - before

after…

living rm - after

Kitchen

before…

kitchen - before

after…

kitchen - after

Patio

before (with old tenants…)

patio - before

after…

patio - after

patio - after 2

Bathroom

before (that blue tub…)

bathroom - before

after (attempting to hide the blue tub…)

bathroom - after

Hallway

before…

hallway - before

after (opposite angle)…

hallway - after

Bedroom

before…

bedroom - before

after…

bedroom - after

Guest Room

(I realize how obnoxious that sounds but then again we’re in Brooklyn…)

before…

guest room - before

after…

guest room - after

So as you can see there is still a lot of work to be done, but I am trying to approach it in stages.  Right now, is “living with it” stage and pretty soon I will begin the long process of tackling one room at a time… here’s what I am thinking in terms of some upcoming purchases: living room rug, mirrors!, coffee table, patio inspiration, plants, bedroom pillows (or a girl can dream…), art, book shelves, bar cart (Is it necessary? Yes, it is.) and the list goes on…

Like I said… stages…and I am sure my ideas will constantly be evolving, so might as well not jump into anything, right?  One designer who has really caught my eye lately for inspiration is Amber Interiors.  Feast your eyes interior design lovers!

XO
Meg

Oh HEY!

Did you think I forgot about you?

NEVAH!  But I am very sorry for being MIA for the past MONTH (gulp).  I have been on a whirlwind of work, weddings, and more weddings…and this poor little blog has been suffering because of it.  So I apologize.  To both of you.

Somehow the summer seems to fill up before I even realize it’s started.  And with that, I give you a summer to do list that I will likely accomplish 50% of…

1. Go to Nantucket

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One of my favorite places on the planet. I spent my college summers here waitressing at Slip14 and have such amazing memories.  My girlfriends and I now have an annual tradition to go for a week every summer (see beach babes above).  Some favorite spots: here, here, here & here.  (Nantucket guide to come later in the summer!)

2. Go to Martha’s Vineyard

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Most people are one or the other, but why have one when you can have both?  My mom grew up spending her summers in the Vineyard, so I went every summer for a week or two with my family.  It makes me so nostalgic every time I go, and it’s so funny how certain neighborhoods or smells bring back such vivid memories.  Ahhhh vacation.

3. Eat ice cream

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Err’day…although this is somewhat of a year round to-do for me.  Life is too short.

4. Mini golf on Pier 25

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I mean this is footsteps from my apartment and I still haven’t done it… FOOTSTEPS.

5. Picnic on Hudson River Park

IMG_1856View from my future picnic.  Complete with red solo cups and a paper bag.

6. Complete a Triathlon

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This is one of those cheater to-dos you write down just so you can check it off…because I am signed up for one in two.short.weeks.  (sidenote: this photo makes my stomach drop)

7. Get good at tennis

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And look like this on the court…

Tennis lessons as a youngster have only partially paid off… and there’s a lot of work to be done.  I’m telling you A LOT.  Anyone want to “play” with me?

8. Shop in my own closet

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Because I always seem to find things every year when I break out the summer clothes that I forgot about.  (No, this is not my closet and yes, I would like it to be.)

9. Buy a cute new swimsuit

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Since all of mine seem to be on their last leg and/or not fit me correctly anymore.  Do bodies change that much from age 26 to 27?  SCARE-REEE.

10. Apply & reapply SPF

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I’m paying for my SPF 4 summers in Nantucket…should’ve listened to my mom.

11. Dine alfresco in the West Village

This is so random but I always imagine a perfect summer night of strolling through the West Village after getting out early from work, coming across the perfect alfresco restaurant and sitting down on a whim for a yummy dinner and a crisp glass of rosé‎.

12. Rooftop cocktails

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There are so many rooftop spots opening up in the city and I am dying to try this one at the famous Standard Hotel.

13.  Dance in the rain… in the MoMA

…and pray it stops raining outside. (I can’t take it anymore!)

I mean this is just so cool.  And it’s about time I take advantage of living in NYC (If the fact that I didn’t see the David until the last week I was living in Florence isn’t telling I don’t know what is.).

Oh the joys of SUMMER!  So much to look forward to!

XOXO

(pics 1, 2 & 5 – my own, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)

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

Short Story

I think we’re at that point of the season where New York “spring” catapults to sweaty summer overnight.  I realized this while walking to work this morning in my spring coat, when 5 short steps in, I became extremely uncomfortable.  NEWS FLASH NEW YORK: Spring ended yesterday, say goodbye to layers until Fall.  And say hello to SHORTS!  Personally, I have always been a fan of shorts.  Oddly enough I think they flatter me more than skirts.  Last weekend, while perusing Chelsea Market with my mamma, I spotted these gems at one of those confusing Sample Sales, with a smorgasbord of items you have to sift through for days.  But everryyyy once in a while, you find a rose among thorns (i.e. the Walter Baker Aztec diamond beauties below).  As we continued on with our day I soon realized the plethora of adorable patterned options out there this season!  Thank you Anna Wintour (or whoever ignited this trend)!

The fun thing about shorts is that you can style them different ways to create many different summer looks!  Dress them down with sandals and a simple tee or dress them up at night with wedges and some fun gems (sidenote: tread lightly with the heels & shorts look…it can be challenging and often times disastrous).  Here are a few options for styling your patterned shorts this season!

Patterned Shorts - 1

sources here

Patterned Shorts - 2

sources here

Patterned Shorts - 3

sources here

Enjoy this beautius day!  And take those pants off – it’s short season ladies!

XOXO

Royally Fabulous

K-Midds (for short) is somehow relatable but also bloody utterly fascinating.  Maybe its the modern Cinderella story, or maybe it’s because she has that girl next door charm, but I have a minor obsession.  Every time I see a picture of her donning a new amazing dress-that-I-would-never-look-twice-at-but-somehow-looks-like-the-coolest-dress-I’ve-ever-seen (deep breath), I end up Google imaging the shiz out of her and finding a million new photos and inspiring looks.  So much so that I have a hard time closing the tab to remind myself I need to focus on work and stop fantasizing about the wardrobe that I will never have.  She somehow manages to appear effortlessly gorgeous, calm, elegant and graceful all at the same time.  No idea how she pulls that off, considering I get anxiety just thinking about my wedding day (whenever that may come) purely for the fact that all of the attention will be on me.  Hopefully I will get over that fear by the time it rolls around…

Anyway, check out some of my favorite looks from my (now public) online stalking issue

Kate-Middleton-Green-Dress

This might be the most gorgeous shade of green.  Her skin.  That hair.  The makeup.  All of it.

kate middleton - gold

Hands down my favorite dress of all time.  I would get married in this dress (panic attack or not).  And Prince Wills is a hunk.  I don’t care what people say.

Royal Wedding - Evening Celebrations At Buckingham Palace

…speaking of… her look for the wedding reception?  TO.DIE.FOR.  She has never looked so glam and that waistline makes me want to crawl in a hole and never come out.

kate middleton - green

I mean this dress?  I don’t know HOW but she looks AMAZING in this.  I would look like Mrs. Doubtfire.

Kate-Middleton-white

Now here’s a dress I may actually be able to get some use out of… if I could actually afford it.  Love a good white embroidered dress, or shirt for that matter, and this is no exception.

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Here we are again with the simple cover-all of a dress and still looking amazing.  Would also emulate Mrs. Doubtfire in this one if I tried.  Which I wouldn’t.  So don’t worry.

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A little too thin for my liking here, but purple is definitely Kate’s color!  Work it girl!

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Another beautiful emerald green dress… and it’s DVF!!!!!!!!  And how does she get her hair to do that?  Oh princesses.  Also, makes me want this green DVF dress even more… uhoh.

OK, I am cutting myself off…….

If I had a black tie event every night it would be hard not to want to copy every look the Midds has come out with.  Luckily that’s not a problem I have.  So I will continue to admire her (or her stylist’s… doesn’t matter to me) amazing style on the couch in my sweatpants.

Happy Hump Day Peops!

XOXO

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

Costume Gala Gals

On Sunday night, extremely exhausted from the eventful weekend (Did I mention I love guacamole and margaritas?), I dragged my ars off Bry’s couch to go for a little stroll on the Upper East Side (a.k.a. Antarctica) while Bry was busy playing b-ball with the boyz (had to).  As I decided first avenue wasn’t doing it for me, I continued to venture on westward where I feel more “at home”.  As I approached the park I realized, Hey, why not take a walk towards the Met for old-time sake?  As I got closer I saw trucks and what looked like a huge construction site; somewhat disappointed I trudged on until I started seeing trucks that read, “Red Carpet Company” and things of that nature.  Putting two and two together I realized they were setting up the COSTUME GALA (!!!!) and let me tell you… it was a serious New York moment.  The streets were so quiet and peaceful as I watched the grand entrance being constructed with people placing roses one by one into the walls and people running around like madmen trying to make this thing all come together.  One of my favorite fashion events every year, there are always A LOT of surprises to look forward to and A-listers to last a lifetime.  Now it would’ve been a little bit cooler to have been there last night, but it still feels a little more exciting this year, having seen the set up right in front of my (bleary) eyes!  Here are my takeaways:

The Good…

Met Gala -  Lauren Bush and David Lauren

Not so punk but Lauren Bush always looks au naturale and amazingMet Gala - Allison Williams

Don’t even love the dress but Allison Williams looks amazing.Met Gala - Blake

Oh Blake, do you ever look bad?Met Gala - Cara Delevingne

Cara Delevingne pulls off punk well.  SO gorgeous!  I wish I could rock those eyebrows.Met Gala - Emma Watson

I have such a girl crush on Emma Watson.  She can do no wrong.Met Gala - Giselle

I mean, come on.  Is she up to 3 kids now?  Annoying.Met Gala - Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba looking beautiful per ush.Met Gala - Jessica

Jessica Alba looking gorgeous in her mesh dress.  No one, I mean no one else would look good in this.Met Gala - Kate Bos

Love Kate Bos’s little number.  Would totally wear this – punk or not (and if I dropped about 50 lbs).Met Gala - Miranda

Speaking of dropping 50 lbs.. yikes.  I think Miranda should try eating while chasing around her little chubby son (who I am so in love with – look at those cheeks!).  But of course, she still looks beautiful.  Met Gala - Nina Dobrev

Love how Nina plays up the punk theme with her pant/dress and poufed hair.  Killin’ it!Met Gala - Rooney Mara

Rooney Mara wears white!  How ironic.Met Gala - Rosie Huntington

LOVED Rosie Huntington’s look with the olive green and winged bodice.  Her clean hair and makeup makes for an interesting contrast with the edgy dress.Met Gala - Sienna MillerSienna Miller makes anything look cool.  Can I raid your closet please?!

The Bad…

Met Gala - January Jones

Guess who?  The unrecognizable January Jones.  January, you confuse me beyond belief.Met Gala - Katie

A swing and a miss by Katie Holmes… Met Gala - Kim

No, no, no, no, no.  (Please notice the gloves to match the dress… what?)Met Gala - MK Olsen

AHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!  (my initial reaction to seeing MK)  WTF is going on here?  Just terrible.Met Gala - SJPI used to think SJP could pull anything off… until now.  It brings me back to that horrid bird on her veil in Sex and the City (the movie).  Let’s not go overboard now SJ.  (Note: Would’ve loved just the dress.)

The Ugly…

Met Gala - Anne

How do I begin? Met Gala - Ashley

Ashley Greene who is a usual stunner must have been sick of the spotlight because she is hiding in the dress.  Way too much fabric = extremely unflattering.  I hope it’s just the camera angle. Met Gala - Elle Fanning

Just wrong in so many ways.  The first things that come to mind are: hippie, Pocahontas, Hook. Met Gala - Ginnifer

“A” for effort but I could seriously do without the black-eyeshadow-to-the-brow look.  Yuck.Met Gala - MileyBeyond words.  Has she gone off the deep end with the rest of them?

Alrighty that’s enough criticisms for one day.

Have a wonderful Tuesday (sigh) and let’s get through this one together!

XOXO

(Pics from People & Huffington Post)

Romping Around

Rompers, rompers everywhere!  I’m curious, would you try the look?  I have to admit I bought a romper a couple of years ago at French Connection and was surprised at just how much use I got out of it.  While it’s just a simple short, long-sleeved, navy number, it’s still a one piece suit, which can be terrifyingly daring to pull off!  But what I have found is that they are shockingly flattering on many different body types!  And there are several different styles of romp to fit to your liking.  Hell, I am going out on a limb here – I am a fan of the romper, trendy or not (there, I said it).

Anthropologie

Forever21

Shopbop

What do you think?  Would you hop on the romper train?  Next time you see one in a storefront go in and try it on!  Your mom pulled it off in the 70s so who’s to say you can’t pull it off in ’13!  Shake what your momma gave ya!

Is it Friday yet?

XOXO

Maxi Maven

AP DVF

I have been dreaming about a DVF maxi dress ever since this post on one of my favorite fashion blogs, Atlantic-Pacific.  Isn’t that dress AMAZING????????  She apparently got it from a sample sale…and that scarf is OLD NAVY?  I mean, come on.  Ugh, Blair you get me every time!

SO with all of these weddings coming up (I think Bry and I are up to 7 in the next 14 months…HELLO!), I think I can justify buying one, right?  Well, it’s going to happen people!  As much as I love pretty much everything Di puts out, I am still hooked on prior years looks… so much so that I am on the prowl trying to find this coral number in my size… or there’s always these options below…

DVF - green

DVF - red

DVF - vintage

And this is not wedding event material but HOW INSANE is the dress below?!?!?  I am so tempted to buy it and make it work even though it’s not my size.  Picture it with a thick black belt and these DVF wedges.  Ahh!  It might have to happen…

DVF - caftan

Help me decide!  Which one would you pick?  I’m thinking of either a patterned maxi with simple gold/white accessories OR one of the solids with contrasting bold colored gems… thoughts?!

Hope everyone enjoyed the beautiful weekend!  My girlfriends and I rode bikes up to the Cloisters and picnicked with a baguette, delicious cheese from Murray’s and of course, a bottle of wine.  It was one of the best NYC days I have had to date!

XOXO
Meg

pic 1, 2, 3, 4, 5