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)

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.

XOXO

A Day in the Life: Hillary

Hillary

Age: 27
Current City:  East Village, NYC
Hometown: Garden City, NY
Job:  Pre-K Teacher in NYC
Nickname: Hil
Beauty Secret: a good nights sleep
Favorite Restaurant: Via Della Pace in the East Village
Fave Food: “My mom’s mac and cheese, deli sandwiches, and salt and pepper potato chips.”
(Wearing: Zara top, J.Crew pants)

A DAY IN HILLARY’S LIFE

6:30am – Wake up, make Dunkin Donuts hazelnut coffee, wash face, use Origins Purifying tonic, brush teeth, moisturize my face with Olay regenerist and apply Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer (“I shower at night because I don’t like to get into my bed without being clean and working with kids all day I feel like I am covered in germs by the end of the day!”)

6:50am – Chug water followed by first cup of coffee of the day while making a sandwich for lunch (maple turkey and swiss on rye bread); “For breakfast I usually make myself egg whites with cheese if I have time or grab a Kind or Luna bar at the deli near work.”

7:00am – “Sit on my bed for longer than I should staring into my closet trying to figure out what to wear.  Rush to put something on and get out the door.”

7:20am – Walk to the subway.

8:00am – Arrive at work, eat breakfast, fill up a big water bottle and start setting up classroom.  “Mornings are not as academic and more so just fun things for the kids to do as they trickle in from 8:15 till 9:00.  So I usually put out art supplies, some dry erase markers and boards for writing practice (we are working on proper pencil grip at this age), playdough (builds fine motor skills), puzzles and trains.  The morning “free play” promotes social skills and may not look it, but is a very important time of the day!”

8:15am – “The chaos begins as kids start to come in. Blast Disney station on Pandora to drown out the siren/shooting noises the boys make! Greet the kids, talk to parents, depending on my mood….play with the kids.” – I can’t imagine the patience you must have!

9:00am – “The kids clean up and we all sit down for “Circle Time”. This is when we all sit in a circle on the carpet and talk about the day, put up the date on the calendar sing the days of the week song (to the tune of the Adams Family song), and read the morning message which is a letter that I write to them each morning on a Smartboard. I’ll leave out letters that they have to come up and fill in.  Right now we are practicing for our Thanksgiving show (we need a lot of work) so we practice the lines to that!”

9:30am – “Work with the kids in small groups called “centers” where they work on math, writing, phonics and fine motor skills.”

10:00am – Have hour break while kids are in Greek lesson; go out to get a coffee and go up to friends classroom to chat

11:45am – Kidz Bop dance party (“class favorite is Call Me Maybe“)

12:00pm– “Eat lunch with the kids as they ask me what I’m eating and why.  They don’t seem to understand that their teachers are real humans too.”

2:00pm – “On nice days we will go outside to a courtyard down the block from my school. I teach the kids games like tag, stuck in the mud, red light/green light, and sharks and minnows.” – I would like to propose doing this on nice days at my job…

2:45pm – Dismissal; say good-bye to the kids and organize classroom/prep for the next day

3:30pm – Teach a cooking class for the after school program.

4:30pm – Leave work and go home; usually stop to do some errands on the way

6:00pm – “Unfortunately this doesn’t always happen but go to my favorite class at the gym (Cardio sculpt at NYSC).”

7:00pm – Shower; cook dinner (usually something involving pasta)

9:00pm – Hang out with my roommates and watch Bravo – I think Bravo has been in every female’s average day!

10:00pm – Brush teeth and get into bed, “It usually takes me about 2 minutes to fall asleep.  I’m a really great sleeper!”

Thanks Hil!  Now I want to be a teacher!  I don’t know about you all, but it’s amazing how different my day is from Hil’s!  As a teacher you really have no down time, especially if you’re chasing around Pre-K kids!  It’s like work combined with babysitting!  I am tired just thinking about it.  I have always thought about teaching and wondered if I would be good at it or not.  Unlike most jobs, it is rewarding, but it really does take a lot of patience, planning and hard work.  What do you think?  Could you see yourself as a teacher?

How was everyone’s weekends?  Yesterday I spent all day biking around NYC and Brooklyn and it was absolutely awesome!  So happy it’s a short week!

XOXO

Color Collective

As I was thinking about what to wear to dinner (here) last night with my girlfriends, the only thing I knew for sure was that I was going to wear my new red Kenneth Jay Lane earrings.  Trying to picture what to wear with them, I thought, black? No. White? Too pale.  And then, aha!  I remembered, Color Collective.  For those of you who are unfamiliar, get involved!  It is an extremely creative and unique blog (the only I have come across) strictly devoted to color pairings seen in fashion, art and the like.  It’s not only a place where you can go for a little daily eye candy, it’s also a place to find inspiration for your style, interiors and beyond.  Here are just a few of my favorite images from the site:

Now, like I said I had picked out earrings and was not willing to give those up.  So after looking at this pairing with my earring red (and some chilly weather):

I thought about what items in my closet I had in the paired colors… and here’s the outfit I came up with!

Color Collective
(Zara jeans, Enzo shoes, Leather jacket from Italy, Forever21 scarf, Kenneth Jay Lane earrings, Rebecca Minkoff Nikki bag, Forever21 shirt)

See?  Inspiration right at your finger tips!  I am learning about color in my interior design course as we speak (remember ROY G BIV?), and it’s been very interesting to hear about the effects of color on mood and self-confidence, and how much culture affects perception of color.  I tend to be very drawn towards vibrant colors, which may be because of the positive effect it has on my mood.  And there are certain color combos that really repel me.  Black and red?  YUCK!  I don’t know why, but I just can’t do it!  What colors are you drawn towards?  What colors to you tend to avoid?

Hope everyone is enjoying the week!  Is it me or has every day felt like Friday this week?

XOXO

A Day in the Life: Abby

Abby 

Background: Abby is a former co-worker and good friend of mine.  We met through mutual friends a couple of years ago and work  only a few floors away from eachother.
Age: 24
Current City:  West Village, NYC
Hometown:  Sun Valley, Idaho
Job:  Hedge fund assistant
Nickname: Abbs, Ab, Fairgame
Idols: Martha Stewart & Betty Draper
Guilty Pleasure: Chalky candy (ie. Necco Wafers, LifeSaver wintergreen mints, Smarties) & people.com
New Obsession: Instagram & Montauk (as of this summer)
Addicted to: SoulCycle, rosé and anything coconut scented/flavored
Ideal date: Dive bar baby!
Fave food: Avocado
Favorite NYC spots: Joseph Leonard, Jefferies, Bounce & Village Tavern,  Rosemary’s (“get the celery caesar, it will blow your mind”), The Rusty Knot, Campbell Apartment, Inside Park at Saint Bart’s, La Esquina, Westway & Pete’s Tavern
(Wearing: Zara top, J.Crew cropped pants, J.Crew wedges, bracelets: David Yurman, Dallas + Carlos, Marc Jacobs bag, Joe Fresh jacket)

A DAY IN ABBY’S LIFE

6:40am – Wake-up (“newly a snoozer for 5 minutes, 10 if the previous evening’s festivities were um… excessive”)

6:45am – Shower; products: Organix Coconut Milk shampoo & conditioner (“like I said, love coconut”), St. Ives Apricot Face Scrub, cheap drug store body wash, typically stolen from one of the roommates

6:55am – Check emails, apply Pond’s Cold Cream (“super moisturizing and clean feeling”), Organix Coconut mousse for volume and blow dry; flat iron if needed with a “Chi-tah”; the Sockbun (“if I’m being totally lazy/running late/don’t feel like showering (gross, I know), I’m a HUGE fan of the sockbun done with a sock that I’ve probably taken from a roommate’s drawer and cut up…”)

7:00am – Apply makeup; in Abby’s makeup bag: Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer, Benefit “get-even” powder in no. 2 (“an all-time fave”), NARS bronzer in Laguna, MAC pot eyeliner to be applied with a flat brush in “embark,” L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara

7:10am– Pick-out outfit and get dressed; (“Typically TONS of J.Crew”) for work usually black pants and a blouse or blazer (“my roomie works for Theory so that’s a blazer go-to”)

7:15am – Pack gym clothes for the day; load up cell phone, head phones, tidy up room and turn off AC  (“Yes, I sleep with AC on. Can’t live without it, even in the winter.”)

7:30am – Subway to office (“I CANNOT ride the subway without music. 3 current favorite songs: Sweet Nothing – Calvin Harris ft. Florence Welch, Don’t You Worry Child – Swedish House Mafia ft. John Martin, Walk on By – Noosa (Sound Remedy Remix)”)

7:45am –  At desk, check emails, eat breakfast (usually a bowl of Kashi Go Lean Crisp, berry crumble flavor mixed with Special K) and a cup of coffee at the office or sometimes Starbucks Venti Non-Fat extra hot latte with 5 Splendas (“Yes, 5”); peruse Facebook, Twitter, NYTimes.com, my horoscope (“Capricorn, daily, I love horoscopes”), theyallhateus.com, honestlywtf.com, becuaseimaddicted.com, a few Tumblrs, Man Repeller and both of our favorites, Atlantic-Pacific

8:15am – Early morning sit down with boss, make office rounds, catch-up with IR team, chat with traders, emails, phones, work, work, work (“and lots of G-chat in between”)

12:00/1:00pm – “I just started a new job and everyone gets to order daily form Seamless which is AWESOME. My go to is a turkey sandwich from Blake & Todd with tomato, cucumber, AVOCADO and LOTS of honey mustard, can’t get enough of that stuff. I used to do a lot of afternoon snacking but I’m super busy in my new role so sadly that’s not really an option anymore.”

6:15pm – Start to wrap up at work, send a few final emails, check in with the team to see if anyone needs any last minute help

6:25pm – Change into gym clothes “hot pink Nike sneakers, Lululemon pants, grimey t-shirt (I should grow up and start wearing nice work-out tops but I love a good beat-up tee), usually Dartmouth, Holy Cross or something from home like a bar t-shirt – classy, right? SoulCycle sweatshirt. And no, I don’t wear socks.”  – Abbs, the socks you’ve got to work on!

6:30pm – Walk to the gym (Abb’s gym of choice: NY Health and Racquet) and SoulCycle on Thursdays (“Fave teacher is Danny, try him out, he’s amaze.”)

7:00pm –  Gym (either elliptical or treadmill)

8:00pm – Walk home every day (Abby’s favorite part of the day); home or mani/pedi (“Currently rocking OPI Lincoln Park After Dark”); Shower to rinse off, wash face with St. Ives and “steal some more body wash”

8:15pm –  Change into another old t-shirt, boxers and have dinner on the couch with the roommates; Dinner: typically a veggie burger, chick peas with soy sauce (“try it, it’s so good”), cheese and crackers, or pasta with Vodka Sauce, always followed by Cool Whip (“an all time fave”) or a trip to Tasti-Delight (“there is one dangerously close to our apartment”) for coconut fro-yo (shocker!); “lots of really classy television” like Gossip Girl, Criminal Minds, Real Housewives (“not by choice but one of the roommates is addicted”), Sex and the City etc.

9:15pm – “I get in bed pretty early but always watch a show on my laptop. Right now I’m re-watching Mad Men because I love it to death but I just got into Homeland and I’m OBSESSED. I finished the first season and the rest aren’t on iTunes and I don’t have Showtime AKA if anyone wants company on Sunday nights and has Showtime, hit me up!”

10:00pm – “Goodnight! And yes, I still sleep with a teddy bear named Sleepy.” – Sleepy? How clever.

How do your days compare?  Have these posts inspired you to go out and try a new beauty product or whip up something new for dinner?  I’d love to know!

Hope everyone affected by the storm is getting their lives somewhat back to normal this week!  Power is almost all back on in NYC and I even was able to take the subway to work this morning!  No more $25 cabs for this gal… ahh the little things.

XOXO

PS – check out this Hurricane Sandy slideshow

Za Za Zara!

NEWS FLASH:  Zara, one of my fave clothing stores, is now entering into the HOME market!

Is this a match made in heaven or what?  I first discovered Zara when I was studying abroad in Italy and it hadn’t come to the states yet.  My friends and I thought we had struck gold when we stepped into the higher quality and higher fashion version of our good friend H&M.   And I think Zara has only gotten better with age, as I have had some pretty amazing finds in the past year (if I do say so myself).  Sooo to think that they now have stuff to beautify the bod AND the apartment, is just beyond exciting!  Check out the goods people!

These colors!

Glam dish towels, wouldn’t you say?

I’m developing a new appreciation for the skull trend… never thought I’d see the day.

Lucite side tables?  They’ve thought of everything!

Love this shabby chic bath mat!

How perfect would this be on a bureau with some flowers, a candle and perfume?!

I have to say… it is much more understated than I would’ve imagined… and I-like-what-I’m-seeing.  And if you weren’t already sold, wait until you see the prices!  What do you guys think?  Would you buy Zara home goods?

2 days down & 3 to go!  WE CAN DO IT!

XOXO

Hello Lovaaah!

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

#1: Black leather biker jacket

#2: Slippers (the fancy kind)

or……

#3: Kenneth Jay Lane earrings

#4: White chunky sweater

#5: Colorful gems

#6: Peplum

#7: Oxblood

#8: Poncho/cape

#9: Emerald green

#10: Ankle boots

#11: (P)leather pantalonessss

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

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

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

XOXO