Trying to Spring Ahead!

It's been really difficult to be upbeat about Spring when snow is still in the forecast.  Shopping for warm weather clothes and shoes has come to a screaching hault as it is not so fun when you can't wear anything you buy!  I have a few dresses hanging oh so nicely and new shoes lining the floors of my closet and now I am forced to play the waiting game.  Cold weather always seems to last too long so last year the bf and I decided to come up with an idea that would lift our spirits.  Instead of sulking and waiting, together we wrote a list of things we could do if it were nicer outside and we posted it on the refrigerator.  It's funny how many things you think of when you can't seem to do any of them.. you always want what you can't have right?! 

Biking!  Great Workout and if you own a bike it's free :)  Picture taken from  (these bikes are sold there)

Hiking! Of course this is not in NJ it is in Maine but it's awfully pretty! (picture taken from

Going to a local Flea Market, Farmers Market or Fair or such a nice spring time activity; you can get some really good finds too!

The list goes on and on from barbecuing to going on short day trips to explore towns we've never seen.  We try to make a list once in the Winter, when we are dreaming of warmer weather, and once in the Summer, when the weather is just too hot and humid to bare.  The best part about this?  Most of the things on our list are free!  We don't put anything on the list that costs tons of money and on any given day when we find ourselves with nothing to do, we look at the list and do something spontaneous.  We attempt to check everything off but that never happens! 

What lifts your spirits when the weather has got you down?

Sweet Obsession

I have cupcakes on my mind and I can't make it stop!  I went to House of Cupcakes last weekend in Princeton, NJ.  They won Cupcake Wars so I was dying to try it out.  Delicious!  I was a little bummed by the decor (or lack there of! they are apparantly under construction) but the actual cupcakes were amazing!  Now I can't stop thinking about cupcakes.. and watching Cupcake Wars is not exactly helping :) 

That said, on my to do list this coming weekend is to make cupcakes!  love to bake.  I think that's why I love the holiday season so much, because there are so many events that give me a reason to bake.  Martha Stewart is my go to lady.. her recipes are always reliable and, for the most part, reasonably simple.

Am I going to make all of these?  No way, but aren't they awesome?!  I think I might try out the sunflower cupcake (top left), they will go along perfectly with the fresh sunflowers that are currently in our kitchen!

Sorry for the quality it was taken with my iPhone :)
 All recipes can be found on


Elizabeth Taylor

As many of you may know, Elizabeth Taylor passed this morning at age 79.  She was a style icon who will never be forgotton.  You can read an article found here.  Some photos and quotes at her best moments:

Photo from the cover of her book called "Elizabeth Taylor: My Love Affair With Jewelry" which can be purchased here

"When people say, she's got everything, I've got one answer..I haven't had tomorrow."

Photo from

"I fell off my pink cloud with a thud."

Photo from

"Big girls need big diamonds"

Photo from

Photo from

Photo from
 May she rest in peace..


Sweet, Sweet Friday

I typically try to eat healthy but having a love for a fresh out of the oven Apple Pie makes that a bit difficult :)  I came up with a healthy alternative.  Okay, healthy is not the right word, but it can't be AS bad as a pie!

I was craving a yummy dessert so I looked in the fridge and found some apples.  I peeled them, sliced and diced and threw them in a pan with some water, sugar and cinnamon (yum!):

I let them thicken (all while smelling delicious!) and then put them in a bowl to sit.  In the meantime I ran to the store around the corner and bought some FroYo:

This is by far the best frozen yogurt I've had.  It tasted very close to regular ice cream.  I scooped some in a bowl and topped it with warm apples and voila!:

Now, let me make this clear, this is definitely not a substitute for a fresh out of the oven apple pie; but it killed the craving for at least a week :)  Drooling yet?

Wishing you all a sweet, sweet Friday!


Pillow Mania!

As I've mentioned in previous posts, I purchased fabric from Etsy and West Elm for a DIY pillow project.  I've been on the search for pillows for a while but everytime I come across something perfect it has a not so perfect price tag.  I figured I could do without the $90 pillows and probably make something just as nice myself.  The two fabrics I purchased, as seen here, were the perfect choice because they aren't too feminine and they fit in perfectly with our color scheme.  First thing's first, I had to learn how to sew!  The bf's mom was nice enough to give me a quick lesson on her sewing machine and off I went!  I first turned the fabric inside out, measured it to the size of my pillow inserts and pinned it like so:

After everything was pinned I used the sewing machine to attempt a straight line.  It was surprisingly SO much easier than I originally thought it would be.  As you can see in the below picture you can actually sew right over the pins!

After you have 3 sides done you flip it back to the patterned side and stuff the pillow into the case.  You can sew part of the bottom before doing so and very carefully slip the pillow in.  I chose to be super careful and sew the entire bottom of the pillow by hand:

This was probably the most time consuming of the entire project but really didn't take too long.  After 1 broken needle and a few do-overs, the finished result? VOILA!

Our 3 new additions!  I love them and if I saw them in a store I would totally buy them!  I recommend this project to anyone; it was honestly so fast and easy :)  (A quick tip: If you really want to do this project on the cheap, pick a fabric you love and make the back on the pillow out of Burlap; at $3.99 a yard it's a sure way not to break the bank!  And surprisingly it is SO in style right now)

Next project.. re-creating these awesome prints from Crate & Barrel for the living room:

At $369, once again, I'd rather buy some fabric and make them myself!  Stay tuned... ;)


Lights, Camera, Action!

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am a photographer on the side.  This winter has been a bit slow because I had no indoor space to shoot in and clearly it has been freezing outside!  When I moved in with the bf not only did he offer up the walk-in closet (keeper!) he also told me I could use the second bedroom as a studio if I wanted to (keeper!).  I finally decided to take him up on the offer and purchased a couple of studio lights.  It's a very small space but it works for now!  I was so excited when they came in the mail that I called my good friend Meredith and asked her to come test them out.  The result:

Isn't she gorg? :)

Happy Friday everyone!  Plans this weekend?  My fabric that I order from Etsy and West Elm mentioned here was delivered yesterday, so I will be taking a sewing lesson from a friend!  DIY pillow post coming soon, stay tuned!

Have a fabulous weekend! xo


Refresh, Renew, Rejuvenate Take 2

I've given you a few suggestions on how to refresh your hair and skin in my last post, so what's next?  How to keep yourself looking and feeling fresh.  Someone who feels good always looks good...

(Listed Clockwise from the top Left)

Garnier Triple Nutrition.  Remember that Avocado I spoke about yesterday? You guessed it, it's a key ingredient in this line of Shampoo, Conditioner and Conditioning Treatment along with olive and shea oils.  You can find this at any food store or drug store for usually around $5 each.

Chapstick.  Did you know your lips can get sunburn?  Painful?  I think I'd rather be safe than sorry, what about you? There are a lot of chapstick's out there that don't have spf in them; then again, there are a lot that do.  This is my go to beauty product, it has an spf 15 and is so moisturizing.  And a major plus is it will only cost you about $1.. sometimes less! 

Vaseline Total Moisture Lotion.  I don't think I can say it enough; moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!  This is a favorite of mine because it's healing and thick at first.. but it doesn't linger.  It sets in and doesn't leave your hands feeling super greasy.  The price tag is also refreshing.  If you ever go into the lotion aisle in your local drug store you will notice everything is between $15 and $20.  For lotion.. really?  This bad boy is usually about $10 for the largest size and almost always on sale.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer-Oil Free.  This product is a tad more pricey but technically it's makeup so that's okay, right?  I use this as a foundation, it goes on smooth and evens out my skin tone perfectly.  Not only is it a moisturizer but it's spf 20 which is great; your face is really sensitive so you always want to be wearing spf!  This is sold at major department stores and is $42.  It comes in a wide range of colors as well to match skin tone.  (they also make a regular version if you don't like the oil-free option I use)

Marc by Marc Jacobs Oversized Sunglasses.  An obvious Necessity.  $98

Nordstrom 2-Tone Fedora $32

Eugenia Kim Hunny Sun Hat $275

Hats protect your face and hair; a sunburned scalp is torture! Prevent it with a hat :)

Clinique All About Eyes.  Like I mentioned earlier, your face is very sensitive, your eyes?  Even more sensitive and probably the first thing that is going to wrinkle..eek! Moisturize!  Clinique makes this great eye cream thats lightweight and does the job perfectly. Retails for $47.50

SkinCeuticals Emollience.  I've shared this before and I will share again because I absolutely love it! $50 

I tend to switch between the above face cream and Clinique Moisture Surge.  Moisture Surge is lightweight and refreshing.  Retails for $34 for 1.7 oz and $47 for 2.5oz.  It's worth it, I promise!

Nordstrom 'Photo Floral' Square Silk Scarf $78.  Not only is this fashionable but it protects your hair and scalp.  I started wearing scarves a lot to protect my hair color but now I wear them to protect my scalp as well.  Lightweight and oh so cute!

I hope this helps!

PS - tomorrow is Friday! woohoo! :)


Refresh, Renew, Rejuvenate

I am happy to finally be able to say Winter is coming to an end.  Not only is it time to get your body right for bathing suit season, it's time to refresh your look starting with your hair and skin.  After a long, cold winter your hair and skin are begging to be spoiled! 

Let's start here:
That's right; an avocado!  Amazing for your hair.  Some even say it makes your hair grow faster; we've all heard those myths; I won't lie I will be the first to test this theory out!  In many parts of the world avocado is called the "poor man's oil".  It contains Vitamins A, B, C and E which are great for curly, thick hair.  Just mix 1 ripe avocado with 1 egg and olive oil and rub into your scalp.  Ideally, you should let the mixture sit in your hair for about 30 minutes but I know we all don't have that time so 10 minutes is good too. 

Next up?

Oh yes, we are going to use every fruit in the house!  Bananas, like avocado's, are great for adding moisture to dry locks.  How does a Banana Hair Smoothie sound?  It smell's awfully good to me!  For this wonderful concoction you will need:
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
Mix all the ingredients together and apply to hair.  Again, try to let it sit for about 30 minutes.  For more damaged hair it's best to let these masks sit a bit longer.  Then rinse out and Shampoo and Condition as usual.

The next item we will be taking out of your refrigerator is:

Yogurt is probably one of the most versatile ingredients I have come across.  You can cook with it instead of using sour cream, heavy cream or buttermilk, you can make cheese with it, you can drink it (yogurt smoothie anyone?), you can add granola or fruit to it for a healthy snack, or just eat it alone.  It's not only delicious but really healthy for you as well.  Do you know what else it's healthy for?  Your dry skin after a long winter!  That's right, yogurt's antibacterial properties make it a useful, degerming cleanser, and its lactic-acid content soothes irritation, clarifies the pores and softens the skin. Finally, yogurt is known for its probiotics (live, active cultures), which are helpful in naturally treating skin conditions such as acne and eczema.

(Read more

This is the by far the easiest at home remedy I have ever found.  All you do is apply the yogurt to your face and let it sit for about 20 minutes and then wash it off.  If you have dry skin use a yogurt that is full fat as opposed to low-fat or fat free.  If your skin is oily, use a low-fat or fat free option. 
If you did want to add another ingredient to the mask, for dry skin add a tablespoon of honey to the yogurt.  For oily skin, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of orange or lemon juice. 
(If you are allergic to dairy you may not want to try this one; sorry guys!)
And last but definitely not least:

For all you fashionistas looking to splurge on yourself for a day of relaxation, can help you find a spa near you.  And, although I have never used this site, a good friend of mine recommended for gals in or around New York City.  I know I booked a facial and a hair cut/color for this month!  How are you going to refresh, renew and rejuvenate!?

Friday Showdown

On this sunny Friday I am loving...
...This perfect jacket for Spring!
BB Dakota Duncan Jacket $105
.. L*Space Summer '11 Bathing Suits, LOVE the fringe details!
L*Space Stardust Solid Fringe One-Piece $132
L*Space Dolly Printed Bandeau Bikini in Multi $139

...this look from Anthropologie; the dress can be found here for $228.. yikes.. I'll have to find for less elsewhere.. or on sale somehow!

...this Chevron Makeup Bag for $38 seen here

..this totally impractical yet adorable dress from Queen's Wardrobe (surprisingly with a nice pricetag of only $129)

...and this awesome glass piggy bank from VivaTerra for $39
What are you loving at the moment?  Have a great weekend!

Walk This Way

Do you ever realize in between seasons everything in stores looks the same?  So blah; nothing really catches your eye.  Everything is the same drab color and the same drab style.   I hate that!  I am constantly on the search for something different.  I hate looking like everyone else, I like to look and feel unique.  So what's catching my eye currently? Laces! Bows! Patent Leather!  Sequins!  Shoes with laces, whether they be heels or flats, are so adorable.  Bows and sequins really add a unique touch that is girly and feminine and I just love that. 

1. Steven Wyllow Wedge Oxford Espadrilles$140
2. DV by Dolce Vita Dakota Patent Leather Flats $60
3. J. Crew Quorra Ballet Flats $158
4. DV by Dolce Vita Savannah Leather Flats $69
5. Steve Madden Paiigge Gladiator Sandal $69.95
6. J. Crew Lana Snakeskin Lace-up Ballet Flat $298
7. Naughty Monkey Heaven Earth $89
8. Zara Patent Blucher $35.90
9. Guess Oskana Sandal $129.95
10. J.Crew Bowdelaire Ballet Flats $158
11. Jeffrey Campbell Swansong Wedge Sandal $119.95 Had to add these for all of you fashionistas out there!

What are you looking forward to sinking your feet into this Spring?

xo R.