Wednesday, February 29, 2012

operation spending freeze wish list

One week of my own Operation Spending Freeze is in the books.  I actually found that really evaluating whether or not I needed something as opposed to just wanting it was not as difficult as I thought it would be.  In fact, whenever I saw something that I liked I would immediately think "That is going on my Operation Spending Freeze wish list!"

If I had spent money on some things though, it definitely would have been on these six items.  I have very, very, very sensitive skin so I prefer to wear cotton sweaters which can sometimes be hard to find.  This cotton cable sweater from J. Crew is a good find because 1. it's cotton and 2. it's cable knit!  The Jackie pullover is great find too.  In fact, it may be my new favorite piece of clothing.  I bought one over President's Day weekend {in creamy peach} and really loved it, especially the way it felt.  It's very comfortable, most likely due to the stretchier material, and a perfect work top in my opinion.

Colored jeans have been on my wish list for quite some time now but I've never really been able to find a pair that I like and are at a good price {I honestly cannot justify spending over $100 on these}.  I think Old Navy makes great jeggings and their colored versions seem great too.  I especially love the blue and green pairs, but I think a pop of pink in my closet wouldn't be so bad either.  I'm open to suggestions here so if you have colored jeans please let me know and I'll check them out the next time I head to the mall!

Happy Leap Day everyone!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Sometimes I think these posts are a bit of a cop out on my end {sorry!}, but today I was lacking inspiration.  I like to plan out blog posts and today I just could not decide on what I wanted to write about.  Then it came to me!...

I passed my a diner on my way to work today and remembered that today is National Pancake Day!

{I think these look pretty tasty...; image via weheartit}

I'll admit that I don't love pancakes but that's not to say that I don't have a craving every now and then.  When I eat pancakes though, I like them plain.  Completely plain.  Sans butter and syrup.  It doesn't matter if they are buttermilk, blueberry, banana, chocolate chip - if it is a pancake, I want it by itself in it's fluffy goodness.

If you like pancakes and IHOP, you may want to head to the nearest one to you!  Today only they are offering a short stack of buttermilk pancakes for free!  All you need to do is show up and donate a bit of money {whatever you can!} to the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and other designated local charities.

Happy National Pancake Day!

Monday, February 27, 2012

best of: the oscars

{Top Row (L-R): Cameron Diaz, Shailene Woodley, Stacey Keibler | Second Row: Emma Stone, Mila Jovovich, Missi Pyle | Third Row: Gwyneth Paltrow, Maria Menounos, Sandra Bullock | Bottom Row: Natalie Portman, Bérénice Bejo, Rooney Mara; all images via People}

I had a lot of favorites last night from The Oscars.  I loved the colors of Missi Pyle's dress - so vibrant!  And I thought Natalie Portman's dress with the polka dots was a perfect choice for her.  Rooney Mara looked amazing in that dress and overall.  I think it's very hard to rock such a dark hair color with blunt bangs, a strong brow, red lip, and pale skin with a white dress but she certainly did.  I know that Emma Stone's dress is very reminiscent of the dress that Nicole Kidman wore, but she still looked great {and she was a funny presenter}.

Did you watch?  Who were your favorites?

Happy Monday!  Have a great week!  I'm heading to Syracuse on Saturday so I'm very much looking forward to the weekend and counting down the days already!

Friday, February 24, 2012

friday's fancies: hollywood glamour

It took me until about 20 minutes ago to finally decide on a dress.  I really tried to make sure that I picked something that I liked and, if there were a less expensive and similar style, would choose to wear myself.  I am guessing that my indecision is a reason why celebrities have people like the dapper Mr. Brad Goreski style them.  It's so hard to choose between dresses!  I'm glad that I was finally able to find the one that I would love to walk the red carpet in.

Are you all excited for the awards on Sunday night? Have you cast your vote on a ballot?

Have a great weekend everyone!

a friday musical pick-me-up

My friend Angela introduced me to Bon Iver while I was still at Syracuse and I have loved them since.  If the name doesn't immediately ring a bell, I'll help you out a bit.  They appeared on the "Twilight: New Moon" soundtrack with St. Vincent, performed at Lollapalooza in 2009, and will be a headliner for this year's Sasquatch! Music Festival.  And at this year's Grammy Awards, Bon Iver won for Best New Artist and Best Alternative Album.

Last night, she left me posted this video to my Facebook and I loved it so much that I wanted to share it with you.  It's a pretty long video {about 25 minutes} but I promise it is worth every second!

I'll be posting my Friday's Fancies later on today {I still can't decide which dress to use} so look out for that!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

pumped up kicks: low heels

When I realized what post I had planned for today, I laughed.  I just told all of you yesterday that I was starting my own operation spending freeze, an idea inspired by Alison of long distance loving, but had planned to write about shoes today...


One good thing about this post is that I don't usually set out to buy a pair of shoes with a low heel {I classified this as anything under three inches}.  That's not to say that I still wouldn't love to have a pair or two of these in my closet though...

As I said, if I were to go out and buy a pair of heels I wouldn't normally choose one under three inches.  A few of these definitely have caught my eye though, like #1 and #6.  I think either of those two would be great for work in my opinion.  And #3 would be a great way to add a pop of color to any outfit.

Do you usually wear low or high heels {look for a post on mid and high heels soon!}?  Any of these catching your eye?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

40 days

For the next 40 days I will be giving up several things.  In the past, specifically all four years of college, I attempted to give up caffeinated beverages - coffee, soda, and tea.  Yeah, that never actually worked out so well for me.  So this year I took a different approach and chose more than just one:

{image via weheartit}

1. Nutella
Oh my gosh, do I love Nutella!  By itself, on rice cakes, crackers, fruit, in cookies and cupcakes... the list goes on and on.  I know this is going to be a hard one for me since we currently have a jar in our pantry and I am planning on making Nutella cookies to give to some friends at Syracuse.  And then in a couple of weeks my family and I will be going on vacation where there are always little packets of Nutella at breakfast... I am determined though to stick with this for 40 days!

2. Cursing
I don't actually do this too often, but I internally cringe whenever I do.  It's such a bad habit to have picked up and I am really hoping that stopping it for 40 days will carry on after.

3. Spending money
Now, let me explain this one.  At the end of January, one of my favorite bloggers {Alison of long distance loving} shared what she called "Operation Spending Freeze".  It really inspired me and got me thinking about my own spending habits and whether or not I was really saving up enough money each month to put towards my own apartment.  Currently I am still living at home with my parents, but I have made some progress in finding my own place.  Buying clothes and accessories each month that I think I need is not helping me reach my goal.  So, I've decided to take a page out of Alison's book and start my own operation spending freeze in hopes of saving up more money to put towards rent.  Right now, 40 days seems like such a long time but I am actually hoping to continue this for the next couple of months.  I really think that Friday's Fancies and blogging will help me get through it!

Do you plan on giving anything up for the next 40 days?  Have you had much luck in the past?  Let me know and share your own tips on how you've done it!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

celebrate fat tuesday

I actually didn't realize that today was Mardi Gras until late last night.  I've never been to New Orleans {I'll be going at the end of March!} but I can only imagine the craziness that happens there.  I visited one of my favorite sites and picked out a few recipes that I think would be great to make in celebration of today.

Don't those look delicious?  Happy Mardi Gras!

Monday, February 20, 2012

weekend recap

Reading magazines, shopping for colorful things, being able to catch up with close friends via Skype, and watching some episodes of one of my favorite Food Network shows added up to a great weekend.  And really, it isn't even over yet!  I can't lie and say that I don't enjoy having today off because I most certainly do.  I usually think that the weekend passes by too quickly so it's nice to have this extra day to really relax.

If you have off today, I hope you enjoy the long weekend!  I have plans to catch up on my favorite blog reads {plus some new great finds!} and to whip up a few baked goods.  I'm also hoping to finally Skype with my friend Liz {we went to high school and college together!} who has been abroad since August, first in London and now in Florence.  It is a long overdue chat session that I am very much looking forward to having.  Any fun things on your agenda?

If you don't and are spending the day working away, well Happy Monday!  I think today would be a great day to treat yourself to something nice!  You deserve it!

Friday, February 17, 2012

friday's fancies: let's fly away

This week's Friday's Fancies theme has me thinking of my upcoming vacation in March with my family.  With it in mind, I chose to put together an outfit for a place with much warmer temperatures that what we're getting here in the city.  While I was abroad, some of my classmates visited Santorini, Greece and I was so jealous that they were able to go.  Their pictures were so beautiful that Santorini officially landed a spot on my list of places to visit.

All that's needed now is just a few more outfits, some friends and sunscreen and you'd be set for a getawy to Santorini!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

currently loving: zara

I first discovered Zara while working at Cutler Salon in New York City when I was in high school, but it wasn't til I went abroad to Strasbourg, France during my junior year at Syracuse that I actually fell in love with the store.  There was both a Zara and Zara Home right in centre-ville and it took all I had to stop myself from buying things whenever my friends and I walked in.

When I returned to the US at the end of the semester, I went to the Zara at my local mall and wasn't too impressed with the selection.  Last Sunday definitely changed my opinion though and I have a feeling I'll be making a trip back soon to scoop up a few of these.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

playground love

Sharing a bit more love.  Enjoy.

{Playground Love from The NewsHouse on Vimeo}

Syracuse University students and preschoolers at SU's Bernice M. Wright Child Development Lab School share their thoughts about love and what it means to them. Produced by Irina Dvalidze with assistance from Cheryl Mowczan for

happy valentine's day!

{Fun Valentine's Day cards from sparrownestscript on Etsy}

And something to provide a few chuckles {hopefully!}...

No big Valentine's Day plans for me, but I don't mind.  It doesn't stop me from baking some fun treats and decorating them in pink and red.  So whether you're with or without a Valentine today, I hope you love and are loved just a bit more today.

{Hearts via}

Monday, February 13, 2012

best of: grammy's

I really just like to watch award shows to see all the fashion.  The Grammy's are usually an exception because I like to watch the performances and see how everyone does.  I thought that Rihanna and Coldplay were great, Bruno Mars put on a fun show, and Adele had a great first performance after surgery.  I was a bit disappointed by some of the outfits last night though.  I thought there was a pretty equal amount of hits and misses last night.  But I was still able to pull a few that I liked, and I even included a few stylish men as well!

{Top Row, L-R: Adele, Bruno Mars, Kate Beckinsale | Bottom Row, L-R: Rihanna, Adam Levine, Gwyneth Paltrow; all images via InStyle}

A few others favorites from last night: John Legend, Kelly Osbourne, and Carrie Underwood.  I couldn't tell how much I loved Katy Perry's dress.  While I loved the dress itself, I think her blue hair threw me off.  And seriously, what was Nicki Minaj wearing?  I thought her performance was a bit out there too {aka, it kind of creeped me out!}.

Who were your favorite performers and best dressed celebrities from the Grammy's?  Anyone surprised that Adele took home all six of the awards she was nominated for?

Happy Monday!

send otto the orange to LA!

I think it's safe to say that I am a very proud Syracuse University alum.  And as if I needed another reason to add to my long list of reasons as to why I love SU, I stumbled upon this gem tonight on Twitter.

How adorable is our mascot, Otto the Orange?!  So cute!

If you didn't know, Ellen DeGeneres started a Dance Dare in January.  All you need to do is take a video of yourself dancing behind people without them knowing, just be creative about the place {and probably the dance moves} and post it on YouTube.  By far, Otto's video has to be the best and cutest {although, I'm probably a bit biased...}.  Their favorite dancer will get sent to the Ellen show and I think it needs to be Otto!

Friday, February 10, 2012

friday's fancies: red and pink

Today's Friday's Fancies theme is centered around Valentine's Day and red and pink.  I'm not someone who usually wears either color.  In fact, in the past I've usually stayed away from buying anything in red or pink.  But with a new year comes new goals, including incorporating more color into my wardrobe, especially red {pink is still a work in progress}.  So this week's theme was right up my alley with incorporating more color, even if it means just starting with the accessories.

Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

love and chocolate

This week's Friday's Fancies from long distance loving is red and pink themed since the 14th is just a few days away.  The theme has had me thinking of Valentine's Day pretty often and when I think of that day, my mind usually goes straight to chocolate.  I've never been one to make a big deal out of it, but I think it's one of those days when you are allowed to indulge and treat yourself to a little something extra.

So whether it's an extravagant and fancy dinner out, drinks with your best girlfriends, or a homemade dinner and dessert, don't deny yourself that extra bite!

I think all of those desserts look delicious!  Do you have any plans for the 14th?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

products i regret buying

This series will mostly be makeup related products.

I can admit, I was a little late on the makeup train.  It wasn't until my freshman year of college that I really became interested in it.  In my defense, I went to an all-girl high school and never felt the need then to wear any.  It's a completely different story now though.

There are a few YouTube makeup gurus that I love {MakeupByTiffanyD, MakeupByEman, and Kandee Johnson to name a few} and will watch whenever they post a new video.  I love watching different looks that they come up with, even though I tend to always wear more neutral colors.  I'm constantly on the hunt for the best products for my skin since it is extremely sensitive, but I don't always pick winners.  Sometimes the products are cult favorites and sometimes they get rave reviews on YouTube or in magazines, but if it doesn't work for me, I don't like to keep it and have it take up space in my drawers.  Don't get me wrong.  I always feel horrible about just tossing these in the garbage {if I can return it, I will}, but I don't see the sense in keeping something that I truly dislike.

These are the latest things that I regret buying.

1. Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Illuminating Serum: I read the reviews and tried a bit on in Sephora and really liked its consistency and feel.  That being said, I NEEDED to get rid of this.  Why?  It caused an allergic reaction and I took that as the only reason necessary to know that I couldn't use it anymore.
2. Smashbox Photo Op Eyeshadow Trio: I bought these back when I was a junior in college and didn't get rid of them until recently.  The colors in the trios I chose all seemed very pigmented when I swatched in stores.  When I actually used it all over my lids, it was a completely different story.  The colors in all three trios I purchased were so sheer no matter how much I packed it on.  They ended up just sitting in my drawers, untouched and unused for years.
3. Maybelline Great Last Mascara in Blackest Black: I know that Great Lash is a cult favorite so I tried it out in its darkest available color {I prefer very black mascara}.  I hoped that I would love this as much as most, but I found that it didn't do anything for my lashes and smudged within just a few hours.  I tossed this after trying to make it work for a few weeks.
4. Maybelline The Falsies Volum'Express Flared: A few of my friends use this mascara and praised it so I thought I would try it out for myself.  The verdict - I couldn't get over its smell; it was just too overbearing for me.  I'm already very wary of scented products that I use on my face {I usually have a bad reaction to them} and since it's mascara, it was a turn-off. However, I actually really liked the way this looked and I can see why so many people like it.  If it weren't for its strong scent, I probably would have kept this.

Are any of these four products that you use?  What are some of the products you regret buying?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

it's all in a name

Yesterday, I received an email about new Twitter nameplate names from BaubleBar.  At first, I wasn't really sure how I felt about them.  But now, I think they may be the next 'Carrie' necklaces.  Honestly, I am loving all of the BaubleBar personalized pendants and am thinking I need to save up to get myself one!

Now if I could just choose which one...

{all images via BaubleBar}

Which one would you choose?


Stumped for what to make for dinner tonight?  If you're a pasta lover, I've got an answer.

Boil some pasta, whip up some sauce, and make yourself a bowl of fettuccine alfredo because today is National Fettuccine Alfredo Day!

{image via weheartit}

Doesn't that look delicious?  When it comes to cooking, the Food Network is my go-to place for recipes.  Two popular ones are Giada De Laurentiis' recipe and this lower calorie version with a lighter sauce - either would be delicious I'm sure!

Where do you like to get your recipes from?  Food blogs, your favorite cookbook?

And if you're wondering where I find some of these 'National...' days, I usually find them on Project Gadabout and her Celebrate and Play Hooky! series.  One of my favorite blogs and such a fun series! 

Monday, February 6, 2012

weekend recap

Sometimes there are awkward moments in life.

Like when you attend a basketball game and there are more people wearing colors for the away team than the home team.

Or when you are probably one of the very few New England Patriots fans that lives in New Jersey and they lose to the Giants in the Superbowl.



Since they lost, I'm not in the best of moods and will most likely be in a slump for a few days.  That's what happens when you love sports and are a proud fan {and also when you don't like to lose}.

In other news, the rest of the weekend was great.  I was finally able to see one of my good friends and sorority sister after nine months, Alex.  I can't believe we hadn't seen each other since graduation!  We went out to dinner to this pizza place called Co. on 24th and 9th.  I meant to take pictures of our pizzas {she got the mushroom and jalapeño and I got the flambé} but it slipped my mind at the time.  They were delicious though!  I highly recommend going if you are in New York City.

On Saturday, I went to the Syracuse/St John's basketball game at the Garden {aka the game I referenced earlier} with my parents and friend Gabby.  It was lots of fun and made so much better by a Syracuse win!  I decided to stay up late that night to try and grab a few Jason Wu for Target pieces.  Though I had chosen a few favorites pieces and looks on Friday, I only purchased two things - a blush shirt and straw canvas clutch.

Though I am very disappointed by the outcome of the Superbowl, I did enjoy the halftime show.  Maybe I am one of the few, but I thought Madonna was very entertaining.  Quite the performance she put on with all of the lights, set, costumes, and guest {I am going to ignore the fact that she lip-synched...}.  I also really enjoyed the commercials, especially the ones from Best Buy {did you catch the founder of Instagram, Kevin Systrom?}, the cute Coca - Cola polar bears, and the trailer for The Lorax.  Did you have any favorites?

Now, I am very much counting down the days until vacation with my family {32 days} and the Final Four in New Orleans {53 days}!

{images taken via iPhone; Jason Wu shirt and clutch via Target}

Happy Monday!

Friday, February 3, 2012

jason wu for target

I'm sure you've all seen these already, but I couldn't help but post some of my favorites from the Jason Wu for Target lookbook since the collection will be released on Sunday, February 5th.  I can only imagine that stores will be just as crazy as they were for the Missoni collection.  For their sake, I hope that they learned their lesson and don't have any problems with the website during this release.  I haven't decided yet whether or not I want to wake up early to try and snag a few pieces.  After being one of the many who was locked out of the Target site for hours during that Missoni debacle, I've been turned off by the idea of sitting online or entering the store craziness just for a few items.  It hasn't stopped me from admiring his pieces and choosing my favorites though!

Do you plan on waking up early to purchase items online, heading to the stores, or neither?

{all images via Target Style}

friday's fancies: spring fever

Third time's a charm!  Today is the third Friday that I am participating and linking up with Alison's Friday's Fancies and I actually have it posted early on Friday!  I consider this to be a success.

I love this week's theme of spring fever.  Wednesday was so unusually warm for January that I wore shorts {with tights of course} to work.  When I took a walk during lunch, I even walked around without my coat on because the weather was so nice.  Since then, I've been impatiently awaiting the arrival of spring and warmer temperatures.  I can't wait to wear flats more often and only need to carry a light jacket.  I already plan on trying out the new trend of longer length skirts and incorporating more brights, pastels, patterns, and florals into my wardrobe.

Happy Friday!  Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

happy groundhog day!

{image via Sweet Sugarbelle}

First of all, how adorable are these groundhog cookies?!  Callye of Sweet Sugarbelle makes the most amazing decorated cookies.  I am so envious of her talent and skill!

Well, today is groundhog day.  And even though the weather the past few days has been quite warm for this time of year {which excites me and worries me at the same time} I'm sure some people are wondering whether or not Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow or not.  Early spring?  Longer winter?...

{image via weheartit}

Supposedly, we've got a bit more winter to endure.  Hasn't felt like it lately, but I guess I shouldn't complain!

Are you happy with the verdict? Do you think it's true?  Punxsutawney Phil doesn't have the best track record {his predictions have only been right 39% of the time!} so I guess it's really up to you.

Happy Groundhog Day!  Celebrate with a little Bill Murray and watch the film!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

pumped up kicks: peep toe flats

A series, I'm actually starting a series!  And it will feature one of my favorite things - shoes!

And yes.  I am very aware that the song by Foster the People is not actually about shoes.

Moving along...

I have always loved flats.  Ballet, skimmers, moccasins, drivers - I love them all.  But oh, how I love peep toe flats the most!  I'm not sure exactly what it is about them, I just think they're wonderful and absolutely adorable.  Unfortunately, I don't actually own a pair but know that I will eventually.  For now, I can dream...

february photo-a-day challenge

I stumbled about Fat Mum Slim yesterday and saw her post on a photo-a-day challenge.  I've seen other bloggers do it, like Bekah from Matters of Merrymaking, and thought that this would be something fun to participate in.

Follow me on Twitter or on instagram to see how I do this month!  And let me know if you're decide to take part in this as well so that I can see your progress!

{image via Fat Mum Slim}