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Thursday, December 26, 2013

And to all a good night!

Wishing you and your family the happiest of holidays!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas today filled with love and cheer!

What was your favorite gift you received? What was your favorite gift to give?

I think it goes without saying that getting presents is enjoyable. But I absolutely love watching to expressions on people's faces when they receive a gift. It make me want to give more often! 

Below is a picture of me loving one of the gifts a got today: the cutest PJ set from the Gap!

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!

Monday, December 23, 2013

But I NEVER Win Anything...

I cannot believe I haven't shared this with you guys yet!! Even though it was all over my social media, I just have to dedicate a post to it.

Let me start off by saying that I never, ever win anything -- giveaways, raffles, contests, races...nothing. I mean, I've pretty much entered every possible giveaway on blogs and on YouTube. But still. I never won once. (Oh, except for that time I thought I won..but it turns out someone hacked the users account and emailed everyone saying they won and to send their information over. Long story short -- I now receive 20 unknown calls a day from my information being sold.)

Well. My streak is over!! About a month ago, I found out that I won a giveaway on Ellie of City Brewed 's blog. Best part? IT WAS A PURSE! Not many of you may know this, but I am secretly a bag lady. Ever since I was little, I would store anything and everything in bags. My mom told me that I used to have a zillion bags all around my room. But if you asked me where a specific toy was, I knew exactly where it was.

After destroying the box...

Totally obsessed with this Joelle Hawkens bag! It's the perfect amount of grunge for me and it worked amazing for my commute into the city!! I definitely recommend checking out the other products on the site.

I still enter as many giveaways as I can even though I'm sure my luck is already used up. Fingers crossed though!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

It's finally starting to feel like the holiday season is really here!! Between the beautiful snow days we've been getting and mini holiday celebrations, I'm starting to feel like a little kid again waiting for Santa to come to town.

Within the past couple of weeks, I've celebrated a couple holiday festivities. As I mentioned in my last post, my girls (otherwise known as the Crazy Fatties) and I had our Secret Santa gift exchange! It was amazing and I couldn't have been happier to be surrounded by such loving and great girls. Lucy, Felice, and I also decided to surprise the other girls with a sub-celebration of the 5 year anniversary of when we all became friends! It was really special and I can't wait to continue to celebrate our friendship every year!


LEFT: These were the little gift bags Lucy, Felice, and I put together for our CFLJK anniversary celebration.
RIGHT: That's Felice and one of her gifts. Such a cutie!

This is just a sample of what we included in our little gift bag :)

Jess' new cat, Luna, loves getting morning scratches. She is so adorable!! I can't wait to have a kitten of my own so they can be best friends :)

Last weekend my parents had tickets to the theater in New Brunswick so Pat and I decided to make a night out of it and go out to dinner afterwards. We ate at a restaurant called Delta's which has delicious soul food! (I probably could have been rolled out of there after all the food we ate!) Another thing that made this night so awesome was that it snowed! As far as I can remember, this was the first time Pat and I were together in the same place for the start of a snow storm. So obviously I was as happy as could be!

Pat and I walking through snowy New Brunswick...before we had a snowball fight. (I totally won by the way...)

#SnowySelfie ? Couldn't resist.

This was my morning commute the next day. Even though the train ended up arriving 30 minutes late, I didn't mind watching the snow fall outside!

The city in the winter time is so magical, don't you think?!

Whenever it snows, I can't help but think of my little boy Max (rip). He used to LOVE the winter time. We would let him outside to go play and he would come back with a face full of snowballs from rubbing it all around in the snow!

Most recently, I went out for my company's holiday party to the rooftop restaurant Birreria in Eately. It was absolutely amazing and so much fun! I couldn't be happier with the people I work with! Pat joined us and even brought me flowers (what a gentleman)!

This picture originally came out super dark, so I attempted to fix it myself because it was too darn cute to go to waste. 

I never get red/devil eyes in pictures. I blame it on that big red light above!

My desk instantly looks 100% cuter!

The craziest part? My Christmas gift from my company was...

An iPad mini!!! I still can't believe it...I'm even too nervous to take it out of the box and start really using it. 1-because I don't have a case for it yet, and 2-because I'm waiting for them to come back and be like haha just kidding that's not for you! haha.

Anyway, with all of the snow and celebrations these past couple of weeks..I'm officially in the holiday spirit! My mom and I even made our own DIY ornaments with tinsel.

It sparkles AND glistens!! I'm obviously in love.

My favorite road in my town, especially during the winter.

UGH! I can't wait for Christmas and New Years!

What are you doing to celebrate the holidays?!

PS -- I was featured on Simple Easy Style's Friday link up! Go over and check it out!! She has amazing style and features some awesome bloggers! I love being able to find new blogs out there!

Monday, December 9, 2013

A Week in Style

Last week was the first full week of work I've had since I started. To be honest, I was a little scared that I wouldn't survive it haha. But it really wasn't bad!! The days actually went by pretty fast and before I knew it, I was heading to my girlfriend's apartment for our Crazy Fatties secret Santa exchange/anniversary (but more on that later). 

Throughout the week I thought it would be fun to document my outfits every day. I think my main purpose for this was to make sure I kept going through the week and to give me something to look forward to every morning. 

Take a look!

On Monday I went with the basics. Grey pinstriped pants from Zara (similar), a white tee from Uniqlo, my Urban Outfitters blazer with leather detailing (similar), and Steve Madden booties (similar).

Tuesday was all about mixing it up. I love mixing plaid and leather! There's just something so relaxed yet still put together about it. I wore black jeggings from Dor L' Dor (love this boutique!), a grey basic tee from Uniqlo, plaid shirt from Forever 21, a black leather jacket from Express, and Steven Madden combat boots (similar).

Hump day called for comfort! I threw on some black leggings from Forever 21, a basic white tee, the softest cardigan from Forever 21 (old; similar), and cognac riding boots from Franco Sarto (old; similar). I topped it off with a pashmina I got some time ago in NYC.

This is the outfit I'm most upset about. I had this whole big idea of how I wanted to wear these shorts...sheer black tights, cute girly top, maybe even a statement necklace. When the morning came, my brain was so foggy that I couldn't tell a top from a pair of stockings. The mess of this outfit didn't stop while getting dressed -- I ripped my stockings once I got to the office. Luckily there's a Duane Reade a block away! Any who...I decided on making the outfit a bit more casual than I initially intended. I paired the black Uniqlo shorts (old; similar) with another basic white tee (can you tell I like basics?), a dusty rose colored cardigan from Forever 21(similar), and a knit beanie from Aldo (old; similar). It didn't turn out too bad, but expect to see another outfit that truly honors the shorts!

TGIF!! Friday was definitely a "Casual Friday" in the office for me. I rocked my new Pink Floyd graphic tee from Target (similar) underneath my Lauren Conrad blazer from Kohl's, a leather pair of jeggings from Dor L' Dor, and my trusty Converse. I dressed the outfit up a bit with a statement necklace from H&M (old; similar).

Getting these pictures right before running out to catch the train was a bit hard, but it was definitely worth it! I love being able to look back on my outfit choices. It kind of reminds of my mood/vibe of the day.

What was your favorite outfit?!

Link up with: Simple Easy Style

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Pinch Me

PINCHme...this has to be a dream! 

A few weeks ago, one of my friends introduced me to the site called PINCHme. She was always talking about how she reviews and rates products that she gets for free. The first thing I thought of was how this is what a lot of bloggers (especially my favorites) do, so obviously it was something I was interested in. Besides...who doesn't enjoy free things?! 

After she invited me to join her PINCHme network, I was so excited to get started! Basically, you choose a few products to add to your box and within 14 days (mine came in less than a week!) you receive the cutest little package in the mail with all of your products. (Please ignore the condition of my box. It endured a rough journey apparently.) 

My first box included two items (which I had chosen from a selection):

1. Rimmel Scandaleyes Flex Mascara in Black

Mascara is kind of a big deal with me. My lashes aren't the worst, but they aren't the the type of mascara I use really needs to do the trick. (I usually go for volumizing mascaras). 
Thoughts: This mascara wasn't all that bad. It gave a pretty natural look and I feel like it also extended my lashes. Would I purchase it with me own money? Probably not. But I enjoyed trying it out!

2. Gevalia Caramel Mocchiato k-cup

This one was a little tricky. It was the only other product from the selection that seemed appealing. Only thing is...I don't drink coffee (I kinda start to shake if I do). So in order to review this one, I gave it to my boyfriend -- the coffee fiend. He's actually had it before and really liked it so he was thrilled when I showed up to his door with this assignment. 

"Good for people who don't like coffee. Tastes great! Drink it for the taste, not the effect." - Pat

Maybe I should have tried it after all haha.

After testing out each product, you return to your PINCHme account to review the products with a few scale-based questions. The fun doesn't stop then get to choose what to include in your NEXT box! This time I was allotted 3 items. I chose 2 creams, one facial and one body, and (get ready..) the Lady Gaga perfume. Can you believe it?! I get to test out a perfume FOR FREE!!! Perfumes are one of things I hate to run out of because 1) I never know what to get/try out and
2) they're just so darn expensive! I feel like I would try out way more scents if they weren't so $$$. I could even be missing out on my signature smell!!

That was some tangent huh...anyway, so far I'm really enjoying this program and definitely recommend all of you to at least check it out! Below is a link to this site as well as an invite from me to join!!

PINCHme                Join me at PINCHme!

Kinda makes you feel exclusive, doesn't it? ;)

If you try it out, be sure to let me know what you think!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Welcome to the Real World

Some of you may have noticed I've been a bit MIA for the past 2 weeks. I know I was going to try harder to post more often and more consistently..but this time I have a REALLY good reason.


And the best part?? It's in NYC, baby! I'm a marketing coordinator for a small company and I couldn't be more excited! I started on Tuesday, November 19 and have been busting my behind ever since. Although I must say that I started at quite a fortunate time since my first 2 weeks were short due to the holidays.

So that's a little update as to where I've been recently. I took some pictures of my first couple of "work wear" outfits. The office is totally casual, but a girl can't help but dress it up a few knotches :)

Day 1: I went for a modern twist of the business suit as well as incorporating the black and navy trend. I had on navy Zara leggings, a white Zara top (similar), a black blazer with leather detailing from Urban Outfitters (similar), and (of course) my Steve Madden cut out booties (similar). 

Day 2: I eased into a slightly more casual look. I wore the same Zara leggings except in black, a black and white sweater from Target (totally affordable and totally chic!), and, you guessed it, my Steve Madden cut out booties (similar).

It was fun and nerve wrecking picking out my outfits for the week. I'm lucky enough to work in a casual environment where pretty much anything goes, but I still wanted to impress them! I'm just glad the I'll be able express myself and experiment with my fashion while working a full time job. Not many people in the business world get the same opportunity. 

So far I'm loving my job and the people I work with. I think that's something that has always been a priority to me when looking for a job. Even if I wasn't doing exactly what I wanted to, I needed to be surrounded by people and in an environment that was open and exhilarating. I have found just that. And it is wonderful!

I'll be sure to keep you updated on how everything's going. I'm still trying to get used to the new routine (6 AM mornings and 8 PM returns? Oy.). I even asked for an iPad case with a keyboard attached to it for Christmas to be able to draft posts on the train rides so I can just upload them when I get home. You have no idea how exhausted I am by the time I get home at night. I can barely keep my eyes open. 

Speaking of which, it's getting to be that time where my eyes are shutting. But don't worry. More is sure to come! 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Decisions, decisions...

Do any of you have trouble making decisions? I am the Queen of being indecisive. Especially when high prices are involved. So now that I'm trying to decide on my first genuine leather purse, I am struggling big time. (#firstworldproblems)

A little background on this whole purse situation:

About 5 years ago, after I graduated high school, my family and I went on a two and a half week trip to Italy (take me back please). While we were there, my mom said I could buy one genuine leather purse. What better place to buy leather goods other than Italy?! Cue my inability to make decisions, and we had ourselves a stalemate. Low and behold, I didn't end up buying a purse in Italy. #Shocker. Luckily, my mom said that I could choose a name brand bag back in the US. 5 years later? Still no purse. Again, #shocker.

Now that I'm about to enter the real world as a working woman, I thought there was no better time to get my first "real" purse. But that means I need to make a decision. Uh oh. The deadline I've given myself is Christmas. How am I going to make this decision? With the help of all of you!

That's another reason why I love blogging. I'm a big fan of collecting people's opinions and taking them into consideration. You know, like gathering all the facts before coming to a conclusion. I find myself checking out the opinions and experiences of fellow bloggers/followers on products. So here I am, 5 years sans purse, asking for your help!

I've chosen a few options, pretty basic and mostly in black. I feel that spending this much money on one item requires getting something that is timeless, classy, and simple.

For play:

I've had my eyes on the Marc by Marc Jacobs Classic Q Francesca for a little over a year now. It's simple, classic, and I've always loved the texture of Marc Jacobs leather.

After a while of seeing the regular Michael Kors Hamilton purse (Medium & Large), I decided it was too stiff for me. There's nothing nicer than the feel of broken in leather. So when I came across the Michael Kors Medium Hamilton Slouchy Satchel, I fell in love.

For work:

The idea of starting work also got me thinking about the possibility of a work bag. (Just what I need, more things to decide on and buy.) After reading a post about Dagne Dover on The College Prepster, I fell in love. Again.

Dagne Dover Tote & Clutch

Maybe I fall too easily. But the practicality of these two items sell themselves. That clutch is so perfect for going out at night and bringing just the essentials without carrying anything too bulky or uncomfortable. As for the tote? Not only does it have a slot for everything you could think of (laptop, iPad, cards), but it's totally chic too! Getting the tote in black would be the safest choice; but the oxblood is just so gorgeous!

Okay. I've narrowed it down. Now what?!

Opinions people!!

What's your favorite/current bag? Work or play!

Images from Marc JacobsMichael Kors, & Dagne Dover websites.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Love Your Life NYC Event

Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to attend an event I had mentioned in a previous post called Love Your Life. It was hosted in the city by Lynette Lewis with guest speaker Jen Ramos of Made By Girl. Both of these women were so inspirational and I learned a lot about myself and being a career woman.

Going into the night, I had no idea what to expect. I was just hoping to leave with some advice and motivation, being that things right now (career wise) are a little on the stressful side. 

How do I feel post-event?

Words cannot even begin to describe what I got out of that event. From advice, to networking, to inspirational stories...the event was a really big eye opener and almost like a push to keep moving forward towards what is waiting for me.

The night started out with a little icebreaker in which Lynette would ask questions and if it related to any audience members, they would go up to the stage and receive a package of delicious mini cakes. I actually went up in regards to having made a small step towards a goal of mine: starting/working on my blog. I then shared what my blog is about and the name of it. (Nice plug for some new followers haha)

After discussing some of the upcoming events (one of which I will be attending in January, the Leading on Purpose Workshop), Lynette introduced Jen. I don't even know where to start when describing how much more of an inspiration Jen is to me now after hearing her journey throughout the years. After numerous failed business attempts, to personal struggles, to finally starting up Made By Girl in 2006, Jen is a true example of what it means to not give up on your dreams. 

Here are some takeaway tips you can use to follow your dreams as well!

Jen's 5 Steps to Starting Your Own Business

Figure out your passion: What gets you out of bed every day? What do you want the future to bring? Think about the one thing (or more) that you can't imagine your life without. Find what you have a love for and truly motivates you, then go for it!

Do your research: If you're starting something new, chances are you don't exactly know what you're doing. Take the time to reach out to people currently in the business you are beginning and ask as many questions as possible. Learn as much as you can about all of the things you don't know and even things you think you may know. All that information can't hurt!

Don't quit your day job right away: Before making any rash decisions, establish a support system. You don't need to waste your time worrying about ways to pay the bills when you're trying to establish something new. Use any free moment you have during lunch breaks, at night, and on weekends to work on your dreams. Once things come together and you are certain you can support yourself financially, then you can consider leaving your job.

Focus on your goal: As mentioned before, spend every free moment possible in the most productive way to get closer to reaching your goal. It is important to remember what your goal is; don't try to do everything, just do you.

Don't just dream, DO: You can't reach the finish line without taking steps. Don't just talk about what you want to accomplish and make lists of the things you want to do (guilty!). Actually go out and make it happen!

Something else that really struck me was the idea that there is beauty in pain. You know all of those quotes that say "you can't have a rainbow without some rain"? Well, LISTEN TO THEM! After hearing Jen's experience, it hit me that everyone goes through hard times and the negative phases. You just need to push through them and focus on what really matters to you. The more certain you are about what you want, the closer you are to achieving it.

It was great being able to relate to what Jen experienced in terms of figuring out where to start, how to move forward, and dealing with those negative voices (including your own). These are some of the things I struggle with every single day. Before this event, I thought I was the only one. I thought "well, maybe this isn't for me. I don't know what I'm doing, maybe I'm not cut out for it." But what Jen and Lynette showed me is that everyone has those doubts, everyone starts somewhere. Just take one step at a time.

Another thing that was touched on at the event was dealing with your fears. One of the bigger fears I have deals with worrying about what other people think. This tends to translate into my blogging life as well. After meeting and talking with another blogger I admire, Ashlina of The Decorista, she told me that everyone has their own perspective on things. You just need to own up to what you believe in and do you! Oddly enough, this fear also sneaks its way into my fashion. I actually had my outfit planned for about a week, but for some reason when it came time to rock it, I got nervous. Here's what I wore:

Top: J.Crew (similar) || Leather skirt: H&M || Booties: Steve Madden (similar)

I'm so glad I was able to attend such an amazing and uplifting event! My eyes, ears, heart, and mind were all opened and filled with the most inspirational and motivational of things. I can't wait until the next Love Your Life event!

I can never get enough of the city!

Jen's lovely artwork! You can find more here!