Imagefrom my instagram

We spent less than a handful of days in Boston, which may explain why I’ve only got 6 pictures to show for it. But in truth, we were too busy having fun to document more than what you see above. I know that in the blogging world, if there’s not a picture, it didn’t happen, but I can’t make myself wish I had taken more. Sometimes you’ve got to stop recording the moment and just be in the moment, you know? So a quick run-down of what I did manage to snap:

one |on the way to meeting friends in Harvard Square, I took a quick turn around Anthropologie and found these coupes. so pretty. after trying to decide if they could possibly make it back to Chicago without breaking, I took a peek at the price… and walked away. at $20 a pop, I’m going to mull over these a little longer. (am I the only one who goes to Anthropologie not for the clothes but for housewares/decor?)

two | my shopping haul from the trip, all courtesy of the Davis Square CVS. sometimes all you need is a little drugstore spree. more to come on this pile of goodies.

three |we had drinks and food at Charlie’s Kitchen with friends to celebrate James’ birthday and watch the Red Sox. I went with the calamari. so much good salty seafood goodness for only $7. if only the night hadn’t ended with an obstruction call…but they won in the end, so it wasn’t so bad after all.

four |I drank so many bottles of this. what can I say? fall is the perfect time for hard cider.

five | lobster rolls and clam chowder. I get this every time I visit.

six |chicken milanese torta from the painted burro. crispy bread, tender chicken, garlic mayo. amazing.

I have to say, fall in New England is pretty amazing. This was my first time, and I was thrilled to see so many colorful leaves. It was also a first for me to be sitting in a bar with friends rooting for a team in the World Series. As a Cubs fan, I haven’t ever been able to do that with friends here in Chicago, so it was really nice to be in the middle of it all.

We’re already scouting tickets for a trip around Christmastime. Let’s see if I take more pictures that time around.

wish list wednesday


Ah, candles. I’m crazy about them. They make spaces feel so cozy and inviting.

The infatuation began in high school when I discovered Yankee Candles. Their lemon lavender, macintosh, and autumn wreath are old favorites of mine, with mistletoe and november rain being more recent additions to the list. I’m currently burning autumn wreath in my living room and diptyque’s baies in our bedroom. While I prefer my candles to be light and fresh for the spring/summer, I go the exact opposite in the fall/winter when I want all things woody and masculine. I’m eyeing diptyque’s cyprès next. James and I both had a chance to smell it in store, and we both love the woodsy, green scent of it. I’m also intrigued by the Sai-Sei candle. The line’s moisture body cream smells like clean and fresh water, and I’m curious if that’s captured in the candle as well.

Any other candles I should have on my radar?

one laura mercier warm roasted chestnuts | two fresh citron de vigne | three diptyque cyprès | four yankee candle autumn wreath | five (malin + goetz) vetiver | six beautannia cambridge | seven jo malone peony & blush suede | eight space.nk mediterranean fig | nine voluspa crisp champagne | ten kate spade be dazzling | eleven sai-sei | twelve jonathan adler earl grey

p.s. we had a great time in Boston. picture recap coming up.

here’s to a lovely weekend



Happy Friday and hello from Boston, everybody! Oh, and in case you haven’t heard, the Boston Red Sox are in the World Series! I’ll be rooting for them because their James’ team and because as a Cubs fan, I’m obligated to root against the St. Louis Cardinals. Win win.

There are so many people we want to see and so many baseball games to watch, so I’ll keep this short and sweet. Have a lovely weekend!

And as always, some bits for a little weekend reading:

I think James would like this Fenway print. No words necessary; the field speaks for itself. And James loves that Citgo sign.

Patrick Mouratoglou, coach of Serena Williams.

A.O. Scott and facing the pitiless void. I enjoyed the article as a whole, but the last paragraph specifically resonated with me.

I thought Melissa McCarthy looked gorgeous on her Elle cover. What do you think?

make your own home fragrance using fresh herbs, spices, and produce.

currently reading this and loving it.

next year’s best actress Oscar nominees set already? (P.S. I’m dying to see Blue is the Warmest Color.)

I really want to eat here this weekend.

the three kinds of people who live in the united states. where do you fall?

I’m tempted to make all of these.

let’s talk: packing for an extended weekend



We’re off to Boston this evening for a belated birthday trip back home for James. We haven’t been back since Christmas, so a visit is long overdue. Since I’ve been going through the motions of preparing for the trip, I thought it would be a good idea to do a post on packing for an extended weekend. I’ve learned over the years that packing light is always the way to go. Travel will feel less hectic and literally less heavy when you pare down what you’re bringing along. Packing less on your way to someplace also means more room for new things you might bring back. ;).

What’s coming with me:


 four sweaters | one black camisole | multiple pairs of socks | one black a-line skirt* |one pair of white jeans* | one pair of black kitten heel pumps* | pajama set* | one foldable tote


oatmeal colored cardigan* | black skinny jeans* | black ankle boots | black v-neck tee | leopard print infinity scarf | travel tote | silver watch* | solitaires* | four leaf clover necklace*


radical skincare serum | caudalie vinexpert radiance day cream spf 15 | clinique take the day off | evian face spray | dove go refresh deodorant | neutrogena make-up remover towelettes | clinique all about eyes eye cream | sai sei mineral deep moisture body cream | l’occitane hand cream | paul mitchell skinny serum | redken color extend shampoo | nars and God created the woman palette | nars eyeshadow brush | nars satin lip pencil | narciso rodriguez for her edt rollerball | sigma f40 angled brush | hourglass film noir mascara | kevyn aucoin sensual skin tinted balm | kevyn aucoin pure powder glow blush | sonia kashuk kabuki brush | almay liquid balm

It looks like I went overboard on the toiletries & cosmetics, but looks can be deceiving. Everything you see is sample or travel sized except for the foundation, blush, lip products, and brushes, and even those were picked for their discreet size. The foundation has the slimmest packaging I’ve ever found for a foundation; the blush compact is thin as well. I chose the Sonia Kashuk kabuki brush for buffing because it’s quite short, and both lip products can fit in the palm of my hand and are low maintenance. All liquids will fit in the Sephora see-through TSA approved bag below, and all the rest of my makeup fits into one small/medium cosmetic bag.


memo pad | planner*| pens | passport* | kindle | wallet | phone & headphones | liquids bag | bottled water

some tips for the road:

one| Pick a color palette for your outfits. I find this easy since most of my closet is neutrals that go well with each other, but if your closet has a lot more color variety (good for you!), pick two or three shades of neutrals and pick pieces of clothing that are in those shades (e.g. blue & grey, black & camel). To keep things from getting too monotone, stick in a pop of color of your choice, be it through a blouse, a pair of shoes, or a scarf.

two | Accessorize wisely. Jewelry and other accessories are a great way to infuse some personality and variety in a very basic travel wardrobe without adding too much bulk. That being said, be judicious in choosing what pieces you bring and how many.

three | Bring the least amount of shoes possible. This piece of advice is an arrow to the heart of any shoe lover like me, but let’s face it, shoes are bulky. There’s no faster way to run out of space in a little suitcase than to start packing in pairs of shoes. I wear the bulkiest pair I want to bring, which is usually a pair of black boots that are either flat or with a low heel, and pack another pair or two max, depending on the activities planned.

four | Have good traveling gear. We invested in a pair of spinner wheel carry-on size suitcases a year ago, and they’ve made flying that much easier. Our suitcases maneuver so much better on wheels that can spin 360 degrees. As my “plus one” carry on item, I always use a travel bag. My travel bag of choice is my Lo & Sons Travel Tote.  I usually toss a little crossbody bag into my suitcase for use when I get to  where I’m going, but this time around I’m bringing a Longchamp tote bag that’s foldable and lightweight.

five | Dress well for the flight. Or train/bus/car ride, if that’s your method of travel. Dressing well means dressing appropriately, both comfort-wise and style-wise. Going on a plane is not the time to pull together your most glamourous outfit, but it’s also not the time to look like you just rolled out of bed.

six | Hydrate & moisturize. Cabin air is so dry, and the air this time of year is harsh in general. Drink plenty of water and moisturize your hands and face. Once I’m pass security, I always buy a 1L bottle of water. It’s more cost-effective to get the bigger size anyway, plus you’ll have plenty of water on hand.

polyvore sets here

* whenever possible, pictures in these collages represent the actual product I own, but in the event I can no longer find the item online, I choose another similar product instead. these similar products are denoted by an asterisk.

wish list wednesday


I’m on the hunt for a bag. Actually, two. One tote/satchel in black, and one crossbody in some shade of red.

The tote needs to be classic and practical, something I can use for interviews (the Zara one I ordered didn’t work out and has been returned) and for when I want to be a little bit more polished. It needs to go with everything, but it still needs to be stylish. I’m debating over the three above. The Kate Spade tote (#2) is fun, and the bow is an adorable way to have a functioning pocket, but I’m not really a bow person. The Michael Kors (#1) has structure, is made of saffiano leather, and has a fairly minimal logo, all of which are pluses in my book. The con? It has one main compartment with no interior dividers, aside from the customary phone pocket and back zip pocket. The Coach (#3) is breathtakingly simple, with discreet metal hardware, a longer strap option, and multiple interior pockets. The con? The price. The medium size tops out at over $500.

As for the crossbody, I want it to be in red. I was thinking more of a maroon because it would be easier to go with everything, but I included the Marc by Marc Jacobs (#6) because of the simple design and the fantastic bright red. I like the texture of the Tory Burch one (#4) but I’m not loving the chain/leather strap and the fairly small size. The Coach one (#5) is casual yet elegant at the same time, and I love the contrast of the black straps against the rich oxblood. Again, the price is tough to swallow at $268, but it’s actually the cheapest of the three by a long shot.

I’m still considering and will be for awhile, but I think Coach wins out again. I’m a sucker for clean, classic lines, judicious use of hardware, simple logos, and sumptuous leather, which is what the brand has been putting out in spades for the last couple of years.

I’ll be saving my pennies…and dropping hints. wink wink.

one michael kors selma | two kate spade beau | three coach borough

four tory burch parkan mini | five coach urbane | six marc by marc jacobs uptown lila