I’ll be at home with my parents and my sister for Thanksgiving tomorrow. I want to be present and available while we’re all together, so I’ll be offline, so I’m signing off a day in advance.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family, friends, food, and most of all, thankfulness.

p.s. calories don’t exist tomorrow. eat and be merry!


Christmas 2013 gift guide: on my Christmas list

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The 7 things on my Christmas list. I zeroed in on what would be useful when I thought about what I might want to find underneath the Christmas tree this year. Of course, practical gifts don’t have to be boring. In fact, they can be quite lovely if packaged with a little charm and whimsy.

bejeweled beanie | a beanie that will not only keep my head warm but is also sparkly, grey, and will work equally well with both dressed up and dressed down outfits? yes, please.

iPhone 5s case | I’m overdue for a phone upgrade, so I will very shortly be trading in my iPhone 4 (yeah) for an iPhone 5s (yeah!). I’m going for a white iPhone this time around, and I want to keep the clean, minimal look of the phone itself going, even with a case. when I saw these white cases from the note to self shop at society6, the question wasn’t whether one was going on my Christmas list, it was which one? I’m going for life begins after coffee, a statement I wholeheartedly agree with.

pretty jewelry tray | jewelry trays are such a nice way to hold little bits of sparkle. it’s like storage and decor all in one. while I already have a healthy assortment of trays, I don’t have one this big or this deep. this would be perfect on my dressing table to place my watch and daily jewelry in at the end of the day.

card case | infinitely handy when you’re going out and don’t want to carry your big wallet overflowing with receipts. no? that’s just me? I’m calling your bluff. this one comes in a beautiful blackened violet that adds a bit of color without straying too far from the neutrals I love. bonus: this can be monogrammed. hdc, in case you’re wondering.

small wallet | as mentioned above, I am a big wallet girl. my daily wallet is my vintage louis vuitton red epi leather sarah wallet, with its 10 card cases, 2 bill compartments, zippered coin compartment, and a back slim compartment to boot, all encased in a slim rectangular frame that could pass off as a sleek clutch. ample storage without the bulk – crucial for a girl like me who carries her life around in her wallet. this is hands down the best consignment purchase I’ve ever made – excellent condition, vintage, and for way, way, way under retail, thanks to an extra 20% off (!!!) the consignment price and Boston’s friendly tax rate. that being said, I need to give it a break. I’m going for the opposite with this small wallet from Coach in terms of size, but not organization. it has 3 card slots, a window for your ID, 2 interior slots that can hold more cards or receipts, and a full length billfold. not too shabby for a small wallet. I love it in black, for maximum versatility, and that little metal plaque is just enough to give it an interesting detail.

perfume set | even though narciso rodriguez for her edt is my daily fall/winter scent, I only have a rollerball of it that’s close to running out. I was just thinking of picking up another one in the same size, but Christmas is the best time for perfume sets, so I did a little search and found this set that comes with a body cream, a full-sized bottle, and a purse spray. the packaging is lovely – sleek, minimalistic, and black, with just a hint of pink, which I think is perfect for the scent itself, which starts out strong and sensual and dies down to something softer and more delicate. don’t you love it when the packaging goes seamlessly with what’s inside?

moto boot | my current pair has been well-loved, and they definitely look the part. I hate to part with them because they’ve now reached that perfect broken-in, perfectly-molded-to-my-feet stage, but I stepped in a teeny-tiny puddle yesterday for just a half second and walked away with a wet sock, so I think it’s time to throw in the towel. these would be a perfect replacement.

Christmas 2013 gift guide: for the sparkle lover

sparkle & shine
The holiday season is the perfect time to up the sparkle game. Since I tend to dress in neutrals, I love to add a little interest to an otherwise plain outfit with a bauble or two. From rings to bracelets to earrings to necklaces, here are some ideas for the sparkle lover on your list.

monday memo


Let’s start the week of Thanksgiving right.

We all have so very many things to be grateful for, not the least of which is a national holiday where a lot of us are given a day of rest to spend time with our families over good food and good times. Make the most of the moment, and enjoy it for the true luxury it is. Yes, family gatherings are sometimes tricky. Yes, maybe you’d rather skip the chumminess altogether and just get to the fantastic sales. But, there are plenty of people who don’t get Thanksgiving off, because they drew the short end of the stick when it came to holiday shifts or because they work in an industry that can’t take the day off or because they can’t afford to. If you’re lucky enough to be at home enjoying a feast, give thanks and be joyful.

Have a happy Monday.


Christmas 2013 gift guide: for the beauty maven

gift guide: beauty
A roundup of the best of the best of all things beauty (in my opinion), from hands to lips to perfume. There are so many good things that I have to stop myself from going “one for me & one for you” with each product. You’ve been warned. ;).
for a lit-from-within glow: hourglass ambient light limited edition palette | I bought this during the sephora friends and family sale and it is beautiful. if you’ve ever wanted to try any of these ambient lighting palettes from hourglass but couldn’t decide on one, this is your opportunity to try three of them.
for a palette that covers all the bases: laura mercier color to go natural nudes eye, cheek & lip palette | laura mercier is one of my all time favorite brands. they do such beautiful, high quality makeup. they’ve become my go-to for effortless, classic makeup. this little set comes encased in the brand’s signature dark brown packaging and comes with 3 eyeshadows, 1 eyeliner, a mini of their fantastic lipgloss, a blush, and a bronzer. perfect for travel or a tiny clutch on a night out.
for a month of manis: ciate mini mani month | this would be the perfect gift for the nail polish addict in your life – 24 bottles of mini nail polish bottles will let her change her mani every day, if she wants to.
for nourished skin: korres yoghurt advanced nourishing trio | this skincare set is literally greek yogurt for your face and comes with a foaming cleanser, a face cream, and a sleeping facial. I’ve been a fan of korres’ line of makeup and skincare products ever since I discovered them while searching for a brand that wouldn’t aggravate my sister’s eczema. they’re a great brand for sensitive skin, and I’ve found them to be at a friendlier price point than other alternatives.
for pampered & colorful lips: fresh sugar baby lip set & nars fling lip set | this fresh lip set is awesome, with a little pot of their lip scrub, a mini tube of their rose lip treatment, and a mini tube of their moisturizing gloss. I’ve been a long-time fan of the scrub and balm for years now. I just bought a full-sized tube of the gloss, and that’s now a favorite, too. this is a good way to try all three products that I highly recommend. for those who are more about lip color, this lip set from nars is a great assortment of easy to wear colors that would be flattering on a variety of skin tones. if you’re really looking to make some lip lover’s day, getting the two would make a great combination.
for rosy lids: urban decay naked 3 palette | this is kind of cheating because this isn’t out yet (sources say it will be out on the urban decay website later this month and at other beauty retailers in December), but I’ve seen enough pictures from other bloggers to know that this is one beautiful eyeshadow palette. it contains 12 pans of rosy-tinged shades that would be perfect for all the parties and events for a little rose-gold sparkle. if you’re a fan of the previous two naked palettes, you’ll like this one. it’s also different enough from the other two because of the pinkness to the shades to justify the addition even if they (or you!) have the other two already.
for moisturized hands: l’occitane hand creams of provence set | I swear up and down by l’occitane products, their hand creams included. this set comes with five tubes of their best-selling creams, each scented differently. you can give this as a set for a particularly nice gift, or divvy up the tubes for some stocking stuffers. everyone needs a little tlc for their hands this time of year; this is a lovely way to do it.
for a relaxing bath: sai sei vital minerals gift set | I can’t get enough of the soothing scent of this line of products from space.nk. it’s literally the scent of clean, flowing water. what could be better for a relaxing bath? this would turn her bath time into a spa experience. this is also a great price – the cream alone retails for $30. for $10 more, she can try decent sizes of their body scrub and bath & shower gel, all packaged in a nice drawstring pouch.
for a scent unique to her: the blend by fred segal | this is the showstopper in this roundup. if you have a die-hard perfume fan on your list, this is the gift for her. this set comes with 10 rollerballs of perfume oils that can be worn alone for a simple, pure scent, or blended to create a unique, layered scent all her own.  no guesswork on your end about what scent she’d like and she’ll be able to create her own scent. win win. needless to say, this is on my wishlist.

Christmas 2013 gift guide: for the guys

for the guys
I’m one of those (annoying) people who like to get their Christmas shopping done early. As in, done-before-or-right-after-Thanksgiving-early. As I type this, I only have my mom’s present left to get (I know what it is, I just haven’t ordered it yet). If you’re not done or if you haven’t started or you have no idea what to get and you need a little help, I’m sending out a series of gift guides that may be helpful. There are 5 in total, and they’ll be coming your way from today through the Wednesday of next week.
First up: for the guys. I know the prospect of buying gifts for the men you love can be daunting – both of the leading men in my life are hard to shop for.  My dad is not one to treat or buy anything for himself, and James doesn’t have strong feelings either way about any one specific thing, so he’ll often say “whatever is fine”. Over the years, I’ve learned that the presents they’ve ended up loving go one of two ways: a) something that serves a function (this works for my Dad) or b) something nice that they want but would never  buy for themselves (this works for James). Every guy is different, of course, but hopefully this serves you up some ideas.
sweater (love the elbow patches for a little professorial vibe) | beanie | scarf (it’s reversible!) | tech gloves | socks (you can never have too many) | sneakers | chukkas | books: sailing, craft cocktails, & the architect’s home | wallet | pajama set | moccasins | shaving set | shaving soap

wish list wednesday

I was reminded as my fingers started to ache from the wind and cold that I need some new gloves. Pairs from years past have either mysteriously lost their mate or are looking a little worse for wear. While perusing, I came across these 9 pairs that I wouldn’t mind having in my coat pocket. Graphic gloves are great for a little whimsy, especially the ones with cute designs or sayings. Leather pairs are always chic, whether in classic black, bold red, or leopard print (it’s a neutral!). Lastly, anyone with a touchscreen device understands the concept of “fingerless” gloves. These are admittedly less about warmth and more about being able to stay tied to your phone/tablet/reader. Great until the temperatures get really low, and then that’s when you turn to the tech-friendly fingered options (psst! #1 and #2 meet this criterion, as does #6).
graphic one | two | three
leather four | five | six
fingerless seven | eight | nine

the great flannel search

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I almost titled this post “mission: impossible (to find the perfect flannel shirt)”. I’ve searched high and low for the flannel shirt – you know, the one that is comfy and cozy and looks and feels exactly like your guy’s flannel shirt except in your size.

I tried this one from the Gap, and it wasn’t thick or cozy enough. If I were looking for a more fitted, dressier flannel option, it would be fine, but it’s not quite what I’m looking for right now. I tried this one from Old Navy, and I ended up being in between sizes – one size was too small in the bust and the next size up was too big everywhere but. I tried this one from J.Crew Factory, and while it fit quite well, I wasn’t in love with the color combination – I wanted a darker red and green combo.

For try #4, I went with the shirt above from L.L. Bean. If there ever was a store that was synonymous with flannel, wouldn’t it be L.L. Bean? I really hope this one works out because that color combo is spot on.

Tell me I’m not the only one on this wild goose chase. And if you’ve found your flannel soul mate, won’t you please share?

monday memo


Things have gotten a little crazy this past week – I just started a second (part-time) job, and I’m still trying to figure out how to adjust to my new schedule. In the meantime, apologies for sporadic posting for the next week or so.

Since my workweek just got a little bit more hectic, I thought I’d start the week off with a little “Monday Memo” to get us (me) started on the right foot. I’m tired from the extra hours, but I’m also excited about the work I’m doing. I’ll write more on that when I can sit down and really hash it out.

Have a good Monday!