Wednesday, October 28

currently loving

Trying something a little bit different today, some things I'm currently loving in a scrollable (and directly shop-able) layout. 

Lately I have been trying to make more of an effort to wear all of my dresses and skirts before the weather gets too cold and I start living in sweaters and wearing tights under my pants. I don't know what it was about last winter, but I couldn't deal with the weather. The tights thing became an unnervingly regular occurrence by February. Fingers crossed this winter is less harsh. Moving on, I just love the rich red color of this dress from Madewell. It's that perfect wear all day style, easily making the transition from the office to happy hour with a quick change of accessories. More a more causal weekend look I would pair it with a tough leather jacket, suede over the knee boots, and classic neutral accessories. 

Tuesday, October 27

balancing act

rag and bone jacket {old / similar here} . anthropologie sweater . madewell skirt {old / similar here} . rag and bone boots . mulberry handbag . le specs sunglasses . dogeared earrings 

Going to keep things short and sweet today...

There are many reasons that Autumn is my favorite of the seasons, as "basic" or whatever as that may sound. Today's reason is the ability to wear this jacket. With all of the ups and downs in temperature, you finally get to wear those in-between weather jackets and blazers without having to stuff them under a coat and melt into a puddle on the subway platform. Here in New York we get on average about two weeks of that glorious weather if we are lucky. This year it seems to be sticking around for a little longer (though I did break out my winter coat yesterday). As a result, I have been trying to balance my layers to remain comfortable in all situations. I'm not super thrilled about being too hot or too cold, hence the balancing act. Pairing sweaters and skirts has long been one of my favorite looks. With all of the lace details on both my sweater and skirt, I thought the addition of a tough but still feminine military inspired jacket and ankle boots would help give me a little bit more of an edge. 

Friday, October 23

bourbon pumpkin pie ice cream float

bourbon pumpkin pie ice cream float | prosecco in the park
bourbon pumpkin pie ice cream float | prosecco in the park
bourbon pumpkin pie ice cream float | prosecco in the park
bourbon pumpkin pie ice cream float | prosecco in the park
Last year I came up with a very similar recipe that you may remember, a seasonal variation of a whiskey smash called the "smashing pumpkin". It tasted so much like a liquid version of pumpkin pie that I ended up topping it with vanilla ice cream. I wanted to do something like it again this year but not quite the same thing. With the sudden rise in temperature I decided an ice cream float might be a fun idea and so I altered the recipe slightly, making a few changes to the measurements, ditching the brown sugar, adding chocolate bitters, chocolate ice cream, more cinnamon and soda. 

Dare I say I like this variation even more? It's decadent, a dessert in it's own right, and really easy to make. It will take you no more than five minutes to whip this drink together. And just about the same amount of time to drink it.

1 tbsp pumpkin puree
1.5 ounces bourbon
1 ounce simple syrup
1/2 tbsp honey
1/4 tsp cinnamon
dash of vanilla
dash of chocolate bitters
1 scoop chocolate ice cream
soda water

Drop a tablespoon of pumpkin puree into a large glass. Add bourbon, simple syrup, honey, and cinnamon. Stir until combined. Add a dash of vanilla and chocolate bitters. Stir once. Add one scoop of chocolate ice cream to your serving glass, pour pumpkin bourbon mixture over it and top with soda water. 

bourbon pumpkin pie ice cream float | prosecco in the park

Wednesday, October 21

burgundy and black

One of my personal style goals for the season is to dress up a bit more in my day to day life. My style has gotten extremely casual and I'm in need of a change. This became glaringly obvious last Thursday when I popped into the hair salon for a fringe trim and looked so very out of place waiting in a sea of coated denim, perfectly draped blouses, and slick black boots. While it's nice to stand out from the pack, this wasn't one of those life affirming occasions. There is absolutely no need for me to look like I'm about to do improv on a boat at any point in time, especially in said extremely cool SoHo hair salon. Then I spotted these shoes in Vince the following day and have since been debating how functional a pair of calf hair sneakers would be for me and my new style "#goals". Aside from the fact that I walk everywhere and wouldn't feel comfortable wearing them outside in any kind of weather, I think they might dress up quite nicely. Here I paired them with the previously mentioned very cool coated denim pants, a feminine lace top, and a sleek color coordinating handbag with nails and lips to match.

Question: Does anyone else feel seriously uncool at their hair salon or is it just me a New York thing?

Tuesday, October 20

plaid poncho

old navy plaid poncho #oldnavystyle
old navy plaid poncho #oldnavystyle
old navy plaid poncho #oldnavystyle
old navy plaid poncho #oldnavystyle
old navy plaid poncho #oldnavystyle
old navy plaid poncho #oldnavystyle
old navy plaid poncho #oldnavystyle

So, this weather has been fun. The weekend started out with a slight chill and yesterday I ended up in a winter coat with a big cozy scarf (which also happens to be from Old Navy - you can find it here) wrapped around my head for my walks to and from work. It was hard to tell who was unfazed by the sudden change in temps and who had not yet unpacked their winter gear. I very obviously wasn't feeling it. I hear today is supposed to reach 70, which is more my speed, but confusing none the less. Deciding how many layers I need to wear in the morning is a challenge. 

One of my favorite fall trends has been the poncho. I don't know if you remember, but last year I had all but launched a search party to find the perfect one, (see here). This year with their rise in popularity it's been much easier to find cute ponchos. They really are great pieces for layering, capable of topping off the thickest of knits. Also a stylish way to keep warm in those chillier offices. I know I used to joke at my old one that it was warmer in the refrigerator and that I was going to start wearing a snowsuit at my desk. This black and white plaid poncho from Old Navy would sure have come in handy back then. 

Since ponchos can accommodate a lot of layers, I thought I'd keep things light and simple for what I now assume was one of the last warmer days of the season with a burgundy cocoon dress and ankle boots. 

What is your opinion on ponchos, have you jumped on the bandwagon yet?

Thursday, October 15

everything she forgot + a giveaway

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm always looking for the next book to read. I read Gone Girl this time last year and have subsequently been craving something dark. Does anyone else do that? It's almost like falling into a pattern. When I read the quick summary of Lisa Ballantyne's Everything She Forgot I knew I had a winner. It's dark, filled with mystery, and a little sadness, but I won't spoil anything. 
Everything She Forgot is exactly the kind of book I love to read. It's consuming. It sucks you in immediately, teasing out the story, told through the perspectives of several characters both present day and in the past. You get a clear idea of what might be going on early enough, discovering different bits and pieces of the puzzle, watching as they slowly come together through the eyes of each character. The moment my suspicions were very slightly confirmed there was no putting it down. I wanted to know. I wanted Margaret to remember. I wanted to see if I was right. This is the kind of book you find yourself thinking about when you're not reading, wondering what will happen next, trying to work out in your head how the plot might take shape, where the story would go from there. I even read parts of it out loud to JD and summarized what was going on for him at multiple turns.

Now, I'm always a little bit weird about endings. Who wants a book they're devouring at such a rapid pace to end? It's an odd feeling. I like it when the loose ends are all tied up neatly, but I also like the open ended way of closing a story, the kind that makes you wonder and fills your head with possible outcomes. While reading, I did a lot of thinking about how the story would end and couldn't think of how it should. I won't reveal what kind of ending this one had because I wouldn't want to spoil it but I will say that I thought this one was sweet, good closure to a whirlwind of a story.

I loved reading this book, truly couldn't put it down. It's an adventure, one that comes highly recommended. If you're looking for something to read snuggled up on your couch with a cup of tea on a chilly autumn day, this one's it.

Harper Collins is giving away a print copy of Everything She Forgot to three lucky readers so don't forget to enter to win below. If you'd like to get your hands on a copy sooner, it it currently available via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 8

autumn wedding guest

I have another wedding coming up at the end of the month so while I'm shopping around for dresses, I figured now would be as good a time as any to share some of my favorites, both realistic options and a dream world one or two.
one / two / three 
four / five / six 

I don't know if you've noticed but I apparently have a thing for sweet lace numbers this season. The first dress is something I get to wear in dream world. The low v back is stunning. I have been borderline obsessed with dress number two for ages and actually ordered it the moment it became available. Unfortunately, I had to send it back. The top fit much tighter than I was expecting and squashed my chest in a very unflattering way. I would suggest sizing up in this one if you are not flat chested. I just love the layered skirt on dress three and dress four could easily be re-worn for a night out on the town. The back on dress five, my goodness. And finally, dress six. I've been hesitant to get on board with this "naked dress" trend, it's not my style and I find it largely unnecessary. You know how I love to dress like a puritan. But, while this one could potentially fit into that category, it appears to be much more wearer friendly. It's sweet and feminine rather than in your face "naked dress". What do you think? 

Wednesday, October 7

a girl's guide to hair care and repair

About a week ago my sister asked how I keep the ends of my hair from breaking off. While I'm far from an expert, hair health is extremely important to me so I thought I'd share my not so secret hair tips and tricks with you. A few years ago I found myself in the boat my sister is currently in, with ends so broken and brittle the last several inches of my hair looked sheer. I was in the process of trying to grow it long, but that wasn't happening. It would get to a certain length and promptly stop due to all of the breakage. Something needed to change. I stopped experimenting with my color and started searching for ways to reverse some of the damage already done and prevent it in the future. These tips and tricks if you will are all super simple things I wish I had known and done earlier.
One: Get a wide tooth comb.
Making sure my hair didn't break off became my number one haircare priority, so I went back to the old way of doing things. Growing up I remember being instructed on how to handle my wet hair. Never drag a brush through it, use a wide toothed comb, with patience, starting with the ends and working your way up. I had been dragging a regular old brush through my hair. For years. Out of laziness. It did me no favors. Instead, it was causing a lot of breakage and I feel stupid admitting this now. Getting a good wide tooth comb changed everything. I ordered this one from Birchbox,  almost immediately noticed a change, and felt like an even bigger idiot.
Two: Take your vitamins.
Biotin and Vitamin B became my best vitamin friends. Both should help speed up the growth process as well improve the overall health of your hair. You won't see the results overnight, but in my personal experience they work well enough that I need to stop taking them once the summer rolls around as I am way too lazy to shave my legs every day.

Three: Drink a lot of water.
Everyone is said to require different amounts of water depending on your height, weight, activity level, the weather outside, etcetera, etcetera. I have been religious about drinking at least eight glasses of water a day for the last five years and have noticed that I get a bit cranky and run down feeling on days I don't have enough. It's amazing when you realize those mid afternoon headaches are directly related to your level of hydration. I definitely notice it a lot more these days. Aside from having to pee ten minutes after leaving my apartment, my hair has gotten annoyingly shiny. Which brings me to...

Four: Oil.
Over the years, I feel like I've tried just about every kind of hair oil out there and the bottom line is they really do help. My current favorite is Shu Uemera's Essence Absolue. It is a camellia oil, smells heavenly, and does not contain any silicone so it actually absorbs into your hair instead of just sitting on top of it. As I told my sister, it's really expensive but magical. Regardless of which one you choose, they do a fantastic job at preventing split ends and keeping the lengths and ends hydrated. I also really like Organix Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil.
Five: Deep conditioning treatments.
So basically, it really boils down to hydration, doesn't it? I like to use deep conditioners and hair masks a couple times a week. Living Proof's Restore mask is great for rebuilding, it focuses on restoring dry and damaged hair and played a major role in my life back when I was trying my best to un-fry my hair. I'm also a big fan of Organix Renewing Moroccan Oil Intensive Moisturizing Treatment and most recently have been addicted to Acure's Moisturizing Root Repair Argan Stem Cell + Mint Conditioning Maskwhich Kate turned me on to. (Added bonus, it's all organic! How rare is a good for you hair product that actually works?) And finally, when it comes to leave in conditioners you can't beat It's a 10 Leave-In Conditioner Plus Keratin. I'm sure by now you've heard too many good things about it. They're probably all true. Never have I ever encountered a product that instantly eliminates frizz, and on top of that, it's really light so you can spray it on without worrying if it's going to make your clean hair greasy, a major concern of people who now have bangs.
That's pretty much it. It takes a lot of time and effort, but the end results of healthy hair are certainly worth it. And now I'll leave you with two more tips I didn't know where to put...

Other tips:
Never sleep with your hair up in a hair tie if you can avoid it.
Don't blow dry on high heat.

Happy Wednesday!