Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

This is my idea of a Halloween costume...

I am a self-proclaimed hater of Halloween, but I do love candy, so this year especially, I think I can get behind it. If I had to have a costume tomorrow, I think I'd make an excellent whale...

Hope you have lots of sweets and treats today!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Getting Your Home In The Holiday Spirit

Love these decorations from Dwell Studio!
While I know that Halloween is this week, and I am jumping the gun, I am thinking a bit ahead in terms of decor. When the weather gets colder, I like to find ways to make my apartment feel more festive and cozy. This could also be the nesting impulse kicking in. I showed you a glimpse at my Halloween decorations, but I usually pine (no pun intended) for the day when I can put up my Christmas tree. However, because we are going to be away Thanksgiving weekend and then will be flying home for Christmas two weeks later, I have decided that it doesn't really make sense to buy a tree we will only have up for such a short time. (Boo hoo!) Luckily, I found these fantastic prints, and they are going to be the way to transform my place into a holiday haven. (While these frames are not exactly the right size, I think they would look great with these prints, which can be slightly trimmed down.) It just so happens that I currently have three prints over my couch, so I am going to swap these in. I think that they can be up for Thanksgiving as well because who doesn't like a little peace, love, and joy regardless of the month?

If you are thinking of doing a little holiday redecorating, I think that small things can change the vibe of the room. This is what I would love to see in my place:

You might remember that I had the urge to swap out my pillows in the spring as well because changing pillow covers can give a room an entirely different look in a relatively inexpensive way. A little luxe velvet and gold would help to usher in the holiday vibe. The other thing that can changea room without too much fuss is the use of throw blankets draped over the arm or back of a couch. I adore this furry number from Restoration Hardware, and I also love this black and white sweater blanket. I might not have noticed it online, but it immediately caught my eye when I was recently in Anthropologie. My living room is pretty "whimsical" so the polka dots would fit right in. I have posted many times about the REN Ikea rug. It is so versatile. I typically keep it on my lucite desk chair (which needs the padding), but in the winter I drape it over the back of one of my couches that is on the smaller side. It immediately makes a rather traditional piece of furniture feel cozy. What really sets the mood for me is scent. For fall, I love the Baltic Amber and Gogi Berry. After Thanksgiving, I'll settle in with some adorable Christmas cards like these from Rifle Paper Co. and 1canoe2, and I'll light up a holiday candle!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday Musings: Where to Eat in SF

So we had a GREAT weekend. My brother and sister-in-law were in town, and J. is trying on a part time gig as a concierge (I kid...sort of), so in preparation for this visit he booked approximately 20 reservations anticipating any and all eventualities. Of course, we had to narrow them down, but I think we pretty much got the best of everything. And, we took a few walks in between eating. But, to be honest, we mostly ate. In case you are ever in SF, these are the places we went (and I would highly recommend any of them!):

Friday night we had a very late dinner at Pizzeria Delfina. Amazing, unique pizzas and small plates. I know it can be hard to get into during prime time, but they are quite open at 10:30 pm!

Saturday we had brunch at Foreign Cinema, which we've been to a number of times for dinner, but we've never tried their brunch. Everything was delicious. I do think that part of the draw of Foreign Cinema is the vibe of the place. It may not be the world's most amazing brunch, but it is such a great location, and the serivce is excellent, so everything feels elevate.

Saturday evening, J. surprised everyone with a reservation at Bourbon & Branch. (He had not put that one on the itinerary!) This is a old speakeasy style bar--you actually get a secret password with your reservation that you have to give at the door. There is no food served, but the drink menu is beyond extensive. Not being able to drink, I was sure I would have to have Pellegrino, but I actually had two amazing mocktails that the bartender whipped up without any specific instructions from me. I really wanted to take pictures to share, but no cameras allowed! Everyone else who had real cocktails thought the drinks were amazing.

Saturday dinner was at Nopa, a place J. and I have wanted to visit forever. Everything was divine, and, to top it off, they had butterscotch pudding for dessert, which is kind of my new obsession.

Sunday, we didn't hit the restaurants until dinner time which started with some oysters at Hog Island Oyster Co. in the Ferry Building and ended with tapas at Coqueta. Coqueta has an amazing interior and vibe. Every piece of flatware, glassware, and table accoutrement was so industrial chic. We all wanted the designer's number.

FYI: All of these places require reservations well in advance, so if you are thinking of giving any of them a try, make sure you plan ahead.

In between all the eating, we walked through Muir Woods and took in the Lands End Trail. Does that balance everything out? I meant to take far more pictures than I did, but here are a few of the natural wonders of the weekend.

There is nothing like a delightful weekend with family. This week and next, life is very busy. Posts may not come every day, but I will do my best! If you don't see one for a day, keep coming back! I'm still here!

Hope your week is off to a great start. Happy Monday. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Fabulous Friday

Instead of writing about things that are fabulous, I thought I'd do a little photo post...

My baby girl got her first J.Crew! How freakin' cute is this? This is her first piece of clothing in what I imagine will become an extensive collection!!

And her grandma bought her this amazingly soft pink elephant!

My spiderific candles.

And the skull banner I mentioned yesterday.

A little pampering for me never hurt either. I am a convert to Chanel makeup. More on that next week!

The best thing about today, of which I did not have a picture is that my brother and sister in law are here for the weekend. In the words of Vicki Gunvalson, "Can I get a Woo hoo!"

Have a terrific weekend. Woo hoo it up, whatever you're doing.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


FEELING (and THINKING ABOUT): I am genuinely feeling really good these days. Because I was thinking about something that I didn't know when it came to pregnancy, and, just in case anyone out there is pregnant or thinking about giving it a whirl, I decided to share this with you; the first trimester can be really bad. I don't just mean the morning sickness, I mean the moods. I genuinely thought I was descending into a depression. Of course, I was elated at first. I had wanted to get pregnant and was so happy when it finally happened, but shortly after that, I just felt glum...and like I was having an out of body experience. I felt so disconnected from my body, physically miserable (nausea, vomiting, etc.), and psychologically fragile. I was terrified of doing something bad for the baby, or losing the baby, or not being able to take care of the baby when it came. I spent way too much time reading nonsense online (which is the biggest mistake I made). I was so anxious all the time, and a lot of days I just felt sad. My family assured me it was the hormones, but I was scared that there was something wrong with me. And then the second trimester came, and the fog lifted. Suddenly, I was happy again. I am happy again. I am excited. And, I am still a little scared about taking care of a baby, but a scared like a normal, rational person. Not scared to the point of it being debilitating. I feel like my old self. Because I wish I had known that that can happen, I wanted to put it out there. But, to sum up, right now I am feeling chubby and happy.

EATING: I am trying so hard to be healthy, but when your body is hungry every two hours, it can be a challenge. Actually, because our next three weekends are full up with out of town visitors, which means lots of eating out at great restaurants, we decided to temporarily give up on cooking during the week to save time; we figured we'd make up for it on Fridays and Saturdays. We don't have the weekends to work, so we need to be uber productive during the week. This now means that week nights are pasta, cereal...yogurt...string cheese...apples and peanut butter (gotta get the Honey Crisp--a more perfect apple does not exist), or whatever I can find in the kitchen that requires no more than one pan to prepare. Kind of pathetic.

WATCHING: I blow through a lot of shows at the gym lest you think I spend all my time watching TV (not that that is so far from the truth). I recently caught up to the current season of Parenthood and needed something to keep me occupied while I sweat, so I am giving Scandal a go. I am only on episode two, and I think I am going to like it, but something about the way Kerry Washington moves her mouth when she talks is very distracting to me. This is strange, I know.

READING: I have The Lowland on my nightstand. It has yet to be cracked open. After hearing Jhumpa Lahiri speak about her new book at the talk I went to a little while back, I ordered it immediately. I can't get enough of her writing, and this story sounds very compelling. I hope one of these days I have enough time to start reading it.

LOVING: Baby kicks. They are truly amazing. My babe seems to be an active one, and I never really get tired of feeling her rustling around in there...What this means for her out of the womb temperament has me a little scared! And Rolos. I love Rolos, too. Oh, and one more...seasonal decor. Love a good pumpkin and gourd scattered around the house. I very much want to make the pumpkins featured above. I also have this great, colorful skull pennant banner. Sounds weird, I know, but it is very Halloween-chic.

BUMMED OUT ABOUT: I have so damn much work! I can't seem to crawl out of this abyss. Help me!

LOOKING FORWARD TO: We aren't going home for Thanksgiving this year because we just made the trip and felt that Christmas and Thanksgiving were too close to justify two additional trips. I told J. that I would be a miserable, crying mess if we just sat in the apartment, so we are taking a little weekend getaway to Mendocino, a town north of SF, where neither of us has ever been. I am not sure what we are going to do there, but frankly, I couldn't care less because we are staying here. Looks absolutely divine. And they have fresh cookies out all day. Can you say "happy lady"?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

For the Love of Margaret

A few weekends ago, I was lying in bed looking at the emails on my phone. I have signed up for a pregnancy newsletter through my doctor, so every week I get an email telling me what to expect during that week, what to do to prepare for the baby, and what to do for myself. This particular week happened to be the twenty week mark. Under things to do for oneself the newsletter said to treat myself to a gift or a pampering experience because I was half way through the pregnancy. Of course, I read this part aloud to my dear husband who was lying beside me. "Do you think you should get a gift," he asked? I said, "I'm just telling you what the newsletter says..." He got up and came back with a little box. Now this floored me. He is not the kind of guy who gives spontaenous gifts. I don't think I can ever remember getting a "just because" present from him in all the years I've known him. In fact, sometimes he doesn't even have a gift for an actual occassion. I had mentioned a pair of earrings I liked, and, low and behold, he bought them for me. You could have knocked me over with the feather.

Long story short, he bought me a pair of Margaret Elizabeth earrings. You may remember that I got a ring from Margaret Elizabeth for my birthday. I absolutely love her jewelry. I told J. that this can be his one stop shop for pretty baubles in the future. This Christmas, I am hoping to add some bangles to the mix! But, really, I'd take anything she designs. Meg Galligan, the designer, is based in SF and just opened her first showroom, which looks really fab. I nabbed this photo off her Instagram:

Just in case my hubby decides to surprise me again, I thought I'd pull out a few of my absolute favorite pieces from this beautiful collection to share with you:

Pinky Stardust Finial - Faceted Pear Studs  (My 20 week surprise!) - Ophelia Ring  (My birthday gift) - The Mira's - Teardrop Studs - Spike Posts - Pearl Wrap - Teardrop Bangle - Pear Shaped Bangle (This one tops my list as "most wanted.")

Any of these pieces would make a terrific gift for a friend, sister, name her, I think she'll like it. I can't wait to keep adding to my collection!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tuesday Beauty

I almost called in sick today---trying to play catch-up from the weekend took it all out of me! But, I wanted to quickly share a new beauty find that I'm into. This is again courtesy of Birchbox. I am familiar with Ojon as a brand that makes hair products, so I was surprised to find an Ojon mascara in my Birchbox two months back. It happened to arrive just as my old mascara was drying out. So, I gave it a go. I am not terribly picky about mascara, but (if you remember) have been partial to the Clinique variety that "peels" off. This Ojon sample has two sides; one is a restorative Ojon oil conditioning treatment, and the other is a traditional mascara. You apply the treatment and then layer the mascara on top. I think it makes my eyelashes look full and thick, and it is easy to remove. Plus, I like the idea that I am conditioning my eyelashes! It is a bit more expensive than the Clinique as $21, but still not as expensive as some other popular brands. I give this one my seal of approval.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday Musings

We have just returned from a wonderful fall weekend in Connecticut and New York. We spent Saturday in Sunday in NYC, and on Saturday I finally got to visit Eataly, which is a giant Italian market (that also is home to many great restaurants) in the Flatiron District near where we were staying. My family loves this place, and I've heard them talk about it for ages, but I was never on the excursions that ended there, so I was excited to see if for myself. It is a foodie's dream. Check it out.

Later that night we went out to a great dinner at Apiary. So glad to be with family. Here's a little photo of my sister and me (and the baby)!

Wish the weekend never had to end. My sister is trying to teach me how to pose better for gets more challenging with the belly. All in all, it was just the weekend I needed to hold me over until the next dose of family time. Lucky for us, we have weekend visitors for the next three weeks, so much more fun is on the horizon!

Hope your week is off to a terrific start, and next time you're in NYC, hit up Eataly!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Fabulous Friday

Sometimes on Thursday I scroll through my Pinterest just looking for the right words to express a thought for the week, and I love coming across something I pinned that reminds me of a thing for which I am so grateful, but wasn't planning to write. That's what happened today. I came across this short poem, and it made me think of my own great love. 

Bringing another life into the world makes you look at your partner in a different way. I imagine that many people have gone through this before and can relate. When I found out I was pregnant, I saw a new side of my husband. In thinking about having our own child, we have started talking about things that we had never talked about before. Having known him since we were teenagers, I often think that there is nothing we don't know about each other, nothing new to learn about our pasts. But, I have been reminded recently that there are always new things to learn in a marriage, always new layers to peel away and new ways to deepen your feeling of connectedness. 

Our life is mostly just the two of us. We both work quite hard and don't really have an active social life. Our weekends are primarily spent in each others' company, and frankly, neither of us minds too much. Some days, I am astounded that we can still think of things to say to one another. We have been married for five and a half years (and together for almost thirteen), which is longer than a lot of our friends. Yet, we have waited to have children for some very purposeful reasons. I can honestly say that I wouldn't trade those years alone for anything. We grew up. We got our s*** together. We had some adventures, and we really, truly, deeply got to know one another. And, now we are at a crossroads when I often think that these are the last times that it will be just us. I mourn that some days. I love the peacefulness of being two. But, lately, as I think about the man that my husband is, the kind of husband he has proven to be, I can only imagine the richness that will come to our relationship when we become three, and I am grateful to him for being himself and for making me so confident in our ability to do this together. 

I don't always thank him enough for the ways that he builds me up, sustains me, cares for me, and reassures me. Yesterday afternoon, I sat across from my husband at my parents' kitchen table doing work. We were both typing away, and I looked up and thought, "I love this man." So, I figured, why not tell him? This Friday and many Fridays before (and to come) are fabulous because of you.

There is no time like right now to remind someone how much you love them. Hope you're having a great weekend.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

What's In My Bag?

I am excited to get to have a little fall weather this week! The forecast for San Francisco on Wednesday was 80 degrees! I know that San Franciscans wait all year for this Indian summer, but by the time October roles around, I'm ready for cool, crisp air. So, in the hopes that I would find just that  in CT and NY, I brought my fall items that I have been looking forward to breaking out.

1. A scarf is a must for fall travel. It's perfect for cool weather and I love having a good scarf on the plane if I get chilly (although this flight was like a sauna).

2. I have two Barbour vests and they are on heavy rotation. One is a standard vest and the other is the liner for my Barbour jacket, and it is a fun plaid. Who doesn't love a good fall plaid?

3. This is my go to maternity shirt. It is more of a tunic and the sleeves stop just above the elbows, which is good for my recurring hot flashes. The front and the back are different materials, so it adds visual interest.

4. My booties! Okay, people, I tried them on with my skinny jeans, and I actually sort of pulled it off. I am officially on the bootie bandwagon.

5. I don't have this particular sweater, but I bought a blazer that is navy and gray during J.Crew's sale last weekend, and it is a great texture, and I like the two toned look. This would be a great alternative if you are looking for something in this vein.

6. The shirt pictured is actually a maternity shirt,  I bought a blue and white striped drapey tee that is similar from J.Crew, and it looks great with the two-toned blazer (and everything else because stripes are essentially a neutral).

7. I never thought I would wear a legit skinny jean. My legs are not my best attribute. Being pregnant made me think, what the hell! My belly is eclipsing my legs anyway, so I gave these a whirl (in the maternity version), and I am suprised by how much I like them. If you are going to wear a tunic style top, I think skinny jeans are the way to go.

8. I am kind of obsessed with this combo sweater/coat. I got it during the Nordstrom Half-Yearly sale, but it is on sale right now! It looks really chic. It does run quite large, so if you want a more streamlined look, order a size down.

I am also a big fan of this sweater (I bought two last year), and this hat (which I forgot to bring with me, but I love the baseball hat trend that is happening this season).

Shopbop is having its Friends and Family sale through the end of the day today, so if any of these look good to you, check it out for a discount! 

Now I am off to enjoy some quality time with my peeps!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I'm off...

This is my plan for the rest of the week! I am off to NYC today. We are visiting both set of parents and then spending the weekend soaking up fall in the Big Apple! Please excuse the short post today as I was so busy getting ready, I didn't have enough time to put together the post I intended! Don't worry...back tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tuesday Beauty

While I have said that I am not a fan of drugstore makeup, there are some products I love from the drugstore (or, usually Target, which always seems to have the best prices). This is the haul I usually make when shopping for beauty products at low prices:

1. Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion: Great for the face and body. I am not great about moisturizing my face, but this always does the trick when my skin is feeling dry.

2. CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser: I've switched to this as a face wash, and I like it. It is unscented, basic, and dermatologist (mine) approved. 

3. Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub: I posted about Jennifer Aniston raving about this product a while back, and it lived up to the hype. I am really into Aveeno's Positively Radiant products.

4. Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes: I do double duty to make sure my skin is clear and use these to remove makeup before washing my face. Great for taking off eye makeup too.

5. Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion: J. bought this because he likes it, but I am a convert. Again, it is unscented and has a great consistency that is moisturizing, but quickly absorbs.

6. Johnson's Baby Powder (only the cornstarch/talc free variety): I like to use this under my arms after I shave to reduce bumps and redness, but talc is not good for your skin, so be sure to check that you have the cornstarch type.

7. Maybelline "Great Lash"Clear Mascara: Use this on my brows every morning, and it keeps them looking groomed all day.

8. Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets: I always keep these in my purse. They are great for blotting your skin before applying powder when you are touching up.

9. Essie "Mademoiselle": A classic, can't miss nail color that is now carried in a lot of drugstores! So happy that Essie polishes are easy to access these days.

10. Nivea "A Kiss of Moisture": I keep this by my bed and apply at night before falling asleep.

11. Clean & Clear Persa Gel-10: I have probably had a tube of this in my medicine cabinet since at all times since seventh grade because it works. It really dries out pimples.

12. Jergen's Natural Glow: An absolute necessity for us pale gals. I go with the medium/dark shade to look a bit more tan.

And there you have it...I'd love to hear about any drugstore favorites you have that I might add to my list! Comment below to share!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Monday Musings

I totally drew a blank for this post. Lately, and this happens all the time, I say something and then two minutes later I say the same exact thing because I legitimately forgot what I just said. Pathetic. Needless to say, I am not having a lot of deep thoughts...So, I decided to ask my trusty side kick, "Hey, hun, what have I been talking about lately? What's been on my mind?" His response..."Finding a cool pair of maternity pants." Yes, folks, that about sums it up. I am excited to go home this week (number one thing about which I have been obsessively talking), and I am on a never ending quest for good maternity pants. And that's my life.

We leave Wednesday morning to visit the families, and that is certainly taking up most of my mental space, but until then, I have work to get done, and I am taking my second stab at prenatal yoga this evening. I went to a class a few weeks ago that was horrible in which I was the only pregnant person and the room was 100 degrees (and this was after being assured by the woman at the desk  that yes, this was a prenatal class and no, the room would not be heated). Liars. My experience in this class mostly involved sitting, watching people lie on their stomachs (um, obviously not happening for me) and sweating profusely. I did think that my skin felt clearer afterwards...although I am pretty sure that is not the point of yoga. I also cried a lot when I got home. Is that the effect of extreme heat? Basically, it was like one big purge. Unfortunately, it did nothing to help my back pain.

And because this post is not following any logical progression, I will throw out another non sequitor. Does any one else think that booties are hard to wear? I want to be the cool girl who wears booties and skinny jeans, but I am just struggling to make that happen. Pulling off this look would, of course, entail finding this elusive pair of perfect maternity pants with which to pair the booties. I bought this pair (mostly because Caitlin Flemming pinned them and seemed to think they were cool), but I feel challenged to make them look good. Any and all advice on the proper and cool wearing of booties is welcomed. Send it my way.

Oh, did I tell you guys about that prenatal yoga class I tried?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Fabulous Friday

I have not been the best at keeping my word. I said this wasn't going to be all baby all the time over here, but I can't help from wanting to share some tidbits every now and then, and today seemed like the day to share some news.

It just so happens that, according to my brother, today is International Day of the Girl Child, which means I couldn't resist. This week we found out we are having a baby girl of our very own! Now when I tell you that I was excited, this is an understatement. J. said he has never seen me as happy as I was when I got that news. I was almost literally bouncing off the walls. I have not been terribly secretive about my strong desire to have a daughter, and my mom has been on that bandwagon too. She told me, "It just has to be a girl. Period." My mom is the oldest girl in her family. I am the oldest girl in mine, and now our baby will be the oldest girl of the next generation. Needless to say, my mom, grandma, and I were all pretty much over the moon. And, as my aunt said, "That's a lot of girl power!" Plus, I can't deny that little girl clothes make me swoon.

On another note, some weird things happen to your body when your pregnant, and some of those things make you really uncomfortable, but when I think about holding my daughter, I don't really mind at all. (Although I do have to admit that starting to see a blonde fuzz on my face the other night when I was getting ready for bed was rather alarming...but I was in a state of bliss so I chose to laugh about it, which is very un-me. Oh yeah...that and wax it. Stat.)

To add to the joy I am feeling this week, next week, I am going to back to CT and NY to visit my family, AND I won tickets to hear Jhumpa Lahiri speak tonight, who is a favorite author of mine.  Basically, best Friday ever. Can't top it. I hope you're having a little happy this Friday. I'm sending out good vibes because I feel like I have enough to share. See you on Monday!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Add It To The List...

A few more fall finds that are looking pretty great to me right now:

JOIE Moli Jacket - T. KILBURN tinted crystal necklace - LOREN HOPE sarra earrings - SCOUT'S HONOR CO. east coast girls print (I mean how perfect is this?) - SAM EDELMAN petty bootie - KATE SPADE SATURDAY wrap-it-up sweater - MICHAEL KORS brookton watch - CB2 mod locker - TOM'S yvette sunglasses - TORY BURCH crystal jeweled bow suede smoking slippers

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I Wish I Lived Here...

I was blown away by how in love I fell with Lindsay Souza's amazing home tour on The Glitter Guide yesterday. I have been a longtime reader of her blog, The Pursuit of Style, and have always appreciated her good taste and aesthetic, so I was excited to see her feature. Her home is beyond! I love the way she has clean lines, but lots of color, fun patterns, but in moderation. I am going to hold this up as something to aspire to for my own place. I also love, love, love all the gorgeous lamps and vases she has around the house.

Take a peak for yourselves:

I am obsessed with the gold table in front of the fireplace. I must track that down and buy it! I also love the touches of whimsy like the polka dotted vase or the sunglasses on the bust. I noticed that Lindsay leans a lot of her art against the wall instead of hanging everything. Definitely something I'll try.

I am particularly smitten with her bedroom, which artfully combines orange and purple, two colors I would never choose for myself, but that look fabulous together. I think the combination of the pattern on the headboard and the toile pillows is genius. I would have been too timid to put those together, but they look amazing. Perhaps an orange and purple nursery is in my future!

And here is the designer extraordinaire cute is she?

If I lived in the DC area I'd hire this gal in a heartbeat. Because I don't, I'll have to use her for inspiration! The only problem with these house tours is that they give me the redecorating bug...bad.