Wednesday, December 28, 2011

An ode to 2011

I can't believe that I'm sitting here on December 28 2011 and I'm wondering where 2011 went. What an amazing year - so here's my year in review.

January: I left my small office job in the backwoods of San Francisco and instead joined a growing and expanding tech company back in the financial district. Honestly, this may have been the best thing I ever did career-wise.

March: A very last minute decision had BF and I (and his brother) winding up in London and Barcelona. I didn't think I'd see Europe again for another few years but I had a blast. The food, the people, the wacky stuff the three of us did... definitely an amazing trip.

And... on March 31 my BF proposed!

April:  April brought lots of rain but that didn't put a damper on our happy and festive moods. I loved wandering around the city snapping pictures of flowers at farmers markets and just being in the city.

May: In May we trekked to the East Coast for my first ever real Maryland crab feed - and also to celebrate FH's grandpa's 80th birthday.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Snapshots of Hawaii

Can barely believe this is our last night....

Friday, December 16, 2011

Here today, gone to Maui

Actually, we're going to the big island. And I don't leave until sunday. But that's quite soon.

Since our summers are usually pretty mild and my warmer weather wardrobe was lacking anything flowy I decided to head down to Anthro during last weekend's 30% off sale promotion and pick up some stuff to bring with me to Hawaii. Heres what I got:

I think I'm most excited about this maxi dress probably because it has pockets. And the back detail is amazing! Pardon my over the shoulder shots but I really want to show the detail. Can't wait to wear this in a few days!The color is great and I know I can easily throw it on over my swimsuit or wear it to dinner.

Close up of the flower pattern
This is another cute little dress that I got to be used as a cover up or just to throw on for running around or even a lunch. Plus the final price of it came to 12.00! How could I say no?And it also has a string tie in the back to give it a more flattering shape.

This is the third and final dress I got. It's pure silk and it's just gorgeous - and the price was unbelievable! I know this will get a lot of use, especially with two more upcoming beach trips in the next few months. The flowers on it almost look lifelike - there's roses, tulips, and daisies along with other flowers on it.

Well... that's about it. It's been a hectic week with work and I'm hoping that tomorrow can be spent cleaning up my apartment and packing. Next week, coming to you live from Hawaii!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

In Memory

Four years ago today I lost perhaps the second greatest man in my life - my grandpa. I find it hard to believe sometimes that he is gone - the sadness has gotten much better and while he is physically not here anymore I'm still left grappling with words, my pen and paper, often my keyboard, and plenty of photos and happy memories.

My grandpa was a proud man. Proud of his family, of his heritage, of all the work that he had done to get to where he was. He came over by himself from Italy on a boat at the age of 15 and didn't speak a work of english. I don't think I could've done that now at 27, let alone at the age of 15.

His devotion to his family was unsurpassed- he and my grandma were together for 63 years - and he loved us more than anything.  When I was younger - whether or not I was an only child or if I was an older sister - it was always a treat to spend time with my grandma and grandpa. Before 9-11 and security beefed up we'd always go down to the airport, park the car with some McDonalds, and watch the planes take off. He was an avid photographer - I'm convinced that this is where I got my love of photography from - and for that I'm so thankful.
My favorite picture of us
One of my grandpas greatest pasttimes was cooking - and it seems fitting as my family usually gathers around the table for any holiday or event. We always joked that he should open a restaurant - and I've never had better food in my life (okay, so Italy comes close...). His garden was beautiful - an array of roses, orchids, strawberries, green beans, zucchini, and even a persimmon and an apple tree.


You're probably thinking, why am I telling you all this? Well, this could've been prevented. For a long time leading up to his stroke my grandpa knew that something was wrong. His physical signs (fainting spells, being dizzy, losing a bit of his sight) should not have been ignored. Perhaps we were in denial, or my grandpa was too proud, but I'm almost sure that had he sought medical advice sooner that he would be with me at my wedding next year.

So please. If you have symptoms of a stroke (or anything else for that matter) please get help before it is too late. For more information, you can log onto the national stroke association website.

To my grandpa, I love you. Not a day goes by that I don't think of you and miss you. I'm so sad that you won't be with me on my wedding day, but I know you'll be watching. I love you. Always.  Laura

Thursday, December 8, 2011

dear Santa (or anyone else listening for that matter)

I think I've been pretty good this year, so in case you are wondering what to bring me on Christmas here's a pretty little roundup of some adorable items I'd love to have.

There's something about journals that makes me want to buy every single one I like and hoard them away. I saw this one while browsing anthropologie's site and cannot get over how gorgeous the colors are. In fact, it's almost too pretty to use (but I'm sure I'd get over that). I adore the plum and turquoise colors. Anthropologie Valise journal, 24.95, online at

I can't remember where I first saw this sweater, but I think it might've been in J Crew's December catalogue. Regardless, seeing it in person made me want this even more. Besides the navy, it also comes in beige and red. Sold out online but check stores -  J Crew Heart Me Sweater, 88.00.

Starbucks gift card. Yes, I have an addiction. Their salted caramel mochas are absolutely amazing. And it doesn't help that I pass about 5 on the way to work, and there's one right outside my building.

An agate necklace. I love these - but I have yet to get one for myself. Etsy has a ton - and I particularly like this blue one from Mamacita Studios over on etsy. Check out here colors here!

I did a quick spin of my local Barneys last week and haven't been able to stop thinking about this bag. The leather on it was smooth like butter and I seriously called my mom after and told her I wanted to roll around on the leather of this bag. And the rich chocolate brown color would go with everything. And it has a longer shoulder strap, too! Alas.. a lofty dream. But in case you have the spare cash ;)  Barneys Shoulder bag, 895, in stores and online.

So what's on your list this year?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Rebecca Minkoff wrap up + patent leather bows

I can barely believe that it is December, let alone December 6th. The days are flying by in a blur and sometimes I really find myself wondering what day it is.

This past weekend I decided to get up early (thanks to Rosie waking me up) and heading out to the Rebecca Minkoff sample sale. I made some new pals in line and once inside it was a footrace for the bags and accessories. This was my second RM sample sale and the first one I walked out empty-handed (!). This time, I knew what I wanted...

Ta-da! My new lovely brand new cherry red Rebecca Minkoff MAC. I'm uber thrilled - I seriously love this thing already! I actually really had to stop myself from purchasing about 3 more of them in various colors. Right now its packed with my wallet, cosmetic case, sunglasses, and kindle.  I can definitely see what's so addicting about these!

Also, how cute are these shoes? I'd been eying them for a few months and recently at J Crew they went on sale AND got marked down an additional 30%. So I grabbed. Last pair in the store in my size. Although my feet are hating me for trying to break them in...  J Crew patent ballet flats, some left online, check stores. (And pardon the tights. It's been a long day). I'm wearing these with grey tights and my purple anthro shirt dress that I nabbed on Black Friday.

Have you picked up any items that you've been wanting lately, whether its full price or on sale?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The great cape caper.

So I have to admit that I've fallen for the fall trend of capes. I think I've found one that works for me. But the only problem? How the heck do I wear it!

Ladies, suggestions are welcome... I purchased the above J Crew cape for a fab price during an instore sale. But I'm so stumped as to how to pair this. I love how the model is showing wearing it on the website... but does that actually work?  (size x small still available at

So this post isn't totally boring, here's me rockin my first ever mustard item. Graned its mixed with grey, but hey, its a step, right?

Vneck striped sweater: target. Watch, Michelle. Necklace: Tiffanys. White tshirt: Lacoste. Pants: Gap
Also, apologies for the crappy bathroom shot. But by the time I get home in the evening all the light is gone and indoor shots with a flash aren't that great.

Also, for any of you bay area girls... Rebecca Minkoff sample sale this weekend! Thanks to Paulina over at The Gore Princess for posting a heads up about this - plus she runs a pretty awesome website, too. Details at and also

Keep your eyes pealed for a guest post from yours truly over at in the next coming days, too!

Happy Wendesday!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Black Friday/Why i cannot shop anymore

I got up early, I braved the lines, I conquered Anthropologie's Black Friday sale. In 32 minutes. And got everything I wanted. So here's a roundup of everything that I got this past Black Friday/Bargain shopping weekend.

From Anthro:
the item that I wanted the most was the Ihrin shirtdress. While everyone was mobbing over shoes (i have never seen anything like it in my life) I nabbed two sizes of this to try on. I did have to size up since the 8 seemed a little tight in the bust area but grabbed this is a gorgeous purple hue. Love! Sale price: 49.99 on Black Friday, item 22806756 (check stores).

i'm fairly sure this is the instant class tee in stripes, but i may be wrong. saw this on my last browse through the sale room and nabbed it like it was going out of style. purchased in a size M for 14.95, item 22519847.

tried this on and grabbed it without thinking twice... so i'm not sure if this will stay or not but i think the pattern is adorable and something a bit out of my comfort range. also unsure of the name of this but purchased in a size small for 19.95.


looksmart ipad case and passport holder (19.99 and 9.99), raccoon ring holder (3.99), and grove new york goats milk lotion (4.99). I have to tell you... the raccoon ring holder was the second item on my list. i was so happy when i saw an abundance of them at my local store. i also love the pattern on the ipad and passport case... i love matching items. and the smell of the grove lotion is amazing! 
Plus look at how adorable he is close up!

After I finished up at Anthro I made my way back home and straight to bed. Gap was a madhouse and I couldn't stomach  much more than a few minutes there.

I had seen this out with my mom in law, sister in law, and best friend. Alas, none in my size. Until I saw this at Macys. For 50% off. And I had an additional 20% off coupon. MINE! Michael Kors toggle front cardigan. 60.00 at Macys, check stores.

Later on that day I headed over to Nordies..

Once I saw this and then tried it on I really had a hard time taking it off to ring it up. I've been searching for something similar to replace some of my older end of life items in my wardrobe and this warm wrap totally fits the bill. I was torn between the grey and the cream but ultimately the grey won out. Bobeau asymmetrical wrap cardigan - 39.90, or check in stores.

In case you haven't heard, I adore sweaters. I kinda live in them. Especially because I'm normally one of those people who are constantly cold. I saw this and when I first tried it on I wasn't thrilled. Until I paired it with the long sleeved shirt I was wearing and then I loved it. Kensie cowl neck fair isle sweater, 49.90, in stores and
I kinda have a thing with shoes. I tend to wear the same few pairs over and over again. I had tried these on with a friend and passed. Then I saw them marked down more this weekend and pounced. I love that I can wear these to work as well as with jeans on the weekend. Corso Como Vineland flat in pewter (the black is also a great color!), 72.90 in store and

After seeing this pair on a friend I decided that I needed these. Once I saw them marked down I knew I really needed them. Plus a nude patent flat - who doesn't need that in their wardrobe? Very excited to break these in..... Vera Wang Lavendar Lillian patent ballet flats. 96.90, in stores and (also in black!).  *Thanks Mom!
Black pumps... not something that I really own. I mean, I have two similar pairs in patent peep toes, but nothing plain... nothing I can depend on. Then I saw these. Love. Now here's to hoping that I get over my fear of wearing heels and make these a staple. Cole Haan Air Talia mid pump in black leather, 129.90, in stores and (and in brown leather, too!)

And another fun pair of black pumps. Mom saw the price on these and since they fit couldn't resist. Love the detailing on the front and the thicker heel. So excited to wear these out! Miz Mooz Felicity pump in black. 59.90, in stores and (also in purple and grey!)

Major congrats if you've gotten this far. And now, I am banned until sometime next year and desperately praying for a holiday bonus. Or a money tree. Yanno, whatever comes first. Feel free to share your black friday/cyber monday goodies!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A giving of thanks

this year, much like every year, i find so many more things to be thankful for.

Central Park - November 2011
for my boyfriend turned fiance who is always so supportive and just a great listener.
for my parents - especially my relationship with my mom that's strengthened over time.
my job because well, its pretty awesome. and my company is cool too.

Barcelona - March 2011
for the chances and ability that i have to travel to new and old places; i'm so very lucky.
for fuzzy socks, warm bedsheets, and caramel macchiatos that make bad days just a bit better.
for being able to spend time with my family - and for all the in law family members that i'm going to gain next year because they're really fantastic people.

for being able to live in such an amazing city as san francisco.

for friends - good friends, old friends, and new friends, because life is so much sweeter with a good pal.
for my fuzzy best friends - rosie, frankie, and ollie who bring joy and unconditional love to my life.
for the ability to have an awesome place to call my own in cyberspace - and for anyone out there who is reading this.

Hope your Thanksgiving is full of good food, kind people, and warmth.

Is there anything extra special you are thankful for this year?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

In love with plaid.

So I have to be honest - I kinda bought this shirt on a whim. I wasn't even sure I'd look good in it - because well, it's green. And a little bright. But both times I've worn it, I've gotten lots of compliments on it.

Blouse: Jcrew. Sweater: Gap. Skirt: Gary Graham. Nail polish: OPI: Lincoln Park After Midnight.

And I apologize for the headless shot above. I was testing out my camera remote and it works. Tada! It's also hard to photograph yourself when there's little to no more natural light outside. And at the end of the day when your hair decides to no longer behave.

Also, can I just say that the above skirt is amazing? It was a gift from my future MIL on a shopping excursion and I just adore it. 

Do you have any pieces that you've purchased that you may have second guessed but now love?

Happy hump day!

Monday, November 14, 2011

New York photo post

I am back from New York. To be honest, the red eye wasn't bad. The flight home.. not so much. But all that matters is that I'm home and safe and had a great time. Plus I came home to a very vocal cat who missed us and has been giving lots of cuddles.

New York was full of fantastic food, beautiful fall colors, and just plain fun. Highlights of the trip: Brazlian steakhouse. Shake shack. Dunkin donuts. Ice skating in Rockefeller Center. The leaves in Central Park + FH & BIL's epic branch joust. Meeting and working out of my NY office and seeing my boss again.

Not so highlights: Newark airport. Getting on the wrong train and ending up in Brooklyn. Turbulence. Delayed planes.

But other than that, I have no real complaints. And I barely spent any money. Who am I?

Outfit post tomorrow since I donned an outfit today that I loved.

And now... photo dump!

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