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?
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