Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012

2012… where do I even begin with you. For a year that seemed feared by so many (ahem, end of the world naysayers I’m speaking to you) the year was definitely amazing.

From the beginning of the year and starting a new position at work that’s no longer just a job but turning into a career and dealing with the massive growth of my company that is keeping me on my toes I’m grateful to have been given this experience for yet a second year in a row.
I witnessed the weddings of friends and family members and travelled all across the 50 states to do so (Honolulu, Denver, and Philly you treated us so well for those short weekend trips). I visited favorite cities that I hadn't seen in years as well as destinations that I hadn’t been to before, and stepped foot on Italian soil less than 3 km from where my grandfather was born.
In April and September I lost two amazing family members who I carry in my heart every day. My nonno, my dad’s father passed away at the age of 89 after battling a degenerative lung disease just 5 days after the last time I saw him for dinner and he helped me pick out a pair of new red shoes. Whenever I wear them I think of him and the last time I saw him. I remember his thick laugh and his gentle way of speaking along with how he always called me Loretta. My grandmother passed in September unexpectedly, and she has been the only person that I was given a chance to say goodbye to. It was without a doubt the hardest thing that I have ever done to profess your heart to someone who you know will not pull through. I take from her my devotion to my husband and my family, the happy memories of sharing meals around their tables and have to come to accept that now she is with my grandpa that she will be allright. I stood and spoke at both of their wakes, the only grandchild from either side to do so and I still hope that what I said was enough for both of them.

In August I married my best friend on a sunny day in san Francisco surrounded by 200 guests. The day was fantastic and reigns supreme as the best day of my life.  While it went by in a happy blur I won’t ever forget how incredibly happy I was that day, how my parents and sister were just so estatic on that day, and how lucky I am to have an amazing set of inlaws who value family, food, and laughter just the same as mine does. I cherish the wedding photos from that day and still can’t believe that I managed to plan the entire thing.

I'd like to say that my fashion sense has evolved – and will continue to do so through 2013. I think part of it is coming to terms with the fact that I know I will never be a size 2, and as a result certain things just don’t look good on me (peplum, you are one of them). But that also means that I’m learning to dress me for me. I want to start investing in better pieces for the long term – no more fad pieces that are only worn for a season.  My diehard addiction to j crew isn’t waining any time soon, though.  And starting in January I will have a 300 a month fashion budget.

We celebrated highs, cried with the lows, danced like crazy at weddings and snapped photobooth photos whenever present, leaving happy mementos of a memory forever trapped on a piece of film will always remind me of 2012.

So, to those of you that read here thank you so much for being on this ride with me through 2012 and im excited and eager to see what 2013 has in store. I want to hone in more on blogging and up the ante with the photos. I want to continue to develop my style while still watching my budget. Eat better, travel more (hello London and Paris!) and continue to develop my career.

Bring it on 2013. Bring it on.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Santa Cruz

Today DH and I decided to be spontaneous and head down to Santa Cruz for the day. Home of our alma mater UC Santa Cruz, the Beach Boardwalk, and a major stop on the monarch butterfly migration along the western United States, Santa Cruz has always held a special place in my heart.

We drove down the coast and finally had some nice weather (meaning, it didn't rain for the first time in days) and just enjoyed being able to do something like this together on a Monday that we were both off from work.
Ducks at the state park

Enjoying DH's favorite sandwich at Joes
Santa Cruz Pier in the sun
Santa Cruz Pier

Some of our favorite places in town:
Swanton Berry farm - amazing jams and pies all organically made and locally grown off the highway 1. Dave's favorite is the olallaberry jam.
Pacific Cookie Company - home to the yummiest home made cookies in SC. We love the mint condition, and during the summer the sugar cookie with cherries is my all time favorite.
99 Bottles - 99+ varieties of beer and hopefully you might find something new here.
Natural Bridges State Park - home to thousands of monarchs who stop here on their migration, as well as a lovely beach.
West Cliff Drive - amazing place to park your car and go for a walk and watch all of the surfers riding waves.
Beach Boardwalk - Always worth a visit, even if its just to stroll the boardwalk, ride the wooden roller coaster, or indulge in some classic video games (tetris, anyone?)

And that's about it for now... I hope where ever you are that you are having the happiest of holidays :) Merry Christmas to those out there that celebrate it!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

bloggy update 2

so clearly me trying to change the blogspot url of this didn't work out too well. will keep this for the time being. :) hope wherever you are you are having a good weekend!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Dear Santa....

Dear Santa

J Crew j crew

Lip treatment

Monogram Jewelry Box

May Designs

I've finally discovered polyvore and here's what I wouldn't mind finding under my tree this year.

And I've spent much of the weekend pouring over reports coming out of CT. I'm extremely saddened and still trying to comprehend how someone could be so upset to do this to so many people. My thoughts and prayers are with all of those who have been affected by what happened on Friday, December 14.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Sweater Weather

As evening starts to fall earlier and earlier I find myself reaching for my cozy sweaters during the day. And as the week goes on my outfits tend to get more casual in the office (and I'm so glad that I can get away with wearing jeans in the office).

I picked up this crew neck comfy sweater at J Crew this past weekend and definitely enjoyed wearing it yesterday. I almost didn't want to take it off when I went to bed at the ungodly hour of 8:30 because I was that tired and cold.

Jeans: Gap, Sweater and scarf: J Crew, Button down: Old Navy

Also, you can see my awesome new iphone case. It's french hens. I kinda sorta love it. And I really promise I have the rest of my face, its just hiding.

Since I won a contest at work the other day I get a gift card to J Crew and I'm already hunting for my splurge item that I get to purchase. I'm really loving this bag that I saw Annie wearing over at The Other Side of Grey but alas its not in stock on the website. Perhaps I will finally make a journey over to the new J Crew outlet on one of my days off at the end of the year.

Tonight DH, my sister and her boyfriend are getting together for dinner and to celebrate my grandpa since it's the 5 year anniversary of his passing (holy wow, how time flies!). Tomorrow we are getting together with some friends for a holiday dinner, and Sunday will most likely involve lots of football and perhaps some pizza. Next week is also the last full week of work before 2012 closes and I'm excited for some days to sleep in and also for Hawaii.

What are you looking forward to as 2012 draws to a close?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Last week's outfits

I feel as if I've finally recovered from the past week which I can only describe as the most challenging week of my career (thus far). I spent this weekend recovering from it - lots of sleep, good food,  reading, time with my family, some self indulgence (shopping and the spa, to be exact), and getting my little Christmas tree. And while the week was hard, at least I hopefully looked somewhat decent.

Skirt & Sequin top: J Crew, Button down: Old Navy
I promise this outfit looked better before the end of the day. The sequin dot shirt is another item that's a bit out of my comfort zone but I paired it with a blouse and a wool pencil skirt to wear to the office. Also, pardon the foliage but there seems to be good light in my entry way to the apartment.

Blouse & Giraffe necklace: J Crew, Cardigan: C Wonder
So, let me tell you about C Wonder for a second. It's like Tory Burch's more affordable younger sister (which I heard is run by her ex, btw.). It's probably a good thing that they don't have a store here in San Francisco. And I promise I had pants on - just black jeans.

It's also hard to believe that 2012 is going to be drawing to a close soon. I do have some plans for 2013 already (including travel and some job related) and am excited to see where 2013 takes me.

If I can only lock up my wallet until then... because Santa is really going to be mad at me after this weekend.

Have you discovered any new stores or places lately that you love?

Monday, December 3, 2012

New York

New York... what can I say about New York that hasn't already been said? It's most definitely the city that never sleeps and even though I haven't explored much of the city I feel as though every corner you turn you find out something new.

We spent the weekend with friends and family. Thursday we got into Manhattan around 4 and had dinner. Had drinks at the gorgeous Gramercy Park Hotel and listened to a bit of live music in the lounge.

Friday I worked at my headquarters and had a great day with all of my NY colleagues, and even had a dance party before heading out to DH's company party. We ate, drank, and danced at the PHD club at the dream hotel.

Saturday we hit up Brooklyn Brewery for games, local beer, and pizza with friends before joining up with my in laws for dinner.

Sunday we had brunch, shopped (C Wonder and Century 21, anyone?), and reluctantly flew home (although I am always glad to be back home with the fur kids).

Some photos below....including my outfit of the day today with my amazing new blazer.
Empire State Building
Our headboard at the Dream Hotel Downtown
Vintage bottles at the Brooklyn Brewery
New blazer & seven for all mankind jeans that may have come home with me...
Stars at Columbus Circle
Todays outfit with tired hair.
And now, I'm tired but always happy to be back in San Francisco. Especially because its warmer here. But until next time new york...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Long weekend sale steals

Or, in other words, why Laura is banned until at least 2013. But, lets get to fun stuff - what I picked up during the Thanksgiving sales.

From J Crew... Oh J Crew. I really should contemplate changing the title of this blog to I really should work at J Crew but I have a desk job. Or, J Crew gets my whole paycheck. Ahh, I digress. I placed an order Wednesday night and then on Sunday stopped in store because the 30% off was just too good. 
J Crew website order:
Lady jacket in spicy gold - the mustard is definitely not as bright as it appears online. I might have to try styling this with a few items in my wardrobe before I decide if I can pull it off or not but it was a steal at 69.99.
Saturday pant - love. These might become my new comfy plane travel pants. I'll definitely get these in another color the next time they go on sale.
iPhone case in anchor print - am I the only one who doesn't think this fits the iPhone 4S right? Most likely going back.

Sunday in store:
Polka dot sequin top - This is a little out of my comfort zone because its flashy. But I tried it on in store over a white blouse with jeans and really like how it looked. I just may have to push myself to wear this one a bit more as its a little out of my comfort zone.
Merino turtleneck in stripe - Elbow pads. Enough said. Cozy and comfy and stripes. Adore this. 
Orly genger rope necklace - I think I waited for this to go on sale for several months. Finally nabbed this in blue. 
Ballet flats in poppy - This is my first pair of J Crew ballet flats and I just adore the color. I think this will be the perfect shoe addition to my wardrobe for this season.

Window pane blazer - Okay. So I could also probably rename this blog I'm addicted to blazers too. Saw this in store and wasn't sure. Tried it on for MIL & SIL and they loved it. So it shall stay.
Ilume spring eden candle in mango - I love the way this candle smelled - it reminds me of vacation. I probably should've grabbed another.
Leather notebooks - Another thing I've always enjoyed are notebooks. I saw these and thought they were adorable with the pencil that comes with it. 

These were my first purchases from the Loft and I'm excited for these.
Sequin striped top - I saw this making the rounds on a few blogs and I tried it on in store and loved it.
Kitten sweater - Kitten print. Sweater. No more is needed on this. ;)

Banana Republic:
Striped knit skirt - I know I blogged about this skirt before. And I finally nabbed it in store for 11.00. Sweet!
Plaid button down - Blue plaid. Adore. Can't find this online but it should be in stores.

Whew! And that's about it!

DH and I are off to NY for a few days on Thursday and I'm a little afraid of how cold its going to be. But I'm also really looking forward to good food, visiting with some coworkers in my NY office and maybe hopefully hitting up the J Crew sample sale. Shhh. I swear I'm done.

Did you get anything during the holiday sale?

PS. Does anyone know how to do add a reply to comment? I still haven't figured that out.
PPS. I will seriously pay someone to redo my blog. Doesn't have to be crazy complex but I really suck at this html thing.

Monday, November 19, 2012

A giving of thanks

I am having a hard time realizing that 2012 is coming to an end, and with Thanksgiving at the end of this week I thought I'd take the time to reflect on some things that I'm thankful for.

My husband. After almost 10 years together this August we finally made it really official and tied the knot. By far my wedding day was the best day of my life. He's been with me through all of my ups and downs, is kind to my family, and has held my hand through the heartbreak of losing two of my grandparents earlier this year. I'm so grateful to have him and get to share the rest of my life with him.
My family, who have been so incredibly supportive throughout the wedding planning process - to both of my parents who showed such strength this year while they each lost a parent. To my sister who has been so happy for us and who was the best maid of honor I could ever ask for. And to the new group of people I get to call family - my inlaws who always give me a reason to laugh and make me feel welcome.
My job and my amazing coworkers who I also get to consider family. They've been so awesome this year in particular with my adventures of 2012 and I'm so excited to hug them all in person next week in NY. I'm so grateful that I have a job at a good company who is helping me further my career, and which helps me to provide for the home.

My furkids because they make life that much sweeter. Rosie, Frankie, Ollie, & even Cat Food the fish.

San Francisco. Because lets face it.. my city is pretty awesome. And the fact that DH and I can afford to live in the city giving us the ability to walk to work, visit friends, experience food and just enjoy our little piece of heaven.

For all of the years that I was able to spend with my Grandma and my Nonno. I miss them and my Grandpa dearly but I cherish the memories and life lessons that they taught me.

The ability to travel and have amazing adventures outside of the city. Although I always end up missing home..
Ischia Island - October 2012
Starbucks. Especially with the return of the salted caramel mocha. Mmmhmmm.

And my blog readers. Thank you so, so much - I can't tell you how much I appreciate you stopping by here!

Linking up with some other gals - but what are you thankful for this year?

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Spotted dotted

This was actually Wednesday's outfit, but who is counting. I think aside from my skirt and boot outfit this was my runner up of favorite outfit of the week. And the funny thing about my red jean search is that it actually took me to Wet Seal, a store I probably haven't set foot in in years (most definitely since before my age started having a 2 in the front of it). And that means belt necessary.
Sweater: Old Navy, Blazer: Banana Republic, Jeans: Wet Seal, Necklace: J Crew
Photos coming to you courtesy of the J Crew dressing room - finally a few photos of me without a sink in the background. Hah. I really like camel and red and blue together. And blazers... can you tell I have a problem? Okay okay. So it's one I'm fond of. But I can't get enough. I also can't get enough of dots. And plaid. I love it all.

Speaking of J Crew, while I was there the other night I nabbed a double serge wool pencil skirt in festival blue for 41. Complete steal! Online they are still 79.99 with an additional 30% off but check stores - prices are usually less for this item.

This weekend we have some plans to get together with friends tonight. Tomorrow is a complete free day with no plans. And if it's supposed to rain hopefully that means I can catch up on laundry and maybe have some brunch. Sunday I'm going to a bridal shower and then a thanksgiving get together with some coworkers.

And that, friends is my soon to be weekend in a nutshell. Is there anything specific you are looking forward to this weekend?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Leaving the comfort zone

I have to admit that I'm stepping a bit out of my comfort zone with the outfit below. I'm still half expecting someone to come up to me and say what the heck are you wearing? But I'm hoping that I can remix this outfit with different skirts and shirts to make this a fall/winter outfit staple. And boot socks. That would be helpful, too.
Cardigan: Gap, Button down: Old Navy, Skirt: Gary Graham, Boots: Frye
I originally tried this outfit on with a different shirt this morning but decided that this one works better. I really wanted to try this with a pencil skirt but I think that this one with a bit of a fuller skirt styles easier with the Frye boots. And the best part about the Frye boots? I scored them for 80. Brand new. Yup, probably one of the best purchases I've ever made.

J Crew Desert bloom bracelet
So - here's a two part question today. What has been one of your best fashion purchases - whether it was a super deal or a spur of the moment purchase that you've used over and over? And what's the best kind of socks to wear with your Fryes (cause my feet are hurting already and it's 10:10AM!)

I also picked up this bracelet at the J Crew sale the other day and I'm in love. In love like I want to wear it every single day love.
Also... I'm so addicted to Instagram these days and would love to see your photos :) Feel free to search for me - my username is makeupandpearls (and I certainly hope you like cat photos).

Happy to be linking up to the Everybody Everywhere November 13 boot challenge!
Boots | Everybody, Everywear
designed with love by beautiful dawn designs