Current Obsession: Totes

Every girl needs a perfect tote bag, especially during the summer. I do not know about you, but I tend to carry around extra stuff during these months of the year. On any given day during the summer, you will find my phone, a pair of sunglasses (and the case!), sun block, phone charger, cardigan/scarf for layering, a journal (you never know when you will get inspired to jot something down!), pen, and a book inside my bag. Whew! That is a lot of stuff!

I think because of the nice weather, I tend to plan my day around being outside and savoring that extra Vitamin D. Inevitably, I will have some “gap time” in between my activities. Instead of coming home to hibernate, I will just sit down at a local park bench and keep myself busy. This requires some pre-planning on my part as to what I would anticipate using and will have to bring these items with me. Most of the time, I cannot fit all of my necessities into a small clutch. Therefore, totes can become super handy!

While looking for tote bags, I tend to go for versatility– will this bag “transform” well from one I can carry in the city on an afternoon stroll to one that I can carry on a beach?READ FULL POST

Five Highlights of the Week: Netflix (Part II)

First, I would like to apologize for the lateness of this post! I had it written and almost ready to go, but an intense neck spasm episode has kept me away from social media for the last couple of days. They, as you can probably imagine, are not fun. Yesterday at work, I finally could not stand it any longer. The pain was causing me to break down in tears (definitely not ideal in front of my kiddos!), so I promptly went to my doctor who prescribed me some anti-inflammation and muscle relaxation pills. Then, I went to see a physical therapist. Needless to say, I am now in much, much better shape. I will not be at 100% for at least a few more weeks, but I am at least on the path to recovery. More so than ever, I am grateful for my health and the health of my loved ones!

I will be talking about five of my favorite shows on Netflix today (this is part II! Missed part I? Check it out here!). Taking in the silver lining, this post is perfectly timed since I will be taking it easy this weekend; relaxing in bed with these wonderful shows on my iPad propped up on my lap.… READ FULL POST

Unplugging from Facebook (Guest Post by John)

unplug2Photo: UC After Cruz

Happy Hump Day, everyone!

Since Wednesdays are typically reserved for our lovely guest bloggers (and Grace is still on her well-deserved vacation this week!), I thought I would bring forth another thoughtful writer and great influence in my life: John.

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John and I have been dating for almost three years now, and he is, without hesitation, my best friend. Life is just that much better with him by my side and I am so grateful to be embraced by his love and support.

The reason why I really want him to guest blog today is because this is, ultimately, a lifestyle blog and we all live out our lives in different ways. I want to both celebrate and embrace this concept here because… let us be real: we all judge way too much before we seek to understand (I KNOW that I am definitely guilty of this!) One aspect of John’s lifestyle that is a little bit out of the norm for someone in their mid-to-late twenties is his lack of presence in social media. I enjoyed reading his story and hope you will, too!

I am excited to introduce John to my readers and I hope to have him continue to occasionally guest blog in the future!… READ FULL POST

Current Obsession: iPhone Cases

Just under a year after switching to the Samsung Galaxy 5, I decided to return home and claim back my position in the Apple family. Why? The switching of the systems was just too much after almost five years on my Apply products. I initially thought I wanted a lot more choices and variety on my phone (hence the switch to Android), but as it turns out.. I like the simplicity that the iPhone has to offer.

With this new change last week, it was the perfect opportunity to get a new iPhone 6 case! I swoon over cases pretty much to the same degree as I swoon over clothing. There is just something so spectacular about changing a case once in a while and shedding that old “identity” for a new one (Freud would probably have a field day analyzing parts of my personality just based from what I wrote!) Anyway, I digress.. here is my list of top eight phone cases. After making this, I went ahead, pulled the trigger, and bought myself one of them. Can you guess which one?!

unnamed-1One // Two (currently on sale for $12.50!) // Three // Four (currently on sale for $28!READ FULL POST

Memorial Day Sale: Goodies from J.Crew Factory

I aspire my life to live up to the motto, “work hard, play hard!” As you can probably imagine, a typical weekend for me is usually as busy, if not busier, than my week days. One of my favorite things to do on a long-weekend is go hunting for the best deals around the city. Since John also got a three-day weekend, we decided to go to the nearest outlet, Woodbury Common, yesterday. It was an exhausting yet thrilling experience. It seems like everyone else in the New York region also had the same idea to scout out the deals. Lines to enter popular stores such as Tory Burch, Prada, and Gucci were out the door. Absolutely insane!

One of the best deals we found happened to be at our favorite store, J.Crew Factory. I love the quality of clothes from Crew and their clean-cut, elegant style. However, even with my teacher discount (15% off all items), I still only shop in the sale section and would very rarely buy anything full-priced since the clothes are all pretty expensive. This is why I love shopping at J.Crew Factory and would pop on in any chance I get! Unlike some people who pointed this out, I do not really notice a difference in the quality of the items from J.Crew vs.… READ FULL POST

Five Highlights of the Week: Netflix (Part I)

While life has truly been really hectic lately for John and I, we do not seem to really mind. My body deals really well with structure and I like the fact that I have certain things that I know I am doing and can look forward to after a long, hard day at work .. you know, changing lives and all ain’t easy! 😉

We have gotten into our daily routine of going to a workout immediately following a day at work, grabbing a quick bite afterwards, and then unwinding at home (as you can probably tell, we rage HARD here!) Honestly, the last part of the day is usually my favorite. We relish the time “detoxing” from the chaotic world we lead in the city and usually will jump at the opportunity to curl up in bed with a good ol’ cup of tea and Netflix.

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Photo Credit: Variety

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No joke, you can actually purchase this shirt

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This one is pretty hilarious, too!

Ah, Netflix. What did we use to do without you?! If binge-watching TV shows can count as an Olympic sport, I will easily win the gold medal. In fact, there have been multiple occasions back when I was a college student when I literally could not wake up and roll out of bed for my classes in the morning because I stayed up way too late finishing yet another season of Dexter.… READ FULL POST

Wishlist Wednesday: Food Deliciousness in Seattle (Guest Post by Grace)

628x471Photo: Seattle Magazine for Restaurant Zoë

Full disclosure: I am currently on pre-vacation mode, so pretty much everything going through my brain at the moment is vacation-related.  Since Lisa has graciously told me that my wishlists can be about anything on my mind, today’s post is all about the food I cannot wait to sink my teeth into.

Definitely at the top of the list: doughnuts.  I haven’t eaten a good doughnut in almost 2 years, since I got addicted to Top Pot Doughnuts in Seattle, and this is one of the things I haven’t been able to stop thinking about for the last 2 weeks as my impending vacation got closer.  I’m a classic kind of gal, so their Old Fashioned ones are my favorite, though their others are good too!  They’re made fresh throughout the day, and the OF’s are juuuust crunchy enough on the outside, and super moist on the inside, with a little bit of a glaze on top.  I already know I’m waking up on Friday morning, and making a beeline for my closest Top Pot to satisfy my slightly ridiculous craving.

I’m usually more of a savory kind of girl, so surprisingly, the next item on my list is also a sweet: Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream Shop.  … READ FULL POST

Current Obsession: Work Pants

Business casual is the term I would use to describe the attire worn around my school. Many of us here are in our mid-to-late twenties, trying to juggle the delicate balance between being trendy/preppy with being practical about how much it is going to hurt our bank accounts if a kiddo were to accidentally highlight our pants with neon yellow. I will be fully transparent; while I get the style equation wrong on many, many days, I also have developed some ideas as to what essentially both looks and feels good.

Today’s post will be dedicated to the lower half of what makes up a spectacular outfit. When I look for work pants, I normally try to go for the classics: dark in color (gotta cover up those potential marker stains!), dressy but not fancy, fitted but not tight. Essentially, it boils down to one simple concept– I want to look effortlessly put together (hello, oxymoron!)

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Lilly Pulitzer Travel Pant Stretch Ponte– These pants are incredible.  They feel (and basically are) a pair of leggings, but look the part of a business casual attire. I also love the fact that these pants have an elastic waist pull on (#lunchtimefoodbaby), and can be worn either dressed up or down depending on the occasion!… READ FULL POST

Weekend Reads: May

SATURDAY is here! It is my FAVORITE day of the week. Saturday signifies the beginning of an exciting weekend ahead… the start of relaxation after a storm (can you tell I have been stressed out by work recently?!). Plus, the idea of not waking up to a screeching alarm clock at 6AM sharp is just the icing on the cake 😉

Saturday also just so happens to be my favorite day to start a new book. Reading is my constant escape and a really cheap way to transport myself into a vacation mindset. Nothing makes me happier than to sit my bottom down at a local coffee joint, order myself an ice chai latte, and crack open a new adventure! I went on a book-ordering binge a few weeks ago and was fortunate enough to read a few really well written and thought-provoking novels. Check ‘em out below!

Book Recommendation

If you are looking to be inspired by a #girlboss: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) It is no secret that I am a feminist and love reading a success story about a woman in the entertainment industry who is kicking major ass! Not only is Mindy Kaling insanely talented and sharp-witted, she is also smart, driven, and absolutely hilarious.… READ FULL POST

Five Highlights of the Week

Part of my own personal growth this year is focusing on gaining perspective and positivity. Both will come in different shapes and sizes every single week. This time, I bring forth personal pictures and happy memories shaped by the unforgettable NYC spring weather 🙂

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Five: John and I took a cardio class on the Upper East Side this past Sunday and spontaneously decided to stroll around Central Park and check out an exhibit (China: Through the Looking Glass) at the Met afterwards. I have not been to the Met in over two years, so it such an unexpected treat! The temperature was just right and feeling that sunshine on my back just brought me to such a content state of being.

Four: Nothing brings me greater joy than enjoying a great meal outdoors. Since the summer season is (almost) upon us, I have been dining out quite a lot and savoring the fresh air and people watching as I eat and catch up with friends. Just earlier tonight, I enjoyed a delicious dinner at Ken & Cook in Nolita while sitting on the patio. Perfection.

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Three: I am currently knee-deep in planning a three week backpacking excursion through Europe.… READ FULL POST