Monday, December 30, 2013


Made in USA: Jeans: old James Jeans (similar) // Striped Tee: American Apparel // Shoes: c/o New Balance // Hat: Brixton (similar

Imported: Hoodie: gifted Columbia (similar) // Gloves: old Target 

Guess who went to the frozen tundra of New York for Christmas and forgot a proper winter coat? That's right - this chick!  I also forgot my favorite wigwam socks and the hubs wouldn't even let me steal his pair. Double fail. The temperatures didn't break over 30 degrees for the entire trip. 

Thankfully, my mother-in-law gave me a very thick hoodie for Christmas which layered perfectly over my endless supply of long sleeve tees and knit hats (seriously, I brought 4 hats, but zero pairs of wool socks).  Let's just say it's a good thing I'm a fan of multiple layers and anti-heavy coats

I had a great time making snow angels, practicing my sliding skills, and even throwing a few snowballs at my dad. All in all, a very good time indeed. Jax, Jewels, and the hubs ditched me because it was too cold outside! It's cool because I got to hang out with this guy: 

And what better way to spend a few minutes alone with my dad than freezing in the snow.  

Oh, spending a few minutes on a frozen retreat admiring Mother Nature's handiwork wasn't bad either. 

See you on the flip side 2013! Ending the year with snow is always ideal for me. Who's coming with me for the next snowball fight? 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Holiday Sparkle Made in USA

1: Simon Sebbag 'Gold Crocodile' Cuff // 2. Lauren Merkin Mini Caroline Clutch //3.  Julie Bee's 'New Yorker Platinum' Pump // 4. St. John Collection Gold Buckle Belt // 5. Deborah Lippmann 'Fake it Til You Make It' // 6. Essie Luxe Effects Collection // 7. Silver Collar Necklace // 8. La Mer Collections Watch //

Holy goodness how is it mid-December already? Christmas is in a week and New Year's Day is in two weeks. Where did the year go? Scratch that. Let's not fall down that rabbit hole.

If you're still looking for some holiday sparkle for any remaining holiday parties you better add to cart already! Or just pick up some sparkly nail polish and call it a day.  However, New Year's Eve is coming faster than a Nor'easter in February. I always struggle with what to wear on NYE because it is the one day a year where you're pretty much allowed to dress up and shine like a disco ball and I don't do disco.

This year I want to wear pants. Crazy, I know. Actually, I've want to wear a black pantsuit ever since I came across this Black Halo jumpsuit and thank goodness it is no longer available because I was getting ready to do a bad thing and sell a kidney to buy it. But at only $60 this June & Hudson one is much more affordable and that open back is amazing.

I don't know if I can commit to a full on sparkly dress yet, but a black outfit paired with lots of sparkly accessories - I can get on board with that.

What are you wearing for NYE? Sparkles - yay or nay?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Holiday Party Metallics

Made in USA:  Blouse: Nanette Lepore (similar) // Blazer: thrifted Theory // Lips: L'Oreal 'Berry Persistent' // Nails: Essie 'steel-ling the scene' // 

Imported: Skirt: old Ann Taylor  // Shoes: Christian Louboutin (similar) // Clutch: old Rebecca Minkoff (made in USA option)  // Headband: old Anthropologie (similar

Confession time: when the hubs bought me these sparkly Christian Louboutin shoes I was shocked. Granted they made turning 30 a bit more fun, but they were so freaking expensive and so amazingly sparkly that I was worried I would never get a realistic cost-per-wear out of them.  However, I have worn them to fancy parties, mid-week date nights, work, weddings, weekend date nights, Halloween, and even a fancy baby shower (because nothing proclaims, "I'll stab you with these shoes if you ask me the state of my uterus" like a pair of sparkly Christian Louboutins at a baby shower).  In my defense, the pregnant mother-to-be told me to wear the shoes! Something about "swollen feet" and "living vicariously through your shoes." Who am I to deny a pregnant woman's demand!

Needless to say I was counting down the days to this year's round of holiday parties because those shoes were destined to make an appearance at  The hubs even had the audacity to tell me to wear them to his firm's holiday party. I gave him a "b*tch please" look and told him to wear his grey Allen Edmonds shoes so our shoes didn't clash.  Welcome to our world :)

Even though I'm officially "holiday partied out" this was my absolute favorite outfit of this year's holiday party season. Velvet - check. Chiffon - check. Taffeta - check. Mixing metals - check. Skirt with pockets - double check!

I'm just saying that this outfit will make a reappearance at a different holiday party next year. Oh who am I kidding - I wore this outfit twice last week! Once to a holiday party and then again for a date night with the hubs. Granted I wore it to date night so I could photo document it because I didn't even take one picture in it at the holiday party. Not even an Instagram selfie! Just keeping it real! The hubs didn't seem to mind because he thinks it is absolutely ridiculous when women freak out over wearing something more than once. Gotta get that cost-per-wear down to normal levels!

What's been your favorite outfit during this year's round of holiday parties? Would you consider wearing the same outfit to two different parties in the same season?

Friday, December 13, 2013

Simple Advent Wreath

When I was a kid both of my grandmother's would send my siblings and me an advent calendar every year. Truth be told I enjoyed them more for the candy than the message, but now that I'm an adult I look back and I wished I would have enjoyed those calendars for their meaning rather than their chocolate calories. 

This year for the Christmas season I wanted to put together a very simple advent wreath and that way I would have a few moments of reflection during the month. I wanted something simple, rustic, and slightly glam. I've been searching for traditional colored advent candles for months, but never found the appropriate sizes I wanted. Instead I used very simple metallic gold candles. You can criticize my candle selection all you want and I'll be fine with it. 

Supplies: Wood slab, 4 metallic candles, 1 white pillar candle, and pine needles (I initially wanted to wrap the candles with twine and decided afterwards that presented an additional fire risk). I purchased the wooden slab and candles at a craft store with coupons for less than $20. 

I picked a few pine tree limbs from the trees in my backyard and gently placed them in between the candles on the wooden slab to give the slight appearance of a traditional wreath. The pine also smells lovely! It almost makes me think I have a real tree in my living room. I might add more fresh pine every Sunday to keep the wreath looking fresh and to keep that fresh pine fragrance in the air.

I can't tell if I enjoy this wreath more in the afternoon sunlight or when it's lit on Sunday evenings. Either way I find it to be very peaceful and that was part of the desired intention. 

Simple and easy. The wreath took mere minutes to assemble, but it's impact has been far greater on my soul.  I honestly don't know why I didn't make this simple wreath years ago. 

If you're going to light an advent wreath please never leave the flame unattended! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Made in USA Men's Gift Ideas

Randolph Engineering Aviators ($129) //Sword and Plough Leather Key Fob ($35) //  Weiss Watch Co. Standard Issue Field Watch ($795) // Jacob Bromwell Great American Flask ($199) // Vermont Flannel Company Plaid Scarf ($20) // Allen Edmonds Money Clip ($52) // JJ Weston Cufflinks ($57) // Blue Claw Company Duck Island Dopp ($65) //

If I may say in my qualified expert opinion as a woman who always hangs out "with the guys" there is one thing I can't stand about men - they routinely avoid splurging on themselves. That doesn't mean they won't buy something nice for themselves every once in a while, but overall they tend to stick with a wallet that has holes in the corner or a pair of shoes that has worn a little thin. I think it's because they're dudes and they don't think they're supposed to own as many wallets as women have purses (duh) or shoes (bigger duh).

With that in mind - spoil a man in your life this holiday season. Go big and get him an every day watch he can wear for the rest of his life. Or get him that shiny, non-collegiate logo adorned, copper flask. Get him a pair of rugged shades or a proper pair of cufflinks. Or finally upgrade his sorry looking key chain and get him a classic leather fob. Okay fine, you can borrow the scarf and dopp kit bag, but you should get them with him in mind.

Chances are the men in your life deserve a little splurge every now in then.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Snow Day!

Made in USA: Jeans: old James Jeans (similar) // Tee Shirt: American Apparel //  Socks: Wigwam // Hat: Brixton // Gloves: old Filson (similar) // 

Imported: Boots: Hunter 

My ideal day goes as follows: nice run in the morning, breakfast (gluten free chocolate chip pancakes, french vanilla latte, and a side of bacon), scalding hot shower, read by the fire, watch snow fall, play in snow, thaw out from snow, read some more, play in snow some more, eat chicken noodles soup, get back in the snow etc. Basically I want to play in the snow as much as humanly possible. I was that kid who would only come back inside for a mug of hot coco before changing gloves and then running back outside into the snow. 

I love snow. I get sad every winter where there isn't more snow because I miss it dearly and it's one reason I couldn't imagine moving any further south.

Thankfully, I've got a snow partner in crime in Jax. We huddled in the house on Sunday, eagerly watching the snow accumulate in the backyard. Finally, I looked at the hubs and said, "it's time to play in the snow!" I promptly "borrowed" one of his heavy flannels (I hate running around in a heavy jacket and would rather layer up and wear a heavy flannel), threw sweaters on the dogs, pulled up my boots and away we went.

Jewels lasted all of nine seconds and then begged to be picked up. Jax and I ran around in the yard like the crazy ones we are and the hubs just took it all in. Then we came inside, watched some football, warmed up by the fire, and stared longingly at the snow outside. 

Did you get snow over the weekend? Are you a snow person or do you hate the snow? 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Made in USA: Dog Gift Guide

Ever since Lady and the Tramp came out it's been the ultimate dream to get a puppy for Christmas.  As a kid I always hoped to find a puppy under the tree, but alas that never happened. My parents were far too rational to give a bunch of screaming kids a puppy! I kid, we had plenty of dogs growing up. 

However, eight years ago the hubs and I got a call that a 9 week old Boston Terrier was "too rambunctious" for his new family.  The hubs and I had talked about getting a second Boston and ideally we wanted a boy. On the car ride over to see if this puppy was a good fit for our family the hubs was more excited and I was more hesitant because I wasn't 100% sold on the timing of getting a second dog.  That first moment I saw Jax reminded me of the time I was a 12 year old when I walked into a pound, craddled a 50lb dog in my arms, and told my dad the dog was coming home with me. The bond was instantaneous between Jax and me. He's been my pup ever since that day. 

And so we brought Jax into our lives just weeks before Christmas. The hubs even joked that we could put a bow on Jax since he was our Christmas present to ourselves. He didn't go for the bow, but both pups help us open our presents every year. Even Jewels loves shredding wrapping paper. (just make sure your dog shreds the paper and doesn't actually ingest the paper) 

So if you've got a special pup in your life (my furbabies are eight years old and I still call them pups!) or you've got friend with a pup - don't forget them this holiday season. Every dog needs more collars, leashes, toys, and beds. Seriously, my pups have four beds in our house. And that collapsible bowl needs to get in my life ASAP because that would be perfect for taking with us on our longer hikes in the park.  I'm shocked that Jewels doesn't already own that rain jacket!

Finally, I'm not a cat person. I'm horribly allergic to cats and since they're slowly trying to kill me I try to avoid cats at all costs. However, if you're looking for a few cat gifts that are made in the USA please let me know in the comments and I will certainly try to help you out. Felines are furbabies too! 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Gingham and Python

 Made in USA: Gingham Shirt: Tradlands // Jeans: J Brand, old (similar) // Purse: Coach, vintage (similar) // Nails: Essie "Eternal Optimist" // Shades: Oakley (on sale!) // 

Imported: Velvet Blazer: J Crew, old (made in USA option, gorgeous green option) // Shoes: Delman made in Italy (similar

Three things:

First, it's officially December which means winter is practically here and I can break out the irrationally large number of velvet clothing items I own.  Insert copious amounts of happiness here. The hubs thinks I'm crazy, but I am drawn to velvet. Love it and wish I could wear it year round.

Second, after a tad bit too much indulgence of mashed potatoes, turkey, bourbon, and peanut butter pie over the Thanksgiving holiday I'm going to have to give up skinny jeans until the end of the year for a few weeks. Or perhaps this is my post-marathon eating binge that always happens when I introduce gluten back into my diet. Whatever it is I'm all about the trouser jeans at the moment. Thankfully I've got a trusty, old, pair to get me through the rest of the sweet treat season.

Finally, I had a momentary panic attack when I was trying to rationalize that I could wear both gingham and python print patterned items and not look crazy.  The hubs was kind enough to point out that the additional patterned item wouldn't be the thing that outed my craziness.  He such a way with words!

How as your holiday weekend? Score any major deals? We bought new appliances, hardwood floors, and a few gifts. I imagine we'll be getting a phone call from our bank in a day or so asking if we've noticed any fraudulent activity on our credit cards :)