Valentine's Day Date Ideas with Wedding Party

January 28, 2015
Happy Wednesday from snowy Boston...oh yes I said Boston because my flight was cancelled for today, but I'm still headed to the sunshine state tomorrow, so keep some fingers and toes crossed that it all works out!! 
It's almost Valentine's Day and I've rounded up 9 dates over at Wedding Party that not only won't break the bank, but will have you rethinking this little holiday!! Ideas that involve a fun date night competition and a mini bar crawl with toasts at each stop!! 
Check out the post and let me know what do you have planned for this year? Any traditions you'd like to share?

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Flower Arranging for Beginners

January 27, 2015
Flower Arranging
I should probably start this post out by saying I am not a professional florist (clearly), but I love flowers and really enjoy having them around the house! A few weeks ago I wanted to arrange them in a square vase instead of just having them in a longer vase, but I also wanted them to be full like a centerpiece so I set out to make it happen! 
Flower Arranging
Your supplies are very simple! One square vase, one thick rubbery band or hair tie (that's what I used the first time), scissors and of course a bouquet of roses. I think two bunches is the perfect amount because it creates a fuller bouquet. Trader Joe's roses for $4.99 - you just can't beat it! 
Flower Arranging
Next you want to take the petals off the stems since they won't be seen in the vase. 
After all the petals are removed, measure out how far you want the stems to stick out from the vase, but make sure you do this from the inside since there is probably less space on the inside than the outside...illusions and all! 
Flower Arranging
You want to measure one from an angle and another straight. If all of them are angled then you'll have a hole in the middle, so don't forget to switch it up. 
Flower Arranging
Cut all the flowers where you measured them out and then tie them in a bunch with your rubber band. 
Flower Arranging
More than likely your first time cutting it will leave them a little long so place them in the vase and eyeing it cut off the ends a little more so that they bunch even closer and give off a fuller look. 
Flower Arranging
Fill the vase one quarter of the way with water and don't forget the flower food!! 
Flower Arranging
You'll see they are full and fill the vase really nicely! 
Flower Arranging
There you have it - for less than $10 a great floral centerpiece that will bring a little freshness into your house!! Side note, using this process my flowers stayed full and alive for two weeks! 

Do you have any tips for flower arranging?

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Weekending | The One Before the Blizzard

January 26, 2015
Happy Monday, well for those of you who will not be affected by Winter Storm Juno it might be a happy Monday! Before I get into my weekend let me paint a little picture for you. Walked into Trader Joe's to buy some flowers on Sunday- walk to get in line only to realize that's it's wrapped around the entire store. Is everyone in Boston that hungry or are they preparing for the apocalypse?! I'm personally hoping we don't get the 2+ feet of snow they are predicting because I've got a flight to sunny Florida on Wednesday and I'd like to keep it!!! So if you don't read anything at all - please read this...pray for less that 2 feet of snow!! 
As to be expected our Friday night included sushi at our favorite restaurant and then wine and a Friends Netflix marathon at home!! Watching the show from the beginning with no commercials at 22 minutes per episode is so dangerous!!! 
Saturday morning was the precursor to what we'll be getting tonight into Tuesday, so we decided to treat ourselves to a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs, chocolate chip pancakes & a latte!! In all honestly - when the snow first falls it's so pristine and beautiful, it's when it turns to slush I start to question my sanity!! 
I clearly need to add more color into my wardrobe but those dry fit workout pants from Target are amazing and my boots literally keep me from flying onto the pavement from the ice!! 
Saturday night belonged to Bagels, my friend Kim's new puppy!! She is seriously the sweetest pup ever and I was pretty sad we had to leave her to go out! I mean - her face was the cutest, I may or may not have tried to concoct a plan to steal her !!! 
The four of us made our way to Back Bay Social Club for some cocktails and I tried my first Moscow Mule - I'm hooked!! 
Sunday was spent getting a much needed manicure, taking photos for a DIY coming this week and testing out the Buffalo Chicken lettuce wraps I mentioned on Friday!! In case you're wondering - they were delicious! 
After reading this back I realize there are quite a few food photos - sorry about that - I promise we do more than just eat in the Winter :) Sunday night was spent flipping back and forth between Miss Universe & the SAG awards!! Sarah Hyland, Claire Danes & Joanne Froggatt from Downton Abbey were my favorites!
Hope you all have a wonderful start your week!!! Link up below to share your weekends!!

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Friday Favorites Round-Up

January 23, 2015
Having a short work week has been nice, but I am welcoming the weekend with open arms again!! No real weekend plans set yet, but maybe seeing American Sniper will finally be in the cards! Linking up with Amanda and Christina to share some favorites from the week!!  

Favorite Recipe

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps
My tolerance for spicy food has gone up recently. Due to this fact, I'm excited to try these Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Favorite Makeup Tutorial 

I'm a huge Teni Panosian fan and really enjoyed her natural glam make-up tutorial! 

Favorite New Netflix Comedy

Tina Fey has produced a new show for Netflix that is set to premier on March 6th! The best part is that you can binge watch the entire season in one weekend...tell me I'm not alone here!! Second piece of good news, already picked up for a second season!!! You can watch the trailer here!

Favorite Look

Katie Holmes Berlin Fashion Week
Hands down Katie Holmes looked flawless at Berlin Fashion Week! The hair, the hat, the coat and the boots were on point!! Loved it!! 

Favorite Links

Friday Favorites
+ I have the hardest time keeping track of all my passwords - not anymore with 1Password 
+ Swooning over this gorgeous Charleston wedding
+ Lauren Conrad shares her workout and diet to get into those skinny jeans in 7 days!
+ 12 creative ways to use washi tape  

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and hope to see you back here Monday for Weekending! 
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Five Tips on Luxury Buying for Less

January 22, 2015
It's no secret around these parts that I love to shop, not only that, but I love to get a good deal, I mean who doesn't?! My favorite is scoring a luxury item for more than half off! Back in February you may remember that I found an incredible deal on my Burberry bag - probably the best score ever!! Well that led me to a few more deals and I wanted to share some of the tips I've learned along the way. I actually can't take credit for these tips because my cousin is the owner of Luxury Labels, designer consignment & boutique and not only does she have an incredible arsenal of goods at her store, but her own closet is pretty swoon worthy!! 
 1. How do you know what you're buying is authentic and not just a great fake?
It is always prudent to purchase from a reputable consignment store that professionally authenticates all merchandise and offers Authenticity Guarantee. Beware of the shops with no physical location and online outlets that simply serve as marketplaces for buyers/sellers and don't have physical possession of the items for sale.
2. At what discounted price should you feel like you're getting a good deal?

It really depends on the item you're purchasing. Hot items that are in current style/demand can be hard to find and therefore don't expect a significant discount if it does come around. However, deals are abound, and you can often get your hands on deeply discounted items from designers like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Prada,Valentino and Christian Louboutin at up to 70% off retail.
3. If you have your eye on something specific, how do you suggest finding the luxury item?

Contact or stop by your local designer consignment shop or search online.   Get connected to your favorite consignment shops through social media sites Instagram and Facebook as many post their new arrivals daily.
4. What are the best designer pieces to resell (purses, shoes and clothes?) 
Certainly high-end designer bags and accessories from Chanel, Hermes and Louis Vuitton are very much in demand and thus retain their value really well.   Shoes and clothing are more difficult to sell online as buyers are inclined to try those on before purchasing.  A consignment store specializing in resale of clothing can be a good avenue for selling your clothing items turning your unwanted items into much needed cash.
5. What's your biggest piece of advice for someone looking to buy luxury items for less?

Shopping for discounted luxury goods can be rewarding and exciting – you can score some amazing deals!  But be sure to do your homework first:
  • Purchase from a reputable source that guarantees authenticity
  • Be familiar with the store's return policy
  • If shopping online, make sure description is sufficient (if purchasing pre-owned items, you want to know  a detailed condition of the item as well as photos)
  • Know your size if your purchasing clothing or shoes online
So bearing those tips in mind when I shop for luxury items I usually check with a few places! One of my go-to's is Rue La La. Since the merchandise is always changing, I check my emails to see what they have on tap for the week and if I'm not interested in anything I don't even tempt myself! 

As Maya mentioned, if you have something specific in mind - you have to know the right places to check, specifically with higher end watches. My go-to is Swiss-Wrist. They specialize in used Rolex watches and their 100% authentic guarantee as well as three-year warranty helps with buying such an expensive piece! With my upcoming birthday I do have a few of their Ladies Crown Collection pieces I've been eyeing, but let's be honest that's a big present and will probably have to wait until a big milestone is achieved!! Back in high school, my friend Monica got a Rolex watch for her 16th birthday and she is about to celebrate her 28th and she still wears the watch on occasion - so they definitely stand the test of time (pun totally intended)! 
Swiss Wrist Watches
Second Time Around is another consignment store I stop into on occasion for those amazing deals!! I follow them on Instagram and when I see something that I like in the Boston store I try to pop in! They have multiple locations across the country so there could be one near you as well! My friend Jackie found a serious deal when she bought authentic Chanel earrings for almost 75% off the original cost!! 

While I certainly don't buy luxury items that often, when I do I make sure to research and sometimes end up finding a gem that's brand new or pretty close to it! 

Do you have any tips for buying luxury items for less? Where do you like to shop for designer goods?

Thank you to Swiss-Wrist for sponsoring this post. 
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Positivity Project

January 21, 2015
Meet @ the Barre
Amanda started this Positivity Project back in November and I don't think there is a better time than the start of the year to spread some positivity through blog land, but also to remind ourselves in the time of resolutions and goals what we love about ourselves?

Here are Amanda's questions and number 5 I added just for fun! 

1. Tell me something that you love about yourself
I'm taking the cues from the other ladies that have done this little Q&A and choosing a physical feature. As much as I didn't like having long hair when I was younger, I'm so happy my mom didn't let me cut or color my hair growing up!!  

2.  Tell me what you want to work on
I really want to work on being present!! I tried it last year and maybe half succeeded! It's hard to be 100% present especially when so much of our lives revolves around social media, but I'm going to make a conscious and serious effort to remove myself from the computer and my phone after 10:00 PM...certain things can wait! Not checking instagram after that time probably going to be the hardest part! 

3.  Give someone a compliment and mean it
Jenn, I am so happy to have found your blog and become friends with you through it!! I love how honest you are in your posts and I also love how you always try to see the good in people and situations.  More than anything I love our texting convos which mostly consist of selfies and DIYs! 

4.  Tell me something that you are proud of, succeeded in or are just generally pumped about.
I'm really proud of how far I've come since graduating college. It's been five years and I finally feel like in the last year I've grown the most! I always struggled with figuring out what I wanted to do with my life and through a few lucky breaks and a lot hard work it's finally happening!! 

Remember that spark we all had as kids??!! I wanted to throw this bonus question in because I find that as kids, the world was really at our fingertips! We had crazy dreams, aspirations and felt like we could do anything!! Somewhere along the way we lose that spark, but maybe remembering our dream as a child would spark something exciting in us!! Obviously I won't become a princess, but dreaming is always a good idea! 

5.  When you were a child, what was your dream? 
I wanted to be a professional tennis player. I played competitively for 12 years and really thought I was going to be the next Anna Kournikova, but sadly I got burnt out from playing tournaments and decided to give it up after high school. This year I'm going to make a point to join a tennis club in the city and relieve some of my favorite childhood memories!! 

Now it's your turn, what do you love about yourself? 

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Currently Loving

January 20, 2015
It's been a while since I've done a round-up of recent purchases, finds and gifts and thought I'd share a few of the things I'm loving right now! 

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil 

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil
I was gifted these eyeliners from a friend that's not an avid user. Thank god for friends because this is one of the best eyeliners I've ever used!!! It has extremely long wearability and while it does smudge on your hand, it doesn't move from your lids (if primed correctly)! The colors I've been using are Roach (top) & Twice Baked (bottom) - great names, right??!! 

BH Cosmetics Brush Set

BH Cosmetics Brush Set
I was in serious need of some new brushes and when one of my favorite beauty vloggers mentioned how great BH Cosmetics brushes were, I decided to test them out!! Their price tag is so much more affordable than sigma brushes, which was my first choice!! So far I'm loving how smooth they are and the way they "brush" the make-up on! 
BH Cosmetics Brush Set
I haven't used them all yet, but the smaller brushes I'm actually using as all eyeshadow brushes! 

Bite Beauty Cashmere Lip Creme - Rioja 

Bite Beauty Cashmere Lip Creme - Rioja
For a girl that had a total of zero red lipsticks at the start of last year, I've certainly started quite a collection! The color dries matte, but not dry to leave cracks. As the name suggests, there is a cashmere illusion and it's so pigmented!! I love wearing this color a ndtouch of eye make-up, makes me feel glam without being over the top! 

Sephora Makeup Remover

Sephora Makeup Remover
As you can see I'm almost done with this make-up remover and it's one of my favorites!! Even though it says it's for waterproof make-up, I rarely wear anything waterproof. I wanted to get this one because I felt like it would really do a good job of removing all the eye make-up without having to scrub hard! 

Quote Tray

Pottery Barn Quote Tray
I won this tray at a yankee swap and I'm in love!! It's one of my favorite quotes and a great size for even more baubles to be added to the tray!! 

Target Finds

I usually stray away from printed workout pants, but these Target ones were just subtle enough that I felt I could pull them off. While it's certainly not maxi skirt weather here in Boston, I am gearing up for a beach vacation in April and this hi-lo skirt is perfect and incredibly lightweight too!! 

Just a few recent loves! What are you loving lately? Have you tried any of the beauty items above?
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Weekending Scenes

January 19, 2015
Happy Monday all!! Today is going to be a lazy Monday with a few errands being run and really just continuing the weekend!! The weekend almost started on Thursday night for me and attending the grand opening of Waterford Crystal's first US store. 
It was beautiful event and of course I fell in love with a vanity and mirror!
After catching a gorgeous sunset on Friday, just as I had predicted, I finished the first season of Jane the Virgin and just in time since the second season starts tonight! I have a theory - binge watching shows is way better than having to wait each week for a new episode. 
It's starting to become a habit with our apartment building loosing heat at least one day out of the weekend and when your heat and hot water aren't working you do what you have to do to take a shower and in our case that was going to the gym! At least that meant I got two workouts in this weekend, which almost never happens!! 
Saturday night my friend Jackie had a few girls over for a girl's night and I seriously forget how much  laughing with your girlfriends and new friends is good for the soul! 
Thanks to a handy timer stands we were able to get a group shot once the boys had already left!! 
Our grand plans of seeing American Sniper on Sunday were foiled when every single showing up until 10:00 PM was sold out!! We consoled ourselves with brunch (crab & hash) and shopping!! 
I'm the sort of person that has a gift card and needs to use it - so I did just that!! I can't wait to dig into this Chelsea Market cookbook from Anthropologie (also on Amazon). I thought Gary's eyes were going to pop out when I picked up another eye shadow palette, but in my defense I'm 100% done with the Naked 1 Palette so a new one was sort of okay! I've heard amazing things about the Too Faced semi-sweet chocolate bar and since I love the original so much I decided to round the collection out! The Limited was having 50% off everything so this cute nautical top came home with me!! 
Meet my new best friend - the Nova Flash!! I picked up this to help with photos since I didn't want to invest in a full on lighting set-up!! This little guy has 4 different flash settings and a custom one you can create!! It "talks" to your iPhone wirelessly (bluetooth) and takes really clear pictures!! I busted this out for girls night and may have gotten some weird looks, but after they saw the picture they were fans!! 
Sunday night wrapped up with watching the Patriots dominate the Colts and ending with the Pats going to the Super Bowl!!
Hope you all have a wonderful start to your week!! If you want to share your weekends with me and Meghan - link up below!! 

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