Friday, August 30, 2013

What are you doing this (long) weekend?

Happy weekend, friends—and if you're in the U.S., happy Labor Day (read: long) weekend. What are your plans for the next few days? I'm heading north for my best friend/college roomie's baby shower (I'm making these Magnolia Bakery vanilla cupcakes for it) and staying through Monday to hang out with my parents. They recently redid their kitchen and it's gorgeous and the new appliances are awesome and fancy, so I'm looking forward to cooking and baking there (we're also making Tyler Florence's fried chicken recipe for our traditional Labor Day cookout).

I'm also pretty tired after what turned out to be a long week (good long, just...long), so I'm also looking forward to unplugging a little bit and just relaxing. And that's what three-day weekends are for, anyway, right?

If you'd like to do some reading/web browsing this weekend, here are three great links:

Great life lessons from Kate at Wit & Delight.

The transcript of President Obama's speech from the Martin Luther King Jr. 50th anniversary celebrations. So moving.

Death to the Stock Photo is a new (free) site for bloggers looking for beautiful imagery—interesting concept, huh? (via Hither and Thither)

Oh, and in case you missed anything here: New pink lipstick, my obsession with Moroccan wedding blankets, six things you should know about me (thanks again, Alicia!) and Emerson Fry's fall/winter collection and my tormented relationship with it.

See you back here Tuesday. xoxo

Photo: My own, snapped on the way into my aesthetician's office, which happens to be in the back of an artist's studio. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Emerson Fry.

Let's just put it out there: I am a sucker for Emerson Fry. I'm not even quite sure why, because—real talk—I ordered a shirt from a past collection and was very unimpressed with the construction (even though the design was really pretty); I actually ended up exchanging and finally returning it.

But then every season, the EF lookbook comes out and I am smitten with each piece (hi, pink coat). So here I am again, thinking the same thing I do every time I go to write this post: "I don't know if I'd order from Emerson Fry again, but gosh, these pieces—and the way they're styled—sure are pretty."

Sigh. Anyone ever experience similar feelings about this kind of thing?

P.S. Not trying to throw this brand under the bus; just sharing some honest feelings about my experience. xoxo

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Six things you should know about me.

My friend Alicia, who writes the wonderful Jaybird blog, tagged me to fill out this little survey, and since I am a sucker for this kind of thing, I figured I'd oblige. So, here you go: Six things you should know about me.

1. What is one thing you are thankful for right this moment?
Right at this moment? Coffee. Also, a job I love, wonderful friends and family, my sweet kitty cats and a bunch of opportunities that have recently come my way.

2. What was your favorite book as a kid?
Oh, gosh, this is hard. Coming to mind right now are The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Little House and Strega Nona. And when I was in third grade I went through a very intense Nancy Drew phase.

3. Do you have a mentor? If so, what’s the most significant thing you’ve learned from him or her?
My mentor is my current boss. She's super smart, a wonderful manager and teacher, a talented writer and editor, and just an incredibly fair, kind human being.

4. If you had to subsist on three foods for a year, what would they be?
Smoked salmon (I really could eat this every day), Trader Joe's chicken gyoza dumplings (I'm obsessed with them right now) and burrata.

5. What travel destination is on your “someday” list?
Paris! I've never been out of the country (I know), and that is the first place I want to go.

6. If you had to write a six-word memoir, what would it be?
Ask for what you want. (OK, so that's only five words, but they're so important you don't need the sixth. Seriously: Best lesson I've ever learned.)

Would love to hear your responses to these questions, as well! Feel free to answer them in a comment or send me a link to the post if you respond on your own blog (I'd especially love to know what your six-word memoir would be!).

Photo: Me and my parents' adorable pup, Legacy.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Moroccan wedding blankets.

A Moroccan wedding blanket has been on my wishlist for years now; they are so beautiful and unique and I think they add so much glamour and texture to a room. This one, from Calypso St. Barth, is particularly pretty—I'd hang it on my wall, I think, because otherwise my cats would have a field day with it—but for now its very firmly in the "wishlist-only" category. Maybe someday!

(Related: Is anyone going to Morocco anytime soon? Hee.)

Photo: Nicolette Camille's lovely bedroom via Design*Sponge.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Pop of pink.

Thanks to my recent birthday, I acquired a stash of gift cards—one of them to Sephora (which, happily, recently opened a mini-store in one of our malls, meaning I don't have to trek to Tampa or pay shipping fees these days). I'd been wanting a hot pink lipstick for awhile, and I'd been vacillating between NARS' Schiap and Funny Face, so last week, after a post-work appointment, I stopped by Sephora to test out the colors. I ended up going with Funny Face, but Schiap was really nice, too, and I kind of wish I'd bought it. So needless to say, there might be two bright-pink lipsticks in my life very soon—a nice change from my usual red.

Do you wear lipstick every day? I find that when I do, it brightens up both my pale, pale, pale face and my spirit—but sometimes I'm just too lazy to put it on!

Photo: My own. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

What are you doing this weekend?

Happy Friday, friends! What are you doing this weekend? It's been a bit of a whirlwind week—30's starting with a bang (in a good way), I tell you—so I'm looking forward to escaping town and seeing both ACS and my parents this weekend.

Fast Company tells us why productive people get up insanely early. All I want in life is to be a morning person, you guys...I'm not sure it's ever going to happen, though.

The Jennifer Lawrence profile in the September issue of Vogue (pictured above) is great, and totally worth reading. She is a treat.

Shameless plug: I wrote a story about Sarasota weddings for our August —click here to read it, if you're so inclined! (P.S. We won best overall magazine and best-written magazine in the state of Florida this year. So proud.)

And in case you missed anything here this week: Justina Blakeney's inspiring home, the perfect striped top for fall (an investment piece for sure), loving the movie Ruby Sparks and some little peeks of my apartment.

Have an awesome weekend, friends—can you believe it's almost the end of August?!—and I'll see you back here on Monday. xoxo

Photo: Vogue magazine's Instagram. Oh, Anna.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Around my apartment.

Just a few favorite corners around my little apartment these days.

ACS got me this chalkboard—by local maker Mark Nodeen of 390 Design—for my birthday, and I love it. The color is perfect and it's huge and awesome.

My Proud Mary "Sorbet Stripe" rug—which, you may recall, I'd had on my wishlist for months—is just as awesome as I'd hoped. I have the 5'x7' size and it's perfect for my space.

I found two of these vintage chairs at an Orlando thrift shop with my mom, and I love them. They're sturdy and comfortable and beautifully made, and the original upholstery is in fantastic shape. I threw faux sheepskin throws (from IKEA) to protect them from little kitty-cat claws, and I think eventually I'll have them reupholstered, but for now I love them exactly the way they are.

This birdcage is from a Goodwill trip last weekend, and I promptly spray-painted it a cheerful bright yellow. Then I stuck a big succulent in it.

On that same trip to Goodwill (or "Goodies," as my bestie Kate and I call it), I picked up two colorful baskets, including this little one that I love. It fits perfectly on a bookshelf next to my treasured archive of Domino and Blueprint magazines, and is perfect for holding random odds and ends. (And yup, that's a brick that I spray-painted gold—the easiest DIY ever.)

Not pictured: Bare walls that desperately need some art. Post about that to come...

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Ruby Sparks.

Ruby Sparks was one of those films I wanted to see in theaters, but I never got around to it. So I was excited when I saw that it was on TV the other night, and I'm really glad I finally watched it. The film is about a writer—Calvin (played by Paul Dano)—whose dream girl, Ruby (Zoe Kazan, who also wrote the screenplay), a woman he invented while working on his book, comes to life. The result is romantic, smart, touching and very funny, and if you haven't watched it, I highly encourage you to do so.

P.S. My favorite quote from the movie: "One may read this and think it's magic, but falling in love is an act of magic, and so is writing." Amen.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Found: The perfect striped top for fall.

...from Charleston, S.C.-based Troubadour. (Seriously, I'm in love with this shirt and that grosgrain bow detail—on my wishlist for sure, sigh.) In fact, the whole fall/winter line—created by former Madewell designer Lindsey Carter and photographed by Olivia Rae James—is pretty perfect. See it here.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Inspiration overload: Justina Blakeney's jungalow.

I mentioned last week that I've suddenly become obsessed with making my house as bright and colorful as possible (see this chalkboard and this rug, both of which I'm 100 percent smitten with), and there is no better place on the Internet for awesome color inspiration than Justina Blakeney's wonderful blog. Justina is a thrifting, upcycling and decorating maven, and her L.A. home—or "jungalow," as she calls it—is filled with her colorful finds. Poor ACS is probably quaking in his boots, because now I'm pretty much on a mission to spray paint everything I own hot pink, emerald green or electric yellow...

P.S. Another colorful home I love: Bri Emery's.

Friday, August 16, 2013

What are you doing this weekend?

Happy Friday, everyone! How were your weeks? Mine was pretty busy—getting back to the grind after being on vacation is always an adjustment, and I've still been processing the whole turning-30 thing, too. In fact, I meant to write a post on my thoughts on that for today, but it seemed kind of heavy for a Friday, so you get to read that next week instead (ha). In the meantime, I will tell you that I've suddenly become obsessed with bringing tons of bright color into my home (thanks to this chalkboard from the amazing ACS and this rug from Proud Mary), so...I feel like that's a good way to start off a new decade.

No links this week, just one last picture from San Diego—a spray of pink bougainvillea and sunshine. Pretty much the epitome of Southern California, as far as I can tell. (When can I go back, again?)

Thanks for all your sweet comments on this week's travel posts, by the way (in case you missed any: the first day, La Jolla, Coronado and my favorite bites of the trip). They made my days.

Hope you have a great weekend, friends, and I'll see you back here on Monday! xoxo

Thursday, August 15, 2013

San Diego: Favorite bites.

Like you, I'm sure, one of my favorite things to do when visiting any new-to-me city is eat--I love learning about places through their flavors. San Diego, you'll be happy to know, did not disappoint, so today I thought I'd share with you my top three bites of the trip.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


We visited Coronado the Sunday after my brother's wedding, and I don't think we could have picked a better day to do it: The laid-back vibe was the perfect antidote to the previous few days' "go-go-go-my-brother's-getting-married-OMG" mentality.

A friend of my mom's told her that the Hotel del Coronado—built in 1888—was a must-visit and that we had to at least stroll through the lobby, so that's where we started (be warned that if you park at the hotel, you can expect a steep hourly fee, although easy access to your car in a crowded area might be worth it). As we walked up, my aunt randomly mentioned that my great aunt and uncle were married at the hotel when my uncle was stationed in San Diego during World War II—something I didn't know and was so happy to learn. Gotta love that personal connection.

Entering the lobby, we were immediately offered fresh lemonade by the staff, and then we found ourselves wandering through the labyrinth of shops downstairs, eventually ending up on the beach, where we strolled right up to the water's edge and admired the juxtaposition of mountains and ocean, something you just don't see here in Florida. Afterward, we headed back to the hotel and settled into a cabana on one of its decks, where I downed a really tasty (and—real talk!—very expensive) margarita, and we all listened to live music and toasted to being in California together, something that will probably never happen again. (That's my wild and crazy aunt dancing in the photo above, by the way.) If you're visiting Coronado, I highly recommend doing all of the above: Walk around the hotel, stroll to the beach, and then have a bite or a sip at one of the restaurants.

Afterward, we took a walk through the little downtown, stopping in at a couple of cute shops (where I bought the biggest sunglasses ever—I love them) and eventually settling down at a restaurant for a late (al fresco, of course) lunch before heading home. What a great day.

P.S. If you missed it yesterday, our adventures in La Jolla.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

La Jolla.

La Jolla is what really made me fall in love with San Diego, because if I'm being completely honest, the marina area around our hotel reminded me a lot of Sarasota, just with way better weather. But driving into La Jolla, with the Pacific Ocean as our backdrop, was a completely new experience for me. I've never been to the West Coastthe farthest west I've been is Denver, actuallyand I was determined to dip my toes into the Pacific on this trip. La Jollawith its stunning (and ice-cold) blue water, sunbathing seals (!!) and sandy cliffswas the perfect place to do that, and this may sound cheesy, but standing on the beach with rolled-up jeans and my toes in the water was one of those perfect indelible moments for me. I loved it.

Afterward, we drove around the main shopping area, admiring the adorable stores and restaurants and the gorgeous homes snuggled  into the sides of the hills. La Jolla sort of brought to life the California I imagined, and if I could make living there a reality, I would do it in about two seconds.

P.S. I am dumb and thought La Jolla was pronounced "La Jall-a." It is in fact pronounced "La Hoya." Hooray for factoids! Oh, and that's my mom and me in the picture above. xoxo

Monday, August 12, 2013

San Diego Week.

Oh, you guys. I love California.

Seriously. Sarasota is a pretty fantastic place, but California—and specifically San Diego? They are something else. We arrived on Wednesday, August 1, on a flight from Orlando, and from the second I stepped off the plane, I was smitten. First of all, it was 72 degrees outside. In August. As a lifelong Floridian, this is something I almost couldn't wrap my head around, because here it is a delightful (um, not) 90 degrees every day, which means it feels like 100 degrees-plus, and the humidity is always crazy, crazy high. When the temps dropped into the mid-60s that first night, I almost fainted I was so happy.

It helped that we were staying at a great hotel—a Sheraton on Harbor Island with views of the marina—and that we were central to everything; it didn't take us more than 20 minutes to get to any of the places we visited. And although we were San Diego for my little brother's wedding, which took up a huge chunk of our time (as well it should), I really felt like we did (and saw) (and tasted) quite a lot.

So this week I'll be telling you about bits and pieces from the trip—I am by no means any kind of travel expert (in fact, I am woefully, woefully under-traveled for my 30 years), but I love to share, so there you go. Hope you enjoy—see you back here tomorrow. xoxo

Friday, August 9, 2013

What are you doing this weekend?

I tweeted yesterday that I had grand plans for my blog while I was in California—I totally wanted to schedule posts and I even thought maybe I'd update from San Diego—but life (and a wedding) (and my 30th birthday) got in the way, and honestly, it was kind of nice to unplug. So I'm popping in to say that I'll be back next week with all sorts of stuff about the wedding, my impression of California (a.k.a. my new love) and thoughts on turning 30. Until then, I hope you have a fabulous August weekend. And here's a photo of a cute giraffe who lives at the San Diego Zoo, just because.