Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Forever You're My Favorite... Forever I'm Yours

As I mentioned, I am very far behind on posting due to a few busy weeks in a row!  This week, my plan is to catch up on posting all the outfits and events from the past week or so.

On January 20th, some friends and I met in Georgetown for happy hour, followed by shopping and then dinner at Serendipity 3.  In April, my beautiful friend Hyun June is getting married and she decided she wanted all of her bridesmaids and matron of honor to wear different dresses of the same fabric from J. Crew.  She picked a pretty deep purple color- spiced wine.  Because the J. Crew in Georgetown has a bridal department, we headed there to try on some dresses.

I wore Anthropologie's Walk With Me dress for the occasion because I thought it would be easiest for trying-on purposes.  As it is strapless, I wouldn't have to worry about bra straps showing or a dress constantly going on and off over my head.  This time I paired it with a tan colored shrug from Banana Republic's holiday collection.

Walk With Me Dress and Belt, Anthropologie 2010
Shrug, Banana Republic
Boots, Nine West
Necklace, Premier Designs

When we arrived at J. Crew, they crammed the five of us into a teeny tiny dressing room that they called the "bridal suite".  Hyun June decided she wanted us in silk chiffon, so we looked through the style book and asked to see 3 dresses we liked.  When they dresses came, they were cute and classy!  Unfortunately for me, the 3 other girls each picked one of the dresses we preferred, so there wasn't an option for me to wear (the bride didn't want any repeated dresses).  We asked to see the remaining dresses, so I could pick a dress.  None of them were ideal (1 was very matronly-looking and the other 2 seemed like something easy high schoolers would wear to a homecoming dance) so I had the girls choose the dress they liked best. 

One nice thing about ordering from J. Crew is that packages arrive right away (J. Crew ships from Virginia).  Once, I ordered something early in the morning and by the end of the day, it was already on my door step! By last Tuesday the dresses arrived.  The sales girl insisted that I order the dress 2 sizes too large, and, as predicted, the dress (which is strapless), fell to the floor when I tried it on.  Also, the cut and style were extremely unflattering on my body type.  This past weekend I returned the dress (another bonus of ordering bridesmaid dresses from J. Crew- they can be returned!) and am now weighing my options... I guess I will order the other 2 styles (in the correct size!) and see which of the two dresses will look the least atrocious on me.  Keep your fingers crossed that one will be acceptable both in size and style. While it's not my wedding and I will wear whatever dress the bride prefers, it is painful to me to spend $250 on a dress I dislike (especially when there are so many dresses I love at a lower price point). Luckily the dresses arrive quickly which gives me a little wiggle room to figure out a manageable plan. The good news is, despite how I look, the other 3 girls will for sure be gorgeous in purple, and I can always stand behind them in pictures if needed!

After dress shopping we went to Serendipity 3 for dinner.  I have never been before, and it was delicious!  The menu was huge and of course, we ordered desserts.  Below is a picture of my frozen hot chocolate which was large (it came with 3 straws!) and tasty.  I didn't eat too much of it because I was stuffed but I would definitely order it again as it was fabulous and unique.  Have you ever been?  What desserts have you tried?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

She's So Close to Being Everything

Last Thursday, Jan. 26, I was invited to the grand opening of the Anthropologie in Old Towne, Alexandria.  I was permitted to bring a plus one, so my dear friend, Amanda, came with me.  We went to happy hour at Jackson 20 beforehand where we had some cocktails and snacks before walking the short 2 blocks to Anthro.

I had planned to take many photos to use in this blog post, but that plan was quickly thwarted.  When we first arrived (around 6:40... the event begin at 6:30) it was crowded- very difficult to walk around and most of the clothing displays were blocked by people, not allowing for a photo opp.  They were serving delicious cocktails, wine, and cute small plates (my favorite was tiny square cups of tomato soup with bite-sized grilled cheese sandwiches on the rim) and shortly after arriving, I was holding dresses to try on, a cocktail, and my purse which didn't leave any free hands for camera-holding.
Anthro was serving delicious summery cocktails with cute silk flags and sprigs of rosemary as a garnish

I wore Anthro's De Chelly dress for the opening and Amanda wore the Fluttering Flora dress. 

Dress: De Chelly, Anthropologie
Shoes: Rennsselaer T-Straps
Cardigan: Jackie Cardi, J. Crew

This is the dress Amanda wore!  Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of both of us

The new store is HUGE- it is two stories.  The downstairs is more narrow but deep and already has a fully-stocked sale room in the back.  As soon as you walk in the main doors, there are stairs on the right. Upstairs there is a large selection of bedding and home goods, as well as lounge wear, dressing rooms, and more clothing.
The decor of the store was very summery which went along with the summer-inspired clothes Anthro's been selling recently!  These cacti were on display on the way up the stairs

I am not much for fitting room reviews (yet I LOVE reading them and love when other bloggers have them!) because my camera is dying a slow and painful death and doesn't take the best pictures.  Too, it is hard for me to find the right angle and I become easily frustrated.  I did try on quite a few things, though and have a few pictures to share.  I spent way more than I should have, and I am debating what I should return.  Any suggestions welcome!

The first dress I tried on (and purchased) is the sweet enticement dress.  I LOVE this dress, especially because of the gorgeous lace back.  With both dresses, I wore the belle bow belt which I also adore and bought.  I think it adds a nice pop of color. This dress was the perfect length on my petite frame- it came right above the knee, which may make it a bit too short for taller gals.  Some of the reviews I read complained about the fit; I found that it fit well, although perhaps does run a bit big. This dress definitely picks up lint easily and was quickly covered in fuzzies in the short time I wore it around the fitting room.  That con aside, this dress is perfect for me.  A friend of mine is getting married in April and I am going to wear this dress to her rehearsal dinner.
The dress is black, although it is more of a lighter black- at times, it appears navy.  Since I most likely will not wear a cardigan with this (do not want to cover the back!) the lighter coloring isn't an issue for me.
Sweet Enticement Dress, $118

Belle Bow Belt, $38
The lace back!!

The next dress I tried on and purchased is the Even Flurry Dress.  I liked this dress alot.  I wasn't sure if I LOVED it until Amanda and two random shoppers in the dressing room were raving about it on me. They convinced me that I need it, and now I quite agree.  I do have pictures of it in the fitting room, with the belle bow belt seen above, however, because the top is sheer, I don't quite feel comfortable posting them.  Again, this dress was a great length on me- a bit longer than the Sweet Enticement but still hitting around the knee.  With a white cardigan, a cami underneath, and the belle bow belt, I am thinking this will be the perfect dress for Easter Sunday.  I am hopeful that it will hit sale before then; that way, I can buy it at the sale price and return this full price version.
Even Flurry Dress in navy, $168

I adore this tied-shoulder tank!  The colors are fun for spring/summer and the cut is perfect.  It has a deep square cut out of the back and the top is textured which makes it a bit unique.  This tank will be perfect with a navy skirt (which I surprisingly do NOT own).  I've also seen it featured on the ipad app with an ivory skirt which may work well, too.  This was another must have, although, I am hoping it will go on sale before it is warm enough to wear it so I can snag it at a sale price.

Tied-Shoulder Tank, $78
 My final purchase was a super cute open cardigan in a sea foam green color. I can't find it on the website to show you!  While I love it, it fit perfectly, and the color is unique, I think it may be the one thing that I return because I have so many cardigans and I am not sure I will get as much wear out of it as I will the 4 things listed above.  I will sleep on it for a few days, though, before I make a final decision.

We ended the night with a cake pop (unfortunately, they look better than they taste!) and overall had a great night. The event was very well done and everyone was polite and helpful. If you're in Old Towne, swing by the new store to check it out!

Friday, January 27, 2012

I Don't Wanna Keep You Guessing, I Don't Wanna Waste Your Time...

I assure you, the post on last night's Anthro opening in Old Towne is coming (just not today, sorry).  It was very enjoyable (although crowded) and I, of course, spent too much money.  Sigh.  Spring clothes are so darling, and, considering it is 70 degrees today, I feel like spring is here and I can wear my new threads!  

Until I have the chance to write about it, here's an Outfit of the Day, from earlier in the week before spring arrived!

Field Skirt, Windswept Cardigan, Orange Tights, Snap Stripe turtleneck, all Anthropologie
Boots: Nine West

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Burning the Candle at Both Ends

This week has been madness, I tell you, madness.  In addition to very long work days due to some planning meetings that are occurring all week, I've had double and triple plans every evening.  Don't get me wrong- it's been very fun!  I am just becoming more and more exhausted as the week goes on!  I've been heading into work an hour earlier than usual, working late, and then getting home well after 11 every night.  There have been movies, dinners, multiple happy hours, a concert, and tonight, after happy hour with a dear friend, I will be here:

That's right.  The grand opening of Anthropologie in Old Towne, Alexandria.  Any other Northern Virginians going?

I'll fill you in on outfits and adventures from earlier in the week as soon as I have a chance.  Too, I will post about tonight's event in the near future!  For now, here is an Outfit of the Day.  Not today, but another day this week. My shoes here are actually a deep red crocodile print, though it is hard to tell from the picture.
Dress: Banana Republic Petite circa 2008
Necklace: Serendipity, Abingdon, VA
Shoes: Nine West (red croc print)

This awesome owl necklace was a gift from my cousin, Emily

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Birthday Bonanza

This past week, I've had a lot of birthdays to celebrate! Beginning with my roommate last Thursday, there have been a slew of friends and family members celebrating another year.  This is the somewhat spring-colored card I designed for all of the January birthdays, using the create a cupcake stamp set and coordinating punch.
ink: Chocolate Chip, Wild Wasabi, Pretty In Pink
Cardstock: Marina Mist, Whisper White, Chocolate Chip, Pretty in Pink
Accessories: Stripes embossing folder for the Big Shot, Window Punch, Cupcake Punch, Modern Label Punch,  Chocolate chip Scallop Dots ribbon
Stamp sets: Create a Cupcake and On a Pedestal
This card was fairly simple to make, yet it has a lot of texture due to the embossing and all the paper layers from the punches.

Interested in trying it out?  Click HERE to order Stampin' Up! products of your own!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Last week I wore this to work and a colleague told me I looked like an airline stewardess.  Well, maybe a little bit (do they wear purple?  I'm uncertain).  I certainly don't look like the women on the TV show, Pan Am. This dress is definitely PURPLE and to winterize it, I wore a plain white button down underneath.  The scarf was a birthday gift, years ago, from my friend, Hyun June.

Dress, shoes, and scarf: Banana Republic
Button down: Express

Usually winter months seem slow and drawn out, but for some reason, January is flying by!  This past weekend was the first time I feel like I've had a chance to catch my breath and catch up on life- laundry, cleaning, etc.  I had 2 friends over on Saturday for dinner and games; it was fun to chill, relax, and stay in for the chilly night. This weekend, I also had quite a bit of work to catch up on as well, to be prepared for the work week ahead.
How did you spend your weekend? 

Monday, January 23, 2012

"Believe Deep Down in Your Heart That You're Destined to Do Great Things"- JoePa

Yesterday was my Dad's 56th birthday.  Happy Birthday, Dad!!!  When I called home last night to wish him well, my mother answered and we chatted for a minute.  She sounded so congested, I asked her if she was unwell.  She said no, that she was just so sad from reading all about Joe Paterno's passing.

While Penn State's been in a negative light as of late, there's no denying the contributions JoePa made, not only to Penn State football, but also to the culture and community of State College.  He was an advocate for education, and ensured that his players graduated "with honor."  Most of my family attended Penn State, and, therefore, PSU football has been a big part of all of our lives in various ways.

Thoughts, prayers, and condolences go to his family, and the Penn State community who are mourning the lost of the winningest coach in Division 1 football.

Now, on to a very overdue OOTD (I think I wore this 2 weeks ago!!)

Wightwick Manor Shirtdress, necklace I don't recall the name of, and looping lanes belt, all Anthropologie
Boots Nine West

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I'm Not an Open Book That You Can Rifle Through

Today is my beautiful roommate's birthday.  We've been roommates ever since we went to Penn State together, with the exception of one year when she lived with her boyfriend... which is a long time to be roomies!  The plan is to go out to dinner and have some drinks with her friends to celebrate her life and sunshine.  I am looking forward to toasting to her tonight!  Sometime next week I will post the birthday card I made for her.  Cheers to you, Sarah!

Here's an OOTD :)
Dress: White House Black Market
Boots: Nine West

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Yesterday, after I posted that winter had, in fact, arrived, spring came back!  By late afternoon it was 60 degrees and sunny.  Sigh. 

Last night, in the mild January weather, some friends and I went to Oyamel for dinner.  Oyamel is a Mexican restaurant serving antojitos- Mexican small plates.  When we arrived, we had a 7:30 reservation and unfortunately, they were unable to seat us until closer to 8.  Because of the inconvenience, they gave us a free round of drinks.  I was with 3 friends who do not drink, so basically I had a free round of 4 drinks all to myself. 

We had a 5 course meal (not counting chips, salsa, and guacamole) and everything was delicious from the cactus salad to the chicken tacos.  I am eager to go back again to try more dishes. Nearly every dish had avocado and cilantro which made me very happy.

Here are some snapshots of the scrumptious food, as well as an outfit of the day, which is inspired by my older sister, Jen, who can dress up a button down shirt like no other.
Delicious guacamole...

This was probably one of my favorite dishes.  It is ensalada de chayote- squash salad in a hibiscus dressing.  I discovered I could eat hibiscus dressing everyday for the rest of my life and die a happy girl.  SO GOOD.  Almost like a raspberry dressing, only better.

Sopa Tarasca estilo (black bean soup) served with a crispy ancho chile and, of course, avacado!  (That's the second plate in the background... all the soup toppings)

Costilla de res con pipian.  This was NOT my dish, but it was so tasty, I wish I had ordered it!  This is braised short ribs in a cilantro sauce. SUPER tasty!

This was my dish... a traditional tamal verde.  Very good, just not as unique as the short ribs.

Taco course!  I had tinga poblana... by this point in the meal, I was so full, I couldn't eat much of it.

For dessert, Pastel de tres leches con pina.  I didn't touch this because 1. it isn't chocolate and 2. I was about to burst

My many, frothy beverages for the evening

Skirt: Banana Republic, 2011
Button Down: Talbots circa 2004
Cardigan: Ann Taylor Loft circa 2006
Boots: Nine West
Socks: J. Crew, 2011

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Winter has Arrived!

Finally after all of this mild weather winter is HERE!!  It's been very bitterly cold- something I hate.

Over the weekend when I was at my parents, it was 11 degrees in Pennsylvania. You read that correctly, ELEVEN.  GAH!  That is cold.  Luckily, my sister Erin let me borrow her electric blanket so I was able to sleep snuggly. Saturday night, however, there was a power surge and the whole neighborhood lost power for a few hours.  When it is 11 degrees outside and you don't have any power, your house becomes chilly awfully quickly. Thankfully the power and heat were restored in the morning.

Dress: J. Crew 2011
Belt: Anthropologie
Boots: Nine West
I realized I haven't worn this J. Crew stripey dress since the end of October.  It was definitely time to bring it out again!  This dress arrived in J. Crew last June.  I am not sure why, as it is a jersey material and appropriate for the fall/winter.  I'm also fairly certain this dress shrunk in the wash because it definitely wasn't this short the last time I wore it!  I think I can pull it off with tights, but then again, I am under 5 feet tall so it makes me wonder what taller girls are doing about this shrinking dress. (It is not a petite size).

Monday, January 16, 2012

Baby Love

Over the long weekend I went to Pennsylvania for my cousin Katie's baby shower.  She is expecting a baby girl in March.  My cousins Emily and Ally threw a darling shower for her.  Everything was pink and purple and it was lovely catching up with the family, especially some people I wasn't able to see over Christmas.  Here are some pictures from the event:
The Mommy to Be posing with her gifts

My cousin, Ally made all of these beautiful cupcakes for dessert!

This is the outfit I bought for my future second cousin :)

My sisters (Erin in Banana Republic and Jen head-to-toe J. Crew)

My cute cousin Emily, the hostess

The fam!  Sorry this picture is so fuzzy :(

With the future Mommy!  I wore my vintage skirt from Etsy and a pink button down from Banana Republic

Can't wait to meet Baby Girl Matras!

Friday, January 13, 2012

When The World Ends

On Monday I stayed home from work because I was feeling under the weather.  I was bummed, because I had planned to wear Anna Sui's Map of the World skirt!  I completely forgot about this guy, and I only wore it once in October.  Luckily, after a brief snow flurry, the weather went back up to the 50s and I decided to wear the skirt toward the end of the week. 

I am still not sure that I have a top that really works with this skirt, but I am trying to pair different things with it- suggestions are welcome.  The last time I wore it (here), I paired it with the wind rippled tee in maroon.  I decided the colors in the skirt are a bit more orange than maroon, so this time I paired it with Anthro's torsade tee (2009) and a mustard cardigan.

Skirt: Anna Sui's Map of the World Skirt for Anthropologie 2011
Top: Torsade Tee, Anthropologie 2009
Cardigan: Jackie Cardi, J. Crew Outlet 2011
Stockings: J Crew fishnets, 2011
Shoes: Nine West, Spring 2011
Necklace: 1luckysoul (Etsy)

I definitely need to get more wear out of this beautiful skirt.  The major problem I have with it is that it snags so easily! Is there something you own that you wish you wore more frequently?  I feel that way about half of my wardrobe.

To bring out the blue in the skirt, I decided to wear my nautical necklace from 1luckysoul (on Etsy).  The picture is a bit blurry, but you get the idea!