Category Archives: shopping

It’s Just a Little Crush II

Since I have more summer clothes than I probably need, I’ve put myself on a shopping ban. I actually did pretty well not shopping this month w/o being on an official ban. July purchases include Old Navy’s super sale where I picked up 2 skirts, shorts, a tank top, and a jacket all for $30, Gap running shorts (with pockets!) for $5, and hot pink sunglasses (my old ones broke) from a random store for $6. All in all, $41 in shopping for a month isn’t so bad.

Either way, I’m now on an official shopping ban from now until the end of August (when it’s acceptable to start making Fall purchases). In order to use this non-shopping time wisely, I’m going to make a list of Fall crushes much like  I did with Spring/Summer crushes. That way, come time, I will know what I really need for my Fall wardrobe (besides semi-professional clothes for my new job). The exception to the ban is that if something on the list goes on mega sale (as you maybe can tell, I’m a major sale shopper) then I can buy it early.

Here are my Fall crushes as of this uber hot day in July (how appropriate):

Gap Simple Drawstring Pants

  I have a pair of these from a few years back that I’ve worn to death. Like to the point that even Chris says they need to be replaced. I love them for Pilates, the dog park, or just lounging around.

Tom's Navy Tie Dye Classics

 For the longest time I heard about Tom’s, but never knew what they looked like. Recently, I saw a pair and decided that they will make the perfect Fall commuter/weekend/West Coast trip shoe.

American Eagle Worn Dark Wash Skinny Jeans (these are a different wash)

These are the first pair of skinny jeans that I’ve not only been able to button, but also made me say, damn. Thus, I think I need these in my future.

As always, I am still crushing on a pair of cowboy boots. Maybe this will be the year:

Frye Billy Pull On Boots

 What’s on your shopping list?

It’s a hot one

My morning started with a run along the river with Chris. It wasn’t as easy as our first run, because I’m still a little sore from my kickboxing mishap. Also, since we’re in the middle of a heat wave, it was already decently hot at 7AM. Still, we got in our 25 minutes and were able to match each others pace. I love running with Chris, because there’s no way I’d pull myself out of bed earlier than I need to without knowing that he’s doing this with me.

My office is closed today and tomorrow. Today I deemed my relaxing day and spent it catching up with Make It or Break It (a so bad it’s good show) and starting Parenthood (this series seems actually good). I also took Hadley to the dog park. I didn’t grab my camera and missed out on some great photo ops. Not only did Hadley have a great time playing ball with another Welshie, he also tried to fit himself into a bucket to keep cool and when that didn’t work rolled around in a mud puddle. Needless to say, he  was so messy that I had to carry him into the bathtub so he didn’t get paw prints all over my apartment!

I also visited the library to pick up a DVD for Chris and discovered that they have an updated CD collection. I took out five CDs – Bob Dylan, Rascall Flats, Kelly Pickler, Nickel Creek, and Kenny Chesney – and I’m currently loading them onto my Ipod. Sweet!

Tonight, Chris and I are meeting to get a little shopping done. I’m hoping to follow it up with some Mexican food, because I’m craving it something fierce. Anyone know any good Mexican food in NYC? I’m fine with Tex-Mex, but not so much with all this expensive fancy Mexi food I keep running into here.

How did you spend this super hot day?

Kickboxing kicked my tush

Yesterday, I got an email from Lauren saying that she was going to an outdoor kickboxing class along the Hudson, and did I want to join. Kickboxing? Pretty views? Outdoors? Sure, I’m there.

I was pretty excited for the class. The view was great and the weather was perfect. Still, the class turned out to be a bit of a mess for me. I’ve taken kickboxing classes in the past and loved it. This was different. We spent half the time doing bootcamp moves, such as squating, jumping jacks, and lunges. I can’t do any of these because of me knees, so I was the idiot jogging in place. Then we did a lot of ab work. My abs are fairly strong from Pilates, but we did these movements so fast and they didn’t take the time to show us form. Now my neck is killing me today. I know I should have just slowed down to do the moves properly, but the instructors were really into it and yelling, so I felt bad slowing down. Overall, it wasn’t a good workout for me, and I had to cancel Pilates today so that my neck can stop throbbing. Still, I’m always up for trying outdoor exercise classes, so it was worth a try.

After kickboxing, I came home to find a much awaited package. I ordered a cashmere/silk blend cardigan from the elusive Brooks Brothers. With the combination of sales reductions, a gift card, and a store credit, I paid $12 for this beauty. Cashmere and silk is bound to make any sore neck feel better.

Silk Cashmere Cable Cardigan

Chris made it home in time for dinner and volunteered to cook if I ran out for some wine. Done! He made a delicious dish of pasta with Morningstar Crumbles “meat” sauce.

Paired with my favorite type of wine Cotes de Rhone:

Lastly, I finally made banana softserve!!!

Where’d you get that dress?

When I was young, I wasn’t a girly girl at all. I hated dresses, hated pink (still hate purple), and was much more comfortable in overalls, cut-off shorts, and tee-shirts. I’m pretty sure that I had a notion that I was Huck Finn or at least Becky Thatcher.

Scout Finch from to Kill A Mockingbird. I would have wanted her overalls as a kid. Also, my family dog is named after her.

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Flash forward to high school and my sense of fashion turned itself on. Somewhat. I still had a penchant for some odd choices – bright colored everything and sparkles. Oh gosh did I love glitter. I once glittered a pair of jeans in my basement using Elmer’s glue and you guessed it, glitter. My mom wanted to have my head for glitterizing the entire basement and the jeans turned out to be one wear only. Who would’ve thunk?

I was also really into stuff like this nail polish.

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Sometime towards the end of college, I honed in and now own my sense of style. I love dresses, don’t blanch from most colors (except I still haven’t gotten over the purple thing), and like sparkles limited to touches and accessories. Now that I have figured out my sense of style – girly and vintage with an urban flair – I want to recommend some of my favorite online sites to oggle shop at.

ModCloth: I first fell in love with this site back in 2008 when they were a much smaller operation. Now they have gained in popularity so their stock-size is ever increasing. Their prices have somewhat gone up, but they have wonderful 70% off sales twice-yearly where you can always stock up on your favorite finds. ModCloth has a limited vintage collection and a large vintage-inspired collection. I own several dresses from them and almost always love my purchases. I also love that their customer service is so hands on. I’ve spoken with them for fit advice, which they are always helpful with, and once when the post service lost my dress, they sent me another one no-hassle and free of charge.

Excellent color and one one of ModCloth's most popular dresses.

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Ruche: I discovered Ruche last year while trying to procrastinate from finals studying. I remember running in to tell Chris that I found a clothing site that perfectly got my style. Their pieces are romantic, girly, whimiscal and well priced. I also love the bright colored dresses they are currently showing. I can’t comment on their customer services, as I haven’t dealt with them, but I do enjoy that they keep an updated blog on their website. It makes shopping feel more like a community experience. Also, their lookbooks make me drool and want to order every piece.

I love this, but how does one style a lace skirt?

Souce

Shabby Apple: This is a site I have only just discovered myself through other bloggers. I have yet to order from them, but I did spend a good hour swooning over their website yesterday. They seem to get vintage demure and sexy spot on. I loved playing around with their Fit Guide feature that allowed me to get suggestions of dresses best for my body type. Their price points are somewhat higher than the other two sites, but whereas few dresses on ModCloth and Ruche are semi-professional dress code appropriate, most Shabby Apple dresses look like they could seamlessly bounce back between work and play. I cannot wait to find an opportunity to buy a dress from them. In the very least, I am choosing a couple to set a good tone at my new job beginning next Fall.

For work and play.

For play. I do have a birthday coming up.

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Lulus: I come here for the shoes. The clothing is a little too young for me, but my college self would be all over some of their options. Their shoe selection is just right for twenty-five year old me. I’m one of those people who never seems to buy expensive shoes (see exception: boots), but rather, likes to have lots of different affordable cute options. Lulus is the perfect place to find in-fashion low-priced shoes. My favorite shoes I ordered where my graduation heels. They are beige low pumps with ruffles over the toes. Not only did they randomly match my tassle (which strangely many people pointed out), they look way more expensive than they were, still look great a near year later, and were mighty wearable.

Current lust: I'm all about green lately. It's so spring.

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Those are my favorite online sites, but now that I live in NYC and no longer must rely on online shopping alone (a downside of living in the country), I also love to shop at the GAP, Ann Taylor Loft, DSW, Nordstrom’s Rack, and my slightly out-of-reach-but-I-love-it-anyway Anthropologie (see: cropped jacket I’ve been living in). Oh this was a fun post to write!

Where do you love to shop? Have you recently found any online shopping gems?

Processed

That’s it. I’ve been thinking about buying a food processor for some time now. There are so many doors it could open for me – hummus, easier soups, etc. I’ve been going back and forth on adding another applicance to my storage lacking apartment. Then I saw this recipe.

Now I need a food processor and your advice. I’d like to go on the cheap, but still have it work well. I don’t want a baby one, but I would need it to make only enough food for a few servings. Double points if its in red, because my kitchen is accented in red.

What food processor do you use? What food processor do you recommend for me?

“Sometimes I Really Just Love NYC” Sunday

Best way to start a morning? If you guessed freezing rain, then you are wrong. If you guessed Dunkin Donuts coffee, then ding ding ding, you are correct.

Few things both relax and perk me up like a D&D coffee. When I saw it was a rainy mess this morning, I took the opportunity to grab a cup of hazelnut coffee from D&D. Morning saved. I’m enjoying the coffee with a bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats and a baggie of assorted dried fruit.

Yesterday was a wonderful Sometimes I Really Just Love NYC Sunday. Often, I find myself screaming at NYC (usually to/from work, because I can’t stand the area of the city I work in), but some days, the City gets it just right. Yesterday was one of those days.

The day started at a NY Vinters wine-tasting class. The wine store offers a variety of wine classes. Cheryl and I bought a Groupon some time back, and used it yesterday to attend their Wine 101 seminar. I highly recommend this class if you have an interest in wine, but little knowledge about the drink. The classes are held in the back room of the wine store, where you’ll find two long beautifully set tables.

You take your seat and sip on a glass of bubbly while you wait for class to start. The class itself is informative and covers the basics of how to judge a wine on appearance, taste, smell, and acidity. The instructor is down to earth and makes you feel okay to ask questions. It is in no way a pretentious wine-tasting and most the wines tasted sold for under $25/bottle. You’ll taste 3 whites, 3 reds, and a dessert wine. To clean your palate, there are assorted crackers, cheeses, and olives on the tables. The pours are heavy with nearly a half glass for each wine – if you were planning on drinking them all you would walk away needing a nap after the 2-hour class – but there is a pour bucket so there is no need to get sloshed. Overall, if you are looking for a good wine class, I highly recommend NY Vinters. They offer a lot of different classes, such as pizza and wine pairings and cheese and wine pairings. They also host on occasional Fridays an 8-course dinner and wine pairing, which I am tempted to try out sometime. I have pictures of the tasting that I will add as soon as I locate my camera cable.

After my wine education, I made my way to Greenwich Village, where I stopped in a nail salon to get a manicure. I have an important meeting this week, and Cheryl and I both agreed that I couldn’t go without evening out my messy nails. The salon was friendly and clean, if not a little over priced, but I guess that’s what you get when you get your nails done in the Village. I choose a light yellow color, because it said Spring! to me, and I am very happy with the sunny results.

My nails match the post-it notes.

When my nails were dry, I wandered on my own through the Village and peered into many stores as I made my way up to Union Square. I had initially planned to go to Trader Joe’s, but there was a line to get in. Who waits on line to get into the supermarket? Instead, I used my new found wine knowledge and stopped into their much less crowded wine store and picked out a bottle of red and white. I came out with 2 wines for under $15, which made me love TJ’s wine store. I popped into Whole Foods, which was surprisingly not crowded (all of NYC was perhaps at TJs?) and picked up some goodies for the week.  Look forward to new product reviews and recipes!

I ended the day, meeting Chris for dinner at our favorite Indian restaurant and watching the new Army Wives. It really was the perfect way to spend a NYC Sunday. Plus, I got so much walking in that I felt sufficiently exercised.

How did you spend your Sunday?

Hot Pink Motivation

You know what also helps me get back on track? New athletic clothes! I stopped in at the GAP, and they are having a 50% off sale on some of their GAP Body products. I also have a coupon for 25% my purchase. Combining both coupons, I picked up a new pair of hot pink running shorts for $10! Nothing to put me in the mood to run like new cheery-colored running shorts.

So if you’re interested, check out GAP Body’s sale in stores and print out your coupon for extra savings.

This Week’s Loves #6

This is a weekly post where I take time to be thankful for the small extras that made me happy this past week.

– Teaching Hadley to jump on the bed on the count of three. This is both cute and convenient.

I like to learn new tricks. I'm smart like that.

– Trying out a new falafel place near my apartment where I got to add my own toppings.

Maoz.

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– NYC soaring to 60 degrees on Friday.

– Wearing my awesome Nordstrom’s Rack find for the first time.

My most favorite heels ever.

– Watching Hadley go mud-splashing in the dog park. He needed a bath afterwards, but he had so much fun doing it.

– Rocking a denim mini skirt from AE out on Friday. I haven’t been able to wear a denim mini since 1L year.

My first purchase off my Spring Wish List.

 – Having a family sleepover after dinner on Saturday night.

– Enjoying pizza I made in my own oven.

Out of the oven.

– Running my first sub-8 minute mile in probably as many years.

– Purchasing the Victoria Secret yoga shorties I have been eyeing for over a month. Pilates makes a tush look good!

– Having a three day weekend to celebrate our Presidents.

Thanks Mr. Presidents!

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What are your loves from this past week?

My Weekend: The On the Go

This long weekend was the right balance of on the move go and relaxation. Friday night started on the go. It was glorious out in NYC and in the sixties! I took the day off from exercise because my body was asking for it, but I felt so tempted to run outside. I ultimately decided it was a better idea to let my legs have a rest. Especially because I went out in these later that night:

My most favorite heels ever.

I went to dinner at the Corner Shop Cafe with Chris and friends. It was closed for a year and just reopened. Chris and I started out with their much loved on Yelp Mac ‘n Cheese. Maybe I’m not mac ‘ n cheese cultured, but I prefer my Annie’s. For dinner I had a tuna burger. Good but nothing over the top. If you add in the fact that the we waited about an hour and a half to be served, and they brought the meals out one at a time, I won’t be returning. Still, I was with good friends, so it was still fun. We ended the night dancing at a nearby lounge. I was happy I didn’t go running earlier in the day, because my legs would have never approved otherwise. It was fun to dance – I honestly cannot remember the last time I have gone.

Saturday was too fun. I spent the entire day in Lord and Taylor with my mom, aunt, and brother. We even ate lunch there! It turns out their food is yummy. My aunt teased me for taking pictures of my food, but this meal was pretty.

Shrimp ceasar salad and flat bread.

The waitress brought out complimentary mini yogurts for everyone.

We spent the rest of the day shopping, but were unsuccessful for the most part. Still, my mom managed to nab a pair of designer jeans  marked way down. I was proud of myself for not buying just to buy. I’m telling you, my teeny tiny closet is helpful sometimes.

We ended the evening joined by Chris and my cousin at Tavern on Jane. This place is great! I had a restaurant.com coupon to it, which made it even better. The menu wasn’t extensive, but everything we ordered was delicious. The place is small, but not tiny, and they were fine with the fact that we were super late to our reservation. We all shared a calamari app, which was yummy and not greasy at all. For dinner I tried out their seared yellow-fin tuna tacos. This time Yelp reviews didn’t lie. They were oh-so-good. I wish I had pictures, but the place was dark and my little point and shot refused to play along.

Perhaps the most fun part of the restaurant is that the table cloths are paper and they provide crayons so you can draw on it. We had enjoyed a very intense game of hang man, in which my cousin didn’t spell the word we were trying to guess correctly. We aren’t spellers in my family. I think more restaurants should let you draw on their table cloths!

It was so much fun to be out in the city with my family. Whenever my parents visit, we tend to eat in my apartment, so it was great to go try a restaurant with my mom, show her a new area of the city, and even get her to ride the subway. Successful Saturday!

Fitness and Food

The two themes of this weekend were fitness and food. Well that and celebrating Valentine’s Day. Thursday night I went to my parent’s house in Jersey, because I had a doctor’s appointment in the morning. My mom and I went out to a “fancy” diner, and it really was fancy! They gave us artisan bread to munch on with oil to dip it in. We also got mini hot chocolates on the house with whip cream. Double yum! We both ordered omelets, and my egg white Mediterranean one was delish but a little on the oily side. I also gobbled down all of my potatoes, because my mom and I were chatting and having a good time and it just happened.   I left feeling on the overly full side, but it was fun to go to a diner that is willing to branch out in its cuisine (not that I don’t love a good traditional diner tuna melt).

Look at that feta.

Friday morning started off with a good cuddle from our family dog, Scout. It was the perfect way to start the day.

Oh hello, cutie.

Then it was off to the doctor, which is never too fun, but it’s always good to get that yearly check up crossed off the to-do list. Afterwards, I headed back to my apartment where I was able to enjoy the rest of my day off. I got a lot of errands out of the way and finally sent back the broken scale. Then, I had an awesome session at the gym. I rocked out two miles (that’s twice what I could do last week!) and ran the second one all out (for me) at 8 minute pace. I absolutely love running as hard as I can and getting a good sweat on. I rounded out my gym sess with abs, leg drills, and some foam rolling.

Friday night, I was charged with finding a place for Chris, Yara, Yara’s friend from work, and I to go to dinner. The great thing about NYC is people always say that you can find whatever you want to eat. So I decided to test this theory and typed in exactly what I wanted into Yelp. The search terms “pizza wine” lead us to this amazing restaurant: Pastita. Low lights, large tables, vintage décor, and they don’t care if you stay for hours. My type of place. We all split the yucca fries, because Yelp said they were a must. They were good, but I don’t like fried food much, so they weren’t really my thing. Chris and I split a thin crust mushroom pizza and a salad with avocado slices and an amazing creamy dressing. I think avocado in a salad is my new favorite thing. This place is somewhere I will definitely return to in the future.

Pastita

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Mushroom thin crust pizza

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Saturday morning started with my first Pilates class. I bought a Groupon on Friday for unlimited classes at a Pilates studio for only $55. This is a great deal, considering one class is normally $20. The studio is a great set-up and reminded me of where I took ballet classes when I was little. I really enjoyed the class – it was challenging and relaxing at the same time, if that makes any sense.

Saturday night, Chris and I celebrated Valentine’s Day Night 1. I plan Valentine’s Day, and he plans our anniversary which is a week and half later. I like to carry out celebrations, so we celebrated Saturday night and then again tonight. What can I say? I’m a kid at heart. We started off with Thai food in the West Village at Pinto. We have both been craving good Thai food for ages, and every time we order it in, it comes out thumbs down. Not the case with Pinto. We started with a crunchy mushroom app that came with a jalapeño dipping sauce. Chris also ordered a Thai ice tea that was “make your own.” They gave him the tea, cream, and syrup in separate glasses, and then he combined them to his preference. Pretty nifty. For dinner I ordered crab fried rice in a young coconut. The presentation was fabulous and the food was yum. Chris enjoyed his go-to Thai dish of spicy noodles with beef. Thai craving satisfied.

We then walked over to Sweet Revenge, which is an adorable place that does cupcake and wine and cupcake and beer pairings. The place is warm and inviting and the owner works behind the bar and chatted us up. Even though it was really busy, we were able to get a seat at the bar. We split two cupcakes: Crimson and Crème (red velvet) and Dirty (chocolate with a dark chocolate ganache). They Crimson and Crème was both our favorites. The wine pairing really did bring out the cupcake flavors, too. I would very much recommend this neighborhood gem, but don’t go with more than one person since seating is hard to come by.

Dirty cupcake and red wine pairing

Because Chris and I were in the midst of the best eating weekend ever, we rounded off Sunday at the Hummus Place. I have a true love for hummus. I am also a hummus snob and don’t enjoy a lot of the hummus in the States. Hummus Place has amazing  hummus. We ordered the mushroom topped hummus, labneh with zatar, and shakshuka. For me, this type of food doesn’t just feed my belly, but it also feeds my soul.  This is food that with every bite I am warm and happy and satisfied. I paired my delicious meal with a mint tea. I may have to try to make this at home.

Mint tea

Hummus, labneh, and warm pita.

Shakshuka

We did good.

After lunch, Chris had to go into work, and I spent my time walking around the Upper West side. I ventured into Banana Republic and used a gift card to purchase a fun spring blouse.

When I made it home, it was time for the dog park, massive apartment cleaning, and the gym. I ran two miles and did some arm weights. It was the first time I ran two mile straight (Friday I took a two minute walk break in between miles), and I was proud of that accomplishment. I ended the evening baking a heart shaped Red Velvet cake for Valentine’s Day Night 2 tonight.  

This was an extremely long post to catch up on my weekend of being a bad blogger. Thanks if you made it to the end!

What did you do this weekend?