New York, New York!

I was lucky enough to make it to New York before Christmas with some of my best friends. New York is always one of my favorite places to visit, but at Christmas time, there is nothing that compares! 
The tree at Rockefeller Center, the window decorations at Macy’s, the feeling in the air! I just love it and can’t wait to go back! 
Here are a few of my favorite shots from my time there!
Kyle, Amanda and I at Rockefeller Center

Walking through Bryant Park!

Watching the ice skaters at Central Park

Bryant Park from across the street. 

I’ll share more pictures soon!


Royally Fashionable

I fully admit that I was one of those crazy girls who woke up at the crack of dawn to watch the Royal Wedding. Kate Middleton is the picture of glamour and perfection every time she steps out. Whether she is attending a Royal function or going to shoot some birds, she looks fabulous. What I love about her is that she doesn’t always play to trends because she knows what works for her and what fits her style, a style which she has managed to define during the last few years. She stepped out at the London premier of Steven Spielberg’s War Horse wearing a gorgeous nude and black Temperley dress. It is just reminiscent enough of her wedding dress to remind us of how perfect she looked as a bride. 

Her style is classic, effortless beauty, but I am waiting patiently for her to do something surprising and daring! Some color or even just an updo perhaps? Either way, she is gorgeous! Happy 30th! 

Treat Your Feet!

To some Tieks! In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, Tieks are a new line of ballet flats designed to fold up into your purse – small or large! Tieks come in a variety of colors, patterns and fabrics but all are designed with fashion AND utility in mind, which I love!

Choose from bold colors!

Each pair of Tieks has signature turquoise soles and accent details, too. These shoes were designed with the assumption that you’ll wear them daily, so they promise to be durable and fashionable. You can keep a pair in your purse when traveling, walking to and from the Metro or even for a late night break from your heels!

Or fun patterns!

According to the Tiek’s site, “each pair of Tieks comes with a compact pouch to compress your folded Tieks when they are in your purse, a reusable tote for your heels and pant clips for pinning up your heel-length pants.”

There are a plethora of shoe lines that promise “fold-able” flats ranging in price tags. While Tieks are pricier than some other options, they appear to echo the phrase “you get what you pay for.” I’m putting these on my Spring shopping list! Check out the line here


What’s Your Resolution?

With the end of 2011, as with the end of most years, comes the beginning of new resolutions. Everyone is promising to change something about their lives. I resolve to lose ten pounds (the same ten pounds I’ve resolved to lose for the last five years). I resolve to save more money…I resolve to travel more…I resolve to read more…more, more, more! I have to wonder, does the uncanny similarity between so many Americans’ resolutions say something greater about us as a society?

I’ll let that marinate while you take a gander at these very creative, quite poignant and pretty comical suggestions for twenty-somethings’ new year’s resolutions:

Borrow some New Year’s Resolutions from the Thought Catalog!


Wedding Fashion on a Budget

I know firsthand that a wedding budget can get out of hand as fast as you can say “I do.” Floral, catering, hair, makeup, favors, photographer, videographer, the list goes on and seems to never end. Your big day fashion moment can also eat up your cash flow pretty quickly if you don’t make an effort to manage it.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that a woman’s wedding day is the one time it is ok to splurge on ostentatious, luxurious items in which she would never otherwise indulge. Manolos? Go for it! Monique Lhuillier? Of course, darling! Oscar de la Renta jewels? Do it up, bride! This is IF you have the budget. If you splurge on your wedding day wardrobe, then cut somewhere else. The key is to pick one item to splurge on and save on all of the rest! Where can you save on all of your wedding day fashion items?

Amsale Arianna Gown

The Aisle New York! An online, members only site that provides you access to high-end bridal fashion and accessories at a fraction of the price. Dresses, shoes, jewelry, accessories and more from the industry’s top designers can be found online at The Aisle. Amsale, Thread, Monique Lhuillier, Angel Sanchez, Rivini, Anne Barge, Lela Rose, Isaac Mizrahi are just a few of the designers featured on The Aisle’s weekly sales and the prices are typically half of what you’d expect to pay at a bridal salon.

A few tips if you want to try out The Aisle for your wedding day:

Angel Sanchez Silk Gazar
Trumpet Gown
  • Do your research. Go to at least a few bridal salons and figure out what type of fabric, shape, style, color and designer you like the best and looks best on you. The same goes for accessories. If you’ve already selected your dress, don’t click buy unless you’ve tried on something similar to see how it looks. How much you save is irrelevant if you can’t wear it!
  • Buy The Aisle’s return insurance. For $200, you can return your dress for a full refund within five days. When saving thousands, a few hundred is worth it!
  • Are you working with a short timeline? Most dresses take 2-4 months to arrive once you order but many of the dresses on The Aisle are ready to ship same day!
  • Find an amazing tailor. Your odds of needing some serious alterations to your gown are as good as getting a regift from a distant cousin. 
  • Do you have a dream dress and a long engagement? Find it at a local salon and keep an eye out for it on the site. Watch the designers on The Aisle too as they tend to have some favorites. 
  • Are you the charitable type? Well good news, ladies! You can feel good about your purchases because 2% of all dress sales go to a charity of the designers’ choice. 
The site is members-only, so find someone you know who is a member who can invite you OR request an invitation. Take some time to peruse the site, familiarize yourself with their merchandise and more importantly, make sure you know what YOU want before taking the plunge – for the dress, of course! 

Gift Idea: Sephora Fragrance Sampler

The holidays are over, but I couldn’t resist posting about this little treat from Sephora! Perfume is a go-to gift for a woman you love, whether it be a family member, friend or significant other. However, unless you have some very specific direction from said loved one, it can be more of a challenge than it’s worth to pick out that perfect scent! 

For $50, you’ll be giving samples of 10 different top-selling fragrances and a voucher for them to get a full bottle of their favorite fragrance from Sephora. The samples are perfect to throw in a purse or gym bag and then when you’ve tried them all out, pick out a full bottle of the one you like the most! You really can’t go wrong! 
There are a few other options on the site for designer fragrances and a rollerball fragrance set. Any of the options are great, but I’d recommend sticking with one of the classics! 
This one is so great, it doesn’t even need to be a gift – I may have to go get it for myself!

Wedding Wisdom: Tis the season!

Have you always imagined a winter wedding wonderland for your I do’s? Well, then you are one smart lady and you didn’t even know it did ya?

Venues are typically discounted up to 50% during winter and late summer months. Not to mention, hotel rates can be cheaper (as long as you aren’t looking in late December) and you can save MAJOR bucks on decor! Churches, hotels, banquet halls and virtually any other type of wedding location will already be dressed to the nines in holiday decor, so why not use this to your advantage? Here are a few tips:

  1. Before you book a winter wedding, make sure you visit your venue while it is decorated. Plastic Santas and reindeer not your style? Better to find out before you sign on the dotted line!
  2. Once you have an idea of what decorations you are working with, find your inspiration. Choose your colors based off your surroundings; if your venue’s decorations are mostly gold and white, incorporate these colors into your wedding palette. If there is a lot of greenery, go with a complementary earth tones. 
  3. Candles, candles and more candles. Winter nuptials mean you will likely be saying your vows inside and it will either be dark outside or you’ll have to have an early ceremony. Dim the lights and decorate your aisle and tables with candles of all sizes. You will set a romantic ambiance and save some cash on flowers!
  4. Mother nature makes it look pretty, you can too! Look to nature for some inspiration: pine cones, branches and holly can look absolutely gorgeous with a little design work. 
  5. Last but not least, if you are a January bride, get yourself to the craft stores after Christmas! Prices for all types of holiday decoration will be cut in half! Know what you want before you go and scope out the merchandise before Christmas to see what is left. You can even try to make friends with an employee so they can keep a lookout for you. Most importantly, be creative with these items. Packages of clear plastic ornaments are so cheap you can’t resist? Find a way to use them for seating cards or fill them with candy and use them for favors! 
Look at this bouquet and boutonniere combo!
And this centerpiece option:
The possibilities are endless! Happy decorating!

District Dining: The Hamilton

Your average 24 hour restaurant usually attracts a specific kind of clientele, namely truck drivers and inebriated twenty somethings. One of DC’s newest restaurants, The Hamilton, is sure to redefine the 24 hour crowd! Located at the corner of 14th and F NW, The Hamilton is a massive restaurant and live music venue which opened in mid-December courtesy of Clyde’s Restaurant Group. 

Last night, my girlfriends and I decided to give it a try. While the service was less than stellar, the food was good and the 37,000 square feet of cavernous space makes you feel like the possibilities are endless. We were able to get a reservation last minute and I am still trying to decide whether this was due to the restaurant still being too “new” or the fact that it is just so darn huge! Once we arrived, we were taken through the main bar, a secondary bar, a ballroom-sized dining room, up a staircase, past yet another bar and finally to our table. These hostesses sure get their exercise! 
One of the many bars at the The Hamilton!
Picture courtesy of the
We were greeted quickly by a very nice, but apparently nervous waiter who offered us water and returned after all of our guests arrived. We ordered two bottles of wine off the list, which is actually divided into the various types of foods that are served and paired accordingly. So, if you are ordering seafood, the Hamilton recommends about 10 different wines that will pair well with your entree. This is unique, but made searching for a specific wine like trying to find a needle in a haystack and it isn’t helpful if you want wine before you know what you are going to order. 
The waiter brought fresh bread and butter and took our entree orders, clearly still feeling his way through the menu which I guess is to be expected as they have only been open a few weeks. The menu has a great variety of choices, ranging from burgers to pasta to seafood to sushi, without feeling overwhelming which I enjoyed. I ordered a salmon salad, which very tasty, and the other ladies ordered a variety of sushi. Everyone was very pleased with their meals and all plates were empty! Mission successful! 
Overall, I’d say the Hamilton offers an extensive menu, good cuisine and a quintessentially “DC” vibe. The service still room to improve, but hopefully this will happen as the restaurant matures. I think the true niche for The Hamilton is going to be the combination of better-than-bar food with a live music scene. The fact that the restaurant is open 24 hours a day is novel, I will be interested to see how it ends up working. I can’t imagine there will be enough customers to support all hours and I can’t help but wonder if offering such a range of food will end up wreaking havoc on the restaurant’s identity and quality. I guess time will tell! 

The Cat’s Meow, Dahling

Sunglasses in December? Why, yes, I will! During a recent two hour delay in the Orlando Airport, I found myself in terminal’s Sunglass Hut pondering the benefits of Aviators vs. Wayfarers. Lo and behold – move over 2011 eyewear and say hello to the 50s again! I moseyed on over to a pair of Tory Burch’s new cateye frames and viola – instantly chic!

Cateye frames have been out for a few months now, a trend that has be catapulted by Ms. Kourtney Kardashian herself. However, the exaggerated versions seem to have some sort of clause denoting them only fit for gorgeous celebrities because I’ve never seen them work on anyone else…except for this non-discriminating version from Tory! 

Check them out on Tory Burch’s site here. Not a fan of the cateye look? Check out the Rounded Aviator Sunnies – another one of my favorites! 


Purse Alert

LuckyBrand is one of those stores that I don’t frequent often, but I am always pleasantly surprised when I do. On the day after Christmas last year, I found the most perfect pair of black skinny pants at LuckyBrand that always seem to look good with everything and now wish I had bought 10 pairs! Keeping the tradition going, I went to LuckyBrand a few days ago, secretly hoping I’d find these magical black pants again. I didn’t find black pants, but I did find a great pair of red skinny cords and fawned over this trendy piece of arm candy. It was on sale and I would have nabbed it had I not just made a recent Coach acquisition just a few months ago. This bag has the flexibility to wear it cross-body, over the shoulder or handheld; it has space galore for all of a lady’s favorite knickknacks and the color is just snazzy enough to make a statement without screaming. Plus the faded gold works as neutral so you can wear it with virtually any color. Check it out here!


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