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Monthly Archives: August 2012

As I’ve thumbed through August and September’s magazines, I’ve noticed a trend that I didn’t see hinted at last spring on the streets.  Usually I’m pretty good at seeing what fashions are coming from spring to fall and then fall to spring.  Last spring, I really don’t recall seeing pointy toe shoes on the street and now I’m seeing them in all the magazines.  Lots of these shoes have the toes capped with metal or a different color though, so that trend definitely started in the spring.  Are you liking this trend?  I can definitely see these adding a chic little pop to an outfit.

Kate Spade New York ‘Locorice Too’ Pump
Stuart Weitzman Pointed Toe Pumps – Tipnaughty
J Crew Everly Cap Toe Wool Pumps
ASOS Lily Studded Point Ballet Flats
Ivanka Trump Pointed Toe Platform Pumps
Aldo Romelia
BCBGeneration Charlote Leopard Print Pumps

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Monday
Top – Gap
Jackie Cardigan – J Crew
Jeans – Express
Wedges – Steve Madden

Tuesday
Dress – J Crew
Pumps – Nine West
Bracelet – Top Shop (in London)

Wednesday
Blouse – J Crew
Pencil Skirt – Express
Wedges – Aldo
Necklace – Family Heirloom

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Thursday – I didn’t realize until I looked back at these pictures that I basically wore this outfit on Monday.  I must have really been in the mood for grey & purple.
Tank Top – Express
Blouse – TJ Maxx
Jackie Cardigan – J Crew
Trousers – Express
Sandals – Target
Shades – Juicy via Solstice

Friday
Dress – Francesca’s
Jackie Cardigan – J Crew
Belt – H&M
Wedges – Target

Saturday
Dress – Anthropologie
Belt – J Crew
Wedges – Target

I don’t know about you, but when I stay with someone and they do something to make my stay feel personal, it just makes me feel so warm and fuzzy! For example, when we go to my mom’s house, she leaves a little candy dish by the bed and will sometimes put together a “welcome” package and leave it in our room. I once saw an article about putting a vintage suitcase in your guest room and filling it with everything your guests could need. And most recently, I saw an article in InStyle that detailed what to put in your guest bedroom to make friends and family feel welcome. This is incredibly timely for me since we just moved into our new apartment and for the first time, I have a guest bedroom. I’ve spent lots of time thinking about what would make me feel most welcome in someone’s home and what I should fill our guest bedroom and bathroom with for guests when they come to town.

Here’s the list I’ve put together! Let me know if you think there’s anything I’ve missed!

1. Make an extra copy of your house key.  Even if they never need it, it will make your guest feel free to come and go as they need to. (Image source: Getty Images)

2. Fresh, clean, plush bedding.  Try to make it feel as relaxing and luxurious as possible so it feels like they’re getting away from their every day life, even if it is just your brother coming to stay for the weekend. (Hudson Park Ogee Bedding via Bloomingdale’s)

3. A tray on the nightstand or dresser where your guests can deposit their jewelery, change, and/or glasses at the end of the day. (Ceramic Bird Ring Holder via World Market)

4. A Carafe of water on the nightstand will be a nice touch so your guest doesn’t have to get up in the dark, unfamiliarity of your home to find water in the middle of the night. (Image source: Apartment Therapy, Similar)

5. A vase with flowers in it.  A mug with their initial would be even more personalized. (Image Source: Sugar and Charm Blog, Mug from Anthropologie)

6. Travel Guides and a Map. Leave these on the nightstand for your guests to have for reference if they need them.  If they don’t use them, at least your attention to their convenience will make them feel that much more welcome. I started doing this when we lived in New York and it was definitely something my guests used and appreciated. (Image Source: Your English Lessons Blog)

7. A welcome note that includes your Wi-Fi user name and password will help your guests feel at home and you won’t have to go searching for it when they are trying to check their email. (Bird on Branch Flat Cards by PaperInkPress on Etsy)

8. Make necessary toiletry items easily accessible, much like a hotel, on a tray in your bathroom so guests can use them if needed.  Include things like shampoo, conditioner, soap, face wash, lotion, a brush or comb, a razor, a toothbrush, tooth paste, a nail file, a hair clip or elastic, tissues & bathroom towels. (Image Source: About.com)

9. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I’m at home I don’t usually take everything I’m going to wear for the day into the bathroom with me when I shower.  If you don’t, your guests probably don’t either.  Provide a nice, comfy robe that will allow your guests to get ready first and then get dressed later, again, they’ll feel like they’re in a luxurious hotel. (Image Source: Simply Irresistible Designs)

A few other things that will make your home welcoming that I didn’t think warranted pictures:

10. Leave chocolates or mints where your guest is staying for a sweet touch.

11. Be sure you have open drawer space and hangars in the closets to help your guests feel like they can settle in.

12. Have an alarm clock present.  Even though lots of people use their cell phones as an alarm clock now, it’s still nice to have the option or be able to see the time when you wake up in the middle of the night.

13. Keep a blow drier and/or a hair straightener in a place that is available to your guests.  It is so nice knowing you don’t need to travel with these things and frees up space in your suitcase.

14. If you really want to go above and beyond, be sure to have good coffee and tea on hand as well as some snacks your house guests can grab and take with them if they’re on the run (bananas, grapes, nuts, granola bars, etc).  In NY, I would buy an “I <3 NY” coffee mug or one that was very symbolic of the city to keep in the kitchen and then take home as a gift to my guests.  Then they always knew which mug was theirs and they had a little trinket to remind them of the trip.

I hope you find this list useful!  I can’t wait for our first house guest to come this weekend and feel at home away from home!

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Monday
Dress – Coup de Coeur
Wedges – Steve Madden
Belt – Came with the dress

Tuesday
Jeans – AG via Anthropologie
Tank – BP via Nordstrom
Chambray Shirt – J Crew
Pumps – Aldo

Wednesday
Tank – BP via Nordstrom
Tee – Target
Blazer – Ann Taylor
Jeans – Loft
Wedges – Aldo
Necklace – Anthropologie

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Thursday
Tie Tank – Club Monaco
Wide Leg Jeans – Loft
Pumps – BCBGirls via Nordstrom
Watch – Michael Kors via Nordstrom
Bracelets – Aldo, Banana Republic, and handmade by my mom

Friday
Tank – H&M
Jeans – Loft
Sandals – Target
Bracelets – Target (black) and Loft (beaded)

Last weekend was our first weekend in our new apartment and after spending all day Saturday unpacking miscellaneous boxes, I really had the urge to make Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I’m not sure what it was.  Maybe it was that my mom used to make them, seemingly, every Sunday, so they make it feel like home.  Maybe it was just that I wanted the smell of something homemade in the apartment.  Either way, while the hubs spent hours playing video games, I ran to the store and got all the goods I needed to make cookies.  I might have eaten a little dough in the process too!

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I’m not really sure where this recipe came from.  My mom has been making it as long as I can remember and it’s really, really good.  Give it a go.  Let me know what you think!

Put 2 sticks of butter in a mixing bowl and let them soften.
Add 1 cup of crisco (they sell 1 cup packages in sets of 3).
Mix.
Add 1.5 cups brown sugar, 1.5 cups white sugar, 1 Tbsp vanilla.
Mix until smooth.
Add 4 eggs, mixing after each.
Add 1.25 tsp baking soda & 1 tsp salt.
Mix.
Add 4.5 cups of flour mixing after each cup. I usually mix by hand after 4 cups because my mixer just can’t handle the thickness. You can add a little extra flour if needed.
Fold in 1 bag of chocolate chips or M&Ms.
Add nuts as desired.
Bake at 350 for about 11-12 minutes.
(Makes a ton!)

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Monday
Blouse – Anthropologie (2012)
No. 2 Pencil Skirt – J Crew (2012
Pumps – Nine West (2010) (It turns out I wore these a lot this week; I think I’m subconsciously trying to get all my white in before the end of summer!)

Tuesday
Tee – Old Navy (2004?)
Jackie Cardigan – J Crew (2012)
Jeans – AG via Anthropologie (2012)
Necklace – Handmade by my mom
Pumps – Nine West (2010)

Wednesday
Blouse – H&M (2010)
Cardigan – H&M (2012)
Skirt – Gap (2008)
Wedges – Target (2012)

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Thursday
Blouse – Loft (2008)
Cardigan – H&M (2009)
Skirt – Loft (2012)
Wedges – Aldo (2011)
Necklace – Family heirloom

Friday – wore this to fly in; jeans to keep me warm and a cardigan I could easily layer on or take off as needed since it is so warm outside and cold in airplanes
Tee – Old Navy (2008?)
Cardigan – J Crew (2009)
Jeans – AG via Anthropologie
Sandals – Old Navy (2010)
Necklace – J Crew via eBay

Saturday – wore this to a “garden chic” wedding
Dress – Anthropologie (2012)
Belt – Anthropologie (2012)
Pumps – Nine West (2010)
Necklace – Francesca’s (2012)

On Tuesday night I went to the Coldplay Mylo Xyloto concert at the United Center.  I was lucky enough to have been invited to a seat in a luxury suite and let me tell you, the concert was amazing!

When we got into the United Center, we were handed a brightly colored bracelet that had a Twitter logo on it, but no one was really sure what it was for.  We all put them on and went on our way.

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The musically activated wristbands.

When Colplay came on stage, the bracelets were suddenly brought to life and the entire stadium flashed in time with the melody or the base of the music.  It was absolutely amazing and by far the coolest think I have ever seen at a concert. On top of that, Chris Martin is adorable and such a phenomenal performer.  The man has so much energy!

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Confetti

I’ve been listening to Coldplay since they came out in 1999, but they somehow always fly under the radar for me.  They have a ton of really great music and I hadn’t consciously thought about it until I was at their concert and they played song after song after song that I knew from some point throughout the last 13 years.  Certain songs brought up memories from events that I, for whatever reason, associate with each other.

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Can you guess what song they were playing here?

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As their encore, the band popped up on a platform in the middle of the audience and played a couple songs before going back on stage.

All in all it was a really great time.  I almost didn’t go and I’m so glad that I did.  I would see them again any day!