Monday, June 30, 2014


Today I wanted to tell you about a fabulous company called eShakti. They are an international company that specialize in custom fashion for all shapes and sizes. Even their motto empowers women: "eShakti believes that all women have the right to wear affordable fashion that is made for them and makes them look their absolute best" ---> Hooray for girl power!
When eShakti contacted me, I was so excited to work with them because it allowed me to customize a dress exactly to my liking (yay pockets!). I'm definitely not a stick thin girl, I have curves and eShakti allowed me to input my measurements online to insure that the dress would fit me exactly how I wanted it to. When my dress arrived, I couldn't believe how perfectly it fit. eShakti values all customers not matter what their size, so they offer styles for women size 0 through 36. Another thing I loved was that the dress was lined. It may sound weird but I definitely judge the quality of a dress or skirt based on whether it has lining. This dress is well made and it definitely made me stand out in a crowd.  
I dress up everyday for work and eShakti offers so many beautiful pieces that not only would stand out in an office setting but are so versatile that they are the perfect pick for a night on the town or a special event like a wedding. Looking for more reasons to fall in love with eShakti... try looking at their prices. Despite making custom quality pieces, eShakti does not break the bank. Their prices are affordable, it's not often that you can order a custom made piece for such a great price. Overall, I could not recommend eShakti more to my readers. When I do reviews, I never sugar coat things because I want my readers to have my honest opinions on products but I was so happy with this company that I have become a lifelong fan of their pieces and I hope you will too!

You can buy the dress I'm wearing here.
eShakti is offering a special deal for all Monster Misa readers. By using the coupon code 'monsters' at checkout you guys will receive 10% off when you shop at eShakti now through July 26, 2014.

Code has to be entered in the ‘promotional code’ box.   It is not case-sensitive.  
Code can be used any number of times until the validity period. 
It can be clubbed with any other promotional offer, gift coupon or gift card in the same order unless explicitly specified otherwise in the offer conditions.
This discount code is not applicable on clearance / sale, gift cards & overstock categories.
Not applicable on previous purchases. 

Be sure to follow eShakti on social media to be the first to receive information on new arrivals!


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sunday Thoughts + A Weekend Recap

Happy Sunday Friends!
Don't be too sad that the weekend is over, we officially have 4 days ahead of us before a long weekend filled with cook-outs, cocktails, friends and fireworks. This weekend was what I would most likely describe as an ideal weekend because I got a mixture of all the things I love (except shopping... one more week of a spending freeze!). So this weekend was very fulfilling and I felt the quote above reflected my thoughts this weekend. 

Heres a quick recap of my weekend:
  • Friday night I went with my three cousins to see the new Transformers movie. It was terrible. It was one of those movies that going in, I knew would probably be horrible and ridiculous and it definitely delivered. We had a good laugh throughout the film though, so it was still fun. 
  • Saturday I was poolside-per usual. It was very hot out and I was able to finish the first Harry Potter book (so good) get plenty of sun (maybe too much sun). 
  • Saturday night I went with friends to Bellinis, the new Italian restaurant in Latham. Man did we gorge ourselves on pasta and cocktails, it was delicious and I highly recommend it to my 518 friends. They have a great outdoor patio complete with a fire pit and boche!

  • After dinner, despite being so full we decided the night was still young so we headed over to one of our favorite local bars, Philly, for a couple more drinks. They have an huge outdoor area and they had a live band which was fun. I'll take any excuse to sit outside in the summertime. 
  • Today I will be working on a couple blog posts for the upcoming week and then I'll be headed over to my uncles for round two of the pool since it's beautiful outside. 
What did you do this weekend?

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Weekly Outfit Recap

Happy Saturday Friends! 
Normally on Sunday night before the work week I pick out all my outfits for the week and iron everything but this past week was a little up in the air for me. Not only did I not iron any outfits in advance I also didn't write any blog posts in advance either (epic fail). So this caused me to think on the fly and find outfits in my closet that were not completely wrinkled haha! For the most part I noticed I went with a stripe theme for the week, which is one of my favorite patterns to wear. I'm trying to be better about adding handbags to my outfit posts. Hopefully in the future I can work out an accessories post as well because these pictures don't do my baubles justice. Also my apologies again for some of my flip flops, I typically wear flip flops when I walk into work and change when I get in the office...

Dress J Crew Factory (old) Similar // Belt J Crew Factory (old) 
Necklace Kate Spade // Flip Flops Tommy Bahama // Bracelet Chloe and Isabel

Top Forever 21 (old) similar // Skirt Talbots (old) similar
Necklace Kate Spade (old) // Sandals Steve Madden (old)

Top Loft (old) Similar // Skirt J Crew (On Sale)! // Flats J Crew Factory
Handbag Kate Spade similar // Necklace Wantables Box

Skirt Loft (on sale)! // Top Banana Republic (old) Similar // Bangle Kate Spade
Ring Kate Spade // Sandals Chinese Laundry (old) // Umbrella Vera Bradley (old) similar

Dress PacSun (old) // Bracelets Target (old) // Necklace Wantables Box

What did you wear this week that you loved?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Currently Loving...

TGIF Friends!
Can you believe that this was the last week of June! These past few weeks have been flying by and we're already into summer. Next week is a short work week with the holiday so I'm really looking forward to that. But, I'm not looking to rush this lovely weekend away. I have some fun things lined up with friends and family.

Here is what I'm loving this week:
Big Brother 16
During the summer I definitely watch less television because I try to get outside as much as possible and also because most of my shows don't return again till the fall. However, I have one guilty pleasure show that I watch every summer, Big Brother. I'm a sucker for all reality television and this always helps me get my reality TV fix while I wait for Survivor to return in September. Anyone else out there watch BB?

I went into J Crew the other day to get a credit taken care of on my account and I did some browsing though the new arrivals. My will-power was strong because I didn't end up buying anything (spending freeze still has over 2 weeks to go) but I did fall in love with this beautiful embroidered dress. It was so light, I could easily see myself wearing it to dinner when I head to Cape May in a couple weeks...

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
I'm halfway though the first Harry Potter book and I'm really enjoying it. As I've mentioned before, I have seen all the movies but never took the time to read the books as a kid. It has been fun embracing the magic and seeing what book readers have been raving about all these years.

The Goldman Sachs Foundation President Dina Powell sat down with Glamour Magazine for an interview about leadership among women. This is a great video for any female entering the work force. I definitely want to continue to promote myself professionally and this video was very inspiring.

Alexander McQueen Skull Sandals
Okay, a girl can dream right?! Alexander McQueen is a fashion legend and one day I would love to own one of his pieces. In the meantime I will be lusting after these sandals!

What are you loving this week?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Do or Don't: The Jumpsuit

Lately a lot of my fashion magazines have been featuring jumpsuits for summer. At first I was definitely anti the trend because lets be real, what happens when you have to go to the bathroom... it seems like a lot of work. But then I started to make a turn on the jumpsuit and I've actually thought about maybe investing in one. Here's the deal, it's definitely not a style that is going to stay in fashion forever, but I do think it's a fun alternative to a maxi dress when going out on a cool summer night.
In my opinion, if you're going to invest in a jumpsuit it should be in a solid neutral color: black, navy, white. Otherwise you run the risk of looking like a clown with the bright colors and crazy patterns. I turned to Pinterest to get some jumpsuit inspiration and I was immediately drawn to black jumpsuits with gold accessories. There's something edgy about an all black outfit that makes even the most tame person look like a badass.
I do love posing these fashion questions to my readers because I love hearing your opinions on these wild trends. Do you think a jumpsuit can look chic, or is it too Cat Woman for you? If I do decide to try out the jumpsuit trend I will definitely be looking for a cheap option since I doubt it will become a wardrobe staple of mine, but it is fun something to go out of your fashion comfort zone and try something new. 

So here are my questions for you:
1. Is the jumpsuit trend a do or a don't
2. Have/would you rock the trend yourself?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Baby I Got Your Money, Don't You Worry

As I've mentioned before I'm currently on a shopping spending freeze. I'm going on week three of no shopping and I'm struggling. This clearly highlights the fact that I have a shopping addiction and I'm surprised I haven't gotten the shakes from withdrawals haha! The reason for this spending freeze is because I had a few expenses pop up and I needed to take a break from shopping and focus on paying my bills. Firstly, I'm headed to Chicago at the end of July and I needed to pay off my plane ticket I charged months ago, then I unexpectedly planned a random trip to Disney World in November. So I had a second plane ticket that I put on my debit card along with the deposit on our hotel (yikes). These are all happy purchases because I've really wanted to do more traveling and I'm getting my wish but all these due dates came suddenly and it was important that I take a step back and re-prioritize my expenses, allocating them to different categories. 
So today I wanted to give you a few money saving tips that have helped me over the years. Being someone who primarily blogs about fashion, it's obvious that I love clothes and accessories but I have to remind myself that I don't have to constantly be buying new items to add to my closet. 
  1. Direct Deposit: My paycheck is set up so it gets directly deposited into my account on pay day. The majority of my paycheck goes into my checking account for spending money and bill paying however a part of it goes directly into my savings account each week. It's hard to physically take money from your checking and move it to your savings account, especially when funds are tight. But I've realized that I don't miss the money that I don't see. By setting up direct deposit, the money goes into my savings without me even noticing and it helps me better prepare for my future.
  2. Coupons: I very rarely pay full price for anything anymore, especially because there are so many sales going on at one time or another. It's important to not be tempted to buy those new releases right away because most likely, they will go on sale. I now put clothing items into my "Wish List" instead of my shopping bag and monitor when websites are having sales. Even taking advantage of free shipping can save a few bucks! I'm also not afraid to clip coupons, I keep them in my wallet so I'm never without.
  3. Experiment with your Closet: During times like these when I'm on a spending freeze I look through my wardrobe and reinvent what I already have. I've been working on mixing pieces up a bit--- taking a skirt and pairing it with 3 different top options for 3 different outfits. By experimenting with new pairings and adding different accessories you can create a plenty of fun outfits from pieces you already own. 
  4. Bring your lunch: This is one tip I learned from my mom. She always said, bring your lunch to work because ordering out for lunch can get expensive! Plus I'm more likely to eat healthy when I pack my lunch everyday, I'm less tempted to order that giant sub with chips and a soda.
  5. Don't Procrastinate: When I know I have a big expense coming up (such as my upcoming Disney trip), I will put away a little bit of money at a time so when the bill is finally due I won't panic and try and scramble to find all the money at once. 
What are your money saving strategies?
Any survival tips for a girl with a shopping addiction on a shopping freeze?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

New Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Dip

Happy Tasty Tuesday!
Summer is the perfect time for picnics and cook outs which means plenty of fun appetizers and quick,  easy meals. My apologies in advance for future Tasty Tuesday posts because honestly, my focus hasn't been making new recipes for dinner since my diet has consisted mainly of hot dogs on the grill and ice cream (#sorrynotsorry). So today I'm sharing my cousin Zach's delicious buffalo chicken recipe which is easy to make and perfect for weekend cook outs. 

  • 1 8oz package of plain Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
  • Franks Red Hot Sauce
  • 3 large boneless chicken breasts (cut into strips)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Bleu cheese dressing
  • 1/2 cup crumbled bleu cheese
  • Three cheese blend shredded
  • salt, pepper and garlic powder
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Heat butter in a non-stick pan and add chicken strips. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  • Cook chicken thoroughly and remove from heat, let it sit for 4-5 minutes
  • Spread entire cream cheese bar around bottom of 8x8 ceramic pan.
  • Cut chicken strips into half-inch cubes and return to non-stick pan. Add franks red hot to coat chicken in pan thoroughly and cook at a low heat for 5 minutes.
  • Layer half of chicken to the ceramic pan along with half of the crumbled bleu cheese and drizzle bleu cheese dressing as desired. Repeat with second half of chicken and bleu cheese.
  • Top with shredded cheese.
  • Bake in oven for 35-45 minutes or until top cheese begins to brown.
  • Remove from oven and let sit.
  • Serve with tortilla chips and eat until your stomach bursts!

**Special thanks to my cousin, Zach, who sent me this recipe last minute (I know you're reading). He even sent me a picture! Although I've never made this recipe before, I have eaten it and it's AMAZING.**


Monday, June 23, 2014

Orange You Glad

Ever since I fell in love with that orange Vince Camuto Dress I saw at Macy's I've been looking to add more orange into my wardrobe. Orange can be a strange color because it's perfect for summer (think sunsets and sherbet) but you have to be careful to not emulate a traffic cone when wearing it. I've been blessed with an Italian skin tone that allows me to wear any color I want, especially when I have a good tan so investing in a couple orange pieces will be on my goal list once my spending freeze ends. 
My two favorite colors to combine with orange are navy and hot pink. My theory in regards to the hot pink is if you're already going bright with orange why not double down and go all out. Navy helps neutralize the bright orange the same way black would, without adding that extra Halloween touch. For those of you who are hesitate to add orange into your wardrobe, it might be better to start off small which is why I included handbags, shoes, sunnies and nail polish to my picks. Incorporating tiny hints of the citrusy color can still get the same effect without going all out. Then eventually when you get more comfortable you can add more adventurous pieces into your wardrobe. 

Are you a fan of orange?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sunday Thoughts + A Weekend Recap

Happy Sunday Friends!
This was an exceptional weekend, mainly because it was the official start of summer! Now I need to get focused on achieving all the summer activities I have on my list (mainly they involve pina coladas and sitting by the pool...). With Fourth of July and Cape May with my family right around the corner I have plenty of fun things lined up in the next couple of weeks. Until then I've been trying to lay low and save some money. I'm on week two of my shopping spending freeze and I've been doing my best to avoid all unnecessary purchases (which has been difficult since C Wonder has been having a phenomenal sale). However, once I have enough money set aside to pay for my plane ticket to Chicago and my Disney park tickets I'll be sitting pretty and back on my shopping grind! 
I realized that if I want to increase the amount of trips I take, I need to be a little more responsible with my shopping... boo hiss. This spending freeze means my weekends have been pretty boring. However, I've discovered the best way to keep my desire to spend money down is to spend as much time as possible sitting by the pool. I'm replacing those shopping endorphins with plenty of vitamin D!

What did you do this weekend?
What are you survival tips for successfully completing a 'spending freeze'?

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Weekly Outfit Recap

Friends... why are you reading this post when you could be outside in this beautiful weather? I mean, don't get me wrong I am so grateful that you stopped in to show me some love but after you're done reading this promise me you'll hang out outside, okay? Anyways, back to the task at hand, this week was a hot one and my clothing choices reflect that. Flowing dresses and skirts combined with all things sleeveless were high on my priority list this week. Also my apologies for some of the shoe choices in these pictures I took them before work prior to putting on my real work shoes (whoops).

Dress Express (old) similar // Necklace Loft (old) // 
Bracelet Arrived in my Wantables box // Sandals Tommy Hilfiger

Top Express (old) similar // Skirt J Crew Factory
Bracelet Talbots (old) // Flip Flops Tommy Bahama (similar)

Top J Crew Factory (old) similar // Skirt J Crew Factory // Necklace Francesca's (old)
Flip Flops Tommy Bahama (similar) // Bracelet Nordstrom (old)

Dress Michael Kors (old) similar // Necklace J Crew (old) similar  // Sandals Tommy Hilfiger
Tote Lilly Pulitzer (old) similar // Bangle Lilly Pulitzer (old) similar

Dress Forever 21 (old) similar // Bow Necklace Loft (old) similar // Bracelet J Crew (old)
Sandals Chinese Laundry (old)

What did you wear to beat the heat this week?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday Favorites

Tomorrow is the official start of summer which means my motivation to be in work is at an all time low. Let's just say my priorities are focused on being outside by the pool as much as possible and this whole working 40 hours a week in a cubicle isn't really helping with that priority. But, enough complaining from me because we have the next 2 days off to celebrate the start of summer!

Here is what I'm loving this week:
Breaking Bad
I finally started Breaking Bad on Netflix (I know, I'm super late to the party). Now that all my shows have taken their summer hiatus I've been looking for something to get addicted to. I'm already hooked and I have been marathoning every chance I get. Have you guys been marathoning a new show during summer?

I saw this dress last weekend at Macy's while Fathers Day shopping for my dad and I fell in love. Sadly, I'm still on a spending freeze... but hopefully it will still be there in a couple weeks when my freeze is lifted because I'm obsessed with the pattern and colors. In all seriousness the entire Vince Camuto summer line is amazing, so many bright colors and prints.

Ben and Jerry's Peanut Butter Fudge Core
My weakness will always be ice cream. If I had to choose one dessert to eat for the rest of my life, I'm always going to go with ice cream. Last week I got to try the new Peanut Butter Fudge Core from Ben and Jerry's and let me tell you... it's heaven in a container. If you're looking to splurge on a delicious treat, this is the one you should go for because it's phenomenal and sooooo worth the 1000000 calories. 

The Harry Potter Series
So I've seen all the Harry Potter movies but I'm thinking that I'm going to start reading the book series this summer in preparation for when I go to Harry Potter World at Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure in November. With Breaking Bad and the Harry Potter books being on this Friday Favorites, it's very clear to me that my pop culture obsessions are delayed a couple years, sorry about that guys...jumping on the bandwagon very late this week.

A couple weeks ago I won a Wantables box on Taylor's Blog and it just arrived this week. Wantables allows you to choose a category (make-up, intimates, or accessories), subscribe for $36 a month, and fill out a style survey. Then once a month a box of goodies arrives at your door filled with items tailored to you! I won an accessories box and inside I received a fabulous gold bangle, a statement necklace, scarf and sun pair of sunnies. If you're an accessory fan I highly suggest the sign up, plus they make great gifts for friends and family. Thanks again Taylor for introducing me to a great company!

What are you loving this week?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Let's Go To The Beach

At this point in my life I've decided that although it's important to set long and short term attainable goals, it's still fun to dream big. While sitting in my cubicle I like to imagine the vacations I will one day take and the home I will own because it helps keep me motivated and working hard. Sometimes these crazy big dreams can sound silly, but I think it's important to remind ourselves that nothing is impossible. Otherwise, life would be boring! Remember when I wrote a post a couple weeks ago about not settling in your everyday life? Well I think the idea of not settling also should apply to dreams, why can't we have it all... I know I won't stop until I do.
One of my big dreams is to one day own a beach house. As you all know I'm a lover of all things sun/water related. Being outside surrounded by water in the summer time is my favorite place to be and although each year my family takes a trip to the beach, it still has be longing for the day that I can head to the beach whenever I want (and even live next to it!). So of course, when I day dream about my crazy plans I look to Pinterest to only encourage my imagination. I started looking at beach house decorating ideas for the house that I don't have (does that make me crazy?!). I wanted to share some of my future beach house decorating idea's with all of you. They obviously include plenty of whites, teals, and blues to match the beach view I one day hope to have. 

What is one of your 'crazy big dreams'?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Criss Cross

With the official start of summer beginning next Saturday many of you will be packing up and doing some vacationing. Cape May, Chicago and Disney World are occurring in the not so distant future for me and it got me thinking about my need to invest in a good cross-body bag. I'm not sure why, but a stylish cross-body bag was not something that I've invested in before. Personally, I tend to gravitate towards big totes and large handbags, mostly because I normally have so much I want to carry with me wherever I go. But while strolling through cities, beaches or theme parks it's going to be important that I pack lightly and have a bag that will be hands free. So I love that functional cross-body bags have become a fabulous trend for summer, it keeps the focus on summer fun rather than keeping your hand on a handbag.
I definitely have specific requirements when it comes to a cross-body. It's important that the bag is big enough to hold a glasses case (so I can easily switch from sunglasses to my regular ones), my phone and some sort of wallet. At the same time I don't want my cross-body bag to be overwhelming because the whole point is to pack lightly. Luckily for me there are so many awesome options for cross-body bags at a variety of different price ranges and styles. I have a little over three weeks before Cape May so I will definitely be investing in a new bag before then.

Do you have any cross-body bag recommendations for me?


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

New Recipe: Eggplant Parmesan

So I have an extra special recipe to share with you today, my moms eggplant parm. First, I want to share a little story with you. My favorite meal in the entire world is my moms eggplant and I'm pretty sure this craving started at birth because the very last meal my mom ate before going into labor with me was eggplant! So I guess I was destined to always love eggplant. This is a great comfort meal, and when my mom cooks it she makes it in bulk and brings it to a family party. She even makes a big tin of it on Thanksgiving so when we get hungry around midnight, after we've been playing games, we get to have a second meal. So I'll stop raving and get to the recipe, but I couldn't be more excited to share this with you guys.
  • Two large egg plants
  • 1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce
  • 1 package of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 4 cups oil (we use vegetable oil)
  • plenty of paper towels
  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • On the stove top heat oil on medium heat until hot. I drop a pinch of breadcrumbs into the heated oil, if they sizzle the oil is ready.
  • Lay out a couple layers of paper towels on the counter top (You will place cooked eggplant on the paper towels to soak up grease and cool)
  • Thinly slice the eggplant, I like to slice it a little thinner than the picture below:
  • Crack eggs into a bowl and beat them so they form a egg liquid.
  • Once eggplant is sliced, dip slices into eggs coating all sides, then take egg soaked eggplant and coat it with bread crumbs evenly.
  • Place breaded eggplant into hot oil and cook on each side for 2-3 minute or until brown on each side.
  • Take eggplant out and place on paper towels to cool while you cook the rest of the eggplant.
  • Once all eggplant is cooked, take a long tin (I like to use throwaway tins like these) and coat the bottom of it with tomato sauce, then add a layer of eggplant and top the eggplant with a layer of mozzarella cheese. Continue to layer sauce, eggplant and cheese until all the eggplant is gone. Your top layer should be cheese.
  • Bake eggplant in the oven for 45 minutes or until it's golden brown.
  • Enjoy!!
What's your all time favorite meal?