Friday, July 31, 2015

Catching Some Zzz's

I've been pretty vocal about my love of Aerie's swimwear line. Not only does it promote a great message of loving your real self, but they had so many cute styles this summer at a very affordable price. But today I'm here to talk about their equally fun sleep line. 
I'm sure I'm not alone in the fact that I tend to choose comfort over quality when it comes to my sleep options. I still have so many ratty old tee shirts that I grab when I'm ready for bed. But, Aerie's line brings the comfort while still having some personality. There are a variety of items for under $20 including a ton of printed boxer sleep shorts, the macaron print ones are my personal favorite. They also have cotton nighties that button up and can double as a light bathrobe to throw on in the morning. Aerie's new line has finally motivated me to throw out those old pajamas and invest in some new options that won't break that bank.


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Terrible Twos

Guys, this little blog is two years old!
I may have completely forgotten the July 9th anniversary date, but better late than never right?
It's hard to believe that what started out as a small hobby to keep my mind active while I was unemployed has turned into something I am still writing on two years later. When I first decided I wanted to start a blog, I had just graduated with my Masters and was having very little luck when it came to finding jobs. The job market was awful and I was getting so sick of spending my days online looking for generic jobs that I wasn't passionate about because I was desperate to get some income. I always imagined that finding a job wouldn't be that difficult once I finished with my degree, but boy was I wrong. 
I was definitely in a funk and looking for something to reignite my passions and cure my boredom. Enter this little blog. It was something small and needed a lot of work but suddenly I had a little project to fill my hours with in between applying for different jobs. I suddenly had something I was excited about and it definitely gave me the motivation I needed to finally score a job that could lead to something great.
Fast forward two years later and so much has happened in my life. I've landed a job that inspires and stimulates me on a daily bases, a job that really isn't a job but a career that I can continue to build on and make a life from. I've been able to travel to so many wonderful places with new friends and old, making lasting memories. Finally, I've got to really set a theme for this little blog where I've been able to channel my love of fashion and style and share with you all that makes me happy.
So, this is a special thanks to all of you that have stuck around since the beginning and all the newcomers along the way. It's been a wild ride and I look forward to the next new adventure.

Shorts (currently only $17!) // Bow Top

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Linen and Things

I've been investing in a lot of linen dresses this summer. Despite the fact that they're a pain in the butt to iron, they're super lightweight and comfortable. Plus they are the perfect amount of "dressy" I'm looking for in a summer dress. I ended up wearing this dress on our last night in Cape May. It was perfect for walking around town and I was able to pick up some last minute items before we packed everything up and headed back to the 518.
I've been getting a lot of use out of my new striped bow bangle that I picked up at the outlets during Memorial Day weekend. Kate Spade always has really fun conversation pieces when it comes to jewelry and although at first they can be pricey, if you just wait a bit they almost always have a sale (or if you're lucky like I am you can head to your local outlet and pick up plenty of pieces for under $20!). Some of my current favorites is this mint bangle, this octopus ring and these gold seashell earrings.

Bag, Michael Kors (similar options here)
Belt Akira, old // Bracelet

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

New Recipe: One Pan Balsamic Mustard Chicken with Veggies

Happy Tasty Tuesday!
I need to get back on track with my eating. Lately my appetite has been out of control and I haven't been eating the healthiest of meals so I'm back in the kitchen looking for easy to make options that are less pasta and more vegetables. Luckily, there are plenty of light dishes that pack the flavor. Todays dish is no exception and can be made in one pot for easy clean up. 

**Note: chicken needs to marinate overnight, so you will need to do some preparing the night before**

  • 1 package of chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1 bundle of red potatoes
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup of baby carrots sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1lb asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a bowl, combine balsamic vinegar, honey, mustard, minced garlic, oregano, basil and a good shake of salt & pepper.
  2. On a cutting board, place chicken breasts and pound them out so they thin a bit (this step can be skipped if you don't mind thicker chicken, I just prefer my chicken thin).
  3. In a large Ziploc bag, pour liquid marinade and chicken breasts. Marinate overnight in the refrigerator. 
  4. The next day when you're ready to cook, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  5. Coat a large cookie sheet with nonstick spray and place potatoes (cut in half), tomatoes, carrots and olive oil on a single layer of baking sheet, season with garlic powder. Top with chicken in a single layer and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Place in oven and cook for 30 minutes. Add asparagus during the last 10 minutes of cooking time.
  7. Enjoy!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Nautical Wear

Another week, another Monday...
I'm writing this post on Sunday since it's quite cloudy so my plans of sitting in the sun have been squashed. It's probably for the best though because I can sit here and get a ton of blogging done for the week and I can't enjoy Harry Potter Weekend on ABC Family (am I the only one who watches this every time it's on TV, I can't get enough). 

Side note: I'm looking for some advice from my readers for products to use that can replace ironing. This morning when I woke up I set aside all the outfits I am going to wear to work this week and then ironed all of them so I don't have to do it later this week. While I was doing it I realized how much I despise ironing clothes and was looking if there was any alternative. I've hear some people use steamers, but isn't that still the same difficult process and does it really work as well as an iron does?Hoping you all can give me some products that can eliminate ironing from my weekly routine. 

Anyway, I've still have a few outfits lined up from my trip to Cape May that I can share with you this week. Basically my entire Cape May evening wardrobe that I packed involved some type of nautical stripe. This eyelet top I'm wearing is actually a tee shirt but the front eyelet design makes it look dressier than it actually is.

Skirt // Top // Sandals
Sunglasses Kate Spade Outlet (similar option here)
Bag Kate Spade, old
Jewelry, all old

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday Thoughts

Happy Sunday!
It's quite cloudy here so I've traded in my bathing suit for a pair of comfy shorts and the Harry Potter Marathon on ABC Family. It's probably for the best, I'm able to get a jump start on the work week so I'm rested and ready for when Monday comes.

Hope you are all having a relaxing Sunday!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Weekend Links

I can't wait for this work week to be over. The first week back in the office after vacation is always the hardest, right?

Weekend Links:
  • I highly recommend you check out J Crew's clearance section of their website. They've had some fabulous deals with everything in their sale section and additional 40-60% off with the code SHOPSALE. I was able to pick up this skirt in soft petal for $23 and this lace up tunic for $17! 
  • Speaking of sales, it's never too early to start looking at fall items. I was able to score this Top Shop faux fur vest during the Nordstrom Anniversary sale.
  • The Hunger Games series is coming to an end and the new trailer was finally released!
  • Did you check out my post on the best places to eat in Cape May?
  • Last Thursday was National Hot Dog Day and it had me googling different ways to jazz up the dogs this summer. Here are a list of Easy Topping Ideas.
  • I'm headed to Chicago in less than two weeks so I loved Liz from Sequins & Stripes Chicago Summer City Guide!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

My Favorite Things To Do In Cape May, NJ

Can you tell I'm still a little bitter that I'm back in the office and away from the beach? I'm already day dreaming of my next chance to watch the waves from the comfort of my beach chair. Today I'm talking about some of my favorite traditions to take part in when I head to Cape May every year with my family. If you're looking for a relaxing beach vacation that won't break the bank, I definitely recommend heading down there for a few days.

The Beach
Do I need to explain this one? The beaches in Cape May are super clean and not as crowded as it's sister beaches in Atlantic City and Wildwood. The water is warm enough to swim in while still cooling you off from the summer heat.

Horse & Carriage Ride
This was always one of my favorite things to do when I was growing up. I recommend doing it after dinner because those afternoon rides are way too hot, but at night it's a nice relaxing tour through the town. Your tour guide will give you fun information about Cape May that isn't boring like a typical tour and you'll get to hear some fun history including a ghost story or two.

This is one of the few stores I always make a point in visiting every year. It's a magical winter wonderland that offers so many cute ornament and Christmas decorations. It always feels like Christmas in July when I walk into this store and I make sure to pick up an ornament for my tree (plus a souvenir for loved ones).

Vacation is all about relaxing and enjoying yourself, right? We always make sure that one day we leave the beach a little early and grab a few cocktails before dinner. The Grand Hotel pool bar makes a tasty pina colada!

I always feel so guilty leaving Misa behind every year so I make sure I stop in Paw Prints, a store for dogs in Washington Street Mall. They make a ton of adorable dog treats along with plenty of toys to take home to your pooch. Misa always gets spoiled from my guilt when I return.

View the Victorian Homes
Despite coming to Cape May for over 20 years, I'm still in awe at some of the homes around town. Cape May has the second largest collection of Victorian homes in the US and you won't get bored of viewing the bright colors and intricate details that go along with them. Each house is personalized to make them one of a kind. If I ever hit the lotto, I am buying a beach front one ASAP.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Neon Lights

So I know this neon green is not for everyone, but I for one cannot get enough of this skirt. I've already worn it 3 times in the two weeks since I purchased it. At first I was concerned at how versatile a lime green skirt would be but I quickly realized there are so many ways to wear it. I even wore it to work this week with a black blouse so believe me when I say neon can work in even the professional environment. 

Can you tell it was super hot and hazy when I took these photos? My camera kept fogging up from the heat! I'm not complaining though because I would prefer 90 degree weather over the snow any day of the week. I wore this outfit while we grabbed dinner in Washington Square, Cape May one night last week. I was looking for something light and comfortable, but something that would still show off my tan, haha. 

Since coming back from vacation I've had a mixture of business and pleasure. I'm slowly getting back into the swing on things in the office, sigh, I wish I could vacation permanently. Last weekend I had to say goodbye to my friend Nicole who is getting out of the 518 and moving down to Charleston SC to be closer to her siblings. It's going to be tough without her here, but I am looking forward to having a permanent place to stay whenever I decide to board a plane to SC, especially when the Albany winter becomes unbearable. I also got the chance to go see Trainwreck this weekend, which I have been looking forward to seeing for quite sometime. The movie was hilarious and Amy Shumer is someone I wish I was friends with because she is both outrageous and incredibly relatable. It's a great movie to go see with all your girlfriends because I'm sure a few of you can relate to Amy's antics. 

Top // Skirt // Sandals
Bag Michael Kors (similar option here)
Sunglasses, Kate Spade (similar options here)
Gold Bangle // Other Bangles, old
Necklace Ann Taylor, old 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Best Places To Eat In Cape May, NJ

Happy Tasty Tuesday!
Since I was on vacation all last week I did not have the chance to get into the kitchen to cook up some new meals. However, I did have the opportunity to eat at some fabulous restaurants that gave me plenty of inspiration moving forward. So day I'm going to break down my favorite places to eat (and drink) in Cape May, in case any of you make the journey down to Jersey this summer.

Best breakfast on the run:
I'm not a huge breakfast lover and I have to be in the mood to sit down and have a full breakfast with the works so often times in the morning I would walk down to Bagel Time Cafe where they had plenty of fresh bagel options and amazing cream cheese (think spinach and artichoke). Plus they have the tastiest ice coffee that was just enough to get me awake and ready for the beach day ahead of me.

Best Lobster Dinner:
The Lobster House has become a first night tradition for my family and I for as long as I can remember. It's become a great way to kick off the vacation and we're definitely not alone in our love of the Lobster House because it's always packed. Luckily this restaurant is ginormous so you never wait long for a table. It's located on the fisherman's wharf and offers a great view of all the boats docking at dinner time. If you're looking for a quality meal with great service, this is the place for you.

Best Italian:
Shockingly, finding a quality Italian restaurant in Cape May has been difficult for us and being the Italian girl that I am, I can't go a full vacation without a big plate of pasta somewhere. Luckily A Ca Mia came to our rescue. Located right in the Washington Street Mall, this place offers plenty of authentic Italian dishes. I recommend sitting outside on their deck so you can people watch while enjoying your dinner.

Best Bakery:
Speaking of A Ca Mia, after dinner you must go into their bakery located next door. They have fresh Italian delicacies including fresh breads, pastries, cookies and amazing Italian coffees. It's a great place to grab something to go and enjoy later on. I personally loved the Bailey's infused cheesecake. I was so full from dinner, but I enjoyed it in my hotel later on that night.

Best Pub:
Even though they don't have the fanciest food, this is one of my favorite restaurants in all of Cape May. Some nights I don't feel like a fancy dinner and instead I just want to enjoy a tasty sandwich. This place has a huge menu with so many delicious options. This year I got a corned beef deli sandwich with cole slaw piled in between. No joke, the sandwich was so big and had so much flavor. It's also a great place to just order appetizers and drinks.

Best Outdoor Seating:
One of my favorite parts of dining in Cape May is finding a restaurant where I can see the beach and enjoy that ocean breeze. Harry's has a great menu where you can get nice dinners or simple sandwiches but by far the best part of Harry's is their outdoor deck. They often have a band playing and you can enjoy the view while you dine.

Best off the beaten path restaurant:
This small restaurant is definitely off the beaten path in Cape May but is definitely not a place you want to ignore. Surrounded by so many beautiful Victorian homes this tiny restaurant offers plenty of fancier dining options. They also have a great deck, which if you haven't figured out by now, is a huge draw for me.

Have you eaten in Cape May before?

Monday, July 20, 2015

Back in Action

Remember me?
So after 5 days in Cape May, I decided to extend my blogging vacation through the weekend. I just needed a break to recollect my thoughts and spend some time away from the computer. I love blogging, it has become a wonder hobby and outlet for myself but I never want it to become a chore. Summertime is a busy season for me and I have a lot going on so I don't always have the time/motivation to sit down and write a blog post. So I decided I'm no longer going to beat myself up when I don't have time to get a post up, quality over quantity, right?!
Anyway, vacation was so much fun. It was a great couple days spent with family at the beach. I know so many of you come back from trips and have all these tales of adventure, but honestly all we did was go to the beach and go out to eat (can you tell by my tan?). I get progressively darker throughout the trip, so you'll be able to mark the days these photos were taken by the color of my skin, haha. 
So what you can expect from me over the next few weeks are some fun outfit photos of my attire in Cape May, along with some fun travel information for those of you planning on making a trip to the Southern point of New Jersey. I'm also getting back in the kitchen this week so I should have a new recipe up for you next week (attempting to cleanse after a week of not so great eating on my end). So thanks for being patient with me while I took a few days off, I'm excited to get back to writing and catching up with everything I missed.
FYI: I wore this dress on our first night in Cape May to The Lobster House. Typically we're exhausted from traveling so we always head to the Lobster House for an amazing dinner and then call it a night! I love the mint color and it seemed perfect for a beach vacation.

Dress Gap (love the pink option) // Sandals // Belt
Aviators // Bag Kate Spade, old //Anchor Bracelet, Kate Spade (available on eBay)
Necklace, Francesca's old // Teal Bracelet, J Crew old


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

New Recipe: Caprese Bruschetta

Happy Tasty Tuesday!
Today I have an easy appetizer for your next BBQ that will have your guests leaving with full and happy stomachs. This recipe takes maybe 5 minutes to throw together and it's made from fresh ingredients that pack a ton of flavor.
  • 1 loaf of Italian bread
  • 2 tomatoes sliced
  • 1 package of fresh mozzarella
  • Fresh basil
  • Balsamic glaze
  • toothpicks
  1. Slice up Italian bread, about 1 inch thick.
  2. Slice up tomatoes and fresh mozzarella about 1/4 inch thick
  3. Layer bread, then tomato, then mozzarella, then tomato again and mozzarella again to make a tiny tower. 
  4. Top tower with 1 basil leaf and stick a toothpick in to steady the "tower."
  5. Drizzle balsamic on top
  6. Enjoy!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Last Years Vacation Wear

As you read this I am probably sitting in a beach chair, soaking up the sun, and watching the Cape May waves break in front of me. Not going to lie, it's my happy place and it's so nice to have a break away from the office and spend time outside. So in honor of my week in the sun, I decided dedicate today's post to last years trip and my outfits I wore. I'm hoping my tan will be just as good, if not better than last years!

Do you take an annual trip somewhere special?

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sunday Thoughts

Happy Sunday!
I hope you all had a fun but relaxing weekend. Tonight I'm headed to one of my favorite restaurants in Cape May, The Jackson Mountain Cafe. If you're ever in the area I highly suggest checking it out, their menu is huge and they make awesome pina coladas!