November 28, 2017

..Elevating the Everyday with Gloria Ferrer

Thank you Gloria Ferrer for sponsoring this post. Elevate your everyday entertaining this season with Gloria Ferrer wines!
For all the details on my outdoor home decor see this post.

Nothing brings me more joy than spending time over the holidays with loved ones. I love the baking, I love the cocktails, I love the scents, I love the music, I love being able to dress up, I even love the craziness of it all. Each year the weekend following Thanksgiving I put on some holiday tunes, light a spruce fragranced candle, and get jolly decorating my apartment. It's not a huge production and usually only consists of me and my husband but this year I decided to make an evening of it and elevate the experience by putting together a little outdoor leftover dinner table on our terrace and opening up a couple bottles of Gloria Ferrer sparkling wines. Considering how much love went into making these dishes to begin with, why not celebrate them twice? 

Obviously, a beautiful table setting is only made more magical with a little bubbly. For as hard as we work and how much stress is felt during the work week, I feel that a long weekend is something to be celebrated in itself so we heated up our favorite dishes from the day before and had a cheers to the start of the season with Gloria Ferrer, California’s most awarded sparkling wine house. The Sanoma Brut was great with our turkey and the Blanc de Noirs, which was my favorite, went great with our leftover homemade apple pie. I had a friend come by to help us finish the bottle and enjoy a little relaxation by the tree (and maybe indulge in a Hallmark Christmas movie).

Gloria Ferrer has received over 500 gold medals and 50 90+ ratings in the last 5 years and I can definitely see why. They taste delicious and are reasonably priced for such great quality. I will be stocking up on that Black de Noirs and bringing them as gifts throughout the season. Who wouldn’t love to unwind with a gorgeous glass of bubbles by the twinkling lights of the holiday? 

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

November 23, 2017

..New Soul, Who Dis?

Exhale the BS
I want more than anything for this to be a place where if you come here to connect with me in some way, you get that. We are all friends here so I wanted to share with you this small "journey" (do any other bachelor watchers cringe when they use that word now?) that I have been on - learning to meditate. Before you give me an eye roll and bounce, I was like you! I thought it was totally weird, a waste of good down time, and also just for yogis with ballerina bodies - but I was wrong.

I wasn't raised in a home with traditional religion. I knew about it and was aware of what it was but always felt like an outsider around friends and family that participated in it. Meditation has really become a time for me to be spiritual and connect with the world on a deeper level in a way that I have been craving, my own kind of prayer if you will. In the past few months I have felt a level of stress, self doubt, and general anxiety that I am not accustomed to. While I was already regularly practicing gratitude and wake up happy most days thankful for my husband, family, and friends, due to a mixture of new work obstacles, big life questions, and my lucky predisposition to worry (genetics) this new stress was taking a toll on my health. I noticed hair loss, painful hormonal acne, and fatigue (and when you are already feelin' low let's just say those three little gremlins don't make things brighter). I was feeling like an actor playing myself. Going through the motions but not feeling okay within. I was having nightmares nightly about people passing away. I would call or text my husband at random times of the day to make sure nothing had happened to him. I was in desperate need of repairing my spiritual health. It was time to do something about it.

Meditation came up as a suggested remedy for stress on every search I but I filed it away as something people just say. I saw a dermatologist for the acne and started running every other day (small distances) for the stress which did start to help. One day I was watching an instastory of that mentioned Oprah's Super Soul Conversations podcast and I - being a huge consumer of them - added it to my subscriptions and didn't think much about it. Little did I know how much it would help me. One of the most amazing things in life is that the universe will put exactly what you need in front of you when you ask for help. A huge contribution to my start was listening to this podcast. Something had awakened in me after each episode I could feel myself getting lighter, unfolding and blooming again. After about ten episodes I realized one thing many of these fascinating people who have achieved amazing things, overcome huge obstacles, loss, or failure had in common was that almost all of them mentioned meditation or prayer at some point during their interviews. I decided then to commit to at least giving it a try.

I started with the Calm app (life changer) on a 7 day challenge. It was guided for beginners and was only 10 minutes per day. Who doesn't have 10 minutes per day? If you don’t think you have that small amount of time for self care you are lying to yourself. I was AMAZED at how much better I felt after each session. It was as if I had taken an Advil for stress. I found myself wanting to go longer after they ended. I continue now every day and can feel a difference in my soul, the weight on my chest, in each breath I take. I crave it. I even do it on my commute home on the metro on days I am able to get a seat (the beauty of smart phones).

I learned I am very bad at saying no and walk around feeling guilt almost every hour of the day. In my spare time I basically find more things to feel guilty about which is a really nasty habit. One of the biggest tools I now carry with me and pull out often is the knowledge that although you can't change your circumstance or what happens to you,  you can always control your reaction and outlook from within and that is powerful. 

While I still consider myself a baby beginner I wanted to share my entrance into this practice with you in case someone out there has also been searching for a new kind of healing and doesn't know where to start. To me, the most important thing is to put your intention out into the universe so it will always rise up to meet you - and that's what I am doing. I'm just here putting out the vibe. Feel free to reach out if you have questions or want to start up a conversation with me!

I try to put out a post like this every other month but if you want more of the deep stuff, you can find it here (where all my personal posts live).

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November 15, 2017

..Comfort is Life

The deets: Pashmina Collection dress (c/o); J.Crew satin shoes ( sold out, similar under $50); Clare V. clutch (similar under $45); Ray-Ban sunnies (similar under $20); Top Shop jacket; Kat Von D liquid lip-stain.

Do you ever feel like your style is hindering your health? Okay, I know that is suuups dramatic but I swear my affinity for sky high heels all through my twenties has really taken a toll on my feet and knees. These days I am always on the lookout for items that are in line with my fashion aesthetic but also comfortable (thank you athleisure, block heels, crossbody bags, and high waisted jeans) because now that I am in my 30's comfort is LIFE. When I was perusing the Pashmina Collection website this pretty, long sleeved, turtlenecked, midi was an easy choice (also loved this one). When it arrived in the mail I was so happy to see how soft and cozy it was. It moves like a dream and is magically a piece that could work for a date night, causal family holiday meal, work, or even just a low key weekend spent on the couch. I really don't feel like there are many dresses out there that can do ALL THOSE THINGS. I'm not typically an all black everything kind of girl so of course I added some pops with my shoes, sunnies, and clutch. Anything that is acceptable to wear in public that also feels like PJ's is a win in my book!

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November 13, 2017

..Customized Style

The deets: eShakti dress (c/o) (exact print is sold out but this is the same cut); Aerosoles boots; Micharl Kors bag (similar, similar under $40); Knox Thomas Designs necklace; J.Crew jacket (sold out, similar); Express scarf (sold out, similar under $20).

I am calling this post "Customized Style" because as it happens both my dress and boots were tweaked to my liking. I wore this out to dinner and then again the next day to a baby shower (#outfitrepeater). My dress is from eShakti where you can basically alter anything you want based on height, etc. I picked this pattern (similar versions here, here, and here) and had the sleeves made full length because I knew I'd want to be wearing it in the winter for a little extra warmth. You can also pick any fabric you see on the site and pair it with any shape which is the coolest thing!

I also purchased these boots because they were super comfortable (walk-able to the metro for work) and I liked the style save for the rope tassels. I got them anyway and wore them around that way for a week or so but after taking a little insta-story poll decided to give them the snip and I couldn't be happier with the outcome. It takes a lot of #bravery to take scissors to new suede boots, LET ME TELL YA.

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November 2, 2017

..Sweet Stripes

The deets: Madewell jeans (similar under $65); J.Crew tee; Sam Edelman shoes; Chanel sunnies (similar under $20); Alexander Wang bag (similar under $110); Kat Von D liquid lipstick in "Bachelorette."

Are you guys sick of my jeans and tee shirt styles yet? It's my favorite weekend attire so I hope not. I love this tee because its my favorite basic (stripes) but has a sweetness to it with the added ruffles. I wore it a couple weekends ago when my cousin was visiting me from NJ and I know it's November now but during her trip here in DC it was DEVASTATINGLY beautiful out. Like 75 degrees without a cloud in the sky. We grabbed some cocktails at Pepita and then went to check out the Harry Potter pop up bar in Adams Morgan which was pretty awesome (they had cocktails named things like "Expecto PATRONum" (if you love HP like I do you know that's a very clever play on words). I also wore this top on a boat ride during my Charleston trip because it's like so #nautical too! 

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