Adventure Necessities III – Wrap it Up

August 19, 2014

In addition to jackets and a weekender bag, while I’m in Brussels for the Fall & Winter I’m definitely going to need a few fun/adorable scarves to top off my look and (of course) keep the ‘ol neck toasty warm. If there’s one thing I’m always happy to add to my colder weather outfits, it’s a bright patterned scarf! They are literally the best addition for that perfect layered look.

Patchwork Infinity Scarf

Tropicana Scarf

Gradient Chevron Scarf

Star-dom Scarf

Geometric Print Scarf

Floating Design Scarf

Ink Floral Scarf

Polka Dot Scarf 

Wild at Heart Scarf 

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The floating design and wild at heart ones are giving me tingly vibes. Which one(s) is your fave?


Same but Different

August 14, 2014

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After seeing Madeline’s post from earlier this week I was inspired to take out my newly thrifted floral skirt for a test drive. Mike and I finally got our Visas approved, after a lot of legwork, running around DC and Maryland, and taking numerous days off work to get it all done (my sigh of relief is still exhaling as I type this), so we decided to celebrate by going out to dinner at Cheesetique last night.

This pleated, floral looker was perfect for our celebratory evening out, sipping on delicious red wine for me, a Belgian style tripel beer for Mike and enough cheese for weeks for the both of us. As we sat outside watching people walk by with their kids and dogs, listening to other diners talk about everyday events, I started to think about how different my life will look in just two short weeks.

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Floral Skirt: Thrifted from Unique (similar), Gray Tank (similar) & Blue Wedges (similar): Target, Bag: Baghaus (similar), Sunnies & Necklace: Old Navy, Bangle: Rocksbox

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I imagine scenes in Brussels will be somewhat similar, except the conversations I overhear will probably be harder to understand. (Note to self: start French lessons).


Sunday Thrifting (in a thrifted dress)

August 12, 2014

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On Sunday I did a few of my favorite things (cue Sound of Music lead Julie Andrews to sing for me in the background). I slept in, I went out to brunch and then went to a few vintage and thrift stores with some friends- all while wearing one of my most favorite thrifted dresses.

It was a lovely day, especially since most of my time lately has been consumed with all things moving- getting our visas ready, wrapping things up at work, and overhauling our house to be ready for renters. Brunch and thrifting on a leisurely Sunday was a welcome reprieve.

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Green polka dot dress: Thrifted via Goodwill (similar), Colorblock Wedges: Marshall’s (similar),

Yellow Clutch/Crossbody: Target (similar), Sunnies: Target

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At Amalgamated in Del Ray- despite my pretending-I-don’t-know-I’m-getting-my-photo-taken face, I did indeed buy that dress!

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I hope you had a nice Sunday full of your favorite things as well, or at the very least you weren’t spending your time getting ready to move!


Day to Night

August 7, 2014

It’s the age old question: how do I make a look appropriate for day while running around for work and having to make sure you don’t look too saucy or clients will take your “home visit” the wrong way, while still being able to go out at night with friends and give off an evening, I’m ready to take full advantage of happy hour, let’s pretend our work day never happened vibe.

I’m happy to share how I solved this problem earlier this week with you! Please join me on a journey into a day in the life of a social worker/person who likes happy hour…

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Lace skirt: Thrifted at Unique (similar), Sail boat print tank top (similar), sunnies & Wedges: Target, Faux Ostrich Tote: Thrifted at Goodwill (similar), Stacked rings: Old Navy, Watch: Guess (gifted)

For work I paired a fun sail boat print tank with my thrifted black lace skirt. Since I go into the community and visit with clients during the day, flats or low heels are the most appropriate way to go (although I wouldn’t say I follow this 100% of the time…) and I usually try to keep my jewelry and make up a little more conservative. When I meet with clients, I don’t want them to be too focused on what I’m wearing but more focused on how I can help them. Or how they can slam the door in my face- potato potahto.

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Once I’d had enough door slamming, it was time to head out for that after work drink! Using the space in my awesome thrifted bag-o-fun tote, I had stowed away a cute clutch, a sparkly necklace and some great strappy heels.

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getting out my sparkly friend

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 my husband/photog gives me a helping hand while I change shoes- what a guy!

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Pill box clutch: Current Boutique (similar), Strappy heels: Target (similar),

Bold Pink Lip: Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Unapologetic  

With those key small changes, I was ready to head out for drinks with pals and tell them all about my clients’ door-slamming abilities.

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And that, my friends, is how you do day to night- so easy! Now who wants another glass of wine?


Adventure Necessities (Part II)

August 5, 2014

This past weekend’s chillier than normal temps (in AUGUST?!) made me that much more aware that I’ll be needing a few light-weight/medium-weight jackets for my 6 month stay in Brussels. I’ll be there through the fall and winter, and according to my pal who lived there for a while the weather is usually overcast and in the 50s during the colder months, but not as cool in the fall. I have a few pieces in my collection of coats that can do the trick, but I’ll probably need one or two more solid picks before we take the plunge overseas. Here are a few jackets I’m getting warm fuzzies from so far:

Army Jacket

Faux Leather Jacket

Bright Blazer

Denim Jacket

Moto Jacket

Classic Trench with Leather Sleeves

I’m really digging this trench with the cream leather sleeves and the moto jacket. Which one(s) do you think I should go for?


How to Decorate for a Wedding Shower (On a Budget!)

July 31, 2014

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When my Mom, Laura and I sat down and started talking about the decor for the wedding shower, the first thing I did was search “shower decorations” on Etsy. Because that’s what you do when you need something cute, relatively afordable, and you don’t want to make it all yourself, amiright? When I saw this adorable burlap and lace bunting with a wedding date on it, I figured that was as good of a starting point as any! Laura and Mom agreed that we should ask for the letters to be gray and the hearts to be yellow- it seemed neutral and good for a couple’s shower rather than a bridal shower.

After I hit PURCHASE to get the bunting, we played off the colors and materials from it (yellow, gray, white, burlap, lace) to get the rest of our decorations. We stopped at Party City for paper plates/napkins/plastic ware, and good ‘ol Michael’s for burlap, lace, cupcake toppers and other crafting needs, and then on the day of we got fresh flowers from a local grocery store. The day before the event is when most of the crafting went down.

First on the To Do list: CUPCAKE TOPPERS.

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We thought these little scallop toothpick flags were cute, so we bought some heart stickers to slap on them and call it a day. Easy, right? Nope. They weren’t stickers. Even though they actually say STICKERS on the package. So I had to glue each of them on, all 36 of them. But mindless work is fine by me- I just put my brain on autopilot, hum the same few notes of an annoying tune (right, Laura?) and get ‘er done.

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So many heart flags!

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Then once Laura finished baking and icing the cupcakes we stuck our little flag babies in there and they were ready to display! Totes adorbs.

Next on the list: DECOR FOR THE VASES.

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This task was a little more complicated than I thought it would be. The burlap had to be wrapped around the vase twice for the texture to really make an impact, so the double stick tape was needed A LOT. Also, our original plan was to tie a bow around the whole thing with the lace, but those little rolls were a little deceptive with how much we actually got. In the end I think I preferred the look without the bow, so it worked out.

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We ended up halving this one since the vase was smaller than the others- the whole length of the burlap was overwhelming it a bit. It’s much cuter with the peek-a-boo of the top and bottom of the vase. D’awwww. 

Next up: BRIDE AND GROOM CUPS

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I just grabbed two cups from the ones we bought at Party City, some tulle and silver ribbon my mom had laying around in her craft box of goodies, and went to work. Laura happens to be a master caligrapher, so she wrote “bride” and “groom” on some stickers we found at Michael’s and helped me figure out how to manipulate the silver ribbon into a bow tie. Then I fashioned a little veil on the back of the bride’s cup and taped one of the (non)heart-stickers to it.

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They are meant to be! So in love.

So there you have it- wedding shower decor inspired by a find on Etsy. They were my favorite kind of DIY projects: lazy and affordable! Now all I have to do is hope that my sister doesn’t remember any of this so we can use the exact same decorations for her shower next year… relax, Laura, I’m only kidding!


Showered

July 29, 2014

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On Saturday my Mom, sister and I had the pleasure of throwing a Couples Shower for my brother Danny and his fiancee Meredith. It was a fun-filled day of hanging out with family, eating mounds of food and playing a few (somehwat successful) games. As you can see above, we also had some delicious cupcakes that Laura made herself! They were PERFECT. 

We spent most of Friday and Saturday morning getting everything ready, and I’ll have a little behind the scenes post up for you later this week, but for now I thought I would just share photos from the happy day.   

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I bought this wedding date bunting from Etsy!

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We decided to use the burlap and lace bunting as inspiration for decorating the vases

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Laura preparing the “Newly Wed Game”

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Playing the “Newly Wed Game” which was more successful in theory…

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The favors were both my Mom’s idea, we thought they were cute!

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I made them Bride and Groom cups – more on how I did it later this week!

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Still dreaming about those cupcakes… mmmmm…..

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Planning a party with people you love and for people you love is pretty awesome. Thanks to my Mom and Laura for everything you guys did to make it a successful shower, and thanks to Danny and Meredith for giving us a reason to celebrate!


Something Borrowed

July 22, 2014

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A few years ago, Mike and I had a span of 6 months where we attended 10 weddings. That’s right: TEN. A few times we even had two in the same weekend and one crazy night we agreed to go to two weddings in the same night. It was a crazy time. I felt like every weekend we were figuring out our route, mode of transportation, and (of course) what to wear.

Now that the wedding phase has slowed down, we get to actually enjoy and relax a little bit when we watch our pals say I Do. This past Saturday was an example of just that. The venue was at the National Harbor, which is only 15 minutes from our house (easy!) and we decided to take an Uber as our mode of transportation (neither of us have to DD!) and my co-worker graciously offered for me to borrow her lovely dress for the night (thanks, co-worker!)- it was a magical, stress free evening.

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Tiered Ruffle Dress: Borrowed from my co-worker (similar), Coral Heels: Ross (similar),

Sequin Clutch: Love,Cortnie, Drop earrings: Francesca’s (similar), Cocktail Ring: Old Navy

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Sending a huge thank you to my fairy god mother co-worker who was kind enough to let me party it up in her dress- you’re the best!


Adventure Necessities (Part I)

July 17, 2014

Now that I can openly talk about our pending move to Brussels, I’ve decided it’s time to start thinking about what I’ll need while I’m there! The good news about us only being there for 6 months is that we will be staying in what they call “business flats” so the apartment will be fully furnished- including dishes, cooking supplies, bed & bath linens, and paintings! (yes paintings, a whopping 3 of them)! All we will need to bring is our clothes, a pocket French phrase book and our sense of adventure. Oh, and a weekender bag for all of the traveling we plan to do while we’re there! Here are a few options that looked appealing to me…

Anthropologie Emersyn Weekender

 

Grid Weekender

Scenic Commute Weekend Bag 

Baggu Weekend Bag

Deax Lux Felix

Ethnic Embroidered Weekender

Manly Weekender Bag (maybe for Mike?)

Tranquil Travels Weekend Bag

 Which one do you like best? I think I’m leaning towards the Grid, the Scenic Commute or the Ethnic Embroidered weekender. I’ll also keep a look out for something I could use at thrift stores but one these guys above is a definite possibility!


Country Weekend

July 15, 2014

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Over the weekend, Mike, Laura and her fiancé Todd and I all traveled down to the Shenandoah Valley to visit my parents. We’ve had a cabin there ever since the early 90s so it feels just as much home as our parent’s place here in Alexandria. When we used to go up there as kids, it was kind of tough to get into the groove of not having a tv or internet around to keep us entertained. After about a day or two of whining, we would eventually find ourselves outside, running around in nature and having a blast. Who knew?

Now when we visit as adults, it’s not so much having a blast as it is getting some time in for R&R and stepping away from the traffic, worry about getting things done at work, and whether or not I’ve looked at the most recent posts on Facebook. Time in the country is usually just what the (nature) doctor ordered, and when I come back at the end of the weekend I feel refreshed and ready to take on whatever comes my way. This weekend was no exception.

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oh, hai Mike wearing a towel as a skirt!

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 Panama Hat: JCrew, Sheer tank top: Target (similar), Palazzo pants: Thrifted (similar),

Sunnies & Sandals: Target, Striped bikini top: Marshall’s (similar), Necklace: Old Navy

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Watching the geese go up & down, and then up & down, and again, and again, was pretty entertaining.

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go geese, go!

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Wearing these thrifted palazzo pants to the lake was perfect, they are so comfy for lounging! I tied my tank into a faux crop top and threw on my goes-with-everything panama hat for our lazy afternoon lakeside. I think the geese approved.