Friday, June 29, 2012

TGIF - Watcha Up To?

TGIF!!  I thought this day would never come!  I often say that I need a vacation from a vacation.  My little weekend trip to the Berkshires was immediately followed by a pretty hectic week at work.  I had a couple of long days where I came home completely exhausted.  So, I am really excited about catching up on some z's this weekend.

I also want to catch a daytime showing of Wes Anderson's 'Moonrise Kingdom' (Anderson's 'The Royal Tenenbaums' is one of my all time favorite movies) and go out for a dinner.  Lately, I've been craving Indian food, which I haven't had in years until recently.  So, I'm going to try to look for a local Indian food restaurant and am looking forward to finding my go-to spot. I am also going to do a little shopping, in hopes of finding something cute (but low-cost!) for my vacation next week.  You must think I vacation all the time - but as some of you know, this is my first real summer vacation in awhile.  I'm totally stoked! Below are some cute items I'd love to have for my vacation.  

I hope you folks have a great weekend!!

a. Summer Scarf from Madewell; b. NY Gumdrop Stud Earring from Kate Spade; c. Tailor Mad Fedora Hat fro Michael Stars (I actually have this and it's really cute);  d.  Cat-Eyes from Marc by Marc Jacobse. Dolce Vita Wedgesf. Checkmark Tanktop from Madewell (really likeing MW this season); g. Mini New Blade Watch 26 mm Marc by Marc Jacobs;  h. Gorjana Graham Leather Studded Wrap Bracelet; i. Tory Burch Pouchette Robinson Chain

Thursday, June 28, 2012

My Berkshires Pitch - Guest Contributor

Here's the much anticipated post on my trip to the Berkshires. If you read yesterday's post, you know that there's an element of surprise to be revealed today. The surprise is that I got my friend, Nancy to write about our trip!  She's a great writer and I knew this would be a perfect project for her, especially since she took most of the pictures.  Without further adieu, here's Nancy!

Nancy Walking around on Rockwell Museum grounds 
in Stockbridge, MA
'Main Street at Christmas Weekend'

I've always appreciated the quaint feel of a certain New England town. When the Berkshires came my way I fell hard. The region is disarmingly charming - a place where life is rural and authentic but also saturated with so much culture, history, and scenic beauty. A place to get your Shakespeare on, hike up beautiful mountain trails, attend symphony concerts out on the lawn, museum, and shop at farmer's markets. A breath of fresh air from the evils of commercialism. As Joo so shrewdly pointed out, a Starbucks-free zone. Seemingly a less forced, less status driven place like the Hamptons or Aspen. The first time I ever visited I immediately understood why celebrated writers and artists such as Norman Rockwell and Edith Wharton made that reverse commute removing themselves from large cities to settle down in the area. This past weekend I wanted to be like them, excited to break free from the "bridge and tunnel" mode and roadtrip north, together with my dear old friend, catching up with our everyday lives.

Tunnel City Coffee Shop; SoCo Ice Cream; and Shakespeare & Co. stage (we saw King Lear - well, half of it.  We were too tired to stay awake for the second half.)

Touring the Mount, author Edith Wharton's Neoclassical Home (Yup, that's a picture of her on the wall, receiving an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Yale)

Our cottage in Lanesborough we ended up renting for the weekend was a former one room schoolhouse built in 1832 and functioned as one till 1950. When I first saw the pictures of the rental guest house online, I was instantly drawn in by its charm. 
(In clockwise order) Picture of cottage outside; 1st floor (once a classroom - all the antique furniture still intact); Rounds Rock Trail in Mt. Greylock (There's also 93 miles of the Appalachian trial that winds through the Berkshires; 2nd floor of  cottage (more like a loft).  

I must say though, the essence of Berkshires in the summer is really Tanglewood, summer home to the Boston Symphony in Lenox. It's one of the most reputable outdoor music festivals around showcasing the likes of Yo-Yo Ma, James Taylor, and in our case Diana Krall.  And its concerts I quickly learned is nothing without its elegant and elaborate lawn picnics. Tradition dictates that there is an art to setting up the perfect Tanglewood picnic. Devout picnickers wouldn't be caught dead without candelabras, patio umbrellas, fine china, linen napkins, crystal wine glasses, real flower centerpieces, citronella candles, lanterns,folding chairs, wicker baskets. For me this time it started with pure plastic simplicity. Who said plasticware has to be chintzy though? Picnicking and listening to Diana as night fell under the stars was really something. You just had to be there.
Here's Juju. Staking claim to a picnic spot early on at Tanglewood is a must. (btw, do you see the fancy candelabra in the background?)
Our picnic arrangement. On the menu:  curried chicken salad; cheese platter; watermelon; tuna salad; fig spinach salad; orzo and artichoke salad; and a chilled bottle of Rose we had no problem finishing.

Berkshires, I shall return.  Perhaps in the fall when you have more color on you.  

~ Nancy

Having Nancy guest blog for me was such a treat!!! Doesn't she write so beautifully?  I keep telling her she needs to have her own blog!  Thank you Nancy for putting up with me and writing this lovely post. 

I have a good number of friends who are constant travelers.  I already have my next guest blogger lined up.  She just doesn't know it yet.  Hah!  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

No brain surgery but still work

So I ended up staying up until 1:20 a.m. last night (or I guess this morning) doing work and did not finalize the post I wanted to share with you today. 

Although some people may think that blogging is "easy" (at least, that was my presumption until I started blogging), I'll tell you that for me, writing ANYTHING is difficult. The research involved in getting the right photos, putting together the mood boards and collages, takes time too.  What I know now as a blogger of several months, is that blogging is certainly no brain surgery (then again, how many things are comparable to brain surgery?!), but if done well, it requires time, creativity and a lot of editing. And a lot of passion. So, my sorry self now knows that I should have at least 1-2 posts ready to be shared in case I am sick, busy with my "real" work, away on a vacation. Ya gotta have that Plan B, you know what I'm saying?! 

Now, on a more cheerful note, today's Wednesday and by this time next week, I will be in Aspen, Colorado, celebrating 4th of July with Randy and some of our very close and dear friends. I'll be thinking of this vacation in order to get me through the Wednesday hump.  Also, when I get home tonight, I'll treat myself to a glass of wine and play this heart-achingly beautiful cover of 'Always On My Mind' by Denzal Sinclaire. 

See you guys tomorrow (btw, tomorrow's post has a surprise element :)) 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Celeb Style Crush

Anne Hathaway is one of my biggest celeb style crushes.  She's tall, thin, pretty, can act and sing, really funny, and endearing.  Perhaps its her huge doey eyes, which she uses well to express her movie characters' complex emotions, that make  her so endearing.  She also has this innate aura of class, kindness, and genuine sincerity.  How much did we love her in 'Devil Wears Prada'?!!! Or more recently 'One Day'?  I also found her incredibly funny in 'Get Smart'. (BTW, I am so counting down to the opening day of  Les Miserables). Thanks to her long and lean frame, she can pull off just about anything, but she really looks splendid in gowns. Since her 'Princess Diary' days, she's really found her own sense of style - a combination of classic looks with ample twists of modern and updated punches.  

a. - f. from here; g. from here; and h. from here.  

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday - Wake Up Call

Good Monday, ladies and gents!  Sorry about being MIA last Friday.  I was very much enjoying a little weekend getaway to the Berkshires to catch Diana Krall perform at the Tanglewood music festival (more on that later this week).   

As with most of my vacations, I did not get a good night's sleep during the entire trip.  Why does that happen??!!! I need to go back to sleep!!  I dream doing so in these two very different style beddings.  Also, check out this house tour from Apartment Therapy that just tickle my fancy. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Off to Tanglewood!

Ladies and gents, I'm off to Tanglewood, MA to see Diana Krall perform at the Tanglewood festival! It's a short weekend trip with my MOH, Nancy.  I'll report back with some pics! 

Isn't she just amazing?!!! Can't wait!!! 
I'll miss my puppies and Randy though :(

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cottage Chic

There's a heat wave coming to my town (Philly) this Thursday.  We are expecting the temperature to reach up to a 100 F.  Isn't that wild?!  The buzz about the oncoming hot weather left me daydreaming about having a cozy cottage near a shore, where cool breezes would flow in all day long.   I'll have a pitcher of peach ice tea ready 24/7 in the fridge and some mellow jazz playing in the background.   To complete this dream, the cottage will be decorated with these lovely items.

A.  Antiqued Bird Mirror from Terrain B.  Paule Marrot Pink Maze C.  Rope Knot Doorstop from Ballard Designs;  D.  Dip Dye Mat from West Elm;  E.  Hooker Furniture Sumner Dining Table;  F.  Industrial Pendant Glass from West Elm;  G. Chalkboard Message Board from Terrain

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cherry Season

'Tis the cherry season and I've been noshing a lot of them lately.  So, I came up with this little fun style board.   Aren't cherry prints so fun and pretty?  There's something a bit mod, retro, Americana, and flirty about them.  Perhaps that's why they never really go out of style.  

a.  Tory Burch Pumps Beverly High Heel;  b.  D&G Cherry Print Bikini;  c.  D&G White Cherry Print Dress;  d.  Cherry Macaron;  e.  Cherry Note Cards

Monday, June 18, 2012

Monday - Wake Up Call

It's Monday ~  I realized that I tend to think a lot about going back to bed on Mondays!  Haha! I'll always have a reason or two to complain about Mondays.  If I were to stay home today, here's what I'd want in my bedroom.  Doesn't this make you just want to go zzzzzzzz..... 

a.  Kartell Louis Ghost Chair;  b. Barneys New York Double Faced Throw; c. Donald Albrecht's 'Cecil Beaton The New York Years';  d. Lori Shinal Interiors Branton Stripe Square Pillow;  e. Diptyque Gardenia Mini Candle

Friday, June 15, 2012

TGIF - Daddy's girl

TGIF ~ the weekend is here.  It's Father's Day Weekend.  As with Mother's Day, it's a holiday that can be very emotional for a lot of us in so many different ways.  I am grateful to spend this weekend with my father as well as my father-in-law.  

I have my share of complex issues with my father and I'm sure he'll say the same about me.  But nothing diminishes those moments in my life when I felt so much love from my dad. They are nothing dramatic or splendid - just small moments.  He bought my first rain boots (bright yellow!).  He took me to get my first perm.  He brought me gifts whenever he traveled for work (Hello Kitty watch was the best!).  He took me shopping when mom wouldn't give into my pleas.  He knew all of my favorite snacks.  He always carries a photo of me and keeps his favorite ones framed on his desk.  He still has my law school sticker on his car (removed from his last car to his current car).   Although he never speaks much, he always writes something in my birthday cards.  

Here's a picture of my dad and me on my wedding day.  One of the very few pictures I have of us together.  People say we look alike.  What do you think?  :) 

Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful and amazing dads who are with us, or watching us from above.    

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Belt 'em

I love skinny belts.  They dress up just about anything.  I love putting them on flowy dresses and over thin cardigans.  But how about seeing them on satchels?  (Side comment:  I love the word "satchel".  I would love it as a child's name, but so far, my husband and friends have vetoed against that!).  Here are some belted satchels I've come across, most of them on sale, not that I plan on purchasing any of them.  :(  These have a bit of that equestrian posh look about them, don't they?  I love!!

A.  Proenza Schouler PS1 Keep All Medium Leather/Felt;  B.  Burberry Tote Soft Leather Bridle Lynher;  C. Kooba Tote Cally;  D.  Proenza Schouler PS1 Large Leather;  E.  Alexander Wang Kirsten Clutch;  F.  Lauren by Ralph Lauren Crossbody Malborough Tremont

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

J.Crew Obsession/Addiction Anyone?

This post will definitely date me.  When I was in high school, there was this girl who wore a white t-shirt with the word "JCREW".  The white t-shirt was loose and simple, but something about it was quite stylish.  I later learned that it was from "J.Crew" and there was a store for it somewhere in downtown.  I've been obsessed with J.Crew since then and as we all know it, the company has become a household name within the last 10 years or so, and can be found in just about any decent size mall.  Jenna Lyons, needless to say, is like my female crush.  I'd say approximately 75% of my closet is from J.Crew.  This past weekend, I purchased the two blouses below, which were  on sale at prices much lower than the online prices (sometimes, it's the other way around).  The rest of the style board comes from J.Crew as well, which goes on to tell you that for me, it's easy to pick out an entire outfit and then some from J.Crew without any problems.  And guess what, they are all on sale!  So, there it is, I feel relieved to have confessed that I have a serious obsession with (or more like an addiction to) J.Crew.  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Father's Day

This Sunday is Father's Day.  I have to confess.  For the last 3-4 years, I've been getting my dad the same thing every year.  I get him a nice golf polo shirt from Lacoste.  He really likes the brand and the quality of their golf polo shirts.  Here's one I'm thinking of getting him this year. I always have to tell myself that I need to get something a man would want, not what a woman would want a man to wear, carry, use, etc. Here are some other options that are great for dads of all ages. I wonder what Randy's getting - the puppies have been saving up their bonies for this very special day! 

A.  Ray Ban Aviator;  B.  Beats By Dr. Dre - Monster Solo Over-the-Ear Headphones;  C.  Titlest Men's Players Flex Golf Glove;  D.  Thomas Pink Scenic Check Shirt;  E.  Kenneth Cole Round Stainless Steel Watch;  F.  Apple Ipad;  G.  Jordan Men's Flighten Up Shorts

Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday - Wake Up Call

Good morning - it's Monday!  Although I don't have a stressful week coming up, I feel like staying home, and cradling up in this cocoon like chair from Restoration Hardware and finish reading Kyung Sook Shin's Please Look After Mom.  The cocoon chair led me to find the other items here, all of which makes for a perfect quiet room.  Don't we all need a quiet room sometimes?  Even when it's not noisy.  

Friday, June 8, 2012

Weekend - Watcha Up To?

TGIF!!!  My goodness - it's Friday again!!!  I'm so excited!!  
My husband and I now have a vacation planned for the 4th of July week.  We are going to Aspen, Colorado.  We've been there a couple of times together during the winter.  But it'll be my first time going there during the summer.  Randy grew up in Aspen, so we try to go back every year.  What's special about this trip is that this will be our first real summer vacation together. I'll talk more about my vacation as we get closer to the date. 

With nothing much going on this weekend, I thought I'd share a few of my personal photos of my puppies, Toby & Speedz, Randy, and me (in Paris last year during our honeymoon).

Have a GREAT weekend, ladies and gents!

Toby (5) on the top left and Speedz (4) on the bottom right 

Speedz in both photos (he sleeps A LOT) and my sweet Randy

I'm an expert at drinking an inappropriate amount of coffee and consuming unhealthy dose of sweets in the morning.  

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Loverly Scents

An old friend of mine, "A" sent me a Facebook message yesterday, asking for my recommendation for a light and feminine scent.  She wanted to avoid anything too heavy or "old ladyish".  I'm thinking Elizabeth Taylor's Poison, Lancome's Tresor, Chanel No. 5, etc.  These are certainly classics, but perhaps, a little too much for daily wear.  My girlfriends know that I love perfume, especially anything rosey and floral.  These are my top suggestions.  I have A and B, and am really looking forward to wearing C, E and F. I would love to hear about your favorite loverly scents. (P.S. Loverly is not a real word, I think.  But it sounds so darling, doesn't it?!)

A. Crabtree Evelyn - Evelyn Rose;  B. Chloe;  C. Coach - Poppy Flower;  D. Jo Malone - Grapefruit; E. Dolce & Gabbana - Light Blue ;  F. Annick Goutal - Ce Soir Ou Jamais

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Pretty & Tough

Here's an outfit I put together after spotting the top first.  I love mixing something pretty and girly with something a bit tough and rough around the edges.  Put together, it's a look that is feminine with a slight edge. In other words, totally sexy. 
A.  Diane von Furstenberg Warner Lace Blouse Top; B.  Dominic Jones Verona 23 karat gold plated ring; C. Proenza Schouler PS1 Large Leather Satchel; D. Eddie Borgo Rose Gold-Plated Crystal Cone Bracelet; E.Rag & Bone Classic Newbury Bootie

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

No wallpapers or tchotchkes here.

I grew up with wallpapered rooms, and unfortunately, they were pretty intolerably horrible. I also grew up with a father who liked and collected a lot of flea market found tchotchkes. Thus, I stay clear of busy walls, and try my best not to clutter my home with too many decorative objects. So, when I see a beautiful white-walled home with big windows, amazingly crafted pieces of furniture and original artwork, and clutter-free rooms, I feel like I can just close my eyes and breathe~  I came across these beautiful photographs of a home in Bucks County, PA featured in Elle Decor.   Yup, my eyes are closed and I'm breathing, and dreaming that this is my home, someday.   

Monday, June 4, 2012

Monday Wake-Up Call

Good morning - it's Monday, my favorite day.  NOT.  Why is it that during the weekend, I have no problem getting up at 5:00 a.m. and start doing things around the house, but on any week day, I can't even find my glasses on the night table without a sip of coffee (courtesy of my husband)??!!  Here's a picture of what's in my head - going back to bed and staying there all day!!  And it would be all the better if my bed was covered in any of these beddings from West Elm.  As you can tell, I tend to go for the simple, subdued, light blue and grey shades.  Like most people, I like my bedroom to be very calm and serene.

Well - here's to another Monday, a reminder that I'm healthy, have a job, and the weekend will be here in no time because time flies!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Weekend - Watcha up to?

Here we go again - TGIF!!!
I saw this cat image below earlier this week and saved it for today's post.  I thought it would make us all smile and that's always a good way to start a Friday.  I'm going to be chill like this little cat this weekend.   Ms. Chill Kitty and the orange stairs inspired me to find the lovely items on the next picture.  Don't you just love bright colors during summer?
Have a great weekend, ladies and gents!!
Ms. Chill Kitty came from here!

Kate Spade AngeliqueKate Spade Engelique sunglasses; Essie BazookaZara Printed Band Studded Top and Bottom; Yummy Gelatos from  here; and Cece Color Block Ballet Flats from JCrew

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