Sunday, February 7, 2016

Gratitude and Love: My Birthday

          My birthday was on February 5th. It was the first time in what felt like forever, that my birthday fell on a Friday. It snowed early in the day making a commute to work extremely treacherous so I had a day off due to the snow. That snow eventually melted and my birthday dinner was still on. 

       I found a cute black jumpsuit at Forever 21 (I've really been digging women's tuxedos) and put on my black wedges and sparkly earrings and was ready to go. I had so much fun with Freddie and my friends - Ali, Diane, Jen, Sarah and her boyfriend Zack. We all went to a Japanese restaurant in Branford, CT called Kampaii. We had a private room upstairs where you take your shoes off and sit on the plush, decorative pillows. We ended up having the whole upstairs to ourselves. It was a great time full of laughter! 

           The girls all surprised me with gifts - a beautiful blue bracelet (Sarah), a gorgeous bag full of hand-picked beauties (Ali), a yoga mat (Jen) and large mandala coloring book (Diane).

               It was nice to have a small, intimate dinner and drinks with friends. When I was younger I wanted to party. As I get older I realize how much I like to be around my loved ones and to talk and laugh!

Me, Freddie and Ali

    Saturday I spent using my gift cards and having a delicious early dinner with Freddie. Sunday I went to work and my boss surprised me with a bag full of amazing presents and a balloon. It really touched me. It's so nice working for someone you really look up to and find inspiring and work at a place that recognizes you. 

          I'm grateful to see another year and be surrounded by such amazing people.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Hope Walk

This past summer, I met Jen who was my boyfriend's neighbor. I started going to her yoga classes and enjoyed our conversations whether it was serious or silly. She told me her mom has Huntington's Disease. I didn't know anything about it and being curious, I googled it. Just like when my Poppy was diagnosed with ALS, I had no idea what it was until I saw it unraveling in front of me. Although it's two entirely different situations, I could only imagine what she was going through.

(Huntingtons Disease- Facts not fiction - about the worst disease known to mankind is a very informative article)

I really wanted to get involved any way I could. I've thought of different things I could do until I contacted HDSA and said I wanted to help. I'm really excited to be part of Hope Walk. It'll be in Killingworth, CT on May 15th. My team is Hope Warriors. If you are in the CT area and would like to walk or sponsor please do! Hope Warriors

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Decorating the Mantle: Valentine's Day Edition

Having a house really has made me want to make each and every corner as useful and beautiful as possible. I take great joy in decorating and the mantle has become a focal point in celebrating holidays and having a festive ambiance.

I've been (obsessively) buying Valentine's Day decor at the dollar section of Target. I've also gotten some very cute stuff at Barnes and Noble's too.

I love this colorful, sparkly garland I got at Target. It'll be nice to use in other (Spring months). The pink chalboard, the pink felt envelope and the mason jar with a pink heart were all from Target, too. The Kiss Me Notes book and the Vintage Victorian Valentine's (not seen too well in this pictures) were all purchased at Barnes & Nobles.
 I love Victorian Valentine's! So pretty. They are updated with glitter. Both jewelry dishes were presents from Christmas. The Kiss Me Notes book has delightful and romantic quotes about kissing! The card I got at Barnes and Nobles. I love the gold and pink.

                         I love these Valentine's Day themed gift bags (both from Target).

For the upcoming Spring Months, my inspiration comes from French Country Cottage - lots of pale pinks, pale apricots and light blues - and of course flowers!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Scenes from Stony Creek

I absolutely love Stony Creek in Branford, Connecticut. I grew up there, swimming on that little beach. As I got older, I started to see it more than a beach. I loved the community - very artsy and offbeat. The sunsets there are some of my favorites and I always feel a calm come over me when I'm there. We all need those spots to nourish our souls, to relax us, to let us breathe easy in a world that seems to be going so fast. I tried to capture as much of its beauty as I could, but pictures will never do it justice:

Sunday, January 24, 2016

A Love Letter

It was early summer and I remember sitting on his picnic table he had in his yard. He was telling me we should go to Northampton. I wasn't so convinced. I needed to see that he had changed for the better and plus what's even in Northampton? He told me it was artsy and cool and I said it sounded too hippy-dippy for me and I'd get anxiety. He reassured me and then I thought, why not? So I packed my little purple suitcase full of flower crowns and dresses I didn't end up wearing and fringe sandals (that are now missing.) We drove up there and as soon as we got to town I understood what he was talking about. It was a classic New England  downtown but with a magical ambiance. It had art galleries, music venues and blue-shuttered restaurants. There were stylish college kids walking around and everywhere was a record shop or a bohemian dress shop. We went to dinner and later explored. As I fell in love with the city, I fell in love with him. We had dated before but it was punctuated with such dramatic twists and turns I had to walk away.

We started going on our excursions - Providence with it's crowded cafes and bookstores you can spend hours in and the best - the beautiful white lights over the main streets like a jeweled headband. It was beautiful. Flowers were in bloom and there was a traveling street mural project. We took so many pictures and I still remember the crop top black dress I wore. (I was thinner then). There was an ill-fated trip to the Bronx and more trips to Northampton. Each time we were closer and closer. He showed me that the person he was, the person I had to get away with, had been replaced. This was the real him. Sensitive and sweet and funny and so much fun- even without alcohol.

Once Autumn came we moved into a new house and stayed local. We hiked a lot up East Rock and Lighthouse Park in New Haven with his dog Wilson. It wasn't a different city, but I loved it.  I loved that time under the September shade running up hills taking a thousand pictures of leaves and Wilson. And then he proposed to me and I was and am so excited.

But just like that day I came to his house, unsure of what direction I was going in - I knew if I moved forward he'd have to show me that he had changed. It all makes me realize, with my stress and constant work, my emotions and anxiety all over the place - it's my time to show him that I can change into someone that's lovely and as fun as he is. So this is my love letter to love and change, artsy cities and to being inspired by the person you love to be even better.

Right Down the Line

I like to talk about real life on my blog. There are so many picture perfect blogs with sun-addled engagement pictures and rosy-cheeked babies and always talk about how great everything is. No relationship is perfect, whether it's romantic or platonic. I know I've changed in a lot of ways over the past year. I'm proud of these changes. I see my fiance who quit drinking and is still sober for over a year now. These are some big changes we went through to make ourselves and our relationship better. Relationships can be tricky, and everyone has a bad day. I know I need to work on my stress better, it's always been a problem of mine. I often get so frustrated I want to vent to someone. I learned a long time ago to not vent to family or close friends though - they always remember and I would never want them disliking someone I loved over a venting session. I learned I need to talk to the right person - the person who I'm aggravated at. Sometimes when it feels everything you're saying falls on deaf ears it's hard not to want to talk to someone. I realize venting and stress are things I need to work on. At the same time, I don't want this blog to be all about me and my mistakes and lessons I need to learn. No one is perfect and everyone has something they need to work on, strive for, better themselves. I like that through our changes we had each other to lean on and walk side by side. It's not always easy. You can get trapped into the social media world that only shows the joys but we all know relationships take work. And it's so worth it when you're in love. And I am in love, madly. But I'm still evolving and bettering myself and I want to give my best.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Cold Weather Wardrobe

It's freezing here in Connecticut which means lots of layers, scarves, hats and gloves. Being cold though, doesn't mean you have to trade in being stylish.

I love the styling of the blanket scarf and high boots! Miss Molly Vintage is a great place to learn how to style those blanket scarves you see in the stores!
I love this white frilly blouse underneath a grey sweater paired with skinny black pants and black boots and some gorgeous jewelry!

If it's snowing and freezing, I'd say stay away from the pretty neutrals, open-toed shoes and cut out pants. This is a great template to work with on a winter day that isn't freezing though! Wachabuy has plenty of winter wardrobe fashion ideas!

 This grey sweatshirt from CUP SHE  is Cozy AND cute.

You gotta keep your feet warm, and what better way than with Anthropologie's ruffled cable over the knee socks!