January Closet Additions

January was not a good month for my wallet. I know that shopping is pretty much my solution to any emotional low, sadness, anxiety, loneliness, boredom, and that desire to fill up emptiness. My closet might be getting fuller, but that is about it.

There are obsessive tendencies for my shopping. I can't tell you how exhaustively I searched for the right pair of red Ferragamo bow pumps, not patent nor suede, very minimal scuffing, under $100; it was probably about five months before I found the pair on eBay.

Last April when I collaborated with Athleta I got to visit the store and was gifted an outfit. While they were incredibly generous, there was a leather jacket I had my eye on which was naturally out of the realm of being gifted. So I waited for the $500 jacket to finally get clearanced to $115, and then my size naturally was no longer in stock online or at the CT locations. But did I let that deter me? Never. I systematically typed zip codes into the 'reserve in store' locator until I found my jacket in Ohio. If you didn't know this about the Gap family of brands, the stores will ship directly to you.

On another note, Loft is a bit of a stickler when it comes to price adjustments. When I ordered my teddy coat, the promotion was 40% off and free shipping over $50. Before the coat even arrived, they'd upped the promo to 50%. So I asked if I could get a price adjustment and was told they don't offer them with regards to promo codes. I simply replied, "So I should just buy the coat again now that it's 50% off and return the first one?" She gave me the price adjustment.

I mentioned at the start of this month that I need to find ways to redirect the energy that goes into a country wide search for a leather jacket or a pair of vintage shoes into things that are going to better my life, and that remains true. I can see the problem, but I'm still struggling to find the solution. I need to make more of an effort in February.

January closet additions

Banana Republic Black Merino Wool Scarf, $16
Athleta Salt Flat Leather Jacket, $115 ($20 after credit card rewards)
Madewell Northfield Mockneck Sweater, $60
Loft Fleece Teddy Coat, $74
Rust Orange Leather Gloves via TJMaxx, $13 (free after gift card)
Banana Republic Velvet Leggings, $44 (free after credit card rewards)
Vintage Ferragamo Pumps, $90 via eBay
Robert Lee Morris Soho Hoop Earrings via TJMaxx, $12 (free after gift card)
Express Double O-Ring Belt, $40

(Am I forgetting something? I feel like I'm forgetting something...)

Teddy Coat

Starting off the week on a good note - I have outfit photos! On Saturday I met up with Juliette, Logan, and Atushe in New Haven for coffee and a photoshoot. It was fun to have some fresh perspectives for outfit photos and visit some new places. Of course I've taken photos in New Haven dozens of times, but the city is just full of gorgeous buildings and backdrops, so there is always a new little spot to be discovered. These were taken outside Woolsey Hall.

It wasn't freezing cold, which was wonderful, and I got to wear my new Ferragamos. I won them on eBay on January 1st - setting the tone for my very spendy month I've been having. I also grabbed this fleecy teddy coat from Loft for half off, but more about my reckless shopping on Wednesday...

 loft teddy bear coat, striped sweater, black jeans, red ferragamo flats-14.jpg loft teddy bear coat, striped sweater, black jeans, red ferragamo flats.jpg loft teddy bear coat, striped sweater, black jeans, red ferragamo flats-22.jpg loft teddy bear coat, striped sweater, black jeans, red ferragamo flats-15.jpg loft teddy bear coat, striped sweater, black jeans, red ferragamo flats-16.jpg loft teddy bear coat, striped sweater, black jeans, red ferragamo flats-24.jpg loft teddy bear coat, striped sweater, black jeans, red ferragamo flats-20.jpg
The Rundown
Striped Sweater Joe Fresh similar
Funnel Neck Fleece Teddy Coat Loft
Black Jeans Old Navy
Red Bow Pumps Ferragamo via eBay
Bag "Lewis Drive Michela" Kate Spade similar
Leather Pom Matine
Chevron Ring Etsy via Silver Canyon Jewelry
Stacked Rings Gorjana via TJMaxx similar
Nail Color "Caviar Bar" Essie


Friday Five Under $50

Another month or so and there might just be enough daylight after work for outfit photos.
Until then, I let the weekend weather and my emotions dictate whether or not I take outfit photos. Last weekend had a fair amount of sunshine, but I could not find it within myself to get dressed on Sunday. It was a binge watch "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" kind of day. I'm not proud, but that is what I did. Hence, I'm just popping in here on Friday to share some under $50 pieces, and to wish you all a happy and productive (or unproductive, if that is what you'd prefer) weekend.

This weekend, I do in fact have plans that will force me to get dressed; on Saturday I'm meeting up with a couple local bloggers for coffee and outfit photos, so an outfit post will definitely happen next week!

Christian Di Riccio Woven Mules, $40 at TJMaxx
Madewell Stacking Rings, $28 at Shopbop
Vero Moda Floral Culottes, $25 at Nordstrom Rack
Tie Waist Shirt, $42 at J.Crew Factory
Frayed Ribbon Fedora, $55 at Banana Republic (extra 60% off sale and 40% off new items!)

Friday Five Under $50

A short post week here - shorter than it's already been shortened to - because it's been cold, and I haven't wanted to leave the house. On Monday, when I had to go out for a visit to the Apple store, I had every intention of taking outfit photos, however I texted my friend to see if she could meet me for coffee after my genius bar appointment. As I was catching up with her the sun was slowly setting, and when she suggested going to see a movie, which after a quick check on my phone was going to be starting in 15 minutes, I knew outfit photos were just not going to happen.

Lack of blog posts aside, I probably had the most fun on a January bank holiday that I've had in years. We went to see I, Tonya, which I enjoyed, and evidently you can get wine in the movie theaters now, so a plastic cup of pinot grigio almost seemed obligatory.

I'm definitely thinking that wrap top will be making it's way into my cart during the next sale at Banana Republic, and how cute is the ring bag from Target? I love the little scarf on the ring - I'm going to have to try tying one on to my own ring bag!

Striped Wrap Top, $50 at Banana Republic
Crossbody Ring Bag, $35 at Target
Tassel Hoop Earrings, $26 at Mango
Silk Scarf, $10 at Ann Taylor
Triple Buckle Booties, $30 at TJMaxx

Leopard fur coat

Back in the heat of September when I was hastily packing up my apartment and trying to decide which of my clothes were going into storage, along with all my furniture, I had to significantly pare down my outerwear collection. Admittedly, it dominated the whole of our shared coat closet. (I am always rationalizing that winter is long, and variety is key to beating my winter style doldrums.) I know being without them for one winter isn't the end of the world, but still, I'm missing them.

Of course my leopard fur coat was not going into storage - it's classic and warm, it was one of those pieces where I tried it on in the store, left without it, and drove back a day later when I couldn't stop thinking about it.

I'm not entirely sure what my rational was when I boxed up 90% of my winter accessories, hats, scarfs, gloves, ect. for the storage unit, so when I spotted these rust colored leather gloves on clearance at TJMaxx, I tossed them in my cart. Aside from my current infatuation with the rust orange shade, I thought it would be nice to have gloves in shade other than black. While the leather is soft, it's nowhere near as supple as the leather on my Glove.ly pair, nor are they lined with cashmere, but for $14, I can't complain too much!

 leopard fur coat, grey jeans, over the knee boots, camel sweater, winter outfit-16.jpg leopard fur coat, grey jeans, over the knee boots, camel sweater, winter outfit-22.jpg leopard fur coat, grey jeans, over the knee boots, camel sweater, winter outfit-19.jpg leopard fur coat, grey jeans, over the knee boots, camel sweater, winter outfit.jpg leopard fur coat, grey jeans, over the knee boots, camel sweater, winter outfit-17.jpg leopard fur coat, grey jeans, over the knee boots, camel sweater, winter outfit-20.jpg leopard fur coat, grey jeans, over the knee boots, camel sweater, winter outfit-13.jpg
The Rundown
Camel Cashmere Boatneck Sweater Thrifted similar
Grey Jeans Gap similar
Grey Over the Knee Boots Ivanka Trump similar
Leopard Fur Coat JCP similar
Suede Accordion Bag Banana Republic similar
Rust Orange Leather Gloves TJMaxx similar
Sunglasses "Meteor" Ray-Ban c/o TJMaxx


Friday Five Under $50 and Word of the Year

A lot of bloggers having been sharing words of the year - a word they have chosen to represent the mindset they want to have for the year. It wasn't something I'd thought about doing, but when paying close attention to my behaviors lately, I've realized that I need to focus.

Life is full of distractions. Sometimes I feel like I start to do something, and an hour later I find I've gotten distracted, started half a dozen other things, and not finished the first. I'll pick up my phone to see what time it is, instead look at my notifications, several minutes later put my phone down, and then realize I still don't know what time it is. Trying to limit phone time is something I want to do.

I often wonder how I find the energy to sink tons of time and effort into fruitless and frivious tasks, like trying to find the perfect ballet-inspired wrap sweater (hint, not this one, this one, or this one). Yet when it comes to sitting down and actually writing my blog post, I make excuses and procrastinate (too tired, too hungry, need to let the dog out). I know if I focused more on the blog, I could make it better. Even if the idea of it ever being more than a hobby is off the table, being a better expression of me and creating content that I truly love, which doesn't feel rushed or forced, should be higher up on my priority list than a sweater.

If I focused more on my job search, I could have applied to half a dozen jobs by now instead of one. If I focused more on the positive things in my life, I could probably be happier. As it is still Friday, I want to leave you with some fun, inexpensive things to shop for, and I also thought I'd share this article, "Things to give up if you want to be successful" because I liked a lot of the quotes and there was definitely some truth to it.

Baggu Round Canvas Shoulder Bag, $45 at Nordstrom
Short Sleeve Blouse, $10 at H&M
BP Split Leg Striped Pants, $55 (oops) at Nordstrom
Double Ring Belt, $7 at H&M
Dip Front Heeled Mules, $30 at Target

Liquid Gold at Red Bee

Over the weekend I attended a honey tasting at Red Bee Apiary in Weston, CT. The beekeeper, author and honey sommelier, Marina Marchese first gave us a background on the honey bees and how she found herself trading city life for farm life after her first experience being around a hive.

Honey bees aren't native to the United States, and Marina's bees are Italian. The worker bees are all female, and don't stray much more than four miles from their hive. Because of that fact, farmers can plant four miles of a specific flower which will result in the bees creating a honey with a distinctive flavor profile.

Four our honey tasting, we tried Orange Blossom honey, which is floral, fruity and rich in vitamin C with goat cheese, rosemary, and mandarin. I really enjoyed this pairing, all the flavors worked well together, sweet, tangy, savory. Of course I love goat cheese, so I might be biased.

Then we sampled Blueberry Blossom honey, which is fruity and a good source of antioxidants with brie and blueberries. Even though I'm not the biggest blueberry fan, this was delicious too.

The darkest and most unusual honey sampling was the Buckwheat honey - robust and a good source of iron, the smell was unlike a typical honey and it reminded me a lot of molasses. We sampled it with a piece of dark chocolate and almonds.

The most common honey, clover, was presented in a different way, in its crystallized state. The Creamy Clover honey that would take longer to melt on the tongue presented an amazing sensory experience and paired with shredded coconut was like eating the most delectable dessert.

Finally we sampled raw Gold leaf honeycomb, another unique way to enjoy honey with bits of the honeycomb.

Marina also uses the honey and beeswax to create skincare products, which we got to sample in the second part of the event. The balms are so moisturizing and I got a sample of the lip balm and body oil to take home. Because it's been so cold and dry lately, these are just what I need!

Honey is such a unique product, it can offer some health benefits, especially if you have honey from your local bees, as it can help reduce seasonal allergies. Now that I know all the work that goes into creating honey, I understand why it's referred to as liquid gold, and I really enjoyed experiencing all the different varieties of honey. I also happily brought home a jar of honey from Marina's italian bees, and I'm excited that I can enjoy it every day!

 Red Bee Honey Weston Connecticut-12.jpg Red Bee Honey Weston Connecticut-13.jpg Red Bee Honey Weston Connecticut-11.jpg Red Bee in Weston CT Red Bee in Weston Connecticut Red Bee Honey Weston Connecticut-14.jpg Red Bee in Weston CT Red Bee in Weston CT Red Bee Honey Weston Connecticut-15.jpg Red Bee in Weston Connecticut Red Bee in Weston Connecticut Red Bee in Weston Connecticut dark floral maxi dress as duster over black jeans, sweater and boots for winter-8.jpg dark floral maxi dress as duster over black jeans, sweater and boots for winter-11.jpg dark floral maxi dress as duster over black jeans, sweater and boots for winter-12.jpg dark floral maxi dress as duster over black jeans, sweater and boots for winter-10.jpg
The Rundown
Floral Shirtdress Banana Republic
Merino Wool Sweater Gap
Black Jeans Old Navy
Booties "Calixta" Cole Haan similar
Bag "Lewis Drive Michela" Kate Spade similar
Leather Pom Matine
Double O-Ring Belt Express
Gold Herkimer Diamond Ring c/o Lumo
Chevron Ring Etsy via Silver Canyon Jewelry


Dressing for the cold

I've heard that there is no bad weather, only poor clothing choices. But after two weeks spent well below freezing everyday, I'd argue strongly for bad weather. Admittedly some clothing choices are more sensible than others. You won't see me out there with bare feet in a pair of pumps, cute as they may be. The taller the boot, the better, as far as I'm concerned.

I've always been fond of wool coats - as in, I've never owned one of those parkas meant to keep you warm and as covered as possible. I imagine one of those might have been nice these past few weeks, but I did okay in my wool. Longer is better, and always with some type of hat, glove, and scarf. This fur scarf was a christmas gift. Faux fur is great because it looks stylish while still being remarkably warm.

Underneath it all, a silk base layer under the sweater, fleece lined knee socks under jeans, and naturally, when not taking photos, all buttoned, and zipped straight to the throat.

It's supposed to get up to 50° later this week, so naturally we'll all be out getting ice cream.

 houndstooth coat, boots, wide brim fedora, fur scarf-12.jpg houndstooth coat, boots, wide brim fedora, fur scarf.jpg houndstooth coat, boots, wide brim fedora, fur scarf-14.jpg houndstooth coat, boots, wide brim fedora, fur scarf-8.jpg houndstooth coat, boots, wide brim fedora, fur scarf-13.jpg houndstooth coat, boots, wide brim fedora, fur scarf-10.jpg
The Rundown
Houndstooth Coat Kohl's similar
Merino Wool Sweater Gap
Black Jeans Old Navy
Boots "Jabine" Adrienne Vittadini similar
Huntley Tote c/o Joie similar
Wide Brim Fedora Goorin Bros. via ebay similar
Double O-Ring Belt Express
Faux Fur Scarf Target
Leather iPhone Gloves Glove.ly


Connecticut Blogger Holiday Soiree

This post is going up much later than I'd anticipated, (where did the last two weeks go?) but better late than never, right?

A week before Christmas the CT Blogger Collective hosted a Holiday party at Flora in West Hartford. There was a huge turn out - I had no idea there were so many bloggers in Connecticut! I am continually impressed at how quickly Nonee, the groups founder was able to assemble the members and host three events last year, with a fourth event this coming Sunday. Seriously, she has my utmost respect and admiration. When I arranged a blogger meetup and there were six of us, I was pretty excited.

I met and chatted with some beautiful, talented bloggers and if I've snapped you in a candid shot, I'm sorry. I didn't take as many photos as I would have liked to, but there is just always that dilemma of focusing on being the photographer, or trying to be social, and I really did want to have some conversations that evening. And eat - there was quite the spread of delicious food, and I'm not one to hold back to try and be polite or proper. I got seconds, for sure. There was also some great live music for the first half of the evening which was fun and festive.

Even though it was an hour drive for me and it was a Monday evening, I'm happy I went. Plus it gave me an excuse to buy these pretty satin pants, which I need to exchange for a petite, and they literally arrived that day, giving me just enough time to rush home from work, tear open the package and cross my fingers they'd fit, before jumping in my car so as not to be too late.

Thanks to Nonee for putting the whole event together, the guest speakers, Kallie of But First Coffee, Alycia of CT Eats Out, Sandra of The Rustic Life, Rachel of Pinteresting Plans, and the sponsors, FloraMelanie Ruth Photography, BakaFana, Anika Zebron Design, Java Skin CareApril Marin Accessories, Ooh La La Boutique.

Satin Pants with a scalloped cami and black pumps for a holiday party CT Blogger Soiree at flora-11.jpg CT Blogger Soiree_-16.jpg CT Blogger Soiree_.jpg CT Blogger Soiree_-13.jpg CT Blogger Soiree_-10.jpg Flora Food and Drink CT Blogger Soiree_-9.jpg Flora Food and Drink Satin Pants with a scalloped cami and black pumps for a holiday party-2.jpg
The Rundown
Scalloped Cami J.Crew Factory
Merino Wool Cardigan Gap
Satin Pants Ann Taylor
Black Pumps "Natalie" Naturalizer
Necklace "Scottie" LuxbyUK
Ring The Cavernous Jewelry Box
Nail Color "Twill Seeker" Essie