Three Things I’m Loving This Week

Happy Sunday and Mother’s Day from (picture-perfect weather on) the East Coast! Sun is shining and temps are in the 70s. Yesterday was a different story – wet and rainy!  This past week has been beautiful, but leave to Mother Nature to spoil Saturday with a lovely thunderstorm. But, the rain didn’t stop me from an afternoon adventure. Yesterday I headed south to one of my all-time favorite towns in Connecticut…Mystic. Look for pictures and a post in the upcoming days from my little trip. Here’s a teaser of one of my fav shops (and a main reason I love going to Mystic) – The Black Dog.

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Last weekend I spent at home (Columbus, Ohio) visiting my husband and family. It was a great trip home (as usual!) Celebrated my mom’s birthday with an afternoon shopping trip to German Village (adorable village on the outskirts of downtown Columbus) as well as dinner at a new restaurant at Easton Town Center – Texas de Brazil. The waiters, dressed as Brazilian gauchos, bring around large skewers of a variety of meats. A lot of fun – and totally delicious! Highly recommend!

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(L to R – me, Matt, Tim & Mom!)

And now, here’s what I’m lovin!

“I’d Rather Be In Ohio” T-Shirt

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Last weekend when I went home, Matt surprised me with this Alison Rose shirt that I’ve wanted for a long time! One of my favorite newer shops at Easton – Celebrate Local – has such a great variety of locally-made treasures – t-shirts, jewelry, bags, wine, cards, and more! I’m a huge believer of supporting local businesses and artists – and this store makes doing so very easy! Next time you’re at Easton, Columbus peeps, be sure to check it out.

Mindy Kaling at the Met Gala

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Photo credit: US Mag

If I wasn’t already totally in love with Mindy Kaling, I am so even more now. She KILLED it at the annual Met Gala. She rocked a custom Lela Rose gown, complete with an Andy Lifshutz necklace and Tonya Hawks bag. I loved, loved, loved her makeup. I think she nailed it with the dark lipstick. Not bad for her first Met Gala!! In other Mindy news, if you’re not watching The Mindy Project or haven’t read her book, do it. Both are hilarious. Can you tell I’m a huge fan of hers?

My Momma

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Lunching at one of my fav restaurants in Laguna Beach, Cal

And last but not certainly least, my momma. (Although I love her every week – not just this one!!!) Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

Have a great week!

Three Things I’m Loving This Week

What a beautiful weekend in New England! This is the first full weekend that’s really felt like spring. Temps hit the low 70s – it was so nice to spend time outdoors!

Saturday started off with a fantastic volunteer event in Newtown, CT. It felt great to give back to such a deserving town.

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Following the volunteer gig, I took a quick detour to Woodbury, CT – home of the Connecticut Antique Trail (more below). Today was spent primarily outdoors at downtown Hartford’s Bushnell Park – which is the oldest publicly funded park in the U.S. (dates back to 1850).

Also while at the park, I took a stroll over to Connecticut’s beautiful Statehouse which is located just south of Bushnell Park. The Connecticut state capitol building was designed in the High Victorian Gothic style by architect Richard Michell Upjohn in 1874 — it’s absolutely stunning.

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And now for the three things…

The Connecticut Antique Trail

On my way back to Hartford from Newtown yesterday, I saw signs for Woodbury, CT and the Connecticut Antique Trail. The Trail – which has more than 35 antique shops, bed and breakfasts, diners and quaint restaurants – is beautiful. Set in the  rolling Litchfield Hills, I just fell in love with the rustic country setting. I’m an urban girl at heart for sure, but there’s something so relaxing about being in the country. (It reminded me a lot of the home Matt and I rented in Jersey Township, Ohio. It was a 200-year-old farm house. We loved that house! I’ll have to share some stories and photos from that place at a later time!) Anyways, if you’re a fan of antiques and in CT, be sure to check out the Trail.

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Ralph Lauren Logo Button Up

It’s no secret one of my all-time favorite brands is Ralph Lauren. I typically try to get my Ralph Lauren gear at Macy’s, T.J. Maxx or Marshall’s for the great discounts. I grabbed this button up shirt just the other day. I fell in love with it right away – originally $80, got it for $35 at T.J. Maxx. It reminds me a lot of this jacket I got at a consignment shop awhile back.

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Jersey Boys

Simply put, if you haven’t seen Jersey Boys on Broadway, go. Just go. You won’t regret it. Hands down it’s one of the best musicals I’ve seen. My mom and I went to see it when she was in town a few weeks ago. It’s the story is of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. Anyways, just go. Trust me!

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And bonus love…

ESPN’s SportsNation filmed in Bristol this week (usually they film in LA). A few colleagues and I sat in on the taping (they usually pull in a few folks for a little audience). Anyways, here’s a screen grab of when it aired…I’m in the pink skirt bottom right – sitting next to Eric Mangini. Ha!

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Have a great week! I’m looking forward to heading home this upcoming weekend to visit Matt and our fur-kids.

Three Things I’m Loving This Week

Happy Tuesday! Temps are (slowly) starting to rise across New England – and by rise I mean mid 40s. (Hey, compared to the winter we’ve had, I’ll take it!) Had an eventful and good weekend – spent some time with friends, did a little exploring of CT and of course no weekend is complete without a trip to Target, Macy’s, Marshall’s and/or T.J. Maxx, I also finally got around to watching Les Mis. LOVED it! I’m a huge sucker for musical, so it was right in my wheelhouse. Tomorrow I’m headed home (Ohio) for a few days to visit my husband and sweet little puppies Ziggy and Pepper. Can’t wait!

Today I spent the day in NYC for an event. Very pretty and sunny day in Manhattan! And I loved this little touch of spring I found…

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And for this week’s Three Things:

Putnam, CT

I’ve been pretty adventurous the last several weeks – visiting little towns throughout Connecticut. But Saturday I woke up and knew I wanted to explore somewhere, but didn’t have any plans or ideas where. So I literally Googled “cute towns in Connecticut.” A site pulled up a handful, one of which was Putnam. So, I plugged it into my GPS and I was on my way to the Northeast corner of the state – about a 45 minute drive from downtown Hartford.

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And so the website was right, it was totally a “cute town in Connecticut.” I loved the stream that ran right through town!

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Typical small town shops, restaurants, coffee shops, antique stores and great consignment shops (although I left the town empty-handed!) I didn’t see anything I had to have – but had a lot of fun walking around!

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On my way back home, I stopped by UCONN’s campus. Such a great college-town feel; for my Ohio friends, it reminded me a lot of OU. Midsize college in a rural setting. Overall a fun and successful adventure! Who knows where Google or my GPS will take me next!

Tommy Hilfiger Flats

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Love these little guys at Macy’s. Obviously I had to have them. They have three versions – different colors. Loved the pale green and white ones. Longing for warmer days so I can wear them!

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I’m not going to go on and on here…just watch this. And grab a tissue. Just trust me.

Happy Spring!

Despite the 30 degree temps on the prowl out East, I managed to get a little sense of spring today with these beautiful tulips.

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A touch of spring overlooking an otherwise very cold and windy downtown Hartford, CT. Here’s to warmer days (hopefully!) ahead.

Anchors Away!

Maybe it’s because I just bought a new pair of pants, maybe it’s because I was wishing I was on a boat somewhere, or maybe it’s just because I’m so tired of this snow and cold weather on the East Coast that I’m completely dedicating this post to a nautical theme.

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Boston, Mass – Summer 2012

Connecticut is currently in the process of receiving a late season winter storm: ice and 4-8 inches of snow. Enough already!

I’ve always been a fan of the nautical trend, but I feel like my love for the style exponentially grew after moving to New England where nautical prep is the name of the game. Count me in!

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Boston, Mass – Summer 2012

I loved these bright blue crop pants – complete with tiny green anchors. I bought a lime green button up to match. Again, is it warm out yet? Can’t wait to rock this ensemble – popped collar and all!

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A few other nautical favs:

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Dizzy Anchors Dress, $168 at J. Crew

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Katama Espadrille, $60 from Sperry

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Chambray Shirts, $19.50 at Old Navy

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Anchor Sweater, $125 at Vineyard Vines

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Anchor Tunic, $125 at Vineyard Vines

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Cap Sleeve Dress, $24.99 at Target

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Navy Infinity Scarf, $16 on Etsy

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Nautical Scarf, $14 on Etsy

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Nautical Bracelet Set, $39 on Etsy

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Sea Queen Earrings, $6 on Etsy

Etsy has a ton of great “anchor” jewelry! Also, if you’re in NYC, check out Canal Street. That’s where I’ve gotten a lot of mine – fun little pieces and super inexpensive.

Anchors Away!

From Downtown to Small Town, CT

It’s been another amazingly busy (but good) week! Late nights at work, out with friends, Boston, NYC and everything in between!

Last Saturday I had a well-rounded Connecticut experience. Started Saturday morning with the 42nd annual St. Patrick’s Day parade that runs through downtown Hartford. I actually forgot it was happening, and I was awaken Saturday AM to bagpipes and drums outside my window! The parade (which lasted several hours) was so fun!

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After my adventure downtown, I hit the road to do some small-town touring…first stop, Litchfield, CT.

Litchfield, about 40 minutes from downtown Hartford , is an affluent town established in the 1700s. It’s beautiful – a traditional New England town. I stopped by some cute little boutiques and antique shops while I was in town.

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The shops we’re amazing – very unique items – and clearly tailoring to the demographic of those living in Litchfield.

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Super high-end items at this beautiful boutique (layering tee $135, pair of jeans $385, cashmere sweater/jacket $2,000, etc…) Exquisite stuff, but certainly out of my price range!

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Any cooking enthusiasts’ dream shop! Fab accessories for the kitchen and home here!

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Loved this “for the home boutique.” Their stunning displays looked like they were right out of Elle Decor!

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Again super high-end…a throw for $550, candles for $100…you get the idea. While I didn’t purchase anything there, I certainly got a lot of great ideas!

Next stop, was Bantam, CT. Another super cute, super small town. While in Bantam I checked out the gorgeous Bantam Lake (which was slightly frozen over, but still really pretty!)

While in Bantam I visited an amazing European-inspired art consignment shop. Grabbed this beautiful silk scarf while I was there.

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Beautiful artwork, antiques and treasures! I could have spent all day checking out the 1700s farmhouse turned shop.

Also while in Bantam, this AMAZING shop called The Housatonic Trading Company caught my eye while I was driving down the road. I’m so glad I stopped to check it out.

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Really cool place. Artwork, antiques, unique items for the home, etc at really reasonable prices considering the uniqueness of things in there.

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The owner was incredibly friendly as well.

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There’s no doubt in my mind I’ll be back to The Housatonic Trading Co. several times! If you’re ever in Litchfield County, CT, I highly recommend checking it out. You won’t be disappointed!

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I bought these fun iron crowns hooks. They match a lot of the rustic items I have in my apartment. Excited to get them hung up!

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My next (and final stop for the day) was the adorable town of Kent, CT (which is essentially on the CT/NY state line).

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Kent, a beautiful town oozing with New England charm sits deep in a valley surrounded by miles and miles of forests (it’s well-known for having great hiking).

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But since, I don’t hike (or am a fan of any outdoorsy type activities…camping, etc…) I stuck to what I know best….checking out the little shops!

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Don’t be fooled by the snow on the ground, the temps hit the 50s! A great day in Kent!

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Finished my afternoon in Kent with a well-deserved cup of coffee and two truffles – key lime coconut and hazelnut dark chocolate. Yum!

After my small-town adventure, I headed back downtown. What a great adventure!

A Connecticut Castle

With the sun shining and the temps hitting the low 50s today, I figured I’d spend the afternoon strolling the shops and shoreline of Mystic, CT (one of my favorite places in the state). But while in route, I made an about-face on Route 2 and headed to the Gillette Castle, located in East Haddam.

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I’ve been wanting to get to the Castle for sometime now, but given it’s located in what’s now a state park, I was waiting until the weather was slightly warmer.

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The Gillette Castle State Park, which sits high above the Connecticut River, was originally a private residence built in 1914 on a 184-acre piece of land, for William Gillette, an American actor who his most famous for his role of Sherlock Holmes on stage. 

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Gillette had no wife or children when he died, leaving no heir to his property or 24-room castle. His only wish for the manor? That the possession of his castle not be given to any “blithering sap-head who has no conception of where he is or with what surrounded.” (How much do you love that?)

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So, in 1943, Connecticut’s government took over the property, renaming the home as Gillette’s Castle and turning it into a state park.

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The interior of the castle is only open seasonally – I’m looking forward to heading back in May to get the full-effect of the inside. I heard it’s as spectacular as the exterior!

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The castle has secret doors, hand-carved door latches on each of the castle’s 45+ doors (each latch is different), built in furniture, and a system of hidden mirrors for surveillance of the public rooms from the master bedroom.

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I’m so glad I made the game-time decision to check it out today! If you’re ever in CT, I recommend visiting!

Three Things I’m Loving This Week

I can tell you one thing I’m not loving is all this snow! I’m ready for spring. Although, having all this snow was certainly an adventure to say the least! In the meantime, here are the three things I’m loving this week.

The Limited

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I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a million times. I’m a huge fan of The Limited. They have such a great selection of for-fun and for-work clothes, all at great price-points. Another reason I love them? Their customer service is unmatched to others. I received a box Friday from The Limited with an adorable mini clutch, a 40% off my purchase coupon, and a note just thanking me for being a top customer. Amazing! What a fantastic (and smart) gesture from a marketing stand-point. Love it, thanks guys!

Handmade Ohio/Connecticut Pillow

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My best friend Rachael is not only so creative, she also has such a huge heart! She made this pillow for me — Connecticut (where I currently live) on one side, and Ohio (where I’m from/home) on the other. So thoughtful. Both states certainly have a little piece of my heart! I have the Ohio side flipped out, it serves as a daily reminder of the wonderful place I call “home.”

Beasts of the Southern Wild

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If you haven’t seen this movie, you need to. It’s amazing. I can’t say enough good things about it. It’s one of those movies that will leave you thinking about it for a long time to come. Very emotional. From Rotten Tomatoes:

In a forgotten but defiant bayou community cut off from the rest of the world by a sprawling levee, a six-year-old girl exists on the brink of orphanhood. Buoyed by her childish optimism and extraordinary imagination, she believes that the natural world is in balance with the universe until a fierce storm changes her reality. Desperate to repair the structure of her world in order to save her ailing father and sinking home, this tiny hero must learn to survive unstoppable catastrophes of epic proportions.

Watch the trailer:

Snowed In

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The difference 24 hours make.

A little off brand for this blog, but considering the tagline is “Life on the East Coast,” I figured I’d document what’s been happening the last 24 hours.

Blizzard Nemo hit – full force. Central Connecticut was near the storm’s center, so we got it bad! I’d say in downtown Hartford there’s easily three feet of untouched snow, drifts of upwards to six feet, and piles doubling that. There’s so much snow and no where for it to go. I can definitely say I’ve had a very lively experience since moving to Connecticut – between yesterday’s storm and October’s Hurricane Sandy.

This morning I took a little stroll down the road to the city park to see what I could see. Here’s what I got:

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Stay safe (and warm) out there, New England!

Winter White (Out)

As the East Coast braces for what some are calling a “historic blizzard,” and the 2-5 FEET of snow currently en route, I figured there was no more of an appropriate time than now to highlight one of my favorite cold-weather trends, winter white.

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The calm before the storm. Shot taken in Downtown Hartford at 6pm on Friday. When we wake up tomorrow, this will not look so clear!

I’m going to put this out there right now, you CAN wear white after Labor Day and before Memorial Day, it just needs to be the right shade and fabric. Stark white doesn’t work as well, but a pretty, soft winter white looks stunning and classic, especially paired with black. Beautiful!

Here are a few of my favorite winter white pieces. Stay safe out there New England!

Milly, Sandra Drop-Waist Dress, Neiman Marcus

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I love the simple and elegant look of this dress. Not only V’d back and zipper, but also the dropped waist line. Love it paired with the black tights and ankle booties too. Originally $350, on sale for $122 at Neiman Marcus.

Chain Detail Crepe Blouse, Michael Kors

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I’m a big fan of Michael Kors in general. You could definitely get away with this top year-round. Originally $99.50, marked down to $66 at Nordstrom.

Cabled Cowlneck Sweater, The Limited

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Love this sweater from The Limited. Comes in several colors too — but I love the cream color the most. Love it paired with these red pants too! Add some brown riding boots? Cute! Get this, it’s marked down from $69 to $9.99!

Tahari Military Jacket, Macy’s

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I’m a huge fan of the military jacket. Actually, I just love all jackets, especially ones with a great collar. This jacket looks great with black pants – would also look great with a pair of dark jeans, gold jewelry, and black pumps. Originally $139, on sale for $124.99 at Macy’s.

GUESS Asymmetrical Collar Boucle Coat, Nordstrom

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Didn’t I just get done saying I love a jacket with a great collar? I love this winter coat from GUESS. I own an ivory pea coat. I got it for $19 last year after the holidays at Old Navy. It does get dirty easily, but for only $19, I couldn’t pass it up! This GUESS jacket is originally $228, marked down to $149 at Nordstrom.

GUESS Boucle Walking Coat, Nordstrom

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Another great winter coat from GUESS. Love the a-line cut of this one. Originally $168, marked down to $112 at Nordstrom.

Drew Edge-Seam Wide-Waist Bootcut Pants, The Limited

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These are so pretty! They’d look great dressed up, or dressed down with a jean jacket and flats. Originally $74.90, on sale for $49.99 at The Limited.

Faux Fur Wrap, White House Black Market

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I love this. So pretty! I have one that’s similar in gray, also one in brown….and another in black. Ok, I’m obsessed with faux fur wraps! But I don’t have an ivory one. Believe it or not, I wear them quite a bit – especially during the holidays. I’ve worn them for dress-up events and weddings, and have thrown them over a blazer, jeans and t-shirt. It just adds a little something. Originally $78, on sale $49.99 at WHBM.