Monday, November 12, 2018

Hipster for a Day: A Plaid Jumper in Brooklyn Heights

Head to Toe: Dress, Urban Outfitters // Hat, J.McLaughlin // Sneakers, Keds // Jacket, LL Bean (thrifted). 

This weekend, I headed to my favorite borough to celebrate a friend's new digs in Brooklyn Heights. Walking through her neighborhood gave me all the feels. I was so charmed by the brownstones and tree-lined streets, and couldn't help but picture our lives if Sean and I decided to settle in Brooklyn instead of the suburbs. While I have zero regrets about Connecticut, it was fun to play hipster for a day, so I put on my most Brooklyn outfit and went along for the tour of the nabe. We walked from the pier at Brooklyn Bridge heights to DUMBO and ended at Randolph Beer, which had great vibes, food, and brews. It turns out, they have two other locations in Nolita and Williamsburg, so I will definitely be trying it again. Cheers!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

A DIY Halloween Housewarming

Last weekend, Sean and I hosted our annual Halloween party. Okay, it was only our second year having one, but traditions form fast in my family. (Right, Mom?) It was our first time entertaining since we moved into our new place in May, so it was also a pseudo-housewarming. A lot of our friends were busy or out of town the previous weekend, so we decided to have our party a few days after Halloween, and it came in clutch for severely discounted candy and decorations. Plus it helped fill those awkward few weeks between Halloween and Thanksgiving where I'm using all of my restraint not to get excited about Christmas just yet.

When it comes to hosting, I like to make things as easy as possible so I can actually enjoy the night myself. That means food and snacks prepped ahead of time, paper plates, and a giant throw-away tablecloth for easy cleanup. I made this Spiderweb Nacho Spread, which required minimum effort for maximum cuteness. I also made a pretty epic cheeseboard inspired by this one by Sugar and Charm and sourced from Trader Joe's. We ordered a pizza for reinforcements, and friends brought witches broom Reeses Cups and a caramel cream cheese apple dip.

For the drinks, I made a friend's go-to fall sangria. The recipe includes apple cider (I bought Trader Joe's brand from the juice aisle), Smirnoff's caramel vodka, and moscato. I used the whole gallon of cider, a magnum bottle of Barefoot moscato, and about 2/3 of the liter of Smirnoff. It was enough for a crowd but did in fact pack a punch—so make yours to taste. I plan on making it for Thanksgiving as well.

We had such a fun night, and everyone impressed with some pretty creative costumes. (But baby Dominik won, I think, on cuteness alone, sorry guys.) Sean and I were tacky New York tourists, fitting for our new status as a suburban married couple. I got the selfie stick for effect, but it actually took some great photos! Can you tell which ones they are?

Sunday, I cleaned up and put away my Halloween decorations, leaving out the more general fall things and adding a few Thanksgiving pieces. We also have a stock pile of candy so I'm going to hop off now and book a dentist appointment. How did you celebrate this Halloween?

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

6 DIY Halloween Costumes You Can Throw Together Last Minute

For my yearly DIY closet-costumes post, I decided to put my money where my mouth is and style looks with pieces I actually have in my closet! (I rounded up some of my favorites from years past in this post.) If you couldn't guess, I'm pretty into Halloween, so I have a black and a blonde wig on hand already...If you’re going for a look that is big on the hair, I’d recommend grabbing one—they’re cheap on Amazon and will really make your costume. Would you try any of these ideas?

Bonnie (Bonnie and Clyde)

A fake pistol or bag of Monopoly money completes this movie classic.

Rosie The Riveter

This one is great for an office costume or if you don’t want to be too over-the-top. All you need is red lipstick and your best muscle flex.

Mia (Pulp Fiction)

A classic white button-down and some kick-flare jeans make for an easy Mia. If you’re really committing (and it’s not a kids’ party), add a cigarette and some fake blood under one nostril.

Sandy (Grease)

Sandy might be every girl’s go-to, since we all have a pair of leather leggings, a leather jacket, and red lipstick. But it’s a favorite for a reason: comfortable, sexy, and not too out-there if you need to use public transit to get to your party. Tell me about it, stud!

Flapper

I actually got this dress to be Daisy Buchanan many years back, but it has endless reuse as a flapper costume. Pile on the pearls, diamonds, feathers, and fur with a sparkly shift dress for '20s-era opulence. One of those old-time cigarette holders are only a few bucks at a costume store to round out the look.
Halloween 2013

Betty Boop

A black bob and red dress are pretty much all you need for Betty. Finish with red lipstick, gold hoops, and a garter if you’re going the sexy route.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Families Who Wine Together...

Head to Toe: Sweater and jeans, thrifted // Jacket, Wilson Leathers // Booties, Thursday Boots // Hat, Brixton (via Urban Outfitters)

I'm not a Game of Thrones watcher, but all I can think this week is, winter is coming... Sean's parents were in town for a visit last weekend and I wanted to take them to one of my favorite wineries and show off that fantastic New England foliage, so we headed to Gouveia Vineyards in Wallingford. Well, there weren't many pretty leaf colors to speak of, and it was too cold to sit outside and enjoy the view. But we still had a great time nonetheless, enjoying a spread of cheese and crackers we packed inside and doing our own mini tasting of a few varietals. And, we got a walk around the grounds before the sunset, so it was a successful day. Now, I'm focusing on the positives—like how much I love fall layering—but dang, this seems early to be so cold. (It's not even hitting 50 tomorrow!) Anyone else having a seasonal crisis??

Friday, October 5, 2018

Halloween in Review: Favorite DIY Costume Ideas

A sad thing happened earlier this year. Polyvore—the website I used to create my yearly DIY Halloween costumes posts—closed down, and the images aren't even active on my past blog posts. Thankfully, you can still see all of them on my Pinterest page. So as I was retrieving the mood boards from Pinterest, I discovered some of the ideas were pretty dang popular. My Wednesday Adams DIY has more than 2,000 re-pins, and Bonnie & Clyde more than 1,000. So instead of linking all of my old posts, I figured this year I'd share my best-performing pins on Pinterest. Scroll down for the top five. 

Meanwhile, Sean and I are arguing over our annual couples costume—the debate is annual as well. In review, I think last year's Bob's Burgers bit (above) was my favorite. The only problem was if Sean wasn't standing next to me he kind of just looked like an Italian chef. People had a hard time guessing our Back to the Future costume, but that one was fun as well, and easily thrifted. Three years back we were The Shining (both below), which is great for a chilly Halloween since we were both pretty bundled up. But, I think my all-time favorite costume was my vintage circus performer look (bottom). Maybe I can revive it and get Sean to be the ring-master... What is your all-time favorite Halloween costume?

Top Five Most Pinned Last-Minute Halloween Costumes


Have a white collared shirt and long sleeved black LBD in your closet? Then you've got all it takes to look like an Adams daughter. Layer the two and add pigtail braids and black tights. Extra points for pale makeup and a scowl. 

Bonnie Parker's look is super easy. Wear a beige pencil skirt, sweater and pumps, and tie on a silk scarf. Finish with a beret and fake handgun. For a couple's costume, throw your Clyde in a suite and top hat (easily found at a thrift shop or costume store).

BETTY BOOP


Betty really doesn't require much work...A red dress and pumps plus gold jewelry is all you need. Extra points for dark curly hair, cat-eye makeup and a heart garter (you can craft one from ribbon and felt).

Any Grecian dress can serve as the base for this Helen of Troy costume. Pair with gold bangles, and slip-on braided sandals. A gauzy scarf makes a good headpiece and adds warmth. The final accessory? An armor-clad Paris with a bow and arrow.

CLUELESS


Pair knee socks and Mary Janes with a yellow skirt and blazer and you're the perfect Cher. Even better with a bestie as Dionne.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Halloween Decorations Apartment Tour

Happy fall y’all! (Hubby is from the south, so I’m allowed to say y’all now, it’s a thing.) As you may already know, I’m that girl that everyone makes fun of for loving fall—pumpkin spice lattes, comfy sweaters, booties, all of it! Most of all, I love Halloween and decorating for the holiday.

This year, I had to mostly start from scratch after a lot of my decorations molded in storage (white throw pillow was green, if you know what I’m saying). Anyway, no sense crying over spilled spoiled milk, so I took the opportunity to get some new decorations for the season. I took a pricey trip to HomeGoods and focused on things that could be up from September to Thanksgiving to get the most bang for my buck. I found a cute pumpkin pie recipe graphic, some fun "happy fall" and football signs, and pretty wooden leaf garland.

Since Halloween decorations are meant to be kitschy, in my opinion, you can go cheap. I went a little crazy at Dollar Tree, and scored some spooky flowers, glitter skulls, and a fun witch is in sign for the front door. I also bought a bag of mini skulls and eyeballs and displayed them in a glass carafe, and picked up a few orange foam pumpkins and painted them in chalk paint to elevate the look (idea inspired by Kallie Branciforte of But First Coffee, who has a ton of dollar tree decoration ideas on her YouTube).

My advice if you want to spruce spook up your place for Halloween is to focus on a few vignettes that maximize visual impact, like I did on my bar cart and even around my air conditioner, which is usually an eyesore. I’m so happy with how our place came out, and I’ll be investing in some storage solutions so I can keep growing my collection every year (seriously guys I'm never going near a basement again). What's your favorite way to decorate for fall?
Happy Fall Y'all and Football Obsessed signs and pumpkin, HomeGoods // jack-o-lantern banner, Walmart // Witch is in sign on front door, Dollar Tree.
Pumpkin pie sign, HomeGoods // Message board, Amazon // Candle, TJ Maxx // Leaf banner, HomeGoods
Pumpkins, Dollar Tree (painted with chalk paint) // Eyeballs and skulls in jar, spooky flowers, and skull mirror, Dollar Tree // Orange lights, Walmart // Table runner, Crate & Barrel