Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Three Ways To Wear: Your Favorite Sweater Dress

The moment I saw this little sweater dress, I knew it was love. Perfect length, perfect color, long sleeves, and machine washable! I've worn it a million times already (enough to prompt the stock boys at work to comment about it) and I don't see myself not wearing it any time soon. It's the perfect foundation for any outfit and I wanted to share just a few of the ways that I've worn it... 

Look 1: A pair of tall black boots, metallic belt, and statement sunglasses give this simple sweater dress a bad-girl edge. Add a black leather jacket for cooler Spring days like today.

Lou & Grey Sweater Dress // Lauren Ralph Lauren Boots (similar) // Talbots Belt (One of my favorites and this one is almost exactly the same! Buy it a size bigger to you can loop it around like I did) // Prada Sunglasses

Look 2: Add a splash of color with a fun scarf and matching heels in a contrasting color. This is perfect for the upcoming Easter holiday, don't you think? 

Lou & Grey Sweater Dress // Club Monaco Silk Scarf (Love this watermelon print scarf) // Coach Heels (similar) // KRYOLAN Lip Gloss

Look 3: I layered the dress over white pants for a cool-girl casual look with a Spring flair. I swapped the wedges for metallic flats for work and got lots of compliments on this simple outfit.

Lou & Grey Sweater Dress // Talbots Leather Belt (similar) // J.Brand Skinnies (similar) // J.Crew Metallic Wedges

Which look is your favorite?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Easter Cascaroñes!

When I was a little girl early March meant one thing: saving up as many egg shells as possible to make cascaroñes for Easter. In South Texas and Mexican border towns, cascaroñes are decorated egg shells filled with confetti and typically busted over your head, showering you with confetti. If someone was really gunning for you, they'd smash the egg directly on your head and make sure confetti penetrated deep into your hair.

I thought it would be fun to make a few cascaroñes with Nicco and show him a little glimpse of my childhood and one of my favorite Hispanic traditions. Cascaroñes actually originated in China, and were brought to Europe by Marco Polo. When the trend arrived in Mexico, locals began filling them with confetti for Carnival. Hispanics along the border began using them to celebrate Easter because they felt the hollow eggs represented an empty tomb and the resurrection of Christ. It's said that having one broken over your head brings good luck! 

Making cascaroñes is very simple. The most difficult part is saving up the egg shells and getting the egg and yolk out with out making gigantic holes in them. I just poked a hole in the eggs with a fork and used the fork to pry pieces of egg away until I had a small, round hole at the top. Carefully wash the shells and let them air dry.

To decorate and fill them you'll need: egg shells (we used to save dozens when I was a kid!), tissue paper (cut into small circles), glue, confetti, and your medium of choice to decorate them. The sky is the limit! You can dye them, paint them, cover them in sequins, dress them up and draw faces on them... get creative! I used Prismacolor pencils and a silver metallic sharpie.

Once you've decorated your eggs, fill them with as much confetti as you'd like (the more, the messier!), run a small amount of glue around the opening of the egg, and place a small circle of tissue paper over the top of the opening to seal it. Allow the glue to dry completely. 

I wanted my Easter Eggs to be a complete DIY, so I recycled hole punch scraps and some packing paper to make my own confetti mix. I used some leftover silver tissue paper from the holidays to cover the holes, but you can use newspaper as well.

Do you like my bunny egg? He even has a cotton ball tail! Nicco decorated the two colorful eggs at the bottom...

Nicco thought my confetti eggs were hilarious and let me crack one over his head for demonstration purposes, hehe. (Note: confetti filled eggs are definitely an outdoor activity). I can't wait to crack open the rest on Easter Sunday! Do you have any Easter traditions?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Pick Your Poison: Digital or Paper?

I've always been a sucker for magazines. It all started with American Girl Magazine, and grew into an obsession from there. You name it, I've subscribed to it-- Teen, YM, Seventeen, Lucky, Elle, Allure. You get the picture. I used to love seeing a new magazine peeking out from the mailbox and flipping through the pages on the floor of my bedroom after school. Today though, things play out a little differently; instead of looking to my mailbox (which is abnormally tiny, my Birchbox doesn't even fit in it) I look toward my iPad for my fix. When I fly home to Texas I always make sure to charge my iPad and download the most recent issues of my favorite magazines. Currently I love Real Simple, Glamour, and Vogue.

But It's not just the weight and convenience that has me favoring the digital counterparts of these printed relics, (because believe me, a handful of magazines weighs more than you think) it's also the content and delivery. Glamour features tablet exclusives as I learned this month when I tried to read an article about sprucing up your resume in the paper issue, only to find it was a tablet exclusive feature. Reading that paper copy almost felt unnatural to me. I liked an outfit... I wanted to save it, but how? Clip the photo and put it in a binder? With the digital version I can snap a screenshot and upload it to a Pinterest board in seconds. 

Real Simple March 2014 // Glamour January 2014 // Real Simple January 2014

In some cases it's the price-- some magazines offer crazy cheap digital subscriptions starting at $1 per issue. Others charge $5 for access to digital subscriptions on top of the price of their paper subscriptions. Unfortunately, I had to let a few of my subscriptions that fell into the latter category lapse, but so it goes when it comes to fashion. 

I think a lot of my former hipster classmates from my Print & Multimedia Journalism major at Emerson would call me blasphemous for singing the praises of the digital press and it certainly raises issues with cost and worth and sticker shock from the consumer, but I am a convert. These days I rarely touch a printed magazine unless I'm handing it it off to a friend or coworker. What say you? Do you prefer paper or digital magazines?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

What I Wore: Spring Faves

Now that Spring has finally arrived in Boston I am more than happy to not only break out fun, new accessories, but to just spend time outside enjoying the sunshine. Last week Nicco and I ventured to Fort Point to check out the newest Sweet Green location and decided to explore the waterfront a little and take a few photos. It was the perfect way to spend one of the first beautiful afternoons of the season.  

It may have been a little premature weather-wise for sandals (ok, it definitely was) but I was just so darn excited to be out on such a beautiful day. I've posted this grey Philip Lim dress before (here and here) but it's so effortlessly chic and is the perfect backdrop for standout accessories like my new Piper sunglasses from the Warby Parker Spectrum collection and my yellow Furla Candy Bag.

I've been searching for the perfect pair of tortoiseshell sunglasses for a while now and when I saw these in Warby Parker's new Spectrum collection, I knew I had found the perfect pair. With a chic but subtle cat eye shape they're my new go-to Spring accessory. I'm sure you'll see them pop up on the blog time and time again! 

The bag was a gift from Nicco for our anniversary. He has great taste on his own, but I had been yearning for another Candy bag since I had a quality issue and had to reuturn my last one, so I not-so-subtly dropped the hint about this one when it went on sale for a hot second. I adore it and am constantly getting compliments on it. 

3.1 Phillip Lim Sweater Dress (similar on sale) // Warby Parker Piper Sunglasses c/o Warby Parker // Furla Candy Bag // Sam Edelman Sandals (similar by Sam Edelman)

After our walk and photo shoot we headed to Sweet Green for dinner. When I explained the concept behind the fast-casual resto Nicco anitcipated dinner to consist of "rabbit food," but was pleasantly surprised at how filling and flavorful his Earth Bowl was. I had a Spicy Sabzi salad and a cup of carrot ginger soup but all of the salads sounded amazing, and I will definitely be heading back to try more of them. (Guacamole Greens salad, anyone?)

So that pretty much sums it up, my three Spring favorites are officially my Warby Parker sunglasses, Furla Candy Bag, & Sweet Green. What are your Spring faves?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Date Night: Boston Wine School

A few Saturdays ago the mister and I headed to Allston to check out the Boston Wine School. Nicco just returned from Italy and I thought a wine guided "Night in Tuscany" would help him ease back into life in the states. We arrived a little early and mingled for about 45 minutes with other Wine School attendees over a glass of white Vernaccia from western Tuscany and light appetizers.

We were then split into two groups of about 14-18 and proceeded to learn about the 7-S method of wine tasting and were guided through 5 red wines made in central Tuscany. We spoke about the grapes, the aging process, and the standards for wine in Europe. You have the option to simply taste and not actually drink the wine (they provide a third cup for the final "spit" step) but you'd be crazy not to enjoy the excellent wines they select. 

I skipped lunch thinking the wines would be served with each course of the meal, but the set up is a little different here. You go through the tasting and then the two groups come together again to enjoy dinner. Dinner was from Bottega Fiorentina, one of my favorite local Italian restaurants. They served chicken, spinach and mozzarella bake, and eggplant penne pasta. The meal was yummy, but was reheated so it wasn't quite restaurant quality. I enjoyed it nonetheless but I was absolutely starving. Dessert was vanilla soy ice cream with espresso-- indulgent and delicious, but it was a little late for espresso for me!

I definitely upped my wine knowledge and while I'm far from an expert, I certainly feel more confident exploring new wines. I generally don't like red wine either, so this was a fun opportunity to learn more about what I like and don't like in a red. This made for a unique date night but would also be a lot of fun for a bridal or engagement party. The Boston Wine School is happy to accommodate private parties! 

1354 Commonwealth Ave
Allston, MA 02134 

Nicco and I were provided complimentary admission in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.